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Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials

July 22nd, 2009

Andy Worthington

From the moment that the Toronto Star unleashed a gruesome, and previously unpublished photo of the chest wounds sustained by 15-year old Omar Khadr, after a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002, it was clear that the resumption of Khadr’s pre-trial hearing at Guantánamo last week would once more raise murky issues of torture and untrustworthy intelligence that the administration — desperate to secure a “clean” conviction in its much-reviled Military Commission process — hoped would remain buried.

The photo preceded excerpts from Star reporter Michelle Shephard’s long-awaited biography of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s Child, which does the most thorough job to date of humanizing the second youngest son of the generally unsympathetic Khadr family, whose late patriarch, Ahmed Khadr, was close to Osama bin Laden.

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Agitating for Freedom: Anniversaries, Dreams and Persistence

July 22nd, 2009

eileen fleming

"If we wait for it to work itself out, it will never be worked out! Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil." – Martin Luther King

This July 22, marks the fourth anniversary of my website, but I did not establish the 'blog' until October 8, 2005, when I wrote:

It was about six months ago that I heard Charlie Rose on his PBS show say something like;

"We have yet to begin to imagine the potential of the Internet."

When I began writing for WeAreWideAwake/WAWA about three months ago, I imagined it would be an instrument to provoke thought, engage a dialogue and stimulate American's to do something about the state of our Union and for all our sisters and brothers in Israel Palestine.

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Twitterers Paid To Spread Israeli Propaganda

July 21st, 2009

Jonathan Cook

Israel deploys cyber team to spread positive spin.

The passionate support for Israel expressed on talkback sections of websites, internet chat forums, blogs, Twitters and Facebook may not be all that it seems.

Israel’s foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel.

Internet-savvy Israeli youngsters, mainly recent graduates and demobilised soldiers with language skills, are being recruited to pose as ordinary surfers while they provide the government’s line on the Middle East conflict. “To all intents and purposes the internet is a theatre in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose,” said Ilan Shturman, who is responsible for the project.

The existence of an “internet warfare team” came to light when it was included in this year’s foreign ministry budget. About $150,000 has been set aside for the first stage of development, with increased funding expected next year.

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Prescribing Cake to Cure the Health Care Crisis

July 21st, 2009

by Walter Brasch

Marie Antoinette, contrary to popular opinion, never said a solution for the starving masses of revolutionary France in the late 18th century was, "Let them eat cake." But, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) apparently said something close to it.

At a public meeting, one of Grassley's constituents asked him, “Why is your insurance so much cheaper than my insurance and so much better than my insurance?” He then asked, "How come I can’t have the same thing you have?” Grassley's response was a flip, “You can. Just go work for the federal government.” Grassley, who opposes universal health care, is happy with health care programs paid for with tax dollars and available for every member of Congress, all Congressional staffers, everyone in the executive and judicial branches, and the military and their families. He doesn't even oppose Social Security and Medicare. He just doesn't want the masses to have the same quality of medical care that Senators have.

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Bulgaria vs Ukraine: Don't blink

July 21st, 2009

By Eric Walberg

Boyko Borisov

Obama's geopolitical demarche in Russia's backyard is moving ahead nicely -- for the present.

First there was the election in Bulgaria 5 July which brought a new party to power -- Boyko Borisov's Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria. Borisov, or Batman, as he is affectionately called, was a Communist-era policeman who subsequently established a prosperous private security business and has been the mayor of Sofia since 2005. He campaigned on the usual -- to fight corruption and secure a better economic future. The Batman bragged in an interview with Der Spiegel of receiving "letters of accolade" from the CIA and FBI, presumably for his battle with the dark forces. One of the first things he did as PM, however, was to suspend the existing energy contracts with Moscow, both the South Stream and a nuclear power plant project.

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"End the Siege of Gaza" Rally at Israeli Embassy

July 21st, 2009

by William Hughes

Washington, D.C. “Occupation is a crime,” said Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition. He spoke, under a cloudy sky, at a spirited rally in front of the heavily fortified Israeli Embassy, in this capital city, on Saturday afternoon, June 6, 2009. Mr. Becker continued: “That’s why we’re here. The people of the United States are spending through our tax dollars, $15 million a day for a criminal occupation. Instead of killing poor people in Gaza and in the West Bank, let’s use that money for education, and housing and health care to let children live, not only in Gaza, but right here in Washington, D.C.”

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Assassinations Anyone? CIA Claims of Cancelled Campaign are Hogwash

July 21st, 2009

Eric Margolis


CIA director Leon Panetta just told Congress he cancelled a secret operation to assassinate al-Qaida leaders. The CIA campaign, authorized in 2001, had not yet become operational, claimed Panetta.

I respect Panetta, but his claim is humbug. The U.S. has been trying to kill al-Qaida personnel (real and imagined) since the Clinton administration. These efforts continue under President Barack Obama. Claims by Congress it was never informed are hogwash.

The CIA and Pentagon have been in the assassination business since the early 1950s, using American hit teams or third parties. For example, a CIA-organized attempt to assassinate Lebanon's leading Shia cleric, Muhammad Fadlallah, using a truck bomb, failed, but killed 83 civilians and wounded 240.

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SPECIAL REPORT: President Obama Flaunts His Nero Complex

July 21st, 2009

Executive Intelligence Review

April 11, 2009, Lyndon LaRouche stunned the world, by publicly declaring, during an international webcast, that President Barack Obama was suffering from a severe Narcissistic disorder, and that his behavior, during a recent overseas trip, highlighted by a shameless fawning before the Queen of England, resembled that of the infamous Emperor Nero.

The reaction, at the time, to LaRouche's bold public diagnosis, was sharp. Even among a small, but well-placed group of officials, within the institution of the Presidency, who had drawn much the same conclusion, after the President's bizarre and irrational behavior throughout his first European—indeed, his first overseas—tour since taking office, there was a reaction against LaRouche's oh-so-public pronouncement.

But LaRouche, a student of both history and psychology, understood that someone suffering from an acute Narcissistic Disorder, has to be confronted—repeatedly, and with ever-growing candor—if he is to ever break free of the syndrome and return to the world of reality.

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Government Gone Mad

July 21st, 2009

Joel S. Hirschhorn

"Perhaps most Americans deserve the
federal government they have."

Perhaps most Americans deserve the federal government they have. A government that, contrary to the lofty rhetoric of Barack Obama, is pure politics as usual. A government that is as corrupted by moneyed interests as ever. A government that is as dysfunctional and inefficient as ever.

A government that should have prevented the current recession but did not and now has spent horrendous amounts of money that has largely been wasted. A government that has put many future generations in debt. A government that makes a mockery out of the concept of democracy.

As Robert J. Samuelson has aptly said, the federal $787 billion stimulus package is “mostly a political exercise, designed to claim credit for any recovery, shower benefits on favored constituencies and signal support for fashionable causes. As a result, much of the stimulus’s potential benefit has been squandered.”

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Are All Wars Gang Wars?

July 21st, 2009

Curt Day

The contrast could not be more stark. When we think of gang wars, we think of senseless killings, cruelty, innocent children getting shot, drugs, and turf battles. When we think of the wars our own troops fight, we think of sacrifice, freedom, honor, and loyalty. So to compare gang wars to the wars our country's troops fight seems to show the height of ingratitude, ignorance, contempt, idiocy, and lunacy. To compare gang wars and our nation's wars would indicate the worst of a person until we read Augustine and former Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler.

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