Saturday, November 03, 2007
Rumsfeld Urged Staff to Exaggerate Terror Threat
In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid "physical labor" and wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran" and develop "bumper sticker statements" to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.
Man falsely links son-in-law to al-Qaida
Man falsely links son-in-law to al-Qaida
32 minutes ago
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A Swedish man accused of falsely telling U.S. authorities that his son-in-law had links to al-Qaida has been charged with defamation, a newspaper reported Friday.
The false warning spoiled a business trip to the U.S. for the man's son-in-law, who was stopped at a Florida airport and questioned for 11 hours before being sent back on a plane to Sweden, the Sydsvenska Dagbladet daily reported.
U.S. authorities apparently reacted to an e-mail sent to the FBI saying the man "likely has links to the Muslim terror organization al-Qaida's network in Sweden," the newspaper reported.
The 52-year-old father-in-law admitted to having sent the e-mail after it was traced to his home computer, the paper said. He reportedly told police he sent the e-mail in anger after a dispute with his son-in-law, who was divorcing his daughter.
And Georgie is worried about Iran, should be worrying about Pakistans Nuclear Weapons
WASHINGTON: White House has asked President Musharraf to quit the army office before he is sworn in as the president.State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "The United States is deeply disturbed by reports." "A state of emergency would be a sharp setback for Pakistani democracy and takes Pakistan off the path toward civilian rule. President Musharraf has stated repeatedly that he will step down as chief of army staff before re-taking the presidential oath of office and has promised to hold elections by Jan. 15. We expect him to uphold these commitments and urge him to do so immediately." The state of emergency complicates what was already, in the view of U.S. officials, a complicated relationship.
If America has put electronic alarms and motion sensors on Russian nukes, wouldn't they be on our nukes too? If so, who turned them off at Minot, and why?
Welcome to Georgies America
A central tenet of every leading Republican candidate's campaign for president is one simple and powerful idea: I alone can best defend the United States from the threat of terrorism.
And in recent weeks, three candidates, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred D. Thompson, have embraced some of the more controversial policies on the treatment of those suspected of supporting terrorism, backing harsh interrogation methods and refusing to rule out the use of waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, on detainees.
Condi wants a few good men
Image by Dood Abides:
The US has built the biggest embassy in the world in Baghdad. Problem is, no one wants to serve in it. The State Department, under Condi Rice, is considering forcing diplomats to move to Iraq. In a town hall meeting, one diplomat criticized the policy calling it a "death sentence." They were told that their names wouldn't be placed on a list if they were critical of the policy. And if you believe that I have some Iraqi WMDs I want to show you.
Juan Cole says the embassy should be closed.
Is this the US? Will a candidate for the highest legal position in the country, Michael Mukasey, be confirmed for his position when he can't even say for certain whether waterboarding represents torture? This torture technique was introduced in the Spanish inquisition, and was a war crime in WW II. If he doesn't know that its torture and that the US is in serious trouble, we need someone who can do the job.
Blackwater Delves Into Spying
Are You Sure You Can Handle the Truth?
The report goes to great lengths to paint a picture of progress in Iraq, but the truth is a far different story. As the New York Times and the Washington Post have reported, the declining number of deaths in Iraq that Petraeus cites depends on a few accounting tricks: like not counting a death as an assassination if you're shot in the front of the head, and not counting deaths by car bombs.
So, what are we really doing in Iraq?
We're building and maintaining permanent military bases from which our military will ensure a near-monopoly of the world's second-largest oil reserve. All this... for a small cadre of corporate fatheads, including the top members of Bush, Inc. The American taxpayer will be burdened with footing the bill for security in Iraq ($2 billion PER DAY!) to provide stable working conditions for Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Halliburton, not to mention the dozens of corporations feeding off the military spend bosom.
But this White House clearly believes you can't handle the truth.
Well, those of us in the energy world can handle it, and here it is: because the U.S. could not tolerate the possibility that the second-largest oil bonanza on Earth might be held beyond our reach by a dictator who hated us.
The fact is, the U.S. uses fully one-quarter of the world's oil, but we possess only about two percent of its reserves, and we rely on imports for about 60% of our consumption.
Meanwhile, Peak Oil is either just behind us, or nearly upon us...
Without guaranteed access to Iraq's oil, we absolutely could not maintain our military and economic dominance of the world. Vice President Cheney has known this, even spoken publicly about it, for many years. And why else would he have convened a meeting of Big Oil representatives within his first month in the White House to pore over maps of Iraq's oil fields, as if that were the top priority of the administration?
Musharraf Declares State Of Emergency In Pakistan: Shuts Down All Indep TV Stations, Cuts Telephone Service
Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in Pakistan on Saturday ahead of a crucial Supreme Court ruling on his future as president, suspending the constitution, replacing the chief justice and cutting communications in the capital.
Pakistan's main opposition leader, Benezir Bhutto, flew back to the country from Dubai and was sitting in an airplane at Karachi's airport, waiting to see if she would be arrested or deported, a spokesman said. Dozens of paramilitary troops surrounded her house.
Is Iraq Vietnam? Who really won in 2000? Which side are you on in the culture wars?
Friday, November 02, 2007
Meltdown at the US State Department
November 2, 2007
You almost have to feel sorry for Condoleezza Rice these days. Seems that the Secretary of State is under attack on all fronts. Dissension in the ranks - possible insubordination - resignations - forced assignments.
About the forced assignments in Iraq, Jack Croddy, senior Department official, commented,
Lack of morale in the department is nothing compared to the more important issue that plagues the State Department - dead bodies - seventeen dead Iraqi civilians that we know about, and an unknown number of other victims. If that was not bad enough, someone in the State Department granted limited immunity to the accused murderers.
There has been so much bad Press that there hasn't been time to ask, what did Rice know and when did she know it. The granting of Immunity has undermined the prosecution of the accused murderers. Maybe the Secretary did not know about this. It doesn't really matter if, when, or what Rice knew. If she didn't know, she is incompetent. If she did know, a Charge of Obstruction of Justice might be appropriate.
WHAT THE MEDIA DOESN'T TELL YOU ABOUT TORTURE
Paper Route: Grim Reading from the Guardian
... the purpose of the war was never cheap oil; the skyrocketing oil prices spawned by the "creative destruction" in the Middle East is a dream come true for the Bush-Cheney faction and their energy biz cronies. The aim was and is domination of the global oil market (and the enrichment of America's militarist-industrial apparatus, of course: a vast transfer of public money to a few elite interests, who in turn finance the militarists' radical and rapacious political agenda). As we've said many times before, Bush and Cheney have not "failed" in Iraq; they have accomplished almost everything thye set out to do....
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Three US airmen have been killed during combat operations near an air base north of Baghdad, US Central Command said on Friday.
The three were killed on Thursday near Balad air base, it said, adding they were "assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Balad".
A senior Justice Department official, charged with reworking the administration's legal position on torture in 2004, became so concerned about the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding that he decided to experience it firsthand, sources told ABC News.
Daniel Levin, then acting assistant attorney general, went to a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure to inform his analysis of different interrogation techniques.
After the experience, Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn't die, he found the...
One-Day Iraq Toll Is Highest for U.S. In Many Months
There needs to be accountability
The REAL Rudy: Radios
"My promise is I'll do everything I can to get answers."
With the councilman's support, we can hold Giuliani accountable for his failure to equip firefighters with radios that could have saved lives on 9/11, and get answers to these questions:
Why was nothing done to improve FDNY radio performance for seven years after a clear need was demonstrated in the 1993 World Trade Center attack?
When new radios were finally ordered, why did the city award a contract to Motorola without a competitive bidding process?
Once Motorola was given the contract, why did its cost jump from $1.4 million to $14 million?
Why were these new radios never field tested? No, this is not the answer to the distortions of Rudy Giuliani's campaign and administration. This is just the beginning.
But it is a helluva start!
US Criticized for Use of Torture
"The United States's willingness to resort to harsh interrogation techniques in its so-called war on terror undermined human rights and the international ban on torture, a United Nations spokesman says. Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on torture, said the US's standing and importance meant it was a model to other countries which queried why they were subject to scrutiny when the US resorted to measures witnessed at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison."
Democrats Stand Back as War Funding Continues
Japan Pulls Out of Afghanistan Coalition
Ex-Saudi ambassador: Kingdom could have helped U.S. prevent 9/11
Saudi Arabia could have helped the United States prevent al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington if American officials had consulted Saudi authorities in a "credible" way, the kingdom's former ambassador said in a documentary aired Thursday.
The comments by Prince Bandar bin Sultan are similar to the remarks this week by Saudi King Abdullah that suggested Britain could have prevented the July 2005 train bombings in London if it had heeded warnings from Riyadh.
Speaking to the Arabic satellite network Al-Arabiya on Thursday, Bandar -- now Abdullah's national security adviser -- said Saudi intelligence was "actively following" most of the September 11, 2001, plotters "with precision."
"If U.S. security authorities had engaged their Saudi counterparts in a serious and credible manner, in my opinion, we would have avoided what happened," he said.
Bandar was the Saudi ambassador to Washington for nearly 22 years before he was replaced in 2005. A knowledgeable U.S. official told CNN that Bandar's comments should be taken "with a grain of salt."
White House Edits ABC News Then Takes it Back
ABC News' Jonathan Karl Reports: News flash --
November 02, 2007 12:21 PMJennifer Parker -->
ABC News' Jonathan Karl Reports: News flash -- The White House has selectively edited a report on Iraq, taking out negative information and distorting the report's meaning.
This isn't about intelligence or weapons of mass destruction. It's my report on Thursday's evening on World News with Charles Gibson.
WATCH THE FULL REPORT HERE.
The report noted "violence in Iraq is down and down considerably" in virtually every category, but my report also noted that "there has been almost no political progress on the national level" and that "U.S. officials know military gains won't mean much if the Iraqi government doesn't get its act together."The White House sent out an edited version of my report in an official White House publication called "White House Iraq Update."
Iraq Update is put together by the National Security Council and distributed by the White House via email to government officials, Congressional staffers, radio & television talk show hosts, journalists and foreign policy experts.
As edited by the White House, my report looked like an unqualified declaration of success in Iraq. The White House e-mail publication is headlined: "In Case You Missed It: "Violence Is Down in Iraq and Down Considerably."
Video: Is Bush Crazy??
Caged & Lonely...
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
Iraq the model of American/Western democracy. In Iraq, you smell putrefied, decomposing bodies daily, it has become part of the National "flavor." So have abandonment and neglect – our new national emblems. And loneliness a by-product of our Liberation "à l’0ccidentale." You have managed to export not only, your "freedom" with its death, exile and misery. Not only your puritanical, perverted sexual repressions finding release- Abu Ghraib style. Not only your men and weapons that guarantee instant rapture. Not only your culture that consists of nothing but junk. But you have also managed to export your soul sickness over here...Loneliness. "Dozens of Baghdadis flock to the centre of the Iraqi capital on Friday mornings, ignoring the threat to their lives, with a sole aim -- to ease their loneliness in the company of a bird. Their destination is not a cinema, theatre or concert hall -- a rarity in the Iraqi capital -- but central Baghdad's Al-Ghazl bird market Fuad is one of them. "I do not go out of my home. Because of the dangers, I prefer to stay at home rather than seek work. So I decided to buy a parrot who can entertain me," says Fuad, an unemployed graduate.<(...) Ironic don’t you think ? Here is a people unable to venture out, unable to enjoy the fruits of "their liberation," unable to taste the "culture of democracy," unable to have a normal life like any other people. So they go and risk their lives, and head to a pet market. Braving it all, to buy a bird to entertain them and ease their loneliness. A caged people seeking a caged bird to give them the illusion of Freedom. How terribly sad. How terribly criminal... LinkHere
Family sues government over Iraq veteran's suicide
Friday November 2, 2007
A recent study by the Veterans Affairs Department showed that since 2001, 430 combat veterans have committed suicide either while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq or after leaving the service. Others died after returning from combat but while still in uniform.
One of those veterans was Marine Lance Corporal Jeffrey Lucey, who died by his own hand in June 2004. His parents, Kevin and Joyce Lucey, are now suing both the government and the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs over their son's death. The Luceys are members of an anti-war group, Military Families Speak Out, and hope their lawsuit will help force an overhaul of the VA system.
Jeffrey Lucey returned from Iraq in 2003, profoundly depressed and drinking heavily to handle the pain. Lucey's sister Debbie told CNN, "He looked at me and, as he took two dog tags off of his neck and tossed them at me, and said, 'Don't you understand, your brother's a murderer.'"
Thursday, November 01, 2007
To Implement Policy, Bush to Turn to Administrative Orders
The White House plans to try implementing as much new policy as it can by administrative order while stepping up its confrontational rhetoric with Congress after concluding that President Bush cannot do much business with the Democratic leadership, administration officials said.
According to those officials, Bush and his advisers blame Democrats for the holdup of Judge Michael B. Mukasey's nomination to be attorney general, the failure to pass any of the 12 annual spending bills, and what they see as their refusal to involve the White House in any meaningful negotiations over the stalemated children's health-care legislation.
White House aides say the only way Bush seems to be able to influence the process is by vetoing legislation or by issuing administrative orders, as he has in recent weeks on veterans' health care, air-traffic congestion, protecting endangered fish and immigration. They say they expect Bush to issue more of such orders in the next several months, even as he speaks out on the need to limit spending and resist any tax increases.
And look what Hoyer had to say..
House Democratic leaders fired back at Bush with strong rhetoric of their own. "The president wants the same complacent, complicit Congress that was a co-conspirator in a coverup of what was going on in this country," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.).
U.S. pilot who dropped Hiroshima bomb dies: report
Thu Nov 1, 12:36 PM ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the U.S. bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan on August 6, 1945, died on Thursday at age 92, a newspaper reported.
An experienced pilot who had flown some of the first bombing missions over Germany during World War Two, Tibbets was a 30-year-old colonel commanding the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress bomber named for his mother.
After a six-hour flight to Japan, Tibbets' crew dropped the bomb, code-named "Little Boy," over Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m.
The bomb instantly killed about 78,000 people. By the end of 1945, the number of dead had reached about 140,000 out of an estimated population of 350,000.
Three days later the United States dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, bringing World War Two to an end.
Tibbets said in interviews he did not regret the decision to drop the bomb.
He became a brigadier general before leaving the military in 1966. Later he was president of Executive Jet Aviation, a Columbus-based international air-taxi service, the newspaper said.
"Cease and Desist"
This is interesting: A coalition of right-wing bloggers and MoveOn that helped force several networks to allow public use of their political debate footage last spring has just launched a similar campaign against Fox News.
Fox recently sent letters to all the GOP Presidential candidates "cease and desist" from using Fox footage in any way. In response, the right-wing bloggers and MoveOn are demanding that Fox rescind these cease and desist orders and allow public use of its debate footage.
In a press release just blasted out by MoveOn, RedState.com founder Eric Erickson, a prominent right-wing blogger, is quoted saying: "Already FOX is viewed as a partisan network by the Democrats, who will not use that forum for debates...Every other news organization has liberated their debate footage and FOX should either be no different or no longer have the privilege of airing debates."
AP November 1, 2007 11:34 AM
President Bush, seeking to salvage the nomination of Michael Mukasey as attorney general, on Thursday defended the former judge's refusal to say whether he considers waterboarding as illegal torture.
Bush said it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques on which he has not been briefed. "He doesn't know whether we use that technique or not," the president told a group of reporters invited into the Oval Office.
Further, Bush said, "It doesn't make any sense to tell the enemy whether...
Out with CNN in with FAUX
Blackwater's New Mercenaries: DC's Most Powerful Lobbyists
The investigation, which will examine how the FDNY ended up using faulty equipment during the terrorist attacks and why Giuliani gave a no-bid contract to Motorola for that equipment, has been endorsed by New York City Councilman Eric Gioia, chair of the city's oversight and investigations committee.
Calls for an investigation were first proposed by filmmaker Robert Greenwald who has documented Giuliani's handling of 9/11 in a series of shorts for Brave New Films. In The Real Rudy: Radios, Greenwald documents how radios used by the FDNY on 9/11 were the same ones that malfunctioned during the 1993 attack on the Twin Towers. When - eight years later - Giuliani finally purchased new communications equipment for $14 million from Motorola, it was never field-tested. A week later, the equipment was recalled after a firefighter's mayday went un-heard. Giuliani reissued the old batch of radios. And on 9/11 when a police helicopter warned that the North Tower could collapse, more than 120 firefighters remained inside.
Hell No, We Won't Go To Iraq!
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to quell a revolt among U.S. diplomats angry over moves to force foreign service officers to work in Iraq under threat of dismissal.
Rice plans to send a cable to all U.S. embassies and missions abroad on Thursday explaining the rationale behind the decision to begin the largest diplomatic call-up since Vietnam, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The effort comes after a contentious "town hall meeting" at the department on Wednesday in...
Mukasey For Media Dummies
Michael Mukasey was nominated by the President to be the Attorney General of the United States (USAG). The Attorney General's job is to be the prosecuting attorney on behalf of the people of the United States. Unlike the egregious behavior of his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, would suggest, he is not there to protect the President. He is not the President's attorney. The White House Counsel is the President's attorney for legal matters arising from his role as President of the United States. The Attorney General represents the people of the United States. Or should.
The USAG is the chief law enforcement officer of our federal laws and treaties. Were a crime, say for example, torture, to be committed, he would be obligated to prosecute those responsible. All of them. And therein lies the problem for USAG nominee, Judge Mukasey.
Should Judge Mukasey correctly identify waterboarding as torture, then he would have to prosecute any member of the Bush administration who knew of, approved, condoned, executed or threatened to use waterboarding on anyone.Does Mukasey know that the CIA, at the direction of some member(s) of the Bush Administration used waterboarding? He says no, but his reluctance to define waterboarding as torture, suggests that he has reason to believe they did.
Simply put, Judge Mukasey doesn't want to define waterboarding as torture, because then he would have to start investigating the CIA and the Bush Administration, and then prosecuting them.
This puts him in a bit of a dilemma, doesn't it? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. This is more like amputating the hand that feeds you. And if investigations begin now, it's entirely possible that charges may not be brought until after Bush is out of office. Buh-bye pardons. Buh-bye commutation of sentences.
This goes to the heart of what the problem is with the Mukasey nomination. Waterboarding is an interrogation technique that was used in the Spanish Inquisition to torture their prisoners. It was used in the Italian Inquisition to torture their prisoners. It was used in WWII by the Japanese government to torture their US prisoners of war, and was defined by our government then as torture. It is defined in the Geneva Conventions now as torture. Define waterboarding as torture, and you will likely have to start arresting members of the Administration.
That's Mukasey's dilemma.
Well, here's my dilemma. The law isn't some fashion that changes based on Who's Your Daddy. The laws we have represent the moral agreements that we hold as a nation, citizen to citizen. They are our minimum daily requirements for civilized behavior. If Mukasey can't define waterboarding as torture, then he's either too stupid, too dishonest, or too immoral and he can get the hell out of my Justice Department.
Really, it's just that simple. It's so simple that even the simple-minded in the media can understand it. And if they can't, it's because they won't.
Here is JK's statemnt on that:
WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator John Kerry made the following statement today on the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey for Attorney General of the United States.
"Judge Mukasey’s refusal to classify the barbaric practice of waterboarding as torture waves a red flag about his nomination to serve an Administration that has adhered to the Cheney doctrine on executive power and torture. I am not comfortable confirming anyone who cannot see that this method of interrogation is antithetical to American values and traditions – especially not to a position that is charged with representing our entire justice system. We need to reestablish faith in the Department of Justice.
“Many of us wanted to believe that Judge Mukasey could undo the damage of the Gonzales years. Unfortunately his lack of candor and his refusal to acknowledge this abuse of power suggest he is unable or unwilling to do so, and this is why I will be opposing Judge Mukasey’s nomination to be the next Attorney General of the United States."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Time to close the US Embassy
The Jesse Helms Right always hated the State Department, because it is about compromise and finding peaceful solutions, whereas the US Right is about war, violence and imposing its will on people. But is is the State Department that, despite some lapses over the decades, generally embodies the best of what America is abroad.
The guerrillas in Iraq constantly target the Green Zone and US diplomatic personnel there with mortar and rocket fire. State Department personnel sleep in trailers that are completely unprotected from such incoming fire. At several points in the past year, they have been forbidden to go outside without protective gear (as if outside were more dangerous). The Bush administration has consistently lied about the danger they are in and tried to cover up these severe security precautions.
The US embassy in Iraq should be closed. It is not safe for the personnel there. Some sort of rump mission of hardy volunteers could be maintained. But kidnapping our most capable diplomats and putting them in front of a fire squad is morally wrong and is administratively stupid, since many of these intrepid individuals will simply resign. (You cannot easily get good life insurance that covers death from war, and most State spouses cannot have careers because of the two-year rotations to various foreign capitals, and their families are in danger of being reduced to dire poverty if they are killed).
The Strange Death of Dr. David M. Graham
He warned the FBI about a ring of alleged Arab terrorists - before 9/11
Power plants shut due to lack of fuel:
King Abdullah Flies In To Lecture Us On Terrorism
True, there'll be no public executions outside Buckingham Palace when His Royal Highness rides in stately formation down The Mall. We gave up capital punishment about half a century ago. There won't even be a backhander - or will there? - which is the Saudi way of doing business. But for King Abdullah to tell the world, as he did in a BBC interview yesterday, that Britain is not doing enough to counter "terrorism", and that most countries are not taking it as seriously as his country is, is really pushing it. Weren't most of the 11 September 2001 hijackers from - er - Saudi Arabia? Is this the land that is really going to teach us lessons?
Cashing In on Terror
Why Did We Invade Iraq Anyway?
WA State Rep. Richard Curtis (R-La Center): XXX-Gay
State Rep. Richard Curtis, a Republican from the Vancouver, Wash., area, met Cody Castagna at Hollywood Erotic Boutique on East Sprague Avenue at 12:45 a.m. Friday before the two went to Curtis’ room at the Davenport Tower in downtown Spokane, the documents say. Castagna told investigators Curtis agreed to pay him $1,000 for sex, the documents allege.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case. Castagna, 26, has been questioned by police but not arrested.
Thank the Lord, for some sanity
BALTIMORE - A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.
Albert Snyder of York, Pa., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.
The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.
Snyder's attorney, Craig Trebilcock, had urged jurors to determine an amount "that says don't do this in Maryland again. Do not bring your circus of hate to Maryland again."
Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."
A number of states have passed laws regarding funeral protests, and Congress has passed a law prohibiting such protests at federal cemeteries. But the Maryland lawsuit is believed to be the first filed by the family of a fallen serviceman.
Just don't hold your breath
Another one bites the dust. Good Riddance
Scholar links Bush's US and Hirohito's Japan
Herbert Bix, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his landmark biography of wartime emperor Hirohito, said he believed US aerial bombings and alleged use of torture in Afghanistan and Iraq constituted war crimes.
"The current American rampage in Iraq and elsewhere, not to mention the Bush administration's threats of war against Iran, so clearly replicates Imperial Japan during the period when its leaders willfully disregarded international law and pursued the diplomacy of force," Bix said during a visit to Tokyo.
CIA Chief Defends Extraordinary Rendition
The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, General Michael Hayden, has defended the methods it uses to interrogate terror suspects.
Gen Hayden said programmes such as extraordinary rendition produced what he said was irreplaceable intelligence.
Now ain't that the truth
George W. Bush - Creeping Death
October 31, 2007 6:35 PM
Terrorists don't scare me.
A punk ass self absorbed silverspooner with a bloodlusty taste for torture in $15,000.00 suits having unlimited power and control of an awsome military... now that is a total freaking nightmare.
bin laden is a b*tch.
Kangaroo said: Right On
F.E.M.A. HELD *FAKE PRESS* CONFERENCE ON CALIFORNIA FIRES
Join the resistance! at DCP
Christy Cole: Southern Magic
Excuse me, Blue State people. May I have your attention please..? Thank you.
I make it an obsessive habit to watch everything in our country lately. From down here in Louisiana, because of the 'Information Revolution' I keep surprisingly up to date on the current clusterfuck our nation has become.
Now, normally, I don't see things in red state/blue state terms. I was taught to believe we are ALL Americans first. Period. However, there is a red/blue problem that I simply can not remain silent on anymore. It touches on EVERYTHING we hope to do.
I see all our democratic and activist leaders, all on the move. It is truely a beautiful thing. The people are waking up, and the message is trickling out, slowly but surely. Our opposition to the tyranny of the Bush family bonds us in ways that transcend blue state red state and hold us firm against the fear. I see our leaders holding rallies in N.Y., L.A., Phoenix, and D.C.
What I do not see is rallies in Jackson, Shreveport, or Birmingham.
There may be a speech now and then, that gets heartily protested by the very loud minority, and then they are gone. Back to the blue states to preach to the chior. There is no democratic hope in the south because there are no democratic generals here fighting the republicans on thier own turf. Don't get me wrong there are dems here, hard at work, trying desperately to spoon out the ocean. But these dems are underfunded and COMPLETELY INVISIBLE in our daily lives.
Now perhaps, you have been told that we are all morons down here that spit at outsiders, and dream of the days when slaves were ours to own. Perhaps thats the image you have. But nothing could be further from the truth. By tradition the southerners are DEMOCRATS. We are only red state because the damn republicans have been rigging elections down here for more than a century. You think Ohio was ugly...? Try Louisiana EVERY election day. But, who do we tell? We are left with the corrupted leaders or telling those who will pass it on to the yankees, who then turn around and forget they once violently overthrew and occupied the very soil I am sitting above as I write this. And there were consequences.
MANY MANY consequences. All of them political. None of them easy. I wonder at times, if Martin Luther King had been from Cali would he have found it worth dying for? I doubt it.
Coming down here to make a speech and then outrun the fruit throwers on your way back to bluer borders WILL NOT WORK. You are simply overlooking the TRUE problem of the south because it is what..? Distasteful?..Tedious?.. Dangerous?
And you are missing the opportunity of the ages.
The current shuck and jive campaign coming out of D.C. these days is being delivered with a southern accent. But, not eveyone who SPEAKS with an accent, THINKS with an accent. And it is WAY past time to come and engage those people in a VERY lengthy discussion. One that we can sleep on, and engage again in the morning. I have never once believed the republicans outnumber democrats down here. ONLY at the polls is this a republican stronghold, and if you believe the numbers from Florida can be skewwed it's not a hard leap to see the truth about the south.
The truth is, you have abandoned us, and we need you now more than ever. We have the numbers, and the courage, and the will. But, we can not go anywhere without leaders who are willing to risk just as much as we are.
When a hero does come forth I do not know if he will be northern, or southern, black, white, red nor blue. I do NOT know if that hero that leads us to rally down here will even survive the experience. What I do know is this, WHOMEVER that hero is, when they rise from the ashes of the old south, their names will live forever in the halls of heros among men.
When that hero does come, many, including me, will give all we have to protect them. But we can not protect what we can not reach.
When the rallies that electrify the blue states are over, and the chior goes home, there will STILL be a quiet sense of desperation in the deep south. As a region we are the poorest and most illiterate, even now. You could get it all back, and win the very heart and mind of the country.
But you can not take what you refuse to touch.
"Potential Death Sentence."
Several hundred U.S. diplomats vented anger and frustration Wednesday about the State Department's decision to force foreign service officers to take jobs in Iraq, with some likening it to a "potential death sentence."
In a contentious hour-long "town hall meeting" called to explain the step, these workers peppered the official who signed the order with often hostile complaints about the largest diplomatic call-up since Vietnam. Announced last week, it will require some diplomats - under threat of dismissal _ to serve...
The news that didn't make the news
Well maybe only Down Under?
Nooooooo, you don't say
Plenty of evidence, from a variety of sources, that the Bush administration, with the help of the mainstream media, is covertly trying to force Iraq's parliament to sign an oil law that will grant the vast majority of Iraq's oil profits to multinational oil companies.
When Bush Accuses the Dems of "Wasting Time"
Intentional? YOU DECIDE
Talkingpoints memo reported,
Compounding the mistake, the committee later sent out a second email attempting to recall the original email; it, too, included all recipients in the "to:" field, according to a recipient of the emails.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The American Police State
By Chris Hedges
A Dallas jury, a week ago, caused a mistrial in the government case against this country’s largest Islamic charity. The action raises a defiant fist on the sinking ship of American democracy.
If we lived in a state where due process and the rule of law could curb the despotism of the Bush administration, this mistrial might be counted a victory. But we do not. The jury may have rejected the federal government’s claim that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development funneled millions of dollars to Middle Eastern terrorists. It may have acquitted Mohammad el-Mezain, the former chairman of the foundation, of virtually all criminal charges related to funding terrorism (the jury deadlocked on one of the 32 charges against el-Mezain), and it may have deadlocked on the charges that had been lodged against four other former leaders of the charity, but don’t be fooled. This mistrial will do nothing to impede the administration’s ongoing contempt for the rule of law. It will do nothing to stop the curtailment of our civil liberties and rights. The grim march toward a police state continues.
Constitutional rights are minor inconveniences, noisome chatter, flies to be batted away on the steady road to despotism. And no one, not the courts, not the press, not the gutless Democratic opposition, not a compliant and passive citizenry hypnotized by tawdry television spectacles and celebrity gossip, seems capable of stopping the process. Those in power know this. We, too, might as well know it.
The Bush administration, which froze the foundation’s finances three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and indicted its officials three years later on charges that they provided funds for the militant group Hamas, has ensured that the foundation and all other Palestinian charities will never reopen in the United States. Any organized support for Palestinians from within the U.S. has been rendered impossible. The goal of the Israeli government and the Bush administration—despite the charade of peace negotiations to be held at Annapolis—is to grind defiant Palestinians into the dirt. Israel, which has plunged the Gaza Strip into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, has now begun to ban fuel supplies and sever electrical service. The severe deprivation, the Israelis hope, will see the overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza and the reinstatement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has become the Marshal Pétain of the Palestinian people.
The Dallas trial—like all of the major terrorism trials conducted by this administration, from the Florida case against the Palestinian activist Dr. Sami al-Arian, which also ended in a mistrial, to the recent decision by a jury in Chicago to acquit two men of charges of financing Hamas—has been a judicial failure. William Neal, a juror in the Dallas trial, told the Associated Press that the case “was strung together with macaroni noodles. There was so little evidence.”
Such trials, however, have been politically expedient. The accusations, true or untrue, serve the aims of the administration. A jury in Tampa, Chicago or Dallas can dismiss the government’s assaults on individual rights, but the draconian restrictions put in place because of the mendacious charges remain firmly implanted within the system. It is the charges, not the facts, which matter.
Where Have All the Protests Gone?
As the occupation of Iraq continues, the number and magnitude of demonstrations appear to be shrinking. What is happening to the protest culture of wars past?.... Where the Vietnam analogy distinctly breaks down, however, is in the streets. In the Vietnam era, the demonstrations started small and built slowly over the years toward the massive -- in Washington, in cities around the country, and then on campuses nationwide. In those years, as anger, anxiety, and outrage mounted, militancy rose, and yet the range of antiwar demonstrators grew to include groups as diverse as "businessmen against the war" and large numbers of ever more vociferous Vietnam vets, often just back from the war itself. Almost exactly the opposite pattern -- the vets aside -- has occurred with Iraq. The prewar demonstrations were monstrous, instantaneously gigantic, at home and abroad. Millions of people grasped just where we were going in late 2002 and early 2003, and grasped as well that the Bush dream of an American-occupied Iraq would lead to disaster and death galore......
continua / continued
White House Goes Silent On Blackwater:
Democrats criticized the Bush administration Tuesday for giving immunity to Blackwater USA bodyguards, calling the move a failure to hold the security contractors responsible for the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians.
The State Department, whose investigators initially promised to shield the bodyguards' statements in the criminal inquiry of the Sept. 16 shootings, maintained that any lawbreakers "must be held to account" as a result of the inquiry that has since been taken over by the Justice Department and FBI.
Radio Boycotts Bruce Springsteen's Latest
The Last To Die For A Mistake
FOXNews Roger Friedman October 30, 2007 09:26 AM
Bruce Springsteen should be very happy. He has the No. 1 album, a possible Grammy for Best Album of the Year, for "Magic," an album full of singles, and a sold-out concert tour.
Alas, there's a hitch: Radio will not play "Magic." In fact, sources tell me that Clear Channel has sent an edict to its classic rock stations not to play tracks from "Magic." But it's OK to play old Springsteen tracks such as "Dancing in the Dark," "Born and "Born in the USA."
Just no new songs by Springsteen, even though it's likely many radio listeners already own the album and would like to hear it mixed in with the junk offered on radio.
Read more here, second item down
Remember the Dixie Chicks Radio Boycotts
dixie chicks not ready to make nice