By Alex Spillius in Washington
18 May 2009
According to a report in GQ magazine the religious texts were imposed over pictures of the US armed forces engaged in the war.
Shown to only a small circle of senior advisers, the pages were first used on the eve of the 2003 invasion and were designed to provide support and encouragement to Mr Bush, a Christian who often cited the Bible while in office.
Some Pentagon officials feared that if the documents were leaked at the height of the conflict, the use of Christian language to justify the invasion of a Muslim nation would cause a furore in the Islamic world.
New York, May 18 ANI: A special death squad assassinated Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on the orders of former US Vice-President Dick Cheney, an Arab TV channel has reported.
“Cheney was the chief of the Joint Special Operation Command and he cleared the way for the US by exterminating opponents through the unit and the CIA. General Stanley was the in-charge of the unit,” The Nation quoted US columnist Seymour Hersh, as saying.
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Dr. Vicky Pope: “When climate scientists like me explain to people what we do for a living we are increasingly asked whether we “believe in climate change”. Quite simply it is not a matter of belief. Our concerns about climate change arise from the scientific evidence that humanity’s activities are leading to changes in our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.”
by Prof James Petras
Global Research, May 17, 2009
“The Deltas are psychos…You have to be a certified psychopath to join the Delta Force…”, a US Army colonel from Fort Bragg once told me back in the 1980’s. Now President Obama has elevated the most notorious of the psychopaths, General Stanley McChrystal, to head the US and NATO military command in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s rise to leadership is marked by his central role in directing special operations teams engaged in extrajudicial assassinations, systematic torture, bombing of civilian communities and search and destroy missions. He is the very embodiment of the brutality and gore that accompanies military-driven empire building. Between September 2003 and August 2008, McChrystal directed the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations (JSO) Command which operates special teams in overseas assassinations.
The point of the ‘Special Operations’ teams (SOT) is that they do not distinguish between civilian and military oppositions, between activists and their sympathizers and the armed resistance. The SOT specialize in establishing death squads and recruiting and training paramilitary forces to terrorize communities, neighborhoods and social movements opposing US client regimes. The SOT’s ‘counter-terrorism’ is terrorism in reverse, focusing on socio-political groups between US proxies and the armed resistance. McChrystal’s SOT targeted local and national insurgent leaders in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan through commando raids and air strikes. During the last 5 years of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld period the SOT were deeply implicated in the torture of political prisoners and suspects. McChrystal was a special favorite of Rumsfeld and Cheney because he was in charge of the ‘direct action’ forces of the ‘Special Missions Units. ‘Direct Action’ operative are the death-squads and torturers and their only engagement with the local population is to terrorize, and not to propagandize. They engage in ‘propaganda of the dead’, assassinating local leaders to ‘teach’ the locals to obey and submit to the occupation. Obama’s appointment of McChrystal as head reflects a grave new military escalation of his Afghanistan war in the face of the advance of the resistance throughout the country.
The following is a statement issued today by Disbar Torture Lawyers, a newly-formed organization that has just filed disciplinary complaints against the twelve Bush administration lawyers who were most closely involved with “violat[ing] the rules of professional responsibility by advocating torture, which is illegal under both United States and international law.”
On Monday, May 18, 2009, a broad coalition of organizations dedicated to accountable government, and representing over one million members, filed disciplinary complaints with state bar licensing boards against twelve attorneys who advocated the torture of detainees during the Bush Administration. These detailed complaints with over 500 pages of supporting exhibits have been filed against John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Stephen Bradbury, Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft, Michael Chertoff, Alice Fisher, William Haynes II, Douglas Feith, Michael Mukasey, Timothy Flanigan, and David Addington. The complaints, filed with the state bars in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania, seek disciplinary action and disbarment. Copies of the complaints and exhibits are available on the Disbar Torture Lawyers website. Continue reading →
Anyone who has ever wasted good money on a clunker only to drop the transmission 15 minutes after leaving the car-lot, knows the feeling. It’s like a swift-kick in the groin followed by weeks of fist-pounding rage. It’s called buyer’s remorse; “Gawd, I wish I hadn’t bought that piece of dogshite!”
There are probably a lot of former-Obama supporters feeling that same agonizing sense despair now that President Rainbow has done an about-face on every campaign promise he made. So much for “truth in advertising”, eh?
What a disaster. Did anyone know it was gonna be this bad?
Binyam Mohamed, the British resident who was tortured in Morocco on behalf of the CIA, has been free from Guantánamo for nearly two months, but the struggle for access to documents proving his rendition and torture — both in Morocco and in the CIA’s own “Dark Prison” in Afghanistan — continues. The US government has never explained where he was held between May 2002, when British agents last saw him in Pakistan, where he was initially seized, and May 2004, when he surfaced in the US prison at Bagram airbase, and although the British government has conceded that it received intelligence reports about him from July 2002 to February 2003, officials have always maintained that the US authorities did not inform them about where he was being held.
Last summer, after a judicial review of Mohamed’s case in the UK, two high court judges — Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones — ruled that the British government’s decision to be involved in an exchange of intelligence about Mohamed, without knowing where he was being held, or receiving assurances that he was not being subjected to ill-treatment or torture, meant that “the relationship between the United Kingdom Government and the United States authorities went far beyond that of a bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing.”
The embrace by any society of permanent war is a parasite that devours the heart and soul of a nation. Permanent war extinguishes liberal, democratic movements. It turns culture into nationalist cant. It degrades and corrupts education and the media, and wrecks the economy. The liberal, democratic forces, tasked with maintaining an open society, become impotent. The collapse of liberalism, whether in imperial Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Weimar Germany, ushers in an age of moral nihilism. This moral nihilism comes is many colors and hues. It rants and thunders in a variety of slogans, languages and ideologies. It can manifest itself in fascist salutes, communist show trials or Christian crusades. It is, at its core, all the same. It is the crude, terrifying tirade of mediocrities who find their identities and power in the perpetuation of permanent war.
Fighting in Sri Lanka’s protracted civil war has come to a bloody end. Over the weekend, tens of thousands of Tamil civilians streamed out of the small pocket of land held by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE that has been pounded relentlessly by the army for weeks. The remaining LTTE fighters have reportedly conceded defeat.
The full extent of the army’s crimes has been hidden behind a cloak of censorship. UN figures put the death toll of civilians killed between January 20 and May 7 at 7,000—higher than the total number of casualties this year for the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gaza combined—and many more have died during the past 10 days. UNICEF spokesman James Elder described the war zone as “an unimaginable hell”, where hundreds of children have been killed. “There couldn’t have been a worse place on the planet to be than that very small stretch of beach over the last weeks,” he said.
1) President Obama’s Newsweek interview: “A Highly Logical Approach” (17 May 2009)
2) Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in press availability (18 May 2009)
3) Hearing of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee
[witness: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton] (20 May 2009) Continue reading →