TPMtv: The Muck Gap (video) + Republicans Gone Wild 2!!! (link) (updated)

Dandelion Salad

Veracifier

Okay, it’s the unreported political story of the year: the GOP’s ability to dominate scandal news even while in the minority. Usually, the majority party, with more power and money, takes the scandal cake. It’s almost an iron law of politics. But whether it’s lobby shop or the restroom, the GOP has so far been able to reverse the historical tide, maintaining a decisive muck advantage even in the political wilderness.

see:

Larry Craig Police Interrogation Audio (video)

Larry Craig is a pole smoker! by Michael

Republicans Gone Wild 2!!! h/t: Atlantic Free Press

Updated: Sept. 4, 2007

TPMtv: The Muck Gap Methodology

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History Will Not Absolve Us By Nat Hentoff

Dandelion Salad
By Nat Hentoff
ICH
08/30/07 “
Village Voice

If and when there’s the equivalent of an international Nuremberg trial for the American perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the CIA’s secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human-rights organizations, including an arm of the European parliament—as well as such deeply footnoted books as Stephen Grey’s Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (St. Martin’s Press) and Charlie Savage’s just-published Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy (Little, Brown).
While the Democratic Congress has yet to begin a serious investigation into what many European legislators already know about American war crimes, a particularly telling report by the International Committee of the Red Cross has been leaked that would surely figure prominently in such a potential Nuremberg trial. The Red Cross itself is bound to public silence concerning the results of its human-rights probes of prisons around the world—or else governments wouldn’t let them in.

But The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer has sources who have seen accounts of the Red Cross interviews with inmates formerly held in CIA secret prisons. In “The Black Sites” (August 13, The New Yorker), Mayer also reveals the effect on our torturers of what they do—on the orders of the president—to “protect American values.”

She quotes a former CIA officer: “When you cross over that line of darkness, it’s hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can’t go back to that dark a place without it changing you.”

Few average Americans have been changed, however, by what the CIA does in our name. Blame that on the tight official secrecy that continues over how the CIA extracts information. On July 20, the Bush administration issued a new executive order authorizing the CIA to continue using these techniques—without disclosing anything about them.

If we, the people, are ultimately condemned by a world court for our complicity and silence in these war crimes, we can always try to echo those Germans who claimed not to know what Hitler and his enforcers were doing. But in Nazi Germany, people had no way of insisting on finding out what happened to their disappeared neighbors.

We, however, have the right and the power to insist that Congress discover and reveal the details of the torture and other brutalities that the CIA has been inflicting in our name on terrorism suspects.

Only one congressman, Oregon’s Democratic senator Ron Wyden, has insisted on probing the legality of the CIA’s techniques—so much so that Wyden has blocked the appointment of Bush’s nominee, John Rizzo, from becoming the CIA’s top lawyer. Rizzo, a CIA official since 2002, has said publicly that he didn’t object to the Justice Department’s 2002 “torture” memos, which allowed the infliction of pain unless it caused such injuries as “organ failure . . . or even death.” (Any infliction of pain up to that point was deemed not un-American.) Mr. Rizzo would make a key witness in any future Nuremberg trial.

As Jane Mayer told National Public Radio on August 6, what she found in the leaked Red Cross report, and through her own extensive research on our interrogators (who are cheered on by the commander in chief), is “a top-down-controlled, mechanistic, regimented program of abuse that was signed off on—at the White House, really—and then implemented at the CIA from the top levels all the way down. . . . They would put people naked for up to 40 days in cells where they were deprived of any kind of light. They would cut them off from any sense of what time it was or . . . anything that would give them a sense of where they were.”

She also told of the CIA interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, who was not only waterboarded (a technique in which he was made to feel that he was about to be drowned) but also “kept in . . . a small cage, about one meter [39.7 inches] by one meter, in which he couldn’t stand up for a long period of time. [The CIA] called it the dog box.”

Whether or not there is another Nuremberg trial—and Congress continues to stay asleep—future historians of the Bush administration will surely also refer to Leave No Marks: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality, the July report by Human Rights First and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The report emphasizes that the president’s July executive order on CIA interrogations—which, though it is classified, was widely hailed as banning “torture and cruel and inhuman treatment”—”fails explicitly to rule out the use of the ‘enhanced’ techniques that the CIA authorized in March, 2002, “with the president’s approval (emphasis added).

In 2002, then–Secretary of State Colin Powell denounced the “torture” memos and other interrogation techniques in internal reports that reached the White House. It’s a pity he didn’t also tell us. But Powell’s objections should keep him out of the defendants’ dock in any future international trial.

From the Leave No Marks report, here are some of the American statutes that the CIA, the Defense Department, and the Justice Department have utterly violated:

In the 1994 Torture Convention Implementation Act, we put into U.S. law what we had signed in Article 5 of the UN Convention Against Torture, which is defined as “an act ‘committed by an [officially authorized] person’ . . . specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering . . . upon another person within his custody or physical control.”

The 1997 U.S. War Crimes Act “criminalizes . . . specifically enumerated war crimes that the legislation refers to as ‘grave breaches’ of Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Conventions], including the war crimes of torture and ‘cruel or inhuman treatment.'”

The Leave No Marks report very valuably brings the Supreme Court— before Chief Justice John Roberts took over—into the war-crimes record of this administration. I strongly suggest that Human Rights First and Physicians for Social Responsibility send their report—with the following section underlined—to every current member of the Supreme Court and Congress:

“The Supreme Court has long considered prisoner treatment to violate substantive due process if the treatment ‘shocks the conscience,’ is bound to offend even hardened sensibilities, or offends ‘a principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.'”

Among those fundamental rights cited by past Supreme Courts, the report continues, are “the rights to bodily integrity [and] the right to have [one’s] basic needs met; and the right to basic human dignity” (emphasis added).

If the conscience of a majority on the Roberts Court isn’t shocked by what we’ve done to our prisoners, then it will be up to the next president and the next Congress—and, therefore, up to us—to alter, in some respects, how history will judge us. But do you see any considerable signs, among average Americans, of the conscience being shocked? How about the presidential candidates of both parties?
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.

Gore Vidal on liberty + Gore Vidal on US media and society (videos)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

Aug. 30, 2007

Gore Vidal on liberty

The people who wrote the Constitution hated democracy

Says Vidal: We’ve always been an oligarchy of the well-to-do and are becoming even more so now. What freedoms we had have now been eliminated — Magna Carta guaranteed us due process of law, the only good thing England left us.

Continue reading

08.29.07 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 29, 2007

linktv

The Peabody Award-winning daily compilation of television news reports from the Middle East including, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Iraq and Iran.

Ethanol vs Topsoil by Guadamour

GUADAMOUR

Dandelion Salad
featured writer

Guadamour’s Blog
Aug. 30, 2007

The Bush Administration (business led Regime) has recently come out in favor of producing ethanol as in alternative fuel.

Brazil is the leading country in the production of ethanol where it is produced from sugar cane, a natural crop their that requires little if any fertilizer, pesticide or insecticide.

In the United States ethanol will be produced from corn. A crop that requires a great deal of soil destroying fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.

Since the current administration has come out in favor of ethanol production the price of corn has soared.

A huge amount of very marginal acreage is currently being planted to corn.

World corn prices have rocketed, aggravating marginal third world economies and creating widespread hunger among the world’s poor.

It is patently obvious that alternative fuels and methods of energy generation are needed in today’s world, but at what price?

*Starving the world’s poor.

*Destroying what is left of America’s topsoil.

To produce crops in the USA, larger and larger amounts of petro-chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides are needed.

Over the past 50 years great damage has been down to the American topsoil. In 1932 a study commissioned by the United States Department of Agriculture advised that the country’s topsoil had been greatly damaged, and that efforts had to be made to restore it.

That study was done 75 years ago, and nothing has been done to help restore the nation’s topsoil. It has traveled a fast down hill course to the sorry state that it is in today.

Now with the call for ethanol the rate of damage will be greatly accelerated.

The last straw would be to convert tens of millions acres to grow enough corn and canola (and resultant ethanol) to fuel a very small percentage of our cars.

In addition to the damage to our delicate and now very limited topsoil, massive amounts of energy are needed to produce ethanol.

The trade-off in energy alone is not worth it.

This insult to our soil could prove devastating and leave vast regions of the country dry, barren and totally unproductive.

This could quite easily cause massive food shortages in the United States and around the world.

The United States topsoil must be nurtured and enhanced as it never has been before except for a handful of organically minded farmers.

We now live in a devastating time of nutrient killing corporate farms which are subsidized by the US Federal government to the tune of billions.

Topsoil must not be ravaged and devitalized to produce a band-aid fix for our energy needs which primarily benefits large corporations and distracts the populace from the problems of Iraq and the hegemony doctrine of the United States of Corporate America.

see:

Terminology? by Guadamour (Kucinich)

In Russia, suspects arrested in Politkovskaya murder

Dandelion Salad

CPJ
New York, August 27, 2007

Ten suspects have been arrested in the October 2006 assassination in Moscow of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika told a news conference today. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed the development but urged Russian authorities to publicly disclose details of the probe, including evidence of the suspects’ involvement and the role of the purported masterminds. Continue reading

Richard Heinberg discusses the true consequences of ‘peak oil’ (video link)

Dandelion Salad

OneWorldTV
Aug. 23, 2007

The catastrophic effects of declining oil supplies: journalist and author Richard Heinberg discusses the true consequences of ‘peak oil’. In this interview, filmed by our friends at Spanner Films (McLibel, Drowned Out, Baked Alaska), Heinberg makes clear the fundamental nature of oil as the bedrock of modern civilisation and the devastating impact our dependency upon it will have as global supplies start to dwindle.

LINK

h/t: Malcolm

see:

2006 – Beyond Energy Alternatives: Report on the Third U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions

Point, Click… Eavesdrop: How the FBI Wiretap Net Operates by Ryan Singel

Dandelion Salad

by Ryan Singel
Wired News
August 29, 2007

The FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according to nearly a thousand pages of restricted documents newly released under the Freedom of Information Act. Continue reading

Neck Deep: Drowning Accountability By Robert, Sam and Nat Parry

Dandelion Salad

By Robert, Sam and Nat Parry
Consortium News
August 29, 2007

Editor’s Note: Two years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the great American city of New Orleans and killed some 1,800 people along the Gulf Coast. With that tragedy, however, came a belated public awakening about how George W. Bush had put cronyism, ideology and partisanship ahead of competence, national unity and accountability.

In this excerpt from our new book, Neck Deep, that national turning point is recalled:

On Aug. 27, 2005, as a powerful hurricane named Katrina surged through the Gulf of Mexico and took aim at New Orleans, most Americans still had confidence in their government’s ability to respond to crises and natural disasters with efficiency and speed.

The country prided itself on its ability to rescue people in danger, to dispatch resources, to rebuild after the worst was over.

Many Americans considered the United States unparalleled in its ability to fly disaster specialists to the far corners of the globe when catastrophe struck, to oversee the delivery of food, water, medicines and other necessities. It was part of America’s can-do spirit; it was part of the national self-image.

There was also a belief that technology had gone a long way in taming the threats of nature, that the types of disasters that had plagued the country in its earlier days were like yellowed newspaper articles. They were tales from grandparents, like the stories of World War II or the Great Depression, mildly interesting but no longer very relevant.

Modern catastrophes – at least as they affected most Americans – were confined to Hollywood disaster movies with big-budget special effects that brought the audience right into the middle of the danger but without any real threat of harm.

That was the frame of reference for many Americans as they concentrated on the news of Katrina’s approach to New Orleans. There was a fascination with the possibility of danger; there was awareness that many experts warned about flood waters breaching the levees and inundating the low-lying city; but there were few expectations that those alarms would prove true or that serious harm would befall New Orleans.

On another long vacation in Crawford, Texas, President Bush treated the gathering threat to New Orleans in a similar vein. He responded to the alarm among government weather experts with little more than cheerleading, praise for and confidence in the federal, state and local officials on the front lines.

Like many Americans watching on TV, Bush acted like a spectator expecting whatever damage did occur would be neatly cleared away and everything would quickly be put back in order.

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.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock: Countdown to Midnight in Persia by Chris Floyd

Dandelion Salad

Written by Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
Thursday, 30 August 2007

Day after day, almost hour by hour, fresh confirmation comes of the impending American attack on Iran. Yet the same surreal malaise that hung over public affairs before the war of aggression against Iraq has descended again. Everyone knows the war is coming and nothing will stop it, but the strange, ludicrous shadow play of sham “debate” goes on, as if there were some kind of political or diplomatic maneuver out there that could deflect the Bush-Cheney junta from its long-chosen course. But nothing will stop them, just as nothing — not even 10 million people in the streets around the world, the largest protest in human history — stopped them from the rape of Iraq. It’s what they want to do — and they will do it.

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.

see:

Study: US preparing ‘massive’ military attack against Iran by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane

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

Dandelion Salad

RattyRatman

An interview with Iraq War Veteran Eli Israel, at the March/Rally in Kennebunkport, Maine August 25, 2007.

Video originally Provided By: Liqsta

Copy and spread these links….
Impeach:
1)
http://usalone.com/
2)
http://www.impeachbush.org/site/PageS…
3)
http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc….

Contact your representatives:
1)
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/h…
2)
http://senate.gov/general/contact_inf…

Contact media:
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=6

Troops Resist:
1)
http://www.sirnosir.com
2)
http://www.ivaw.org/
3)
http://www.couragetoresist.org

March on Washington September 15th:
http://www.sept15.org

March on Washington September 29th:
http://troopsoutnow.org/

Huge anti-war site list:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/antiwar/sub…

Some inspiring videos:
1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7WASr…
2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QZ6Nr…
3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opUkP0…

Me:
1)
http://my.care2.com/rattyratman
2)
http://ratmanfrommyspace.com
3)
http://www.youtube.com/RattyRatman

 
.
“Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.
Let who you are ring out & resonate
in every word & every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There’s no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.
What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.
You are the message.”

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
—Leonard Peltier

see:

Help support Eli Israel’s new mission

Help Courage to Resist support Eli Israel’s new mission: To end the Iraq occupation war! Please donate to our Eli Israel campaign which will help Eli travel, speak out, and help him fight to clear his name and regain his veteran’s benefits.

Eleonai “Eli” Israel. August 27, 2007

The last few months have changed my life forever. From Soldier, JVB Protective Service Agent, and Sniper in the middle of an occupation war, to anti-war veteran within days.

Thank you for your support during my moments of tragedy, and more importantly, thank you for the hope. It’s a hope for healing my soul, and finding ways to deal with the aftershocks from my role in the larger tragedy known as “Iraq”.

Continued…

see:

My Story By Army National Guard Spc. Eleonai “Eli” Israel h/t: ICH

08.28.07 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. 28, 2007

linktv

Israel’s Final Status Terms Leaked to Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Kidnapped Israeli Soldier in Jenin Returned to IDF
IBA
1800 Trees Uprooted to Make Way for Apartheid Wall in Bethlehem
Palestine TV
Arab Ambassadors in Lebanon Receive Threats
Dubai
Sudan’s Eastern Front Rebels Return to Khartoum
ADTV
Violence Escalates in Somalia
Al Arabiya
Gul Win’s Turkey’s Presidency
Al Jazeera English