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Pakistan Raid Start Of Concerted Bid To Hit Al-Qaida

Pakistan Raid Start Of Concerted Bid To Hit Al-Qaida
by Tom Gjelten and Tom Bowman | NPR.org

NPR has learned that the raid by helicopter-borne U.S. Special Operations forces in Pakistan last week was not an isolated incident but part of a three-phase plan, approved by President Bush, to strike at Osama bin Laden and top al-Qaida leadership.

The plan calls for a much more aggressive military campaign, said one source, familiar with the presidential order, which gives the green light for the military to take part in the operations. The plan represents an 11th-hour effort to hammer al-Qaida until the Bush administration leaves office, two government officials told NPR.

"Definitely, the gloves have come off," said a source who has been briefed on the plan. "This was only Phase 1 of three phases."

Embassy Attack Puts New Focus On Yemen

Embassy Attack Puts New Focus On Yemen
by Ivan Watson | NPR.org

Twisted metal, bits of human flesh and burned out cars littered the street outside the U.S. Embassy in San'a, Yemen, the morning after attackers mounted a coordinated frontal assault on the heavily fortified compound.

Yemeni officials say 16 people were killed in the battle, including six local security forces and four civilian bystanders. The U.S. State Department said the assault on the compound carried the hallmarks of an al-Qaida operation.

Dozens of suspects were taken in for questioning by Yemeni security officials in the wake of Wednesday's battle.

Russia, China, Germany Reject US Evidence of Iran's Covert Nuke Program

Russia, China, Germany reject US evidence of Iran's covert nuke program
DEBKAfile Special Analysis | DEBKA.com

Euphrates pipes for destroyed Syrian reactor designed to be part of Iran's military program

Russia, China and Germany refuse to countenance tougher sanctions against Iran notwithstanding the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report from Vienna that its inspections of suspect activities and covert projects were stalled by Tehran’s non-cooperation. Diplomats for the five permanent Security Council members and Germany, meeting at the State Department Friday, Sept 19, therefore failed to agree on a new round of sanctions ahead of their foreign ministers’ meeting at UN Center next week.

Chicken Little Was Right

Chicken Little Was Right
by Stephen P. Pizzo | NewsforReal.com

Funny how history has a way of turning back on itself.

Remember when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and Republicans claimed that Ronald Reagan's aggressive policies toward the Soviet Union had won the Cold War. In particularly they claim that Reagan's fabulously expensive "Star Wars" anti-missile system had forced the Soviets to spend so much on their own military projects that it bankrupted them.

Well, there's truth in that. Between trying to compete with Reagan's military spending and their own misadventure in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union went bust. Decades of over-spending on its military, under-spending on critical domestic needs and saddled with a flawed and increasingly corrupt economic dogma all collided at once, ending in utter and complete collapse.

Vice President Dick Cheney's Incredible and Deadly Lie

Vice President Dick Cheney's Incredible and Deadly Lie: By Deceiving a Congressional Leader, Cheney Sent Us to War on False Pretenses And Violated the Separation of Powers - as Well as the Criminal Law
By JOHN W. DEAN | FindLaw.com

This week, I agreed to deliver a "Constitution Day" talk on a college campus. My talk was not partisan. Yet the subject matter I selected was prompted by the most incredible - not to mention the most deadly - lie Dick Cheney has yet told, which was reported earlier this week.

DOJ Refused to Release Cheney Interview Relying In Part on New Ground

DOJ REFUSED TO RELEASE CHENEY INTERVIEW RELYING IN PART ON NEW GROUND

On September 18, 2008, the Department of Justice ("DOJ") finally responded to CREW's FOIA request of July 17, 2008, for records related to the FBI interview of Vice President Cheney as part of the government's leak investigation. In response to a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee for the same documents, Attorney General Michael Mukasey asserted executive privilege, at the request of the president. In response to CREW's FOIA request, DOJ refused to produce any documents, also claiming executive privilege. In addition, for the first time DOJ also claimed that portions of the records are classified. CREW is in litigation with DOJ over this FOIA request.

Judge Orders Cheney to Preserve Records

Judge orders Cheney to preserve records
By Pete Yost | Associated Press

A federal judge on Saturday ordered Dick Cheney to preserve a wide range of the records from his time as vice president.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is a setback for the Bush administration in its effort to promote a narrow definition of materials that must be safeguarded under by the Presidential Records Act.

The Bush administration's legal position "heightens the court's concern" that some records may not be preserved, said the judge.

A private group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is suing Cheney and the Executive Office of the President in an effort to ensure that no presidential records are destroyed or handled in a way that makes them unavailable to the public.

A Wild Frontier

A Wild Frontier
By Lakki Marwat | The Economist

It will take more than American missiles to bring order to Pakistan’s north-western border region

AMERICA and Pakistan both deny it; but it appears that on September 15th they fought a short war. America started it. Local reports suggest that, under cover of darkness, two helicopter-loads of its soldiers crossed on foot from Afghanistan into the Pakistani tribal area—and terrorist haven—of South Waziristan. This followed an American policy, allegedly authorised by President George Bush in July, of launching raids into Pakistan without its government’s approval. But, on this occasion, Pakistani border troops responded as to the act of aggression that it constituted: shooting over the heads of the advancing Americans, forcing them back.

Lawmakers Seek Review of Denied Medal of Honor Case

Lawmakers seek review of denied Medal of Honor case
CNN.com

A California congressional delegation asked President Bush on Friday to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to a Marine who was chosen to receive only the second-highest medal the Navy can bestow for valor.

The delegation, spearheaded by Rep. Duncan Hunter, sent a letter asking for a review of the case of Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who witnesses say covered a grenade with his body to save comrades on November 15, 2004, during fighting in Fallujah, Iraq. Already wounded by gunfire, he died immediately.

US Pro-Democracy Groups Call on Debate Commission to Make Secret Contract Public

PRO-DEMOCRACY GROUPS CALL ON DEBATE COMMISSION TO MAKE SECRET CONTRACT PUBLIC OpenDebates.org

Washington, D.C. – Ten pro-democracy groups – Open Debates, Common Cause, Fair Vote, Judicial Watch, Democracy Matters, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, Rock the Debates, Personal Democracy Forum, Reclaim Democracy, and Essential Information – call on the Commission on Presidential Debates to make public the secret debate contract negotiated by the Obama and McCain campaigns.

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) of the McCain campaign and Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) of the Obama campaign have negotiated a detailed contract that dictates the terms of the 2008 presidential debates, including who can participate and the structure of the debate formats. The Commission on Presidential Debates, a private corporation created by the Republican and Democratic parties, has agreed to implement the debate contract. In order to shield the major party candidates from criticism, the Commission on Presidential Debates has refused to release the debate contract to the public.

“In denying voters access to critical information about our most important political forums, the Commission on Presidential Debates is more concerned with the partisan interests of the two major party candidates than the democratic interests of the voting public,” said George Farah, Executive Director of Open Debates.

20 Dead in Islamabad Hotel Blast

At least 17 dead in Pakistan hotel blast

A suspected car bomb caused a huge explosion outside the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistani capital on Saturday and the Dawn television station said at least 17 people had been killed.

Note: CNN was reporting at least 20 dead; the number continues to climb.

A reporter at the scene told CNN that as many as 200 people were feared to be inside the building.

Television images showed flames and smoke pouring out of the hotel and bodies being carried away.

"The explosion happened as a car reached the barricade outside the hotel," a senior police official said, adding that it appeared to have been a suicide attack.

A Reuters witness said he could see fires in at least two places in the hotel and at least 20 cars parked on the street outside had been destroyed.

We Have The Right

Tomgram: Steve Fraser: The End of a Gilded Age

Tomgram: Steve Fraser: The End of a Gilded Age
Tom Engelhardt | TomDispatch.com

Among the many media spectacles of the moment, the most unnerving is undoubtedly the crisis on Wall Street that has already essentially toppled Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch, and -- probably not last and certainly not least -- the gigantic insurance company AIG, which has just been given $85 billion in taxpayer moneys to liquidate itself. Before we're done, that hoary old oxymoron of the Left, "late capitalism," may gain new life.

Reviewing Danny Schechter's "Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal"

Reviewing Danny Schechter's "Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal"
by Stephen Lendman

Danny Schechter is a media activist, critic, independent filmmaker, TV producer as well as an author of 10 books and lecturer on media issues. Some call him "The News Dissector," and that's the name of his popular blog on media issues. He's also co-founder of Media Channel.org. It covers the "political, cultural and social impacts of the media," and provides information unavailable in the mainstream.

Schechter's books include Media Wars; Embedded - weapons of Mass Deception; The Death of Media; The More You Watch The Less You Know; and his newest and subject of this review, Plunder. Subtitled: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal, Schechter examines the fallout from the current economic and financial crisis. What the mainstream media (MSM) suppresses:

  • decades of wealth transfers to the rich;
  • the economy in recession;
  • the result of multiple imploding bubbles: housing, mortgage finance, and an alphabet soup of SDOs, SIVs, SPVs, and a whole menu of levered-up, high-risk securitized assets amounting to financial alchemy; largely outright fraud;
  • the risk things may worsen;

Keep Space for Peace Week: International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space

Keep Space for Peace Week: International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space

No Weapons in Space!
Stop U.S. First-Strike Star Wars Deployments in Poland
and Czech Republic!
Convert the Military Industrial Complex!
Fund Human Needs!

October 4 – 12 Local Actions (List Now in Formation):

* Baltimore, Maryland (Oct 3) Peace vigil by Jonah House at the new Northrop Grumman weapons production plant in Linthicum Heights (1570 W. Nursery Rd) at 11:00 am disarmnow@verizon.net or (410) 233-6238

* Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 4) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street 11:30 am Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm 207-763-4062

Palin Warns Against 'Second Holocaust' by Ahmadinejad

Palin Warns Against 'Second Holocaust' by Ahmadinejad

ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala Reports: Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin warned against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's pursuit of nuclear weapons for a "second holocaust," while blaming "Democrat partisans" for forcing rally organizers to withdraw her invitation to speak before an anti-Iran protest in New York next week.

"John McCain and I are committed to drawing attention to the danger posed by Iran's nuclear program and we will not waver in our commitment," Palin told a crowd of 9,000 supporters in Blaine, MN. "I will continue to call for sustained action to prevent Iranian President Ahmadinejad from getting these weapons that he wants for a second holocaust."

Hang On to Your Wallet! The Government is About to Rescue Us

by Dave Lindorff

When the financial markets started coming undone earlier this week, the Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve stepped in, and with $85 billion of our money (actually our children's money, since they borrowed it from China and Saudi Arabia), bought foundering AIG, the world's largest insurance company, and assumed its colossal pile of crap debt.

That didn't help, and the stock market crashed further, falling to levels not seen in three years. Banks, meanwhile, stopped lending, figuring to just hold onto their money and try to weather the crash. The US Treasury and the Fed stepped in again, this time pumping nearly $300 billion more of our money into foreign money markets, and getting European and other governments to do the same in an effort to get the credit markets open again and to stop the stock market swoon. That was on top of some $700 billion already spent on bailouts.

Conference on War Crimes Yields 20 Recommendations, Including Impeachment

Conference on War Crimes yields 20 recommendations, including impeachment
Recommendations For Action Now Being Considered As A Result Of Conference On War Crimes.
By Sherwood Ross | ImpeachForPeace.org

Goal Is To Give Continued Life To Nuremberg Principles Barring Aggressive War And Torture, Instead Of Allowing Bush/Cheney To Destroy Them With Impunity

Twenty recommendations made at a conference on prosecuting President George Bush for war crimes are under consideration for action, according to conference convener Lawrence Velvel, a prominent law school dean.

A Man Who Will Buy Your Vote, Will Sell Your Vote

All politics is local, as the old saw goes. Dave Kalbfleisch of IL-10 was aced out by challenger Dan Seals' from being listed on the ballot because of Seals' freebie gas give-away, a patronage (only a buck 85 at the pump - remember when?), and then the local police socked Seals with a $2,200 bill for the additional policing necessary as folks flocked to the pumps.

Israeli Navy Fires on Gazan Fishermen & International Observers

Israeli Navy shoots at Gaza fishermen and international volunteers

More

Psychologists Prohibited from Abusive US Detention Centers

Psychologists Prohibited from Abusive US Detention Centers

The following is a statement from Frank Donaghue, CEO of Physicians for Human Rights, in response to the prohibition passed today by the American Psychological Association's (APA) membership on psychologist participation at detention facilities that do not adhere to international human rights standards:

"Today PHR salutes the American Psychological Association (APA) membership for restoring the APA's commitment to human rights and medical ethics. For years, the APA has failed to fully address US psychologists' involvement in torture in Iraq, at Guantanamo Bay, and CIA black sites. This historic vote has moved the APA closer to joining the ranks of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, which have repudiated health professional involvement in interrogations.

CODEPINK Women To Knock All Over America in Historic "Millions Doors" Day of Canvassing For Peace!

CODEPINK Women To Knock All Over America in Historic "Millions Doors" Day of Canvassing For Peace!

With pink clipboards, "Make Out Not War" stickers and chocolate kisses in hand, hundreds of CODEPINK women will go door-to-door Saturday all over America, asking their neighbors to sign a petition to demand Congress bring the troops home within one year.

They'll be joining thousands of other volunteers from all 50 states, from 20 peace and justice organizations, doing the same in the historic Million Doors for Peace day of action. They hope to reach one million citizens who long for peace but are unsure how to work toward it in the lead-up to the presidential election.

WHAT: Hundreds of women to knock on doors all over America, joining thousands of others in Million Doors for Peace campaign asking neighbors to petition for troops out of Iraq within a year!
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 20
WHERE: Nationwide!

ACLU Urges Senate Judiciary to Subpoena Interrogation Documents

ACLU Urges Senate Judiciary to Subpoena Interrogation Documents
Torture memos have been kept in the dark for too long

The American Civil Liberties Union calls on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote to authorize a subpoena for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to produce the legal opinions that approved harsh interrogations of detainees held by the United States. The committee has repeatedly requested these documents and has seen very little cooperation from DOJ. The Justice Department has provided some heavily redacted documents, which Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-PA) have called inadequate. If authorized, the subpoena would legally require DOJ to comply with the committee's request.

Supporting Our Troops

Supporting Our Troops
by Steve Almond | Boston Globe

Perhaps the most insidious byproduct of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has been a reflexive sanctification of the military. To put this in bumper stickerese: Support the Troops.

Well, I have an ugly confession to make: I don't support the troops - at least not unconditionally. When somebody tells me they serve in the military, my first impulse isn't to say, "Thank you for your service!" like those insufferable chickenhawks on talk radio.

My first impulse is to say, "I'm sorry to hear that." Because I am. I'm sorry to know that the person I'm talking to might someday be maimed or killed on the job, or might someday kill someone else. Or refuel a plane that drops bombs on buildings.

Vested Interests Drove New Pakistan Policy

Vested Interests Drove New Pakistan Policy
by Gareth Porter | IPS

The George W. Bush administration's decision to launch commando raids and step up missiles strikes against Taliban and al Qaeda figures in the tribal areas of Pakistan followed what appears to have been the most contentious policy process over the use of force in Bush's eight-year presidency.

That decision has stirred such strong opposition from the Pakistani military and government that it is now being revisited. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Pakistan Tuesday for the second time in three weeks, and U.S. officials and sources just told Reuters that any future raids would be approved on a mission-by-mission basis by a top U.S. administration official.

Tomgram: Tariq Ali, Has the U.S. Invasion of Pakistan Begun?

As Andrew Bacevich tells us in the latest issue of the Atlantic, there's now a vigorous debate going on in the military about the nature of the "next" American wars and how to prepare for them. However, while military officers argue, that "next war" may already be creeping up on us.

RIGHTS-PAKISTAN: Live Burial of Women - Activists Demand Action

RIGHTS-PAKISTAN: Live Burial of Women - Activists Demand Action
By Zofeen Ebrahim | IPSNews.net

Prominent civil rights activists are demanding that the government act against those responsible for the burial alive of five women in Balochistan, in July, that politicians from the province have defended as an age-old custom.

On Jul. 14, in the remote village of Babakot, 80 km from Usta Mohammad town in Jafferabad district, three teenage girls and two older women were buried alive, allegedly on the orders of Abdul Sattar Umrani, brother of Sadiq Umrani, a provincial minister belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Constitution in Crisis, Candidates in Denial

Constitution in Crisis, Candidates in Denial
by John Nichols | TheNation.com

Constitution Day has arrived without major statements from Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain on the need to restore this country's commitment to the rule of law.

In contrast, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader's campaign produced a video statement detailing his commitment to constitutional renewal.

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