Saturday, December 31, 2005

UK Torture Memos

Mr Straw continues to lie about extraodinary rendition. He is becoming as much a joke as Mr Blair in the integrity stakes.
Here I link to the evidence from Craig Murray, our one-time ambassador, of our complicity in torture.

It is the end of the year. This morning I received my New Labour e-mail propaganda for 2006. It offers us "The Respect agenda."

Once we had things you could respect in England. Free speech, parliamentary democracy, habeas corpus, human rights, justice before the law. These things held the respect of the world. We were admired, respected, copied, envied. It is hard to argue that any of those things still survive. Bush and Blair destoyed what they purported to be fighting for.

If it were not for changes to the law brought about by joining the EU, we would be helplessly under the control of this tyrant.

What will 2006 bring?

Will it be impeachment for these western tyrants? Or will the last shreds of freedom and dignity be swept away
with the state terrorists having won the battle against freedom and democracy.

What was the high point of your year Mr Blair?
Was it arresting someone for reading out the names of the Iraq dead in your hearing?
Or was it the manhandling and arrest of an octogenarian labour party member for heckling at your party conference?
I will continue to remind you of the thousands of people who have died and will die next year from your invasion of and control over a country which offered no threat to any Englishman.


UK Torture Memos: "Craig Murray says:
In March 2003 I was summoned back to London from Tashkent specifically for a meeting at which I was told to stop protesting. I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.

After this meeting Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser, wrote to confirm this position. This minute from Michael Wood is perhaps the most important document that has become public about extraordinary rendition. It is irrefutable evidence of the government's use of torture material, and that I was attempting to stop it. It is no wonder that the government is trying to suppress this."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Robert Steinback: Fear Destroys What bin Laden Could Not

Here is another guy like me who cannot understand how completely America has lost its soul.
Gill and I are pretty unwell right now. Lungs seem to be full of crap.

This western world does not offer much to go on living for.

Maybe tomorrow will bring hope.
Maybe not.

t r u t h o u t - Robert Steinback: Fear Destroys What bin Laden Could Not: "Never would I have expected this nation - which emerged stronger from a civil war and a civil rights movement, won two world wars, endured the Depression, recovered from a disastrous campaign in Southeast Asia and still managed to lead the world in the principles of liberty - would cower behind anyone just for promising to 'protect us.'"

Thursday, December 22, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Report: The Constitution in Crisis

Depressed

full of flu

Situation hopeless

these guys are exposed and they continue to get away with it.

As Bush supposedly said, the constitution is just a bit of paper.

t r u t h o u t - Report: The Constitution in Crisis: "Executive Summary

This Minority Report has been produced at the request of Representative John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. He made this request in the wake of the President's failure to respond to a letter submitted by 122 Members of Congress and more than 500,000 Americans in July of this year asking him whether the assertions set forth in the Downing Street Minutes were accurate. Mr. Conyers asked staff, by year end 2005, to review the available information concerning possible misconduct by the Bush Administration in the run up to the Iraq War and post-invasion statements and actions, and to develop legal conclusions and make legislative and other recommendations to him.

In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war with Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and other legal violations in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration.

There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws, including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Benn letter

Dear reader
I invite you to join us and Tony Benn in challenging the war crimes of BushBlair

Benn letter: "I.........……………………………………………………………

AGREE WITH THE TONY BENN SUBMISSION OF 7 DEC 2005

Dated ............................


REQUEST TO KOFI ANNAN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, AND TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
With Reference to The Iraq War 2003 - 20005

This is a request to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN that he should instigate an investigation into the claims listed in the attachment to this memorandum. It is also jointly addressed to Lord Goldsmith the Attorney General of the UK. The UK is a High Contracting Party and Signatory to The Geneva and Hague Conventions and Protocols and The Nuremberg Charter of 1945, and of The Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court. It is thus appropriate that The Attorney General should investigate what appear to be grave breaches of these Conventions and Protocols, and of UN General Assembly Resolution No 95, before and during the Iraq War 2003 - 2005.

We are concerned that, should these breaches be established, those responsible should be held to account. This is urgent. It appears that many breaches, even now, are continuing to take place.

Submitted by: Tony Benn, Mrs Rose Gentle MFSO mum of Gordon Gentle killed in Iraq 28:7:04, Reg Keys, Harold Pinter, Prof. Richard Dawkins, Bruce Kent, Lindsey German Convenor Stop The War Coalition, Michael Mansfield QC, Corin Redgrave, Jemma Redgrave, Andrew Burgin, Mark Steel, Brian Sewell Columnist on the London 'Evening Standard', Professor Ted Honderich, Dr Martha Mundy Reader in Anthropology LSE, David Halpin FRCS, Sara Wood , Nicholas Wood RIBA FRGS, Andreas Whittam Smith, Lord Nicolas Rea, Hywel Williams MP for Caernarfon, Peter Day, Anabella Pellens, Nicolas Kent, Theatre Director, Alan Plater, Jonathan Price, Willy Russell, Writer, Ralph Steadman, Anna Steadman, Dr C.J.Burns-Cox, Consultant Physician MD FRCP, Michael Naish, Richard Gott, Celia Mitchell, Adrian Mitchell, Una Doyle, NUT, Geoff Evans Bsc Hons Dip LP, Dr Margar"

The Blog | Martin Garbus: An Incredible Day in America | The Huffington Post

A victory by another name may be a defeat. Maybe we are being conned yet again. Maybe the tide is only on the turn.
Read this lawyers view on the latest Bush corruption story.

The Blog | Martin Garbus: An Incredible Day in America | The Huffington Post: "The Bush-McCain torture compromise legitimizes torture. It is the first time that has happened in this country. Not in the two World Wars, Korea, the Cold War or Vietnam did the government ever seek or get the power this bill gives them.

The worst part of it is that most of the media missed it and got it wrong.

Secondly, the President in authorizing surveillance without seeking a court order has committed a crime. The Federal Communications Act criminalizes surveillance without a warrant. It is an impeachable offense. This was also totally missed by the media."

Politics of Dissent

If this writer speaks the truth then the unholy alliance between Israel and the US is anything but surprising. They seem to share the same values.


Politics of Dissent: "In fact, the U.S. is not only capable of great evil, it commits acts of great evil on a near daily basis. It commits such acts because it has no moral center. It commits such acts because it thinks and behaves like a spoiled child - as though it is entitled to do and have anything it wants. It thinks itself chosen by God and the sole recipient of His divine favoritism. As a result, the U.S. perceives the rest of the world as scorned by God, to one degree or another. As the one true favorite of the Almighty, the U.S. sees nothing wrong with disrupting, bullying, and invading other countries. It has no problem with unilaterally declaring international laws inapplicable to it, but fully enforceable against all others."

t r u t h o u t - Senator Robert Byrd | "Securing America without Destroying Liberties"

Years too late the Americans have started to recover from the shock trauma inflicted on them by Bushco on 911 and are starting to reclaim the freedoms stolen from by the Bushmen while they were disoriented.

Meanwhile the only sign of the UK moving forward is the attempt to unseat the ineffective leader of the Lib Dems. What was his name?

Minges Campbell, maybe your time has come. Or are you as unsure of yourself as Gordon Brown?

t r u t h o u t - Senator Robert Byrd | "Securing America without Destroying Liberties": " 'Securing America without Destroying Liberties'
By Senator Robert Byrd
t r u t h o u t | Statement

Friday 16 December 2005

Remarks by US Senator Robert C. Byrd as delivered on the Senate floor.

I believe in America. I believe in the dream of the Founders and Framers of our inspiring Constitution. I believe in the spirit that drove President Lincoln to risk all to preserve the Union. I believe in what President Kennedy challenged America to be.

America, the great experiment of democracy, where the strong are also just, and the weak can feel secure, and the soul and promise of America stand as a beacon of freedom and a protector of liberty which lights and energizes people around the world."

Friday, December 16, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Joe Conason | Rove's Moment of Truth?

Once more for our Roving reporters.
It does not look good for this particular anti-hero.

t r u t h o u t - Joe Conason | Rove's Moment of Truth?: " It is a felony to make a false statement to the FBI, which Rove very clearly did when he failed to mention his conversation with Cooper. His alibi is that he had forgotten that chat, an excuse that scarcely seems plausible so soon after it occurred, particularly because Cooper had written a cover story about the Plame affair. And Rove apparently testified falsely again in February 2004, when he made his first of four appearances before Fitzgerald's grand jury. He apparently didn't change his story until October 2004 - between five and 10 months after Luskin was tipped to Cooper's possible testimony by Novak.

In the meantime, Rove quite consciously allowed White House press secretary Scott McClellan to mislead the press and public by denying that he had played any part in revealing Plame's identity. (Clearly he must have lied to McClellan's face about his involvement around that time.)"

Cameron replies: er, not exactly.

Cameron: the party machine takes over from the man.

Blairy England is politically unimportant. It gets only about 100 hits a day.

But there was a real correspondence with my MP.

I think that is no longer possible. He is still my MP, but he is more than that now, and also less than that.

Suddenly there is a spinner writing inane nothings to me on his behalf in response to my concerns.
My computer fixated son thinks this was written by a machine. In this time of good tidings and scrooge, perhaps it was written by Marley's ghost.

You decide.

"Dear Nick,

Thank you so much for writing to David Cameron - he's asked me to thank
you and to say that he appreciated what you had to say enormously.
He's also asked me to say that he is delighted and honoured to have been
elected Leader of the Conservative Party. David Cameron wants the Party
to be a voice for change, optimism and hope in our country. To be that
voice, he believes that we ourselves need to change, and the hard work
starts straight away.

Thanks for drawing our attention to your reply to David on the weblog.

Many thanks again for writing.

Yours sincerely,

Kate Marley
Office of David Cameron MP
Leader of the Opposition"

Senate Rejects Extension of Patriot Act - Yahoo! News

More signs of the tide having turned?

Senate Rejects Extension of Patriot Act - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders."

CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

Mark Parent and Robert Fisk are some of my heroes. Here they come together.


CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS: "Blood and betrayal Dec. 16th, 2005 @ 12:48 pm
After four years of the badly botched 'war on terror,' are we ready to hear the hard words of Robert Fisk -- a gutsy war correspondent who says the West has wronged the Middle East?

By Gary Kamiya

Dec. 16, 2005 | The wreckage of the World Trade Center was still burning when the British correspondent Robert Fisk weighed in with a piece titled 'The Awesome Cruelty of a Doomed People.' '[T]his is not the war of democracy versus terror that the world will be asked to believe in the coming hours and days,' Fisk wrote. 'It is also about American missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and U.S. helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1966 and American shells crashing into a village called Qana a few days later and about a Lebanese militia -- paid and uniformed by America's Israeli ally -- hacking and raping and murdering their way through refugee camps.'"

Fun Bits About American Torture / In many ways, the U.S. is now just as inhumane and brutal as any Third World regime. Oh well?

Over in america they simply do not buy the Bushco lies any more.
Over here the BBC finds Blair an accomplice to war crimes.
Yet in Blairy England we do not seem to be willing to believe in the evil that is the empire we go on supporting.

The working class do not care and the middle class prefer to pretend everything is fine.
It is unthinkabel for us to behave like this. It is time we faed the truth and put Blair on trial for real.

"'We do not torture.' Remember it, write it in red crayon on the bathroom wall, tattoo it onto your acid tongue because those very words rang throughout the land like a bleak bell, like a low scream in the night, like a cheese grater rubbing against the teeth of common sense when Dubya mumbled them during a speech not long ago, and it was, at once, hilarious and nauseating and it took all the self-control in the world for everyone in the room not to burst out in disgusted laughter and throw their chairs at his duplicitous little head."

Moyers on freedom of information and its foes.

I first knew Bill Moyers as the journalist who ran a series of filmed interviews on "the power of myth" with one of my heroes, Joseph Campbell, the outstanding mythographer of the modern era. Here he was talking about myth as a positive part of the human story. There are everlasting truths in myth. Sadly, myth is more often understood as mere lying, or at best false stories.

In a post-modern world we are inclined to say there is no truth, only perspectives on truth. That justifies people in power spinning their Madison Avenue dreams so we stay asleep, seeing the world only as they want us to see it.

My favourite play, "The balcony," by Jean Genet, is a wonderful exploration of the relationship between mythic reality, as in the roles played out by punters in a city brothel, and political reality, where the state is saved from revolution by those same role-playing punters appearing as the real generals and bishops before the public on the city balcony.

The play eerily anticipated the way in which actors like Reagan and Schwarzeneger have moved almost seemlessly from fantasy power to real political power.

We have almost reached the point where the Roman Republic turned into a Roman Empire. Calligula made his horse consul. Now we have almost reached the point where the American Republic has become an American Empire where Emperor Bush can appoint his dog to the supreme court. (No particular disrespect to the woman who was recently rejected. I am thinking more of the White House Christmas movie, starring Bush's dogs.)

I am still puzzled. I would really like to understand how pathetic monkey-like men such as Hitler and the younger George Bush were able to become dictators. Will somebody please explain it to me. Maybe Bush is like the emperor Claudius, made emperor as a puppet so Cheney can run the show from behind the podium.

Only from this article below I now realise Moyers was a major player in American Government before returning to journalism. He was no mere journalist but an important player giving Campbell a big audience.

Now Moyers has become the champion of freedom of the press of the Bush era, when freedom of the press has become not so much a myth but a sick joke.

Truth may be the first victim of war. But Bushco killed it off well before they even went to war. See below.


AlterNet: MediaCulture: In the Kingdom of the Half-Blind: "And this is the administration that has paid over one hundred million dollars to plant stories in Iraqi newspapers and disguise the source, while banning TV cameras at the return of caskets from Iraq as well as prohibiting the publication of photographs of those caskets -- a restriction that was lifted only following a request through the Freedom of Information Act.

Ah, FOIA. Obsessed with secrecy, Bush and Cheney have made the Freedom of Information Act their number one target, more fervently pursued for elimination than Osama Bin Laden. No sooner had he come to office than George W. Bush set out to eviscerate both FOIA and the Presidential Records Act. He has been determined to protect his father's secrets when the first Bush was Vice President and then President -- as well as his own. Call it Bush Omerta.

This enmity toward FOIA springs from deep roots in their extended official family. Just read your own National Security Archive briefing book #142, edited by Dan Lopez, Tom Blanton, Meredith Fuchs, and Barbara Elias. It is a compelling story of how in 1974 President Gerald Ford's chief of staff -- one Donald Rumsfeld -- and his deputy chief of staff -- one Dick Cheney -- talked the President out of signing amendments that would have put stronger teeth in the Freedom of Information Act. "

Thursday, December 15, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | White House backs torture ban law

VICTORY.
The tide has turned. The US will be unCheneyed

BBC NEWS | Americas | White House backs torture ban law: "White House backs torture ban law
Guantanamo inmate and guards
US interrogation policies have been under scrutiny since 2001
The White House and Senator John McCain have reached agreement on formally banning the torture or the degrading treatment of foreign terror suspects.

Mr McCain, once a prisoner of war in Vietnam, proposed the measure as an amendment to a military spending bill.

Both houses of Congress had passed the bill in defiance of President George W Bush's threat to veto any legislation limiting interrogation tactics.

The White House had wanted an opt-out for CIA interrogators.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are controlled by the Republicans, and the move is seen as an embarrassment for President Bush."

House Backs McCain on Detainees, Defying Bush - New York Times NO MORE Cheney Chambers

This looks like good news

But is it?

With nothing binding, the ropes will go on tightening around detainess around the world in Cheney chambers

House Backs McCain on Detainees, Defying Bush - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 - In an unusual bipartisan rebuke to the Bush administration, the House on Wednesday overwhelmingly endorsed Senator John McCain's measure to bar cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners in American custody anywhere in the world.
Skip to next paragraph
Threats and Responses
Go to Complete Coverage

Although the vote was nonbinding, it put the Republican-controlled House on record in support of Mr. McCain's provision for the first time, at the very moment when the senator, a Republican, is at a crucial stage of tense negotiations with the White House, which strongly opposes his measure.

The vote also likely represents the lone opportunity that House members will have to express their sentiments on Mr. McCain's legislation."

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight. Allies found guilty of war crimes.

Here's to Jeremy Paxman, the school bully from my childhood who now bullies the Government for a living.
This programme decisively shows that the allies are guilty of war crimes in Iraq.

If only this were a real court hearing.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight: "Jeremy Paxman chaired a special programme exploring the controversy surrounding the allies' conduct in Iraq. "

The passing of a true elder

I am sad to hear of the death of Jeannine Parvati Baker. She was an inspiration to all of us who believe in a better way of birth and a future for the planet. We corresponded for several years and spoke occasionally. I shall miss her presence on the planet.

Home: "Jeannine Parvati Baker
June 1, 1949-December 1, 2005
Lay Midwife, Ashtanga Yogini, Astrologer
Founder of Hygieia College,
Herbal Medicine-Woman,
Mother of Six,
Author of Prenatal Yoga & Natural Childbirth,
Hygieia: A Woman's Herbal , and co-author of Conscious Conception"

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Live From Iraq

Hey. There are still some free photojournalists out there, and they have produced a book for us. Check it out.

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Live From Iraq: "We rarely see who is at the receiving end of a hellfire missile, or a 50-caliber rifle, or a 500-pound bomb. The politics of that destruction and the anger and desperation it fuels, remains hidden.

So it brings great relief to finally get a glimpse into the Iraqi experience, from four intrepid independent photojournalists who have compiled their images into the new book, Unembedded (Chelsea Green). Kael Alford, Thorne Anderson, Rita Leistner and Ghaith Abdul-Ahad decided to forsake the bubble of the American military and cross front lines to see what life is like from the Iraqi side."

t r u t h o u t - Ray McGovern | On Torture: A Defining Moment

Blair once described 911 Iraq as the defining moment of the new century.
I think this is a better candidate.
If Bushco can resist the disgust of the world, the American people and its own legislature in claiming the right to torture its opponents, then we are all done for.
If McCain wins then we are on the road back to civilisation.
It is as simple as that.

t r u t h o u t - Ray McGovern | On Torture: A Defining Moment: " No effort has been made to disguise what is behind the opposition to McCain. Even Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a lawyer who has been a moderate on this issue, has conceded that the 'problem' is to find a way to protect interrogators who go too far. To this non-lawyer at least, it does not seem possible to square this circle. I am still trying to accustom myself to the fact that, alongside the we-do-not-torture rhetoric, our country has for the first time in its history openly embraced the use of torture."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | US president tackles Iraq critics PURE POLITICS

Bush accuses his opponents pf "Pure Politics"

Wow that is reall really bad.

How can we stop the dirty lying cheating politics that brought you to power Mr Bush?

I think it is time for some pure politics. It won't happen though. We should just see this as another sign of early Altheimers.

BBC NEWS | Americas | US president tackles Iraq critics: "'Pure politics'

Polls suggest most Americans are unhappy with Mr Bush's handling of the war, and some lawmakers are questioning how long the troops should stay.

The president insisted that US troops would stay until Iraqi forces were sufficiently well trained to fully take over security duties.

A stable Iraq was in the interests of both the Iraqi and American people, he said."

Independent Online Edition > UK Politics

Today the Independent describes the Anglo americans as the three wise monkeys "hear no evil" " see no evil" " speak no evil".

We would like them to be joined by a real wise monkey, "cover up no evil".

Straw would seem to admit our involvement with the US torturers in this Independent story below, however.

Independent Online Edition > UK Politics: "Rendition victim was handed over to the US by MI6
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
Published: 14 December 2005

MI6 officers interrogated a former UK student in Pakistan, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday. The man, a terrorist suspect, says MI6 handed him to the CIA for 'extraordinary rendition' and torture .

The allegations by Binyam Mohammed el-Habashi, 27, in which he details the abuse, sleep deprivation and torture inflicted on him, were previously uncorroborated, but Mr Straw admitted for the first time that at least part of his story was true.

Reading from a brief, Mr Straw told MPs: 'Mr Habashi was interviewed once in Karachi by the security services. The security services had no role in his capture or transfer from Pakistan. The security service officer did not observe any abuse and no incidents of abuse were reported to him by Mr Habashi.'

Asked whether he could confirm Mr Habashi was handed over to the Americans in Karachi, Mr Straw said: 'I know nothing about it.' However, the official confirmation of Mr Habashi's claims that he was seen by British MI6 officers while in custody in Pakistan will strengthen his legal claims that he was abused after being handed over to the US.

His lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, believes Mr Habashi could be the first British resident to become a victim of extraordinary rendition by the US. He is facing trial at a military court at Guantanamo Bay, and could be jailed for life. No date has been set for his hearing.

MI6 officers interrogated a former UK student in Pakistan, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday. The man, a terrorist suspect, says MI6 handed him to the CIA for 'extraordinary rendition' and torture ."

The Raw Story | Fitzgerald was long suspicious Rove had hidden evidence; Not swayed by last minute testimony, lawyers say

It seems Rove and his lawyer may have delayed his indictment by dragging this other Novac reporter into the picture. But it is unlikey to save him, as Fitzgerald winds his new grand jury into action.
I suspect we don't have too long to wait before they strike against Rove. But how serious will be the charge?
Perhaps even more important who is the unnamed other. Is it Cheney or could it be Bush?

The Raw Story | Fitzgerald was long suspicious Rove had hidden evidence; Not swayed by last minute testimony, lawyers say: "Before Novak testified in a sworn deposition last week, Rove faced the prospect of being indicted on numerous counts, including obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements for failing to disclose conversations he had with reporters about Plame Wilson, sources close to the case said. Several reporters close to Novak said they believe Luskin’s decision to draw her into the case was made to keep Rove’s indictment from being handed up on the day Libby was charged."

Xmas Cards From Famous People / In which Ashlee, Dubya, Tom Cruise and more wish you very happy holidays. Sort of

I was a big fan of my neighbour the Archbishop of Canterbury till he came out on the side of the biggots.

Hey, we need unity at any price, is his point of view.
It used to matter very little what you believed if you were an anglican. No longer! The biggots are going evangelical. Not such good news for the rest of us.

Halle fucking luyah!

AlterNet: The Left's New Majority

It seems America has done the same as we have, ignoring most of us while focusing on the opinions of possible swin voters in swing constituencies.

No wonder democracy is dead.

AlterNet: The Left's New Majority: "Even the second wave of progressive critics, who complain we obsess too much over Republican strategy, end up using the right's supposed victory over hearts and minds as an axis from which to build their arguments. But George W Bush never won a public mandate. The plurality he earned was largely a result of the withdrawal of Democratic campaigns from most states, in a flawed strategy to focus on 'swing states'.

My intention is not to deny the power of the Republican Party as an electoral machine, but to emphasise that that is all it is. Poll after poll has found American citizens largely in support of progressive solutions to public problems, even as Democratic Party support for these ideas has dwindled."

AlterNet: The 'Retreat and Defeat' Dems

Chomsky claims there is an elite consensus among the parties.
But I am not sure why that would include giving up power permanently to the Republicans.

What do you think?

AlterNet: The 'Retreat and Defeat' Dems: "For once the Republican attack machine has described the Democratic Party perfectly: retreat and defeat. It's what Democrats are all about now. I'm not talking about the Democrats' position (if they had one) on Bush's fool's errand of a war in Iraq. I'm talking about how Democrats have flatly refused to stand and fight the war here at home, the war for America's own democracy."

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Ignoring the Air War

I am beginning to like the US better than Blairy England. Bushco does not represent the whole American thing. There are good aspects of it. That is why Bushco has to take its kidnap victims away from home. It is hard for me as a Brit to face the fact that this is one of the most secretive societies in Europe. I hark on about our values of Freedom and Liberty, yet in practice these things are only for the privileged few. Only the privileged few bother to complain as they are taken away from us in theory as well as practice.

Meanwhile, when Blairco started to use the same old torture methods in Iraq that we had supposedly been forced to stop in Northern Ireland, there was not much in the way of uproar here.

Even though we have followed America with a freedom of information act, the Brits have a talent for making sure it cannot work in practice.
They have built in all sorts of ways of making sure the truth does not escape.

As for the media, they do not cover the repetition of Falluja that is going on now in other places in Iraq. See below...

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Ignoring the Air War: "The American media continues to ignore the increasingly devastating air war being waged in Iraq against an ever more belligerent Iraqi resistance -- and, as usual, Iraqi civilians continue to bear the largely unreported brunt of the bombing."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stop this war!

An international peace conference has just been meeting in London. I just picked this up from it.


Stop the War Coalition

Saturday 10 December 2005

The Conference was a great success, a significant step forward for the worldwide anti-war movement.

Sheik Hassan Al Zagani of the Al Sadr movement was refused a visa to enter the UK and faces further attacks - read the statement

Well over 1000 people packed packed into the Royal
Horticultural Society Hall, London on Saturday for the peace conference. More were in an overflow hall and still more were turned away in the days before the conference began.

They came from the US; a sizeable delegation of activists from the east and west coasts and points between. From Iraq, Iran, as well as from Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Canada, Poland, Greece, Italy, Spain and many other European countries, to share experience and plan activity and organisation for the future.

Delegates and individuals came from across Britain; including national delegations from PCS, Amicus, CWU, TSSA and NATFHE. It was one of the biggest conferences of its kind and definitely the most diverse, with many different nationalities represented, young and old, students, school students, peace activists, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Christians.

They came to hear the Iraqi delegates - although the British government refused to allow entry to the al Sadr representative, Hassan al Zargani. We were joined by Sheikh al Khallisi from the Iraqi Foundation Congress, Hanna Ibrahim from the Women's Will Organisation, and Hassan Jumaa from the Iraqi Oil workers' Union, and to hear from US visitors, including Cindy Sheehan, Judith le Blanc from United for Peace and Justice and Phyllis Bennis.

The session on military families was a major highlight as we heard from former soldiers and relatives of the dead some of the most moving personal stories and political analysis of why they opposed the war and occupation.

Other sessions were on bringing Bush and Blair to account and building an international movement. All stressed the importance of immediate troop withdrawal, the need to guard against other forms of military or economic intervention, the connection between the war and attacks on our liberties and, of course, our opposition to torture.

The conference heard from Anas al Tikriti, who has been in Iraq trying to obtain the release of kidnapped peace activist, Norman Kember, and issued a statement calling for his release. We also issued a statement for more international coordination, an international weekend of action on March 18/19 2006 and for continued campaigning around other issues.


STATEMENT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

This international conference, embracing representatives of the Iraqi, British and American and many other peoples, drawn from all parts of society, declares that the crisis caused by the invasion and occupation of Iraq is the central problem in world politics today and demands urgent resolution.

It affirms that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was unlawful, in breach of the Charter of the United Nations and justified by the invading powers with lies designed to manipulate public opinion.

It declares that the occupation of Iraq by US and British military forces has brought misery and suffering to the people of Iraq. The occupation represents the denial of their national rights, impedes social, economic and political development and threatens the wider peace in the Middle East and the world. It has accounted for the loss of tens of thousands of lives of the Iraqi peoples, as well as more than 2,000 soldiers from the occupying armies.

This conference therefore demands an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, as called for by the majority of the Iraqi, British and American peoples. It demands the withdrawal of the occupying military forces and the return of full sovereignty to the Iraqi people, who should be allowed to determine their own future free of external interference.

We salute the struggle of the Iraqi people for national freedom and the worldwide movement against the war and the occupation. We pledge to step up our campaign against the occupation until it is ended. To this end, we call on the anti-war movement in all countries to:

  • Organise international demonstrations on March 18-19 2006, the third anniversary of the war and invasion, calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops and an end to the occupation.
  • Campaign for a full international public inquiry into the assault on Fallujah last year.
  • Give full support to the campaigns of military families in the US, Britain and the other occupying countries.
  • Develop an international coordination from this conference to plan further events.
  • Campaign against the privatisation of Iraqi oil.
  • Oppose any attack on Iran or Syria.

STATEMENT (2) FROM THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE

This international Peace Conference of 1,400 anti-war activists from Britain, the USA and many other countries demands the release of all illegally detained prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

We urge the release of the four Chritian peace campaigners, Norman Kember, Tom Fox, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden, and we ask those holding them to return them to their families unharmed.

Capitol Hill Blue: Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'

Libertarians of left and right get together to oppose the great dictator.
Suddenly I start to see all sorts of similarities between Bush and Hitler.
Sadly, I don't think we are talking "last days" yet.

Maybe Hitler would have lastd longer if he had had Bush's sence of humour.

Caligula appointed his horse as consul.
Bush just makes a film about his dogs as the White House Christmas message.

Capitol Hill Blue: Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper': "Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'
By DOUG THOMPSON
Dec 9, 2005, 07:53
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Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”"

Monday, December 12, 2005

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

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The shadow of the American empire falls on Europe

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | 'I feel I'm carrying the world on my shoulders'

Here comes Casey for the anti war rally in London today.

I am with you in spirit Casey.

Perhaps one should give in ans join the barbarians. Yeah ha! let's go string up them guys who are against us. Let's hang draw and quarter Mr Blair.
At least we have a trail for him on TV tonight. Let's hope it is a fair one. No chance of that for poor old Saddam. But then that is waht you get for going to war with Iran on behalf of The US.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | 'I feel I'm carrying the world on my shoulders': "'This is the 21st century - killing is barbaric,' she says on a taxi ride from Heathrow into central London, having just flown in from New York. 'I don't buy into the fact that George Bush and Tony Blair can't be called terrorists because they are elected officials. This occupation of Iraq is killing innocent people by the thousand.'"

Friday, December 09, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Jason Leopold | For Rove, New Testimony, New Problems

More tales from the Plame labrynth.
I have picked out this tidbit necause it points quite strongly to a legal case emerging against Rove.
Fitzgerald almost certainly wants to dig deeper into Rove though. That is why he needed a new grand jury.

t r u t h o u t - Jason Leopold | For Rove, New Testimony, New Problems: "Although news reports over the past year have specifically zeroed in on Rove's alleged failure to disclose to the grand jury his conversations with Time's Cooper, there is more scrutiny being placed on his initial testimony, because it's likely his conversations with Novak and Cooper would have still been fresh in his mind, considering the many front page news stories about the Plame Wilson's outing and the fact that Rove and Libby in particular had been rumored to be sources of the leak. Rove finally did testify that he spoke with Cooper - in October 2004, exactly a year after he was first questioned - but only after Cooper was held in contempt by the judge presiding over the case and compelled to testify about the identity of his source."

No honour left in Bush's war machine. Better to die!

A military ethicist with a Phd in philosophy killed himself in Iraq, depressed at the way profit has replaced honour among Americans.

A psychologist analysing his death found him rigid in failing to understand the importance of profit.

Given the murderous thieving thugs who the American military employ to do their work for them in Iraq, it is not surprising to me he found his life dishonoured.

A recent film of mercenaries spraying autonatic weapons at random at Iraqi civilians just about sums it all up.

There is no room for an honourable man among the barbarains.

A Journey That Ended in Anguish - Los Angeles Times: "In e-mails to his family, Westhusing seemed especially upset by one conclusion he had reached: that traditional military values such as duty, honor and country had been replaced by profit motives in Iraq, where the U.S. had come to rely heavily on contractors for jobs once done by the military.

His death stunned all who knew him. Colleagues and commanders wondered whether they had missed signs of depression. He had been losing weight and not sleeping well. But only a day before his death, Westhusing won praise from a senior officer for his progress in training Iraqi police."

t r u t h o u t - Ray McGovern: Cheney in Last Throes

Are Cheney and Rumpsfeld on the way out?
Information of torture and sculdugery floods into the media, who are at least willing to publish it.

Fitzgerald homes in on Rove and Cheney.
Bush is looking to protect his own ass.

But the six blind mice keep things quiet in congress and senate.
It is too early for rejoicing.

Blair already faces trial but only trial by TV.

t r u t h o u t - Ray McGovern: Cheney in Last Throes: " What is new is the willingness of patriotic officials within the government to put their country before their career and go to the media to blow the whistle on the various indignities and crimes they have witnessed. Those officials, initially cowed by the object lesson served up by White House retaliation against former ambassador Joseph Wilson, have become increasingly scandalized at the jettisoning of long accepted practices like those that used to govern interrogations. And so, officials with first-hand knowledge have now begun to come forward and tell what has been going on, in hopes of getting the country back on track. Cheney no longer has Libby to keep his finger in the dike to prevent leaks that are fast becoming a flood, and Karl Rove is preoccupied with his own efforts to avoid indictment."

t r u t h o u t - Ray McGovern: Cheney in Last Throes

"Rice is nice, thats what the song say"
Not this one, chummy.
I wish we could put her away.

t r u t h o u t - Ray McGovern: Cheney in Last Throes: "Friday 09 December 2005

European reaction to visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's statements on torture can be summed up in lead commentary Wednesday in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, among the most widely respected German newspapers. Under the title 'Justice à la Rice,' the editor 'translated' her message into these words: 'The end justifies the means and terrorism can be fought with borderline methods on the outer edges of legality.' He added: 'Rice came to Germany to begin a new era. She has resoundingly failed to do so. Injustice remains injustice, and a wrong policy remains a wrong policy. On this basis you cannot re-launch the trans-Atlantic relationship.'"

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Newsnight stages "War Crimes Trial"

A WAR CRIMES TRIAL ON TELLY

AND BLAIR IS THE TARGET

I ONLY WISH IT WAS REAL

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Newsnight stages "War Crimes Trial": "I am an officer who served with the Joint Helicopter Force in Iraq last year. One of my fellow officers was awarded a DFC whilst flying in support of the Black Watch near Fallujah. On one particular occasion he was engaged by small arms and his doorgunner returned fire. At the point when they ceased firing and got back into a car to drive off he ordered his doorgunner to cease fire because they no longer posed a direct threat. I mention this to illustrate how disciplined the British Army can be and how thin the line can be between right and wrong. A couple of days later the rules of engagement were re-interpreted (not changed) and would have allowed him to continue to prosecute the engagement to a conclusion. I do not believe it is possible to sit in a studio and cast stones. That said, where British soldiers have clearly behaved criminally as in the example of the Fusiliers at Camp Bread Basket, then they should be prosecuted with vigour. A Court Martial is the right place to do this. I hope your jury will include some members of the Armed Forces who have served in Iraq. Secondly, I would point out that I, like many of my peers, believe that the war was wrong and probably illegal. I certainly think it has made the world a less secure place and put the so called war on terror back by several decades. I knew as far back as Easter 2002 that we would be going to war. The mood music in the MOD was plain. Scarlet did not have to be told what to write as he would have known only too well what was required. My point is that I would put Tony Blair firmly in the dock. He is responsible, not the soldiers who become caught up in a maelstrom of his making. By sending us to war he unleashes forces that are difficult to control. When you are at war, the rule of law cannot apply in the same way as on the streets of London. And whilst I agree that it must apply, it can only be done through the chain o"

From Lenin to Lennon

The Republicans wanted rid of John Lennon. After 911 his song "Imagine" was banned on many US radio stations.

Did you know that "Imagine" was voted the most popluar song ever over this side of the pond?

When he wrote about "no countries", I don't think he was thinking about their replacement with one big ugly American Empire.

"No religion too," was a really revolutionary idea in America. We would really like that over here in Europe, you know.

Here's to your memory and your music, John Lennon.
You are a martyr like Martin Luther King to the cause of peace and justice.



AlterNet: Imagine All the People...: "The U.S. government saw Lennon as such a serious threat that President Nixon attempted to have him deported in 1972. In addition, the F.B.I. closely monitored his actions and amassed a file on Lennon of over 300 pages. Today, on the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death, we speak with historian Jon Wiener about Lennon's politics and his F.B.I. files. Jon Wiener is a history professor at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of two books on Lennon: Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon F.B.I. Files and Come Together: John Lennon In His Time. I talked to Jon Wiener and asked him for his thoughts on this 25th anniversary of Lennon's death."

CONTEXT - This Week in Arts and Ideas from The Moscow Times

I really like this one. We are so very much implicated in Bellus Americana that we may have some difficulty woeming our way out of it.
It seems likely the German Government was involved in the snatch of at least one innocent man on their territory.

As I grow older the myth of feedom and dignity of the western way of life seems more and more like an illusion. For some reason the modern west seems to think it can dispense with the pretense, except in the export market.

It will not stop me writing as forcefully as i can about the need to create real freedom and dignity in our world, or there will be no world fit for our children to inhabit.
CONTEXT - This Week in Arts and Ideas from The Moscow Times: "The much-belated, poll-prompted outcry of a few U.S. elected officials against the widespread use of torture by the Bush administration -- following years of silent acquiescence in the face of incontrovertible evidence of deliberate atrocity -- is a welcome development, of course. But it has left an even more sinister aspect of Bushist policy untouched, one that likewise has been hidden in plain sight for years.

On Sept. 17, 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order authorizing the use of 'lethal measures' against anyone in the world whom he or his minions designated an 'enemy combatant.' This order remains in force today. No judicial evidence, no hearing, no charges are required for these killings; no law, no border, no oversight restrains them. Bush has also given agents in the field carte blanche to designate 'enemies' on their own initiative and kill them as they see fit.


The existence of this universal death squad -- and the total obliteration of human liberty it represents -- has not provoked so much as a crumb of controversy in the American establishment, although it's no secret."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Sidney Blumenthal: Condi's Trail of Lies

Rice seems like a real monster. Rita and Katrina seem tame in comparison. This article gives more detail than most on the inside stroy of her invasion (sorry, visit to) Europe.

t r u t h o u t - Sidney Blumenthal: Condi's Trail of Lies: " Rice arrived as the enforcer of the Bush administration's torture policy. She reminded the queasy Europeans that their intelligence services, one way or another, are involved in the rendition of hundreds of suspected terrorists transported through their airports for harsh interrogation in countries like Jordan and Egypt or secret CIA prisons known as 'black sites.' With her warnings, Rice recast the Western alliance as a partnership in complicity. In her attempt to impose silence, she spread guilt. Everybody is unclean in the dirty war and nobody has any right to complain. 'What I would hope that our allies would acknowledge,' she said, 'is that we are all in this together.'

For the European leaders, facing publics hostile to U.S. policy in Iraq and torture, Rice's visit was disquieting. In Italy, prosecutors have issued indictments of 22 current and former CIA operatives for their 'extraordinary rendition' of an Egyptian suspect; among those indicted is the former Rome CIA station chief, whom an Italian judge has ruled has no immunity from prosecution. Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini, asked about renditions, said, 'We know absolutely nothing. We have not one single piece of knowledge.' If the Italian government knew the facts, it would investigate, he added.

In Britain, the Foreign Office released a diplomatic disclaimer that it has 'no evidence to corroborate media allegations about the use of UK territory in rendition operations.' But upset members of the House of Commons have launched a parliamentary inquiry into whether the U.K. has violated the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Foreign Minister Jack Straw sent Rice a letter requesting any 'clarification the U.S. can give about these reports in the hope that this will allay parliamentary and public concerns.'

When the Washington Post reported on the eve of Rice's trip that"

t r u t h o u t - Rice Engulfed in Criticism for Torture

Well, well, has Europe had enough of Bush's war on civilised values.

Just maybe. Ms Rice seems to be puring oil on troubled waters. But is this another hurricane brewing?


t r u t h o u t - Rice Engulfed in Criticism for Torture: "UN human rights chief Louise Arbour warned Wednesday that the US-declared war on terrorism was eroding a global ban on torture. In remarks at the United Nations in the run-up to Human Rights Day on Saturday, Arbour urged Rice to further clarify the US policy on torture and rendition.

'Pursuing security objectives at all costs may create a world in which we are neither safe nor free,' Arbour said. 'This will certainly be the case if the only choice is between the terrorists and the torturers.'

US Ambassador John R. Bolton immediately responded, saying Arbour should be concentrating on 'real' human rights abusers such as Zimbabwe and Myanmar - not the United States."

Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Art, truth and politics

Pinter speaks for Bushco.
All we need is a Mark Anthony to follow up this Caesar, this Brutus, brute US.

Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Art, truth and politics: "'God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden's God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam's God was bad, except he didn't have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don't chop people's heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don't you forget it.'"

Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Art, truth and politics

I fear Pinter is dying. This great speech read on his behalf at the Nobel Ceremony tells it like it is. It is about truth in Art, but it is as much about political lies. I have picked out this snippet. You can read it all on the link.
Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Art, truth and politics: "Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America's favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as 'low intensity conflict'. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued - or beaten to death - the same thing - and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer."

t r u t h o u t - Dean Attacked for Anti-War Views

Bushco is still holding onto the white feather as the accolade for anyone who dares to point out there naked disaster in Iraq.

The truth is they have not even got the oil and electricity working.
Now that is pathetic.

t r u t h o u t - Dean Attacked for Anti-War Views: " 'Oh, there's pessimists, you know, and politicians who try to score points,' the president replied. 'Our troops need to know that the American people stand with them, and we have a strategy for victory.'

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) also quickly weighed in, saying that Dean had 'made it clear the Democratic Party sides with those who wish to surrender,' and he urged Democrats to abandon such 'negative and harmful political rhetoric."

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Hell No, She Won't Go

Over in the states a pretty young white woman soldier refuses to kill people in Iraq. Great!

Over here the Independent fron pages as war criminals ordinary people who dare to oppose this criminal war.

Britain is becoming an even more repressive country.


AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Hell No, She Won't Go: "Because Jashinski is female, young, white, and pretty that she may ultimately provide a powerful boost to the anti-war movement. Just like Cindy Sheehan grabbed the attention of women and mothers, a lot more young women may be personally affected by Katherine Jashinski. Its so much easier to empathize with someone who has your face"

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Torture and Secrecy Scandal Intensifies

A British Tory seems to be leading the way here in opposing the barbarian body snatchers. Good for Andrew Tyrie.
But does David Cameron support him, or is he happy with Bellus Americana, as I call the CIA invasion of Europe.

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Torture and Secrecy Scandal Intensifies: "ANDREW TYRIE: Well, let's deal with each of those points in turn. First of all, I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me fairly clear that since Britain, for example, has incorporated the U.N. Convention Against Torture directly into its domestic law, if we are knowingly allowing flights to pass through the U.K., land there, have refueling, and then go on, knowing that it's likely that people are going to be tortured, it strikes me that those actions must make us complicit in the torture and that, therefore, we have broken the Convention.

Likewise, I suspect that we may have broken the Human Rights Act if we have done this. There would also be, possibly, breaches to the criminal law, the ordinary criminal law, which, of course, prohibits torture; and that's a question which another pressure group in Britain called Liberty is actually pursuing with the police authorities at the moment.

As far as your second question is concerned, the problem is none of us know the facts. None of us know whether there is any holding center in the U.K. I think that's unlikely, because I think we would have got to hear about it. I suspect that's perhaps why the American…administration has been setting up these in countries in Eastern Europe….

What I do know -- I hope I have not gone on too long -- is that we need a healthy debate about this in a democracy, and we need to make up our minds whether this is the right way to go. I think torturing people is likely to make the war against terrorism more difficult, not less difficult.

Of course, Condoleezza Rice has now said we must have this healthy debate, but only [on Sunday] her spokesman, Mr. Hanley, was saying these are things that shouldn't be talked about in public. And there does seem to be a pretty flat contradiction between those two points."

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: A Sanctuary for Torturers

While Rice seems to be giving ground in Europe we have the torturers determinedly hanging on in there in the good old USA.

No wonder the Americans I meet over here say that their country is already a Police State.


AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: A Sanctuary for Torturers: "Bill Goodman, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the first habeas corpus cases for Guantanamo captives, says the Graham amendment 'will formalize the lawless policies of the Bush Administration that allow the Department of Defense to hold prisoners indefinitely without any requirement that it show any reason for doing so.' That has and will continue to result in 'torture of US prisoners.'

The Graham amendment bans habeas corpus appeals against conditions of confinement. The consequence, according to Michael Dorf, the Sovern Professor of Law at Columbia University, is that 'a prisoner cannot get into federal court by claiming (or presenting evidence) that he is being subject to torture or otherwise degrading treatment.'"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith | War Crimes Made Easy

Having asked for their Dog to send them a new Pearl Harbour, when 911 did just come along, the Bushco wasted no time in effectively sweeping away the freedom of information act so as to enable all manner of criminal Government conspiracies, which are now coming to light.


t r u t h o u t - Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith | War Crimes Made Easy: " Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a sweeping memorandum which interpreted out of existence much of the FOIA, discouraging government agencies from releasing any information that could conceivably be withheld. ('Any discretionary decision by your agency to disclose information protected under the FOIA should be made only after full and deliberate consideration of the institutional, commercial, and personal privacy interests that could be implicated by disclosure of the information.') Department and agency heads who decided to withhold records were 'assured that the Department of Justice will defend your decisions' unless they lacked a sound legal basis - as determined by the administration itself."

Cameron replies.

I have been writing a number of open letters to David Cameron of late.

I record here his response to my question about the use of WMD by our forces in Iraq.

"CLUSTER BOMBS

Thank you for your e-mail about your serious concerns regarding the actions of British forces in Iraq.

I do not agree that our forces are committing human rights violations. The use of white phosphorus is not illegal under international law and can be used for stategic advantage on the battle field. It serves as a smokescreen to obscure our soldiers when no other cover is available- in short, it is used to protect our troops' lives in action.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me on this matter. Despite our differences of opinion, I do value your thoughts on this issue- it is right that we continue to scrutinise the Government's actions, especially as the reconstruction of Iraq continues.

If there is anything else I can help you with, please do not hesitate to let me know."

I reply,

Thank you for your letter, received on the day you were elected to the Conservative Party leadership, which saddens me immensely. As you will see from my earlier blogs, I had great hopes of you coming out against the Iraq debacle.

Thank you also for your letter and a copy of Mr Ingrams', the Junior Defence Minister's letter claiming that the RAF did not soften up Iraq's miliary resistence before the invasion. May I refer you to my blog below where an American military source admits that we did exactly that.

I believe that I am writing to you as leader of the country's opposition to Blair on behalf of the great majority of the people of this country and in particular the two million of us who stood in sub zero temperatures for hours and then marched through London just before this illegal war started to protest our opposition to it. It is not possible to believe in our own country as a democracy when the will of the people can be thwarted like this.

I note that you head your letter CLUSTER BOMBS, but have not responded to my mention of the report that shows many unexploded fragments remain in civilian areas which threaten the lives of innocent children. You do not mention the terrible nuclear hazard of depleted uranium which has devasted the lives of our troops and Iraqis.

As for white phosphorus, I must suppose that you are badly informed. The Pentagon has revealed the fact that this weapon was used as an assault weapon against people in Falluja last November. A US military magazine had boasted about it. Having first denied the charge made by Italian State Media, it has owned up after a blogger revealed the truth. George Monbiot has written of this in the Guardian. I have seen video evidence of civilians in Falluja hideously disfigured by weapons which are obviously not conventional.

I have read in the papers that you are still in favour of the Iraq war, even though there were no WMD found and it is ludicrous now to suggest Iraq was an imminent threat to our security. Perhaps you could confirm or deny this. When you came out in favour of the war before it started you said it was because "we all know he has wmd." You seem to have changed your story here.

I would like to point out to you that white phosphorus is an illegal weapon when used directly against people. It is then a chemical weapon and banned as wmd.

There is no evidence that British troops used this weapon. But your letters would seem to suggest that Saddam had to be stopped from using chemical weapons while, we can use them as a smokescreen (for other barbarity?).

I would like to add one more observation. I think your party will never be re-elected while you continue to support illegal military expeditions. Even in this constituency there is immense hostility to the American collapse into barbarism.

The RAF joke goes like this.
"If you were shot down in the desert and had one bullet left, and you were faced by an American and an Iraqi, which one would you shoot?"

"The American!" is the usual reply.

Even as I speak my fellow playwright, Harold Pinter, is calling Bush and Blair "war criminals" in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. I wholeheartedly agree with him.

The Raw Story |Dieb throat speaks

The insider at Diebolfd gives us his insider story on how Diebold cheated America. Go read if you still doubt Bush stole the elections
The Raw Story | Diebold insider alleges company plagued by technical woes, Diebold defends 'sterling' record: "But the company insider became disillusioned after witnessing repeated efforts by Diebold to evade meeting legal requirements or implementing appropriate security measures, putting corporate interests ahead of the interests of voters."

US Defense of Tactic Makes No Sense Says Legal Expert

It should be clear by now that the barbarian's postion is that they can kidnap whom they like where they like. They have ben doing it for years, and they don't carer about International Law.

US Defense of Tactic Makes No Sense Says Legal Expert: "'The argument makes no sense unless there is an assumption that the purpose of rendition is to send people to a place where things could be done to them that could not be done in the United States,' said David Luban, a law professor at Georgetown University who is presently a visiting professor at Stanford University.

'Rendition doesn't become a tool in the war against terror unless people are being sent to a place where they can be interrogated harshly.'

In her statement yesterday, Ms Rice said rendition was necessary in instances where local governments did not have the capacity to prosecute a terror suspect, or in cases where al-Qaida members were operating in remote areas far from an operational justice system.

However, the majority of the two dozen or so terror suspects known to have been subjected to rendition were captured in urban areas. Some were taken in Europe."

The Questions Condoleezza Must Answer

Common dreams gives us a set of questions to which you can be sure Miss Rice will not give satisfactory answers.

The real problem is that ordinary people just do not care.

The Questions Condoleezza Must Answer: "Could you explain why you believe these renditions are 'permissible under international law'?

Amnesty International's senior director of regional programmes, Claudio Cordone, said: 'Flying detainees to countries where they may face torture or other ill-treatment is a direct and outright breach of international law with or without so called 'diplomatic assurances'. These assurances are meaningless. Countries known for systematic torture regularly deny the existence of such practices.'"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The wrong man | Extraordinary Rendition Scandal Reaches New Heights: Rice on the Offensive in Europe Over Bush Administration's Use of "Torture Fligh

The Americans seem incapable of realizing when they have the wrong man.

You see, they elected Bush twice, (or not at all if you count the votes accurately, but that is another story). Maybe the bubble has burst and they will throw him out soon, but don't hold your breath.

Oddly, they do seem to have realised that they kidnapped the wrong man in Germany.

Now it is a big scandal. Read on in democracy now.

Democracy Now! | Extraordinary Rendition Scandal Reaches New Heights: Rice on the Offensive in Europe Over Bush Administration's Use of "Torture Flights": "Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that the US admitted to German officials in May 2004 that the CIA had mistakenly imprisoned a German citizen for five months but asked the German government to remain quiet about it.

The man, Khaled El-Masri, was arrested in Macedonia on December 31, 2003. He says he was handed to US officials and flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan where he was held in appalling conditions and interrogated as a terrorism suspect. He was returned to Europe five months later when the CIA realized they had the wrong man."

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | The David Cameron story

Cameron has hit the top spot.

My own feeling is that there are at least two Camerons, the solid guy who has been a good MP, and the Blairyenglander who knows just how to twist and turn his way to the top.

Whatever else I might say of him he is not as slimy as his predecessor in the constituency, Shaun Woodward, who ended up joining Labour.

Cameron is undoubtedly talented and hard working. At the moment I see him as a new front man for torysim rather than a great new tory party leader, with a new direction for his party.

His stance on the Iraq war is completely reactionary.


BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | The David Cameron story: "Jeff Randall, writing in The Daily Telegraph where he is a senior executive, said he would not trust Mr Cameron 'with my daughter's pocket money'.

'To describe Cameron's approach to corporate PR as unhelpful and evasive overstates by a widish margin the clarity and plain-speaking that he brought to the job of being Michael Green's mouthpiece,' wrote the ex-BBC business editor.

'In my experience, Cameron never gave a straight answer when dissemblance was a plausible alternative, which probably makes him perfectly suited for the role he now seeks: the next Tony Blair,' Mr Randall wrote.

Sun business editor Ian King, recalling the same era, described Mr Cameron as a 'poisonous, slippery individual'."

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | CIA's secret jails open up new transatlantic rift

British TV ran a fiction story, "Spooks" on our M16 stopping an American snatch squad escaping with an innocent man.

Now we see the reality.

It is going to be very interesting to see if we now have a Europe where foreigners are allowed to come in and steal away our citizens without let or hindrance if not the active connivance of our Governments.
At least Italy has started to arrest the American spies.

Bush said if we are not with him we are against him.
Well we are against him.
We don't want to be part of a barbaric wild west. We spent years or centuries building some kind of civilised society and we want to keep it.

It was the Americans under Carter who based foreign policy on Human Rights for the first time.

Under Bush we only have human wrongs.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | CIA's secret jails open up new transatlantic rift: "
CIA's secret jails open up new transatlantic rift

· Hundreds of flights landed in Germany over 2 years
· Seizure of innocent people likely to embarrass Rice

Luke Harding in Berlin
Monday December 5, 2005
The Guardian

The US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's meeting with Germany's new chancellor Angela Merkel tomorrow is likely to be a tricky affair. What should have been a chance to repair the damaging rift between the countries over Iraq is fast being eclipsed by something else - a new transatlantic row between the US and the European Union over the CIA."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Keeping a Roving eye on Plamegate

Wow this stuff is intricate. I can't pretend to grasp the details. This truthout article attempts to give us them. This fragment seems to show that Rove's assistant has ratted on him under pressure and revealed at least one piece of sneakiness.
My guess is that the delay on indicting Rove is that Fitzgerald either wnts to get Cheney through Rove or is looking for and confident of finding something on Rove much bigger than he has on little Scooter.


t r u t h o u t - Jason Leopold: Rove Running Out of Answers, Time: " During this time, the White House was facing a deadline on turning over documents, emails and phone logs to Justice Department officials probing whether or not the leak came from the White House. Rove's email to Hadley about the conversation he had with Cooper three months earlier didn't turn up during the search, the reasons for which are still murky. Furthermore, a log of Cooper's call to Rove wasn't included in White House phone logs either. Rove's assistant at the time, Susan Ralston, had said Cooper called the White House switchboard and was transferred to Rove's office and transferred calls aren't logged. However, she is said to have 'clarified' her testimony earlier this month, saying that Rove told her not to log the call, after Fitzgerald is said to have obtained documentary evidence proving that wasn't the case with other calls transferred to Rove's office, sources close to the investigation who are familiar with Ralston's testimony said.

At the same time, the White House first started to lay the groundwork for a defense, specifically related to the role Rove played in the leak and whether he or anyone else in the administration knew Plame was a covert CIA operative and intentionally blew her cover in order to undercut Wilson's credibility."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

t r u t h o u t - FBI Is Taking Another Look at Forged Pre-War Intelligence

italy has fallen out badly with Bushco after the killing of one of its agents in Iraq.
CIA spooks have been chased and maybe even arreested for their extraordinary renditions.

Now the FBI is being urged to look further into the roots of the Niger uranium forgeries so vital to the selling of war.

One thing is pretty certain, we won't find the tuth.

t r u t h o u t - FBI Is Taking Another Look at Forged Pre-War Intelligence: "A senior FBI official said the bureau's initial investigation found no evidence of foreign government involvement in the forgeries. But the FBI did not interview Martino, a central figure in a parallel drama unfolding in Rome.

In late October, Martino told the Los Angeles Times through his lawyer that he did not realize that the documents were forged.

Recent accounts in the Italian press said that Martino, a businessman and former freelance spy who was fired from the Italian military intelligence agency, obtained the documents from a female friend who worked at Niger's embassy in Rome. Martino has said he was working with a more senior Italian intelligence agent, Col. Antonio Nucero, and peddled the documents to French intelligence and eventually, in 2002, to Italian journalist Elisabetta Burba.

Burba, a reporter for the magazine Panorama, later told The Times that she was angry that the fraudulent documents 'had been used to justify a war.' The magazine is owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a close U.S. ally and supporter of the Iraq invasion.

Last month, Martino was further implicated when Nicolo Pollari, the head of Italian military intelligence, denied that his agency was involved in fabricating the documents. Instead, Pollari told the parliamentary intelligence committee that the dossier came from Martino.

The agency soon realized the documents were fake, Pollari said, according to legislators who were at the meeting. Although Martino's role has long been known, it remains unclear whom he was working with and whether the entire scheme was his idea alone.

After the Pollari testimony, Martino was quoted in an Italian newspaper as saying that he was working for the intelligence agency and not on his own. He acknowledged his role of 'postman,' as he put it, but said that his instructions were coming from Nucero.

'I did not make "