Democracy Now! Headlines for January 31
Posted by uscsjp on February 1, 2007
Ex-Bush Counsel: Congress Can Stop Iraq War
Anti-war momentum gathered steam on Capitol Hill Tuesday with new resolutions and testimony challenging the Bush administration’s plans for Iraq. Appearing before the Senate Judiciary committee, former Bush administration counsel Bradford Berenson said the constitution gives Congress “broad authority” to end the war. Three other constitutional experts gave backing testimony. Republican Senator Arlen Specter challenged President Bush’s recent vow to send more troops to Iraq regardless of what happens in Congress.
- Sen. Arlen Specter: “I would suggest respectfully to the President that he is not the sole decider, that the decider is a shared and joint responsibility.”
Feingold Measure Would Bar War Funding
The Senate is expected to take up a non-binding resolution against the White House’s handling of the Iraq war later today. Meanwhile, Senator Russ Feingold said he would introduce a measure barring funding for the war over a six-month period.
- Sen. Russ Feingold: “This hearing has shown that this legislation is fully consistent with the Constitution of the United States, Congress should enact it and soon.”
Other measures continue to arise. On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Barack Obama introduced a bill calling for the withdrawal of all US troops by April of next year. Code Pink Activists Call on Clinton to Oppose War
Capitol Hill was also the site of more protest. Activists with the group Code Pink occupied the office of New York Senator Hillary Clinton calling on the presidential hopeful to oppose the Iraq war. One banner said: “We want a woman for peace, not just a woman.” Six people were arrested.
Doubts Raised over US-Iraq Claim on Najaf Battle
In news from Iraq, there are new doubts about the US and Iraqi claim hundreds of people killed in a battle in Najaf were members of a messianic cult. London Independent correspondent Patrick Cockburn reports the official story could actually be covering up for a massacre. The Iraqi government says it battled members of the “Soldiers of Heaven” who were planning to disrupt the Shiite holy festival of Ashura. But independent reports indicate the fighting actually centered around an entirely different tribe called the Hawatim. According to these accounts, the Hawatim were on their way to the celebrations in Najaf when Iraqi soldiers opened fire — killing their chief, his wife and their driver. The tribesmen are said to have responded by attacking the Iraqi military checkpoint. Two US soldiers died after their helicopter was struck as it backed the Iraqi forces. The new account has not been verified as Iraqi authorities have barred reporters from speaking to survivors.
Germany Charges 13 US Operatives in CIA Kidnapping
In Germany, prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for thirteen CIA operatives linked to the kidnapping and torture of the German citizen Khaled el-Masri. Masri was seized along the Serbian-Macedonian border and flown to Afghanistan where he was tortured inside a secret prison. He was released without charge after five months. Masri tried to sue the CIA in federal court but his case was dismissed on grounds a trial could harm national security. The news comes as an Italian court is considering whether to try two dozen US agents over the kidnapping of the Egyptian cleric Abu Omar.
Castro Appears in First Images in 3 Months
Negroponte: Chavez Threatens Democracy
NASA Scientist: Bush Admin Censored Climate Reports
Greenpeace Calls for Higher Emission Standards
In other environmental news, Greenpeace is calling for a higher reduction of carbon dioxide emissions than mandated under the Kyoto protocol. On Tuesday, Greenpeace released a report calling for a reduction of nearly fifty percent over the next half-century. Greenpeace Climate and energy policy advisor Steve Sawyer warned of drastic consequences if the world’s temperature rises by even a few degrees.
- Steve Sawyer: “My country where I live in, Holland, will effectively disappear, the World Trade Center memorial will be under water and the coast lines of the continents as we know them will have completely changed beyond all recognition and we’ll be looking at hundreds of hundreds of millions of people with no place to live.”
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is planning to release a report Friday saying there is at least a 90 percent chance human activities are the main cause of climate change. The same scientists listed a 66 percent probability six years ago. FBI Surveillance Collects Internet Use in Massive Database
In domestic surveillance news, the FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously disclosed.
Padilla Charge Re-Instated
A federal appeals court has reinstated a key charge in the government’s terrorism case against Jose Padilla.
Miller Testifies Against Former Source Libby
Back in Washington, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller testified Tuesday in the perjury and obstruction trial of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Miller became the sixth witness to reveal Libby talked about former CIA operative Valerie Plame earlier than he has claimed. Miller spent nearly three months in jail in 2005 for refusing to reveal her confidential source in her coverage of the case. The source turned out to be Libby.
Woman Arrested, Denied Contraceptive After Reporting Rape
Jury: Seattle Police Violated WTO Protester Rights