June 18th, 2008


Exams find evidence of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo

Report: Exams prove abuse, torture in Iraq, Gitmo

By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 12 minutes ago

Medical examinations of former terrorism suspects held by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group.

For the most extensive medical study of former U.S. detainees published so far, Physicians for Human Rights had doctors and mental health professionals examine 11 former prisoners. The group alleges finding evidence of U.S. torture and war crimes and accuses U.S. military health professionals of allowing the abuse of detainees, denying them medical care and providing confidential medical information to interrogators that they then exploited.

"Some of these men really are, several years later, very severely scarred," said Barry Rosenfeld, a psychology professor at Fordham University who conducted psychological tests on six of the 11 detainees covered by the study. "It's a testimony to how bad those conditions were and how personal the abuse was."



Top bank advises clients to brace for full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets

Paulson & Co. Says Writedowns May Reach $1.3 Trillion

RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor

Last Updated: 2:50pm BST 18/06/2008

Have your say Read comments

The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks.

"A very nasty period is soon to be upon us - be prepared," said Bob Janjuah, the bank's credit strategist.

A report by the bank's research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as "all the chickens come home to roost" from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets.

RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert
RBS warning: Be prepared for a 'nasty' period

Such a slide on world bourses would amount to one of the worst bear markets over the last century.


Morgan Stanley warns of catastrophe

Morgan Stanley warns of 'catastrophic event' as ECB fights Federal Reserve

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor

Last Updated: 1:29am BST 17/06/2008

The clash between the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve over monetary strategy is causing serious strains in the global financial system and could lead to a replay of Europe's exchange rate crisis in the 1990s, a team of bankers has warned.

"We see striking similarities between the transatlantic tensions that built up in the early 1990s and those that are accumulating again today. The outcome of the 1992 deadlock was a major currency crisis and a recession in Europe," said a report by Morgan Stanley's European experts.

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet has signalled that interest rates in Europe will rise
Jean-Claude Trichet is taking a hard line on rates

Just as then, Washington has slashed rates to bail out the banks and prevent an economic hard-landing, while Frankfurt has stuck to its hawkish line - ignoring angry protests from politicians and squeals of pain from Europe's export industry.

Indeed, the ECB has let the de facto interest rate - Euribor - rise by over 100 basis points since the credit crisis began.



Documents confirm U.S. hid detainees from Red Cross

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Posted on Wed, Jun. 18, 2008

Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: June 17, 2008 08:49:47 PM

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military hid the locations of suspected terrorist detainees and concealed harsh treatment to avoid the scrutiny of the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to documents that a Senate committee released Tuesday.

"We may need to curb the harsher operations while ICRC is around. It is better not to expose them to any controversial techniques," Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, a military lawyer who's since retired, said during an October 2002 meeting at the Guantanamo Bay prison to discuss employing interrogation techniques that some have equated with torture. Her comments were recorded in minutes of the meeting that were made public Tuesday. At that same meeting, Beaver also appeared to confirm that U.S. officials at another detention facility — Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan — were using sleep deprivation to "break" detainees well before then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved that technique. "True, but officially it is not happening," she is quoted as having said.

A third person at the meeting, Jonathan Fredman, the chief counsel for the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, disclosed that detainees were moved routinely to avoid the scrutiny of the ICRC, which keeps tabs on prisoners in conflicts around the world.


How to covertly train paramilitaries, censor the press, conduct warrantless searches, suspend habeas

How to covertly train paramilitaries, censor the press, conduct warrantless searches, suspend habeas corpus, conceal breaches of the Geneva Convention and make the population love it.

How to train death squads and quash revolutions from San Salvador to Iraq

From Wikileaks

(Redirected from How to train death squads and quash revolutions from San Salvador to you)

How to covertly train paramilitaries, censor the press, ban unions, employ terrorists, conduct warrantless searches, suspend habeas corpus, conceal breaches of the Geneva Convention and make the population love it

JULIAN ASSANGE (investigative editor)
Monday June 15, 2008

Wikileaks has released a sensitive 219 page US military counterinsurgency manual. The manual, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004), may be critically described as "what we learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places". Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, history making.

The leaked manual, which has been verified with military sources, is the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID.

FID operations are designed to prop up a "friendly" government facing a popular revolution or guerilla insurgency. FID interventions are often covert or quasi-covert due to the unpopular nature of the governments being supported ("In formulating a realistic policy for the use of advisors, the commander must carefully gauge the psychological climate of the HN [Host Nation] and the United States.")

The manual directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and (under varying circumstances) the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates employing terrorists or prosecuting individuals for terrorism who are not terrorists, running false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it repeatedly advocates the use of subterfuge and "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable.

The content has been particularly informed by the long United States involvement in El Salvador.

In 2005 a number of credible media reports suggested the Pentagon was intensely debating "the Salvador option" for Iraq.[1]. According to the New York Times Magazine:


New Zealand wants US businessman jailed INDEFINITELY over the content of his website

Bid to have businessman jailed

Jun 16, 2008 6:15 PM

The Solicitor-General has taken the unprecedented step of asking the High Court to lock up an Auckland businessman indefinitely for refusing to obey court orders.

David Collins says the contempt committed by Vince Siemer is the most serious he has ever encountered and he has no choice but to seek such a severe penalty.

The Siemers came from the United States nine years ago and has made New Zealand home. But now Vince Siemer is fighting for his freedom because the Solicitor-General wants him jailed indefinitely.


Condoleezza Rice's neo-colonial manifesto

"To Condi" - is now a middle eastern expression meaning "to endlessly go around in circles, accomplishing nothing"


It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry when one reads Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. It is a delusional inversion of reality.

By Patrick Seale

In the teeth of much local and regional opposition, Washington is pressuring Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to conclude a “strategic alliance” with the United States, which would allow it to keep substantial military forces in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

Even at the cost of 4,100 of its soldiers killed, another 30,000 or more seriously wounded, its reputation sorely tarnished, and a trillion dollar hole in its public accounts, the United States has clearly not yet learned the lesson that occupation breeds insurrection.

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- the smashing and near-dismemberment of the country, the killing and displacement of millions of its people -- must surely be judged one of the great crimes of our time. To seek to stay on after this unmitigated catastrophe -- making nonsense of Iraq’s independence and sovereignty -- not only perpetuates the crime, but is a grave strategic mistake for which both the United States and its Iraqi vassals are likely to pay dearly.


CNN: Be honest, we all want to be BRIBED and CORRUPT

Congressmen get favored loans from Citibank-- sponsor $400 billion bailout.

By Roland S. Martin

CNN Contributor

updated 1:57 a.m. EDT, Wed June 18, 2008

Commentary: Be honest, we all wish to be VIPs

Roland Martin says we all like preferential treatment if we can get it.

(CNN) -- Be honest: How many of you are really shocked to find out that a bunch of Washington insiders were part of a VIP program coordinated by mortgage giant Countrywide Financial?

The story was first reported by CondeNast's Portfolio magazine, and everyone else has jumped on it since. Based on what we know, folks like former Housing and Urban Development honcho Alphonso Jackson, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala got favorable loan terms from the mortgage behemoth.

My first reaction was, "Man, these folks are dumb to think they could get away with it!" But as I was preparing to go on CNN Tuesday, it dawned on me that if most folks were in the same situation, and it wasn't illegal, they would love to have the hookup!

--MORE-- ,democr

CIA gave torture tips to Pentagon: 'If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong'

McClatchy Washington Bureau
Print This Article Print This Article

Posted on Tue, Jun. 17, 2008

'If the detainee dies you're doing it wrong'

last updated: June 17, 2008 08:52:59 PM

Following are excerpts from some of the documents released today by the Senate Armed Services Committee:

"The CIA is not held to the same rules as the military. In the past when the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) has made a big deal about certain detainees, the DOD has 'moved' them away from the attention of the ICRC. Upon questioning from the ICRC about their whereabouts, the DOD's response has repeatedly been that the detainee merited no status under the Geneva Convention. The CIA has employed aggressive techniques on less than a handful of suspects since 9/11.

"Under the Torture Convention, torture has been prohibited by international law, but the language of the statutes is written vaguely. Severe mental and physical pain is prohibited. The mental part if explained as poorly as the physical. Severe physical pain described as anything causing permanent damage to major organs or body parts. Mental torture described as anything leading to permanent, profound damage to the senses or personality. It is basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies you're doing it wrong.


Lawmaker takes 9/11 doubts global


Special to The Japan Times

In a September 2003 article for The Guardian newspaper, Michael Meacher, who served as Tony Blair's environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003, shocked the establishment by calling the global war on terrorism "bogus." Even more controversially, he implied that the U.S. government either allowed 9/11 to happen, or played some role in the destruction wrought that day. Besides Meacher, few politicians have publicly questioned America's official 9/11 narrative — until Diet member Yukihisa Fujita.

Yukihisa Fujita addresses the Diet
Speaking out: Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Yukihisa Fujita addresses the Diet and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on his doubts about the official story of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. COURTESY OF YUKIHISA FUJITA

In January 2008 Fujita, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, asked the Japanese Parliament and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to explain gaping holes in the official 9/11 story that various groups — including those who call themselves the "911 Truth Movement" — claim to have exposed.

Fujita, along with a growing number of individuals — including European and American politicians — are leading a charge to conduct a thorough, independent investigation of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Three or four years ago I saw some Internet videos like 'Loose Change' and '911 In Plane Site' and I began to ask questions," Fujita said in an interview, "but I still couldn't believe this was done by anyone but al-Qaida.



Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by the US. : Clear Evidence of War Crimes


General Accuses White House of War Crimes

A story of torture and intense suffering (with video)

PHR Press Release: Medical Evidence Supports Detainees' Accounts of Torture in US Custody

PHR Press Release: US Torture of Detainees Caused Severe Pain, Long-Term Suffering

He was not a terrorist -- Guantanamo changed that

Defender of torture pleads amnesia

CIA gave torture tips to Pentagon: 'If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong'

Exams find evidence of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo

How many innocent people are going out of their minds today?

149 horrific pages 

Broken Laws, Broken Lives

Medical Evidence of Torture by the US

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.
Maj. General Antonio M. Taguba (USA-Ret.), preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives
In PHR’s new report, Broken Laws, Broken Lives, we have for the first time medical evidence to confirm first-hand accounts of men who endured torture by US personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay. These men were never charged with any crime.
To download either the Executive Summary or the full text of the free report Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact, please register on our site with your name, email address and postal code. We promise to keep your name and contact information confidential. But we’d like to thank you for reading and keep you informed of ways to learn more and take action.
Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact

Broken Laws, Broken Lives - Executive Summary (860.7 KB, 285 hits)
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Broken Laws, Broken Lives - Full Report (1.9 MB, 375 hits)
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America’s Magnificent Failure

By Peter Chamberlin

"The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over, and then expecting different results." Attributed to Albert Einstein.

By this definition, the foreign policy of the United States in 2008 is clinically insane. The plan that has lately come into play, to persuade our allies into asking for US forces to come in and wage total war on their borders, would require that our allies also act in an insane manner, inviting massive destruction upon themselves, in order to further American goals.

After his pal Iraqi President Maliki refused Bush’s request to invite the US to fight a war with Iran upon his border (based on false evidence) his best buddy Ehud Olmert then refused to pick another fight with Hezbollah in Lebanon (even though the war would be fought for Israel, the cost extracted by 600 missiles/per day raining down upon Israelis would have been too high). It is complete idiocy on Bush’s part to think that either Karzai or Musharref will act any differently as he pushes them to respond forcefully to the recent provocative “false flag” attacks in their respective countries.

After the recent prison break at Sarposa prison in Kandahar, President Karzai, acting as America’s spokesman, forcefully threatened to send US forces into Pakistan. He blamed the attack upon the Pakistani Taliban, naming Baitullah Mehsud, leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as one of the key cross-border raiders, even though his base in Waziristan is hundreds of miles from Kandahar. This is keeping with America’s disinformation M.O. of taking two divergent themes and merging them into one PSYOP. Mehsud is being set-up as Bush’s “patsy,” the alleged figurehead (bin Laden-type) to be targeted for total war by American/NATO force.


Attention Readers!

I use a firefox browser which was "updated" to a new version today, going  from a very good browser to a total piece of shit. Consequently no hotlinks are available. I am now switching to that notorious piece of kaka -IE7. The links will be functioning soon.

Project CHECKMATE Could Create Ten Times More Horrors

Added: June 16, 2008 

President Bush continues his threats, continuing to openly violate international law and putting us all at greater risk of suffering the horrors of a what could be a world war.



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Why Fallon's Resignation is Frightening

A Warmongering War President Catapulting the Propaganda
God Help Us All If We Don't Impeach Him Fast

"The capital's top neocons" insisted "the decision had been made." They informed him that all the Bush Administration talk about the UN was nothing more than "the obligatory charade we had to go through for world public opinion."

Help Tomas Young with his campaign to end the war:
Iran War, Real Fear Petraeus Beating War Drums for Attack

A nightmare is brewing within our own government involving a former Israeli military officer Lani Kass working with Brigadier-General Lawrence Stutzriem, it is called "Project CHECKMATE." This madness puts us all at risk, another illegal war could create ten times more horrors than we have seen so far.

Congress afraid of impeaching Bush as he may bomb Iran, declare martial law, suspend elections

Unless this president and vice president are impeached by Congress, any - and probably every - future president will feel empowered by unchallenged precedent to ignore laws passed by the Congress 
ElBaradei: If you attack Iran, I quit

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Thought We Didn't Negotiate With Terrorists

Yesterday, in response to an essay arguing for impeachment, I got the following comment:

"If anything, the start of impeachment proceedings might force Bush to start the war against Iran early or cause him to bring about the false flag attack you mention. What better way to show the country how the Democrats engage in devisive partisan politics than to have them impeach him while the country is at war. Bush could also use the threat of impeachment as a pretext for declaring martial law and sweeping aside all opposition. It's better to just let Bush leave office quietly than to risk the horrors that he could unleash on us before then."
What is he talking about?

Well, both Ralph Nader

and attorney, longtime activist and 24-year public defender Bob Fueur

say Congressman John Olver disclosed that Congress is terrified that -- if Bush or Cheney are impeached -- they might bomb Iran, declare martial law and suspend the 2008 elections.


Harvard’s Gitmo Kangaroo Law School — The School for Torturers

 by Francis A. Boyle / June 17th, 2008

Not surprisingly, the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Imperial Law–otherwise known as the self-styled American Journal of International Law but founded and still operated by U. S. State and War Departments’ apparatchiks and their professorial fellow-travelers — published an article by Harvard Law School’s recently retired Bemis Professor of International Law Detlev Vagts (who only taught me the required course on Legal Accounting) arguing in favor of the Pentagon’s Kangaroo Courts System on Guantanamo despite the fact that they have been soundly condemned by every human rights organization and every human rights official and leader in the entire world as well as by the United States Supreme Court itself in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006).

I am not going to bother to recite here all the grievous deficiencies of the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts under International Law and U.S. Constitutional Law. But suffice it to say that the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts constitute war crimes under the Laws of War, the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and even the U. S. Army’s own Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare (1956). Field Manual 27-10 was drafted for the Pentagon by my Laws of War teacher the late, great Richard R. Baxter, who was generally recognized as the world’s leading expert on that subject, which is precisely why I voluntarily chose to study International Law with him and his long-time collaborator Louis B. Sohn, and not with the bean-counter Vagts. For the entire post-World War II generation of international law students at Harvard Law School, Louis Sohn shall always be our real Bemis Professor of International Law and never the False Pretender to that Throne known as Detlev Vagts.

Since those student days I have personally appeared pro bono publico in five U.S. military courts-martial proceedings involving warfare that were organized in accordance with the Pentagon’s Uniform Code of Military Justice (U.C.M.J.) — which still does not apply to the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts despite the ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court in Hamdan that the U.C.M.J. should be applied in Guantanamo — on behalf of five U. S. military personnel who each acted as matters of courage, integrity, principle, and conscience at great risk to their freedom:



Israeli authorities imprison Palestinian women even after their death

Hmmm...maybe they drink their blood...or something worse...

"The punishment of detention of Palestinian women is not practiced only against living people, the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested several Palestinian women after their martyrdom, and as a punishment for them, their bodies are imprisoned in refrigerators, or in numbered mass graves, refusing to let go of their bodies, or handing them to their families for proper burial."

Iqbal Tamimi 

Jun 17th, 2008 

Israeli occupation forces have arrested more than 10,000 Palestinian women of various backgrounds and ages since 1967.

720 Palestinian women were arrested during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, 102 of them are still detained to this date.

Arresting mothers, wives and sisters of wanted persons or detainees is one form of collective punishment, and it is aimed at forcing Palestinian men to confess or surrender under pressure. In many incidents Palestinian women were threatened in prisons to detain their children in order to force the mothers to cooperate. A report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (April 2008) reported 6 cases of Israeli forces threatening Palestinian prisoners to detain their family members this year. There are documented reports of detaining members of families of Palestinian prisoners without any valid legal reason to do so. This report has been submitted to the Knesset. The president of the Israeli International security service (Shin Bet) confirmed that one incident at least was confirmed by the Investigation Unit during the hearing of the case.



Plutocracy Inc.

June 17, 2008

Corporate Complacency 

Ralph Nader

Here is a counter-intuitive story for you. Why don’t organized corporate interests challenge damage or risks to their clear economic interests?

Think about oil prices for big consumers, not just your pocketbook. Airlines are groaning, limiting flights, and laying off employees because of the skyrocketing price for aviation fuel. Executives in that industry say that fuel costs are close to 40 percent of the cost of flying you to your destination.
The powerful chemical industry is under pressure from the prices they’re paying for petroleum—probably their main raw material.

The powerful trucking industry is beside itself with diesel fuel going to $5 per gallon.


'Flight Risk' and 'Dangerous' -- But Judge Loosens Bail For "Bat Mitzvah" CEO


He' ll show up in Israel.

DADDY'S $10M 'BAD' MITZVAH - New York Post

By Jonathan Dienst

POSTED: 4:10 pm EDT June 17, 2008
UPDATED: 7:34 pm EDT June 17, 2008

NEW YORK -- Just days after a convicted CEO faked his own death and fled to avoid prison, a federal judge on Long Island reduced bail conditions for a separate CEO accused of a massive fraud even though prosecutors maintain he is a "flight risk" and "dangerous."

Judge Joanna Seybert reduced restrictive bail conditions for David Brooks, who ran DHB Industries -- a company that sold bulletproof vests to the military.

Brooks is accused of looting funds and committing securities fraud to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Prosecutors said he then funneled his ill-gotten gains to accounts overseas. 


Israeli strikes put query over truce


By Ibrahim Barzak, AP 

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Hamas' Gaza rulers today said they have reached a long-awaited cease-fire with Israel meant to end months of Palestinian assaults on Israeli border towns and bruising Israeli retaliation.

The announcement came shortly after Egypt, which has been trying to broker the truce for months, said the cease-fire would go into effect on Thursday. Israel refused to confirm a deal, but said a "new reality" would take hold if Palestinian attacks end.

In a last-minute jolt, Israeli aircraft attacked three targets in the southern Gaza Strip. One of the airstrikes destroyed a car, killing five 'militants' inside. A large crowd gathered around the car's smoldering remains.

Hamas officials accused Israel of trying to undermine the truce, but said they would not let the violence derail the Egyptian efforts. 


One-third of people shot by Taser need medical attention: probe

Tue Jun 17, 10:15 PM

About one in three people shot with a Taser by the RCMP receive injuries that require medical attention, according to a joint investigation by CBC News/Radio-Canada and the Canadian Press.

The media outlets, which analyzed the Taser-use forms RCMP officers are required to fill out if they draw a stun gun, examined reports from 2002 to 2007. According to the data, 28 per cent, or 910 of the 3,226 people who were shot, had to go to a medical facility.

But a detailed examination of the forms revealed that many more people are injured, yet never see a doctor. 


Keep Israel out of elite economic club

Ran HaCohen, The Electronic Intifada, 17 June 2008

The occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have no central bank, nor their own currency or monetary sovereignty: they are dependent on the Israeli shekel. (Fadi Arouri/MaanImages)

Israel's ruling elite now has a major aspiration: to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a member country. For the sake of the Israelis and of their neighbors, this aspiration should be thwarted by an international campaign of all supporters of peace; and, in fact, by supporters of the free market as well.

The Paris-based OECD, according to its own website, "brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world." Established in 1961, the OECD has 30 member countries, including most European states, the US, Canada and Japan, but not Russia, Brazil or India -- at least not yet. With a huge budget of 342 million Euro it is one of the most prestigious clubs of nations. Indeed, membership is predominantly a matter of prestige, since unlike the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, the OECD does not dispense grants or make loans. But prestige means investors' trust, and investors' trust means money. Big money.

Israel's economic elite is intent on achieving the international recognition and prestige that accompanies OECD membership. As demonstrated by the Israeli Ministry of Finance's special website to promote their membership to the OECD, with details on dozens of working groups, committees, boards and centers, all participating in the national effort to achieve the desired membership. Among other things, the government website claims that "Israel shares the same attachment to the basic values of open market economy and democratic pluralism," as expected from an OECD member country.


Israeli officials indicted in West Bank land theft

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m 

Last update - 08:48 18/06/2008 

Civil Administration officials indicted in West Bank land steal 

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent

Two senior officials in the Civil Administration allegedly illegally collaborated with Jewish land dealers to take over land in the West Bank, according to an indictment issued Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court. Lieutenant Colonel Yair Blumenthal and Major Ehud Brosh have been charged with taking bribes and favors from the dealers, brothers Yosef and Yaakov Amram.

Blumenthal, who headed of the Civil Administration's infrastructure department, is charged with helping the brothers further fraudulent business deals by providing them with internal documents and equipment belonging to the Civil Administration in exchange for over $40,000.

Brosh, who was head of the lands department in the unit providing legal counsel to the Israel Defense Forces' Judea and Samaria division, stands accused of taking bribes in the form of vacations abroad and in Israel, in return for furthering the Amram brothers' business ventures. 



Foreign Minister blasts culture of corruption in Israeli leadership

This is rich coming from an assassin and daughter of terrorists...

Last update - 17:10 18/06/2008

Livni blasts culture of corruption in Israeli leadership

By Haaretz Service

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Wednesday that Israel's leaders should be bound by the state's values and morals, referring to an ongoing corruption investigation currently underway against fellow Kadima Party member and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "I find it unacceptable that whatever is not criminal is tolerable," Livni said at a conference held by the Movement for Quality Government in Jerusalem.

Livni added that a system of socials conventions must be established, and that any elected politician who breaks them will be pay the price.

Speaking in Jerusalem at a memorial service for David Raziel, the commander of Etzel - the militant Zionist group that operated in Palestine between 1931 and 1948, Livni said: "The state has a vision and values that obligate both its citizens and its leaders. Before we can a light onto others, it is only fitting that we work toward showing the light inside our home." 


Here's how McCain would get rid of the Palestinians

Israel Committing 'Ethnic Cleansing': Indonesia 

Islamic Movement in Jordan warns of "Jordanian option" idea raised by McCain
[ 18/06/2008 - 10:45 AM ]

AMMAN, (PIC)-- The Islamic Movement in Jordan warned of the gravity of what was stated by John McCain, the republican candidate for the US presidential elections, about adopting the Jordanian option to get rid of the burden placed by the Palestinian cause on the public policy of his country in the Middle East.

An advisor to McCain said that the latter adopts a strategy to resolve the conflict in the Middle East based on the Jordanian option which states that Jordan is the natural home for millions of Palestinians and the best solution to the issue of the Palestinian refugees.

Irheel Gharaibah, the secretary-general of the Islamic action front party in Jordan, underlined that such statements reflect a very serious juncture in the American official discourse and an inauguration of a new stage calling for disengaging from any commitments to international laws regarding the Palestinian land and refugees.


Government "Strike Teams" Invade Homes, Harass Flood Victims

Strike teams clear the way for residents to return


By Jeff Raasch

(Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids firefighter Cheme Fairlie, right, uses a crowbar to force entry into a Northwest Cedar Rapids home as Cedar Rapids police officer Josh Bell and Urban Search and Rescue technician Jason Lopez watch on Sunday.

CEDAR RAPIDS - Strike teams searched flood fringe areas on both sides of the Cedar River on Sunday, finding flooded basements, collapsed walls and piles of debris.

But, as of 3:30 p.m., Cedar Rapids Fire Capt. Dan Dall was not aware of any new victims.


Angela Tague, a member of the STAR 1 search and rescue team from Ames, ran into any angry homeowner on E Avenue NW.

"He was saying 'Where do you live?' and 'How would you like it if someone busted your door open?," Tague said.

Police Officer Josh Bell later had a heated exchange with the man, and told him that if he didn't go back inside his house and stop harassing the strike team, he would be escorted out of the area.

The man was visibly agitated about his broken door and pointed at Bell.

"It's wrong," the man said, over and over.




The Biggest Election Story Not on Your TV

David Swanson

June 15, 2008 

For over half the days during any period of years you choose to select, the biggest story in U.S. news outlets is the impending most important election in your lifetime. The story, of course, takes an infinite variety of forms, ranging from candidates' friends and associates to their diets, wardrobes, religions, childhoods, and hobbies. There are variations that take us through polls and fundraising and commercials and donors and staffers and analysis of commentary on reporting on sound bytes. We learn the ins and outs of the process, the demographics of likely supporters, and the statistical likelihood that a candidate of a given race, religion, gender, and shoe size will get an RBI in the next inning. Occasionally we even get a glancing glimpse at what a candidate might do if elected.

But what if there were a story about the entire process that flipped the whole thing upside down, radically altering many of the assumptions never mentioned but always assumed in all of the endless "reporting"? And what if, on top of that, this story involved strong evidence of the commission of major crimes and abuses by the highest officials in the land? And what if, on top of that, you could toss in the historic reversal of some of the major gains won by the most dramatic populist movement of civil resistance during the course of the last century? The question, of course, would be: Can we find a way to connect this information to some kinky form of illicit sex so that members of the media can feel responsible about using our airwaves to discuss it?

That, my friends, is your assignment. The raw material you have to work with is contained in the following two articles of impeachment introduced in the House of Representatives last Monday night by Congressman Dennis Kucinich. The model you should seek to emulate is, of course, the classic report named for its author: Kenneth Starr.

Article XXVIII



Legalizing Occupation: Bush's Last Manoeuvre in Iraq

23:25 06/17/2008
Legalizing Occupation: Bush's Last Manoeuvre in Iraq
It's possible that the Bush Administration will force the hapless regime of Maliki to submit to a US diktat on a US-Iraq accord. (Photo: WH)

By Ramzy Baroud

When US forces descended on Baghdad five years ago, they seemed unstoppable. Military arrogance had reached an all time high, and it seemed only a matter of time before the same frenzied scenario took place in Teheran, Damascus, and elsewhere.

As it turned out, festivities began dwindling almost as soon as they were pronounced. One could argue that the day Saddam's status was toppled was the very same day that the US army faced its real battle in Iraq, one that continues to hinder long-term strategic planning, if not the once-touted US Middle East project altogether.

Five years of continuous and unrelenting blood baths may have toned down Bush's expectations. The lonely crusader who once vowed to fight tyranny at any cost is now trying to secure a treaty that would indefinitely secure US interests in Iraq. His administration may essentially be hoping to achieve what it regards as the best possible outcome of a worst possible situation.


Does the Afghan war matter to the US?

June 18, 2008

Ahmad: Permanent bases and strategy towards China long-term US objectives in Afghanistan (1/4)

As the Taliban offensive expands in southern Afghanistan, retaliatory actions by NATO and Afghani forces become increasingly likely. On Sunday, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai threatened to send troops across Pakistan’s border in quote “hot pursuit.” Amid a general uproar in Pakistan over Karzai’s comments, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani retorted that Pakistan will defend itself at any cost. The Real News Network's Senior Editor Paul Jay discusses the geopolitics of the region with Senior News Analyst Aijaz Ahmad.

Based in New Delhi, Aijaz Ahmad is The Real News Network's Senior News Analyst; Senior Editorial Consultant, and political commentator for the Indian newsmagazine, Frontline. He has taught Political Science, and has written widely on South Asia and the Middle East.


Muslims barred from picture at Obama event

By BEN SMITH | 6/18/08 11:08 AM EST Updated: 6/18/08

For Obama, the old-fashioned image-making contrasts with his promise to transcend identity politics, and to embrace all elements of America.

Two Muslim women at Barack Obama's rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women's headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.

The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.

"This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama's commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. "We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers."



A Superpower of Lazy Slobs

"Some Americans are good. Other Americans are bad. And the good ones are often lazy, willing to let the bad ones get their way. "



NEW YORK--Tens of thousands of innocent detainees have passed through Guantánamo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Diego Garcia and other U.S. torture facilities. Thousands remain "disappeared," possibly murdered. Some may be on one of the Navy vessels recently revealed to have been repurposed as prison ships. Dozens have been beaten to death or killed by willful medical neglect.

For seven years, the Bush Administration, the Democratic Congress and its media allies have denied "unlawful enemy combatants" (or, as Dick Cheney called them, "the worst of the worst" terrorists) the right to habeas corpus, the centuries-old right of persons arrested by the police to face their accusers and the evidence against them in a court of law.

Thanks to a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, America's latest flirtation with fascism is coming to an end. Parts of the infamous Military Commissions Act of 2006 that eliminated habeas corpus have been declared unconstitutional. Prisoners at Guantánamo and possibly other American gulags, will now be allowed to demand their day in court. Since the government doesn't have evidence against them, legal experts say, most if not all of "the worst of the worst" will ultimately walk free. "Liberty and security can be reconciled," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.

In short: Oops. 



He was not a terrorist -- Guantanamo changed that

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Posted on Tue, Jun. 17, 2008

Militants found recruits among Guantanamo's wrongly detained 

Tom Lasseter | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: June 17, 2008 12:35:16 PM

GARDEZ, Afghanistan — Mohammed Naim Farouq was a thug in the lawless Zormat district of eastern Afghanistan. He ran a kidnapping and extortion racket, and he controlled his turf with a band of gunmen who rode around in trucks with AK-47 rifles.

U.S. troops detained him in 2002, although he had no clear ties to the Taliban or al Qaida. By the time Farouq was released from Guantanamo the next year, however — after more than 12 months of what he described as abuse and humiliation at the hands of American soldiers — he'd made connections to high-level militants.

In fact, he'd become a Taliban leader. When the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency released a stack of 20 "most wanted" playing cards in 2006 identifying militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan — with Osama bin Laden at the top — Farouq was 16 cards into the deck. 

Defender of torture pleads amnesia

Dana Milbank in Washington 

June 19, 2008

Rumsfeld agreed to intimidation of prisoners: Senator 

IF EVER there was a case that cried out for enhanced interrogation techniques, it was the appearance of the Pentagon's former top lawyer in the US Senate.

William "Jim" Haynes II, the man who blessed the use of dogs, hoods and nudity to pry information out of recalcitrant detainees, proved to be a model of evasion himself as he resisted all attempts at inquiry by the Armed Services Committee.

Did he ask a subordinate to get information about harsh questioning techniques? 


US Envoy Evacuated from South Lebanon

'Rice wants March 14 Defense Ministry'

The US charge d'affaires to Lebanon was greeted with stones and chants of "Death to America" on Wednesday by Lebanese residents as she met with a local official in the south of the country.
"Some 200 people, including women and children, surrounded the house of Abdullah Bitar as he met in Nabatiyeh with charge d'affaires Michele Sison and they began throwing stones," a security official said.
He said the crowd also shouted "Death to America, Death to Israel, we don't want you in south Lebanon", as extra Lebanese police converged on the site.



Obama’s circle of hawks

Column: Lance Selfa [1]

Obama’s circle of hawks

The Democratic nominee has a team of veteran warriors advising him on foreign policy issues.

June 18, 2008

DURING HIS campaign to win the Democratic nomination for president, Barack Obama used a line that never failed to draw applause from the largely antiwar crowds that turned out to hear him.

"I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place," he said. "That's the kind of leadership that I think we need from the next president of the United States. That's what I intend to provide."

Yet only days after clinching the nomination, here was the same Barack Obama performing one of the biggest rituals of conventional foreign policy thinking.



McCain and Vietnam: Revising history to pave the way for new wars

By Bill Van Auken 

18 June 2008

The Republican Party’s presumptive candidate for president, Senator John McCain of Arizona, is routinely referred to in the US media as a “Vietnam War hero.” In speech after speech over the past month, his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, has prefaced criticism of McCain’s policies with a declaration of his belief that the Republican is “a genuine war hero,” “a man who has served this country heroically” and “an American hero whose military service we honor.”

While conventional political wisdom would no doubt dismiss such rhetoric as, on the one hand, the packaging of the candidate by the Republicans and, on the other, a tactical feint on the part of a Democratic candidate lacking in military experience, the words have a far deeper and more ominous political significance.

What is the objective source of McCain’s designation as a “war hero,” a title that he parlayed into a successful political career bankrolled by the family fortune of his second wife and abetted by the corrupt Arizona developer Charles Keating? 



Obama's Genuflections

June 18, 2008 

Swing Lobby Politics 


In the last few weeks of the grueling primary campaign, Senator Barack Obama made two important visits. He spoke to the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) and to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). To both groups Obama provided some red meat. To the Cubans in Miami, he said that he would be tough on the Cuban Revolution, that never in his lifetime “have the people of Cuba known freedom” and that he would join CANF to “stand up for freedom in Cuba”.

To the Jewish American lobby in Chicago, Obama affirmed the “special relationship” between Washington and Tel Aviv, supporting Israel’s view of its relationship with its Arab neighbours and of the Occupation and going so far as to say that Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of Israel. As the Democratic presidential nomination comes his way, Obama tacks right on foreign policy, to the dismay of many of his left-liberal allies. How can the man whose campaign is centred on the idea of change inhabit American foreign policy’s two most tired shackles?

Over the past 35 years, the United States electoral map has settled into stasis. Appealing to the anxiety of a large section of the white working class, the Republican Party has cemented its hold on the U.S. South and sections of the heartland. The Republicans explain away the attrition of white working class livelihood due to globalisation and to neoliberal policy as the fault of the new social programmes of the 1960s designed to ameliorate the harsh history of U.S. racism. Thanks to the way the Republicans explained the decline of good jobs and the victory of the Civil Rights movement, this section of disgruntled Americans turns its ire based on lost opportunities onto relatively powerless populations. The defeat of the working class led to the evisceration of labour laws and the withering away of union power. 



NATO and the New Cold War


A New Cold War?

Conn Hallinan | June 18, 2008

Editor: John Feffer

Foreign Policy In Focus


Military alliances are always sold as things that produce security. In practice they tend to do the opposite.

Thus, Germany formed the Triple Alliance with Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to counter the enmity of France following the Franco-Prussian War. In response, France, England and Russia formed the Triple Entente. The outcome was World War I

In 1949, the United States and Britain led the campaign to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to deter a supposed Soviet attack on Western Europe. In response, the Soviets formed the Warsaw Pact. What the world got was not security but the Cold War, dozens of brushfire conflicts across the globe, and enough nuclear weapons to destroy the earth a dozen times over.

NATO Lives On

The Cold War may be over, but you would never know it from NATO’s April meeting in Bucharest. The alliance approved membership for Croatia and Albania, and only French and German opposition prevented the Bush administration from adding the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia.

“NATO,” President Bush told the gathering, “is no longer a static alliance focused on defending Europe from a Soviet tank invasion. It is now an expeditionary alliance that is sending its forces across the world to help secure a future of freedom and peace for millions.”

NATO will soon begin deploying anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems in Poland and the Czech Republic that are supposedly aimed at Iran, but which the Russians charge are really targeted at them. The alliance has encircled Russia with allies and bases, is increasingly sidelining the United Nations, has added troops to Afghanistan, and is preparing to open shop in the Pacific Basin.

But politics is much like physics: for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Shanghai Strikes Back



General Accuses White House of War Crimes

Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by the US. : Clear Evidence of War Crimes

General Accuses WH of War Crimes

By Dan Froomkin

Special to washingtonpost.com
Wednesday, June 18, 2008; 12:44 PM

The two-star general who led an Army investigation into the horrific detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib has accused the Bush administration of war crimes and is calling for accountability.

In his 2004 report on Abu Ghraib, then-Major General Anthony Taguba concluded that "numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees." He called the abuse "systemic and illegal." And, as Seymour M. Hersh reported in the New Yorker, he was rewarded for his honesty by being forced into retirement.

Now, in a preface to a Physicians for Human Rights report based on medical examinations of former detainees, Taguba adds an epilogue to his own investigation.



Tim Russert, Dick Cheney, and 9/11

by Prof. David Ray Griffin

June 17, 2008

While we are remembering Tim Russert and his years as moderator of “Meet the Press,” we would do well to recall his interview with Vice President Dick Cheney at Camp David on September 16, 2001, just five days after the 9/11 attacks.1 In fact, Cheney himself, during an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer the morning after Russert died, reminded us of that Camp David interview, saying: “I always, when I think of Tim and think of ‘Meet the Press,’ that's the show that always comes to mind. . . . It was a remarkable moment in American history.”2

Commenting that he himself “remember[ed] that interview vividly,” Lauer asked: “Anything stand out from that interview?” In his reply, Cheney said: “We went back and reminisced to some extent about what had actually happened on the morning of 9/11. So it was---it was a remarkable moment in my career.”3

It was indeed. In reminiscing about his movements that morning, Cheney contradicted what was to become a crucial element of the account that the 9/11 Commission would give of those movements. 


H/T Divining the News




08:13 am:
Exams find evidence of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo
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08:21 am: Morgan Stanley warns of catastrophe
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12:02 pm: Muslims barred from picture at Obama event
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12:13 pm: He was not a terrorist -- Guantanamo changed that
12:21 pm: Defender of torture pleads amnesia
12:35 pm: US Envoy Evacuated from South Lebanon
12:39 pm: Obama’s circle of hawks
12:50 pm: McCain and Vietnam: Revising history to pave the way for new wars
12:51 pm: Obama's Genuflections
01:00 pm: NATO and the New Cold War
01:05 pm: General Accuses White House of War Crimes
01:38 pm: Tim Russert, Dick Cheney, and 9/11