29.11.05

NEVER enough oil...

village voice > news > Mondo Washington by James Ridgeway:

"With Iraqi oil firmly under his control, the president can now turn to Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, who the Bush administration says is out to make himself into a new Simon Bolivar. A recent report called 'Crude Designs,' by a British group, says Western oil companies are poised to take control of Iraqi oil after next month's election. The Iraqis will be left with 17 out of some 80 oil fields."

Jose Padilla's America

Jose Padilla's America - Los Angeles Times:

"The Supreme Court should still hear the case, not only for Padilla's sake but for the sake of every American. The most recent lower-court decision on the case, from the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, gives the administration the authority to detain enemy combatants such as Padilla indefinitely. That precedent cannot be allowed to stand.

The question presented in the Padilla case, to paraphrase his brief before the court, is this: Can the president of the United States arrest any U.S. citizen in America and hold him indefinitely without charge in the name of the war against terrorism?

As long as this war continues, it is a question that will remain relevant. And it is a question begging for a resounding 'no' from the nation's highest court."

'Secret CIA jails' claim deepens divide between US and Europe

FT.com / Home UK - 'Secret CIA jails' claim deepens divide between US and Europe:

"The senior European diplomat could not have been clearer: 'You don't talk about torture in the morning and then say in the afternoon: 'Democratise yourself'.'
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His comments, on the contrast between the Bush administration's use of intensive interrogation techniques abroad and its public message about worldwide democratisation underlined how Iraq-war tensions have found an echo in the controversy over the CIA's alleged 'secret prisons'."

Bush's Shrinking Safety Zone

White House Briefing  ews on President George W Bush and the Bush Administration:

"During last year's campaign, White House advance teams began screening audiences at Bush events to insure that only supporters were allowed in. After the election, that policy gave way to a new, 'invitation only' approach, in which tickets to so-called public events were distributed largely by Republican and business groups. Now Bush is in phase three, where almost everyone he appears before is either on the federal payroll or a Republican donor."

Killings Linked to Shiite Squads in Iraqi Police Force

Killings Linked to Shiite Squads in Iraqi Police Force - Los Angeles Times:

"'The killings that are happening are on two sides,' Kamal said. 'There are Shiite and Sunni killings happening. These are not simple people committing these acts. Their methods, the weapons used — the criminals doing these killings are using in their operations cars and weapons used by the Iraqi government.'"

Torture American Style--Rooney editorial

EagleHerald | Marinette, Wisconsin/Menominee, Michigan USA:

"The Bush administration said that certain restrictions on torture do not apply now because we aren't doing it in the United States. We are torturing prisoners who are not citizens of the United States in foreign countries where those international laws against torture do not apply. Does that make you proud to be an American?"

Nowhere to run

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Nowhere to run:

"The inescapable fact is that the processes Mr Bush unleashed on March 20 2003 (and imagined he had ended with his 'mission accomplished' speech six weeks later) will take a decade or more to run their course and there is little that anyone, even the US, can do now to halt them.

In his eagerness for regime change in Iraq, Mr Bush blundered into a trap from which in the short term there is no way out: the Americans will be damned if they stay and damned if they leave."

28.11.05

'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers

Telegraph | News | 'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers:

This is really some sick stuff....

"A 'trophy' video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis."

Bush's Burgeoning Body Count

All disquiet on West Wing front

New York Daily News - Home - All disquiet on West Wing front:

"'It is everybody else's fault - the press, gutless Republicans on the Hill. They're still in denial.'"

Bush ally faces 10 years' jail for $2.4bn in bribes

America, United States, Times Online, The Times, Sunday Times:

"Cunningham’s guilty pleas came amid a series of Republican scandals, most notably the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff of Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, over his role in the CIA leak affair. Tom DeLay had to step down as House leader on being indicted for money-laundering, and Bill Frist, the Senate leader, is being investigated over a stock sale. All deny wrongdoing."

CIA Flights in Europe: The Hunt for Hercules N8183J

CIA Flights in Europe: The Hunt for Hercules N8183J - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News:

"A regular CIA gulag appears to have been created in recent years, with many prisoners kept in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and various central Asian nations, places where the CIA was given access to the prisoners at all times. Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, also claims to have seen a suspicious-looking prison camp at Camp Bondsteel, an American base in Kosovo.

But the highest-ranking al-Qaida members are apparently kept moving with a small group of CIA interrogation experts, like an invisible caravan, from one of the so-called black sites to another. Outrage over claims that some of these secret prisons may be located at former military bases in Eastern Europe triggered the Council of Europe's investigation."

an unjust 'trial' in iraq

EU warned on 'secret CIA jails'

BBC NEWS | Europe | EU warned on 'secret CIA jails':

"The European Union's top justice official has warned that any EU state found to have hosted a secret CIA jail could have its voting rights suspended."

27.11.05

No more evasions

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | No more evasions:

"At the heart of the problem is the enduring perception of occupation, a phenomenon which has been perpetuated by a catalogue of coalition mistakes. There was a catastrophic failure to plan for postwar Iraq; prolonged delays in the transfer of sovereign power and restoration of public services; the total disbandment of Iraqi security forces, creating a power vacuum which invited upheaval; and the excessive use of military force, as in Falluja, provoking anger and retaliation.

Recent disclosures, once denied by the Pentagon, over the use of white phosphorus and of thermobaric fuel-air explosives, which cause devastating and indiscriminate harm, and allegations that civilian targets, such as the broadcaster al-Jazeera, were considered for military strikes only compound the perception of a malign occupation.

Last week's torture revelations from Baghdad raise concern about the mistreatment of the 7,500 prisoners held by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, prompting allegations that torture may now be as widespread as it was under Saddam.

More than 35,000 Iraqis have been detained by US forces since the war and 13,500 remain in custody. It appears the vast majority are held indefinitely without charge or trial (since the war, fewer than 700 have been convicted). They are denied the fundamental right to legal advice and, according to Human Rights Watch, torture and abuse are widespread. All this is at the hands of a force operating under the authority of a UN resolution; such abuses only feed animosity towards the coalition and exacerbate conditions on the ground."