Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chris Hedges -- On Voting

"I will not vote for a Democrat. I was in there, the last election, voting for members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party... I didn't even know who they were. I don't care. I'm quite happy to muck up the system but ... stop thinking that the route to reform is electoral politics." [24:30]

The two parties in the US are completely bought and paid for by multinational corporations and the super-wealthy. They have national elections (and some local elections) completely sealed up. All this hand wringing about Dems v Repugs is nonsense. Of course it's amusing to watch Mitt piss all over himself, but it doesn't really matter. Both candidates are hand picked by big money. And I think at this point they are throwing Mitt under the bus. They are done with him. Obama can get the job done, just as well, or better. He can cut taxes on the rich (he's already done it). He can up the wars (we'll be invading Iran in no time). He can protect the interests of the big banks (almost all his cabinet members have a connection to Wall St.). And, in broad daylight, he is fighting the ruling of a NYC judge that holding people indefinitely w/o charge or trial is unconstitutional. Obama knows the constitution quite well. He knows it's unconstitutional; he just doesn't care. This is the guy they want. And why not? Why replace an effective administrator for their interests with a total screw up who ties his dog to the roof of the family truckster?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Obama continues to fight for indefinite detention without trial

Judge says indefinitely detaining US citizens without charge or trial is unlawful. Obama administration asks the judge to reconsider this ruling.

Terrorism Detention Provision Is Blocked -

Monday, May 21, 2012

Conspiracy Uncovered

Cigarette companies secretly formed a group which they called the National Association of State Fire Marshals to push for flame retardants in furniture. Companies that manufacture flame retardants formed an equally deceptive "advocacy" group that they called Citizens for fire safety to push for laws requiring furniture flame retardants.

These secret alliances pushing an agenda with hidden motives are conspiracies. They happen all the time. Yet, we are told, it is crazy to believe that people get together in secret to plan and to manipulate policy to suit their purposes.

Are You Safe on That Sofa? -

Never forget that Bradley Manning, not gay marriage, is the issue

Never forget that Bradley Manning, not gay marriage, is the issue:

"Remember Bradley Manning."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Indefinite military detention without trial struck down by NY court

New York federal district judge Katherine Forrest yesterday struck down a provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Bill, signed into law by President Obama on New Year's Eve of last year, that would allow the US military to indefinitely detain anyone, without charge or trial, indefinitely.
The lawsuit was brought against President Barack Obama and other government officials by seven journalists and activists including Christopher Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Jennifer Bolen, Alexa O'Brien, Kai Warg All, and Hon. Brigitta Jonsdottier, M.P., as well as US Day of Rage. The plaintiffs charged that the law was already having chilling effect on free speech by exposing them to the risk of imprionment without trial. The judge ruled that the legislation indeed violates both the first (right to free speech and association) and the fifth (right to due process) amendments to the Constitution.

Columnist Glenn Greenwald, a steadfast critic of post 9/11 federal courts, almost immediately lauded the decision, calling it "extraordinary and encouraging." Greenwald has consistently criticized the President's signing of NDAA, but said that he had not covered the lawsuit in his writings, saying frankly that he hadn't expected it to succeed. Other critics of the legislation have included Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar (retired four-star Marine generals), Jonathan Turley (professor of law at George Washinton University), the ACLU, and Human Rights Watch.

This is an amazing victory. However, despite Greenwald's enthusiastic support of the decision, the constitutional lawyer was careful to note that "this is only a preliminary injunction (though the court made it clear that she believes plaintiffs will ultimately prevail). It will certainly be appealed and can be reversed. There are still other authorities (including the AUMF) which the DOJ can use to assert the power of indefinite detention."

Thank you for reading the Newark Progressive Examiner. To keep up to date on issues affecting New Jersey, click "subscribe" above. It's free. You can also find the Newark Progressive Examiner on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The meaning of the word terrorist

Likely victory for MeK shills -

"The group that was pointed to less than a decade ago as proof of Saddam’s Terrorist Evil is now glorified by both political parties in Washington and — now that it’s fighting for the U.S. and Israel rather than for Saddam — is no longer a Terror group." Glenn Greenwald

Monday, May 14, 2012

Flashback: US Planned War in Afghanistan BEFORE 9/11 - John Galt - Open Salon

Flashback: US Planned War in Afghanistan BEFORE 9/11 - John Galt - Open Salon

From Nobel to Nobel: A letter to Barack Obama | Veterans Today

A former Nobel Peace prize recipient writes a letter to Barack Obama and asks him to change course.

From Nobel to Nobel: A letter to Barack Obama | Veterans Today

Operation Dark Heart

The Pentagon-censored copy of Operation Dark Heart, alongside the unredacted original.

Redacted and Unredacted Side-by-Side of ‘Operation Dark Heart’ - ProPublica

This war on terrorism is bogus

"The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination." Michael Meacher

Michael Meacher: This war on terrorism is bogus | Politics | The Guardian:

Obama on gay marriage: Are we really supposed to be buying this?

"Barack Obama... has gone in the course of less than a decade from full throated support of gay marriage to full opposition on religious grounds, back to full support. Are we really supposed to be buying this?"

Newsweek finally goes where none have gone before: Hot Air

Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book’s Reprint -

Old news but interesting. The Pentagon censored the contents of this book, but not after 10,000 copies were printed. The Pentagon purchased and destroyed those but some advance copies survived. Those copies commanded a premium price on ebay. One of the redactions: the location of the Central Intelligence Agency’s training facility — Camp Peary, Va., a fact discoverable from Wikipedia.

Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book’s Reprint -

Afghanistan attack planned before 9/11

US military intervention had been planned for Afghanistan before 9/11. It was scheduled to begin before the snow began to fall in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.

BBC News | SOUTH ASIA | US 'planned attack on Taleban'

Friday, May 11, 2012

Obama’s Torture Problem by David Cole | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

"Looking forward, not back," as Obama as said he will do regarding past war crimes is only a rewriting of history -- trying to pretend that past crimes do not exist.

Obama’s Torture Problem by David Cole | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Shakespeare knew

While you here do snoring lie
Open-eyed conspiracy
His time doth take
If of life you keep a care
Shake off slumber, and beware
Awake, awake!

William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Obama begins to capitalize on gay marriage pronouncement

One day after Barack Obama announced that he personally was in favor of gay marriage, his campaign came out with a video ad showing him in a favorable light on this issue versus his rival Mitt Romney. (In case you forgot, he's the high school bully who likes to torture animals.)

Biden's "gaffe" which supposedly forced Obama's hand has quickly resulted in a galvanizing campaign issue and a boatload of cash.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Aggressors or Victims?

"These terrorists keep trying. They keep trying to devise more and more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people. What this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country. And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding thwarted terrorist bomb attack.

This statement was released the same week that US bombs killed a mother and five children in Afghanistan. Aren't we the ones who keep trying to devise more and more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people? What happened to this country's sense of decency and sense of reality? How are we the victims when we bomb an innocent family and then have one of our own CIA employees devise a bomb attack that we then stop? Are we desperately trying to maintain our victim status in the face of all evidence?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What's at stake? Bureaucratic embarrassment or national security?

Media silent when administration targets sources - Edward Wasserman -
There’s Thomas Drake, a career official of the National Security Agency, who faced 35 years in prison for telling a Baltimore Sun reporter about what The New York Times called “a potential billion-dollar computer boondoggle.” At stake was bureaucratic embarrassment, not national security. (The case against Drake collapsed last summer.)
Often, when claiming the right to privacy (or 'state secrets'), it is the embarrassment that bureaucrats would be put through, not national security, that is at stake. Should the American people be kept in the dark just because some bureaucrat didn't do his job and doesn't want that generally known?

The American character -

The American character -

As we learned from the bloodthirsty need for war over the last decade among America’s chickenhawks (or, similarly, from the violent homophobic attacks of closeted, self-hating gay men), sensations of weakness and impotence — the defining attributes of what Zakaria calls “scared, fearful losers” — are typically compensated with the vicarious feelings of power, nobility and bravery that come from celebrations of state violence and other forms of risk-free aggression.
Glenn Greenwald

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"I Was a Propaganda Intern in Iraq"–Fmr. Lincoln Group Intern Describes Paying Iraqi Press to Plant Pro-American Articles Secretly Written by U.S. Military

"I Was a Propaganda Intern in Iraq"–Fmr. Lincoln Group Intern Describes Paying Iraqi Press to Plant Pro-American Articles Secretly Written by U.S. Military

Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal -

Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal -

Who is it who relentlessly spread “false conspiracy theories” of Saddam-engineered anthrax attacks and Iraq-created mushroom clouds and a Ba’athist/Al-Qaeda alliance — the most destructive conspiracy theories of the last generation?  And who is it who demonized as “conspiracy-mongers” people who warned that the U.S. Government was illegally spying on its citizens, systematically torturing people, attempting to establish permanent bases in the Middle East, or engineering massive bailout plans to transfer extreme wealth to the industries which own the Government?  The most chronic and dangerous purveyors of “conspiracy theory” games are the very people Sunstein thinks should be empowered to control our political debates through deceit and government resources:  namely, the Government itself and the Enlightened Elite like him.

It is this history of government deceit and wrongdoing that renders Sunstein’s desire to use covert propaganda to “undermine” anti-government speech so repugnant.  The reason conspiracy theories resonate so much is precisely that people have learned — rationally — to distrust government actions and statements.

Tangible Information: The word "Conspiracy Theory" was invented by CIA

Tangible Information: The word "Conspiracy Theory" was invented by CIA

The virtue of uncertainty is not a comfortable idea, but then a citizen-based democracy is built upon participation, which is the very expression of permanent discomfort. The corporatist system depends upon the citizen's desire for inner comfort. Equilibrium is dependent upon our recognition of reality, which is the acceptance of permanent psychic discomfort. And the acceptance of psychic discomfort is the acceptance of consciousness.
John Ralston Saul, The Unconscious Civilization

William Safire -- Lying and Beating the Drums of War

Why do people still trust the media? William Safire wrote a series of articles for the NY Times and elsewhere claiming that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks. No such link has ever been established, yet he had this incredible platform to a multitude of gullible people. He insisted that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague, that we would find weapons of mass destruction, and that we would be greeted as liberators. All of this was proven false. Who is the Ultimate Enemy here?

Essay - The Ultimate Enemy - Op-Ed -

Foreign Policy -- Driven by End-Times Prophecy

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Good vs. Evil

"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland." - Adolf Hitler

George Bush had many similar quotes on fighting evil. It seems that the more we believe in an external evil that must be fought at all costs, the more evil proliferates in the world. What if, instead, we focused on increasing the good in the world, instead of fighting evil?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why Do Liberals Keep Sanitizing the Obama Story? - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics - The Atlantic

Why Do Liberals Keep Sanitizing the Obama Story? - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics - The Atlantic

The Osama-Obama Drama | The Nation

The Osama-Obama Drama | The Nation: Robert Dreyfuss
Did the killing of Osama bin Laden really change much? Was it worth it to kill him, if the result was the destabilization of Pakistan, the undermining of its current civilian government, the provocation to Pakistan’s substantial hard-core Islamist constituents, the breakdown of US-Pakistan relations and the fact that now it’s a lot more difficult for the United States to get out of Afghanistan safely and easily because Pakistan is no longer cooperating with the United States?

Sure, it’s a political plus for Obama to tell revenge-minded American voters that bin Laden is dead—even if we have to listen to Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, repeatedly use the word “kill” when talking about bin Laden, as if it were a video game.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ -

It’s hard to overstate how difficult (and commendable) it is for the ACLU to endorse propositions such as 'in some ways, [Obama's] administration is even worse than the Bush team when it comes to abusing the privilege of secrecy,' or for its Executive Director to say things like: 'I’m disgusted with this president.' The ACLU has long been one of the most admired organizations among liberals, progressives, Democrats, etc., and many of its donors, members, and the like do not want to hear that Obama is worse than Bush in many of these vital areas, or that his actions should provoke 'disgust.'... Not only are these remarkable statements from the ACLU a reflection of its typical organizational integrity, but they are also an obvious reflection of just how extreme and radical the Obama administration is.

The Most Transparent Administration Ever™ -

Sunday, April 8, 2012

U.S. filmmaker repeatedly detained at border -

U.S. filmmaker repeatedly detained at border -

If you’re not somebody who films the devastation wrought by the U.S. on the countries it attacks, or provides insight into Iraqi occupation opponents and bin Laden loyalists in Yemen, or documents expanding NSA activities on U.S. soil, then perhaps you’re unlikely to be subjected to such abuses and therefore perhaps unlikely to care much. As is true for all states that expand and abuse their own powers, that’s what the U.S. Government counts on: that it is sending the message that none of this will affect you as long as you avoid posing any meaningful challenges to what they do. In other words: you can avoid being targeted if you passively acquiesce to what they do and refrain from interfering in it. That’s precisely what makes it so pernicious, and why it’s so imperative to find a way to rein it in.

Free Mordechai Vanunu |

Free Mordechai Vanunu |

PressTV - German marchers criticize Israel’s threats against Iran

PressTV - German marchers criticize Israel’s threats against Iran

911 and the cover up by Ryan Dawson on Vimeo

911 and the cover up by Ryan Dawson on Vimeo

Iran Contra Coverup: 1 of 8 - YouTube

Iran Contra Coverup: 1 of 8 - YouTube

Strip-Searches: Obama Wants You to Bend Over (Or Squat) and Spread ‘Em | Black Agenda Report

Strip-Searches: Obama Wants You to Bend Over (Or Squat) and Spread ‘Em | Black Agenda Report:

"The decision throws out laws against unreasonable strip searches in at least ten states, and overrides federal law enforcement regulations against intrusive searches. The High Court decision also flies in the face of international human rights treaties to which the United States is a signatory."

America's hall of mirrors recovery | Robert Reich | Comment is free |

America's hall of mirrors recovery | Robert Reich | Comment is free |

"US economic growth is grotesquely distorted, with the benefits bloating the 1%, while middle-class Americans are still pinched."

Obama Justice Department indicts ex-CIA agent for exposing torture

Obama Justice Department indicts ex-CIA agent for exposing torture:

"This marks the sixth government whistleblower to be charged by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act, twice as many such prosecutions as have been brought by all preceding administrations combined. Prominent among them is Private Bradley Manning, who is alleged to have leaked documents exposing US war crimes to WikiLeaks. He has been held under conditions tantamount to torture and faces a possible death penalty.

In all of these cases, the World War I-era Espionage Act is being used to punish not spying on behalf of a foreign government, but exposing the US government’s own crimes to the American people."

“Pour out your wrath!” The devastating fiction of Passover�|�SHOAH

“Pour out your wrath!” The devastating fiction of Passover�|�SHOAH

Monday, April 2, 2012

Foreign Aid Set to Take Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis -

Foreign Aid Set to Take Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis -

one of the largest portions of foreign aid — more than $3 billion for Israel — is left untouched in both the House and Senate versions, showing that, even in times of austerity, some spending is inviolable.

Conspiracy Phobia On The Left | Disinformation

Conspiracy Phobia On The Left | Disinformation:

Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved.

Media’s Belated “Acknowledgment” of Saudi 9/11 Story - WhoWhatWhy | WhoWhatWhy

Media’s Belated “Acknowledgment” of Saudi 9/11 Story - WhoWhatWhy | WhoWhatWhy:

This article begins by asserting that “For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.” Where have they lingered? They have lingered on the Internet, while being essentially ignored by virtually all of the so-called legitimate media.

Foreign Aid Set to Take Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis -

Foreign Aid Set to Take Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis -

"One of the largest portions of foreign aid — more than $3 billion for Israel — is left untouched in both the House and Senate versions, showing that, even in times of austerity, some spending is inviolable."

Sibel Edmonds and the flawed 911 Commission - YouTube

Sibel Edmonds and the flawed 911 Commission - YouTube:

Patty Casazza speaks

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FBI Islamic training materials gave OK to infringe on targets' civil rights | World news |

FBI Islamic training materials gave OK to infringe on targets' civil rights | World news |

The Catholic Church's Secret Sex-Crime Files | Culture News | Rolling Stone

The Catholic Church's Secret Sex-Crime Files | Culture News | Rolling Stone

"As the Monsignor explained to one rape victim, the accused priest slept with women as well as children: 'You see, he's not a pure pedophile.'"

Undercover Anarchist

Undercover Anarchist

Interesting article about Mark Kennedy, a London cop who went undercover and betrayed the environmental activists he had infiltrated.

ACLU Sues FBI on Behalf of Greenpeace and Other Organizations | Greenpeace

ACLU Sues FBI on Behalf of Greenpeace and Other Organizations | Greenpeace

Criminalizing Dissent � Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Criminalizing Dissent � Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Activists Silenced by Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act File Lawsuit

Activists Silenced by Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act File Lawsuit

Obama's War on Pot | Politics News | Rolling Stone

Obama's War on Pot | Politics News | Rolling Stone:

"In a shocking about-face, the administration has launched a government-wide crackdown on medical marijuana."

President Obama nominates Bush DEA’s Michele Leonhart to head DEA | The NORML Stash Blog

President Obama nominates Bush DEA’s Michele Leonhart to head DEA | The NORML Stash Blog:

"That does it. I’m burning the Obama cap I got at the Democratic Convention. The man has lost his mind."

DEA head: A thousand dead children means we're winning war on drugs - Drugs -

DEA head: A thousand dead children means we're winning war on drugs - Drugs -

"Leonhart, a DEA lifer, is actually a Bush appointee, reappointed by President Obama. She is, obviously, an inflexible zealot when it comes to drug prohibition. This is easily the worst and most offensive thing she’s said that I’ve read, but she does have a history of asinine remarks. This is the sort of quote — dead children are a sign that we’re winning! — that should lead to a resignation. But it probably won’t."

Michael Bennet - United States Senator for Colorado : Newsroom - Press Releases

Michael Bennet - United States Senator for Colorado : Newsroom - Press Releases:

February 16, 2010

Denver, CO - In his continued effort to pass health care reform that lowers costs and leads to higher quality care, Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, is leading the effort in the Senate to pass health insurance reform that includes a public health insurance option under budget reconciliation rules.

Bennet has written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid and is circulating it for additional signatures. In the letter, Bennet highlights findings from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that said a public option could yield cost savings of at least $25 billion. Bennet also pointed to the fact that a public option would provide Americans with a low-cost alternative to private insurance and improve market competitiveness.

In addition, the letter noted that there is substantial Senate precedent for using reconciliation to enact important health care policies, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), COBRA, and Medicare Advantage.

Wade Norris: The Bennet Letter: Change We Can Believe In?

Wade Norris: The Bennet Letter: Change We Can Believe In?: Otherwise, why on Earth would the President announce ,less than a week after the Bennet letter was created, today's health care bill, which has no public option?

The only answer that makes sense is that the President never intended to let the public option through, and this Bennet letter was merely the White House's way to provide a way for some Democratic Senators to bolster their credentials with base voters, while not actually having accomplished anything.

Obama Health Care Plan Drops Public Option

Obama Health Care Plan Drops Public Option:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would work with his colleagues to find the votes needed for it; Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third ranking Democrat, pushed for it to be included; and Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, joined in the call as well.

But neither that nor the public option's consistently strong appeal in public-opinion polls was enough to persuade Obama to get behind it.

Indeed, after months of watching Obama say generally that he supports the public option while doing little to see it implemented into law, backers of the idea were unsurprised it was left out of his final offer.

‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World -

‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World -

"Other nations routinely trade in their constitutions wholesale, replacing them on average every 19 years. By odd coincidence, Thomas Jefferson, in a 1789 letter to James Madison, once said that every constitution 'naturally expires at the end of 19 years' because 'the earth belongs always to the living generation.'”

Barack Obama VS Those Craaaazy Republicans: Is He the Lesser Evil, or the More Effective Evil? | Black Agenda Report

Barack Obama VS Those Craaaazy Republicans: Is He the Lesser Evil, or the More Effective Evil? | Black Agenda Report:

"Between bigoted, bumbling tea party Republicans, and level-headed, competent corporate Democrats, which is the greater evil? And which is the more effective evil?"

If the Mandate Fails, Single Payer Awaits | The Nation

If the Mandate Fails, Single Payer Awaits | The Nation

Obama & the Fake Debt Ceiling Crisis: This President Is Really Just Smarter Than You Are | Black Agenda Report

Obama & the Fake Debt Ceiling Crisis: This President Is Really Just Smarter Than You Are | Black Agenda Report:

So if you’re an Obama supporter, and you’re disappointed that your president won’t fight for you — if you’re an Obama supporter and you wonder why the president won’t stand up for Medicaid, Medicare and social security — here’s the answer. The president really, really is smarter than you. He knows what side he’s on and you don’t. He knows that the two-party system is a veal pen, where as long as “he can play good cop to the Republicans’ ever worsening bad cop, the game is fixed, and not in your favor.

The Health Law Mandate -

The Health Law Mandate -

Last month, an amicus brief was filed by 50 doctors and two nonprofit organizations arguing that Congress could avoid a mandate by legislating a national single-payer system that provides nearly universal insurance coverage.

Friday, March 23, 2012

War on Terror logic and the Saudis - Glenn Greenwald -

War on Terror logic and the Saudis - Glenn Greenwald -

The only foreign government which likely had any connection to 9/11 is the one which is the least likely to be attacked by the U.S.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Authoritarian Mind -

The Authoritarian Mind -

Glenn Greenwald's discussion of Guggenheim's propaganda film and the "two-minute interview of Guggenheim by CNN’s Piers Morgan in which Guggenheim explains that nothing critical can or should be said of our President other than the fact that he is so Great that his Greatness cannot be sufficiently conveyed in a single film (via VastLeft); other than noting the obvious — how creepy his Leader worship is and how perfect of a guest-host he’d be for several MSNBC shows — all I can say is that this is the pure face of the Authoritarian Mind, but it is as common as it is repellent."

Sarah Palin: Barack Obama's 'enemy of the week' | Paul Harris | Comment is free |

This is a great piece on the sad spectacle of the Democrats digging up Sarah Palin to remind us of how scary the right is. But the author gets bogged down in this "let's focus on the ridiculous enemy at home so we can forget about how many kids we're killing overseas" trap:

"In an era when vast swathes of the Republican electorate believes Obama is a Muslim (by the way, he isn't), then this claptrap from an icon of the GOP should be no surprise, either."

"[B]y the way, he isn't"? How insulting is this to his readers? And I'm getting tired of being reminded of all the nonsense that the Republican electorate believes. Who cares if they believe that he is a Muslim? Who cares? The greater problem that we should be looking at is why that even matters. I don't give a crap if he's a Muslim or not, and I definitely don't care that some-odd percentage of Republicans believe it.

Sarah Palin: Barack Obama's 'enemy of the week' | Paul Harris | Comment is free |

So, Eric Holder, we should just trust that the president won't assassinate us? | Jonathan Turley | Comment is free |

So, Eric Holder, we should just trust that the president won't assassinate us? | Jonathan Turley | Comment is free |

The choice of a law school was a curious place for discussion of authoritarian powers. Obama has replaced the constitutional protections afforded to citizens with a "trust me" pledge that Holder repeated Monday at Northwestern.

The good news is that Holder promised not to hunt citizens for sport.

Our immoral drone war -

Our immoral drone war -

The United States publicly denied the drone campaign until January, when President Obama decided to use that most dignified of media venues — a Google Hangout — to tell his Pakistani allies in war that his country had, in fact, been bombing them for years. They should not worry, he said, because America was being careful about whom it killed.

Robert Fisk: Madness is not the reason for this massacre - Robert Fisk - Commentators - The Independent

Robert Fisk: Madness is not the reason for this massacre - Robert Fisk - Commentators - The Independent

Itching for a fight

It seems that our troops are just itching for something to happen; itching for a fight.

This Whole Line Of 'Infidel' Gear Can't Be Helping International Relations In Afghanistan

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Conspiracy theory": the intellectual equivalent of a four-letter word

"'Conspiracy theory' has become the intellectual equivalent of a four-letter word: it's something people say when they don't want you to think about what's really going on."

-- Noam Chomsky, as quoted in Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

Barry Zwicker, author of Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11, talks about Noam Chomsky and 9/11.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report on NDAA. He adds his voice to Glenn Greenwald, Jonathan Turley, Chris Hedges, the ACLU, Amnesty International, two four-star retired Marine generals, and even the New York Times (buried but well done in their Opinionator Blog).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

George W. Bush, War Crimes, and the Mayor of London

The Mayor of London talks about George W. Bush and war crimes:
How is some tired and frightened American officer supposed to make head or tail of this sophistry, late at night in some bleak Iraqi jail? How is he supposed to calibrate the pain that comes from an organ failure or death? It is no wonder, with orders like that coming from the top, that the troopers misbehaved so tragically in Abu Ghraib. They failed to see any moral difference between waterboarding their suspects and putting hoods over their heads. They failed to see any moral difference between waterboarding them and terrifying them with alsatian dogs or attaching electrodes to their genitals. They failed to see any moral difference, that is, because there isn’t any moral difference.

That is the real disaster of the waterboarding policy — that we are left with the impression that the entire US military are skidding their heels on the slippery slope towards barbarism. And that is emphatically not the case. Yesterday at the Cenotaph we remembered the sacrifice of men and women not just in two world wars, but also in Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of these conflicts is not so much to defeat “the enemy”, but to defend things we believe to be inalienable goods — freedom, democracy and, above all, the rule of law.

I believe that, of all nations, America still best upholds and guarantees those things. It would be ludicrous to suggest that the waterboarding disaster, or the evils of Abu Ghraib, have set up some kind of moral equivalence between America and – say – the murderous Taliban regime, let alone Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. If you want to appreciate the difference, remember that the perpetrators of Abu Ghraib were court-martialled, and we know about US interrogation techniques because of rules on freedom of information. But if your end is the spread of freedom and the rule of law, you cannot hope to achieve that end by means that are patently vile and illegal.

Keith Olberman interviews Jonathan Turley on the Mayor's article:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scotland Yard Report Finds British Citizen Was Tortured in Secret CIA Site - Raymond Bonner - International - The Atlantic

Scotland Yard Report Finds British Citizen Was Tortured in Secret CIA Site - Raymond Bonner - International - The Atlantic:
The British government admitted today that a terrorist suspect whose case has drawn international attention was interrogated by U.S. officials and tortured during the two years he was held in Morocco.

The findings, resulting from an investigation by England's highest criminal prosecution agency, contradict the obfuscation, stonewalling, and denials by American officials about the case of the suspect, Binyam Mohamed.

At one point, the Obama Administration threatened to cut off intelligence sharing with the UK if a British court ordered the release of classified documents in the case.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NDAA: How the House Voted

How the House voted on the NDAA

Republicans voted for this bill by a wide margin in the House. Still, 95 Democrats voiced their enthusiastic support in the form of a vote. Donald Payne, Democrat (NJ), did not vote. Rush Holt, Democrat (NJ), voted "no."

NDAA: How the Senate Voted (December 1, 2011)

The NDAA, which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens without trial, was overwhelmingly passed in the Senate. The vote was 93-7, a bi-partisan attack on the Constitution.

"Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." George Carlin

Here the few Senators who stood up for the Constitution on December 1, 2011:

Coburn (R-OK)
Harkin (D-IA)
Lee (R-UT)
Merkley (D-OR)
Paul (R-KY)
Sanders (I-VT)
Wyden (D-OR)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Torturer’s Apprentice - Magazine - The Atlantic

Torturer’s Apprentice - Magazine - The Atlantic
The new science of interrogation is not, in fact, so new at all: “extraordinary rendition” and “enhanced interrogation” and “waterboarding” all spring directly from the practices of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. The distance, in both technique and ideology, between the Inquisition’s interrogation regime and 21st-century America’s is uncomfortably short—and provides a chilling harbinger of what can happen when moral certainty gets yoked to the machinery of torture.

What a way to go: Life at the end of empire

Chris Hedges Suing Barack Obama

"The supine and gutless Democratic Party, which would have feigned outrage if George W. Bush had put this into law, appears willing, once again, to grant Obama a pass. But I won’t. What he has done is unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous."

"The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress. 

"But it passed anyway. And I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can."

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Justice for Fallujah Project

The Justice for Fallujah Project

For the families of Haditha, this is a matter of honour

"If there was any doubt that the killings that day could be classed as anything other than war crimes, a number of incriminating documents have come to light in the past few weeks that place guilt beyond doubt. Some 400 pages from the military interrogation of the offending troops, which should have been destroyed as the Americans left Iraq last year, were uncovered by a New York Times reporter at a junkyard in Baghdad."

"Not a single marine I interviewed was able to survive after their tour without a tranquilliser prescription.... It's worth remembering that most were just teenagers when they joined the force."

"The Iraqi families who turned down the insulting offer of $2,500 in compensation for each family member killed are still waiting to see justice done."

The marines urination video doesn't show the real war crime | Ross Caputi | Comment is free |

This young ex-Marine bravely tells the world about the mentality behind war crimes, how horrific they are, and notes that the corporate media reports on them with indifference.

The marines urination video doesn't show the real war crime | Ross Caputi | Comment is free |

Should the New York Times seek the Truth -- or mindlessly regurgitate what they've been told?

"'Should the Times be a Truth Vigilante?' asked Arthur Brisbane. 'Yes,' came the resounding reply.... Having asked, in a completely innocent way, whether the Times should behave like an advocate for the readers, rather than a stenographer to politicians, the question cannot now be unasked."
The New York Times public editor's very public utterance | Clay Shirky

Dr. King and the Public Imagination

Dr. King used a wide range of references, i.e. other people's words and historical ideas, to get his message across -- and made improvements. He loved to play with words and ideas, and judge his audience's reactions. He was deeply interested in the 'art of preaching. NPR's On the Media discusses Dr. King and the Public Imagination.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Arthur Brisbane and selective stenography -

Arthur Brisbane and selective stenography - Glenn Greenwald,

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free - The Washington Post

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free - The Washington Post, Jonathan Turley
[I]n a signing statement with the defense authorization bill, Obama said he does not intend to use the latest power to indefinitely imprison citizens. Yet, he still accepted the power as a sort of regretful autocrat.
An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.

The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

Benjamin Franklin was more direct. In 1787, a Mrs. Powel confronted Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” His response was a bit chilling: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Iran: The Neocons Are At It Again

Iran: The Neocons Are At It Again, Ralph Nader

William Schaap - Part 1/8 - The Media, CIA, FBI & Disinfo. - YouTube

William Schaap - Part 1/8 - The Media, CIA, FBI & Disinfo. - YouTube

NYT Caught Lying about Iran & IAEA Report on Civilian Nuclear Program - YouTube

NYT Caught Lying about Iran & IAEA Report on Civilian Nuclear Program - YouTube

Bill Moyers Journal Transcripts: Buying the War

Very good transcript of Buying the War. Includes a lot of interesting quotes about the media.

Bill Moyers Journal . Transcripts | PBS

Media unable to dissent from "the official line"

Bill Moyers Journal . Transcripts | PBS:


BILL O'REILLY: (Fox 2/26/03) Anyone who hurts this country in a time like this. Well let's just say you will be spotlighted.

Tom Brokaw: "All Wars are Based on Propaganda" → Washingtons Blog

Tom Brokaw: "All Wars are Based on Propaganda" → Washington's Blog:

In response to former White House press secretary's Scott McClellan's revelations, veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw said "all wars are based on propaganda."

Corporate Media Turns On Bloggers

Once Again, Corporate Media Turns On Bloggers

"The White House has an unbelievable ability to control the flow of information at any time but especially at a time when they are planning to go to war.” Tom Brokaw

Michael Parenti: Conspiracy Phobia on the Left

The CIA's propaganda machine

The CIA also owns dozens of newspapers and magazines the world over. These not only provide cover for their agents but allow them to plant misinformation that regularly makes it back to the US through the wire services. The CIA has even placed agents on guard at the wire services, to prevent inconvenient facts from being disseminated.

In 1977, famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein revealed that over 400 US journalists had been employed by the CIA. These ranged from freelancers who were paid for regular debriefings, to actual CIA officers who worked under deep cover. Nearly every major US news organization has had spooks on the payroll, usually with the cooperation of top management.

The three most valuable media assets the CIA could count on were William Paley's CBS, Arthur Sulzberger's New York Times and Henry Luce's Time/Life empire. All three bent over backwards promoting the picture of Oswald as a lone nut in the JFK assassination.

Among prominent journalists who've worked knowingly with the CIA are National Review founder William F. Buckley, PBS interviewer Bill Moyers, the late columnist Stewart Alsop, former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem.

Bernstein's landmark article on the CIA and the media told of the agency's frantic efforts to limit Congressional inquiry into the matter, with claims that "some of the biggest names in journalism could get smeared." And while the CIA director at the time, George Bush, made a not-too-convincing show of discontinuing the agency's manipulation of the media, it's clear that the CIA regards the space between your ears as one of its most important battlefields.

Dec 26, 1977 NY Times article: CIA Cable

CIA Cable, that had just been declassified, sought to discredit critics of the Warren Commission.

CIA influence on public opinion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CIA influence on public opinion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The CIA and the Media, Carl Bernstein

Carl Bernstein, The CIA and the Media

How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up

9/11 Media Blackout

Environmentalists Against War:

Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg Says Government Ordered Media Blackout on 9/11 Questions

"It is not just the corporate media. I have had the owners of highly-regarded alternative media companies confide in me privately that they don't believe the government's version of 9/11, but that are scared of discussing it publicly because they don't want to be tarred-and-feathered for discussing "conspiracy theories."

"Even writers like Glenn Greenwald -- who are good on so many issues -- won't touch it.

"Of course -- as Ellsberg points out -- "Secrets can be kept reliably ... for decades ... even though they are known to thousands of insiders." Indeed, the whole label "conspiracy theory" is just an attempt to diffuse criticism of the powerful.

People used to understand this. As the quintessential American writer Mark Twain said in a more rational age:
'A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies, which they dare not admit in public.'"

CIA Instructions to Media Assets

CIA Instructions to Media Assets

CIA Instructions to Media Assets
This document caused quite a stir when it was discovered in 1977. Dated 4/1/67, and marked "DESTROY WHEN NO LONGER NEEDED", this document is a stunning testimony to how concerned the CIA was over investigations into the Kennedy assassination. Emphasis has been added to facilitate scanning.

CIA Document #1035-960, marked "PSYCH" for presumably Psychological Warfare Operations, in the division "CS", the Clandestine Services, sometimes known as the "dirty tricks" department.

RE: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report

1. Our Concern. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.
2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination. Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.
3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:
a. To discuss the publicity problem with [?] and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.
b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher [?] article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing that Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)
4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:
a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)
b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent--and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.
c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.
d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.
e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator. He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service. [Archivist's note: This claim is demonstrably untrue with the latest file releases. The CIA had an operational interest in Oswald less than a month before the assassination. Source: Oswald and the CIA, John Newman and newly released files from the National Archives.]
f. As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.
g. Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected. (When Penn Jones, one of the originators of the "ten mysterious deaths" line, appeared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)
5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission's Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media."
--William Colby, former CIA Director, cited by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy
"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month."
--CIA operative, discussing the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories. Katherine the Great, by Deborah Davis
"There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level."
--William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
"The Agency's relationship with [The New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy ... to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible."
--The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
"Senator William Proxmire has pegged the number of employees of the federal intelligence community at 148,000 ... though Proxmire's number is itself a conservative one. The "intelligence community" is officially defined as including only those organizations that are members of the U.S. Intelligence Board (USIB); a dozen other agencies, charged with both foreign and domestic intelligence chores, are not encompassed by the term.... The number of intelligence workers employed by the federal government is not 148,000, but some undetermined multiple of that number."
--Jim Hougan, Spooks
"For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations."
--former President Harry Truman, 22 December 1963, one month after the JFK assassination, op-ed section of the Washington Post, early edition

Bias at The New York Times

NYT Misleads Readers on Iran Crisis
Paper disappears some inaccurate reporting

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Truth Has Fallen and Has Taken Liberty With It -

Truth Has Fallen and Has Taken Liberty With It -

"America’s fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government’s account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media. It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

9/11 Motive & Media Betrayal - YouTube

Dan Rather stumbles over a new report that connects the 9/11 attacks to our policies in Israel. Unfortunately, this is the only video that I can find with this clip.

9/11 Motive & Media Betrayal - YouTube

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

After September 11: Our State of Exception, Mark Danner

After September 11: Our State of Exception

"For the overwhelming majority of Americans the changes have come to seem subtle, certainly when set beside how daily life was altered during World War II or World War I, not to mention during the Civil War. Officially sanctioned torture, or enhanced interrogation, however dramatic a departure it may be from our history, happens not to Americans but to others, as do extraordinary rendition and indefinite detention; the particular burdens of our exception seem mostly to be borne by someone else—by someone other. It is possible for most to live their lives without taking note of these practices at all except as phrases in the news—until, every once in a while, like a blind man who lives, all unknowingly, in a very large cage, one or another of us stumbles into the bars.

"Whoever takes the time to peer closely at the space enclosed within those bars can see that our country has been altered in fundamental ways."

Mark Danner We Are All Torturers Now

Mark Danner: We Are All Torturers Now

"The system of torture has, after all, survived its disclosure. We have entered a new era; the traditional story line in which scandal leads to investigation and investigation leads to punishment has been supplanted by something else. Wrongdoing is still exposed; we gaze at the photographs and read the documents, and then we listen to the president’s spokesman 'reiterate,' as he did last week, 'the president’s determination that the United States never engage in torture.' And there the story ends."

Mark Danner Torture and Truth

Mark Danner Torture and Truth:

Mark Danner writes, the real scandal here is political: it "is not about revelation or disclosure but about the failure, once wrongdoing is disclosed, of politicians, officials, the press, and, ultimately, citizens to act."

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > Atrocities in Plain Sight

"I'm not saying that those who unwittingly made this torture possible are as guilty as those who inflicted it. I am saying that when the results are this horrifying, it's worth a thorough reassessment of rhetoric and war methods. Perhaps the saddest evidence of our communal denial in this respect was the election campaign. The fact that American soldiers were guilty of torturing inmates to death barely came up. It went unmentioned in every one of the three presidential debates. John F. Kerry, the ''heroic'' protester of Vietnam, ducked the issue out of what? Fear? Ignorance? Or a belief that the American public ultimately did not care, that the consequences of seeming to criticize the conduct of troops would be more of an electoral liability than holding a president accountable for enabling the torture of innocents? I fear it was the last of these. Worse, I fear he may have been right."

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > Atrocities in Plain Sight

Monday, January 2, 2012

License to lie | Salon Books

License to lie | Salon Books:

"Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice and Rove pulled off a much more sophisticated job: a bureaucratic coup d'etat. Without firing a shot, they silenced critics, squelched unwanted facts, and created their own false but salable reality. As a result, they were able to launch a war justified by lies and driven by nothing more than Bush's ignorant whim. It is, truly, the heist of the century."

"At this point, one could forgive readers for asking, 'How many more damning portraits of the Bush administration do we need?' From yellowcake to Joe Wilson to Abu Ghraib, the list of Bush scandals and outrages is endless, but nothing ever seems to happen. As the journalist Mark Danner has pointed out, the problem is not lack of information: The problem is that Americans can't, or won't, acknowledge what that information means."