Friday, January 20, 2006

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Why we can't capture Bin Laden

I don't care how crazy it appears. I think Bin Laden is working with Bushco. It seems that he pops up with a message just when America needs to be reminded that the bogeyman is still out there.

Catch him!? He is much too valuable as a continuing reason why we should have all our freedoms taken away by the extremists of left and right together.

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Why we can't capture Bin Laden: "Here's another theory, wacko though it may seem. Some have suggested that the worst thing that could happen to the fragile right wing coalition would be for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Its existence and promises to overturn it are simply too powerful a rallying cry to be replaced.

Could the capture of Bin Laden function similarly? Could the continued freedom of Bin Laden function as a free-floating bogeyman for the Bush administration to whip out when fear ebbs and civil liberties come to the fore?

Naah, that's just crazy talk."

Fathers 4 Justice halts operations - Yahoo! News UK

Fathers 4 Justice halts operations - Yahoo! News UK

Little Leo, so much like my son J, just two years older.

I wonder what life is like for him inside the Government's spy ders web.

This was another piece of Blairco spin.
There was never a real threat against the boy.
Hey, but Blair needs all the sympathy he can get as his education minister blunders from error to disaster.

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Iraq: Deconstructing the Reconstruction

A Marshall Plan for the middle East?

Haliburton and Co have stolen so much money that even Bush is drawing back from offering these people any more.
What are the Iraqis getting.

Power? No
Water? No
Oil? No
An army. Hey, they have recruits, but the money for new weapons was stolen, Billions.

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Iraq: Deconstructing the Reconstruction: "Score another one for the 'stay the course' hypocrites in the White House. Last week, I wrote about the president talking up our progress in Afghanistan while cutting U.S. troops and funding. Now he's doing the speaking-out-of-both-sides-of-his-mouth trick when it comes to the rebuilding of Iraq.

In a speech in front of a veterans' group last week, Bush said of Iraq: 'On the economic side, we will continue reconstruction efforts and help Iraq's new government implement difficult reforms that are necessary to build a modern economy and a better life.'

But this presidential promise is directly contradicted by recent reports that the administration has decided not to seek any more funds for reconstruction in the new budget -- effectively signaling an end to an effort that was once touted as a Middle East version of the Marshall Plan."

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: The Torture Policy

Why bother to repeat myself?
Well, someone might pay attention eventually.

The Government knows that if you lie long enough and sincerely enough people believe you.

So why not keep repeating the truth?

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: The Torture Policy: "In England, The Guardian reported Thursday on new information it had received about the British government's knowledge of the US practice of rendition - the secret transfer of terror suspects to interrogation centers in Europe and Asia where they may have been tortured. The paper reported that the leaked document shows the Blair government is trying to 'stifle' attempts by members of Parliament to find out just how much Britain knew about what some MPs are calling the CIA's 'torture flights.'"

Thursday, January 19, 2006

BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Archbishop's anti-war message

Remember this.

So many of us spoke and marched against this bloody murderous disaster of a war.

We must hold the perpetrators, the traitors to account.
These were crimes against humanity.
What we need most of all from the 21 century is that world leaders cannot any longer get away with that.

BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Archbishop's anti-war message: "'The strategists who know the possible ramifications of politics miss the huge and obvious things and wreak yet more havoc and suffering.'

Despite better communications, intelligence and surveillance than ever before, the innocent continue to be killed, he said.

'Here we all are, tangled in the same net ... stepping deeper and deeper into tragedy', he added.

Dr Williams has previously warned against the dangers of war and urged the government to find a diplomatic solution.

On the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks he described war as 'at best the lesser evil' and added that attacking Saddam Hussein could bring 'real cost to our own humanity'."

The Scots have their own dossier

The Scots have a detailed dossier on the dodgy dealings of Blair and co supporting the kidnapping of people and their export for torture.

Bad news for you Mr Blair

SNP reveals 'CIA flight' dossier

The SNP has published a report on suspected US intelligence flights through Scottish airports. The document lists in detail the planes, dates on which they landed and 10 firms which allegedly operated on behalf of the CIA.
[ Portrait ]

The publication comes as inquiries continue into “rendition flights” by the Council of Europe, European Parliament and an all party group of the House of Commons.

SNP Foreign Affairs and Defence spokesman, Angus Robertson MP, has sent the report to First Minister Jack McConnell urging the Scottish Executive to “use every avenue open to it through the criminal justice system to establish whether there has been the illegal transportation of people through Scottish airports and discourage it ever happening in the future”.

The report lists 10 firms which allegedly operate as CIA shell companies and details the plane types, registration numbers and dates which they landed at Prestwick, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports. Among the planes was a Gulfstream jet (Registration number N379P/N8068V) nicknamed the “Guantanamo Bay Express” and was reportedly used to transport suspects to the US prison on Cuba. That plane is listed in the report as having landed five times at Glasgow and Prestwick airports between 2002 and the end of 2004.

SNP reveals 'CIA flight' dossier — SNP - Scottish National Party

the Scottish Nationalists have a dodgy (for Blairco) dossier on renditions through Scotland.

The Government will go on wriggling but the questions will go on getting more detailed.
This one is not going away any more than Iraq has gone away.

We do not want a Government that supports torture in any way.

SNP reveals 'CIA flight' dossier — SNP - Scottish National Party: "SNP reveals 'CIA flight' dossier
The SNP has published a report on suspected US intelligence flights through Scottish airports. The document lists in detail the planes, dates on which they landed and 10 firms which allegedly operated on behalf of the CIA.
[ Portrait ]

The publication comes as inquiries continue into “rendition flights” by the Council of Europe, European Parliament and an all party group of the House of Commons.

SNP Foreign Affairs and Defence spokesman, Angus Robertson MP, has sent the report to First Minister Jack McConnell urging the Scottish Executive to “use every avenue open to it through the criminal justice system to establish whether there has been the illegal transportation of people through Scottish airports and discourage it ever happening in the future”."

Rendering unto Caesar. Leaked avoidance advice from the FO to Blair.

Blair said he knows nothing about our involvement with US renditions apart fromn a couple in the Clinton era.

The Foreign Office has had a memo leaked suggesting he avoid anything specific and move subjects as fast as possible.

It may not be incriminating but it reveals a conspiracy to evade the truth.

Ms Rice says the Americans don't torture, but they do do what us Europeans would call torture.

We just don't ask what they are up to with those planes so we can plead ignorance.

I think that the Government could be donbe for conspiracy with another (the US) to commit crime.

AlterNet: The President Does Not Know Best

Der Fuhrer knows best

he does.

AlterNet: The President Does Not Know Best: "It has been widely reported that even Bush appointees, such as former Assistant Attorney General James B. Comey, and possibly former Attorney General John Ashcroft, objected to the NSA's wide-ranging warrantless spying. After 20 years as a federal prosecutor, I am absolutely certain that the vast majority of career attorneys at DOJ and criminal prosecutors from U.S. Attorneys' Offices around the country, as well as federal law enforcement agents, would have refused to participate knowingly in this program. Bush and his coterie knew that their legal arguments were weak and intellectually dishonest, if not ludicrous, so rather than making their case honestly, even to their own people, they avoided dissent by acting in secret and affirmatively misleading the entire country. Using a tragically familiar modus operandi, Bush has carried out his unlawful spying scheme by acting not as a unitary executive (whatever that is), but as a solitary executive -- as if the President Knows Best."

AlterNet: The Return of Bush's Brownshirts

yes the old slow boat chicken shitters are back, trying to destroy Murtha the way they did Kerry.

Will it work this time?

Who cares?
All it takes for BushBlairco sorry I should have said evil is for good men to do nothing.

The women as I said earlier are off their asses.

AlterNet: The Return of Bush's Brownshirts: "Here we go again. Buckle up, the bad boys are back in town.

Murtha's War Hero Status Called Into Question

( -- Having ascended to the national stage as one of the most vocal critics of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha has long downplayed the controversy and the bitterness surrounding the two Purple Hearts he was awarded for military service in Vietnam.

(CNSNews bills itself as 'The Right News, Right Now,' and you can find it quoted and pointers to it on Christian-right sites like Pat Robertson's 700 Club and the Gospel News Network.)"

POLITICS: Women's Anti-War Petition Circles the Globe

While Salman Rushdie thinks Islam is afraid of female power maybe Bushco should start worrying.
American women are linking up with women around the globe to oppose the Iraq war.

POLITICS: Women's Anti-War Petition Circles the Globe: "POLITICS:
Women's Anti-War Petition Circles the Globe
Haider Rizvi

NEW YORK, Jan 16 (IPS) - Eminent female writers, artists, lawmakers and social activists in the United States are reaching out to women leaders across the world in an attempt to forge a global alliance against the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

A U.S.-based women's group has launched a global campaign to gather 100,000 signatures by Mar. 8, International Women's Day, when they will be delivered to the White House and U.S. embassies around the world.

'We are unleashing a global chorus of women's voices shouting, 'Enough!' said Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace, a California-based rights advocacy group that has spearheaded the global women's campaign, called 'Women Say No to War'. "

Is It Warm in Here? Another story on irreparable climate change

from Lovelock to Lovejoy.

How curious!

Another ecoscientist this time American thinks it may be too late for the planet.
The writer thinks that Americans are unlikely to notice till it is too late, if it is not so already.

Is It Warm in Here?: "Lovejoy fears that changes in the Amazon's ecosystem may be irreversible. Scientists reported last month that there is an Amazonian drought apparently caused by new patterns in Atlantic currents that, in turn, are similar to projected climate change. With less rainfall, the tropical forests are beginning to dry out. They burn more easily, and, in the continuous feedback loops of their ecosystem, these drier forests return less moisture to the atmosphere, which means even less rain. When the forest trees are deprived of rain, their mortality can increase by a factor of six, and similar devastation affects other species, too.

'When do you wreck it as a system?' Lovejoy wonders. 'It's like going up to the edge of a cliff, not really knowing where it is. Common sense says you shouldn't discover where the edge is by passing over it, but that's what we're doing with deforestation and climate change.'"

AlterNet: MediaCulture: Civil War Looms; Media Yawns

It would appear that the Shia have reneged on the possibility of changing the constitution, which was the only reason that many Sunni were persuaded to vote in the recent elections.

This could lead to a total melt down in Sunni Shia relations.

Does the media take an interest?

apparently not

AlterNet: MediaCulture: Civil War Looms; Media Yawns: "he has described the agreement to allow changes to the constitution as a key element in keeping the political process moving forward. 'Thanks to last-minute changes, including a new procedure for considering amendments to the constitution,' he said on the eve of the December vote, 'the revised constitution was endorsed by Iraq's largest Sunni party. Sunnis voted in large numbers for the first time. They joined the political process. And by doing so, they reject the violence of the Saddamists and rejectionists. Through hard work and compromise, Iraqis adopted the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world.'

Now it is clear that the Shiites were just saying what the Bush administration wanted to hear; they never meant it and never intended to follow through. 'We will stop anyone who tries to change the Constitution,' said al-Hakim yesterday.

This belligerent stance could easily drive Iraqi Sunnis (in the words of today's New York Times) 'into the arms of radical Sunni groups in neighboring lands' and 'leave the Shiites even more dependent than they are now on Iran and American troops.' Sounds like a recipe for endless civil war -- and a foreign policy debacle of unimaginable proportions for America.

But, despite this looming disaster, with the exception of the Times' powerful editorial, the mainstream media are giving this major development hardly any play. Even the New York Times has its news story on al-Hakim's statements on page A-10 -- and at the very bottom of the page at that. In the Washington Post, the story appears on A-14, while the Los Angeles Times and USA Today do not cover the story at all! And a LexisNexis search didn't yield a single mention of the story on any of the broadcast or cable news shows. So the match that could ignite an all-out civil war in Iraq was just lit, and the U.S. media can barely muster a yawn."

US Troops accused of raping Iraqi children

I picked this up from a Pagan group this morning.
I cannot say that it is good quality intelligence, but it quotes sources and is probably as reliable as any of the sources BushBlairco relied on as excuses to invade Iraq.

--- In, Troy Southgate

Iraqi girl of nine kidnapped in front of her school, raped and
left unconscious and bleeding by US troops south of Baghdad on
Sunday 8 January 2005. Americans recorded as having raped 71
Iraqi children under the age of 10 in the year 2005 alone.
In a dispatch posted at 7:45pm Mecca time Sunday
night, "Mafkarat al-Islam" Arabic site reported medical sources in
the city of "Al-Hillah", south of Baghdad, as saying that US
troops on Sunday had forcibly kidnapped and raped a nine-year-old
girl, abducting her as she came out of her school after classes.
The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported a doctor in al-
Hillah General Hospital, who asked not to be identified, as
saying that the little girl was found four hours after the
criminal attack, unconscious with blood all over her face and legs.
Witnesses said that the little girl Aminah (the rest of her name
was not published) was standing by the door of "Umm al-Banin
School", waiting for her family to pick her up. In full view of
all the people in the area, an American soldier kidnapped her in
his military vehicle which was part of a patrol passing by.
Numerous witnesses reported that Aminah was later found in
the "Maqali` al-Hasa" area near "al-Hillah", close to an American
base there.
The doctor in al-Hillah General Hospital, who spoke with
Mafkarat al-Islam, said that he had reported the crime to
correspondents for the "Al-Arabiyah Satellite TV Network" and "Al-
`Iraqiyah TV Network" which is owned by American-run Iraqi
government, but they were not interested in the incident,
believing that running the story would get them in trouble with
the US occupation authorities and the American-installed puppet
Aminah's family requested that the Mafkarat al-Islam
correspondent not publish the full name or photograph of their
daughter in hospital for ethical reasons and Mafkarat al-Islam
complied with their wishes.
The correspondent noted that the "Iraqi Organization for
Children Welfare" had registered 71 cases of rape committed by US
occupation troops against Iraqi children under the age of 10
during the year 2005 alone

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

t r u t h o u t - 2002 Memo Doubted Niger Uranium Sale Claim

The Americans quite quickly owned up to the Niger story being a fraud.
The Brits have hung onto it, saying it is real intelligence that they will not disclose.

Plamegate has faded out of the headlines recently, but Blair has never been made accountable for the plagiarised student thesis, that was 10 years out of date.

t r u t h o u t - 2002 Memo Doubted Niger Uranium Sale Claim: " The analysts' doubts were registered nearly a year before President Bush, in what became known as the infamous '16 words' in his 2003 State of the Union address, said that Saddam Hussein had sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

The White House later acknowledged that the charge, which played a part in the decision to invade Iraq in the belief that Baghdad was reconstituting its nuclear program, relied on faulty intelligence and should not have been included in the speech. Two months ago, Italian intelligence officials concluded that a set of documents at the center of the supposed Iraq-Niger link had been forged by an occasional Italian spy."

AlterNet: War on Iraq: The Military Recruiter's Lament

People don't want to kill for Bushco any more.
They are happy to take the risks of being a firefighter but they don't want to go to Iraq.

AlterNet: War on Iraq: The Military Recruiter's Lament: "When one examines the employment picture in America today, firefighting is listed as one of the most dangerous vocations. And yet America's youth are lining up to compete for firefighting jobs, despite the dangers. The reason for this is that danger aside, firefighting is seen as an honorable profession, one worthy of the sacrifice entailed.

Americans aren't afraid to put their lives on the line for a worthy cause. It is not military service that is being rejected, but rather military service in support of a cause not deemed worthy of the sacrifice expected. The military today has degenerated into an entity that is viewed by many in the American public as no longer serving the larger interests of the American people, but rather the play toy of a political elite who use the U.S. military as a tool to impose their ideology on others around the world, as opposed to 'upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States,' the mission assumed when one is sworn into military service."

AlterNet: Whistling in the Wind

It seems there is no one left to blow the whistle to in Bushland.
The agency designed to help whistleblowers is needing whistleblowers of its own

AlterNet: Whistling in the Wind: "The silencing of Gabe Bruno and the whitewashing of FAA corruption is far from an aberration; under the tenure of Scott Bloch, such treatment has become standard practice. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), whistleblowers are coming forward in record numbers, yet the number of whistleblowers who have been helped by the OSC has plummeted.

Since Bloch took office, over 1,000 whistleblower complaints -- many leveling serious charges of government corruption and incompetence, including allegations of misconduct within FEMA before the Katrina disaster -- have been summarily dismissed. In the words of Jeff Ruch, executive director of PEER, the OSC has become 'a plumber's unit for the Bush administration, plugging leaks, blocking investigations, and discrediting sources.'"

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Bush OK'd illegal spying before 9/11

More evidence comes in to show Bushco keeping spy records on Americans pre 911.

No doubt the Bushco could argue that it was necessary to defend the country then too.
After all, they knew 911 was about to happen.

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Bush OK'd illegal spying before 9/11: "Jason Leopold of Truthout reports that Bush authorized illegal spying before 9/11, according to a recently declassified document. In early 2001 the National Security Agency requested permission to undertake data mining operations that might bring up the names of American citizens.

The Agency requested that the administration delete those names, should they crop up. Keeping them would be illegal domestic spying. The administration ignored the NSA's request and used the names to compile an illegal enemies list.

Leopold writes:

What had long been understood to be protocol in the event that the NSA spied on average Americans was that the agency would black out the identities of those individuals or immediately destroy the information.

But according to people who worked at the NSA as encryption specialists during this time, that's not what happened. On orders from Defense Department officials and President Bush, the agency kept a running list of the names of Americans in its system and made it readily available to a number of senior officials in the Bush administration, these sources said, which in essence meant the NSA was conducting a covert domestic surveillance operation in violation of the law."

t r u t h o u t - Juan Cole | 10 Things King Would Have Done about Iraq

Martin Luther King had more than one dream. But the craven media will not tell you this one. It is a great dream.

What a pity the good stuff in America has been squashed by Bushco etc.

t r u t h o u t - Juan Cole | 10 Things King Would Have Done about Iraq: " 9. A revolution in American values away from consumer materialism and militarism is needed if we are not to go on having one Vietnam after another:

'The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality [applause], and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing 'clergy and laymen concerned' committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy . . .

Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin [applause], we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered . "

Cronkite: Time for U.S. to Leave Iraq - Yahoo! News

Roll back the clocks for 89 year old Walter Cronkite, he is a bot flatulant these days, repeating on us.

He wants to tell you Americans again that it is time to go.

Home that is.

Go home Americans, you have nothing to add to improve the world.
How about a return to splendid or maybe flacid isolation.

Cronkite: Time for U.S. to Leave Iraq - Yahoo! News: "PASADENA, Calif. - Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about

'It's my belief that we should get out now,' Cronkite said in a meeting with reporters.

Now 89, the television journalist once known as 'the most trusted man in America' has been off the 'CBS Evening News' for nearly a quarter-century. He's still a CBS News employee, although he does little for them"

t r u t h o u t - Global Warming to Speed Up as Carbon Levels Show Sharp Rise

In the Independent yesterday Lovelock told us it is already too late. We face 10,000 years of overheated earth.

I guess that legitimises everyone grabbing everything they can now before our children or grand children have nothing left.

Three cheers for Blair and Bush

t r u t h o u t - Global Warming to Speed Up as Carbon Levels Show Sharp Rise: "Global Warming to Speed Up as Carbon Levels Show Sharp Rise
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent UK

Sunday 15 January 2006

Global warming is set to accelerate alarmingly because of a sharp jump in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Preliminary figures, exclusively obtained by The Independent on Sunday, show that levels of the gas - the main cause of climate change - have risen abruptly in the past four years. Scientists fear that warming is entering a new phase, and may accelerate further.

But a summit of the most polluting countries, convened by the Bush administration, last week refused to set targets for reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. Set up in competition to the Kyoto Protocol, the summit, held in Sydney and attended by Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea as well as the United States, instead pledged to develop cleaner technologies - which some experts believe will not arrive in time."

The Pacifist `Threat'

"Peace and opposition to war". Yes, sir, the quakers are under surveillance again. They are the wrong kind of Christians. They don't like crusades, murder, torture, rape, and pillage.

The Pacifist `Threat': "Published on Monday, January 16, 2006 by the Hartford Courant (Connecticut)
The Pacifist `Threat'
Disclosure Of Recent Government Surveillance Of Quaker Activities Doesn't Surprise Members
by Francis Grandy Taylor

A group of Quakers who were protesting military recruitment efforts at a Florida high school recently learned their meeting was included on a secret Pentagon database of 'suspicious incidents.' When that news broke last month, it had a familiar ring for many American Quakers.

'With the restriction of civil liberties goes surveillance,' says Don Weinholtz, a Quaker who lives in Windsor. 'It just seems to be a very unfortunate natural course of events.'

The Religious Society of Friends is one of the largest groups of Quakers in the United States, with about 600,000 members worldwide. They embrace beliefs, called testimonies, that include peace, equality and rejection of war in all its forms."

Gore: Bush 'Repeatedly and Persistently' Broke the Law

While Gore does his bull impersonation the Republicans reply with a kind of "Oh how can you criticise big daddy Bush who alone knows how threatened we are" Hitler would have been proud.

Gore: Bush 'Repeatedly and Persistently' Broke the Law: "Published on Monday, January 16, 2006 by the Associated Press
Gore: Bush 'Repeatedly and Persistently' Broke the Law
by Larry Margasak

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Al Gore called Monday for an independent investigation of President Bush's domestic spying program, contending the president 'repeatedly and persistently' broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without court approval.

Also See Full Text of Prepared Remarks:
Al Gore 1/16/2006:
'We the People' Must Save Our Constitution

Former Vice President Al Gore gestures while addressing the American Constitution Society on the threat to the Constitution from President Bush's domestic wiretap policy, Monday, Jan. 16, 2006 at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washigton. Gore asserted Monday that President Bush 'repeatedly and persistently' broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Speaking on Martin Luther King Jr.'s national holiday, the man who lost the 2000 presidential election to Bush was interrupted repeatedly by applause as he called the anti-terrorism program 'a threat to the very structure of our government.'

Gore charged that the administration acted without congressional authority and made a 'direct assault' on a special federal court that authorizes requests to eavesdrop on Americans. One judge on the court resigned last month, voicing concerns about the National Security Agency's surveillance of e-mails and phone calls."

Monday, January 16, 2006

t r u t h o u t - Al Gore: 'America's Constitution is in Grave Danger'

Gore has spoken
But are people listening

and if they listen can they do anything?

Over here Blair announces breathtaking changes to our system of law, taking a giant leap down the road to a police state

No outrage

No complaints



The silence is deafening.

t r u t h o u t - Al Gore: 'America's Constitution is in Grave Danger': "US Constitution in Grave Danger
By Albert Gore Jr.
t r u t h o u t | Speech

Monday 16 January 2006

The following is the transcript as prepared for delivery.

Congressman Barr and I have disagreed many times over the years, but we have joined together today with thousands of our fellow citizens-Democrats and Republicans alike-to express our shared concern that America's Constitution is in grave danger.

In spite of our differences over ideology and politics, we are in strong agreement that the American values we hold most dear have been placed at serious risk by the unprecedented claims of the Administration to a truly breathtaking expansion of executive power.

As we begin this new year, the Executive Branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses.

It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored.

So, many of us have come here to Constitution Hall to sound an alarm and call upon our fellow citizens to put aside partisan differences and join with us in demanding that our Constitution be defended and preserved.

It is appropriate that we make this appeal on the day our nation has set aside to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who challenged America to breathe new life into our oldest values by extending its promise to all our people."

Iran not a nuclear threat!?

Some people, see below, think all the talk of Iranian nuclear weapons is just western propaganda.

I don't know enough. I am pretty sure of one thing, if the Iranians came anywhere close to having a nuclear bomb the Israelis would destroy it just as they did with Saddam's nuclear site.

Maybe you forgot about that.
Saddam abandoned his nuclear ambitions after the Israelis bombed his sites.

The rest of the wmd story was just western propaganda to justify the second gulf war.

"More Lies about Iran

By Mike Whitney

01/15/06 'ICH' -- -- There’s been a lot of rubbish written about Iran’s “removing the seals” from its uranium enrichment equipment.

The fear-mongering western media have exploited the expression for all its worth. Even those who are normally skeptical of the Bush-propaganda machine are taken aback by this ominous-sounding phrase.

What gibberish!

How else does one make nuclear fuel for electric power plants if the fuel-producing mechanism is under lock and key?

The fear-engendering description provided in the news would have the reader believe that “diabolical” Iranians are ripping off the seals with crowbars so they can quickly assemble their secret nuclear stockpile to bomb Tel Aviv.

This is the worse type of demagoguery.

The fuel that is produced from these uranium enrichment reactors DOES NOT PRODUCE WEAPONS-GRADE MATERIAL. That requires thousands of centrifuges which Iran does not have. "

t r u t h o u t - Airstrike by US Draws Protests from Pakistanis

Blairy england looks forward to a time when Bushco will feel free not only to kidnap our nationals as it is already doing but to bomb villages in Wales or Scotland oe even this one, thought to be a threat to the Emperor.

Doubtless Mr Blair and his government would not oppose such developments. The Americans already claim the right to shoot our nationals if they seem threatening outside American bases.

t r u t h o u t - Airstrike by US Draws Protests from Pakistanis: " In a speech he gave to townspeople in Sawabi, President Musharraf warned that aiding militants was dangerous.

'If we harbor foreign terrorists, those who carry out bomb blasts throughout the world, then remember that our future is not good,' he said. 'People should not side with foreign militants,' he said. 'They should tell us about them so we take action against them,' he said.

He did not directly criticize the United States for the attack, and it was left to the Foreign Ministry to protest the infringement of sovereignty. 'Our armed forces have undertaken large-scale operations against the foreign militants, and it remains our responsibility to protect our people and territory from outside intrusion,' the ministry said.

The statement was the second in two weeks in which the Pakistani government has condemned what was thought to be an American attack on its soil. Eight people, including women and children, were reported killed Jan. 7 when missiles destroyed the house of a local cleric in North Waziristan close to the Afghan border. Pakistan lodged a strong protest with coalition forces on Monday, but said it was still investigating whether the missiles had been fired from Pakistani airspace or from Afghan territory."

t r u t h o u t - Court: Bush Can Be Sued on Faith Based Initiative

Bush has been putting state money into backing christian groups of neo-cons for some time.

Now a court is challenging it.

That's good then.

t r u t h o u t - Court: Bush Can Be Sued on Faith Based Initiative: " Challenge to Bush Initiative Reinstated
The Associated Press

Saturday 14 January 2006

Madison, Wis. - A group can sue the federal government over claims that President Bush's faith-based initiative is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion, a federal appeals court ruled.

A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reinstated the lawsuit brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The group claims Bush's program, which helps religious organizations get government funding to provide social services, violates the separation of church and state.

'Bush says this is constitutional, but it's never been tried by the courts. So we're pleased,' said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation, said Saturday.

Bush sidestepped Congress by issuing executive orders to create the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and similar centers in 10 federal agencies during his first term. He said the goal was to help religious and community groups compete for federal funding to fight poverty, substance abuse and other social problems."

t r u t h o u t - Murtha Says Elections Could End War

Not quite sure if this is worth blogging

Sometimes we need to record the obvious just to confirm that others have noticed it too.

t r u t h o u t - Murtha Says Elections Could End War: "Murtha Says Elections Could End War

Friday 13 January 2006

New York - U.S. Rep. John Murtha, an outspoken Democratic critic of the Iraq war, said in remarks to be aired on Sunday that voter pressure in the November congressional election could force President George W. Bush to pull U.S. forces from Iraq.

'I think the vast majority will be out by the end of the year and I'm hopeful it will be sooner than that,' Murtha, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, told the CBS '60 Minutes' show.

The Pennsylvania Democrat said mounting pressure from voters tired of the war could affect this year's midterm election and force Bush to devise a plan to pull U.S. troops from Iraq.

'You're going to see a plan for withdrawal,' said Murtha, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending.

'I think the political people who give (Bush) advice will say to him, 'You don't want a Democratic (controlled) Congress. You want to keep a Republican majority, and the only way you're going to keep it is by reducing substantially the troops in Iraq.''

All 435 seats of the House are up for election in November."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

t r u t h o u t - NYT Warns of Unrestrained Bush Powers

Why can't you Americans understand it.

Your land of the free is being taken from you.

Do you care?

t r u t h o u t - NYT Warns of Unrestrained Bush Powers: "Mr. Bush made a grand show of inviting Mr. McCain into the Oval Office last month to announce his support for a bill to require humane treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay and other prisons run by the American military and intelligence agencies. He seemed to have managed to get Vice President Dick Cheney to stop trying to kill the proposed Congressional ban on torture of prisoners.

The White House also endorsed a bargain between Mr. Levin and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, which tempered somewhat a noxious proposal by Mr. Graham to deny a court hearing to anyone the president declares to be an 'unlawful enemy combatant.' The bargain with Mr. Levin removed language that stripped away cases already before the courts, which would have been an egregious usurpation of power by one branch of government, and it made clear that those cases should remain in the courts.

Mr. Bush, however, seems to see no limit to his imperial presidency. First, he issued a constitutionally ludicrous 'signing statement' on the McCain bill. The message: Whatever Congress intended the law to say, he intended to ignore it on the pretext the commander in chief is above the law. That twisted reasoning is what led to the legalized torture policies, not to mention the domestic spying program.

Then Mr. Bush went after the judiciary, scrapping the Levin-Graham bargain. The solicitor general informed the Supreme Court last week that it no longer had jurisdiction over detainee cases. It said the court should drop an existing case in which a Yemeni national is challenging the military tribunals invented by Mr. Bush's morally challenged lawyers after 9/11. The administration is seeking to eliminate all other lawsuits filed by some of the approximately 500 men at Gitmo, the vast majority of whom have not been shown to pose any threat.

Both of the offensive theories at work here - that a president's intent in sig"

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bishops Urge U.S. to Transition Out of Iraq - Los Angeles Times

The bishops are saying get out of Iraq.
So it will soon happen then!?

Who listens to bishops when there are so many raving lunatic pastors telling you to kill anyone who isn't Christian?

Bishops Urge U.S. to Transition Out of Iraq - Los Angeles Times: "Declaring that the United States was at a crossroads in Iraq, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday the time had come to withdraw U.S. troops as fast as responsibly possible and to hand control of the country to Iraqis."

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Commanding Responsibility from the Pentagon

A law case has just opened the door to Bushco being convicted for torture.
Whistleblowers have confirmed that this regime authorised torture under US and International Law.

Sooner or later these people will have to lose power.
Then they will be up for prosecution

Unless of course permanent state terror has been established.

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Commanding Responsibility from the Pentagon: "Rumsfeld and Cheney are staring down the possibility they could be held accountable for crimes at Abu Ghraib, Falluja and Guantanamo.

A jury verdict in Memphis late last year caused little stir among the general public, but it may have caught the attention of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and other high officials of the Bush administration. The jury found Colonel Nicolas Carranza, former Vice Minister of Defense of El Salvador and now a U.S. citizen living in Memphis, responsible for overseeing the torture and killing in that country 25 years ago. Could similar charges be brought against high U.S. officials for the actions of their subordinates in Abu Ghraib, Falluja, and Guantanamo?"

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Commanding Responsibility from the Pentagon

A law case has just opened the door to Bushco being convicted for torture.
Whistleblowers have confirmed that this regime authorised torture under US and International Law.

Sooner or later these people will have to lose power.
Then they will be up for prosecution

Unless of course permanent state terror has been established.

AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Commanding Responsibility from the Pentagon: "Rumsfeld and Cheney are staring down the possibility they could be held accountable for crimes at Abu Ghraib, Falluja and Guantanamo.

A jury verdict in Memphis late last year caused little stir among the general public, but it may have caught the attention of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and other high officials of the Bush administration. The jury found Colonel Nicolas Carranza, former Vice Minister of Defense of El Salvador and now a U.S. citizen living in Memphis, responsible for overseeing the torture and killing in that country 25 years ago. Could similar charges be brought against high U.S. officials for the actions of their subordinates in Abu Ghraib, Falluja, and Guantanamo?"

AlterNet: Chomsky: 'There Is No War On Terror'

the term "war on terror" is meaningless twaddle. The west bought into it in a state of shock after 911.

What is happening is a war between neo-liberalism and islamist thought.

Meanwhile Iraq has been invaded as a piece of leverage in global power politics.

AlterNet: Chomsky: 'There Is No War On Terror': "What do you think should be done in Iraq?

Well, the first thing that should be done in Iraq is for us to be serious about what's going on. There is almost no serious discussion, I'm sorry to say, across the spectrum, of the question of withdrawal. The reason for that is that we are under a rigid doctrine in the West, a religious fanaticism, that says we must believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq even if its main product was lettuce and pickles, and the oil resources of the world were in Central Africa. Anyone who doesn't believe that is condemned as a conspiracy theorist, a Marxist, a madman, or something. Well, you know, if you have three gray cells functioning, you know that that's perfect nonsense. The U.S. invaded Iraq because it has enormous oil resources, mostly untapped, and it's right in the heart of the world's energy system. Which means that if the U.S. manages to control Iraq, it extends enormously its strategic power, what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls its critical leverage over Europe and Asia. Yeah, that's a major reason for controlling the oil resources -- it gives you strategic power. Even if you're on renewable energy you want to do that. So that's the reason for invading Iraq, the fundamental reason."

Friday, January 13, 2006

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Murtha: Civil war

A republican has started to tell America the way it is in Iraq.
Will they listen or stay the course with Bush
The course to total defeat, was that, Mr Bush?

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Murtha: Civil war: "Claims of civil war have been thrown about for months now. It is... it isn't... not yet... soon... maybe next Tuesday... since forever...

Rep. John Murtha, who made headlines -- and some enemies -- last month by standing up on the House floor and making the case for a phased and strategic withdrawal (not, as was charged, an immediate one), revisits the point. In a blog.

'93 percent of those fighting in Iraq are Iraqis. A very small percentage of the fighting is being done by foreign fighters. Our troops are caught in between the fighting. 80 percent of Iraqis want us out of there and 45 percent think it is justified to kill American troops.'

These are compelling factors, to be sure, but the more convincing argument for the damage we're causing, the futility of the Bush doctrine in Iraq, is that every step toward anything resembling democracy is actually a step toward theocracy and increased division -- and thus, away from democracy. You see the problem."

The Revealer: Poppa's Got A Brand New Sword

Another mad mullah, but this one is claiming he is a Christian.
This sheer nonsense preacher is reputed to have delivered Ohio for Bush.

You should know by now it was the voting machines gave Bush Ohio.

Ah, well.

The Revealer: Poppa's Got A Brand New Sword: "Fundamentalists get Freudian, for real.

'With the right
hand of my
Do you experience erectile dysfunction? Would you like a little more size? Pastor Rod Parsley wants to help -- he'll turn your 'male headship' into a deadly weapon with extra inches.

Pastor Rod is the fundamentalist feudal prince of Ohio, the bestselling preacher who tipped the Buckeye state for Bush in 2004. His strategy? Warning the citizenry that they would all go gay if they didn't beat back the homosexual agenda. Pastor Rod couldn't legally endorse Bush, but he pushed Christian conservative voters to the polls.

This past August, I reported that Pastor Rod was raising cash for holy war -- I mean, relief work -- in Sudan by offering an actual 27-inch sword, in exchange for a gift of $54 or more. Now, Pastor Rod's got a whole new sword to sell. And this one's ten inches longer, with a blade of steel and a 'gold-colored metal' handle inscribed with the cross. It's the 'SWORD OF THE KING,' promises Pastor Rod.

Just like the one Christ didn’t carry? Even better. This 'beautifully crafted' blade, writes Rod, is a 'replica' of King Arthur's. As in Excaliber, the magic sword Merlin told him to pull out of a stone. Sound like kid's stuff? No way. Who's going to tell a man packing 37 awesome inches of hard steel that he's lost in a fairy tale?

There's more. Don't worry about where to sheath your blade -- in a special email solicitation, Pastor Rod writes that it comes with a 'beautiful... mount.' And the best part of all? You get the whole package -- magic sword, mount, delusions of potency -- for only $41 dollars and ten cents, in honor of Isaiah 41:10 ('...yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.'). That's almost thirteen dollars less for ten more powerful inches of Christian manhood. And don't forget the gold-colored metal.

Goring for Bush

Bush started spying on Americans pre 911. He is palpable claiming that his writ is the law.
If you don't successfully challenge this now Americans you can forget even thinking you have any democracy to export.

The Raw Story | Gore to deliver scathing speech Monday on 'constitutional crisis' in Washington: "“We are at a point of constitutional crisis,' the aide said, relating how Gore has articulated his speech. 'The president who has violated the law is acting above the law. It’s a wakeup call for Congress, the American people and the courts. If we continue down this road we will have a different constitution.

'Nixon’s quote about if the president does it it is legal, it’s kind of like Bush saying, if it’s about national security, it’s legal. This is going to be called transpartisan; it’s not about who your party is, it’s about what America stands for.'

Gore, the source said, will talk about the framers of the constitution.

'You can’t defend freedom while abandoning it at home,' the source said, speaking of Gore's planned remarks. 'The founders thought about this. They didn’t want a king, that’s why they didn’t set up a system to anoint a king. We have checks and balances in this country and we cannot abandon them.'"

The UN will start to investigate war crimes in Iraq.

Maybe you signed this letter from Tony Ben via Blairy England

The letter is bearing fruit.

Reply from Kofi Annan's office: "Iraq war crimes allegations referred by UN Secretary-General's office to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Stop the War Coalition
Press release: Immediate
5.30pm Monday 9th January 2006

Tony Benn has today received a reply to his request to Kofi Annan to investigate possible war crimes in Iraq. In his letter to Mr Benn, Nicholas Michel, UN Under Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, states: 'your letter raises matters which are of extremely serious concern and which would appear to fall within the remit of a number of the mechanisms that the United Nations has established for the promotion and protection of human rights...On behalf of the Secretary-General, I am accordingly transmitting your letter and its attachments to the High Commissioner for Human Rights and asking her to explore what channels might be available to address your concerns.'"

What happened to the attack on Blair over wmd and Iraq?

I copy this from the MK stop the war group.

Blair is embattled on many sides. But the confrontation with Blair over Iraq has been pushed out onto the More 4 Channel which we do not receive.
They had a very interesting looking programme this week on why we really went to war.

Sent: 13 January 2006 01:07
Subject: Credentials for lambasting Blair over the war in Iraq | The
Guardian | Friday January 13 2006 | Main Paper | page 39


[There's a letter - ill informed in my opinion - from Siôn Simon MP but I
haven't copied it - BR]

* As a former Labour MP who when in parliament took a detailed interest in
the illegal invasion of Iraq and its aftermath (as I still do now), I found
Gen Michael Rose's comment article very interesting. He is, however, wrong
on two matters. He suggests parliament has not yet ascertained how far the
prime minister evaluated intelligence regarding alleged Iraqi WMD.

Immediately after reading the now notorious intelligence-derived dossier,
published on September 24 2002, I tabled a series of questions to the prime
minister, including asking him to set out the technical basis for the
assertion made on page 19 that chemical or biological weapons could be
deployed within 45 minutes of an order to do so. The prime minister
answered: "These points reflect specific intelligence information." This was
over seven months before Andrew Gilligan provided his documented challenge
to the credibility of the 45-minute claim.

Rose also asserts that there has been no attempt in parliament to call
Blair personally to account over the Iraq blunder. Not so. In December 2003,
for instance, at prime minister's question time, I specifically asked Blair
if no WMDs were found in Iraq, would this parliament be right to expect
resignations to follow at the highest level of government? He replied: "It
is also absolutely clear to me that weapons of mass destruction are a real
issue, not just in Iraq but in the wider world. I believe entirely in the
information that was given to us at the time. We will carry on the search
for those weapons through the Iraq Survey Group, which should be allowed to
complete its work before anyone makes up their mind."

The problem was there were neither sufficient parliamentary colleagues nor
newspapers that were prepared to press for ministerial resignations when the
facts showed them to be demonstrably wrong on their claims over Iraqi WMD.

Llew Smith

Newbridge, Gwent

Iraq is the greatest disaster in US history

Interesting despatch from Iraq this morning.
It amazes me that the US couldset up Iraq under Saddam to invade Iran with wmd and then hand the region over to Iran on a plate by destabilising Iraq.

I want to know how long will it take for them to decide to overthrow the new Shia majority party and starting rebuilding the Baath party.

The US occupation of Iraq has turned its neighbour into a new regional
power. But the contagion is likely to spread far wider
Friday, January 13th 2006

David Hirst

In March 2003, before US troops reached Baghdad, Middle East scholar Volker
Perthes wrote that while the risks of this "illegitimate" war were enormous,
those of "a US failure to stabilise postwar Iraq would be even higher". With
those words looking increasingly prophetic, no one, in picturing the
implications of such failure, is now more lurid than the Bush
administration. The direness of the prospect has become its strongest
argument for "staying the course", but for others it is already a given,
amounting to "the greatest strategic disaster in US history", in the words
of the retired US general William Odom.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

AlterNet: The Impeachment of George W. Bush

America has a War Crimes Act.
Interesting. It seems likely that Bush has violated it with his exemption of abusers and torturers working for him.

AlterNet: The Impeachment of George W. Bush: "The evidence before us now suggests that the President himself may have authorized detainee abuse. In January 2002, after the Afghanistan war had begun, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales advised President Bush in writing that US mistreatment of detainees might be criminally prosecutable under the War Crimes Act. Rather than order the possibly criminal behavior to stop, which under the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes Act the President was obligated to do, Bush authorized an 'opt-out' of the Geneva Conventions to try to shield the Americans who were abusing detainees from prosecution.

In other words, the President's response to reports of detainee abuse was to prevent prosecution of the abusers, thereby implicitly condoning the abuse and authorizing its continuation. If torture or inhuman treatment of prisoners took place as a result of the President's conduct, then he himself may have violated the War Crimes Act, along with those who actually inflicted the abuse."

AlterNet: The Impeachment of George W. Bush

Nobody wants to impeach a president says someone who was involved in impeaching Nixon. But you can't let the executive get away with high crimes and misdemeanours. With each passing day it becomes clear that Bush is acting above the law and as if he were immune to it.

That may well have been what 911 was for. Wake up from the spell America, your country has been highjacked.

AlterNet: The Impeachment of George W. Bush: "Like many others, I have been deeply troubled by Bush's breathtaking scorn for our international treaty obligations under the United Nations Charter and the Geneva Conventions. I have also been disturbed by the torture scandals and the violations of US criminal laws at the highest levels of our government they may entail, something I have written about before.

These concerns have been compounded by growing evidence that the President deliberately misled the country into the war in Iraq. But it wasn't until the most recent revelations that President Bush directed the wiretapping of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) -- and argued that, as Commander in Chief, he had the right in the interests of national security to override our country's laws -- that I felt the same sinking feeling in my stomach as I did during Watergate.

As a matter of constitutional law, these and other misdeeds constitute grounds for the impeachment of President Bush. A President, any President, who maintains that he is above the law -- and repeatedly violates the law -- thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors, the constitutional standard for impeachment and removal from office. A high crime or misdemeanor is an archaic term that means a serious abuse of power, whether or not it is also a crime, that endangers our constitutional system of government."

t r u t h o u t - Inquiry Says CIA Jails Document Must Be Followed Up

Evidence mounts in europe that the US is stealing people for torture.
But will they do anything with it or be bought off by uncle Sam?

t r u t h o u t - Inquiry Says CIA Jails Document Must Be Followed Up: " Tuesday 10 January 2005

Brussels - The head of a European investigation into alleged CIA prisons in Europe said Tuesday the purported Egyptian government document naming countries where such prisons existed is a new lead which must be followed up.

But Dick Marty, a Swiss senator leading the probe on behalf of the Council of Europe, said it still wasn't clear whether the document - a fax reportedly sent by satellite transmission from Egypt's Foreign Ministry to its embassy in London - was genuine.

The document's existence was reported Sunday by the Swiss weekly SonnstagsBlick. The fax, intercepted Nov. 15 by Swiss intelligence, reportedly said Egypt had confirmed through its own sources that the US intelligence agency had held 23 terrorist suspects from Iraq and Afghanistan at a military base in Romania."

Rapidly Shrinking Arctic Ice Could Spell Trouble for the Rest of the World

While the polluters look for excuses and pseudo solutions in Australia the arctic ice is fast disappearing bringing drastic climate change in its wake.

Rapidly Shrinking Arctic Ice Could Spell Trouble for the Rest of the World: "Rapidly Shrinking Arctic Ice Could Spell Trouble for the Rest of the World
by Robert S. Boyd

WASHINGTON - Alarmed by an accelerating loss of ice in the Arctic Ocean, scientists are striving to understand why the speedup is happening and what it means for humankind.

If present trends continue, as seems likely, the sea surrounding the North Pole will be completely free of ice in the summertime within the lifetime of a child born today. The loss could point the way to radical changes in the Earth's climate and weather systems.

Bright white ice reflects sunlight from the Earth’s surface. In contrast, open water is very dark, and absorbs sunlight. As sea ice melts more water is exposed, which tends to increase warming. (Photograph courtesy NOAA Photo Library)
Some researchers, such as Ron Lindsay, an Arctic scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, fear that the polar region already may have passed a 'tipping point' from which it can't recover in the foreseeable future."

U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq Could Intensify

This is another war crime. Losing the battle on the ground the US is doing what it did in Vietnam and trying to bomb the people to hell. It is likely that the Americans will retreat on the ground while bombing more and more and more.
This is typical abuse from a sore bully loser.

Hey, but this is all part of our fredom and democracy.

U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq Could Intensify: "U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq Could Intensify
by Drew Brown

WASHINGTON - U.S. warplanes have carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Iraq in the past two years, bombing and strafing insurgent fighters and targets almost daily. And the air war, which has gone largely unnoticed at home, could intensify once American ground forces start to withdraw.

The war began with an airstrike targeting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The CIA reported intelligence on March 19, 2003 about the possible location of the Iraqi leader and President Bush approved the attack. On March 20 at 5:33 a.m. Baghdad time (March 19, 9:33 p.m. EST), U.S. ships fired about three dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles and a F-117 Stealth fighter dropped a pair of 2,000-pound satellite-guided bombs. (Photo:
Since Iraq doesn't have a working air force, U.S. jets are expected to provide air cover for Iraqi troops for at least several more years."

British Officer Blisters US Army in Iraq Critique

The American military have published a British soldiers critique of their war effort.

1) Cultural insensitivity. Me Tarzan you Jane. Basically a racial superiority thing.

2) Too much belief in their own propaganda. Where are my flowers? They said I would get flowers.

3) Not reporting difficulties. Hey they do not want to hear how tough this is so why tell them.

4) Kill first talk later. American forces like to attack a problem with maximum force and minimum sensitivity.

After all the friendly fire incidents the RAF would rather trust the Iraqi enemy than the US military. This is true though not in the report.

British Officer Blisters US Army in Iraq Critique: "WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army has displayed damaging cultural insensitivity in Iraq, while being blinded by unrealistic optimism and predisposed to use maximum force, a senior British officer wrote in a blistering appraisal in a U.S. military publication."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Scoop from 'State of War'

This chapter raises the question of continued connections between US intelligence and Al qaida. If thye had information that could have uncovered the whole financial base of Al qaida, why was it not persued?

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Scoop from 'State of War': "Chapter 8: In Denial: Oil, Terrorism, and Saudi Arabia

Risen writes that after Abu Zubaydah was captured in March 2002, he was discovered to have had two bank cards on his person one from a Kuwaiti bank, and another from a Saudi bank, which Risen writes 'had the potential to be keys that could unlock some of al Qaeda's darkest secrets. The cards 'could give us entrée right into who was funding al Qaeda, no link analysis needed,' said one American source. 'You could track money right from the financiers to a top al Qaeda figure.' But something very odd happened when the FBI and CIA team [that collected Zubaydah's personal and business effects]. There is little evidence that an aggressive investigation of the cards was ever conducted.

'Two American sources familiar with the matter say that they don't believe the government's experts on terrorism financing have ever thoroughly probed the transactions in Abu Zubaydah's accounts...' Risen later reports that his two sources believe that this is because of a lack of oversight, 'rather than a political cover-up to protect the Saudis.' Risen writes that a 'Muslim financier with a questionable past, and with connections to the Afghan Taliban, al Qaeda, and Saudi intelligence agreed to work with [American investigators]' on this story. Risen says that the financier reported that in 2004, '18 months earlier, he said he had been told, Saudi intelligence officials seized all of the records related to [Zubaydah's Saudi bank card]; the records then disappeared… The timing of the reported seizure of the records by Saudi intelligence closely coincided with the timing of Abu Zubaydah's capture in Pakistan in March 2002.'"

t r u t h o u t - Amnesty Releases New Gitmo Torture Testimony

It is about time we started treating the Bush regime as if it were the Nazis and acting to defeat them before the world becomes a prison camp.
If there is evil on earth then this US regime is that.

t r u t h o u t - Amnesty Releases New Gitmo Torture Testimony: " 'Anniversaries usually represent milestones. Today's milestone is a frightening and disheartening one. The situation at Guantánamo is not getting better - in fact, it may be worse. First, the Bush Administration wants all 186 pending habeas corpus petitions filed on behalf of the detainees to be dismissed based on a new law that was not meant to apply to cases filed before the law went into effect. And now, after Congress overwhelming passed the historic Anti-Torture Amendment, President Bush is asserting that he can waive the restrictions on the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against detainees. When does the hypocrisy of defending democracy around the world while continuing to curtail fundamental due process end?' said Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA."

AlterNet: 2006: The Year of Oil Collapse?

Oh good, we just arranged to live in a house with oil and no gas.
Just as well we have a central wood burning stove.
Still the Russians are playing roulette or at least hard ball with the gas supply too.
OOPs no more Ukrainian Government.
Our nice Mr Blair has grabbed the oil from Iraq. What apity the Iraqis keep blowing it up for him.
Anyone for a home nuclear reactor. Mr Blair wants one, and lots more nuclear bombs too. I guess he wants to bomb the Iranians, or perhaps those irritating French and Germans.
That would be the Iranians.
What I want is a wind turbine on our hill or in our beech tree

AlterNet: 2006: The Year of Oil Collapse?: "I can't predict whether some maniac will drive a Zodiac boat into a tanker in the straits of Hormuz or fire a shoulder-launched missile at an Arabian refinery. If nothing like that happens, the first year of post-peak will express itself in turbulent oil markets. Fear of not getting enough will rule. Futures will be overbought and then dumped or shorted, and then overbought again. This will at least increase the violence of the ratcheting effect in the markets. Overall, I expect to see $100-a-barrel oil at some point this year. Last year I made a bet with a friend that oil would end 2005 at $75. I lost the bet. But it is a fact that the price of oil altogether ended the year 40 percent higher than 2004, so it is not as if the markets did not show extraordinary stress."

Bushco is morally equivalent to Nazi Germany now

Post 911 Bushco changed the rules to allow the president to be able to torture children.

"What is particularly chilling and revealing about this is that John Yoo was a key architect post-9/11 Bush Administration legal policy. As a deputy assistant to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, John Yoo authored a number of legal memos arguing for unlimited presidential powers to order torture of captive suspects, and to declare war anytime, any where, and on anyone the President deemed a threat.

It has now come out Yoo also had a hand in providing legal reasoning for the President to conduct unauthorized wiretaps of U.S. citizens. Georgetown Law Professor David Cole wrote, "Few lawyers have had more influence on President Bush’s legal policies in the 'war on terror’ than John Yoo."

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

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

The audio of this exchange is available online at

Yoo argues presidential powers on Constitutional grounds, but where in the Constitution does it say the President can order the torture of children ? As David Cole puts it, "Yoo reasoned that because the Constitution makes the President the 'Commander-in-Chief,’ no law can restrict the actions he may take in pursuit of war. On this reasoning, the President would be entitled by the Constitution to resort to genocide if he wished."

What is the position of the Bush Administration on the torture of children, since one of its most influential legal architects is advocating the President’s right to order the crushing of a child’s testicles?

This fascist logic has nothing to do with "getting information" as Yoo has argued. The legal theory developed by Yoo and a few others and adopted by the Administration has resulted in thousands being abducted from their homes in Afghanistan, Iraq or other parts of the world, mostly at random. People have been raped, electrocuted, nearly drowned and tortured literally to death in U.S.-run torture centers in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantánamo Bay. And there is much still to come out. What about the secret centers in Europe or the many still-suppressed photos from Abu Ghraib? What can explain this sadistic, indiscriminate, barbaric brutality except a need to instill widespread fear among people all over the world?

It is ironic that just prior to arguing the President's legal right to torture children, John Yoo was defensive about the Bush administration policies, based on his legal memo’s, being equated to those during Nazi Germany.

Yoo said, "If you are trying to draw a moral equivalence between the Nazis and what the United States is trying to do in defending themselves against Al Qauueda and the 9/11 attacks, I fully reject that. Second, if you’re trying to equate the Bush Administration to Nazi officials who committed atrocities in the holocaust, I completely reject that too…I think to equate Nazi Germany to the Bush Administration is irresponsible."

If open promotion of unmitigated executive power, including the right to order the torture of innocent children, isn’t sufficient basis for drawing such a "moral equivalence," then I don’t know what is. What would be irresponsible is to sit by and allow the Bush regime to radically remake society in a fascist way, with repercussions for generations to come. We must act now because the future is in the balance. The world cannot wait. While Bush gives his State of the Union on January 31st, I’ll find myself along with many thousands across the country declaring "Bush Step Down And take your program with you.""

Dismal days of democracy and Bush war

And for all those poor Iraqis life is getting worse.
Under saddam their health service was better than ours.
See below for the current situation.

On TV yesterday Blair asked for a philosophical debate on Liberty. The only philosopher he mentioned was Thomas Hobbes.
Hobbes said that the natural life of man was "poor mean nasty brutish and short" and could only be improved by the formation of a Leviathan where all are bound together into the state.

Saddam understood that. Under him the people were secure and wealthy, at least prior to the west sponsored war on Iran.

Now the Leviathan has gone we have a democracy where the fight is all against all and life is much much worse.

Now Blair wants to destroy Liberty in this country and create a state Leviathan where even parenting is determined by the state.

Come on Mr Blair, debate if you dare.

"'Democracy' Brings Bleak Days
by Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed

BAGHDAD - Many Iraqis see dismal days ahead in the face of rising violence and the decision by the U.S. administration not to seek any further funds for reconstruction.

'It is obvious that the situation is much worse than it used to be,' retired army general Ahmed Abdul Aziz told IPS. 'Can you walk free in the streets? Did you receive your food ration last month? It is essential for most Iraqis to receive the food ration just to feed their families.' "

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Informed Comment

Check out this American professor Cole.
I think this is the substantially correct version of the history of the creation of Al Qaida by the US and the saudi monarchy.

The only bit I am unsure about is whether the alliance between Bushco and Al Qaida had broken down by 2001, or that they were still working together in blowing up the world trade centre.

It is quite possible that Al Qaida split between those still working with the CIA and those against it.

The failure of the US to find Bin Laden suggests that the secret alliance still holds.

Informed Comment: "Not content with creating a vast terrorist network to harass the Soviets, Reagan then pressured the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to match US contributions. He had earlier imposed on Fahd to give money to the Contras in Nicaragua, some of which was used to create rightwing death squads. (Reagan liked to sidestep Congress in creating private terrorist organizations for his foreign policy purposes, which he branded 'freedom fighters,' giving terrorists the idea that it was all right to inflict vast damage on civilians in order to achieve their goals). "

The Project for the New American Century

If you don't know this it is time you did. If you have not read this it is high time to do so.

In the next few months we will either see a halt to the spread of American global domination under a neo-con tyrant or the whole thing will be beyond redemption.

We need to act determinedly and together.

The Project for the New American Century: "The Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, is a Washington-based
think tank created in 1997. Above all else, PNAC desires and demands one
thing: The establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of
all nations. They chafe at the idea that the United States, the last
remaining superpower, does not do more by way of economic and military
force to bring the rest of the world under the umbrella of a new
socio-economic Pax Americana."

t r u t h o u t - Jason Leopold: Fitzgerald Maintains Focus on Rove

Another Roving report suggests an indictment is coming soon.
Check this out.

t r u t h o u t - Jason Leopold: Fitzgerald Maintains Focus on Rove: "Tuesday 10 January 2006

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is said to have spent the past month preparing evidence he will present to a grand jury alleging that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove knowingly made false statements to FBI and Justice Department investigators and lied under oath while he was being questioned about his role in the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity more than two years ago, according to sources knowledgeable about the probe."

Respect agenda or state terrorism?

On the Today programme this morning we heard Blair talk of "eye watering proposals, not eye catching proposals."

It's Blair's way to detain , it's his way to embrace,
Like a knee to your balls or a fist in your face.

This is the next stage of imposing a Police State.
If you have cash in your pocket now you must prove it is yours.
If you do something the Police do not like you face an instant fine, summary justice. You can appeal later, if you dare.
Now you are suddenly guilty till proven innocent.
This is Blair's 21 century England.

Meanwhile a National Parenting Academy knows more about parenting than we do as parents. Just as we must assume British people know better how to rule Iraq than the Iraqis.

I come back to the fundamental issue that parenting is about giving an example.

The Blair Government is a terrible parent to the country, just as the Blair's are poor parents to their own children. Blair's son is a drunken brawler, his daughter probably suicidal.

Blair has made peace with the IRA. Why not, he behaves just like they did.

The IRA imposed their own bully boy gun-law on republican parts of Northern Ireland where the RUC had lost control.

The UN had lost control of Iraq according to Blair, so he was entitled to impose his torturing murdering army on the people of Iraq, doing the will of the UN in spite of its democratic opposition to the Anglo American invasion.

Blair and Bush can override democracy in the UN and start wars of aggression with impunity based on deliberate lies.

Student sare sent down for plagiarising essays, while Blair gets away with plagiarising out of date thesese for false propaganda.

We simply will not take it any more.

You absolutley invalidate your right to impose law in this country if you refuse to abide by the International system of law that you signed up to, Mr Blair. You are a war criminal. You are a thug.

Now you think you can impose state thuggery on our own people.

Nanny Blair strikes again on parenting | the Daily Mail: "Tony Blair is today giving the State alarming powers to seize control of how parents raise their children.

A National Parenting Academy will teach health professionals and social workers how to educate new mothers and fathers about their 'responsibilities'.

They will begin handing out the advice at ante-natal classes or in home visits immediately after a child is born.

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Parents whose children step out of line later in life will face draconian sanctions, including parenting orders, even if they have not broken the law.

Last night, critics attacked the plan as the most alarming example to date of the Government's 'nanny statism'.

They said the Prime Minister wanted to control every aspect of a child's upbringing from Whitehall.


Will McMahon, senior associate of the Crime and Society Foundation, said: 'The Government clearly wants to take over the parenting role. This expansion in powers has an Orwellian feel to it.'"

Monday, January 09, 2006

Feingold won't rule out Bush impeachment

Hey there, why not string them up together,
or better yet, erect a ducking stool across the pond, maybe even start a sweepstake on who gets impeached first.

Feingold won't rule out Bush impeachment: "Feingold won't rule out Bush impeachment

By Shay Totten & Kathryn Casa | Vermont Guardian

posted January 8, 2006

BURLINGTON — If Pres. George Bush broke laws when ordering wiretaps and secret spying on U.S. citizens, a key Senate Democrat said he would not rule out calling for his impeachment."

Blair 'should be impeached over Iraq war' - Yahoo! News UK

Hey the big "I" word over here.
But is it being said out side of the land of the Yahoos?

It is great to see a top General standing up to be counted asking for Blair to be held account.

Maybe we need a military coup before we have true democracy.
Wait a minute, is that they way they are justifying the iraq invasion now?

Well, the yanks are already embedded here, threatening to shoot ius if we go near their permanent bases.

Blair 'should be impeached over Iraq war' - Yahoo! News UK: "Blair 'should be impeached over Iraq war'
ITN Monday January 9, 11:50 AM

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Blair 'should be impeached over Iraq war'
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Tony Blair should be impeached over the Iraq war, a former top British soldier has said.

General Sir Michael Rose, who was a UN commander in Bosnia, says the Prime Minister has to be held to account.

He claims Mr Blair's actions were somewhere in between getting the politics wrong and actually acting illegally.

Certainly from a soldier's perspective there can't be any more serious decision taken by a prime minister than declaring war,' he said.

'And then to go to war on what turns out to be false grounds is something that no one should be allowed to walk away from.'

The general accepted Parliament had endorsed the war, but he said that was because the Prime Minister had stressed the weapons of mass destruction argument.

Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price has already led calls for Tony Blair to be impeached over the war in Iraq.

Mr Blair's official spokesman said: 'General Rose is entitled to his view. Equally, the Government is entitled to point out that we have had free democratic elections in Iraq for the first time in well over a generation." News | The atheist

Oh Mr Dawkins, please!

I am delighted Dawkins is having air time to attack religion. But I wish he were a little less naive than this.
The quote below looks like the most innocent believer in some kind of unacknowledged "God" of progresss or scientific advance.
The Bush dark age is not something we can suppose will just go away. These morons have atomic bombs at their disposal. News | The atheist: "Still, so many people resist believing in evolution. Where does the resistance come from?

It comes, I'm sorry to say, from religion. And from bad religion. You won't find any opposition to the idea of evolution among sophisticated, educated theologians. It comes from an exceedingly retarded, primitive version of religion, which unfortunately is at present undergoing an epidemic in the United States. Not in Europe, not in Britain, but in the United States.

My American friends tell me that you are slipping towards a theocratic Dark Age. Which is very disagreeable for the very large number of educated, intelligent and right-thinking people in America. Unfortunately, at present, it's slightly outnumbered by the ignorant, uneducated people who voted Bush in.

But the broad direction of history is toward enlightenment, and so I think that what America is going through at the moment will prove to be a temporary reverse. I think there is great hope for the future. My advice would be, Don't despair, these things pass."

GM: New Study Shows Unborn Babies Could Be Harmed

It is pretty clear we are getting GM foods by the back door (Europe) even after closing the front door on this Blairy option through public opinion.
Now science starts to put the boot in.
Just how much damage has been done already to us or the biosphere?

GM: New Study Shows Unborn Babies Could Be Harmed: "GM: New Study Shows Unborn Babies Could Be Harmed
Mortality rate for new-born rats six times higher when mother was fed on a diet of modified soya
by Geoffrey Lean

Women who eat GM foods while pregnant risk endangering their unborn babies, startling new research suggests.

The World Trade Organization is expected next month to support a bid by the Bush administration to force European countries to accept GM foods.

The study - carried out by a leading scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences - found that more than half of the offspring of rats fed on modified soya died in the first three weeks of life, six times as many as those born to mothers with normal diets. Six times as many were also severely underweight.

The research - which is being prepared for publication - is just one of a clutch of recent studies that are reviving fears that GM food damages human health. Italian research has found that modified soya affected the liver and pancreas of mice. Australia had to abandon a decade-long attempt to develop modified peas when an official study found they caused lung damage.

And last May this newspaper revealed a secret report by the biotech giant Monsanto, which showed that rats fed a diet rich in GM corn had smaller kidneys and higher blood cell counts, suggesting possible damage to their immune systems, than those that ate a similar conventional one."

Iraq news

A despatch from Iraq for you.
Like 120 other occupied countries there will be permanent US bases in Iraq.
Meanwhile the US are retreating on the ground everywhere and bombing more and more places from the air.

War is utterly disgusting. This war is an Anglo-saxon obscenity.

"US Propaganda vs. Iraqi Reality

It appears as though the Cheney administration will soon “redeploy”
thousands of US troops out of Iraq. While several permanent US military
bases are under construction there as I type this, the Capital Hill
Cabal, desperate to paint the Iraq disaster in a glorious hue, are
working their pundits and spokespeople overtime to convince the
ill-informed they have not failed dismally in every aspect of their
illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

In his weekly radio address on Saturday, Mr. Bush did not mention Iraq
once. Instead, he spoke of the bright and shining US economy and the
need to maintain current tax cuts.

“Unfortunately, just as we’re seeing new evidence of how our tax cuts
have created jobs and opportunity, some people in Washington are saying
we need to raise your taxes,” he said, “They want the tax cuts to expire
in a few years, or even repeal the tax cuts now.”

What better time to maintain tax cuts in the US, particularly when a new
study by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda
Bilmes estimates the cost of the Iraq war to be between $1-2 trillion,
and the national debt already over $8 trillion?

Meanwhile, the reality in Iraq is the opposite of that generated by the
Cheney administration as the carnage and chaos in Iraq worsens each day.

A quick look at foreign media outlets yields the following developments
that were either not reported or under-reported in the US:

January 4:

-Unidentified gunmen assassinated Rahim Ali al-Sudani, director-general
of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, and his son early on the morning of 4 January
in Al-Amiriyah area in northern Baghdad.

-Clashes broke out between civilians protesting against unemployment and
Iraqi police in Al-Nasiriyah city in Dhi Qar Governorate, wounding
scores of civilians and police officers. The TV added within the same
news summary that two civilians were “martyred” and two others were
injured when an explosive charge missed a US patrol unit in Kirkuk.

-Al Sharqiyah television reported that a US plane had crashed in Mosul.
Quoting its correspondent in the city, the TV said that US forces had
rushed to the area and sealed off the scene where the crash occurred.

January 5:

-At least 130 Iraqis and 11 US soldiers die (highest number of US
soldiers killed in one day since August) in one of the bloodiest days in
Iraq since the invasion.

January 6:

-A medical source at Al-Ramadi State Hospital [speaking on condition of
anonymity] reports that 14 civilians, including three children, “were
martyred at the hands of US snipers today.” The source added that “the
snipers stationed on roof tops of high buildings in Al-Ramadi, killed
those victims in the Al-Ma’arid district in the city center this
morning”. Al Sharqiyah correspondent adds that “Al-Ramadi has witnessed
massive protests against the presence of US snipers who have been
deployed throughout the city, spreading fear among residents.”
Al-Sharqiyah says that the US armed forces have yet to comment on this

-For security purposes, Iraq has suspended its daily pumping of 200,000
barrels of crude oil to major oil refineries in Bayji, north of Baghdad.

-A US convoy came under attack in Samarra when an explosive device
planted near a petrol station was detonated. Four children were injured
in the attack and were rushed to Samarra State Hospital.

-A doctor at Nasiriyah Hospital reported that two Iraqis were killed and
23 were injured today as clashes between demonstrators, who were
protesting against unemployment, and Iraqi police continued in Nasiriyah
in southern Iraq.

January 7:

-Fierce clashes broke out between resistance fighters and US forces in
Fallujah when armed men battled with the US troops in al-Tharthar Street
in the eastern part of the city as the latter tightened security
measures, blocking all main entrances to the city. Local residents also
reported fierce clashes between US soldiers and resistance fighters on
Arba’ien Street in central Fallujah.

-Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb went off at about 7:30 a.m. (0430
GMT) in eastern Fallujah as a US military patrol was passing by,
destroying a US Humvee, killing or wounding the soldiers aboard, the
source said. An Iraqi doctor from Fallujah General Hospital was killed
by a US sniper, according to residents.

A recent email from a good friend in Baghdad sums up life for Iraqis in
their new “democracy”:

“We are living in a very critical situation now, for the ING [Iraqi
National Guard] are covering every corner around us wherever you go
inside Baghdad. The killings are ongoing everywhere inside and outside
the city.”

“Everybody in my family is safe for now only because no one is
interested in putting themselves in danger. Demonstrations are going on
all over Iraq for different reasons; price of fuel, lack of security,
jobless people are having demonstrations as well as those who do not
accept the presence of the Badr Brigades or the American forces.
[Meanwhile others are demonstrating in support of the Badr Brigades but
against the Americans.]”

“This is some kind of situation around us. The last four nights without
electricity…only half an hour every six hours. Fuel prices prevent
people from running their generators at home. Fuel on the black market
is fifty times the price what it used to be, and nobody can stand
waiting at the pumps for days anymore. The minister of oil resigned for
this, and Ahmed Chalabi is now the minister…everybody is frustrated yet
life is still going on as if the people are hypnotized.”

“Nothing has changed except that we see US Humvees and pick-up trucks
full of Iraqi National Guard everywhere [in Baghdad,]” he concluded."