New Civilization News: Taking The Heat: Torture & Death    
 Taking The Heat: Torture & Death4 comments
picture5 Aug 2005 @ 09:53, by Richard Carlson

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long course of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.

---St. Augustine

To begin with oneself, not to end with oneself;
To start with oneself, but not to aim at oneself;
To comprehend oneself, but not to be preoccupied with oneself.

---Martin Buber

The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.

---Salvador Dali

Regular readers of my online ramblings expect something close to fun on Saturday mornings. True, sometimes there's a Friday evening release from the White House, meant to be overlooked, that I try to underline, but usually I try to spread the happiness of reaching another weekend...and maybe even some cash in the pocket from payday. It's difficult today though. The past 2 hours of reading the papers and the blogs have left me grim...and I'm preparing to share.

If that's not your cup of tea or coffee today, allow me to refer you to the delightful op-ed piece in this morning's Times about a novelist's revery of a very cold lake in the summertime. [link] And the Internet is buzzing with lots of coverage of Novak's stomping off the set of a live CNN broadcast yesterday as Carville began tightening the screws. Wonder what could be bothering him. [link]

But aside from those moments of cheer, the matters requiring attention surround our relentless pursuit of the Terror War. At Truthout William Rivers Pitt let loose with a poignant essay on the soldiers who have died as one result~~~

"On Tuesday, some took solemn note of the fact that the total number of 'Coalition' fatalities from the invasion and occupation of Iraq had reached 2,000. On Wednesday afternoon, that number blurred upwards again to 2,015 dead soldiers. 1,821 of those served under the American flag. Fourteen US Marines died on Wednesday when their vehicle was shattered by a large bomb. Six other Marines were killed together on Monday, and a seventh is reportedly being held hostage. Two more Marines also died Monday, both from car bombings in separate locations.
"We are only three days into the month of August, and 22 US soldiers are dead. 54 died in July, 78 died in June, and 80 died in May. The occupation has lasted 868 days. More than two thousand soldiers, almost all of them young American boys and girls, have had the life blasted out of them because they were sent by their commander in chief to find weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. Those soldiers who remain, those soldiers who have been redeployed into the war zone two or three times already, wait with grim resolve to be brought home to their families whole and sane and safe."

[link]

Pitt goes on to quote an essay that author E.L. Doctorow quietly published last September in his hometown newspaper, the East Hampton Star. The piece is making the email rounds on the Internet, and maybe a friend has sent it to you already---as coincidentally our church friend, Joanne Larson, did for us yesterday. Doctorow's withering description of Bush deserves reading...and then rereading~~~

"Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends.

"A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

"But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

"And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it."

[link]

Furthermore distinguished columnist and human rights activist for as long as I can remember, Nat Hentoff has written an empassioned column in this week's Village Voice against the policy of torture so recently embraced and exposed in these United States. He concludes by laying into Democrats who have yet to get up on their hind legs about the morality of the policy, to say nothing of its ultimate efficiency in gaining information and prosecutions, or the aftermath upon the lives of its victims~~~

"Only an aroused American people—or enough of them—can force this Republican-dominated Congress to stop this shame of these United States. And for that to happen, the opposition party must use its organizing and communication resources to raise the consciousness, beyond party lines, of the citizenry.

"However, although there are some deeply concerned members of Congress, the public leadership of the Democratic Party is somnolent on this issue, as it is on the administration's rewriting the rules of the Constitution.

"What have you heard about torture from Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, and Harry Reid? The latter has even declared Alberto Gonzales qualified for a seat on the Supreme Court—the very same Gonzales who, as counsel to the president, orchestrated the 'torture memos' that led to the acceleration and expansion of the American ways of torture.

"How many Americans care enough to shame Congress and the one person who could stop torture right away? The man in the Oval Office."

[link]

Thanks for getting past that cool dip in the lake and reading this far. Let us rededicate ourselves to demand nothing less than the truth from our elected leaders!


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4 comments

5 Aug 2005 @ 13:52 by jerryvest : Thanks for keeping this news up front on
the news, jazzo. Will anyone in the administration and congress recognize and do something significant about getting us out of this horrible failure as a nation? Much of the truth has already come out, loud and clear, about the continuing lies and deceit of these power brokers. Some of the recent news items from "Truthout" begin to show that the administration is beginning to look at war plans for Iran.

I agree, let's "...demand nothing less than the 'whole truth and nothing but the truth' from our elected leaders."  



5 Aug 2005 @ 15:48 by Quinty @68.226.90.181 : about war plans for Iran
The UN, I believe, or a comparable international agency (if there is one) claims Iran is about 10 years away from having the bomb. Ten years. The Bushies will of course bring up the mushroom cloud scare again and, since our troops are inconveniently tied down in Iraq (Iran's ally?) the war will have to be waged from the air. And, yes, the unthinkable has come to the thoughts of these people: employing small "tactical" atmoic weapons. Which, of course, scares me a lot more than the thought of Iran with the bomb.

Someone recently mentioned that the American people love a good little war. Yes, so long as our noses aren't too bloodied, the myths and lies which took us there aren't punctured (Vietnam would be a good war if we had won) and we leave victorious in fairly quick order. But we're not the only ones. The Brits, the French, most folks with a large viable army like a bit of imperial muscle flexing and fanfare from time to time. Of course, in the background of all this, there are the dead, the parentless, the maimed, and all the accompanying misery and destruction.

There's an interesting piece by Michael Klare - I first heard about the Neocons from him - on the world's energy supply and, well, you know....

[link]  



13 Jul 2006 @ 12:09 by jazzolog : Some Questions For Robert Novak
Suggested questions for the media to ask Novak regarding the Plame affair

Summary: Media Matters for America suggests questions to ask Bob Novak regarding his role in the Valerie Plame affair -- questions that were left unanswered by Novak's "tell all" column.

Now that nationally syndicated columnist and Fox News political analyst Robert D. Novak has signalled his willingness to discuss the Valerie Plame affair, Media Matters for America suggests asking him the following questions regarding his role in the controversy -- questions that were left unanswered by his July 12 "tell all" column.

In 2002, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was sent to Niger by the CIA to answer questions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office regarding purported attempts on the part of Iraq to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger. Wilson's investigation turned up no evidence that any sale had taken place and found that "it would be exceedingly difficult for Niger to transfer uranium to Iraq." After President Bush alluded to Iraq's purported attempt to obtain uranium from Africa in his 2003 State of the Union address as justification for invading Iraq (the now-infamous "sixteen words"), Wilson detailed the findings of his trip in a July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed. Eight days later, in his July 14, 2003, column, Novak identified Plame as "an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction," and wrote: "Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger." In September 2003, it was reported that the Justice Department had launched an investigation into the public disclosure of Plame's identity.

Why, as you claim, did Fitzgerald ask to keep your role in the controversy a secret, while others in the media were seemingly free to discuss their roles?

Novak wrote in his July 12 column that special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald requested that Novak keep secret his role in the Plame affair until Fitzgerald's "investigation of the CIA leak case concerning matters directly relating" to Novak was concluded. Why, though, would Fitzgerald ask Novak to keep secret while other media figures involved in the case long ago told their side of the story?

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller spent 85 days in jail for refusing to name her sources, and eventually testified on September 30, 2005, and October 12, 2005. Miller recounted her testimony in an October 14, 2005, Times article -- two days after her last round of testimony. Matthew Cooper of Time faced imprisonment before announcing that he was confident that the waiver of confidentiality he received from White House senior adviser Karl Rove, one of his sources, was real; Cooper testified to the grand jury on July 13, 2005. Time published Cooper's account of his testimony in its July 25, 2005, edition, which was released on July 18, 2005 -- five days after he testified. The Washington Post reported on November 16, 2005, that Post assistant managing editor Bob Woodward had testified two days earlier "that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed." Woodward's account of his testimony appeared in the November 16, 2005, edition of the Post as well.

In his July 12 column, Novak acknowledged that he testified before the grand jury on February 25, 2004, and is only now -- nearly two and a half years later -- recounting his version of events.

Can you explain how there exists "no inconsistency" between your seemingly contradictory accounts of how you came to know Valerie Plame's identity? What about your comment that your initial statement was not "very artfully put"? Did your sources not think the information was "significant"?

As Media Matters noted, shortly after Novak outed Plame as a CIA operative in his July 14, 2003, column, he told Newsday that his sources came to him with Plame's identity and "thought it was significant." Novak was quoted in a July 22, 2003, Newsday article saying: "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me. ... They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it." But in his October 1, 2003, column, Novak wrote that he learned Plame's identity through "an offhand revelation" from his primary source within the White House, suggesting that he came by the information almost by accident -- a far cry from his previous claim that the source "thought it was significant." Days later, on the October 5 broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press, Novak again claimed that Plame's identity "was given to me as an offhand manner" and that the information "came up almost offhandedly in the course of a very long conversation with a senior official about many things." Host Tim Russert asked Novak to "explain" the discrepancy between the two quotes, but Novak simply said his earlier statement was not "very artfully put" and insisted that there existed "no inconsistency between those two."

In his July 12 column, Novak claimed that his source told him "the disclosure was inadvertent":

In my sworn testimony, I said what I have contended in my columns and on television: Joe Wilson's wife's role in instituting her husband's mission was revealed to me in the middle of a long interview with an official who I have previously said was not a political gunslinger. After the federal investigation was announced, he told me through a third party that the disclosure was inadvertent on his part.

Can you explain the inconsistency in your reporting of the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings on, as you put it, Plame's "role in initiating Wilson's mission"?

In his July 15, 2004, column, Novak accurately noted that the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2004 report in prewar Iraq intelligence did not come to any conclusions regarding Plame's alleged role in Wilson's trip to Niger, writing: "They neither agreed to a conclusion that former diplomat Joseph Wilson was suggested for a mission to Niger by his CIA employee wife nor defended his statements to the contrary." Since then, however, Novak has consistently and falsely claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee report "confirmed" Plame's role in the controversy. In his August 1, 2005, column Novak wrote that Wilson's "denial" that Plame suggested him for the mission "was contradicted in July 2004 by a unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee report." In his July 12 column, Novak twice claimed that Plame "helped initiate" Wilson's trip to Niger and that the Senate Intelligence Committee's report "confirmed" that assertion.

From Novak's July 12 column:

For nearly the entire time of his investigation, Fitzgerald knew -- independent of me -- the identity of the sources I used in my column of July 14, 2003. A federal investigation was triggered when I reported that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was employed by the CIA and helped initiate his 2002 mission to Niger. That Fitzgerald did not indict any of these sources may indicate his conclusion that none of them violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

[...]

I considered his wife's role in initiating Wilson's mission, later confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to be a previously undisclosed part of an important news story. I reported it on that basis.

— S.S.M.

Posted to the web on Wednesday July 12, 2006 at 8:07 PM EST
[link]

All source footnotes and links at the original article.  



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