18.3.06

How Operation Swarmer Fizzled

TIME.com: On Scene: How Operation Swarmer Fizzled -- Page 1:

"But contrary to what many many television networks erroneously reported, the operation was by no means the largest use of airpower since the start of the war. ('Air Assault' is a military term that refers specifically to transporting troops into an area.) In fact, there were no airstrikes and no leading insurgents were nabbed in an operation that some skeptical military analysts described as little more than a photo op. "

AP photo from Los Angeles protest

White House report alleges Belarus has sold arms to Iran

Telegraph | News | White House report alleges Belarus has sold arms to Iran:

bullshit...

"Belarus moved closer to international isolation yesterday after the White House submitted a largely classified report to Congress accusing the country's president of illegally selling weapons to Iran."

Scoop: Kevin Phillips' New Book " American Theocracy"

Scoop: Kevin Phillips' New Book " American Theocracy":

"From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by an overlapping set of problems: a foolish combination of global overreach, militant religion, diminishing resources, and ballooning debt. It is exactly this nexus of ills that has come to define American’s political and economic identity at the start of this century. Matching his command of history with a penetrating analysis of contemporary politics, Phillips surveys a century of foreign policy and wars in the Middle East, showing how all, to one degree or another, reflected our ever-growing preoccupation with oil. Today, that dangerous inheritance includes clumsy military miscalculations, the ruinous occupation of Iraq, and sky-high oil prices."

Libby Trial May Be Embarrassment for Bush

Update 7: Libby Trial May Be Embarrassment for Bush - Forbes.com:

"In a prelude to a possible defense, the lawyers for I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby also are suggesting that the State Department - not Libby - may be to blame for leaking the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame to the media.

Court papers filed late Friday raise the possibility a trial could become politically embarrassing for the Bush administration by focusing on the debate about whether the White House manipulated intelligence to justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The defense team stated that in June and July 2003, Plame's CIA status was at most a peripheral issue to 'the finger-pointing that went on within the executive branch about who was to blame' for the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Indo-us nuke deal would unravel NPT

indianexpress.com :: ‘Indo-us nuke deal would unravel NPT’:

"Unhappy over the us refusal to enter into a nuclear deal with it, Pakistan has warned that the Indo-us nuclear accord would lead to the collapse of international agreements aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. It also demanded “equality of treatment” and pledged to pursue in this direction. “The whole nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will unravel. It’s only a matter of time before other countries will act in the same way,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said in an interview to London daily Financial Times.

“Nuclear weapons are the currency of power and many countries would like to use it. Once this goes through, the npt will be finished. It’s not just Iran and North Korea. Brazil, Argentina and Pakistan will think differently,” he warned."

United States is “Looking at” the Place of Fundamental Guarantees in the War on Terror

news-guarantees:

"The Bush administration’s claim that the U.S. military campaign against al-Qaeda should be regarded as an international armed conflict has always been highly questionable, since that term has hitherto been applied only to wars between two or more states. Many international lawyers and experts who have commented on the question believe that the campaign against al-Qaeda should not be regarded as an armed conflict at all, or alternatively should be seen as a novel form of non-international armed conflict (by analogy with counter-insurgent campaigns fought within national boundaries). However the U.S. government relies on the notion that it is at war with al-Qaeda to support its claims that traditional prerogatives of targeting and detention are appropriate, and that no human rights requirements should limit these powers. It seems inconsistent to make these claims while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge the force of the fundamental guarantees provision which is generally regarded as a mainstay of the customary law of international armed conflict."

why stop? happy bloody anniversary, murderer...

Before and After Abu Ghraib, a U.S. Unit Abused Detainees | US War Crimes at Camp Nama

Before and After Abu Ghraib, a U.S. Unit Abused Detainees - New York Times:

"In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball. Their intention was to extract information to help hunt down Iraq's most-wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to Defense Department personnel who served with the unit or were briefed on its operations.

The Black Room was part of a temporary detention site at Camp Nama, the secret headquarters of a shadowy military unit known as Task Force 6-26. Located at Baghdad International Airport, the camp was the first stop for many insurgents on their way to the Abu Ghraib prison a few miles away.

Placards posted by soldiers at the detention area advised, 'NO BLOOD, NO FOUL.' The slogan, as one Defense Department official explained, reflected an adage adopted by Task Force 6-26: 'If you don't make them bleed, they can't prosecute for it.'"

Judges Overturn Bush Bid to Ease Pollution Rules

Judges Overturn Bush Bid to Ease Pollution Rules - New York Times:

"A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a clean-air regulation issued by the Bush administration that would have let many power plants, refineries and factories avoid installing costly new pollution controls to help offset any increased emissions caused by repairs and replacements of equipment."

17.3.06

The White House is ready to rage and fume against Belarus

The White House is ready to rage and fume against Belarus - Pravda.Ru:

"Looks like history lessons mean nothing to the U.S. Administration. You just can not win a war fighting at different fronts at the same time e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq. Iran is at issue, it is a far more difficult job that buying the Baghdad generals by the dozen. Now Belarus is the next in line.

The Bush Administration issued a warning about “restrictive measures” that may be taken against the authorities of an independent state if the presidential election in Belarus fails to comply with the international standards, from the point of view of the White House. In other words, the election will not comply with the White House standards if the opposition candidate fails to win."

'Rendition flights' landed in UK

BBC NEWS | Politics | 'Rendition flights' landed in UK:

Six US planes linked by campaigners to "extraordinary rendition" used UK airports 73 times since 2001, Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has said.

"Earlier this week, Mr Straw said claims the US has secretly flown terror suspects through the UK would eventually 'fall away' due to lack of evidence.

But Mr Moore said the disclosures raised 'serious questions' about the number and purpose of CIA flights through the UK.

'Coming after the Council of Europe found major holes in the oversight of foreign security agencies, this compounds the case for a review of air traffic controls and a full inquiry into international rendition,' he said.

'A fundamental question remains unanswered. Has the UK government actually asked the United States how many individuals have been rendered through Britain? If this hasn't been asked, then why on earth not?

'Given the seriousness of the allegations, we have a right to expect both the British and American governments to come clean.'"

The True Costs of the Iraq War

Project Syndicate:

"Concerned that the Bush administration might be misleading everyone about the Iraq war’s costs, just as it had about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaida, I teamed up with Linda Bilmes, a budget expert at Harvard, to examine the issue. Even we, as opponents of the war, were staggered by what we found, with conservative to moderate estimates ranging from slightly less than a trillion dollars to more than $2 trillion."

Iraq IED threat: Another clone of the fictitious WMD threat | It is all about the money...

Iraq IED threat: Another clone of the fictitious WMD threat -:

"The White House wants the Americans to fear the IED-producing Iran and at the same time spend billions of tax dollars to combat the IED threat. Bush, moreover, doesn’t fail to base his IED claims on imprecise intelligence, just as he did with WMD: 'Our director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, told the Congress Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shia militia with the capabilities to build improvised explosive devices in Iraq.'

Bush also linked IED with nuclear weapons: 'Such actions [by Iran], along with Iran's support for terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, are increasingly isolating Iran. And America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.' These claims echoes the rhetoric about Iraq’s fictitious WMD: 'If we don’t get rid of these weapons now, a mushroom cloud is bound to be upon us.'

Just as the campaign to save the U.S. from Iraq’s alleged WMD required massive resources and personnel, so does the struggle against the violent IED threat. “In 2004, the administration spent $150 million to fight the IED threat. This year we're providing $3.3 billion to support our efforts to defeat IED.'"

Request for Asylum in the Netherlands - Netherlands Embassy - Washington DC

Article: Request for Asylum in the Netherlands - Netherlands Embassy - Washington DC:

DAMN!!!

"The government of The Netherlands cannot accept applications for political asylum from people that are situated in the US, due to the fact that the United States of America is party to the 1967 Protocol and the Convention of 1951 concerning the status of refugees."

Watching the Detectives

Watching the Detectives:

"Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claim that the warrantless wiretaps are based on Congress’s authorization to use military force against the people who attacked the United States. But if that measure actually nullified all domestic limits on the president’s power, then Americans have been living under martial law since Sept. 18, 2001, when Congress passed the resolution. Bush and Gonzales also assert that the president has inherent power to tap phone calls, thanks to Article II of the Constitution. This is the same “commander-in-chief override” that Gonzales invoked after the Abu Ghraib scandal to justify the Bush administration ignoring the federal Anti-Torture Act.

The Founding Fathers, in the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, decreed that government searches must be based on probable cause and approved by a neutral magistrate. The Bush wiretapping program is based solely upon the president’s edict. Shift supervisors at the National Security Agency decide which Americans get wiretapped. But a GS-13 civil servant is not constitutionally on par with a federal judge."

Zbigniew Brzezinski | Iraq: Failed Occupation and Unaccountable War Criminals

Think Progress | Iraq: Next Steps for U.S. Policy:

"It is a failed occupation as a consequence of a decision-making process that compounds errors, that involves a very narrow group of true believers, and that evades responsibility and accountability – for errors and even crimes. No one responsible for wrong judgments has been fired. No one responsible for setting in motion a chain of events that produced extraordinarily embarrassing crimes has been put on trial. The [administration’s] resistance to the International Criminal Court is perhaps more understandable under these circumstances."

Poll shows nearly half of Americans favor censure

Poll shows nearly half of Americans favor censure:

"Bush fared best in the American Research Group poll Thursday, with a 38 percent approval rating. But that same polling also found that the president, always unpopular with Democrats, may have lost independent voters for good. While 42 percent of independents favored censuring Bush, 47 percent of them said they favored impeaching the president.

'Independents are moving beyond Bush, which, in many ways, is the worst thing that can happen to a president,' Bennett said. Even with more than half of his second term in the White House still remaining, 'he is becoming irrelevant to their lives,' the American Research Group pollster added.

Still, not only are Democrats under fire from Republicans as a result of Feingold's censure resolution, but they also are under assault from liberals who are fed up with the party's unwillingness to challenge the president and the GOP in a bold way, especially over the war in Iraq."

Grounds for Impeachment | The Progressive

Grounds for Impeachment | The Progressive:

"Bush has taken our country down a frightening path toward a form of government our founders loathed. And he has done so by cloaking his actions as wartime necessities.

The Supreme Court, back in 1866, warned of this current situation, as Lapham notes in a footnote. In Ex Parte Milligan, it said, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people; equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.”

Bush acts like a despot.

We can’t let him get away with it.

We can’t let him continue to disgrace the office of the Presidency, violate his oath of office, and trample on our Constitution.

We must demand impeachment."

UK breaks with the US over Iran

Gulfnews: UK breaks with the US over Iran:

"Britain has told the United States that it will not take part in any armed action against Iran's nuclear sites, according to diplomatic sources in London. Alreading facing huge public criticism for his participation in the Iraq war, Prime Minister Tony Blair is seeking to distance himself from America's belligerent rhetoric towards Iran.

Blair knows he would probably not survive the political storm if Britain joined in an attack on Iran. The concern in Whitehall, however, is that the Bush administration, egged on by Israel and its powerful friends in the United States, risks developing an unstoppable momentum towards war a war in which Britain clearly wants no part."

US Navy weighing war crimes charges for Iraqi civilian deaths in 2005 firefight

JURIST - Paper Chase: US Navy weighing war crimes charges for Iraqi civilian deaths in 2005 firefight:

"The US Navy plans to investigate possible war crimes committed by US troops in a November 2005 Iraq firefight that killed 15 civilians, according to a military official speaking on condition of anonymity Thursday. The incident involved approximately twelve US Marines firing at insurgents after a roadside bomb detonated near a joint US-Iraqi squad patrolling the city of Haditha. The soldiers are being investigated to determine whether they positively identified the enemy and whether there was hostile intent before firing, as they are instructed to do by the international law of armed conflict."

Fog of War or War Crimes?

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Fog of War or War Crimes?:

Jimmy Massey, the Marines' most outspoken anti-war war criminal, talks about what really happened on the road to Baghdad.

"JM: I leave it up to the readers in the book. Are these war crimes or are these just fog of war? My definition of fog of war is that you're on the battlefield and out of the corner of your eye you see somebody run and you fire off a shot and you go find out it's a civilian. That's fog of war. Where I have a heartburn with it is that we actually escalated the violence by heightening the intelligence reports. We demonized the Iraqi people and we were given carte blanche to shoot first and ask questions later. I think that the truth hurts. I think when a lot of Marines read this book it's going to bring to their point of view the violations of the Geneva Conventions. Can you win a war with continued violations of the Geneva Conventions and International Law?"

U.S. violated international laws | Hurricane Katrina Aftermath

U.S. violated international laws:

The following is from a Hurricane Katrina Human Rights Violations Summary of Concerns to be brought to the United Nations Human Rights Committee Meetings March 13, 2006 in New York prepared by Rev. Daniel A. Buford and retired Judge Claudia Morcom.

"The U.S. government’s response to Hurricane Katrina failed to comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and the Convention on Torture. Widespread human rights violations against displaced African-American residents in New Orleans and against displaced poor people of all races in the Gulf Coast region continue to be systemic and pervasive. The continued displacement of African-Americans from states like Louisiana and Mississippi (covered by the enforcement provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act) undermines years of civil rights legislation and court decisions (Chisom v. Roemer). 111 S. Ct. 2354, June 20, 1991"

The Fall of America

The Fall of America:

"The whore that sat upon many waters and the woman sitting upon a beast, spoken of in the scriptures, represent a false church sitting upon a powerful government that is supporting this false church and spreading the filth of her abominations all over the world. Look at the filth in America today and how she is spreading that filth all over the world.

Who is this Satan that has this world upside down? You cannot reach Satan because he is so high in power. He keeps us fighting the demons that he makes on the lower levels of society. When we get too close to him, he throws another demon at us, while he remains behind the curtain. But his tricks will not work today. We are going to call Satan out today because the war is on. The war is not White versus Black it is God versus Satan; wrong versus right. If we are willing to do right no matter what our color, we can be a part of the Kingdom of God. But every White man or woman and every Black man and woman, before we can become a part of God's Kingdom, we have to renounce Satan and all his works."

The simple right to choose

Emirates Today: The simple right to choose:

"Of course, the US misunderstands the nature of our society, and underestimates the individual freedoms we have developed over generations. The US has no idea about the traditional rights of our society, which our governments sometimes translate into law.

Back again to Cohen: we hope his few words will convince his colleagues in the US administration – particularly the part about each society’s freedom to adopt democratic principles in relation to their own cultural criteria.

We want nothing more than what Cohen offers – the right to live under a political system of our own choosing."

16.3.06

ACLU Letter to the Senate Expressing Strong Opposition to the “Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006,” Authorizing Warra

American Civil Liberties Uniony:

"This bill would severely weaken constitutional rights by ratifying the secret and illegal program of the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor telephone and e-mail communications without requiring court approval. The bill does not, as its proponents contend, require judicial review or increase disclosure to Congress, and it would actually limit the oversight already required by long-standing laws. The Senate should reject it."

Rice 'a war criminal'

Rice 'a war criminal':

"'Condoleezza Rice, you are a war criminal. Iraqi blood is on your hands and you can't wash that blood away,' a student yelled several times, before he and a female friend were led away by security guards."

MI5, Camp Delta, and the story that shames Britain


Independent Online Edition > Americas:

"Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna are among eight British residents who remain prisoners at the U.S. Naval Air Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They are jailed because British officials rendered them into the hands of the CIA in Africa, a fact that may explain why the British government refuses to intercede on their behalf. Bisher and Jamil have been wrongfully imprisoned now for more than three years. This is the story of their betrayal by the British government and their appalling treatment at the hands of the CIA and the U.S. military."

Bush stokes crisis with Iran

Bush stokes crisis with Iran:

"These former oppressors of the Iranian people in Washington and London have an agenda that goes far beyond the nuclear issue. It is the same agenda they had in Iraq: reconquest and neocolonization to control the oil. They want to destroy the hard-won national independence of the Iranian people, by any means they can—by subversion if possible, by military attack if necessary.

They have bullied and maneuvered the French and German imperialists, the Putin regime in Russia and the Chinese government into taking part in the campaign to isolate Iran. They have used the so-called EU-3 negotiations, the IAEA, and now they are trying to use the UN Security Council to further their ends and set the diplomatic and legal stage for forcing Iran to capitulate or to face sanctions and eventual military action."

Largest Iraq Air Assault Since '03 Begins

ABC News: Largest Iraq Air Assault Since '03 Begins:

bush is an evil, lying, murdering, war criminal

"'More than 1,500 Iraqi and Coalition troops, over 200 tactical vehicles, and more than 50 aircraft participated in the operation,' the military statement said of the attack, designed to 'clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra.'"

The Bolton archipelago

Asia Times Online :: Asian News, Business and Economy.:

"A UN General Assembly vote on establishing the new Human Rights Council is a fairly devastating comment on current US global prestige as well as the effectiveness of diplomacy as practiced by US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

The vote to replace the largely discredited Commission on Human Rights with the new council was 170-4, with the United States, Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau voting against the resolution and with three abstentions.

While the US has said much about the human-rights behavior of many UN member states, there is a strong feeling that Washington and its ambassador do not really have the moral standing to hector others"

15.3.06

Report Backs Iraq Strike and Anticipates Iran Invasion

Report Backs Iraq Strike and Cites Iran Peril - New York Times:

the bastard is going to bomb iran...soon.

"An updated version of the Bush administration's national security strategy, the first in more than three years, gives no ground on the decision to order a pre-emptive attack on Iraq in 2003, and identifies Iran as the country likely to present the single greatest future challenge to the United States.

The strategy document declares that American-led diplomacy to halt Iran's program to enrich nuclear fuel 'must succeed if confrontation is to be avoided,' a near final draft of the document says. But it carefully avoids spelling out what steps the United States might take if diplomacy fails, and it makes no such direct threat of confrontation with North Korea, which boasts that it has already developed nuclear weapons.

When asked about the omission in an interview today, Stephen J. Hadley, President Bush's national security adviser and the principal author of the new report, said 'the sentence applies to both Iran and North Korea.'"

ACLU Condemns Secret White House Deal on Warrantless NSA Spying Program, Says Proposal Would Legitimize and Condone Illegal Activities

American Civil Liberties Union:

"The American Civil Liberties Union today condemned an agreement announced by Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to support legislation to ratify the Bush administration’s warrantless National Security Agency program to spy on Americans, saying it would effect a whitewash of the program before getting the full facts about it. "

DOJ official: President may have power to order terror suspects killed in US

JURIST - Paper Chase: DOJ official: President may have power to order terror suspects killed in US:

"Steven Bradbury, acting head of the US Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in a closed Senate Intelligence Committee meeting last week that the president may have the executive power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the US. During a closed-door session, Feinstein is said to have questioned Bradbury about President Bush's domestic surveillance program and the extent of executive powers to fight Al Qaeda."

more on the subject from newsweek

Bush Advisor, John Yoo, Says President Has Legal Power to Torture Children

informationliberation - Bush Advisor Says President Has Legal Power to Torture Children:

"This part of the exchange during the debate with Doug Cassel, reveals the logic of Yoo’s theories, adopted by the Administration as bedrock principles, in the real world.

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that."

Justice Ginsburg Acknowledges Death Threat Against Her from Conservative Fanatics

LegalTimes.com - Justice Ginsburg Acknowledges Death Threat Against Her:

"Ginsburg said in her speech that the office of the marshal of the Court, who is in charge of security for the justices, alerted her to a Feb. 28, 2005, Web “chat” posting that began, “Okay commandoes, here is your first patriotic assignment.” After mentioning that Ginsburg and O’Connor invoke foreign laws and rulings, the posting continued, “This is a huge threat to our Republic and constitutional freedom . . . If you are what you say you are, and NOT armchair patriots, then those two justices will not live another week.” Ginsburg did not indicate where on the Web the message appeared or if any investigation ensued.

“Nearly a year has passed since that posting,” Ginsburg told her audience. “Justice O’Connor, though to my great sorrow retired just last week from the Court’s bench, remains alive and well. As for me, you can judge for yourself.”"

more here

Congress Adds Sanctions on Iran; Bush unhappy because it will slow down his Iran war-building coalition

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World:

"The Iran Freedom Support Act was approved in the House International Relations Committee by a 37 to 3 majority, but despite the overwhelming support it gained, it is not yet clear when it will be brought to the House floor for a vote, mainly due to the administration's opposition to the new legislation.

The House version of the bill demands that any foreign company that invests over $20 million in Iran's energy industry be reported and that US firms will be required to divest from these companies and not to invest in them in the future."

US Accused of Killings: 11 People, Most Women and Children, Killed in U.S. Raid North of Baghdad


World News Article | Reuters.co.uk:

"'HORRIBLE CRIME'

Major Ali Ahmed of the Ishaqi police said U.S. forces had landed on the roof and shot the 11 occupants. Colonel Farouq Hussein, said autopsies found all had been shot in the head.

Their hands were bound and they were dumped in one room before the house was destroyed, Hussein said.

'It's a clear and perfect crime without any doubt,' he said.

Ishaqi town administrator Rasheed Shather said. 'We want the Americans to give us an explanation for this horrible crime.'

Police in Salahaddin province, Saddam's home base and heartland of the Sunni insurgency, have often criticised U.S. military tactics, including cases of houses being destroyed."

ABC News

UN creates new rights council over US objections

Politics News Article | Reuters.com:

"The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday created a new U.N. human rights body, despite objections from the United States.

Sustained applause greeted the announcement of the 170 to 4 vote with 3 abstentions. Joining the United States in a 'no' vote were Israel, Marshall Islands and Palau. Abstaining were: Belarus, Iran and Venezuela."

Does al-Zarqawi exist?

Does al-Zarqawi exist?:

more on this subject can be found in my archives...

"Zarqawi is ... a myth that America has created to put a face to the terrorism it wants to stoke in this country to justify its continued presence,' Sheik Amer al-Husseini, a top aide to radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

'If there was no more terrorism in Iraq, there would be no reason for the United States to remain ... making it harder for them to ... force this constitution on Iraqis,' said al-Husseini."

Abu Ghraib handover won't improve prison conditions, say Iraqis

Reuters AlertNet - IRAQ: Abu Ghraib handover won't improve prison conditions, say Iraqis:

"The US decision to hand over the Abu Ghraib prison to the Iraqi Ministry of Justice and transfer the so-called high security detainees to a new US-run facility is no guarantee that prisoners will not continue to be abused, according to NGOs and ordinary Iraqis.

'Torture has been practiced by the US as well as by Iraqi military officials,' said Khalid Rabia'a, spokesman for the Baghdad-based Prisoners' Association for Justice (PAJ). 'The handover of Abu Ghraib won't stop the suffering and human rights abuses.'"

Secret prison in Afghanistan called ‘Son of Guantanamo’

Secret prison in Afghanistan called ‘Son of Guantanamo’:

"Noah Leavitt, who served on the International Law Commission of the United Nations in Geneva and the International Court of Justice in The Hague, took issue with the U.S. military’s chief spokesman in Afghanistan, who is quoted as saying the U.S. is “providing the best possible living conditions and medical care in accordance with the principles of the Geneva Convention.”

That statement, Mr. Leavitt charged, “highlights the administration’s ignorance of or cavalier attitude toward long-established international law.

The world will always be in catch-up mode when it comes to investigating, discovering and challenging the many ways the Bush administration has undermined international legal norms. Just as they did for Guantanamo, concerned lawyers, journalists and researchers will have to figure out how to gain access to Bagram in order to bring the harsh treatment of the prisoners to the attention of the U.S. judicial system and the international community before any improvements are seen,” he added.

Abu Ghraib Files

Abu Ghraib Files - Salon.com News:

"...[I]t's critical to recognize that this set of images from Abu Ghraib is only one snapshot of systematic tactics the United States has used in four-plus years of the global war on terror. There have been many allegations of abuse, torture and other practices that violate international law, from holding prisoners without charging them at Guantanamo Bay and other secretive U.S. military bases and prison facilities around the world to the practice of 'rendition,' or the transporting of detainees to foreign countries whose regimes use torture, to ongoing human rights violations inside detention facilities in Iraq. Abu Ghraib in fall 2003 may have been its own particular hell, but the variations of individual abuse perpetrated appear to be exceptional in only one way: They were photographed and filmed."

Hussein Testimony Prompts Closure of Court to Public


Hussein Testimony Prompts Closure of Court to Public - New York Times:

"'In your resistance to the American-Zionist invasion, you are great, and you will always be great in my eyes,' Mr. Hussein said. 'You're defending your country against the occupation. I want you to stick to your virtues, your faith and your patience.'

'It's only a question of time till the sun rises and you will be victorious,' he declared

Mr. Hussein called on Iraqis to stop fighting each other and said that 'criminals' were responsible for the bombing in Samarra that touched off waves of sectarian killings.

The trial's chief judge, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, repeatedly interrupted Mr. Hussein, telling him to stick to the charges against him.

'This is a criminal court, we are not in politics,' the judge said.

'If it wasn't for politics neither you nor I would be here today,' Mr. Hussein retorted.
"

14.3.06

The Feingold Resolution and the Sound of Silence

The Feingold Resolution and the Sound of Silence:

"The one Democrat happy to talk was Feingold, who, in a pre-lunch chat with reporters, seemed to enjoy his colleagues' squirms. 'I'm concerned about the approach Democrats are taking, which is too often cowering,' he said.

Feingold, seeking liberals' support for the 2008 presidential nomination, said he wasn't motivated by politics. But then he slipped. 'If there's any Democrat out there who can't say . . . the president has no right to make up his own laws, I don't know if that Democrat really is the right candidate,' he said of his likely primary opponents."

Lawless and Incompetent Leadership

Palestine Chronicle - Ralph Nader: Lawless and Incompetent Leadership:

"George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, two top outlaws smashing our country's rule of law and democratic liberties, are testing the American people's resistance. Every day they are testing. Every day they think by flaunting the words, 'war on terror', they can get Americans to concede more and more of what makes the United States a constitutionally-abiding government under the rule of law.

You know what? With not enough exceptions, they are right. Day by day, we're giving up what our forefathers fought to bequeath us since that famous Declaration of Independence of 1776. They were determined that people in this country would not be arrested without charges and jailed indefinitely, that they would not be tortured, or sent to be tortured in dictatorial regimes, or deprived of habeas corpus to take their incarceration to our courts of law, or be snooped on at the whim of the President and his deputies or that people in faraway lands would be destroyed in the tens of thousands due to a fabricated war-invasion-quagmire."

Top U.S. Military Official: No Evidence of Iran Involvement in Iraq

Top U.S. Military Official: No Evidence of Iran Involvement in Iraq:

"On Monday, President Bush suggested Iran was involved in making roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices, that are being used in Iraq. And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld last week accused Iran of sending members of its Revolutionary Guard to conduct operations in Iraq.

Today, Pace, the top U.S. military official, was asked at a Pentagon news conference if he has proof that Iran's government is sponsoring these activities.

'I do not, sir,' Pace said."

Looking for a Villain

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

"Yesterday brought two strong signs that even as Bush is trying -- and failing -- to placate the public about Iraq, he's increasingly keen to focus attention on a new villain: Iran.

Building up public support for military action against Iran seems like an uphill battle right now. For one, Bush would need to better explain how Iran, even if it had nuclear weapons, was a threat to the United States. "

A Peculiar Politician


A Peculiar Politician:

"The real story--naturally overlooked by cynical editors--is that an honest truth-teller is loose in the fun house and disturbing the clowns. Man bites dog, senator defends Constitution.

Feingold has a reputation for such quaint deviations--a naif who voted against the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. On principle! How naive is that? He talks like he might run for President, yet he seems tone-deaf to the artful resonances of power politics--the cutesy games insiders play and the press cherishes. Hey, what is this Constitution thing anyway?

The senator is peculiar in this era of decaying democracy. There was a time, believe it or not, when his type was a familiar presence in the Senate. I think of Sam Ervin of North Carolina, a conservative Democrat on most matters but always a lion on the Constitution. Ervin is remembered for his heroic role in the investigation of Watergate. Old-timers remember that before Watergate, Senator Sam led courageous hearings on the illegal spying on civilians by the Army and FBI (Democratic scandals predating Nixon)."

Ex-detainee in US rendition suit tells EU parliament of interrogation by German

Western Pressures Threatening Independence

Iran Daily - Front Page - 03/15/06:

"The leader emphasized that the US neoconservatives are reactionary and imperialistic.

“These people think they can advance their bullying policies by using weapons and financial might, but will never be successful as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine,“ he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to President George W. Bush’s recent allegation about absence of democracy in Iran and said, “If there is a place in the world where democracy does not prevail, it is the US. This is because the Zionist lobby, which is in a minority, controls all the US electoral affairs and the people’s votes do not count. The clear proof of this is how Bush became president in a fraudulent manner.“"

ACLU Calls on U.N. Human Rights Committee to Hold U.S. Government Accountable

American Civil Liberties Union : ACLU Calls on U.N. Human Rights Committee to Hold U.S. Government Accountable:

In the name of national security, the Bush administration has eroded the rule of law and the system of checks and balances in the United States, both fundamental principles in any democracy,” said Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the ACLU, who presented today’s testimony. “In our America, we will not tolerate illegal spying or torture. The ACLU calls on the Human Rights committee to join us in our effort to hold the U.S. government accountable.”

Feingold Accuses Senate Democrats of “Cowering” To Bush

Think Progress � BREAKING: Feingold Accuses Senate Democrats of “Cowering” To Bush

How true:

"I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide. … Too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they’ll say we’d better just focus on domestic issues. … [Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question the administration, you’re helping the terrorists."

13.3.06

Pentagon examining chances of Israeli strike against Iran

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World:

"The Pentagon is looking into the possibility of Israel launching a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. In the past months there were several working-level discussions trying to map out the possible scenarios for such an attack, according to administration sources who were briefed on these meetings."

US: Contractor Found Guilty of $3 Million Fraud in Iraq

CorpWatch�:�US: Contractor Found Guilty of $3 Million Fraud in Iraq:

mr. battles of custer battles is a 'former cia operative'

"Among the most telling evidence presented was a spreadsheet that a Custer Battles official accidentally left behind after a meeting with contract officials in Baghdad. The document listed the company's actual expenses, the higher expenses it was reporting to the coalition and the secret, elevated profit margins for several tasks, including the building of the helipad.

Sharing liability along with Mr. Custer, Mr. Battles and their company are Joseph Morris, a former executive, and several other companies that Mr. Custer and Mr. Battles incorporated to mask as suppliers and provide sham invoices."

74.2% of Turks See US as Main Threat to World Peace

ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER (2006031330845):

"...three quarters of Turks see the US as the biggest threat to world peace - in contrast to a mere two percent which see Iran as the major threat."

Judge halts Moussaoui trial over prosecution 'misconduct'

Independent Online Edition > Americas:

"This is the second significant error by the government affecting the constitutional rights of the defendant and the criminal justice system in this country in the context of a death case."

The Torture Judge

village voice > news > Liberty Beat by Nat Hentoff:

"A judge must be silent, even if our own statutes and treaties are violated! What about the separation of powers? Ah, said Trager, 'the coordinate branches of our government [executive and legislative] are those in whom the Constitution imposes responsibility for our foreign affairs and national security. Those branches have the responsibility to determine whether judicial oversight is appropriate.'

Gee, I thought that the checks and balances of our constitutional system depend on the independence of the federal judiciary, which itself decides to exercise judicial review.

Judge Trager went further to protect the Bush administration's juggernaut conduct of foreign policy: 'One need not have much imagination to contemplate the negative effect on our relations with Canada if discovery were to proceed in this case, and were it to turn out that certain high Canadian officials had, despite public denials, acquiesced in Arar's removal to Syria.'

'More generally,' Trager went on, 'governments that do not wish to acknowledge publicly that they are assisting us would certainly hesitate to do so if our judicial discovery process could compromise them.'"

12.3.06

Deception as the Official Public Policy

Palestine Chronicle - Ramzy Baroud: Deception as the Official Public Policy:

"The Bush administration is likely to carry on fighting dissent at home and elusive terrorists abroad so that the status quo will be maintained. More Americans are opposing the direction in which the country is headed, but no tangible policy is yet in place to translate such resentment into effective tools to bring an end to violence and the nightmare to a close. The looming civil war in Iraq is just another outcome of sectarian division, brimming for many years, but cemented by the US policy of divide and conquer. The calamity shall carry on as long as our dissent is merely transmitted through opinion polls that might sound vindicating, but are negligible in the eyes of our government’s determined militancy. "

US businesses expect 'full rights' in entering Vietnam

Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily:

"Businesses in the US oil and gas industry proposed the Vietnamese government allow American groups to invest in processing, transport and distribution of oil products – a sector under tight government control.

Oil company J.Ray McDermott group, currently operating in Vietnam wants to expand their investment in drilling platforms, refinery facilities and oil product export rights in Vietnamese ports under looser guidelines."

Israel deploys nuclear arms in submarines

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Israel deploys nuclear arms in submarines:

A 2003 Article; the bombing of Iran was, of course, on the table:

"In a clear echo of the Bush doctrine of pre-emption, the Foreign Ministry's senior spokesman, Gideon Meir, insisted: 'Israel views every state that is harbouring terrorist organisations and the leaders of those terrorist organisations who are attacking innocent citizens of the state of Israel as legitimate targets out of self defence.'

The disclosure, is certain to complicate UN-led efforts to persuade Iran to make a full disclosure of its nuclear programme. It will also complicate the Bush administration's efforts to reach out to moderate Arab states when they are pressing for an equal disclosure of Israel's nuclear weapons programme."

Rumsfeld Makes a Killing on Bird Flu Vaccine

Independent Online Edition > Americas:

"Mr Rumsfeld sold some of his Gilead shares in 2004 reaping - according to the financial disclosure report he is required to make each year - capital gains of more than $5m. The report showed that he still had up to $25m-worth of shares at the end of 2004, and at least one analyst believes his stake has grown well beyond that figure, as the share price has soared. Further details are not likely to become known, however, until Mr Rumsfeld makes his next disclosure in May."

Feingold to Introduce Resolution Censuring the President

Feingold to Introduce Resolution Censuring the President:

"...[T]his President and this Administration decided to break the law and they have yet to give a convincing explanation of why their actions were necessary, appropriate, or legal. Passing more laws will not change the fact that the President broke the ones already in place and for that, Congress must hold him accountable.”"

UN Reporting of Iran a US-Russia Deal

Description of Selected News:

"Safarov believes that by promising to expedite the trend of Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization, fully supporting its presidency over the G-8 Group and having a more favorable approach towards the current political situation and reform in the country's domestic scene, the U.S. persuaded Moscow to cooperate on Iran's case.

'By losing Iran as its ally in the world of Islam, Moscow will also lose dozens of billions of dollars worth of economic profit gained as consequence of its presence in Iran's energy market.

'Besides, Russia will be viewed by Iran and other Islamic states as an unreliable partner,' added Safarov."

Big majority of Japanese citizens in Iwakuni says 'no' to U.S. military relocation

Kyodo News - Story:

"An overwhelming majority of residents in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, voted ''no'' in a referendum Sunday on a government plan to relocate U.S. carrier-based aircraft to a local U.S. base as part of U.S. plans to reorganize its military forces in Japan, the electoral board said. With all ballots counted, 89 percent of all valid ballots were cast against the relocation plan, with the ''no'' votes topping the ''yes'' votes by 43,433 to 5,369. The voter turnout was 58.68 percent.

The outcome of the unprecedented plebiscite is nonbinding but the majority ''no'' vote could have an impact on other base-hosting communities and affect efforts by Tokyo and Washington to finalize the realignment plans by the end of the month as part of the U.S. strategy to redeploy its global military forces."