Monthly Archives: June 2005

Those “Bumps in the Road” are Iraqi dead

Christopher over at Back to Iraq has recently returned to Iraq and writes about the Bumps in the Road:

Since returning, it feels like I’m listening to the same record I’ve been listening to for a year, only with the volume turned up. Donald Rumsfeld, the American Secretary of Defense, says U.S. is winning the war and that the media are focusing too much on bad news.

“We have to recognize that it’s a tough, tough, tough world, and there are going to be bumps in the road between now and then.” – Donald Rumsfeld

I can’t even begin to tell you how many Iraqis have been killed in the weeks I was away. And how many more Iraqis, journalists or otherwise, will die because the Americans can’t tell who’s friend or foe? Those aren’t “bumps in the road.” Those are signs that you went off the road without a map a long time ago.

Where do you even begin combatting the head-in-the-sandism, brazen propaganda and revisionism of the above release. (By the way, it’s about the fourth or fifth one I’ve received in the last few days touting the same theme, apparently in concert with President Bush’s push to let Americans know that everything is going hunky-dory.)

News flash: Iraq is a disaster. I’ve been back one day, and the airport road was the worst I’ve ever seen it.

The administration is a broken record. Their only Iraq plan is to endlessly repeat their message of the moment in the hopes that they can convince the world.

I think I’ll try that method and see how it goes…

There’s a unicorn in my garden, there’s a unicorn in my garden, a unicorn in my garden, a unicorn in my garden…

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Podcast: Natural Landscaping and Fossil Fuels

A bit of discussion on my usual topics of interest: Apple’s release of iTunes 4.9, natural landscaping with native plants, activism (or lack thereof), war, Iraq, and an oil-based economy. In many ways this is podcast summary of my recent posts here which makes sense because these are the things that I think about.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

On a technical note I’ve added podcasts to my Feedburner RSS so you can subscribe there as well. I think you’ll get a more accurate reading of the mp3 tags of the podcast that way.

Update: Again, on a technical note, I’ve updated my regular podcast feed, link below and on the sidebar. Finally, this is what I’ve needed to do. If you subscribe to that in your RSS reader you’ll get a much better description of the show. The old version, based on dircaster.php, does not play well with ID3 v2.2 tags with the result being no real description of my podcast on sites such as So, it’s improved now. Sweet.

littlepod.jpg More via the Podcast which is also available as a direct mp3 download runtime: 19’18, 3.6 MB.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Of Futility and Chickens Roosting

Jonathan over at Irregular Times asks What Else Is There To Say?

You know, I find myself here, sifting through the news, through government data releases, through the latest polls, through legislative records, and I cannot bring myself to write a thing about them.

What’s the point? It’s not as though the failings of Republican politicians, corporate America and fundamentalist conservative Christians have not been extensively documented, over and over again. The reaction to such documentation is outrage on the part of those who are already outraged, and dismissal by those who sympathize with the Republican-corporate-fundamentalist axis. Then there’s a little squabble between the sides as neither side can possibly understand how the other side can think the way it does. And then we move on to the next disclosure of Republican/corporate/fundamentalist wrongdoing.

If you aren’t already outraged, then you’re either in denial or you aren’t paying attention. Why do we need one more example of what’s wrong with right-wing America? If you aren’t already outraged by now, what would it take? Why do we need another blog post when it’s all been said?

I’m sure I’ll feel better about this tomorrow. But today, I can’t help feel as though these efforts are futile.

I know I’ve often felt this futility and outrage but look, I’m an anarchist not a liberal. You see, I feel no allegiance to any government or religion and the truth is I consider the U.S. an enemy of liberty and freedom. I think the evidence is clear that for many, many years U.S. policies, domestic and foreign, have served a very small group of people. As much as I’d welcome the impeachment of the current administration and their imprisonment for war crimes the truth is that they are just a part of a larger problem.

The American people have given up responsibility and any real vision of democracy. My own family are a good example. I love them and they are “good” people but they are terrible citizens and excellent consumers. Do they know anything about the oil that they pump into their SUV or full size pick-up trucks? No. What about the oil that forms the base of all the plastic shit they buy at Target, Walmart, and the Dollar General? No. They are fantastically ignorant of the planet’s oil reserves as well as who currently supplies them the fix that they need. Do they connect the dots between their lifestyle and war in Iraq? Sure it’s easy to bitch about Bush but is that an SUV in your driveway?

In my relatively limited experience my fellow citizens have sacrificed citizenship. Instead they identify themselves with the consumer side of the American Dream. Seems to me that there was a major political and cultural shift in this country at the end of World War II. I wasn’t alive when it happened but it seems pretty obvious at this point. The boys came home and the U.S. became a world super power. People got comfortable, they raised families and embraced suburbia. Politics and an engaged, active citizenry became an endangered species. That culture is solidly intact today.

I think this culture and this country are at the beginning of a huge fall that will come in many different forms. The chickens have come home to roost and folks, we have nothing to cry about. We did this to ourselves. As an anarchist, I welcome the mess America has gotten itself into because it seems more evident with each passing day that this empire is about to crumble and with it global capitalism. As George would say, Bring it on.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Last throes indeed

Dick Cheney is one of two things. A complete moron or a lying, manipulative scumbag. I’m fairly certain it is the latter.

Way to go America. I’ve stayed away from verbalizing comparisons to Vietnam because that is too easy. But the truth is I’ve thought about it many times. This is only going to get worse folks.

Juan Cole offers a round up of the latest violence in Iraq: Mosul Police Station blown Up, many Dead 31 Killed…:

Mosul: A suicide bomber detonated his payload at the central police station in Mosul on Sunday morning, bringing down part of the wall and killing at least 5 persons, 4 of them officers. At least 7 were wounded. The rubble was still being searched Sunday mid-morning Baghdad time.

On Saturday, wire services report, , “a suicide attacker rammed his vehicle into an Iraqi police patrol on a bridge in southwest Mosul, killing at least five and wounding two . . .” This attack aimed at killing the provincial chief of police, but he was not in the convoy.

Tel Afar In the northern, Turkmen city of Tel Afar, Reuters reports, “Residents and officials at Tal Afar . . . where U.S. troops have cracked down this month, said three bomb attacks were followed by a battle involving U.S. tanks and helicopters that lasted about three hours. Hospital officials said at least two civilians were killed.”

Samarra: The Associated Press reports that on Saturday, a suicide bomber targeting the home of a special forces police officer instead killed 9 persons on the street.

Ramadi: On Friday, 20 guerrillas captured 8 policemen at a checkpoint near the city, took them to their offices, and mowed them down with gunfire.

Baghdad: On Sunday morning, guerrillas assassinated Col. Riyad Abdul Karim, the deputy head of one of Baghdad’s main police departments.

Guerillas fired three mortar rounds at a thronging cafe in a mostly Shiite district of western Baghdad Saturday evening. They killed 5 civilians and wounded 7.

Guerrillas killed two police commandos patrolling West Baghdad on Saturday. Another policeman was found assassinated.

Amara: Guerrillas assassinated three policemen 46 miles south of Amara on Saturday.

Kirkuk: On Saturday, three Iraqi policemen were killed in Kirkuk, along with two Kurdish truck drivers delivering cement to the Americans

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Garden Happenings

I’m happy to report that momma deer and 2 fawns are now hanging about every day. Adorable! Also, just out of the nest Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been enjoying our flowers. In other bird news at least one pair of Gold Finches have been visiting our flowers every day to eat seeds. Earlier in the week I found a very young (2″ across) box turtle in the prairie garden. Lastly the Gray Tree Frog tadpoles are getting bigger and will be leaving the pond soon!

What’s in bloom: Bee Balm, Purple Cone Flowers, Purple Poppy Mallow, Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed, Yellow Cone Flowers, Pale Purple Cone Flowers, and Prairie Coreopsis. The image is what we see looking out of our home-office window. We can hardly even see the pond at this point thanks to the beautiful Bee Balm.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Impeachable Offenses

I think I’ll be taking a brief break from impeach Bush posts this week. As much as I’d like to see that happen this is not the “Impeach Bush Blog”. Truth is, and this is plain as day at this point, the problem goes far deeper than war criminals such as Bush and Cheney. The problem is an entire society which has given away its responsibilities to, and desire for, democracy and liberty. On a whole it seems we are more concerned with being the obedient consumers and workers that multinational corporations want us to be. As long as we fail to take on the role of assertive, engaged citizens we will continue to play the role of easily manipulated and bribed consumers. George and his fellow war criminals would have us all be war criminals in our ignorance and complacency. This is the structural deficiency of a “democratic” republic that was never meant to be “of the people, by the people, for the people”.

John Bonifaz is the attorney who, in February and March 2003, served as lead counsel for a coalition of US soldiers, parents of US soldiers, and Members of Congress in a federal lawsuit challenging the authority of President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld to launch a war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action.

Impeachable Offenses by John Bonifaz

President George W. Bush “whose own election was dubious” has seized monarchical powers in sending this nation into war without any legitimate congressional declaration of war or equivalent congressional action. He has lied to the United States Congress and to the American people about the rationale for the war. He has imprisoned American citizens without charges and denied them access to lawyers and the courts. He has thus trampled on the United States Constitution and he has violated his oath of office.

This nation is at a crossroads. These are not simply issues to be debated in a presidential election. These are “high crimes” in the most profound meaning of the phrase, and they require the most serious of legal responses.

Our Constitution lays out a specific process for addressing high crimes committed by a president: impeachment. The time has come for Congress to investigate these crimes and begin impeachment proceedings. Our loyalty to our Constitution requires nothing less.

Marches, like those held on March 20, 2004, which drew hundreds of thousands of protesters, are important, but they are not enough. Petitions, like those initiated by and its allies, calling for censure of the president are important, but they are not enough. Voter mobilization campaigns focused on defeating George W. Bush on Election Day are important, but they are not enough.

Impeachment is essential because George W. Bush should be labeled for who he is: A president who has gone beyond the bounds of the Constitution, who has defied the rule of law, and who therefore deserves the ultimate constitutional punishment.

Former President Bill Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. But no one died as a result of the Monica Lewinsky affair. President Bush has sent this nation into an illegal war based on lies, resulting in the deaths thus far of more than 1,500 United States soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. This war has no end in sight, and officials warn that U.S. troops could be there, fighting and dying, for 10 years or more.

Where is the political accountability? Where is the constitutional consistency? Where are the voices of our nation’s leaders calling for the investigation of impeachable offenses?

If we believe in the Constitution and its timeless vision of democracy, we must now stand up and call for impeachment. History will judge us for how we responded when faced with a president who would be king. Did we rely on the badly flawed election process to set us free? Or did we demand, as the Constitution provides, the removal of that president from power? Did we speak the truth and charge that president with the highest of crimes?

We cannot afford to provide immunity for presidential high crimes so long as they are committed (or fully revealed). We must hold the president accountable for high crimes at any point in his or her term.

No president in our history has presented a greater threat to our Constitution and our democracy than George W. Bush. If we fail to place the proper charges of high crimes on this president, we invite him to engage in further lawlessness, further illegal war-making, further lies and further unnecessary bloodshed”now, or even more so in a second term. If we fail to protect the Constitution today, we invite its shredding tomorrow by an administration with even less regard for the Constitution than the present one.

Is lying to the United States Congress and the American people about the reasons for sending the nation into war an impeachable offense? Is violating the War Powers Clause of the Constitution by launching a unilateral first-strike invasion of another nation without congressional authorization an impeachable offense? Congress must debate these questions now. Congress may be in Republican hands, but all of its members swore to uphold the Constitution when taking office.

There are two roads in front of us. One takes us toward tyranny behind the mask of wartime necessity. The other returns us to our basic democratic principles where the Constitution is supreme and where no one, not even the president, is above the law.

We call upon Americans of all political persuasions to join the call for impeachment. We ask you to call or write your Member of Congress to urge him or her to introduce articles of impeachment. We also encourage you to sign a petition at, to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, and to forward this article to all of your friends. Raise your voice now, at this critical moment.

Let us take the road back to democracy. Let us demand our country back from a lawless and unaccountable administration. Let us honor the oath this president has betrayed: to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

(This article was first printed in Tom Paine, on the 31st of March, 2004. It is still current and actionable… the only new information we have now is the Downing Street Minutes.)





Congressman Conyers and Members of the Committee: Thank you for hosting this congressional forum today and thank you for your leadership.

My name is John Bonifaz. I am a Boston-based attorney specializing in constitutional litigation and the co-founder of is a national coalition of veterans groups, peace groups, public interest organizations and ordinary citizens across this country calling for a formal congressional investigation into whether the President of the United States has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. We launched this campaign on May 26 of this year in response to the revelations which have emerged from the release of the Downing Street Minutes.

The recent release of the Downing Street Minutes provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution: “The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The Downing Street MinutesOn May 1, 2005, The Sunday Times of London published the Downing Street Minutes. The document, marked “Secret and strictly personal – UK eyes only,” consists of the official minutes of a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then-director of Britain’s CIA equivalent, MI-6, to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials. Dearlove, having just returned from meetings with high U.S. Government officials in Washington, reported to Blair and members of his Cabinet on the Bush administration’s plans to start a preemptive war against Iraq.

The briefing occurred on July 23, 2002, months before President Bush submitted his resolution on Iraq to the United States Congress and months before Bush and Blair asked the United Nations to resume its inspections for alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The document reveals that, by the summer of 2002, President Bush had decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by launching a war which, Dearlove reports, would be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction].” Dearlove continues: “But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” Dearlove also states that “[t]here was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw states that “[i]t seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided.” “But,” he continues, “the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, and Iran.”

British officials do not dispute the document’s authenticity, and, on May 6, 2005, Knight Ridder Newspapers reported that “[a] former senior U.S. official called [the document] `an absolutely accurate description of what transpired’ during the senior British intelligence officer’s visit to Washington.” “Memo: Bush made intel fit Iraq policy,” The State, Knight Ridder Newspapers, May 6, 2005.

Why a Resolution of Inquiry is Justified

On May 5, 2005, you and 88 other Members of Congress submitted a letter to President Bush, asking the President to answer several questions arising from the Downing Street Minutes. On May 17, 2005, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters that the White House saw “no need” to respond to the letter. “British Memo on U.S. Plans for Iraq War Fuels Critics,” The New York Times, May 20, 2005, A8. The letter has since been joined by other Members of Congress and by more than half a million people across the country.

The Framers of the United States Constitution drafted Article II, Section 4 to ensure that the people of the United States, through their representatives in the United States Congress, could hold a President accountable for an abuse of power and an abuse of the public trust. James Madison, speaking at Virginia’s ratification convention stated: “A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution.” Alexander Hamilton, writing in The Federalist, stated that impeachment is for “the misconduct of public men…from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” James Iredell, who later became a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, stated at North Carolina’s ratification convention:

The President must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate. He is to regulate all intercourse with foreign powers, and it is his duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives. If it should appear that he has not given them full information, but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them, – in this case, I ask whether, upon an impeachment for a misdemeanor upon such an account, the Senate would probably favor him.

On July 25, 1974, then-Representative Barbara Jordan spoke to her colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee of the constitutional basis for impeachment. “The powers relating to impeachment,” Jordan said, “are an essential check in the hands of this body, the legislature, against and upon the encroachment of the Executive.”

Impeachment, said Barbara Jordan, is chiefly designed for the President and his high ministers to somehow be called into account. It is designed to `bridle’ the Executive if he engages in excesses. It is designed as a method of national inquest into the conduct of public men. The framers confined in the Congress the power, if need be, to remove the President in order to strike a delicate balance between a President swollen with power and grown tyrannical and preservation of the independence of the Executive.

The question must now be asked, with the release of the Downing Street Minutes, whether the President has committed impeachable offenses. Is it a High Crime to engage in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for taking the nation into war? Is it a High Crime to manipulate intelligence so as to allege falsely a national security threat posed to the United States as a means of trying to justify a war against another nation based on “preemptive” purposes? Is it a High Crime to commit a felony via the submission of an official report to the United States Congress falsifying the reasons for launching military action?

In his book Worse Than Watergate (Little, Brown and Company-NY, 2004), John W. Dean writes that “the evidence is overwhelming, certainly sufficient for a prima facie case, that George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have engaged in deceit and deception over going to war in Iraq. This is an impeachable offense.” Id. at 155. Dean focuses, in particular, on a formal letter and report which the President submitted to the United States Congress within forty-eight hours after having launched the invasion of Iraq. In the letter, dated March 18, 2003, the President makes a formal determination, as required by the Joint Resolution on Iraq passed by the U.S. Congress in October 2002, that military action against Iraq was necessary to “protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq…” Dean states that the report accompanying the letter “is closer to a blatant fraud than to a fulfillment of the president’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the law.” Worse Than Watergate at 148.

If the evidence revealed by the Downing Street Minutes is true, then the President’s submission of his March 18, 2003 letter and report to the United States Congress would violate federal criminal law, including: the federal anti-conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, which makes it a felony “to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose…”; and The False Statements Accountability Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. § 1001, which makes it a felony to issue knowingly and willfully false statements to the United States Congress.

The United States House of Representatives has a constitutional duty to investigate fully and comprehensively the evidence revealed by the Downing Street Minutes and other related evidence and to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to impeach George W. Bush, the President of the United States. A Resolution of Inquiry is the appropriate first step in launching this investigation.


The Iraq war has led to the deaths of more than 1,700 United States soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Thousands more have been permanently and severely injured on both sides. More than two years after the invasion, Iraq remains unstable and its future unclear. The war has already cost the American people tens of billions of taxpayer dollars at the expense of basic human needs here at home. More than 135,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq without any stated exit plan.

If the President has committed High Crimes in connection with this war, he must be held accountable. The United States Constitution demands no less.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Tom Dispatch and Mark Danner on the Downing Street Memo

TomDispatch has a posted an excellent introduction to, and reprint of, Mark Danner’s coverage of the Downing Street Memo and the resulting non-coverage and bias of the corporate media. This is a must read for anyone interested in the DSM as well as the corporate media cover-up and obedience to state dictates. Seriously, a must read.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Conyers Pushing the Downing Street Memo Today

Holy cow, CNN, via AP, is actually covering today’s public hearing:

Bush should respond to questions raised by the Downing Street memo, says a letter signed by Conyers and over 90 other members of Congress, as well as a half-million Americans.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan dismissed the memo on Thursday and indicated that no one in the White House plans to respond to the letter.

“This is simply rehashing old debates that have already been discussed,” he said.

Ha. Scott McCLellan, you mother fucker, I hope you go to jail to for your role in delivering all the lies. In any case, CNN has hardly touched the matter. I’ve been watching (the cable version) for the past 30 minutes and not a single mention yet. On the “Headline News” version of CNN they did have some very important coverage of a California police chase though so I think we can forgive them! I think we can all agree that the Downing Street Memo and other evidence regarding impeachable offenses committed by the current U.S. President are trivial when compared to car chases!

Fucktards. U.S. corporate media, a pack of sniveling liars and idiots.

In any case, William Rivers Pitt live blogged the event so I thought I’d post a few nuggets:

Comes now Ray McGovern

Starting with a videoclip: Powell saying in Feb. 2001 that Hussein had no WMD and was no threat, and then Condi in July 2001 saying exactly the same thing.
Boom. Devastating. “Reflect on that,” says McGovern.
“After 9/11, the story abruptly changed. Suddenly, Iraq had all manner of weapons and posed an immediate threat. How do you explain that? The Downing Street Minutes.”
Thanking the man who made these documents available.

Intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

“The anatomy of a lie.”
Running the chronology, starting in August 2002, which was just 10 weeks after Bush and Blair decided to go to war, Cheney begins the ramp-up about WMD in Iraq. “This was a lie.” Weapons were destroyed in 1991.
This is a devastating presentation. I am barely able to keep up. Watch the rebroadcast of this.

Nailing Cheney for going to CIA headquarters

to fix the intelligence and lean on the analysts. As a CIA guy, McGovern is voicing his outrage over the “deliberate subversion” of the oath to protect and defend the constiotution.
“We’re not talking about Georgetown parlor games here. These are consequential, death-dealing lies.” Mocking Bush for pretending to look for WMD at the Correspondent’s Dinner. Sheehan’s son was killed 11 days “after that big joke.”
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Thanks to the Downing Street Minutes, we now know the truth. Will we have the courage to pursue the purveyors of consequential falsehoods?”
I hope so.

Impeachment talk

in the Capitol Building. Now bringing up Watergate, and Rep. Barbara Jordan’s words from 1974. “It is designed to bridle the Executive if he engages in excesses.”
“The question must now be asked: Whether the President has committed impeachable offenses. Is it a high crime?”
Lie to the people, manipulate intelligence, commit felony via submission of false report to Congress justifying military action – impeachable offenses?
Hammering on that last one, March 18 2003 letter to Congress, formal declaration, “Military action against Iraq necessary to protect the nation…Military action was consistent with US actions against terrorism, including against nations that planned and aided 9/11.”
If DSM is true, Bush’s 3/18 letter to Congress violates several federal laws, several felonies.

House has constitutional duty…
…to investigate this matter and consider impeachment. A Resolution of Inquiry is required.”
“If the President has committed High Crimes in this matter, he must be held accountable. The constitution requires no less.”

Maxine Waters speaking now
Asking McGovern about Cheney visits to CIA, several visits, to lean on the analysts. Talking about the Halliburton no-bid contracts. “This Vice President appears to be more than arrogant. He appears not to be concerned about what the American people think.”
Many of us believe there was a manipulation on intelligence. Please elaborate on Cheney visits to CIA and the manipulation of intelligence.

McGovern: Cheney visit to CIA unprecedented. In my 27 years did a sitting VP come to CIA headquarters. Cheney went between 8 and 12 times. Put yourself in the position of a young analyst trying to find the truth. Now comes Cheney, along with Tenet (who should have been protecting his people from stuff like this). Terrible pressure on the analysts. “Management of CIA has been so corrupted and politicized, I wonder if they can come up with an objective view about anything, given the pressure from the White House to hear what it wanted to hear.”

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,