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Archive for July 17th, 2008

al gore

“There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more – if more should be required – the future of human civilization is at stake.”

read and/or listen to rest here

picture and story here

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Law Professor: Democrats Let Bush Get Away With It!

GEF @ 6:28 PM ET

Legal scholar: Evidence suggests Bush committed crimes

Law professor rebukes Democrats for letting Bush off hook

Nancy Pelosi needs to hold meaningful impeachment hearings that will focus on evidence that President Bush has committed crimes in office, constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said Wednesday.

Turley was speaking with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann about the House Speaker’s indication that she would let the Judiciary Committee hold an hearing to consider an impeachment article introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

The problem, Turley says, is that Pelosi has already rendered a “not guilty” verdict on the impeachment question, and the hearing organizers are making sure they won’t be exposing any additional criminal activity. This makes the whole exercise more like a “fancy dress ball,” than a criminal prosecution, he said.

Recalling his testimony to an impeachment hearing during the Clinton administration, Turley said the Republican Congress was focused on its goal of impeaching the president in a way the Democrats simply are not.

“It covered crimes,” Turley said of Clinton’s congressional inquisition. “What [Pelosi and others are] already saying is that they’ll be talking about a wide array of abuses by the president.

“An impeachment hearing needs to be focused and it needs to deal with things directly and frankly, as whether the president committed crimes,” he continued, “And there is considerable evidence to say that the answer is yes.”

Link and Scroll for Video

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By- Suzie-Q @ 1:15 PM MST

Congressional hearing to examine ‘Bush Imperial Presidency’

Raw Story- Nick Juliano
Published: Thursday July 17, 2008

In a release Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) announced he will hold a hearing July 25 examining “the imperial presidency of George W. Bush and possible legal responses.”

The word “impeachment” was not mentioned in the announcement, but it appears the hearing is going to examine issues raised by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in his resolution to impeach Bush.

“Over the last seven plus years, there have been numerous credible allegations of serious misconduct by officials in the Bush Administration,” Conyers said in a news release. “At the same time, the administration has adopted what many would describe as a radical view of its own powers and authorities. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I believe it is imperative that we pursue a comprehensive review commensurate to this constitutionally dangerous combination of circumstances. Next Friday’s hearings will be an important part of that ongoing effort.”

Conyers did not say who would testify at the hearing, but he laid out a variety of abuses that would be examined, including:

(1) improper politicization of the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorneys offices, including potential misuse of authority with regard to election and voting controversies;

(2) misuse of executive branch authority and the adoption and implementation of the so-called unitary executive theory, including in the areas of presidential signing statements and regulatory authority;

(3) misuse of investigatory and detention authority with regard to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, including questions regarding the legality of the administration’s surveillance, detention, interrogation, and rendition programs;

(4) manipulation of intelligence and misuse of war powers, including possible misrepresentations to Congress related thereto;

(5) improper retaliation against administration critics, including disclosing information concerning CIA operative Valerie Plame, and obstruction of justice related thereto; and

(6) misuse of authority in denying Congress and the American people the ability to oversee and scrutinize conduct within the administration, including through the use of various asserted privileges and immunities.

After the committee ignored Kucinich’s first impeachment attempt last month, the former Democratic presidential candidate re-introduced a single article on Tuesday. In response, Conyers promised a hearing that would accumulate “all the things that constitute an imperial presidency.”

However, Conyers indicated his unwillingness to actually vote on impeachment, regardless of Kucinich’s presentation.

While no one has really asked lately, the White House has previously brushed off questions about impeachment in the past.

“I’m not going to comment on something as ridiculous as that,” Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said last year when asked about impeachment.

Kucinich has been relentless in his push to impeach Bush. On Tuesday, the House formally sent his latest impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee. Its title: “Deceiving Congress with Fabricated Threats of Iraq WMDs to Fraudulently Obtain Support for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Iraq.”

He also suggested in an interview with Congressional Quarterly that the Judiciary hearing could serve as a forum for some new revelations.

“I’ve been contacted by representatives of a U.S. ally who are seeking an opportunity to appear before the Judiciary Committee,” he told CQ’s Molly K. Hooper.

“Legislative leaders of a foreign capital” have a “new angle that I haven’t thought of before but is relevant,” he said. “This interest in whether we’ve been told the truth has extended to other countries.”

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anthony @ 20:16 BST

http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/

In two previous posts (here and here), I showed that Continuity of Government (COG) plans were implemented on September 11th, and I argued that it is possible that they have never been suspended.

Now, one of the top investigative journalists in the country, Larisa Alexandrovna (the lead journalist at Raw Story), says:

“it seems to me that this administration has justified its crimes by NOT suspending the state of emergency that went up on September 11, 2001. They are using emergency powers if you look at the whole of the spying, military actions inside the US, etc. I would wager that if asked, this administration will admit that we have been in a state of emergency for their tenure in office.”

Remember that Continuity of Government plans — that is, the measures that go into effect in case of emergency — suspend the Constitutional form of government, cut elected officials out of the loop, and may even allow the government to tell the media what it can and cannot report.

Remember also that the entire Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. Congress has been denied access to the government’s Continuity of Government Plans even though it has clearance to view such plans (video; or here is the transcript). Indeed, a member of that Committee has said “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right”.

If we are in a state of emergency and COG plans are in effect, then Congress acting even more obviously like corporate and military lapdogs than normal and totally ignoring the will of the people would make sense. It would make sense that “impeachment is off the table”, because Congress would not even be sitting at the table under a non-constitutional COG form of government; and Congress certainly would not be a co-equal branch of government with the Executive branch.

If we are in a state of emergency and COG plans are in effect, then the corporate media’s acting even more obviously like the disinformation arm of the government than usual would make sense.

Given the stakes, it is vital that we demand that Congress and the White House state on the record whether or not Continuity of Government plans are currently in effect. We’re not going to make any progress on whatever issue is most important to us — peace, liberty, election integrity/vote fraud, 9/11 truth, etc. — if we are living under a COG regime and we don’t even know it.

And our strategy will be different depending on whether we are living under a COG regime or a Constitutional form of government.

We have to find out one way or another.

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McCain Admitted He Is Dumber Than Bush

By- Suzie-Q @ 11:00 AM MST
Flashback: McCain Admits He’s Dumber Than Bush
Crooks and Liars

By: Bill W. on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at 3:40 PM – PDT

Another great video catch by Jed:

When McCain was asked last year at a Candidates@Google event how his GPA compared to President Bush’s C average at Yale, McCain offered up some straight talk, my friends:

McCain: My GPA earned me fifth from the bottom of my class at the Naval Academy status. So, the GPA was based –since that was in the Coolidge administration it was a different measurement, but I can assure you in today’s standards it would be barely passing.

For good measure, Jed adds to that a clip from a January interview with Politico’s Mike Allen where McCain admits that he’s “an illiterate” who lacks the ability to utilize decades-old technology. At least Bush knows how to use “the Google.”

One note, if the McCain campaign is going to rely so heavily on his military service to make the case that he’s more fit to be commander-in-chief, why won’t the media actually take a look at his military record, especially considering he freely admits he placed 894th out of 899 in his class? Oh, that’s right. Apparently it’s a secret.

When John Kerry refused to release all of his military records before the election in 2004, which he subsequently did, the press relentlessly pushed him to do so. So why is McCain getting a complete pass? Are there any real journalists left in the U.S. who aren’t part of McCain’s base? Apparently not.

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Bush ‘Crawford Ranch’ Getting UFO Visitors?

By- Suzie-Q @ 6:55 AM MST

UFO headed for Bush Crawford ranch?

Raw Story- Associated Press
Published: Wednesday July 16, 2008

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Radar documents examined by a UFO group stir up thoughts of an enormous aircraft without transponders traveling up to 2,100 miles-per-hour in Texas.

Kenneth Cherry is with the Mutual UFO Network, which has been studying phenomenon earlier this year in Stephenville and Dublin.

Cherry says the documents show ample evidence of unidentified flying object activity.

He says some of the information involves something “turning at angles not possible by military aircraft.”

The group requested documents from the Federal Aviation Administration, military bases and other agencies under the Freedom of Information Act.

FAA spokesman Roland Herwig says he hasn’t seen radar information and could not comment.

MUFON requested reports from the night of January 8th. That’s when several dozen people in Texas dairy country reported seeing a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast.

After talking to witnesses, MUFON investigators ended up looking into 300 reported UFO sightings spanning several weeks and said most were probably planets, cloud formations or stars.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported the unidentified craft neared President Bush’s Crawford ranch.

Radar tracked a Crawford-bound craft for more than an hour, according to the MUFON report. Witnesses said they saw two large glowing amber lights similar in size and color to the lights on the back of a school bus.

The object seemed to be stationary or moving at speeds of less than 60 mph most of the time, but at one point it accelerated to 532 mph in 30 seconds, according to the report. It did not seem to reach the property.

“The object was traveling to the southeast on a direct course towards the Crawford Ranch,” the report states.

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keyhole gardening

h/t survival acres blog

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Jon Stewart: ‘It’s Just a F—ing Cartoon’

anthony @ 13:07 BST

Truthdig | Posted on Jul 16, 2008

“The Daily Show” host marvels that the same media that investigated Barack Obama’s falsely alleged attendance at a madrassa can be shocked—shocked—by a cartoon poking fun at such rumors. Here’s what the Obama campaign should have said, in Stewart’s estimation:

“Barack Obama is in no way upset about the cartoon that depicts him as a Muslim extremist, because you know who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists, of which Barack Obama is not. It’s just a f—ing cartoon.”

Anthony says: And here are some more typically controversial covers of The New Yorker Magazine:

BFFs

New Yorker Fist Bump

And finally, my friends, for my friends in Arizona:

Dropping Bombs

By Mr. Fish

For more responses to the controversial New Yorker cover, keep reading

(more…)

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Sudhan @12:15 CET

Robert Weitzel | Nasir Khan blog, July 17, 2008

“If I had a world of my own . . . nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would.” -Alice in Wonderland-

Alice: “You want democracy in the Middle East?”

Uncle Sam: “I do.”

Alice: “And Iran was a democracy?”

Uncle Sam: “It was.”

Alice: “With a constitution?”

Uncle Sam: “Of course!”

Alice: “But you replaced that democracy with a dictatorship?”

Uncle Sam: “ I certainly did!”

Alice: “I don’t understand you?”

Uncle Sam: “My dear, how else will democracy flourish in the Middle East?”

Alice: “It’s all so dreadfully confusing.”

In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” the White Queen assured Alice that “it’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” A contemporary reader stepping into the “looking glass” world of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East may well understand the Queen’s contrariness as “blowback”—an event that appears to be without cause but is the unintended consequence of a past action. Blowback is a “sort of memory” that always works forward.

In 1953, Uncle Sam, at the behest of his British ally, stepped through the looking glass to attack Iran. The CIA’s month-long covert war deposed the popularly elected Mohammad Mossadegh and ended the Middle East’s oldest constitutional democracy.

To secure a foothold for democracy in the region—and keep oil flowing at an Anglo-American price—Uncle Sam placed Mohammad Reza Shah back on the Peacock Throne. The twenty-five years of oppressive dictatorship that followed was the “sort of memory” that came blowing back through the looking glass with the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which resulted in a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy in Iran and the transmogrification of Uncle Sam into “Shaytan Bozorg”—the Great Satan.

The Islamic Revolution brought to power a group of fanatically anti-Western clerics who have inspired a generation of new recruits in the war against the imperialist aggression of the West; a war that blew back through the looking glass—and the Twin Towers—as the “War on Terror.”

This June, both presumptive presidential candidates made their obligatory supplication at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in Washington D.C. In the “looking glass” world of American politics, candidates for national office—from federal dogcatcher to the White House—cannot get elected without first being “voted in” by Israel’s representatives in the United States.

John McCain told the AIPAC audience, “The State of Israel stands . . . as the great democracy of the Middle East. [It has] thrived and . . . built a nation that’s an inspiration to free nations everywhere.”

Barack Obama told the same audience, “In a state of constant insecurity, Israel has maintained a vibrant and open discourse, and a resilient commitment to the rule of law.”

The White Queen told Alice, “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

In 1948, Uncle Sam was the first in line to recognize the birth of the State of Israel in the Land of Palestine. The birth pain of this “great [Jewish-only] democracy of the Middle East” is known to the entirety of the Arab world as the “Nakhba” (catastrophe)—the murder of 800 Palestinian Arabs in twenty-four separate Israeli terror attacks that were calculated to initiate the “ethic cleansing” of 700,000 Palestinians and the destruction of 500 villages.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupied and began to illegally settle the whole of the Land of Palestine. It has since created an apartheid state whose “resilient commitment to the rule of law” has forced over four million Palestinians behind walls and beyond the reach of human rights.

In its sixty-years as an “inspiration to free nations everywhere,” Israel has yet to draft a constitution, much less a bill of rights. To do so would mean the self-destruction of the Jewish State as envisioned by the Zionist ideology that created and sustains it. If Israel is to self-destruct, it will be in an apocalyptic battle to save itself from itself.

Uncle Sam’s implicit support for Israel’s repressive policies against the Palestinian people and his overt support of Israel’s aggression against neighboring states has blown back through the looking glass with Iran’s determination to acquire the nuclear technology with which to both power and protect itself.

As AIPAC-vetted politicians vow to “totally obliterate” Iran if it continues along a nuclear path, the other side of the looking glass reveals Uncle Sam offering to help the Shah develop an Iranian nuclear weapons program in the 1970s, just as he had earlier given a wink and a nod—and no doubt assistance— as Israel began developing its now 200-strong nuclear arsenal.

Uncle Sam’s foreign policy in the Middle East has created Alice’s contrary world where “what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would.” It is a world filled with the “sort of memory” that always works forward to become the stuff of nightmares and the roost for returning chickens.

Alice: “So, you ended a democracy that was and support a “democracy” that isn’t or ever will be until it ceases being a “democracy” so that democracy will flourish in a land whose only experience of democracy has been what democracy isn’t?”

Uncle Sam: “Well said!”

Alice: “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”

Biography: Robert Weitzel is a contributing editor to Media With a Conscience. His essays regularly appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI. He can be contacted at: robertweitzel@mac.com

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Sudhan @11:03 CET

By Paul Craig Roberts | “ICH”, July 16, 2008

National Public Radio has been spending much news time on Darfur in Western Sudan where a great deal of human suffering and death are occurring. The military conflict has been brought on in part by climate change, according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Drought is forcing nomads in search of water into areas occupied by other claimants. No doubt the conflict is tribal and racial as well. The entire catastrophe is overseen by a government with few resources other than bullets.

Now an International Criminal Court prosecutor wants to bring charges against Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

I have no sympathy for people who make others suffer. Nevertheless, I wonder at the International Criminal Court’s pick from the assortment of war criminals? Why al-Bashir?

Is it because Sudan is a powerless state, and the International Criminal Court hasn’t the courage to name George W. Bush and Tony Blair as war criminals?

Bush and Blair’s crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan dwarf, at least in the number of deaths and displaced persons, the terrible situation in Darfur. The highest estimate of Darfur casualties is 400,000, one-third the number of Iraqis who have died as a result of Bush’s invasion. Moreover, the conflict in the Sudan is an internal one, whereas Bush illegally invaded two foreign countries, war crimes under the Nuremberg Standard. Bush’s war crimes were enabled by the political leaders of the UK, Spain, Canada, and Australia. The leaders of every member of the “coalition of the willing to commit war crimes” are candidates for the dock.

But of course the Great Moral West does not commit war crimes. War crimes are charges fobbed off on people demonized by the Western media, such as the Serbian Milosovic and the Sudanese al-Bashir.

Every week the Israeli government evicts Palestinians from their homes, steals their land, and kills Palestinian women and children. These crimes against humanity have been going on for decades. Except for a few Israeli human rights organizations, no one complains about it. Palestinians are defined as “terrorists,” and “terrorists” can be treated inhumanely without complaint.

Iraqis and Afghans suffer the same fate. Iraqis who resist US occupation of their country are “terrorists.” Taliban is a demonized name. Every Afghan killed–even those attending wedding parties–is claimed to be Taliban by the US military. Iraqis and Afghans can be murdered at will by American and NATO troops without anyone raising human rights issues.

The International Criminal Court is a bureaucracy. It has a budget, and it needs to do something to justify its budget. Lacking teeth and courage, it goes after the petty war criminals and leaves the big ones alone.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m for holding all governments accountable for their criminal actions. It is the hypocrisy to which I object. The West gives itself and Israel a pass while damning everyone else. Even human rights groups fall into the trap. Rights activists don’t see the buffoonery in their complaint that President Bush, who has violated more human rights than any person alive, is letting China off the hook for human rights abuses by attending the Olympics hosted by China.

President Bush claims that the enormous destruction and death he has brought to Iraq and Afghanistan are necessary in order for Americans to be safe. If we are accepting excuses this feeble, Milosovic passed muster with his excuse that as the head of state he was obliged to try to preserve the state’s territorial integrity. Is al-Bashir supposed to accept secession in the Sudan, something that Lincoln would not accept from the Confederacy? How long would al-Bashir last if he partitioned Sudan.

Last October the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a photo on its front page above the fold of an elderly man with mikes shoved in his face. Paul Henss, 85 years old, is being deported from the US, where he has lived for 53 years, because Eli Rosenbaum, director the the US State Department’s Nazi-hunting bureaucracy, declared him a war criminal for training guard dogs used at German concentration camps. Henss was 22 years old when World War II ended.

A kid who trained guard dogs is being deported as a war criminal, but the head of state who launched two wars of naked aggression, resulting in the deaths of more than 1.2 million people, and who has the entire world on edge awaiting his third war of aggression, this time against Iran, is received respectfully by foreign governments. Corporations and trade associations will pay him $100,000 per speech when he leaves office. He will make millions of dollars more from memoirs written by a ghostwriter.

Does no one see the paradox of deporting Henss while leaving the war criminal in the White House.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, an assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Reagan Administration, is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

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