Barack Obama’s Executive Order: Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions

TIME TO PULL THE PLUG ON KING OBAMA

Image by SS&SS via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Updated: added another video report.

Propaganda Alert!

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
July 06, 2012

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

ASSIGNMENT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMUNICATIONS FUNCTIONS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

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US-Backed Regime Replays State of Emergency to Crush Pro-Democracy Movement by Finian Cunningham

by Finian Cunningham
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
East Africa
14 February 2012

Image by Al Jazeera English via Flickr

Bahrain’s first anniversary of its pro-democracy protests has been met with massive police and army violence, with many civilians injured from regime forces firing birdshot and teargas into homes and at cars.

Reports are coming in of Saudi-backed troops and mercenaries attacking mainly Shia villages in the Persian Gulf kingdom with armoured vehicles.

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Tax Dollars At War + Defense Secretary Panetta: Wrong on Military Spending

Stop the Wars!

Dandelion Salad

on Oct 4, 2011

Based on a “Flashpoints” interview with Dennis Bernstein & Dave Lindorff.

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David Lindorff: Police + Homeland Security = Police State + RT crew arrested in Fort Benning

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

Shut Down the School of the Assassins 1

Image by crazbabe21 via Flickr

RTAmerica | November 23, 2010

The United States has been known as a beacon for civil liberties, except these days it seems those rights are being stripped away more and more. Police in Fort Benning, GA arrested RT correspondent Kaelyn Forde and cameraman Jon Conway at a rally that was protesting the SOA, however the two were doing their jobs as part of the press. Author and blogger David Lindorff says US police are a part of a joint strike force with Homeland Security to collect information on Americans in order to create a police state.

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Why Aren’t Progressives Disrupting ObamaCare Town Halls? by Dave Lindorff

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

by Dave Lindorff
Global Research, August 14, 2009
Counterpunch.org, August 11, 2009

Many progressives are getting all bent out of shape over the “brown shirt” rabble organized by health industry PR firms to disrupt the so-called “town meetings” being organized all over the country by Democratic members of Congress.

What they are conveniently forgetting is that these are not really “town meetings” at all, at least in the sense of the town meetings I grew up with, and started out covering as a young journalist in Connecticut–that is, meetings called and run democratically, with leaders elected from the floor, open to all residents of a community.

These “town meetings” are really nothing but propaganda sessions run by members of Congress who are trying to burnish their fraudulent credentials as public servants, and trying to perpetrate a huge fraud of a health care bill that purports to be a progressive “reform” of the US health care system, but that actually further entrenches the control of that system by the insurance industry, and to a lesser extent, the hospital and drug industry.

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Screw The Climate! We Want Our Cheap Gas!

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
07/25/08 “ICH”

We’re a Nation of Lemmings

Listening to the endless stream of cars passing my house every day, and knowing, from watching them from my mailbox, that they are almost all carrying just one person, either commuting to work or running some kind of errand, I know we are headed for disaster.

Two days ago, there was a report by Agence France Presse about the ongoing destruction of the world’s remaining wetlands (60 percent have already been destroyed by man over the past century), and how they contain within them an amount of stored carbon equal to all the carbon currently in the atmosphere. Global warming and property development are drying out those remaining wetlands, causing the release of that carbon, which will more than negate even the most radical efforts at reducing carbon emissions from power plants, factories and automobiles.

There are also credible, well-researched reports that even a few more degrees of temperature rise in the arctic regions of Siberia and northern North America will melt the permafrost and release as much 400 gigatons of methane gas trapped in frozen clathrates for millennia — the release of which would cause global temperatures to soar to levels not seen in 250 million years (methane is 20 times as potent a global warming gas as CO2). Vast regions of Siberia are already bubbling with releasing methane as the permafrost line moves north.

Now I grant that our corporate media, ever focused laser-like on important stories like Britney Spears’ return to the stage and on the latest gaffe of one or the other presidential candidate, have not been very interested in alerting the masses to these disasters now in progress that could end humanity’s run on the planet (along with exterminating most of the rest of the life on the planet too). But that said, at this point everyone has surely heard enough, and witnessed enough in person of the dramatic changes taking place in the earth’s climate, to know that something scary is going on.

And yet, people are not just going about their business as usual — they are actually, for the most part, complaining not about the lack of highly energy-efficient transportation, the lack of alternative and less energy-wasting public transit, and the lack of government funding for a crash program into researching carbon-free energy solutions, but rather about the high price for carbon fuels. People are clamoring for solutions to make gasoline cheaper!

Years ago, back in the 1970s during an Arab-led oil embargo, when gas prices soared, there were mass campaigns to organize car pools. No such campaigns are being organized today, and if any are they don’t get any media attention. Instead we read that geologists are saying that massive quantities of untapped oil reserves exist in the far north.

Now the last thing we should be wanting to do is take that nicely sequestered carbon out of the ground and burn it into CO2! But that’s what many Americans want done. Screw the climate! We want our cheap gas!

There are so many things we could be doing right now to reduce carbon emissions — as individuals and as a nation. Turning off air-conditioners would be one. Why should entire houses be cooled by central air? Cool one room and use it for the hottest part of the day if need be. Live downstairs during the hottest months and close off the upstairs when it gets too hot. Ditto in the winter. There’s no need to occupy and heat an entire house when it gets really cold. Most Americans’ homes are way too large anyhow, but if you need that much room, use it when it doesn’t require all that extra energy to heat and cool. (When I lived in Cambridge, England as a kid, we used to sleep in unheated bedrooms under cozy comforters, and then in the morning, I’d go down and light a fire in the living room where we’d be during the day. It would be cold as hell until the fire started, but not for long.) Share rides. Plan errands so that many things get taken care of on one outing, instead of in multiple run-outs. Use bicycles. I have yet to see, on my own bike rides in down or when driving anywhere, someone who is actually riding a bike on some errand-carrying a load in a basket or in a backpack. The only bikers I see are people dressed like Tour de France racers out for some exercise. What’s the matter with using bikes for a purpose, instead of the family car?

I’m not trying to criticize, or to say I’m more ecologically virtuous. I’m looking at this as an unprecedented disaster that is dooming my kids, or their future children, to a life of strife, misery and maybe even catastrophe. If I don’t take serious action — and I don’t just mean individual life changes, but political action — to try and save their world, I am guilty of a serious crime. And so are we all.

What the hell happened to any sense of shared responsibility, not just for society, but for our own offspring?

Most decent parents are ready to sacrifice in their lifestyles in order to send their kids to college, or to help them out financially when they are starting out as young adults. But for some strange reason nobody seems ready to sacrifice at all when it comes to rescuing their collective future. This makes no sense.

And yet, this is what our mass culture has done to us. As a nation, as a people, we cannot think beyond our own noses. We cannot even think about the need to act in our own and our children’s interest.

Seventeen years ago, I had occasion while living in Shanghai, China, to visit a rural area in Anhui Province that the year before had been devastated by a flood so huge that the entire region had been not just flooded, but put deep underwater. As I neared a county seat town that was my intended destination, the bus I was on passed a dike-building project. Thousands of peasants were laboring by hand, with shovels and wheelbarrows, to erect a 50-foot wall of earth to keep the river in its banks in the event of another such flood. I got off the bus and, with my travel companion, started walking towards the project. When we were spotted, thousands of those workers dropped their shovels and ran towards us. It was a terrifying moment to have so many people heading towards and surrounding us, but they were very friendly — just curious because none of them had ever met a westerner. We began talking with them, and learned that they were all peasants who had left their fields to build this colossal new Great Wall of dirt. They brought us to the worksite and showed us how they would bring their wheelbarrows to the base of the dike, and then attach a cable, which was connected to a winch operated by those ubiquitous one-cylinder, two-stroke kerosene tractors used across rural China. The winch would whip the barrow up the steep hillside, with a peasant running up behind keeping it upright. At the last minute, the peasant would flip the barrow, dumping the dirt and releasing the hook. Then he’d be off down the hill to collect more dirt.

What struck me, besides their ingenuity, was how all these thousands of people had left their own fields to labor for the collective good that year.

I tried at the time to contemplate my fellow Americans doing the same thing, and couldn’t for the life of me imagine it.

Now we’re in that moment. We know the flood is coming, but no one is willing to join the brigade to take preventive action.

No. Buying a Prius is not taking action. Neither is upgrading the insulation on your house or buying carbon offsets when you fly. We need, as a nation, to commit to seriously ending our addiction to fossil fuels, to rapacious development and the concomitant destruction of forests and wetlands. We need to end our nation’s imperialist policies and to instead devote the trillion dollars a year spent on war to saving the planet from ourselves.

A good start would be seeing that people “get it.” That would mean communities starting to organize around improving mass transit, arranging for carpooling, and demanding climate-saving action from our political leaders.

I’m not optimistic.

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Letter to the future president #147

US: White House suppressed climate change testimony

Debunking the Anti-Global Climate Change Myths

The Ashes Have Been Passed To A New Generation

What Time Is It? Industrial Civilization Is Coming To An End (video link)

Climate Chaos Is Inevitable. We Can Only Avert Oblivion

The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (videos; Parts 1-4)

The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (videos; Parts 5-8)

How It All Ends: Your Mission (global warming; must-see videos)

How It All Ends (Global Warming; must-see video; links)

Global Warming/Climate changes/Environment

Global Warming

Rice’s Lies About Torture by Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

by Dave Lindorff
The Smirking Chimp
May 23, 2008

Is anyone surprised that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the Bush/Cheney administration’s authorization of torture of captives has been consistently legal and in compliance with all treaties the US has signed, including the Geneva Conventions?

After all, she was at the meetings in the White House in 2001 at which various acts of torture, ranging from waterboarding to exposure to extreme heat and cold, to enforced long periods in stress positions, and to treatments which have not been disclosed (no doubt because they are so outrageous and offensive to common decency)were imagined, proposed and approved for use–meetings that were manifestly criminal in nature and in violation of international and US law.

The US was “a different place” in the wake of the 9-11 attacks, Rice told a group of people at a town hall meeting in Mountain View, Calif. on Thursday. But even though the administration’s “top priority” at the time was allegedly “preventing new attacks and not necessarily observing fine legal points,” the woman who at that time was Bush’s National Security Advisor, says “President Bush made clear that we were going to live up to our obligations at home and to our treaty obligations abroad.”

Well of course she’d say that. But in fact, let’s look at those “fine legal points.” The Third Geneva Convention Relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War defines prohibited torture as follows:

“No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.”

It’s kind of hard to see how that rather thorough definition of torture–which as a treaty signatory is the definition by which the US is supposed to live–can accommodate the waterboarding, sexual humiliation, months in solitary confinement, faked executions, days in stress positions, etc. which were approved by Rice and her fellow inquisitors and the nation’s commander in chief.

But no matter. Rice says that even if things were kind of harsh back in 201 and 2002, today “the ground is different.” She says soothingly, “We now have in place a law that was not there in 2002 and 2003.”

Well, actually no. Because when that new law was put in place by Congress, the president issued a signing statement saying that he would not be bound by it. Asserting a claim of “unitary executive,” created out of thin air by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John You and Assistant Attorney General (and now federal appeals court judge) Jay Bybee, Bush has claimed that for the duration of the so-called “War on Terror” he has all the powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches rolled into his own hands, and as such is not bound by acts of Congress, or by orders of the court. (Yoo and Bybee are also the mob attorneys who advised Bush that any interrogation methods that fell short of causing death or “pain equivalent to death or organ failure” would not be torture.)

The truth is that the Bush/Cheney administration, with the clear knowledge and authority of the president and vice president and of Rice herself, went on to torture captives in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo Bay, and in countless “black sites” around the globe, well into 2006 at least, and continues to torture captives now. Those tortured have even included children.

Condi Rice seems to be hoping to return to Stanford University after she leaves office at the end of this benighted and criminal administration this coming January. If she does, she will, I am sure, have to at some point confront my colleague Barbara Olshansky, who has just spent her first year there at the Stanford Law School as a professor of international human rights. Barbara, who co-authored “The Case for Impeachment” with me (St. Martin’s Press, 2006), was for several years the lead attorney for several hundred of the detainees at Guantanamo, and has also looked into the conditions under which US prisoners are being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan–another torture center that got its start down that road with the capture and torture of John Lindh back in October, 2001–the first documented case of such abuse.

One would hope that the students of Stanford would raise such a stink about having a war criminal like Rice running their school that they would either prevent her from getting the job, or drive her from the campus.

Meanwhile, we might also ask the three candidates running for the presidency (four counting Ron Paul), why not one of them has called for Rice’s resignation and indictment.
__________
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now in paperback), and he is working on a book making the case for Bush’s indictment on war crimes charges after he leaves office. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s new book is “The Case for Impeachment,” co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Nader Calls for Bush-Cheney Resignation + videos

For His Treatment of Children in the ‘War on Terror,’ Bush Is a War Criminal

Snakes and Superdelegates By Lori Price

For His Treatment of Children in the ‘War on Terror,’ Bush Is a War Criminal

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
ICH
05/22/08 “Commondreams

Surely nothing that President Bush has done in his two wretched terms of office — not the invasion and destruction of Iraq, not the overturning of the five-centuries-old tradition of habeas corpus, not his authorization and encouragement of torture, not his campaign of domestic spying — nothing, can compare in its ugliness as his approval, as commander in chief, of the imprisoning of over 2500 children.

According to the US government’s own figures, that is how many kids 17 years and younger have been held since 2001 as “enemy combatants” — often for over a year, and sometimes for over five years. At least eight of those children, some reportedly as young as 10, were held at Guantanamo. They even had a special camp for them there: Camp Iguana. One of those kids committed suicide at the age of 21, after spending five years in confinement at Guantanamo. (Ironically and tragically, that particular victim of the president’s criminal policy, had been determined by the Pentagon to have been innocent only two weeks before he took his own life, but nobody bothered to tell him he was slated for release and a return home to Afghanistan.)

I say Bush’s behavior is criminal because since 1949, under the Geneva Conventions signed and adopted by the US, and incorporated into US law under the Constitution’s supremacy clause, children under the age of 15 are classed as “protected persons,” and even if captured while fighting against US forces are to be considered victims, not POWs. In 2002, the Bush administration signed an updated version of that treaty, raising the “protected person” age to all those “under 18.”

Treaties don’t mean much to this president, to the vice president, or to the rest of the administration, but they should mean something to the rest of us.

But capturing and imprisoning children isn’t even the worst of this president’s war crimes when it comes to the abuse of the young. Under Bush’s leadership as commander in chief, the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan has been considering any male child in Iraq of age 14 or older to be a potential combatant. They have been treated accordingly — shot by US troops, imprisoned as “enemy combatants,” and subjected to torture.

In the 2004 assault by US Marines on the city of Fallujah, things were even worse. Dexter Filkins, a reporter for the New York Times, reported that before that invasion, some 20,000 Marines encircled the doomed city, which the White House had decided to level because it harbored a bunch of insurgents and had angered the American public by capturing, killing and mutilating the bodies of four mercenaries working for US forces. The residents of the 300,000-population city were warned of the coming all-out attack. Women and children and old people were allowed to flee the city and pass through the cordon of troops. But Filkins reported that males determined to be “of combat age,” which in this case was established as 12 and up, were barred from leaving, and sent back into the city to await their fate. Young boys were ripped from their screaming mothers and sent trudging back to the city to face death.

In the ensuing slaughter, as the US dumped bombs, napalm, phosphorus, anti-personnel fragmentation weapons and an unimaginable quantity of machine gun and small arms fire on the city, it is clear that many of those young boys died.

This was a triple war crime. First of all, it was a case of collective punishment — a practice popular with the Nazis in World War II, and barred by the Geneva Conventions. The international laws of war also guarantees the right of surrender, so those men and boys who tried to leave, even if suspected of being enemy fighters, should have been allowed to surrender and be held as captives until their loyalties could be established. The boys, meanwhile, were “protected persons” who were by law to be treated as victims of war, and protected from harm.

Instead they were treated as the enemy, to be destroyed.

For these crimes, the president should today be impeached by the Congress and then tried as a war criminal.

After watching this Congress cower from its responsibility to defend the Constitution, I have little hope of that happening. But I do harbor the hope that once Bush has left office, some prosecutor in another country — perhaps Spain, or Canada or Germany — will use the doctrine of universal jurisdiction to indict him for war crimes, and, should he leave the country for some lucrative speaking engagement, arrest him, the way former dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested by a Spanish prosecutor on a visit to the UK.

For his abuse, imprisonment and killing of children, this president should stand trial for war crimes.

Dave Lindorff’s most recent book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Snakes and Superdelegates By Lori Price

The Clock is Ticking for an Attack on Iran by Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

by Dave Lindorff
http://www.smirkingchimp.com
April 27, 2008

I admit to feeling a little like the weatherman who keeps saying it’s going to rain, and who eventually is proven correct. I feel certain that the Bush/Cheney regime is going to launch a disastrous attack on Iran, but have made several calls, which have been proved wrong, beginning back in October 2006, when I wrote that it looked like several aircraft carrier battle groups were being put in position for the assault, but then it was called off.

Now it looks like the attack is coming soon.

The Washington Post’s Ann Scott Tyson is today reporting in an article headlined, Joint Chiefs Chairman Says US Preparing Military Options Against Iran, that Admiral Michael Mullen, the nation’s top military officer, thinks the US military is not stretched too thin to take on Iran, and that Iran is becoming an “increasingly lethal and malign influence” in Iraq.

This article comes only a day after a US civilian ship under contract to the US military to deliver supplies to Iraq fired on Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf–just the kind of aggressive action that could lead to an Iranian reaction and trigger a full-blown US response.

The Persian Gulf is now crammed full of US attack ships, ranging from a missile-armed nuclear sub to aircraft carriers packed with tomahawk cruise missiles and fleets of attack aircraft larger than most nation’s entire air forces (and also with nuclear weapons).

Other things also point to an attack, most significantly the pushing out of Adm. William Fallon as Central Command chief, and now his replacement by Gen. David Petraeus, who is widely seen as a “political” general who is essentially a yes-man for Bush and Cheney.

I would say the die is cast, and that it awaits only the pretext.

There would be no melodramatic Congressional debate over the reasons for going to war against yet a third nation this time around. Thanks to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in October 2001 to authorize the attack on the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Iraq, which Bush and Cheney have illegally and outrageously interpreted as a declaration of a global and unending “War on Terror,” the administration is claiming it has the right to attack any nation it defines as “terrorist” at any time, without authorization. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton helped promote war against Iran a few months ago by backing a Senate resolution authored by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyle that defined the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a “global terrorist” organization. That was all Bush and Cheney needed, as Clinton, Lieberman and Kyle clearly knew.

In what has to be one of the understatements of the century, Adm. Mullen said he knew that conflict would be “extremely stressing” and “distrous on a number of levels.”

Indeed it would. Troops in Iraq are already on their fourth and even fifth rotation, and the “surge” troops in Iraq for the past year are being sent home, not because their job of “stabilizing” Baghdad is done (hardly! violence is increasing!), but because there’s nobody left to replace them, and they’ve been there for 15 brutal months.

Worse yet, oil prices have hit a record $122/barrel and are causing a US and even a global recession–but that figure will be doubled the minute any US attack on Iran begins. This is because war with Iran would immediately bring all oil shipments through the Persian Gulf, which supplies 20-25 percent of the world’s oil, to a halt. Even if not one tanker were sunk, no insurer would cover a tanker in that region. Moreover, Iranian sappers, and their allies in Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, could be expected to take out vulnerable pipelines, refineries and even well-heads in retaliation to any attack.

So an attack on Iran would mean global economic collapse.

Hold on to your hats. I hope I’m proved wrong yet again, but I’m afraid we’re in for a bumpy ride. Even if there is no attack, the level of threats against Iran now emanating from the White House and the Pentagon are sufficient to keep driving oil prices skyward.

Americans should look at those pump prices and see Bush’s and Cheney’s faces in the digital display.

They should also think of the gas they pump as blood, because it is going to be spilled in prodigious quantities if the US goes through with an attack. Not only would countless innocent Iranians be killed by US bombs and rockets and by any radiation released by attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities (the more so if the US or its Israeli ally use nuclear bombs in that attack), but the toll of US military casualties could be expected to soar, as Iran’s Shia allies in Iraq predictably turn on American forces in support of Iran.

Clearly this is all madness, but it is also predictable madness. The Bush/Cheney regime is finishing out its last year as the most disastrous, most unpopular, most loathed presidency in the nation’s history, and may even be facing criminal prosecution once out of office. It has approached each election since taking office by upping the military jingoism. I see no reason to see their political strategy changing. It is critical to them that John McCain and the Republican Party hang onto the White House, and in their view, getting the US into an all-out war with Iran is just the way to do that.

They may be right.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s new book is “The Case for Impeachment,” co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

The Road To World War III, Part II by Mickey Walker

Siege continues in Iraq as US escalates threats against Iran

US ship confronts boats in Gulf + Iranian Boats shot at by U.S. Navy (video)

Joint Chiefs Chairman Says U.S. Preparing Military Options Against Iran

A Manchurian Candidate in the White House? By Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff

With a viral campaign underway via email, right-wing radio, and on the street suggesting that Barack Obama is a black “Manchurian Candidate,” secretly trained as a Muslim fanatic who will insinuate himself into the White House, thence to undermine all that we hold dear, perhaps it is time to look at the Manchurian Candidate we already have in the White House, who, together with his handler over in Blair House, has pretty much done all the damage already.

George Bush came to office in 2001 promising a new era of integrity, civility and “compassionate conservatism,” an era of humble American foreign policy, and a bi-partisan approach to government.

What did we actually get?

Once in office, this chameleon president almost immediately set out to embroil the country in a major war in the Middle East against the nation of Iraq. The game plan was laid out at the president’s first National Security Council meeting, attended by Vice President Dick Cheney (the man holding Bush’s controller), Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neal (who later spilled the beans about the session).

Bush also famously ignored all warnings about the imminent attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. How much he and the rest of the administration knew about that attack in advance, or whether elements within the administration may have even helped it along, remains the subject of considerable interest and investigation and may never be answered, but it is clear that there were ample warnings about it, and he did nothing—even rudely blowing off a briefer who tried to alert him to the danger. Moreover, it is known that Israeli Mossad agents (who we know have close ties to both the US intelligence apparatus and to the Neocons who infest the Bush White House) did indeed have advance knowledge, and were set up across New York Harbor with a video camera to tape the attack on the Twin Towers (they were subsequently arrested by New Jersey police, only to be later released and sent back to Israel, through intercession by the US government). As well, we know that unidentified people made a killing by placing negative bets, called “puts,” on the stocks, several days before 9-11, of the two airlines that were hijacked, American and United, and of two investment banks that would be seriously hurt by the building collapses, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. (The puts were placed through an investment bank, Alex Brown, which until a year earlier had been headed by a man who moved over to become the number three person in the CIA.) It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Bush/Cheney administration, at a minimum, wanted an attack on American soil, and a national disaster that would put the country on a war footing.

Certainly instead of rallying the public and defending the nation’s democratic traditions and its Constitution, Bush and his handlers after 9-11 immediately set in motion a concerted scare campaign to undermine both. While urging the public to buy sheets of plastic and duct tape to construct “safe rooms” in their homes, they rammed through Congress a deceitfully named measure, the so-called Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act), which effectively undermined most of the articles of the Bill of Rights (and which appeared, suspiciously, fully drawn up in bill form, only days after the attacks).

At the same time, the president, only one week after the attacks, obtained an Authorization for Use of Military Force for a military attack on the Taliban government in Afghanistan and on Al Qaeda forces in that country, which he subsequently interpreted broadly as an authorization for a global “war” on terror which he then claimed made him effectively a dictator with absolute power both at home and abroad (the so-called “unitary executive” theory). Under this claim of absolute power as commander in chief in time of war, Bush went on to order the use of torture against captives, foreign and domestic, including US citizens, to strip even US citizens of the right of habeas corpus—that is, the right to have their arrest and detention brought before a federal court—and to establish secret torture centers around the globe and on military installations in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba.

As well, even before the 9-11 attacks, the president began a sweeping program of electronic spying, run through the super-secret National Security Agency, on Americans’ telephone and internet activities. It was and remains a program that deliberately avoids seeking warrants and court approval even by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court—a body that has only rejected some five requests for warrants out of hundreds of thousands sought since its establishment in 1978.

Finally, in a perhaps fatal undermining of the Constitution, the president after 9-11 began a practice of simply refusing to enact or obey laws passed by the Congress, effectively rendering the legislative branch an impotent debating club.

Not content to simply explode or dismantle the legal foundations of the American government and rule of law, Bush and his handlers also went about systematically destroying the country’s basic institutions and even its economy.

The education system was fatally ensnared in a test-driven system called “No Child Left Behind,” which has in short order dumbed down public education to an extent shocking even to this already anti-intellectual society, with many schools simply giving up the teaching of art, literature or history, in order to focus desperately on math and reading in order that their students would do well enough on standardized tests to keep the schools from losing their funding.

The dollar has been cast adrift to become the new Lira as the government has gone on an unprecedented borrowing spree to fund endless war and ever-larger military budgets, while erasing the taxes on the wealthy, the super-rich, and corporations. Banks were given free rein to enter into all manner of risky ventures, leading to the current collapse in credit. Corporations were encouraged to ship their production and jobs overseas. Homeowners were encouraged to spend, spend, spend and to mortgage their homes to the hilt and then some. Towns, cities and pension funds were encouraged to invest in fantastic “structured” products that were actually towering card houses. Domestic car manufacturers were encouraged to build every larger, ever more voraciously gas-guzzling vehicles, pumping out ever larger quantities of carbon into the already overstressed atmosphere.

The nation’s infrastructure—its roads, dams, bridges, levies, airports, veterans hospitals etc.–were left to decay, with predictable results, the most dramatic of which was the loss of an entire city, New Orleans, to a routine Category 3 hurricane (after which, the president did nothing to rescue the survivors or fund a recovery).

Surveying at the appalling wreckage left after eight years of the Bush administration, it is hard to recognize the country that he started out with in 2001. A once proud nation—one that only a few years ago was admired around the world and that now is viewed as a pariah and a rogue state—today trembles before a handful of turbaned fanatics holed up in caves in the Hindu Kush, its trillion-dollar high-tech military colossus fought to a standstill in Iraq and Afghanistan by a few thousand brave men and women armed with RPGs, antique AK-47s and home-made roadside bombs. A nation that once was the envy of the world for its free society now has scientists afraid to report their findings, university professors afraid to support outspoken colleagues, members of Congress afraid to defend their Constitution, citizens afraid of their neighbors, journalists afraid of government criticism, lawyers afraid to defend clients…

Hey, this place starts to look and feel an awful lot like the China I lived in back in 1991!

Forget all the nonsense about Barack Obama being a closet Muslim. We already have our Manchurian Candidate in the White House, and he has largely accomplished what he was programmed to do: destroy the country.

The truth is this: If at the end of their second term, Bush and Cheney were to hop on a plane and fly off to a hideout in the mountains on the Afghan-Pakistan border, leaving a “Nya-nya!” note on the White House dining room table, few people would really be very surprised.
_____________________

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist. His most recent book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006, and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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9/11

Welch Whitewash: We Still Don’t Know What That Aug. 30 Nuke Incident Was About

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
After Downing Street
Feb 25, 2008

A new report on the August 30 incident in which six nuclear-armed advanced cruise missiles were effectively “lost” for 36 hours, during which time they were, against all regulations, flown in launch position mounted on a pylon on the wing of a B-52H Stratofortress, from Minot AFB in North Dakota across the continental US to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, has left unanswered some critical questions about the event.

Directed by retired Air Force Gen. Larry D. Welch, the task force’s Report on the Unauthorized Movement of Nuclear Weapons found plenty wrong with the way the US military handles its nuclear weapons, but appears to have dealt lightly with the specific incident that sparked the inquiry—only giving it a few paragraphs.

According to the report, when nuclear-capable missiles are placed onto a pylon assembly (in the case of the B-52, these pylons can hold six missiles), procedures call for a clear distinction to be made as to whether they are armed with nuclear weapons or with dud warheads. In the storage bunker, pylons with dud warheads are supposed to be encircled with orange cones like those used by highway repair crews, and placards announcing that the warheads are duds are supposed to be hung on all four sides. This reportedly was not done, leaving no distinction between one pylon containing six nuclear-armed missiles, and two others that had missiles carrying nukes.

A second failure was in record keeping. According to regulations for handling nuclear weapons, every step in moving a nuke requires written verification and manual checking. When the weapons were taken from storage racks and installed on the missiles, there should have been written records, including the serial numbers of each warhead. When a breakout crew moved the nuclear-armed missiles on the pylon and passed it to a convoy crew for removal from the storage bunker to the airfield for mounting on the plane, there was supposed to be a visual verification of the warheads by the convoy crew, and another written record of the transfer of ownership. When the convoy crew handed over the pylon to the crew chief for mounting on the plane, there was supposed to be another warhead verification check by the crew chief and another written record. Finally, the aircrew was required to verify the payload, warhead by warhead.

Reportedly, none of these steps were taken. In other words, there was a failure to check the payloads of the missiles not just once but at every step of the way—an astounding breakdown in controls and procedures, which at a minimum suggests that the US nuclear arsenal is as vulnerable to theft, extortion and nefarious misuse as those in the former Soviet Union or in Pakistan—not a pleasant thought.

A third failure, more systemic, which was identified in this latest report, was a general decline—even a breakdown—in the decades-long tradition of high standards and professionalism in the US nuclear force itself. The Strategic Air Command, which oversaw all nuclear equipment, has been eliminated, and command and control of nuclear weapons have been integrated into the regular forces, right down to the storage of nuclear devices themselves, which are now routinely kept together with conventional warheads—a recipe for disaster not just because of the kind of confusion that allegedly led to the Aug. 30 incident, but also because of the possibility of accidents in which a non-nuclear device could detonate, scattering nuclear debris. Furthermore, the report documents that the nuclear force, once a prime career choice for advancement-minded military professionals, has become a dumping ground for mediocrity—a place where military personnel go to be forgotten. Pilots of B-52s, for example, no longer even get nuclear certified—so unlikely is it that they will be called upon to fly nuclear missions, the report states.

The report is a catalog of failure and ineptitude, and should lead to a complete overhaul. But it is also failure itself.

This is because as disastrous as the picture it paints of America’s nuclear forces and handling procedures may be, the report also ignores the big questions that remain about the recent incident which led to the Welch investigation in the first place. Primary among these questions is why, if all the various teams that handled the six nuclear-tipped Advanced Cruise Missiles up at Minot, from the guards and handlers in the storage bunker to the pilots, failed to note that the warheads on the missiles were nukes, was the ground crew that went out onto the tarmac to service the plane after it landed at Barksdale able to spot them and identify them as nukes almost immediately upon arriving at the plane?

After all, the personnel at Minot knew they were handling weapons in a bunker, and coming from a bunker, that stored nuclear weapons, and so should have been on alert to the possibility. The crew at Barksdale, however, had absolutely no reason to expect nuclear weapons. Not only was the delivery of these cruise missiles to Barksdale part of a long, on-going routine process of ferrying the obsolete weapons in for decommissioning and destruction. In addition, for the last 40 years, it has been against military rules to fly nuclear weapons over domestic airspace except in specially outfitted military cargo planes. That is to say, prior to this incident no B-52 or other bomber has carried a nuclear weapon in launch position over US territory since 1967!

Given that history, one has to assume that the warheads on those six missiles on the pylon must have been literally screaming out that they were nukes, for the ground crew to have noticed.

Surely Gen. Welch and his colleagues should have addressed the question of why those Barksdale workers were so easily able to spot the “mistake” while, allegedly, no one in the chain of possession of the weapons at Minot managed to do it.

The position of the report was clearly, from the start, that this whole thing was a mistake. That is to say, it’s conclusion was foreordained. But we should know from the incredible, bald-faced lie about the reason for shooting down a spy satellite last week—that it posed an environmental and health threat because of a relatively small 1000 lb. fuel tank containing toxic hydrazine fuel that allegedly could make it to earth and then pose a health threat—that Pentagon explanations are often dishonest, or deliberately confusing. (Hyrdazine is no more dangerous than many toxic chemicals, and for someone to seriously be put at risk, he or she would have to walk up to the smoking tank after it hit earth, and hang around the noxious vapours breathing them in for some time—something few people would be likely to do. Moreover, the probability of an explosive fuel tank making it through searing re-entry to ground without bursting and releasing the material harmlessly in the upper atmosphere was always negligeable. The explanation for the $60-million missile shot was clearly a cover-up of a Pentagon scheme to test its space-warfare capability without having to admit what it was doing.)

Could the Minot nuke incident have been something other than a mistake?

A careful reading of the Welch report—both what it says and what it fails to say—has to leave that question unanswered.

Recall that back in August and September, the Bush/Cheney administration was, as it is now, ratcheting up the talk about an attack on Iran over its nuclear activities and over its alleged support for insurgent attacks on American troops in Iraq. While the military top brass, as well as the secretary of defense are known, for the most part, to oppose such plans, there certainly are some, particularly within the Air Force, who have a higher opinion of the effectiveness of airpower,

Recall too that in the weeks and days prior to and immediately following the Aug. 30 Minot nuke incident, no fewer than six airmen associated with Minot, Barksdale and the B-52 fleet died either in vehicle accidents or alleged suicides. One of the two suicides involved a Minot airman whose job was guarding the base’s nuclear weapons storage facilities. The Welch report doesn’t even mention this strange cluster of deaths—none of which has even been investigated by the military, according to local police and medical examiners contacted.

Could someone at the top level of government—perhaps the Vice President, who is particularly belligerent towards Iran—have attempted to set up an alternative chain of command to “spring” a few unaccounted for nukes for use in some kind of “false flag” or rogue operation that, were it to succeed, could set a war against Iran in motion? Barksdale AFB, it should be noted, bills itself as the main staging base for B-52s being sent overseas for Middle East duty.

The way the Aug. 30 incident came to light, which was thanks to Air Force whistleblowers who contacted a reporter at the Military Times newspaper publishing office—makes such an idea seem at least plausible. Clearly, some uniformed personnel were so upset at what happened that they were willing to risk their military careers to go outside of the chain of command and alert the public in the only way they knew how. Clearly too, they were so distrustful of their superiors, right on up to the office of the Secretary of Defense, that they did not consider taking their information to anyone within the Pentagon.

Maybe it’s asking too much to expect a retired general, tasked to investigate this incident by the Secretary of Defense who himself was appointed by the White House, to look into such a theory, which after all if true would represent an act of treason. And yet, the failure of this report to at least explore the idea makes it into something of a cover-up.

The obvious answer here is that Congress should be holding public hearings into the incident, and asking these tough questions. Incredibly, this has not happened. The Democratic-led Congress, here as in virtually every issue that has come before it (with the exception of steroids in professional sports!), has ducked its responsibility. In this case Congress has been content to let Air Force officials, behind closed doors, offer them information about the incident—which is a far cry from holding hearings where the officers would be grilled under oath about what they know.

Given this gutless and irresponsible behavior by legislators who, I am sure, would be holding high-profile hearings had the same kind of incident occurred in Russia, China, or Pakistan, we are left having to hope that someone with real knowledge of what happened at Minot will come forward and tell the story to a reporter.

For the record, I’m ready and waiting, pen in hand…

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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B-52s

Loose Nukes, Here and There by Gordon Prather

US Bombed Syria: Report

The Air Force Cover-Up of That Minot-Barksdale Nuke Missile Flight by Dave Lindorff

Air Force Confirms Nuclear Warheads Flown Across US (short video)

Simple Error My Ass – Loose Nukes by Larry C. Johnson

B-52 Nukes Headed for Iran: Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater by Wayne Madsen

U.S. Staging Nukes for Iran? by Larry Johnson

A Major Mistake Involving Nuclear Warheads (video) + B-52 flew nuclear bombs across US by mistake

Why was a nuclear-armed bomber allowed to fly over the US? by Bill Van Auken

Just When You Think The Media Couldn’t Get Any Worse… By Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
After Downing Street
February 19, 2008

I would not have thought that the coverage of the US presidential campaign could get more shallow and meaningless, and then, along comes the plagiarism story.

OMG! Barack Obama, the silver-tongued front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, lifted a couple of lines and an idea from the black governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick. Patrick, himself something of a wordsmith, had been hit with the same attack by a wooden opponent, and responded by saying that words matter, and citing Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” line and the Declaration of Independence’s ringing “all men are created equal.”

Obama, whose oratorical skills have left the robotic and monotonous Hillary Clinton sounding like a pull-string Barbie on the stump (remember “Math is hard!”?), has had the Clinton campaign frantically casting around for a rejoinder, and the best they could come up with to date was a charge that he’s “all hat and no cattle” (itself a line lifted, uncredited, from Texas populist Jim Hightower, if I recall, though I think it has an older lineage among Texans, and has been appropriately applied to President Bush on numerous occasions). Obama decided to respond using some of Patrick’s lines.

Now, one could argue that Obama would have been better advised to give fair attribution to Gov. Patrick, but since when have politicians gone around putting footnotes on their public speeches? Most political speeches are exercises in cut and paste, full of regurgitated pablum and lifted quotes. If plagiarism were a political crime, 90 percent of members of Congress would be out on their ears. (For that matter, if plagiarism were a crime, Hillary Clinton herself would be behind bars. Her book, “It Takes a Village,” was largely written by Barbara Feinman, a Georgetown University journalism prof who was reportedly offered $120,000 for the job, but her name appeared nowhere in the volume, which Clinton still claims as her own work.)

Besides, come on now! We’re not nominating an English professor, god knows. If we were, how in hell would we have had Bush for president for the last what seems like eternity, with his maddening use of the word “nukular,” his drunken “sh” slurs all over the place, his grammatical atrocities, and his mangled quotes (remember “if you fool me once…”?)?

Excuse me, but we have a criminal $1-trillion war raging in Iraq that is sucking the lifeblood out of the American economy, killing American troops by the day and slaughtering innocent Iraqis by the hundred thousands, we have an economy that’s racing for the toilet like a party-goer who ate too many bad shrimps, we have bridges collapsing, we have the North Pole ice vanishing faster than Bush’s credibility, and the media are focussed laser-like on what? The momentous question of whether Obama lifted a quote from Gov. Patrick without acknowledgment?

We have Democrats trying to decide whether to select a woman senator who used insider information to make a killing in cattle futures, who has accepted massive donations from the healthcare industry and military contractors, who voted enthusiastically if cynically for George Bush’s Iraq War, and whose husband wants nothing more than a new shot at some eager White House interns, or a black senator who spoke out against that war before it happened, when to do so was to risk being called a traitor by the Commander in Chief and his minions, and the best our vaunted “independent” media pundits can do is what? Accuse Obama of plagiarism?

We could use some reporting on Clinton’s and Obama’s corporate backing, on the key people advising them on foreign affairs and domestic economic policy, some serious challenges on how each candidate will actually address climate change issues, and on how they can do anything without attacking the out-of-control military budget. Instead we get this “big” plagiarism story as the main event of the Wisconsin primary.

Thank you, Fourth Estate, for making us a well-informed citizenry.
_________________
DAVE LINDORFF is a PHiladelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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On our man Obama the plagiarist & the media teeny weenie by Michael

A Government of Lies Must Be Brought Down By Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
After Downing Street
Wed, 2008-01-23

When journalists are caught lying outright, they can be fired, and can even find their careers terminated. Take Janet Cooke, the Washington Post reporter who made up a story about a young drug user. A decade after her firing, she was earning $6/hour as a Liz Claiborne clerk in a department store. Or consider Stephen Glass, who famously made up stories at the New Republic. He landed on his feet as a fiction writer, but his journalism days are over.

So what to do about George Bush and his gang of fabulists, who now, thanks to a study by the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism, stand shown to have lied to Congress and the American people 935 times in what the two organizations say was “part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

Clearly we’ve come a long way from that first President named George who, at least in popular mythology, “couldn’t tell a lie.”

…continued

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The Bush Dollar Trap – Hard Times A-Coming by Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

by Dave Lindorff
ICH

21/01/08 “Counterpunch

The first government response to America’s sinking economy was denial. We were told as recently as a month ago by administration officials and Wall Street charlatans that the economy was robust and that there would not be a recession. Now we are told that the economy is in trouble, but that the government is taking decisive action to shore it up.

We saw how effective the first “decisive” proposal was. Bush announced a plan to give every adult taxpayer (no poor people, thank you) $800 in a tax rebate this April. The stock market responded to this idea by dropping a few percent. The idea, as I wrote in my last column, was stupid to begin with because, with the US no longer producing much of anything, all that bonus borrowed cash would end up getting spent on imported goods anyhow, doing next to nothing for the US economy.

So now the Federal Reserve has weighed in with a 3/4 percent cut in the Federal Funds rate. Even though commercial banks followed suit, lowering the prime lending rate by a similar 3/4 percent, the stock market showed how much good that move would do, dropping almost 300 points at the opening bell today–about what it had been expected to do even without an interest-rate cut.

There was one place where the Fed’s action did have an impact though: the exchange value of the dollar in foreign currency markets. No sooner was word of the interest rate cut announced, than the dollar fell against major currencies like the British Pound, the Euro and the Japanese Yen.

And there’s the rub. The Fed is in a trap. It cannot cut interest rates much more without causing a collapse in the dollar, which, because of the huge US trade imbalance, and all those consumer goods and raw materials–especially oil–that are imported–would lead to serious and politically dangerous inflation. And there is another constraint: with the current rate cut, the US now has the third lowest interest rates in the world. If the Fed makes another cut, as it has hinted it might in a week or so, only Japan would have a lower interest rate environment than the US. That makes the dollar a very undesirable currency for foreigner investors, which means they won’t want to hold dollars, and they won’t want to hold US stocks.

Yet if the Fed doesn’t cut interest rates even further, the stock market will continue to plunge, which again discourages foreign investors from pouring their money into the U.S., which in turn puts downward pressure on the dollar.

This was all predictable.

An economy that is almost wholly dependent on consumer spending, which is the case in the US, is in big trouble when consumers start to worry about the security of their jobs, and when they see inflation eating away at their disposable income. They naturally just stop spending. And that is happening, too.

So get ready for some hard economic times. The next step will be soaring inflation, as strapped companies in China, India and elsewere start raising their prices for goods shipped to the US and paid for in dollars. Then the Fed will have to respond by raising interest rates again, in an effort to shore up the currency. And with that will come deeper recession and an even lower stock market.

The Bush chickens–endless deficits as far as the eye can see, and a $2-trillion military debacle that has no end in sight and that is sucking money out of the country like a giant industrial vacuum cleaner–are coming home to roost. The President and Vice President clearly hoped that they could pass the wreckage of their eight years in office on to the next president and run off to retirement and senior stateeman status before it all blew up, but their luck ran out. The economic shit has hit the fan. Chances are that the war that they have tried to tuck away in the closet with a “surge” in troops and a brutal campaign of aerial bombardment, will also blow up on them before the year is out.

That’s small consolation for all of us who have to live with the ensuing disasters, but at least–if we can’t see them properly impeached and indicted, and if the Democrats in Congress don’t manage to screw things up further so they can be blamed for the mess too–we’ll have the satisfaction of seeing Bush and Cheney run out of town next January on a rail.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Is This The Big One? By Mike Whitney

Stock Markets in Europe Plunge 7 Percent (updated)

Bush To Abandon Supply-Side Economics? By Paul Craig Roberts

Will Economic Stimulus Measures Stave Off Recession? by Richard C. Cook

Kucinich: Economic Stimulus Package Needs To Focus On States And Localities That Need Help The Most

Bush’s “Stimulus” Cash Giveaway; “Gentlemen, Start The Helicopters” By Mike Whitney

Bush speech on the U.S. Economy Jan.18, 2008

Quit the Party! Time for a Mass Resignation From the Democratic Party By Dave Lindorff (9/07)

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
Counterpunch
September 27, 2007

Sign the “I Quit This Party

Cynthia McKinney is doing it. It’s time for you to do it too.Have you, like many Americans, found yourself wondering why President Bush, over and over again, would hand the Democrats in Congress the weapon needed to bring him down?Just look at the list:

Last year it was the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Then, in the new Congress, it was a $120-billion supplemental funding request for continuing the hugely unpopular war in Iraq, followed by a bill to legalize the very National Security Agency spying program which he has been running illegally for the past half decade, and that has had people of all political stripes in an uproar. To top that off, knowing that the Democrats were gunning for his Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, Bush made sure to have the NSA spying bill put Gonzales in charge of the operation! And now this same president is coming to Congress to ask for another nearly $200 billion for his Iraq War!

At first glance, you have to wonder, why on earth would he do this?

continued…

Sign the “I Quit This Party

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.