الأربعاء، نوفمبر 24، 2010

A Duty to be Oppressed?

A Duty to be Oppressed?

Do good, upstanding citizens have a moral obligation to allow themselves to be oppressed, harassed, terrorized, assaulted, and wrongfully detained or imprisoned? Most people would say "no." But would most people actually mean it?

There are many examples of "law enforcers" treating innocent people like dirt. Random stops at "sobriety checkpoints" is a favorite of mine, since the local jackboots do that in front of my house on occasion. (In fact, they're doing it right now, as I write this.) The border Gestapo is even worse. And a YouTube search for "police abuse" will provide you with hours of infuriating examples of fascist pigs in action.

So, do we have an obligation to put up with being treated like that? Think carefully before you answer. Because an answer of "no, we don't," implies that we have a right to resist it, to not cooperate. And, of course, the control freaks and megalomaniacs with the badges aren't going to react kindly to anyone disobeying their gang. They will always escalate things to violence until they get their way.

If, for example, you believe that you have a right to not be searched
without cause, a right not to be interrogated for no reason, and a right not to be detained for no reason, then logically you must also believe that you have the right to drive right through a "sobriety checkpoint" without stopping. And what if they try to forcibly stop you--as they certainly would--for exercising your rights? Do you then have an obligation to be oppressed? Or do you have the right to respond with force against force, in whatever degree it takes to overcome their attempts to detain you without just cause?

This is the horrible choice tyrants force everyone to make, on a regular basis: you either submit to their will, or you react with violence. And, unlike the badge-wearing crooks who call themselves "law enforcers," the good people don't like to use violence. So they almost always allow themselves to be oppressed. And that tells the tyrants that they can increase the injustice even more. The end result is ... well, Frederick Douglass summed it up quite well:

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress."

Let me put the point even more bluntly: Every time oppression increases, the people have only two choices: unconditionally submit, or kill the oppressors. These are the only choices, because the oppressors themselves don't allow for any option in between. (There is sometimes a temporary third choice: running away and hiding. But not only is living on the run a form of oppression in itself, but sooner or later, when the control freaks find you, you will have to either submit or resist.)

Even if you "passively resist," or "resist" with mere words, you are submitting to the tyranny, by letting them lock you up and punish you for your disobedience. (To say that the moral thing to do is to allow yourself to be oppressed, and then complain afterwards, still implies that you have an obligation to be oppressed.) On the other hand, the moment you actually resist--the moment you refuse to allow them to oppress you--you will plainly see the violence inherent in all "government" action.

And, of course, when oppression is "legal"--as it usually is--if you resist it, you become (by definition) a "criminal," and probably a "terrorist" as well. Of course, the violence, harassment, intimidation, threats, assault and outright murder committed in the name of "government" aren't usually called "terrorism" (though that's exactly what they are) but resisting such oppression is.

In short, "government" makes terrorists. Whether you're talking about international thuggery or domestic oppression, it is nearly always authoritarian violence which drives people to resort to the violent reactions which are dubbed "terrorism." Of course, that doesn't mean such reactions are always justified (and they are never justified when they target innocents), but it does mean that, in almost every case, "terrorism" is a product of "government." An authoritarian regime traps people, controls them, and backs them into a corner, where they see violence as their only option. Whether their cause is righteous or not, or their means justified or not--whether you're talking about the American Revolution, or some suicide bomber in the Middle East--the pattern is the same. People are driven to the point where a perceived injustice is so great that they feel they must resort to violence.

With that in mind, ask yourself, what would your local "law enforcers" have to do before you would resist by force (thereby making yourself a "criminal" and/or a "terrorist")? Try to take your guns away? Try to take your children? Try to arrest you for criticizing "government"? In other words, what level of oppression will you actually not tolerate. Because so far, you've tolerated pretty damn much. Yes, lots of people whine, complain, and criticize, but until you actually resist, you are, by definition, tolerating the injustice, by allowing it to happen (to you and others).

Of course, I "tolerate" it, too, as demonstrated by the fact that I'm not dead, and not a fugitive. I'm not advocating martyrdom here. But it's about time for Americans to start thinking about things they've been trained to not think about. The bogus tripe about "land of the free and home of the brave" is sounding pretty lame these days, when you look at what Americans quietly submit to on a regular basis. Of course, it's not up to me to tell you at what point you should resist. But you ought to start thinking about it. Because somewhere between where we are now, and complete totalitarianism--and that gap is shrinking all the time--you will have to decide between being a slave, and being a "terrorist."

السبت، نوفمبر 13، 2010

Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation

Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation
January 17, 1961
"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. "
Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation
January 17, 1961

Good evening, my fellow Americans: First, I should like to express my gratitude to the radio and television networks for the opportunity they have given me over the years to bring reports and messages to our nation. My special thanks go to them for the opportunity of addressing you this evening.
Three days from now, after a half century of service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on questions of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the nation.

My own relations with Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and finally to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nation well rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the nation should go forward. So my official relationship with Congress ends in a feeling on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America's adventure in free government, such basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among peoples and among nations.

To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.

Any failure traceable to arrogance or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us a grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle – with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in the newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research – these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in light of a broader consideration; the need to maintain balance in and among national programs – balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages – balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between the actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their Government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well in the face of threat and stress.

But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.

Of these, I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war – as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years – I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So – in this my last good night to you as your President – I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I – my fellow citizens – need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations' great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Now, on Friday noon, I am to become a private citizen. I am proud to do so. I look forward to it.

Thank you, and good night.

الجمعة، نوفمبر 12، 2010

America's silent genocide of children in Afghanistan

America's silent genocide of children in Afghanistan

The Silent Genocide from America
Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Director Afghan DU & Recovery Fund
When Bush jr. said, "we will smoke them out…" he lived up to his promise, making life an unattainable reality for the unborn and unsustainable reality for the living sentencing the Afghan people and their future generations to a predetermined death sentence.
"After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries and even accepted them, if the Americans had not sentenced us all to death. When I saw my deformed grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have vanished for good, different from the hopelessness of the Russian barbarism, even though at that time I lost my older son Shafiqullah. This time, however, I know we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by America, a silence death from which I know we will not escape." (Jooma Khan of Laghman province, March 2003)

These words were uttered by an aggrieved Afghan grandfather, who saw his own and that of others' familial extinction at the hands of the United States of America and her allies. Another Afghan, who also saw his demise, said:
"I realized this slow, yet certain death, when I saw blood in my urine and developed severe pain in my kidneys along with breathing problems I never had before. Many of my family members started to complain from confusion and the pregnant women miscarried their babies while others gave birth to disabled infants" (Akbar Khan from Paktika province, February 2003)

The perpetuation of the perpetual death in Afghanistan continues with the passage of each day. Every day, people see the silent death striking their families and friends, hopeless and terrified at the sight of the next funeral in their minds' eyes. This indiscriminate murder of the Afghan people continues while those, whose tax money paid for the monstrous weapons and brought about this genocide pretend as though all is well. The horrific pictures of those dying--whose bodies do not correlate to their age since they have internalized so much uranium dust that it impacted the morphology of their bodies--remain in the memories of those still living who are fearfully waiting for their turn of disaster. The pregnant women are afraid from giving birth to babies--horrified to see a deformity instead of a healthy child. This is the legacy of the US "liberation", an indiscriminate murder of the weak and the unarmed that do not have any means of self-defense. In fact, there is no defensive measure against such Weapons of Mass Destruction because these deadly particles of uranium oxide--the dust formed after uranium pulverizes upon impacting a target--remain in soil, water and cover the surface of vegetation for generations to come.

When a US bomb or that of her allies landed on an Afghan village or town, the land and its people have become part of the deadly legacy of silent death. This death sentence is different from any other type because in this type death sentence all the people, their land and future generations are condemned to an inescapable genocide. The tragedy that makes this state of affairs so dreadful is the unavoidably invisible threat that targets everyone indiscriminately. Moreover, the threat has become endemic to the fiber of existence, contaminated the land, water and its inhabitants. In fact, when Bush jr. said, "we will smoke them out…" he lived up to his promise, making life an unattainable reality for the unborn and unsustainable reality for the living, hence, sentencing Afghan people and their future generations to a predetermined death sentence.

The true extent of this disaster is unfolding as time goes by. In light of the continuous revelations about the quantity and types of weapons used in Afghanistan, the worse has not fully materialized. Everyday, US AC 130 gunships, A-10s and B 52s bomb Afghan villages and towns at each turn when a unit of US troops encounter resistance. Consequently, not only, the perpetual death continues but rather, every round of depleted uranium is one additional nail in the collective coffin of the Afghan people.

The usage of great number of munitions and armaments dropped by US jets resulted in upsurge of various health problems weeks into 2002. This pattern is different from that experienced by the Iraqi after the first Gulf War where it took years for many of the birth defects, deformities and other health conditions to surface. This points to the enormity of uranium weapons used in Afghanistan, a fact, illustrated by many investigators world wide, notably Dai Williams in England, and Dr. Durakovic from the Uranium Medical Research Center in Canada, and Dr. Marc Herald in the United States among others. Furthermore, various international newspapers and media outlets notably Le Monde Diplomatique, Guardian, Frontier Post, BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera among others have reported the types of weapon systems used against Afghan targets--villages, towns--and mountain cave complexes. According to the BBC (April 10, 2002), more than 6600 J-dam bombs were dropped on Afghanistan. On October 2002,

Boston Globe also reported:
"In contrast with older weapons, the new generation finds its way with advances such as target-elevation data and satellite signals. The JDAM already has proven itself in Afghanistan. By February [2002], commanders had dropped 6,600 JDAMs, consultants estimate - so many that stockpiles ran low and officials had to scramble up more production from a Missouri factory."

By October 2002, the first anniversary of US invasion of Afghanistan, more than 10000 tons of bombs landed on Afghan soil. (Socialist Worker Online, October 11, 2002) Imagine the magnitude of carnage and contamination caused by such barbarism.

While another report by Kate Randall on December 2001, put the number of US bombed dropped at 12000:
"Since the US launched the war on Afghanistan October 7, more than 12,000 US bombs have been dropped on the country. According to the Pentagon, about 60 percent of these bombs have been precision-guided by satellite or laser technology. However, many of these bombs–dropped by B-52s and other aircraft from tens of thousands of feet in the air–have strayed off course, hitting civilian targets." (WSWS, December 29, 2001)

In another report, a year after September 11, 2001, Matt Kelley of the Associated Press put the US munitions statistics as follows:
"U.S. and coalition airplanes have conducted more than 21,000 flights over Afghanistan, dropping more than 20,000 munitions. About 60 percent of the ordnance dropped on Afghanistan has been precision guided, the highest percentage in any conflict."

Similarly the Guardian reported on April 10, 2002:
"More than 22,000 weapons - ranging from cruise missiles to heavy fuel-air bombs - have been dropped on the country over the past six months…. US pilots dropped more than 6,600 joint direct attack munitions (J-dams), the satellite-guided bombs… One in four bombs and missiles dropped by the US on Afghanistan may have missed its target"

The new generations of hard target weapons whose warheads are made of dense metal have contributed to the heavy contamination of land, water and general population.

The following munitions have been deployed in bombing the poorest country of the world, Afghanistan:

Umm Talhah pleaded guilty - Ansar Al-Mujahideen

Umm Talhah pleaded guilty
THE Ugandan wife of an American-born man who pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists has entered her own guilty plea.

Proscovia Kampire Nzabanita, dressed head-to-toe in conservative Muslim dress with her face covered, pleaded guilty to making a false statement when questioned by a federal investigator about her husband, Zachary Chesser.

Chesser, 20, was accused of posting an online attack against the creators of the animated TV series "South Park" due to the program's depiction of the Prophet Mohammed.

On October 20, Chesser agreed to plead guilty to the terrorist support charge, as well as charges of communicating threats and soliciting crimes of violence. He will be sentenced in January, and is expected to receive a sentence of at least 20 years in prison.

As part of Chesser's plea agreement, federal authorities agreed not to seek charges of aiding and abetting against Nzabanita, 26, who faces sentencing on January 28, 2011 for her guilty plea which she entered on Monday, November 8.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Nzabanita will serve no prison time but must leave the United States within 120 days and give up her legal status.

Federal Judge Gerald Bruce Lee allowed Nzabanita to remain free on bail of $250,000 and ordered that she reside with her mother as her guardian until the sentencing.

The news release from the U.S. Attorney's office said Nzabanita was questioned on July 21 by a Secret Service special agent outside her residence in northern Virginia.

In her plea agreement, Nzabanita admitted she lied in that interview by saying Chesser had attempted to fly to Uganda on July 10 to retriever her birth certificate, according to the news release. In reality, Chesser planned to ultimately make his way to Somalia to help the terrorist group al-Shabaab, the news release said.

According to an affidavit, Chesser tried to take his infant son with him on the trip, telling his wife it was part of his "cover" to make it less likely anyone would suspect he was trying to go to Somalia to join al-Shabaab.

Court documents said Chesser was not allowed to depart the country July 10 but was told by the airline he was on the "no-fly list" and was questioned by a Secret Service agent.

Prosecutors also said Chesser, of Fairfax County, Virginia, had exchanged e-mails with Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whose name has been linked to an attack and an attempted attack on the United States.

CIA Destroys Terror Interrogation Evidence -- and Justice Looks Away

CIA Destroys Terror Interrogation Evidence -- and Justice Looks Away

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The Justice Department's terse announcement Tuesday that it would not prosecute any CIA officials for destroying evidence -- including videotapes of interrogation sessions with high-profile terror detainees -- marks a sorry milestone in the annals of terror law following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The long-awaited decision -- by a special prosecutor appointed in 2008 by Bush-era Attorney General Michael Mukasey -- means two successive executive branch administrations will have successfully rebuffed both the judiciary and the Congress in an effort to protect overzealous intelligence officers who appear to have broken a few rules of law.

The controversy began in 2005 when Jose Rodriquez, a high-ranking CIA operative, ordered CIA officials to destroy videotapes that showed harsh interrogation sessions with terror suspects, including Abu Zubaydah. Rodriguez did so, he claimed, because CIA lawyers had told him he could (or at least hadn't specifically told him that he couldn't). The Agency secretly destroyed the tapes, it claimed, to protect the identity of its interrogators. In the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, the Agency also said it destroyed the tapes so that they would never become public and inflame opinion in the Middle East. These justifications -- and the fact that the tapes were gone before anyone outside of the CIA had a chance to review them -- became public approximately two years after the tapes were destroyed.

In those intervening years, however, CIA officials did not share any of this information with the Congress, which was holding oversight hearings into the Bush Administration's interrogation policies, or with the federal courts, which were begin to wade through the legal challenges to Bush-era detention policies, or even with the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, the distinguished group tasked with offering the American people the definitive account of the 9/11 terror attacks and their aftermath. The Agency simply didn't produce the tapes and didn't fully and fairly explain why it wouldn't and couldn't do so. This despite a 2005 court order which required the CIA to "preserve and maintain" evidence of its interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That's a classic case of contempt of court -- as every litigator in America will tell you.

Such evidence preservation orders are self-explanatory. It is a fundamental requirement of the rule of law in an open society that evidence be preserved and protected before trial. But even without the federal judge's order, high-ranking CIA officials, and certainly CIA lawyers, knew or should have known that the tapes were valuable evidence of the interrogations; evidence that surely was relevant to pending and future cases involving those who were interrogated. They knew or should have known that there are ways in which the identity of interrogators, like the identify of witnesses, can be protected in federal court proceedings. They destroyed the tapes, it is now clear, because they reckoned that even if they were caught, they'd never be prosecuted. And now they won't be.

When the story broke in late 2007, the Bush Administration dispatched Mukasey, a former federal judge and strong supporter of Bush-era terror law policies, to manage the political and legal damage caused by the CIA's conduct. Mukasey, in turn, appointed John Dunham, a respected federal prosecutor from Connecticut, to investigate Rodriguez and Company to determine whether anyone at the CIA had violated federal law by destroying the tapes. Last year, Mukasey's successor, Attorney General Eric Holder, told Dunham he could expand the scope of his investigation to look into whether private contractors may have violated contemporary Justice Department rules about interrogations. That part of Dunham's work, evidently, continues.

So, too, does Dunham's investigation into whether any CIA officials may have obstructed justice by misleading investigators about the existence (or not) of the tapes. But there is little reason to believe any indictments are forthcoming along these lines, either. Congress, which didn't pursue the matter much once Barack Obama became president, now seems even less likely following the midterm elections to pursue its own investigation into how and why the CIA was so willing to deceive lawmakers. And the federal courts? It's possible that one or more of the judges handling terror detainee cases may now push back further against the CIA. But even so, a judicial contempt hearing for a CIA official is a far cry from a public investigation or a criminal trial. And no judge is likely to toss a case against a terror suspect because of the absence of those tapes.

For the White House, meanwhile, Dunham's non-call call generates the opportunity for a convenient dodge. To its critics who say the Justice Department has not done enough to punish the officials who destroyed important evidence, the feds can say that it's all Dunham's fault- the last Republican cover-up of the Bush era. To administration critics who say the Justice Department has gone too far already in its pursuit of the CIA's dirty business, the feds can say that Dunham took three years to run out the clock and then brought not a single indictment. And thus once again is the Obama Administration willing and able to protect former Bush-era officials from legal exposure for terror law practices and policies. Somewhere, "torture memo" author John Yoo is smiling, again.

But for now, the big winner is Rodriguez, the CIA's fall guy who so far hasn't been forced to fall very far or very fast. After the no-go announcement from the Justice Department, Rodriguez's lawyer issued a statement declaring that his client: "is an American hero, a true patriot who only wanted to protect his people and his country." If Rodriguez is a hero and a patriot, he sure is a modest one. First, he took cover under CIA lawyers. Then he took cover under the 5th amendment's protection against self-incrimination, which means that Rodriguez didn't volunteer to come before a federal grand jury to tell his story privately to investigators (let alone to "his people" and "his country.") And you can bet he will take cover again if he is ever asked to testify as a witness in a terror trial involving some of the men interrogated on those tapes.

Me? I'm past the point of expecting the truth here. Maybe if I live another 30 years it will all come out in a declassification. In the meantime, I have much more modest goals. I'd like to see Rodriguez go to every law school in the country with a simple but eloquent message to students: "Kids," I want to hear him say, " 'patriots' and 'heroes' don't destroy evidence."

الاثنين، نوفمبر 01، 2010

    US Intelligence Trades On Fear       :      Information Clearing House: ICH

Friday’s terror nonsense

US Intelligence Trades On Fear

By Yvonne Ridley

October 31, 2010 "
Information Clearing House" -- We are in the grip of yet another so-called terror plot designed to terrify the wits out of everyone.

Anyone of a nervous disposition was sent in to a tailspin of panic over the increasingly dramatic news coverage … this manifested itself in a tsunami of 911 calls in America which paralysed parts of New York, Maine and Philadelphia for several hours.

Mercifully in Britain the majority of us refuse to get caught up in this bloody nonsense for many different reasons. The primary one being we had already endured more than three decades of this during the height of the IRA activities in London.

Virtually every single day for 30 years there would be some terror alert in the English capital – it was called shoestring terrorism. One telephone call could bring a halt to a section of the London Underground.

The police would make their necessary checks, the media would ignore it and we all got on with our lives refusing to be intimidated by Irish terrorism.

And that is exactly how we should have treated Friday’s terror nonsense – that does not mean to say people should be reckless or less vigilant but governments should stop trying to impose a fear factor on its citizens..

We can not sacrifice our freedoms and liberties just because America wants to impose its own neurosis, hysteria and paranoia on the rest of the world.

While British anti-terror police say no explosives were found in a suspicious package found onboard a UPS flight, the White House issued a statement completely contradicting this. Now the parcel has been removed for full forensic testing!

Call me cynical, but I find it too much of a coincidence that this bizarre alert came less than 24 hours
after British Airways chairman Martin Broughton has accused the country of bowing to US demands for increased airport security measures.

Mr Broughton criticised the US for imposing more security checks on US-bound flights, but not on its own domestic services.

He urged the UK to stop kowtowing to demands for passengers to take their shoes off and to put any laptop computers through scanners to be screened separately.

The UK government said it would give airport operators permission to review their security procedures and I hope they stick to their promise despite all this nonsense.

One of the most ridiculous procedures we have to go through is to submit all of our potions, lotions and liquids to airport security.

This came about because of the so-called plot to blow 10 airliners out of the sky. That the fools behind this crazy scheme didn’t even have passports or a collective IQ of George W Bush mattered not.

A video was shown of an explosion onboard a plane if this chemical had been mixed with that chemical.

The fact the bombmakers would have had to create sub zero laboratory conditions onboard a plane which would take around 40 minutes, mattered not.

As a frequent flyer I can tell you no would would be allowed to hog the tiny toilets for more than five minutes.

Yet despite this nonsense we have to hand over our liquids, but can buy them in vast quantities minutes later having past through airport security.

Just recently I was stopped because I had a brand new 200ml jar of Eve Lom face cleanser and was told I could not take it through. I pleaded for some commonsense from the security officer and he even went to his superior when I pointed out that the jar cost more than my airline ticket.

A nearby passenger who had just wistfully given up his full bottle of Remy Martin brandy sympathized with me.

Since when did Eve Lom become a threat to Britain's national security?

The British Government’s COBRA emergency committee is meeting as I write this. God only knows what will transpire but I hope this coalition government distances itself from these crazy security terror alerts coming over from the Americans.

US President barack Obama is facing his mid-term elections this weekend … if either he or his team have resorted to the “terror threat” ploy so often used by his predecessor to try and win votes then shame on them.

Of course what better way to divert voters’ minds from Afghanistan, Iraq and Wikileaks than to create a fresh new bogeyman … Yemen.

Any government which uses security and fear to win votes does not deserve to be in power.


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