August 17, 2009
August 17, 2009 MSNBC Rachel Maddow
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Back in September 2005, when I first began researching Guantánamo for my book The Guantánamo Files, the prison was still shrouded in mystery, even though attorneys had been visiting prisoners for nearly a year, following the Supreme Court’s ruling, in June 2004, that they had habeas corpus rights. Researchers at the Washington Post and at Cageprisoners, a human rights organization in the UK, had compiled tentative lists of who was being held, but, although these efforts were commendable, much of it was little more than groping in the dark — a broken jigsaw puzzle based on media reports and interviews with released prisoners — because the Bush administration refused to provide details of the names and nationalities of those it was holding.
American Civil Liberties Union
Government Must Shed Light On Afghan Prison To Prevent “Other Guantánamos,” Says ACLU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – The government cannot continue to fully withhold a list of names, citizenship, length of detention, capture location and other vital information about detainees at the Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan, according to a letter the American Civil Liberties Union sent to the Department of Defense (DOD) today. In response to an April Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by the ACLU to the Departments of Defense, Justice and State and the CIA for documents related to the detention and treatment of prisoners at Bagram, the DOD told the ACLU that it has a list containing basic information about the Bagram detainees but is withholding it in its entirety. The CIA has refused even to confirm the existence of records about Bagram.
“There are serious concerns that Bagram is another Guantánamo – except with many more prisoners, less due process, no access to lawyers or courts and reportedly worse conditions,” said Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “As long as the Bagram prison is shrouded in secrecy, there is no way to know the truth or begin to address the problems that exist there.”
1) Iran Lambasts Policies of Certain Neighboring States (16 August 2009)
2) Tenth ‘Reliant Mermaid’ Joint Naval Exercise (11 August 2009)
3) [from the archives] Turkey and Israel Strategize (Winter 2002)
excerpt from: Iran Lambasts Policies of Certain Neighboring States
Fars News Agency, 16 August 2009
We are sorry for those countries around us and those neighbors which are at the service of the Zionists in the name of Islam and are providing means of their hegemony over the world. They don’t understand so they provide the Zionists with their possibilities, we hope that they wake up.
[Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, speech to commemorate the World Mosques Day, Tehran, 16 August 2009]
“The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. They frankly own the place.” — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Democratic Party Whip, April 30, 2009
While the U.S. spends trillions of dollars to bail out its banking system, leaving its economy to languish, China is being called a “miracle economy” that has decoupled from the rest of the world. As the rest of the world sinks into the worst recession since the 1930s, China has maintained a phenomenal 8% annual growth rate. Those are the reports, but commentators are dubious. They ask how that growth is possible, when other countries relying heavily on exports have suffered major downturns and remain in the doldrums. Economist Richard Wolff skeptically observes:
You, too, can let President Obama know how you feel about this issue. Take action: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/. ~ DS
By Thom Hartmann
After Downing St
Aug. 17, 2009
Dear President Obama,
I understand you’re thinking of dumping your “public option” because of all the demagoguery by Sarah Palin and Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and their crowd on right-wing radio and Fox. Fine. Good idea, in fact.
Instead, let’s make it simple. Please let us buy into Medicare.
It would be so easy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with this so-called “public option” that’s a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won’t – just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy you’re so comfortable with.
Just pass a simple bill – it could probably be just a few lines, like when Medicare was expanded to include disabled people – that says that any American citizen can buy into the program at a rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it.
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from the archives:
by Prof. Michael Hudson
Global Research, August 17, 2009
Can Iceland and Latvia pay the foreign debts run up by a fairly narrow layer of their population?
The European Union and International Monetary Fund have told them to replace private debts with public obligations, and to pay by raising taxes, slashing public spending and obliging citizens to deplete their savings.
Resentment is growing not only toward those who ran up these debts – Iceland’s bankrupt Kaupthing and Landsbanki with its Icesave accounts, and heavily debt-leveraged property owners and privatizers in the Baltics and Central Europe – but also toward the neoliberal foreign advisors and creditors who pressured these governments to sell off the banks and public infrastructure to insiders.
While I was serving at Ramstein during Desert Storm, “Overseas!” magazine came out with an article with that incredibly cheesy title. It featured a tough looking gal in chocolate chip cami’s with a firm set to her jaw and a pair of the ubiquitous 1980’s ZZ Top “cheap sunglasses” that were being offered for sale in every AAFES store, BX, PX, and commissary. I believe she was either standing there holding a weapon or standing behind a gun emplacement. The very idea that this woman would be in combat was laughable at the time, women were having enough problems being allowed to fly C130 cargo missions for USAFE’s arm of the Desert Storm operation, Proven Force.
Cynthia! – August 16, 2009 (SOAPBOX #31) – Cindy welcomes former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, “kidnapped” and imprisoned by the Israelis for seven days. Maybe she was considered dangerous for her “crime”: She actually brought CRAYONS to the children of Gaza! A heinous crime indeed! Everybody knows that we should look forward and not back when it comes to trivial matters (like systematic torture) – but intolerable evils such as distributing CRAYONS to CHILDREN (evidently) deserve the full force of (someone’s) law! What a danger to humanity! Listen in!
Cindy Sheehan to lead protests against the wars near Obama’s vacation spot on Martha Vineyard
For immediate release:
Next week, Cindy Sheehan will join other like-minded peace activists to have a presence near the expensive resort on Martha’s Vineyard where President Obama will be vacationing the week of August 23-30.
Sun, 16 Aug 2009
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has again slammed US plans to increase its military presence in Colombia, echoing his earlier remarks in which he warned of an imminent war in the region.
The US President Barack Obama is ‘lost in the Andromeda’ galaxy on Latin American policy, Chavez said on Sunday in his weekly address.
He made the comments after Bogota announced a deal that will allow US troops to use seven military bases on Colombian soil. The leftist president believes that a larger US troop presence ups the prospect of a war in the region.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Bob Dylan was on the pavement, thinking about the government. And they arrested him.
Alex Knapp is less than pleased:
That’s just utterly disgusting to me. A 68 year old man out for a walk shouldn’t have to offer his ID to the police. Was he committing a crime? No. Was he suspected of committing a crime? No. Were there any indications that a crime was going to be committed? No. He was just “suspiciously” enjoying public rights-of-way.