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(Johnson is the NYTimes reporter who has exposed many financial scandals)
In covering the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street don't repeat the failed lapdog practices that so damaged our reputations in the rush to war in Iraq and the adoption of the Patriot Act. Don't assume that Congress must act instantly, as so many news stories state as if it was an immutable fact. Don't assume there is a case just because officials say there is.
The coverage of the Paulson plan focuses on the edges, on the details. The focus should be on the premise. And be skeptical of what gullible Congressional leaders, most of them up before the voters in a few weeks, say after being given a closed-door meeting on supposed horrors.
WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
US Military Combat & Non-Combat Casualty Report for Week Ending Sept. 23, 2008
Compiled by Michael Munk | www.michaelmunk.com
US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered 20 combat casualties casualties in the week ending September 23 as the official casualty total climbed to at least 68,363. It includes 34,039 dead and wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as "hostile" causes and more than 34,324 dead and medically evacuated (as of August 2) from "non-hostile" causes.
The actual total is over 88,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as "Iraq casualties" the more than 20,000 veterans whose injuries-mainly brain trauma from explosions--were diagnosed only after they had left Iraq.
Prosecuting High-level Americans for War Crimes
JURIST Guest Columnist Benjamin Davis of the University of Toledo College of Law says "the whole world is watching" efforts in the United States - highlighted at a recent conference at Andover - to bring U.S. high-level civilians and/or generals to justice for crimes committed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars....
On September 13-14, 2008, over two hundred people from the United States and abroad gathered in Andover. Massachusetts for the Justice Robert Jackson Conference on the Planning for Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals sponsored by the Massachusetts School of Law. Video of the two day conference and the program are available here. As a participant, I'm providing this note to JURIST as an aide-memoire for those concerned about war crimes perpetrated by US officials that have gone unpunished over the past eight years.
Impeachment of Bush-Cheney
Notwithstanding Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's statement that impeachment of the most senior member of the Administration is off the table, the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney was very much on the table at the conference. In particular, it was noted that the time remaining for the Bush-Cheney administration is about the same time as it took for the impeachment of President Clinton.
Many Americans today are asking themselves how the economy got to be in such a bad spot.
For years they thought the economy was booming, growth was up, job numbers and productivity were increasing. Yet now we find ourselves in what is shaping up to be one of the most severe economic downturns since the Great Depression.
Unfortunately, the government's preferred solution to the crisis is the very thing that got us into this mess in the first place: government intervention.
Ever since the 1930s, the federal government has involved itself deeply in housing policy and developed numerous programs to encourage homebuilding and homeownership.
Veterans Occupy National Archives, Maintain Solemn Oaths to Defend the Constitution Against All Enemies Foreign & Domestic
On Tuesday morning, September 23, 7:30am, at the front of the National Archives Building on Constitution Ave. in Washington, D.C., five military veterans will risk arrest as they climb a 9-foot retaining fence and occupy a 35-foot high ledge to raise a 22x8 foot banner stating, "DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!"
The group has declared its intention to stay on the ledge, fasting for 24 hours "in remembrance of those who have perished and those still suffering from the crimes of the Bush administration," according to a written statement. With a portable PA system, they will broadcast recorded statements from prominent Americans for the impeachment and/or arrest of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. "Citizens Arrest Warrants" will be distributed to people waiting in line to enter the National Archives.
The veterans emphasized they are taking this action because "Bush and Cheney's serial abuse of the Law of the Land clearly marks them as domestic enemies of the Constitution, they have illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, deliberately destroyed civilian infrastructure, authorized torture, and unlawfully detained prisoners. These actions clearly mark them as war criminals, accountability extends beyond impeachment to prosecution for war crimes even after their terms of office expire."
"If it is too big to fail, it is too big to exist." A MUST watch Bernie Sanders video.
Tell Congress NO BAILOUT here.
Please do it NOW! Go ahead and be cynical about it if you must, but DO it.
Brushing it off with the standard "oh jeez, they're not going to do anything about it, why even bother" makes you part of the problem. It means you're willing to do nothing while your country burns. These people pretending to serve us need to know that you're on to their scam. If more people thought about it this way and actually took action to hold their representatives accountable on a regular basis, maybe we would actually have a Congress that truly served the best interests of the people. Just like the child without an adult around, they will keep their hands in the cookie jar until they know someone is watching.
By Bruce Fein, Washington Times
Have President Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney committed impeachable offenses for which the duumvirate should be convicted and removed from office by duping then-House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey into supporting legislation authorizing war against Iraq with twin lies -- that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had personal ties to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network; and that Saddam had miniaturized nuclear weapons, which could be unleashed by employing al Qaeda as a delivery system?
The facts - uncontradicted by either Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney - are chronicled in Barton Gellman's new book "Angler."
Veterans Occupy the National Archives Demanding Restoration of Constitution, Prosecution of War Crimes
Philippe Sands, the author of Torture Team, will be in conversation with Olenka Frenkiel, an investigative journalist with the BBC, at the Frontline Club in London tonight. We start at 7.30pm UK time (19:30:00 Tuesday September 23, 2008 in Europe/London converts to 14:30:00 Tuesday September 23, 2008 in America/New_York) Tues 23 Sept and we'll be streaming it live:
On December 2, 2002 the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed his name at the bottom of a document that listed eighteen techniques of interrogation - techniques that defied international definitions of torture. The Rumsfeld Memo authorized the controversial interrogation practices that later migrated to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, as part of the policy of extraordinary rendition.
After nearly five years of fighting between the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union over images of torture at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, a federal appeals court ruled today that the photos must be made available to the public.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan (2nd Cir.) affirmed a 2006 district court order that dismissed the government's arguments that privacy rights of the soldiers and detainees in the images would be violated -- noting the redactions in the form of black bars over the subjects' faces -- and agreed that any potential damage caused by the release of the photos was "far too speculative" to justify their withholding.
Keith Ellison, Bob Filner, and Sheila Jackson-Lee have joined the cosponsors of Kucinich's articles of impeachment against Bush.
When Hunting Tigers Don’t Beat a Drum
John S. Phillips | White Buffalo Productions.org
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.~~Thomas Jefferson
As we watched the Walls of Babylon come tumbling down last week on Wall Street, one financial analyst of the Corporately Controlled Ministry of Dis-Information was brave enough to mutter the words “Financial Terrorism”. By the end of the week one servant of the King suggested that the people would pay for the costs of this controlled demolition. A mere $700 Billion to be handed out by those that would sit in the service of the king, and who originally helped engineer the crisis.
Congressman Tom Allen recently sent this email to his constituents describing his sponsorship of legislation to curb contractor financial exploitation of the government. Rep. Allen is running for Senate against Senator Susan Collins. Rep. Allen wrote:
Last year, I sponsored a provision in the Defense Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2008 to establish a commission to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The commission, which had bipartisan support in Congress, is modeled on the Truman Commission, an investigation of defense industry profiteering during WWII.
Solution: Declare All Credit Default Swaps Null And Void
Estimates on the productivity advantage of granite countertops and CDS' were too optimistic.
by Bernhard | MoonOfAlabama.com
The Paulson plan is useless as it only tries to address the degraded value of Asset Backed Securities.
These are neither the source nor the reason for the very real threat of a total financial crash.
September 17, 2008
Dear Congressman Nadler,
We are sure this will come as no surprise, but your inexplicable refusal to uphold your oath of office or wield the power entrusted to you as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the chair of the its Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee to bring about impeachment hearings has gravely disappointed thousands of your constituents.
You did not challenge Nancy Pelosi when she took impeachment off the table. You did not call upon John Conyers to initiate hearings, and you did not stand with your courageous colleagues who put principle before Party by calling for impeachment hearings.
Treasury Seeks Authority to Buy $700 Billion Assets (Update1)
By Alison Fitzgerald and John Brinsley | Bloomberg.com
The Bush administration asked Congress for unchecked power to buy $700 billion in bad mortgage investments from U.S. financial companies in what would be an unprecedented government intrusion into the markets.
The plan, designed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, is aimed at averting a credit freeze that would bring the financial system and economic growth to a standstill. The bill would bar courts from reviewing actions taken under its authority.
``It sounds like Paulson is asking to be a financial dictator, for a limited period of time,'' said historian John Steele Gordon, author of ``Hamilton's Blessing,'' a chronicle of the national debt. ``This is a much-needed declaration of power for the Treasury secretary. We can't wait until the next administration in January.''
By David Swanson
By David Swanson
If you want Bush and Cheney prosecuted and/or impeached there are two very useful things you can do.
Charlotte Dennett is a candidate for Attorney General of Vermont who has committed to appointing Vincent Bugliosi special prosecutor to charge Bush et alia with murder. She now has a website that accepts donations. Give everything you can:
Read more about this effort and other efforts to prosecute:
Cindy Sheehan is a candidate for the Congressional seat currently held by the woman who stripped impeachment out of our Constitution, Nancy Pelosi. Give Cindy every dime you can spare:
Read more about this effort and other efforts to impeach:
Russia, China, Germany reject US evidence of Iran's covert nuke program
DEBKAfile Special Analysis | DEBKA.com
Euphrates pipes for destroyed Syrian reactor designed to be part of Iran's military program
Russia, China and Germany refuse to countenance tougher sanctions against Iran notwithstanding the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report from Vienna that its inspections of suspect activities and covert projects were stalled by Tehran’s non-cooperation. Diplomats for the five permanent Security Council members and Germany, meeting at the State Department Friday, Sept 19, therefore failed to agree on a new round of sanctions ahead of their foreign ministers’ meeting at UN Center next week.
Funny how history has a way of turning back on itself.
Remember when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and Republicans claimed that Ronald Reagan's aggressive policies toward the Soviet Union had won the Cold War. In particularly they claim that Reagan's fabulously expensive "Star Wars" anti-missile system had forced the Soviets to spend so much on their own military projects that it bankrupted them.
Well, there's truth in that. Between trying to compete with Reagan's military spending and their own misadventure in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union went bust. Decades of over-spending on its military, under-spending on critical domestic needs and saddled with a flawed and increasingly corrupt economic dogma all collided at once, ending in utter and complete collapse.
Vice President Dick Cheney's Incredible and Deadly Lie: By Deceiving a Congressional Leader, Cheney Sent Us to War on False Pretenses And Violated the Separation of Powers - as Well as the Criminal Law
By JOHN W. DEAN | FindLaw.com
This week, I agreed to deliver a "Constitution Day" talk on a college campus. My talk was not partisan. Yet the subject matter I selected was prompted by the most incredible - not to mention the most deadly - lie Dick Cheney has yet told, which was reported earlier this week.
On September 18, 2008, the Department of Justice ("DOJ") finally responded to CREW's FOIA request of July 17, 2008, for records related to the FBI interview of Vice President Cheney as part of the government's leak investigation. In response to a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee for the same documents, Attorney General Michael Mukasey asserted executive privilege, at the request of the president. In response to CREW's FOIA request, DOJ refused to produce any documents, also claiming executive privilege. In addition, for the first time DOJ also claimed that portions of the records are classified. CREW is in litigation with DOJ over this FOIA request.
A federal judge on Saturday ordered Dick Cheney to preserve a wide range of the records from his time as vice president.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is a setback for the Bush administration in its effort to promote a narrow definition of materials that must be safeguarded under by the Presidential Records Act.
The Bush administration's legal position "heightens the court's concern" that some records may not be preserved, said the judge.
A private group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is suing Cheney and the Executive Office of the President in an effort to ensure that no presidential records are destroyed or handled in a way that makes them unavailable to the public.
A Wild Frontier
By Lakki Marwat | The Economist
It will take more than American missiles to bring order to Pakistan’s north-western border region
AMERICA and Pakistan both deny it; but it appears that on September 15th they fought a short war. America started it. Local reports suggest that, under cover of darkness, two helicopter-loads of its soldiers crossed on foot from Afghanistan into the Pakistani tribal area—and terrorist haven—of South Waziristan. This followed an American policy, allegedly authorised by President George Bush in July, of launching raids into Pakistan without its government’s approval. But, on this occasion, Pakistani border troops responded as to the act of aggression that it constituted: shooting over the heads of the advancing Americans, forcing them back.
Among the many media spectacles of the moment, the most unnerving is undoubtedly the crisis on Wall Street that has already essentially toppled Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch, and -- probably not last and certainly not least -- the gigantic insurance company AIG, which has just been given $85 billion in taxpayer moneys to liquidate itself. Before we're done, that hoary old oxymoron of the Left, "late capitalism," may gain new life.
Reviewing Danny Schechter's "Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal"
by Stephen Lendman
Danny Schechter is a media activist, critic, independent filmmaker, TV producer as well as an author of 10 books and lecturer on media issues. Some call him "The News Dissector," and that's the name of his popular blog on media issues. He's also co-founder of Media Channel.org. It covers the "political, cultural and social impacts of the media," and provides information unavailable in the mainstream.
Schechter's books include Media Wars; Embedded - weapons of Mass Deception; The Death of Media; The More You Watch The Less You Know; and his newest and subject of this review, Plunder. Subtitled: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal, Schechter examines the fallout from the current economic and financial crisis. What the mainstream media (MSM) suppresses:
- decades of wealth transfers to the rich;
- the economy in recession;
- the result of multiple imploding bubbles: housing, mortgage finance, and an alphabet soup of SDOs, SIVs, SPVs, and a whole menu of levered-up, high-risk securitized assets amounting to financial alchemy; largely outright fraud;
- the risk things may worsen;
Conference on War Crimes yields 20 recommendations, including impeachment
Recommendations For Action Now Being Considered As A Result Of Conference On War Crimes.
By Sherwood Ross | ImpeachForPeace.org
Goal Is To Give Continued Life To Nuremberg Principles Barring Aggressive War And Torture, Instead Of Allowing Bush/Cheney To Destroy Them With Impunity
Twenty recommendations made at a conference on prosecuting President George Bush for war crimes are under consideration for action, according to conference convener Lawrence Velvel, a prominent law school dean.
The following is a statement from Frank Donaghue, CEO of Physicians for Human Rights, in response to the prohibition passed today by the American Psychological Association's (APA) membership on psychologist participation at detention facilities that do not adhere to international human rights standards:
"Today PHR salutes the American Psychological Association (APA) membership for restoring the APA's commitment to human rights and medical ethics. For years, the APA has failed to fully address US psychologists' involvement in torture in Iraq, at Guantanamo Bay, and CIA black sites. This historic vote has moved the APA closer to joining the ranks of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, which have repudiated health professional involvement in interrogations.