Saturday, January 10, 2009

Eternal Vigilance Is The Price Of Liberty.


“Eternal Vigilance Is The Price Of Liberty.” And So As Washington DC Shall Soar In Celebration This January; So Also Will Its Streets Be Filled The March And Voices Of Those Who Defend This Nations Liberties.



“Eternal Vigilance Is The Price Of Liberty.”

-John Philpot Curran-


"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –





Moment of Truth: Bush Prepares Pardons, Obama Prepares Torture Ban (Brent Budowsky)

As President Bush prepares his final pardons that will probably include those who committed acts of torture, the only president America will have in a few short days, Barack Obama, has named a first-rate CIA director and prepares a ban on acts of torture that violate American and international law and have stained our reputation around the world. Obama stands with George Washington and every American president since Washington, until Bush. The law stands with Obama: Torture is against it.

Let’s be crystal-clear about one thing. For a generation I have been a supporter of the intelligence community, which has made its share of mistakes but has its share of triumphs. I was one of the original writers of the CIA Identities Protection Act, made famous in the Wilson case, and made a mockery of by Scooter Libby and other neoconservatives who claim to support the agency by supporting torture, but put a dagger in the heart of agents' very safety by one of the most unpatriotic acts I have seen in my lifetime, the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Plame. These people do not support intelligence; they support the abuse, distortion and misrepresentation of intelligence for ideological and partisan ends.

Leon Panetta will be a great CIA director. He has rock-solid integrity, great management skills and political leadership, and was at the center of the intelligence as White House chief of staff. It is also very good that Obama and Panetta will retain Steve Kappes as deputy director. Kappes is steeped in the history and operations of intelligence, including covert operations, which are needed in our dangerous world, while torture is not needed.


Of Israel, Gaza, Grief, and Victimhood


Beneath the growing body count in Gaza, there is the underlying public relations battle as to who is the bigger victim: Israel or the Palestinians?

Cultures that wallow themselves in victimhood are ultimately doomed to self-destruction, as the spiraling descent into death that knows no end in Gaza evidences.

But we've seen it all before, most recently in the ill-fated IDF incursion in Lebanon.

Most Americans accept two basic premises: the State of Israel has the right to exist and the Palestinians have a right to a state of their own.

If you begin with this underlying goal, much can be understood.

There are minority contingents of Palestinians and Israelis who want either the destruction of Israel, on the one hand, or the denial of a Palestinian state on the other.

Hamas and Hezbollah are Islamic fundamentalists who don't represent the relatively secular Islamic Palestinians as a whole.  Hamas came to power in a U.S. and Israeli approved election, largely because the residents of Gaza were fed up with the corruption of the PLO and also because Hamas, like Hezbollah, had set up a shadow system of social services to the Palestinian population.  But with Hamas's rise to power in Gaza came a fanatical political goal of destroying Israel. 

Hamas fortunately has not had the means to do it, largely because most Arab nation states see Islamic fundamentalists as a threat to their rule and ways of life. (Remember, Anwar Sadat was assassinated by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood for making peace with Israel.)  So the Arab Sunni Hamas is left with the Shiite and Persian Iran as its key ally, although Iran has given Hamas just enough weaponry to be a nuisance to Israel, but not enough to seriously threaten its national security as a nation.


UN levels war crimes warning at Israel Killing of 30 people in Gaza when army shelled house full of evacuees 'has all hallmarks of war crime', says high commissioner for human rights 1/10


Robert Parry: The Washington Post Finds Second Side to Gaza War 1/9

Twelve days into Israel’s punishing war on Gaza, the Washington Post editorial section finally has published an op-ed suggesting that there might be two sides to the dispute, an article by former President Jimmy Carter who presented both Israeli and Palestinian concerns and noted Israel’s failure to live up to the goals of last year’s truce agreement.

n a column entitled “An Unnecessary War,” Carter describes the tragic misjudgments on both sides – as well as their reasonable grievances. “I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided,” Carter wrote…..

Israel's New War Ethic
Neve Gordon | The masters of Israel's war on Gaza have fashioned a bizarre moral code that provides humanitarian assistance to the very civilians they're shooting at.

The View from Tel Aviv
Hillel Schenker | Israel's attack on Gaza has benefited the current leadership, especially Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in pre-election polling. But do they have an exit strategy?

Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction | By Naomi Klein


Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says the nation's unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest since early 1993, as employers slashed 524,000 jobs.

Supreme Court to decide on US role in voting rights

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said yesterday that it will decide whether Congress went too far in extending the life of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights legislation now being challenged as antiquated in an America that elected an African-American president.

The court will decide the constitutionality of the central provision of the act, which seeks to protect minority voting rights by requiring nine states and parts of seven others to receive federal approval before making any changes to their voting procedures.




1/1-31 Georgetown: The Peace Mural, the unbelieveable 2,000 paintings exhibition of art on war, peace, and torture that the Vietnamese-American artist Huong has on display in a 10,000 square foot galllery on M Street in Georgetown:

1/1-31 Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Northwest and 5th and K Northwest: place to hang out and eat and drink and groove:

Here's Congress's Schedule:

1/6-31 Ask Congress members to sign onto Rep. Nadler's resolution (H Res 9) against Bush pardoning crimes he authorized, and Rep. Lee's (number coming soon) rejecting the Iraq Withdrawal Agreement as unConstitutionally created without ratification by Congress:

1/4 and following: Protest-Vigil to demand President-Elect Obama speak out against the massacre of innocent Palestinians AND call for an immediate cease-fire.  At 5:30 p.m. every evening starting Sunday, January 4 until further notice.  Meet at 16th and H Streets NW - across from the Hay-Adams Hotel (alternate meeting place 16th and I (eye) NW).  CODEPINK activists and anyone protesting the illegal and brutal Israeli assault on Gaza. Stop the Violence! Stop the Killing! Cease-Fire Now! For more info call 202-423-3654, 202-412-6700, 415-235-6517.

1/8 Madam's Organ: Peace Center Happy Hour.

1/9 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing on Rep. Hilda L. Solis as labor secretary at 9:30 a.m. [Yes, please.]

1/9 Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing on Arne Duncan as education secretary at 10 a.m. [No, thank you.]

1/9 GAZA ACTION at noon: Rally at Lafayette Square and march to Upper Senate Park.  Contact: National Association of Muslim Women,

1/9 At Institute for Policy Studies from 1 to 2 p.m. IPS Book Event: Aaron Glantz's 'The War comes Home', 1112 16th St. NW, Ste. 600, Washington, DC.  Aaron Glantz, a Foreign Policy In Focus contributor, is an independent journalist whose work has appeared in The Nation and The Progressive and on Democracy Now!. His new book, The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans is the first to systematically document the U.S. government's neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Aaron Glantz, who reported extensively from Iraq during the first three years of this war and has been reporting on the plight of veterans ever since, levels a devastating indictment against the Bush administration for its bald neglect of soldiers and its disingenuous reneging on their benefits. Meet the author at IPS and learn about the U.S. government's neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

1/9 Warmonger's Wake at DC Peace Mural at 7:30 p.m.

1/10 Annapolis: Polar Bear Plunge.

1/10 Richmond: Virginia People's Assembly:

1/10 Peacebuilders Reception (National Peace Foundation) at the DC Peace Mural from 7 to 9 p.m.

1/10 White House at 1 p.m.: Let Gaza Live!

1/10 Participants in tomorrow's prisoners march are encouraged to attend a final planning meeting and training from 4 to 6 p.m. After dinner, there will be a public program on Guantanamo from 7 to 9 p.m. Location: St. Stephens and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton Street NW, at 16th Street.

1/11 Supreme Court: prisoners of Guantanamo march at 10 a.m.

1/11 Organizing Meeting for DC Chapter of the U.S. NONVIOLENT PEACEFORCE at 11 a.m.

1/11 White House and around the country: Demonstrate on anniversary of Guantanamo prison camp beginning operations.  Meet at 12:45 p.m. in DuPont Circle.  Demand an end to unlawful detentions, rendition, torture, and murder.  Promote the prosecution of those responsible, and oppose unconstitutional presidential pardons of crimes authorized by the president.  Join with Witness Against Torture, and World Can't Wait.  March from DuPont Circle to White House.  Over 60 people will begin a liquid-only fast that will continue through Inauguration Day. Please join us:

1/11 At Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Northwest from 4 to 6 p.m.: Hear author Aaron Glantz read from his book "The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans," the first book to systematically document the U.S. government's neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

1/11 At 7 p.m. at Huong Peace Art Mural, 3336 M Street, NW. Presentations by Hector Aristizabal, Torture Survivor, Theatre Director and Actor, Family Therapist.

1/13 Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing on Dr. Steven Chu as energy secretary at 10 a.m.

1/14 From 5 to 7 p.m. in Rayburn House Office Building B-340, Reception to Celebrate Launching of  American Progressive Caucus Policy Foundation and Honor the Progressive Caucus.

1/14 Richmond: Rally to Bail Out the People, not the Bankers!

1/15 Senate Judiciary Committee at 9:30 a.m.: Confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, who should be asked: Is the water torture torture?  Are beatings, shocks, sleep deprivation, hanging by wrists, dogs, temperature extremes, sexual humiliation, and murder tortue? Is it a violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture to fail to prosecute war crimes? Will you create an independent prosecutor to prosecute the top officials responsible for these crimes?

1/15 Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee confirmation hearing on Sen. Ken Salazar as interior secretary at 9:30 a.m.

1/15 Everywhere: national Healthcare Not Warfare call-in day in support of H.R. 676, led by PDA:

1/16-21 Dupont Circle: Performances, speeches, merchandise, literature, and gathering point.

1/17-18 U. of D.C.: Progressive Democrats of America Annual Grassroots Leadership Conference.  Register now to join progressive congress members, strategists, and activists for a conference that's all about what we need to do and how we can get it done:

1/17 Newseum at 1 p.m. The first edition of the newspaper tabloid "War Crimes Times" is being published and over 2,000 free copies will be "hawked" inside the building as visitors wander around. The newspaper contains 12 pages packed with real news articles written by Michael Ratner of Center for Constitutional Rights, Professor Lawrence Velvel, and many others. This action will be very exciting and requires about 30 to 40 people who will be willing to pay the $20.00 admission fee to get into the Newseum that day, and hawk newspapers, wearing ARREST BUSH sweatshirts. There will also be something else occurring during the day. For more information and if you would like to participate please contact  For sweatshirts and T-shirts:

1/17 Friends Meeting of Washington: Film: "MLK Jr, A Historical Perspective."

1/18 War Crimes of the Bush Administration: Discussion with Ann Wright, David Swanson, Ray McGovern, Jesselyn Raddack at 6 p.m. at the Peace Mural Gallery in Georgetown:

1/18 Everywhere in D.C.  Distribution of prosecute the war criminals flyers and posters.  Contact

1/18 Anti-Torture Candlelight Vigil: KEY BRIDGE (Virginia Side) 4:30 to 6 p.m. -

1/19 SHOE BUSH!  BOOT HIM OUT!  People will converge at DuPont Circle at 11 a.m. for a rally. Speakers include  author David Swanson, , Debra Sweet of  the organization World Can't Wait, , and Adam Kokesh of Iraq Veterans Against the War, .  People will march to the White House and in the spirit of journalist Mutadhar Al-Zaidi, will hurl shoes at the White House:

Shoe Bush Flyer to print and distribute (PDF):

1/19 Bethesda: Annual MLK Day protest at war profiteering Lockheed Martin:

1/19 Everywhere: National Day of Community Service.

1/19 Union Station at 3 p.m. FREEZE action.  Please wear black if possible, and join us. World Can't Wait will be placing on the floor "shoe sole prints" with the slogan Prosecute the War Criminals on them.  What to wear:

1/19 White House in the evening: Prosecute the war criminals action with World Can't Wait:


The Pulse of Peace is now the name for a NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL event: one we plan to broadcast online, if not in real time, soon after. The Democracy Cell Project is partnering with the Peace Mural Organization, the American Dance Therapy Association, and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. The event is a participatory celebration of movement and music; one that we are hoping will take place all across the country (one is forming in NYC, for example).  In Washington DC, the event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. (and possibly, weather permitting, into the streets and beyond) at the Peace Mural Gallery in Georgetown: 3336 M St. NW. Food and drinks will be served.  There will be a DJ playing energizing inspiring celebratory music, African drummers, and a movement choir: a participatory devised and improvised series of SIMPLE movements that result in empowerment and what Barbara Ehrenreich calls "collective joy".  TICKETS are donations-based: $15.00 advanced donations can be made at the Democracy Cell Project.  Please specify that you are donating to the Inaugural event:

1/19 All Souls Church: MLK Birthday Observance at 5:30 p.m.:

1/19 Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Northwest, PDA gathering 10 p.m. to midnight: a Martin Luther King Day Pre-Inaugural Tribute.  Gather and share intimate conversation with PDA Board Members and friends including Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Jim McGovern, Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, John Nichols, Donna Smith and Thom Hartmann.  With music by Dan Reed. $300 each, $500 per couple; Join our host committee for $1,000--receive 3 tickets.  Tickets are available in limited quantities:

1/19 Busboys and Poets open 24 hours for food, open mikes, and readings.

1/19 Clarendon Ballroom 7 p.m. to midnight Bloggers Ball: Netroots Nation YES WE CAN Party, tickets $90 here:

1/19 Huffington Post Ball at the Newseum.

1/19-20 DON'T MISS THIS ONE: Pennsylvania Ave: Join us with your Arrest Bush & Cheney sweatshirt on the sidewalk in front of the FBI building where we have a permit for thousands and will have signs, food, blankets, and busses for a 24-hour vigil leading up to the inaugural parade.  We'll put the ARREST BUSH message front and center on the parade route:
Sweatshirts and T-shirts:

1/19-20 Be prepared to react to Bush pardoning crimes that he himself authorized.  This will be unprecedented and unConstitutional:

1/20 McPherson Square: rally for peace and justice sponsored by the Washington Peace Center and Peace Action:

1/20 Protest of Rick Warren at the Martin Luther King Church from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

1/20 Peace demonstration organized by World Can't Wait.

1/20 Smithsonian National Postal Museum: Inaugural Peace Ball:
[An alternative to the Inaugural War Ball: (CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama is set to host the Commander-in-Chief's inaugural ball, an event that honors the country's active duty and reserve military. It's a tradition that started in 2005 by President Bush, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Invited guests will include Purple Heart recipients, families of fallen heroes, and spouses of deployed military, the committee said. The ball is set to be held at the National Building Museum on January 20.]

1/20 Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

1/21  At 10:00 a.m., House Armed Services Committee, hearing on World at Risk: The Report of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, with former Sen. Bob Graham (FL), former Rep. Jim Talent (MO), and Graham Allison, Harvard University. 2118 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington. Video and audio webcast on the committee website.

1/21 Bring the Guard Home: It's the Law.  Press Conference at National Press Club Zenger Room at 1:30 p.m., and Launch Party at Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Northwest at 6 p.m.:

1/21 Day of Action for Immigrant Rights, Moritorium on Raids and Deportations, Just and Humane Immigration Reform, Health Care for All, and Worker Justice, Organizaed by the National Capital Immigrant Coalition:

1/21 James Yee, former Army Chaplin who served as Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo, will tell his story at 7 p.m. at George Washington University, exact location TBA.  While ministering to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Captain Yee advised camp commanders on detainee religious practices and objected to the cruel and degrading abuses to which the prisoners were subjected. Chaplain Yee's gripping account of his Guantanamo experience and struggle for justice is entitled For God And Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire. This event is co-sponsored by Witness Against Torture and GWU Muslim Law Students Association.

1/25 Text messaging for peace at DC Peace Mural from 3 to 8 p.m.:

1/25 Vigil at Walter Reed Hospital:

1/26 The Case of Guantanamo vs. The Constitution at 7 p.m. at Huong Peace Art Mural, 3336 M Street, NW, Washington, DC.  An Evening with Center for Constitutional Rights Lawyers. What Can I Do to Shut Down Guantanamo? This evening's event will feature an overview the campaign to shut down Guantanamo as well as speakers from the Center for Constitutional Rights who will address the matter of legal representation of Guantanamo detainees.  Participants will learn about the moral and practical consequences of torture and the call to shutdown Guantanamo and other prisons working outside the Geneva Conventions.

1/27 "Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq" an afternoon with Matthew Alexander.  Noon to 1:30 p.m. at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies, Lower Level, 3600 N. St. NW, Washington, DC 20007.  Matthew Alexander led an interrogations team assigned to a Special Operations task force in Iraq in 2006. Writing under a pseudonym for security reasons, Alexander is the author of "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq."

1/28 Book Party for Witness Against Torture Book at 7 p.m. at Church of the Savior Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Road NW, Washington DC 20009.  As Witness Against Torture enters what it hopes will be Guantanamo's final chapter, the 100 Days Campaign (, the grassroots movement shares the story of its work. This book tell the story of Witness Against Torture, charting the efforts of thousands of American citizens who have squarely and thoughtfully confronted the question: what does it mean to be a conscientious American? The book also presents the writings of the detainees and their lawyers, the pleas for an end to cruelty and for the restoration of habeas corpus, and it chronicles the actions required when those pleas fell on deaf ears in the nation's corridors of power: the marches, street theater, civil disobedience, and jailings as WAT brought the campaign directly to the White House, the Supreme Court, the Congress, the U.S. Mission to the United N
ations, and to parks and street corners across the country. The book also comes with a DVD of six short films detailing various actions which WAT has carried out.  Matthew Daloisio, one of the main WAT leaders and the author of the book, would speak about the book, the campaign past and present.

1/28 War, Memory and Representation: The Visual Arts, War and Peace at 7 p.m. at the Institute for Policy Studies.




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