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Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now (that you hear on WRCT 88.3 each weekday morning at 8am) is coming to Pittsburgh on Friday, July 16th. This is part of her 70-city "Exception to the Rulers" tour to promote her new book, and to support stations that carry Democracy Now! So far she's been greeted by huge enthusiastic crowds.
She'll be showing a video and giving a talk in McConomy Auditorium in CMU's University Center. The event starts at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or at proartstickets.org. See www.pcdn.org for full details, or call 412-322-7570.
Jane Harmon is a Democratic house member from Southern California. She's here to talk about the recently released senate intelligence report [full report, conclusions]. In her press release Rep. Harmon applauds the report, but concludes that it "is incomplete in that it omits analysis of how intelligence was used by Bush Administration officials to justify the war in Iraq."
Possible additional questions/topics to discuss
- The report seems limited in scope to the NIE (national intelligence estimate) that was presented to congress in fall 2002, before they voted to give Bush authority to go to war.
The second phase of the Senate investigation will focus on the administrations abuse of intelligence, and will come out after the election. Here's an article about the preliminary phases of this investigation, which seem to be focusing on the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and Douglas Feith.
- What about what happened afterwards? It's now been confirmed that almost everything in Colin Powell's February 5th 2003 presentation to the UN was wrong. Your comments? (By the way on March 17, 2003 I (Danny) publically stated "at least half of what powell said in his presentation were lies". This link to the zephyr archive is password protected.)
- Discuss the administration's pondering the idea of postponing the election in case of a terrorist attack.
- Could you comment on the so called "Saddam alQaeda" link? How can Cheney and Co. just lie and lie and lie and seem not to suffer at all from it?
- Paul Wolfowitz admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair in July 2003 that WMD was just a convenient excuse for war. "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," Mr Wolfowitz tells the magazine. Did anyone question the timing of the NIE report, and the fact it came out just when the administration was pushing for war? Only slightly more than a year earlier the administration had said Iraq was not a threat, and little new information had arrived.
Jules Lobel is a law professor at Pitt, and a vice president of the Center for Constitutional Rights . From the web site:The Supreme Court issued a historic ruling on Monday, June 28th, finding that the hundreds of men detained as "enemy combatants" in Guantanamo Bay can challenge their detention in federal courts. more...Professor Lobel gave a talk at the University of Pittsburgh on July 7th. You can listen to the mp3 files here:
Robert Greenwald has released a new film exposing Fox News for what it really is. Here's the blurb about it in an email from MoveOn.orgMoveon.org is hosting local house parties to show the film on Sunday July 18th. For more information see their web site.
"Outfoxed" was co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress and MoveOn. The film features former Fox News producers, reporters, bookers, and writers talking for the first time about how they were pressured to push each day's partisan message. Through leaked memos and never-before-seen Fox clips, "Outfoxed" makes a powerful and disturbing case not only about Fox, but about the state of American journalism.
Fox News makes no real distinction between its opinion shows and its news coverage -- partisan politics infuse all of Fox's programming. The media watch group FAIR just released a study of Fox's flagship evening news program, finding Republican guests outnumber Democrats by 5 to 1. Having an opinion is one thing. Insisting your partisan politicking is "fair and balanced" journalism is quite another. Whether you agree with Fox's politics is beside the point -- citizens in a democracy depend on unbiased news reporting.
Well, the Army admits that the "spontainous" tearing down of the statue of Saddam -- which received massive favorable publicity in the US press -- was staged by the US army. Here's the article from the July 7 LA Times with a bit of the story. Well, those of us who were reading alternative news sources didn't have to wait a year and a half to figure this out. I (Danny Sleator) wrote this spam email containing this basic point right when the event happened.