Monday, September 21, 2009

CIA Probe To Go Forward; Matters Of Hate, Race And Other Right Wing Nuttiness.

CIA Probe To Go Forward; Matters Of Hate, Race And Other Right Wing Nuttiness.

American Jihadists:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Obama Denies Request To Drop CIA Abuse Probe | Video Cafe
By David
Do these directors want Obama
impeached? Possibly. "[I]t has been reported that public decrees earlier this year from White House political advisers (led by Rahm Emanuel) that there would be no CIA torture investigations infuriated DOJ officials because that's not the White .... Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to see Cheney and Bush in shackles, as much as I would love that. But the gop defending torture at mid-terms could be an advantage. Login or register to reply ...
Crooks and Liars -

Obama Shrugs Off Request To Drop CIA Abuse Probe

Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:01pm IST

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama shrugged off a request by seven former CIA chiefs to end a probe into allegations of prisoner abuse, saying in an interview released on Sunday that "nobody's above the law."

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last month named a prosecutor to examine whether criminal charges should be filed filed against Central Intelligence Agency interrogators or contractors for going beyond approved interrogation methods.

A letter by the former CIA directors sent to Obama on Friday said the Justice Department's investigation would hamper operations and damage the willingness of intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country.

"I appreciate the former CIA directors wanting to look after an institution that they helped to build," Obama said in an interview with the CBS television show "Face the Nation."

"But I continue to believe that nobody's above the law. And I want to make sure that, as president of the United States, that I'm not asserting in some way that my decisions overrule the decisions of prosecutors who are there to uphold the law," he said.

In a separate interview on CNN, Obama said, "I don't want to start getting into the business of squelching, you know, investigations that are being conducted."

Obama noted he consistently has said he wanted to look forward, not backward, on problems that occurred under the Bush administration involving the use of harsh interrogation methods like waterboarding and sleep and food deprivation.

Bush-era officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, have defended their actions and said the interrogations yielded valuable intelligence.

Civil liberties groups have accused the Bush administration of using torture to coerce information from terrorism suspects in violation of U.S. and international law.

Obama said on CBS that Holder has to make a judgment about what happened.

"My understanding is it's not a criminal investigation at this point. They are simply investigating what took place," he said. "I don't want witch hunts taking place. I've also said, though, that the attorney general has a job to uphold the law."

The letter to Obama was signed by three CIA directors under President George W. Bush -- Michael Hayden, Porter Goss and George Tenet -- as well as by John Deutch, James Woolsey, William Webster and James Schlesinger, who dates to the Nixon administration.

The interviews were taped on Friday. (Additional reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Uncle Sam: Mother Of All War Criminals
Nation on Sunday
Were there 'excesses' perpetrated by the security forces during the
war. It would be silly to say 'no'. Wars are not tea-parties. ...
See all stories on this topic

Mike Rogers: The Man Who Outs Closeted Right-Wing Politicians
Right. It's not that people are fascinated by the sex lives of closeted politicians. It's that people are fascinated by sex lives. This is nothing new, ...See all stories on this topic

Right-Wing Hatemongering Fueled by Christianity?
As a former Evangelical and son of an Evangelical Religious
Right leader, let me share a little of the insider perspective that I wish Carter had brought to ...See all stories on this topic

Wing Nuts Are Too Stupid To Win Their Fake Civil War
New York Daily News
We can hear the intellectually rabid pit bulls of fringe
right-wing hate radio or watch them go for it with all of the counterfeit heat one can pay for at ...See all stories on this topic

There’s No Racism In America…Bullshit.

Globalization Goes Bankrupt | By Chris Hedges

The rage of the disposed is fracturing the country, dividing it into camps that are unmoored from the political mainstream. Movements are building on the ends of the political spectrum that have lost faith in the mechanisms of democratic change. You can’t blame them. But unless we on the left move quickly, this rage will be captured by a virulent and racist right wing, one that seeks a disturbing proto-fascism.

Every day counts. Every deferral of protest hurts. We should, if we have the time and the ability, make our way to Pittsburgh for the meeting of the G-20 this week rather than do what the power elite is hoping we will do—stay home. Complacency comes at a horrible price.

“The leaders of the G-20 are meeting to try and salvage their power and money after everything that has gone wrong,” said Benedicto Martinez Orozco, co-president of the Mexican Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT), who is in Pittsburgh for the protests. “This is what this meeting is about.”

The draconian security measures put in place to silence dissent in Pittsburgh are disproportionate to any actual security concern. They are a response not to a real threat, but to the fear gripping the established centers of power. The power elite grasps, even if we do not, the massive fraud and theft being undertaken to save a criminal class on Wall Street and international speculators of the kinds who were executed in other periods of human history. They know the awful cost this plundering of state treasuries will impose on workers, who will become a permanent underclass. And they also know that once this is clear to the rest of us, rebellion will no longer be a foreign concept.

The delegates to the G-20, the gathering of the world’s wealthiest nations, will consequently be protected by a National Guard combat battalion, recently returned from Iraq. The battalion will shut down the area around the city center, man checkpoints and patrol the streets in combat gear. Pittsburgh has augmented the city’s police force of 1,000 with an additional 3,000 officers. Helicopters have begun to buzz gatherings in city parks, buses driven to Pittsburgh to provide food to protesters have been impounded, activists have been detained, and permits to camp in the city parks have been denied. Web sites belonging to resistance groups have been hacked and trashed, and many groups suspect that they have been infiltrated and that their phones and e-mail accounts are being monitored.

Larry Holmes, an organizer from New York City, stood outside a tent encampment on land owned by the Monumental Baptist Church in the city’s Hill District. He is one of the leaders of the Bail Out the People Movement. Holmes, a longtime labor activist, on Sunday led a march on the convention center by unemployed people calling for jobs. He will coordinate more protests during the week.

“It is de facto martial law,” he said, “and the real effort to subvert the work of those protesting has yet to begin. But voting only gets you so far. There are often not many choices in an election. When you build democratic movements around the war or unemployment you get a more authentic expression of democracy. It is more organic. It makes a difference. History has taught us this.”

Our global economy, like our political system, has been hijacked by a tiny oligarchy, composed mostly of wealthy white men who serve corporations. They have pledged or raised a staggering $18 trillion, looted largely from state treasuries, to prop up banks and other financial institutions that engaged in suicidal acts of speculation and ruined the world economy. They have formulated trade deals so corporations can speculate across borders with currency, food and natural resources even as, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 1.02 billion people on the planet struggle with hunger. Globalization has obliterated the ability of many poor countries to protect food staples such as corn, rice, beans and wheat with subsidies or taxes on imported staples. The abolishment of these protections has permitted the giant mechanized farms to wipe out tens of millions of small farmers—2 million in Mexico alone—bankrupting many and driving them off their land. Those who could once feed themselves can no longer find enough food, and the wealthiest governments use institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization like pit bulls to establish economic supremacy. There is little that most governments seem able to do to fight back.

But the game is up. The utopian dreams of globalization have been exposed as a sham. Force is all the elite have left. We are living through one of civilization’s great seismic reversals. The ideology of globalization, like all utopias that are sold as inevitable and irreversible, has become a farce. The power elite, perplexed and confused, cling to the disastrous principles of globalization and its outdated language to mask the political and economic vacuum before us. The absurd idea that the marketplace alone should determine economic and political constructs caused the crisis. It led the G-20 to sacrifice other areas of human importance—from working conditions, to taxation, to child labor, to hunger, to health and pollution—on the altar of free trade. It left the world’s poor worse off and the United States with the largest deficits in human history. Globalization has become an excuse to ignore the mess. It has left a mediocre elite desperately trying to save a system that cannot be saved and, more important, trying to save itself. “Speculation,” then-President Jacques Chirac of France once warned, “is the AIDS of our economies.” We have reached the terminal stage.

“Each of Globalization’s strengths has somehow turned out to have an opposing meaning,” John Ralston Saul wrote in “The Collapse of Globalism.” “The lowering of national residency requirements for corporations has morphed into a tool for massive tax evasion. The idea of a global economic system mysteriously made local poverty seem unreal, even normal. The decline of the middle class—the very basis of democracy—seemed to be just one of those things that happen, unfortunate but inevitable. That the working class and the lower middle class, even parts of the middle class, could only survive with more than one job per person seemed to be expected punishment for not keeping up. The contrast between unprecedented bonuses for mere managers at the top and the four-job families below them seemed inevitable in a globalized world. For two decades an elite consensus insisted that unsustainable third-world debts could not be put aside in a sort of bad debt reserve without betraying Globalism’s essential principles and moral obligations, which included an unwavering respect for the sanctity of international contracts. It took the same people about two weeks to abandon sanctity and propose bad debt banks for their own far larger debts in 2009.”

The institutions that once provided alternative sources of power, including the press, government, agencies of religion, universities and labor unions, have proved morally bankrupt. They no longer provide a space for voices of moral autonomy. No one will save us now but ourselves.

“The best thing that happened to the Establishment is the election of a black president,” Holmes said. “It will contain people for a given period of time, but time is running out. Suppose something else happens? Suppose another straw breaks? What happens when there is a credit card crisis or a collapse in commercial real estate? The financial system is very, very fragile. The legs are being kicked out from underneath it.”

“Obama is in trouble,” Holmes went on. “The economic crisis is a structural crisis. The recovery is only a recovery for Wall Street. It can’t be sustained, and Obama will be blamed for it. He is doing everything Wall Street demands. But this will be a dead end. It is a prescription for disaster, not only for Obama but the Democratic Party. It is only groups like ours that provide hope. If labor unions will get off their ass and stop focusing on narrow legislation for their members, if they will go back to being social unions that embrace broad causes, we have a chance of effecting change. If this does not happen it will be a right-wing disaster.”

Off K Street: Is This What A TEA Party Activist's Dream World ...
By Barry Butler
In the
Ohio School District that covers Grove City, the normal sounds on Friday nights these days are the sound of passing cars on the road and chirping crickets at the local High School Football stadium. Grove City is notorious for ... They also fear that another no vote will force the school board to slice into academic programs, which could trigger a mass exodus. That, they argue, would further erode the tax base and rob South-Western of many of its brightest students. ...Off K Street -

Gaza Acts Amounted To War Crimes, UN Report Says
CNN International
Although the UN investigation found that Palestinian militants also committed
war crimes, the overwhelming majority of the criticism in a summary of the ...See all stories on this topic

A Drive To Create 'Israeli War Crimes'
New York Post
The Obama administration is doing nothing to combat that campaign -- even though it could wind up facilitating international "
war crimes" prosecutions of ...See all stories on this topic

Iraq and Afghanistan will never accept colonialism
Monday, September 21, 2009
By: Brian Becker

Gen. McChrystal, Pentagon scramble to avoid appearance of defeat

The statement below was issued by Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

The U.S. public largely opposed the invasion of Iraq while being generally supportive of the invasion of Afghanistan. That is now changing. Majority sentiment has moved, and will continue to move, in opposition to the plans for a protracted war and occupation in Afghanistan.

There is both uncertainty and debate within the Obama administration and among the Pentagon brass about what to do in Afghanistan: continue to send ever more troops; seek a truce with the Taliban and create a government of "national unity" that includes the Taliban and either Hamid Karzai or another U.S. political puppet; or both.

Because of the division within the ruling class on its Afghanistan policy, it is possible that the intervention of a mass grassroots movement opposing the war can become a factor in domestic political calculations. This is precisely what happened during the Vietnam War.

Reality requires change of Pentagon’s military goals

The primary strategic objectives and goals that originally motivated the U.S. invasion have been significantly modified as a consequence of the unanticipated armed resistance, also known as the insurgency, in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The political alignments in Iraq bear little or no resemblance to the constellation of political forces in Afghanistan and yet there is an overarching similarity, at least in terms of the evolved objectives of the U.S. invasion and occupation.

Both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, a principal goal of the Pentagon morphed into a much lower baseline objective: to avoid defeat or the appearance of defeat at the hands of an armed insurgency.

Avoiding defeat was the goal Nixon and Kissinger set for themselves when they took office in 1969. They, however, quickly modified the objective: They quickly discovered that defeat was inevitable, so they settled on an even lesser objective: to avoid the appearance of being defeated. Thus was born the fraudulent slogan "Peace with Honor." For this noble cause, another 30,000 young GIs perished before the inevitable troop pullout from Vietnam in 1973. The number of Vietnamese killed between 1969 and 1973 was greater by many hundreds of thousands.

The initial goal of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was far greater. "Avoiding defeat" did not enter into the calculations of Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld. No, they were sure that they could create in both countries a colonial-type state.

States. In the case of Iraq, its vast nationalized oil fields were to be privatized and controlled by U.S. and British oil interests. Its nationalized banking sector was to be gobbled up by Wall Street.

Kwame Nkrumah, the former president of Ghana and a leader of the Pan-African movement, described the features of what he called neo-colonialism: "The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside."

Nkrumah prophetically described the many variants of the new colonialism, but placed the primacy of economic penetration as the "normal" and central method whereby the old colonial powers retain control over the former colonies.

"The methods and form of this direction can take various shapes. For example, in an extreme case the troops of the imperial power may garrison the territory of the neo-colonial State and control the government of it. More often, however, neo-colonialist control is exercised through economic or monetary means." (emphasis added)

In the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, the creation of a colonial-type or neo-colonial state requires the garrisoning of large numbers of U.S. troops on U.S. military bases to dominate the political landscape and protect large numbers of U.S. administrators. Nkrumah called this "an extreme case," but it is indispensable in both Iraq and Afghanistan, although for widely different reasons. Without vast numbers of foreign forces on its soil, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan can function as colonial-type states. Iraq for instance—with its oil, significant water resources, large and educated population, potential military capability, and political legacy since the triumph of the 1958 anti-colonial revolution—would resume its place as a regional power in the Arab world.

Hopes of new strategic axis shattered

The destruction of the Baathist state by foreign military invasion was supposed to blast open the possibility of large, multiple U.S. military bases that would remain forever in Iraq. U.S. rulers understood that, without foreign troops and permanent military bases on its soil providing protection for legions of U.S. administrators and technocrats, Iraq would resume its position of independence, notwithstanding its economic decline from years of war and sanctions.

The Bush administration and the Pentagon initially envisioned laying the foundation for a new strategic axis for the Middle East. It would be the Washington-Baghdad-Tel Aviv partnership that would police the oil-rich Middle East on behalf of U.S. interests. That would require turning Iraq into a colonial-type state.

It was a policy that had some historical resonance. It was a throwback to the golden days of a Washington-Tel Aviv-Tehran axis policing the oil-rich Gulf. The Shah of Iran was a loyal puppet, and the Israelis functioned as a dependent garrison state striking out at any expression of Arab nationalism that threatened U.S. domination strategies.

But the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld strategy was a fantasy that has been shattered by subsequent events. Starting in 2007, the Pentagon adjusted its approach. The 2007 so-called surge of troops in Iraq was basically propaganda masking the actual new strategy, which was to pay the insurgents to stop shooting at U.S. troops and blowing them up with IEDs. This would allow the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces in an orderly way thus avoiding the appearance that the empire had been defeated or had been unable to succeed in Iraq.

The humongous U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was conceived as the directing body of the new colonial-type state in Iraq. It is the largest in the world. Conceived for more than 1,000 U.S. personnel to function as behind-the-scenes administrators, the embassy would serve as the management arm of the new colonial-type state.

This, too, will turn out to be unviable. Iraq has been economically devastated, but the aspirations for a colonial-type state administered by the U.S. Embassy in downtown Baghdad are incompatible with the reality of Iraq. The Iraqi people are imbued with anti-colonial consciousness directly resulting from 90 years of struggle—dating back to at least the 1920 national rebellion that defeated British colonial forces.

Iraqi reporter Muntadhar al-Zaidi became a national hero when he risked death and endured terrible torture for hurling his shoes at Bush. His words on Sept. 15 upon his release and the depth of the support he continues to receive from throughout Iraq speak volumes about the political intensity of Iraqi anti-colonial sentiment:

"They [U.S. officials] will boast about the deceit and the means they used in order to gain their objective. It is not strange, not much different from what happened to the Native Americans at the hands of colonialists. Here I say to them (the occupiers) and to all who follow their steps, and all those who support them and spoke up for their cause: Never. Because we are a people who would rather die than face humiliation."

Afghanistan: perception and reality

In the United States, a large sector of the population recognized that the Iraq invasion was a war of aggression, pure and simple.

It was different with Afghanistan. Public opinion was largely supportive of the invasion, because the Bush administration and all Democratic Party leaders promoted the idea that Afghanistan was the source of the Sept. 11 attacks. After all, Osama Bin Laden was a "guest" of the Taliban government in Kabul at the time of the attack.

The cold fact is that there were no Iraqis or Afghans on the planes that were hijacked on Sept. 11, yet hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans are dead because of the U.S. invasion. Millions more live as refugees.

Afghanistan, according to the Bush administration and the Pentagon, was to serve as the military pivot for policing U.S. interests. Huge forward bases for the Pentagon throughout the country would change the relationship of forces in Central Asia.

Afghanistan shares extensive borders with Iran to the west and a long border with Pakistan to the south and east. It borders China to the northeast and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to the north.

As with Iraq, the Bush and Pentagon military strategy in Afghanistan—now officially the policy of the Obama administration—has morphed, as the goals of the occupation have had to be scaled back. When asked to explain what a victory in Afghanistan would mean, U.S. government and Pentagon officials can only dish out vagaries. They cannot actually tell the truth because then more soldiers and marines and their families would hesitate to continue to act as bait and cannon fodder.

Stirring up the anti-war movement

The real and rarely mentioned goal is now to avoid defeat. Or, and this is important, to avoid the perception of defeat. Thus, tens of thousands more troops are being rushed into the country because the Pentagon cannot figure out what else to do.

General David Petraeus became a hero in the imperialist establishment because he was the architect of the so-called surge followed by the announced intention to withdraw from Iraq. In short, glory and reverential honor befalls the great general, not because he put U.S. forces on track to victory but because his policy may permit the withdrawal of military forces on conditions far less humiliating than the Pentagon’s rushed exit from Vietnam in the 1970s.

The people of the United States need to rise up and go into the streets demanding the immediate and full withdrawal from Afghanistan. The vast majority of the people of Afghanistan, including large numbers of those who despise the odious policies of the Taliban, revile the colonial character of the occupation. As the bodies of civilians pile up in an escalating conflict, the hatred for the U.S./NATO occupiers will only grow. The mission is doomed.

Venue for an Artist

We're Number 37!

By Paul Hipp

Come one, Come all

Down to the hall

We're gonna make noise

We're gonna bust balls

We're gonna disrupt

We're gonna jump in the fray

I got a list of all the things that we're supposed to say

We're gonna get real rowdy

Have a barrel of fun

But we're the USA so by the way be sure to bring a gun

And buddy

We're Number 37...We're the USA

We're Number 37

And were so proud to say

We got old people crying at the pharmacy

Pay your deductible

This ain't the land of the f-f-f-free Grandma

We're Number 37...We're the USA

People of the town come on down

And if you got a crazy rumor you can spread it around

I kind of like my insurance and I like my health

The other 47 million can go treat themselves

To some prayer in chapel

Fold your hands and pray

Because we are a Christian nation and that is the Christian way

And brother

We're Number 37...We're the USA

The big Number 37

And were so proud to say

We're #1 one in tanks

We're #1 in planes

We're #1 in war with #2 for brains

We're Number 37...We're the USA

I drew a Hitler mustache on the president

Yea! Aint that neat

My brother had a hernia operation last year

And now he's living out on the street

We're Number 37...We're the USA

The big Number 37

And we want to keep it that way

Be sure to bring the kids

All of the boys and girls

Because the #1 health care system in the world.

Is in France???

We're Number 37...We're the USA

We're Number 37

And we got something to say

We pay more for less

40% in fact

Let's bite some fingers off

Shout at the handicapped

Cause buddy...We're Number 37

We're the USA

We're Number 37...We're the USA

We're Number 37...We're the USA

Farewell to the GodfatherIrving Kristol, 1920-2009

By Christopher Hitchens

Dobbs Promotes Website That Hosts Several Pro-Secession Articles

On the September 17 broadcast of his radio show, Lou Dobbs hosted Tenth Amendment Center founder Michael Boldin and repeatedly "urge[d]" his listeners to visit the group's "very interesting" website. The site, among other things, has published or reprinted several articles advocating secession from the United States. Dobbs hosts founder of "very interesting" Tenth Amendment Center…

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