Saturday, June 18, 2005

"British Bombing Raids Were Illegal, Says Foreign Office" (Michael Smith, Sunday Times of London)

However, the leaked Foreign Office legal advice, which was also appended to the Cabinet Office briefing paper for the July meeting, made it clear allied aircraft were legally entitled to patrol the no-fly zones over the north and south of Iraq only to deter attacks by Saddam’s forces on the Kurdish and Shia populations.
The allies had no power to use military force to put pressure of any kind on the regime.
The increased attacks on Iraqi installations, which senior US officers admitted were designed to "degrade" Iraqi air defences, began six months before the UN passed resolution 1441, which the allies claim authorised military action. The war finally started in March 2003.

[. . .]
Although the legality of the war has been more of an issue in Britain than in America, the revelations indicate Bush may also have acted illegally, since Congress did not authorise military action until October 11 2002.
The air war had already begun six weeks earlier and the spikes of activity had been underway for five months.

The above is from Michael Smith's "British Bombing Raids Were Illegal, Says Foreign Office" from the Sunday Times of London.

Read the article. Hopefully the domestic (US) press will pick up on it but let's not put our blind faith in that. I'm on a break from assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review. I'm guessing this will be the editorial this week so I'll save my comments for when we work on that shortly. We did a very long roundtable. So look for that and other things tomorrow morning.

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Dallas' "Bullies Without Borders"

A repost because a number of e-mails this week (after a link to it) have noted the post and Susan e-mailed that with the Downing Street Memo in the news, it was time to once again note Dallas' "Bullies Without Borders." Dallas took the Mamas & the Papas "Creeque Alley" and wrote a parody version inspired by the Bully Boy. From December 15th, here's community member Dallas' contribution:

"Bullies Without Borders"

Collie & Rummy were getting kind of chummy just to get this war on the road
Condi & Cheney lyin', fibbin', speakin' in that "mushroom cloud" code
In the oval office Bush boy sat, pranking on Frist by meowing like a kitty cat
While Ashcroft and Gonzales really thought torture was all that
And no one's getting fat except Bully Boy Bush.

Rummy said, "Collie, you know there aren't many can sell the war the way you do; let's hit Iraq"
Collie said, "Golly, Rummy, trashing my reputation ain't funny but you know I got your back."
Collie, Rummy and Condi all laughed while Cheney's friends were pushing for graft
Ashcroft and Gonzales still thought torture was all that
And no one's getting fat except Bully Boy Bush.

When Bush was a governor, said he was humbler, but he changed his mind one day
Eyeing the oil wells, telling the big tails, hit Iraq with or without the UN
Cheney was proddin', "Let's forget bin Laden" flashing that evil grin
"Can't let this moment pass, well you know it would be such a sin."
And no one's getting fat except Bully Boy Bush.

Falluja, Baghdad, Basrah, Kirkuk: We're going to own it all.
Tear up, break down, love to see that statue fall.
Cheney said "cake walk"; Collie said "freedom"; Condi said "Berlin wall!"
No one's hurtin', no one's dying, if you believe Fox News' crawl
And everybody's getting fat except Bully Boy Bush.

Troops hurtin', Haliburton; David Kay says there's no weapons!
Bush offered a fake turkey, his plans were murky, Wolfie wants to go to Iran.
No one's seen bin Laden and something new's startin', Collie says North Korea's getting out of hand.
Greenspan's delusions and Snow's confusions can't go on indefinitely
And quagmire, quagmire is becoming a reality.

The e-mail address for this site is And don't miss Michael Smith's latest at the Sunday Times of London, "British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office."
We'll be highlighting it in the next post.

13 from BuzzFlash (have you visited BuzzFlash this weekend)

Have you visited BuzzFlash this weekend? Here are thirteen things you're missing if you haven't. The first ten are on the Downing Street Memo.

Congressman Conyers hammers the Washington Post's Dana Milbank; "[Milbank] cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress."

John Conyers on His Historic Hearings on the Downing Street Memo 6/17

540,000 Petitions Delivered to President Bush Demanding Truth About Iraq War; Downing Street Memos Trigger Public Outrage Over Deception

Reposted: A Greg Palast Exclusive to BuzzFlash on May 4, "Impeachment Time: "Facts Were Fixed."

Democrats call for inquiry into 'Downing Street Memo' 6/18

Robert Parry: Mocking the Downing Street Memo 6/18

Questions Prompted by the Downing Street Memo

Knight Ridder reports the truth: "The two governments discussed ways to craft an ultimatum to Saddam on U.N. weapons inspectors that he would be sure to reject, providing an excuse for war " 6/18

Are the Downing Street Memos The Pentagon Papers of Our Time? 6/18

Joe Conason: Only our arrogant Washington press corps could think the Downing Street Memo wasn't news 6/17

"The Washington Post is reasserting its august judgment over what qualifies as news in the face of citizen complaints that it and other mainstream media outlets neglected leaked British memos about the deceptions behind George W. Bush’s war in Iraq." 6/17

BuzzFlash is covering the Downing Street Memo (has been leading the coverage of it from the start) but they are also covering other news as well. Here are three items not on the Downing Street Memo. (There are many more. The ten to three ratio doesn't reflect a percentage at BuzzFlash, just my own desire to note the Downing Street Memo.)

Hey Rep. Jones, Order of Freedom Fries with Your Crow? The Bird with the Word -- A BuzzFlash Reader Contribution from One Citizen

New leaked Pentagon memo: Torture techniques could put our top officials in prison 6/17

BuzzFlash Interviews Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the Odds on Favorite to Succeed Independent Jim Jeffords in the Senate in 2006

And since Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts illustrations/comics/cartoons have kicked off huge interest in editorial cartoons among the community, let's note BuzzFlash's editorial comics/illustrations/cartoons (which are exclusive and original BuzzFlash content):

The Great Seal of the United States (The Bush Revisions) -- Editorial Cartoons by Andrew Wahl

Bush's Low Ratings -- Editorial Cartoon by Tony Peyser

Issue Failure -- Editorial Cartoons by Steve Bradenton

The Busheviks' Great Leap Forward -- An Editorial Cartoon by Kirk Anderson

In answer to Brandy's e-mail, Isaiah is planning his usual Sunday edition of The World Today Just Nuts. Friday was one of those bonuses. It's always been Isaiah's intention to offer an illustration on Sundays and when time permits or something strikes him, he offers one on others day.

Brandy noted that this was a big week with Ruth's Morning Edition Report appearing twice in the week, Kat's Kat's Korner (Coldplay's latest reviewed), Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts, Trina's humorous take on the AOL "election," and Wally's note to the community.

Brandy also noted Maria's rundown of ten articles from Democracy Now!'s Headlines. Maria did it this week. Miguel's done it before. Francisco's also interested in doing that as is Juan and it will probably rotate among them as long as they are interested. We're trying to be sure to get the word out that Democracy Now!'s Headlines are now available in Spanish each day (in transcript and audio).

Members make the community so thank you to the above as well as to members who e-mail to share articles and issues they are concerned with. Thanks, again, to Shirley and Martha for their help ("help," they did it all, thank you both) in getting the results of our election e-mailed out to members who don't receive the gina & krista round-robin. Thanks to Gina and Krista for their round-robin which is a huge contribution to the community. Thanks to Dallas who's always helping hunt down links (and will be helping The Third Estate Sunday Review tonight). Thanks to Ava for her note to the community this week.

Everyone of you makes the community what it is. So thank you.

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Line up for The Laura Flanders Show this weekend

From the Air America Radio home page (remember you can listen online if you don't have satellite radio or live in one of the 64 areas that Air America Radio is broadcast over the airwaves):

The Laura Flanders Show
Saturdays and Sunday 7pm-10pm

Saturday: Laura's frontline Downing Street Memo coverage continues with Amb. Joe Wilson, who testified at the House Judiciary Committee Democrat's hearing and Rep. Maxine Waters(D-CA), who announced a new Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus, with 41 members. Also Ohio election lawyer and investigative reporter Bob Fitrakis delivers updates on the Judiciary Dems other top issue: election reform. And Laura revisits Alternet's "Start Making Sense," their post-election activism book, with co-editor Lakshmi Chaudhry and Adam Werbach, of the Common Assets.

Sunday: Eve Ensler has a plan to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Then MacArthur Justice Center Attorney Joseph Margulies, will expand on his testimony before the on Gitmo's abuses. Then, a quick return visit with Shelby Knox, who is profiled in a PBS documentary about sex-education in Texas, called "The Education of Shelby Knox". And finally, Staceyann Chin on her new one-woman show, "Border/Clash - A Litany of Desires."

On the second to last guest listed for Sunday night, Shelby Knox, as a reminder we'll pull from a Thursday post:

Billie also notes Star Silva's "Who's Afraid of Shelby Knox: Sex, Textbooks, and the Culture Wars-Lessons from Lubbock." Members who listen to The Laura Flanders Show, weekends on Air America radio, are familiar with Shelby Knox. From Silva's interview with Knox:

T[exas]O[bserver]: The film conveys a steadily-increasing awareness of the problems in the world around you. How is it that you developed such a keen social consciousness to note these problems and find solutions? Was it your upbringing that gave you a different perspective, as opposed to those of other apathetic or politically ignorant youth?
Shelby Knox: I don't think it makes me different. Basically I started seeing girls disappear. They would get pregnant and be forced to go to a special school for pregnant high-school girls. I saw the stigma of [people who pointed out], "She's a slut, but he got her pregnant, so he's a player."And how unfair it was! When you trace it back to the root it was that we weren’t getting more sex education. One girl told me that she didn’t think she would get pregnant because her boyfriend smoked enough pot that he had killed all of his semen, which he told her just to get in her pants. These girls weren't being educated, and it wasn't fair. Maybe you could say it started as a feminist issue or just an awareness, but I started realizing that the lack of sex education was hurting people my own age. Many of them weren't getting the education at home or they weren't going [elsewhere] to get that information. It was the responsibility of the school to provide it.
TO: You testified in favor of comprehensive sex ed at a textbook hearing. What do you think of the Texas Board of Educators’ approval of textbooks and the studies they rely on?
SK: Yeah, I testified, which was really scary. My guy from Lubbock was sleeping. I swear, he was against the wall sleeping. I was the last person to testify, and there was no response at all. The opposition had bused in all these 14- and 15-year-old girls to make impassioned speeches about the school making them want to have sex and about how they wanted to save themselves. And every single one would end their speech with, "I'm so-and-so, I'm 15, and I'm worth the wait." They had scripts! And they would get responses from and talk to everyone on the board.I gave my speech, and they just looked at me. I think I was, from what I saw, the only young person they didn't respond to. And what's really scary is that textbook publishers don't want to redo books for every state, so the books that are approved in Texas [will be distributed] across the nation. Texas is one of the largest textbook distributors; our books are distributed across the nation. And we have the most conservative books, so we are actually harming the other states.

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Air America Weekend Schedule & "Official Had Aide Send Data to White House" (Stephen Labaton)

Here's the weekend schedule for Air America. Remember, if you don't live in one of the 64 areas where Air America Radio is broadcast over the airwaves and you don't have satellite radio, you can listen online by visiting their home page.

So What Else is News?
With host Marty Kaplan Saturdays 3pm-5pm - Rebroadcast: Sundays 8am -10am
Marty talks to Conyers' hearing witness Ray McGovern, Walter Mondale on the felonious side of Mark "Deep Throat" Felt, and LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik about the myth of social security. Plus, filmmaker Miranda July on her Sundance/Cannes hit "Me, You and Everyone We Know" and Dj Duo The Crystal Method on the future of ringtones.

Ring of Fire
With Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mike Papantonio Saturdays 5pm -7pm - Rebroadcast Sundays 3pm-5pm
Eric Reeves, a leading Sudan analyst, about the violence in Darfur; Pete Peterson, author of "Running on Empty," which says the tax cuts and monstrous deficits are an immoral legacy for future generations; Van Jones, founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization that challenges human rights abuses within the U.S. criminal justice system; Katherine Eban, investigative reporter and author of "Dangerous Doses: How Counterfeiters are Contaminating our Drug Supply."

The Laura Flanders Show
Saturdays and Sunday 7pm-10pm
Saturday: Laura's frontline Downing Street Memo coverage continues with
Amb. Joe Wilson, who testified at the House Judiciary Committee Democrat's hearing and Rep. Maxine Waters(D-CA), who announced a new Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus, with 41 members. Also Ohio election lawyer and investigative reporter Bob Fitrakis delivers updates on the Judiciary Dems other top issue: election reform. And Laura revisits Alternet's "Start Making Sense," their post-election activism book, with co-editor Lakshmi Chaudhry and Adam Werbach, of the Common Assets.Sunday: Eve Ensler has a plan to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Then MacArthur Justice Center Attorney Joseph Margulies, will expand on his testimony before the on Gitmo's abuses. Then, a quick return visit with Shelby Knox, who is profiled in a PBS documentary about sex-education in Texas, called "The Education of Shelby Knox". And finally, Staceyann Chin on her new one-woman show, "Border/Clash - A Litany of Desires."

The Kyle Jason Show
Saturdays 10pm-Midnight

with Betsy Rosenberg Sundays 7am-8am
In the first half Betsy talks to founder of the newly-formed Women's Global Green Network, Redwood Mary, and an additional Network leader, who is an environmental activist from El Salvador. In the second half Betsy switches gears and talks to Teddy Roosevelt (IV), great grandson of the most environmentally proactive Republican president in our nation’s history. Hear why this established financial executive, himself a lifelong Republican, is steamed about the Bush Administration’s bungling of the global warming crisis, and what he thinks "TR" would say to "W" if he were here today.

So What Else is News?
With host Marty Kaplan Sundays 8am -10am
Marty talks to Conyers' hearing witness Ray McGovern, Walter Mondale on the felonious side of Mark "Deep Throat" Felt, and LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik about the myth of social security. Plus, filmmaker Miranda July on her Sundance/Cannes hit "Me, You and Everyone We Know" and Dj Duo The Crystal Method on the future of ringtones.

New! Mother Jones Radio
Hosted by Angie Coiro Sundays 1pm-2pm
On June 19th, 2005 Air America launches "Mother Jones Radio," which will air every Sunday afternoon from 1:00-2:00pm EST. It is "a fun, fast, and substantive hour of reporting and commentary inspired by stories from
Mother Jones Magazine." The show will be hosted by award-winning journalist and radio host Angie Coiro. For the Sunday premiere, Mo Jo radio exposes junk scientists and pseudo-journalists who say global warming is a hoax-and who get millions of dollars from ExxonMobil. Guests:investigative journalist Ross Gelbspan, FDA whistleblower Dr. David Graham, and comedian Will Durst.

Politically Direct
with host David Bender Sundays 2pm - 3pm This week David Bender talks with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. Will this dark horse candidate ride out of the west in 2008? Don't miss this fascinating conversation with one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party!

Ring of Fire
With Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mike Papantonio Sundays 3pm-5pm
Eric Reeves, a leading Sudan analyst, about the violence in Darfur; Pete Peterson, author of "Running on Empty," which says the tax cuts and monstrous deficits are an immoral legacy for future generations; Van Jones, founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization that challenges human rights abuses within the U.S. criminal justice system; Katherine Eban, investigative reporter and author of "Dangerous Doses: How Counterfeiters are Contaminating our Drug Supply."

The Laura Flanders Show
Saturdays and Sunday 7pm-10pm

Sunday: Eve Ensler has a plan to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Then MacArthur Justice Center Attorney Joseph Margulies, will expand on his testimony before the on Gitmo's abuses. Then, a quick return visit with Shelby Knox, who is profiled in a PBS documentary about sex-education in Texas, called "The Education of Shelby Knox". And finally, Staceyann Chin on her new one-woman show, "Border/Clash - A Litany of Desires."

The Revolution Starts...Now
hosted by Steve EarleSundays 10pm - 11pm
Amy Ray, one half of "The Indigo Girls," brings in punk rockin' setlist, including a song off of her new solo album.

On The Real
with Chuck D and Gia'na Garel Sundays 11pm -1am
Gia'na hosts author Bakari Kitwana ("Why White Kids Love Hip Hip") in The GreenRoom and more tastes of Chuck D's fire music collection to segue even hotter topics.

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But we're not done yet. Brenda e-mailed to note one article from the arts section of the Times.
I'd missed it, so thanks to Brenda for catching it. From Stephen Labaton's "Official Had Aide Send Data to White House:"

E-mail messages obtained by investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting show that its chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, extensively consulted a White House official shortly before she joined the corporation about creating an ombudsman's office to monitor the balance and objectivity of public television and radio programs.
Mr. Tomlinson said in an interview three months ago that he did not think he had instructed a subordinate to send material on the ombudsman project to Mary C. Andrews at her White House office in her final days as director of global communications, a political appointment.
But the e-mail messages show that a month before the interview, he directed Kathleen Cox, then president of the corporation, to send material to Ms. Andrews at her White House e-mail address. They show that Ms. Andrews worked on a variety of ombudsman issues before joining the corporation, while still on the White House payroll. And they show that the White House instructed the corporation on Ms. Andrews's job title in her new post.

[. . .]
The e-mail messages are part of the evidence being collected in a broad inquiry by the inspector general of the corporation into whether Mr. Tomlinson violated any rules that require that the corporation act as a buffer between politics and programming.
Investigators are examining the role played by the White House in the creation of the ombudsman's office at the corporation, an office Mr. Tomlinson said he advanced as part of a broader effort to ensure balance and objectivity in programming. Executives in public television and radio have said his actions threatened their editorial independence.

NYT: The Murphy & the Madigan, sporting love beads and wearing caftans, wow 'em on Sullivan while Bully Boy's tour encounters problems

While Scott Shane's buried inside the paper, Dean E. Murphy and Nick Madigan are stuck on the front page of the New York Times doing their version of Mama Cass (not necessarily a bad thing) with "Series of Quakes in California Foreshadow a Big One, Or Not."

What you need to know about that article can be nutshelled as tremors (or tremblors, to use what's apparently the scientific term) are causing some discomfort among some seismologists and that "seismology is not always as precise as some might hope."

I heard they exploded
The underground blast
What they say it's going to happen
It's going to happen at last
That's the way it appears
They tell me the fault line runs right through here . . .
Atlantis will rise

Sunset Blvd. will fall
Where the beach used to be
Won't be nothing at all
That's the way it appears
They tell me the fault line
Runs right through here
That may be
That may be
What's going to happen
Is going to happen to me
That's the way it appears
They tell me the fault line
Runs right through here . . .

Now who doesn't love Cass Elliot? (Lyrics above from Mama Cass' "California Earthquake" written by John Hartford.*) Who can blame the Murphy & the Madigan for wanting to pull out the love beads, head down "Creeque Alley" and "Step Out?" But, a bit of "Free Advice," while it's indeed true that you must "Go Where You Wanna Go" and you must (especially at the Times) "Sing for Your Supper," I "Got a Feelin'" that come "Monday, Monday" "The In Crowd" is still going to be scratching its head over this little "Trip, Stumble & Fall" and I'll still feel that way whether I'm "Safe In My Garden" or not.

Built around qualifiers, the Murphy and the Madigan land on the front page but I'm not sure how well it will play on tour. Things don't always play well on the road. Ask the Bully Boy.
Or read Robert Pear's "Bush, Touting Drug Plan, Encounters Protests Over Social Security:"

But he was greeted by people protesting his plan to overhaul Social Security.
"Hands off our Social Security," said a sign outside the local community center, where Mr. Bush encouraged older Americans to sign up for the drug benefit.

Reality intrudes on the Bully Boy's War On America world tour and ticketholders Wally, Billie, Michael, Brad, Zach, ??? and Tori e-mailed on that this morning. Trevor noted, "It's like he's one of the Simpson's sister appearing live and just when he's about to start moving his lips, his pretaped vocals come blaring out of synch." True, and let's all hope he doesn't have a "wardrobe malfunction" on his next stop on the tour. That would be truly frightening.

Reality also surfaces in Kareem Fahim and Damien Cave's "Killed in Battle or in Betrayal? Mystery Adds to Grief." From the article, which Eli, Rob, Kara, Joan and Cedric e-mailed on this morning:

Killing a superior officer, in military slang, is referred to as fragging, and often involves the use of a grenade. Sergeant Martinez is the second American soldier to be charged with killing his comrades. In April, a military jury sentenced Hasan Akbar, an Army sergeant, to death for a grenade and rifle attack that killed two officers during the opening days of the Iraq invasion.
In Nanuet, in Rockland County, relatives and friends of Captain Esposito tried to fathom what could have driven Sergeant Martinez to such an action. The news left friends and family members feeling distraught and betrayed, as well as confused about where to assign blame.
At St. Anthony's, the Catholic church where Captain Esposito served as an altar boy while attending the parish's elementary school, former teachers and friends tried to reconcile their memories of a quiet, focused young man who became an Eagle Scout with the jarring news of how he died. Flowers were strewn about his grave only a few hundred yards away.

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[* Before someone e-mails to point out, in a "Don't Call Me Mama Anymore" kind of way, that "Cass Elliot" is whom "California Earthquake" should be credited to, check the listings. It's a Dunhill recording and she's billed as "Mama Cass" on this October, 1968 single.]

NYT: "C.I.A. Role in Visit of Sudan Intelligence Chief Causes Dispute Within Administration" (Scott Shane)

A decision by the Central Intelligence Agency to fly Sudan's intelligence chief to Washington in a C.I.A. jet in April set off a dispute inside the Bush administration, with some officials arguing that such recognition for a government accused of genocide and ties to terrorism sent a regrettable signal, administration officials said on Friday.
The visit by Salah Abdallah Gosh for consultations with the Central Intelligence Agency this year was intended by American intelligence officials to reward Sudan's cooperation since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in detaining suspected terrorists and providing information on Al Qaeda.
But some officials in the State Department and the Justice Department objected, arguing that the trip would send a misleading message both to the government of Sudan and to other countries about American priorities, officials said. Mr. Gosh's trip was first reported April 29 in The Los Angeles Times, which reported on the controversy within the administration in an additional article on Thursday.
The visit has provoked criticism from members of Congress and human rights groups, who say that Mr. Gosh has played a role in the government's collaboration with militias that have displaced millions of people and killed tens of thousands in the Darfur region. The United States has condemned Sudan for committing genocide in Darfur. A United Nations inquiry this spring referred a sealed list of names of 51 people suspected of committing crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, which announced on June 6 that it had opened an investigation.

The above is from Scott Shane's "C.I.A. Role in Visit of Sudan Intelligence Chief Causes Dispute Within Administration" in this morning's New York Times. Yes, Erika, there is a reason to open the Saturday paper after all.

And you have to open it because, as Erika and any other member can tell you, "Scott Shane" as a byline, for some reason, always translates, to the paper, as "inside the paper." (Which, this morning, means A7.) (To the community, it almost always translates as "real news.")

You do know that Scott Shane invented the printing press, right? Or rather that we think he did? That was a remark/accusation made in an e-mail from a Time's-er yesterday. Let's hope it was an attempt to be silly and joke (I did laugh reading it).

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts. Bully Boy holds a press conference in front of a banner ("Mission Accomplished") with "Ask about poop?" and "No ???" while wearing a "No Downing ???" Bully Boy says, "I've called this press conference to announce that Barney just took a poop. And Dick's going to tell a few jokes in a bit. Who has questions about that?" as he attempts to deflect from the issue of the Downing Street Memo. Posted by Hello

Democracy Now: Estadounidenses no aprueban politica de Bush en Irak

Maria: Hola. De parte de "Democracy Now!" diez cosas que vale hacer notar este fin de semana.

Conyers acude a las audiencias por 'Downing Street'
Volvemos a Estados Unidos, donde el congresista John Conyers asistió a la primera audiencia pública sobre el llamado Memorándum de Downing Street y otros documentos británicos recientemente revelados, que según Conyers, dejan en evidencia “el intento del gobierno de Bush de tergiversar los libros con información anterior a la guerra”. La multitudinaria audiencia tuvo lugar en una pequeña sala de reuniones en el subsuelo del Capitolio, debido a que los Republicanos se rehusaron a permitir que los Demócratas realizaran una audiencia oficial. Luego de la reunión, Conyers presentó a la Casa Blanca una carta firmada por más de medio millón de estadounidenses, solicitando al presidente Bush que respondiera preguntas sobre los documentos. La carta fue firmada además por mas de 120 congresistas. Algunas de las personas que declararon ayer fueron el ex embajador estadounidense en Irak, Joe Wilson; el durante años analista de la CIA, Ray McGovern, y Cindy Sheehan, cuyo hijo falleció en Irak. Escuchamos ahora al abogado constitucionalista John Bonifaz.
Escuchábamos al abogado John Bonifaz, hablando ayer en la audiencia pública del llamado Memorándum de Downing Street.

Estadounidenses no aprueban política de Bush en Irak
Las audiencias tuvieron lugar mientras en el Congreso crece el interés por solicitar al presidente Bush que presente una estrategia de salida de Irak más clara. Una encuesta del New York Times y CBS publicada hoy, muestra que solo el 37 % de los estadounidenses expresan su acuerdo con el manejo de Bush de la situación en Irak, mientras que en febrero contaba con un apoyo del 45 %. La encuesta señala que un número cada vez mayor de estadounidenses, un 60%, considera que la misión de Estados Unidos en Irak se está desarrollando en forma negativa. Esto sucedió luego de que el gobierno de Bush lanzara una campaña de relaciones públicas sobre Irak que incluirá una serie de discursos radiales y apariciones públicas fuera de Washington. La estrategia incluye además un importante discurso el 28 de junio, al cumplirse el primer aniversario de la llamada transferencia de soberanía en Irak. Cuatro días antes, Bush se reunirá en la Casa Blanca con el primer ministro iraquí Ibrahim al-Jaafari. La campaña de relaciones públicas tiene lugar en un momento en que el número de muertes estadounidenses en Irak alcanza las 1.700.

Solicitudes para estrategia de salida de Irak
Mientras tanto, un grupo bipartidista de legisladores presentó esta semana una resolución en la Cámara de Representantes, solicitando a Bush que anuncie su estrategia de salida de Irak. Uno de los promotores de esta resolución es el republicano de Carolina del Norte Walter Jones, responsable de intentar cambiar el nombre de las “papas francesas (fritas)” a “papas de la libertad” en la cafetería del Congreso.
Otros promotores de la resolución son el republicano Ron Paul de Texas y el Demócrata de Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, mientras que el Senador Russ Feingold de Wisconsin presentó una resolución similar en el Senado. La Comisión de Relaciones Internacionales de la Camara de Representantes tuvo una abrumadora votación la semana pasada para solicitar a la Casa Blanca que desarrollara y presentara un plan al Congreso para establecer un gobierno y fuerza militar estables en Irak que “permitieran una menor presencia de Estados Unidos”. La semana próxima, el representante Rahm Emanuel, un Demócrata de Illinois, planifica leer en el Senado los nombres de los más de 1.700 soldados estadounidenses que han muerto en Irak.

Estados Unidos mintió acerca del uso de Napalm en Irak
El Ministro de las Fuerzas Armadas británico Adam Ingram, admitió que el gobierno de Bush le mintió a funcionarios británicos acerca del uso de bombas de napalm en Irak. En una carta confidencial obtenida por el diario The Independent de Londres, Ingram señala que Estados Unidos le había dicho en un principio que no se habían utilizado las llamadas MK77 en Irak, pero luego escribió “lamento decir que desde entonces descubrí que eso no es así y la posición debe ser corregida”. Las bombas MK77 son una versión más evolucionada del napalm utilizado en Vietnam y Corea. Contienen combustible de avión a base de querosén y poliestireno para que el gel se pegue a la estructura y a las víctimas. Las bombas no tienen aletas estabilizadoras, lo cual las convierte en muy imprecisas. Ingram afirmó que 30 bombas de fuego MK77 fueron utilizadas por la Fuerza Expedicionaria de la Marina en la invasión de Irak entre el 31 de marzo y el 2 de abril de 2003. The Independent dijo que la revelación genera nuevas dudas sobre las afirmaciones de que las bombas de fuego similares a bombas de napalm fueron utilizadas en el ataque a Fallujah el año pasado, acusaciones que fueron negadas por Estados Unidos.

Documentos del Pentágono demuestran que funcionarios temían a la prisión por tácticas de Guantánamo
ABC News informa que las técnicas interrogatorias utilizadas en Guantánamo en 2002 generaron preocupación entre funcionarios de alta jerarquía del Pentágono, ante posibles acusaciones penales en virtud de las leyes estadounidenses contra la tortura. ABC accedió notas de una serie de reuniones en el Pentágono, a principios de 2003, que demuestran que Alberto Mora, Consejero Legal General de la Armada, advirtió a sus superiores que podrían estar violando normativas legales. Durante una reunión en enero de 2003, que involucra al abogado jefe del Pentágono William Haynes y otros funcionarios, el documento muestra que Mora advirtió que "el uso de técnicas coercitivas...tiene implicancias militares, legales y políticas...tiene implicancias internacionales...y nos expone a responsabilidad jurídica y acusaciones penales". Si bien se conocía la preocupación de Mora sobre los interrogatorios en Guantánamo, no así su advertencia de que funcionarios de alta jerarquía podrían ir a prisión. En otra reunión realizada el 8 de marzo de 2003, el grupo de los principales abogados del Pentágono concluyó que "necesitamos una carta del presidente que apruebe la utilización del polémico interrogatorio, para cubrir así quienes lo utilicen". La carta nunca fue escrita.

Suprema Corte negó revisión del caso de "combatiente enemigo"
También el lunes, la Suprema Corte decidió no dar audiencia a una apelación inmediata presentada por José Padilla. El ciudadano de nacionalidad estadounidense está preso hace tres años en reclusión solitaria en una brigada militar, a pesar de que el gobierno nunca lo haya acusado de ningún delito y de nunca haber comparecido ante un tribunal. El gobierno de Bush acusó a Padilla de conspiración para detonar una bomba radiológica en Estados Unidos.

Oficiales estadounidenses: no hay solución militar en Irak
La agencia de noticias Knight Ridder informó que un número creciente de oficiales militares estadounidenses de alta jerarquía que se encuentran en Irak concluyeron que no hay una solución militar a largo plazo en Irak. En cambio, expresaron que la única forma de terminar con la guerra de guerrillas es por intermedio de la política iraquí. La semana pasada el principal portavoz de las fuerzas estadounidenses en Irak, Donald Alston, indicó que "la mejor forma de enfrentar el problema ahora es aceptar que...esta insurgencia no podrá ser solucionada...mediante opciones ni operaciones militares".

Demócratas de Wisconsin solicitan interpelación a Bush
Y en Wisconsin, el Partido Demócrata del estado aprobó una resolución que solicita la interpelación del presidente Bush, del vicepresidente Dick Cheney y el Secretario de Defensa Donald Rumsfeld. La resolución solicitó al Congreso que inicie procedimientos de interpelación contra los tres funcionarios, acusándolos de conducir al país a la guerra de Irak. El año pasado, el Partido Demócrata en Nevada aprobó una resolución similar. Tanto el Partido Verde, como el ex candidato presidencial Ralph Nader, también solicitaron la interpelación de Bush.

Rumsfeld: Irak no es más segura ahora que en 2003
Mientras tanto, el Secretario de Defensa Donald Rumsfeld admitió que la seguridad en Irak no ha mejorado con relación a dos años atrás, cuando el presidente Bush anunció el fin de las mayores operaciones de combate. En una entrevista con la BBC, Rumsfeld fue consultado sobre si la situación de seguridad había mejorado. Rumsfeld contestó que "estadísticamente no, aunque es evidente que ha mejorado con el tiempo". Continuó diciendo que "muchas cosas negativas que podrían haber sucedido, no sucedieron".

Cámara de Diputados votó para bloquear disposiciones de Ley Patriota
La Cámara de Representantes votó el miércoles para bloquear la utilización del Departamento de Justicia y del FBI de la ley Patriota para obtener registros de bibliotecas y de venta de librerías. La votación revirtió el resultado del año pasado, no alcanzado por pocos votos. De todos modos, aún permite que el gobierno mantenga la búsqueda de registros del uso de Internet en las bibliotecas. Treinta y ocho republicanos acompañaron el voto de los demócratas, aunque el presidente Bush amenazó con vetar cualquier proyecto de ley que impida al gobierno revisar los registros de bibliotecas y librerías. Muchos bibliotecarios se opusieron al gobierno al deshacerse rápidamente de registros para proteger la privacidad de la gente.

NEW FEATURE: Democracy Now! is now offering the program's daily news summary translated into Spanish. Los Titulares de Hoy

Maria: In English, here are ten stories from Democracy Now!:

Conyers Holds "Downing Street " Hearings
Back in this country, Congressmember John Conyers convened the first public hearing on the so-called Downing Street Memo and other recently released British documents that he says show the Bush administration's "efforts to cook the books on pre-war intelligence." The jam-packed hearing was held in a small basement meeting room in the Capitol because Republicans refused to allow the Democrats to hold an official hearing. After the meeting, Conyers delivered a petition to the White House, signed by more than a half a million Americans calling on President Bush to answer questions on the documents. More than 120 Congressmembers also signed the letter. Later in the program, we are going to play excerpts from that hearing and we'll be joined by Reginald Keyes, the British man who ran against Tony Blair in the recent elections in the UK. His son was killed in Iraq. Among those who testified yesterday was former US ambassador to Iraq, Joe Wilson, longtime CIA analyst Ray McGovern and Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed last year in Iraq. This is constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz.
John Bonifaz, speaking June 16, 2005.
Attorney John Bonifaz, speaking yesterday at the public hearing on the so-called Downing Street Memo. We'll have much more on this later in the program.

Americans Disapprove of Bush Iraq Policy
The hearings come as momentum builds in Congress to formally call on President Bush to present a clear exit strategy on Iraq. A New York Times/CBS poll published today shows that only 37 percent of people in the US now say they approve of Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq. That's down from 45 percent in February. The poll says that a strong and increasing majority of Americans, sixty percent, now believe the US mission in Iraq is going badly. This comes as the Bush administration is launching a major public relations campaign on Iraq that will include a series of radio addresses and appearances outside Washington and a major address on June 28, the one-year anniversary of the so-called transfer of sovereignty in Iraq. Four days before that, he will meet at the White House with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. The PR push comes as the U.S. death toll in Iraq has climbed above 1,700.

Calls for Clear Exit Strategy Mount
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a House resolution this week calling on Bush to announce an exit strategy from Iraq. Among the sponsors of the resolution is North Carolina Republican Walter Jones, the man behind the effort to change the name of "French fries" to "freedom fries" in the Congressional cafeteria. Among the other sponsors are Republican Ron Paul of Texas and Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin has introduced a similar measure in the Senate. Last week the House International Relations Committee voted overwhelmingly to call on the White House to develop and submit a plan to Congress for establishing a stable government and military in Iraq that would "permit a decreased U.S. presence" there. Next week, Representative Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Democrat, is planning to read on the House floor the names of more than 1,700 US soldiers who have died in Iraq.

U.S. Lied About 'Napalm' Use in Iraq
Britain's Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram has admitted that the Bush administration lied to British officials about the use of napalm-type firebombs in Iraq. In a private letter obtained by The Independent newspaper of London, Ingram says the US originally told him they had not used so-called MK77s in Iraq at any time but then writes "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position." The MK77 bombs are an evolution of the napalm used in Vietnam and Korea. They carry kerosene-based jet fuel and polystyrene so that the gel sticks to structures and to its victims. The bombs lack stabilizing fins, making them far from precise. Ingram said 30 MK77 firebombs were used by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the invasion of Iraq between March 31 and April 2, 2003. The Independent said that the revelation raises new questions about allegations that the napalm-like firebombs were used in the US assault on Fallujah last year, charges denied by the US.

Congress May Intervene on Guantanamo
Amid growing calls for the Guantanamo prison camp to be shut down, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended yesterday that Congress intervene to resolve the fate of the more than 500 prisoners. In a heated hearing on Wednesday, lawmakers sparred with each other and Justice Department officials who asserted that Washington could hold prisoners for the rest of their lives if it wished. Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions argued that some of the prisoners "need to be executed," while Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont called the prison a "international embarrassment."
Patrick Leahy"Let's get real. These people have been locked up for three years-- no end in sight and no process to lead us out of there. Guantanamo Bay is causing immeasurable damage to our reputation as a defender of Democracy and a beacon of human rights around the world. I'm proud of what our nation has accomplished. I want us to be that beacon of human rights. But we're not being it with Guantanamo."

Pentagon Docs Show Officials Feared Prison Over Gitmo Tactics
ABC News is reporting that the interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo in 2002 triggered concerns among senior Pentagon officials that they could face criminal prosecution under U.S. anti-torture laws. ABC obtained notes from a series of meetings at the Pentagon in early 2003 showing that Alberto Mora, General Counsel of the Navy, warned his superiors that they might be breaking the law. During a January 2003 meeting involving top Pentagon lawyer William Haynes and other officials, the memo shows that Mora warned that the "use of coercive techniques ... has military, legal, and political implication ... has international implication ... and exposes us to liability and criminal prosecution." Mora's concerns about interrogations at Guantanamo have been known, but not his warning that top officials could go to prison. In another meeting held March 8, 2003, the group of top Pentagon lawyers concluded "we need a presidential letter approving the use of the controversial interrogation to cover those who may be called upon to use them." No such letter was issued.

Court Denies "Enemy Combatant" Immediate Review Of Case
Also on Monday the Supreme Court decided not to hear an immediate appeal from Jose Padilla. The U.S.-born citizen has been jailed for the past three years in solitary confinement on a military brig even though the government has never charged him with a crime and he has never appeared inside a courtroom. The Bush administration originally accused Padilla of plotting to set off a dirty bomb inside the United States.

U.S. Military Officers: There is No Military Solution In Iraq
The Knight Ridder news agency is reporting that a growing number of senior American military officers in Iraq have concluded there is no long-term military solution in Iraq. Instead, officers say, the only way to end the guerrilla war is through Iraqi politics. Last week Donald Alston, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said "I think the more accurate way to approach this right now is to concede that... this insurgency is not going to be settled... through military options or military operations."

State Democrats in Wisconsin Call For Impeachment of Bush
And in Wisconsin, the state's Democratic party has passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush as well as Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The resolution called on Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against the three officials accusing them of misleading the country in the lead up to the war in Iraq. Last year the Democratic party in Nevada passed a similar resolution. The national Green Party as well as former presidential candidate Ralph Nader have also called for Bush's impeachment.

Rumsfeld: Iraq No Safer Now Than It Was In 2003
Meanwhile Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has admitted that Iraq is statistically no safer now than it was two years ago when President Bush announced that major combat operations had ended. In an interview with the BBC he was asked whether the security situation had improved at all. Rumsfeld said "Well, statistically no. But clearly it has been getting better as we've gone along." He went on to say "A lot of bad things that could have happened have not happened."

House Votes to Block Provisions of USA PATRIOT Act
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to block the Justice Department and the FBI from using the USA Patriot Act to obtain library records and bookstore sales slips. The vote reversed a narrow loss last year. It still would allow the government to continue to seek out records of Internet use at libraries. Thirty-eight Republicans joined with Democrats in the vote. President Bush has threatened to veto any bill that bars the government from going after library and bookstore records. Many librarians have defied the government by disposing of records quickly in an effort to protect people's privacy.

Trina: Bully Boy's rigged another election!

Trina: I'm an AOL subscriber and usually ignore their main page. But the Discovery Channel's Greatest American catches my eye because there next to Albert Einstein is Bully Boy. WTF?
Well there's no way I'm going to let Bully Boy be declared the Greatest American, right? So I click on the "vote" link. I'm waiting for the page to load and when it does, it tells me "Thank you for voting."

Does Katherine Harris moonlight for AOL?
How did Bully Boy make it into the top 25 anyway?

Sunday Chat & Chews (Katrina vanden Heuvel is on This Week)

It's Friday, which means, shudder, the Sunday Chat & Chews are almost upon us.

All three air Sundays and check your local listings for when the programs air.

Not willing to let Chris Matthews woo John McCain without a fight, Tim Russert will cozy up to McCain for the full hour of NBC's Meet the Press.

Over at ABC's This Week, the guest include:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)Foreign Relations Committee
Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno
Capt. Anthony Odioerno

The roundtable:

Finally, Mike Duffy of Time magazine, Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, and ABC News' George Will join Stephanopoulos for a roundtable to discuss whether President Bush is becoming a lame duck in his second term and if he can get Republican support back in line.

Katrina vanden Heuvel from The Nation and no Cokie Roberts. This may be the one to watch (at least for the roundtable).

CBS offers Face the Nation.

CBS Evening News Anchor Bob Schieffer
Iraq, Bolton Nomination, Politics
Sen. Joseph Biden
Democrat - Delaware
Ranking Member, Foreign Relations Committee
Karen Tumulty
TIME Magazine

Joe Biden? On a Sunday morning? There aren't enough hours in the weekend to make up for that. John McCain? Not being one of those leftists or "leftists" who feel the need to make comments like "even John McCain . . ." I've never fallen under the spell of him. He's always struck me as a very angry person.

Look at the SNL skits when he hosted. Laugh at the idiocy of his agreeing to do the skit where he sang. He's singing to prove a point, Barbra Streisand shouldn't talk politics! Well, as an American, Streisand has free speech. She also has knowledge on what she speaks of. Most importantly, for the skit, she can also sing. McCain can't. It's one of those Repube trades/compromises that appears to offer something for the left but really doesn't. McCain will stop singly (badly) if Streisand will give up her First Amendment right and stop using her brain.
In Repube land, that's considered a fair trade.

So what are we left with? ABC's This Week. You've got Katrina vanden Heuvel and that alone would make it worth watching to me. (It's doubtful that I'll watch, the shows aren't my taste and I'll probably be pulling an all nighter with The Third Estate Sunday Review -- translation, as soon as that's over and the morning entries are up here, I'll probably be crashing.)

The e-mail address for this site is

NationMart and comments on the Times Book Review panel (March) that featured Katrina vanden Heuvel

From an e-mail sent out to those who signed up for updates on NationMart (division of The Nation magazine):


Unable to join us on a Nation cruise? Here are videotaped recordings of the best of the best seminars featured on our cruises over the past 7 years. Each tape includes one complete seminar session with appearances by Molly Ivins, Alexander Cockburn, Christopher Hitchens, Barbara Kingsolver, Studs Terkel and many more.

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A New Book from Nation Publisher Victor Navasky

Victor Navasky's new memoir/primer on journals of opinion is now available for sale at NationMart 25% off the retail price. Navasky is the renowned editor, writer, and teacher who has been at the helm of THE NATION for almost thirty years.
A MATTER OF OPINION, a scintillating reflection on his journalistic experiences, is also an extraordinary political document-a spirited, provocative argument for independent journals of opinion as vital to the health of democracy.
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"Victor Navasky is that most valuable of journalists: the subversive patriot, who loves his country too much to see it become a plaything for plutocrats, scalawags, and scoundrels; who loves justice too much to see it betrayed by false prophets; and who loves his craft too much to see it as anything but a calling. I cherish this account of his adventures for reminding us why the journalism of opinion is the heart and soul of democracy--as long as the last opinion is never assumed to be the right one."
--Bill Moyers

Each purchase you make through NationMart helps support The Nation magazine.

Sidebar, either Rebecca tapped into some synchronicity or someone at Air America appears to have listened to one of her suggestions. On The Majority Report right now, Sam Seder's interviewing various Congressional Democrats (ones who don't get a monthly seat on the Sunday Chat & Chews). It should be noted that The Majority Report has always featured Congress members who aren't offered the Chat & Chews (this includes independent Bernie Sanders). But listening to the segment (that I came in late on), I was reminded of this point
Rebecca made:

3) The party has a few straight talkers.
While Maxine Waters is welcome on The Randi Rhodes Show and The Majority Report, the party should do more to get her voice out there on the weekday programs that revolve around guests -- and others like Russ Feingold, Barbara Lee, etc. These people speak plainly and with passion. Air America is on the Democrats side, it should be used to take the strong voices that the mainstream isn't paying attention to and to note them repeatedly thereby forcing the mainstream to acknowledge them.
Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer are probably the three biggest "stars" of the Senate. No offense to the first two, but Boxer's admiration comes not from what the mainstream covered, but from what Air America and others covered. When the mainstream won't highlight your people, you work twice as hard to build up "stars" in other media.
As people become aware of them, they start e-mailing This Week or Face the Nation or whatever and asking why those people aren't on? They read an article in the paper and wonder, "What does Russ Feingold think about this?"
If an Air America show revolves around guests, leadership should be working hard to make sure that elected officials who aren't all over the chat and chews are available for each show during the week. (I say during the week because, like C.I., I think the weekend shows are very strong. Laura Flanders, for instance, doesn't need any help, or doesn't appear to, in order to book guests.) At a mimimum, leadership should be offering up ten guests a week.
I'm not a fan of Al Franken's but I'm sure he'd be willing to feature anyone who was offered. Morning Edition's best moments have come when they've featured down to earth elected officials who came off as knowledgable but also as regular people.
When the mainstream won't let you build an a-team, you build it in any and all outlets you can. There was an ad campaign that I worked on where TV buys were out of the question for a variety of reasons. We didn't say, "Well, there's nothing we can do then." We got focused on what other mediums we could hit and we hit them hard repeatedly. It worked.
And if that's confusing, think of the Downing Street memo. The mainstream didn't lead on that, they remained silent. It was bloggers and other alternative media that informed the public and made it an issue.
Look at some of the weirdo Republicans on TV today. You wonder where they came from and how they got a "name?" The party used something other than the mainstream. They looked at the landscape and figured out a way to build outside the mainstream. We need to be doing the same.

The Majority Report is "live on tape" tonight. (Meaning it's a new episode but it was pretaped.)
The plus for this listener is no phone calls. The minuses are no Janeane Garofalo (Sam Seder says she's in Texas) and a New Republican. (That refers to someone who works for The New Republic.) And this actually brings us back to the topic of The Nation. How so, you ask?

Well the New Republican on The Majority Report tonight gets plugged in the New York Times for his soccer book (yes, I'm being snide) but in those plugs, the Times never tells you "Hey, we publish this guy all the time. He's a regular contributor to the Times Book Review." And how bad can the suck up get?

We've noted the panel the Book Review had. We didn't note the editor's note that prefaced the edition of the Book Review. I missed it (I really don't read Editor's Notes unless they're written by someone who's voice I value, e.g. Matthew Rothschild of The Progressive or Jim of The Third Estate Sunday Review; I've noted that here before with regards to Mother Jones). (I'm saying Jim because although all contribute -- Dona, Ava, Ty and Jess -- Jim's the one who types it and decides what makes the "note to our readers" and what doesn't.)

But let's note it here. There were three members on the panel, all editors: Petey Beinart (The New Republican), Michael Tomasky (The American Prospect) and Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation). A visitor e-mailed, about the critique of the panel, stating that no special treatment was shown Beinart by the Times. Really now?

From the Times' Book Review's editors' note:

The Dec. 13, 2004, issue of The New Republic[an] published an ambitious essay, . . . [''Full of the Usual Crap"] by the magazine's editor, Peter Beinart. In it, Beinart argued that many liberals were trapped in the past [as he always does in his attempts to push the party to the right], unwilling to confront the new challenges of the post-9/11 era [which requires whining "everything changed" to justify selling out what liberals are supposed to stand for]. What liberalism needed, he wrote, was a commitment to a vigorous foreign policy, a willingness to use American power to face down enemies and dictators around the world. [Hit 'em with the stick! Hit e'm with the stick! That's all those types can offer which is why you don't find social justice as a huge concern in the pages of The New Republican -- New Republicans, don't write in. I don't want to hear it. That's my judgement call. And disclosure, I know Petey.] The article caused a considerable stir [Translation, no one read it -- no one reads The New Republican, its circulation struggles were apparently a secret to the Times at that point but even the Times had to later note its miniscule circulation. By comparison, The Nation is the largest weekly political magazine circulation wise.] and helped begin a family conversation among people who generally agree on liberal principles [translation, posers] but often disagree sharply on specifics like the Iraq war [translation, WAR HAWKS WHO SOLD THE WAR WHICH IS THE NEW REPUBLICAN, see Rebecca's site for her many entries on this.]. The Book Review asked Beinart and the editors of two other influential liberal magazines [note: Katrina vanden Heuvel and Michael Tomasky aren't named in this lengthy paragraph/shout-out to Petey; nor are there magazines even mentioned in the papragraph] to continue that discussion. The three [Petey and the unnamed apparently] spent two hours in the Times's offices hashing out liberalism's problems and prospects. An edited version of their discussion can be found beginning on Page 14; a longer audio version has been posted on The Times's Web site at The three editors also recommended books for readers interested in pursuing this subject, and their suggestions can be found on Page 15.
Also in this issue, . . .
[We don't publicize New Republicans], a senior editor at The New Republic[an] , . . .

. . .

Web Audio: Excerpts from Michael Tomasky, Katrina vanden Heuvel and Peter Beinart's discussion about the future of liberalism.

No special treatment for Petey? The Times Book Review editors yammer on and on about some dopey, asinine article he wrote, that's like everything else he ever writes, but they don't tell you of any article written by or in Tomasky's magazine or written by or in Katrina vanden Heuvel's. Not only that, they don't mention them by name in the lengthy paragraph.

This is a panel and, in the editor's note, the Times chooses to celebrate little Petey home; thereby, intentionally or not, sending a message to readers that the paper places greater weight behind Petey's stammers than the statements from Tomasky or vanden Heuvel. That was utter b.s. and I wish I had seen it at the time.

From our critique of the panel on March 9th:

So what you see in the roundtable is KvH who realizes the importance of democracy (little "d") and Tomasky who pushes whatever the Democratic party (power players, not base) is pushing.

Then you see Beinart on the sidelines (let's face it, circulation wise, The New Republic is marginalized and I doubt those ad buys on Air America will do much to change that) saying, "We've got to woo swing voters! The base be damned."

KvH is recogninizing the importance of the people. You don't see that from the other two. Tomasky's more straight forward than Beinart (and more progressive). But he's focusing, as wonks do, on the inner workings of the power circles. Beinart's not even doing think-tanking.

He's pushing myths and selective facts to push his own agenda. (Truly, Beinart knows that two election cycles are not the end of the world and reason for the Democratic Party to get an Extreme Makeover.)

For all the talk of the importance of people, only KvH has listened to the people. Only KvH sees them as diverse and multi-faceted. Tomasky thinks in terms of the good of the Democratic party. (Which is why he can, and has, piled on when there's been attacks on some Democratic elected officials who were seen as a liability.) He's someone committed to a body or a system. That comes across in his remarks.

You might wonder about the three chosen for this. You'd be right to wonder.

Tomasky probably argues that he and his kind are treated the most hostile by the paper. He would be correct. KvH is just usually ignored. (As is The Nation.) Beinart and The New Republic are pushed by the paper. We could do a historical overview (other than CBS it's harder to come up with any non-government outlet that's had closer ties to the paper than The New Republic) but you can just flip to the two page essay that precedes this roundtable and note that it's written by a New Republic staffer. One who often appears in the paper.

Regardless, The New Republic, as a periodical, is neoliberal. That's why the Times loves it.That's why they push it even though the rag's gone from "the magazine that even Republicans read" to the magazine that only Republicans and a few diehards read. That's why it's reach at the Times goes beyond The Nation's when the reality is that The Nation dances circulation circles around The New Republic.

The Nation gets a little too caught up in social justice causes for the Grey Lady's tastes. It makes noises about economic markets that go beyond profit and loss in a cash sense and actually addresses things like the people who are effected by the markets which is something that causes the Times to blush.

It's a testament to the popularity/reach of The Nation (and KvH's own popularity/reach) that she was even included in the roundtable.

I really wish Folding Star had written about this (at A Winding Road) because I think you'd have a better entry. (Though I've edited and rewritten severely in the draft stage to avoid asides -- which in my mind has stripped away a great deal of history.) (I point out -- in an aside.)

But let's short hand the whole thing. Tomasky can be thought of as the boy in high school who would have gladly given ten to twenty years off his life to be a natural talent. He wasn't. He had to work harder than anyone else. He had to prove that dedication to the team and instill every generic bumper sticker slogan Coach spat out. If you dropped off the team mid-season, always Coach's good boy, Tomasky excommunicated you. It was all (and always) about the team. Coach might change the team's goals or the playbook but Tomasky would gladly rush to embrace any shift without questioning. He is a team player.

Katrina vanden Heuvel is the girl in high school who was intelligent and mixed in all circles but was famous for her reach-outs. Whomever the person was, regardless of social strata, if they were in pain or trouble, KvH was there. Though she exists more in movies (see John Hughes especially) than in life, she does exist. And that's KvH. Wise and compassionate and not about to sell out or go along because she wouldn't if she had to and, quite frankly, she doesn't have to.

Peter Bienart was the boy in high school who was a reporter on the newspaper but couldn't make it to editor. (Ass kissing helps in high school but there's also still an attitude that reporting has to be reality based. Beinhart's type succeeds at the first task but fails at the second.) That type of boy will go on carrying a grudge for sometime (possibly his entire life) and, in the process, he will end up less and less devoted to facts because he was wronged, by God, so he's got a right to skew reality!

In an earlier entry on PB, I got an angry e-mail for not denoucing him as a person. (I'm not quite sure what the person was reading or exactly how far I have to go to in order for it to appear that I was denouncing PB. I'm sure many will see it as being done then and again tonight.)

Regardless, maybe the reality is that maybe you want a PB? Maybe you want a MT? Maybe you don't want a KvH?

Let's say you just blew most of your check on some dress you think makes you looks great.

The truth is, it makes you look cheap, tacky and well beyond your years. You show it to Tomasky and he'll tell you to wear it -- provided the slut-look is in. If it's not in, he'll suggest you wear something else and never explain the problem with the dress. KvH will pull you aside and explain nicely why you should not only not wear it tonight but pass it on to Goodwill immediately. PB will look you up and down and not really notice what you're wearing as he snaps, "You look fine. Do you realize how hard it is to rent a tux these days? The city's not doing enough to cater to the tux rental businesses!"

Hey, if you want to get back all the money you spent on that dress, PB may be the one you want around. And you might not want to risk the odds on MT. (Though if he thinks it's in fashion, it probably is.) KvH may be the last person you want to see because the shop has a no return policy and you've made no back up plans for anything else to wear.That's the subtext of the roundtable. Me, I prefer the honesty of KvH.

The Times doesn't wrap their arms around Tomasky (or his magazine) or vanden Heuvel (or her magazine). They prefer to gobble up a plate full of imitation liberal. Tomasky's partianship is a bit too tough for their tastes and vanden Heuvel isn't bland enough for them.

Had I seen the editor's note when I wrote the critique, I would've noted it. It only underscores the critique made.

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Apologies to Anne of Peevish...I'm Just Saying & to Isaiah

As noted in the should-have-been mid-day post by e-mail:

My apologies to Anne of Peevish...I'm Just Saying. I called her "Amanda" in last night's entry by mistake. (I'll correct from home this evening.) Anne deserved credit for the entry we noted (sent in by Liang) and we're going to note her section again (but with her name correct this time):
Liang e-mails to note Anne's "
Because I Do Think, Sometimes" (Peevish...I'm Just Saying)because "this get's to why the minutes are important in the first place." From Amanda's post:
But where is it written that it's our choice to pick a country we don't like and to decide to turn it into a battleground? What gives us the right?Nothing gives us the right, okay? This invasion was unconscionable.The Iraqi people weren't consulted. They didn't get a vote. They don't have a choice. And they're dying by the thousands.We had the option. We had a choice. And we chose to invade their country and kill tens of thousands of them.
It's just wrong.

Again, my apologies to Anne and I've corrected it in the Thursday entry.

My second apology is to Isaiah who had an illustration for this morning but the file wouldn't open. I e-mailed him this morning (but not everyone's up that early and lucky for those who aren't). He's resent it and we'll get it up shortly. (I offered him the choice of saving it for tomorrow morning or posting it tonight and he wants it to go up tonight.) So look for the latest The World Today Just Nuts by Isaiah later tonight. (Note that the links go to past illustrations as well as to interviews with Isaiah by The Third Estate Sunday Review and Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude.)

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Thank you to Shirley & Martha

Thank you to Shirley & Martha. They sent out the results of our election to the members who were interested but not on the gina & krista round-robin list.

I was dreading this evening which is going to be a busy one for personal reasons and wondering how any posts would go up. Shirley had volunteered some time ago to reply to the members who wanted to know the results and when this went up Wednesday:

Besides the 1103 who voted, there are members who did not request a ballot. If you are interested in the results, e-mail the site and we'll get something out to you on Friday as well. (We is Shirley and myself.) I'm sorry for the delay but we're not doing it on Thursday. Thursday is for Indymedia. We're not putting that on hold.

Martha kindly offered to help as well. They knocked it out, there's nothing left for me to do on that. So thank you to Martha and Shirley.

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Democracy Now: Downing St. Memo, Reginald Keyes, Normon Solomon; Bob Somerby, DC Indymedia, BuzzFlash, Randi Zimmerman

Democracy Now! ("always worth watching" as Marcia says)

- U.S. Launches Offensive In Iraq
- Americans Disapprove of Bush Iraq Policy
- Calls for Clear Exit Strategy Mount
- U.S. Lied About 'Napalm' Use in Iraq
- Halliburton Gets New Gitmo Contract
- Bush Admin Alters G8 Global Warming Language
- AIDS Experiments on Foster Kids Violated Federal Law
- Killen Trial Stopped Briefly
PBS TV Station President Warns CPB Funding Cuts Will Launch "Spiral of Death for Public Broadcasting"

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to drastically cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. We host a roundtable discussion on the continuing fight over public broadcasting in this country with the presidents of two PBS stations as well as Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy.
Downing Street and Beyond: Hearing Builds Momentum for Full Investigation

More than thirty members of Congress convened at a public hearing in Washington Thursday to investigate the so-called "Downing Street memo." We play excerpts of the hearing chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) that featured former ambassador Joe Wilson, veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern, attorney John Bonifaz and Cindy Sheehan whose son Casey was killed in Iraq in 2004. [includes rush transcript - partial]
British Father of Soldier Killed in Iraq: "My Son Died For a Lie"

We speak with Reginald Keyes, British father of Lance Corporal Tom Keyes, who was killed in Iraq in June 2003. Keyes ran against British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the British elections earlier this year and he got roughly 10% of the vote.
Iran Votes in Presidential Election

Today's elections in Iran are expected to be the closest presidential election in the country's history. Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is the leading candidate to succeed President Khatami. We go to Tehran to get a report. [includes rush transcript]
From Headlines, we'll note:
U.S. Lied About 'Napalm' Use in Iraq
Britain's Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram has admitted that the Bush administration lied to British officials about the use of napalm-type firebombs in Iraq. In a private letter obtained by The Independent newspaper of London, Ingram says the US originally told him they had not used so-called MK77s in Iraq at any time but then writes "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position." The MK77 bombs are an evolution of the napalm used in Vietnam and Korea. They carry kerosene-based jet fuel and polystyrene so that the gel sticks to structures and to its victims. The bombs lack stabilizing fins, making them far from precise. Ingram said 30 MK77 firebombs were used by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the invasion of Iraq between March 31 and April 2, 2003. The Independent said that the revelation raises new questions about allegations that the napalm-like firebombs were used in the US assault on Fallujah last year, charges denied by the US.
To read more on this, go to Colin Brown's "US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war:"
American officials lied to British ministers over the use of "internationally reviled" napalm-type firebombs in Iraq.

Yesterday's disclosure led to calls by MPs for a full statement to the Commons and opened ministers to allegations that they held back the facts until after the general election.

Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.

But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."

Martha e-mailed to note Colin Brown's article (from The Independent) above and notes she found the link in Danny Schechter's News Dissector this morning.

At The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby is taking on  a number of topics.  A) Chris Matthews' ongoing love affair with John McCain.  B)  The article by Raymond Hernandez in this morning's Times (when you see that byline, don't even bother to read) about the one time magazine editor of the Sunday magazine of the New York Times who has a book out trashing Hillary.  The man who never reported for the Times news section (and, judging by the photo, never learned to go for a 'natural' look when wearing make up).  C) Al Kamen with his shorts in a wad (he may need some static cling guard but his shorts seem to be eternally in a wad). D) E.J. Dionne's latest op-ed in the Washington Post.

We'll focus on this section where Somerby's critiquing Kamen attemps to wrap his mind, such as it is, around the Downing Street Memo issue:


It’s all there: Mockery of liberal blogs (or e-mailers), along with the insinuation or claim that everyone knew this stuff way back when. Good grief! Kessler published this "anecdote" in January 2003, Kamen says! So why would anyone make a fuss about the old news in the Downing Street memo?

Yes, Kamen is typing his master's script. But is it true? Did everyone know this stuff way back, perhaps in January 2003? Certainly not from Kessler's report, which was detailed but inconclusive on the issue at question. Kamen refers to a 2700-word piece by Kessler, a lengthy historical overview of the Bush Admin's thinking about Iraq. The report appeared on January 12, 2003--and if you read it, you wouldn't have known that Bush had decided on war with Iraq by July 2002. Kessler's report was well worth reading, but it hardly established the facts the Downing Street memos seem to suggest. Here's a fuller chunk of the "anecdote" Kamen has cadged from Kessler’s long report:

KESSLER (1/12/03): Serious military planning also began in earnest in the spring [of 2002]. Every three or four weeks, Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, commander of U.S. Central Command, would travel to the White House to give Bush a private briefing on the war planning for Iraq.

On June 1, Bush made another speech, this time at West Point, arguing for a policy of preemption against potential threats. "If we wait for the threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long," Bush said. That month, two major foreign policy headaches--a potential war between India and Pakistan and the administration's uncertain policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--were also resolved, freeing the White House to turn its full attention to confronting Iraq.

Only later did it become clear that the president already had made up his mind. In July, the State Department's director of policy planning, Richard N. Haass, held a regular meeting with Rice and asked whether they should talk about the pros and cons of confronting Iraq.

Don't bother, Rice replied: The president has made a decision.

But alas! This "anecdote" is rather unclear about the president's "decision." Bush had apparently decided to "confront Iraq," Kessler wrote--but what exactly did that mean? Did this mean that he wanted to go straight to war? Did it mean he wanted to go to the UN--leaving war as his last option, as he was claiming in public? The Downing Street memos suggest that Bush had settled on war, and wanted to bypass the UN altogether, or use it as a necessary political route to a war. Kessler's anecdote was suggestive, but unclear. No--you wouldn't have known from Kessler's piece that Bush had settled on war with Iraq, the point which the Downing Street memo seems to suggest.

And by the way, how many people ever read or heard about Kessler's anecdote? Almost no one. It came at the very end of Kessler's lengthy piece--in paragraphs 50 and 51 of the 51-paragraph report. Almost no one read this material--and a Nexis search suggests that almost no one in the press corps ever discussed it. Was Kessler's piece discussed on TV? A search on "Kessler AND Iraq" yields one citation for the remainder of January 2003. That was Bob Woodward on Larry King Live--and Woodward discussed a different part of Kessler's lengthy report. He didn't say that Bush had decided on war by July 2002. But then again, neither did anyone else, to judge from the Nexis records.

From DC Indymedia, Eddie e-mails to note William Hughes' "Rep. Conyers' Spotlights Bush's Pack of Lies:"

Washington, D.C. - Rep. John Conyers, Jr., the ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, held a hearing on June 16, 2005, on the “Downing Street Memo.” The leaked British document is “a smoking gun,” in that it shows that, as early as July, 2002, President George Bush, Jr., and others in his administration, had decided to remove Iraq’s Saddam Hussein from power, via a preemptive military invasion of that country. In order to justify that action, Bush and his cohorts are suspected of putting in motion a plot, to “fix the policy...around the intelligence and the facts... dealing with the conjunction of terrorism and WMD...” In other words, they stand accused of “cooking the intelligence” to suit their own warmongering agenda!

Rep. Conyers, from Michigan, wanted to hold his hearing on Capitol Hill, in one of the large House office building rooms, but Republicans on his committee balked. Instead, he was forced to move his forum to a smaller room, “HC-9,” located in the Capitol itself. Nevertheless, 50 members of Congress showed up to lend their support to his efforts and almost every major news organization was present. The hearing lasted from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM. I understand it included stellar testimony from a number of witnesses. I could only get into the hearing for a few minutes because of the size of the crowd, however I did make it to a rally afterwards at Lafayette Park, which was planned by progressive groups around the hearing. Fortunately, C-Span is planning to rebroadcast the Downing St. Memo hearing at a later date. Many who spoke at the congressional hearing earlier in the day, also showed up to talk at the Lafayette Park rally in front of the White House that followed.

One of the witnesses at that hearing and the rally was Cindy Sheehan, a Gold Star Mother. Sheehan said, “I think maybe, (after the hearing today), that I’m going to get some justice for Casey (her son, who was killed in Iraq), and for the 1,713 other brave Americans and the tens of thousands, uncounted and countless Iraqi people who have been killed by lies and by the betrayal of our country.” She continued, “President George W. Bush doesn’t deserve our allegiance. He doesn’t deserve to go back to Crawford, Texas. He deserves to go to prison for what he did.”

Also at DC Indymedia, note Brendan Hoffman's photo essay "Photos from Downing Street Memo Rally at White House."

From Boston Indymedia, we'll note Matthew Williams' "Protestors Outnumber Military Supporters, as Peace Activists Protest Army Recruitment on the Cambridge Common:"

On Tuesday, June 14, 2005, from 10:30 to 1:00 two to three hundred people gathered on the Cambridge Common to protest the army’s celebration of its 230th anniversary there, an event they turned into a blatant recruitment effort. This is part of larger drive by the military to get more people to join, response to the severe drop-offs in new recruits that all branches of the military face as the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan stretch on with no end in sight. Protesters spoke out against the attempts to entice students to join the army, by making it look fun by creating something of a fair on the Common--when those who joined the army would most likely to be sent to kill and possibly be killed in pointless, bloody wars. In contrast to the large number of protesters, there were only about fifty to a hundred civilians there to attend the ceremonies, many of them school children bussed in as a fieldtrip. At times, it appeared that the protesters’ chants could clearly be heard over the official speakers at the ceremony. There were seven arrests, all a result of protesters refusing to remain in the officially designated protest pit.

I arrived at the protest at 11:00, to find the peace activists there chanting quite angrily. I soon discovered why they were angry--three of them had been arrested half an hour before for attempting to exercise their right to free speech. I spoke with a number of witnesses, all of whom told me the same story. People had arrived planning to march, lead by members of Veterans for Peace, into the area of the Common where the army was holding its show and then hold a silent vigil. The police told them they could come in as long as they brought no sticks or megaphones. They agreed to these conditions, marched in, circled the stage and assembled for their vigil just to the stage’s left. The police then demanded that they move back several yards to an area further from the stage. According to Eric Zinman, “Some of the more venerable members said they wanted to stay where they were and they had the right to remain there as long as they were not blocking anyone else.” The police reacted by physically pushing back the line of activists and arresting three of these venerable activists who had refused to move. The remainder, they confined to a protest pit at the edge of the area where the army was holding its ceremonies. The police thus managed to turn what would have been a silent vigil into a crowd of people angrily calling out chants, even as the speakers took the stage during the army’s ceremonies. Although I couldn’t be sure from where I was standing, it seems like the chants could be clearly heard over the official speakers.

According to Nancy Ryan of the American Civil Liberties Union, who was keeping track of the arrests, the police’s actions were in violation of the First Amendment rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. “The ACLU is trying to monitor this because the city announced there would a protest pen. Anyone has the right to peacefully circulate in this area with a sign,” she said, indicating the entire area where the army had set up its displays.

My apologies to Anne of Peevish...I'm Just Saying.  I called her "Amanda" in last night's entry by mistake.  (I'll correct from home this evening.)  Anne deserved credit for the entry we noted (sent in by Liang) and we're going to note her section again (but with her name correct this time):

Liang e-mails to note Anne's "Because I Do Think, Sometimes" (Peevish...I'm Just Saying)
because "this get's to why the minutes are important in the first place." From Amanda's

But where is it written that it's our choice to pick a country we don't like and to decide to turn it into a battleground? What gives us the right?
Nothing gives us the right, okay? This invasion was unconscionable.
The Iraqi people weren't consulted. They didn't get a vote. They don't have a choice. And they're dying by the thousands.
We had the option. We had a choice. And we chose to invade their country and kill tens of thousands of them.
It's just wrong.

Again, my apologies to Anne.

BuzzFlash has a strong editorial  "Busheviks Launch Diversionary Attack Against Dick Durbin for Telling the Truth About Gitmo. If You're Not a Member of "The Liar's Club," Expect a Withering Character Attack from the White House:"

Sometimes you think that you are in the middle of a Franz Kafka nightmare, when you are viciously attacked for upholding the rule of law, the Constitution and basic human rights. You find yourself on trial by the Busheviks for telling the truth. This is the ultimate unforgivable sin in the Bush regime that prides itself on the ability to get away with the brazen lie.

So, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Assistant Democratic Minority Leader, found himself the victim of a Bush attack on the truth, as if he were "Joseph K." in Kafka's "The Trial." And what was Durbin's egregious, "reprehensible," unpardonable action? He dare to accuse the Bush Administration of torture at Guantanamo.

It's also time for the BuzzFlash choice for G.O.P. Hypocrite of the Week.  Who is it?  Use the link to find out.

Here's another item I'll do a heads up but not an excerpt, Mike Burke's CounterRecruiter has "Read the Pentagon's School Recruiting Program Handbook."

(Both items, my opinion, are spoiled with an excerpt.)

Kat (Kat's Korner) e-mails to note Randi Zimmerman is departing Free Speech Radio News:

Farewell to Randi Zimmerman
As we end our newscast today, we say farewell to headlines editor Randi Zimmerman. Randi has been an amazing part of our editorial team for the last four years, and we'll miss her greatly. On behalf of the entire FSRN family, we want to thank Randi for her years of service -- covering a broad range of issues including labor, activism, trade, immigration, civil rights and more. We take this opportunity to wish her the best and close by listening to a sampling of Randi's coverage of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and their aftermaths.

If you listen (Monday through Friday) to the half-hour Free Speech Radio News, you're familiar with Zimmerman's work and the farewell (Thursday's broadcast) is a strong tribute to Zimmerman's contributions.

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