"Utah" Phillips died this week at the age of 73. He was a musician, labor organizer, peace activist and co-founder of his local homeless shelter. He also was an archivist, a historian and a traveler, playing guitar and singing almost forgotten songs of the dispossessed and the downtrodden, and keeping alive the memory of labor heroes like Emma Goldman, Joe Hill and the Industrial Workers of the World, "the Wobblies," in a society that too soon forgets.
Born Bruce Duncan Phillips on May 15, 1935, in Cleveland, by his midteens he was riding the rails. He told me of those days in an interview in 2004. By then, he was slowed down by congestive heart failure. His long, white beard flowed over his bow tie, plaid shirt and vest. We sat in a cramped attic of a pirate radio station that was frequently raided by federal authorities. In the early days, he met old-timers, "old, old alcoholics who could only shovel gravel. But they knew songs."
In 1956, he joined the Army and got sent to postwar Korea. What he saw there changed him forever: "Life amid the ruins. Children crying -- that's the memory of Korea. Devastation. I saw an elegant and ancient culture in a small Asian country devastated by the impact of cultural and economic imperialism. Well, that's when I cracked. I said: 'I can't do this anymore. You know, this is all wrong. It all has to change. And the change has to begin with me.' "
After three years in the Army, he went back to the state that earned him his nickname, Utah. There he met Ammon Hennacy, a radical pacifist, who had started the Joe Hill House in Salt Lake City, inspired by the Catholic Worker movement. Hennacy guided Utah Phillips toward pacifism. Utah recalled: "Ammon came to me one day and said, 'You've got to be a pacifist.' And I said, 'How's that?' He said, 'Well, you act out a lot. You use a lot of violent behavior.' And I was. You know, I was very angry. 'You're not just going to lay down guns and fists and knives and hard angry words. You're going to have to lay down the weapons of privilege and go into the world completely disarmed.' If there's one struggle that animates my life, it's probably that one."
Utah's pacifism drove him to run for the U.S. Senate in 1968 on the Peace and Freedom ticket, taking a leave of absence from his civil-service job: "I was a state archivist -- and ran a full campaign, 27 counties. We took 6,000 votes in Utah. But when it was over, my job would vanish, and I couldn't get work anymore in Utah."
Thus began his 40 years in "the trade," a traveling, working musician: "The trade is a fine, elegant, beautiful, very fruitful trade. In that trade, I can make a living and not a killing." He eschewed the commercial music industry, once telling Johnny Cash, who wanted to record a number of Utah's songs: "I don't want to contribute anything to that industry. I can't fault you for what you're doing. I admire what you do. But I can't feed that dragon ... think about dollars as bullets." He eventually partnered with one of the most successful independent musicians in the U.S., Ani DiFranco, who created her own label, Righteous Babe Records. Their collaborative work was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Utah Phillips was a living bridge, keeping the rich history of labor struggles alive. He told me: "The long memory is the most radical idea in America. That long memory has been taken away from us. You haven't gotten it in your schools. You're not getting it on your television. You're being leapfrogged from one crisis to the next. Mass media contributed to that by taking the great movements that we've been through and trivializing important events. No, our people's history is like one long river. It flows down from way over there. And everything that those people did and everything they lived flows down to me, and I can reach down and take out what I need, if I have the courage to go out and ask questions." On his radio show "Loafer's Glory," he once said, "Work on this planet has been to remember."
A week before he died, Utah Phillips wrote in a public letter to his family and friends: "The future? I don't know. Through all of it, up and down, it's the song. It's always been the song."
He will soon be releasing his well reviewed young adult novel "Little Brother". And check out this crazy premise: apparently, in the far off future, you'll be a kid and some evil government will try to make everything that you enjoy doing over the Internet completely illegal. Ker Razy. I can't wait to read it when Cory releases the Creative Commons version of this book in several days. It feels like 1984 with a viable resistance movement. Some of us would really like to know how such a resistance movement would work. We really would. Especially if it involves not blowing up stuff.
Go watch. Great Tom Morello interview. Here is someone who, like Cory Doctorow, I like more as a person than as an artist, even though he is a great great guitarist. Funniest line: "As the other half Kenyan half Harvard educated person from Illinois who isn't running for president..." Run Tom Run. I hear there might be a senate seat opening up in Illinois...Related: Not that impressed with the acoustic Nightwatchmen vid at the end. He's not a bad singer and I like the lyrics but he sounds like a white guy from Illinois infected with just a touch of the Pogues. Hope that's not catching. Please keep attempting to create an American superband like U2...
After CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly admitted that the CIA has, in fact, waterboarded detainees, the agency could no longer cling to its last excuses for covering up the use of the very word “waterboarding” in CIA records. As a result, yesterday we obtained several heavily redacted documents in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the ACLU and other organizations seeking documents related to the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody overseas.
While the documents do, in fact, reveal the word “waterboarding” or some variation, they leave pretty much everything else to the imagination. The pages that haven’t been completely withheld (many of them contain the words “Denied in Full” instead of any actual content) have the clandestine blacked-out look that’s become a sort of trademark of this administration. This is my favorite:
(click to enlarge)
One of the documents is a heavily redacted version of a report (PDF) by the CIA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on its review of the CIA’s interrogation and detention program. The report includes information about an as-yet-undisclosed Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel opinion from August 2002. Interestingly, this opinion appears to be the same OLC memo authorizing specific interrogations methods for use by the CIA that is being withheld by the CIA as a classified document in the ACLU’s FOIA litigation — but the OIG report refers to this document as “unclassified.”
The CIA continues to withhold many more documents that should not be secret. The incomplete response to the ACLU’s demand for records reflects a complete disregard for the right of the American public to know when and how often the government has employed illegal interrogation methods.
Children in post-conflict areas are being abused by the very people drafted into such zones to help look after them, says Save the Children.
After research in Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, the charity proposed an international watchdog be set up. ... A 13-year-old girl, "Elizabeth" described to the BBC how 10 UN peacekeepers gang-raped her in a field near her Ivory Coast home.
from the report, no one to turn to, linked from the bbc article,
As Figure 1 (overleaf) shows, focus group participants identified coerced sex as more common than forced sex. Children as young as six are trading sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in exchange for food, money, soap and, in a very few cases, luxury items such as mobile phones. Although forced sex was reported to be the least common, adults and children in all fieldwork locations visited as part of this study emphasised that it was of key concern to them. Many incidences of forced sex perpetrated by individuals and groups were cited. Verbal sexual abuse was identified to be the most common. Cases of sexual touching were cited by more than half the fieldwork participants and kissing by just over one-third.
Our fieldwork suggests that already vulnerable children are particularly at risk of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and aid workers.These include orphans and children separated from their parents; those from especially poor families; children who are discriminated against; children displaced from their home communities; and children from families who depend on humanitarian assistance.
Focus group participants identified children as young as six having been abused.Younger children were said to be more vulnerable to abuse than older children. However, the most common age to be a victim of abuse was thought to be 14 or 15 years old.
the breadth of local and international NGOs, UN agencies and other actors implicated by those who took part in the study suggests that this is a problem for a wide range of organisations. Our fieldwork revealed cases of abuse associated with a sum total of 23 humanitarian, peacekeeping and security organisations.These include civil humanitarian agencies such as those delivering food and nutritional assistance, care, education and health services, reconstruction, shelter, training, and livelihood support, as well as military actors providing peace and security services.
Troops associated with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) were identified as a particular source of abuse in some of our fieldwork locations, particularly in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire. Indeed, of the 38 groups of people we spoke to, 20 of them identified peacekeepers as the most likely perpetrators, and four identified them as the only perpetrators within their communities.This is likely to be linked with the fact that peacekeepers make up the largest proportion of emergency personnel in some of our research locations. However, even in areas with mixed representation from the international community, peacekeepers were identified as a key source of concern.
I can't help but wonder how much Bushes relaxing of Human Rights abuses has contributed to this dehumanizing behavior across the globe. Of course, I'm not so nave as to believe that things like this didn't already go on, but this admin has set a prescient and sure likes to look the other way when it suits them. I know for a fact we okay and support death squads.
..perhaps his most enduring legacy is now deeply embedded in Washington-area politics -- a Pentagon metastasized almost beyond recognition.
The Pentagon's massive bulk-up these last seven years will not be easily unbuilt, no matter who dons the presidential mantle on January 19, 2009. "The Pentagon" is now so much more than a five-sided building across the Potomac from Washington or even the seat of the Department of Defense. In many ways, it defies description or labeling. ... Almost six years later, the scale of that institution's expansion has yet to be fully grasped, so let's look at just seven of the major ways in which the Pentagon has experienced mission creep -- and leap -- dwarfing other institutions of government in the process.
1. The Budget-busting Pentagon: ...
2. The Pentagon as Diplomat: ...
3. The Pentagon as Arms Dealer: ...
4. The Pentagon as Intelligence Analyst and Spy: ...
5. The Pentagon as Domestic Disaster Manager: ...
6. The Pentagon as Humanitarian Caregiver Abroad: ...
7. The Pentagon as Global Viceroy and Ruler of the Heavens: ...
The Political Consequences of Child Abuse by Alice Miller
The Journal of Psychohistory 26 (2) Fall 1998
Although centuries of novels and autobiographies have dealt with the subject of child abuse in all its forms, society has been slow in recognizing the frequency with which this assault is committed. Only in the last twenty years has there been any real progress in this respect, and most of it is due to the efforts of a small number of researchers and above all to the media. Still underestimated and sometimes contested are the consequences very early abuse will have for the victims in their adult lives. The issues involved have been largely ignored, and there is correspondingly little mention of them in historical and anthropological studies. Thus sociologist Wolfgang Sovsky is able to write an otherwise impressive work on forms of violence without making one single reference to the childhood dimension. He gives very considerable space to the willful infliction of suffering, calling it "mysterious," although it is readily explicable once we countenance the idea that the bodies of the executioners, torturers and the orchestrators of organized manhunts may have learned their fateful lessons very early and thus very effectively.
Also Goldhagen restricts himself to a phenomenological discussion of the people who volunteered to torture and humiliate others, without giving any consideration to their childhood. He does devote much attention to the emotions of the perpetrators, a subject hitherto largely ignored, but without the background of their early upbringing their behavior still remains mysterious. The reader seeks in vain for an explanation. What made respected members of society suddenly act like monsters? How could a former teacher like Klaus Barbie, and other men described by their daughters as kind, caring fathers, have innocent people tortured or indeed do the torturing themselves? Goldhagen does not address this question. He is obviously convinced that references to traditional anti--Semitism in Germany provide a satisfactory answer. They do not.
Capitalism is a system that requires the majority to have no control over their lives and to believe that this condition is normal. Therefore, all reactions to inequality and deprivation must be viewed as signs of personal inadequacy, biological defect, mental illness - anything other than reasonable responses to unreasonable conditions.(....)
What’s the diagnosis for a sick society? We know what’s wrong. Most people are kept in sick social conditions so that a few can maintain their wealth and power. What is the treatment? Putting human needs first would eliminate most human misery. Who will deliver the medicine? The majority must organize to take collective control of society.
I don’t expect this diagnosis to appear in the DSM anytime soon....
A Special Everyone Who Reads This Site is Part of the 8 Million Main Corp List Due to Be Rounded Up After the Current Administration's Manufactured "Crisis" Around the Internets
Some of the ads over at Atrios are kind of right wing, with the worst being the Pro McCain ads. Here's an ad (that I borrowed) that's more on point although I don't think Atrios has ever written about the shocking writings of John Perkins. I don't know why he can't. Short version: before we murder the leaders of countries who don't play IMF ball we try to persuade them with bribes. John Perkins is the guy who offered the "Or Else" bribe. Read or watch all about it here and here. Related: Recent Ellsberg observation that we prefer dictators over democracies if that isn't patently obvious by now.
Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary. From the comfortable perspective of peaceful times, such behavior by the government may seem far-fetched. But it was not so very long ago that FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans—everyone from infants to the elderly—be held in detention camps for the duration of World War II. This is widely regarded as a shameful moment in U.S. history, a lesson learned. But a long trail of federal documents indicates that the possibility of large-scale detention has never quite been abandoned by federal authorities. Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of "militants" and "American negroes," who were to be held at "assembly centers or relocation camps." In the late 1980s, the Austin American-Statesman and other publications reported the existence of 10 detention camp sites on military facilities nationwide, where hundreds of thousands of people could be held in the event of domestic political upheaval. More such facilities were commissioned in 2006, when Kellogg Brown & Root—then a subsidiary of Halliburton—was handed a $385 million contract to establish "temporary detention and processing capabilities" for the Department of Homeland Security. The contract is short on details, stating only that the facilities would be used for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs." Just what those "new programs" might be is not specified.
Not scared yet? How about this.
These days, it's rare to hear a voice like that of Senator Frank Church, who in the 1970s led the explosive investigations into U.S. domestic intelligence crimes that prompted the very reforms now being eroded. "The technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny," Church pointed out in 1975. "And there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know." UPDATE: Since this article went to press, several documents have emerged to suggest the story has longer legs than we thought. Most troubling among these is an October 2001 Justice Department memo that detailed the extra-constitutional powers the U.S. military might invoke during domestic operations following a terrorist attack. In the memo, John Yoo, then deputy assistant attorney general, "concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations." (Yoo, as most readers know, is author of the infamous Torture Memo that, in bizarro fashion, rejiggers the definition of "legal" torture to allow pretty much anything short of murder.) In the October 2001 memo, Yoo refers to a classified DOJ document titled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States." According to the Associated Press, "Exactly what domestic military action was covered by the October memo is unclear. But federal documents indicate that the memo relates to the National Security Agency's Terrorist Surveillance Program." Attorney General John Mukasey last month refused to clarify before Congress whether the Yoo memo was still in force.
Meanwhile, congressional sources tell Radar that Congressman Peter DeFazio has apparently abandoned his effort to get to the bottom of the White House COG classified annexes. Penny Dodge, DeFazio's chief of staff, says otherwise. "We will be sending a letter requesting a classified briefing soon," she told Radar this week.
Okay, go read the whole scarier than Clive Barker thing. Then, or two, combine it with these two vids by Mark Crispin Miller. Scary scary stuff as Count Floyd used to say. (Did you catch the West Mifflin reference from Pittsburgher Joe Flaherty?) Short version: if the republicans can't get McCain within 10 points in order to steal an election then this administration would probably cancel that election with a manufactured shock. Why would they do this: because they're guilty of war crimes and possibly breaking every meaningful law that we have. They simply know no bounds when it comes to evil. Remember: the Bush/Cheney crew stole two presidential elections and murdered up to a million Iraqis and counting in order to steal their oil. These are bad bad people. Worst ever, possibly.
There's no doubt that the GOP is in big trouble, facing catastrophic losses in the House and Senate this November. But if you believe that Bush and Cheney will observe the law and honor the traditions of American democracy, and therefore let themselves be forced from power, you're living in a world of happy dreams.
The fact is that this criminal regime cannot afford to drop their guns and walk out here amongst the rest of us; and there's much evidence that they do not intend to let that happen--ever. So we had better face that evidence (i.e., unearth it, since the media has largely played it down, or tuned it out), and brace ourselves for a protracted fight; because those men are capable of anything that will maintain their death-grip on the US government.
In this new vlog, I talk about that evidence (or some of it), and what we may expect before Election Day.
You know, on second thought, I would be a little disappointed if I wasn't on the main core list. I mean, come on. I'd like to think that I would "roam the earth like Caine" and fight the evil corporate theocratic regime which will have elections when things have quieted down or "never". I use a flexible definition of "fight" that also includes "running" and "hiding". Or the Brave Sir Robin approach to insurrection. Need to bone up on my survivalism skills. Might have to do some running. Or I could just buy a lot of guns. I think everyone should go out the way the deaf girl did in Jericho. I also think that whenRavenwood Blackwater comes into your home uninvited then shooting them with a big shotgun is the appropriate answer. Related: There is the possibility that there will be a new Kung Fu movie that will hit theaters and torrent sites. It wasn't until I saw "Dragon: The Bruce Lee" story that I found out that Bruce Lee was up for the role. I certainly hope that the black directors cast an asian or asian american into the lead role but in retrospect David Carradine was probably a better actor than Bruce Lee. In fact, his performance as Caine was one of the best performances on television ever.
"In a parallel universe, Monday night’s New York Film Academy screening of John Cusack’s War, Inc. was great, as was the Rachel Maddow-moderated Q & A that followed the screening. Back on earth, however, the screening didn’t go quite so well. In fact … it barely went at all. ..."
Not that Iran's influence in Iraq has ever been seriously questioned in the media - it has, but for all the wrong reasons, which is the basis of some growing suspicions I've had recently on a developing collusion between Iran, the U.S., and its quisling Maliki/Badr government. But because relations between the U.S. and Iran overshadow whats happening in Iraq the standard narrative gets split into two mutually exclusive stories that are/have been allowed to co-exist as if they are not connected. The prime example of such is that the Iranians have been extending its influence by funding "special groups" and supplying various militias with contemporary weaponry and training, especially Sadr's JAM militia. This fuels the general U.S. strategic narrative that Iran is on the move throughout the M.E. funding various threats to U.S./Israeli hegemony. On the flip side is the government of Iraq, which is underwritten by the Badr Organization- an organization co-founded in Iran by the the Iranian IRGC and a rare coordination of Baqir al-Hakim and Baqir al Sadr. After the initial U.S. invasion the Badr was permitted (by the U.S.) to return to Iraq and eventually formed the pan Shiite coalition UIA party alliance currently in power, and took control of the police intelligence/death squad Interior Ministry (talk about "special groups") and have filled the regular ISF. This side of the narrative of course, has received about zero media attention - a blanket of silence on the "influence" that Iran might have sequestered right smack in the seat of power in the green zone. Why is this?
My guess, as to why is this, is that all along there has been a tacit "arrangement" between Iran and the U.S. - that according to and following from between the lines in the above article, it becomes much clearer by the day where this train is coming from and where it is bound. Forget for a minute that the U.S. could be clueless about the intimate connections between its quisling government and the Iranian IRGC/Qods force/intelligence services because whats been revealed recently, in the Iranian/U.S. war on Sadr, is that the U.S. and Iran are indeed have parallel interests and that these parallel interests are admitted so much by Iranian Qods force negotiator Brig.Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whom was recently met with by Iraqi presiden Talabini:
Talabani, other senior Iraqi officials, and the commander of Iran's Qods Force, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in April, after clashes with Sadr's Mahdi Army in Basra. In that meeting, General Soleimani "was deeply concerned" and "promised to stop arming groups in Iraq and to ensure that groups halt activities against US forces," according to a description given by a US official to the Monitor.
Soleimani gave Mr. Talabani a "message" for US Gen. David Petraeus, too. He noted that his portfolio includes Iraq, Gaza, and Lebanon and that he was willing to "send a small team" to "discuss any issue" with the Americans.
[...] Two weeks ago, an Iraqi delegation sent to Iran by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned with promises that Iran would support Mr. Maliki's Shiite-led government and lean on Sadr to reach a truce.
Iran "committed to acting more positively, and we are now awaiting evidence of that commitment," says Haidar Abbadi, a member of parliament from Maliki's Dawa Party. The Sadr City cease-fire is a "good sign" that shows the Iranians "putting pressure on the militants there."
"The Iranians have a direct role with the Mahdi Army," says Mr. Abbadi, "and the Iraqi government has decided it won't accept that role at this point."
Prior to that visit, in late March, Soleimani intervened with Sadr to halt the fighting in the southern city of Basra, stopping the violence just one day after a personal face-to-face request from Talabani.
But it is details of a second Talabani-Soleimani meeting just days later, around April 4, between two men who have known each other for more than two decades, that caught Iraqi and US attention.
Doubt on the US side runs deep, though Soleimani listed Iranian aims and even "common goals with the United States" in Iraq that virtually mirror stated US policy points, according to the description of the meeting. [...] "We all must work together – Iraq, Iran, and the United States – to stabilize the situation," the Iraqi president said Soleimani told him. He declared Iran's unequivocal support for the Maliki government, for its efforts to dismantle all militias, and Iran's support for the unity of Iraq. [...] Sadr was now the biggest threat to peace in Iraq, Soleimani said, echoing past Pentagon assessments. "We now recognize [that] Sadrists have gotten outside anyone's control" which is a "dangerous development for Iraq, for Iran and for all Shia," he indicated, according to the description. Iran could not control Sadr even in Iran, where the cleric is currently taking advanced religious training, and his return to Iraq would "be a big danger." [...] Soleimani also, according to the official, said that Iran would "not stand in the way of [Iraqi] efforts to negotiate an agreement with the US," which he termed a "good thing for Iraq," referring to a deal on the long-term status of American troops in Iraq.
I've deleted all the "reservations" in the piece by both U.S. and Iranian officials in this post, in that they both play to the propaganda value necessary to posture their respective positions. In spite of the fact that both their respective actions on the ground reveal their all to real true parallel intentions. Or, in other words "how long has this been goin'on? ~AM
meant to cite this, as it was't mine, it was a comment from a very insightful commrade over at MOA, by anna missed. Thanks and I apologizes ;-)
Some Detainees Are Drugged For Deportation Immigrants Sedated Without Medical Reason
The U.S. government has injected hundreds of foreigners it has deported with dangerous psychotropic drugs against their will to keep them sedated during the trip back to their home country, according to medical records, internal documents and interviews with people who have been drugged.
The government's forced use of antipsychotic drugs, in people who have no history of mental illness, includes dozens of cases in which the "pre-flight cocktail," as a document calls it, had such a potent effect that federal guards needed a wheelchair to move the slumped deportee onto an airplane.
"Unsteady gait. Fell onto tarmac," says a medical note on the deportation of a 38-year-old woman to Costa Rica in late spring 2005. Another detainee was "dragged down the aisle in handcuffs, semi-comatose," according to an airline crew member's written account. Repeatedly, documents describe immigration guards "taking down" a reluctant deportee to be tranquilized before heading to an airport.
In a Chicago holding cell early one evening in February 2006, five guards piled on top of a 49-year-old man who was angry he was going back to Ecuador, according to a nurse's account in his deportation file. As they pinned him down so the nurse could punch a needle through his coveralls into his right buttock, one officer stood over him menacingly and taunted, "Nighty-night."
Such episodes are among more than 250 cases The Washington Post has identified in which the government has, without medical reason, given drugs meant to treat serious psychiatric disorders to people it has shipped out of the United States since 2003 -- the year the Bush administration handed the job of deportation to the Department of Homeland Security's new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE.
Last month marked the fifth anniversary of the US military shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. The attack killed two journalists: Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk and Jose Couso, a cameraman for the Spanish television network Telecinco. The Pentagon has called the killings accidental, but in this broadcast exclusive Army Sgt. Adrienne Kinne (Ret.) reveals she saw secret US military documents that listed the hotel as a possible target. Kinne also discloses that she was personally ordered to eavesdrop on Americans working for news organizations and NGOs in Iraq.
The United States has detained approximately 2,500 people younger than 18 as illegal enemy combatants in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay since 2002, according to a report filed by the Bush administration with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. ... Although 2,400 of the juveniles were captured in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, only 500 are still held in detention facilities in that country. The administration's report, which was made public yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union, says that most of the detained Iraqi youths were "engaging in anti-coalition activity."
As of last month, 10 juveniles were still being held in Bagram, Afghanistan, out of 90 that had been captured in that country since 2002, according to the report.
Eight juveniles were brought to Guantanamo Bay since 2002, having been captured at ages ranging from 13 to 17. Although there are no juveniles at the prison in Cuba now, two people being held -- 21-year-old Omar Khadr and 23-year-old Mohammed Jawad -- were under 18 when they arrived. Both are facing trial by a military commission on charges of attempted murder.
"Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"
Via Patrick Cockburn, these are the words of President George Bush ordering the death or capture of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr during video conference in 2004.
But Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the US commander in Iraq in 2003-4, says in his recently published memoirs Wiser in Battle that President George Bush personally ordered Mr Sadr to be captured or killed.
Mr Bush gave the order during a video conference on 7 April 2004 just after the US envoy Paul Bremer had started a crackdown on the Sadrists and they had responded with an uprising during which they had taken over much of southern Iraq.
In General Sanchez's account, Mr Bush said: "The Mehdi Army is a hostile force. We can't allow one man [Sadr] to change the course of the country. At the end of this campaign Sadr must be gone. At a minimum he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out."
In an extraordinary outburst, recorded by General Sanchez, Mr Bush said: "Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"
Spoken like a G.I. Joe, Cobra Commander, true global terrorist mastermind.
I hope he's captured soon, along with his terrorist cadres.
In all reality he's a pussy bully punk mother fucker mama's boy, with lots of money. The kind of mother fuckers I'd bitch slap at a party.
Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR Summary: A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.
On April 20, The New York Times published an article by investigative reporter David Barstow that detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries. Barstow reported that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts, many of whom have clients or work for companies with an interest in obtaining Pentagon contracts, "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in Barstow's article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR in segments covering the Iraq war both before and after the invasion, as well as numerous other national security or government policy issues.
A spreadsheet listing each of the analysts' appearances documented by Media Matters is available here.
The following chart lists 20 analysts included in Barstow's article, the network or networks on which each analyst appeared, and the number of appearances made by each analyst since January 1, 2002, as tabulated by Media Matters:
(Click to enlarge)
NOTE: Transcripts for all programs on CNN are available in the Nexis database, but for the other cable news networks transcripts are available for only some shows.
*This figure includes 31 appearances from 2005 and later, when -- according to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik -- Scales was no longer serving as an official NPR consultant but rather was an unpaid guest.
Media Matters used the Nexis database to tabulate appearances by analysts on networks with which they were affiliated that included discussions of issues related to national security or U.S. government policy. Instances in which analysts appeared on networks other than those with which they were affiliated were not counted. Media Matters counted as appearances both instances in which an analyst appeared as a guest on a show -- either live during the show, or in a pre-taped interview aired during the show -- and instances in which a report included a clip of an analyst's commentary. The study was limited to appearances made after January 1, 2002.
Re-airings of news programs in their entirety were excluded from the study. However, instances in which the same report, interview, or quote was aired on different shows or more than once during the course of the same program were counted as separate appearances in this study. If an analyst appeared several separate times during the same show, Media Matters counted each one as a distinct appearance.
Nexis includes transcripts for all news programs on CNN but for the other cable news networks transcripts are available for only some shows; appearances on programs whose transcripts do not appear in Nexis were not included in this study.
Finally, the Times article reported that some of the analysts "pointed out, accurately, that they did not always agree with the administration or each other" and that "[m]any analysts strongly denied that they had either been co-opted or had allowed outside business interests to affect their on-air comments, and some have used their platforms to criticize the conduct of the war." In conducting this study, Media Matters did not assess whether individual instances of commentary -- or the analysts themselves -- were supportive of administration policy.
It looks like the War Party is victorious, at least according to Philip Giraldi writing on The American Conservative blog:
"There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Quds-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action."
Alarm bells ought to be going off across the nation. The presidential candidates ought to be debating whether or not this is the right course. Obama, the "antiwar" candidate, ought to be speaking out.
Instead, what we hear is… silence. [*] If ever there was a scoop, then this is a major one. Yet not a word is being spoken about it in the "mainstream" media. So much for the supposedly highly competitive nature of the news business. While I'm a very big fan of The American Conservative – hey, they made me an associate editor! – one has to wonder: why do we have to read this on their blog and nowhere else?
Of course, the reason could be because it's not true, but my sources are telling me that this isn't just "speculation and buzz" – it's for real. War is imminent. The markets sense it, too, which is why the price of oil keeps climbing to record levels.
Giraldi has more:
"The White House contacted the Iranian government directly yesterday through a channel provided by the leadership of the Kurdish region in Iraq, which has traditionally had close ties to Tehran. The U.S. demanded that Iran admit that it has been interfering in Iraq and also commit itself to taking steps to end the support of various militant groups. There was also a warning about interfering in Lebanon. The Iranian government reportedly responded quickly, restating its position that it would not discuss the matter until the U.S. ceases its own meddling employing Iranian dissident groups. The perceived Iranian intransigence coupled with the Lebanese situation convinced the White House that some sort of unambiguous signal has to be sent to the Iranian leadership, presumably in the form of cruise missiles."
A decision to go to war, sub rosa back-and-forth between Washington and Tehran using the Kurds (probably the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which has close ties to Iran) as intermediaries, missile strikes near Tehran, the dissent of Robert Gates: all of this is very big news. Yet not a word is reaching the general public.
The same pattern that characterized the run-up to war with Iraq is being employed in the case of Iran. We're acting on intelligence that is so overcooked the stench is overpowering. There is no evidence these alleged training camps even exist, or, if they do, that their purpose is to train Iraqi "militants." Indeed, all efforts to show the media hard evidence for this phantom threat seem to have evaporated into thin air: these charges are the intelligence community's equivalent of "vaporware."
*Well, not silence, but... Barack speech on veterans' affairs (Full)
When I asked Chris Potter what happened to Ted Rall I also noted--perhaps a bit too obtusely-- that the Pennsylvania primary results were essentially unverifiable. Perhaps it was really a 52 to 48 race like the exit polls. Perhaps Hillary won by 20 points. Who knows. And who can check. Trust politicians because they would never never ever lie to us, right Chris? Now, as it turns out, they've been having this debate in New Jersey except its happening in a courtroom. Get the background here from Bradblog. Long story short: Sequoia doesn't want you looking inside their machines, or the machines that were used all over Pennsylvania last week and Allegheny County in particular. (I could be wrong about that.) Sequoia had been fighting in court to make sure that their machines couldn't be examined. That this would be an issue in a real democracy is stunning. Then again, I suppose I don't live in a real democracy. Anyway, super hacker Ed Felton is getting a look.
Here's what he's found so far. Remember, Fast "Eddy" Rendell and our Secretary of State said everything worked fine last Tuesday. Compare and contrast with these graphs from Slashdot:
"Princeton Professor, Ed Felton, has posted a series of blogentries in which he shows the printed tapes he obtained from the NJ voting machines don't report the ballots correctly. In response to the first one, Sequoia admitted that the machines had a known software design error that did not correctly record which kind of ballots were cast (republican or democratic primary ballots) but insisted the vote totals were correct. Then, further tapes showed this explanation to be insufficient. In response, State officials insisted that the (poorly printed) tapes were misread by Felton. Again further tapes showed this not to be a sufficient explanation. However all those did not foreclose the optimistic assessment that the errors were benign — that is, the possibility that vote totals might really be correct even though the ballot totals were wrong and the origin of the errors had not been explained. Now he has found (well-printed) tapes that show what appears to be hard proof that it's the vote totals that are wrong, since two different readout methods don't agree. Sequoia has made trade-secret legal threats against those wishing to mount an independent examination of the equipment. One small hat-tip to Sequoia: at least they are reporting enough raw data in different formats that these kinds of errors can come to light — that lesson should be kept in mind when writing future requirements for voting machines."
By the way, if you're playing the home game, this would be evidence of election fraud. But remember, only dirty fucking hippies on the internets think this story matters.
The real basic take away here is that if you are going to tip elections, you aren’t going to be able to do it “one vote at a time” as these voter id, anti-voter laws purport to combat.
You do it by rigging the system from the inside - by massive voter roll purges that are designed to purge the very demographics that are most likely to hurt the other party, by challenging districting in order to “make it more fair for people’s votes to be reflective of the district”, by implementing laws that are meant to keep millions of people who are likely to vote for the other party from voting and by stacking the deck in the positions where the voting machines are selected and monitored, where the federal and state election laws are “interpreted”, where the decisions are made with respect to voter registration and how the elections are run and even having cousins in the very media outlets who are calling the races for their candidate-cousins.
Make no mistake - this is a more than just a major partisan initiative. This is an all out assault on the voting rights of millions of potential Democratic voters and therefore, votes. This is a premeditated, long term, wide ranging attack against millions of Americans’ voting rights. But it isn’t just an assault on Democratic voters. It is an assault on the most basic right that a democracy affords.
And it should be referred to accordingly.
Related: Dems failed to pass newest version of Holt bill. The bill required the abnormal two thirds and apparently there is no plan to add it as an attachment. That would mean you really wanted to pass a bill like that of course. Steny Hoyer, the Dems number two, doesn't want to reform the machines because things are going so well now. Kind of like when Biff got the betting results book in Back to the Future II...I always wondered what happens to the people who live in those awful splintered realities. Now I know.
And now: Time for Phil's Quixotic Musing...
I don't suppose the dems could attach something to that $100 billion dollar Iraq spending proposal that would fix our machines and outlaw modern versions of Jim Crow? Yeah, I didn't think so either.
If you're at all interested in the election fraud debate, then please watch this Bob Fitrakis vid above. It answers the question of why doesn't the mainstream/corporate press show more of an interest in the issue. Note the shocking bit about how republican senator Mike DeWine killed the story at the papers. Why would papers care? Because they would need Mike's help in order to expand their monopolies in terms of all kinds of legislation and FCC issues. That's why your daily Post Gazette gives you hard hitting pieces like this or this. Its to distract you from the really important things that are happening, like how the American public has been robbed of its choice for president in two consecutive presidential elections. Features a nice retort to all the "election fraud" denialists like Markos and a great definition of the successful newspaper "editor". Related: This funny Smallville scene between Lex Luther and Chloe, one of Clark's Scooby friends (I'm thinking Velma.), seems fairly realistic. A force of ultimate evil has taken over most of our newsrooms, afterall. Unrealistic part of the scene: she would never get her story about "office espionage" published and if she had kids to feed she probably wouldn't have even complained.
John Lennon's sons and widow, Yoko Ono, are suing the filmmakers of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" for using the song "Imagine" in the documentary without permission.
The documentary, which features Ben Stein, an actor, comedian and former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, looks at alleged discrimination against scientists and teachers who support so-called intelligent design as an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution.
Last I saw Ben Stein, he was on 700 Club hawking his latest investment strategy book. Pat obviously hadn't read the book, but he was full of typical gee-shucks optimism about it. Seemingly annoyed, Ben kept cutting through Pat's stammering. Ben looked very, very tired.
(Article link via Pharyngula, whose comments board to this particular post is unfortunately full of nasty comments about Asian women.)
Update: Haha. In this comment Pharyngula commenter Curt Cameron links to a YouTube page he claims to contain the clip from the documentary which features the song Imagine in context, but the clip has been taken down. According to the YouTube page:
This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Premise Media
Premise Media Corporation produced the film EXPELLED. So they're enforcing their copyright to a clip posted on YouTube which contains an unauthorized segment of "Imagine" while at the same time arguing in civil court that their unauthorized use of "Imagine" falls under the domain of fair use. From the Reuters article:
The producers cited the fair use doctrine, which allows the use of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary and criticism.
"We are disappointed therefore that Yoko Ono and others have decided to challenge our free speech right to comment on the song 'Imagine' in our documentary film," they said in a statement.
Demonstrating once again that consistency is the hobgoblin of Designer Intelligence.
Hans Blix, the U.N.'s chief weapons inspector from 2000-2003, led the inspections in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion. On the five-year anniversary of the invasion, Dr. Blix spoke with Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, Associate Editor of Boston Review Books, about what makes a good diplomat, the Iraq inspections, and his new book from Boston Review Books calling for new, global disarmament efforts.
On May 6th the American Strategy Program hosted an event with Philippe Sands, Professor of International Law at University College London and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Colon Powell. Mr. Sands was in DC to testify to the House Judiciary Committee about the findings in his new book, Torture Team, which examines the legal implications of the Bush administration's policy of torture. Col. Wilkerson was on hand for commentary on the subject. The event was moderated by Patrick Doherty, deputy director of the American Strategy program.
Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America's credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class. Series: "UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures" [6/2007] [Public Affairs] [Business] [Show ID: 12620]
Health Council, Congressman Ron Paul warn new law could pave the way for a national DNA database
Steve Watson Infowars.net Friday, May 2, 2008
President Bush last week signed into law a bill which will see the federal government begin to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the U.S. within six months, a move critics have described as the first step towards the establishment of a national DNA database.
Described as a "national contingency plan" the justification for the new law S. 1858, known as The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, is that it represents preparation for any sort of "public health emergency."
The bill states that the federal government should "continue to carry out, coordinate, and expand research in newborn screening" and "maintain a central clearinghouse of current information on newborn screening... ensuring that the clearinghouse is available on the Internet and is updated at least quarterly".
Sections of the bill also make it clear that DNA may be used in genetic experiments and tests.
Read the full bill here.
One health care expert and prominent critic of DNA screening is Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care who has written a detailed analysis (PDF) of the new law in which she warns that it represents the first program of populationwide genetic testing.
Brase states that S.1858 and H.R. 3825, the House version of the bill, will:
* Establish a national list of genetic conditions for which newborns and children are to be tested. * Establish protocols for the linking and sharing of genetic test results nationwide. * Build surveillance systems for tracking the health status and health outcomes of individuals diagnosed at birth with a genetic defect or trait. * Use the newborn screening program as an opportunity for government agencies to identify, list, and study "secondary conditions" of individuals and their families. * Subject citizens to genetic research without their knowledge or consent.
"Soon, under this bill, the DNA of all citizens will be housed in government genomic biobanks and considered governmental property for government research," Brase writes. "The DNA taken at birth from every citizen is essentially owned by the government, and every citizen becomes a potential subject of government-sponsored genetic research."
"The public is clueless. S. 1858 imposes a federal agenda of DNA databanking and population-wide genetic research. It does not require consent and there are no requirements to fully inform parents about the warehousing of their child's DNA for the purpose of genetic research."
In a previous report we outlined the consequences of the already existing DNA warehousing operation in Minnesota, a program that the Citizens' Council on Health Care has been following closely for a number of years.
Ms. Brase explained in a statement last month that state Health Department officials are now seeking exemption for the so called "DNA Warehouse" from Minnesota privacy law. This would enable state officials to continue to take the DNA of newborn infants without consent, which would also set the precedent for nationwide policy on DNA screening.
DNA of newborns has already been harvested, tested, stored and experimented with nationwide.
The National Conference of State Legislatures lists for all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the various statutes or regulatory provisions under which newborns' DNA is already being collected.
In addition, all 50 states are now routinely providing these results to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007 merely establishes this practice within the law.
Another vocal critic of bill S. 1858 is Texas Congressman Ron Paul who made the following comments before the U.S. House of Representatives:
"I cannot support legislation, no matter how much I sympathize with the legislation’s stated goals, that exceed the Constitutional limitations on federal power or in any way threatens the liberty of the American people. Since S. 1858 violates the Constitution, and may have untended consequences that will weaken the American health care system and further erode medical privacy, I must oppose it."
Paul, a medical doctor himself continued, "S. 1858 gives the federal bureaucracy the authority to develop a model newborn screening program. Madame Speaker the federal government lacks both the constitutional authority and the competence to develop a newborn screening program adequate for a nation as large and diverse as the United States. …"
"Those of us in the medical profession should be particularly concerned about policies allowing government officials and state-favored interests to access our medical records without our consent … My review of S. 1858 indicates the drafters of the legislation made no effort to ensure these newborn screening programs do not violate the privacy rights of parents and children," Paul continued.
"In fact, by directing federal bureaucrats to create a contingency plan for newborn screening in the event of a 'public health' disaster, this bill may lead to further erosions of medical privacy. As recent history so eloquently illustrates, politicians are more than willing to take, and people are more than willing to cede, liberty during times of 'emergency," he concluded.
Four days ago, the woman known as the "D.C. Madam" stood in the lobby of her condominium building near downtown Orlando, musing about the future. Deborah Jeane Palfrey said she was preparing for federal prison. She hoped she'd get time off her sentence for good behavior. She thought she might buy a place in Germany one day.
"It's hard to believe," said Joseph Strizack, a condominium-association manager at Park Lake Towers who got to know Palfrey during her decade as an owner there. "She did not seem the least bit distraught."
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia said that under sentencing guidelines, Palfrey faced five to six years in prison. She was free until a sentencing hearing scheduled for July 24.
A woman who worked for the escort service, former University of Maryland professor Brandy Britton, killed herself in January 2007 before she was scheduled to go to trial on prostitution charges. Palfrey said afterward that she was humiliated by her prostitution charges but added: "I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of."
Blanche Palfrey had not noticed that her daughter was despondent or seen any signs of suicidal behavior, Young said.
On Monday, Palfrey seemed no different. She carried clothing, briefcases and suitcases down the stairs from her second-floor apartment to a rented car in the parking lot, stopping to chat as usual. She told Strizack she was taking her property to her mother's home in preparation for prison. Contrary to the U.S. Attorney's Office estimate, she told the condo manager she thought she might spend six or seven years behind bars. On one trip down the stairs, she lugged a 2-foot-wide box she suggested carried materials related to her infamous court case. "This is my evidence," she told Strizack before carrying it out the door.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The building manager of a Central Florida condo said he spent time talking to Deborah Jean Palfrey on Monday as she packed to go to her mother's house and she did not seem suicidal ...
Palfrey’s building manager said she often told him she believed she was being followed and he thinks there may have been some former clients of her escort service who wanted her dead.
"She insinuated that there is a contract out for her and I fully believe they succeeded," her building manager said.
Palfrey's Lexus is still parked in the Park Lake garage and the staff said on Monday, she asked about making sure her condo fees would continue to be paid during what Palfrey anticipated would be six years in prison ...
I wonder where that box is now?
Where is that 2-foot-wide box? Deborah Palfrey was murdered. And there will be no INVESTIGATION.
To be fair, there's nothing in this documentary to indicate AIDS was invented by the U.S. government to destroy the black community; rather, it states that at most, AIDS is a P.R. operation to sell AIDS drugs.
For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?
"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