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Archive for May 5th, 2011

truthdig Posted on May 1, 2011

Chris Hedges, speaking at a Truthdig fundraising event in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, made these remarks about Osama bin Laden’s death.

I know that because of this announcement, that reportedly Osama bin Laden was killed, Bob [Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer] wanted me to say a few words about it … about al-Qaida. I spent a year of my life covering al-Qaida for The New York Times. It was the work in which I, and other investigative reporters, won the Pulitzer Prize. And I spent seven years of my life in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I’m an Arabic speaker. And when someone came over and told … me the news, my stomach sank. I’m not in any way naive about what al-Qaida is. It’s an organization that terrifies me. I know it intimately.

But I’m also intimately familiar with the collective humiliation that we have imposed on the Muslim world. The expansion of military occupation that took place throughout, in particular the Arab world, following 9/11—and that this presence of American imperial bases, dotted, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Doha—is one that has done more to engender hatred and acts of terror than anything ever orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

Listen or read the transcript on truthdig.com

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The Global Economy’s Corporate Crime Wave

Thursday 5 May 2011
Via: Truthout- by: Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project Syndicate

New York – The world is drowning in corporate fraud, and the problems are probably greatest in rich countries – those with supposedly “good governance.” Poor-country governments probably accept more bribes and commit more offenses, but it is rich countries that host the global companies that carry out the largest offenses. Money talks, and it is corrupting politics and markets all over the world.

Hardly a day passes without a new story of malfeasance. Every Wall Street firm has paid significant fines during the past decade for phony accounting, insider trading, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, or outright embezzlement by CEOs. A massive insider-trading ring is currently on trial in New York, and has implicated some leading financial-industry figures. And it follows a series of fines paid by America’s biggest investment banks to settle charges of various securities violations.

There is, however, scant accountability. Two years after the biggest financial crisis in history, which was fueled by unscrupulous behavior by the biggest banks on Wall Street, not a single financial leader has faced jail. When companies are fined for malfeasance, their shareholders, not their CEOs and managers, pay the price. The fines are always a tiny fraction of the ill-gotten gains, implying to Wall Street that corrupt practices have a solid rate of return. Even today, the banking lobby runs roughshod over regulators and politicians.

Corruption pays in American politics as well. The current governor of Florida, Rick Scott, was CEO of a major health-care company known as Columbia/HCA. The company was charged with defrauding the United States government by overbilling for reimbursement, and eventually pled guilty to 14 felonies, paying a fine of $1.7 billion.

The FBI’s investigation forced Scott out of his job. But, a decade after the company’s guilty pleas, Scott is back, this time as a “free-market” Republican politician.

MORE HERE

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Billy Idol – Rebel Yell

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Matthew Boyle – The Daily Caller – Mon May 2, 4:26 pm ET

Though the international laws and treaties surrounding missions like the one President Barack Obama sent a group of Navy SEALs on Sunday when they killed notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden are unclear at best, some in the media are already questioning how Obama went after bin Laden.

For instance, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald criticizes the United States and Obama for using violence. Greenwald argues that killing bin Laden rather than capturing him causes Americans to rally around the flag, sparking what he considers a dangerous precedent for violence. “I’d have strongly preferred that Osama bin Laden be captured rather than killed so that he could be tried for his crimes and punished in accordance with due process (and to obtain presumably ample intelligence),” Greenwald wrote. “But if he in fact used force to resist capture, then the U.S. military was entitled to use force against him, the way American police routinely do against suspects who use violence to resist capture.”

More…

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Holder: Bin Laden Made No Attempt To Surrender

TPM Muckraker

Ryan J. Reilly | May 4, 2011, 12:46PM

“There was no indication” that Osama bin Laden wanted to surrender to U.S. forces who killed him on Sunday night, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Holder says Osama bin Laden killing was legal and justified.

“It was justified as an act of national self-defense,” Holder said. “If he had surrendered, attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that and therefore his killing was appropriate.”

In his address on Sunday night, President Barack Obama said that bin Laden was killed “after” a firefight at his compound in Pakistan. But senior administration officials spiced up the narrative a bit. John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, said at a televised press conference that bin Laden had used his wife as a human shield. But hours later, the administration walked back that account.

Since then, the White House has said that bin Laden did not have a gun but did say he was “resisting.”

“Resistance does not require a firearm,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

“Let me make something very clear, the operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed was lawful,” Holder said Wednesday. “He was the head of al Qaeda, an organization that had conducted the attacks of September 11. He admitted his involvement.”

CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview Tuesday that “the authority here was to kill bin Laden.”

“Obviously under the rules of engagement, if he in fact had thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn’t appear to be representing any kind of threat then they were to capture him,” Panetta said. “But they had full authority to kill him.”

SOURCE

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