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by Debra Sweet
Protests are planned around the country Tuesday to mark the beginning of the tenth year of the US detention center at Guantánamo, from which, it appears, some men will never leave.
A detainee who had been there for 9 years, Farhi Saeed bin Mohammed, was forcibly removed to Algeria last week, in spite of ongoing legal efforts to prevent his return. Psychologist Jeff Kaye explains the outrage in Obama’s “Stealth Transfer” Of Guantanamo Prisoner; Algerian Forcibly Repatriated:
A new year and a new political party in power in the House of Representatives provide a new opportunity to keep pushing for a single payer/Medicare for all national health program. For Americans suffering through the increasing cost of health insurance and its decreasing coverage, the health care crisis continues and the health debate has not ended.
By Kevin Zeese
The case of Private Bradley Manning raises legal issues about his pre-trial detention, freedom of speech and the press, as well as proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Putting aside Manning’s guilt or innocence, if Bradley Manning saw the Afghan and Iraq war diaries as well as the diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks what should he have done? And, what should be the proper response of government to their publication?
10 January 2011 (IRIN) - Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from insurgency-hit Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, need food assistance urgently, officials told IRIN.
About 900 displaced families in the provincial capital Lashkargah have little or no means to feed themselves and their children this winter, according to Ghulam Farouq Noorzai, director of Helmand’s refugees and returnee affairs department.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) confirmed that of the 3,800 families displaced from Nad Ali and Marjah districts during a major counterinsurgency operation in February 2010, about 900 (300 from Nad Ali and 600 from Marjah) still remain in Lashkargah.
Jan 9, 2011 - Author and journalist Nir Rosen has written a book titled "Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World" which provides an in depth look at the consequences of the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Press TV interviewed Nir Rosen regarding his views on the US-led Iraq and Afghan invasions and his travel experiences in both countries.
Daily Israeli Crimes Against Humanity - by Stephen Lendman
Daily accounts can be followed on important sites such as Palestine Chronicle.com, Palestine Telegraph.com, and the Electronic Intifada.net as well as others like Israel's oldest daily newspaper, Haaretz, available online in English.
They and others document harrowing crimes virtually ignored in the West, especially by America's media offering one-sided pro-Israeli reports with imperfect exceptions like Isabel Kershner's January 7 New York Times article headlined, "Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian, 65, in His Bedroom," saying:
"Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed 65-year-old Palestinian man....in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. The man's wife said he was sleeping and she was praying when soldiers burst into the apartment before dawn, entered the bedroom and immediately opened fire."
Drugging Guantanamo Detainees - by Stephen Lendman
From inception, most Guantanamo detainees were uncharged. On January 5, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said:
"....the vast majority of the men at Guantanamo should never have been detained in the first place, and that over 550 have been released and are peacefully rebuilding their lives." Most of the 800 captured and brought there were lawlessly "seized in broad sweeps and sold to the US (for) substantial bounties." From the Pentagon's own records, "most (have) no link to terrorism."
For over seven years, CCR "organiz(ed) and coordinat(ed) more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country" to represent detainees, and helped to resettle about 60 others still at Guantanamo "because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture."
Here's a poster/flyer: PDF
David Swanson to Discuss, Sign Copies of "War Is A Lie" in Baltimore, Md.
January 10, 2011
Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins Bookstore
3330 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
CONTACT info at chesapeakecitizens.org
Andy Worthington, author of "Guantanamo Files"
Debra Sweet, director of The World Can't Wait
Cindy Sheehan, the Peace Mom
and other surprises!
Pledge of Resistance Baltimore
Voters for Peace
Progressive Democrats of America/Maryland
Generations for Peace and Democracy
"David Swanson’s War Is A Lie may be the most comprehensive antiwar statement available in the English language." — Kevin Young
"Not since General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published." — Geoffrey Millard
“David Swanson despises war and lying, and unmasks them both with rare intelligence. I learn something new on every page.” — Jeff Cohen
Shield Act Targets First Amendment Freedoms - by Stephen Lendman
For decades, America's freedoms have eroded, notably post-9/11 with:
-- a president declaring unconstitutional unitary executive powers to rule unilaterally;
-- his successor embracing the doctrine;
-- checks and balances and separation of powers virtually ended;
-- passage of the USA Patriot Act;
-- Homeland Security Act;
-- other repressive laws;
-- annual renewals of coup d'etat continuity of government (COG) authority to rule unconstitutionally, including by martial law;
-- repressive national and homeland security presidential directives (NSPDs & HSPDs);
-- unconstitutional executive and other unilateral presidential directives;
-- the recent FCC ruling compromising Net Neutrality; and
-- the proposed Shield Act - S. 4004: Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act.
By Dave Lindorff
At the local YMCA today, I ran into a boy who was a childhood friend of my son. As my son goes to a public arts high school in Philadelphia outside of our local school district, I don't see much of his old grade-school friends any more. This boy, who used to be over at our house years ago at least once a week, recognized me right away, and said, "Hey Mr. Lindorff, I haven't seen you in years. How's Jed!"
I was impressed by how he'd grown up, tall and strong looking. He was headed for the basketball court. I asked him, since both he and my son are seniors this year, where he was applying for college, and he stunned me by saying he had signed up for the Marines. "I'm going to be going in after graduation," he said proudly. "The recruiter came to school, and he convinced me it's a good move."
I asked him what he planned to do, and he said, "Helicopter gunner! I'm really excited and proud!"
In the beginning, chemicals collided and catalyzed, evolving a system of development from non-living to living things, proteins and nucleic acids interacting--greeting and meeting, dating and mating—in a metaphorical dance of romance. The recipe to make more was born. Now, chemicals portend the end. So much tells us so. An eye for an eye doesn’t just blind the world; it annihilates. The blueprint for reproduction becomes one of destruction.
I’m not relaxed.
Sen. Lindsay Graham advocates permanent military presence in Afghanistan, despite an objection from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.
And despite the deaths of thousands of military men and women during Bush’s war—the War OF Terror that passed seamlessly to Commander Obama. Last week, two US troops died in Iraq where combat ENDED months ago. Because the president told us so, even announcing the improved name of the non-war: Operation New Dawn.
Waging War on American Workers - by Stephen Lendman
Target one is America's middle class, endangered after decades of wealth shifts to super-rich elites besides most high-pay, good benefit jobs, offshored to cheap labor markets - a policy Washington's duopoly endorses. It's the most serious threat to middle America since attacks began in the 1970s.
On December 23, 1957, The Dan Smoot Report published novelist Taylor Caldwell's (1900 - 1985) article, titled "Honoria," the true story of a former great nation and lessons to be learned from its demise.
She explained how men seeking freedom became Pilgrims, endured terrible hardships, yet survived, prospered, and gained power. They established colonies, believed in God, hard work, public education, and transformed villages into towns and cities.
War Criminals Watch Advisor Andy Worthington speaks on the Future of Guantanamo at Two Washington DC Panel Discussions
War Criminal Watch Special Events:
Nine Years of Guantanamo: What Now?
Panel Discussion with Andy Worthington, Tom Wilner, Morris Davis & Benjamin Wittes
January 11,2011 - 3:30 - 5 pm
New American Foundation
1899 L St.NW - Suite 400
The Future of Guantanamo & Accountability for Torture
Panel Discussion with Andy Worhtington, Juan Mendes & Leili Kashani
& excerpts from Andy Worthington and Polly Nash's film "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo".
January 12, 2011 - 12:00 - 1:30pm
Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW - JD Lounge, 6th Floor
Two School of American Watch Activists Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison & 2 More Are On Trial in Columbus Georgia
On Wednesday, January 5, 2011, Nancy Smith from New York and Chris Spicer form Illinois are scheduled to begin federal trials for carrying the protest against the School of the Americas onto the Fort Benning military base in Georgia. This school, re-named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, is a controversial U.S. Army training school for Latin American soldiers.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — January 7, 2011 - Twenty servicemen from New York City whose bodies have gone unclaimed for months or longer will receive full military honors at national veterans cemetery service.
The mass service will be held Saturday at Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island. The Department of Veterans Affairs says it’s the largest of it kind in U.S. history.
It’s part of a national initiative in recent years to clear a massive backlog of unburied or unclaimed remains of both veterans and non-veterans.
A mess of wires and worn switches is seen at an electrical generator business in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad. Many Iraqis rely on such ad hoc generator stations to power their daily lives.
01/07/2011 - Iraq finally has a new government after months of deadlock, but the cynical horsetrading has damaged the image of politics. Residents of Baghdad no longer trust their fellow citizens and have withdrawn into private life. They pray that a civil war will not break out.
Lanny Davis: Lobbyist for Despots - by Stephen Lendman
On October 2, 2009, Legal Times writer Jeff Jeffrey headlined, "Lanny Davis Leaves Orrick for McDermott Will & Emery," saying:
Former Clinton White House special counsel "left Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to join McDermott Will & Emery's regulatory and government strategies practice." At Orrick, he "led a rather unusual practice that included litigation....related media strategies, (and) advis(ing) clients on crisis management."
In fact, he then and now he lobbies for despots and predatory corporate clients.
"More recently, (he lobbied) on behalf of Honduran business leaders to convince members of Congress to support the removal of" democratically elected former President Manuel Zelaya.
Israel's Knesset Targets Leftist Organizations - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles explained Israel's hardline anti-democratic agenda, several accessed through the following links:
Now the latest. On January 5, Israel's Knesset, by a 47 - 16 vote, approved forming a parliamentary committee to investigate leftist Israeli organizations. Among them, B'Tselem issuing a same day press release headlined, "B'Tselem proud of its activities and completely transparent. The Knesset's decision is what harms Israel's international status," adding:
This is an exciting time for the anti-war movement, but also a time to not drop the ball. Support for the war in Afghanistan has been driven down to 34% thanks to peace activist education and opposition, which could be anyone who cares enough to send an informative email to his or her pro-war relative. But how low must it get before Congress stops passing budgets in support of continued military operations? The problem is that the disapproving yet relatively uninformed public is not making the link between the wars and their own representatives, and Obama, without whom the wars could not continue.
Friday, 1/7/2011 At Revolution Books New York, 146 W. 26th St., Manhattan.
A screening of the documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington) will be followed by a discussion about the film, the state of Guantánamo on the 9th anniversary of its opening, and accountability for torture.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantanamo Files.
Scott Horton is law professor, columnist for Harper's Magazine, and known for his work in international and human rights law.
"Outside the Law is a strong movie examining the imprisonment and subsequent torture of those falsely accused of anti-American conspiracy."
Joe Burnham, Time Out
As featured on Democracy Now! , ABC News and Truthout.
The evening is co-sponsored by World Can't Wait.
A donation of $10 is requested for the film, talkback, drinks and popcorn, to benefit Revolution Books.
And does Anyone hear these patriotic constitution readers, or any of their supporters, even mention their wars of choice or the veterans and families of?!?!
6 January 2010 - The Army's largest post saw a record-high number of soldiers kill themselves in 2010 despite a mental health effort aimed at reversing the trend.
The Army says 22 soldiers have either killed themselves or are suspected of doing so last year at its post at Fort Hood in Texas, twice the number from 2009.
That is a rate of 47 deaths per 100,000, compared with a 20-per-100,000 rate among civilians in the same age group and a 22-per-100,000 rate Army-wide.
By John Grant
The War On Drugs, fought mostly in poor and person-of-color communities (despite the fact that whites are more than 70 percent of all drug users) has contributed dramatically to the growth of a prison-industrial-complex that is quickly sapping resources from education, job training and other vital programs.
-- Tim Wise
I’ve taught creative writing in Philadelphia’s maximum-security prison for ten years. I joke with the inmates that most of them are POWs in the Drug War. Of course, most of the men in the class are African American.
Last week only two men showed up for the class, which gave me and my co-teacher the opportunity to talk with them about their lives.
Permanent Debt Bondage from America's Student Loan Racket - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article compared the 1950s to today, saying:
It was a different time, good and bad. Elected in 1952, Eisenhower was still president. Unemployment was low. Anyone wanting work found it. Most years the economy grew during a post-WW II expansion. Inflation was low. The average new car cost $1,500, a typical home under $10,000. College was affordable. Harvard's 1952 full year tuition was $600. Four years later it was $1,000 - for a full, two-semester year. During the period, anyone could attend evenings at $5 a course and get a Harvard degree for about $175, astonishing but true.
David Swanson joins us to discuss his new book War Is A Lie. He is also the author of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union and blogs at davidswanson.org and warisacrime.org.
David will be speaking at Barnes & Noble at 3330 St. Paul Street in Baltimore Monday January 10th at 7pm. Click here for more details.
Defence Stocks - U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has received approval from the White House for a small increase in the Pentagon's budget for 2012 compared with 2011. Although the administration is looking for a 2.67% cut in defence spending over five years, Gates plans to shift savings from reducing overhead and inefficiencies into current weapons systems and research in order to prevent deep cuts in those programs. (theflyonthewall.com)
What, you may ask, about that $100 Billion in cuts that Gates was talking up just yesterday?
Turns out those are for future years and future people:
Like Paul Bunyan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is going to do a lot of chopping as early as Thursday, when he's expected to detail $100 billion in new cuts to future Pentagon budgets. But some time after that, he's going to lay down his ax, leave his Pentagon E-ring office for the last time, and head west to his Washington state home overlooking Big Lake, some 50 miles north of Seattle. So just who's going to inherit his task of selling all that timber -- not to mention two wars -- to the White House, Congress and the American public?
The President has more recently spoken of cutting the war budget. However:
cutting 25% or so out of budgeted war spending (which should be ENDED) doesn't mean anything until we know whether there will be more supplemental bills outside the budget;
cutting war spending while nonetheless increasing the much larger category of military spending isn't much good; and
the talk about cutting non-"war" military spending is intended to refer to future years rather than the coming year. It is nonetheless good rhetoric as far as it goes, which is not far at all.
State of the Union UPDATE:
Freeze Non-War Spending for Five Years?
"So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years." Thus spoke the President last night. "Domestic" spending means non-war and non-military spending. Over half of our public spending goes to wars and the military. Even the President's own catfood (deficit) commission recommended cutting $100 billion. Why leave it out of the freeze? This may be why:
"And we've sent a message ... to all parts of the globe: We will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you." That's going to be expensive, and President Obama promised lower taxes on corporations in the same speech. He's already signed off on tax cuts for billionaires. Spending cuts will have to come somewhere else.
It's time to resist: http://warisacrime.org/primary
"Already, we've frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I've proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without." But those little cuts out of the $1 trillion we spend on the military each year are planned for future years, not this one. The President is expected to propose a larger military budget for the third year in a row next month. And he has thus far consistently used off-the-books supplemental bills to add more funding to his wars.
If you oppose this agenda, add your name now to a growing movement to push back.
And check out the videos and links to further action that we're adding at the bottom of the page.
VIDEO BY George Barteneiff