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Archive for August 28th, 2009

What the Kennedy Who Lived on Had to Offer

Huffington Post    By- Alec Baldwin

Posted: August 28, 2009 10:29 AM

How unusual to mark the death of a Kennedy man in old age and from ordinary circumstances like illness. No tragic accidents. No political homicides. No footage to watch, obsessively, for decades to come, wondering what brought that moment on.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy lived on beyond his legendary brothers and faced the task that both John and Robert were denied: living. Living on to face the ebb and flow of an over forty year political career in the US Senate. Living on to represent the state of Massachusetts, the voters of which returned him to that job over and over again. Living on to craft a place of true effectiveness within the numbingly ineffective culture of the US Capitol. Living on to also serve as the titular head of a large (in modern terms, enormous) family. The other Kennedy men died young and two are enshrined in a place in the American soul that few humans can ever know. Ted lived on. To care. To serve. To love his country, his countrymen and his family.

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Shaggy- Mr. Boombastic

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by Norman Solomon | CommonDreams.org, Aug 28, 2009

This month, a lot of media stories have compared President Johnson’s war in Vietnam and President Obama’s war in Afghanistan. The comparisons are often valid, but a key parallel rarely gets mentioned — the media’s insistent support for the war even after most of the public has turned against it.

This omission relies on the mythology that the U.S. news media functioned as tough critics of the Vietnam War in real time, a fairy tale so widespread that it routinely masquerades as truth. In fact, overall, the default position of the corporate media is to bond with war policymakers in Washington — insisting for the longest time that the war must go on.

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The US public largely opposes America’s foreign wars and economic meddling. They need a voice in US foreign policy

Mark Weisbrot | The Guradian/UK, Aug 27, 2009

Americans are famous for not paying much attention to the rest of the world, and it is often said that foreign wars are the way that we learn geography. But most often it is not the people who have little direct experience outside their own country that are the problem, but rather the experts.

The latest polling data is making this clear once again, as a majority of Americans now oppose the war in Afghanistan, but the Obama administration is escalating the war, and his military commanders may ask for even more troops than the increase to 68,000 that the adminstration is planning by the end of this year.

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New York Times

By PETER BAKER, DAVID JOHNSTON and MARK MAZZETTI
Published: August 27, 2009

Leon E. Panetta, left, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, tried to persuade Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., right, to drop plans to investigate the treatment of C.I.A. detainees.

Leon E. Panetta, left, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, tried to persuade Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., right, to drop plans to investigate the treatment of C.I.A. detainees.

WASHINGTON — With the appointment of a prosecutor to investigate detainee abuses, long-simmering conflicts between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department burst into plain view this week, threatening relations between two critical players on President Obama’s national security team.

The tension between the agencies complicates how the administration handles delicate national security issues, particularly the tracking and capturing of suspected terrorists overseas. It also may distract Mr. Obama, who is trying to move beyond the battles of the Bush years to focus on an ambitious domestic agenda, most notably health care legislation.

The strains became evident inside the administration in the past several weeks. In July, Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, tried to head off the investigation, administration officials said. He sent the C.I.A.’s top lawyer, Stephen W. Preston, to Justice to persuade aides to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to abandon any plans for an inquiry.

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Telegraph.co.uk

The man who allegedly abducted American schoolgirl Jaycee Lee Dugard almost two decades ago has admitted that he did a “disgusting thing” but went on to defend himself, saying the public would be surprised by the “heart-warming story”.

By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 8:15AM BST 28 Aug 2009

Jaycee Lee Dugard who was kidnapped in 1991 at the age of 11. She disappeared when a man and a woman pulled her kicking and screaming into a car at a school bus stop just yards from her home in South Lake Tahoe

Jaycee Lee Dugard who was kidnapped in 1991 at the age of 11. She disappeared when a man and a woman pulled her kicking and screaming into a car at a school bus stop just yards from her home in South Lake Tahoe

Convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, 58, is being held on suspicion of various kidnapping and sex charges relating to the disappearance of Miss Dugard, who was aged 11 when she was snatched from her school bus stop in 1991.

Mr Garrido, gave a bizarre and sometimes incoherent phone interview to KCRA-TV from the El Dorado County jail.

According to investigators Mr Garrido allegedly raped Miss Dugard and fathered two children with her, the first when she was about 14. Along with Miss Dugard, who is now 29, the children, both girls now 11 and 15, were also kept hidden away from the world in the backyard compound of the Garrido house in California.

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Jaycee Dugard and the parallels with Fritzl and McCann

The Californian’s abduction in 1991 was similar to the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann, from the media frenzy surrounding the missing girls to the desperate appeals to find them.

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