By Jeremy Scahill
November 20, 2008
Click here to view this guide as a single page.
U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good.
Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton’s White House. Although Obama brought some progressives on board early in his campaign, his foreign policy team is now dominated by the hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990s. This has been particularly true since Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the Democratic primary, freeing many of her top advisors to join Obama’s team.
“What happened to all this talk about change?” a member of the Clinton foreign policy team recently asked the Washington Post. “This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time.”
Amid the… Continue reading
by Justin A. Martell
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) took one of the first steps in holding the Bush Administration accountable when he introduced House Resolution 1531 on Thursday.
The official title of HR 1531, which was introduced to the House Judiciary Committee, is “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should not issue pardons to senior members of his administration during the final 90 days of his term of office.”
The resolution notes, “President George W. Bush may have committed crimes involving the mistreatment of detainees, the extraordinary rendition of individuals to countries known to engage in torture, illegal surveillance of United States citizens, unlawful leaks of classified information, obstruction of justice, political interference with the conduct of the Justice Department, and other illegal acts,” and that, “Bush has been urged to grant preemptive pardons to senior administration officials who might face criminal prosecution for actions taken in the course of their official duties.”
Rep. Nadler is the current chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties . According to an email sent out by Democrats.com, Nadler’s leadership on this issue is crucial because he “can use his credibility and clout to move the resolution forward either during the lame duck session in December or when the next Congress convenes on January 6.”
Democrats.com has also urged the public to persuade their representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 1531. You can contact your representative on your… Continue reading
For Immediate Release
November 20, 2008
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today released its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center building 7 (WTC 7) in New York City. The final report is strengthened by clarifications and supplemental text suggested by organizations and individuals worldwide in response to the draft WTC 7 report, released for public comment on Aug. 21, but the revisions did not alter the investigation team’s major findings and recommendations, which include identification of fire as the primary cause for the building’s failure.
The extensive three-year scientific and technical building and fire safety investigation found that the fires on multiple floors in WTC 7, which were uncontrolled but otherwise similar to fires experienced in other tall buildings, caused an extraordinary event. Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down.
In response to comments from the building community, NIST conducted an additional computer analysis. The goal was to see if the loss of WTC 7’s Column 79–the structural component identified as the one whose failure on 9/11 started the progressive collapse–would still have led to a complete loss of the building if fire or damage from the falling debris… Continue reading
By Joaquin Sapien
November 19, 2008
Whether it’s relaxing pollution control standards for power plants or allowing loaded weapons into national parks, the Bush Administration is scrambling to approve or change as many federal rules as it can before it hands off power to President-elect Barack Obama. This surge of “midnight regulations” presents a thorny question for the next administration: What can it do to void rules it thinks should be undone?
An Obama spokesman told ProPublica that the transition team can’t comment on the new administration’s strategy yet. However, John Podesta, a leading member of the transition team, has said Obama will use his “executive authority without waiting for congressional action” to reverse many of Bush’s policies.
But that authority has its limits.
While executive orders and rules that are not yet in effect can swiftly be reversed or altered by Obama’s appointees or his own executive orders, rules that go into effect before he takes office will be extremely difficult to undo. Rescinding a rule would require the new administration to re-start the rule-making process, which can take years and prompt legal challenges. Another strategy that has been talked about lately — getting Congress to disapprove the rules through the Congressional Review Act — carries political risks and has been used only once before.
“The problem with what the Bush administration is doing is that these rules are extremely cumbersome to adopt, and they are every bit as cumbersome to undo,” said David Vladeck, an administrative law… Continue reading
October 13, 2008
by Philip Brewer
Financial panics used to be quite ordinary. In the century or two prior to the great depression, there was a panic every 15 or 20 years. Since the great depression we haven’t had a classic financial panic, until now. There’s a thing or two that we can learn from panics past to help us survive the current one.
To begin with, there’s a reason why we haven’t had financial panics for the past 75 years–fiat currency.
Panics used to begin when people decided to get their hands on actual, physical gold. That could happen for a lot of different reasons. Often it was because there had been inflation–banks issuing bank notes far in excess of the gold they had on deposit–and people decided that they didn’t trust their bank. Sometimes, though, it happened without any particular malpractice by the banks, simply because there was a demand for gold someplace else–an economic boom in Europe or South America could drain gold from the United States or vice versa.
Since issuing banknotes was literally printing money, the temptation to go overboard was immense, and individual banks that did so used to collapse all the time. A prudent bank, though, could be modestly profitable and a great boon to its community, but in a panic, even prudent banks would fail. (You could, in theory, create a panic-proof bank that held enough gold to pay off every banknote, but it would be a money-losing… Continue reading
November 12, 2008
Gerald Celente has been a leading trend forecaster for years:
“When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.”
~ CNN Headline News
“A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.”
~ The Economist
“Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right.”
~ USA Today
“There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.”
“Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.”
~ The Wall Street Journal
“Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily on the mark … he’s one of the most accurate forecasters around.”
~ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Mr. Celente tracks the world’s social, economic and business trends for corporate clients.”
~ The New York Times
“Mr. Celente is a very intelligent guy. We are able to learn about trends from an authority.”
~ 48 Hours, CBS News
“Gerald Celente has a solid track record. He has predicted everything from the 1987 stock market crash and the demise of the Soviet Union to green marketing and corporate downsizing.”
~ The Detroit News
“Gerald Celente forecast the 1987 stock market crash, ‘green marketing,’ and the boom in gourmet coffees.”
~ Chicago Tribune
“The Trends Research Institute is the Standard and Poors of Popular Culture.”
~ The Los Angeles Times
“If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.”… Continue reading
November 11, 2008
While it is fitting that our nation reserves a special day to honor the sacrifice and commitment of our warriors, it also serves to highlight how we, as a country, have fallen short of caring for our veterans, reintegrating them back into our communities, and demanding that our military be used responsibly and only as a last resort. Over 1.7 million men and women of the U.S. military have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of them now struggle to cope with physical and emotional injuries, with family relationships strained because of prolonged separation, and with finding employment during an economic recession.
Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War know that in order to truly honor our veterans, we must listen to them, not just on Veterans Day, but on the other 364 days as well. It is for each other, our military brothers and sisters, and for our country that IVAW works every day to share our experiences, to challenge the predominant narrative of war as heroic and glorious, and to expose people to the brutal reality and true human costs of modern warfare.
Over the past four and a half years, IVAW has been working to transform our military experiences into a force for positive change. Be it at Winter Soldier this past March, Winter Soldier on the Hill in May, or at regional Winter Soldier events in Rochester, NY, Seattle, WA, Madison, WI, and others, IVAW has been dedicated to making… Continue reading
By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 11/06/2008 05:34:24 PM MST
* Read the ACLU’s letter to the Office of the Independant Monitor (PDF) .
* Watch video from the August, 2008 standoff between DNC protesters and police at 15th & Court in Downtown Denver.
* Watch video of protesters getting sprayed with pepper spray, from the August, 2008 standoff .
When a Jefferson County deputy deployed pepper spray into a crowd during the first night of the Democratic National Convention, he did not know that his targets were undercover Denver police officers.
During a melee that occurred Aug. 25 between protesters, police and bystanders near Civic Center Park, undercover Denver detectives staged a struggle with a police commander in order to get out of the crowd undetected.
A Jefferson County deputy, unaware of the presence of undercover police, thought that the commander was being attacked and deployed the pepper spray, according to a police use-of-force report obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.
The report does not say whether the pepper spray used on the undercover police officers was the first deployment or whether the melee already was underway.
About 106 people were arrested during the incident that took place at 15th Street and Court Place.
Denver police have testified during court trials that they deployed officers to the area that night because they had gathered intelligence that anarchists had planned to gather in Civic Center Park, then move toward the 16th Street… Continue reading
++++ PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ++++
November 4th 2008
A COPY OF ORWELL’S ‘NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR’ SENT TO EVERY MP
An Internet grass-roots campaign will this week deliver a copy of George Orwell’s prophetic novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ to every Member of Parliament.
The books will be inscribed with the words, ‘This book was a warning, not a blueprint’, and will arrive at Parliament on or before November 5th — a date of well known historical significance for that building.
Outraged by the continual attack upon civil liberties within our nation, a fortnight ago the Libertarian Party proposed reminding those in Westminster who they were elected to serve, and in whose interests the laws that they pass are meant to function.
Spread purely by word of mouth, a campaign to send each Member of Parliament their own copy of Orwell’s dystopian classic met with overwhelming support on the Internet, with many more books pledged than the 646 required to ensure that every one of our elected representatives receive a personal copy. The Libertarian Party contributed just 75 books itself, with the remainder coming (directly, or via campaign donations) from people of all political parties, and of none.
The UK Libertarian Party leader, Ian Parker-Joseph, explained, “As the people of Britain become ever more spied upon and ever more heavily taxed, as the government attempts to control how much we should smoke, eat and drink, as the state legislates to regulate ever more the minutiae of our lives, the Libertarian… Continue reading
November 1, 2008
from Velvet Revolution blog
Yesterday, after a contentious three hour hearing in an Akron, Ohio federal court, the judge ordered Bush/Rove IT expert Michael Connell to submit to a two hour deposition less than 24 hours before the start of the 2008 election. The Court ruled that Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck can question Connell under oath about Man in the Middle computer manipulations, the use of Trojan horses to control election results from a remote location, and the role of Triad in election manipulations.
However, in a strange twist, the judge agreed with demands from Connell’s attorney to keep under seal any testimony about threats and intimidation of Connell by others including Karl Rove. This is seen as necessary to protect possible criminal charges against those who may have engaged in obstruction of justice in this case.
A couple of notes here: We believe that Connell should not pull an Alexander Butterfield by waiting for a direct question from Mr. Arnebeck as to what he knows about rigged elections. Instead, Connell should be prepared to come clean from the start knowing that this is just the beginning of the inquiry. We have lots of names and lots of people providing us information about these rigged elections. Connell is not longer under the protectorate of the Bush family. There is a new dynamic here and Connell can either fight it and go down with the ship or get out in front and cooperate with full immunity for him… Continue reading
October 20, 2008
By ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALAST
“I don’t think the Democrats get it. All these new rules and games … could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states.”
Rolling Stone Magazine is making this important investigative story available on the net in its entirety, free of charge.
“The new registrations thrown out, the existing registrations scrubbed, the spoiled ballots, the provisional ballots that were never counted — and what you have is millions of voters, more than enough to swing the presidential election, quietly being detached from the electorate by subterfuge.
“Jim Crow was laid to rest, but his cousins were not,” says Donna Brazile. “We got rid of poll taxes and literacy tests but now have a second generation of schemes to deny our citizens their franchise.” Come November, the most crucial demographic may prove to be Americans who have been denied the right to vote. If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat John McCain at the polls — they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering.
– From the current Rolling Stone
These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare… Continue reading
Andrew J. Bacevich
As campaign ads urge voters to consider who will be a better “Commander in Chief,” Andrew J. Bacevich — Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to encourage viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism.
Bacevich begins his new book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, with an epigraph taken from the Bible: “Put thine house in order.” Bacevich explained his choice to Bill Moyers:
I’ve been troubled by the course of U.S. foreign policy for a long, long time. And I wrote the book in order to sort out my own thinking about where our basic problems lay. And I really reached the conclusion that our biggest problems are within.
I think there’s a tendency in the part of policy makers — and probably a tendency in the part of many Americans — to think that the problems we face are problems that are out there somewhere beyond our borders, and that if we can fix those problems, then we’ll be able to continue the American way of life as it has long existed. I think it’s fundamentally wrong. Our major problems are here at home.
Bacevich sees three crises looming in the United States today, as he explains in the introduction to THE LIMITS OF POWER.
… Continue reading
The United States today finds itself threatened by three interlocking crises. The first of these crises is economic and cultural, the second political, and the third military.
by Carol Brouillet
Apocalypse (Greek: Apokálypsis; “lifting of the veil”) is a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the majority of humankind. Today the term is often used to refer to the end of the world, which may be a shortening of the phrase apokalupsis eschaton, which literally means “revelation at the end of the æon, or age.1
Carol Brouillet, longtime 9/11 truth and community currency activist, is also candidate for US Representative from California’s 14th District. Following is her interpretation of our current financial meltdown, “Evolution of the Apocalypse: Empire’s Demise, Human Renaissance,” as well as her campaign statement and pertinent information. Video of her candidate statement is below.
Carol Brouillet is a longtime activist who organized three conferences on Strategies to Transform the Global Economy and (the first) marches on her Senators and Congresswoman in January 2002 to Demand a Congressional Investigation of 9-11. She publishes the Deception Dollars, and Co-Founded the 9-11 Truth Alliance, and the Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance . She organized premieres of films, educational events, marches, rallies for 9-11 Truth, the San Francisco International Inquiry into 9-11, and produced the film Behind Every Terrorist- There is a Bush. She is also a mother of three boys and held a weekly Listening Project in downtown Palo Alto from October 2001 to October 2007, now she holds it once a month on the 11th, in solidarity with other… Continue reading
by Naomi Wolf
Huffington Post – September 24,
2008 Global Research , October 3, 2008
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.
No, this is not some “lefty” anti-Republican commentary … this is information that should be of grave concern to every one of us. Have a look also at the American Freedom Campaign which Wolf cofounded, and her books, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries
UPDATE 10/6/08: Just received a link to this TalkingStickTV interview of Naomi Wolf about her new book, “Give Me Liberty.”
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don’t have freedom.
I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints.… Continue reading
September 30, 2008
Marc Crispin Miller
Here, in this shattering new interview, Stephen Spoonamore goes into harrowing detail about the Bush regime’s election fraud, past, present and–if we don’t spread the word right now–to come. Since he’s the only whistle-blower out there who knows the perps themselves, and how they operate, we have to send this new piece far and wide.
Here Spoon tells us that McBush’s team–i.e., Karl Rove and his henchpersons — have their plan in place to steal this next election: by 51.2% of the popular vote, and three electoral votes.
He also talks about the major role played by the Christianist far right in the electronic rigging of the vote.
And he defines our electronic voting system as a major threat to US national security, calling for it to be junked ASAP, in favor of hand-counted paper ballots.
Since Spoon is a Republican and erstwhile McCain supporter, as well as a noted specialist in nosing out computer fraud, his testimony is essential–not only for its expertise, but, no less, for the impact that his views will surely have on those Republicans who have been loath to see what Bush & Co. has done to our election system.
That whole story’s just about to break. In fact, tomorrow there will be a number of articles appearing, on a recent breakthrough in the lawsuit that Spoon’s testimony has enabled, and on other aspects of that all-important case.
by Naomi Klein
September 22, 2008
I wrote The Shock Doctrine in the hopes that it would make us all better prepared for the next big shock. Well, that shock has certainly arrived,
along with gloves-off attempts to use it to push through radical pro-corporate policies (which of course will further enrich the very players who created the market crisis in the first place…).
The best summary of how the right plans to use the economic crisis to push through their policy wish list comes from Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. On Sunday, Gingrich laid out 18 policy prescriptions for Congress to take in order to “return to a Reagan-Thatcher policy of economic growth through fundamental reforms.” In the midst of this economic crisis, he is actually demanding the repeal of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which would lead to further deregulation of the financial industry. Gingrich is also calling for reforming the education system to allow “competition” (a.k.a. vouchers), strengthening border enforcement, cutting corporate taxes and his signature move: allowing offshore drilling.
It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the right’s ability to use this crisis — created by deregulation and privatization — to demand more of the same. Don’t forget that Newt Gingrich’s 527 organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, is still riding the wave of success from its offshore drilling campaign, “Drill Here, Drill Now!” Just four months ago,offshore drilling was not even on the political radar and now the U.S. House of Representatives has passed… Continue reading
Sunday, Sep. 14, 2008
By Mark Thompson / Washington
Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That’s why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing “thought helmets” that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will “lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone.”
If this sounds insane, it would have been as recently as a few years ago. But improvements in computing power and a better understanding of how the brain works have scientists busy hunting for the distinctive neural fingerprints that flash through a brain when a person is talking to himself. The Army’s initial goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field. “It’d be radio without a microphone, ” says Dr. Elmar Schmeisser, the Army neuroscientist overseeing the program. “Because soldiers are already trained to talk in clean, clear and formulaic ways, it would be a very small step to have them think that way.”
B-movie buffs may recall that Clint Eastwood used similar “brain-computer interface” technology in 1982’s Firefox, named for the Soviet fighter plane whose weapons were controlled by the pilot’s thoughts. (Clint was sent to steal the plane, natch.) Yet it’s not as far-fetched as you might think: video gamers are eagerly awaiting a crude commercial version of brain wave technology — a $299 headset… Continue reading
by David Ray Griffin
September 17, 2008
Shortly after the first strike on the World Trade Center, which occurred at 8:46 AM on 9/11, Michael Hess, New York City’s corporation counsel, and Barry Jennings, the deputy director of the Emergency Services Department of the New York City Housing Authority, headed to the Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operating Center, which was on the 23rd floor of WTC 7, where they assumed that Mayor Rudy Giuliani would be. But when Hess and Jennings arrived, the place was empty. Jennings then telephoned someone to ask what they should do and was told that they should leave immediately. Finding that the elevators would not work, they started down the stairs. When they reached the sixth floor, however, there was a powerful explosion beneath them, which, Jennings told the makers of Loose Change Final Cut,1 caused the landing on which they were standing to give way. Making their way back up to the eighth floor, they were able to break a window and call for help. Hess later reported: “[W]e were trapped on the eighth floor with smoke, thick smoke, all around us, for about an hour and a half [before] the New York Fire Department . . . came and got us out.”2
Hess made this statement while being interviewed by Frank Ucciardo of UPN 9 News “on Broadway about a block from City Hall,” almost a half mile from WTC 7. This interview began before noon, most likely at 11:34.… Continue reading