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John Brennan on Deck

Drone Memo Puts Brennan on Spot

February 7, 2013

Exclusive: President Obama is finally giving the congressional Intelligence Committees a look at a Justice Department legal opinion justifying the killing of Americans in senior al-Qaeda positions plotting attacks on the U.S. The disclosure comes as the Senate considers John Brennan to be CIA director.

By Ray McGovern

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing on John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director presents a rare public opportunity for Congress to insist that the White House publicly defend whatever legal reasoning has been adduced to justify the killing of alleged American terrorists working with al-Qaeda on plots to attack the United States.

Okay -- Don't Believe Me!

 

I was having a hard time falling asleep

When I heard a loud noise coming from the kitchen.

Probably the cat after a mouse

Knocked something off the counter.

I made my way downstairs

Glad to have an excuse to get vertical.

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.


New Film Offers Rare Glimpse of the Real Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.


Many millions around the world are convinced they know imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal from closely examining the ‘whodunit’ contentions surrounding his contentious conviction for the December 9, 1981 slaying of a Philadelphia policeman.

Hey, Hey, Barack! What Do You Say? How Many Kids Have You Killed Today?

 

By Dave Lindorff


I personally found the president’s inaugural speech not just insipid, but disgusting. It reached its gut-churning nadir near the end where he said:


CNN Video of Police Charge at Sandy Hook is Not Sandy Hook

Excerpted from original report at Digital Journal:
http://digitaljournal.com/article/341776

At the words "they arrived to carnage," the CNN Anderson Cooper report cuts to helicopter footage of seven police officers charging across a parking lot and toward a school. It is breaking news coverage of the Sandy Hook shooting just hours earlier. The three-minute report posted on the day of the shootings at the official CNN website is entitled "Tragedy Strikes at Elementary School." But the school the police are seen 'arriving' to is almost certainly not Sandy Hook.

Déjà Vu All Over Again: Notes on Jonathan Schell’s Review of 'Kill Anything That Moves'

 

By Michael Uhl


Jonathan Schell‘s probing review of Nick Turse’s new book Kill Anything That Moves originated on Tom Dispatch and migrated to Salon, where it appeared under the head “Vietnam was even more horrific than we thought.”

Obama's Second Inauguration: Big Money but No Big Lines

 

By Dave Lindorff


There were no memorable lines in President Obama’s second inaugural address. Certainly nothing like Franklin Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which was in his first inaugural, or like John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.”


But there was plenty he said that was troubling. 


The problem mostly wasn’t what he said. It was how he said it, and what he left unsaid.

American News Media Ignore Critical Media Scandal

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.


America’s corporate news media love highlighting David-besting-Goliath stories…except apparently, when the fallen Goliath is major media mogul Rupert Murdoch – the billionaire owner of America’s caustic FOX News and other entities.

Growth is the Enemy of Humankind

 

By Dave Lindorff


What is wrong with America?

            

Big question.


Simple answer.

High Noon in America or: How I Learned to Love Gun Control

 

By John Grant


Since gun control is such a hot topic, the elite think tank the Project For a New American Decade (PNAD) has come up with a modest proposal to add to the national conversation. We think it’s worth a try.

First, we do the obvious, most sensible things: we establish universal background checks and dignified mental health services for those who exhibit a need for it. The third leg of the current gun control imbroglio -- banning AR-15s -- is a bit trickier.

Gun Enthusiasts To “Send Obama Message” With Gun Appreciation Day Two Days Before Inauguration

A new coalition of gun rights and conservative groups has proclaimed January 19, 2013, "Gun Appreciation Day" -- the group, calling themselves GAD, has begun urging Americans nationwide to show their support for gun ownership by turning out en masse at gun stores, ranges, and shows from coast to coast. Video:

Wall Street Pulls the Strings: Social Security Under Attack in February

 

By Dave Lindorff


The all-out assault on Social Security has begun.

The set-up for the big battle was the Fiscal Cliff charade. That hyped drama in the last days of December was a moment of truth for the Democratic Party and for President Barack Obama to make it clear whether they were still defenders of the New Deal legacy, or whether they were ready to toss Social Security overboard on behalf of the party’s new constituency: the Wall Street gang.

Joe Biden: Dancing With the Sausage Maker

 

 

By John Grant


Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made.

             -- Mark Twain


America’s Political Dysfunction at Root is an Unwillingness to Cut War Spending

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

I was asked earlier this week by an reporter for PressTV, the state television network in Iran, if I could explain why the US political system seemed to be so dysfunctional, with Congress and the President having created an artificial budget crisis 17 months ago, not “solving” it until the last hour before a Congressional deadline would have created financial chaos, and even then not solving the problem and instead just pushing it off for two months until the next crisis moment.

 

FBI Ignored Deadly Threat to Occupiers: US Intelligence Machine Instead Plotted with Bankers to Attack Protest Movement

 

By Dave Lindorff


New documents obtained from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security by the Partnership for Civil Justice and released this past week show that the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies began a campaign of monitoring, spying and disrupting the Occupy Movement at least two months before the first occupation actions began in late September 2011.


Capitalism and Mental Illness: Back to the Future?

 

By Charles M. Young


A 21st century psychotherapist steps into a time machine and comes out in Atlanta in 1855. Having no other marketable skills, he hangs out a shingle and promises new remedies for mental illness. A well-dressed gentleman knocks on the door and inquires if the psychotherapist might come to his plantation to examine the slaves.


Wayne LaPierre and the NRA: Helping to Keep America Wacky and Violent

 

By Linn Washington Jr.


Listening to NRA chief Wayne LaPierre lash out at any notion of gun control during that staunch gun advocate’s first public appearance in the wake of the horrific Connecticut school shooting triggered flashbacks to defiance I once heard from 1960s-era segregationist George Wallace.

Wallace rode a racist declaration from his 1963 governorship inauguration in Alabama to campaigns for the U.S. presidency years later: “Segregation now…Segregation tomorrow. Segregation forever!”

Psychiatrists Say Some Psych Meds 'Cause' Violence, Lanza Records Still Not Released

Psychiatrists have come forward to assert that certain psychiatric medications, such as those known as SSRIs, are almost certainly the chemical cause of a large number of instances of random violence and suicide in which SSRIs have been present.

The research challenges the pharmaceutical industry's defense that the high correlation between random violence and the presence of these medications is due to the mental illness, not the drugs being prescribed for the illness. Other critics of the industry claim that drugs tend to be too aggressively marketed and over-prescribed.

Will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Stand Up to the NRA?

When CODEPINK, MoveOn and representatives of other organizations marched into Senator Harry Reid’s DC office on Tuesday, December 18, they wanted a simple answer to a simple question: Does the Senator support a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity clips, such as the legislation proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein and supported by President Obama and Vice President Biden? It would seem like a no-brainer for the Senate Majority Leader to fall in line with the leadership of his party in backing a modest bill that would ban the sale of weapons that are only good for mass murder. Unfortunately, Reid’s senior policy advisor Kasey Gillette was unable to give an answer.

While there is a lot of talk in Democratic circles about Republicans standing in the way of sensible gun laws, a hidden secret is that the Democratic Senator leader from Nevada, who is key to getting gun control legislation passed in this country, has been as pro-gun as most Republicans.

Playing to Lose? Obama’s Just Another Chicago Player Throwing the Game

 

The latest from ThisCantBeHappening!:

Playing to Lose?

Obama’s Just Another Chicago Player Throwing the Game


By Dave Lindorff


Crime Watch: American Presidents and their Advisors are War Criminals

 

By Dave Lindorff


Most Americans, their minds focused at the moment on the tragic slaughter of 20 young children aged 5-10, along with five teachers and a school principal in Connecticut by a heavily-armed psychotic 21-year-old, are blissfully unaware that their last president, George W. Bush, along with five key members of his administration, were convicted in absentia of war crimes earlier this month at a tribunal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


America’s Teachers: Heroes or Greedy Moochers at the Public Trough?

 

By Dave Lindorff


I’ll be brief here. Let’s just note that the heroic teachers who died while courageously trying to protect their kids at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, and the others who survived but stayed to protect the kids, were all part of a school system where the employees are members of the American Federation of Teachers.  


Feigning Panic at the Cliff's Edge

 

By Dan DeWalt


Thank God for the fiscal cliff. With the election over, the media needed something upon which they could incessantly fixate, and our daily updates on the fate of the cliff-hanger negotiations are plenty of fodder to hold us until we have the final Christmas sales figures to talk about.


Police Corruption Blues: Red Flags & Black Marks

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.


A Philadelphia police officer stood outside the front door of the department’s headquarters building next to a “No Smoking” sign, cavalierly smoking a cigarette and ignoring the smoking ban imposed by the police commissioner.

US Intelligence Analysts: American Power is in Terminal Decline

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The US is on the way out as a hegemonic power. 


That is the primary conclusion of a new report out of the National Intelligence Council -- a government organization that produces mid-term and long-range thinking for the US intelligence community.


A Case of Just Looking Stupid? The Not-So-Bright Bulbs at the White House and Pentagon

 

By Dave Lindorff


Let me see if I’ve got this right.


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