28/04/08 "ICH " -- - Judging from the campaign rhetoric coming out of both camps, whoever wins the Oval Office will be inclined to continue the failed military policies in Iraq and to pursue a confrontation with Iran. Apparently it does not matter to either party what will follow those actions, or what these disastrous policies have produced as they played-out in Iraq and Afghanistan. It does not matter who gets elected, whether it is "bomb, bomb Iran" McCain, or "obliterate/massive retaliation" Clinton, nothing will change.
American researcher Suzanne Maloney spells out the results of the "successfully" surging American war on Iraq:
This is soul. Not Al Green soul. Not Isaac Hayes soul (but perhaps a bit closer to that). This is the soul of the black man. It is the soul of a student of history who is sick and tired of force-feeding and ready to spit back. This is the soul of a man tired of the system and using his art to reframe and correct it.
When it first came out in 1971, Eugene McDaniels’ vitriolic statement irked and ired many, including Vice President Spiro Agnew, who personally contacted Atlantic Records to demand that the album be shelved. Despite this high praise from such a high post, the album’s music and message has survived in the hearts and minds of music lovers (including The Beastie Boys, who sampled a piece of McDaniels’ wisdom on Ill Communication ) and has now been revived in the equally aware hands of Producer Joel Dorn.
Though the abum may be a grand departure from McDaniel’s earlier hit, "Compared To What," its provocative soothe continues to reverberate. Predicting the coming of acid jazz and even gangster rap, McDaniels covers both the topics of his time — from the horoscopic groove of "Lovin’ Man" to the androgynous murder of "Jagger the Dagger" — and of times past and still present in sharp-eyed chronicles like "Headless Heroes," "Supermarket Blues," the subtly bomb-bastic "Freedom Death Dance" and "The Parasite" (which may be dedicated to Native American artiast and activist Buffy St.Marie). Wrapping his sharp words in cozy key lines and absorbent rhythms, McDaniels tells it like it is and rarely shirks the truth. Though "Susan Jane" is a jangly Dylan-esque exercise in simple rhyme, it acts as a necessary break from McDaniels’ torrential attacks of conscience.
It's Just a Plant is an illustrated children's book about marijuana. It follows the journey of a young girl as she learns about the plant from a diverse cast of characters including her parents, a local farmer, a doctor, and a police officer.
Marijuana can be difficult to talk about.
Many parents have tried marijuana, some still use it. Neither feel great about disclosing such histories (many duck the question), for fear that telling their kids might encourage them to experiment on their own.
Unfortunately, most "drug facts" that children learn in school are more frightening than educational, blaming pot for everything from teenage pregnancy to terrorism. A child's first awareness of drugs should come from a better source.
It's Just a Plant is a book for parents who want to educate their children about the complexities of pot in a thoughtful, fact-oriented manner.
One night, Jackie woke up past her bedtime.
She smelled something funny in the air, so she walked down the hall to her parents’ bedroom.
April 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Navy plans to re-establish its Fourth Fleet, disbanded in 1950, to oversee ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean and Central and South America, a Defense Department statement said.
(embedded links at site) By Bernard Weiner Online Journal Guest Writer
Apr 23, 2008
The political noose seems to be tightening on the key members of the remaining miscreants down in the White House bunker -- mainly Bush, Cheney, Rice, Addington and Mukasey. (Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Gonzales, Powell and Tenet were pushed out the door earlier.) But will the Democrats, having been provided with smoking gun-type evidence of these officials' high crimes and misdemeanors, take the next logical step to end this continuing nightmare of law-breaking at the highest levels?
Torture authorized from on high
After eight years, the multiple examples of ethical and felonious crimes of the Bush administration are now abundantly clear and beyond rational dispute. Most compelling among them is the crime of authorizing torture as state policy.
In recent days, we've learned that George W. Bush signed orders authorizing torture, and admitted that he approved of the deliberations by his National Security Council's Principals Committee on the torture regime being set up for a few high-value prisoners. (Which, of course, filtered down to how thousands of suspected terrorists were maltreated.)
Bush has conceded that his Principals (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft, Powell, Tenet) kept him apprised of their deliberations on which suspected terrorists would undergo which forms of torture, according to ABC News' recent blockbuster story.
The meetings of the Principals, according to ABC, took place in early 2002 at least four months before the administration's famous Bybee/Yoo memos were issued that retroactively sought to provide legal justification for the torture. (Short version of those memoranda: The president is above all U.S. laws and international treaties.)
During those Principals' meetings, Dick Cheney was a driving force behind the use of "harsh interrogations" of the prisoners in U.S. care. Other members were more worried about what they were doing. In the ABC story, according to a top official, John Ashcroft asked aloud after one meeting: "Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."
Condoleezza Rice, then national security advisor, aggressively chaired the Principals' torture meetings. Despite some occasional misgivings voiced by Ashcroft and Colin Powell about the "enhanced interrogation" techniques being employed, Rice told the CIA: "This is your baby. Go do it."
Trying to make torture "legal"
Torture, as commonly understood and defined, is illegal under both U.S. law and international treaties that American governments have ratified over the decades. Bush&Co. had to come up with a way to torture suspects but not to appear to be doing so. Here's how it worked: Officials felt they could honestly assert that the administration didn't approve of or authorize torture because under the new definition supplied in the Bybee/Yoo memos, it was torture only if the prisoners were near-death or their internal organs were about to fail as a result of their treatment. In other words, the administration simply made everything else legal: beatings, near-drownings, electroshocks to the genitals, stress positions, sexual abuse, etc. Only if the interrogators killed the prisoners or were close to doing so would they have crossed over the line. See my Control the Dictionary, Control the World.
It turns out that David Addington, Cheney's then-legal counsel who has since replaced Scooter Libby as Cheney's chief of staff, was at the locus of the cockamamie reasoning behind both the Bybee/Yoo torture memos and the "unitary executive" theory of governance. The latter asserts that the president is in charge of basically everything governmental and can't be touched; further, the Bybee/Yoo memos assert the president cannot be second-guessed when he claims to be acting as "commander in chief" during "wartime."
Of course, there has been no congressional Declaration of War, as the Constitution requires; the "war" -- at an estimated cost of several trillions(!) of dollars -- is the "War on Terror," which, since it's being waged against a tactic, can never be completely won and thus is never-ending. In short, the president, under this asserted legal cover, can act more or less as a dictator forever, including declaring martial law whenever he deems an "emergency" situation prevails. (Suppose, for example, the ballot-counting books are cooked in November and the Democratic candidate once again has a victory stolen away. There could be mass protests, perhaps even riots, in the streets. A potential "civic emergency" right there.)
Mukasey's false testimony
Michael Mukasey, who promised he would be an independent attorney general, has turned out to be just as much of a lackey for the administration as his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales. Mukasey seems to feel, as Gonzales did, that he doesn't work for the public but is there to ensure that his bosses stay out of jail. (Interesting side note: Barack Obama says that, if elected, he would ask his attorney general to investigate whether Bush and Cheney might have committed indictable crimes while in office.)
But what really got Mukasey into hot water in recent days was his assertion that the U.S. knew that a terrorist in Afghanistan was calling someone inside the U.S. prior to the 9/11 attack but the supposedly "outdated" FISA laws wouldn't permit the administration to tap that phone call and thus prevent the 9/11 events from happening. Mukasey was using that fallacious argument in 2008 as a scare tactic for why the Bush administration needed congressional reauthorization immediately of the NSA's domestic-spying program, complete with built-in amnesty for the big telecom companies working in cahoots with the administration.
But Mukasey's explanation is total B.S.
As Glenn Greenwald and others have made clear, under then-existing FISA law, the Bush administration could have eavesdropped on the pre-9/11 call and didn't really need any more draconian spying programs. (Mukasey has since tried to tap dance away from having misled Congress.)
The whole object of the Bush administration, in this and every other matter, has been to amass total control of information and intelligence in the White House, cutting out the courts (in this case, specifically the FISA Court) and Congress. They want full freedom to operate outside the law, with nobody -- no judges, no legislators, no reporters -- looking over their shoulders at what they might be up to, and telling them what they can or cannot do. It's possible that at least one aim of the domestic spying programs is to learn from secret phone-taps and emails what their political enemies are thinking.
more at the link... Then there's this...
John Ashcroft at Knox College
Waterboarding is different in the US compared to when Japanese did it in WW2.??!!
Knox College April 22, 2008. Senior Kat Henak questions former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on whether or not it was just to prosecute a Japanese man for waterboarding a U.S. serviceman during WWII.
Fuck Impeachment, Impeachment is a political solution to political crimes. What is needed in the case of BushCo are criminal indictments.
But that will never happen either because we got...
Two sides of the same blank planchet, or your quickly devaluing dollar.
A day after the Bush administration urged India to step up pressure on Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on his coming visit to New Delhi, India tartly said it did not need “any guidance on the future conduct of bilateral relations,” making it plain that no saber rattling from its friends in Washington would impair its relationship with a vital energy supplier. “India and Iran are ancient civilizations whose relations span centuries,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “Both nations are perfectly capable of managing all aspects of their relationship with the appropriate degree of care and attention.”
On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see. The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years.
1 hr 49 min
In light of news of massive food riots across the globe, I find this quite an interesting informative work. It will be enlightened to know, that Bush gang aren't the only ones whom ditch science and data and common sense and the well being of it's citizens for politics, or an ideology, and that ideology is of course, cold hard cash, directly, however, I seriously suspect an indirect and quite nefarious outcome that no one is talking about, and that is, Henry Kissinger's National Security Population Control Memorandum. What else can one think after for example the FDA and other so called government societal protection organizations hide behind and often are in collusion with money making chemical companies and the forever lobbies.
NPR had a story program (though this isn't it*) last week talking about the FDA only testing 2% of the imports coming into America and that countries virtually can volunteer as to if they are within the standards of the FDA regulations.
I'll just come out and say it, I believe whether intended or not, the PTB has decided to hell with safe guarding the population, that unfettered capitalism and the market is worth lives both at home and abroad.
Finally, remember these things happened under Poppy Bush, and Slick Willie's watch too. But I bet billary wont be taking any credit for this one. Also remember that the chemical lobby is also the petroleum (read: Oil lobby).
*I can't seem to find the recent story, perhaps some of you guys caught it and can post it.
The New York Times has exposed a secret Pentagon campaign to infiltrate the media with pro-war propaganda.
The scheme reaches all the way to the Bush White House, where top officials recruited dozens of "military analysts" to spread favorable views of the war via the news. Many of these propaganda pundits didn't reveal that they were working from Pentagon scripts or lobbying for companies seeking to cash in on major military contracts.
This is a violation of every conceivable standard of journalism -- and possibly of federal law.
Given the polls, Hillary Clinton probably shouldn't get more than 57 percent of the vote. Booman actually thinks that Obama could win. Even if she wins by five points that won't be enough. She really has to get to 63 percent. Here are two separate stories on how easy it is to hack the Pennsylvania vote:
On Tuesday night, you will be told who the winner of the Pennsylvania Primary is. You will accept it. You will have no choice. No matter who the winner really is. Or isn't.
This Tuesday's crucial contest will be primarily run on 100% faith-based, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen or push-button) e-voting machines across the state. There will be no way to determine after the election whether the computers have accurately recorded, or not, the intent of those voters who voted on them. As VerifiedVoting.org summarizes the crucial contest, it "will be essentially unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable."
Most of the votes, more than 85%, will be cast on such DRE systems which do not provide so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails" (VVPATs), as their use has been found unconstitutional in the state, since its been determined, accurately, that ballot secrecy cannot be guaranteed when using such paper trail systems. Not that it matters.
With or without a so-called "paper trail" printer, all touch-screen/push-button/DRE voting machines are equally unverifiable and antithetical to American democracy. Period.
So, as with South Carolina's primary, so so long ago, and other states since, whatever the officials tell you at the end of the election is what you, and we, will have to accept. Whether votes are counted accurately is completely out of anyone's hands at this point. It's strictly Democracy of the Gods...
It's all a magic show, a series of illusions that can be manipulated by the entertainers, also known as politicians, or anyone well placed and determined enough to manipulate a system with few if any real safeguards.
The failure to discuss real issues is an insult to all citizens. It might explain why a majority fail to vote in primary elections and why 35% to 40% consistently fail to vote in the general elections for president. A common refrain among those who refuse to participate is "Why bother, they're all a bunch of crooks." Among those who do vote, there are huge doubts about the honesty of elections. A 2006Zogby pollof 707 likely voters in Pennsylvania asked this question: "Do you think the 2004 election was stolen?" Forty percent said yes.
The public officials who control elections behave as though the people are stupid and ignorant of the questionable practices of secret vote counting and outsourced elections. Wrong! The citizens of Pennsylvania know what the story is. Just add the 40% of likely Pennsylvania voters who thought 2004 was stolen with the 35% to 40% who routinely stay home because they doubt the system. That produces a majority of citizens who have serious doubts about a system created to serve the elected and not the electors.
The news media act like the people are a bunch of sheep who buy whatever the media put out because some people actually watch the news. They fail to note that in polls on public respect for various professions, the television newsmedia gets a 16% approvalrating. The people who booed debate anchor Gibson are a perfect reflection that attitude.
The politicians showed their respect for citizens after the 2006 election, when the message was clear. Get out of Iraq. They have their excuses. But the reality of the charade was made crystal clear in at the Philadelphia presidential primary debate. While enduring an hour when no real issues were discussed, did you hear either candidate criticize the news people for their inane questions? Not a word.
I will attempt to pull the lever for Obama. We'll see. Let's watch very carefully what happens in Philly's black wards.
What will happen when half the country is unemployed, with no medical insurance, stuck in a sheet rock house miles from public transportation? They’ll be ripe for religion or revolution if you ask me. Bibles and bullets. Will they still support the billions a day spent in Iraq? I don’t think so—even now they don’t. One would expect they’ll be pretty pissed off watching the rich and famous party endlessly and continue their glamorous lifestyle—or maybe not. Surprising to me, those being duped and exploited by banks and entrepreneurs often envy their “betters”—they want to be that person in the Beemer or Lexus, and will mortgage everything they’ve got to have a symbolic piece of it. Instead of anger and action we get envy—the bane of every outside agitator, union organizer, and young revolutionary.
I remember when MLK decided to tie the Vietnam War in with domestic issues like poverty and racism, and many thought it ill advised. They assumed he would lose some support—there were still some in favor of the Vietnam War at that point—and that it might dilute the focus on jobs, racism, equality and votes.
I think he was right. This stuff is tied together. Katrina and Iraq are not separate issues. The securities and safeguards guaranteed to the super rich by the Bush administration and the credit crisis are probably linked as well. I don’t mean conspiracy linked—the connections and actions don’t have to be premeditated or thought out in advance to make a network. There are organic emergent forces at work, self-organizing systems arising that benefit some and not others. That too sounds complex and conspiratorial, but it’s not.
He urged a radically new approach to psychological operations in future wars — taking aim at not just foreign adversaries but domestic audiences, too. He called his approach “MindWar” — using network TV and radio to “strengthen our national will to victory.”
Every once in a while, NYT's throws one out to hungry masses. If we were a nation of laws, this would mean something. There are laws against using mass propaganda on U.S. citizens. However, it means nothing in here because, "when the law breaks the law, there is no law, only a fight for survival" ~Billy Jack.
The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, according to a shocking documentary to be screened by the BBC tonight.
In 2001, while he was a cardinal, he issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church's interests ahead of child safety.
The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.
The Panorama special, Sex Crimes And The Vatican, investigates the details of this little-known document for the first time. The programme also accuses the Catholic Church of knowingly harbouring paedophile clergymen. It reveals that priests accused of child abuse are generally not struck off or arrested but simply moved to another parish, often to reoffend. It gives examples of hush funds being used to silence the victims.
Before being elected as Pope Benedict XVI in April last year, the pontiff was Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger who had, for 24 years, been the head of the powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of The Faith, the department of the Roman Catholic Church charged with promoting Catholic teachings on morals and matters of faith. An arch-Conservative, he was regarded as the 'enforcer' of Pope John Paul II in cracking down on liberal challenges to traditional Catholic teachings.
Five years ago he sent out an updated version of the notorious 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis - Latin for The Crime of Solicitation - which laid down the Vatican's strict instructions on covering up sexual scandal. It was regarded as so secret that it came with instructions that bishops had to keep it locked in a safe at all times.
Cardinal Ratzinger reinforced the strict cover-up policy by introducing a new principle: that the Vatican must have what it calls Exclusive Competence. In other words, he commanded that all child abuse allegations should be dealt with direct by Rome.
Patrick Wall, a former Vatican-approved enforcer of the Crimen Sollicitationis in America, tells the programme: "I found out I wasn't working for a holy institution, but an institution that was wholly concentrated on protecting itself."
And Father Tom Doyle, a Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticising the church's handling of child abuse claims, says: "What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen.
"When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another. So there's total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of victims in the next place. This is happening all over the world."
The investigation could not come at a worse time for Pope Benedict, who is desperately trying to mend the Church's relations with the Muslim world after a speech in which he quoted a 14th Century Byzantine emperor who said that Islam was spread by holy war and had brought only evil to the world.
The Panorama programme is presented by Colm O'Gorman, who was raped by a priest when he was 14. He said: "What gets me is that it's the same story every time and every place. Bishops appoint priests who they know have abused children in the past to new parishes and new communities and more abuse happens."
Last night Eileen Shearer, director of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults said: "The Catholic Church in England and Wales (has) established a single set of national policies and procedures for child protection work. We are making excellent progress in protecting children and preventing abuse."
Panorama: Sex Crimes And The Vatican is on BBC1 tonight at 10.15pm.
Sexpelled: No Intercourse Allowed (Expelled parody)
video taken from richarddawkins.net
Anticipating success with their feature film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Producers Mark Mathis, Logan Craft and Walt Ruloff have already leaked a teaser trailer for the film's sequel. Their "teach the controversy" slogan seemed to work well in getting the general public to believe that Intelligent Design is a viable alternative scientific theory to Evolution, so the team has moved on to promoting other theories that they feel are being suppressed by the scientific community. Sexpelled: No Intercourse Allowed tells of how Sex Theory has thrived unchallenged in the ivory towers of academia, as the explanation for how new babies are created. Proponents of Stork Theory claim that "Big Sex" has been suppressing their claim that babies are delivered by storks. Furthermore, Stork Theory proponents warn of the serious moral dangers posed by teaching children that sex has a function. They point out that evil dictators such as Hitler, Stalin and Mao all believed in Sex Theory, and they may have even had sex themselves.
There is also a late-breaking new development in the controversy, a new theory called Avian Transportation Theory.
Unlike the original Stork Theory, the modern, sophisticated "Avian Transportation Theory" (ATT) merely points out that there are gaps in the orthodox Sex Theory, and that current sonogram imaging is unreliable. Moreover ATT does not specify that babies are necessarily brought by storks but by "large birds unspecified" (although many individual ATT theorists PRIVATELY believe it is a stork).
Cambridge University has digitized its collection of some 30,000 items and 90,000 images by Charles Darwin. The original draft of The Origin of Species, until now available only to scholars at the Cambridge University Library, is among those now online.
Well, the cat's out of the bag with televison - it isn't really just entertainment, it is entrainment. Tuning into the idiot box actually creates hypnotic states in the viewer. Both the images and sound act as signals that lead the passive, relaxed viewer into altered states of consciousness.
So television, or more precisely the tele-vid-audio medium, can be used to induce brain-change in the recipients of the signal.
There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat, there is nothing wrong with your television set.
While we've now become accustomed to the barrage of prescription drug commercials on prime-time TV, it's jarring to learn that this advertising is legal only in the United States and New Zealand. The pharmaceutical industry doesn't just target Americans directly, but also spends roughly $25,000 per physician per year. With the aid of information from data mining companies, a pharmaceutical representative knows exactly how many prescriptions for what medication a doctor has written, allowing the industry to individually target them.
How Americans came to this fraught relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and its drugs -- particularly antidepressants -- is the subject of Charles Barber's new book, Comfortably Numb. A veteran of mental health programs in homeless shelters and a lecturer in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, Barber trains his eye to the confluence of science and culture that have led to the widespread prescribing of medications once reserved for the most serious cases.
It's not the system, it's you, so, smoke your Prozac like a good little citizen...
Oh to be a fly on the wall at the White House today, Just to hear what a Nazi pope, and the grandson of a Nazi supporter have to say to each other. Some excerpts from the land of make-believe, wherein the guy playing the role of the president of a nation that often takes on the name of an entire continent (in vain) says to the guy playing the role of the spiritual head of the largest cult on the planet,
Here in America you'll find a nation of prayer. Each day millions of our citizens approach our Maker on bended knee, seeking His grace and giving thanks for the many blessings He bestows upon us. ...
Here in America you'll find a nation of compassion. Americans believe that the measure of a free society is how we treat the weakest and most vulnerable among us. So each day citizens across America answer the universal call to feed the hungry and comfort the sick and care for the infirm. Each day across the world the United States is working to eradicate disease, alleviate poverty, promote peace and bring the light of hope to places still mired in the darkness of tyranny and despair.
Is he talking about those mayonnaise jars with the photocopied pics of people dying of spina bifida and so forth that you see on gas station counters, at least around here? Those 'give us your spare change, and perhaps my husband can live another six months' appeals? Millions of people must approach those every day, I suppose, countrywide, as they go to buy their lottery tickets on their way to bend their knee before our Maker. They always seem to die, those people in the pictures. But, you know, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.
The Dallas Morning News reports that city’s VA Medical Center officially closed its psychiatric wing after the fourth mentally-ill veteran committed suicide this year. The hospital was rated the nation’s worst VA facility in a 1995 study, though a spokeswoman said that “more than $250,000 has been spent during the last six months to eliminate suicide risks” there. In November, CBS reported that “at least 6,256 US veterans committed suicide in 2005 — an average of 17 a day.”
So, lets crush some children's testicals, sexually abuse some alter boys, OR gouge some eyes out for GOD and FREEDOM!
Permissible Assaults Cited in Graphic Detail Drugging Detainees Is Among Techniques By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, April 6, 2008; A03
Thirty pages into a memorandum discussing the legal boundaries of military interrogations in 2003, senior Justice Department lawyer John C. Yoo tackled a question not often asked by American policymakers: Could the president, if he desired, have a prisoner's eyes poked out?
Or, for that matter, could he have "scalding water, corrosive acid or caustic substance" thrown on a prisoner? How about slitting an ear, nose or lip, or disabling a tongue or limb? What about biting?
These assaults are all mentioned in a U.S. law prohibiting maiming, which Yoo parsed as he clarified the legal outer limits of what could be done to terrorism suspects as detained by U.S. authorities. The specific prohibitions, he said, depended on the circumstances or which "body part the statute specifies."
But none of that matters in a time of war, Yoo also said, because federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes by military interrogators are trumped by the president's ultimate authority as commander in chief.
The dry discussion of U.S. maiming statutes is just one in a series of graphic, extraordinary passages in Yoo's 81-page memo, which was declassified this past week. No maiming is known to have occurred in U.S. interrogations, and the Justice Department disavowed the document without public notice nine months after it was written.
In the sober language of footnotes, case citations and judicial rulings, the memo explores a wide range of unsavory topics, from the use of mind-altering drugs on captives to the legality of forcing prisoners to squat on their toes in a "frog crouch." It repeats an assertion in another controversial Yoo memo that an interrogation tactic cannot be considered torture unless it would result in "death, organ failure or serious impairment of bodily functions."
Yoo, who is now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, also uses footnotes to effectively dismiss the Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution, arguing that protections against unreasonable search and seizure and guarantees of due process either do not apply or are irrelevant in a time of war. He frequently cites his previous legal opinions to bolster his case.
John yoo is an elemental cadre within a chain of criminal acts. Most of us here would respect jurisprudence - at least enough to know that the Cheney Bush junta has committed all of the four charges outlined in nuremburg/nürnberg
They have committed these crimes with the assistance & willing action of their cadre - Yoo, Addington, Feith etc etc - all that subspecies of men & women who adore power above all else. Even the most cursory examination would show us how far from the truth - they & their actions are...
Complicity is shared by us all because the criminal conspiracy & the criminal acts continue. but not even the most vociferous supporter, plebeian supporter of the Cheney Bush junta - has the particular 'responsibility' of the cadre. That cadre has engaged in two parallel but contingent practices - unleashing illegal wars of profit against sovereign nations & peoples & at the same time they have emasculated bourgeois jurisprudence of even the pretense of justice or of civil liberty.
The patriot acts & the acts to invade are one & the same. The so called "war on terror" masks the complete & utter degradation of whatever moral center the American empire has had.
In this book.... I examine torture as an analytical category and practice (that is, a conscious and rule-bound activity) through which to understand how, between 1954 and 1962, the militarized colonial state normalized terror to forestall the collapse of the empire in an age of decolonization. In tracing the etiology and methods of state terrorism, I explore the justifications that allowed for the routinization of torture in a “total” war of decolonization-recolonization. From this perspective, the book seeks to uncover torture’s layered meanings for practitioners and victims; the role it played in techniques of population screening11 and social engineering; and its use as a catalyst for imperial identity formation and crystallization. Torture was not, as was often claimed by military officers, an epiphenomenon of the war. It was central to the army’s defense of a colonial empire in its waning years. The systematic use of torture was the logical outcome of revolutionary-war theory (guerre révolutionnaire) and doctrine developed in the 1950s by a group of veterans of colonial wars, especially in Indochina. Many had also fought in World War II. They were men who had suffered a loss of honor and relevance in fast-changing postwar France. The Algerian War offered them a last opportunity at recouping both. In this context, systematic torture was not just an instance of violence committed by uncontrolled soldiers; it was part and parcel of an ideology of subjugation that went beyond Algeria’s borders.12 Algeria became a testing ground for fighting “revolutionary” wars in Africa and Latin America.13
The combination of rising demand, the emergence of powerful new energy consumers, and the contraction of the global energy supply is demolishing the energy-abundant world we are familiar with and creating in its place a new world order. ... This new world order will be characterized by fierce international competition for dwindling stocks of oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium, as well as by a tidal shift in power and wealth from energy-deficit states like China, Japan, and the United States to energy-surplus states like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. In the process, the lives of everyone will be affected in one way or another -- with poor and middle-class consumers in the energy-deficit states experiencing the harshest effects. That's most of us and our children, in case you hadn't quite taken it in.
Here, in a nutshell, are five key forces in this new world order which will change our planet:
Also, quite good hour-long interview w/ michael klare on kpfa's AGAINST THE GRAIN wednesday dealing w/ many of the topics in his new book. Wed 4.16.08| New Energy Order (mp3 archive will be available @ the link later today). covers russia, caspian sea, china, sudan, africa etc...
The American Peace movement failed. It failed to stop the war and the subsequent deaths of a million innocent Iraqis. It probably won't stop a war with Iran where the death tolls--after speculated attacks on nuclear power plant facilities--would probably start at one million. The White Rose Society, full of decent courageous people, didn't beat the Nazis, either. The appropriate model now looks more like The French Resistance, if you don't mind killing people. If you do mind killing people, you might try adopting the tactics of radical environment groups and start killing property, but not just SUV sellers. You would target critical infrastructure nodes. John Robb lays it all out in his book above and his website Global Guerillas. There are examples here, here, here, HERE and here. You would have to attempt to stop the machine. I hope that Obama gets elected and that he'll change the path but the Iranian war might have started by then. There's a chance that voting simply won't be enough, if they even count your vote.
Please contrast what I've written with this latest hard hitting piece by Samantha Bennett. Then ask why people are turning away from the corporate media and turning to the Internet. Plus I have more tunes.
A private security firm managed by former Secret Service officers spied on myriad environmental organizations throughout the 1990s and the year 2000, thieving documents, trying to plant undercover operations and collecting phone records of members, according to a new report.
Documents obtained by James Ridgeway, a Mother Jones correspondent formerly with the Village Voice, reveals the contractor collected confidential internal records -- donor lists, financial statements -- even Social Security numbers, for public relations outfits and "corporations involved in environmental controversies."
Beckett Brown International also offered "intelligence" services to the Carlyle Group, the controversial DC-based investment company; "protective services" for the National Rifle Association; "crisis management" for the Gallo wine company and for Pirelli; "information collection" for Wal-Mart.
"Also listed as clients in BBI records," Ridgeway reveals: "Halliburton and Monsanto." [more]
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.
Yet destruction and creation come in one package. In other words, while Ma and Pa Kettle are losing equity like Britney's losing listeners, some are commanding interstellar earnings.
"If you're one of the 2 million American families losing your house this year, it's a depression," argues Greg Palast, BBC investigative journalist, author of Armed Madhouse and onetime student of neoconservative privatization guru Milton Friedman. "If you're a mortgage shark, happy days are here again. The difference between the Great Depression and this one is that, back then, everyone was in it. Now, it's a selective mangling. Exxon's profit hit $40 billion, the highest of any corporation since the pharaohs. So how can you say the economy is going down? For whom?"
Palast's point is well taken, even as it is ignored by everyone from the Bush administration to the financial (which is to say, entertainment) media and all the way to homeowners who ignorantly refinance so they can buy that new Hummer: Your life may suck ass, but others around you are sucking you dry. And most importantly, they're crushing the dollar on their way out the door to Dubai, or wherever suits hide in the New World Order's afterlife.
"Regardless of what the Fed does, the dollar is going to keep going down," Schiff agrees. "If the Fed keeps doing what it is doing, it won't make it out of this as a functioning currency."
"I'm sorry to tell you this," Palast adds, "but higher oil prices and weak dollars is not a failure of policy. That is the policy. Clinton had a strong dollar policy and Bush hated it. The weak dollar is a way to temporarily hike exports to create short-term pretend juice for the economy. But the weak dollar also made it easier for foreigners to buy up U.S. assets. The capitalists are cashing out of America. They're keeping condos in New York, Palm Beach and Malibu, but their investments are where the returns are fatter: Malaysia, China, India. A weak dollar helps the transfer of capital ownership."
And people say this administration is incompetent?
For sometime now, I make it clear to the bubbleheads I come across in my work that if you look at "Mission Accomplished" from the neocon perspective, theyre tellin it like it is. "Embassy" the size of the Vatican in Baghdad speaks to Cheney and the Halliburtons settin up a permanent gig: we'll be here all century..... And when they begin to refute I remind them that the Iraqi govt signed an exclusive 40 yr deal with Amer/Anglo oil interests, and then they start to see the (gas-fuelled) light.
What troubled Westhusing was not just the death and destruction all around him, the obvious looting of the country, and the human rights abuses, but the seeming lack of attention to the problem by his two of commanding officers, General Joseph Fil, and General David Petraeus. Yes, that David Petraeus. So focused was he on the destructive role of these two, that his suicide note was written to them. Westhusing's widow said that her husband's death should serve to bring out the truth of the corruption that her husband saw. Author and journalist, Robert Bryce was recently able to get documentation of interviews with Westhusing's wife and many other bits of correspondence and Investigation documents through the freedom of information act. They leave more questions open than they answer, especially in light of the media's blackout on information about Petraeus' part in this...even during a week that he is center stage at hearings being conducted on the war
Reed College Professor Darius Rejali is one of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on the subject of torture and the consequences of its use for modern society. Princeton University Press has just published his magisterial study of torture and how it has developed as a social and moral issue with a focus on developments through the last century. Rejali tracks the question in many different settings and societies–from Athens in its golden age to the French colonial wars, totalitarian states in the mid-twentieth century, down to America in the Age of George W. Bush. I put six questions to Rejali about his book and its relevance to the current debate in the United States.
Inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity in America is wider now than it's been since the 1920s, and by some measures since the late 19th century. Yet the nation seems unable or unwilling to do much of anything to reverse these trends. What happens if we allow the trends to continue? Will they "naturally" reverse themselves? Or will we get to a point where disparities are so wide that we finally find the political will to take action? Alternatively, will the disparities themselves grow so wide as to discourage action, by fostering resignation among the losers and indifference among the winners? And if the latter, where will it all lead?
In this video former US secretary of labor Robert Reich gives a thought provoking presentation on the inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity in the United States and asks his audience to speculate on what will happen if these trends continue.
Youtube gets it right: Why did US green light Iraq gov attack in Basra?
Finally, news (at least in this instance) that peeks behind the propagenda you get on the brainwash T.V. media.
While Escobar (Asian Times) is a reasonably reliable source, he didn't mention the main difference between the Hakim movement and the Sadr movement. The former promoted the Iran model with rule by cleric whereas the latter promoted rule by the people. That is why Hakim is in the government and Sadr sits on the sidelines. Given that the US constitution promotes the separation of Church and State that's quite a statement by the Bush administration in giving the red carpet treatment to Hakim in Washingtion.
How convenient, promise more troops after the currant Commander In Chief steps down. Bush gets to say it without actually doing it. Don't worry the next President will do it I promise. Another round of kool-aid for the World. Others have speculated. Afghanistan is such a mess now there is no fixing it. There are 45 million Pashtun in Afghanistan and Pakistan and 47 thousand troops are never going to defeat them. All the top commanders, even the ones in favor of staying, say this openly. The problem is the US changed it from taking out the government to revenge against the people.
James Earl Ray was effectively exonerated of the assassination of MLK, Jr. by Dr. William F. Pepper in a trial at The Circuit Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, 30th Judicial District at Memphis, in 1999. The trial, "Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III, Bernice King, Dexter Scott King and Yolanda King Vs. Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators", is commonly called "the Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination Conspiracy Trial" and is referred to as such at The King Center website, where the transcript of the trial is posted.
Why was the second Yoo torture-justifying memo released yesterday?
ACLU has tried to get it for years and congress was asking for it for some month. But out of the blue sky, it was released late Tuesday and is extensively covert in yesterdays press.
I find it likely that this was done to divert the media attention from a Vanity Fair article that was published the very same day.
That article tells how the very top government lawyers went to Guantanamo themselves and "brought ideas with them" on how to torture alleged al-Qaida members. The article concludes that these men committed war-crimes.
Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and Professor in London. The piece he has written is a good coverage of the process that brought torture to Guantanamo and Abu Graibh.
I recommend to read The Green Light in full.
“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas." A Vanity Fair reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes -- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's
So, Gonzales himself had witnessed some of the tortures he advised using? Nice. I suppose he brought back the videos, too, so that Bush could masterbate...
John Yoo Says President Bush Can Legally Torture Children
Cassel: If the president deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty
Cassel: Also no law by Congress -- that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo...
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.
Finally, Lauren Rozen points to comments on Yoo memo, including Marty Federman, formerly of Justice Dept.
WP: "Thomas J. Romig, who was then the Army's judge advocate general, said yesterday after reading the memo that it appears to argue there are no rules in a time of war, a concept Romig found 'downright offensive.'"
And it's fairly outrageous that Congress didn't release it when they received it. The classification and oversight systems are hopelessly broken.
... When will Congress insist upon hearings at which Geoffrey Miller, Jim Haynes, Donald Rumsfeld, and other DOD officials, explain why they kept the Yoo memo and the Working Group Report secret -- undisclosed even to the Working Group itself -- and why they briefed Miller on Yoo's multiple theories of legal absolution on his way out to Iraq? It's no longer very hard to figure out just why, all of a sudden, as soon as Miller arrived in Iraq, everyone there just suddenly and magically came to think the Geneva Conventions, UCMJ, federal assault and torture statutes, etc., simply no longer applied -- that Iraq was a law-free zone...
US credit crunch hits education as banks abandon student loans
One of America’s leading banking associations has given warning that the United States faces a growing educational apartheid as some lenders withdraw from student loans amid new evidence that the credit crisis has spread across all types of borrowing.
Bureau Logistics Oversight Workgroup - Justice Oversight Bureau.
SEC: AUDIT SHORTFALLS INDICATE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS
While April 1st is the traditional time for office pranks...
It's no joke when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sends the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox, a letter with the subject line: "Internal Control: Improvements Needed in SEC’s Accounting and Financial Reporting Process."
Harman: I Didn't Know Surveillance Program Broke The Law she writes, she had no clue that "the Administration was violating FISA." She writes that the gang of eight had been briefed on "an NSA effort to track al Qaeda communications using unique access points inside the US telecommunications infrastructure," but that they'd been told nothing about warrantless wiretapping.
Anyone keeping up w/this knows she is lying through her teeth, and pretending to be ignorant of Jr's lies.
You, dear reader may really want to muck around in this; get a feel for how flippant, contemptuous and indifferent our servants are toward us, the citizens. So when the real history is written you will see how you were sold out.
WASHINGTON (CAP) - A week after Hillary Clinton chastised MSNBC reporter David Shuster for saying the Clinton campaign was "pimping out in some sort of weird way" daughter Chelsea Clinton for contacting superdelegates on her mother's behalf, CAP news has learned that the campaign is, indeed, quietly offering up the former First Daughter's company in exchange for committed support at the Denver convention.
The "Win A Date With Chelsea" contest will be a raffle in which all committed superdelegates are entered into a drawing this summer with one partly schlep chosen at random to spend an evening with the 27-year-old Chelsea.
Former president Bill Clinton, who was having trouble getting old friends to return his calls in recent weeks, has now been bombarded with bids for his daughter's attention. One Southern superdelegate eagerly offered his support, saying of the former gawky, braces-riddled teenager: "She's so purdy now. I think I love her."
Approached by one superdelegate during a campaign stop in Virginia, Bill Clinton hastilly reprimanded: "Don't give the committment to me. You give the committment to the girl. You understand?"
Chelsea is reportedly uncomfortable with the idea, yet going along with it to help the floundering campaign of her mother, whom she called "madam" instead of "mom" twice during a lecture to college students at Marquette University.
When CAP News approached the Clinton campaign for comment on the bizarre and potentially lurid campaign tactic, Hillary angrily responded that questions about Chelsea were "off limits." Her staff then discreetly handed out napkins with an 800 phone number scrawled on the back under the header: "For a good time, call if you are a superdelegate."
"America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can't ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can't lose what you lacked at conception.
"Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a reckless verisimilitude can set that line straight."
--James Ellroy, American Tabloid
Ensure a Free and Fair Election (Ban Paperless Voting Machines