07/03/2006 01:27 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Declaration Betrayed

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

"We know he has reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War. We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons, and we know he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al Qaeda organization.

"We know that based on intelligence that he has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He has had years to get good at it, and we know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has in fact reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong. And I think if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency in this kind of issue, especially where Iraq is concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing.

Vice President Cheney NBC Meet the Press March 16, 2003

that all men are created equal,

Over the 2001-10 period, the average tax cut for the best-off one percent will total $483,000 -- an average of $48,300 per year. In contrast, the average tax cut for middle-income Americans will average $659 a year over the same period. The average tax cut for the poorest 20 percent of all taxpayers will average only $77 a year over the ten years.

The Bush Tax Cuts Enacted Through 2006: The Latest CTJ Data Citizens for Tax Justice

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,

The risk of death was estimated to be 2·5-fold (95% CI 1·6-4·2) higher after the invasion when compared with the preinvasion period. Two-thirds of all violent deaths were reported in one cluster in the city of Falluja. If we exclude the Falluja data, the risk of death is 1·5-fold (1·1-2·3) higher after the invasion. We estimate that 98000 more deaths than expected (8000-194000) happened after the invasion outside of Falluja and far more if the outlier Falluja cluster is included. The major causes of death before the invasion were myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accidents, and other chronic disorders whereas after the invasion violence was the primary cause of death. Violent deaths were widespread, reported in 15 of 33 clusters, and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. The risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher (95% CI 8·1-419) than in the period before the war.

Dr Les Roberts PhD, Riyadh Lafta MD, Prof Richard Garfield DrPH, Jamal Khudhairi MD, and Gilbert Burnham MD "Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey" The Lancet November 20, 2004

(note: these data refer to civilian deaths, through the fall of 2004 only)


Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees held in US custody in Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Iraq and other locations. While the government continues to assert that abuses resulted for the most part from the actions of a few "aberrant" soldiers and lack of oversight, there is clear evidence that much of the ill-treatment has stemmed directly from officially santioned procedures and policies, including interrogation techniques approved by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld for use in Guantánamo and later exported to Iraq.

Amnesty International Supplementary Briefing to the UN Committee Against Torture May 3, 2006

and the pursuit of Happiness.

I was moved to compile a list of the many kinds of misfortune which have fallen upon the heads of the Iraqi people as a result of the American liberation of their homeland. It's depressing reading, and you may not want to read it all, but I think it's important to have it summarized in one place.

* Loss of a functioning educational system. A 2005 UN study revealed that 84% of the higher education establishments have been "destroyed, damaged and robbed".

* The intellectual stock has been further depleted as many thousands of academics and other professionals have fled abroad or have been mysteriously kidnapped or assassinated in Iraq; hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million, other Iraqis, most of them from the vital, educated middle class, have left for Jordan, Syria or Egypt, many after receiving death threats. "Now I am isolated," said a middle-class Sunni Arab, who decided to leave. "I have no government. I have no protection from the government. Anyone can come to my house, take me, kill me and throw me in the trash."

* Loss of a functioning health care system. And loss of the public's health. Deadly infections including typhoid and tuberculosis are rampaging through the country. Iraq's network of hospitals and health centers, once admired throughout the Middle East, has been severely damaged by the war and looting.

* The UN's World Food Program reported that 400,000 Iraqi children were suffering from "dangerous deficiencies of protein". Deaths from malnutrition and preventable diseases, particularly amongst children, already a problem because of the 12 years of US-imposed sanctions, have increased as poverty and disorder have made access to a proper diet and medicines ever more difficult.

* Thousands of Iraqis have lost an arm or a leg, frequently from unexploded US cluster bombs, which became land mines; cluster bombs are a class of weapons denounced by human rights groups as a cruelly random scourge on civilians, especially children. ...

William Blum The Anti-Empire Report: Some things you need to know before the world ends June 21, 2006

Happy Fourth of July.r