Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We Have To Pull Together And Not Pull Apart At The Seams Again. We learn more every day, And We Already Know Enough To Convict This Group As...

We Have To Pull Together And Not Pull Apart At The Seams Again.  We learn more every day, And We Already Know Enough To Convict This Group As War Criminals.



"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) –

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask
not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed
you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and 
may posterity forget
that ye were our countrymen!”

-Sam Adams-




Read On There Is Some New And Really Damaging Information Coming Out Of Former FBI Personnel.


While I would rather have an upfront declaration that a Special Prosecutor will be appointed to commence investigations of The Bush administration’s copious acts of: “High Crimes and misdemeanors while in office, acts of misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance, Constitutional violations and the total willful and persistent violation of every international convention governing the civilized conduct of a nation;  I am not prepared to put all the eggs in one basket.  Pelosi, Conyers, Holder, both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees must remain targets of our focus. In fact as you all well know, given my choice, we wouldn’t be worrying and scurrying about on any of this; I’d have all on a flight to The Hague with a citizen initiated book of War Crimes charges.


The fact of this matter is simple.  It does not matter what investigation the information comes from; it will all add up. Nora Dannehy‘s work, Conyers Committee, Leahy’s work are all part of a growing accumulation of movement in our direction.  They are mutually exclusive.  Given my druthers I shouldn’t give a damn about either or any approach except The Hague, but I’m working at all of it.  The Criminal Culture Cartel must be brought to justice!


Every newspaper that we can pry an article out of or have a letter to the editor accepted must continue to be a part of the packaged attack on our part as well as every radio and television outlet.  The approach must be multi-faceted, the focus singular…the exposure of the facts, the truth and full subsequent legal action against every party in the former administration who had either knowledge of or participated in the planning excusing or justification of any and all acts of illegality and corruption of the Bush Administration.


Let us not get into a divisive word battle of whether there should be a singular focus on the word prosecution at the exclusion of all other avenues of exposure.  They will ultimately all lead to the same juncture in the road if we do not negate one another’s efforts by dilution along the way…division leads only to the dust bin of failure.


You will notice here that I provide for all doors, all approaches.


Pelosi criticizes Truth Commission as inadequate, advocates ...
What was traded for immunity from impeachment and prosecution? My guesses: No nuking of Iran;Bush/Cheney leaving peacefully when the time came; and possibly also getting rid of Rumsfeld. (My guess--The Deal occurred circa late 2006.) ...Democratic Underground Latest... -


Leahy, Pelosi Differ on Bush Inquiry
Consortium News - USA
Pelosi, who refused to hold impeachment hearings when George W. Bush was President, signaled that she now prefers a proposal by House Judiciary Committee ...See all stories on this topic


The Oscar For Denial | And The Winner Is – The American People


“…Now the United States faces a new moral crisis, the subversion of our own legal and moral values by high officials of our own government.  We are, in this moment. as awash in complicity and willful denial as the principled middle-class denizens of the Third Reich.  We are the Good Germans of the new millennium in Bush America because we knew about the illegal kidnappings and tortures, the self-serving legalisms that subverted the Geneva accords and papered over Constitutional lapses, the lies that led us into conquest and occupation.  Starting well before the invasion of Iraq - which millions around the globe protested in unprecedented numbers before it occurred - we knew the "weapons of mass destruction" and Saddam's connections to al-Qaeda were bullshit excuses.  But many millions of us tried to pretend that we really weren't sure.


In his Sunday column entitled: "What We Don't Know Will Hurt Us," Frank Rich remarked upon this "American reluctance to absorb, let alone prepare for, bad news.  We are plugged into more information sources than anyone could have imagined even 15 years ago... Yet we are constantly shocked, shocked by the foreseeable."  Or as Bob Dylan put it, in the context of race relations a generation ago, "How many times must a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see?"


We know, deep inside us we know, as the Germans who kept their heads down and tried to lead ‘normal' lives as genocide exploded all around them, in their name, by their own government, knew, that our government has committed terrible atrocities at home and abroad.  If we do nothing to bring these crimes to light and their perpetrators to justice, then we are as guilty and worthy of moral condemnation as the war generation of silent Germans whom Ron Rosenbaum rightly abhors…”


 Progressive Breakfast: Progressive Is The New Center


Don’t anyone go getting excited by the title above; it doesn’t mean “progressives” are the new center because only an absolute fool with no understanding of the problems and challenges we face can realistically believe that the answers are going to come from the center; they are going to come from the Left and damn near the “Radical Left, so don’t get left out! 

The sooner everyone wakes up and gets rid of the sound of Limbaugh and the Republicans yelling “Socialism” and don’t worry, they’ll shout Communism before it’s all over, the better!  The center is as dead as bipartisanship and folks who can’t accept that are just playing right into the hands of “the business as usual folks” and are going to let them get away with bullshit excusing their way out doing anything that we demand be done; like restore the Constitution  and the rule of law in this land.  If you believe that, that is going to happen from some great epiphany of benevolence in Washington you had best stop reading any of this and forget all about nice petitions, phone calls and the like, and for God sake don’t come to DC’s spring and summer protests because you won’t like them!



Feb. 24, 2009 | WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to move forward with a commission to investigate torture during the Bush administration. Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., told Salon Tuesday that his panel would soon announce a hearing to study various commission plans. His staff said the announcement could come as early as Wednesday.


While Michigan Democrat Rep. John Conyers drafted a bill to create a commission to review abuse of war powers during the Bush administration, co-sponsored by North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, Leahy's Senate commission would represent the first concrete steps toward a broad review of U.S. torture since 9-11.


Spearheading Senate efforts to establish a torture commission is Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. As a member of both the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee, Whitehouse is privy to information about interrogations he can't yet share. Still, regarding a potential torture commission, he told Salon, "I am convinced it is going to happen." In fact, his fervor on the issue was palpable. When asked if there is a lot the public still does not know about these issues during the Bush administration, his eyes grew large and he nodded slowly. "Stay on this," he said. "This is going to be big."


The FBI was aware for years of "pervasive and growing" fraud in the mortgage industry that eventually contributed to America's financial meltdown, but did not take definitive action to stop it.


"It is clear that we had good intelligence on the mortgage-fraud schemes, the corrupt attorneys, the corrupt appraisers, the insider schemes," said a recently retired, high FBI official. Another retired top FBI official confirmed that such intelligence went back to 2002.


The problem, according to the two FBI retirees and several other current and former bureau colleagues, is that the bureau was stretched so thin that no one noticed when those lenders began packaging bad mortgages into bad securities.


"We knew that the mortgage-brokerage industry was corrupt," the first of the retired FBI officials told the Seattle P-I. "Where we would have gotten a sense of what was really going on was the point where the mortgage was sold knowing that it was a piece of dung and it would be turned into a security. But the agents with the expertise had been diverted to counterterrorism."


Nevertheless, high FBI and Bush administration officials knew a potentially devastating problem was on the horizon and failed to stop it.


"It was a sleight of hand because the public thought the administration was resourcing counterterrorism when in fact they were forcing cannibalization of the criminal program," the retired FBI official said. "Now the chickens have come home to roost."

Air America conducted a poll that asked a question raised by Time Magazine's Joe Klein: "Should Obama pardon George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney?" The idea: a pardon would brand them for crimes without the agony of a trial.


Air American's aren't buying the Klein solution. They want the whole lot thrown in jail. No trial necessary! A whopping 90% of our 9000 respondents want to see Bush and Company pay for their crimes with either hard time in the pokey or hard time in the pokey after enhanced interrogation techniques. (Shocking!)


It Ain't Over Till It's Over | By Ron Jacobs


As Barack Obama's troop escalation begins in Afghanistan and talking heads debate how many more troops the US should send, the leadership of what was once the largest antiwar organization (UFPJ) in the United States rejected a call for a unified antiwar protest on March 21st, 2009.  Instead, they issued a call to go to Wall Street on April 4th, 2009 and encourage the war profiteers to move "beyond a war economy," while toning down the demand to end the wars and occupations now to a demand to merely end them.  Like antiwar organizer Ashley Smith told me in an email: "(That is) something Dick Cheney could support."  The implication of this call by UFPJ is that now that Barack Obama and the Democrats are in power, there is no longer any need to protest against war.  Not only is this incredibly naive, it is downright dangerous for the future of the world. 


As anybody who has paid the least bit of attention to the nature of the US economy over the past century, its very foundations rest on the production of war and materials for war.  Also apparent to those of us who have been paying attention is that the Democrats are just as responsible for this reality as the Republicans are.  Just because George Bush and his administration were personally reprehensible and their arrogance and disregard for principles most Americans hold dear was as obvious as the nose on Pinocchio's wooden face doesn't mean that the policies of the Democrats are substantially different.


Consequently, the antiwar movement would be foolish to think they have a government of allies in Washington, DC now.  There may be a more personable bunch of folks ruling the country now, but the odds of those folks pulling out of Afghanistan or Iraq now instead of later without a major push from the American people insisting that they do so are about as poor as they were under the Bush administration.  The time for the antiwar movement to demand that the Obama administration end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan is now, before its political ego becomes entangled in a military exercise that is ill-advised, poorly done, and just plain wrong. 


Walking through New York's financial district carrying signs expressing a hope that the trillion dollar war economy will go against its profit margin because it is morally wrong to profit from death is not a bad thing.  It might feel good and even change some minds.  It might even be part of a greater UFPJ strategy to move beyond a movement that opposes the military adventures of the US to one that addresses the greater inequities of the system, but it won't change the bottom line.  And it is the bottom line that must be changed.  That bottom line is that war and occupation are the linchpins of the US empire.


Understanding this fact requires the antiwar movement to be united and specific.  The demands are simple:  Bring all of the troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan now.  Not in 2010, or 2011 or 2012, but no.  Both of these operations have gone on long enough, no matter what the generals tell Obama or the American people.  Since the Pentagon hasn't been able to accomplish what it wanted despite being militarily engaged for close to a decade in both countries, it's high time that we insist that our timetable be put into effect. 


Fortunately, a coalition has formed around this simple demand.  The National Assembly to End the Wars and the ANSWER coalition have joined forces and are holding protests in at least three major US cities on March 21, 2009.  Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be the sites of these protests.  In addition to calling on the Obama administration and Congress to remove the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq now, the protests also address the issue of US support for the violent occupation of Palestine by Israel--another important issue that the UFPJ prefers not to highlight in their public calls to join their protest. 


Unless and until the issue of Palestine is addressed in an honest and just way that does not merely echo the desires of the Israeli expansionists, things in the Middle East will remain volatile and dangerous.  According to most public opinion polls, the majority of Americans understand this yet Washington continues to support Tel Aviv no matter what it does--murderous attacks on Gaza or illegal settlements in the West Bank, it doesn't seem to matter.  The US money and weaponry continues to flow.  Additionally, in the wake of recent election results in Israel, the threat of an Israeli attack on Iran (with at least tacit US support) grows stronger.  Unless the US government is put on notice that this is beyond the pale, the current relative calm in the Middle East and South Asia will become a thing of distant memory. 


I'm rewriting this paragraph on the afternoon before Barack Obama gives a speech to the nation.  In the past three days, 8 US troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This fact may presage an increase in bloodletting in both places.  Almost certainly, as surely as the escalation in Afghanistan will kill many more Afghans, so will it kill many more US troops.  To what end is anybody's guess.  It is not my intention to disregard or disrespect UFPJ's march on April 4th in New York.  Indeed, if one can attend that protest and one of the protests on March 21st, please do. 


However, if one has to choose, the intentions of the March 21st protests are certainly more immediate and, if the world without war that UFPJ envisions is to ever occur, essential to that vision.  After all, in order to move beyond the war economy, doesn't it make sense that we must end the wars/military occupations currently taking place? If we don't get this message out there, those who want to expand the war in Afghanistan and ultimately bring it into Pakistan on a much greater scale will assume they have the approval of the US public.  The job of the antiwar movement is to let them know that this is not the case.  March 21st, 2009 is the first national manifestation of this in the Obama era…..


Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up,is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached 



No comments:

Post a Comment

Fair Use Notice: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.