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By Dave Lindorff
If the direr warnings about the US economy and the general state of the world are correct, maybe we should be glad that Obama’s presidential campaign is in failure mode (see Loserville).
Two terms of the Bush/Cheney administration have pretty much destroyed the dollar, wrecked the US industrial base, emasculated the US military, undermined public faith in the legal system, wrecked the educational system, bankrupted working people, fired up many labor unions, bankrupted the government and threatened the retirement and Medicare systems.
Do we really want to now hand this mess over to a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress?
By Shailagh Murray
As Sen. Barack Obama closes in on his running mate pick, one prospect with clear momentum is Sen. Joseph Biden Jr.
Even difficult news for the Delaware Democrat personally has added a compelling twist to his case. On Oct. 3, Biden's son, Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III, will be deployed to Iraq.
"I don't want him going," Biden told an Iowa state fair crowd a year ago, when, as a presidential candidate himself, he learned that his son's unit would be deployed at some point in 2008.
There really is only one answer: Deep inside we love war. We want war. Need it. Relish it. Thrive on war. War is in our genes, deep in our DNA. War excites our economic brain. War drives our entrepreneurial spirit. War thrills the American soul. Oh just admit it, we have a love affair with war. We love "America's Outrageous War Economy."
Uncounted: The Electronic Voting Machine Hokey Pokey (You Put Your Right Vote In. It Spits Your Wrong Vote Out)
WEEK 7: The Electronic Voting Machine Hokey Pokey (You Put Your Right Vote In. It Spits Your Wrong Vote Out)
Note from David Earnhardt, "Uncounted" filmmaker:
You’ve probably seen the T-shirt around.
On the front, in huge capital letters, are the words “Bush Lied.” And on the back, also huge, the words, “They Died.”
In tiny type, on both sides, are the names of all of the U.S. soldiers who have fallen in Iraq.
Dan Frazier of Flagstaff is the maker of the shirts, and you can find them at his website, carryabigsticker.com.
“My idea was to show dramatically the toll that the war was taking,” he said. At the time of the original shirt, 1,600 U.S. soldiers had died, and he couldn’t get all of the names on a bumper sticker, so he opted for a T-shirt.
“It didn’t sell very well,” Frazier said. “It was kind of a flop, actually.”
He even thought about discontinuing the shirts.
The use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the U.S. military may lead to a death toll far higher than that from the nuclear bombs dropped at the end of World War II. DU is a waste product of uranium enrichment, containing approximately one-third the radioactive isotopes of naturally occurring uranium. Because of its high density, it is used in armor- or tank-piercing ammunition. It has been fired by the U.S. and British militaries in the two Iraq wars and in Afghanistan, as well as by NATO forces in Kosovo and the Israeli military in Lebanon and Palestine.
Inhaled or ingested DU particles are highly toxic, and DU has been classified as an illegal weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has estimated that 50 tons of DU dust from the first Gulf War could lead to 500,000 cancer deaths by the year 2000. To date, a total of 2,000 tons have been generated in the Middle East.
In contrast, approximately 250,000 lives were claimed by the explosions and radiation released by the nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Free Inquiry readers may pause to read the “Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles” on the inside cover of the magazine. To a secular humanist, these principles seem so logical, so right, so crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.
"Peace Mom" v. "Guardian of Power"
by Stephen Lendman
Credit both titles to the book authors. Cindy Sheehan as a mother, peace activist, and now candidate to succeed Nancy Pelosi in California's Eighth Congressional District. Pelosi as both "guardian" and possessor of what Davids Cromwell and Edwards wrote about in their powerful critique of the media.
Both women represent hugely different interests, so let readers choose which ones they prefer. First some background on both candidates.
The US ambassador to Moscow, endorsing Russia's initial moves in Georgia, described the Kremlin's first military response as legitimate after Russian troops came under attack.
This was the first positive statement by an American official about Moscow’s first response to the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia, after a string of condemnations from the heads of the Bush administration. It came from US ambassador John Beyrle, who arrived in Moscow last month, in an interview published by the Russian daily Kommersant Friday, Aug. 22.
Pervez Musharraf, the puppet installed by the US to rule Pakistan in the interest of US hegemony, resigned August 18 to avoid impeachment. Karl Rove and the Diebold electronic voting machines were unable to control the result of the last election in Pakistan, the result of which gave Pakistanis a bigger voice in their government than America’s.
It was obvious to anyone with any sense -- which excludes the entire Bush Regime and almost all of the “foreign policy community -- that the illegal and gratuitous US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s 2006 bombing of Lebanon civilians with US blessing, would result in the overthrow of America’s Pakistani puppet.
The imbecilic Bush Regime ensured Musharraf’s overthrow by pressuring their puppet to conduct military operations against tribesmen in Pakistani border areas, whose loyalties were to fellow Muslims and not to American hegemony. When Musharraf’s military operations didn’t produce the desired result, the idiotic Americans began conducting their own military operations within Pakistan with bombs and missiles. This finished off Musharraf.
Documents Reveal PR Push for Iraq War Preceded Intel Findings
By Nick Juliano | TheRawStory.com
New documents from within the Bush administration and US intelligence community during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq reveal that the White House began assembling a case for war before it had compiled the intel that ostensibly formed the basis of that case.
A new report on the documents from George Washington University's National Security Archive also presents compelling evidence that the Bush administration pressured the CIA and other intelligence agencies to tailor their reports to back-up Bush's desire to invade. The report suggests the bulk of this effort was run out of Vice President Dick Cheney's office, backing up numerous other post-war examinations of the path to invasion that saw Cheney as the mastermind of the plan to oust Saddam Hussein.
The Archive published a July 2002 draft of a CIA "White Paper" on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction. The draft was prepared months before a National Intelligence Estimate on Saddam's regime, which Congress did not demand until September, although the final "White Paper" released in October purportedly summarized that very NIE.
After Jenna Kern, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, decided to write an Op-Ed piece for Newsday questioning whether shock jocks and hate speech contributed to the recent murderous shooting spree in a U-U church in Tennessee, the haters started to come after her as well. The attacks started first in the comments section of Newsday. (”Hi Rory. Guess what?” Ms. Kern emailed. “Newsday has received 3,000 emails against my piece. The online forum comments at newsday.com have been 99% hateful… I actually had someone sitting in a car outside my house for a half hour. I got so freaked I called the cops!”)
The attacks then continued on the Newsbusters site — a project of the Media Research Center, “the leader in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.” (Kern reports, “Wow, the blogs have gone crazy about the story I did. How did you handle all the nasty things! I don’t have the stomach for it, I’m afraid.”)
A New Rush to Spy
There is apparently no limit to the Bush administration’s desire to invade Americans’ privacy in the name of national security. According to members of Congress, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is preparing to give the F.B.I. broad new authority to investigate Americans — without any clear basis for suspicion that they are committing a crime.
Opening the door to sweeping investigations of this kind would be an invitation to the government to spy on people based on their race, religion or political activities. Before Mr. Mukasey goes any further, Congress should insist that the guidelines be fully vetted, and it should make certain that they do not pose a further threat to Americans’ civil liberties.
Some people -- anti-Semites, mostly -- deny that oil theft motivated the decision to invade Iraq. All such "alternative" theories face one problem: The oil was, in fact, stolen -- and Cheney planned the theft well in advance.
Previously undisclosed Halliburton documents obtained by The Public Record confirm that controlling the world's second largest oil reserves was a top priority for the Bush administration. Additionally, the deal between the Department of Defense and Halliburton unit Kellogg, Brown & Root to operate Iraq's oil industry saved Halliburton from imminent bankruptcy.
When California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi became House Speaker with the election of a Democratic majority in 2006, hopes ran high in some quarters that the feisty grandmother of seven would lead an investigation into the Bush administration’s actions involving the United States in the Iraq War. The evidence accumulated against the Bush administration — that intelligence linking Saddam Hussein’s government with al-Qaeda, alleging that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction,” and warning that Iraq was well on its way to acquiring nukes, may have been cherry-picked or even fabricated — cried out for serious investigation, at very least. Yet once in office, Pelosi and her colleagues backed away from investigating the charges and soon announced that impeachment was “off the table.”
In Stephen Spoonamore's seventh segment, he notes that Diebold's voting machine design is "brilliant" - for stealing elections. He goes on to describe a few ways the machines, and YOUR vote, are subject to being compromised by the machines.
States throw out costly electronic voting machines By DEBORAH HASTINGS
The demise of touch-screen voting has produced a graveyard of expensive corpses: Warehouses stacked with thousands of carefully wrapped voting machines that have been shelved because of doubts about vanishing votes and vulnerability to hackers.
The success of the Bush Regime’s propaganda, lies, and deception with gullible and inattentive Americans since 9/11 has made it difficult for intelligent, aware people to be optimistic about the future of the United States. For almost 8 years the US media has served as Ministry of Propaganda for a war criminal regime. Americans incapable of thinking for themselves, reading between the lines, or accessing foreign media on the Internet have been brainwashed.
As the Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, said, it is easy to deceive a people. You just tell them they have been attacked and wave the flag.
It certainly worked with Americans.
There are no military installations in the city of Tskhinvali. In fact, there are no military targets at all. It is an industrial center consisting of lumber mills, manufacturing plants and residential areas. It is also the home to 30,000 South Ossetians. When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the city to be bombed by warplanes and shelled by heavy artillery last Thursday, he knew that he would be killing hundreds of civilians in their homes and neighborhoods. But he ordered the bombing anyway.
I've been closely following Nancy Pelosi's book tour protests at the After Downing Street web site during the last two weeks. You know the story, Pelosi says that she was not aware of any Bush-Cheney impeachable offenses. So activists have been showing up at her events trying to present her with Rep. Dennis Kucinich's list of 35 offenses but Pelosi has had security not allow people to bring any paperwork or signs or banners near any of her book promos. (Homeland Security of course, protecting the Speaker of the House from random acts of terrorism - stuff like that.)
But people have gotten creative. They bought her books and put messages on the inside of the book covers and open them just as they approach her for an autograph. Needless to say Queen Nancy is not pleased about this. She got a real hard time recently at an event in California and plaintively cried out to the audience, "I used to be an activist." Operative words here - used to be.
I can use those words too. I "used to be" a Democrat but then I wised up. I "used to" think we had a democracy but now I know we have an oligarchy. I "used to be" naive but then I opened by eyes and say things the way they really are - I used my nose and smelled the rotten cheese.
Helping to further throw me over the top was this video - Caution: Graphic Content that landed in my inbox this morning about children in Falleujah, Iraq that have been born with deformities in the last couple of years. These deformities are likely the result of exposure to depleted uranium and other toxic residues from military ordinance. If these are not criminal, if they are not absolute examples of "impeachable offenses," then we should just rip up and burn the U.S. Constitution right now on the spot.
This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression
War in the Caucasus is as much the product of an American imperial drive as local conflicts. It's likely to be a taste of things to come
Seumas Milne | The Guardian
The outcome of six grim days of bloodshed in the Caucasus has triggered an outpouring of the most nauseating hypocrisy from western politicians and their captive media. As talking heads thundered against Russian imperialism and brutal disproportionality, US vice-president Dick Cheney, faithfully echoed by Gordon Brown and David Miliband, declared that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered". George Bush denounced Russia for having "invaded a sovereign neighbouring state" and threatening "a democratic government". Such an action, he insisted, "is unacceptable in the 21st century".
Iraqi and U.S. negotiators have completed a draft security agreement that would see American troops leave Iraqi cities as soon as June 30, Iraqi and American officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
In Washington, a senior military official said the deal is acceptable to the U.S. side, subject to formal approval by President Bush. It also requires final acceptance by Iraqi leaders, and some members of Iraq's Cabinet oppose some provisions.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today released a series of letters initiating the Judiciary Committee's review into allegations that senior administration officials approved the creation of fabricated documents to deceive the American public about the nuclear threat posed by Iraq in 2003. The Committee contacted a number of administration and intelligence officials seeking their cooperation with its review. The correspondence is linked below.
Nationally acclaimed scholar and author on Iran, Israel and the U.S. to Speak
When: Wednesday, September 24th, 7 p.m.
What: Dr. Trita Parsi will discuss and sign his book, Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States.
Where: Whitaker Campus Commons, Hood College, 401 Rosemont Ave., Frederick, MD 21701
Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, has called Dr. Pari’s book, “A penetrating, provocative, and very timely study that deciphers how U.S. policy in the Middle East has been manipulated both by Iran and by Israel even as relations between these two oscillated between secret collusion and overt collision.”
It was probably all those afternoons at my local library when I was a kid, reading Isaac Asimov's sci-fi version of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, the Foundation Trilogy, and those nights under the covers with a flashlight -- long after I was supposed to be asleep -- frightening myself to death with H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds and the like…
Bush Administration Proposal Guts Endangered Species Act, Whitehouse Says
Interior Dept. Wants to End Independent Scientific Review of Projects’ Harm to Protected Wildlife Populations
A Bush Administration proposal to allow individual government agencies, rather than scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to decide whether vulnerable wildlife would be harmed by new construction projects badly undermines the Endangered Species Act, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said today.
-Measure creates single uniform standard for all government interrogations, complies with U.S. law and international obligations -
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced legislation requiring the CIA to follow the Army Field Manual’s rules when conducting interrogations. The manual specifically prohibits the use of waterboarding and seven other coercive techniques.
Musharraf Out, Like Nixon; Bush Still In, Like Flynn
By Ray McGovern
Most of the fawning corporate media (FCM) coverage of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s resignation Monday was even more bereft of context than usual.
It was as if Musharraf looked out the window and said, “It’s a beautiful day. I think I’ll resign and go fishing.” Thus, the lead in Tuesday’s editorial in the New York Times, once known as the newspaper of record: “In the end, President Pervez Musharraf went, if not quietly, with remarkably little strife.”
Certain words seem to be automatically deleted from the computers of those writing for the Times. Atop the forbidden word list sits “impeachment.” And other FCM—the Washington Post, for example—generally follow that lead, still.