Eye on the Issues: With Dennis Kucinich (videos; 11.12.07)

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eyeontheissues

Part One of a very special episode of Eye On the Issues, with guests Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich, Cindy Piester, and Stephen Longfellow Fiske. Added: November 12, 2007

h/t: Toad, Stu* (Kucinich ’08)!, Louisiana for Kucinich 2008 www.kucinich.us

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Lakota Sioux – The Bravest Americans By Kathryn A. Graham

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By Kathryn A. Graham
ICH
12/25/07 “Tribe

And So It Begins

In an incredible irony, the very people that the United States have most oppressed throughout our history may hold the key to freedom for all of us.

Few Americans remember the siege at Wounded Knee in the mid-1970s, but perhaps they should. Members of the AIM, or the American Indian Movement, occupied parts of Pine Ridge in protest over the brutal killings of two of their own, the disgustingly mild prosecutions for those murders, and the beating of the mother of one of those two when she attempted to seek justice from the U.S. government. The AIM were seeking their rights under U.S. law and for the U.S. government to honor treaties with the American Indian that had been ignored for more than a century. It was a lawful – and a peaceful until attacked – protest.

In response, the FBI fired almost 200,000 rounds at the protesters (the protesters did fire weapons in their own defense, but only over their attackers’ heads) in an illegal show of force that betrayed every ideal of real freedom. The siege at Wounded Knee lasted 71 days. This was Waco decades before Waco, largely ignored by the U.S. population due to media indifference and the fact that the victims were not white Americans.

Later, the defense team for Russell Means and Dennis Banks was infiltrated by a government informant, which led to perjured testimony and a very angry judge who stated that the government was more interested in convictions than in justice. South Dakota Judge Nichols was quoted as saying, “It’s hard for me to believe that the FBI, which I have revered for so long, has stooped so low,” and dismissed all charges against the defendants.

Apparently, all those years ago, at least a portion of our justice system still operated as it was designed to do.

Leonard Peltier was not so lucky. He was tried in North Dakota, and was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in prison. He remains there today, even though evidence recovered after the siege clearly showed that the two FBI deaths were attributable to friendly fire. During his years in prison, through his art and letters, Peltier has continued to work for oppressed people everywhere.

Russell Means has remained free, and he has not been idle in the intervening decades. A committed libertarian, he has written several books, run for office on the Libertarian ticket, and continued to pursue a film career that has made him a household face and name. Apart from that, he has bided his time, waiting for just the right moment in history.

That moment has come. In September of this year, the United Nations passed a non-binding Resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Naturally, Canada, the United States and Australia refused to sign, but this resolution paved the way for a move that has been waiting in the wings, so to speak, since the 1970s.

On Wednesday of this week, Russell Means led a delegation of the Lakota Sioux people to the U.S. State Department and the embassies of Bolivia, Chile, South Africa and Venezuela, declaring their secession from the United States of America.

Means stated, “We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us.” The lands of the Lakota Sioux encompass portions of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. In the coming weeks, they will take their diplomatic mission overseas to seek further support.

Means also stated that anyone willing to renounce their U.S. citizenship would live on Lakota land tax free, and that the Lakota would issue their own passports and driving licenses. Since a large group of libertarians have recently moved to Wyoming, this opens up some interesting possibilities for a free society growing up in our midst.

The coming road will not be an easy one. I cannot see the U.S. neo-conservatives leaving this alone. I imagine that there will be another bloody and vicious siege taking place on Lakota land, but I also believe that Means has timed his move correctly. If this happens as I fear it will, the neo-conservatives will be the clear authors of their own destruction. The American people have had enough!

You go, Russell!! You are the bravest and best of us, and the sanest and best of America stands with you in the trials you will face over the coming months and years.

Kathryn A. Graham, author of Flight From Eden and America Hijacked!.


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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US + Lakota group pushes for new nation

The torture tape fingering Bush as a war criminal By Andrew Sullivan

It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Dandelion Salad

By Andrew Sullivan
ICH 12/25/07
The Times” 12/23/07

Almost all of the time, the Washington I know and live in is utterly unrelated to the Washington you see in the movies. The government is far more incompetent and amateur than the masterminds of Hollywood darkness.

There are no rogue CIA agents engaging in illegal black ops and destroying evidence to protect their political bosses. The kinds of scenario cooked up in Matt Damon’s riveting Bourne series are fantasy compared with the mundane, bureaucratic torpor of the Brussels on the Potomac.

And then you read about the case of Abu Zubaydah. He is a seriously bad guy – someone we should all be glad is in custody. A man deeply involved in Al-Qaeda, he was captured in a raid in Pakistan in March 2002 and whisked off to a secret interrogation, allegedly in Thailand.

President George Bush claimed Zubaydah was critical in identifying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the mastermind behind 9/11. The president also conceded that at some point the CIA, believing Zubaydah was withholding information, “used an alternative set of procedures”, which were “safe and lawful and necessary”.

Zubaydah was waterboarded. That much we know – it was confirmed recently by a former CIA agent, John Kiriakou, who even used the plain English word “torture” to describe what was done. But we know little else for sure. We do know there was deep division within the American government about Zubaydah’s interrogation, and considerable debate about his reliability.

Ron Suskind’s masterful 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine recorded FBI sources as saying that Zubaydah was in fact mentally unstable and tangential to Al-Qaeda’s plots, and that he gave reams of unfounded information under torture – information that led law-enforcement bodies in the US to raise terror alert levels, rushing marshals and police to shopping malls, bridges and other alleged targets as Zubaydah tried to get the torture to stop. No one disputes that Zubaydah wrote a diary – and that it was written in the words of three personalities, none of them his own.

A former FBI agent who was involved in the interrogation, Daniel Coleman, said last week that the CIA knew Al-Qaeda’s leaders all believed Zubaydah “was crazy, and they knew he was always on the damn phone. You think they’re going to tell him anything?” Even though preliminary, legal interrogation gave the US good – though not unique – information, the CIA still asked for and received permission to torture him in pursuit of more data and leads.

The Washington Post reported that “current and former officials” said the torture lasted weeks and even, according to some, months, and that the techniques included hypothermia, long periods of standing, sleep deprivation and multiple sessions of waterboarding. All these “alternative procedures”, as Bush described them, are illegal under US law and the Geneva conventions. They are, in fact, war crimes. And they were once all treated by the US as war crimes when they were perpetrated by the Nazis. Waterboarding has been found to be a form of torture in various American legal cases.

And that is where the story becomes interesting. The Bush administration denies any illegality at all, insists it does not “torture” but refuses to say whether it believes waterboarding is torture or not. But hundreds of hours of videotape were recorded of Zubaydah’s incarceration and torture. That evidence would settle the dispute over the extremely serious question of whether the president of the United States authorised war crimes.

And now we have found out that all the tapes have been destroyed.

See what I mean by Hollywood? We know about the destruction because someone in the government told The New York Times. We also know the 9/11 Commission had asked the administration to furnish every piece of relevant evidence with respect to Zubaydah’s interrogation and was not told about the tapes. We know also that four senior aides to Bush and Dick Cheney, the vice-president, discussed the destruction of the tapes – including David Addington, Cheney’s right-hand man and the chief legal architect of the administration’s detention and interrogation policies.

At a press conference last Thursday the president gave an equivocal response to what he knew about the tapes and when he knew it: “The first recollection is when CIA director Mike Hayden briefed me.” That briefing was earlier this month. The president is saying he cannot recall something – not that it didn’t happen. That’s the formulation all lawyers tell their clients to use when they need to avoid an exposable lie.

This is not, of course, the first big scandal to have emerged over the administration’s interrogation policies. You can fill a book with the sometimes sickening details that have come out of Guantanamo Bay, Bagram in Afghanistan, Camp Cropper in Iraq and, of course, Abu Ghraib.

The administration has admitted that several prisoners have been killed in interrogation, and dozens more have died in the secret network of interrogation sites the US has set up across the world. The policy of rendition has sent countless suspects into torture cells in Uzbekistan, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere to feed the West’s intelligence on jihadist terrorism.

But this case is more ominous for the administration because it presents a core example of what seems to be a cover-up, obstruction of justice and a direct connection between torture and the president, the vice-president and their closest aides.

Because several courts had pending cases in which testimony from Zubaydah’s interrogation was salient, the destruction of such evidence triggers a legal process that is hard for the executive branch to stymie or stall – and its first attempt was flatly rebuffed by a judge last week.

Its key argument is a weakly technical one: that the interrogation took place outside US territory – and therefore the courts do not have jurisdiction over it. It’s the same rationale for imprisoning hundreds of suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – a legal no man’s land. But Congress can get involved – especially if it believes that what we have here is a cover-up.

What are the odds that a legal effective interrogation of a key Al-Qaeda operative would have led many highly respected professionals in the US intelligence community to risk their careers by leaking top-secret details to the press?

What are the odds that the CIA would have sought to destroy tapes that could prove it had legally prevented serious and dangerous attacks against innocent civilians? What are the odds that a president who had never authorised waterboarding would be unable to say whether such waterboarding was torture?

What are the odds that, under congressional grilling, the new attorney-general would also refuse to say whether he believed waterboarding was illegal, if there was any doubt that the president had authorised it? The odds are beyond minimal.

Any reasonable person examining all the evidence we have – without any bias – would conclude that the overwhelming likelihood is that the president of the United States authorised illegal torture of a prisoner and that the evidence of the crime was subsequently illegally destroyed.

Congresswoman Jane Harman, the respected top Democrat on the House intelligence committee in 2003-06, put it as simply as she could: “I am worried. It smells like the cover-up of the cover-up.”

It’s a potential Watergate. But this time the crime is not a two-bit domestic burglary. It’s a war crime that reaches into the very heart of the Oval Office.

Yes, it is Hollywood time. And the ending of this movie is as yet unwritten.

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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New York Times bows to White House pressure over CIA tapes story by Bill Van Auken

9/11 Panel Study Finds That CIA Withheld Tapes By Mark Mazzetti

Former CIA analyst says evidence abounds for impeachment

CIA chief to drag White House into torture cover-up storm  h/t: ICH

Christmas Story: Death of a Torture Victim by R.J. Eskow

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by R.J. Eskow
Atlantic Free Press
Tuesday, 25 December 2007

The citizens of the homeland didn’t hear about it when he died, and many of them wouldn’t have cared. They should be grateful we’re occupying their country, some said. We’re building new roads and bringing them our civilization. And didn’t we let them elect their own representatives?

The Senators spoke fine words, but when push came to shove they yielded authority to their leader to do whatever he wanted. And so it came to pass that one more body was broken and one more life was taken. Continue reading

The Nation: Time For Progressives To Rise Up

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by the editors of The Nation
CBS
Dec. 25, 2007

The Nation: Movement’s Potential Can Be Realized, No Matter Who Democrats Nominate

It has been more than a year since the first group of Democratic hopefuls announced their candidacy for president of the United States. Seventeen debates or forums have been staged, and more than $150 million has been spent on advertising, polling and other campaign expenses. Pundits have pronounced their conventional wisdom, so easily reversed, on who is most “electable,” “presidential” or “inevitable.”

What is needed most now is not a candidate but a movement to surround that candidate, to brace his or her resolve, to press for the best platform and to hold him or her accountable for implementing it if elected. For this reason, we choose not to endorse a candidate for president at this time but rather to call for the rise of a broadly based small-d democratic movement, as only such a movement can create the space necessary to realize this moment’s full potential. Nonetheless, we see differences among the candidates that reflect their relative willingness and ability to foster this movement and advance its agenda.

In his stands on the issues, Dennis Kucinich comes closest to embodying the ideals of this magazine. He has been a forceful critic of the Bush administration, opposing the Patriot Act and spearheading the motion to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. He is the only candidate to have voted against the Iraq War in 2003 and has voted against funding it ever since. Of all the serious candidates, only he and Governor Bill Richardson propose a full and immediate withdrawal from Iraq. And only Kucinich’s plan sets aside funds for reparations. Moreover, Kucinich has used his presidential campaigns to champion issues like cutting the military budget and abolishing nuclear weapons; universal, single-payer healthcare; campaign finance reform; same-sex marriage and an end to the death penalty and the war on drugs. A vote for him would be a principled one.

continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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3 New Polls: The Nation Poll + AOL Poll + Progressive Poll

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo

The Careful Choreography Of The Caucus By Kent Garber

How to Vote in Primaries and Not Be an Idiot by David Swanson

Caucus for Kucinich!

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Jonathan Cook: Blood and Religion: Unmasking the Jewish and Democratic State (2006)

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note: replaced video Apr 24, 2011

on Apr 24, 2011
pdxjustice Media Productions
1 hr 5 min 2 sec – Feb 27, 2007
www.pdxjustice.org

Jonathan Cook is a British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He has regularly published articles on the Middle East in international newspapers, English-language Arab publications and specialist magazines since 2001. This interview took place in Nazareth, Israel, on December 28th, 2006. To order a DVD copy of this program, please contact pdxjustice Media Productions at pdxjustice@riseup.net.

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Leaked classified U.S intelligence report into Fallujah Assault

Dandelion Salad

By WIKILEAKS
After Downing Street
Tuesday Dec 25, 2007

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld launched the failed April 2004 assault on the Iraqi town of Fallujah before marines were ready because it had become “a symbol of resistance that dominated international headlines” and similar considerations eventually destroyed the operation — both according to a highly classified U.S. intelligence report into the defeat.

“During the first week of April, insurgents invited a reporter from Al Jazeera, Ahmed Mansour, and his film crew into Fallujah where they filmed scenes of dead babies from the hospital, presumably killed by Coalition air strikes. Comparisons were made to the Palestinian Intifada. Children were shown bespattered with blood; mothers were shown screaming and mourning day after day.”

Coalition air strikes were conducted during the three week cease-fire, which was a “bit of a misnomer” and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal contributed to the politically driven final peace settlement. The settlement left Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer “furious”.

By the end of April, 600-700 Iraqis and 18 marines had been killed inside the town with 62 marines killed in the broader operational area and 565 wounded in action.

Fallujah’s 2,000 defenders were diverse but united to oppose the U.S. offensive. They included former regime soldiers, “nationalists, local Islamic extremists, foreign fighters and criminals” together comprising not so much a military organization, but “an evil Rotary club”.

The revelations come from a highly classified report on the attack released today by the open government group Wikileaks, which has in the past month released a number of sensitive U.S. documents including manuals for Guantanamo Bay, Camp Bucca prison and Department of Defense detainee operations.

The report was penned last year by the U.S Army National Ground Intelligence Center and is classified “SECRET/NOFORN” — meaning the report was not to be shared with Coalition partners.

The Fallujah assault was initiated when on March 31 2004 four private military personnel from the U.S firm Blackwater were killed in the town and photos of their burnt bodies received international coverage.

The report said the coverage had prompted Rumsfeld, General Abizaid and the then Coalition Provisional Authority Chief Paul Bremer to order an “immediate military response”.

The report not only blames media driven political pressures for launching the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force before it was ready, but states similar political considerations led to a cease-fire five days later.

The three week official cease-fire was “a bit of a misnomer”, with Coalition air strikes continuing and snipers on both sides making movement hazardous. On the town’s resistance, the report claims the number one “enemy strategy” was “to gain media attention and sympathy” in-order to push political pressure “to a boiling point.”

Contributing to the peace settlement at the end of the month was British opposition to the battle, an Iraqi Shia uprising over the forced closure of the newspaper “al-Hawza” and Abu Ghraib.

Paul Bremer was “furious when he found out about it, but he was in little position to overturn it since he had insisted on the cease-fire in the first place. Complicating matters was the fact that the Abu Ghraib scandal broke on 29 April, consuming the attention of senior leaders in the U.S. government. Bremer could not organize a consensus to overturn the Fallujah decision.”

During the battle U.S. psychological operations loud speakers “blasted rock music or taunted the insurgents into attacking with insults about their marksmanship.”

Marines used the M1A1 Abrams tank as bait, to lure defenders out into the open, however this ruse didn’t work for long as “The enemy.. would initiate an ambush with small-arms fire on one side of a tank in order to get the tank crew to turn its armor in the direction of fire. They would then fire a coordinated 5 or 6 RPG [rocket propelled grenade] salvo into the exposed rear of the tank”.

The report states “Approximately 150 air strikes destroyed 75 buildings, including two mosques” and that the operation “stirred up a hornets nest across the Al Anbar provence”.

Concluding, the report states “Information operations are increasingly important in a 21st Century world where cable television runs 24 hours a day..the Iraqi government was nascent and weak and they offered no political cover for U.S. commanders to finish the operation in a reasonable time period… Abu Ghurayb.. and the Shia uprising further enflamed a politically precarious situation and could not have happened at a worse time for Coalition forces.”

U.S. forces retook Fallujah during November 2004 in what was to be the most bloody battle of the occupation.

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Sensitive Guantánamo Bay Manual Leaked Through Wiki Site By Ryan Singel

Fallujah, the Information War, and U.S. Propaganda

What’s on our Holiday Table by Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Dec. 25, 2007

For many people, 2007 started as a promising year: The Democrats had regained both Houses of Congress and we finally had a female Speaker of the House. I, however, had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when this female Speaker took impeachment of the devils, Bush and Cheney “off the table” even before she picked up the gavel.

My organization, The Camp Casey Peace Institute gathered dozens of activists from all over the country to convene in DC on January 3rd because we felt strongly that just because the Democrats were now in “charge” that we would not be able to even slack off a little from our pressure on Congress.

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Pepe Escobar: Can the US accept Iran as a regional power? (video)

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TheRealNews

Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepe Escobar writes The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online. He has reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He is the author of the recently published Red Zone Blues. Pepe is a regular analyst for The Real News. Added: December 24, 2007

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Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad during the Surge by Glitzqueen (aka The Other Katherine Harris)

Buried Alive by Rich (book review; Pepe Escobar)

Ralph Nader: The Seventeen Traditions (video)

Dandelion Salad

Note: replaced video Apr 24, 2011

on Apr 24, 2011
48 min 47 sec – Feb 13, 2007
www.pdxjustice.org

Renowned consumer advocate, lawyer and author, Ralph Nader, reads from his latest book, THE SEVENTEEN TRADITIONS, an account of the family traditions that shaped his childhood in the small town of Winsted, Connecticut. Continue reading