Obama professor among 250 experts who have signed letter condemning humiliation of alleged WikiLeaks source
by Ed Pilkington in New York
More than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting against the treatment in military prison of the alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, contesting that his “degrading and inhumane conditions” are illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture.
The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America’s foremost liberal authority on constitutional law. He taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign.
Tribe joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago.
He told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that “is not only shameful but unconstitutional” as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.
The US soldier has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.
Under the terms of his detention, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called “prevention of injury order” and stripped naked at night apart from a smock.
Tribe said the treatment was objectionable “in the way it violates his person and his liberty… Continue reading
by Daniel Hopsicker
Madcow Morning News
A U.S. Customs Agent on duty when controversial drug pilot and “soldier of fortune” Michael Brassington attempted to re-enter the US through Fort Lauderdale International Airport in April of 2004 was instructed by a Supervisor at Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to treat Brassington — a long-time employee and business associate of Wallace J. Hilliard, owner of the flight school that taught Mohamed Atta to fly – as a “grave threat to national security.”
The news comes as the former Guyanese military pilot prepares to go on trial in a Federal Courthouse in Newark next month for recklessly endangering the lives of passengers, whose number includes ex-Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton as well as numerous celebrities.
The disclosure, from a soon-to-be-released documentary, “The New American Drug Lords,” is a reminder, more than eight years later, of the unfinished nature of the investigation into the 9/11 attack.
James Sanders was a Customs Agent on late night duty on April 6th 2004 at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, when he had a memorable encounter with Michael Brassington, who was attempting to re-enter the U.S. from the Bahamas.
“Brassington went through Immigration first,” explained Sanders. “The Immigration Inspector had ‘top-stamped’ his Customs declaration, which means he needed to be ‘secondary-ed,’ which means given a closer inspection… search his luggage, at the very least, and ask him more questions,”
“The INS Agent whispered to me… Continue reading
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
October 21, 2009
The New York Times, on October 17, published a page-one story by Scott Shane about the CIA’s defiance of a court order to release documents pertaining to the John F. Kennedy assassination, in its so-called Joannides file. George Joannides was the CIA case officer for a Cuban exile group that made headlines in 1963 by its public engagements with Lee Harvey Oswald, just a few weeks before Oswald allegedly killed Kennedy. For over six years a former Washington Post reporter, Jefferson Morley, has been suing the CIA for the release of these documents.1
Sometimes the way that a news item is reported can be more newsworthy than the item itself. A notorious example was the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers (documents far too detailed for most people to read) on the front page of the New York Times.
The October 17 Times story was another such example. It revealed, perhaps for the first time in any major U.S. newspaper, that the CIA has been deceiving the public about its own relationship to the JFK assassination.
On the Kennedy assassination, the deceptions began in 1964 with the Warren Commission. The C.I.A. hid its schemes to kill Fidel Castro and its ties to the anti-Castro Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, or Cuban Student Directorate, which received $50,000 a month in C.I.A. support during 1963.
In August 1963, Oswald visited a New Orleans shop owned by a directorate official, feigning sympathy with… Continue reading
Intellectual Dishonesty In The Age Of Universal Deceit:
a message to the corporate media and our elected officials.
By Daniel Sunjata – May 4, 2009
“The inert masses are mentally and spiritually ill equipped to deal with reality, so they block it out of their minds – aided of course, by the corporate media and the propaganda apparatus of the government itself. This is why fantasy is frequently substituted for reality, plutocracy is mistaken for democracy, and the majority of the people do not know the difference. Millions of good people thus refuse to allow into their psyche the suffering and misery that U.S. policies have produced and exported to the world, even as that reality is closing in upon them.” – Charles Sullivan
“They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality…and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.” – George Orwell, 1984
“Article XXXIV OBSTRUCTION OF INVESTIGATION INTO THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001” – From the 35 articles of impeachment introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on 06/09/08 in H.Res. 1258 by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
The list is not a short one. It includes professors, architects, aerospace and aviation professionals, structural/mechanical/& aeronautical engineers, demolition experts, firefighters and other first responders, scientists, theologians, senior members of both the military and intelligence communities, Republican administration appointees, state department veterans, and other government officials from the United States and abroad; credible experts of impeccable pedigree with impressive track records from… Continue reading
Posted by ‘piscesgutt’ at youtube February 13, 2008; picked up from 911blogger.com 3/24/09
You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
George W. Bush
Tim Russert (NBC)
George W. Bush
Wolf Blitzer (CNN)
Jeff Ferrell (KSLA)
Keith Olbermann (MSNBC)
Tucker Carlson (MSNBC)
David Ray Griffin
Councilor Yukihisa Fujita of Democratic Party of Japan
Sabrina Rivera (WeAreChange.org)
Matt Lepacek (Infowars)
Brian Kilmeade (Fox News)
Better Bad News
Paul Craig Roberts
Justin Martell (Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth)
Bill O’Reilly (Fox News)
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC)
Ray McGovern (former CIA)
CODEPINK member Desiree Fairooz
Phillip D. Zelikow
Charles Gibson (ABC)
Harry John Roland
George H. W. Bush
Osama bin Laden
Source URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctqEndNmaFk
Liberal Leaders Betray Antiwar Cause To Serve Dems and Obama — Again
by John Walsh
February 25th, 2009
In the Wall Street Journal of January 24, the loathsome McCarthyite neocon David Horowitz gazed approvingly on the inauguration of Barack Obama. To Horowitz it meant the removal of an obstacle to war. Thus he wrote:
Consider: When President Obama commits this nation to war against the Islamic terrorists, as he already has in Afghanistan, he will take millions of previously alienated and disaffected Americans with him, and they will support our troops in a way that most of his party has refused to support them until now. When another liberal, Bill Clinton went to war from the air, there was no anti-war movement in the streets or in his party’s ranks to oppose him. That is an encouraging fact for us . . .
Horowitz is now locked in fast embrace with Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor in chief of The Nation and Leslie Cagan and her cohorts at United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ). Vanden Heuvel’s most recent piece in The Nation runs under a title in the form of a query, “Obama’s War?” Whose war does she think it is anyway? Even the mainstream media calls it Obama’s war — sans question mark. Her piece ran shortly after Obama ordered 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan and almost a month after both Afghan and Pakistani civilians were first bombed at Obama’s orders. She concludes her piece, after citing the deployment of additional troops, “Up to this point the Afghan war belonged to George W.…Continue reading
by Melissa Rossi
Author, What Every American Should Know about the Middle East (Plume/Penguin,
February 10, 2009
Patrick Leahy has a point when he urges President Obama to open investigations about the Bush administration. However, he’s not pointing at the issue that we need to start with. Namely, September 11th. What really happened? More than a few people know – and I am not alone in calling for those who know to start talking and fess up. Let’s not let this go the way of the JFK assassination – and whether with subpoenas or on their own volition, I demand that Dick Cheney, George W. Bush – both of whom refused to testify under oath during the 9/11 Commission proceedings — Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, Larry Wilkerson, George Tenet, Robert Mueller and the rest – as well as Bill Clinton and Al Gore (both of whom also refused to testify under oath) — start talking, and in a public arena. And I’m calling on the Obama administration to open up a probe and unravel the web of deceit.
Before we tuck the Bush administration into bed and hiss, “Nighty Night, you lying scoundrels,” before we go on to lock the door on that heinous era of American history, we do indeed need to probe what happened under their watch. But the event that most concerns me is what happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Oh yeah, that’s history, old news, the 9/11 Commission figured it all out, right?…Continue reading
What Obama Must Do A Letter to the New President
Dear Mr. President:
Like FDR three-quarters of a century ago, you’re taking charge at a moment when all the old certainties have vanished, all the conventional wisdom been proved wrong. We’re not living in a world you or anyone else expected to see. Many presidents have to deal with crises, but very few have been forced to deal from Day One with a crisis on the scale America now faces.
So, what should you do?
In this letter I won’t try to offer advice about everything. For the most part I’ll stick to economics, or matters that bear on economics. I’ll also focus on things I think you can or should achieve in your first year in office. The extent to which your administration succeeds or fails will depend, to a large extent, on what happens in the first year — and above all, on whether you manage to get a grip on the current economic crisis.
There is, however, one area where I feel the need to break discipline. I’m an economist, but I’m also an American citizen — and like many citizens, I spent the past eight years watching in horror as the Bush administration betrayed the nation’s ideals. And I don’t believe we can put those terrible years behind us unless we have a full accounting of what really happened. I know that most of the inside-the-Beltway crowd is urging you to let bygones be bygones, just as they urged Bill Clinton to let the truth about scandals from the Reagan-Bush years, in particular the Iran-Contra affair, remain hidden.…Continue reading
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Meg White
As Bush gives his final press conference today, lamenting the “mistakes” of his presidency, some are wondering if he and other members of his administration will get a chance to tell such tales to a special prosecutor.
“History will look back,” he told reporters, most likely hoping the next administration’s Justice Department will solely look forward. Judging from the most recent comments from his successor, that may very well be the case.
“Will you appoint a special prosecutor — ideally Patrick Fitzgerald — to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?”
Fertik submitted the question to Change.gov, the official transition Web site for the incoming Obama Administration. The site has a forum called “Open for Questions” where people can post items of particular concern for the Obama team to review. Fertik’s question got so much attention and approval from other users on the site that it made its way to the top of the Change.gov list and onto the Sunday talk shows, finally garnering this response from Obama when George Stephanopoulos asked the question directly:
“We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions and so forth. And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the… Continue reading
by Bill Van Auken
World Socialist Web Site
With his choice of Admiral Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence, President-elect Barack Obama has now named three recently retired four-star military officers to serve in his cabinet. This unprecedented representation of the senior officer corps within the incoming Democratic administration is indicative of a growth in the political power of the US military that poses a serious threat to basic democratic rights.
As head of the US military’s Pacific command in 1999-2000, Blair was distinguished by his efforts to solidarize the Pentagon with the military of Indonesia as it carried out butchery in East Timor, effectively vetoing the half-hearted human rights concerns voiced by the Clinton administration.
Before tapping Blair, Obama named former Marine Gen. James Jones as his national security adviser and former Army chief of staff Gen. Erik Shinseki as secretary of veterans affairs. It is also reported that the incoming administration may ask retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden to stay on as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Washington Post last Saturday described this concentration of former senior officers in the administration as “an unusual trend for a Democratic administration and one that has surprised both political camps.”
The appointments follow the announcement that Robert Gates, Bush’s defense secretary, will stay on at the Pentagon, where multiple “transition teams” are at work to assure that continuity is maintained in America’s ongoing wars of aggression and that the immense power of the military remains unchecked.
Earlier… Continue reading
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
From Donna Marsh O’Connor
First let me say, after years of skepticism re the Democratic Party, I am a Progressive Democrat and so my comments reflect that. Someday perhaps someone more powerful than I will be able to dismantle the two party system, and make more genuine choice possible in this country. Right now, there are two parties. For eight years George W. Bush and Dick Cheney impostered as Republicans. I have said before and will say again, they would not have fit into my party and of this I am proud. They led a band of rogues that brought this country to the brink of absolute despotism. Let the Republicans worry about that mess. I remember telling my students long ago, I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton for what he would do, I voted for Bill Clinton for what he said, for the values he espoused, for the way his insistence on social justice resonated. After his election, his actions were, indeed, another matter.
The good news: Barack Obama seems to be a decent man, tough enough to steer this nation in the left direction, confident enough to know he will succeed, smart enough to know that the powerful right still has the means to inflict great pain and re-enter greater and stronger. His election has elated many, particularly me, for a whole host of reasons, but for our purposes the following two:
The reign of Bush/Cheney/Rove (given a peaceful transition) is over.
Though I don’t believe that this… 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.
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.…
Join the Phone Blockade – A Simple Call to Impeach Print E-mail
Buddy, can you spare 5 minutes a day?
If you believe the country is going in the wrong direction and are frustrated by the refusal of the legislative branch, our Congress, to exercise their sworn duty to support and defend the Constitution, then you must have wondered what can you really do about it? What difference can one person make?
There are many of us; the frustrated majority. We want to know what it is going to take to turn things around. What can we do to get Congress to abandon their business as usual attitude and put impeachment on the table now? How can we send them a clear message? They need to quit trying to run out the clock. There is still plenty of time for them to impeach the President and Vice President! There is no legitimate basis for their failure to take action. The House impeached Bill Clinton on December 19, 1998 and the Senate trial lasted from January 7 through February 12, 1999. Not having sufficient time remaining is not the issue. They do not have the will to do it.
We believe that each one of us, acting together, can make an enormous difference, especially if we take one specific, coordinated action. Best of all, it is easy. It doesn’t cost anything and it is legal. In fact, it is our civic duty. Call a member of the House Judiciary Committee… Continue reading
by Chalmers Johnson
Source URL: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174959/chalmers_johnson_warning_mercenaries_at_work
Most Americans have a rough idea what the term “military-industrial complex” means when they come across it in a newspaper or hear a politician mention it. President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced the idea to the public in his farewell address of January 17, 1961. “Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime,” he said, “or indeed by the fighting men of World War II and Korea We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Although Eisenhower’s reference to the military-industrial complex is, by now, well-known, his warning against its “unwarranted influence” has, I believe, largely been ignored. Since 1961, there has been too little serious study of, or discussion of, the origins of the military-industrial complex, how it has changed over time, how governmental secrecy has hidden it from oversight by members of Congress or attentive citizens, and how it degrades our Constitutional structure of checks and balances.
From its origins in the early 1940s, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was building up his “arsenal of democracy,” down to the present moment, public opinion has usually assumed that it involved more or less equitable relations — often termed a “partnership” — between the high command and civilian overlords of the United States military and… Continue reading
July 24, 2008
Kucinich, Barr, Bugliosi among those testifying
The House Judiciary Committee has released a witness list for its hearing to
examine “the imperial presidency” of George W. Bush.
Testifying Friday morning will be Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has introduced
several resolutions calling for President Bush’s and Vice President Dick Cheney’s
impeachment; former Rep. Bob Barr, the Libertarian presidential candidate who
led the charge to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998; Vincent Bugliosi, author of
the just-released book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder; and 10
other current and former members of Congress, constitutional experts and human
The hearing, which was announced last week, seems to be the one Judiciary Chairman
John Conyers promised to Kucinich after he introduced his second impeachment
resolution aimed at Bush earlier this month. Any action on Kucinich’s articles
of impeachment still seems unlikely, but the Ohio Democrat has previously said
he just wants to be able to present his case.
Late Thursday afternoon, the committee released the full witness list, broken
down into two panels.
The Honorable Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio
The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Representative from New York
The Honorable Walter Jones, Representative from North Carolina
The Honorable Brad Miller, Representative from North Carolina
The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, Former Representative from
The Honorable Bob Barr, Former Representative from Georgia,
2008 Libertarian Nominee for President
The Honorable Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Founder and President, High Roads for Human Rights
Stephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law
Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General, 1981-82, Chairman, American Freedom Agenda
Vincent Bugliosi, Author and former Los Angeles County Prosecutor
Wednesday 16 July 2008
By Adam Liptak, The New York Times
Indefinite military detentions of persons apprehended within the United States
are legal, according to a Tuesday federal appeals court decision. (Read text
of decision.) However, a concurrent decision allows detainee Ali al-Marri (pictured)
to challenge his detention in court.
President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions
of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond,
Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.
But a second, overlapping 5-to-4 majority of the court, the United States
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, ruled that Ali al-Marri, a citizen
of Qatar now in military custody in Charleston, S.C., must be given an additional
opportunity to challenge his detention in federal court there. An earlier court
proceeding, in which the government had presented only a sworn statement from
a defense intelligence official, was inadequate, the second majority ruled.
The decision was a victory for the Bush administration, which had maintained
that a 2001 Congressional authorization to use military force after the Sept.
11 attacks granted the president the power to detain people living in the United
The court effectively reversed a divided three-judge panel of its own members,
which ruled last year that the government lacked the power to detain civilians
legally in the United States as enemy combatants. That panel ordered the government
either to charge Mr. Marri or to release him. The case is likely to reach… Continue reading
By William F. Jasper
For six years, Sibel Edmonds has been carrying out an heroic crusade to protect her adopted country from national security threats within the top levels of the American government. Hired as an FBI translator in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Edmonds, a Turkish American, threw herself into the daunting task of translating thousands of hours of recordings of backlogged intercepts in Turkic, Farsi, and Azerbaijani. What she heard on the tapes was alarming: Turkish agents in the United States bribing high-level U.S. officials and obtaining our military and intelligence secrets. What she witnessed at the FBI was even more appalling: translators who were intentionally filing false translations and passing information to foreign powers; and, what’s even worse, FBI superiors who did nothing about it when these serious breaches were brought to their attention.
Unwilling to settle for the bureaucratic “don’t rock the boat” response she faced from immediate supervisors, Sibel Edmonds decided to take her concerns higher up the FBI chain of command. The result? She was fired, and those she tried to have investigated got off scot-free; some fled the country to avoid potential prosecution, while others continued their alleged criminal and treasonous activities. Some of the FBI colleagues who blocked her efforts were promoted.
How could this be, especially in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, when “homeland security” was our number one concern? And especially since FBI Director Robert Mueller had expressly promised that the agency’s notorious penchant… Continue reading