Blog Flux Directory Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines Blog directory
And, yes, I DO take it personally: 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
Eric: Nice site....I enjoyed it and will be back.
nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Send tips and other comments to:

And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, November 10, 2007

executive powers theory

The following lecture on video from Princeton University, (albeit dry and bombastic in parts), tries to advance a logic for Executive Power:

Part of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions

Jeffrey K. Tulis, University of Texas at Austin:
"On Constitutional Statesmanship"
  • 56K using Real Player

  • 350K using Real Player

  • 56K using Windows Media Player

  • 350K using Windows Media Player

  • it explains a lot about where apologists for a "unitary executive" are coming from.


    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Why not recall DiFi's treasonous ass?

    greenwald, as usual, nails it...
    Dianne Feinstein-Bush's key ally in the Senate -to support telecom amnesty


    Feinstein is not merely voting reliably for the most extremist Bush policies, though she is doing that. Far more than that, she has become, time and again, the linchpin of Bush's ability to have his most radical policies approved by the Senate.

    Could the universe be any larger between what Feinstein's constituents want and what she is doing in the Senate? Here are the latest views of California voters of the President to whose agenda Feinstein is displaying such ferocious fidelity:

    Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as President?

    Approve -- 28%

    Disapprove -- 70%

    Among California Democrats, a grand total of 9% approve of Feinstein's beloved President; 90% disapprove. Obviously, nothing could be less relevant to Feinstein than the views of her constituents, but still, the disparity between what they believe and what she is doing is just striking, even for the Beltway.

    california is one of eighteen states allowing for recall of statewide officers... perhaps difi's constituents should look into it between now and 2012...

    SEC. 13. Recall is the power of the electors to remove an elective


    SEC. 14. (a) Recall of a state officer is initiated by delivering
    to the Secretary of State a petition alleging reason for recall.
    Sufficiency of reason is not reviewable. Proponents have 160 days to
    file signed petitions.
    (b) A petition to recall a statewide officer must be signed by
    electors equal in number to 12 percent of the last vote for the
    office, with signatures from each of 5 counties equal in number to 1
    percent of the last vote for the office in the county. Signatures to
    recall Senators, members of the Assembly, members of the Board of
    Equalization, and judges of courts of appeal and trial courts must
    equal in number 20 percent of the last vote for the office.
    (c) The Secretary of State shall maintain a continuous count of
    the signatures certified to that office.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    The destruction of the social contract and the rise of Ron Paul

    juan cole shares some observations about how and why a traditional conservative like ron paul is emerging as a serious candidate, but he also puzzles over why, given the bush administration's deliberate campaign to destroy every trace of the social contract, his libertarian orientation is not being more strongly called into question...
    Government is a set of bargains, a 'moral economy.' We let the government take a certain proportion of our money, and we expect it to organize services for us that would otherwise be difficult to arrange. Anyone who has studied any history and economics knows that the market is going to leave some people destitute, and you need government to correct for that imbalance. It is no accident that government was invented by irrigation-based societies like Egypt and Iraq, where if someone did not organize the peasants to do the irrigation work and keep it up, everybody would starve.

    Bush has broken the US government. The US military was there to protect us. Bush has used it to fight a fascist-style aggressive war of choice. FEMA is there for emergency aid. Bush did not deploy it effectively for New Orleans. Social security lifted the elderly out of the poverty that had often been their fate before the 1930s. Bush declined to use Clinton's surplus to fix the system, and has essentially borrowed against the pensions of us all to pay for his wars. Government is there to ensure our security. Bush has used it to spy on us, to prosecute patently innocent persons, to manipulate the media and instill us with lies and propaganda.


    Given how horribly corporations like Walmart treat their employees, denying them the right to unionize and cleverly avoiding paying anything toward their health insurance, I have never understood why Libertarians think corporations would be nicer to us if we could not organize government protections from them. It is the government of the state of Maryland that protected workers from Walmart's exploitation of them. Libertarian faith in the utopia that comes from the withering of the state strikes me as just as impractical as the similar Marxist theory.

    But after 7 years of Bush, I don't find it at all astonishing that large numbers of internet contributors would give Ron Paul money to campaign on getting rid of the Frankenstein' s Monster of a government that George W. Bush has been constructing in his macabre basement of a mind.

    a cornerstone of the bush administration policy, driven by such movement conservative ideologues as karl rove and grover norquist, is pure social darwinism*... that particular belief system is, in fact, the underpinning of the global elites that are, even as we speak, directing world events to their own ends (see previous post on alex jones' endgame)... the elites believe that they occupy their privileged and powerful positions because they deserve them... they and only they are worthy to decide the fate of the planet, and everyone and everything on it...
    * Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwin's theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i.e. that just as competition between individual organisms drives biological evolutionary change (speciation) through "survival of the fittest" (not a scientific term itself), competition between individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies.

    The term was popularized in 1944 by the American historian Richard Hofstadter, and has generally been used by critics rather than advocates of what the term is supposed to represent (Bannister, 1979; Hodgson, 2004).

    While the term has been applied to the claim that Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection can be used to understand the social endurance of a nation or country, social Darwinism commonly refers to ideas that predate Darwin's publication of his theory. Others whose ideas are given the label include the 18th century clergyman Thomas Malthus, and Darwin's cousin Francis Galton who founded eugenics towards the end of the 19th century.

    Some claim that it supports racism on the lines set out by Arthur de Gobineau before Darwin published his theories, which directly contradict Darwin's own work. This classification of social Darwinism constitutes part of the reaction against the Nazi regime and the Holocaust.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    Alex Jones' Endgame

    two hours and nineteen minutes but very worthwhile...

    Labels: ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Iraq spending vs. spending on energy research and development

    wow... THAT'S one hard graph to swallow...

    These figures are in millions. The source for energy R&D expenditures is from the National Council for Science and the Environment.

    Though the war in Iraq now costs about $120B a year, two authors (one a Nobel prize winner) estimates the total cost of this war exceeds 2 Trillion Dollars.

    (thanks to kevin at cryptogon...)

    Labels: , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    We're doomed

    not yer cheery, welcome to the weekend thinkin' goin' on here... sorry for the downer, but, that's the way it is... nowhuddimean, vern...?

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Musharraf lifts Bhutto's house arrest

    one can only imagine the container-size load of shit that was dumped on his head for having made such a totally idiotic move in the first goddam place...
    Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was freed from house arrest late on Friday, hours after she was stopped from leaving her Islamabad home to lead a rally against the president's imposition of emergency rule.

    "The detention order has been withdrawn," said Aamir Ali Ahmed, acting deputy commissioner of Islamabad.

    A security official said police barricades around Bhutto's home were being taken down. A spokeswoman for Bhutto's party, Sherry Rehman, said she had no information about the lifting of the order.

    Earlier in the day police prevented Bhutto from leaving her home and sealed off the capital and the nearby city of Rawalpindi to stop a rally against President Pervez Musharraf.

    ol' pervez must have realized that he was signing his own resignation letter if he tried to keep her away from her supporters... god, he's such a fool, but, i guess, he's only acting in true form for somebody who, like his best buddy, george, wants so desperately to hang on to power...

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Feinstein joins Rockefeller in repudiating the rule of law

    to say nothing of the united states constitution...
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday that she favors legal immunity for telecommunications companies that allegedly shared millions of customers' telephone and e-mail messages and records with the government, a position that could lead to the dismissal of numerous lawsuits pending in San Francisco.

    In a statement at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering legislation to extend the Bush administration's electronic surveillance program, Feinstein said the companies should not be "held hostage to costly litigation in what is essentially a complaint about administration activities."

    She endorsed a recent statement by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that companies assured by top administration officials that the surveillance program was legal "should not be dragged through the courts for their help with national security."

    Feinstein, D-Calif., plays a pivotal role on the Judiciary Committee, which has a 10-9 Democratic majority. If she joins committee Republicans in voting next Thursday to protect telecommunications companies from lawsuits for their roles in the surveillance program, the proposal - a top priority of President Bush - will become part of legislation that reaches the Senate floor.

    difi really doesn't care WHO knows she's a traitor, does she...? first mukasey, and now this... i bet joe lieberman is ecstatic... it's just gonna take some of the heat off of him...

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Oh, Lord...! The rapidly emerging market of emergency services for those who can pay...

    i just read naomi klein's article in the nation about privatized disaster response services (reprinted here in signs of the times), not exactly the kind of reading you want to do to start off a weekend... some highlights...
    • Even as wildfires devoured whole swaths of the region, some homes in the heart of the inferno were left intact, as if saved by a higher power. But it wasn't the hand of God; in several cases it was the handiwork of Firebreak Spray Systems. Firebreak is a special service offered to customers of insurance giant American International Group (AIG)--but only if they happen to live in the wealthiest ZIP codes in the country. Members of the company's Private Client Group pay an average of $19,000 to have their homes sprayed with fire retardant. During the wildfires, the "mobile units"--racing around in red firetrucks--even extinguished fires for their clients.
    • During last year's hurricane season, Florida homeowners were offered similarly high-priced salvation by HelpJet, a travel agency launched with promises to turn "a hurricane evacuation into a jet-setter vacation." For an annual fee, a company concierge takes care of everything: transport to the air terminal, luxurious travel, bookings at five-star resorts. Most of all, HelpJet is an escape hatch from the kind of government failure on display during Katrina. "No standing in lines, no hassle with crowds, just a first class experience."
    • In northern Michigan, during the same week that the California fires raged, the rural community of Pellston was in the grip of an intense public debate. The village is about to become the headquarters for the first fully privatized national disaster response center. The plan is the brainchild of Sovereign Deed, a little-known start-up with links to the mercenary firm Triple Canopy. Like HelpJet, Sovereign Deed works on a "country-club type membership fee," according to the company's vice president, retired Brig. Gen. Richard Mills. In exchange for a one-time fee of $50,000 followed by annual dues of $15,000, members receive "comprehensive catastrophe response services" should their city be hit by a manmade disaster that can "cause severe threats to public health and/or well-being" (read: a terrorist attack), a disease outbreak or a natural disaster. Basic membership includes access to medicine, water and food, while those who pay for "premium tiered services" will be eligible for VIP rescue missions.
    this is so wrong on so many levels... but, hey... if you aren't nauseous yet, try this...
    [I]n Peru this summer, there was an earthquake, and there was another one of these breakthroughs in disaster capitalism, where after the earthquake an American company, an American service company called Aramark, got the contract to build evacuation camps, which is something that's traditionally done by the UN, traditionally done by NGOs. Now it's a private contractor, a for-profit company that actually provides food for prisons, going in there and seeing disaster response as -- internationally -- as an emerging market. And these are the first evacuation camps in the world, that I know of, that come with many McDonald's outlets.

    ya know, just when i think i've passed the red line on my outrage meter and the internal mechanism has simply frozen up due to execessively out-of-tolerance rpm's, something like this comes along, unfreezes the mechanism, and the meter gets recalibrated to an entirely new - and much higher - level...

    Labels: , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    A touch of blogosphere civility: "We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!"

    atrios and kos have both posted on this and, given my intense feelings toward karl rove, i simply cannot let it pass...


    Bad Words

    I love civility lessons from Mr. "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!"
    -Atrios 12:56


    Rove, civility arbiter Hotlist

    Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 10:39:39 AM PST

    So Rove hates us.

    He also claimed that liberals use more “bad words,” comparing sites like DailyKos and Democratic Underground to Townhall and FreeRepublic. The “netroots often argue from anger rather than reason, and too often, their object is personal release, not political persuasion,” said Rove.

    "Bad words" like this?

    We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!

    karl rove has the most amazing ability - chutzpah? giant balls? - to decry the very thing HE is the most guilty of... i have lost track of the number of times he has used that tactic... one of the most memorable was his address to the national association of republican lawyers where he congratulated them for their hard work preventing election fraud... the only sane reaction to such crap is your jaw dropping to the floor... what this unwelcome and unanticipated re-appearance of mr. rove in the public spotlight reminds me of is how firmly i still believe that the man is completely in league with the darkest of forces... he is truly an evil, evil man...

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    follow-on to Ballet Blue

    from today's Mark Morford column: "Does your religion dance? Behold, the most dangerous issue facing modern faith: Its inability to evolve, nakedly"
    It's a topic that jumped up like a stunned ferret from God's own hot plate three separate times recently — indicating, I think, that I'd better pay some sort of attention to it — the topic being the obvious but still desperately under-discussed idea that perhaps the most dangerous problem facing man in this modern age of radical technology and dazzling scientific conundrum and otherworldly raspberry vodka and ever-expanding notions of love and sex and human interconnection is the sad and treacherous fact that, well, religion and belief as we know them in America are, by and large, far too horribly stuck, limited, fixed in time and place and stiff karmic cement.

    Put another way: We as a culture just might be suffering a slow, painful death by spiritual stagnation, by ideological stasis, by cosmic rigor mortis. It has become painfully, lethally obvious in the age of George W. Bush and authoritarian groupthink that our major religious systems and foundations don't know how to move. They don't learn, adjust, evolve, see things anew. They don't know how to dance. And what's more, this little problem might just be the death of us all."

    there are important reasons for the Arts.

    Labels: , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Netherlands' Maeslant Barrier closed for first time since its construction

    add this to your climate change journal...
    A powerful North Sea weather system triggered tidal surges and ferocious winds Friday, prompting fears of flooding, but left Britain and the Netherlands largely unscathed.

    The peak of the predicted surge passed without causing any major damage. Hundreds of people were evacuated as a precaution, but no injuries were reported.


    In the Netherlands, Rotterdam Port halted all ship traffic until Friday evening. The Maeslant Barrier protecting Europe's largest port was closed Thursday for the first time under storm conditions since its construction in 1997.

    the maeslant barrier is a phenomenal piece of construction... the army corps of engineers, were they not part of the know-it-all culture of american arrogance and had they called on dutch expertise much earlier, might have been able to prevent the katrina disaster... but, no-o-o-o-o-o-ooooo...

    the maeslant barrier, rotterdam, the netherlands...

    During water levels of 3 metres above Amsterdam ordnance zero, the arms of the barrier are activated. The waterway, with a width of 360 metres, can then be closed completely. At first sight, it is almost unbelievable that such a barrier is capable of such an achievement. The Maeslant barrier is almost as long as the Eiffel tower and weighs about four times as much. It is the only storm surge barrier in the world with such large moveable parts. The storm surging doors have a length of 240 metres each. Under normal circumstances, these doors are fully opened, so that the ships have access to the port of Rotterdam. The doors are stored in docks with a length of 210 metres, which lie along both shores.

    During storm tide the docks are flooded and the hollow doors begin to float. They are driven into the water by means of a small train. This lasts for about half an hour. When the doors are situated in the middle of the river, valves are opened and as a result the doors are flooded. Consequently, the doors sink to the bottom because of their weight. On the bottom, there is a concrete threshold. A lot of silt gathers on this threshold. To close the New Waterway properly, arms need to be positioned exactly on the threshold. The doors do not sit directly on the threshold yet, but are hung a little above them. The current under the doors becomes so strong that the silt is washed away. After about an hour, the doors can sit flat on a silt-free threshold. The water level on the seaside is then higher than the water on the riverside. The force against the surging wall during a storm is about 350 Mega Newton: this is equal to the weight of 350,000 strong men, carrying 100 kilograms each. The pressure difference is so large that a ship of equal measurements would capsize instantly. The unique shape of the barrier prevents this from happening.

    Labels: , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Greenwald on Mukasey's confirmation: Why no filibuster?

    damn good question, unless of course the answer is the usual one - another sellout...

    Every time Congressional Democrats failed this year to stop the Bush administration (i.e., every time they "tried"), the excuse they gave was that they "need 60 votes in the Senate" in order to get anything done. Each time Senate Republicans blocked Democratic legislation, the media helpfully explained not that Republicans were obstructing via filibuster, but rather that, in the Senate, there is a general "60-vote requirement" for everything.

    How, then, can this be explained?

    The Senate confirmed Michael B. Mukasey as attorney general Thursday night, approving him despite Democratic criticism that he had failed to take an unequivocal stance against the torture of terrorism detainees.

    The 53-to-40 vote made Mr. Mukasey, a former federal judge, the third person to head the Justice Department during the tenure of President Bush . . . Thirty-nine Democrats and one independent [Bernie Sanders] opposed him.

    Beyond that, four Senate Democrats running for President missed the vote, and all four had announced they oppose Mukasey's confirmation. Thus, at least 44 Senators claimed to oppose Mukasey's confirmation -- more than enough to prevent it via filibuster. So why didn't they filibuster, the way Senate Republicans have on virtually every measure this year which they wanted to defeat?

    we are so far off the track in this country... i just don't know what else to say...

    Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Now 50 years after Wilhelm Reich's death

    from Pravda: "Scientists examine psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich work on sexual energy":

    His equipment was destroyed and his books were burned [by] the U.S. government, but now the studies of physician-scientist Wilhelm Reich who is known for his claims of a cosmic life force associated with sexual orgasm are reviving.


    'Personally, I think it's going to be a long time before all of his work is understood and recognized', said Reich's granddaughter, Renata Reich Moise, a nurse-midwife and artist in the coastal town of Hancock in the northeast state of Maine.

    Reich died on Nov. 3, 1957, in a federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was sent for ignoring an injunction obtained by the Food and Drug Administration that outlawed a device he called an orgone energy accumulator.


    The 50th anniversary of his death is being marked by a major exhibition on Reich and his work that opens Nov. 15 at the Jewish Museum in Vienna, the city where he attended medical school, began his psychiatric practice and studied under Sigmund Freud.

    Also this month, archives of Reich's unpublished papers, which have been stored at Harvard Medical School, will become available to researchers for the first time. Reich had stipulated that his papers only be opened 50 years after his death.


    Reich is described by the American Psychoanalytic Association as 'one of the most brilliant, creative and controversial of the pioneering analysts.' He was the first to focus on character analysis rather than neurotic symptoms. He linked a healthy sex life, which he called 'orgastic potency,' to emotional wellness, believing that failure to discharge sexual energy resulted in neurotic disorders."

    on Wilhelm Reich's later work, (from autodidactproject):

    [T]he later work of Wilhelm Reich exemplifies a unique brand of paranoia, irrationality, and crackpot science at work. In attempting to overcome alienated existence, Reich purports to construct a natural-scientific rendition of traditional mystical beliefs, claiming to oppose both mechanism and mysticism, and to overcome the shortcomings of earlier vitalisms.

    This is not to dismiss Reich's earlier ideas. I would agree that Reich's ideas up until he claims to discover bions are valuable. The qualification would be that while sexual repression undoubtedly feeds into authoritarianism, racism, and fascism, ... fascism is a result of a complex of psycho-social factors that distort the personality in less puritanical societies, [arguably], as well. Reich's concentration on the physiological dimension of character, while significant, seems to form the metaphysical root of his turning this dimension of human character into an abstraction. Combined with crackpot science, the degeneration into vitalist mystification becomes explicable.

    However, I do not merely dismiss the later Reich. I pay a great deal of attention to his philosophy, which I find quite fascinating though ultimately malformed. One could begin with his Ether, God and Devil, the title alone of which is wacky, but Reich's philosophical structures are herein revealed. There are social implications to the ideological position Reich took after the experience of fascism drove him to the brink."

    Now 50 years after Wilhelm Reich's death, his papers should prove to be quite fascinating.

    Labels: , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Ballet Blue

    With South Korea well on its way into a "morality" binge in the Arts, for example within Ballet, it seems to focus on the young, where creativity and sparks-of-genius kindle in so much tinder, and it seems the attempts are made the harshest upon the young, in attempts to extinguish that burning passion and desire for the delirium and intoxication of rapture itself.

    Here is but a glimpse of the Ballet Blue, already on fire with passion and delight:

    Labels: ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Mukasey confirmed 53-40 - a shitty way to end the day

    say g'nite, folks...
    The Senate confirmed retired judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general Thursday night to replace Alberto Gonzales, who was forced from office in a scandal over his handling of the Justice Department.

    President Bush thanked the Senate, even though the margin had been whittled down from nearly unanimous by a sharp debate over Mukasey's refusal to say whether the waterboarding interrogation technique is torture.

    "He will be an outstanding attorney general," Bush said in a statement from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

    i don't often succumb to blatant crudity, but i will now...


    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Musharraf just screwed up BIG-TIME by putting Benazir Bhutto under house arrest

    pervez is REALLY showing his true colors NOW...
    President Gen. Pervez Musharraf yielded to pressure from the United States on Thursday and said Pakistan will hold elections by mid-February. But he showed no sign of ending a political crack down, placing opposition leader Benazir Bhutto under house arrest and detaining thousands ahead of a major protest.

    The move against Bhutto Friday came amid a broader crackdown on her supporters, who were planning to rally near Islamabad against Musharraf's emergency rule. Bhutto's party said some 5,000 of its supporters have been rounded up in the last three days, and riot police were out in force in nearby Rawalpindi, the city where Friday's rally was to take place.

    A security official, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said Bhutto had been placed under house arrest. He offered no other details.

    very, very cool, pervez, you moron... if you poured gasoline on the mess you created and struck a match, you couldn't have done any worse than this... your whole friggin' country is going to explode right in your face... good work, you fool...

    Labels: , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Impeach Bush AND Cheney says National Lawyers Guild

    hey... the more, the merrier...

    Monday, November 5, 2007

    Marjorie Cohn, NLG President,; 619-374-6923
    Heidi Boghosian, NLG Executive Director, 212-679-5100, ext. 11
    James Marc Leas, NLG member who drafted the resolution, 802 864-1575 or 802 734-8811

    November 5, Washington, D.C. The National Lawyers Guild voted unanimously and enthusiastically for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney at its national convention in Washington, DC. The resolution lists more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and "calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America."

    The resolution provides for an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members that will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.

    The resolution calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office.

    The full text of the resolution can be found at ... lution.pdf

    National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn said, "The war of aggression, the secret prisons, the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the use of evidence obtained by torture, and the surveillance of citizens without warrants, all initiated and carried out under the tenure of Bush and Cheney, are illegal under the U.S. Constitution and international law.”

    Founded in 1937 as an alternative to the American Bar Association, which did not admit people of color, the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.


    Labels: , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Evo Morales: from $300M to $2B a year revenue increase

    Evo Morales

    fantastic...! i've been rooting for evo from the start... may he continue to move in the light...
    We Need Partners, Not Masters

    Bolivian President Evo Morales visited Italy this week to receive a special award for his government's commitment to social and health issues. He has made these issues a "political priority."

    The award was presented by the Pio Manzù Centre, a research organisation based in Rimini in northeast Italy that studies economic, scientific and social policies.

    Besides meetings with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and foreign affairs minister Massimo D'Alema, Morales met members of the 30,000 Bolivian community in Rome, and members of Italian social movements.

    Morales told Rome's Bolivians that before he was elected President in December 2005, Bolivia received 300 million dollars a year in tax revenues from the oil industry. Following nationalisation of energy reserves, Bolivia now receives 2 billion dollars annually.

    The increased revenues are being used for education and healthcare, and for creation of a microcredit programme, Morales says.

    "To increase revenues there is no need to create additional taxes," he told Claudia Diez de Medina from IPS, "but simply to make better use of our natural resources." For this, he said, "we need partners, not masters."

    damn right...! now, if he can lead the country away from a dependence on carbon-based energy and toward cheap, sustainable energy resources, he will have pulled off a true miracle...

    President Evo Morales dancing the cueca "Viva mi patria, Bolivia"
    with a Cochabambinean "cholita" during his meeting with the Bolivian
    community in Rome at the Protomoteca room in Campidoglio,
    on 28 October 2007.
    Credit: Claudia Diez de Medina, IPS.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    word picture of government

    from: "The Architecture of Modern Political Power":
    To be governed is to be watched, inspected, directed, indoctrinated, numbered, estimated, regulated, commanded, controlled, law-driven, preached at, spied upon, censured, checked, valued, enrolled, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be, at every operation and at every transaction, taxed, stamped, registered, numbered, counted, noted, measured, assessed, authorized, licensed, admonished, prevented, forbidden, corrected, reformed, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, fleeced, drilled, extorted from, exploited, monopolized, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at slightest resistance and first word of complaint, to be sacrificed, betrayed, harassed, repressed, disarmed, hunted down, clubbed, abused, fined, sold, and, to crown it all, to be outraged, ridiculed, mocked, derided, dishonored. THAT is government; that is its justice, that's its morality."
    -- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

    Nicely put.


    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    First Congressional veto override

    sigh... not that this wasn't a critical issue, but i wish it had been something less along the lines of traditional pork...
    President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was filled with unnecessary projects.


    The bill funds hundreds of Army Corps of Engineers projects, such as dams, sewage plants and beach restoration, that are important to local communities and their representatives. It also includes money for the hurricane-hit Gulf Coast and for Florida Everglades restoration efforts.

    The House voted 361-54 to override the veto Tuesday. Both votes easily exceeded the two-thirds majority needed in each chamber to negate a presidential veto.

    maybe this will give 'em a shot of courage...? < ponders > nah...

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Gratuitous sex? On Fox? No...! It couldn't be...!

    robert greenwald and brave new films are absolutely world-class hypocrisy exposers...

    yeah, i know... how COULD this be...? the network that champions family values...?

    Labels: , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Dennis goes after Darth

    Labels: , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    "Every time I hear in the US media about how 'well' Iraq is going now, I want to spit"

    in case you hadn't noticed, we are being subjected to a barrage of "how well things are going in iraq" stories...

    again, professor cole...

    14 percent of Iraqis are now displaced from their homes. That would be the equivalent of 42 million Americans forced from their places of residence. I mean, it is a Stephen King-style futuristic apocalypse for Iraq. Only it has just happened, during the past 4 1/2 years. And the American government is responsible for kicking it off. Every time I hear in the US media about how "well" Iraq is going now, I want to spit.

    and then, of course, lies are added to lies...
    Those Iranians that the US military kidnapped from the compound of our ally Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and from the consulate in Irbil? Turns out that they weren't espionage agents after all, or Qods Force operatives, or anything. The US military is releasing them. The charges against them formed one of the bases for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution in the senate and also for the recent designation by Bush of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a 'terrorist' organization (even though it is a state organ!) So will those two measures now be repealed?

    reality...? accuracy...? truth...? don't be ridiculous...!

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Offering advice to the Bush administration on Pakistan

    shahin m. cole, a pakistani lawyer residing in the u.s., suggests some ways the u.s. can respond to martial law and the constitutional crisis in pakistan...

    from juan cole's informed comment...

    • Americans, who enjoy constitutional liberties of long standing, should support the lawyers in their protest against the suspension of the Pakistani constitution.
    • The US should be earmarking aid to Pakistan not for military use but for funding and building schools for the millions of poor Pakistani children (some of them still from refugee Afghan families displaced by the US struggle with the Soviet Union in the Cold War). Such schools should stress east-west understanding.
    • Washington should keep pressure on the present government to hold free and fair elections for parliament on schedule. US aid for election observers and voter education would be well spent.
    my response...
    a noble sentiment but completely at cross-purposes with the reasons the aid is offered in the first place... the u.s. is spending money to make more money, channeling vast sums of taxpayer-generated funds to pakistan in a quid pro quo, namely that pakistan will turn around and send that money right back to the u.s. in the form of massive defense purchases, purchases that only serve to maintain the rivers of cash flowing into the coffers of the already super-rich elites that call the shots in the u.s... offering principled advice to the criminals that run the united states is, as has been abundantly apparent for the past six and one half years, an exercise in complete futility... the u.s. will not engage in principled foreign policy unless and until there are principled people placed in office... in the meantime, your energy would be better utilized in helping to find a way to get those people removed...

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    Vint Cerf Rides to Rescue 'Net Neutrality

    from Slashdot:
    [T]he new "Network Neutrality Squad" — NNSquad:

    Joining PFIR Co-Founders Peter G. Neumann and Weinstein in this announcement are Vinton G. Cerf, Keith Dawson (, David J. Farber (Carnegie Mellon University), Bob Frankston, Phil Karn (Qualcomm), David P. Reed, Paul Saffo, and Bruce Schneier (BT Counterpane). The Network Neutrality Squad ("NNSquad") is an open-membership, open-source effort, enlisting the Internet's users to help keep the Internet's operations fair and unhindered from unreasonable restrictions.

    The project's focus includes detection, analysis, and incident reporting of any anticompetitive, discriminatory, or other restrictive actions on the part of Internet service Providers (ISPs) or affiliated entities, such as the blocking or disruptive manipulation of applications, protocols, transmissions, or bandwidth; or other similar behaviors not specifically requested by their customers.

    Great news Vint Cerf and company. Sounds like a full time job.

    Labels: , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Insider Sabotage

    We know telcom immunity conspiracy is not about to go away. We know that these conspirators are going to pile on at that exact moment when they try and ram this through. The trail signs suggest that it might coincide with that distraction which is being run by FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, with his plan for further media concentration, by Christmas. Plan on every distraction that they engineer into play, to be compelling.

    DU points us to this article in The Hill:

    'I think it's very important that the courthouse not be closed so there can be a judicial determination to see if there have been any violations of privacy rights', Specter said. 'I think the telephone companies were good citizens, and should not suffer from what they did. And my idea is to have the government substituted as the party.'"

    So then why not simply float another corporate welfare bail-out bill, after the fact? Because what Specter proposes is putting up a wall of professional liars, con men, swindlers, cheats and frauds between the People and justice.

    Let us not forget what the federal government thinks of a level playing field: They frequently seize all assets of criminal defendants upon arrest in order to assure that defendants cannot pay for lawyers. And that doesn't even begin to describe how government rigs the system in order to assure that they prevail, ad nauseum.

    Senator Specter, I respectfully remind you that you traded for your office, as previous chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in exchange to the Executive for promising obeisance to him. Buying and selling of office is repugnant. Betraying the American People to the 5th Estate along the course of events with results that end in the privatization of the Internet, is onerous.

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    (AT&T) Mark Klein On Olbermann

    (h/t DU)

    from profmarcus' previous post:
    These are court documents containing information provided under penalty of perjury by an eye witness and participant in the operation."

    That in a nutshell is why we must not accede to telcom immunity - All involved would continue with the lie that maybe only a total of 100 people's communications were monitored. We must have discovery.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    More on Mark Klein, the Narus Intercept Suite, telecom immunity, and domestic surveillance

    i am re-posting the majority of a post i put up last july... given mark klein's testimony in opposition to telecom immunity (see earlier post), in which he refers to the narus intercept suite, i think it's well worthwhile to revisit that technology, which is probably tracking my keystrokes as i type this...
    here [kevin at cryptogon] is talking about the information the att whistleblower, mark klein, revealed about what he helped att install in one of their main network switching centers in san francisco...
    This is arcane information. It will not be easy for laypeople to understand. But… For those of you who want names, model numbers, techniques, and locations all related to how, IN FACT, They are watching EVERYTHING we are doing online, this is it.

    The only reason this is public is because Mark Klein, an ATT engineer who participated in building the secret NSA infrastructure, outed it. There can be no idiotic commentary about “conspiracy theories” or “paranoia” with this. These are court documents containing information provided under penalty of perjury by an eye witness and participant in the operation. The expert analysis provided by J. Scott Marcus–which was just unsealed today—is, quite literally, shocking. For those of us who just knew this was happening, but couldn’t put our fingers on how, well, now we know.

    I’ve followed publicly available information on NSA for about fifteen years and I’ve never seen anything like this. The capabilities of this system are awesome and terrifying.

    When you read J. Scott Marcus’ analysis, it will become very clear to you why NSA and ATT wanted that thing sealed. Oh my, that is a good one.

    So, how does NSA do it?

    A company called Narus has developed the NarusInsight Intercept Suite: a purpose built network surveillance system that is capable of analyzing (in real time) ALL of the data passing through the largest network nodes in existence. This system is capable of applying sophisticated targeting rules to the traffic, as well as recording entire, individual sessions for later analysis. According to the Narus website:
    These capabilities include playback of streaming media (i.e. VoIP), rendering of web pages, examination of e-mail and the ability to analyze the payload/attachments of e-mail or file transfer protocols. Narus partner products offer the ability to quickly analyze information collected by the Directed Analysis or Lawful Intercept modules. When Narus partners’ powerful analytic tools are combined with the surgical targeting and real-time collection capabilities of Directed Analysis and Lawful Intercept modules, analysts or law enforcement agents are provided capabilities that have been unavailable thus far.

    here's a screenshot from narus' website...

    kevin is absolutely right... there's no tin-foil hat wearing here... this is real shit and validates what i've been saying for years...
    i've assumed for years that every electronic transaction i conduct on any network not directly controlled by me is subject to sniffing (and further analysis if it contains significant words, phrases, or code strings)... recently, i've come to suspect that part of the purpose for getting us to do everything electronically is precisely so that it CAN be sniffed... there's damn little now that can't be obtained or tracked...

    we really need to wake up and smell the coffee, folks...

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    On October 17, 2006, the United States Constitution was bound , gagged, and detained indefinitely

    amnesty international is looking for support to run this ad once again... it ran originally on october 17 in usa today, and now they're looking to re-run it in the nyt...

    Labels: , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    ENDA passes

    and aravosis is thrilled... and, yeah, me too... discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation is absurd and has always been absurd, every bit as much as discrimination based on LOVING somebody is absurd... love is what it's all about, so let's be damn grateful that there are people out there who love each other, and who gives a goddam what flavor of genitals are rubbing up against each other...

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Patty Casazza, 9/11 family member

    this is interesting... i hadn't yet heard a 9/11 family member speak... this is "jersey girl," patty casazza, speaking about her experiences with the 9/11 commission, sibel edmonds, and her attempts to get whistleblowers to testify... her level-headedness and sincerity are overwhelming...

    (thanks to casey at open your minds eye...)

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Mark Klein, AT&T whistleblower, speaks out on telecom immunity and unconstitutional domestic spying [UPDATE]

    [BUMPED and see UPDATE below]

    nothing we haven't been saying right here for a long time now, but still blood-curdling to hear it...

    (thanks to matt at the chris dodd campaign...)


    see what i get for just now getting around to reading my wapo headline email...? i missed this story...

    His first inkling that something was amiss came in summer 2002 when he opened the door to admit a visitor from the National Security Agency to an office of AT&T in San Francisco.

    "What the heck is the NSA doing here?" Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, said he asked himself.

    A year or so later, he stumbled upon documents that, he said, nearly caused him to fall out of his chair. The documents, he said, show that the NSA gained access to massive amounts of e-mail and search and other Internet records of more than a dozen global and regional telecommunications providers. AT&T allowed the agency to hook into its network at a facility in San Francisco and, according to Klein, many of the other telecom companies probably knew nothing about it.

    Klein is in Washington this week to share his story in the hope that it will persuade lawmakers not to grant legal immunity to telecommunications firms that helped the government in its anti-terrorism efforts.


    "If they've done something massively illegal and unconstitutional -- well, they should suffer the consequences," Klein said. "It's not my place to feel bad for them. They made their bed, they have to lie in it. The ones who did [anything wrong], you can be sure, are high up in the company. Not the average Joes, who I enjoyed working with."

    In an interview yesterday, he alleged that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T. Contrary to the government's depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists, Klein said, much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic. Klein said he believes that the NSA was analyzing the records for usage patterns as well as for content.

    once again, what we DO know pales in comparison to what we DON'T...

    Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Earth to the NYT: don't pass the Peruvian FTA

    the nyt's wrong-headed editorial, endorsing the peruvian free trade agreement...
    Pass the Peruvian F.T.A.

    The Peruvian deal would help expand trade between Peru and the United States, which today stands at about $9 billion. It would give American businesses greater access to Peru’s markets in everything from grains to tractors and other machinery.

    Perhaps more important, the agreement would strengthen an essential ally in the combat against illegal narcotics in the Andes and tighten relations with one of the United States’ few remaining friends in South America — where Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is gaining allies by spreading oil wealth around. In an open letter, all eight living former secretaries of state urged Congress to approve the Peru deal.

    i'm thoroughly sick and tired of these bogus arguments for reducing yet another country to the status of u.s. chattel... american businesses do not need "greater access" to anywhere... they're already heavily exploiting peru, and all the fta will do is to make such exploitation easier... it certainly won't fix la oroya (see here and here)...

    and then there's the bogus drug war, simply another way of shackling a country to the united states in the form of mountains of aid that also opens the door to the permanent stationing of u.s. troops as we are seeing in both colombia (here and here) and paraguay (see here)...

    finally, could we PLEASE stop making hugo chávez the latest embodiment of the great satan...? why, ferchrissakes, do we ALWAYS have to have a great satan threatening us...? (never mind... i know why...)

    let's stop the bullshit... we need to stop kidding ourselves about what these so-called "free" trade agreements are really meant to accomplish...

    from my post of october 18...

    The Peru Trade Agreement: Exploiting the Rainforest and Workers

    Democratic leaders are threatening to try to pass a trade agreement with Peru that would give U.S. oil companies powerful new rights to exploit Peru’s Amazonian rainforest. It would also give Citibank the right to sue Peru if the country reverses the failed privatization of its Social Security system. No U.S. union or environmental, faith or development group supports the agreement. Peruvian indigenous leaders are calling for its rejection.

    This agreement was negotiated by the Bush administration on the same principles as NAFTA. Some Democrats claim to have added labor and environmental standards, but these do nothing to fix many of the worst effects of the agreement.

    when are we going to learn that the world is not ours to do with as we goddam well please...?

    Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Mike Mullen's first public speech pays homage to the Center for a New American Security

    remember my post from last week where i listed all of the board members, trustees and advisors of the center for strategic and international studies and the center for a new american security...? guess what organization the new chairman of the joint chiefs of staff gave his first public speech to...? why, cnas, of course... as dear, departed molly ivins used to say in her so very colorful way, "ya gotta dance with them whut brung ya..."

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen gives his first public speech since becoming chairman at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, Oct. 25, 2007. The event was hosted by the Center for a New American Security which develops strong national security and defense policies promoting and safeguarding American interests and values. [emphasis added] Defense Dept. photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

    remember now, csis and cnas are led by such populist, progressive and peace-loving folks as richard armitage, zbigniew brzezinski, william s. cohen, ray hunt, henry kissinger, the recently-ousted stanley o'neal of merrill lynch, brent scowcroft, william perry, madeleine albright, rand beers, and michael o'hanlon, to name a few... we can certainly count on folks like THESE to safeguard our "interests and values," no...? mike mullen knows which side his bread is buttered on...

    more from molly...

    The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people. Not in our name, not with our money, not with our children's blood.

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Arrest George W. Bush

    i don't know how i missed THIS... wait a minute... yes, i do... i've stopped visiting the huffpo, not because there aren't worthwhile - and sometimes extraordinarily worthwhile - posts there... it's because arianna just gets my goat with her hollywood name-dropping and west coast, cocktail party, political baroness style... yeah, i know... my loss...

    an "extraordinarily worthwhile" post from the august 25 huffpo...

    General Pace, You Can Save the US - by Arresting Bush for "Conduct Unbecoming"

    Posted August 25, 2007 | 03:08 AM (EST)

    General Peter Pace
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    400 Joint Staff Pentagon
    Washington, D.C. 20318-0400

    Dear General Pace,

    I note with admiration your courage in making clear your private concerns about the safety of the US military and the longterm danger to US national security caused by the President's stubborn refusal to acknowledge the quagmire in Iraq.

    Though you are Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President's principal military advisor - President Bush has shown his disdain for your honesty and wisdom. Though you are a decorated Vietnam war hero - who has served his nation honorably for four decades - the President is dispensing with your services. You have one month left in your position before you are tossed out by the President.

    President Bush is going to ignore your advice. Just as he has ignored the advice of other Generals who have had the courage to respectfully point out how terribly wrong he is in respect of the Iraq War and the safety of the US military he is sworn to protect. Highly-decorated colleagues of yours such as General Anthony Zinni (Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command), General Eric Shinseki (Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army) and General John Abizaid (Commander of the U.S. Central Command).

    General Pace - you have the power to fulfill your responsibility to protect the troops under your command. Indeed you have an obligation to do so.

    You can relieve the President of his command.

    Not of his Presidency. But of his military role as Commander-In-Chief.

    You simply invoke the Uniform Code Of Military Justice.

    The United States Code: Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47, Subchapter X, Section 934.

    Article 134 reads:

    "Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court."

    Article 133 reads:

    "Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."

    A gentleman is understood to have a duty to avoid dishonest acts, displays of indecency, lawlessness, dealing unfairly, indecorum, injustice, or acts of cruelty.

    To be crystal clear - I am NOT advocating or inciting you to undertake any illegal act, insurrection, mutiny, putsch or military coup. You are an honorable patriotic man.

    I am NOT advocating or inciting you to interfere with any of the civilian duties of the President. That would not be a legal action by you.

    However you have the legal responsibility - under Article 134 of the Uniform Code Of Military Justice - to protect the troops under your command by relieving the President of his MILITARY command.

    If you have reason to believe that the President is responsible for "disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces" and for "conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital" then you have the obligation to act.

    In addition to relieving him of his command as Commander-In-Chief, you also have authority to place the President under MILITARY arrest.

    Article 7 of the Uniform Code Of Military Justice specifically says:

    (b) Any person authorized under regulations governing the armed forces to apprehend persons subject to this Code may do so upon reasonable belief that an offense has been committed and that the person apprehended committed it.

    (c) All officers, warrant officers, petty officers, and noncommissioned officers shall have authority to quell all quarrels, frays, and disorders among persons subject to this Code and to apprehend persons subject to this Code who take part in the same.

    I understand that it would not be an action to undertake lightly.

    In all your 39 years of service you have shown total loyalty to the chain of command.

    However, given the current imperilment of US troops, and the "Conduct Unbecoming Of An Officer And A Gentleman" of this President - you have a greater responsibility to your nation, your code of honor and to the US Constitution.

    I wish you well as you prepare to undertake the most heroic action of your distinguished career.

    General Pace - please save the US.

    Respectfully yours,

    Martin Lewis

    mr. lewis has carefully constructed an argument that has been floating around in my head for some time... obviously this was written before mike mullen replaced peter pace, so we probably ought to make sure this letter gets into admiral mullen's hands...

    Labels: , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Extraordinary Rendition - watch it tonight on PBS

    check here for local listings...

    FRONTLINE/World begins a new season of investigations this November with a story about the CIA's controversial rendition program. Five years ago, award-winning journalist Stephen Grey left his job at The Sunday Times in London to investigate one of the darkest sides of the Bush Administration’s war on terror. Beginning with the mysterious flight logs of secret CIA flights, Grey and others uncovered a secret CIA prison system involving countries like Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, and the CIA's own "black sites," where the White House authorized "enhanced interrogation techniques," which critics say amount to torture.

    In "Extraordinary Rendition," Grey sets out to find the CIA'S "ghost prisoners" themselves -- some confirmed as high-value al Qaeda members, others unwittingly caught and released months or years later without charge. He also questions former CIA and FBI officials as the debate grows in Washington over the effectiveness and legality of extrajudicial detention and interrogation. "There aren’t many enthusiasts now inside the CIA who want to round up dozens of people anymore. But the threat is still there," says Grey. "The key thing is that until Congress and the American people decide on a way of dealing with prisoners in the courtroom according to the rule of law, the CIA probably hasn’t got any alternative but to either hold prisoners secretly in their own detention system, or to render them to countries that will do the CIA bidding."

    abc's blotter has some fairly explosive coverage on info contained in this documentary here...

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Nukes up for grabs in Pakistan?

    oh, yes... musharraf's declaration of martial law is sure helping the war on terror... goodness me... while the police are rounding up lawyers and beating them, the terrorists are taking advantage of the chaos and getting bolder, this in a country that ALREADY possesses nuclear weapons, unlike you-know-who, that OTHER country we've been beating the war drums about...

    The nuclear state, which is battling encroaching al Qaeda fighters at its borders, has descended into chaos after President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency and suspended Pakistan's constitution. Taliban fighters and al Qaeda terrorists who had sought refuge in the mountainous border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan are moving into more populated regions of Pakistan and they appear emboldened by the chaos erupting from Musharraf's crackdown.

    "Pakistani analysts are increasingly questioning General Musharraf’s contention that emergency rule was needed to help him fight terrorism," reports David Rohde in a New York Times analysis Tuesday. Across the country, policemen and intelligence agents have been diverted from hunting terrorists to arresting lawyers, who apparently are being assessed as the greater threat to the general’s rule."

    The threat becomes even more dire when one considers what would happen to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal if the country becomes further destabilized. Estimates of Pakistan's weapons cache range from 24 to 48 nuclear warheads and some say there could be as many as 100 nukes in the country.


    Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Third torture memo uncovered by ACLU

    there's bound to be more...

    an alcu news release from today...

    CONTACT:; (212) 549-2666

    Group Presses for Release of Memos in Pending Lawsuit; Hearing Scheduled for November 13

    NEW YORK – Legal papers filed in federal court Monday in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations disclose that the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for the Department of Justice issued three secret memos in May 2005 relating to the interrogation of detainees in CIA custody. Until now, the existence of only two of those memos had been reported and it was not known precisely when the memos had been written. The memos are believed to have authorized the CIA to use extremely harsh interrogation methods including waterboarding.

    "These torture memos should never have been written, and it is utterly unacceptable that the administration continues to suppress them while at the same time declaring publicly that it abhors torture," said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. "It is now obvious that senior administration officials worked in concert over a period of several years to evade and violate the laws that prohibit cruelty and torture. Some degree of accountability is long overdue."

    On October 4, 2007, The New York Times published a front-page article disclosing that the OLC authored two memoranda in 2005 relating to the interrogation of prisoners held by the CIA. The Times reported that the first was issued "soon after" February, when Alberto Gonzales assumed the post of attorney general, and explicitly authorized interrogators to use combinations of psychological "enhanced" interrogation practices including waterboarding, head slapping, and stress positions. The second memo, according to The Times, was dated "[l]ater that year" and declared that none of the CIA’s interrogation methods violated a law being considered by Congress that outlawed "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment.

    The memos should have been – but were not – identified and processed for the ACLU as part of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit requesting information on the treatment and interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody. In response to legal papers filed by the ACLU on October 24 objecting to that omission and requesting the release of the two memos, the government filed papers Monday stating:

    "OLC has reviewed its opinions from that time frame and has determined that there were in fact three opinions issued to CIA relating to the interrogation of detainees in CIA custody … Two of the opinions were issued on May 10, 2005 … the third was issued on May 30, 2005 ... OLC has not located any legal opinions issued to CIA from January 31, 2005 through May 9, 2005 that relate to the interrogation of detainees in CIA custody." (emphasis added)

    In addition to neglecting to provide the relevant memos to the ACLU as part of its FOIA lawsuit, the government has also withheld the documents from key senators in a congressional inquiry.

    "The Justice Department’s failure to identify and disclose these memos is yet another example of its efforts to thwart public inquiry into its authorization of illegal interrogation methods," said Amrit Singh, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. "The memos must immediately be disclosed, and high ranking officials must be held accountable for authorizing torture."

    The OLC memos – and the possibility of others that might remain unknown – take on particular meaning as the confirmation process continues today in Congress regarding the nomination of Michael Mukasey for attorney general. Mukasey has been the subject of intense criticism over his refusal to identify waterboarding as torture.

    A hearing regarding the ACLU’s request for the release of OLC torture memos is scheduled for November 13, 2007 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in federal court in New York.

    A copy of the ACLU’s brief requesting production of outstanding documents is online at:

    The government’s response to the ACLU’s brief is online at:

    More information on the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody and an index of documents received by the ACLU in its FOIA lawsuit can be found online at:

    Many of these documents are also contained and summarized in a recently published book by Jaffer and Singh, Administration of Torture. More information is available online at:

    Attorneys in the FOIA case are Lawrence S. Lustberg and Melanca D. Clark of the New Jersey-based law firm Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, P.C.; Jaffer, Singh and Judy Rabinovitz of the ACLU; Arthur Eisenberg and Beth Haroules of the New York Civil Liberties Union; and Shayana Kadidal and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

    no doubt about it, what we know pales in comparison to what we don't...

    Labels: , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Katrina - the never-ending disaster (

    levee breaches in new orleans during hurricane katrina...

    check what these high-schoolers are wanting to do about the scandalous cover-up by the corp of engineers......

    a timely story in today's nyt...
    If rebuilding anything in this storm-scarred place could possibly qualify as simple, surely it would be the administration building in City Park.

    The two-story structure, built in 1992, does not have any of the features that can complicate restoring public buildings. No special historic, environmental, cultural or political significance. No history of poor maintenance or other damage (aside from the five feet of water that filled it after the levees failed). No need to be merged, moved or reimagined in response to changes after Hurricane Katrina.

    Yet after almost two years of federal inspections and studies and reviews filling more than 90 pages, the administration building has been neither repaired nor replaced. And there are dozens of similarly incomplete projects at the park, hundreds in the city, thousands across the state of Louisiana.

    In fact, the federal government has agreed to pay $2.3 billion so far for rebuilding Louisiana public works like schools, sewers and police stations. But so far, only $650 million — 28 percent — of that money has been spent. In Mississippi, only 27 percent has been spent of the $1.1 billion of federal tax dollars set aside to replace government infrastructure there.

    i've posted a number of times on how i sat in front of the television in buenos aires, argentina, for days, watching the katrina disaster unfold, alternately sobbing and bellowing with rage at what i believe to have been a purposefully neglectful and incompetent response on the part of the bush administration... it's absolutely one of the most disgraceful things i have ever witnessed, and, over two years later, it's still a mess...

    A New Orleans scene from August of last year

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Good news! House R's force a debate on Kucinich impeachment resolution [UPDATE]

    they think they're so goddam crafty, but it just may backfire on 'em... wouldn't THAT be fun to watch...!
    House Republicans, changing course midway through a vote, tried to force Democrats into a debate on a resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney on the grounds he purposely led the country into war against Iraq.

    The GOP tactics reversed what had been expected to an overwhelming vote to table, or kill, the resolution by longshot Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

    Midway through the vote, with instructions from the GOP leadership, Republicans one by one changed their votes from yes _ to kill the resolution _ to no, trying to force the chamber into a debate and an up-or-down vote on the proposal.

    At one point there were 290 votes to table. After the turnaround, the final vote was 251-162 against tabling, with 165 Republicans voting against it.

    "We're going to help them out, to explain themselves," said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. "We're going to give them their day in court."

    ya know what...? it's entirely within the realm of possibility that this may just be the dumbest move they've ever made... we can always hope, can't we...?

    Seeking to avoid a debate, Rep. Hoyer then moved to have the resolution sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which the House approved in a 218-194 vote along strict party lines.

    Although House Judiciary Committee chairman is not expected to to act on the resolution, Rep. Kucinich said in a press conference late Tuesday afternoon that he believed the measure still have a life.

    "Ive spoken to Mr. Conyers, and I'm quite confident that the ball is in good hands," said Kucinich.

    you may be confident that it's in good hands with conyers, dennis, but you're going to have to convince ME...

    Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    Bush covering his ass on torture

    always powerful, olbermann weighs in on waterboarding, torture, and mukasey...

    Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    "not yet read in"

    The fact that Padilla was driven out-of-his-mind seems to have escaped Judge Michael Mukasey, too. Will Mukasey be ok with the same standards being applied to him and administration war criminals? But wait - there is mind altering drug torture to bring people around to "sanity", enough to be accountable in court after they have been driven out-of-their-minds. At least some jurisdictions are beginning to mitigate that though, albeit even while they trample other rights, one step forward, two steps back.

    Orrin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy points to this interesting observation that:

    Judges are generalists and therefore they are at an inherent disadvantage vis-à-vis academics on narrow topics of law."

    from CounterPunch:
    Man's inhumanity to man rattles the sensibilities of all but the most hard-hearted, and like any other American, I was appalled to read the accounts of the very powerful (us) inflicting great harm on the weak and defenseless (them). Un-American to the core, torture by any method offends and repels, but nothing could have prepared me for the shocking, horrifying, de-humanizing accounts of the Water Cure inflicted by American soldiers on captured Filipino guerillas.

    Whether any form of water boarding can be torture is beneath debate, and Attorney General nominee, Michael Mukasey, was horribly wrong to equivocate on this issue when questioned before the Senate Judiciary Committee."

    Tonight, November 6, on PBS at 9 pm: "Extraordinary Rendition"

    Labels: , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments

    I call B.S. on Chuck Schumer [w/UPDATE]

    the nyt is on a roll... yesterday, ashcroft's op-ed defending telecom immunity, and today, chuck schumer defending his pledge to vote for mukasey... check the email headline and teaser...
    A Vote for Justice*
    I am voting to support Michael B. Mukasey for attorney general for one critical reason: the Department of Justice is in desperate need of a strong leader**. [asterisks added]

    i saw that and hadn't yet opened up the full article before i decided to post on it... i'm going to do that now, so i'll be back in a few...

    ok, i'm back... here are the key paragraphs...

    Judge Mukasey would be more likely than a caretaker attorney general to find on his own that waterboarding and other techniques are illegal. Indeed, his written answers to our questions have demonstrated more openness to ending the practices we abhor than either of this president’s previous attorney general nominees have had.

    I understand and respect my colleagues who believe that Judge Mukasey’s view on torture should trump all other considerations. For the Senate to make a bold declaration about torture and waterboarding by rejecting him is appealing. But if we block Judge Mukasey’s nomination and then learn in six months that waterboarding has continued unabated, that victory will seem much less valuable.

    To defeat him would be to abandon the hope of instituting the many reforms called for by our investigation. No one questions that Judge Mukasey would do much to remove the stench of politics from the Justice Department. I believe we should give him that chance.

    unfortunately, schumer's view that it was mukasey's failure to classify waterboarding as torture that constituted the key consideration for opposing him misses an even more important reason, one which was all but lost in the brouhaha over whether waterboarding does or does not qualify as torture... as glenn greenwald noted back in mid-september...
    Judge Mukasey's respect for the Constitution and the rule of law should not be overstated. As part of his ruling that Padilla was entitled to counsel and to contest the factual accusations against him, Mukasey also ruled, very dubiously, that President Bush had the authority to detain American citizens, even those detained on U.S. soil, as "enemy combatants," and that they need not be charged with any crimes. He thus rejected Padilla's claim that, as a U.S. citizen, the Constitution barred his incarceration without criminal charges being brought and a conviction obtained in a court of law.

    to me, there is no question that waterboarding is illegal and constitutes torture, and it disturbs me greatly that mukasey did not strongly speak out against it... but, even more disturbing is his support for plenary executive powers, something that either isn't on schumer's radar or that he is conveniently ignoring...


    like we didn't expect THIS to happen...
    The Senate Judiciary Committee just voted 11-8 to approve the nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General. He now heads to the full Senate for a vote. Sens. Charles Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) were the only Democrats to join all nine Republicans in voting for the nomination.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Submit To Propeller

    [Permalink] 0 comments