30 June 2008

Bush Administration Prewar Deception

Here are some excerpts from recent articles that support the claim that members of the Bush Administration knowingly and intentionally misled the people of the USA in regard to the threat posed by Iraq.

WASHINGTON — A long-delayed Senate committee report endorsed by Democrats and some Republicans concluded that President Bush and his aides built the public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and by ignoring disagreements among spy agencies about Iraq’s weapons programs and Saddam Hussein’s links to Al Qaeda.
Washington Post:
As former White House press secretary Scott McClellan wrote in his recently released book, "What Happened," the Iraq Group "had been set up in the summer of 2002 to coordinate the marketing of the war to the public."

"The script had been finalized with great care over the summer," McClellan wrote, for a "campaign to convince Americans that war with Iraq was inevitable and necessary."
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (Promotional Video with author Vincent Bugliosi): Vincent Bugliosi lays out the case for prosecuting President Bush for murder, based on evidence that the President knowingly distorted the threat posed by Iraq in order to justify the invasion. Thousands of dead US military personnel and Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis later, the case for holding the President accountable for this grievous foreign policy disaster is very strong. No Blood for Oil!

Protesters are right to oppose illegal war

letter to the editor published in today's The Olympian, June 30, 2008:

Civil Resistance - Nonviolent Direct ActionThe United States Senate Intelligence Committee recently approved a report that finds members of the Bush Administration have been peddling lies in order to justify the attack on Iraq. Given the knowledge of a lack of military threat posed by Iraq prior to the invasion, the attack can clearly be understood as an act of aggression.

Bush and Cheney are Abusing our TroopsOlympia City Manager Steve Hall wants to go after and persecute protesters who were engaged in a protected act of political speech as they attempted to petition for redress of grievances by preventing a military shipment that was destined to further enable an immoral/illegal war.

Hall should know that in the case of those who resist these enabling shipments, the protesters are the true sheriffs, because Congress is derelict in its duties to exercise appropriate and necessary oversight to put an end to the ongoing war crimes of the executive administration.

Port Militarization ResistanceProtesters are right to nonviolently oppose and resist operations that enable an ongoing immoral/illegal war of aggression.

When our Congress takes appropriate action to hold members of the Bush administration accountable for flagrant crimes against humanity and crimes against the peace, then perhaps there won't be a need for citizens of the USA to take direct action. But until then, these citizens are right to stand in opposition to the illegal actions of their government.

The War is IllegalPresident Bush and Vice President Cheney are abusing our troops. Protesters are supporting our troops by taking direct action to stop the war.

Robert Whitlock, Olympia

29 June 2008

Severn Suzuki Address to UN Conference on Environment and Development 1992

Teenager speaks for future generations before the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992.

There are some choice quotes from this youngster's 6 minute speech, check it out:


Here are a couple of quotes:

"I am only a child yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on finding environmental answers, ending poverty, and finding treaties what a wonderful place this Earth would be." – Severn Suzuki

"At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world. You teach us to not fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share - not be greedy: then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?"Severn Suzuki

[June 30, 2008: ...a "team of scientists has shown in recent months that the peril is global, concluding that all but two of 21 species of open-ocean sharks and their cousins, the rays, are facing the risk of extinction. Another found that the decline of sharks at the top of the food chain is disrupting marine ecosystems around the globe."
source: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/29/AR2008062901783_pf.html
"The Defense Department, the nation's biggest polluter, is resisting orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up Fort Meade and two other military bases where the EPA says dumped chemicals pose "imminent and substantial" dangers to public health and the environment.

The Pentagon has also declined to sign agreements required by law that cover 12 other military sites on the Superfund list of the most polluted places in the country. The contracts would spell out a remediation plan, set schedules, and allow the EPA to oversee the work and assess penalties if milestones are missed.

... source: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/29/AR2008062901977_pf.html \June 30, 2008]

25 June 2008

Video from The Olympian

[June 27, 2008 edit: here a link to a streaming version of the entire video, as provided by the City of Olympia: http://olympia.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=359 /edit]

This video may be slanted toward pro-development... The supporters get the first and last word. Is that fair play? Doesn't seem equitable.

During the actual hearing, the prosecution of this proposal also got the first and last word.

link to theolympian.com video by Matt McVay

Antonia Juhasz at Northwest Winter Soldier

Who are the winners in this war? Pull back the curtain!

Planning Future Olympia

I went to a City Planning Commission Hearing last night on a proposal to rezone portions of Olympia's downtown waterfront. The proposed rezone would increase building height limits and allow for a planned multi-use structure (to include high-end condominiums.)

I arrived at 5:30 pm to sign up to speak, and I waited until almost 10:15 pm to do so. Many people who signed up were not able to speak. There were about 2 people who signed up to testify against the proposal for everyone 1 person who signed up in support.

There were many different arguments made for and against the proposal, and I don't have the time or energy to go into them now. It was pretty tense. I have to say that it seemed like there were people in that hearing room who simply have completely different world views. For example, both sides used a public interest argument. The pro-rezone segment used the concept of urban high-rise housing as a means to promote sustainability. Those who opposed the rezone similarly used a public interest argument, albeit very different, that the rezone would allow high-rises that would essentially be a theft from the public, the vast majority of whom cannot afford a $1M condo...

Anyway, I'll let you know, dear reader, if I decide to post a more fleshed out article. Here's a link to where you can find the full text of a written comment I submitted along with my oral testimony: http://olyblog.net/share-you-public-comment-tonight-here-thread#comment-63214

Also see Open Space v. Development [relating to the proposed rezone and high rise development]

Basically, I think the best use for the isthmus is as a park. The isthmus is central to the City of Olympia, and serves as a sacred space - a place where the two waters of the Deschutes River and the Puget Sound meet. To develop this property into a high rise structure would be a theft from those who could not afford to live there. There are more appropriate places to develop high-end - high-rise buildings. I suggest to the City Planning Commission to recommend to deny the proposal to rezone building height limits.

Oh yeah, and check out the photos: Olympia Washington Planning Commission Hearing on Proposal to Rezone Urban Waterfront

23 June 2008

"I" The Impeachment of George W. Bush

"I" The Impeachment of George W. Bush
John Yoo is questioned by Prosecutor Walter Jones as Chief Justice John Robert presides, in "I" the Impeachment of George W. Bush, a play by Richard Lasser and Bruce Fein.

This photo was taken during a studio (film) production of the play that is scheduled to air sometime on community access television. I played the role of Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA bin Laden unite, who was a witness for the prosecution. He was interrogated primarily about the extraordinary rendition program.

I will be adding more photos to a set on Flickr.
[June 29, 2008, here it is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhitlock/sets/72157605768293983//June 29, 2008]

21 June 2008

Bruce Fein: Does McClellan's Statement Matter?

Bruce Fein says that impeachment is necessary to the cause of full disclosure. The public has a right to know what the Bush Administration has been up to!
link to original video

[June 22, 2008: Bruce Fein says that those members of the Bush Administration who knowingly distorted the supposed threat, and presented false evidence to suggest the existence of a threat, from Iraq are not culpable for crimes (in his opinion) - though these actions and many others are worthy of impeachment.

I am confused, because it seems that intentionally misleading the American people for the purpose of launching an act of military aggression should be, and would be, and in my much less expert opinion, definitely qualifying for consideration of criminal prosecution. One only has to look at the outcome. (Well over) 4,000 dead U.S. soldiers (and how many suffering permanent and serious war-related injury?). Over 1,000,000 Iraqi dead and millions more forced to flee their homes due to destabilization and violence.

I agree with Bruce that there is ample evidence to pursue impeachment. This President is so guilty that an impeachment trial could probably be completed in one day. That is, of course, if our leaders took their oath and their responsibility to the Constitution seriously.

But I also think that the President's crimes warrant more serious consequences than impeachment and removal from office. This President's actions are worthy of prosecution for murder. He knowingly and deliberately placed U.S. soldiers in harm's way, resulting in thousands of deaths, for the purposes of an unnecessary (and unconstitutional) war (of aggression.) /June 22, 2008]

20 June 2008

Scott McClellan Testifies before Congress

Here's a link to original: http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=74&jumival=161

Connect the dots between McClellan's assertions and the increased imperative to impeach. An interview with Bruce Fein:

Here's more interview with Bruce Fein on the advocacy of impeachment for members of the Bush Administration:

Reflection on Envision Downtown Olympia Forum

posted a blog about a forum to envision downtown Olympia: http://olyblog.net/reflection-envision-downtown-olympia

18 June 2008

Disaster, Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza, Palestine

go to original:
MIDEAST: Anything for a Bath, Anything for Fuel
By Mohammed Omer

GAZA CITY, Jun 18 (IPS) - The girl, about 16, is wandering about Jebaliya refugee camp, picking up anything she thinks can burn. She cannot find enough bits of wood, so she gathers plastic bags, old notebooks and even a pair of broken plastic sandals.

"I want to heat some water," she said. "I want a bath."

Not far away, Mohammed Abu Elenin, 23, exhaustion all over his face, prepares for a fourth night outside a gas station to refill his canister. His brother Nour has sat up with him. Earlier he could get half a fill. Now he doesn't know what may come, but waits.

"Some weeks ago, I managed to get a half cylinder of cooking gas," he says. "It lasted just one week. Now we have nothing to cook with."

His family, like others, have turned to cooking over makeshift fires. That fills houses with smoke, and it is dangerous. And now firewood too is scarce.

Umm Othman, 43, mother of nine, waits like the others. "It's become impossible for me to feed and take care of my children and my husband," she says. Her sons are not at home, she has sent them to queue for gas.

And amidst all this, come questions who is to blame, Hamas or Israel. "I can't stand it," says a woman sharing a crowded taxi on way from Rafah border crossing to Gaza City. "There is no gas, and there is no space to make a fire." "This is Palestinians' choice," says a man in the taxi. We voted for Hamas, and now we should take the consequences."

At once, several passengers turn against him. They accuse him of trying to turn people against the democratically elected Hamas. Another passenger, Mosbah Abu Dayiah, 43, speaks against Hamas. "If they can't manage, they should leave the government to others who can." The others turn now against him, and insist they will stand by Hamas.

Gaza is on the brink, and Israel is keeping it that way. Israel makes sure Gaza gets just a fraction of its needs of fuel, says Mahmoud al-Khozendar, vice-president of the Petrol Station Owners Association. And when it does come in, the priority is fishermen, bakeries and farmers.

But he finds this is doing Hamas little harm. "The fact that Israel has created the cooking gas and fuel shortage is actually helping Hamas maintain support," he says.

Following the visit by the UN fact-finding mission led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Israel has allowed a little more fuel in, says Khozendar. But shortages are being exacerbated now by a diversion of cooking gas to run cars.

One taxi driver began running his car on expensive olive oil. He asked his passengers therefore to pay more. And that led to arguments with passengers. "I also have a family to feed," he pleaded. He begged the passengers to consider also that his car will be ruined if he uses too much olive oil.

In home after home, in street after street, such struggles continue. Abu Dayiah doesn't see it getting any better. "The world doesn't care." (END/2008)

17 June 2008

Chiroux on Democracy Now

Here's a link: www.democracynow.org/2008/6/17/us_army_sergeant_matthis_chiroux_refuses

from the show:
SGT. MATTHIS CHIROUX: Well, I’m not absent without leave until they tell me I’m absent without leave. To me, I’m following the US Constitution. I’m upholding the law, and I’m going to continue behaving as such. I refuse to be labeled or be shamed by these actions. I refuse to behave like a criminal. I am going to stay here in Washington, D.C., until at least Thursday. I’ve been here for the past two-and-a-half weeks lobbying members of Congress to come out in official support of resisters to the Iraq occupation for cause of its unconstitutional nature, as well as being waged in violation of international laws and the like. I believe we’ve made progress, and I believe—Thursday, I believe members of Congress will be coming out in support of war resisters.

Most Iraqis Want U.S. to Leave Iraq

This from Iraq Insider: http://theiraqinsider.blogspot.com/ 2008/06/ more-on-yesterdays-historic-hearings.html
Two members of the Iraqi Parliament, Sheikh Khalaf al-Ulayyan (National Dialogue Front party) and Dr. Nadim al-Jaberi (Fadila party), presented a letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that was signed by members of the Iraqi parliament on behalf of parties representing a majority of the 275 Members. Their letter stated:
“Any agreement that is not ratified by the Iraqi legislative power is considered unconstitutional and illegal….Likewise, we wish to inform you that the majority of Iraqi representatives strongly reject any military-security, economic, commercial, agricultural, investment or political agreement with the U.S. that is not linked to clear mechanisms that obligate the occupying American military forces to fully withdraw from Iraq, in accordance with a declared timetable and without leaving behind any military bases, soldiers or hired fighters.”
According to www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/poll/2008/0308opinion.pdf:

72% of Iraqis oppose presence of U.S. Forces in Iraq, and over 53% believe that increased presence of U.S. Forces has had a worsening effect on the security situation:

99% of Iraqis support the eventual withdrawal of U.S. Forces - 38% favor immediate withdrawal:

61% of Iraqis believe that the ongoing presence of U.S. Forces is having a harmful (worsening) effect on the security situation in Iraq:

Abusing Our Troops (Trading Blood for Oil)

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. "Dick" Cheney are abusing the troops.

Bert Stands Watch
Photo by Laura Killian

Well, further, and according to Vincent Bugliosi, sending the troops into harm's way without national security imperative, prerogative, or necessity makes those culpable decision makers complicit in the murder of U.S. Soldiers. There was not national security justification for the invasion of Iraq. The justification for invasions/occupation is the policy of global dominance. Access to, and control of, the vast Middle East petroleum resources is a necessary ingredient in the maintenance of global dominance.

So, the essential truth is that the U.S. launched a military invasion - an act of aggression - designed to conquer, extract and exploit the mineral resources of a foreign nation. That is not okay with me. How's it by you?

15 June 2008


Senator John McCain and Senator Barak Obama are ready to paint Plutocracy different colors...

Mr. Fish is skeptical, and so am I. Is the system broken? "Of the people by the people for the people?" - We will see.

Plutocracy is defined as a system of rule by the wealthy elite. Is that what we, in the USA, have?

by Mr. Fish

Chiroux Refuses to Deploy to Iraq

A month ago, Matthis Chiroux bravely announced his courageous intention to refuse deployment in a war which he believes to be illegal. His unit deployed today, without him. Chiroux is an Army reporter, and says he has heard enough stories of what has gone on in Iraq to know that the occupation is immoral and illegal.
US soldier refuses to report for active duty in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A month after US army reservist Matthis Chiroux publicly refused to deploy to Iraq, the former sergeant on Sunday set himself up for possible prosecution by failing to report for active duty with his unit in South Carolina.

"Tonight at midnight, I may face further action from the army for refusing to reactivate to participate in the Iraq occupation," Chiroux told reporters in Washington.

"I stand here today in defense of those who have been stripped of their voices in this occupation, the warriors of this nation...", Chiroux read from a statement as his father Rob, who had travelled to Washington from Alabama to support his son on Father's Day, stood beside him.

I'm not sure if this link will be permanent: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jlR6Ky_n9NjGaMqzy4Ks9bk-PThw

Also hear Matthis Chiroux interviewed on antiwar radio by Scott Horton: http://antiwar.com/radio/2008/06/04/matthis-chiroux/:

Scott Horton Interviews Matthis Chiroux

June 4th, 2008

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux discusses his refusal to redeploy to Iraq because of the illegality of the invasion, his role as an Army propagandist, how the Iraq Veterans Against the War helped him realize he wasn’t alone in opposing the illegal occupation and the widespread and neglected PTSD suffered by so many vets.

MP3 here. (35:26)

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, who served in the Army until being honorably discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Phillipines, today publicly announced his intention to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq. Sgt. Chiroux made his announcement in the Cannon House Office Building Rotunda after members of Iraq Veterans Against the War testified before the Congressional Progressive Caucus during Winter Soldier on the Hill.

Here's a link to another interview at Courage to Resist: http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/595/1/

Permanent Bases in Iraq

I remember President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld saying that there would be no permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq. Now hear this.
from Tom Dispatch dotcom:

posted June 15, 2008 7:46 pm
Tomgram: Why We Can't See America's Ziggurats in Iraq

[Note for TomDispatch readers: Just a reminder. Today's post on the mega-bases in Iraq represents but one of the missing stories of the Bush years that TomDispatch has been dedicated to covering. The site's new book, The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire, just published, is, in essence, a striking history of the missing stories of our mad age, the stories the mainstream media chose to ignore. I urge TomDispatch readers to pick up a copy. It's a great way to support the site and -- if you care to give it to a friend -- to introduce others to a source of information that has, for years, been an "antidote to the mainstream media." If you can, do recommend the book and the site to your private e-lists and suggest, as well, that people consider going to TomDispatch.com to sign up -- in the window at the upper right of the main screen -- for the regular emails indicating that a new post has gone up. There will be surprises galore this summer as TomDispatch explores the Bush legacy and whether what the Bush administration has embedded in our lives can ever be unbuilt. You can also check out a video in which I discuss the issue of the missing mega-bases in Iraq, now finally in the news, by clicking here. Tom]

The Greatest Story Never Told
Finally, the U.S. Mega-Bases in Iraq Make the News
By Tom Engelhardt

It's just a $5,812,353 contract -- chump change for the Pentagon -- and not even one of those notorious "no-bid" contracts either. Ninety-eight bids were solicited by the Army Corps of Engineers and 12 were received before the contract was awarded this May 28th to Wintara, Inc. of Fort Washington, Maryland, for "replacement facilities for Forward Operating Base Speicher, Iraq." According to a Department of Defense press release, the work on those "facilities" to be replaced at the base near Saddam Hussein's hometown, Tikrit, is expected to be completed by January 31, 2009, a mere 11 days after a new president enters the Oval Office. It is but one modest reminder that, when the next administration hits Washington, American bases in Iraq, large and small, will still be undergoing the sort of repair and upgrading that has been ongoing for years.

In fact, in the last five-plus years, untold billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on the construction and upgrading of those bases. When asked back in the fall of 2003, only months after Baghdad fell to U.S. troops, Lt. Col. David Holt, the Army engineer then "tasked with facilities development" in Iraq, proudly indicated that "several billion dollars" had already been invested in those fast-rising bases. Even then, he was suitably amazed, commenting that "the numbers are staggering." Imagine what he might have said, barely two and a half years later, when the U.S. reportedly had 106 bases, mega to micro, all across the country.

By now, billions have evidently gone into single massive mega-bases like the U.S. air base at Balad, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. It's a "16-square-mile fortress," housing perhaps 40,000 U.S. troops, contractors, special ops types, and Defense Department employees. As the Washington Post's Tom Ricks, who visited Balad back in 2006, pointed out -- in a rare piece on one of our mega-bases -- it's essentially "a small American town smack in the middle of the most hostile part of Iraq." Back then, air traffic at the base was already being compared to Chicago's O'Hare International or London's Heathrow -- and keep in mind that Balad has been steadily upgraded ever since to support an "air surge" that, unlike the President's 2007 "surge" of 30,000 ground troops, has yet to end.

Building Ziggurats

While American reporters seldom think these bases -- the most essential U.S. facts on the ground in Iraq -- are important to report on, the military press regularly writes about them with pride. Such pieces offer a tiny window into just how busily the Pentagon is working to upgrade and improve what are already state-of-the-art garrisons. Here's just a taste of what's been going on recently at Balad, one of the largest bases on foreign soil on the planet, and but one of perhaps five mega-bases in that country:

Consider, for instance, this description of an air-field upgrade from official U.S. Air Force news coverage, headlined: "'Dirt Boyz' pave way for aircraft, Airmen":
"In less than four months, Balad Air Base Dirt Boyz have placed and finished more than 12,460 feet of concrete and added approximately 90,000 square feet of pavement to the airfield… Without the extra pavement courtesy of the Dirt Boyz, fewer aircraft would be able to be positioned and maintained at Balad AB. Having fewer aircraft at the base would directly affect the Air Force's ability to place surveillance assets in the air and to drop munitions on targets... The ongoing flightline projects at Balad AB consist of concrete pad extensions that will provide occupation surfaces for multiple aircraft of various types."
Or here's a proud description of what Detachment 6 of the 732nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron did on its recent tour in Balad:
"'We constructed more than 25,000 square feet of living, dining and operations buildings from the ground up,' said Staff Sgt. John Wernegreen… 'This project gave the [U.S.] Army's [3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment] and Iraqi army [soldiers] a place to carry out their mission of controlling the battlespace around the Eastern Diyala Province.'"
And here's a caption, accompanying an Air Force photo of work at Balad: "Airmen of the 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and equipment team repair utility cuts here June 11. The team replaced approximately 30 cubic meters of concrete over newly installed power line cables." ...

... read the rest, www.tomdispatch.com/post/174944/ why_we_can_t_see_america_s_ziggurats_in_iraq

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

Famed prosecutor and #1 New York Times bestselling author Vincent Bugliosi has written the most powerful, explosive, and thought-provoking book of his storied career. As a prosecutor dedicated to seeking justice, he delivers a non-partisan argument, free from party lines, based upon hard facts and pure objectivity. More

VideoIn The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting in Iraq. Watch this video interview to learn why he believes we must bring those responsible for the war in Iraq to justice. More

Also check out Vincent Bugliosi's interview on Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/13/citing_iraq_war_renowned_attorney_vincent

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi

Articles of Impeachment Against Bush

More impeachment: From afterdowningstreet.org, we have a great resource to highlight the Kucinich Articles of Impeachment against Bush. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/busharticles

And here's a set of youtube videos that capture the Kucinich delivery of the Articles of Impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives:

13 June 2008

Kucinich Introduces Articles of Impeachment Against President George W. Bush

Thank you Representative Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I support bringing articles of impeachment against President Bush...

Impeachment Letter to Congressman Brian Baird

Here are some videos from the Kucinich delivery of 35 serious and well-researched articles of impeachment.

[update June 15, 2008: please see the complete delivery of all 35 articles of impeachment on the floor of the House of Reps. by Congressman Kucinich (via youtube):
http://robwhitlock.blogspot.com/2008/06/articles-of-impeachment-against-bush.html June 15, 2008/]

link to part one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK16IG6jvJY

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

12 June 2008

Urban Clear Cut

Check out my new OlyBlog-post with photos of a new clear cut on the Westside of the City of Olympia, Washington: olyblog.net/division-and-dickerson-clear-cut

10 June 2008

A Couple of New Blog Posts

I posted a couple new entries over at OlyBlog just now. One is about a visit by Cindy Sheehan to Olympia this past weekend. The other is about 35 Articles of Impeachment, which Congressman Dennis Kucinich presented to the US House of Representatives yesterday. I hand delivered a copy of the Kucinich Articles of Impeachment to my Congressman Brian Baird's office this morning. Baird is currently in Washington D.C., so I asked his staffer to fax a copy of my cover letter and the full text of the articles to him in D.C..

Here's a link to the post about the Kucinich Articles of Impeachment: http://olyblog.net/impeachment-articles-delivered

Here's a link to the post about the Cindy Sheehan visit: http://olyblog.net/cindy-sheehan-visit-olympia

09 June 2008

Bill Moyers Address to National Conference for Media Reform

Quote from the video: "Sadly, in many respects, the fourth estate has become the fifth column of democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom – and that is the truth." – Bill Moyers

Also see here: http://www.freepress.net/node/41318

From Truthout.org [link in title above]:
Media Conference: The Freedom That Makes Freedom Possible

Saturday 07 June 2008

by: Bennett Gordon, Utne Reader

Bill Moyers addresses the need for responsible public media.

Legendary journalist Bill Moyers address the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, June 7, 2008. Presented by FreePress.net.

"As journalism goes, so goes democracy," renowned PBS host Bill Moyers told the crowd at the National Conference for Media Reform. And right now, journalism is in trouble.

In his serious and eloquent style, Moyers warned the crowd of the "mighty armada of power and influence" that threatens the media and democracy today-propagating junk news that dominates the national discussion and forces out more legitimate and competing storylines.

There is one central tenet that runs through the media reform movement, according to Moyers: Everyone here sees media consolidation as a "corrosive force." As the wall between journalism and advertising is broken down by businesses pushing profit over public good, honest information and accountability in this country literally disappears. He called out the "myths of the marketplace," including the idea that private systems will provide for the public good, and the business mantra that public interest is what the public is interested in.

Moyers effortlessly drew connections from the complicity of the media in the war in Iraq to the near-constant attacks on the environment, from the "political marionettes" in Washington, D.C., to the soaring credit card debt and inequality in America today. The way to combat these problems is with media reform, and the only way reform the media is with a healthy and popular movement.

"In numbers is strength, and in strength is success," Moyers told the crowd of journalists and activists, urging them to support a diversity of voices from all communities. He called on journalists and activists to "be vigilant" and "show courage," because their job is literally to protect "the freedom that makes all other freedom possible."
Video is also, alternately, available at YouTube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0r71L7cojE

06 June 2008

Obama and AIPAC: Moving Right?

[June 7, 2008: The question for me is whether an Obama Presidency would signify a break with the foreign policy of global dominance. The answer may be that it even if an Obama Administration would maintain the basic tenets of a, United States of America, foreign policy of global dominance and hegemony, that the improvements in other sectors (energy and tax policy for example) would make a vote for Obama the obvious pragmatic decision. However, I think that the foreign policy of global dominance runs counter, and is not complementary to the goal of true economic and geo-political security, if that is even the goal (though it is the professed goal, I have my doubts.).

AIPAC is the American Israel Political Action Committee. AIPAC is known for denying the "Palestinian Holocaust," which occurred as a result of the 1948 advent of the state of Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced, forced to flee their homes, neighborhoods and villages as Israel made a mass military and violent expansion into traditionally Palestinian areas.

AIPAC is a brand that seeks to whitewash the horrors intrinsic to the violence of militaristic zionism (aka "gun zionism.")

Additionally AIPAC (link to AIPAC website) calls itself "America's Pro-Israel Lobby". But is AIPAC truly pro-Israel? Does promoting violent annexation of Palestinian areas, does the promotion of violent zionism qualify as "pro-Israel?" - I simply think that it does not. Violence does not, and will not, ultimately, benefit Israel, or the people of Israel. /end July 7, 2008]

Senator Obama meets with AIPAC. Aijaz Ahmad:

permalink [includes more information]

here's a permalink to video 2

03 June 2008

Winter Soldier Northwest

Veterans on Stage

Here's a link to a set of 17 photos from the day's events (panel presentations at Seattle Town Hall, and the march): http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwhitlock/sets/72157605384315166/

Video by Elliot Stoller

Find more video coverage by Stoller here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=E195AEBA67A1F3E0M

Iraq Veterans Against the War Winter Soldier Northwest, May 31st, 2008

A series of panels, including a panel of Veterans of the Iraq War, spoke about the continuing horror of the occupation of Iraq. The series of panel presentations were followed by a well attended march through the streets of downtown Seattle.

Panelists spoke about ongoing crimes relating to the occupation, and the negative consequences on the health and well-being of both the occupied and the occupiers. The Iraq people suffer grievous harms, but the soldiers who are asked to perform the duties of an unjust and illegal military action are also made to suffer grievous harm.

The ratio of war injured to war dead for OIF is 8:1 - and that only includes hard injuries, i.e. it doesn't include injuries which are psychological in nature.

Other panel topics included how illegal wars of aggression are enabled by a fundamental racism that exists in society (and especially within military cultures.) Attention was also given to the fraudulent nature of pre-war-pro-war propaganda, a foreign policy of global dominance as it relates to Middle East petroleum resources, and the role of media in the war disaster. The war was sold to the American people as a bill of goods. The invasion was predicated on lies.

Supporting the GI Resistance movement is one of the most promising avenues for stopping the illegal and immoral foreign policy aggression of the government of the United States.

- bert

[June 6, 2008: P.S. Also see this great documentary of the event - this is great coverage - posted on Seattle IndyMedia: http://seattle.indymedia.org/en/2008/06/267013.shtml /June 6,2008]