Why we can’t afford to let Obama give Bush’s war criminals a free pass

by Charlotte Dennet

Late last Friday, we learned that Obama’s Department of Justice plans to go easy on John Yoo and Jay Bybee — the two assistant attorney generals under Bush who penned the infamous torture memos. For those who have been working long and hard in the accountability movement to make sure no one — not even presidents or their top advisors — is above the law, this was a serious setback...


Obama’s secret police

Mother Jones
by Stephanie Mencimer


For months, much of the right-wing blogosphere has been fuming about Executive Order 12425, which Obama amended in mid-December. The one-paragraph document grants Interpol, the international law enforcement agency based in France, special privileges within the United States — mainly immunity from the Freedom of Information Act and from lawsuits over activity considered part of its official duties. It’s no secret police conspiracy. But thanks to Glenn Beck, the National Review, Newt Gingrich, and others, this obscure directive has fueled a firestorm of right-wing paranoia. Conservative activists warn that Obama intends to use Interpol as a ’secret police’ with the power to knock down doors and arrest law-abiding American citizens. No matter that Interpol agents don’t even carry guns and have no right to arrest people, or that its American office boasts all of five people. And the hysteria over the executive order is not confined to the Tea Party movement. It has also reached the highest levels of politics — that is, the US Congress...


The campaign to retard free speech

J. Neil Schulman @ Rational Review
by J. Neil Schulman


For many years, the word ‘retarded’ was used by both the medical and teaching professions to describe persons whose cognitive functions were slow, who were slow to learn, who were slow to catch on. Now the Special Olympics — and Sarah Palin — want to eliminate the word ‘retarded’ from common usage because it offends their egalitarian premise that we shouldn’t take notice that some people are less cognitively functional than others...


Down with the people

by Jacob Weisberg


In trying to explain why our political paralysis seems to have gotten so much worse over the past year, analysts have rounded up a plausible collection of reasons including: President Obama’s tactical missteps, the obstinacy of congressional Republicans, rising partisanship in Washington, the blustering idiocracy of the cable-news stations, and the Senate filibuster, which has devolved into a super-majority threshold for any important legislation. These are all large factors, to be sure, but that list neglects what may be the biggest culprit in our current predicament: the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large...


Palin and the tea party “movement”: Nothing new

by Glenn Greenwald


All of this underscores both (a) the total incoherence of the ‘tea party movement’ and (b) how it is, at bottom, nothing more than a cynical marketing attempt to re-brand the right wing of the Republican Party under the exact same policies and principles which defined it for the last couple of decades...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Legal Case For War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide in Iraq


DOJ Report on Torture Memo: Yoo Said Bush Could Order Civilians "Exterminated"

Jason Leopold, Truthout: "A long-awaited report into the legal memos former Justice Department attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee prepared for the Bush administration on torture was released Friday afternoon and concluded that the men violated 'professional standards' and should be referred to state bar associations where a further review of their legal work could have led to the revocation of their law licenses."


What Are We Bid for American Justice?

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Truthout: "That famous definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing has come to define this present moment of American politics. No wonder people have lost faith in politicians, in parties and in our leadership. The power of money drives cynicism deep into the heart of every level of government."


Obama's Pentagon Rebrands Iraq War, Rolls Out PR Offensive in Afghanistan

Liliana Segura, AlterNet: "This week, the same week that saw the U.S. military launch a major new assault in Afghanistan - a much ballyhooed effort that is as much a PR offensive as a military one - the Pentagon decided to formally rebrand the Iraq War. In a one-page memo dated Feb. 17, 2010 and signed by Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense officially requested that U.S. Central Command 'change the name of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn.'"


Private Contractors "Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot"

Anthony Fenton, Inter Press Service: "Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging 'shock doctrine' for earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a 'Haiti summit' which aims to bring together 'leading officials' for 'private consultations with attending contractors and investors' in Miami, Florida."




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