Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Remaining mystery at heart of CIA leak probe

Posted on Fri, Oct. 28, 2005

By Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - At the heart of Friday's indictment of a top White House aide remain two unsolved mysteries.

Who forged the documents that claimed Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium for nuclear weapons in the African country of Niger?

How did a version of the tale get into President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, even though U.S. intelligence agencies never confirmed it and some intelligence analysts doubted it?

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who found no substance to the alleged deal during a CIA-sponsored trip to Niger, accused Bush in July 2003 of twisting the intelligence.

Shortly thereafter, the identity of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA officer, was leaked to journalists, igniting special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's probe.

The FBI has been investigating the clumsy forgeries, which first surfaced in Rome in October 2002, for two years, but has made little progress, four U.S. government officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation continues. Those officials blame a lack of cooperation from Italy. A spokesman for the Italian Embassy in Washington denied that.

But a weeks-long review by Knight Ridder has established that:

-Italy's military intelligence agency, SISMI, and people close to it, repeatedly tried to shop the bogus Niger uranium story to governments in France, Britain and the United States. That created the illusion that multiple sources were confirming the story.

The CIA had begun receiving intelligence reports based on the same forgeries in October 2001, but they could not be confirmed. Copies of the fake documents suddenly surfaced at a critical point in the White House's fall 2002 campaign to take the country to war in Iraq.

The CIA eventually determined that the earlier reports were "based on the forged documents" and were "thus ... unreliable," a presidential commission on unconventional weapons proliferation said in March.

-State Department intelligence analysts and some in the CIA discounted the uranium story. But White House officials, working through a back channel to one CIA unit, seized on the tale, and it was included in Bush's case for war.

The following is a chronology of events that led up to the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. It's based on interviews and on reports by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the presidentially appointed panel on weapons intelligence.

Oct. 15, 2001 - The CIA received the first of three top-secret reports from a foreign intelligence service - which intelligence officials said was Italy's SISMI - that Niger planned to ship tons of uranium ore, or yellowcake, to Iraq.

SISMI was behind similar reports in Britain and France. Paris never put any stock in the reports, according to two European officials. London has stood behind its statement that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa.

February 2002 - Cheney and other officials asked the CIA to find out more.

Some CIA and Pentagon analysts were impressed with the reporting. But the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) was skeptical. Its analysts noted that France controls Niger's uranium mines and argued that Iraq wouldn't risk being caught breaking U.N. sanctions.

The CIA station in Rome was skeptical of the reports from the start.

Feb. 21 - Wilson traveled to Niger at the CIA's request to investigate the purported uranium deal. He said he found nothing to substantiate the allegation. Neither did two other U.S. officials who investigated.

March 8 - The CIA circulated a report on Wilson's trip - without identifying him - to the White House and other agencies.

Sept. 9 - With the White House's public campaign against Iraq in full swing, Nicolo Pollari, head of SISMI, met with then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley at the White House. Hadley later took the blame for including the false Niger allegation in Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech.

National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said Thursday that the meeting was a 15-minute courtesy call and that no one could recollect talk about yellowcake.

Oct. 1 - U.S. intelligence agencies sent the White House and Congress their key prewar assessment of Iraq's illicit weapon programs, which said Iraq was "vigorously" trying to buy uranium ore and had sought deals with Niger, Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The State Department's INR dissented in the report.

Oct. 5 - Then-CIA Director George Tenet advised Hadley to drop a reference to Niger from the draft of a nationally televised speech that Bush was to give on Oct. 7 because the "president should not be a fact witness on this issue" as "the reporting was weak." The sentence was removed.

The CIA then wrote the White House that "the evidence (of a uranium ore deal) is weak. One of the two mines cited by the source of the uranium oxide is flooded. The other mine cited by the source is under the control of the French."

Oct. 9 - An Italian journalist for the Rome magazine Panorama, owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a supporter of the Iraq war, gave the U.S. Embassy a copy of the purported agreement by Niger to sell yellowcake to Iraq.

The journalist, Elisabetta Burba, reportedly received the documents from Italian businessman Rocco Martino, who has connections to SISMI.

The Italian government has denied any connection to the forged documents.

The embassy forwarded a copy to the State Department. It raised the suspicion of an INR nuclear analyst, who noted in an e-mail that the documents bear a "funky Emb. Of Niger stamp (to make it look official, I guess.)"

Jan. 13, 2003 - The INR nuclear analyst told other analysts that he believed the Niger documents were forgeries.

Jan. 16 - The CIA finally received copies of the forged French-language documents. It sent them back to the State Department to be translated.

Jan. 17 - A CIA analytical unit known as WINPAC (Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control) said in a secret assessment that there was "fragmentary reporting" on Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium from "various countries in Africa."

Sometime in late January, Robert Joseph, a senior White House staffer, and Alan Foley, the head of WINPAC, agreed that Bush could refer to the uranium claim in his State of the Union speech, but he should cite a public British report.

Jan. 28 - Bush delivered the State of the Union.

Feb. 5 - Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the U.N. Security Council on the threat from Iraq but didn't repeat the yellowcake allegation.

March 3 - The International Atomic Energy Agency told the United States that the documents were forgeries after an expert used the Google search engine to identify false information.

July 6 - In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Wilson wrote that his failure to confirm the alleged uranium deal led him to conclude that the Bush administration "twisted" some of the intelligence it used to justify the war.

July 14 - Syndicated columnist Robert Novak identified Plame in a column.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Paul Begala: The False Moral Superiority of the Bush White House | The Huffington Post

George W. Bush campaigned on a pledge to 'restore honor and decency to the Oval Office.' He spoke of moms and dads on the campaign trail who showed him photos of their children and asked him to give them a president their kids could be proud of.

Libby Indictment Shows Campaign to Discredit Iraq War Critic

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The case against I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff who is accused of lying about the leak of a CIA agent's name, describes a three-month White House campaign to discredit a critic of the Iraq war.

Libby, 55, began digging in May 2003 for information on Joseph Wilson, who disputed a key claim President George W. Bush used to justify the invasion of Iraq, court papers say. Cheney and others told Libby that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a Central Intelligence Agency employee a month later, the prosecutors say. Her name first appeared in print in July.

``The administration looks like it was paying careful attention to anyone who was a critic of the arguments being made for going to war in Iraq,'' said Stephen Saltzburg, a former Justice Department official and now a professor at George Washington University Law School. ``It's a reminder that we went to war on such bad information.''

>>>>>> continued <<<<<<<<

Libby indictment ‘a sad time for the presidency’

By Shay Totten | Vermont Guardian

Posted October 28, 2005

WASHINGTON — Two members of Vermont’s congressional delegation issued a harsh assessment of the Bush administration Friday after a federal grand jury handed down a five-count indictment against Vice Pres. Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

“The indictment of Lewis Libby confirms my suspicions about how far this administration is willing to go to defend its flawed justifications for going to war in Iraq, and to silence those who challenge their reasoning. This marks a sad time for this presidency and for our country,” said U.S. Sen. James Jeffords, I-VT, in a statement.

Libby was indicted on one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury charges for allegedly lying about how and when in 2003 he learned and subsequently disclosed to reporters then-classified information concerning the employment of CIA operative Valerie Wilson, announced Justice Department Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

Libby resigned his position immediately after Fitzgerald’s announcement.

Fitzgerald said the investigation remains open, but would not identify the focus of the ongoing probe.

Rep. Bernie Sanders, also an independent, said the ongoing investigation and pending trial could shed light on how the U.S. public was misled about going to war in Iraq, and why.

"The criminal indictment of Scooter Libby, a top White House official, has implications that go far beyond the very serious charge of compromising national security and exposing the identity of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA officer,” said Sanders in a statement. “The ongoing investigation and trial will likely shed light on how and why the Bush Administration took us into the war in Iraq, and how they may have distorted intelligence information regarding allegations that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, and ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took time to praise Fitzgerald for his non-partisan approach to the investigation.

"This investigation has been handled by a prosecutor who has done a thorough and professional job, without a hint of partisanship, which is exactly how our legal system is supposed to work,” Leahy said. “At a time when many are pushing to inject more ideologues into our independent judicial system, it has been reassuring for the country to see an objective judicial process take its proper course.”

The charges allege that Libby lied to FBI agents who interviewed him on Oct. 14 and Nov. 26, 2003; committed perjury while testifying under oath before the grand jury on March 5 and March 24, 2004; and engaged in obstruction of justice by impeding the grand jury’s investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of Valerie Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA to various reporters in the spring of 2003.

Libby, 55, has served since Jan. 20, 2001, as assistant to the president, chief of staff to the vice president, and assistant to the vice president for national security affairs. He will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

If convicted, the crimes charged in the indictment carry the following maximum penalties on each count: obstruction of justice–10 years in prison; making false statements and perjury–5 years in prison. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000, making the maximum penalty for conviction on all counts 30 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine, Justice Department officials said.

According to the indictment, on Sept. 26, 2003, the Department of Justice and the FBI began a criminal investigation into the possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information regarding Wilson’s CIA affiliation to various reporters in the spring of 2003.

In January 2004, the grand jury investigation began examining possible violations of criminal laws prohibiting disclosing the identity of covert intelligence personnel (The Intelligence Identities Protection Act), improperly disclosing national defense information, making false statements to government agents, and perjury, according to the justice department.

A major focus of the grand jury investigation was to determine which government officials had disclosed to the media prior to July 14, 2003, information concerning Wilson’s CIA affiliation, and the nature, timing, extent, and purpose of such disclosures, as well as whether any official made such a disclosure knowing that Wilson’s employment by the CIA was classified information, Justice Department officials said.

To read the full indictment, click here.

The Epic Crime That Dares Not Speak Its Name

The Epic Crime That Dares Not Speak Its Name

By John Pilger

10/27/05 "ICH " -- -- A Royal Air Force officer is about to be tried before a military court for refusing to return to Iraq because the war is illegal. Malcolm Kendall-Smith is the first British officer to face criminal charges for challenging the legality of the invasion and occupation. He is not a conscientious objector; he has completed two tours in Iraq. When he came home the last time, he studied the reasons given for attacking Iraq and concluded he was breaking the law. His position is supported by international lawyers all over the world, not least by Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, who said in September last year: "The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN Charter."

The question of legality deeply concerns the British military brass, who sought Tony Blair's assurance on the eve of the invasion, got it and, as they now know, were lied to. They are right to worry; Britain is a signatory to the treaty that set up the International Criminal Court, which draws its codes from the Geneva Conventions and the 1945 Nuremberg Charter. The latter is clear: "To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

At the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi leadership, counts one and two, "Conspiracy to wage aggressive war and waging aggressive war", refer to "the common plan or conspiracy". These are defined in the indictment as "the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements and assurances". A wealth of evidence is now available that George Bush, Blair and their advisers did just that. The leaked minutes from the infamous Downing Street meeting in July 2002 alone reveal that Blair and his war cabinet knew that it was illegal. The attack that followed, mounted against a defenceless country offering no threat to the US or Britain, has a precedent in Hitler's invasion of Sudetenland; the lies told to justify both are eerily similar.

The similarity is also striking in the illegal bombing campaign that preceded both. Unknown to most people in Britain and America, British and US planes conducted a ferocious bombing campaign against Iraq in the ten months prior to the invasion, hoping this would provoke Saddam Hussein into supplying an excuse for an invasion. It failed and killed an unknown number of civilians.

At Nuremberg, counts three and four referred to "War crimes and crimes against humanity". Here again, there is overwhelming evidence that Blair and Bush committed "violations of the laws or customs of war" including "murder... of civilian populations of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war".

Two recent examples: the US onslaught near Ramadi this month in which 39 men, women and children - all civilians - were killed, and a report by the United Nations special rapporteur in Iraq who described the Anglo-American practice of denying food and water to Iraqi civilians in order to force them to leave their towns and villages as a "flagrant violation" of the Geneva Conventions.

In September, Human Rights Watch released an epic study that documents the systematic nature of torture by the Americans, and how casual it is, even enjoyable. This is a sergeant from the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division: "On their day off people would show up all the time. Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC [prisoners'] tent. In a way it was sport... One day a sergeant shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy's leg with a mini Louisville Slugger that was a metal [baseball] bat. He was the fucking cook!"

The report describes how the people of Fallujah, the scene of numerous American atrocities, regard the 82nd Airborne as "the Murdering Maniacs". Reading it, you realise that the occupying force in Iraq is, as the head of Reuters said recently, out of control. It is destroying lives in industrial quantities when compared with the violence of the resistance.

Who will be punished for this? According to Sir Michael Jay, the permanent under-secretary of state who gave evidence before the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on 24 June 2003, "Iraq was on the agenda of each cabinet meeting in the nine months or so until the conflict broke out in April". How is it possible that in 20 or more cabinet meetings, ministers did not learn about Blair's conspiracy with Bush? Or, if they did, how is it possible they were so comprehensively deceived?

Charles Clarke's position is important because, as the current British Home Secretary (interior minister), he has proposed a series of totalitarian measures that emasculate habeas corpus, which is the barrier between a democracy and a police state. Clarke's proposals pointedly ignore state terrorism and state crime and, by clear implication, say they require no accountability. Great crimes, such as invasion and its horrors, can proceed with impunity. This is lawlessness on a vast scale. Are the people of Britain going to allow this, and those responsible to escape justice? Flight Lieutenant Kendall-Smith speaks for the rule of law and humanity and deserves our support.

The Secret Life of Dennis


Here's definitive proof that the GOP is in serious trouble:
House Speaker Dennis Hastert has launched his own blog.
It's called "Speaker's Journal," and we're reluctant to forward the URL on to you, for the simple reason that your mind will be so thoroughly blown as to never again return. Why, just check out the title of the first entry: "Welcome to my blog." The Speaker proceeds to describe his maiden foray into yon blogosphere in the same dutiful cadence that 7th graders reserve for their book reports:

This is new to me. I can’t say I’m much of a techie. I guess you could say my office is teaching the old guy new tricks. But I’m excited. This is the future. And it is a new way for us to get our message out.
Most of you know me as a coach by nature so I hope this gives you some inside access to the Republican playbook.

There is, we admit, something hypnotic about Hastert's deadpan delivery of allegedly important dispatches from his cranium; somehow the one-two punch of "I'm excited. This is the future" has us unfortunately contemplating the kind of terse randy talk that must accompany the Speaker's foreplay, e.g. "Baby, yes. I would like to sex you up."

But we digress. So what's in the exciting Republican playbook? Inside dope on damage-control strategies for Tom DeLay? News of campaign strategies for 2006? Handicapping the likelihood of Fitzgerald indictments?

Uhm, well, not so much. There's some rambling about having the victims of Hurrican Wilma in our thoughts and prayers--evidently the Speaker's staff has taught him the new trick of not greeting large-scale human tragedy with talk of steamrollers. And from there, some thoughts about how to get more American natural gas refineries online. Kicking off that section is this world-shaking pronouncement: "This is America. And Republicans don’t believe in punishing success." True, it's long been our position that blogs should carry more frequent reminders of the country they're composed in--using the same reasoning by which all major sporting events begin with the Star Spangled Banner. But we think the Speaker could use a bit of assistance in refining his blog voice--and it just so happens there's an accomplished GOP blogger on the block with a lot of time on her hands. --HOLLY MARTINS

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ottawa Inquiry: Maher Arar, Tortured in Syria, Victim of US Rendition Policy

CBC News:Arar was tortured, inquiry fact-finder concludes: "Arar was tortured, inquiry fact-finder concludes
Last Updated Thu, 27 Oct 2005 12:57:41
Ottawa engineer Maher Arar was tortured while in custody in Syria three years ago and he still suffers from the aftereffects of his treatment, a fact-finder appointed by the Arar inquiry concludes in a report released Thursday."

RELATED LINK: Toope Report (pdf)

"I am convinced that his description of his treatment in Syria is accurate," Stephen Toope wrote after conducting 10 hours of conversations with Arar and comparing his testimony to that of other Syrian-Canadians who say they were tortured by Syrian interrogators.

INDEPTH: Maher Arar

"I conclude that the stories they tell are credible," wrote Toope, a former dean of McGill University's Law School. "I believe that they suffered severe physical and psychological trauma while in detention in Syria. Mr. [Abdullah] Almalki was especially badly treated, and for an extended period."

FROM OCT. 15, 2002: Missing Ottawa engineer turns up in Syria

U.S. authorities detained Arar in New York when he was returning from a family vacation in Tunisia in September 2002, accusing him of having terrorist connections. Though Arar, 35, is a dual citizen of Syria and Canada, the Americans deported him to Syria. He was held and interrogated for more than a year before Canadian officials finally had him returned to Canada.

A public inquiry was established in January 2004 to look into the circumstances surrounding his detention.

FROM JAN. 28, 2004: Ottawa promises inquiry will get to the bottom of Arar case

Toope's 25-page report looked at the treatment of detainees at two facilities in Syria: Far Falestin (Palestine Branch) and Sednaya prison.

"[The] report, with its detailed description of acts of torture, makes for difficult reading, but it is extremely important that it is now part of the record of this inquiry," lead counsel Paul Cavalluzzo said in a release Thursday.

Before completing his task, Toope was able to see "extensive written material including some in-camera testimony and a selection of unredacted documents that were directly relevant to assessing Mr. Arar's experience in Syria," the news release said.

"I conclude that the treatment of Mr. Arar in Far Falestin constituted torture as understood in international law," Toope wrote. "In addition, the techniques of humiliation and the creation of intense fear were forms of psychological torture …"

"Although there have been few lasting physical effects, Mr. Arar's psychological state was seriously damaged and he remains fragile. His relationships with members of his immediate family have been significantly impaired. Economically, the family has been devastated."

Once a "workaholic" computer engineer with a challenging job he loved, Arar has been for the most part unemployed since returning to Canada from Syria, Toope's report said. Hundreds of e-mail inquiries and letters brought few responses and no job offers in his field.

"The most recent information available to me is that Mr. Arar has finally been offered a small part-time position as a computer adviser in his daughter's school," Toope wrote. "This is small comfort for a man who prided himself on his growing earning capacity."

Arar has also found himself estranged from Ottawa's Muslim community, the report said. As well, the formerly devout Muslim can no longer bring himself to read the Koran, the Holy Book that provided him with solace during his captivity in Far Falestin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

French minister Azouz Begag was Searched and SHOVED by Atlanta Airport Security

(This article is translated by Google forgive the imperfection)

EN language diplomatic, that is called a "regrettable incident" ; for the interested party, Minister for the Republic, it is a "control with the facies" . Azouz Begag, in possession of a passport carrying a visa "A1" (reserved with the diplomats and the ministers), was retained during fifteen minutes and was questioned by an agent of the customs, October 13, in the airport of Atlanta (the United States) where it was in transit whereas it went to the university of the State of Florida to give a conference to it on the new French policies of fight against racism.

At the time, the minister delegated to the promotion of the equal opportunity did not give an echo to this diplomatic incident which was revealed, Friday October 21, by the spokesman of the French Minister for the Foreign Affairs.

Evoking "a control a little too thorough" , this last affirmed that the Quay of Orsay "had protested near the American authorities" and "had obtained explanations" via the State Department, which recognized that a "professional misconduct" had been made by an agent of the customs. The ambassador of the United States in France " expressed his regret besides" . For Mr. Begag, of which the fight against discriminations and the promotion of the "visible minorities" is precisely the function in the Villepin government, the experiment is not new, but particularly symbolic system.

Accomodated by a police escort at his exit of the plane in Atlanta, the minister was, according to his account, led towards an agent of the customs which, after him to have put many questions, explained to him why its diplomatic visa did not enable him to give a conference in a university. Directed towards a "green room" for a deepened checking, Mr. Begag, was then questioned on the preceding visas which it had obtained for the United States.

"the situation was tended, strange , brings back the Minister for the equal opportunity: the first civil servant did not see that I was a minister. I imagine that, in its spirit, a telescoping between my passport and my face occurred. In his eyes, I did not have the head of a normal French minister." The second control ends up proving to be negative: "They returned my passport to me and wished" welcome in the United States "".

They are only three fifteen minutes later, while waiting for its flight for Tallahassee (Florida) that Mr. Begag is approached by official American accompanied by the French Consul in Atlanta, which had sought it in the airport for one hour. "Everyone had been prevented, but a bad communication between services had prevented them from locating me", comments on the minister.


Wire of Algerian immigrants, high in a shantytown of Villeurbanne (the Rhone), sociologist and novelist with success before integrating the government, Azouz Begag is not with its first mishap of this kind. Here a few years, capped of a bonnet of wool by one day of winter, it had been blocked in the hopper of a banking agency while the director called the police force. In 1995, in Lyon, it had been noticed by Jacques Chirac while telling him without turning how young people are made drive back night clubs because of their "Arab mouth" .

"Since September 11, 2001, I have troubles in the United States systematically, says it today: we are not treated any more like the others, only because of the facies." In 2003, then simple writer and carrying a covered ordinary passport of multiple visas whose those of Arab countries where it had gone to the invitation of French arts centres, Mr. Begag already had been retained and pressed questions.

With the airport of Atlanta, this time, the Minister for the Republic tried out a new situation where "it is another Azouz which crosses the border, and which cannot accept the things like front" . On the walls of the air terminal géorgienne, portraits of Martin Luther King and the heroes of the fight against the discrimination of the Blacks got a " pinch of emotion to him" , recalling him that black Pasteur had been the reference, in France, of the Walk of Beurs of 1983. In Paris, recognizes Mr. Begag, "this kind of telescoping is rather frequent" . Several time, of the interlocutors took it for... it bodyguard of the minister.

Philippe Bernard
Article published in the edition of the 25.10.05

Pioneer Press copy editor Tim Mahoney was suspended for three days without pay for attending a peace march

City Pages - Casualty of War:

Top CIA leak investigation falsehoods

Falsehood: It is legally significant whether the leakers disclosed Plame's name in their conversations with reporters

Falsehood: Wilson said that Cheney sent him to Niger

Falsehood: Plame suggested Wilson for the trip to Niger

Falsehood: Wilson was not qualified to investigate the Niger claims

Falsehood: Plame's CIA employment was widely known

Falsehood: Fitzgerald must prove that Plame's covert status was leaked

Falsehood: Fitzgerald's investigation was originally limited to possible violation of 1982 law

Falsehood: Leak investigation is the result of partisan motivations

Falsehood: Leaks go on all the time in Washington



This morning, at the National Press Club, U.S. News and World Report held a press event to announce the release its list of “America’s Best Leaders 2005.”

The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

And it was paid for by the oil giant BP.

We saw a notice of the event on the National Press Club’s web site.

At the appointed time, we went over to the First Amendment Lounge to attend the event.

C-Span was covering it (Brian Lamb was chosen as one of the “best leaders” – as was Roger Ailes of Fox News, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell – among others.)

So, we show up at the door to attend and are met by James Long, the man who organized the event for U.S. News and World Report.

Long tells us that we are not allowed into the press briefing.

Why not?

“Well, on all the notices, it said RSVP.” Long said. “And you didn’t RSVP.”

We didn’t see anything about RSVP. But okay, we’ll RSVP now.

“No you won’t,” Long said. “You are not allowed in.”

We’re members of the National Press Club.

And we understand the policy of the Press Club – he who rents the room rules.

So, if BP, and Harvard University and U.S. News and World Report rent the room, they decide who attends.

But the question is why?

Why, when all the press in the world were allowed in, we were not?

Well, it has to do with the last U.S. News and World Report event we attended at the Press Club earlier this month.

It was titled “Corporate America and Congress: Has Sarbanes-Oxley Restored Investor Confidence?”

And in an article published two weeks ago in Corporate Crime Reporter, we described how that event was paid for by Altria.


A tobacco company paying for a conference on social responsibility?

That’s what we wanted to know.

for the full story

Bu$h "There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak ...,I want to know who it is. And ...the person will be taken care of. "

President Discusses Job Creation With Business Leaders: "THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of. "

"Taken care of" does NOT mean "brought to justice", "Fired from my administration", "Publicly shamed"
or even "I'll Give 'em th' ol' Stink Eye..heh..heh".

In case the whithouse scrubs this page, I posted the whole conference below.

President Discusses Job Creation With Business Leaders
President to the Travel Pool After Meeting with Business People
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

2:10 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Mayor, thank you. I want to thank the business leaders here from the Chicago area for sharing with me their concerns about our economy. I think it's safe to say most people share the sense of optimism I do, but recognize there's still work to be done, particularly when it comes to job creation.

We talked about good legal policy. We talked about the need for an energy plan. We talked about fair trade for American manufacturers. We talked about the need for China to make sure that China's got a monetary policy which is fair. And I assured the leaders here that I would work to -- I'd represent the manufacturing sector and the -- all sectors of our economy when it comes to world trade.

The thing I'm concerned about is people being able to find a job. We put the conditions in place for good job creation, but I recognize there's still people who want to work that can't find a job. And we're dedicated to hearing the voices of those folks and working hard to expand our economy.

And so I want to thank you all for taking time. Mr. Mayor, I wish the Cubs all the best. (Laughter.) I made a significant contribution to the Cubs, as you might recall --


THE PRESIDENT: -- when I was a -- yes, Sammy Sosa. I'll take great delight when they win.

PARTICIPANT: Thank you for Sammy.

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming.

Let me answer a couple of questions, then we've got to go to Cincinnati. Deb.

Q Do you think that the Justice Department can conduct an impartial investigation, considering the political ramifications of the CIA leak, and why wouldn't a special counsel be better?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.

And so I welcome the investigation. I -- I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work; they have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative.

I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.

Yes, let's see, Kemper -- he's from Chicago. Where are you? Are you a Cubs or White Sox fan? (Laughter.) Wait a minute. That doesn't seem fair, does it? (Laughter.)

Q Yesterday we were told that Karl Rove had no role in it --


Q -- have you talked to Karl and do you have confidence in him --

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there's all kinds of allegations. You've heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information -- outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

And then we'll get to the bottom of this and move on. But I want to tell you something -- leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.

Thank you.

END 2:15 P.M. CDT

Galloway tells senator 'put up or shut up' over oil cash

George Galloway, the Respect MP, yesterday denied claims by United States senators that he solicited money from Saddam Hussein's oil-for-food programme and had lied about it on oath. He also denied any knowledge of an alleged $150,000 (£83,000) payment to his Palestinian-born wife said to have derived from Iraqi oil money.

Responding to a report published by an investigative committee of the US Senate on Monday he challenged senators to either charge him with perjury, or drop the allegations. "I am demanding prosecution. I'm begging prosecution. If I have lied under oath to the Senate, that's a criminal offence. Charge me and I'll head for the airport right now" he said yesterday.

George Galloway: ‘charge me’
The committee's report accuses the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow of personally soliciting and being granted eight oil allocations worth a total of 23 million barrels from Saddam's regime between 1999 and 2003.

It claims to have traced bank records showing that Mr Galloway's wife Amineh Abu-Zayyad, with whom he then lived but from whom he is now estranged, received approximately $150,000 in connection with one allocation of oil paid into her account by the Jordanian businessman and close friend of the couple Fawaz Zureikat.

It further alleges that Mr Galloway's political campaign, the Mariam Appeal, received at least $446,000 in connection with the oil allocations granted to Mr Galloway. And it accuses him of knowingly making false or misleading statements under oath when he gave evidence to the committee in May.

Mr Galloway yesterday cancelled a planned lecture in Ormskirk, Lancs on the subject of media manipulation to give a series of interviews in which he repeated denials that he had received any money from Iraqi oil, and challenged the chairman of the committee, the Republican senator Norm Coleman, to "put up or shut up".

He told Radio 4's Today programme that he had "absolutely no idea" about the alleged payment to his wife in August 2000 by Mr Zureikat, who was the chairman of the Mariam Appeal and at whose wedding Mr Galloway was best man. "I am not responsible for my wife. I am not party to Mr Zureikat's business arrangements. I am completely bemused," he said.

He added his wife had worked as an independent scientific researcher in Iraq and Jordan on the issue of depleted uranium and childhood cancers and was "herself now a cancer patient, possibly as a result".

He said: "I knew she had funding for that research. I did not know she had received money from Mr Zureikat, if she indeed had". Neither did he know of an alleged payment of $15,666 on the same day made by Mr Zureikat to Mr Galloway's spokesman Ron McKay. Mr McKay had said he has no recollection of the payment.

Dr Abu-Zayyad, 51, is quoted in the senate report specifically denying she "solicited or received'' any money from Iraq or oil deals "either for myself or my former husband".

Mr Galloway said nobody had ever given him "one thin dime" from an oil deal or any other deal, and accused "this lick-spittle Sen Norm Coleman" of orchestrating a "sneak revenge attack" because he had "publicly humiliated him in the Senate in May. "

The report cites testimony from the former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, who allegedly told investigators that Mr Galloway had requested oil allocations in the name of Mr Zureikat, and former Iraqi vice president Taha Tasin Ramadan, who is quoted as saying the MP was granted oil allocations "because of his opinions about Iraq".

But, on the Respect website yesterday Mr Galloway said: "On the one hand the US government accuses these men of being homicidal maniacs, on the other they assert that their coerced testimony is utterly trustworthy.''

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

FBI Questions Plame's neighbor in CIA Leak Probe

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - With charges expected as early as Wednesday, federal officials investigating the exposure of CIA operative Valerie Plame conducted last-minute interviews with her neighbors and associates of Karl Rove and other top White House aides, lawyers said on Tuesday.

Marc Lefkowitz, who lives across the street from Plame, told Reuters two FBI agents asked him on Monday if he knew about Plame's CIA work before her identity was leaked to the press in 2003. Lefkowitz said he told them: "I didn't know."

Two lawyers involved in the case said such questioning could indicated that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald intended to charge administration officials for the leak itself, in addition to possible charges for easier-to-prove crimes like perjury and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors also questioned a Rove colleague and other witnesses, lawyers said.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan would neither confirm nor deny a New York Times report that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, learned about Plame in a conversation with Cheney on June 12, 2003, weeks before her identity appeared in a newspaper column on July 14, 2003.

Lawyers involved in the case said Fitzgerald appeared close to bringing indictments against top administration officials, with an announcement expected as early as Wednesday, when the grand jury is scheduled to reconvene. The grand jury will expire on Friday unless Fitzgerald extends it.

Fitzgerald's investigation has centered on Libby and Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser. Other aides may also be charged, the lawyers said.

White House officials were anxiously awaiting the outcome since any indicted officials are expected to resign immediately. If there are indictments, Bush is likely to make a public statement to try to reassure Americans he is committed to honesty and integrity in government.


Plame's identity was leaked after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence on Iraq. Wilson based the criticism in part on a CIA-sponsored mission he made to Africa in 2002 over an intelligence report that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger.

The New York Times report about the previously undisclosed conversation on June 12, 2003, put a spotlight on Cheney and raised questions about assertions he made in a September 2003 television interview that he did not know Wilson or who sent him to Niger.

Administration officials had sought to cast Wilson's trip as a boondoggle arranged by his wife, and in talking about her role, they revealed her identity, people close to the case said. Wilson said the CIA sent him on the mission after Cheney's office sought information about the Niger report.

Asked if Cheney always tells the truth to the American people, McClellan said: "Yes." He dismissed as "ridiculous" a question about whether Bush stood by Cheney's account of his role in the matter. "The vice president, like the president, is a straightforward, plain-spoken person," McClellan said.

The Times account of the June 2003 conversation also appeared to contradict Libby's federal grand jury testimony that he learned about Wilson's wife from reporters. Lawyers in the case say Fitzgerald is considering charging Libby for making false statements and possibly obstruction of justice.

Libby's notes indicate Cheney got his information about Plame from then-CIA director George Tenet, according to the Times. The notes did not show Cheney knew the name of Wilson's wife, but they showed Cheney told Libby she was employed by the CIA and may have helped arrange Wilson's Niger trip.

A Republican source with ties to Cheney said there was nothing illegal about Cheney and Libby discussing Wilson and his wife since they have security clearances.

Lefkowitz said Monday was the first time he had been questioned by the FBI in connection with his neighbor. The agents told him they were talking to other neighbors as well.

PoWs from Korean War still held after 52 years

By Richard Spencer in Beijing
(Filed: 26/10/2005)
North Korea admitted yesterday that it was still holding prisoners from the Korean War as well as South Koreans it had abducted since.
Ten PoWs are still in the North, 52 years after the war ended, the South Korean ministry of unification was told in response to inquiries about 103 missing people. Another 11 people who had been abducted were also being held.
Six PoWs and 10 abducted prisoners whose existence was previously unknown had died in captivity. The rest were unaccounted for, the ministry said.
Pyongyang said the 21 would be included in the next re-union for relatives separated by the peninsula's division, planned for next month.
The admission renews pressure on the North to explain its practice - carried out over decades - of seizing people it felt might be useful.
In 2002, it confirmed long-held suspicions that it had kidnapped Japanese citizens to train future spies. Many of the South Korean victims were fishermen - their boats seized by the North's navy.

NYT Exposes Cheney's Role in CIA Leak: Cheney Identifies Wilson's Wife as CIA Operative

Italy's intelligence chief met with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley just a month before the Niger forgeries first surfaced.

By Laura Rozen
Web Exclusive: 10.25.05

Print Friendly | Email Article

With Patrick Fitzgerald widely expected to announce indictments in the CIA leak investigation, questions are again being raised about the intelligence scandal that led to the appointment of the special counsel: namely, how the Bush White House obtained false Italian intelligence reports claiming that Iraq had tried to buy uranium "yellowcake" from Niger.

The key documents supposedly proving the Iraqi attempt later turned out to be crude forgeries, created on official stationery stolen from the African nation's Rome embassy. Among the most tantalizing aspects of the debate over the Iraq War is the origin of those fake documents -- and the role of the Italian intelligence services in disseminating them.

In an explosive series of articles [TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH] appearing this week in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, investigative reporters Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe d'Avanzo report that Nicolo Pollari, chief of Italy's military intelligence service, known as Sismi, brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House after his insistent overtures had been rejected by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2001 and 2002. Sismi had reported to the CIA on October 15, 2001, that Iraq had sought yellowcake in Niger, a report it also plied on British intelligence, creating an echo that the Niger forgeries themselves purported to amplify before they were exposed as a hoax.

Today's exclusive report in La Repubblica reveals that Pollari met secretly in Washington on September 9, 2002, with then–Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Their secret meeting came at a critical moment in the White House campaign to convince Congress and the American public that war in Iraq was necessary to prevent Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons. National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones confirmed the meeting to the Prospect on Tuesday.

Pollari told the newspaper that since 2001, when he became Sismi's director, the only member of the U.S. administration he has met officially is his former CIA counterpart George Tenet. But the Italian newspaper quotes a high-ranking Italian Sismi source asserting a meeting with Hadley. La Repubblica also quotes a Bush administration official saying, "I can confirm that on September 9, 2002, General Nicolo Pollari met Stephen Hadley."

The paper goes on to note the significance of that date, highlighting the appearance of a little-noticed story in Panorama a weekly magazine owned by Italian Prime Minister and Bush ally Silvio Berlusconi, that was published three days after Pollari's meeting with Hadley. The magazine's September 12, 2002, issue claimed that Iraq's intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat, had acquired 500 tons of uranium from Nigeria through a Jordanian intermediary. (While this September 2002 Panorama report mentioned Nigeria, the forgeries another Panorama reporter would be proferred less than a month later purportedly concerned Niger.)

The Sismi chief's previously undisclosed meeting with Hadley, who was promoted earlier this year to national security adviser, occurred one month before a murky series of events culminated in the U.S. government obtaining copies of the Niger forgeries.

The forged documents were cabled from the U.S. embassy in Rome to Washington after being delivered to embassy officials by Elisabetta Burba, a reporter for Panorama. She had received the papers from an Italian middleman named Rocco Martino. Burba never wrote a story about those documents. Instead her editor, Berlusconi favorite Carlo Rossella, ordered her to bring them immediately to the U.S. embassy.

Although Sismi's involvement in promoting the Niger yellowcake tale to U.S. and British intelligence has been previously reported, the series in La Repubblica includes many new details, including the name of a specific Sismi officer, Antonio Nucera, who helped to set the Niger forgeries hoax in motion.

What may be most significant to American observers, however, is the newspaper's allegation that the Italians sent the bogus intelligence about Niger and Iraq not only through traditional allied channels such as the CIA, but seemingly directly into the White House. That direct White House channel amplifies questions about a now-infamous 16-word reference to the Niger uranium in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address -- which remained in the speech despite warnings from the CIA and the State Department that the allegation was not substantiated.

Was the White House convinced that the Niger yellowcake report was nevertheless true because the National Security Council was getting its information directly from the Italian source?

Following the exposure of the discredited Niger allegations in the summer of 2003 by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, White House officials at first sought to blame the CIA for the inclusion of the controversial "16 words" in the president's speech. Although then–National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and her deputy Hadley eventually accepted some responsibility for the mistake, the White House undertook a covert campaign to discredit Wilson and exposed the CIA affiliation of his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson.

Yet if anyone knew who was actually responsible for the White House's trumpeting of the Niger claims, it would seem from the Repubblica report that Hadley did. He also knew that the CIA, which had initially rejected the Italian claims, was not to blame. Hadley's meeting with Pollari, at precisely the time when the Niger forgeries came into the possession of the U.S. government, may explain the seemingly hysterical White House overreaction to Wilson's article almost a year later.

While the Niger yellowcake claims have provoked much drama in American politics, their provenance is decidedly Italian. The Repubblica investigation offers new insights into what motivated the Berlusconi government and its intelligence chief Pollari to go to so much trouble to bring those claims to the attention of their allies in Washington.

For Berlusconi and Pollari, according to La Repubblica, the overriding motive was a desire to win more appreciation and prestige from the Americans, who were seen as eager for help in making their sales pitch for war. On Monday, the newspaper described the atmosphere in 2002: "Berlusconi wants Sismi to be big players on the international security scene, to prove themselves to their ally, the United States, and the world. Washington is looking for proof of Saddam's involvement … and wants info immediately."

For the Italian middleman Rocco Martino, who acquired the documents from a Sismi mole at the Niger embassy in Rome, the motive described by La Repubblica is primarily mercenary. He wanted to be paid for the forgeries.

According to the Repubblica account, Martino was a former carabinieri officer and later a Sismi operative who by 1999 was making his living based in Luxembourg, selling information to the French intelligence services for a monthly stipend. The story goes on to explain how Martino renewed his contacts with Sismi officer Antonio Nucera, an old friend and former colleague, who was a Sismi vice-captain working in the intelligence agency's eighth directorate, with responsibilities involving weapons of mass destruction and counter-proliferation.

Precisely how Nucera, Martino, and two employees of the Niger embassy in Rome came together sometime between 1999 and 2000 to hatch the Niger forgeries plan is still somewhat mysterious. The newspaper's reports that Nucera introduced Martino to a longtime Sismi asset at the Niger embassy in Rome, a 60 year-old Italian woman described in La Repubblica only as "La Signora." Sismi chief Pollari, who granted the newspaper an interview (as he tends to do when he fears that breaking news could taint his agency), suggests that Nucera simply wanted to help out Martino, his old friend and colleague.

But as the Italian reporters suggest, that sounds like a very convenient excuse for the chief of an agency that was engaged in promoting the bogus Niger claims from their inception, all the way to the White House. The picture that emerges of Sismi's relationship with Martino is that the agency used him as a "postman" -- a cut-out to sell the bogus intelligence to allied intelligence services. At the same time, Sismi possessed enough information about Martino to claim that he was simply a rogue agent on the French payroll.

La Repubblica's noirish portrait of Martino as a convenient vehicle for plausible deniability is given further resonance by the recent news that a Roman prosecutor has ended his investigation into Martino's role in the Niger hoax without filing any charges or issuing any report.

Although Berlusconi's government clearly sought deniability while pushing the Niger uranium claims, the Bush White House went still further by trying to blame its citation of exaggerated and discredited Iraq WMD claims on the CIA, the very same agency that consistently discounted the Niger claims. The White House's war on the CIA and on the Wilsons --the extent of which has been revealed in recent news reports emerging from the Fitzgerald investigation -- has always had an excessive and almost hysterical quality. Why was the White House so worked up over Wilson and the Niger hoax, when there was so much evidence that the administration had based its drive for war on claims that were so thoroughly discredited from top to bottom? Why did Wilson and his CIA wife become the primary targets, when Wilson was hardly alone in pointing out that the White House should have known better about the Niger claims?

News of the secret meeting between the Italian Sismi chief and the White House deputy national security adviser -- during the period when the White House was assembling its flawed case for war -- provides an important new piece of that puzzle.

Laura Rozen reports on foreign-policy and national-security issues from Washington, D.C., as a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, a contributor to The Nation and other publications, and for her blog, War and Piece.

A Fake End to Fake News

"Myself and others felt violated by the first bill," said Doug Simon, the founder, president and CEO of D S Simon Productions, a major producer of the faux television news reports known as video news releases (VNRs).

Simon was referring to the Truth in Broadcasting Act (S 967). In its original incarnation, this bill would have required a "conspicuous" disclosure to accompany any government-produced or -funded prepackaged VNR or the radio equivalent, an audio news release (ANR).

For VNRs, the Act rightly mandated "continuous" on-screen notification of the material's source, such as the words "Produced by the U.S. Government." Moreover, the Act made it illegal to remove the disclosure.

That Act was considered by the Senate Commerce Committee on October 20. What the committee passed, however, was significantly different. Even the name had changed, to the "Prepackaged News Story Announcement Act."

And now, Doug Simon likes it.

"Clearly when they initially brought the legislation, they didn't have a full understanding of our industry," Simon told O'Dwyer's PR Daily. Broadcasting & Cable reported that he was "pleased" by the changes.

Barbara Cochran, the president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, had joined Simon in testifying against the original Act, back in May. Considering the revised measure, she remarked, "Our arguments seemed to be persuasive."

What changes were made and why do they have "industry officials who have resisted the labeling" now "hailing the bill as a victory," as TV Week wrote?

First, the revised Act drops the continuous on-screen notification requirement for VNRs. Second, it calls for "clear notification within the text or audio of the prepackaged news story," without specifying the minimum requirements for audience disclosure. Most troubling, it allows that disclosure to be removed altogether, following rules that the Act requires the Federal Communications Commission to develop.

According to to TV Week, Cochran summarized the effect of these changes as: "The bill clears the way for TV news operations to continue using snippets of government-produced VNRs for [video footage] in their own stories, as they do currently, leaving the issue of how to identify the material up to station news personnel." The problem is that nondisclosure -- that's covert propaganda -- is currently the norm.

Much of the industry's opposition to the original Act was presented in terms of newsroom independence. "Let's not limit the rights of stations," Simon urged. But what about the right of viewers or listeners to know the source of the material those newsrooms broadcast? Is disclosure less important when a report on something as controversial as war in Iraq or Afghanistan or reconstruction in the Gulf states post-Katrina contains 75 percent government-supplied footage? What about if it's 50 percent?

There's one more potential problem, and it could be a big one. The TV Week story claimed, "The approved bill also makes clear that the labeling requirements apply only when broadcasters and cable TV operators opt to air 'prepackaged news stories' in their entirety."

Presumably, they're referring to the Act's definition of a "prepackaged news story" as a "complete, ready-to-use audio or video news segment" (emphasis added). That's the same language as in the original measure. But whether that means there are absolutely no disclosure requirements if anything less than a full VNR or ANR package is broadcast is unclear, at least to me.

If TV Week's right, though, the revised Act has no teeth, nails or protection for news audiences. For resource-strapped newsrooms, avoiding admitting that the report on the government you just broadcast actually came from the government would be as simple as shaving off a single sound bite.

But even with all these caveats, the fact that the revised Act did make it out of the Senate Commerce Committee is a step, however small, in the right direction. The legislative process is far from over, and the Act's language can be strengthened as easily as it was weakened -- if concerned citizens get involved.

According to observers of the committee meeting, the Act's main sponsors, Senators Lautenberg and Kerry, "tried to make it much stronger," but did not have the support of their colleagues. That can change if enough U.S. residents call or write their two Senators and Representative, to demand clear, conspicuous disclosure accompanying all video or audio footage coming from the government. In the case of VNRs, that must be a continuous, on-screen notification. For ANRs, that must be an announcement, prior to and/or following the provided audio.

The fight is far from over -- in fact, it just got more important. Get active and stay tuned.

Diane Farsetta is senior researcher at the Center for Media and Democracy.

Monterey County, CA Registrar Admits New E-Voting Machine Technology 'Faith-Based'!

In Radio Interview, Demonstrates New Sequoia Touch-Screens, Secret Software, Asks Voters to 'Trust Him' on Accuracy and Reliability!
Brad Joins Him and Peter B. Collins for Remarkable Hour on KXRA 540-am...


Monday, October 24, 2005

White House Orders Satirical Paper 'The Onion' to Stop Using Presidential Seal

By E&P Staff

Published: October 24, 2005 2:25 PM ET

NEW YORK Despite White House spokesman Trent Duffy's admission to New York Times reporter Katharine Q. Seelye that 'more than one Bush staffer reads The Onion and enjoys it thoroughly,' the White House is seeking to stop the satirical paper from using the presidential seal on its Web site.

Seelye's seal scoop, printed in Monday's paper, reveals that associate counsel to the president Grant M. Dixton sent a letter to the Onion on Sept. 28 stating that the seal 'is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement.'

The newspaper parodies President Bush's weekly radio address on its Web site, accompanied by a picture of President Bush and the official insignia.

The Onion's lawyer, Rochelle H. Klaskin, countered the government's letter by saying, 'It is inconceivable that anyone would think that, by using the seal, The Onion intends to 'convey... sponsorship or approval' by the president.'

Klaskin also asked that the Onion be considered fro an official exception to the rule, which is allowable by law.

The Onion distributes 500,000 copies a week, and three million people read the paper online, according to the Times. "

Former CIA Analyst: Government May Be Manufacturing Fake Terrorism

A Government openly promoting torture, A President acting like a King cannot be trusted, must be impeached | October 19 2005

Ray McGovern, former CIA Analyst during the Regan and Bush 41 regimes, joined Alex Jones on his daily radio show Monday 17th October as part of a round table discussion of issues surrounding the Iraq war and the 'war on terror'.
McGovern launched straight into the War in Iraq and suggested that over the last few months there has been a 'sea change' in public opinion, and now over two thirds of Americans, according to major opinion polls, are against the war and can now see through the Neo-con Propaganda that so clouded their judgment in the lead up to the war.
McGovern went on to comment that there has built up an ignorant attitude amongst more well to do Americans that the troops dying everyday are expendable. There has been a shut down in the minds of people who cannot place themselves in the shoes of the families who's sons and fathers and brothers are being needlessly slaughtered for a corrupt elite agenda.
Mr McGovern stated that the war
'has nothing to do with democracy or freedom or defending 'our way of life', it is to do with enriching the pockets of those who support this administration.'
Alex then put it to Mr McGovern that Congressman Ron Paul had recently been on the show and said that The Bush Administration was openly trying to set up a martial law police state in America. McGovern responded in the affirmative:
'Well it does seem that those who have his (Bush's) ear are hell bent on giving away or providing wider responsibilities to our military. Witness what they are talking about now with......."

>>>>>> CONTINUED <<<<<<<

Listen to Thom Hartmann's interview with Ray McGovern from 07-07-05 in this 9.5 minute MP3 from Thom Hartmann's Audio archives arranged by topic

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