Tuesday, May 31, 2005

AFP helping the PNAC cause

Notice the headline:

Bush hits back at critics of 'war on terror'

Surprisingly, this is not a story about Bush whining about people who are criticizing the US going after terrorists, as any one who would read just the headline would be led to believe. This is a story about Bush whining about the Amnesty International report about war crimes at Guantanemo.

"I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation," Bush replied.
And as usual Bush repeats the same thing over and over again to kinda catapult the propaganda, never offering any fact, opinion, or guess as to why, for the third time...

..."It's just an absurd allegation"
I keep hearing from those not paying attention that why should we treat these terrorist prisoners humanely? That is an honest and predictable question if you've only been paying attention to headlines and White House statements which are reported all over the mainstream press without a hint of criticism or doubt.

The misinformed question can be answered like this.

1) The detainees at Guantanemo have not been convicted of any crime. That is why the US government calls them detainees and not prisoners.

It should go without saying that no one is arguing that terrorists should not be punished effectively. However, that fact doesn't go without saying because people are being regularly brainwashed with nationalist rhetoric labeling anyone who disagrees with any Bush policy to be an unpatriotic liberal or a bad American.

2) The reason the US along with the international community established laws against committing war crimes in the Geneva conventions was so American POWs couldn't be tortured without severe punishments being brought against the captors.

3) Torture and violence against a prison population not only violates human rights but it has proven to be ineffective in establishing the truth about the enemy, as detainees will admit to wrongdoings they never committed just to end the ordeal of being tortured and beaten. You can ask any military expert this, however there aren't any military experts in the Bush administration, and that's evident in the pisspoor handling of the Iraq occupation.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bush makes no bones about it

I thought this was fake until I found the transcript on the White House website. (Third paragraph up from the "*****" towards the middle of the transcript.)

I now copy and paste from the White House website:
See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)"
Yeah, we know. He was joking, right? Big huckster President Dipshit is.

I'd take that as a joke if his entire administration wasn't centered around that very tactic. WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/WMD/IRAQ/AL QAEDA/IRAQ/

Lovely applause there at the end. Very educated crowd.

"...the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious...The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly... it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” - Joseph Goebbels

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials.


Happy Memorial Day. Lest ye forget.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Parallels

The ... years seem destined to be regarded as one of the most fantastic eras in American history, a time when the national political debate was dominated by a bundle of ideas that almost without exception were contradicted by objective facts, common sense, or both. In economic policy, there was the President's confident assertion that the government could slash taxes and escalate military spending without ravaging the poor. In foreign policy, there was the notion that ... a country of some three million impoverished peasants, posed a significantly grave threat to U.S. national security to justify the waging of an illegal war that made a mockery of America's claim to global moral leadership. Similarly shallow-brained views prevailed across the entire spectrum of public policy, from civil rights and the environment to nuclear weapons, drugs and terrorism.

The American news media remained remarkably blase in the face of the seemingly endless stream of irrational or otherwise baseless claims flowing from the Washington. ... Upon [the Presdient's] ascension to power, the press quickly settled into a posture of accommodating passivity from which it never completely arose.

-Mark Hertsgaard, from On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency. The country of 3 million was Nicauragua. The book was written in 1988.

As I read this book I began noticing similarities between the current administration and Reagan's. I began jotting down notes. What it seems to me is the Bush people (many the same people in Bush 1 and Reagan administrations) are going by the Reagan playbook. Style over substance.

Here are my notes:

- Reagan declared a mandate with a 27% win
- in 1981 after US fighter jets shot down Libyan jets, Reagan was photographed aboard the USS Constillation, making it appear as though he was there when it all went down
- Notable timidity of the press and Democratic party during Reagan administration
- Reagan "mangled the truth through either collassal ignorance or willfull deception"
- depicted in the press as an "amiable dunce"
- Reagan was sometimes disconnected with his own administrations' decisions
- "Reagan's men had always been afraid of having [him] answer reporters' questions live"
- Unprecedented restrictions on reporter access to the president
- Nancy Reagan puts on comedic performance at the Gridiron Dinner March 1982
- 1982 El Salvador elections - the country is depicted as a "struggling democracy" by both the press and the president, despite the terrorism being waged against the population by the US-backed government with virtually no criticism in the US press
- They "braved bullets and bombs just to vote" - Richard Threlkeld 3/29/82, covering the election
- Salvador Rebels depicted as trying to "terrify" people into staying away from the polls
- 1983 Reasons given for El Salvadoran air war to "flush out" the guerrillas to engage the enemy. Meanwhile, civilians were being mass-murdered. (see Ray Bonner's book Weakness and Deceit)
- Invasion of Grenada was an attempt to bring back American nationalism. The reporting, Haartsgard calls a "triumph of faith over reason", depicted as "good guys vs. bad guys" in the press
- White House communications director David Gergen resigns after Grenada for "personal and family reasons"
-'84 Election, personality over issues in the press
-'84 Debate - Mondale seemed sharp and informed, while Reagan lost his train of thought and seemed disjointed and misinformed, yet Reagan's bumbling came as a "shock" to the press, who then pointed to the success of his public relations team in putting the humiliation behind him. (An aside on how "liberal" the networks are: Brit Hume covered Mondale for the 84 elections for ABC News)

Remember, On Bended Knee was written back in 1988. So the parallels are obviously drawn by me.

And I end with Haartsgard quoting Patrick Caddell in the book:

"Truth is the enemy of anyone presiding over a nation in decline. Anyone who acknowledges the truth is out, because it is an acknowledgement of failure. The only other option is denial. And that can only be carried off by offering a counter-reality that is further and further removed from the actual reality facing the country"

I can't believe she's still called on

This is what happens when the powerful are actually taken to task, which, from time to time can happen when people from the days of a truly free press are called on (literally). They shrivel up rather pathetically:

HELEN THOMAS: The other day -- in fact, this week, you said that we, the United States, is in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to correct that incredible distortion of American history --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, we are -- that’s where we currently --

HELEN THOMAS: -- in view of your credibility is already mired? How can you say that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I think everyone in this room knows that you’re taking that comment out of context. There are two democratically-elected governments in Iraq and --

HELEN THOMAS: Were we invited into Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: There are two democratically-elected governments now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments, and we are there today --

HELEN THOMAS: You mean if they had asked us out, that we would have left?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, Helen, I’m talking about today. We are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments --

HELEN THOMAS:I’m talking about today, too.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and we are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future.

HELEN THOMAS:Did we invade those countries?

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Amnesty Report Sparks Attacks on AI

I haven't even checked yet but the predictable reaction to the news of the 308 page Amnesty International report (summary on USA here) in the echo chambers will be one of condemning AI for appeasing terrorism and all the usual nonsense. From doing less than 2 minutes of research you can see that Amnesty has been one of the world's greatest enemies to terror of all kinds. Here is just a few examples:

AI report on Systematic torture of political prisoners in Iraq under saddam
http://web.amnesty.org/wire/October2001/iraq

AI condemns 9/11 http://web.amnesty.org/wire/October2001/usa

AI report on Taleban human rights abuses
http://web.amnesty.org/web/ar2001.nsf/webasacountries/AFGHANISTAN?OpenDocument

This shouldn't even have to be commented on, but the popular Ameircan mind is so full of delusion that it's almost impossible to engage in a real conversation without having to clarify 100 things first.

Friday, May 20, 2005

News Corporation published the Saddam photos

Just an interesting addition to the Saddam underwear thing - it was Rupert Murdock's News Corporation own both The New York Post and the Sun who published the photos.

Also note how the media has been changing its story to say the Red Cross (who have only today and yesterday been in the media for reporting on actual Quaran desecration) are the ones saying it violated the Geneva conventions, and no longer the military.

hit counter

New York Times steps up

I don't typically commend elitist publications (especially one who published obvious WMD lies as truth before the Iraq invasion), but occasionally they will step up and do some decent reporting.

via Tom Tomorrow.

More patterns

Anybody reminded of anything when reading this?

U.S. Condemns Publication of Saddam Photos

LONDON - The U.S. military on Friday condemned a British newspaper's decision to print photographs of a captive

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein, including one showing him in his underwear. A front-page picture in the tabloid Sun showed the former Iraqi dictator, clad only in white briefs, folding a pair of trousers. Another on an inside page showed Saddam hand-washing a piece of clothing.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Sun said it obtained the photos from "U.S. military sources."

A statement by the U.S. military in Baghdad said the photos violated military guidelines "and possibly Geneva Convention guidelines for the humane treatment of detained individuals."

It said the source of the photos was unknown, but they were believed to have been taken more than a year ago. Saddam was captured in December 2003 and remains in custody. He is charged with war crimes, but no date has been set for his trial.

The military said it was "aggressively" investigating to determine who took the pictures.

1. US Military "leaks" photos depicting violations of the Geneva Convention
2. Photos are published
3. US Military says it's aggressively investigating

Of course this is a victory for right wing drones in their quest to do away with the Geneva convention, as it dumbs down the argument. You'll hear whiners all day on the radio and FoxNews cry about "Saddam shouldn't have rights, boo hoo".

It also serves in a psy ops capacity by angering Saddam supporters and sending the message of "Don't mess with us, or you'll be humiliated." That the US military uses psy ops and propaganda of this type is not denied by anyone.

This is an arrogant tactic that almost certainly goes all the way up to Rumsfeld. Do you think we're stupid? What do you think happened? The military allowed some mischievous private with a digital camera in the cell of the highest security prisoner in the world??

THE US GOVERNMENT took the photos, THE US GOVERNMENT released the photos to the press. The US GOVERNMENT is advertising that they are in violation of the Geneva conventions. They are sending a message.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Patterns

You can compare the current Newsweek situation to the CBS/Dan Rather Bush AWOL memo.

1. Reporter receives information pointing to allegations against the US govt
2. Reporter checks with top level US govt source, who does not deny the evidence of such allegations
3. Story is reported in the mainstream press
4. Pressure from the US govt is exerted on the news organization
5. top level US govt source backs off his original assertions, leading the news organization to go on a pathetic spree of blubbering apologies
6. The entire issue is distorted in the popular mind.

Despite the mountain of evidence that Bush was in fact AWOL and that American interrogators desecrated the Quaran several times, the American people are led to believe these things didn't happen at all, that it was all an invention of the "liberal" media.

And that misconception is exactly what the government had in mind in the first place.

George Galloway kicks the US Senate in the ass

Why can't we have guys like this in the US government? George Galloway is a Scottish Member of British Parliament who was booted from Blair's Labour Party for opposing the Iraq war. He's now being investigated in the so-called "oil for food scandal" that the US is using to try to dismantle the UN so the US can continue on its mission of global dominance. A full transcript of his kickassness can be read here.

"I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.

"As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defence made of his.

"I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.

"You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do.

...

"You quote Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Well, you have something on me, I've never met Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Your sub-committee apparently has. But I do know that he's your prisoner, I believe he's in Abu Ghraib prison. I believe he is facing war crimes charges, punishable by death. In these circumstances, knowing what the world knows about how you treat prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, in Bagram Airbase, in Guantanamo Bay, including I may say, British citizens being held in those places.

"I'm not sure how much credibility anyone would put on anything you manage to get from a prisoner in those circumstances. But you quote 13 words from Dahar Yassein Ramadan whom I have never met. If he said what he said, then he is wrong.

...

"Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.

"Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Haliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer.

"Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.

"Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government."


Friday, May 13, 2005

Emotional entertainment vs. fact-based analysis

The Houston Chronicle takes on news entertainer Bill O'Reilly's lies.

Read the whole short editorial, but the last paragraph almost comically points to the mindset of O'Reilly's viewers:
The Chronicle's reader representative and letters editor received several complaints about the editorial from people who admitted they hadn't read it, or who attributed to it quotations that did not appear in the editorial. Before Chronicle readers complain about an editorial, I hope they take the time to read the editorial carefully, rather than relying on someone else's careless characterization of its contents.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

ABC arrogantly admits it won't cover the war

Via David Sirota this is from ABC's "The Note"
"Brides gotta run, planes gotta stray, and cable news networks gotta find a way to fill a lot of programming hours as cheaply as possible...We say with all the genuine apolitical and non-partisan human concern that we can muster that the death and carnage in Iraq is truly staggering. And/but we are sort of resigned to the Notion that it simply isn't going to break through to American news organizations, or, for the most part, Americans...What is hands down the biggest story every day in the world will get almost no coverage."
I gotta puke.

More on the US media and the Downing St. memo

Civil War in Iraq

Seymour Hersh (journalist who broke My Lai and Abu Ghraib) yesterday on Democracy Now stated the obvious: Iraq has a civil war on its hands. The coporate media in the US has refused to characterize it this way, but it's obvious when you constantly hear reports of other Iraqis being targeted in these suicide or car bombings. Check out the transcript or listen to the show. It's mostly from a keynote address Hersh did the other night at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Democracy Now is a great show simply because a) its good reporting and b) you get take a look at the world through something other than the eyes of the media giants. I'm surprised the show is even allowed on public radio, which itself has been more and more timid. It's also amazing that Hersh can still make a living in the mainstream media considering the climate.
I don't trust much that I hear that comes out of Baghdad. I don't trust it at all...I know, since I did Abu Ghraib, lots of emails from lots of kids involved. It's complicated because what happens is we're going along -- the way the war is, it's sort of this dreary pattern. We're going along, our troops, and they're going down roads. It's really sort of astonishingly stupid. We patrol, which is stupid to begin with. What good does that do? They go down roads, certain fixed roads, certain times, certain places, usually in groups of three, four, five Humvees, Bradley tanks, Strikers, other heavy vehicles. One gets blown up. The Americans start screaming in pain. The other vehicles stop, run out. The soldiers are jammed into the back. You’ve seen some tapes or TV stuff about how they do it. They come running out and they shoot at anything that runs. And that's the war.

In one case -- after I did Abu Ghraib, I got a bunch of digital pictures emailed me, and – was a lot of work on it, and I decided, well, we can talk about it later. You never know why you do things. You have some general rules, but in this case, a bunch of kids were going along in three vehicles. One of them got blown up. The other two units -- soldiers ran out, saw some people running, opened up fire. It was a bunch of boys playing soccer. And in the digital videos you see everybody standing around, they pull the bodies together. This is last summer. They pull the bodies together. You see the body parts, the legs and boots of the Americans pulling bodies together. Young kids, I don’t know how old, 13, 15, I guess. And then you see soldiers dropping R.P.G.'s, which are rocket-launched grenades around them. And then they're called in as an insurgent kill. It's a kill of, you know, would-be insurgents or resistance and it goes into the computers, and I'm sure it's briefed. Everybody remembers how My Lai was briefed as a great victory, “128 Vietcong killed.” And so you have that pattern again. You know, ask me why I didn't do this story. Because I didn't think the kids did murder. I think it was another day in the war. And even to write about it in a professional way would name names and all that.
..........
Here you have Rumsfeld going at least twice in the last four months or so to beg, to beg for Allawi to stay in, and beg basically for the former Mukhabarat security forces to continue doing what they do, terrorizing. It was an amazing piece in The New York Times Magazine. I mean, amazing in its inability to go beyond the immediacy of what they were reporting about one of these militias that are former Mukhabarat, former Saddam people, that are now working for us, killing, (quote, unquote), “insurgents,” which means they're basically -- I don't know, when do you describe what's going on as a civil war? I don't know. When is somebody going to say that? But if it's not a civil war, it's very close. And I don't know -- I can’t see an end game.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Cheney's Energy Task Force remains secret

From JudicialWatch.org


Judicial Watch brought a lawsuit against Mr. Cheney and the NEPDG in 2001 after it was denied access to meetings and documents of the Energy Task Force. The suit was filed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), or open meetings law, following a number of reports that lobbyists and energy company officials participated in the task force’s deliberations.

A U.S. District Court ordered the Vice President and the NEPDG to respond to Judicial Watch’s discovery requests for records and information about the Energy Task Force meetings, including the names of participants. The Bush administration refused to comply. After the Appellate Court refused to intervene, the administration appealed the U.S. Supreme Court, which last April refused to dismiss the case, but sent it back to the Appellate Court for further review.


The Appellate Court today ruled against any discovery related to the make up of the Energy Task Force or its committees and dismissed the suit. According to the court, the open meetings law does not apply even if an outsider participates in or influences an advisory committee, but only if the outsider actually “votes” as a member of the committee or “vetoes” the committee’s recommendations. The court further ruled that statements provided by administration officials were sufficient evidence, by themselves, to conclude that no outsiders voted on or vetoed the task force’s recommendation on energy policy.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “The court’s ruling is without any basis in the text of the open meetings law and is contrary to the intent of the law, which is to allow broad public participation in certain types of meetings between government officials and private lobbyists. Further, it means that, going forward, the public will simply have to take the word of the government that no outsiders are improperly influencing the decisions of their government.


“The American people have a right to know whether lobbyists became de facto members of the Energy Task Force, which helped to write our nation’s energy policies. Today’s decision means that now the public may never know the truth about how these policies were formulated.”

It's insane that this isn't front page news. The Bush administration is setting a precendent for a new kind of government cooperation with big business. This is an oligarchy, not a democracy.


And in case you think Judicial Watch is some kind of left wing organization, they've been going after the Clintons for years and they're also supporting the Minutemen project.

US support for North Korea nuclear programs

Donald Rumsfeld was on the ABB Corporation board when this happened:

North Korean nuclear plants

US$ 200 million in orders awarded under multi-government framework agreement

Zurich, Switzerland, January 20, 2000 – ABB, the global technology group, said today it has signed contracts to deliver equipment and services for two nuclear power stations at Kumho, on the east coast of North Korea. The contracts, with a value of US$ 200 million, were awarded by HANJUNG (Korea Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Ltd.) and KOPEC (Korea Power Engineering Corp.).


So there goes the agrument against Iran. If North Korea can buy nuclear power plants from Donald Rumsfeld, then Iran should be able to develop nuclear power all they want, right? Full disclosure: the above story was from a shady source, the ABB Group's website.

Oh, need proof Rumsfeld was on the ABB board? Here ya go.

Zurich, Switzerland, March 16, 2000 – ABB, the global technology company, today held its first annual general meeting of shareholders since the creation of the single-class ABB Ltd share.
...
Re-elected to the Board were Percy Barnevik, Gerhard Cromme, Jürgen Dormann, Martin Ebner, Robert Jeker, Göran Lindahl, Agostino Rocca, Donald Rumsfeld, Edwin Somm, Peter Sutherland and Jacob Wallenberg.
Wait there's more. We can't blame Rummy for everything. Again we turn to a foreign media source, the BBC:

Wednesday, 3 April, 2002
US grants N Korea nuclear funds

The US Government has announced that it will release $95m to North Korea as part of an agreement to replace the Stalinist country's own nuclear programme, which the US suspected was being misused.

Under the 1994 Agreed Framework an international consortium is building two proliferation-proof nuclear reactors and providing fuel oil for North Korea while the reactors are being built.

In releasing the funding, President George W Bush waived the Framework's requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to ensure it has not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors.

President Bush argued that the decision was "vital to the national security interests of the United States".

...

"These reactors are like all reactors, They have the potential to make weapons. So you might end up supplying the worst nuclear violator with the means to acquire the very weapons we're trying to prevent it acquiring," Henry Sokolski told the Far Eastern Economic Review.


anti-Castro Terrorist harbored in Miami

They devoted a whole show to this subject on Democracy Now the other day. This report is from UPI, carried by the conservative Washington Times:

Miami, FL, Mar. 31 (UPI) -- Luis Posada Carriles, a notorious opponent of the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba, may be coming out of hiding to seek asylum or permanent residency in the United States.

Persistent reports with unidentified sources have placed him in or near Miami seeking an attorney who can prevent him from being extradited to Venezuela. Authorities there have charged him with blowing up a Cuban jetliner in Barbados in 1976.

Posada, 77, is known in Cuba as an arch-terrorist who not only sabotaged the plane, resulting in 73 deaths, but was charged with an attempt on Castro's life.

...
FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela and Carlos Castillo, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office, said they have not heard from Posada. An unidentified official with the Department of Homeland Security said the agency is "working closely with our law enforcement partners and we're looking into the matter."
...
If the United States allows Posada to remain in the country, it would open the government to charges of harboring a terrorist, particularly from Cuba and Venezuela.

The US mainstream media will mostly ignore this. The obvious significance of this story is that it indicates the War on Terror doesn't apply to terrorists who share US government opinions. Nothing new here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Corporate media silent on leaked Downing St memo

This highly classified leaked British intelligence memo, being widely reported in Europe and the UK but largely ignored by the millionaires in mainstream US media (as usual), just adds to the mountain of evidence which has debunked over and over again any justifiable reason for the Iraq invasion.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
Also we can observe the role of politics in timing decisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
.....

It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
.....

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD.


Thursday, May 05, 2005

"Liberal" ABC runs Focus on the Family Ad

After denying a United Church of Christ ad on diversity because of their policy of not running ads from religious groups.

link here

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

POT MAKES YOUR FEET FALL OFF!!!

More reefer madness from our angelic government.

I don't even think I have to explain this one. There is no argument from anyone in favor of children using any drugs, including relatively harmless ones like marijuana. All this "study" proves, if anything, that children shouldn't use drugs. And, as usual, there is no physical evidence linking marijuana use to the mental illness - only circumstantial.

The Drug War is a joke, anyone supporting it is either a cop or a moron.

*UPDATE - Let me amend that last line - I should have probably said "DEA Agent" instead of "cop". Most police officers know the drug laws are ridiculous. Decriminalisation will justify severe cutbacks in the DEA (which is why the DEA is so arrogant about their policies, a perfect example is going ahead with a raid on AIDS and cancer patients receiving medical marijuana in California on the morning of September 11, 2001)

but local and state police will still have their hands full with normal violent crimes. There are police organizations in favor of legalization.

From Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)
The United States has 4.6 percent of the population of the world but 22.5 percent of the world's prisoners. Every year we choose to continue this war will cost U.S. taxpayers another 69 billion dollars. Despite all the lives we have destroyed and all the money so ill spent, today illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier to get than they were 35 years ago at the beginning of the war on drugs. Meanwhile, people continue dying in our streets while drug barons and terrorists continue to grow richer than ever before. We would suggest that this scenario must be the very definition of a failed public policy. This madness must cease!

Schaivo case being further exploited

This is interesting. A story about a fireman who was brain damaged, but then "suddenly" as if touch by the hand of God, he awakens.

The obvious implication is that the same could have happened to Terri Schiavo, IF HER HUSBAND AND LIBS DIDN'T KILL HER!!! RAHHRR!!! .

Of course, idiots don't understand the difference between being brain damaged and having one's cerebral cortex become liquified - which is a hopeless situation - and the wealthy media took advantage of that.

Brain surgeons have seen several cases of a damaged brains repairing themselves after a while - but all the experts involved in the Schiavo case agreed that that woman, or anyone else who has a liquifyed cerebral cortex, is a hopeless case.

Of course this isn't pointed out in the story. They don't even mention the Schiavo case. So why would the wealthy media feature this story in headlines? To keep partisan bickering alive in the peasantry - that keeps an audience and sells ads.