Bill Van Auken
"Apparently, the Obama administration is preparing to repackage the arguments made under George W. Bush, claiming that the release of the photos would threaten national security and, as the president asserted unconvincingly Wednesday, would have a “chilling effect on future investigations of detainee abuse."
The Obama administration’s decision Wednesday to renege on its promise to comply with a court order and release photographs of US personnel torturing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan represents another capitulation by his administration to mounting pressure from the right and the military-intelligence apparatus. Speaking briefly to reporters Wednesday afternoon, Obama said that the photographs would “further inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in greater danger.”
There's a new controversy here in Philadelphia. It seems that our once-great newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer (aka the "Inky"), has hired John Yoo as a regular columnist. Yoo is, of course, one of the architects of the Bush administration's pro-torture policy and a supporter of warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and the unitary executive theory. In other words, Yoo is an anti-law kind of lawyer.
In his Attytood blog on Monday, Will Bunch of the Inky's sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, expressed his displeasure with the move:
"Israeli officials are hoping that the visit of Pope Benedict XVI will boost tourism, improve Israel's image and bolster relations between the Jewish state and the Vatican. [...] Briefing reporters, Israeli Tourism Minister Yuli Edelstein hoped the images of the pope at prayer would push aside some of the impressions of Israel as a focus of war and violence." (-AP)
In the aftermath of the infamous interview with Bp. Richard Williamson earlier this year where he stated with both straight face and clear conscience his belief that “holocaust” history as it has been told now for the last half century is much like any other production coming out of Jewish Hollywood–meaning a work of fiction designed to propagandize the masses–the world was inundated with minute-by-minute/how-by-hour breaking news reports.
Washington is abuzz with news from the Senate Finance Committee's recent Health Care Roundtable Discussions and President Obama's announcement on Monday that he supports proposed voluntary action by the insurance industry and its allies to cut health care cost inflation by 1.5% per year.
However, as the National Coalition on Health Care points out, health care costs are actually rising at a rate of more than 6%.
One step forward, 4 or 5 steps back. Not a solution.
The problem is Washington's apparent acceptance of the health insurance industry as a necessary player in its health care reform efforts.
Insurance companies are in business to make profits for their shareholders. And they are profiting from the suffering of others, often by denying payment for necessary medical treatment. That itself is incompatible with the core definition of health care.
Writer-activist David Boyajian’s investigative articles and commentaries have appeared in Armenian media outlets in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, and Armenia and the Newton Tab and USA Armenian Life newspapers named him among their "Top 10 Newsmakers of 2007." So, when Barack Obama paid a visit to Turkey last month, it seemed like a good time to ask Boyajian for his take on the new president's approach to the issue of the Armenian genocide.
Mickey Z: This April, President Barack Obama broke campaign promise #511, namely to explicitly acknowledge the Armenian genocide as U.S. President. What happened on his recent visit to Turkey? What are the ramifications of his breaking this promise?
[Click on map to enlarge] It's a classic case of calm before the storm. The AfPak chapter of Obama's brand new OCO ("Overseas Contingency Operations"), formerly GWOT ("global war on terror") does not imply only a surge in the Pashtun Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). A surge in Balochistan as well may be virtually inevitable.
Balochistan is totally under the radar of Western corporate media. But not the Pentagon's. An immense desert comprising almost 48% of Pakistan's area, rich in uranium and copper, potentially very rich in oil, and producing more than one-third of Pakistan's natural gas, it accounts for less than 4% of Pakistan's 173 million citizens. Balochs are the majority, followed by Pashtuns. Quetta, the provincial capital, is considered Taliban Central by the Pentagon, which for all its high-tech wizardry mysteriously has not been able to locate Quetta resident "The Shadow", historic Taliban emir Mullah Omar himself.
Strategically, Balochistan is mouth-watering: east of Iran, south of Afghanistan, and boasting three Arabian sea ports, including Gwadar, practically at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.
If President-elect Barack Obama is reassuring the intelligence community “that his complaints are with the Bush administration, not them,” as AP’s Pamela Hess reported January 10th, his campaign slogan “change we can believe in” is headed for an early grave.
Obama’s remarks are a literal signal to CIA officials and other unindicted war criminals that they will not be prosecuted no matter what vile and horrific tortures they inflicted. And that’s not change; that’s business as usual; that’s what the CIA has done for years and gotten away with every time. Obama’s words will embolden CIA goons to gin up the same Adolf Eichmann defense, “I was only following orders” he used when he murdered Hungary’s Jews.
Americans need to get one thing straight: The Central Intelligence Agency is a spiritual descendent of Hitler’s Gestapo. Its directors over the past eight years have been willing pawns in a vast criminal enterprise spawned by George Bush. They have kidnapped, disappeared, imprisoned, tortured, and even murdered uncounted innocents, just as under previous presidents the CIA overthrew legitimate governments, just as it carried out President Bill Clinton’s first criminal renditions. Today, the CIA brass is stuck in the Big Muddy up to their lying lips, vulnerable to prosecution as never before.
Bringing the threat of war to Russia’s borders is having wide-ranging repercussions.
As Russian troops marched to celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany 8 May, NATO troops — 1,300 of them from 10 member countries and six “partners” — were beginning their month-long Cooperative Longbow/Lancer war “games” on Russia’s southern border. In deference to Moscow, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Serbia decided not to participate in the NATO exercises, preferring to send their diplomats to Red Square in homage to the untold Russian sacrifice in pursuit of world peace. According to Russian MP Sergei Abeltsev, the NATO decision to hold the drills in Georgia during the WWII Victory Day celebrations was a “total revision of the history of the Great Patriotic War”.
Until April 5, 2013 the 1984 American science fiction-horror film, directed by John Carpenter could be streamed or downloaded from a number of websites. They Live (Full movie) was in the playlist below created by Buddy Huggins.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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