Caged Citizen Will Test President Obama

If our new president intends to try to make America resemble what it was meant to be, he will have to deal with the noxious residue of the Bush-Cheney war against terrorism. Barack Obama will be confronted, as Harold Reynolds predicted in the October 29 New York Law Journal, with bringing justice to “thousands of . . . men and women cut off from access to their families, tortured, humiliated . . . and kept off stage to this day by Bush’s resistant administration.”

Among these purported menaces to national security are survivors, if they can be found, of CIA secret prisons (“black sites”); victims of CIA kidnapping renditions; and American citizens locked up indefinitely as “unlawful enemy combatants.”

We have one such pariah right here in New York at the Metropolitan Correction Center. He is 28-year-old Sayed Fahad Hashmi, whom I first told you about in this column last week. Confined in extreme isolation as if he were in a supermax prison, Hashmi was put away about a year ago by Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey under what are euphemistically called Special Administrative Measures (SAMs).

Of the 201,000 prisoners presently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, fewer than 50 are so dangerous to the state that they are held under SAMs, which can be imposed in one-year increments. Mukasey was supposed to inform Hashmi’s lawyer, Sean Maher, on October 29 whether those fierce conditions that were described here last week would be renewed for another year. But as of this writing, no word has come from the Justice Department, and the keys to Hashmi’s cell will soon be in the hands of Barack Obama’s attorney general. When Jeanne Theoharis—a professor of political science at Brooklyn College who has been leading the campaign to get Hashmi out of the cage where he’s been jammed for his daily one hour of “recreation”—asked a Bureau of Prisons staff member how Hashmi has been SAM’d without even being charged with violence, she was told curtly: “He’s being charged with terrorism, right?”

full article: www.insight-info.com

Bush’s Last 100 Days the Ones to Watch

Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson

The air crackles with anticipation. Fingers are crossed. It gets hard to breathe. Hope, for so long locked in a closet, begins pounding on the door.

And throwing caution to the wind, many already are talking about Barack Obama’s first 100 days. Will he move directly to the Apollo investment agenda, providing money to refit buildings, implement the use of renewable energy and generate jobs in the drive to reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Will he put forth a comprehensive health-care plan or begin by covering all children? Will workers finally be given the right to organize once more? How will he handle mortgage relief and/or help cities burdened by poverty?

But even as our minds, against all discipline, look beyond this day to the possible victory and change, we’d better start paying attention to another 100 days — President Bush’s last months in office.

Bush and Vice President Cheney represent a failed conservative era — and they know it. As the administration moves into its last 100 days, there seems to be a flurry of activity: regulations to forestall Obama’s new era of accountability; a flood of contracts to reward friends and lock in commitments; a Wall Street bailout that is pumping money out the door.

Consider: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is handing out $350 billion to the banks, drawing a special circle around nine banks — including Goldman Sachs, the firm he previously headed — as clearly too big to fail. The money apparently has no conditions, even though the entire purpose was to get the banks to start lending once more to one another and to companies and individuals.

full article: www.insight-info.com

‘The US is not a republic anymore’

Press TV:We hear that Michael Mukasey is going to become the latest of the President’s Attorney-Generals to be subpoenaed, this time over his conversations with Bush and Cheney – does this show that Congress is serious about calling the executive to account?

Gore Vidal: No, Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt. All Bush has do is to make sure certain amounts of money go in the direction of certain important congressmen and that’s end of any serious investigation. After all, one of the bravest members of Congress is Denis Kucinich who brought the article of impeachment in to the well of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives must then try the president, and then after that it goes to the Senate for judgment. However, none of these things will happen because there’s nobody there except for Mr. Kucinich who has the courage to take on a sitting president who is kind of a Mafioso.

Press TV: How can it just be one person among so many hundreds of Congressmen who wants the impeachment of George W. Bush in these circumstances?

Gore Vidal: Well it’s because we no longer have a country. We don’t have a republic any more. During the last 7 or 8 years of the Bush regime, they’ve got rid of the Bill of Rights, they’ve got rid of habeas corpus. They have got rid of one of the nicest gifts that England ever left us when they went away and we ceased to be colonies – the Magna Carta – from the 12th century. All of our law and due process of law is based on that. And the Bush people got rid of it. The president and little Mr. Gonzales who for a few minutes was his Attorney General. They managed to get rid of all of the constitutional links that made us literally a republic.

Press TV: You have often written about the US’s superpower status in terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we’re witnessing the end of US power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?

Full article: www.insight-info.com

The Perils of a Bankers War with Iran

The neocons are not going to get their war with Iran if it’s to be left to their traditional power centers in the Bush Administration to make the call: They’ve lost the Pentagon, and it’s abundantly clear that neither the uniformed brass nor Defense Secretary Gates have any interest in starting another catastrophic war. And the fact that they still have a solid ally in Vice President Cheney doesn’t mean much, because Cheney is far less influential five years into the Iraq debacle than he had been on its eve. Nor is there any significant support (outside of Israel) among U.S. allies for a confrontational path. Still, all is not lost for that merry little band of neocon bomb throwers who’ve spent the Bush tenure quite literally “setting the East ablaze.” There’s always the Treasury.

Well, its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), dedicated to fighting the “war on terror” etc. via the international banking system. John McGlynn offers fascinating insights into a critical aspect of Bush Administration policy that has scarcely appeared on the radar of most mainstream media. In particular, he warns, FinCEN’s March 20 advisory warning the international banking community that
doing business with any Iranian bank, or bank that does business with an Iranian bank, runs the risk of falling afoul of the U.S. Treasury’s expansive interpretation and enforcement of UN sanctions and of anti-terror money laundering regulations adopted under the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act.

The beauty of this approach, from a neocon point of view, is that it completely skirts all those troublesome international diplomatic forums where the U.S. and its closest allies have failed to convince others to apply meaningful sanctions against Iran — most of the international community is skeptical over the claims being made by the U.S. of an imminent Iranian threat (as, of course, is the U.S. intel community, as last year’s NIE showed) and even more skeptical of the value of sanctions in resolving the issue, rather than in preparing the way for confrontation.

The Attemps of America for Permanent Occupation of Iraq

The security, political, and economic resolution- with that America has a particular importance and position which enables it to have many important effects on the middle east, but unfortunately, for many reasons, this hasn’t been published as thoroughly in the news stations.

 America Iraq

According to the report of the news agency Fars, the political, military, and security personal of America had spoken about the ((Attempts of America for Permanent Occupation of Iraq)) beginning in 2007. Rice, Cheney, and Bush have tried more than others to make hopeful the allies of America around the world for the ((Future Conditions)).

 

The Americans, with several trips to the area of the Persian Gulf and some of the neighboring countries of Iraq, such as Jordan and Egypt, have mentioned points about the ((Change in political and security conditions in Iraq)) and by this they have made these countries help in Iraq’s new design by America. To this point the Arab countries have gone forward with mistrust to the extent that Zulma Khalilzade, the previous ambassador of America in Iraq and the present ambassador of Iraq in the United Nations, had condemned the Arab countries and said that by ‘abandoning Iraq’ they have laid the grounds for the influence of Iran in ‘an Arab country’, Iraq, and ordered them to immediately reopen their embassies to Iraq in Baghdad.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don’t):

  1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has “evolved,” yet he’s continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
  2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain “will make Cheney look like Gandhi.”2
  3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
  4. McCain opposes a woman’s right to choose. He said, “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”4
  5. The Children’s Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children’s health care bill last year, then defended Bush’s veto of the bill.5
  6. He’s one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a “second job” and skip their vacations.6
  7. Many of McCain’s fellow Republican senators say he’s too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He’s erratic. He’s hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”7
  8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8
  9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his “spiritual guide,” Rod Parsley, believes America’s founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a “false religion.” McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church “the Antichrist” and a “false cult.”9
  10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

john mccain

Regime Change: An American Addiction

“The seizure of faraway lands by America…is a perversion of our national mission.” – President Grover Cleveland, in 1893.

 

democracy

It didn’t start with the U.S.’s Neocon-inspired invasion of Iraq in March, 2003. Whether knowingly or not, the morally bankrupt Bush-Cheney Gang was following an imperial script which is over 110
years old. During that period, the U.S. has “overthrown fourteen governments that displeased it for various ideological, political and economic reasons,” writes Stephen Kinzer, in his riveting book,
“Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.”

Why did America betray its values and become itself a brutal colonizer? Well, after you blow away all the baloney about “national security and liberation,” Kinzer reveals: “The U.S. acted mainly for
`economic’ reasons–specifically, to establish, promote and defend the right of `Americans’ to do business around the world without interference.” By “Americans,” Kinzer mostly means the giant
multinational corporations.

Each of the respective countries on which the U.S. forced a regime change followed a basic kind of pattern, an M.O., if you please. Unfortunately, for our closest neighbors in Central and South America,
they felt, more than any other nations, the consistent brunt of our greedy, violent, murderous and racist reach. Destabilization and intervention were two of our tactics, which often times resulted in
horrific consequences for the targeted country and their inhabitants. Kinzer puts it this way: “Almost every American overthrow…left in its wake a bitter residue of pain and anger. Some have led to the
slaughter of innocents…The U.S. was willing to support any governing clique, `no matter how odious,’ as long as it did America’s bidding.”

Over time, Cuba, Guatemala, Puerto Rica, Panama, Chile, Grenada, Nicaragua and Honduras to our South were subjected to some type of coercive, gangster-like intervention from the U.S. bully. Sometimes, it took the form of a direct invasion by military forces, like in Panama and Grenada. In other cases, the CIA initiated covert activity to bring the targeted regime to its knees.

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