Archive for June 6th, 2007

by- Suzie-Q @ 7:44 PM MST

“Six human rights groups released Wednesday a list of 39 people they believe have been secretly imprisoned by the United States and whose whereabouts are unknown and called on the Bush administration to abandon secret detentions,” according to advance copy of an article being considered for the front page of Thursday’s New York Times.

Files Reuters: “Six human rights groups urged the U.S. government on Thursday to name and explain the whereabouts of 39 people they said were believed to have been held in U.S. custody and “disappeared.” Excerpts follow.

The groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, said they filed a U.S. federal lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act seeking information about the 39 people it terms “ghost prisoners” in the U.S. “war on terror.”

“Since the end of Latin America’s dirty wars, the world has rejected the use of ‘disappearances’ as a fundamental violation of international law,” Professor Meg Satterthwaite of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University’s School of Law said in a statement.

The report said suspects’ relatives, including children as young as seven, had been held in secret detention on occasion.

In September, U.S. President George W. Bush acknowledged the CIA had interrogated dozens of suspects at secret overseas locations and said 14 of those held had been sent to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.”



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Evening Jukebox… Nothing Else Matters

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:45 PM MST

Metallica- Nothing Else Matters Woodstock 1999

Metallica- Nothing Else Matters

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Bush Mantra: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:12 PM MST

The Democrats in Congress wring their hands, gnash their teeth and wail that there was nothing they could do but cave in and vote to continue funding the war in Iraq. After all, that crafty George W. Bush had maneuvered them into a corner and they didn’t have the votes to override his veto.

Horse manure.

All they had to do was keep passing a war funding bill with a hard-and-fast timetable for beginning – and ending – the complete withdrawal of the more than 150,000 American troops fighting in that far-away place. Over and over and over, throwing it back into the face of a president who mistakes stubborn and hardheaded for principled resolve.

If that president continued to veto all the bills Congress sent to him, the money eventually would run out, although with a Defense Department budget of half a trillion dollars a year the administration could and probably would keep robbing Peter to pay Paul until both Peter and Paul were broke.

By which time it should be apparent to all who the real problem was and where the blame properly rested for failing to provide the money for an orderly end to the war that George W. Bush started and is determined will not end in his lifetime or ours.

Texas friends of the president told columnist Georgie Ann Geyer that it’s the president’s intention to arrange things so that his successors for half a century will never be able to pull out of Iraq. That George W. Bush intends that his blighted and bloody legacy of an unnecessary war that’s hurt us more than it’s hurt our enemies will continue, just as America’s more rational and less costly commitment in Korea has continued.

Throwing a wrench into such misguided machinery isn’t all that hard when you have check-writing authority. All it takes is courage and integrity and an absence of fear. Alas, that was lacking on Capitol Hill when the Democratic leadership, or what passes for such, cratered and caved.

Their eye is on the 2008 presidential elections, and their fear is that the White House spinmeister Karl Rove will portray the Democratic nominee and all Democrats as soft on terror; will accuse them of stabbing the American troops in the back.

The operative word here is “FEAR” and fear is the true legacy that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their neo-conservative chickenhawk corps will leave behind them.

They’ve instilled fear in the American people, beginning the day after 9/11, and they’ve played it like a Wurlitzer organ every day since then. Every time bad news looms on their horizon, up goes the red flag. Or the orange flag. Or the yellow flag. The national terror threat alert system became a 24/7 traffic light, except that it never turns green.

Whenever the truth threatens to intrude on the White House pipe dreams, suddenly the Federal Bureau of Investigation seems to uncover another huge and scary terrorist plot. A dirty bomb to be planted in the heart of an American city. A plot to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch. Another plot to blow up Chicago’s premier skyscraper. A plan for steely eyed killers disguised as pizza delivery boys to attack Fort Dix, N.J., and kill American soldiers.

The latest: A plot to blow up the jet fuel pipeline to John F. Kennedy Airport.


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by Geezer Power …1:56 PM PDT

Berlin bashed for G8 security May 29 07:22 PM US/Eastern

BERLIN, May 29 (UPI) — Germany has come under fire for what the opposition and anti-globalization groups believe are inappropriate security measures ahead of next week’s Group of Eight summit in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm.

Last week German police had taken scent samples from five far-left activists arrested in a series of massive raids Berlin staged earlier this month in six German states. The scent samples are passed to police equipped with sniffing dogs who can pick the individuals out amid a large crowd or compare the samples with traces left at the scene of a crime.

The method is controversial in Germany because it was also used against dissidents by communist East Germany’s secret police, the Stasi. Several opposition politicians but also some lawmakers of the government Social Democrats hailing from Eastern Germany have criticized the measure.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has defended the scent tracking, as has Chief Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms, in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel.

“We are dealing with very conspirative groups,” Harms told the magazine, which hit the newsstands Monday. “We have to use all legal investigation measures available … Because a method was used by the Stasi in a totally different context doesn’t mean that it is therefore taboo for us.”

Berlin has also come under fire for agreeing to have letters in Hamburg opened in connection with investigations against groups and individuals believed to be behind a series of anti-G8 arson attacks in the northern German city. The attacks targeted trade groups, large companies, the house of a Hamburg finance politician and the car of the editor of Bild, Germany’s mass-selling daily and the journalistic arch-enemy of the far left.

“We are not dealing with people from the political opposition like (the Stasi did) in former East Germany, but with criminals who send off confession letters,” Harms said in defense of the measure.

Preparations for the G8 summit are increasingly turning hysteric, after last month’s police raids managed to round up more support for the anti-G8 movement.

In Berlin, bus companies have had to order more vehicles to be able to meet the increasing demand for tickets to Rostock, where some 100,000 anti-globalization activists are expected to stage a series of demonstrations and events in an “alternative” summit.

Numerous attacks in Berlin and violent protests at this past weekend’s meeting of European and Asian foreign ministers in Hamburg, where more than 100 people were arrested, have fueled fears that the far left is planning for a major clash with authorities at the June 6-8 summit.

The German government in turn has built a $20 million security fence around the summit venue to keep protesters out and said it will deploy more than 16,000 police to the area.

While the police are gearing up for their biggest post-war deployment, the other side is getting ready as well.

In a park in Berlin’s mostly left-wing Kreuzberg district, far-left groups have offered “blockade training” for people willing to march against the G8 summit. The training includes lessons on how to behave when the police approach (stay in groups, use sign language to get help from other activists) and how to calm down police who are turning gruff.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen on keeping violence down before, during and after the summit, defending the comprehensive security measures. Yet she has also made clear that demonstrations will be permitted as long as they remain peaceful.

Germany: Police use massive force against G8 demonstrators in Rostock

Germany: Police use massive force against G8 demonstrators in Rostock

By Stefan Steinberg
4 June 2007

A peaceful mass demonstration of an estimated 80,000 participants turned into a grim battle between thousands of heavily armed police and demonstrators—including provocative members of the “black bloc” of anarchists—on late Saturday afternoon in the northern German port city of Rostock.

More G8 Protests in Rostock Turn Violent, Lead to Arrests

Opposition: 04.06.2007

Protestors visited the Sunflower House for asylum-seekers, which was burned in 1992
Just two days after a mass anti-G8 demonstration in Rostock on Saturday turned violent, protestors skirmished with police again, this time in a part of town known for neo-Nazi attacks in the early 1990s.

Nearly 1,000 people staged a sit-down protest Monday morning in front of the immigration office in Baltic Sea port city of Rostock to protest the asylum policies of the world’s major industrialized countries.

The rally started peacefully, but turned violent when some protestors began throwing bottles at police officers, said a police spokesperson. A photo journalist was injured.

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Turkish Troops Enter Iraq

by- Suzie-Q @ 11:26 AM MST

Friends and relatives of Turkish soldier Emrah Kayadelen, wearing letters that read: “We condemn”, chant nationalist slogans during his funeral ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, June 6, 2007. In one of the bloodiest attacks this year, Kurdish rebels raided Monday a military outpost in Tunceli province in southeastern Turkey, killing seven Turkish troops and wounding seven others.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Several thousand Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq early Wednesday to chase Kurdish guerrillas who operate from bases there, Turkish security officials told The Associated Press.

Two senior security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said the raid was limited in scope and that it did not constitute the kind of large incursion that Turkish leaders have been discussing in recent weeks.

“It is not a major offensive and the number of troops is not in the tens of thousands,” one of the officials told the AP by telephone. The official is based in southeast Turkey, where the military has been battling separatist Kurdish rebels since they took up arms in 1984.

The U.S. military said it could not confirm the reports but was “very concerned.”

The last major Turkish incursion into northern Iraq was in 1997, when about 50,000 troops were sent to the region.

The officials did not say where the Turkish force was operating in northern Iraq, nor did he say how long they would be there. Both officials are involved in anti-rebel operations, though they did not disclose whether they participated in the planning of the operation on Wednesday.


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Indonesia World’s No. 3 Greenhouse Gas Emitter

by- Suzie-Q @ 10:32 AM MST

JAKARTA, June 4 (Reuters) – Indonesia is among the world’s top three greenhouse gas emitters because of deforestation, peatland degradation and forest fires, a report sponsored by the World Bank and Britain’s development arm said.

An increase of global temperatures has already resulted in prolonged drought, heavy rainfall leading to floods and tidal waves in Indonesia, putting the archipelago’s rich biodiversity at risk, said the report, released on Monday.

“Emissions resulting from deforestation and forest fires are five times those from non-forestry emissions. Emissions from energy and industrial sectors are relatively small, but are growing very rapidly,” it added.

“This may lead to harmful effects on agriculture, fishery and forestry, resulting in threats to food security and livelihoods,” said the report, which comes ahead of this week’s G8 summit in Germany where global warming is major item on the agenda.

The report is a review of published information compiled by PT Pelangi Energi Abadi Citra Enviro (PEACE), a consulting arm of an Indonesian research institute dealing with the environment, and was sponsored by the World Bank and the British government.

Indonesia’s total annual carbon dioxide emissions stand at 3.014 billion tonnes after the United States, the world’s top emitter with 6.005 billion tonnes followed by China at 5.017 billion tonnes, according to data from the report.

Indonesia’s yearly carbon dioxide emissions from energy, agriculture and waste are around 451 million tonnes while forestry and land use change are estimated to account for a staggering 2.563 billion tonnes, said the report, titled “Indonesia and Climate Change: Current Status and Policies”.

Climate change would also increase average sea levels, which in turn would reduce farming and coastal livelihoods in Indonesia, a country of about 17,000 islands where millions depend on fishing and farming.

“Even if forest fires were taken out of the equation, Indonesia would still be one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters,” said Agus P. Sari of PEACE.

He said the figures cited in the report were debatable.

“But more important than those figures is acknowledgment that Indonesia has a big problem, that Indonesia contributes a lot,” he told a conference to launch the report.


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Posted by Anthony @ 17:56 BST

Bob Geiger
June 5, 2007 at 11:09:11

In his first speech on the Senate floor after returning from Congress’s Memorial Day recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blasted George W. Bush and his administration for ignoring pre-war intelligence that specifically predicted long-term chaos in Iraq, the likelihood of a bloody civil war and the capacity of the invasion to actually strengthen al-Qaeda.

Citing a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee called “Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq,” that was released the Friday before the holiday weekend, Reid asserted that “the Bush administration cannot hide behind ignorance. Whether out of hubris or incompetence, the President and his men willfully ignored the experts and sent our troops to battle unprepared for the consequences.”

“Some might say, what is past is past. If the President’s prewar failure was a one-time event, we could maybe forget about it, even though that would be hard,” continued Reid. “But if President Bush’s prewar failure was a one-time event, we could leave it to the historians to study and judge the tragedy of his incompetence. But even today, after almost 3,500 American deaths and more than 20,000 wounded, the President continues to cherry-pick facts in order to paint a rosy but very misleading picture of Iraq.”

The report was one that Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) vowed to bring to public view before the Memorial Day holiday after years of the do-nothing, Republican Congress refusing to even examine the issues for fear of harming the already-tarnished White House.

Latest Intelligence Report Yet Another Smoking Gun On Bush
Report shows White House warned of most Iraq-war problems

By the same author
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

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by- Suzie-Q @ 8:36 AM MST

While Washington lawmakers play procedural games with an out-of-control executive branch, Iraqi legislators are working to bring an end to the occupation of their country.

While most observers are focused on the U.S. Congress as it continues to issue new rubber stamps to legitimize Bush’s permanent designs on Iraq, nationalists in the Iraqi parliament — now representing a majority of the body — continue to make progress toward bringing an end to their country’s occupation.

The parliament today passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose cabinet is dominated by Iraqi separatists, may veto the measure.

The law requires the parliament’s approval of any future extensions of the mandate, which have previously been made by Iraq’s prime minister. It is an enormous development; lawmakers reached in Baghdad today said that they do in fact plan on blocking the extension of the coalition’s mandate when it comes up for renewal six months from now.

Reached today by phone in Baghdad, Nassar al Rubaie, the head of Al-Sadr bloc in Iraq’s Council of Representatives, said, “This new binding resolution will prevent the government from renewing the U.N. mandate without the parliament’s permission. They’ll need to come back to us by the end of the year, and we will definitely refuse to extend the U.N. mandate without conditions.” Rubaie added: “There will be no such a thing as a blank check for renewing the U.N. mandate anymore, any renewal will be attached to a timetable for a complete withdrawal.”


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