As the British government continues its massive investigation into this month's coordinated London bomb attacks, one of Britain's most respected foreign policy thinktanks is challenging Prime Minister Tony Blair's claim that the bombings were not a result of British involvement in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. A new report by the Chatham House organization said the key problem in the UK for preventing terrorism is that the country is "riding as a pillion passenger with the United States in the war against terror". The group is made up of leading academics and former government officials. On Saturday, Tony Blair said the bombers were driven by what he called an "evil ideology" rather than opposition to any policy. Blair called suggestions to the contrary a "misunderstanding of a catastrophic order." But in its report, Chatham House concludes there is "no doubt" the invasion of Iraq has "given a boost to the al-Qaida network" in "propaganda, recruitment and fundraising", while providing an ideal targeting and training area for terrorists. It goes on "Riding pillion with a powerful ally has proved costly in terms of British and US military lives, Iraqi lives, military expenditure and the damage caused to the counter-terrorism campaign."
Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border of the Gaza Strip and is threatening to invade unless the Palestinian Authority acts to prevent the firing of missiles at Israeli towns. Israeli Prime Minister General Ariel Sharon has instructed his military forces to show no restraint. In Gaza, residents were preparing for Israeli military action, speculating that it might begin when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, leaves after a short visit this week. Israel stopped all movement between the north, center and south of Gaza and prevented men between the ages of 18 and 35 from crossing the border into Egypt. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is in Gaza, made a televised speech over the weekend in which he reiterated his call for a single authority and a single armed force for Palestinians. Abbas said an Israeli invasion would "sabotage everything."
- Iraq Bombing Kills Twice as many as London Attack
- New Studies Show Fighters in Iraq Radicalized by US Policy
- Moqtada al Sadr Speaks: Resistance is Legitimate
- Sy Hersh Charges Bush Admin Interfered in Iraq Elecs
- Israel Prepares For Invasion of Gaza
- London Bombings Linked to Iraq Policy, Says Leading UK Group
- Rove Watch: Times Cooper Speaks About Grand Jury Testimony
- Former British PM Heath Dies
This weekend marked one of the deadliest in Iraq since the U.S. invasion began more than two years ago. In three days of suicide attacks, more than 150 people have been killed with nearly 300 wounded. We go to Baghdad to speak with Patrick Cockburn of the London Independent. [includes rush transcript]
As Israel prepares for a possible ground offensive in Gaza and Hamas says it will halt attacks, we speak with three women: Dr. Jumana Odeh, a Muslim Palestinian who lives in Jerusalem and is the Director of the Palestinian Happy Child Center; Michal Sagi, a Jewish Israeli who is active with Checkpoint Watch, a women's human rights monitoring group and Rana Khoury, a Christian Palestinian who is Deputy General Director of the International Center of Bethlehem.
BROOKS (continuing directly): I mean Wilson is questionable on all these issues. You said earlier that Wilson issued a report saying Iraq did not try to buy weapons. Thats not what the report said. We have a Senate investigating committee. We have in Britain the Butler committee. Both of them concluded from Wilsons own report that the Iraqis were trying to buy weapons. But what were doing is getting out of the reality and into all this realm of speculation.Well--we're definitely "getting out of the reality." In Great Britain, the Butler commission did find, in July 2004, that Bush's famous 16-word claim was, in fact, "well-founded." But they certainly didn't reach that conclusion "from Wilsons own report;" they were evaluating pre-war British intelligence, not any claims Wilson made. Brooks was wildly stretching again. And again, Lehrer gazed into air.
But in the current news environment, both sides get to massage the facts, with the endless acquiescence of distracted big-name hosts. Mark Shields jumped in at this point--and he too issued a howler:
SHIELDS (continuing directly): David, the CIA, the administration, has said the 16 words in the State of the Union were wrong. Thats what it--that's what the whole thing was about.But the CIA didn't say the 16 words were wrong. In his July 12, 2003 speech on the matter, George Tenet said the 16 words should not have been included in Bush's speech because the claim "did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches."
No question -- conservatives pundits recited bogus claims last week, as theyve done for years and years. But today we ask a further question -- is a similar habit of thought developing now on the left? Over the weekend, we were especially surprised -- no, we were shocked -- by a particular Josh Marshall post. Quite rightly, Josh is a prime liberal leader; for that reason, were especially troubled when we start to think that Josh's work might be helping produce a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth.
We refer to this Saturday post by Josh, which attempts to explain (away) an obvious mistake Joe Wilson made all through 2003. Throughout that year, Wilson insisted that Dick Cheney had surely seen an official report about his trip to Niger. He was absolutely convinced of this, Wilson said on Meet the Press the day his New York Times op-ed appeared. Throughout the year, Wilson battered Cheney for daring to say that he hadnt seen such a report. By now, pretty much everyone, including Wilson, agrees that no such report went to Cheneys office. In his post, Marshall was explaining (away) Wilsons mistake.
Because remember-- in the America Krugman described, your side can never be wrong about anything; your side can't make a mistake. "There is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth," Krugman complained; indeed, "the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern." We think it would be a tragic mistake for liberals to begin behaving this way -- but we were forced to think of Krugman's description when Marshall explained (away) Wilson's error.
Why did Wilson turn out to be wrong on this matter? Why didn't the CIA send a report about his trip to Cheney's office? Marshall asked this question in his post, saying "this actually is a relevant fact in understanding the story." Then he gave the following answer -- an answer which really did shock us:
MARSHALL (7/16/05): The explanation confected by the authors of the SSCI [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] report was the rather contradictory one that either Wilson's trip generated no substantive information or that it in fact tended to confirm suspicions of an illicit uranium traffic between the two countries. No one who's looked at the evidence involved believes that. Nor is that cover story compatible with the CIA's subsequent and repeated attempts to prevent the White House from using the Niger story.Why didn't the CIA send a report? We'll summarize Marshall's full answer below. But according to Marshall, the authors of last summer's SSCI report "confected" a "cover story" when confronted with that question. Just how fake was their "cover story?" This fake: "No one who's looked at the evidence" believes at least one part of their story! Josh goes on to explain his claim further (see below), but that's his claim about the Senate report. And that's the claim that we found shocking-- and the claim that recalled Krugman's piece.
Last Thursday afternoon Ted Kennedy met with a handful of journalists in his Capitol "hideaway" office to talk about Bush's coming pick (or picks) for the Supreme Court. With Chief Justice Rehnquist lying in a hospital bed, and House Democrat Chuck Schumer holding a simultaneous press conference downstairs to call on the White House to revoke Karl Rove's security clearance, there was a mood of political shake-up in the humid Washington air.
Kennedy declared that there is "increasingly a sense of hope and anticipation that there will be a unifying candidate" when Bush makes his decision--that is, the sort of conservative justice who is more interested in upholding the Constitution than trying to enforce a rightwing activist agenda on the nation.
How can Democrats and concerned citizens help bring about this dream of a moderate Justice, I asked. "I don't think it's very hard," Kennedy said. "Several of the names mentioned by Democrats [when they met with the President] were Republicans--people who would certainly fall in that category."
"The American people don't want to go backwards on civil rights, civil liberties, workplace rights," Kennedy pointed out. The majority of the country is not inclined to be dictated to by the likes of James Dobson. "Hopefully the administration can resist the extreme elements of its own party."
The above is an excerpt click to read more.
Liang e-mails to steer us towards Lisa Sousa's "A Different Duty:"
I don't like doing this. It's not something I want to do," says Aidan Delgado of his public presentations. "I feel like I have to do it."
A veteran of the Iraq war, Delgado, 23, has spoken to students, churches and peace groups across the country. "The media's not giving the full picture," he says. "Nobody's seeing the ugly side, the underside of the war, and it's something that I've seen, so I feel like I have to share it with people."
In March, Delgado participated in a daylong teach-in on military recruitment at Berkeley High School in California. Students and concerned teachers organized the event in response to the increased presence of recruiters, who are able to target high school students like never before, thanks to Section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act. "There's a lot about being in the army that recruiters are not going to tell you," Delgado says.
The working title is "Women Speak: Iraq." Woolley hopes to include female veterans, civilians and Iraqi-American women in the play.
"Part of what draws me to this is our proximity to Fort Knox," Woolley said. "It's a very important time in our history. For the first time, women really are on the front line."
Anyone interested in possibly being interviewed by Wooley can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 1985 by Louisville writer Sallie Bingham, the Kentucky Foundation for Women's mission is to "promote positive social change through varied feminist expression in the arts." Each year, the KFW awards $200,000 to feminist artists and activist organizations through two grant programs: Artist Enrichment and Art Meets Activism.
On another level, Bai's essay is also a profile of "the father of framing"--George Lakoff. (Others who've toiled long in the "framing" fields sent out e-mails on Sunday, ticked off that Bai made Lakoff out to be the guru of the field, ignoring the serious work of other "framers.")
Bai's piece will be familiar to progressives who've been arguing for years that individual issues must be tied together by some larger (preferably moral) frame that articulates a vision and speaks to the kind of country we want to live in. But Bai does raise some legitimate questions: Is the Dems' problem bigger than a battle of language? Maybe the focus needs to be on the battle of ideas?
My problem is with the article's snarky reductionism; in the end, Bai suggests, the Dem's framing is really all about spin, or weird and wonky linguistic theories. But what about the fact that there is a a real science involved in framing? And isn't there a very real connection between language and ideas.
"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration," Mr. Bush said in response to a question, after declaring, "I don't know all the facts; I want to know all the facts."
For months, Mr. Bush and his spokesmen have said that anyone involved in the disclosure of the C.I.A. officer's identity would be dismissed. The president's apparent raising of the bar for dismissal today, to specific criminal conduct, comes amid mounting evidence that, at the very least, Mr. Rove provided backhanded confirmation of the C.I.A. officer's identity.
In the months after the name of the officer, Valerie Plame Wilson, was made public in July 2003, the White House said repeatedly that no one working for the administration was part of the disclosure.
Francisco: Next headline: "In Shift, Bully Boy Says He'll Fire Aides Who 'Committed a Crime' Unless He Decides to Pardon Them." Followed by, "Bully Boy Pardons All Aides."
Reporters and editors typically take cues from the same influential sources and learned experts in business, finance and government. If the news media decided to cast these facts as the story of the world's only superpower losing ground in global competition and becoming financially dependent on strategic rivals like China, the public would take greater notice. But governing elites would regard such clarity as inflammatory. America's awesome trade problem is instead portrayed as something else - an esoteric technical dispute about currency values, the dollar versus the Chinese yuan. The context is guaranteed to baffle and benumb citizens.
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