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Archive for December 12th, 2008

Leading lawyer calls for Rumsfeld prosecution

Raw Story-  John Byrne
Published: Friday December 12, 2008

The President of the legal nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, has resumed calls for a formal prosecution of ex-Bush Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld following revelations by a Congressional report that Rumsfeld was to blame for the Pentagon’s policy allowing torture.

In a statement, he said that the report reaffirms findings he spelled out in his book published this September, The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld: A Prosecution. Ratner’s group was the first to volunteer an attorney to meet with one of the CIA’s “ghost detainees.”

“The Committee’s report reaffirms that high-ranking administration officials, including Donald Rumsfeld, were directly responsible for the abuse and torture of detainees in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan,” Ratner said in a statement to RAW STORY. “The brutal interrogation techniques used on our clients and many others were carried out despite well-documented opposition from military lawyers and others concerned by the illegality and ineffectiveness of the techniques.”

“There is no question that Rumsfeld and the others must be held individually accountable, and it must be before a court of law. There must be consequences for their illegal activities,” he said. “A special prosecutor should be appointed. To do otherwise is to send a message of impunity that will only embolden future administrations to again engage in serious violations of the law.”

A Senate Armed Services report issued Thursday asserted that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other members of the Bush administration “conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees.”


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Marvin Gaye – Lets Get It On

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When we charged them up in the newsroom, we found one of the $20 Blackberry phones contained more than 50 phone numbers for people connected with the McCain-Palin campaign, as well as hundreds of emails from early September until a few days after election night.

When we charged them up in the newsroom, we found one of the $20 Blackberry phones contained more than 50 phone numbers for people connected with the McCain-Palin campaign, as well as hundreds of emails from early September until a few days after election night.

McCain Campaign Sells Info-Loaded Blackberry to FOX 5 Reporter
Exclusive FOX 5 Investigation
Last Edited: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008, 11:02 PM EST

Created: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008, 11:02 PM EST

by Tisha Thompson and Rick Yarborough
FOX 5 Investigative Unit

ARLINGTON, Va. – Private information at bargain prices.  It was a high-tech flub at the McCain-Palin campaign headquarters in Arlington when Fox 5’s Investigative Reporter Tisha Thompson bought a Blackberry device containing confidential campaign information.

It started with a snippet we read on page A23 in Thursday’s Washington Post.  The McCain-Palin campaign was going to sell its used office inventory at low prices.

But when we got there, it didn’t look like we were going to get much.  It was lunchtime and most of the good stuff was gone, picked over by early birds looking for deals on file cabinets, white boards, sofas– anything headquarters could sell to get back some of their campaign dough.

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Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, left, flanked by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Christopher Bond, R-Mo., George Voinovich, R-Ohio, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks with members of the media following the Senates rejection of an emergency $14 billion loan bailout for US auto companies, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, left, flanked by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Christopher Bond, R-Mo., George Voinovich, R-Ohio, Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks with members of the media following the Senate's rejection of an emergency $14 billion loan bailout for US auto companies, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Auto Bailout: White House Considers Using Wall Street Bailout Funds

KEN THOMAS and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS| December 12, 2008 12:45 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Under mounting pressure to act, the Bush administration said Friday it was ready to step in and prevent the U.S. auto industry from collapsing after the Senate refused to pass a rescue bill endorsed by the White House and congressional Democrats. The most obvious source of help was the Wall Street bailout fund.

“The current weakened state of the economy is such that it could not withstand a body blow like a disorderly bankruptcy in the auto industry,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said, “Because Congress failed to act, we will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes and acts to address the long-term viability of the industry.”

Several administration officials said no specific announcement of a bailout was imminent, suggesting there was still time before General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, the companies in most peril, would run out of cash. These officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

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Ray Coniff- Jolly Old St Nicholas

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Is Emanuel the adviser on gov tape?

MUM | Obama’s chief of staff refuses to answer the question

President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, refused to take questions from reporters this morning about whether he was the Obama “advisor” named in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The complaint states Blagojevich wanted a promise of a high-level appointment or some other reward for Blagojevich in exchange for Blagojevich naming Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

Emanuel was uncharacteristically absent from Obama’s news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicago’s City Hall. He was there to listen to his two children performing in a concert with their school, Anshe Emet.

A Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint.

“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “I’m not going to say a word to you. I’m going to do this with my children. Don’t do that. I’m a father. I have two kids. I’m not going to do it.”

Asked, “Can’t you do both?” Emanuel replied, “I’m not as capable as you. I’m going to be a father. I’m allowed to be a father,” and he pushed the reporter’s digital recorder away.

Blagojevch was caught on tape saying that he wanted the Obama advisor in question to know what Blagojevich wanted in exchange for the Jarrett appointment.

Blagojevich said, “He asks me for the fifth CD thing, I want it to be in his head.” Emanuel represents the 5th Congressional District in Illinois.

No one in the Obama campaign or administration has been charged with any wrongdoing. Obama said this morning that none of his staff has had a hand in any dealmaking on his Senate replacement.

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WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part I)

LARRY SILVERSTEIN ADMITTING THAT WTC7 WAS PULLED!

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Dangerous Sea Level Rise Imminent Without Large Reductions of Black Carbon

News Blaze- Published: December 12,2008

The world is already close to passing the tipping points for abrupt climate change events, and if strong measures aren’t taken immediately the results will be catastrophic, concluded panelists during a side event at the UN climate conference in Poznan Tuesday night. Both scientific experts and government representatives alike at the event sponsored by the Federated States of Micronesia and Sweden, stressed the urgent need for fast-action mitigation measures that should be implemented and expanded immediately in order to avoid devastating consequences such as sea level rise.

Dr. Hermann Held of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research pointed out that land ice melt is being vastly underestimated, and that non-linear abrupt climate change is not being taken into account as it should be by the climate convention. The world is already committed to an astounding 2.4 degrees of warming, due in part to the warming effects of black carbon – a substance that is now considered the second-greatest contributor to climate change after CO2 – which are being “unmasked” by reductions of SO2, which produces a cooling effect.

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Environmental Progress Is a Cause for Right-Wing Paranoia

By Janet Smith, Intelligence Report. Posted December 12, 2008

Some conservatives have the wild notion that environmental policies are out to destroy American’s freedoms.

Addison, Texas — “Environment is not about saving nature,” the founder of Freedom Advocates, Michael Shaw, sternly warned an audience of antigovernment “Patriots” and far-right conspiracy theorists during a mid-July conference. “It’s about a revolutionary coup in America. [Environmentalism] is to establish global governance and abandon the principles of Natural Law.” Sustainable development policies, Shaw argued, will require “a police state” and ultimately “turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are treated as biological resources.”
Shaw’s fearful call to arms against environmentalism was sucked in whole hog during the Ninth Annual Freedom 21 conference held in a Dallas-area Crowne Plaza hotel. Co-hosted by the Texas Eagle Forum, a hard-line Christian Right organization, and the anti-“New World Order” American Policy Center (APC), the three-day convergence included such right-wing heavyweights as the error-prone conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, gay- and feminist-hating Phyllis Schlafly, and the far-right Constitution Party’s presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

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268_cartoon_bush_vetoes_waterboarding_bill_large

Breaking The Will

How waterboarding got the green light from Bush.

Newsweek- Michael Isikoff and

Mark Hosenball

The Bush administration approved the use of “waterboarding” on Al Qaeda detainees after receiving reports from government psychologists that it was “100 percent effective” in breaking the will of U.S. military personnel subjected to the technique during training, according to documents released today by a Senate Committee.

The Senate Armed Services report concludes that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques—including forcing detainees to stand naked, subjecting them to growling dogs and depriving them of sleep—were discussed by top members of the National Security Council and other senior administration officials inside the White House. Some officials expressed strong concerns about the legality of the methods. But the techniques were ultimately given the green light, based on government assessments that showed such methods were quick and effective in breaking down the resistance of U.S. military officers who were subjected to them in so-called Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) classes.

“Use of the watering board resulted in student capitulation and compliance 100 percent of the time,” wrote Jerald F. Ogrisseg, the Air Force’s chief of psychology services, in a July 24, 2002 memo released as part of the Senate report. But the report concludes that the use of these techniques against Al Qaeda detainees “damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies and compromised our moral authority.”

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