Is Bagram Obama’s New Secret Prison? by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
15 Sept. 2009

On Monday, one day after the New York Times and the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration was planning to introduce tribunals for the prisoners held in the US prison at Bagram airbase, Afghanistan, the reason for the specifically-timed leaks that led to the publication of the stories became clear.

The government was hoping that offering tribunals to evaluate the prisoners’ status would perform a useful PR function, making the administration appear to be granting important rights to the 600 or so prisoners held in Bagram, and distracting attention from the real reason for its purported generosity: a 76-page brief to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (PDF), submitted yesterday, in which the government attempted to claim that “Habeas rights under the United States Constitution do not extend to enemy aliens detained in the active war zone at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.”

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UN inquiry finds Israel guilty of Gaza war crimes

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This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

September 15, 2009

A United Nations report on Israel’s war on Gaza says war crimes were committed by both sides in the conflict.

But most of the criticism was directed at Israel’s conduct. Richard Goldstone, the judge leading the investigation, said Israel had used excessive force and deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians.

On behalf of the UN’s Human Rights Council, the investigators collected evidence, testimonies and even satellite imagery to get an idea of whether Israel or Palestinian factions were in breach of international humanitarian law.

Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Gaza City.

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Reframing the Health Care Debate by Jason Bryer

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Republished with permission from the author; thanks Jason.

by Jason Bryer
Jason Bryer –  Sept 9, 2009
Sept 15, 2009

Over the past few weeks as the debate over a national health care option has moved from the halls of Congress to the water cooler I have found myself engaging in several discussions with those opposed to a national health care option. There are several problems with how this debate is going. First, in typical republican style, those who oppose national health care have attempted to boil the debate down to simple talking points and rhetoric. Any attempt to point out that such a complex topic as this is inherently nuanced and requires complex analysis is dismissed outright since in my opinion many Americans don’t seem to have the attention span to fully understand the topic. This is exemplified in a recent interview of Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele by Steve Inskeep on NPR[i]. Inskeep’s assertion that Steele’s position is nuanced is forcefully rejected. If we can get beyond the talking points and rhetoric and treat this debate with the careful thought it deserves, I believe that the weak foundation of those opposed to national health care will crumble. This essay attempts to provide a logical foundation and reason for my support of a national health care option. The first portion of the essay will define four key philosophies that help provide a context for the debate. I will then describe how I think this debate should be reframed. Finally, I will provide direct rebuttals to some of the more common criticisms of the health care option.

A Foundation for Debate

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“You Have to Learn Lessons from History” by Cindy Sheehan

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submitted to Buzzflash:

by Cindy Sheehan
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
Sept. 15, 2009

I was just watching a report on CNN and after the commentator said that support for Afghanistan is rapidly dwindling (58 percent now think it’s not worth fighting), an interview with Obama was shown.

The interviewer asked the president if he was afraid that because war-weary America is growing impatient with the wars, that failing to withdraw and, in fact, sending more troops would look like what Johnson did in Vietnam, and therefore make Obama a “One term president.”

Well, I have been saying that whoever won in 2008 would not do the right thing and would send the USA even farther down the path to ruin (because every president has to follow orders from his masters, the corporations) and be a one term president.

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Economics 101 – Michel Chossudovsky on the Banker Bailouts

September 14, 2009

Michel Chossudovsky, the director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, sits down with The Corbett Report to discuss the real meaning of the banker bailouts.

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Obama Brings Guantánamo And Rendition To Bagram (And Not The Geneva Conventions) by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
15 Sept. 2009

Following briefings by Obama administration officials (who declined to be identified), both the New York Times and the Washington Post reported yesterday that the government is planning to introduce a new review system for the 600 or so prisoners held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, which will, for the first time, allow them to call witnesses in their defense.

On paper, this appears to be an improvement on existing conditions at the prison, but a close inspection of the officials’ statement reveals that the proposed plans actually do very little to tackle the Bush administration’s wayward innovations regarding the detention of prisoners in wartime, and, moreover, the officials also provided the shocking news that prisoners are currently being rendered to Bagram from other countries.

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The Spectrum of Disobedience – an interview with Howard Zinn By Gabriel Matthew Schivone

Crossposted with permission from Jewish Peace News

Howard Zinn
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Dandelion Salad

Jewish Peace News
Sept 14, 2009

This interview with Howard Zinn opens with a discussion of a group of Israeli refusers known as the Sministim (high school seniors).

For some years now, a number of high school seniors get together and write a letter in which they declare their refusal to serve in an occupying army. Some are pacifists who won’t serve in any army, and others object specifically to Israel’s 42 years of occupation of Palestinian Territories.

Some of these refusers (and well as many reserve soldiers who have become refusers) have served jail sentences.

International law requires recognition of the right of people to refuse military service, but this – like many other laws and conventions – have been ignored by Israeli authorities.

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US Launches Military Strike in Somalia Against al Qaeda Target

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ABC News
Sept. 14, 2009

A U.S. commando attack in Somalia has killed an al Qaeda operative who is on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists, sources tell ABC News.

The dead terrorist, Saleh Ali Nabhan, is believed to have taken part in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He is also believed to have orchestrated the 2002 bombing of a resort hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, and a failed missile attack on an Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa airport.


via u.s. commandos kill qaeda terrorist in somalia – ABC News

h/t: CLG