Olbermann: Osama Tape + Al Qaeda + Worst Person (videos)

Dandelion Salad

clyde1952

Keith is back. Remember the recent O… Keith is back. Remember the recent Osama bin Forgotten tape that was released and played on the airwaves? Sure you do. What you may not have known is that intelligence agencies acquired the tape even before it was released by Al Qaida operatives.

“Al Qaeda’s Internet communications system has suddenly gone dark to American intelligence after the leak of Osama bin Laden’s September 11 speech inadvertently disclosed the fact that we had penetrated the enemy’s system.

The intelligence blunder started with what appeared at the time as an American intelligence victory, namely that the federal government had intercepted, a full four days before it was to be aired, a video of Osama bin Laden’s first appearance in three years in a video address marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001.”

And why was this tape released to the media early? Well, first and foremost it was released to help that good old Republican cohort, the Fox Noise Channel. I guess keeping the ratings of a Republican propaganda network up is more important than months of work opening up backdoor portholes to Al Qaeda is. Yep, when Al Qaida found out that we had the vid they quickly shut down those openings. Keith gives a full report.

Wrapping up the leaked Osama Bin Forgotten tape segment, terrorism analyst Evan Kohlman joins Keith to discuss how difficult it is to open and maintain these loopholes into Al Qaida’s distribution system, and the damage caused by leaking the video.

Rudy G is booed at Yankee. Chris Matthews horns in on Keith’s show to discuss and to add his two cents worth on that incident and tonight’s Republican Debate in Michigan with Fred Thompson’s first debate appearance.

In Oddball, Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport and Racing Mascots.

Best Persons – Fred Barnes, who is not quite in touch with reality, A Counterfeiter who was trying to pass a million dollar counterfeit bill, and how a vacuum cleaner sales led to a kidney transplant.

Just like the last time, the Bush tries to scare the Congress into passing a favorable FISA bill. And the way Congress flinches every time this administration says BOO!, it’ll probably work. But like Keith’s guest, Bruce Fein says, it doesn’t matter what law Congress passes because Bush isn’t going to obey any of them and they won’t do a damn thing about it.

The jurors in the British Inquest version of the probe into Diana’s death goes to a swanky hotel. Is Tom Cruise’s new movie being filmed in Germany cursed? The latest in a series of mishaps. Nick Nolte becomes a father at age 66.

Worst Persons: Bronze to the despicable Robert Novak, the Silver to the more despicable Rush Limbaugh and friends who are now attacking a twelve year old kid because when you’ve attacked veterans, and when you’ve attacked someone with Parkinsons disease, you and your party just have to show to what depths of inhumanity you can sink to. And somehow Billo manages to top that. Remember Billo talking about all the fun Shawn Hornbeck was having by being kidnapped? Sure you do. In testimony, the kidnapper said he was ready to strangle Hornbeck and only spared him so that he could make him his sex slave. Billo of course has never apologized for that remark.

In tonight’s final segment, dancing with the star, or in this case dancing with an animated Idaho Hall of Famer, Larry Craig.

Republican Debate: Your Money, Your Vote (vids; links; updated)

Dandelion Salad

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

OCTOBER 09, 2007
CNBC REPUBLICAN DEBATE

Part 1

Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kE_uB711Hk

Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMs4Xa8q5UM

Part 3

Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgdCX2vxh2s

Part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilqR-waLIVA

Part 5

Part 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV7Rh41C7Hk

Part 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai4VBhST504

Part 7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3HE8S2OrqE

Part 8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ6r3lnzOn0

Part 9

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjrNvquC7Vc

Part 10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq7MocU7iME

Part 11

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8RoQcSw9RQ

Part 12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB9rKW0DWME

Part 13

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s26X4jXU2G4

Part 14

Part 14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk5naplVuEo

Part 15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzLT1ztLeD4

Part 16

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFrt6PC79k4

Part 17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ae3K2jJm2c

Part 18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDN4fsx7UVM

Part 19

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uJnHN8FYUQ

Republican Presidential Debate, Oct 9 2007

Veracifier

CNBC/MSNBC Republican Presidential Debate from Dearborn Michigan, Oct 9 2007

 

10.08.07 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

Oct. 8, 2007

linktv

 “US Accuses Iranian Ambassador of Providing Weapons to Iraqi Militias,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“US President Gravely Mistaken,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“Peres Attacks Iran at Knesst,” IBA TV, Israel
“Iraqi Women in Prison,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Basra Beset in Fighting Between Shiate Groups,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Checkpoint Bookstore in Palestine,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Musharraf: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?” Link TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

What FISA Capitulations Are Democrats Planning Next? by Glenn Greenwald

Dandelion Salad

by Glenn Greenwald
CommonDreams.org

An article in this morning’s NYT reports what many have long been expecting — that Congressional Democrats are ready to capitulate to the White House again on warrantless eavesdropping just as they did in August, only this time by making their capitulation permanent:

Two months after insisting that they would roll back broad eavesdropping powers won by the Bush administration, Democrats in Congress appear ready to make concessions that could extend some crucial powers given to the National Security Agency.

Administration officials say they are confident they will win approval of the broadened authority that they secured temporarily in August as Congress rushed toward recess. Some Democratic officials concede that they may not come up with enough votes to stop approval.

This article may very well turn out to be accurate. Personally, I’ve been arguing since the disgraceful August FISA gift to the Bush White House that the chances were far greater that Democrats, before the six-month sunset provision elapsed, would actually pass an even worse FISA bill — one that gave the President all the warrantless surveillance powers they gave him before plus what he wants most: retroactive amnesty for lawbreaking — rather than adhering to their promise to “fix” what they did. So it is quite possible that Congressional Democrats will do here what they have been doing all year long, ever since they were pointlessly given control of Congress — namely, meekly (and/or eagerly) give George Bush everything he demands.

But at least thus far, from everything I can tell, the picture is more complicated and less depressing than this NYT article suggests, and the defeat is not yet a fait accompli. To begin with, the bill to be proposed today by the House Democratic leadership actually contains some surprisingly good and important provisions.

That bill would compel the administration “to reveal to Congress the details of all electronic surveillance conducted without court orders since Sept. 11, 2001, including the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program.” It would also require the maintenance of a data base to record the identities of all Americans whose conversations are surveilled. And it provides nothing at all in the way of amnesty or immunity for lawbreaking telecoms or administration officials. The bill introduced by House leadership is a bill the White House will never accept and would certainly veto, and it is vastly better — in important ways — than the atrocity they enacted in August.

It is important here to recall that there is actually an amendment to FISA that is at least arguably justifiable. Even the original FISA law never required warrants in order to eavesdrop on (a) foreign-to-foreign calls or (b) calls involving a U.S. citizen where the target was a non-citizen outside the U.S. (who just happened to call into the U.S.). But recently, technological developments resulted in such calls, even foreign-foreign calls, being routed through the U.S. via fiber optics, and a FISA court ruled this year that the language of FISA requires warrants for such calls.

Even civil libertarian stalwarts such as Russ Feingold agree that it was never the intent of FISA to require warrants for those categories of calls and that amending FISA strictly to fix that problem is justifiable. And the House bill (which, I should note, I have not been able to read yet because the bill has not been publicly released and people in DC love to keep things secret, but I have spoken with many people whose expertise I trust who have read it) makes that arguably necessary change. But the bill gives the White House little else, and imposes some important requirements that the White House would never accept.

It is definitely possible that this is all just deceit, that House leaders introduced this bill strictly to placate their Progressive Caucus and their base and that they have no real intention of fighting for these provisions, but instead will give Bush what he wants once Mike McConnell starts accusing them of Helping the Terrorists and they begin negotiating in secret again. But it seems that there are important House Democrats really ready to fight on these issues, to prevent Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel (who unfortunately seem to be the real Speakers of the House) from conniving like they did in August to manipulate their caucus into supporting something far worse.

The real problem here seems to be that the wretched, principle-free, administration-revering Democratic faction on the Senate Intelligence Committee — particularly Jay Rockefeller, joined by the Dianne Feinsteins and Bill Nelsons — is eager to reach a “compromise” with their Bush-loyal “colleagues” (such as “Kit” Bond and the Responsible, Honorable, Serious Mike McConnell). And they are, as always, even more eager to deliver bountiful gifts to their generous contributors in the telecom industry and their sleazy friends in the Clintonite-telecom-lobbying-circle.

The question, then, is to what extent the more principled members of the House Democratic caucus — and they do exist — can exert influence over the House Democratic leadership to prevent the worthless Senate Democratic caucus from enacting the bill the White House wants, complete with amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms and massively expanded warrantless eavesdropping powers. No rational person who has even casually observed this Congress over the last nine months would be optimistic about the likely outcome here.

But there seem to be some genuine opportunities — with a smart and energized campaign — to try to exert influence on this process to ensure more positive outcomes. For that reason, declaring defeat and “full capitulation” in advance — as the NYT article does today — seems premature.

If the Democratic Congress capitulates yet again, there will be plenty of time and opportunity for all sorts of recriminations. I think it is quite encouraging that much of the “netroots” is now devoting its energies and resources not to supporting Democrats, but to opposing Congressional Democrats who merit defeat.

Matt Stoller and Open Left, for instance, are devoting most of their energies to figuring out how to surmount the obstacles to waging effective primary challenges against Bush-supporting Democrats. The fund-raising entity run by FDL, C&L and others has begun targeting worthless Democrats, funding and running robocalls against Bush-enabling Democratic incumbents in their districts (those inclined can help fund those efforts here). MoveOn is actively considering spending large sums of money to support primary challenges against war-enabling Democrats. Obviously, there is no point in working to empower Democrats who enable and support virtually all of the worst aspects of the Bush agenda.

There is absolutely no justification whatsoever — neither substantive nor political — for expanding the scope of warrantless eavesdropping powers and especially for granting amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms. It is unconscionable even to consider any changes to FISA without full disclosure by the administration of how they used their illegal and secret warrantless eavesdropping powers in the past. In that regard, it is worth emphasizing that the administration from 2001 through 2004 (at least) was engaged in spying on Americans so patently illegal that the entire top level of the DOJ and the FBI Director threatened to quit if it continued — yet we still do not know what they were doing then. How can that be? There is no justification for permitting that conduct to remain concealed from the American public, let alone from the Congress.

Warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty implicate virtually every critical political value assaulted for the last six years by this administration — our basic constitutional protections, checks and balances and the rule of law. Capitulation by the Democratic Congress here would eliminate any residual doubt (if there is any) about what this Congress really is. We shouldn’t assume the worst unless and until it actually happens, and until it does, everything should be done to prevent that.

Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book “How Would a Patriot Act?,” a critique of the Bush administration’s use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, “A Tragic Legacy“, examines the Bush legacy.

© Salon.com

 

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

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What Are Progressives Waiting For? by Dave Lindorff

Oil, Israel & America: The Root Cause of the Crisis By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
ICH
10/09/07 “Common Dreams

There is no shortage of examples of historical points of friction between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States to draw upon in order to illustrate the genesis of the current level of tension. One can point to the Islamic revolution that cast aside America’s staunch ally, Reza Shah Pahlevi, the period of reactionary exportation of Islamic “revolution” that followed, the take over of the US Embassy and subsequent holding of Americans hostage (replete with a failed rescue mission), the Iranian use of proxy’s to confront American military involvement in Lebanon, inclusive of the bombing of the Marine barracks and US Embassy compounds, America’s support of Saddam Hussein during the 8-year war between Iran and Iraq, the ‘hot’ conflict between Iran and the United States in the late 1980’s, or Iran’s ongoing support of the Hezbollah Party in Lebanon. The list could continue.

With the exception of the current situation in Lebanon, most of these “friction points” are dated, going back nearly three decades past. And when one examines the ‘root’ causes of these past points of friction, we find that there is no simple ‘black and white’ causal relationship which places Iran firmly in the wrong. Much of the early animosity between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States was derived from the resentment most Iranians felt over American support for a brutal, repressive regime. This resentment, coupled with an uncompromising approach taken by the United States towards maintaining cordial relations with a post-Shah Iran, manifested itself in the furtherance of anti-American activity in Iran, which in turn hardened the posture of the US government against Iran, leading to a cycle of devolution that ultimately resulted in the severance of all ties between the two nations.

The animosity between the United States and Iran was further exacerbated by the US support for Saddam Hussein during the bloody 8-year war between Iran and Iraq. This support, which manifested itself by actually drawing the US military into a shooting war with elements of Iran’s military during the re-flagging of Kuwaiti oil tankers in the late 1980’s, in turn created the conditions which led to the policy of “dual containment” of both Iran and Iraq from 1991, in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. “Dual Containment” was more a product of the lack of policy between the United States and Iran than it was representative of a singular policy direction. The end result, namely a failure to achieve any discernable results, created the conditions for “policy drift,” which by 1998 led to the adoption of a policy of regime change in Iraq, and the embrace of ideologically-driven national security strategies which expanded regime change to be inclusive of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These policy directions on the part of the United States took place in a virtual reality-deprived atmosphere, being driven more from the perspective of a domestic American perspective based on inaccuracies and misperceptions of Iran than they were from any hard, factual analysis of the genuine state of affairs inside Iran. It is largely because of this systemic lack of intellectual curiosity regarding Iran that many in America, including the main stream media, find themselves divining models of national behavior derived from actions and events more than 20 years past.

Iran’s nuclear program, far from being the “root cause” of Iranian-American animosity, is simply a facilitator for those who are predisposed to accept at face value anything that paints Iran in a negative light. The same can be said of almost every effort undertaken by the US government, post-1998, regarding Iran. A major impetus behind this trend towards rhetorically-based negativism regarding Iran is the influence exerted on the US national security decision making process by the government of Israel, and those elements within the United States, both governmental and non-governmental, which lobby on behalf of Israel. Israel has, for over a decade, listed Iran as its most serious national security threat, and has lobbied extensively to get the United States to embrace a similar policy direction.

A pre-occupation with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the 1990’s up to 2003 precluded such a shift in policy. However, while the deteriorating situation in Iraq since the march 2003 invasion and occupation by the United States has dominated the US national security decision making hierarchy, the elimination of Saddam Hussein, coupled with a less than satisfactory outcome regarding holding to account the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the united States, created an ideologically-driven gap in the threat models pushed by those making policy in the United States, and since 2004 Israel has been successful in pressuring American policy positions vis-à-vis Iran to more closely model the positions taken by Israel, up to and including a characterization of Iran as a nation pursuing nuclear weapons ambitions, operating as a state sponsor of terror, and possessing a government which is fundamentally incompatible with regional and global peace and security.

The Israeli perspective on Iran is driven by two primary factors: a “zero tolerance” for the acquisition of nuclear weapons by any nation deemed a threat, either real or potential, that is so strict even nuclear energy-related programs permitted under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (which Iran contends, and the IAEA concurs, is the case regarding its nuclear activities) are deemed unacceptable, and an inability to diplomatically resolve the reality of the Lebanese Hezbollah Party on its northern borders.

The Israeli posturing regarding Iran’s nuclear program, and America’s unquestioning support of the Israeli position, has nullified any chance of meaningful diplomacy in this regard, since diplomacy is at least nominally based upon the rule of law as set forth under relevant treaties and agreements, a reality Israel refuses to acknowledge as legitimate concerning Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Hezbollah has further complicated the issue given the fact that it a) receives considerable support, financial and material, from Iran, and b) it has demonstrated an ability to embarrass Israel’s vaunted military machine on the field of battle. National hubris, more than legitimate national security concerns, drives Israel’s unyielding stance concerning Hezbollah, which in turn colors American policy pronouncements which list Iran as a state sponsor of terror, even though there is little in the way of concrete evidence to back up such claims other than Iran’s ongoing status as a major benefactor of Hezbollah.

But the key factor in the calculus of what serves as the root cause of conflict between Iran and the United States is energy, namely Iran’s status as one of the world’s leading producers of oil and natural gas. The United States has, for some time now, placed a high emphasis on Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil and gas when it comes to determining future economic development trends. In a fossil-fuel driven global economy, energy resources have become one of the major factors in determining which nation or group of nations will be able to dominate not only economically, but also militarily and politically.

In the “Power Equation” that gets factored into national security decision making here in the United States, fossil fuels play a dominant role. America’s interest in dominating the Middle Eastern region is driven almost exclusively by the energy resources of that region. Iran’s situation is further exacerbated by the reality that Iranian oil and gas represent a critical part of the future economic growth of the world’s two largest expanding economies, namely China and India. By leveraging its control over Iranian energy production, as well as the other major centers of fossil fuel production in the Middle east and Central Asia, the United States is positioning itself to be able to control the pace of economic expansion in China and India, a capability deemed vital when it comes to the national security posture of the United States in relation to these two nations and the rest of the world.

In short, there are many factors involved in what one might term the “root cause” of Iranian-US animosity. But the reality is all of the points of friction between Iran and the US could be readily resolved with viable diplomacy save two: Israel’s current level of unflinching hostility towards Iran, and America’s addiction to global energy resources. These two factors guarantee that there will be tension between Iran and the United States for some time to come, and place blame for the continuation of tension firmly on the side of the United States.

Scott Ritter was a Marine Corps intelligence officer from 1984 to 1991 and a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He is the author of numerous books, including “Iraq Confidential” (Nation Books, 2005) , “Target Iran” (Nation Books, 2006) and his latest, “Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement” (Nation Books, April 2007).

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.

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The Big Lie: ‘Iran Is a Threat’ By Scott Ritter

Ron Paul: “Defending the American Dream Summit” (video)

I truly disagree with most of what Ron Paul stands for. ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

unconsious767 seen on cspan: Ron Paul speaks in D.C…

Seen on C-SPAN: Ron Paul speaks in D.C. to the Americans for Prosperity at the Defending the American Dream Summit, Oct 5, 2007

Torture Endorsed, Torture Denied by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, October 8, 2007
The Jurist

JURIST Contributing Editor Marjorie Cohn of Thomas Jefferson School of Law says that the Bush administration’s repeated insistence that it has not endorsed the torture of prisoners rings hollow in light of newly-disclosed US Department of Justice memos supporting the harshest techniques the CIA has ever used…

The April 2004 publication of grotesque photographs of naked Iraqis piled on top of each other, forced to masturbate, and led around on leashes like dogs, sent shock waves around the world. George W. Bush declared, “I shared a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated.” Yet less than a year later, his Justice Department issued a secret opinion endorsing the harshest techniques the CIA has ever used, according to a report in the New York Times. These include head slapping, frigid temperatures, and water boarding, in which the subject is made to feel he is drowning. Water boarding is widely considered a torture technique. Once again, Bush is compelled to issue a denial. “This government does not torture people,” he insisted.

This was not the first time the Bush administration had officially endorsed torture, however. John Yoo, writing for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, penned an August 2002 memorandum that rewrote the legal definition of torture to require the equivalent of organ failure. This memo violated the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a treaty the United States ratified, and therefore part of U.S. law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

In December 2002, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved interrogation methods that included the use of dogs, hooding, stress positions, isolation for up to 30 days, 20-hour interrogations, deprivation of light and sound, and water boarding. U.S. Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora told William Haynes, the Pentagon’s general counsel, that Rumsfeld’s “authorized interrogation techniques could rise to the level of torture.” As a result, Rumsfeld rescinded some methods but reserved the right to approve others, including water boarding, on a case-by-case basis.

When Bush maintained last week that his government doesn’t torture prisoners, he stressed the necessity of interrogation to “protect the American people.” Notwithstanding the myth perpetuated by shows like “24,” however, torture doesn’t work. Experts agree that people who are tortured will say anything to make the torture stop.

One of the first victims of the Bush administration’s 2002 torture policy was Abu Zubaydah, whom they called “chief of operations” for al Qaeda and bin Laden’s “number three man.” He was repeatedly tortured at the secret CIA “black sites.” They water boarded him, withheld his medication, threatened him with impending death, and bombarded him with continuous deafening noise and harsh lights.

But Zubaydah wasn’t a top al Qaeda leader. Dan Coleman, one of the FBI’s leading experts on al Qaeda, said of Zubaydah, “He knew very little about real operations, or strategy … He was expendable, you know, the greeter . . . Joe Louis in the lobby of Caeser’s Palace, shaking hands.” Moreover, Zubaydah was schizophrenic; according to Coleman, “This guy is insane, certifiable split personality.” Coleman’s views were echoed at the top levels of the CIA and were communicated to Bush and Cheney. But Bush scolded CIA director George Tenet, saying, “I said [Zubaydah] was important. You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?” Zubaydah’s minor role in al Qaeda and his apparent insanity were kept secret.

In response to the torture, Zubaydah told his interrogators about myriad terrorist targets al Qaeda had in its sights: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statute of Liberty, shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, and apartment buildings. Al Qaeda was close to building a crude nuclear bomb, Zubaydah reported. None of this was corroborated but the Bush gang reacted to each report zealously.

Moreover, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was tortured so severely – including by water boarding – that the information he provided is virtually worthless. A potentially rich source of intelligence was lost as a result of the torture.

Bush’s insistence that his administration doesn’t torture rings hollow. He lied about weapons of mass destruction and a Saddam-al Qaeda connection in Iraq. He lied when he assured us his officials would not wiretap without warrants. As evidence of secret memos detailing harsh interrogation policies continues to emerge, we can’t believe Bush’s denials about torture.

Democrats in Congress have demanded they be allowed to see the memos, but Bush said the interrogation methods have been “fully disclosed to appropriate members of Congress.” Senator John D. Rockefeller IV was unmoved. “I’m tired of these games,” he said. “They can’t say that Congress has been fully briefed while refusing to turn over key documents used to justify the legality of the program.”

It is incumbent upon the Senate Judiciary Committee to vigorously interrogate Michael Mukasey during his attorney general confirmation hearing. As AG, Mukasey would oversee the department that writes interrogation policy. Mukasey should know that the Convention Against Torture prohibits torture in all circumstances, even in times of war.

Torture is a war crime. Those who commit or order torture can be convicted under the U.S. War Crimes Statute. Techniques that don’t rise to the level of torture but constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment also violate U.S. law. Congress should provide for the appointment of a special independent counsel to fully investigate and prosecute all who are complicit in the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. Her articles are archived at http://www.marjoriecohn.com/

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Marjorie Cohn is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Global Research Articles by Marjorie Cohn


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© Copyright Marjorie Cohn, The Jurist, 2007
The url address of this article is:
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Cato’s Trade Report: Blinded by Ideology By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
October 08, 2007

On August 28 the Cato Institute in Washington DC published a report, “Thriving in a Global Economy: The Truth about US Manufacturing and Trade.” The report confuses a company’s offshored products with its import competition and wrongly concludes that US companies with the most import competition are the companies that are thriving.

Continue reading

Message of the Day: Love Your Neighbor

Dandelion Salad

From
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dailyseed/messages

MESSAGE OF THE DAY

God is not a deceiver, that He should offer to support us, and
then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us.
– Augustine


SCRIPTURE READINGS

http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/

Jon 1:1-2:1-2, 11; Jonah 2:3, 4, 5, 8; Lk 10:25-37

R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.

Out of my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me;
From the midst of the nether world I cried for help,
and you heard my voice.

For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea,
and the flood enveloped me;
All your breakers and your billows
passed over me.

Then I said, “I am banished from your sight!
yet would I again look upon your holy temple.”

When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the LORD;
My prayer reached you
in your holy temple.


Praying the Daily Gospels

– by Philip St. Romain:
http://www.liguori.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=6614

– Luke 10:25-37 (Parable of the Good Samaritan)

And who is my neighbor?” the lawyer asks Jesus in earnest. Many rabbis interpreted God’s commandment to love one’s neighbor as a summons to love only Jews. Jesus counters this elitism by posing a story about a Samaritan who is a model of the true neighbor, closer to God’s heart than the Jewish priest who hurries along, ignoring the man on the side of the road. Since Samaritans were despised by the Jews, Jesus’ parable must have stung his listeners.

– Who are the “people in the bushes” ignored in today’s world? How do you respond to their needs?

– “Jesus was the only teacher tall enough to see over the fences that divide the human race into compartments,” Frank Crane wrote.

Pray for the grace to be able to see people as Christ sees them.

THEOLOGICAL GEMS FROM EMIL MERCH’S THEOLOGY OF THE MYSTICAL BODY
from http://www.innerexplorations.com/chtheomortext/theolgems.htm

218. God simply is. His way is to be without restriction or
negation, to be entirely and eminently nothing but Being; to become God cannot in any way involve ceasing to be oneself.

see

Isaiah 53: Who is Isaiah speaking of in this chapter? by Lo + Aviad Cohen: Hooked On The Truth (music vid)

Columbus Day – As Rape Rules Africa & American Churches Embrace Violent “Christian” Video Games by Thom Hartmann

Dandelion Salad

by Thom Hartmann
Smirking Chimp
Oct 8 2007

“Gold is most excellent; gold constitutes treasure; and he who has it does all he wants in the world, and can even lift souls up to Paradise.”
– Christopher Columbus, 1503 letter to the king and queen of Spain.

“Christopher Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set an example for us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished through perseverance and faith.”
–George H.W. Bush, 1989 speech

Continue reading

Where are the lawyers of America? by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
Friday, October 5. 2007

The rogue regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney—so widely condemned for its unconstitutional, criminal Iraq war, its spying on Americans illegally, its repeated illegal torture practices, its arrests and imprisonment of thousands in this country without charges and its pathological secrecy and corporate corruption—still has not felt the heat of the 800,000 practicing lawyers and their many bar organizations.

Lawyer jokes aside, the first defense outside of government against the rejection of due process, probable cause and habeas corpus should come from the officers of the courts—the attorneys of America. With few exceptions, they have flunked, asleep at the switch or loaded with excuses.

The exceptions are a number of law professors such as David Cole (Georgetown University) and Jonathan Turley (George Washington University) and the magnificent one-year presidency of Michael Greco at the conservative American Bar Association.

Mr. Greco, appalled at the outlaw nature of the Bush White House, now wallowing in the pits of the public opinion polls, organized former counsel to the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI, among others, to produce detailed reports and resolutions assailing the Bush government for repeatedly violating the constitution in numerous ways. (http://www.abanet.org/)

Reports were sent to Mr. Bush personally. He did not even bother to acknowledge receipt. The ABA has over 400,000 members and is the largest bar association in the world. Not even a courtesy reply from George Bush, the American Caesar.

Unfortunately, the courage of Greco and his colleagues has not been contagious with hundreds of thousands of lawyers throughout America or the 50 state bar associations who might have taken some action or position to stand after the ABA stood tall in 2005-2006.

Mind you, the climate for lawyers defending the rule of law is quite enabling. Seventy percent of the American people want out of Iraq and nearly as many would like to see this Presidency end. A poll of soldiers in Iraq back in January 2006 registered 72% of them wanting the U.S. out of Iraq within six to twelve months.

In addition, scores of former Generals and high military officers, retired intelligence officials and diplomats have openly criticized the intransigence, incompetence and harm to the U.S. national security. These leaders include the national security advisers to Bush’s father, Brent Snowcroft, the anti-terrorism advisor to George W. Bush, Richard Clark, and many others who served in high government office.

With all this in mind, I have been asking lawyers why they do not become directly active in challenging what they themselves believe is a reckless above-the-law Presidency and its enormous concentration of unlawful power. Here are some examples of their replies.

–real estate attorney with a sterling civil liberties background says “I am just too busy.”

–numerous retired lawyers of considerable accomplishment simply say they are retired.

–mid-career business attorneys say they have too many clients who might object (too much wheeling and dealing to uphold the rule of law in Washington, D.C.).

–public interest lawyers say it is not within their declared mission—eg. environmental, consumer, poverty or law reform work.

–“Too controversial,” and “I’m not up to it,” announced a prominent trial lawyer.

–“I wouldn’t know where to start and I just need my leisure time,” replied a highly specialized estate and trusts attorney.

And so it goes. Too preoccupied, too many deals in the works, too controversial, too retired…

The Democratic leadership in the Congress has given Bush/Cheney a giant nod by taking a pass on holding them accountable through impeachment, through conditions in budget bills, through making them answer subpoenas by playing hardball on Bush’s nominees, such as his new choice for Attorney General.

It is up to the lawyers to rally for the Republic. This is deep patriotism, for without upholding our constitution, and the laws of the land, what will become of our country?

What will our children and their grandchildren inherit—a bankrupt government that contracts out more and more of its core functions to staggeringly expensive giant corporations seeking limitless profits, while they finance and corrupt politicians to turn their back on the peoples’ needs?

Lawyers are supposed to know how to apply law to raw power. They know how to use the courts, lobby (there are hundreds or thousands of attorneys in each of most Congressional Districts). They can cut through the arcane camouflage of legalese. They know when the laws are being violated and what the remedies are for the violators. They know how to draft legislation. They have contacts and money and are not supposed to be frightened of conflict. The super-lawyers invariably get their calls returned.

Where are the lawyers of America?

Two major terrorist strikes, with a messianic, compulsively-obsessed President, can do to America what 9 months of nightly bombing by the Nazis could not do to England—move us much closer to a police state.

Where are the stand-up lawyers of America?

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35% of US Americans Still Support Bush: Diagnosing the Insanity By Jason Miller

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by Jason Miller
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Thomas Paine’s Corner
10/8/07

Cluster B Personality Disorders

1776.0 Americanistic Personality Disorder

The essential features of Americanistic Personality Disorder include pervasive patterns of extreme self-absorption, profound and long-term lapses in empathy, a deep disregard for the well-being of others, a powerful aversion to intellectual honesty and reality, and a grossly exaggerated sense of the importance of one’s self and one’s nation. These patterns emerge in infancy, manifest themselves in nearly all contexts, and often become pathological.

These patterns have also been characterized as sociopathic, or colloquially as the “Ugly American Syndrome.” Note that the latter terminology carries too benign a connotation to accurately describe an individual afflicted with such a dangerous perversion of character.

For this diagnosis to be given, the individual must be deeply immersed in the flag-waving, nationalistic, and militaristic fervor derived primarily from the nearly perpetual barrage of reality warping emanations of the “mainstream media,” most commonly through the medium of television. Typically indoctrinated from birth to believe that they are morally superior, exceptional human beings, these individuals suffer from severe egocentrism, a condition further engendered by the prevalence of the acutely toxic dominant paradigm known as capitalism.

Individuals with Americanistic Personality Disorder are generally covertly racist, xenophobic, and openly speciesistic. They readily participate in the execution of heinous crimes against human and non-human animals, even if their complicity is banal and limited. As long as they are comfortable, safe, and enjoying the relative affluence and convenience afforded by their nation’s economic extortion, cultural genocide, rape of other species and the environment, and imperial conquests, such individuals display an apathetic disregard for the well-being of other human beings, sentient creatures, and the environment.

Individuals with Americanistic Personality Disorder tend to exhibit unabated greed and an insatiable desire for material goods. Fueled by a compulsion to shop and acquire excessive amounts of material goods, a condition sometimes referred to as consumerism, they have no regard for the misery and destruction caused by their pathological need for “more stuff”. When confronted with the finitude and fragility of the Earth, they frequently react with level one ego defenses by denying that their behavior is a part of the problem or by distorting reality by asserting that concerns about Climate Change, resource depletion, and irreversible damage to the environment are over-blown. Their deeply entrenched sense of entitlement renders excessive consumption a nearly immutable aspect of their behavior.

Individuals with Americanistic Personality Disorder are virtually devoid of empathy or compassion. They view life as a game played by “law of the jungle” rules and co-exist with others in a chronic state of hyper-competitiveness, seeking only to advance their careers and “keep up with the Joneses.” Their desire to win, get ahead and “protect what is theirs” has been so deeply etched into their psyches that their capacity to empathize and experience true concern for the well-being of others is severely stunted or extinguished. The pursuit of property, profit, and power rules their malformed psyches, nearly eliminating their capacity for humane behavior.

Individuals with Americanistic Personality Disorder almost always rely on extortion or violence to get their needs met and to resolve conflict. Believing in their inherent superiority, they eschew laws or rules except when they can utilize them for personal gain or when they fear punishment. Given a choice between a just resolution to a situation and the opportunity to humiliate, subdue, or subjugate the other party, they will choose the latter with a high degree of frequency. They have an amazing capacity to justify their unethical or criminal behavior using false pretexts such as self defense, good intentions, ignorance of the consequences of their actions, or asserting that they were merely carrying out orders.

Individuals with Americanistic Personality Disorder tend to manifest traits indicative of two of Erich Fromm’s personality orientations. They thrive on adding to their possessions (and appreciate their acquisitions more) when they attain them through coercion, theft, or manipulation, thus showing strains of Fromm’s exploitative type. They also exist at a very superficial level, offering the world the “friendly face” of the marketing personality that Bernays and Madison Avenue have taught them is the most effective way of advancing their selfish agenda. Opportunism, careerism, and narcissism poison nearly all of their interactions and relationships.

Specific Culture Features

Americanistic Personality Disorder appears to prevail in a very high percentage of those in the upper strata of the socioeconomic order in the United States (and to persist tenaciously because these individuals have little motivation to alter their pathological behavior as they are largely immune from the consequences of their actions). While it is epidemic amongst the opulent, this characterological deficiency does not recognize socioeconomic boundaries. Various segments of the middle, working and impoverished classes comprise a notable percentage of those exhibiting this condition, including those practicing deeply conservative Christianity, many residents of reactionary states such as those in the south, Kansas, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, and many members of the Republican Party.

Prevalence

The overall prevalence of Americanistic Personality Disorder was recently measured at approximately 35% of the overall population in the United States.

Diagnostic Criteria for 1776.0 Americanistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of greed, selfishness, and lack of empathy, beginning the moment he or she begins to intellectualize and presented in nearly all contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. lacks empathy due to an excessive degree of self-absorption
2. believes that he or she is exceptional and morally superior
3. frequently engages in exploitative behaviors
4. requires frequent acquisition of goods he or she doesn’t need
5. usually resorts to some form of overt or covert violence, coercion, or extortion to resolve conflicts
6. perceives others as obstacles to his or her “success”
7. disregards laws and rules except as a means to achieve his or her agenda
8. demonstrates deep hypocrisy by projecting a righteous, benevolent image while committing reprehensible acts
9. refuses to accept the consequences of his or her actions

Jason Miller, the Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious vegan abolitionist and animal rights activist who lives in Kansas. He has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly an autodidact, but he studied liberal arts and philosophy at the University of Missouri Kansas City. In early 2005, he founded the widely read radical blog, Thomas Paine’s Corner. Jason is an accomplished, prolific essayist and his writings on social and political issues have appeared on hundreds of alternative media websites over the last few years. He is a press officer for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, an editor for The Right to Have and Arm Bears and Canine Crusaders, and the founder of Bite Club of KC, a grassroots animal rights activist group which he started in Kansas City in 2009 and through which he and his allies give animal exploiters some serious hell. He is married to Kiantha Shadduck. You can reach him at willpowerful@hotmail.com.

The State Shambolic by William Bowles (UK Rally)

Dandelion Salad

by William Bowles

So sensibly, the state allowed the march to take place rather than use a law passed in the 1840s to curtail the activities of the Chartists (there’s gotta be lesson here for us somewhere). However, with the able ‘assistance’ of the police, what should have been short and sweet (and thus out of the public’s view as quickly as possible) was turned into a shambolic 1/4 mile march down Whitehall ending not in one sit down but two, both of which passed off peacefully as far as I know, although at least three people were arrested according a Stop The War steward I spoke to.

Continued…

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see
Stop The War Coalition Oct. 8, 2007 (UK)

Pakistan awaits Bhutto – Former prime minister’s exile nears end By Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric Margolis
Toronto Sun
Sun, October 7, 2007

LONDON — Considering she had just flown in from New York and was about to launch a political revolution in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto looked remarkably relaxed when we met. Since we have known one another for years, the mood was informal and congenial.

Pakistan’s twice former prime minister — and likely next one — was cautiously optimistic.

“The situation in Pakistan is ugly,” said Bhutto. Days earlier, many of her Pakistan Peoples Party supporters had been beaten with bricks by the police and seriously injured. Pakistan is facing growing violence by Islamic militants and tribal insurgents.

Last month, Pakistan’s first female prime minister revealed to this column she would return to Pakistan on Oct. 18. At the time, she still faced serious criminal charges in Pakistan over corruption cases that have dragged on for years. Bhutto denies any guilt and insists the cases were political vendettas.

Last week, Bhutto reaffirmed she would depart London on Oct. 17 and land the next morning in Karachi, the bastion of her political support.

Bhutto vowed she would go ahead even if forces of the military regime headed by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf tried to arrest her. But the next day, after weeks of what she termed “stalling” by Musharraf’s U.S.-backed military regime, the corruption charges may have been lifted, opening the way for her legal return. The fate of Pakistan’s other main political leader, Nawaz Sharif, who was kicked out when he tried to return recently, remains uncertain.

Musharraf’s plummeting domestic support and intensified pressure from Washington are pushing the reluctant general into a deal with old foe Bhutto.

“No, not a deal,” insists Bhutto, “a constitutional arrangement.”

Whatever you call it, barring potential last-minute snags, it seems the long-anticipated, American-brokered power sharing agreement between Musharraf and Bhutto is close.

“The army would like to distance itself from the perception it is running the country,” says Bhutto. “The longer military dictatorship continues, the more we will face violence from extremist groups.”

FIGHTING

I asked if the army will fight a national uprising against Musharraf.

“No, the army is highly disciplined. The mainly Punjabi army won’t fire on its own people,” she predicted, nor would it split.

This week, Musharraf named a loyal ally, military intelligence chief Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, as new armed forces commander, and appointed other loyalists to senior positions. My sources say all were vetted and approved in advance by Washington.

Musharraf may resign as armed forces commander, but he and Washington will still pull the military’s strings. Since the military is the only national institution that really works and holds respect, nameplates will change, but the power will remain in the same hands as now.

Benazir Bhutto, outwardly confident and determined, believes she can take charge of turbulent Pakistan in time to ward off an internal explosion or even civil war that would shake South Asia and deprive the U.S. of a key ally.

But during her previous two terms, she was never fully able to grasp the reins of power and constantly thwarted by her generals.

This time around, her position is likely to be even weaker and her powers ill-defined and contested. Musharraf and the Bush administration hope she will provide democratic window-dressing while the military runs the show and fights Islamists and tribesmen.

ARMY AND POLITICS

But Bhutto is determined to get the army out of politics. So who will really be in charge?

And will the Pakistanis accept a new government, hand-crafted by Washington?

“The military is the problem, not solution,” she says. “If there is a fair vote early next year, our party (PPP) and its allies will win.”

High drama awaits Pakistan on Oct. 18 when Benzair crosses the Rubicon. Don’t underestimate her.

As I was leaving London, Benazir Bhutto sent me a message worthy of Rudyard Kipling: “Our next meeting, if not at the foothills of the Khyber Pass, then at the shores of the Arabian Sea.”

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.