By Joshua Holland
February 3, 2009
Explosive anger is spilling out onto the streets of Europe. The meltdown of
the global economy is igniting massive social unrest in a region that has long
been a symbol of political stability and social cohesion.
It’s not a new trend: A wave of upheaval is spreading from the poorer countries on the periphery of the global economy to the prosperous core.
Over the past few years, a series of riots spread across what is patronizingly known as the Third World. Furious mobs have raged against skyrocketing food and energy prices, stagnating wages and unemployment in India, Senegal, Yemen, Indonesia, Morocco, Cameroon, Brazil, Panama, the Philippines, Egypt, Mexico and elsewhere.
For the most part, those living in wealthier countries took little notice. But now, with the global economy crashing down around us, people in even the wealthiest nations are mad as hell and reacting violently to what they view as an inadequate response to their tumbling economies.
The Telegraph (UK) warned last month that protests over governments’ handling of the crisis “are widespread and gathering pace,” and “may spark a new revolution”:
A depression triggered in America is being played out in Europe with increasing violence, and other forms of social unrest are spreading. In Iceland, a government has fallen. Workers have marched in Zaragoza, as Spanish unemployment heads towards 20 percent. There have been riots and bloodshed in Greece, protests in Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The police have suppressed public discontent… Continue reading
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
January 26, 2009
The arrival of the Obama administration will not fundamentally alter the course of military expansion accelerated during the Bush era. The origins of these policies do not lie uniquely in neoconservative ideology. While the election of President Obama may offer new opportunities for progressive forces to delimit the damage, their space for movement will ultimately be constrained by deep-seated structural pressures that will attempt to exploit Obama to rehabilitate American imperial hegemony, rather than transform it.
Indeed, the radicalization of Anglo-American political ideology represented by the rise of neoconservative principles and the militarization processes of the ‘War on Terror’, constituted a strategic response to global systemic crises supported by the American business classes. The same classes, recognizing the extent to which the Bush era has discredited this response, have rallied around Obama. Therefore, as global crises intensify, this militarization response is likely to undergo further radicalization, rather than a meaningful change in course. The key differences will be in language and method, not substance.
Obama and National Security: “It’s the Oil, Stupid!”
This became increasingly clear as Barack Obama’s administration appointees became known — individuals whose political and ideological positions are largely commensurate with neoconservative ideals particularly on security matters, and whose social and intellectual connections link them to neo-conservative think-tanks and policy-makers.
A glance through Obama’s national security team also raises eyebrows, but we should focus on his selection of former Marine General Jim Jones as his National Security Advisor. Jones… Continue reading
By Greg Miller, Washington Bureau
January 31, 2009
WASHINGTON — The CIA’s secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation
techniques are off-limits. And Guantánamo Bay will eventually go back to being
a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.
But even while dismantling these discredited programs, President Barack Obama
left an equally controversial counterterrorism tool intact.
Under executive orders issued by Obama last week, the CIA still has authority
to carry out what are known as renditions, or the secret abductions and transfers
of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the U.S.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said the rendition program is
poised to play an expanded role because it is the main remaining mechanism–aside
from Predator missile strikes–for taking suspected terrorists off the
The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target
of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures,
mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries
where they were tortured.
The European Parliament condemned renditions as an “illegal instrument
used by the United States.” Prisoners swept up in the program have sued
the CIA as well as a subsidiary of Boeing Corp., which is accused of working
with the agency on dozens of rendition flights.
But the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition
program was one component of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism that
it could not afford to discard.
The decision underscores the fact that… Continue reading
David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
January 30, 2009
If you’re poor and the bank is coming for your home, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
has a plan for you.
Just squat, she says.
Yes, this Ohio Democrat is actually encouraging her financially distressed
constituents whose homes have been foreclosed upon, to simply stay put.
In a Friday report, CNN’s Drew Griffin explored the case of Ohioan Andrea Geiss,
whose home was foreclosed upon in April.
“Behind in payments, out of work, a husband sick, she had nowhere to go,”
said Griffin. “So, she decided to follow the advice of her Congresswoman
and go nowhere.”
In Lucas County, Ohio, over 4,000 properties were foreclosed upon in 2008,
“So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes,”
said Congresswoman Kaptur before the House of Representatives. “Don’t you
She’s called on all of her foreclosed-upon constituents to stay in their homes
and refuse to leave without “an attorney and a fight,” said CNN.
“If they’ve had no legal representation of a high quality, I tell them
stay in their homes,” Kaptur told Griffin.
Kaptur is a high-profile advocate of an increasingly popular mode of fighting
foreclosures best known for it’s key phrase: “Produce the note.”
By telling a bank to “produce the note,” a homeowner can delay foreclosure
by forcing the lender to prove the suing institution is actually the same which
owns the debt.
“During the lending boom, most mortgages were flipped and sold… Continue reading
Imagine yourself within the mind of Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States of America. You are a man who knows how “the system” works.
This knowledge has been accrued at hard struggle, and by a remarkable and unique ability to adapt to any environment because you spent a lifetime as an exotic specimen in every environment, from Kansas to Kenya–both African and American, Muslim and Christian, black and white. But you always displayed your native nobility–tribal nobility on your father’s side; nobility of spirit on your mother’s–and you were, with rare exceptions, accepted on your own terms. You were born under the sign of Leo, the lion, the natural leader; and your intelligence was honed with great discipline, under the influence of strong women.
Because your upbringing instilled in you a generosity of spirit that is natural to liberalism, and firsthand understanding from your grandfather of what motivates a man to risk his life for his country and an African father’s sense of freedom, unencumbered by Jim Crow oppression, you are a natural idealist who believes in the promise of America.
But you are also–with laser-focused intensity–a realist. A “pragmatist,” as they say. And no one knows better than you how much danger you are in.
It’s not just the racist crazies, one of whom could always, unexpectedly pop up through some weird quirk in the security system. But that’s only a distant possibility. You know, better than anyone, I suspect, that your greatest danger is what “the system” will do to protect itself, to what lengths it will go to protect itself, if certain lines are crossed.…Continue reading
January 23, 2009
Project on Government Oversight
Honorable Carl Levin, Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
228 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Honorable John McCain, Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
228 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Levin and Senator McCain,
The undersigned groups commends you, Chairman Levin, for your decision to wait
to evaluate the impact of President Obama’s new revolving door restrictions
requiring appointees to recuse themselves from work related to their former
employer or clients, as well as from matters or issues for which he lobbied.
Proceeding with the nomination of William J. Lynn III, a former Raytheon Company
lobbyist, to the position of Deputy Secretary of Defense clearly violates President
Obama’s Executive Order (EO). We believe your cautious approach is an important
exercise of congressional oversight. Upon reviewing the President’s just released
EO and its waiver provisions we urge you to go one step further and reject the
nomination of Mr. Lynn.
This letter is not to suggest that Mr. Lynn is not qualified for the position.
Before the President issued his Ethics Commitment by Executive Branch Personnel
Executive Order, there would have been little ground for questioning the proposed
nomination of Mr. Lynn. However, given that the new pledge required by President
Obama is written to preclude any appointee from participating “in any particular
matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment,”
or accepting “employment with any executive agency… Continue reading
Sat Jan 17, 2009
By Louis Charbonneau
BEIRUT, Jan 17 (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday
he was relieved about an Israeli ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and urged the Jewish
state to withdraw all of its troops as soon as possible.
"I am relieved that the Israeli government has decided to cease hostilities
as of midnight GMT," Ban told reporters. "This should be the first
step leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza," he said,
adding that he wanted the withdrawal "as soon as possible".
He said that Hamas militants also needed to do their part to bring an end to
the violence by halting their rocket attacks against southern Israel.
"Hamas militants must stop firing rockets now," he said.
Ban said that humanitarian access for the people of the Gaza Strip was the
top priority and the United Nations was ready to act immediately.
"Any durable solution must include the reopening of the (Gaza border)
crossings and the prevention of illicit trafficking in arms," he said.
Ban flies to Damascus on Sunday to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
before heading to the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm el-Sheikh for a summit
meeting on aid and reconstruction efforts for Gaza hosted by Egypt’s President
Israel accuses Syria and Iran of supporting and arming Hamas, an accusation
Ban said he and European leaders including French President Nicolas Sarkozy,
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela… Continue reading
“The Government has determined that continued prosecution of this case
as to LINDAUER would not be in the interests of justice.”*
(Jan. 16, Wash. DC) The Department of
Justice entered a motion to drop all charges against Susan
Lindauer yesterday morning, Jan. 15, 2009. The filing (see
below) at the federal district court in lower Manhattan ends
the government’s attempt to prosecute her for allegedly
acting as an “unregistered agent” for Iraq. Since her
arrest in early 2004, she has repeatedly asked for a trial
to present evidence that she had been a United States
intelligence asset since the early 1990′s.
By filing this order, the government surrendered forever its ability to prosecute
Lindauer as an “Iraqi foreign agent” and for lesser charges contained in the
indictment, including a one week trip to Baghdad in March, 2002.
Lindauer made the
following statement today, Jan 16, 2009: “I am disgusted by
this case. They think that they have defeated me by denying
my day in court. It could not be more wrong. If we can’t
have a criminal trial, we’re going to have a civil trial for
Lindauer was arrested in March, 2004 shortly
after offering to testify before a Bush appointed href="http://edition.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/03/15/iraq.tm/"
target="_blank">blue ribbon commission evaluating U.S.
pre-war intelligence on Iraq. In late February, she
informed the offices of two commission members, Sen. McCain
(R-AZ) and Trent Lott (R-MS), that she could testify that
U.S. pre-war intelligence was proactive and effective, not a… Continue reading
January 13, 2009
by Larisa Alexandrovna
New information surrounding the December plane crash which killed GOP internet
consultant Michael Connell casts doubt on some of the rumors and speculation
surrounding his death but doesn’t close the books on the circumstances surrounding
the Republican technology star’s tragic end.
Michael Connell, a high-level IT guru for the Republican National Committee
and the US Chamber of Commerce, died Dec. 19, 2008 at 5:53 PM ET when his airplane
crashed near Ohio’s Akron-Canton airport.
Although there has been speculation in the media about the possibility of sabotage in Connell death, authorities do not suspect foul play. The official investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has not yet determined the cause of the crash; their final report is required to be produced within a year.
Connell’s ten year-old, seven-passenger, single engine Piper Saratoga II crashed into an empty house on Charolais Street in Lake Township, Ohio. The plane’s right wing clipped a flagpole in the front yard before it broke up, set fire to the garage, and tumbled some 50–60 feet along the ground toward the back yard of a neighboring home.
Connell was thrown from the burning plane and killed instantaneously by massive blunt force trauma, according to the Stark County coroner’s report. Although the body was not burned, fingerprints were required to confirm identity, according to Captain Lorin Geisner of the Greentown Fire Department.
According to Geisner, Connell’s personal items recovered from the crash site included a passport, a driver’s… Continue reading
Catherine Austin Fitts
January 9, 2009
In fiscal 1999, the Department of Defense was “missing” $2.3 trillion dollars. To put that amount of money in perspective, it is approximately 3X what President-elect Obama is proposing to spend to revitalize America.
In fiscal 2000, the Department of Defense was “missing” $1.1 trillion, about 1.5X what President-elect Obama wants to invest in America.
So between October 1998 and September 2000, the Department of Defense was “missing” $3.3 trillion. Because the amount of money disappearing is so enormous, years ago we started a archive of articles on the “missing money” to try to keep up with the trillions sliding out of the federal accounts.
From 1997 to March 2001, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) who served as the chief financial officer for the Department of Defense was William J. Lynn III. In that position, he was the chief financial officer for the Department of Defense and was the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for all budgetary and fiscal matters. That means he was the person responsible to make sure no money went missing and that the Department of Defense published audited financial statements — which it failed to do in those years and every year since.
by Josh Israel
January 7, 2009
A Center for Public Integrity Investigation
approaches a historic transfer of power, it is becoming ever-clearer what a
daunting set of tasks awaits the new administration. When Barack Obama takes
the oath of office at noon on January 20 he will inherit an economy collapsing
before our eyes and a pair of ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But he will
also inherit a federal government whose machinery should bear an “out of order” sign.
Obama has often stated his desire to have a more efficient government — one that is open, transparent, and accountable. “We are not going to be hampered by ideology in trying to get this country back on track,” he said in December. “We want to figure out what works.”
The Center for Public Integrity’s Broken Government project makes clear what an imposing assignment that will be by cataloging what hasn’t worked. In a comprehensive assessment of systematic failures over the past eight years, the Center found more than 125 examples of government breakdown. The failures occurred in areas as diverse as education, energy, the environment, justice and security, the military and veterans’ affairs, health care, transportation, financial management, consumer and worker safety, and more. While some of the failures are, by now, depressingly familiar, many are less well-known but equally distressing.
Read the report, and much more, at the Center for Public Integerity
January 10, 2009
by Janice Matthews
911truth.org (link to article)
911truth.org was contacted this week by Charles W. (Bill) White, of Houston,
who provided extensive information to Russ Baker in the writing of his explosive
new Bush dynasty historical expose, Family Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful
Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America. More about him is in his letter to Senator Levin, below, wherein he expresses grave concern for the safety of nearly 6,000 Sailors and Marines
who will carry out their duties aboard the Navy’s new nuclear-powered aircraft
carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush.
Today, that ship was christened in spite of White’s caution. An AP article,
“Bush Visits Aircraft Carrier Named After Father,” describes the new
ship and her christening thus:
It’s the perfect gift for an old Navy flier: 1,092 feet of flattop.
“What do you give a guy who has been blessed and has just about everything
he has ever needed?” asked President George W. Bush from aboard the Navy’s
newest ship. “Well, an aircraft carrier.”
The USS George H.W. Bush, a steel-gray vessel longer than three football
fields and built at a cost of $6.2 billion … is one of the Nimitz class
of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the largest warships in the world.
“The ship that bears our dad’s name is more than 95,000 tons of aluminum
and steel,” Bush said from a podium tucked under the flight deck. “She
will… Continue reading
21 hours ago
AFP at www.google.com/hostednews
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The outgoing White House administration will next
week hold a joint “disaster scenario” exercise with top members of
the incoming team of president-elect Barack Obama, US officials said Friday.
“I’m not going to go into the details of it, but it is a disaster scenario
where the government would be very much tested,” White House spokesman
Scott Stanzel said.
“It is an exercise scenario, a hypothetical scenario that is designed
to test and tax the capabilities of the federal government,” he added.
He did not specify whether Obama or vice president-elect Joe Biden would take
part in Tuesday’s three-hour long exercise, saying merely it was part of regular
training events and had not been motivated by any specific threat.
A huge security blanket is being thrown over Washington for Obama’s inauguration
on January 20, with up to two million people planning to converge on the US
capital to witness the nation’s first African-American president being sworn
“It is a very public event … and one that gathers, you know, leaders
in a very small environment, essentially. So obviously we have a lot of concern
about it,” Stanzel said.
“But there is no credible threat at this point to the inauguration that
is precipitating this.”
Stanzel said Tuesday’s exercise was part of President George W. Bush’s commitment
to ensuring a smooth handover of powers in the first transition to take place
since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
He said senior… Continue reading
By Paul Elias
January 7, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO — Six veterans who claim they were exposed to dangerous
chemicals, germs and mind-altering drugs during Cold War experiments sued the
CIA, Department of Defense and other agencies today.
The vets volunteered for military experiments they say were part of a wide-ranging
program started in the 1950s to test nerve agents, biological weapons and mind-control
They allege in their lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court that they
were never properly informed of the nature of the experiments and are in poor
health because of their exposure. They are demanding health care and a court
ruling that the program was illegal because it failed to obtain their consent.
Marie Harf, a CIA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the lawsuit, which seeks
class action status on behalf of all participants allegedly exposed to harmful
experiments without their knowledge.
At least 7,800 U.S. military personnel served as volunteers to test experimental
drugs such as LSD at the Edgewood Arsenal near Baltimore, Md., during a program
that lasted into the 1970s, the lawsuit said. Many others volunteered for similar
experiments at other locations, according to the lawsuit.
"In virtually all cases, troops served in the same capacity as laboratory
rats or guinea pigs," the lawsuit said.
One notorious CIA project from the 1950s and 1960s, code-named MK-ULTRA, involved
brainwashing and administering experimental drugs
Lifestyle aricles by: ARALifestyle.com
Health Informatics Professionals are in High Demand
Sex Pheromones are Bending the Laws of… Continue reading
US gives Israel free reign on whether to invade Gaza
Friday January 2, 2009
The United States gave Israel free reign Friday on whether to send troops into
the Gaza Strip, insisting that the key to a ceasefire is an Israeli demand for
Hamas to permanently halt rocket fire.
But the White House said it has asked Israel to try hard to avoid civilian
casualties as reserves were called up for an expected ground incursion on top
of a week of air strikes that has killed more than 400 Palestinians.
“We’ve been in regular contact with the Israelis,” White House deputy
press secretary Gordon Johndroe told reporters when asked if US officials were
trying to prevent a possible ground offensive.
US officials have urged the Israelis “to be mindful that any of the actions
that they’re taking in Gaza avoid unnecessary civilian casualties and also to
help continue with the flow of humanitarian goods,” he said.
“So I think any steps they are taking, whether it’s from the air or on
the ground or anything of that nature, are part and parcel of the same operation,”
“Those will be decisions made by the Israelis,” he said.
“Israel has a right to defend itself from these rocket attacks, and so
we’ll see,” Johndroe said when asked about progress toward a ceasefire.
After briefing Bush about events in Gaza, just 18 days before he hands the
White House to his successor Barack Obama, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
said Washington was pursuing diplomacy with its partners in the Middle East.…
Wednesday Dec 24, 2008
By a vote of 180 in favour to 1 against (United States) and no abstentions, the Committee also approved a resolution on the right to food, by which the Assembly would “consider it intolerable” that more than 6 million children still died every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday, and that the number of undernourished people had grown to about 923 million worldwide, at the same time that the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, or twice the world’s present population. (See Annex III.)
The Bush administration, speaking for the U.S.A., therefore must consider it tolerable that 6 million children die every day – children who could be fed if we weren’t wasting billions on stealth fighters, littoral combat boondoggles and non-effective defense against non-existant ballistic missiles from Iran.
Just so you get that, here it is again:
… Continue reading
In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, CÃ´te d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Dec. 29, 2008
MIAMI – U.S. prosecutors want a Miami judge to sentence the son of former Liberian
President Charles Taylor to 147 years in prison for torturing people when he
was chief of a brutal paramilitary unit during his father’s reign.
Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Charles “Chuckie” Taylor
Jr., is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9 by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.
His conviction was the first use of a 1994 law allowing prosecution in the U.S.
for acts of torture committed overseas.
A recent Justice Department court filing describes torture — which the
U.S. has been accused of in the war on terror — as a “flagrant and
pernicious abuse of power and authority” that warrants severe punishment
“It undermines respect for and trust in authority, government and a rule
of law,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Heck Miller in last week’s
filing. “The gravity of the offense of torture is beyond dispute.”
Remainder of article at msnbc.com…Continue reading