April 10th, 2006

Chris Keeley

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMANCIPATION DAY

Emancipation Day Logo : Celebrate the Holiday

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMANCIPATION DAY

 

On January 4, 2005 , Mayor Anthony A. Williams signed into law Bill 15-827, the District of Columbia Emancipation Day Amendment Act of 2004. The bill established April 16 as a recognized legal public holiday in the District.

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in the District of Columbia and freed more than 3100 slaves. The act was passed nine months before President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 .  It was the first time that the government of the United States acted formally to abolish slavery and telegraphed the eventual end of slavery to the rest of the country.

 

For more information, visit www.emancipationday.dc.gov

 

Schedule of Activities for Emancipation Week Commemorative Celebration

Chris Keeley

excerpted from a lengthy screed which i'll spare you but the question's a good one

the writer concludes her screed asking:

/Is a President, on the eve of his reelection campaign, legally entitled
to ward off political embarrassment and conceal past failures in the
exercise of his office by unilaterally and informally declassifying
selected -- as well as false and misleading -- portions of a classified
National Intelligence Estimate that he has previously refused to
declassify, in order to cause such information to be secretly disclosed
under false pretenses in the name of a "former Hill staffer" to a single
reporter, intending that reporter to publish such false and misleading
information in a prominent national newspaper?/
Chris Keeley

Bush has been linked to the leaking of classified information and raises new questions if Bush was d

Bush Accused Of OKing Leak of Classified Info
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff has testified that President Bush authorized him to leak a highly classified intelligence document on Iraq to the press in an effort to defend the administration's decision to go to war. This marks the first time Bush has been linked to the leaking of classified information and raises new questions if Bush was directly tied to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's grand jury testimony was cited in court papers filed by prosecutors late Wednesday. Libby was indicted in October on charges that he lied to investigators about his role in the outing of Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who was a vocal critic of the war. On Sept. 30, 2003, President Bush warned against anyone in his administration leaking classified information. "Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington," Bush said. "There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is." On Capitol Hill, Bush was widely criticized by Democrats on Thursday. This is Senator Charles Schumer of New York. "It is increasingly clear that this case goes far beyond Scooter Libby. At the very least, President Bush and Vice President Cheney should fully inform the American people of any role they played in allowing classified information to be leaked," said Schumer. "Did they believe they have the right to do this and if so, in what circumstances? Or is this just something that may have been done to accommodate the president's momentary political needs? According to court documents today, Scooter Libby said that the president authorized the vice president to direct him to disclose classified information to reporters in order to bolster support for the war in Iraq."
Chris Keeley

July 8, 2003 conversation between Libby and then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller. The filing

Libby Says Bush Authorized Leaks of Highly Classified Iraq Intel to Bolster Case for War
Friday, April 7th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/07/144207
Lewis "Scooter" Libby - the Vice President's former chief of staff - has testified that President Bush authorized him to leak details of a highly classified intelligence assessment to the press to defend the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq, according to court papers filed Wednesday. We speak with investigative journalist Murray Waas. [includes rush transcript]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lewis "Scooter" Libby - the Vice President's former chief of staff - has testified that President Bush authorized him to leak details of a highly classified intelligence assessment to the press to defend the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq.
The news has created a firestorm in Washington. Throughout his presidency, Bush has often denounced leaks from his administration and vowed to punish the leakers. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressmember Jane Harman of California said, "If the disclosure is true, it's breathtaking. The president is revealed as the leaker-in-chief."

Libby's grand jury testimony was cited in court papers filed by prosecutors late Wednesday. Libby was indicted in October on charges that he lied to investigators about his role in the outing of former CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

In July 2003, Wilson published an OpEd in the New York Times questioning the accuracy of Bush's claim that Iraq had sought nuclear materials from Niger. According to Libby's testimony, Vice President Dick Cheney told Libby to divulge to the media portions of a National Intelligence Estimate regarding Saddam Hussein's alleged efforts to develop nuclear weapons to contradict Wilson's claims.

Libby says that he refused to do so because the NIE was classified. A little later on, Cheney told Libby that he had gone to Bush, and that Bush had specifically authorized leaking the information in the NIE. According to the court papers, Libby testified that such presidential authorization to disclose classified information was "unique in his recollection." Libby also testified that an administration lawyer told him that by authorizing the disclosure, Bush had in effect declassified the information.

That authorization led to a July 8, 2003 conversation between Libby and then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller. The filing said that Libby understood he was to tell Miller that a key judgment of the intelligence estimate was that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure" uranium. According to The New York Times, the CIA did not believe this finding, which came from the Defense Intelligence Agency and remains unproved to this day.

Prosecutors have alleged in the case against Libby that at that meeting he also gave information to Miller about the identity of Valerie Plame. But the court filing makes no allegation that President Bush or Dick Cheney authorized the disclosure of Plame's identity. However, the papers do place the president, for the first, time, directly in a chain of events that led to Plame's outing.


Murray Waas, veteran investigative journalist who writes for a number of publications. Among them, American Prospect magazine and Salon.com. He has broken a number of stories on the saga of the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. He maintains a blog at WhateverAlready.blogspot.com.
- Read Murray's article: Libby Says Bush Authorized LeaksCollapse )
Chris Keeley

Bush administration has drawn up plans to strike Iran's nuclear facilities

Report: Bush Administration Has Plans For Iran Nuke Strike
Speculation over the possibility of a US military attack on Iran is increasing amid reports the Bush administration has drawn up plans to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. In a major piece in the New Yorker, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh says there is a growing conviction in the defense and diplomatic community that the Bush administration's ultimate goal in the nuclear standoff with Iran is regime change. A high-ranking former defense official said the Bush administration's military plans are premised on the hope "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government." The official went on to say: "I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, 'What are they smoking?' "

US Exaggerating Zarqawi Role in PR Effort
The Washington Post is reporting the Pentagon is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of al-Qaeda figure Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. Some military intelligence officials believe the campaign may have exaggerated Zarqawi's importance and helped the Bush administration link the Iraq war with the September 11 attacks. The propaganda effort has also been reportedly used to build sentiment against non-US foreigners in Iraq. One military briefing was entitled: "Villainize Zarqawi/leverage xenophobia response." Another document lists "U.S. Home Audience" as a target audience for the campaign.

White House Defends Bush Intelligence Disclosure
The White House has publicly admitted President Bush authorized the disclosure of pre-war intelligence on Iraq. But White House spokesperson Scott McLellan said the disclosure wasn't illegal because information disclosed by the President is considered declassified. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, has testified that President Bush authorized him to leak a highly classified intelligence document on Iraq to the press in an effort to defend the administration's decision to go to war.

Specter: Bush "Owes" Public An Explanation
Critics said the administration's response has been inadequate. In an interview with Brit Hume of Fox News, Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said: "I think that it is necessary for the president and the vice president to tell the American people exactly what happened... I think too often we jump to conclusions before we know what all of the facts are, and I'm not about to condemn or criticize anybody, but I do say that there's been enough of a showing here with what's been filed of record in court that the president of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people."
Chris Keeley

Most strategic analysts think that a bombing campaign would be a disastrous mistake.

Yes He Would
By PAUL KRUGMAN
"But he wouldn't do that." That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for that war until after the 2004 election. Many people just didn't want to believe that an American president would deliberately mislead the nation on matters of war and peace.Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most

UP IN THE AIR
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Where is the Iraq war headed next?
Issue of 2005-12-05
Posted 2005-11-28

In recent weeks, there has been widespread speculation that President George W. Bush, confronted by diminishing approval ratings and dissent within his own party, will begin pulling American troops out of Iraq next year. The Administration’s best-case scenario is that the parliamentary election scheduled for December 15th will produce a coalition government that will join the Administration in calling for a withdrawal to begin in the spring. By then, the White House hopes, the new government will be capable of handling the insurgency. In a speech on November 19th, Bush repeated the latest Administration catchphrase: “As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.” He added, “When our commanders on the ground tell me that Iraqi forces can defend their freedom, our troops will come home with the honor they have earned.” One sign of the political pressure on the Administration to prepare for a withdrawal came last week, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Fox News that the current level of American troops would not have to be maintained “for very much longer,” because the Iraqis were getting better at fighting the insurgency.

Collapse )