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Sen. Mike Gravel on Immigration (video)

gravel2008

On C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ Mike shares his opinion on illegal immigration, and his solution to such.

Olbermann: Making the Iraq surge work: You quit counting the dead + Worst Person (videos)

Dandelion Salad

clyde1952 The title pretty much speaks for itse…

The title pretty much speaks for itself. With twice as many more people being killed in Iraq this year than last, you simply quit counting some of them so you can tell your “intellectually incurious” disciples the surge is working. And an Iraq government official watches cartoons on the flatscreen TV we bought him.

Is Keith Olbermann wearing a toupee?

A buddy of Tom Delay says so. Find out for yourself in tonight’s worst person segment, Friday August 31, 2007. Also, we have Oddball and Newsmakers. Viewers of Countdown are the number three newsmakers for making Keith number one last night.

Secret Report: Corruption is “Norm” Within Iraqi Government By David Corn


Dandelion Salad

By David Corn
ICH

08/31/07 “
The Nation
As Congress prepares to receive reports on Iraq from General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and readies for a debate on George W. Bush’s latest funding request of $50 billion for the Iraq war, the performance of the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has become a central and contentious issue. But according to the working draft of a secret document prepared by the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, the Maliki government has failed in one significant area: corruption. Maliki’s government is “not capable of even rudimentary enforcement of anticorruption laws,” the report says, and, perhaps worse, the report notes that Maliki’s office has impeded investigations of fraud and crime within the government.

The draft–over 70 pages long–was obtained by The Nation, and it reviews the work (or attempted work) of the Commission on Public Integrity (CPI), an independent Iraqi institution, and other anticorruption agencies within the Iraqi government. Labeled “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED/Not for distribution to personnel outside of the US Embassy in Baghdad,” the study details a situation in which there is little, if any, prosecution of government theft and sleaze. Moreover, it concludes that corruption is “the norm in many ministries.”

The report depicts the Iraqi government as riddled with corruption and criminals-and beyond the reach of anticorruption investigators. It also maintains that the extensive corruption within the Iraqi government has strategic consequences by decreasing public support for the U.S.-backed government and by providing a source of funding for Iraqi insurgents and militias.

The report, which was drafted by a team of U.S. embassy officials, surveys the various Iraqi ministries. “The Ministry of Interior is seen by Iraqis as untouchable by the anticorruption enforcement infrastructure of Iraq,” it says. “Corruption investigations in Ministry of Defense are judged to be ineffectual.” The study reports that the Ministry of Trade is “widely recognized as a troubled ministry” and that of 196 corruption complaints involving this ministry merely eight have made it to court, with only one person convicted.

The Ministry of Health, according to the report, “is a sore point; corruption is actually affecting its ability to deliver services and threatens the support of the government.” Investigations involving the Ministry of Oil have been manipulated, the study says, and the “CPI and the [Inspector General of the ministry] are completely ill-equipped to handle oil theft cases.” There is no accurate accounting of oil production and transportation within the ministry, the report explains, because organized crime groups are stealing oil “for the benefit of militias/insurgents, corrupt public officials and foreign buyers.”

The list goes on: “Anticorruption cases concerning the Ministry of Education have been particularly ineffective….[T]he Ministry of Water Resources…is effectively out of the anticorruption fight with little to no apparent effort in trying to combat fraud….[T]he Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs is hostile to the prosecution of corruption cases. Militia support from [Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr] has effectively made corruption in the Ministry of Transportation wholesale according to investigators and immune from prosecution.” Several ministries, according to the study, are “so controlled by criminal gangs or militias” that it is impossible for corruption investigators “to operate within [them] absent a tactical [security] force protecting the investigator.”

The Ministry of the Interior, which has been a stronghold of Shia militias, stands out in the report. The study’s authors say that “groups within MOI function similarly to a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) in the classic sense. MOI is a ‘legal enterprise’ which has been co-opted by organized criminals who act through the ‘legal enterprise’ to commit crimes such as kidnapping, extortion, bribery, etc.” This is like saying the mob is running the police department. The report notes, “currently 426 investigations are hung up awaiting responses for documents belonging to MOI which routinely are ignored.” It cites an episode during which a CPI officer discovered two eyewitnesses to the October 2006 murder of Amer al-Hashima, the brother of the vice president, but the CPI investigator would not identify the eyewitnesses to the Minister of the Interior out of fear he and they would be assassinated. (It seemed that the killers were linked to the Interior Ministry.) The report adds, “CPI investigators assigned to MOI investigations have unanimously expressed their fear of being assassinated should they aggressively pursue their duties at MOI. Thus when the head of MOI intelligence recently personally visited the Commissioner of CPI…to end investigations of [an] MOI contract, there was a clear sense of concern within the agency.”

Over at the Defense Ministry, the report notes, there has been a “shocking lack of concern” about the apparent theft of $850 million from the Iraqi military’s procurement budget. “In some cases,” the report says, “American advisors working for US [Department of Defense] have interceded to remove [Iraqi] suspects from investigations or custody.” Of 455 corruption investigations at the Defense Ministry, only 15 have reached the trial stage. A mere four investigators are assigned to investigating corruption in the department. And at the Ministry of Trade, “criminal gangs” divide the spoils, with one handling grain theft, another stealing transportation assets.

Part of the problem, according to the report, is Maliki’s office: “The Prime Minister’s Office has demonstrated an open hostility” to independent corruption investigations. His government has withheld resources from the CPI, the report says, and “there have been a number of identified cases where government and political pressure has been applied to change the outcome of investigations and prosecutions in favor of members of the Shia Alliance”-which includes Maliki’s Dawa party.

The report’s authors note that the man Maliki appointed as his anticorruption adviser–Adel Muhsien Abdulla al-Quza’alee–has said that independent agencies, like the CPI, should be under the control of Maliki. According to the report, “Adel has in the presence of American advisors pressed the Commissioner of CPI to withdraw cases referred to court.” These cases involved defendants who were members of the Shia Alliance. (Adel has also, according to the report, “steadfastly refused to submit his financial disclosure form.”) And Maliki’s office, the report says, has tried to “force out the entire leadership of CPI to replace them with political appointees”–which would be tantamount to a death sentence for the CPI officials. They now live in the Green Zone. Were they to lose their CPI jobs, they would have to move out of the protected zone and would be at the mercy of the insurgents, militias, and crime gangs “who are [the] subjects of their investigations.”

Maliki has also protected corrupt officials by reinstating a law that prevents the prosecution of a government official without the permission of the minister of the relevant agency. According to a memo drafted in March by the U.S. embassy’s anticorruption working group-a memo first disclosed by The Washington Post–between September 2006 and February 2007, ministers used this law to block the prosecutions of 48 corruption cases involving a total of $35 million. Many other cases at this time were in the process of being stalled in the same manner. The stonewalled probes included one case in which Oil Ministry employees rigged bids for $2.5 million in equipment and another in which ministry personnel stole 33 trucks of petroleum.

And in another memo obtained by The Nation–marked “Secret and Confidential”-Maliki’s office earlier this year ordered the Commission on Public Integrity not to forward any case to the courts involving the president of Iraq, the prime minister of Iraq, or any current or past ministers without first obtaining Maliki’s consent. According to the U.S. embassy report on the anticorruption efforts, the government’s hostility to the CPI has gone so far that for a time the CPI link on the official Iraqi government web site directed visitors to a pornographic site.

In assessing the Commission on Public Integrity, the embassy report notes that the CPI lacks sufficient staff and funding to be effective. The watchdog outfit has only 120 investigators to cover 34 ministries and agencies. And these investigators, the report notes, “are closer to clerks processing paperwork rather than investigators solving crimes.” The CPI, according to the report, “is currently more of a passive rather than a true investigatory agency. Though legally empowered to conduct investigations, the combined security situation and the violent character of the criminal elements within the ministries make investigation of corruption too hazardous.”

CPI staffers have been “accosted by armed gangs within ministry headquarters and denied access to officials and records.” They and their families are routinely threatened. Some sleep in their office in the Green Zone. In December 2006, a sniper positioned on top of an Iraqi government building in the Green Zone fired three shots at CPI headquarters. Twelve CPI personnel have been murdered in the line of duty. The CPI, according to the report, “has resorted to arming people hired for janitorial and maintenance duty.”

Radhi al-Radhi, a former judge who was tortured and imprisoned during Saddam Hussein’s regime and who heads the CPI, has been forced to live in a safe house with one of his chief investigators, according to an associate of Radhi who asked not to be identified. Radhi has worked with Stuart Bowen Jr., the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, who investigates fraud and waste involving U.S. officials and contractors. His targets have included former Defense Minister Hazem Shalaan and former Electricity Minister Aiham Alsammarae. And Radhi himself has become a target of accusations. A year ago, Maliki’s office sent a letter to Radhi suggesting that the CPI could not account for hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses and that Radhi might be corrupt. But, according to the US embassy report, a subsequent audit of the CPI was “glowing.” In July, the Iraqi parliament considered a motion of no confidence in Radhi-a move widely interpreted as retaliation for his pursuit of corrupt officials. But the legislators put off a vote on the resolution. In late August, Radhi came to the United States. He is considering remaining here, according to an associate.

Corruption, the report says, is “one of the major hurdles the Iraqi government must overcome if it is to survive as a stable and independent entity.” Without a vigorous anticorruption effort, the report’s authors assert, the current Iraqi government “is likely to loose [sic] the support of its people.” And, they write, continuing corruption “will likely fund the violent groups that our troops are likely to face.” Yet, according to the report, the U.S. embassy is providing “uncertain” resources for anticorruption programs. “It’s a farce,” says a U.S. embassy employee. “There is a budget of zero [within the embassy] to fight corruption. No one ever asked for this report to be written. And it was shit-canned. Who the hell would want to release it? It should infuriate the families of the soldiers and those who are fighting in Iraq supposedly to give Maliki’s government a chance.”

Beating back corruption is not one of the 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for Iraq and the Maliki government. But this hard-hitting report-you can practically see the authors pulling out their hair-makes a powerful though implicit case that it ought to be. The study is a damning indictment: widespread corruption within the Iraqi government undermines and discredits the U.S. mission in Iraq. And the Bush administration is doing little to stop it.

Copyright © 2007 The Nation
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

U.S. Obsessed With Using Force By Reason Wafawarova


Dandelion Salad

By Reason Wafawarova
ICH
08/31/07 “The Herald
Harare

SINCE the United States assumed global leadership from Britain at the end of the Second World War; when it emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the war, a development that saw it declare the era of “the American century”, Washington has been obsessed with using force to thwart small countries.

In fact, the US emerged as a superpower that is scared of small countries. While this statement might seem contradictory, political analyses of US behaviour over the past 62 years proves otherwise.

During this period the US, among many other invasions went into Cuba, Grenada, Panama, Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Iraq (twice) and Afghanistan.

It also sponsored and armed reactionary rebels in their CIA engineered proxy wars in Angola, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Congo and Nicaragua, to mention just a few countries.

The Americans also led embargo campaigns on Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea and Zimbabwe.

The US portrays more concerns and worries about the behaviour of small states than it has about its more powerful rivals like India, China or the European Union.

When Ronald Reagan was asked to justify his administration’s trade embargo against Nicaragua in 1985 he said, “the policies and actions of Nicaragua constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Does this quotation ring a bell to Zimbabweans?

It should, given that both Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush have almost repeated it verbatim in their attempt to justify the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (2001), a sanctions law that bars multilateral lending institutions, with dealings with the US, from extending lines of credit to Zimbabwe.

It also bars American companies from trading with Zimbabwe.

Continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

The War Criminal in the Living Room By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
08/31/07 “ICH

The media is silent, Congress is absent, and Americans are distracted as George W. Bush openly prepares aggression against Iran.

bullet US Navy aircraft carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran.


bullet US Air Force jets and missile systems are deployed in bases in countries bordering or near to Iran.


bullet US B-2 stealth bombers have been refitted to carry 30,000 pound “bunker buster” bombs.


bullet The US government is financing terrorist and separatist groups within Iran.


bullet US Special Forces teams are conducting terrorist operations inside Iran.


bullet US war doctrine has been altered to permit first strike nuclear attack on Iran and other non-nuclear countries.

Bush’s war threats against Iran have intensified during the course of this year. The American people are being fed a repeat of the lies used to justify naked aggression against Iraq.

Bush is too self-righteous to see the dark humor in his denunciations of Iran for threatening “the security of nations everywhere” and of the Iraqi resistance for “a vision that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women, and children in the pursuit of political power.” [President Bush Addresses the 89th Annual National Convention of the American Legion, August 28, 2007]. Those are precisely the words that most of the world applies to Bush and his Brownshirt administration. The Pew Foundation’s world polls show that despite all the American and Israeli propaganda against Iran, the US and Israel are regarded as no less threats to world stability than demonized Iran.

Bush has discarded habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions, justified torture and secret trials, damned critics as anti-American, and is responsible, according to Information Clearing House, for over one million deaths of Iraqi civilians, which puts Bush high on the list of mass murderers of all time. The vast majority of “kills” by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan are civilians.

Now Bush wants to murder more. We have to kill Iranians “over there,” Bush says, “before they come over here.” There is no possibility that Iranians or any Muslims who have no air force, no navy, no modern military technology are going to “come over here,” and no indication that they plan to do so. The Muslims are disunited and have been for centuries. That is what makes them vulnerable to colonial rule. If Muslims were united, the US would already have lost its army in Iraq. Indeed, it would not have been able to put an army in Iraq.

Meanwhile the US media focuses on whether Republican Senator Larry Craig is a homosexual or has offended gays by denying being one of them. The run-up for the public’s attention is why a South Carolina beauty queen cannot answer a simple question about why her generation is unable to find the United States on a map.

The war criminal is in the living room, and no official notice is taken of the fact.

Lacking US troops with which to invade Iran, the Bush administration has decided to bomb Iran “back into the stone age.” Punishing air and missile attacks have been designed not merely to destroy Iran’s nuclear energy projects, but also to destroy the public infrastructure, the economy, and the ability of the government to function.

Encouraged by the indifference of both the American media and Christian churches to the massive casualties inflicted on Iraqi civilians, the Bush administration will not be deterred by the prospect of its air attacks inflicting massive casualties on Iranian civilians. Last summer the Bush administration demonstrated to the entire world its total disdain for Muslim life when Bush supported Israel’s month-long air attack on Lebanese civilian infrastructure and civilian residences. President Bush blocked the attempt by the rest of the world to halt the gratuitous murder of Lebanese civilians and infrastructure destruction. Clearly, turning the Muslim Middle East into a wasteland is the Bush policy. For Bush, civilian casualties are a non-issue. Hegemony über alles.

The Bush administration has made its war plans for attacking Iraq and positioned its forces without any prior approval from Congress. The “unitary executive” obviously doesn’t believe that an attack on Iran requires the approval of Congress. By its absence and quietude, Congress seems to agree that it has no role in the decision.

In the improbable event that Congress were to make any fuss about Bush’s decision to attack yet another country, the State Department has devised legalistic cover: simply declare Iran’s military to be a “terrorist organization” and go to war under the cover of the existing resolution.

The “Iran issue” has been created by the Bush administration, not by Iran. Iran, like many other countries, has a nuclear energy program to which it is entitled as a signatory to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty. Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.

The Bush administration has brushed away this fact, which should be determining, just as the Bush administration brushed away the fact that weapons inspectors reported, prior to Bush’s invasion of Iraq, that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The Bush administration managed to disrupt the work of the pesky IAEA weapons inspectors in Iran. Iran has been working successfully with the IAEA and has achieved what a senior IAEA official recently described as a milestone agreement. The Bush administration instantly went to work to discredit the agreement and unleashed its new lapdog, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to threaten “the bombing of Iran.” [Iran risks attack over atomic push, French president says By Elaine Sciolino, International Herald-Tribune, August 27, 2007]

The Bush administration’s position is legally untenable and is really nothing but a contrived excuse to start another war. Bush claims that Iran, alone among all the signatories of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, must be denied its right under the pact to develop nuclear energy, because Iran, along among all the other signatories, will be the only country able to deceive the IAEA inspectors and develop nuclear weapons. Therefore, Iran must be denied its rights under the agreement.

Bush’s position on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is as legally untenable as his position on every other issue–the Geneva Conventions, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, habeas corpus, the constitutional separation of powers, and presidential signing statements that he cavalierly attaches to new laws in order to override the legislative power of Congress. Bush’s position is that the meaning of laws and treaties varies with his needs of the moment.

Bush has declared himself to be the “decider.” The “decider” decides whether Americans have any rights under the Constitution and whether Iran has any rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. As the “decider” has decided that Iran has no such rights, the “decider” decides whether to attack Iran.

No one else has any say about it. The people’s representatives are just so much chaff in the wind.

Whatever form of government Bush is operating under, it is far outside an accountable constitutional democratic government. Bush has transitioned America to Caesarism, and even if Bush leaves office in January 2009, the powers he has accumulated in the executive will remain.

Unless Bush and Cheney are impeached and convicted, there is no prospect of the US Congress and federal judiciary ever again being co-equal branches of government.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

False Expectations – Israel & Palestine (video)

Dandelion Salad

linktv

For more programs: http://www.linktv.org/originalseries

THIS EPISODE: Mosaic Intelligence Report – August 30, 2007: A document claiming to be Israel’s terms on which final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians can begin was leaked to the media.
The Bush Administration has decided to sponsor a conference in November to realize the President’s vision of a two-state solution.
The saber rattling between Syria and Israel has suddenly stopped
Are these signs of hope for the Middle East? Or will this be another dose of False Expectations?
Answer to these questions and more on Link TV’s Mosaic Intelligence Report.

Nader Calls on President Bush to Select New AG Who Respects the Constitution

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader

August 30, 2007

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush,

As you evaluate candidates to replace Alberto R. Gonzales as Attorney General it would be appropriate for you to consider all the things Mr. Gonzales has done that have tarnished the reputation of the Justice Department and undermined the rule of law in our country. Mr. Gonzales will be spared from impeachment because of his resignation, but repairing the damage he has done to the integrity of the Justice Department can only begin if you rise above partisan and personal considerations in selecting his replacement. First and foremost, the next Attorney General must truly embrace the importance of the Constitution and the rights it establishes for the citizenry and the responsibilities it imposes on government employees.

The oath of office taken by Attorney General Gonzales and previous Attorneys General reads:

“I, (Name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” 5 U.S.C. §3331

When Mr. Gonzales was installed as the eightieth Attorney General of the United States on February 14, 2005, he said, “So, I rise today to reassure you that I understand the special role of this office, and to commit to do my best on behalf of the American people to fulfill the confidence and trust reflected in my appointment.” Unfortunately, Mr. Gonzales has shattered the trust and confidence that the citizens of the United States have in the Justice Department.

Mr. Gonzales repeatedly misled Congress — and the American people — and likely perjured himself, in seeking to cover up an astonishing array of policies and practices that contravened the Justice Department’s historic independence, violated core Constitutional protections and authorized violations of fundamental international proscriptions against torture and abuse. And, in his role as Attorney General and previously as White House Counsel, he played an instrumental role in advancing policies that shredded longstanding American civil liberties and human rights protections.

After reviewing the following questions and comments, even you might be willing to concede that Mr. Gonzales has shamed the Justice Department and darkened our country’s reputation.

1. Did Mr. Gonzales mislead Congress about his role in the firing of federal prosecutors?

Mr. Gonzales insisted that each of the attorneys had been fired for “performance” reasons and stated that, “I would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney for political reasons or if it would in any way jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation. I just would not do it.”1

The New York Times reported six of the eight prosecutors had, however, recently received good performance reviews between 2003 and 2006.2

Mr. Gonzales testified that “this focus has been on the eight United States attorneys that were asked to resign last December 7th and June 14th.”3

Published reports, however, show that D. Kyle Sampson, then Attorney General Gonzales’s chief of staff, considered more than two dozen U.S. attorneys for termination, according to lists compiled by him and his colleagues.4

2. Did Mr. Gonzales mislead Congress about whether the President could authorize warrantless wiretapping?

Mr. Gonzales said that “It is not the policy or the agenda of this president to authorize actions that would be in contravention of our criminal statutes.”5

The Washington Post reported, “In fact, the president did secretly authorize the National Security Agency to begin warrantless monitoring of calls and e-mails between the United States…”6

3. Did Mr. Gonzales mislead Congress on April 27, 2005, when he testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that “The track record established over the past three years has demonstrated the effectiveness of the safeguards of civil liberties put in place when the act was passed. There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse.”7

The Washington Post reported Mr. Gonzales was in possession of at least six FBI reports detailing unlawful surveillance, searches and improper use of national security letters.8

Later, again under oath, Mr. Gonzales testified that his statement had been truthful because they were not “intentional” abuses of the Patriot Act.9

4. Did Mr. Gonzales mislead Congress when on July 24, 2007 he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the subject of an emergency meeting with the hospitalized then Attorney General John Ashcroft on March 10, 2004, was not the surveillance program, which allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on suspects in the United States without receiving court approval?

Mr. Gonzales said, “The disagreement that occurred, and the reason for the visit to the hospital, Senator, was about other intelligence activities. It was not about the terrorist surveillance program that the president announced to the American people.”10

A four-page memorandum dated May 17, 2006 from the National Intelligence Director’s office, obtained by The Associated Press, shows that the briefing was about the surveillance program.11

5. Did Mr. Gonzales mislead Congress when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 18, 2007, about the appointment of “interim” U.S. Attorneys?

A provision quietly added to the Patriot Act in 2005 allowed the President to appoint “interim” U.S. attorneys for an indefinite period of time, without Senate confirmation. Mr. Gonzales testified under oath that “I am fully committed, as the administration’s fully committed, to ensure that, with respect to every United States attorney position in this country, we will have a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed United States attorney.”12

The Washington Post reported, “Justice officials discussed bypassing the two Democratic senators in Arkansas, who normally would have had input into the appointment, as early as last August. By mid-December, [D. Kyle] Sampson [former chief of staff to Attorney Gonzales] was suggesting that Gonzales exercise his newfound appointment authority to put [Tim] Griffin in place until the end of Bush’s term.”13

President Bush, the next Attorney General must respect the Constitution and the rule of law.
Our country cannot afford and does not deserve an Attorney General who puts political loyalty above his sworn obligation to respect and defend civil liberties and civil rights.

Sincerely,

Ralph Nader
P.O. Box 19312
Washington, DC 20036


1Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. January 18, 2007.
2Johnston, David. “Dismissed U.S. Attorneys Praised in Evaluations.” The New York Times. February 25, 2007. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/washington/25lawyers.html
3Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. May 10, 2007.
4Eggen, Dan and Amy Goldstein. “Justice Weighed Firing 1 in 4.” The Washington Post. May 17, 2007. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/
5Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. January 6, 2005.
6Leonnig, Carol D. “Gonzales Is Challenged on Wiretaps.” The Washington Post. January 31, 2006. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/
7Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. April 27, 2005.
8Solomon, John. “Gonzales Was Told of FBI Violations.” The Washington Post. July 10, 2007. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/
9Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. July 24, 2007.
10Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. July 24, 2007.
11The Associated Press. “Documents Dispute Gonzales’ Testimony.” The New York Times. July 26, 2007.
12Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. January 18, 2007.
13Eggen, Dan and John Solomon. “Firings Had Genesis in White House.” The Washington Post. March 13, 2007. Available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Attack of the Wallmart-istas? by Stephen P. Pizzo

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen P. Pizzo
Atlantic Free Press
Thursday, 30 August 2007

Maybe I stayed in the news business for too long after my radiation badge turned red. Maybe I’m suffering from Post-traumatic, Restless News Syndrome, or something. But I have this notion stuck in my head lately. It’s kind of like when I get an annoying tune stuck in my head, this notion pops up and up again, especially after I read the news.

Okay so, at the risk of exposing myself as the nut I have always secretly suspected I would someday be proven to be, here it is — my notion:

How long before before they get it? It can’t be far off. So when will day arrive when America’s once vibrant and hyper-patriotic working class wakes up and realizes they’re at the receiving end of one of the greatest screwings in human history? And then, rather than reaching for their car keys to rush off to their second low-paying job of the day, they reach instead for one of their many guns.”

A number of things got me thinking about that. Like this story which ran earlier this week:

US Most Armed Country With 90 Guns Per 100 People

Reuters — Tuesday 28 August 2007: The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said. U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies. About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said. “There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people,” it said.

Yikes. Al-Qaeda, eat your heart out. Americans have more firepower than you do. Which begs the question: when should the US movers and shakers stop worrying about al-Qaeda and start worring about al-Smith? When will all those WallMart shoppers morph into a mob of angry, well-armed Wallmartatistas?

Or is that just crazy — and me too for even considering such a thing happening in America? Maybe I am just crazy, or at least heading to Crazyland. But before you pass that judgement on me, let’s run through a few of the news threads that led me down this dark and troubling path.

Continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Lies, and More Lies by our Government post-9/11 (video no longer available)

Dandelion Salad

Sorry the video is no longer available.

Prepare to redefine your patriotism, from www.puppetgovcom

Dennis Kucinich talks at Maine Rally + Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich visit Maine (videos)

donovonc 4,000 Gather for Anti-War March to Bu…

4,000 Gather for Anti-War March to Bush Maine Estate
In Maine, an estimated four thousand people gathered in Kennebunkport Saturday for an anti-war march to the Bush family estate. It was the second major anti-war rally to hit Kennebunkport this summer. Speakers including the peace mom Cindy Sheehan addressed the crowd. Democratic Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich called on Congress to take action to end the war.

h/t: Dennis 4 President in 2008!

Kucinich2008

see:

Lies, and More Lies by our Government post-9/11 (video)

Iraq Veterans Against The War – Kennybunkport ME – Interview w/Eli Israel (video) + Help support Eli Israel’s new mission

Anti-war activists gather in Kennebunkport (link) + McKinney, Sheehan, Tarpley Warn Of New Cheney 911 + Kennebunkport Protest (videos)

08.30.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning

This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

August 30, 2007

linktv

“More than 300K people Still Missing in Iraq”, Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Sudan to Mediate Betweeen Hamas & Fateh”, Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Syria Lifts Subsidies from Oil Products”, LBC TV, Lebanon
“More Problems for Jordan’s Prime Minister”, Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Conference for Palestinian Children”, Dubai TV, UAE
“Moqtada el Sadr Tones Down Rhetoric”, Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Mosaic Intelligence Report: “False Expectations”

Iraqi Refugee Camps Overflowing Turning People Away (video)

Dandelion Salad

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

AUGUST 30, 2007 BBC WORLD

 

 

Dennis Kucinich – Prez on the Rez Forum, Cabazon, CA (video; Native Americans)

Dandelion Salad

Kucinich2008

Prez on the Rez
August 23, 2007
Morongo Event Center
Cabazon, Calif.

Camera: Tim McHugh

***

INDN’s List Education Fund and Morongo Tribe to Host Historic Presidential Forum

Prez on the Rez Forum

Source

August 23rd, 2007 – Cabazon, California – Prez On The Rez, a historic forum that will assemble Democratic presidential candidates together on Indian land for the first time in American Indian history, is gaining momentum.

Democratic presidential candidates Gov. Bill Richardson, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Sen. Mike Gravel have committed to participate, according to INDN’s List founder Kalyn Free.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Labor Day Hypocrisy by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman

Labor Day is commemorated on the first Monday in September each year since the first one was celebrated in New York in 1882. Around the world outside the US, socialist and labor movements are observed on May 1 to recognize organized labor’s social and economic achievements and the workers in them. This day gets scant attention in the US, but where it’s prominent it’s commonly to remember the Haymarket Riot of May 4, 1886 in Chicago. It followed the city’s May 1 general strike for an eight hour day that led to violence breaking out on the 4th.

Labor Day became a national federal holiday when Congress passed legislation for it in June, 1894 at a time working people had few rights, management had the upper hand, only wanted to exploit them for profit, and got away with it. It took many painful years of organizing, taking to the streets, going on strike, holding boycotts, battling police and National Guard forces, and paying with their blood and lives before real gains were won. They got an eight hour day, a living wage, on-the-job benefits and the pinnacle of labor’s triumph in the 1930s with the passage of the landmark Wagner Act establishing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It guaranteed labor the right to bargain collectively on equal terms with management for the first time ever.

Continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

IAEA confirms the “peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities” – Full text of Iran-IAEA Modalities of Resolution of Outstanding Issues

Dandelion Salad

Global Research, August 30, 2007

International Atomic Energy Agency – 2007-08-21

Global Research Editorial Note

The mainstream media has failed to report the agreement reached between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Iranian government in regards to the Iranian nuclear energy program. An understanding has been reached between the two. The IAEA has given Iran’s nuclear program a clean bill of health.

Why is the U.S. media not reporting on this matter? Why do the U.S. and its Western allies continue to threaten Iran with punitive bombings for its alleged non-compliance, when everything indicates that Iran has a bona fide nuclear energy program and does not have the capabilities of developing nuclear weapons?

The following are highlights from the document:

Article IV (1): These modalities cover all remaining issues and the Agency [meaning IAEA] confirmed that there are no other remaining issues and ambiguities regarding Iran’s past nuclear program and activities.

Article IV (3): The Agency’s delegation is of the view that the agreement on the above issues shall further promote the efficiency of the implementation of safeguards in Iran and its ability to conclude the exclusive peaceful nature of the Iran’s nuclear activities.

Article IV (4): The Agency has been able to verify the non-diversion of the declared nuclear materials at the enrichment facilities in Iran and has therefore concluded that it remains in peaceful use.

Emphasis added

The Director-General of the IAEA has also confirmed in an interview published by Profil, an Austrian magazine that it is highly unlikely that Iran would pursue the development of a nuclear weapons program.

The document is a slap in the face for the Bush Administration. In light of these developments, it is no surprise that the Washington is now seeking to justify military action on the grounds that Iran is allegedly behind the killings of American troops in Iraq.

The fact of the matter is that the U.S. and its Coaltion partners, as confirmed by several reports, are in an “advanced state of readiness” to wage a military operation directed against Iran. What they now require is a new fabricated pretext which portrays Iran, in the eyes of public opinion, as a threat to world peace.

The Western media bears a heavy burden of responsibility in the current wave of disinformation regarding Iran.

Global Research, 30 August 2007

 


To consult original text click here.

Understandings of The Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on the Modalities of Resolution of the Outstanding Issues

Tehran – 21 August 2007

Pursuant to the negotiations between H.E. Dr. Larijani, I. R. of Iran’s Secretary of Supreme National Security Council and H.E. Dr. ElBaradei, Director General of the IAEA, in Vienna; following the initiative and good will of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the agreement made, a high ranking delegation consisting of the directors of technical, legal and political departments of the IAEA, paid a visit to Tehran from 11 to 12 July 2007 during which “Understandings of The Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on the Modalities of Resolution of the Outstanding Issues, Tehran 12 July 2007” were prepared.

A second meeting took place in Vienna on 24 July 2007 followed by a further meeting in Iran from 20 to 21 August 2007. The Agency’s delegation had the opportunity to have meetings with H.E. Dr. Larijani during both visits to Tehran. Following these three consecutive meetings, both Parties reached the following understandings:

I. Latest Developments:

Based on the modalities agreed upon on 12 July 2007, the following decisions were made:

1. Present Issues:

A. Enrichment Programme

The Agency and Iran agreed to cooperate in preparing the safeguards approach for the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant in accordance with Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. The draft text of the safeguards approach paper, and the facility attachment of IRN- were provided to Iran on 23 July 2007. The safeguards approach and the facility attachment were discussed during technical meetings in Iran between the Agency and the AEOI from 6 to 8 August 2007. Further discussions will be held with the aim of finalizing the facility attachment by the end of September 2007.

B. Heavy Water Research Reactor in Arak

Iran agreed with the Agency’s request to visit the heavy water research reactor (IR40) site in Arak. A successful visit took place on 30 July 2007.

C. Designation of new inspectors

On 12 July 2007, Iran accepted the designation of five additional inspectors.

D. Issue of multiple entry visas

On 12 July 2007, Iran agreed to issue one year multiple entry visas for 14 inspectors and staff of the Agency.

2. Past Outstanding Issues:

A. Plutonium Experiments

In order to conclude and close the file of the issue of plutonium (Pu), the Agency provided Iran with the remaining questions on 23 July 2007. During a meeting in Iran between representatives of the Agency and Iran, Iran provided clarifications to the Agency that helped to explain the remaining questions. In addition, on 7 August 2007, Iran sent a letter to the Agency providing additional clarifications to some of the questions. On 20 August 2007 the Agency stated that earlier statements made by Iran are consistent with the Agency’s findings, and thus this matter is resolved. This will be communicated officially by the Agency to Iran through a letter.

B. Issue of P1-P2:

Based on agreed modalities of 12 July 2007, Iran and the Agency agreed the following procedural steps to resolve the P1-P2 issue. The proposed timeline assumes that the Agency announces the closure of the Pu-experiments outstanding issue by 31 August

2007, and its subsequent reporting in the Director General’s report to the September 2007 Board of Governors.

The Agency will provide all remaining questions on this issue by 31 August 2007. Iran and the Agency will have discussions in Iran on 24-25 September 2007 to clarify the questions provided. This will be followed up by a further meeting in mid-October 2007 to further clarify the written answers provided. The Agency’s target date for the closure of this issue is November 2007.

C. Source of Contamination Based on the agreed modalities on 12 July 2007 and given the Agency’s findings which tend, on balance, to support Iran’s statement about the foreign origin of the observed HEU contamination, the only remaining outstanding issue on contamination is the contamination found at a Technical University in Tehran.

Iran and the Agency agreed on the following procedural steps to address this issue, starting once the P1-P2 issue is concluded and the file is closed. The Agency will again provide Iran with the remaining questions regarding the contamination found at a

Technical University in Tehran by 15 September 2007. After 2 weeks of the closure of the P1-P2 issue Iran and the Agency will have discussions in Iran on this issue.

D. U Metal Document

Upon the request of the Agency, Iran agreed to cooperate with the Agency in facilitating the comparison of the relevant sections of the document. Iran is presently reviewing the proposals already made during the first meeting on 12 July 2007. After taking this step by Iran, the Agency undertakes to close this issue.

II. Modalities of Resolution of other Outstanding Issues

A. Po210

Based on agreed modalities of 12 July 2007, Iran agreed to deal with this issue, once all the above mentioned issues are concluded and their files are closed. Iran and the Agency agreed upon the following procedural steps: regarding this issue, the Agency will provide Iran in writing with all its remaining questions by 15 September 2007. After 2 weeks from conclusion and closure of the issues of the source of contamination and U-metal, reflected in the Director General’s report to the Board of Governors, Iran and the Agency will have discussions in Iran where Iran will provide explanations on the Po210.

B. Ghachine Mine

Based on agreed modalities of 12 July 2007, Iran agreed to deal with this issue, once the issue of Po210 is concluded and its file is closed. Iran and the Agency agreed upon the following procedural steps: regarding this issue, the Agency will provide Iran in writing with all its remaining questions by 15 September 2007.

After 2 weeks from conclusion and closure of the issue of Po210, reflected in the Director General’s report to the Board of Governors, Iran and the Agency will have discussions in Iran where Iran will provide explanations to the Agency about Ghachine Mine.

III. Alleged Studies

Iran reiterated that it considers the following alleged studies as politically motivated and baseless allegations. The Agency will however provide Iran with access to the documentation it has in its possession regarding: the Green Salt Project, the high explosive testing and the missile re-entry vehicle.

As a sign of good will and cooperation with the Agency, upon receiving all related documents, Iran will review and inform the Agency of its assessment.

IV. General Understandings

1. These modalities cover all remaining issues and the Agency confirmed that there are no other remaining issues and ambiguities regarding Iran’s past nuclear program and activities.

2. The Agency agreed to provide Iran with all remaining questions according to the above work plan. This means that after receiving the questions, no other questions are left. Iran will provide the Agency with the required clarifications and information.

3. The Agency’s delegation is of the view that the agreement on the above issues shall further promote the efficiency of the implementation of safeguards in Iran and its ability to conclude the exclusive peaceful nature of the Iran’s nuclear activities.

4. The Agency has been able to verify the non-diversion of the declared nuclear materials at the enrichment facilities in Iran and has therefore concluded that it remains in peaceful use.

5. The Agency and Iran agreed that after the implementation of the above work plan and the agreed modalities for resolving the outstanding issues, the implementation of safeguards in Iran will be conducted in a routine manner.

To see original text click here

 


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