Sunday, January 01, 2006

Dear World, Our New Year's Resolution is to Stop the War-Love, US

Dubya looks at world, thinking to himself, "They own our oil."

Dearest Readers, May the New Year bring you hope, good tidings and fresh democracy...

Hot Links from 2005

An analysis by John Dean Dec 30, 2005 on George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon: Both Wiretapped Illegally, and Impeachably; Both Claimed That a President May Violate Congress' Laws to Protect National Security

Initially, Bush and the White House stonewalled, neither confirming nor denying the president had ignored the law. Bush refused to discuss it in his interview with Jim Lehrer.

Then, on Saturday, December 17, in his radio broadcast, Bush admitted that the New York Times was correct - and thus conceded he had committed an impeachable offense.

There can be no serious question that warrantless wiretapping, in violation of the law, is impeachable. After all, Nixon was charged in Article II of his bill of impeachment with illegal wiretapping for what he, too, claimed were national security reasons.

These parallel violations underscore the continuing, disturbing parallels between this Administration and the Nixon Administration - parallels I also discussed in a prior column.

Indeed, here, Bush may have outdone Nixon: Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope. First reports indicated that NSA was only monitoring foreign calls, originating either in the USA or abroad, and that no more than 500 calls were being covered at any given time. But later reports have suggested that NSA is "data mining" literally millions of calls - and has been given access by the telecommunications companies to "switching" stations through which foreign communications traffic flows.

In sum, this is big-time, Big Brother electronic surveillance.

Dean goes on...Such a criminal investigation is rather ironic - for the leak's effect was to reveal Bush's own offense. Having been ferreted out as a criminal, Bush now will try to ferret out the leakers who revealed him.

Dean also asks...Is Bush's Unauthorized Surveillance Action Justified? Not Persuasively.

Had Bush issued his Executive Order on September 12, 2001, as a temporary measure - pending his seeking Congress approval - those circumstances might have supported his call.

Or, had a particularly serious threat of attack compelled Bush to authorize warrantless wiretapping in a particular investigation, before he had time to go to Congress, that too might have been justifiable.

But several years have passed since the broad 2002 Executive Order, and in all that time, Bush has refused to seek legal authority for his action. Yet he can hardly miss the fact that Congress has clearly set rules for presidents in the very situation in which he insists on defying the law.

Bush has given one legal explanation for his actions which borders on the laughable: He claims that implicit in Congress' authorization of his use of force against the Taliban in Afghanistan, following the 9/11 attack, was an exemption from FISA.

No sane member of Congress believes that the Authorization of Military Force provided such an authorization. No first year law student would mistakenly make such a claim. It is not merely a stretch; it is ludicrous.

Pay no attention of how the corporate media machine will spin this round and round. Counselor Dean lays it out, based on reality. Indeed, the reign of Dubya is over. We just need to make it official. From the Smoking Gun A memo for then Gov. Bush about Uzbekistan and Enron's Kenny-boy Lay The Gaelic Starover-The REAL Issue of National Security-Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Already, candidates are making themselves known, the best of them distancing and distinguishing themselves from the disaster currently encamped at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in our nation's besieged capital.

I have addressed my concerns about the Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan case to the headquarters of one such candidate. His staff promptly responded with several questions.

My answers follow. "As per your request....

1.) The Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan case is important because:

a.) The leak of Noor Khan's identity compromised the real security of the United States and our allies.

b.) It abruptly and prematurely aborted a joint intelligence operation involving the United States, the United Kingdom and Pakistan.

c.) It may have discredited the United States in the eyes of those two governments (and others watching around the world).

d.) It 'caused the British to have to swoop down on the London al-Qaeda cell to which he was speaking. As it was, five of them heard about Khan's arrest and immediately fled. The British got 13, but it was early in their investigation and they had to let five go or charge them with minor offenses (such as immigration irregularities).' [Dr. Juan Cole]. Eight were charged.

e.) Mr. Noor Khan's laptop 'contained plans for a coordinated series of attacks on the London subway system, as well as on financial buildings in both New York and Washington.' [ABS News]. Abu Ghraib Lesson Unlearned The 10 inquiries into prisoner abuse have let Bush and Co off the hook -SEYMOUR HERSH / The Guardian (UK) 21may2005

What else do I know? I know that the decision was made inside the Pentagon in the first weeks of the Afghanistan war, which seemed "won" by December 2001 - to indefinitely detain scores of prisoners who were accumulating daily at American staging posts throughout the country. At the time, according to a memo, in my possession, addressed to Donald Rumsfeld, there were "800-900 Pakistani boys 13-15 years of age in custody". I could not learn if some or all of them have been released, or if some are still being held.

A Pentagon spokesman, when asked to comment, said that he had no information to substantiate the number in the document, and that there were currently about 100 juveniles being held in Iraq and Afghanistan; he did not address detainees held elsewhere. He said they received some special care, but added "age is not a determining factor in detention ... As with all the detainees, their release is contingent upon the determination that they are not a threat and that they are of no further intelligence value. Unfortunately, we have found that ... age does not necessarily diminish threat potential."

The 10 official inquiries into Abu Ghraib are asking the wrong questions, at least in terms of apportioning ultimate responsibility for the treatment of prisoners. The question that never gets adequately answered is this: what did the president do after being told about Abu Ghraib? It is here that chronology becomes very important.

Age is not a determining factor-provided you are quite mad yourself. Gee, they had real experts running Gitmo and Abu Ghraib...just like architects of the war in Iraq. The bill for this war is coming due on the neoRepublican tab... December 28, 2005-Three Books To Wake You Up-By Paul Craig Roberts(Former Reagan Asst. to Treasury and Wall Street Journal Editor)

Robert Higgs in his Resurgence of the Warfare State (Independent Institute 2005) lays it all on the line.

With ruthless logic Higgs shreds every claim of the Bush administration and its apologists. Reading Higgs leaves no doubt that the Bush administration's invasion of

Iraq was an illegal act based in deception. Under the Nuremberg standard established by the US itself, Bush'’s invasion is a war crime. Widespread slaughter of the civilian Iraqi population and torture of detainees are also war crimes.

In one of his best chapters Higgs destroys the claim that US "smart weapons" are expressions of our morality in warfare because they target only enemy combatants. Higgs explains that the accuracy within a few yards of smart weapons is meaningless.

The blast, heat, and pressures from the weapons destroy everything within 120 yards of the hit. No one within 365 yards can expect to remain unharmed. Injuries can extend to persons 1000 yards away from the blast.

The odds are zero, Higgs writes, that the use of such weapons on towns and cities will not kill and maim large numbers of civilians.

And they have done so. American forces in Iraq have killed far more Iraqi civilians than they have insurgents. It is safe to say that Iraqis never experienced such terror from Saddam Hussein as they have experienced from the American invasion and occupation.

Bush claims that his war crimes are justified because they are committed in the name of "freedom and democracy."

The entire world rejects this excuse.

Sooner or later even Bush's remaining Republican supporters will turn away in shame from the dishonor Bush has brought to America.

Kathleen Parker babbles over bloggers-they tell truth while she babbles corporate sponsored news... The Columbus Corporate News, I mean, the Columbus Dispatch-Beware the host of babbling bloggers-Thursday, December 29, 2005

We can’t silence them, but for civilization’s sake and the integrity of information by which we all live or die, we can and should ignore them.

Yet she does not delve into why blogs continue to grow in readership, while corporate owned news continue to lose readers. As you can see, Prissy avoids msm for news sources, whenever possible. They have not told the whole truth in years...too unreliable to rely on them for one's national security. Forget them as a democratic watchdog. November 23, 2005 -Dirty Bummer Why the White House should make its case against Jose Padilla, but won't- by Matt Welch

It's actually to the contrary. I'm begging for confirmation that the "Dirty Bomber"—who was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on three counts having zilch to do with making bombs or planning acts of domestic terrorism—was indeed "a known terrorist who was exploring a plan to build and explode a radiological dispersion device, or 'dirty bomb,' in the United States" (as then–Attorney General John Ashcroft initially alleged), because if he was, there might finally be a half-convincing real-world argument to support the Bush Administration's expansion of Executive Branch power at the expense of our constitutional liberties.

Matt cites his sources -well done- good analysis. Denver Post-12/28/2005 -Their two cents: Protesters hang up on tax for Iraq war

Peace activist Bill Sulzman in Colorado Springs protests the war in Iraq by refusing to pay the federal excise tax of about 50 cents on his monthly phone bill.

Sulzman also recruits others who are against U.S. military involvement in Iraq to stop paying the tax, which was first adopted in 1898 to pay for the Spanish- American War.

The tax raises about $5 billion a year, which activists say goes to fund war efforts. The Internal Revenue Service won't confirm that the money goes exclusively to the military but instead says it goes for general fund expenditures, including military spending.

"It's kind of entry-level active resistance," Sulzman said. "Phone companies don't cut off the phones. They don't have the leverage."

Nationally, an estimated 10,000 phone customers don't pay the tax, said Ruth Benn, a spokeswoman for the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee in New York. With many Americans questioning the rationale for the Iraq war, the number who don't pay appears to be growing, said Betty Ball, a spokeswoman at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center in Boulder.

With the majority of Americans opposed to this war, he message may get through to our so-called representatives if folks start refusing to pay for their war.

More trouble...did Dubya give Mr. Putin the wise guy idea that democracy doesn't really work? January 1, 2006-Russia cuts gas supply to Ukraine, Europe at risk

Ukraine's Naftogaz energy company accused Russia of playing a game of brinkmanship that jeopardised Europe's gas supplies.

"Naftogaz declares such actions unacceptable because they endanger gas deliveries to Europe," it said.

Though Russia says it is purely a business dispute, the row has fed concern that the Kremlin is prepared to use its vast energy resources as a political weapon.

This article may be "opinion", but Bob(Attorney, College Professor and local justice fighter) his opinion is based on FACTS. Everytime, Bob turns out on the side of justice. From The Free Press Fake voting rights activists and groups linked to White House-by Bob Fitrakis December 30, 2005

In the month prior to and immediately after the 2004 presidential election' the Republican Party engaged in an orchestrated campaign to divert the mainstream media focus away from election fraud and irregularities in Ohio and manufactured the myth of "voter fraud."

According to a former Columbus Dispatch reporter' Ohio Senator Mike Dewine sent his spokesperson' Mike Dawson' to meet with the editorial board of the Dispatch and other Ohio newspapers. The primary talking point for the GOP was that there was no evidence of irregularities in Ohio.

The Republican state legislature used the "voter fraud" spin to introduce the draconian Ohio House Bill 3. The "election reform" bill has passed both Republican-dominated houses and is awaiting a conference committee at the start of the new year.

Quotes for 2005

"Former head of FEMA Michael Brown has opened up his own private disaster agency. That's like Robert Blake opening up a marriage counselling facility." --David Letterman

"Sounds touching but those tears; paid for by a lobbyist from the saline industry." --Jon Stewart, on Duke Cunningham's resignation speech

But they all took Professor Nixon's class, "Dirty Deeds Done on the Cheap"...The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election. -- Gerald R. Ford

How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments. -- Benjamin Franklin

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. -- Mohandas Gandhi