Sunday, November 19, 2006

Time to break with Israel?

Picks of the Week:

Clear evidence 2006 congressional elections hacked: Results skewed nationwide in favor of Republicans by 4 percent, 3 million votes

"'The numbers tell us there absolutely was hacking going on, just not enough to overcome the size of the actual turnout. The tide turned so much in the last few weeks before the eleciton. It looks for all the world that they'd already figured out the percentage they needed to rig, when the programming of the vote rigging software was distributed weeks before the election, and it wasn't enough,' Castleman commented."

This is a big story. It means three things: 1. the Dems would've won more seats, 2. the Nazis will rig the machines more carefully in 2008, and 3. Bush did lose in 2000 and 2004. All the misery for the past 6 years has been based upon vote fraud.

Embittered insiders turn against Bush

"Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march, and Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that 'the president is ultimately responsible' for what Adelman now calls 'the debacle that was Iraq.'"

But, if you listen to the right wing media, i.e., 90% of what passes for news, you'd be led to believe the Dems are mortally wounded because they don't act in lock step.

Republicans plot to bring down Pelosi and Clinton with her

"Republican strategists plotting their party's comeback after it lost control of Congress have identified the 'first lady' of Democrat politics as a key target in the 2008 White House campaign — even though she will not be running."

And the press has already started to help the cause.

The truth hurts

"As violence rages in Iraq -- 159 people, including 35 members of Iraq's police force and three U.S. troops, were killed Sunday -- President Bush meets with the Iraq Study Group (ISG) today, an independent panel reexamining the administration's Iraq policy. The Washington Post reports that James Baker, former secretary of state and co-chairman of the ISG, has been testing the waters for some time to 'determine how much change in Iraq policy will be tolerated by the White House.' Hopefully, that report is in error. For too long President Bush and the White House have been listening only to people who tell them what they want to hear. Baker and the rest of the ISG have an obligation to tell the administration and the public what, in their view, is the best course of action for the country. Early reports indicate that the ISG may recommend "withdrawing American troops in phases."

Baker's job is to put lipstick on the Iraq pig and call it "Victory".

Anti-corruption official in Iraq accused of fraud: The head of the Commission on Public Integrity says he is the target of an intimidation campaign.

"Iraq's top anticorruption watchdog, a high-profile judge whose efforts have been hailed by Americans as one of the few bright spots in the country, is himself the target of a corruption probe, officials said Saturday."Judge Radhi Radhi, head of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, is under investigation by court authorities, accused of turning his 1,700-employee agency into a personal fiefdom and padding his salary with an extra $50,000 a year."

It appears Judge Radhi has modeled his administration after BushCo.

Baghdad's morgues so full, bodies being turned away

"With no space to store bodies, some victims of the sectarian slaughter are not being kept for relatives to claim, but photographed, numbered and quickly interred in government cemeteries.
"Men fearful of an anonymous burial are tattooing their thighs with names and phone numbers."
Does Halliburton have the tattooing concession?

Pentagon lacks independent watchdog

"The Pentagon has been without its chief watchdog for more than a year, even as the military spends billions of dollars a month in Iraq and controversy simmers over warrantless surveillance, missing weapons and friendly fire deaths."

Bechtel bails on Iraq

"Last month, the Bechtel Corp. became the first major U.S. contractor to announce that it was pulling out of Iraq. Bechtel's departure marks yet another significant failure for Bush's economic invasion of Iraq. It does not mark, however, the end of Bechtel's adventures in the Middle East as the company looks to take advantage of the Bush administration's expanding U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area."

Democrats push for troop cuts within months

"Democratic leaders in the Senate vowed on Sunday to use their new Congressional majority to press for troop reductions in Iraq within a matter of months, stepping up pressure on the administration just as President Bush is to be interviewed by a bipartisan panel examining future strategy for the war."

Why speculating on what "we" can do to fix Iraq is meaningless

"So whether the ISG [Iraq Study Group] says we should increase troops one more time (by, say, 20 or 30 thousand) or start to draw down forces over the course of a year or two, or even if they recommend actual changes in policy, like moving to superbases to reduce U.S. casualties or moving into cities for classical counterinsurgency, the fact is that our presence (and impact) has largely been overtaken by domestic influences. And none of these strategies will 1) definitely work or 2) even be implemented just because a blue-ribbon panel suggested them. Aside from the danger that the ISG will be used to deflect blame away from those who deserve it, which is highly possible, there is no magic solution, though I hope the ISG endorses modest but helpful things that the administration has thus far dismissed, like talking to Iran and Syria."

European reaction to Bush's election defeat: increasing militarism

"In view of the weakening of the America’s world position, which has been visible for some time in Iraq, European powers now feel compelled to jump into the breach. They regard this as both an opportunity and a burden. As opportunity insofar as they can intensify the pursuit of their own interests in the Middle East and on the world stage, as burden because they lack both the armies and the political support on the part of their own peoples to compete with the American military apparatus."

Tony Blair's post election panic attack

"In a season already notable for the official demonization of British Muslims (see 'Long Black Veil,"', October 23), the new assault twisted the screws even tighter. It is obvious that Blair has been badly stung by his American partner's rejection at the polls, which makes his own fanatical devotion to Bush and the bloodsoaked folly in Iraq look even more absurd. His frenzied waving of the terror flag is, in part, Blair's panicked response to the political diminishment of the Washington regime that has been a mainstay of his own power.

"That power is now at its lowest ebb. His party is politically bankrupt, with its worst poll numbers in more than 20 years - largely due to the cynicism, distrust and revulsion bred by the Iraq War. Blair himself is now under criminal investigation for allegedly selling peerages in exchange for campaign donations and huge private loans to Labour which party leaders then hid from auditors. He is to be questioned 'under caution' - i.e., as a target of the probe - by police in the coming weeks."

Iraq is a 'disaster' admits Blair (

"The Prime Minister stopped short of accepting the blame for plunging Iraq to the brink of civil war - blaming instead the insurgent uprising that has killed 125 British troops."

Blair wants shunned nations to help solve Iraq fiasco

"Tony Blair has urged George Bush to make a dramatic U-turn by drawing Iran and Syria into efforts to bring stability to Iraq and forge a long-term peace in the wider Middle East.

"The Prime Minister joined a clamour in Washington for the US President to drop his hardline approach towards what he regards as two rogue states. In his annual foreign affairs speech to the Lord Mayor's Banquet last night, Mr Blair offered Iran a 'clear strategic choice' - a partnership if it stops supporting terrorism in Lebanon and Iraq and accepts its international obligations, or isolation if it did not. His advisers said the same choice applied to Syria."

If Blair keeps this up, he won't be allowed by BushCo to transition to the Carlyle Group.

The Carlyle White House

"Gates's nomination to the post of secretary of defense was field-generaled behind the scenes by James Baker III, who has suddenly taken on a muscular role within the Bush White House since the spectacular Republican wipeout during the midterm elections last Tuesday. Baker's return, along with the new prominence of Bush Sr., has been hailed in the mainstream press as a healthy step toward stability and sanity.

"One is forced to wonder, however, which masters Mr. Baker is actually serving. Baker's Carlyle Group has profited wildly from the conflict in Iraq, which begs the question: will the bottom line, augmented by Carlyle's defense contracts, trump any attempts to establish a just and lasting peace? It must also be noted that Baker's law firm, Baker Botts, is currently serving as defense counsel for Saudi Arabia against a suit brought by the families of 9/11 victims. The connections between the Bush family and the Saudi royals have been discussed ad nauseam, and Mr. Baker is so closely entwined with the Bush clan that he might as well be a blood relative."

After the US elections: Renewed pro-war consensus emerges in Washington

"The ensuing seven days have been dominated by intense behind-the-scenes political debate and maneuvering within the Washington elite, all of it devoted to shoring up the strategic interests of American imperialism in the Middle East, ensuring the continuation for the foreseeable future of military operations in Iraq, and frustrating popular anti-war sentiment within the US."

Neocons to "forget about the democracy crap" in Iraq: Bush cabal More Dangerous Than Ever - Realization that their days in power are numbered spells trouble for America

"An anonymous US official added: 'Bush has said 'no' to withdrawal, so what else do you have? The Baker report will be a set of ideas, more realistic than in the past, that can be used as political tools. What they're going to say is: lower the goals, forget about the democracy crap, put more resources in, do it.'"

The neocons' last stand

"Then the electoral catastrophe intervened, giving Baker leeway (and sidelining Rice). Baker even summoned Tony Blair to testify on Tuesday in order to support a restart of the Middle East peace process. If Baker were to propose that, he knows - although he will not explicitly say so - that its enactment would require the firing of neocons on the national security council and Cheney's staff, in particular Elliott Abrams, the NSC's near-east affairs director.

"If Baker actually advocates what he thinks, Bush will have to either admit the errors of his ways and the wisdom of his father and his father's men - or cast them and caution aside once again."

The new media offensive against withdrawal

"The present situation is grimly instructive for anyone who might wonder how the Vietnam War could continue for years while opinion polls showed that most Americans were against it. Now, in the wake of midterm elections widely seen as a rebuke to the Iraq war, powerful media institutions are feverishly spinning against a pullout of U.S. troops."

Bush urges patience on winning Iraq war

"Asked if the experience in Vietnam offered lessons for Iraq, Bush said, 'We tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take awhile.'

"He said 'it's just going to take a long period of time' for "an ideology of freedom to overcome an ideology of hate. Yet, the world that we live in today is one where they want things to happen immediately."

"'We'll succeed unless we quit,' the president said."

We'll win unless we lose.

Military may ask $127B for wars

"The Bush administration is preparing its largest spending request yet for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a proposal that could make the conflict the most expensive since World War II.

"The Pentagon is considering $127 billion to $160 billion in requests from the armed services for the 2007 fiscal year, which began last month, several lawmakers and congressional staff members said. That's on top of $70 billion already approved for 2007."

US troops in Iraq: 72% say end war in 2006 Zogby poll

"An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows."

The quagmire deepens in Afghanistan

"The international media has focussed attention on the crisis confronting the US in Iraq, but Afghanistan is no less of a quagmire. Five years after toppling the Taliban regime in Kabul, none of the Bush administration’s promises has been kept. A profound social crisis compounded by anger over repeated US attacks and abuse of civilians has fuelled an anti-occupation insurgency that has dramatically expanded this year."

The next act: Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more?

"If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The White House would put 'shorteners' on any legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.

"The White House’s concern was not that the Democrats would cut off funds for the war in Iraq but that future legislation would prohibit it from financing operations targeted at overthrowing or destabilizing the Iranian government, to keep it from getting the bomb. 'They’re afraid that Congress is going to vote a binding resolution to stop a hit on Iran, à la Nicaragua in the Contra war,' a former senior intelligence official told me."

CIA analysis finds no Iranian nuclear weapons drive

"A classifed draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter has said."

Iran does have the Wherewithal for Mobility Determination (WMD). . . 0il.

Where the bombs are

"A new review published in the November/December issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists shows that the United States stores its nearly 10,000 nuclear warheads at 18 locations in 12 states and six European countries."

IAEA asks Tehran to explain traces found at nuke plant

"Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have found unexplained plutonium and enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in Iran and have asked Tehran for an explanation, an IAEA report said Tuesday."

Traces in Iran versus thousands of ready to go nukes in US and abroad, including Israel. Could it be that all countries should be free of nuclear weapons? A nucular free world. . . what a concept.

Israel detonated a radioactive bunker in Lebanon

"The special report was triggered by the radioactivity measurements reported on a crater probably created by an Israeli Bunker Buster bomb in the village of Khiam, in southern Lebanon. The measurements were carried out by two Lebanese professors of physics - Mohammad Ali Kubaissi and Ibrahim Rachidi. The data - 700 nanosieverts per hour – showed remarkably higher radiocativity then the average in the area (Beirut = 35 nSv/hr )."

And probably purchased from, or donated by, the US.

Netanyahu: It's 1938 and Iran is Germany; Ahmadinejad is preparing another holocaust

"'It's 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs,' Netanyahu told delegates to the annual United Jewish Communities General Assembly, repeating the line several times, like a chorus, during his address. 'Believe him and stop him,' the opposition leader said of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 'This is what we must do. Everything else pales before this.'"

Who is the "we" he refers to? The mouse in his pocket, aka, the USA?

Bush assures Israel Iran seen as threat

"With Olmert at his side following a White House meeting Monday, Bush told reporters that a nuclear-armed Iran not only would threaten Israel but loom as an 'incredibly destabilizing' threat to the region and the world.

'I recognize the threat to world peace that the Iranians pose, as does the prime minister,' Bush said."

Bush to Olmert: No international peace convention

"The Olmert-Bush summit which took place in the White House Monday failed to provide any real news. The prime minister said that his stance against an international peace convention was backed by the American president.

"'There will be no international convention on the Palestinian issue which will replace direct negotiations,' Olmert said, quoting Bush.

"'If a situation can be created in which moderate countries will encourage the Palestinians to enter negotiations with Israel, I will view it positively and will be very pleased,' he added."

Which US state does Olmert represent? Was he on the ballot?

Fury in US over Olmerts' comments on Iraq

"Speaking after his talks with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House, Olmert said the American operation in Iraq brought stability to the Middle East.

"Politicians from the Democratic Party said they wanted to speak to Olmert about his comments on Iraq before responding publicly, but expressed disapproval over the remarks."

Do they disapprove enough to stop taking money from AIPAC?

US vetoes UN resolution condemning Israel

"The United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council draft resolution Saturday that sought to condemn an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and demand Israeli troops pull out of the territory."

CNN editors pull Palestinian quotes, replace with US

"CNN editors replaced all Palestinian quotations with quotes from the US and Israel in its story 'U.S. vetoes U.N. condemnation of Israel's Gaza strikes'. The new, more prominent article begins with the exact same wording as the original, but all Palestinian remarks are gone."

Use of the veto on United Nations resolutions by the USA

"This is a list of resolutions vetoed by the USA. The USA used its veto over 70 times during the 20th century. On the majority of occasions, the USA vetoed resolutions that were favoured by the majority of the world's nations."

It's interesting to go through the list to see how often the US has gone to bat for Israel by using the veto.

Canada takes pro-Israel stance at UN

"Canada under the Conservatives demonstrated a marked shift in favour of Israel in votes at the United Nations Thursday, registering its third change in a row on more than 20 Arab- and Muslim-sponsored resolutions that are annually critical of Israeli policy, but light on Arab responsibilities."

Harper and Bush, joined at the hip.

Olmert warns US on 'premature pullout' from Iraq

"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned the United States, in an interview published on Sunday (local time), against a 'premature pullout' from Iraq as US officials ponder a new strategy following a sweeping Democratic win in the mid-term elections."

The Butcher of Lebanon has spoken.

To Israel with love: Why America gives Israel its unconditional support.

“'Thank God we have AIPAC, the greatest supporter and friend we have in the whole world,' says Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister. The lobby, which is the centrepiece of a co-ordinated body that includes pressure groups, think-tanks and fund-raising operations, produces voting statistics on congressmen that are carefully scrutinised by political donors. It also organises regular trips to Israel for congressmen and their staffs. (The Washington Post reports that Roy Blunt, the House majority whip, has been on four.)"

Ayalon: We'll build Bush institute in Iraq

"Because of your contribution to the security of Israel , the Jewish people and the world in general, you deserve to have your name memorialized in Israel, said Ayalon, adding that it will be a show of gratitude from the Israeli public.

"In the 1930's there was Churchill and now there is you, added Ayalon. Bush was moved by the gesture and told Ayalon that he always was and will always be a friend of Israel."

Bush gives go-ahead for building 'Bush center" in Israel

"Bush told Ayalon that 'freedom' would be a worthy subject for the center to focus on."

Since we're in an Orwellian time warp, I'm thinking The Ministry of Truth has a nice ring to it.

Bush will not hesitate to use force in Iran: Israeli ambassador

"'US President George W. Bush will not hesitate to use force against Iran in order to halt its nuclear program,' Ayalon told the Maariv daily.

"'I have been privileged to know him well, he will not hesitate to go all the way if there is no choice,' said Ayalon, due to return to the Jewish state next week after serving as ambassador in Washington for more than four years."

Well, put an eye patch on and call Bush Moshe Dayan.

America's pro-Israel policy is wrong on all counts by Paul Findley, former US Congressman

"The massive aid we keep sending has long helped Israel to inflict lethal degradation on mostly-Muslim Palestinians. We are silent when Israel makes Gaza a vast, miserable and bloody concentration camp where l.4 million human beings are denied electricity, clean water, housing, food, and medical care. We look the other way when Israel arrests officials of Palestine’s freely-elected government.

"Our Congress approves when Israel herds the rest of the Palestinians like cattle behind high walls and fences. Every U.S. president beginning with Lyndon B. Johnson could have stopped Israel’s major crimes, simply by suspending all U.S. aid until Israel behaved. Every Congress could have done the same. But none did. The only U.S. President to stand resolutely against Israel’s criminal behavior was Dwight D. Eisenhower. Israel’s influence has led America into one awful mess after another."

Bolton in extraordinary outburst against United Nations

"Bolton was furious over the adoption by the General Assembly of a resolution which said the assembly regretted the deaths of 19 civilians in an attack by the Israeli military in the town of Beit Hanoun last week. "Despite the resolution being significantly watered down at the behest of the United States, and being passing by 156 votes to seven, Bolton launched a blistering attack on the UN, and many of its members."

Bolton, bought and paid for.

Gillerman calls Bolton 'Israel's secret weapon'

"After a staunch defence of Israel on Friday night in the UN General Assembly, John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, has been described by his Israeli counterpart as, 'Israel's secret weapon.'"

Beit Hanoun broke my heart

"United Arab List-Ta'al leader MK Ahmad Tibi and a number of his colleagues on Thursday visited Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip where 18 Palestinians were killed a day earlier by shells fired by the Israeli army." . . . .

"Tibi, as well as MK Ibrahim Sarsur and Attorney Osama Saadi, saw blood stains in the house of the family. 'When we walked out with the accompaniers a woman shouted at me from the roof: 'Dr Ahmad, can you return to us?' I returned with MK Sarsur and it was a heart breaking sight. She described as she cried how every member of her family slept. She lost six of them – three brothers, a sister and two cousins.'"

There is so much bloodshed in the Gaza strip you probably didn't hear of this massacre. I didn't. Maybe it was off the radar, because it happened during election week. The butcher, Olmert, said it was a mistake. You know . . . oops.

Human shield deters Israel strike

"A Hamas commander at the scene said people had gathered to show that the demolition strategy of the Israelis could be defeated.

"An Israeli military spokesman confirmed to Reuters news agency that the raid had been called off because of the Palestinian action."

The root of terror is clear: Only a resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict will stop al-Qaida recruitment

"We pretend that withdrawing from Afghanistan or Iraq will do the hearts-and-minds trick. We pretend (with America's triumphant Democrats as the worst offenders, alas) that Israel can somehow be set to one side while the al-Qaida terror debate rages. We kid ourselves that a Middle East solution - permanent, guaranteed and enforced - is separate and optional. It isn't."

Nancy Pelosi to the white courtesy phone (Scroll down)

"You must address the influence of Israel on American policy. AIPAC must register as the agent of a foreign power. There should be a detailed investigation into Israeli spying in the US and the results should be made public. The people have a right to know. The people have a right to know how much impact Israeli interests had on causing the Iraq invasion. Unless the truth has been made against the law it should be okay to reveal it. Either one and one is two or it is not. Just look at the evidence and add it together and let’s see what we have."

Looking at the middle east situation dispassionately, is it in the best interest of the US and world peace for the US to focus solely upon good relations with Israel, or good relations with the Muslim world? After all, Israel doesn't have any oil, if you want to be practical.

Hoyer wins leadership

"Hoyer has made a point of promoting bipartisan support of Israel, has urged freshmen lawmakers to join the numerous congressional delegations to Israel he has led, and has isolated Democrats who have been strongly critical of the Jewish state."

Israel links to Iraq I.E.Ds? (You may need to scroll down by the time you get this. Item starts with "Zapata Engineering")

"It can now be reported that Zapata Engineering has hired these Israeli Mossad-types into Iraq for the purposes of alleged counter-insurgency.

"However, the alleged Israeli engineers have now been fingered for sniping at U.S. Soldiers and the murder of two female American Marines who had their throats slit and then placed in garbage dumps.

"These female Marines had been investigating the origins of the I.E.D. (Improvised Explosives Devices). And of course it gets worse. It can now be reported that the origin of the I.E.D.’s, come not from Iran, but come from Zapata Engineering of North Carolina, Hawaii and Tel Aviv."

If you watched last Sunday's Meet The Press, Russert showed Lieberman a video clip of an Iraq minister saying that Israel had operatives in Iraq doing a little killing. Lieberman blew the comment off as being insane hokum.

Israel snipers killing US troops in Iraq?

"Proof: At the very beginning of this video clip, you see a rifle with a video camera attached to it. This weapon is made by the Rafael company, an Israeli arms manufacturer, that also makes IEDs. If you watch the video all the way through, it explains how this rifle works. CNN stated that the camera used to film these shootings was not a mounted rifle camera. But as you watch the video, you see that with each shot fired, the camera recoils. That would only happen if it were mounted on the rifle. Why is this significant? Because this kind of rifle-camera is extremely sophisticated and not available to your average Iraqi insurgent. I mean, it’s not exactly an easily obtainable Saturday night special! Something this sophisticated points to Mossad."

Israel lobby says Pentagon 'infiltrated'

"A leading voice of the pro-Israel lobby is pushing for an old-style 'witchhunt'—under the guise of 'homeland security'—to identify (and expel) individuals in the U.S. government and our military who are suspected of being hostile to Israel."The call for a witch-hunt is based on the outlandish thesis that 'Islamo-fascists' and Muslim 'jihadist' operatives and, perhaps more particularly, their 'sympathizers'—however loosely defined—have infested America’s defense, national security and federal law enforcement community."

Lieberman refuses to close door on switching parties

"'I'm not ruling it out but I hope I don't get to that point,' he said. 'And I must say -- and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut -- nobody ever said, 'We're doing this because we want you to switch over. We want you to do what you think is right and good for our state and country,' and I appreciate that.'"

Translated: If the Democrats kiss his ass for the next six years, he'll occasionally cooperate with them on minor issues. Lieberman is Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, nasty and vindictive. Did the Dems bail on supporting Lamont because of their AIPAC ties?

Lieberman stands firm on Iraq war

"Connecticut voters who worried that Sen. Joe Lieberman might embrace calls by Democrats to withdraw from Iraq can rest easy — that option doesn't appear to be on his plate."

Didn't 70% of the Nazi party vote for him?

Democrats will revisit military habeus debate

"An effort to restore habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants could be the first test of the Democrats' resolve to change course in the Senate Judiciary Committee."Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who is expected to become chairman, confirmed Thursday that he is drafting a bill to undo portions of a recently passed law that prevent terrorism detainees from going to federal court to challenge the government's right to hold them indefinitely."

Top 25 censored stories of 2007

US: Immigrants may be held indefinitely

"Immigrants arrested in the United States may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge their imprisonment in civilian courts, the Bush administration said Monday, opening a new legal front in the fight over the rights of detainees.

"In court documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., the Justice Department said a new anti-terrorism law being used to hold detainees in Guantanamo Bay also applies to foreigners captured and held in the United States."

AP gets shocking new reports on Gitmo

"The U.S. military called no witnesses, withheld evidence from detainees and usually reached a decision within a day as it determined that hundreds of men detained at Guantanamo Bay were 'enemy combatants,' according to a new report."The analysis of transcripts and records by two lawyers for Guantanamo detainees, aided by more than two dozen law students, found that hearings that determined whether a prisoner should remain in custody gave the accused little opportunity to contest allegations against him."

I'm shocked. Does this mean freedom and justice have not been on the march in the US for the past six years?

Pentagon wants to build mini-city for terror trials

"The Pentagon plans to build a military commissions compound at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, costing up to $125 million, a major undertaking meant to accommodate up to 1,200 people for the first U.S. war crimes trials since World War II, The Miami Herald learned Thursday."

Boys with toys.

Cracked it! Three million Britons have been issued with the new hi-tech passport, designed to frustrate terrorists and fraudsters. So why did Steve Boggan and a friendly computer expert find it so easy to break the security codes?

"Today, some three million such passports have been issued, and they don't look so secure. I am sitting with my scary computer man and we have just sucked out all the supposedly secure data and biometric information from three new passports and displayed it all on a laptop computer.

"The UK Identity and Passport Service website says the new documents are protected by 'an advanced digital encryption technique'. So how come we have the information? What could criminals or terrorists do with it? And what could it mean for the passports and the ID cards that are meant to follow?"

Senate to investigate rendition abuses

"The new chairman of the Senate armed services committee, the Democratic senator Carl Levin, revealed that he was 'not comfortable' with the rendition system and said it was making the US less secure."

That's good, because the people being illegally tortured at secret sites aren't comfortable either.

CIA acknowledges 2 interrogation memos

"After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

"But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and the Justice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public."

Bush and Gonzales . . . war criminals.

Past sins might keep Rumsfeld from roaming world

"Is it likely a longtime ally would arrest a former U.S. defense secretary? Nah. Is it possible under the law? Absolutely.

"Of that, Rumsfeld is well aware. Less than two years ago, he told reporters he might miss an important NATO security meeting in Munich in part because a similar complaint was pending before German authorities."

Warrantless wiretaps unlikely to be OK'd

"Senate Democrats, emboldened by Election Day wins that put them in control of Congress as of January, say they would rather wait until next year to look at the issue. 'I can't say that we won't do it, but there's no guarantee that we're going spend a lot of time on controversial measures,' Democratic Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois said Thursday.

"In Senate parlance, that means no."

NSA case becomes lawyer junket

"The libertarian-leaning, Republican-appointed Walker refused to dismiss that case in a landmark ruling in July, saying that the program was no longer secret since the government had admitted it existed and 'public disclosures by the government and AT&T indicate that AT&T is assisting the government to implement some kind of surveillance program.'

"In Friday's hearing, the government asked the court to freeze all work on the 48 cases until an appeals court can review Walker's ruling. Instead, Walker scheduled further hearings in December and February. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet scheduled a hearing on the appeal, though all briefs are due by early April."

Gonzales blasts surveillance critics

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales contended Saturday that some critics of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program were defining freedom in a way that poses a 'grave threat' to U.S. security."

The Torquemada administration is a grave threat to America.

Administration opposes Democrats' plan for negotiating Medicare drug prices

"The Bush administration said on Sunday that it would strenuously oppose one of the Democrats’ top priorities for the new Congress: legislation authorizing the government to negotiate with drug companies to secure lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries."

But BushCo will resist in a bipartisan way. I wonder if Bush vetoes will match his signing statements in numbers.

Kennedy will push for overhaul of FDA

"Senator Edward M. Kennedy today will criticize the Food and Drug Administration during a Senate hearing for allowing 'prevailing political winds' to trump science.

"The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions session will give Democrats their first post election opportunity to say how they will strengthen the FDA when they become the majority party in Congress."

I subscribe to Worst Pill, Best Pills, a watchdog publication. The FDA has become such a water carrier for the drug industry that the publication's rule of thumb is avoid any pill until it's been on the market for seven years. One has to love the benefits of deregulation.

Let the market work

"Health care was a key issue in last week's election. Voters cited rising health care costs as their top economic concern when they supported candidates who made health care reform a priority. The 'changes in the composition of the House and Senate will have a profound impact on national health policymaking in 2007 and 2008,' the health advocacy group Families USA argues. Months before the election, the House minority leadership promised to tackle reform of the prescription drug program within the first 100 hours of the new Congress. During the first days of the 110th Congress, the House likely will vote to 'lift the legislative prohibition that prevents Medicare from bargaining with the drug companies to secure lower prices.' The change 'would allow an important test of the hypothesis that government negotiators can wring lower prices from the manufacturers than those obtained by the private drug plans and pharmaceutical benefit managers that currently negotiate on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.' Already, the administration has said it 'does not, under any circumstances, want the federal government negotiating lower drug costs.' The drug lobby, for which the drug benefit has proved to be 'a financial windfall larger than even the most optimistic Wall Street analysts had predicted,' also opposes to the plan. But taxpayers could stand to 'save as much as $190 billion over the next 10 years' if Medicare negotiated prices with drug makers. It is time to let the market forces of supply and demand make drugs cheaper for seniors."

Dems take aim at oil industry tax breaks

"House Democrats are targeting billions of dollars in oil company tax breaks for quick repeal next year. A broader energy proposal that would boost alternative energy sources and conservation is expected to be put off until later."

Bush to renominate blocked judicial candidates

"President Bush's reported decision, which comes on the heels of his calls for bipartisan cooperation, suggests that President Bush will continue to promote a hard right agenda rather than seeking to move the nation forward through consensus."

The Moron will stay the course.

Democrats warned not to block judges

"The Senate's next Republican leader issued a veiled threat to block action on legislation if Democrats refu
se to allow confirmation votes on President Bush's troubled judicial nominations."

I love the smell of partisonship in the morning.

Impeaching Bush to preserve the Constitution

"The framers of the constitution knew that someday there was going to be a Richard Nixon who was president of the United States and someday there was going to be a George Bush who was going to be president of the United States, and they gave us the power of impeachment to revoke them. "They put in the impeachment clause because they said that we know that there will be presidents who will commit grave and dangerous offenses that would subvert the constitution. They knew that subverting that constitution was the greatest danger that could befall our country. So all of us here have to be soldiers in that cause."

Mother tells all about White House sex slave ring and son's kidnapping

"Gosch's story has been documented on her site, Noreen even claiming her son may actually be Jeff Gannon, but she has been unable to get a court order for DNA testing in light of possible White House involvement.

"Further, the Gosch story gets even stranger since some investigators relate it to the suspicious death of writer, Hunter Thompson, who was said to commit suicide the day after Gosch and Gannon were connected publicly."

The GOP closet is vast.

US is top purveyor on weapons sales list: Shipments grow to unstable areas

"The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show."

Turning plowshares into swords.

Global growth in carbon emissions is 'out of control'

The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.

Boxer to focus on global warming

"Sen. Barbara Boxer on Thursday promised major policy shifts on global warming, air quality and toxic-waste cleanup as she prepares to lead the U.S. Senate's environmental committee.

"'Time is running out, and we need to move forward on this,' Boxer said of global warming during a conference call with reporters. 'The states are beginning to take steps, and we need to take steps as well.'"

Annan criticizes US over global warming

"In another comment that appeared aimed firmly at the US president, George Bush, whose Republican party fared badly in last week's mid-term elections, Mr Annan called on leaders to stop being 'economically defensive'. '[They] must show courage and know that if they do, the people and the voters will be with them.'"

The corporate end run

"It seems almost unbelievable, then, that corporate America would pick this moment to beg for relaxed regulation and enforcement, as well as more protection from investors’ lawsuits. But as Stephen Labaton reported recently in The Times, industry groups are seeking broad new protections for corporations and accounting firms, not through legislation but from the Bush administration through agency rule changes."

The biggest bubble of all - derivatives trading soars to $370 trillion - it will be the root cause for global depression

"The kind of euphoria in derivative trading has never been seen before. The amount of outstanding credit-default swaps contracts jumped by 60% at the end of last year. This year the rise is even faster. It is a typical pyramiding technique. Money is creating false concept of money and that in turn is creating ever lager conceptual money. When the tide blow[s] off and [the] balloon bursts, the catastrophe will be unimaginable. The 1929 debacle and resulting depression will be miniscule to what is coming.

Ford, GM down - banks move in for the kill

"While the nation is busy grappling with constant insults from endless war on every front, one ruthless knife in the backbone of our economy has gone largely unnoticed.

"For the first time in history, two of the nation's Big Three car manufacturers are in such dire straits that they have to take out loans secured by their most essential assets, yet no one, neither in our government nor in our media has raised an eyebrow at the stakes."

Quotes from

"Ken Mehlman (R-Gay) did a whale of a job as the chairman of the RNC." -- Der Phony Fuhrer, Link Is "whale" of a job better or worse than "heckuva" job? If it's better, why'd you fire him?

"Bush not only lied but compounded the lie by lying about why he lied in the first place. He had his excuses ready. He lied for the sake of the troops...In this way, Bush lied about the lie and then, as has become customary, draped an American flag over it. How dare these people lie to you and me and send Americans to die in Iraq for reasons that turned out to be wholly nonexistent? One way to return to the truth is to find the liars -- for the troops." --Richard Cohen, WaHoPo

"I can't stand the thought of my party having as its three front-runners three open adulterers, Newt Gingrich, Giuliani, and McCain. I'm coming to New Hampshire to tell the truth, and tell the Republicans you better find yourself a fresh face and not Rudy Giuliani who took his mistress around with him and then divorces Donna who learned she was divorced sitting at home watching TV with her children." --Bob Dornan, B-1 Bob back?

"Bush is in Southeast Asia this week and because of the metric system his approval rating over there is actually 62 percent." -- David Letterman

"In an ironic turnaround, Iraq brought regime change to the United States." -- Amy Poehler, SNL

"When DeLay and his bunch first ran, they campaigned against the cesspool in Washington. After a while they looked around and said, 'Hey, this isn't a cesspool, it's a hot tub." -- Richard Viguerie, talkingpointsmemo

"We cannot heal America if we continue with policies that are based on lies. We'll never be able to bring closure to this Iraq matter unless we tell the truth about what happened. So America needs a new approach of truth and reconciliation. This relates to the conscience of this country. [We need] a sober reflection about the events that have transpired since 9/11, with respect to Iraq. And until we do this, we will be trapped not only physically in Iraq, we'll be trapped emotionally and spiritually in Iraq. We may never get out of Iraq if we don't tell the truth." -- Dennis Kucinich, Link

"No one - not the cable news nets, not Karl Rove, and certainly not Bush himself seem to be able to internalize the notion that people basically can't stand the president." -- Atrios

"Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style." -- Der Fuhrer, 11/04/04, on what elections mean, Link

"You don't hear much about Afghanistan. We certainly won that war." -- Orrin Hatch, praising Rumsfeld, lying like a Republican, Link

"A U.S. government-funded report released late last month says that Afghanistan is now at a "tipping point" as security conditions there decline rapidly." --Tim Grieve
"Rumsfeld, revisited", Link Hatch the liar needs to be retired. He seems to think 2848 dead soldiers in the war we're losing in Iraq is OK because we have fewer than 2848 dead in the war we're losing in Afghanistan.

"Bob Sherwood's House seat would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn't whined about being throttled." -- Grover Norquist, Master of Great Quotes, Link I agree. If those bitches would just keep quiet and accept being strangled by a congressman the House might've retained another soldier to do the heavy lifting for God and Dubya.

"Republicans were oddly oblivious to the fact that they had turned into an unappetizing tableau of bloated, corrupt, dissembling, feckless white hacks who were leaving kids unprotected. DeLay and Bob Ney sneaking out of Congress with dollar bills flying out of their pockets. Hastert playing Cardinal Bernard Law, shielding Mark Foley. Rummy, cocky and obtuse as he presided over an imploding Iraq, while failing to give soldiers the armor, support and strategy they needed to come home safely. Cheney, vowing bullheadedly to move full speed ahead on Iraq no matter what the voters decided. W. frantically yelling about how Democrats would let the terrorists win, when his lame-brained policies had spawned more terrorists." --Maureen Dowd Link


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