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Tomgram: Thomas Frank, Worshipping Money in D.C.

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Read today's piece and then get your hands on Thomas Frank's new book, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?  It's the political must-read of this season if you want to know where liberalism went in the last two and a half decades.  The next TomDispatch post will be on Tuesday, July 5th.  Tom]

Trashing Clinton in the Times: Is Sanders’ End Game to Sell Out His ‘Political Revolution’ or to Take It to November?

By Dave Lindorff

 

            What is Bernie Sanders up to?

 

            I sure don’t know, and I’m sure that Hillary Clinton and her campaign managers are wondering too.

Focus: The Benghazi Report - June 29, 2016


Benghazi report: Troops didn't get orders to deploy until five hours after terror attack that killed four Americans - TheHill


Where was the military during Benghazi? Report shows that as the battle raged, no help ever arrived — or was ever dispatched - LifeZette


Marines responding to Benghazi held up by officials debating on weapons and uniforms, commander says - marinecorpstimes.com


Pentagon respond to harsh criticism that it failed to act in Benghazi, says faster response wouldn't have mattered - Washington Examiner


Pentagon officials: Anti-aircraft weapons prevented possibility of Air Force aid in Benghazi - breitbart.com


ARCHIVE: Squadron member stationed in Italy speaks out on stalled Benghazi response: We could have been there, we were waiting for the order which never came - Fox News


ARCHIVE: U.S. military ordered a rescue team in Tripoli not to go to Benghazi - The Weekly Standard


CIA chief in Benghazi confirmed that he told his team to wait and not to deploy yet while he tried to obtain reinforcements from local Libyan 'security forces' - Breitbart


Gowdy: CIA didn't want us talking to witness who said he had to work phone to get Gaddafi loyalists to come save them in Benghazi - Breitbart


Benghazi officer warned U.S. months before attack: 'Everybody' will die because of lack of security - Breitbart


The 7 must-read passages in the Benghazi report - POLITICO


House Select committee on Benghazi releases proposed report (Full text) - Select Committee on Benghazi


Democratic report on the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi (Full Text) - Democrats

 

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Clinton claims House Benghazi report ‘found nothing,’ says time to ‘move on’ - Fox News


VIDEO: Clinton responds to Benghazi report - NYTimes.com


Rep. Pompeo: Hillary ‘failed to lead' on Benghazi - newsmax.com

 

Addendum by Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo to the House Select Committee report on Benghazi (Full text) - POLITICO


White House spokesman: Claim that the military was slow to respond to the Benghazi attacks 'has been thoroughly debunked’ - POLITICO


The 15 questions by Gowdy about Benghazi that Barack Obama declined to answer - Breitbart


VIDEO: State Department spokesman says the clothing issue did not affect the speed or timeliness of any possible military response - YouTube


State Department employees react in shock to Susan Rice’s Benghazi comments - Business Insider


Democratic Benghazi report shows payout to Blumenthal from pro-Clinton groups: $200,000 a year - freebeacon.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Obama Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Frack Jobs in Gulf of Mexico: Corporate Media Ignored It

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

On June 24, the independent news website TruthOut broke a doozy of a story: the Obama Administration has secretly approved over 1,500 instances of offshore hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in the Gulf of Mexico, including during the Deepwater Horizon offshore spill disaster. 

Talk Nation Radio: Harvey Wasserman on Environmental and Antiwar Activism

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-harvey-wasserman-on-environmental-and-antiwar-activism

Harvey Wasserman is a life-long activist who speaks, writes and organizes widely on energy, the environment, history, the drug war, election protection, and grassroots politics. He teaches (since 2004) history and cultural & ethnic diversity at two central Ohio colleges. He works for the permanent shutdown of the nuclear power industry and the birth of Solartopia, a democratic and socially just green-powered Earth free of all fossil and nuclear fuels. He writes for Ecowatch, solartopia.org, freepress.org and nukefree.org, which he edits. He helped found the anti-war Liberation News Service. In 1972 his History of the U.S., introduced by Howard Zinn, helped pave the way for a new generation of people’s histories. In 1973 Harvey coined the phrase “No Nukes” and helped found the global grassroots movement against atomic energy. In 1990 he became Senior Advisor to Greenpeace USA. Harvey’s America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Organic Spiral of U.S. History, which dissects our national story in terms of six cycles, will be published soon at www.solartopia.org

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Tomgram: Patrick Cockburn, An Endless Cycle of Indecisive Wars

 This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Focus: Donald Trump vs. the Republican Establishment - June 28, 2016


Dump Trump movement planning for convention floor fight - NBC News


Trump foes make new push to unbind GOP convention delegates - POLITICO


Text of letter by GOP delegate Kendal Unruh including a new party rule that would permit any delegate to shrug off pledged support - POLITICO


Virginia GOP delegate Beau Correll sues for freedom to vote against Trump - CBS News


VIDEO: Interview with Beau Correll: Lawsuit could give 'Never Trump' movement legal standing - YouTube


Anti-Trump group launches TV ads (VIDEO) - NBC News


POLITICO delegate survey: Dump Trump lacks the votes - POLITICO


Donald Trump & Republican convention revolt: How far can it go? - National Review


POLITICO reached out to more than 50 prominent Republicans. Few said they plan to attend the convention in Cleveland, let alone speak - POLITICO


Here’s a list of the top 11 Republicans who won’t speak at the Trump convention - Daily Wire


GRAPHIC (at the bottom of the page): GOP politicians not attending Republican national convention: Senators, governors, executives - US News


Is Trump qualified to be president? Mitch McConnell won't say. - CSMonitor.com


Conservative columnist George Will leaves Republican Party over Trump, says ’make sure he loses' - NBC News


VIDEO: George Will: I joined the GOP in 1964 when I voted for Barry Goldwater, I joined it because I was a conservative. But I leave for the same reason, that I'm a conservative - YouTube


President Bush Treasury chief Paulson slams Trump, to vote for Clinton - NBC


Paulson op-ed: A Donald Trump presidency is unthinkable. So I'm voting for Hillary Clinton. - Chicago Tribune


Bush White House adviser backs Clinton over Trump - POLITICO


GOP 'savior' George W. Bush headlines fundraisers for senator McCain and others, last spring said he will never endorse Donald Trump - Cincinnati.com


Huffington calls for GOP to dump Trump with 'Trexit' - TheHill


Analysis: Thousands of Republican donors avoid Donald Trump - usatoday.com


The list of prominent hedge-funders who say they won't vote for Trump is growing - theweek.com


Silicon valley snubs Donald Trump - US News

 

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Donald Trump and R.N.C. crack down on rebelling delegates - The New York Times


Trump: Cruz, Kasich shouldn't speak at convention without endorsement - TheHill


Trump camp scrambles to shape up before GOP convention - Fox News


Trump campaign chairman Manafort promises 'major' personnel announcements - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: Paul Manafort on Donald Trump's campaign (Full Interview) - NBC News


Trump co-chair Sam Clovis on GOP opposition: 'They'll get over it' - POLITICO


Is Donald Trump softening his tone? - CNNPolitics.com


Iowa GOP chair: Delegation to go for Trump at convention despite Cruz winning Iowa - RedState


Michigan conservative coalition warns against denying Donald Trump presidential nomination - MLive.com


Pro and anti-Trump groups will be able to protest safely at the Cleveland convention - The Daily Caller


Huckabee: 'I'd be honored' to speak for Trump at RNC - POLITICO


Sarah Palin blasts GOP establishment, stumps for Donald Trump - dailynews.com


Dick Morris says he's been advising Donald Trump - POLITICO


Pete Coors, Mike Shanahan to host Donald Trump fundraiser in Colorado - Denver Post


Donald Trump's son spearheads his presidential fundraising campaign - The Independent


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Have a Chilcot Fourth of July

This Fourth of July, U.S. war makers will be drinking fermented grain, grilling dead flesh, traumatizing veterans with colorful explosions, and thanking their lucky stars and campaign contributors that they don't live in rotten old England. And I don't mean because of King George III. I'm talking about the Chilcot Inquiry.

According to a British newspaper: "The long-awaited Chilcot report into the Iraq war is reportedly set to savage Tony Blair and other former government officials in an 'absolutely brutal' verdict on the failings of the occupation."

Let's be clear, the "brutal" "savaging" is metaphorical, not of the sort actually done to Iraq. By the most scientifically respected measures available, the war killed 1.4 million Iraqis, saw 4.2 million injured, and 4.5 million people become refugees. The 1.4 million dead was 5% of the population. The invasion included 29,200 air strikes, followed by 3,900 over the next eight years. The U.S. military targeted civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances. It used cluster bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new kind of napalm in urban areas. Birth defects, cancer rates, and infant mortality have soared. Water supplies, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, bridges, and electricity supplies were devastated, and not repaired.

For years, the occupying forces encouraged ethnic and sectarian division and violence, resulting in a segregated country and the repression of rights that Iraqis had enjoyed even under Saddam Hussein's brutal police state. Terrorist groups, including one that took the name ISIS, arose and flourished.

This enormous crime was not a well-intended project that experienced a few "failings of the occupation." It was not something that could have been done properly, or legally, or morally. The only decent thing that could have been done with this war, as with any war, was not to start it.

There was no need for yet another investigation. The crime has been out in the open from the start. All the obvious lies about weapons and ties to terrorists could have been true and still wouldn't have justified or legalized the war. What's needed is accountability, which is why Tony Blair may now find himself impeached.

Holding UK accomplices to the crime accountable is not a step toward getting them to squeal on their U.S. bosses, because the secrets are all in the open. But perhaps it can set an example. Perhaps even a UK-free European Union will someday take steps to hold U.S. criminals to account.

It's too late, of course, to dissuade President Obama from expanding on Bush's abuses by holding Bush accountable. But there is the problem of the next president (with both major parties nominating people who supported the 2003 invasion), and the problem of a subservient Congress. There is also the screaming need, ever more urgent, for massive reparations to the people of Iraq. That step, required by justice and humanity, would of course cost less financially than continuing the never-ending wars in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. It would also make the United States safer.

These articles of impeachment were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Dennis Kucinich on June 9, 2008, as H. Res. 1258

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor.

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes.

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq.

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources.

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries.

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq.

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors.

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives.

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy.

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture.

Article XX
Imprisoning Children.

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government.

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws.

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements.

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice.

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare.

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency.

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change.

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

Tomgram: John Feffer, Donald Trump and America B

 This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Party's Over, Quarter Billion Dollars on Bernie, Now What?

Well meaning people just spent a quarter billion dollars on the Bernie Sanders campaign which continues operations while its candidate says he will vote for Hillary Clinton for president.

Let's put that in a little perspective. Iraqis fleeing Fallujah yet again, as wars that Hillary Clinton pushed for roll on, are in need, according to the United Nations, of $17.5 million for survival.

I work for an organization opposing war, called World Beyond War, which runs on less than $50,000 a year. Many good organizations pursuing just what this world needs run on less than that, but you could fund 5,000 organizations at the level of World Beyond War's current funding for what's been spent on Bernie.

Has Sanders for President been a wise investment or not?

Certainly Bernie's campaign inspired people. But I see no reason not to expect most of them to become despondent and despairing now that it's over. If past experience with failed and successful campaigns alike is any guide, that's where we're headed.

Certainly Bernie's campaign educated people. But it's reasonable to assume that establishing or expanding major new media outlets to the tune of $250,000,000 would have educated people too, and that they might have gone on providing the same funding next year and the year after, if their interest were in education rather than election. (First Look Media, publisher of The Intercept, was created with just that amount, but not to all be spent in one year.)

Certainly Bernie should go on trying to somehow make the Democrats' Platform (which, if the past is any guide, they will ignore anyway) slightly less rightwing and disastrous.

It's unclear that investing in Bernie was a reasonable gamble toward winning something more. The rigged nature of the election was clear from the start. Bernie's commitment to promote Hillary Clinton in the end was clear from the start. And her commitment to warmongering, environment destroying, oligarchy enhancing policies was clear from the start.

What else could have been done or could be done now or could be done next time? No, of course you should not vote for the fascist golfer clown. Yes, of course you should vote for Jill Stein. But the system is as rigged against her as it was against Sanders.

Let me ask the question a different way. Why is it that corporations will now take a public stand for LGBTQ rights? Why will even a conscience-free corporate hack like Hillary Clinton defend LGBTQ rights she used to oppose? The primary answer is that activists changed the culture. The role of voting in their work was minimal. As Emma Goldman said, if voting ever changed anything they'd ban it. As Howard Zinn said, it matters less who's sitting in the White House than who's doing the sit ins.

Why so down on elections? I'm in favor of them! I think we should have one some day! That will require some of these changes that cannot be voted in under the broken system that lacks them: public funding of elections, no bribery, free air time for candidates, automatic voter registration, open debates and ballots, no gerrymandering, hand-counted paper ballots, international monitors, no electoral college, no delegates, no superdelegates, and a three-month election season with a bit of actual governing before the next one.

If I were drafting a party platform, it would add to those the following: take military spending back to 2001 levels, tax corporations and billionaires at 1960 levels, restore the minimum wage to its 1968 level, and guarantee everyone top-quality free education preschool through college, healthcare, job training as needed, vacation, family leave, retirement, transportation, childcare, clean energy, public parks, sustainable agriculture, and significant aid to the rest of the world. Yes, that's Bernie's platform, or could have been if he'd been willing to mention cutting military spending or investing in foreign aid. It's also Scandinavia's reality. But a party platform is not the most important place for these commitments.

The place for our passion and even our "unity" is not in a political party that destroys everything we hold dear and calls our continued subservience "unity." We have 60% of the U.S. public that simply cannot stand Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. That may increase as we're forced to endure more and more of the pair of them. If all of those people, or even half of them, backed Jill Stein she might win. But that requires imagining a fair system of elections and of communications that does not exist.

And what if she were elected president? Or what if Bernie Sanders were elected president? We'd still be up against a corrupt communications system, an ill-informed public, a reactionary Congress, a medieval Supreme Court, and the absence of a major independent movement for change. It's good to see Congress Members staging a sit-in to demand that other Congress Members back some ridiculously weak if not counterproductive gun control measures, but what we need is a massive movement of independent people sitting in and surrounding the Capitol until both parties act on the basic lessons learned around the world: ban the guns and stop bombing people.

Does that sound dreamy and utopian? The point is not to expect it to succeed entirely and immediately. The point is that the most strategic way to achieve a partial, compromised solution is to build momentum for a real fix. When your best Congress Members are openly bragging that their opening negotiating demand is for the very least that could possibly be done, the predictable result is less than that. When people fall in behind those so-called public servants, failure is guaranteed.

So what should we do? Even if you believe in dumping most of your energy and money into a broken election system, please consider saving a little for independent activism. We should organize, educate, march, rally, protest, sit-in, disrupt, create alternatives, create media, and find local, state, regional, and international solutions.

Here's one example of what I'm working on. World Beyond War is planning an event called No War 2016 that will happen in Washington, D.C., in September and involve panels, workshops, and nonviolent civil resistance. Speakers will include Dennis Kucinich, Kathy Kelly, Miriam Pemberton, David Vine, Kozue Akibayashi, Harvey Wasserman, Jeff Bachman, Peter Kuznick, Medea Benjamin, Maurice Carney, David Swanson, Leah Bolger, David Hartsough, Pat Elder, John Dear, Mel Duncan, Kimberley Phillips, Ira Helfand, Darakshan Raja, Bill Fletcher Jr., Lindsey German, Maria Santelli, Mark Engler, Maja Groff, Robert Fantina, Barbara Wien, Jodie Evans, Odile Hugonot Haber, Gar Alperovitz, Sam Husseini, Christopher Simpson, Brenna Gautam, Kent Shifferd, Patrick Hiller, Mubarak Awad, Michelle Kwak, John Washburn, Bruce Gagnon, David Cortright, Michael McPhearson, and Sharon Tennison (none of whom necessarily agrees with me on anything in this essay, and some of whom certainly disagree passionately).

We can help you plan a conference or a nonviolent action or both in your part of the world, and you can find lots of events here. I particularly recommend sit-ins in Congressional offices now, pointing to Congress's willingness to use the same tactic itself, and pointing the media to your own live video feed of your own teach-in on the floor of the plush office of your senator or misrepresentative.

The truth is that we have far more power than we're told, we just don't have it where we're told to look for it.

Intel Vets Take The State Dept. 51" to Task

 

 

 

 


Intel Vets Call ‘Dissent Memo’ on Syria ‘Reckless’

 

 

 

 

Editor Note: A group of U.S. intelligence veterans urges President Obama to resist the “reckless” call for a wider Syrian war from 51 State Department officials in a recent “dissent memo.”

MEMORANDUM FOR:  Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Subject:  Beware Foggy Bottom Dissent

Focus: Brexit - June 25, 2016


Brexit: Worries about excessive migration to the U.K.overshadowed fears of the economic fallout of leaving the European bloc - Bloomberg


This is how immigration fueled the Brexit result - The National Interest Blog


Fear of immigration drove the Brexit victory – not immigration itself - The Guardian


POLL: Just ahead of the EU referendum, concern about immigration rose by 10 percentage points - Ipsos MORI


Brexit, explained in one chart: British voters push back against a huge surge in immigration that’s taken place over the past decade - Vox


Brexit: UK Immigration by the numbers - The Post Newspaper


Immigration pushes UK population to 65 million - The Times & The Sunday Times


EU referendum: How the results compare to the UK's educated, old and immigrant populations - telegraph.co.uk


Brexit: What next for immigration after the EU referendum? - newsweek.com


David Cameron, Britain's Prime Minister, to step down after Brexit vote - NBC News


Jeremy Corbyn faces calls to resign from Labour MPs over disastrous referendum campaign - The Independent


VIDEO: Jeremy Corbyn says he wont resign despite Brexit result - ibtimes.co.in


Brexit: New Labour should have listened to 'racist' immigration concerns years ago, As years passed and migration soared those who spoke up were dismissed - ibtimes.co.u

 

--------------------------------------------

Trump cites immigration anger as driving factor in 'Brexit' vote – and beyond - Fox News


VIDEO: Trump: Brits have voted to take their country back - Fox News


TRANSCRIPT: Donald Trump’s Brexit press conference - The Washington Post


Donald J. Trump Statement Regarding British Referendum on E.U. Membership - Donald J Trump for President


How Trump benefits from Brexit - Yahoo Finance


Hillary Clinton camp says Trump’s ‘Brexit’ remarks show he’s unfit for White House - WSJ


Hillary Clinton statement on Brexit vote - hillaryclinton.com


Bernie Sanders on Brexit: ‘The global economy is not working for everybody’ - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Sanders on Brexit: The ‘global economy is not working for everybody' - YouTube


Joe Biden, in a speech in Ireland, warns against blaming immigrants for unrest - LA Times


Joint statement by Schulz, Tusk, Rutte and Juncker on UK referendum outcome - uroparl.europa.eu


From trade to migration - how Brexit may hit the EU economy - Reuters


Brexit to hit German economy hard: business groups - MarketWatch


Brexit sparks calls for more EU exits, world leaders react to EU referendum result - btimes.com


Voters in Sweden, Denmark and Greece demand their say on 'broken' Europe - Daily Mail Online


Swiss say Brexit vote complicates its EU immigration talks - Yahoo Finance UK


Putin on Brexit: UK citizens' choice resulted from the British authorities' 'arrogance and a shallow approach to solving pivotal issues’ - RT News


The British Brexit vote is awful news for China - Quartz


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

How IOGCC-Spawned Lawsuit Overturning BLM Fracking Regulations on Public Lands

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In a ruling on the Obama Administration's proposed regulations of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") on U.S. public lands, U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming Judge Scott Skavdahl — a President Obama appointee — struck down the rules as an illegal violation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. 

 Photo Credit: WildEarth Guardians | Flickr

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics... and U.S. Africa Command

 This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Internet divide issues persist: An Emancipation Proclamation for the Digital Age

By Alfredo Lopez and Jackie Smith

 

We just celebrated "Juneteenth" (the start of the end of slavery in the U.S.) amid tumultuous and sometimes confusing politics and what appears to be an increase in racist mobilization. For internet activists the situation begs the question: what, at this moment in our history, is the relationship between technology and black people?

The Sacrifice of an American Gladiator

Dan Ireland's The Ultimate Arena: The Sacrifice of an American Gladiator is a fictionalized account, speculative in some of the details, but true in all the major facts, to the story of Pat Tillman. Any Good American who "supports the troops" has a duty to read this book, as it recounts the life and death of just about the only troop in recent years to be given a face and a name, if not a voice, by the U.S. media.

The most disturbing question raised for me by this story, as by news reports of the actual events, is unrelated to the killing of Tillman or the lying about it. My question is this: How could this larger-than-life, super-inquisitive, amateur ethicist and philosopher, raised in a uniquely intellectually stimulating and morally instructive family have come to the conclusion that it was a good idea to sign up for participation in mass murder? And secondarily: How, after concluding that he'd been duped and was engaged in purely destructive mass killing, could the same independent rebel have decided it was his moral duty to continue with it, even though he had the ability to easily stop?

This is not a question wholly unique to the case of Tillman. Many of the best veteran advocates for ending war were once among the most passionate believers in the goodness of what they'd signed up to do. But at least in some cases they had grown up in rightwing households. Tillman apparently had not.

Of course, I don't know in detail what Tillman's real childhood and adolescence were. In Ireland's account Tillman had a veteran uncle whose story ought to have turned Tillman against war but in fact -- as is very often the case -- did not completely do so. In Ireland's account Tillman was taught to use violence in personal relations and did so almost routinely.

What we can accept as established fact, however, is that one can grow up in the United States, succeed in school all the way through college, participate in a well-rounded range of activities, and never once encounter a history of war resistance, an argument for war abolition, an ethics class addressing the question of war, a consideration of the illegality of war, or the existence of a peace movement. Tillman, like many veterans I've met, very likely discovered all of these things only after joining the military. For him, in a unique way, but as for many others, that was too late.

In Ireland's account, the financial corruption and opportunism of U.S. wars turned Tillman against them. There's no similar account in the book of the human suffering of mass murder turning him against what he was doing. We are supposed to understand, and as far as we know this is true, that Tillman was prepared to speak against the wars, that he did speak to his fellow troops against the wars, but that he never threatened to set down his weapon or even considered the possibility of doing so.

This fits with the normalization of war that allows people to admire a man for giving up a big football contract to participate in war, and to accept that he became -- like a congressman who votes over and over to fund a war while criticizing it -- an opponent of a war he was participating in.

The most intriguing question raised by Ireland's book is: What could have been? Would Tillman have campaigned for public office, winning votes from war supporters while laying out an antiwar platform? Or would it have been more of an "antiwar" platform, tweaking the imperial machine around the edges?

The power of such an account lies not in these questions, however, but in the fact that hits you like a pro defensive back: each of the millions of deaths brought about by recent wars has been an immense loss, a tragedy, a horror that no words could ever justify.

Talk Nation Radio: Peter Kuznick on Untold Nuclear History and No War 2016

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-peter-kuznick-on-untold-nuclear-history-and-no-war-2016

Peter Kuznick is Professor of History at American University, and author of Beyond the Laboratory: Scientists As Political Activists in 1930s America, co-author with Akira Kimura of  Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives, co-author with Yuki Tanaka of Nuclear Power and Hiroshima: The Truth Behind the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Power, and co-editor with James Gilbert of Rethinking Cold War Culture. In 1995, he founded American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute, which he directs. In 2003, Kuznick organized a group of scholars, writers, artists, clergy, and activists to protest the Smithsonian’s celebratory display of the Enola Gay. He and filmmaker Oliver Stone co-authored the 12 part Showtime documentary film series and book both titled The Untold History of the United States. Kunick will be screening an episode of that program and speaking at the No War 2016 conference in Washington, D.C.: http://worldbeyondwar.org/nowar2016

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Tomgram: William Astore, The End of Air Power?

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Barbarism, civilization and modern politics: PTSD as a Political Football in a Hobbesian Age

By John Grant

 

If our wars were to make killers of all combat soldiers, rather than men who have killed, civilian life would be endangered for generations or, in fact, made impossible.

Focus: Russia - June 21, 2016


Germany's foreign minister accuses NATO of ‘warmongering' over Russia, criticizes military exercises in Eastern Europe - RFERL


NATO’s chief brushes aside comments from Germany’s foreign minister saying both military, political approach needed toward Russia - RFERL


U.S. Navy officials say European exercises not 'sabre-rattling', but necessary steps to deter aggressive Russian maritime expansion - Reuters


US Nato general fears rapid Russian troop deployments - BBC News


NATO targets Russia ‘threat' in July summit - Daily Express


German foreign minister suggests European split over Moscow, Merkel ally rebuffs his NATO criticism - NASDAQ.com


Russia won’t be invading NATO countries, Germany shouldn’t help start a new arms race: former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder - RT News


NATO launches anti-submarine warfare exercise in Norwegian Sea - NATO


NATO jets in Baltics scrambled twice last week to escort Russian warplanes - baltictimes.com


NATO battalions on Russian borders could easily grow into larger contingent: Russian analyst - Sputnik


Defense secretary Carter hails US alliances amid Trump criticism that the U.S. 'cannot afford to police the entire world’ - TheHill


Pentagon chief Carter: 'Next month when I accompany President Obama to the NATO Summit in Warsaw, we all need to do more to deter and defend against Russian aggression' - Sputnik


Carter confirms new NATO battalions on eastern flank - IHS Jane's 360


Is the Pentagon hyping the Russia threat? Some officials are inflating it in an effort to boost the Defense Department’s budget - The American Conservative


Joe Biden rips Donald Trump's foreign policy: 'Embracing Putin at a time of renewed Russian aggression I believe will call into question America's longstanding commitment to Europe' - CNN


Top Russian politician hails Trump’s Washington invite of Putin as ‘common sense' - newsweek.com


She isn’t president yet, but Russia already hates Hillary Clinton - Observer

 

--------------------------------------------------

EU to extend Russia sanctions until the end of the year, divided over next steps - Reuters


European ministers wrestle with future of Russia sanctions - WSJ


Likely sanctions renewal on Russia welcomed by US allies - defensenews.com


US senators press EU to renew Russian sanctions - defensenews.com


NATO's Stoltenberg: EU sanctions on Russia should remain - Reuters


Germany's Steinmeier favors gradual phasing-out of Russia sanctions - Reuters


Time to send ‘strong signal of accommodation’ to Russia and gradually lift sanctions: Austrian FM - RT News


Germany supports Russia's initiative on Nord Stream-2: Russian Energy Minister - TASS


Putin seeks to include China, India, Iran in fledgling Eurasian Union - Forbes


China, Russia expected to sign multibillion dollar high-speed rail deal during Putin’s visit to Beijing - South China Morning Post


Moscow starts developing heavy engine for joint Chinese-Russian airliner - TASS

 

Work on Russian-Chinese heavy helicopter autonomous from 3rd countries: deputy PM - TASS


Putin said to weigh $11-billion Rosneft sale to China, India - worldoil.com


Key economic policy players in the rival Kremlin camps - Daily Mail Online


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Total Recall: New poem by ThisCantBeHappening! resident poet Gary Lindorff

(Prefacing remarks: My dealer writes to thank me

for letting them fix the airbag on my Suby Outback.

Apparently I was driving my car for many years with

a defective airbag that was a potentially lethal weapon.

A Critique of Human Society since the Neolithic Revolution

There is a long history of social critics and progressive thinkers offering critiques of human society.

Syria News - June 19, 2016


U.S. backed Kurdish and Arab forces advance two km from center of Islamic state-held Manbij: source - Reuters


US Special Forces active in Manbij offensive, says YPG official - Rudaw


Islamic State mounts fierce defence of besieged Syrian bastion Manbij, launches a wave of suicide and car bombings - Daily Mail


Hundreds of Kurdish villagers near Manbij taken by ISIS as human shield - Rudaw


SDF forces break ISIS defense lines and reach trapped civilians in Manbij (VIDEO) - Rudaw


ISIS extremists execute whole family for trying to escape Manbij city - ARA News


'I felt liberated': Syrian girl reveals joy removing niqab after US backed Syrian forces expel ISIS - Reuters


Kurdish commander: ISIS no longer able to cross the border, send terrorists from Syria to the outside world - ARA News


Federal plan for Syrian Kurdistan advances with U.S.-backed forces - ekurd


Syrian government forces impose heavy losses on ISIS military hardware in Raqqa province - alalam.ir


UN human rights panel concludes ISIS is committing genocide against Yazidis - United Nations News Centre


REPORT: “They came to destroy”: ISIS crimes against the Yazidis - UN Human Rights Council

 

Why the Islamic State Is Weaker Than It Seems - Stratfor


ARCHIVE: Islamic State sees sharp drop in its revenue - Jerusalem Post

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

Russia bombs U.S.-backed Syrian rebels near Jordan border - CNNPolitics.com


Images suggest that Russia cluster-bombed U.S.-backed Syrian fighters - The Washington Post


Pentagon chief Carter hits Russia for attacking U.S.-backed Syrian rebels - AP


U.S. seeks answers over Russian strikes on Syrian rebels - Reuters


Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on U.S.-Russia Video Conference - U.S. Department of Defense


Russian defense minister meets Assad, inspects Khmeimim airbase in Syria (VIDEO) - RT News


Russia says Syria campaign death toll moves into double figures - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian rebel groups, including Nusra Front, capture government-held areas, dozens dead - ABC News


Islamist group kills seven members of a Kurdish family in Aleppo (VIDEO) - Rudaw


Syrian forces stop al-Nusra Front offensive near Turkish border - Sputnik


Iran’s Qods Force general vows to fight in Iraq and Syria until the last jihadist is killed - The Long War Journal


John Kerry is said to side with diplomats’ critical memo on Syria - The New York Times


Brain-dead diplomats: Why did 51 American State Dept. officials ‘dissent' against Obama and call for bombing Syria? - Alternet


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

What about cops?: Ban Assault Weapons, But for Police Too, Not Just Civilians

By Dave Lindorff

 

A few years ago, I contacted my local police department asking them to send an officer over to put down a doe that had been hit by a car on the street in front of my house. She had suffered a left front and right rear leg break but had somehow flopped herself well into the yard and was on the ground suffering. When a cop arrived, and began to approach her with his pistol I warned him off, saying the deer would hurt herself more trying to get away.

Focus: Russia - June 18, 2016


Putin calls on Europe to improve ties despite sanctions, 'we are willing to meet our European partners halfway' - AP


Putin: Russia ready to lift sanctions first, if certain that EU will follow suit - RT News


Russian economy overcomes recession: Putin - RT Business


Putin repeats praise of Trump for his comments on improving relations between Russia and the US, says he's a 'bright' person - POLITICO


VIDEO (and transcript): Putin speech at the Plenary session of St Petersburg International Economic Forum - President of Russia


VIDEO: Putin talks to world news agencies at St. Petersburg Economic Forum - YouTube


Putin hosts top EU official for talks in rare visit, Juncker says EU-Russia ties not broken beyond repair and must be mended - AP


Speech by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum - europa.eu


U.S. State Dept official confident EU will continue to back Russia sanctions, 'this is the price we all need to pay if we're to successfully resist Russian aggression' - rferl.org


VIDEO: U.S. State Dept official confident EU will continue to back Russia sanctions - YouTube


Ukraine furious over remarks on Russia by U.N. chief Ban - Reuters


Western leaders, CEOs visit Russia amid sanctions fatigue - AP


Calls for EU-Russia free trade agreement echo at St. Petersburg Forum - Sputnik


Italian leader Renzi wants to boost ties with Russia, says Europe and Russia share same values - ABC News


Foreign investment in Russia doubles despite sanctions, West Europeans lead - Russia Beyond The Headlines


To the first, the spoils - Western investors venture back to Russia - Reuters

 

----------------------------------------------------

Russia assails NATO's move to deploy troops near its border - AP


NATO military rotation in Eastern Europe poses threat to Russia: Envoy - Sputnik


NATO war games In Poland get Russia's attention - NPR


Russia's position regarding missile defense, NATO ignored: Putin - Sputnik


Russian lawmaker says US missile defense system deployment in Japan to affect security - TASS


Russia to watch US and NATO military activities in Black Sea: Grushko - TASS


US to Russia: We're staying in the Black Sea - Business Insider


‘I don’t need war’: Bulgarian PM rules out joining NATO flotilla in Black Sea - RT News


NATO watches warily as Russia conducts snap combat readiness test - Sputnik

 

-----------------------------------------------

Putin: New elections, not forced regime change, key for ending Syrian civil war - Fox News


Putin hopes US can convince Syrian opposition to talk with Damascus  -Sputnik


Russia failed to heed U.S. call to stop targeting Syrian rebels: U.S. - Reuters


Lavrov accuses US of sparing al-Qaeda's branch to topple Assad - Telegraph


State Department officials call for U.S. military action against Assad regime - CNNPolitics.com


Obama, despite dissent on Syria, not shifting toward strikes on Assad - Reuters


Diplomats’ dissent on Syria is a signal to their former boss Hillary Clinton - Bloomberg Politics


Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir rips White House on Syria - CNNPolitics.com


Erdogan sends letter to Putin, hopes for improved ties with Russia - Sputnik


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

 

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

Find Events Here.

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