Joining my cousins for a bath

Joining my cousins for a bath
happy or sad, at least the bath seems pleasant




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Occasional comments on politics also see: for occasional comments on all the arts, especially in Seattle; and and and and ten sub sites if you want to be excessively well informed about the Austrian author Peter Handke

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 30, 2006
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.
Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Bush's Imperial Presidency
By Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown. Posted April 26, 2006.
The Bush administration has pushed hard for limitless powers to spy on, imprison and torture American citizens in the name of 'security.' Is this really what America stands for

Though it has barely registered in the U.S. press, a national scandal
is currently unfolding in Colombia, where a jailed high official of
the Administrative Department for Security (DAS) has been speaking
freely with journalists about the extensive collaboration between the
secret police agency and right-wing paramilitary groups.

McCarthy's Choice
by Ray McGovern,
With officials refusing to fulfill their oversight duties, the CIA officer was likely forced to choose between silence and speaking out.

IRAQ: Commander Says Contractors Violating U.S. Labor Trafficking Laws
Gen. George Casey ordered that contractors be required by May 1 to return passports that have been illegally confiscated from laborers on U.S. bases after determining that such practices violated U.S. laws against trafficking for forced or coerced labor
by Cam Simpson, The Chicago Tribune
April 23rd, 2006
WASHINGTON - The top U.S. commander in Iraq has ordered sweeping changes for privatized military support operations after confirming violations of human-trafficking laws and other abuses by contractors involving possibly thousands of foreign workers on American bases, according to records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
Gen. George Casey ordered that contractors be required by May 1 to return passports that have been illegally confiscated from laborers on U.S. bases after determining that such practices violated U.S. laws against trafficking for forced or coerced labor. Human brokers and subcontractors from South Asia to the Middle East have worked together to import thousands of laborers into Iraq from impoverished countries.

Spy Speaks Out On Iraq
Watch the CIA's former top man in Europe, Tyler Drumheller, give us more damning evidence that Bush and top administration officials knew Iraq had no WMD program.

"60 Minutes": "In the fall of 2002, before going to war, we had it on good authority from a source within Saddam's inner circle that he didn't have an active program for weapons of mass destruction." The Bush Administration cracked Saddam's inner circle and learned there were no WMD -- and went to war anyway.
"The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy."

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said that almost 100,000 people were working for the U.S. intelligence services, and the recently-completed "campaign plan for the global war on terrorism" was approved by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The new plan calls for "special mission units" to be engaged in continuous warfare around the world; such groups will be permitted to invade a country without the approval of the country's U.S. ambassador.
"Representative Alan B. Mollohan (D., W. Va.), whose real estate holdings and other assets reportedly rose in value from $562,000 to at least $6.3 million between 2000 and 2004, temporarily stepped down from the House ethics committee after being accused of misusing funds. Singer Mary J. Blige said that she had found God. "My God is a God who wants me to have things," she said. "He wants me to bling." A member of MiniKiss, a KISS tribute band made up of dwarves, denied that he had tried to sneak past security at a Las Vegas concert of Tiny Kiss, a KISS tribute band made up of three little people and a 350-pound woman. An Oakland, California, carpenter named Percy Honnibal was in trouble for carpentering naked. In Toluca, Mexico, a priest admitted to strangling and dismembering his pregnant lover after Easter mass, and in Acapulco, Mexico, the heads of a police chief and a police officer were found in front of a government building. A sign next to the heads read: "So that you learn respect." An elderly Miami man was in trouble for going door-to-door offering free breast exams, and a woman in El Salvador was in trouble for allegedly attempting to smuggle a live grenade and marijuana into a prison via a container stuffed into her vagina. In the Netherlands authorities fined an advertiser for placing advertisements on sheep blankets. "If we start with sheep," said Bert Kuiper, the mayor of Skarsterlan, "then next it's the cows and horses."
Wonderful news, Woolsey's wishes come true!
What might have been the lesson from 9/11? That it's not a good thing to destabilize a country, that it's an even worse thing to import a couple of thousand of harebrained idealist and arm them with stinger missiles, but the worst thing of all is then to leave them to their own devices once you no longer need them. This lesson, if learned, would have suffice not to doubly destabilize the near east.
National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said that almost 100,000 people were working for the U.S. intelligence services, and the recently-completed "campaign plan for the global war on terrorism" was approved by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The new plan calls for "special mission units" to be engaged in continuous warfare around the world; such groups will be permitted to invade a country without the approval of the country's U.S. ambassador.
"Representative Alan B. Mollohan (D., W. Va.), whose real estate holdings and other assets reportedly rose in value from $562,000 to at least $6.3 million between 2000 and 2004, temporarily stepped down from the House ethics committee after being accused of misusing funds. Singer Mary J. Blige said that she had found God. "My God is a God who wants me to have things," she said. "He wants me to bling." A member of MiniKiss, a KISS tribute band made up of dwarves, denied that he had tried to sneak past security at a Las Vegas concert of Tiny Kiss, a KISS tribute band made up of three little people and a 350-pound woman. An Oakland, California, carpenter named Percy Honnibal was in trouble for carpentering naked. In Toluca, Mexico, a priest admitted to strangling and dismembering his pregnant lover after Easter mass, and in Acapulco, Mexico, the heads of a police chief and a police officer were found in front of a government building. A sign next to the heads read: "So that you learn respect." An elderly Miami man was in trouble for going door-to-door offering free breast exams, and a woman in El Salvador was in trouble for allegedly attempting to smuggle a live grenade and marijuana into a prison via a container stuffed into her vagina. In the Netherlands authorities fined an advertiser for placing advertisements on sheep blankets. "If we start with sheep," said Bert Kuiper, the mayor of Skarsterlan, "then next it's the cows and horses."
Dem Hardliner Brzezinski: Air Strike on Iran Could 'Merit the Impeachment of the President'

Bush's Thousand Days
by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
The issue of preventive war as a presidential prerogative is hardly new. In February 1848 Rep. Abraham Lincoln explained his opposition to the Mexican War: "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure [emphasis added]. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.' "

Isabel Hilton | Standing Behind the Despot on the Wrong Side of History

25 April 2006
To understand the background in Nepal, please see this recent analysis:
"Nepal's Instability in the Regional Power Struggle"

Intelligence Brief: Nepal's King Reinstates Parliament
Drafted By:

Russia's Military Strategy: Preparing for the Wrong War?
Drafted By: Dr. Marcel de Haas

Summary: With all the talk of Latin America's turn to the left, few have noticed that there are really two lefts in the region. One has radical roots but is now open-minded and modern; the other is close-minded and stridently populist. Rather than fretting over the left's rise in general, the rest of the world should focus on fostering the former rather than the latter -- because it is exactly what Latin America needs.
JORGE G. CASTAÑEDA is the author of Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left After the Cold War and Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara. Having resigned as Mexico's Foreign Minister in 2003, he is currently Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American Studies at New York University.

Physicists Say No To Nuking Iran
Thirteen of the nation's most prominent physicists are calling on the Bush administration to cease and desist all nuclear saber-rattling.

Bush's truth
Sidney Blumenthal
21 - 4 - 2006
George W Bush's verbal convolutions over his role in leaking classified information are part of the White House's dance of deception, says Sidney Blumenthal.
Uganda's soldier politicians
Omar D Kalinge-Nnyago
24 - 4 - 2006
The military's role in politics is not just a troubling memory for Uganda, it is a clear and present danger to democracy, says Omar Kalinge-Nnyago in Kampala

A Democratic Internet
by Art Brodsky,
On Wednesday, competing visions of the World Wide Web will collide on Capitol Hill.

Envoy to Iraq Predicts U.S. May Need to Stay in Region for Years
Zalmay Khalilzad urges Americans to dig in for the long haul. Sectarian violence, meanwhile, kills at least 29 Iraqis in or near Baghdad.
By Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writer
April 25, 2006,0,4561375.story?coll=la-home-world

Sen. Roberts seeks delay of Intel probe
Alexander Bolton
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said he wants to divide his panel's inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of Iraq-related intelligence into two parts, a move that would push off its most politically controversial elements to a later time.
The Politics of Definition
Exclusive: A path-breaking and challenging new study on how progressives and Democrats can close the "identity gap," being published on our site in four parts. Part I: the lay of the land, and progressive strengths.
John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira

With the creting in chief [as he looked so much so on the NY Times cover photo this past Monday on that chowline with some Marines that you wondered why Auntie had to pick that one ] "consulting" with family consigliere Baker, the question becomes what might this smart man say to a dawg like Georgie. "You've really done it, haven't you! You broke it, and now you want someone else to fix it."
Sidney Blumenthal: Tony Snow, Fox News star, begins as the new White House press secretary on the day Karl Rove is called back to the federal grand jury. Because "Everybody Must Get Snowed."

Tips for reporters who want to protect their sources, notes

Jack Shafer has 14 of them. Here's one for reporters working on a really hot story: "If you must make phone calls, do like Tony Soprano and use
aprepaid cell phone purchased with cash."
Keller believes WH is on a campaign to intimidate the press

Iraqi Strife Seeping Into Saudi Kingdom
By Megan K. Stack, Times Staff Writer
April 26, 2006
QATIF, Saudi Arabia — The conflict in Iraq has begun to spill over onto this hardscrabble, sunburned swath of coast, breathing new life into the ancient rivalry between the country's powerful Sunni Muslim majority and the long-oppressed Shiite minority in one of the most oil-rich areas of the world.,0,6032003.story?coll=la-home-headlines

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The
CIA has conducted more than 1,000 clandestine flights in Europe since 2001, and some of them secretly took away terror suspects to countries where they could face torture,
European Union lawmakers said Wednesday.

Behind the installation of Jawad al-Maliki as Iraqi prime minister

Judge Won't Dismiss Case Against Libby. Walton said there must be a way to appoint special prosecutors to ensure that "the perception of fairness withstands the scrutiny of the American public" when high-level government officials are investigated for alleged wrongdoing. Amen.

"We are not even going to be allowed to vote on an amendment that would deal with this central constitutional question," complained Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). "We are now in the process of instructing the people of Iraq about how to ruin parliamentary democracy," he said. "If anybody from the Iraqi Parliament is watching our procedures, please do not try this at home." See the April 26 House floor debate here:

Wednesday's surprise visit to Baghdad by both US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice served as a further indication of Washington's desperate crisis over the unraveling of its neo-colonialist project in Iraq.

The quest for a healthy pregnancy in a toxic environment is one that is becoming increasingly difficult with each successive generation
—no matter where you live

Denouncing The Iraq Deception
by Robert Scheer, The Nation
The intelligence on Iraq was fine, says Tyler Drumheller. The policy was stupid.

US: Chief Democrat on ethics panel hit by corruption charges

27 April 2006
In order to better understand today's analysis, it is important to read the November 2005 background report on Nigeria (the link is below):
"Intelligence Brief: Nigeria"

As support for Bush plummets, no alternative from Democrats

Maliki's history is typical of the Shiite fundamentalists who have collaborated with the US occupation of Iraq over the past three years. Much of his life was spent in exile. In 1980, he fled Iraq to escape a brutal crackdown on Da'awa by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Initially he took refuge in Iran, where the Shiite fundamentalist regime of Ayatollah Khomeni had come to power the year before. He left for Syria, however, shortly after the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1981. Da'awa split over its attitude to the conflict. A sizeable faction of the Iraqi Shiite exiles actively backed Iran and formed the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Maliki supported leaders such as Jaafari, who opposed subordinating the Iraqi movement to Tehran.

Oxfam Withdraws Backing for Trade Deal Talks

Published on Thursday, April 27, 2006 by the Los Angeles Times
Visit by Rumsfeld, Rice Sets Off Criticism in Iraq
Some leaders worry that the Americans' surprise trip could hurt talks on forming a government. Analysts see an effort to shore up U.S. opinion.
by Louise Roug and Paul Richter
BAGHDAD — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld paid a surprise visit to Baghdad on Wednesday to express support for Iraq's new leaders, but drew criticism from Iraqi politicians who said they feared the unannounced visit might do more harm than good.
"We didn't invite them," said Kamal Saadi, a Shiite legislator close to the new prime minister-designate, Nouri Maliki.
Saadi said Iraqi leaders had not been given advance notice of the visit, which came just days after Iraqi politicians broke through a months-long impasse on the selection of a prime ministe

Subcomandante Marcos and the Other Campaign caravan are getting
closer to the concrete jungle of Mexico City, the center of the
country's political power and home to a quarter of its citizens. On
Wednesday, Marcos made a startling announcement from the Mexico City
suburb of Nezahualcoyotl. Al Giordano reports:
"Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos was received this afternoon by
thousands of urban workers from the rough-and-tumble metropolis of
Nezahualcoyotl that borders Mexico City.

Robert Fisk: Seen through a Syrian lens, 'unknown Americans' are provoking civil war in Iraq
Published: 28 April 2006 In Syria, the world appears through a glass, darkly. As dark as the smoked windows of the car which takes me to a building on the western side of Damascus where a man I have known for 15 years - we shall call him a "security source", which is the name given by American correspondents to their own powerful intelligence officers - waits with his own ferocious narrative of disaster in Iraq and dangers in the Middle East.
His is a fearful portrait of an America trapped in the bloody sands of Iraq, desperately trying to provoke a civil war around Baghdad in order to reduce its own military casualties. It is a scenario in which Saddam Hussein remains Washington's best friend, in which Syria has struck at the Iraqi insurgents with a ruthlessness that the United States wilfully ignores. And in which Syria's Interior Minister, found shot dead in his office last year, committed suicide because of his own mental instability.

After Abu Ghraib, Impunity
by Jim Lobe,
A new report details the widespread nature of detainee abuse and the severely limited response.

TPMMuckraker read all the papers and says everyone agrees on why Karl Rove appeared for the fifth—count it, fifth—time before the grand jury on Wednesday: to explain why he failed to tell prosecutors earlier that he'd revealed Valerie Plame's identity to Matthew Cooper. Bloomberg's story quotes "people familiar with the case" as seeing "potentially ominous signs" for Bush's adviser in his latest visit to Fitzgerald's grand jury.
Ominous, Bloomberg explained, because, "Among other things, they said, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald declined to give him any assurance after his testimony that he won't be charged."
RawStory posts an MSNBC report about Rove's lawyers saying that Rove called the whole experience "hell" and "was surprised by the tone of the questions as well as the length of time he was required to testify."
From TPMMuckraker , here's a reminder of how Rove's version of events goes:
Rove testifed in February 2004 that he hadn't spoken with Cooper. Sometime around then (after Rove's testimony, one would assume), another Time reporter, Viveca Novak, told Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin that she'd heard Rove had spoken with Cooper. Luskin was "surprised," according to Novak, because Rove hadn't remembered that conversation. This sparked a search of Rove's emails, unearthing one which showed Rove writing about his conversation with Cooper. So then Rove went back and told prosecutors that he'd spoken with Cooper.
Bloomberg reports that Rove testified this week that he still doesn't remember talking to Cooper. Gosh, Cooper must be some kind of unforgettable character. More likely, of course, is that Rove is lying. James Moore, longtime Rove watcher and co-author of Bush's Brain , wrote in a piece last fall that Karl Rove is not the type to have a fuzzy memory. He can "remember precinct results from 19th-century presidential elections," wrote Moore.

Moore's article called on Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to recognize that he has before him " the most important criminal case in American history." Speculating about Fitzgerald's strategy, he continued:
Presumably, he is trying to find evidence that Karl Rove launched a covert operation to create the forged documents and then conspired to out Valerie Plame when he learned the fraud was being uncovered by Plame's husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson. As much as this sounds like the plot of a John le Carre novel, it also comports with the profile of the Karl Rove I have known, watched, traveled with and written about for the past 25 years.
I have seen the spawn of Rove's tortured mind and watched a hundred of his political scams unfold and I am confident I know how this one played out. Rove might have brought it up with his fellow big brains in the White House Iraq Group, a propaganda organization set up to disseminate information supporting the war
U.S. News and World Report reported last January that at least three
publications of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence, all
critical of the agency, had been withheld from the CIA web site ("A
Tangled Web Woven," by David E. Kaplan, U.S. News, January 30, 2006).
Now two of those disfavored publications are available on the
of American Scientists web site. The third will follow.
"Intelligence for a New Era in American Foreign Policy" is the report
a conference convened by the Center for the Study of Intelligence,
published in January 2004 ( 1.3 MB PDF):

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) filed an amendment that would prohibit all
funding for the NSA domestic surveillance program unless and until the
Bush Administration keeps Congress fully and currently informed of the
program as required by law. See the text of his amendment here:

28 April 2006
In light of current developments in Iran, PINR encourages:
"Intelligence Brief: Iran and the U.S. Maneuver Carefully Toward Confrontation"

Hungary's Re-Elected Government Calls for Incisive Reforms
Drafted By: Dr. Federico Bordonaro

Iran and the Bomb
By Christopher de Bellaigue

For years, the Egyptian government and state-run media have brushed off acts of hostility toward minority Coptic Christians, or periodic Coptic-Muslim clashes, as exceptions to a rule of "national unity" and inter-communal brotherhood. But the sectarian street battles in Alexandria in mid-April, set off by knife attacks on Coptic worshippers, have lifted the lid on the sensitive "Coptic question." The newly vigorous public debate is very much rooted in the political ferment of 2005, including increased sectarian tensions, but also the vocal dissent from the regime and the gains of the Muslim Brotherhood in December's legislative elections. Issandr El Amrani chronicles "The Emergence of a 'Coptic Question' in Egypt" in Middle East Report Online:

Drillers Hit Deep-Sea Pay Dirt Years of boring have finally yielded bits of the lower-most ocean crust

Published on Friday, April 28, 2006 by the
Associated Press
Rights Take Backseat to Oil
Leaders accused of violations meet with White House
by Tom Raum Searching for energy supplies and allies against Iran, the Bush administration is reaching out to leaders who rule countries that are rich in oil and gas but accused of authoritarian rule and human rights violations.

Don't Run, John Kerry
by Ellen Goodman [or get your prostate back from you doc]


william kristol or is he really billy crystal or what kind of crystal is he on??
In fact, Condi and her colleagues will try to say--privately and off the record--that it ain't so. They'll explain to Bush supporters here in Washington that the administration hasn't really gone soft on Iran. The State Department is just doing its job, reassuring the Europeans so as to keep them on board. Sure, hawks will worry that proclaiming "Iran is not Iraq" signals that
the Bush administration is now terrified even to threaten the use of force against terror-sponsoring
Condi and her colleagues may come home and say, privately, it ain't so. But it is so. Much of the U.S. government no longer believes in, and is no longer acting to enforce, the Bush Doctrine. "The United States of America understands and believes that Iran is not Iraq." That's a diplomatic way of saying that the United States of America is in retreat.

michael roloff

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

let's call this the hitler's birthday posting...
If you look at Carl Bernstein's call for impeachment in vanity fair
and two recent posts by Tom Englehardt, "exporting ruins"
and "history ambushes the bush administration"
at Tomdispatch. and de la Vega at
on "el jefe's final jeopardy question"
and john dean's several, and other, analyses of "el jefe's" legal predicaments:
one would reach the conclusion that, while the center continues to put on a brave face and play a nice game of shuffle board, matters are crumbling at the edges, there are moles in the lawn if not inside the salad bowl, and that there are too many matters crumbling at too many edges for the dike not to break altogether.
The center is trying a diversionary face lift, a typical American endeavor that buys aging whores a little time. But it is good to go back to the beginning of all of this, the 2000 election, the Florida voter's mess, the Bush group going into a huddle when Florida seemed to be slipping away, the aborted recount [not to speak of a re-vote that ought to have been held if the two candidates had been seriously interested in democracy more than power], and that exceptionalist decision that justice Sca-li-a was signaling the moment that the matter seemed to be headed in Al Gore's way. Thus it is good to reread Renata Adler's New Republic piece IRREPARABLE HARM which is now available, in completeen form, as a chap book from any number of vendors. I would think that is fair to hold that the irreparable harm was also done by then President Clinton in lacking the decency to resign and hand over power to an interesting vice president when caught in a shaming lie, who might have gotten the standing of a sitting president for the election.- An unforgivably selfish and foresightless act by one of the sorriest of womanizers to ever wear pants and never satisfy a woman. However, I would think that revulsion at Bush and cohorts that might lead to a disgorging of an administration as corrupt as it is incompetent and criminal would then stop short at the nightmarish or hilarious thought of a President Dennis Hastert wrestling with the problems of this world, possibly taking orders from a jailed Tom DeLay! A complete goonacracy. So, just as the German Reich went down in flames with Hitler, the American project finds a ludicrous end with the would-be imperialist, the impostor from Texas by way of Kennebunkport.
What interested me was to track down the German lawyer, a formidable and well schooled lawyer, who helped H. pass the various enabling laws that put H. as dictator above the law, Wilhelm Frick.
The equivalent lawyers have been found here meanwhile, and an attorney general, too. By withdrawing from the International Court of Justice, under the guise of trying to prevent the possible indictment of poor American soldiers, the Bush gang has tried to seal itself off , successfully so far, from international apprehension. Neither El Jefe nor his closest advisers and backers could withstand the scrutiny of such a court or of a Nuremberg-like trial which condemned Frick to death - he was executed on October 16, 1946. The only matters that keep this administration in power is the trembling members of the members of the several houses. It sure can't be the frightful thought that Bush can protect anyone but the financial interest of a very limited group of people. But Carl Bernstein sure gave it that extra college try!

Death Squad Allegations Threaten to Derail Bush's Last Latin Ally
Halliburton's Immigrant Detention Centers
"The use of military personnel and military contractors in the event of a Katrina-like disaster, which the Halliburton contract provides for, brings us closer to martial law, whether it is officially declared or not...."

Flight Of The Investor Class
Defections are endangering the GOP's hold on power

The investor class is souring on George W. Bush and the Republicans. People who call themselves investors (and they aren't all rich) are part of the reason Bush's approval ratings have dropped to an all-time low. Hitoshi Tada has voted for the President twice, but the 27-year-old St. Louis resident and mutual fund investor says he's disappointed by Bush's "seeming lack of direction or progress on any front." Tada, who describes himself as "conservative across the board," isn't impressed by the management skills of America's first MBA President. "He certainly delegates and lets others screw up," Tada says. He calls the scandal- ridden Republican Congress "a hapless, self-serving mess."
REVERENCE FOR THE LAW, AND STATUTORY INTERPRETATION The best way to ensure the perpetuation of democratic institutions in turbulent times, said Abraham Lincoln in an 1838 speech, is to cultivate a sense of reverence for the law. "Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap -- let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; -- let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice." "And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation," said the 28 year old Lincoln. A newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service introduces lay readers to the principles of statutory interpretation used by the Supreme Court to interpret the law. Some of these rules are commonsensical. Thus, ordinarily, "shall" is mandatory and "may" is permissive. Others are less obvious but no less important. The principle of "constitutional avoidance," for example, dictates that a statute should be read, "if fairly possible," so as not to be found unconstitutional. At Congressional direction, CRS does not make its products directly available to the American public. But a copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News. See "Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends," updated March 30, 2006:
The economics of militarism
Hillary Clinton outlines Democrats' big business agenda

The very rich in America: "The kind of money you cannot comprehend"
price of oil going through the roof, so, folks, is the price of texas oil! which has consequences....
Senate Hearings on Bush, Now
In this exclusive, a Watergate veteran and Vanity Fair contributor calls for bipartisan hearings investigating the Bush presidency. Should Republicans on the Hill take the high road and save themselves come November?
Roll Call On Rumsfeld
Jim Lobe
April 18, 2006

Jim Lobe is Washington bureau chief for
Inter Press Service. Reprinted with permission.
Despite White House efforts to put an end to the controversy, the battle over the fate of Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld shows little sign of abating.
And the outcome, which is by no means certain, could well determine the trajectory of U.S. policy in key areas—including Iraq, Iran and even China—through the remaining two and a half years of George W. Bush's presidency.
While the unprecedented calls by six retired generals for his resignation have focused primarily on his competence, management style and strategy for invading and occupying Iraq, Rumsfeld's departure would almost certainly cripple the coalition of neoconservative and aggressive nationalist war hawks in and around the administration for the remainder of Bush's term.
That is why the hawks outside the administration, led by the neoconservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, appear anxious to persuade Bush himself that the current campaign against his defense secretary is really aimed at him.
"(O)n Friday Mr. Bush said he still has every confidence
18 April 2006

In light of conditions in Iraq, PINR recommends its recent in-depth analysis on developments there:
"Red Lines Crisscross Iraq's Political Landscape"


Economic Brief: Doncasters Deal Evokes U.S. National Security Concerns
Drafted By:
Suspected of Bilking Iraq Funds
In light of today's topic, a recent PINR analysis may be of interest:
"China's Strategy of Containing India"
Jolie's new baby looks remarkably like Page Six's Stern"
New Yorker
Pentagon declined to comment on a report that US military planning for
Iran began in 2002 and has been continually updated since
"This is the United States Defense Department. We plan for all sorts of things," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.;_ylt=AhPW163iO4aHJvsOuDyV2xEDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhcmljNmVhBHNlYwNtcm5ld3M
US Strike on Iran: Fallout Around the World Would Be Grim
Iraq War, Round Two
by Robert Dreyfuss,
With mid-term elections in mind, are Bush and Cheney planning a major assault to assert U.S. dominance in Baghdad?
Bush's sway over WH press corps seems to be fraying,0,327824 7.story
Baltimore Sun
Documents Link Rumsfeld to Prisoner's Interrogation
Senators push for U.S.-Iran talks
Diplomacy urged in nuclear dispute
April 17, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Richard Lugar, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and three Democratic colleagues called Sunday for direct U.S. talks with Iran about its disputed nuclear program, in part to address global concerns about energy supplies.
Britain Took Part in Mock Iran Invasion
Jared Paul Stern: The FishbowlNY Interview
FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=jared_paul_stern_scandal.jpg"
Today we became the latest bleeping media outlet to interview Jared Paul Stern about the Page Six scandal.
Walking the White House plank
White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, departs as the investigation into Karl Rove enters into a serious new phase.
Plan Patriota: What $700 Million in U.S. Cash Will and Will Not Buy You in ColombiaombWill not Buy You in Colombia

Michael Scherer of on the Torturer-in-Chief; Michael T. Klare on Iran; Iranian composer and vocalist Sussan Deyhim with cultural commentary.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

an easter posting + introductory note

posting for week of 10-16 April, in one of an infinite number of years of our lord the cretin... a brief communication.

As the newest major infamy is waiting in the wings, as the propaganda machine is gearing up to find its newest incarnation of evil to arouse the paranoid position of our schizophrenic population, I happened on a list of the attempted assassinations that were made on H.

This list is of particular interest to me for a variety of family reasons. First, because the final, nearly successful attempt, at the Wolfsschanze [Wolf's Lair], as all those who remember G. Grass's Dog Years will recall, took place on land owned by an uncle of mine, Heinie von Lehndorf, who had become the courier for the conspirators, and once re-apprehended, [he briefly escaped from a Gestapo car in Berlin, but being in riding boots did not get far in the sandy soil of the Mark Brandenburg] was one of those who were summarily executed by being hung on meat hooks in Ploetzensee. Other, such as my father and grandfather went or were supposed to go before Freisler's infamous "People's Court. " My father escaped that particular fate by attempting to commit suicide after his first interrogation, so as not to give away any names, and had the great good fortune to be delivered into a hospital that was run by Dr. Med Albrecht Tietze, who, and his assistants, especially a Dr. Charlotte Pommer, specialized in keeping political prisoners in the hospital as long as possible, so that by the time my father was released Freisler had been killed by a falling beam during an Allied Air raid on Berlin. As a matter of speculation, who knows what the Gestapo really had on him. I once checked out the Gestapo records that the U.S. Army brought to Washington, D.C. and all I could find was that he had been good at supplying fish to the conspirators. Albrecht Tietze saved many other people as well, and is memorialized at

as Dr. Charlotte Pommer ought to be, too. Looking in detail at those records what surprised me was the number of Berlin policemen and the like who assisted Tietze, which will make me look at them more kindly if I am ever again caught in a demonstration in the city of my birth where they used to practice rather rough crowd control.

The Freisler court, surprisingly, condemned Opa A. to just two further years concentration camp, his fourth stint. Looking at the trial transcript what amazes me are the extraordinary extenuating circumstances that the court allows him and his fellow defendant, Pechel, the editor of the Deutsche Monatshefte, whom they acquit; amazing in comparison with current and, from a sensible point of view, so wasteful, unnecessary U.S. government juridical practices as exemplified by Guantanamo[unless you wish to assert dictatorial powers], Abu Ghraib, Bagram,[ the prison in Afghanistan], and the rarely mentioned Diego Garcia, another sweat box for sure. I am amazed that Freisler's People's Court, which indeed numbered some real "people" [for example, a "gardener"] in its midst, did not simply condemn the great and wonderful fool of a grandfather for an unending series of oppositional acts. As a member of the Conservatives and Reserve Officer he had been go-between Schleicher and H., had been on the hit list for the night of the long knives, when H. eliminated opposition within his party [Roehm], Schleicher on the military side, and so on. He refused to swear the required oath of allegiance to H. He survived that ther nite of the long knives because the police president of Berlin, Helldorf, had told him to spend the weekend at his hunting lodge. Helldorf joined the opposition and was executed on in August of 1944. Opa A. was condemned to life imprisonment after surviving the the long knives [memorialized in a fashion in Brecht's Arturo Ui], a sentence which was then commuted. He knew H. and had mortally offended him. Last year I read an aunt's account of H's visit to my grandparent's Berlin apartment in the early 30s - my grandmother, a woman of delicate tastes, a wonderful pianist, saying afterwards, that she'd just as soon not have this gentleman over for lunch again. A wonderful way of putting it I suppose. "I just as soon not have H. over for lunch again." There may even be a musical in that for the country that can turn every major tragedy into a musical, and whose culture is as superficial as couple of bamboo sticks nailed over an awning, spelling South Pacific. "Bug-Dud, or perhaps The Buggers of Bug-Dud or the Bedbugs of Bug-Dud" must be on some American producers drawing board already. At any event, if my grandfather had not had had his occasional vaccacciones from one or the other concentration camp, I would not have vested my capacities for idolization in this man who was a child's ultimate clown, no doubt assisted in such investment by what I must have observed, at a very young age, was my mother's preference for him over my father, source of my sense of the absurd, for my love of Night at the Opera and Duck Soup, early Ionesco etc. Perhaps the reason the Nazi's would let him go occasionally was because he was such a great fool, as were his fellow conservatives in thinking that H. as chancellor would make such a fool of himself in six months that that would be the end of the Nazi Party, projecting their own irresponsibility while forgetting entirely the history of the NSDAP, which was the history of murder, gross propaganda, of the big lie, the biggest of lies, as of 1923. Let us therefore not forget the history of the current jefe's rise to power and how it came to be. Brecht had the right lens for H. and his gang, the Chicago gangsters in Arturo Ui's Resistable Rise to Power was the acceptable comedic stage equivalent for them. during that time no end of folks went into what became known later as "inner emigration", and various branches of learning adjusted themselves so as not to make any waves, most famously the germanisten zunft.


Sidney Blumenthal | The Slow-Motion Trap - Awonderful description of the way bush lies, learned it at his father's breast! and as a preppie perfected it.

Mike Davis, "Return to Sender" (Car Bombs, Part 2)

In the first part of his unique history of the car bomb, "The Poor Man's Air Force," Mike Davis (author of the only significant book on the Avian flu, The Monster at Our Door , and Planet of Slums , a startling analysis of the way significant parts of our planet have been rapidly urbanizing and de-industrializing all at once) took us up through a crucial moment in 1984. It was then that Hezbollah sent the Reagan administration into flight in Lebanon with its massive suicide car bombings and perhaps altered the state of our planet forever. In the second part of his history, we enter a "return to sender" world in which the sponsorship of "surrogate terrorism" blows back all over the globe and the car bomb becomes a near universal weapon of destruction. Tom

Car Bombs with Wings

A History of the Car Bomb (Part 2)

By Mike Davis

The CIA's Car Bomb University (the 1980s)

"The CIA officers that Yousef worked with closely impressed upon him one rule: never use the terms sabotage or assassination when speaking with visiting congressmen."

-- Steve Coll, Ghost Wars

The Frameshop by Jeffrey Feldman on "What's in a Leak? The Power of Winning"

"The firing of Washington columnist James Ridgeway by the new management of the Village Voice, and the subsequent resignation of the distinguished Pulitizer Prize winner Sydney Schanberg from the paper, is a sad moment in the history of the New York weekly."

Another Bush National Security Failure: "A year after John Negroponte became the first director of national intelligence, key lawmakers worry that the spy agency they created is not fulfilling its vital mission."

14 April 2006

In light of recent instability in Chad, PINR recommends its recent report on the issue:

"Chad's Cycle of Instability Gains Momentum"

Additionally, PINR's recent in-depth look at conditions in Iraq is also relevant:

"Red Lines Crisscross Iraq's Political Landscape"


Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

By John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

Working Paper Number:RWP06-011

Submitted: 03/13/2006


Now Powell Tells Us

Robert Scheer editor of TruthDig , where this essay originally was published.

The President played the scoundrel--even the best of his minions went along with the lies--and when a former ambassador dared to tell the truth, the White House initiated what Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald calls "a plan to discredit, punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson." That is the important story line.


The Immigration Debate Rolls On:

Mexico – So far from heaven; Washington – So far from fielding a legitimate and straight immigration strategy

While long on heated rhetoric and mythology, the current immigration debate is short on historical perspective.

The path to the current crisis was paved with failed policy decisions and mooncalf goals, with Washington deserving most of the blame, but Mexico is not undeserving of some of it.

A plague on both your houses.

We now also know that the U.S. military is deliberately misleading Iraqis, Americans and the rest of the world about the extent of Al Qaeda's involvement in the Iraqi insurgency. This was reported in The Washington Post on April 10, on the basis of internal military documents seen by that newspaper.

From The New America Foundation

How to Get Out of the Iran TrapBy Anatol LievenSpecial to

Wednesday, April 12, 2006; 12:00 AM

The Bush administration's strategy regarding Iran's nuclear program is going nowhere. The U.S. demand that Iran permanently terminate even a limited capacity to enrich uranium has been categorically rejected by every Iranian political figure and group, including all the leading reformists. Given the views on the subject held by both the establishment and the mass of the population, it would be political suicide for them to do otherwise.


Even as the entertainment world wrings its hands over the New York Post's Page Six scandal, a gossip column at another Gotham paper is facing the ax.

The New York Times is making plans to terminate its own gossip section, Boldface Names, dispatching topper Campbell Robertson to the theater desk in the Arts section.

The Times created Boldface Names, a daily column that ran in the paper's metro section, in part as a response to the success of Page Six. But it struggled to define itself as a section that would feed the appetite for gossip created by the tabs while continuing to speak with the broadsheet's traditional voice

Burkl'd: How Billionaire

And Page Sixer

Both Got Stung


Jurkowitz: Somebody needs to add context to Hersh's reporting (Phoenix)

Critic: Why doesn't WP apologize for its pre-war editorials? Erik Wemple says other publications have acknowledged their gullibility in swallowing the Bush administration's propaganda about WMDs, but the Post has only said: "Were we wrong? The honest answer is: We don't yet know." Wemple writes: "Well, that was two and a half years ago. Do we know enough now to admit the mistake? When asked that question, [WP editorial page editor Fred] Hiatt responded, 'I'm not getting into that subject...I guess what we have to say about that I would say in an editorial.'
Washington City Paper

Extradition, a historic pillar of U.S. anti-drug efforts, now becomes a vanishing function and casualty of the paramilitary demobilization process.

Washington's subterfuge is to keep up filing extradition requests for demobilized paramilitaries, but will expect none of them to be fulfilled.

Despite the fact that they were guilty of heinous human rights abuses, as well as being active participants in the drug trade, the rightwing paras essentially will get away with their crimes (including massive human rights violations) with impunity.

Colombian President Uribe's demobilization plan, under the aegis of the Justice and Peace Law, guarantees that paramilitaries making a show of demobilizing, will be spared from foreign prosecution.

No matter how grave their crime, a couple of months in a country-club jail and a token payment to the families of their victims will get one exonerated (or at most a token sentence) irrespective of how many throats of children were cut.

The U.S.' support for Uribe's demobilization plan points to the hypocrisy of Washington's anti-drug policy and underscores Congressman Hyde's recent outspoken candor regarding the integrity of Washington's anti-drug strategy.



Now that President Bush is the "leaker-in-chief," America has to ask itself: Exactly how many times over would this Republican Congress have impeached Bill Clinton if he had committed just a tiny fraction of President Bush's offenses? When someone goes this far to "out-Nixon Nixon" in terms of violating the public's trust, all of that talk about impeachment for W doesn't sounds so crazy any more.

US Shelved Evidence Discounting Iraq's WMD: Report



Is the America of 2006 more willing to thwart the unacceptable than the France of 1936?

by William Kristol

04/24/2006, Volume 011, Issue 30


Strikes Again: On May 29, 2003, Bush Told the Nation We Found Bio Labs in Iraq that Proved Iraq Had WMD. On May 27, 2003, Two Days Before, US Intelligence Determined They Were NOT Bio Labs and Had NOTHING To Do With WMD. Bush Continued to Push the Lie For An Entire Year.


Busheviks Made Secret Agreement to Hide Reclassification Program from Public

Tomgram: Mike Davis on the History of the Car Bomb

In a column on March 23 (A Vision, Bruised and Dented ), David Brooks of the New York Times' wrote about "the rise of what Richard Lowry of the National Review calls the 'To Hell With Them' Hawks." In part, Brooks characterized these hawks as being conservatives who "look at car bombs and cartoon riots and wonder whether Islam is really a religion of peace." One of the advantages of history is that you have to check such thoughts at the door. If Islam can't be considered a "religion of peace," thanks to what Mike Davis calls "the quotidian workhorse of urban terrorism," then at least its jihadists join a roiling crowd of less-than-peaceful car-bombers that has included Jews, Christians, Hindus, anarchists, French colonials, Mafiosos, members of the Irish Republican Army, and CIA operatives among others. ...

The Poor Man's Air Force

A History of the Car Bomb (Part 1)

By Mike Davis

Buda's Wagon (1920)

"You have shown no pity to us! We will do likewise. We will dynamite you!

-- Anarchist warning (1919)

On a warm September day in 1920, a few months after the arrest of his comrades Sacco and Vanzetti, a vengeful Italian anarchist named Mario Buda parked his horse-drawn wagon near the corner of Wall and Broad


12 April 2006
In light of the Italian elections, PINR encourages you to read its recent Economic Brief on Italy. That brief can be found at:

"Economic Brief: Italy's Weak Economy"

PINR will be releasing a more in-depth analysis on the Italian elections in the coming days.


Also, as confrontation with Iran escalates, PINR encourages you to read two past analyses on Iran's nuclear program that are quite relevant today:

"Can Iran's Pursuit of Nuclear Technology Be Thwarted By Air Strikes?"

"Strategies for States Affected by Iran's Quest for Nuclear Weapons"


The Israeli Elections: A Recipe for Further Crisis

Drafted By: P.R. Kumaraswamy

the usual suspects want to go to war:
[manhattan institute]
[wall street journal]

April 10, 2006 by the New York Times

Yes He Would

by Paul Krugman

"But he wouldn't do that." That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for


11 April 2006

In light of today's Intelligence Brief on Iran, it is important to read PINR's past in-depth analysis on Iran's current national strategy. That piece can be found at:

"Iran's Bid for Regional Power: Assets and Liabilities"


Intelligence Brief: Iran and the U.S. Maneuver Carefully Toward Confrontation

Drafted By:


45% of Americans want Bush censured. That puts the idea that it's 'far left" to rest. Nobody seems to get this, but what BuzzFlash is saying is mainstream. It's the corporate media that doesn't reflect American opinion

Phone-Jamming Scheme in 2002 Election Points to White House

Phone-Jamming Records Point to White House


By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer Mon Apr 10, 4:55 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.;_ylt=AhmXi_YVQSlSRXSUcTaSAKJp24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA


Daniel Pipes and the unfolding civil war in IraqDaniel Pipes, the director of the neo-conservative Middle East Forum and a vociferous supporter of the invasion of Iraq, is not an inconsequential figure in the American political establishment


VIDEO: Cheney Loudly Booed During First Pitch


WASHINGTON - A batch of 278 e-mails between lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a Bush administration official show a highly inappropriate relationship where gifts and business interests mixed freely and frequently, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The prosecutors hope to use the e-mails in the criminal case against David Safavian, who is accused of lying and obstruction of justice in connection with investigations of an Abramoff-sponsored golf outing to Scotland in August 2002.

The e-mails show that Abramoff and Safavian, then chief of staff at the General Services Administration, were in frequent contact, played golf often and traded workplace gossip. Abramoff showered Safavian with offers of meals, invitations to parties as well as the trip to the fabled St. Andrew's golf course in Scotland.;_ylt=ArwonsP5urQHPn1Vh0JOSaGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3OXIzMDMzBHNlYwM3MDM


As Bush Crimes Mount, Why are Dems Retreating?

WASHINGTON - April 14 - Green Party candidates and leaders faulted Democrats for refusing to hold President Bush and his administration accountable for a mounting list of high crimes and misdemeanors...


It is unprecedented for career military leaders to be speaking out in this manner – and it's the tip of the iceberg. Imagine what we might hear if the rank-and-file could speak freely? Well-connected Washington Post columnist David Ignatius says that "the retired generals who are speaking out the view of hundreds of other officers on active duty." He adds, "when I recently asked an Army officer with extensive Iraq combat experience how many of his colleagues wanted Rumsfeld out, he guessed 75 percent." Ignatius suspects--based on his conversations with senior officers over the past three years--that figure may be low.


Jonathan Steele | US Allies are Behind the Death Squads and Ethnic Cleansing

Published on Friday, April 14, 2006 by the gardian / UK

The Reporter Whose Scoops Give the Bush Administration Sleepless Nights

Seymour Hersh: 'I feel like I did in the Vietnam days - I hate to pay taxes just so they can go and bomb more people'

by Julian Borger


Breaking -- Vice President Dick Cheney directed his then-chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on July 12, 2003 to leak to the media portions of a then-highly classified CIA report that Cheney hoped would undermine the credibility of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson


A GI Tells of His Betrayal by Bush: "I now know I wrongfully placed my faith and trust in a presidential administration hopelessly mired in incompetence, hubris and a lack of accountability."


Native Americans Want 'Bunker Buster' Test Stopped

Mind Games Over Iran

by Jim Lobe,

Whether psy-ops or premeditation, those calling for strikes on Iran are the same folks behind the war in Iraq.

Patrick Cockburn | Situation in Iraq Could Not be Worse

The Plame Game

What Murray Waas's big scoop may really tell us about Bush's pre-war deceptions.

By Greg Sargent

Web Exclusive: 04.04.06

Murray Waas's latest scoop -- in which he broke new ground with a detailed account of the Bush administration's deceptions about Iraq -- has won plenty of plaudits already. But its true larger significance is still crying out to be explained


I regret that I am not back in NY and Elaine's for this wonderful brouhaha!

Jared Paul Stern's own website offers glimpse of bribe-lust!

Despite being taped seeking Mafia-like

"The phrase 'gossip journalist' is an oxymoron," says Dimond (BaltSun),0,6695025.story?coll=bal-features-headlines

NYT has published 10,865 words on the scandal vs 6,588 in NYDN (WSJ)

NY Sun: What's with NYT's obsession with the Page Six scandal? (NYS)

Keller discusses NYT's coverage in "Talk to the Newsroom" column (NYT)

Posted at 8:33:59 AM Page Six gossip accuses billionaire of trying to "set me up"

Washington Post | Slate

Page Six scandal expanded to details of lavish gifts to staffers (NYDN)

> Stern: I often get use of cars from carmakers in exchange for ink (USAT)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

pretzel president

http://summapolitico.blogspot .com

Words fail. As last week ended, the Vice President, we learned (in papers filed in federal court by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in the Plame-Niger-Uranium, sixteen-fateful-words, disagree-with-us-and-we'll-whack-you case), told his chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby, that the President "specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE" -- in other words that George had authorized Scooter to leak parts of a highly-classified CIA National Intelligence Estimate to New York Times reporter Judith Miller in order to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson and, in effect, out his CIA agent wife Valerie Plame. The President is well known for having stated, in relation to this increasingly bizarre and twisted case: "I don't know of anyone in my administration who has leaked. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action" and for having taken the sternest positions on the very subject of leaking. (" Leaks of classified information are bad things. We've got too much leaking in Washington. I want to know who the leakers are.")
These are, of course, statements open to interpretation. How much, after all, do any of us really know ourselves? How much, many have asked, does this President really know himself. How much harder it will certainly be for him to know himself now that he has become the contortionist-in-chief, the human Pretzeldent. Given where they are, how could one of his hands be responsible for knowing what the other hand actually did. Perhaps the explanation for all this is simple enough: As our commander-in-chief in time of "war" (as defined and declared by him) and our all-powerful "unitary executive" (as defined and declared by a coterie of lawyers around the Vice President's office), he simply claimed the right to declassify not just top-secret documents, but himself whenever he wanted. After all, being President means, as George demonstrated only recently, never having to say you're sorry, even when you flip-flop on a significant issue. ...

Final Jeopardy

Asking the Right Question About the President's Involvement in the CIA Leak Affair

By Elizabeth de la Vega
The latest in a parade of horrors emanating from the Bush administration appeared Thursday in the form of a revelation buried in papers filed in federal court by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in his investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, now under indictment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, told the Grand Jury Fitzgerald convened that President Bush had -- via Vice President Cheney -- authorized him to disclose selected information from a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to New York Times reporter Judith Miller, which he did during a private breakfast meeting at the St. Regis Hotel on July 8, 2003.

Doesn't the news that ex-reporter Judith Miller was "Scooter" Libby's [and perhaps the entire administration's] preferred of disseminator of misinformation require some further assessment by the Time's of the reports she filed prior to her being prohibited from covering Iraq intelligence???

'Forgers' of key Iraq war contract named
Michael Smith
TWO employees of the Niger embassy in Rome and a certain Denis Dutton* of New Zealand were responsible for the forgery of a notorious set of documents used to help justify the Iraq war, an official investigation has allegedly found.
According to Nato sources, the investigation has evidence that Niger's consul and its ambassador's personal assistant faked a contract to show Saddam Hussein had bought uranium ore from the impoverished west African country....,,176-2125630,00.html

When chided for a sharp or acerbic remark, Pat Moynihan used to invoke an old aphorism: This animal is vicious; when he's attacked, he bites back. Moynihan would cite the French verse, which made the point seem more elegant (cet animal est très méchant; quand on l'attaque, il se défend). We quote it in English, so the Bush administration will not be deterred from acting on its wisdom.
Libby Prosecutor
Outlines Effort
At High Levels
Fitzgerald Aims to Show
An Organized Plan Led
To Leak of CIA Agent's Name
April 8, 2006; Page A6
WASHINGTON -- The special prosecutor trying the case against former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis Libby will try to show that the leaking of a CIA agent's name grew out of a highly organized administration effort that commanded high-level attention, a court filing this week shows.

President Bush, 2003: 'Leaks of Classified Information Are a Bad Thing'

US Rep Louise Slaughter Tries to Get Colleagues to Post Corruption Report Online

Three Years On, Congressional Debate Over Iraq Policy?
Argentina and Uruguay Shun US Military Academy, School of the Americas

Peru's 2006 Presidential Elections:
Still too close to call, but Humala should at least make it through round one and into the winner's box

Lula No Long Ball Hitter When it Comes to Land Reform

Idea of Bush as leaker-in-chief is "breathtaking," says Dem 600333.html
Washington Post Reports that President Bush authorized a leak to the media to discredit Joseph Wilson set off an intense political debate Thursday, reports R. Jeffrey Smith. He writes: "Bush has been a major critic of leaks of classified information, and his aides have repeatedly said they want to 'get to the bottom' of who leaked the name of Wilson's wife, covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, to the media." Rep. Jane Harman says: "If the disclosure is true, it's breathtaking. The president is revealed as the leaker-in-chief."

What a Tangled Web of Lies the White House Weaves. It's Like a Spider Web They are Trapped in by Their Own Mendacity.
"President Bush vowed to fire anyone caught blabbing classified information to the media, but he himself was the leaker-in-chief, a former top White House aide testified."
Libby Sings
by John Prados,
Trying to cover for his misuse of intelligence, the president ordered Lewis Libby to disclose classified information to the press.
Experts: Alleged Bush leak legal, unusual
By The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune
WASHINGTON — Legal experts said President Bush had the unquestionable authority to approve the disclosure of secret CIA information to reporters but added the leak was highly unusual and amounted to using sensitive intelligence data for political gain
President Bush has hit new lows in public opinion for his handling of
Iraq and the war on terror and for his overall job performance. Polling also shows the Republican Party surrendering its advantage on national security.

The AP-Ipsos survey is loaded with grim election-year news for a party struggling to stay in power. Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction — the largest percentage during the Bush presidency and up 13 points from a year ago.;_ylt=Aq15dj8xknBnz.LLP4espg2s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ --

Decision by Bush to OK leak of secret info probably not illegal (LAT),1,191 9280.story?coll=la-news-a_section

The House Intelligence Committee report on the FY 2007 Intelligence Authorization Act is available here:
Director of Central Intelligence Agency Porter J. Goss invoked the state secrets privilege last month to block litigation filed against the CIA and another U.S. Government agency. The likely effect is to terminate the case, for reasons that DCIA Goss said cannot be explained on the public record. "After deliberation and personal consideration, I have determined that the bases for my assertion of the state secrets privilege cannot be filed on the public court record, or in any sealed filing accessible to the plaintiffs or their attorneys, without revealing the very information that I seek to protect," Director Goss stated in an unclassified March 16 Declaration.

New Questions Raised About White House Role in Leaking Classified Iraq Intelligence
Thursday, April 06, 2006 -- In a letter to President Bush, Rep. Waxman asks for a full accounting of the President's and Vice President's actions in authorizing leaks of classified intelligence about Iraq, while at the same time concealing the President's knowledge of serious doubts about Iraq's pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Letter to the President
CRS Memo

The resignation of Tom DeLay and the crisis of the US two-party system

Thursday, April 06, 2006

april 6 posting + a comment...

Some comments of my own about the Iraq fiasco.

In Fall 2002, while doing some volunteer work for the Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle, it became utterly clear to me, and to another old timer - a lovely, funny, second rung opera singer, who was also volunteered at the local zoo, and with whom I discussed the impending war as he gave me a ride home a few nite's a week - that nothing would deter the Bushwhacker from his course of action, and I began quite literally physically to quake on the inside, which I analyzed as deriving from childhood experiences of having been bombed, the consequences of loss of domicile, the disintegration of the family structures, also "intra-psychically" as one can put it, more so than having lived through some major quakes in California, although these, too, must have played their apart for the anticipation of the impending shock to the psycho-somatic system and the possibility of listing like a torpedoed ship if the bomb/quake strikes, blind-sides you in your sleep. Subsequently I engaged in an e-mail conversation with an extraordinarily fine NY analyst who had experienced the 9/11 attack, but we did not resolve my internalized events completely. Yet I am someone happen to become ultra calm during hysteria-inducing events, one benefit of being a contrarian, although having been utterly nonchalant during the Cuban Missile Crisis – in light of how close the idiots actually came to being unable to extricate themselves from their bull-headedness – turned, then, out to have been a somewhat foolhardy state of mind.

By now, well into the year 20000006 of the years of our chief cretin who made the world, the sorry details of how the war was conceived, sold, how much of the rest of the world was bullied, how everyone was lied to, who profited, are laid out there for everyone to examine, although, no doubt, there are infamies yet to be revealed. The country "as a whole", that fiction, of course, fails to take responsibility, as little as do its representatives of all kinds for what has been wrought. How sorry the great majority of the people's representatives behaved during the run-up to the war is on the congressional record. The "Last Roman Senator" is the great exception, as are representatives such as Kucinic. Then there are the various fooled major media, the intermediaries in the sales campaign, who thought that a believer such as bete noir Kenneth Pollack had it right, where those who have the brains, such as David Remnick the editor of the New Yorker, stand out for not being firm enough in mind; the exclusion of voices such as those of the chief UN weapons inspector, Ritter. By and large, the country as a whole lived up to itself. Yes, the country as a whole is responsible, if that way of looking at it even matters. The Republicans zeroed in, accurately, on Senator John F. Kerry the waffler; and it appears he lost something more than his prostate during his operation. A pretty sorry, posturing, invariably, continuously other directed elite [!] all around.
It of course takes little courage to write something of this kind from a city like Seattle, where the Bushwhacker, who received only eighteen percent of the vote in 2004, could not even get elected dog catcher, since the dear benighted burghers love their pets too dearly for that; mad dog is another matter altogether. Though, it appears, his demise will come now via the so aptly named “Scooter”....

Bungling Bushevik Thieves and Liars Fall Out: "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he did not know what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was talking about when she said last week that the United States had made thousands of 'tactical errors' in handling the war in Iraq"

Rumsfeld Challenges Rice on 'Tactical Errors' in Iraq


Josh WhiteWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2006; Page A21


Shouldn't the Immigration Protests be a Role Model for Anti-Iraq War Protests? We Think So.

Immigration Debate Wakes A 'Sleeping Latino Giant'


N.C. AizenmanWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2006; Page A01

Drawing on fear of restrictive immigration proposals that have awakened hundreds of thousands of Latinos to political activism, organizers are using popular Spanish-language radio and networks of community organizations to mobilize protests in Washington and scores of other cities Monday.


Signs point to federal investigators zeroing in on DeLay

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Rep. Tom DeLay's decision to leave Congress ends his political problems, but his legal woes may be far from over.

The former House majority leader announced his resignation three days after court documents revealed that federal investigators have uncovered evidence of corruption in his leadership office. Tony Rudy, former deputy chief of staff to the powerful Republican congressman from Texas, admitted in a plea agreement that he sold his influence to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff while he was working for DeLay.


Air Force colonel publicly rebukes US Supreme Court justice

Discontent grows against Kurdish nationalist regime in northern Iraq

Turkey: Twelve dead and hundreds injured in Kurdish protests


Robert Scheer |"Anti-Christian Conspirators" Slay DeLay


See "U.S. Occupation Assistance: Iraq, Germany and Japan Compared," March 23, 2006:


The Media's Chance At Redemption
by Russ Baker,
The mainstream press is still playing catch-up on important Iraq stories like the Manning memo.

Global Warmers
by Frank O'Donnell,
As the situation grows more dire, who's to blame for congressional inaction on key global warming issues?


They were, of course, worrying about entering the infamous "quagmire" -- the word many Americans had applied to Vietnam as the war there dragged on and on and on. Three years after the fall of Baghdad, with the Bush administration well into their Iraqi version of the quagmire, a couple of letters closer to the ultimate ABCs of political life, are now making their appearance. And little wonder.

Both of these probably began their journey from the political Internet into the mainstream in mid-February when, of all people, conservative icon William F. Buckley raised them both in a near-tombstone op-ed published in the National Review and entitled

It Didn't Work . With that single piece, you could promptly add "D" and "F" to the Iraq alphabet.


Cutting and Running in Baghdad

By Robert Dreyfuss

Too late, the urgency of the crisis in Iraq, and the sheer ugliness of its civil war, seems finally to be dawning on the Bush administration. As usual, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and their stalwart secretaries of state and defense, are johnnies-come-lately in their ability to understand how far gone Iraq is. Perhaps, as has been the case in the past, that is because they continue flagrantly to disregard what they are told by analysts in the U.S. intelligence community. Before, during, and after the invasion of Iraq, with a rising sense of alarm, the CIA, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), and other agencies warned the Bush-Cheney team that the destruction of Iraq's central government could tumble the country into a civil war. In 2004, of course, the president famously dismissed such CIA warnings as "just a guess." Well, guess what, Mr. President? It's civil war. And it isn't pretty.



I mean the outrage over the politically incorrect and in part questionable opinions of a philosopher, which have been elevated to the level of an "affair". Put bluntly, from the perspective of a non-Frenchman: it probably says something about a society when intellectual tiffs – debates in Le Monde, a Dossier on the "New Reactionaries" in the Nouvel Observateur etc. – take precedence over the primary, real issue, which requires a cool sociological analysis of its causes. Assuming you agree, shouldn't we talk first about the suburbs before we address

Alain Finkielkraut ?

A fine idea! It was entirely predictable that there would be revolts in the suburbs at some point – thanks, incidentally, to reports and documentaries by people outside the Paris intellectual circles. This representation of reality, however, remained as unimportant to our society as the reality itself. In short, we wrote off the suburbs long ago and simply concentrated on keeping their inhabitants quiet. For more than a quarter of a century, people have been cooped up in cement agglomerations that were originally meant to be social and did represent a sanitary improvement on existing housing.


New NYT Website Beats Print Version (Slate)
Jack Shafer: Hello, New York Times ? I'd like to cancel my subscription today. I'm canceling because the redesign of your Web site, which you unveiled yesterday, bests the print edition by such a margin I've decided to pocket the annual $621.40 I currently spend on home delivery.

jack shafer is getting soft headed....


Homeland official arrested in online sex sting

Agency's deputy press secretary held for soliciting for a child on Internet

Updated: 12:50 a.m. ET April 5, 2006

MIAMI - The deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said.

Brian J. Doyle, 55, was arrested


ATLANTA (Reuters) - In a sleazy hotel room, "Brittany," then aged 16 and drugged into oblivion, waited for the men to arrive. Her pimps sent as many as 17 clients an evening through the door.

A "john" could even pre-book the pretty young blonde for $1,000 a night, sometimes flying in and then flying out from a nearby airport.

Chemical Weapons Report: Toxicity by Race and Gender exclusive: Recently declassified Defense report.


Noam Chomsky | Returning to the Scene of the Crime: War Crimes in Iraq


Bankrupt Nation
by Adam Hughes,
The new budget proposals reveal a Republican Party in denial about the nation's poor fiscal health.


Bush's War Hawks Edged Out of the Nest


Peruvians prepare to bite back

John Crabtree
4 - 4 - 2006
The institutions are discredited, the people angry. Peru on election eve is hungry for change, reports John Crabtree.


Sidney Blumenthal: The fall of Tom DeLay, the most powerful Republican leader in the Congress, creates a crisis for his party and the political machine he built


Noam Chomsky on War Crimes in Iraq

In the Vietnam era, the subject of war crimes was the last to arrive and the first to depart. When, in 1971 in Detroit, Vietnam Veterans Against the War convened its Winter Soldier Investigation into U.S. war crimes in Southeast Asia, it was roundly ignored by the media. Over 100 veterans gave firsthand testimony to war crimes they either committed or witnessed. Beyond the unbearable nature of their testimony, the hearings were startling for the fact that here were men who yearned to take some responsibility for what they had done. But while it was, by then, possible for Americans to accept the GI as a victim in Vietnam, it proved impossible for most Americans to accept him as a human being taking responsibility for a crime against humanity. There was no place for this in the American imagination, it seemed, no less for the thought that the planning and prosecution of the war were potential crimes committed by our leaders. Evidently there still is none, which is why it's important to follow Noam Chomsky back into the Iraq of recent years to consider the American occupation of that country in the context of war crimes.

The piece that follows is an excerpt from Chomsky's new book,

Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy , which is officially published on this very day. It is Chomsky at his best, a superb tour (de force) of a world in which the Bush administration has regularly asserted its right to launch "preventive" military interventions against "failed" and "rogue" states, while increasingly taking on the characteristics of those failed and rogue states itself. It will be an indispensable volume for any library. (You can check out a Chomsky discussion of it at Democracy Now!) Tom

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

War Crimes in Iraq

By Noam Chomsky


Bush's Paper Trail Grows
by John Prados,
The Manning memo is significant because it offers more evidence the president knew his case for invading Iraq was shaky.


Post-Katrina dialogue on poverty fizzles



Under Rep. Buyer's surprising proposal, merely getting elected to Congress would become subordinate to the vagaries of the security clearance process. And since Congress does not have its own security vetting function, the Buyer proposal would effectively transfer to the executive branch the power to approve or deny membership on the intelligence or defense appropriations committees. See "Buyer Pushes Higher Standards for Members," news release, March 30:


L.A. Times Defies the Bushevik Propaganda and Shows Us Our Wounded Soldiers: More than 17,000 American troops have been wounded in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003,0,936394.special

Libya's Return on Intelligence
Drafted By: Adam Wolfe

In December 2003, Libya came in from the cold. Months of discussions with British, and later American, officials led to Libya's public declaration that it would abandon its nuclear and chemical weapons programs. Washington and London hoped to use Tripoli's announcement as an example of the benefits of publicly ending chemical and nuclear weapons programs in other states. North Korea and Iran, however, were not convinced. [See:

"Libya Welcomes Weapons Inspectors in Return for Normalized Relations" ]

The timing of Libya's thawing could not have been better for Tripoli. The increased energy demand from the emerging Asian economies, geopolitical uncertainty in other oil-producing states, and the approaching maturity of Middle Eastern oil reserves have increased the value of Libya's untapped energy reserves. [See: "The Increasing Importance of African Oil" ]


Forbes's billionaires list and the growth of inequality in Russia


Sunday, April 02, 2006


Hyperpower Hype and Where It Took Us

Of special note, read Kevin Phillips' article about the Republican Party having become America's first religious party in U.S. history: .
US and UK forces and their New Zealand Muttons establish 'enduring bases' in Iraq
Despite talk of withdrawal 'when the job is done', there are signs that coalition troops will be there for the long term
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 02 April 2006
Government in secret talks about strike against Iran
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 02/04/2006)
The Government is to hold secret talks with defence chiefs tomorrow to discuss possible military strikes against Iran.
A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence at which senior defence chiefs and government officials will consider the consequences of an attack on Iran.
It is believed that an American-led attack, designed to destroy Iran's ability to develop a nuclear bomb, is "inevitable" if Teheran's leaders fail to comply with United Nations demands to freeze their uranium enrichment programme.;jsessionid=Q33LSY3YK4EWDQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/04/02/wiran02.xml&sSheet=/portal/2006/04/02/ixportaltop.html


Fool Me Twice

By Joseph Cirincione Page 1 of 1

Posted March 27, 2006
I used to think that the Bush administration wasn't seriously considering a military strike on Iran, because it would only accelerate Iran's nuclear program. But what we're seeing and hearing on Iran today seems awfully familiar. That may be because some U.S. officials have already decided they want to hit Iran hard.

The Friday Line: Dems Hold Edge in Top 20 House Races
Democrats are growing increasingly confident of their chances of making major gains in the House in this year's elections -- and perhaps even seizing control of the chamber. Republicans privately acknowledge that they are likely to lose seats but believe they will remain the majority party at the start of the 110th Congress.
Gary Hart: The trick is on us. Permanent U.S. Military bases in Iraq: a Neo-Con Folly.
The US media, not known for following the internal political developments of other countries too closely unless it has a direct impact upon the US, has provided an inordinate amount of ill-tempered commentary on the wave of protests and strikes in France against the introduction of a law that enables employers to fire young workers without cause.
The reaction of the media has been universally hostile, varying from denunciations by the right-wing press of "mob rule" to the more low-key perplexity expressed by the liberal media, which suggests that French are suffering from some type of collective dementia because they believe they have the right to such things as job security.
In one way or another all of the commentaries suggest the protests are illegitimate. They declare that France's labor laws and social protections are outmoded and must be "reformed" if corporations are to thrive and create jobs. They suggest that "everyone" agrees with this, everyone, that is, except the millions of workers and young people marching on the streets of France. Echoing the infamous comments of British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the time of the invasion of Iraq, the US media suggests that the strength of a democracy is measured by the ability of political leaders to defy the will of the people and do "what's right."

Published on Friday, March 31, 2006 by the Times/UK
Antarctic Air is Warming Faster Than Rest of World
New finding could have implications for sea level rises

by Mark Henderson
Watergate figure John Dean appearing before Senate during hearing on Bush censure
By LAURIE KELLMAN Associated Press Writer
(AP) - WASHINGTON-John Dean, counsel to President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal, is headlining a Senate hearing Friday on whether to censure President George W. Bush for authorizing a domestic wiretapping program as part of the war on terrorism.
Church fires photog for giving Scalia photo to Boston Herald Boston Herald Peter Smith, who had freelanced for the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper for a decade, says he doesn't regret releasing a picture of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia making a controversial hand gesture. "I did the right thing. I did the ethical thing," says Smith, an assistant photojournalism professor at Boston University.

Insulating Bush
By Murray Waas, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Karl Rove
, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration.
Mosul slips out of control as the bombers move in
By Patrick Cockburn in Mosul
Published: 31 March 2006
Gauging the autonomy of Haitian president-elect Rene Preval.
Preval in Washington seeking aid and help in retraining Haiti's unprofessional police force.
Obtaining the immediate release of political prisoners jailed under the rump regime of Gerard Latortue, will be the first test of Preval's independence and responsiveness to the Haitian people.
Preval will have to deconstruct the deplorable legacy of the Latortue regime and seek justice for the interim leader's illegal actions.

The question of Aristide's return should be on Preval's agenda, and not Washington's.

For Haiti to be independent, Washington must give up its working assumption that its embassy in Haiti is the U.S. southern White House.

Preval already is feeling the pressure from all sides as he begins planning his own course
Democrats unveil midterm election platform: a blueprint for endless war
Fifteen hundred cars had to burn in a single night and then, on a descending scale, nine hundred, five hundred, two hundred, for the daily 'norm' to be reached again, and people to realize that ninety cars on average are torched every night in this gentle France of ours. A sort of eternal flame, like that under the Arc de Triomphe, burning in honour of the Unknown Immigrant. Known now, after a lacerating process of revision?but still in trompe l'oeil.
The French exception is no more, the 'French model' collapsing before our eyes. But the French can reassure themselves that it is not just theirs but the whole Western model which is disintegrating; and not just under external assault?acts of terrorism, Africans storming the barbed wire at Melilla?but also from within. The first conclusion to be drawn from the autumn riots annuls all pious official homilies. A society which is itself disintegrating has no chance of integrating its immigrants, who are at once the products and savage analysts of its decay. The harsh reality is that the rest of us, too, are faced with a crisis of identity and disinheritance; the fissures of the banlieues are merely symptoms of the dissociation of a society at odds with itself. As H鬩 B骩L'Imposture culturelle (1997).]', FGCOLOR, '#E3E3E3', BGCOLOR, '#000000')" title="" onfiltered=nd(); href="#_edn1" name=_ednref1 [1] has remarked, the social question of immigration is only a starker illustration of the European's exile within his own society. Europe's citizens are no longer integrated into 'European'?or 'French'?values, and can only try to palm them off on others.
'Integration' is the official line. But integration into what? The sorry spectacle of 'successful' integration?into a banalized, technized, upholstered way of life, carefully shielded from self-questioning?is that of we French ourselves. To talk of 'integration' in the name of some indefinable notion of France is merely to signal its lack.
election loomed, the White House was determined to keep the wraps on a potentially damaging memo about Iraq."

The GOP's Stake In Checking The President
by Senator Russ Feingold,
Many Republicans now defending the president are losing sight of what ceding powers to the executive will mean for their own party down the road.
Jay Bookman | The Dismay of Our Elders Sums Up
2,535 And Counting
by Tim Klimowicz
Tracking coalition military deaths in Iraq, one day at a time, across the map. Click to see the Flash-animated map.
Iraq unrest displaces thousands

More than 30,000 Iraqis have been displaced as a result of sectarian violence between the country's two main communities over the past month.
Frida Berrigan on a For-Profit Nuclear World
Every now and then, amid all the grim stories in our world, you run across one that rings a special bell for you. Frida Berrigan's today is that for me. In fact, consider this week at Tomdispatch as a discordant hymn to the privatization disasters of the Bush administration. Michael Schwartz began it with his account of how the draconian economic privatization program Bush administration officials enacted on prostrate Iraq in 2003 led directly to the catastrophe of the moment in that country. We know as well that, under this administration, the Pentagon has been on its own privatization binge, turning what were once essential military activities over to Halliburton, its subsidiary KBR, and other private firms in a wholesale fashion
Patrick Cockburn: The End of Iraq
Iraq is splitting into three different parts. Everywhere there are fault lines opening up between Sunni, Shia and Kurd. In the days immediately following the attack on the Shia shrine in Samarra on 22 February, some 1300 bodies, mostly Sunni, were found in and around Baghdad. The Shia-controlled Interior Ministry, whose police commandos operate as death squads, asked the Health Ministry to release lower figures. A friend of mine, a normally pacific man living in a middle-class Sunni district in west Baghdad, rang me. 'I am not leaving my home,' he said. 'The police commandos arrested 15 people from here last night including the local baker. I am sitting here in my house with a Kalashnikov and 60 bullets and if they come for me I am going to open fire.'
The US Propaganda Machine: Oh, What a Lovely War
of Slums
by Mike Davis
Photographs by Sebastiao Salgado

The international economic policies that decimated rural infrastructures worldwide over the last two decades have driven hundreds of millions of the poor to already teeming cities, creating a stark contrast with burgeoning new urban wealth.


Sulzberger refuses to rule out cutbacks at Boston Globe Boston Herald During a visit to the Globe, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. reportedly told department heads that no decisions have been made yet on whether there will be staff reductions at the Times-owned paper. Jay Fitzgerald reports Sulzberger said Globe execs will make the final call on whether to implement another round of job cuts. > Herald's Purcell recently met with NYT Co.'s Robinson (last item) (BG)
Khardori: Send press critics Kurtz, Shafer and Carr to Iraq _17998.html
Huffington Post New York mag media writer Kurt Andersen should also go, says Ankush Khardori. "The result: on-the-ground-reporting on the on-the-ground reporting. What is it like to work in Iraq? What are the dangers? How do journalists get around and with what kind of security? What is their relationship like with their Iraqi staffers? How easy is it to get information from the Iraqi government and the US military? ...The upshot: How is the news produced and is it being done well?"
The Immigration Bomb Explodes

Two Fronts In Iraq
by Robert Dreyfuss,
The Bush administration's handling of the war is turning allies into enemies.
When computers do the news, hoaxes slip in
Lack of human involvement is why hoaxsters love Google News.
By Randy Dotinga | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
When a New Jersey teenager decided to create a fictional story about being hired by one of the Internet's largest companies, he knew just where to spread the news - with the unwitting help of the company itself.
Gallup: In Shift, More Americans Now Call Themselves Democrats

Sulzberger refuses to rule out cutbacks at Boston Globe Boston Herald During a visit to the Globe, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. reportedly told department heads that no decisions have been made yet on whether there will be staff reductions at the Times-owned paper. Jay Fitzgerald reports Sulzberger said Globe execs will make the final call on whether to implement another round of job cuts. > Herald's Purcell recently met with NYT Co.'s Robinson (last item) (BG)
Khardori: Send press critics Kurtz, Shafer and Carr to Iraq _17998.html
Huffington Post New York mag media writer Kurt Andersen should also go, says Ankush Khardori. "The result: on-the-ground-reporting on the on-the-ground reporting. What is it like to work in Iraq? What are the dangers? How do journalists get around and with what kind of security? What is their relationship like with their Iraqi staffers? How easy is it to get information from the Iraqi government and the US military? ...The upshot: How is the news produced and is it being done well?"
The Immigration Bomb Explodes

Two Fronts In Iraq
by Robert Dreyfuss,
The Bush administration's handling of the war is turning allies into enemies.
When computers do the news, hoaxes slip in
Lack of human involvement is why hoaxsters love Google News.
By Randy Dotinga | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
When a New Jersey teenager decided to create a fictional story about being hired by one of the Internet's largest companies, he knew just where to spread the news - with the unwitting help of the company itself.
Republican National Committee memo warns that Republicans members of Congress better not run from Bush in the fall elections. Sounds like someone is a bit worried.
Time Magazine first reported on the memo this weekend, but the full text is below.
Economic Nationalism and the Steel Industry: Mittal's Bid for Arcelor

Drafted By: Michael Piskur

On January 27, 2006, Mittal Steel, the world's largest steel producer, put forth a hostile bid to purchase the second-largest steel firm, Arcelor SA, for US$22.4 billion. If the deal succeeds, the resulting enterprise would account for approximately $70 billion in sales and 10 percent of world steel production, nearly quadruple that of the closest competitor, Japan's Nippon Steel Corp., and would employ 320,000 workers on four continents.
29 March 2006

In light of the situation in Ukraine, PINR recommends:
"Ukrainian Presidential Elections: To East or West?"
First they came for the Communists," runs the opening of the famous poem about the Nazis' incremental persecution of minorities. So perhaps we should admire the efficiency of Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and Peter King ( R-N.Y.) in sponsoring "immigration reform" legislation that revokes the rights of both undocumented immigrants and the rest of us, all at once.
In December, the House passed the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act by a vote of 239 to 182, thanks to the complicity of 36 Democrats. Reading as if it was penned in a vacuum?wholly removed from the 12 million undocumented immigrants toiling in the dark underbelly of our glistening, service-oriented New Economy?the 257-page bill is an affront to reality. Among other monstrosities, it would classify these workers as felons subject to imprisonment, permanently bar them from legal status, put numerous roadblocks in the way of legal immigrants and political refugees, and authorize construction of a giant fence along a third of the U.S.-Mexico border
Rival Shia Groups Unite Against US after Mosque Raid
Morality failure - Fred Halliday HYPERLINK "" FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=barbed wire"

Alberto Gonzales's flippant attitude towards torture exposes the US administration's wider moral blindness
Alberto Gonzales, the attorney-general of the United States, is all that the modern state would wish to have as its representative: detached in the fulfilment of his bureaucratic obligations; obedient to, if not obsequious towards, his boss; wordy and word-twisting in matters of legal definition; stonewalling on matters of substance; and, above all, distinctly cold in matters of human concern.
Brazil's Lula Lashes Out At Rich Nations
The following is an executive summary of a report on Radio and TV Martí. For the complete document, please scroll down.
Washington Guns after Castro at Any Cost
In the face of a sweeping debt and budgetary crisis currently afflicting the U.S. economy, the passage of the FY 2006 budget witnessed a brutal bloodletting of vital domestic programs from education and child welfare to Medicaid. At the same time, Congress, at the White House's passionate urging, allocated an additional $10 million to purchase a specially equipped aircraft to transmit the broadcasts of the long-standing anti-Castro media project, Radio and TV Martí. This figure comes on top of the $27 million the media operations already receive annually. Since its founding, the Martí concept has been a "bridge to nowhere." Nevertheless, almost half a billion dollars have been thrown away in the project
Rumsfeld Singled Out as Crisis Deepens in Iraq

The Economics Of Occupation
by Michael Schwartz,
The CPA's slash-and-burn assault on Iraq's economy is the overlooked fuel of today's insurgency.

IS THERE A CASE FOR IMPEACHMENT? Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006. Edited selections and MP3 audio from a forum moderated by Sam Seder and featuring Representative John Conyers Jr., John Dean, Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, Lewis Lapham, and Michael Ratner, held March 2, 2006 at Town Hall in New York City.
Michael Schwartz on Why the Media Gets the War Wrong
Time Magazine: Earth is At the Tipping Point. The climate is crashing and global warming is to blame. Another "Armageddon Here Thy Come" Disastrous Legacy of Bush Inc. Is He Talking to God or Satan? Cause It's Going to Get as Hot as Hell.
Tom DeLay's Handgun License Suspended. Now All He Can Shoot Off is His Big Mouth.
Iraq parties demand U.S. cede control
Iraq: US mosque massacre deepens occupation's crisis


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