Wednesday, July 27, 2005

REGAINING MY HUMANITY an Iraq War Veteran Speaks Out

July 27, 2005

Yesterday I posted a review about a book written by Norman Solomon on the
Harsh insight into how we make war Solomon, a longtime media critic, lays out the elaborate hustle in this new book, "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."

Today I came across a site with a posted letter from an Iraq War Veteran who followed his conscience and came HOME from a war he didn't believe in. He expresses himself, (below) very concisely and in his own plain words.

I can't imagine the strength of character it took for this individual to decide to take back his humanity, by opposing the establishment, knowing this judgement would put him in prison for too long a time.

The world would be a better place to live our short lives in, if we allowed time off from whatever treadmill we find ourselves on and think objectively about who we are hurting when we stay silent while trudging on, as though we live only to be used as a pawn in someone else's subjective game.

We here in America are told we are free but are we really? We are only as free as our fears allow us to be and for most of us, our freedoms are restricted to a very small area within our mind. It takes courage to be free and unfortunately, most of us are raised without the discipline it takes to say "I AM FREE TO SAY NO TO WHOEVER TELLS ME I MUST DO THEIR BIDDING EVEN IF IT IS WRONG!".

I only wished I had a small fraction of the courage, this young man, who penned this letter from his heart, has. But then again, he saw the HELL OF WAR and I only read about it.

Perhaps if I were to be taken to the threshold of the extreme agony and cruelty war exudes, I would find that extra bit of gallantry it takes to say NO to taking part in any inhuman act, even if they use words like legal and duty, to describe it .

Thank you Camilo Mejia for giving us all a role model to follow that perhaps can also give us the will to refuse what we deem is wrong and unjust under the false appearance of nationalistic patriotism. Thinking Blue


By Camilo Mejia

I was deployed to Iraq in April 2003 and returned home for a two-week
leave in October. Going home gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts in
order and to listen to what my conscience had to say. People would ask me
about my war experiences and answering them took me back to all the
horrors - the firefights, the ambushes, the time I saw a young Iraqi
dragged by his shoulders through a pool of his own blood or an innocent
man was decapitated by our machine gun fire. The time I saw a soldier
broken down inside because he killed a child, or an old man on his knees,
crying with his arms raised to the sky, perhaps asking God why we had
taken the lifeless body of his son.

I thought of the suffering of a people whose country was in ruins and who
were further humiliated by the raids, patrols and curfews of an occupying

I am confined to a prison but I feel, today more than ever, connected
to all humanity. Behind these bars I sit a free man because I listened to
a higher power, the voice of my conscience.

And I realized that none of the reasons we were told about why we were in
Iraq turned out to be true. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
There was no link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. We weren't helping
the Iraqi people and the Iraqi people didn't want us there. We weren't
preventing terrorism or making Americans safer. I couldn't find a single
good reason for having been there, for having shot at people and been shot

Coming home gave me the clarity to see the line between military duty and
moral obligation. I realized that I was part of a war that I believed was
immoral and criminal, a war of aggression, a war of imperial domination. I
realized that acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role
in the military, and I decided that I could not return to Iraq.

By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being. I
have not deserted the military or been disloyal to the men and women of
the military. I have not been disloyal to a country. I have only been
loyal to my principles.

When I turned myself in, with all my fears and doubts, I did it not only
for myself. I did it for the people of Iraq, even for those who fired upon
me - they were just on the other side of a battleground where war itself
was the only enemy. I did it for the Iraqi children, who are victims of
mines and depleted uranium. I did it for the thousands of unknown
civilians killed in war. My time in prison is a small price compared to
the price Iraqis and Americans have paid with their lives. Mine is a small
price compared to the price Humanity has paid for war.

Many have called me a coward; others have called me a hero. I believe I
can be found somewhere in the middle. To those who have called me a hero,
I say that I don't believe in heroes, but I believe that ordinary people
can do extraordinary things.

To those who have called me a coward I say that they are wrong, and that
without knowing it, they are also right. They are wrong when they think
that I left the war for fear of being killed. I admit that fear was there,
but there was also the fear of killing innocent people, the fear of
putting myself in a position where to survive means to kill, there was the
fear of losing my soul in the process of saving my body, the fear of
losing myself to my daughter, to the people who love me, to the man I used
to be, the man I wanted to be. I was afraid of waking up one morning to
realize my humanity had abandoned me.

I say without any pride that I did my job as a soldier. I commanded an
infantry squad in combat and we never failed to accomplish our mission.
But those who called me a coward, without knowing it, are also right. I
was a coward not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in
the first place. Refusing and resisting this war was my moral duty, a
moral duty that called me to take a principled action. I failed to fulfill
my moral duty as a human being and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a
soldier. All because I was afraid. I was terrified, I did not want to
stand up to the government and the army, I was afraid of punishment and
humiliation. I went to war because at the moment I was a coward, and for
that I apologize to my soldiers for not being the type of leader I should have been.

I also apologize to the Iraqi people. To them I say I am sorry for the
curfews, for the raids, for the killings. May they find it in their hearts
to forgive me.

One of the reasons I did not refuse the war from the beginning was that I
was afraid of losing my freedom. Today, as I sit behind bars I realize
that there are many types of freedom, and that in spite of my confinement
I remain free in many important ways. What good is freedom if we are
afraid to follow our conscience? What good is freedom if we are not able
to live with our own actions? I am confined to a prison but I feel, today
more than ever, connected to all humanity. Behind these bars I sit a free
man because I listened to a higher power, the voice of my conscience.

While I was confined in total segregation, I came across a poem written by
a man who refused and resisted the government of Nazi Germany. For doing
so he was executed. His name is Albrecht Hanshofer, and he wrote this poem
as he awaited execution.


The burden of my guilt before the law
weighs light upon my shoulders; to plot
and to conspire was my duty to the people;
I would have been a criminal had I not.
I am guilty, though not the way you think,
I should have done my duty sooner, I was wrong,
I should have called evil more clearly by its name
I hesitated to condemn it for far too long.
I now accuse myself within my heart:
I have betrayed my conscience far too long
I have deceived myself and fellow man.
I knew the course of evil from the start
My warning was not loud nor clear enough!
Today I know what I was guilty of...


Albrecht Haushofer (German, 1903-45)

Son of the famous geo-politician Karl Haushofer, who had aided Hitler by creating the "lebensraum" thesis, ALBRECHT MAUSHOFER turned against the Nazis and became associated with the group that attempted to assassinate Hitler. Found dead in the Moabit prison by Allied soldiers entering Berlin, having been shot by the Nazis a few hours before, he clutched in one hand the sonnet sequence from which the above poem was taken.


The kind of guilt the court will brand me with-
The shame of my schemes-I carry lightly.
If I had not planned the morning of the people
From my own need, I would have been a criminal.
Still I am guilty, but not for their reasons.
A long time ago I should have known my duty,
I should have called the acid of their evil-evil,
But my reason sought evasion far too long
And in my heart a voice accuses me:
For years I have betrayed my conscience,
Deceived myself and many of my friends.
Early I sensed the cries of endless misery
And I warned but never hard enough and clear-
Today I know what kind of guilt accuses here.

translated by James Schevill.


To those who are still quiet, to those who continue to betray their
conscience, to those who are not calling evil more clearly by its name, to
those of us who are still not doing enough to refuse and resist, I say
"come forward." I say "free your minds."

Let us, collectively, free our minds, soften our hearts, comfort the
wounded, put down our weapons, and reassert ourselves as human beings by
putting an end to war.

Go to the original at

Code Pink

For more info on Camilo Mejia, go to


Extracts from the "Poems of War Resistance" 1966 Peace Calendar -
War Resisters League, New York

Olivier de Magny French, 1529-1560

Lines composed by a young court poet to a feudal stronghold in the
south of France.


Gordes, what shall we do? Shall we never have peace?
Shall we never have peace sometime on earth?
Will peace on earth never come to birth
And the people's burden of war never cease?

I see nothing but soldiers, but horses and gear,
I hear nothing but discourse of conquest and arms
I hear nothing but trumpets and battle-alarms,
Naught but blood and anger do I see, do I hear.

The princes play with our lives today;
When our lives like our goods they have stolen away
Neither power nor care will they have to restore.

Unhappy are we to live under these stars
Surrounded by evils, afflicted by war;
Theirs is the guilt; but the sorrow is ours.

Translated from the French by Scott Bates


William Cowper; English, 1731-1800

The writer of "The Diverting History of John Gilpin" was a great
humanitarian and the author of some of the most moving lines in English
against war and slavery. The theme of this fragment from "The Task" was
treated earlier in the century by Matthew Prior in an imaginary dialogue
between the grammarian Clenard and Charles V. "I tell You," says the
former, "that for the good of the Publick you should all have your swords
taken from You as if you were actual Lunaticks, and not be suffered to go
a Madding with this Rattle of a Globe to play with. . . ."


Great princes have great playthings. Some have played
At hewing mountains into men, and some
At building human wonders mountain high.
Some have amassed the dull sad years of life
(Life spent in indolence, and therefore sad)
With schemes of monumental fame, and sought
By pyramids and mausoleum pomp,
Short-lived themselves, t'immortalize their bones.
Some seek diversion in the tented field
And make the sorrows of mankind their sport.
But war's a game which, were their subjects wise,
Kings should not play at. Nations would do well
T'extort their truncheons from the puny hands
Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds
Are gratified with mischief, and who spoil,
Because men suffer it, their toy the world.


Ralph Chaplin; American

Advocate of a labor state, leader in the I.W.W. (International
Workers of the World), CHAPLIN was imprisoned for his anti-war stand in
World War 1. This poem was written in prison.


Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie-
Dust unto dust-
The calm, sweet earth that mothers all who die
As all men must;

Mourn not your captive comrades who must dwell-
Too strong to strive-
Each in his steel-bound coffin of a cell,
Buried alive;

But rather mourn the apathetic throng-
The cowed and the meek-
Who see the world's great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak!


Thomas Hardy; English, 1840-1928

Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Isaac Rosenberg are often
considered the three major English poets of the First World War. The
gradual recognition of THOMAS HARDY as a leading poet has now placed him
among their number; although he was 74 when the war began, poems like
"Channel Firing" and "There Was a Great Calm" rank high among the most
moving and thoughtful poems to come out of the conflict. "The Man He
Killed" was written twelve years earlier, in 1902.


"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

"But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

"I shot him dead because-
Because he was my foe
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although

"He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like-just as I-
Was out of work-had sold his traps-
No other reason why.

"Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown."


Marcel Martinet; French

A pacifist and socialist poet, follower of the great humanitarian
and internationalist leader, Jean Jaures. When the latter was assassinated
on the eve of World War I and the socialists from the various countries
took up arms against each other, MARTINET excoriated them in his powerful

"You go to fight":

Those hands you held,
They hold the rifles well,
The lances and the swords,
They work the cannons,
The mortars, the machine guns
Against you;
And you, you, too, you have your machine guns;
You, too, you have your rifles
Against your brothers.

It is not widely known that several million children-more in Germany
than else- where-died of starvation during the war. This poem was written
in the last years of the struggle.


No more milk at our house.
No more milk for the neighbor's girl.
No more milk for us.

And tomorrow no more bread.

Here are the days when the children will watch
Us with their big serious eyes
Eyes too big because they are hungry,
Here are the days
When the children will languish and die.

Nevertheless, nobody has said nevertheless
That this is a war for the children.
This is the war they wage on the war
The children won't have to go to twenty years from now.

Onward! good subjected peoples,
Onward! one more blow for the right.
They say the enemy children
Are already dying of hunger.

No more milk at our house
And tomorrow no more bread.


Eve Merriam American, 1916-


You, weeping wide at war, weep with me now.
Cheating a little at peace, come near
And let us cheat together here.

Look at my guilt, mirror of my shame.
Deserter, I will not turn you in;
I am your trembling twin!

Afraid, our double knees lock in knocking fear;
Running from the guns we stumble upon each other.
Hide in my lap of terror: I am your mother.

- Only we two, and yet our howling can
Encircle the world's end.
Frightened, you are my only friend.

And frightened, we are everyone.
Someone must make a stand.
Coward, take my coward's hand.





CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!

Thinking Blue


Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Since most of my reading is done on the computer, I don't usually speak much about reading books, but this one is a must read for all of us, who wish
to know why our leaders keep finding reasons to go to WAR... If there are no justifications in reality then they MAKE THEM UP!
Thinking Blue

Harsh insight into how we make war
War Made Easy How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to
by Norman Solomon John Wiley & Sons: 320 pp., $24.95

By Russ Baker, Special to The Times
Does the unspooling Iraq saga fill you with a disquieting sense of
déjà vu? Feel like you've been there, done that, been lied to and
spun in this manner somewhere else, at some other point in time?
Well, that's because you have.

Norman Solomon, a longtime media critic, lays out the elaborate
hustle in his new book, "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death." It's all there — Vietnam, the invasions
of Panama and Grenada, the first Gulf War and more. (Including a
first chapter about the 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican
Republic, an unfortunately labored and obscure choice to lead off an
otherwise compelling read.)

The villains are the government and the media: the
government because time and again it remorselessly falsifies the
reality of war, and the media because major press and broadcast
outlets can't seem to wriggle free from self-interest long enough to
speak truth to power.

Solomon offers 16 brutally persuasive chapters, each centered on a
perennial falsehood, such as "If This War Is Wrong, Congress Will Stop It," "This Is About Human Rights" and "This Is Not at All About Oil or Corporate Profits."

One insidious whopper
that American war leaders always yearn for peace — runs counter to
such evidence as the Nixon tapes, in which the president, who
publicly expressed concern about the Indochina carnage, is caught on
the White House recording system discussing with Henry A. Kissinger
an extension of the bombing to new targets in North Vietnam:


: "I still think we ought to take the dikes out…. Will that drown people?"

"About 200,000 people."

: "No, no, no…. I'd rather use the nuclear bomb…. I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christ's sakes."


The belief that the media will remain vigilant to government
misconduct in times of war is belied by an internal MSNBC report
cited by Solomon, which explains why Phil Donahue's show (with which
Solomon was associated) was canceled shortly before the Iraq
invasion. Keeping Donahue on the air, says one MSNBC executive,
would "present a difficult public face for NBC in a time of
war …
[and become] a home for the liberal antiwar
agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at
every opportunity."

This may be a little late but it should be said.
My 2 cents worth:
"Phil Donahue's viewpoint represents over three quarters (in my opinion) of the American people's convictions on matters of War, Peace and Fairness. Taking him off the air, even though his show pulled in a large audience, told us you are not interested in what We The People Of This United States Of America, want to see on our TV's. How dare you use POLICE STATE actions of this sort!!"


Solomon also notes that less than 1% of the sources featured on
CBS' "Evening News" during the Iraq War's first three weeks could be
considered "antiwar."

For sheer chutzpah, nothing tops the story of U.S.
troops during the 1989 invasion of Panama seizing a huge cache of dictator and
former U.S. ally Manuel Noriega's cocaine. Well after the event,
the military was forced to admit that the reported stash was
actually tamales wrapped in banana leaves.
This was
followed by the military's claim that Noriega had used the stash for
"unspeakable acts of witchcraft and voodoo."

Solomon is most outraged by what he sees as the utter disconnect
between Americans and the true horror of wars carried out in their
name and with their approval. He cites James Baldwin on denial, on
"the fraudulent and expedient nature of the American
innocence which has always been able to persuade itself that it does
not know what it knows too well."


More James Baldwin Quotes:

Americans, unhappily, have the most remarkable ability to alchemize all bitter truths into an innocuous but piquant confection and to transform their moral contradictions, or public discussion of such contradictions, into a proud decoration, such as are given for heroism on the battle field.

He may be a very nice man. But I haven't got the time to figure that out. All I know is, he's got a uniform and a gun and I have to relate to him that way. That's the only way to relate to him because one of us may have to die.

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. No one is more dangerous than he who imagines
himself pure in heart: for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.

James A. Baldwin


And Solomon adds, "Aren't we at least dimly aware that — no matter
how smooth and easy the news media and elected officials try to make
it for us — in faraway places there are people not so different than
us who are being destroyed by what journalists and politicians
glibly depict as necessary war?"

"War Made Easy" is largely an amalgam of material from others'
books, speeches and articles. But Solomon is a formidable thinker
and activist in his own right. He traveled with Sean Penn to Iraq
shortly before the invasion, and one wishes he had shared more of
his considerable experiences in the media trenches.
Solomon's voice, when he gives it full throat, is appropriately
sardonic. adj. Scornfully or cynically mocking. See Synonyms at
sarcastic. -
A cutting, often ironic remark intended
to wound. - A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic
language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt
or ridicule.

IN OTHER WORDS SOLOMON "TELLS IT LIKE IT IS" and lets the chips fall where they may...We need this from the self- interested, greedy media pundits...but that will never happen, money is their creed, not
truth! Thinking Blue


Here he comments on a USA Today headline from June 2004, about the
incoming Iraqi prime minister's support for the U.S.:
"The banner headline was a classic of occupation puppetry and media gimmicky,"
Solomon writes, noting that Iyad Allawi was long close to
the CIA but a virtual stranger to the Iraqi people.
"All in all, by Washington's lights, the man was eminently qualified
to be Iraq's 'new leader.' And his superb judgment was immediately
apparent: 'New Leader Asks U.S. to Stay'! "


"Withdrawal Would Cripple U.S. Credibility" by Norman Solomon

News Media and "the Madness of Militarism"by Norman Solomon


"War Made Easy" is a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come.

Solomon cites a 2003 Los Angeles Times article,

(and this is the most chilling...Thinking Blue)

in which top Pentagon officials
"are studying the lessons of Iraq closely — to ensure that the next U.S. takeover of a foreign country goes more smoothly." Says a top assistant to Defense Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld: "We'll get better as we do it more often."

Russ Baker ( is a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review and founder of a new nonprofit, the Real News Project, dedicated to investigative journalism.


If wrinkles must be written upon
our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should
never grow old.
John Kenneth Galbraith



Justice Sunday's Derision of Faith
Perfumed Lies
What War Really Looks Like ... From Bushflash
100 Bush Days (seems more like 100 years)
Mother's Day Proclamation
National Religion
Bush Lies Democracy Dies
Deception, Denial, and Demagoguery
War, What War?


WAR By Rohil Bhansali

(From "Poets Against the War")

Hi My Name is Rohil Bhansali and I am in 4th grade. These are my thoughts on "WAR"

It is a terrible thing.
It can silence a town like it is a deserted desert.
It can be as loud as a stampede of bison.
Everyone hates it.
Everyone wants it to be over.

It is as evil as the devil
Even if you think it is, war isn’t fun.
Death is a long sleep.
Life is a precious possession.
War is a horrific thing.

War is confusing and sad.
The victors rejoice while the losers lament.
War is the most dreaded murderer in the world.
War is where most heroes are born.
War is a frightful thing.

War is a sin against mankind.
It makes madmen out of gentlemen.
It corrupts people’s minds.
It makes them bitter and cold.
War is a vile thing.



CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!

Thinking Blue


Saturday, July 23, 2005


The plot thickens on the outing of the CIA agent... Although, very
serious, it's not about the leak anymore... it's about the "WHY WE WENT TO WAR WITH IRAQ" C
OVER-UP... stay tuned folks... Thinking Blue


Conflicting Stories (very good article here)
By Dan Froomkin

Special to

Friday, July 22, 2005; 1:22 PM

New reports today indicate that special
prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald is zeroing in on conflicting stories officials and reporters have provided his grand jury, lending credence to the theory that he may be considering obstruction of justice or perjury charges against top White House officials.

Bloomberg and the New York Times move the ball forward today, courtesy of what appear to be a growing number of leakers.

And here, culled from those and other reports, are what would seem to be some of the harder-to-reconcile contradictions in the case, which started out as an investigation into who leaked a CIA agent's identity -- but which now could be turning into another testament to the Washington maxim that the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

· White House chief political strategist


Karl Rove
reportedly told the grand jury that he first learned of Valerie Plame's ientity from columnist

Robert Novak -- but Novak's version of the story is that Rove already knew about her when the two spoke/span>· Rove didn't mention his conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper to investigators at first and then said it was primarily about welfare reform. But Cooper has testified that the topic of welfare reform didn't came up

· Vice President Cheney's chief of staff,

Lewis "Scooter" Libby
apparently told prosecutors he first heard about Plame from NBC's Tim Russert but Russert has testified that he neither offered nor received
information about Plame in his conversation with Libby.

· And former White House spokesman

Ari Fleischer
apparently told prosecutors that he never saw a classified State-Department memo that diclosed Plames identity, but another former
official reportedly saw him perusing it on Air Force One.

Here's the Latest

Richard Keil
writes for Bloomberg news service: "Two top White House aides have given accounts to a special prosecutor about how reporters first told them the identity of a CIA agent that are at odds with what the reporters have said, according to people familiar with the case.

"Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, one person said. Russert has testified before a federal grand jury that he didn't tell Libby of Plame's identity, the person said.

"White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove told Fitzgerald that he first learned the identity of the CIA agent from syndicated columnist

Robert Novak,
according a person familiar with the matter. Novak, who was first to report Plame's name and connection to Wilson, has given a somewhat different version to the special prosecutor, the person said. . .

"There also is a discrepancy between accounts given by Rove and Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper. The White House aide entioned Wilson's wife -- though not by name -- in a July 11, 2003, conversation with Cooper, the reporter said. Rove, 55, says that Cooper called him to talk about welfare reform and the Wilson connection was mentioned later, in passing.

"Cooper wrote in Time magazine last week that he told the grand jury he never discussed welfare reform with Rove in that call."

David Johnston

writes in the New York Times about how Rove and Libby, at the time of the leaks, were "working closely together on a related underlying issue: whether

President Bush was correct in suggesting earlier that year that Iraq had been trying to acquire nuclear materials from Africa."

Johnston, attributing the information to "people who have been briefed on the case," describes how Rove and Libby were deeply involved, for instance, in drafting a key statement by CIA director George J. Tenet.

The leakers of this new tidbit, Johnston writes, believe it shows that Rove and Libby "were not involved in an orchestrated scheme to discredit Mr. Wilson or disclose the undercover status of his wife" -- but that, in essence, the disclosure of her identity was just collateral damage
in the orchestrated scheme to defend against charges that the
administration had exaggerated the nuclear threat posed by Iraq

That might tend to exculpate them from a criminal leaking charge. But it demonstrates, as Johnston writes, "the unusual degree" to which political and national security operations were intertwined.

And Johnston adds this new report to the mix, regarding the classified State Department memo and the former press secretary: "Mr. Fleischer told the grand jury that he never saw the document, a person familiar with the testimony said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the prosecutor's admonitions about not disclosing what is said to the grand jury."

But wait!

Richard Keil and William Roberts

wrote for Bloomberg on Monday: "On the flight to Africa, Fleischer was seen perusing the State Department memo on Wilson and his wife, according to a former administration official who was also on the trip."

Here is a New York Times timeline of the case.

Keeping the Story Alive

Scott Shepard

writes for Cox News Service: "Congressional Democrats will conduct an unofficial hearing today that may return public attention to White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and any role he had in disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer whose husband criticized pre-war intelligence President Bush used to justify the war in Iraq. . .

"Democrats contend they have to hold their own unofficial hearing because the Republican leadership of the House and Senate
refuses to conduct an official inquiry into whether the Bush White House leaked information about Plame in an attempt to discredit her husband."

John Harwood

(subscription required) writes in the Wall Street Journal that
Democratic strategists have concluded that Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court "may be unstoppable, and look to maintain earlier momentum from CIA leak case and other issues. . .

" 'Our strategy now is to essentially let Roberts go . . . then get back on Rove, Social Security and the Iraq war,' says a senior Congressional aide."

Harwood adds: "Democrats plan to grill Bush confidant Karen Hughes-about leakcase in her confirmation hearing for State Department public diplomacy post."


Karen Hughes?

Karen Hughes? Isn't she still in Texas?

No, she's finally back in Washington today for a confirmation
hearing on her nomination to be undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department.

And as Johnston explains in the New York Times, as part of
the confirmation process, Hughes was forced to divulge to the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee that she was interviewed by the special

Al Kamen

notes in today's Washington Post that "in her acclaimed book
'Ten Minutes from Normal,' the former White House counselor opines about the investigation into the leak on Valerie Plame. She suspects columnist Robert D. Novak's sources may have been in one of the agencies, not the White House.

" 'But regardless of the source, the leak compromised the
confidential identity of a longtime public servant, which was wrong, and
unfair to her and those who worked with her. Whoever did it should come forward and not hide behind journalistic ethics for his or her
self-protection.' "

John Bolton?
And Johnston also includes this tantalizing sentence in his
New York Times story today: "Democrats who have been eager to focus attention on the case have urged reporters to look into the role of several other administration officials, including John R. Bolton, who was then under secretary of state for arms control and international security and has since been nominated by Mr. Bush to be ambassador to the United Nations."

The Brits
Leave it to the Brits to seek the big picture.

Julian Borger

profiles Rove in the Guardian: "There has never been a partnership like it in US political history -- so close and continuing so seamlessly from campaign trail to government. Never has a consultant, a hired mechanic in the political engine room, risen so high.

"The official title, deputy White House chief of staff, does not do him justice. At the age of 54 and without a college degree, Rove is the second or third most powerful man in the US (arguably therefore the world) depending on where you place Dick Cheney. . .

"Yet now, at the zenith of his career, Rove seems at his most
vulnerable. A Washington scandal he tried to brush off two years ago has broken the surface again and threatens to pull him under."

Rupert Cornwell

writes in the Independent:
"Ah, for a scandal to while away the sticky days of high summer in the capital of the free world. This one has the lot. Featured ingredients include a glamorous CIA agent, a jailed journalist and a scandal-starved Washington press in hot pursuit of dastardly White House shenanigans. At the centre of the storm is Karl Rove, George Bush's closest adviser, architect of his election triumphs and attributed with satanic political powers by reporters and frustrated Democrats alike."

Cornwell ultimately concludes: "This tacky, third-rate leak that is starting to scar the President's second term springs from the great deception executed in his first term, luring the US into a war that 60 per cent of Americans now believe was misconceived.

"That is the true scandal, which has yet to be properly explained."

Yesterday's Grilling

Here's the text of yesterday's briefing by

click to see blog

press secretary Scott McClellan. After a bit of chatter about the London bombings, Hearst columnist Helen Thomas started things off with a bang:

Thomas: "Why does Karl Rove still have security clearance and access to classified documents when he has been revealed as a leaker of a secret agent, according to Time magazine's correspondent?"

McClellan: "Well, there is an investigation that continues, and I think the President has made it clear that we're not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation."

Thomas: "You already have the truth."

McClellan: "We're not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation through --

Thomas: "Does he have access to security documents?"

McClellan: " -- through media reports. And these questions came up over the last week -- "

Thomas:"Did he leak the name of a CIA agent?"

McClellan "As I was trying to tell you, these questions have been answered."

Thomas:"No, they haven't."

David Gregory, NBC News: "Let me ask -- "

McClellan : "Go ahead, David."

David Gregory "And they most certainly haven't. I think Helen is right, and the people watching us know that. And related to that, there are now --"

McClellan: "Let me correct the record. We've said for quite some time that this was an ongoing investigation, and that we weren't going to comment on it, so let me just correct the record."

David Gregory "If you want to make the record clear, then you also did make comments when a criminal investigation was underway, you saw fit to provide Karl Rove with a blanket statement of absolution. And that turned out to be no longer accurate --."

After a while, McClellan had this to say about the whole
line of questioning: "I thank you for wanting to proceed ahead with the investigation from this room, but I think that the appropriate place for that to happen is through those who are overseeing the investigation. The President directed us to cooperate fully, and that's exactly what we have been doing and continue to do."

The Roberts Nomination

David D. Kirkpatrick writes in the New York Times: "For at least a
year before the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court, the White House was working behind the scenes to shore up support for him among its social conservative allies, quietly reassuring them that he was a good bet for their side in cases about abortion, same-sex marriage and public support for religion.

"When the White House began testing the name of Judge
Roberts on a short list of potential nominees, many social conservatives were skeptical. . . .

"But with a series of personal testimonials about Judge
Roberts, his legal work, his Roman Catholic faith, and his wife's public opposition to abortion, two well-connected Christian conservative lawyers -- Leonard Leo, chairman of Catholic outreach for the Republican Party, and Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of an evangelical Protestant legal center founded by
Pat Robertson -- gradually won over most social conservatives to nearly unanimous support, even convincing them that the lack of a paper trail was an asset that made Judge Roberts harder to attack.

"Both had been tapped by the White House to build the
coalition for judicial confirmation battles."

Gary Fineout and Marc Caputo write in the Miami Herald: "As U.S.
Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is scrutinized for everything from his judicial rulings to his abortion views, his role during one of the most memorable times in modern political history remains obscured by imperfect memories and White House-imposed secrecy.

"Roberts was called to the state capital by Gov.

Jeb Bush's office during the 2000 presidential election to advise the governor on his role in certifying the disputed results, which
ultimately put Bush's brother in the White House."

Veto Threat

Vicki Allen
writes for Reuters:

"The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere. . . .

"Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who endured torture
as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said after meeting at the Capitol with Vice President Dick Cheney that he still intended to offer amendments next week 'on the standard of treatment of prisoners.' "

McCain is among at least three Republicans working on
amendments "intended to prevent further abuses in the wake of the scandal over sexual abuse and mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison and harsh, degrading interrogations at Guantanamo," Allen writes.

Anybody Listening?

Bush gave a speech at the Organization of American States yesterday. Here's the text . It was mostly about CAFTA.

But the wire services barely covered it.

cut away from their London reporting when Bush started speaking, but after hearing Bush say "There's nothing more beautiful than freedom," cut right back to the news.

And unless I missed it, there was not one word about his
speech in this morning's Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times or Wall Street Journal.

Today's Calendar

Bush is off to Atlanta today. He is chatting about
Medicare at a senior center and then participating "in a conversation on Senior Security," at the Atlanta Civic Center.

The Associated Press notes that tickets to the civic center event were given out by Georgia congressmen and a few chambers of commerce.

Bush is off to Camp David later tonight, and has a light
to nonexistent public schedule for next week.

Fund-Raising Watch

Peter Whoriskey and John Wagner write in The Washington Post: "The first couple stepped out separately yesterday evening for destinations in the Washington suburbs: President Bush set off for a 'very intimate dinner' at a McLean estate overlooking the Potomac River; first lady Laura Bush headed for a North Bethesda hotel. . . .

"Their appearances, essentially an hour or so of face
time, raised roughly $2.3 million for Republican leaders in Maryland and Virginia. . . .

"The invitation to Dwight and Martha Schar's luxurious
home by the Potomac River in McLean beckoned with the promise of proximity to power: a 'very intimate dinner,' it proposed, with 'our very special guest President George W. Bush.' "

Tableau Watch

Fashion writer Robin Givhan writes in The Washington Post: "It has been a long time since so much syrupy nostalgia has been in evidence at the White House. But Tuesday night, when President Bush announced his choice for the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, it was hard not to marvel at the 1950s-style tableau vivant that was John Roberts and his family."
(OMG when I saw that family, I thought I was looking at the Kennedy's John John, Caroline and Jackline... I thought... gee, I didn't know they
still made little master's short pant suits and holy cow those saddle
oxfords... talk about a picture of conservatism!!! Thinking Blue)

conservatism n. 1. The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order. 2. A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order

President Bush Announces Judge John Roberts as Supreme Court Nominee


tableau vivant
. A scene presented on stage by costumed actors who remain silent and
motionless as if in a picture.

The arrival of family and guests for Caroline's
5th birthday party. The First Family including Caroline who is all
dressed up for her birthday.(1962)

Exercise Watch

As I noted yesterday,

Elisabeth Bumiller
had a story in the New York Times in which she
wrote: "When President Bush sat down in the White House residence last Thursday to interview a potential Supreme Court nominee, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, he asked him about the hardest decision he had ever made -- and also how much he exercised.

" 'Well, I told him I ran three and a half miles a day,' Judge Wilkinson recalled in a telephone interview on Wednesday. 'And I said my doctor recommends a lot of cross-training, but I said I didn't want to do the elliptical and the bike and the treadmill.' The president, Judge Wilkinson said, 'took umbrage (offense) at that,' and told his potential nominee that he should do the cross-training his doctor suggested."

(Give me a break... like that matters in selecting a justice to the highest court in the land... only in the Bush brain... thinking blue)

Blogger Brendan Nyhan yesterday mocked what he calls "affirmative action for the fit" in the Bush White House.

And Jonathan Chait writes in a Los Angeles Times opinion column this
morning: "Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy. . . .

"Bush's insistence that the entire populace follow his example, and that his staff join him on a Long March -- er, Long Run -- carries about it the faint whiff of a cult of personality. It also shows how out of touch he is. It's nice for Bush that he can take an hour or two out of every day to run, bike or pump iron. Unfortunately, most of us have more demanding jobs than he does."

Late Night Humor

Paul Brownfield writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Two seemingly
unrelated things have happened lately on 'The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart': There's a new set, and the show has gotten great play out of
the Karl Rove CIA leak scandal/not a scandal. . . .

" 'The Daily Show,' which one night called the story 'Rove Actually,' " is "feasting off of it, mixing the story's convoluted and coded elements with easy pop culture references."

Brownfield calls special attention to this already legendary segment
from last week, in which Stewart showed one of McClellan's recent
grillings, and announced, sotto voce:

sotto voce
In soft tones, as not to be overheard; in an undertone: "We've
secretly replaced the White House press corps with actual reporters."

(I can just see Stewart at his wittiest here... thinking blue)

Click this link to see the geocities page


CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!

Thinking Blue


Friday, July 22, 2005


I really don't believe that a sincere letter (like the one below) to an
unprincipled, partisan, political animal such as Rove, could ever reach
his core of integrity (because his heart is void of honorableness and
virtue). Everything this man touches has deceit and craftiness written all
over it... "The means justifies the end" is the creed Rove lives by. But
maybe, by signing the petition on the site below ...
we can wake up
the Republican party to realize that such a criminality like Mr Rove,
representing them, makes all of them look like liars and double-dealing
lawbreakers. Let us hope so. Thinking Blue

PS: Also read this open letter from Larry C. Johnson, former Analyst, CIA

Dear Karl Rove,

The American people deserve an answer. The time is over for letting the White House cover for you. It's time to step up and accept responsibility. It's time to
stop the cover-up.

When the issue is playing fast and loose with national security in
order to smear a political opponent,
"no comment" is just not
an acceptable response
from the White House or you.

There is a special website dedicated to stopping the
It can be found at:
People from all across the country are using this website right now
to tell your boss George Bush that they've had enough. They want
answers to the two most important questions in this case:

  1. Did you or any other White House official leak the
    identity of an undercover CIA agent to reporters?

  2. Does George Bush stand by his promise to fire any member
    of his administration responsible for leaking the identity of an
    undercover CIA agent?

Not surprisingly, the White House refuses to answer either of those
questions. But you can end all that. You can call a press conference
today and explain exactly what you did. You can stop the cover-up

It's really very simple, Mr. Rove. Only when these questions are
fully answered can the American people be confident that you and the
Bush administration are not
playing politics with our national
. All you need to do is stop stonewalling,

stop the cover-up
, and come clean. We're waiting.

Sincerely, Anne Lewis

P.S. Please, for the sake of the American people, stand up and do
the right thing.

CIA Agents Letter to US Senate and House

18 July 2005


The Honorable Dennis Hastert, Speaker, U.S. House of

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader, U.S. House of

The Honorable Dr. William Frist, Majority Leader of the Senate

The Honorable Harry Reid, Minority Leader of the Senate

We, the undersigned former U.S. intelligence officers are concerned
with the tone and substance of the public debate over the ongoing
Department of Justice investigation into who leaked the name of
Valerie Plame, wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, to
syndicated columnist Robert Novak and other members of the media,
which exposed her status as an undercover CIA officer. The disclosure
of Ms. Plame’s name was a shameful event in American history and, in
our professional judgment,
may have damaged U.S. national
security and poses a threat to the ability of U.S. intelligence
gathering using human sources.
Any breach of the code of
confidentiality and cover weakens the overall fabric of intelligence,
and, directly or indirectly, jeopardizes the work and safety of
intelligence workers and their sources.

The Republican National Committee has circulated talking
points to supporters to use as part of a coordinated strategy to
discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. As part of this
campaign a common theme is the idea that Ambassador Wilson’s wife,
Valerie Plame was not undercover and deserved no protection. The
following are four recent examples of this "talking point":

Michael Medved stated on Larry King Live on July 12, 2005,
"And let's be honest about this. Mrs. Plame, Mrs. Wilson, had a
desk job at Langley. She went back and forth every single day."

Victoria Toensing stated on a Fox News program with John Gibson
on July 12, 2005 that,
"Well, they weren't taking
affirmative measures to protect that identity. They gave her a
desk job in Langley. You don't really have somebody deep
undercover going back and forth to Langley, where people can see

Ed Rodgers, Washington Lobbyist and former Republican official,
said on July 13, 2005 on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer,
also I think it is now a matter of established fact that Mrs.
Plame was not a protected covert agent, and I don't think there's
any meaningful investigation about that."

House majority whip Roy Blunt (R, Mo), on Face the Nation, July
17, 2005,
"It certainly wouldn't be the first time that the
CIA might have been overzealous in sort of maintaining the kind of
top-secret definition on things longer than they needed to. You
know, this was a job that the ambassador's wife had that she went
to every day. It was a desk job. I think many people in Washington
understood that her employment was at the CIA, and she went to
that office every day."

These comments reveal an astonishing
ignorance of the intelligence community and the role of cover
The fact is that there are thousands of U.S. intelligence officers who
"work at a desk" in the Washington, D.C. area every day who are
undercover. Some have official cover, and some have non-official
cover. Both classes of cover must and should be protected.

While we are pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice is
conducting an investigation and that the U.S. Attorney General has
recused himself,
we believe that the partisan attacks against
Valerie Plame are sending a deeply discouraging message to the men and
women who have agreed to work undercover for their nation’s security.

We are not lawyers and are not qualified to determine whether the
leakers technically violated the 1982 Intelligence Identities
Protection Act. However, we are confident that Valerie Plame was
working in a cover status and that our nation’s leaders, regardless of
political party, have a duty to protect all intelligence officers.
We believe it is appropriate for the President to move
proactively to dismiss from office or administratively punish any
official who participated in any way in revealing Valerie Plame's
status. Such an act by the President would send an unambiguous message
that leaks of this nature will not be tolerated and would be
consistent with his duties as the Commander-in-Chief.

We also believe it is important that Congress speak with one
non-partisan voice on this issue. Intelligence officers should not be
used as political footballs. In the case of Valerie Plame, she still
works for the CIA and is not in a position to publicly defend her
reputation and honor. We stand in her stead and ask that Republicans
and Democrats honor her service to her country and stop the campaign
of disparagement and innuendo aimed at discrediting Mrs. Wilson and
her husband.

Our friends and colleagues have difficult jobs gathering the
which helps, for example, to prevent terrorist
attacks against Americans at home and abroad.
They sometimes
face great personal risk and must spend long hours away from family
and friends. They serve because they love this country and are
committed to protecting it from threats from abroad and to defending
the principles of liberty and freedom. They do not expect public
acknowledgement for their work,
but they do expect and deserve
their government’s protection of their covert status.

For the good of our country, we ask you to please stand up for
every man and woman who works for the U.S. intelligence community and
help protect their ability to live their cover.

Sincerely yours,Larry C. Johnson, former Analyst, CIA


Mr. Brent Cavan, former Analyst, CIA

Mr. Vince Cannistraro, former Case Officer, CIA

Mr. Michael Grimaldi, former Analyst, CIA

Mr. Mel Goodman, former senior Analyst, CIA

Col. W. Patrick Lang (US Army retired), former Director, Defense
Humint Services, DIA

Mr. David MacMichael, former senior estimates officer, National
Intelligence Council, CIA

Mr. James Marcinkowski, former Case Officer, CIA

Mr. Ray McGovern, former senior Analyst and PDB Briefer, CIA

Mr. Jim Smith, former Case Officer, CIA

Mr. William C. Wagner, former Case Officer, CIA

Very interesting article!
Here is an excerpt:

A security issue"The White House promised if anyone was involved in the Valerie Plame affair, they would no longer be in this administration," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "I trust they will follow through on this pledge. If these allegations are true, this rises above politics and is about our national security."
The investigation into the 2003 leak had largely faded into the background until last week, when New York Times reporter Judith Miller went to jail rather than reveal who in the administration talked to her about Plame.
Cooper also had planned to go to jail rather than reveal his source but at the last minute agreed to cooperate with investigators when a source, Rove, gave him permission to do so. Cooper's employer, Time Inc., also turned over Cooper's e-mail and notes. One of the e-mails was a note from Cooper to his boss in which he said he had spoken to Rove, who described the wife of former U.S. Ambassador and Bush administration critic Joe Wilson as someone who "apparently works" at the CIA, Newsweek magazine reported.
Within days of the July 11, 2003, e-mail, Cooper's byline was on a Time article identifying Wilson's wife by name — Valerie Plame. Her identity was first disclosed by columnist Robert Novak.
Rove discussed CIA agent, according to e-mailThe e-mail did not say Rove had disclosed the name. But it made clear that Rove had discussed the issue.
That ran counter to what McClellan has been saying. For example, in September and October 2003, McClellan's comments about Rove included the following: "The President knows that Karl Rove wasn't involved," "It was a ridiculous suggestion," and, "It's not true."
Reporters seized on the subject Monday, pressing McClellan to either repeat the denials or explain why he can't now.
"I have said for quite some time that this is an ongoing investigation and we're not going to get into discussing it," McClellan replied.

For the rest of the story click on the link and read.
I think this is pretty telling of what liars are capable of
and how easily they can be caught with their pants down.

Virginia Glasser



"Soon you will have to decide between what is
right and what is easy." Albus Dumbledore
Headmaster of Hogwarts

Also view the page I made for this post: Rove and Bush STOP THE COVER-UP


Nothing Past the Post
(From "Poets Against the War")

"Nothing past the post," he said,

"That land is for my son."

We planted and the crops grew full and heavy,

But only to the post, not past.

The ground beyond lay fallow.

"Where is your son?", I said,

"His land's in need of planting."

He paused and then replied,

"My son is in a killing field,

He'll be back and then we'll plant."

We worked and waited, the old man and I,

And when the son came back,

I helped to put him in the fallow earth.

Hearing once again,

"There'll be nothing past the post,

That land is for my son."

- Owen Klein - 57 years old - Theatre
practitioner and University prof., born in NYC, educated in New
England and Philly. Wife, 3 grown children, currently living and
teaching in Canada.

CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use it!

Thinking Blue