November 30, 2005
House minority leader backs quick withdrawal
Staff and agencies
WASHINGTON - "I will be supporting the Murtha resolution," Pelosi said of Murtha‘s resolution calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq at the earliest practicable date.
November 29, 2005
The Cheerleader at Annapolis
By MIKE WHITNEY, www.CounterPunch.org
It's pathetic to see the world's most powerful man, shunted into prearranged venues so he can pitch his snake-oil to college aged boys. That said, Bush's appearance today at the Naval Academy has got to be a new low for the White House public relations team. Apparently the only people buying the huckster-in-chief's bedraggled vision of a democratic Iraq are rosy-cheeked young men who dream of battlefields instead of girlfriends.
By Randolph T. Holhut
DUMMERSTON, Vt. — Given the intense hatred that the Bush administration has for journalists and independent reporting, the news that in April 2004, President Bush seriously contemplated bombing the Qatar headquarters of the Arab news channel al-Jazeera, isn't surprising.
By Dahr Jamail and Harb al-Mukhtar, Inter Press Service
Ramadi - Hospital personnel are reporting regular raids and interference by the US military as fighting continues in the volatile Al-Anbar province of Iraq.*
By Juan Cole, Truthdig.com
The ongoing trial of Saddam Hussein could prove increasingly uncomfortable for the Bush administration. The first crime of which the deposed dictator is accused, the secret execution of 143 Shiites arrested in 1982, seems an odd choice for the prosecution, and politics may be behind it. Hussein is accused of using poison gas against Iranian troops, of genocide against the Kurds and of massacring tens of thousands to end the 1991 uprising after his defeat in the Gulf War. The problem for the Bush administration with these other, far graver charges, is that the Americans are implicated in them either through acts of commission or omission.
By Danny Schechter, TomPaine.com
“News Dissector” Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org. His latest books are The Death of Media (Melville Manifestos) and When News Lies on media complicity and the Iraq war (Select Books). See www.newsdissector.org/store.htm.
By Democracy Now!
* Video Broadcast of Kidnapped Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams that
Helped Expose Abu Ghraib Prisoner Abuse Scandal *
The Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four peace activists
Open the PDF.
Note that the two reasons Bush gave for the war are totally absent from his list of reasons for continuing it.
In the process of verifying an earlier quote by Rumsfeld I managed to lose whoever had tried to make the comparison. So, I owe this in part to some commenter or blogger or emailer but I can't find who. In any case, Rumsfeld said this today:
Strange, really. In October 2003 Big Don said:
Consider the progress of the Iraqi security forces over the past year. In August 2004, five Iraqi army battalions were effectively in the fight. Today the number is 95.
In July 2004, there were no ready operational Iraqi army divisions or brigade headquarters. Today there are at least seven operational divisions and 31 operational brigade headquarters.
In July of 2004 there were no ready special police commando, public order or mechanized police battalions under the Ministry of Interior. Today there are 28 such battalions conducting operations.
And last year there were about 96,000 fully trained and equipped Iraqi security forces. And today there are over 212,000 trained and equipped security forces.
In less than six months, we've gone from zero Iraqis providing security to their country -- you don't have that chart, there it is -- to close to 100,000 Iraqis currently under arms.
Indeed, the progress has been so swift that Iraq is already the second largest of the security forces in the coalition. It will not be long before they will be the largest and outnumber the U.S. forces. And it shouldn't be too long thereafter that they will outnumber all coalition forces combined. Some have suggested that any statement that raises awareness of these successes is putting an optimistic face on a difficult security situation. Not so. Every time we've discussed progress in Iraq, I have made clear that the situation in the country remains dangerous, and that there will be setbacks.
New Addition to NoQuarter.typepad.com
By Larry C. Johnson
Yesterday's press conference with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and JCS Chief General Peter "Perfect" Pace gave us some insight into why Abu Ghraib could occur and how Rumsfeld's lack of leadership allowed such reprehensible behavior by U.S. troops.
By Norman Solomon
Newspapers across the United States and beyond told readers Wednesday
about sensational new statements by a former top assistant to Colin
Powell when he was secretary of state. After interviewing Lawrence
By Scott Thill OK, I'm biting Greg Palast's rhyme somewhat. The heads-up he sent out to his list today had a working title of "Upset that Special Someone For the Holidays," but I'm used to journos like him doing all the hard investigative work while us armchair scribes sling the mud and the word. And to do that, he needs some good holiday help, so if you want to spend the Black Friday aftermath doing something smart with your money, try this on for size. Comedic details from Greg: "There is no way I can expose this stuff without the help of a killer investigative staff. But they keep asking for food and a lump of coal to stay warm. It being Christmas, I can't say no. All kidding aside, the investigations we have conducted for BBC TV, Democracy Now, and Harper's over the years have won us awards, brought some bad guys to justice, but have not come close to covering our costs. We need your donations for us to keep going, to continue digging, and telling the truth on'm." To do that, click here - http://www.gregpalast.com/premiums.htm and check out the book and DVD packages Greg has going for the holidays, all of which are worth your time and his sweat. Especially the Bush Family Fortunes DVD, which sorts through the sordid details of arms-trading family that thinks democracy is their dynasty. Yeah, dots get connected. But the treat is going to be Palast's next tome, which sounds so far like it's taking dead aim at The Dick. Another in the failed line of rightward nuts who can't seem to live without fucking up someone's program. Are they gone yet? Why not? Jesus Christmas.
WASHINGTON -- As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.
The articles, written by U.S. military "information operations" troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Many of the articles are presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. . The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents, and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country.
While the articles are basically truthful, they present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments, officials said. Records and interviews indicate that the U.S. has paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles -- with headlines such as "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism" -- since the effort began this year.
By David Swanson
I just spoke for an hour with Dori Smith, host of Talk Nation, a terrific radio show. Audio of her shows can be found here, and transcripts here. Today's should be there by tomorrow.
By American Progress Action Fund
After two-and-a-half years and 2,110 U.S. troop fatalities, the Bush administration released what it calls a "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" (NSVI). The problem is, it's not a new strategy for success in Iraq; it's a public relations document. The strategy describes what has transpired in Iraq to date as a resounding success and refuses to establish any standards for accountability. It dismisses serious problems such as the dramatic increase in bombings as "metrics that the terrorists and insurgents want the world to use." Americans understand it's time for a new course in Iraq. Unfortunately, this document is little more than an extended justification for a President "determined to stay his course." (For a bold new approach, check out American Progress's plan, Strategic Redeployment)
President Bush's address at the Naval Academy today broadly repeated the aims of the Iraq war as set out in 2003.
President Bush and other Republicans sought to distance themselves from former Representative Randy Cunningham after his bribery case.
Computer security experts said technology used to wiretap telephones has a security flaw that could be exploited with off-the-shelf equipment.
Federal officials will announce this week that passengers will again be able to carry small tools and scissors aboard commercial airplanes.