Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 27, 2007

OT 07-45

News & views ...

Posted by b on June 27, 2007 at 08:12 AM | Permalink

Comments
"In support of the people of Iraq, we the undersigned Nobel Peace Prize Laureates state our opposition to the Iraq Oil Law. We also oppose the decision of the United States government to require that the Iraq government pass the Oil Law as a condition of continued reconstruction aid in legislation passed on May 24, 2007. A law with the potential to so radically transform the basic economic security of the people of Iraq should not be forced on Iraq while it is under occupation and in such a weak negotiating position vis-à-vis both the U.S. government and foreign oil corporations. The Iraq Oil Law could benefit foreign oil companies at the expense of the Iraqi people, deny the Iraqi people economic security, create greater instability, and move the country further away from peace. The U.S. government should leave the matter of how Iraq will address the future of its oil system to the Iraqi people to be dealt with at a time when they are free from occupation and more able to engage in truly democratic decision-making. It is immoral and illegal to use war and invasion as mechanisms for robbing a people of their vital natural resources."
Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Wangari Maathai - Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2007 8:18:03 AM | 1

Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Wangari Maathai . . .

"Yeah? And how many divisions do these people have?"
-- "Big Dick" Cheney

Posted by: Antifa | Jun 27, 2007 8:26:59 AM | 2

Within the architecture of denial and duplicity: The Democratic Party and the infantile omnipotence of the ruling class

Snip:

Why did the Democratic Congress betray the voting public?

Betrayal is often a consequence of wishful thinking. It's the world's way of delivering the life lesson that it's time to shed the vanity of one's innocence and grow-the-hell-up. Apropos, here's lesson number one for political innocents: Power serves the perpetuation of power. In an era of runaway corporate capitalism, the political elite exist to serve the corporate elite. It's that simple.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2007 8:38:18 AM | 3

Bill Gross of PIMCO: Investment Outlook

Sure Bear [Stearns] itself had to come up with a $3 billion bailout, but folks, most of these assets are worth 100 cents on the dollar. At least that’s how they have ‘em marked! Didn’t wanna sell any so that someone would think otherwise…no need to yell “fire” in a crowded theater ‘ya know.
...
Those that point to a crisis averted and a return to normalcy are really looking for contagion in all the wrong places. Because the problem lies not in a Bear Stearns hedge fund that can be papered over with 100 cents on the dollar marks. The flaw resides in the Summerlin suburbs of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the extended city limits of Chicago headed west towards Rockford, and yes, the naked (and empty) rows of multistoried condos in Miami, Florida. The flaw, dear readers, lies in the homes that were financed with cheap and in some cases gratuitous money in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Because while the Bear hedge funds are now primarily history, those millions and millions of homes are not. They’re not going anywhere…except for their mortgages that is. Mortgage payments are going up, up, and up…and so are delinquencies and defaults. A recent research piece by Bank of America estimates that approximately $500 billion of adjustable rate mortgages are scheduled to reset skyward in 2007 by an average of over 200 basis points. 2008 holds even more surprises with nearly $700 billion ARMS subject to reset, nearly ¾ of which are subprimes.
...
The right places to look for contagion are therefore not in the white-washed Bear Stearns hedge funds, but in the subprime resets to come and the ultimate effect they will have on the prices of homes – the collateral that’s so critical in this asset-backed, and therefore interest-sensitive financed-based economy of 2007 and beyond. If delinquencies lead to defaults and then to lower home prices, then we have problems and the potential for an extended – not a 27-day Paris Hilton sentence.
...
Currently 7% of subprime loans are in default. The percentage will grow and grow like a weed in your backyard tomato patch. Now I, the curmudgeon of credit, am as sure of this as I am that the sun will set in the west. The uncertain part is by how much. But look at it this way: using the current default rate of 7% (3-4% total losses), the holders of some BBB investment grade subprime-based CDOs will lose all of their moolah because of the significant leverage. No need to worry about fictitious 100 cents on the dollar marks here. One hundred percent of nothing equals nothing. If subprime total losses hit 10% then even some single-A tranches face the grim reaper.

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2007 9:22:46 AM | 4

ACLU: U.S. holds 19,000 terror suspects

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2007 10:52:23 AM | 5

I haven't seen this before, but am fascinated now.

Putin had an hour long open, on the record international press conference at the G8 summit a few weeks ago.

Here is the transcript.

I'd say none of the current "western" leaders would be able to have so many facts in so many fields readily available in free talk and be more open and engaging than Putin.

Also compare what Putin said to what has been reported in the "western" press. They simply didn't report his logical arguments but took some out-of-context soundbites to obfuscate the real issues.

Fascinating and a good time investment to read it.

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2007 2:08:18 PM | 6

Group shows FEMA anticipated Katrina's destruction of New Orleans

A major report published Wednesday by a Washington, DC-based watchdog shows that the Federal Emergency Management Agency anticipated the destruction that would result from a major hurricane striking New Orleans, yet failed to follow through on its own internal warnings.

So, they knew; they failed; and then they lied about what they knew.

Meanwhile, Bush Pledges more Free Money to Israel

Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today’s population, that is more than $5,700 for every man, woman and child in Israel, yet Israel is listed as one of the top twenty wealthiest nations.

Sure would be nice if our own government could hand every man woman and child in the United States $5,700.

According to Scott Ritter, --who btw, was right about everything in Iraq--
Dems say Defending Israel trumps the US constitution

Listen to Scott Ritter who has been well vindicated about everything he said before the Iraq War. He believes The US will go to war with Iran this Summer, and he explains why and how he knows. He also explains how it is on behalf of Israel not America. Both parties are for this war and Bush will ignore the will of the people as will the congress.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2007 2:13:56 PM | 7

Cheney’s office, White House subpoenaed

Posted by: beq | Jun 27, 2007 2:23:42 PM | 8

need to get my eyes fixed. at first i thought beq's link said "torpedoed"!

chomsky: Imminent Crises: Threats and Opportunities

Regrettably, there are all too many candidates that qualify as imminent and very serious crises. Several should be high on everyone’s agenda of concern, because they pose literal threats to human survival: the increasing likelihood of a terminal nuclear war, and environmental disaster, which may not be too far removed. However, I would like to focus on narrower issues, those that are of greatest concern in the West right now. I will be speaking primarily of the United States, which I know best, and it is the most important case because of its enormous power. But as far as I can ascertain, Europe is not very different.

The area of greatest concern is the Middle East. There is nothing novel about that. I often have to arrange talks years in advance. If I am asked for a title, I suggest “The Current Crisis in the Middle East.” It has yet to fail. There’s a good reason: the huge energy resources of the region were recognized by Washington sixty years ago as a “stupendous source of strategic power,” the “strategically most important area of the world,” and “one of the greatest material prizes in world history.” Control over this stupendous prize has been a primary goal of U.S. policy ever since, and threats to it have naturally aroused enormous concern.

For years it was pretended that the threat was from the Russians, the routine pretext for violence and subversion all over the world. In the case of the Middle East, we do not have to consider this pretext, since it was officially abandoned. When the Berlin Wall fell, the first Bush administration released a new National Security Strategy, explaining that everything would go as before but within a new rhetorical framework. The massive military system is still necessary, but now because of the “technological sophistication of third world powers”—which at least comes closer to the truth—the primary threat, worldwide, has been indigenous nationalism. The official document explained further that the United States would maintain its intervention forces aimed at the Middle East, where “the threat to our interests” that required intervention “could not be laid at the Kremlin’s door,” contrary to decades of fabrication. As is normal, all of this passed without comment.

The most serious current problem in the minds of the population, by far, is Iraq. And the easy winner in the competition for the country that is the most feared is Iran, not because Iran really poses a severe threat, but because of a drumbeat of government-media propaganda. That is a familiar pattern.

Posted by: b real | Jun 27, 2007 2:36:32 PM | 9

re: beq, 8

Spencer Ackerman @ tpm:
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003542.php>Circle July 18 on your calendars -- that's the compliance deadline. And also the date set by the committee for what's sure to be the biggest congressional-executive fight of the year: testimony on the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program from White House chief of staff Josh Bolton, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Cheney chief of staff David Addington, and National Security Counsel executive director V. Philip Lago.

The committee wants a ton of documents, as well. . .
From Judiciary Chair Leahy's letter to the WH:

“Over the past 18 months, this Committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorization of and legal justification for this program,” Chairman Leahy wrote in letters accompanying the subpoenas to Bush Administration officials. “All requests have been rebuffed. Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of Administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection.”
“There is no legitimate argument for withholding the requested materials from this Committee. . .”

From Brad Blog:

And as Joseph Cannon guest blogged here yesterday, http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4738>a subpoena was/is needed to begin the impeachment process. Any subpeona, of Cheney's office and/or the White House. Well, we now have one.

"If Cheney or any of his underlings refuse to comply with a single subpoena --- and that's a very good bet --- he becomes instantly impeachable, on the same grounds that brought down Nixon," wrote Cannon, who knows the topic well.

I have serious doubts that this Congress would ever pursue impeachment. But plenty of the DC players seem to be playing a high stakes bluffing game right now. What are the stakes they are looking at?

Posted by: small coke | Jun 27, 2007 3:09:11 PM | 10

A lot of news of Iran rationing fuel.

A lot of obfuscation too.

Iranian internal fuel sale has been heavily subsidized for years, incouraging smuggling it abroad (Iraq) where higher prices can be made.

There is a lot of effort, including some laws, demanding to stop this subsidization.

Now Iran is limiting the amount of subsidized fuel per car. One can buy more if needed, but for a market price.

Ahmadinejad doesn't know shit about economics, see his lowering of interest rates recently when he should care about (sanction induced) inflation.

But in general it is perfectly correct to stop subsidizing fuel and instead give state support in a direct way (i.e. cash payments) to the needing people.

This is indeed the general solution (next to let people just die of hunger) promoted by "western" economics.

Not that the news will tell you so. They will tell you that Ahmadinejad is cruel dictator because now people have to pay market prices for fuel.

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2007 3:35:58 PM | 11

Aw! Depressing reading, but that's the price of accepting reality -- if you don't like the taste, order something else on the menu!

Uncle $cam mentions above that Scott Ritter figures a move on Iran this summer. In that regard it should be mentioned that the Eisenhower carrier flotilla is rapidly moving towards the P. Gulf AND that there is "consideration" of sending a 4th group to cover the south flank of Sandy Aridya.

I just mention it, as most of you already know it, heck, I think I got the link from here

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Jun 27, 2007 3:39:43 PM | 12

@ beq et al...

Does the Sen. Patrick Leahy and the Senate Judiciary Committee photo, look like an album/cd cover to anyone one else?

I can't be the only one whom notices the irony that while, journalism has lost it's depth, photo-journalism seems to have expotentionally become pure stagecraft.


Each day a few more lies eat into the seed with which we are born, little institutional lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen. ~Norman Mailer

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2007 4:14:32 PM | 13

Wouldn't want to be the goon in the foreground facing that.

more please.

Posted by: beq | Jun 27, 2007 5:03:03 PM | 14

about impeachment. yesterday, while in dc for the aclu day of action, i had a chance to ask nadler about impeachment face to face. i expected to be brushed off and was surprised to see him not just answer my question, but basically begin to expound. sadly, my group had to rush off to make our bus back to nyc - the other 400 people traveling were sitting on board waiting - and i was not able to pursue the conversation further with him. what was strikingly apparent was that he had been thinking seriously about it, had worked through different scenarios, had two options for timelines in mind and had given serious consideration to the pros and cons of pursuing both. there was no question in his mind that there are sufficient grounds, but the problem seems to be in scheduling in that we are right up against primary season. i wish i had been able to wrangle another 15 minutes to talk with him because he was serious. the lesson to me: don't stop the pressure.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 27, 2007 7:24:39 PM | 15

@b #6: Thanks for that. I really value the opportunity to read and assess Putin's comments made in such an open format. It puts Russia's economic (and political) development in a whole new light.

For one, he is a very impressive intellect to be able to coherently address so many issues in an ad hoc manner in front of such an audience.

Secondly, his arguments are sensible and credible.

Thirdly, it certainly appears unscripted and as if the media had an open opportunity to put sensitive questions; which in itself is evidence in his favour on the issue of whether Russia has reverted to totalitarianism.

Finally, there can be absolutely no comparison with his counterpart in the USA on these three points, which is an outright shame and embarrassment.

Thanks again.

Posted by: PeeDee | Jun 27, 2007 7:43:54 PM | 16

Ah, an Iranian Lech Walesa, how cute!

This guy's name will probably be popping up here and there if a neocon shill like Amir Taheri is touting him.

Posted by: Alamet | Jun 27, 2007 9:17:25 PM | 17

Well, for what it's worth...

Norman Mineta Confirms That Dick Cheney Ordered Stand Down on 9/11
Former Transportation Secretary Disputes 9/11 Commission Report Timetable for Dick Cheney and Reveals Lynn Cheney Was Also in PEOC Bunker Before Attack

Aaron Dykes / JonesReport | June 26, 2007

Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta answered questions from members of 9/11 Truth Seattle.org about his testimony before the 9/11 Commission report.

Mineta says Vice President Cheney was "absolutely" already there when he arrived at approximately 9:25 a.m. in the PEOC (Presidential Emergency Operations Center) bunker on the morning of 9/11. Mineta seemed shocked to learn that the 9/11 Commission Report claimed Cheney had not arrived there until 9:58-- after the Pentagon had been hit, a report that Mineta definitively contradicted.

Norman Mineta revealed that Lynn Cheney was also in the PEOC bunker already at the time of his arrival, along with a number of other staff.

Mineta is on video testifying before the 9/11 Commission, though it was omitted in their final report. He told Lee Hamilton:

“During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President…the plane is 50 miles out…the plane is 30 miles out….and when it got down to the plane is 10 miles out, the young man also said to the vice president “do the orders still stand?” And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said “Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary!?

Mineta confirmed his statements with reporters, saying "When I overheard something about 'the orders still stand' and so, what I thought of was that they had already made the decision to shoot something down."

Norman Mineta made it clear to reporters-- who verified his quotes in written text alongside him-- that Mineta was indeed talking about a stand down order not to shoot down hijacked aircraft headed for the Pentagon.

After no shoot down took place, it became clear that Cheney intended to keep NORAD fighter jets from responding-- evidence that Cheney is guilty of treason, not negligence for allowing the Pentagon to be hit.

The idea that "the order still stands" matches up with a change in NORAD and Pentagon orders-- issued on June 1, 2001, only months before 9/11. The document revoked the default standing orders to shoot down errant or hijacked aircraft and instructed them instead to stand down until they were given orders by the President, Vice President or Secretary of Defense.

Mineta was still in the PEOG bunker when the plane was reported down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

"I remember later on when I heard about the Shanksville plane going down, the Vice President was right across from me, and I said, 'Do you think that we shot it down ourselves?' He said, 'I don't know.' He said, 'Let's find out.' So he had someone check with the Pentagon. That was about maybe, let's say 10:30 or so, and we never heard back from the DoD until probably about 12:30. And they said, 'No, we didn't do it.'"

Of course, Donald Rumsfeld has stated before that the plane over Shanksville was "shot down," though whether it was a mistatement or a freudian slip of the truth is arguable. It certainly would seem that the story presented in United 93-- a dramatized account of the official government story-- is much, much less plausible than the plane simply being shot down.

Norman Mineta's Testimony Before the 9/11 Commission-- which was NOT included in the final report and which DISPUTES the Commission's timetable for Vice President Dick Cheney on 9/11

Also, the two hour time delay is suspicious given the Vice President's own account of the dedicated video communications available that morning, as he told it to Tim Russert of Meet the Press on September 16, 2001.

"We had access, secured communications with Air Force One, with the secretary of Defense over in the Pentagon. We had also the secure videoconference that ties together the White House, CIA, State, Justice, Defense--a very useful and valuable facility. We have the counterterrorism task force up on that net. And so I was in a position to be able to see all the stuff coming in, receive reports and then make decisions in terms of acting with it."

At a bare minimum, this confirmation by Norman Mineta is in gross contradiction to the 9/11 Commission Report and poses serious questions about the Vice President's role in ordering NORAD to stand down on 9/11.

Must see video: Mineta testimony on Cheney stand down/shoot down censored

Of course,like the JFK Assassinations there is much much more to the real story of that day and the Whitewash commission.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2007 9:25:04 PM | 18

b, when US hits Iran, Sub-Prime Con will be just another footnote to history, just like the Net Pump-and-Dump Con
after the US hit the WTC, I mean, uhh, after OBL hit WTC.

Iran isn't about nukes, it isn't about Israel, it's about
the Sub-Prime Con, and destroying paper trails, like 9/11.

All those "Net Bubble" CUSIP transactions were stored in WTC,
all those "Net Bubble" SEC investigations were stored in WTC,
and what happened to the fabled Y2K mirror backup of records?
Zero, zip, nada. Disappeared off the faces of the hard discs.

Now comes the "Housing Bubble", another 3rd-person passive
red herring, as though some inert fabrication of sticks could
have threatened the financial security of America and profits
up the ying-yang, like you would not believe, on Wall Street.

Zapata? I don't want your stinking Zapata!
http://dylan.tweney.com/prophet/990118prophet.htm

Posted by: Peris Troika | Jun 27, 2007 9:54:37 PM | 19

thanks, Peris. Another thing that needed to be destroyed was the WTC itself. Built in pre-computer era of the 70's, it's infrastructure was obsolete. Problem was that only way to bring down such a huge building is controlled demolition. Since building filled w/asbestos & fibre glass that would kill a lot of innocent people. Plus owners would take financial hit. Easier to fabricate 911 to provide cover for bringing it down, prevent being blamed for all the people killed & let insurance cos. take the financial hit.

Along those lines, Predators Escalating their war on European Citizens. Doubtless when Hillary Obamination takes over they will do likewise here.

Posted by: jj | Jun 28, 2007 12:04:05 AM | 20

If you find some extra time on your hands...

Excellent conversation on the RU Sirius Show about activism w/ Josh Wolf audio and transcript here

Josh Wolf spent more time in prison than any other American journalist in U.S. history for protecting his source materials -- videotapes taken at an anti-globalization demonstration in San Francisco. He was finally released on April 3 of this year.

He goes into what if any difference protest's of any kind work today, and how the war on terror has subsumed any and all direct action and made protest ineffective. (very small snip):

SCOTT: Right now, the government is attempting to label any oppositional show of force of any kind as terrorism.

We're surrounded by cops of all stripes. We're surrounded by security guards of all kinds. We're surrounded by all sorts of military people, and they are the only ones that are allowed to use brute force against an unarmed populace that dare not even organize on a premise without a permit. It's just completely a violation of the whole idea of the right of freedom of assembly in the United States

JEFF: Josh, obviously it's not to your benefit to be thrown in jail again. But if we can't even talk about tactics, then the authors of the Patriot Act have won, right? This whole area has been bracketed off for people who are involved in opposition. And historically, this has been the only type of activity that has ever caused any significant social change – confrontation, destruction of property, or violence.

JOSH: Our founding fathers were engaged in terrorism or direct confrontation during the Boston Tea Party. That would be labeled terrorism now. If the Boston Tea Party happened last week, what do you think George Bush would say about it?

RU: They'd be in Guantanamo.


What is scary is the system is now in place to demonize any
dissent about anything.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 28, 2007 1:14:49 AM | 21

Isn't this the job of Karen Hughes?

Bush Plans Envoy To Islamic Nations

Speaking at the rededication of the half-century-old Islamic Center in Washington, Bush said the new U.S. representative to the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference "will listen to and learn from the representatives from Muslim states and will share with them America's views and values."

Posted by: b | Jun 28, 2007 1:31:40 AM | 22

Has this shown up in Am. press or is this why we have Brit. (Murdoch?) press. This is top story.

Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner.

Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”

Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Mr Buffett told his audience, which included John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Alan Patricof, the founder of the US branch of Apax Partners, that US government policy had accentuated a disparity of wealth that hurt the economy by stifling opportunity and motivation.

The comments are among the most signficant yet in a debate raging on both sides of the Atlantic about growing income inequality and how the super-wealthy are taxed.Buffett blasts system that lets him pay less tax than secretary

Posted by: jj | Jun 28, 2007 2:51:09 AM | 23

from Alamet @ 17

If enacted into law, the proposed labour code would make the formation of trade unions, theoretically allowed under the existing Constitution, illegal, abolish the minimum wage and allow employers to fire any worker they wish instantly and without compensation.

so who is to shocked by this? It sounds like something straight out of the US Republican party playbook.

if the author of this piece is attempting to write propagenda for the US he needs to do a little research first.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 28, 2007 3:38:15 AM | 24

@DOS, it is. Grover Norquist et al. wrote their "Constitution". For non-lawyers, the Predators takeover of America & Europe will officially void all of our Constitutions, so you're sadly mistaken if you think that's merely "way over there".

Posted by: jj | Jun 28, 2007 4:04:32 AM | 25

Jerome Has a MUST READ POST over at his joint. It starts out thusly:

In a stunning interview for the French (reference) daily Le Monde, Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (i.e. the intergovernmental body created after the oil shocks of the 70s to coordinate the West's reaction to energy crises) effectively says that peak oil is just around the corner, and that without Iraqi oil, we'll be in deep trouble by 2015: Top IEA official: without Iraqi oil, we hit the wall in 2015

Posted by: jj | Jun 28, 2007 4:06:47 AM | 26

The weather up here above the 49th parallel in western Canada has continued to be typical for spring: damp and cool.

It's already after the solstice and it is still rainy and damp, weather arriving from the Pacific on the Hawaii Express. They are hinting at warm weather for July but I'll bide my time until Indian summer.

The east coast has had seasons but the winter came late and now they have heatwaves over the last few months. Glad I'm not in Toronto with the humidity.

We are looking forward to our long weekend, with Monday as the Canada Day holiday for July 1 which falls on the Sunday.

The US has the 4th on Wednesday, midweek. So I guess we are all going to take the entire week off.

How about the rest of you ...

Posted by: jonku | Jun 28, 2007 4:44:19 AM | 27

jj #26,

well, well, oil well after all.

Posted by: anna missed | Jun 28, 2007 4:54:34 AM | 28

I recently hung out with an older relative who I've been at odds with politically. We seem to agree now that this is a spectacle, he likes to participate just to be a big disturber, and I laughed too about how absurd it all is.

That is better than the adversarial role I think.

At least we could enjoy our company without hiding our differences.

Posted by: jonku | Jun 28, 2007 4:58:38 AM | 29

jonku, it is damp and cool here in southwestern Germany as well with significant flooding in the UK. going just a little bit south results in much warmer temps, look at this from CNN

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 28, 2007 6:05:10 AM | 30

jonku - I wish I was there.

Posted by: beq | Jun 28, 2007 8:13:37 AM | 31

re blair - what a series of endless, barbaric, macabre & monstrous jokes are being played out at the world's expense

their cruelty has become completely casual

yet, for all it's neverending indecency - there is no resonance, of course there is a practical & real resonance for the poor but for the elites there is none - they follow this or that op ed writer, this or that fabricator/constructor of policy, this or that functionary who we can see before our eyes - who almosy to a man do not function

it is the children of lord of the flies at play & to paraphrase gloucester - they play us for their sport

in our time i do not know what decency means at a world level tho i do know what it means at a local or at an intimate level - i have felt it at moon - & it is real & substantial

this last night - a night of pain for me - i was stupid enough in my bed to witness the passing of blair - this cretinous face that has its selfsatisfied gloating a mirror of those figures we we see in either a bosch or a breughel painting

& our world has become that - details from a painting by breughel

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 28, 2007 8:53:34 AM | 32

re #23 - rather than shift people's attention away from the causes of inequality to that of taxes, why doesn't buffet talk about something more substantial -- like wealth redistribution. look, here's a man that earned $46 million last year yet paid his secretary $60k. haha.

Posted by: b real | Jun 28, 2007 10:21:48 AM | 33

dos @ 24,

Amir Taheri is the guy who fabricated the 'badges for Jews' nonsense last year, purporting Iran had passed a law to enforce separate dress codes for non-Muslims. He isn't into research, he is into fantasy.

Posted by: Alamet | Jun 28, 2007 10:37:49 AM | 34

clearly, the thousands, indeed the tens of thousands of bodies appearing without heads, with drilling points in their bodies, manacled, tortured & without eyes do not appear in the fatuous dreams of a mr blair

the manner this repellant man tries to tell a story that is patently false - even i imagine to himself - not only makes him subject of ridicule but ought to make him a subject of utter contempt like chamberlain, or a daladier

there is nothing in him. not even wind.

now he will wander the world like a valet - like some character from 1920's exoressionist play. but he has neither the charm or brains of a ventriloquist doll - nor of the hand that moves it

there is not a hint of sadness in him & that is the case of his whole generation - there is not enough self reflexivity that is not ordered by rupert murdoch - to imagine what they have become

there is that old saying about the unexamined life - well it is wholly innapropriate here - his whole gneration is congenitally incapable of such examination

& that is the farce of it - it will go on repeating itself like an alfred jarry play - endless & getting more & more macabre in its 'movement'

what we once used to call stasis

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 28, 2007 11:50:47 AM | 35

The Senate will now rise for the daily invocation, pledge of allegiance and buggering.

If it does go to the SCOTUS I'm curious if a Roberts court would consent to hear the case on an expedited basis or if it would drag out till at least the end of next year.

My guess, right now the entire Bush system is trying to hold it's breath until the end of his term, on everything. Don't pull the troops out, let the next president do it and take the blame for losing the war,--that is if they don't decide to stay by bombing Iran-- fight all subpoenas to their buddies on the Supreme Court, with as many delaying tactics as possible in between. It's all a delaying tactic. And the dems will let them.
because they do not want to diminish their chances for that executive power, even though they might and probably will lose.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 28, 2007 12:27:22 PM | 37

this macabre farce is not worth the blood it is written in

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 28, 2007 12:43:23 PM | 38

how can they seriouslly propose a palestine that they have fucked into the ground every which way, have corrupted every pàolitical & social organism - after all islamic jihad & hamas are almost entirely constructions of the the u s & israeli intelligence services in the love for a short fix

now they turn the table & say fatah is possible - but i wonder if it is possible with bhargouti - a real leader

this whole fucking enterprise is to continue they myth that bea talks of - of there being no 'partner for peace' whatever the fuck that means under the circumstance.; partner for peace - what a sorry fucking phrase that is - all the israeelis are sorry for is that their panzer tanks no longer wor, that their soldiers are not the supermen they have been portrayed & the word destiny in realtion to israel has been so degraded that today it is just another vulgar expression for occupation

but if these fools think they will not pay the price of their cruelty & venality then they are in for a surprise & not only in palestine

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 28, 2007 1:00:19 PM | 39

& who do these whores at the wall street jornal think they are - they have had their underpants at their ankles not a week into publication

which tyrant they serve is secondary

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 28, 2007 1:17:04 PM | 40

deep breath r'giap.

Posted by: beq | Jun 28, 2007 1:27:18 PM | 41

you're in fine rant today r'giap.

Posted by: ran | Jun 28, 2007 2:22:32 PM | 42

here's the landmark scotus http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-908.pdf>decision reversing school desegregation.

my favorite quote, from thomas:

In place of the color-blind Constitution, the dissent would permit measures to keep the races together andproscribe measures to keep the races apart.29 See post, at 28–34, 64–65. Although no such distinction is apparent in the Fourteenth Amendment, the dissent would constitu-tionalize today’s faddish social theories that embrace that distinction. The Constitution is not that malleable. Even if current social theories favor classroom racial engineer-ing as necessary to “solve the problems at hand,” post, at 21, the Constitution enshrines principles independent of social theories. See Plessy, 163 U. S., at 559 (Harlan, J., dissenting) (“The white race deems itself to be the domi-nant race in this country. And so it is, in prestige, inachievements, in education, in wealth and in power. So, I doubt not, it will continue to be for all time . . . . But in view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. . . . Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens”). Indeed, if our historyhas taught us anything, it has taught us to beware of elites bearing racial theories.30 See, e.g., Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393, 407 (1857) (“[T]hey [members of the “negro African race”] had no rights which the whiteman was bound to respect”). Can we really be sure thatthe racial theories that motivated Dred Scott and Plessyare a relic of the past or that future theories will be noth-ing but beneficent and progressive? That is a gamble I amunwilling to take, and it is one the Constitution does not allow.

segregation is good.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 28, 2007 3:25:32 PM | 43

With R'Giap in fine form, I hope he reads this.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jun 28, 2007 4:46:42 PM | 44

this deeply comprimised decision by the most corrupt supreme court, that for a long time has not even possessed jurisprudential merit fills one not only with sadness but we are witnessing the bitterness of the revenge of the right

even as they are in clear descent

it's now just a hothouse for highbrow crackers

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 28, 2007 5:57:57 PM | 45

Robert Dreyfuss on Iraqi political camps' efforts to build a coalition to oust Maliki:

Saving Iraq

Posted by: Alamet | Jun 28, 2007 7:48:18 PM | 46

by the most corrupt supreme court

Corrupt? You mean the Fascist 5?
The Decision - Bones to the Base.
Are people aware that Leo Strauss' Mentor before he left Nazi Germany was the Nazis Foremost Jurist? So, how long before we go from calling these guys Fascists to calling them more correctly America's Nazis?

Posted by: jj | Jun 28, 2007 10:23:34 PM | 47

@Alamet #46

Asia Times: Black Monday -- A Deadly Blow for Iraq Reconciliation

These events went right by me - not sure if I was just too focused on Israel/Palestine, or if these devastating details were simply ignored in the U.S. press. Did I miss it here?

Posted by: Bea | Jun 28, 2007 11:16:49 PM | 48

AFRICOM: la-la-la... i'm not listening... part II (part I)

a stars & stripes article on the new combatant command to secure africa reports

Command a tough sell to Muslims

At the moment, the United States has a poor image in much of the Muslim world due to its unpopular wars in two nations, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, the U.S. Africa Command is going to happen, and has to explain itself to the heavily Muslim nations in the north of the African continent.
...
But it’s a tough sell.
...
At a news conference Friday at the State Department, one African reporter prefaced her question to Henry with, “The general feeling is that the U.S. image is so bad in Africa that …”

The Africa Command is scheduled to stand up in about 18 months. In the meantime, its planners plan to do a lot of talking, listening and learning.

“There’s not much you can do about [anti-U.S. sentiment],” [AFRICOM Transition Team spokesman Army Col. Patrick] Mackin said. “You try to explain what you’re talking about, and you do that first in a government-to-government way.

“And hopefully the value will be seen through the actions as the command is up and running.”

it's misleading to report that the only objection to having a rogue superpower make designs on your homeland is limited to muslims in north africa, but, again, the public record is showing that the pentagoon is only hearing what it wants to hear.

take, for instance, ryan henry's briefing at the state dept foreign press center last friday. in part one, i pointed out some issues w/ his briefing at the pentagon a day earlier. this one had some revealing stmts too.

in his introductory remarks, henry attempts to explain what the public face of AFRICOM is supposed to be about & how the u.s. came about recognizing the need to centralize their combatant command structure (i stress the term combatant b/c that is what these are - unified combatant commands - though henry, in this briefing at least, which is probably due to the fact that he's before a foreign press, fails to use the full phrase & simply refers to it as a command). so henry starts into his spiel -- about a continent he's not actually very familiar with since he tells the gathered media that PACOM's AOR is "the islands on the western coast of Africa" -- but then goes on to declare

And so we found ourselves in a situation as we saw Africa as a continent emerging in importance: 22 percent of the Earth's surface, neighboring -- approaching 800 million inhabitants, growing in political clout, a country [whoops!] both rich in human capital and -- a continent rich in human capital and natural resources.

maybe it was the jetlag lingering from his return trip from africa, but henry was not at the top of his craft for this briefing. did he just tell the press that the u.s. realized africa was suddenly so important b/c it's rich in human capital & natural resources? and then they claim this is not part of some new scramble? europeans & americans have known that africa was rich source of "human capital" (capital/chattel/cattle) for centuries. c'mon, henry. have some coffee & wake up.

maybe some questions will help

Yes, go ahead. Q My name is Manalese Tubasa from the South African Broadcasting Corporation. I just want to ask you two quick questions. First question: When are you prepared to start this command and in which country? Secondly I just happened to come from home, and I attended a meeting of African intellectuals, and they spoken about this very same issue of the Africa Command. And out of that meeting I realized that there are three concerns. First of all, the general feeling that the U.S. image is so bad in Africa that the very same fact that to put a command there might even attract terrorism and endanger the lives of the people of Africa. That's the general feeling that was there, that you need to make up your image first before you bring this command. What do you say about that? Have you looked at those kind of issues? Or you are just go in there and set the command anyway, as you did, went to Iraq anyway?

MR. HENRY: Be glad to answer your question.

First of all you asked the question that I thought I had previously answered, but I'll be glad to do it again, is, where will it be located? And I mentioned that there are no new bases associated with this command and no new troops on the continent. I also mentioned that it will not be a single location but rather different elements of the staff headquarters will be distributed around the continent, and there might be some functions that are done back here in the United States.

As to the United States engagement in Africa, we are engaged. We are engaged today. We do not see any change in the role that we're currently playing. And so to say that we need to change something before we do something when we're already doing it is not something that necessarily makes sense to us. [picture don rumsfeld giving the thumbs up on this bit of rhetorical flourish]

I understand that people see the world differently and see the United States differently than we do. [well duh, most people aren't paranoid supremacist mass murderers, henry] But we, again, have worked with countries. We're working with governments and we're working with multinational organizations. And we have not heard the comments expressed as you expressed them. [either this is an exercise in semantics or these guys are absolutely not listening] We continue to do outreach and we feel confident with our partners on the continent that the way that we're proceeding is the correct way to proceed.

it's not "outreach," it's called bullshitting & perhaps a lot of indoctrinated types fall for it, but those people who see the world differently than you do sure aren't.

this quip was humorous

And again, Africa is a continent that is rich in resources, natural resources -- fishing is significant there -- mineral resources, and one of which happens to be oil, but there are many different ones. We think it's important for the world and for Africans that they're able to get their products [read: oil. (and fish:p)] to world markets and get the benefit of a world market. We think the solution and the guaranteer (sic) of that, though, should be African, not American.

the pentagon is really pushing the humanitarian stick. listen to henry go on

When it comes to the security or the defense part of this, AFRICOM is not meant to fight wars. It is one that is based on building partnership capability and in the areas of security cooperation. The missions that AFRICOM will emphasize are those of humanitarian assistance, civic action, the professionalism of militaries, assistance in border security and maritime security and again the area of security cooperation and response to natural disasters.

We in the stand-up in AFRICOM look at it as a command that can coordinate with African nations to support their good efforts and to be providing for their own security, but we look to Africa to develop their own security solutions and to be leaders in that.

...

The degree which we can work with African countries and help them get the capability that indigenously they can provide the security environment to be able to make sure they continue to have access to markets, that's something that we'd be interested in doing, working with them, as we are today. And that's an area that AFRICOM would address.

But the key, and the reason that we are standing up AFRICOM is, is we want to work with the current good efforts we see going on on the continent, through the African Union and leading states, for Africans to be able to develop their own security mechanisms and capability and capacity to be able to address their own problems. And that is the principal focus of the command.

...

..we do not see AFRICOM being used for the intervention of American forces or -- and hopefully any foreign forces, especially in the internal dispute of a specific nation. Rather, what AFRICOM will do is to try to help to create the conditions where either that nation or the African Union, through its African standby force, will be the ones that will be able to address African security issues.

And that's actually the purpose of it. You asked us: What is it going to do for the African people? We are going to try to work with countries and organizations to make sure that when there are conflicts, that Africans have the capability to address that with their own forces, with their own decision-making and with their own leadership, and that it doesn't require the intervention of external forces. That's the whole purpose of AFRICOM.

which invites the obvious comment from one reporter who was both listening & thinking

Q My name is -- (inaudible) -- and I'm an intern at the Corporate Council on Africa. And I heard how you answer the question concerning conflict resolution. My question is, the things that you describe, it's almost what the U.N. is already doing. Do you anticipate any type of coalition between AFRICOM and the U.N. in terms of conflict resolution? MR. HENRY: I mean that would probably depend on the specific situation -- not in a coalition, but we would see cooperation broadly. Again, there are a number of entities, both national and multinational, that are interested in helping Africans have the ability to solve their own security problems, and anyone that is of like mind, then we would be interested in working with to see how collectively we can do the best effort. I would say that, clearly, AFRICOM is not about competition with anyone, it's about complementary efforts, most specifically with Africans and the African Union on how we can complement their plans and strategy. But anyone else that's interested in participating, we would want to complement their efforts also.

and, speaking of complements, henry had these kind words to share

..as has been stated many times, we look forward to the rise of China. As China succeeds, the rest of the world succeeds. We would expect China as it rises to be a responsible international stakeholder and act accordingly, and we're willing to work with them at any place in the globe we possibly can in that direction.

there's nothing in the transcript to indicate guffaws from the seats, though you know the ribcages of those actually listening had to be aching a bit after that one.

and, finally, back to the theme of listening, i just don't think ole' henry's capable of it

Q Mounzer Sleiman with Al-Awsat from Kuwait and Almustaqbal Alarabi from Lebanon. Clarify a little bit about dispersing the components of the command; at the same time would be based on what? Like now there is many component; in reference to how the structure of the armed forces of the United States, like the Army headquarters or a component of the Army, commponent, or based on mission, not based on the component of a division of United States Army? Another thing: In your consultation, is it the reason that you're not disclosing or the issue of headquarter? Where is going to be the headquarter? I mean, you're saying that there is no country specifically for the headquarters. Is that because the countries did not accept to have headquarters? I heard that some countries, they were willing. Who are they, the ones that accepted the presence of the headquarters? And why Egypt is outside this area of responsibility? MR. HENRY: Okay, I heard two questions there. ...

your tax dollars at work, people

Posted by: b real | Jun 29, 2007 1:28:42 AM | 49

Somehow funny: Russian Probe Shuts Media Foundation

The effective closure of the foundation, whose computers have been seized and bank accounts frozen, is the starkest example yet of the Russian government's hostility to Western-funded nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs. The authorities accuse them of trying to foment the kind of political discontent that brought on street revolutions in neighboring Ukraine and Georgia.

Russia shut down, with merit or not, what the Washington Post calls a "Non Government Organisation". But who finances that "Non Governement" Organistaion:

"In order to reveal facts of legalizing (laundering) of money or other property obtained in a criminal way, financial and other accounting documents were taken from the offices," stated one report. "During the investigation it was revealed that the following money transfers by foreign organizations were made to the bank account of 'Educated Media' during the period of December 2006 to March 2007: 70,000 euros from Internews Europe Association (France) and $300,000 from Financial Service Center (USA). However, there is no data on spending those amounts."

Internews Europe is an organization affiliated with the Educated Media Foundation. The Financial Services Center is the U.S. State Department disbursing office that makes overseas payments for U.S. agencies with foreign operations, according to a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman.

The $300,000 was a scheduled disbursement from the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to U.S. officials and Aslamazyan.

Since 2004, USAID has given approximately $8 million to the Educated Media Foundation and its predecessor organization, Internews Russia. From 1998 to 2004, the United States provided almost $30 million to Internews U.S., some of which was sent to the organization's Russian arm.

The embassy spokeswoman said the U.S. government is satisfied that the grant money was spent properly.

So what is "Non Governement" here when the organization is so heavily funded by the U.S. governement?

USAID is known as a CIA frontshop. No wonder the Russians don't like that "NGO".

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2007 2:47:14 AM | 50

Opps - we made a mistak: Ethiopian Premier Admits Errors on Somalia

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Thursday that his government "made a wrong political calculation" when it intervened in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops are bogged down in a fight against a growing insurgency.

Addressing Ethiopia's Parliament, Meles said his government incorrectly assumed that breaking up the Islamic movement that took control of most of Somalia in June 2006 would subdue the country. He also said he wrongly believed that Somali clan leaders would live up to unspecified "promises."

No consequences of course. The WaPo article makes no mention of the U.S. role in this at all ...

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2007 2:50:49 AM | 51

b#50

NGO, to my understanding, has not referred to who funds, but to who receives the money. It is intended to funnel money to suitable projects without involving corrupt governments--dealing with local groups for a specific purpose. There are many NGO's working in many countries that improve the lives of people.

Of course the system has become corrupted and now NGO's are sponsored that work to undermine the governments in various countries and make it more difficult for other legitimate development work to be done. In fact, the more altruistic, for want of a better term, NGO's have a more difficult time getting AID funding without a degree of politicization of their work.

But you knew this,right, and I am foolishly answering a rhetorical question.

Posted by: ww | Jun 29, 2007 3:14:05 AM | 52

One sane TV presenter (video): Mika Brzezinski of MNSBC rips Paris report
Guardian: Newsreader's anger over Paris story

"I have an apology," presenter Mika Brzezinski told the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe programme, "and that is for the lead story. I hate this story. I don't think it should be the lead."
...

(Why haven't I seen this covered elsewhere?)

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2007 3:29:16 AM | 53


always wondered why there are so many NGO's falling over each other to help out in poorer countries but they are nowhere to be found in Newark, Compton or the S. Bronx.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 29, 2007 5:36:23 AM | 54


how about an NGO to clean the side-walks in our inner-cities. And thats all we are going to do. No more, no less.

any volunteers ?

and I am sure we will be greatly appreciated by the locals.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 29, 2007 5:46:26 AM | 55

Bomb scare in London - London car bomb 'could have killed many'

A bomb made from gas cylinders, petrol and nails was found in an abandoned car in central London today, sparking a major terrorism alert.
...
According to some witnesses, the light metallic green Mercedes saloon was being driven erratically and then crashed into bins near a nightclub. The driver was seen running away.
No, a bomb made of petrol, gas cylinders and nails isn't a viable bomb. Something is amiss or wrong here ...

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2007 7:41:10 AM | 56

@b #56

Ha, what would-be bomber drives a green Mercedes and then ever so noticeably crashes it en route to planting his/her ammo? That is pretty comical.

Posted by: Bea | Jun 29, 2007 7:49:41 AM | 57

London bomb scare - the "nails" in the bomb are probably significant as there was a nail bomber back in 2000.

David Copeland hailed the nail-bombing campaign which killed three people and injured 139 others as the start of a race and homophobic war, and he declared he was a righteous messenger from God. But yesterday afternoon as he was led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin life sentences for murder, the truth about this 24-year-old engineer became clear. The jury decided he was bad, not mad.

They heard evidence that he was a lonely, sad individual, who was worried his penis was too small, and that people might think he was a homosexual.
...

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2007 9:22:33 AM | 58

Lebanon army kill demonstrators

Soldiers have fired on Palestinian protesters in Lebanon, killing at least three people and injuring about 20, witnesses and medics say.

The Palestinians were trying to break through a checkpoint to get back to their homes in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon.

The camp has been the scene of six weeks of fighting between the army and Islamic militants.

Guess people wonder why this takes six weeks ...

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2007 11:23:01 AM | 59

Bea @ 48,

The Mansour Hotel explosion was one of the more important incidents in Iraq this past week. And adding another twist to the intrigue, IraqSlogger wrote at the time,

Four of the tribal leaders killed in a bombing the Mansour Hotel on Monday had been dropped from an Anbar-based tribal militia allied with the US against al-Qa'ida, according to a member of the council, the AP reports, as police begin to release the identities of the dead. (snip) ... a member of the Anbar Council said in Ramadi said that the shaykhs who were meeting at the Mansour were convening secretly with government officials at the Mansour Hotel. The men had been dropped from the Council, he said, "because they did not continue working with us." He said they had been meeting secretly with government officials, about unspecified matters.

It really defies efforts to keep track or make sense of, really.

Posted by: Alamet | Jun 29, 2007 11:27:22 AM | 60

as far as the 'bomb' in london goes. i don't believe a fucking word they say. about anything. whether it's the threat of chemical warfare or scottish devolution. not one word

i'd trust robert mugabe further - at least he fought for something & he is whether you like it or not an element of a substantive history

what has happened singe german bombers fought over english skies (& even then) is simply of no consequence. no consequence at all . klaus fuchs was more of a statesman than churchill or atlee were

these politicians are after all just peurile pol pots whose grinding genocide is in fact to broe the people senseless so that you can go to year zero & do anything with them & if skynews is any proof that is exactly what is happening

for an organisation of terror aq does sweet fuck all - centcom does the heavy work & the publicity

ô give me the days of the pflp or the pdflp^with their dr habbashes or dr wadi hadads - with planes burnign in jordanian runways - that was a spectacle worth of the name

the so called terrorists are small time & the brother enemies in american & english iontelligence are just as smalltime. not worth a 4 part miniseries on mongolian public televisio

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 29, 2007 1:26:57 PM | 61

about fucking time

Posted by: r'giap | Jun 29, 2007 1:33:49 PM | 62

Conyers, Leahy Respond to WH (via TPM)

In a just-released letter (posted in full below) to White House Counsel Fred Fielding, Conyers and Leahy signal their intent to hit back against the White House's claim yesterday that its internal discussions about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys are outside congressional scrutiny. The two chairman write that unless Fielding specifies the claim of privilege for each document being withheld by July 9, they'll "consider whether the White House is in contempt of Congress." A contempt vote in committee is the first step, to be followed by a vote in the full House or Senate. Experts say the process has never gotten further. But if the clash between Congress and the White House continued, the next step would be a referral to the District of Columbia’s U.S. attorney to enforce the subpoena by seeking an indictment from a grand jury.

Soooooo

Posted by: beq | Jun 29, 2007 2:37:28 PM | 63

The CIA is on trial in Italy for the use of 'extraordinary rendition'.

Youtube: CIA on trial in Itlay Extraordinary Rendition video: People & Power - Extraordinary Rendition - 13 Jun 07 - Pt 1

People & Power - Extraordinary Rendition - 13 Jun 07 - Pt 2

Extraordinary Rendition

Extraordinary Rendition aljazeera
26 American CIA operatives will be tried in Milan's
Palace of Justice
Twenty-six American CIA operatives stand accused of the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from the streets of Milan.

The defendants, including an Air Force colonel and two CIA station chiefs, are being tried in absentia at the Milan Palace of Justice for the 2003 abduction of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar.

The CIA tactic under scrutiny is called 'extraordinary rendition', and it is the first time the CIA will go to trial for its use. 'Extraordinary rendition' involves the capture of a terrorism suspect in one country and his transfer not to the US, but to a third country for interrogation - without court orders or judicial oversight.


Max Keiser is tracing the CIA's activities
in Milan
The Italian prosecutors claim Nasr was taken to US bases in Italy and Germany before being taken to Cairo, Egypt. Nasr says he was tortured while imprisoned for four years in Cairo.

In many cases, including this one, the suspects have said they were tortured, and their claims are supported by the evidence of international human rights organisations.

Financial activist, Max Keiser, has been on the trail of the kidnappers in Milan, and he reveals how disregarding the rule of law could prove a costly business.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29, 2007 3:17:36 PM | 64

Hours after the "car bomb" found in London all I can get in facts from BBC, Guardian, agencies etc.

A car was found that hit some garbadge cans. Inside the car were 15 gallons (60 liters) of fuel, one or more patio gas canisters and a undetermined collection of nails.

To me somehow, that doesn't make a bomb - at least nothing that could blow up more than the car itself. Explosives? Trigger?

But the officials are pushing al-Qaeda, threats abound and everything else but a mushroom cloud.

Next step: calls for more harsh observation laws and concentration camps ...

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2007 3:34:48 PM | 65

Joe Bageant Smirking Allies: Nazi Brown and Kevlar Black


...when it comes to beating folks up, this country has nearly a million people legally authorized to beat, kidnap at gunpoint (arrest) and kill if deemed necessary, a large portion of which exercise the first two of these rights thousands of times daily. At last count in 2002 America had 14,254 law enforcement agencies employing 675,734 sworn officers and 294,854 civilians. With the "war on terror," heaven only knows how many have been added.

Public protest usually provides a glimpse into this force, and every year we see more smuggled videotapes that somehow seldom make the news. Jumpy footage of ordinary folks beaten with wooden clubs, shocked with Tasers, and riddled with rubber bullets, even while on their knees praying. Elderly protesters of Miami's free trade zone were Maced in the face and dragged across the ground in handcuffs and a female reporter testified she was forced to strip before male cops. People who bother to find and watch these videos on the Internet keep saying the same thing over and over again: "This is not America." Unfortunately, it is.(...)

...let's not let the bull fighter's cape of media spectacle distract us, as the bulls of liberal freedom. Those in Nazi brown smirk while thousands authorized to wear Kevlar vests and smack down ordinary liberals in defense of mislabeled socialists. Socialism knows neither color nor race. The best thing we can do is ignore the Nazi brown and pay very close attention to those in Kevlar black, because we are already their acknowledged target...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29, 2007 6:51:03 PM | 66

An unusual piece from Joe, Uncle, but you can believe this bit - "but as push comes to shove, and working mooks discover that the bottom has completely dropped out of all their presumed security..". Joe knows his working-class mooks.

Posted by: DM | Jun 29, 2007 7:30:01 PM | 67

Brit. arrests sound like part of the Gordon Brown Inaugural Festivities. Just a warning shot across the bow.. Can you imagine the fireworks Blackwater et al would be paid to arrange should Kucinich or Edwards be nominated/elected... .try & be liberal w/this MoFo...Repeal the Patriot Act, nominate non-Fascist to Supreme Court - imagine the fireworks...Recall the xUS "Security Agents" who were caught trying to smuggle explosives into Germany for G-8 demonstrations to frame demonstrators? I expect huge explosions to be set off should Americans mass large demonstrations ... The Fascists have clearly won this time around... so scary ... who realized in 1980 that computers hooked to satellites could bring down the system of vaguely representative democratic nation states?

Posted by: jj | Jun 29, 2007 10:49:29 PM | 68

Reading through the British press this morning, I find not one sane report. Tons of speculations, "experts" who don't know shit, al-Qaeda ... al-Qaeda ... al-Qaeda.

As said in comment 58. In 2000 a homophobic "nail bomber" did blow up a gay pub and other stuff in London.

Today is a gay-parade in London. The route is along the Haymarket, where the car in question was "parked" (having hit garbadge cans and with lights still on).

And still the "bomb" is nothing more than a gas can, some 60 liters of fuel and some nails. Quantities? police won't say. Trigger? Police won't say. Possibility of damage: Low - the fuel was hardly enough to heat the gas enough can to blow it up. Gas cans have designed breaking points (usually the bottom) so even an overheated gas can would not trigger an all around explosion. Nails around the gas can would therefore have had nearly no effect.

Larry Johnson agrees.

Most likely: An amateurish gay-hater or a black-op.

Posted by: b | Jun 30, 2007 2:41:47 AM | 69

This one is for R'Giap. Read it all.

'I say, with the greatest respect to the right hon.
Gentleman, that the fact is that in the end there have been
many claims made about the Iraq conflict. It was claimed
that hundreds of thousands of people were going to die in
it; that it would be my Vietnam; that the Middle East would
be in flames; and - the latest claim - that weapons of mass
destruction were a complete invention by the British
Government. The truth is that some people resent the fact
that it was right to go to conflict. We won the conflict;
thanks to the magnificent contribution of the British
troops, Iraq is now free, and we should be proud of that.'

- Prime Minister's Questions, June 4, 2003


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jun 30, 2007 4:50:18 AM | 70

b, regarding London "bombs", Obsolete as ever has the lowdown:

Now get this, this is insider information, so don't go spreading it to widely, but you know that car bomb that was dealt with by a controlled explosion? Definitely the work of those Islamics. You know the sort? Beards, veils, beheadings, allah akbar, all that. Who else could it possibly be than al-Qaida? Alright guv, you got it all down?

That was presumably what "Whitehall" and "police sources" have been briefing to the thirsty hacks demanding information about the attempted attack outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket. This is despite us being similarly reliably informed that like 7/7, this was another attack that has come completely out of the blue, with no intelligence suggesting that any attempt at mass murder was forthcoming.

The only instant link to similar plots by Islamic extremists was that our old friend Dhiren Barot examined the possibility of using gas cylinders in packed limos in attempts to bring down buildings, and that those arrested under Operation Crevice had discussed the possibility of attacking the Ministry of Sound, although they hadn't seemed to have settled on any particular target. It doesn't fit with any of the other foiled alleged plots, including last summer's "liquid bombs" or the Birmingham beheading conspiracy. We're already being told that it's similar to car bombs used in Iraq, but up until recently most of the explosives used in suicide bombings were taken from left over Ba'athist stockpiles, or those created by the insurgent groups' own well-trained explosives makers. Neither does it appear to have been a suicide attack, unless the "martyr" chickened out at the last minute, the most favoured method of demolishing markets, checkpoints and police quarters in that poor, benighted country, with cars being dumped while full of explosives being preferred for attacking US troops or where security is of a higher level.

All of the above was written before it was confirmed that that a second device had been found, in the other Mercedes in Park Lane, where it had apparently been impounded following being given a ticket in the early hours of the morning in Cockspur Street. The existence of a second device instantly evokes the tactics previously used by jihadists in striking multiple targets at the same time, but it should also be remembered that the IRA used to plant multiple devices.

The point I was going to go on to make was that we shouldn't immediately rule out the possibility that this could be the work of a republican splinter group, either the Continuity IRA or the Real IRA, who planted bombs in London as recently as 2001, although they seem deadlier devices than are usually their handiwork, or the work of a lone, disgruntled individual such as Timothy McVeigh or David Copeland, but as this shows, speculating and guessing at such an early stage of an investigation when we don't know by any means the full facts is fraught with the danger of getting it horribly wrong.

The existence of a second device almost certainly rules out the possibility of these being suicide attacks where the bombers had second thoughts about going through with their mission, instead seemingly planted to either detonate at kicking out time or shortly after it was dumped, with the second then either exploded at the same time or to target the emergency services which would have arrived to treat the victims of the first bombing.

To speculate once again, the second bomb appears to have failed to explode, if the first itself was noticed and defused in time as it might well have been. The very nature of dumping cars in such a way leaves those doing so highly exposed, and you'd expect that we'll shortly have CCTV pictures of those doing so, although if they've got half a brain in their head you'd expect them to be suitably hooded or covered. Creating such improvised explosive devices which then fail to explode is also going to leave a large amount of fingerprints or DNA behind, which should be helpful to the police.

Again, as just mentioned on Newsnight, we should perhaps take comfort from the fact that there seems to have been no actual explosives found, at least in the first car; this seems to have been the work of amateurs, without the training of the 7/7 and 21/7 bombers for instance, hoping that the combination of gas and petrol would almost explode of its own accord. Whomever's responsible, we shouldn't be scared of these people, if anything we ought to be mocking them for their abject failure. What we can expect is that the usual suspects will be ramping up the fear, and pointing towards the need for further new anti-terror laws. They need to be resisted with the same vigour as if this hadn't taken place.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jun 30, 2007 5:21:18 AM | 71

Glasgow - some idiot handle some burnable stuff, like when filling up his petrol lighter, while in the backseat of a driving car. The stuff spilled and started to burn inside the car. The driver panicked and hit a building. Stupid folks.

Well, there is no reason not to panic ...

Burning car driven into Glasgow airport

Four people were today arrested following an apparent attempt to drive a burning car into Glasgow airport.

Witnesses described seeing the vehicle, a green Jeep Cherokee, in flames as it approached the main terminal and one of the men who was inside it on fire.

The airport was closed and passengers cleared amid fears of a deliberate attack.

Roads around the airport were shut off and flights in and out of Glasgow were also suspended until further notice. Glasgow is Scotland's busiest airport.

Why shut the place down when something like this happens? Closing the barndoor doesn't help catching the horse ...

Posted by: b | Jun 30, 2007 1:45:09 PM | 72

US probes Afghan civilian deaths

Earlier, Helmand's police chief said the foreign forces had not consulted their Afghan counterparts before launching the air strikes.

But a Nato spokesman denied this, saying the air power was used to help rescue the Afghan army.

The mayor of the nearby town of Gereshk told the BBC there were reports of tens of civilian deaths.

Local people who telephoned the BBC said that as many as 50 to 80 civilians had been killed.

They said "foreign forces" had bombed their area for two to three hours late on Friday.

A week ago, after the death of some 25 civilians in the same district, President Karzai accused foreign forces of acting recklessly and ordered them to co-ordinate better with his government.


The "probe" will find everything was "correct". The bombed Pashtuns will turn to those who can help them to stop such bombing - other Pashtuns running as "taliban".

Posted by: b | Jun 30, 2007 2:40:51 PM | 73

There are 1.5 million people in Gaza, a few less now. Going on like this may bring the number down to zero. The settlers would certainly love it.

Israel launches Gaza air strikes

Israel has launched two separate air strikes in the Gaza Strip, killing six Palestinians, among them a senior member of Islamic Jihad.

Three militants were killed in the first attack, which struck a vehicle in Khan Yunis. Four civilians were also hurt, rescue workers said.
...
Hours later, three Palestinians were killed in a second Israeli strike.

The second air strike hit a metal workshop in Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, killing three Palestinians, including the owner, and wounding two other people, medics said.

Speaking after the first air strike, Israel said it had targeted militants who had planned terror attacks.

The strike came after a rocket was fired at Israel from Gaza, but landed inside Palestinian territory, Reuters news agency reported.

Slow motion genozide ...

Posted by: b | Jun 30, 2007 2:44:46 PM | 74

R Giap wrote: .... as far as the 'bomb' in london goes. i don't believe a fucking word they say. about anything. whether it's the threat of chemical warfare or scottish devolution. not one word

The terror scares are all made up hype, or false flag. It is that simple.

UN shuts down Iraq weapons inspection unit http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/06/29/un.iraq.weapons.ap/index.html>link

The IAEA (the UN, its arms and agencies, etc.) does not investigate in Israel or Pakistan.

(footnotes left out..)

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 30, 2007 3:10:54 PM | 75

Time to order all Mercedes and Jeeps off the road?

Posted by: biklett | Jun 30, 2007 6:27:42 PM | 76

@ Noirette,

didn't they spend something like a billion dollars looking for WMD? Not bad work if you can get it.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 30, 2007 6:47:16 PM | 77

la times runs a story pointing out some of the problems w/ installing a warlord govt in somalia. the story they tell is wrong and/or misleading in much of its larger narrative, but it also brings out issues that other western media have avoided reporting on.

Somalia's rough tactics seen backfiring

[The TFG] now finds itself under fire for heavy-handed tactics that critics warn have sapped public support and fueled a budding insurgency.

actually, the TFG has never had popular support & has been the target of resistance since the u.s. & ethiopia invaded somalia last december, so it's not new. that being said,

In one raid, about 100 children and teachers at a Koranic school were rounded up at gunpoint and held for three days before most were let go. Last month, government security officers arrested a clan elder who had been an outspoken critic, but quickly released him after an international outcry.

the warlord govt of mogadishu claimed that they captured 1000 children, not 100, that were being trained to be suicide bombers.

In all, more than 1,500 people have been detained in the last few months. About 1,000 remain behind bars, many without charges, according to civil society groups. Many of those released complain of torture, beatings or extortion by the police.

"We don't even know the exact number of people still in prison because the government won't acknowledge it," said Abdullahi Mohammed Shirwa, an activist with Somali Peace Line, a local watchdog group. After his organization complained about arrests, he said, top government officials warned its members to stop getting involved in "politics" or other activities that might be viewed as aiding terrorists.

"You are either with them or against them," Shirwa said. "They just dictate. But I think they are creating terrorists by harassing the people."

"creating terrorists" is an interesting juxtaposition of terminology when it's actually the people who are the ones being terrorised by the warlord govt & not the other way around.

The man given the task of restoring security to Mogadishu is former warlord Mohammed Omar Habeb (aka dheere), known for his ties to the U.S. and Ethiopia. ... Even supporters call his style blunt and unpolished. When battling Islamic militants this year, he reportedly gunned down 130 fighters as they ran away, later quipping that he was helping the Islamic soldiers "get to paradise." When a frustrated businessman confronted Habeb recently about the repeated closure of his shop, the mayor's bodyguards beat the man nearly to death and dragged him through the street in front of horrified spectators, witnesses and the man's family members say.

Government leaders make no apologies. "This is not the time for soft, reflective consensus builders," said Gedi, the prime minister. "We need strong leaders who can implement their programs. Mohammed Dheere is the right man at the right time."

Habeb's brashness at times has put him at odds with the authorities of the day. In 2005, he kicked government officials out of Jawhar and looted their buildings. Later he joined the "anti-terrorism coalition" of warlords who said they had been given CIA funding to kidnap Islamic extremists and suspected terrorists. That offensive backfired and spawned an Islamist uprising, which chased him into Ethiopia.

and, by most accounts out of somalia, conditions are back to the pre-ICU uprising, when the warlords split somalia into their own private fiefdoms.

on a related note, this headline stroy in nairobi's the standard reports that
Bush hits dead-end in Somalia

Chances are that the United States has run out of options in Somalia after the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ms Jendayi Fraser conceded last week that Washington’s support for the ouster of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) by Ethiopia might have been a miscalculation.

In an interview with BBC, Fraser conceded that the use of force in Somalia had only aggravated an already atrocious situation.

Asked to comment on the spiralling armed violence, Fraser said: "It is hard to say whether it (Somalia) is better or worse off because I think Ethiopia’s action was an action in the context of other actors’ actions. It is difficult to frankly say so. What is better is that the international community has converged on a set of recommendations for a way ahead."

The statement is perhaps the boldest ever admission by the Bush administration that it had hit a dead-end in its fight against terrorism in East Africa, with Somalia regarded as the gateway for terrorist groups and organisations opposed to Washington’s hegemonic presence in the region. Fraser spoke two days before UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported on Thursday that more than 3,500 people had fled the capital Mogadishu this month following an escalation in violence in urban areas.

The UNHCR report added that some 123,000 of an estimated 401,000 civilians who fled heavy fighting in Mogadishu between February and May had returned to the capital to find their shelters either shelled by insurgents or demolished by the government.

The UNHCR update on the worsening humanitarian situation in Somalia, although familiar, came just two weeks after US-sponsored political reconciliation talks failed to kick off on Somali soil as the insurgents intensified their onslaught on the transitional government.

Against this backdrop of utter gloom and despair, Fraser, who was in East Africa when the Ethiopia-backed transitional federal government forces drove ICU out of Mogadishu in February, conceded that the invasion had inadvertently subverted peace-building process in the war-weary Horn of Africa nation.

inadvertently? tell me, when has an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation ever strengthened a peace-building process? and, in this case, an invasion by two of somalia's least favorite nations to boot!

nothing good ever comes out of these people's mouths. ever.

Posted by: b real | Jun 30, 2007 11:26:32 PM | 78

Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience: Dual Use Discipline for Understanding & Managing Complexity and Altering Warfare

The Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience disciplines are set to merge into a unified field known as Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience or ECN. ECN may produce novel integrated micro, macro models of brain-behavior relationships based on the principles of general Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology and the findings of Neuroscience. Applications may range from predictive human behavior models to neuroweaponry.

Social science literature and United States’ Department of Defense (DOD) documentation also suggests that the time is ripe for an even larger merger between the data-heavy sciences and the social sciences.1 ECN may serve as both a conduit and foundation for this convergence particularly as the DOD recognizes its importance to national security. However, the entire effort will fail if program directors and researchers exclude general Evolution and Evolutionary Psychology from their methodologies.

Complexity (the number of ways-hows-and-whys a system can act) may become an anachronism as novel research demystifies consciousness reducing human complexity to a deterministic system. Biomachines that bypass time consuming conscious activity ultimately may be fielded by the DOD. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is already working towards this end. Through its Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts program, it has probed brain signals triggered when an analyst sees something interesting in a satellite image. The analyst’s brain registers the discovery long before the analyst becomes cognitively aware of it. “The brain can signal the discovery three times faster than the analyst can respond . . . My goal is to use these technologies to harness the speed of thought . . . I know it’s possible, especially if we confront these challenges not just as problems of biology and neuroscience but problems of physics, math, materials science and microtechnology.”2

The DOD has a very aggressive interest in understanding and adapting to the Human Terrain (brain-behavior relationships in local, regional, national and global environments). With a budget of approximately $1.2 trillion ($US), and the ability to obtain additional funding, the DOD stands alone in its ability to accelerate research and development (R&D) programs in ECN, as well as catalyze the fusion of the data-heavy and social sciences. Such an effort may be as significant as the Manhattan Project (Atomic Bomb) or the development of Quantum Theory.

Posted by: b real | Jun 30, 2007 11:33:51 PM | 79

Civilians Die In U.S.-NATO Air Assault In Afghanistan

More than 2,800 people have been killed in violence in Afghanistan so far this year, compared with 4,000 killed in all of last year, according to a tally by the Associated Press. The AP counts hundreds of civilians killed. Slightly more have been killed by NATO and U.S.-led forces than by the Taliban, according to several independent assessments.
Who are the terrorists?

Posted by: b | Jul 1, 2007 4:32:26 AM | 80

Dead ‘Mossad spy’ was writing exposé

AN Egyptian millionaire who mysteriously fell to his death from the balcony of his London flat after being named as a Mossad spy was writing a book that threatened to expose the murky world of Arab-Israeli espionage.

Ashraf Marwan, the son-in-law of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, was more than halfway through a book about the 1973 Yom Kippur war - in which he is alleged to have played a key intelligence role - when his body was discovered last week.
...

Posted by: b | Jul 1, 2007 4:51:16 AM | 81

From the look of the headlines, you'd almost think someone was calling the unitary executive's privileges into question.

Right on cue... Secret Document: U.S. Fears Terror 'Spectacular' Planned

Can't be Rove's hand at work here. He would have called it a fantabulous terror extravaganza. On ice. *yawn* Way I see it, it's win-win. Either nothing happens and nobody dies, or something happens and I never again have to hear a freeper crowing about how the absence of post-9/11 "turrism" or extra-terrestrial zombie attacks on US soil is proof positive that the policies of the Bush administration are keeping everyone safe from the boogieman.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 1, 2007 11:28:49 PM | 83

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