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Obama Administration


Iran Nukes could be a Stabilizing Counterbalance to Israeli Arsenal

 

TCBH! founder Dave Lindorff On Iran: "The Iranians have enough money to buy a bomb if they wanted one, on the black market, so I think all of this has been hugely overblown in US propaganda, and Israeli propaganda."


Manhattan DA espies financial fraud and indicts...a tiny Chinatown bank: Indicting the Wrong Target in the US Financial Capital

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

Note from TCBH: Manhattan island hosts the headquarters of four of the nation's five biggest "too-big-to-fail" banks: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, JP MorganChase, and Citi Group. US Attorney General Eric Holder has stated publicly in Congress that he has no intention of seeking criminal indictments of these banks or their top executives -- or even their middle-ranking executives for that matter -- despite the myriad frauds, scams and schemes they've all engaged in, like robo-signing mortgage documents and touting derivatives that they were privately calling "sh*t," all of which led to the crashing of the US and global economies.

NO CUTS! NO TAX INCREASES ON ORDINARY PEOPLE! Chase Down Mega-Rich Tax Cheats and Recover the Offshore Trillion$

 

By Dave Lindorff


Hold everything!


I mean it. Stop talking about cutting school budgets, Social Security benefits, Medicare, Veteran’s pensions. Stop cutting subsidies to transit systems, to foreign aid. Stop cutting unemployment benefits. Stop it all.

Crashing the 2-Party System: The Way Forward is a Single-Issue Social Security Defense Party

 

By Dave Lindorff


The history of third parties in America is pretty dismal. The system is rigged against them, for one thing. But equally problematic is the lack of focus that leads to infighting and splits whenever a third party is created.


The Future's So Much More Fun than the Past: How to Avoid the Bummer Myth

 

By John Grant


“The elite always has a Plan B, while people have no escape.”
            - Ahmad Saadawi


You Have the Right to Remain Silent: The United Prison States of America

 

By Dave Lindorff


Willie James Sauls is unlikely to see the outside of a prison. Last fall a court in the state of Texas sentenced this 37-year-old man to 45 years in jail. His crime: he snatched the purse from an old woman. 


The Real Obama? The Devil...is in The Details

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.


The HISTORY channel is catching righteous hell for crafting the character of Satan in its miniseries “The Bible” to bear an uncanny likeness to U.S. President Barak Obama.

Is it just coincidence that the dark-skinned Satan in this HISTORY channel miniseries looks hauntingly similar to the first black man to occupy the Oval Office seat in America’s White House?

Just a US Citizen, No Big Deal: Obama Doesn’t Demand Israeli Apology for Killing of an American Youth

 

By Dave Lindorff


The American media is full of praise for President Obama for “brokering” a detente between Israel and Turkey, two former allies who have been at loggerheads since May 31, 2010 when heavily armed Israeli Defense Force fighters boarded the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-flagged vessel seeking to break Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza with non-military supplies, and killed nine unarmed peace flotilla activists.


A Great American In History Hugo Chavez and the Knuckleheads

 

By John Grant


Sean Hannity grinned and seemed to bounce up and down like he was plugged into an electric socket as he ripped into Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president who had just succumbed to cancer. Hannity was joined in his death gloat by Michelle Malkin, one of the more delightfully odious voices on the far right.

True, He’s the First Black President But Obama’s the Worst President Ever

 

By Ron Ridenour


Yes, I mean it: the worst ever!


We’ve had James Monroe and his doctrine of supremacy over Latin America. We’ve had Theodore Roosevelt and his invasion of Cuba; Nixon, Reagan, Bush-Bush and their mass murder, and all the war crimes and genocide committed by most presidents. Yes, but we never had a black man sit on the white throne of imperialism committing war crimes.


Journalistic Malpractice at the Post and the Times Rejecting the Offer of Evidence of US War Crimes

 

 By Dave Lindorff


Thanks to the courageous action of Private Bradley Manning, the young soldier who has been held for over two years by the US military on trumped-up charges including espionage and aiding the enemy, we now have solid evidence that the country’s two leading news organizations, the Washington Post and the New York Times, are not interesting in serious reporting critical of the government.

Individual Honor versus Unpleasant History The Battle Still Rages Over What Vietnam Means

 

By John Grant


"The experience we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is thus a lie -- the truth lies rather outside, in what we do."

                -- Slavoj Zizek

John Owen Brennen - War Criminal

 

Name: John Owen Brennan

Born: September 22, 1955 in North Bergen, NJ

Profession: Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security & Counterterrorism and Assistant to the President (2009 – present)

john-brennan-mug_gweb_6x4.5

Droning On: The US and the M Word

 

By Dan DeWalt


‘If the President Does It, It Isn’t Illegal’

             -- Richard M. Nixon



An Open Letter to Secretary of Defense Nominee Chuck Hagel--A 10-point Plan

 

Dear Senator Hagel,

 

Congratulations on your recent nomination to the office of Secretary of Defense.  As you await the Senate’s decision on your confirmation, I would like to express to you some ideas about the office of Secretary of Defense, and what I would like to see from this office.  I am the member of an organization called Veterans For Peace (VFP), which has been around since 1985.  VFP was formed by a Viet Nam veteran with the intention of creating a bridge between the peace movement and veterans.  VFP members believe that our collective experience as veterans allows us to speak about the true costs and consequences of war and militarism with a voice of credibility and true standing.  We feel a responsibility to speak out against war and militarism, particularly when it is manifested in illegal and immoral wars of choice and aggression.  I appreciate very much that President Obama has chosen you--someone who has seen first-hand the horrors of combat--to fill the position of Secretary of Defense.  Like the members of VFP, your voice will carry an extraordinary credibility, because you understand war in a way that a civilian cannot.  It will not be easy to dismiss your words when you caution against military force, or speak in favor of abiding by the Geneva Conventions.  I hope that you will become a force for reshaping the Department of Defense, by consideration of the following:

1.     Refuse to put troops into harm’s way as part of an illegal, immoral war of aggression.  The 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), signed as a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 has been used, first by the Bush administration, and now by the Obama administration, as a blank check for perpetual war.  As the Secretary of Defense, you should refuse to deploy any combat troops until Congress provides a legally binding authorization to do so.  As a combat veteran, you truly understand that no one should be asked to kill or be killed for a war of choice, particularly one that has not even been legally authorized.  Demand adherence to the War Powers Act.

2.     Take responsibility for the deaths, damage and harm done by the U.S.  The “Collateral Murder” video leaked to Wikileaks showed the world just one instance of war crimes conducted by U.S. forces.  For the United States to have any moral credibility whatsoever, we must take responsibility for our actions.

3.     State unequivocally that the U.S. will abide by the Geneva Conventions and will not torture, or participate in the extraordinary rendition of prisoners.

4.     Stop the illegal use of combat drones that are responsible the extrajudicial assassinations of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

5.     Call for the closure of all U.S. military bases in foreign countries.  The U.S. currently has military troops stationed in more than 150 countries around the world.  Bringing U.S. troops back to the U.S. will send a strong message to the international community that the U.S. is not interested in hegemony, or in being the world’s policeman.

6.     Call for the dismantlement of all nuclear weapons, and immediately take nuclear weapons off of naval vessels.  There can never be a justified use of a nuclear weapon and if the U.S. is going to demand that other countries refrain from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities, then it needs to lead the way in disarmament.  

7.     Stop the use of Depleted Uranium weapons. “DU” weapons violate the Geneva Conventions.  Once exploded, DU particulates enter ground water, travel on air currents, and are inhaled by innocent civilians.  DU weapons are responsible for a huge spike in deformities, birth defects and other ailments in Iraq where they were widely used.

8.     End foreign military sales to countries who violate international laws and basic human rights, and who have child soldiers.

9.     Push to become a signatory to the Land Mine treaty.  The international community recognizes land mines and cluster bombs as weapons that kill a high number of civilians, often long after the “official” conflict is over. 

10.Slash the Pentagon budget.  The U.S. spends more on the military and war than the rest of the world combined.  Bring our war dollars home.

 

In summary, I hope that you will use your unique qualifications and experience to push this administration into adherence with international law.  I urge you, as a fellow veteran, to use your voice, your influence, and your power to guide and inform this administration towards a new type of Department of “Defense…” one that uses military force only for its actual defense.

Watch Your Wallet! Much Ado about Nothing in Budget Debate

 

By Dave Lindorff


By Dave Lindorff


All the sturm and drang in Washington over the March 1 deadline for a budget deal is an act. Two acts really.

A new video by Class War Films: 'Financial Crime'

 

Class War Films, the brainchild of three filmmakers, Lanny Cotler, and Paul and Jason Edwards, have offered to provide ThisCantBeHappening! with occasional short videos on topics like this, military spending, political fraud, financial crime, etc. They are working on creating a website, which will be called ClassWarriors.org, which should be functioning "soon" we are informed.

We're happy here at TCBH! to be able to help get their films out to a wider public.

 

Aaron Schwartz and the Fight for Information Freedom

 

By Alfredo Lopez


In the madness of our media-fed consciousness, the greatest threat to an informative news story is time. Given enough time, and the dysfunctional and disinformative way the mainstream media cover news, even the most important and revealing story quickly dies out. 


That is, unless we who use alternative media keep that story alive.


What Obama Said -- and What He Meant -- About Climate Change, War and Civil Liberties

By Norman Solomon

The words in President Obama’s “State of the Union” speech were often lofty, spinning through the air with the greatest of ease and emitting dog whistles as they flew.

Let’s decode the president’s smooth oratory in the realms of climate change, war and civil liberties.

“For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”

We’ve done so little to combat climate change -- we must do more.

“I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change…”

Climate change is an issue that can be very good for Wall Street. Folks who got the hang of “derivatives” and “credit default swaps” can learn how to handle “cap and trade.” The corporate environmental groups are on board, and maybe we can offer enough goodies to big corporations to make it worth their while to bring enough of Congress along.

ICYMI the SOTU Is SNAFU

A mountain of bad, in fact deadly, ideas that Congress will eagerly support, and a handful of good proposals that no one will work for and Congress will strive to bury: the SOTU is SNAFU, ICYMI. 

Obama's hiring Romney campaign staff, pushing for a massive corporate trade deal with Europe as well as the Pacific nations, militarizing the Mexican border, and promising not to spend a dime before listing all the good things he'll spend it on.  He'll defend human rights in Egypt (but not mention billions of dollars' worth of weapons he'll give the Egyptian government).  "Sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness," he said.  Readiness for what, Mr. President?

"We have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts," Obama lied about his drone kill program, and Congress cheered.  He said he'd end the war on Afghanistan, and they cheered.  They sat silently through the next few sentences as he promised NOT to end that war, and then they picked up the cheering again.  He hyped the military as a jobs program.  He committed to cutting Medicare.  Cheers, cheers, cheers.

"We produce more oil at home," he bragged.  "We produce more natural gas than ever."  We need "a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on."  Inspiring!


EXTREME WHETHER

I recently read the script of a new play by Karen Malpede called "Extreme Whether."  The title picks up on the crisis of global warming and the choice it presents to our species.  The play will be performed in New York as part of a Festival of Conscience along with Malpede's brilliant antiwar play "Another Life."

"Extreme Whether" is a riff on the story of James Hansen, the NASA scientist who has been trying to tell Congress that the environment is collapsing since 1988.  Malpede invents  a family story for a character like Hansen.  At least in reading (much different from watching) the story at first seems insufficiently tragic.  But as the play advances, so does its vision of the damage being done.  Yet the closer the play gets to communicating the apocalypse that may be to come, the more it appears to have fallen short, although it is of course the play itself that is waking one up to the horror.  Some things defy description even as they're told to you.  In the end, the play is sufficiently tragic, but it presents an image of people as irrational, hedonistic, and therefore hopeless -- an image we should be constantly correcting if possible, except that it, too, seems pretty accurate.

The real Hansen will be speaking at the Festival of Conscience, as will I.  See the schedule below.

 

FEBRUARY 17th

First, this Sunday is a day to rally in Washington, D.C., for serious action on climate change.  Be there.  And make sure anyone who's not on board with this movement watches a performance of "Extreme Whether."

And that evening, help mark 10 Years of D.C. Poets Against the War.

Ann B. Knox, read a poem called "This Moment" in front of the White House on February 12, 2003:

 

We meet in this wind-harsh square

            with some expectation,

some hope our presence will count,

            our voices be heard.

 

We speak from what we know

            and we know no poem

stirs from a closed mind.

            Has the mailed fist

so closed on its own purpose

            we speak to stone?

 

Pay attention, our words matter,

            these bare trees matter,

the Potomac flowing black

            under white ice matters,

kids, woods, a leashed dog,

            poems matter.

 

All our lives converge

            on this moment

and what follows tonight,

            tomorrow, next week

will change our whole

            desperate earth.

 

##

 

"Sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness," he said. 

Readiness for what, Mr. President?

 

##

 

ANOTHER LIFE
Written by KAREN MALPEDE

ANOTHER LIFE
Performances Thursday - Sunday, March 28 - April 21
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00pm
Sunday at 3:00pm

starring George Bartenieff with Abbas Noori Abbood, Christen Gifford, Abraham Makany, Alex Tavis & Di Zhu. 

Another Life is a surreal romp through the post-9/11 decade; an out-sized mogul (George Bartenieff) controls, cashes-in, and is undone in the only American play about the U.S. torture program.  Another Life has been excerpted in The Kenyon Review, given a staged reading at the National Theater of Kosovo, was a centerpiece of the Art of Justice: 9/11 Performance Project at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, and was further acclaimed during a workshop run at the Irondale Center last March.  The play, written in a fast-paced lyric language, is based on research, interviews, testimonies, the words of torturers and tortured, and has been widely praised by experts in the field of human rights, for its inventiveness, power and ability to create empathy.  George Bartenieff gives a tour de force performance as the Cheneyesque mogul Handel. Christin Clifford is his wife Tess and Abbas Noori Abood his prisoner Abdul.  Di Zhu is  his wounded physician daughter who becomes a whistle-blower; Alex Tavis a disgraced F.B.I. officer becomes head of Handel’s private contracting interrogation business. Abraham Makany is Geoff, Lucia’s fiancé who died in the Twin Towers, and retains the innocence of a previous age.  With lighting by Tony Giovennetti, video design by Luba Lukova, costumes by Sally Ann Parsons and Carissa Kelly, set by Robert Eggers and music by Arthur Rosen, and written and directed by Karen Malpede, Another Life is a challenge to the legacy of torture. March 28-April 21, Thurs-Sat. at 8pm, Sun at 3pm; special Saturday, April 13 matinee at 3 pm.

Please Note: On Saturday, April 13, there will be a 3pm Matinee performance of ANOTHER LIFE. There will be no 8pm performance on April 13.

EXTREME WHETHER
Play reading Monday, April 8 at 7pm
Saturday, April 13 at 8pm

Extreme Whether, a new play, will be given two premiere readings; itdraws inspiration from two earlier eco-conscious writers, Ibsen and Chekhov. It is a family drama set on an endangered wilderness estate in an endangered world; as immediate and startling as today’s extreme weather news.  With fierce commitment to truth-telling and heroic persistence against the censorship of science a famous climate scientist and his younger colleague and lover battle industry climate change deniers to alert the wider public to the need for action.  An old environmentalist, a wise child and a frog complete the cast.  An original musical score by Arthur Rosen creates the cosmic dance.  George Bartenieff, Kathleen Chalfant, Zack Grenier lead the cast alongside Soraya Broukhim, Kathleen Purcell and Alex Tavis in the two readings of this new play by Karen Malpede.  April 8 at 7pm and April 13 at 8 pm, only.

FESTIVAL OF CONSCIENCE

Both plays are presented in conjunction with A Festival of Conscience, a series of post-show dialogues with major voices.  These post-show talks are free to all.

March 28: Noor Elashi, writer, daughter of Ghassan Elashi, currently serving 65 years in a CMU prison in Colorado, for having led a Muslim charity that sent donations to Gaza, Pardiss Kabriaei, CCR lawyer representing Muslim’s in the U.S.

Thursday, April 4, David Swanson, author War Is A Lie, blogger, radio host

Sunday, April 7 (post-matinee): Elizabeth Holtzman, Cheating Justice & Karen J. Greenberg, Director, Center on National Security, Fordham Law.

Monday, April 8: 8 pm Reading Extreme Whether, post-show talk by Dr. James Hansen, NASA, America’s foremost climate scientist

Thursday, April 11, 8pm Another Life, tba post-show discussion

Friday, April 12, 8 pm Another Life, post-show Victoria Brittan, journalist, co-author, Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Defend Duty; Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror

Saturday, April 13: 2 pm matinee of Another Life. 4:30-6 Post-show panel, Ramzi Kassem, lawyer for Gitmo detainees, Jesselyn Radack, Government Accountability Project, lawyer for many of the whistle blowers, including John Kiriakou; and Tom Drake, whistle blower and former intelligence officer.

Sunday, April 14: 2 pm matinee of Another Life. 4:30-6 post-show panel, Michael Ratner, Exec. Director of CCR and lawyer for Julian Assange; and Christian Parenti, author of Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, and other books, and contributing editor to The Nation.

Keeping Americans Safe: Freedom of Information Takes Another Hit in the United States

 

By Dave Lindorff


The US government doesn't like Iran. I get that. It claims, on pretty dubious grounds, that Iran might be planning, at some point down the road, to take some of the uranium it is processing into nuclear fuel to a higher level of purity and make it into an atomic bomb.

White Paper = Whitewash of Targeted Killing

by Debra Sweet                Tuesday on Democracy Now, Daniel Ellsberg pointed out that President Obama is "thinking like John Yoo." The White Paper leaked just as the drone-in-chief/assassination czar John Brennan begins hearings to become the new head of the C.I.A. doesn't rise to level of the more sophisticated memo like the one Yoo wrote to justify torture (download PDF) but it's just as chilling. Apparently the Obama administration is giving the memo which this White Paper is based on to Congress today.

Links? We Don’t Do No Stinkin’ Links: Cognitive Dissonance at the New York Times

 

By Dave Lindorff


For a masterpiece in cognitive dissonance, just look to the foreign editors and the  managing editor of the New York Times, who ran two stories in Saturday’s paper without referencing each other at all.


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