Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.
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American Civil Liberties Union
Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging FISA Amendments Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – A federal court today dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging an unconstitutional government spying law. The ACLU and the New York Civil Liberties Union filed the landmark lawsuit in July 2008 to stop the government from conducting surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which gives the executive branch virtually unchecked power to sweep up Americans’ international e-mails and telephone calls.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose ability to perform their work – which relies on confidential communications – is greatly compromised by the FAA.
In December 1988, I was living in the United Kingdom when the searing news of the Lockerbie bombing exploded into the global consciousness.
With 270 victims, Lockerbie was at once the worst act of terrorism on British soil and the most heinous act of terrorism yet perpetrated against Americans. Twelve years later, Lockerbie would produce one of the most expensive trials in world history (75 million pounds sterling, circa $120 million) and what has become a highly contentious verdict.
At the time of the tragedy, an extremist group of Palestinians backed by Iran was selected as the primary suspect, but two years later when Saddam Hussein seized Kuwait the spotlight of suspicion shifted to Libya. Bush, Sr. needed Iranian support for the invasion of Kuwait – a nation courted assiduously by the Reagan-Bush administration through the notorious Iran-Contra Scandal and beyond.
For Immediate Release
18 August 2009: Israel declares the shooting of American activist, Tristan Anderson to be an “act of war.”
Tristan Anderson, an American national, was critically injured on 13 March 2009 when he was shot with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during an unarmed demonstration against the Wall in the West Bank village of Ni’lin (report and video: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5324).
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has notified the Anderson family’s lawyers that Israel perceives the incident on 13 March 2009 as an “act of war.” This classification was made despite the fact that Anderson’s shooting occurred during a civilian demonstration and there were no armed hostilities during the event or surrounding it.
The consequence of such classification is that according to Israeli law, the state of Israel is not liable for any damage its’ forces have caused.
August 20, 2009
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by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, August 19, 2009
An official UK government report –quoted extensively in Britain’s tabloid media– is warning the British public that there will be countless deaths in the case of a swine flu pandemic. According to the WHO, a Worlwide public health emergency situation will take place in the Fall.
A high death toll is predicted without corroborating evidence.
The official report confirms government plans to set up mass graves for the victims of the swine flu pandemic:
“Plans for mass graves have been drawn up to cope with a second wave of swine flu this Autumn. The chilling proposals are spelled out in a Home Office document discussed at a meeting of Whitehall officials and council leaders last month.
It warns emergency plans may be needed in areas where there are not enough graves to cope.
The 59-page document talks about using “a grave that is for a number of unrelated persons, excavated mechanically in advance and designed for efficient preparation and use”. (The Sun, August 19, 2009)
Oh my god, can it really be, a socialist holiday looking to dim our barbecues, to cast the shadow of wild-eyed bomb-throwers over our endless good times, the end of our endless summer and future? Well, perhaps it all has to do more with our real past!
As Wikipedia tells us, Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (on September 7 in 2009). The holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union of New York City sought to create “a day off for the working citizens.” Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday on June 28, 1894, two months after the May Day Riots of 1894. May 4 was chosen to remember the Haymarket Affair. All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday. Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer.”
“And you look at somebody like that (note: me) and you think here’s somebody who’s just trying to find some meaning in her son’s death. And you have to be sympathetic to her. Anybody who has given a son to this country has made an enormous sacrifice, and you have to be sympathetic. But enough already.” — ABC Nightly News Anchor, Charles Gibson August 18, 2009
“Enough already?” Hmmm…I don’t know Charlie Gibson and I don’t pay any attention to his career, but I seem to agree with him on this one: “Enough already.”
Enough with the killing, torturing, wounding and profiting off of the backs of our troops and off of the lives of the people of Iraq-Af-Pak: as our brothers and sisters in Latin America say: “Basta!”
Somehow, I don’t think that this is what Charlie Gibson meant, though. I am sure that he just wants me to go away like most of the rest of the anti-war movement has done under the Obama presidency.
by Joe Bageant
August 20, 2009
A nation of children roots for the Mafia
Every day I get letters asking me to weigh in on the healthcare fracas. As if a redneck writer armed with a keyboard, a pack of smokes and all the misinformation and vitriol available on the Internet could contribute anything to the crap storm already in progress. Besides that, my unreasoned but noisy take on this issue is often about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. None of which has ever stopped me from making a fool of myself in the past. So here goes.
Unfortunately, the people have been mesmerized by our theater state’s purposefully distracting and dramatic media productions for so long they’ve been mutated toward helplessness. Consequently, they are incapable of asking themselves a simple question: If insurance corporation profits are one third of the cost of healthcare, and all insurance corporations do is deliver our money to healthcare providers for us (or actually, do everything in their power to keep the money for themselves), why do we need insurance companies at all? Answer: Because Wall Street gets a big piece of the action. And nobody messes with the Wall Street Mob (as the bailout extortion money proved). Better (and worse) presidents have tried. Some made a genuine effort to push it through Congress. Others expressed the desire publicly, but after getting privately muscled by the healthcare industry, decided to back off from the idea.[…]
August 20, 2009
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Bush Admin. worse than our Nightmares
by Juan Cole
Friday, August 21, 2009
It was worse.
Back in the bad old days of Bush’s corrupt gang, we on the left were pilloried for suggesting that the administration was manipulating terrorism-related news in order to win the 2004 elections. But when Tom Ridge says it . . .
In fact, I argued in summer, 2004, that when Ridge did raise the terrorism alert, it had the unfortunate effect of outing an al-Qaeda double agent who had been turned by the Pakistani government and was helping set a trap for al-Qaeda in the UK. In turn, that caused the British government to have to move against the people it had under surveillance prematurely, harming the case.
And if any of us had said that Dick Cheney was setting up civilian mercenary assassination squads (at least 007 works for the British government), and set things up so that perhaps neither the CIA director nor the president even knew about it, we would have been branded moonbats. But well, that is today’s story