Tag: David Swanson

The Media’s Hubris In Selling the Iraq War

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On March 19, it will be ten years since President George W. Bush launched the Iraq War that was based wholly on lies at the cost of thousands of lives to the United States and Iraqis and well over three trillion dollars. The overthrow of Sadaam Hussein opened the “can of worms” of decades long animosity of the religious factions in the region that will contribute to the instability of the region for the unforeseeable future, not to mention, the increased animosity towards the United States that breeds more terrorists determines to seek revenge.

Based on the book here Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by David Corn and Michael Isikoff with updates of recently declassified documents, the hour long documentary, “ Hubris: Selling of the Iraq War” narrated by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, is an accurate accounting of the web of lies and bad actors who entangled the US an illegal war, except, there is no mention of the MSNBC’s own complicity in selling the lie. David Swanson, author and one of the co-founders of War Is A Crime.org, notes that hubris isn’t the half of it:

As our government was making a fraudulent case to attack Iraq in 2002-2003, the MSNBC television network was doing everything it could to help, including booting Phil Donahue and Jeff Cohen off the air.  The Donahue Show was deemed likely to be insufficiently war-boosting and was thus removed 10 years ago next week, and 10 days after the largest antiwar (or anything else) demonstrations in the history of the world, as a preemptive strike against the voices of honest peaceful people.

From there, MSNBC proceeded to support the war with mild critiques around the edges, and to white-out the idea of impeachment or accountability.

But now MSNBC has seen its way clear to airing a documentary about the fraudulent case it assisted in, a documentary titled Hubris.  This short film (which aired between 9 and 10 p.m. ET Monday night, but with roughly half of those minutes occupied by commercials) pointed out the role of the New York Times in defrauding the public, but not MSNBC’s role. [..]

Despite this omission and the glossing over of any accountability for the lies then, and now about Iran, Mr. Swanson goes on to praise the all too short film (just short of 44 minutes minus commercials). He praises MSNBC and Ms. Maddow in hopes that American awareness about the lies that destroyed Iraq in hopes that it will stop an invasion of Iran.

At FDL‘s The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola also reports the traditional MSM’s complicity and the refusal of Congress to hold anyone in the Bush – Cheney administration accountable, as well as, the MSM’s cooperation with the Obama administration to withhold information:

Eighty-two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted for the Iraq War resolution. Twenty-nine Democrats in the Senate, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, voted for the resolution. Jones has developed into an anti-war voice in Congress, but isn’t it remarkable that he is the one who gives the mea culpa in the documentary? Where is the Senate Democrat or House Democrat atoning for his or her role in making war possible?

Given the criminality of what the Bush administration did, it is shameful that none of the players involved have suffered consequences and David Corn makes this point, “A lot of people who purposely used extreme rhetoric to gin up populous support for the war, there have been no consequences for them.” [..]

Ten years on, it is appropriate to recount what happened, to remind Americans that what happened was wrong and there are criminals from the Bush administration who should have been held accountable in some way. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and Congress, led by Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, shied away from accountability.

Between now and March 19, the tenth anniversary of the invasion, there should be reflection because it could happen again; maybe not a full-scale occupation but another military operation, perhaps, one involving drones. The media has not questioned Obama’s decision to wage conflict in Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen. Both the Washington Post and New York Times agreed to comply with requests from the Obama administration to not report on a drone base in Saudi Arabia. Now, there’s talk of Iran and “round magnets.” There is no US war or national security operation the US media has not collectively been willing to sell and it would not be surprising to see a presidential administration successfully manipulate the media again.

Hubris : Selling the Iraq War

There is no statute of limitations for war crimes.  

Good Reason to Try Again

While the Netroots Nation 2010 conference was happening in Las Vegas last weekend, another conference, even more important IMHO, was occurring in Albany, New York.   http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-levitra-Umbria The United National Anti-War Conference brought together a broad coalition of peace, anti-war, social justice, labor, ethnic, and other activists for the purpose of finding a new mode and presentation for our many, many righteous grievances.

From Glenn Ford to David Swanson to Noam Chomsky to Medea Benjamin, the hard core community of dissent and change gathered to explore why we have not been able to attain our goals and look for more productive roads to success.

Glenn Ford, one of my favorites, Editor of the “Black Agenda Report”, and an attendee at the conference reported on July 28th:

A renewed anti-war movement is under construction, one that breaks decisively from the Cult of Obama, demands an end to all U.S. aid to the Israeli “apartheid regime,” and calls for “immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops, mercenaries and contractors from Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, and the immediate closing of all U.S. bases in those countries.”

…snip

The mission [of the nearly 600 delegates] is to rescue the anti-war movement from the rubble of its collapse with the ascent of Black Democrat Barack Obama to the presidency.

Ford goes on to name the anti-war defectors:

Leap with me beneath the fold…

Sunday musings

If there were no religion, would there be no wars?

A question that is posed by David Swanson in his piece posted at FDL where he makes a number of excellent points. Eight actually. Its here: Nothing to Kill or Die For

And, finally, eighth: On the eighth day we will rest. We work a little bit longer than that other guy.

We don’t get to rest … yet. Even though we are tired and weary.

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“Give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union”

Give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union

By David Swanson, January 28, 2010

Those are the words used in Article II Section 3 of the US Constitution. The president is also to “recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Why does this not come up in Article I with all the other supreme powers of our Commander in Chief? Well, because only the military has one of those, and Article I is devoted to the most powerful branch of our government, the Congress.

The president is supposed to inform Congress on how things are going in his work of executing the laws they pass. We didn’t hear much of that on Wednesday. President Obama did not mention his ban on prosecuting torture, his advisors’ claims that he has the power to torture, his use of rendition, his removal from the Constitution of the right to habeas corpus, his list of Americans to be assassinated, his warrantless spying, his protection of Bush, Cheney, and gang from exposure or prosecution, his continuation of illegal wars, his use of unmanned drones to assassinate and slaughter, or his assertion of the power of aggressive war in a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. All of that went without saying.

And how’s the bailing out of Wall Street billionaires going?  Obama asserted that he hated it but was doing it because it needed to be done even if unpopular.  He bragged more than once through the speech about doing unpopular things, as though democratic representation was the new enemy.  Thankfully, there wasn’t the same level of fear mongering about Terrorists that we’d grown used to in these speeches from Bush.  But Congress cheered for the president ignoring the public and even cheered for the president unconstitutionally ignoring Congress.  The whole room cheered when Obama said this:

“[T]he cost of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue to skyrocket. That’s why I’ve called for a bipartisan, Fiscal Commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can’t be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The Commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.”

Some good ways to start ‘The Year of Resistance’

I have recently been calling for a large social movement (or, more realistically, an expansion of the social movements for justice already in existence) and here are a few ways we can all get started on being part of this movement.

(Included:  Cindy Sheehan’s thoughts on recent events and a list of upcoming action events you can get involved with.)

AFGHANISTAN — ESCALATION!

source From:







Sign the Petition to Congress here!

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And, David Swanson, reminds us see url “It’s Not the President’s Decision!”

The U.S. Constitution leaves the decision to wage war to Congress, and Congress can enforce its decision not to wage war by refusing to fund it.  Blocking a funding bill for wars requires the House of Representatives alone, and both Democrats and Republicans in the House are rapidly joining us in saying No to war funding.

It’s time to finally get serious, to lobby, to protest, to sit in, to nonviolently disrupt and resist in local district offices until enough Representatives commit to voting No on any bill to fund more war.

Here’s a link to a rapidly-changing whip list in the form of a google document that you can embed* on your own website:

Public Opposes Wars, Will Our Representatives?

Please call your representatives and find out they will vote on funding the wars, urge them not to, etc. and post responses from them in the above site beneath the chart.  The chart is regularly updated.  This is a great way to keep a running to “track” of our representatives

*unfortunately, it’s not possible to embed the link here

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Support over 100 outstanding, leading peace activists in their http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=name-for-generic-lasix “Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally,” on December 12, 2009, at the White House, by going to Ends the Wars Org and signing the letter to the President.  It’s easy, send them an e-mail and ask that your name and state be included.

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free levitra plus samples Tell President Obama: No More Troops for Afghanistan!   – AND –

Demand a Congressional Debate on Troop Escalation

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=comprare-viagra-generico-100-mg-spedizione-veloce-a-Milano And to think that there are a couple of bills in Congress, that ask for taxing the American people for these wars??

David Swanson and Paul Jay on Rahm Emanuel

If you’d like to discuss this and other topics with me, feel free to tune in tomorrow at noon EST at Blog Talk Radio:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/p…

The call-in number is (347) 884-9121.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Conyers threatens impeachment if Iran attacked – Afterdowningstreet

Positive Signs from Conyers

By David Swanson

Coming out of today’s meeting with John Conyers, these seem to be the significant developments:

He is circulating a letter among his colleageus for signatures, a letter addressed to Bush letting him know that an attack on Iran will result in impeachment hearings. LET’S ASK EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO SIGN ON! I know it seems bassackwards and we want impeachment before a new war, not after, but this is a way for us to show Conyers the support that will be there any time he moves forward.

He is open to the new argument that we have been making to him, namely that impeachment hearings for Cheney or Bush (on torture, signing statements, spying, war crimes, etc, etc) would hurt John McCain’s candidacy by forcing him to defend the crimes.

He is open to meeting with experts allied with us to hear their arguments for impeachment.

All of that is positive. Still, Conyers continues to believe that elections are more important than justice, that impeachment would be bad for the elections, and that impeachment hearings would be stonewalled by the White House. There are a couple of possible responses to the last point. One is that impeachment hearings, including taking up H Res 799 as instructed by the full House last November, and even marking it up to add new charges, overrule claims of “executive privilege.” Of course Bush and Cheney could claim otherwise, but there is an answer to that. When Nixon refused a subpoena, the House Judiciary Committee passed an article of impeachment against him for that refusal. Cheney and Bush have already refused subpoenas. There’s no need to wait.



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The Shaft: Bending Over to Compromise Sucks, Plus Good Impeachment News! w/poll

You see, I remember the last Iraq Occupation Supplemental.  I remember we’ll do it this one more time and draw the line in the sand in September.  Of course, September came and went, and we should be happy that there wasn’t any funding.  Same for October and November.  But now it’s December!