Hell hath no fury like an imperialist scorned by William Blum

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by William Blum
www.killinghope.org
Mar. 4, 2009

The Anti-Empire Report

Being serious about torture. Or not.

In Cambodia they’re once again endeavoring to hold trials to bring some former senior Khmer Rouge officials to justice for their 1975-79 war crimes and crimes against humanity. The current defendant in a United Nations-organized trial, Kaing Guek Eav, who was the head of a Khmer Rouge torture center, has confessed to atrocities, but insists he was acting under orders.1 As we all know, this is the defense that the Nuremberg Tribunal rejected for the Nazi defendants. Everyone knows that, right? No one places any weight on such a defense any longer, right? We make jokes about Nazis declaring: “I was only following orders!” (“Ich habe nur den Befehlen gehorcht!”) Except that both the Bush and Obama administrations have spoken in favor of it. Here’s the new head of the CIA, Leon Panetta: “What I have expressed as a concern, as has the president, is that those who operated under the rules that were provided by the Attorney General in the interpretation of the law [concerning torture] and followed those rules ought not to be penalized. And … I would not support, obviously, an investigation or a prosecution of those individuals. I think they did their job.”2 Operating under the rules … doing their job … are of course the same as following orders.

The UN Convention Against Torture (first adopted in 1984), which has been ratified by the United States, says quite clearly, “An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.” The Torture Convention enacts a prohibition against torture that is a cornerstone of international law and a principle on a par with the prohibition against slavery and genocide.

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Countdown: Bush Dictatorship & Truth Commission

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firedoglake

Countdown-Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) discusses Truth Commission 03_04_09

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John Yoo’s Legal Groundwork for Subverting the Republic by Naomi Wolf

Countdown: Bush Admin Office of legal Counsel memos + Bush Lawyers Approved Constitution-Free Domestic Military Ops, Docs Show

John Yoo-4th Amendment-Torture

Crime and or Corruption

Torture

When Securitization Blew Up; So Did the Economy By Mike Whitney

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By Mike Whitney
March 04, 2009 “Information Clearing House

“Nothing we do for banks is for banks. It’s all for the benefit of the people that depend on banks — the businesses, the families, the students — that require credit in order to do things that are important to their future.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner PBS Jim Lehrer News Hour

One thing is certain, this isn’t a normal recession. In a normal recession aggregate demand declines, economic activity slows, and GDP shrinks. While those things are taking place now, the reasons are quite different. The present slump wasn’t brought on by a downturn in the business cycle or a mismatch in supply and demand. It was caused by a meltdown in the credit system’s central core. That’s the main difference. Wall Street’s credit-generating mechanism, securitization, has broken down cutting off roughly 40 percent of the credit that had been flowing into the economy. As a result, consumer demand has collapsed, inventories are growing, and manufacturing has contracted for the 13th consecutive month. The equities markets are in freefall and all the economic indicators are pointed south. The so called “shadow banking system” which provided wholesale funding for mortgages, car loans, student loans, and credit card debt, has stopped functioning entirely.

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Mosaic News – 3/3/09: World News From The Middle East

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Warning

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

Headlines coming soon. Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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John Yoo’s Legal Groundwork for Subverting the Republic by Naomi Wolf

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by Naomi Wolf
The Nation
3.3.09

If history gets this recent era right, future textbooks will have to show that the US narrowly averted a carefully planned but thorough and unmistakable conspiracy to subvert the rule of law and the process of democracy from 2001-2008. For three years, since writing End of America, I have been arguing that the Bush team sought irretrievably to subvert our liberty. Fortunately, this appalling and conceivably irrevocable subversion of the tenets of freedom was narrowly averted by citizens at every level — from the grassroots to the courts — resisting in time. But the release this week by the Justice Department of the “secret memos” sought valiantly by the ACLU confirms that Bush’s legal architects were building up the framework for something even scarier than our most anguished projections.

You can see the documents themselves online — but, as usual, there is a gap between the cautious journalistic interpretation of the event and the dense legalese in which they are written, and no one yet has really explained to citizens who are not attorneys what these memos claimed to give Bush the right to do. This is my initial reading of these documents:

[…]

via Naomi Wolf: John Yoo’s Legal Groundwork for Subverting the Republic

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US Justice Department memos: the specter of military dictatorship

http://www.wsws.org
4 March 2009

A set of nine secret memos released by the US Justice Department Monday reveal that in the weeks and months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks the US government began erecting the legal scaffolding for a full-blown military dictatorship.

Attorney General Eric Holder declared that the release of the documents, which were posted on the Justice Department’s web site, signaled a new era of “transparency and openness.” The actions of the Obama administration in recent weeks, however, including the invocation of national security and state secrets to quell lawsuits challenging the worst abuses of the Bush era, make it clear that the threat revealed in these memos is far from over.

[…]

via US Justice Department memos: the specter of military dictatorship

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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Countdown: Bush Admin Office of legal Counsel memos + Bush Lawyers Approved Constitution-Free Domestic Military Ops, Docs Show

John Yoo-4th Amendment-Torture

Crime and or Corruption

Torture

Rove agrees to be deposed under oath after three subpoenas

Dandelion Salad

John Byrne
The Raw Story
Wednesday March 4, 2009

The House Judiciary Committee announced late Wednesday afternoon that they had secured the agreement of former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers to testify in transcribed depositions under threat of perjury.

The Committee did not immediately announce what terms, if any, had been reached with Rove, but said the agreement had been made with representatives of the former Bush Administration. They did say that they would get access to Administration documents, and that Rove and Miers had agreed to testify publicly if called.

“The Committee has also reserved the right to have public testimony from Rove and Miers,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) said in a statement.

Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said the agreement was “good news.”

[…]

via The Raw Story | Rove agrees to be deposed under oath after three subpoenas

h/t: CLG

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House Judiciary Committee Secures Rove and Miers Testimony in U.S. Attorney Firings

For Immediate Release
March 04, 2009

Contact: Jonathan Godfrey
Lillian German

WASHINGTON (DC) – In an agreement reached today between the former Bush administration and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Karl Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in transcribed depositions under penalty of perjury.  The committee has also reserved the right to have public testimony from Rove and Miers.  It was agreed that invocations of official privileges would be significantly limited.

In addition, if the committee uncovers information necessitating his testimony, the committee will also have the right to depose William Kelley, a former White House lawyer who played a role in the U.S. attorney firings.

The committee will also receive Bush White House documents relevant to this inquiry.  Under the agreement, the landmark ruling by Judge John Bates rejecting key Bush White House claims of executive immunity and privilege will be preserved.  If the agreement is breached, the committee can resume the litigation.

Chairman Conyers issued the following statement:

“I have long said that I would see this matter through to the end and am encouraged that we have finally broken through the Bush administration’s claims of absolute immunity.  This is a victory for the separation of powers and congressional oversight.  It is also a vindication of the search for truth.  I am determined to have it known whether U.S. attorneys in the Department of Justice were fired for political reasons, and if so, by whom.”

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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Countdown: Rove Subpoenas + Rove’s Claim of Executive Privilege

Mr. Simmons’ Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border by Rick Rozoff

by Rick Rozoff
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Stop NATO
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/message/37672
March 4, 2009

The death of American sociologist C. Wright Mills at 45 years of age in 1962 was an irreparable loss not only to the United States but to the world, and not only to his generation but the three that have succeeded it and on into the indefinite future.

He was as at home quoting Rousseau, Balzac and Jacob Burckhardt, always to good purpose, as he was formulating such concepts and models as military metaphysics, mass society, the higher immorality and the cult of celebrity as early as 1955.

Mills did so in his mature, post-university writings with a simplicity of style and expression matching the profundity and perspicacity of his observations and conclusions.

In his work of the same name Mills defined the sociological imagination as the intersection of biography and history.

The same may be said of politics, particularly world politics, and if the word can still be used in the current ‘postmodern’ and ‘post-historical’ epoch, destiny. Indeed for Mills sociology was no dry discipline, no mere compendium of data and experimental results but living history, the historical dynamic captured in the moment, and perhaps the collective human exemplification of philosophical principles employed in a conscious manner.

History is replete with examples of an individual’s personal trajectory paralleling and illustrating the trends of a historical period and process, for better or worse, with benign or malignant effects. Sometimes with both.

A standard example is that of Talleyrand-Perigord (“Regimes may fall and fail, but I do not”), whose diplomatic career both reflected and affected for the 45 years from 1789-1834 the tumultuous developments in France from the fall of the ancien regime to the abrupt end of its restoration.

A person performing such a role, whether possessed of a more than usual degree of energy and ambition or of a steadily plodding nature, will be the equivalent of a tracer bullet or dye injected into the bloodstream for an angiogram. One can view in the person the intricacy of broader patterns and learn to spot the presence and trajectory of the second by that of the first.

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How Tinkering with Inflation Measurements May Have Led to the Current Financial Crisis by Rodrigue Tremblay

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by Rodrigue Tremblay
www.thenewamericanempire.com
March 4, 2009

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” –Mark Twain, (1835 – 1910)

“The Cost of Living [has been] replaced by the Cost of Survival. The old system told you how much you had to increase your income in order to keep buying steak. The new system promised you hamburger, and then dog food, perhaps, after that.” — John Williams, private economist

“The consumer price index is being understated by at least 1 percent per year.” — Bill Gross, professional investor

“… The development of credit derivatives has contributed to the stability of the banking system by allowing banks, especially the largest, systemically important banks, to measure and manage their credit risks more effectively. In particular, the largest banks have found single-name credit default swaps a highly attractive mechanism for reducing exposure concentrations in their loan books….” — Alan Greenspan, Fed Chairman, May 5, 2005

Last February 20th, the U.S. Department Of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U. S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.3 percent during the month of January. Some independent economists, however, think that the real inflation rate is much higher, possibly as high as 7.52 percent. Why is that so?

The CPI is a measure of how much the price level of a basket of representative consumer goods and services, adjusted for predictable seasonal shifts, is supposed to have varied during a month or a year. Such a measure has been provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since 1919, covering the period between 1913 and today.

For many people, the CPI is less a measure of inflation than an imperfect measure for adjusting cost of living allowances. It is a technique that plays a central role in computing increases in the Cost Of Living Allowances (COLAs) of various money disbursements, incomes and wages. Some incomes, for example, such as Social Security payments and other entitlements, are statutarily adjusted upwards when the CPI goes up, and such adjustments have a direct influence on one’s standard of living.

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Introducing The Orion Project by Steven M. Greer, M.D.

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OrionProjectTV

May 18, 2008

The Orion Project is a non-profit foundation created to transform the current energy, environmental and social crisis into a world of sustainability and enlightened abundance.

In this video, project director Steven M. Greer, M.D., introduces the project and its goals.

http://www.TheOrionProject.org

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It’s Time to Make Free Energy our Next Grass Roots Victory By Steve Windisch

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 1)

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 2)

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 3)

Free Energy and the Open Source Energy Movement (Part 4)

Life after oil: alternative power

Free Energy Home Generator – Zero Point Energy – Off the Grid

Advanced Energy Research – Steve Greer 2007-08-20 Presentation (video)

Free Energy – Pentagon Conspiracy to Cover up (video; 2007)

Richard C. Cook on Alex Jones 03.03.09

by Richard C. Cook
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
richardccook.com
March 4, 2009

Replaced the videos on May 13, 2009

matrixpoint

Finally, Alex welcomes back to the program author, consultant, and former U.S. federal government analyst who in 1986 became one of the foremost whistleblowers of modern times, Richard C. Cook.

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Gaza: Failed Siege

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Editorial
ICH
March 03, 2009 “The Guardian

Pledging aid for Gaza is the easy bit. Getting it delivered to Gazans living in tents after Israel’s three-week bombardment is another matter. The $3bn that donors promised in Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday will have to penetrate a labyrinth of barriers and conditions, the complexity of which King Minos of Crete would have been proud. The money will be given to the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, even though the PA’s writ does not run in Gaza. The aid will pass through crossings currently closed by Israel. It will be distributed in such a manner as to avoid ending up in the hands of its governors. But how? This is like trying to spoon a thin gruel into a dying man, without letting it touch any part of his throat.

Forget the difficulty of getting macaroni or paper into Gaza, neither of which fell into Israel’s definition of humanitarian aid. How can the 14,000 homes, 219 factories, 240 schools, which Israel destroyed, or damaged, be repaired without cement? Cement, Israel argues, has a dual use. It can be used to build Hamas’s bunkers and tunnels, although the dual use of macaroni and paper is harder to fathom. But why repair Gaza’s infrastructure, if Israeli warplanes could return at any moment to destroy it again? Operation Cast Lead did not re-establish Israeli deterrence over Hamas and Gaza’s other rejectionist groups. About 120 rockets and mortars have been fired into southern Israel since the army withdrew. Which means, short of re-occupation and putting the leadership of Hamas on a boat to Tripoli, the only way to stop the rockets is political, not military.

[…]

via Gaza: Failed Siege

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Focus on Gaza: Policing Gaza

Look to the West Bank + Israel to double up West Bank settlers

The Cleanser – Lobby Whistles Up Cordesman to “Prove” Israel Waged a Clean War in Gaza By Norman Finkelstein

Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation

Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Global Research, March 3, 2009

Andy Worthington, London-based journalist and author of “The Guantánamo Files” (Pluto Press), today releases the first definitive list of the 779 prisoners held in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Links to the list:

Part 1 (ISNs 002 to 200): http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/guantanamo-the-definitive-prisoner-list-part-1/

Part 2 (ISNs 201 to 496): http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/guantanamo-the-definitive-prisoner-list-part-2/

Part 3 (ISNs 497 to 732): http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/guantanamo-the-definitive-prisoner-list-part-3/

Part 4 (ISNs 743 to 10030): http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/guantanamo-the-definitive-prisoner-list-part-4/

The list, which is the result of three years’ research and writing about Guantánamo, provides details of the 533 prisoners who have been released, and includes, for the first time ever, accurate dates for their release. It also provides details of the 241 prisoners who are still held, including the 59 prisoners who have been cleared for release. Although some stories are still unknown, the stories of nearly 700 prisoners are referenced either by links to Andy’s extensive archive of articles about Guantánamo, or to the chapters in “The Guantánamo Files” where they can be found.

Andy Worthington says:

“It is my hope that this project will provide an invaluable research tool for those seeking to understand how it came to pass that the government of the United States turned its back on domestic and international law, establishing torture as official US policy, and holding men without charge or trial neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects to be put forward for trial in a federal court, but as ‘illegal enemy combatants.’

“I also hope that it provides a compelling explanation of how that same government, under the leadership of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, established a prison in which the overwhelming majority of those held — at least 93 percent of the 779 men and boys imprisoned in total — were either completely innocent people, seized as a result of dubious intelligence or sold for bounty payments, or Taliban foot soldiers, recruited to fight an inter-Muslim civil war that began long before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or international terrorism.”

About the author

Andy Worthington studied English Language and Literature at New College, Oxford. He writes regularly for the Guardian, the British human rights group Cageprisoners and the Future of Freedom Foundation. He has also written for the New York Times, Amnesty International, Index on Censorship, and FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), and his articles are published regularly on the Huffington Post, the Raw Story, AlterNet, Antiwar.com. CounterPunch and other websites. In 2008, he wrote the entry “Guantánamo Scandal” for the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.

“The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison” is published by Pluto Press, and distributed in the US by Macmillan. http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/the-guantanamo-files/ Andy is also the author of two books on modern British social history.

© Copyright Andy Worthington, Global Research, 2009

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12535

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Gitmo

Torture

7.3 million people in US prisons in ’07

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Press TV
Tue, 03 Mar 2009 18:03:44 GMT

A record high-number of 7.3 million Americans were behind bars or under a correction system in the US in 2007, according to a research.

The record-high number, one in every 31 adults, includes people in prison or jail, and on probation or parole.

The results of the research conducted by Pew Center further indicated on Monday that America’s prison population has skyrocketed over the past quarter century.

In 1982, 1 in 77 adults were in the correctional system in one form or another, totaling 2.2 million people.

[…]

Most of those in the US corrections system — one in 45 — are already on probation or parole, with one in 100 in prison or jail, the Pew study found.

via Press TV – 7.3 million people in US prisons in ’07

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7.3 million in the US prison system

By Kate Randall
http://www.wsws.org
4 March 2009

A study released this week by the Pew Center on the States delivers a staggering statistic: 7.3 million Americans-or 1 in every 31 adults-are in the nation’s prison system. This figure includes those in US jails and prisons, on parole, on probation, or under other forms of correctional supervision.

No other country comes close to matching this number. If these individuals were grouped together, they would number more than the entire populations of Israel or Honduras, or all of the residents of Washington state.

The new study “One in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections,” follows a study by the Pew Center last year that found the US leading the world in the rate at which it puts its people behind bars: 1 in 100, or 2.3 million people.

via 7.3 million in the US prison system

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US leads world in imprisoning its people

More than one in 100 adults behind bars

By Kate Randall
http://www.wsws.org
29 February 2008

In both raw figures and as a percentage of the population, the US is the world leader in the rate at which it puts its people behind bars. A new report using state-by-state data says a record 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison at the start of 2008—one out of every 99.1 adults.

The report by the Pew Center on the States also documents record increases in financial outlays for incarceration, with the 50 US states spending more than $49 billion on prisons last year, almost five times more than the $11 billion spent 20 years ago.

[…]

via US leads world in imprisoning its people

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Prison labor: Made in USA

US prison population dwarfs that of other nations

Fixing Our Criminal Injustice System By Alan Jenkins

Have you fed your prisoners today? by The Other Katherine Harris

The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?

Prisons – a new form of slavery (video)

Look to the West Bank + Israel to double up West Bank settlers

Dandelion Salad

Crossposted with permission from Jewish Peace News

Jewish Peace News
3.2.09

Commentator Ben White writes: “For a real sense of where the conflict is heading, look to the West Bank, not just Gaza.” While media attention is focused on the Israeli elections and the continuing humanitarian crimes in Gaza, White argues that events in the West Bank are perhaps of greater political significance. These events include Israeli raids and abductions that seem to be targeting Palestinian civil resistance (second item below – which includes a video link and action alert); further restrictions on Palestinian movement and rights in East Jerusalem; and a massive increase in settlement activity (third item below). Taken together, these represent a firm and confident consolidation of the (Israeli military) gains of the occupation: and, as White puts it, “a further reminder that the two-state solution has completed its progression from worthy (and often disingenuous) aim to meaningless slogan.” Continue reading