JULY 02, 2007 



Olbermann: GEORGE W. BUSH WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD!!! (video; Libby)


Bush spares Libby from prison by Andrew Ward “Free” & Ruined Lives. By Layla Anwar 



JULY 02, 2007






Olbermann: GEORGE W. BUSH WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD!!! (video; Libby)

Bush spares Libby from prison by Andrew Ward






(earlier today)




CIA Leak/Plame Case

Bush spares Libby from prison by Andrew Ward

Olbermann: GEORGE W. BUSH WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD!!! (video; Libby)


“Free” & Ruined Lives. By Layla Anwar

“Free” & Ruined Lives.

By Layla Anwar
An Arab Woman Blues


07/02/07 “ICH


I am “Free”. He is “Free”. She is “Free”. They are “Free”. And you are only a spectator… Free, Freedom, Democracy. I shudder at these words.

I want to burn Plato’s Republic and spit on your Constitution, on your Founding Fathers, on your Laws…

Free limbs, detached, solitary limbs, scattered to the four cardinal points and a bleeding heart in the middle, like a compass.
An arm to the West, a leg to the East, a head down South and a torso up North…And that damned bleeding heart in the Center.

Free, so free…

Free, free in Prisons. Free, so free in Detention centers…

Detention centers in the Mnistry of Interior, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Justice!

Crammed, packed, jammed… The smell of blood, urine and feces…covering the infected wounds. Wounds of torture born on transparent skins covering rib cages…
Free, so free.

Tortured and Free in American camps. Sodomized and Free – American democracy flavor. Tortured and Free, whipped by sectarianism – Iranian flavor. Oh so Free.

Free to die. Free to cry. Free to mourn. Free to flee. Free to escape. Free at the borders…jammed, packed.

Two thousand “free souls” flee a day. They amass at frontiers, waiting for a stamp on that damned Green passport…that cursed passport.

The passport with a broken winged eagle as an emblem. Clipped wings of Freedom.
It reads “Republic of Iraq.”

Republic of whom? Iraq? What Iraq?

Two thousand a day. Grave faces, desperate eyes, lost voices…

A forgotten, abandoned people. A despised, humiliated, tortured, stolen people.
A raped people.

Lost voices in the wilderness of your indifference. The Lost voices of Freedom and Democracy…

“I have 8 children. Look at how I am living. Has anyone asked me how I feed those kids. I have been without a job for 2 years. I tell you how I feed them…I can’t feed them. I spit on the U.N. I spit on the thief Bush. If I ever return to Iraq it will be to free my country from those criminals. I will either kill or be killed by them. There is no other way “ says this worn out father who looks 3 times his age.

“The Iraqi government helping us? Are you insulting me or what? The Iraqi government has not and will never do anything for us. These are the most corrupt people in power that Iraq has ever known. They are sectarians and thieves. I don’t want this passport. Take it now. I don’t want this nationality. I am even willing to go to Somalia. Just find me a solution. Take that passport. Take it.” says another father of 32.

“The Americans bombed my house. My 9 year old son was inside. Look at his face. He is burnt all over. His eyes are stuck and he cannot open them. His tongue is stuck to his palate and he cannot talk or swallow. And his head was stuck to his shoulder.

He has already undergone 9 operations and he needs another 9… He is only 9 years old. Look at him. I, myself, have 3 bullets lodged in my body. I served the Iraqi Army for 24 years. One in my thigh. One below my ribs and one in my back. I need surgery too. But I am not important. My son is. How will I manage? On my way here, highway bandits took all my money. I sold the house to come here. Now I have nothing. The boy needs treatment. No school is willing to accept him. One school did but the other students rejected him. They said he frightened them with his looks.”

The father wipes his tears and you can see the look of being stuck in “Freedom”.
Ah the look of America on his and his son’s face. The look of “Freedom”.

Another one plays the lute. A melodious tune that makes your heart quiver. A languorous tune of longing that fills the empty space like smoke. A smoke soon dissipated into that nothingness of “Freedom.”

A couple with a paralysed little girl who needs urgent treatment. They have been there, waiting since the crack of dawn, at the gates of some embassy or the UNHCR. Others take to the pavements. They sit and wait some more… Long hours of waiting in the space of “Freedom.”

Free, Freedom…

Free comments on a blog.

And the rats crawl from the gutters…Rats’ droppings, Albert Camus’s “the Plague”.

The same kind of rats that rule Baghdad with their droppings…

Rats everywhere, crawling the streets, crawling on this page, leaving behind them a trail of excrements wherever they pass.

Rats on the go. Rats exiting. Rats entering again through a different door.

The rat with the grey steel eyes. The eyes of lies and deception has exited only to re-enter again after having ruined our lives with Freedom. Now another rat has taken up his place.

The fat rat of Baghdad. The rats of Iran. The rats of America…

The plague of Freedom.

Free, Freedom, Democracy and forever Ruined lives…
Forever Ruined.


Layla Anwar, Who am I? The eternal Question. Have not figured it out fully yet. All you need to know about me is that I am a Middle Easterner, an Arab Woman – into my 40’s and old enough to know better. I have no homeland per se. I live in Iraq,Lebanon,Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Egypt simultaneously …. All the rest is icing on the cake. Visit her blog http://arabwomanblues.blogspot.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.

Slaying Our Dreams: Created Our Nightmares By Jim Kirwan

Slaying Our Dreams: Created Our Nightmares

By Jim Kirwan


07/02/07 “ICH


From 911 forward, the world has been consumed with discovering what really happened on that day, to the three buildings in the World Trade Center; to the plane that supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania and as to how that missile managed to hit the Pentagon. This is the latest video of what has been learned thus far. (1)

The single largest tragedy here is the one thing not in dispute: That is the “unending war” that Bush promised the world, supposedly in retaliation for 911. This will indeed be “never-ending” unless people in the United States demand the immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Many of he same people that were in-charge of US policies when 911 happened, are still in-charge today, and they have yet to answer for their parts in the crimes committed on that day.

The head of the FBI then is still in place today, Rumsfeld still has an office in the Pentagon, and others like Richard Pearl, John Ashcroft, Richard Armitage, along with Paul Wolfowitz, and General Powell have not disappeared. There was also John Bolton our stealth ambassador to the UN. Cheney, Rice, Rove and Bush are all still active and have been joined by Chertoff at DHS and now Gates at Offense. None of these people have been seriously questioned about their parts in what happened on 911.

The only member of government that did speak openly was Richard Clark who tried to warn Rice. But as CIA has largely taken the fall for the intelligence failures on 911 – the agency has changed hands several times. However, Richard Clark, the counter-terrorism chief in the Clinton Administration is still claiming responsibility for having created Al Qaeda, not as our enemy, but as an operating arm of the CIA, prior to 911. (2)

Exactly how Al Qaeda went from being an operating arm of the CIA to becoming “responsible for 911′ needs further on-the-record elaboration. Just as Rummy needs to finally explain what happened to the $2.3 trillion that he admits his agency “lost” in Iraq. ($2.3 trillion would buy a lot of help for our bankrupt federal government). Where are the subpoenas? Where is the outrage? More importantly where is our sense of ourselves as a coherent people, within a nation that we say we claim as ‘our country’?

The United States has adopted international threats and global-instability as our weapons of choice, backed up by overwhelming violence and military force, in dealing with the rest of the planet.

This has never worked for any length of time-throughout the long march of world history-and there is no reason to expect that it will ever work for us in this instance, either. Bush is fond of portraying himself as a loner, a cowboy who stands against the world, and defies anyone and everyone that opposes his insanities. Yet the fact is that he is nothing but a deluded puppet in a theater-of-the-absurd that has never drawn a crowd: except perhaps for others of his kind-a crowd that has equally oppressed their own people, for monetary gain and for petty-political-powers that by definition shall have to end, in infamy!

Bush believes he is bold and daring, and believes that he has much in common with Winston Churchill, the man who replaced British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, with his policy of appeasement in dealing with the Nazi’s. However the facts of history make clear that it is Chamberlain, not Churchill that most closely represents Bush-the-lesser in the world today. (3)

In the Middle-East Bush has been a partner in the continuing Israeli massacre of the Palestinian people. For fifty years this country has worn many hats in regard to Palestine and Israel. But with the coming of the Bush-men in 2000, all of that began to change. Over the previous five decades we have given Israel trillions of dollars, and we’ve occasionally tried to play the part of an “honest broker” for peace in the Middle-East. But under the Decider, we have aided and abetted so many crimes against the Palestinians-while we have repeatedly failed to point out to the world that Israel wants to destroy the Palestinian people.

We stood by while Israel orchestrated the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, only to serve again as Israel’s bully-boy protector while Israel’s pitiful military tried unsuccessfully to invade Lebanon. The world held its breath for thirty days, back then, while that obscene farce was played out. And then we actually wondered why there was no movement toward “peace-in-Palestine.” (4)

Then again we backed Israel when they recently scoffed at the open and freely democratic election that brought Hamas to power in Palestine. We not only endorsed Israel’s view, but we blocked humanitarian aide from getting to the Palestinians from anyone else as well. We’re still supporting the extremist Israeli government’s decision to make war on Gaza and Hamas, while blackmailing the Palestinians in the West Bank with promises of food and water, if they do not come to the aid of Gaza and the rest of Palestine.

This behavior of the US, in favor of the blatantly criminal state of Israel, whose president kept sex slaves, and was evicted from office for that and other crimes: speaks volumes to all parties in the region, and the world. How then can wee expect anyone in the Middle-East to take the United States seriously about anything else we might have to say – such as what we are now demanding in Iran, or suggesting for Lebanon, or Syria or anywhere else where we are manufacturing more lies as an excuse to do our worst, and steal more of what is still not ours. The whole world knows that the USA today is nothing more than a blunt instrument in mercenary service to the global criminal-elites. The new Quartet under the direction of Tony Blair shall make this ever more clear, as that failed leader takes charge of yet another group of Bandits; this time Hell-bent on creating a Middle-East without Arabs or Palestinians.

At home, things are no better. All the wrong priorities have arisen to block anything and everything that this country needs to survive. Health care has become a con-game being run by those who directly profit from their failure to provide the services that they take money to provide. The nation reels from the failures of this government to help its people whether the topic is Katrina, or Education: Retirement or Social Security: Justice or ordinary daily survival: the United States Government has become the open and belligerent enemy of the people of this nation.

Our economy is in ruins, because the same philosophy that drove the nation prior to the Crash of 1929 is back in business again (thank Bill Clinton for that one), and they’ve just met: to consider how ready the conditions are for a repeat version of 1929. This collapse is not a question of if but when the bounty can begin to flow to those who shall have escaped the markets before they fall, again!

We kid ourselves that we have a diverse business economy when in fact what we have are the scraps left over from all the mergers and acquisitions that have left this nation almost totally under the spell of corporate oligarchies that thrive on conglomerate acquisitions and mergers and leave most of small business completely unprotected from their iron-fisted controls over profits, no matter how far removed those small businesses might appear to be from the global-corporatocracy that actually owns all their once private business opportunities: not to mention access to real ‘capital.’

Oil Company’s brag about the virtues of teaching every child about the wonders of Math & Science: when what is really needed are the humanities in mega-doses, if there is to be a world left for anyone to live in. They brag about burning corn instead of oil, when what should be happening is that hemp ought to be reintroduced so that the corn can be eaten, and the hemp can replace the sugar, the corn and everything else used to make artificial fuels. Hemp was once used in virtually everything-Henry Ford used it to make parts for the bodies his early automobiles. And, if we had a ready supply, plastics could be eliminated.

The same is true of much of what we now use to create medicines – nature’s gift to mankind was this plant that we have banned from commercial use: “hemp.” It was banned so that oil and chemical companies might be able to prosper undisturbed, look it up: it is fascinating reading!

The world that Bush and his handlers have created for us all is as false as their insurance company’s promises that amount to the kind of extortion that has resulted in death, in far too many cases. The cynical and privileged elite have always tried to corner all the profits and relegated the poor to virtual slavery to achieve their ends. The time has come to reign in the artificial life-expectancy that most corporations now enjoy. The joys of multinational Corporate power should have limits placed upon them: just as the people who work for Corporations need to have their own separate and inviolate “Bill of Rights” for anyone that has to deal with corporate-anything. We have the power to demand that the government we pay for must work for all of us and not for those who seek to steal our lives and dreams.

By that token we ought to be able to have Universal Health Care. After all, as Michael Moore just so clearly pointed out in his film “Sicko” ‘if we can pay out trillions for illegal and unnecessary wars then we can definitely afford to provide healthcare for every American’ – for free! And if we can subsidize big-business to the obscene levels that we have raised corporate welfare to: then we can definitely begin to make some real demands of “our” federal government-so that it is no longer a feral threat to every man, woman and child in this country. We had rights once upon a time, but we had them only as long as we were willing and able to fight for those rights.

What we do now to change this equation for the future is really up to each and every one of us. Those who choose to act will be part of the solution: the rest will remain as part of the problem that will need to be removed. The choices will not be easy, but then freedom never was or is. If any of us are to ever have dreams worth dreaming once again-then something very different must begin to shape our thoughts!

Click here to read other articles by Jim Kirwin http://www.kirwanesque.com/politics/articles/articles.htm#row2007C


1) Zeitgeist -The Movie

2) 911 Hearings – Richard Clark on Democracy NOW

3) Why Winston Wouldn’t Stand for W

4) Who Will Stop the Countdown
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.

ZEITGEIST, The Movie – Part 2 : “All The World’s A Stage” (vid; 9-11)

ZEITGEIST-The Movie-Part 3: Don’t mind the men behind the curtain (vid; Fed Reserve; NAU; RFID)


The unintended consequences of the “cakewalk war” By Paul Craig Roberts

The unintended consequences of the “cakewalk war”

By Paul Craig Roberts

07/02/07 “ICH


John Lukacs in his monograph, June 1941: Hitler and Stalin, reports that “the best military experts throughout the world predicted the defeat of the Soviet Union within a few weeks, or within two months at the most” following Hitler’s invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941.

While the superb German military machine made an excellent showing, by the beginning of 1943 its offensive capability was exhausted and the Germans were defeated at Stalingrad. Germany lost the war one and one-half years before the US could manage the invasion of Normandy. If Hitler had not depleted the German Army in Russia, a US invasion of Normandy could not have been contemplated.

Lukacs concerns himself with unintended consequences of June 22, 1941. It is not too early, or too late, to concern ourselves with the unintended consequences of March 20, 2003.

Four and one-quarter years ago the Pentagon and its neoconservative advisors and media propagandists promised Americans a “cakewalk” war of 3 to 6 weeks duration. Six weeks later on May 2, 2003, in history’s most ill-advised propaganda stunt, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, whose tower was adorned with a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished,” and announced the end to major combat operations in Iraq.

In fact, the war had hardly begun. Four years later with the failure in June 2007 of President Bush’s desperate last measure–”the surge”–US offensive capability is exhausted. The US military can do no more and has less control of the situation than ever.

Perhaps the clearest indication that the war in Iraq is no longer under American control is Turkey’s announcement of plans to invade northern Iraq, the home of the Iraqi Kurds. As June 2007 came to an end, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul announced that if US or Iraqi forces did not eliminate the Kurdish guerrillas that were attacking Turkey, the Turkish Army would move into northern Iraq to deal with the situation.

Foreign Minister Gul was unequivocal: “The military plans have been worked out in the finest detail. The government knows these plans and agrees with them. If neither the Iraqi government nor the US occupying forces can do this [crush the guerrillas], we will take our own decision and implement it.”

This ultimatum puts President Bush in an impossible situation. Neither the Iraqi government nor the US military have the means to deal with Kurdish guerrillas in their mountain strongholds. The US military cannot even occupy Baghdad. The Iraqi government exists in name only and can be found only in its offices located inside the fortified and US-protected Green Zone in Baghdad. Moreover, to the extent that the in-name-only Iraqi government has any support, it comes from the Kurds in northern Iraq.

The rest of Iraq is controlled by Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militias. Even Basra in the south has been abandoned to the Shi’ite militias by Bush’s British ally.

The over-stretched American Empire hasn’t any troops to send to northern Iraq. NATO, whose charter was to defend Western Europe from Soviet invasion should have been disbanded two decades ago. Today NATO functions as an auxiliary US force and has been sent to Afghanistan, where it is being defeated like the British and Russians before it.

In the midst of this unmanageable chaos, vice president Cheney, Bush’s former UN ambassador John Bolton and large numbers of Christian and Jewish Zionists are demanding that the US attack Iran, and Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The unintended consequences of the “cakewalk war” are already far outside the Bush administration’s ability to manage and will plague future governments for many years. For the administration to initiate new acts of aggression in the Middle East would go beyond recklessness to insanity.


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

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.

Paul Craig Roberts

Imperialism and Fascism are on the Rise in the USA by Rodrigue Tremblay

Imperialism and Fascism are on the Rise in the USA

by Rodrigue Tremblay

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison (1751-1836), 4th U.S. President and author of the U.S. Constitution

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carring the cross.” – Sinclair Lewis, (It Can’t Happen Here, 1935)“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of a private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd US President

“…An empire is a despotism, and an emperor is a despot, bound by no law or limitation but his own will; it is a stretch of tyranny beyond absolute monarchy. For, although the will of an absolute monarch is law, yet his edicts must be registered by parliaments. Even this formality is not necessary in an empire.” – John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd American President

“I’m the commander in chief, see, I don’t need to explain, I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting part about being president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.” – George W. Bush, quoted in Bob Woodward’s book ‘Bush at War’

It may be partly a consequence of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the perceived rising external threat coming from fanatical Islamists, but it is undeniable that imperialism abroad and fascism at home are on the rise in 21st Century America. This is amazing, because, along with totalitarian communism, these were precisely the two most disastrous political diseases of the 20th Century against which the United States and other democracies fought. They led to two world wars and turned the 20th Century into the most murderous century in the history of mankind. —Such a development is important for the United States, but it is also of paramount importance for all the other democracies, because if the United States, which has one of the best democratic constitutions in the world, falls to a form of benign totalitarianism, what is the fate of democracy elsewhere?

Before we proceed, let us define a few terms. Indeed, what is imperialism? What is fascism? And what is totalitarianism? What is democracy?

Firstly, imperialism is the use of force in international relations outside the realm of international law and the requirements of self-defense, with the purpose of taking control of foreign countries, their populations and their resources, and with the express intention of changing their cultures or systems of government.

—The best book on imperialism is J.A. Hobson’s Imperialism: A Study (1902).

Secondly, fascism is a political regime that is characterized by a high degree of concentration of power in the state, in one political party or in one person, accompanied by a messianic and belligerent form of nationalism, by the usurpation of legislative and judicial prerogative by the executive branch of the government, by the suppression of individual freedoms at home, by the worshipping of national symbols such as flags, and by a rise of militarism and the pursuit of military expansions abroad, often so as to avenge some perceived humiliation.

—One of the best books on fascism is Robert O. Paxton’s The Anatomy of Fascism (2004).

Thirdly, totalitarianism is a broad concept concerning the exercise of power by one party or one person within a country through force, while being unrestrained by laws or by rules.

—Perhaps the best book on totalitarianism is Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (1958).

Finally, democracy is a form of government where the citizens’ preferences are paramount in adopting public policies and where people elect a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It rests on the rule of law, the decentralization and separation of powers, and the protection of fundamental liberties and individual rights. It is the antithesis of imperialism, fascism and all types of totalitarianism.

— A classic analysis of American-style democracy is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (1835).

Now, let us look at a few facts and events that have recently taken place in the United States. When they are placed together to form a whole, they form a powerful political and legal framework that could allow President George W. Bush or any other politician to run the United States by decree rather than by the will of the people.

First, there is the September 2002 Neocon imperialist doctrine adopted by the Bush-Cheney administration that was used to launch the March 2003 illegal military invasion of Iraq. This was done according to the imperialistic “Bush Doctrine” of pre-emptive wars, of international unilateralism, and of American assertive military supremacy around the world. —According to this hubristic foreign policy doctrine, the United States could invade any country, especially in the Middle East, in order to impose a local democratic government friendly to the United States and its allies. The occupied country would then become a model to other countries which would adopt the same type of political regime and the same policies. —We all know how this new imperialistic doctrine has fared in Iraq and what have been its disastrous consequences.

The 2002 ‘Bush Doctrine’, in asserting the right for the U.S. to invade other nations for vague reasons of social engineering, nation building or regime change, represents a repudiation of the Nuremberg Principles and the United Nations Charter’s ban on wars of aggression, both strongly supported by American leaders sixty years ago. For example, the Nuremberg Charter stipulates that “To initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime.” As for the U.N. Charter, its Preamble says that it has been established “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

Second, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the regime of Adolf Hitler suspending the right of habeas corpus in Germany on February 28, 1933, the Bush-Cheney regime also suspended the right of habeas corpus in the United States. Indeed, on October 17, 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law S.3930, the Military Commissions Act, a law that cancels the right of habeas corpus for foreigners accused of terrorism and for both Americans and foreigners who have been designated as “enemy combatants” by the Executive branch. Under this law, any individual, citizen or non-citizen, can be deprived of the protection of due process at the whim of the Executive branch, and be imprisoned indefinitely without legal recourse. —The United States is probably the only country in the world where the right of habeas corpus has been suspended and yet is still being called a ‘democratic’ country.

Third, the Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (H.R. 1815), passed by Congress on September 30 2006, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006, empowers the president to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident,” if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order”. The resort to martial law could come, for example, as a response to a terrorist attack, but it is not excluded that it could be imposed if some antiwar protests were to get unruly or after any major political disturbance. Since the current Bush-Cheney administration got away with declaring a war abroad on a pretext, what would prevent them from imposing martial law at home also on a pretext?

Fourth, let us consider that when Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807, the purpose was to severely restrict the president’s ability to deploy the military within the United States. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, tightened these restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the U.S. without the express permission of Congress. Indeed, its Section 1385 .(Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus), as later amended, states that “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both”.

These protections are all gone now. —Indeed, the adoption of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122) changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from “Insurrection Act” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” —While the U.S. Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy”, the new law allows the president not only to declare martial law and rule by decree, but it also gives the president the power to take charge of United States National Guard troops without the states’ governors’ authorization. The law also expands the list of such permissible cases for martial law to include “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition”—and such “condition” is not defined or limited in scope. All the safeguards against the use of the military at home have been removed in favor of new powers being given to the president to do so nearly at his whim.

Fifth, the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed by President George W. Bush on May 4, 2007, an event that was generally not covered by U.S. mainstream media or discussed by the U.S. Congress, goes even further and declares that in the event of a “catastrophic event”, the president can become what is best described as a de facto dictator: “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government.”

Sixth, on March 15, 2004, the National Security Agency’s wire-tapping and domestic spying program, without proper judicial supervision, was authorized by the Bush-Cheney White House, without Justice Department approval and over the objections of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. This was an illegal program of domestic spying, because it violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which established a panel of judges to hear wiretap requests in secret. When a government begins to violate the law, there is no way of knowing in advance where this will lead and how far it will go. It is an open field.

And seventh, there is the practice of submitting detainees to torture and to other degrading treatments despite the clear obligation not to do so under international law and under U.S. law. It is truly amazing that the Bush-Cheney White House had to be reminded by the Supreme Court, in June 2006, that it had to abide by the Geneva Conventions. —It seems they could not figure that out by themselves.

These are seven ominous developments among the most serious, some having gone nearly unnoticed within the United States, but which would have the Fathers of the U.S. Constitution turning in their graves, if they could see what has been done to their work. Technically, there is still a fair amount of personal liberty and freedom in the United States for the average person, but this could change at the drop of a hat, or more likely, at the stroke of a pen. Over the last six years, the Bush-Cheney administration has been unmistakably shifting the USA toward imperialism and toward fascism.

—This is not to deny that we live in dangerous and taxing times, but Americans should pray that no major catastrophic event occur under George W. Bush’s watch, because all the necessary apparatus has been set into place to suspend liberties and freedoms and impose a fascist-like regime upon the American people when the pretext presents itself. This is a sobering thought.

July 1, 2007 Rodrigue Tremblay lives in Montreal and can be reached at rodrigue.tremblay@yahoo.com Visit his blog site at: www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog. Author’s Website: www.thenewamericanempire.com/ Check Dr. Tremblay’s coming book “The Code for Global Ethics” at: www.TheCodeForGlobalEthics.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.



Undercover, Under Fire by Ken Silverstein

Undercover, Under Fire

by Ken Silverstein
July 1st, 2007
Earlier this year, I put on a brand-new tailored suit, picked up a sleek leather briefcase and headed to downtown Washington for meetings with some of the city’s most prominent lobbyists. I had contacted their firms several weeks earlier, pretending to be the representative of a London-based energy company with business interests in Turkmenistan. I told them I wanted to hire the services of a firm to burnish that country’s image.

I didn’t mention that Turkmenistan is run by an ugly, neo-Stalinist regime. They surely knew that, and besides, they didn’t care. As I explained in this month’s issue of Harper’s Magazine, the lobbyists I met at Cassidy & Associates and APCO were more than eager to help out. In exchange for fees of up to $1.5 million a year, they offered to send congressional delegations to Turkmenistan and write and plant opinion pieces in newspapers under the names of academics and think-tank experts they would recruit. They even offered to set up supposedly “independent” media events in Washington that would promote Turkmenistan (the agenda and speakers would actually be determined by the lobbyists).

All this, Cassidy and APCO promised, could be done quietly and unobtrusively, because the law that regulates foreign lobbyists is so flimsy that the firms would be required to reveal little information in their public disclosure forms.

Now, in a fabulous bit of irony, my article about the unethical behavior of lobbying firms has become, for some in the media, a story about my ethics in reporting the story. The lobbyists have attacked the story and me personally, saying that it was unethical of me to misrepresent myself when I went to speak to them.

That kind of reaction is to be expected from the lobbyists exposed in my article. But what I found more disappointing is that their concerns were then mirrored by Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz, who was apparently far less concerned by the lobbyists’ ability to manipulate public and political opinion than by my use of undercover journalism.

“No matter how good the story,” he wrote, “lying to get it raises as many questions about journalists as their subjects.”

I can’t say I was utterly surprised by Kurtz’s criticism. Some major media organizations allow, in principle, undercover journalism – assuming the story in question is deemed vital to the public interest and could not have been obtained through more conventional means – but very few practice it anymore. And that’s unfortunate, because there’s a long tradition of sting operations in American journalism, dating back at least to the 1880s, when Nellie Bly pretended to be insane in order to reveal the atrocious treatment of inmates at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island in New York City.

In the late 1970s, the Chicago Sun-Times bought its own tavern and exposed, in a 25-part series, gross corruption on the part of city inspectors (such as the fire inspector who agreed to ignore exposed electrical wiring for a mere $10 payoff). During that same decade, the Chicago Tribune won several Pulitzer Prizes with undercover reporting and “60 Minutes” gained fame for its use of sting stories.

Today, however, it’s almost impossible to imagine a mainstream media outlet undertaking a major undercover investigation. That’s partly a result of the 1997 verdict against ABC News in the Food Lion case. The TV network accused Food Lion of selling cheese that had been gnawed on by rats as well as spoiled meat and fish that had been doused in bleach to cover up its rancid smell. But even though the grocery chain never denied the allegations in court, it successfully sued ABC for fraud – arguing that the reporters only made those discoveries after getting jobs at Food Lion by lying on their resumes. In other words, the fact that their reporting was accurate was no longer a defense.

The decline of undercover reporting – and of investigative reporting in general – also reflects, in part, the increasing conservatism and cautiousness of the media, especially the smug, high-end Washington press corps. As reporters have grown more socially prominent during the last several decades, they’ve become part of the very power structure that they’re supposed to be tracking and scrutinizing.

Chuck Lewis, a former “60 Minutes” producer and founder of the Center for Public Integrity, once told me: “The values of the news media are the same as those of the elite, and they badly want to be viewed by the elites as acceptable.”

In my case, I was able to gain an inside glimpse into a secretive culture of professional spinners only by lying myself. I disclosed my deceptions clearly in the piece I wrote (whereas the lobbyists I met boasted of how they were able to fly under the radar screen in seeking to shape U.S. foreign policy). If readers feel uncomfortable with my methods, they’re free to dismiss my findings.

Yes, undercover reporting should be used sparingly, and there are legitimate arguments to be had about when it is fair or appropriate. But I’m confident my use of it in this case was legitimate. There was a significant public interest involved, particularly given Congress’ as-yet-unfulfilled promise to crack down on lobbyists in the aftermath of the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Could I have extracted the same information and insight with more conventional journalistic methods? Impossible.

Based on the number of interview requests I’ve had, and the steady stream of positive e-mails I’ve received, I’d wager that the general public is decidedly more supportive of undercover reporting than the Washington media establishment. One person who heard me talking about the story in a TV interview wrote to urge that I never apologize for “misrepresenting yourself to a pack of thugs … especially when misrepresentation is their own stock in trade!”

I’m willing to debate the merits of my piece, but the carping from the Washington press corps is hard to stomach. This is the group that attended the White House correspondents dinner and clapped for a rapping Karl Rove. As a class, they honor politeness over honesty and believe that being “balanced” means giving the same weight to a lie as you give to the truth.

I’ll take Nellie Bly any day.

This article was first published in The Los Angeles Times.

Ken Silverstein is the Washington Editor for Harper’s Magazine and writes Washington Babylon for Harper’s online. Read other articles by Ken, or visit Ken’s website.
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.


White House rebuffs congressional subpoenas, escalating confrontation over attorney purge and domestic spying by Barry Grey

Dandelion Salad

by Barry Grey

Global Research, July 1, 2007

World Socialist Web Site

Developments over the past two days have intensified the confrontation between the Bush White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress over the administration’s domestic spying operations and its politically motivated ouster of nine US attorneys.

On Thursday, the White House refused to comply with subpoenas issued June 13 by the House and Senate judiciary committees demanding that it turn over documents concerning its involvement in the 2006 purge of federal prosecutors.

Invoking executive privilege, White House Counsel Fred Fielding sent letters to the Democratic chairmen of the two committees that have been investigating the firings for the past five months, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, saying the documents would not be furnished, and that two former senior White House aides ordered to testify before the committees would not appear.

Conyers had called on Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on July 12. Leahy had ordered Sara Taylor, until recently Bush’s political director and deputy to White House political strategist Karl Rove, to appear before the Senate committee on July 11. Thursday was the deadline set by the subpoenas for the White House to turn over the requested documents.

Continue reading

Spying on Americans: New NSA Whistleblower Speaks by David Swanson

by David Swanson
Global Research, July 2, 2007
After Downing Street

A former member of U.S. military intelligence has decided to reveal what she knows about warrantless spying on Americans and about the fixing of intelligence in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq. Continue reading

The Colbert Report: Too Little, Too Late (video; Iraq)

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
Published Monday, July 2nd, 2007, 4:09 am

With public sentiment overwhelmingly against the president and the occupation, politicians and former officials are finally finding the nerve to say what the rest of us have been saying for over 4 years. People like Luger, Obama, Edwards, and Clinton vote to fund the war, then denouncing it after the fact. Senator Dick Luger is only the latest of these courageous hindsight visionaries. If only they would’ve know then what public opinion would be like now, I’m sure they would’ve voted differently.

Continue reading

On “Completing The Circle” by Aaron Michael Gordon (immigration)

On “Completing The Circle”

by Aaron Michael Gordon
July 2nd, 2007
This past weekend, I got into a highly spirited debate about immigration with a couple of my peeps (lawyers, no less.) What I love about conversations with intelligent, educated people is that they typically bring more to the table than your usual ‘bubba,’ looking at an issue through eyes without the shade of prejudice. When you’re talking immigration, it helps to have the blinders off (and this is exactly why one should not talk minority rights in the Deep South.)

Unsurprisingly, the lawyers debated the legality of the situation with our illegal alien workforce. On the one hand, how do you tell zillions of people (who have been breaking the law for decades) that we, the people, are going to actually start to enforce that law? On the other, if you’ve broken the law, you should pay for that transgression…whether that’s a criminal penalty or deportation… the law is the law is the law.

This second viewpoint opened up the next phase of discourse regarding the current crop of immigrants. While some have come here to make a better life for themselves, to become American citizens and take on all that entails, many others are merely here to work, to send money back to the homeland, which is the default mode of Mexican immigration northward today. In the Cuban fortresses of Miami, there’s a critical mass of legal citizens of the country who view their time in Florida as merely temporary, a tropical waiting room until the current regime is overthrown. “Entonces todos regresaremos a Cuba!”

Again, this is not to say that all people coming here for their shot at “The American Dream” believe this. Indeed, many immigrants have become citizens and view the United States as their home, now and forever. What’s interesting is that we, the people, tolerate those that don’t.

In our history, this is unprecedented. We’ve been an immigrant nation since the Spaniards built St. Augustine, since we gave the Indians smallpox blankets and took their land. My ancestors came from Europe to build a better life to become Americans. Generations of people, fresh off the boat, worked their asses off to learn English, to become citizens, to melt into the pot. Special mention goes to African-Americans, who were forced onto that boat, and still struggled to transcend the horrors of slavery to decisively imprint America with their culture. If you’ve listened to Rock ‘N Roll, you’ve listened to a distillation of black culture (and if you’ve heard Justin Timberlake speak or sing… like, really! He’s from Orlando by way of Memphis or something, right? Anyway…)

The argument that the new crop of immigrants doesn’t do this is quite powerful, especially if you’ve been exposed to a flashpoint city on the frontlines. Miami, widely touted for its ‘diversity,’ is anything but. If everybody is Spanish, how is that fucking diverse? Moreover, if one doesn’t have to learn English to survive, and if there is no badge of shame placed on not embracing the overarching culture of the United States…how is that productive? (The argument thrown back to me is that we, the people, should learn Spanish. Really? Did I move to South America? No? Then shut up! En los estados unidos, nosotros hablamos ingles.)

One of the reasons many people, including Hispanic-Americans, left Miami-Dade County is this ongoing refusal to become a part of the United States — to melt, already! Mind you, the paradox at work here is that while Miami (and some other cities) offers the ability to remained entrenched in the land, language and culture you left behind, it’s also a prison. You can only live there…or parts of LA, Texas and San Diego. To put it another way, if you don’t speak much English, getting a job in Asheville, Chicago or Boston is going to be much, MUCH more difficult. The fact that so many illegal immigrants work in low-paying, backbreaking jobs that Americans won’t take…illustrates this jail completely. If you don’t sprekkin’ the English, how can you be an art dealer in New York City? Or attend one of our universities (where the classes are…even in Florida, taught in English?) Or become attorney general?

The answer is, quite simply, that you can’t; so you’re left locked in a Wal-Mart overnight, or working in a slaughterhouse, or shucking sugarcane, or picking strawberries, or cleaning toilets. Granted, this is similar to what recent arrivals have done since we all started coming over here…shit work for shit pay, usually for racists who wish you’d just go home. But the contemporary difference lies in the acknowledgment that in order to move up in the Great American Food Chain, one needs to… well, make a damn effort to become an American! This has been demonstrated with every group to come before: Puritans, Jews, Asians, Russians… from Skid Row to Main Street, we, the people, worked our way up the ladder… by learning the language and culture, which opened up doors of possibilities: education, employment, and geographic relocation.

In short, not becoming us is effectively limiting you. It’s hardly the land of opportunity if the spheres of influence where one can function are so small, and opportunities available are threadbare in their scarcity. More than that, America is riddled with examples of cities that lost their diversity and their economic power as a result. Birmingham hasn’t recovered from their white flight (and the violent hosing of their black populace, of course.) Miami, for all its glitz, is one of the poorest cities in the country, specifically because the middle class left behind a monoculture of Latin America.

This is an example of not ‘completing the circle.’ By refusing to assimilate, one also refuses the benefits and possibilities of citizenship. By creating a facsimile of the country you just left, do you really ever leave it behind? By making the rest of the journey, what you lose will be more than made up for with what you will gain.

But we, the people, have to complete the circle as well. We don’t want illegal immigrants swarming across the Mexican border, but we also don’t want to support a living wage (or even the minimum wage) for American citizens to pick the berries, shuck the corn and implode the cattle. Do we, the people, want to pay the real market price for a hamburger or just the $1 charged at your local fast food joint? Because that’s the price for American workers doing these jobs.

And that’s the catch in the American immigration issue. It’s more than taking the jobs that Americans don’t want…it’s not paying them an American wage in order to reduce the cost of the things they produce. This is the same abstraction done with regards to American manufacturing jobs. You can’t buy something ‘Made In America’ unless you are willing to pay for it. We, the people, aren’t, and that’s why China makes all of our stuff. All we see is ‘higher price’ versus ‘lower price,’ but that increased cost may be due to a local origin. To paying a living wage to a United States citizen. Complete the circle.

Back to the immigrants. Take sugar. Migrant workers, mostly from Latin America, illegally cross the border to harvest the cane that makes the sweet stuff we crave as our waistlines expand into infinity. They earn basically nothing… like $4 a day. Now, imagine what sugar would cost if we paid citizens to pick it at $6.00 an hour. You can’t have it both ways…you can’t get rid of the immigrants and have low prices on American crops… and thus, food. Either we get rid of the immigrants and pay more for the food, or we outsource growing our food to other countries, which means that nobody gets the agricultural jobs in America, and we continue our transition to imaginary economy.

That’s completing the circle. Just like immigrants to the Unites States can’t enjoy the full range of experiences that the country has to offer if they continue to replicate the hellholes they left, the citizens of America can’t buy cheap produce if they expect all work in this country to be held by American citizens.

But we, the people, don’t see, or more accurately, don’t want to see the realities present here. For some, the immigration issue is really a racial issue. They may dress up their rhetoric in the clothing of “American Purity” and the like, but it’s really about sending all those Hispanic people home (I’m sure there’s another term they use, far less politically correct. I’ll give you a hint, it sounds like ‘lick.’) Of course, a great many of these peeps also buy their groceries at a Wal-Mart Supercenter; and whose labor do you think is keeping the cost of produce down?

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not theirs. It’s not a WASP, that’s for damn sure.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs takes a more holistic approach in his anti-illegal stance and to his credit, his semantics are correct: it is not fair nor just to have illegal immigrants become guest workers, while their brethren have busted their asses to become Americans. He also takes on global outsourcing for cheap labor, noting the dramatic decline in United States jobs across all sectors, and again, his conclusions are on the money: we are sending our manufacturing base, and our knowledge overseas, leaving us with a hobbled and weakened system to foster innovation.

And yet… nobody has finished the thought; in that you have to pay to play. Clearly, we would rather move our industries overseas than compensate our fellow citizens with a living wage. Clearly, we’d rather have even college-educated people pursuing professions in engineering, computers and telecommunications lose their jobs to Asia than build a culture that nourishes and supports them. We, the people, bitch about the employment losses and still demand low, low prices!

Complete the circle.

We’re a country dependent on illegal immigrant labor to keep the cost of growing agriculture down. We’re a country dependent on outsourcing to keep the costs of manufacturing and technology down. We’re a country that favors big box, bulk retailers to keep the costs of conspicuous consumption down. Yet, we’re pissed off that the dollar is worth less and less than before. I mean, how is this possible? Are we not the richest, most powerful country in the world?

Maybe not. Here’s a number for you: $8,803,230,044,006.93.

Do you know what that number is? It’s the total debt of the United States.

OK, let’s be clear. I hate math, and even I can see the insanity of our debt load. That’s nearly nine trillion dollars on the corporate credit card.

Now, here’s the population of the United States: 302,181,562 people and counting (I’m sure the number has changed since I checked.)

Let’s say all of the individuals, companies, countries and other entities cash in tomorrow on the nearly nine trillion dollars of debt we, the people, owe.

Each of us would pay $29,132.25.

Yeah, each person in the United States right now, owes nearly thirty thousand dollars to pay off our national debt.

Can somebody explain this to me rationally? How is having this much public debt good?

Indeed, one could argue that our debt load and the corresponding devaluation of the dollar, has basically required that we outsource and migrant farm, just to keep the damn costs down.

Here’s what I mean: the more debt we accumulate, the more the value of our money goes down. For currencies with a higher value than the dollar, this is great news, at it lowers the cost on American goods and services. For example, I met a working-class couple from England in Las Vegas this past New Year’s Eve, and they were quite happy that the Euro was worth more than the dollar: a less affordable vacation in Sin City became a bargain basement deal. More whores! More craps! More booze! Less cost!

For citizens of the United States, however, the devaluation of the dollar means that our money now purchases less than it once did. Let’s say that twenty years ago, to buy one ‘widget’ cost $1. Now, that widget sells for $2, if we continued to purchase them in the same way, from the same manufacturer, built by the same hands. American hands.

Well, the widget company isn’t happy with this. There is a potential loss of sales due to the higher price. So, two causal effects come into play: you have large, hypermart retailers enter the picture, using volume purchasing (and bully tactics) to lower the price. These megastores disperse with the niceties of intimacy, experience and décor, basically leaving forklifts with boxes of widgets in the middle of the sales floor. But this only lowers the cost of a domestically produced widget down to $1.50 (and entirely ignores the ‘cost’ of putting those intimate, experienced and decorated stores out of business.) How will they drop the price of that damn widget back to $1 or less?

By moving the factory overseas, of course. Now the cost to manufacture and ship the widget is $0.80. Add in $0.10 for marketing and $0.05 for profit, and the price has effectively dropped by a nickel. Ninety-five cents for your precious widget.

In effect, this solves two problems: we, the people, can continue to build up the national debt and lower the value of our money because we, the people have maintained, or decreased the cost of the widget through off-shore labor and manufacturing. Our cash may be worth less, but the widget now costs less, so who cares, really?

So, we, the people, can’t really stop outsourcing our vast manufacturing, technology and services base overseas unless we pay down the national debt and make our money worth more. We, the people, can’t pay down the national debt unless we increase revenue to the federal government, probably through taxes (you know, those pesky things that provide stuff like public schools, better roads and mass transit… even vanity projects like the space program.) And we, the people, can’t pay our citizens a living wage in many sectors of the economy, unless we accept that the cost of ‘buying American’ may be higher than the cost of buying Chinese, Indonesian and Mexican.

Complete the circle.

Sadly, I don’t think this is really going to happen. This is not the culture of the United States at present. Examining an issue from a place of measured reason, and taking the time to connect the dots for a portrait in its entirety just doesn’t fly in the land of snippets and sound bytes. Moreover, there’s a downright war against intellectuals and people who think in spurts longer than thirty seconds, as if somehow shunning and ignoring our smarty-pants peeps will elevate and progress the populace as a whole.

As a result, the ‘debate’ over immigration reform is reduced to a shouting match between one-sided ideologues representing the worst extremes of tolerance and racism. The ‘discourse’ over global outsourcing is merely a competition of trite, useless slogans. The ‘concerns’ over the national debt are simplified into black and white, correct and incorrect, left and right. One large, complicated (and pressing) situation is shredded into a multiplicity of issues, where discussion of one piece rarely, if ever recognizes the whole. Circles are segmented into straight lines.

To nowhere.

Aaron Michael Gordon is an award-winning advertising writer. Working in South Florida, Aaron has written and produced countless television, radio, print and web-based advertising. In addition, Aaron is a freelance writer and a playwright. Read other articles by Aaron Michael, or visit Aaron Michael’s website.

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 Political Paranoia Over Immigration By PETER QUINN