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In Air America: Under the Imperial Eye, Chris Floyd reports on the recent revelation that Iraq's supposedly "sovereign airspace" is constantly under surveillance by a network of drones operated by the State Department. Apparently the only reason this news came to light is because of a publicly available government appeal for private bids on the project. Neither we nor Iraqis were meant to know:
"Iraqis were outraged this week to find they are being spied upon by a fleet of American drones hovering constantly in their supposedly sovereign skies, long after the supposed withdrawal of American forces."
Speaking of Israel
I had two hours Friday evening on talk radio (KGO AM, Bay Area) to make some comments about what one might expect from Israel in reaction to the uprising in Cairo and the likely spread of unrest to Jordan and other countries. I think this is one $64 question.
Israel is already the big loser here (and I mean BIG). The Israelis have seldom been so isolated, having forfeited their important friendship with the Turks; having had to look on as Hezbollah has become even more powerful in Lebanon; having watched a very spooked King next door in Jordan; and having witnessed the unceremonious exit of Mubarak, who for three decades turned his back on the Palestinians and acquiesced in Israeli regional hegemony. Adding to the misery, this time the revolution WAS televised!
Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater Owner Erik Prince’s Rumored Move to UAE and Obama Admin’s Expansion of Special Forces Operations Abroad
Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater Owner Erik Prince’s Rumored Move to UAE and Obama Admin’s Expansion of Special Forces Operations Abroad | Democracy NOW! The Justice Department has told a federal appeals court there was more than enough untainted evidence to justify a trial for the five Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in the 2007 Nisoor Square massacre in Baghdad. In court papers seeking to reinstate criminal charges that were dismissed last year, the Justice Department said the judge "unjustifiably drew the curtain on a meritorious prosecution." This legal development comes amidst a report that Erik Prince, the owner and founder of the notorious private security firm, could be planning a move to the United Arab Emirates, a country that has no extradition treaty with the United States. We speak to independent journalist Jeremy Scahill. [ includes rush transcript.]
I don’t begrudge William Calley his remorse about My Lai, but I’m hesitant to acknowledge his apology for it.
If you steal $10 from your mother, you need to apologize. If, as you carry out orders, you lead a raid on a village that slaughters 500 or more defenseless people, something of a higher magnitude is required before you can have your life back.
“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley told members of the Kiwanis Club of Columbus, Ga., last week. “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”
It’s not that I don’t believe him . . . or that I hold him unforgivable. As a matter of principle, I refuse to waste time heaping my allotted teaspoonful of disapprobation on a scapegoat. Calley’s “responsibility” for My Lai, though personally enormous, is a minute fraction of the symbolic role — the Bad Apple in an American Uniform — he was forced to fill. He was, indeed, just following orders. And the first order of war is to suspend your humanity.
Just ask Lynndie England — another Bad Apple, another Face of Shame — who was also recently in the news. She had been scheduled to discuss her biography as part of a veterans forum at the Library of Congress several weeks ago, but threats and safety concerns forced the organizers to cancel her appearance.
England once almost apologized for Abu Ghraib, or for her miniscule but high-profile role in that scandal. “Yes, I was in five or six pictures and I took some pictures,” she told an interviewer for Stern, the German illustrated weekly magazine, “and those pictures were shameful and degrading to the Iraqis and to our government. And I feel sorry and wrong about what I did.”
The apology came well into the interview, in response to a pressing question about her sense of remorse. It was still tangled with her anger that the photos were made public at all, and was the lamest part of a fascinating interview. Far more interesting, for instance, were her memories of the casual horrors of Abu Ghraib and the moral relativism that was expected of her:
“Of course it was wrong. I know that now. But when you show the people from the CIA, the FBI and the MI (military intelligence) the pictures and they say, ‘Hey, this is a great job. Keep it up,’ you think it must be right. They were all there and they didn’t say a word. They didn’t wear uniforms, and if they did they had their nametags covered. . . . Read more.
"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.
Obama may toss ‘full trials’ for alleged 9/11 plotters
By Agence France-Presse | Raw Story
One advantage of permitting guilty pleas by defendants in the Sept. 11 case would be that the government would not have to expose harsh interrogation techniques during full trials that would otherwise have to be carried out, the Times said. It said the proposal to permit guilty pleas — which are not allowed in the legal framework the U.S. military uses in trials for its own personnel — would in effect permit the Sept. 11 defendants to achieve a self-proclaimed desire for martyrdom.
A plan under consideration by the Obama administration would permit Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial, it has been reported.
This option would principally be aimed at a group of detainees accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, five people who have already indicated they prefer this resolution of the case, The New York Times said in a story posted late Friday on its Web site.
The terrorism-era U.S. military commission format has come under withering criticism from legal and human rights quarters, and American military prosecutions employing this structure and legal rules have for the most part been put on hold since January while the new administration considered other options. Read more.
The Bush administration plans to sign its first nuclear-cooperation agreement with a Middle Eastern nation within the next few weeks, according to a senior U.S. official, raising concerns among congressional critics who say the deal could fuel nuclear proliferation in the region.
The proposed deal with the United Arab Emirates has attracted attention because the U.A.E.'s largest trading partner is Iran. The U.A.E. has served in the past as a transshipment point for technology with military applications headed to Iran.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President George W. Bush approved Dubai's $1.24 billion takeover of Doncasters, a British engineering company with U.S. plants that supply the Pentagon, the White House said on Friday.
The decision, announced by White House spokesman Scott McClellan, followed a congressional uproar over security fears that scuttled another Dubai state-owned company's plan to acquire operations at major U.S. ports.
Conyers, Eleven Other Judiciary Committee Members Challenge Administration's Interpretation of Foreign Investment Law
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
Contact: Jonathan Godfrey: 202-226-6888
Bob Dole consults for Dubai company
Deal concerns Sen. Elizabeth Dole
Barbara Barrett, Washington Correspondent - Feb. 23, 2006
North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole's husband, former Sen. Bob Dole, has
Katrina vanden Heuvel, http://www.thenation.com
While there are plenty of important questions to discuss regarding port security in the United States, all of these issues were present before the Dubai World Ports (DP World) controversy.
Do you feel more or less confident because the president says he didn't know about the port deal until members of Congress objected after the deal was approved?
Current results as of noon est:
More confident 1% 164 votes
Less confident 99% 10852 votes
The Honorable David M. Walker
U.S. Government Accountability Office
441 G. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20548
Dear Mr. Walker:
I would like the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States' (CFIUS) approval of Dubai Ports World's (DPW) attempt to purchase Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co (P&O), a company which manages several terminals at ports across the nation. Public reports have revealed that DPW is a foreign corporation controlled by the government of the United Arab Emirates, a nation where some of the hijackers on September 11, 2001 operated during various periods.
Bush and his ties to UAE--video link via "Can of Fun"
By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.
By Robert Parry, http://www.consortiumnews.com
The Bush administration is letting the United Arab Emirates take control of six key U.S. ports despite its own port’s reputation as a smuggling center used by arms traffickers, drug dealers and terrorists, apparently including the assassins of Lebanon’s ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
March 25, 2004 12:04 IST
The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency's director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday.
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By Larry C Johnson
Will someone please help the White House figure out which security playbook it should be using? In recent weeks the President's men have stronged arm Republicans to look the other way and not investigate whether George Bush has violated the law by authorizing domestic spying that ignored legal requirements to seek court approval. Those who have dared to challenge the Administration on this point have been accused of letting Al Qaeda have free run inside the United States.