August 13, 2009
Alleged Obama-Era Rendition Victim Accuses US of Torture, Coercion
A Lebanese contractor named Raymond Azar says he’s the first known victim of rendition under President Obama. Azar alleges that he was coerced into confessing to bribing a contract officer after being seized and tortured by armed federal agents in Afghanistan. We speak with attorney and legal expert Scott Horton about Azar’s case. [includes rush transcript]
Scott Horton, New York attorney specializing in international law and human rights. He is also a legal affairs contributor to Harper’s Magazine, where he writes the blog No Comment.
video & transcript: Alleged Obama-Era Rendition Victim Accuses US of Torture, Coercion
August 13, 2009
“All Roads Lead to Rove”: Fmr. New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias on New Evidence Linking Bush Admin to Firings
I work in a criminal court, this is the best place to observe all in one go the different levels of social status. It goes from the lowest to the highest all in one day, in any court. I was able to identify with all these players in this great game of judging and punishing citizens for the slightest misconduct. So easily all of them can lose their social status overnight, you would not believe. The next case I call could easily be yours.
by Prof. James Petras
Global Research, August 12, 2009
The most striking aspect of the prolonged and deepening world recession/depression is the relative and absolute passivity of the working and middle class in the face of massive job losses, big cuts in wages, health care and pension payments and mounting housing foreclosures. Never in the history of the 20-21st Century has an economic crisis caused so much loss to so many workers, employees, small businesses, farmers and professionals with so little large-scale public protest.
To explore some tentative hypotheses of why there is little organized protest, we need to examine the historical-structural antecedents to the world economic depression. More specifically, we will focus on the social and political organizations and leadership of the working class; the transformation of the structure of labor and its relationship to the state and market. These social changes have to be located in the context of the successful ruling class socio-political struggles from the 1980’s, the destruction of the Communist welfare state and the subsequent uncontested penetration of imperial capital in the former Communist countries. The conversion of Western Social Democratic parties to neo-liberalism, and the subordination of the trade unions to the neo-liberal state are seen as powerful contributing factors in diminishing working class representation and influence.
August 12, 2009
Assassination of anti-mining resistance leader, Marcelo Rivera, sparks campaign of terror against activists.
A 37-year-old teacher, community center founder, and anti-mining activist is found tortured and assassinated in Northern El Salvador. Authorities, despite all evidence to the contrary, attribute the death to common gang violence. In the following weeks, other critics of mining are victims of death threats, attempted kidnappings and shootings. Communities plunged into fear not seen since the Civil War of the 1980s place the blame on the presence of Pacific Rim, a Canadian gold mining company.
Updated: August 19, 2009
Eva Golinger stated, “And for the record, I never said the US was going to “attack” Venezuela, but anyway, the media…”
August 12, 2009
A military agreement between the United States and Columbia has led to widespread concern in South America. Leaders want to know why the United States is trying to increase its military presence in the region. The Colombian government says that having more US troops in the country will help fight drug trafficking and combat terrorism. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, however, ardently opposes these plans. He says that the military bases in Columbia will provoke conflict in Latin America. Venezuelan-American Attorney and Author Eva Golinger joins RT’s Dina Gusovsky from Caracas via skype to discuss this matter.
by Joe Bageant
Deer Hunting with Jesus
August 10, 2009
This essay was originally published on AlterNet.
Cognitive capitalism — just when we thought there were no new ways to get screwed
A few years ago, compliments of the George W. Bush administration, I got an education in political reality. The kind of education that makes you get drunk at night and scream and bitch at every shred of national news:
“Do you see how these capitalist bastards have made so much money killing babies in Iraq? And how they are have brainwashed us and gouged us for every human need, from health care to drinking water?” I’d rage to my wife.
“It’s just the way things are,” she said. “It’s only a system.”
My good wife often thinks I have slipped my moorings. But she never says right out loud that I’m crazy because, let’s face it, honesty in marriage only goes so far. Furthermore, I’d be the first to proclaim that she’s right.
I have indeed slipped my moorings, and am downright ecstatic about it, given what the collective American consciousness is moored to these days. Anyway, I am, as I said, ecstatic. When I am not utterly depressed. Which is often. And always, always, always, it is because of the latest outrage pulled off by government/corporations — the terms have been interchangeable for at least 50 years in this country, maybe longer.
Global Power and Global Government: Part 4
Globalization and the New World Order
The 1990s saw the emergence of what was called the New World Order. This was a term that emerged in the early 1990s to describe a more unipolar world, addressing the collapse of the Soviet Union and the newfound role of the United States as the sole and unchallenged global power. The New World Order was meant to represent a new phase in the global political economy in which world authority rested in one place, and for the time, that place was to be the United States.
This era saw the continual expansion and formation of regional blocs, with the formation of the European Union, the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the creation of the WTO. The World Trade Organization was officially formed in 1995, as the successor to the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was formed in 1944 at the Bretton-Woods Conference. The WTO manages the international liberal trading order.
by Greg Palast
Thursday, August 13, 2009
For The Huffington Post
Eighty billion dollars of WHAT?
I searched all over the newspapers and TV transcripts and no one asked the President what is probably the most important question of what passes for debate on the issue of health care reform: $80 billion of WHAT?
On June 22, President Obama said he’d reached agreement with big drug companies to cut the price of medicine by $80 billion. He extended his gratitude to Big Pharma for the deal that would, “reduce the punishing inflation in health care costs.”