Democratic Candidates to Debate at Dartmouth Tonight 9 PM ET

I’ll add videos if and when they are available. ~ Lo

PS: NH Democratic Debate Sept 26, 2007 (videos; links)

Dandelion Salad

Event to be broadcast and streamed on MSNBC, 9-11 p.m. ET

Democratic candidates for president will debate Wednesday night at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Preparations are underway at the venue there. All eight democratic hopefuls are scheduled to participate.

MSNBC is making it possible to submit your own question for the candidates by going to MSNBC.com.

Send your question for the Democratic debate; watch on MSNBC 9-11 p.m. ET

Source

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.

***

Rate the Candidates

h/t: Dennis 4 President in 2008!

Dare To Compare – Israel By Ghali Hassan

Dandelion Salad

By Ghali Hassan
09/26/07 “ICH

Few days ago, I had a long e-mail message from someone with the “Jews for Peace” group. The message starts: “I am very annoyed by your comparison of Israel with Nazi Germany … There is no Auschwitz in Palestine, and the Palestinians have not experienced a holocaust. Palestinians are free to leave any time they wish.” I do not know anything about the group, but a response is in order:

Thank you for your e-mail. I take it you have never been in Occupied Palestine to see the facts on the ground. Or you are ignorant of Israel’s policies against innocent and virtually defenseless Palestinians with nowhere to go to.

I do not compare Israel with Nazi Germany. Israel is a Zionist settlers’ colony founded on land theft and terror against the Palestinian people; Nazi Germany was not. However, I do – like most people – compare Israeli policies in Palestine with those of the Nazis. If you deny what happened in Palestine in 1948 (Nakba) when thousands of Palestinians were murdered, and an estimated 800,000 Palestinians were terrorised and ethnically cleansed from their homeland in a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion by Jewish terrorist organisations, you deny “the holocaust” ever took place.

Honest Jews who experienced and survived the holocaust have often made the comparison between Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinian people and the Nazis’ brutal treatments of Jews and others. I am reminded of a letter to the Israeli Press twenty-five years ago in which Shlomo Shmelzman wrote: “In my childhood I have suffered fear, hunger and humiliation when I passed from the Warsaw Ghetto, through labour camps, to Buchenwald. I hear too many familiar sounds today, sounds which are being amplified by the war. I hear about ‘closed areas’ and I remember ghettos and camps. I hear ‘two-legged beasts’ and I remember ‘Untermenschen’ [subhumans]. I hear about tightening the siege, clearing the area, pounding the city into submission, and I remember suffering, destruction, death, blood and murder … Too many things in Israel remind me of too many things from my childhood”. (Ha’aretz, August 11, 1982). Israel is consciously matching all of Hitler’s crimes, killing and depriving Palestinians of basic human rights. Only the methods are different.

Furthermore, various Israeli politicians today, including the hardcore Fascist Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who migrated from Moldova to Israel in 1978are advocating a harsher policy of ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Arabs in Palestine as a conclusion to Israel’s conquest of Palestine. In fact, a majority of Israeli Jews (64%) advocates this Fascist form of thinking. (Ha’aretz, 22 June 2004).

You write: “Gaza is free”. I am sure you learned this fraud from at least four sources of Zionist propaganda: the pro-Israel Jewish Lobby; the deranged ignoramus American Zionist, Alan Dershowitz; U.S. mainstream media; and the BBC. Gaza is not “free”. Gaza is a large fortified Concentration Camp. Since 2000, the entire population of Gaza (1.5 million) has been under total blockade with disastrous consequences. Anyone who tries to get out risks being murdered.

As a result of this premeditated collective punishment, Gaza has run out of food and medicine. Palestinians, children and infants in particular, are dying of starvation, malnutrition and preventable diseases. Without electricity, hospital and emergency centres operate infrequently, depriving the sick and injured of medical care. So, Gaza is a Camp not much different from the Nazi’s Camps. Indeed, Israelis have started to call Gaza the “Ghetto”.

The criminal blockade of Gaza was tightened after the democratic elections of January 2006. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) won the elections in exactly the manner U.S. and the EU (the West) had called upon them to do – free and fair democratic voting. Unfortunately, “democracy” for the U.S. is only if the elected government serves U.S. interests. The criminal blockade is tightened on daily basis in violation of international law and civilised norms.

You are being naïve about the hyped evacuation of a few thousand illegal Jewish settlers from Gaza. I repeat: This was another Israeli fraud designed for mass propaganda aimed at diverting public attention away from Israel’s terror. As one Israeli Labor politician wrote recently: “The goal is to perpetuate Israeli control in most of the West Bank, and to repel any internal or external pressure for a different political solution. The Palestinians will be left with seven enclaves connected by special highways for their use.”

The building of illegal colonies (the so-called “settlements”) has accelerated dramatically, along with the illegal Apartheid Wall – described by some as ‘much worse’ than the Berlin Wall – confiscating Palestinian land and water resources and tearing Palestinian communities into small enclaves, dividing them from each other. With the completion of the Wall, some 1.6 million Palestinians will have access to no more than 12 per cent of historic Palestine which makes it impossible to establish a viable Palestinian state. In addition, the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) is carrying out Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing, emptying Hebron of its original Arab inhabitants and Judaising the Jordan Valley, building illegal colonies, and making the so-called “Two-State” solution impossible. (See: Régis Debray, Le Monde Diplomatique, August 2007).

Take a look at the new map of the Palestinian Occupied Territories produced by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). More than 45 per cent of the West Bank is now off limits to Palestinians. East Jerusalem has been systematically Judaised, its borders inflated, and the Arab Palestinians there have become prisoners in their homes. They are harassed on a daily basis by illegal armed extremist settlers and the IOF. According to IMEMC News, some 1,835 Palestinian families have been forced to move from their homes and at least 15, 000 Palestinians will be denied access to the City when the illegal Wall is completed. All over the Occupied Territories, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians “is in progress” and has been since 1948. (See: Victoria Buch, Occupation Magazine, September 2007).

The Occupied Territories of the West Bank, including major population centres such as Nablus and Jericho, are split into enclaves. Palestinians’ movement between them is restricted by more than 572 roadblocks, an increase of 52 per cent compared to 376 in August 2005. These include 96 manned Israeli checkpoints and 476 unmanned barriers (OCHA). At these roadblocks, increasing numbers of desperately ill Palestinians and newborn babies have died because Israeli soldiers and armed settlers prevent people from reaching hospitals. Israel has already formalised the de facto Ghettoisation of the West Bank through a network of Jews-only highways that bypass and isolate Palestinian towns and villages. Israel has created a system of control the Nazis could only dream of.

You allege that: “Israel offered the Palestinians ‘land for peace’ and a separate state, but the Palestinians refused the offer”. First, peace for Israel, writes Henry Siegman, is a “cover for [Israel’s] systematic confiscation of Palestinian land” and premeditated violence against defenceless Palestinians. Peace without justice is an empty rhetoric. That is why Israeli leaders love all these countless “peace” conferences. That was what the Oslo “Peace Process” was for. (Henry Siegman, LRB, 16 August 2007). That is why Israeli leaders love all these countless “peace” conferences.

Second, you are being very naïve to believe Israel’s manufactured propaganda. The “offer” was a scam. Israel offered the Palestinians nothing. In fact most of Israel’s criminal policies are designed to destroy any chance of a viable Palestinian state. The opportunity of a viable Palestinian state has passed and it is no longer a possibility unless Israel completely withdraws to pre-1967 boarders and implements all UN Security Council resolutions. (See: Hussein Agha & Robert Malley, NYR Books, 09 August 2001).

You also wrote: “Palestinians are free to leave any time they wish”. Where to? Israelis can go where they come from, and most Israelis are dual citizens, and have no problem returning to their homes in the U.S. and Europe. Palestinians have nowhere to go except to their homes in Palestine. Remember the common saying: ‘Jews have always demanded rights when they were in the minority, but they denied others the rights when they are in the majority and exercise power’. Palestinians have an inalienable right to return to their homeland.

Furthermore, you ignored the numerous diplomatic options offered by Arab nations and rebuffed by Israel. Indeed, all Muslim nations have offered Israel peace and recognition if Israel will renounce violence and accept a just peace. Instead, Israel has rejected every peace offer and continues to perpetuate violence, because violence is the foundation of the “State of Israel”.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, PCHR, Israeli Occupation Forces (the Israeli Army) crimes against the Palestinians during the period of 16 -22 August, 2007 were:

· 16 Palestinians, including 3 children, were murdered by IOF in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
· 10 of the victims were extra-judicially executed by IOF.
· 18 Palestinians were wounded by IOF gunfire in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
· IOF conducted 30 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and two ones into the Gaza Strip.
· IOF arrested 44 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank.
· IOF shelled fishing boats and arrested 8 Palestinian fishermen in Rafah.

Of course, Israel’s terror and war crimes continue uninterrupted. Innocent Palestinian civilians, including children, are murdered every day. Israel’s blockade of Gaza (as mentioned above) continues with an international flavour that is causing a humanitarian crisis. The Palestinians are defenceless and unable to effectively retaliate against illegal and brutal occupiers. It’s preposterous to compare Palestinian “violence” with Israeli violence. Israeli Gestapo-like death squads are murdering innocent Palestinian civilians and prominent politicians with ease and impunity.

Israeli war planes continue to fly ‘sonic boom’ raids, terrorising the civilian population and causing mental damage to children and infants, and premature birth and miscarriage among pregnant women. The deliberate murder of Palestinian children (with impunity) for sport, and the use of Palestinian children as human shields by the Israeli soldiers, is war crimes worse than the Nazis’ crimes.

As I write these words, Israeli soldiers killed five Palestinian boys and girls, aged between 10 and 12, in cold blood. The children had only been playing ‘tag’ in the backyard of their home. Two days earlier, Israeli soldiers killed three boys while they were collecting carob fruits. The Israeli alleged: “the children approached the security fence”, Israel’s routine pretext to justify murder. Then the Israeli Army admitted that the killing occurred “by mistake”. Do you remember; when was the last Israeli killed by Palestinians?

Furthermore, at least 11,000 Palestinians, including women and children, are imprisoned without charge or due process in notorious Israeli prisons. Palestinian prisoners are enduring torture and abuse – justified by the Israeli Supreme Court as a ‘necessity’ – not dissimilar from those practiced by the Nazis with complete disregard to human rights and human dignity.

Israel has used, and continues to use, all kinds of weapons to kill Palestinians, including cluster bombs, napalms, and a new “super-weapon” that uses heat and pressure to kill people targeted across a wide area by sucking the air out of people’s lungs and rupturing their internal organs. In addition, Israel’s uninterrupted house demolitions of Palestinian homes and destruction of agricultural land constitute war crimes.

It’s worth noting that Israel’s violence found unconditional military support within the U.S. and European power establishments. The recent $30 billion “aid package” to Israel – paid by U.S. taxpayers – is a case in point, although “Washington’s blind support for Israel exceeds by many times the amount of direct U.S. aid to Israel” (Shirl McArthur, WRMEA, July 2006). Israel’s usefulness is that it justifies U.S. violence and military presence in the region.

Let’s not forget that Israel is a rogue state in possession of the fourth largest military force in the world. Israel amasses an arsenal that includes biological and chemical weapons and more than 200 nuclear warheads. Israel is rightly considered by the overwhelming majority of people around the world as the biggest threat to world peace.

All the above mentioned Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people are so horrendous that they could be easily pass for Nazis’ war crimes against Jews. The whole idea of purely “Jewish State” in Palestine is based on the concept of the “Master Race” adopted in the Nazis’ ideology of Herrenvolk. Indeed, Jews consider non-Jews (Gentiles) as Untermenschen, or lesser humans. In Israel, the 20 per cent Palestinians are despised and denied equal rights in a deliberate discriminatory policy considered worse than South Africa’s Apartheid. Unlike South Africa’s Apartheid, Israel’s Apartheid is a real Apartheid. (See: Chris McGreal, Guardian, 16 February 2006). This racist policy led some Jews to stop associating themselves with Israel in order to deflect criticism away from Jews.

Despite the criminal nature of Israel’s policies, few people dare criticise Israel for fear of being labelled “anti-Semitists”. Israel uses the cliché of “anti-Semitism” and the holocaust to silence its critics. People who are falsely accused of “anti-Semitism” pay dearly, losing their jobs and livelihoods for daring to legitimately criticise Israel. Indeed, anyone who criticises Israel’s terror or rationally argues that the pro-Israel Jewish Lobby in the U.S. has a significant influence over U.S. policy is automatically labelled “anti-Semitic”. The holocaust has been turned from a human tragedy into a political tool and a multi-business industry. In addition, Zionist Jews have succeeded in making the holocaust unique and exclusive, belittling countless other genocide. Zionist Jews have mastered the art of ‘religion manipulation’ to justify violence and perpetuate a slow genocide in Palestine.

It should be acknowledged that there is a widespread anti-Semitism campaign directed not against Jews, but against Arabs and Muslims. Pro-Israel Christian Zionists, including the Christian Right and pro-Israel lobbies in the U.S. and Europe, have declared war not only on the Palestinians and Arabs in the Middle East, but also on all Arabs and Muslims around the world. With the bulk of Western media inherently pro-Israel and anti-Muslim, Israel is portrayed as a “victim” defending itself from the Palestinians who are often depicted as “militants” and “terrorists”. In reality, the opposite is true.

In his last article in the Los Angeles Times (16 July 2007), the deputy of HAMAS political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzook, put the Movement’s view like this: “Why should anyone concede Israel’s ‘right’ to exist, when it has never even acknowledged the foundational crimes of murder and ethnic cleansing by means of which Israel to our towns and villages, our farms and orchards, and made us a nation of refugees? … I look forward to the day when Israel can say to me, and millions of other Palestinians: ‘Here, here is your family’s house by the sea, here are your lemon trees, the olive grove your father tended: Come home and be whole again’. Then we can speak of a future together.”

Finally, Israel’s existence as a “civilised” nation depends on Israel’s willingness to renounce violence, stop dispossessing and murdering Palestinians, and resume the path of a peaceful democratic coexistence.

I encourage you to carefully read the sources I refer to in this letter and reflect on the long history of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people before you blindly attack me again for daring to compare Israel’s policies in Palestine with those of the Nazis.


Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.

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.

American Economy: The Perfect Storm by Josh Sidman

Josh

by Josh Sidman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Josh’s Blog Post

Sept. 26, 2007

American Economy: The Perfect Storm

As pretty much everyone knows by now, the American economy is in bad shape, and it looks like things are going to get a lot worse. We are all familiar with the general reasons for why we have ended up where we are – i.e. excessive borrowing, overly loose monetary policy leading to two consecutive bubbles (the internet bubble and the housing bubble). What might not be so obvious is how all of this is going to play out from here.

For a long time I didn’t have a clear picture as to how things were likely to develop. I knew there were serious problems developing, but I could envision two equally likely outcomes – the first being recession and the second being inflation. One of these two outcomes invariably results any time a country pursues irresponsible, unsustainable economic policies. If a government is too loose in its monetary policy and unrestrained in its fiscal policy, this leads to an excess of money. Money needs to find a use, whether it be consumption or investment, so when there is too much of it sloshing around it inevitably leads to over-consumption or over-investment. Either of these phenomena then leads to inflation (i.e. a decline in the value of money relative to real assets). Alternatively, overly tight monetary policy combined with high taxation leads to the opposite extreme. Businesses can’t find enough money to operate, firms fail, and unemployment results.

The one saving grace of most economic crises is that there is usually a viable remedy, even if the remedy is likely to be painful in the short-term. When inflation gets out of hand, the government can raise interest rates, raise taxes, or cut spending. Likewise, when unemployment gets too high, the government can cut interest rates, cut taxes, and increase spending.

Unfortunately, the situation the United States now faces is particularly troublesome, since we are being threatened from both sides of the economic spectrum at once. While in normal times unemployment and inflation don’t occur simultaneously (since they spring from opposite causes), it is possible to have both at the same time. This happened in the 1970’s when the domestic economy was stagnant (causing unemployment) at the same time that skyrocketing oil prices led to inflation. This rare occurrence (called “stagflation”) is uniquely problematic because the remedy for either of the symptoms makes the other symptom even worse. For example, if during a period of stagflation the government tightens its monetary policy (in order to combat inflation), the already bad employment situation will be made even worse. Conversely, if they pursue an easy-money policy (in order to alleviate the unemployment), the already high inflation will get even worse.

As I said above, over the past few years of trying to make sense of the turbulent financial picture, some signs seemed to indicate that we were headed for recession, while others seemed to indicate the opposite, inflation. Now that the situation has started to unravel, it looks more and more like we will not be facing a normal crisis of either recession or inflation, but rather a period of the economic equivalent of a “perfect storm”, i.e. stagflation.

All of the talk about the economy currently focuses on the weak housing market and the Fed’s attempts to alleviate the problem by cutting interest rates. Unfortunately, I think it is very likely that this will not prove to be a viable solution. Due to the extremely high level of debt (both public and private) any attempt to loosen monetary policy will cause a diminished ability to borrow and will lead to inflation. Everyone knows that the ability of the US government to continue functioning is predicated upon the on-going ability to borrow ever-larger sums of money from abroad. For a long time, due to the US dollar’s preeminent position among world currencies, there was a seemingly endless supply of people willing to lend us money. However, economic realities can only be ignored for so long. Nobody in his right mind is going to continue to lend money indefinitely to someone who consistently squanders the money and fails to create economic value.

Over the past few years we have started to see the first signs that global economic participants are no longer willing to use the US dollar as the sole store of economic value. Some governments and corporations which formerly held all of their excess wealth in the form of dollars have changed to a policy of holding diversified portfolios of world currencies. This trend, coupled with the current domestic need for loose monetary policy will lead, in my opinion, to the dreaded stagflation.

If the Fed continues on its current path of lowering interest rates in order to stave off a recession, the US dollar will start to lose value against other currencies (something that is already well under way, particularly vis-à-vis the Euro). As the value of the dollar becomes increasingly questionable, foreign investors will demand a higher rate of return on their investments (to compensate them for the depreciating value of their holdings) if they are to continue to lend us money in the amounts needed to keep our government solvent.

The Fed only has control over short-term interest rates (in particular, the Fed Funds rate and the Discount Rate). Long-term interest rates are determined solely by market forces, and long-term interest rates are what ultimately matter to the economy. After all, if you are a business looking for financing or a homebuyer looking for a mortgage, is doesn’t do you any good that short-term rates are low. You need to borrow for the long-term, and if long-term rates are high, your economic prospects are diminished.

The final ingredient which appears likely to make this scenario a reality is, paradoxically, the health of the global economy. As economies in Europe and Asia experience robust growth, their governments will eventually have to raise interest rates in order to prevent their economies from over-heating. This will further tie the hands of the Fed in its ability to cut US interest rates, since higher rates in other countries will mean that global investors will demand a higher rate of return on dollar-denominated assets in order to continue providing capital to us in the quantities required. So, just when the bottom is dropping out of our real estate market and the cries are being raised for aggressive rate cutting by the Fed, our dependency on foreign capital combined with strong growth abroad will make it impossible for the Fed to keep interest rates low. In order to balance our national finances while simultaneously preventing a loss of confidence in the dollar, there will be no choice but to significantly raise long-term interest rates (again, this is a process that will be automatically performed by the market, rather than deliberately by the Fed). I believe we could see long-term interest rates climb well above 10% within a few years, and if you think the current carnage in the housing market is ugly, just wait until the rate on 30-year mortgages climbs to 10 or 15 percent.

Thus the perfect storm. Just as the speculative frenzy that led first to the internet bubble and then to the real estate bubble is winding down, the government’s ability to remedy the problem is likely to be curtailed as a result of the ever-present need to borrow more foreign money. Therefore, even if the Fed tries to prevent a recession by dropping interest rates to rock-bottom levels, this will do nothing to alleviate the real problems caused by the unwinding of the bubbles, and the only consequence will be the simultaneous decline in value of the dollar.

I don’t have the foresight to see how and when this will all work itself out, but it is increasingly clear that there are no easy solutions and that we are headed for economic problems of historical proportions.

TPMtv: Bomb Iran Bill + Lieberman & Webb on Lieberman-Kyl Amendment (videos)

Dandelion Salad

Veracifier

In yesterday’s episode of TPMtv we brought you news of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, the backdoor use of force resolution against Iran. They just vo… In yesterday’s episode of TPMtv we brought you news of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, the backdoor use of force resolution against Iran. They just voted on the amendment in the Senate and in today’s episode we bring up to date on just what happened …

Lieberman and Webb on Lieberman-Kyl Amendment

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Webb (D-VA) address the revised Lieberman-Kyl amendment about Iran, September 26 2007

see

Senators Kyl and Lieberman and their Stealth War Authorization by Dave Lindorff

TPMtv: Lieberman’s Bomb Iran Bill (video) + Action Alert (updated)

Invisible People of the Middle East by Jennifer

In case you missed it:

Bush Administration War Plans directed against Iran by Michel Chossudovsky

From Al Qaeda to Al Quds: America prepares for War on Iran by Pepe Escobar

Reporting From Baghdad By Scott Ritter

US steps closer to war with Iran by Kaveh L Afrasiabi

09.25.07 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

Sept. 25, 2007

linktv

“Ahmadinejad Faces a Hostile Crowd at Columbia University,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Would Columbia Invite Bin Laden?” IBA TV, Israel
“Prisoners Exchange Deal with Hamas Fails,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Political Divisions in Somalia Raises Fears of Renewed Fighting,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Former Ba’thist Tried in Al Shaaban Case,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
“China Pledges 80 Million Yans to Darfur,” Sudan TV, Sudan
“Lebanese Parliament Fails in its First Session,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

Olbermann: Govt. Using the Fear Card (video)

Dandelion Salad

pagename Part 1 of 2…Howard Fineman and Repr…

Part 1 of 2…Howard Fineman and Representative Jane Harman discuss playing politics with fear in the Congress on Countdown 09-25-07.

h/t: ICH

see

Olbermann: Rep Jane Harman on FISA + Beyond the Horizon (videos; spying)

Olbermann: Worst Person + Rudy Exploits 9/11? (videos)

America’s Police Brutality Pandemic By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
09/26/07 “ICH

Bush’s “war on terror” quickly became Bush’s war on Iraqi civilians. So far over one million Iraqi civilians have lost their lives because of Bush’s invasion, and four million have been displaced. Iraq’s infrastructure is in ruins. Disease is rampant. Normal life has disappeared.

Self-righteous Americans justify these monstrous crimes as necessary to ensure their own safety from terrorist attack. Yet, Americans are in far greater danger from their own police forces than they are from foreign terrorists. Ironically, Bush’s “war on terror” has made Americans less safe at home by diminishing US civil liberty and turning an epidemic of US police brutality into a pandemic.

The only terrorist most Americans will ever encounter is a policeman with a badge, nightstick, mace and Taser. A Google search for “police brutality videos” turns up 2,210,000 entries. Some entries are foreign and some are probably duplications, but the number is so large that a person could do nothing but watch police brutality videos for the rest of his life. A search on “You Tube” alone turned up 2,280 police brutality videos. PrisonPlanet has a selection of the most outrageous recent cases.

Police brutality has crossed the line from using excessive force against a resisting Rodney King to unprovoked gratuitous violence against persons offering no resistance, such as the elderly, women, students, and elected officials. Americans are not safe anywhere from police. Police attack Americans in university libraries, in public meetings, and in their own homes

Last week we had the case of the University of Florida student who was repeatedly Tasered without cause for asking Senator Kerry some good questions in the question and answer period following Kerry’s speech. Two days after the Florida student was gratuitously brutalized, Senate Republicans defeated Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy’s bill to restore habeas corpus protection.

A UCLA student was Tasered by police without cause for studying in the university library without having having his student ID on his person. Following police orders to leave, the student was walking toward the door when police grabbed him and repeatedly Tasered him.

On September 19, 2007 a young woman was repeatedly Tasered without cause by a large brutal cop in a parking lot outside a night club in Warren, Ohio.

On September 14, 2007, Roseland, Indiana, city council member David Snyder was ejected from a council meeting by dictatorial council chairman Charlie Shields. Snyder had protested being limited to one minute to speak. Police goon Jack Tiller escorted Snyder out, and as Snyder exited the building, Tiller, following behind, pushed Snyder to the ground and without cause began beating Snyder in the head with a nightstick. Snyder was hospitalized.

Local TV news stations throughout the US offer an endless stream of police brutality videos, which are then posted on the stations’ web sites, often with an opportunity for citizens to express their opinion of the incidents.

There are many disturbing aspects to police brutality cases.

One disturbing aspect is that the police always arrest the people that they have gratuitously brutalized. There was no justification whatsoever to arrest Councilman Snyder, or the UCLA student, or the University of Florida student. The cops committed assault against innocent citizens. The cops should have been arrested for their criminal acts. Instead, the cops cover up their own crimes by arresting their victims on false charges that are invented to justify the unprovoked police violence against citizens.

Another disturbing aspect is that no one tells the police to stop the brutality. “Free” Americans are so intimidated by police that on February 19 of this year male customers in a Chicago bar stood aside while a drunk cop weighing 251 pounds beat a 115 pound barmaid, knocking her to the floor with his fists and repeatedly kicking her, for obeying the bar rules and not serving him more drinks.

Yet another disturbing aspect is that a minority of citizens will justify each act of police brutality no matter how brutal and how unprovoked. For example, WNDU.com’s poll of its viewers found that 64.2% agreed that Snyder was a victim of police brutality, but 27.8% thought that Snyder got what was coming to him. “Law and order conservatives” and other authoritarian personalities invariably defend acts of police brutality. Perhaps the police brutality pandemic will bring the day when we will be able to say that a civil libertarian is a law and order conservative who has been brutalized by police.

The most disturbing aspect is that the police usually get away with it.

I remember decades ago when civil libertarians in New York City tried to stop police brutality by establishing civilian review boards to introduce some accountability into the police’s interaction with civilians. Law and order conservatives at William F. Buckley’s National Review went berserk. Accountability was “second-guessing” the police. The result would be a crime wave. And so on.

Police forces have always attracted bullies with authoritative personalities who desire to beat senseless anyone who does not quake in their presence. In the past police could get away with brutalizing blacks but not whites. Today white citizens are as likely as racial minorities to be victims of police brutality.

The police are supreme. The militarization of the police, armed now with military weapons and trained to view the general public as the enemy, against whom “pain compliance” must be used, has placed every American at risk of personal injury and false arrest from our “public protectors.”

In “free and democratic America,” citizens are in such great danger from police that there are websites devoted to police brutality with online forms to report the brutality.

Nine years ago Human Rights Watch published a report entitled, Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States.” The report stated:

“Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses. Police or public officials greet each new report of brutality with denials or explain that the act was an aberration, while the administrative and criminal systems that should deter these abuses by holding officers accountable instead virtually guarantee them impunity.

“This report examines common obstacles to accountability for police abuse in fourteen large cities representing most regions of the nation. The cities examined are: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Providence, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Research for this report was conducted over two and a half years, from late 1995 through early 1998.

“The brutality cases examined, which are set out in detail in chapters on each city, are similar to cases that continue to emerge in headlines and in survivors’ complaints. It is important to note, however, that because it is difficult to obtain case information except where there is public scandal and/or prosecution, this report relies heavily on cases that have reached public attention; disciplinary action and criminal prosecution are even less common than the cases set out below would suggest.” []

There is no way to hold police accountable when the president and vice president of the United States, the attorney general, and the Republican Party maintain that the civil liberties and the separation of powers mandated by the US Constitution must be abandoned in order that the executive branch can keep Americans safe from terrorists.

Even before the “war on terror,” federal police murdered 100 people in the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, and no one was held accountable.

Who is a terrorist? If the police and the US government have the mentality of airport security, they cannot tell a terrorist from an 86-year old Marine general on his way to give a speech at West Point. Retired Marine Corps General Joseph J. Foss was delayed and nearly had his Medal of Honor confiscated. Airport security regarded the pin on the metal as a weapon that the 86-year old Marine general and former governor of South Dakota could use to hijack an airliner and commit a terrorist deed.

In America today, every citizen is a potential terrorist in the eyes of the authorities. Airport security makes this clear every minute of every day, as do the FBI and NSA with warrantless spying on our emails, postal mail, telephone calls, and every possible invasion of our privacy. We are all recipients of abuse of our constitutional rights whether or not we suffer beatings, Taserings, and false arrests.

The law makes it impossible for Americans to defend themselves from police brutality. Law and order conservatives have made it a felony with a long prison sentence to “assault a police officer.” Assaulting a police officer means that if a police thug intends to beat your brains out with his nightstick and you disarm your assailant, you have “assaulted a police officer.” If you are not shot on the spot by his backup, you will be convicted by a “law and order” jury and sent to prison.

No matter how gratuitous and violent the police brutality, a “free” American citizen can defend himself only at the expense, if not of his life, of a long stay in prison. Osama bin Laden must wish that he had such power over Americans.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.


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.

‘A Coup Has Occurred’ By Daniel Ellsberg

Dandelion Salad

By Daniel Ellsberg
09/26/07 “ICH

September 26, 2007 (Text of a speech delivered September 20, 2007)

I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state.

If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth.

Will there be anything left for NSA to increase its surveillance of us? … They may be to the limit of their technical capability now, or they may not. But if they’re not now they will be after another 9/11.

And I would say after the Iranian retaliation to an American attack on Iran, you will then see an increased attack on Iran – an escalation – which will be also accompanied by a total suppression of dissent in this country, including detention camps.

It’s a little hard for me to distinguish the two contingencies; they could come together. Another 9/11 or an Iranian attack in which Iran’s reaction against Israel, against our shipping, against our troops in Iraq above all, possibly in this country, will justify the full panoply of measures that have been prepared now, legitimized, and to some extent written into law. …

This is an unusual gang, even for Republicans. [But] I think that the successors to this regime are not likely to roll back the assault on the Constitution. They will take advantage of it, they will exploit it.

Will Hillary Clinton as president decide to turn off NSA after the last five years of illegal surveillance? Will she deprive her administration her ability to protect United States citizens from possible terrorism by blinding herself and deafening herself to all that NSA can provide? I don’t think so.

Unless this somehow, by a change in our political climate, of a radical change, unless this gets rolled back in the next year or two before a new administration comes in – and there’s no move to do this at this point – unless that happens I don’t see it happening under the next administration, whether Republican or Democratic.

The Next Coup

Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That’s the next coup, that completes the first.

The last five years have seen a steady assault on every fundamental of our Constitution, … what the rest of the world looked at for the last 200 years as a model and experiment to the rest of the world – in checks and balances, limited government, Bill of Rights, individual rights protected from majority infringement by the Congress, an independent judiciary, the possibility of impeachment.

There have been violations of these principles by many presidents before. Most of the specific things that Bush has done in the way of illegal surveillance and other matters were done under my boss Lyndon Johnson in the Vietnam War: the use of CIA, FBI, NSA against Americans.

I could go through a list going back before this century to Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus in the Civil War, and before that the Alien and Sedition Acts in the 18th century. I think that none of those presidents were in fact what I would call quite precisely the current administration: domestic enemies of the Constitution.

I think that none of these presidents with all their violations, which were impeachable had they been found out at the time and in nearly every case their violations were not found out until they were out of office so we didn’t have the exact challenge that we have today.

That was true with the first term of Nixon and certainly of Johnson, Kennedy and others. They were impeachable, they weren’t found out in time, but I think it was not their intention to in the crisis situations that they felt justified their actions, to change our form of government.

It is increasingly clear with each new book and each new leak that comes out, that Richard Cheney and his now chief of staff David Addington have had precisely that in mind since at least the early 70s. Not just since 1992, not since 2001, but have believed in Executive government, single-branch government under an Executive president – elected or not – with unrestrained powers. They did not believe in restraint.

When I say this I’m not saying they are traitors. I don’t think they have in mind allegiance to some foreign power or have a desire to help a foreign power. I believe they have in their own minds a love of this country and what they think is best for this country – but what they think is best is directly and consciously at odds with what the Founders of this country and Constitution thought.

They believe we need a different kind of government now, an Executive government essentially, rule by decree, which is what we’re getting with signing statements. Signing statements are talked about as line-item vetoes which is one [way] of describing them which are unconstitutional in themselves, but in other ways are just saying the president says “I decide what I enforce. I decide what the law is. I legislate.”

It’s [the same] with the military commissions, courts that are under the entire control of the Executive Branch, essentially of the president. A concentration of legislative, judicial, and executive powers in one branch, which is precisely what the Founders meant to avert, and tried to avert and did avert to the best of their ability in the Constitution.

Founders Had It Right

Now I’m appealing to that as a crisis right now not just because it is a break in tradition but because I believe in my heart and from my experience that on this point the Founders had it right.

It’s not just “our way of doing things” – it was a crucial perception on the corruption of power to anybody including Americans. On procedures and institutions that might possibly keep that power under control because the alternative was what we have just seen, wars like Vietnam, wars like Iraq, wars like the one coming.

That brings me to the second point. This Executive Branch, under specifically Bush and Cheney, despite opposition from most of the rest of the branch, even of the cabinet, clearly intends a war against Iran which even by imperialist standards, standards in other words which were accepted not only by nearly everyone in the Executive Branch but most of the leaders in Congress. The interests of the empire, the need for hegemony, our right to control and our need to control the oil of the Middle East and many other places. That is consensual in our establishment. …

But even by those standards, an attack on Iran is insane. And I say that quietly, I don’t mean it to be heard as rhetoric. Of course it’s not only aggression and a violation of international law, a supreme international crime, but it is by imperial standards, insane in terms of the consequences.

Does that make it impossible? No, it obviously doesn’t, it doesn’t even make it unlikely.

That is because two things come together that with the acceptance for various reasons of the Congress – Democrats and Republicans – and the public and the media, we have freed the White House – the president and the vice president – from virtually any restraint by Congress, courts, media, public, whatever.

And on the other hand, the people who have this unrestrained power are crazy. Not entirely, but they have crazy beliefs.

And the question is what then, what can we do about this? We are heading towards an insane operation. It is not certain. It is likely. … I want to try to be realistic myself here, to encourage us to do what we must do, what is needed to be done with the full recognition of the reality. Nothing is impossible.

What I’m talking about in the way of a police state, in the way of an attack on Iran is not certain. Nothing is certain, actually. However, I think it is probable, more likely than not, that in the next 15, 16 months of this administration we will see an attack on Iran. Probably. Whatever we do.

And … we will not succeed in moving Congress probably, and Congress probably will not stop the president from doing this. And that’s where we’re heading. That’s a very ugly, ugly prospect.

However, I think it’s up to us to work to increase that small perhaps – anyway not large – possibility and probability to avert this within the next 15 months, aside from the effort that we have to make for the rest of our lives.

Restoring the Republic

Getting back the constitutional government and improving it will take a long time. And I think if we don’t get started now, it won’t be started under the next administration.

Getting out of Iraq will take a long time. Averting Iran and averting a further coup in the face of a 9/11, another attack, is for right now, it can’t be put off. It will take a kind of political and moral courage of which we have seen very little…

We have a really unusual concentration here and in this audience, of people who have in fact changed their lives, changed their position, lost their friends to a large extent, risked and experienced being called terrible names, “traitor,” “weak on terrorism” – names that politicians will do anything to avoid being called.

How do we get more people in the government and in the public at large to change their lives now in a crisis in a critical way? How do we get Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for example? What kinds of pressures, what kinds of influences can be brought to bear to get Congress to do their jobs? It isn’t just doing their jobs. Getting them to obey their oaths of office.

I took an oath many times, an oath of office as a Marine lieutenant, as an official in the Defense Department, as an official in the State Department as a Foreign Service officer. A number of times I took an oath of office which is the same oath office taken by every member of Congress and every official in the United States and every officer in the United States armed services.

And that oath is not to a Commander in Chief, which is not mentioned. It is not to a fuehrer. It is not even to superior officers. The oath is precisely to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Now that is an oath I violated every day for years in the Defense Department without realizing it when I kept my mouth shut when I knew the public was being lied into a war as they were lied into Iraq, as they are being lied into war in Iran.

I knew that I had the documents that proved it, and I did not put it out then. I was not obeying my oath which I eventually came to do.

I’ve often said that Lt. Ehren Watada – who still faces trial for refusing to obey orders to deploy to Iraq which he correctly perceives to be an unconstitutional and aggressive war – is the single officer in the United States armed services who is taking seriously in upholding his oath.

The president is clearly violating that oath, of course. Everybody under him who understands what is going on and there are myriad, are violating their oaths. And that’s the standard that I think we should be asking of people.

Congressional Courage

On the Democratic side, on the political side, I think we should be demanding of our Democratic leaders in the House and Senate – and frankly of the Republicans – that it is not their highest single absolute priority to be reelected or to maintain a Democratic majority so that Pelosi can still be Speaker of the House and Reid can be in the Senate, or to increase that majority.

I’m not going to say that for politicians they should ignore that, or that they should do something else entirely, or that they should not worry about that.

Of course that will be and should be a major concern of theirs, but they’re acting like it’s their sole concern. Which is business as usual. “We have a majority, let’s not lose it, let’s keep it. Let’s keep those chairmanships.” Exactly what have those chairmanships done for us to save the Constitution in the last couple of years?

I am shocked by the Republicans today that I read in the Washington Post who yesterday threatened a filibuster if we … get back habeas corpus. The ruling out of habeas corpus with the help of the Democrats did not get us back to George the First it got us back to before King John 700 years ago in terms of counter-revolution.

We need some way, and Ann Wright has one way, of sitting in, in Conyers office and getting arrested. Ray McGovern has been getting arrested, pushed out the other day for saying the simple words “swear him in” when it came to testimony.

I think we’ve got to somehow get home to them [in Congress] that this is the time for them to uphold the oath, to preserve the Constitution, which is worth struggling for in part because it’s only with the power that the Constitution gives Congress responding to the public, only with that can we protect the world from mad men in power in the White House who intend an attack on Iran.

And the current generation of American generals and others who realize that this will be a catastrophe have not shown themselves – they might be people who in their past lives risked their bodies and their lives in Vietnam or elsewhere, like [Colin] Powell, and would not risk their career or their relation with the president to the slightest degree.

That has to change. And it’s the example of people like those up here who somehow brought home to our representatives that they as humans and as citizens have the power to do likewise and find in themselves the courage to protect this country and protect the world. Thank you.

Daniel Ellsberg is author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.


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.

Kucinich on War Profiteers and Congress (video)

Dandelion Salad

sirjsk

Sept. 24, 2007

Dennis Kucinich spoke today in Santa Barbara. Here he answers upon war profiteers and congress inablility to see the big picture of corruption.

Dennis Kucinich spoke today in Santa …

h/t: After Downing St

see

Kucinich: Iran Counter-Proliferation Act Unintentionally Undermines Diplomatic Efforts

Iranian University Chancellors Ask Bollinger 10 Questions

Dandelion Salad

Global Research, September 25, 2007
Fars News Agency

Seven chancellors and presidents of Iranian universities and research centers, in a letter addressed to their counterpart in the US, Colombia University, denounced Lee Bollinger’s insulting words against the Iranian nation and president and invited him to provide responses to 10 questions by Iranian academics and intellectuals.

The following is the full text of the letter:

Mr. Lee Bollinger
Columbia University President

We, the professors and heads of universities and research institutions in Tehran, hereby announce our displeasure and protest at your impolite remarks prior to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent speech at Columbia University.

We would like to inform you that President Ahmadinejad was elected directly by the Iranian people through an enthusiastic two-round poll in which almost all of the country’s political parties and groups participated. To assess the quality and nature of these elections you may refer to US news reports on the poll dated June 2005.

Your insult, in a scholarly atmosphere, to the president of a country with a population of 72 million and a recorded history of 7,000 years of civilization and culture is deeply shameful.

Your comments, filled with hate and disgust, may well have been influenced by extreme pressure from the media, but it is regrettable that media policy-makers can determine the stance a university president adopts in his speech.

Your remarks about our country included unsubstantiated accusations that were the product of guesswork as well as media propaganda. Some of your claims result from misunderstandings that can be clarified through dialogue and further research.

During his speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad answered a number of your questions and those of students. We are prepared to answer any remaining questions in a scientific, open and direct debate.

You asked the president approximately ten questions. Allow us to ask you ten of our own questions in the hope that your response will help clear the atmosphere of misunderstanding and distrust between our two countries and reveal the truth.

1- Why did the US media put you under so much pressure to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from delivering his speech at Columbia University? And why have American TV networks been broadcasting hours of news reports insulting our president while refusing to allow him the opportunity to respond? Is this not against the principle of freedom of speech?

2- Why, in 1953, did the US administration overthrow Iran’s national government under Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh and go on to support the Shah’s dictatorship?

3- Why did the US support the blood-thirsty dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war on Iran, considering his reckless use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers defending their land and even against his own people?

4- Why is the US putting pressure on the government elected by the majority of Palestinians in Gaza instead of officially recognizing it? And why does it oppose Iran’s proposal to resolve the 60-year-old Palestinian issue through a general referendum?

5- Why has the US military failed to find Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden even with all its advanced equipment? How do you justify the old friendship between the Bush and Bin Laden families and their cooperation on oil deals? How can you justify the Bush administration’s efforts to disrupt investigations concerning the September 11 attacks?

6- Why does the US administration support the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) despite the fact that the group has officially and openly accepted the responsibility for numerous deadly bombings and massacres in Iran and Iraq? Why does the US refuse to allow Iran’s current government to act against the MKO’s main base in Iraq?

7- Was the US invasion of Iraq based on international consensus and did international institutions support it? What was the real purpose behind the invasion which has claimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives? Where are the weapons of mass destruction that the US claimed were being stockpiled in Iraq?

8- Why do America’s closest allies in the Middle East come from extremely undemocratic governments with absolutist monarchical regimes?

9- Why did the US oppose the plan for a Middle East free of unconventional weapons in the recent session of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors despite the fact the move won the support of all members other than Israel?

10- Why is the US displeased with Iran’s agreement with the IAEA and why does it openly oppose any progress in talks between Iran and the agency to resolve the nuclear issue under international law?

Finally, we would like to express our readiness to invite you and other scientific delegations to our country. A trip to Iran would allow you and your colleagues to speak directly with Iranians from all walks of life including intellectuals and university scholars. You could then assess the realities of Iranian society without media censorship before making judgments about the Iranian nation and government.

You can be assured that Iranians are very polite and hospitable toward their guests.

 

see

Columbia President Bollinger Introduces Ahmadinejad (video)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia University (video link)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the UN (videos)

Turning Ahmadinejad into public enemy No. 1 By Juan Cole

Ahmadinejad Was Great at Columbia, and Bollinger Bashed Him by William Mac (video)


www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright , Fars News Agency, 2007
The url address of this article is:
www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6888

Big Brother USA: Homeland Security’s Domestic Travel Permits by Blue Patriot Woman

Dandelion Salad

by Blue Patriot Woman
Global Research, September 26, 2007
Daily Kos

The Nightmare of DHS´s *Secure Flight*

Daily Kos, Mon Sep 17, 2007 at 10:34:23 AM PDT

[link to official document Federal Registry]

Buried in the September 5 issue of the Federal Register, was a notice that this Thursday, September 20, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) will hold public hearings on their ¨Secure Flight Plan.¨

Come with me into a nightmare world where American citizens will have to obtain permission from the government before they can travel by air in the U.S.

Your government (meaning the Department of Homeland Security) is up to no good.

Beginning in February 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will implement their ¨Advance Passenger Information System (APIS),¨ the gist of which is that you will need permission from the United States Government to travel on any air or sea vessel that goes to, from or through the U.S. The travel companies will not be able to issue a boarding pass until you are cleared by DHS. This applies to ALL passengers, US citizens and visitors alike. And how do you get said permission to travel? That´s for your government to know and you to never find out.

Now TSA proposes to do for domestic travel what APIS will do for international routes. That´s what I said: the new TSA rule would require that you obtain PERMISSION to travel within the U.S.

Here is the summary of their proposed rules, which seem so reasonable, couched as they are in the blandness of governmenteez [emphasis added].

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assume from aircraft operators the function of conducting pre-flight comparisons of airline passenger information to Federal Government watch lists for international and domestic flights.

[snip]

This rule proposes to allow TSA to … receive passenger and certain non-traveler information, conduct watch list matching … and transmit boarding pass printing instructions back to aircraft operators.

[snip]

TSA would do so in a consistent and accurate manner while minimizing false matches and protecting privacy information.

Right. And I have a bridge in Brooklyn…

We propose that, when the Secure Flight rule becomes final, aircraft operators would submit passenger information to DHS through a single DHS portal for both the Secure Flight and APIS programs. This would [result] in one DHS system responsible for watch list matching for all aviation passengers.

Don´t you feel great knowing that your government will use economies of scale to protect you?

Edward Hasbrough states that these rules are more insidious than merely complying to demands for ¨Your papers please.¨ He states,

The proposal … require[s] that travellers display their government-issued credentials not to government agents but to airline personnel (staff or contractors), whenever the DHS orders the airline to demand them. But since the orders to demand ID of [certain passengers] will be given to the airline in secret, … travellers will have no way to verify whether … demands for ID are actually based on government orders.

Think about that: you will not be allowed to verify if the person demanding your papers is actually authorized to do so. In addition, the airlines or their contractors (or sub or even sub sub contractors) have the right, under the proposed rules, to do anything they like with your personal information including:

keep copies of your passport … as long as they like, use it, publish it, broadcast it, sell it, rent it, or pass it on to whomever they please…. [T]hey would have no obligation to get your permission for any of this.

Aside from the privacy issue, this is the DHS. Their past performance is an indication of future returns and we can look forward to true travel nightmares beginning February 19, 2008. Just think about the mess that occurred when CBP demanded that travelers to Canada and Mexico have a passport. Multiply that by orders of magnitude to imagine what travelers will be facing.

If you can, please attend the TSA hearings on Thursday (Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street, N.W. beginning at 8:00am). If you can´t attend in person, you have until October 22, 2007 to submit written comments through the Docket Management System. The docket number is TSA-2007-28572.

The Identity Project at Papers Please is working to prevent your government from robbing you of your right to privacy in your movements.

 


www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright , Daily Kos, 2007
The url address of this article is:
www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6892

A Culture of Violence by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, September 26, 2007

A country that glorifies wars and violence in the name of peace

What do you call a country that glorifies wars and violence in the name of peace. One that’s been at war every year in its history against one or more adversaries. It has the highest homicide rate of all western nations and a passion for owning guns, yet the two seem oddly unconnected. Violent films are some of its most popular, and similar video games crowd out the simpler, more innocent street play of generations earlier. Prescription and illicit drug use is out of control as well when tobacco, alcohol and other legal ones are included.

Continue reading

A Constitutional Duty: Impeach In 2007 (Seymour Hersh) (video)

Dandelion Salad

RattyRatman

Originally posted by Ricky2112
http://www.youtube.com/user/Ricky2112
Remind Congress to uphold it’s Constitutional obligation to open an investigation against anyone who has committed crimes against it’s country.

For more specific information on the Articles of Impeachment of President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales – please visit:

http://impeachforpeace.org/index.php
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/
http://www.democrats.com/taxonomy/ter…
http://www.impeachbush.org/site/PageS…

These sites can help to find your Congress member’s contact information.

The voice speaking in this message is Seymour Hersh (Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the New Yorker) – taken from one of his lectures at the ACLU.

Criminals stand trial for their crimes. Period.

Richard Nixon was impeached 2 years after a landslide election victory—for crimes far less incriminating than the Bush Administration. Please visit these sites to learn more specifically about the cases against them and how you can help make sure they don’t dodge Justice. This is our country, and we can force the House to Impeach them with your help. It’s time to relearn what this country’s ideals are based upon.

Impeachment in 2007 – Our Constitutional Duty.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the UN (videos)

Dandelion Salad

OSIDEGANGBUSTER

h/t: Scruffy: Enemy Combatant, Number One Insurgent, Tony ॐ, dave, Zarina Jada-Zakori, Psy.D., red pill

see

Ahmadinejad Was Great at Columbia, and Bollinger Bashed Him by William Mac (video

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at Columbia University (video link)

Turning Ahmadinejad into public enemy No. 1 By Juan Cole

Full Interview With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (videos)

Red State Update: Ahmadinejad Hearts NY (video)

Columbia President Bollinger Introduces Ahmadinejad (video)

Olbermann: Rep Jane Harman on FISA + Beyond the Horizon (videos; spying)

Dandelion Salad

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

SEPTEMBER 25, 2007 KEITH OLBERMANN

Beyond the Horizon

see

Leahy to McConnell: Stop ‘Irresponsible Statements’ (videos)

Orwellian Legislation: Stop the Unconstitutional “Protect America” Act by Michael Boldin + FISA 101

Domestic Spying: Intel Chief Testifies on FISA (videos; links)