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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.
Blockades: Acts of War
by Stephen Lendman
From July 21 - 31, Joint Task Force (mostly US, but also UK, Brazil and Italy) "Operation Brimstone" large scale war games were conducted off the US East coast in the North Atlantic. Its purpose may have been to prepare for a naval blockade of Iran. Initial reports after its completion were that participating ships were deployed to Persian Gulf and Arabian and Red Sea locations to join up with the present American strike force in the region. The major media cover none of this, and US Navy sources deny it. So precise information is unclear. From what's known, however, redeployment may be planned, and a blockade may ensue. The situation remains tense and worrisome.
By Dave Lindorff
Well, it’s happened, and it’s no surprise.
Barack Obama, the prospective Democratic presidential candidate, has managed to turn a 5-8 point lead over prospective Republican opponent John McCain into a 7-point deficit—a double-digit slide—in just two and a half months following a campaign that had voters really excited over his candidacy.
How did he manage this feat (which is documented in the latest latest Reuters/Zogby poll)? Simple: he followed the tried-and-true strategy of Democratic centrist advisers who have increasingly dominated his campaign since the end of the primaries, and who have a proven track record of producing Democratic electoral disasters now for several decades.
Senator (sic) Kucinich is at it again. This time he wants to deliver one million US signatures supporting the impeachment of George W. Bush to Nancy Pelosi by September 10.
US Representative Dennis Kucinich: "The decision before us is whether to demand accountability for one of the gravest injustices imaginable."
Ohio Senator (sic) Dennis Kucinich is not giving up his fight to have George W. Bush impeached during his last days in office. He has posted an online petition and invited U.S. citizens to assist in the collection of one million signatures by September 10 2008.
Speaker for the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has remained firm on her resolution that impeachment is "off the table." In August she told Time Magazine: "You can't talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can't have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration. I think the Republicans would like nothing better than for us to focus on impeachment and take our eye off the ball of a progressive economic agenda."
But the possibility of confusing voters in the run-up to the Presidential elections has not detered Kucinich. Among his reasons for the campaign he lists that there should be a new standard set for the incoming administration and that the Bush Administration should be held accountable as soon as possible for the poor response to the catastrophe following Hurricane Katrina as well as the deaths in Iraq, both of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens that he estimates as being well over one million.
More information at http://www.kucinich.us/
Not the pillowfight type, but rather sleepovers in which elections workers in 23 of Ohio's 88 counties keep voting machines stored in their homes, workplaces or cars shortly before election day to reduce the cost and hassle of getting them to polling places.
The longstanding practice did not "ensure the security of all voting equipment" and must end, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner told elections directors Tuesday.
The use of torture by the US Government in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001 has come under increasing criticism.
In 1863 at the height of the US civil war, president Abraham Lincoln set the principles for interrogation of prisoners with a famous instruction "military necessity does not admit of cruelty".
It took the September 11 attacks to change those principles and Vice-President Dick Cheney said the US would now have to work through the dark side.
In response, government lawyers drew up the so-called torture memos that would ultimately unleash the abuses at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and at a host of secret CIA "black sites".
Was Bush Involved in U.S. Attorney Scandal? Depends on Whom You Ask
President Bush Still Dogged By Questions Over What He Knew and When
By EMMA SCHWARTZ and JUSTIN ROOD | ABCNews.com
It may be the Bush-era version of "What did he know, and when did he know it?", the famous question that dogged Nixon through the Watergate break-in scandal.
Before the court of public opinion, White House spokespeople have long maintained President Bush had no involvement in the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys, the central decision that mushroomed into one of the biggest scandals in eight years of the Bush administration.
Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.
This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.
Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.
Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation.
The city has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed antiwar activists were unjustly arrested five years ago, city officials said.
The suit was filed by 52 activists against the Iraq war who were arrested in April 2003 outside the Manhattan offices of a military contractor.
"This settlement was reached without any admission of liability on behalf of the city and the individual defendants," said Susan Halatyn, a spokeswoman for the city's Law Department. "Although defendants believe that they would ultimately have prevailed at a trial, the costs of going forward weighed in favor of a settlement at this time."
Given their Nixon–esque polling numbers, it’s safe to say that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are not exactly the most popular pair to grace 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. In fact, only about 25 percent of people think our feckless leader is doing a good job. Incidentally, the same percentage of people predicted that the second coming of Jesus would occur in 2007. I’ve got a hunch that there’s a lot of overlap in those two groups.
But while it may make us feel smart and savvy to point out Bush’s failures, it doesn’t do anything to set this country on the right course.
CHICO -- Deciding it wasn't an issue for the city to take a stance on, the Chico City Council Tuesday night turned down a group of residents wanting support in an effort to impeach the president and vice president.
After hearing from more than 20 people, the council voted 4-1 to not support a resolution brought forward by the Chico Impeach Team that would have urged Congress to begin the process to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that have gone to upgrade the nation's voting machines since 2003 were used to purchase touch-screen systems that many states are now scrapping because of concerns about their security and reliability.
State governments in Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Tennessee and New Mexico have decided to replace their touch-screen electronic machines. While some states have completed the switch, others won't finish replacing the machines until 2010. Nationwide, the federal government spent $1.2 billion on new voting machines between 2003 and 2007.
In 2000, James Baker famously said "Machines are neither Republicans nor Democrats and therefore can never be consciously or even unconsciously biased." In less than 3 minutes, Stephen Spoonamore debunks Baker's propaganda, and explains that every American must recognize that election fraud isn't a partisan issue; it's a fascist issue. Spoonamore raises two fundamental issues: What was the will of the voter? Was that the way the votes were really cast?
For those of us living in Maine, the Navy's Aegis destroyer program is something we often think about. These ships are built at Bath Iron Works (BIW) and once or twice a year a new Aegis is "Christened". Each time Maine Veterans for Peace organizes a protest at the ceremony that usually draws several thousand workers, Navy personnel, and politicians from both the Republican and Democratic party who come to give their blessings to the new ship. BIW is the largest employer in Maine, outside of the state government, and the politicians pride themselves in securing as many of these ship construction contracts as possible - considering they cost over $1 billion each.
The most important thing to know about Aegis though is its military mission. These ships are outfitted with nuclear-capable cruise missiles and were the first weapons fired in the 2003 U.S. "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq. Any U.S. full-scale attack on Iran will likely begin from an Aegis destroyer.
Aegis ships are also a key component in the Pentagon's new Star Wars program. They are now outfitted with "missile defense" systems and we are told their job is to hit "rogue state" nuclear missiles being sent toward the U.S. in the "midcourse" of their flight.
Four months before the United States invaded Iraq, the Department of Defense was secretly working with Vice President Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton Corp., on a secret deal that would give the world's second largest oil services company total control over Iraq's oil fields, according to interviews with Halliburton's most senior executives.
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.
City Council asked to pass resolution regarding impeaching Bush, Cheney
A group of residents want the Chico City Council to back up their request to impeach the president and vice president.
The group, which informally calls itself the "Chico Impeach Team," is asking the council to pass a resolution urging Congress to "do its job" and begin the process to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, group project leader Marla Crites said.
While acknowledging the terms of both will end in January, Crites said she believed it was not too late for impeachment.
"I think they need to be held accountable whether they have one more day in office or two more years," Crites said. "I think we need to fight for justice or fairness ... Whoever wins the election can, unless we set things straight, can pick up wherever they left off and can continue the same behavior. And that to me is dangerous."
BRATTLEBORO — It's not that President Bush is ignoring Vermont, which twice gave him the fewest votes of any state. Heck, on Friday he declared part of it a disaster.
It's just that Bush hasn't been here since taking office, making the Land of Ben and Jerry the only state he has not visited as president.
And now — with a gubernatorial race featuring an incumbent Republican not eager to have his photo taken with Bush (not to mention a voter-approved resolution in Brattleboro calling for Bush's arrest) — smart money says he might not get here before depositing his final government paycheck in January.