May 18, 2009
Instead of putting Al Qaeda terrorists in our neighborhoods, we can send them to Dick Cheney’s ranch.
May 20, 2009
New Yorker Correspondent Jane Mayer and British Attorney Philippe Sands on Bush Administration Torture and How Obama Should Address It
We spend the hour on the latest news around the US torture of foreign prisoners with two guests who have helped expose many of its facets: New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, and British attorney Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values. Mayer and Sands discuss the Obama administration’s recent decisions to block the release of photographs showing the abuse of prisoners at overseas CIA and military jails and revive the military tribunal system; the scrutiny of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s role in attending torture briefings; Spanish efforts to investigate torture allegations at Guantanamo Bay; Democratic-led resistance to funding the Obama administration’s plan to close Guantanamo; and more. [includes rush transcript]
From the archives:
May 19, 2009
Jeremy Scahill: “Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama”
Jeremy Scahill reports the Obama administration is continuing to use a notorious military police unit at Guantanamo that regularly brutalizes unarmed prisoners, including gang-beating them, breaking their bones, gouging their eyes and dousing them with chemicals. This force, officially known as the Immediate Reaction Force, has been labeled the “Extreme Repression Force” by Guantanamo prisoners, and human rights lawyers call their actions illegal. [includes rush transcript]
Jeremy Scahill, award-winning investigative journalist and author of the bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. His writing and reporting is available at RebelReports.com. His latest article written for Alternet is titled ‘Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama’
AMY GOODMAN: A coalition of advocacy groups have launched a campaign to disbar twelve former Bush administration attorneys connected to the administration’s torture program. The coalition, called the Velvet Revolution, filed legal ethics complaints with state bar associations Monday, saying the twelve attorneys violated the rules of professional responsibility by approving interrogation methods, including waterboarding, that constituted torture.
While there’s been a lot of focus on torture under the Bush administration, what about under President Obama? In a new article, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill writes the Obama administration is continuing to use a notorious military police unit at Guantanamo that regularly brutalizes unarmed prisoners, including gang-beating them, breaking their bones, gouging their eyes, dousing them with chemicals.
By Michael Hudson
May 20, 2009
It looks like bookstores are about to be swamped this summer and fall by advisories which publishers commissioned a year ago, as the economy was going off the rails. The preferred marketing strategy is to offer advice by celebrity insiders on how to restore the happy 1981-2007 era of debt-leveraged price gains for real estate, stocks and bonds. But the Bubble Economy was so debt-leveraged that it cannot reasonably be restored.
For the time being we are being fed Wall Street defenses of the Bush-Obama (that is, Paulson-Geithner) attempt to re-inflate the bubble by a bailout giveaway that has tripled America’s national debt in the hope of getting bank credit (that is, more debt) growing again. The problem is that debt leveraging is what caused our economic collapse. A third of U.S. real estate is now estimated to be in negative equity, with foreclosure rates still rising.
by Mike Whitney
Global Research, May 19, 2009
Economic Recovery? We’re not out of the woods yet.
The financial channels are abuzz with talk of a recovery, but we’re not out of the woods yet. In fact, the deceleration in the rate of economic decline is not a sign of recovery at all, but proof that the economy is resetting at a lower level of activity. That means the recession will drag on for some time no matter what the Fed does. The problem is the breakdown in the securitzation markets which has cut off the flow of easy credit to consumers and businesses. The credit-freeze has caused a sharp drop in retail, auto sales, furniture, electronics, travel, global trade etc. Every sector has been hammered. Fed chief Ben Bernanke’s lending facilities have helped to steady the financial system and Obama’s fiscal stimulus will take up some of the slack in demand, but these are not a cure-all for a broken credit system. If the system isn’t fixed, asset prices will continue to plunge and hundreds of financial institutions will face bankruptcy.
By Stephen C. Webster
May 18, 2009
Updated 1 day ago
UPDATE below: Wall Street Journal removes links
Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator linked phony reports
In a telephone conversation with RAW STORY, Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh refuted reports that he told an Arab television network that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Numerous Internet and mainstream publications picked up the story on Monday. Even The Wall Street Journal linked to unverified sources carrying the story. (Screenshot.) U.S. conservative magazine The American Spectator also published a blog with the false information. (Screenshot.)
Hersh told RAW STORY Investigative News Editor Larisa Alexandrovna that he made no such statements.
“We’ve tried to reach out to people in the media that we know and correct this,” confirmed Alexa Cassanos, director of public relations at The New Yorker, speaking to this reporter. “We’re not even sure where this came from.”
I did not say ’special death squad’ made by Cheney killed Benazir: Hersh
May 19th, 2009 – 12:39 pm ICT by ANI
Dick Cheney Lahore, May 19 ANI: US journalist Seymour Hersh has contradicted news reports being published in South Asia that quote him as saying a “special death squad” created by former US vice president Dick Cheney had killed Benazir Bhutto.
The award-winning journalist described as “complete madness” the reports that the squad headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the new commander of US Army in Afghanistan, had also killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and a Lebanese Army Chief.
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“It was horrible. Horrible! Like lightning it struck. No one was prepared. The shelves in the grocery stores were empty.You could buy nothing with your paper money.
– Harvard University law professor Friedrich Kessler on on the Weimar Republic hyperinflation (1993 interview)
Some worried commentators are predicting a massive hyperinflation of the sort suffered by Weimar Germany in 1923, when a wheelbarrow full of paper money could barely buy a loaf of bread. An April 29 editorial in the San Francisco Examiner warned:
“With an unprecedented deficit that’s approaching $2 trillion, [the President’s 2010] budget proposal is a surefire prescription for hyperinflation. So every senator and representative who votes for this monster $3.6 trillion budget will be endorsing a spending spree that could very well turn America into the next Weimar Republic.”1
In an investment newsletter called Money Morning on April 9, Martin Hutchinson pointed to disturbing parallels between current government monetary policy and Weimar Germany’s, when 50% of government spending was being funded by seigniorage – merely printing money.2 However, there is something puzzling in his data. He indicates that the British government is already funding more of its budget by seigniorage than Weimar Germany did at the height of its massive hyperinflation; yet the pound is still holding its own, under circumstances said to have caused the complete destruction of the German mark. Something else must have been responsible for the mark’s collapse besides mere money-printing to meet the government’s budget, but what? And are we threatened by the same risk today? Let’s take a closer look at the data.
As the Obama administration prepares to relaunch Dick Cheney and David Addington’s reviled Military Commissions (with claims that they will be used for less than 20 of the 240 prisoners still held), senior officials have been largely silent about the eventual fate of the rest of the prison’s population, with the exception of a few recent remarks indicating that they are also thinking of pressing for a form of “preventive detention” for 50 to 100 of the prisoners.
The irony — that all the prisoners have been enduring a form of “preventive detention” for over seven years — is apparently lost on the government, which has also maintained a resolute silence in response to a handful of habeas corpus cases (in which the prisoners are seeking to have their cases dismissed by the courts, as mandated by the Supreme Court last June) that have resulted in judges pouring scorn on the government’s supposed evidence.