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War Uproar * 9/11 Challenge * Assess Nuke

20 November 2005

"The war in Iraq . . . is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion..

Our military has done everything that has been asked of them,
the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily.


Congressman John Murtha (D-PA)

1) Uproar in House as Parties Clash on Iraq Pullout
- - Rep. Martin Meehan: "You guys are pathetic, pathetic."
- - Defense official: Rumsfeld given Iraq withdrawal plan
- - CIA leak probe extended
- - Cheney oversaw torture: former CIA director
- - The fools believe, but torture does not work
- - Bush 'an assassin, crazy man'
- - 20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA
- - Over a Century of US Military Interventions
2) 9/11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts behind the War on Terror
- - A State Department's Critique
3) Vermont Yankee's Nuclear Danger to ALL

Editor's Notes:

Last Thursday when attending the Scott Ritter presentation in Amherst, I learned from that the petition drive failed to collect 100,000 signatures before the deadline, which could have enabled Massachusetts voters to keep their national guard home and out of Iraq. Only 20,000 signatures were collected. Nevertheless, efforts to end the war are heating up. Item one covers recent events, actions, and key resources on the clash for an Iraq-US military pullout. Item 2 reviews a book called: "9/11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts behind the War on Terror," and a State Department's critique. Item 3 has information and a link to a petition (and sample letter) to act before its too late to prevent a nuclear power accident or an act of terrorism at the aging Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"

Thomas Jefferson

1) Uproar in House as Parties Clash on Iraq Pullout

- - Rep. Martin Meehan: You guys are pathetic, pathetic."
- - Defense official: Rumsfeld given Iraq withdrawal plan
- - CIA leak probe extended
- - Cheney oversaw torture: former CIA director
- - The fools believe, but torture does not work
- - Bush 'an assassin, crazy man'
- - 20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA
- - Over a Century of US Military Interventions

Uproar in House as Parties Clash on Iraq Pullout
Published November 19, 2005 by the New York Times
Uproar in House as Parties Clash on Iraq Pullout
by Eric Schmitt

WASHINGTON - Republicans and Democrats shouted, howled and slung insults on the House floor on Friday as a debate over whether to withdraw American troops from Iraq descended into a fury over President Bush's handling of the war and a leading Democrat's call to bring the troops home.

The battle boiled over when Representative Jean Schmidt, an Ohio Republican who is the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she had just received from a Marine colonel back home.

"He asked me to send Congress a message: stay the course," Ms. Schmidt said. "He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

Democrats booed in protest and shouted Ms. Schmidt down in her attack on Representative John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, a Vietnam combat veteran and one of the House's most respected members on military matters. They caused the House to come to an abrupt standstill, and moments later, Representative Harold Ford, Democrat of Tennessee, charged across the chamber's center aisle to the Republican side screaming that Ms. Schmidt's attack had been unwarranted.

Article Truncated

For the complete article, see:

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- - Rep. Martin Meehan: You guys are pathetic, pathetic."

18 Nov 2005 - The Republican-controlled Congress helped itself to a $3,100 pay raise on Friday, then postponed work on bills to curb spending on social programs and cut taxes in favor of a two-week vacation. In the final hours of a tumultuous week in the Capitol, Democrats erupted in fury when House GOP leaders maneuvered toward a politically-charged vote _ and swift rejection _ of one war critic's call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. "You guys are pathetic, pathetic," Massachusetts Rep. Martin Meehan yelled across a noisy hall at Republicans.

For this article, see:

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- - Defense official: Rumsfeld given Iraq withdrawal plan
Plan calls for troops to begin pulling out after December elections

Friday, November 18, 2005; Posted: 11:34 p.m. EST (04:34 GMT)


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top U.S. commander in Iraq has submitted a plan to the Pentagon for withdrawing troops in Iraq, according to a senior defense official.

Gen. George Casey submitted the plan to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It includes numerous options and recommends that brigades – usually made up of about 2,000 soldiers each – begin pulling out of Iraq early next year.

The proposal comes as tension grows in both Washington and Baghdad following a call by a senior House Democrat to bring U.S. troops home and the deaths of scores of people by suicide bombers in two Iraqi cities.

House Republicans were looking for a showdown Friday after Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and well-respected Vietnam veteran, presented a resolution that would force the president to withdraw the nearly 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq "at the earliest predictable date."

Murtha on Thursday called the administration's management of the conflict "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion" that is "uniting the enemy against us."

"It's time to bring the troops home," he said.

For the complete article, see:

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- - CIA leak probe extended

18 Nov 2005 Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case.

For a Reuters news article on this extenstion, see:

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- - Cheney oversaw torture: former CIA director

18 Nov 2005 Admiral Stansfield Turner, a former CIA director, accused US Vice President Dick Cheney of overseeing policies of torturing terrorist suspects and damaging the nation's reputation, in a television interview. "We have crossed the line into dangerous territory," Turner said on ITV news.

For article, see:

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- - The fools believe, but torture does not work

50 Percent of American Cretins Think Torture Works
By Kurt Nimmo 18 Nov 2005

"If we can believe the Pew Research Center in Washington, nearly fifty percent of all Americans not only believe torture is justified against 'suspected terrorists' (i.e., Pakistani and Afghan cab drivers and dirt farmers kidnapped and then sold to the CIA), but also that it works. Here's a clue for Bubba in Palookaville: torture does not work."

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- - Bush 'an assassin, crazy man'

18 Nov 2005 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, extending his war of words with Washington, on Thursday called US President George W Bush "an assassin" and accused the United States of meddling in his country's affairs. Chavez said: "The people of the US are governed by an assassin ... a crazy man! I think the people of the US are more aware of this situation every day."

For article, see:,,2-10-1462_1836589,00.html

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- - 20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

1 in 5 Americans believe the elections were fraudulent.
That's over 41 Million Americans.
You are NOT alone!

For list of 20 amazing voting facts in the US, and linked references, see:

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- - Over a Century of US Military Interventions

U.S. Threatened To Use Nuclear Weapons 17 Times

Comment by Larry Ross Nov 17, 2005

The following article documents 134 U.S. military interventions from 1890 to 1999, including 16 threats to use nuclear weapons. It includes the nuclear bombing in WW II of mainly civilian targets - the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on June 6 and 9, in 1945. George Bush threatened a 17th nuclear weapons use against Iraq in 2003, if the US judged that Iraq had used chemical weapons as a defence against the illegal U.S.-U.K. invasion, even though the U.S. and U.K. both lied to justify this invasion.

Recently, under the Bush Administration, the U.S. has decreed that it may actually use nuclear weapons, not as a last resort, but in conventional military campaigns as they judge necessary.

Also, George Bush decreed he might unilaterally launch a pre-emptive nuclear war against nations that the Bush Administration judges may be enemies who might, someday, make weapons of mass destruction, or nuclear weapons, and attack the U.S. or it's allies. The Bush Administration reserves the right to make the judgements.

There are 8 or 9 nuclear weapon states. Any nuclear weapons use can expand into a global nuclear war. This could end life on earth. Nuclear weapons use is gambling with millions of lives, if not the fate of humanity.

The Bush Administration made a judgement to launch a pre-emptive war against Iraq in 2003, threatening to use nuclear weapons. This was an illegal war, not approved by the United Nations. At the time, and since, there has been a massive amount of testimony and evidence that George Bush and members of his Administration deliberately, and repeatedly lied to the American people, the Senate and to the world to justify the war. They are unrepentant, and continue to slaughter, imprison and torture thousands of Iraqis and use radioactive D.U. weapons in Iraq. The residue, microscopic DU particles, poison the land and infect and kill anyone who inhales them for generations to come.

The next U.S. pre-emptive war could be against Iran, and/or Syria. Both have been mentioned as potential targets by Bush, and North Korea..


From Wounded Knee to Afghanistan
Compiled by Zoltan Grossman

For list, see:

2) 9/11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts behind the War on Terror

- - A State Department's Critique

9/11 Revealed: Challenging the Facts behind the War on Terror
The Sunday Times September 04, 2005
by Nick Fielding

Terrorism: 9/11 Revealed:
Challenging the Facts behind the War on Terror
by Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan
Robinson 8.99 pp224

Scarcely a day had passed before the first conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks began to emerge. The "miraculous" recovery of lead hijacker Mohammed Atta's passport from the ruins of the World Trade Center, the spotting of a team of Israelis who cheered as they filmed the incident in New York, the odd behaviour of George W Bush, who continued to read a story about goats to children for an hour after he had been informed about the attacks — all of these events were grist to the conspiracy theorists' mill.

One of the strongest (and unsubstantiated) theories to emerge suggested that millions of dollars had been made by speculators on the New York stock exchange who had advance knowledge of the campaign. The passing of four years has diminished neither the breadth and intricacy of 9/11 conspiracy theories nor, it would appear, the public appetite for them. Like JFK and Martin Luther King's assassinations, it is an event destined to be the subject of intense speculation for generations to come.

Dozens of sceptical accounts have emerged including theories that the attacks were a coup d'etat carried out from within the American administration itself. There are, say supporters of this line of argument, parallels with the continuing debate over whether or not America knew in advance of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

By allowing the attacks to happen — or in the case of the most extreme theories, by organising them under a "false flag" — the military-industrial complex in America, headed by Dick Cheney and his neocon supporters in the Project for a New American Century, guaranteed that America would stay at war and that profits would stay high. Supporters of this and similar theories point to previous occasions where America has invented incidents to justify continuing hostilities, such as during the Spanish-American conflict or the Gulf of Tonkin incident in the Vietnam war.

A recent DVD from the Blackpool 9/11 Truth Group, for example, states the following: "The two planes which flew into the towers are American KC737 in-flight refuel tankers fitted with missile pods and not passenger airliners." Similar speculation surrounds the attack on the Pentagon, where the mystery of how a jetliner with a 124-ft wingspan could leave a hole only 14ft wide in the outer wall continues to baffle all who examine the incident.

The behaviour of the Bush administration has not helped those who wish to see a full explanation of 9/11. At first, Bush was determined there should be no inquiry into the biggest attack ever launched on American soil. Then he tried to appoint Henry Kissinger to head a limited inquiry. Following a storm of protest, Kissinger was forced to withdraw when he refused to reveal his sensitive client list.

The authors of Revealed, both radical journalists, have subjected the official version of what happened to intense scrutiny and found huge gaps. Recalling that most of what we know about what happened on the planes comes from alleged calls made by passengers on mobile phones, they point out that most experts say that, for technical reasons, this contact would have been impossible to make. No billing advice has ever been made public to show the calls were made. They highlight the absence of Mayday distress signals, the failure to find the black-box flight recorders for the WTC aircraft, the apparent disappearance of the wreckage, the failure to carry out a full engineering investigation into why the towers collapsed so fast and the failure to scramble military aircraft to intercept the hijacked aircraft.

Even more intriguing is the role of Hani Hanjour, the pilot of Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon. Anyone who examines the route taken by Hanjour will see that it required a complex manoeuvre by an experienced pilot. Yet in 2001, when Hanjour tried to fly down the Hudson air corridor in a light aircraft, his trainer was so unnerved that he denied him a second run.

You don't have to be a conspiracy nut to see that the official account published by the 9/11 Commission is full of gaps. The interesting question is whether or not all such incidents are, ultimately, unknowable or whether the public has been misled. Take your pick.,,2102-1757744,00.html

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- - 911 Revealed – A State Department's Critique

Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire .



The explosive book 911 Revealed has achieved another first: it has been allocated a special page in The US State Department's global "misinformation" section, where an unknown writer denounces the book as "putting forth bizarre conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States" and giving "credence to a hodgepodge of sinister, unfounded allegations".


But the book's authors say that the State Department's allegations against the book are themselves misinformation.

In September the book was first in the Independent on Sunday's political Book chart (18 September, chart supplied by Amazon UK) and in August number 6 in the Daily Telegraph/Nielsen top ten non-fiction best-sellers (August 27). It even reached Amazon UK's top 30 titles, beating mass pulp fiction books and hyped TV tie-ins. The top selling national mid market Daily Mail gave the book a massive 3 page spread in August, the top national quality seller the Sunday Times gave it a headline review.

Co-author Ian Henshall said today:

"The Bush administration is unable to understand the difference between a book which examines sceptic theories and a book which espouses such theories. We hope that the lies and distortions in this review are not having the effect of persuading TV studios to operate an embargo on an important book.. ..No-one has signed the State Department's highly misleading review, no-one has asked us for a comment and of course no-one has given us the opportunity to make a rebuttal.

In the book we take pains to present the evidence for readers to make up their own minds, and endorse no theories ourselves, only calling for a genuinely independent criminal inquiry to clear up the many questions that remain unanswered. These include allegations that a culture of "just let the next attack happen" shaded into outright complicity in the attacks and possibly spawned add-ons, like the anthrax attacks which purported to come from Islamic terrorists, or the suspected demolition of WTC7 which was neither hit by a plane nor destroyed by a major fire.

Ex-Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill has revealed that the Bush "gang" (as he put it in The Price of Loyalty) intended to occupy Iraq, not after but before 911. It is legitimate to ask if the 911 attacks somehow fitted into this plan. Broadcast editors should have the courage to ask whether they were fooled, not once over the WMD affair, but twice.

The State website ignores these important strategic issues. It also offers no justification for the failure of the Kean/Zelikow 911 Commission to release the evidence that should - if the official story is true - be able to scotch widespread "conspiracy theories".

..They ignore dozens of other issues that we raise, including the almost complete silence of eight hijacked pilots on the day, the failure of the USAF to intervene in any effective way, the suspicious nature of Atta's connecting flight from Portland, Maine, the contradictory reports of Mrs Olson's apparent phone call from Flight 77, the assertion that air traffic controllers failed to consider the possibility that Flight 77 was hijacked, and the FBI's claim refuted by pictures we publish that negligible amounts of plane debris were recovered from the Twin Towers site.

Given the refusal of the US government to release even the most basic evidence (eg the photos that sould prove that Flight 77 indeed hit the Pentagon) no-one can be sure of what really lay behind the 911 attacks, and it is a cheap smear to suggest that we claim to know.

The evidence so far produced is consistent with government complicity in the attacks and indeed 48% of New Yorkers polled in 2004 said that they thought that the Bush White House "consciously allowed" the attacks to take place (Zogby). It amounts to disinformation for the State Department to pick on a few of the questions raised in the book in order to try to discredit us.

The US government's refusal to allow an open and independent criminal inquiry, with all possibilities considered, has encouraged an atmosphere of distrust. Rather than misrepresenting us, the Bush administration ought to accept that it has a serious case to answer, release files and video evidence it has unaccountably kept secret, and stop acting as if it had something to hide.

Some of the individual claims of skeptics might be wrong, but the State Department's clumsy attempt to frighten editors and destroy our reputation only underlines the central issue. The official story is not adequately supported by the evidence and depends on the uncritical acceptance of claims made by an administration that, since the Iraq WMD falsehoods, is widely distrusted.

A more detailed rebuttal of the State Department's review of our book is available at from 12.00 Thursday UK time.

Anne Sullivan Publicity Manager Nation Books
00 646-437-1222
Ian Henshall can be reached through his shop
Coffee Plant in London's Portobello Road 00 44 7221 8137

The complete article is posted at:

3) Vermont Yankee's Nuclear Danger to ALL

62 cracks found at Vt. Yankee
Published by the Brattleboro Reformer on 11 November 2005
By Kristi Ceccarossi
Reformer Staff

BRATTLEBORO -- There are 62 cracks in an important piece of equipment at Vermont Yankee, but plant officials and federal regulators say that's not a problem.

The hairline, surface cracks in the plant's steam dryer were found this month during a routine shutdown. Entergy Nuclear, owners of the plant, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the cracks pose no safety threat.

The cracks are not structurally significant and they are probably from the plant's early years of operation, according to Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC. They "appear to be old," he said.

However, nuclear watchdogs say the cracks are one more reason why the NRC should put the brakes on Entergy's plans to boost power at the plant to 120 percent. A so-called "uprate" at Vermont Yankee is pending final review by the NRC.

In other nuclear plants that have been uprated, cracks in the steam dryer have been a persistent concern.

Vermont's congressional delegation has identified the cracks as a problem, too. The state's senators and sole representative wrote to the NRC on Thursday, urging the agency to evaluate the steam dryer issue before approving the uprate.

The Vernon reactor has been off line for re-fueling since Oct. 22. During the outage, plant engineers looked at the reactor and the steam dryer, located at the top of the reactor. They found 42 cracks, ranging from 1 inch to 5 inches in length, said Rob Williams, spokesman for the plant.

The other 16 cracks were discovered in March 2004, during the last refueling outage.

The cracks could have been on the steam dryer more than 20 years, but they've only been discovered now because engineers are using cameras with higher resolutions than ever before.

The images show the cracks have been reviewed by Entergy officials, as well as the NRC and General Electric.

Vermont Yankee is a boiling water reactor that started running in 1972.

When the reactor heats up, it produces steam which, eventually, produces power. Before the steam hits the plant's turbines, it passes through the steam dryer, where any traces of water are removed.

The Quad Cities Generating Station in Illinois, also a boiling water reactor that went on line in 1972, was granted a 17.5 percent uprate by the NRC in 2002.

Since then, the steam dryer has failed twice because of cracking. In one instance, a piece of the dryer broke off and damaged other components of the reactor. The plant has been shut down a number of times to try to fix the problem.

The NRC is scrutinizing the steam dryer issue at Vermont Yankee as a result. This fall, it told plant officials that in order to have their uprate approved, they'd have to adhere to more stringent maintenance of the steam dryer. Entergy agreed to the condition.

Ray Shadis, technical advisor for the nuclear watchdog New England Coalition, said the added oversight amounts to "an experiment on the banks of the Connecticut River."

"They are now making the assertion that because these are surface cracks, they will go no further."

And particularly in light of a 20 percent boost in power output at the plant, Shadis said, "that's preposterous."

Article Truncated,
for the complete article, see:,1413,102%257E8860%257E3126276,00.html

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Entergy Corporation of Louisiana is the current owners of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant (VY), located in Vernon, Vermont, which borders Massachusetts and New Hampshire. VY is one of the oldest Nuke Plants in the country, and is currently scheduled for decommissioning in 2012. If Entergy and the nuclear industry gets its way, VY will receive a twenty-year extension on its operating life, and is currently being engineered for an additional 20% electrical output than it was originally designed to handle. Meanwhile, with the waste problem, with potential terrorist problem, with the brittle nature of old atomic nuclear power plants, one would think such uprate is a bad idea. However, recently the NRC staff has given preliminary approval to Entergy for a 20% increase in electrical output, which will increase operating temperatures, water and steam pressures, which will place more stress on mechanical equipment, and lead to greater radioactive emissions!

Please consider helping stop a trend for uprating and extending licenses for dangerous nuclear power plants. The following is a sample letter we hope you will copy and send to newspapers, your government representatives, and to the Vermont Public Service Board < >


I am writing to ask for your help in stopping a proposed 20% increase in output (and re-licensing) of the nuclear power reactor in Vernon, Vermont. This nuclear power plant built in 1971 is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2012. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported that "there is reasonable assurance that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by operation in the proposed manner.." This assumption is preposterous and dangerous. The reactor power boost would increase the likelihood of an accident, increase the amount of radioactivity produced and released from the plant, increase radiation exposure to workers and site boundaries, and increase the rate at which high-level and low-level nuclear waste is produced.

Please support a full independent safety assessment of Vermont Yankee on the conformance of VY to its design and licensing bases (including appropriate reviews at the site and corporate offices); independently assess operational safety performance giving risk perspectives where appropriate; evaluate the effectiveness of license self-assessments, corrective actions, and improvement plans; and determine safety-significant findings and draw conclusions on overall performance.

Generating electricity with nuclear power was proved to be dangerous by the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island nuclear accidents, and especially in this era of high explosives and terrorism. Such plants could be converted to non-nuclear sources of electricity. The sooner, the better, in my opinion, but please, help us gain an independent review and assessment on the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been shown to be untrustworthy in reviewing an industry that threatens human life for many generations.


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For an online petition on this issue, see:

For more information, visit the New England Coalition

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