U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on June 6, meeting with President Ilham Aliyev on that day and on the following with Defense Minister Colonel General Safar Abiyev.
Gates was the first cabinet-level American official to visit the strategically-positioned nation – located in the South Caucasus with Russia to its north, Iran to its south and the Caspian Sea to its east – in five years and the first U.S. defense chief to visit since Donald Rumsfeld did in 2005.
When Gates’ predecessor was last in Azerbaijan his mission centered on “the transportation of Caspian oil and the security of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline” as the chief element of U.S. trans-Eurasian oil and natural gas transportation plans “which [are] directly connected with Mr Rumsfeld’s department”  to bring Caspian Sea hydrocarbons into Europe while bypassing Russia and Iran, both of which border Azerbaijan.
By Renee Schoof and Erika Bolstad
June 7, 2010
WASHINGTON — BP’s runaway Deepwater Horizon well may be spewing what the company once-called its worst case scenario — 100,000 barrels a day, a member of the government panel told McClatchy Monday.
Leifer said that based on satellite data he’s examined, the rate of flow from the well has been increasing over time, especially since BP’s “top kill” effort failed last month to stanch the flow. The decision last week to sever the well’s damaged riser pipe from the its blowout preventer in order to install a “top hat” containment device has increased the flow still more _ far more, Leifer said, than the 20 percent that BP and the Obama administration predicted.
Eighty-nine-year old Journalist Helen Thomas has taken a lot of heat for daring to address the fact that any Jew without any historical connection to Israel is encouraged to settle-as in colonize-upon legally owned Palestinian land.
I learned about, Aliyah, which means ‘going up,’ during my first of seven trips to Israel and occupied Palestine in June 2005 from an American Jewess who had taken the deal and she informed me: Continue reading →
After listening to a number of speeches at a national conference of progressives I come to this conclusion: Progressives are more than eager to take credit for electing President Obama and even to complain about the many failures of him and his administration. They overwhelmingly feel that his campaign promises were far, far better than what he has delivered. They are disappointed. They are frustrated. They are sad. But ultimately they are also cowards.
Why do I say this? Because they seem completely incapable of using straightforward language to criticize Obama. They resist saying he has lied to the public, betrayed progressives and sold out to corporate interests. Most importantly, they do not want to openly confess and proclaim that he has been a sham government reformer.
In a 27-page report, “Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the ‘Enhanced’ Interrogation Program” (available here), the organization Physicians for Human Rights has brought into sharp focus the role played by US medical personnel in torture and human experimentation. As the introduction on PHR’s website states, this is “the first report to reveal evidence indicating that CIA medical personnel allegedly engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation after 9/11, in addition to the previously disclosed crime of torture. In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA appears to have committed another alleged war crime — illegal experimentation on prisoners.”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement about unemployment benefits that are expected to expire for hundreds of thousands of Americans if Congress fails to act soon:
“The State of Ohio has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, at just over 10%. Minority communities bear the brunt of the economy downturn, with unemployment levels to 15%. Without an extension of unemployment benefits, it is estimated that an additional 50,000 Ohioans will lose their unemployment benefits in the coming weeks.
After the New York Times reported that investigators in Afghanistan and Washington D.C. believe that private Afghan security companies, with close connections to the Karzai government and family, may have bribed insurgents to attack American and NATO convoy lines in order to demonstrate their companies’ value to the security of U.S. and NATO forces, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement:
Helen Thomas was the dean of the White House Press corp. She has a fifty-year history of tough-minded journalism and is one of the very, very few journalists in the mainstream press who has had the guts to question US policy towards Israel. On Monday she was pressured into resigning, “effective immediately”.
On Friday she was asked by a guy who stuck a video camera in her face, for any comments on Israel and she said, “Tell them to get the get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people [the Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, it’s not Poland.” She was asked where they should go and she answered, “They should go home, to Poland, Germany and America”. The video has been making its way around the Internet.
By Steven Thomma
June 7, 2010
WASHINGTON — Helen Thomas, the longest serving White House correspondent, retired Monday after comments she made about Israel over the weekend drew condemnation from both the White House and the White House Correspondents Association.
Hearst News Service announced Thomas’s retirement in a news story transmitted Monday morning. The story said her retirement was immediate.
Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged.
June 06, 2010 — On June 4 thousands of peasants and their allies marched under the banner of Mouveman Peyizan Papay, a decades-old farmers organization in Haiti, against a donation of hybrid corn seeds by agro-giant Monsanto. Mark Hare, an agronomist working with the MPP, explains why they’re upset with Monsanto. They marched for three hours, from Papay to Hinche.