Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Response to Bush Speech - The answer is impeachment, the time to do it is now by August Keso

George W. Bush's speech, according to ABC, required the administration's advanced team to "seed" applause in order to get the military crowd to react. It didn't get any better, for Bush from there. A CNN snap poll, which consisted of 50% Republicans, 25% Democrats and 25% Independent voters couldn't muster much more than a 45% approval. The population polled begs the question - umm, why would any supposed news organization conduct a poll so obviously skewed with 50% of respondents being Republican (they make up less than a third of the US population) and only 25% being Democrat when they make up at least a third of the voting population? Well, judging by CNN's follow-up to the speech -- interviewing Bush supporters only -- the reason becomes obvious. They are hoping to help Bush spin his Iraq unreality. Still, a member of the MSM working for Bush isn't the news here. The news is the lies told -- yet again -- by Bush.Bush invoked 911, 6 times according to CNN in a blatant and overt attempt at linking Iraq-Saddam to the terror attack against the United States. According to the 911 Commission's report, there was no nexus, no operational ties, no link between Saddam and al-Qaeda. There has never been any evidence linking Saddam to the 911 attacks. Sure, Dick "5 'Nam deferments" Cheney spun the, at the time, known lies of one of the 911 hijackers having met with a Saddam intelligence agent...but that was an absolute, outright lie. All any American need do in order to understand the gross nature of Bush's continued lies, is read the Downing Street Memos. British Intelligence made it clear they didn't believe Bush's Saddam WMD claims were true either.Frankly, it isn't even possible to keep track of the mountain of lies Bush has told the American people, so it won't be harped upon here. It is however, important the American people understand and realize Bush lied them into the Iraq War, and that he must be held to account for his past lies...and more importantly, for his blatant and continued insistence of a 911-Saddam link. There can be only one way, to properly deal with the likes of George W. Bush -- though it will pain CNN, to ever have to report it -- and that is to impeach him, for lying to the American people...lies that have cost the lives of thousands. The answer is impeachment, and the time to do it is now.

Copyright © 2005 Progressive Daily BeaconPlease contact editor@progressivedailybeacon.com with any questions or comments

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Chuck Jackson and Imhotep "Gary" Byrd host radio show that compares generational musical tastes.

by Claude Chaney

I listen to all types of music. My tastes are so varied that in my collection you can find anything from Oscar Brown Jr. and MJQ to The Beatles and Steely Dan. But my favorite music is classic rhythm and blues. This type of music is not as available as it once was. Hip Hop is the dominant musical form among today's youth, followed by "today's" R&B (which I find radically different from the classic form). I find most of what Hip Hop has to offer as repugnant. This is not to say that I hate all hip hop because some hip hop is also part of my varied collection. Being that I am a man who is about to become 55 years old. I have to accept the fact that musical tastes change. Every new generation has it's own musical expression and I accept the fact that to many of today's youth the music of Motown that I cherish so much is nothing more than a relic of an age gone by, but I don't have to accept the vulgarity of hip hop. I am a teacher who overheard one student tell another "That CD is awful man, the good stuff has to have the parent's avisory warning" When I heard that I realized that we have a problem anytime young adolescents feel that in order to enjoy "music" it has to have profanity and sex. I think about my younger days when I heard Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers say "I got knocked to the ground by all this "BS" goin' 'round" and Mary Davis of the S.O.S band wasn't talking about doing your homework when she said "Baby you can do it, take your time, do it right" So there was profanity and sex in the music of my generation too, but there is a big difference. You can take out the "BS" from the Isley's recording and it still would have become a hit because the one word of profanity was not the main message of the song. If you take the profanity out of today's hip hop, it loses it's attraction to the youthful hardcore fans. The same can be said of "Take Your Time Do It Right" You could have changed the lyrics so that they weren't sexual and the song still would have become a hit because of the dazzling musical arrangement. Today's hip hop degrades women and glorifies violence. New York's Hot 97 has been the seen of armed conflict between warring factions within the hip hop community and every time it happens station ratings rise. Chuck Jackson and Imhotep "Gary" Byrd made significant comparisons. The show does have call-in listener participation, but I couldn't get through. I would have asked Mr. Jackson about the Bruce Springsteen production of his composition, "Club Soul City" where Chuck Jackson is joined by another R&B icon Gary "US" Bonds. This is an absolutely stellar duet. I would have asked why wasn't this song released as a single. But after thinking about it I realize such a song would be very hard to get on the air. It was "new" it was not "Today's" R&B and there's no hint of profanity. I think Reverend Reynard Blake put it best when he said "Hopefully the hip-hop generation, black and brown youth, and their elders will realize the conspiracy to reduce revolutionary culture and great music to meaningless, mindless, cloned music, and rampant materialism. "

Monday, June 27, 2005

Pennacchio For Pennsylvania

Rick Santorum is the third highest ranking Republican in the senate. He has been very supportive of President Bush; he supports the war and he supports privatization of Social Security. I can never forget the rally of his supporters who yelled "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho Social
Security has to go". Like President Bush, Senator Santorum is out of touch with the average
American who opposes the war and wants Social Security to remain as is. Mr. Santorum is the
most vulnerable of all Republican candidates. On June 27, 2005, newly elected Pennsylvania Teachers Union President Ted Kirsch said of Senator Santorum "From wanting to dismantle the Social Security safety net to helping the wealthiest one-percent instead of helping those hurt most by the stagnant economy, Rick Santorum is working against the interests of Pennsylvania's families," Kirsch told delegates. "It is essential that Rick Santorum be voted out of office." Earlier this year Senator Santorum was criticized for accepting a $2000.oo donation from the chief executive of AccuWeather Inc., a prominent
provider of weather data just two days before he introduced a bill that critics say would severely limit the National Weather Service. In addition to this Santorum has used inflammatory language that was directed towards those who disagreed with him. On more than one occasion he accused Democrats of being Nazis. He has said that if we tolerate homosexuality then we will have sexual relations between men and dogs. These types of remarks are unquestionably in poor taste and unbecoming a United States Senator. It is for this reason I advise all Pennsylvania residents to NOT vote for Mr. Santorum. Recent polls show that Bob Casey has a substantial lead over Senator Santorum, Mr. Casey, like Mr. Santorum is a pro-life candidate who is more than willing to take away a woman's right to choose. At a time when the right wing conservative so called "Christians" with very deep pockets are positioning themselves to overturn Roe V. Wade the truly progressive Democratic voter in Pennsylvania has to be very careful about the choice he or she makes for Senator. Chuck Pennacchio is a 'true" Democrat with democratic values. He is against U.S intervention in Iraq. He also has the endorsement of MoveOn.org. I wish that I could vote for him, but I am not a Pennsylvania resident. What I can do though is through the internet encourage Pennsylvania residents to vote for him. I know there are those in the media who say that Casey has the Democratic vote locked up, but don't believe it, this just could be wishful thinking. Daily Kos/Epluribus did an extensive interview with Chuch Pennacchio. I would highly recommend it if you want to know where Chuck Pennacchio stands on the issues. Visit www.DailyKos.com, the article is entitled "Vote For Chuck P. and Concerns About His Campaign".

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Oscar Brown Jr., Rest In Peace

The Homecoming Memorial Service for musician/poet/activist Oscar Brown Jr. was held in Chicago at Christ Universal Temple on Friday, June . It is so unusual that I feel a tragic sense of loss as if he were a member of my own family yet I never met him during his lifetime. This is the same feeling I had when I learned of the tragic passings of John Lennon, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, but at least I can say that in Oscar's case he left the planet due to a natural death and God blessed us with his being for seventy-eight years. I feel honored that Oscar's son Napoleon David Brown sent me a copy of one of Oscar Brown Jr's later poems. This Beach by Oscar Brown, Jr.
And now I've landed on this beach
It takes sixty-five years to reach
As this generation of mine
Is ordered onto life's front line
The targets of a fusillade
That forces us to think of God

Reluctantly we storm this beach
Advancing to fill up the breach
Created by that fallen corps
Of elders who charged here before
While we enjoyed our middle age
Removed from the fire we now engage

A withering barrage rakes this beach
Its bullets bear the names of each
Of those who set foot on these sands
Old General Calendar now commands
Advancing to a sure defeat
Without the option of retreat

We knew before we hit this beach
The enemy that we besiege
Has ammunition for us all
Who as casualties must fall…
Not one will manage to survive
Nobody leaves this beach alive

For those arriving on this beach
There is no prayer to neither pray nor preach
To beg us off in any tongue
Since we have outlived dying young
And for surviving in exchange
Now face the fire at point blank range

The witness we bear on this beach
Has only one lesson to teach
That here the carnage never stops
As every day another drops
Some classmate, relative or friend
Whose attack comes to an abrupt end

So on into the breach my peers
Who knows how many weeks or years
Remain till you and I are hit
As we inch onward, bit by bit
We only know our lives will bleach
Eternally out on this beach
poems. This Beach by Oscar Brown Jr.
And now I've landed on this beach
It takes sixty-five years to reach
As this generation of mine
Is ordered onto life's front line
The targets of a fusillade
That forces us to think of God

Reluctantly we storm this beach
Advancing to fill up the breach
Created by that fallen corps
Of elders who charged here before
While we enjoyed our middle age
Removed from the fire we now engage

A withering barrage rakes this beach
Its bullets bear the names of each
Of those who set foot on these sands
Old General Calendar now commands
Advancing to a sure defeat
Without the option of retreat

We knew before we hit this beach
The enemy that we besiege
Has ammunition for us all
Who as casualties must fall…
Not one will manage to survive
Nobody leaves this beach alive

For those arriving on this beach
There is no prayer to neither pray nor preach
To beg us off in any tongue
Since we have outlived dying young
And for surviving in exchange
Now face the fire at point blank range

The witness we bear on this beach
Has only one lesson to teach
That here the carnage never stops
As every day another drops
Some classmate, relative or friend
Whose attack comes to an abrupt end

So on into the breach my peers
Who knows how many weeks or years
Remain till you and I are hit
As we inch onward, bit by bit
We only know our lives will bleach
Eternally out on this beach

The Fight To Save PBS & NPR Moves To The Senate

On June 23, 2005 the House of Representatives voted to restore 100 million dollars of funding for the Public Broadcasting Service and National Publid Radio. Republic leaders were rebuffed in their effort to slash 200 million dollars from these two public broadcast entities, so they did succeed in acheiving half of their goal. Now the battle shifts to the Senate. Because of the victory in the House of Representatives supporters of PBS and NPR are encouraged that funding for chidren's programs like Sesame Street and news programming could be fully restored if the public expresses its opposition to cuts in funding to Senators in the same manner that it did to house members. The current board of PBS in Republican laden. It's current president Fred Tomlinson is interfering with programming by installing a Republican National Committe operative to a major executive position. Now is the time to call your Senators and demand quality children's programming and unbiased news reporting prevail at PBS and NPR. Contact your Senator at: www.senate.gov.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The War Within The War: Democrats vs. Republicans

"Progressive" Democrats and Republicans are becoming more confrontational. Sen. Kennedy of Massachusetts was very blunt when he chided Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by saying "In baseball it's three strikes and you're out....what is it with the defense secretary?" to which Rumsfeld responded "I have submitted my resignation three times but the President wouldn't accept it." Senator Kennedy appeared to be insensed with the defense secretary, who at times appeared to be at a loss for words. Tempers also flared when members of both parties met to decide the fate of troubled United Airlines. Sen. Putnam(R-Fla) presided over a voice vote to decide if a measure to bail out the troubled United Airlines be rejected. Putnam ,after hearing the "Yea" and "Nay" votes decided that there were more "Nay" votes but the event had media coverage which showed that there were obviously more "Yea" votes. This incident has enraged Democrats all over the country. Karl Rove made another one of his famous "Liberals Comfort The Enemy" speeches when referring to 9/11. Rove said Conservatives reacted by taking action while Liberals just encouraged the enemy. Senators Clinton and Shumer, representatives of the state where this incident that took more than 3,000 lives were so angry at Rove that they immediately demanded an apology. These are just a few of recent clashes between Democrats and Republicans, but the administration is also starting to feel the heat from Republicans too. Lindsay Graham(R-SC) who said that he represents a Pro-Bush, Pro-Military state said that his constituants are beginning to question the reasoning for this war. Because of the outrageous statements made by Republicans lately, like Rep. Hotstetler's "Democrats Hate Christians" many Democrats were perplexed by Senator Durbin's(D-Ill) apology for telling the truth about the Iraq war. There may have been limited reports about the Democrat blacklash that surrounded Durbin on mainstream media, but on the internet it was a totally different story with an endless stream of criticism for Durbin for making an unjustified apology when Democrats are not getting deserved apologies from Republicans. As a result I do believe that Democrats will be much more careful with their words in the coming weeks, especially when it comes to making apologies.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Tell Your Elected Officials To Vote "NO" on CAFTA

The Working Families e-Network of The AFL-CIO has put forth ten good reasons to oppose CAFTA. They also encourage you to let your congressperson and/or Senator know that you oppose CAFTA and that you vote. CAFTA represents a small part of the global plan to strenghten big business at the expense of the common man and woman. I urge all people who are reading this article to sign the working families petition at www. peoplepower@aflcio.org.The ten reasons show us things most of us are not aware of and wouldn't be seen in main stream media publications. 1. CAFTA would give new protections to U.S. multinational companies for operating outside the country, creating new incentives for them to export jobs.
2. At the same time, CAFTA would reduce protections for workers--here and in Central America.
3. That one-two punch combines to make goods produced in other countries cheaper and less risky for the makers--and to make it impossible for U.S. manufacturers to compete.
4. When we can't compete with foreign goods, we import more and our trade deficit soars. It happened with NAFTA. Our trade deficit with NAFTA countries is 12 times bigger than before NAFTA--it shot up from $9 billion in 1993 to $111 billion last year.
5. When imports and our trade deficit grow, we lose U.S. jobs. We lost an estimated 900,000 net jobs to NAFTA.
6. CAFTA proponents are making the same claims made by NAFTA's backers--and those claims were grossly exaggerated and have been proved wrong again and again.
7. CAFTA would hurt, not help, Central American and Dominican workers. NAFTA's legacy included displaced Mexican subsistence farmers who were turned into unemployed masses, far outnumbering the few jobs NAFTA created. Overall, real wages for Mexican workers actually have fallen since NAFTA.
8. CAFTA would hurt workers who don't lose jobs, too. It would make it easier for employers to fight workers struggling to form unions by threatening to close down. NAFTA did: By the late 1990s, employers threatened to shut down if workers formed a union in 51 percent of union representation election campaigns--and 71 percent in manufacturing--compared with 29 percent in the mid-1980s.
9. In addition--increased trade lowers wages for low-skilled U.S. workers. Real wages for most U.S. men actually have fallen since NAFTA.
10. U.S. workers already are hurting from anti-worker trade policies. Now is the time to do trade the right way--by rewarding work and respecting workers here and in other countries.
The time has come to stop CAFTA and protect workers here and in Central America

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My Response To Gar

I am glad that we are able to agree on most of what I have written, so now I will mention those items that we may not agree. First of all "Rent-A-Center" is not the only parasitic business in the country. You mentioned two or three others. You seem to be criticizing me for not mentioning all of them......is that realistic? How can you expect me to mention all of them when you didn't do it yourself? I specifically mentioned "Rent-A-Center" because it is doing business in minority areas. You will not find a "Rent-A-Center" in Scarsdale, New York or Alpine, New Jersey. You will find them in poor black and Hispanic communities. The majority of the victims of such morally corrupt enterprises are black. There are hundreds of thousands of black people who are unaware of the predatory nature of this particular business and I want to inform them. That was the purpose of that post. Now you are correct when you say that this business would rob anyone they could regardless of color, but most of "Rent-A-Centers" victims are black. As for your saying that it is "evident" that I am a racist.....have you read the other posts that I have put on this site......."Howard Dean and Harry Reid deserve our support for speaking truth to power", "Senator Frank Lautenberg Opposes Efforts To Privatize Social Security", "Lynne Stewart Conviction: A Travesty of Justice" Do these titles sound like articles written by a black racist?????? Experience has shown me that "many" whites show anger, fear and distrust of black men who are outspoken and true to their convictions. I hope that you are not one of them, but in case you are, so be it. I am going to continue to say what I feel. I am a strong believer in building coalitions. At this time we have a callous administration who embraces people of all races......as long as they have a lot of money. The rest of us are suffering and we all must work together to remove this lying tyrant from office. George W. Bush has a strong ally within the Democratic Party called the DLC(or Democratic Leadership Committee). My site's purpose is to educate, agitate and encourage people of all races, creeds and colors to diminish the influence of the DLC and ultimately remove the right-wing Republicans from the White House. If these goals are to be met they must be done collectively. If there were an election in which the two candidates were Tim Wise (white) and Clarence Thomas(black). I would enthusiastically endorse Mr. Wise because he is a man who knows the root causes of white racism and has a general idea of how to combat it. I encourage all people to support his organization A.W.A.R.E. Mr. Thomas is one who only protects the interests of those who support the status quo, being the only Supreme Court member who didn't want to spare the life of Mr. Miller-El, a black man who did not get a fair trial in Texas. I hope that this has clarifed some of your misconceptions.

A Comment From "Gar"

Someone named "Gar" responded to my recent post "Two Outrageous Apologies" I feel that what Gar said was significant and I would like to share it with all those who frequent this site as well as those who may have accidentally stumbled across it. Unfortunately Gar didn't leave his/her e-mail address so I will be writing a public response which shares Gar's and my point of view with the public. This is what Gar had to say on June 22, 2005 " Overall, I agree with you - of course, that means there are some things in your post that I don't agree with. I agree that most of your numbers are probably correct. I'm not sure about the third grade test scores in New York being related to the planning of future prisons but I'm not disputing it. In this crazy world, it certainly sounds plausible.The part that I can't swallow is your evident bigotry. It is not just African-Americans that get sucked dry by "Rent-A-Centers." (And what about the "Loan-Until-Payday" stores and the "Quick-Tax-Rebate" places? You didn't mention them.)All these "businesses" are nothing more than legalized loan-sharks. Further, like real sharks, they don't care what color the outside of the meat is. All they are interested in is sucking the blood out of the victum and chewing on the bones - whatever their race. This also applies to most politicians.Yes, I know that Afro-Americans came to this country unwillingly as slaves and their history of persecution didn't end with being "set free" in 1865. But that was then and this is now.Now, like it or not, we are all on this ship together. This ship may well be the Titanic but as far as I can see, there are no lifeboats. If we continue to let the people in First Class dissipate our energy by fighting each other because my skin is one color and the guy next to me has skin of another color than they are going to stay in First Class and we are going to stay down here in steerage.That is, if they let us stay on the ship at all, because when this baby hits an iceberg, who do you think is going to be thrown overboard first? The way things are now, it damn sure won't be them. Even if everyone drew straws you know as well as I that the drawing would be rigged.So, I guess, what I'm saying here is what Rodney King said so many years ago, "Can't we all just get along?" As long as they keep us divided by labels of Blacks, Latinos, Whites, etc. than our power will be divided too and they know it. But if we come together as just a bunch of human beings who want a better life for ourselves and a chance for our children than we have an opportunity to take over this ship, and just maybe, steer away from that iceberg. If we don't, that water is going to get mighty cold.

Why Is Senator Durbin apologizing?

It amazes me how some Democrats are so polite and so tolerant of Republican verbal abuse and distortion of fact. Why does Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin feel the need to apologize for telling the truth. The detention facilities of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib ARE like gulags or
Nazi concentration camps. We know that because of the horror stories OUR soldiers have told
once they return to our shores. The US public did not find out about the horrors of Abu Ghraib due to the investigative zeal of the US media. We found out about it due to the photographs that were taken by OUR soldiers and sent to their friends and families. If it has four legs, a tail,
barks and looks like a dog ....then it's a dog. Why on earth should Sen. Durbin apologize for telling the truth? ..when there are Republicans who advocate killing federal judges. Yet there are no demands from Democrats to have these Republicans apologize.
The entire country is waiting for Vice President Richard Cheney to apologize to Senator Patrick Leahy for telling him "F--k You". I don't see anyone in the press talking about that. At no time did Howard Dean, Dick Durbin, Harry Reid or any other Democrat accused of offending Republican sensibilities ever resort to using profanity. We have a media in this country that serves as a rubber stamp for this administration. But fortunately there are some people in this country that don't believe everything they see in print and when they come across something they feel is suspicious they will let the newspaper and the reporter know about it. That is why the New York Times received so many letters about the reports on Iraq coming from Judith Miller, who now finds herself in trouble with the law. We have to acknowledge the existence of media favortism towards Republicans. Just look at how the media covered the Gary Condit and Joe Scarborough cases. Both men had young female employees mysteriously die while in their employ, but the Democrat Condit was front page news practically every day. This eventually led to his removal from office. The case of Republican Joe Scarborough was totally different. Even though the dead body was found in his office Scarborough was never even questioned by police. I have never seen anything in the press about Republicans who want to distance themselves from other Republicans who have made disparaging remarks about Democrats, so why do we continue to hear about apologetic Democrats who are "giving comfort" to Republicans? If anyone should be apologizing it should be the right wing faction of the Republican party. They should apologize to the American people for ruining our image in the world and they should also apologize for the lie that cost 1700 US servicemen and women.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Two Outrageous Apologies

The first of the last week's two outrageous apologies was made by eighty US senators who apologized for deliberately ignoring the lynching of African-Americans. Twenty US senators did not endorse the apology. I don't know if it was because they saw nothing wrong with lynching or because they felt the whole idea was ridiculous. I tend to believe the former. I emphatically reject this apology because it is apparent that African-Americans are being lynched today. It's just done in a different manner. When you victimize an entire community with predatory lending that is another form of lynching. There are quite a few senators who enthusiastically support such parasites like "Rent-A-Center". When we have a tremendous growth of incidents of racial profiling against African, Hispanic & Arab Americans that is a form of lynching, when one takes into account the number of deaths nationwide that come as a result of an unanticipated traffic stop. Los Angeles, Cincinnati and New York have the most celebrated cases, but it is a nationwide phenomenon. Black people make up 13% of the regular drug using population but they also represent 35% of drug-possession arrests and 55% of convictions. It should be obvious to these apologetic senators that black people are being targeted for the ever thriving prison industry. In New York City third grade reading scores in predominantly black areas are used to determine the number of prisons that will be built. Blacks are twelve per cent of the population yet make up 50% of the national prison population. This is a form of lynching, do you senators apologize for that too? Recent studies have shown that congress has a lower approval rating than the president, only 33% of the American people approve of the job that they are doing compared to 48% for the president. This "do nothing" congress willingly gave up it exclusive privilege to declare war, giving this previously unchallenged right has led to the U.S.
being dragged into a quaqmire that has costs The United States over 1700 lives in an unjust, illegal war that drains funds from social services. This is a form of lynching.
When you take away the ability of the average man to declare bankruptcy, this is a form of lynching that kills blacks economically. Yet at the same time allow huge corporations to declare bankruptcy, it is just unfair. Many of our senators and congresspersons are in the pockets of big business. How else can you explain the dismantling of the "estate" tax?, which did provide substantial income for our nation. I feel disdain for this congress and its callous disregard for the well being of minorities and the poor. I feel this disgust for the senate and the house of representatives as a whole. There are individuals like John Conyers, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney and Teddy Kennedy who continue to fight the good fight to protect the average American from the greedy self-centered right. One such individual is Rep. Maxine Waters who said "George Bush is a LIAR. Richard Cheney is a LIAR and a THEIF. How else can you explain those no bid contracts for Halliburton?" There are good people in the house and in the senate but they are outnumbered by those who are the puppets for big business and the guardians of segregation that continue to lynch black people in different ways.
The other outrageous apology of last week was made by one of the major chickenhawks, the one and only Paul Wolfowitz. Mr. Wolfowitz apologized to Uganda's president for the genocide that the western industrialized nations in general, and the United States in particular ignored. After the murder of six million innocent people in Hitler's Germany the phrase "Never
Again" became quite popular, but somehow it was forgotten when it came to Uganda. If Mr. Wolfowitz is sorry about anything it is most likely that these western industrialized countries in
general and The United States in particular have been taken to task by the world for their action or should I say "inaction". We have genocide going on right now in Darfur, Sudan. Tens of thousands of people have been killed. What does the Bush administration do? It gives weapons to those who are committing the genocide, which gives us a really good sense of where the United States stands when it comes to genocide. When people of African descent are the victims it really doesn't matter.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Mainstream Media Finally Covers Downing Street Memo

Mostly because of the notoriety of the basement meeting of congressional Democrats the mainstream media finally covers the Downing Street Memo. Democrats were huddled in a packed basement room on Thursday, June 16th because Rep. Sensenbrenner and the Republicans refused to give Rep. Conyers and progressive democrats an open forum. At first the only examples of mainstream press coverage came from newspapers like The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and to a lesser degree the Washington Post. On the morning of Friday, June 17th I was surprised to see that it was mentioned on ABC News, but of course it was immediately followed by a statement from White House spokesman McClelland, who basically brushed it off as no big deal when he said it was just Democrats rehashing an issue that was resolved a long time ago. This has to be considered a triumph because so many people have been writing to major media requesting coverage only to be rebuffed or ignored. Now I see that most major news organizations are at least mentioning the Downing Street memo.
Rep. John Conyers is going to present a petition to President Bush with the names of over 500.000 names requesting further investigation of the Downing Street Minutes. The featured speakers at basement meeting included John C.
Bonifaz, the driving force behind the website www.AfterDowningStreet.org, (which has had extremely high traffic over the past two weeks), Cindy Sheehan,
a parent who lost her son in Iraq, Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, whose wife was a CIA agent, exposed in a Robert Novak article and Robert McGovern, former CIA analyst. All four guests gave passionate testimony as to why President Bush has some explaning to do to the American public about his reasons for insisting on this illegal, unpopular war. Former Ambassador Wilson stated that when he informed the President that there was no evidence that Yellowcake Uranium was sought by Saddam Huessein in Niger he was ignored.
John Bonifaz emphasized the date of the memo (2002) is prior to the actual invasion of Iraq and shows that the invasion was unprovoked and premeditated. Mr. McGovern stated that many within the CIA were intimidated and eventually forced to quit if they did not support the administration point of view. McGovern also stated that as a result very experienced highly qualified individuals were replaced by administration "yes men". Rep. Zoe Lofgren was blunt. She referred to the entire incident as a
"cover-up" that represents an impeachable offense. Rep. Maxine Waters announced the creation of the "Out Of The War Caucus" which includes Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee, Bobby Scott and John Conyers among many others.
There is a memorable Confucious quote that says "The thousand mile journey begins with just a single step" The Democrats at that particular hearing have made that significant first step towards the impeachment of George W. Bush.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

What Is George W. Bush's relationship to Black America?

George W. Bush's plan to change black leadership seems to have suffered a setback. Mr. Bush's plan was to increase the number of African-Americans in the Republican party. No ethnic group in the United States is more anti-Bush than the African American community. Mr. Bush did make inroads into the black community by a little more than two percent. Mr Bush did this by emphasizing the availability of faith based programs that would benefit blacks. Republican operatives also pointed out the general distaste for homosexuality that the majority of African-Americans feel. He spoke as if this were the major issue. Pastor Rivers lambasted Bush for his lack of support for genuine African aid. Mr Rivers said: "If we can give a $140bn tax cut to the richest of the rich, who are not infrequently white, we can give $25bn (£13bn) to the poorest of the poor, who are not infrequently black." The US level of official aid is less than 0.2 per cent of GDP compared to the United Nations target of 0.7 per cent. Listen to the BC Radio Commentary on the current relationship between George W. Bush and the African-American community at www.blackcommentator.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Welcome To New York, Danny Graves

Danny Graves was once a premier member of the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff. This year he did not get off to a good start as his earned run average ballooned to over 7.00 when he had a less than flattering outing against the cross state rival Cleveland Indians. The Reds management didn't release Graves at that time though, they waited until an ugly race baiting incident occurred during a ballgame. Danny's father is a caucasian American and his mother is Vietnamese. A fan yelled an offensive racial ephitet at Danny which management thought he should have ignored. That particular day Danny would have no part of it so he gave the rude bigot some choice words of his own. The Reds management however, felt that even though Graves did not initiate this incident, he should have exercised better self control. So, as a result Danny Graves was released by the Cincinnati Reds. It seems to me that his big crime was that he offended a racist who initially verbally attacked him. Fortunately for Danny, The New York Mets picked up his contract. As a Met fan I am very pleased with this move and I believe Danny has the potential to make the Met starting rotation. Danny has a friend on the Mets, former Red teammate Mike Cameron, who knows first hand about the racism of some Cincinnati Red fans.
When he played for the Reds he was frequently referred to as "the N word"
This seems strange since Cincinnati's marquee player is Ken Griffey Jr., an
African American. But Cincinnati has a history of racial incidents I really should not be surprised. Several African-Americans have been brutalized, even
murdered while in white police custody. Former owner Marge Schott is infamous for her blatantly racist remarks. This is the owner that would not provide emergency transportation for Eric Davis, when Reds star was deathly ill and in need of medical attention. This is not to say that The New York Mets did not have their problems with racism. I will never forget the way that Cleon Jones, a player with a 340 season batting average was unceremoniously dumped by the Mets allegedly because of an extra-marital interracial affair. This was in the M. Donald Grant era when John Milner was the only black face you would see in the starting lineup and Felix Millan was the only Hispanic. Today's Met leadership is much more enlightened with Omar Minaya as general manager and Willie Randolph as field manager. Mr. Fred Wilpon is the type of owner who wants to win and it doesn't matter the race of the individual as long as he or she can do the job. New York, under the Giuliani administration was the prime example of racial profiling when Amadou Diallo
was shot at 41 times by members of a special unit that bragged "We Own The Night"
For Graves though, it will be a new atmosphere and a new start. I wish him well.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Bush Administration.....True Champions of Hypocrisy

Just when you think the Bush Administration has reached the absolute depth of hyprocrisy it surprises you by going even lower.....case in point: terrorism. The government of Venezuela demanded that The United States return terrorist Luis Posada Carriles accused of downing a Cuban commercial flight in Venezuelan air space. Today the United States told Venezuela it would not return Mr. Posada under any circumstances. This is a man who not only is accused of murdering at least 77 passengers on that flight, but he is also accused of attempting to sabotage the successful Cuban tourist industry by planting a bomb in a hotel that killed an Italian tourist visiting Cuba. Yes, George W. Bush is making the world safe from terrorism, but naturally he assumes that there and good terrorists and bad terrorists. When you terrorize people in Cuba and/or Venezuela in George W. Bush's eyes that is ok. I wonder is this going to be discussed in one of his ever so infrequent press conferences? Does anyone have the guts to confront this obvious double standard?
But wait a minute, that is not all......there's more. Our ever so distinguished vice president, the oh so honorable Richard "Dick" Cheney also made his contribution to blatant hypocrisy. As many people already know Howard Dean described Republicans as a group of white Christians (This happens to be the truth, 99%) who are out of touch with the average U.S. citizen. He also said that many Republicans really don't work to earn a living. Mr. Cheney along with some prominent "let's shoot ourselves in the foot" democrats were angry at Mr. Dean because of these two caustic statements. Mr. Cheney went on to make comments like "Mr. Dean is over the top" and "Mr. Dean is the type of person that only a mother could love" Apparently Mr. Cheney has forgotten that he told Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont "Go intercourse yourself" of course our ever so distinguished vice president used a vulgar four letter word in place of "intercourse" I am not aware of any statements of outrage by the "Let's shoot ourselves in the foot" Democrats, although I am sure there must have been some. When Mr. Dean was speaking about Republicans he never used any profanity. Those who interviewed Mr. Cheney after his statement did nothing but toss him softball questions, one of which was "How did you feel after making such a statement?" to which Mr. Cheney responded "I felt much better" Does anyone detect a double standard here, or is it just me?

Mainstream Media Loses It's #1 Diversion....The Michael Jackson Trial.

Until today this site never reported anything about the Michael Jackson trial because I always thought that it was an intentional diversion, but now that the trial is over and Jackson has been acquitted of all TEN counts of child molestation maybe the mainstream media will start giving us real news. With the unusually high numbers of witnesses for the prosecution the trial itself must be considered a witch hunt. Yes, Michael may be a little naive and very careless to not see the danger of having pre-teenage males in your bed but that does not make him a predator of innocent youth. The press deliberately set out to destroy him. We saw his name and picture on countless supermarket tabloids. Many times they would refer to him as "JACKO" or "WACKO JACKO" I had to stop and think of another rock legend (who I also think is innocent) who is also accused of perversions involving youth. Somehow The New York Post doesn't have a derogatory name for this rock legend and there are very few articles about his ordeal. I ask myself why, could it be because he is not black? Of course I am refering to the great Pete Townsend of The Who. The MSM gave us a steady diet of Michael Jackson to divert our attention from the Iraq war and now the MSM has an even greater challenge because now there are two allegations of deception via the Downing Street Memo that unquestionably show that George W. Bush lied and pillaged a country for its natural resource....oil. There will be those who say that Michael Jackson like Robert Blake and O.J. Simpson got off because of his celebrity. I disagree with that point of view because I am certain that if that jury saw the slightest instance of deviant behavior involving a minor Jackson, would pay big. Now that he has been cleared I hope that he has learned from his mistakes and that finally the MSM will as he himself said in one of his songs "Leave Me Alone"

Sunday, June 12, 2005

John Cory's Article Is On Point

John Cory has written an excellent piece for Perspective. He is very critical of those Democrats who are critical of Howard Dean's assessment of the Bush administration in particular and Republicans in general. Mr. Cory has considerable disgust for those apologist Democrats and reminds them that there are other issues that should have more importance than how Mr. Dean may have offended some Republicans. He made a list of eight priorities Democrats collectively should have. He addresses the apologist Democrats in this manner "If you Democratic leaders want to get upset about something, here's part of my list:
1.Lack of health care in this country.
2.Trampling of civil rights and privacy in the name of phony patriotism.
3.Religious hate discrimination against gays sanctioned as legislation.
4.Corporations ruining the environment and defiling worker's rights.
5.In a culture of life - why does more money go to improving bombs than improving schools?
6.How can a president lie to Congress about war and get away with it?
7.Church and State do not belong together. Ever.
8.Why do I need to remind you of any of this?
I don't give a crap whether or not you like Howard Dean. It's about damned time the Democratic Party quit sucking up to corporations and Republicans and began sticking up for the people! You remember, we the people? Of the people, by the people, and for the people? It is there somewhere in a government document, as I recall. Make a Freedom of Information request and maybe one of your new conservative judges will let you look at it under the glass where they keep it. " Reading Mr. Cory's list made me think of one of my own. We have practically the same outlook, even though there are some omissions on his list that are found on mine and vice versa. Here are my top eight issues Democrats should be concerned with: 1) What are you doing with regard to fair elections in 2006 and 2008? (When are you going to admit that the last TWO presidential elections were fraudulent? 2) The Downing Street Memo proves once and for all that Bush was lying. When will we see some movement on impeachment? 3) 25 people were murdered by an illegal, unelected government in Haiti. How long do you intend to act as if it never happened? 4) A Philadelphia court has just decided not to hear any further testimony in the murder trial of Mumia Abu Jamal when someone is willing to testify that he is the one who committed the crime, not Abu Jamal. Why aren't you challenging a media who is primarily telling us about the Michael Jackson case and the runaway bride? 5) If you can get so bent out of shape about "true" comments made by the Democratic leader why don't you have anything to say about the improper conduct of Wisconsin's Sensenbrenner who in committee denied giving DEMOCRATS a chance to speak on the issue of the Patriot Act? 6) Lack of Health Care in this country. Why is the US still the only industrialized nation that doesn't have a comprehensive health care plan for all of its citizens? 7) Corporations are ruining the environment and difiling workers rights. 8) Why do you have to be reminded of these issues that effect the masses of American people? When will we hear some answers on RELEVANT issues? Democrats should be leading the way. DLC Democrats come in loud and clear when it comes to the IRRELEVANT.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Howard Dean and Harry Reid Deserve Our Support For Speaking TRUTH to POWER

During the era of the George W. Bush presidency I have been very critical of Democrats who have made it possible for Bush's tax cuts for the rich, the estate tax and the environmental destruction projects to become law. Members of the DLC have become Bush allies on a variety of issues. Joe Lieberman is frequenty seen on television pushing for peace with the Republicans while criticizing progressive democrats. This is an outrage. Last week Howard Dean was criticized for speaking the truth about Republicans. He said most of them really don't work for a living. I happen to think that he is correct. These people have inherited most of the wealth that they have. They don't do physical work. They have it done for them. Of course there are exceptions, but there are exceptions to everything. Howard Dean spoke the truth. It was outrageous how CNN's Wolf Blitzer became so indignant about Dean's assessment of Republicans. For the most part these greedy politicians are ruining the country. They get us into a war that we now know without a doubt was contrived and their sons and daughters don't fight in it. They are trying to steal our hard earned pensions and Social Security. This has become a nation for the rich and by the rich with absolutely no concerns for the elderly, the poor and the future generations who are going to have to pay for Republican tax cuts and war. Like Howard Dean, Harry Reid is also to be commended for telling the truth and showing backbone. Even though it is nowhere near what it could or should be, Mr. Reid is standing up to the president and the Republicans when he said "If you don't give us what we ask for Mr. Bolton will NOT be the UN representative" Mr. Reid and Mr. Dean deserve our support. If they are a little too enthusiastic about their convictions so be it. If we had seen this type of behavior earlier maybe we would not be in the situation we find ourselves in today.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Bolivia......Another Underreported Story

The number of news items not reported or underreported in the mainstream media is just too numerous to mention. We have the Coingate scandal in Ohio in which someone has to account for a misguided investment into a coin scheme to the tune of 215 million. We have the Gannon/Guckert affair in which a man who has improper authorization is able to penetrate the presidential press corps to toss softball questions to W. We also have the mother of all underreported stories thusfar, the Downing Street Memo, the smoking gun that proves that George W. Bush as early in 2002 discussed with British PM Tony Blair his intentions to invade Iraq without provocation. This article doesn't deal with any of these crucial events that have somehow eluded the average US citizen. Bolivia, the poorest country of South America won a
crucial battle over a giant multi-national Bechtel, which wanted the people of Cochabamba to pay for water they have used for centuries absolutely free. Facing the wrath a humble yet politically aware populace Bechtel decided it would be in their best interest to back down.
At a time when CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), like it's big brother
NAFTA(North American Free Trade Agreement) an agreement that benefits the multi-nationals while taking jobs away from US citizens while hurting flegdling businesses in Mexico and other south of the border nations is about to become a reality Bolivia again causes a headache for the neo-colonial capitalist dominators. Bolivia just happens to have the world's second largest quantity of natural gas. The tiny Bolivian elite of Santa Cruz wants this natural resource to be theirs, not the property of a western multi-national, while the masses still remember the attempted theft of their water. The two groups united have run U.S. backed Bolivian President Carlos Mesa out of the country. 85,000 angry people descended upon the capital, overwhelming the police, demanding the immediate exit of someone who they considered to be a puppet of the IMF, World Bank and the US multinationals. With the Bush administration bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan the manpower is just not available to control a developing South American nation. Do multinational giants like Bechtel really help the average American when they engage in obviously unethical behavior in the name of profit? In 1973 a US multinational decided they wanted Chile's copper when then elected President Salvador Allende Gossens wanted to nationalize it. The Nixon Administration aided brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet to massacre tens of thousands of Chileans who supported Allende. This was all done in our name. MBNA among other banks fought very hard to take away the right of the common man to declare bankruptcy, yet if MBNA itself went bankrupt we, the US taxpayers would be forced to bail them out. One of the last things that the late US Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower told us was to beware of the corporate media. It is time to make these oil companies and other US world-wide entities responsible for their unethical conduct. I don't see anything wrong with trying to make an honest dollar, but its something completely different when you are trying to make a profit when it involves unethical behavior like outright murder, intimidation and extortion. The accusations against Coca-Cola in Colombia are frightening. Of course Coca-Cola deserves its day in court. The company among other things has been accused of playing a principal role in the killing of teachers, union leaders and activists who oppose the current administration. The current mainstream media does not mention the crimes of the multinationals, most likely because the companies that are accused of the most heinous crimes happen to be among the newspapers' greatest advertisers. George Bush is attempting to convince the American Public that anyone who sues a landlord or a paint company when a child is diagnosed with lead poisoning is a frivolous lawsuit. We are seeing a marked increase in aggressive behavior by US multinationals, elected officials and the press deliberately look the other way. Bolivia represents a growing awareness among the disenfranchised when 85,000 people collectively say "We're not going to take it anymore" Their plight may not be reported by CNN, Fox or NBC but there is an entire other world of broadcasting out there. Hugo Chavez is about to compete with Cisneros, offering a new South American cable network Telesur. Al Jezeera is also expanding to the west. It is going to become harder to fool people around the world. Bolivia may be just the beginning.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Go To www.johnconyers.com to sign this letter to George W. Bush

The Honorable George W. Bush,President of the United States of America1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20005
Dear Mr. President:
We the undersigned write because of our concern regarding recent disclosures of a Downing Street Memo in the London Times, comprising the minutes of a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers. These minutes indicate that the United States and Great Britain agreed, by the summer of 2002, to attack Iraq, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action, and that U.S. officials were deliberately manipulating intelligence to justify the war.
Among other things, the British government document quotes a high-ranking British official as stating that by July, 2002, Bush had made up his mind to take military action. Yet, a month later, you stated you were still willing to "look at all options" and that there was "no timetable" for war. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, flatly stated that "[t]he president has made no such determination that we should go to war with Iraq."
In addition, the origins of the false contention that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction remain a serious and lingering question about the lead up to the war. There is an ongoing debate about whether this was the result of a "massive intelligence failure," in other words a mistake, or the result of intentional and deliberate manipulation of intelligence to justify the case for war. The memo appears to resolve that debate as well, quoting the head of British intelligence as indicating that in the United States "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
As a result of these concerns, we would ask that you respond to the following questions: 1)Do you or anyone in your administration dispute the accuracy of the leaked document? 2) Were arrangements being made, including the recruitment of allies, before you sought Congressional authorization to go to war? Did you or anyone in your Administration obtain Britain's commitment to invade prior to this time?3) Was there an effort to create an ultimatum about weapons inspectors in order to help with the justification for the war as the minutes indicate?4) At what point in time did you and Prime Minister Blair first agree it was necessary to invade Iraq?5) Was there a coordinated effort with the U.S. intelligence community and/or British officials to "fix" the intelligence and facts around the policy as the leaked document states?
These are the same questions 89 Members of Congress, led by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., submitted to you on May 5, 2005. As citizens and taxpayers, we believe it is imperative that our people be able to trust our government and our commander in chief when you make representations and statements regarding our nation engaging in war. As a result, we would ask that you publicly respond to these questions as promptly as possible.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Sincerely

Rep. John Conyers Needs YOUR Help

May 27, 2005
Dear Friend:
As many of you are aware, a classified memo was recently disclosed in Great Britain that I believe has serious ramifications for the integrity of the United States Government. Dubbed the "Downing Street Memo," but actually comprising the minutes of a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair and other top British government officials, the memo casts serious doubt on many of the contentions of the Bush Administration in the lead up to the Iraq war.æ With over 1,600 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen killed in Iraq, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and over $200 billion in taxpayer funds going to this war effort, we cannot afford to stand by any longer.
Along with 88 of my colleagues, I wrote to the President requesting answers about this grave matter.æ Thus far, our search for the truth has been stonewalled and I need your help. æI believe the American people deserve answers about this matter and should demand directly that the President tell the truth about the memo.æ To that end, I am asking you to sign on to a letter to the President requesting he answer the questions posed to him by 89 Members of Congress.
I will personally insure that this letter is delivered to the White House.
You can read the letter here and sign on to it below. æYou and I know the White House is just hoping that this matter will fade away, but in a few short weeks, with our steadfastness, the memo has found its way into leading newspapers and White House press briefings. æWith your help, we can hold this Administration accountable.
Please pass on this important letter to your friends and colleagues, and ask them to sign as well.
Thank you for your help and support.
John Conyers, Jr.

Somerset Local News: C.T.'s Bar-B-Que Now A Restaurant

Somerset residents have asked "Whatever happened to the C.T's Bar-B-Que trailer that used to be on Route 27, across the street from the Suburban/Coach bus station?" Well the answer is that it has evolved into a restaurant that can be found at 920 Hamilton Street. This used to be "Mike's Subs". Besides the ribs specialty C.T. offers breakfast specials like platters (Two Eggs (any style or with cheese, bacon, ham, pork or sausage), beef or turkey sausage, french toast with syrup and butter or with bacon ham, pork roll or sausage. Breakfast also includes Omelettes (plain, cheese, country western, ham alone and ham and cheese). The price range for omelettes is $2.95 to 4.95. Pastries include muffins, toast and buttered rolls. Breakfast beverages are: coffee or tea 80 cents, hot chocolate $1.00($1.50 to go) decaffeinated coffee 90 cents ($1.05(small) and $1.50(large) to go) 10 ounce Orange, Apple or Tomato Juice $1.50. 16 ounce Orange, Apple or Tomato juice $2.25. Fish(Whiting) is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lunch platters are served with two sides and cornbread. BBQ Meat Lunch $6.99, Ribs(Spare Ribs 3) $7.99 Beef Ribs(lunch cut 2), Baby Back Ribs (Seasonal) $13.50. C.T's Bar-B-Que offers a variety of salads that include BBQ Salad(topped with brisket, Pork or Chicken) for $4.99, Garden Salad(lettuce, Tomato, Onion) for $3.75 and Grilled Chicken Salad for $5.75 (Grilled Chicken served over Garden Salad). Desserts include Sweet Potato Pie, Peach Cobbler and Sweet Potato Pie (all for $2.75), Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream for $1.75. These a just a few of the delicious meals available at C.T.'s Bar-B-Que open Tuesday to Thursday 6:00 AM to 8:00PM, Friday to Saturday 6:00AM to 10:00PM and Sunday from 7:00AM to 7:00PM. Catering can be done for all occasions and corporate accounts are welcome. Phone: 732-418-8889, Fax: 732-418-9090.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Oscar Brown, Jr. 1927-2005

A blood infection has taken the life of legendery poet/musician/social activist Oscar Brown Jr. The Chicago resident burst upon the musical scene in 1960 with his highly successful Columbia Records debut album "Sin & Soul" and remained in the spotlight in 2005 as a mainstay of Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam. Mr. Brown inherited a strong sense of social responsibility from his father Oscar Brown Sr. who was a lawyer and also a social activist. Oscar Brown Jr. is associated with songs that have become classics like Afro Blue, Signifyin' Monkey, Dat Dere,The Snake and Work Song just to name a few. His music has been recorded by Nina Simone, Al Wilson, Abby Lincoln, Herb Alpert and other headlining acts. Mr. Brown was also a devoted student of black history. We saw that in his abundant repertoire of plays which included "Crecie" a story about two young slaves at around the time of the black holocaust, the mid-Atlantic crossing. Oscar Brown Jr. will be missed, but he left us with a tremendous body of art that will be enjoyed by generations to come.
Copyright © 2005 Progressive Daily BeaconPlease contact editor@progressivedailybeacon.com with any questions or comments

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Gagged But Not Dead by Sibel Edmonds

Gagged But Not Dead - Please disseminate to as many people, websites, and forums as you can: S. Edmonds by Sibel Edmonds, May 15th, 2005
The Appeal Court's decision on Sibel Edmonds' Case is out: 'Case Dismissed;' no opinion cited; no reason provided. The Court's decision, issued on Friday, May 6, has generated a string of obituaries; "another major blow, maybe the last one, to Sibel Edmonds, a woman who has faced an unprecedented level of government secrecy, gag orders, and classification." Well, dear friends and supporters, Sibel Edmonds may be gagged, but she's not dead. On October 18, 2002; three months after I filed my suit against the Department of Justice for unlawful termination of my employment caused by my reporting criminal activities committed by government officials and employees, John Ashcroft, the then Attorney General, invoked a rarely invoked privilege, the State Secrets Privilege. According to Ashcroft, everything involving my case and my allegations were considered state secrets, and whether or not I was right in my allegations, the United States District Court had to dismiss my entire case without any questions, hearings or oral argument; period. According to Ashcroft, the court had to grant his order and dismiss the entire case with no hearings solely based on the fact that he, Ashcroft, said so. After all, our government knew best. As of that day, my case came to be gagged; but I continued on.In April 2004, after attorneys for a large group of 9/11 family members subpoenaed my deposition, the then Attorney General, John Ashcroft, made his next move: He invoked the state secrets privilege for the second time, and this time, he designated my place of birth, date of birth, my mother tongue, my father tongue, my university background, and my previous employments all State Secrets, Top Secret Classified, and matters of the highest level national security. Let's see, based on this new ruling and designation by our ironically named Justice Department, my passport would be considered a 'top secret' document since it contains my place of birth, information considered state secrets. According to our government officials my Virginia driving license would be considered a 'Top Secret' document, since it contains my date of birth, information considered state secrets and classified. Well, heck, even my resume would be considered 'Top Secret' since it contains my linguistic credentials and my degrees. As of that day, I officially became a notoriously gagged whistleblower; but I continued on.In May 2004, two years after two ranking senators (bipartisan) had publicly, and in public records and documents, announced me credible and my case and allegations confirmed and supported, the emboldened then Attorney General, struck again. This time, he, John Ashcroft, decided to gag the entire Congress on anything that had to do with Sibel Edmonds and her case. He ordered two ranking senators to take everything referring to me off their websites; he ordered them to consider all documents and letters related to my case ?Top Secret,? and he commanded that they, the Congress, shut their mouth on any issue that in any way referred or related to me. Our Senators obliged, disregarding the principles of the separation of powers, not honoring the United States Constitution, and not respecting their own prestige and status. As of that day, the United States Congress became officially gagged on Sibel Edmonds; but I continued on. In June 2004, the United States District Court bowed to his highness, representative of our Executive Branch, John Ashcroft, and announced its decision to no longer honor the Constitution as it relates to citizens' right to due process: it dismissed the case and excused itself from providing any real explanation, due to any possible explanation, or lack of explanation, being classified as 'Top Secret,' and 'State Secrets.' Our court system too was not willing to stand up for its authority and its separation from the executive branch. In other words, the District Court willingly allowed itself to be gagged; but I continued on.In July 2004, after two years of unexplained foot dragging, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, announced its long over due investigation of Sibel Edmonds' case complete and issued its report. The further empowered and emboldened then Attorney General stepped in on that same day and gagged his own Inspector General's findings and report by classifying the entire report as secret. The so called independent investigatory entity, the Inspector General, wrapped and duct taped its report, bowed, and left the scene now that it was formally and officially gagged on my case; but I continued on.On April 21, 2005, for the first time in these three gagged years, my attorneys and I finally had, or thought we had, our day in court for our hearing before Appellate Court Judges. Just hours before our hearing, these judges issued an unexpected ruling, barring all reporters and the public from the courtroom for the Edmonds' Case hearing. Numerous media related entities tried to flex their lately weakened muscles and filed their motion to oppose this ruling. The judges denied their motion, and cited no reason; when asked for a reason they responded that they didn't have to provide any reason. Everyone was kicked out of the courtroom; except for me, my attorneys, and the large troop of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All the doors to the courtroom were locked and guards were placed in front of each door to watch out for eavesdroppers. Then came the next shock: after bypassing our brief, asking a couple of puzzling and irrelevant questions, and allowing my attorneys 10 minutes or so of response, the Appellate judges asked my attorneys and me (the plaintiff) to leave the courtroom, so that the government attorneys could secretly answer questions and make their argument. The guards escorted us, the plaintiff, out, locked the doors, and stood there in front of the courtroom and watched us for about fifteen minutes. So much for finally having my day in court; here I was, with my attorneys, standing outside the courtroom and being guarded, while in there, three judges were having a cozy mingling session with a large troop of government attorneys. Then, it was over; that was it; we were told to leave. In other words, my attorneys and I were barred from being present in our own court hearing, and my case remained covered up and gagged; but I continued on. On May 6, two weeks after the Kafkaesque court procedure, my attorneys and I were given the verdict: The lower court's decision was upheld, meaning my entire case, whether or not we had an Inspector General's Report that confirmed my allegations, whether or not we had several congressional letters confirming my case and my allegations, was prevented from proceeding in court due to some unspecified 'State Secrets,' and unexplained secrecy that applied to everything that had to do with me and my case; which were so secret that even the judges could not hear or see. In fact, the Appellate judges in my case did not cite any opinion or reason, because even the opinion itself would have been considered secret. Doesn't this mean that the Appellate court and these three judges were in effect gagged? It appears so, but I will continue on.In the past three years, I have been threatened; I have been gagged several times; I have continuously been prevented from pursuing my due process; all reports and investigations looking into my case have been classified; and every governmental or investigative authority dealing with my case has been shut up. According to legal experts familiar with my case, the level of secrecy and classification in my court case and the attitudes and handling of the court system in dealing with my case is unprecedented in the entire U.S. court history. According to other experts I am one of the most, if not the most, gagged woman anybody knows of or has heard of. Why?Those of you who still think this case, my case, is about covering up some administrative blunder or bureaucratic mismanagement, please think again.Those of you who may think that my Kafkaesque case, the unprecedented secrecy, is due to some justified and official higher reasons, please think again.Those of you who may think that our government, our entrusted leaders, may have an ongoing investigation of criminals involved, please think again. The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice, in its 'unclassified report,' has confirmed my core allegations. What were those core allegations, and who did they involve? Not only some low-level terrorist or terrorist organization; not only some 'maybe' critical foreign entities. No; trust me; they would not go to this length to protect some nobody criminal or terrorist. It is way past time for a little bit of critical thinking. The Attorney General cites two reasons to justify the unconstitutional and panic driven assault on me and my case. Reason one: To protect certain diplomatic relations - not named since obviously our officials are ashamed of admitting to these relations. Reason two: To protect certain U.S. foreign business relations. Let's take each one and dissect it (I have given up on our mass media to do that for us!). For reason one, since when is the Department of Justice, the FBI, in the business of protecting 'US sensitive diplomatic relations?' They appear to be acting as a mouthpiece for the Department of State. Now, that's one entity that has strong reasons to cover up, for its own self, what will end up being a blunder of mammoth scale. Not internationally; not really; it is the American people and their outrage they must be worried about; they wouldn't want to have a few of their widely recognized officials being held criminally liable; would they?As for reason two, I can assure you that the U.S. foreign business relations they may be referring to are not among those that benefit the majority of the American people; a handful of MIC entities and their lobbying arms can by no means be considered that, can they? In fact, the American people, their national safety and security, and their best interests are being sacrificed for a handful of those with their foreign business interest. Also, since when are nuclear black market related underground activities considered official U.S. foreign business; one may wonder? If you want to have the answers to these questions, please approach your Congress and ask your representatives for hearings - not behind closed doors quasi hearings - but open, public hearings where these questions can be asked and answered.And lastly, for those of you who may think that since I have been gagged and stopped by almost all available official channels, I must be ready to vaporize into thin air, please think again. I am gagged, but not dead; not yet. This piece was sent to the PDB by Sibel Edmonds, we hope you will follow her wishes and post it at as many sites and pass it along to as many of your friends as possible - Editor, PDB
Copyright © 2005 Progressive Daily BeaconPlease contact editor@progressivedailybeacon.com with any questions or comments

Now Is The Time To Act On Downing Street Memo

If more progressive Democrats are elected in 2006 there will be a chance of President Bush being impeached. Of course I may be overly optimistic but it is a possibility. The war in Iraq may be bringing smiles to Wall Street but it is not getting the same type of reaction on Main Street. Even though you would never tell by watching network or cable news, growing numbers of people are weary of an illegal war that has cost over 1,600 American lives ( more than 20 thousand Americans seriously wounded) and over 100,000 Iraqi lives.
Democrats see that they have a chance of removing long time nemesis Rick Santorium (the lastest polls show Casey is still ahead) in Pennsylvania. Another possible Democratic victory could be in Minnesota where native Minnesotan Al Franken plans to challenge Norm Coleman. Minnesota is a very difficult state to predict victory, since it chose a wrestler over the son of a favorite son, Hubert Humphrey Jr, son of the late vice president Hubert Humphrey. Franken, the very witty actor/author/radio personality should be a formidable opponent for Coleman. Since this state has a history of unpredictabilty: many were shocked when Coleman defeated another Minnesota favorite son Walter Mondale.
Tom Delay is fighting for his political life in his home state of Texas. If these and other Democratic advances materialize in '06 it could mean some serious trouble for W. There is always the possibility of chicanery with the voting process on the state and municipal levels. The first of the alleged "fixed" elections is the one in which decorated war hero Max Clelland lost in
Georgia. All exit polls had him as the victor yet by some "miracle" he managed to lose. But if we do have "fair" elections and the Democratic presence is increased then we could see some movement on impeachment because now there IS a smoking gun; it's called the Downing Street Memo, absolute proof that George Bush was unprovoked when he decided to invade Iraq and take over it's top two hundred lucrative businesses, leading the country to war under false pretenses. Now is the time for progressives and conservatives with conscience to take the initial steps to remove George W. Bush from office. Get the facts, go to www.DowningStreetMemo.com, then write your elected officials (Senators, Congresspersons etc) Then after that write the mainstream media and demand to know why they are deliberately ignoring the story when they gave us every minute detail about the stained dress of Monica Lewinsky. Here are some good places to start: Public@nytimes.com, Letters@nytimes.com, executive-editor@nytimes.com, comments@foxnews.com, viewerservices@msnbc.com, www.cbsnews.com, www.abcnews.com, NBC News 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York10012. DO IT NOW!