Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war - CNN.com

Study: Bush, aides made 935 false statements in run-up to war - CNN.com 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released Tuesday by two nonprofit journalism groups.

President Bush addresses the nation as the Iraq war begins in March 2003.

"In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003," reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

According to the study, Bush and seven top officials -- including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice -- made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years.
The study was based on a searchable database compiled of primary sources, such as official government transcripts and speeches, and secondary sources -- mainly quotes from major media organizations. Video See CNN viewers' reactions to the study »

The study says Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein's possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq's links to al Qaeda.
Bush has consistently asserted that at the time he and other officials made the statements, the intelligence community of the U.S. and several other nations, including Britain, believed Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

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Responding to the study Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not speak directly to the "false claims" characterization.

But, he said the United States was part of a broad coalition of nations that took part in the Iraq invasion and that the invasion was based on intelligence from multiple countries.
He called Hussein a threat to international security and a sponsor of terrorism, and said the world is better off without him. White House press secretary Dana Perino called the study "flawed."
"They only looked at members of the administration, rather than looking at members of Congress or people around the world," she said. "Because as you'll remember, we were part of a broad coalition of countries that deposed a dictator based on a collective understanding of the intelligence."
"And the other thing that that study fails to do is to say that after realizing that there was no WMD, as we thought as a collective body that there was, that this White House, the President set about to make reforms in the intelligence community to make sure that it doesn't happen again."
Bush has repeatedly said that despite the intelligence flaws, removing Hussein from power was the right thing to do.

The study, released Tuesday, says Powell had the second-highest number of false statements, with 244 about weapons and 10 about Iraq and al Qaeda.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer each made 109 false statements, it says. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made 85, Rice made 56, Cheney made 48 and Scott McLellan, also a press secretary, made 14, the study says.
"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda," the report reads, citing multiple government reports, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the 9/11 Commission and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, which reported that Hussein had suspended Iraq's nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to revive it.
The overview of the study also calls the media to task, saying most media outlets didn't do enough to investigate the claims.
"Some journalists -- indeed, even some entire news organizations -- have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical," the report reads. "These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq."
The quotes in the study include an August 26, 2002, statement by Cheney to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction," Cheney said. "There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."

Thursday, February 21, 2013


New Hampshire Rejects Right-to-Work (for Less)

by Pablo Ros  |  February 14, 2013
New Hampshire Rejects Right-to-Work (for Less)

UnionMembers in the packed New Hampshire House gallery stood and loudly applauded the defeat of a right-to-work-for-less bill.
Working families in New Hampshire scored a major victory this week when legislators voted down a right-to-work-for-less bill that was a recipe for lowering wages and workplace standards.
The Democratic-controlled House killed it with a 212 to 141 vote, preventing New Hampshire from becoming the 25th right-to-work-for-less state in the nation and the first in the Northeast.
So-called “right-to-work” laws weaken labor unions and their ability to bargain collectively on behalf of workers by interfering with a union’s ability to charge membership dues. They have been promoted across the country by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), part of an extreme corporate agenda that seeks to thwart workers’ rights for the benefit of corporate interests.
Such laws have been proven to drive down wages for all workers, union or non-union, by an average of $1,500 a year.
Will Price, a corrections officer with the Hillsborough County Department of Corrections and a member of AFSCME Local 3657 in New Hampshire, said he followed this latest effort to undermine the rights of workers from the moment it was introduced as a draft bill and was “truly disgusted by the whole thing.”
He said the bill, had it become law, could have greatly harmed his local’s ability to collect dues from its members, especially since it’s made up of 21 chapters – two corrections facilities and 19 police departments – that are “scattered throughout the state.”
Price said he’s confident that any future efforts to bring back a similar measure will be defeated.
“I have no doubt that it’s going to come back someday,” he said. “But I have a positive attitude that we’ll be able to do the right thing for ourselves.”
This was the second time in two years that New Hampshire workers faced a similar attack from right-wing, corporate-backed politicians. In 2011, then-Gov. John Lynch vetoed a right-to-work-for-less bill that had been passed by the Republican-led Legislature.
AFSCME will continue to oppose any efforts anywhere to undermine the rights of workers.


From Tracey Conaty, AFSCME E-Action Network afscmepa@afscme.org
Thu, Feb 21, 2013 5:25 pm

...The Family and Medical Leave Act was a major milestone, but more needs to be done to help families dealing with medical emergencies and family needs. Paid leave is essential. Depriving workers of their income during times of crisis in family life is something no hard-working American should experience. No American should have to choose between the job they need and the family they love.

Posted In: Economic Security, From the Secretary-Treasurer, Legislation, Workers' Rights 

Read more/sign petition at: 


President Clinton signs the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993:


Who is looking out for the welfare of the women who are already here; who are already fully developed sentient beings; and, who are supposed to have the right to obtain an abortion and manage their own health issues, as guaranteed by the 1973 SCOTUS decision (7-2 majority), in  Roe v Wade?

Attacking Fricking Fracking

From Organic Consumers Association ronniecummins@organicconsumers.org
Thu, Feb 21, 2013 9:33 am

Fracking Our Farms: A Tale of Five Farming Families:

Their names are Carol, Steve & Jackie, Susan, Marilyn & Robert, and Christine. They share a bond. Two bonds, actually: They all own, or owned, farms. And those farms, along with their own health and the health of their farm animals, have all been ruined by fracking.

...Jacki Schilke of North Dakota ...lost two dogs, five cows, chickens – and her health – after 32 oil and gas wells sprouted up within three miles of her ranch...Christine Moore, a horse rescuer in Ohio,...sold her farm after a well went up five miles from her farm, creating an oily film on her water and making her too sick to care for her horses.

With hundreds of thousands of fracking wells and waste injection sites in the U.S., it’s likely that our food supply already contains water, plants and animals (meat) contaminated with fracking chemicals. While we hear a lot about drinking water contamination, including people’s water catching on fire straight out of the faucet, that shouldn’t be our only concern. Contaminated crops and farm animals raised for food are also possible avenues for exposing humans to fracking chemicals...

Read more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27073.cfm

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

PBS: "After Newtown"

  1. There will be several hours of programming. Check the article. It starts TONIGHT, Feb 19, Tuesday.

    ‘After Newtown,’ on PBS, Explores Gun Violence
    A package of shows on PBS, presented as “After Newtown,” examines the gun issue in America and possible solutions.


Photo of coho salmon courtesy Flickr/Dan Bennett.
As if wild salmon populations didn't already have an uphill battle for survival, a new proposal from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to deregulate genetically engineered salmon -- which means Frankenfish could end up in our rivers and oceans as well as on our plates.

The agency is currently taking the position that there's no possibility of a significant environmental impact from deregulation. The truth is, if genetically engineered salmon escape into the environment, they could create competition for native salmon and potentially spread diseases to wild populations.

Protect wild salmon populations and help avoid the catastrophic risks of genetically engineered salmon escaping. Take action now and tell the FDA to stop genetically engineered salmon from ending up in our environment and at our tables.

Click here to take action and get more information.
If you can't open the link, go to http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12539.