Archive for June 21st, 2007

Guantanamo: A Tainted Legacy

by- Suzie-Q @ 8:21 PM MST

WASHINGTON — Hooded prisoners in steel cages. Abusive interrogations. Indefinite detention. These elements of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay have provoked global outrage — and may now be leading to its closure.

Perhaps no other place in U.S. history has inspired more condemnation and controversy than Guantanamo Bay, where prisoners suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban face indefinite incarceration without trial and four have been driven to commit suicide.

The detention center opened on what was then a sleepy U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba in January 2002, when bound and blindfolded prisoners were put into cages exposed to the merciless sun and rain. In the 5 1/2 years since then, the U.S. military prison has been transformed — most detainees are now held in concrete-and-steel cellblocks.

Now, senior Bush administration officials tell The Associated Press they are nearing a decision to close the offshore military prison — saying they are close to a consensus that this symbol of the U.S. global war on terror has become a burden.

If so, it’s a major reversal. U.S. officials have long insisted that Guantanamo is essential, that its critics are either wrong, misguided or worse.

More than 770 men have been held there. About half have been released or transferred to countries, which promptly freed most of them. About 375 prisoners remain, deprived of any real opportunity to challenge the accusations against them.

“Guantanamo was born purely out of fear and hysteria following Sept. 11 but over time more and more people have come to realize that we do not have to abandon our basic principles to protect ourselves,” said Tom Wilner, a Washington attorney who has represented detainees. “And I think the administration is coming to the same conclusion.”


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Afternoon Jukebox… Hot Fun In The Summertime

by- Suzie-Q @ 1:56 PM MST

Hey Everybody!

Punditman has so kindly invited me to be an author on his blog.

I just published my first article there and hope you will check it out while adding a link to his blog.

He is a writer for Counterpunch and will be writing very interesting articles soon. I hope to see you there! 😉


Sly And The Family Stone- Hot Fun In The Summertime

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by- Suzie-Q @ 11:51 AM MST

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to subpoena Bush administration documents related to a secret spying program that authorized warrantless wiretaps on Americans, Raw Story has learned.  Committee chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Arlen Specter wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales last month requesting documents relating to what President Bush refers to as the “Terrorist Surveillance Program,” and Thursday’s subpoenas came in the face of the White House’s apparent refusal to share the documents.

The subpoena was approved on a 13-3 voice vote of committee members Thursday, a Judiciary Committee source told Raw Story.

The Judiciary Committee’s concerns over the authorization of the programs has intensified since it heard testimony from former Deputy Attorney General James Comey about a suspicious visit White House aides paid former Attorney General John Ashcroft when he was recovering from surgery.

Comey told the committee last month that Alberto Gonzales, then White House counsel, and Andy Card, the President Bush’s chief of staff, visited Ashcroft in the middle of the night to pressure his approval of the surveillance program.


Glenn Frey- The Heat Is On

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by- Suzie-Q @ 10:20 AM MST

House investigators have learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from a presidential executive order designed to safeguard classified national security information.According to a letter from House oversight chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA):

– Since 2003, Cheney’s office has failed to provide data on its classification and declassification activities as required by Executive Order 12958, which President Bush has amended and endorsed.

– In 2004, Cheney’s office specifically intervened to block an on-site inspection by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which is a requirement of the executive order.

The Office of the Vice President has asserted that it is not an “entity within the executive branch” and hence is not subject to presidential executive orders. Waxman writes, “To my knowledge, this was the first time in the nearly 30-year history of the Information Security Oversight Office that a request for access to conduct a security inspection was denied by a White House office.”


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Anthony @ 18:07 BST

With a mother who makes T-shirts declaring “I’m not a terrorist, please don’t arrest me”, and a father who managed the Sex Pistols, it is perhaps not surprising that Joseph Corre eventually decided that accepting an MBE did not sit comfortably with his anti-establishment credentials.

Mr Corre, the co-founder of the global lingerie brand Agent Provocateur and only son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, said yesterday he would hand back the gong he was awarded at the weekend for services to the fashion industry. He could not, he said, accept any honour from Tony Blair.

“I have been chosen by an organisation headed by a prime minister who I find morally corrupt,” Mr Corre said “[He] has been involved in organised lying, to the point where thousands of people including children have suffered death, detention and torture in Afghanistan and Iraq.”


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Anthony @ 18:00 BST 

WASHINGTON — Trying to win over her party’s liberal activists, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday accused President Bush of disregarding the Constitution and promised to bring a new progressive vision to the White House.

Bush’s government has “a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok,” she said in one of the more partisan speeches of her campaign. “It is everything our founders were afraid of, everything our Constitution was designed to prevent.”

Clinton returned to the Take Back America conference where she was booed last year for opposing a set date for pulling U.S. troops from Iraq. This time, she said she is working to deauthorize the war.

Her comments on Iraq at the end of her 30-minute speech drew heckles, but she also won applause for promising to get out of Iraq and for embracing liberal positions on domestic issues such as health care, worker rights, education and stem cell research.


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Off We Go To The Creation Museum!

by- Mentarch …13:00 EDT

AKA Claudia and her husband “sacrificed” themselves and their money to give us all a very detailed photographic tour of the Creation Museum of Petersburg, KY.

I strongly encourage you to go see this photo journal – and do take the time to read the comments for each photo … they are hilarious (even those from the occasional “true believer”). As much as I laughed myself silly at the sheer absurdity of the exhibits, I also felt utter disbelief and sadness for such a grandiose display of intellectual sloth-driven religious fundamentalism, ignorance and primitive thinking. (more…)

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The Spin, I’m In: “Putin’ on the Fitz!”

by GEF @ 11:15 PM EDT

I have the perfect replacement for corrupt Alberto Gonzales. Let’s replace the current Attorney General with Patrick Fitzgerald!

Patrick Fitzgerald

This is the OBVIOUS choice for New Attorney General of the United States. A straight shooter!

How does the Song go ?

“Dressed up like a million dollar trooper Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper


Come, let’s mix where Rockefellers Walk with sticks or “umberellas”
In their mitts….

PUTIN’ on the FITZ!”

Putting on the Ritz – Taco

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14 Troops Killed In Iraq

by- Suzie-Q @ 7:07  AM MST

Soldiers of the 2nd brigade, 23rd infantry regiment, stand guard in Dora neighborhood in southern Baghdad, Iraq, early Thursday, June 21, 2007. The U.S. army placed concrete barriers at the Dora market in an attempt to make it safer from car bomb attacks. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)


BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. military announced the deaths of 14 American troops, including five killed Thursday in a single roadside bombing that also killed four Iraqis in Baghdad.

Elsewhere in Iraq, a suicide truck bomber struck the Sulaiman Bek city hall in a predominantly Sunni area in northern Iraq, killing at least 13 people and wounding 70, an Iraqi commander said.

The U.S. deaths raised to at least 3,545 the number of U.S. troops who have died since the war began in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The deadliest attack was a roadside bomb that struck a convoy in northeastern Baghdad on Thursday, killing five U.S. soldiers, three Iraqi civilians and one Iraqi interpreter, the military said.

A rocket-propelled grenade struck a vehicle in northern Baghdad about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, killing one soldier and wounding three others, another statement said.


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Gorbachev: U.S. needs to exit Iraq

by Sudhan @

Developing a strategy to withdraw troops is the only real aid Bush can give Iraq, ex-Soviet leader says


Clashes between U.S. troops and insurgents throughout Iraq, political manoeuvring in the United States over its presence there and the repercussions of that presence around the world leave no doubt that the Bush administration’s hopes for a turnaround have been frustrated.

The recent American troop “surge” has only increased the grim statistics of military casualties, civilian deaths and overall devastation. The U.S Congress reluctantly approved funding for the continued troop presence without requiring a date for withdrawal. But despite claims of victory, media reports suggest that the Bush team understands its current Iraq policies have run their course.

The administration is reportedly considering a 50 per cent reduction of troops in Iraq next year, as well as changing their mandate from combat missions to support and training. There’s renewed interest in the recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, brushed aside only a few months ago. The administration has begun consulting Iraq’s neighbours, Iran and Syria.

So even those who like to persist in their mistakes and illusions are being forced to rethink or, at least repackage, their policies. But is this a real change for the better? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?


The key to understanding the situation – as it appears today and as it appeared one, two or three years ago, indeed as it appeared from Day One of the invasion – is simple. Iraq is occupied by U.S. forces.

That fact hasn’t been changed by Iraq’s creation of a parliament, the election of a new government or the establishment of relative quiet in some parts of the country. Millions of Iraqis perceive the occupation as a national humiliation. That fuels sectarian conflicts, civil strife and continuing instability.

President Bush blames the terrorists (who, incidentally, had no foothold in Iraq before the invasion) and urges Iraq’s neighbours and the international community to co-operate in stabilizing the country. In fact, most of the United States’ international partners – not only members of the so-called “coalition of the willing,” but also those who condemned the invasion – are ready to co-operate.

Full Story

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