Sparky: This Morning's reminder: Support the co-sponsors to roast the GOP traitors in the White House — It's Rove, Libby, and Cheney who should be in Leavenworth Federal Prison along with that loathsome “tool” doucebag Robert Novak ... -
July 22, 2005
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Out of Iraq Caucus and a member of the International Affairs Committee, along with 26 co-sponsors, proposed yesterday a Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives which, if passed, will require the White House and the State Department to "transmit all information relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq." The resolution, was submitted in the House of Representatives and referred to the U.S. House Committee on International Relations.
The resolution comes in response to questions that have been raised about the handling of pre-war intelligence by the Bush administration, and the planning and execution of the Iraq war. “We would like to see a member of Congress look into whether or not the president committed impeachable offenses,” said John Bonifaz, a constitutional lawyer. “We’ve been having that discussion with a number of offices.”
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Minority leader, recently met with John Bonifaz and representatives. But Conyers is reluctant to take such a bold step just yet. “My inclination at this time is not to do something like that,” Conyers said, although he noted that he wanted to press for an investigation in other ways, including sending committee investigators to London.
Earlier this month, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said at a forum held by Conyers “If you read the record of the writing of the Constitution, ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ had a very particular meaning at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. It certainly didn’t mean lying about sex, but it might well mean lying to the Congress about a large public purpose such as Iraq.”, referring to Republican's filing of such a resolution in 1998 in an effort to remove Bill Clinton from office.
Rep. Barbara Lee's resolution of inquiry is a less-drastic parliamentary maneuver that would ask the administration to provide more information related to the claims in classified British memos that suggest that pre-war intelligence in Iraq was "fixed" in order to justify the invasion. The Resolution of Inquiry is a privileged resolution, which means that if it is not acted on in 14 legislative days after it is introduced, the member of Congress who introduced it is entitled to request that it be brought to the House floor for a vote. The committee may take the matter up right away, and could vote it down before the August recess. If they do not, they will be required to take it up by September 16th.
Text of the Resolution
Requesting the President and directing the Secretary of State to transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution all information in the possession of the President and the Secretary of State relating to communication with officials of the United Kingdom between January 1, 2002, and October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq.
Resolved, That not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution—
(1) the President is requested to transmit to the House of Representatives all documents, including telephone and electronic mail records, logs, calendars, minutes, and memos, in the possession of the President relating to communications with officials of the United Kingdom from January 1, 2002, to October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq, including any discussions or communications between the President or other Administration officials and officials of the United Kingdom that occurred before the meeting on July 23, 2002, at 10 Downing Street in London, England, between Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom intelligence officer Richard Dearlove, and other national security officials of the Blair Administration; and
(2) the Secretary of State is directed to transmit to the House of Representatives all documents, including telephone and electronic mail records, logs, calendars, minutes, memos, and records of internal discussions, in the possession of the Secretary relating to communications with officials of the United Kingdom from January 1, 2002, to October 16, 2002, relating to the policy of the United States with respect to Iraq, including any discussions or communications between the Secretary of State or other officials of the Department of State and officials of the United Kingdom that occurred before the meeting on July 23, 2002, at 10 Downing Street in London, England, between Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, United Kingdom intelligence officer Richard Dearlove, and other national security officials of the Blair Administration.
- Rep. John Conyers
- Rep. Tammy Baldwin
- Rep. William Lacy Clay
- Rep. Danny Davis
- Rep. William Delahunt
- Rep. Lane Evans
- Rep. Sam Farr
- Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez
- Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
- Rep. Dennis Kucinich
- Rep. Carolyn C. Kilpatrick
- Rep. Jim McDermott
- Rep. Jim Oberstar
- Rep. Major R. Owens
- Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.
- Rep. Don Payne
- Rep. Charles Rangel
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky
- Rep. José E. Serrano
- Rep. Pete Stark
- Rep. Bennie Thompson
- Rep. Diane Watson
- Rep. Robert Wexler
- Rep. Lynn Woolsey
- Josephine Hearn "Dems target pre-Iraq war intelligence". The Hill, June 28, 2005
- "Downing Street Minutes". Congress.org, July 18, 2005
- David Swanson "Rep. Lee Introduces Resolution of Inquiry into Iraq War Planning". AfterDowningStreet.org, July 21, 2005
- Barbara Lee "Barbara Lee Submits Resolution of Inquiry on Downing Street Memo". www.house.gov
Capitol Hill Democrats hold informal hearing on Plame leak
July 23, 2005
United States Capital Building
Democrats on Saturday turned over their radio broadcast to a former CIA agent and Republican, Larry Johnson, who accused President Bush of flip-flopping on his pledge to fire anybody on his staff involved with the Valerie Plame leak.
Johnson, a participant in yesterday's Democratic hearing on Capitol Hill, said "We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example to the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot focus its efforts on attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth."
House and Senate Democrats held a highly partisan hearing Friday where four retired U.S. intelligence officials aired views that were critical of the Plame leak itself, and then critical of Bush administration and Republican efforts to minimize damage caused by the controversy.
Former CIA case officer, Jim Marcinkowski, testified that the current administration policy of setting a criminal standard for dismissal was too high, and that Bush should take action on those persons involved. "Each time the political machine made up of prime-time patriots and partisan ninnies display their ignorance by deriding Valerie Plame as a mere paper-pusher, or belittling the varying degrees of cover used to protect our officers, or continuing to play partisan politics with our national security, it's a disservice to this country," he said.
Representative Henry Waxman
The hearing was not an official proceeding of Congress. Democratic lawmakers organized it after Republican leaders in congressional committees with jurisdiction in these matters rejected their request for a legislative oversight hearing. Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Government Reform, said "A special standard seems to apply to Karl Rove: There will be no questions asked, and no accountability.”
Meanwhile, a Vermont native Dennis Morrisseau, 62, plans a Republican run for a soon to be vacated seat in the House of Representatives. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt) will leave the post in his run for a Senate seat. Central to Morrisseau's bid is his pledge to bring articles of impeachment against George W. Bush.
- "Rep. Barbara Lee calls for U.S. Congress probe into Iraq War planning". Wikinews, July 22, 2005
- "Rep. Waxman: Karl Rove violated non-disclosure agreement". Wikinews, July 17, 2005
- Scott Shepard "Bush-Rove loyalty a threat, CIA retirees say". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 23, 2005
- reported by David Johnston, Douglas Jehl, Richard W. Stevenson and Anne E. Kornblut. Written by David Johnston "For Two Aides in Leak Case, 2nd Issue Rises". The New York Times, July 22, 2005
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In other news:
Parents aid jailbreak of 18 year old Swede convicted of rape
July 20, 2005
An 18 year old Swedish man guilty of rape was released from the court of appeal in Sundsvall today, in a way described as chaotic.
According to the news agency TT, the man tried to escape from the custody of the staff of the treatment of offenders. His parents and some friends attacked the staff, and the 18-year-old and an additional 17-year-old managed to escape.
The parents have been arrested, but the young men are reported to be free as of this evening. Both men had been sentenced in the Sundsvall district court, the 18-year-old for rape.
And lastly for the Xtians and various other fundies -
Prayer does not help heart patients, study finds
July 20, 2005
A multi-center US study of 748 patients, who were to undergo treatment for coronary artery disease, has found that prayer by Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist groups had no measurable effects on the medical health of the study subjects. The prayers were conducted by established congregations and were held away from the hospitals.
The study, published in the 16 July 2005 issue of The Lancet, found that the likelihood of an adverse cardiovascular event in hospital, re-admission or death within six months was unaffected by prayer.
None of the patients were told that they were prayed for, and none of the prayer groups knew who they prayed for. Nevertheless, 67% of the non-prayer group believed they were being prayed for - a potential placebo effect that may have hidden any small differences between the two groups.
The study also examined the effects of "music, imagery, and touch (MIT) therapy" before heart surgery. Practitioners qualified to Level 1 Healing Touch taught the patient relaxation techniques and played soothing music before applying 21 Healing Touch hand positions, over a 40 minute session.
There was no significant change in the combined chance of an adverse cardiovascular event in hospital, re-admission or death within six months. However, while the set of patients was evenly split, only 7 patients who received MIT therapy died, and 20 patients who did not receive it died. The result is not highly significant due to the low overall number of people who died.
A number of studies has recently examined the possible effects of prayer, with mixed results. While some religious groups have hailed studies which found positive results , skeptics have challenged the very notion of scientifically examining prayer , and have described past studies as flawed or even fraudulent. 
"The mechanisms through which distant intercessory prayer might convey healing benefit are unknown", the authors of the study explain. One hypothesis they propose for such effects are "non-local features of consciousness based theoretically around observations in quantum physics."
The study was conducted by a team of 16 researchers at Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), Duke University Medical Center, the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), and seven other academic medical institutions across the United States.
- Mitchell W Krucoff, et al. "Music, imagery, touch, and prayer as adjuncts to interventional cardiac care: the Monitoring and Actualisation of Noetic Trainings (MANTRA) II randomised study". The Lancet, July 16, 2005 (requires registration)