Glenn Greenwald & Marjorie Cohn on FISA and Wiretapping (link)

Dandelion Salad

August 07, 2007

Democrats Capitulate to President Bush as Congress Gives Government Broad New Powers to Conduct Warrantless Surveillance on American Citizens 

Watch the entire show: Democracy Now!

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08.06.07 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

Aug. 6, 2007

August 07, 2007
From:  linktv

For more episodes and other Link TV programs:
http://www.linktv.org/originalseries

“Gemayel Loses Metn District Elections in Lebanon,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Close Race in Metn,” LBC TV, Lebanon
“Olmert & Abbas Meet in Jericho,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Meeting on Palestinian Territories a Good Start for Dialogue,” IBA TV, Israel
“Islamists Accuse Jordanian Government of Election Fraud,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Pakistani PM Dismayed over US Presidential Candidates’ Remarks,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Iran Tests New Fighter Jet,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“Saudi Clerics Issue Fatwas Against Shi’tes Shrines,” Al-Alam TV, Iran

Kucinich on Digging a Hole to China (video)

Dandelion Salad

August 07, 2007

VLOGZTV

Dennis Kucinich answers the question on whether China is a friend or foe during the AFL/CIO Democratic Debate.

see:

Dennis Kucinich Talks About Supporting Unions @ AFL-CIO Debate (video)

Dennis Kucinich Talks About Supporting Unions @ AFL-CIO Debate (video no longer available)

Dandelion Salad

August 07, 2007
heathr234

Dennis Kucinich talks about his recor… Dennis Kucinich talks about his record on organized labor during the AFL/CIO Democratic Debate.

see:

PoliticsTV @ Yearly Kos ‘07: Dennis Kucinich (video)

AFL-CIO: The Candidates Spar Over Lobbyist Money + Pakistan + Health Care + Parts 1-8 (video + links)

Dandelion Salad

August 07, 2007
Veracifier

More AFL-CIO Debate coverage:

AFL-CIO: The Candidates Spar Over Pakistan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CWsAaeslOI

Steel Worker Questions Edwards on Health Care and Pensions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaBvGEklBvg

Joe Biden’s Macaca Moment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXJjD8tdt3o

***

researchris2

Part 1 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate 8-7-07

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO5ZRIdoKsU

Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVtHMEDLF7A

Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCfjBo3Bm_s

Part 4

Part 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3QWYXf7Kk0

Part 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzq1J6LD7hc

Part 7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liXaZMGXNMk

Part 8

see:

The Transcript of the AFL-CIO Candidates Forum

Dennis Kucinich Talks About Supporting Unions @ AFL0-CIO Debate (video)

Sectarianism Splits Security in Diyala By Ahmed Ali

Dandelion Salad

Inter Press Service
By Ahmed Ali*
August 07, 2007

BAQUBA, Aug 7 (IPS) – Militia from the Shia organisation Badr have taken over the police force in Diyala province north of Baghdad, residents say.

The government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is believed to have backed such infiltration, and this has reportedly led to clashes with U.S. military leaders.
The Daily Telegraph in London has reported that Maliki and General David Petraeus, U.S. commander of the multi-national force in Iraq, have clashed over moves by the U.S. general to arm some Sunni groups. Sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims has grown amidst Iraqi government policies seen as supportive of Shias. Maliki is from the Dawa Party backed by Shia Iran.

In Baquba, 50km northeast of the capital, and capital of Diyala, residents say the Shia Badr Organisation, the armed wing of the politically dominant Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), has been dominant in the province since the early months of the occupation.

The Badr Organisation managed to fill leadership positions in city and province, while Sunni Iraqis remained largely unrepresented.

Continued…

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Clean Up the Cruise Industry by Ralph Nader

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by Ralph Nader
Monday, August 6. 2007

The multi-billion dollar cruise line business, plying international waters alongside different national jurisdictions, has been playing a hide and seek game for years. Hiding the dumping of harmful wastes and chemicals into marine environments and seeking all kinds of concessions and non-regulation by lobbying and federal regulators.

The media takes them over the coals from time to time when they are caught illegally dumping or in the rare instances when they are prosecuted for felonious behavior. Public exposés, viral or bacterial epidemics causing these companies severe embarrassment and lawsuits, and occasional harrowing stories from mistreated crew members mostly from Third World countries, have pressed the industry to adopt improved waste treatment technologies and voluntary industry codes of more acceptable practices.

The rule of American law has still not caught up with them. Until, that is, the companies lost a fierce battle in Alaska last year over a Cruise Ship Ballot Initiative (CSBI) which Alaskans passed in August 2006.

No other state has embraced the cruise companies with an enforceable regime of accountability. Florida and Washington State, for example, have Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) which have no enforcement mechanism, despite recent findings by Washington state that the discharge point impact on shrimp and other marine life left zero survivors instead of the expected 80% (the so-called “wet tests”).

So, Alaska is leading the way. Gershon Cohen, who with labor union lawyer, Joseph Geldhof, led the victorious mobilization of voters, described the rationale this way: “We want waste discharges from the cruise industry to meet all Alaska Water Quality Standards as required of every other discharger into Alaskan waters.

“We believe the cruise industry should pay corporate income taxes, from which they were exempted by the Legislature in 1998. We think the cruise industry should pay a percentage of their gambling profits to Alaska like every other gaming operator in the State.

“We need to have an independent marine engineer [the Ocean Ranger Program] aboard every ship to make sure they don’t dump untreated wastes into our waters or falsify logbooks—actions that have repeatedly brought them felony convictions in the last decade.”

The taxes are now being collected. And the Alaskan Department of Environmental Conservations, together with other agencies, are in the process of issuing the rules to implement the initiative after a public notice and comment period.

The Ocean Ranger Program is about to start to generate the deterrence and inspection programs that will be very useful to other lagging states considering similar legislation to “protect passengers, crew and residents at ports from improper sanitation, health and safety practices,” to quote the words from the CSBI.

Given the many thousands of passengers who have gotten sick from contaminated food or from noroviruses, other states need to end their endless indulgence of the cruise industry lobbyists. As for workers, some of the crew are unionized. But most of the laborers have few or no rights and have no organized representatives. Being offshore, U.S. labor laws do not apply to protect them.

With Alaska and Alaskan Native Organizations leading the way, can the other states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) be that far behind? That depends on the passengers, the more outspoken workers especially when they have quit, the detailed ship and cruise line-specific information coming from Alaska and a more inquiring media.

On March 17, 2000, Clinton’s EPA Administrator, Carol Browner, received a petition with detailed recommendations for regulatory action signed by leading Democratic members of the House and Senate, environmental groups, officials from the EPA itself, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Result: Nothing has been done under Clinton or under the Bush Government to address this remarkably detailed and documented petition.

The major interaction with the Bush government has been a huge rip-off by Carnival Cruise Lines which received, under a no-bid contract with FEMA, a $236 million contract for three of its ships to house homeless people, post-Katrina. For details see the website for Cong. Henry Waxman (D-CA) (http://www.house.gov/waxman/) for letters and testimony regarding this debacle.

When reminded of its felony convictions for deliberate dumping, installing ‘magic pipes’ to facilitate a total bypass of treatment, bypassing the oil bilgewater separators, giving false information to the Coast Guard, the industry’s standard reply is ‘that was then and now conditions are better.’

Enforcement of the Alaskan law covering a million passengers plus crew every summer, together with a citizen’s lawsuit provision awarding portions of penalties to whistleblowers who provide information leading to convictions, will test that claim.

For more information and ways you can become involved in challenging this industry, see www.cruisejunkie.com and Ross Klein’s two books—Cruise Ship Blue and Cruise Ship Squeeze.

Another useful website is www.internationalcruisevictims.org. For immediate information, you can telephone Gershon Cohen at (907) 766-3005. He answers his own phone!


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False Positive: Bush’s Deadly Odor of Mendacity by Chris Floyd

Dandelion Salad

Written by Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
Wednesday, 08 August 2007

President Bush’s many media sycophants tell us over and over that he is not the dribbling idiot of popular imagination. As Hugh Hewitt and other genuflectors who are ushered routinely into the great man’s presence insist, George W. Bush is an intelligent, focused, purposeful leader, with a firm grasp on the complexities of modern statecraft.

Let us grant the truth of this assertion. (Indeed, I have already granted it, in two previous pieces: here and here.) What this means, of course, is that when Bush makes a statement in public, he is very much aware of what he is saying, and fully cognizant of the implications of his words. Therefore, when the intelligent, focused and purposeful Mr. Bush declared Monday — at a highly publicized meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai — that the Iranian government “has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon,” we must assume that he knew full well that he was telling a barefaced lie, and that he told this lie for some specific purpose. That purpose is obvious: to further prepare the PR ground for inducing the public to go along with a future military strike against Iran.

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.

Preventing a Bloodbath in Gaza by Prof. Francis A. Boyle

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, August 7, 2007

The belligerent Bush Jr. administration’s policies against the state of Palestine in order to depose its democratically- elected government by organizing an internal coup d’état in Gaza by means of Palestinian surrogates under the command of General Mohamed Dahlan provide yet another compelling reason why it is too dangerous for world peace to keep these Neo-Conservatives in power until January 2009. If there had ever been any doubt about it, the Bush Jr. administration’s aggression against Palestine ’s democratically-elected government proved that their alleged program of “democratization” for the Arab and Muslim world was a joke and a fraud to begin with. To be sure, Article 21(3) of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which constitutes customary international law, expressly provides:

“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

But of course in January 2006 when the Palestinians democratically elected a government that the Neo-Conservatives in the Bush Jr. administration and their Kadima/Likudnik confederates in Israel did not prefer, they jointly did everything humanly possible to destroy it.

To the contrary the U.N. General Assembly’s Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty in Resolution 2131 (12 December 1965), which constitutes customary international law, provides in relevant part that;

“Also, no State shall organize, assist, foment, finance, incite or tolerate subversive, terrorist or armed activities directed towards the violent overthrow of the regime of another State or interfere in civil strife in another State.”

When directly confronted with this illegal American-Israeli sponsored attempt to overthrow it in June of 2007, the democratically-elected Palestinian government used force to repress the military coup d’état by General Dahran just as any other government—whether democratically elected or not—would certainly do. To be sure the democratically-elected Palestinian government committed some human right violations against fellow Palestinians during the course of repressing the American-Israeli-Dahlan coup, which were lamentable, illegal and condemnable, but also jointly and severally attributable to the United States and Israel that both maliciously instigated the crisis.

Given the magnitude of the threat against it and the certain prospect of a massive bloodbath by General Dahlan if his coup had succeeded, I for one was impressed by the minimal loss of Palestinian lives inflicted by the democratically-elected Palestinian government during the course of repressing this military coup d’état, followed by the prompt re-establishment of law and order in Gaza without governmentally sanctioned revenge attacks against political opponents. This is the manner in which a democratically-elected government is supposed to behave under international law. By contrast, if General Dahlan had succeeded with his coup d’état, based upon his prior performance, he would have inflicted a massive bloodbath in Gaza and the installation of a military dictatorship there with the full support of the governments in the United States and Israel .

Francis A. Boyle is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Francis A. Boyle

 


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Freedom Next Time: Filmmaker & Journalist John Pilger on Propaganda, the Press, Censorship and Resisting the American Empire

Dandelion Salad

Updated: Jan 4, 2010

Video: John Pilger – Freedom Next Time (video)

***

Democracy Now!
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Freedom Next Time: Filmmaker & Journalist John Pilger on Propaganda, the Press, Censorship and Resisting the American Empire

Continue reading

At U.S. base, Iraqis must use separate latrine By Mike Drummond


Dandelion Salad

By Mike Drummond
ICH
08/07/07 “McClatchy Newspapers

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq — The sign taped to the men’s latrine is just five lines:

“US MILITARY CONTRACTORS CIVILIANS ONLY!!!!!”

It needed only one: “NO IRAQIS.”

Here at this searing, dusty U.S. military base about four miles west of Baqouba, Iraqis — including interpreters who walk the same foot patrols and sleep in the same tents as U.S. troops — must use segregated bathrooms.

Another sign, in a dining hall, warns Iraqis and “third-country nationals” that they have just one hour for breakfast, lunch or dinner. American troops get three hours. Iraqis say they sometimes wait as long as 45 minutes in hot lines to get inside the chow hall, leaving just 15 minutes to get their food and eat it.

It’s been nearly 60 years since President Harry Truman ended racial segregation in the U.S. military. But at Forward Operating Base Warhorse it’s alive and well, perhaps the only U.S. military facility with such rules, Iraqi interpreters here say.

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.

Lebanese strike a blow at US-backed government By Robert Fisk


Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk
ICH
08/07/08 “The Independent

They’ve done it again. The Arabs have, once more, followed democracy and voted for the wrong man.

Just as the Palestinians voted for Hamas when they were supposed to vote for the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, so the Christian Maronites of Lebanon appear to have voted for a man opposed to the majority government of Fouad Siniora in Beirut. Camille Khoury – with a strong vote from the Armenian Tashnak party – won by 418 votes the seat that belonged to Pierre Gemayel, murdered last November by gunmen supposedly working for the Syrian security services.

While the Maronite vote had increased against Gemayel’s showing in 2005 elections, the result was a stunning blow to the American-backed government – how devastating that phrase “American-backed” has now become in the Middle East – in Lebanon and allowed Hizbollah’s ally, ex-General Michel Aoun to claim that “they cannot beat me”. Mr Aoun is a candidate in presidential elections later this year.

True, the voting figures showed huge support for Pierre Gemayel’s father Amin – himself an ex-president- who was standing for the parliamentary seat of his murdered son. Although he was a weak and fractious leader – Amin paid a state visit to Damascus to re-cement “fraternal” ties after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon – he proved himself a brave man in the aftermath of his son’s murder, calling upon Lebanese to support the government rather than submit once more to the domination of Syria.

Khoury’s score in the Metn hills above Beirut – and a 418 conquest out of 79,000 votes is hardly a crushing political victory – yet again emphasises the divisions among the Christians of Lebanon who have traditionally fought each other – rather than their more obvious enemies – throughout Lebanese history. The Crusaders fought each other in Tyre when Saladin was at the gates of the city; in 1990, Mr Aoun’s own Lebanese army fought the Christian Phalangist militia while still trying to defend themselves from the Syrians. They lost both battles.

Amin’s father Pierre – grandfather of the MP murdered last November – founded the Phalange in 1936 after being inspired by the Nazi Berlin Olympics. “I thought Lebanon needed some of this order,” he admitted to me shortly before his death; the original Phalange dressed in brown shirts and gave the Hitler salute. But they had turned themselves into a neo-respectable right-wing party by 1982 when they were enthusiastically supported by the invading Israeli army which hoped that Amin’s brother Bashir would be elected president. Alas, Bashir turned out to be less pro-Israeli than the then-defence minister, Ariel Sharon, hoped, and was himself murdered in a bomb attack shortly before his inauguration.

Old Pierre of Olympics fame is long dead – he did not even know his own age when I last spoke to him – and Amin’s brother and son were both assassinated. For the government, there was one electoral light yesterday: the victory of Mohamed Itani in Beirut, a Sunni Muslim who scored 85 per cent of the vote for the seat of Walid Eido who was himself blown up by a bomb in June.

One begins to wonder, in Lebanon, whether the election results are more surprising than the means by which MPs are liquidated.

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 Other War By Cindy Sheehan

By Cindy Sheehan
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Aug. 7, 2007

I was sitting behind the stage at Union Square the other day when a young woman with a cameraman in tow approached me and asked me if she could ask me a “question.” Seldom when I am approached to answer “a” question does it turn out to be just one question and this person looked like she was about 14 years old.

“Sure,” I answered her. With eyes brimming with tears, this was her question, prefaced by a comment:” I am a soldier and I served in Afghanistan, what do you have to say to the troops who are over there?”

I don’t know what told me this soldier was not “pro-war,” she had on jeans and a non-descript striped shirt with a collar. Neither she, nor her cameraman had any anti-war paraphernalia. I think it was her watery eyes that gave her away as being anti-war. I couldn’t be sure though because it has become certain groups and individuals’ life’s missions to harass me.

My heart is always with our troops no matter what these “pro-murder, pro-destruction, pro-Bush” people think. My own son was a soldier and, although he didn’t have any kind of killer instinct and a fear of having to kill someone when he went to Iraq, he was a good soldier and he loved his Army family and proved that love by dying to save some of them. I think most of our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan to support their “buddies” as a young soldier wrote to me:

“I did not know your son, but we lived on the same little FOB, and I recognize his name, and face. I was infantry, and he must have been in 182 since I don’t recognize him from the other INF companies.

I hear many people ask why are we dying for nothing. NOTHING, could be further from the truth. We do not fight, and die for a man. We do not fight, and die for a cause, or corporation. We fight, and die for each other, nothing more. I will not have it said in my presence that your son died for nothing. He died for me, he died for his brothers, and sisters in arms. That is why we all fight. That is why we all die.”

I understand that kind of camaraderie and love. There are many people whom I would die for and I would have traded places with Casey in a heartbeat if given the choice. What I don’t understand is a cowardly commander-in-chief and his vice-war lord sending our brave troops to die for each other. Even the troops know there is no “noble cause” other than the bond that glues them together. I have met hundreds of vets from the Iraq/Afghanistan mistakes on down to the Korean War mistake and they all tell me that they would have taken Casey’s place, too.

When the young vet confronted me with the camera in Union Square the other day, I could only speak from my heart. I answered her:

“Oh, honey. It must seem like the peace movement in the US has forgotten about our troops in Afghanistan and the Afghani people. I know that I don’t talk about that conflict enough, although I think that it is morally wrong, too. I know that our soldiers are dying and being harmed there, too. As much as the media doesn’t cover what’s happening in Iraq, it pays even less attention to Afghanistan. However, the peace movement is not united on Afghanistan, because many people think that it is a “good war.” I believe no such thing and I promise you that I will be more vigilant about exposing that war crime, too.”

Then I hugged her and whispered in her ear: “Your buddies deserve honor and attention, too and I am so sorry for what you have had to go through!”

She replied to me: “I am going to send this to my friends in Afghanistan and I just want to let you know that we are all behind you.” That quick exchange had an enormous impact on me and I will fulfill my promise to that young woman.

Why did our country and a criminal international coalition invade Afghanistan? Is it for a strategic placement of oil pipelines? Was it to install a former oil executive as a US controlled puppet president? Was it because Osama bin Laden may have been in the country (and as many accuse, allowed to escape at Tora Bora?) We know for a fact that Osama was armed, trained and supported by the US when he was part of the mujahadin that fought against the USSR, that caused the collapse of the Soviet Union along with its rampant militarism. We know that bin Forgotten is still at large and that, in the initial invasion of Afghanistan, more innocent civilians were killed than on 9-11.

We also know for a fact that poppy production is at historically profitable levels and the Taliban is extorting bribe money from the growers to finance its insurgency against the US. When the Taliban controlled the country opium production was illegal and the penalties were harsh. Women are still oppressed and besides a Coca-Cola bottling plant and war-profiteering not much has been accomplished.

According to www.icasualties.org, 421 US troops have been killed and 6,213 have been wounded in Afghanistan. One of the fatalities was John Torres who was apparently murdered by a fellow soldier because John was exposing the active drug trade on his base. The true circumstances of Pat Tillman’s murder were covered up in the highest echelons of BushCo and we may never know the truth or the profound implications of that crime. Both these incidents demonstrate that not everybody fighting wars are watching out for their buddies, and besides, may be of the paid mercenary persuasion.

Most of our troops are courageous and only trying to survive under unconscionable conditions and I want to publicly honor our young people who have had their lives stolen by the war machine in Afghanistan and send my heartfelt condolences to their families. Not even the evil empire of BushCo can corrupt or diminish our children’s forced sacrifices.

Our troops stationed in Afghanistan need to know that the US peace movement supports them by working to get them home, too.

Note:
For people who have been asking, my formal announcement as a candidate against Nancy Pelosi has been pushed back to August 9th due to logistical concerns. www.CindyForCongress.org should be going live soon with more details and a way to donate to my campaign.