Saturday, June 18, 2005

Beyond Downing Street into the media itself by Bud Beck

Beyond Downing Street into the media itself by Bud Beck

BG: To address this editorial see This blog entry by this blogger.

Supersonic Sid

Supersonic Sid
Originally uploaded by cenz.
Fun Pic

xymphora: The Downing Street Memo

xymphora: The Downing Street Memo: "xymphora
Saturday, June 18, 2005
The Downing Street Memo
On May 5 I wrote a draft posting called 'The inevitable war', a posting which I never published, commenting on the fact that the Downing Street Memo had received essentially no coverage in the mainstream media, despite the fact that it proved that the British and American peoples had been lied to by their respective governments. Since then, all hell has broken loose. I see no reason to cover the ground that everybody else has covered, but have a few comments:

There is not a snowball's chance in hell that Bush will be impeached over this issue. The Republicans control everything: the Executive, both Houses of Congress, the Judiciary, and the Media. They have demonstrated over and over again that they only care about the retention of power. The only possible chance of impeachment is if the Democrats were to gain control of the Senate, something that cannot possibly happen as the same crooked voting system is still (!!!) in place. The only reason for making a big deal out of the lies over Iraq is to attempt to stop the current campaigns for attacks on Syria and Iran, campaigns clearly based on exactly the same fundamental lies being spread by the Bush Administration and its friends.

The irony of this material coming out at the same time that Deep Throat is supposedly outed has been noted by some people. The American political system, based on the separation and balancing of powers, is supposed to have been sorely tested by Watergate, but met the test. Not so. Not all power was held by one party at the time of Watergate. The press was more diverse, there were moderate judges, there were moderate Republicans, there were Democrats with spines, and the voting system was not entirely crooked. When all these thin"

Public Domain Progress: Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?

Public Domain Progress: Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?


Iraq War Video (AntiWar)


TOTAL 911 INFOThe video index to your left has been updated with links to key 9/11 truth videos from and all over the web.

More Damning than Downing Street

More Damning than Downing StreetWhat's more damning still is that they effectively began this war even before the congressional vote.


Palestine Chronicle: Blair OSP, Downing Street Minutes

Palestine Chronicle

“An ad hoc office under US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith appears to have acted as the key base for an informal network of mostly neo-conservative political appointees that circumvented normal inter-agency channels to lead the push for war against Iraq. Retired intelligence officials from the State Department, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have long charged that the two offices exaggerated and manipulated intelligence about Iraq before passing it along to the White House.”

Support Teresa Chambers

Support Teresa Chambers
On December 5, 2003, the National Park Service stripped Teresa Chambers of her gun and badge and placed her on administrative leave for "violating federal rules" regarding the discussion of budget and for allegedly giving away critical public safety information.

An Insider's Troubling Account of the U.S. Role in Iraq - New York Times

An Insider's Troubling Account of the U.S. Role in Iraq - New York Times: "'little thought' had been given by the United States to 'the aftermath and how to shape it.'It is a subject explicated in chilling - and often scathing - detail by 'Squandered Victory,' a new book by Larry Diamond,"

Lawyers Fought U.S. Move to Curb Tobacco Penalty - New York Times

Lawyers Fought U.S. Move to Curb Tobacco Penalty - New York Times: "Mr. McCallum and other political appointees had effectively undermined their case. Mr. McCallum, No. 3 at the department, is a close friend of President Bush from their days as Skull & Bones members at Yale"

Schiermonnikoog Joop cow

Schiermonnikoog Joop cow
Originally uploaded by Joop & Henk.
Cow / Dog Pics?


Originally uploaded by ryanmshea.

Press coverage of the Downing Street Memo hearings

Left I on the News

The Pentagon Papers of Our Time?

The Pentagon Papers of Our Time?: "On public radio this week, Walter Pincus, the senior national security reporter for The Washington Post, posed the question: if the statements in the various Downing Street memos are to be dismissed as 'old' news--"

The Waterman Paper, by H20 - Democratic Underground

The Waterman Paper, by H20 - Democratic Underground: "possibility that Vice President Dick Cheney orchestrated the 'leaking' of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity "

BG: info about Joe Wilson / Plame outing from 2004.


News Hounds: Will Wonders Never Cease? NPR's Juan Williams Finds His Voice, Argues with O'Reilly

News Hounds: Will Wonders Never Cease? NPR's Juan Williams Finds His Voice, Argues with O'Reilly

BG: Pretty Good Performance by Juan Williams

"As I've often said, this is not the type of thing which a democratic society - a capitalist democratic society - can really accept without addressing

Crooks and Liars

News Hounds: Pornography: The Frightening Tale of the Degration of a 21-Year-Old Male

News Hounds: Pornography: The Frightening Tale of the Degration of a 21-Year-Old Male

BG: News Hounds Commentary on Fox... nice to have their commentary.


Originally uploaded by Schröedinger's Cat.

Veterans Much More Likely to Be Homeless Than Other Adults -- GOPUSA

Veterans Much More Likely to Be Homeless Than Other Adults -- GOPUSA

BG: Another surprisingly candid article...

Veterans Much More Likely to Be Homeless Than Other Adults
By Carolyn Bolls Correspondent
June 17, 2005

( -- Government figures show that former members of the U.S. military comprise less than 13 percent of the American adult population, yet veterans account for roughly 33 percent of the nation's homeless adult population.

But those figures, obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Veterans Affairs, yield different explanations for the causes related to the high number of homeless veterans.

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans charges that the government is not providing enough help to ex-servicemen and women transitioning to civilian life. But the government denies that there is a "causal relationship" between military service and homeless veterans.

"On any given day, as many as 200,000 veterans (male and female) are living on the streets or in shelters, and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year," according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website. The Interagency Council on Homelessness estimates that about 47 percent of the homeless veterans served in Vietnam.

But while the VA acknowledges that "many homeless veterans served in combat in Vietnam and suffer from [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]," it adds that "epidemiologic studies do not suggest that there is a causal connection between military service, service in Vietnam, or exposure to combat and homelessness among veterans."

Family background, the lack of a support network, and personal characteristics are more powerful indicators of whether a veteran will become homeless, according to the government agency.

Linda Boone, executive director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, told Cybercast News Service that the military needs to do more for the men and women departing the service. She criticized the Department of Defense's program of Preseparation Counseling.

"That process turns out not to be mandatory," Boone said. "The check-off list that they have to fill out, they can choose to opt out of that process ... so the Department of Defense doesn't have to provide them counseling."

The check-off list to which Boone referred is the DD 2648 Preseparation Counseling Checklist issued by the Department of Defense. It is supposed to be completed no later than 90 days before service members leave.

"[It] doesn't have housing, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, which are issues that can lead to homelessness," Boone said.

The list does direct soon-to-be veterans to job websites, such as USA jobs and Troops to Teachers programs, and it offers the option of the Transition Assistance programs and workshops (TAP). The latter, which is sponsored by the Department of Labor in conjunction with the Department of Defense, includes a three day workshop where "two-and-a-half days deal with employment, and half-a -day around VA benefits," Boone said.

TAP is also not mandatory, Boone said. "Some base commanders do not even make it available because they don't want their workforce out for three days, or they will only allow people to do it on their non-duty time," she charged.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the most common mental illness in veterans, producing nightmares and other stress that can lead to suicide, Boone said. She also blamed the military's "macho environment" for discouraging veterans from seeking treatment for the problem.

"The military is providing support and counseling in very limited instances ... It depends on the leadership of that unit," Boone said.

Among the homeless veterans that Boone's group tracks, 76 percent of them "now have mental health and/or substance abuse issues," she said. "They're sick and they need more long term help." She added that approximately 11 percent of current homeless service members experiencing substance abuse problems cite their time in the military as a cause for the abuse.

But mental health and substance abuse are not popular topics in the military, according to Boone. "If somebody identifies that they have mental health or substance abuse issues while they are still on active duty, there are consequences for that in the military ... They don't want to talk about it," she said.

Boone said there is some good news, "that people are aware that there are homeless veterans," but she added that most people believe the homeless veteran population represents a "small minority, derelicts, and that's not true. That is true for some, but not true for all."

In January the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans polled 19 organizations serving homeless veterans and discovered that more than 300 veterans from the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were seeking help. "In the next couple years, we will have a lot of veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are not prepared," Boone said.

One active duty soldier in Iraq has already asked Boone's group for help, stating in an email that he expects to be homeless once he returns to the U.S., Boone said. "Many [veterans] join the military right out of high school and they've never had another job, so they don't have a job to come back to," she said.

A telephone call to the Department of Veterans Affairs, seeking comment for this article, was not returned. But Boone said VA is "much better than it used to be, and that's because the advocacy community has mandated that every VA medical center have a homeless coordinator."

Copyright © 1998-2005 - Cybercast News Service

Saudi Expert: Al-Qaida Plans 'Catastrophic' Attack Inside Cover Story

BG: Newsmax: Hyping the Hysteria like a jockey whipping his horse across the finish line.

Anti-War Activists Want to 'Bring This President Down' -- GOPUSA

Anti-War Activists Want to 'Bring This President Down' -- GOPUSA

BG: Seems like pretty straight reporting from

Anti-War Activists Want to 'Bring This President Down'
By Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor
June 17, 2005

( -- The mother of a soldier who was killed in combat in Iraq told an anti-war rally near the White House on Thursday that President George Bush "doesn't deserve our allegiance."

Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in an ambush in Baghdad on April 4, 2004, made the remark before a gathering of about 200 people after speaking at a Democratic-sponsored, Bush-bashing hearing at the U.S. Capitol earlier in the day.

Sheehan, co-founder of the anti-war organization Gold Star Families for Peace, told participants at the rally that her appearance at the hearing was intended to remind congressmen "what their constitutional responsibilities are.

"They swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States. They don't pledge allegiance to the president. He doesn't deserve our allegiance," she said to applause from the crowd.

"And he doesn't deserve to go back to Crawford, Texas," Sheehan continued. "He deserves to go to prison for what he did."

Joining Sheehan onstage at the rally were other members of her organization, each of whom had lost a family member in the fighting in Iraq. "This is the happiest day I've had since my son died," Sheehan said.

During her earlier comments before more than 40 Democratic members of Congress, Sheehan said she believed before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq -- and is "even more convinced now -- that this aggression on Iraq was based on a lie of historic proportions and was blatantly unnecessary."

She added that the so-called Downing Street Memo "only confirms what I already suspected: The leadership of this country rushed us into an illegal invasion of another sovereign country on pre-fabricated and cherry-picked intelligence."

The invasion of Iraq "cost my family a price too dear to pay and almost too much to bear:" the death of her son, "who was killed to line the pockets of already wealthy people and to feed the insatiable war machine that has always devoured our young."

Sheehan then told the Democratic officials that an investigation into the Downing Street Minutes "is completely warranted and the necessary first step into righting the wrong that is Iraq and holding someone accountable for the needless, senseless and avoidable deaths of many thousands."

The meeting was hosted by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), who later delivered a letter to the White House signed by more than 560,000 people online and at least 104 members of Congress seeking "answers to questions raised by the Downing Street Minutes."

Conyers also joined the rally and told the other participants they were part of a "great, historic day." He called for "more hearings, more questions, more witnesses, more protests and more letters to the president" until the "sad, terrible war in Iraq" was ended.

Another speaker at the event was Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) who had "something to say to the mothers and fathers of America: Your job is not done.

"You need to tell the Republicans who control the Congress with an iron fist: Stop the cover-up. Let's get to the truth," she said. "Congress is owned by the American people, not the special interests and the fat cats."

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), told the crowd that the afternoon forum had been "the most significant hearing perhaps in the history of the nation" because it exposed "the big lie" about the war in Iraq and encouraged her fellow Democrats "to take on the president in a real way."

As part of that effort, Waters announced the formation of the "Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus. "Some of us ran for office and were elected on a platform of peace, justice and equality," she said. "The American people are unhappy with this war, and they are expecting us to provide leadership to end this war and bring our troops home."

The final speaker at the rally was Ann Wright, a former U.S. State Department official who resigned in March 2003 to protest the invasion of Iraq.

Wright had a practical recommendation for those in attendance: "We need to have an anti-war vigil, 24 hours a day, until this war ends," she said before asking others to either join her in front of the White House or support her efforts to "bring this president down."

Copyright © 1998-2005 - Cybercast News Service

Bush Critic [Joe Wilson] Contradicts 'Downing Street Memo' Charge -- 06/17/2005

Bush Critic Contradicts 'Downing Street Memo' Charge -- 06/17/2005

BG: Joe Wilson: maybe not the best spokesperson for impeachment. GOP'ers are going nuts with this, and they deserve to make their point. Wilson must not be paying attention.

If you follow the probable timeline, and read the interview (excerpts follow) from 2004, you'll find that it perfectly consistent for Wilson to think the yellowcake memo was forged (and an explicit part of the 'fixing the facts' support the war), and at the same time Wilson / Plame had a strong historical of assuming the worst about Saddam. Wilson also state in the interview below, that he sees the Bush advisors / staff as the one feeding "W" the bad info for the SOTU speech. I think Wilson is just not up to what really happened, or there is some reason for him to not be honest.


aA: Do you talk with any high-ups in the Republican Party about what has happened over the last year?

jW: Most of my close friends are Republicans. I served both Republican and Democratic presidents. In fact my first ambassadorial appointment was with a Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush. I believe in our democracy, I don’t believe that either party has a monopoly on wisdom. That said, it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for a Republican in the future.

People have a tendency to regurgitate whatever they’ve last heard and to give equal credence to untruths as they do to truths. And they it becomes a he-said-she-said and that is part of their effort. People should go back and read the portion on Niger in the body of the report.

There’s another quote from September. A CIA analyst quotes an NSC guy as saying “We have to leave this assertion in Presidential speeches and documents, otherwise we will leave the British flapping in the wind.” If that is not the political use of intelligence, then I don’t know what is.

aA: The WSJ suggested that if your wife actually helped you get the job, then it would have been more legitimate to reveal her role in this whole controversy, on background, perhaps.

jW: First of all, it’s incorrect. On July 22 of 2003, a week after the Novak article appeared, the CIA was actually questioned about my wife’s role. The CIA spokesman, speaking on background, said that it was her colleagues and coworkers who suggested me. All she did was provide a one-sentence paragraph of my curriculum vitae. My bona fides were established in 1999. Other than serving as a conduit, she had no substantive role in the decision that was made to send. This is a classic case of shooting the messenger because you didn’t like the message he brought back.

aA: What changes has all of this brought into your life?

jW: My friends all understand…and I think most of the American people understand. No WMDs have been found, there is no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. In fact on June 17th, which was three weeks before my opinion piece appeared, the CIA issued a final report saying there’s nothing to this. I have no doubt whatsoever that as the facts become understood, they will overwhelm this partisan smear campaign based on lies and distortions.

aA: Are you at all related with the Kerry campaign?

jW: I have sat as an unpaid foreign policy adviser on the foreign policy committee that advises the campaign. I’ve also spoken on behalf of the senator as a surrogate, and I’ve raised some money for the senator. I don’t have a paid position in the campaign – I’m not a staffer.

aA: There are many who point to this affiliation and your new book as evidence that your statements are for personal gain…

jW: I understand that. In terms of the publication of the book, the President himself has said that he wants to run on his record, and I wanted that book to reflect one individual’s assessment of that record. And there’s nothing wrong with that…this is a political season. The war on Iraq was a disaster, clearly carried out under false pretences. And it’s not just me, it’s the Senate Committee report itself, and it’s the 9/11 Commission report that make the case that there was nothing substantive underpinning the allegations that there were WMDs that posed a grave and gathering danger to the United States, or that there were operational ties to Al-Qaeda. It’s a key piece of information that makes the point – the CIA told the Senate and the CIA told the White House: do not use this information…do not be a witness of fact on this.

It’s going to be a hard-fought battle. I think it’s lamentable that these people who have launched this smear campaign against me…since they can’t win on the facts, they’ve decided to engage in a broadside character assassination campaign. Remember, the one person whose name has never been known is the person who put the sixteen words in the SOTU address. They have vilified me, they have vilified my wife, but the person who put the lie in the SOTU address has never been named.

aA: You, Sandy Berger, Dick Clarke, Paul O’Neill, Shinseki, it’s quite a list of people who’ve fallen out of favor.

jW: I think it’s absolutely vital that Americans stand up and say “Enough of this character assassination. Let’s discuss issues based on fact.” I have every expectation that Clarke will be vindicated, that I will be vindicated, Paul O’Neill has been largely vindicated. I think it’s time for the people and the press, in particular, to be more vigilant about not giving equal weight to lies as they give the truth.

aA: One phrase used by your detractors is that you’re ignoring a central tenet of intelligence – that the absence of evidence doesn’t necessarily mean evidence of absence. That just because you didn’t find anything doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anything there.

jW: I don’t believe that “evidence of absence indicates the absence of evidence” is a clear enough rationale for war. I would argue that it is a clear enough argument for robust diplomacy and intelligence and subversion. I think it’s important to understand that war must be the last option, because of all the costs and unintended consequences, not to mention the morality and legality of engaging in things like preventive war.

aA: Did you support the war in Afghanistan?

jW: I did, absolutely, and I supported the first Gulf war.

aA: Can I ask what your wife is doing right now? Has she left the CIA?

jW: She hasn’t left the CIA, but is taking a leave. I don’t know if she’ll ever go back or not. It’s very difficult to do your job when your name is so published.

aA: How are the book sales going?

jW: They’re doing very well. I have every expectation that there will be another flurry. Part of this campaign is just pure revenge and spite. I say things about Ed Gillespie that aren’t very flattering…they happen to be true. I also say things about Novak which happen to be true.

aA: For those who think that Bush lied, your statements were seized by the left as the ultimate proof…

jW:…They were...

aA:…so now that doubt has been cast on these sixteen words, there are many on the right who say that this destroys the left’s argument that Bush lied.

jW: The White House spokesman said that the sixteen words did not rise to the level of inclusion in the SOTU address. This government has said to all Americans in this campaign that if you stand up and say the emperor is wearing no clothes on this issue, your government will do this to you and your family. So therefore be very afraid. Well I’m not afraid.

I still do believe that the WMD issue was an important issue for us to be vigilant about. But the regime change as an objective of military action was fraught with danger. It was always the highest risk-lowest reward program.

Now that’s separate from whether or not the President misled the country, deliberately or not deliberately. I have no reason to think that he did anything other than read the words that the White House all agreed should be in there. So I’ve never called the president a liar – what I’ve said about the president is that, in my judgment, he has proven time and again to be far more protective of his senior staff than they have been of him.

NYT Stinks it up......


I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank's June 17 report, "Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War,"


Controlled Demolition, Inc. | Government

Controlled Demolition, Inc. | Government: "Department of Defense (DOD)
Controlled Demolition Incorporated (CDI) has the appropriate experience and expertise to assist Department of Defense (DOD) agencies and contractors in demolition operations on sensitive projects, domestically and internationally. Through the support of our international network of offices and agent relationships, Controlled Demolition Incorporated can respond promptly for defense-related consulting and performance requests on short notice."

BG: This (the verbiage on the web site) was mentioned by a caller the Alex Jones radio show today.

Tucker Carlson - The Man. The Pundit. The Weenie. By Dana�Stevens

Tucker Carlson - The Man. The Pundit. The Weenie. By Dana�Stevens

Behind the Downing Street Memos- by Justin Raimondo

Behind the Downing Street Memos- by Justin Raimondo

xymphora: A war of aggression

xymphora: A war of aggression

Ezra Klein: If GM Goes

Ezra Klein: If GM Goes

BG: Something to Consider

Episode 36.2 - The Last Chance Democracy Cafe (Impeachment)

Episode 36.2 - The Last Chance Democracy Cafe

Fun Pic