Friday, March 31, 2006

Dan Froomkins scolds major reporters/papers...

An excerpt from Dan Froomkins Washington Post column:

A Compelling Story
By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Friday, March 31, 2006; 10:54 AM

Slowly but surely, investigative reporter Murray Waas has been putting together a compelling narrative about how President Bush and his top aides contrived their bogus case for war in Iraq; how they succeeded in keeping charges of deception from becoming a major issue in the 2004 election; and how they continue to keep most of the press off the trail to this day.

What emerges in Waas's stories is a consistent White House modus operandi: That time and time again, Bush and his aides have selectively leaked or declassified secret intelligence findings that served their political agenda -- while aggressively asserting the need to keep secret the information that would tend to discredit them.

The latest entry in Waas's saga came yesterday in the highly respected National Journal. Waas writes: "Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration."

This happened, Waas writes, after "then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true."

The aluminum-tube allegation was perhaps the strongest, most concrete piece of evidence the White House had in its campaign to drive the American public into the proper frame of mind to go to war against a country that had never before been seen as a threat to the national security.
In a March 2 story, Waas documented how Bush had been explicitly informed that the aluminum-tube allegation might not be true well before his State of the Union Address.

Yesterday's new twist is that Rove apparently understood that if American voters found out how Bush had intentionally misled them, the election might be lost. He was intent on not letting that happen.

Waas's narrative also helps explain why the White House felt so compelled to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson's charge in May 2003 that another key justification for war was manifestly false.

More of Waas's stories can be found here.

The blogosphere is abuzz with Waas's latest revelation. The Booman Tribune blog explains how it is in fact Waas's "magnum opus on the Plame Affair."

But in the traditional media, the reaction has been utter and complete silence -- both after Waas's well-documented March 2 story, and again today. There's not one word about it in a single major outlet this morning.

And that's just not acceptable. Waas's fellow reporters at major news operations should either acknowledge and try to follow up his stories -- or debunk them. It's not okay to just leave them hanging out there. They're too important.


John Dean agrees with Sen Feingold on censure...

From the NY Times:

March 31, 2006
Censure Resolution Sparks Bitter Debate in Senate

President Bush's once-secret surveillance program sparked a bitter debate today before the Senate Judiciary Committee over what kind of president George W. Bush has become and how he stands in history.

The committee met to consider a resolution by one of its members, Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, to censure the president over the surveillance program. The resolution was not voted on and is almost surely going nowhere, but it still had the power to ignite feelings.
Under Mr. Bush's theory of government, Mr. Feingold said, "we no longer have a constitutional system consisting of three co-equal branches of government. We have a monarchy."

Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the panel's ranking Democrat who was congratulated on his 66th birthday today in a rare moment of bipartisan friendliness, sided with Mr. Feingold, although stopping short of saying he would vote for censure.

The Congressional resolution of force passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, makes no mention of surveillance, Mr. Leahy said, yet "the administration claims now that Congress unconsciously authorized warrantless wiretaps."

"This is 'Alice in Wonderland' gone amok," Mr. Leahy said. "It is not what we in Congress said, and it certainly was not what we in Congress intended."

But Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said Mr. Feingold's move was "completely without merit," and he spoke contemptuously of one witness, John Dean of Watergate fame, as "a convicted felon" bent on publicizing his books.

"And I believe that the American people would view what we are about here as part of the surreal atmosphere that they believe, and sometimes correctly so, is completely out of touch with the rest of the United States," Mr. Cornyn said.

Another Republican, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, wondered why "the national spasm" over the surveillance program had not run its course. The president was within his rights and within the law to have the National Security Agency do limited surveillance, and he has kept Congressional leaders informed, the senator said.

Mr. Sessions said Mr. Feingold's resolution was irresponsible, "and it has the potential to send abroad throughout the terrorist community and to those who are watching our resolve around the world a very perverse and false message."

The panel's chairman, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said he too thought Mr. Feingold's resolution was without merit. "But it provides a forum for the discussion of issues which really ought to be considered in greater depth than they have been," Mr. Specter said.

The expert witnesses were also far apart.

"The president did not break the law," said Prof. Robert Turner of the University of Virginia's Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs. "Every wartime president, even every wartime leader going back to George Washington, when he authorized the opening of British mail coming into the United States during the American Revolution, has done this kind of behavior. It's essential to the successful conduct of war."

But Bruce Fein, a lawyer who worked in the Justice Department in the Reagan presidency, said Mr. Bush's assertions of powers "have to be taken as permanent changes on the political landscape on checks and balances." The president's claims are "extravagant" and his interpretation of the authorization given him by Congress "is not just wrong, but preposterous," Mr. Fein said.

Then there was Mr. Dean, the White House lawyer for President Richard Nixon, making his first appearance before a Congressional panel since he mesmerized the country in his Nixon-incriminating testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee more than three decades ago.

Mr. Dean, who spoke in favor of Senator Feingold's measure, is the author of the 2004 book "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush." Presidents "push the envelope as far as they can" in their power struggles with Congress, Mr. Dean warned. Had Mr. Nixon been censured, "it would have been a godsend," Mr. Dean said, apparently meaning that all the abuses that led to Mr. Nixon's resignation might never have happened.

One thing Mr. Dean said prompted no disagreement whatever. "I must say, I think I have probably more experience first-hand than anybody might want in what can go wrong and how a president can get on the other side of the law."

Copyright 2006The New York Times Company


A selection of books worth enjoying...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


The Mummy Diaries author and columnist Rachel Johnson's NOTTING HELL, in the tradition of Helen Fielding and Alison Pearson, a about life in one of London's Notting Hill communal gardens, complete with celebrity neighbors, wealthy one-upmanship, pushy Americans, battles over building permits, and adultery, to Trish Todd at Touchstone Fireside, in a two-book deal, by Melanie Jackson (NA).
UK rights to Julliet Annan at Fig


Novelist (THE ORDINARY WHITE BOY), story collection author (CARRYING THE TORCH), and McSweeney's and Believer contributor Brock Clarke's AN ARSONIST'S GUIDE TO WRITER'S HOMES IN NEW ENGLAND, the story of a young man jailed for torching Emily Dickinson's house in Amherst, Massachussetts -- part detective story, part rumination on family, home, and place, and part examination of why we read books -- a story of numerous fires addressing not only the the mystery of who set them, but what they mean, to Chuck Adams at Algonquin, by Elizabeth Sheinkman at Curtis Brown


Matt Bronleewe's ILLUMINATED, including the historical details of Guttenburg and the printing of limited edition Bibles, to Allen Arnold at WestBow, in a five-book deal, by Don Pape at Alive Communications (world).


Blair Underwood's untitled children's book about the first haircut, to Kelli Martin at Hyperion Children's, by Lydia Wills at Paradigm (world)


Scott Frost's Edgar-nominated RUN THE RISK and NEVER FEAR, both featuring the same woman LA homicide detective, plus an untitled third book, to Vicki Mellor in her first acquisition at Headline UK, by David Grossman, on behalf of the Elaine Koster Agency.


Cambridge historian Anna Whitelock's MARY: The First Queen of England, the story of Mary Tudor, trailblazer for her younger sister Elizabeth, to Michael Fishwick at Bloomsbury UK, and to Susanna Porter at Random House, by Emma Parry at Fletcher and Parry, on behalf of Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan

Host of MSNBC's Countdown Keith Olbermann's THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD & 119 MORE STRONG CONTENDERS, to Stephen Power at Wiley, in a very nice deal, by Esther Newberg at ICM (NA)

Harvard historian Jonathan Hansen's history of Guantanamo Bay, spanning from Christopher Columbus's discovery of the Americas through America's seizure of the land and the establishment of its naval base all the way up to the recent controversies concerning the detentions of political prisoners, to Tim Bartlett at Random House, by Wendy Strothman (world).

TRUE NORTH author and co-author of NYT bestseller AND THE SEA WILL TELL Bruce Henderson's DOWN TO THE SEA: Admiral Halsey, the Third Fleet, and the Great Typhoon, the story of one of the worst Naval disasters in US history, off the coast of the Philippines in December, 1944, to Elisabeth Dyssegaard at Smithsonian Books, for publication in Fall 2007, by Paul Bresnick of the Paul Bresnick Agency (NA)


Star of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report (and coiner of "truthiness") Stephen Colbert's untitled book, promising "the same noble goal as my television show: to change the world one factual error at a time," to Jamie Raab at Warner, in a pre-empt, for publication in September 2007, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group and James Dixon at Dixon


Terrell Owens's INELIGIBLE RECEIVER: The Real Story of My Journey from the Super Bowl to the Sidelines, recounting what happened during his two years in Philadelphia, describing his deteriorating relationship with Donovan McNabb, and providing a detailed account of his arbitration hearing, to David Rosenthal at Simon & Schuster, to be edited by Bob Bender, for publication in July 2006, by Ian Kleinert of Literary Group International (world).

Son of famed New Yorker writer, Brendan Gill, Michael Gates Gill's HOW STARBUCKS SAVED MY LIFE, a lemons-to-lemonade memoir, chronicling his transformative year working at Starbucks after falling from the heights of privilege, an opinionated white man in his 60s learning humbling life lessons from his new boss, an equally opinionated, 20-something African American woman raised in the projects, to Erin Moore at Gotham, in a pre-empt, by Gillian MacKenzie of the Gillian MacKenzie Agency (world)


Rachel Dickinson's FALCONER AT THE EDGE, a book that will do for contemporary falconry what THE ORCHID THIEF did for orchidelirium, penetrating the world of obsessed falconers through the story of one character who lives and dies for the hunt, to Lisa White at Houghton Mifflin, in a very nice deal, by Russell Galen at Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency (NA).Foreign rights: Danny Baror


Fermat's Last Theorem author Amir Aczel's THE JESUIT AND THE SKULL: Teilhard de Chardin and the Search for Peking Man, the story of the French priest-scientist who was present at the discovery in 1923 of the ancient skull that became known as Peking Man, and how that breakthrough anthropological find marked the beginning of both de Chardin's scientific vindication and the greatest test of his faith as it escalated the debate between science and religion, to Geoff Kloske and Jake Morrissey at Riverhead, at auction, by Ike Williams at Kneerim & Williams.

How to Survive a Robot Uprising author Daniel H. Wilson's HOW TO BUILD A ROBOT ARMY, based on interviews with leading researchers across multiple disciplines, teaching us to harness the power of our robot friends, with illustrations, to Colin Dickerman at Bloomsbury, by Laurie Fox at Linda Chester Literary Agency


Steve Lopez's IMAGINING BEETHOVEN, about how a chance encounter with a homeless man, who was a Julliard-trained violinist, triggers a personal reawakening for a Los Angeles Times reporter, and changes both of their lives forever, to Dan Conaway at Putnam, at auction, by David Black (NA).



Susan Devenyi's QUIET: The importance of introverts in a world that can't stop talking, draws on psychology, science, and history to explore how western societies have gone from valuing introverted personality types to valuing extroverts, and examines the impact of this shift on individuals, in schools and in the workplace, to Kate Barker at Viking, by Bill Hamilton at A.M. Heath, on behalf of Richard Pine at Inkwell


Betool Khedairi's ABSENT, set in 1990s Iraq, the story of a young woman and her family and neighbors, all determined to maintain ordinary lives and even to find love and hope, amid bombings, international sanctions, surprise arrests, and a crumbling social fabric, to Judy Sternlight at Random House, by Jessica Papin at American University in Cairo Press.English language rights: Others:


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Blogger says Conservatives books freaking BushCo out...

From :

GOP Memo Now Using Horror Movie Stock Footage

If you are a horror movie fan, or even if you have seen more than a few of them in your lifetime, you are well aware of the scenario: In the end, the villain is dragged down into the abyss/pit/hell/sludge/airlock/portal/whatever. They get their just desserts, for all the evil they have done. They end up suffering the same, or worse, as what they have been inflicting on their victims.Flash forward to the present: RNC Memo Warns GOPers Not To Distance Themselves From Bush

"The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans."Ha ha ha! After all the big talk about how "Bush is a liberal" and how repukes are trying to distance themselves from the apalling circus of depravity that is the Bush administration, their party tells them they can't leave! Ha ha ha! Like a gang of street thugs, they're in it from cradle to grave.Why would the RNC have to issue such a memo, you ask? Dig this: Conservatives' new books have Bush in crosshairs

[Read the rest at ]


Nuke Iran?!!!

From Information Clearing House:

Will The U.S. Nuke Iran?
Professor of Physics Highlights The Dangers

New US policy to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries has been officially formulated in two US government documents Nuclear Posture Review delivered to Congress in December 2001 and Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations dated March 15, 2005.


Los Alamos in the hands of Betchel Corporation?!!!

From Tom Dispatch via :

Privatizing the Apocalypse
By Frida Berrigan
Thursday 30 March 2006

Started as the super-secret "Project Y" in 1943, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has long been the keystone institution of the American nuclear-weapons producing complex. It was the birthplace of Fat Man and Little Boy, the two nuclear bombs the US dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Last year, the University of California, which has managed the lab for the Department of Energy since its inception, decided to put Los Alamos on the auction block. In December 2005, construction giant Bechtel won a $553 million yearly management contract to run the sprawling complex, which employs more than 13,000 people and has an estimated $2.2 billion annual budget.

"Privatization" has been in the news ever since George W. Bush became president. His administration has radically reduced the size of government, turning over to private companies critical governmental functions involving prisons, schools, water, welfare, Medicare, and utilities as well as war-fighting, and is always pushing for more of the same. Outside of Washington, the pitfalls of privatization are on permanent display in Iraq, where companies like Halliburton have reaped billions in contracts. Performing jobs once carried out by members of the military - from base building and mail delivery to food service - they have bilked the government while undermining the safety of American forces by providing substandard services and products. Halliburton has been joined by a cottage industry of military-support companies responsible for everything from transportation to interrogation. On the war front, private companies are ubiquitous, increasingly indispensable, and largely unregulated - a lethal combination.

Now, the long arm of privatization is reaching deep into an almost unimaginable place at the heart of the national security apparatus - - the laboratory where scientists learned to harness the power of the atom more than 60 years ago and created weapons of apocalyptic proportions.

Profane Problem or Prolific Profit?

Nuclear weapons are many things to many people - the sword of Damocles or the guarantor of American global supremacy, the royal path to the apocalypse or atoms for peace. But in each notion, they are treated as idols - jealously-guarded, shrouded in code, surrounded by sacred secrecy. That is changing.

[Continued at :


Sen Feingold to Repubs: Stand up for the nation...

From Tom Paine via :

The GOP's Stake in Checking the President
By Senator Russ Feingold
Thursday 30 March 2006

During the Watergate hearings, then-Senator Howard Baker, a Republican, showed tremendous courage, and a deep sense of Congress's duty to hold President Nixon accountable, when he asked that now-famous question: "What did the President know and when did he know it?" Baker was one of a handful of Republicans during the scandal who stood up to their party, and to the President. Today, as the President admits, even flaunts, his program to wiretap Americans on American soil without the warrants required by law, we need more courageous Republicans to stand up and check the President's power grab.

When the President breaks the law, he must be held accountable, and that is why I have introduced a resolution to censure the President for his actions. Yet, as we face a President who thinks he is above the law, most Republicans are willing to cede enormous power to the executive branch. Their actions are not just short-sighted, they are a departure from one of the Republican Party's defining goals: limiting government power.

Some Republicans are defending the President's conduct as appropriate and arguing he should have free rein to continue his program, regardless of whether it is legal. Others seek to grant him expanded statutory powers so as to make his illegal conduct legal. But current law already allows a wiretap to be turned on immediately as long as the government goes to the court within 72 hours. The President has claimed an inherent authority to wiretap Americans on American soil without a warrant that he thinks allows him to break this law. So why would anyone think the President will comply with any new proposal? The constitutional system of separation of powers demands that we check a President who recklessly grabs for power and ignores the rule of law, not reward him - particularly when the law he breaks is designed to protect innocent Americans from intrusive government powers.

As many Republicans focus on defending the President, they are losing sight of what ceding these powers to the President now will mean for their own party down the road. Those expansive powers will rest with whoever sits in the Oval Office. Republicans who argue today that the President has the power to ignore a law passed by Congress are relinquishing authority not just to this Republican President, but to future presidents of any party. They are helping to render future members of their own party powerless to check an executive who claims expansive powers under the Constitution or a future Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution.

The Republican effort to defend the President works against the party in the long run, and it also goes against the party's longstanding rhetoric about checking government power and strengthening individual freedoms. It's hardly in keeping with those values to allow Americans' communications to be monitored without a warrant, or to concentrate power in one branch of government. One of the best ways to limit government power is to ensure that each branch provides a check on the other two, but most Republicans in Congress today aren't checking the President's power or defending the judicial branch's right to do so - they are giving him a blank check to ignore the rule of law.

A party that prides itself on limiting government, and supporting individual freedom and the rule of law, should think twice before it allows any President to ignore the laws that Congress passes. By supporting the President now, Republicans are making it tougher for members of their own party to challenge the power of future presidents and departing from their own values in the process. That's a short-sighted strategy that won't serve either party, or the nation, in the long run. What would serve the nation, and support the rule of law, is for a few courageous Republicans to follow the example set during the Watergate scandal by standing up to a President of their own party, asking tough questions, and holding the President accountable for his abuse of power.

Russ Feingold is a US senator from Wisconsin.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Molly says we'll have to investigate the dogs...

From Information Clearing House:

Finding no fault
By Molly Ivins
03/29/06 AUSTIN, Texas
(Creators Syndicate)

The Pentagon has once again investigated itself! And -- have a seat, get the smelling salts, hold all hats -- the Pentagon has once again concluded the Pentagon did absolutely nothing wrong and will continue to do so.

In this particularly fascinating case, the Pentagon investigated its own habit of paying people to make up lies about how well the war in Iraq is going, and then paying other people to put those lies in the Iraqi media, thus fooling the Iraqis into thinking everything in their country is tickety-boo. Well, if we can't fool them, whom can we fool?

The case revolves around a contract worth several million dollars given by the U.S. military command in Baghdad to the Lincoln Group, a public relations outfit started by two young entrepreneurs, one British, one American, in 2003 in Iraq. Articles were written by American military personnel from the American point of view about the war, to wit, it's going well. Lincoln Group in turn paid Iraqi journalists, some "on retainer," to print the articles without revealing the source.

Amusingly enough, through other programs, the U.S. government is also spending money trying to teach Iraqis about the importance of a free press in a democracy. According to the Pentagon's investigation of itself, none of the Lincoln Group's actions violate military policies because the Pentagon is just trying to counter the vast amount of anti-American propaganda carried in Middle Eastern papers.

While I think this is the best Pentagon-investigating-itself case of the week, I have to admit it's like the Oscars -- these investigations are so hard to compare to comedy and tragedy, documentary and animated shorts.

Also featured this week is the case of the Abu Ghraib dog handler, a 24-year-old sergeant who was convicted for tormenting detainees. The dog was not convicted, on the theory that it was just acting on orders.

Despite the huge international outcry over torture, so far the heavy-hitters in the plot receiving real red, white and blue justice are Lynndie England, a 5-foot-tall, 23-year-old woman with learning disabilities and other non-commissioned officers. They were clearly the mastermind behind the entire international stink fest, from Gitmo to Afghanistan. England was put in prison for three years. Her baby boy will be walking and talking by the time Ms. England finishes doing her time, but no one in the upper ranks is responsible for anything that's happened.

In the unfortunate case of the Black Room reported in The New York Times, we taxpayers seem to have been charged with the cost of refurbishing one of Saddam Hussein's military bases into "a top secret detention center." One former torture chamber is now an "interrogation cell" used by Special Operations forces. "In the windowless, jet-black garage-sized room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball." I say, this time, let's indict the dogs.

Of course, there is always the same depressing coda to new accounts of torture and mistreatment of prisoners by American troops -- no useful information was acquired.

With all these horrifying details surfacing ("No Blood, No Foul" was the slogan at the Special Operations forces' Camp Nama), you may wonder why I return to the case of the chipper newspaper articles. I find them deeply symbolic, certainly paradigmatic and possibly even plangent, a word that's hard to work into a newspaper column. Quite some time after we had invaded Iraq, our government informed us we had done so in order to bring democracy to their nation. Originally, we were told we had to invade their country because there were tons of weapons of mass destruction therein, but they turned out not to be there. So, through a process of masterly media manipulation, we went from Saddam's nuclear program to democracy. It seems to me this is how George W. Bush and Co. govern, period. It's a Karl Rove thing. When reality is unsatisfactory, just manipulate the media.You can't deny that the process has excellent results. It wins elections, for one thing. It confuses our critics and turns debate away from what we might loosely call "the truth" and into pointless fistfights about whether Iraq has descended, is descending or might descend into civil war.





This is not helpful dialogue -- remember the fight over whether there was an "insurgency" in Iraq or the Mission was still Accomplished, it was just "remnant Baathists and foreign terrorists"? That was a mirror of the arguments we had at home over whether President Bush could be described as a "friend" of Ken Lay's or whether he is "close" to Tom DeLay or "knows" Jack Abramoff.

Likewise, entire policy discussions would get subsumed by furious debate over whether Bush's proposals meant "privatization" of Social Security or were merely "personal accounts."

Grabbing reality by the throat and forcing it into a form you find more pleasing than reality itself is not only a great election strategy, it works for a lot of people on a lot of levels in life -- denial is a good game while it lasts.

But as we can all attest, if you ignore reality, sooner or later it will bite you in the ass. I suspect the "tough-minded" (they pride themselves on being tough-minded) members of the Bush administration think they are not ignoring reality, but just persuading other people to ignore it long enough to allow them to change it. This is not an original thought. Many of the great thumb-suckers of D.C. have come to the same conclusion and pondered deeply on the "fatal hubris" of this administration. Fatal jackasses are what we have.

Faced with the unappetizing reality of Iraq, Bush and Rove are relying on that grand old reliable strategy -- attack the media. It doesn't play as well as it used to. Everyone who wants an alternative reality is already watching Fox News. The rest of the country is worried.

Let me hasten to admit that I have no solution -- I have tried to be constructive over the course of this war, but I'm flat out of ideas. I haven't an earthly clue whether it would be better if we up and left or if we sat and stayed. What I am sure of is that none of us will figure that out until we stop pretending, until we take a long, cold hard look at the reality on the ground. Then someone needs to level with us about what it will cost to stay, in lives and dollars and, God help us, goodwill.

In a Washington Monthly book review, I found a suggestion that we copy Cold War tactics on terrorism and practice "containment" rather than this War of Good vs. Evil, Battlestar Galactica bull. But that requires someone who will level with the people. And the more this administration plays games with definitions of democracy and weasel wording about torture, the less they can be believed about anything. Like the boy who cried wolf, someday they're going to tell the truth, and no one will believe them.

Meantime, let us all enjoy the game of Pentagon-investigates-itself. Just remember, sooner or later, we'll have to indict the dogs.



Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Selling your IRS tax info...

From Media Matters :


CBS falsely suggested new IRS proposal on selling tax info "improve[s] taxpayer protections"; in fact, selling would expand

On the CBS Evening News, Washington correspondent Bob Orr characterized a recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations proposal allowing tax return preparers to sell information from returns to third parties as spelling out a "loophole of sorts" that has "been around for more than 30 years." In fact, in permitting sales to third parties, the new proposal would allow tax preparers to do something they are not currently permitted to do; under current law, they can pass on such information only to affiliates. Read more


Don't tell me! I'll have to get a lobotomy! AIPAC...

From Secrecy News:


The prosecution of two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for allegedly receiving and communicating classified information without authorization poses novel legal issues, the presiding judge in the case said last week.

"We are a bit in new, uncharted waters, and that's why I'm going to consider this matter extremely carefully," said Judge T.S. Ellis III at a March 24 hearing on defense motions to dismiss the case.

This is the first case in which the government has sought to criminalize the unauthorized receipt of classified information by non-governmental persons who do not hold security clearances. Anything other than a dismissal of the charges would mark a dramatic shift in national security law and a significant reduction in First Amendment protections.

At the hearing last week, defense attorneys reiterated their arguments that the underlying statutes are overbroad, unconstitutionally vague, and do not apply to speech but only to the unauthorized transfer of tangible materials such as classified documents. Unlike documents that bear classification markings, the defense pointed out, oral communications do not provide the recipient with notice that their contents are restricted.

"It's not a coincidence that the words of the statute speak in [terms of] tangible items, and the conduct here is oral," said defense attorney Abbe Lowell.

Under such circumstances, "How can a defendant, a potential defendant, trying to decide whether or not he's stepping across the line, determine when -- what information is national defense information, and when it isn't?" Judge Ellis asked the prosecution.

"It all depends upon the facts, your Honor," replied Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin DiGregory vaguely.

Furthermore, documents can be returned to their rightful owners. But oral information once received into conscious awareness is difficult not to retain. Yet according to the government, retention of such information by unauthorized recipients is illegal too.

"Well, what are they supposed to do," asked Judge Ellis, "have a lobotomy?"

Prosecutors argued that this is not a First Amendment case involving protected speech. "What we have alleged in our indictment, your Honor, is not FirstAmendment protected activity," said Mr. DiGregory. "What we have alleged is that these two men conspired with persons, known and unknown, they conspired to gather and disseminate national defense information. And we have alleged that they have done so, and communicated that information to persons not entitled to receive it."

"What we're talking about here, your Honor, in the first instance, is conduct. We're not talking about speech," he said.

"Do you think that you can transform speech into conduct?" Judge Ellis replied. "You can't do it just by labeling it conduct."

"All speech is a type of conduct," the Judge continued, "but it's a type of conduct which [defense attorney] Lowell would quickly say falls within the First Amendment. But he would have to be quick to concede that conduct in terms of giving someone a document is not speech, under the First Amendment."

None of these disputed issues were resolved, and the Court's aggressive questioning does not reliably indicate the Judge's own predilections. The parties were ordered to further brief the FirstAmendment issues by Friday, March 31.

A copy of the transcript of the March 24 hearing in U.S.A. v. Rosen and Weissman was obtained by Secrecy News and may be found here:

"I am not sure why FAS and other outlets are trying make AIPAC into some kind of martyr of freedom," wrote one commenter on the Secrecy News blog last week. "Its activities were clearly illegal and inviolation of US law. Let's be careful not to confound the defense of freedom with a defense of illicit activity."

AIPAC, however, is not on trial and is not accused of wrong doing. Whether or not the defendants' activities were illegal is the question that is now before the Court.

As for Secrecy News' interest in the case, it stems from the fact that we also gather and disseminate "national defense information," a term that encompasses both classified and unclassified defense information. We have "unauthorized" conversations with government officials. Sometimes we deliberately pose questions about matters that we know to be classified ("Psst...How big was the total intelligence budget 50 years ago?").

If the government's unbounded new interpretation of the espionage statutes were to prevail, much of our research and publication activity could arguably be considered illegal.

"Under the government's theory, in fact, countless conversations and publications that take place every day are criminal acts," the Washington Post editorialized last week.

See "Dangerous Prosecution," Washington Post, March 23:


Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant...or dead...

via :

Women Go 'Missing' by the Millions
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
International Herald Tribune
Saturday 25 March 2006

As I was preparing for this article, I asked a friend who is Jewish if it was appropriate to use the term "holocaust" to portray the worldwide violence against women. He was startled. But when I read him the figures in a 2004 policy paper published by the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, he said yes, without hesitation.

One United Nations estimate says from 113 million to 200 million women around the world are demographically "missing." Every year, from 1.5 million to 3 million women and girls lose their lives as a result of gender-based violence or neglect.

How could this possibly be true? Here are some of the factors:
In countries where the birth of a boy is considered a gift and the birth of a girl a curse from the gods, selective abortion and infanticide eliminate female babies.

Young girls die disproportionately from neglect because food and medical attention is given first to brothers, fathers, husbands and sons.

In countries where women are considered the property of men, their fathers and brothers can murder them for choosing their own sexual partners. These are called "honor" killings, though honor has nothing to do with it.

Young brides are killed if their fathers do not pay sufficient money to the men who have married them. These are called "dowry deaths," although they are not just deaths, they are murders.

The brutal international sex trade in young girls kills uncounted numbers of them.

Domestic violence is a major cause of death of women in every country.

So little value is placed on women's health that every year roughly 600,000 women die giving birth.

Six thousand girls undergo genital mutilation every day, according to the World Health Organization. Many die; others live the rest of their lives in crippling pain.

According to the WHO, one woman out of every five worldwide is likely to be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

What is happening to women and girls in many places across the globe is genocide. All the victims scream their suffering. It is not so much that the world doesn't hear them; it is that fellow human beings choose not to pay attention.

It is much more comfortable for us to ignore these issues. And by "us," I also mean women. Too often, we are the first to look away. We may even participate, by favoring our sons and neglecting the care of our daughters. All these figures are estimates; registering precise numbers for violence against women is not a priority in most countries.

Going forward, there are three challenges:

Women are not organized or united. Those of us in rich countries, who have attained equality under the law, need to mobilize to assist our fellows. Only our outrage and our political pressure can lead to change.

The Islamists are engaged in reviving and spreading a brutal and retrograde body of laws. Wherever the Islamists implement Shariah, or Islamic law, women are hounded from the public arena, denied education and forced into a life of domestic slavery.

Cultural and moral relativists sap our sense of moral outrage by claiming that human rights are a Western invention. Men who abuse women rarely fail to use the vocabulary the relativists have provided them. They claim the right to adhere to an alternative set of values - an "Asian," "African" or "Islamic" approach to human rights.

This mind-set needs to be broken. A culture that carves the genitals of young girls, hobbles their minds and justifies their physical oppression is not equal to a culture that believes women have the same rights as men.

Three initial steps could be taken by world leaders to begin eradicating the mass murder of women:

A tribunal such as the court of justice in The Hague should look for the 113 million to 200 million women and girls who are missing.

A serious international effort must urgently be made to precisely register violence against girls and women, country by country.

We need a worldwide campaign to reform cultures that permit this kind of crime. Let's start to name them and shame them.

In the past two centuries, those in the West have gradually changed the way they treat women. As a result, the West enjoys greater peace and progress. It is my hope that the third world will embark on this effort. Just as we put an end to slavery, we must end the gendercide.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch legislator, lives under 24-hour protection because of death threats against her by Islamic radicals since the murder of Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the film "Submission" about women and Islam. This Global Viewpoint article was distributed by Tribune Media Services.


Rep Waxman watches Halliburton..closely....

from :

Halliburton's Performance Worsens Under Second Iraqi Oil Contract
By Representative Henry Waxman's Office
t r u t h o u t Press Release
Tuesday 28 March 2006

Washington, D.C. - Today Rep. Waxman released the first analysis of Halliburton's RIO 2 contract to restore Iraq's southern oil fields. The examination of previously undisclosed correspondence, evaluations, and audits reveals that government officials and investigators have harshly criticized Halliburton's performance under RIO 2. The documents disclose an "overwhelmingly negative" performance, including:

Intentional Overcharging: Halliburton repeatedly overcharged the taxpayer, apparently intentionally. In one case, "[c]ost estimates had hidden rate factors to increase cost of project without informing the Government." In another instance, Halliburton "tried to inflate cost estimate by $26M." In a third example, Halliburton claimed costs for laying concrete pads and footings that the Iraqi Oil Ministry had "already put in place."

Exorbitant Costs: Halliburton was "accruing exorbitant indirect costs at a rapid rate." Government officials concluded that Halliburton's "lack of cost containment and funds management is the single biggest detriment to this program." They found a "lack of cost control ... in Houston, Kuwait, and Iraq." In a partial review of the RIO 2 contract, DCAA auditors challenged $45 million in costs as unreasonable or unsupported.

Inadequate Cost Reporting: Halliburton "universally failed to provide adequate cost information," had "profound systemic problems," provided "substandard" cost reports that did "not meet minimum standards," and submitted reports that had been "vetted of any information that would allow tracking of details." Halliburton produced "unacceptable unchecked cost reports."

Schedule Delays: Halliburton's work under RIO 2 was continually plagued by delays. Halliburton had a "50% late completion" rate for RIO 2 projects. Evaluations noted "untimely work" and "schedule slippage."

Refusal to Cooperate: Evaluations described Halliburton as "obstructive" with oversight officials. Despite the billions in taxpayer funds Halliburton has been paid, the company's "leadership demonstrated minimal cooperative attitude resolving problems."
The report is available online at or emailed upon request.


Onward, Citizen Fitzgerald!!!

From :

Fitzgerald Will Seek New White House Indictments
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t Report
Tuesday 28 March 2006

It may seem as though it's been moving along at a snail's pace, but the second part of the federal investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is nearly complete, with attorneys and government officials who have remained close to the probe saying that a grand jury will likely return an indictment against one or two senior Bush administration officials.

These sources work or worked at the State Department, the CIA and the National Security Council. Some of these sources are attorneys close to the case. They requested anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly about the details of the investigation.

In lengthy interviews over the weekend and on Monday, they said that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has started to prepare the paperwork to present to the grand jury seeking an indictment against White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove or National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Although the situation remains fluid, it's possible, these sources said, that Fitzgerald may seek to indict both Rove and Hadley, charging them with perjury, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy related to their roles in the leak of Plame Wilson's identity and their effort to cover up their involvement following a Justice Department investigation.

The sources said late Monday that it may take more than a month before Fitzgerald presents the paperwork outlining the government's case against one or both of the officials and asks the grand jury to return an indictment, because he is currently juggling quite a few high-profile criminal cases and will need to carve out time to write up the indictment and prepare the evidence.

In addition to responding to discovery requests from Libby's defense team and appearing in court with his attorneys, who are trying to obtain additional evidence, such as top-secret documents, from Fitzgerald's probe, the special prosecutor is also prosecuting Lord Conrad Black, the newspaper magnate, has recently charged numerous individuals in a child pornography ring, and is wrestling with other lawsuits in his home city of Chicago.

Details about the latest stage of the investigation began to take shape a few weeks ago when the lead FBI investigator on the leak case, John C. Eckenrode, retired from the agency and indicated to several colleagues that the investigation is about to wrap up with indictments handed up by the grand jury against Rove or Hadley or both officials, the sources said.

The Philadelphia-based Eckenrode is finished with his work on the case; however, he is expected to testify as a witness for the prosecution next year against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff who was indicted in October on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators regarding his role in the leak.

Hadley and Rove remain under intense scrutiny, but sources said Fitzgerald has not yet decided whether to seek charges against one or both of them.

Libby and other officials in Cheney's office used the information they obtained about Plame Wilson to undermine the credibility of her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Wilson was an outspoken critic of the Iraq war. He had alleged that President Bush misspoke when he said, in his January 2003 State of the Union address, that Iraq had tried to acquire yellow-cake uranium, the key component used to build a nuclear bomb, from Niger.

The uranium claim was the silver bullet in getting Congress to support military action two months later. To date, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and the country barely had a functional weapons program, according to a report from the Iraq Survey Group.

Wilson had traveled to Niger more than a year earlier to investigate the yellow-cake claims and reported back to the CIA that intelligence reports saying Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Niger were false.

On Monday, though, attorneys close to the leak case confirmed that Fitzgerald had met with the grand jury half a dozen times since January and recently told the jurors that he planned to present them with the government's case against Rove or Hadley, which stems from an email Rove had sent to Hadley in July of 2003 indicating that he had a conversation about Plame Wilson with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

Neither Hadley nor Rove disclosed the existence of the email when they were questioned by FBI investigators or when they testified before a grand jury, the sources said, adding that Rove testified he found out about Plame Wilson from reporters and Hadley testified that he recalled learning about Plame Wilson when her name was published in a newspaper column.

Rove testified before the grand jury four times. Rove testified before the grand jury four times. He did not disclose the existence of the email during his first two appearances before the grand jury, claiming he simply forgot about it because he was enmeshed with the 2004 Presidential election, traveling around the country attending fundraisers and meetings, working more than 15 hours a day on the campaign, and just forgot that he spoke with Cooper three months earlier, sources familiar with his testimony said.

But Rove and Libby had been the subject of dozens of news stories about the possibility that they played a role in the leak, and had faced dozens of questions as early as August 2003 - one month after Plame Wilson was outed - about whether they were the administration officials responsible for leaking her identity.

The story Rove and his attorney, Robert Luskin, provided to Fitzgerald in order to explain why Rove did not disclose the existence of the email is "less than satisfactory and entirely unconvincing to the special counsel," one of the attorneys close to the case said.

Luskin did not return numerous calls for comment. A spokeswoman for the National Security Council said she could not comment on an ongoing investigation and has vehemently denied that Hadley was involved in the leak "because Mr. Hadley told us he wasn't involved."

In December, Luskin made a desperate attempt to keep his client out of Fitzgerald's crosshairs.

Luskin had revealed to Fitzgerald that Viveca Novak - a reporter working for Time magazine who wrote several stories about the Plame Wilson case - inadvertently tipped him off in early 2004 that her colleague at the magazine, Matt Cooper, would be forced to testify that Rove was his source who told him about Plame Wilson's CIA status.

Novak - who bears no relation to syndicated columnist Robert Novak, the journalist who first published Plame Wilson's name and CIA status in a July 14, 2003, column - met Luskin in Washington DC in the summer of 2004, and over drinks, the two discussed Fitzgerald's investigation into the Plame Wilson leak.

Luskin had assured Novak that Rove learned Plame Wilson's name and CIA status after it was published in news accounts and that only then did he phone other journalists to draw their attention to it. But Novak told Luskin that everyone in the Time newsroom knew Rove was Cooper's source and that he would testify to that in an upcoming grand jury appearance, these sources said.

According to Luskin's account, after he met with Viveca Novak he contacted Rove and told him about his conversation with her. The two of them then began an exhaustive search through White House phone logs and emails for any evidence that proved that Rove had spoken with Cooper. Luskin said that during this search an email was found that Rove had sent to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley immediately after Rove's conversation with Cooper, and it was subsequently turned over to Fitzgerald.

"I didn't take the bait," Rove wrote in the email to Hadley immediately following his conversation with Cooper on July 11, 2003. "Matt Cooper called to give me a heads-up that he's got a welfare reform story coming. When he finished his brief heads-up he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this."

Luskin wound up becoming a witness in the case and testified about his conversation with Viveca Novak that Luskin said would prove his client didn't knowingly lie to FBI investigators when he was questioned about the leak in October 2003, just three months after Rove told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

The email Rove sent to Hadley, which Luskin said he found, helped Rove recall his conversation with Cooper a year earlier. Rove then returned to the grand jury to clarify his previous testimonies in which he did not disclose that he spoke with journalists.

Still, Rove's account of his conversation with Cooper went nothing like he had described in his email to Hadley, according to an email Cooper sent to his editor at Time magazine following his conversation with Rove in July 2003.

"It was, KR said, [former Ambassador Joseph] Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized [Wilson's] trip," Cooper's July 11, 2003, email to his editor said. "Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. (Cooper later included the essence of what Rove told him in an online story.) The email characterizing the conversation continues: "not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there's still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger... "

It is unclear whether Rove was misleading Hadley about his conversation with Cooper, perhaps, because White House officials told their staff not to engage reporters in any questions posed about Wilson's Niger claims.

But Fitzgerald's investigation has turned up additional evidence over the past few months that convinced him that Luskin's eleventh-hour revelation about the chain of events that led to the discovery of the email is not credible. Fitzgerald believes that Rove changed his story once it became clear that Cooper would be compelled to testify about the source - Rove - who revealed Plame Wilson's CIA status to him, sources close to the case said.

If any of the people named in this story believe they have been unfairly portrayed or that what was written in this story is untrue, they will have an opportunity to respond in this space.

Jason Leopold spent two years covering California's electricity crisis as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. Jason has spent the last year cultivating sources close to the CIA leak investigation, and is a regular contributor to t r u t h o u t.


Monday, March 27, 2006

US calls Doctor a terrorist...

From Secrecy News:


Dr. Thomas C. Butler is one of the rather few people in the historyof humanity of whom it can be truly said that he helped to save millions of lives. A specialist in the plague and other infectious diseases, his research helped lead to the adoption of oral hydration as a standard treatment for diarrhea in the Third World and elsewhere.

But in post-9/11 America, Dr. Butler is also a convicted criminal. Because he apparently committed certain violations of the laws governing the transport of toxic agents used in his medical research, he was investigated and prosecuted as if he were apotential terrorist.

In 2004, he was sentenced to a term of two years in prison, which he recently completed. The strange tale of Dr. Butler is explored this week in an exhaustive seven-part series in the Cleveland Plain Dealer beginning March 26.

See "Plagued by Fear" reported by John Mangelshere:

Some related material in support of Dr. Butler from the Federationof American Scientists is available here:

SecrecyNews is written by Steven Aftergood and published by theFederation of American Scientists.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

World Baseball Classic/Cuba & the $$$$$

U.S. thrown a curve; Cuba cries foul
From Reuters:

Cuba wants to donate baseball winnings to Katrina victims
Friday, March 24, 2006; Posted: 4:32 p.m. EST (21:32 GM)

HAVANA, Cuba (Reuters) -- Cuba's prize money from the first World Baseball Classic has become collateral damage in the four-decade battle between President Fidel Castro and the United States.

Castro said he wanted to donate the money to victims of Hurricane Katrina, but U.S. officials say Cuba isn't getting any prize money.

Cuba finished second in the 16-nation competition, and the runner-up was entitled to 7 percent of the tournament's profits. But under the 1962 U.S. trade embargo, Havana had to forfeit its cut to get U.S. approval to play.

Castro, welcoming Cuba's players home as champions despite their 10-6 loss to Japan in Monday's championship game in San Diego, California, said on Tuesday that the Cuban prize money would be donated to Katrina victims.

The Bush administration, however, is not prepared to allow such altruism by the Cuban leader.
A Major League Baseball official said the deal that allowed Cuba to play in the tournament, which was reached in February with the U.S. State Department and agreed to by Cuba, made it "crystal clear" that Havana would not receive any share of the profits, even for charity.
"Cuba doesn't have a cut of the proceeds of the tournament, and there is nothing for Cuba to donate," MLB spokesman Patrick Courtney said by telephone from New York.

If there are any unassigned net revenues, MLB would consider a donation to an as-yet-undetermined charitable or humanitarian cause, he said.

Cuba denounced "foul play" in a front-page editorial on Friday in the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma.

There may not be any cash left over to distribute to the WBC winners, anyway, because the 17-day, 39-game tournament played at seven venues in Asia and the United States cost so much, an estimated $50 million.

Copyright 2006 Reuters.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Molly Ivins wants newspapers!!!

From Creators Syndicate:

Panic in the Newspaper Biz
By Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas -- I don’t so much mind that newspapers are dying—it’s watching them commit suicide that pisses me off. Let’s use this as a handy exercise in journalism.

What is the unexamined assumption here? That the newspaper business is dying. Is it? In 2005, publicly traded U.S. newspaper publishers reported operating profit margins of 19.2%, down from 21% in 2004, according to The Wall Street Journal. That ain’t chopped liver—it’s more than double the average operating profit margin of the Fortune 500.

So who thinks newspapers are dying? Newspaper analysts on Wall Street. In fact, the fine folks on Wall Street just forced the sale of Knight Ridder Inc. to McClatchy Co., a chain one-third KR’s size. McClatchy’s CEO, Gary Pruitt, pointed out in an Op-Ed piece that investors are so chicken that his company picked up KR for a song. (Actually, he said no such thing—he was far more dignified. But that’s what it comes down to.)

So if newspapers are so ridiculously profitable, how come there’s panic on Wall Street about them? Because we’re losing circulation—2% in 2004, and down 13% from a 1985 peak, says the Newspaper Association of America. So we’re looking at a steady decline over a long period, and many of the geniuses who run our business believe they have a solution. Our product isn’t selling as well as it used to, so they think we need to cut the number of reporters, cut the space devoted to the news and cut the amount of money used to gather the news, and this will solve the problem.

For some reason, they assume people will want to buy more newspapers if they have less news in them and are less useful to people. I’m just amazed the Bush administration hasn’t named the whole darn bunch of them to run FEMA yet.

What cutting costs does, of course, is increase the profits, thus making Wall Street happy. It also kills newspapers. Aside from my own sentimental attachment to newspapers, I have no objection to all of us shifting over to the Internet and doing the same thing there. You’d still have the two big problems, however: (A) How do you know if it’s true? And (B) how do you put a lot of information into a package that’s useful to people?

If newspapers were just another buggy-whip industry, none of this would be of much note—another disappearing artifact, like the church key. But while Wall Street doesn’t care, and neither do many of the people who own and run newspapers, newspapers do, in fact, matter beyond producing profit—they have a critical role in democracy. It’s called a well-informed citizenry.

We are in trouble.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism, run by Columbia University, has a new report out that finds that the number of media outlets continues to grow, but both the number of stories covered and the depth of reporting are sliding backward. Television, radio and newspapers are all cutting staff, while the bloggers of the Internet either do not have the size or the interest to go out and gather news. Bloggers are not news-gatherers, but opinion-mongers. I have long argued that no one should be allowed to write opinion without spending years as a reporter—nothing like interviewing all four eyewitnesses to an automobile accident and then trying to write an accurate account of what happened. Or, as author-journalist Curtis Wilkie puts it, “Unless you can cover a five-car pile-up on Route 128, you shouldn’t be allowed to cover a presidential campaign.”

Tom Rosenstiel of Project for Excellence says: “It’s probably glib and even naive to say simply that more platforms equal more choices. The content has to come from somewhere, and as older news-gathering media decline, some of the strengths they offer in monitoring the powerful and verifying the facts may be weakening, as well.”

The McClatchy-KR merger, however, emphasizes the perils of ever fewer outlets. Twenty-five years ago, about 50 corporations owned most of the media outlets. Today, there are between eight and 12. McClatchy and KR both have fairly decent reputations for journalism, so what difference does it make if they merge?

Of course, McClatchy intends to merge the Washington bureaus. Guess which Washington bureau has the distinction of being the only one to report skeptically on the administration’s claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction before the war? Knight-Ridder and its terrific reporters Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay. They didn’t have to go to Iraq to get the story—they found it in Washington: “Lack of Hard Evidence of Iraqi Weapons Worries Top U.S. Officials.”

I’ve thought for years that newspapers should all be owned by nonprofits. There is a chance something like this will actually happen—the Newspaper Guild, in alliance with the Communications Workers of America, is getting ready to bid on the 12 KR papers McClatchy has to sell. Eight of the 12 are Guild papers, with combined employment of 7,000 and circulation of 1.3 million. Among the 12 are such outstanding newspapers as The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Jose Mercury News and St. Paul Pioneer Press. McClatchy can’t swallow all of them, and so the two unions have turned to a “worker-friendly” investment fund to back their bid.

Keep an eye on this: It is a most hopeful development.

Molly Ivins is the former editor of the liberal monthly The Texas Observer.

She is the bestselling author of several books including Who Let the Dogs In?

© 2006 Creators Syndicate


Sen Feingold does right. GOP screeches....

From the Baltimore Sun:

Slavish Republican lawmakers roll over for Bush
By Steve Chapman
Originally published March 20, 2006

CHICAGO Sen. Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, thinks President Bush broke the law with his secret program to eavesdrop on Americans, and he wants Congress to censure Mr. Bush. He's right about the lawbreaking but wrong to think censure is the answer. That might give Americans the impression that Congress is something more than a supine slave of partisan interests. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, presented with the censure resolution, practically trampled each other to prove their slobbering devotion to the president. Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia assailed the proposal as "the worst type of political grandstanding." Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee accused Mr. Feingold of giving hope and encouragement to al-Qaida: "The signal that it sends, that there is in any way a lack of support for our commander in chief who is leading us with a bold vision in a way that is making our homeland safer, is wrong."

I had the impression that indicating a lack of support for our commander in chief was a constitutional right and sometimes a patriotic duty. But never mind that. It would be a waste of time to censure Mr. Bush because censure would not compel him to do anything he doesn't want to do, such as obey the 1978 law governing domestic wiretapping.

The only thing worth doing is to stop the president from carrying out such eavesdropping without genuine oversight by the courts. And that is one option our incumbent lawmakers wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole.

Republicans, after all, control both the Senate and the House, and they are far more intent on protecting their party than upholding their prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government. Recently, Senate GOP leaders offered to bless the program without even investigating first to find out what, exactly, they are blessing.

Under this plan, the National Security Agency could listen in on the international phone calls of Americans if there is "probable cause to believe that one party to the communication is a member, affiliate or working in support of a terrorist group or organization." But no court would review whether "probable cause" exists. That assessment would be entirely up to Mr. Bush and his subordinates.

Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech in Chicago last week, explained the equally rigorous process that the president has to go through to renew his surveillance effort: "Before he reauthorizes the program, the intelligence community has to certify that the threats still exist and recommend that the program be renewed. The secretary of defense has to sign off on it. The attorney general of the United States ... has to certify that it is compliant with the laws and Constitution of the United States. Then the president reauthorizes the program." What a relief it is to know that the administration can't renew the program without the approval of the administration.

This is an absurd parody of the checks and balances our system is supposed to provide. If the framers of the Constitution had thought a single branch of government could police itself, they would not have created three branches.

The idea was that each branch would jealously guard its powers against the others. But in this case, Congress passed a law, the president ignored it, and Congress applauded him for doing so.
What the framers didn't anticipate was the rise of political parties, allegiances to which now override every other consideration. This episode makes clear that the best government is divided government - where the party that occupies the White House does not control Congress. Only then can we rely on lawmakers to provide a meaningful check on presidential power. With the GOP dominant at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, the president can treat Congress as an obsolete irrelevancy.

Sen. Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, defending the GOP proposal against critics who say it's pathetically weak, said he resented being called a "lap dog of the administration." That label certainly is unfair. Even lap dogs will bite if they're kicked often enough, which is more than you can say for congressional Republicans.

Steve Chapman is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. His column appears Mondays and Wednesdays in The Sun. His e-mail is

Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun


Friday, March 24, 2006

The "religious" Bush...

From The Guardian:

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday March 23, 2006
The Guardian

In his latest PR offensive President Bush came to Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday to answer the paramount question on Iraq that he said was on people's minds: "They wonder what I see that they don't." After mentioning "terror" 54 times and "victory" five, dismissing "civil war" twice and asserting that he is "optimistic", he called on a citizen in the audience, who homed in on the invisible meaning of recent events in the light of two books, American Theocracy, by Kevin Phillips, and the book of Revelation. Phillips, the questioner explained, "makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this? And if not, why not?"

Bush's immediate response, as transcribed by CNN, was: "Hmmm." Then he said: "The answer is I haven't really thought of it that way. Here's how I think of it. First, I've heard of that, by the way." The official White House website transcript drops the strategic comma, and so changes the meaning to: "First I've heard of that, by the way."

But it is certainly not the first time Bush has heard of the apocalyptic preoccupation of much of the religious right, having served as evangelical liaison on his father's 1988 presidential campaign. The Rev Jerry Falwell told Newsweek how he brought Tim LaHaye, then an influential rightwing leader, to meet him; LaHaye's Left Behind novels, dramatising the rapture, Armageddon and the second coming, have sold tens of millions.

But it is almost certain that Cleveland was the first time Bush had heard of Phillips's book. He was the visionary strategist for Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign; his 1969 book, The Emerging Republican Majority, spelled out the shift of power from the north-east to the south and south-west, which he was early to call "the sunbelt"; he grasped that southern Democrats would react to the civil-rights revolution by becoming southern Republicans; he also understood the resentments of urban ethnic Catholics towards black people on issues such as crime, school integration and jobs. But he never imagined that evangelical religion would transform the coalition he helped to fashion into something that horrifies him.

In American Theocracy, Phillips describes Bush as the founder of "the first American religious party"; September 11 gave him the pretext for "seizing the fundamentalist moment"; he has manipulated a "critical religious geography" to hype issues such as gay marriage. "New forces were being interwoven. These included the institutional rise of the religious right, the intensifying biblical focus on the Middle East, and the deepening of insistence on church-government collaboration within the GOP electorate." It portended a potential "American Disenlightenment," apparent in Bush's hostility to science.

Even Bush's failures have become pretexts for advancing his transformation of government. Exploiting his own disastrous emergency management after Hurricane Katrina, Bush is funneling funds to churches as though they can compensate for governmental breakdown. Last year David Kuo, the White House deputy director for faith-based initiatives, resigned with a statement that "Republicans were indifferent to the poor".

Within hours of its publication, American Theocracy rocketed to No 1 on Amazon. At US cinemas, V for Vendetta - in which an imaginary Britain, ruled by a totalitarian, faith-based regime that rounds up gays, is a metaphor for Bush's America - is the surprise hit. Bush has succeeded in getting American audiences to cheer for terrorism.


Opinion from Costa Rica on BushCo's "war"....

From :

Residents of Iraq did not ask to be sacrificed.

It is the beginning of the fourth year that the United States will be fighting its war in Iraq, and the news is full of pros and cons concerning whether the war is going well or not. There continues to be controversy over being there in the first place. And the polls are showing a steady reduction in the number of Americans who think it is worth it.

President Bush is going public frequently to defend and define his position and rebuild support for the war. And the administration as well as others are putting some blame on the media for the dwindling support because, it is claimed, the media show only the bad news, the violence and destruction, and are not reporting the good things that are happening there.

Once in a while someone will point out that since news was invented it is the bad news that is going to get the headlines. Put another way, if in one week, two bombs exploded in New York City and six people were killed in Washington by a suicide bomber, no one would expect the media to headline their stories with the news that rebuilding in New Orleans was going well.

Of course, when there is a lull in the violence and killing, there is room for good news. An upsurge in the killing brings a new concentration on the bad news. Someone from the Web forum DemocraticUnderground took the trouble to map the reports of violence in Iraq. He chose to track the phrase “recent surge in violence in Iraq.” In the past 31 months there have been 32 news stories reporting the “recent surge in violence” Some of those, of course, had to be referring to the same surge.

But the murder of even one person in the States usually merits more than one news story. That doesn’t leave much room on the front page or lead stories for good news about what is happening in Iraq.

During President Bush’s campaign to bring more people to his way of thinking, the phrase “we are fighting the terrorists in Iraq so we don’t have to fight them here at home.” is voiced again and again. People proudly make this statement.

To choose a country whose people have for years suffered under the iron hand of a cruel dictator and the deprivations of sanctions by the victors of the Gulf War as the battleground of revenge for a terrorist attack in the U.S. I do not find admirable. Acknowledging that this is a different kind of war — more like fighting saboteurs than the charge of the Light Brigade — the U.S. has in essence said to the Iraqis, “Better your cities in rubble and your people victims of suicide bombers and collateral damage than the U.S.”

It made sense to send our troops to Afghanistan because that is where Bin Laden is. It even might have made sense to send them to Saudi Arabia to rout out the terrorists because that is where most of them came from. But Iraq was one of the few countries in the Middle East where there were no terrorists at least not until President Bush said, “Bring them on.” It would be the same as if the U.S. had chosen Costa Rica as the battleground for the Contras to fight the Communists in Nicaragua and death squads in El Salvador in the 80s. (Actually, I guess the U.S. was not fighting the death squads, it was helping to fight the rebels in El Salvador.)

Yes, I realize that Iraq was the home of a terrible dictator. And that our soldiers are prepared to fight and even die (as opposed to innocent Americans) but the thousands of Iraqi women and children were not prepared and they had nothing to do either with 9-11 or terrorism and I am ashamed every time someone says “Better there than here.”


Thursday, March 23, 2006

No US Customs allowed..China will scan for nukes...

From :

DP World Part II: Hutchinson Whampoa Lte.
Reported by Janie - March 23, 2006

Yahoo News is reporting that the Bush Administration is hiring a Hong Kong firm, Hutchinson Whampoa Lte., to scan cargo passing through the Bahamas into the U.S. for nuclear materials. Hutchinson Whampoa, which is owned by the richest man in East Asia, does not have the best record. Is the Bush Administration setting up for ANOTHER battle of the same magnitude as the DP World debacle?

From Yahoo News:

"The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present."

(Emphasis mine)

But who exactly is Hutchinson Whampoa Lte.?

The company is owned by Li Ka Shing, the richest man in Hong Kong and as of March 9, 2006 - the 10th richest man in the world. According to a declassified U.S. Intelligence report, "Li is directly connected to Beijing and is willing to use his business influence to further the aims of the [Communist] Chinese Government. He has positioned his son, Victor Li, to replace him in certain Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa operations such as HW’s Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT). ... Li’s interest in the Panama canal is not only strategic, but also as a means for outside financial opportunities for the Chinese government."

Note: The phrase "Communist" above was my addition.

That's not all. There have been claims that Hutchinson Whampoa has many business dealings with front companies for the People's Liberation Army - China's military. And remember - there will be NO oversight by American customs agents.

But wait! There's even more. In March 2003 Richard Perle, one of the architects of the Iraq war and former Assistant Secretary of Defense, was forced to resign "after lobbying on behalf of Global Crossing, a bankrupt telecommunications company. Perle had attempted to persuade Hutchison Whampoa to buy the company. The FBI said at the time that selling Global Crossing to Hutchison Whampoa would give Whampoa control of the world's largest fiber optic network, and allow it to oversee existing contracts for secure Pentagon communications."

It seems Perle actually made $725,000 off the deal, since President Bush went ahead and authorized it in 2003.

And guess who else owned stock in Global Crossing? George H.W. Bush! According to the right-wing news site, Newsmax, former President Bush received $80,000 worth of stocks of Global Crossing, in leiu of a speaking fee for a speech he gave in Tokyo in 1997.

Will this be another DP World Debacle? How long will it take before Fox covers this news?


On Bush: The Fundie vs The Expert....

From LA Times letters:

"The president in Tuesday's news conference was accused by reporter Helen Thomas of coming into office wanting war. He answered: "No president wants war." Bush did not want war any more than former President Clinton planned to destroy schools and hospitals in Albania during the Serbian conflict. But it happened.George W. Bush is a man, not a wimp. He takes risks and leads. Many modern politicians take polls and are afraid to make decisions and lead, but not this president. He does not watch polls; he follows the enemy."

[The following rather answers the letter above:]

From Information Clearing House:

It's Criminal
By Scott Ritter

The rallying cry of the Democratic Party must become impeachment. Given the magnitude of the crimes committed by the United States in Iraq under the direction and leadership of President Bush and his administration, there is simply no other recourse that can bring a halt to the madness in Iraq, and the insanity being planned in Iran and elsewhere.


If Bush doesn't make one sick....

THU MARCH 23, 2006 13:11:09 ET
E-MAIL REVEALED**Exclusive**

A top producer at ABC NEWS declared "Bush makes me sick" in an email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

John Green, currently executive producer of the weekend edition of GOOD MORNING AMERICA, unloaded on the president in an ABC company email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

"If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke," Green complained.

The blunt comments by Green, along with other emails obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT, further reveal the inner workings of the nation's news outlets.

A friend of Green's at ABC says Green is mortified by the email. "John feels so badly about this email. He is a straight shooter and great producer who is always fair. That said, he deeply regrets the sentiment expressed in the email and the embarrassment it causes ABC News."



Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Raw Story goes back to original format! Great!!!

Mea culpa: Redesign reversal, and tell your friends
John Byrne
Published: Wednesday March 22, 2006
Print This Email This

We thought the redesign was a good idea. You didn't. So we've changed it back, and kept the comments.

Now we need your help. We need to let those who may have left over our design changes to get the message we're back and Raw as ever. Many of our readers seemed to be so vexed by the changes, they've unbookmarked us -- and we never intended to make any changes that we thought weren't for the good of the site. While we thought the new design helped us look more professional, and increased the site's ease of use -- we erred. I get the general impression that a lot of readers thought we got bought out by, say, the Washington Post.

So we've brought back the grittier design and revitalized the banner headlines. I was away this weekend and we'll have some sizzling exclusives later this week and next week as we get back into the groove. But we need you to tell your friends and colleagues that we've listened to the voice of reason -- our readers -- and changed back, with comments, for the better.

Welcome back. ;)



Selection of satisfying books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:

Bea Gonzalez's THE BITTER TASTE OF TIME, to Ellis Trevor at Thomas Dunne Books, by Catherine MacGregor at Harper


R.N. Morris's THE GENTLE AXE: A St Petersburg Mystery, a literary crime novel set in 1867, featuring a detective in his first murder case since Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, to Scott Moyers at the Penguin Press, by Camilla Smallwood at Faber and Faber (US)

Camille DeAngelis' MARY MODERN, weaving modern science and an old-fashioned love story, in which a woman desperate to have a child, is able to clone her grandmother, only to have her emerge as a fully functioning 22-year-old trapped in the strangest sort of deja-vu -- surrounded by reminders of a life she has already lived but doesn't remember, to Sally Kim at Shaye Areheart Books, at auction, by Kate Garrick at DeFiore and Company (World). Sarah Self at The Gersh Agency is handling film


Edgar Award nominee for IMMORAL Brian Freeman's UNSOLVED and VIOLATED, to Jennifer Weis at St. Martin's, by Deborah Schneider at Gelfman Schneider, on behalf of Ali Gunn of Gunn Media Enterprises.

St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writer's of America Best First Private Eye Novel award-winning author Michael Siverling's THE SORCERER'S CIRCLE, the first in the Midnight Investigations series, featuring a mother-son investigative team, again to Ruth Cavin at Thomas Dunne Books, by Sorche Fairbank of Fairbank Literary Representation.

NYT and USA Today bestselling author (of 24 books) Erica Spindler's three books, moving to Jennifer Weis at St. Martin's (from Mira), by Evan Marshall of the Evan Marshall Agency.


Rachel Reilich's THE TREND SET, a debut series about a mismatched gaggle of girls who start their own fashion label, with sketches and original designs from real up-and-coming fashion label Compai, to Cindy Eagan and Phoebe Spanier at Little, Brown Children's, in a four-book deal, by Melissa Flashman at Trident Media Group (NA)


James Sallis's DRIVE, the story of a Hollywood stunt driver who drives getaway cars by night and one of Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Fiction Books of the Year, to Universal Studios for Hugh Jackman to star in and for Mark Platt, producer of EMPIRE FALLS and LEGALLY BLONDE, to produce, by Steven Fisher of APA, on behalf of Vicky Bijur of the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency.


Brad Smith's BIG MAN COMING DOWN THE ROAD, a comic noir in which a trio of privileged adults each inherit one of their millionaire father's businesses after his death -- on the condition that they run the company profitably for a year, to Helen Reeves at Penguin Canada, in a nice deal, by Ann Rittenberg at Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency (Canada)

Complex Chinese rights to Mitch Cullin's A SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND, to China Times Publishing in Taiwan, in a nice deal, by Gray Tan at Jia-Xi Books, on behalf of Bess Reed at Regal Literary.Rights already sold in Holland, Italy, Korea, and Spain.


Nonie Darwish, the daughter of a Shahid's NOW THEY CALL ME INFIDEL: Why I Rejected Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror, the story of why the author left the culture of Islamic Jihad to support liberty and tolerance, to Bernadette Malone at Sentinel by Lynne Rabinoff (world)

Economic commentator and theorist James K. Galbraith's THE UNBEARABLE COST OF EMPIRE, a collection of essays revealing the consequences of overreaching American foreign policy, to Amanda Hamilton at Palgrave, to be published in the UK in September and US in October 2006, by Wendy Strothman at The Strothman


Michael Mason's DAMAGED: The Injured Brain, an insider's look at the psychological, physical, and spiritual shock endured by people living with Traumatic Brain Injury, a condition sustained by over 1.5 million Americans a year and one that can rewrite a personality and strip away even the most mundane pleasures, by one of the country's few brain injury case managers, to Paul Elie at Farrar, Straus, by Anne Garrett at James Fitzgerald Agency (world)

Daniel Sekulich's OCEAN TITANS: Journeys in Search of the Soul of a Ship, exploring the world of modern-day shipping -- man versus nature, big business, international greed, human drama, and high seas piracy, to Tom McCarthy at The Lyons Press, in a nice deal, by Don Sedgwick and Samantha Haywood at Transatlantic Literary Agency.Rights:


NYT bestselling author of MISQUOTING JESUS Bart Ehrman's INVENTING CHRISTIANITY: Debunking the History and Development of Core Christian Doctrines, devoting one chapter to each core Christian belief and teaching -- such as Salvation, Resurrection, Second Coming of Jesus, Heaven, Hell, and more -- and revealing the unknown history of how these core doctrines were invented by the Christian church after Jesus, to Roger Freet at Harper San Francisco, in a two-book deal.


New Scientist features editor Michael Brooks' 13 THINGS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE: A Journey Through the Strangest Anomalies of Science, a tour of the strangest scientific results, arguing that the things we don't understand -- that 96 per cent of the universe is missing; that the effects of homeopathy don't go away under rigorous scientific conditions; that speed of light isn't what it used to be; or that 30 years on, no one has an explanation for a seemingly intelligent signal received from outer space -- are the key to what we are about to discover, to Andrew Franklin at Profile, in a very nice deal, by Peter Tallack at Conville & Walsh (UK/Commonwealth, excl. Canada).

Rights to Longanesi in Italy, and to Record in Brazil, both in


Jeff Fuchs' THE ANCIENT HORSE TEA ROAD, his journey as the first westerner to complete the trek along an ancient trade route through perilous terrain from China to India, also looking at the history of the road itself, and following traditional merchants as they continue with this almost extinct way of life, to Helen Reeves at Penguin Canada, in a nice deal, by Arnold Gosewich (world)

Rights to Stephen Clarke's DIAL "M" FOR MERDE, the fourth book in the series following about an Englishman abroad, this time in America, to Helen Reeves at Penguin Canada, in a nice deal, by Susanna Lea Associates (Canada)



From :

Iraq War Vet Wins in Illinois Race

Tammy Duckworth, the decorated Iraq war veteran who lost both legs in a grenade attack, won a close race Wednesday in her bid for the Democratic primary nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R) in Illinois's 6th Congressional District.


Joe Conason writes....on Repub pundits.........

From the NY Observer:

Three Years Later, No End in Sight
By Joe Conason

After three years, tens of thousands of lost and ruined lives, hundreds of billions of squandered dollars and incalculable damage to the respect for America around the world, it is strange to look back on the earliest days of the war in Iraq. On this unhappy anniversary, it is worth recalling the triumphal mood of that moment, and how the neoconservative ideologues celebrated the successful culmination of their campaign for war.

Holding the authors of the war accountable for their mendacity and stupidity is imperative—in hope that their advice will be ignored in the dangerous days to come.

Back then, popping open champagne corks while the carnage unfolded, the neoconservatives gleefully announced that anyone who had questioned this great expedition would be held accountable. Page after page of their punditry from the spring of 2003 was devoted to gloating, along with lengthy blacklists of the bad people who had expressed doubt about the wisdom of going to war. Honors would flow to the wise and courageous proponents of war, while the foolish and pusillanimous opponents would suffer eternal disgrace. And so on.

Nobody ranted more loudly in “victory” than the editors of The Weekly Standard, the small but very influential and belligerent magazine sponsored by the right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The Standard gang could scarcely contain the urge “to run through the streets, laughing hysterically at all the people who were so blinded by hatred of President Bush—or general anti-Americanism, or their own sheer foolishness—that they continued to prophesy doom even after the war had begun and was already being won.” Their magazine applied that insulting description indiscriminately to everyone who had opposed the war, from patriotic elders like the retired Gen. Brent Scowcroft to the Congressional Black Caucus, the United Nations, the denizens of “Hollywood” (which magically expanded to include Manhattan and Connecticut), a few prominent journalists, many film stars and numerous members of the liberal clergy.

Meanwhile, confident predictions abounded in the conservative media. Democracy would flower, our enemies would wither, and those elusive weapons of mass destruction would be discovered either tomorrow or the next day. In The Weekly Standard, David Brooks, who soon moved on to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, offered an observation that now may be turned on him. No degree of humiliation, he sighed, would dissuade the war’s critics from their folly:

“Even if Saddam’s remains are found, even if weapons of mass destruction are displayed, even if Iraq starts to move along a winding, muddled path toward normalcy, no day will come when the enemies of this endeavor turn around and say, ‘We were wrong. Bush was right.’”

Despite the persistence of such rump grumblers, however, he remained cheerful because America is blessed with “a ruling establishment that can conduct wars with incredible competence and skill,” as well as “a federal government that can perform its primary task—protecting the American people—magnificently.” Young Americans, unlike the generation ruined by the debacle of Vietnam, could not help being impressed by these marvelous leaders. “The ruling class is reasonably candid about the war’s progress,” he explained.

Suffused with a tone of self-congratulation, such columns and editorials provided a choral background for the President’s “Mission Accomplished” photo opportunity. It seems most unlikely that the authors of those strutting essays can bear to read them again.

Today, Mr. Brooks and his fellow neocons quarrel over the quagmire their movement made, seeking to shift the blame to scapegoats in the Pentagon and the press, and to refurbish themselves as critics of the President they once idolized. What they once considered a political watershed that promised them limitless power and influence has become a political disaster they are scurrying to escape.

Very few of these sages are willing to acknowledge their own mistakes even now. How could they have known what nobody else figured out?

Nobody knew Saddam Hussein had destroyed his biological and chemical weapons, they say, although that fact was quickly becoming apparent as the U.N. weapons inspectors carried out their task, and had been revealed by Saddam’s son-in-law years earlier. Nobody knew that Iraq’s nuclear program had collapsed, they say, although the International Atomic Energy Agency had established that basic fact long before the U.S. invasion. Nobody knew that the insurgency would erupt into civil war, they say, even though regional experts had warned of that outcome.

As the intellectual cheerleaders for war, the neoconservatives knew perfectly well that there were many reasons to doubt the existence of Saddam’s fearsome arsenal and to doubt the rosy scenarios for a postwar Iraq. They angrily dismissed those doubts and beat the war drums louder.

Proven wrong on every count, they insist those arguments no longer matter, but they’re wrong about that too. The American people know they have been repeatedly misled, which is why they are turning their backs on this President and his war.