The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.
“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will be in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” — Samuel Adams (1722-1803), statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, 1776
“America is addicted to oil.” — President George W. Bush, State of the Union address, 2006
“Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak; BP will be paying the bill.” — President Barack Obama, May 2, 2010
More often than not, the consequences of public policies, good or bad, are felt many years after they have been taken. The 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a good example. This disaster is, to a large extent, a consequence of the Bush-Cheney energy policy of 2001 and later.
Deep deep deep inside the bowels of the White House is this private, very private chamber. Some say its the place where REAL PRESIDENT Cheney stays, and operates the REAL government. Today, on this cold, bitter cold Sunday, Super Sunday, the top elite from the cabinet are conducting a very important meeting–the prospect of war with Iraq, or rather the need to have a war with Iraq. Let’s be a “fly on the wall” and listen in.
Junior–“Ah yes Colin…”
Cheney (over Junior’s voice)–“Yes General Powell…. please Junior..”
Yesterday, I was delighted to receive an email from Morris Davis, the retired Air Force colonel and former chief prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantánamo Bay, who asked if I had a contact at the Huffington Post for an op-ed he had just written defending the importance of the rule of law — and how it applies to everyone — written in a blistering style that America needs more of.
Moe also pulled no punches when it came to explaining why torture is a criminal offense, and why those who authorize it must be prosecuted — an unsurprising, but important opinion, given that he resigned as chief prosecutor when placed in a chain of command under Pentagon counsel Jim Haynes, who, as he explained in December 2007, had been involved in “authorizing the use of the aggressive interrogation techniques” — in other words, torture — which conflicted with his own insistence that prosecutors in the Military Commissions “would not offer any evidence derived by waterboarding, one of the aggressive interrogation techniques the [Bush] administration … sanctioned.”
Those of us who have been studying the recent career of Col. Lawrence Wilkerson were not surprised when, last week, he submitted a declaration (PDF) in a lawsuit seeking compensation from the US government that was filed by former Guantánamo prisoner Adel Hassan Hamad. A Sudanese hospital worker, Hamad was sold to US forces by their unscrupulous Pakistani allies in the summer of 2002, but was only released from Guantánamo in December 2007.
In the declaration, Col. Wilkerson, who served in the US military for 31 years and was Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from August 2002 until January 2005, stated that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld all knew — and didn’t care — that “the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees were innocent.”
Friday marked the seventh anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq, but by now, it seems, the American people have become used to living in a state of perpetual war, even though that war was based on torture and lies. Protestors rallied across the country on Saturday, but the anti-war impetus of the Bush years has not been regained, as I discovered to my sorrow during a brief US tour in November, when I showed the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (directed by Polly Nash and myself) in New York, Washington D.C., and the Bay Area.
I couldn’t resist posting this article. I know it’s nothing new to our readers and commenters here at Boiling Frogs, but I thought maybe, just maybe, a few Obama backers who still hold on to their ‘Man of Supposed Changes’ will end up here and get to read it. You know who I’m talking about; right? The blinded ignorant Obama groupies who’ve been vehemently defending his booboos. Those who in the beginning whined about giving the man a chance since he had been in office for only 10 days, then 20 days, then 50 days, then 100 days… Those who later made lame excuses such as ‘what do you expect, he inherited this mess from Bush-Cheney and is trying hard to clean it up.’ The ones who are still busy bashing the long-gone Bush-Cheney-Rove cabal, rather than facing their own ‘man.’ Let’s rub their noses hard in the following article, and demand that they add their man’s picture to the same Bush-Cheney-Rove cabal…
Okay, let’s all play “name the decade.” Trivial or profound, labels matter, even if absurdly minimizing infinitely convoluted webs. When discombobulated, we reach for handles to unpack jaw-dropping, mind-boggling real-life. Sweeping generalizations have their place, and one idiot savant among us will capture the significance of the incomparable Bush-Cheney Error, may it never rest in peace.
From the Internet comes the “Decade from Hell,” which could have legs but only if we eventually ascend from current “darkness visible,“ in John Milton’s mots justes. Getting out of hell is proving harder than getting in. There’s the Decade of Treachery, or Tyranny of the Minority, or Doofuses on Parade. Let’s see: The Decade That Went From Bad to Really Bad? The Decade When the Right Stomped on Everyone Else? So many choices, so little time.
For the last 12 days, since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab slipped through every security net going, and tried and failed to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, Republican critics of Barack Obama have tried every trick in the book to undermine the President’s authority, with former Vice President Dick Cheney claiming that the incident demonstrated that Obama’s “low key response” to the failed attack “makes us less safe,” and numerous lawmakers and pundits — joined by a few easily frightened Democrats — stating that no more Yemeni prisoners should be released from Guantánamo, following the transfer to Yemeni custody of six men the weekend before the failed attack.
The first of these assaults on the administration was dealt with robustly, in response to Dick Cheney’s statement to Politico, when the former VP claimed: Continue reading →
Rachel Maddow – questioning during KSM’s torture 1/2
Rachel reveals that the questioning of KSM was “focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaeda and Iraq and we were not being successful in establishing a link between al Qaeda and Iraq. The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish this link… there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results.”
One year and two weeks ago, District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered that 17 Uighur prisoners at Guantánamo be released into the United States. Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province, the Uighurs were seized and sold to US forces by Pakistani villagers in December 2001, after they had fled a settlement in the Afghan mountains, where they had ended up after fleeing Chinese oppression.
One of the men had secured a resounding court victory last June, when appeals court judges ruled that the government had failed to prove that he was an “enemy combatant,” involved in any way with either al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and in the wake of this ruling the government abandoned all pretense that any of other 16 men were “enemy combatants” either.