Child amputated arms, Iraq invasion, 2003

The illegal invasion of Iraq 2003, by the US military, the American government, its Congress, President, Vice-President, Rice, Rumsfeld, Democrat and Republican leaders, and its people.

Photo: internet/

Child amputated arms, Iraq invasion, 2003.
The illegal invasion of Iraq 2003, by the US military, the American government, its Congress, President, Vice-President, Rice, Rumsfeld, Democrat and Republican leaders, and its people.
Photo: internet/
Saddam seen as no threat.
UK United Nations's Carne Ross
Whistleblower —
suppressed document lays bare lies
The full transcript of evidence given to the Butler inquiry
Supplementary evidence submitted by Mr Carne Ross, Director, Independent Diplomat
Published: 15 December 2006

I am in the Senior Management Structure of the FCO, currently seconded to the UN in Kosovo.   I was First Secretary in the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York from December 1997 until June 2002.   I was responsible for Iraq policy in the mission, including policy on sanctions, weapons inspections and liaison with UNSCOM and later UNMOVIC.
During that time, I helped negotiate several UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq, including resolution 1284 which, inter alia, established UNMOVIC (an acronym I coined late one New York night during the year-long negotiation).   I took part in policy debates within HMG and in particular with the US government.   I attended many policy discussions on Iraq with the US State Department in Washington, New York and London.
My concerns about the policy on Iraq divide into three:
1.   The Alleged Threat
I read the available UK and US intelligence on Iraq every working day for the four and a half years of my posting.   This daily briefing would often comprise a thick folder of material, both humint and sigint.   I also talked often and at length about Iraq's WMD to the international experts who comprised the inspectors of UNSCOM/UNMOVIC, whose views I would report to London.   In addition, I was on many occasions asked to offer views in contribution to Cabinet Office assessments, including the famous WMD dossier (whose preparation began some time before my departure in June 2002).
During my posting, at no time did HMG assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests.   On the contrary, it was the commonly-held view among the officials dealing with Iraq that any threat had been effectively contained.   I remember on several occasions the UK team stating this view in terms during our discussions with the US (who agreed).   (At the same time, we would frequently argue, when the US raised the subject, that "regime change" was inadvisable, primarily on the grounds that Iraq would collapse into chaos.)
Any assessment of threat has to include both capabilities and intent.   Iraq's capabilities in WMD were moot: many of the UN's weapons inspectors (who, contrary to popular depiction, were impressive and professional) would tell me that they believed Iraq had no significant materiel.   With the exception of some unaccounted-for Scud missiles, there was no intelligence evidence of significant holdings of CW, BW or nuclear material.   Aerial or satellite surveillance was unable to get under the roofs of Iraqi facilities.   We therefore had to rely on inherently unreliable human sources (who, for obvious reasons, were prone to exaggerate).
Without substantial evidence of current holdings of WMD, the key concern we pursued was that Iraq had not provided any convincing or coherent account of its past holdings.   When I was briefed in London at the end of 1997 in preparation for my posting, I was told that we did not believe that Iraq had any significant WMD.   The key argument therefore to maintain sanctions was that Iraq had failed to provide convincing evidence of destruction of its past stocks.
Iraq's ability to launch a WMD or any form of attack was very limited.   There were approx 12 or so unaccounted-for Scud missiles; Iraq's airforce was depleted to the point of total ineffectiveness; its army was but a pale shadow of its earlier might; there was no evidence of any connection between Iraq and any terrorist organisation that might have planned an attack using Iraqi WMD (I do not recall any occasion when the question of a terrorist connection was even raised in UK/US discussions or UK internal debates).
There was moreover no intelligence or assessment during my time in the job that Iraq had any intention to launch an attack against its neighbours or the UK or US.   I had many conversations with diplomats representing Iraq's neighbours.   With the exception of the Israelis, none expressed any concern that they might be attacked.   Instead, their concern was that sanctions, which they and we viewed as an effective means to contain Iraq, were being delegitimised by evidence of their damaging humanitarian effect.
I quizzed my colleagues in the FCO and MOD working on Iraq on several occasions about the threat assessment in the run-up to the war.   None told me that any new evidence had emerged to change our assessment; what had changed was the government's determination to present available evidence in a different light.   I discussed this at some length with David Kelly in late 2002, who agreed that the Number 10 WMD dossier was overstated.
2.   Legality
The legality of the war is framed by the relevant Security Council resolutions, the negotiation and drafting of which was usually led by the UK.
During the negotiation of resolution 1284 (which we drafted), which established UNMOVIC, the question was discussed among the key Security Council members in great detail how long the inspectors would need in Iraq in order to form a judgement of Iraq's capabilities.
The UK and US pushed for the longest period we could get, on the grounds that the inspectors would need an extensive period in order to visit, inspect and establish monitoring at the many hundreds of possible WMD-related sites.   The French and Russians wanted the shortest duration.   After long negotiation, we agreed the periods specified in 1284.   These require some explanation.
The resolution states that the head of UNMOVIC should report on Iraq's performance 120 days once the full system of ongoing monitoring and verification had been established (OMV, in the jargon).
OMV amounts to the "baseline" of knowledge of Iraq's capabilities and sites; we expected OMV to take up to six months to establish.   In other words, inspectors would have to be on the ground for approximately ten months before offering an assessment.
(Resolution 1441, though it requested Blix to "update" the Council 60 days after beginning inspections, did not alter the inspection periods established in 1284.)
As is well-known, the inspectors were allowed to operate in Iraq for a much shorter period before the US and UK declared that Iraq's cooperation was insufficient.
Resolution 1441 did not alter the basic framework for inspections established by 1284.   In particular, it did not amend the crucial premise of 1284 that any judgement of cooperation or non-cooperation by Iraq with the inspectors was to be made by the Council not UNMOVIC.
Blix at no time stated unequivocally that Iraq was not cooperating with the inspectors.   The Council reached no such judgement either.
Resolution 1441 did not authorise the use of force in case of non-cooperation with weapons inspectors. I was in New York, but not part of the mission, during the negotiation of that resolution (I was on Special Unpaid Leave from the FCO).
My friends in other delegations told me that the UK sold 1441 in the Council explicitly on the grounds that it did not represent authorisation for war and that it "gave inspections a chance".
Later, after claiming that Iraq was not cooperating, the UK presented a draft resolution which offered the odd formulation that Iraq had failed to seize the opportunity of 1441.   In negotiation, the UK conceded that the resolution amounted to authority to use force (there are few public records of this, but I was told by many former colleagues involved in the negotiation that this was the case).   The resolution failed to attract support.
The UN charter states that only the Security Council can authorise the use of force (except in cases of self-defence).   Reviewing these points, it is clear that in terms of the resolutions presented by the UK itself, the subsequent invasion was not authorised by the Security Council and was thus illegal.   The clearest evidence of this is the fact that the UK sought an authorising resolution and failed to get it.
There is another subsidiary point on the legality question.   During my spell at the UN, the UK and US would frequently have to defend in the Security Council attacks made by our aircraft in the No-Fly Zones (NFZs) in northern and southern Iraq.
The NFZs were never authorised by the Security Council, but we would justify them on the grounds (as I recall it, this may be incorrect) that we were monitoring compliance with resolution 688 which called for the Iraqi government to respect the human rights of its people.   If our aircraft bombed Iraqi targets, we were acting in self-defence (which was in fact the case as the Iraqis would try to shoot down our aircraft).
Reading the press in the months leading up to the war, I noticed that the volume and frequency of the attacks in the NFZs considerably increased, including during the period when UNMOVIC was in country inspecting sites (ie before even the UK/US declared that Iraq was not complying).
I suspected at the time that these attacks were not in self-defence but that they were part of a planned air campaign to prepare for a ground invasion.   There were one or two questions in Parliament about this when the Defence Secretary claimed that the NFZ attacks were, as before, self-defence.
His account was refuted at the time by quotations by US officials in the press and by later accounts, including Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack", which confirmed that the attacks did indeed comprise a softening-up campaign, of which the UK was an active part.
[Note from TheWE.cc
Below is an English government-bred interpretation not taking into account the more than 1 million children already murdered by the lack of adequate food and medical care prior to the war.]
3.   Alternatives to war
I was responsible at the UK Mission for sanctions policy as well as weapons inspections.   I had extensive contacts with those in the UN responsible for the oil-for-food programme, with NGOs active in Iraq, with experts in the oil industry and with many others who visited Iraq (I tried to visit on several occasions but was denied a visa by the Iraqi government).   I read and analysed a great deal of material on Iraq's exports, both legal and illegal, sanctions and related subjects, such as the oil industry.
Much of my work and that of my close colleagues was devoted to attempting to stop countries breaching Iraqi sanctions.   These breaches were many and took various forms.
The most serious was the illegal export of oil by Iraq through Turkey, Syria and Iranian waters in the Gulf.   These exports were a substantial and crucial source of hard currency for the Iraqi regime; without them the regime could not have sustained itself or its key pillars, such as the Republican Guard.   Estimates of the value of these exports ranged around $2 billion a year.
In addition, there were different breaches, such as Iraq's illegal and secret surcharge on its legal sales of oil through the UN.   Iraq would levy illegal charges on oil-for-food contracts.   The regime also had substantial financial assets held in secret overseas accounts.   The details of these breaches and our work to combat them are complicated.
On repeated occasions, I and my colleagues at the mission (backed by some but not all of the responsible officials in London) attempted to get the UK and US to act more vigorously on the breaches.   We believed that determined and coordinated action, led by us and the US, would have had a substantial effect in particular to pressure Iraq to accept the weapons inspections and would have helped undermine the Iraqi regime.
I proposed on several occasions the establishment of a multinational body (a UN body, if we could get the Security Council to agree it) to police sanctions busting.   I proposed coordinated action with Iraq's neighbours to pressure them to help, including by controlling imports into Iraq.   I held talks with a US Treasury expert on financial sanctions, an official who had helped trace and seize Milosevic's illegal financial assets.   He assured me that, given the green light, he could quickly set up a team to target Saddam's illegal accounts.
These proposals went nowhere.   Inertia in the FCO and the inattention of key ministers combined to the effect that the UK never made any coordinated and sustained attempt to address sanctions busting.   There were sporadic and half-hearted initiatives.   Bilateral embassies in Iraq's neighbours would always find a reason to let their hosts off the hook (the most egregious example was the Embassy in Ankara).   Official visitors to the neighbours always placed other issues higher on the agenda.   The Prime Minister, for example, visited Syria in early 2002.   If I remember correctly, the mission sent a telegram beforehand urging him to press Assad on the illegal pipeline carrying Iraqi oil through Syria.   I have seen no evidence that the subject was mentioned.   Whenever I taxed Ministers on the issue, I would find them sympathetic but uninformed.
Coordinated, determined and sustained action to prevent illegal exports and target Saddam's illegal monies would have consumed a tiny proportion of the effort and resources of the war (and fewer lives), but could have provided a real alternative.   It was never attempted.
Carne Ross
Pristina, Kosovo
9 June 2004

©2006 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd.  All rights reserved
 
Picture Blair paints of Iraq
seldom touches reality at any point
I returned from Mosul to London earlier this month just in time to hear Tony Blair speaking at the Lord Mayor's banquet.
It was a far more extraordinary performance than his audience appreciated.
As the prime minister spoke with his usual Hugh Grant charm it became clear that he had learned nothing and forgotten nothing in three-and-a-half years of war.
Misconception after misconception poured from his lips.
Contrary to views of his own generals and every opinion poll assessing Iraqi opinion he discounted the idea that armed resistance in Iraq is fueled by hostility to foreign occupation.
Instead he sees dark forces rising in the east, dedicated like Sauron in the Lord of the Rings to principles of pure evil.
The enemy, in this case, is "based on a thoroughly warped misinterpretation of Islam, which is fanatical and deadly."
Even by the standard of Middle Eastern conspiracy theories it was puerile stuff.
Everywhere Blair saw hidden hands — "forces outside Iraq that are trying to create mayhem" — at work.
An expert on the politics of Iraq and Lebanon recently said to me: "The most dangerous error in the Middle East today is to believe that the Shia communities in Iraq and Lebanon are pawns of Iran."
But this is exactly what the prime minister does believe.
Largest Shia militia anti-Iranian
The fact that the largest Shia militia in Iraq — the Mehdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr — is anti-Iranian and Iraqi nationalist is conveniently ignored.
These misconceptions are important in terms of practical policy because they give support to the dangerous myth that if the US and Britain could only frighten or square the Iranians and Syrians then all would come right as their Shia cats-paws in Iraq and Lebanon would inevitably fall into line.
In a very British way [and American too, of course] opponents of the war in Iraq have focused not on current events but on the past sins of the government in getting us into the war.
No doubt it was all very wrong for Downing Street to pretend that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction and was a threat to the world when they knew he was not.
But this emphasis on the origins of the war in Iraq has diverted attention from the fact that, going by official statements, the British government knows no more about what was going on in Iraq in 2006 than it did in 2003.
The picture Blair paints of Iraq seldom touches reality at any point.
For instance he says Iraqis 'voted on an explicitly non-sectarian government,' but every Iraqi knows that the vote in two parliamentary elections in 2005 went wholly along sectarian and ethnic lines.
The polls were the starting pistol for the start of the civil war.
Blair steadfastly refuses to accept the fact that opposition to the American and British occupation of Iraq has been the main cause of the insurgency.
Anglo-American
Aggression in Iraq
Has the British army learned nothing?
Blair has not been able to persuade his Nato allies in Europe of his apocalyptic world-view.
The use of the word terrorism to imply some grand military offensive against the west may sound good in White House national security documents and Downing Street speeches.
But terrorism is not an enemy or an ideology, let alone a country or an army.
Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq
It is a weapon, like a gun or a bomb.
It is not something that can be defeated, only guarded against.
Nor can terrorism ever win.
Blair's flattering reference to it was in reality to al-Qaida and to the Islamist jihadism whose cause he has so incessantly advertised.
As the American strategist Louise Richardson points out in What Terrorists Want, al-Qaida has not the remotest chance of defeating the west or undermining its civilisation.
Only a deranged paranoid could think that.
Some group or other will always look for ways to commit random killings, against which national security services need to be vigilant.
But this is not war.
Richardson points out that these groups are being grotesquely overrated.
They cannot plausibly deploy weapons of true mass destruction, and remain stuck with the oldest terrorist tool of all, the man with a bomb (and if we are really negligent, with a plane).
While terrorism can take on different guises, it is not new and is not a threat to human society to rank with a world war or a nuclear holocaust - as the home secretary, John Reid, has absurdly claimed.
Terrorist incidents are the outcome of someone's mental pathology and are of no political significance - unless cynical leaders in a targeted community choose otherwise.
What is sad about Blair's statement is not its strategic naivety but the psychology behind it.
Anglo-American
Aggression in Iraq
Wildly distorted concept of menace
Why have the leaders of Britain and America felt driven to adopt so wildly distorted a concept of menace?
In an analysis of terrorism in the latest New York Review of Books, Max Rodenbeck offers plausible but depressing answers.
They include the short-term popularity that war offers democratic leaders, the yearning of defence chiefs and industries to prove the worth of expensive kit and, in Iraq's case, "the influence of neoconservatives and of the pro-Israeli lobby, seeing a chance to set a superpower on Israel's enemies".
Mother by son
Victims of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq
All this is true, but I sense a deeper disconnect.
The west is ruled by a generation of leaders with no experience of war or its threat.
Blair and his team cannot recall the aftermath of the second world war, and in the cold war they rushed to join CND.
They were distant from those real global horrors.
Crave an enemy
Yet now in power they seem to crave an enemy of equivalent monstrosity.
Modern government has a big hole in its ego, yearning to be filled by something called a "threat to security".
After 1990 many hoped that an age of stable peace might dawn.
Rich nations might disarm and combine to help the poor, advancing the cause of global responsibility.
Instead two of history's most internationalist states, America and Britain, have returned to the trough of conflict, chasing a chimera of "world terrorism", and at ludicrous expense.
They have brought death and destruction to a part of the globe that posed no strategic threat.
Now one of them, Tony Blair, stands in a patch of desert to claim that "world security in the 21st century" depends on which warlord controls it.
Was anything so demented?
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006
TheWE.cc comment by Kewe -
The author of the above assesses a threat to the West by resistance forces as not credible.
That is true in two aspects:
1) Resistance fighters in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq have no aim to control or 'take over' the West.
2) Resistance attacks are to stop us messing with them, as resistance forces in the West would similarly do if we were attacked on a par that we are attacking them.
However there is another most serious consideration to this.
Defeated
The West — The United States in particular — is being defeated.
It is being defeated in every way possible, but most in the collapse of its system of economics.
While the United States is waging its insane war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and paying Israel to attempt to kill as many people as it can in Gaza and the West Bank Palestine, its economic engine is being destroyed, is destroyed.
The largest debtor nation in the world can only sustain its activity while its creditors in the East, chiefly China, decide to allow it.
Once China feels it is in its interest to pull the plug, no amount of fire power, or worn out military force, will allow the United States to continue to control the world.
300 million people cannot control 6 billion.
Kurd PKK
resistance fighters
The evil that has been committed already rears its head.
Tony Blair Confirms Authenticity of Downing Street Memo-51 Congressmembers File FOIA Request
SAN STEFFAN / WESTMINSTER DATGANIAD I’R WASG PLAID CYMRU THE PARTY OF WALES PRESS RELEASE Wednesday 29 June 2005 — for immediate release
Two small children killed as part of the mass killings by U.S. occupation forces April, 2004
The Prime Minister has confirmed the authenticity of a Downing Street memo in which Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, tells Mr Blair that the Bush administration was "fixing" the intelligence and facts about Saddam Hussein’s regime to back up a decision that had been taken to invade Iraq as early as July 2002.
The Downing Street memo which was leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper in May 2005 has become a critical issue in the US. Senators Kennedy and Kerry have joined the escalating debate by writing to the President asking whether or not the memo was authentic and accurate.
Downing Street has previously refused to comment on the memo’s authenticity, but challenged for the first time on the floor of the House of Commons the Prime Minister has finally confirmed its authenticity.
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions, Adam Price MP said:
"The confirmation that the memo is authentic will cause ripples throughout the United States where 122 Members of the US Congress have written to the President asking if Sir Richard Dearlove’s statement in the memo, that ’the intelligence and the facts are being fixed around the policy’ is correct.
"I challenged the Prime Minister on whether Sir Richard Dearlove was a reliable intelligence source, and if so, could he confirm whether his statement was an accurate assessment of the Bush administration’s intentions and actions.
In his answer, the Prime Minister refuses to distance himself from the assessment made by the former head of MI6 and simply goes on to say resolution 1441 changed the position.
I fail to see how this is relevant to my question.
"Today is a significant step forward in establishing the truth about the US and UK’s policy to invade Iraq.
However difficult it proves to extract information about the war from the government, the Prime Minister must be held to account by Parliament, and the President must be held to account by Congress."
Representative John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, along with 51 other Members today submitted a broad and comprehensive FOIA request to the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State seeking any and all documents and materials concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the lead up to the Iraq war, RAW STORY has learned.
In addition, the Members also formally requested that the House Committees on Judiciary, Armed Services, International Relations, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence commence hearings on the Downing Street Minutes.
"This is the next stage of the Downing Street investigation and brings the investigation to a new more and more aggressive stage," one Democratic Judiciary aide said.
Adam Price MP (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) asked the Prime Minister:
Does the Prime Minister still regard Sir Richard Dearlove as having been a reliable source of information on Iraq?
And if he does, is it safe to assume that Sir Richard's statement in the summer of 2002 that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" was an accurate assessment of the intentions and actions of the Bush administration?
The Prime Minister:
First of all, as I'm sure the honourable Member knows that memo and other documents of the time were covered by the Butler Review (1).
In addition to that I have to say to him that this was of course before we went to the United Nations and secured a second resolution, the resolution 1441 that had unanimous support and I would also say to the honourable gentleman that contrary to his view when I stood next to the new PM of Iraq, somebody who has had five of his relatives assassinated by Saddam, when I stood by him and realised that he was in power because of the democratic vote of 8 million Iraqis then I was glad that we took the action that we did and made sure that Iraq was no longer governed by a dictatorship but by a democracy.
(1) Butler Review paragraph 287 refers to Downing Street meeting on 23 July 2002 but omits to mention key statement that "the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy"

The Real News in the Downing Street Memos
By Michael Smith
Michael Smith writes on defense issues for the Sunday Times of London.
June 23, 2005
It is now nine months since I obtained the first of the "Downing Street memos," thrust into my hand by someone who asked me to meet him in a quiet watering hole in London for what I imagined would just be a friendly drink.
At the time, I was defense correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph, and a staunch supporter of the decision to oust Saddam Hussein.
The source was a friend. He'd given me a few stories before but nothing nearly as interesting as this.
The six leaked documents I took away with me that night were to change completely my opinion of the decision to go to war and the honesty of Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush.
They focused on the period leading up to the Crawford, Texas, summit between Blair and Bush in early April 2002, and were most striking for the way in which British officials warned the prime minister, with remarkable prescience, what a mess post-war Iraq would become.
Even by the cynical standards of realpolitik, the decision to overrule this expert advice seemed to be criminal.
The second batch of leaks arrived in the middle of this year's British general election, by which time I was writing for a different newspaper, the Sunday Times. These documents, which came from a different source, related to a crucial meeting of Blair's war Cabinet on July 23, 2002. The timing of the leak was significant, with Blair clearly in electoral difficulties because of an unpopular war.
I did not then regard the now-infamous memo — the one that includes the minutes of the July 23 meeting — as the most important. My main article focused on the separate briefing paper for those taking part, prepared beforehand by Cabinet Office experts.
It said that Blair agreed at Crawford that "the UK would support military action to bring about regime change." Because this was illegal, the officials noted, it was "necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action."
But Downing Street had a "clever" plan that it hoped would trap Hussein into giving the allies the excuse they needed to go to war. It would persuade the U.N. Security Council to give the Iraqi leader an ultimatum to let in the weapons inspectors.
Although Blair and Bush still insist the decision to go to the U.N. was about averting war, one memo states that it was, in fact, about "wrong-footing" Hussein into giving them a legal justification for war.
British officials hoped the ultimatum could be framed in words that would be so unacceptable to Hussein that he would reject it outright. But they were far from certain this would work, so there was also a Plan B.
American media coverage of the Downing Street memo has largely focused on the assertion by Sir Richard Dearlove, head of British foreign intelligence, that war was seen as inevitable in Washington, where "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
But another part of the memo is arguably more important. It quotes British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon as saying that "the U.S. had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime." This we now realize was Plan B.
Put simply, U.S. aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone were dropping a lot more bombs in the hope of provoking a reaction that would give the allies an excuse to carry out a full-scale bombing campaign, an air war, the first stage of the conflict.
British government figures for the number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq in 2002 show that although virtually none were used in March and April, an average of 10 tons a month were dropped between May and August.
But these initial "spikes of activity" didn't have the desired effect. The Iraqis didn't retaliate. They didn't provide the excuse Bush and Blair needed. So at the end of August, the allies dramatically intensified the bombing into what was effectively the initial air war.
The number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq by allied aircraft shot up to 54.6 tons in September alone, with the increased rates continuing into 2003.
In other words, Bush and Blair began their war not in March 2003, as everyone believed, but at the end of August 2002, six weeks before Congress approved military action against Iraq.
The way in which the intelligence was "fixed" to justify war is old news.
The real news is the shady April 2002 deal to go to war, the cynical use of the U.N. to provide an excuse, and the secret, illegal air war without the backing of Congress.
Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times
The unofficial war: Raw Story tracked allied
bombing of Iraq, 2001-2003
Larisa Alexandrova and Muriel Kane
The graph above tracks allied bombings of Iraqi installations during the period leading up to the Iraq war.
The figures have been compiled and many of them cited in the London Sunday Times and The New Statesman, in articles by British reporter Michael Smith.
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/The_unofficial_war_U.S._and_Britain_led_massive_air_campaign_before_Iraq_war_be_0627.html
Falluja siege April, 2004

Baby killed as part of the mass killings by U.S. occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
Baby killed as part of the mass killings by U.S. occupation forces, April, 2004
At least six months before war was declared
"Charlie Clements, now head of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, described driving in a Baghdad neighborhood six months before the war "and a building would just explode, hit by a missile from 30,000 feet.
'What is that building?' Clements would ask.  'Oh, that's a telephone exchange.'
Later, at a conference at Nevada's Nellis Air Force Base, Clements heard a U.S. General boast 'that he began taking out assets that could help in resisting an invasion at least six months before war was declared.'"
  http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0615-33.htm
 
"We are not having any of this nonsense about it.   It's nothing to do with what the British are doing in Iraq or Afghanistan, or support for Israel, or support for America, or any of the rest of it.   It is nonsense, and we have got to confront it as that."
       Blair   July 26, 2005 — London suicide Bombing         
The Zoo Translator
What Blair said:
"It is a sad day for the British people, but we will hold true to the British way of life."
What Blair meant:
"It is a very said day for the British people.   But it might save my ID card scheme.   I can do a moving speech in front of the world, where I can pause dramatically between words for theatrical effect, like a public school Christopher Walkin.   Also I can push through some more terror legislation, then justify the war in Iraq even more by saying the world's a safer place."
       Zoo   15-21 July, 2005       
Condoleezza Rice
"Parties unknown burgle the Nigerien embassy in Rome.  Stolen from the torn-up offices are various valuables along with stationery and official seals, which the Italian police warn might be used to forge documents."
"None of that spilling of secrets for crass political retribution could have gone on without her knowledge and approval, and thus complicity.   Little of it could have happened without her participation, if not as a leaker herself, at least with her direction and with her scripting."
The Sunday Times — Britain
June 12, 2005
Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’
Michael Smith
MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.  
The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.  
Occupation US soldiers
Raiding people's houses
Iraqi town of Baiji
Soon they'll be back stateside
Watch out for your homes US!
Gotta hunt for them 'terrorists.'
The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.  
This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases.   This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.  
“US plans assume, as a minimum, the use of British bases in Cyprus and Diego Garcia,” the briefing paper warned.   This meant that issues of legality “would arise virtually whatever option ministers choose with regard to UK participation”.  
The paper was circulated to those present at the meeting, among whom were Blair, Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, and Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of MI6.   The full minutes of the meeting were published last month in The Sunday Times.  
The document said the only way the allies could justify military action was to place Saddam Hussein in a position where he ignored or rejected a United Nations ultimatum ordering him to co-operate with the weapons inspectors.   But it warned this would be difficult.  
“It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject,” the document says.   But if he accepted it and did not attack the allies, they would be “most unlikely” to obtain the legal justification they needed.  
The suggestions that the allies use the UN to justify war contradicts claims by Blair and Bush, repeated during their Washington summit last week, that they turned to the UN in order to avoid having to go to war.   The attack on Iraq finally began in March 2003.  
The briefing paper is certain to add to the pressure, particularly on the American president, because of the damaging revelation that Bush and Blair agreed on regime change in April 2002 and then looked for a way to justify it.  
There has been a growing storm of protest in America, created by last month’s publication of the minutes in The Sunday Times.   A host of citizens, including many internet bloggers, have demanded to know why the Downing Street memo (often shortened to “the DSM” on websites) has been largely ignored by the US mainstream media.  
The White House has declined to respond to a letter from 89 Democratic congressmen asking if it was true — as Dearlove told the July meeting — that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” in Washington.  
The Downing Street memo burst into the mainstream American media only last week after it was raised at a joint Bush- Blair press conference, forcing the prime minister to insist that “the facts were not fixed in any shape or form at all”.
Seen a terrorist?
Are they under here?
Nope!   Not under here.
Over there?
Nope!
Can't find them damn 'terrorists' anywhere
John Conyers, the Democratic congressman who drafted the letter to Bush, has now written to Dearlove asking him to say whether or not it was accurate that he believed the intelligence was being “fixed” around the policy.
He also asked the former MI6 chief precisely when Bush and Blair had agreed to invade Iraq and whether it is true they agreed to “manufacture” the UN ultimatum in order to justify the war.  
He and other Democratic congressmen plan to hold their own inquiry this Thursday with witnesses including Joe Wilson, the American former ambassador who went to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium ore for its nuclear weapons programme.  
Frustrated at the refusal by the White House to respond to their letter, the congressmen have set up a website — www.downingstreetmemo.com — to collect signatures on a petition demanding the same answers.  
Conyers promised to deliver it to Bush once it reached 250,000 signatures.  By Friday morning it already had more than 500,000 with as many as 1m expected to have been obtained when he delivers it to the White House on Thursday.  
AfterDowningStreet.org, another website set up as a result of the memo, is calling for a congressional committee to consider whether Bush’s actions as depicted in the memo constitute grounds for impeachment.  
It has been flooded with visits from people angry at what they see as media self-censorship in ignoring the memo.   It claims to have attracted more than 1m hits a day.  
Democrats.com, another website, even offered $1,000 (about £550) to any journalist who quizzed Bush about the memo’s contents, although the Reuters reporter who asked the question last Tuesday was not aware of the reward and has no intention of claiming it.  
The complaints of media self-censorship have been backed up by the ombudsmen of The Washington Post, The New York Times and National Public Radio, who have questioned the lack of attention the minutes have received from their organisations.  
Copyright 2006   Times Newspapers Ltd.
 

Ludicrous Diversion - 7/7 London Bombings Documentary

On the 7th of July 2005 London was hit by a series of explosions.
There were calls for an impartial inquiry which have been rejected by the British Labour govenment.
Tony Blair described such an inquiry as a ‘ludicrous diversion’.
What don’t they want us to find out?
You probably think you know what happened that day.
But you don’t.
The Sunday Times — Britain
May 01, 2005
Blair planned Iraq war from start
Michael Smith
Sub-commander, Sozdar Serbiliz
PKK
Northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region
INSIDE Downing Street Tony Blair had gathered some of his senior ministers and advisers for a pivotal meeting in the build-up to the Iraq war.
It was 9am on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion began and long before the public was told war was inevitable.  
The discussion that morning was highly confidential.
As minutes of the proceedings, headed “Secret and strictly personal — UK eyes only”, state: “This record is extremely sensitive.   No further copies should be made.   It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.”
In the room were the prime minister, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, and military and intelligence chiefs.
Also listed on the minutes are Alastair Campbell, then Blair’s director of strategy, Jonathan Powell, his chief of staff, and Sally Morgan, director of government relations.  
What they were about to discuss would dominate the political agenda for years to come and indelibly stain Blair’s reputation; and last week the issue exploded again on the political scene as Blair campaigned in the hope of winning a third term as prime minister.
For the secret documents — seen by The Sunday Times — reveal that on that Tuesday in 2002:
  • Blair was right from the outset committed to supporting US plans for “regime change” in Iraq.  
  • War was already “seen as inevitable”.  
  • The attorney-general was already warning of grave doubts about its legality.  
    Straw even said the case for war was “thin”.   So Blair and his inner circle set about devising a plan to justify invasion.  
    “If the political context were right,” said Blair, “people would support regime change.”
    Straightforward regime change, though, was illegal.   They needed another reason.
  • By the end of the meeting, a possible path to invasion was agreed and it was noted that Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, chief of the defence staff, “would send the prime minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week”.  
    Outside Downing Street, the rest of Britain, including most cabinet ministers, knew nothing of this.
    True, tensions were running high, and fears of terrorism were widespread.
    But Blair’s constant refrain was that “no decisions” had been taken about what to do with Iraq.  
    The following day in the House of Commons, Blair told MPs: “We have not got to the stage of military action .  .  .  we have not yet reached the point of decision.”
    It was typical lawyer’s cleverness, if not dissembling: while no actual order had been given to invade, Blair already knew Saddam Hussein was going to be removed, sooner or later.
    Plans were in motion.
    The justification would come later.  
    AS a civil service briefing paper specifically prepared for the July meeting reveals, Blair had made his fundamental decision on Saddam when he met President George W Bush in Crawford, Texas, in April 2002.  
    “When the prime minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April,” states the paper, “he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change.”
    Blair set certain conditions: that efforts were first made to try to eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) through weapons inspectors and to form a coalition and “shape” public opinion.
    But the bottom line was that he was signed up to ousting Saddam by force if other methods failed.
    The Americans just wanted to get rid of the brutal dictator, whether or not he posed an immediate threat.
    US occupying forces
    Al-Ramadi
    Iraq
    This presented a problem because, as the secret briefing paper made clear, there were no clear legal grounds for war.
    “US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community,” says the briefing paper.  
    “Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.”
    To compound matters, the US was not a party to the International Criminal Court, while Britain was.
    The ICC, which came into force on 1 July, 2002, was set up to try international offences such as war crimes.
    Military plans were forging ahead in America but the British, despite Blair’s commitment, played down talk of war.
    In April, Straw told MPs that no decisions about military action “are likely to be made for some time”.
    That month Blair said in the Commons: “We will ensure the house is properly consulted.”
    On July 17 he told MPs: “As I say constantly, no decisions have yet been taken.”
    Six days later in Downing Street the man who opened the secret discussion of Blair’s war meeting was John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee.
    A former MI6 officer, Scarlett had become a key member of Blair’s “sofa cabinet”.
    He came straight to the point — “Saddam’s regime was tough and based on extreme fear.
    The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action”.  
    Saddam was expecting an attack, said Scarlett, but was not convinced it would be “immediate or overwhelming”.
    His assessment reveals that the primary impetus to action over Iraq was not the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction — as Blair later told the country — but the desire to overthrow Saddam.   There was little talk of WMD at all.
    The next contributor to the meeting, according to the minutes, was “C”, as the chief of MI6 is traditionally known.
    Sir Richard Dearlove added nothing to what Scarlett had said about Iraq: his intelligence concerned his recent visit to Washington where he had held talks with George Tenet, director of the CIA.
    “Military action was now seen as inevitable,” said Dearlove.   “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.”
    The Americans had been trying to link Saddam to the 9/11 attacks; but the British knew the evidence was flimsy or non-existent.   Dearlove warned the meeting that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”.
    It was clear from Dearlove’s brief visit that the US administration’s attitude would compound the legal difficulties for Britain.   The US had no patience with the United Nations and little inclination to ensure an invasion was backed by the security council, he said.
    Nor did the Americans seem very interested in what might happen in the aftermath of military action.   Yet, as Boyce then reported, events were already moving swiftly.
    “CDS (chief of the defence staff) said that military planners would brief (Donald) Rumsfeld (US defence secretary) on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.”
    The US invasion plans centred around two options.   One was a full-blown reprise of the 1991 Gulf war, a steady and obvious build-up of troops over several months, followed by a large-scale invasion.
    Estonia
    The other was a “running start”.
    Seizing on an Iraqi casus belli, US and RAF patrols over the southern no-fly zone would knock out the Iraqi air defences.
    Allied special forces would then carry out a series of small-scale operations in tandem with the Iraqi opposition, with more forces joining the battle as they arrived, eventually toppling Saddam’s regime.
    The “running start” was, said Boyce, “a hazardous option”.
    In either case the US saw three options for British involvement.   The first allowed the use of the bases in Diego Garcia and Cyprus and three squadrons of special forces; the second added RAF aircraft and Royal Navy ships; the third threw in 40,000 ground troops “perhaps with a discrete role in northern Iraq entering from Turkey”.
    At the least the US saw the use of British bases as “critical”, which posed immediate legal problems.   And Hoon said the US had already begun “spikes of activity” to put pressure on the regime.
    AMID all this talk of military might and invasion plans, one awkward voice spoke up.   Straw warned that, though Bush had made up his mind on military action, the case for it was “thin”.   He was not thinking in purely legal terms.
    A few weeks later the government would paint Saddam as an imminent threat to the Middle East and the world.   But that morning in private Straw said: “Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”
    It was a key point.   If Saddam was not an immediate threat, could war be justified legally? The attorney-general made his position clear, telling the meeting that “the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action”.
    Right from the outset, the minutes reveal, the government’s legal adviser had grave doubts about Blair’s plans; he would only finally conclude unequivocally that war was legal three days before the invasion, by which time tens of thousands of troops were already on the borders of Iraq.
    There were three possible legal bases for military action, said Goldsmith.   Self-defence, intervention to end an humanitarian crisis and a resolution from the UN Security Council.
    Neither of the first two options was a possibility with Iraq; it had to be a UN resolution.   But relying, as some hoped they could, on an existing UN resolution, would be “difficult”.
    Despite voicing concerns, Straw was not standing in the way of war.   It was he who suggested a solution: they should force Saddam into a corner where he would give them a clear reason for war.
    “We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors,” he said.
    If he refused, or the weapons inspectors found WMD, there would be good cause for war.   “This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force,” said Straw.
    From the minutes, it seems as if Blair seized on the idea as a way of reconciling the US drive towards invasion and Britain’s need for a legal excuse.
    “The prime minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors,” record the minutes.   “Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD .  .  .  If the political context were right, people would support regime change.”
    Blair would subsequently portray the key issue to parliament and the people as the threat of WMD; and weeks later he would produce the now notorious “sexed up” dossier detailing Iraq’s suspected nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programmes.
    But in the meeting Blair said: “The two key issues are whether the military plan works and whether we have the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.”
    Hoon said that if the prime minister wanted to send in the troops, he would have to decide early.   The defence chiefs were pressing to be allowed to buy large amounts of equipment as “urgent operational requirements”.   They had been prevented from preparing for war, partly by Blair’s insistence that there could be no publicly visible preparations that might inflame splits in his party, partly by the fact there was no authorisation to spend any money.
    The meeting concluded that they should plan for the UK taking part in any military action.   Boyce would send Blair full details; Blair would come back with a decision about money; and Straw would send Blair the background on the UN inspectors and “discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam”.
    The final note of the minutes, says: “We must not ignore the legal issues: the attorney-general would consider legal advice with (Foreign Office/Ministry of Defence) legal advisers.”
    It was a prophetic warning.
    Also seen by The Sunday Times is the Foreign Office opinion on the possible legal bases for war.
    Marked “Confidential”, it runs to eight pages and casts doubt on the possibility of reviving the authority to use force from earlier UN resolutions.
    “Reliance on it now would be unlikely to receive any support,” it says.
    Foreign Office lawyers were consistently doubtful of the legality of war and one deputy legal director, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, ultimately resigned because she believed the conflict was a “crime of aggression”.
    The Foreign Office briefing on the legal aspects was made available for the Downing Street meeting on July 23.
    Ten days ago, when Blair was interviewed by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman, the prime minister was asked repeatedly whether he had seen that advice.
    “No,” said Blair.   “I had the attorney-general’s advice to guide me.”
    But as the July 23 documents show, the attorney-general’s view was, until the last minute, also riven with doubts.
    Three years on, it and the questionable legality of the war are still hanging round Blair’s neck like an albatross.
    Copyright 2006   Times Newspapers Ltd.
     Caught in crossfire
    between US controlled puppet Iraq forces
    and Iraq resistance
    Greg Palast — Correspondent for the BBC
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Small boy killed as part of the mass killings by US occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Small boy killed as part of the mass killings by U.S. occupation forces April, 2004
    February 2001 — Only one month after the first Bush-Cheney inauguration, the State Department's Pam Quanrud organizes a secret confab in California to make plans for the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam.
    US oil industry advisor Falah Aljibury and others are asked to interview would-be replacements for a new US-installed dictator.
    On BBC Television's Newsnight, Aljibury himself explained,
    "It is an invasion, but it will act like a coup.  The original plan was to liberate Iraq from the Saddamists and from the regime."
    March 2001 — Vice-President Dick Cheney meets with oil company executives and reviews oil field maps of Iraq.
    Cheney refuses to release the names of those attending or their purpose.  Harper's has since learned their plan and purpose — see below.
    October/November 2001 — An easy military victory in Afghanistan emboldens then-Dep. Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to convince the Administration to junk the State Department "coup" plan in favor of an invasion and occupation that could remake the economy of Iraq.
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Small child killed as part of the mass killings by US occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Small child killed as part of the mass killings by U.S. occupation forces April, 2004
    And elaborate plan, ultimately summarized in a 101—page document, scopes out the "sale of all state enterprises" — that is, most of the nation's assets, "...especially in the oil and supporting industries."
    2002 — Grover Norquist and other corporate lobbyists meet secretly with Defense, State and Treasury officials to ensure the invasion plans for Iraq include plans for protecting "property rights."
    The result was a pre—invasion scheme to sell off Iraq's oil fields, banks, electric systems, and even change the country's copyright laws to the benefit of the lobbyists' clients. Occupation chief Paul Bremer would later order these giveaways into Iraq law.
    Fall 2002 — Philip Carroll, former CEO of Shell Oil USA, is brought in by the Pentagon to plan the management of Iraq's oil fields.
    He works directly with Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith.
    "There were plans," says Carroll, "maybe even too many plans" — but none disclosed to the public nor even the US Congress.
    January 2003 — Robert Ebel, former CIA oil analyst, is sent, BBC learns, to London to meet with Fadhil Chalabi to plan terms for taking over Iraq's oil.
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Baby killed as part of the mass killings by US occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Baby killed as part of the mass killings by U.S. occupation forces April, 2004
    March 2003 — What White House spokesman Ari Fleisher calls "Operations Iraqi Liberation" (OIL) begins.
    (Invasion is re-christened "OIF" — Operation Iraqi Freedom.)
    Defense Department is told in confidence by US Energy Information Administrator Guy Caruso that Iraq's fields are incapable of a massive increase in output.
    Despite this intelligence, Dep. Secretary Wolfowitz testifies to Congress that invasion will be a free ride.
    He swears, "There's a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money. ...We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon," a deliberate fabrication promoted by the Administration, an insider told BBC, as "part of the sales pitch" for war.
    General Jay Garner, appointed by Bush as viceroy over Iraq, is fired by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
    The general revealed in an interview for BBC that he resisted White House plans to sell off Iraq's oil and national assets.
    "That's just one fight you don't want to take on," Garner told me.
    The general also disclosed that these invade-and-grab plans were developed long before the US asserted that Saddam still held WDM:
    "All I can tell you is the plans were pretty elaborate; they didn't start them in 2002, they were started in 2001."
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Baby killed as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Baby killed as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004
    November/December 2003 — Secrecy and misinformation continues even after the invasion.
    The oil industry objects to the State Department plans for Iraq's oil fields and drafts for the Administration a 323-page plan, "Options for [the] Iraqi Oil Industry."
    Per the industry plan, the US forces Iraq to create an OPEC-friendly state oil company that supports the OPEC cartel's extortionate price for petroleum.
    Harper's and BBC obtained the plans despite official denial of their existence, then footdragging when confronted with the evidence of the reports' existence.
    Still today, the State and Defense Departments and White House continue to stonewall our demands for the notes of the meetings between lobbyists, oil industry consultants and key Administration officials that would reveal the hidden economic motives for the war.
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Unspeakable grief — as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion and coalition occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Unspeakable grief — as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion and coalition occupation forces April, 2004
    SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL — UK EYES ONLY
    DAVID MANNING From: Matthew Rycroft Date: 23 July 2002 S 195 /02
    cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell
    IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER'S MEETING, 23 JULY
    Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.
    This record is extremely sensitive.  No further copies should be made.  It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.
    John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment.  Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear.
    The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action.  Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming.
    His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US.  Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor.  Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.
    C reported on his recent talks in Washington.  There was a perceptible shift in attitude.
    Military action was now seen as inevitable.  Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.
    But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
    The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record.
    There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
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The loved ones who have gone

Photo: aljazeera.net
    The loved ones who have gone
    killed by US forces
    CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.
    The two broad US options were:
    (a) Generated Start.  A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south.  Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).
    (b) Running Start.  Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli.  Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier.  A hazardous option.
    The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option.  Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital.  The three main options for UK involvement were:
    (i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.
    (ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.
    (iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.
    The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime.
    No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
    The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week.
    It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided.  But the case was thin.
    Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.
    We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors.
    This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
    Iraq today

Image: Baha Boukhari, Al-Ayyam, 4/7/04

Photo: www.ccun.org/
    Iraq today
    The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action.
    There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation.
    The first and second could not be the base in this case.
    Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult.  The situation might of course change.
    The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors.
    Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD.  There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran.
    If the political context were right, people would support regime change.
    The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.
    On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable.  The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.
    For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait.
    Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.
    The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy.  On this, US and UK interests converged.
    But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences.  Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum.  Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.
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(ÇáÝÑäÓíÉ)

Part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004
    John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.
    The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early.  He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route.
    It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.
    Conclusions:
    (a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action.
    But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions.
    CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.
    (b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.
    (c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.
    (d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.
    He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.
    (e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.
    (f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.
    (I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)
    MATTHEW RYCROFT
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Unspeakable grief and horror

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Iraq today — Unspeakable grief and horror
    Cabinet Office paper: Conditions for military action
    The paper, produced by the Cabinet Office on July 21, 2002, is incomplete because the last page is missing.   The following is a transcript rather than the original document in order to protect the source.
    PERSONAL SECRET — UK EYES ONLY
    IRAQ: CONDITIONS FOR MILITARY ACTION (A Note by Officials)
    Summary
    Ministers are invited to:
    (1) Note the latest position on US military planning and timescales for possible action.
    (2) Agree that the objective of any military action should be a stable and law-abiding Iraq, within present borders, co-operating with the international community, no longer posing a threat to its neighbours or international security, and abiding by its international obligations on WMD.
    (3) Agree to engage the US on the need to set military plans within a realistic political strategy, which includes identifying the succession to Saddam Hussein and creating the conditions necessary to justify government military action, which might include an ultimatum for the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq.
    This should include a call from the Prime Minister to President Bush ahead of the briefing of US military plans to the President on 4 August.
    (4) Note the potentially long lead times involved in equipping UK Armed Forces to undertake operations in the Iraqi theatre and agree that the MOD should bring forward proposals for the procurement of Urgent Operational Requirements under cover of the lessons learned from Afghanistan and the outcome of SR2002.
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Unspeakable grief — as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Unspeakable grief — as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004
    (5) Agree to the establishment of an ad hoc group of officials under Cabinet Office Chairmanship to consider the development of an information campaign to be agreed with the US.
    Introduction
    1. The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace.   But, as yet, it lacks a political framework.
    In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it.
    2. When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change, provided that certain conditions were met: efforts had been made to construct a coalition/shape public opinion, the Israel-Palestine Crisis was quiescent, and the options for action to eliminate Iraq's WMD through the UN weapons inspectors had been exhausted.
    3. We need now to reinforce this message and to encourage the US Government to place its military planning within a political framework, partly to forestall the risk that military action is precipitated in an unplanned way by, for example, an incident in the No Fly Zones.
    This is particularly important for the UK because it is necessary to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action.
    Otherwise we face the real danger that the US will commit themselves to a course of action which we would find very difficult to support.
    4. In order to fulfil the conditions set out by the Prime Minister for UK support for military action against Iraq, certain preparations need to be made, and other considerations taken into account.   This note sets them out in a form which can be adapted for use with the US Government.   Depending on US intentions, a decision in principle may be needed soon on whether and in what form the UK takes part in military action.
    The Goal
    5. Our objective should be a stable and law-abiding Iraq, within present borders, co-operating with the international community, no longer posing a threat to its neighbours or to international security, and abiding by its international obligations on WMD.
    It seems unlikely that this could be achieved while the current Iraqi regime remains in power.
    US military planning unambiguously takes as its objective the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime, followed by elimination if Iraqi WMD.
    It is however, by no means certain, in the view of UK officials, that one would necessarily follow from the other.
    Even if regime change is a necessary condition for controlling Iraqi WMD, it is certainly not a sufficient one.  
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Unspeakable grief and horror

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Iraq today — Unspeakable grief and horror
    US Military Planning
    6. Although no political decisions have been taken, US military planners have drafted options for the US Government to undertake an invasion of Iraq.
    In a 'Running Start', military action could begin as early as November of this year, with no overt military build-up.  
    Air strikes and support for opposition groups in Iraq would lead initially to small-scale land operations, with further land forces deploying sequentially, ultimately overwhelming Iraqi forces and leading to the collapse of the Iraqi regime.
    A 'Generated Start' would involve a longer build-up before any military action were taken, as early as January 2003.
    US military plans include no specifics on the strategic context either before or after the campaign.
    Currently the preference appears to be for the 'Running Start'.
    CDS will be ready to brief Ministers in more detail.
    7. US plans assume, as a minimum, the use of British bases in Cyprus and Diego Garcia.
    This means that legal base issues would arise virtually whatever option Ministers choose with regard to UK participation.
    The Viability of the Plans
    8. The Chiefs of Staff have discussed the viability of US military plans.   Their initial view is that there are a number of questions which would have to be answered before they could assess whether the plans are sound.
    Notably these include the realism of the 'Running Start', the extent to which the plans are proof against Iraqi counter-attack using chemical or biological weapons and the robustness of US assumptions about the bases and about Iraqi (un)willingness to fight.
    Falluja siege April, 2004

Unspeakable grief — as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004

Photo: aljazeera.net
    Unspeakable grief — as part of the mass killings by Iraq invasion coalition occupation forces April, 2004
    UK Military Contribution
    9. The UK's ability to contribute forces depends on the details of the US military planning and the time available to prepare and deploy them.
    The MOD is examining how the UK might contribute to US-led action.   The options range from deployment of a Division (ie Gulf War sized contribution plus naval and air forces) to making available bases.
    It is already clear that the UK could not generate a Division in time for an operation in January 2003, unless publicly visible decisions were taken very soon.
    Maritime and air forces could be deployed in time, provided adequate basing arrangements could be made.
    The lead times involved in preparing for UK military involvement include the procurement of Urgent Operational Requirements, for which there is no financial provision.
    The Conditions Necessary for Military Action
    10. Aside from the existence of a viable military plan we consider the following conditions necessary for military action and UK participation: justification/legal base; an international coalition; a quiescent Israel/Palestine; a positive risk/benefit assessment; and the preparation of domestic opinion.
    Justification
    11. US views of international law vary from that of the UK and the international community.   Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.
    But regime change could result from action that is otherwise lawful.
    We would regard the use of force against Iraq, or any other state, as lawful if exercised in the right of individual or collective self-defence, if carried out to avert an overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe, or authorised by the UN Security Council.
    A detailed consideration of the legal issues, prepared earlier this year, is at Annex A.   The legal position would depend on the precise circumstances at the time.
    Legal bases for an invasion of Iraq are in principle conceivable in both the first two instances but would be difficult to establish because of, for example, the tests of immediacy and proportionality.   Further legal advice would be needed on this point.
    12. This leaves the route under the UNSC resolutions on weapons inspectors.   Kofi Annan has held three rounds of meetings with Iraq in an attempt to persuade them to admit the UN weapons inspectors.   These have made no substantive progress; the Iraqis are deliberately obfuscating.
    Annan has downgraded the dialogue but more pointless talks are possible.   We need to persuade the UN and the international community that this situation cannot be allowed to continue ad infinitum.   We need to set a deadline, leading to an ultimatum.
    It would be preferable to obtain backing of a UNSCR for any ultimatum and early work would be necessary to explore with Kofi Annan and the Russians, in particular, the scope for achieving this.
    The mother of Iraqi police officer Abbass Rahman, who died of his wounds after he was shot, grieves during her son's funeral in Baghdad July 25, 2004. 

Abbass Rahman was one of seven Iraqi police wounded when Iraq resistance opened fire at them while they were manning a checkpoint in southeast Baghdad.

Photo: aljazeera.net
    The mother of Iraqi police officer Abbass Rahman, who died of his wounds after he was shot, grieves during her son's funeral in Baghdad July 25, 2004.
    Abbass Rahman was one of seven Iraqi police wounded when Iraq resistance opened fire at them while they were manning a checkpoint in southeast Baghdad.
    13. In practice, facing pressure of military action, Saddam is likely to admit weapons inspectors as a means of forestalling it.
    But once admitted, he would not allow them to operate freely.
    UNMOVIC (the successor to UNSCOM) will take at least six months after entering Iraq to establish the monitoring and verification system under Resolution 1284 necessary to assess whether Iraq is meeting its obligations.
    Hence, even if UN inspectors gained access today, by January 2003 they would at best only just be completing setting up.
    Wing of US military F-16 fighter
    It is possible that they will encounter Iraqi obstruction during this period, but this more likely when they are fully operational.
    14. It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community.
    However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003.
    An International Coalition
    15. An international coalition is necessary to provide a military platform and desirable for political purposes.
    16. US military planning assumes that the US would be allowed to use bases in Kuwait (air and ground forces), Jordan, in the Gulf (air and naval forces) and UK territory (Diego Garcia and our bases in Cyprus).
    The plans assume that Saudi Arabia would withhold co-operation except granting military over-flights.
    On the assumption that military action would involve operations in the Kurdish area in the North of Iraq, the use of bases in Turkey would also be necessary.
    17. In the absence of UN authorisation, there will be problems in securing the support of NATO and EU partners.   Australia would be likely to participate on the same basis as the UK.
    France might be prepared to take part if she saw military action as inevitable.   Russia and China, seeking to improve their US relations, might set aside their misgivings if sufficient attention were paid to their legal and economic concerns.
    Probably the best we could expect from the region would be neutrality.   The US is likely to restrain Israel from taking part in military action.
    In practice, much of the international community would find it difficult to stand in the way of the determined course of the US hegemon.   However, the greater the international support, the greater the prospects of success.
    10 year old
    shot in head by troops
    Baghdad Airport
    A Quiescent Israel-Palestine
    18. The Israeli re-occupation of the West Bank has dampened Palestinian violence for the time being but is unsustainable in the long-term and stoking more trouble for the future.
    The Bush speech was at best a half step forward.   We are using the Palestinian reform agenda to make progress, including a resumption of political negotiations.
    The Americans are talking of a ministerial conference in November or later.
    Real progress towards a viable Palestinian state is the best way to undercut Palestinian extremists and reduce Arab antipathy to military action against Saddam Hussein.
    However, another upsurge of Palestinian/Israeli violence is highly likely.
    The co-incidence of such an upsurge with the preparations for military action against Iraq cannot be ruled out.
    Indeed Saddam would use continuing violence in the Occupied Territories to bolster popular Arab support for his regime.
    Benefits/Risks
    19. Even with a legal base and a viable military plan, we would still need to ensure that the benefits of action outweigh the risks.
    In particular, we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective as set out in paragraph 5 above.
    A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise.   As already made clear, the US military plans are virtually silent on this point.   Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden.
    Further work is required to define more precisely the means by which the desired endstate would be created, in particular what form of Government might replace Saddam Hussein's regime and the timescale within which it would be possible to identify a successor.
    We must also consider in greater detail the impact of military action on other UK interests in the region.
    Domestic Opinion
    20. Time will be required to prepare public opinion in the UK that it is necessary to take military action against Saddam Hussein.
    There would also need to be a substantial effort to secure the support of Parliament.
    An information campaign will be needed which has to be closely related to an overseas information campaign designed to influence Saddam Hussein, the Islamic World and the wider international community.
    This will need to give full coverage to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, including his WMD, and the legal justification for action.
    Timescales
    21. Although the US military could act against Iraq as soon as November, we judge that a military campaign is unlikely to start until January 2003, if only because of the time it will take to reach consensus in Washington.
    That said, we judge that for climactic reasons, military action would need to start by January 2003, unless action were deferred until the following autumn.
    22. As this paper makes clear, even this timescale would present problems.   This means that:
    (a) We need to influence US consideration of the military plans before President Bush is briefed on 4 August, through contacts betweens the Prime Minister and the President and at other levels;
    Memo ends here.   Last page was not published by The Sunday Times
    They state they did not receive it.
    Video taken from Sky News, placed on YouTube:

    Galloway wipes the floor with Sky News anchor

    Sky News anchor: Joining me now is a man who’s not known for sitting on the fence.   He passionately opposed the invasion of Iraq and now he feels that Hizbullah is justified in attacking Israel.   The Respect MP for Bethnel Green is in our London studio.   A very good evening, uh good morning to you Mr. Galloway.   How do you JUSTIFY your support for Hizbullah and its leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah?
    She might as well have punched him in the face and handed him a gun.
    "It’s tempting in the flurry of minutes and memos and articles to get so wrapped up in the story that you forget exactly who the story is about.
    It’s not about impeaching the President.
    It’s not about Republicans and Democrats.
    It has, and always will be, about them.
    About those heroes who sacrificed and trusted their government.
    About those with brave hearts who cannot speak now from the grave.
    And so, it is up to us to speak for them.
    It is up to the media to ask the questions that would have flowed from their lips, were those heroes alive today."
    Little dead girl caught in crossfire
    Editorial: Memorial Day/Praise bravery, seek forgiveness
    Star Tribune   Minneapolis/St. Paul   May 30, 2005
    Nothing young Americans can do in life is more honorable than offering themselves for the defense of their nation.  It requires great selflessness and sacrifice, and quite possibly the forfeiture of life itself.  On Memorial Day 2005, we gather to remember all those who gave us that ultimate gift.  Because they are so fresh in our minds, those who have died in Iraq make a special claim on our thoughts and our prayers.
    In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important:  It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country.
    In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
    President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them.
    Harsh?  Yes.  True?  Also yes.
    Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power.
    But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.
    The "smoking gun," as some call it, surfaced on May 1 in the London Times.  It is a highly classified document containing the minutes of a July 23, 2002, meeting at 10 Downing Street in which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair on talks he'd just held in Washington.  His mission was to determine the Bush administration's intentions toward Iraq.
    At a time when the White House was saying it had "no plans" for an invasion, the British document says Dearlove reported that there had been "a perceptible shift in attitude" in Washington.  "Military action was now seen as inevitable.  Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.
    Wounded by US sniper
    But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.  The (National Security Council) had no patience with the U.N. route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record.  There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."
    It turns out that former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill were right.  Both have been pilloried for writing that by summer 2002 Bush had already decided to invade.
    Walter Pincus, writing in the Washington Post on May 22, provides further evidence that the administration did, indeed, fix the intelligence on Iraq to fit a policy it had already embraced: invasion and regime change.  Just four days before Bush's State of the Union address in January 2003, Pincus writes, the National Security Council staff "put out a call for new intelligence to bolster claims" about Saddam Hussein's WMD programs.  The call went out because the NSC staff believed the case was weak.
    Moreover, Pincus says, "as the war approached, many U.S. intelligence analysts were internally questioning almost every major piece of prewar intelligence about Hussein's alleged weapons programs."  But no one at high ranks in the administration would listen to them.
    On the day before Bush's speech, the CIA's Berlin station chief warned that the source for some of what Bush would say was untrustworthy.
    Bush said it anyway.
    He based part of his most important annual speech to the American people on a single, dubious, unnamed source.  The source was later found to have fabricated his information.
    Also comes word, from the May 19 New York Times, that senior U.S. military leaders are not encouraged about prospects in Iraq.  Yes, they think the United States can prevail, but as one said, it may take "many years."
    As this bloody month of car bombs and American deaths — the most since January — comes to a close, as we gather in groups small and large to honor our war dead, let us all sing of their bravery and sacrifice.
    But let us also ask their forgiveness for sending them to a war that should never have happened.
    In the 1960s it was Vietnam.  Today it is Iraq.  Let us resolve to never, ever make this mistake again.  Our young people are simply too precious.
     
    Published on Tuesday, June 7, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
    Bring It Down.   Now!
    by David Michael Green
    The Downing Street Memo is the gift that just keeps on giving.
    And well it should.
    It is the smoking gun which proves that the gravest possible crime was committed by the Bush administration, and among its victims were the American people.
    I am more hopeful about American politics than I have been in a long time, though still cautious.
    For nearly five years now, the Bush administration has gotten away with murder — literally and figuratively — with seemingly immutable impunity, always defying the laws of political gravity, at least as they are known in this universe.
    So I've come to be tentative and rather pessimistic about the possibilities of ending this national nightmare of reaction, thievery and militarism, and bringing these criminals to justice.
    But Downing Street seems to have legs, and I feel a critical mass building now.
    It is different this time, in part, because this is the first true insider smoking gun, set down in black and white.
    But it is also different, in part, because the context has changed.
    Unlike previous revelations, from the Clarke or O'Neill (Suskind) books, for example, the evidence this time comes against the background of growing discontent at home with the disaster of Iraq, and the diminished credibility of a president and the movement of regressive politics he leads.
    Generally content or frightened people will forgive a lot, sometimes even murderous lies of this magnitude.
    Among its highlights, the DSM confirms that the war had been decided upon well before Congressional or UN Security Council action, and before weapons inspectors were inserted and then removed because of the 'urgency' of Iraq's threat
    (of course, the real urgency and real threat was that the absence of WMD would kill Bush's pretext for war).
    But angry, deceived people will not.
    Bush has built himself a credibility gap of which Lyndon Johnson could be proud, which probably accounts more than anything for his inability to sell the bundle of Social Security deceits he's been peddling.
    He said he was going to get Osama 'dead or alive'.  He didn't.
    He said his tax scheme would revive the economy.  It didn't.
    He said it wouldn't add to the national debt.  Boy, did it.
    He and his minions said Iraq was a necessary war, in response to an urgent threat, and that American 'liberators' would be greeted with flowers and chocolate.
    None of that came true, of course, and now the public no longer supports George and Dick's Excellent Adventure in the Cradle of Civilization.
    Fifty-seven percent of Americans perceive the war as going badly.
    Only forty percent think that it's been worth it to remove Saddam from power given the costs in troops and dollars.
    And only thirty-eight percent approve of how Bush is handling the war.
    Moreover, Iraq echoes the tragedy of Vietnam in every salient way, from the lies going in, to the 'everything's just fine' detachment of the political class, the international opprobrium, the inability to effectively fight counter-insurgency warfare, and the lack of any sort of remotely appealing exit scenario.
    And on the Nam trajectory, it feels like we are at 1970 or so in terms of public disenchantment.
    (In part, we should note, that is precisely because of the lessons learned from that war, which produced a healthy increase in political skepticism among the American public.)
    But in Vietnam, the Tet Offensive had already occurred by 1970, and so, for many years, had the draft.
    Imagine what will happen to already low and falling support for the Iraq debacle if in the coming months there is a single, highly demoralizing reversal for the US military in Iraq, a la Tet, or if a starved military is forced to reinstitute the draft.
    This is the context in which the damning evidence of the Downing Street Memo arrives, and it is part of the explanation for why the Bush administration may now finally find itself in the deep trouble it so richly deserves.
    The Memo itself lays out in clear text the game of deceit played by the Bush and Blair gangs in the run-up to the Iraq War.
    Among its highlights, the DSM confirms that the war had been decided upon well before Congressional or UN Security Council action, and before weapons inspectors were inserted and then removed because of the 'urgency' of Iraq's threat (of course, the real urgency and real threat was that the absence of WMD would kill Bush's pretext for war).
    The Memo then goes on to show, most significantly, that the war planners knew their case was "thin", so they distorted — "fixed" — the intelligence and facts in order to market the war.
    (For a more complete discussion of the Memo itself and the wholesale failures of the mainstream media to treat this earth-shattering story with anything approaching the coverage it deserves.
    (see http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0513-20.htm.)
    Eighty-nine members of the House sent a letter to the president asking for clarification of the ominous implications of the Memo, and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan soon began getting questions about it.
    It will hardly surprise attentive readers that his response to these questions was smug, condescending, and maximally disingenuous.
    Without addressing the content or implications of the Memo (and, most absurdly of all, while claiming not to have read it), McClellan refers us to the president's statements of the time, which he says provide a clear record of Bush's honest and very public diplomacy on the Iraq issue.
    Wow.  One can only imagine the shivers running down the spines of Rove, Bush, Cheney and the rest as they read those words and consider the (very mainstream) source.
    Already unpopular and no longer trusted, the Memo has the capacity to devastate if not destroy this White House, and potentially even to sentence its occupants to financial ruin and long prison terms.
    (If this were to get more deserved, or more ironic, those jail cells would turn out to be in The Hague, rather than Leavenworth.)
    It turns out, however, that if one examines that record just as McClellan suggests, one finds anything and everything but honesty from Bush and his team.
    Instead, precisely as the DSM prescribes, we were given a boatload of knowing lies from the administration, often in the most visible of fora, like the State of the Union address.
    (see http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0519-30.htm)
    Since these initial developments, much has happened in just a short time.
    First, knowledge of the Memo's existence is becoming more widespread.
    As of this moment, I doubt more than one percent of Americans are aware of the story, but that number is increasing rapidly, especially through the alternative media.
    More and more articles written on a variety of subjects make reference to it, even in passing, and it is flying across email networks with accelerating rapidity.
    Google "Downing Street Memo" and about 267,000 hits are returned at present, with that number rising fast.
    The story feels at this moment like a virus about to kick into the exponential phase of its growth curve, or a pregnant cloud about to burst showers over the parched land.
    The mainstream media is addressing the DSM, but still only in bits, and — it would appear — only reluctantly.
    No doubt the experiences of CBS and Newsweek have been precisely as intimidating as the White House intended them to be, and no doubt fears of lost profits prove even more sobering.
    Just the same, there is movement, and some of it has been forced by us.
    Two weeks too late, for example, the New York Times finally ran a brief single-column story.
    Of course, they buried it on page 10, and they gave the story the wrong emphasis.
    Its first paragraph reads "More than two weeks after its publication in London, a previously secret British government memorandum that reported in July 2002 that President Bush had decided to 'remove Saddam, through military action' is still creating a stir among administration critics.
    They are portraying it as evidence that Mr. Bush was intent on war with Iraq earlier than the White House has acknowledged." 
    The article goes on to develop this theme of timing, which is by far the lesser of the two main deceits proven by the DSM.
    Almost no mention is made in the article of the much more egregious crime of lying about the necessity of the invasion for American security needs, and willfully constructing an entire campaign of disinformation to market the war.
    The Times also felt the pressure of its readership on this issue to such an extent that the new Public Editor, Byron Calame, was compelled to publish an online response to the "flood" of angry email from readers expressing disappointment and worse at America's so-called newspaper of record.
    Mr. Calame writes "My checks find no basis for Ms. Lowe's [a sample incensed correspondent] concern about censorship or undue outside pressures.
    Rather, it appears that key editors simply were slow to recognize that the minutes of a high-powered meeting on a life-and-death issue — their authenticity undisputed — probably needed to be assessed in some fashion for readers.
    Even if the editors decided it was old news that Mr. Bush had decided in July 2002 to attack Iraq or that the minutes didn't provide solid evidence that the administration was manipulating intelligence, I think Times readers deserved to know that earlier than today's article [Calame is referring here to the article discussed in the previous paragraph]."
    Again, this goes to the lesser issue raised by the DSM, but Calame then interviews Phil Taubman, the NYT Washington Bureau Chief, who addresses the more salient question of the manipulation of intelligence to sell the war.
    Says Taubman: "It is mighty suggestive that Lord Dearlove, the chief of MI6, came home with the impression, or interpretation, that 'the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.'
    However, that's several steps removed from evidence that such was the case.
    The minutes did not say that Mr. Tenet had told that to Lord Dearlove or that Lord Dearlove had seen specific examples of that.
    The minutes, in my estimation, were not a smoking gun that proved that Bush, Tenet and others were distorting intelligence to support the case for war."
    There are two huge problems with this alibi for the Times' obscene failure.
    First, by any reasonable standard, the Memo absolutely does provide such 'evidence' that the facts were being fixed.
    It says so itself.
    And, remember that it is an internal British government document, leaked to the public.  As such, and since it was never intended to see the light of day, there would be no reason for it to be dishonest or distorted for the benefit of its original readers.
    Remember also that Tony Blair has in fact commented briefly on the Memo, but never denied its veracity in any fashion. 
    Recall that a member or former member of the Bush team who was privy to these discussions has confirmed, off the record, the accuracy of the Memo.
    And remember that the Memo's blueprint fits precisely with what are now established facts from the period, namely, that the Bush people told lie after whopping lie about Iraq's WMD capabilities, and did so knowingly. 
    All told, this amounts to an extremely powerful case, one which would certainly prove highly persuasive in a criminal case, where the standards of proof are far higher than they are for a public's evaluation of their political leaders in a democracy.
    But, even if this extremely persuasive evidence were not on the table, the second problem with the Times' lame excuse is that unassailable evidence of a crime (do we ever have that?) is hardly necessary for publication of a news story, anyhow.
    We don't 'know' yet whether Tom DeLay is guilty of the accusations which have been made against him, but those accusations are themselves highly newsworthy, and have been treated, appropriately, as such.
    We don't yet 'know' definitively whether John Bolton is a 'kiss up, kick down' sort of fellow, but the fact that there is some evidence suggesting that might be the case deserves, and got, plenty of media coverage.
    And I sure don't remember a lot of media hesitation over Whitewater or Monicagate.
    Me, I'm just one guy out here in the hinterlands, but where I come from, very powerful evidence of a president lying to sell a war — evidence which has not been disputed, evidence which has been independently corroborated in multiple ways, and evidence which has caused deep concern among a large portion of Congress — well, that's worthy of a wee bit more coverage than we've seen to date.
    Indeed, apart from 9/11, what story of the last decade is bigger than this?
    The arguments proffered by the Times for its poor coverage of the DSM render this news blackout and associated coverup distortions looking very much like a case of disingenuousness of which the White House would be proud.
    Together, they would constitute a crime on top of a crime, but for the fact that it is not, alas, the first episode in this ugly story.
    By its own (very late) admission, the Times betrayed its responsibility to the American public during the run-up to the war — precisely the period described in the Memo — by failing to question the 'evidence' and claims offered by the administration for the necessity of going to war, serving instead as a virtual government stenographer.
    That makes the current fiasco — at best — a perfect trifecta of botched journalism from America's paper of record.
    But it also makes that 'at best' interpretation seem increasingly implausible.
    Far more likely with such a series of failings, all in the same direction of massively favoring the administration, is that the Times is purposely abdicating its duty as a government watchdog.
    Whether that is because of cowardice, profits, both, or some other explanation is as yet unclear.
    My, how far we've traveled.
    In this week full of Watergate reminiscences, the irony of our present condition could not be more complete.
    Three decades ago, two cub reporters with the backing of a great patriotic paper struggled to uncover, bit by painstaking bit, information which saved the republic from a highjacking.
    Today, the story is out there in plain sight, and yet the no-longer-remotely-great journalistic organs not only fail to present it, they conspire to cover it up, adding their own special contribution to the current unraveling of constitutional government.
    Increasing numbers of Americans are coming to realize that learning the truth about their country requires going to foreign sources like the BBC, or to alternative electronic media.
    Fortunately, however, American journalism still exhibits a pulse in a few parts of the country.
    Most significant so far has been a stunning cri de coeur out of Minneapolis, deep within America's heartland and hardly a Havana, Falluja or even Berkeley.
    In a devastating Memorial ('Memo'rial?) Day editorial, the Star Tribune called the president what he is, a liar who has committed the gravest sin any commander-in-chief ever could, "spending [American soldiers'] blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction".
    Wow.  One can only imagine the shivers running down the spines of Rove, Bush, Cheney and the rest as they read those words and consider the (very mainstream) source.
    Already unpopular and no longer trusted, the Memo has the capacity to devastate if not destroy this White House, and potentially even to sentence its occupants to financial ruin and long prison terms.
    (If this were to get any sweeter, more deserved, or more ironic, those jail cells would turn out to be in The Hague, rather than Leavenworth.  Nobody pinch me yet, please, this is too good.)
    Indeed, the ironies which may ensue from this point forward are exquisite to contemplate. 
    Those who have recklessly dismantled American democracy over the last two decades in a naked pursuit of power may well in turn become victims of several of the destructive precedents they themselves have established.
    For starters, consider Karl Rove's dilemma right now.
    He is in precisely the position he has long loved to place his opponents (such as Democratic members of Congress over the Iraq war vote just before the elections of 2002, to choose just one example).
    If he says nothing about the DSM, he risks it continuing to proliferate exponentially, with more and more mainstream, heartland, media hurling devastating and unanswered body blows at the Bush administration, until ultimately a tidal wave of rage crests over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
    But if he addresses it head on, he risks making tens of millions of Americans aware of something they presently are not, with most of them likely to then see the plain message of this evidence for exactly what it is.
    Hobson's choice or not, at the rate things are progressing, the White House will have to respond, and likely soon.
    Just this week a chorus of impeachment calls has echoed across the alternative media, including even one (at least) from a conservative source, Paul Craig Roberts of the Hoover Institution, who accuses Bush of "intentionally deceiving Congress and the American people in order to start a war of aggression against a country that posed no threat to the United States".
    He goes on to note, quite accurately, that "As intent as Republicans were to impeach President Bill Clinton for lying about a sexual affair, they have a blind eye for President Bush's far more serious lies".
    To get a sense of how frightened and vulnerable the Bush team is, consider McClellan's response to a reporter's question about the letter sent by 89 members of the House calling for an explanation of the Downing Street Memo.
    McClellan said the White House saw "no need" to answer the letter.
    This tells us three things, right off the bat.
    First, the Bush administration is blocking Congress from performing its constitutionally mandated duty of oversight of the executive.
    Well, no surprise there.
    Second — and, again, absolutely no surprise — this White House has once more demonstrated its seemingly inexhaustible capacity to break all prior records for arrogance.
    Napoleon couldn't touch this stuff, and neither could Nero.
    Imagine believing that you're above answering basic questions posed by Congress about the single biggest issue of our time.
    Imagine seeing "no need" to explain to the country why documentary evidence exists showing that you lied your way into a war which continues to consume American soldiers by the thousands, with no end in sight.  Now, that's how they do it in the big leagues.
    But experience reminds us that arrogance and bullying behavior almost always serve to mask massive insecurities just beneath, bringing us to the third revelation which can be extrapolated from McClellan's non-comment.
    Think about it.
    The gravest possible accusation has been made against the president and his team, emanating from, among others, one-fifth of the House of Representatives.
    In addition to its moral implications, it has the political capacity to topple the presidency and perhaps kill the entire regressive right movement of the last quarter-century.
    It is, in short, some very serious business.
    Knowing what we know about how these folks viciously attack anyone who besmirches them in the slightest, what are we to make of their silence on this most lethal — this most existential — of political attacks?
    No doubt they are completely trapped by the evidence and can only hope and pray the Memo just goes away.
    But ever true to form, McClellan, Bush, Cheney and the whole lot of them would be strewing carnage across the landscape on this issue if they could get away with it.
    Just ask CBS, Newsweek, Amnesty International, Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, John McCain or John Kerry.
    Get in their way, and the attacks come hard, fast and personal.
    That they are not now in full assault mode further affirms the accuracy and power of the Memo, as well as suggesting that the White House is strategically trapped between a rock and a hard place.
    Perhaps they even find themselves in shock and awe.
    It is crucial now for progressives and patriots of all stripes to push this opportunity as hard as possible, down multiple paths.
    The mainstream media is the most significant avenue for advancing this initiative which has the potential to take down Bush.
    We must continue to exert unrelenting pressure on media outlets simply to do their jobs, so that the public may be informed of this gravest breach of its trust.
    Members of Congress, led by John Conyers, have also played an important role so far by providing legitimacy to the critique, a rallying point around which other vectors can agglomerate, and an important angle the media can exploit should they ever decide one day to earn their salaries.
    We must do more to pressure Congress, particularly vulnerable Republicans (and I predict there may be quite a lot of them in 2006) to take this question seriously or explain to their constituents why they do not.
    Impeachment is completely warranted for the crimes committed by the Bush administration, and we must relentlessly demand this outcome.
    As mentioned above, there are potentially exquisite ironies in this case, and this is one of them.
    Having impeached Clinton for lying about oral sex, how ridiculous would Republicans now appear trying to argue that there is no impeachable offense here?
    Another example of sublime irony might be produced by a court case, perhaps over a wrongful death charge.
    Cindy Sheehan (bless you for your sacrifice, and for your tireless work to save others from the same fate), are you reading this? 
    History is calling your name.
    And once again, imagine the patently obvious hypocrisy of Republicans trying to prevent the president from having to testify in such a case, after they just got through establishing a legal precedent for the same by forcing Clinton to do so, while in office, over the far less harmful allegation of sexual harassment.
    And, in yet another example of exquisite irony, imagine how unsympathetic the judiciary is likely to be toward them, after the radical right has excoriated judges who don't bend to their will, to the point that GOP senators have offered justifications for recent violence directed against judges.
    The regressive movement of the last several decades has provided a vicious spectacle, to the extent that internal cannibalization always seemed one likely avenue for its ultimate demise, with, for example, the far right running a nearly successful primary candidate against sitting Republican Senator Arlen Specter last year.
    But this is better.
    Lots better.
    After a quarter century of scorched earth politics, I could not have designed a more appropriate fate for these destroyers of democracy than to be hoisted by their own petards, and then taken out by their own destructive precedents.
    America has gone seriously astray due to the regressive right movement that began in earnest with Reagan, incubated under Gingrich, and blossomed full-blown in the era of Bush, Scalia and DeLay.
    This political cancer has yielded death, destruction, environmental wreckage, massive debt, wholesale violations of human rights, diminishment of national security, dismantling of constitutional democracy at home and widespread hatred for America abroad.  And that's just the first term.
    It is difficult to imagine that one could ruin a country so thoroughly in just four years, but the Bush team has succeeded famously (with a good deal of help from the press, the Democrats and the public).
    Finally, it appears that we have in the Downing Street Memo a weapon, and with it the proper context, to end our long national nightmare.
    Impeachment.  Now.
    David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.
    Common Dreams © 1997-2005
    Daughter of loved ones
    — in home in Fallujah when U.S. attacked
    Daughter of loved one — in home in Fallujah.

Photo: http://dahrjamailiraq.com/

    Monday, June 6th, 2005
    The Smoking Bullet in the Smoking Gun:  Bush Began Iraq Invasion in 2002

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    Democracy Now correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports on new documents that show President Bush began the invasion of Iraq more than half a year before Shock and Awe was launched.
    Writing in The Nation magazine, Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports on Washington's undeclared air war against Iraq in 2002:
    "It was a huge air assault:  Approximately 100 US and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace.  At least seven types of aircraft were part of this massive operation, including US F-15 Strike Eagles and Royal Air Force Tornado ground-attack planes.  They dropped precision-guided munitions on Saddam Hussein's major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan.  Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers and mobile air-defense systems.  The Pentagon's goal was clear: Destroy Iraq's ability to resist. This was war.
    "But there was a catch:  The war hadn't started yet, at least not officially.  This was September 2002 — a month before Congress had voted to give President Bush the authority he used to invade Iraq, two months before the United Nations brought the matter to a vote and more than six months before "shock and awe" officially began."

    AMY GOODMAN:    Here to talk about this all with us is Jeremy Scahill, producer and correspondent for Democracy Now!, has an article at The Nation magazine's website, called "The Other Bomb Drops:  How Bush Began the Iraq Invasion Before He Went to Congress or the U.N."  We are also joined on the telephone by Hans Von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations.
    And we are joined by John Bonifaz, who has just begun a website that deals with this issue.  He is author of Warrior King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush.  The website is called, AfterDowningStreet.org, a coalition of various groups urging Congress to begin a formal investigation to whether Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the invasion of Iraq.  Let’s begin, Jeremy, with you.  Welcome to Democracy Now!, on this side of the mic.
    JEREMY SCAHIL:    Thank you, Amy.  It’s good to be here.
    AMY GOODMAN:    Talk about what you found.
    JEREMY SCAHIL:    I think for many people who have been following the politics of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it comes as no surprise to learn that the Bush administration intentionally misled the U.S. public and the world and operated with tremendous bad faith when it said it was trying to do everything it could to avoid war. And what we have here is really solid documentation that backs that up.
    What the British Times of London published last weekend was statistics from the British defense ministry that showed that in the second half of 2002 — let's remember that the invasion of Iraq officially began in March of 2003 — that from May 2002 until the end of 2002, that the United States and Britain doubled the amount of attacks that — the number of attacks that they were carrying out against Iraq, from the whole of 2001.
    So, what you saw was the Bush administration ordering attacks, offensive attacks on Iraq, that were intended to take out communications infrastructure in the country, the ability of commanders in the Iraqi military to communicate with one another, pretty much defensive mechanics for the country, and these attacks were happening with the justification that they were protecting the so-called no-fly zones in Iraq.
    The real scandal here is that the Bush administration, like the Clinton administration before it, oversaw the longest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam. We reported on this show for years consistently that the United States was bombing Iraq once every three days.
    This bombing began — you could say that the preparations for this invasion began the moment that the so-called Gulf War ended and that Clinton laid the groundwork for this in his regular bombings of Iraq.
    We saw a spike in activity in these so-called no-fly zone attacks which had no U.N. mandate whatsoever, which were not approved by the international community.
    AMY GOODMAN:    Which are often mistakenly called the U.N. no-fly zones.
    JEREMY SCAHIL:    Right. And it was only the United States and Britain. France pulled out almost immediately after the United States began this program. So you had the United States and Britain, and then with the approval and support of some of the puppet regimes in the region that were for whatever reason in bed with the United States.
    After the passage of the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998, you saw an escalation in the so-called no-fly zones.
    The Clinton administration was using them to try to provoke Saddam Hussein's regime into attacking the United States to justify further attacks. And you remember there was the heavy bombing known as "Operation Desert Fox" in December of 1998. So the Clinton administration is not innocent here. It carried out illegal bombings against Iraq consistently throughout the presidency of Clinton.
    What we saw that sort of changed here under Bush is that the Bush administration dropped all of the rhetoric about the no-fly zones having something to do with defending Shiites or Kurds and actually were quite public about what they were using these no-fly zones for. They were using them to systematically and preemptively degrade Iraq's ability to defend itself, not from an uprising of Shiites or Kurds, but from the invasion of a foreign army.
    AMY GOODMAN:    And then, can you locate the Downing Street memo, talk about its significance, and what happened with the bombing then?  This Downing Street memo, what, July 23rd, 2002.
    JEREMY SCAHIL:    Yes. It reports on a meeting that senior British officials had had with members of the Bush administration, and what it is is a reflection of what the British understood to be the United States' policy at the moment.
    And what's clear from reading this — it's actually not a memo, it's minutes, but it's called the Downing Street memo. It's minutes of this meeting with Tony Blair and some of his most senior defense advisers.
    And the picture that is painted from this memo is that the United States already was not just planning and preparing for war, but was actively carrying out air strikes in support of this war.
    The invasion had begun already when the British had this meeting. And we find that in the form of remarks attributed to Geoff Hoon within these minutes, where he is talking about the Americans already spiking up activity against Saddam Hussein, and what he’s referring to is the increasing use of these so-called no-fly zones to degrade Iraq's ability to defend against a U.S. invasion and to prepare the route for U.S. Special Forces to enter into the country.
    In September of 2002 — now this is months before the actual invasion officially began, and a few months before Bush went to the Congress or the United Nations — 100 aircraft violate Iraqi airspace, British and American aircraft.
    They go in and they carry out a systematic campaign of air strikes in the west of Iraq and basically destroy the west of Iraq's ability to defend against an invasion. And that was one of the main places where U.S. Special Forces troops came in from Jordan into the west of Iraq.
    That happened in September of 2002. We’re talking about months before the actual invasion began.
    AMY GOODMAN:    We are talking to Democracy Now! correspondent, Jeremy Scahill, has a piece in The Nation online called “The Other Bomb Drops." When we come back, we'll also be joined by attorney John Bonifaz and the former U.N. Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck.

    AMY GOODMAN:    Our guests are Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent; John Bonifaz, author of Warrior King : The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush; as well as Hans Von Sponeck, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, formerly.
    This according to the Times of London. They write the Downing Street minutes, headed “Secret and strictly personal — U.K. eyes only,” detail one of the most important meetings ahead of the invasion. It was chaired by the Prime Minister, attended by his inner circle. The document reveals Blair backed regime change by force from the outset, despite warnings from Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, that such action could be illegal.
    The minutes that were published by the Sunday Times begin with the warning: "This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. The paper should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know."
    It records this meeting in July 2002, attended by military and intelligence chiefs of which Blair discussed military options having already committed himself to supporting President George Bush's plans for ousting Saddam.
    Can you talk about the significance of this for President George Bush?
    JOHN BONIFAZ:    Sure, Amy. I mean the reality here is that this evidence from this Downing Street memo reveals that the President may have engaged in a conspiracy to mislead and deceive the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq.
    And they have, in effect undermined and violated the War Powers Clause of the United States Constitution, which makes it quite clear that Congress and only Congress has the power to declare war.
    Well, it's not in his power to start a war long before even going to Congress in October 2002, even if that resolution in October 2002 was not a proper declaration of war.
    So, what we have started with AfterDowningStreet.org is a campaign on behalf of a coalition of veterans groups, peace groups and organizations around this country calling upon Congressman John Conyers, Jr., and other members of Congress to launch a resolution of inquiry formally investigating whether the President's committed impeachable offenses in connection with this war.
    Is it a high crime to lie to the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war?  That question must now be answered.
    AMY GOODMAN:    Can you talk about AfterDowningStreet.org and this whole movement that is now developing?
    JOHN BONIFAZ:    Well, we have launched this less than two weeks ago, we have already received over 100,000 hits to the website.
    Thousands of people are weighing in in support of this campaign, and we believe that Congressman Conyers and others need to stand up as they have in the past and urge that this administration be held accountable for its potential impeachable offenses and the President himself must be held accountable.
    James Madison said when talking about the impeachment clause of the Constitution, that a president is impeachable if he subverts the Constitution, and it is a clear subversion of the Constitution to lie to the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for sending the nation to war, sending young men and women off to their death based on a potential lie.
    This president needs to be held accountable for that illegal action.
    AMY GOODMAN:    John Bonifaz, I wanted to ask you about what appears later in the Sunday Times of London piece, it says, "The July meeting was later mentioned by Lord Butler in his report on the use of intelligence on W.M.D. as a key stage in the road to war, but its details have never been revealed until now.
    The minutes show that Goldsmith warned Blair eight months before war started — that was March 19, 2003 — that finding legal justification would be difficult. The Attorney General only ruled unambiguously war was lawful a few days before the war started, after Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, Chief of the Defense Staff, demanded unequivocal written confirmation.
    Boyce was never shown Goldsmith’s more equivocal advice to Blair and says today ministers failed to give him protection from prosecution at the International Criminal Court.
    He said, ‘I have always been troubled by the I.C.C.,’ adding that if British service men are put on trial, ministers should be brought into the frame, as well.
    Asked if that should include Blair and Goldsmith, the Attorney General, he told the Observer newspaper, ‘Too bloody right.’” Can you talk about liability here and what he means?
    JOHN BONIFAZ:    Clearly, there's liability for British officials, including Tony Blair under the International Criminal Court since Britain is a signatory to the treaty that created that court.
    The United States decided not to sign that treaty in part because it did not want to have its officials held liable for any of these kinds of potential war crimes and other crimes under international law.
    However, it's important to note that the United States forces used U.K. bases out of Diego Garcia and Cyprus, which if in fact there were war crimes or violations of international law that have occurred, the United States could also be implicated by having used those British airbases.
    So, I think that we have to look at all of the questions here both in terms of violations of international law, as well as our United States Constitution, and we as a people have a recourse under the U.S. Constitution and that's the impeachment clause to remove any president for violations of the Constitution, for violations of federal law, and this President needs to be held accountable if he committed high crimes.
    AMY GOODMAN:    Jeremy Scahill?
    JEREMY SCAHILL:    To look at the politics of this, it's very interesting that John Kerry, Senator John Kerry, raised this issue last week and said that he's going to be raising the Downing Street minutes publicly, and there's been a firestorm of controversy.
    In fact, the far right-wing publications, Newsmax, all of these Ann Coulter clique of people have made a big deal about this.
    John Kerry is going to bring articles of impeachment against President Bush. But I think we need to step back and look at something here. If an honest assessment was done, what we’re looking at is George Bush picking up from where Clinton left off and just taking it a step further.
    Bill Clinton systematically attacked Iraq throughout his entire presidency. He oversaw the largest sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam.
    What a Congressional committee with subpoena power should really do is go back and subpoena every military official who’s ever had anything to do with these so-called no-fly zones, bring them in front of Congress, swear them in and ask them, “What were your orders, both given and received?”
    And what you’ll see is a systematic violation of international law and the U.S. Constitution that was supported openly by Democrats.
    And so John Conyers who’s been consistently against these things is the perfect person to raise these kinds of charges because his voting record shows that he has been consistently opposed to it.
    Many of the Democrats in the Senate and the House have big problems because they supported the Iraq Liberation Act, they supported the pummeling of Iraq, the punishment of Iraqi civilians through these bombings.
    And I have met people whose children have been killed in these bombings.
    And that’s what we have to remember.
    There was a human price here that was very heavy.
    And we have reported on that on Democracy Now! This is a case of — the media need to follow these events in real time.
    This was a bombing that was happening very publicly, and it was documentable in real time. And it's great that now it's getting attention, but one of the problems that the Democrats are going to run into on Capitol Hill is you need to go back and look at their policies, their positions, their votes. And it’s going to be damning of them.
    AMY GOODMAN:    I want to bring in Hans Von Sponeck here, the former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. You were in office during some of the time that Jeremy is now just talking about. Can you talk about you being on the ground in Iraq and what you understood was happening?
    HANS VON SPONECK:    Well, let me first say, in addition to my role as the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Oil for Food Program, I was also the designated official for security of United Nations staff in Iraq, and in that context, of course, we paid attention to what was happening in the no-fly zones.
    And what was quite noticeable is that after Operation Desert Fox of December 1998, there was a very distinct increase in the number of incidents perpetrated by the U.S. and U.K. air forces involving civilian property, involving civilians, and we ascribed that at the time as a result of instructions given by the two governments in Washington and London to allow pilots to operate under what is known as “enlarged rules of engagement,” giving pilots more freedom to decide whether to attack an installation or whether to engage in other destabilization attempts in the two no-fly zones, and, by the way, at times also straying over into the fly zone.
    The fly zone was not entirely without incidents during the time since Operation Desert Fox in 1998.
    And as a result of this development, we in Baghdad decided very quickly that we would begin to record these incidents, not as they affected the military — that wasn't our business — but as they affected the security of United Nations staff, and, of course, the civilian population in Iraq.
    And that meant that we started to issue air strike reports where we every three months issued such a report for the consumption of the U.N. Security Council, for the Office of the Secretary General and other officials at the U.N. in New York, and we made sure at the time to be discreet about this, not to give it to the press, but to give it to those who had something to do with these incidents.
    I, myself, would, when I visited New York, see the U.S. Ambassador, see the British Ambassador and hand to them these copies.
    And I remember on one occasion, I told both of them that, when I gave them a report with pictures, I said, your pilots see it from up there, 10,000 meters above, and this is how we see it on the ground, and it was striking to see the reaction, which was extremely angry and negative.
    I was told by a British official that all we were doing, we’re putting the imprint of legality, of legitimization on Iraqi propaganda, which was not at all the case.
    AMY GOODMAN:  You said you were giving this directly to the British Ambassador to the U.N. and to the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.? 
    HANS VON SPONECK:   Indeed. When I went there, I handed copies to Ambassador Burley at the time.
    He will remember, and I also gave the reports to the British mission, to Ambassador Eldon, who was the number two ambassador to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was particularly agitated over the fact that I was instrumental in having these documents prepared by my security office in Baghdad.
    AMY GOODMAN:   Ambassador Greenstock was particularly agitated?
    HANS VON SPONECK:   No, his deputy, who had been Deputy Manager, which he would always tell you with great pride, of the 1991 Gulf War arrangements, so it led to, in fact, a request to the Secretary General that I be removed because of — one of the main reasons because I was issuing these reports, which the United Nations found quite useful, and I was encouraged to continue to write them.
    AMY GOODMAN:   So they were pressuring for you to be removed for reporting the effects of the bombing on the ground in Iraq?
    HANS VON SPONECK:   Well, that, Amy, that I'm afraid is correct.
    It's one — it's not the only, but it was one of the reasons why the two governments felt that I was unsuitable for that position in Iraq.
    And all I was doing as a civil servant was to relay the cold-blooded facts that arose as a result of these incursions, these illegal incursions, after all, and well, I continued with the full support of the U.N. Secretariat.
    AMY GOODMAN:   I wanted to ask you about another U.N. official who was forced out. The Associated Press reporting John Bolton helped force out a top official at the U.N. ahead of the Iraq invasion because he feared the official could interfere with the Bush administration’s war plans.
    According to the Associated Press, “Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to personally demand that Jose Bustani resign his post as head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
    At the time, Bustani was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Iraq.
    If the inspectors had been sent then, they would have uncovered that there were no chemical weapons, a discovery that would undermine the Bush administration’s rationale for war.” Did you know about this at the time?
    HANS VON SPONECK:   Actually, Mr. Bustani is heading, or headed an organization that's not part of the U.N. system. That is, it's totally outside the gamut of the United Nations.
    But I think what agitated the U.S. and maybe John Bolton was the fact that he tried at the time to bring Iraq into signing the Chemical Weapons Prohibition Act.
    And I think that increased — that led to the wrath of Washington and maybe contributed to the decision to remove this senior official of an important institution.
    AMY GOODMAN:   Hans Von Sponeck, from your position as former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, your response to the Downing Street memo and the documents that have come out since?  The significance of the meeting both for Blair and for President Bush?
    HANS VON SPONECK:   I would say, Amy, that this document is simply formal evidence of what was not a secret since — in fact, since mid-2002.
    In October 2004, during a meeting with Robin Cook, former foreign secretary of the U.K. in Brighton, I was told by him that in mid-2002, meaning at the time when this memo, these minutes were written, they knew already in London that Prime Minister Blair had agreed with Mr. Bush to join him in going to war against Iraq, and what we see in the ensuing period, in retrospect, now this is – now one can say it — then it was more difficult to discover — but one can say that there was a gradual planned buildup, and it was not a question of a policy decision any longer.
    It was a P.R. exercise.
    How do we sell this to the public?
    How do we get through this to the objective, which we have decided to have, which is to implement the Clinton October 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, which the U.S. Congress passed, which called for regime change?
    But at that time it was more a regime change from within, using Iraqi opposition, but this of course, all changed on January 2001, when the Bush administration came in and translated into a very clear decision, and that is to go to war against that country.
    And apparently in mid-2002, the British came on board and this memo that these minutes that are now available to the public simply formalized what was already decided.
    AMY GOODMAN:   The last 30 seconds, Jeremy Scahill.
    JEREMY SCAHILL:   I think clearly what's needed right now is a congressional investigation.
    This is extremely important. This should be a mainstream issue in this country, that President Bush began the invasion of Iraq, the air war against Iraq a year before he actually officially began it.
    Months before he went to the Congress, months before he went to the United Nations, and the problem right now is that the Republicans are not going to allow the Democrats to hold a hearing with subpoena power.
    And that's the primary issue. But the last point I want to make is that this is yet another case of seeing that, actually Baghdad Bob, Chemical Ali, these guys were telling the truth.
    And they were saying the Bush administration is trying to provoke another Gulf of Tonkin here, by coming in and escalating these bombings.
    That's what Amir Al-Saadi, Senior Advisor to Saddam Hussein said to me the last time I talked to him.
    Tariq Aziz, the last time I talked to him, said the same thing.
    They're sending U-2 spy planes.
    They want to us shoot it down.
    They're looking for a reason to go to war.
    That’s clear right now, and there are so many pieces of evidence that one can turn to to prove this.
    This is one of the most rock solid, and it should be exploited by the Congress right now to prove that Bush lied to the American people.
     
     
    An Arab Woman Blues — Reflections in a sealed bottle...
    Tuesday, November 28, 2006
    The uncensored Anger Manifesto — Part I
    Painting: Iraqi Artist Mohamed Sami.
    I cannot sleep.   My seething anger keeps my eyes wide open.
    But you are sleeping safely in your home, holding your partner or your child and you know in all probability that you will awake tomorrow.   And tomorrow, you will open your eyes, step into your bathroom and you will find running water.   You will fix yourself a coffee and you will find electricity, you will open your kitchen cupboard and you will find food.
    Then you will get dressed, and you have clothes for winter and if you catch the flu, you can always call up your doctor or run to a hospital.   Hey, you can even take flowers to your beloved ones if they happen to fall ill, or just check to make sure that the surgery of Uncle Tom was successful.   Oh yes, you can afford to do so.
    Then you will get into your car, drive merrily or maybe not so merrily to your work place, or go shopping worrying about what to cook for your sweet family, or meet with your friends for a morning cup and rant neurotically about how miserable your life is.
    Your day is probably filled with things to do.   Most likely you have a job and you know you have an income at the end of the month.   And you can give yourself the luxury of planning for your future.
    You plan everything don't you?   What you will be getting for your kids at Christmas, how many parties you have booked on your agenda, your next vacation trip, your one year plan, your five year plan, when your goverment will be invading another country.   You are in fact a great planner.
    If you have kids, then you know they are getting an education.   You can buy them pads, pencils, drawing books, toys and even take them for a stroll in a park free from Depleted Uranium and you can fly kites and raise your eyes to the sky and not see fire jets hovering above your little head.   You can do that.   I know you can.
    And if you are walking about, you know that no bomb or bullet is going to blow you or blow your loved ones away.   You will neither be kidnapped nor abducted never to be seen again.
    You feel queasy at the sight of blood.   Yes I know that.   Even the blood you watch on your TV screen when you get back home safely in the evenings is censored so as not to disturb your sensitivities.   You don't see limbs, bowels, and brains blown away, you are really cared for and so protected.   And if per chance you come across such scenes, you conveniently zap or ask your kids to run upstairs.   You don't want them traumatized.   Yes violence is bad for you.   It disturbs your peace of mind.   I really sympathize.
    And when Saturday or Sunday comes , you go to your worship place, and praise the Lord for being born in the greatest country ever.   Yes I know you enjoy your rights and freedoms.
    During weekends, you can take time for your leisure, tend your garden, go to a gym, invite your friends, barbecue, go dancing, party.   You can have fun.   But of course, it is natural, it is written in your constitution "the pursuit of happiness" is just for you, and only for you.   I don't need to remind you.   You already know it by heart.
    And when you are with your friends you can be so very interesting.   You can tell them how fucked up the world is , how people can't get along.   You will point your finger in our direction and hold us as an example.   Oh yes, you know so much.   Your press told you all about it.
    And when you are done with all of the above, you will go back to sleep in your cozy bed, switch the lights off and snore in total oblivion.   All the way to that state you are so familiar with, all the way back into your usual comatose indifferent self.  
    And we are still here,counting the minutes, the seconds and hoping we will taste life again.   A life we had before you and your ilk took it all away.
    Painting : Iraqi Artist Rafa Nasiri.
     
    The Sunday Times — Britain
    June 19, 2005
    British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office
    Michael Smith
    A SHARP increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war “to put pressure on the regime” was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice.
    The advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002.
    Two months later RAF and USAF jets began “spikes of activity” designed to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the allies a pretext for war.
    The Foreign Office advice shows military action to pressurise the regime was “not consistent with” UN law, despite American claims that it was.
    The decision to provoke the Iraqis emerged in leaked minutes of a meeting between Tony Blair and his most senior advisers — the so-called Downing Street memo published by The Sunday Times shortly before the general election.
    Democratic congressmen claimed last week the evidence it contains is grounds for impeaching President George Bush.
    Those at the meeting on July 23, 2002, included Blair, Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, and Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of MI6.
    The minutes quote Hoon as saying that the US had begun spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime.
    Ministry of Defence figures for bombs dropped by the RAF on southern Iraq, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Commons written answers, show the RAF was as active in the bombing as the Americans and that the “spikes” began in May 2002.
    However, the leaked Foreign Office legal advice, which was also appended to the Cabinet Office briefing paper for the July meeting, made it clear allied aircraft were legally entitled to patrol the no-fly zones over the north and south of Iraq only to deter attacks by Saddam’s forces on the Kurdish and Shia populations.
    The allies had no power to use military force to put pressure of any kind on the regime.
    The increased attacks on Iraqi installations, which senior US officers admitted were designed to “degrade” Iraqi air defences, began six months before the UN passed resolution 1441, which the allies claim authorised military action.
    The war finally started in March 2003.
    This weekend the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Goodhart, vice-president of the International Commission of Jurists and a world authority on international law, said the intensified raids were illegal if they were meant to pressurise the regime.
    He said UN Resolution 688, used by the allies to justify allied patrols over the no-fly zones, was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which deals with all matters authorising military force.
    “Putting pressure on Iraq is not something that would be a lawful activity,” said Goodhart, who is also the Liberal Democrat shadow Lord Chancellor.
    The Foreign Office advice noted that the Americans had “on occasion” claimed that the allied aircraft were there to enforce compliance with resolutions 688 and 687, which ordered Iraq to destroy its weapons of mass destruction.
    “This view is not consistent with resolution 687, which does not deal with the repression of the Iraqi civilian population, or with resolution 688, which was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and does not contain any provision for enforcement,” it said.
    Elizabeth Wilmshurst, one of the Foreign Office lawyers who wrote the report, resigned in March 2003 in protest at the decision to go to war without a UN resolution specifically authorising military force.
    Further intensification of the bombing, known in the Pentagon as the Blue Plan, began at the end of August, 2002, following a meeting of the US National Security Council at the White House that month.
    General Tommy Franks, the allied commander, recalled in his autobiography, American Soldier, that during this meeting he rejected a call from Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, to cut the bombing patrols because he wanted to use them to make Iraq’s defences “as weak as possible”.
    The allied commander specifically used the term “spikes of activity” in his book. The upgrade to a full air war was also illegal, said Goodhart. “If, as Franks seems to suggest, the purpose was to soften up Iraq for a future invasion or even to intimidate Iraq, the coalition forces were acting without lawful authority,” he said.
    Although the legality of the war has been more of an issue in Britain than in America, the revelations indicate Bush may also have acted illegally, since Congress did not authorise military action until October 11 2002.
    The air war had already begun six weeks earlier and the spikes of activity had been underway for five months.
    June 19, 2005
    Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice
    Michael Smith
    This is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice appended as Annex A to the Cabinet Office briefing paper on Iraq of July 21, 2002. This advice was originally written in March 2002.
    The following is a transcript rather than the original document in order to protect the source.
    CONFIDENTIAL
    IRAQ: LEGAL BACKGROUND
    (i) Use of Force:  (a) Security Council Resolutions
                               (b) Self-defence
                              ( c) Humanitarian Intervention
    (ii) No Fly Zones
    (iii) Security Council Resolutions relevant to the sanctions regime
    (iv) Security Council Resolutions relevant to UNMOVIC
    (I)Use of Force: (a) Security Council Resolutions relevant to the Authorisation of the Use of Force
    1. Following its invasion and annexation of Kuwait, the Security Council authorised the use of force against Iraq in resolution 678(1990); this resolution authorised coalition forces to use all necessary means to force Iraq to withdraw, and to restore international peace and security in the area.
    This resolution gave a legal basis for Operation Desert Storm, which was brought to an end by the cease-fire set out by the Council in resolution 687 (1991).
    The conditions for the cease-fire in that resolution (and subsequent resolutions) imposed obligations on Iraq with regard to the elimination of WMD and monitoring of its obligations.
    Resolution 687 (1991) suspended but did not terminate the authority to use force in resolution 678 (1990).
    2. In the UK’s view a violation of Iraq’s obligations which undermines the basis of the cease-fire in resolution 687 (1991) can revive the authorisation to use force in resolution 678 (1990).
    As the cease-fire was proclaimed by the Council in resolution 687 (1991), it is for the Council to assess whether any such breach of those obligations has occurred.
    The US have a rather different view: they maintain that the assessment of breach is for individual member states. We are not aware of any other state which supports this view.
    3. The authorisation to use force contained in resolution 678(1990) has been revived in this way on certain occasions.
    For example, when Iraq refused to cooperate with the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) in 1997/8, a series of SCRs condemned the decision as unacceptable.
    In resolution 1205 (1998) the Council condemned Iraq’s decision to end all co-operations with UNSCOM as a flagrant violation of Iraq’s obligations under resolution 687 (1991), and restated that the effective operation of UNSCOM was essential for the implementation of that Resolution.
    In our view these resolutions had the effect of causing the authorisation to use force in resolution 678 (1991) to revive, which provided a legal basis for Operation Desert Fox.
    In a letter to the President of the Security Council in 1998 we stated that the objective of that operation was to seek compliance by Iraq with the obligations laid down by the Council, that the operation was undertaken only when it became apparent that there was no other way of achieving compliance by Iraq, and that the action was limited to what was necessary to secure this objective.
    Dead babies
    Due to US
    Bombing
    Iraq
    2003
    4. The more difficult issue is whether we are still able to rely on the same legal base for the use of force more than three years after the adoption of resolution 1205 (1998).
    Military action in 1998 (and on previous occasions) followed on from specific decisions of the Council; there has now not been any significant decision by the Council since 1998.
    Our interpretation of resolution 1205 was controversial anyway; many of our partners did not think the legal basis was sufficient as the authority to use force was not explicit.
    Reliance on it now would be unlikely to receive any support.
    Use of Force: (b) Self-Defence
    5. The conditions that have to be met for the exercise of the right of self-defence are well-known:
    i) There must be an armed attack upon a state or such and attack must be imminent;
    ii) The use of force must be necessary and other means to reverse/avert the attack must be unavailable;
    iii) The acts in self-defence must be proportionate and strictly confined to the object of stopping the attack.
    iv) The right of self-defence may only be exercised until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to ensure international peace and security and anything done in exercise of the right of self-defence must be immediately reported to the council.
    6. For the exercise of the right to self-defence there must be more than “a threat”.
    There has to be an armed attack actual or imminent.
    The development or possession of nuclear weapons does not in itself amount to an armed attack; what would be needed would be clear evidence of an imminent attack.
    During the Cold War, there was certainly a threat in the sense that various states had nuclear weapons which they might, at short notice unleash upon each other.
    But that did not mean the mere possession of nuclear weapons, or indeed their possession in time of high tension or attempt to obtain them, was sufficient to justify pre-emptive action.
    And when Israel attacked an Iraqi nuclear reactor, near Baghdad, on 7 June 1981 it was “strongly condemned” by the Security Council (acting unanimously) as a “military attack in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct.”
    Use of Force: (c) Humanitarian Intervention
    7. In the UK view, the use of force may be justified if the action is taken to prevent an overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe.
    The limits to this highly contentious doctrine are not clearly defined, but we would maintain that the catastrophe must be clear and well-documented, that there must be no other means short of the use of force which could prevent it, and that the measures taken must be proportionate.
    This doctrine partly underlies the very limited action taken by allied aircraft to patrol the No Fly zones in Iraq (following action by Saddam to repress the Kurds and the Shia in the early 90s), which involves occasional and limited use of force by those aircraft in self-defence.
    The application of this doctrine depends on the circumstances at any given time, but it is clearly exceptional.
    (ii) No Fly Zones (NFZs)
    8. The NFZs over Northern and Southern Iraq are not established by UN Security Council Resolutions.
    They were established in 1991 and 1992 on the basis that they were necessary and proportionate steps taken to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
    Prior to the establishment of the Northern NFZ the Security Council had adopted resolution 688 (1991) on 5 April 1991 in which the Council stated that it was gravely concerned by the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas, which had led to a massive refugee flow, and that it was deeply disturbed by the magnitude of the human suffering involved.
    The resolution condemned that repression of the Iraqi civilian population and demanded that Iraq immediately end the repression.
    In our view, the purpose of the NFZs is to monitor Iraqi compliance with the provisions of resolution 688.
    UK and US aircraft patrolling the NFZs are entitled to use force in self-defence where such a use of force is a necessary and proportionate response to actual or imminent attack from Iraqi ground systems.
    9. The US have on occasion claimed that the purpose of the NFZs is to enforce Iraqi compliance with resolutions 687 or 688.
    This view is not consistent with resolution 687, which does not deal with the repression of the Iraqi civilian population, or with resolution 688, which was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and does not contain any provision for enforcement.
    Nor (as it is sometimes claimed) were the current NFZs provided for in the Safwan agreement, a provisional agreement between coalition and Iraqi military commanders of 3 March 1991, laying down military conditions for the cease-fire which did not contain any reference to the NFZs.
    US invasion of Iraq, 2003
    Man was to be married
    (iii) Security Council Resolutions relevant to the sanctions regime
    10. The sanctions regime against Iraq was established by resolution 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, which, following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, decides that all states shall prevent the import into their territories of any commodities originating in Iraq, the sale or supply to Iraq of any commodities other than medical supplies, and, in humanitarian circumstances, food stuffs, and that Iraqi funds and financial resources should be frozen. Resolution 661 remains in force.
    The major exception to the sanctions regime is the oil for food programme, which was established by resolution 988 (1995) and permits oil exports (in unlimited amounts following resolution 1284 (1999)) by Iraq on condition that the purchase price is paid into an escrow account established by the UN Secretary-General, and the funds in that account are used to meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people through the export of medicine, health supplies, foodstuffs and materials and supplies for essential civilian needs.
    The escrow account is also used to fund the UN Compensation Commission and to meet the operating costs of the UN, including those of UNMOVIC (see below).
    11. The oil for food programme is renewed by the Security Council at (usually) 6 Monthly intervals, most recently by resolutions 1382 (2001) of 29 November 2001.
    Under that resolution the Council also decided that it would adopt, by 13 May 2002, procedures which would improve the flow of goods to Iraq, other than arms and other potential dual use goods on a Good Review List.
    The US are currently reviewing the final details of the list with the Russians.
    12. In resolution 687 (1991) the Council decided that the prohibition against the import of goods from Iraq should have no further force when Iraq has completed all the actions contemplated in paragraphs 8-13 of that resolution concerning Iraq’s WMD Programme.
    Iraq has still not complied with this condition.
    Under paragraph 21 of resolution 687, the council decided to review the prohibition against the supply of commodities to Iraq every 60 days in the light of the policies and practices of the Iraqi government, including the implementation of all the relevant resolutions of the Council, for the purpose of determining whether to reduce or lift them.
    These regular reviews are currently suspended as a result of Iraqi non-compliance with the Council’s demands.
    13. The intention of the Council to act in accordance with resolution 687 on the termination of these prohibitions has been regularly reaffirmed, including in resolution 1284 (1999).
    Paragraph 33 of that resolution also contains a complex formula for the suspension of economic sanctions against Iraq for renewable periods of 120 days, if UNMOVIC and the IAEA report cooperation in all respects by Iraq in fulfilling work programmes with those bodies for a period of 120 days after a reinforced system of monitoring and verification in Iraq becomes fully operational.
    Iraq has never complied with these conditions.
    (iv) Security Council Resolutions relating to UNMOVIC
    14. UNMOVIC was established by resolution 1284 (1999) to replace the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) established under resolution 687 (1991) (the ceasefire resolution).
    UNMOVIC is to undertake the responsibilities of the former Special Commission under resolution 687 relating to the destruction of Iraqi CBW and ballistic missiles with a range of over 150 kilometres and the on-going monitoring and verification of Iraq’s compliance with these obligations.
    Like the Special Commission, UNMOVIC is to be allowed unconditional access to all Iraqi facilities, equipment and records as well as to Iraqi officials.
    Under paragraph 7 of resolution 1284 UNMOVIC and the IAEA were given the responsibility of drawing up a work programme which would include the implementation of a reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification (OMV) and key remaining disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq, which constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance. There are currently no UNMOVIC personnel in Iraq, and the reinforced OMV system has not been implemented, because of Iraq’s refusal to cooperate.
    Copyright 2006   Times Newspapers Ltd.
     
    June 20, 2005
    A War Waged by Liars and Morons
    What is Bush's Agenda in Iraq?
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
    F or what purpose has President Bush sent 1,741 US soldiers to be killed in action in Iraq (as of June 19, 2005)?
    For what purpose have 15,000 — 38,000 US troops been wounded, many so seriously that they are maimed for life?
    Why has the US government thrown away $300 billion in an illegal and pointless war that cannot be won?
    These questions are beginning to penetrate the consciousness of Americans, a majority of whom no longer support Bush's war.
    Bush's Iraq war is the first war for which Americans have not known the reason.  The reasons they were given by their president, vice president, secretary of defense, national security advisor, secretary of state, and the sycophantic media were nothing but a pack of lies.
    The top secret British government memos leaked to a reporter at the London Sunday Times make it completely clear that prior to the invasion President Bush knew that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.
    The memos make it completely clear that Saddam Hussein had no responsibility whatsoever for the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
    The memos make completely clear that the British government regarded the invasion of Iraq as a war crime.  The memos show the British government scrambling to find some way of creating "cover" in order to obfuscate the illegality of the invasion that Prime Minister Tony Blair had promised Bush to support.
    One of the cover plans was itself illegal.  According to yet another leaked top secret British memo in the Sunday Times on June 19, Bush decided to sharply increase the US bombings of Iraq in the hopes it would goad Saddam Hussein into a response that could be used as a pretext for invading Iraq.
    According to the Sunday Times, the British Foreign Office advised the British Cabinet that legally "the allies had no power to use military force to put pressure of any kind on the regime."
    The Bush administration falsely claimed that the bombing was legal in order to enforce compliance with UN resolutions 688 and 687.  However, the British Foreign Office advised Bush's poodle, Tony Blair, that the American view "is not consistent with resolution 687, which does not deal with the repression of the Iraqi civilian population, or with resolution 688, which was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and does not contain any provision for enforcement."
    In his June 18 weekly radio address last Saturday, Bush again lied to the American people when he told them that the US was forced into invading Iraq because of the September 11 attack on the WTC.  Bush, the greatest disgrace that America has ever had to suffer, actually repeated at this late date the monstrous lie for which he is infamous throughout the world:
    "We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens."
    Whoever the "people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens" might be, they were not Iraqis, at least not until Bush invaded their country, killed tens of thousands and maimed tens of thousands more, detained tens of thousands others, destroyed entire cities, destroyed the country's infrastructure, and created mass unemployment, poverty, pollution and disease.
    The only reason Iraqis want to harm the US is because George W. Bush inflicted, and continues to inflict, tremendous harm on Iraqis.
    If the Bush administration has its way, the Iraqi insurgents will be joined by the Iranians, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Jordanians and Palestinians.  The "people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens" will increase exponentially.
    In print and on TV, Bush's neocons have made clear their desire to see the US at war with the entire Muslim world: Today Iraq, tomorrow the Middle East.  That the neocons believe the US can win such a war when the US cannot even occupy Baghdad or control the road to the airport indicates a frightening insanity at the center of the Bush administration and a criminal disregard for the lives of Americans and Muslims.
    The neocons assured Americans that the war in Iraq would be a cakewalk over in three weeks!
    The neocons told us that only 70,000 troops were needed to bring Iraq to heel!
    Neocons fired the top generals who had truthfully told Congress that several hundred thousand troops, at least, would be needed!
    Neocons told Congress that Iraqi oil would pay for the invasion and that America did not have to worry about the cost! So far that is a $300 billion mistake.
    And Bush has retained and promoted these morons!
    No one has been held accountable for this enormous disaster.
    How many more American troops are going to be killed and maimed for Bush's lies? How many more Iraqi civilians must be killed, maimed, and locked up?
    Bush's Iraq policy is based on lies, and force based on lies cannot bring democracy to Iraq or to any other country.
    Bush's lies are discrediting and destroying democracy in America.  His "Patriot Act" alone has done more damage to Americans' freedom than Osama bin Laden.
    Why did Bush invade Iraq?
    Cynical Americans say the answer is oil.  But $300 billion would have bought the oil without getting anyone killed, without destroying America's reputation in the world and without stirring up countless terrorist recruits for al Qaida.
    Congress gave Bush the go-ahead for the invasion because Congress trusted Bush and believed his word that Iraq had fearsome weapons that would be unleashed on America unless we preempted Saddam Hussein's attack by striking first.  Congress did not give Bush the go-ahead for initiating a war in order to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives "building democracy in Iraq."
    Will President Bush ever tell us the real reason why he committed America's treasure, the lives of American soldiers and the reputation of our country to war in Iraq?
    Does he even know?
    Paul Craig Roberts has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications.  He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.  His graduate economics education was at the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University.  He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
    UK New Fascism
    84-year-old Canadian man with Alzheimer’s disease died in handcuffs in UK custody after being held for almost two weeks by UK border police
    UK police threaten Guardian editor with terrorism charges over Snowden leaks
    Chancellor George Osborne spent £10.2m modernising Whitehall HQ
    Essex County Council have demanded harsh new restrictions on the Press ability to report the case
         Prisons for profit      
          Bill to ban protests       
          State-backed RBS to hand out £500m in bonuses     
    ESTIMATED NUCLEAR WARHEADS, STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL
    Map showing declared, suspected and potential nuclear nations.

The US is also said to have some 3,000 warheads in reserve, while Russia has about 11,000 in non-operational stockpiles.

Israel declines to confirm it has nuclear weapons.

North Korea — 1 test underground, October 2006.

Iran is accused by the US of ambitions to build nuclear arms.

The United states had drawn up a battle plan for the potential use of nuclear weapons in Iraq and the United States has been involved in planning potential nuclear use scenarios for Iran.

The United States is now involved in a massive program to overhaul its nuclear arsenal.

In fact they're working to replace every nuclear warhead and all of the existing delivery systems in the arsenal to ensure prompt precision global strike capabilities.

Jackie Cabasso — Western States Legal Foundation
    The United States has conducted 1,127 nuclear and thermonuclear tests — 217 in the atmosphere.
    The Soviet Union/ Russia conducted 969 tests — 219 in the atmosphere.
    France, 210 tests, 50 in the atmosphere.
    The United Kingdom, 45 tests — 21 in the atmosphere.
    China, 45 tests — 23 in the atmosphere.
    India and Pakistan — 13 tests underground.
    Israel — possible 1 test atmosphere South Africa 1979.
    North Korea — 1 test underground, October 2006.
    “The United states had drawn up a battle plan for the potential use of nuclear weapons in Iraq and the United States has been involved in planning potential nuclear use scenarios for Iran.”
    “The United States is now involved in a massive program to overhaul its nuclear arsenal.   In fact they're working to replace every nuclear warhead and all of the existing delivery systems in the arsenal to ensure prompt precision global strike capabilities.”
    Jackie Cabasso — Western States Legal Foundation
    Western Elite militarism
    Western Elite Terror States
    Western Elite War Crimes
    'Oh!   You don't believe the 9-11 official version,' they say.
    'You mean where they want you to accept the buildings were not blown up from below.
    'Plane fuel!   Substance never burns higher then a gas stove!   That it caused the inner core steel to melt!
    'Steel melting!
    'Concrete vaporizing!
    ' 'No!   I don't believe that conspiracy theory.
    'Cheney!   Bush!   Rudy Giuliani!   HA!  HA!
    'Tower 7 that never had a plane hit — just came tumbling down!
    'You believe that, eh!
    'Ever think it had to be blown up because the plane scheduled to fly into it was off getting shot down.
    'Thermite in Tower 7's walls, you see — incriminating evidence — impossible to get out without people watching!
    Had to be blown up!
    'Next you'll be saying Obama is not a Wall Street Illuminati banker stooge?
    'Take your pick:   The partner in a comedy team who feeds lines to the other comedians.
    'Him who allows himself to be used.
    'Oh!   I can't really blame you,   Television it turns minds to pulp.
    'Turn off the television.   It's the only way.'
    'Turn off the television?'
    'Get rid of it really.   I mean what else is there to do!'
    'Get rid of the television?'
    'Don't forget all radio garbage is propaganda, even the songs.
    'Then those five minute propaganda hits they send you every hour!
    'The ones they refer to as News
    'Get rid of all the propaganda from your brain, the only way to do it.'
    'Stop being hooked on those Hollywood movies — even those that make you think they are making you think'
    'All paid performers to make your brain dead.
    'You turn the brainwashing off, you'll begin to become yourself.
    'It really is the only way!'
    'Oh!'
    Kewe — TheWE.cc
    The Blair legacy — Part I
    I looked through to the Mosul hotel lounge where the entire staff from the owner/Manager to the kitchen boy stool huddled around the television aware of nothing but the Colin Powell address to the U.N. making it clear that an attack on Iraq was imminent
    Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way
    The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”
    Destruction and civilian victims of Anglo-American aggression
    The criteria for criminal sociopaths require an ongoing disregard for the rights of others
    60% of the people killed in the assault of Fallujah were women children and elderly
     
     
      Protests around world every 11th of month
    Danish scientist Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 on nano-thermite in the WTC dust.

911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

2,606 people lost their lives in the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001.

125 people lost their lives at the Pentagon on 9/11.

246 people lost their lives on the four planes on 9/11.

Image: Danish TV2
    Danish scientist Niels Harrit on nano-thermite in the WTC dust.

Niels Harrit, you and eight other researchers conclude in this article that it was nano-thermite that caused these buildings to collapse.

We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center.

One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.

The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.

The carbon content of the red material indicates that an organic substance is present.

This would be expected for super-thermite formulations in order to produce high gas pressures upon ignition and thus make them explosive.

Photo: agenda911.dk
    Danish scientist Niels Harrit on nano-thermite in the WTC dust
    Transcript of interview with Niels Harrit on Danish TV2 News 6th April 2009.
    Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
    Danish TV2   International researchers have found traces of explosives among the World Trade Center rubble.
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Explosives in World Trade Center - international researchers have found traces of explosives.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

The believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Nano-thermite contains more energy than dynamite and can be used as rocket fuel.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

The believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

So you found nano-thermite in the World Trade Center buildings, why do you think it caused the collapses?

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

The believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

Image: Danish TV2
    A new scientific article concludes that impacts from the two hijacked aircraft did not cause the collapses in 2001.
    We turn our attention to 9/11 — the major attack in New York.
    Apparently the two airplane-impacts did not cause the towers to collapse, according to a newly published scientific article.
    Researchers found nano-thermite explosive in the rubble, that cannot have come from the planes.
    They believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.
    Niels Harrit, you and eight other researchers conclude in this article, that it was nano-thermite that caused these buildings to collapse. What is nano-thermite?
    Niels Harrit   We found nano-thermite in the rubble.
    We are not saying only nano-thermite was used.
    Thermite itself dates back to 1893.
    It is a mixture of aluminum and rust-powder, which react to create intense heat.
    The reaction produces iron, heated to 2500 °C.
    This can be used to do welding.   It can also be used to melt other iron.
    Nanotechnology makes things smaller.   So in nano-thermite, this powder from 1893 is reduced to tiny particles, perfectly mixed.
    When these react, the intense heat develops much more quickly.
    Nano-thermite can be mixed with additives to give off intense heat, or serve as a very effective explosive.
    It contains more energy than dynamite, and can be used as rocket fuel.
    Danish TV2   I Googled nano-thermite, and not much has been written about it.   Is it a widely known scientific substance?   Or is it so new that other scientists are hardly aware of it?
    Niels Harrit   It is a collective name for substances with high levels of energy.
    If civilian researchers (like myself) are not familiar with it, it is probably because they do not do much work with explosives.
    As for military scientists, you would have to ask them.
    I do not know how familiar they are with nanotechnology.
    Danish TV2   So you found this substance in the WTC, why do you think it caused the collapses?
    Niels Harrit   Well, it's an explosive.   Why else would it be there?
    Danish TV2   You believe the intense heat melted the building?s steel support structure, and caused the building to collapse like a house of cards?
    Niels Harrit   I cannot say precisely, as this substance can serve both purposes.
    It can explode and break things apart, and it can melt things.
    Both effects were probably used, as I see it.
    Molten metal pours out of the South Tower several minutes before the collapse.
    This indicates the whole structure was being weakened in advance.
    Then the regular explosives come into play.
    The actual collapse sequence had to be perfectly timed, all the way down.
    Danish TV2   What quantities are we talking about?
    Niels Harrit   A lot.   There were only two planes, but three skyscrapers collapsed.
    We know roughly how much dust was created.
    The pictures show huge quantities, everything but the steel was pulverised.
    And we know roughly how much unreacted thermite we have found.
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Nano Thermite can explode and break things apart and it can melt things.

Explosives in World Trade Center - international researchers have found traces of explosives.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Both effects were probably used by the use of Nano Thermite as I see it.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

The use of nano thermite indicates the whole structure was being weakened in advance.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

Image: Danish TV2
    This is the “loaded gun”, material that did not ignite for some reason.
    We are talking about tonnes.   Over 10 tonnes, possibly 100 tonnes.
    Danish TV2   Ten tonnes, possibly 100 tonnes, in three buildings?   And these substances are not normally found in such buildings?
    Niels Harrit   No.   These materials are extremely advanced.
    Danish TV2   How do you place such material in a skyscraper, on all the floors?
    Niels Harrit   How you would get it in?
    Danish TV2   Yes.
    Niels Harrit   If I had to transport it in those quantities I would use pallets.   Get a truck and move it in on pallets.
    Danish TV2   Why hasn't this been discovered earlier?
    Niels Harrit   By whom?
    Danish TV2   The caretakers, for example.     If you are moving 10 to 100 tonnes of nano-thermite around, and placing it on all the floors.     I am just surprised no-one noticed.
    Niels Harrit   As a journalist, you should address that question to the company responsible for security at the WTC.
    Danish TV2   So you are in no doubt the material was present?
    Niels Harrit   You cannot fudge this kind of science.
    We have found it.   Unreacted thermite.
    Danish TV2   What responses has your article received around the world?
    Niels Harrit   It is completely new knowledge for me.
    It was only published last Friday.   So it is too early to say.
    But the article may not be as groundbreaking as you think.
    Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, have long known that the three buildings were demolished.
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Once the nano thermite was used then the regular explosives come into play.

Explosives in World Trade Center - international researchers have found traces of explosives.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

The actual collapse sequence had to be perfectly times, all the way down.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

And we know roughly how much unreacted thermite we have found.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

No.  These nano thermite materials are extremely advanced.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

The believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

Nano thermite in the buildings - almost ten years have passed.

Nano-thermite contains more energy than dynamite and can be used as rocket fuel.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

The believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

Image: Danish TV2
    911 Controlled Demolition - Thermite - Nano Thermite - Iron Microspheres Confirm Unexplained Extreme Temperatures.

Niels Harrit interview on Danish TV2 television.

So you found nano-thermite in the World Trade Center buildings, why do you think it caused the collapses?

It was by chance that someone discovered nano thermite two years ago.

Researchers found nano-thermite explosives in the dust and rubble of the World Trade Center buildings that cannot have come from the planes.

The believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

Image: Danish TV2
    This has been crystal clear.
    Our research is just the last nail in the coffin.
    This is not the 'smoking gun', it is the 'loaded gun'.
    Each day, thousands of people realise that the WTC was demolished.
    That is something unstoppable.
    Danish TV2   Why has no-one discovered earlier that there was nano-thermite in the buildings?   Almost ten years have passed.
    Niels Harrit   You mean in the dust?
    Danish TV2   Yes.
    Niels Harrit   It was by chance that someone looked at the dust with a microscope.
    They are tiny red chips.
    The biggest are 1 mm in size, and can be seen with the naked eye.
    But you need a microscope to see the vast majority.
    It was by chance that someone discovered them two years ago.
    Danish TV2   It has taken 18 months to prepare the scientific article you refer to.
    Niels Harrit   It is a very comprehensive article based on thorough research.
    Danish TV2   You have been working on this for several years, because it didn't make sense to you.
    Niels Harrit   Yes, over two years actually.
    It all started when I saw the collapse of Building 7, the third skyscraper.
    It collapsed seven hours after the twin towers.
    And there were only two airplanes.
    When you see a 47-storey building, 186m tall, collapse in 6.5 seconds, and you are a scientist, you think “what?”.
    I had to watch it again… and again.
    I hit the button 10 times, and my jaw dropped lower and lower.
    Firstly, I had never heard of that building before.
    And there was no visible reason why it should collapse in that way, straight down, in 6.5 seconds.
    I have had no rest since that day.
    Danish TV2   Ever since 9/11 there has been speculation, and conspiracy theories.   What do you say to viewers who hear about your research and say, “we?ve heard it all before, there are lots of conspiracy theories”.   What would you say to convince them that this is different?
    Niels Harrit   I think there is only one conspiracy theory worth mentioning, the one involving 19 hijackers.
    I think viewers should ask themselves what evidence they have seen to support the official conspiracy theory.
    If anyone has seen evidence, I would like to hear about it
    No-one has been formally charged.   No-one is 'wanted'.
    Our work should lead to demands for a proper criminal investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
    Because it never happened.   We are still waiting for it.
    We hope our results will be used as technical evidence when that day comes.
    Danish TV2   Niels Harrit, fascinating, thanks for coming in.
    Niels Harrit   My pleasure
    ITALIAN SAYS 9-11 SOLVED
    It’s common knowledge, he reveals
    CIA — Mossad behind terror attacks
    By the Staff of American Free Press
    Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga, who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio, has told Italy’s oldest and most widely read newspaper that the 9-11 terrorist attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad, and that this was common knowledge among global intelligence agencies.
    In what translates awkwardly into English, Cossiga told the newspaper Corriere della Sera:
    “All the [intelligence services] of America and Europe… know well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized from the Mossad, with the aid of the Zionist world in order to put under accusation the Arabic countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part … in Iraq [and] Afghanistan.”
    Cossiga was elected president of the Italian Senate in July 1983 before winning a landslide election to become president of the country in 1985, and he remained until 1992.
    Cossiga’s tendency to be outspoken upset the Italian political establishment, and he was forced to resign after revealing the existence of, and his part in setting up, Operation Gladio.
    This was a rogue intelligence network under NATO auspices that carried out bombings across Europe in the 1960s, 1970s and ’80s.
    Gladio’s specialty was to carry out what they termed 'false flag' operations — terror attacks that were blamed on their domestic and geopolitical opposition.
    In March 2001, Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra stated, in sworn testimony:
    “You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game.
    The reason was quite simple: to force … the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.”
    Cossiga first expressed his doubts about 9-11 in 2001, and is quoted by 9-11 researcher Webster Tarpley saying:
    “The mastermind of the attack must have been a sophisticated mind, provided with ample means not only to recruit fanatic kamikazes, but also highly specialized personnel.
    I add one thing: it could not be accomplished without infiltrations in the radar and flight security personnel.”
    Coming from a widely respected former head of state, Cossiga’s assertion that the 9-11 attacks were an inside job and that this is common knowledge among global intelligence agencies is illuminating.
    It is one more eye-opening confirmation that has not been mentioned by America’s propaganda machine in print or on TV.
    Nevertheless, because of his experience and status in the world, Cossiga cannot be discounted as a crackpot.
    Free to redistribute as long as credit given to American Free Press
    We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center.

One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.

The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.

The carbon content of the red material indicates that an organic substance is present.

This would be expected for super-thermite formulations in order to produce high gas pressures upon ignition and thus make them explosive.

Photo: Bentham-Open.org
    Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
    Photo: Bentham-Open.org
    Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
    We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center.
    One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.
    The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).
    The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.
    The carbon content of the red material indicates that an organic substance is present.
    This would be expected for super-thermite formulations in order to produce high gas pressures upon ignition and thus make them explosive.
     
    Your life, your children's lives —
    Will you live or die?
    Decided by small group of elite.
    Pure evil
    It doesn't get any clearer than this
     
    Published on Friday, March 2, 2007 by the Los Angeles Times
    US to Develop New Hydrogen Bomb
    by Ralph Vartabedian
    The Energy Department will announce today a contract to develop the nation's first new hydrogen bomb in two decades, involving a collaboration between three national weapons laboratories, The Times has learned.
    The new bomb will include design features from all three labs, though Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Bay Area appears to have taken the lead position in the project. The Los Alamos and Sandia labs in New Mexico will also be part of the project.
    Why are the West's elites trying to start a nuclear war?
    Because you pay for it
    BBC — Thursday, 6 September 2007
    UK jets 'chase Russian bombers'
    UK MoD image of Tupolev-95 Bear bomber

An MoD photo shows RAF Typhoon shadowing a Russian Bear-H
    Norway says Russia has increased military flights in the Arctic
    The UK's Royal Air Force has launched fighter jets to intercept eight Russian military planes flying in airspace patrolled by Nato, UK officials say.
    Four RAF F3 Tornado aircraft were scrambled in response to the Russian action, the UK's defence ministry said.
    The Russian planes - said to be long-range bombers - had earlier been followed by Norwegian F16 jets.
    Russia recently revived a Cold War-era practice of flying bombers on long-range patrols.
    A Norwegian officer, Lt Col John Inge Oegland, told the BBC the Russian Tupolev Tu-95 Bear bombers flew in international airspace from the Barents Sea to the Atlantic, before turning back.
    Two Norwegian F-16s shadowed them on Thursday morning and another two went up later, he said.
    There have been several similar incidents in recent months, Lt-Col Oegland added.
    "Norway is following the increased Russian activity in the far north with interest," he told the BBC News website.
    He said the Russian flights were not causing alarm in Norway.   "Our systems are adequate," he said, when asked whether Norway was bolstering its security in the area.
    Over time I was increasingly shocked by the speed and ease with which many intelligent and seemingly competent members of the CFR [ Council on Foreign Relations ] appeared to eagerly justify policies and actions that supported growing corruption.
    The regularity with which many CFR members would protect insiders from accountability regarding another appalling fraud surprised even me.
    Many of them seemed delighted with the advantages of being an insider while being entirely indifferent to the extraordinary cost to all citizens of having our lives, health and resources drained to increase insider wealth in a manner that violated the most basic principles of fiduciary obligation and respect for the law.
    In short, the CFR was operating in a win-lose economic paradigm that centralized economic and political power.
    I was trying to find a way for us to shift to a win-win economic paradigm that was — by its nature — decentralizing.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
     
    The reader can appreciate why Wall Street would welcome someone as accommodating as Gorelick at Fannie Mae.
    This was a period when the profits rolled in from engineering the most spectacular growth in mortgage debt in U.S. history.
    As one real estate broker said, “They have turned our homes into ATM machines.”
    Fannie Mae has been a leading player in centralizing control of the mortgage markets into Washington D.C. and Wall Street.
    And that means as people were rounded up and shipped to prison as part of Operation Safe Home, Fannie was right behind to finance the gentrification of neighborhoods.
    And that is before we ask questions about the extent to which the estimated annual financial flows of $500 billion–$1 trillion money laundering through the U.S. financial system or money missing from the US government are reinvested into Fannie Mae securities.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    James Forrestal
    James Forrestal’s oil portrait always hung prominently in one of the private Dillon Read dining rooms for the eleven years that I worked at the firm. Forrestal, a highly regarded Dillon partner and President of the firm, had gone to Washington, D.C. in 1940 to lead the Navy during WWII and then played a critical role in creating the National Security Act of 1947.

He then became Secretary of War (later termed Secretary of Defense) in September 1947 and served until March 28, 1949.

Given the central banking-warfare investment model that rules our planet, it was appropriate that Dillon 
partners at various times lead both the Treasury Department and the Defense Department.

Shortly after resigning from government, Forrestal died falling out of a window of the Bethesda Naval Hospital outside of Washington, D.C. on May 22, 1949.

There is some controversy around the official explanation of his death — ruled a suicide.

Some insist he had a nervous breakdown. Some say that he was opposed to the creation of the state of Israel.

Others say that he argued for transparency and accountability in government, and against the provisions instituted at this time to create a secrete “black budget.”

He lost and was pretty upset about it — and the loss was a violent one.

Since the professional killers who operate inside the Washington beltway have numerous techniques to get perfectly sane people to kill themselves, I am not sure it makes a big difference.

Approximately a month later, the CIA Act of 1949 was passed.

The Act created the CIA and endowed it with the statutory authority that became one of the chief components of financing the “black” budget — the power to claw monies from other agencies for the benefit of secretly funding the intelligence communities and their corporate contractors.

This was to turn out to be a devastating development for the forces of transparency, without which there can be no rule of law, free markets or democracy.

Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits

Photo: Wikipedia     

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Forrestal as an administrative assistant on June 22, 1940, then nominated him as Undersecretary of the Navy six weeks later. In the latter post, Forrestal would prove to be very effective at mobilizing industrial production for the war effort.
    He became Secretary of the Navy on May 19, 1944, following the death of his immediate supervisor Frank Knox from a heart attack. Forrestal then led the Navy through the closing year of the war and the demobilization that followed.   What might have been his greatest legacy as Navy Secretary was an attempt that came to nought.   He, along with Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Under Secretary of State Joseph Grew, in the early months of 1945, strongly advocated a softer policy toward Japan that would permit a negotiated face-saving surrender.   His primary concern was "the menace of Russian Communism and its attraction for decimated, destabilized societies in Europe and Asia", and, therefore, keeping the Soviet Union out of the war with Japan.   Had his advice been followed, Japan might well have surrendered before August 1945, precluding the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   So strongly did he feel about this matter that he cultivated negotiation attempts that bordered closely on insubordination toward the President.
    Forrestal opposed the unification of the services, but even so helped develop the National Security Act of 1947 that created the National Military Establishment (the Department of Defense was not created as such until August 1949), and with the former Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson retiring to private life, Forrestal was the next choice.
    His 18 months at Defense came at an exceptionally difficult time for the U.S. military establishment:   Communist governments came to power in Czechoslovakia and China; West Berlin was blockaded, necessitating the Berlin Airlift to keep it going; the war between the Arab states and Israel after the establishment of Israel in Palestine; and negotiations were going on for the formation of NATO.   His reign was also hampered by intense interservice rivalries.
    In addition, President Harry Truman constrained military budgets billions of dollars below what the services were requesting, putting Forrestal in the middle of the tug-of-war.   Forrestal was also becoming more and more worried about the Soviet threat.   Internationally, the takeover by the Communists of Eastern Europe, their threats to the governments of Greece, Italy, and France, their impending takeover of China, and the invasion of South Korea by North Korea would demonstrate the legitimacy of his concerns on the international front as well.
    Photo and description: Wikipedia
    James Forrestal’s oil portrait always hung prominently in one of the private Dillon Read dining rooms for the eleven years that I worked at the firm. Forrestal, a highly regarded Dillon partner and President of the firm, had gone to Washington, D.C. in 1940 to lead the Navy during WWII and then played a critical role in creating the National Security Act of 1947.
    He then became Secretary of War (later termed Secretary of Defense) in September 1947 and served until March 28, 1949.
    Given the central banking-warfare investment model that rules our planet, it was appropriate that Dillon partners at various times lead both the Treasury Department and the Defense Department.
    Shortly after resigning from government, Forrestal died falling out of a window of the Bethesda Naval Hospital outside of Washington, D.C. on May 22, 1949.
    There is some controversy around the official explanation of his death — ruled a suicide.
    Some insist he had a nervous breakdown. Some say that he was opposed to the creation of the state of Israel.
    Others say that he argued for transparency and accountability in government, and against the provisions instituted at this time to create a secrete “black budget.”
    He lost and was pretty upset about it — and the loss was a violent one.
    Since the professional killers who operate inside the Washington beltway have numerous techniques to get perfectly sane people to kill themselves, I am not sure it makes a big difference.
    Approximately a month later, the CIA Act of 1949 was passed.
    The Act created the CIA and endowed it with the statutory authority that became one of the chief components of financing the “black” budget — the power to claw monies from other agencies for the benefit of secretly funding the intelligence communities and their corporate contractors.
    This was to turn out to be a devastating development for the forces of transparency, without which there can be no rule of law, free markets or democracy.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    What Briody does not mention is allegations regarding Brown & Root's involvement in narcotics trafficking. Former LAPD narcotics investigator Mike Ruppert once described his break up with fiance Teddy — an agent dealing narcotics and weapons for the CIA while working with Brown & Root, as follows:
    “Arriving in New Orleans in early July, 1977 I found her living in an apartment across the river in Gretna. Equipped with scrambler phones, night vision devices and working from sealed communiqués delivered by naval and air force personnel from nearby Belle Chasse Naval Air Station, Teddy was involved in something truly ugly.
    She was arranging for large quantities of weapons to be loaded onto ships leaving for Iran.
    At the same time she was working with Mafia associates of New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello to coordinate the movement of service boats that were bringing large quantities of heroin into the city.
    The boats arrived at Marcello controlled docks, unmolested by even the New Orleans police she introduced me to, along with divers, military men, former Green Berets and CIA personnel.
    “The service boats were retrieving the heroin from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, oil rigs in international waters, oil rigs built and serviced by Brown and Root.
    The guns that Teddy monitored, apparently Vietnam era surplus AK 47s and M16s, were being loaded onto ships also owned or leased by Brown and Root.
    And more than once during the eight days I spent in New Orleans I met and ate at restaurants with Brown and Root employees who were boarding those ships and leaving for Iran within days.
    Once, while leaving a bar and apparently having asked the wrong question, I was shot at in an attempt to scare me off.”
    Source: "Halliburton’s Brown and Root is One of the Major Components of the Bush-Cheney Drug Empire" by Michael Ruppert, From the Wilderness
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    The Clinton Administration took the groundwork laid by Nixon, Reagan and Bush and embraced and blossomed the expansion and promotion of federal support for police, enforcement and the War on Drugs with a passion that was hard to understand unless and until you realized that the American financial system was deeply dependent on attracting an estimated $500 billion-$1 trillion of annual money laundering.
    Globalizing corporations and deepening deficits and housing bubbles required attracting vast amounts of capital.
    Attracting capital also required making the world safe for the reinvestment of the profits of organized crime and the war machine.
    Without growing organized crime and military activities through government budgets and contracts, the economy would stop centralizing.
    The Clinton Administration was to govern a doubling of the federal prison population.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    Pilots for 911 truth — click here
    9/11
    By all accounts, the unprecedented events of September 11th, 2001 changed the way our country functions, and in turn, the world.
    It is therefore critical that conscientious Americans, as well as people around the globe, understand these events in detail.
    Unfortunately the official reports, including The 9/11 Commission Report and the NIST WTC Report, written by those working under the direction of the Bush Administration, have been proven to be elaborate cover-ups.
    Film: 9/11 Revisited
    September 11th Revisited is perhaps the most riveting film ever made about the destruction of the World Trade Center.
    This is a powerful documentary which features eyewitness accounts and archived news footage that was shot on September 11, 2001 but never replayed on television.
    Featuring interviews with eyewitnesses & firefighters, along with expert analysis by Professor Steven E. Jones, Professor David Ray Griffin, MIT Engineer Jeffrey King, and Professor James H. Fetzer.
    This film provides stunning evidence that explosives were used in the complete demolition of the WTC Twin Towers and WTC Building 7.
    For Film: 9/11 Revisited
    — Click Here
    Film: 9/11 Press for Truth
    An excellent documentary about the families of the victims of 9/11 and their fight to uncover and expose the truth about what happened that day.
    For Film: 9/11 Press for Truth
    — Click Here
    Film: 9/11 Mysteries
    90 minutes of pure demolition evidence and analysis, laced with staggering witness testimonials.
    Moving from “the myth” through “the analysis” and into “the players,” careful deconstruction of the official story set right alongside clean, clear science.
    The 9/11 picture is not one of politics or nationalism or loyalty, but one of strict and simple physics.   How do you get a 10-second 110-story pancake collapse?
    Every missile has a home.

Photo: Alaska Image Library
    Every missile has a home
    (No Mortgages to Worry About)
    Image: Natasha Mayers
    The Blair legacy — Part I
    I looked through to the Mosul hotel lounge where the entire staff from the owner/Manager to the kitchen boy stool huddled around the television aware of nothing but the Colin Powell address to the U.N. making it clear that an attack on Iraq was imminent
    Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way
    The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”
    Destruction and civilian victims of Anglo-American aggression
    The criteria for criminal sociopaths require an ongoing disregard for the rights of others
    60% of the people killed in the assault of Fallujah were women children and elderly
    US destroyed Fallujah as it tries to destroy the rest of Iraq
    Published on Monday, July 4, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
    by Sheldon Drobny
    Justice O'Connor's decision in Bush v. Gore led to the current Bush administration's execution of war crimes and atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places in the Middle East that are as egregious as those committed by the Third Reich and other evil governments in human history.
    The lesson is clear.
    Those people who may be honorable and distinguished in their chosen profession should always make decisions based upon good rather than evil no matter where their nominal allegiances may rest.
    Justice O'Connor was quoted to have said something to the affect that she abhorred the thought of Bush losing the 2000 election to Gore.
    She was known to have wanted to retire after the 2000 election for same reason she is now retiring.
    She wanted to spend more time with her sick husband.
    Unfortunately, she tarnished her distinguished career with the deciding vote in Bush v. Gore by going along with the partisan majority of the Court to interfere with a democratic election that she and the majority feared would be lost in an honest recount.
    She dishonored herself and the Supreme Court by succumbing to party allegiances and not The Constitution to which she swore to uphold.
    And the constitutional argument she and the majority used to justify their decision was the Equal Protection Clause.
    The Equal Protection Clause was the ultimate basis for the decision, but the majority essentially admitted (what was obvious in any event) that it was not basing its conclusion on any general view of what equal protection requires.
    The decision in Bush v Gore was not dictated by the law in any sense—either the law found through research, or the law as reflected in the kind of intuitive sense that comes from immersion in the legal culture.
    The Equal Protection clause is generally used in matters concerning civil rights.
    The majority ignored their basic conservative views supporting federalism and states' rights in order to justify their decision.
    History will haunt these justices down for their utter lack of justice and the hypocrisy associated with this decision.
    Sheldon Drobny is Co-founder of Air America Radio.
    Unspeakable grief and horror
                            ...and the circus of deception continues...
    — 2018
    — 2017
    — 2016
    — 2015
    — 2014
    — 2013
    — 2012
    — 2011
    — 2010
    — 2009
    — 2008
    — 2007
    — 2006
    — 2005
    — 2004
    — 2003
    Circus of Torture   2003 — now
    He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
    And of course I am.
    Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
    "It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
    Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
    Let's change it!
    To say hello:     hello[the at marker]TheWE.cc
    For Kewe's spiritual and metaphysical pages — click here
    Mother her two babies killed by US
    More than Fifteen million
    US dollars given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use
    4 billion US dollars per year
    Nanci Pelosi — U.S. House Democratic leader — Congresswoman California, 8th District
    Speaking at the AIPAC agenda   May 26, 2005
    There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.   This is absolute nonsense.
    In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been:  it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.
    The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran.
    For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology....
    In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.'
    Pelosi
     
     
           Afghanistan — Western Terror States: Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy       
           Photos of Afghanistan people being killed and injured by NATO     

     
     
     
    For archives, these articles are being stored on TheWE.cc website.
    The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
    human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.