Dienstag, 26. Mai 2009

Guantanamo is a stain on America


Francois Sergent, Liberation: "Guantanamo is a stain on America. The images of wraiths in orange jumpsuits, caged in the American prison, just like the Abu Ghraib photos, have forever tainted the depiction of the United States."



Showdown Looming on "State Secrets"

Carrie Johnson, The Washington Post: "President Obama vowed last week to rein in the use of a legal privilege that allows the administration to discard lawsuits that involve 'state secrets,' promising that a new policy is in the works that will quell criticism by civil libertarians. But hours after Obama's speech laid out a 'delicate balance' on national security, his Justice Department was criticized by a federal judge in California overseeing a case that has delved deeper than any other into one of the government's most highly classified data-gathering programs."



More checks in place after planning bungle

3:30pm Tuesday 26th May 2009

By Helen Orrell

NEW procedures are in place to prevent a repeat of a Colchester Council bungle over a planning application for a mobile phone mast.

The application for an O2 mast on the corner of Norman Way and Lexden Road was approved by default, because the authority missed a deadline to reject the plans.


"Wir sind nur eine Söldnerarmee für ein paar Reiche"

Gespräch mit André Shepherd. Über seinen Asylantrag als GI in der Bundesrepublik, die Grundsätze der Nürnberger Prozesse, die US-Kriege im Irak und Afghanistan und Präsident Barack Obama. Ein Interview, das Elsa Rasbach mit Shepherd für die "junge Welt" geführt hat, dokumentiert beim Friedenspolitischen Ratschlag //www.uni-kassel.de/fb5/frieden/regionen/Irak/us-soldaten6.html

Aus: LabourNet, 26. Mai 2009


Auf dem Weg zum "Elektronischen Polizeistaat"

„Nach einem neuen Bericht nähern sich totalitäre und demokratische Staaten gleichermaßen einer neuen Dimension des Polizeistaats an. In einem ersten Versuch, die Dimensionen des "Elektronischen Polizeistaats" auszumachen und 52 Länder entsprechend in einem Ranking zu bewerten, verwundert nicht, dass an erster Stelle China und Nordkorea, gefolgt von Weißrussland und Russland stehen. Dann aber wird bereits Großbritannien aufgelistet, gefolgt von den USA, Singapur, Israel, Frankreich und, an zehnter Stelle, Deutschland…“ Artikel von Florian Rötzer in telepolis vom 12.05.2009 //www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/30/30298/1.html

Streitfrage: Das Grundgesetz - Grundlage für eine emanzipatorische Gesellschaft? Es debattieren: Prof. Dr. Andreas Fisahn, Halina Wawzyniak und Dr. Marcus Hawel

Anlässlich des 60. Jahrestages der Verabschiedung des Grundgesetzes der Bundesrepublik Deutschland veröffentlichte die Tageszeitung "Neues Deutschland" drei Beiträge, die sich aus unterschiedlichen Blickrichtungen mit der deutschen Verfassung auseinandersetzen. Der Friedenspolitische Ratschlag dokumentiert die Beiträge //www.uni-kassel.de/fb5/frieden/regionen/Deutschland/gg-60.html

EU - Militärpolitik

Die Versicherheitlichung des Klimawandels. Wie Brüssel die Erderwärmung für die Militarisierung der Europäischen Union instrumentalisiert.

Artikel von Jürgen Wagner als IMI-Analyse 2009/024 vom 19.5.2009 //www.imi-online.de/2009.php3?id=1969

Aus: LabourNet, 26. Mai 2009


Handeln Sie jetzt, um die Schafe vor ihrem Leiden zu bewahren


Balance the budget

Campaign for Liberty
by Rand Paul


For too long Washington has told us that we can live at the expense of future generations — that we merely ‘owe it to ourselves.’ But if the current crisis has taught us anything it is that our decisions have long-term implications and we cannot continue to ignore economic reality. Yes, we owe it to ourselves. But we also owe it to our children. We owe it to them to begin restoring some fiscal sense to Washington so that they are not burdened with our massive debt. Balancing the budget is no longer an academic question but an economic imperative. We are drowning in a sea of debt and the repercussions will come sooner rather than later...


Wanted: A culture of change

Adam Smith Institute
by Andrew Hutson


The world of British politics is a unique, complex confusing place. Parliament is confused in its approach to change; it seems unable to decide whether it is a progressive flexible body looking to the future or an established conservative organisation building upon history. The past months events have highlighted not only the failures of many individuals within parliament, but also the system itself...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Obama’s Democratic authoritarianism

by Justin Raimondo

He’s not closing Guantanamo, he’s continuing the ‘preventive detention’ policy of the Bush administration under a new rubric (’prolonged detention’), he’s on board with military commissions (’reformed,’ of course) and the denial of habeas corpus — and last, but certainly not least, his supporters in Congress have launched a campaign to give him and his cabinet officials the power to close down the Internet in the name of ‘national security.’ … At least the Bush crowd had enough remnants of a moral sense to sneak around and try to hide their crimes against liberty and the rule of law. Although they tried to rationalize their actions with after-the-fact legal arguments, the effort seems to me rather halfhearted: they weren’t really all that concerned with legalizing their power grab. They just went ahead and did it, and damn the torpedoes. The Obamaites, on the other hand, have a different style — but the substance is essentially the same, with the addition of a few minor tweaks and rhetorical flourishes. They want to bureaucratize and institutionalize the horrors of the past eight years and make what used to be unthinkable routine...


Blowing smoke on Gitmo

by Ivan Eland


Despite all of the hubbub about the possibility of bringing Guantanamo prisoners to the United States, most scary are Obama’s recent musings about changing laws to allow preventive detention. When a president can yank people off the streets merely because he alleges that they are ‘dangerous,’ throw them in jail, and hold them indefinitely without charge, we are on the road to dictatorship. Although Bush violated such habeas corpus rights, which have been one of the cornerstones of the rule of law in both Britain and the United States for centuries, Obama is talking about enshrining the violations into permanency. All of this shows that Obama is not restoring the republic, but has adopted a policy of Bush Lite, which retains some of the unneeded and un-American Bush policies. (I do not accuse people of ‘un-American’ activities lightly, but this erosion of unique American freedoms does seem to fit the bill.)...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Indefinite detention


Justifying Iraq with torture

Campaign For Liberty
by Jacob G. Hornberger


An increasing number of articles are pointing to evidence that U.S. officials tortured detainees to force them to disclose a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. The evidence includes an allegation by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff for then Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has alleged that the enhanced interrogation program’s ‘principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at preempting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al Qaeda...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


The Impossible Rehab of Colin Powell

By Ray McGovern

Powell's well-documented disregard for those who have borne the brunt of the battle places him in the company of the priest and the Levite - in the Good Samaritan parable - who, seeing the man attacked by robbers on the side of the road, walked right on by.



Obama’s betrayals

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman


After President Obama announced he would fight the release of photographs showing American soldiers abusing ‘war on terror’ detainees, Richard Haass, president of the quintessentially mainstream Council on Foreign Relations, said that Obama had learned the difference between campaigning and governing. He wasn’t being ironic...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Wall Street probe needs your vigilance

Our Future
by Isaiah J. Poole


President Obama’s signing of a financial fraud crackdown bill this week has been largely overshadowed by the erroneous and irresponsible rantings of Vice President Dick Cheney and his right-wing fear-monger allies, and that’s unfortunate for two important reasons. One, it’s a significant victory progressives should celebrate. In addition to giving the federal government new tools to detect and punish the kind of law-breaking and deception that is at the root of the economic crisis, it creates a ‘Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’ charged with examining ‘the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.’ This commission is charged with playing the same role that the Senate commission led by Ferdinand Pecora in the 1930s did in exposing the wrongdoing and ethical breaches that precipitated the Great Depression...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


War room is no place for Bible study

Boston Globe
by James Carroll


That Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld supplied President Bush with Bible-laced Pentagon intelligence briefings might only seem like more Bush-era loopiness, but wait a minute. The deeper, and still current, question is: What in heaven (or, what the hell) is going on inside the US military? A Robert Draper article in Gentleman’s Quarterly revealed that some of the top-secret ‘World Wide Intelligence Briefings’ that Rumsfeld provided to Bush were covered with photographs of Americans at war, and captions taken from Scripture. In one, above a huddle of GIs apparently at prayer, is the question famously put by God, Whom shall I send and who will go for Us? Over the soldiers is the answer from Isaiah: Here I am, Lord. Send me. Above a trooper hunched over a machine gun is this promise from Proverbs: Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Blue Cross Millionaires Scared to Compete

Dean Baker, Truthout: "The boys running the show at Blue Cross in North Carolina are running scared. They're worried that President Obama is going to treat them like autoworkers and make them actually compete in the market. The Blue Cross boys think that they belong in the same league as the Wall Street bankers and should just be allowed to collect their multi-million-dollar salaries without being forced to worry about things like competition."



How the Poorest Americans Dropped Out of Politics

Lee Drutman, Miller-McCune Magazine: "In the 2008 election, lower-income Americans voted at significantly lower rates than higher-income Americans. This was not, in itself, news. Just as in 2004, more than 60 percent of voters came from families above the median household income of $50,000. That family income is a significant predictor of individual voting is a long-standing and oft-lamented fact of American political life."



US bonds sale faces market resistance

The US Treasury is facing an ordeal by fire this week as it tries to sell $100bn (£62bn) of bonds to a deeply sceptical market amid growing fears of a sovereign bond crisis in the Anglo-Saxon world.


China stuck in 'dollar trap'

China's official foreign exchange manager is still buying record amounts of US government bonds, in spite of Beijing's increasingly vocal fear of a dollar collapse, according to officials and analysts.


From Information Clearing House


World Bank warns of social unrest

"If we do no take measures, there is a risk of a serious human and social crisis with very serious political implications," Robert Zoellick said.


From Information Clearing House


America 'getting tired of footing the bill' for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan

Disapproval ratings for military efforts in Afghanistan are rapidly rising. In a March USA Today/Gallup poll, 42 percent of respondents said the United States made a mistake in sending military forces to Afghanistan, up from 30 percent in February.


From Information Clearing House


Over 20% of Iraqis live below poverty line

Some 20-25 percent of Iraq's estimated 27 million population lives below the country's poverty line, a government survey released on 21 May has found.


From Information Clearing House

Capitalism Produces Rich Bankers, Socialism Produces Happiness

By Phillip Bannowsky

When you consider that virtually no newspaper, broadcaster, well-funded think tank, teacher, or anybody's boss or commander ever said something nice about socialism, it's remarkable that only 53 percent of us still favor rule by the moneyed class. Perhaps folks are learning how capitalism sacrifices happiness for individual gain.



Socialism, US-style

Hawaii Reporter
by James A. Dorn


Near the end of his term in office US president George W. Bush said: ‘I’m abandoning free-market principles to save the free-market system.’ But he had already significantly increased the size and scope of the federal government. His last act was to bail out General Motors and Chrysler. That trend is continuing in spades under President Barack Obama and the democratic majority in Congress. Federal spending in fiscal 2009 will approach 28 per cent of gross domestic product, and the US budget deficit is expected to be nearly US$2 trillion, or about 13 per cent of GDP...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Is Canada Becoming A Safe Haven For War Criminals?

By Joshua Blakeney

How Those Who Kill Can Enter Canada While Those Who Save Lives Are Barred.


Day Of The Dead

By Cindy Sheehan

If you watch any one of the cable news networks this weekend between doing holiday weekend things, you will be subjected to images of row upon row of white headstones of dead US military lined up in perfect formation in the afterlife as they were in life. Patriotic music will swell and we will be reminded in script font to "Remember our heroes," or some such BS as that.



Memorial Day: Let Us Not Overlook Those Wounded in Spirit

The Washington Post: "Today the country is supposed to honor the fallen of all its wars. But 'fallen' is a word for inscriptions and oratory - it doesn't really convey what happens to those caught up in the ghastly business of warfare and subject to all the horrors inflicted by flying metal, high explosives and machines made for destruction. Nor does it quite encompass what happened to many of those who served day after day in constant danger and surrounded by death. They lost something in the country's wars - but not a limb or eyesight or the ability to walk or any essential physical capability. What was lost was a view of life as having meaning, order, security, purpose."



Memorial Day in the land of the weak and wussy

by Dave Lindorff


Whatever we were, we have degenerated into a nation that finds glory in deploying the most advanced high-tech, high-explosive weaponry against some of the world’s poorest people, that justifies killing women and children, even by the dozens, even if by doing so it manages to kill one alleged ‘enemy’ fighter. A nation that exalts remote-controlled robot drone aircraft that can attack targets in order to avoid risking soldiers’ lives, even though by doing so, it is predictable that many, many innocent people will be killed. A nation that is proud to have developed weapons of mass slaughter, from shells laden with phosphorus that burns to death, indiscriminately, those who are contacted by the splattered chemical to elaborately baroque anti-personnel fragmentation bombs that spread cute little colored objects designed to look like everything from toys to food packages, but which upon contact explode, releasing whirling metal or plastic fleschettes which shred human flesh on contact...


Memorial Day 2009: How about a new meaning?

The Lbertarian Enterprise
by Russell D. Longcore


Memorial Day is meant to honor the men and women who died in military service to the United States of America. Formerly known as ‘Decoration Day,’ it was first established in 1868 to decorate the graves of the Civil War (War of Northern Aggression) dead. … This weekend, there will be memorial services and parades across America in town squares, churches and at cemeteries. Flowers will be strewn and American flags will be in grand display. Politicians will walk the route, and veterans will don old uniforms and walk with them. Twenty-one gun salutes and taps will echo among the headstones. Impassioned speeches will be delivered to patriotic crowds on the goodness of America and the honor and bravery of the fallen soldiers and sailors. And Americans will be remembering all the wrong things. How about a reality check?


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Torturing the Rule of Law

Which way America?


If Obama Cedes Ground on Torture to Cheney, We'll All Pay a Heavy Price

By Gary Younge

By acknowledging recent crimes while refusing to pursue the criminals, the president has made his position untenable.



Torture debate at times glosses over facts

by Saritha Prabhu


I wasn’t going to write about torture but a recent column on it pushed me to do so. On this page, Thomas Sowell, a syndicated columnist, recently argued vociferously in support of torture. Reading that column and listening to Dick Cheney leaves one with this thought: It is one thing to defend torture but quite another to do it with such relish, that the reader/viewer is left thinking that some torture-defenders would like nothing better than to travel to Guantanamo and personally torture some detainees to satisfy their sadistic impulses. You find that the defenders of torture sometimes conveniently gloss over some facts. Fact No. 1 is that 108 detainees have died in U.S. custody since 2002, according to Human Rights First. According to the U.S. military’s own classification, 34 of these were suspected or confirmed homicides. Human Rights First has further identified 11 detainees who died of physical abuse, and eight who were tortured to death...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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