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Archive for October, 2007

War protests: Why no coverage?

Sudhan@18:40 CET

Newspapers have a duty to inform citizens about such democratic events.

The Christian Science Monitor, October 30, 2007

 

Coordinated antiwar protests in at least 11 American cities this weekend raised anew an interesting question about the nature of news coverage: Are the media ignoring rallies against the Iraq war because of their low turnout or is the turnout dampened by the lack of news coverage?

I find it unsettling that I even have to consider the question.

That most Americans oppose the war in Iraq is well established. The latest CBS News poll, in mid-October, found 26 percent of those polled approved of the way the president is handling the war and 67 percent disapproved. It found that 45 percent said they’d only be willing to keep large numbers of US troops in Iraq “for less than a year.” And an ABC News-Washington Post poll in late September found that 55 percent felt Democrats in Congress had not gone far enough in opposing the war.

Granted, neither poll asked specifically about what this weekend’s marchers wanted: An end to congressional funding for the war. Still, poll after poll has found substantial discontent with a war that ranks as the preeminent issue in the presidential campaign.

Given that context, it seems remarkable to me that in some of the 11 cities in which protests were held – Boston and New York, for example – major news outlets treated this “National Day of Action” as though it did not exist. As far as I can tell, neither The New York Times nor The Boston Globe had so much as a news brief about the march in the days leading up to it. The day after, The Times, at least in its national edition, totally ignored the thousands who marched in New York and the tens of thousands who marched nationwide. The Globe relegated the news of 10,000 spirited citizens (including me) marching through Boston’s rain-dampened streets to a short piece deep inside its metro section. A single sentence noted the event’s national context.

Keep reading . . .

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Sudhan@11:10 CET

Pensito Review | Posted by Jon Ponder | Oct. 27, 2007, 

On Friday, while former Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld was visiting France, human rights groups based there and in the United States filed complaints against him, charging him with approving torture:

Rumsfeld is accused of authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The French complaint accuses Mr. Rumsfeld of authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and says it violated the Convention Against Torture, which came into force in 1987.

As part of their complaint, the groups submitted 11 pages of written testimony from Janis Karpinski, the highest-ranking officer to be punished in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. She was demoted to colonel from brigadier general and lost command of her military police unit. She contended that the abuses at the prison had started after the appearance of Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who was sent by Mr. Rumsfeld to assist military intelligence interrogators.

French prosecutors were said to have the power to pursue the case while Rumsfeld was in the country.

One source cites unconfirmed reports that Rumsfeld was abruptly whisked away from a breakfast meeting on Friday in order to avoid his arrest:

U.S. embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

The report said Rumsfeld fled to Germany because similar charges were dismissed against him there in the spring.The German court ruled that Rumsfeld’s criminality was an internal matter for the United States.

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Wilkes Takes The Stand…

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:16 PM MST

Surprise, surprise! From the AP:

Defense contractor Brent Wilkes emphatically denied bribing former U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham Friday as he took the stand in his trial, which had been suspended while wildfires ravaged San Diego County.Wilkes’ attorney, Mark Geragos, surprised prosecutors by calling Wilkes on the first day of trial in a week. The lawyer had not warned them he would be calling his client to the stand, and had not hinted in earlier hearings that Wilkes would testify in his own defense.

“Did you ever bribe him?” Geragos asked Wilkes, who took the stand in a gray suit.

“No, I didn’t,” Wilkes replied.

Presumably Geragos’ direct examination was a little more elaborate than that. We’re eager to hear more.

More

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Evening Jukebox… Santeria

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:02 PM MST


Sublime- Santeria

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Blackwater Gets away with Murder..Literally!

by GEF @ 5:28 PM

via Firedoglake.com

Remember that Blackwater killing of 17 Iraqi civilians – and the oh so independent investigation that was supposed to dig out the truth (yeah, right).Well, it seems the investigation is stalled because:*

The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month’s deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians, The Associated Press has learned.

The immunity deal has delayed a criminal inquiry into the Sept. 16 killings and could undermine any effort to prosecute security contractors for their role in the incident that has infuriated the Iraqi government.

H/T to Marcy who wonders:

Gosh, I couldn’t imagine why the State Department would immediately immunize all the guards in this investigation, can you?

Anyway don’t you think that’s something Condi should have told Waxman’s committee the other day … that these guys had already been given immunity from prosecution and that, therefore, the FBI investigation is likely to end up–like all other investigations of Blackwater–holding no one responsible?

Given the apparent lack of investigatory muscle we’ve seen on Blackwater, it’s encouraging to see that “the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions is planning an official visit to the US to investigate allegations of unlawful killings by US military and non-military actors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Incidents like the killings of Iraqi civilians in Haditha prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, and civilian deaths caused by airstrikes in Afghanistan have all raised issues that Alston would like to investigate.”

The Rapporteur, Philip Alston, noted:

“I am very interested in questions relating to military justice, … in other words, the response to alleged extrajudicial executions by members of the U.S. military, particularly in places like Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. … During his U.S. visit, Alston said actions by “non-state actors and military contractors” are also “clearly an issue I would want to look at insofar as executions are involved, and obviously in the Blackwater case recently they are.”

Along wth supporting robust investigations, citizen action can help to block Blackwater. Crooks and Liars noted the audacity of the company’s latest PR attempt to use the wildfires as another justification to build in California – in fact right near the location where the fires started – Blackwater attempted to claim they would have been able to fight the fires. The Courage Campaign is asking for signatures on their petition to Senators Boxer and Feinstein asking them to help stop Blackwater in California. You can sign it here.

* Interesting (but not surprising) to note that the Washington Post’s report on the immunity deal uses a photo from the 2004 killings of Blackwater personnel in Fallujah instead of the photos circulating from the killing of the Iraqi civilians on September 16th of this year.

Video: trailer for the film Shadow Company.

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What was this man so afraid of…

anthony @ 22:00 GMT

…that he was willing to take his country to war against his own better judgment?

2007/10_04/blairbushMs2710_468x314.jpg

Friends forever?

Blair ‘scared to fall out with Bush’ in run-up to Iraq war

SIMON WALTERS | Daily MailLast updated at 17:56pm on 28th October 2007

Tony Blair was too worried about falling out of favour with George Bush to warn him of the perilous consequences of war with Iraq. That is the damning portrait of the former Prime Minister that emerges from the highest level of the British and American governments in the latest extracts of a new book by political biographer Dr Anthony Seldon.The attacks are led by former US Secretary of State Colin Powell who, according to Blair Unbound, secretly plotted with ex-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to restrain Mr Bush and Mr Blair.They will do little to help Mr Blair shrug off claims that he was Mr Bush’s “poodle”.Mr Powell told Dr Seldon of his incredulity at Mr Blair’s gung-ho support for Mr Bush as the war loomed. He says:

“In the end Blair would always support the President. I found this very surprising. I thought, well, the Brits haven’t been attacked on 9/11.

“How did he reach the point that he sees Saddam as such a threat?

“Jack and I would get him all pumped up about an issue. And he’d be ready to say, ‘Look here, George.’ But as soon as he saw the President he would lose his steam.”

[More...]

What was this man so afraid of, that he was willing to take his country to war against his own better judgment? Did Blair give in to Bush, knowing that the case for war with Saddam was weak, because he was mesmerised by the US President, or because he was spineless? There is something here that doesn’t meet the eye.

Maybe this article, which appeared in Counter Punch and Propaganda Matrix shortly after US and British forces invaded Iraq, goes some way towards answering this question:

Blair’s Protection of Elite Paedophile Rings Spells the End For His Career

Mike James – NATO boss and Blair government insider Lord Robertson has threatened to sue Scotland’s leading independent newspaper over internet allegations that he not only used his influence as a Freemason to procure a gun licence for child killer Thomas Hamilton, but was also a member of a clandestine paedophile ring reportedly set up by Hamilton for the British elite.

On 13 March 1996, Hamilton, armed with four hand-guns, opened fire on a junior school class, killing 16 children and one teacher before turning the gun on himself, shattering forever the idyllic 13th century Scottish town of Dunblane.

The controversy is certain to topple the Blair government, which has already issued a D-Notice to gag the press from revealing the names of known paedophiles within the British executive, including at least two senior ministers; and the case highlights the government’s antipathy toward the Sunday Herald and its brand of independent journalism that has, among other things, exposed the role played by the domestic security agency, MI5, in helping the IRA to carry out terrorist atrocities. (more…)

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The American Police State

anthony @ 20:15 GMT

redacted constitution

Chris Hedges | Truthdig | October 29, 2007

A Dallas jury, a week ago, deadlocked in its deliberations and caused a mistrial in the government case against this country’s largest Islamic charity. The action raises a defiant fist on the sinking ship of American democracy.

If we lived in a state where due process and the rule of law could curb the despotism of the Bush administration, this mistrial might be counted a victory. But we do not. The jury may have rejected the federal government’s claim that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development funneled millions of dollars to Middle Eastern terrorists. It may have acquitted Mohammad el-Mezain, the former chairman of the foundation, of virtually all criminal charges related to funding terrorism (the jury deadlocked on one of the 32 charges against el-Mezain), and it may have deadlocked on the charges that had been lodged against four other former leaders of the charity, but don’t be fooled. This mistrial will do nothing to impede the administration’s ongoing contempt for the rule of law. It will do nothing to stop the curtailment of our civil liberties and rights. The grim march toward a police state continues. (more…)

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Nancy Pelosi, Public Enemy Number One

Sudhan@21:10 CET

Global Research, October 27, 2007

blackagendareport.com – 2007-10-17

 Her machinations since Democrats took over the U.S. House in January 2007 show that Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t scared of the Republicans – “her eagerness to cooperate with the Bush regime is matched only by her incompetence in leading Congress.” Pelosi and her leadership clique have never had the slightest intention of seriously opposing George Bush, since they are quite content with a status quo of endless war, half of New Orleans abandoned, true universal health care on perpetual hold, and a growing police state. Every constituency of the Democratic Party has been betrayed, with the complicity of Pelosi and her crowd. And there must be pay-back for back-stabbing.

“If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have ‘Impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First Amendment.”Nancy PelosiFRPelosiWbush

The Democratic Speaker of the House would like to arrest activists for loitering. Her Quisling like behavior has led protesters to her front door in San Francisco, but she has only herself to blame for the inconveniences she and her rich neighbors now suffer. The great unwashed masses have a right to assemble at her home, her office, or anywhere else they choose in order to exercise what is left of their right to speak freely. Her own words show her level of contempt for the democratic process.

It is clear that Nancy Pelosi’s reign as Speaker has been an absolute disaster for the Democratic party and for the entire nation. Her eagerness to cooperate with the Bush regime is matched only by her incompetence in leading Congress. Under her watch, Congress gave Alberto Gonzales, on his way to riding out of town on a rail, a significant victory by expanding FISA regulations to allow warrantless surveillance of American citizens.

Keep reading . . . 

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Martin Sheen Questions Official 9/11 Story

anthony @ 20:10 BST

Paul Joseph Watson | Prison Planet | Monday, October 29, 2007

Actor Martin Sheen questioned the official 9/11 story, as well as the collapse of Building 7 and Larry Silverstein’s “pull it” comment during an anti-war march this past weekend in Los Angeles, saying that recent revelations about the attacks had caused him to have doubts.

Sheen was interviewed by We Are Change L.A. along with fellow actor Mark Ruffalo during an event hosted by the ANSWER Coalition at which around 20,000 people attended.

Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Martin Sheen, star of blockbuster films like Apocalypse Now and The West Wing, follows in the footsteps of his son Charlie Sheen, who publicly spoke of his doubts about the official 9/11 story back in March 2006.

Martin Sheen said that he was dubious about questioning the official story until his son introduced him to new information about the anomalies of what happened on that day.

“Up until last year, I was very dubious,” said Sheen, “I did not want to believe that my government could possibly be involved in such a thing, I could not live in a country that I thought could do that – that would be the ultimate betrayal,” he added.

“However, there have been so many revelations that now I have my doubts, and chief among them is Building 7 – how did they rig that building so that it came down on the evening of the day?” said Sheen.

(more…)

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Silence of the Bees: The AIDS Connection

by Geezer Power …10:49 am

Is there a link between CCD (colony collapse disorder) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency disorder)?

Genetic testing at Columbia University has revealed the presence of multiple micro-organisms in bees from hives or colonies that are in decline, suggesting that something is weakening their immune system. The researchers have found some fungi in the affected bees that are found in humans whose immune systems have been suppressed by the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or cancer. The fungi referred to here is a controversial blood borne Mycoplasma that has been studied for years by Garth & Nancy Nicolson since the first Gulf War, as the cause for what was called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by the US Government.

There are 200 species of Mycoplasma. Most are innocuous and do no harm; only four or five are pathogenic. Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain) probably comes from the nucleus of the Brucella bacterium. This disease agent is not a bacterium and not a virus; it is a mutated form of the Brucella bacterium, combined with a visna virus, from which the mycoplasma is extracted.

The above link to Mycoplasma is in the tinfoil department, but if you check out the links shown on this site you might find more truth than you want to know…G:

The pathogenic Mycoplasma used to be very innocuous, but biological warfare research conducted between 1942 and the present time has resulted in the creation of more deadly and infectious forms of Mycoplasma. Researchers extracted this mycoplasma from the Brucella bacterium and actually reduced the disease to a crystalline form. It was weaponised and is now present throughout not only the military, but also the civilian population.

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