You are hereGeneral Discussion
Saudi Arabia is to build five modern prisons in the kingdom to replace US Guantanamo detention facility, a new report has revealed.
Jordanian daily quoted unnamed sources as saying that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Saudi officials are cooperating to construct the prisons which are to replace Guantanamo and US secret prisons in Europe.
Riyadh is to spent about two billion Saudi Rials for the project which can accommodate up to 18000 inmates, they added.
Bin laden firm and with the help of German engineers will build the prisons in the Saudi cities of Mecca, Haer, Demmam, and Qasim.
SEIU Campaign Aims at Sovereign Wealth Funds, Private Equity Firms; Secrecy Jeopardizes National Security
AMERICA FOR SALE?
Foreign Governments’ Links to Secretive Buyout Firms Raise Potential National Security Concerns, Says New Public Awareness Campaign
Ads calling for increased federal oversight to run in six states
WASHINGTON, DC – Potential national security concerns are being raised over the growing links between foreign governments and secretive private equity buyout firms in a major new public awareness campaign being launched today. The campaign, sponsored by one of the nation’s largest unions, SEIU (Service Employees International Union), calls for stronger federal oversight of arrangements where foreign government-controlled investment funds, known as “sovereign wealth funds (SWFs),” buy into private firms that own or invest in American companies responsible for defense, energy, and homeland security.
Reasonable people can disagree about which of George W. Bush's disastrous decisions will prove to have damaged the American people most.
The lineup for the GOP Convention isn’t set, but Dick Cheney’s role seems set. He’s going to be absent. Evidently the current Vice President is so toxic in his disapprovals that few Americans, even Republicans, want to be seen with him. Everyone who is surprised, raise your hands.
Protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Denver can be restricted to fenced-in areas, federal judge ruled on Wednesday, saying that security needs outweighed curbs on their rights.
A dozen groups who intend to protest at the August convention sued the U.S. Secret Service and the city of Denver over plans to confine their activities to a parade route and fenced-in zone, saying that their Constitutional rights to free speech were being violated.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee and others argued that the rules would keep them too far away from delegates to get their message across during the convention, which is scheduled for Aug 25-28 at the city's downtown Pepsi Center.
U.S. Attorney Scandal Probe Enters White House Circle; Special Prosecutor Called "Nightmare Scenario"
The Justice Department investigation into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys has been extended to encompass allegations that senior White House officials played a role in providing false and misleading information to Congress, according to numerous sources involved in the inquiry.
The widened scope raises the possibility that investigators will pursue criminal charges against some administration officials, and recommend appointment of a special prosecutor if there is evidence of criminal misconduct.
Jack Nounnan sends this news:
We've made the Eureka Ballot! Last night the Eureka City Council voted unanimously to put "The Initiative To Prohibit The Military Recruiting Of Any Persons Under the Age Of Eighteen" in the November elections. We spent four months of concentrated petitioning of people in door-to-door canvassing across the city and in front of markets and public places obtaining almost 2400 signatures.
Anti-War Website Operator Threatened By Armed Thugs
Paul Joseph Watson | Prison Planet
The operator of a leading alternative news and strongly anti-war website has become the target of nefarious thugs apparently in the employ of the U.S. government who have continually harassed him and ordered him to shut down his website.
Tom Feeley, owner and editor of InformationClearingHouse.info, has endured public harassment, home invasions, death threats and threats to his family simply for running a website.
War with Iran - On, Off or Undecided?
by Stephen Lendman
There's good news and bad, mostly the latter but don't
discount the good. On May 22, (non-binding) HR 362 was
introduced in the House - with charges and proposals
so outlandish that if passed and implemented will be a
blockade and act of war. It accused Iran of:
Mary Mancini, co-producer of "Uncounted: The Movie" sent in the Week 5 Segment in the movie's preview mini-series.
On Election Day 2004, the most vulnerable Americans were the targets of massive and systematic voter disenfranchisement - long lines and other artificial barriers were manufactured to make it as difficult as possible for American citizens of certain targeted demographics to exercise their legal right to vote.
Why should anyone have to stay in line for 12 hours to vote?
Hiroshima-Nagasaki Speech in NYC
Tuesday, August 5 - All Souls Church, New York City
By Mary Beth Sullivan
It is good, and right, and I would add, holy, that you have gathered here tonight to remember that 63 years ago our government dropped nuclear weapons onto the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am honored and grateful to be here with you.
To frame my comments, you need to know that I am a social worker. Various jobs have introduced me to disabled children, women receiving welfare, and homeless people. I have made eye contact with people who have had to make a choice between eating and taking their medications. Can you imagine that choice? In the richest nation of the world? What’s the right answer when your question is should I use my limited resources for food, or for the medication that helps me manage my diabetes, or my mental illness? What I have to say tonight is very personal for me…
President Obama Up Against the Middle East “Berlin Wall”
By Robert Weitzel
“People of the world -- look at Berlin, where a wall came down . . . and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one” -Barak Obama-
On July 24, Barak Obama stood where a 96-mile-long wall of barbed wire and concrete once separated the ideologies and lives of East and West Berlin. He told a crowd of 200,000 that “history reminds us that walls can be torn down” and that the “greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us one from another.”
He reminded the crowd that sixty years ago this summer, the Soviet Union “cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin. That [was] when . . . the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.”
By Dave Lindorff
In the category of yawn-inducing stories that we knew all about before they happened, comes word that the jury of senior uniformed officers sitting in judgement of Osama Bin Laden’s chauffeur in the first Bush-league military tribunal to actually go to a hearing at Guantanamo Naval Station found the prisoner, Salim Hamdan…
Drum roll please…
Guilty of supporting terrorism.
I pause here for gasps of astonishment.
It’s awfully silent…
Really, did anyone expect anything else? The officers, who all have careers to think about that would surely be severely crimped if they went off script and found the man innocent of the charges, heard evidence that was obtained through torture. They heard reports of confessions from a man who himself was subjected to torture, by the admission of the military itself, and who was never afforded an attorney during those interrogations.
Try Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and all the rest for murder.
Former LA Deputy District Attorney, who successfully prosecuted, dozens of murder cases, makes the case that George Bush is indictable for murder.
Any state or city that had a citizen killed in the course of the Iraq War is eligible for pressing charges and bringing these lying psychopaths to justice.
I knew it was not going to be easy to challenge the two party duopoly (that is brought to us by the US Military Industrial Media Complex), but I did not realize how hard this same system would make it to obtain ballot access.
In California, if one has the audacity to actually want to represent the voice of the people and not represent the corporate parties, then you have to obtain signatures amounting to 3% of EVERYONE who voted in the last election, no matter what party, to get on the ballot.
Here in San Francisco, for the November general election that number is: 10,198.
By Phyllis McGuire | iBerkshires.com
On July 25, I watched C-Span's telecast of the House Judiciary Committee's Hearing on "Executive Power and its Constitutional Limitations," which in some quarters is called "The Non-Hearing on Impeachment."
If the hearing were in the regular line up of television programs, it would be difficult to categorize it.
It could have been described as tag-team wrestling: Democratic congressmen, including Dennis Kucinich and Martin Wexler taking on Republican congressmen, including Dan Lundgren of California and Lamar Smith of Texas.
An explosive new book by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist alleges President George W. Bush committed an impeachable offense by ordering the CIA to create a forged document showing a link between Saddam Hussein and the terrorist organization al-Qaeda to create a "false pretense" for war.
“The White House had concocted a fake letter from [the director of the Iraqi intelligence service] to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” reporter Ron Suskind writes in his new book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. There is no link.”
Furthermore, Suskind alleges that the Bush administration knew Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction nor was the country an imminent threat, which is what the March 2003 invasion was predicated on. The director of the Iraqi intelligence service informed the White House “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”
Phil Restino, Central Florida Veterans For Peace writes:
Get Outraged And Get Active About Internet Censorship
Internet Censorship of political blogs and websites has been taken to a new level lately, and it needs to be taken very seriously. Sites such as AfterDowningStreet.org may, if not already, be targeted and severely disabled as far as effectiveness and/or existence. Even if you have disagreements with and/or are not interested in some of the other issues and news items reported on and discussed on the infowars.com and prisonplanet.com websites, they are offering the following prizes to anyone who places 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the 10-minute or less Internet Censorship Video Documentary contest. The deadline for entry is August 19, 2008. More details are provided in the article "Get Outraged And Get Active About Internet Censorship" by Paul Joseph Watson and Kurt Nimmo posted below.
First Prize: $5,000, Second Prize: $1,000, Third Prize: $500
Secret Plan To Kill Internet By 2012 Leaked?
Some question if report that pay-per-view system to be introduced is a hoax, but wider march to regulate the web is documented
Paul Joseph Watson | Prison Planet
ISP’s have resolved to restrict the Internet to a TV-like subscription model where users will be forced to pay to visit selected corporate websites by 2012, while others will be blocked, according to a leaked report. Despite some people dismissing the story as a hoax, the wider plan to kill the traditional Internet and replace it with a regulated and controlled Internet 2 is manifestly provable.
Five Minutes with Dennis Kucinich: The congressman discusses his articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush and what the public still doesn’t know about the Iraq war
By Aaron Ludensky | CampusProgress.org
Neocons Pressured FBI to Blame al-Qaeda for Anthrax Attacks
Neocons Pressured FBI to Blame al-Qaeda for Anthrax Attacks
Kurt Nimmo | Infowars.com
It was another example of sloppy work on the part of the neocons to blame Muslims and add fodder to their total war campaign. As the Daily News reported over the weekend, neocons in the Bush White House repeatedly put pressure on FBI Director Robert Mueller to “prove” the 2001 anthrax attacks was the work of Osama bin Laden and his cave dwelling terrorists, an impossible task at best due to the fact the anthrax used in the attacks was a weaponized strain produced by the U.S. military.
How News is (Instantly) Manipulated into Partisan "Tactics" Insulating the Bush Administration from Accountability
Ron Suskind's new book reports that in 2003, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a letter to "prove" that Iraq had a hand in 9/11 and that Saddam was buying yellowcake uranium from Niger for his WMD program with the help of Al Qaeda.
When this came up on MSNBC, moderator Chuck Todd asked Politico's Mike Allen whether this would lead "the anti-war crowd" in Congress to call for impeachment. Allen replied that it would "give the lefty blogosphere something to grab onto."
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports from Capitol Hill: The high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Iraq, positioning the war-torn nation, already in the black for the past two years, to post up to a $50 billion surplus this year, according to an audit released today by the U.S. Government Accountability office.
Sen. Carl Levin, who chairs the Armed Services Committee and Sen. John Warner, who has been acting as ranking Republican on the committee in the absence of Sen. McCain, had asked for the GAO audit of the Iraqi books back in March amid growing discontent on Capitol Hill with the financing of Iraq's reconstruction.
By Dave Lindorff
Some people are expressing consternation and disbelief at a report by journalist Seymour Hersh that Vice President Dick Cheney had discussed the idea in his office of having some Navy Seals dress up as Iranians, and then putting them in faked Iranian speedboats to make a fake attack on US ships in the Persian Gulf. The ensuing faked battle, with fake Iranians shooting at US ships and US ships firing back, he suggested, could be used to spark a war between the US and Iran.
` I don’t know why people would find it hard to believe that this vice president would think up an idea like having Americans shoot at other Americans in the interest of his own warped view of national security.
After all, this is a guy who shoots his own friends.
Oil Companies Escape Billions in Royalty Payments to Americans; Drilling Expansion Will Enrich U.S. & Foreign Corp Freeloaders
Oil Companies Escape Billions in Royalty Payments to Americans; Drilling Expansion Will Enrich U.S. and Foreign Corporate Freeloaders
Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program
A bureaucratic oversight has allowed 24 oil companies to avoid more than $1.3 billion in royalties for the privilege of extracting oil and natural gas from U.S. territory in the Gulf of Mexico - with foreign companies responsible for 55 percent of that total. But this $1.3 billion in forgone royalties pales in comparison to the $60 billion that Americans stand to lose in royalty revenue over the life of these leases. And if Congress repeals the moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) drilling that has existed since 1982, these freeloading oil companies will be eligible to bid on new leases, providing them with more record profits while American families are left holding the bag. These 24 companies have posted a combined $365 billion in profits since 2006.
The list of the specific companies comes from a February 2008 U.S. Department of Interior memo recently obtained by Public Citizen. Four of the 24 companies (BP, Marathon, Shell and Walter Oil & Gas) signed voluntary agreements to pay royalties going forward, but they will not be required to pay the more than $200 million taxpayers have been denied on production that already has occurred.
Bush Budget Spends 100 Times More to Regulate Unions
By Ross Eisenbrey | Economic Policy Institute.org
President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for the Department of Labor is dramatically out of balance. President Bush requested $58 million for Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), which oversees 23,000 unions and union locals with 13 million members. He requested only $193 million for the Wage and Hour Division, which oversees 7.4 million employers and protects 150 million employees by enforcing a host of labor standards, including child labor laws, overtime rules, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, among others. In terms of dollars per regulated entity, the OLMS budget is $2,500 per union and union local. The Wage and Hour Division budget is only $26.08 per employer (see Chart). President Bush wants to spend almost 100 times more per union to make sure they comply with the law than to make sure employers comply with the law.
Preamble: Many remember Grover Norquist's 2001 infamous goal: "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years," he says, "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."
Bear it mind as you read on. ~Chip :)
This is the text of a talk given at the sixth annual Pigstock, held at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, Wisconsin and sponsored by Veterans For Peace, Chapter 115 in Red Wing, Minnesota on July 12, 2008.
I want to start out today with something written by an early American revolutionary. This man was key to the armed revolution we fought against the King of England beginning in 1776, and more than that, was key to the revolution of ideas that had begun to grip the American colonies for several generations. This man was born poor, remained poor throughout his life, and he died in a tenement house. Yet, he was also a key American statesmen, publisher, orator, and held a number of government positions. He was a friend of Thomas Jefferson, and he was throughout his life, a self-educated person who valued liberty and justice. He opposed the concentrated power of the hereditary elites, and he believed that imperial wars were immoral.
His name was Thomas Paine. During the winter of the first year of revolution, in what would be the second of a series of pamphlets called The American Crisis, he described what we were fighting. It’s a long quote, but I want you to hear what he had to say:
If ever a nation was mad and foolish, blind to its own interest and bent on its own destruction, it is Britain. There are such things as national sins, and though the punishment of individuals may be reserved to another world, national punishment can only be inflicted in this world. Britain, as a nation, is, in my inmost belief, the greatest and most ungrateful offender against God on the face of the whole earth. Blessed with all the commerce she could wish for, and furnished, by a vast extension of dominion, with the means of civilizing both the eastern and western world, she has made no other use of both than proudly to idolize her own "thunder," and rip up the bowels of whole countries for what she could get. Like Alexander, she has made war her sport, and inflicted misery for prodigality's sake. The blood of India is not yet repaid, nor the wretchedness of Africa yet requited. Of late she has enlarged her list of national cruelties by her butcherly destruction of the Caribbs of St. Vincent's, and returning an answer by the sword to the meek prayer for "Peace, liberty and safety." These are serious things, and whatever a foolish tyrant, a debauched court, a trafficking legislature, or a blinded people may think, the national account with heaven must some day or other be settled: all countries have sooner or later been called to their reckoning; the proudest empires have sunk when the balance was struck; and Britain, like an individual penitent, must undergo her day of sorrow, and the sooner it happens to her the better.
Pelosi offers Veep support for House darkhorse
Steve Brusk | CNN
Plenty of high profile names are getting bounced around as Barack Obama’s potential running mate. But Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may have a lesser-known candidate in mind.
Newsweek and other publications say Pelosi has been lobbying for Rep. Chet Edwards (D – Texas). The 56-year-old Edwards is a 9-term congressman representing a district in central Texas that includes President Bush’s ranch in Crawford.
In an interview Sunday, Pelosi said, I didn't want to see a discussion of candidates for vice president without showing the House of Representatives...I just wanted people to be aware of the extraordinary credentials of Chet Edwards. And I hope he will be the nominee."