Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A New Ultra-Secret Government Agency

Welcome to the new American Police state (see OMB report below). The Pentagon has increased domestic surveillance—also known as spying; people are now being arrested for not showing their “Papers Please”—think Deborah Davis in Denver; we have arbitrary arrest and detention—think Jose Padilla; we have the “Patriot Act” which is a misnomer, as the so-called Act has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with controlling the people within this nation. All of this being done in the name of “safety and security.”

Was it not Ben Franklin that left us with the thought that “those who are willing to give up any liberty for safety and security deserve neither”? Because right now today, I do not see us having liberty, safety or security. All I see around me is heightened insecurity, thanks to the Cheney/Bush Cabal that has taken the country over.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."- George Orwell, 1945

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ... Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame, "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Exactly what we may do to stop this and possibly reverse some of what has been put into play I do not know. I’m still trying to figure that out like most of you are. I do know this though; we have got to keep hammering away at this. We have got to be on the phone to our people in congress everyday—even when we don’t think it is doing any good and is a waste of time, we have got to keep making those calls anyway.

And then, this coming year, 2006, we have got to think in terms of replacing all 435 members of the House of Representatives. This is a must. Whether we can do that or not is a totally different question. I only know we have got to try and keep trying because if we do not, a complete autocratic police state will be guaranteed. -- Jack


A New Ultra-Secret Government Agency

OMB Watch

Home : Publications : The OMB Watcher : OMB Watcher Vol. 6: 2005 : November 29, 2005 Vol. 6, No. 24 : Published on 11/29/2005
http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/3195/1/404

Legislation is moving in the Senate to create a new government agency to combat bioterrorism that will operate, unlike any other agency before it, under blanket secrecy protection. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has introduced the
Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005, S1873, that would create a new agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to research and develop strategies to combat bioterrorism and natural diseases. While Congress has created several agencies recently in response to homeland security concerns, most notably the Department of Homeland Security, Burr proposes for the first time ever to completely exempt this new agency from all open government laws. The legislation has already passed out of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and is now before the full Senate.

The Act creates the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA) to work on countering bioterrorism and natural diseases. Apparently in an attempt to protect any and all sensitive information on U.S. counter-bioterrorism efforts or vulnerabilities to biological threats, Burrs has included in the legislation the first-ever blanket exemption from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The legislation states that, "Information that relates to the activities, working groups, and advisory boards of the BARDA shall not be subject to disclosure" under FOIA "unless the Secretary [of HHS] or Director [of BARDA] determines that such disclosure would pose no threat to national security."

Neither the CIA nor the Defense Department has such an exemption. Burr’s spokesperson argues that the exemption is necessary to protect national security claiming that "there will be times where for national security reasons certain information would have to be withheld." For instance, the BARDA should not, according to the spokesperson, be required to publicly disclose information pertaining to a deadly virus.

FOIA, however, already includes an exemption for national security information, as well as eight other exemptions ranging from privacy issues to confidential business information and law enforcement investigations. If the public disclosure of information would threaten national security, then the government may withhold the requested information. "The well-established and time-tested FOIA provisions already address Burr's concerns," explains Sean Moulton, OMB Watch senior policy analyst, "thereby making the blanket exemption for BARDA unnecessary and unwise."

Congress established and strengthened FOIA over the years to create a reasonable, consistent level of accountability among government agencies. Under FOIA, when the public requests agency records, the agency is compelled to collect and review the requested information. The only decision for the agency is whether specific records can or can not be released under the law based on the exemptions from disclosure written into the law. However, the Burr legislation reverses the process: it does not require BARDA to collect or review the requests for disclosure. Instead, the agency can automatically reject requests. Still more troubling, the law prohibits any challenges of determinations by the Director of BARDA or Secretary of HHS, stating that the determination of the Director or Secretary with regards to the decision to withhold information "shall not be subject to judicial review."

Mark Tapscott at the Heritage Foundation writes that "BARDA will essentially be accountable to nobody and can operate without having to worry about troublesome interference from courts or private citizens like you and me."

This move to restrict the reach of FOIA appears in stark contrast to the recent Senate vote to strengthen open government. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) co-sponsored FOIA reform legislation, passed by the Senate in June, that "will bring additional sunshine to the federal legislative process, and was another step toward strengthening the Freedom of Information Act."

The Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act also exempts BARDA from important parts of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires public disclosure of advice given to the executive branch by advisory committees, task forces, boards and commissions.

Other provisions of the bill compound the troubling secrecy provisions. They include:

**Giving BARDA the authority to sign exclusive contracts with drug manufacturers and forbidding the agency from purchasing generic versions of these drugs or vaccines.

**Authorizing BARDA to issue grants and rebates for drug companies to produce vaccines.

**Providing liability protection to drug manufacturers for drugs and vaccines not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, by requiring the secretary of HHS find that a drug company willfully caused injury.

The FOIA exemption in combination with these provisions would prevent the public from knowing whether BARDA is effectively completing these duties. Only information on agency actions could establish if the new agency is protecting the public from bioterrorism and infectious disease or if it is simply providing handouts to drug companies that creates no added security.

"It is essential that open government safeguards remain in place for all agencies," Moulton continues. "It is extremely important to ensure that the nation is protected against pandemics and bioterrorist attacks, but such efforts must not be excluded from open government. By providing the mechanisms for government accountability, these safeguards ensure that the government meets its responsibility to protect the public. In the end, an accountable government is a stronger government which acts to effectively meet all threats, including pandemics and bioterrorism."

Burr is still in the process of revising the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act, and, with the Senate's incredibly tight schedule, the timing of the bill's introduction on the floor remains uncertain. In the meantime, supporters are rumored to be seeking out a Democratic cosponsor to give it momentum.

.......................................


Also See:

FDA approves injecting ID chips in patients
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=GIL20051119&articleId=1288



Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ridin' the Bus With Deborah

The people in this country had better wake up and the sooner rather than later. When people doing nothing more than riding a bus to work are told by police they must show ID or get arrested--It has happened here!

See: http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/2005/11/papers-please-has-arrived.html for background information about Deborah Davis, and "Papers Please."

And read friend Doris' article below. Doris has been here before: as a child of 11, she and her parents fled Germany in 1938. What happened to Deborah in Denver a week ago, doris has seen before--in Nazi Germany during the 1930's. History does repeat itself does iot not?--Jack

Ridin’ the Bus With Deborah
By: Doris Colmes, MSW


When Deborah Davis hit the news, I got hit as well – right in the pit of my stomach where terror hides, and panic lurks: “Oh God, I mumbled, “It’s happening again”

And just exactly what had Deborah done to get this emotionally detached old lady into such a replay of emotions left over from 1938 Nazi Germany? It was the gut-wrenching realization that the Nazi Police State in which I was raised has come back to roost – in the United States.

Deborah, who commutes by bus in Denver, Colorado, had been asked to present her I.D. to a man in uniform. If she didn’t, she was told, it would mean walking several miles to her job. So, she complied, but, it rankled. Deborah knew that, unless she was being a danger to self or others, behaving irrationally, or drunk and disorderly, no one had the right to ask for her identification. As long as she was sitting quietly in her seat, she could not be arbitrarily asked for ID. (She’d learned that in her 8th grade Civics class, where she had also been taught about police states, and how casually they usurped the rights of their citizenry.)

And so it went. For several weeks, when asked to show ID, Deborah refused, and, when asked if she were getting off at the Denver Federal Center she said, “no” was left in peace, completing her bus trips right on schedule.

And then it happened: On September 26, 2005, when the bus reached its stop at the Federal Center, a guard got on the bus and confronted her. When Deborah insisted that she was under no obligation to show any ID whatsoever, the bus was halted, a supervisor climbed on, and demanded ID. This time, when she refused, a second cop arrived, and, when Deborah stuck to her guns, she was suddenly arrested.

And it was not a gentle arrest. As she relates on her website,
“Papers Please” [1]: " 'Grab her' was the shout, and with the police wrenching her arms behind her back, she was jerked out of her seat, handcuffed, thrown into a police cruiser, rushed off to the police station inside the Center, where cops had a bit of difficulty deciding with what to charge her. So they wrote up a couple of tickets (contents unknown) took off her cuffs, and told her that if she ever entered that Center again, she’d go to jail." No more bus commutes for Deborah!

Reading this, took me straight back to that living nightmare called Nazi Germany. There, if one didn’t show ID upon command, and/or if anything was even the slightest bit out of the ordinary on these papers, it was “Bye-Bye,” and – if one were a Jew, a Gypsy or seen as “gay” by the arresting officer – that was some long Goodbye, indeed. [2] Death camps were waiting, needing monthly quotas, and age was not an issue. Little kids zoomed off to extermination just as quickly as adults, and all for the sin of, perhaps, an inkblot on an identifying number, or the magic word “Jew” printed on the top.

And, now, it seems, we’ve come full circle. Not only do we now have the Patriot Act (a wonderfully modern up-date of Germany’s “Enabling Act,” right down to the last comma) [3] but we also have a 82 billion dollar defense bill, which (with a vote of 100 to 0) had the Real ID Act hidden inside it (S.1637, FSC-ETI. Passed May 11, 2004). This law allows a national identification process in which each and every person in the U.S.A. will be on computer. And, yes, you’d better show that ID upon command or you’ll wind up like Deborah. And, as time goes by, much worse: Honorable, ethical, racially profiled, and dead.

Is this an exaggeration? Well, let’s look at the current administration expanding the power of a little-known Pentagon Agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, which was created three years ago to protect military facilities from attack.
According to Washington Post writer Walter Pincus [4], a presidential commission will expand and transform the CIFA into an agency that has authority to investigate crimes within the USA, such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage. And would allow it to label – at will – any person or activity of which it did not approve under these headings.

The Pentagon has pushed legislation that would create an intelligence exception to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information gathered about US citizens with the Pentagon, CIA and other agencies, as long as the data is deemed to be related to foreign intelligence (See CIFA).

This, of course, in addition to the Patriot Act revisions which give unlimited power and access to any and all governmental agents to anyone or anything they choose, without warrant or even “reasonable cause” (whatever that now means)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once wrote: “If the least important soldier in the German Army had chosen not to comply with orders to execute innocent people, others would have followed his lead, and there would not have been a Holocaust.” Those words still ring true, right along with the actions of Mohandas Gandhi and Rosa Parks, and, today, with the action of Deborah Davis.

Sure, lots of folks protest that they have had enough and that “someone” needs to take action and then – at least in my experience – they say, “Oh this is such a shame,” shrug their shoulders and start talking about the newest TV Reality Show.

In Deborah’s case, why are there not crowds holding signs, protesting, outside the Denver Federal Center? Could it be because of current media censorship? Diversionary news, such as Michael Jackson and/or Scott Peterson get major coverage – to the point of insanity – but persons like Deborah, or, just as currently José Padilla, are shuffled off to the side-lines. My hunch is that although Deborah faces arraignment in Denver on December 9, 2005, hardly anyone in that town is even aware of what just happened. As for media censorship and how it works, that’s a whole other article.

It takes someone with not only the courage of her/his convictions, but also with a deep sense of urgency, to actually do something concrete that graphically shows the rest of us what is actually happening here. And that is what Ms. Davis has accomplished. The same steely resolve needed for anyone to say, “I have had enough, and my answer is NO” is reminiscent of Rosa Parks, also on a bus, a half-century ago.

I love this country. It literally saved my life at a time when I was pretty convinced that there was nowhere left to go, except, perhaps, to the nearest oven. And, through the years, I’ve witnessed all that is so dear, so valuable, so much the essence of my entire existence, dissipate. Dissipate into a haze of hidden agendas, corruption and increasingly self-serving administrations.

Of necessity, what happened to Deborah Davis must be compared to what happened to so many people at the start of the fascist regime in Germany, when “compliance” was the daily hymn, and acquiescence to the German “Enabling Act” (Bona fide ancestor of our “Patriot Act”) was so absolutely expected, that anyone who protested disappeared immediately and permanently.

I thank Deborah Davis not only for being a role model, but also for setting an example that I, for one, will unconditionally follow.

In conclusion, let us all memorize and act upon together, this poem, written by Pastor Martin Niemöller in Nazi Germany:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller

References and sources:

[1]
Papers Please
http://www.papersplease.org/davis/facts.html

[2] Papier Bitte
http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/2005/05/papiere-bitte.html

[3]
“Enabling” the Patriot Act
http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/2005/06/patriot-act-vs-german-enabling-act.html


[4] Pentagon Expanding Its Domestic Surveillance Activity
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/26/AR2005112600857_pf.html

Doris Colmes is an independent writer in Portland, Or.
The Iron Butterfly is the title of her book and her web site. Her email; address is: dhcolmes@msn.com









Saturday, November 26, 2005

He Dared to Challange Power and the Official Consensus: Part One

He Dared to Challenge Power and the Official Consensus: Part One
By: Jack Dalton

“I have learned from first hand experience that war is the destroyer of all that is good in the world. It turns our young into soulless killers and we tell them they are “heroes” when they master the art of killing.” Conscientious Objector and Prisoner of Conscience, Sgt Kevin Benderman

It has been said of Sgt. Kevin Benderman by those in command and control at Ft. Stewart, GA., after Kevin publicly announced his refusal to deploy to Iraq a second time, that his action was “endangering” those from FT. Stewart who would be deploying to Iraq. Officers at FT. Stewart, as well as some senior NCO’s (non-commissioned officers for you non military types) along with the Hawks in the blogging community, were incessant in their condemnation of Kevin; with all of them articulating the same theme of how Kevin was endangering those who would go to Iraq by his [Kevin’s] refusal to go. Kevin is now in a military prison for the next 15 months. (For full details and timeline on and about Kevin’s position as a Conscientious Objector, trial and subsequent events, I strongly urge you to see:
BendermanTimeline )

Captain Schenk, S-2 at FT. Stewart, GA. (S-2 is Army military intelligence), was busted for stealing. He was stealing the armored plates for the body armor vests the troops from FT Stewart would be wearing in Iraq. Capt Schenk was then selling those plates on E-Bay for between $3,000 and $4,000 a piece. Capt. Schenk was sent to jail for 45 days behind his theft of and sale of the protective gear the troops from FT. Stewart would need in Iraq.

Now I ask you, between the two men, who in fact was it that endangered the troops: Kevin, by his refusals to be a part of needless and senseless killing, like shooting kids just for climbing on a wall? Or Capt. Schenk by stealing and selling, for personal profit, those things needed to prevent injury to the troops?

For me, this presents an unanswered question: Why does a man who refuses to be a participant in what were illegal orders, in an illegal war, which was based on provable lies and deceptions, spend 15 months in a military jail; while a thief, a commissioned officer at the same base at the same time, gets caught selling the troops protective equipment and only gets 45 days in jail? Something is seriously wrong with this picture to say the least! In fact, why is Kevin Benderman in a military jail at all? What was Kevin’s “crime” other than having the courage to act on his principles, his convictions, and then through proper military channels, filed application as a Conscientious Objector?

A Partial Explanation:

When Sgt Kevin Benderman requested a change in his status as a Conscientious Objector, his command at Ft Stewart went absolutely ballistic, which is putting it mildly. The command structure of Kevin’s unit, the 2-7 F Co, 3rd ID, knew that they had to make an example of Kevin so as to discourage others at FT Stewart from following Kevin in his resistance to this war as a CO. Re-enlistments were, and are going down drastically; recruitment was down and decreasing further. In short, the Army was, and is, having critical manpower shortages and the last thing the Army needed, or needs, is a growing chorus of active duty war resisters—CO’s. So the Army command at Ft Stewart set about trying to “prove” that Kevin was making “disloyal” public statements. If they could succeed with this tactic, they would be able to not only shut Kevin up, but send a message to others that if you do not shut up and just do what you are told, your next residence will be a jail cell.

Regardless of what the “formal” charges which were leveled against Sgt. Kevin Benderman—“Missing a Movement”; regardless of what Kevin was “formally” convicted of; regardless of what Kevin was “formally” sentenced for by the Army at his Court Martial at Ft Stewart, GA., on July 29, 2005, one thing is certain: Sgt. Kevin Benderman, having been to Iraq once, who was now speaking out in opposition to the war in Iraq, as far as the Army was concerned, had committed a court-martial offense and they were going to “get” him [Kevin] at all cost.

According to the Army’s own manuals, it is a court-martial offense to issue public statements that are critical and or denouncing one’s “commander-in-chief” more so in a “time of war.” With the military falling in step with the Bush/Cheney team of “Mayberry Machiavelli’s” it could not allow anyone, especially a voice as loud, clear and articulate as Kevin’s to continue. Kevin had to be silenced, least others follow suit and also start saying no—thereby bursting the bubble of the Washington consensus of high troop support for this war of choice in Iraq, among other issues about just what are we doing in Iraq.

The Army’s Biggest Problem However:

The biggest problem comes in over the simple fact the Army could not, as much as it wanted, and tried, they could not court-martial Kevin for disloyal statements; as Kevin, at least initially, was not speaking out publicly against the war or the Bush Administration. Kevin
wrote one letter to Bush in Nov of 2004 but that was months after he had filed his CO application. Somehow it ended up on the ‘Military Family Speaks Out’ web-site and it was that letter the Army attempted using to prove Kevin was disloyal.

However, when the Army lawyers at Ft Stewart forwarded those charges of “Disloyal Statements” to JAG (Judge Advocate General), JAG wrote back and essentially told them at FT Stewart they were out of their minds, as there was absolutely no evidence what-so-ever that Kevin had ever made a disloyal statement. Basically, dissent in the Army is considered disloyalty. How absurd! So, the Army at FT Stewart started trolling around to find other false and phony charges they could level at Kevin in the effort to shut him up and make an example of him to keep others in line.

From the outset, Kevin was not railing against the Administration or even the premise for the Iraq invasion. Kevin did not apply as a CO to protest the war, he applied as a CO as an individual who had made the conscious decision that he, as an individual, could not participate in that which war is, mass killing on a grand scale; with the majority of those being killed innocent, women and children, the aged, the infirm—as is true in all wars. Innocents are killed 10 to 1 when compared to “troops” on all sides.

It was not until, during the months between Kevin filing as a CO and Nov 2004 when Kevin wrote his letter to Bush, that Kevin began seeing all of the evidence that was coming out, pretty much confirming the lies and deceptions behind the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was not until well into 2005, and based on increasing amounts of irrefutable evidence of the grand deceptions of Bush/Cheney & Co., that Kevin began to challenge the very premise of this invasion/occupation.

I’ve learned a lot of things about Kevin and Monica over the past 15 months or so. We have spent so many, many hours upon hours on the phone. Kevin Benderman is one of the single most deliberate, deliberative, seriously critical thinking men I know. I’ve yet to witness Kevin making a snap decision, or a decision based on emotional response. Nope, not Kevin, when Kevin makes a decision, such as he did when he applied as a CO--or as now, speaking out publicly in condemnation of what Bush/Cheney has unleashed--it is only after much deliberative thought after disseminating serious amounts of factual information.

Kevin has, in my opinion, been able to do what most still have yet to achieve—a good balance between brain and emotions. Emotionally charged decisions always end up a disaster, as the emotions over-rule the brain and critical thinking. When Kevin, or Monica for that matter, makes a decision it is not an emotional response, it is a decision that is well thought out over a period of time, and which is based on empirical evidence and fact; not like the fantasy based decisions coming out of Washington, D.C. today. “That which is emotionally rooted is intellectually insoluble”--something to contemplate. Kevin and Monica Benderman understand that concept fully. Back to where I was at before getting side-tracked.

Having been to Iraq once; having been witness to the tragedy, the senseless brutality, the horror that is war, Kevin had no doubt that war was not and is not the answer to our problems. It was hearing orders given to shoot children if they were to climb back up on a wall, among many other things Kevin saw and heard, which turned Kevin against this war—against war and killing.

Kevin, like all who go into the military, have some idea of the “rules of war” and basically what constitutes a war crime. After being in Iraq, Kevin came to understand, like so many others that have seen the brutality and insanity that is war, that war itself is the ultimate “war crime” and it was this, as a Conscientious Objector that Kevin was speaking out against.

“All Kevin did was speak to the fact that war was not the answer - and that he had seen enough of war to know that he was going to not participate in it any longer.” So as much as the Army wanted to try and use that to court-martial Kevin for disloyal public statements, it/they couldn’t. So the Army’s next step was to trump up an entirely different set of charges, which is pretty much what then happened to Kevin. I know I’m repeating myself here, but this is so important, it bears a bit of redundancy.

The way I see it, that is why Kevin Benderman is serving time in a military jail at FT Lewis, WA. For the Army, Kevin was a threat, as he openly articulated what so many were thinking and feeling but afraid to say openly, in part due to the threat of court-martial hanging over their heads for speaking out publicly. If Kevin was not silenced, openly and publicly by the Army, others might also shed their fear and end their silence. Then like Kevin, also speak out in opposition to this war in the public forum.

But, and I must emphasize this, it was not until well after Kevin had filed as a CO that he started making any public statements against the war in Iraq or the Bush Administration. Kevin did not start making such statements until after much information and evidence came to public awareness about just how and why the invasion of Iraq even took place. Kevin is way too cautious and deliberate in his thinking and decision making to ever take the chance of making a “snap” decision. So, contrary to what the Army has stated many times, Kevin’s speaking out against the Iraq invasion itself is relatively recent. And it came only after much “evidence” as well as much very deliberate contemplation and serious prayer.

Kevin is speaking out against the invasion and occupation of Iraq now due to the simple fact there is now irrefutable evidence that it was and is wrong. That it is being conducted for every reason other than any of the stated reasons, and has no purpose other than continuing to get a lot of people killed needlessly with absolutely no end in sight.

There is no doubt in my mind the “official consensus” of
high troop morale is on its face a lie. I’ve spoken with way too many military and veterans organizations, and have received mega-hundreds of emails from active duty military in the past couple of years, with the numbers increasing this year—all saying the same thing, our people in uniform are in serious trouble as morale is going thru the floor! No one knows what the “mission” is past just kill, kill, and kill some more—in between the dying that is; and all while like us that were in Vietnam, just fighting to stay alive and get back home. How can we allow anyone to go to jail for refusing to participate in this insanity? To me, that defies all logic and reason.

Kevin, the Military and Conscientious Objector Declarations:

“In a small, quiet courtroom, on the Ft. Stewart military installation, the stage is set. One soldier who, after firsthand experience with the destructive force of war, decided to take the Ten Commandments at their word – “Thou Shall Not Kill” – and use the rights given to him to declare his conscious objection to war, to no longer be in a position to voluntarily have to kill another human being, is now on trial for not wanting to kill.

The Army has removed itself so completely from its moral responsibility, that its representatives are willing to openly demand, in a court of law, that they be allowed to regain “positive control over this soldier” by finding him guilty of crimes he did not commit, and put him in jail – a prisoner of conscience, for daring to obey a moral law.

It is “hard work” to face the truth, and it is scary when people who are not afraid to face it begin to speak out. Someone once said that my husband’s case is a question of morality over legality. I pray that this country has not gone so far over the edge that the two are so distinctly different that we can tell them apart.” (Monica Benderman)

The following letter of Feb. 2004 was written to Sen. Chuck Warner by the father of a young man who was in the Marine Corps. While in boot-camp this young man determined that he would not be able to do that for which the Marine Corps was training him—to kill. After much discussion with his family, with chaplains, with his own conscientious, he filed the proper forms and paperwork as a Conscientious Objector—that was in 2004.

What this young man then went thru for the next 11 months prompted his father, an active duty U.S. Navy Captain to write the following; and which I consider to be the single most articulate and well though out statement on the subject of conscientious objectors, as well as how the military does, or rather does not deal with legitimate CO applications and the people who file them.

This has direct application and relevance to what Kevin Benderman has, and is going thru behind his filing the application as a Conscientious Objector and going public with that; as it does with all who make such application in the current “environment.”

Substitute Kevin’s name in this, Ft Stewart and the Army for the Marine Corps and this letter has direct application and bearing on everyone who stands as a CO in today’s military—especially Kevin Benderman, one of the single most ethical, principled and honorable men it has ever been my privilege to know. (The full letter of Feb. 2005 may be read
Here.) Now on to those parts of the letter with direct application to Kevin; which explains how rules, laws, and regulations that are in place for people in the military, are used in very insidious ways to suppress and repress active duty personnel; especially if they have the “temerity” to file as a Conscientious Objector.


"… Additionally, I wanted you to know that Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) is investigating the possibility of preparing and introducing a Bill - to be known as the Military Conscientious Objector Act - that would seek to protect the rights of military members who desire status as a Conscientious Objector.

… there is great opportunity for the military to waste time and money because of our generally negative predisposition when considering these matters. While it doesn't make sense from a personnel management aspect for the Services to make the process to attain Conscientious Objector status easy, the Services could do a much better job of making the process fair - and to NOT treat applicants as though they have committed a crime while working through the process…


… it appears to me that he is judging… qualification for CO discharge on the basis of his own stereotypes rather than any legal definition of conscientious objection. In short… is judging… beliefs and sincerity on the basis of his own ideas rather than any requirements of the regulations…

…The law does not require a conscientious objector to be opposed to all forms of…It requires only that a person be conscientiously opposed to the planned and organized killing that takes place in warfare…

…I am sure that by comparing…the experiences of other CO's past and present, you will quickly see that the process is indeed broken. Not only is the process inconsistently applied, it's subject to the stereotypes/prejudices of the assigned Investigating Officer. While that's a variable that might be impossible to contain, we - the services – could still do a better job of codifying the Conscientious Objector discharge process…

…Military Officers are not trained to make these kinds of assessments. More importantly, line officers are compromised from the start and should not be placed in this position because a positive endorsement on their part is currently culturally unacceptable in the officer corps generally and could impugn the credibility and professionalism of the Investigating Officer specifically…


...Officers will deny this bias and publicly, firmly deny that they are to act as expected. Yet we cannot deny that competition for promotion is keen and an officer's decision to be supportive of a Conscientious Objector while on the cusp of further promotion is an extraordinarily difficult prospect just prior to his 20th year of service when vested in retirement. These are especially difficult decisions when many must ensure they will be retained at mid-career and have a retirement for the benefit of their family - generally, no blemish on an officer's service record is sustainable…"

This makes one wonder why the U.S. Military even bothers to have rules, regulations or guidelines on the what, who, and how of filing as a Conscientious Objector. Especially when looking at how various Officers see anyone within their commands requesting CO status as a threat to their next promotion, as what happened with Sgt Kevin Benderman.


…The value and right to a free conscious, after all, is what this is all about…”

A Brief Look Back:

When Kevin’s unit was sent to Iraq the first time, Kevin, like so many of us from previous U.S. wars, saw the utter destruction caused by our invasion of Iraq. He saw the slip by people around him into complete disregard for human life in their struggle to just stay alive; he saw the slaughter of innocent people; he saw the total disregard and elevation of man’s inhumanity to man; he heard orders to “shoot to kill” even children. He saw, heard, and began to understand that what American’s were being told about what was happening in Iraq were lies; whose only purpose were to keep public approval for this U.S. war of aggression up—deliberate deception. Kevin began to realize, as have so many others, that war is not the answer. And a war based on deliberate deceptions and lies, as is this war of choice that has been unleashed in Iraq, is definitely not an answer to anything.

“He returned knowing that war is wrong; that it is the most dehumanizing creation of humanity that exists. He saw war destroy civilians, innocent men, women and children. He saw war destroy homes, relationships and a country. He saw this not only in the country that was invaded, but he saw this happening to the invading country as well, here in the U.S. – and he knew that the only way to save those soldiers was for people to no longer participate in war. Sgt. Kevin Benderman is a Conscientious Objector to war; and the Army is mad.

Sgt. Kevin Benderman, after serving one tour of duty in Iraq, filed for Conscientious Objector status, his Constitutional right. His commander refused to accept his application and one called him a coward. One chaplain was ashamed of his lack of moral fortitude, another, of higher rank, testified to the true sincerity of Sgt. Benderman’s beliefs, in writing. A military intelligence officer decided that he knew matters of the soul better than a man of God, and recommended to deny the CO claim. Five commissioned officers who had never met Sgt. Benderman agreed with the “intelligent officer” and the claim was denied, twice.” (Monica)

Here in the U.S. there is a “deeply-held belief that no matter what this nations governing body does abroad, no matter how bad what it does may appear, no matter what horror may result, the American government means well;” That the ‘government’ has good intentions and means well; And, generally speaking, the American public wonders why the rest of the world can’t see how “kind” and “generous” and “self-sacrificing” America is and has been. Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with “good intentions.” Who can forget George W. Bush in 2003, when Iraqi’s started standing up to the invasion and occupation of their country and started fighting back saying, “What is the matter with those people, don’t they know how good we are?” Pretty much says it all does it not?


According to Monica Benderman (who is simple one of the 5 most incredible, solid, intelligent, tireless and committed women it has been my pleasure to have met in the past few years) two things took place at the end of Kevin’s “court-martial”: The entire prosecution team, including witnesses, all stood outside the doorway and laughed while Kevin was walking to the van. They wanted to put him in shackles and chains "so that the media could take pictures of him that way" but his supervisor, the man they had placed in charge of that, refused to do that, so Kevin walked freely. This supervisor has been very supportive of Kevin from the start - and continues to be very upset about what is happening, as he knows the truth.

Also according to Monica, among others, photos of Kevin being led out and away after what flimsily passed for a “trial” were plastered all over the walls of the company offices for the Forward Operating Base outside of Baghdad where the 2-7th Foxtrot Company is currently deployed with the caption— “This is what happens if you do not obey and follow orders.” If that is not a threat to those in uniform--telling them, yes it is within anyone’s rights to file as a Conscientious Objector, but if you do this is what will happen--I don’t know what you can call it!

Right now - my husband and I are fighting against this country - for the right to be together - to be US - to have what we have worked on - our relationship - and our private life. It is all we ask - and we will give what we can - we have given what we can - all we want is us - and for the soldiers and their families who have been so severely disrespected to be able to have themselves back again too. (Monica Benderman)


A Few Concluding Thoughts:

Since this nation lost its mind behind Bush & Co and their subsequent “wars of aggression,” those who now make application as a C.O. according to the “rules,” have almost all been criminalized by the military; and in most cases have been imprisoned—as has Kevin Benderman. Who, in my book, is a man of tremendous ethics, integrity, honor, character; and that's why I agree with,
as Norman Solomon has stated, “Kevin Benderman, now in prison, is providing greater moral leadership than any member of the United States Senate.” I would just take it a step further: Kevin Benderman is providing greater moral leadership than any member of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the White House, and the nation as a whole. We would all do well to follow his example, and that especially includes those who are currently on active duty in the military.

Quite frankly, I do not see this Cheney/Bush “War of Aggression” coming to an end as long as they are in office. Like Vietnam, this illegal war in Iraq will come to an end when the troops start putting down the guns and, also like in Vietnam, start openly rebelling against illegal orders given in an illegal invasion and subsequent occupation. Especially when considering the group of thugs, extortionists and criminals that are in charge of the White House and both houses of Congress.

This Kevin Benderman has done already—he put down his gun. As have many others and who have now been joined by the first women in uniform,
Katherine Jashinsky, to openly oppose this war and who has recently filed as a Conscientious Objector.

This much I know: we cannot continue to allow good people like Kevin Benderman to be sent to prison for refusing to be a participant in illegal wars, as we know this one to be. Especially when you consider that many of those making the “rules” that send people of conscience like Kevin to prison are under indictments—criminals sending honest men to prison. Really makes a lot of sense does it not??

This is an email Monica sent to me about life in the RCF at Ft Lewis, per a conversation with Kevin:

"The tables at the RCF mess hall were decorated with cornucopias full of fruit and nuts -- there were candy dishes full of treats in front of every inmate -- and there were three enormous ice sculptures on the serving tables. Kevin talked to one of the cooks who told him that the ice sculptures alone cost almost $1000.00. The inmates were not allowed to eat any of the candy, nuts or fruit.

They have to wait longer to make phone calls home today - the phones near the command center at the front of the facility are off limits to them today because that is the entrance being used by family visitors who are coming to eat with the inmates - and for special military guests. The inmates are not allowed to interact with anyone who has not been approved to come visit them - so they have been kept in hiding with access to the phones only at the back of the facility.

Kevin approached the Colonel who is commanding one of the brigades, I believe the 704th MP Brigade. He told the Col. that they had no business spending almost $1000.00 on the ice sculptures when the showers were not working, the toilets and sinks were backing up and the windows were broken and letting cold air in throughout the living quarters of the facility. The Col's response was that there were two budgets, one for decorations for the mess hall, and one for maintenance, and the toilets were part of the maintenance budget. Kevin said he told him that they needed to cancel the decor budget and fix the toilets.

Kevin also told several that he was thankful for being at the RCF, and that he was sure he wanted to stay now that he had such a beautifully decorated mess hall to eat in. He said he told every commander he could find that he was grateful for his command at Ft. Stewart having lied and manipulated evidence just to put him at Ft. Lewis so he could see everything that he had - he thought he'd seen it all until he got there, and now they had just given him more to speak out about.

Several told Kevin that it was Thanksgiving and that he should give it a rest for one day -- Fools -- "

This concludes Part 1 of what is an ongoing story about Kevin, and about the situation at the RCF, Ft Lewis, WA.—the military’s mini U.S. Abu Ghraib for its own. See:
Torture and Prostitution at Ft Lewis—The Investigation Begins.

For those of you that are letter writers, as am I, here are the addresses of those in command at the RCF, at Ft Lewis. They really do need to hear form as many as are willing to write, which hopefully will be all of you.

Fort Lewis Garrison Commander
525 Replacement
Ft. Lewis, Washington
98433-9500

Commander
Fort Lewis Regional Facility
Box 339536
Ft. Lewis, Washington
98433-9536

Kevin Mitchell Benderman
Box 339536
Fort Lewis, Washington
98433-9536
…………………………………………………………

Also See:

Freedom to make a choice.
By: Monica Benderman

The Case of Sergeant Benderman
By: Camilo Mejia
Truthout

Jack Dalton is a disabled Vietnam veteran, activist and writer who lives in Portland, OR. He was also a contributing writer in the recently released book: “
Neo-Conned! Again”, published by: IHS Press.
Email: jack_dalton@comcast.net


"Papers Please" Has Arrived

Earlier this year, my very good friend Doris Colmes wrote two articles—which are the first two below. In lieu of what has taken place in Denver, see below article, the articles by Doris should be re-read. Is this the begginning? Have we come to the place where we now must be concerned with being compelled to produce “our papers?” Cheney/Bush have given us so much, have they not?--Jack

“Enabling” the Patriot Act--
By: Doris Colmes
http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/2005/06/enabling-patriot-act.html
………………………………………………….
Papiere Bitte--By: Doris Colmes
http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/2005/05/papiere-bitte.html

"Those were the magic words of the time: “Papiere Bitte. (Translation: “Papers, Please.”) Hearing those words, even now, causes dull echoes of sounds akin to bodies hitting dirt, or bullets penetrating flesh to thud into my mind. Because, if those papers weren’t correctly in order, or, if you were a Jew sneakily present in any place (including the grocery store) which displayed the usual “NO JEWS OR DOGS ALLOWED” sign, you were dead meat--literally. And, yes, of course I’m talking about my childhood as a little Jewish kid in Nazi Germany..."
…………………………………………………………….
Commuting By Bus In Denver?
Papers, Please.
http://www.papersplease.org/davis/facts.html

DEB DAVIS LIKES to commute to work by public bus. She uses the time to read, crochet or pay bills. It's her quiet time. What with the high price of gas, she saves money, too: a week's worth of gas money gets her a month's worth of bus rides.

Deborah Davis defends freedom at home while her son serves abroad in Iraq.

The bus she rides crosses the property of the Denver Federal Center, a collection of government offices such as the Veterans Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, and part of the National Archives. The Denver Federal Center is not a high security area: it's not Area 51 or NORAD. On her first day commuting to work by bus, the bus stopped at the gates of the Denver Federal Center. A security guard got on and demanded that all of the passengers on this public bus produce ID. She was surprised by the demand of the man in uniform, but she complied: it would have meant a walk of several miles if she hadn't. Her ID was not taken and compared to any "no-ride" list. The guard barely glanced at it. When she got home, what had happened on the bus began to bother her.

'This is not a police state or communist Russia', she thought. From her 8th grade Civics class she knew there is no law requiring her, as an American citizen, to carry ID or any papers, much less show them to anyone on a public bus. She decided she would no longer show her ID on the bus. For the next two weeks she said had no ID. The guards would then ask her if she was getting off on Denver Federal Center property. When she told them 'no', they would let her alone: not once was she ever asked to get off the bus.

The Compliance Test

On Monday, September 26th 2005, Deb Davis headed off to work on the route 100 bus. When the bus got to the gates of the Denver Federal Center, a guard got on and asked her if she had an ID. She answered in the affirmative. He asked if he could see it. She said no.

Visitors Welcome (to be arrested). The entrance to the Denver Federal Center.

When the guard asked why she wouldn't show her ID, Deb told him that she didn't have to do so. The guard then ordered her off the bus. Deb refused, stating she was riding a public bus and just trying to get to work. The guard then went to call his supervisor, and returned shortly with a federal policeman. The federal cop then demanded her ID. Deb politely explained once again that she would not show her ID, and she was simply commuting to work. He left, returning shortly thereafter with a second policeman in tow.

The Second Compliance Test

This second cop asked the same question and got the same answer: no showing of ID, no getting off the bus. The cop was also annoyed with the fact that she was on the phone with a friend and didn't feel like hanging up, even when he 'ordered' her to do so. The second cop said everyone had to show ID any time they were asked by the police, adding that if she were in a Wal-Mart and was asked by the police for ID, that she would have to show it there, too. She explained that she didn't have to show him or any other policeman my ID on a public bus or in a Wal-Mart. She told him she was simply trying to go to work.

The Arrest

Suddenly, the second policeman shouted "Grab her!" and he grabbed the cell phone from her and threw it to the back of the bus. With each of the policemen wrenching one of her arms behind her back, she was jerked out of her seat, the contents of her purse and book bag flying everywhere. The cops shoved her out of the bus, handcuffed her, threw her into the back seat of a police cruiser, and drove her to a police station inside the confines of the Denver Federal Center.

Once inside, she was taken down a hall and told to sit in a chair, still handcuffed, while one of the policemen went through her purse, now retrieved from the bus. The two policemen sat in front of their computers, typing and conferring, trying to figure out what they should charge her with. Eventually, they wrote up several tickets, took her outside and removed the handcuffs, returned her belongings, and pointed her toward the bus stop. She was told that if she ever entered the Denver Federal Center again, she would go to jail. She hasn't commuted by public bus since that day.

What are the issues involved?
This is the official
website of Deborah Davis
site design
david gross
http://www.papersplease.org/davis/facts.html
..................................................

Dear Deborah,

My name's Doris Colmes, and I'm writing because you and I are in absolute agreement as to what's happening in this country.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once wrote: "If the least important soldier in the German Army had chosen not to comply with orders to execute innocent people, others would have followed his lead, and there would not have been a Holocaust.' Those words still ring true, right along with the actions of Mohandas Ghandi and Rosa Parks.

Sure, lots of folks protest that they have had enough and that "someone" needs to take action, and then-- at least in my personal experience -- they say, "Oh, this is such a shame," shrug their shoulders and start talking about the newest TV Reality Show It takes someone with not only the courage of her/his convictions, but also with a deep sense of urgency, to actually do something concrete that graphically shows the rest of us what is actually happening here.

I love this country, Deborah. It literally saved my life at a time when I was pretty convinced that there was nowhere left to go, except, perhaps, the nearest oven. And, through the years, I've witnessed all that is so dear, so valuable, so much the essence of my entire existence, dissipate. Dissipate into a haze of hidden agendas, corruption and increasingly self-serving administrations.

I am, today, in process of writing an article concerning all of the above. Of necessity, what happened to you must be compared to what happened to so many people at the start of the fascist regime in Germany, when "compliance" was the daily hymn, and acquiescence to their version of "The Patriot Act" was so absolutely expected, that anyone who protested disappeared immediately and permanently.

It would be so good to exchange views with you....will be more than happy to send you a copy of the article when it's done, and am delighted at the prospect of hearing from you. What a neat prospect... And thank you, Deborah not only for being a role model but also for setting an example that I, for one, will unconditionally follow.

Peace,

Doris Colmes

...........................................

Also see:

Morphing the Gestapo--By: Doris Colmes, MSW

http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/2005/07/morphing-gestapo.html

And--

Patriot Act vs German Enabling Act

http://jack-dalton.blogspot.com/2005/06/patriot-act-vs-german-enabling-act.html



Friday, November 25, 2005

"Ongoing Quest for the Many Manifestations of Bigfoot"

Ongoing Quest for the Many Manifestations of Bigfoot
Review and Commentary on Mike Palecek's Latest Novel

by Jason Miller
http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/2005/11/ongoing-quest-for-many-manifestations.html

"George Bush is a liar AND a loose gun for hire." I found it so refreshing to read these affirmations of truth on the cover of Mike Palecek's latest novel, Looking for Bigfoot. Palecek's "irreverent" novel is a potent attack on almost everything which is perverse, depraved, immoral, and malevolent about the US government and the society which it creates and perpetuates (through the public education system and its subservient corporate media). The search for Bigfoot which Jack Robert King, the novel's protagonist, undertakes is a metaphorical quest for the truth behind the deteriorating facade of the United States as a benevolent super power which spreads freedom and liberty around the globe.

Mike Palecek knows a bit about dissent, and to his credit, is an "enemy of the (corrupt and tyrannical) state". He has been crusading to find and expose the truth for years as a journalist, editor and writer. At one point, the rulers of the "land of the free" held him as a prisoner of conscience at seven different federal prisons for his non-violent civil disobedience he carried out against their sacrosanct military industrial complex. Yes, Mike Palecek is an enemy to that soulless coalition of the wealthy elite, corporate interests, pro-Israeli forces, powerful lobbyists, and conservative Christians who hold most of the power in the United States. They despise gadflies like Palecek, who challenge their perpetual lies and obscenely immoral abuses of the public trust, domestic law, international law, and human rights.

Flag Wavers and "True Patriots" will not enjoy this read

I would venture to say that many of those who tend toward the deeply conservative end of the political or social spectrum would find Looking for Bigfoot to be highly offensive and perhaps "treasonous". More is the pity that their closed minds render them incapable of seeking or seeing the truth. The individuals to whom I refer are content to wear the rose-colored glasses while continuing to believe that the United States of America is a paragon of virtue and that might does indeed make right.

Looking for Bigfoot is burgeoning with powerful quotes from numerous individuals with a more liberal viewpoint, like this one from Bill Moyers:

"The more compelling our journalism, the angrier became the radical right of the Republican Party.

"That's because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth."

The Quest and the Quester

While Looking for Bigfoot is a chronicle of Jack Robert King's tragic search for the truth, it is also a portrait of a man tormented by the knowledge that he is living in a nation governed by shamelessly immoral, avaricious individuals living comfortably behind a carefully crafted illusion of their virtue. An unemployed, unpublished writer who served prison time for civil disobedience and who broadcasts an Internet radio show espousing his "radical" political views, Jack and his family live in Dyersville, Iowa in the home sitting on the movie site of the ball field portrayed in Field of Dreams. How ironic that a man cursed with the knowledge that the "American Dream" is actually a nightmare (except for a select few patricians) would live in the Heart of America on the location where the corporate media created an extremely popular film which glorified "America's Pastime". Baseball is as American as Mom, apple pie, and murdering millions of innocent civilians in the interest of imperial expansion.

After receiving a copy of a magazine with a cover story profiling his beloved high school baseball coach's search for Bigfoot in Oregon, Jack decides that it is his destiny to follow his former coach to the Great Northwest. Literally taking his show on the road, Jack begins his physical quest for truth on a bus bound for Oregon, broadcasting his radio show via his laptop at various stops along the way.

As one might expect of a bus trip, Jack encounters a wide variety of personalities, beliefs, races, and religions in the people he sees and meets.

In one of the more poignant moments in the book, Jack has an exchange with an Air Force retiree who overheard him recording his next show. The military man confronted Jack:

"I disagree with everything you've been saying. They ought to place you in prison, son. I served so punks like you could be free."

Jack responded with an interesting counter to the widely believed "truth" that Americans who have not served in the military owe the "privilege of their existence" to those who have:

"So...I'm free to do what I'm doing, thanks dude. By the way, next time, don't do me any favors, okay?

"Unless I specifically ask you, don't kill anyone for me, okay? Don't bomb anyone; don't nuke anyone; don't napalm anyone; don't murder any men, women or children for me, okay?

"I went to prison so that fucks like you wouldn't run the world! Don't give me that military service patriotism crap. All it means is you were too lazy to think for yourself and too afraid to do what was right.

"And don't come around and tell me you kept me free, moron! I'm free because I will stand up in a crowded bus and look you in the eye.

"You did not do shit----you idiot!

"Eugene Debs, Michael Moore, Martin King, not you. Not you."

Grappling with a wide range of emotions, torment and insecurities throughout the novel, Jack is, to an extent, a tortured soul. Cursed by his knowledge of the "Great American Lie" and his feelings of inadequacy which stem from the natural human desire to "fit in", he lapses in and out of seeing himself as a social pariah. Driven by a powerful motivation to discover more truth (i.e. who was actually behind the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King), he abandoned his family to find Bigfoot. As he progresses on his journey, Jack experiences guilt and regret, both for leaving his family, and for endangering them by expressing his dissident viewpoint via Internet radio.

Once Jack arrives in Oregon and finds Larry Moore, his former coach, he makes some surprising discoveries about Moore, Bigfoot, and the truths which he has been desperately seeking. Guided by Moore, Jack concludes he needs to return to his family in Iowa. Jack's quest for truth ends where it began, on the Field of Dreams with his family. Be prepared for a shocking finale to this intriguing indictment of the US government and the society which it has carefully honed to ensure a complacent populace to support and endorse its horrendous crimes against humanity.

The truth hurts

Briefly summarizing the thrust of his view of America, Jack wrote these words in a letter to Cherry, his wife:

"We thought we lived in the best country in the world and it turned out to be the worst.

"Marine Generals talking about how fun it is to kill. Americans abusing Iraqi citizens in every form imaginable. Hummer. A sex term adopted by the military turned into a vehicle on our streets and a commercial on our TVs. Little kids talking about wanting to get a hummer. All in the name of good ol' American patriotism and gettin' behind the team.

"Does anyone at Rotary realize that we killed more Native Americans in our seizure of the American landscape than the six million killed by Hitler in the death camps?"

If you are looking for another testament to the greatness of America, don't read this book. It does not contain the tissue of lies necessary to compose such an illusion. However, I highly recommend Looking for Bigfoot for veteran truth-seekers who already realize how morally bankrupt our nation is. I also strongly encourage fledgling malcontents (who are just beginning to realize that "something's rotten in Denmark") read this book as a primer on the ills of American government and society. Aside from the intrigue of the story, the quotes and truth woven into the fiction make Looking for Bigfoot a very worthwhile read for those who are not afraid to discern the ugly reality beneath the comely veneer of America portrayed in Norman Rockwell's art.

Awareness that there is a problem is the first and essential step in eradicating the problem. Let's hope that many read Looking for Bigfoot, expand their awareness, and attack the problem through non-violent means.

Jason Miller is a 38 year old activist writer with a degree in liberal arts. He works as a loan counselor in the transportation industry, and is a husband with three sons. His affiliations include Amnesty International and the ACLU. He welcomes responses at
willpowerful@hotmail.com or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/.





Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving -- A Day of National Atonement (?)

The following three articles, “Thoughts for Thanksgiving” – “Give Thanks No More: It’s Time for a National Day of Atonement” – “The End of American Thanksgiving” – are must reads. Many will take very strong exception to them, mostly by those who refuse to take an honest look at this nation’s history. To paraphrase what William Blum (Killing Hope and The Anti-Empire Report) has stated many times -- which I am firmly convinced of – “there is a deeply held belief in this country that no matter what is done, no matter how badly “things” may turn out, the only thing that matters is that ‘we’ mean well, that ‘we’ have good intentions.” What a load of clap-trap!

The Greatest Evil We Do Is To Deny The Evil We Doperiod! And the more resistive people in this nation are about looking honestly at our history, and putting today’s events in historic perspective, we will have absolutely no hope of making any corrections.

Looking honestly at this nation, what it has done, what it hasn’t done, what it should or should not do, what it is doing and what it should not be doing – that is not hating your own country, damn it! It means nothing more, or nothing less than knowing that people are what they are; with all the same human strengths, weaknesses and fallibilities. Without real recognition of this, this nation’s so-called leaders will continue the re-writing of the nation’s history so that it will coincide with the illusion of “American Exceptionalism” that has so imbued itself into the national psyche.

We as a nation are NOT an exception to anything. We are not an exception to nationalism and the xenophobic hatred it breeds; we are not an exception to self-serving corrupt “officials" – not at the local level, not at the state level and not at the federal level – we need only take a cursory look at those under indictment in congress or in the White House, with the list of indictments growing almost daily. We have a 230 year history of government corruption at all levels.

We are not an exception to “gun barrel” diplomacy; we are not an exception to the time honored method of invading other lands in the name of “liberation” -- when the only thing that ultimately gets “liberated” are people from their homes, land and in too many cases, their very lives. We have the specter of Iraq before us which bears this out.

I am of the opionion that war is the cowards response to the perils of peace.

Without an honest look at our past, how this country was built and upon whose backs it was built – how will we ever be able to confront and change those things that must be changed if this nation is to survive? Or to become the nation it can become – one that not only professes to stand for freedom, democracy, human rights, civil rights and the rule of law, but is. Something that it could be, but currently is not.

This nation was built on the backs of slavery and the genocidal wars against the original inhabitants of this land we call America – Native Americans. Who still have to fight to try and get this nation to live up to even one of the treaties it has signed. Of the 4,500 treaties signed, not one has been honored by those within the body government in Washington, D.C.

Our Constitution is without a doubt one of the single greatest documents ever penned by man. It, along with the Bill of Rights does not tell us what “rights” we have, as the rights of all people’s are a given as stated by the preamble to the Constitution. The Constitution and Bill of Rights simply states what government cannot do in terms of the rights of people. The other thing is simply this: nowhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights is it stated that application is only to and for American Citizens – these documents say “People.” If they do not apply to “people” as a whole, the documents and what they enumerate do not apply to anyone.

Enough from me, again for now, but there will be more on this later. For now, please take the time to read the following essay carefully. If this nation is ever to become a beacon of hope in the world for the oppressed, the weak, the tired, the hungry, the poor – then we cannot continue to repeat all the mistakes of the past. But we have no hope of doing that as long as a nation, we continue to refuse to look and then change our national direction so as to not continue making the very same mistakes over and over again. – Jack
………………………………………………………….
Thoughts for Thanksgiving
Center on Conscience & War
November 23, 2005

This Thanksgiving before you eat your turkey or tofu, you may consider the things for which you are thankful. One thing is the young men and women who are sacrificing themselves in this war–even though the war is wrong, the sacrifice is not meaningless. Another is the young men and women who refuse to be part of this war. One such woman is SFC Katherine Janshinski who, on Thanksgiving day, will be given a direct order to train with weapons.

A member of the Army National Guard, Katherine Jashinski, has been on active duty with the 111th ASG since January of this year. She was born in Milwaukee, WI and is 22 years old. After she graduated high school, she went to college in Austin, TX. At age 19 she enlisted in the Guard as a cook because as she says, "I wanted to experience military life. When I enlisted I believed that killing was immoral, but also that war was an inevitable part of life and therefore, an exception to the rule."

Katherine no longer believes there is an exception to the rule. She applied for CO discharge from the military. During the nearly 18 months that she went through the discharge process, she was activated and she followed all of the orders she was given. The military, however, did not follow its own regulations, and this summer her CO application was denied. She is now in the process of bringing the wrongful denial of her CO application for discharge to the courts.

In the meantime, however, she has been ordered to Ft. Benning. She arrived just days before the SOA demonstration was to begin. A press conference was held November 17, 2005 at the gates of Ft. Benning–the most notoriously harsh basic training base and home of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) known to many as the School of the Americas.

At her press conference, Katherine Jashinski said:

**Now I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason. I have a moral obligation not only to myself but to the world as a whole, and this is more important than any contract.

**I have come to my beliefs through personal, intense, reflection and study. They are everything that I am and all that I stand for. After much thought and contemplation about the effect my decision will have on my future, my family, the possibility of prison, and the inevitable scorn and ridicule that I will face, I am completely resolute.

**I will exercise every legal right not to pick up a weapon, or to support the war effort. I am determined to be discharged as a CO, and while undergoing the appeals process; I will continue to follow orders that do not conflict with my conscience until my status has been resolved. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my beliefs.

**What characterizes a conscientious objector is their willingness to face adversity and uphold their values at any cost. We do this not because it is easy or popular, but because we are unable to do otherwise. Thank you.

On Thanksgiving, Katherine will be given a direct order to train with a weapon.

If she refuses—as she expects she will—she will face a Court Martial and jail.

Let us be thankful this Thanksgiving for the men and women who are far away from home, believing they are protecting our rights. But let us be even more thankful for the men and women who have come to realize that the best way to protect our rights is to refuse to participate in war.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Center on Conscience & War
1830 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Ph: 202-483-2220
Fax: 202-483-1246
www.CenterOnConscience.org

(Note From Jack--Kevin Benderman and Monica Benderman know full well what Katherine is facing as do I. As a combat vet myself, I am in full support of Katherine's decision to resist this war in Iraq as a Conscientious Objector just as I support my good friend Kevin Benderman, and Monica, and their decision to not only object as a Conscientions Objector, to openly and publically oppose not only the invasion and occupation of Iraq, but those who planned, orchestrated and initiated this madness as well. See the Benderman Timeline for full details: http://www.bendermantimeline.com/ )
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Give Thanks No More: It’s Time for a National Day of Atonement
by Robert Jensen

One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting.

In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas.

Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States.

(Read Prof. Robert Jensen's Full essay Here: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1121-22.htm )
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The End of American Thanksgivings
The Black Commentator

Nobody but Americans celebrates Thanksgiving. It is reserved by history and the intent of “the founders” as the supremely white American holiday, the most ghoulish event on the national calendar. No Halloween of the imagination can rival the exterminationist reality that was the genesis, and remains the legacy, of the American Thanksgiving. It is the most loathsome, humanity-insulting day of the year – a pure glorification of racist barbarity....

Thanksgiving is much more than a lie – if it were that simple, an historical correction of the record of events in 1600s Massachusetts would suffice to purge the “flaw” in the national mythology. But Thanksgiving is not just a twisted fable, and the mythology it nurtures is itself inherently evil. The real-life events – subsequently revised – were perfectly understood at the time as the first, definitive triumphs of the genocidal European project in New England.

The near-erasure of Native Americans in Massachusetts and, soon thereafter, from most of the remainder of the northern English colonial seaboard was the true mission of the Pilgrim enterprise – Act One of the American Dream. African Slavery commenced contemporaneously – an overlapping and ultimately inseparable Act Two.

(Read The Full Essay Here: http://www.blackcommentator.com/66/66_cover_thanksgiving_pf.html )

Note: "...We didn't land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us..." Malcolm X

The 'Hadley Gambit'

The following article by Michael Carmichael gives an excellent look into thedupliciousness of those that deceived this nation into war; and then went about the business of crushing anyone and everyone who spoke out against the "Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Feith-Rice-Rove-Powell-Hadley-Libby-Ledeen-et al" "War of Deception" in Iraq.

One can only hope that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, will deepen and broaden the scope and focus of the grand jury investigations--regardless of where it leads. This cannot be allowed to stop when it gets to close to top levels of power as happened with the Iran/Contra "investigations." Even though a few were convicted behind that, virtually all were pardoned by G.H.W.Bush, including Elliot Abrams, who now is on G.W.'S National Security Council--who said crime does not pay?

At any rate, I'm getting a little away from Michael’s article, "The Hadley Gambit" but, not really--liars, cons, thieves, gangsters, thugs running this nation (into the ground) is nothing new--its just gotten so much worse since the Cheney/Bush cabal. They lied and deceived this nation into war, a War against the Peace, which by definition is a war crime.

Kevin Benderman is in a military jail for his refusal to deploy to Iraq a second time, after he was given orders to shoot children off a wall the first time he was there (read more here) Yet men like Hadley, Cheney, Ledeen, Libby, Rove, etc. are living “high on the hog” making who knows what other kinds of nefarious “plans” in our names. I for one do not need nor do I want what Bush & Co. say is their job—to protect us.

Hey, BushCo--Stop “protecting” us while there are still some “us” left! While there is still a country left! On to “The Hadley Gambit”--Jack

The Hadley gambit
By:Michael Carmichael
http://planetmove.blogspot.com/

(Gambit - A speculative sacrifice of a piece for an advantage. A gambit usually involves the sacrifice of a pawn or a minor piece when a game is in a complex phase. International Chess Lexicon)

One week ago, Condoleezza Rice celebrated her fifty-first birthday. At the same time, she had something special to rejoice in addition to one more year in power. Rice has just surged past John McCain in the polls of potential Republican candidates against Hillary Clinton in 2008. The fact that an Afro-American woman is being accepted as a presidential candidate by an increasing number of Republicans suggests that the psyche of America’s embattled rightwing has recently undergone an astonishing amount of cosmetic surgery.

Rice’s association with the Bush family is long. During the presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush, Rice worked on the staff of Brent Scowcroft serving as a specialist in Soviet & East European Affairs inside the National Security Council.
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Condoleezza Rice is surging upwards in Republican presidential polls.

In 2000 during Bush’s first presidential campaign, Rice served in group of foreign policy advisors who became known as, “The Vulcans." Other members of these Republican Vulcans included: Dick Cheney, Stephen Hadley, Colin Powell, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz.

The Bush Vulcans advocated a hardline foreign policy firmly predicated on the geopolitical ramifications of neoconservatism: pre-emptive war with nuclear weapons to enforce US doctrine and compel American cultural and economic superiority on a global scale. In pursuit of these objectives, the Vulcans urged the philosophy that US foreign policy should be based on their preconceived agenda of American hegemony with no consideration for either international law or public opinion. This is the sort of extremism that has led to the covert establishment of secret prisons in offshore locations and the practice of rendering prisoners (read: torture).

Obviously, their nickname, “Vulcans,” was borrowed from the popular television series, Star Trek. Mr. Spock and the other inhabitants of his home planet, Vulcan, were the original Vulcans. On Star Trek, Vulcans are characterized by their longevity, their logicality and their devotion to peace. In stark contrast to Mr. Spock and Star Trek, Bush’s Vulcans are warlike, bellicose and belligerent. The Republican Vulcans actually bear a far closer resemblance to another imaginary race of beings from Star Trek: the Klingons, who have a genetic predisposition for war, torture, hostility, martial combat and a curious fascination with fatality.

The Republican Vulcans played important roles on the Bush Transition team, and they have all succeeded to high-ranking positions in the Bush-Cheney administration. When the elder Bush’s son assumed power, Rice became National Security Advisor to the President. In addition to moving up strongly in the polls for the presidency, Rice is known as Bush’s, “Terminatrix.” None other than Dick Morris, American political consultant extraordinaire who masterminded Clinton’s 1996 campaign, has proclaimed that the next presidential election will be a titanic contest between Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. Morris predicts that Rice will defeat Clinton. With a generous smattering of biographies recently published about her, Rice’s political star is clearly in the ascendant. However, things in Washington have just taken a turn that might alarm her.

Over the past two weeks, there were major developments in Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leak of the identity of the CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson. In July, 2003 Robert Novak, a politically conservative gossip columnist, published the identity of a covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Novak’s outing of Valerie Wilson was an act of hubris that led to the federal investigation of the Bush-Cheney White House. Last week, Robert Woodward delivered a startling revelation to the Special Prosecutor. Woodward is the acclaimed Washington Post reporter who was a central character in the Watergate saga and the co-author of the classic account of the fall of President Richard Nixon titled ‘All the President’s Men’.

Under oath, Woodward told Fitzgerald that he had learned of the covert CIA work of Valerie Wilson from a member of the staff at the White House other than “Scooter” Libby. More. Woodward stated that he had learned of the covert identity of Valerie Wilson fully one month prior to the publication of her CIA status in Robert Novak’s column.
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FBI Agent, Mark Felt, “Deep Throat” and Bob Woodward during Watergate.

At first glance, this surprising revelation shook Fitzgerald’s investigation and jeopardized his indictment of Scooter Libby. At his press conference on the case, Fitzgerald contended that Libby was the first official at the White House to disclose the covert identity of Valerie Wilson to the press. Woodward’s deposition falsifies that contention.Is Libby now off scot-free? No, he is not. By the end of the week, Fitzgerald had made moves to broaden and reinvigorate his investigation. At the same time the noose is now tightening, not only around the throat of the expendable pawn, Scooter Libby, but around the throats of a growing number of higher ranking suspects.

Over the last two weeks, there have been a series of three crucial triggering events leading up to the Special Prosecutor’s galvanic activation and the unanticipated expansion of his investigation. Last week, John Dean published a powerful open letter to Patrick Fitzgerald. His letter was Dean’s way of attempting a spinal transplant in a Special Prosecutor he found lacking in focus and will power.During the Watergate Era, John Dean was the White House attorney for President Richard Nixon. For his involvement in the Watergate scandal, Dean was eventually sent out into the wilderness to serve as a criminal scapegoat for the conspiracy of others including President Nixon, himself.

Facing indictment, disbarment, prison and disgrace, Dean mutated from servile and obedient fall guy into the state’s leading witness. In electrifying testimony before the Ervin Committee, John Dean revealed the full extent of the conspiracy to obstruct justice through the White House’s premeditated cover-up of the Watergate break-in. While other members of the Nixon administration: John Mitchell, Robert Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Jeb Stuart Magruder had committed perjury to enforce the cover-up, Dean refused. Dean told the truth. In doing so, he incriminated himself and became a national hero in one fell swoop.

In his open letter to Fitzgerald, Dean reminded the Special Prosecutor that he wields the power of the Attorney General. Furthermore, Dean urged Fitzgerald to broaden his investigation to encompass all of those involved in the conspiracy rather than merely concentrating on the one or two or three low level pawns and puppets who obediently leaked the classified intelligence to reporters. In a brilliant but disturbing metaphor, Dean urged Fitzgerald not to be satisfied with merely indicting the lowest culprits and fall guys. Dean said that to focus exclusively on the individuals who actually spoke to the press would have been like placing the lowly Watergate burglars into prison and then letting their superiors in the chain of command go scot-free. If this had been allowed to happen in Watergate, Nixon would never have resigned. Agnew would have stayed in his exalted office, and Robert Haldeman, John Erlichman, John Mitchell, John Dean and many others would have remained in their powerful positions.

In direct but elegant and inspiring language, Dean exhorted Fitzgerald to use his power to remove from office all of those who had taken any part in the conspiracy to commit the crime of leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent. Citing precedents from Teapot Dome to Watergate, Dean admonished Fitzgerald for conducting a timid and narrow investigation to date. Implying that Fitzgerald might be in fear of losing his job, Dean pointed out that Archibald Cox, the first Special Prosecutor in the Watergate investigation, wore a badge of honor for his firing by Nixon who sought to remove a very uncomfortable pebble from his shoe. Dean’s letter was a backbone transplant procedure. However, it will take time to determine whether or not it has been a success, but the early indications appear to be positive.
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Woodward has published partisan accounts of the Bush presidency.

Woodward’s testimony and Dean’s letter were merely the last two of three major events now driving this crucial phase of the investigation. The first and in many ways the most revelatory development in this entire investigation since the indictment of Scooter Libby came one week earlier when a high ranking Bush-Cheney White House official stepped forward out of the shadows and informed Fitzgerald that he had committed a high crime, that he had been the first to leak the fact of Valerie Wilson’s covert CIA status to Robert Woodward.

The White House official testified that he had committed his leak well in advance of Scooter Libby’s leaks to Judith Miller. The White House and Bob Woodward have declined repeated enquiries as to the identity of the original leaker. They have erected a stone wall of silence around this crucial fragment of information.This weekend, The Sunday Times (of London) published a story that confirmed much of last week’s speculation about the identity of Woodward’s source. Citing attorneys close to the Special Prosecutor’s investigation, The Sunday Times identified President Bush’s National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley, who had served as Condoleezza Rice’s deputy during the first term, as the new witness. This is a telling revelation. Stephen Hadley handles all of the hottest items in the Vice-President’s and President’s inboxes.

He is an extraordinary operator, a pedigreed dyed-in-the-wool neoconservative, hardliner and extremist. Hadley is regarded as a protégé and staunch ally of Dick Cheney.It is time that the American public learns a great deal more about Stephen Hadley, and it is high time for him to receive his fifteen minutes of “fame”. After attending Cornell and Yale, Hadley joined the Nixon administration. He met the young draft-evader, Dick Cheney, who would rise to become President Ford’s Chief of Staff. In that period, Hadley also met Donald Rumsfeld, Ford’s iron-fisted Secretary of Defense. From that point, Hadley’s career course was radar-locked. He would follow the hard Republican right through every twist and turn for the next thirty years.

Hadley has sterling rightwing military-industrial-complex credentials. He served on the National Security Advisory Panel for the CIA and was a former member of the Defense Policy Board. During the final years of the Nixon presidency, Hadley was an Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. During the Ford administration, Hadley moved to the National Security Council Office of Program Analysis.

In between these past and future stints at the White House and Pentagon, Hadley served as a specialist in defense policy and threat assessment. This research background drove Hadley to become a leading proponent of the weaponization of space and the prolific development of new breeds of nuclear weapons including the baby nuke and the nuclearbunker buster.
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Stephen Hadley addressing a conference of the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) late last month.

During the Iran-Contra crisis, Hadley served on the Tower Commission to investigate (read, cover up) the scandal. When Bush, Sr. became President, he rewarded Hadley by appointing him to his old position: Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy where he then served under Dick Cheney, who was Bush, Sr.’s Secretary of Defense. Hadley returned to the National Security Council when Bush, Jr. appointed him to be Rice’s deputy. In 2004, Rice moved over to the State Department to take over Colin Powell’s job, and Hadley moved into her old job at the White House. Stephen Hadley is today serving as the National Security Advisor to President Bush, and he has just informed the Special Prosecutor that he first leaked the identity of a covert agent to the most celebrated investigative journalist in America, Bob Woodward.

Worse. Hadley is not merely a policy wonk. He is more, much more. He is a cold, calculating neoconservative political loyalist and hatchet man par excellence. He is as close to Dick Cheney as Scooter Libby and possibly closer. A political escape artist, Hadley is the man everyone turns to when everyone else has already failed. Stephen Hadley argued strenuously for the involvement of Saddam Hussein in 9/11. He maintained that Saddam had a secret nuclear program. When there was nothing else to be done but to appoint a scapegoat, Hadley took the blame for the sixteen false words in the President’s State of the Union address in 2003 when he said that Saddam had arranged to buy yellowcake from Niger. For this task, Hadley was dubbed, “The Fall Guy.”

When Cindy Sheehan dared to show up uninvited to see Bush in Crawford, Texas, Hadley was given a “mission impossible”, the assignment of going out to talk to Cindy to convince her to leave, go away, never to come back and never to embarrass the President over Iraq ever again. Obedient to the nth degree, Hadley dutifully went to Camp Casey to face Cindy Sheehan.

Smooth, suave and oozing guile from every pore in his most unctuous and smarmy impersonation of Iago, Hadley was no match for the grief, the sincerity, the honesty, the direct and single-minded conviction of a mother who had lost her only son in the sands of Iraq. Cindy repudiated Hadley’s seductive attempts to fob her off, then to shove her off the world stage and keep her off – forever and ever, Amen. Empty handed, Hadley returned to the Prairie Chapel Ranch and the increasingly nervous President who quakes and trembles in constant fear and loathing of this lone mother of a deceased Iraq veteran.

Only one week ago when all else had failed, Stephen Hadley was rolled out to defend the use of what he termed, “enhanced interrogation techniques,” (torture) in secret US prison facilities in undisclosed overseas locations.

Bouncer of Prairie Chapel Ranch, blocker of Cindy Sheehan, defender of secret prisons, apologist for torture chambers, proponent of nukes in space, backer of battlefield nukes, advocate of pre-emptive war, architect of America’s strategy of first-striking non-nuclear nations with mini-nukes and nuclear bunker busters while napalming the civilian population and hitting the survivors with “shake & bake” combinations of banned chemicals is what the smooth and sophisticated Stephen Hadley is really all about. Hadley is still serving as the National Security Advisor to President George Bush nearly two weeks after testifying that he has committed a federal felony. In the Watergate Era, the culprits all had the decency to resign from their offices before testifying to their complicity in federal crimes.
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Fall guy Stephen Hadley is the lowly three of Spades in the neocon deck.

When the CIA-leak investigation heated up with the indictment of Libby, Hadley was thrown into the breach yet again. His testimony moves the seminal date for the major crime backward from July to June, 2003. His disclosure of the earlier date for the leaking of the covert identity of Valerie Plame may cause more shockwaves for the Bush White House than it will avert, especially for his erstwhile boss, Condoleezza Rice.

In July, Rice publicly stated that she had learned of the covert CIA status of Valerie Wilson from ABC news when they broke the story immediately after the publication of Robert Novak’s explosive gossip column. However, Hadley has now confirmed that he told Woodward about Valerie Wilson one month before the ABC broadcast. How did Rice’s deputy know more than she knew? That is a crucial question for that is what Condoleezza Rice is now asking us to believe.

She is saying that she did not know the critical intelligence, the covert identity of Valerie Wilson, until it broke into the print and broadcast media. This, she expects us to believe, in spite of her seniority to her former deputy who has just confessed to his role in the crime. Does she sincerely expect us to believe her alibi of total ignorance now that her erstwhile deputy has incriminated himself?

Bob Woodward and Stephen Hadley have now testified that the covert identity of Valerie Wilson was common knowledge, tittle tattle, run-of-the-mill gossip and typical Washington chit-chat one month prior to the publication of Novak’s criminal column. After Hadley confided Plame’s covert CIA identity to Woodward, the reporter did nothing. Why not? Woodward explained to the Special Prosecutor that he did not recognize the information as a news story, because it was concealed so stealthily as a tidbit of idle gossip. Worse. When the scandal broke, Woodward attempted to forget that he had ever heard the name of Valerie Wilson from Hadley. He kept silent. It had not dawned on Woodward that Hadley had skilfully attempted to plant a damning story about Valerie Wilson and her obstreperous husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who would proclaim to the world that there was never any reason to suspect that Saddam Hussein was pursuing a clandestine nuclear program. Hadley had placed the bait directly in front of Woodward, and the Washington Post’s star reporter had done nothing about it.

When Hadley’s Iagoesque ploy with Woodward failed, Dick Cheney’s other trusty pawn, Scooter Libby, was moved into action. Libby dutifully leaked Wilson’s identity to his cooperative and malleable paramour on the New York Times, Judith Miller. We still do not know the identity of Novak’s source, but it is now much more likely that we shall find out.It is now known that Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Stephen Hadley all trafficked the identity of a covert CIA agent to members of the press. Libby has been indicted. After his indictment, Libby resigned. Hadley still sits in his powerful office. Karl Rove still sits in his powerful office, and the others who were involved in the leakage of the covert identity of a CIA agent still sit in their high offices as well.Legal experts monitoring the case have identified twenty-three (23) administration officials apparently involved in the crime. With the exception of Libby, they are all still serving under their Commander-in-Chief, George Bush, and his Vice President, Dick Cheney, both of whom were in charge of this lengthy chain of command before, during and after their dreadful collision with a major federal crime on their jolly road to Baghdad.

Every one of the twenty-three federal officials in the line of fire are now poised on tinterhooks keenly awaiting the outcome of the Hadley gambit. They are waiting to see whether the sacrifice of a lower piece, Hadley, will actually defuse the situation. The Hadley gambit was designed to activate Bob Woodward. The Pulitzer Prize winner has leapt into the breach, and he is now appearing in a blazing trail of shrill and alarmist interviews decrying Fitzgerald as a, “disgrace,” while proclaiming that no crime against the state was committed when the covert identity of Valerie Wilson, a covert CIA agent, was published in a daily newspaper.In a searing burst of internal memos at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward has been lampooned pitilessly by his colleagues. One Post journalist has called Woodward, “the 800 pound elephant among us,” in a thinly veiled reference to his the mascot of his preference for one political party, the Republican Party. Before joining the Post, Woodward served on the staff of a Republican congressman. During his Watergate probe, he would soothe the nerves of reluctant sources in the Committee to Re-Elect the President by telling them, “I’m a Republican,” which was a memorable line delivered by Robert Redford in the Academy Award winning film, All the President’s Men.

Woodward’s series of best-selling books on the Bush administration have become anembarrassment to him and his colleagues at the Post, where he is being openly ridiculed as a partisan apparatchik and hand-puppet for Bush and Cheney.

Hadley’s testimony clearly places him in serious jeopardy of imminent criminal indictment. Perhaps, more significantly, the Hadley gambit casts the probing spotlight of justice directly on his erstwhile boss, Condoleezza Rice for the first time. This move provides us with a clear picture of the internecine warfare that is breaking out behind the scenes in the Bush-Cheney White House, with Cheney thrusting his pawn forward for sacrifice in order to entrap Rice.

It must be noted that Condoleezza Rice played a major role in selling of the Iraq war by convincing a significant portion of the American public of the dangers represented by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Rice ballyhooed danger signals concocted to conjure up frightening images of Saddam’s non-existent nuclear program. Rice introduced the most alarmist language of all in her play for war.

Donning her gravest persona, Rice adopted the demeanor of Lady MacBeth to plead her case for war. Grimly, darkly, ominously, Rice as Lady MacBeth uttered the most chilling statement about the still undiscovered ‘smoking gun’ of Saddam’s WMD program, “But we do not want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,” a metaphor that cast a giant shadow of fear over the public attitude to Iraq in the build-up to the war.

Before the Hadley gambit, Dick Cheney was in the direct line of enquiry exposed by the indictment of his deputy, Scooter Libby. Now, the tables have been turned. Condoleezza Rice is now in the hot seat, and there is a ‘battle royale’ taking place in the shadows of the White House.

The overarching question concerning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s role in the criminal investigation now unfolding is simply, What did Rice know, and when did she know it?
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What did Rice know, and when did she know it?

After the stunning series of triggering events of the last fortnight, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced late last week that he would convene a new Grand Jury to hear additional evidence and, if he deems it appropriate, to issue new indictments. This is the first indication that the spinal transplant performed brilliantly by John Dean is beginning to sharpen the focus and strengthen the will power of both the Special Prosecutor and the nation he serves.
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Sources:

Rice passes McCain as GOP support soars
http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/57473.htm

The Vulcans Consolidate
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2004/0411hadley.php

An Open Letter To Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald From Former White House Counsel John W. Dean
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20051118.html

Security adviser named as source in CIA scandal
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1880016,00.html

Stephen J. Hadley
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1213

Administration Officials Involved In Plame Leak
http://www.thinkprogress.org/leak-scandal

Michael Carmichael
Chairman / The Planetary Movement
64 Kingston Road
Oxford OX2 6RJ
The United Kingdom
Telephone +44 1865 553195
Email mc@planetarymovement.org

The Planetary Movement
http://www.planetarymovement.org/

The Moving Planet
http://planetmove.blogspot.com/