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Ignored by the Candidates & Media

The presidential debate ignored the root causes of the present Depression:

  • Out of control military/industrial/political complex that spends more on the military than all the other countries of the earth combined.
  • Allowing private banks to create our money supply out of thin air when they loan us money.
  • Unregulated speculation by Wall Street banks that has left them functionally bankrupt with $trillions of worthless derivative bets on their books
  • Free trade policies that allow U.S. corporations to close factories at home,  pay sweatshop wages overseas and then import the goods here duty free.
  • Reduction of the income tax rate on surplus income of wealthy Americans from the 70-90% range of 1940-1980 to current 35%.

 

The results are:

TSA’s disability and multicultural problem by Bill Fisher

In September the TSA website posted an announcement noting that the agency hosted nearly 40 disability and multicultural organizations and federal agencies at its 10th Annual Disability and Multicultural Coalition Conference ”to discuss advances in security screening and issues of concern to coalition members and their constituencies.”

Read the rest at TSA News.

Assange Labeled an 'Enemy' of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents

 

By Dave Lindorff


An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

Assange Labeled an 'Enemy' of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents

 

By Dave Lindorff


An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

Assange Labeled an 'Enemy' of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents

 

By Dave Lindorff


An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

Flim Flam Substitutes for Debate

 

Flim Flam Substitutes for Debate

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

So-called presidential debates are well-rehearsed, prescripted theater. Theater of the absurd best describes them. Election outcomes aren't influenced. They don't edify. They insult. Wednesday night was no exception.

 

Cowardly Terrorists Murder Syrian Civilians

 

Cowardly Terrorists Murder Syrian Civilians

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Aleppo murders are the latest example. Western-recruited death squads ruthlessly target civilians. They're armed and directed to do so. They're merciless cowards. 

 

George Bush the Murderer: The Movie

A new movie has just been released based on Vincent Bugliosi's book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder."  Bugliosi, of course, prosecuted Charles Manson and authored best sellers about Manson's guilt, O.J. Simpson's guilt, and Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt.  Whether we all agree with all of those conclusions, it is worth noting that each book was reviewed and considered by the biggest U.S. newspapers and television networks.  When Bugliosi wrote a book about George W. Bush's guilt, something we're almost all united on, the corporate media shut it out.  Will the same fate greet this movie?

I hope not.  In the book, and in this new movie, Bugliosi makes a devastating, well documented case that President George W. Bush is guilty of the murder of U.S. soldiers as a result of the lies he told to justify the invasion of Iraq, and can be prosecuted by any state attorney general in the country, or by any county prosecutor from a jurisdiction where a U.S. soldier lived prior to being killed in Iraq. 

In the movie, we watch Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz remark that if presidents had to live in fear of their actions being scrutinized for criminality that would have a huge impact on their behavior.  Dershowitz means this as somehow a negative thing.  Bugliosi points out that that is exactly the point: we ought to deter criminal behavior in presidents.

Bugliosi's argument for prosecution is simple. Bush wanted a war with Iraq. He had to show that a preemptive invasion of Iraq was justified. To do this Iraq had to be an imminent threat to the United States. There were two major problems. Bush couldn't prove any connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. More importantly, Bush's own 2002 classified intelligence estimate found that Saddam was not an imminent threat to the United States. Bush simply reversed the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate of 2002, and sent men and women off to fight a fraudulent and unnecessary war, knowing full well that some of them would come home in boxes.

The facts are not in dispute.  Bush chose to send US troops into Iraq. He did not do so in self-defense or as a last resort or under an international mandate, but rather went out of his way to concoct false motives for war and to rush its launching. By sending troops into war, Bush was knowingly and needlessly but certainly condemning some of them to death. The Iraqis who killed those soldiers in predictable and legally justifiable defense of their country fall into the legal category of "third-party innocent agent." This does not mean they are innocent, but rather that their actions do nothing to lessen the guilt of George W. Bush as murderer of those soldiers. Bugliosi calls this the "vicarious liability rule of conspiracy."

Bugliosi explains:

"In other words, if Bush personally killed an American soldier, he would be guilty of murder. Under the law, he cannot immunize himself from his criminal responsibility by causing a third party to do the killing. He's still responsible. George Bush cannot sit safely in his Oval Office in Washington, D.C., while young American soldiers fighting his war are being blown to pieces by roadside bombs in Iraq, and wash his hands of all culpability. It's not quite that easy. He could only do this if he did not take this nation into war under false pretenses. If he did, which the evidence overwhelmingly shows, he is criminally responsible for the thousands of American deaths in Iraq."

In addition, Bugliosi argues, Bush could be found guilty of murder under the rule of "aiding and abetting," because he instigated the killing of American soldiers by ordering the invasion of Iraq.

Did Bush have "malice aforethought"? Yes, according to Bugliosi. We convict people of murder for driving 100 mph through a school zone and hitting a child, or for blowing up a building while unaware that someone is inside. These are cases where the murderer does not know he is committing murder but where he is reckless enough to take an unreasonable risk of doing so. In Bush's case, he absolutely knew that invading Iraq would involve U.S. casualties, and yet he ordered the invasion, thereby acting with the intent that American soldiers be killed.

Bugliosi strengthens this argument by pointing out that we often convict people of murder for accidental killings that occur in the act of committing other felonies:

"A robber, for instance, was convicted of first degree murder under the felony-murder rule where, as he was leaving the store in which he had robbed the owner, he told the owner not to say a word or he'd be harmed, and fired into the ceiling to scare the owner. The shot, after two or three ricochets, pierced the head of the owner, killing him. In fact, the felony-murder rule applies even where the defendant is not the killer! There have been cases where the proprietor of the store fired at a robber, missed him and hit and killed a customer. And the robber was convicted of first degree murder of the customer."

Bugliosi missed an opportunity here to further strengthen his case by noting that in the act of ordering the invasion of Iraq, Bush was committing a number of felonies. When Bush submitted his March 18, 2003, letter and report to the United States Congress providing reasons for attacking Iraq, he violated the federal anti-conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. - 371, which makes it a felony "to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose..."; and The False Statements Accountability Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. - 1001, which makes it a felony to issue knowingly and willfully false statements to the United States Congress. Bush also committed a felony by misappropriating funds to secretly begin the invasion prior to this date.

Bugliosi notes that there is no statute of limitations for murder. Bush could be prosecuted by any future federal prosecutor who had the nerve to do so and could do so while keeping his or her job. But Bugliosi writes that a state attorney general or any district attorney in any city or county could bring a murder charge against Bush for any soldiers from that state or county who lost their lives in Iraq. And not just Bush, but Cheney, Rice, et alia. Bugliosi provides some truly talented proposals for questioning Bush in court and adds:

"I would be more than happy, if requested, to consult with any prosecutor who decides to prosecute Bush in preparation of additional cross-examination questions for him to face on the witness stand. I believe the cross-examination would be such that they'd have to carry the arrogant son of privilege off the stand on a stretcher."

I know the same offer to assist stands from former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author of "United States versus George W. Bush et al.," who also appears in the film.

Bugliosi believes he's found the one true way to bring Bush to justice.  I think numerous avenues lie open, and that what is lacking is the will.  But the statutes of limitations are running out on many crimes, narrowing the field for prosecution.  Only those torture cases that resulted in death, for example, can now be prosecuted without running up against the statutes of limitations.

The root of warfare, I believe, is the valuing of U.S. lives over the lives of others.  So it is unfortunate that Bugliosi's approach encourages that, even if unintentionally. Bugliosi does not see any legal case to try Bush for the murders of Iraqis, but he also openly admits that he cares more about the deaths of Americans. Bugliosi repeatedly cites the figure 100,000, or "over 100,000" as the number of Iraqi deaths, but never indicates where he came up with that number or how he ignores the fact that every serious study has placed the count above a million.  Even if Bugliosi sees no way to prosecute Bush for the murder of Iraqis, he does not seem to have considered the possibility that U.S. troops are guilty of those murders.  The U.S. troops in this story (and, sadly, it is thus far just a story, not a prosecution) play exclusively the role of victim.  The legal and moral reality assigns them multiple roles.

I don't think it hurts Bugliosi's legal case, but I doubt that most Congress members believed Bush's lies about Iraq.  At the very least, they were as reckless as he was.  And I think there is a fundamental problem with Bugliosi's belief that there was something unique about Bush lying us into a war in Iraq.  It has been firmly established that the U.S. invaded Mexico, that there was no evidence to tie Spain to the sinking of the Maine, that the troops and weapons on the Lusitania were public knowledge, that FDR told numerous lies about Japan and Germany, that the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened, that the Taliban was willing to hand bin Laden over to a third nation to be tried, etc.  The belief that Iraq was a first led me to correct the record with a book called War Is A Lie.

Because I know war lies are not unusual, I may value deterrence more highly.  I also do not thirst, as Bugliosi does, for anger and vengeance against "evil monsters."  But Bugliosi, too, argues for deterrence as a central motivation, so it's interesting to see what the lack of deterrence has already wrought.  President Obama continued Bush's wars, including the one in Iraq.  President Obama has an open policy of murder including weekly Tuesday reviews of the names of victims.  The evidence is abundant.  Bugliosi promises in the movie that he would treat a Democrat exactly the same way he treats Bush.  I sure hope so.

Here's a radio interview I did with Bugliosi.

Here's a preview of the movie:

Top 10 Astonishing Police Brutality Videos Caught on Surveillance Cameras

 

By Clint Henderson


The internet is full of videos exposing police officers' use of excessive physical force when trying to apprehend or detain "potential criminals". Every year in fact there seems to be an increase in YouTube video uploads, video views, and news stories depicting this type of injustice.

Obama Lost The 'Debate' but the Reason is His Campaign Wanted Him to be a 'Moderate'

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

President Obama was was painful to watch at the debate on Wednesday night.

Time after time, he allowed Mitt Romney to make fraudulent statements or empty statements without slapping the Republican presidential candidate down.

TSA agent admits to stealing cash from passenger as punishment

As we’ve noted several times, TSA agents often act out of petulance and pique. Because they have absolute power, they can abuse it. And they do.

The latest example of this is the guilty plea from TSA agent John W. Irwin. As Press TV reports, Irwin stole $520 from a passenger because the passenger wasn’t deferential enough to him.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Debate Analysis Avoids the Donkey in the Room

 

We're told Obama messed up the debate last night because of a bad format, bad camera angles, and bad coaches, and because it was his anniversary.  Never mind that four years ago he could talk about closing Gitmo, ending the very mindset that gets us into wars, providing universal healthcare, restoring the rule of law, reforming NAFTA, creating the right to organize in the workplace, ending the Bush tax cuts, and so forth. 

You can blame his failure to actually attempt any of those things on the Republicans or Rahm Emanuel or his dog Bo, but all the post-debate analysis ignores the real way in which Obama must now debate with one hand tied behind his back.

America's Sham Electoral Process

 

America's Sham Electoral Process

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

It's bad enough to make some despots blush. It doesn't rise to the level of good fiction. No respectable film producer would accept a script explaining it. Who'd believe a democratic system so implausible. It's more fanciful than real.

 

Longstanding electoral fraud alone subverts democracy in America. The entire process lacks legitimacy.

Bolivarianism v. Fake US Democracy

 

Bolivarianism v. Fake US Democracy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On October 7, Venezuelans go to the polls. Expect Chavez reelected again overwhelmingly. Expect the freest, most open and fair electoral process in the Americas. Perhaps it's the best anywhere.

 

On November 6, polls open in America. Voters have no choice. Democrats and Republicans barely differ. They're in lockstep on issues mattering most. 

Talk Nation Radio: Slow Democracy Is Better Democracy

Susan Clark discusses her new book, authored with Woden Teachout, "Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home."  It's a rich and persuasive argument against centralization and privatization, and for the advantages of local democracy with real powers of self governance.

Here's a review.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Embed on your own site with this code:

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Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Philly DA Scored for Defending Prosecutorial Misconduct

 

By Linn Washington Jr.


The recent outrage in Pennsylvania over the scheduled October 3 execution of a man who killed two men who had sexually abused him during his childhood has tarnished the reformer image of Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, exposing him as just another prosecutor willing to trample justice to preserve a death penalty.

Loews hotels partner with TSA

As we’ve noted repeatedly about the TSA program called Pre-Check, not only is it the embodiment of “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” but it doesn’t guarantee participants expedited screening. Nor scan-free nor grope-free nor hassle-free travel.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Inciting Unrest in Venezuela

 

Inciting Unrest in Venezuela

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Last month, Duke University's Patrick Duddy published a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) paper titled "Political Unrest in Venezuela." 

 

From August 2007 - July 2010, he was Washington's Venezuelan ambassador. He represents imperial, not popular interests.

Palestine: One or Two State Solution

 

Palestine: One or Two State Solution

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Opinions vary. Why isn't clear. Years ago, two states were possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank and much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily. 

 

When completed, the apartheid wall will control over 10% of Palestine. Isolated ghettoized bantustans on worthless scrubland won't work. Under those conditions, sovereign viability is impossible.

After Years-Long Media Black-Out, The Prosecution of an American President Opens at US Theaters

After a years-long media black-out and a grueling battle to get the film shown in the US, The Prosecution of an American President, the brainchild of the Los Angeles County prosecutor who prosecuted Charles Manson, opens at theaters this week.  In its long trek to the American big screen, the movie was originally scheduled to be run on HBO before the channel dropped it at the last minute.  Bugliosi then had to go outside the country to find a producer, Windsor Ontario NAFTC Studios.

Yahoo News:

But the Police State Marches On: Protestors Win in 2004 RNC Protest Mass Arrest Case in NYC

 

By Dave Lindorff


On the morning of the big march through midtown Manhattan on the opening day of the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004, I and a few friends were having breakfast at a little coffee shop near 96th Street on the Upper West Side. We had a few homemade signs and were clearly headed for a political action. Across from us were three New York City cops, carrying riot helmets, having their breakfast. They were clearly headed to the same place we were.

Octobr 2012 Appearances/Protests of U.S. War Criminals

Here's the October list of U.S. war criminals appearances and protests. Let us know if you are planning something in your area so we may help promote it or assist you in any way.

Neocon Uber-Hawks Want War on Iran

 

Neocon Uber-Hawks Want War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In January 2009, Obama succeeded Bush. Neocons stuck around. They infest Washington. War gets their juices flowing. They urge it on Syria and Iran.

 

Potential catastrophic consequences don't matter. Uber-hawks don't worry about them. It's someone else's problem.

 

Living with the Enemy

 

Living with the Enemy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

How do Palestinians manage every day? How do they deal with state-sponsored denial of their rights? How do they survive under suffocating conditions?

 

Where will they live once Israel steals all parts of Judea and Samaria it wants? It's grabbing it durum by dunum. What Palestinians lived on peacefully for centuries is fast disappearing.

The Buzz on Drones

Civilian Casualties From Drone Attacks in Afghanistan

October 1, 2012

Editor Note: Even as the United States has withdrawn from Iraq and has begun to wind down the Afghan War, the lethal reach of the U.S. military has been extended into other countries through drone aircraft. What is less known is the full human and political costs.

By Ray McGovern

Several friends of mine are among the 35 American activists assembling in Pakistan in recent days in an effort to seek ground truth on the impact of U.S. drone strikes on civilians there. I will be holding them and their Pakistani hosts and co-travelers in the Light, as my Quaker friends like to say, and will now try to do my part in what follows to put this dangerous journey in perspective.

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