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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Siegelman speaks: Rove must testify

Source: tuscaloosanews.com
BIRMINGHAM Former Gov. Don Siegelman said Thursday that he wants former White House adviser Karl Rove to testify before Congress, whether 'he lies under oath, tells the truth or pleads the Fifth.'
Siegelman was freed on bond March 28 after serving nine months in federal prison for bribery and obstruction of justice. He said that while his primary concern is winning his appeal, there are bigger issues involved in his prosecution by the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Montgomery.
'This is not about Don Siegelman, and it's not about the Alabama case,' he said in his first interview with an Alabama newspaper since being released from a federal prison in Oakdale, La. 'This is about America, it is about finding out who hijacked the Department of Justice and used it as a political tool to win elections.'
Siegelman, who had just returned from two days in Washington conferring with U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said he is willing to testify before Congress about his case 'or anything else they want me to do.'

Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS!!!!

Jimmy Carter Holds Second Meeting With Hamas Leaders, AP Says
Source: AP
April 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. former president Jimmy Carter met with the exiled leader of the militant Hamas group and his deputy today, for the second time in as many days, the Associated Press reported.
Carter's approximately hour-long meeting today with Khalid Mashaal and his deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, in Damascus, Syria, was in defiance of U.S. and Israeli warnings, the news agency said.
Marzouk said Carter and Mashaal discussed a possible prisoner exchange with Israel and the siege imposed by Israel on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, according to the AP.
The two Palestinians are considered terrorists by the U.S. government, and Israel accuses them of masterminding attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians, the AP said. The first meeting was yesterday, according to the news service.

Barack Boarding: On Track for Change

AnObamaMinute.com is the site

They are aiming for $100 donations but will accept anything. Advance donations can be made by those who may be stuck in a meeting or something. http://www.anobamaminute.com/

GIs in Sadr City caught between warring Iraqi sides

BAGHDAD — Three weeks after U.S. troops were ordered into the sprawling Shiite Muslim slum of Sadr City to stop rockets from raining down on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone, they're caught in crossfire between Shiite militiamen and the mostly Shiite Iraqi army.
American soldiers who try to move around this urban area, even in the U.S. Army's state-of-the-art Stryker armored vehicles, risk being ambushed. The soldiers in a platoon from the 25th Infantry Division quickly learned that holding a position puts them in the line of fire from both the Mahdi Army militia and the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces.
The American soldiers can't go on the offensive from the run-down two-story house they commandeered in south Sadr City, but must hunker down and wait to get shot at.
An Iraqi family evacuated the house just before the fighting started. It has rats and clogged toilets but no electricity or hot water, and no air conditioning or heating. The American soldiers have had one shower and barely a change of clothes since they got here.
Things got a lot worse last weekend, when bullets started flying at the house, targeting soldiers on the rooftop and in the rooms on the second floor.
"Where's it coming from?" the soldiers on the roof shouted to one another.
"I think it's coming from the north and west," one soldier said over the radio. "Is the Iraqi army shooting at us?"
Three times that day, the Iraqi army unit just up the road from the house was told to hold its fire because its erratic shots were hitting the house that its American allies occupied.

America's allies in Iraq under pressure as civil war breaks out among Sunni

By Patrick CockburnSaturday, 19 April 2008
"God is Great," screamed a man seconds before he blew himself up, killing 10 people in a restaurant in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq. A series of suicide bombings have shown over the past week that al-Qa'ida in Iraq, though battered by defections over the past year, is striking back remorselessly at Sunni Arab leaders who ally themselves to the US.
In another attack in the village of Albu Mohammed, south of Kirkuk, an elderly man thought by guards to be too old to be a bomber, walked unsearched into a tent filled with mourners attending the funeral of two Sunni tribesmen who had been killed after they joined al-Sahwa, the Awakening Council, as the pro-US Sunni group is called. The man detonated the explosives hidden under his long Arab robes, killing at least 50 people.
A vicious civil war is now being fought within Iraq's Sunni Arab community between al-Qa'ida in Iraq and al-Sahwa while other groups continue to attack American forces. In Baghdad on a single day the head of al-Sahwa in the southern district of Dora was killed in his car by gunmen and seven others died by bombs and bullets in al-Adhamiya district.
US spokesmen speak of a "spike" in violence in recent weeks but in reality security in Sunni and Shia parts of Iraq has been deteriorating since January. The official daily death toll of civilians reached a low of 20 killed a day in that month and has since more than doubled to 41 a day in March. The US and the Iraqi government are now facing a war on two fronts.

US to Release 12,000 Prisoners in Iraq

By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:03pm BST 18/04/2008
America plans to halve the number of detainees it is holding in Iraq by releasing more than 12,000 under a scheme designed to promote reconciliation with communities formerly sympathetic to the insurgency.
Uncertain World: The threats that face our globe
US officers in Iraq told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that more than 50 prisoners per day would gain their freedom through the end of 2008.
Over 12,000 prisoners are to be released from Iraqi prisons
The vast majority of those in American custody are Sunni Muslims, including a hardcore of al-Qa'eda followers.
However, officials estimate as few as 2,500 represent a long-term threat to America. "When they aren't a security risk, it's our obligation to release them," said Brigadier General Mike Nevin. "The trick is: how do you know when they're no longer a threat?"

Far More Than "Bitter": Message from a Small Town Pennsylvanian

Marylee Smithwick, 04.18.2008
"Bitter" is a good word, to describe some of what I feel -- but "mad as hell" are a few better words. And I have a son that is on his way to Iraq for his third or forth tour, so I am not only mad but scared.

fox news owned

This guy --- and I'm sorry I don't know his name --- is my new hero. Can't really set up the following must-watch killer video any better than "Rat" of RatTube, from whence it was found, did:
Rat Says: Wow… this priest is sharp! The little Fox reporter wasn’t expecting someone this studied. “Was Bill O’Reilly a Marine?” ……………….I’m speechless, this guy is good!
Yes. Very good. Can we please get the good father his own TV show? Perhaps at 8pm ET on Fox "News" where they currently show nothing but Anti-American trash?...

And that's what America really looks like. Which is why you normally don't get to see it on TV. Not sure where the video actually aired, if anywhere. Though the questioner was O'Reilly's reporter/hitman, not surprisingly, I've yet to see any clips of that interview on his show (though, admittedly, I don't get to take out the trash every day.)
(Hat-tip to "CD")
UPDATE 8:34pm PT: Turns out the man in the video above is a Catholic priest by the name of Rev. Michael Pfleger, and apparently Bill O'Reilly did use a part of the interview above on his show. Approximately 5 seconds of it. On April 2. And yet, despite how well Pfleger deflects the nonsense tossed at him by O'Reilly's ambush reporter (as seen in the above, not on his show) O'Reilly has been flogging the same "racist, hate-monger" nonsense for weeks.
As if that's not bad enough, after the 5 seconds shown from the above interview, O'Reilly went on to do a full 6 minute segment discussing whether or not...wait for it...Pfleger should be sanctioned by the Catholic Church!
I wish I was kidding. Watch for yourselves...
--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---


Believe It Or Not!

Iraq should start paying the costs of its own rebuilding, fuel costs for U.S. military vehicles conducting security operations there and other expenses now being borne by American taxpayers, a group of Democratic and Republican senators said on Thursday.
Security deteriorating since Jan., Iraqi troops abandon posts twice this week.

Friday, April 18, 2008

GOP Rep.: Revoke Jimmy Carter's Passport For Hamas Visits

Hamas is the Democratically elected Govt of Palistine, isn't it?
Source: RawStory
"He's just unilaterally going off on his own and undermining everything the international community and the United States is (sic) trying to do," protested Republican U.S. House Rep. Sue Myrick (NC-09) today in the call to revoke the passport of former president Jimmy Carter.
Myrick also wants taxpayer funds to the Carter Center, which conducts humanitarian efforts worldwide, severed. "Why," the lawmaker asks, "should we support his center when he will not support his government?"
"Frankly," the lawmaker said, "I wanted to send a strong message, because we have a policy in this country about Hamas, and he is just deliberately undermining that policy, and it's wrong.
"You know, Hamas has continually stood for terrorism against peace, and the State Department, the administration Israel all opposed him going over there to meet."
Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Israel and Japan.

8 Year To Late Don't You Think?

Pope criticises US for ignoring diplomacy before Iraq war
Pope Benedict XVI made a veiled attack on the United States for failing to listen to the international community before starting the war in Iraq.
In a carefully-worded speech to the United Nations’ General Assembly, the Pope underlined the need for diplomacy.
“Multilateral consensus continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action,” he said, adding that international rules must be “binding”.
He continued: “There have been painful lessons for the US, the UN and other member states. I think in the end everybody’s concluded it’s best to work together with our allies and through the UN,” the Pope said.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s UN representative, said the Pope wanted to attack “the false notion that might makes right”.

Obama's huge lead in national poll marks big shift over the past month

`There's nothing broken, why fix it?'

Apr 18, 2008 10:45 EST
The White House on Friday vigorously defended the 14-year-old free-trade agreement among the United States, Mexico and Canada against sharp criticism from Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
"There's nothing broken. Why fix it?" said Dan Fisk, senior director of Western hemisphere affairs for National Security Council. He acknowledged the administration must do a better job of explaining the benefits of the agreement.
Both Clinton and Obama have threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement to pressure Canada and Mexico to negotiate more protections for workers and the environment in the agreement. The accord has removed most barriers to trade and investment among the three countries.

Israel's housing minister said Israel never promised to freeze all such construction

Minister: Israel never promised freeze; Olmert: Iran will not be nuclear.

Nato admits mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban

Food, grenades meant for police dropped in Taliban controlled area by error.

Homeless Man Finds Confidential Plans For Freedom Tower In Trash Can

Serious Security Lapse.
The New York Post has an exclusive report on a homeless man who found the "confidential" blueprints for the Freedom Tower in a New York dumpster!
It's a good thing Osama wasn't walking through SoHo yesterday morning.
Two sets of confidential blueprints for the planned Freedom Tower, which is set to rise at Ground Zero, were carelessly dumped in a city garbage can on the corner of West Houston and Sullivan streets, The Post has learned.
Experts said the detailed, floor-by-floor schematics contain enough detail for terrorists to plot a devastating attack.

Ongoing nomination fight hurting Clinton more than Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a dramatic reversal, an Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll found that a clear majority of Democratic voters now say Sen. Barack Obama has a better chance of defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in November than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
While Obama and Clinton are both sustaining dents and dings from their lengthy presidential fight, the former first lady is clearly suffering more. Democratic voters no longer see her as the party's strongest contender for the White House.
Voters of all types have gotten a better sense of Obama, who was an obscure Illinois legislator just four years ago. As more people moved from the "I don't know him" category in the AP-Yahoo! News poll, more rated Obama as inexperienced, unethical and dishonest. And 15 percent erroneously think he's a Muslim, thanks in part to disinformation widely spread on the Internet.
But Obama's positive ratings have climbed as well, while Clinton — widely known since the early 1990s — has been less able to change people's views of her. And when those views have shifted, it has hurt her more than helped.

Video: I Chat with Keith Olbermann About ABC Debate "Travesty"

Last night, Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's Countdown did a couple of tough-minded segments on the shameful performance by ABC on the Obama-Clinton debate (which I have chronicled here previously). Among other things he played the audio of Stephanopoulos taking dictation from Hannity and read off a couple of dozen questions that were NOT asked this week -- all of which he had put forward when he hosted a candidates' debate last August.
I have to admit that the big guy used -- before I could -- a reference to Walter Mondale asking Gary Hart "Where's the Beef?" at a debate in 1984, a line that Obama and Clinton could have directed at the journalists this week.
But we agreed that maybe Charlie Gibson, who has been hooted or booed twice this year by audiences at debates, maybe ought to be chained to his anchor desk for the public good.
What a night. It ended with my piece on the debate getting flashed on the screen on the Colbert Report amidst appearances by Obama, Clinton and Edwards.
Video of my segment on Countdown below.

Countdown: Debate Debacle


Former Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committee Chairmen Cite Obama's Ability to Lead on National Security Issues
Chicago, IL - Today, Former Senators Sam Nunn and David L. Boren endorsed Barack Obama for president, citing his judgment and vision to be Commander and Chief and his ability to strengthen our national security.
Nunn and Boren have accepted Senator Obama's invitation to serve as advisers to his National Security Foreign Policy Team. Senator Nunn served for 25 years (1972-1997) in the United States Senate and was Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1987 through 1995. Senator Boren served in the United States Senate from 1979 to 1994 and is the longest-serving Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Between them, the two senators bring nearly 60 years of service and experience in elective office.

Torture and the Law

Experts Weigh in on Top Officials Talking Torture With Bush's Approval
By Spencer Ackerman 04/18/2008
With nine months remaining in President George W. Bush's term, virtually no legal analyst expects that anyone in his administration will face indictment and prosecution in connection with the torture of terrorism detainees. However, a new admission from Bush last week has some legal analysts contending that the case for such prosecution has gotten significantly stronger.ABC News reported on Apr. 9 that then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice chaired an informal panel of top administration officials that approved specific brutal interrogation tactics for use on three suspected Al Qaeda detainees. The panel consisted of Vice President Dick Cheney, and former administration officials -- Donald H. Rumsfeld, then defense secretary, Colin L. Powell, the former secretary of state, George Tenet, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and John Ashcroft, then attorney general. This group debated for use on detainees -- and eventually approved -- methods of abuse like being "slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding," ABC reported. On Apr. 11, Bush told ABC that he was personally aware of the panel's discussions. "Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people." Bush said. "And yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved."This disclosure presents a nested series of legal implications. "I predict that there will be calls for top administration officials to be prosecuted in an international court for war crimes," said Erwin Chemerinsky, a civil liberties expert who teaches at Duke University Law School. "This meeting supports the involvement of top officials -- including the president -- in approving torture."
"If you, as an individual, order such conduct, you're culpable under the aiding-and-abetting provision of federal law," said Aziz Huq, director of the Liberty and National Security Project at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice. "There is at least a colorable theory, a credible case, for federal criminal liability here."That theory, however, depends on whether the administration's 2002 meetings -- and Bush's approval -- rose to the level of an operational order. The treatment of the three detainees, which Huq says was a "violation of the Federal Torture Statute," included the employment of several of the techniques reportedly considered by Rice's panel, including waterboarding. Currently, the Justice Department has an investigation open into Jose Rodriguez, a former CIA official who destroyed videotapes of those interrogations. "In my view this is all patently illegal on many different grounds -- particularly as a violation of Common Article 3" of the Geneva conventions, said Martin S. Lederman, a former lawyer in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel who now teaches law at Georgetown University. "But as a practical matter, there's little likelihood of any legal exposure -- and virtually none of domestic federal prosecution, because the president and DOJ concluded it was legal." >>>cont

"Let us learn our lessons. Never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy"

"Let us learn our lessons. Never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. ... Always remember, however sure you are that you can easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think that he also had a chance."
Winston Churchill
Pentagon Institute: Iraq War "A Major Debacle," Outcome "Is In Doubt"
By Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2008
WASHINGTON — The war in Iraq has become "a major debacle" and the outcome "is in doubt" despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute.
The report released by the National Defense University raises fresh doubts about President Bush's projections of a U.S. victory in Iraq just a week after Bush announced that he was suspending U.S. troop reductions.
The report carries considerable weight because it was written by Joseph Collins, a former senior Pentagon official, and was based in part on interviews with other former senior defense and intelligence officials who played roles in prewar preparations.
It was published by the university's National Institute for Strategic Studies, a Defense Department research center.
"Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle," says the report's opening line.
At the time the report was written last fall, more than 4,000 U.S. and foreign troops, more than 7,500 Iraqi security forces and as many as 82,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed and tens of thousands of others wounded, while the cost of the war since March 2003 was estimated at $450 billion.
"No one as yet has calculated the costs of long-term veterans' benefits or the total impact on service personnel and materiel," wrote Collins, who was involved in planning post-invasion humanitarian operations.
The report said that the United States has suffered serious political costs, with its standing in the world seriously diminished. Moreover, operations in Iraq have diverted "manpower, materiel and the attention of decision-makers" from "all other efforts in the war on terror" and severely strained the U.S. armed forces.
"Compounding all of these problems, our efforts there (in Iraq) were designed to enhance U.S. national security, but they have become, at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East," the report continued.
The addition of 30,000 U.S. troops to Iraq last year to halt the country's descent into all-out civil war has improved security, but not enough to ensure that the country emerges as a stable democracy at peace with its neighbors, the report said.

Real life Garfield

A two-and-a-half stone cat has been hailed a real life Garfield in Italy.
A two-and-a-half stone cat has been hailed a real life Garfield in Italy.
Orazio looks like not only the cat that got the cream but who ate the whole cow too.
Just like lasagne loving Garfield, this fat cat grew to such a gargantuan size by guzzling all the food treats that his native Italy can provide.
The three-year-old tabby is such a food fanatic that owner Laura Santarelli finds it impossible to get him to slim down.
The flabby feline is now so large that it's a struggle for Laura just to pick him up.
And, should any of Laura's other five cats get in his way at dinner time at his home in Eupilio, the results can be catastrophic...

Documents Obtained By ACLU Describe Charges Of Murder And Torture Of Prisoners In U.S. Custody

The American Civil Liberties Union obtained documents today from the Department of Defense confirming the military’s use of unlawful interrogation methods on detainees held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. The documents from the military’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), obtained as a result of the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, include the first on-the-ground reports of torture in Gardez, Afghanistan to be publicly released. "These documents make it clear that the military was using unlawful interrogation techniques in Afghanistan," said Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU. "Rather than putting a stop to these systemic abuses, senior officials appear to have turned a blind eye to them."... Today’s documents reveal charges that Special Forces beat, burned, and doused eight prisoners with cold water before sending them into freezing weather conditions. One of the eight prisoners, Jamal Naseer, died in U.S. custody in March 2003...
continua / continued

Solidarity with Iraq’s orphans

Hussein Al-alak, the Iraq Solidarity Campaign
Only silence has echoed through the corridors of power in Great Britain, in relation to the news that 4.5 million child orphans now exist in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The ministry also announced in January, that there are an estimated 500,000 orphans now living in Iraq’s streets, without accommodation or an appropriate care provider, as the Iraqi news agency Voices of Iraq reported, that there are only around 459 orphans who are currently residing in Iraqi government funded orphanages. There is uncertainty as to how many children are actually being held in "detention" inside of prisons in Iraq, or even information relating to the welfare of children who are now resident in refugee camps as a result of the crisis. There also exists no record of those children who have been kidnapped by criminal gangs and whose lives are being held hostage for use in the now booming sex trade...

Have you ever seen such a Liberation?

Mass Graves in Iraq. Whose mass graves are these?
Finally the notorious Iraqi mass graves are being unearthed. There is only one problem: they are the product of Liberated Iraq. Az-Zaman (London; Iraq): Largest mass grave found in Mahmoudiya – Iraqis were shocked yesterday by the discovery of the largest mass grave in their modern history, with 4,020 bodies of mostly women, youth and men from Mahmoudiya and its surroundings. Local residents said the bodies belonged to victims of kidnappings and executions carried out by (Shiite) al-Mahdi Army, Badr, and al-Dawa militias in 2005 and 2006. It seems this is just the beginning; not only Oil in New Iraq's underground. Have you ever seen such a Liberation?...
The discovery and unearthing of the biggest mass grave committed by the militias in Mahmoudiya
Iraqis were shocked yesterday, when they discovered the biggest mass grave in the contemporary history of their country. The mass grave made of 4020 bodies, mainly women, youngsters and some men from the Mahmoudiya district and its surroundings. Local Eyewitnesses from the area asserted that these bodies were victims of the Jaysh Al Mahdi militia, the Badr militia of the SIIC and Al-Dawa party militia, in the year 2005 and 2006. A source close to the enquiry being conducted regarding this biggest mass grave, said that the lieutenant 45 from the 6th division had refused to open another enquiry regarding another mass grave found at al Amin Mosque which was discovered some hours before and comprised 114 bodies of young men from Mahmoudiya, over and above the stumbling upon of yet another mass grave comprising 100 bodies found in the garbage dumping grounds in Mahdmoudiya...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carter calls Israel treatment of Palestinians a crime

Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Former President Carter told a university audience here Thursday that the treatment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military was "a crime" but that there were "officials in Israel quite willing to meet with Hamas" and that may happen "in the near future." Carter spoke to students and faculty at American University in Cairo after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and a separate three-hour meeting with Hamas officials. The Bush administration and Israel have set rules to not talk to the militant Palestinian group, which controls the Gaza Strip, but Carter said, "I consider myself immune" from such restrictions....
continua / continued

Sole surviving son denied health benefits post-Iraq

Family's sole surviving son denied benefits post-Iraq; plight inspires legislation proposal
Apr 16, 2008 11:57 EST
Forced to leave the combat zone after his two brothers died in the Iraq war, Army Spc. Jason Hubbard faced another battle once he returned home: The military cut off hisIt wasn't until Hubbard petitioned his local congressman that he was able to restore some of his benefits.
Now that congressman, Rep. Devin Nunes, plans to join three other lawmakers in introducing a bill that would ensure basic benefits to all soldiers who are discharged under an Army policy governing sole surviving siblings and children of soldiers killed in combat. The rule is a holdover from World War II meant to protect the rights of service people who have lost a family member to war.
"I felt as if in some ways I was being punished for leaving even though it was under these difficult circumstances," Hubbard told The Associated Press. "The situation that happened to me is not a one-time thing. It's going to happen to other people, and to have a law in place is going to ease their tragedy in some way."
Hubbard, 33, and his youngest brother, Nathan, enlisted while they were still grieving for their brother, Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Hubbard, who was 22 when he was killed in a 2004 bomb explosion in Ramadi.
At their request, the pair were assigned to the same unit, the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, and deployed to Iraq the next year.
In August, 21-year-old Cpl. Nathan died when his Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Kirkuk. Jason was part of the team assigned to remove his comrades' bodies from the wreckage.
Hubbard accompanied his little brother's body on a military aircraft to Kuwait, then on to California. He kept steady during Nathan's burial at Clovis Cemetery, standing in dress uniform between his younger brothers' graves as hundreds sobbed in the heat.
But Hubbard broke his silence when he found his wife, pregnant with their second child, had been cut off from the transitional health care the family needed to ease back to civilian life after he was discharged in October.
"This is a man who asked for nothing and gave a lot," said Nunes, R-Calif., who represents Hubbard's hometown of Clovis, a city of 90,000 next to Fresno. "Jason is one person who obviously has suffered tremendously and has given the ultimate sacrifice. One person is too many to have this happen to."
Hubbard went to Nunes, who began advocating for the former soldier in December, after hearing the Army was demanding that he repay $6,000 from his enlistment bonus and was denying him up to $40,000 in educational benefits under the GI bill.
After speaking with Army Secretary Pete Geren, Nunes got the repayment waived, and a military health policy restored for Hubbard's wife.
But the policy mandated that she be treated at a nearby base, and doctors at the Lemoore Naval Air Station warned that the 45-mile trip could put her and the fetus in danger. Hubbard said doctors offered alternative treatment at a hospital five hours away.>>>cont

Reprising the Genocidal Fury of Thomas Friedman

How many more people will have to die to keep the warmongers from colliding with the enormity of their crimes? What child will be ripped to shreds tonight -- and tomorrow night -- and every night afterward, for "ten months or ten years," to keep Thomas Friedman snug and cozy in the gilded palace of his endless self-regard?

Too Much of Nothing: Crime Without Punishment, War Without End

The President of the United States has openly, proudly admitted that he approved the use of interrogation methods that are by every measure -- including the measure of United States law -- criminal acts of torture. It is one of the most brazen and scandalous confessions of wrongdoing ever uttered by an American leader -- and it has had no impact whatsoever. No scandal, no outcry, no protest, no prosecution.
This pattern has recurred over and over throughout the Bush Administration. Bush and his minions commit crimes and atrocities in secret; they move heaven and earth to conceal their filthy deeds; they squirm and squeal like panicked rats when their some small portion of their evil comes to light; they belch forth a relentless series of self-contradictory lies to cover up, obfuscate or explain away the crimes; and when at last their malefactions can no longer be denied, they trot out the president himself to say: "Yeah, we did it; so what?" And then....nothing happens.
And now nothing is happening again. It is an astounding phenomenon. Bush is the most widely despised president in modern times. The war he launched on false pretenses against Iraq is deeply unpopular, and is plainly bankrupting the country. His economic policies have plunged millions into ruin, want and insecurity. The opposition political party controls the Congress -- a bastion they could have used as a bully pulpit to rally the public and as a battering ram to bring down an openly criminal, shamelessly unconstitutional, dangerous, illegitimate regime. And yet....nothing happens.
There has never been a condition of such deep, virtually catatonic civic paralysis in American history -- and few such instances in world history. There will be no good issue from all of this. No saving grace in the last act, no life-enhancing "lessons learned," no character growth in the story arc, no deus ex machina, no redemption. There will only be -- at best, in the very best-case scenario imaginable -- a long, slow agonizing slog through the ruins, a hard, interminable labor of waste disposal and reclamation, in a much-diminished world.
And yet the sleepwalking goes on. For not only is Bush never chastened or hobbled by revelations that ordinarily would topple even the strongest government in any nation with even a tincture of democracy -- he and his cronies simply move on from each exposed outrage to even greater crimes. And that is what is happening today. Even as Bush was telling ABC News about his approval of the White House torture meetings -- where the nation's most august figures of state watched CIA men act out torture techniques for them -- he and his minions were also bolting the last rivets onto their latest war machine: the engine of murder and destruction they have prepared for Iran.
The same process of deception and fearmongering that led to the Iraq invasion is being played out again. And once again, the Establishment press is playing an indispensible role in formenting a new act of mass murder. Once again, the media mandarins are shoveling horseshit directly from the White House down the gullets of the American people.
Last week, the Bush Regime used the Establishment house organs, the Washington Post and the New York Times, to announce that Iran is now the main U.S. enemy in Iraq. Both reports were laden with the usual unchallenged, unfiltered, unquestioned spin from the usual unnamed "senior U.S. officials" about Iran's "malign influence" in arming, training and directing deadly Shiite militia attacks against U.S. forces.

1 Man, 1 Year: $3.7 Billion Payout (Hedge Fund Manager Won Big by Betting Mortgages Would Fail)

Source: Washington Post
By David Cho
The subprime mortgage mess that caused massive losses for homeowners and banks was a little kinder to hedge fund manager John Paulson. Betting subprime mortgage securities would sour, Paulson personally earned $3.7 billion last year.
Yes, you read that correctly. That's billion with a "b."
He wasn't the only one with Titanic-size profits. Two other fund managers, George Soros and James Simons, who are notoriously secretive about their investments, earned $2.9 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, according to Alpha Magazine's annual list of top hedge fund earners.
The numbers left jaws agape across Wall Street and Washington. With his windfall from last year alone, Paulson could have bought troubled Wall Street giant Bear Stearns three times over. Or he could have matched the price Delta agreed this week to pay to merge with Northwest Airlines and still have $600 million left over.
Breaking News:
You heard it here first. Council member and newly elected superdelegate Harry Thomas Jr., initially a supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, is announcing in minutes that he will cast his vote at the Democratic National Convention in Denver for Sen. Barack Obama.
Thomas received more than 100 phone calls and e-mails from constituents who feared that he would use his power as a superdelegate to vote for Clinton despite the city's overwhelming support of Obama in the Potomac Primary.
"After meeting with the candidates and listening to my constituents, I have to honor the 83 percent who support Barack Obama," he said in an interview, referring to the results of the Democratic primary.
Thomas will make the announcement at 10 p.m. at a debate watch party.

Questioning Obama, Neither ABC Moderators Nor Clinton Wore Flag Pin Either

Underlining the inanity of last night's Democratic debate, at the same time that Senator Barack Obama's patriotism was being questioned because of his decision not to wear an American flag pin on his lapel, neither of the two debate moderators were -- you guessed it -- wearing a flag pin of their own.
Indeed, as one reader of the Huffington Post pointed out, neither the well-dressed Charlie Gibson nor his sidekick George Stephanopoulos donned an American flag last night. In fact, Obama's opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton, didn't have one either.
See the pictures here.
That, of course, didn't stop the ABC honchos from raising the issue strictly with Obama. Segueing off of a voter video and "conversations" that had come up "again and again," Gibson scolded Obama:

Hillary Exposed The Case of Paul Verses Clinton

Barack Obama in Raleigh, NC

Iraqi 14 year old detainee

He isn’t a criminal, but just the sight of a police officer terrifies 14-year-old Omar. The boy was released last month from an Iraqi prison, after being detained there for more than seven months. "They arrested me because they said I was a suspect after a car bomb exploded in a road near my home and resulted in the killing of an American," Omar explains. He happened to be near the explosion and was arrested along with adult Iraqis suspected of the attack...
continua / continued


Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
.For those who wish to watch Redacted by De Palma. The whole film can be watched here....The film was inspired by REAL events in "liberated" Iraq, one of which is the rape of Abeer Al Janabi, 15 yo, who was gang raped by your brave boys and then burnt, and have her family massacred. The pictures at the end of the film are REAL. So is your Occupation... So enjoy your Occupation!...
continua / continued

The Man Who Would Be Bush

By Robert Scheer
Are Americans unusually stupid or is it something our President put in the water? As millions surrender their homes and sacrifice other standards of our nation's economic and political reputation to the caprice of the Bush-Cheney imperium, a majority of voters tell pollsters that they might vote for a candidate who promises more of the same.


An open letter to Charlie Gibson and George Stephanapoulos
Dear Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos,
It's hard to know where to begin with this, less than an hour after you signed off from your Democratic presidential debate here in my hometown of Philadelphia, a televised train wreck that my friend and colleague Greg Mitchell has already called, quite accurately, "a shameful night for the U.S. media." It's hard because -- like many other Americans -- I am still angry at what I just witnesses, so angry that it's hard to even type accurately because my hands are shaking. Look, I know that "media criticism" -- especially when it's one journalist speaking to another -- tends to be a genteel, colleagial thing, but there's no genteel way to say this.
With your performance tonight -- your focus on issues that were at best trivial wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing falsehoods, punctuated by inane "issue" questions that in no way resembled the real world concerns of American voters -- you disgraced my profession of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us the best deal on our capital gains taxes. But it's even worse than that. By so badly botching arguably the most critical debate of such an important election, in a time of both war and economic misery, you disgraced the American voters, and in fact even disgraced democracy itself. Indeed, if I were a citizen of one of those nations where America is seeking to "export democracy," and I had watched the debate, I probably would have said, "no thank you." Because that was no way to promote democracy.
You implied throughout the broadcast that you wanted to reflect the concerns of voters in Pennsylvania. Well, I'm a Pennsylvanian voter, and so are my neighbors and most of my friends and co-workers. You asked virtually nothing that reflected our everyday issues -- trying to fill our gas tanks and save for college at the same time, our crumbling bridges and inadequate mass transit, or the root causes of crime here in Philadelphia. In fact, there almost isn't enough space -- and this is cyberspace, where room is unlimited -- to list all the things you could have asked about but did not, from health care to climate change to alternative energy to our policy toward China to the deterioration of Afghanistan to veterans' benefits to improving education. You ignored virtually everything that just happened in what most historians agree is one of the worst presidencies in American history, including the condoning of torture and the trashing of the Constitution, although to be fair you also ignored the policy concerns of people on the right, like immigration issues.
You asked about gun control -- phrased to try for a "gotcha" in a state where that's such a divisive issue -- but not about what we really care about, which is how to reduce crime. You pressed and pressed on those capital gains taxes, but Senators Clinton and Obama were forced to bring up the housing crisis on their own initiative.
Instead, you wasted more than half of the debate -- a full hour -- on tabloid trivia that for the most part wasn't even that interesting, because most of it was infertile ground that has already been covered again and again and again. I'm not saying that Rev. Wright and Bosnia sniper fire and "bitter" were never newsworthy -- I myself wrote about all of these for the Philadelphia Daily News or my Attytood blog, back when they were more relevant -- but the questions were stale yet clearly intended to gin up controversy (they didn't, by the way, other than the controversy over you.) The final questions of that section, asking Obama whether he thought Rev. Wright "loved America" and then suggesting that Obama himself is somehow a hater of the American flag, or worse, were flat-out repulsive.
Are you even thinking when simply echo some of the vilest talking points from far-right talk radio? What are actually getting at -- do you honestly believe that someone with a solid track record as a lawmaker in a Heartland state which elected him to the U.S. Senate, who is now seeking to make some positive American history as our first black president, is somehow un-American, or unpatriotic? Does that even make any sense? Question his policies, or question his leadership. because that is your job as a journalist. But don't insult our intelligence by questioning his patriotism.
Here's a question for you, George. Is it true that yesterday you appeared on the radio with conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity, and that you said you were "taking notes" when he urged you to ask a question about Obama's supposed ties to a former member of the Weather Underground -- which in fact you did. With all the fabulous resources of ABC News at your disposal, is that an appropriate way for a supposed journalist to come up with debate questions, by pandering to divisive radio shows?
And Charlie...could you be any more out of touch with your viewers? Most people aren't millionaires like you, and if Pennsylvanians are losing sleep over economic matters, it is not over whether the capital gains tax will go back up again. I was a little shocked when you pressed and pressed on that back-burner issue and left almost no time for high gas prices, but then I learned tonight that you did the same thing in the last debate, that you fretted over that middle-class family that made $200,000 a year. Charlie, the nicest way that I can put this is that you need to get out more.
But I'm not ready to make nice. What I just watched was an outrage. As a journalist, you appeared to confirm all of the worst qualities that cause people to hold our profession in such low esteem, especially your obsession with cornering the candidates with lame "trick" questions and your complete lack of interest or concern about substance -- or about the American people, or the state of our nation. You embarassed some good people who work at ABC News -- for example, the journalists who worked hard to break this story just last week -- and you embarassed yourselves. The millions of people who watched the debate were embarassed, too -- at the state of our political discourse, and what it has finally become, at long last.
Quickly, a word to any and all of my fellow journalists who happen to read this open letter. This. Must . Stop. Tonight, if possible. I thought that we had hit rock bottom in March 2003, when we failed to ask the tough questions in the run-up to the Iraq war. But this feels even lower. We need to pick ourselves up, right now, and start doing our job -- to take a deep breath and remind ourselves of what voters really need to know, and how we get there, that's it's not all horserace and "gotcha." Although, to be blunt, I would also urge the major candidates in 2012 to agree only to debates that are organized by the League of Women Voters, with citizen moderators and questioners. Because we have proven without a doubt in 2008 that working journalists don't deserve to be the debate "deciders."
Charlie, I'm going to sign off this letter the way that you always sign off the news, that "I hope you had a great day."
Because America just had a horrible night.

Torture: Impeachment or Complicity? - With Photos

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jonathan S. Landay reports for McClatchy Newspapers, "While America's attention remains focused on Iraq, violence is escalating in Afghanistan, worrying senior US defense officials and commanders who're struggling to find some 7,000 more American and European troops to combat resurgent Taliban and al Qaida forces."

Honorably discharged vet ordered back to Iraq despite disability

Source: buffalo news
James Raymond lost the hearing in his left ear while fighting in Afghanistan. The former U.S. Army specialist later suffered a knee injury that required him to be flown back home for surgery.
In September 2004, he was given an honorable discharge and the Department of Veterans Affairs determined that he was 10 percent disabled, enabling him to receive $120 a month for the rest of his life.
So it was much to his surprise Thursday when Raymond — now a University at Buffalo student — got a call from his stepfather that he was being deployed again — to Iraq.
“I thought it was a joke, and then I was shocked,” said Raymond, 26, who is from Irondequoit, a suburb of Rochester.
That was not the case. Raymond is expected to report for training May 18 at Fort Benning, Ga., where he would undergo a medical and mental evaluation. Five weeks later, if he is determined to be fit to return to duty, he will be deployed to Fort Dix, N.J., where he would join up with a Reserve unit there. In September, the unit is expected to be sent to Iraq.

Lieberman willing to star at Republican convention

Who Wants to be VP to McBush
By Manu Raju
Posted: 04/15/08 08:06 PM [ET]
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the Democratic Party’s 2000 vice presidential nominee, is leaving open the possibility of giving a keynote address on behalf of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) at the Republican National Convention in September.
Republicans close to the McCain campaign say Lieberman’s appearance at the convention, possibly before a national primetime audience, could help make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee has a record of crossing the aisle. That could appeal to much-needed independent voters.
McCain has yet to ask Lieberman to speak, either in primetime or elsewhere, at the convention. But if McCain thinks it will help make his case for the White House, as some of his allies suspect, Lieberman would be willing to speak on his behalf.
“If Sen. McCain, who I support so strongly, asked me to do it, if he thinks it will help him, I will,” Lieberman said in a brief interview.

Ad Calls For Condi's Resignation Over Torture Meeting

Thanks to a new report from ABC News, we now know that Condoleezza Rice led White House meetings authorizing torture that were so detailed, "the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed."
How can we express the terrible shock we have felt from the fact that our government is using torture? How can we express what so many of us are thinking -- that it is absolutely appalling to know that our representatives are implementing barbaric instruments of torture as policy? How do we express our moral outrage?
Perhaps more importantly, how do we begin to take steps towards ending this heinous crime? Sign the petition and demand Secretary of State Rice to resign.
Our allies at True Majority, USAction, and Democracy for America have launched a campaign to start calling out our leaders by focusing on Condoleezza Rice. No, she is not the president. But we want to call attention to the fact that the Secretary of State called for torture when she was National Security Adviser.
This is our campaign to get all three presidential nominees to call for Rice's resignation. Accountability must start with her, especially now that she's being mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate. We want to push all the presidential candidates on this issue. They need to make a public stance: Condi Must Go!
Join us in taking action. Join us in creating a firestorm while the traditional media is missing in action. Join us in spreading the word to mobilize our country. We cannot tolerate officials with a blatant disregard for human rights!
Condi Must Go!

Link Here

Hunters And Shooters Group Endorses Obama

He "gets it"
Today, as President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), I announced our endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Because the gun issue has recently become a factor in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, I want to share the remarks I made today:
As a gun rights organization we have not come to this decision lightly. We were formed two years ago because our research shows that millions of gun owners wanted a change. They not only wanted an organization that would protect their gun rights but an organization that was also committed to the protection of their communities as well as the protection of our lands.
We reached out to the Obama campaign several weeks ago to offer our support and approval as was reported by Paul Bedard of US News and World Report.
We believe recent attacks on Senator Obama's stand on the 2nd Amendment and his commitment to our hunting and shooting heritage are unfair and American Hunters and Shooters Association is stepping up to set the record straight.
Senator Obama has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the 2nd Amendment by his vote in support of the Vitter amendment to HR 5441, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill of 2007. This amendment prevents the Government from confiscating guns in a time of crisis or emergency.

Man In Clinton's 'Bitter' Ad Isn't Registered To Vote

The Morning Call notes:
Barack Obama can take some solace out of Hillary Clinton's new television ad in Pennsylvania. At least one of her supporters featured in the spot hammering Obama for his small town comments isn't registered to vote in Pennsylvania.
Clyde Thomas, who sports a goatee in the ad and says, "the good people of Pennsylvania deserve a lot better than what Barack Obama said," is actually registered in New Jersey. He voted there for Clinton Feb. 5....



Report: Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel

By Haaretz Service and Reuters
The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.
"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."

"Thank you, your holiness. Awesome speech."

Christy said:
Now why on earth would a REBEL FLAG be flying behind these two men? Bush To Pope Benedict: "Thank You, Your Holiness. Awesome Speech"
Pope Benedict XVI became only the second Pope to visit the White House, and he gave a speech about the purpose of his trip and the importance of democracy being informed by moral values. In attendance was, of course, Bush. The President must have been extremely impressed by the Pope's words because right after Pope Benedict concluded his remarks, Bush leaned over and said, "Thank you, your holiness. Awesome speech." Watch the video below :

McCain: We'll Look Back On Iraq As An 'Academic Argument'

Will You America Look Back On Iraq As An "Academic Argument"?
MCCAIN: We can look back at the past and argue about whether we should have gone to war or not, whether we should have invaded or not, and that's a good academic argument.

WATCH: Stephen Colbert Sings To Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama appeared on Tuesday night's "Colbert Report," which was filmed in Philadelphia, and was subjected to the jokes, flirtations and songs of host Stephen Colbert. It seems Barack is a better singer than Stephen:

Springsteen Endorses Obama: "He Speaks To The America I've Envisioned In My Music"

The Boss Picks A Boss: Bruce Springsteen Endorses Obama
Legendary all-American rocker Bruce Springsteen has thrown his red bandanna into the political ring, today endorsing Barack Obama for President on his website. Wrote Bruce:
Like most of you, I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.
He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where "...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone."

"No matter how hard you try, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit."

by Bob Burnett
On April 8th, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker told the Senate the President's Iraq surge strategy has "worked" and, therefore, current troop levels should be maintained. The hearings came at a time when public attention has shifted from the occupation to the economy. Given the looming recession, why should Americans care how long our troops stay in Iraq?On January 10th, 2007, President Bush announced the troop surge and additional forces started showing up in March. Nonetheless, media coverage of Iraq diminished. A March Pew Research poll found "the percentage of news stories devoted to the war dropped from an average of 15 percent of all stories last July to just 3 percent in February of this year."
In the face of the prospect that nothing will change in Iraq until a new President takes office, why should Americans care what happens over the next ten months? There are three critical considerations that demand our attention.The US does not have unlimited resources. At the heart of the Bush ideology lurks the belief America can pursue a neo-conservative foreign policy agenda without negatively impacting lives of average Americans. The Bush Administration has disdained the notion of sacrifice and repeatedly suggested the occupation of Iraq has no impact on the economy. After five years of war, most Americans don't believe this. At the April 8th hearing, Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich observed: "We've kind of bankrupted this country" and "The American people have had it up to here."

Bush Defense Secretary Admits 9/11 Was Blowback

by Don Williams
You won’t find the above headline anywhere else. Believe me, I've tried. Still, it's true. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 10, 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made the following jaw-dropping statement:
“We were attacked from Afghanistan in 2001, and we are at war in Afghanistan today, in no small measure because of mistakes this government made--mistakes I among others made in the end game of the anti-Soviet war there some 20 years ago.”
That’s an astonishing confession, even if mine was the only jaw that dropped. Gates is the first high official in the Bush administration to acknowledge what war critics have been lambasted for even suggesting. OK, he didn’t use the word “blowback,” but by definition, that’s what he’s talking about. A certain radio commentator once all but called me a traitor for suggesting what Gates openly admits. Many others, including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright most recently, have been denounced all over this country for suggesting 9/11 was caused by failed U.S. policy. Yes, Wright said much else as well. Nevertheless he took a hit for stating the same notion.
So why is Big Media silent about Gates? You tell me. Eventually, this story might show up on Page 5 in your local daily, especially if this column gets around, but it will never be top of Page One, where it counts, just as you never saw the following headlines there when they might’ve made a difference:
US Looks the Other Way as Pakistan Perfects Nuclear Bombs and Delivery System.
Counting Florida Over-votes Would Put Gore in Whitehouse.
Saudi Oil Profits Linked to Spread of Wahabism.
War Will Cost 100 Times More Than Bush Team Predicts (Oil Will Not Pay For It).
Bush Suppresses Evidence of Global Warming.
No Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in Iraq.
No Aerial Drones. No New Anthrax. No Yellowcake. No New Centrifuges.
No Significant Links Found Between Al-Qaeda and Saddam.
Case for Invading Iraq Included Ravings from a Tortured Man and Lies from a Criminal with Ties to Iran.
Secret Memos Reveal US Told England We’d 'Fix the Evidence' to Support Joint Iraq Attack.
Bush Building Permanent Military Bases in Iraq.
Bush Hands Control of Iraq to Natural Allies of Iran.
Prominent Bush Supporters Believe He’s Preparing Way for the Rapture.
Military Sources Say US Let Many in Taliban and al-Qaida Slip the Noose at Tora Bora.
Decision to Torture Originated in White House.
U. S. Soldiers Committing Suicide At Record Levels.
Cost of One Cruise Missile Could Build 80 Secular Schools in Afghan Villages.

The Power and Responsibility of our Nation's Broadcasters

The following is my opening keynote speech for the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, which I delivered Monday night.
Hello, I'm Tim Robbins. I'd like to thank you for the invitation to address you here at the National Association of Broadcasters. When I first received the invitation I was a little confused because the last time I had contact with the national media I seem to remember them telling me to shut the hell up.
I would like to start with an apology. To Rush and Sean, and Billo and Savage and Laura what's-her-name. A few years ago they told America that because I had different opinions on the wisdom of going to war that I was a traitor, a Saddam lover, a terrorist supporter, undermining the troops. I was appealing at the time for the inspectors to have more time to find those weapons of mass destruction. I was a naïve dupe of left wing appeasement. And how right they were. If I had known then what I know now, if I had seen the festive and appreciative faces on the streets of Baghdad today, if I had known then what a robust economy we would be in, the unity of our people, the wildfire of democracy that has spread across the Mideast, I would never have said those traitorous, unfounded and irresponsible things. I stand chastened in the face of the wisdom of the talk radio geniuses, and I apologize for standing in the way of freedom.
So when they asked me to come speak to you I said, "Are you sure? Me?" And they said, "Yes."
And I said, "You know, I have a tendency to say things that I believe at the time to be well-intentioned but that are actually traitorous." And they said, "Sure, cool." And then I read the press release and it said, "Mr. Robbins will be speaking about the challenges of new media and delivery systems." Oh, OK. But I just want you to know I'm not sure I know what that fucking means.

FBI Email Says Bush Signed Exec Order Authorizing Harsh Interrogation Methods

by Jason Leopold
President George W. Bush’s comment to ABC News – that he approved discussions that his top aides held about harsh interrogation techniques – adds credence to claims from senior FBI agents in Iraq in 2004 that Bush had signed an Executive Order approving the use of military dogs, sleep deprivation and other tactics to intimidate Iraqi detainees.
When the American Civil Liberties Union released the FBI e-mail in December 2004 – after obtaining it through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit – the White House emphatically denied that any such presidential Executive Order existed, calling the unnamed FBI official who wrote the e-mail “mistaken.”
President Bush and his representatives also have denied repeatedly that the administration condones “torture,” although senior administration officials have acknowledged subjecting “high-value” terror suspects to aggressive interrogation techniques, including the “waterboarding” – or simulated drowning – of three al-Qaeda detainees.
But the emerging public evidence suggests that Bush’s denials about “torture” amount to a semantic argument, with the administration applying a narrow definition that contradicts widely accepted standards contained in international law, including Geneva and other human rights conventions.

Conspiracy to Lie to Congress? EFF Report Reveils FBI Delayed London Bomb Investigation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has just published a report on the misuse of a National Security Letter by the FBI. Using the Freedom of Information Act, they obtained FBI documents showing that the FBI purposely delayed an investigation in the 2005 London bombings.
Get Mueller under Oath
The FBI used a Grand Jury Subpoena to obtain some educational records, FBI HQ ordered the agents to return them to the University so the FBI then could make improper use of an NSL to request the records- the U appropriately denied the NSL, and the records were later re-obtained by the first procedure. Then Mueller uses the delay to justify request for more power with less oversight. Was that the original reason for the supervisory interference in the investigation? Given that the 7/7 attacks were another false-flag attack like 9/11, makes you wonder what this Mueller scumbag is really up to.
7/7 Mock Terror Drill: What Relationship to the Real Time Terror Attacks?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Hour With Illinois Senator Barack Obama

Obama: Hillary, McCain Using "Very Same Words" Against Me

April 15, 2008 at 01:02 PM
Barack Obama said yesterday that Hillary Clinton is using attacks from the GOP playbook. Today his campaign circulated a fundraising letter, charging that Hillary Clinton and John McCain are using the "the very same words" to attack him. Obama isn't the only one who says it's two against one. The Washington Post points out that Hillary and John McCain are sounding like they are in an echo chamber when it comes to attacking Obama these days.
Sen. John McCain joined in the criticism of Sen. Barack Obama yesterday for Obama's comments about "bitter" victims of small-town economic distress, while Obama's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination weighed in with a tough new ad on the controversy.
Speaking at a gathering of newspaper editors and executives in Washington, McCain echoed the rebuke voiced repeatedly by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, calling Obama's characterization "a contradiction from what I believe America is all about."

Presstitute and war pimp alert:

By: Jim Meyers “Israel is preparing for heavy casualties,” the source said, suggesting that although Israel will not take part in the strike, it is expecting to be the target of Iranian retribution.
Hidden Agenda
By Uri Avnery
There is no escape from the inevitable conclusion: the government is not working for peace. It does not want peace.
By Rory McCarthy
Jimmy Carter faced a cold reception in Israel yesterday where senior political leaders avoided meeting him and the Israeli secret service declined to help the American agents guarding him. Continue
By Haaretz Editorial
Ehud Olmert, who has not managed to achieve any peace agreement during his public life, and who even tried to undermine negotiations in the past, "could not find the time" to meet the American president who is a signatory to the peace agreement with Egypt.

The Pentagon's $1 Trillion Problem

by Scot Paltrow May 2008 Issue
The defense department has spent billions to fix its antiquated financial systems. So why does the Pentagon still have no idea where its money goes?
Photoillustration by: Bartholomew Cooke
On a winter afternoon in Indianapolis, Jessica Hilligoss, a young Defense Department worker, types long strings of numbers and letters into a computer, helping the United States armed forces transfer the billions of dollars it draws each week from the Federal Reserve to contractors, vendors, and military and civilian personnel.
The Pentagon's own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends. CBS News investigates how trillions of taxpayer dollars can ...

Tortured explanations for shameful behavior

It is, in the words of Dan Froomkin, author of the Washington Post’s irreplaceable “White House Briefing” blog, “a historic document ... the ultimate expression of Cheney’s belief that anything the president or his designates do — no matter how illegal, barbaric or un-American — is justifiable in the name of national self-defense.”
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