Olmert backs settlement expansion

Dandelion Salad

Al Jazeera English
SUNDAY, MARCH 09, 2008
15:44 MECCA TIME, 12:44 GMT

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, has approved plans to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in a move likely to complicate US-brokered talks with the Palestinians.

Israeli officials said new housing units will be erected in the settlement of Givat Ze’ev, which is 8km from central Jerusalem.

Sunday’s announcement was made three days after an armed Palestinian man killed eight students at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem that is associated with the settler movement.

…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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The U.N. is escalating the Iran Nuclear Crisis

Dandelion Salad

by Siddharth Varadarajan
Global Research, March 10, 2008
The Hindu – 2008-03-05

On Monday evening, the United Nations Security Council voted 14-0 with one abstention to impose a fresh set of sanctions against Iran for failing to suspend its civilian nuclear fuel cycle programme. The resolution had the backing of not just the United States, Britain and France but also Russia and China. The latter two, who have made much of their official commitment to a diplomatic solution to the Iranian issue, justified their support for the latest resolution by adver tising the absence of any reference to the “use of force” in its language. But this reading of the text is wilfully naïve: Resolution 1803 authorises the U.S. military to inspect all air and sea cargo into and out of Iran on board Iranian vessels if “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft or vessel is transporting goods prohibited under this resolution.” It doesn’t require much imagination to see how this enabling provision can serve as the trigger for a showdown between the U.S. — with its overwhelming naval presence around the Persian Gulf — and Iran.

Leaving aside the possibility of military confrontation, Resolution 1803 is a dishonest and provocative document that undermines not just the credibility of the Security Council but also the International Atomic Energy Agency. Just how irrelevant the IAEA and its work have been rendered is proved by the fact that the resolution’s text was prepared before the IAEA’s latest report on Iran, a point mentioned by the South African ambassador to the U.N., who made it clear his government was deeply unhappy with the draft despite agreeing to go along with it in the interest of “consensus.”

Astonishingly, the UNSC resolution takes virtually no notice of the fact that all outstanding issues which led to the Iran file being sent to New York in the first place have now been resolved. The demand, first made in 2006, that Iran suspend enrichment and reprocessing activity, was a derivative demand aimed at instilling confidence pending resolution of those outstanding issues. Now that those original issues have been resolved — and this is what the IAEA has pointed out in its last two reports — there is no basis for the suspension demand to be pressed, let alone made the basis for fresh sanctions.

When Iran was censured by the IAEA Board of Governors in September 2005 and January 2006 and declared in breach of its safeguards obligations, it was for failing to declare in a timely and complete manner a number of nuclear-related activities and procurements. Even though the IAEA has certified that no nuclear material inside Iran has been diverted for prohibited purposes, it said it was unable to certify the absence of “undeclared nuclear activities” pending investigation into those Iranian failures. Over the past six months, however, each and every one of those documented failures has been exhaustively probed. These include questions over the extent of Iranian research into the P-1 and P-2 centrifuge designs, the purpose of its experiments with Polonium-210, the source of uranium contamination at a number of research sites, the possession of a document on the casting of uranium into hemispherical shapes provided unsolicited by the A.Q. Khan network in 1987, and the reasons behind its attempt to procure certain equipment with nuclear applications. Under each of these heads, the IAEA now says the explanations Iran provided are either “consistent with” or “not inconsistent with” information the Agency has. “Therefore, the Agency considers those questions no longer outstanding at this stage,” IAEA DG Mohammed el-Baradei’s February 22, 2008 report categorically states.

As far as the uranium metal document is concerned — at one point the Bush administration regarded this as the smoking gun of an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons programme — the IAEA says any further assessment of its significance must await “a response from Pakistan on the circumstances of the delivery of this document.” Thus, the only peg the U.S. and its allies now have to hang their charge of Iranian non-compliance on is the alleged research Tehran is said to have conducted on a nuclear warhead. And thereby hangs a tale.

It was in 2004 that U.S. officials first began speaking of this issue based on information they said they had obtained from an Iranian laptop. This laptop was provided to the U.S. by the German intelligence agency, BND. On November 22, 2004, the Wall Street Journal ran a story quoting a senior German diplomat by name as acknowledging that the source of the computer was “an Iranian dissident group.” Gareth Porter of Inter-Press Service reconfirmed this information in a report last week, quoting a German diplomatic source as identifying the group as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The NCRI is the political wing of the Mojaheddin-e-Khalq, a group designated as terrorist by the U.S. State Department. On the basis of the NCRI and MeK’s links with Tel Aviv, Porter speculates that the “incriminating” laptop might well have Israeli fingerprints.

Indeed, so sceptical were both the U.S. and the IAEA of its authenticity that this so-called “laptop of death” never formed the primary, secondary or even tertiary focus of concern about Iran’s nuclear programme. The U.S. briefed the IAEA about its contents in the summer of 2005 and news reports at the time spoke of the agency’s experts being sceptical. This scepticism was official. The crucial September 2, 2005 report by Dr el-Baradei — which was to form the basis later that month for the IAEA Board declaring Iran in non-compliance with its obligations — makes no mention of the alleged studies contained in the shady laptop though its contents had been shared with Agency experts a few months earlier. Even now, the IAEA’s latest report refers to the documents as “alleged studies,” notes it has seen no evidence of the use of nuclear material in connection with the “alleged studies” and that it does not have “credible information” in this regard.

Despite this, we are now supposed to believe that these “alleged studies” — about which there is no “credible information” tying them to the use of nuclear material — is the proverbial smoking gun!

In a sense, this dishonest spin was inevitable. For as the U.S. found the IAEA knocking off the other (equally irrelevant but slightly more credible) “outstanding issues” one by one, it was forced to wheel out the laptop’s contents once again, but this time as Exhibit No. 1. Even now, the Agency’s experts are divided. Dr. el-Baradei’s report treats the laptop’s contents with justified circumspection. However, his deputy, Olli Heinonen, briefed IAEA Board members about its contents, buttressing them with more information provided by unnamed intelligence agencies. In his telling, the same documents which looked suspect two years ago now seem to paint an alarming picture. His briefing took place in Vienna on February 25, three days after the official IAEA report was released.

One week later, unnamed diplomats helpfully provided the notes they took at that briefing so that virtually identical stories on Iran’s “nuclear warhead” appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times and Reuters on the eve of the crucial March 3 Security Council vote. Conveniently, dubious information that America (or perhaps the MeK or Israel) first put out thus found its way into the American press as an “IAEA briefing.” After Iraq, the American press has forgotten nothing and learned nothing. And neither, it seems, has the international community, with the honourable exception of Jakarta.

An Opportunity Lost

The irony is that in upping the ante, the Security Council has allowed a golden opportunity slip out of its hands. What the IAEA needs more than anything else is for Iran to resume its adherence to the Additional Protocol. If there is an iota of truth in the “alleged studies” — which Iran says are based on fabricated documents — the best way for the IAEA to find out is by invoking the wider powers to inspect unlisted sites that the AP confers. Iran had declared that if the UNSC lifts its sanctions now that all concrete outstanding issues have been resolved, it is willing once again to adhere to the AP. As for the enrichment issue, the Iranian offer of running its national facilities as a multinational venture (with multinational oversight) very much remains on the table. These two elements would go a long way towards assuring the international community that Iran’s nuclear programme was entirely peaceful. But it seems there are more powerful interests at work, with aims that go well beyond what is stated.

Later this week, India, which blindly voted against Iran at the IAEA Board in 2005, will get another chance to redeem its place as a responsible member of the international community. Britain is likely to introduce a resolution echoing Monday’s UNSC resolution and ignoring the progress Iran and the IAEA have made in resolving all outstanding issues. With their permanent seats and vetoes on the Security Council — and their delusions about “not allowing the use of force” — Russia and China can afford the luxury of censuring Iran once again. And other non-aligned countries like South Africa may well lack the political and economic heft to resist the kind of pressure that will no doubt be brought to bear. But India is a different story. It is big. It is powerful. And unlike Russia and China, geography has placed us in the same region as Iran. Under no circumstances should India allow itself to once again become party to the irrational and disastrous confrontation that Washington is foisting on our neighbourhood.

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For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8278

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Crisis Over Teheran’s Alleged Nuclear Plans Nearing Climax

Iran Nuke Laptop Data Came from Terror Group By Gareth Porter

Crisis Over Teheran’s Alleged Nuclear Plans Nearing Climax

Dandelion Salad

By Bill and Kathy Christison
ICH
03/08/08 “Counterpunch

Time after time we have heard statements from Israeli officials, spokesmen of the Israel lobby in the U.S., and Israel’s supporters in Congress that Iran “must” never obtain nuclear weapons. On March 3, 2008, all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus nine of the ten non-permanent members approved a new round of sanctions against Iran. Chalk up the final vote of 14-0 with one abstention (the Muslim nation of Indonesia) as another victory at the U.N. for the Israel-U.S. partnership.

The spectacle of the five “permanents” in the antiquated Security Council hierarchy — all of whom refuse to eliminate their own nuclear weapons — adopting a double standard with respect to Iran does not, of course, raise more than a peep in the mainstream media of the U.S. Iran, a nation of proud people in a neighborhood of proud peoples, sees only absurdity in the discrimination against it when the nearby nations of India, Pakistan, and Israel have all developed their own nuclear weapons without the U.S. stopping them. Israel’s nuclear weapons program particularly sticks in the Iranian craw, because Iranians know that Israel, an enemy but a far smaller country, acquired nuclear weapons over 40 years ago, considerably earlier than either India or Pakistan. Most Iranians also know that Israel accomplished this only with public and/or private aid from the U.S. It’s all seen as just one more example of the U.S. favoring Israel and picking on Iran.

The issue of the moment is not even actual production of nuclear weapons by Iran, but the “enrichment” of natural uranium so that it contains a higher percentage of one particular uranium isotope, U-235, than is found in nature when the ore called “uranium” is first mined. Such enrichment provides the single most-difficult-to-obtain product used in most nuclear weapons. (In the natural state, the raw ore contains other uranium isotopes as well, and usually has by volume less than one percent U-235. When concentrated to around three percent U-235, the product is widely used in common forms of nuclear power reactors. When concentrated to much higher levels — 90 percent is the figure often cited — the product becomes the “weapons-grade” material used in nuclear weapons. The equipment used in this “enrichment” process is not only complicated to build, manage and maintain; it also requires large amounts of electric power to operate. But all of this is within the capabilities of numerous nations and, probably increasingly, some subnational groups as well.)

Iran now possesses, has tested, and is using all the equipment required, and it has the necessary electric power, to produce enriched uranium. It claims it has already reached an enrichment level of around four percent U-235 in early tests. It also claims that it does not want nuclear weapons and will use the enriched uranium only to produce larger amounts of electric power for the nation in a series of nuclear power plants. But if one chooses to believe that Iran really wants nuclear weapons, another element comes into the equation: the ease with which an enrichment operation can be converted to produce weapons-grade uranium. Various Western experts commonly believe that if a nation or group is capable of going from less than one percent to a three or four percent enrichment level, then the technical difficulties of moving from three or four to 90 percent enrichment are not at all major.

The actual design and manufacture of the explosive device, and then of a deliverable weapon, would not be a simple task, but neither would it be terribly difficult. Precise estimates of the time the entire process might take are generally useless. There are too many variables. All such estimates depend heavily on the types of delivery systems available, the degree of targeting accuracy demanded, and the redundancy, or lack, of safety features assumed necessary to prevent unauthorized or accidental use. But for Iran, a simple guess of three or four years probably would be in the ball park.

While the U.S. and other nations demand that Iran cease all production of enriched uranium, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) that came into effect in 1970 does not prevent anyone from enriching uranium for peaceful purposes. Iran, as already noted, claims that is all it is presently doing, and there is no hard evidence to the contrary. The U.S., however, and most other signatories of the treaty who already possess nuclear weapons have made no serious efforts to work toward global nuclear and general disarmament as called for in the NPT. The treaty, of course, has no timetable or deadlines in it. But the fact that the major powers who signed the treaty have not even begun multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament in 38 years gives Iran a good excuse, if it needs one, to abrogate its participation in the treaty. Some day Iran may do just that. The fact that Israel, India, and Pakistan, who have refused to sign the treaty from the start, have now become known nuclear powers, gives leaders in Teheran yet another excuse to get out of the NPT if it wishes.

While some U.S. empire builders talk about the need to change the global system, the world today is still composed of legally independent states where nationalism is the dominant force underlying relationships among states. In such a world, it is logical to assume that Iranian leaders either already secretly want nuclear weapons or will soon come to want them. They will not indefinitely accept that the smaller state of Israel has any greater right to nuclear weapons than they have. Nor will they even accept that the much larger U.S. has a greater right to such weapons. Short of being forced abjectly to surrender to the U.S.-Israeli partnership, no Iranian government leaders could accept such views.

The possibility of negotiating a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East (including Israel), or even, conceivably, a nuclear-free world, is often suggested as the only true final solution to the Middle East’s or the entire globe’s nuclear dilemma. And the people who make such suggestions can often cite polls or surveys showing that a majority of people everywhere support these ideas. The tragedy is that at the moment there is simply not enough trust among the governments of the globe, or even within one region thereof. Take the United States alone, or the U.S.-Israel partnership. It is inconceivable that the present government of either partner would be able even to begin negotiations on eliminating its nuclear weapons, no matter what the possible benefits might be. The same would apply to China, Russia, Britain, France, India, and Pakistan to greater or lesser degrees.

Even in this time of distrust, however, the U.N. should set up a permanent conference of ambassador-level experts on Disarmament and Global Crises. Once it is up and running, spokespeople for this conference should direct public attention on a daily basis to the relationship between arms spending and the three major crises facing the globe — the energy, climate, and water crises that will make it increasingly necessary for the peoples of the world to work together in overcoming the crises and drastically cutting back the outrageous and wasteful military expenditures of too many nations. The immediate task of the conference should be to define areas of agreement and disagreement on disarmament and on the other three issues in different regions of the world. The chairperson should be a very senior U.N. official, and the unusual feature of the conference — its permanence — should receive great emphasis on every public occasion.

It is likely that before long new and unforeseen developments will occur in one or more of the three crises that will intensify thinking among at least some people about the wastefulness of present military spending. Costly new difficulties in any of the three areas might even lead in fairly short order to a rolling snowball of global opposition and disgust over new nuclear spending. No one can foresee how great will be the changes in daily life caused by the three crises but we should, as best we can, work to make the changes add to rather than detract from harmony among the world’s peoples. We should all specifically try to use these crises to encourage everyone to think first as citizens of the world, only second as citizens of a particular nation or region.

But none of this deals with the present — or with the remaining months of Bush’s presidency. Since the present group of Republicans and copycat Democrats in Congress refuses to impeach Bush and Cheney, the danger of a war against Iran instigated by the U.S. and Israel remains real. The overextended state of U.S. ground forces, and Bush’s probable willingness to treat at least small nuclear weapons as ordinary weapons, mean that a war would possibly not be a ground war at all, but would begin with large air attacks and early use of nuclear weapons. While the longer term results of using nuclear weapons would be utterly disastrous, both for the world and for the U.S., the immediate results might be seen as a quick and cheap victory for the U.S. If the apparent military victory occurred before the November 2008 U.S. election, it would probably guarantee a Republican electoral victory. Given Bush’s interest in his own place in history, such a scenario could easily appeal to his gambling instincts.

Noise, and lots of it, seems to be the only weapon we have to make it less likely that such a scenario actually happens. Let’s make that noise, do it globally, and do it every day. Pound out the message through every medium we can access, including music and literature, that ordinary people around the world DO NOT WANT THE U.S. AND ISRAEL TO KILL A SINGLE PERSON IN IRAN, regardless of the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence officer and as director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 35 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession.

They can both be reached at kathy.bill.christison@comcast.net.


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.

Al-Jazeera: Rocket Men (videos)

Dandelion Salad

MegaNewsbreak

People and Power – Rocket Men – 02 Mar 08 – Pts. 1& 2

Over the last few months, Israel has been threatening to mount a large-scale invasion over parts of the Gaza Strip, in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli collective farms and cities.

As the governing authorities in Gaza, Hamas have refused to condemn rocket-firing, arguing they are a legitimate weapon of resistance.

The homemade rockets were first introduced by Hamas in the 2000 Intifada as a form of retaliation against Israel’s incursions.

But today, Israel claims that its continuing blockade of Gaza and its moves to reduce the Gaza Strip’s power supplies is a direct consequence of the rocket attacks.

Added: March 02, 2008

*

see

The meaning of Gaza’s ‘shoah’: Israel plots another Palestinian exodus by Jonathan Cook

Israeli Minister Warns of Palestinian Holocaust By Liam Bailey

US plot to overthrow elected Palestinian government exposed

Gaza Under Siege by Ralph Nader

Encounter Point – The Documentary + trailer

Statement on Gaza Bill By Ron Paul

The CIA Plot To Overthrow Hamas (videos)

Revealed: the US plan to start a Palestinian civil war

Condoleezza Rice News Conference in Ramallah

Gaza

Propaganda (video)

Dandelion Salad

Postmodern Times
1 hr 0 min 10 sec – Nov 10, 2007
www.postmoderntimes2.blogspot.com

An open source video compilation, Propaganda offers a critical look at the “mainstream” media, featuring interviews and lectures by Noam Chomsky, bell hooks, John Pilger, Amy Goodman, music by dead prez and much more!

no longer available Continue reading

Breaking the Nuremberg Code: The US Military’s Human-Testing (videos)

Dandelion Salad

By Heather Wokusch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
HeatherWokusch

Part 1 of Heather Wokusch discussing “Breaking the Nuremberg Code.” Covers Edgewood Arsenal, Project 112/SHAD and Stratton VA. Continue reading

Mr. Blackledge’s Black Helicopters By Scott Horton

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Horton
ICH
08/03/08 “Harpers

Back in October, as the House Judiciary Committee was conducting its first hearings into the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman, I spoke with Simon Heller, the legal director of a Washington-based advocacy organization called the Alliance for Justice. Heller told me he had gotten a telephone call. “It was strange. The man on the other end of the phone identified himself as a reporter. But he certainly didn’t act like one. We had put out a press release talking about Judge Mark Fuller and the role he played in the Siegelman case, and questioning how, given his many conflicts, he had failed to recuse himself. But this reporter wasn’t interested in our view. Instead he was hysterical, screaming into the phone, asking how we dared to criticize such a great American? I’ve never had a press experience quite like that one.”

The name of the reporter? Brett Blackledge, the award-winning prize star of the Birmingham News. Blackledge has carried the paper’s water in its two major campaigns of the last six years. The first was its effort to take down former Governor Siegelman through a blizzard of innuendo and tendentious reporting straight from the files of a group of partisan prosecutors. And the second, still running, is the effort to reshape the state’s legislature by demonstrating that a large part of it is enmeshed in hopeless graft and corruption by working simultaneously as junior college teachers and administrators. In most states, a reporter like Mr. Blackledge would not venture very far. But in ‘Bama, where they take their Koolaid unalloyed, he’s the real thing.

So it comes as no surprise that when 60 Minutes at length runs its story on Karl Rove and the Siegelman case, Blackledge scoops a print media exclusive: an interview with Karl Rove. In sum, Rove views his paper, the Birmingham News, as the print media equal of Fox News. The interview ran and looked indistinguishable from a Karl Rove press release. No tough questions. Indeed, not even essential information explaining how, when and why the interview was conducted. The article insists there was an interview, even though it provides no evidence of one having occurred.

A loyal News reader recently shared with me her exchange of emails with Blackledge, which explain perfectly his attitude towards the story he’s covering.

First the email query to Blackledge:

You didn’t explain in your story who conducted this telephone interview: “It never happened,” Rove said in a telephone interview. “Seeing where I was working at the time, a reasonable person could ask why I would even take an interest in that case.”

Then seventeen paragraphs later, you finally followed up on Rove’s question as to “why a reasonable person could ask himself why Rove would take an interest in this case”: Rove has a history of work in Alabama, including in some of the state’s most hotly contested and nasty judicial campaigns. From 1994 to 2000, Rove’s consulting helped put a Republican stamp on the Alabama Supreme Court.

I’m just a humble reader, but doesn’t that last paragraph address the “why” in Rove’s statement? Why, indeed, was a slimeball like Rove ever involved in Alabama in any way? Show us how you can dig. Tell us more about Rove’s involvement in Alabama. That’s news that Alabama readers are entitled to. In which campaigns was Rove involved and what was the nature of the involvement?

In fact, Karl Rove’s work as a campaign advisor in Alabama dates back at least to 1992, and continued after he went to the White House, Rove’s disclaimers notwithstanding. I’m reasonably confident that this is why Rove refused an on-camera interview with CBS, or with any other serious media organization. In addition to four Supreme Court races, he has been involved frequently in less formal ways in a half dozen other races, and most significantly he served as campaign advisor to William Pryor. That’s the same William Pryor who actually initiated and drove the case against former Governor Siegelman.

A former executive of the Business Council of Alabama recently described to me in some detail Rove’s proposals for politicizing the organization—turning it into a battle ax for the Alabama G.O.P., with Rove’s good friend William Canary in the foreground and Rove himself hovering in the distance. It was a brilliant plan from the G.O.P.’s perspective. And the fact that no major Alabama paper has ever reported on it tells the reader a great deal about the state’s incurious media.

Now let’s look at how Blackledge handles this gentle inquiry:

You know, I think you’ve connected two dots that are quite unrelated. First, there are many political operatives (media, campaign consultant types) who work campaigns in Alabama. I, for one, have a close college friend, a very prominent Democratic operative based in DC, who also has worked Alabama races. That’s not particularly unusual. You go where jobs are, where campaigns are, sometimes you hit it big and get a high-profile candidate, and land in the White House (i.e. Carville, Atwater, Rove, et al.) But you seem to think that because they work in Alabama, they have an interest in future races for which they are not paid, and do not have a candidate. That’s not at all a safe assumption, nor is it how the business works. But further, you also seem to think that a White House counselor who previously worked races in Alabama (and just about every other Southern state where he could get a candidate to hire him) has an interest in all future races. While he may for reasons for which we now are not aware, this on its face does not logically connect, despite the rather sensational, and quite unbelievable, uncorroborated claims to date that have been made by one person.

We could recount once again the four campaigns on which Rove worked in our newspaper, which we have done numerous times. Frankly, I’m not sure any of that matters. But again, you must remember, I do not, as a matter of routine, believe that black helicopters are flying above.

So there you have it. A serious reporter would have plowed in and asked Rove questions about his actual involvement in electoral politics in Alabama—that is, he or she would have examined the predicates of the Simpson story to see if any of them tally. But not Blackledge. In his mind, Rove is uninvolved, so there is no point in asking any such questions. Moreover, people who believe that he is involved “believe that black helicopters are flying above.”

And certainly, Blackledge speaks conclusively from real life when he tells us that the simple fact that a man was involved in four races long ago does not mean he has any interest in things transpiring today. I’d love to know what kind of real life experience that is. No doubt about one thing: Blackledge is just the kind of reporter Karl Rove loves.


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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A Brain-Dead Press by Scott Horton (Siegelman)

Journalism interrupted, The Right Wing Attack Machine Churns… (Siegelman)

Scott Horton on Democracy Now: Don Siegelman case & FCC Probe

It Does Happen In America – The Political Trial of Don Siegelman + Siegelman Updates

60 Minutes: Don Siegelman (vids) + Parts of Broadcast Blocked in Alabama…

Siegelman-Don

The E.L.F.s are mad! Why aren’t we? By Jason Miller

Dandelion Salad

By Jason Miller
Thomas Paine’s Corner
3/8/08

“Of Mommies and Daddies Who Just Don’t Give a Fuck”

Sorry kids, but you’re just going to have to deal with the fact that we are greedy narcissists. We’re dyed in the wool consumers, we worship Mammon, and eliminating the cancer of capitalism is simply out of the question.

What’s that, our beloved sons and daughters? You’re worried that the air will be too polluted to breathe, the water too toxic to drink, the rain forests too sparse to act as the Earth’s lungs, and the resources too depleted to sustain you and the other sentient inhabitants of this planet? You don’t believe “clean” coal, biofuels, and nuclear power will sustain the exquisite industrial civilization we will bequeath you once we’ve siphoned off the last drop of oil and departed for the big suburb in the sky?

Unfortunately, you’ll just have to suck it up, shut up, and deal with it! George Bush 41 made it abundantly clear that our “American Way of life is non-negotiable.” We Americans don’t even negotiate with terrorists, so it would be idiocy to even consider the possibility that we would budge an inch for mere children! Culturally genocidal perpetuators of the horrors of factory farming like McDonald’s; mammoth, gas-guzzling personal tanks that keep the economy Humming; televisions with screens large enough to put AMC out of business; single family McMansions with sufficient square footage that one subdivision could solve the homeless problem in America; our dinosaur-sized carbon foot-prints; and the production of enough garbage to ensure that we have the means to fill that ugly void known as the Grand Canyon are indispensable aspects of our being.

Ironically, Lorax-like prophets of the inevitable environmental catastrophe we are engendering are acceptable as long as they remain safely abstract and confined to children’s fables. We’ll let the Lorax lecture, plead, and implore to his dying breath via Seussian rhyme, but the minute he begins taking direct action on behalf of Mother Earth against the Once-lers and their capitalist, consumerist, and industrialist infrastructure that is sucking the life from this planet like a starved vampire, he becomes public enemy number one.

Just how deep are the moral decay, rot, and decadence of mature capitalism and the American Empire? They have penetrated to the very core of our collective being. Facts and statistics on Climate Change, the alarmingly rapid rate of species extinction, the devastating effects of commercial fishing on marine life, the horrors of factory farming, rampant deforestation, and a plethora of other deep gashes left by our relentless assaults on the planet to which we owe our very existences are so ubiquitous and irrefutable that only an idiot would deny that we are destroying the Earth and many of its sentient inhabitants.

Each day our industrial civilization thoughtlessly and carelessly launches ruthless violent assaults upon our world and its non-human animal inhabitants, yet when the Lorax finally does strike a blow against a Once-ler (as was the case in the Earth Liberation Front’s recent laudable destruction of several McMansions in the Seattle area) all Hell breaks loose. “Crack” teams of law enforcement circle the wagons and frantically scramble to eradicate the “terrorists” who had the audacity to violate our sacrosanct property rights and interfere with our ongoing rape of the Earth. As a society, it is permissible for us to continue a relentless march toward rendering our planet uninhabitable, but let a handful of individuals from the Earth Liberation Front destroy some precious manifestations of our perverse obsession with material possessions and the FBI offers a reward of $100,000 to ensure their capture.

Just why were the ELFs so enraged? Consider their own eloquent explanation for their actions:

“There are over six billion people on this planet of which almost a third are either staving, or living in poverty. Building homes for the wealthy should not even be a priority.

Forests, farms and wetlands are being replaced with a sea of houses, green chemical lawns, blacktop, and roadkill. Farmland is being bought out by land developers because of their inability to compete with cheap corporate, genetically-engineered, pesticide saturated food. The time has come to decide what is more important: the planet and the health of its population or the profits of those who destroy it.”

The unoccupied homes the Earth Liberation Front torched on the “Street of Dreams” near Seattle on 3/3/08 were abominations represented as “environmentally friendly” and “green”. Two million dollar houses? 4500 square feet of living space for a single family? Friendly to the BUSINESS environment? Definitely. But to the natural environment? Not even close. And the only “green” would have been the money that would have gone into the wallets of the builders and developers. Let’s be honest here. The presence of these “Street of Nightmare” homes would have polluted Bear Creek (a crucial home for nearly extinct Chinook salmon) and a nearby aquifer. It also would have threatened protected wetlands in the vicinity. We owe the Earth Liberation Front a small debt of gratitude.

So we rape the planet, torture and murder sentient beings to feast on their flesh, wantonly and willfully spew toxins into the environment, and consume the Earth’s resources with the rapacity and rapidity of a starving man attacking his first meal in a week. And we do so without giving it a first, second, or third thought. Meanwhile, the ELFs act on their justified moral outrage, put a tiny dent in our planet killing apparatus in a desperate bid to awaken us from our greed-induced apathy (injuring or killing NO ONE), and we are ready to lynch these heretics quicker than Cotton Mather could have said, “Get thee to the gallows, witch….”

Make no mistake. The world is burning while we fiddle. And even if we don’t feel impassioned to act on behalf of non-human animals or our Mother Earth, isn’t the fact that we are condemning our children to the purgatory of a dying planet motivation enough for us to stop the madness? Or are we truly “mommies and daddies who just don’t give a fuck?”

Long live the Earth Liberation Front!
Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.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. 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.

The Pentagon Papers [unedited] (video; 1971)

Dandelion Salad

gravel2008

In 1971, then US Senator Mike Gravel released a collection of top-secret government documents, deemed “The Pentagon Papers” into the public record, bringing to public light the series of lies and false pretenses under which the United States invaded Vietnam.

This is the entirety of the footage the Gravel campaign has obtained thus far, and both the audio and video cut out occasionally.

Per request, we put this clip in its entirety on Youtube. However, you can download or play a high resolution version here:
http://www.archive.org/details/Gravel…

http://www.gravel2008.us

Contact us:
Skyler McKinley
National Multimedia Coordinator
multimedia@gravel2008.us

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

.

see

How the Pentagon Papers Came to be Published by the Beacon Press (link; Ellsberg; Gravel; West)

Time Is Right for New Pentagon Papers By Amy Goodman

Gravel-Mike

Instructor fired over loyalty oath reinstated

Dandelion Salad

By Richard C. Paddock
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 8, 2008
HAYWARD, Calif.

Cal State East Bay teacher refused to sign on religious grounds.

A Quaker math instructor who was fired by Cal State East Bay after she refused on religious grounds to sign a state loyalty oath has been reinstated, university officials said Friday.

Marianne Kearney-Brown, a pacifist, was concerned that signing the oath to “support and defend” the California and U.S. constitutions “against all enemies, foreign and domestic” could commit her to take up arms. She was fired Feb. 28 after she inserted the word “nonviolently” before “support and defend” and signed that version.

The idea that someone could be fired for refusing to sign a loyalty oath came as a surprise to many Californians who were unaware that public employees are still required to sign it. The pledge was added to the state Constitution in 1952 at the height of anti-Communist hysteria and has remained a prerequisite for public employment ever since. All state, city, county, public school, community college and public university employees are required to sign the 86-word oath. Noncitizens are exempt.

…continued

h/t: Mike

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.

see

Quaker teacher fired for changing loyalty oath

Talking to Nader and Gonzalez

Dandelion Salad

by Laura Flanders
The Nation
March 7, 2008

Ralph Nader announced his selection of San Francisco lawyer and activist Matt Gonzalez as his running mate on February 28. Like Nader, Gonzalez–a former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who narrowly lost his 2003 bid to be the first Green Party mayor of a major US city–clearly wants to influence the political debate this election season. Given the chilly media climate for any independent run, that’s not going to be easy. The DC reporters at the National Press Club last week were predictably disdainful. The reception in the “alternative” media hasn’t been much warmer. In their first live interview together on talk radio, Gonzalez and Nader spoke with me for an hour on Air America Radio on February 29 and took listeners’ calls. Among the topics: organizing, parties and what the two men think of Obama/Clinton. Take a read.

…continued

h/t: Danielle

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.

see

Gaza Under Siege by Ralph Nader

Nader-Ralph

www.votenader.org/