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A federal judge has ruled in New York that the government must either produce memos on waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods used by the CIA or explain why they should be kept secret.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein says the memos are "clearly responsive" to a lawsuit filed in 2003 by the ACLU and other civil rights groups seeking records on the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody overseas.
The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan declined to comment Wednesday.
The New York Times last year disclosed the existence some of the Justice Department memos. It said they authorized interrogators to use methods like waterboarding, head slapping and exposure to freezing temperatures.
Like a Mirage in the Desert: U.S. exit from Iraq may recede into the time horizon
by Charles Knight
Key advisors to Barack Obama have put forward an Iraq withdrawal policy which they have labeled "conditional engagement." In their words:
"Under this strategy, the...time horizon for redeployment would be negotiated with the Iraqi government and nested within a more assertive approach to regional diplomacy. The United States would make clear that Iraq and America share a common interest in achieving sustainable stability in Iraq, and that the United States is willing to help support the Iraqi government and build its security and governance capacity over the long-term, but only so long as Iraqis continue to make meaningful political progress." [from Colin Kahl, Michele A. Flournoy and Shawn Brimley, "Shaping the Iraq Inheritance", Center for a New American Security, June 2008.]
Given how the corporate media presents elections as one big personality contest, and corrupt politicians lie and cheat to get ahead, it’s not surprising that many working-class people have become fed up with elections.
UN Says Has Evidence Air Strikes Killed 90 Afghans, Including 60 Children
by Sayed Salahuddin | CommonDreams.org
The United Nations said on Tuesday it had found convincing evidence that 90 Afghan civilians, most of them children, were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces in western Afghanistan last week.
The issue of civilian casualties has driven a rift between the Afghan government and its NATO backers, with President Hamid Karzai saying earlier this month that air strikes had achieved nothing and had only succeeded in killing ordinary Afghans.
"Investigations by UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men," U.N. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide said in a statement.
The U.S. military has launched an investigation into the incident, after first saying it was unaware of any civilian casualties in what it said was an air strike on a known Taliban commander that killed 30 militants.
The suspense didn't quite compare to the identity of "Deep Throat," but we now know the name of Bob Woodward's fourth investigative work on the Bush administration, just three weeks before the book's release.
"The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008" will be published Sept. 8 by Simon & Schuster with an announced first printing of 900,000 copies. Simon & Schuster is keeping the book under strict embargo — although such embargoes are often broken — and had even held back the title.
"There has not been such an authoritative and intimate account of presidential decision making since the Nixon tapes and the Pentagon Papers," Woodward's longtime editor, Alice Mayhew, said Tuesday in a statement. "This is the declassification of what went on in secret, behind the scenes."
According to Simon & Schuster, Woodward's book "takes readers deep inside the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the intelligence agencies and the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq.
Investigative reporter Joe Lauria discusses the series he co-wrote for the London Times about the Sibel Edmonds case, including the 30 year Washington connection to the A.Q. Kahn nuclear black-market operation, the difficulty in corroborating stories about such a secretive subject, the inability of American mainstream media to diverge from the status quo, how the Tinner family fits into the story and the history of the military-industrial-congressional complex as told in the new book he’s co-authored with former senator Mike Gravel, A Political Odyssey.
MP3 here. (50:50)
Joe Lauria is a New York-based investigative journalist. A freelance member of the Sunday Times of London Insight team, he has also worked on investigations for the Boston Globe and Bloomberg News. Joe’s articles have additionally appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Montreal Gazette, The Johannesburg Star, The Washington Times, New York Magazine, ARTnews
Preemptive Strikes Against Protest at RNC
By Marjorie Cohn
In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, the FBI-led Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force actively recruited people to infiltrate vegan groups and other leftist organizations and report back about their activities. On May 21, the /Minneapolis City Pages /ran a recruiting story called "Moles Wanted." Law enforcement sought to preempt lawful protest against the policies of the Bush administration during the convention.
Since Friday, local police and sheriffs, working with the FBI, conducted preemptive searches, seizures and arrests. Glenn Greenwald described the targeting of protestors by "teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets." Journalists were detained at gunpoint and lawyers representing detainees were handcuffed at the scene.
"I was personally present and saw officers with riot gear and assault rifles, pump action shotguns," said Bruce Nestor, the President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, who is representing several of the protestors. "The neighbor of one of the houses had a gun pointed in her face when she walked out on her back porch to see what was going on. There were children in all of these houses, and children were held at gunpoint."
By Dave Lindorff
Sarah Palin and I may not have much in common, but we do share an early history of bloodlust.
We both got guns before we were teenagers. According to a report in the British Times newspaper, Palin took a shotgun at age 10, crawled through the grass in back of her house with it, took aim at a bunny “and blew its furry little head off.”
For my part, I got my parents to let me buy a single-shot .22 rifle when I turned 12, and proceeded to go out in the woods, alone and with friends, to shoot at targets, trees, and the occasional animal. A crack shot, I remember picking off what I thought was a dove perched at the top of a tree a good 200 yards away. I nailed it, but when I went to the base of the tree, what I discovered was a dead robin. Oh well.
Obama’s Zionist Wannabe Veep
By Robert Weitzel
“If I were a Jew, I would be a Zionist. I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”- Senator Joseph Biden
Considering the last eight years and the current (viable) options, I’ll admit to wanting Barak Obama in the White House in January. Undoubtedly, more people around the world will have a better chance of surviving the next four years with his finger on—or rather off—the button. However . . .
For all of Obama’s campaign promises of “change,” his choice of Joseph Biden as his running mate sends a clear signal to Israel’s lobby in Washington and its right-wing government in Jerusalem that for the next four years there will be no change in the United States’ unconditional support or its annual $6 billion in direct and indirect aid.
Predictably, neither will there be a change in the hopelessness and the impotent rage of the Arabs suffering under a U.S.-supported Zionist ideology in Palestine.
Senator Biden is the ardently pro-Israel chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. He is a 36-year veteran politician whose specialty is foreign policy. When he told a reporter from the Jewish cable network, Shalom TV, that he is a Zionist, he knew the implications of that admission for the Palestinians, the entirety of the Arab world, and America’s global “war on terror.”
I read about a leaked copy of the US-Iraqi agreement a few days ago when a radio station in Iraq mentioned some of its details, then it was mentioned in some Arab newspapers like Al-Qabas and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. A couple of days ago, one Iraqi website (linked to an Iraqi armed resistance group) published the leaked draft on their web page for less than a couple of days before their website went offline. (Thankfully, I downloaded the 21 pages agreement and saved them before their server went down)
The Depleted Uranium Threat
by Thomas D. Williams
"The DoD, the nation's biggest polluter, is now cleaning up 29,500 currently or formerly contaminated sites in every state and territory. California alone has 3,912 contaminated sites on 441 current and former DoD installations. Many of DoD's facilities have already contaminated groundwater sources of drinking water.... The cost to clean up toxic munitions contamination and unexploded ordnance at active and former military installations around the country may reach $200 billion." - The National Resources Defense Council, April 21, 2004.
"The Defense Department is refusing to comply with orders or sign contracts to clean up 11 hazardous waste sites, including one in Hawaii, and has asked the White House and Justice Department to intervene on its behalf." - The Associated Press, July 1, 2008
Banners appeared in Madison, Wisconsin overpasses Monday morning in solidarity with the blockades and protests against the Republican Convention in St. Paul, MN.
As of 9/1/2008, there are a total of 256 arrests; 119 felonies, 48 gross misdemeanors; 89 misdemeanors.
CNN reported that police used pepper spray and tear gas against protestors. St Paul received $50 million in federal grant money to pay for additional security.
Gillian Myers held a sign firmly over her head. Its message: "Even children know to march for peace."
The 4-year-old from Palm Bay was among about 500 people participating in Florida's First Mass March to Stop War on Iran. Rallies similar to the one Saturday -- which was led by Brevard Patriots for Peace -- have increased across the country as some believe U.S. leaders are building up to war with the Middle Eastern nation.
"We were misled into one war and we don't want it to happen again," Gillian's dad Ray Myers said. "Sitting at home and complaining doesn't do anything."
In Nuclear Net’s Undoing, a Web of Shadowy Deals" in Monday's New York Times by David Sanger and William Broad details the destruction of evidence by the US government in a case involving the nuclear black market.
The article highlights again that the New York Times continues to engage in 'Judy Miller reporting' by warmongering and acting as a mouthpiece for the government.
The numbers don't add up.
$3.8 billion: The initial Help America Vote Act allocation that California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen said "pushed many counties into buying electronic systems that ... were not properly reviewed or tested."
A scene from the documentary "Stealing America: Vote by V...Dorothy Fadiman, director of the documentary "Stealing Am... View Larger Images
18,000: Votes that did not register in a 2006 Sarasota County, Fla., local election using touch-screen machines, in a Democratic stronghold that the Republican challenger won by 368 votes.
Negative 16,022: Votes counted for Al Gore on a Diebold tabulator in Volusia County, Fla., in 2000.
Zero: The number of proven instances of election fraud involving electronic voting machines, according to industry spokespeople.
by Linda Milazzo
Amy Goodman of Pacifica Network's Democracy Now! was arrested in St. Paul, Minnesota, while trying to free two of her producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, who were unlawfully detained. Also arrested was Associated Press photographer, Matt Rourke.
For many in America, Amy Goodman is the defining journalist of their generation. Amy's arrest, and the arrests of nearly 300 others, in addition to the warrantless raids, searches and seizures of private homes, and the creation of the police state of Minnesota in-service to the Republican Party, are unconscionable acts that SHOULD NOT be tolerated.
Should a combat veteran be tried in civilian court for actions he may or may not have committed on the battlefield? Some people don’t think so.
Yahoo! News reports that several members of the jury that acquitted former Marine and Iraq veteran Jose Luis Nazario, Jr. of war atrocities that he allegedly committed while fighting in the Battle of Fallujah in 2004 have expressed their feeling that, as civilians, they “weren’t qualified” to pass judgment over acts committed in the heat of combat.
Experts on military and legal affairs say that Nazario’s case “raises serious questions about whether federal prosecutors should even pursue such cases.”
"I don't think we had any business doing that," juror Nicole Peters insisted. "I thought it was unfair to us and to him."
Federal government involved in raids on protesters
Glenn Greenwald | Salon.com
As the police attacks on protesters in Minnesota continue -- see this video of the police swarming a bus transporting members of Earth Justice, seizing the bus and leaving the group members stranded on the side of the highway -- it appears increasingly clear that it is the Federal Government that is directing this intimidation campaign. Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that "the searches were led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's office. Deputies coordinated searches with the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
FROM THE moment US military and civilian officials began detaining and interrogating Guantanamo Bay prisoners with methods that the Red Cross has called tantamount to torture, they have had the assistance of psychologists. This has been a source of anguish to many members of the profession, who want to join their colleagues in other professional organizations and draw a clear line against psychologists' involvement in interrogation of detainees.
Stoking Tensions, Risking Confrontation: A High Stakes US Gamble with Russia
by Stephen Lendman
Prior to entering WW II, US strategists had a clear aim in mind at its conclusion - to hold unchallengeable power in a new post-war global system: military, economic and political in a "Grand Area" encompassing the West and Far East. Essentially most parts outside the communist bloc and exploiting it under disarming rhetoric like being "selfless advocates of freedom for colonial peoples (and an) enemy of imperialism." Championing "world peace (also) through multinational control."
Today, the facade is gone, and no pretense remains about much "grander" plans - over an "Area" comprising planet earth with "full spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any potential challengers with all weapons in our arsenal, including nuclear and others of mass destruction.
Alex - Impeach the Bastards - Watch the Lies!
NY Times does it again: More 'Judy Miller' tapdancing
by Luke Ryland
A front page article "In Nuclear Net’s Undoing, a Web of Shadowy Deals" in Monday's New York Times by David Sanger and William Broad details the destruction of evidence by the US government in a case involving the nuclear black market.
The article highlights again that the New York Times continues to engage in 'Judy Miller reporting' by warmongering and acting as a mouthpiece for the government.
"...Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) sent a letter to White House Counsel Fred Fielding setting a September 4, 2008, deadline for the White House to comply with its obligations regarding production of documents under the July 31 Order issued by U.S. District Judge John Bates in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers. The letter also notes that a hearing at which Harriet Miers is to appear pursuant to subpoena has been rescheduled for September 11, 2008. The letter follows yesterday’s rejection by Judge Bates of the White House’s request that the July 31 Order be stayed pending appeal, as well as a status conference before Judge Bates that was held this morning. The full text of the letter is linked here.
Naval Ship Movements Update 8/29/08
by Andrew Schoerke, Capt USNR (ret.)
On 25 August, the guided missile destroyer USS McFaul unloaded relief aid at the Black Sea port of Batumi, Georgia. The McFaul was followed shortly afterwards by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas which made a similar delivery. At Gaeta, Italy, on 21 August, the amphibious command ship USS Mt. Whitney was loading relief supplies for delivery. The Turkish Foreign Ministry, on 22 August, confirmed that Spanish, German and Polish military ships had received permission to transit into the Black Sea through the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits on a NATO mission.
According to the Web site iraqbodycount.org, at least 658 children were killed in Iraq in 2007, and the violence has touched the lives of many others. Iraq children also have been the victims of kidnapping, torture and rape.
The problem has become so acute that a new clinic for children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will be opening this month in Baghdad. It will be the first of its kind in Iraq.
Dhiya Moussa, 11, is a stocky child with shaggy brown hair. He cautiously answers questions from Dr. Haider Maliki, and confesses he still can't fall asleep at night.
The Georgia quarrel has all but derailed US-Russian cooperation on the Iran issue. Moscow is not only pulling out of the diplomatic and sanctions front against Iran’s nuclear program; according to DEBKAfile’s Russian sources, Moscow has decided to finally finish building Iran’s nuclear reactor in the southern town of Bushehr before the end of the year, after holding back for five years at Washington’s insistence.
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin said in reference to the impact of the Georgia row on US-Russian cooperation on Iran Thursday, Aug. 28: “If nobody wants to talks with us on these issues and cooperation with Russia is not needed, then for God’s sake, do it yourself.”
When Bob Costas interviewed George Bush for NBC's Olympic coverage on Aug. 10, attempting to take a hard line, Costas asked Bush to comment on the problems in our country. Bush replied, “I don't see any problems with our country.”
Following the immediate crowd reaction of everyone in the room yelling “get that man a *&%&$@# pair of glasses” at the TV set, I, like many in the American public, came the realization that from his point of view things in America probably do look pretty rosy. After all, Bush does not have to see any problems. His problems are seen to.