Tuesday, June 30, 2009

US Govt. Confirms It Knew Coup Was Coming


A New York Times article has just confirmed that the US Government has been "working for several days" with the coup planners in Honduras to halt the illegal overthrow of President Zelaya.

While this may indicate nobility on behalf of the Obama Administration, had they merely told the coupsters that the US Government would CUT OFF all economic aid and blockade Honduras in the event of a coup, it's almost a 100% guarantee that the military and right wing parties and business groups involved in the coup would not have gone through with it.

So, while many make excuses for the Obama Administration's "calculated" statements, had they been more firm with the coup leaders, instead of "negotiating", the coup may never have happened.

Also, the State Department says they believed "dialogue" was the best way to resolve the situation, but their lack of clarity and firm position has caused multiple human rights violations to occur in Honduras and a lot of tension to take place in the region.

And during the April 2002 coup against Chávez in Venezuela, the State Department also claimed it knew of the coup and tried to "stop" it.

Later, in my investigations, it was discovered through documents from State and CIA declassified under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that CIA, State and other US agencies, funded, supported, advised and armed the coup leaders.


A History Of CIA Coups And Atrocities


The following timeline describes just a few of the hundreds of atrocities and crimes committed by the CIA.


Honduras-The CIA Never Quits


The United States has a long history of interference in Latin America and the recent coup in Honduras may be part of that.

Just after I had written three articles about the alleged voter fraud, street demonstrations and violence in Iran being a classic example of a CIA destabilization operation because of Iran's oil, and even more importantly its strategic location, there is a coup in Honduras, which certainly suggests another CIA operation.

Two of the leaders of the Honduran coup are School of the Americas graduates. The School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia has trained some of the most brutal dictators and death squad leaders in Latin America.

Two of those who immediately come to mind are the former brutal dictator of Guatemala, Rios Montt, and the Salvadoran death squad leader, Roberto d'Aubuisson, who was responsible for the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador.

The names of these Honduran SOA graduates are General Vasquez and General Suazo, the first from the army and the latter from the air force.

President Zelaya, the victim of the coup, was flown to Costa Rica and the ambassadors from Cuba and Venezuela were arrested.

It is very reminiscent of the time when President Aristide of Haiti was arrested by US forces and flown to the Central African Republic.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Military Coup in Honduras To Protect Drug Trade For USA/CIA


"Our Father, who art in heaven, please bless our American death squads in Latin America and the Middle East and all our CIA assassins. Also bless your spokesperson, George Bush, Amen."

A military coup has taken place in Honduras on Sunday, June 28, led by School of the Americas (SOA) graduate Romeo Vasquez. Members of the Honduran military surrounded the presidential palace and forced the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, into custody. He was immediately flown to Costa Rica.

The Honduran state television was taken off the air. The electricity supply to the capital Tegucigalpa, as well telephone and cellphone lines were cut. The people of Honduras are going into the streets. Labor unions are planning for a general strike. From Costa Rica, President Zelaya has called for a non-violent response from the people of Honduras, and for international solidarity for the Honduran democracy.


School Of Americas Trains Latin American Dictators at Fort Benning, Georgia


The School of the Americas (SOA), in 2001 renamed the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation,” is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Initially established in Panama in 1946, it was kicked out of that country in 1984 under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty. Former Panamanian President, Jorge Illueca, stated that the School of the Americas was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” The SOA, frequently dubbed the “School of Assassins,” has left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned.

Over its 59 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.


CIA Topples Honduran President To Protect Drugs Trade?


In 2008, Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras, openly called for the legalization of drugs as a way to tackle drug-trafficking violence.

Reportedly, the CIA and elements of the CIA-backed military in Honduras have been involved in the drugs trade.

On 29 June 2009, the CIA reportedly used the Honduran military to oust Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected president of Honduras.

Venezuela’s President Chavez said troops in Honduras temporarily detained the Venezuelan and Cuban ambassadors and beat them.

Hugo Chavez has accused the CIA of playing a role in the coup in Honduras.

Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Honduras met with congressional representatives and right-wing military top brass shortly before the military coup was carried out.

The Honduran military has long had links to the CIA, dating back to the Contras, the fascist criminals who were backed by the CIA.

Reportedly, during the Reagan years, the CIA was involved in cocaine trafficking in Central America as part of the Contra war in Nicaragua.

John Negroponte was US ambassador in Honduras from 1981 to 1985.

There he reportedly worked closely with Honduran army to impose a fascist police state based on torture and murder.

A Honduran army death squad, Battalion 3-16, trained by the CIA, kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of people, including US missionaries.

Reportedly Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with the Honduran military while lying to Congress.

The CIA trained Battalion 316 in the United States.

Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who directed Battalion 316, received strong U.S. support - even after he told a U.S. ambassador that he intended to use the Argentine method of eliminating subversives.

By 1983, when Alvarez’s oppressive methods were well known to the U.S. Embassy, the Reagan administration awarded him the Legion of Merit for “encouraging the success of democratic processes in Honduras.”

A CIA officer went frequently to a secret jail known as INDUMIL, where torture was conducted.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Naomi Klein Calls Out to Boycott Israel


Canadian Author of the bestselling book “The Shock Doctrine” made her call for boycotting Israel, in a lecture she made, yesterday, in Ramallah.

Klein said that in contrary of the saying that boycott cuts off communication, boycotting Israel for its apartheid policies creates new horizons for communication and does not cut off any kind of communication.

She went on saying that many Jews, including herself, have learned an important lesson of the holocaust: “never again for everyone, not just for us.” That is to say; those who have suffered the segregation, apartheid, and genocide, should not do this to other people, and do not have the right to torment any other nation.

Klein added that Israel is practicing many kinds of apartheid, and that Israeli actions do meet the international definition of apartheid, this is why Israel should be boycotted.


What does Israel import to the US?











In one of his verbose obfuscations of reality, President Obama declared on June 23, 2009;

“The United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran’s affairs. Some in Iran — some in the Iranian government, in particular, are trying to avoid that debate by accusing the United States and others in the West of instigating protests over the election. These accusations are patently false.”

The facts as reported elsewhere provide the evidence that the United States government is directly engaged in its continuing historic role as a racist colonizing state by its interference in the internal affairs of Iran and providing tax exempt status---a form of indirect funding---for organizations engaged in these activities.

Seymour Hirsch in his article entitled, “Preparing The Battlefield” dated July 7, 2008, stated:

“ Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran…These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000.), were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Occupation 101--U.S. Aid to Israel


A short video putting the amount of financial aid we give to Israel into perspective. Since Israel has not paid back a single penny of these “loans,” the U.S. government has just written this money off as grants.


Darth times indeed: The Give Dick Cheney's Memoir A Title contest


Dick Cheney is writing a memoir, and he's getting a reported $2 million for it. But the book still has no title, which gives us the opportunity to name it for him.

Here in the office, we've come up with a few quick ones:

And You Thought Nixon Was A Dick

Water for Enemy Combatants

New Orleans is Sinking. So?

But it's a known known that Globe Books readers can do way better than that.

Email your suggested titles to webbooks@globeandmail.com or post them here as a comment, and we'll send some nice books to the creator(s) of the one(s) we like the best.

Remember, people: There are no rules -- just opportunities.


Mary Cheney, Dick's gay daughter, will name her new book:

"No Evil Dicks In My New Family"


Obama contemplates Executive Order for detention without charges


When Obama first unveiled his "preventive detention" policy, many defenders praised him (and claimed he was different than Bush) because of his vow that -- as he put it -- "my Administration will work with Congress to develop an appropriate legal regime."

But now, relying exclusively on three Obama officials speaking behind a veil of anonymity, Peter Finn and Dafner Linza of The Washington Post and ProPublica report that the White House is "crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely."

TPM calls this "the latest installment in the Obama administration's tendency to mimic the Bushies on war on terror tactics."


Madoff Should Spend Rest of His Life in Prison, Prosecutors Say


Bernard Madoff, the investment manager who pleaded guilty to masterminding the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, should be sentenced to a term of 150 years in prison, federal prosecutors recommended.

Madoff, 71, has asked for prison term of as little as 12 years and no more than 20 when he is sentenced in Manhattan federal court on June 29.

“The scope, duration and nature of Madoff’s crimes render him exceptionally deserving of the maximum punishment allowed by law, and the guidelines advise a sentence of 150 years,” assistant U.S. attorneys Marc Litt and Lisa Baroni said in a letter to the sentencing judge.

If the judge opts for a lesser term, the sentence should be one that “would assure that Madoff will remain in prison for life,” they said.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin will impose the sentence more the six months after Madoff confessed to a decades-long fraud scheme.


Friday, June 26, 2009

FLASHBACK: U.S. Losing ‘Secret’ War in Somalia


For several years the U.S. military has fought a covert war in Somalia, using gunships, drones and Special Forces to break up suspected terror networks – and enlisting Ethiopia’s aid in propping up a pro-U.S.
"transitional" government.

It’s a relatively unknown front in the "war on terror," and one where the U.S. and its allies are losing ground, fast.

Two years ago, the U.S. military fought alongside Ethiopian troops in a lightning-fast armored assault deep into Somalia aimed at destroying the Islamic government, which the Pentagon suspected of harboring Al Qaeda operatives.

Today the Islamists are back, waging a brutal insurgency that has killed thousands of people and steadily gained ground against the occupying Ethiopians and their allies in the transitional government.


US sends weapons to Somali government


The aid is aimed at helping the weak government combat the militant Islamist groups battling for control of Somalia.


FLASHBACK: The American hand in Iran


Like the color-coded terror alert system, the technicolor "velvet invasions" blink a warning. Despite receiving an ugly bruise in Uzbekistan, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)and its non-governmental organization (NGO) regime-change industry hope to stage another cardboard coup in Iran. But it could be a black and blue revolution.

Citing a "mission accomplished" in Iraq, President George W Bush told 25,000 soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas: "The establishment of a free Iraq is a watershed event in the global democratic revolution. That success is sending a message from Beirut to Tehran."

Tasked by the Bush administration with sending that message from America to Tehran, and "winning hearts and minds" is author and "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth" member Jerome Corsi. On May 16, Corsi's NGO, the Iran Freedom Foundation (IFF), inaugurated a 12-day "Iran Freedom Walk" from Philadelphia's Liberty Bell to Washington, DC.

Dipping two fingers in red paint, Corsi waved a peace sign in solidarity "with the blood of oppressed Iranians" and called on "the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King". He declared, "I love the Iranian people. America does not hate the Persian people. We love the Persian people. We want peace and we love the Persian people." Corsi's voice then dropped to a whisper; "We stand here today and we pray in the name of the gods. I embrace Jesus Christ as my savior - and we also pray in the name of Allah, Zoroaster and the B'hai."

But Corsi has expressed very different opinions on Islam in the past. According to his own postings on FreeRepublic.com, on November 18, 2001 Corsi used a racial slur to define Arabs: "Ragheads are boy-bumpers [sodomizers] as clearly as they are women haters - it all goes together."

Using the incendiary style he perfected for "Swiftboat veteran" television attack advertisements, Corsi declares, "Islam is a peaceful religion as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels killed."

Comparing Islam to a disease, he added, "How's this for an analogy? The Koran is simply the 'software' for producing deviant cancer cell political behavior and violence in human beings' and Islam is like a virus. It affects the mind. Maybe even better as an analogy: it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body."

In April 2004 Corsi said, "Let's see why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous, Satanic religion. Where's the proof to the contrary?"


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

EXCLUSIVE-PART 3: U.S. Officials Leaked a False Story Blaming Iran


Both before and after being brought to Washington, moreover, Al-Sayegh steadfastly denied any knowledge of the Khobar Towers bombing.

Despite that consistent denial by al-Sayegh, a Washington Post story on Apr. 14, 1997 quoted U.S. and Saudi officials as saying that al-Sayegh had met two years earlier with senior Iranian intelligence officer Brig. Gen. Ahmad Sherifi and that Iran was the "organising force" behind the Khobar bombing.


Afghanistan: Ex-detainees allege abuse at US base


Prisoners at the US military base at Bagram outside the Afghan capital Kabul were beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs there, former detainees have told the BBC.

The broadcaster interviewed separately 27 former inmates of Bagram around the country over a period of two months and asked them the same questions.

Only two said they had been treated well.

The BBC findings were shown to the Pentagon, which has denied the charges and insists that all inmates in the facility are treated humanely.

All the former prisoners at Bagram were held at the facility at various times between 2002 and 2008. All were accused of belonging to or abetting Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

None was charged with any offence or put on trial; some even received apologies when they were released.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CIA got it wrong


Torture is wrong. The CIA took credit for their torture techniques in getting information about who masterminded the 9/11 attacks. In reality it was the FBI, using rapport-building techniques, that got the information. Nothing further was revealed when the CIA took over the interrogation with their “enhanced techniques.”

Torture is ineffectual, but vastly more importantly, it is wrong. There is no instance when it is OK to torture. There is no person who it is OK to torture. Whether you are Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or, like myself, Unitarian Universalist, basic rights of common decency apply. These religions all teach that we should treat others as we wish to be treated.

I am troubled by individuals writing letters condoning torture. Why do they think it is OK? I don’t think any of us would want somebody to torture us or our relatives who are in the military.

Support of torture by individual citizens is bad enough. It is even more egregious when torture is perpetrated in a methodical, institutionalized manner by a government that is supposed to represent the free world, espousing high standards of morality and justice.

Torture should stop. Our country is NOT above the law of humanity.


Doctors without limits


Hundreds of doctors belonging to World Medical Association are demanding its Israeli president, Dr. Yoram Blachar, be dismissed as Israeli physicians 'form part of a system in which detainees are tortured'


700 doctors demand the removal of WMA president for involvement in torture


700 doctors from 43 countries sent a letter of protest to the Word Medical Association (WMA), which is considered the WMA’s governing body, demanding the removal of the newly appointed president, an Israeli doctor, for ignoring the participation of medical staff in the torture of Palestinian prisoners, the Guardian reported.

The Israeli doctor, Yoram Blachar, has been the head of the Israeli Medical Association since 1995, and became the head of the WMA of November of last year.

The physicians, who signed the protest letter, are senior professors and physicians from England, Europe and the United States.

They stated that Blachar had failed to respond to charges that a number of Israeli doctors are involved in the torture of Palestinian detainees during interrogation in Israeli prisons.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Bush-Blair secret memo set Iraq on fire


Confidential records of a meeting between the former US President George W. Bush and former British premier Tony Blair provides new clues about the Iraq war.

During the meeting the two leaders outlined their intention in a memo to go to war against Iraq without a second UN resolution against the country, the Guardian reported.

The former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix whose team was tasked to search for WMD in Iraq has declared that the Iraq war was illegal because no such weapons were found in Iraq and the US and Britain needed a second UN resolution against Iraq before taking any military action against the country.

The unveiled memo, written on 31 January 2003, almost two months before the invasion, confirms that the two leaders were aware that the UN inspectors will fail to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the oil-rich country.

The five-page document reveals how Bush told Blair that he had decided on a start date for the war.

In 2006, Newscientist declared that around 655,000 people have died in Iraq as a result of the US-led coalition invasion. That is 2.5% of the country's entire population.

Today, the death toll in the country is believed to be far beyond that number, as the country is still plagued with unrest 6 years after the invasion.


Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away


Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. They have long embodied this struggle. It is we who need to be taught.

It was Washington that orchestrated the 1953 coup to topple Iran’s democratically elected government, the first in the Middle East, and install the compliant shah in power.

It was Washington that forced Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who cared as much for his country as he did for the rule of law and democracy, to spend the rest of his life under house arrest.

We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran.

Iranians know they once had a democracy until we took it away.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bush officials: Where are they now?


The unemployment rate is high around the country -- but not for former Bush officials. A guide to who's cashing in


Tomgram: Nick Turse, Bush Officials Cash In as More Americans Lose Out


As for the Bushes: Daughter Jenna proved so naturally skilled with the pen (and the deal) that, at age 25, based on a nine-month UNICEF internship in Central America, she had already published her first book, Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, signed up for a piddling $300,000 or so with HarperCollins (now, in more straitened publishing times, redubbed just plain Harper).

Jenna's children's book, Read All About It, followed, selling 80,000 copies.

Mom hit her stride this January with a deal for a memoir estimated to be in the range of $3.5-5 million ("I look forward to working with Scribner and the Simon & Schuster team as I tell the stories of the extraordinary events and people I've met in my life, particularly during my years in the White House.")

Now, Dad's made his deal, too, $7 million worth of it for a Nixonian-style volume of critical life moments as "the decider."


Iraq, and Bush's Bizarre Fake UN Spy Plane Plot Back In The News


Bush and Blair

Tony Blair urged Gordon Brown to hold the independent inquiry into the Iraq war in secret because he feared that he would be subjected to a "show trial" if it were opened to the public, the Observer can reveal.

The revelation that the former prime minister - who led Britain to war in March 2003 - had intervened will fuel the anger of MPs, peers, military leaders and former civil servants, who were appalled by Brown's decision last week to order the investigation to be conducted behind closed doors.

Blair, who resisted pressure for a full public inquiry while he was prime minister, appears to have taken a deliberate decision not to express his view in person to Brown because he feared it might leak out.

Blair is hoping to become the first "President of Europe," and the investigation could quickly become a major embarrassment.


The CIA's Iranian Plan?


Short video explores the possibility that the CIA is involved in Iran's recent election unrest.


U.S. Govt. Threatens to Prosecute Waterboarding


We've been lobbying the Department of Justice all these months without realizing that the key to justice lay in the Department of the Interior, and specifically in the National Park Service, which has told activist Steve Lane he will be prosecuted if he attempts to demonstrate waterboarding at Thursday's anti-torture rally in Washington, D.C.

The permit for the rally reads "Waterboarding exhibit will not be allowed for safety reasons."

Of course it's not news that the government views waterboarding as a crime.

Attorney General Eric Holder called it torture at his confirmation hearings.

But it is news that someone has been threatened with prosecution if he engages in torture.

We learn about ongoing torture by the government all the time, and we're told all the time that torture is no longer official policy, and yet in neither type of story is there ever any suggestion that the laws against torture might be enforced, now or in the future.

In the government's view, torture must be less safe when performed without the benefit of government resources, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, videographers, and vice presidents.


Did Cheney Assassination Squad Reach to Lybia?


Once the Bush administration's most famous "ghost prisoner," al-Libi had been the emir of the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan, but his notoriety stemmed not from his own activities, but from the fact that, after his capture in December 2001, he was rendered by the CIA to Egypt, where, under torture, he made a false confession that two al-Qaeda operatives had been receiving information from Saddam Hussein about the use of chemical and biological weapons, which was subsequently used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.


Friday, June 19, 2009

US Bullshit About N. Korea Hitting Hawaii - "They wish!"


"The North Korean Missile does not have the range to reach Hawaii and obviously North Korea is not going to do something so stupid as to give the US the excuse the US Government wants to crank up a major war. So this "fortification" is just for propaganda purposes." - Whatreallyhappened.com



Report to detail interrogations, secret detention


The government is prepring to release a long-delayed internal report on the CIA's secret detention and interrogation program.

How much of the document will be declassified for public view isn't yet known.

The roughly 150-page report was expected to be released Friday, but a CIA spokesman said Thursday that government officials were still poring through the documents.


FLASHBACK: 3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation


North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.

A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10 (2008), shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

US Supreme Court refuses to take up case of the “Cuban 5”


The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider the case of five Cubans arrested on espionage charges in 1998.

Attorneys for the five, who were charged with spying on Cuban exile groups implicated in acts of terrorism against Cuba, had appealed their 2001 conviction, arguing, among other things, that they had been denied a fair trial because of the trial judge's refusal to move the proceedings out of Miami.

The city has a population of 700,000 Cuban-Americans and is the base of numerous right-wing anti-Castro exile groups.

The Supreme Court did not feel itself obliged to justify its decision, despite the fact that the conviction and prolonged imprisonment of the five Cubans has been condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the petition for the court to consider the case had been supported by amicus briefs from a dozen different countries and 10 Nobel Prize winners.


One law for Cubans and a different law for Israelis. These Cubans are in prison for over 10 years, not for spying on the United States, but for spying on anti-Castro terrorist groups in Miami, and yet...

Spy for Israel gets fine

An 85-year-old former army employee was fined for passing military secrets to Israel in the 80s, but a U.S. federal judge questioned the government's handling of the case.

Ben-Ami Kadish appeared May 29 in U.S. federal district court in Manhattan, where he was fined $50,000 by Judge William H. Pauley III, but avoided a prison sentence.

The judge cited Kadish's age and infirmity as reasons for not requiring a prison sentence, but also questioned why it took the government 23 years to charge the retiree and then only indicted him on one count of conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of Israel, The New York Times reported.

Kadish, who was a civilian employee of the U.S. Army, passed classified documents between 1980 and1985 to an Israeli agent, the same handler as Jonathan Pollard, according to reports.

“I’m sorry I made a mistake,” Kadish said before sentencing. “It was a misjudgment. I thought I was helping the State of Israel without harming the United States.”

Kadish was born in Connecticut and moved to what was then Palestine. He returned to the United States after World War II. He was employed by the army for 27 years after serving in the U.S. Air Force and had security clearance. He lives with his wife of 57 years in a New Jersey retirement community.


CIA pushing Obama to uphold torture secrecy


US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is urging President Barack Obama to forestall efforts aimed at releasing parts of confidential torture memos seen as 'damaging.'

According to US media, CIA is endeavoring to cover up large sections of a 2004 internal report that depicts officers administering "degrading" interrogation techniques to detainees held on suspicions of 'terror' activities.

The report acquired by a team under the leadership of former CIA inspector General John Helgerson indicates that United States trampled both international and domestic regulations concerning the application of torture methods to elicit information from captives in secret detention centers.


Ed Schultz: Dick Cheney ‘will do anything’ for power


CIA director Leon Panetta stirred up controversy last week when he was quoted in an interview as saying that former Vice President Dick Cheney, in his criticism of the Obama administration, almost seems to be “wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough saw Panetta’s remark as a good topic for debate when his fellow MSNBC host Ed Schultz appeared on Tuesday’s Morning Joe.

“Let’s pick a topic that’ll get us really angry,” Scarborough proposed to Schultz. “Leon Panetta and Dick Cheney. Do you agree with the CIA director that it’s almost as if Dick Cheney hopes Americans will die so he gains some political advantage?”

“Absolutely,” Schultz replied.

“You believe the former vice president wants Americans to die in a terrorist attack so he can regain a political advantage?” Scarborough repeated incredulously.

“You got it, Joe,” Schultz agreed. “I think Dick Cheney’s all about power. I think Dick Cheney is all about seeing this country go conservative and a hard right wing, and I think he’ll do anything to get it that way.”


Monday, June 15, 2009

Cheney breaks silence ... for book deal


Former Vice President Dick Cheney spent the vast majority of the presidency of George W. Bush in an undisclosed location, operating much like the Man Behind the Curtain in "The Wizard of Oz."

In one of those rare occasions where Cheney emerged from his secret lair, he distinguished himself by asking a sitting U.S. senator to perform an anatomically impossible sex act.

Cheney and his daughter, Liz, have been staples on Sunday morning talk shows and cable news the past month.

Ostensibly the reason for breaking his self-imposed silence was to re-litigate the past eight years of the Bush Administration.

Yet that flimsy rationale is undermined by news that the multi-millionaire is actively shopping his memoirs.

By speaking out, the former vice president is breaking a long-standing tradition that members of the past administration refrain from criticizing the present administration. I should note that President Bush has honored this tradition since leaving office in January.


CIA Chief: Dick Cheney is "Wishing That This Country Will be Attacked Again"


Leon Panetta, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency has slammed former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has been in the media a lot lately, claiming Cheney's "wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."

The former VP's point is that the Obama administration has allegedly made the United States less safe by beginning to close Guantanamo Bay and ceasing the practice of torture on terrorism suspects.

Panetta said Cheney's criticisms are "almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that's dangerous politics."


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Funnies




UK to announce Iraq war probe


The inquiry is expected to shed light on the circumstances under which former prime minister Tony Blair decided to join the US-led invasion - which according to former US administration officials was based on unfounded intelligence.

Initially the then US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but after the invasion, no trace of such armament could be found.

The government now faces controversy over whether or not the probe should be held in secret.


Gonzales Memo Advised Bush How to Avoid War Crimes Charges


"Those dumb Americans have no idea how we're f*cking up our country, right amigo?"

In the book, the authors use the documents to show that the torture policies enacted by the White House began on Jan. 25, 2002, when then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales advised Bush in a memo to deny al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners protections under the Geneva Conventions.

Gonzales’s memorandum says that by denying Geneva Conventions protections to al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners it “substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act” and “provide a solid defense to any future prosecution.”

Two weeks later, Bush signed an action memorandum dated Feb. 7, 2002, addressed to Vice President Dick Cheney, which denied baseline protections to al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners under the Third Geneva Convention.

That memo, according to a recently released bipartisan report issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee, opened the door to “considering aggressive techniques,” which were then developed with the complicity of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Bush’s National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and other senior Bush officials.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Judge: Ex-Bush lawyer can be sued over torture


A prisoner who says he was tortured while being held for nearly four years as a suspected terrorist can sue former Bush administration lawyer John Yoo for coming up with the legal theories that justified his alleged treatment, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White's decision marks the first time a government lawyer has been held potentially responsible for the abuse of detainees.

"Like any other government official, government lawyers are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their conduct," White said in refusing to dismiss Jose Padilla's lawsuit against Yoo.


Feds want secrecy over alleged torture flights


The Obama administration increased its defense Friday of secrecy surrounding an alleged CIA program of torture flights, asking a federal appeals court to set aside its ruling allowing foreign captives to sue a Bay Area company that reportedly helped plan the flights.

The so-called extraordinary rendition program, and a private contractor's alleged relationship with the CIA, are so sensitive that any legal proceedings "would pose an unacceptable risk to national security," Justice Department lawyers said in a filing to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Government lawyers said the court's April 28 ruling reinstating the lawsuit was both legally flawed and dangerous. They asked the court to reconsider the decision or order a new hearing before an 11-judge panel.

The attorneys said their position has been reaffirmed by a review "at the highest levels of the Department of Justice" and was consistent with President Obama's pledge, in a speech last month, that his administration would not use secrecy to conceal "the violation of a law or embarrassment to the government."


The Bush/Cheney Nightmare, Redux


We invaded a foreign nation without cause, we've allowed our manufacturing base to be exported overseas, and the people in charge of things colluded with greedy thieves to steal us all blind, devaluing the prices of our homes and robbing us of our retirement investments because of their insatiable desire for more and more.

And when Democrats in the U.S. Senate cannot vote the funds to close Guantanmo and move the prisoners there to maximum security facilities here in the U.S., we should be outraged at the hypocrisy and the cowardice those Dems displayed at a time when Republicans are weakened and their policies generally discredited.

For eight long years, we had far too many reasons to be ashamed of our country.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Sonny & Cher daughter Chastity Bono to undergo sex change operation: Will he still be gay?


Sonny Bono and Cher had a daughter Chastity forty years ago, and we all watched as they brought that adorable little girl on to their TV show. Then, the world radically transformed, as did the happy Bono family. We affluent people in "developed" countries got all kinds of choices.

Sonny and Cher split up. He became a conservative Republican congressman. She became a hot babe of a performer, and she continues on that path at age 63. Their daughter Chastity came out as a lesbian and an advocate for gay rights.

Now, Chastity has decided to become a man named Chaz. Who would have thought it possible that that cute little girl born to our fairy tale celebrities would someday grow up to be a guy? And I wonder what conservative Sonny would have thought about his daughter's newfound persona.

In any case, the beat goes on as we continue to witness the privileged minority given amazing choices while the majority of the people on the planet suffer. Those starving masses go without food or clean water or decent shelter, and the United States continues to devote the majority of its resources to killing other people.

Chastity Bono today


US artist cleared over George Bush assassination videogame


Federal court rules closure of public display featuring the videogame, Virtual Jihadi, was unconstitutional

An Iraqi-American artist has been vindicated after coming under attack for making a videogame in which players have to assassinate George Bush.

Artist Wafaa Bilal created the game Virtual Jihadi last year, in what he claimed was an attempt to "bring attention to the vulnerability of Iraqi civilians".

But the game, which involved an attempted strike on the former US president's life, caused a storm of protest, including accusations that Bilal was encouraging terrorism.

The controversy reached fever pitch when a public display featuring the game in New York was closed down by local authorities amid claims that the organisers had committed a number of infractions.

However, following accusations that the shutdown was an infringement of Bilal's rights, a federal court has ruled that the closure was unconstitutional.