U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome Italy anti-war demonstration in Rome

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Latest News

Week of January 02 2006

More on Illegal Spying
Investigation into Bush's illegal spying continues, with the New York Times reporting on the NSA's vast data mining program that goes beyond what the White House has acknowledged. The Chicago Tribune follows up with a report on the silence of the telecom companies regarding their involvement. One expert described this practice of large scale data mining:

"Their idea of finding a needle in a haystack seems to involve getting more hay."

Judge James Robertson of the FISA court responsible for issues orders of surveillance has resigned in protest and others have requested to be briefed on the program as reported by the Washington Post.

The ACLU has recently published two full page ads on the New York Times comparing Bush and Nixon:


Take Action: The ACLU is calling for a full investigation into the matter. Urge your senators to appoint a special counsel.

The administration is also calling for an investigation, however in this case, they'd like to know who let the cat out of the bag. The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation, and in a rare move, announced the highly classified investigation to the press.

For background information on domestic surveillance, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has put together a list of resources.

More Talk of Impeachment
The talk of illegal domestic spying has led to more talk of impeachment, even in the mainstream media as reported by Editor and Publisher.

The House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff led by John Conyers has released a 273 page document entitled "The Constitution in Crisis." Read the Executive Summary or the entire document on After Downing Street.

Following former White House Counsel John Dean's assertion that this is the first time a sitting president has admitted to an impeachable offense, Senator Boxer asked four presidential scholars for their opinion as reported by Raw Story. Read also Dean's article "George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon."

Take Action: Impeach PAC is calling on everyone to make impeaching Bush and Cheney their New Year's resolution.

Protest War Via Phone Tax in U.S.
Thousands in the U.S. are protesting the war in Iraq each month by withholding payment of a 3% federal excise tax from their phone bills. Most of the money from this tax is destined for the military. The campaign was initiated by Iraq Pledge of Resistance, the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and the War Resisters League. Read articles on the Denver Post and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Take Action: See the Hang Up On War web site for information on how to participate and spread the word with your friends in the U.S.

Complicity in Torture and Defying Censorship
Former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, openly complained about CIA and MI6 use of information gained via torture and it cost him his job. He has written a book about his time in Tashkent, which has been held for clearance for over 3 months by the Foreign Office. On December 23, he was notified that two documents in the book could not be made public and he should destroy all copies. Instead he published the documents in full on his web site. And in solidarity, web sites and blogs throughout the UK and the world have also published the documents.

Take Action: Publish or link to the documents from your web site or blog.

Fuel Prices in Iraq Up 300-900% - In Steps Chalabi
Following the recent elections and under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, fuel prices in Iraq increased 300% for cooking gas and 900% for diesel. Read an article on the increase by Darh Jamail and Arkan Hamed. The Minister of Oil, Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, who has been openly critical of these increases, returned from holiday last week to find he had been suspended for 30 days. Ahmed Chalabi, a strong supporter of the price increases, has replaced him as interim minister. Read articles on the New York Times and the BBC.

Good News: Dover, ANWR, Patriot Act
In Pennsylvania, a conservative Republican judge appointed by Bush ruled against the Dover School District's requirement to teach Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution in biology classes. Read an article on the Washington Post and an editorial on the local paper, the York Daily Record.

In the Senate, Ted Steven's attempt to attach drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the defense spending bill was defeated. Read a press release from Defenders of Wildlife.

Take Action: See the roll call vote, which included some Republicans and contact your senators to let them know what you think of their vote.

And though President Bush initially vowed not to accept anything short of a permanent renewal of the USA Patriot Act, he signed a one month extension.

Upcoming Actions in U.S.
Congress is home for the holidays, encourage your friends and family in the U.S. to pay them a visit. The Senate will be on recess until Jan 18, the House until Jan 31. See the United for Peace & Justice site for tips on setting up a meeting. And don't forget the Out of Iraq Town Hall meetings organized by the After Downing Street Coalition on January 7.

Several groups, including World Can't Wait and Cindy Sheehan's Gold Star Families for Peace, are planning protest events in DC and across the country on January 31, 2006 during Bush's State of the Union address.

Take Action: Let your friends and family in the U.S. know about these events. Participate virtually by contacting your representatives in the House, the Senate (call or fax their local office) as well as writing letters to newspapers.

2005 Year End Round-ups

The Most Valuable Progressives of 2005
by John Nichols of The Nation

10 Good Things about Another Bad Year
by Medea Benjamin of Code Pink

Heroes and Goats of 2005
by Gary Alan Scott, philosophy professor at Loyola College

A Year of Sweet Victories
by Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation

The Envelope Please: It’s Time To Honor Our Media Heroes
by Danny Schechter of MediaChannel

and on the lighter side:
The Year's Funniest Political Video Clips
by Daniel Kurtzman of About's Political Humor

If you know of additional news items that should be listed, send them via email.


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Stay informed
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Ongoing/Future Events

Our Eyes Wide Open Film Series is suspended; for further information click here.

Upshot of our Nov. 9th group discussion on current politics:

It wasn't the Russians that got us Trump. Or Comey. Or even the massive GOP election fraud. It was the DNC.*
*Dem National Committee

To learn how to stop the DNC from delivering us another Trump, read Autopsy: the Democratic Party in Crisis.

Photo of a school in Yemen bombed by Saudi Arabian jets supplied by the U.S. and fueled in the air by the U.S. Air Force. Tell Trump to STOP THIS CARNAGE, not fuel it! Click here.

Also participate in the CodePink email and/or phone initiative:

Click here to sign a petition, to put an end to the sanctions against Syria - their only effect is to take a terrible toll on the population, causing them to migrate! And click here to see the video by the Italian Committee to lift sanctions against Syria.

Iraq Deaths Estimator
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn al-Malaki in Iraq and then Assad in Syria, and is now out of hand. Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...
Write your senators and tell them: "Enough! U.S. out!! Iraq has shown it can curb ISIS by itself!"

Copyright © 2006 U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy