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Activists Arrested at WI's Fort McCoy Claim False Imprisonment & Posse Comitatus Violations

ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AT WISCONSIN’S FORT MCCOY CLAIM FALSE IMPRISONMENT AND POSSE COMITATUS VIOLATIONS BY ARMY POLICE - “A VIRTUAL KIDNAPPING,” SAYS ATTORNEY...

For Immediate Release | August 18, 2009

Four peace activists who were arrested and jailed by Department of the Army Police at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin at an antiwar protest on August 9, are consulting with attorneys working for the Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild to explore possible legal responses to what they charge is their false imprisonment and various violations of posse comitatus laws that restrict the military from acting as civilian police.

The nonviolent protest occurred on the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki as more than 50 participants of the “Walk for Peace” a three day thirty mile march calling for the end of the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing home all National Guard troops and the abolition of nuclear weapons ended their journey at the gates of Fort McCoy. Fort McCoy is a military training center from which National Guard units from around the United States are deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Walk for Peace was sponsored by several regional and national organizations, including Nukewatch, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Madison Pledge of Resistance, and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

Nine activists who carried their protest onto the base were issued citations for a federal petty offense requiring them to appear in court at a later date. Usually one charged with a minor offense and issued a citation is immediately released pending a later court appearance but in this case, military authorities released five of the nine but continued to detain Bonnie Urfer of Luck, Wisconsin, Alice Gerard of Grand Island, New York, Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa and Joy First of Madison, Wisconsin, explaining to them that they were going to be jailed because they had each been apprehended at previous protests at the Fort.

The President Exhibits Crazy Speech Patterns

The President Exhibits Crazy Speech Patterns
By Cindy Sheehan | Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox

Please join us on Martha's Vineyard from August 26th-30th to demonstrate to the world that there are still some people here in America who want peace no matter who's inhabits the Oval Office.

As I listened to clips of Obama's speech to the VFW on August 17th, 2009, I was wondering if his speechwriters were on vacation and they just recycled an old Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice speech.

While the so-called left is focused on the health care debacle and is allowing the so-called right to define the debate when it should be: Medicare for all, and all for Medicare; Obama and his neocon foreign policy team are preparing for a decades long, bloody foray in Af-Pak.

As Yael T. Abouhalkah, an editorial writer for the Kansas City Star, put it:

My Book Is Now Available from Publisher Before Stores Get It

"Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union," by David Swanson is due in stores September 1st, but the publisher has it now and you can get it straight from Seven Stories Press.

Nancy Pelosi’s Summer Vacation

Nancy Pelosi’s summer vacation
By Tom Eley | WSWS

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will spend the early days of the August legislative recess wining and dining powerful corporate and political figures.

Pelosi will host a two-day “issues conference” for 170 elite guests, starting Friday at her multi-million dollar mansion in San Francisco’s exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood, Politico's John Bresnahan reports. “The following day, Pelosi will shepherd her guests to a Napa Valley winery with buildings designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry; the speaker and her husband, investor Paul Pelosi, own a nearby vineyard worth between $5 million and $25 million, according to her annual financial disclosure report,” he writes.

Bresnahan notes that the event is not a fundraiser, but a “donor maintenance” event, in which top contributors to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will be given the chance to rub elbows with leading Democratic Party insiders. These include top Obama adviser David Axelrod; Obama economic adviser Mark Zandi (who served as economic adviser to John McCain in the 2008 elections); media pundit and former Clinton adviser James Carville; Rep. George Miller of California, who chairs the Education and Labor Committee; Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey, of the Energy and Commerce Committee; and Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus.

To receive an invitation to the event, it is enough to have donated $30,400 to the DCCC during the last election cycle, a figure that also happens to be the maximum allowable contribution to a national party committee. Read more.

Building Peace: Veterans Work To End Wars

Building peace: Veterans work to end wars
By Debbie Jordan | Phoenix Progressive Examiner

The coffin of Britain's last World War I infantry veteran, Harry Patch, is carried away after his memorial service at Wells Cathedral in Wells, England, Thursday, August 6, 2009. As a mark of reconciliation, soldiers from Britain, Belgium, France, and Germany walked behind the hearse carrying the coffin as it was driven through Wells, where thousands of people lined the streets to watch the funeral procession of Patch, who died at age 111, and who was a veteran of the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) 

On July 25, Harry Patch, the last British veteran of World War I, died, marking the passing of an entire generation of veterans of the so-called "war to end all wars." What was most remarkable about Patch’s experience is that he came to believe that what he and his fellow soldiers had done so proudly in their youth had been in vain. At a remembrance ceremony on November 11, 2007, Patch explained:

Today is not for me. It is for the countless millions who did not come home with their lives intact. They are the heroes. It is also important we remember those who lost their lives on both sides."

Patch didn’t talk about the war for 80 years, but he came to believe the casualties were not justified.

I met someone from the German side and we both shared the same opinion: we fought, we finished and we were friends.

"It wasn't worth it."

Human Rights Watch: Iraqi Gays Tortured and Killed

Human Rights Watch: Iraqi Gays Tortured and Killed
Gay men in Iraq targeted in brutal campaign of torture and murder, human rights group says
By Kim Gamel, Associated Press Writer | ABCNews

Militiamen are torturing and killing gay Iraqi men with impunity in a systematic campaign that has spread from Baghdad to several other cities, a prominent human rights group said in a report.

Human Rights Watch called on the Iraqi government to act urgently to stop the abuses, warning that so-called social cleansing poses a new threat to security even as other violence recedes.

The bodies of several gay men were found in Baghdad's main Shiite district of Sadr City earlier this year with the Arabic words for "pervert" and "puppy" — considered derogatory terms for homosexuals in Iraq — written on their chests. Read more.

The Note: Pulling Plugs -- Public Option On Life Support, As Obama Tests Loyalties On His Left

The Note: Pulling Plugs -- Public option on life support, as Obama tests loyalties on his left
By Rick Klein | ABCNews The Note

Wait for it . . . “I don't think this bill is worth passing without a public option,” said former DNC chairman Howard Dean.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “Ultimately, if the president decides he’s going to go with a reform effort that doesn’t include a public option, what he will have done is spent a ton of political capital, riled up an incredibly angry right-wing base that’s been told this is a plot to kill Grandma, and he will have achieved something that doesn’t change health care very much and that doesn’t save us very much money and won’t do much for the American people.

May need to recast this line: “At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies,” Paul Krugman writes in his New York Times column. Read more.

Actions:

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White House Email Contact Form, Address, Phone

Congressional Lookup

Why We Need Health Care Reform

Why We Need Health Care Reform
By Barack Obama | NYTimes

Our nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.

These are people like Lori Hitchcock, whom I met in New Hampshire last week. Lori is currently self-employed and trying to start a business, but because she has hepatitis C, she cannot find an insurance company that will cover her. Another woman testified that an insurance company would not cover illnesses related to her internal organs because of an accident she had when she was 5 years old. A man lost his health coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because the insurance company discovered that he had gallstones, which he hadn’t known about when he applied for his policy. Because his treatment was delayed, he died.

I hear more and more stories like these every single day, and it is why we are acting so urgently to pass health-insurance reform this year. I don’t have to explain to the nearly 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance how important this is. But it’s just as important for Americans who do have health insurance.

There are four main ways the reform we’re proposing will provide more stability and security to every American. Read more.

White House Appears Ready To Drop 'Public Option'

White House appears ready to drop 'public option'
By Philip Elliott, Associated Press | Yahoo! News

Bowing to Republican pressure, President Barack Obama's administration signaled on Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system.

Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession probably would enrage Obama's liberal supporters but could deliver a much-needed victory on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers.

Officials from both political parties reached across the aisle in an effort to find compromises on proposals they left behind when they returned to their districts for an August recess. Obama had sought the government to run a health insurance organization to help cover the nation's almost 50 million uninsured, but he never made it a deal breaker in a broad set of ideas that has Republicans unified in opposition. Read more.

"Mad as Hell Doctors" Embark on Cross Country Care-A-Van to Demand Single-Payer from Congress - Join The Movement!

Hear practicing physicians tell why they support single-payer health care reform. Runs 40 minutes: consider it your workout time.

Where's the Care-A-Van? Follow the Docs - Where Would You Like To Meet Up?

"Mad as Hell Doctors" Embark on Cross Country Care-A-Van to Demand Single-Payer from Congress | Press Release

Frustrated with the health care 'options' coming out of Washington, D.C., six "Mad as Hell" Oregon physicians are taking an unprecedented road trip across America to lobby Congress for a single-payer health care system.

Called a "Care-A-Van," these road-tripping Oregon physicians will leave in a used motor home from Portland, Oregon on September 8th, inviting doctors and ordinary citizens from other states to join them on their twenty-city tour across the country. Join the Care-A-Van. Their journey will culminate in a D.C.-based event on September 30th, scheduled to take place on the steps of Congress. Demonstrating with the doctors will be thousands of fellow 'Mad as Hell' single-payer advocates, all adorned with the movement's new symbol - the white ribbon. Their demand: Single-Payer Now!  

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