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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Clinton Concession Speech: Suspends Campaign, Endorses Obama

Clinton Exits Race, Endorses Obama
A look back at the Democratic Primary Battle and what went wrong for Hillary Clinton
Posted by baligirl on 06/06/08 at 4:25AMHe's telling the ugly truth about Hillary and Terry Mcauliffe. There was an interview with a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and in it she remarks that as far back as 2004 at the DNC convention Hillary was requesting support for her 2008 run. The Clintons and Mcauliffe had no intentions of supporting Gore or Kerry. They have been planning this for years and sabotaging everyone else running for president. This is why Hillary thought she had a right to the nomination. That is why Mcauliffe had a record number of democratic defeats when he was the chairman. He was only focused on the Clintons. They have shown their true colors publicly and were rejected finally. Hopefully the people in New York will give them the final push out the door.
Kangaroo Said
Ain't that the truth, Now that is what I believe happened to Gore and Kerry, the Democratic Party were never there to support them.

Unbelievable

How Different Groups Voted in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries

Interactive Graphic

McCain Thinks Putin is President of Germany

Hahahaha Now I would donate to that from Down Under, and it is certainly a bloody winner.

Free Pickup Trucks for Rednecks Who Vote for Obama
Pickup truck Song

Grace Is Gone!!!!!! Female Troops In Iraq

John Bruhns
Last evening I watched Grace is Gone starring John Cusack. A powerful film about a man who upon learning of his wife's death in Iraq, struggles to convey the devastating news to his two young daughters. In my opinion this film should be required viewing for the American people -- especially supporters of the war in Iraq who have no loved ones serving.
Because
Grace is Gone is a story about a family pained by the death of a female soldier, I can't help myself not to reflect back to night of October 26, 2003 in the Abu Ghraib market. A night that I would very much like to forget -- it is not that I don't want to -- it is that I can't

======

In the end, all I can do is honor them both.
This was written as a
recognition of all women who wear the uniform. I know that female troops don't want to be recognized by their gender -- they're members of America's armed forces -- first and foremost. But this is the very first war that women are fighting side by side with men up close and personal with the enemy.
In addition, these women have more courage and intestinal fortitude than most men in America. Especially the
cowards who support the continued war in Iraq while they stay home. They justify their lack of service by standing on a street corner waiving the flag and simultaneously spewing neocon rhetoric -- the epitome of the worst element in American society. (I couldn't help but to factor that in).
The moral and main point of this story is that I am so very honored to have served with PFC Bosveld, wishing I could have known Specialist Piestewa, and it was inspired by the film Grace is Gone.
(I know this is not my most well written piece, but my thoughts were racing faster than I could keep up with).

Friday, June 06, 2008

Intelligence community didn't vet Bush, Cheney's opening arguments for war: report

Intel didn't vet Bush rationale: report
When President Bush and Vice President Cheney began building their case for the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, they did so in high profile speeches that received no vetting or approval from US intelligence agencies that were gathering information about Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a new Senate report.
It turned out that most of their assertions were wrong.
In a sweeping, 200-plus page review of the administration's pre-war case for invasion, the Senate Intelligence Committee found that the American public was being fed information at odds with prevailing views, and officials were ignoring contemporary disagreements in the Intelligence Community.
“In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed,” Intelligence Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) said in a press release announcing the new report.
“It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa’ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. To accomplish this, top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa’ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11. Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses."
The full report is available as two large .pdf files
here and here. Rockefeller summarized its findings as follows:

Stocks plunge almost 400 points

US STOCKS PLUNGE nearly 400 points amid fears of '70s style stagflation.
Oil prices shoot up nearly $11 a barrel before settling at record $138.54.

It's a Strategic Alliance, not a Treaty, without the approval of congress


Under the planned pact, reported in The Independent yesterday, US soldiers in Iraq will enjoy legal immunity US issues threat to Iraq's $50bn foreign reserves in military deal
The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq's money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.
US negotiators are using the existence of $20bn in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US, to pressure their Iraqi counterparts into accepting the terms of the military deal, details of which were reported for the first time in this newspaper yesterday.
Iraq's foreign reserves are currently protected by a presidential order giving them immunity from judicial attachment but the US side in the talks has suggested that if the UN mandate, under which the money is held, lapses and is not replaced by the new agreement, then Iraq's funds would lose this immunity. The cost to Iraq of this happening would be the immediate loss of $20bn. The US is able to threaten Iraq with the loss of 40 per cent of its foreign exchange reserves because Iraq's independence is still limited by the legacy of UN sanctions and restrictions imposed on Iraq since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the 1990s. This means that Iraq is still considered a threat to international security and stability under Chapter Seven of the UN charter. The US negotiators say the price of Iraq escaping Chapter Seven is to sign up to a new "strategic alliance" with the United States.
The threat by the American side underlines the personal commitment of President George Bush to pushing the new pact through by 31 July. Although it is in reality a treaty between Iraq and the US, Mr Bush is describing it as an alliance so he does not have to submit it for approval to the US Senate.
Iraqi critics of the agreement say that it means Iraq will be a client state in which the US will keep more than 50 military bases. American forces will be able to carry out arrests of Iraqi citizens and conduct military campaigns without consultation with the Iraqi government. American soldiers and contractors will enjoy legal immunity.
The US had previously denied it wanted permanent bases in Iraq, but American negotiators argue that so long as there is an Iraqi perimeter fence, even if it is manned by only one Iraqi soldier, around a US installation, then Iraq and not the US is in charge.
The US has security agreements with many countries, but none are occupied by 151,000 US soldiers as is Iraq. The US is not even willing to tell the government in Baghdad what American forces are entering or leaving Iraq, apparently because it fears the government will inform the Iranians, said an Iraqi source.
The fact that Iraq's financial reserves, increasing rapidly because of the high price of oil, continue to be held in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is another legacy of international sanctions against Saddam Hussein. Under the UN mandate, oil revenues must be placed in the Development Fund for Iraq which is in the bank.
The funds are under the control of the Iraqi government, though the US Treasury has strong influence on the form in which the reserves are held.
Iraqi officials say that, last year, they wanted to diversify their holdings out of the dollar, as it depreciated, into other assets, such as the euro, more likely to hold their value. This was vetoed by the US Treasury because American officials feared it would show lack of confidence in the dollar.
Iraqi officials say the consequence of the American action was to lose Iraq the equivalent of $5bn. Given intense American pressure on a weak Iraqi government very dependent on US support, it is still probable that the agreement will go through with only cosmetic changes. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the immensely influential Shia cleric, could prevent the pact by issuing a fatwa against it but has so far failed to do so.
The Grand Ayatollah met Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), which is the main supporter of the Iraqi government, earlier this week and did not condemn the agreement or call for a referendum. He said, according to Mr Hakim, that it must guarantee Iraqi national sovereignty, be transparent, command a national consensus and be approved by the Iraqi parliament. Critics of the deal fear that the government will sign the agreement, and parliament approve it, in return for marginal concessions.

Are ex-telco lobbyists behind McCain's wiretap flip-flop?

The evolution of John McCain's position on warrantless wiretapping and executive power gives critics a potential one-two punch against the presumptive Republican nominee: the ability to paint him as "McSame" as President Bush and as a flip-flopper.
A McCain adviser this week
affirmed the Arizona senator's support for President Bush's ability to authorize the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans' international communications without first receiving a warrant, which critics say violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This, after McCain himself said explicitly that the President cannot "disobey any law" to conduct warrantless surveillance.
In a letter to the conservative National Review Online, McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin underscored McCain's support for a Senate bill granting immunity to the telecommunications companies that facilitated the NSA's warrantless surveillance and declared that neither President Bush nor those companies should "apologize for actions that most people, except for the ACLU and trial lawyers, understand were Constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001."
Holtz-Eakin's letter was an attempt to dial back
earlier reports that McCain might be shifting on the immunity issue. A campaign legal adviser told a conference last month that a McCain administration would subject the telecommunications companies to "real hearings to find out what actually happened, what harms actually occured." The letter emphasized that such hearings would not be necessary and insisted that McCain "do everything he can" to protect against terror threats, including invoking his constitutional authority to request surveillance assistance from the telephone and Internet companies.
While McCain's position on wiretaps and telcos is zigging this way and that, a new report also details the extent to which lobbyists who earned a living representing the very phone companies accused of breaking the law are now working for his campaign. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is leading the charge against telco immunity and representing plaintiffs in several pending lawsuits,
lays out the connections:
Link Here

"Are there lies?"

"I just don't think we can let these people back into polite society," Ex-czar Clarke: 'Someone should have to pay' for Bush's lies
The Senate Intelligence Committee has released the long-delayed final phase of its report on prewar intelligence, highlighting the Bush administration's misuse of that intelligence to lead us into war in Iraq. Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism advisor to both the Clinton and Bush administrations, appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss the implications of the report.
Clarke stated unequivocally that figures in the administration lied then and that Senator John McCain is not telling the truth now when he defends them. "Someone should have to pay in some way," Clarke emphasized. "I just don't think we can let these people back into polite society."
"The report does not use the word 'lie,' Olbermann began. "Are there lies?"
"There certainly are," Clarke replied. "This is a big report, but what it says is 'statements by the president were not substantiated by intelligence ... statements by the president were contradicted by available intelligence. In other words, they made things up ... that people in the intelligence community at the time knew were not true. ... To say that this is only something we could have known years later is just not true."
"What are we to make now of Senator McCain's ... remarkable claim that every intel assessment of the time was screaming 'WMD'?" asked Olbermann.
"Senator McCain's statements are contradicted by the facts, too," Clarke replied firmly. "He's also now justifying the intelligence statements of the president. ... We have the proof, four years too late, that those statements were flat out wrong."

The Future of Media Doesn't Belong to Murdoch; It Belongs to Us




All that the sharpest critics of democracy have alleged is true, if there is no steady supply of trustworthy and relevant news. Incompetence and aimlessness, corruption and disloyalty, panic and ultimate disaster, must come to any people which is denied an assured access to the facts.
===
Without the facts. Without a critical, accountable, fearless media system, we've arrived at one of the darkest moments in our nation's history.

Of the eight Marines originally charged by military authorities in December 2006, five have seen their cases dropped.

NO JUSTICE
Marine acquitted in Haditha deaths
Dan Whitcomb, Reuters
A U.S. Marine officer was acquitted by a military jury on Wednesday on charges he tried to cover up the shooting deaths of two dozen unarmed Iraqi men, women and children at Haditha in 2005. In the first court-martial verdict from the high-profile case, Lt. Andrew Grayson was cleared at Camp Pendleton, California, after a five-day trial and less than half a day of deliberations by the jury...

LinkHere

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Lieberman launches grassroots organization {Citizens for -- McCAIN ??}

From CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Joe Lieberman – who has taken on increasingly high-profile campaign roles on behalf of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain – announced Thursday that was launching and heading a new grassroots organization, "Citizens for McCain," with a direct appeal to Hillary Clinton’s disappointed supporters.
“The phones at the campaign headquarters have been ringing with disaffected Democrats calling to say they believe Senator McCain has the experience, judgment, and bipartisanship necessary to lead our country in these difficult times,” Lieberman wrote in a message sent to the Arizona senator’s supporters. “Many of these supporters are former supporters of Senator Clinton.”
Over the past few weeks, some supporters of Hillary Clinton – whose campaign announced Wednesday that she would be suspending her presidential run this weekend — have said that they would consider voting for McCain if she were not the Democratic nominee.
Lieberman highlighted McCain’s “very good working relationship with Senator Clinton” – which he said would continue in the future – and his comments praising her in a speech at a Louisiana campaign event Wednesday.

"SO INHUMANE"

An indictment on American's moral compass...in Hartford, Conn, no less. A 78-year-old man is tossed like a rag doll by a hit-and-run driver and lies motionless on a busy city street as car after car goes by. Pedestrians gawk but do nothing. One driver stops briefly but then pulls back into traffic. A man on a scooter slowly circles the victim before zipping away.

112 public interest groups urge all Americans to write their Congresspersons and demand enactment of the WPA. Public safety depends on swift action.

Most Historic Day for Whistleblowers: 112 Public Groups Unite!
112 Public Interest Organizations Support Swift Action to Restore Strong, Comprehensive Whistleblower Rights
For a complete text of the letter, see the Government Accountability Project at click.

"We will not accept an independent Palestinian state without having Jerusalem as the capital.

Arab leaders have reacted with anger and disbelief to an intensely pro-Israeli speech delivered by Barack Obama, the US Democratic presumptive presidential nominee.

"What really disppoints me is that someone like Barack Obama, who runs a campaign on the theme of change - when it comes to Aipac and what's needed to be said differently about the Palestinian state, he fails."
"I say to Obama ... please stop being more Israeli than the Israelis themselves, leave the Israelis and Palestinians alone to make decisions required for peace."

Facing criticism, Obama modifies Jerusalem stance
Source: ReutersWASHINGTON (Reuters)

- U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama amended his support for Israel's stance on Jerusalem on Thursday, saying Palestinians and Israelis had to negotiate the future of the holy city.Palestinian leaders reacted with anger and dismay on Wednesday to Obama saying Jerusalem should be Israel's undivided capital.

LinkHere

Paper: Olmert Asks Bush to Prepare for Iran Strike

Tel Aviv /Washington - Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert will ask President George W Bush Wednesday to step up US and international action against Iran and prepare for a possible military strike against its nuclear facilities, the Yediot Ahronot daily reported.
Citing 'officials close to Olmert,' the daily said Wednesday the Israeli leader would tell the president that the measures taken so far to stop Iran's nuclear programme had run their course and had not yielded results.
Israel views Iran as its main existential threat, given Tehran's nuclear drive and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejd's often-repeated statements that the Jewish state needs to be erased from the map.
Olmert, speaking Tuesday night to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), called Iran 'the most serious and imminent threat to global security and stability' and said that 'the Iranian threat must be stopped by all possible means.'
'International economic and political sanctions on Iran, as crucial as they may be, are only an initial step, and must be dramatically increased,' he told the AIPAC policy conference in Washington.

LinkHere
AP, 2 hours, 58 minutes ago

McCain's Campaign Manager Announces Contest In Disturbing Video

In what Wonkette calls "the most tragically awkward video in the history of YouTube," a dazed McCain campaign manager Rick Davis stares goggle-eyed at off-screen cue cards, robotically making a call for Americans to stalk their neighbors with video cameras, and reveal what secret Islamofascists might be walking among us. The lucky winner will be flown to the Republican National Convention to enjoy a session of "Seven Minutes In Heaven" with Larry Craig at the Minneapolis airport, and then it's off to Guantanamo Bay!
This contest, by the way, is the "true story" upon which the Liv Tyler thriller
The Strangers is based.

American Neighbor Convention Contest - SUBMIT NOW!


LinkHere

Hillary's Congressional Supporters Back Off Plan To Push Hillary As Veep

By Greg Sargent - June 5, 2008, 10:31AM
Yesterday the news broke that Hillary's Congressional supporters, led by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, were planning to write a joint letter asking Obama to make Hillary his Veep, a story
first reported by The Politico.
Now, however, the plan's been called off. Schultz's office sends me this statement from her:
"Several Members of Congress considered a letter written to both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton, underscoring the need for their partnership and the unity it would bring to the party. It was felt that the letter was being misconstrued as a demand on Senator Obama and we've decided to communicate our views informally."
This underscores, of course, the delicacy of the task at hand: Urging Obama to appoint her as Veep without pressuring him to do so and hence making it impossible for him to actually accept, lest he appear to have caved.

LinkHere

Howard Dean's 50-state strategy.

Webb's Audition: Blasts McCain, Assesses Obama's Appalachia Problem

Jim Webb, one of Congress' fastest rising Democrats and a Senator believed to occupy a spot on Barack Obama's vice presidential short list, is slated to throw his support behind the Illinois Democrat on Thursday, introducing Obama at a rally in Bristow, Virginia.
And while the event is designed to help Obama appeal to a portion of the country -- Appalachia and, more specifically, Virginia -- that could prove crucial in the general election, in an interview Wednesday with The Huffington Post, Webb showed off the political attributes he brings to the national campaign table.
On several key domestic and foreign policy issues, the Virginia Democrat offered persuasive defenses of Obama, in the process taking swipes at his presumed Republican counterpart.
"John McCain's comment about Barack not having sat down recently with General Petreaus means nothing," Webb said. "If you know who to listen to, if you know how to make judgments, if you know how evaluate information, you can do that. I don't think Franklin Roosevelt was ever at the front in France during WWII in order to help end the war."
On the other major foreign policy debate of the day -- whether or not a president should talk to hostile foreign leaders -- Webb again offered up a historical defense.
"Under the right circumstances, you have to [talk to your enemies]," he said. "My model for Iran is China in 1971. China was a nuclear power, it was a rogue state, it had American war on its border with Vietnam, it was spouting the same kind of hostile rhetoric. We took none of our military options off the table, we abandoned none of our alliances, but we reached out in a aggressive way diplomatically to bring China into the world community."
Webb has stayed religiously neutral throughout the Democratic primary, but is seen as a natural complement to an Obama presidency. Beyond reaching a set of voters with whom the presumptive Democratic nominee has had difficulties (working class whites), the Virginia Democrat brings with him military and foreign policy experience, and the ability to say he was against the Iraq war (as well as the first Persian Gulf War) before it was launched.
"You don't want to be an occupying power in that part of the world," he said. "It flames the tensions."

Obama's Money Machine Instills Fear In Republicans

Politico previously reported that Obama's donor lists are so large that the Federal Election Commission is unable to process them with their current spreadsheet applications. Now that Obama has won enough delegates to clinch the nomination, and Clinton will concede the race to him on Saturday, the GOP fears that the Democrats' extraordinary fundraising will leave them at a terrible disadvantage come November:
With Hillary Clinton's campaign coming to an end this weekend, Barack Obama's rise as the Democratic nominee brings serious bad news to a new group -- John McCain's finance team...
...Obama's campaign, which raised $272 million through April for the primary, now is reaching out to Clinton's fundraisers, who raised another $200 million through April, in an effort to unite forces and bury the historically deep-pocketed Republicans.
Take a look at some of the numbers:
• If each of Obama's donors gave him a modest $250, he'd have $375 million to spend during the two-month general election sprint. That's $186 million a month; $47 million a week.
• During the same September to Nov. 4th period, McCain will have about $85 million to spend since he has decided to take taxpayer money to help finance his campaign activities.
• Obama has more than 1.5 million donors; McCain has a few hundred thousand. If just a million of Obama's donors sent him the maximum donation, $2,300, he could raise $2.3 billion.
Read more about the numbers
here.

Senate Report: Bush Used Iraq Intel He Knew Was False
More than five years after the initial invasion of Iraq, the Senate Intelligence Committee has finally gone on the record: the Bush administration misused, and in some cases disregarded, intelligence which led the nation into war. The two final sections of a long-delayed and much anticipated "Phase II" report on the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence, released on Thursday morning, accuse senior White House officials of repeatedly misrepresenting the threat posed by Iraq.
In addition, the report on Iraq war intelligence harshly criticizes a Pentagon office for executing "inappropriate, sensitive intelligence activities" without the proper knowledge of the State Department and other agencies.
In addition to judgments that could prove troublesome for the White House and make waves in the presidential race, the report also contains some stinging minority reports from Republican committee members who allege that Democrats turned the intelligence review process into a "partisan exercise."
However, when the GOP controlled the intelligence committee and steered its "Phase I" reporting on the use of Iraq war intelligence, critics complained that tough questions about the Bush administration's actions had been kicked down the road, and thus required a second round of fact finding -- dubbed "Phase II." The committee's delay in producing that full report to the public was seen by Democrats as evidence of a stonewalling campaign executed by President Bush's Republican Senate allies.
scott creighton:
Details of the new long term security deal that the Bush administration has been trying to get passed in Iraq are troubling indeed. The Independent has published leaked details of the plan and it’s no wonder that even Maliki is resisting it.
According to the report, Bush wants 50 permanent military bases, full control of Iraqi airspace, free reign to detain and arrest Iraq civilians and conduct military operations without consulting with Iraqi government officials, complete immunity for U.S. soldiers as well as contractors, and all of this is irrevocable no matter who wins the election in Nov.
When you combine this piece of legislation with the Union busting tactics the provisional authority established and the Hydrocarbon law that they are still trying to stuff down the Iraqi’s throat, you begin to get a glimpse of just what kind of “freedom” that Bush and his associates have been gunning for since day one.
This comes out just in time to put a damper on Scott McClellan’s revised history of the Bush administration that paints the entire administration as a well meaning group of idealists that simply wanted to bring democracy to the middle East. Is this what McClellan calls “democracy”? George W. Bush is doing to Iraq what Saddam tried to do to Kuwait. It is a war crime; an international war of aggression. It is an invasion. and it is criminal in the eyes of civilized society. His “shock and awe” waged on the civilian targets in the opening days of this criminal act are no different than the bombing of London or the Rape of Nanking.
This secret legislation he and Cheney have been trying to force the free people of Iraq to sign proves that his intent has always been criminal. They lied to start this war; they lied to continue it; and they lie now to buy time to keep their corporations in place to rend from the country all the profits they can take. There is no place for imperialism in democracy. We the people would have had none of this war crime had the administration been honest about their intentions to start. That is why they lied. That is why they will continue to lie. >>>cont
Submitted by Gustav Wynn
Majority Of Iraqi Legislators Call For Timetable For U.S. Withdrawal

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

3 hours ago
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal prosecutors are no longer seeking stiffer prison sentences for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.
Prosecutors filed a motion this week with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that their appeals of the sentences be dropped. Their appeal had called for a longer prison term than Siegelman's more than seven-year sentence and Scrushy's almost seven-year sentence.
The latest filing does not say why prosecutors want to drop their appeal.
Prosecutors originally asked that Siegelman be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison and Scrushy to 25 years.
Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted in 2006 of bribery and other charges in a government corruption case.

I Am Not a Bargaining Chip, I Am a Democrat

Senator Clinton's speech last night was a justifiably proud recitation of her accomplishments over the course of this campaign, but it did not end right. She didn't do what she should have done. As hard and as painful as it might have been, she should have conceded, congratulated, endorsed and committed to Barack Obama. Therefore the next 48 hours are now as important to the future reputation of Hillary Clinton as the last year and a half have been.
I am disappointed. As a long time Hillary Clinton supporter and more importantly, an admirer, I am sad that this historic effort has ended with such a narrow loss for her. There will be the appropriate "if onlys" for a long time to come. If only the staff shakeup happened earlier; if only the planning in caucus states had more focus; if only Hillary had let loose with the authentic human and connecting voice she found in the last three months of the campaign. If only. If only. I have written many times on this site about the talents of Hillary Clinton and why I thought she'd make a great President

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I will enthusiastically support Barack Obama's campaign. Because I am not a bargaining chip. I am a Democrat.
LinkHere

Indicted Saudi Financier Gets $80 Million US Military Contract

The U.S. military suffered enormous embarrassment when the New York Times reported that a contract to arm the Afghan forces worth nearly $300 million had been awarded to a 22-year-old man, Efraim E. Diveroli, whose vice president was a licensed masseur. It turned out that Diveroli had been supplying the Afghans with defective weaponry and had broken numerous procurement laws. Apparently, the military has not learned their lesson. ABC News reports that they have awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the U.S. Justice Department:
The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.
The Saudi businessman was also named in a 2002 French parliamentary report as having links to informal money transfer networks called hawala, known to be used by traders and terrorists, including Al Qaeda.
Interestingly, Pharaon was also an investor in President George W. Bush's first business venture, Arbusto Energy.

LinkHere

Fox News Finally Identifies Karl Rove As McCain Adviser

Bush On Iraq War: "I Don't Care If It Created More Enemies"

Australia Ends Iraq Combat Operations

The Australian Broadcast Corp. reported June 1 that a legal brief has been sent to the International Criminal Court alleging Howard committed a war crime by sending troops to Iraq. A loose alliance of peace activists, lawyers, academics and politicians is behind the brief, organized by the ICC Action Group, based in Melbourne.
LinkHere

Yes You Can!!!!!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Poll: Americans Strongly Back President Meeting With U.S. Enemies

Six in 10 think it’s a good idea to meet with president of Iran
by Lydia Saad
PRINCETON, NJ -- Large majorities of Democrats and independents, and even about half of Republicans, believe the president of the United States should meet with the leaders of countries that are considered enemies of the United States. Overall, 67% of Americans say this kind of diplomacy is a good idea.
Retired Air Force General Tony McPeak, a national security adviser to Barack Obama, dropped the hammer on Sen. John McCain today, telling the Washington Times, "It doesn't take very long to uncover national security issues that McCain is weak on...For McCain to think he has a monopoly on virtue in the national security issue is going to be shown a pretty flimsy idea very quickly."
How flimsy and how quickly? As it turns out, very. And critically, McPeak attaches himself to the Obama campaign as someone who got Iraq right. From the WashTimes:
"[McCain is] wrong about Iraq, and he's wrong in the past and wrong about his ideas going forward," Gen. McPeak said. "And that's the biggest single national security issue on the table."
Gen. McPeak added, "[McCain] supported the intervention to begin with. Then of course he attacked the execution and he was justified in doing so. But the idea that this was a good concept, poorly executed, won't stand the test of examination.
"Now, it was poorly executed, so he was right about that. But the concept itself was fatally flawed. So he was wrong there. And his idea that all we have to do is execute better and this will turn into a big victory for us is wrong.
"So he's going to have to carry the weight, the tonnage of bad judgment on that particular issue."
Not surprisingly, McPeak also found McCain's notion that the United States should not enter into talks with nations such as Cuba and Iran to be daffy as well, saying, "This whole idea that diplomacy is attending cocktail parties with your best friends, that's kind of dumb. It's a national security issue that McCain is wrong on."
McPeak has become the "most senior retired military officer" to back Obama.

US Lawyers Seek $5 Billion in Damage From Saudi Arabia for 9/11

Pinning the blame for 9/11
Special Report: A Phila. law firm wages an epic legal battle to win billions from Saudi Arabia.
By Chris Mondics
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
First of two parts.
Less than a mile from the mournful place in Lower Manhattan where the World Trade Center came crashing to the ground, in a hushed federal courthouse, a small band of Philadelphia lawyers is prying loose secrets of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
It is here that the Cozen O'Connor law firm has filed an 812-page lawsuit on behalf of U.S. and global insurance companies alleging that Saudi Arabia and Saudi-backed Islamist charities nurtured and financed al-Qaeda, the author of those deadly attacks.
Led by its flinty chairman and founder, Stephen Cozen, the firm has invested thousands of hours and millions of dollars to scour the world for witnesses, documents and other evidence in its attempt to hold the oil-rich desert kingdom liable for more than $5 billion in damages.
Among the companies represented in the lawsuit are Chubb, Ace, Allstate, One Beacon, and nearly three dozen other insurers.
"Our concern was whether there was a viable case to be made against the defendant," Cozen said, "and whether the defendant could pay."
Round 1 in this titanic legal battle went to the Saudis and their high-powered lawyers three years ago when a U.S. District Court judge removed the government and Saudi royals as defendants.
Defense lawyers have declined repeated requests for interviews, citing the pending litigation. But in court papers, they describe Cozen's allegations as "fabrications" and note that the 9/11 Commission found no evidence of official Saudi involvement. Moreover, they point out that Saudi Arabia itself has been an al-Qaeda target.
"The showing that the plaintiffs purport to make is complete and utter garbage," said Michael Kellogg, a top Washington appeals lawyer representing Saudi Arabia and members of the royal family, during an appeals argument in January. "It is a collection of newspaper articles, and reports and press releases that show at most the kingdom exercises some supervisory control over the charities."
But Cozen argued that the kingdom and its officials should be restored as defendants. A fiercely competitive lawyer who built a tiny practice into one of the world's leading law firms for insurers, Cozen, 67, contended that the defendants "knew and intended to support al-Qaeda through these charities."
With a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit imminent, Cozen and his partners have unearthed facts and made connections missed not only by the 9/11 Commission but also by Congress in its investigations.
At the heart of the suit, the biggest and most complex legal action ever undertaken by the law firm, are warnings from U.S. and European officials that the charities were serving as terror fronts. >>>cont

WATCH Soldiers: We Used "Drop Weapons" To Cover Up Killing Innocent Iraqi Civilians

Several soldiers who have returned from combat zones talk with the American News Project about what they say is the widespread practice of using "drop weapons" to cover up the killing of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. We feature five veterans and current members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, plus retired Lieutenant Colonel Gary Solis, a Vietnam War veteran and legal scholar who taught "Law of War" at West Point. Watch the video from ANP below:
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General Ricardo Sanchez's Book Slams Bush, Iraq Handling

WAR CRIMINAL
The Washington Post points out that in the hubbub of the McClellan book, another scathing memoir has come out exposing the truth behind Iraq.
Getting lost in the media furor over McClellan's memoir is the new autobiography of retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the onetime commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, who is scathing in his assessment that the Bush administration "led America into a strategic blunder of historic proportions."
Among the anecdotes in "Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story" is an arresting portrait of Bush after four contractors were killed in Fallujah in 2004, triggering a fierce U.S. response that was reportedly egged on by the president.
During a videoconference with his national security team and generals, Sanchez writes, Bush launched into what he described as a "confused" pep talk:
"Kick ass!" he quotes the president as saying. "If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can't send that message. It's an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal."
"There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"
A White House spokesman had no comment.
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Kennedy undergoes brain surgery today

New Contracts Reflect Continued Presence in Iraq

Walter Pincus, Washington Post
The depth of U.S. involvement in Iraq and the difficulty the next president will face in pulling personnel out of the country are illustrated by a handful of new contract proposals made public in May. The contracts call for new spending, from supplying mentors to officials with Iraq's Defense and Interior ministries to establishing a U.S.-marshal-type system to protect Iraqi courts. Contractors would provide more than 100 linguists with secret clearances and deliver food to Iraqi detainees at a new, U.S.-run prison....
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American plans to loot Iraqi oil and other Bush war crimes

Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy
Though Bush has given every other lie and cover story to justify the US war of aggression against Iraq, the real reasons for the 'war' are now openly admitted. An article in American Daily proposes that the oil fields of Iraq be seized and plundered to pay off America's national debt of some 9.3 trillion dollars. I am shocked by the implication that they haven't been so plundered already! I am outraged that the author expects the victims of US aggression pick up the tab for Bush's capital crime! The article proposes that the US commit yet another war crime....
continua / continued

An Agony Foretold: Bitter Roots, Bitter Fruits in the Middle East

Long before the Nabka, long before the Holocaust, the present-day agony in Israel and Palestine had already taken root. The ineradicable core of the conflict is brutally simple: the attempt by one people to take another people's land. In this respect, the turmoil in the Middle East is just another chapter in one of the world's oldest stories, for human beings have always been about the bloody business of conquest, dispossession and domination. The United States, for example, was built on this ancient principle. Its settling was cast largely in the same terms as those used later by the Zionists in Palestine: the claiming and cultivation of a land that was essentially empty -- save for a few savages who could only benefit from the imposition of a superior civilization. (And if they couldn't, so much the worse for them.)...
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Your Mind is Controlled

Bring about Justice

VIDEO: George W. Guilty of Murder?
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
by Vincent Bugliosi
Global Research, May 30, 2008
Expanded Books
Bring about Justice
George W Bush has gotten away with murder, thousands of murders, and we the American people cannot let him do this.
Legal architecture for the case against Bush and to prosecute him...
About the video:
A prominent lawyer lays out a compelling case in THE PROSECUTION OF GEORGE W. BUSH FOR MURDER.
Staggering evidence is collected against the president in a startling new book.

LinkHere

Mia Farrow's Nephew Dies in Iraq -- Uncle Blames 'War Criminal' Bush

During his three 15-month tours in Iraq, exposure to roadside bombs and other job-related injuries caused Jason to be hospitalized several times for concussion and internal bleeding and other injuries. Recently, his condition was such that DOD flew him from Iraq to Dover Air Force Base for surgery. He was released from the hospital into the loving arms of the government who sent him directly back into Iraq.
LinkHere
Mia Farrow's Nephew Dies in Iraq -- Uncle Pens Angry Letter to Editor of Vermont Paper
"Because of Bush's abusive stop-loss policy, Jason had been sent into an unwanted third tour of duty. He was a father of three and could not afford to lose his pension. Some 'volunteer Army'.

William E. Odom, 75; Military Adviser to 2 Administrations

By Matt SchudelWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, June 1, 2008; C08
William E. Odom, 75, a retired Army lieutenant general who was a senior military and intelligence official in the Carter and Reagan administrations and who, in recent years, became a forceful critic of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, died May 30 at his vacation home in Lincoln, Vt. An autopsy will be performed, but his wife said he had an apparent heart attack.
Gen. Odom was a career Army officer who was also a serious scholar of international relations and a leading authority on the Soviet Union. He was the military assistant to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser and director of the National Security Agency during President Ronald Reagan's second term.
He had a reputation as a military hard-liner who opposed any compromise with the Soviet Union, which made his vocal opposition to the current involvement in Iraq all the more cogent and surprising.
In a 27 May WaPo opinion piece, William Odom and Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote,
"imagine if China, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a country that has deliberately not engaged in a nuclear arms race with Russia or the United States, threatened to change the American regime if it did not begin a steady destruction of its nuclear arsenal. American reaction would be explosive opposition to such a demand."

Wankers!!!!!!!You go vote for McCain

Irate Clinton supporter: 'God damn the Democrats'
Clinton Supporter Thrown Out of Rules Committee Meeting

DNC's Brazile Says Clinton Camp Refused Obama 'Olive Branch'

On today's This Week, Donna Brazile, fresh from yesterday's DNC Rules and Bylaws Tango at the Marriott Wardman Park, broke a little bit of a bombshell whilst paneling. According to Brazile, the Obama campaign had enough votes to get a fifty-fifty split of the Michigan delegation, a result that would have greatly advantaged the Obama campaign and minimized the delegate gains Clinton garnered from Florida. However, the Obama camp passed on pulling the trigger on that deal in favor of the less favorable 69-59 split that the Michigan delegation was proposing.
Brazile, who was taken aback at the lack of effort made by the Clinton campaign to "cut a deal" or otherwise "come to the uncommitted superdelegates" in the room, said: "He also could have won on a crucial vote on this Michigan proposal to split the delegation 50-50. And rather than cause a ruckus they gave in. He had the votes. and the Clinton campaign never took the olive branch."
Naturally, George Stephanopoulos immediately interrupted Brazile and changed the subject, because he has the worst news instincts of any carbon-based lifeform walking the face of the Earth.

[WATCH.]

The Coalition Shrinks: Australia Ends Iraq Combat Operations

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia, a staunch U.S. ally and one of the first countries to commit troops to the war in Iraq five years ago, ended combat operations there Sunday.
Soldiers lowered the Australian flag that had flown over Camp Terendak in the southern Iraqi city of Talil. The combat troops were expected to return to Australia over the next few weeks, with the first of them arriving home Sunday.
The move fulfills a campaign promise by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was swept into office in November largely on the promise that he would bring home the country's 550 combat troops by the middle of 2008. Rudd has said the Iraq deployment made Australia more of a target for terrorism.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships

An amphibious assault vehicle leaves the USS Peleliu, which was used to detain prisoners, according to the human rights group Reprieve. Photograph: Zack Baddor/AP
The United States is operating "floating prisons" to house those arrested in its war on terror, according to human rights lawyers, who claim there has been an attempt to conceal the numbers and whereabouts of detainees.
Details of ships where detainees have been held and sites allegedly being used in countries across the world have been compiled as the debate over detention without trial intensifies on both sides of the Atlantic. The US government was yesterday urged to list the names and whereabouts of all those detained.
Information about the operation of prison ships has emerged through a number of sources, including statements from the US military, the Council of Europe and related parliamentary bodies, and the testimonies of prisoners.
The analysis, due to be published this year by the human rights organisation Reprieve, also claims there have been more than 200 new cases of rendition since 2006, when President George Bush declared that the practice had stopped.
It is the use of ships to detain prisoners, however, that is raising fresh concern and demands for inquiries in Britain and the US.
According to research carried out by Reprieve, the US may have used as many as 17 ships as "floating prisons" since 2001. Detainees are interrogated aboard the vessels and then rendered to other, often undisclosed, locations, it is claimed.

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George Bush, at Sea in the Desert

Michael Winship writes: "President Bush's recent speech before the Knesset, ostensibly to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday, was not only a display of political cynicism at its worst - using a diplomatic occasion to perpetrate an unseemly attack on Barack Obama - but a microcosm for the disregard with which the president holds the rest of the world. And vice versa."
LinkHere
Terrorism Trials Rushed to Influence US Election
CNN News reports: "Defense lawyers for five suspected al Qaeda members asked a military appeals court Thursday to delay their clients' arraignments because several of the attorneys have not received security clearances that would allow them to participate in the hearing."
LinkHere

"The squeals of protest turned into a mighty roar."

McClellan and His Media Collaborators
Jeff Cohen writes for Truthout: "No sooner had Bush's ex-press secretary (now author) Scott McClellan accused President Bush and his former collaborators of misleading our country into Iraq than the squeals of protest turned into a mighty roar."

Don't let Corporate Media continue to enable government propaganda.

US chopper shot down in Afghanistan:

Taliban in Afghanistan on Thursday claimed to have shot down a chopper of a United States private security company, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), in the restive province of Khost.
LinkHere
Iraqis Protest Against US Military Deal
Agence France-Presse reports: "Thousands of supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demonstrated in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq after Friday prayers to denounce a government deal with Washington on US troop levels."

Musharraf set to fly out of Pakistan: Report:

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is on the verge of quitting with a special aircraft being positioned to fly him out and Senate chair Muhammadmian Soomro being asked to cut short his foreign tour and return home, a newspaper report said on Friday.
LinkHere
Pakistan: Army chief denies presidential resignation rumours: -
Former Pakistani army chief of staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg, has rejected media reports that he claimed President Pervez Musharraf was in army custody and set to resign.
NATO general says Pakistani havens can sustain Afghan "insurgency" for years:
Gen. Dan McNeill also blamed new peace agreements in Pakistan's tribal areas for a spike in violence in eastern Afghanistan, where U.S. forces operate along the volatile border.

McClellan: Bush Should Have Fired Rove After Plame Leak (VIDEO)

President Bush broke his promise to the country by refusing to fire aide Karl Rove for leaking a CIA agent's identity, said Scott McClellan, the president's chief spokesman for almost three years.
"I think the president should have stood by his word and that meant Karl should have left," McClellan said Sunday in a broadcast interview about his new tell-all book, a scathing rebuke of the White House under Bush's leadership.
McClellan now acknowledges he felt burned by Rove, Bush's top political adviser, and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff. He said Rove and Libby assured him they were not involved in leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, and he repeated those assurances to reporters.
In fact, Rove and Libby did help leak Plame's identity, as confirmed in a later criminal investigation. Libby had resigned by then, but Rove remained in office and eventually stepped down on his terms in August 2007.
"I think the president should have stood by the word that we said, which was that if you were involved in this in any way, then you would no longer be in this administration. And Karl was involved in it," McClellan said.
White House press secretary Dana Perino declined comment Sunday.
Keep reading
here.

McClellan says Rove is lying about Plame, shoulda been fired


The Great Oil Swindle

How much did the Fed really know?
By Mike Whitney
The great oil crunch is another fabricated crisis; another "smoke and mirrors" fiasco; another Enron-type shell-game engineered by banksters and hedge fund managers. Once again, the bloody footprints can be traced right back to the front door of the Federal Reserve.
LinkHere

McClellan: Bush 'Secrectly Declassified' 2002 NIE On Iraq To Leak To Reporters

By Think Progress
During his "Today" show appearance this morning with host Meredith Viera, former press secretary Scott McClellan confirmed that President Bush himself had authorized the leak of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.

LinkHere

McCain’s McClellan Nightmare


By FRANK RICH
THEY thought they were being so slick. When the McCain campaign abruptly moved last Tuesday’s fund-raiser with President Bush from the Phoenix Convention Center to a private home, it was the next best thing to sending the loathed lame duck into the witness protection program. John McCain and Mr. Bush were caught on camera together for a mere 26 seconds, and at 9 p.m. Eastern time, safely after the networks’ evening newscasts. The two men’s furtive encounter on the Phoenix airport tarmac, as captured by a shaky, inaudible long shot on FoxNews.com, could have been culled from a surveillance video.
But for the McCain campaign, any “Mission Accomplished” high-fives had to be put on hold. That same evening
Politico.com broke the news of Scott McClellan’s memoir, and it was soon All Bush All the Time in the mediasphere. Or more to the point: All Iraq All the Time, for the deceitful origins of the war in Iraq are the major focus of the former press secretary’s tell-all.
There is
no news in his book, hardly the first to charge that the White House used propaganda to sell its war and that the so-called liberal media were “complicit enablers” of the con job. The blowback by the last Bush defenders is also déjà vu. The claims that Mr. McClellan was “disgruntled,” “out of the loop,” two-faced, and a “sad” head case are identical to those leveled by Bush operatives (including Mr. McClellan) at past administration deserters like Paul O’Neill, Richard Clarke, John DiIulio and Matthew Dowd.
So why the fuss? Mr. McClellan isn’t a sizzling TV personality, or, before now, a household name beyond the Beltway. His book secured no major prepublication media send-off on “60 Minutes” or a newsmagazine cover. But if the tale of how the White House ginned up the war is an old story, the big new news is how ferocious a hold this familiar tale still exerts on the public all these years later. We have not moved on.

=====
As F. Scott Fitzgerald would have it, we will be borne back ceaselessly into the past. Or so we will be as long as Americans continue to die in Iraq and as long as politicians like Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton refuse to accept responsibility for their roles, major and minor, in abetting this national tragedy.

Yes We Can!!!!


Guantanamo Judge Who Challenged Prosecutors Is Replaced

William Glaberson reports for The New York Times: "The chief judge at Guantanamo replaced the military judge in one of the most closely watched war crimes cases on Thursday, creating a new controversy in the military commission system and the potential for new delays. The decision to replace the judge, Col. Peter E. Brownback III, came without explanation from the chief military judge, Col. Ralph H. Kohlmann. Judge Brownback has been presiding over pretrial proceedings in the prosecution of Omar Ahmed Khadr, a 21-year-old Canadian charged with the killing of an American serviceman in Afghanistan."
LinkHere

111 Nations, But Not US, Adopt Cluster Bomb Treaty

Shawn Pogatchnik, for The Associated Press, reports from Dublin, Ireland: "Chief negotiators of a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs predicted Friday that the United States will never again use the weapons, a critical component of American air and artillery power. The treaty formally adopted Friday by 111 nations, including many of America's major NATO partners, would outlaw all current designs of cluster munitions and require destruction of stockpiles within eight years. It also opens the possibility that European allies could order US bases located in their countries to remove cluster bombs from their stocks."
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