Thursday, August 31
Rockin' Free in Fascist Amerika: “The Music” Refuses to (Completely) Die
In 2003 The Chicks fell afoul of the Thought Police when singer Natalie Maines, on the eve of the US-led invasion of Iraq, told a London audience the band was "ashamed" of sharing Texas as a home state with George W. Bush.
The well-publicized comment garnered death threats from the two of every three mentally-challenged Americans whose primary news source is TV. But the remark also occasioned Academy-Award winning director Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA and American Dream) to chronicle the Amerikan cultural context of the ensuing controversy in Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing, a documentary that premiered in July at the Toronto Film Festival.
Maines' remark not only was politically prophetic but it also seems to have helped the Dixie Chicks commerically. In 2003, The Chicks were country music's top grossing concert band. And by mid-2004 the Washington Post and New York Times were issuing readers backhanded apologizes for not questioning the White House's "fixed" intelligence alleging Iraq possessed nuclear strike-force capabilities and aided the 9/11 al-Qaeda hijackers--which, according to a July Harris poll, 50% of American adults still erroneously believe, yet more evidence of how effective Amerikan TV is to White House propaganda.
Let me put that in context for you: The majority of flag-waving, war-mongering Americans and the collective editorial brain trusts of the country's two most prominent news dailies lacked Ms Maines's insights into the dark character of Crawford, Texas' s #1 citizen, the Howdy Dowdy Kid.
Dixie Chicks concerts and albums continue to sell well, thank you-- even with more recent lyrical snipes at Texas Boy George and their couch potato detractors. The Long Way Home, the Chicks' latest CD featuring the defiant "Not Ready to Make Nice," went platiumn in June four weeks after its release--a point that begs the question why less commerically accomplished country and rock groups aren't lining up to diss the White House. The defiance of authority figures has always played well among America's 15-35 demographic with IQs above room temperature.
On the other hand, a few iconic 60s-era rockers with absolutely nothing left to prove or loose have joined the Chicks in rattling the White House's proverbial cage for its contrived Iraq War and a litany of related criminal, constitutional and human rights abuses.
Let’s look at some audio-visual evidence of these veteran rockers' insistence on lyrical relevancy in post-9/11 Amerika and their willingness to rock in and for a Free America.
Neil Young et al.
Attired in OD green military peace togs and a "Bush" hat, Neil Young appeared in early August on The Colbert Report (below) and conveyed some 60s-era goodwill to the ever-gleeful faux-conservative host. Young also gave Colbert an impromptu guitar lesson.
With longtime fellow troubadours Crosby, Stills and Nash, Young now is on the concert tour providing younger audiences with generous helpings of CSNY's treasure trove of anti-Vietnam War anthems. The group also feature "fresh, furious material" from Young's most recent release "Living with War" that takes on the Iraq War and George Bush.
Although seemingly disappointed with CSNY's "outdated" 60s-era idealism, a Boston Globe (August 18) concert reviewer characterized the veteran group's stage presence and song selection as "stellar," singling out Young's newest Bush-basing material for special mention.
The plain-spoken sentiments in Young's "Let's Impeach the President" and "Shock and Awe" left little room for debate or dissent. Sadly, the extraordinary idealism embodied in the older CSNY material felt still more provocative, and depressingly outdated. "Love is coming to us all," they promised in "Carry On."... Topicality aside, the foursome is a still-formidable musical front line, and the songs (with a few solo-repertoire exceptions) are simply stellar.
Rock on, men. Let the truth and music ring free.
Rhodes scholar and West Point graduate, Kris Kristofferson gave Vietnam War protesters and hippie malcontents the line, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." That, ladies and gentlemen, is a fearless FREEDOM, the only kind, really.
Kristofferson provided Young's "Living with War" CD with one unadorned vocal offering, though the Hall of Famer will be best remembered as a songwriter for such iconic performers as Johnny Cash (“Sunday Morning Coming Down”) and Janis Joplin (“Me and Bobby McGehee”). Although Kristofferson's raspy voice shows all of his years in “In the News,” the video accompaniment ably reinforces his understated lyrics suggesting America's periodic insanity resurfaced ith a vengence in the Bush White House: mamas drowning babies, global warning, ecological degradation, and Bush's “holy war” on terrorists that, in the video, closely resembles infants and children.
Thank you, Kris.
Jackson Browne et al.
Among the most musically active of the 60s rock icons, Jackson Browne just keeps those blusey rock ballads a'coming.
More popular in Japan than the U.S., Browne dodges Amerikan-styled fascism by residing abraod for most of the year.
JB features two music videos on his well-travelled website (www.jacksonbrowne. com) castigating post-9/11 and humankind developments. The slickly edited "Lives in the Balance" (Windows Media or Quicktime) is anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-war profiteering and anti-mainstream TV news. Did we leave anything out?
In contrast, "Casino Nation" (Windows Media or Quicktime) is twice as nuanced and the length of Balance. In the piece, Browne waxes philosophical, questioning the respective post-World War II evolutionary trajectories of technology and human morality of "developed" countries guiding the Bush White House's gamble that is taking America (and the world) to the brink.
Browne also is arguablly the most politically active of the 60s musical icons performing today. August 20 was the most recent example of that brand of activism. Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffin and “and other special guests” joined JB in performing at a
Appreciative of his friends' support of his run at the U.S. House, Hall will need all the help and money he can get: Amerikan politicians have so stacked the system against new candidates that House incumbents are reelected 98% of the time.
“I am honored and deeply grateful to these incredible artists for generously committing their time and talents to my campaign,” said Hall, a renowned singer-songwriter and longtime activist-community leader…. “It's time to challenge the misguided policies of the Bush administration and restore checks and balances to our country.”
Patriotic Americans ask that Hall draft an "Impeach Bush" resolution immediately fafter taking his oath to uphold the constitution as a freshman member of the 110th Congress convening in January '07.
If voters send enough Democrats to congress with Hall in November, Bush White House officials finally could be made to answer those overdue questions about the Iraq War before the House Judiciary Committee that would be chaired by 12-term veteran John Conyers of Michigan. Without question, Conyers will convene hearings on the Iraq War and use his subpoena power to make the guilty war-mongers face the music.
Until that glorious day for democracy, you got to keep on rockin' in Bushwhacked Amerika, ya'll.
Postscript: Some of the best contemporary anti-war/anti-Bush music is not from country music headerliners or 60s rock icons. While the offerings are too numerous (and censored by mainstream radio) to cite here, let me offer two off-the-beaten-path musicians whose work recently attracted my notice.
Eric Schwartz is a musician in search of your funny bone. His "Clinton Got a Blowjob" bashes Commander-in-Thief George Bush with such unmitigated glee and wit that it must be heard then widely circulated. On the other hand, James McMurtry embodies more Heartland angst of the Woody and Arlo Guthrie American populist protest tradition. McMurtry's seven-minute song/video "We Can't Make it Here Anymore" touches all those pressing post-9/11 domestic abuses and neglects needing wider coverage by the self-serving mainstream media and Beltway bandits in congress. Watch it below (or at YouTube here).
15 February 2007 Update: Dixie Chicks took 2006 Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Friday, August 18
9/11 Whistleblower Michael C. Ruppert Bids Farewell to American Fascism
He began recounting his American Iliad leading up to his departure with the lyric from Don Henely's song My Thanksgiving, "Sometimes you get your best light from a burning bridge." In burning his bridges to a native land he sees crumbling in the dust of fascism, Michael Ruppert claims "The world is now my country."
Though uncertain of his final destination, he says Venezuela is his current frontrunner." [B]ecause Venezuela has become the singular world leader in resisting US domination under the courageous, intelligent, and inspired leadership of Hugo Chavez, I want to begin the rest of my days here."
Ruppert's disgust with the perceived abject failure of fellow Americans to hold the Bush White House accountable for the demise of his country is readily apparent. He believes Americans are sheeple, cowardly acquiescing to "the absurdity of the lies" of The Official 9/11 Story and the Bush's administration's growing legacy of post-9/11 fascist policies.
.... In their silence and acquiescence Americans have voted –- even if by abstention –- to stand on the shoulders of all drowning peoples in the vain hope that they will somehow be saved from a paradigm which they support and empower by obeying it; by endorsing it with their silence or knowingly impotent protests; by refusing to throw themselves against the gears of the machine. In this world, a protest which is allowed and encouraged, corralled into free-speech areas, and then policed by the ruling government only to be ignored by the media is, by definition, meaningless.
Ruppert also sees his departure is well timed to avert America's imminent economic collapse, imposition of martial law or both. "As the great Cynthia McKinney said to me not long before her just-orchestrated ouster from the House of Representatives, 'any fool can see it coming'."
Three weeks before Ruppert's departure for Caracas, his new residence in Ashland, Oregon that doubled as his From The Wilderness.com office was burgled and vandalized, an event Ruppert reported as his tipping point for leaving.
The burglary that took place at the new FTW offices in Ashland, Oregon on Sunday, June 25th of this year was the equivalent of my Kristalnacht, a replay of the night in 1938 when Nazi storm troopers, aided by an increasingly cowed and cowardly citizenry, raided synagogues all over Germany and smashed every piece of glass and every window they could find. German Jews not in denial who could (literally) read the writing on the walls (Juden Raus!) fled for their lives in the short time remaining before The Holocaust. Those who denied the meaning of that very specific warning remained in Germany, and their fate was sealed.
Displaying his signature flair for dramatic storytelling, Ruppert said he "was holding other key facts until the time is right. There are facts about the timing of the burglary that may eventually connect to events here in Venezuela."
One of America's pioneer cyber-journalists to pinpoint startling contradictions in The Official 9/11 Story, Ruppert's statue in the 9/11 Truth Movement had waned, most recently eclipsed by academic-level research coordinated by Professors James Fetzer and Steven Jones at Scholars for 9/11 Truth.
Nonetheless, Ruppert's cogent probing of Official Explanations of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in lectures, regular FTW postings and his best selling Crossing the Rubicon (arguably the most rigorously researched book on 9/11) helped many American lose our virginal naivete about 9/11 and the neo-con-controlled Bush White House.
Best wishes abroad, Michael Ruppert.
Postscript: If you, like Michael, believe America's evolving fascism makes it a good time to become an expatriate, please choose your foreign destination wisely. Begin your research on immigrating with fellow Utahan Scott Bidstrup's "Leaving America" webpage. He may help soften some of the invetiable bumps and bruises sustained from a move abroad. Since taking up residence in Costa Rica, Scott seems to be doing pretty well for himself.
Wednesday, August 16
Genteel Democrats Posture in Connecticut over Proto-fascist Choices
TV and press pundits made much to-do about Ned Lamont's Senate primary victory over faux-Democrat Joe Lieberman in Connecticut last week.
According to some interpretive readings of the Lamont-Liebermanan tea leaves, voters will rebuke the GOP at the polls on November 7. For Democratic candidates, however, it's a little more complicated. Lamont's primary win signals that voters will not support congressional aspirants who, like Lieberman, are too chummy with George Bush and his policies wreaking havoc on the fragile remains of civil liberties and the economy.
Lamont symbolized that chumminess in the now infamous "The Kiss" campaign button featuring an entirely too intimate moment between Jumpin' Joe and Gorgeousus George.
But let's not underestimate the cleverly resourceful Lieberman. After announcing he will run as an Independent for his old seat in the fall, Karl Rove reportedly phoned him to offer White House "assistance."
Could "assistance"* be White House code meaning the coldly calculating Rove sees political advantage in having GOP-owned Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia voting machines throughout Connecticut skew final ballot tallies to the congenial Lieberman? The closeness of the primary's final ballot tally suggests fair election activists in the state are well advised to closely monitor those error-prone voting machines throughout Election Day.
Elite Service to America?
While Lamont may be a step in the right direction to rid the U.S. Senate of the chummy flotsam currently ensconced there, any claim his election would reflect broad-based populist appeal is as alarming as the belief that Adolph Hitler was an affirmative-action advocate.
For God's sake, is anyone aware of Ned Lamont's pedigree? His great-grandfather Thomas W. Lamont, an 1892 Harvard grad, was an investment banking partner of robber baron J.P. Morgan. In typical genteel fashion for wealthy alum, Grandpa Lamont showered a considerable amount of his banking largesse Harvard, which occasioned the elite school to name its main student library in honor of the philanthropistst.
Scions of wealthy American families also widely engaged in a World War II era charitable tradition less known by the general public. If we were to closely inspectct the Lamont clan's banking records from that period, would we find evidence of the adoration of fascism characterizing other prominent New England banking families--the Harrimans, Penningtons and Bushes, for example--that bankrolled Hitler's Third Reich military machine?
In a surpressed study of Wall Street financiers' "phenomenal" role in bankrolling Hitler, Dr. Antony C. Sutton, a former Stanford University historian,determined Thomas Lamont, an early supporter of Italian dictator Bernito Mussolini, played a minor role in fostering Nazism. As J.P. Morgan's handpicked alternate to the 1924 Dawes Commission, Lamont helped arrange loans to Germany favorable to the House of Morgan that permitteded the Germans to fudge on their World War I reparation payments. A considerable portion of the $800 million in loans was illegally channeled into military production.
In a pre-primary interview at Harvard, a key institution of the country's power elite, Ned Lamont, class of '76, told the Harvard Crimson, his alma mater's student paper, he was all about "assuring voters that he and conservatives can get along." Bank on that, America. Grandpa Lamont would be proud to hear his namesake make that subtle vow of class allegiance.
So let me see if I now have it right. Am I to understand progressives and even liberal Democrats are gleeful at the prospect that yet another descendant of an elite American banking family wants to serve rank-and-file Americans? In Washington, D.C.?
Didn't the premature concession in 2004 of John Kerry (another Yale grad and Skull and Bones alum who married into a wealthy New England family) and his flaccid, soulless presidential campaign demonstrate that, among America's's ruling elite, class interests are thicker than campaign trail rhetoric and verbal committments? A proper sociological analysis would further demonstrate George W. Bush and Ned Lamont--two fortunate sons of affluent and well-connected Connecticut banking families who graduated from Harvard and Yale--have far more in common than progressives or liberal Democrats would care to believe.
The More Things Change....
The naiveté among those willing to believe Ned Lamont will embrace issues reaching across class lines after the November elections would serve as an apt metaphor for a future American novelist seeking to convey to readers the depth of delusional desperation among an disgruntled public, particularly those who felt the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were stolen from their candidates by the U.S. Supreme Court and rigged voting booths.
The film All the King's Men, slated for release next month, is based on novelist Robert Penn Warren's dark rumination on political expediency and dashed idealism. But with the Democrat's premiere election strategist James Carville serving as executive producer, the film could be more about innovative presidential campaigning than a literary statement on political innocents who still believe 21st-century American election politics can ever again hold the guilty accountable.
For decades, before recently marrying and abandoning national politics, consumer advocate and occasional Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader publicly vilified Washington's political elite for rigging the federal election system in favor of the the wealthy and powerful. Efforts at organizing political parties for working-class and Middle America to make Capitol Hill's two-party biennial dog-and-pony shows embrace their marginalized political interests have garnered diminishing congressional support since World War II.
With incumbency reelection rates at 98% in the House and 85% in the Senate, Congress is not interested in facilitating more political diversity. Their reluctance makes perfect sense. Why jeopardizeize their seats in the 535-member social club for the politically and economically well-connected by making entry easier for common rabble?
To paraphrase Nader, the America political system long ago forfeited its chance to emulate Canada's 16-party political system (in which five parties hold seats in the current parliamentent) that better approximates the representative democracy White House snake oil salemen talk about exporting to Iraq and the rest of the world.
America's two-party pro-business system serves only the nation's 33-20% wealthiest families. Circa 1910, anarchist Emma Goldman, who believed voting in America was a waste of time, noted "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
With the restricted choices offered Americans at the voting booth, is it any wonder U.S. voter participation rates are among the lowest in developed countries?
*4 September 2006 Update: "A senior White House source" reported the White House secretly directed Republican contributors to channel "millions" of dollars into Joe Liberman's primary campaign against Lamont "in a failed effort to ensure the support of the former Democrat for the Bush administration" and maintain a Republican majority in the Seante after the November elections.
Saturday, August 5
Blind War Morons v. Brainless Morans: Visual Metaphors for America's Iraq War Brain Trust
The sports network ESPN recently showcased the 100 Funniest Sport Moments. My favorite video clip featured a National Hockey League coach wordlessly contesting an offside call against one of his players. Handed a red-and-white telescoping walking cane of a blind fan by partisan companions seated next to the team box, the suit-and-tie attired home team coach launched onto the ice and scooted toward the line judge. With his left arm waving in mock desperation at steadying himself, the coach frantically tapped with the stick at the referee's feet, implying the official had to be blind to make such a terrible call. The hapless man gamely struggled to fight off the demeaning effects of the brilliant prank as waves of partisan laughter rolled through the crowd.
You can capriciously imbibe some of those NHL fans' gleeful mockery of authority by directing your attention to the end of Bush's binoculars in the photo above; our commander-in-chief forgot to remove the lens cap. While I'm uncertain if Bush is in Iraq having a go at assessing some strategic military spectacle, the unflattering but perfectly-timed shot is still an apt metaphor for the blind ineptness of the White House's brain trust that took America to war.
Personally, I find this photo of a spelling- challenged St. Louis Cardinal baseball fan a more telling metaphor of the cumulative managerial intelligence of the commander-in-chief and his senior war advocates.
All these sports connections suggest just one more. Miami Dolphins head football coach Lou Saban would never publicly criticize Bush's myriad bad calls in Iraq. But Saban just might have indicated his disapproval of his short-sighted commander-in-chief when the coach declined last week Bush's invitation to regale First Brother Jeb and the president with NFL insider stories over a shrimp dinner in Miami.
The National Football League's preseaon camps had just opened a day or so before Saban's invitation. Perhaps the Dolphins' two-a-day practices already had given Coach Saban all the heartburn and discouragement over preseason raw ineptness he could manage for one week.
*Commander-in-chief photo submitted by photographer David Sheridan
(Revised 8 August 2006)
Thursday, August 3
9/11 Truth Watch: MIT Engineer Explains Controlled Demolition of World Trade Center
Along with Dr. Steven Jones, a physics professor from Utah's ultraconservative Brigham Young University, Jeff King of MIT has provided unimpeachable scientific evidence (see video segment below) that preset explosives inside the World Trade Center caused the free-fall collapse of three buildings on 9/11.
Did you say "three buildings"? That's correct, three. Most American are unaware that WTC #7 systematically fell into its own footprint at 5:20 PM, 11 September 2001, a crash exhibiting the signature "pancaking" effect seen in controlled demolitions. For unexplained reasons, the 9/11 Commission Final Report neglected to tell Americans about WTC #7's unusual collapse.
But when Jones asked Carlson to "cue up" his clip of WTC#7's collapse the professor sent MSNBC prior to his interview, the show's producers refused. If you watch Jones's interview, the mild-mannered professor asked Carlson three times on-air to show the clip. In public statements after his interview, Jones claimed MSNBC and Carlson had sandbagged him.
MSNBC viewers that evening missed their opportunity to be America's first television audience to witness definitive visual evidence of controlled demolitions at the WTC. On the other hand, Oliver Stone has included a clip of WTC#7's suspicious collapse in his new film World Trade Center, slated for an August 9 theatrical release.
The 9/11 Final Report also neglected the numerous post-crash explosions reported to onsite TV news crews, a point noted in the first minute of King's taped lecture. The ten-commissioner 9/11 panel received professional assistance from former CIA DirectorJames R. Woosely in keeping that evidence from public view.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hired Woosely for his considerable psy-ops talents to gag NYC employees from going to the media with that kind of privileged information. But within weeks of the attacks, gutsy NY fire department officials began taping hundreds of oral histories of emergency personnel deployed to the WTC on 9/11 to attend to the fires and injured. Many of those interviews mentioned the explosions.
When the New York Times learned in 2002 of FDNY's 9/11 Oral History project, the paper sought copies of those interviews from the NYC government. But the Bloomberg administration refused. Joining with families of 9/11 victims, the paper filed suit and on August 12, 2005, a New York court of appeals forced Bloomberg to hand over the information. The Times then posted transcripts of all 503 FDNY oral histories on its website.
Wednesday, August 2
British judicially leap-frog stonewalled American public for access to Bush-Blair pre-Iraq War planning
Yours is but to do and die.
--paraphrase of George Bush's response to a reporter's question about Iraqi nuclear weapons capabilities, September 2002
Since 2004, American military mom and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed fighting in Iraq, has sought a meeting with George Bush to ask her commander-in-chief why Casey died for this country.
But if a British Court of Appeal follows through on a preliminary ruling in London last week (26 July), the explanation Ms. Sheehan wants may come instead from judicially declassified Downing Street memos.
Like Ms Sheehan, the American public has been stonewalled by the White House and U.S. Congress from a full accounting of how the country was dragged into yet another bogus war. Until Congress is sufficiently reconstituted after the November 7 midterm elections to initiate formal hearings on the matter, memos similar to those leaked in 2005 to The Times of London may provide more pieces to the puzzle of Iraq's invasion.
Continued U.S. Senate Stonewalling
Within months of the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, parents of deployed American soldiers openly questioned the White House's reasons for asking their children to make the ultimate sacrifice. By the time the New York Times and Washington Post were issuing mea culpas to readers in mid-2004 for poorly investigating the White House's case for war--that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction threatened America and its allies and Saddam Hussein had aided al-Qaida in the 9/11 terrorist attacks--Americans already were seeking answers about the real motives that placed their children in harm's way.
Not to be outdone by the apparent ineptness of the White House and corporate media, Congress shrieked its constitutional mandate to formally investigate how the nation ended up fostering more Middle Eastern terrorism in the name of democracy through a fraudulent war costing billions of dollars and thousands of American and Iraqi lives.
Arguably, the U.S. Senate has been the most derelict in its constitutionally- mandated duty to investigate the case for war. After providing Bush's reelection campaign in July 2004 with a senate report faulting CIA "group think" for flawed prewar intelligence leading to war, Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas publicly promised that his Senate Intelligence Committee would investigate widely reported intentional misuse of that "flawed" intelligence by senior Bush administration officials.
But the second study repeatedly has been delayed. Through Roberts originally stated it would be completed after the 2004 elections, he has encountered opposition in marginalizing politically damaging information neither he, the White House nor the Republican Party want the American public to see.
A major obstacle to Roberts' intended whitewash is West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee's Democrat vice chairman. A week before the invasion of Iraq, Rockefeller asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate the Bush administration's use in congress of forged Nigerian documents allegedly demonstrating Saddam Hussein's had sought the infamous Nigerian "yellowcake" uranium needed to construct nuclear weapons.
According to a 14 March 2003 USA Today story,
Rockefeller said U.S. worries about Iraqi nuclear weapons were not based primarily on the documents, but "there is a possibility that the fabrication of these documents may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq."
So the report's long delay could suggest Senate Democrats on Roberts' intelligence committee have yet to roll over for the fully sanitized whitewash of the White House's "fixed" prewar intelligence revealed in the first batch of Downing Street memos obtained by The London Times.
On Sunday (30 July), the Washington Post indicated the second Senate Intelligence Committee report will not be completed until after the November midterm elections.
Although the White House, the congressional Republican leadership, corporate media and FBI showed no interest pursuing Rockefeller's damning allegation, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found in those forged Nigerian documents enough complicity in the White House to indict one senior official with a demonstrated literary talent for scatalogy, incest and homoeroticism.
British Families of Fallen Soldiers Given Preliminary Access to War Evidence
But a recent ruling by a top UK Court of Appeals may help the British public obtain evidence of Downing Street's prewar planning occasioning the British military's participation in the Iraq War.
In what UK court observers called "a stunning victory," a panel of top British judges agreed with the families of four soldiers killed in Iraq that Downing Street officials must publicly explain why the UK entered the Iraq War.
Phil Shiner, a solicitor for Public Interest Lawyers who successfully argued the families' case before the judicial panel, told court reporters the decision would at minimum "force the Government to publish evidence on how the country was taken to war."
Shiner further explained.
"In particular, the Government must finally explain how the 13-page equivocal advice from the Attorney General of March 7, 2003 was changed within 10 days to a one-page completely unequivocal advice that an invasion would be legal."
"My clients believe [Attorney General Goldsmith] impermissibly changed his advice because he was sat on by the Prime Minister and others in Government.
"In changing his advice, he sent these soldiers to their deaths."
The U.S.-led invasion began March 20, three days after Goldsmith reversed his March 7 ruling suggesting British participation might be illegal under international law.
In what can not be a coincidence of timing, the soldiers' families are scheduled to receive a final ruling by the same three judges either one or two days after the U.S. November elections.
"I am convinced that my son died for no good reason as he should not have been sent to Iraq in the first place," said Peter Brierley, the father of Shaun Brierley who was killed serving with the British military in Iraq. "I am looking forward to hearing the ... defendants having to explain how they justify the invasion."
We Americans eagerly await Downing Street's explanation as well, Mr. Brierley.