My humble opinion on what's happening to Hillary
just sayin'... Submit To Propeller
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Obama is different, really different, and that in itself represents "change." A Kenyan-Kansan with roots in Indonesia and multiracial Hawaii, he seems to be the perfect answer to the bumper sticker that says, "I love you America, but isn't it time to start seeing other people?" As conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan has written, Obama's election could mean the re-branding of America. An anti-war black president with an Arab-sounding name: See, we're not so bad after all, world!
So yes, there's a powerful emotional component to Obama-mania, and not just because he's a far more inspiring speaker than his rival. We, perhaps white people especially, look to him for atonement and redemption. All of us, of whatever race, want a fresh start. That's what "change" means right now: Get us out of here!
Were you ever curious about why Karl Rove resigned so suddenly?Submit To Propeller
Alberto Gonzales, Bush buddy and ... all » Attorney General who made torture as American as apple pie, resigned around the same time.
The two events may be connected.
You see, Mr. Rove appears to have been involved in a felony called election fraud. And to pull it off, he may have had help from Alberto Gonzalez.
Remember all those federal prosecutors who Gonzales fired and replaced with Bush-friendly crooks?
You know why removing them was so important? They were standing in the way of Rove's scheme.
When this news broke it was on the front page of every newspaper in the world - except in the United States.
U.S. Makes Case About Satellite To Foreign Envoys
The State Department sent cables to all embassies yesterday instructing diplomats to explain to foreign governments how the upcoming attempt to shoot down an out-of-control spy satellite is different from China's destruction of one of its orbiting satellites early last year.
Biological Incidents/ Threats/ Anthrax Hoaxes etc
Bomb Incidents/Explosives/ Hoax Devices
Radiation Incidents/ Smuggling/ Proliferation
Other Suspicious Activity
Shipping/Maritime/Ports/ Cargo/Waterways Security
Assassination/ Assassination Attempt
Bus Stations/ Bus Security/ Bus Related Incidents
Bridge / Tunnel Incidents and Security
Shootings / Sniper Incidents etc
Terrorist Arrests/Captured/Killed Locations
General Terrorism News
Oil Gas Infrastructure - Incidents / Threats/ News
Food/ Product Tampering
Embassy/ Consulate Incidents or Threats
INTERROGATION AND VIDEOTAPING
OF DETAINEES IN GUANTÁNAMO
Professor, Seton Hall University School of Law
Director, Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research
Joshua Denbeaux,* and R. David Gratz,*
Denbeaux & Denbeaux
Counsel to two Guantánamo Detainees
Jennifer Ellick ’09
Michael Ricciardelli ’08
Matthew Darby ’08
Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research
[P]ublicly available Government documents demonstrate the following:
- More than 24,000 interrogations have been conducted at Guantánamo since 2002
The Central Intelligence Agency is just one of many entities that interrogated detainees at Guantánamo.
- Every interrogation conducted at Guantánamo was videotaped.
The agencies or bureaus that interrogated at Guantánamo include: the Central Intelligence Agency and its Counterterrorism Center; the Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) of the FBI; Defense Intelligence Analysis (DIA); Defense Human Intelligence (HUMINT); Army Criminal Investigative Division (ACID); the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI); and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Private contractors also interrogated detainees.
Each of these entities has identical motives to destroy taped investigations as has the Central Intelligence Agency. As one former senior Central Intelligence Agency official put it: “It’s a qualitatively different thing—seeing it versus reading about it.”
One Government document, for instance, reports detainee treatment so violent as to “shake the camera in the interrogation room” and “cause severe internal injury.” Another describes an interrogator positioning herself between a detainee and the camera, in order to block her actions from view.
The Government kept meticulous logs of information related to interrogations. Thus, it is ascertainable which videotapes documenting interrogations still exist, and which videotapes have been destroyed.
Labels: Bush Administration, CIA, detainee rights, DIA, Dick Cheney, enhanced interrogation techniques, FBI, George Bush, Guantánamo, Presidential resignation, Seton Hall University, torture, videotapesSubmit To Propeller
German Economy Minister Michael Glos announced Wednesday that the government, via the state-owned KfW banking group, will bail out the beleagured IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG to the tune of 1 billion euros ($1.46 billion).
Glos said that the Dusseldorf-based bank needs a total of 1.5 billion euros as a result of losses resulting from the subprime crisis. Other banks and investors will have to come up with the remaining money, he said, adding that it was still not clear "who will be taking part and for how much."
Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück warned that allowing IKB to go bankrupt would raise the risk of "a significant loss of confidence in Germany's entire financial sector."
Each [screen] is about 5 feet wide, displaying remarkably clear live footage from cameras mounted on the Air Force's un-manned Predator drones that buzz incessantly above Iraq and Afghanistan. The Predator drones, however, are not filming a raging firefight, or a bridge about to be strafed from the air.
They are stalking prey.
You see a man, walking through a shrub-dotted, dusty field. A small dog wanders behind him. Another screen shows a group of individuals, standing huddled together on a city street, looking like they could be chatting about a ballgame. A third Predator tracks a figure getting into a car, following as the car snakes through traffic. Yet another screen stays fixated on a single squat house surrounded by what looks like a low cement wall, as if someone is about to emerge from the front door.
The scenes look misleadingly pedestrian. The miniature people on the screens do not know they are being watched. "We are looking for individual people," Lt. Col. Walt Manwill says, as he stares up at the massive screens. "Especially when you are killing people, you want to make sure you do it right." Manwill, a blockish former pilot whose call sign is Fridge, is a chief of combat operations here, on what the Air Force simply calls "the floor." He handles one of three eight-hour shifts in a job that runs 24 hours a day.
Targeters here show me recent footage of two men on the ground in Iraq. The two men, far below the Predator drone's gaze, appear to be setting up a mortar on a city street. They are in the shadow of a building just feet away. Suddenly, the two men explode. Everything around the men, including the buildings, looks unharmed. But when the dust clears, the two men are wiped away. A small bomb, tailor-made for hunting single individuals, has done the job.
The Air Force learned the hard way that inadvertently killing and injuring civilians or damaging property is counterproductive to the overall cause. "We went back and looked at our procedures -- how we use air, why we use air and under what circumstances," explains [Col. Gary Crowder, the commander of the operations center]. "We changed the way we do business."
"It's just like a business," agrees Maj. Gen. Maury Forsyth, the deputy commander of Air Force operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Every time you have one unsatisfied customer, you have to have nine satisfied customers to counteract that," he says during an interview in his office. "I'll put it this way: All of the military and political benefits of 10 perfect airstrikes targeting insurgent leaders can be lost in a few seconds by one strike that goes awry and causes civilian casualties."
The technology the Air Force relies on to kill Bubba, but not his neighbors, is mesmerizing. It also makes the process of killing another human being eerily impersonal.
On the floor, once Bubba is up on the screen, targeting officials can quickly call up satellite images of his location. They have at their fingertips high-fidelity images less than 90 days old of nearly every square foot of Iraq and Afghanistan -- a vast amount of data. By overlaying two images of the same location taken from separate angles, and donning a pair of gray 3-D glasses (I wore a pair), a stunning real-life-looking, 3-D image of Bubba's house appears on a computer screen: There is Bubba's yard, the tree in Bubba's yard and so on. Using a mouse to point and click, a computer quickly determines the size, height and precise location of nearby structures.
The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to review an appeals court decision that it said had created a “serious threat to national security” by requiring the government to supply extensive evidence supporting the classification of more than 180 Guantánamo detainees as enemy combatants.
The administration asked the court to choose one of two options: either accept its appeal for expedited review, with arguments taking place in May and a decision to come in the current term, or defer action until the justices decide the case on the rights of the Guantánamo prisoners that is currently before them.
Under either option, the administration is seeking a stay of the lower court’s ruling, which it characterized as “serious legal error.”
The ruling, issued last July by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, became final on Feb. 1 when the full appeals court rejected the administration’s request for reconsideration by a vote of 5 to 5.
On Wednesday, the appeals court granted a stay until Feb. 21 to permit the administration to seek relief in the Supreme Court.
The families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks want justice for the killers of their loved ones. But according to a report broadcast Tuesday on CNN, they want that justice to come at the end of a fair trial, and they worry the detainees in Guantanamo Bay will not get one.
"The evidence so far against these people will be tainted," said widow Lori Van Auken. "You put people to death based on tainted evidence...because of the torture."
The father-in-law of another victim, Bruce Decell, was less concerned with the prospect of the death penalty being requested by military prosecutors. But he also wants the trials of the detainees to be fair.
Allowing for retroactive immunity in a FISA bill that had no business even being brought to the floor is not progressive. Folding to Mister Bush on Iraq over and over and over when the vast majority of the country is on your side is not progressive. Sending a big "F-You" to MoveOn.org on the Senate floor is not progressive. Allowing extremist appointment after extremist appointment by Bush is not progressive. Caving to an unpopular President and an even less popular Congressional minority is not progressive. Allowing non-progressives to continuously set the tone of the debate is not progressive.
I sincerely hope that we can recruit more progressives for the Senate, and win more seats. However, we also expect more from the lion’s share of the current Democratic Senators – on the very issues that we were promised results on. Blaming republican obstruction is part of it - but we know better. There is much more that you and your colleagues could have (and still can) accomplish if you were to keep your promises made to us back in 2006.
You can do better. We did our part for you. Now it is time that you and your colleagues really do what you promised us. If I can't trust the DSCC and who it represents to keep up your end of the deal, then you'll have to excuse me while I work for and donate money to true progressives.
No hard feelings, though...
Swiss bank UBS has revealed $26.6 billion in exposure to risky U.S. mortgages distinct from subprime loans, increasing its vulnerability to the global credit crisis and sending its shares sharply lower.
Shares in the bank, which declined to say if it would return to profit in early 2008, were trading down 5.9 percent at 38.46 francs at 5:45 a.m. EST.
UBS said on Thursday the newly unveiled exposure, announced together with full-year and fourth-quarter results, was to so-called Alt-A mortgages, which are of higher quality than subprime loans but also considered risky.
UBS has taken about $18 billion of dollars in write-downs on its exposure to U.S. subprime mortgages, which at the end of December amounted to a net $27.594 billion, making it one of the biggest casualties of the global credit crunch.
The UK's Times has already run three bombshell articles on the nuclear black market element in the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds this year, and we are expecting more fallout in the near future as new evidence and witnesses come forward.
In the meantime, another important angle to Edmonds' case has opened up. Earlier this week, the New York Post ran a Page 6 piece, ODD FILM BY HILLARY BACKER, which highlights the close relationship between Hillary Clinton and Chicago-based Turkish businessman Mehmet Celebi.
Celebi, "one of the national leaders of the Turkish-American community in the US," is a key fundraiser for Clinton, and is one of Clinton's Chicago delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Celebi was also heavily involved in the controversial 2006 movie "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq" which has been widely regarded as "anti-Semitic, anti-American, conspiratorial agitprop."
Mehmet Celebi is also a key figure in the Sibel Edmonds case - he is heavily involved in the narcotics trade in the US and the corruption and bribery of high-level US officials.
According to Celebi's bio:He has been serving as the President of the Turkish-American Cultural Alliance (TACA) since 2000, and as Member of the Board/Vice-President of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA), a Washington, D.C. based umbrella organization representing 57 organizations.The Chicago-based Turkish-American Cultural Alliance (TACA) and the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA) both figure prominently in Sibel Edmonds' case. Both are reported to be front groups for criminal activity involving illegal weapons sales, narcotics trafficking, and the bribery and corruption of high level US officials.
Why is Hillary Clinton involved with such a character? The claims against him are well documented, and extend back to her husband's presidency, including steps in place to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Celebi and the bribery of Hastert's and others.
Has Hillary forgotten all this? Or is she too for sale to the highest bidder? We are all well aware of George Bush's fund-raising giants, the Rangers and Pioneers, which resulted in many a scandal and prosecution including Ken Lay, Jack Abramoff and Brent Wilkes - yet here is Hillary Clinton engaging in the exact same behaviour, taking large sums of money from corrupt interests, and appointing these people to positions of political power. How can we even hope that a Clinton presidency will be an improvement over the last 8 years?
The right-wing blogs are already beginning to pick up this story of Celebi and Clinton - Debbie Schlussel, National Review Online, Gateway Pundit - focusing solely on Celebi's involvement with the movie "Valley of the Wolves." The Right-Wing-Noise-Machine will no doubt go into overdrive if Hillary wins the nomination to be the next president. This information needs to be made public immediately.
The FBI's Chicago Field Office has investigative files relating to Mehmet Celebi's involvement in the trafficking of narcotics as well as the corruption of high-level US officials. We need to recruit some prominent 'good government' groups, of any political persuasion, to file a FOIA request with the FBI's Chicago Field Office (CFO) for all information relating to Mehmet Celebi and this criminal activity. I expect that the CFO will deny and stonewall, but as we saw with the recent UK Times article, false denials can lead to other frustrated whistleblowers coming forward with documents and other evidence which can prove the case. Please contact me if you can prepare, file, and follow-up the FOIA request.
[from Romney's speech]The threat to our culture comes from within. In the 1960s, there were welfare programs that created a culture of poverty in our country. Now, some people think we won that battle when we reformed welfare. But the liberals haven't given up. At every turn, they tried to substitute government largess for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is culture killing. It's a drug. We've got to fight it like the poison it is.
The ignorance -- and inhumanity - of this statement is breathtaking. Think of it: there was no poverty in the United States until "liberals" came along in the 1960s and "created" it with their welfare programs. (Before this "culture of poverty" was created, apparently, the few poor people in America just died off discreetly, like Russians, instead of hanging around a bit longer on government handouts, the way they do now, the shiftless, no-good wretches. Oh yeah, and they breed a lot too, more than white folks.) And even though Bill Clinton (uncredited here, of course, but the elite are well aware of his sterling services) finally drove the stake through the welfare program, these evildoers will still not rest. Just look at what they want to do: "put more people on Medicaid," and "remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever." (Wait a minute; I thought red-meat-chomping CPACkers were in favor of people paying no taxes. I guess that only applies to the right sort of people.)
All of this -- especially the stuff about "risk-taking" and "dependency" on government largess -- is pretty rich coming from an avatar of a ruling class that is glutted with pampered heirs of wealth and power who, like Romney, begin their totally risk-free careers at the very top of the ladder, and who are continually fattened with no-bid contracts, kickbacks, tax breaks, subsidies, war profits and myriad other forms of "government largess." But beyond the transparent hypocrisy--and the ludicrous pretense that the "liberals" in today's Democratic Party pose some kind of genuine threat to this cornucopia--Romney's blast is a perfect encapsulation of the elite's hatred for the rabble they use as cannon fodder and cash cows. Let them get sick, let them die, let them languish in poverty, let them lose their homes, let them work three jobs to make ends meet--but by God don't you ever do anything, anything at all, to change the system that produces these chronic inequities and keeps the pampered elite in clover. That's evil. That's "poison." And it won't be allowed.
The Terror War is simply an extension of the long-held goal of the American elite (and their British "junior partners") to maintain and extend their dominion over the world's natural resources and political arrangements--and the exorbitant profits this dominion produces. There is ample evidence in the historical record of the Anglo-American elite's abiding--and quite open--anxieties on this score, going back for generations. Literally millions of people all over the world have been sacrificed to these ambitions and anxieties, which have not abated but grow more frantic and acute with each passing year.
Americans no longer have an understanding of what it means to be free, we’ve become so accustomed to big brother’s hand that torture, spying without warrants, and engaging in illegal wars of aggression are to be expected. Many of the candidates running for president campaigned hard on these issues, insisting that we would “remain on offense” in the propaganda-ridden war on terror. What Americans need now is a miracle, we need a hero or group of heroes to stand up in our legislature and fight for them. We don’t need more government parenting and rules that cater to corporations and fear.
Terrorism should be a tool that only the enemy is allowed to use. Illegal government activity should not be tolerated in its current form. Soon, we will lose a part of ourselves, the American spirit will die. This country is no longer FDR’s America, it isn’t JFK’s or Reagan’s America. It most definitely is not Bill Clinton’s America, yet his wife was curiously absent from the Senate floor on this most important matter. Unless our voters and elected officials stand up and fight for freedom, we’re going to lose this fight for our country. If you feel even a modicum of pride and love left for this nation that people the world over once admired, equip yourself with knowledge and do your part so that our country won’t slip away into the dark abyss of fascism.
Air Force's nuclear focus has dimmed, studies find
The U.S. military has lost focus on its nuclear-weapons mission and has suffered a sharp decline in nuclear expertise, factors that may have contributed to a mishap last year in which a B-52 bomber unknowingly carried six nuclear warheads across the country, according to two new independent reviews.
Here is the text that the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd read to the parliament in a live broadcast across Australia today.Watch the statement and reaction at the ABC online website.
"Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history. We reflect on their past mistreatment. We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations – this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.
The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.
We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.
To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.
We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation. For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.
We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians. A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again. A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity. A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed. A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility. A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia."
The Senate voted Tuesday to shield from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on their customers without court permission after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
After nearly two months of stops and starts, the Senate rejected by a vote of 31 to 67 an amendment that would have stripped a grant of retroactive immunity to the companies. President Bush has promised to veto any new surveillance bill that does not protect the companies that helped the government in its warrantless wiretapping program.
Labels: accountability, constitutional crisis, domestic surveillance, FISA, retroactive immunity, rule of law, telecommunications companies, U.S. Constitution, US Senate, warrantless domestic wiretappingSubmit To Propeller
Gates, Truth and Afghanistan
The fact that Defense Secretary Robert Gates was permitted the candor that he demonstrated last week is a measure of how bad things have gotten in Afghanistan. [emphasis added]
The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.
The demand to put armed air marshals on to the flights is part of a travel clampdown by the Bush administration that officials in Brussels described as "blackmail" and "troublesome", and could see west Europeans and Britons required to have US visas if their governments balk at Washington's requirements.
According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals, EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America, senior EU officials said.
And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket, a procedure that will take several days.
The data from the US's new electronic transport authorisation system is to be combined with extensive personal passenger details already being provided by EU countries to the US for the "profiling" of potential terrorists and assessment of other security risks.
Washington is also asking European airlines to provide personal data on non-travellers - for example family members - who are allowed beyond departure barriers to help elderly, young or ill passengers to board aircraft flying to America, a demand the airlines reject as "absurd".
"If you're asking me what keeps me up at night or what I most worry about -- in the short term, obviously, you worry about homegrown terrorists or somebody coming in with an explosive device or the kind of act of violence or terror that we've actually seen occasionally carried out in this country by people who are simply nuts or like a Timothy McVeigh." Chertoff told WTOP news.
"But in the longer run, in terms of something that would really be earth-shattering, the kinds of things I'm worried about are a nuclear or a dirty bomb attack or a nuclear or biological attack." Chertoff continued, citing the motive of toppling the already teetering US economy.
The threat from "Al Qaeda" is not over, Chertoff is at pains to remind us, "Just look at what's happened in the last year." he adds, referring to the fact that two men, since proven to be totally unconnected to "Al Qaeda", set a jeep on fire and drove it towards Glasgow airport in Scotland last August.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez yesterday threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States if ExxonMobil pursues international court orders it has obtained against billions of dollars of Venezuelan state assets in a contract dispute.
"If you end up freezing [Venezuelan assets] and it harms us, we're going to harm you," Chavez said in his weekly radio and television show. "Do you know how? We aren't going to send oil to the United States. Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger."
Venezuela sells about 1.3 million barrels a day of oil to the United States, making it the fourth-largest source, at 14 percent, of U.S. petroleum imports.
"Hugo Chávez foolishly thought he could get away with it," said Fadel Gheit, oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Sons. "You just cannot go unilaterally and confiscate assets at will like that especially when your largest customer is the government of the company you're seizing assets from. Obviously Exxon is going to have the last laugh."