Monday, February 2, 2009

You Can’t Help Feeling Like A Yo-Yo Being Jerked Around By The Government And The Media. If You Don’t You Are Not Paying Attention.

You Can’t Help Feeling Like A Yo-Yo Being Jerked Around By The Government And The Media.  If You Don’t You Are Not Paying Attention.



"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


People talking about Jack Bauer and the less than reality TV show 24 as though this was serious food for thought.  If it is; we are in far worse shape than I have ever imagined!  Generals organizing to campaign against the orders of The Commander-In-Chief; does anyone remember General Douglas MacArthur?  


A nation’s governmental fabric is frayed and fading, it’s Constitution irrelevant in practice, its economy racing towards full collapse in a new Depression, and the Republicans are acting like it’s business as usual.  I can only assume they don’t give a damn about how many are homeless their futures shattered, or about the millions unemployed as long as they get their more than fair share of the loose loot being passed around. 


The protection of the outgoing criminal cabal must be protected at all cost; even if it means this nation descends into total chaos and revolution!



Holder Wins Senate Vote to Be US Attorney General
Bloomberg - USA
Still, Holder won a 17-2 endorsement from the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Two Republicans, Coburn and John Cornyn of Texas, opposed Holder’s ...See all stories on this topic


Senate Confirms Holder as Attorney General, 75-21
New York Times Blogs - New York,NY,USA
(See Related Article) The Judiciary Committee, which moved his nomination to the floor last week on a vote of 17-to-2, held hearings during the ranking ...See all stories on this topic


Holder’s Senate Nomination Fight Reveals 'Dark Side' of American ... - Chattanooga,TN,USA
"There's a big job to do, and it's going to be Mr. Holder's duty to turn this department ... Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy pointed out that the ...

“Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican, Arlen Specter was hot enough to fuck! He and Holder had a heated exchange when Spector questioned Holder's "fitness" for the office.”


Bush War Crimes: European Activists Call For Bush To Be Tried For ...
By The Huffington Post News Editors 
"Impeach the President -- the case against Bush and Cheney", edited by Loo and Philips, Seven Stories Press, 2006 (paperback.) This is the book I waved at Kevin Martin at the national FCC meeting on the Stanford campus last year, ...
The Full Feed from -


Attorney General Holder: Hold Bush administration accountable
Seattle Times, United States - 3 hours ago
Time to hold Bush administration officials criminally responsible for committing crimes in the name of national security, argues Washington state Supreme ..


“Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders urges new U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to make sure the full truth is known about the Bush administration's past criminal conduct, and those individuals responsible are tried in a court of law.


By Richard B. Sanders

Special to The Times


Editor's note: Washington Supreme Court JusticeRichard B. Sanders made news in November when he yelled "Tyrant!" at then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey during a Federalist Societydinner in Washington, D.C. Here he explains his thoughts about the Bush administration's attitude about the rule of law.


Editor's note: Washington Supreme Court JusticeRichard B. Sanders made news in November when he yelled "Tyrant!" at then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey during a Federalist Societydinner in Washington, D.C. Here he explains his thoughts about the Bush administration's attitude about the rule of law…”


Two days after taking the helm of a country ready for change after eight years of George W. Bush, President Obama has allowed one controversial “War on Terror” tactic to remain in place: rendition.


Despite frequent condemnation of the practice around the world, rendition — the secret capture, transportation and detention of suspected terrorists to foreign prisons in countries that cooperate with the U.S. — remains in the CIA’s playbook, thanks to a Jan. 22 executive order issued by President Obama.


Other executive orders shuttered the CIA’s secret prisons and banned the harsh interrogation techniques that have been termed torture. And in his most widely noticed break with his predecessor, Obama signed an order to close Guantanamo Bay’s prison within one year.


But rendition will remain. Obama and his administration appear to believe that the rendition program was one piece of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard, the Los Angeles Times reported.


Generals Seek To Reverse Obama's Iraq Withdrawal Decision


WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (IPS) - CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus, supported by Defence Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months at an Oval Office meeting Jan. 21.


But Obama informed Gates, Petraeus and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen that he wasn't convinced and that he wanted Gates and the military leaders to come back quickly with a detailed 16-month plan, according to two sources who have talked with participants in the meeting.


Obama's decision to override Petraeus's recommendation has not ended the conflict between the president and senior military officers over troop withdrawal, however. There are indications that Petraeus and his allies in the military and the Pentagon, including Gen. Ray Odierno, now the top commander in Iraq, have already begun to try to pressure Obama to change his withdrawal policy.


A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilizing public opinion against Obama's decision.


Petraeus was visibly unhappy when he left the Oval Office, according to one of the sources. A White House staffer present at the meeting was quoted by the source as saying, "Petraeus made the mistake of thinking he was still dealing with George Bush instead of with Barack Obama."


Petraeus, Gates and Odierno had hoped to sell Obama on a plan that they formulated in the final months of the Bush administration that aimed at getting around a key provision of the U.S.-Iraqi withdrawal agreement signed envisioned re-categorising large numbers of combat troops as support troops. That subterfuge was by the United States last November while ostensibly allowing Obama to deliver on his campaign promise.


Gates and Mullen had discussed the relabeling scheme with Obama as part of the Petraeus-Odierno plan for withdrawal they had presented to him in mid-December, according to a Dec. 18 New York Times story.


Obama decided against making any public reference to his order to the military to draft a detailed 16-month combat troop withdrawal policy, apparently so that he can announce his decision only after consulting with his field commanders and the Pentagon.


The first clear indication of the intention of Petraeus, Odierno and their allies to try to get Obama to amend his decision came on Jan. 29 when the New York Times published an interview with Odierno, ostensibly based on the premise that Obama had indicated that he was "open to alternatives".


The Times reported that Odierno had "developed a plan that would move slower than Mr. Obama's campaign timetable" and had suggested in an interview "it might take the rest of the year to determine exactly when United States forces could be drawn down significantly".


The opening argument by the Petraeus-Odierno faction against Obama's withdrawal policy was revealed the evening of the Jan. 21 meeting when retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, one of the authors of the Bush troop surge policy and a close political ally and mentor of Gen. Petraeus, appeared on the Lehrer News Hour to comment on Obama's pledge on Iraq combat troop withdrawal.


Keane, who had certainly been briefed by Petraeus on the outcome of the Oval Office meeting, argued that implementing such a withdrawal of combat troops would "increase the risk rather dramatically over the 16 months". He asserted that it would jeopardise the "stable political situation in Iraq" and called that risk "not acceptable".

The assertion that Obama's withdrawal policy threatens the gains allegedly won by the Bush surge and Petraeus's strategy in Iraq will apparently be the theme of the campaign that military opponents are now planning.


Keane, the Army Vice-Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2003, has ties to a network of active and retired four-star Army generals, and since Obama's Jan. 21 order on the 16-month withdrawal plan, some of the retired four-star generals in that network have begun discussing a campaign to blame Obama's troop withdrawal from Iraq for the ultimate collapse of the political "stability" that they expect to follow U.S. withdrawal, according to a military source familiar with the network's plans.


The source says the network, which includes senior active duty officers in the Pentagon, will begin making the argument to journalists covering the Pentagon that Obama's withdrawal policy risks an eventual collapse in Iraq. That would raise the political cost to Obama of sticking to his withdrawal policy.


If Obama does not change the policy, according to the source, they hope to have planted the seeds of a future political narrative blaming his withdrawal policy for the "collapse" they expect in an Iraq without U.S. troops.


That line seems likely to appeal to reporters covering the Iraq troop withdrawal issue. Ever since Obama's inauguration, media coverage of the issue has treated Obama' s 16-month withdrawal proposal as a concession to anti-war sentiment which will have to be adjusted to the "realities" as defined by the advice to Obama from Gates, Petreaus and Odierno.


Ever since he began working on the troop surge, Keane has been the central figure manipulating policy in order to keep as many U.S. troops in Iraq as possible. It was Keane who got Vice President Dick Cheney to push for Petraeus as top commander in Iraq in late 2006 when the existing commander, Gen. George W. Casey, did not support the troop surge.


It was Keane who protected Petraeus's interests in ensuring the maximum number of troops in Iraq against the efforts by other military leaders to accelerate troop withdrawal in 2007 and 2008. As Bob Woodward reported in "The War Within", Keane persuaded President George W. Bush to override the concerns of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the stress of prolonged U.S. occupation of Iraq on the U.S. Army and Marine Corps as well its impact on the worsening situation in Afghanistan.


Bush agreed in September 2007 to guarantee that Petraeus would have as many troops as he needed for as long as wanted, according to Woodward's account.


Keane had also prevailed on Gates in April 2008 to make Petraeus the new commander of CENTCOM. Keane argued that keeping Petraeus in the field was the best insurance against a Democratic administration reversing the Bush policy toward Iraq.


Keane had operated on the assumption that a Democratic president would probably not take the political risk of rejecting Petraeus's recommendation on the pace of troop withdrawal from Iraq. Woodward quotes Keane as telling Gates, "Let's assume we have a Democratic administration and they want to pull this thing out quickly, and now they have to deal with General Petraeus and General Odierno. There will be a price to be paid to override them."


Obama told Petraeus in Baghdad last July that, if elected, he would regard the overall health of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and the situation in Afghanistan as more important than Petraeus's obvious interest in maximizing U.S. troop strength in Iraq, according to Time magazine's Joe Klein.


But judging from Petraeus's shock at Obama's Jan. 21 decision, he had not taken Obama's previous rejection of his arguments seriously. That miscalculation suggests that Petraeus had begun to accept Keane's assertion that a newly-elected Democratic president would not dare to override his policy recommendation on troops in Iraq.


*Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006.


Read more from Inter Press Service.


Daschle’s Confirmation Process Inches Forward



After Tom Daschle met late today in a closed session with members of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel’s chairman issued a new statement and finally set Feb. 10 as the date for a hearing to consider Mr. Daschle’s nomination to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.


The former Senate majority leader’s bid to be a health policy czar in the Obama administration, a position that would allow him to spearhead major initiatives on health care reform, had been snagged by late disclosures that he had failed to pay taxes for car-and-driver perks and on other income until the beginning of January as he faced confirmation. (Some issues on back taxes were not dealt with until Jan. 2.)


Despite those revelations, Senate leaders, President Obama and other Democrats had expressed confidence that Mr. Daschle would ultimately join the administration. In part, their level of support reflects the deep well of regard he continues to hold among his former colleagues in the Senate.


Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee and someone who had tangled with Mr. Daschle on thorny issues like Medicare in the past, basically endorsed Mr. Daschle’s confirmation while issuing these remarks after the meeting today:
Read more…


Democrats Turn on the Heat in Republican Districts



A coalition of liberal-leaning groups and unions are expanding their effort to pressure Republican senators into supporting President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package with new television and radio ads in five states.


The ads, paid for by Americans United for Change, MoveOn, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, will go on the air in Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida this week.


They are the latest volley from the groups, which started running commercials in Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Alaska and Washington D.C. last week.


Separately, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pouring its resources into the debate over the stimulus plan, sponsoring drive-time radio ads in 28 Republican districts around the country. They are tailored to a group of G.O.P. Congressmen who voted against the stimulus in the House last week. Read more…


Torture, War Crimes & Must Watch Media for 2009


Credit where credit is due. The TV show 24 is probably the most significant piece of political drama in the last decade. 

On one hand, it is very likely that Barack Obama got elected because America had already had a serious black presidential candidate (one season) and two black presidents (one season each). And he was always the most decent guy in the room. Often, the only decent guy in the room. Just like Obama.


On the other hand, there's torture.


• Terrorists are going to nuke Los Angeles in three hours.
• Agent Jack Bauer has a suspect who knows where the bomb is. 
• If Jack Bauer tortures the suspect, he can force him to say where it is, get there in two hours and fifty-nine minutes, stop the bomb, and save ten million people. 
• What should, what must, Jack Bauer do?


That's a no-brainer. Clip the electrodes to his balls and turn on the juice.


I don't know how many people have actually watched 24, but there's not a person in America who is not familiar with the "ticking bomb scenario."


It sounds so darn logical that it's hard not to buy into it. A remarkable number of people have. 

Dick Cheney and Michael Chertoff (ex-head of Homeland Security) are big fans. They thought that they were directing real life Jack Bauers.


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said a Jack Bauer should not be prosecuted, because "Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives."


If he were prosecuted, Alan Dershowitz has already laid out the defense!


As drama, the ticking bomb is thrilling. 24 is the Perils of Pauline on crack.


In reality, it is a pernicious and deceitful fantasy.


The reference point is, of course, 9/11. 

Before that day, we were soft and naïve. If only we had tortured someone we could have stopped it. And saved American lives!

That, of course, is utterly false.


We had quite enough information to have prevented 9/11. It had been gathered through normal and legal police and intelligence methods. It was not used due to bureaucratic infighting, ineptitude, incompetence, excess secrecy, and, most of all, the willful and pointed disregard of that information by Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and George W. Bush. 

Now, we're smart and tough. We do torture light and outsource the really evil stuff. Has it worked?

In October, 2001, the FBI put out a Most Wanted Terrorists list. It had 22 names on it. As of 2006, 17 of them were still "at large." Including Osama bin Laden. Mullah Omar wasn't on the list. But he's the other guy we invaded Afghanistan to get. He's still around and actively leading the Taliban. 

Yeah, well, I bet going "to the dark side" stopped a bunch of terrorist attacks. 



None that we know of. 

Yeah, of course not. When our secret intelligence services secretly foil a secret terrorist plot, it's gotta be secret! National effin' Security! Period. Dot. Exclamation point! End quote!



The Bush administration trumpeted every arrest, capture or kill they ever made: 

• the Lackawanna Seven, 
• the Sears Tower Plot, 
• the Shoe Bomber, 
• Jose Padilla, who was going to use a "dirty bomb."


Each and every one of them sounded like a job for Jack Bauer when they were first announced. Then, somehow, all the "terrorists" they caught turned out to be inept losers. The terror plots turned out to be bull sessions, attempts to buy weapons from FBI agents, or visits to Afghanistan long before 9/11.


Bush was even willing to disrupt a two-year, 600 man, British terrorist investigation in order to get a good headline before the 2006 election. The result was that "the mastermind" escaped after he was arrested and the prosecution of the plotters fell apart due to lack of evidence. 

If there had been a real plot and these guys had actually stopped it, they would not have kept it secret, they would have made McCain campaign commercials out of it.


Here's a real life ticking bomb scenario.

It's 1943. A German soldier has been captured. 

We have a lot of people in captivity today, in Guantanamo, in Iraqi prisons, in secret CIA prisons around the world, and prisons run by other countries. It has been amply demonstrated that many of the people in captivity are not "terrorists." 

But back in WWII, when we captured that German, we could be dead sure certain that he was an actual enemy.

He was part of an organization planning to kill Americans in the immediate future. Within hours or, at most, days.


We could be certain that they had lots of weapons of mass destruction. And factories that were make more.


He represented a country that committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and that had mistreated both POWs and civilians in violation of the Geneva Conventions.


So let's torture the mutha-fuggin' Nazi pig plugger!


That's a no brainer, right?


Apparently not.


He refuses to give more than his name, rank and service number. We say OK and accept our obligation to feed and cloth him, give him medical attention, allow him to follow his religion, read books, and even have access to a musical instrument if that is his inclination.


Why don't we torture him?


It has been against American policy since George Washington fought the British.


It is illegal under the Geneva Conventions, to which we were signatory back before WWII. We accepted those standards even though the enemy did not live up to them.


According to Army Field Manual FM 34-52 - Intelligence Interrogation, torture does not produce reliable information. How do they know? 

Experience indicates that the use of prohibited techniques is not necessary to gain the cooperation of interrogation sources. Use of torture and other illegal methods is a poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.


Politics is broken, so what do we do? We leave it to the politicians
Guardian Unlimited - UK
For several years, activists have been proposing a MoveOn campaign for the United Kingdom. is a web-based coalition in the United States that has ...


More Pressure for Bush Torture Probe
The Obama administration is facing mounting demands from the public and Congress to conduct a serious investigation of torture and other abuses by the Bush administration, Jason Leopold reports. February 2, 2009



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