Tuesday, November 29, 2005

never ever going back to a doctor

i have to share my story. i've had a really shitty day and i just have to get this off my chest.

i have chronic pain in my back and hips resulting from an infection in my spine a couple of years ago. it's bone pain rather than the electrical nerve pain most people have some time in their lives. i've done plenty fine on going to the creepy pain clinic up until today. retrograde mercury -- i don't know what -- but my doc told me he was going to need some urine for a liver test and next thing i know railroaded me into a RANDOM DRUG TEST. pain clinics are already creepy places -- but to have a pimply teenager take your purse away from you and are escorted to a non-private piss test room WHEN YOU WERE TOLD YOU WERE DOING LIVER PANELS is enough to make anyone a little angry.

you sign a paper when you go into treatment about drug testing. i signed it -- i have no problem with them keeping their books straight. plus, i'm a tea-totaller. had addicts in the family and i'm thankfully not one. never intend to become one.

BUT when my doctor LIED to me about the test and then required me to sign a paper saying i knew what it was for -- which i didn't -- he was asking ME TO LIE about something that i thought i ought not. that was my REAL DRUG TEST. how bad do i really the 45-minute drive once a month to hell's suburb... the dirty rooms... the insane turnover of techs and nurses... the altogether science-fiction-esque role of post-modern healthcare... the real question is: are the meds worth your dignity?

the lies got bigger as i asked my doctor to explain what just happened. i said, "you told me i was getting liver panels and i was asked to sign a paper that I KNEW i was being drug tested and what for."

charmingly, first he responded that the test would just look for opiods. makes sense b/c you don't want someone taking the meds except as prescribed. it's just as bad to have too little morphine in your blood than to have too much, because you might be selling it.

but then he said it would also test for "everything else." and i wanted to know what that "everything else" was at this point, to save face. i also wanted to underscore the fact that he should never have to trick me into any test -- but especially this one.

then, very seriously, i said "i feel incredibly violated that i was LIED to. you can have the sample and continue on, once i get to see the paperwork, but you have me feel like a criminal today. i'm already not feeling well, or else i wouldn't be here and i need to expect a level of professionalism."

so, that was supposed to be fine and the assistant came back with the form to sign and still no list of what the test is for. i felt like, you have to be kidding.

so i to talk to my husband on the cell, i was so angry at this point b/c none of my concerns had been met and they still wanted me to sign the waiver without seeing the list.

so i call hubby again, hoping he'll talk some sense into me. i'm not in any danger of being busted for anything, so what's the damn big deal? alright, you're right. i returned to sign the paperwork, they told me to "leave the premises." i had been discharged for refusing a drug test.

on the 45 minute drive home i had plenty of time to sort thru some of the emotions i was feeling. i was kicking myself for being such a troublemaker. it's who i am. i ask questions and expect answers. i expect fair treatment.

The Drug Test tells people more than what's in your piss. it tells them what's in your soul. "if you want the pills bad enough, you'll suffer any humiliation to get them." if that isn't the dictionary definition of addiction, i don't know what is. i consented to a drug test by accepting their therapy -- not a SHAKEDOWN. they literally acted as if had i KNOWN they were going to give me a test, that i might have not taken it.

so, i come home and call my primary care physician to let her know that i'd be going cold turkey on the morphine and that i probably needed to see her to get that liver test. well, she refused. flat out. said she "doesn't do chronic pain." and went on to say that she wouldn't even help me detox.

the worst part is i'm kicking myself for having such a kneejerk reaction to the whole situation. i made clear how specific my concern was -- I DON'T WANT MY DOCTOR LYING TO ME. i have to believe they are on 'my side.' whatever that means. today, in this situation, it would have simply meant letting me know what they were doing and not tricking me. it felt militaristic. it felt like i fell down the rabbit hole.

driving home i felt the dull ache running from my back down my legs and turned up The Sweet (into the night) real loud to go with my New Freedom Pain.

why am i writing this here?

i'm going to be mentally torturing myself over this forever. it makes absolutely no sense at all that i reacted this way -- except that maybe something in the fiber of my being just went into complete danger mode. i felt attacked in the worst way. it was all emotional. if he hadn't lied i would have been fine with it. i want to believe that this is the manifestation of some sixth sense.

and the larger thing -- i want no doctors at all -- ever. i got sick in the first place from a hospital. while i was in the hospital i got sicker and sicker as i was fed chemicals that my liver didn't like, and poked in my pancreas and nearly fucking died. all from the treatments. $240,000 in hospital bills.

we need NEW FREEDOM HEALTHCARE. we need doctors working for us and not the FRISTS or the damn DEA. i was in perfect health 2 years ago. now i walk around like Egor. my face is twisting into a permanent grimace. where's the fucking hippies? where's the alternative medicine? how do you get out of the system. i want to disappear and never ever go back. i don't want to be on anyone's records. or have to buy their expensive drugs -- i just want out of ALL OF IT. forever. i'm done.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Dream About Gene Autry

I've meant to post this for some time after mentioning it to Brook awhile back. That sunset photo was so gorgeous, I felt inspired to share my dream about Gene Autry that I had several months ago. It's real simple and goes like this: Something bad had happened; things had changed; were bleak, colorless. And I was sitting with Gene Autry on the ledge of a tall building, and he was singing to me and playing the guitar while recording it on one of those "old" casette recorders with the buttons that are hard to push down. Then he handed me the tape and said, "put it in your pocket". Then I woke up. I've never felt as great as I did after waking from that dream. I didn't know who he was, couldn't remember his songs or movies---but he was in my consciousness. Now--I read about him all the time and just ordered a CD and plan to order some films. The singing cowboy. Where's my horse?

sunset, thanksgiving eve: portent or pollution



took this in backyard yesterday. it was your basic industrial-strength Nashville winter gloom nearly all day.

for a few moments before the sun went down, this happened.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

if you're planning on being at walmart the day after thanksgiving...

(from the inbox: while i'm completely sympathetic to the cause, i'm a walmart conscientious objector. the day after thanksgiving? there's not enough xanax on the planet. but i thought i'd pass it along just in case you're there at 5a.m. for your $25 Garth Brooks limited edition box set.

i need more peace in my peace movement. here's a yule-themed direct action to more suited to my disposition these days: a woman in chicago, Sally Gratch (great name) leaves little plastic soldiers in public places with the message "BRING ME HOME" affixed on the bottom by homemade sticker. isn't that wonderful? i'm going to make up a batch myself and use them in the advent calendar -- brook... )

here's the political action. enjoy and report back if you go.)


Your Organizer, Mark Naccarato, sent the following message to
the members of Democracy For America Nashville:

Hi!

Last weekend, over 140 people came out to see the new
documentary film, "Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price". It
was an eye-opening, educational experience that many of us will
not soon forget.

But now, it is time to take ACTION and let average folks know
about Wal-Mart's shameful business practices.

Join us THIS FRIDAY morning at a rally at the Wal-Mart stores
across Nashville as we educate shoppers on the busiest retail
day of the year.

For more details on the "Black Friday" rally being organized by
Nashville ACORN, click here:

http://www.dfalink.com/event.php?id=2642


In order to keep the momentum up and force the world's biggest
retailer to be a more responsible company, we need your voice
to be heard. Please join us:

http://www.dfalink.com/event.php?id=2642

We hope to see you on Friday morning!

Thanks,
Mark

www.democracyfornashville.com

mark morford on thanksgiving w/the BUSHES -- must read.

Scenes From A Bush Thanksgiving
Dubya pouts, Cheney scowls, no one brings pie -- and why is Rove looking at Barb that way?
- By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ah yes, it is that time again. The smell of roasting turkey and cigar smoke and Polo cologne, perfume like florid gasoline. Copious forced laughter that sounds like geese mating in a broom closet. It is Thanksgiving dinner at the Bush White House, where the guests mingle as though their genitals were being squeezed by manic elves, as if they were all coated in vanilla pudding being licked off by Pat Robertson. Which, truth be told, some of them seem to enjoy. A lot.

They await the appearance of the bird in the cozy, heavily paneled White House drawing room with the grand chandelier sparkling there since the Truman administration, the rest of the space engorged with stuffy furniture Laura chose herself and which she thinks is manly and presidential but which actually looks like it was bought at a Jersey consignment store run by Ethan Allen's stoned brother.

Barbara rules. Owns the house, despite how she hasn't lived here in over 13 years. Laura can only look at her in numb awe, her own stiff skirt pleats appearing humble and small in comparison to Barb's massive teal dress ensemble, so epic and balloon-like it would seem to envelope all it comes near, like a giant ocean algae bloom, a massive amoeba, a cloud of righteous know-it-allness that makes easy mockery of Laura's little beige blouse of meek sexless humility. Barb is a force of nature, commanding the staff and chatting up the various heads of state and smiling at everyone with that glassy omnivorous stare. They all hate her.

(more here. it gets better. much better. outstanding line: Rummy says something about the Karl/Barb flesh-fest and wonders, a little too loudly, if Oedipus would have felt differently about his mother if she had spanked him. prose like this is like that last bong hit that has you glad you're in a comfortable place. Ahhhh. -- brook.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

exit strategies



here's the original thwarting.



and here's some embellishments from here and there.












i like this one. our little commander in tard.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

NY Times BREAKING: making art is hard

this sunday ny times 'movies' piece talks about indie filmakers having to move back in with parents after screening their films at sundance. it reads like a 'dark trend on the horizon' article. like so many people are now making independant film that we face a new rise in homeless video creatives. scary.

sunday forwarded picture blog



i wish i could give credit where credit is due -- but this arrived in my email without any info. thought i'd share.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

For those who haven't heard, there are free screenings of this new documentary released this week. One is tonight (Tues.) at 7 p.m. at the pipefitters union on Spring Street in Johnson City. There is also a free screening at the Acoustic Coffee House on Walnut St. at 9 p.m. tomorrow (Wed.) Nov. 16. Even though I avoid Wal-mart and have, completely, for the past 5 years, I still shop at Target and other places that also regularly rape the public. But you gotta' start somewhere. Maybe this film will be of help. A weekly in Durham, NC, called The Independent, had a huge spread on it this weekend.

Anyhow---it's a "we hate Wal-Mart" party!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

a note on JC forum changes

For years now, when someone joins the Johnson City blog I give them the basic run down on the "rules" -- "we're no different than the old Quarterbacks."

The metaphor I use is that "we're a BAR." Make yourself comfortable and grab a beer and talk. Use the same social norm expected in public. Everyone goes thru a phase of looking for fights and GOOD BARS tolerate it until it's destructive to the bar. They let it go on as long as they feel like it. We don't see much action up here. Everything can be fun for five minutes.

To post comments, you have to be a team member now. That means, you have to send me an email and request a Blogger Invite, making you a part of the "community." You don't have to be from JC -- you just have to play nice. Membership is the best way right now to encourage good stuff, have an open forum, and minimize the crap that sends folks off to the next whiskey bar.

Then it occurred to me... this doesn't have to be a "bad thing." You have to "register" for all forum sites and usually have to endure spam in the exchange. What can I do to sweeten the deal? Is it possible there's more fuel in this metaphor?



Well, maybe...

In the coming weeks we'll offering music here on the blog. There will be a streaming option and a way to purchase new and archive recordings and digital files.

By registering with the site you'll make yourself available to early updates on the project, submit material and help in the search for ARCHIVE material: both recorded and print (Mr. Ramsley). I'll start with some Andy Boy because we've got the material here collecting dust. Brian and John seem to be interested in participating. I'd love to offer material such as board tapes and lesser-known recording projects that are still unreleased. This invite goes out to any all JC band-folk. Now and then.

If you're anything like me you're a little too busy, tired and brittle to get out and see much music but I listen to plenty of internet streams and downloads. Might as well pull out the old stuff and enjoy. Who knows what will turn up?

Have a lovely week you guys. In the meantime you can hang, talk amongst yourselves, send me an email. The bands will be here soon. -- brook

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Haiku for my brother's house

Hello everyone. My brother felt the earthquake that hit Asheville several weeks ago, so I wrote a haiku.

house on fault line quakes
invisible visitor
brother holds his head

I'm doing fine since leaving one small-town paper and getting hired at another, mainly because now I get to work from home. I'm SO relieved. Now all I need is Steve Martin to serenade me on the banjo.

is it just me...



or does AL QAIDA IN IRAQ sound like a bad TRIBUTE BAND?



APOLOGIES to MINI-KISS

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

something fishy with this BUSH

DEMS STEAL ELECTIONS TOO

One of the few blogs on my daily reading list is Rigorous Intuition. Big-brained writer Jeff Wells provides lyrical unpacking of deep politics, parapolitics and sometimes even talks about UFOs and the Men in Black. What's not to love? He's got his shit together and gets away with digging into stuff we are constantly told "do not touch."

Today his column deals with the trouble with John Kerry vis a vis the Mark Crispin Miller blunder. In my recent piece I mention, "Kerry campaign insiders (or people who claimed that status) were whispering about how some in the Democratic party were "in on" the whole election fraud business and they didn't want, and wouldn't let any of this come to light." Rigorous Intuition digs deeper than I was ready to go this weekend:

I don't know if Miller really expected Kerry to publicly stand by his private words, though I'm sure Kerry never expected to be called on them. Miller isn't a fabulist; the conversation happened, and good for him to stand against the slander of Kerry's people to report it. (By the way, who can imagine Kerry fighting quixotically and supra-constitutionally today to reverse the outcome, when he capitulated before the outcome of the tainted election was even known?)

But of course, what could Kerry say? If he knows the general election was stolen, then he should also know his peculiar ascension in the primaries cannot be attributed to charisma and dumb luck. He should, but he probably doesn't, because without the ego that could blind him to such a self-evident truth he would never have risen to such a place of utility within America's equestrian class.





Grok this: KERRY DIDN'T WIN THE PRIMARIES FAIR AND SQUARE. (ps -- image is photoshopped).

If he did, he would be CLEAN to go after Bush's election fraud. Howard Dean was the frontrunner polling way ahead of Kerry until the first few primaries astonishingly gave us Kerry as the candidate-apparent. Remember that? Remember the weird post-primary spin that regardless of what people said to pollsters, they pulled the lever for the person they thought could win. The meme was the Dems had "grown up" and wanted a boring, but "able" winner.

What if that is as wrong as The Moral Mandate after the unexpected Bush win in the general election? What if both parties are in on thee fraud. Maybe that would explain the strange disconnect between the interest of the people (election fraud) and the interest of the forums they speak on (not so much on the election fraud).

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Kerry SMEARS Mark Crispin Miller -- my response








Thursday I participated in an on-line discussion with author Mark Crispin Miller. Democratic Underground invited him for a thread so he could plug his book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They'll Steal the Next One Too, and take questions.

Soon after Miller's chat he ran into the subject of his book -- John Kerry, who says to Miller -- man-to-man -- that he believed he was robbed, but Democratic Leadership (Christopher Dodd) was blocking. This gets reported on RAWSTORY and DU.

THEN, Kerry's press secretary issues a statement categorically denying any interest in election fraud, impuging Miller's honesty and basically saying, "Kerry's a wholly-owned DLC WEASEL -- and he's not allowed to talk to you guys anymore." I'm paraphrasing.


This reminded me of a months-old John Dean Plamegate column where he quotes Wag The Dog author Larry Beinhart:
'...Fog facts' are information that is known but not known: "In the information age there is so much information that sorting and focus and giving the appropriate weight to anything has become incredibly difficult."
The DLC is hoping all this election fraud business would just get lost in the fog the same way Bush and Cheney thought those little 16 words would just get lost in the fog. This was talked about one year ago on DU. Kerry campaign insiders (or people who claimed that status) were whispering about how some in the Democratic party were "in on" the whole election fraud business and they didn't want, and wouldn't let any of this come to light.

We are living in a fog and to be honest I don't give a shit about Kerry -- I just want my identity back. I want an honest vote because we deserve an accurate picture of WHO WE ARE. That's what elections do, remember? The fraudelent election was explained by the appearance of a mysterious new MORAL agenda. Remember that? Isn't that RICH considering Bush ordered his entire staff to mandatory ETHICS WORKSHOPS. That's a riot. I thought that's why they went to church.







It's all fucking lies and I'm fed up. Kerry can go fuck himself. He doesn't deserve the hard work and dedication of people like Mark Cripin Miller and the folks who are tirelessly working to reform the system. Which apparently doesn't include me since I'm home writing this today (and doing numerous household chores that can't be ignored any longer) instead of attending an election fraud workshop at Vanderbilt that I was personally asked to attend. I'M SORRY EVERYONE, BUT I'M A LITTLE PISSED TODAY AND BELIEVE WHEN I SAY YOU ARE BETTER OFF I'M NOT THERE.


For the record, my question to Mark Cripin Miller was:
can you please speak to the importance of EXIT POLLS in our case for ELECTION FRAUD. what's the appropriate weight to give exit poll discrepancies in the on-going debate?
and (follow-up)
Do you have a response to EXIT POLL DISCREPANCY deniers; those who claim we either don't have all the information yet, or that we don't understand the numbers.

He responds:
The exit poll/"official" count discrepancies are certainly significant

although the issue is extremely complicated. Let me recommend the writings of Steve Freeman at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a book, co-written with Joel Bleifuss, coming out from Seven Stories in a month or so. A must-read. Steve is expert on the subject of those polls. He's debated Warren Mitofsky, who came off the worse for it.
Later he runs into Kerry at a fundraiser:
So I spoke briefly with him just as he arrived, and handed him the book, saying, "You were robbed, Senator." He said, "I know!" with a clear gesture of extreme frustration, and then said that he can't get any of his colleagues on the Hill to face the issue. Said that he had lately had an argument about it with Chris Dodd, who didn't want to hear about it. Kerry tried to tell him about all the problems with the electronic touch-screen machines, but Dodd refused to listen, saying that he had looked into it, and that "there's nothing there." (In bringing the subject up with Dodd, Kerry was not influenced by the GAO report, which he didn't even know about until I mentioned it to him. Indeed, he seemed mightily impressed that the GAO had come out with a strong report.)

Kerry's "official" statement:
"I know Mr. Miller is trying to sell his book and he feels passionately about his thesis but his recent statements about his conversation with Senator Kerry are simply not true," spokesperson Jenny Backus said. "The only thing true about his recollection of the conversation is that he gave Senator Kerry a copy of his book."
Not surprisingly, this has sparked an outrage among people working for election reform -- myself included. But you know, it is what it is.

And sadly, it's why I'm actually glad Kerry's not in office. If he doesn't have the LEADERSHIP SKILLS to stand up for himself -- if he'd stoop so low as to smear those investigating HIS STOLEN ELECTION -- then we're better off without him. I'd rather be right where we are -- muddling thru the days until Section 793 of the Espionage Act are household words.

As Bill Clinton said last weekend in Texas:



'If you don't want to fight for the future and you can't figure out how to beat these people then find something else to do."




Fuck you very much Kerry.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

NIXON'S approval rating at the height of WATERGATE -- 39%

BUSH'S approval rating today -- 35%

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Singing Mice

posted this on the ugly is blog today -- so cool i thought i would share:

"Songbirds may be the Sinatras of the animal world, but male mice can carry a tune too, say Washington University researchers who were surprised by what they heard. Scientists have known for decades that male lab mice produce high-frequency sounds — undetectable by human ears — when they pick up the scent of a female mouse. This high-pitched babble is presumably for courtship, although scientists are not certain. But it turns out those sounds are more complex and interesting than previously thought. "It soon became ... apparent that these vocalizations were not random twitterings but songs," said researcher Timothy Holy." Read More Here.

Listen to a singing mouse here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Statement by Senator Reid

Statement by Senator Reid
Troops and Security First

This past weekend, we witnessed the indictment of the I. Lewis Libby, the Vice President’s Chief of Staff and a senior Advisor to President Bush. Libby is the first sitting White House staffer to be indicted in 135 years. This indictment raises very serious charges. It asserts this Administration engaged in actions that both harmed our national security and are morally repugnant.

The decision to place U.S. soldiers in harm’s way is the most significant responsibility the Constitution invests in the Congress. The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really about: how the Administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.

As a result of its improper conduct, a cloud now hangs over this Administration. This cloud is further darkened by the Administration’s mistakes in prisoner abuse scandal, Hurricane Katrina, and the cronyism and corruption in numerous agencies.

And, unfortunately, it must be said that a cloud also hangs over this Republican-controlled Congress for its unwillingness to hold this Republican Administration accountable for its misdeeds on all of these issues.

Let’s take a look back at how we got here with respect to Iraq Mr. President. The record will show that within hours of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, senior officials in this Administration recognized these attacks could be used as a pretext to invade Iraq.

The record will also show that in the months and years after 9/11, the Administration engaged in a pattern of manipulation of the facts and retribution against anyone who got in its way as it made the case for attacking Iraq.

There are numerous examples of how the Administration misstated and manipulated the facts as it made the case for war. Administration statements on Saddam’s alleged nuclear weapons capabilities and ties with Al Qaeda represent the best examples of how it consistently and repeatedly manipulated the facts.

The American people were warned time and again by the President, the Vice President, and the current Secretary of State about Saddam’s nuclear weapons capabilities. The Vice President said Iraq “has reconstituted its nuclear weapons.” Playing upon the fears of Americans after September 11, these officials and others raised the specter that, left unchecked, Saddam could soon attack America with nuclear weapons.

Obviously we know now their nuclear claims were wholly inaccurate. But more troubling is the fact that a lot of intelligence experts were telling the Administration then that its claims about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities were false.

The situation was very similar with respect to Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda. The Vice President told the American people, “We know he’s out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know he has a longstanding relationship with various terrorist groups including the Al Qaeda organization.”

The Administration’s assertions on this score have been totally discredited. But again, the Administration went ahead with these assertions in spite of the fact that the government’s top experts did not agree with these claims.

What has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress to the Administration’s manipulation of intelligence that led to this protracted war in Iraq? Basically nothing. Did the Republican-controlled Congress carry out its constitutional obligations to conduct oversight? No. Did it support our troops and their families by providing them the answers to many important questions? No. Did it even attempt to force this Administration to answer the most basic questions about its behavior? No.

Unfortunately the unwillingness of the Republican-controlled Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities is not limited to just Iraq. We see it with respect to the prisoner abuse scandal. We see it with respect to Katrina. And we see it with respect to the cronyism and corruption that permeates this Administration.

Time and time again, this Republican-controlled Congress has consistently chosen to put its political interests ahead of our national security. They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican Administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why.

There is also another disturbing pattern here, namely about how the Administration responded to those who challenged its assertions. Time and again this Administration has actively sought to attack and undercut those who dared to raise questions about its preferred course.

For example, when General Shinseki indicated several hundred thousand troops would be needed in Iraq, his military career came to an end. When then OMB Director Larry Lindsay suggested the cost of this war would approach $200 billion, his career in the Administration came to an end. When U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix challenged conclusions about Saddam’s WMD capabilities, the Administration pulled out his inspectors. When Nobel Prize winner and IAEA head Mohammed el-Baridei raised questions about the Administration’s claims of Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, the Administration attempted to remove him from his post. When Joe Wilson stated that there was no attempt by Saddam to acquire uranium from Niger, the Administration launched a vicious and coordinated campaign to demean and discredit him, going so far as to expose the fact that his wife worked as a CIA agent.

Given this Administration’s pattern of squashing those who challenge its misstatements, what has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress? Again, absolutely nothing. And with their inactions, they provide political cover for this Administration at the same time they keep the truth from our troops who continue to make large sacrifices in Iraq.

This behavior is unacceptable. The toll in Iraq is as staggering as it is solemn. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives. Over 90 Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice this month alone – the fourth deadliest month since the war began. More than 15,000 have been wounded. More than 150,000 remain in harm’s way. Enormous sacrifices have been and continue to be made.

The troops and the American people have a right to expect answers and accountability worthy of that sacrifice. For example, 40 Senate Democrats wrote a substantive and detailed letter to the President asking four basic questions about the Administration’s Iraq policy and received a four sentence answer in response. These Senators and the American people deserve better.

They also deserve a searching and comprehensive investigation about how the Bush Administration brought this country to war. Key questions that need to be answered include:

-- How did the Bush Administration assemble its case for war against Iraq?

-- Who did Bush Administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?

-- How did senior Administration officials manipulate or manufacture intelligence presented to the Congress and the American people?

-- What was the role of the White House Iraq Group or WHIG, a group of senior White House officials tasked with marketing the war and taking down its critics?

-- How did the Administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the Administration’s assertions?

-- Why has the Administration failed to provide Congress with the documents that will shed light on their misconduct and misstatements?

Unfortunately the Senate committee that should be taking the lead in providing these answers is not. Despite the fact that the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee publicly committed to examine many of these questions more than 1 and half years ago, he has chosen not to keep this commitment. Despite the fact that he restated that commitment earlier this year on national television, he has still done nothing.

At this point, we can only conclude he will continue to put politics ahead of our national security. If he does anything at this point, I suspect he will play political games by producing an analysis that fails to answer any of these important questions. Instead, if history is any guide, this analysis will attempt to disperse and deflect blame away from the Administration.

We demand that the Intelligence Committee and other committees in this body with jurisdiction over these matters carry out a full and complete investigation immediately as called for by Democrats in the committee’s annual intelligence authorization report. Our troops and the American people have sacrificed too much. It is time this Republican-controlled Congress put the interests of the American people ahead of their own political interests.