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Wrong Guy * Pre-emption * NORML President

17 December 2003

"..This day's news does not lessen the danger
that the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive strike
poses to international peace and stability.."

– Senator Robert C. Byrd

1) We Caught The Wrong Guy By William Rivers Pitt
2) Challenging ‘Pre-emption' by Senator Robert C. Byrd
3) We Finally Got Our Frankenstein.. by Michael Moore

- - Michael Moore: "Dude, Where's My Country?"
4) The World is Better Off?
- - "Meanwhile, in Iraq the Slaughter Goes On"
- - US soldiers wrapping entire Iraqi villages in barbed wire
- - Argentine outrage at Britain's nuclear revelation
- - Dirty bomb warheads disappear in Moldova
5) 9-11 Widow Requests Saddam's Deposition in RICO Suit
6) Take Action - The Threat From Computerized Voting Machines
7) Dennis Kucinich and NORML

Editor's Notes:

The progressive independent news in this issue contradicts and confronts the political coup or praises of Saddam Hussein's capture. By now the public is finding out that the war is more than about regime change, but about the US unilateral interest in dominating our planet. William Rivers Pitt, Senator Robert Byrd, and Michael Moore communicate this point most eloquently for regime change in the US. Item 4 includes a link with Dianne Sawyer's interview with George Bush, who got close to roasting him about the costs of invading Iraq, the lost lives, and missing weapons of mass destruction. Bush started squirming and making the rhetoric that America is now more safe. Sawyer chickened out in confronting this untruth. If you read the other parts in this item 4, it shows the many failures in security, and how the US actions are making matters worse. In following up to the last issue's main story, item 5 is about a 9-11 widow requesting Saddam Hussein's deposition in the RICO law suit. Item 6 is on an action alert from True Majority and Martin Sheen on making your vote count; and item 7 is on a Dennis Kucinich-NORML connection.

Please keep working-uniting for peace and justice,
and forward and share this gift of independent news,
and for the Truth that will set US Free.

Peace and Light – 2004 - 2008 - 2012 - & ad infinitum

1) We Caught The Wrong Guy By William Rivers Pitt

t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Monday 15 December 2003

Saddam Hussein, former employee of the American federal government, was captured near a farmhouse in Tikrit in a raid performed by other employees of the American federal government. That sounds pretty deranged, right? Perhaps, but it is also accurate. The unifying thread binding together everyone assembled at that Tikrit farmhouse is the simple fact that all of them – the soldiers as well as Hussein – have received pay from the United States for services rendered.

It is no small irony that Hussein, the Butcher of Baghdad, the monster under your bed lo these last twelve years, was paid probably ten thousand times more during his time as an American employee than the soldiers who caught him on Saturday night. The boys in the Reagan White House were generous with your tax dollars, and Hussein was a recipient of their largesse for the better part of a decade.

If this were a Tom Clancy movie, we would be watching the dramatic capture of Hussein somewhere in the last ten minutes of the tale. The bedraggled dictator would be put on public trial for his crimes, sentenced to several thousand concurrent life sentences, and dragged off to prison in chains. The anti-American insurgents in Iraq, seeing the sudden futility of their fight to place Hussein back into power, would lay down their arms and melt back into the countryside. For dramatic effect, more than a few would be cornered by SEAL teams in black facepaint and discreetly shot in the back of the head. The President would speak with eloquence as the martial score swelled around him. Fade to black, roll credits, get off my plane.

The real-world version is certainly not lacking in drama. The streets of Baghdad were thronged on Sunday with mobs of Iraqi people celebrating the final removal of a despot who had haunted their lives since 1979. Their joy was utterly unfettered. Images on CNN of Hussein, looking for all the world like a Muslim version of Charles Manson while getting checked for head lice by an American medic, were as surreal as anything one might ever see on a television.

Unfortunately, the real-world script has a lot of pages left to be turned. Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, reached at his home on Sunday, said, "It's great that they caught him. The man was a brutal dictator who committed terrible crimes against his people. But now we come to rest of story. We didn't go to war to capture Saddam Hussein. We went to war to get rid of weapons of mass destruction.

Those weapons have not been found." Ray McGovern, senior analyst and 27-year veteran of the CIA, echoed Ritter's perspective on Sunday. "It's wonderful that he was captured, because now we'll find out where the weapons of mass destruction are," said McGovern with tongue firmly planted in cheek. "We killed his sons before they could tell us."

Indeed, reality intrudes. The push for war before March was based upon Hussein's possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 1,000,000 pounds of sarin gas, mustard gas, and VX nerve gas, along with 30,000 munitions to deliver these agents, uranium from Niger to be used in nuclear bombs, and let us not forget the al Qaeda terrorists closely associated with Hussein who would take this stuff and use it against us on the main streets and back roads of the United States.

When they found Hussein hiding in that dirt hole in the ground, none of this stuff was down there with him. The full force of the American military has been likewise unable to locate it anywhere else. There is no evidence of al Qaeda agents working with Hussein, and Bush was forced some weeks ago to publicly acknowledge that Hussein had nothing to do with September 11. The Niger uranium story was debunked last summer.

Conventional wisdom now holds that none of this stuff was there to begin with, and all the clear statements from virtually everyone in the Bush administration squatting on the public record describing the existence of this stuff looks now like what it was then: A lot of overblown rhetoric and outright lies, designed to terrify the American people into supporting an unnecessary go-it-alone war. Said war made a few Bush cronies rich beyond the dreams of avarice while allowing some hawks in the Defense Department to play at empire-building, something they have been craving for more than ten years.

Of course, the rhetoric mutated as the weapons stubbornly refused to be found. By the time Bush did his little ‘Mission Accomplished' strut across the aircraft carrier, the occupation was about the removal of Saddam Hussein and the liberation of the Iraqi people. No longer were we informed on a daily basis of the "sinister nexus between Hussein and al Qaeda," as described by Colin Powell before the United Nations in February. No longer were we fed the insinuations that Hussein was involved in the attacks of September 11. Certainly, any and all mention of weapons of mass destruction ceased completely. We were, instead, embarking on some noble democratic experiment..

[Article Truncated] - for the entire article, see:

2) Challenging ‘Pre-emption' by Senator Robert C. Byrd
Published on Monday, December 15, 2003 by The Nation
Challenging 'Pre-emption'
by Senator Robert C. Byrd
Remarks on the 138th Anniversary Celebration of The Nation Magazine, December 14, 2003, in New York City

The older I get, the more I become convinced that wisdom is enhanced by age, and I think the same can be said of The Nation magazine. It is more than a good read. It has become, over the years, an essential publication and a voice for the loyal opposition that is needed today as perhaps never before.

Tonight, I have been asked to speak about Iraq.

Early this morning came news of the capture of Saddam Hussein. That is good news. Despite his fall from power many months ago, the specter of a possible return to power had cast a constant shadow over Iraq and the Iraqi people. I applaud the tenacious work of the military and intelligence communities for their success today.

But that success does not diminish the challenges that remain in Iraq, and it certainly does not tamp the passions inflamed against the United States throughout the Muslim world by our actions in Iraq. The capture of Saddam Hussein will not be the keystone for peace in that volatile region. This day's news does not lessen the danger that the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive strike poses to international peace and stability.

In order to bring lasting stability to Iraq, that nation needs the help of the entire world, not just America and her fighting needs.

As each day passes and as more American soldiers are killed and wounded in Iraq, I become ever more convinced that the war in Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place for the wrong reasons.

Contrary to the President's rosy predictions--and the predictions of others in the Bush Administration--the United States has not been universally greeted as a liberator in Iraq. The peace--if one can use the term "peace" to describe the chronic violence and instability that define Iraq today--the peace is far from being won. Iraqi citizens may be glad that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, but they appear to be growing increasingly resentful that the United States continues to rule their country at the point of a gun.

What a huge price we are now paying for the President's bullheaded rush to invoke the unwise and unprecedented doctrine of pre-emption to invade Iraq, an invasion without provocation, an invasion without the support of the United Nations or the international community.

It would be tragic enough if the casualties of the Iraq war were confined to the battlefield, but they are not. The casualties of this war will have serious repercussions for generations to come. Truth is one casualty. Despite the best efforts of the White House to contort the invasion of Iraq into an extension of the war on terror, there was never a connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11. There was never a connection between Iraq and September 11. Not a single Iraqi was among the nineteen hijackers of those four planes. Despite dire warnings from the President, Saddam Hussein had at his fingertips neither the means nor the materiel to unleash deadly weapons of mass destruction on the world. Despite presidential rhetoric to the contrary, Iraq did not pose a grave and gathering menace to the security of the United States. The war in Iraq was nothing less than a manufactured war. It was a war served up to a deliberately misled and deluded American public to suit the neoconservative political agenda of the Bush White House.

A lasting casualty is the international credibility and reputation of the United States of America. We have squandered the good will that had rallied to our side after the attacks of 9/11, attacks that struck just a few short blocks from where we sit tonight. At the end of that fateful day, the world was with us. The French newspaper Le Monde proclaimed, "We Are All Americans." But we squandered that good will. We turned our sights on Iraq and turned our back on the United Nations. As a result, in some corners of the world, including some corners of Europe and Great Britain, our beloved nation is now viewed as the world bully.

Finally, and most disheartening to me, Congress allowed the Constitution to become a casualty of the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive strikes. Congress allowed its constitutional authority to declare war to fall victim to this irresponsible strategy. Just a little more than a year ago, in October 2002, the Senate obsequiously handed to the President the constitutional authority to declare war. It failed to debate; it failed to question; it failed to live up to the standards established by the Framers. Like a whipped dog, the Senate put its tail between its legs and slunk away into the shadows, slunk away from its responsibility. Congress--and I mean both houses--Congress delegated its constitutional authority to the President and effectively washed its hands of the fate of Iraq. It is a dark and despicable mark on the escutcheon of Congress.

The roots of this travesty can be traced directly back to the President's doctrine of pre-emption, that cockeyed notion that the United States can pre-emptively attack any nation that for whatever reason may--may!--appear to pose a threat in the future. Not only is the doctrine of pre-emption a radical departure from the traditional doctrine of self-defense but it is also a destabilizing influence on world affairs. The Bush doctrine of pre-emption is a dangerous precedent. The Bush doctrine of pre-emption is a reckless policy. The rising tide of anti-Americanism across the globe is directly attributable to the fear and distrust engendered by this Bush doctrine of pre-emption.

[Article Truncated] - for the entire article, see:

3) We Finally Got Our Frankenstein.. by Michael Moore

- - Michael Moore: "Dude, Where's My Country?"

We Finally Got Our Frankenstein... and He Was In a Spider Hole! --
by Michael Moore

For this insightful tongue-in-cheek Moore perception article, see:

The following was posted (12/14/03)

American Deaths in Iraq
Since war began: 458

Faces of the Fallen
Information supplied by and The Washington Post

How Long Before Bill O'Reilly Apologizes to the Nation?

In the build up to the war with Iraq, Bill O'Reilly was on television every night backing up Bush's whoppers. Like the White House team, O'Reilly assured us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. On March 18, 2003, O'Reilly was on ABC's "Good Morning America." He made the following promise about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction:

"If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush Administration again, all right?"

It's time for Bill O'Reilly to apologize to the nation and tell us that he no longer trusts the Bush Administration. How long must we wait?

273 days and counting!

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Mike's Department of Homeland Security
Sunday, December 14th, 2003
Pregnant Chad
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- - Michael Moore: "Dude, Where's My Country?"

Yes, Michael Moore is the scourge of Stupid White Men everywhere. He's taken on fat cats, gun nuts, lying politicians. The Guardian describes him as "a wake-up call, a kick in the mental backside." And now he's back-daring to ask the most urgent question of these perilous times:

"Dude, Where's My Country?"

Michael Moore is on a mission in his new book: Regime Change. The man who slithered into the White House on tracks greased by his daddy's oil buddies is one of many targets in Mike's blistering follow-up to his smash #1 hit Stupid White Men, the biggest-selling nonfiction book of the year.

For more on another classic Michael Moore book,
"Dude, Where's My Country?" see:

4) The World is Better Off?

- - "Meanwhile, in Iraq the Slaughter Goes On"
- - US soldiers wrapping entire Iraqi villages in barbed wire
- - Argentine outrage at Britain's nuclear revelation
- - Dirty bomb warheads disappear in Moldova

‘World Is Better Off'

In his first interview since the capture of Saddam Hussein, President Bush tells Diane Sawyer that America is a safer country now that the Iraqi leader has been captured, but there is still much more work to be done in Iraq.

The interview was broadcast on ABC TV on 16 December at 8 p.m. ET.

Dianne Sawyer interview with President George W. Bush

Three days after Saddam Hussein's capture, President Bush talks exclusively to ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer. (Eric Draper/White House)

Watch the video

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- - "Meanwhile, in Iraq the Slaughter Goes On"
by Andrew Buncombe
Published on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 by the lndependent/UK

24 Dead in Iraq Since Saddam Captured

The Capture of Saddam Hussein:
Statement of the Fellowship of Reconciliation

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The following links were provided by the

- - US soldiers wrapping entire Iraqi villages in barbed wire

In what is a new tactic for Iraq's occupation forces, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire. In Abu Hishma, encased in a razor-wire fence after repeated attacks on American troops, Iraqi civilians line up to go in and out, filing through an American-guarded checkpoint, each carrying an identification card printed in English only. Over to one side, an Iraqi man named Tariq muttered in anger: "I see no difference between us and the Palestinians," he said. "We didn't expect anything like this after Saddam fell."

The New York Times [US], 06 December 2003; click for article:

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- - Argentine outrage at Britain's nuclear revelation

Argentina has demanded an apology from Britain after it admitted for the first time that Royal Navy ships carried nuclear weapons in the 1982 Falklands War. The disclosure from the Ministry of Defence came as the British Government was forced to concede that seven nuclear weapons containers were damaged during a series of wartime accidents. But many of the details of these accidents are still being kept secret.

Sydney Morning Herald [Australia], 07 December 2003; click for article:

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- - Dirty bomb warheads disappear in Moldova

In the ethnic conflicts that surrounded the collapse of the Soviet Union, fighters in several countries seized upon an unlikely new weapon: a small, thin rocket known as the Alazan. Originally built for weather experiments, the Alazan rockets were packed with explosives and lobbed into cities. These radioactive warheads are not known to have been used. But now, according to experts and officials, they have disappeared.

The Washington Post [US], 07 December 2003; click for article:¬Found=true

You can also link to these stories from

5) 9-11 Widow Requests Saddam's Deposition in RICO Suit

(Lafayette Hill, PA - 12/14/03) - Philip J. Berg, Esquire, attorney for Ellen Mariani, wife of Louis Neil Mariani, who died when United Air Lines flight 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 911 announced today, in the wake of the capture of Saddam Hussein, she will seek an extraordinary writ by the Honorable Court to immediately depose Saddam Hussein, a critical witness to support the merits of her RICO Act cause of action against Defendant George W. Bush, et. al.


6) Take Action - The Threat From Computerized Voting Machines
by True Majority and Martin Sheen

The Threat From Computerized Voting Machines

I am writing to you as a fellow member of TrueMajority to ask for your help in preventing a scandal that could shake our nation to the roots of our democratic principles. Please take a moment to send a free fax to your Representative in Congress, and then to pass this letter on to your friends and family in the hope that they will help too.

We start with a principle so obvious it seems strange even to write it: For a democracy to work, the people must believe that balloting is conducted fairly and votes are counted accurately. Americans feel justifiable pride that our nation has created a system to ensure this, including provisions for recounts.

In the wake of the punch card voting mess in Florida, the federal government dedicated billions of dollars to help states purchase new voting machines. Some pioneering states have begun purchasing a new type of touch screen computerized voting machine. These machines register votes on a memory chip and then digitally transmit the results via telephone modem to election headquarters.

We can only hope that neither glitches nor tampering will change or erase any of our votes. We all know that computers sometimes crash and lose data. Power cords get pulled out of the wall. And what better trophy for a hacker--or over zealous campaign worker--than to skew the outcome of the actual election?

There is a simple solution to these problems. The California Secretary of State has ordered that these new computerized voting machines print out a paper copy of your vote for your approval before the vote is registered. These printouts would then be saved in case the machines malfunction or there is any question as to whether or not they have been tampered with. Without them we would just have to trust the companies that make the machines--companies like Diebold whose CEO, Walden W. O'Dell, recently wrote in a fundraising letter for the Republicans, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year."

Without a paper trail, there is no way to reliably validate an election or conduct a reliable recount. It's that simple.

For a form letter and fax connection to send a letter to your Representative, see:

7) Dennis Kucinich and NORML

Presidential Candidate Promises to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

With the 2004 Presidential election less than a year away, I am pleased to announce that for the first time in more than two decades, marijuana law reform has emerged as a prominent campaign issue. Among the nine Democratic Presidential candidates, several have publicly spoken out in
favor of the use of marijuana as a medicine, and three recently admitted in a live nationally televised debate to having smoked marijuana. Their admission was met with rousing applause from the audience! (NORML's report in this debate is available online at:

However, arguably the most significant development of the campaign so far is Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's outspoken support for ending marijuana prohibition. Last week Kucinich (D-Ohio) announced on his campaign website that, if elected, he would end federal criminal prohibitions on the personal use of marijuana by adults, and would establish national guidelines to regulate it like alcohol. This is one of the strongest and most progressive endorsements of marijuana law reform ever uttered by a prominent Presidential candidate!


"Smoke the Vote" is the largest 'get out the vote' campaign ever launched by NORML, and seeks to harness the more than 20 million marijuana smokers nationwide into a powerful, viable political constituency. And it's working! To date, more than 2,000 NORML supporters have used NORML's "Smoke the Vote" service to register to vote for marijuana law reform in the 2004 election! If you still need to register to vote or change your address, do so right now at

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For Dennis Kucinich statement on "Marijuana Decriminalization" see:

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New Year New President Music Event

Dennis Kucinich will be joined at an Austin, Texas, fundraising concert by Willie Nelson, Tim Reynolds, and Michelle Shocked, all Kucinich endorsers, plus special guests Bonnie Raitt, and Tish Hinojosa.

The time is Saturday, January 3, 2004, doors open at 7:00 p.m. Central Time; concert starts at 8 p.m. The place is Austin Music Hall, 208 Nueces, Austin, Texas.

Tickets available only at or by calling 512-469-SHOW (7469).

Artist Reception immediately following the concert at the La Zona Rosa, 612 West 4th street (at the intersection of 4th St. and Rio Grande in downtown Austin) Tickets are $75 available by phoning (512)472-5755.

For the official Kucinich web site listing of his schedule, see:

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