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The Need for Speed: Going to War on Drugs
The Need for Speed: Going to War on Drugs follows the case of the two U.S. pilots, Major Harry Schmidt and Major Bill Umbach, who are under investigation for the deaths by friendly fire of four Canadian soldiers from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - in Afghanistan on April 18, 2002. Their defence is that they were flying under the influence of amphetamines supplied by the Air Force. . . . Irish filmmaker Jamie Doran's investigation exposes how the Air Force, Navy and Special Forces have been issuing mind-altering drugs to their soldiers and airmen, almost certainly resulting in the deaths of allied forces and innocent civilians. Amphetamines, and the sedatives that often accompany them, are banned by civilian authorities in the ordinary workplace, yet forced upon pilots flying multi-million dollar jets into combat and Special Forces soldiers operating behind enemy lines. . . . American military personnel speak for the first time, to explain how they were used as guinea pigs in wars ranging from Gulf, Bosnia, Afghanistan and right up until the recent conflict in Iraq. . . . We hear from a former White House 'Drugs Czar' who expresses grave concerns about the use of amphetamines in the military; from the man who, as Air Force Chief of Staff, banned the drugs as soon as he took over, only to see them re-introduced after his retirement; from one pilot who sacrificed his career in pursuit of the truth, as well as the case of a 'ground' soldier who killed innocent civilians for reasons he cannot understand to this day. . . . We're also told how the 'voluntary' nature of dispensing these drugs makes legal nonsense and how the Pentagon may very well be breaking its own laws, to the detriment of its serving men and women; only to discover that, in reality, the U.S. military is a law unto itself. . . . The Need for Speed, directed by Jamie Doran, is a co-production of Atlantic Celtic Films and Studio Hamburg Documentaries.
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posted by Lorenzo 4:17 PM
"I Don't Owe the Military Anything"I think in the upcoming months there will be an out-pouring of emotional discourse regarding the state of our union (as opposed to little bush's State of the Union which was more campaign rhetoric than reporting to Congress and the Nation - but that's another story for another time.) There will be much discussion about the economy and healthcare (such as it is) and there will be the bellicose bellowing of those who seek to deceive the unthinking population (who prefer to be unthinking I think - no pun intended.) There will also be missives that will broach subjects that the PC out there in the midst of the Chaos will rant and rail against because it will shake them to their roots and THAT is the last thing they want to deal with. Such is the commentary provided by Brad Edmonds on 1/29/04 on LewRockwell.com entitled "I Don't Owe the Military Anything." Having served for over 10 years myself, I immediately understood why he wrote the piece and why will undoubtedly will catch his share of derision for doing it. But, you know, he is right. I've been amazed at the number of sheeple who continue to blindly follow and support and spout the party line even when it is becoming more and more obvious that the party line is mostly lies. What they so proudly call Patriotism is really Nationalism. No one likes to be told that they have been mislead but I suspect more and more lies will be uncovered in the near future and it shall be interesting how those who shuffle to the mantra of "Don't Think, We'll Take Care of You" handle the revelations. But, that's just my opinion.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 8:17 PM
Kerry's National Security Advisor is a Drug War Zealot
(Sean Donahue, Counterpunch, January 26, 2004)
When Rand Beers quit his job as counter-terrorism advisor to President Bush, and signed up with John Kerry's presidential campaign, he quickly became a hero to Democratic Party loyalists and the "Anybody but Bush" crowd. But Beers, who has become Kerry's top national security advisor and would likely serve as National Security Advisor or Secretary of State in a Kerry administration, has a dark history. Under Presidents Clinton and Bush, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and was one of the chief architects of and apologists for the United States' cruel policies in Colombia. . . . Beers was most closely associated with the disastrous aerial crop fumigation program the U.S. introduced in southern Colombia. The State Department hired DynCorp, a private military contractor, to fly crop dusters at high altitudes over the rainforests of southern Colombia, spraying a chemical cocktail that includes a stronger version of Monsanto's popular and controversial herbicide, Round-Up, over suspected coca fields. Beers was the public face of the fumigation program, defending and advocating for it in Congressional hearings and in the media. . . . Beers played a central role in creating the myth of the "narco-terrorist" which has been used to justify both the fumigations and continued U.S. military aid to Colombia. . . . The program has had no measurable impact on the availability, price, or purity of cocaine in the U.S., let alone the rate of cocaine addiction in this country. . . . Besides being cruel, Beers' attitude ignores the fact that farmers who don't grow coca have been hurt just as badly by the fumigations as farmers who do grow coca. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the chemical cocktail used in the fumigation program, is a broad-spectrum herbicide that kills any and all green plants. The crop fumigation planes fly at high altitudes, and so their spraying is at best imprecise. As a result, many farmers growing only legal crops have lost everything. . . . Beers went even further in defending the fumigation program when giving a sworn deposition in a lawsuit filed against DynCorp in a U.S. Federal District Court by indigenous tribes in Ecuador who claimed that their health and their crops had been damaged when herbicides sprayed in Colombia drifted over the border on the wind. Desperate to keep the suit from proceeding to trial, he argued that the fumigation program was vital to U.S. national security because it was an essential part of the war against terrorism in Colombia. He then went a step further, stating, under oath, that "It is believed that FARC terrorists have received training in Al Qaida terrorist caps in Afghanistan." . . . Beers' claim was, of course, absurd and unfounded. The idea that Islamic fundamentalists would align themselves with hardline Marxists halfway around the world doesn't meet the laugh test. . . . Beers later recanted his testimony, claiming that he had been misinformed. But his bizarre allegation reflects his fundamental belief that the war on terrorism and the war on drugs are inextricably linked, and that the coca farmers who are forced to make payments to the FARC are legitimate military targets, and their neighbors' legal crops are acceptable collateral damage. . . . If John Kerry lets Rand Beers continue to guide his foreign policy, a Kerry administration will be no better for rural Colombians than a Bush administration. Democrats who believe that Senator Kerry offers a humane alternative to Bush should think long and hard about what Rand Beers would set loose on the world if he were allowed to run the State Deparment.
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posted by Lorenzo 1:05 PM
Cartoonist calls Condi Rice 'murderer' ...again
(Paul Sperry, WorldNetDaily.com, January 27, 2004)
Aaron McGruder, a black syndicated cartoonist who's getting his own prime-time TV series on Fox, called National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice "a murderer" for her role in the Iraq war. . . . He made the remark as a guest on the nationally syndicated TV show "America's Black Forum," hosted by syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Juan Williams. . . . The creator of the popular "Boondocks" comic strip reportedly caused some discomfort at an anniversary dinner for the Nation magazine here last month when he told the mostly anti-war audience, "I've met Condoleezza Rice and called her a murderer to her face." . . . The low-key McGruder, 29, asserted that he has a right to his opinion. . . . "She's a murderer because I believe she's a murderer," he said coolly. . . . Late last year, McGruder made Rice's love life the topic of his comic. . . . "Maybe if there was a man in the world who Condoleezza truly loved, she wouldn't be so hell-bent to destroy it," one of his "Boondocks" characters speculates in a strip. . . . The Washington Post pulled the series on Rice, which ran some five days. The Cincinnati Enquirer dropped the strip altogether. . . . McGruder, who graduated from the University of Maryland with an African-American studies degree, has written a best-selling coffee-table collection of his strips called "A Right to be Hostile." . . . He's reportedly developing with Sony a prime-time animated series based on "Boondocks" for Fox. It's slated for the fall.
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posted by Lorenzo 8:15 PM
"The people of Iraq are free," said President Bush in his State of the Union speech. A few days later, a terrible problem presented itself. It seems that the best-selling popular music in Iraq heralds the resistance and condemns the occupation.
Lew Rockwell goes on to say "The Iraqi people are free so long as they say and do only what the occupation military government tells them to do. Between 10,000 and 20,000 people being detained (the low number claimed by the US, the high number by human rights groups) for engaging in anti-coalition thoughts, words, or deeds. If you think that is striking enough – and what American doesn't shudder at the thought of his own government becoming someone else's despotism? – consider something even more alarming: the US doesn't consider this abnormal.
Listen to these words in defense of military censorship in Iraq: "That is a decree that was modeled after similar policies and similar standards and guidelines in the United States, in the United Kingdom, Australia, and elsewhere." It might be bad enough to hear extraordinary violations of human rights justified on the basis of some trumped up war power. But it is surely the lowest of the low for them to claim that this is perfectly normal, exactly the kind of thing that exists in the US today."
An excellent article. But that's just my opinion.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 3:04 PM
And what is he smoking? “Receiving information from the Department of Homeland Security gives people a certain level of confidence,” says Amit Yoran, the Bush administration’s cyber security chief. This regarding the implementation of the new National Cyber Alert System. The program, which began Wednesday, January 28, represents an ambitious effort by the government to develop a trusted warning system that can help home users and technology experts. Imagine Homeland Security using the word, "trusted." Read the MSNBC story... speaking of trusted.
I at least got a chuckle out of this one. I wonder how many BILLION$$$$ the little bush is going to throw at this? But, that's just my opinion.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 2:16 PM
GRAND THEFT AMERICA
This is an absolutely brilliant Flash animation that in about 60 seconds provides a powerful presentation that clearly explains the criminal actions taken to put Bush in the White House. This is a chilling reminder of what a dangerous period of history we are in. This nation has been taken over in a bloodless coup, and we sheep sit back and pretend that everything will be just fine next November. ACTION! We must become more involved in this year's election process. We should be organizing exit polls of our own in an attempt to create whatever paper trail of the next election we can. There is not much time left before this nation is officially known by the title we are already being called in many foreign lands, "The Fascist States of America." ... So take a look at this Flash presentation and watch yourself get fired up again!
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posted by Lorenzo 9:38 AM
WATERGATE PART II- Republicans Caught Spying on Democrats
(Charlie Savage, The Boston Globe, 22 January 2004)
Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe. . . . From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what tactics. . . . The office of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle has already launched an investigation into how excerpts from 15 Democratic memos showed up in the pages of the conservative-leaning newspapers and were posted to a website last November. . . . The revelation comes as the battle of judicial nominees is reaching a new level of intensity. Last week, President Bush used his recess power to appoint Judge Charles Pickering to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, bypassing a Democratic filibuster that blocked a vote on his nomination for a year because of concerns over his civil rights record. . . . As the extent to which Democratic communications were monitored came into sharper focus, Republicans yesterday offered a new defense. They said that in the summer of 2002, their computer technician informed his Democratic counterpart of the glitch, but Democrats did nothing to fix the problem. [COMMENT: Typical Republican ethics, "I told you to lock your door, but since you didn't it's OK for me to rob you.] . . . Other staffers, however, denied that the Democrats were told anything about it before November 2003. . . . "They had an obligation to tell each of the people whose files they were intruding upon -- assuming it was an accident -- that that was going on so those people could protect themselves," said one Senate staffer. "To keep on getting these files is just beyond the pale." . . . After the contents of those memos were made public in The Wall Street Journal editorial pages and The Washington Times, Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, made a preliminary inquiry and described himself as "mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files may have occurred on my watch." . . . The computer glitch dates to 2001, when Democrats took control of the Senate after the defection from the GOP of Senator Jim Jeffords, Independent of Vermont. . . . A technician hired by the new judiciary chairman, Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, apparently made a mistake that allowed anyone to access newly created accounts on a Judiciary Committee server shared by both parties -- even though the accounts were supposed to restrict access only to those with the right password.
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posted by Lorenzo 9:01 PM
Thought for the day
Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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posted by Lorenzo 8:09 AM
Comments from Beyond the Chaos...
The overwhelming feeling I came away with after Bush's new round of snake oil pitching is, well,
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 9:44 AM
A Lot of People Must Be Interested in Kerry & Bush's Skull n Bones Connection
For about a year now, we have had a page on this site that provided links and information about John Kerry and George Bush's memebership in the secret Skull n Bones society. Until now that page has only received passing interest, with less than 100 people a month viewing that page. Since last night's results in Iowa, however, we have been getting over 100 unique visitors to that page every hour. . . . I guess some people are beginning to pay attention to the little details now.
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posted by Lorenzo 10:10 PM
(GregPalast.com, January 20, 2004)
Here is the money behind the new top dog in the Democratic dog pound, John Kerrys Top Ten Career Patrons calculated by the Center for Public Integrity, Washington.
1. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC, Boston . $223,046
2. Fleet Boston Financial Corp., Boston . . . . . . . . . . . $172,387
3. AOL Time Warner Inc., New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $134,960
4. Hale and Dorr LLP, Boston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$123,258
5. Hill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos Inc., Boston . . . . . .$119,300
6. Harvard University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $108,700
7. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, NY . . . . . . . $105,150
8. Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, Minneapolis . . . . . $103,450
9. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., NY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $100,000
10. Piper Rudnick, Baltimore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 92,300
Sen. John Kerry also created a soft money committee (Citizen Soldier Fund), which raised approximately $1.35 million in unregulated donations and spent $147,000 in Iowa during the last two years.
From Charles Lewis:
Despite campaign finance reform, 2004 already is and will ultimately be the most expensive election in U.S. history. President George W. Bush has shattered his own astounding 1999 fundraising record and collected $130 million in 2003 - that's more than half a million dollars a day - and his campaign has $99 million in cash on hand with no major Republican primary challenger. Bush's official third quarter cash on hand number of $73 million was more than all of the major Democratic candidates and all of the Democratic national party committees combined ($54 million) through September! . . . There is an especially compelling reason for candidates to make this headlong rush for cash. As we mentioned in the 1996 and 2000 editions of The Buying of the President, the central, most salient, single fact about the White House selection process-a discovery first made by Republican political fundraising consultant Stan Huckaby-is that in every presidential election since 1976, the candidate who has raised the most money at the end of the year preceding the election, and been eligible for federal matching funds, has become his party's nominee for the general election. At midnight on December 31st, it was Carter and Ford who had amassed the most campaign cash in 1975, Carter and Reagan in 1979, Mondale and Reagan in 1983, Dukakis and G.H.W. Bush in 1987, Clinton and Bush in 1991, Clinton and Dole in 1995 and Gore and G.W. Bush in 1999.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:45 PM
Did VP Cheney Bribe a Supreme Court Justice? ... you decide
(L.A. Times, January 17, 2004)
Can Justice be blind when a Supreme Court justice spends time in a duck blind with a plaintiff in a case he is about to hear? . . . That's what the Los Angeles Times wants to know after learning that Justice Antonin Scalia was in a party last week of about nine duck hunters including Vice President Duck Cheney, an old friend of Scalia's. . . . According to the Times, Scalia and Cheney were duck hunting together "at a private camp in southern Louisiana [COMMENT: This private camp is owned by an energy industry titan who also has a big stake in the Supreme Court's decision on Cheney's refusal to open public records for scrutiny.] just three weeks after the court agreed to take up the vice president's appeal in lawsuits over his handling of the administration's energy task force." . . . the Times managed to dig up "several experts in legal ethics" to question "the timing of their trip and raise "doubts about Scalia's ability to judge the case impartially." . . . Federal law, according to the Times, says "any justice or judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be questioned." . . . At issue is a case the Supreme Court is due to hear dealing with Cheney's appeal of a lower court decision ordering him to reveal which energy industry officials he met with while he was running the President's task force seeking to help put together an administration energy policy. A lower court ruling held that Cheney must turn over documents detailing who met with his task force but on December 15, the Supreme Court announced it would hear his appeal in April. . . . To bolster their "concerns" over this earth shaking revelation that two close friends went duck hunting with about seven other people the Times, in a departure from its usual practice of quoting "anonymous sources" to back up their biased stories, went out and found a real live "expert" to comment, one Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor, who told them Scalia should have skipped going hunting with Cheney this year. . . . "A judge may have a friendship with a lawyer, and that's fine. But if the lawyer has a case before the judge, they don't socialize until it's over. That shows a proper respect for maintaining the public's confidence in the integrity of the process," Gillers, touted as "an expert on legal ethics." told the Times "I think Justice Scalia should have been cognizant of that and avoided contact with the vice president until this was over. And this is not like a dinner with 25 or 30 people. This is a hunting trip where you are together for a few days."
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posted by Lorenzo 10:34 AM
Bush Plans New $50B Iraq Spending Request After the Election
(Daily Mislead Archive, January 20, 2004)
President Bush and his aides have spent the last year and a half telling the American people that the war in Iraq would cost little. A new report by Defense News, however, says the president will propose another $50 billion, in addition to the $166 billion already spent. According to the non-partisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the request "won't come until after the Nov. 2 presidential election" - effectively concealing the spending request from public scrutiny. . . . In the lead-up to the Iraq war, the president's staff conducted a PR campaign aimed at quelling public concern about its cost. Then White House Budget Director, Mitch Daniels, said Iraq "will not require sustained aid" and that the war cost would "be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion." The president's top reconstruction official at the State Department told Nightline that "The American part of [reconstruction] will be $1.7 billion and we have no plans for further-on funding of this." The president's top economist, Glen Hubbard, said that "costs of any such intervention would be very small." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz "dismissed articles in several newspapers asserting that put cost of war and reconstruction at $60 billion to $95 billion." And Bush had his new Budget Director tell the Senate that "we don't anticipate requesting anything additional for the balance of this year" - six weeks before he announced a request for an additional $87 billion. When White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey admitted that Iraq could cost up to $200 billion in the fall of 2002, he was summarily fired for his candor. . . . Days after the $87 billion request made by the president, the Administration was questioned by skeptical Republicans and Democrats in Congress about the rising costs of continued involvement in Iraq. But even then, the president dispatched Wolfowitz to answer the charges with a flat-out denial. Despite the public record leading up to it, Wolfowitz told Congress that "No one said we would know anything other than...this could be very expensive."
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posted by Lorenzo 10:23 AM
MoveOn.org Caves in to the Cheney-Bush
Recently, MoveOn.org ran a political advertising contest for the best 30 second
spot on little George Bush. To be honest, some of the winning ads are quite good. What I can't find on their Web site, however, is any reference to the fact that they removed two of the most powerful ads. These were ones that compared Bush to Hitler.
You will find the full story (complete with links to the banned ads) on that invaluable resource, The Memory Hole. Here is what they discovered:
The liberal activist site MoveOn ran a contest, Bush in 30 Seconds, in which
people were invited to create and submit political TV ads critical of the Bush
Administration, with the winning entry to air in swing states and on national
television. (CBS has refused to air the winning ad during the Super Bowl, however.)
Over 1,500 ads were submitted. Out of them, two compared Bush to Hitler.
After years of talking about "feminazis" and "Hitlery" Clinton, the right wing suddenly felt that Third Reich references were absolutely indefensible. Republicans expressed new-found outrage, and the corporate media dutifully tsk-tsked.
MoveOn pulled the ads from their contest Website.
Those two ads are presented above.
(According to the rules of the contest, all ads are under the Creative Commons license.)
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posted by Lorenzo 7:51 PM
Betrayal behind Israeli attack on U.S. ship
By Adm. Thomas Morrer, Houston Chronicle, January 9, 2004
After State Department officials and historians assembled in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss the 1967 war in the Middle East, I am compelled to speak out about one of U.S. history's most shocking cover-ups.
On June 8, 1967, Israel attacked our proud naval ship -- the USS Liberty -- killing 34 American servicemen and wounding 172. Those men were then betrayed and left to die by our own government.
U.S. military rescue aircraft were recalled, not once, but twice, through direct intervention by the Johnson administration. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's cancellation of the Navy's attempt to rescue the Liberty, which I personally confirmed from the commanders of the aircraft carriers America and Saratoga, was the most disgraceful act I witnessed in my entire military career.
To add insult to injury, Congress, to this day, has failed to hold formal hearings on Israel's attack on this American ship. No official investigation of Israel's attack has ever permitted the testimony of the surviving crew members.
A 1967 investigation by the Navy, upon which all other reports are based, has now been fully discredited as a cover-up by its senior attorney. Capt. Ward Boston, in a sworn affidavit, recently revealed that the court was ordered by the White House to cover up the incident and find that Israel's attack was "a case of mistaken identity."
Some distinguished colleagues and I formed an independent commission to investigate the attack on the USS Liberty. After an exhaustive review of previous reports, naval and other military records, including eyewitness testimony from survivors, we recently presented our findings on Capitol Hill. They include:
- Israeli reconnaissance aircraft closely studied the Liberty during an eight-hour period prior to the attack, one flying within 200 feet of the ship. Weather reports confirm the day was clear with unlimited visibility. The Liberty was a clearly marked American ship in international waters, flying an American flag and carrying large U.S. Navy hull letters and numbers on its bow.
Despite claims by Israeli intelligence that they confused the Liberty with a small Egyptian transport, the Liberty was conspicuously different from any vessel in the Egyptian navy. It was the most sophisticated intelligence ship in the world in 1967. With its massive radio antennae, including a large satellite dish, it looked like a large lobster and was one of the most easily identifiable ships afloat.
- Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty's radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels.
- Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most seriously wounded.
As a result, our commission concluded that:
- There is compelling evidence that Israel's attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew.
- In attacking the USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against U.S. servicemen and an act of war against the United States
- The White House knowingly covered up the facts of this attack from the American people.
- The truth continues to be concealed to the present day in what can only be termed a national disgrace.
What was Israel's motive in launching this attack? Congress must address this question with full cooperation from the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the military intelligence services.
The men of the USS Liberty represented the United States. They were attacked for two hours, causing 70 percent of American casualties, and the eventual loss of our best intelligence ship.
These sailors and Marines were entitled to our best defense. We gave them no defense.
Did our government put Israel's interests ahead of our own? If so, why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests? These are important questions that should be investigated by an independent, fully empowered commission of the American government.
The American people deserve to know the truth about this attack. We must finally shed some light on one of the blackest pages in American naval history. It is a duty we owe not only to the brave men of the USS Liberty, but to every man and woman who is asked to wear the uniform of the United States.
[Moorer was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff from 1970 to 1974. He is joined in the independent commission of inquiry by Gen. Ray Davis (recently deceased); Rear Adm. Merlin Staring; former Judge Advocate General of the Navy and Ambassador James Akins.]
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posted by Lorenzo 8:21 PM
Dean Begins Pandering to Get the Religious Vote
(Counterpunch, Lenni Brenner, January 8, 2004)
In an interview a few months back, he declared that "I don't think that religion ought to be part of American policy." But in fact he had already shown that it was part of his. In November 2002 he went to Israel and announced that his "view" of the Israel/Palestine issue "is closer to AIPAC's view," uncritical support for whoever runs that country . . . If elected, he solemnly swears that he will not meet with Arafat. He supports targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders. He's for the Zionist security fence, and hailed the bombing of Syria by Sharon: "If Israel has to defend itself by striking terrorists elsewhere, it's going to have to do that." In October he told the faithful at a New York synagogue that he opposes giving East Jerusalem back to the Palestinians. He started showing up in Synagogues on high holidays. He recited the prayers, in Hebrew, over Hanukkah candles, in New Hampshire. . . . Last week he told the Boston Globe that talking about God and Jesus are going to be key to his Southern strategy. . . . Dean has two kinds of liberal supporters. Naive college kids are the foot soldiers of his campaign. They lack the experience to grasp what he is doing with all his crap about the Dixie flag and Jesus. But the editorial hacks at the New York Times and The Nation know exactly what it means: President Dean won't change anything important when it comes to race relations, and he won't be found in the trenches when it comes to resisting right-wing assaults on Jefferson's "wall of separation between Church and State." This troubles them. But what choice do these do nothings have? They don't have a party of their own. Wool sellers know wool buyers. The Democratic hustlers understand that, as long as Dean stays an inch to the left of Bush on Iraq, he doesn't have to give liberals a damned thing. . . . So what do we do? Boycott the election? Vote for one of the above? If so, which one? Or does it matter? . . . It is impossible to see a left candidate winning. But Dean's gallop into unblushing demagoguery opens up serious possibilities of educating the youth and other healthy elements, in the anti-war movement and beyond. Ossified liberals will denounce us if we tell people that a vote for Dean is unprincipled, even if he were to win, and there is no assurance of that. But so what? We will go on building the anti-war movement. And we remind people, now, that the Vietnam era movement did get us out of the war, even though the Democrats lost the 1968 and 1972 elections. . . . Now is the time to start organizing public panels on what the left should do re the elections. Don't wait for someone else to do it. All groups with credibility on either the local or national level should invite the above mentioned candidates, including Nader, to give us the reasons why we should vote for them. And maybe, just maybe, they could also begin to discuss building a serious party, opposed to the bipartisan demagogues and imperialists.
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posted by Lorenzo 7:45 PM
When Paul O'Neill Sounds Like Tip O'Neill
(Arianna Huffington, January 14, 2003)
On the administration's two defining issues, Iraq and taxes, the former Treasury Secretary paints a scathing portrait of a cabal of closed-minded zealots steadfastly refusing to allow anything as piddling as fact, evidence, or truth to get in the way of their unshakable beliefs and forgone conclusions. . . . According to O'Neill, invading Iraq was a Bush goal before he had even learned where the Oval office supply closet was. It came up just ten days after the inauguration, at the new president’s first National Security Council meeting. "It was all about finding a way to do it," he says. "That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this.'" . . . Of course, All the President's Men (and Condi, too!) did just that, gathering a collection of dubious facts, half-truths, quarter-truths, and--the House Specialty--no-truths (what "unpatriotic" people would call lies) to match the desired outcome. A slice of Nigerian yellowcake, anyone? . . . But hey, why let a little thing like the truth get in the way of a perfectly good war? . . . The most alarming thing that emerges from O'Neill's revelations is the total lack of leadership on Bush's part. Just as the president was finally outgrowing the long-standing rumors that he was a cheerful pawn in a game he was too dumb to understand, O’Neill applies the paddles to the “Bush as clown” image, turns on the juice, and yells, “Clear!” . . . At the very moment that Rove and the Bush re-election team are gearing up to sell us the president as the macho, heroic cowboy from Crawford who is going to keep us all safe from terrorists, despots, and Mad Cow meat, here comes his former Treasury Secretary with his devastating assessment of Bush as "a blind man in a roomful of deaf people". . . . Will this be the wakeup call that finally opens the American public's eyes to the deadly consequences of being governed by a disengaged dolt in the hands of a gang of brazen fanatics?
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posted by Lorenzo 7:22 PM
List of Records from the Rockefeller Commission's Investigation of the CIA's Misdeeds
The link above will take you to a listing of 12,700 documents that have been generally unavailable until now. Thanks to DC-area researcher Michael Ravnitzky, we can now see the titles of—and request copies of—material from the 1975 presidential commission that examined CIA misdeeds. (Instructions for requesting are available on the page linked to above.) This material includes information on CIA domestic mail surveillance, human experimentation, assassinations of leaders, and the Agency's other "family jewels," plus depositions from Henry Kissinger, William Casey, and other spooks and powerbrokers.
These records are housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, located on the first floor of the Madison Building. Here is an introduction to this listing, entitled "United States Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States: A Register of Its Records in the Library of Congress":
The records of the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States span the years 1941-1975, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1956-75. The ad hoc commission, created by President Gerald R. Ford via Executive Order 11828 on 4 January 1975, and known as the Rockefeller Commission after its chair, Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, was charged with determining whether the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted domestic surveillance and other activities. Its final report on 6 June 1975 found that the CIA had committed unlawful acts within the United States that included infiltrating dissident groups, opening private mail, testing behavior-inducing drugs on unknowing citizens, and subjecting foreign defectors to physical abuse and prolonged confinement.
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posted by Lorenzo 11:08 AM
German Intelligence: CIA Planted Fake Terror Alert
Sources at the German intelligence bureau claim that CIA misinformed them about the alleged planned terror action in Hamburg December 30. Ansar al-Islam was accused of being behind the attempt. . . . According to information provided TV 2 Nettavisen by German intelligence, they are convinced that the CIA information is wrong, and they allegedly fear that American authorities planted the information. . . . German police have started an investigation after the terror alarm at the hospital in Hamburg December 30. So far, no evidence has been located that indicates that the terror alarm was genuine. . . . Also German police who were tipped off by the CIA, doubt that the terror alarm was real. . . . Only a couple of hours after CIA had given the tip to German police, the case was reported on Der Speigel Online. Ansar al-Islam was named as the most likely organization behind the terror attempt. . . . In addition, sources at German intelligence points out that there are several factual mistakes in the terror tip given to Verfassungsschutz in Hamburg. . . . According to information given by Norwegian intelligence, Norwegian authorities were also informed of the terror alarm in Hamburg due to Mullah Krakars former position as leader of Ansar al-Islam, in addition to Mullah Krekars activity on the Internet. . . . According to information provided TV 2 Nettavisen, the information regarding the terror alarm in Hamburg was one of the main reasons why Mullah Krekar was arrested Friday January 3. The police allegedly feared that Mullah Krekar gave orders of suicide missions over the Internet.
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posted by Lorenzo 1:07 PM
US Politicians Began Calling Demonstrators "Terrorists" in 1968
Amerika's answer to Chairman Mao's Little Red Book was Quotations from Mayor Daley compiled by Peter Yessne. This is a collection of quotes from the late Mayor Richard J. Daley (the father of the current mayor of Chicago) covering everything from the party line to baseball.
In many ways, this is a very historical book. As you remember, in August of 1968 Mayor Daley's iron-fisted rule was the cause of the now-famous police riot at the Democratic National Convention. Even before then, Richard J. Daley was nationally known as the king-maker in the Kennedy election, but after the 1968 convention he was also seen by many as a Stalin-like figure. His speeches were legendary, and this book is a collection of some of his most well-remembered quotations from those days. Here is a sample from one of the 24 topic areas:
THE CORRECT HANDLING OF RIOTS AND DEMONSTRATORS
For weeks and months the press, radio, and television across the nation have revealed the tactics and strategy that was to be carried on in Chicago during the convention week by groups of terrorists, ... I would like to say here and now that this Administration and the people of Chicago have never condoned brutality at any time, but they will never permit a lawless, violent group of terrorists to menace the lives of millions of people, destroy the purpose of this national political convention, and take over the streets of Chicago. [August 29, 1968]
If they are burning the buildings down, they should be shot. [April 16, 1968]
The ammunition will be live. [July 27, 1967]
We don't believe in being hysterical. [February 13, 1968]
[COMMENT: It seems that history would disagree with that last statement.]
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posted by Lorenzo 9:30 AM
Call to Action!
During the term of Bush the First, Congressman Henry Gonzalez of Texas lamented at how much the USA was beginning to resemble Rome. He said:
The Caesars weren't tyrannical. They were guys who wanted to be loved, like the president. But they exercised power unrestrained by a Constitution, just like the president.
When the president can bomb a foreign leader who's unpopular, we no longer have a constitutional democracy. If a president can do what Reagan did in Lebanon and Grenada and Nicaragua and Libya and what Bush did in Panama, we don't have a constitutional democracy. I'm still in kind of a daze. We have learned nothing. It demoralizes me. Makes me, not sad, but sick of heart. It's too great a country to go by default.
We have so traduced democracy, cut off the participatory side, that the people don't see any point. I find that the people can see through things. The people are there. But what can they do? When they have no choice between the two parties, no real choice between the overwhelming preponderance of candidates?
[COMMENT: Here are two things we can do if we have the will for it: 1) On the day after Bush the Second steals another election there should be a GENERAL STRIKE! ... and 2) The General Strike should be to support a new CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION to redraw the Constitution of the United States of America so as to take power out of the hands of corporations and place it back into the hands of We The People.
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posted by Lorenzo 2:21 PM
Thought for the day ... some things never change
I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle-man for big business, for Wall Street, and the bankers. . . . Thus, I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. . . . In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
-- Marine Lt. General Smedley Butler, ... Winner of TWO Congressional Medals of Honor
UPDATE on the American Empire: As the year 2004 began, the USA had 725 military bases spread over 120 countries. Like Rome's legionaires, US troops risk their lives so that fat-cat draft dodgers, like Dick Cheney, can get even richer than they already are.
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posted by Lorenzo 1:01 PM
The Families of the Ruling Elite
(Jim Lobe, AlterNet, March 27, 2003)
What do William Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Elliot Abrams, and Robert Kagan have in common? Yes, they are all die-hard hawks who have gained control of U.S. foreign policy since the 9/11 attacks. But they are also part of one big neoconservative family -- an extended clan of spouses, children, and friends who have known each other for generations. . . . Neoconservatives are former liberals (which explains the "neo" prefix) who advocate an aggressive unilateralist vision of U.S. global supremacy, which includes a close strategic alliance with Israel. . . . Papa Kristol, who has been credited with defining the major themes of neoconservative thought, is married to Gertrude Himmelfarb, a neoconservative powerhouse on her own. Her studies of the Victorian era in Britain helped inspire the men who sold Bush on the idea of "compassionate conservatism." . . . The son of this proud couple is none other that William Kristol, the crown prince of the neoconservative clique and editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard. In 1997, he founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a front group which cemented the powerful alliance between right-wing Republicans like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, Christian and Catholic Right leaders like Gary Bauer and William Bennett, and the neocons behind a platform of global U.S. military dominance. . . . Irving Kristol's most prominent disciple is Richard Perle . . . Perle himself married into neocon royalty when he wed the daughter of his professor at the University of Chicago, the late Alfred Wohlstetter -- the man who helped both his son-in-law and his fellow student Paul Wolfowitz get their start in Washington more than 30 years ago. . . . Perle's own protege is Douglas Feith, who is now Wolfowitz's deputy for policy and is widely known for his right-wing Likud position. . . . A long-time collaborator with Perle, Michael Ledeen is married to Barbara Ledeen, a founder and director of the anti-feminist Independent Women's Forum (IWF), who is currently a major player in the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and another neo-con power couple -- David and Meyrav Wurmser -- co-authored a 1996 memorandum for Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu outlining how to break the Oslo peace process and invade Iraq as the first step to transforming the Middle East. . . . Though she doesn't focus much on foreign-policy issues, Lynne Cheney also hangs her hat at AEI. Her husband Dick Cheney recently chose Victoria Nuland to become his next deputy national security adviser. Nuland, as it turns out, is married to Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol's main comrade-in-arms and the co-founder of PNAC. . . . Bob's father, Donald Kagan, is a Yale historian who converted from a liberal Democrat to a staunch neocon in the 1970s. On the eve of the 2000 presidential elections, Donald and his other son, Frederick, published "While America Sleeps," a clarion call to increase defense spending. Since then, the three Kagan men have written reams of columns warning that the currently ballooning Pentagon budget is simply not enough to fund the much-desired vision of U.S. global supremacy. . . . Now the director of Near Eastern Affairs in Bush's National Security Council, Abrams worked closely with Bob Kagan back in the Reagan era. He is also the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, long-time editor of the influential conservative Jewish publication Commentary, and his wife, Midge Decter, a fearsome polemicist in her own right. . . . Podhoretz, like Kristol Sr., helped invent neo-conservatism in the late 1960s. . . . In addition to being Abrams' father-in-law, Norman Podhoretz is also the father of John Podhoretz, a columnist for the Murdoch-owned New York Post and frequent guest on the Murdoch-owned Fox News channel. . . . This list of intricate, overlapping connections is hardly exhaustive or perhaps even surprising. But it helps reveal an important fact. Contrary to appearances, the neocons do not constitute a powerful mass political movement. They are instead a small, tighly-knit clan whose incestuous familial and personal connections, both within and outside the Bush administration, have allowed them grab control of the future of American foreign policy.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:25 PM