Saturday, January 26, 2008

'Tis A Dreary Day.....

Can't really tell if it is the rain and cold or the politics that is so g-damned depressing


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Friday, January 25, 2008

We, Indys, Don't Like Ugly.......

....while we sit here, watching as the Dem-bulbs (Obama/Clinton) do their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, shaking our heads in wonderment and despair.

There is an obvious alternative, if the rank and file Democrats would think for themselves and ignore the efforts of corporate America's news media to shut out the one Democrat they fear the most and the one that can wipe up the floor with any Rethug the GOP chooses;
John Edwards.

Personal and political divisions add up for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama

Eric Zorn

January 24, 2008

I think it's exciting." -- Bill Clinton, Tuesday, referring to the barbed exchange between his wife and Obama in a Democratic primary debate Monday.

Yes, the slash and burn, thrust and parry of political infighting is fun and exciting.

We get to see how well candidates respond when they're knocked off script by fair shots and foul blows. We get to see real emotion rather than the canned passion of stump speeches and position papers.

It's also destructive. Negative campaigning and the obsession with candidates' inevitable flaws breeds voter cynicism, apathy and disrespect.

So far, so pat.

The above observation could apply, conservatively, to 95 percent of all races ever run: Hypocritical Bum vs. Unprincipled Rascal.

But what's going on now in the Democratic presidential primary contest feels particularly destructive and therefore less fun and exciting (if you lean Democratic) or more fun and exciting (if you lean Republican).

Just in the last couple of weeks, the campaign between front-runners Obama and Clinton has gotten ugly -- deeply personal, openly hostile and racially divisive.

Never mind who started it, whose elbows are sharper or which candidate is the most chronically, reflexively mendacious. I have my view, and I'm sure you have yours.

Either way, the poisonous rhetoric is infuriating backers of Obama and Clinton and creating a rift that may not heal by November, even though their positions on issues are substantially the same.

This observation is purely anecdotal, and I base it on the sudden, sharp increase in the number of self-identified Democrats I've communicated with recently who've said something like this:

I used to think I could support either one of them, but now I'm so disgusted I could never vote for (him/her).

It's traditional to set aside grudges formed during the primary race and support the party in the general election, holding your nose if necessary.

But it's hard to hold a voting stylus while holding your nose with one hand and sticking your finger down your throat with the other. Look for some of these fierce loyalists to sit out the election in November.

Particularly if the GOP nominee is John McCain, whom many Democrats and independents see as the LOR (least objectionable Republican). And particularly if the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton, whom many Republicans and independents see as the MOD (you know).

Clinton gets the edge here in what may be an early or a late round in the primaries, depending on when the nomination is decided: She's not the one who's been running on the promise of a new high-tone style of politics, after all.

The Clintons' bloody political knuckles have been obvious since the early '90s, which explains both their successes and their comparatively high disapproval ratings.

So each squabble is a little victory for her. For now, this is true even when she loses on points or is caught in a deceitful contradiction, such as when she contended the other day that Obama had said Republicans had better ideas than Democrats (he said no such thing), and she blasted Obama for praising the same political skills and vision of Ronald Reagan that she herself has publicly praised.

The Republican field is also dramatically split, but for now the divisions seem to be more ideological than personal.

It will be ironic, though somehow predictable, if it turns out to be the heavily favored Democrats who fall at the hands of the "Anybody But Coalition."

I believe the technical term for this is "losing ugly."

We call it sickening beyond belief.

Never has there been a more obvious need for a multi-party system


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

These Indys Don't Like Ugly

As we sit and watch the Dem-bulbs snatch defeat from the laws of victory.

But there is an alternative, if Americans would only think for themselves, instead of believing that the only Democrats running are Clinton and Obama, as the corporate media would have us believe.

The one candidate who can roundly beat any Rethug. in November is John Edwards


Personal and political divisions add up for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama

Eric Zorn


"I like this. I think it's exciting." -- Bill Clinton, Tuesday, referring to the barbed exchange between his wife and Obama in a Democratic primary debate Monday.

Yes, the slash and burn, thrust and parry of political infighting is fun and exciting.

We get to see how well candidates respond when they're knocked off script by fair shots and foul blows. We get to see real emotion rather than the canned passion of stump speeches and position papers.

It's also destructive. Negative campaigning and the obsession with candidates' inevitable flaws breeds voter cynicism, apathy and disrespect.

So far, so pat.

The above observation could apply, conservatively, to 95 percent of all races ever run: Hypocritical Bum vs. Unprincipled Rascal.

But what's going on now in the Democratic presidential primary contest feels particularly destructive and therefore less fun and exciting (if you lean Democratic) or more fun and exciting (if you lean Republican).

Just in the last couple of weeks, the campaign between front-runners Obama and Clinton has gotten ugly -- deeply personal, openly hostile and racially divisive.

Never mind who started it, whose elbows are sharper or which candidate is the most chronically, reflexively mendacious. I have my view, and I'm sure you have yours.

Either way, the poisonous rhetoric is infuriating backers of Obama and Clinton and creating a rift that may not heal by November, even though their positions on issues are substantially the same.

This observation is purely anecdotal, and I base it on the sudden, sharp increase in the number of self-identified Democrats I've communicated with recently who've said something like this:

I used to think I could support either one of them, but now I'm so disgusted I could never vote for (him/her).

It's traditional to set aside grudges formed during the primary race and support the party in the general election, holding your nose if necessary.

But it's hard to hold a voting stylus while holding your nose with one hand and sticking your finger down your throat with the other. Look for some of these fierce loyalists to sit out the election in November.

Particularly if the GOP nominee is John McCain, whom many Democrats and independents see as the LOR (least objectionable Republican). And particularly if the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton, whom many Republicans and independents see as the MOD (you know).

Clinton gets the edge here in what may be an early or a late round in the primaries, depending on when the nomination is decided: She's not the one who's been running on the promise of a new high-tone style of politics, after all.

The Clintons' bloody political knuckles have been obvious since the early '90s, which explains both their successes and their comparatively high disapproval ratings.

So each squabble is a little victory for her. For now, this is true even when she loses on points or is caught in a deceitful contradiction, such as when she contended the other day that Obama had said Republicans had better ideas than Democrats (he said no such thing), and she blasted Obama for praising the same political skills and vision of Ronald Reagan that she herself has publicly praised.

The Republican field is also dramatically split, but for now the divisions seem to be more ideological than personal.

It will be ironic, though somehow predictable, if it turns out to be the heavily favored Democrats who fall at the hands of the "Anybody But (underscore)(underscore)(underscore)(underscore)(underscore) Coalition."

I believe the technical term for this is "losing ugly."


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Top Dems Stall Miers, Bolten Contempt Vote

Can it possibly be true that members of Congress are only now realizing the dire situation of the U.S. economy, not to mention Asian and other economies around the world? Is it really possible that they are all that out-of-touch?

Many of our financial lives began getting shaky as far back as late 2000. Since 9/11/01 it has been a steady down-hill slide, even though many of our membership saw the writing on the wall when the towers came down. (The initial expense of getting as far off the grid as possible is a bit staggering, especially if your name isn't Rockefeller or Kennedy, Gates or Winfrey, and it takes time.)

Or could it be that the world economies, especially that of the U.S., have become so obviously in deep trouble that even the most concrete among their constituents cannot help but see it, so Bush and Congress have no choice but to get their act together (even if it is way too late to do anything but, maybe, kick the can down the road (which was the Bush plan all along) until he is no longer in office? Of course, the latest quakes on Wall Street are always another excuse for a few more billion in corporate welfare. The Democrats will be all too happy to give a rebate to taxpayers of the poorest kind, who will have no choice but to spend it....on a tank of gas, maybe.

Those who are too poor to even pay taxes are still invisible, as they always have been and always will be, no matter what Hillary says, until they realize that invisibility has its advantages and decide to use those advantages in some fairly creative ways to begin stirring the waters of revolution. It has been a very long time, if ever, since the poorest of the poor stood a chance of being joined by others of higher socio-economic levels in a true revolt against a system that is killing them and will leave their children with no future at all.

So, why delay contempt citations when no one, not even Bush the Dumber, can refuse to get on-board with the stimulus package? What does one have to do with the other?

By: John Bresnahan
January 23, 2008

House Democrats will postpone votes on criminal contempt citations against White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers, while congressional leaders work with President Bush on a bipartisan stimulus package to fend off an economic downturn, according to party leaders and leadership aides.

Senior Democrats have decided that holding a controversial vote on the contempt citations, which have already been approved by the House Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, would “step on their message” of bipartisan unity in the midst of the stimulus package talks.

Bush, citing executive privilege, has refused to allow Bolten or Miers to testify before the House Judiciary panel about the prosecutor purge. And former deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove was barred by the administration from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the same issue.

“Right now, we’re focused on working in a bipartisan fashion on [the] stimulus,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), indicating that the contempt vote is not expected for weeks, depending on how quickly the stimulus package moves.

Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said “no decision has been made” as to when a criminal contempt vote would be held by the House.

The Judiciary Committee approved contempt citations against Bolten and Miers on July 25, but Pelosi has yet to bring the measures to the floor.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved similar contempt citations against Bolten and Rove shortly before Congress adjourned in December.

The White House has declined to turn over internal documents sought by House and Senate Democrats looking into the U.S. attorney firings. And White House counsel Fred Fielding has offered only very limited circumstances under which current and former top White House aides can be interviewed about the firings.

Miers, a lawyer now back in private practice in Dallas, cited a White House claim of executive privilege and declined to appear at a July 12 hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

White House aides have dismissed the prospect of a contempt battle with the Democratic-controlled Congress as a distraction from more pressing work, such as dealing with the war in Iraq and the nation’s sagging economy.

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales also threatened to prevent Jeffrey Taylor, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, who would represent the Congress in a legal battle with the White House, from going to court to enforce the subpoenas. And Gonzales’ successor, Michael Mukasey, declined during his confirmation hearing to say definitively how he would handle the issue.

Pelosi, who personally supports the contempt citations, has gotten mixed messages from her own leaders, as well as rank-and-file members, on whether to move ahead, although it is clear that there are not now enough votes for the citations to be approved by the House, according to Democratic insiders.

“When we have the votes, we’ll go ahead with this. Right now, the votes are just not there,” said one top House Democratic insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and other members of his panel have pressed Democratic leaders to hold the contempt vote, arguing that a failure to move would set a dangerous precedent that could weaken the Congress in any future investigations of the White House.

Conyers’ staff declined to comment Tuesday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has not received any word from Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) when a floor vote on contempt citations might occur.

“Sen. Reid is consulting with Sen. [Patrick] Leahy [D-Vt.] and others when to hold a vote,” said Reid’s spokesman, Jim Manley.

TM & © THE POLITICO & POLITICO.COM, a division of Allbritton Communications Company



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Kiwis Protest ECHELON's; newest, huge facility on their soil

ECHELON, the spy network of the U.S., Canada, N.Z., Australia and the U.K, of course, even spies on the U.N.

I don't imagine that comes as a surprise to any of our I.U. membership, but it might to others.

The following article was written for infonews in Kiwiland by our good friend and source of news from the far-flung outposts of the Empire, Jenese James.

infonews.co.nz


NEWS 24 January 2008, 9:08AM


CREDIT: Jenese James


Revisiting New Zealand's place in the worlds spy network - Echelon
By Jenese James

The Waihopai spy station in Blenheim is a story of politics, deception and betrayal. Forced into the public consciousness in 1996 by the investigative reporting of Nicky Hagar, its worth taking time out to revisit our role in the US/UK spy network as people begin to gather in Blenheim this weekend to protest our involvement in Americas war of terror.

Waihopai has a long history of lies, deceit and obfuscation at the very highest level. Its existence reveals that we in New Zealand, rather than being a neutral observer and minor player in the US’s war on terror, are in fact, a vital part of it. We have become, unwittingly, a vital cog in the intelligence grabbing that so erroneously frames the crimes against humanity being perpetrated in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere by the United States of America.

New Zealand has three American military bases, Harewood (Christchurch Airport); and the "NZ" intelligence gathering installations at Tangimoana (Manawatu) and Waihopai (Marlborough),

It was researcher Owen Wilkes who first discovered the Government Communications Security Bureau GCSB’s first spy station, up near Palmerston North at Tangimoana beach in 1983. "It was a radio intercept station that was intercepting long distance radio from within the (former) Soviet Union and from their ships across the Pacific. Tangimoaana could listen practically right around the world because of the nature of high frequency radio. Finding out about that station, Wilkes worked out that NZ had a major spy agency which no one had been told about."

Today Waihopai is the newest and by far the biggest and the focus of this weekends public protests initiated by the Anti Bases Campaigners who have been protesting the existence of this Kiwi connection since 1988. Almost a decade after Wilkes exposure Nicky Hagar, a veteran Wellington peace activist who had been protesting with them since the beginning wrote “Secret Power”, the book that blew the lid off the role that Waihopai and the New Zealand GCSB play in the US-led international spy network, now known by its code name Echelon.

In the words of Murray Horton from the Anti bases campaign “ This spy ring is operated by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), in the interests of the foreign powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence among the Intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ). Its two satellite interception dishes (shielded by giant domes) intercept a huge volume of satellite phone calls, including New Zealanders’ international calls, plus telexes, faxes, e-mail and computer data communications. It gathers this data from our Asia/Pacific neighbors, and forwards it on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency. Its targets include international communications involving New Zealanders.


“Big Ears” cover a vast area of the Pacific. Although Iraq is on the other side of the world, the US military/intelligence network that is planning that war is global and depends on global facilities. Waihopai is strategically situated in the Pacific for spying on several countries, such as Indonesia, that does not support US war plans or the so-called “war on terror”. If New Zealanders disagree with US policies and warmongering, then Waihopai is located right here to monitor our own international e-mails and phone calls and report directly to Big Brother at our expense - because we pay for Waihopai with millions of our tax dollars every year. The Bush Administration has pronounced Intelligence to be the key component of all the wars that it is fighting, or planning to fight, throughout the world. Thus, much more so than any token commitment of the SAS or a frigate, the Waihopai spy base is New Zealand’s key contribution to all these American wars

Writing in Covert Action quarterly in an article entitled “Exposing the global surveillance system” Nicky stated “For 40 years, New Zealand's largest intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) the nation's equivalent of the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been helping its Western allies to spy on countries throughout the Pacific region, without the knowledge of the New Zealand public or many of its highest elected officials. What the NSA did not know is that by the late 1980s, various intelligence staff had decided these activities had been too secret for too long, and were providing me with interviews”

It wasn’t only the citizens of Aotearoa that had no idea, neither did David Lange, Labour Prime minister of New Zealand from 1984 to 1989. Lange who wrote the preface to Hagar’s book explained “Life at the time was full of unpleasant surprises. State-sponsored terrorism was a crime against humanity as long as it wasn’t being practiced by the allies, then it was studiously ignored. In the national interest it became necessary to say "ouch" and frown and bear certain reprisals of our intelligence partners. We even went the length of building a satellite station at Waihopai. But it was not until I read this book that I had any idea that we had been committed to an international integrated electronic network……. it is an outrage that I and other ministers were told so little, and this raises the question of to whom those concerned saw themselves ultimately answerable.”

That question is still relevant and one that is continually raised at the annual protests. Its one we should be directing to our elected representatives to answer for us.

However, the minister in charge of the GCSB and the SIS is always the Prime Minister. It could be John Keys tomorrow, it makes little difference, whoever it is they have little say about what these bases can do, will do and have done as Lange found out to his shock and disconcertion.

It was Lange as Prime minister that put New Zealand on the map by supporting the will of the people in declaring NZ a nuclear free zone. Outraged by our stance the US noted both officially and publicly that they would throw us out of the intelligence alliance. The headlines screamed that NZ had been cut off from foreign intelligence. It was a lie, according to Hagar “The New Zealand GCSB’s relationship with, particularly, the American and the British intelligence agencies had not been changed at all. And the reason they’d set up this station was not what they told the Labour government at the time – when they said it was to make New Zealand more independent – it was actually to make New Zealand more integrated into the international alliance”

What makes this astounding is that when the French government, in an illegal act of state sponsored terrorism bombed the Rainbow Warrior killing Fernando Pereira, the ship's photographer, there was NO warning. That’s worth repeating. Despite its extensive spy network NO warning was given to NZ authorities. It would be easy to conclude that the US had withheld such information in retaliation for our nuclear free stance. Today we call this nation our very good friends. Nicky sums it up best when he says “Public alliances between countries don't seem to make any difference to secret intelligence operations. It would be naive to assume that friendly NATO allies and so on aren't using the resources they have got for continuous spying.”

We were even spying on the UN in 2003, before the US illegally attacked Iran. The denials were echoing down the corridors of power even as Nicky wrote in the listener that “I’ve talked to GCSB staff whose daily job was scrolling through the intercepted communications of UN agencies based in Suva (Fiji), forwarding them to the NSA, CIA and other allied Intelligence agencies. That’s right, they routinely spy on the UN

New Zealand’s Waihopai station plays a vital role in the spy ring. It places New Zealand in a prime position in this bogus war on terror. Despite it being 2008, very few kiwi’s know the existence let alone the role this NZ spy station plays. Many still consider it a conspiracy, a myth, but it is very real. As Hagar says to the UK Echelon committee “The great thing about secret operations is that they are deniable. Even where it is completely non-credible, where something is proven to a high degree, it can still be denied, because it is so secret."

For an excellent overview please read

Nicky Hagar address to the echelon Committee UK

Waihopai 2007 – counting the costs of 20 years of spying

From “Secret Power” to “The Hollow Men

Spies and secret services Aotearoa NZ

The words that trigger Echelon

The Power of Nightmares BBC documentary of the politics of fear

Lies for War

The worlds secret spy network ECHELON is now spying on the citizens in the belly of the beast as well as others around the world


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

The latest On Edwards

Just a reminder: I.U. has not endorsed anyone for president yet. We might not.

But it is fairly obvious who Pelican6 supports. (D. Dedman)

Fresno Bee Endorses John Edwards For President
Press Media Wire (Press Release) - Sterling,VA,USA
23, 2008 – Today, California's Fresno Bee endorsed Senator John Edwards for President citing his leadership in standing up for middle class families and ...
See all stories on this topic

US Democratic rivals Obama and Edwards compete in South
Reuters South Africa - Johannesburg,South Africa
By Deborah Charles BENNETTSVILLE, SC (Reuters) - Democratic presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John Edwards appealed for votes in South Carolina on ...
See all stories on this topic

All hail King(maker) Edwards
Politico - Washington,DC,USA
Photo: AP John Edwards is not going to win this presidential race. He has now slipped to 9 percent in the national polls, trailing Sens. ...
See all stories on this topic

Agents of Change
Valley Advocate - Easthampton,MA,USA
John Edwards, are cautious about expanding government, especially on the key issue of health insurance. They sense—with some justification from public ...
See all stories on this topic

Overshadowed Edwards vows to plug ahead
Chicago Tribune - United States
John Edwards is it. Four years ago, he dazzled the Palmetto State, but this time his glitter is getting lost in the glare surrounding his two celebrity ...
See all stories on this topic

Edwards’ (Seriously Flawed) Electability Argument
Donklephant - USA
The Edwards campaign latest justification for remaining in the race is that John Edwards is the ONLY electable Democratic candidate (as opposed to a similar ...
See all stories on this topic

Still 47 states to go for Edwards
The Independent Weekly - Durham,NC,USA
BY BOB GEARY After his wipeout Saturday in the Nevada caucuses, John Edwards was hoping, as he said gamely, "that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. ...
See all stories on this topic

Edwards visits OKC
Midwest City Sun - Midwest City,OK,USA
OKLAHOMA CITY — Senator John Edwards, Democratic presidential candidate, spoke at the Oklahoma City Teamsters Local Union 886 Friday evening. ...
See all stories on this topic

Edwards traveling SC, trying to close the gap
WIS - Columbia,SC,USA
STATEWIDE (WIS) - South Carolina native John Edwards has been criss-crossing the Palmetto State in recent weeks, looking to close the gap with Senator ...
See all stories on this topic

A Look at the 2008 Presidential Race
The Associated Press -
___ Edwards jabs Clinton for leaving SC BENNETTSVILLE, SC (AP) — Democrat John Edwards criticized rival Hillary Rodham Clinton for leaving South Carolina in ...
See all stories on this topic

John Edwards on FISA
By Jane Hamsher
John Edwards:. In Washington today, telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press to win retroactive immunity for their illegal eavesdropping on American citizens. Granting retroactive immunity will let corporate law-breakers off ...
Firedoglake - http://firedoglake.com

"I hope Democrats don't take another look at John Edwards"
By Jed
Though their back and forth threatened to drain all substance from the debate, John Edwards showed leadership, and stuck to the issues, urging Hillary and Obama to focus on what's really important. We have got to understand, ...
The Jed Report - http://www.jedreport.com/

Fresno Bee Endorses John Edwards For President
John Edwards' campaign for president offers a much-needed vision that recognizes the hope and promise of America," the editorial board wrote. "It's a view that includes solidifying the plight of working families and others in the middle ...
John Edwards for President: Full-site... - http://www.johnedwards.com/

John Edwards On Countdown: I Will Support The Democratic Nominee ...
By Logan Murphy
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has been getting some much needed media attention lately, appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman last night and appeared on Countdown today and talked with Keith about the ongoing ...
Crooks and Liars - http://www.crooksandliars.com/

John Edwards Visits David Letterman
By Brian Stelter
John Edwards joked with David Letterman on Tuesday. (CBS) Former Senator John Edwards did not receive an endorsement from David Letterman on CBS’s “The Late Show” Tuesday night, but he did receive eight valuable minutes to woo voters. ...

Submitted by Pelican 6


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Liar-in-Chief

Study: False statements preceded war

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer

Wed Jan 23, 6:43 AM ET

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

"The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.

"Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.

___

On the Net:

Center For Public Integrity: http://www.publicintegrity.org/default.aspx

Fund For Independence in Journalism: http://www.tfij.org/



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.