Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Antidepressant Studies Unpublished

The makers of antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil never published the results of about a third of the drug trials that they conducted to win government approval, misleading doctors and consumers about the drugs’ true effectiveness, a new analysis has found.
In published trials, about 60 percent of people taking the drugs report significant relief from depression, compared with roughly 40 percent of those on placebo pills. But when the less positive, unpublished trials are included, the advantage shrinks: the drugs outperform placebos, but by a modest margin, concludes the new report, which appears Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Previous research had found a similar bias toward reporting positive results for a variety of medications; and many researchers have questioned the reported effectiveness of antidepressants. But the new analysis, reviewing data from 74 trials involving 12 drugs, is the most thorough to date. And it documents a large difference: while 94 percent of the positive studies found their way into print, just 14 percent of those with disappointing or uncertain results did.
The finding is likely to inflame a continuing debate about how drug trial data is reported. In 2004, after revelations that negative findings from antidepressant trials had not been published, a group of leading journals agreed to stop publishing clinical trials that were not registered in a public database. Trade groups representing the world’s largest drug makers announced that members’ companies would begin to release more data from trials more quickly, on their own database, clinicalstudyresults.org.

Friday, January 18, 2008

To whom it may concern

January 03, 2008
On the occasion of starting the first stage of American Election (Iowa caucus), and in the name of Iraqi people I would like to adjure the American people to think of Iraqi people and remember all the mistakes that happened in Iraq before directing toward the election boxes. Please choose who has the ability to correct these mistakes.
We hope you will think of our future as much as you will think of yours, that we became part of your future.
Please, be careful remember all Iraqis’ tragedies that happens here because the harmful policy. Also I’d like to inform you that we are waiting your election as if it is our election and may be more because your choice will determine the main lines for our life ... Yes your choice will change our life for good or for bad.
We hope you will choose who will work to stop the Iraqi-American bloodshed for the mothers’ sake, choose who will stop the sadness and the cry of Iraqi and American mothers.
Please, make the right choice for Iraqi children’s sake that their future is in your hands.
Finally we hope that 2008 will bring relief to Iraqi people and American people and that will happen with God blessing and your right choice. Please take the right choice.
Thanks with our best regards

Ground Zero: On the Front Lines of a War Crime

Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque
Friday, 18 January 2008
During the holidays, whilst I was sojourning in that strange land that used to be America (I don't know what it is now; some kind of cheapjack, funhouse-mirror simulacrum of itself, I guess), I missed one of the most important stories about the ongoing war crime in Iraq to come down the pike in a long time: As the Iraqis See It, by Michael Massing, in the New York Review of Books. There are mountains of commentary (making Ossa like a wart) that I could and should say about this devastating article, but time and circumstances are against me at the moment. So let me just urge you to run to the piece and read all of it for yourself. If you want to know what's really going on in Iraq -- behind all the ludicrous and sickening conventional wisdom about the "success" of the "surge" (which we see now consists largely of two main elements: bribing and arming Sunni extremists, and bombing the hell out of civilian neighborhoods) -- if you want to know what the Iraqis themselves think of what America (or the cheapjack, funhouse simulacrum of America) has wrought in their native land, then get thee not to a nunnery but to the NY Review of Books, pronto.The story is based on the remarkable blog by Iraqi employees of McClatchy Newspapers. These are people happily working with Americans, English-speaking, not sectarians, not insurgents; yet the picture they paint of the American occupation, and its effect on the daily lives of ordinary Iraqis, is damning indeed. As Massing notes:
The overwhelming sense is that of a society undergoing a catastrophic breakdown from the never-ending waves of violence, criminality, and brutality inflicted on it by insurgents, militias, jihadis, terrorists, soldiers, policemen, bodyguards, mercenaries, armed gangs, warlords, kidnappers, and everyday thugs. "Inside Iraq" suggests how the relentless and cumulative effects of these vicious crimes have degraded virtually every aspect of the nation's social, economic, professional, and personal life.Massing tells of the confrontation that McClatchy blogger Sahar had with American troops who invaded her home one night. One soldier was astounded to find American science fiction books, John Grisham novels and even video games like Grand Theft Auto on her shelves:
She told me that when the American soldier discovered Grisham and Asimov on her bookshelf, "He was totally amazed. When he looked at me, he didn't see an Iraqi woman in a hijab, he saw a human being. You can't imagine the look on his face—there were tears in his eyes. He was inside a house, with love, a family, like anywhere else."The incident, Sahar said, gave her a sense of the extent to which the Iraqi people are unknown. "People in America look at pictures of Afghanistan and think Iraq is the same," she said. "They think Iraqis are people who are uneducated, who are Bedouins living in tents, tending camels and sheep." Until the plague of wars began devouring the country, she went on, Iraq was the leading nation in the region, with a highly educated people boasting the best doctors, teachers, and engineers. Americans, Sahar sighed, "don't know this. And when you don't know a person, you can't feel for them, can you?"She continued: "How many have been killed in Iraq? Bordering on a million. If you realize that these are real people with real feelings who are being killed—that they are fathers and husbands, teachers and doctors—if these facts could be made known, would people be so brutalized? It's our job as Iraqi journalists to show that Iraqis are real people. This is what we try to advance through the blog."

Supreme Court denies Kucinich ballot bid (Texas)

Source: AP
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Texas to print presidential primary ballots without Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich's name.
The court refused to step into a dispute between Kucinich and the Texas Democratic Party over a loyalty oath all candidates must sign to make the ballot.
Kucinich and singer-supporter Willie Nelson objected to the party oath that a presidential candidate must "fully support" the party's eventual nominee. Kucinich crossed out the oath when he filed for a spot on the primary ballot.
A federal judge in Austin ruled against Kucinich last week. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled the state party has the right to require the oath. Kucinich and Nelson argued it violated Kucinich's First Amendment right to free speech.

Former JAG lawyer: Only America 'parses' torture

The latest valley of US credibility came this week when a Canadian government document put the US on a watch list of countries where prisoners could be tortured.

The United States has lost so much of its credibility and prestige on the world stage because of its heavy-handed interrogation tactics that President Bush's insistence that US interrogators don't torture holds as much water as "Iran denying it has a nuclear weapons program," a retired Navy lawyer says.
There is a growing perception around the globe that the CIA's alleged use of tactics such as waterboarding puts the US alongside some of the very regimes it is fighting in ignoring fundamental human rights. The latest valley of US credibility came this week when a Canadian government document put the US on a watch list of countries where prisoners could be tortured. Others on the list included Iran, Syria, China and Afghanistan.
Navy Lt. Cmdr Charles Swift, who defended Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan, said the Canadian document demonstrates the extent to which even the US's closest allies are wary of its stance in the war on terror. He cited warnings from former Secretary of State Colin Powell and others that Guantanamo Bay needed to be closed to improve foreign relations.
"When they go into a diplomatic meeting ... it's the first thing on the agenda," Swift said. "It starts to jeopardizes cooperation in intelligence gathering, police work, and ultimately potentially extradition and other issues."
The Canadian training manual that warned of potential US torture mentioned Guantanamo Bay and invoked US interrogation practices such as "forced nudity, isolation and sleep deprivation," although Canada's foreign minister said the documents conclusions do not represent official government policy. LinkHere

Edwards camp takes aim at media

Edwards is taking aim at the media for acting as if there are only two Democratic candidates running. (Photo Credit: Getty Images.)
WASHINGTON (CNN) — John Edwards' campaign is launching a full-on assault on the media for what they claim is inadequate and unfair press coverage of the former North Carolina senator's presidential bid.
"For the better part of a year the media has focused on two celebrity candidates,” Edwards Communications Director Chris Kofinis said Thursday. “And they continue to act as if there were only two candidates in the race, even after John Edwards beat Senator Clinton in Iowa and poll after poll show competitive races in Nevada, South Carolina and other key states."
On Thursday, the campaign went live with a Web site that sites several recent news headlines that only include Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It also includes recent statistics from the Project for Excellence in Journalism that indicate that from January 6-11, Edwards received just a fraction of the news coverage allotted to his two rivals.
The campaign has even produced a Web video, "What about John Edwards?", that scrolls through several clips of media pundits discussing only Clinton and Obama, and ends with the results of a focus group that suggested Edwards won the most recent debate in Las Vegas.
And on Wednesday, Edwards' spokesman Eric Schultz sent out an e-mail that suggested the senator's low poll numbers nationally are directly linked to his limited media coverage.
Website and video here:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Republican Rage

By Amy Fried
While it was reported, Mike Huckabee’s bizarre behavior at a shooting range recently, in which he pointed his gun in the direction of a group of reporters, received very little media attention. The Chicago Tribune blog, “The Swamp,” did a good job of describing just how reckless the behavior was. But all we heard on the corporate television media was about Huckabee’s “morbid sense of humor,” in which he joked that the birds he killed did not vote for him. As if that were not enough, the Swamp reported:
“Huckabee emerged happily from his hunt, three dead pheasants in tow ... Asked for a metaphor to describe the hunt, he replied, ‘Don't get in my way. This is what happens.’"
This behavior gives a glimpse of how Huckabee’s easy-going image is a façade. But this type of thinly veiled rage and hostility is, unfortunately, not limited to Mike Huckabee. It’s an important theme that runs through this year’s Republican campaign, and through much of neo-conservative rhetoric. Maybe it started when Ronald Reagan famously exclaimed, “I paid for this microphone!” or when he joked about bombing the Soviet Union.
Psychiatrist and author, Justin Frank, did a masterful job of describing similar, destructive tendencies in George W. Bush, in his book Bush on the Couch. Frank points to Bush’s traumatic childhood (e.g., the loss of his sister, with no outlet for grief), his sadistic tendencies (e.g., blowing up frogs, branding fraternity pledges), his history of drinking, and his alleged learning disability, to make a compelling explanation for Bush’s self-defeating and destructive presidency. But, again, this theme is not limited to Bush, even given all these pathologies. It is something that has grown, as traditional conservatism has given way to neo-conservatism and the Radical Right.
White House Says It Routinely Overwrote Email Tapes From 2001 to 2003
Elizabeth Williamson and Dan Eggen report for The Washington Post: "E-mail messages sent and received by White House personnel during the first three years of the Bush administration were routinely recorded on tapes that were 'recycled,' the White House's chief information officer said in a court filing this week. During the period in question, the Bush presidency faced some of its biggest controversies, including the Iraq war, the leak of former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson's name and the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes."

Canada puts Israel, US on torture list, Government document lists countries where prisoners run risk of being tortured.

OTTAWA, Jan 17 (Reuters) - An official Canadian government document has put both the United States and Israel on a watch list of countries where prisoners run the risk of being tortured, CTV television reported on Thursday.
The revelation is likely to embarrass the minority Conservative government, which is a staunch U.S. ally.
The document mentions the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where a Canadian man is being held.
CTV said the document was part of a course on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats to help them determine whether prisoners they visited abroad had been mistreated.
It said the document mentioned U.S. interrogation techniques such as "forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation."
Other countries on the watch list include Syria, China, Iran and Afghanistan, CTV said.
A spokesman for Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier tried to distance Ottawa from the document.
"The training manual is not a policy document and does not reflect the views or policies of this government," he said.
The mention of Guantanamo Bay is particularly sensitive, since the Canadian government rejects allegations that a citizen may have been mistreated there.
Omar Khadr has been in the facility for five years. He is accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was 15.
Right groups say Khadr should be repatriated to Canada, an idea that Ottawa firmly rejects.
A spokeswoman at the U.S. embassy said she was looking into the report. No one was immediately available for comment at the Israeli embassy.
The torture awareness course started after Ottawa was strongly criticised for the way it handled the case of Canadian engineer Maher Arar, who was deported from the United States to Syria in 2002.
Arar says he was tortured repeatedly during the year he spent in Damascus prisons. An inquiry into the case revealed that Canadian diplomats had not received any formal training into detecting whether detainees had been abused. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Wexler Calls for Impeachment Hearings

Call for Cheneys' impeachment hearings

202393 signed up

and counting...

Army Deploys Ailing GIs

Ft. Carson sent ailing GIs to meet deployment goals, notes say
COLORADO SPRINGS — Fort Carson sent soldiers who were not medically fit to war zones last month to meet "deployable strength" goals, according to e-mails obtained by The Denver Post.

President Bush Shouldn't Play With Sharp Objects

The plant you show only love, And the plant you show only hate grow equally,
It's the one that you ignore that dies.
Yoko Ono

Even though we've been swept into the pulse-pounding vortex of the presidential campaign, every once in a while something happens in the news which snaps us back into the dark reality that an incompetent shit-kicking hoople still occupies the White House.
This past Tuesday, for example, while the stock market buckled under the weight of a subprime-fueled recession; while oil prices drove the rate of inflation to its largest increase in 26 years; and while Citigroup panhandled for bailout cash from various and infamous foreign governments including Saudi Arabia, President Bush was busy participating in something called a "sword dance" at the Al Murabba Palace in Riyadh.
In terms of America's reputation and economy: one of the worst days imaginable.
President Bush, who has resolved to both reduce our addiction to oil and to spread democracy to the Middle East, had to skulk around with the Saudi royals -- like freakin' Gollum with an ill-favored look -- begging for more precious evildoer oil.
Rewind to three long years ago this month. The theme of the president's second inaugural address (pardon me as I involuntarily convulse at the bilious recollection of George W. Bush delivering a second inaugural) was "Celebrating Freedom" and he discussed his mission of bringing democracy and liberty to oppressed people around the world:
We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.
We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people.
America's belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.
Freedom. Rights. Liberty. Justice. Human dignity guiding our policies. Awesome! I've heard worse from this fear mongering imperial authoritarian.
Yet in an effort to inject more foreign oil into the tract-marked veins of the desperate American economy, the President of the United States played with swords inside the garish walls of that Saudi palace.
There's a rule -- something about running with scissors -- which ought to have applied here. But the implicit hazard of an accident-prone Ruprecht waving a sharpened blade in the vicinity of living humans fails to underscore the true danger and indignity of the event -- the real-world horror of our constitutional defender and chief diplomat dancing and smirking while brandishing those Saudi weapons.
They're called "Chop Squares", Mr. President.
While the sword President Bush had slung over his shoulder like a clump of Crawford scrub wasn't specifically an executioner's sword -- in the same way a looped and knotted length of rope isn't specifically a hangman's noose or a Teflon-coated hollow-point bullet isn't specifically a cop-killer -- the resemblance was striking enough to send a message that the United States -- the shining city on the hill or whatever the hell Saint Reagan called it -- is willing to toss aside its commitment to human rights, justice and democracy in order to sniff the taints of our true global masters: the House of Saud which, last year, conducted at least 136 public beheadings in these so-called Chop Squares. It's also worth noting that during the same year in which President Bush delivered his second inaugural, the Saudis publicly beheaded 191 people. Cont
The worst part is that those Saidis, in all probablity, had a lot of private yuks after our fearless leader left. Can't you just hear it in their back rooms how they made Bush look like a fool to the world while pretending to honor him. TOTALLY EMBARRASSING for the USA. When will this nightmare be terminated?

How The Pentagon Planted a False Hormuz Story

Analysis by Gareth Porter
Senior Pentagon officials, evidently reflecting a broader administration policy decision, used an off-the-record Pentagon briefing to turn the Jan. 6 U.S.-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz into a sensational story demonstrating Iran's military aggressiveness, a reconstruction of the events following the incident shows.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rep. Wexler Wants Cheney Impeachment Hearings

Wexler takes the House floor.
Formally calls for impeachment hearings.
Last night, Congressman Wexler took the House floor, calling for hearings on Rep. Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment for Vice President Dick Cheney.
To watch the video, please click play on the player below.

Supreme Court Limits Lawsuits by Shareholders

Source: New York Times
Published: January 16, 2008
WASHINGTON — Ruling in its most important securities fraud case in years, the Supreme Court on Tuesday placed a towering obstacle in the path of shareholders looking for someone to sue when a stock purchase turns sour.
The decision in the case, Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta Inc., was a major and ardently sought victory for investment banks, accountants and vendors — the deep pockets that have become nearly automatic targets of class-action lawsuits that accuse them of having engaged in a fraudulent scheme with the company that actually issued the stock. The notion of “scheme liability,” as the theory behind such lawsuits is known, now appears to be dead.
The 5-to-3 decision held that in order to proceed with such a lawsuit, plaintiffs must be able to show that they had relied, in making their decision to acquire or hold stock, on the deceptive behind-the-scenes behavior of these financial institutions, often called secondary actors. But behavior that was never communicated to the marketplace cannot be said to have induced reliance, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.
Without such a limitation on the concept of reliance, potential liability “would reach the whole marketplace in which the issuing company does business,” Justice Kennedy said. He added that Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, the legal foundation for securities fraud cases, “does not reach all commercial transactions that are fraudulent and affect the price of a security in some attenuated way.”
“Section 10(b) does not incorporate common-law fraud into federal law,” he said....


Starr added that one American boat had been given the order to fire, and the Iranians had moved away just in time.
Porter identifies Bryan Whitman, the Pentagon's top spokesman, as the culprit for the spurious account. Most of Whitman's remarks that formed the basis for Starr's and other stories were drawn from an off the record press briefing that was held on the condition he not be identified as a source.
But, "in an apparent slip-up, however, an Associated Press story that morning cited Whitman as the source for the statement that US ships were about to fire when the Iranian boats turned and moved away - a part of the story that other correspondents had attributed to an unnamed Pentagon official," he writes.
After facing suspicion, the Pentagon released a four-minute, 20-second condensed video clip that appeared to show small Iranian boats swarming around a US Navy vessel. A voice was heard to say, "I am coming to you. ... You will explode after (inaudible) minutes."
In the wake of reports, the Iranians said the footage had been fabricated.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How utterly deplorable and sick, Make you proud to be an American

Wonder if he brings it home to hang in the Oval Office, in the White House with the trophy of Sadams head and gun.
While the sword President Bush had slung over his shoulder like a clump of Crawford scrub wasn't specifically an executioner's sword -- in the same way a looped and knotted length of rope isn't specifically a hangman's noose or a Teflon-coated hollow-point bullet isn't specifically a cop-killer -- the resemblance was striking enough to send a message that the United States -- the shining city on the hill or whatever the hell Saint Reagan called it -- is willing to toss aside its commitment to human rights, justice and democracy in order to sniff the taints of our true global masters: the House of Saud which, last year, conducted at least 136 public beheadings in these so-called Chop Squares. It's also worth noting that during the same year in which President Bush delivered his second inaugural, the Saudis publicly beheaded 191 people.
It's also worth noting that 15 of the Hyjackers on September 11, where Saudis
Lest America forget!!!!!!

The Subhuman Stain: Federal Court Upholds Torture and Tyranny

Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque
Last week, a federal appeals court upheld George W. Bush's outrageous claims of dictatorial powers, ruling that he and his designated minions can torture captives -- seized and held outside any legal process -- as they see fit. What's more, the judges -- all of them appointed by one of the Bushes who have stained the Oval Office with their bloodstained filth -- further ruled that these captives are "non-persons" in the eyes of the law: subhumans, without rights, without redress -- no matter what was done to them, no matter if they were innocent. I was going to write about this story but I see that Scott Horton has already done it, and done it well... continua / continued

Pakistani Leader Warns Troops Will Shoot Anyone Trying to Disrupt Vote

Jan 15, 2008 06:29 EST
President Pervez Musharraf warned troops would shoot anyone trying to disrupt parliamentary elections meant to bring stability to the country as it battles a rise in attacks blamed on Muslim extremists.
An anti-terrorism court, meanwhile, sentenced three militants to life imprisonment Tuesday for plotting to kill Musharraf in a failed car bombing in 2002.
The Feb. 18 elections were already delayed by six weeks because of the aftermath of the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Dec. 18. Musharraf said the vote would not be delayed again and expressed confidence it would be peaceful.
"I have said to the rangers and army shoot anyone who tries to do anything of this sort (disrupt the election)," he said in a speech at the opening of a new bridge Monday.
He did not elaborate, but some officials have said the recent surge in terror attacks are meant to derail the elections. On Monday, nine people were killed and 52 wounded in a blast outside a textile factory in Karachi.

Ex-Officials Benefit From Corporate Cleanup

By Carrie JohnsonWashington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, January 15, 2008; Page A01
Federal prosecutors are steering no-bid contracts to former government officials who earn millions of dollars by monitoring companies accused of cheating investors and other schemes.
A consulting firm led by former U.S. attorney general John D. Ashcroft recently won an assignment, valued at more than $25 million, to ensure that a medical equipment maker stops paying kickbacks to doctors who use its products. Other former government officials with ties to the Bush administration have secured similar deals, which are paid using corporate funds and entail few, if any, checks on spending.
The lucrative arrangements are known as "monitorships," unusual contracts in which an outsider comes into a troubled company with vast power to expose corruption and change business practices. The deals allow scandal-plagued companies to avoid criminal charges -- and they give prosecutors a way to ensure businesses keep their promises and clean up abuses. But legal experts and lawmakers are expressing growing concern about inconsistency and secrecy surrounding the appointments.
The chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary committees last week demanded that Justice Department leaders provide a list of all such deals and the fees they have generated. The Project on Government Oversight watchdog group has questioned whether the agreements reward "cronies" who share political affiliations or backgrounds with the U.S. attorneys handing out the deals.

Australian National Anthem - Advance Australia Fair

Without Impeachment, The 2008 Election Will Crown A King, Not A President

By William Cormier
It's a shame that Americans no longer have a free press. If we did, the "average American" would understand that our Presidential elections are worthless, and the Mainstream News Media is choosing our next President, not the people. (When the average American does not possess the facts and understand the true situation that are country is in, their votes are skewed by lack of knowledge and are influenced by propaganda - not facts.The issues being “debated” by Presidential candidates do not reach into the core of the corruption that affect the survivability of The United States as a free and democratic republic.

January 12, 2008 at 09:39:14

by Frosty Wooldridge
The latest in America's misguided leaders, George W. Bush proves the most immoral and unethical president in recent history. His legacy makes Richard Nixon and Lyndon Baines Johnson look like saints. His corruption makes Ulysses Grant's administration resemble Mother Theresa's chastity. Bush stands daily in violation of his oath of office to the U.S. Constitution.
The fact remains that Bush contrived and lied about weapons of mass destruction. He lied about Iraq being a threat to America. He manufactured a lie to create a hysterical and perceived danger by a sandbox thug named Saddam Hussein in the Iraq desert.
Bush fertilized a centuries-old civil war in a country that did nothing to provoke or instigate violence toward the USA. He pushed Muslims into deep and long lasting hatred toward the USA. He created terror where no terror existed.
The Bush War
Every month for the past six years, George Bush's Iraq War piled up dead American soldiers, now at 3,900, while Halliburton piled up billions of dollars in profits. More than 28,000 U.S. soldiers returned without legs and arms or suffered paralyzed bodies--while munitions dealers counted their billions of dollars.

Mysterious Crowd Suddenly Stopped Bhutto's Car, Officer Says

Saeed Shah and Jonathan S. Landay report for McClatchy Newspapers: "Two new reports on the assassination last month of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto suggest that the killing may have been an ambitious plot rather than an isolated act of violence and that the government of President Pervez Musharraf knows far more than it's admitted about the murder."

Bush Visits His Odious Saudi Friend

Amitabh Pal writes for The Progressive: "How do you punish the principal global purveyor of fundamentalist Islam, someone who backed the Taliban and continues to harshly suppress political freedoms, women and religious minorities? If you're President Bush, you reward him with a state visit, of course!"
The Washington Post's Marc Kaufman reports:
"Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates."

Number Crunching: Death Count Politics

Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque
In an age where Hitlerian wars of aggression are considered standard practice for "healthy" democracies (with only the "competence" of their execution being a fit subject for debate), it is difficult, if not impossible, to single out a single element of the grotesque carnival as the most macabre. But surely the warmongers' game-playing with the death toll of slaughtered Iraqis is a prime candidate. Throughout George W. Bush's rape of Iraq, which was launched on a sea of lies and spin, the warmakers and their innumerable sycophants and transcribers in the media have relentlessly downplayed the number of Iraqis being killed in the conflict -- when they deign to notice the darker-hued dead at all, that is.... continua / continued


By Layla Anwar
Stress is when you have been no with water and no electricity for over 5 years. That is stress. Stress is when you have no job because some *ucking backward retard came and occupied your country, pillaged it and stripped you of your livelihood. That is stress.

"Is this Humane?"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Drug Troops to Numb Them to Horrors of War

Pentagon, Big Pharma
By Penny Coleman
The DoD is flirting with the idea of medicating soldiers to desensitize them to combat trauma -- will an army of unfeeling monsters result?

Did you miss this?

It should have been the lead story in every newspaper and radio and TV program in America. In the Washington Post it was on page 14. In virtually all of the rest of the media it was on page zero, channel zero, 0000 AM or 00.0 FM.


The reversal of the machine and hand counts is consistent with programming errors counting votes cast for Obama, for Clinton and votes cast for Clinton, for Obama.
To see this consistency of New Hampshire's election results with programming error, analysts examined Clinton and Obama vote shares out of votes cast only for Obama and Clinton. Overall, Clinton's hand count share of such votes is 47.07% to Obama's 52.93% share and a virtually exact reverse pattern occurs with machine counts where Clinton's share is 52.95% to Obama's 47.05%.
A statistical analysis of New Hampshire's Democratic primary by the National Election Data Archive rules out precinct-size and seems to rule out demographic factors as possible causes for the reversal of Obama and Clinton's machine and hand-counted results; and shows that the pattern is consistent with vote miscount favoring Clinton.

Straight Talk

By Layla Anwar
Americans still pretend they brought Democracy to Iraq. Keep on deluding yourselves folks. Had I been in charge of your Education, I would grant you free PHD's in Deceit, Duplicity and Denial.

Pakistanis See US As Greatest Threat

By Jim Lobe
Amid reports that the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is considering aggressive covert actions against armed Islamist forces in western Pakistan, a new survey released here Monday suggested that such an effort would be opposed by an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis themselves.

No Jobs for the New Economy or the Old

By Paul Craig Roberts
If December is a harbinger of the new year, it is going to be a bad one. The past year, hailed by Republican propagandists and "free trade" economists as proof of globalism's benefit to Americans, was dismal.
Monkey said:::

"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
- Plato -
By Mary Shaw
A federal appeals court threw out a suit by four British Muslims who allege that they were tortured and subjected to religious abuse at Gitmo.

By Joseph J. Adamson

As Herman Melville said: "Of all the preposterous assumptions made by human beings, nothing exceeds the criticisms against the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed." Now Joseph J. Adamson brings that point home, exposing the preposterous assumptions and claims made by the Reaganites and Bushites who blame the victims and ignore all the facts and evidence that proves them wrong.


By David Swanson
What does one say to a young woman gang raped by men paid by us to work for a company from which our vice president profits, men who have yet to be charged with any crime, a company yet to make amends in any way, and a presidential administration effectively granted immunity by our representatives in Congress?

Layla Anwar - An Arab Woman Blues: Indicting The Reader

By Garda Ghista
We need to listen to Layla Anwar. And then we need to dedicate our lives to stopping the endless, serial wars of the American Empire. We can do no less.

Official Account of 9/11: “Impossible”, “A Bunch of Hogwash”, “Total B.S.”, “Ludicrous”, “A Well-Organized Cover-up”, “A White-Washed Farce”

Twenty-five U.S. Military Officers Challenge Official Account Of 9/11
By Alan Miller
25 former U.S. military officers have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. They include the former commander of U.S. Army Intelligence, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, two former staff members of the Director of the National Security Agency, and many others.
Lara Jakes Jordan and Matt Apuzzo of The Associated Press report: "Blackwater Worldwide repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack, according to people familiar with the government's investigation of the incident."

The End of the Road for George W. Bush

Chris Hedges, writing for Truthdig, says: "The Gilbert and Sullivan charade of statesmanship played out by George W. Bush and his enabler, Condoleezza Rice, as they wander the Middle East is a fitting end to seven years of misrule. Despots stripped of power are transformed from monsters into buffoons. And this is the metamorphosis that is eating away at the Bush presidency."

Media Did Pentagon's Bidding in Reporting Naval "Provocation" With Iran

Juan Gonzalez, from Democracy Now, interviews historian and national security policy analyst Gareth Porter about the media reporting on the alleged Iranian naval provocation in the Strait of Hormuz.
The UK Atomic Weapons Establishment, which manages the Aldermaston weapons site on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, is set to come under the control of US companies.

Heckler behind U.S.-Iran incident?

Sailors say person often heard in region might have enflamed events
CAIRO, Egypt - A threatening radio message at the end of a video showing Iranian patrol boats swarming near U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf may have come from a prankster rather than from the Iranian vessels, the Navy Times newspaper has reported.
A video and audio of the Jan. 6 incident in the Strait of Hormuz featured a man in accented English saying "I am coming to you. ... You will explode after ... minutes."
Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, spokeswoman for the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, said the Navy was still trying to determine the source of the transmission but believed it was related to the Iranian actions.
"The Iranian boats were coming close to the ships, making aggressive maneuvers and objects were being dropped into the water," she told The Associated Press.
However, the Navy Times, a weekly newspaper published by the Gannett company, quoted several veteran sailors as speculating the transmission could have come from a heckler widely known among sailors in the region by the ethnically insulting term "the Filipino Monkey."

Gideon Levy : Bush: A hostile president :

George Bush is coming to Israel this week. He will take pleasure in his visit. One can assume that there are few prime ministers with a giant photo of themselves with the U.S. president hanging on the wall in their home, as our Ehud Olmert boasted last week that he does, to his exalted guest, the comic Eli Yatzpan. There are also few other countries where the lame duck from Washington would not be greeted with mass demonstrations; instead, Israel is making great efforts to welcome him graciously. The man who has wreaked such ruin upon the world, upon his country, and upon us is such a welcome guest only in Israel.
A man is coming to Israel this week who has left a trail of killing, destruction and global hatred. Never has the U.S. been so despised as during Bush's seven years in office, which abruptly brought his county back to the not-so-merry days of Vietnam.
He led the U.S., and the free world in its wake, into two brutal and completely futile wars of conquest, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. He sowed mass killing in these two wretched countries under the false pretext of a battle against global terror.
But the world after these two wars is not a better world or a safer one. And these two wounded countries feel no gratitude toward the superpower that ostensibly came to emancipate them from their regimes of terror.
There was no connection between the attack on the Twin Towers and Iraq. Saudi Arabia, where most of the terrorists came from, could have been a more appropriate target but it remained an ally of the U.S. despite its despotic regime. The war in Iraq, the rationale for which - the presence of weapons of mass destruction - was revealed to be false, was an atrocious, futile war that is far from being over, even if its daily toll of killing has declined from 100 to 50.
In Western Europe, in South America, in Asia, in all parts of the Arab and Muslim world and in parts of Africa, the sole global superpower has come to be viewed as a hostile, arrogant and ostracized entity. This is not good for America and it is not good for the world.
Closer to home, it is worth remembering the damage Bush has caused to the Middle East. His seven years in power have been wasted years, barren and dangerous. Never has there been a president who gave Israel such an automatic carte blanche and even encouraged it to take violent action, to deepen and entrench the occupation.
This is not friendship with Israel. This is not concern for its future. A president who did not even try to pressure Israel to end the occupation is a president who is hostile to it, indifferent to its future and fate.
A president who endorsed every abomination - from the expansion of settlements to the failure to honor commitments and signed agreements, including those with U.S. such as the passages agreement and the freeze on settlement construction - is not a president who seeks the best for Israel or aspires to peace. >>>cont

'A Heartbeat Away' From War With Iran and Pakistan :

As the American people amuse themselves with the illusion that they have any say in the way they are presently governed, our rulers are moving toward war. Two recent incidents underscore the imminence of this prospect.
Iranian video counters Pentagon report:
Iran released a video on Thursday which it said showed its boats did not threaten U.S. navy vessels in the Gulf, countering Washington's account of the event which President George W. Bush called "a provocative act".

.” This is foolishness. It's fantasy. Why? Its owned lock, stock, and barrel by corporate

It's Gross Hypocrisy
Mike Gravel rates Democrat opponents

Video & Transcript:

Congress could do a good job, theoretically, but it can't. Why? Its owned lock, stock, and barrel by corporate America. So you think you're going to become president and you're going to turn to the Congress and say, "Let's really straighten out corporate America." This is foolishness. It's fantasy.

Ain't that the truth

No Escape from War and Unemployment
By Paul Craig Roberts
New Hampshire voters have chosen warmonger clones of Bush/Cheney for their party's presidential candidates. The only candidates not in Israel's pocket are Kucinich, Paul, and Gravel, who have no chance for their party's nomination.

The "Good Good War" Is A Bad War

By John Pilger
John Pilger describes how the invasion of Afghanistan, which was widely supported in the West as a 'good war' and justifiable response to 9/11, was actually planned months before 9/11 and is the latest instalment of 'a great game'.
David Willman, writing for The Los Angeles Times, reports: "Attorneys for the former Army physician who was branded a 'person of interest' in the deadly 2001 anthrax mailings named three federal officials Friday who they said leaked investigative details that harmed their client."

Blackwater USA Steps Up Lobbying Efforts

The Associated Press reports, "Private-security contractor Blackwater Worldwide, which protects U.S. government officials in Iraq and faces scrutiny over its role in the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians, has ramped up its lobbying representation on Capitol Hill."

What Is He Capable of?

Psychotherapist, John P. Briggs, M.D., and distinguished professor, JP Briggs II, Ph.D., write for Truthout: "In defiance of his circumstances as an unpopular, lame duck president with a minority party in Congress, George W. Bush pursues a sharply autocratic tone. He has intimidated both parties in Congress and violated the Constitution. Through dissimulation and delay, he has forced the nations of the world to conclude they must wait until his term ends to negotiate any serious treaty on the imminent perils of climate change."

“No welcome for the murderers”,

US President George W. Bush, due to visit Egypt on Wednesday as part of his Middle East tour, was branded a murderer not welcome in the country by the main opposition party.
“We say to Bush Junior - whose hands are not just bloodstained but soaked in our blood - that neither you or your American administration assistants are welcome in our land or under our skies,” the Muslim Brotherhood said.
A statement, entitled “No welcome for the murderers”, quoted the movement's supreme guide, Mohammed Mehdi Akef, and said that destruction and devastation followed Mr Bush.
Akef said Mr Bush was unwelcome because he incited Ethiopia to occupy Somalia, supported Israel, stirred up disagreement among the different political factions in Lebanon and was responsible for the destruction of Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq.
“You continue to support corrupt and tyrannical regimes in our Arab world and support them against the wishes of their people,” said Akef.

Bush Seals Deal To Sell Saudis $20 Billion In Arms

How easily Georgie forgets 9/11, when it suits his purpose.
Mideast peace and democracy in the region topped the agenda for President Bush during talks Monday with ally Saudi Arabia.
Bush's first visit to the kingdom came as his administration notified Congress of its intent to sell $20 billion in weapons, including precision-guided bombs, to the Saudis. The announcement was timed to coincide with the president's arrival in the Saudi capital.

Request For New Hampshire Recount Granted

This will be interesting
By Wednesday morning, stories were flying all around the Internet--have you looked closely at the results of the primary? There was something strange about the votes, they said, about the difference between municipalities that hand-counted votes and those that used optical scanners. The chatter increased, and by Friday, the New Hampshire Department of State issued a press release announcing that two candidates, Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Republican Albert Howard had requested and been granted a recount, having met the following requirement:
"New Hampshire law, RSA 660:7, provides that "any person for whom a vote was cast for any nomination of any party at a state or presidential primary may apply for a recount." RSA 660:2, IV provides that if the difference between the vote cast for the applying candidate and a candidate declared elected shall be greater than 3 percent of the total votes cast in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted, the candidate shall pay the fees provided in RSA 660:2, III and shall agree in writing with the secretary of state to pay any additional costs of the recount." RSA 660:6 provides that if the person requesting the recount is declared the winner after the recount or loses by a margin of less than one percent of the total votes cast, the fees for the recount will be refunded by the State."
The recounts will begin on January 16, at a time and location to be announced after the state has completed an estimate of the cost and received payment based on that estimate.

Bush Mideast speech draws cool response

By Hannah Allam, McClatchy Newspapers Sun Jan 13, 5:59 PM ET
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — President Bush on Sunday described Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and called on Arab allies to help his administration curb the threat "before it's too late."
" Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere," Bush said. "So the United States is strengthening our longstanding security commitments with our friends in the Gulf, and rallying friends around the world to confront this danger before it's too late."
But Bush appears unlikely, based on the regional reaction to his address, to find many Arabs to heed his alarms against Iran , a powerful neighbor and trading partner. Nor did many endorse his speech's other theme— a vision of "free and just society" featuring broad political participation and a voice for moderate Muslims in a region where money and family are common keys to leadership.
Even political analysts here who share Bush's democratic vision said that his speech painted over the daily reality for most inhabitants of the Middle East , an oil-rich region where power is largely inherited and human rights violations abound.....

US Military Chief Wants Guantanamo Prison Closed

The chief of the U.S. military said Sunday he favors closing the prison here as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been "pretty damaging" to the image of the United States.
"I'd like to see it shut down," Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with three reporters who toured the detention center with him on his first visit since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last October.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dead Souls: The Pentagon Plan to Create Remorseless "Warfighters"

Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque
Penny Coleman at Alternet.com gives us a look at a new program designed to dull the moral sensibilities of American soldiers in combat on the imperial frontiers: Pentagon, Big Pharma: Drug Troops to Numb Them to Horrors of War. But as we'll see below, this attempt to peddle magic pills to chase away the horrors of war is just one front in a long-term, wide-ranging "warfighter enhancement program" -- including the neurological and genetic re-engineering of soldiers' minds and bodies to create what the Pentagon calls "iron bodied and iron willed personnel": tireless, relentless, remorseless, unstoppable.... continua / continued

Everybody’s Happy!

Thomas F. Barton
... U.S. warplanes unleashed one of the most intense airstrikes of the Iraq war Thursday, dropping 40,000 pounds of explosives in a thunderous 10-minute onslaught on suspected insurgent in Iraq safe havens in Sunni farmlands south of Baghdad. The mighty barrage - recalling the Pentagon's "shock and awe" raids during the 2003 invasion - appeared to mark a significant escalation in a countrywide offensive launched this week.... continua / continued

AUDIT: 308,000 barrels missing from Petroleum Reserve.

Oil Crisis As Barrels Go Missing, According to Audit
How do you not notice when 308,000 barrels of oil go missing?
That's the question government auditors were asking after they looked into the Department of Energy's management of oil received for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a critical program to assure energy stability in the U.S. in case of an oil crisis.
To help add to the reserve, DOE receives a portion of the royalty oil that the Department of the Interior gets in return for allowing petroleum companies to drill on government lands and waters.
The department's Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman and his auditors found that in 28 percent of the oil transfers they examined, the amount received did not match the estimated amount to be shipped by the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service.
"To illustrate our findings regarding discrepancies, during a four-month period in Fiscal Year 2005, two Department contractors reported receiving 308,000 barrels of royalty oil less than the amount that MMS had scheduled for delivery to the market center. Yet, despite this significant shortfall, the Department took no action to resolve the discrepancy and to ensure that it had received all of the oil shipped by MMS," according to the audit.
Eventually, the auditors received documentation from MMS to explain reasons for the discrepancy, including "a decision by MMS to sell royalty oil rather than ship it to the Department," although 32,000 barrels could still not be accounted for in the above example.
Reached for comment, a spokeswoman for the department issued a statement. "We are confident that all royalty oil transferred to DOE was properly delivered to the SPR. However we recognize the need for enhanced controls and as such, we have followed the recommendations of the report and taken steps to strengthen the RIK program by collecting additional supporting documentation for oil receipts and increasing coordination with MMS to facilitate monthly confirmation of the quantity of oil transferred."
Last year, the Interior Department's MMS was investigated by the Government Accountability Office for losing track of billions of dollars in royalties. A GAO report in May 2007 determined that an increase in the royalty rates, which were among "the lowest government takes in the world," could potentially increase revenue by $4.5 billion over 20 years and help ensure "a fair rate of return for the American people from oil production on federally leased lands and waters."

Dick Cheney's Impeachable Offenses

The first three of the many charges below are taken from H Res 333

FAUX Snooze South Carolina Debate 1/10/08 Iran

Blackwater Repainted Trucks Immediately After Deadly Baghdad Shooting

Blackwater Worldwide repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack, according to people familiar with the government's investigation of the incident.
Damage to the vehicles in the convoy has been held up by Blackwater as proof that its security guards were defending themselves against an insurgent ambush when they fired into a busy intersection, leaving 17 Iraqi civilians dead.

US Intelligence Chief: Waterboarding Is Torture

WASHINGTON — The nation's intelligence chief says waterboarding "would be torture" if used against him or if someone under interrogation actually was taking water into his lungs.
But Mike McConnell, in a magazine interview, declined for legal reasons to say whether the technique categorically should be considered torture.
"If it ever is determined to be torture, there will be a huge penalty to be paid for anyone engaging in it," McConnell told The New Yorker, which published a 16,000-word article Sunday on the director of national intelligence.
The comments come as the House Intelligence Committee investigates the CIA's destruction of videotaped interrogations of two al-Qaida suspects. The tapes were made in 2002 and destroyed three years later, over fears they would leak. They depicted the use of "enhanced" interrogation techniques against two of the three men known to have been waterboarded by the CIA.
As McConnell describes it, a prisoner is strapped down with a wash cloth over his face and water is dripped into his nose.
"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful! Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture," McConnell told the magazine.
free hit counter