Wednesday, November 29, 2006

22,000 Protest at U.S. Assassins' School at Fort Benning, Georgia - Where's Mainstream Media?

Protestors outside the gates:

I would guess that most Americans have never heard of the School of the Americas and have no idea what it is, its history or its mission. Why they hate us is only a secret to the American people:
Several Fond du Lac residents, including members of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes, traveled to Fort Benning, Ga., to protest the existence of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).

Formerly known as the School of the Americas, the institute is chartered by the U.S. Congress and provides professional education and training for civilian, military and law enforcement students from nations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Protesters, including Stella Storch, peace and justice coordinator for the Congregation in Fond du Lac, believe the institute has trained assassins who terrorize citizens in Latin America.

Storch said this year's event on Nov. 18 and 19 drew up to 22,000 people who participated in a massive funeral event led by Latin American torture survivors and social justice movement leaders. A total of 13 people crossed the line onto Fort Benning property and were arrested for trespassing.

Sister Caryl Hartjes, who made the trip again this year, served a three-month federal prison sentence in 2003 for participating in civil disobedience on a military base.

Making the trip this year for the first time were Jill Stiemsma and Sister Ruth Battaglia.

Steimsma said that while she was there, the community of Fort Benning, along with military personnel, staged their own counter rally.

"I think it is a terribly important issue most people aren't aware of," Stiemsma said. "It was really wonderful to be around like-minded people who believe we need to make more ethical decisions on how we treat other countries."

Battalglia said the overwhelming moment for her was when someone read the names of all the people who are said to have died at the hands of military personnel that were trained at the School of the Americas.

"That was so sobering," she said.

Despite documented human rights abuses, which include massacres and assassinations by SOA-trained soldiers, and ignoring the Pentagon admission of torture-training manuals used at the Army school, the current commandant of WHINSEC, Colonel Perez, claims "There were no abuses. We have never taught torture. We have never taught overthrow of legitimate governments. There is no correction to be made."

Apparently, Perez lies as easily as he draws breath.

Learn about the assassins' school branches in Haiti, El Salvador, and elsewhere.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Word's Worth?

Networks call FCC profanity rules 'radical' -- Suit challenges agency's policies on punishments

The AP via Boston Globe reports:
The government is violating the First Amendment by embarking on a "radical reinterpretation and expansion" of its power to punish broadcasters for indecent speech, a federal court was told yesterday by Fox Television Stations Inc.

Fox, CBS Broadcasting Inc., NBC Universal Inc., and NBC Telemundo License Co. are suing the Federal Communications Commission, challenging the way the agency metes out punishment for airing shows that contain profanity. Fox filed formal arguments in a federal appeals court in New York. Later in the day, CBS and NBC also filed briefs.

The New York case is proceeding at the same time as a separate CBS challenge in a federal appeals court in Philadelphia, where the network is protesting an FCC fine over the partial disrobing of pop star Janet Jackson during a Super Bowl halftime show.

In contrast to the Jackson case, Fox is challenging what it calls an unprecedented campaign by federal regulators to punish broadcasters for airing "unintentional and isolated expletives" during broadcasts.

"The result is the end of truly live television and a gross expansion of the FCC's intrusion into the creative and editorial process," Fox argued in its court filing.
David Fiske, a spokesman for the FCC, released a statement saying: "By continuing to argue that it is OK to say the F-word and the S-word on television whenever it wants, Hollywood is demonstrating once again how out of touch it is with the American people. We believe there should be some limits on what can be shown on television when children are likely to be watching."

CBS said in a statement that what it is "seeking is a return to the FCC's previous time-honored practice of more measured indecency enforcement."

The case was sparked by a 76-page omnibus order by the FCC in March 2006 that settled "hundreds of thousands of complaints" regarding broadcast indecency. In the order, the FCC proposed fines against several broadcasts, but did not issue fines against four other shows that dealt with profane language.

Broadcasters sued. Earlier this month, the FCC dismissed complaints against the ABC program "NYPD Blue" on procedural grounds and reversed its finding on CBS' "The Early Show" because of its status as a news program. But the agency upheld its finding of indecency regarding two broadcasts of the Billboard Music Awards on Fox.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, November 17, 2006

Arianna wants to know: "Do You Think It Harms The Democrats That Nancy Pelosi Backed John Murtha For Majority Leader?"

Dear Arianna,

If Republicans and the media manage to plant that seed in the minds of Americans (thus, laying a foundation for future negative spin campaigns that try to immobilize the Democratic majority by characterizing Pelosi as weak and ineffective), then yes.

But didn't the Democrats win the elections last week, making them the majority in the 110th Congress? You surely can't tell from this week's media coverage. Has it been so long since you were part of a democratic republic that you don't recognize one? Have you forgotten that in a democratic republic, the leader isn't the emperor? Everyone else does get a chance to weigh in and disagree, if they so choose.

Why is the media describing the election in the House for majority leader as "a deep divide within the Democratic party" (146-86), and the vote for minority whip in the Senate (Trent Lott won by one vote over Lamar Alexander) as "just run-of-the-mill politics as usual"?

Why is the media filling up their air and print space with Republicans propaganda (Cspan has been running Republican-only programming all day and now into the night) as if the election didn't happen?

Maybe after elections we could also change the editorial content of media organizations. When the Republicans lose control of Congress, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity lose their programs. It's the public's air waves - I don't know why Conservatives get to monopolize and propagandize the Public's eyes and ears, particularly when they lose elections.

In an authoritarian system such as the one favored by Bush-Cheney and the GOP, "We will decide what's good for you, and tell you about it." Republicans would have been delighted had they never had to report that leadership races were going on at all. Just announce the results, after the fact. "Don't worry your pretty little head."

In a democracy, we think it's a good idea when the people are informed and everybody gets a voice - it leads to good decision-making. It leads to a better educated citizen, a citizen who is knowledgeable as to what the issues are, what's involved and what's at stake. Citizens getting informed and participating is a good thing and leads to all kinds of benefits for the nation and the world. Go figure.

What are the choices after these last six years? A Democratic party that acts like Republicans, in lock-step, where all decisions are determined before the subject is ever brought to the floor? OR, Representatives and Senators who disagree, discussing their considerations and differences, voting and then moving forward to the next issue, not letting hard feelings get in the way of what they were sent by their constituents to Washington to do - represent the people's interests?

What a novel approach to governance. A healthy, democratic, adult business model, where points of view are aired. You win some, you lose some.

Perhaps Nancy Pelosi, a woman who raised five (apparently) bright, happy and successful children before running for public office, has something to teach us. A new parenting model, about how to live and prosper together, at no one else's expense and to the benefit of us all.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, November 12, 2006

How's Your Ear for Music?

When you sing, do dogs howl?

Do you have trouble singing in tune or can't tell whether you're singing out of tune?

Those nutty folks at Beth Israel Deaconness and Harvard Medical School have devised an online test for tonedeafness. [They are actually running an on-site test where volunteers can get paid for participation.]
In the online test, you will be presented with 36 pairs of musical phrases, played by a variety of musical instruments. You will be asked to decide if each pair is the same or different. In most cases, the differences are very subtle and require careful listening. Only one note or chord is modified in pitch or rhythm. The duration, volume, and articulation of each note is never changed. There will be a two-second pause separating each phrase, and the next set of phrases will begin to play immediately after you click on the same or different button.

Take the test now.

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On This Veterans' Day

ROVE: Yeah, I'm looking at all these [polls], Robert, and adding them up, and I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math, but you're entitled to your math, I'm entitled to THE math.

SIEGEL: Well, I don't know if we're entitled to our different math, but you're certainly -

ROVE: I said THE math. I said you're entitled to yours.

'The (Rove) math' explains a lot about the last six years of the Bush administration.

Lou Gehrig's Disease and Gulf War Service

As much as the Bush administration has tried to deny any connection between service in the Gulf and the dramatic number of sick veterans, this new study makes the plight of our veterans all that much harder to deny:
The risk of a Gulf War veteran developing Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) later on is two times higher than for other people, say researchers from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), USA. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease, which is often fatal - the patient's nerve cells progressively breakdown, he/she loses muscle control, and eventually becomes paralyzed.

ALS = Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis = Lou Gehrig's disease

About 20,000 - 30,000 people in the USA have ALS.

According to Dr. Richard Johnson, lead author of a new report, the link is appears pretty strong. In general, he said, the risk for a soldier developing ALS one day is 50% greater than for people who were never in the military - this 50% raised risk refers to soldiers or ex-soldiers who were not in the Gulf War.

The writers of the report looked at five studies, of which three included data on veterans who had been in the Gulf War (1990-91). One of the studies indicated that people who had served in the military before 1990-91, but had not served in the Gulf War, had a 1.5 higher probability of developing ALS. Another study found no link at all between military service (Gulf War and non-Gulf War) and altered ALS risk.

Dr. Johnson stressed that further studies are needed to confirm their findings. If a link is confirmed, we need to find out why. Could it be exposure to toxic chemicals, the result of traumatic experiences, being physically pushed to the limits, or something else?

Even though there does seem to be evidence suggesting a link between raised ALS risk and military service, especially Gulf War service, Johnson said the risk for veterans is still tiny. The risk for the general population is about 1 in 100,000. Even if the risk were double, it would be 1 in 50,000.

More about "the math":

The actual numbers of U.S. soldiers reported as killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan is much higher than reported, because if, once wounded, they survive the airlift to a medical facility out of country, and then die, they are not included in the casualty count.

These are a couple of survivors, wounded, who may yet develop some of the other illnesses their brothers in arms have. Warning: The images of the injuries to these soldiers are extremely graphic:

"Mamas, don't let your children grow up to be soldiers in 'wars of choice'."

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

The Cat Came Back:

We breathe a sigh of relief over Tuesday's elections' results . . . .

. . . . at our peril.*

*Part One.

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

War Crimes Lawsuit Being Prepared Against Rumsfeld

Would Rumsfeld stepping down leave him open to prosecution?

In 2004, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a criminal complaint in Germany on behalf of several Iraqi citizens who alleged that a group of U.S. officials committed war crimes in Iraq. Rumsfeld was among the officials named in the complaint. The Iraqis claimed they were victims of electric shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation and sexual abuse.

Germany's laws on torture and war crimes permits the prosecution of suspected war criminals wherever they may be found. Now, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, is heading to Germany today to file a new case charging outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with war crimes for authorizing torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Watch the interview and/or read the transcript of Democracy Now's interview with Michael Ratner and Mel Goodman:
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Ratner joins us in our studio here in New York. Former CIA analyst Mel Goodman and journalist Bob Parry are still in Washington. Michael, why are you headed to Germany in the next few days?

MICHAEL RATNER: Thank you for having me on this issue, Amy. One of the shocking things really so far about the coverage of Rumsfeld’s resignation, there's not a word in any of it about torture. And here, Rumsfeld is one of the architects of the torture program of the United States. I mean, we have those sheets of paper that went to Guantanamo that talk about using dogs and stripping people and hooding people. We have one of our clients, al-Qahtani, who was in Guantanamo. Rumsfeld essentially supervised that entire interrogation, one of the worst interrogations that happened at Guantanamo. He actually authorized a rendition, a fake rendition of al-Qahtani, where flew him -- put a -- blindfolded him, sedated him, put him on an airplane and flew him back to Guantanamo, so he thought he would be in some torture country. So here you have Rumsfeld, one of the architects, not a word about it.

AMY GOODMAN: How do you know that he personally supervised it?

MICHAEL RATNER: There’s actually documents out there, that there’s part of the log that comes out. The log was published of his interrogation. And then there’s a report called the “Schmidt Report,” which was an internal investigation, in which there are statements in there about Rumsfeld being directly involved in the interrogation of al-Qahtani. So this guy has committed -- without any question, this guy has committed war crimes, violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Now, what do we do now? Well, we went to Germany before. Germany dismissed the earlier case on Rumsfeld, partly for political reasons, obviously. Rumsfeld said, “I’m not going back to Germany as long as this case is pending in Germany.” He had to go to the Munich Security Conference. They dismissed the case two days before. What they said when they dismissed it, what they said was, we think the United States is still looking into going up the chain of command, essentially, and looking into what the conduct of our officials are.

In fact, now, two years later, look where we are. One, he has resigned, so any kind of immunity he might have as a vice president [sic] from prosecution is out the window. Secondly, of course, as, you know, a little gift package to these guys, you know, our congress with the President has now given immunity to US officials for war crimes. They basically said you can’t be prosecuted for war crimes. That’s in the Military Commission Act. Now, that immunity, like the immunities in Argentina and Chile during the Dirty Wars, does not apply overseas.

So, now you have Germany sitting there with -- there’s no longer an argument the US can possibly prosecute him, because within the US, he’s out. So you have Germany sitting there with a former Secretary of Defense and basically in an immunity situation in the United States. So the chances in Germany have been raised tremendously, I think, and the stakes for Rumsfeld, not only in Germany, but anywhere that guy travels, he is going to be like the Henry Kissinger of the next period.

JUAN GONZALEZ: But then, what would you have to do? You would have to re-file the case before -- is it before an international court in Germany or in German courts?

MICHAEL RATNER: We’re actually going on Tuesday. We’re re-filing it in German courts under their law, which is universal jurisdiction, which basically says a torturer is essentially an enemy of all humankind and can be brought to justice wherever they’re found. So we are going to Germany to try and get them to begin an investigation of Rumsfeld for really a left-out part of this picture, which is the United States has essentially been on the page of torture now for five years.

AMY GOODMAN: Mel Goodman, as you listen to this, have you ever seen this, an American official concerned about going abroad -- you mentioned, Michael, Henry Kissinger -- but because they could be prosecuted? And how possible do you think this is, as a former State Department and CIA analyst?

MELVIN GOODMAN: Well, I think the record is quite clear. War crimes have been committed. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld combined to sponsor the memos by John Yoo and Jay Bybee and others to sanction torture. CIA officials have committed war crimes. DOD officials have committed war crimes. If you look at the three decisions of the Supreme Court -- Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush -- clearly laws have been broken, serious laws have been broken. And now the Congress is trying to rewrite the laws to launder these charges against these people.

But the ultimate question is, will any international body take on these charges, take on these cases, and really operate against high-level American officials? And I guess I have my doubts that this will be done. But I think what Michael Ratner is doing is important to at least establish the record of this pattern of torture and abuse, secret prisons, renditions and extraordinary renditions. I think it’s unconscionable what America has done in the name of the so-called war against terrorism over the last several years. And, of course, the war against terrorism is now the mantra of this administration, and Bob Gates incorporated it a few times in his very brief remarks yesterday, upon receiving this nomination. So this is a very important issue. I’m not optimistic that a court will take it on, but I think it’s very important to get the record out there for all to see what has been done in the name of the United States. This has been unconscionable behavior.

AMY GOODMAN: Michael Ratner, the White House recently proposed changing the War Crimes Act of 1996, that would narrow the scope of punishable offenses. The new list would exclude humiliating or degrading treatment of prisoners. Military law experts believe the Bush administration is effectively rewriting parts of the Geneva Convention, but this is US law. Why do they even have to bother, if they’re granting immunity to officials in the new War Commissions Act of 2006?

MICHAEL RATNER: I’m not sure I understood. They clearly did. They already -- the Military Commission Act --

AMY GOODMAN: They already did it, but they’re also trying to change the 1996 War Crimes Act.

MICHAEL RATNER: They did do that.

AMY GOODMAN: By the new Commissions Act.

MICHAEL RATNER: The new Commissions Act actually modifies -- we have a statute that makes violations of the Geneva Conventions war crimes. Because for five years they had been violating that statute in the belief that Geneva Conventions didn’t apply to the war on terror, and as Mel said, now that the Supreme Court says the Geneva Conventions do apply, these guys are sitting there and they’re not sleeping well. They’re not sleeping well, going back, because they’ve been torturing people or violating Geneva for five years. And going foward, as the President said in that September 6 press conference, we want to continue using CIA sites and doing this to people. So they have been forced to modify the War Crimes Act. That doesn’t affect what happens in Germany, other than the fact that it now says to the Germans, “Look at, you guys, first they violated Geneva, and now they're immunizing themselves.”

JUAN GONZALEZ: I’d like to ask Mel Goodman, given this situation, one of the things that is clear is that the military, many of even the highest-ranking military officers were in virtual rebellion against Secretary Rumsfeld, and it’s no accident that the major newspapers, the Military Times and Navy Times, just a few days before the election called for his resignation. Now, you have Bob Gates coming in and, as you say, he will try to clamp down on dissidents within the military. But given the situation in Iraq right now and this whole issue of the military being drawn more and more into war crimes through torture, do you expect that there’s going to be success in the civilian leadership led by Gates regaining control over dissent within the military?

MELVIN GOODMAN: Well, I don’t think Gates will have a big role in this. I think the important role has been played by the military lawyers. I think the real heroes in this has been the Judge Advocates Corps, the military officers who serve as lawyers in the military, who have gotten essentially reinstatement of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and a military that is obedient to the Geneva Conventions. So there’s been great progress by the Pentagon here.

I think what Gates will perform for the Pentagon is just representing the relief that all of these officers feel, that they no longer have to face the arrogance and the ignorance of Donald Rumsfeld on a day-by-day basis. So I think Gates will be in there to smooth things down at the Pentagon, in the same way that George Herbert Walker Bush came to the CIA in the 1970s at a very controversial and tendentious point in the CIA’s history, just to calm everything down for awhile, to stop the leaks, to stop the accusations, and essentially to be more loyal to the Bush administration.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask a quick question to Michael Ratner, as we wrap up. We have a new congress, Democrat congress, Democrat senate. Is there any discussion of accountability? Conyers talked about it before, when he was in the minority. Nancy Pelosi just announced impeachment is off the table. What do you want the Democrats to do?

MICHAEL RATNER: Well, the first thing I would want the Democrats to do, the absolute first thing, is restore the writ of habeas corpus to non-citizens both here in the United States and around the world. I would have them -- 48 of them voted to have it restored -- or not restored, but not taken out before. I would like to see them make an effort to do that. What are the chances of this? I think they're very low. I would love to see Conyers open a full investigation into the Iraq war. I would love to see the Intelligence Committee open a full investigation into torture.

AMY GOODMAN: We’ll have to leave it there. Michael Ratner, Melvin Goodman, Robert Parry, I want to thank you all very much for being with us.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Something To Keep Your Eye On

A case being considered in the High Court wants ministers to lobby for the release of three London residents detained at Guantanamo Bay.

High Court, London, England

Kurt Barling with the BBC reports:
Last week, sitting in Court number 2 at the High Court on the Strand, I was reminded of a story my father told me when I was a young boy. Sixty years ago he was a teenage witness to the Allied war crimes trials at Nuremberg.

He lived and survived in the city which had been razed to the ground by allied bombing. Those responsible for unleashing war in Europe, bringing tragedy to their own people and millions of others across the continent, were tried in an international military tribunal which tried to avoid “victor’s justice”. The judgement of Nuremberg was just.

Even though there were critics of this process, like others in Germany at the time my father grew to understand and respect the significance of that process of justice which made the Nazi leaders account for their criminal behaviour.

The countless crimes the Nazi leadership committed were judged openly. The courts were presided over by allied civilian judges and then by the court of public opinion, both in Germany and the rest of the world via radio and newspaper reports. Most were sentenced to death, others like Goering cheated Albert Pierrepoint’s noose by committing suicide. Some like Albert Speer were given long prison sentences.

The message from these trials was a challenge to totalitarianism (not withstanding what was subsequently revealed about the Soviet Union). The net result was that the Allied powers were revered for their magnanimity in victory and the nobleness of their approach to meting out justice. Summary justice would have been far easier. These hideous men were allowed a defence and all the world could see how absolute power could corrupt and bring a great civilisation to its knees.

The legacy of the Nuremberg trials survived the Cold War. The United Nations used it to lay the foundations of international criminal law. It could be seen in the trials of Slobodan Milosevic and other offenders charged with war crimes resulting from the conflict after Yugoslavia broke up in the 1990s. In Rwanda in the trials of those responsible for the genocide and now in Baghdad with the trial of Saddam Hussein one imagines the echoes of open justice started at Nuremberg.

Bisher al-Rawi

In a sense this legacy found itself in the dock in Court 2 last week. The families of Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna and Omar Deghayes were seeking to convince two English judges that they should issue an order compelling the British government to intervene on their relatives’ behalf. None of the men are British nationals. Al-Rawi is Iraqi, el-Banna is Jordanian and Deghayes is Libyan.

All three men have been held since 2002 by the Americans, for the most part at the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It is the families’ contention that the British government helped put them there. The government has consistently denied this.

The three men have not been charged and are therefore not to be put on trial for any specific offence by the Americans. It is not clear when and how they will be released.

Despite repeated requests by the families, the Foreign Office has refused to intervene over the past three and a bit years. Although not British the men were all long term residents in London and their families reside here. The government maintained it has not been their responsibility to assist them in any way.

The British government, remember, did lobby for the release of a number of British citizens. None were arrested or charged with an offence on their return to the UK.

Jamil el Banna

The government argued that as well as not having diplomatic responsibility for these men, they did not want to create a costly precedent for 2.6 million other British residents calling for government support at some future date. Curiously they also argued that having the men there enabled them to constructively engage with the US authorities over general detainee policy. Finally, all three men either pose or might pose unspecified risks to national security according to our intelligence services.

Bisher’s brother Wahad al-Rawi who lives in Leeds has been doggedly trying to get dribs and drabs of information about his brother for three years. His health has deteriorated since I first met him in 2003. The stress of trying to manage his mother’s expectations and that of the rest of his family has taken its toll.

On the first morning of the hearing last week the al-Rawi family and their lawyers were thrown into a state of confusion. A letter from Her Majesty’s Government said they would now make representations to seek Bisher’s release.

Unsure of whether to trust the government, they continued with their case to get the court to compel the government to act. There was no real explanation of why the government had changed its mind. The families remain in a state of confusion.

In a move which appeared on the surface to smack of state arbitrariness, the government made no such offer of help for the other two men at Guantanamo. Because there was no explanation, no-one quite understands on what basis the government is acting. To the advocates of the three men, it does not seem fair particularly as Jamil el-Banna has five children living in north London all of whom are British.

Omar Deghayes

It is a matter of public record that several ministers have expressed their disapproval of the continued detentions at Guantanamo. The court was told that the Americans and British governments are in discussions about how to effect the repatriation of detainees. Reading between the lines it seems clear that both administrations are beginning to recognise the stain that is rapidly sullying their international reputations.

Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna say they were business partners back in 2002 along with Wahab. They had a plan to set up a factory in the Gambia producing peanut oil and as a consequence, say their relatives, they were on their way to the Gambia on peanut growing business when they were arrested by the Gambian police. The families assume their arrests were requested by the Americans.

Both men were among a small group of Muslims in 2000-2001 who were familiar with Abu Qatada. Qatada was a leading Islamic authority in Britain and as such was sought out for guidance on Islamic matters. Wahad says it was these links that made any information he or his brother had potentially useful to the intelligence services

It appears that this relationship exposed them not only to interest from the British intelligence services but also the CIA’s. Evidence before the judges clarified that the British government had passed information on these two men to a foreign intelligence service.

In court, lawyers for the family made it clear they believed the British information led to the seizure of the two men and their forcible removal to Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The American military then moved the men to Guantanamo. The families maintain British intelligence officers interviewed the men face to face both in the Gambia and in Guantanamo. The episode so far wouldn’t be out of place in a Cold War spy novel.

The evidence in Court 2 suggested we are possibly entering some kind of end game at Guantanamo. For many Muslims around the world though, Guantanamo has undermined their faith in the values of International Criminal Justice so painstakingly nurtured after Nuremberg.

Unlike the legacy of Nuremberg it is doubtful detention at camp Delta will ever be seen as just. For a start there have been very few trials, precious little accountability and virtually no scrutiny. It will be very difficult for the allied powers to claim the high moral ground for the foreseeable future.

Muslims, both inside and outside the Muslim-majority world, will undoubtedly argue that whilst Britain and America may not be the worst human rights abusers, they can longer claim to be the best protectors of those human rights either. This is more likely to be the legacy of Guantanamo.

The High Court judges will give their written judgement in a few weeks time.

Fresh Israeli Shelling in Gaza Kills 18 Palestinians

While the DLC's hand-picked conservative candidates won over the RNC's conservative incumbents, Dick Cheney's hand-picked Israeli Prime Minister Ohlmert was creating more terror and terrorists for us all, and slaughtering more Palestinians in Gaza:
Israeli tank fire killed at least 18 civilians, including women and children, Wednesday, according to Palestinian officials. The Israeli army had announced Tuesday it has withdrawn from the town after undertaking one of its biggest offensives in Gaza during the year.

A Palestinian health ministry spokesperson said the shelling in Beit Hanoun had killed seven children and four women and wounded 40 people. Palestinian security officials said Israeli soldiers killed four gunmen and a civilian during a raid near the city of Jenin. The gunmen belonged to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades group, a part of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.
An Israel military spokesperson said the military had no immediate information about any shelling in the area.

Beit Hanoun had been the target of a week-long military assault by Israeli troops, which killed 52 militants and civilians. Israel claimed the action was to counter Palestinian militants firing rockets into Israeli territory.

Palestinian officials said Israeli troops fired on houses. A TV footage of the shelling showed bleeding victims being carried to hospital with severe injuries.

Meanwhile, Tuesday saw another rocket attack by militants from northern Gaza into the Israeli town of Ashkelon. There were no reports of any casualties.

Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, heading the Hamas-led cabinet, called for an emergency meeting of the U.S. Security Council in the wake of the new Israeli attacks the resultant deaths of civilians.

As long as we have this Bush administration and a Democratic majority in Congress that is more concerned with "getting along with Republicans," the world is never going to know peace and we are never going to be safe from terrorism.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Such a Night

. . . . Sweet confusion under the moonlight . . . .
. . . . Katrina, social security reform, stem cell, Tom Delay, Abramoff, Mark Foley, gay marriage, Bob Ney, Iraq, Iran, Democrats, Republicans, Congress, election 2006, Rick Santorum, Tom Kean, Jr., Conrad Burns, Curt Weldon, Nancy Johnson, Nancy Pelosi, Jim Talent, Harold Ford, Jr., Clay Shaw, Lincoln Chafee, J.D. Hayworth, Ned Lamont, Charlie Bass, Katherine Harris, Mike DeWine, George Allen, George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney . . .

Filed under: , , , , , , , , ,

Connecticut . . . .

. . . . lost.

Liberal bloggers are dancing on the air waves, because for some ridiculous reason they believe that tonight's win in the House (and the still uncertain majority-ship in the Senate) means that Bush and Republicans are behind the 8-ball.

My fellow liberal bloggers just don't get it.

The Democrats that won tonight are CENTRISTS. They are the moderates, "Republican-Lite," Rahm Emmanuel's hand-picked (from the wedgie in his ass) to be as "right-leaning, middle-of-the-road" as possible, without actually driving in the UK. These are not liberals, these are not anti-war Democrats. They owe their asses to the DLC and the Democrats who support the war in Iraq, and want to take advantage of Bush's quest for American Empire. Hillary is chief among them (with Bill standing one foot behind and to her right).

And Joe Lieberman is at the front of the line for Hillary and Bill tuckus-kissing.

Nancy Pelosi's victory speech tonight was a capitulation to the right. It was the waving of a white flag, a broadcasting to the White House and the nation of future Democratic "moderation."

Do you remember the Democrats during the first nine months of the Bush Presidency, before 9/11/01? They couldn't lay themselves out more prostrate before Bush - "Please like us, don't hurt us." True champions of the weakest Americans, Ted Kennedy, sold out the ordinary American by collaborating with Bush on that absolutely wretched pieces of legislation, "No Child Left Behind."

Democrats believed that they had to prove to the voters that they weren't obstructionists. Forget the fact that Democrats had nothing to prove, that it was the Republicans who needed to prove that Bush was the "compassionate conservative" that he campaigned as. And that after stealing the 2000 election for their boy Bush, Bush and Republicans needed to prove to all Americans that they could be the leaders for all of us. But Democratic leaders soaked up Republican spin, and believed that it was their job to bend-over backwards and jump through hoops to please Republicans.

We're about to see that all over again. Another period of proving, with Democrats caving to Bush's demands in order to prove that they're not the difficult ones. Two years of it, because the 2008 campaign kicked off tonight.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cruising Around

I'm blogging from the road today. I couldn't take Wolf Blitzer letting one Republican after another (Ken Mehlman was the worst) get away with dismissing the Republicans' election fraud and felony acts, and not challenging the lie that "Democrats are pulling dirty tricks, too."

With AirPort (you can drive just about anywhere and piggyback onto some internet subscriber's connection - pretty cool) I'm not forced to listen to right-wing talk radio monopolizing the AM band on the radio as I drive. The right-wing pretty much has drivers as captive audiences, something that needs to change ASAP when Democrats retake Congress (I'm going to think positively today, for as long as I can).

The only time I listen anymore to what the right-wing radio media has to say anymore is when I'm driving, and even then only before and after Randi Rhodes' show on Air America. As the news consortium has instituted a 'quarantine' on reporting their exit polling, I wanted to listen to folks like Hannity and other Republican stooges on CNN and MSNBC for any hint of what the exit polls were revealing to them.

From Hannity's rant, I'd say that the exit polling was favoring the Democrats. Heavily. Hannity went through a tirade about exit polls, and "how wrong they were" in 2004 when they predicted a win for John Kerry. Same was true, says Hannity, for 2000 and 2002.

Sean, you have to at least try to keep your stories straight.

The exit polls were accurate, but as conservatives said back then, "Exit polls aren't lawful ballots." The exit polls were showing the results of the election if all of the voters' ballots had been counted. But they weren't (counted), because "voters who voted for the Democrats were too stupid to fill out their ballots correctly and lawfully." But then again, from the demeanor of the on-air punditocracy (on CNN and MSNBC), it looks like the Republicans are having a better day than they had expected. So who knows?

James Carville didn't seem too happy, and it didn't look like an act (people with Aspberger's syndrome are pretty much "what you see is what it is"). Perhaps he seemed down because he wasn't looking forward to the long "dry spell" that was waiting for him at home with Mary Matalin after today's election results.

This is not a happy punum.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On This Election Day 2006 - Forget Forebearance

Today's mantra: End Republican control of Congress.

Given the zeal with which the Republican party is openly operating obviously illegal 'dirty tricks' campaigns to suppress democratic vote turnout in states all around the nation, the most secretive administration in U.S. history, the Bush-Cheney administration, must have one hell of a lot to hide from Congressional oversight.

The Constant American counsels patience to Americans who find their right to cast ballots (and have their ballots counted) being thwarted today. Be prepared for delays, challenges, anything unusual or out of the ordinary, with photo ID and cameras (video and still, videophones), pen and paper, and report any problems that you witness to: 1-866-MYVOTE1.

In Indiana: Polls Will Stay Open Until 8:40 PM in Delaware County
A judicial order is requiring polls in Delaware County to stay open until 8:40 p.m. tonight. Polls were originally scheduled to close at 6:00.
A problem occurred in Delaware County when an apparent computer error prevented voters from casting ballots in 75 precincts.

Delaware County Clerk Karen Wenger says start cards that activate the machines for voters were programmed incorrectly by the company that installed the software. She says technicians are working with precincts one-by-one over the telephone to get the problem fixed.

Electronic voting machine problems have been frazzling voters and election workers in dozens of precincts this morning.

The confusion delayed voters in Indiana and Ohio, and left some in Florida with little choice but to turn to paper ballots.

Election officials in Delaware County, Indiana, are planning to seek a court order to extend voting. That comes after an apparent computer programming error kept voters from casting ballots in 75 precincts.

In Cleveland, voters rolled their eyes as election workers fumbled with new voting machines that didn't start right.

With a-third of voters dealing with new equipment, changing I-D rules and registration databases, election watchdogs were worried long before voting began this morning.

One trouble-shooter in the Cleveland area is staying optimistic, saying: "We got five machines -- one of them's got to work."

Poll Workers Struggle With Vote Machines:
Programming errors and inexperience dealing with electronic voting machines frustrated poll workers in hundreds of precincts Tuesday, delaying voters in several states and leaving some with little choice but to use paper ballots instead.

In Cleveland, voters rolled their eyes as election workers fumbled with new touchscreen machines that they couldn't get to start properly until about 10 minutes after polls opened.

"We got five machines — one of them's got to work," said Willette Scullank, a trouble shooter from the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, elections board.

In Indiana's Marion County, about 175 of 914 precincts turned to paper because poll workers didn't know how to run the machines, said Marion County Clerk Doris Ann Sadler. She said it could take most of the day to fix all of the machine-related issues.

Election officials in Delaware County, Ind., extended voting hours because voters initially couldn't cast ballots in 75 precincts. County Clerk Karen Wenger said the cards that activate the push-button machines were programmed incorrectly but the problems were fixed by late morning.

Pennsylvania's Lebanon County also extended polling hours because a programming error forced some voters to cast paper ballots.

With a third of Americans voting on new equipment and voters navigating new registration databases and changing ID rules, election watchdogs worried about polling problems even before the voting began.

"This is largely what I expected," said Doug Chapin, director of, a nonpartisan group that tracks voting changes. "With as much change as we had, expecting things to go absolutely smoothly at the beginning of the day is too optimistic."

At some Broward County, Fla., precincts, electronic ballots were mixed up and, in one case, a poll worker unintentionally wiped the electronic ballot activators.

In Utah County, Utah, workers failed to properly encode some of the cards that voters use to bring up touchscreen ballots.

Rep. Harold Ford, the Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee, claimed a polling place in Jackson shut down because its machines weren't working, but Tennessee election coordinator Brook Thompson said he knew only of typical election morning problems starting machines.

In Illinois, some voters found the new equipment cumbersome.

"People seem to be very confused about how to use the new system," said Bryan Blank, a 33-year-old librarian from Oak Park, Ill. "There was some early morning disarray."

But voting equipment companies said they hadn't seen anything beyond the norm and blamed the problems largely on human error.

"Any time there's more exposure to equipment, there are questions about setting up the equipment and things like that," said Ken Fields, a spokesman for Election Systems & Software Inc. "Overall, things are going very well."

Some voters even liked the new ballots.

"It was much clearer on what you were voting for and you made sure you absolutely were voting for what you wanted to vote for," said Cathy Schaefer, 59, of Cincinnati.

Other problems had nothing to do with machines.

A location in Columbus, Ohio, opened a few minutes late because of a break-in at the school where the precinct is located.

Power failures in Denver knocked out laptops used to verify voter registration, forcing workers to call the central office for information. In North Carolina, about 100 voters waited nearly an hour at a church because the person with the key didn't show up on time.

In Kentucky's Bourbon County, a school board race had been left off some of the ballots, requiring the county clerk to make up paper ballots on the spot, Secretary of State's spokesman Les Fugate said.

Although turnout generally is lower in midterm elections, this year was the deadline for many of the election changes enacted in the wake of the Florida balloting chaos of 2000. The 2002 Help America Vote Act required or helped states to replace outdated voting equipment, establish voter registration databases, require better voter identification and provide provisional ballots if something goes wrong.

Control of Congress is also at stake this year, and because individual congressional races are generally decided by fewer votes than presidential contests, any problems at the polls are more likely to affect the outcome.

According to Election Data Services, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm, 32 percent of registered voters were using equipment added since the 2004 elections.

Nearly half of all voters were using optical-scan systems that ask them to fill in blanks, with ballots then fed into a computer. Thirty-eight percent were casting votes on touchscreen machines that have been criticized as susceptible to hackers.

Just getting to the right polling place with the right identification posed a challenge for some voters.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford got a quick reminder of the voter rules — he was turned away the first time because he didn't have a voter registration card.

Many states established voter registration databases for the first time and found problems matching drivers' license and Social Security data with voter rolls, sometimes simply because of a middle initial.

Although not required by federal law, some states passed new voter identification requirements. While courts struck down photo ID requirements in several states, Missouri's chief elections official, Robin Carnahan, said she was still asked three times to show a photo ID, despite a court ruling striking the requirement down there.

Some New Mexico voters complained they had received phone calls giving them incorrect information about where in vote. The Athens County, Ohio, prosecutor also warned voters there to be wary of fraudulent calls claiming their precinct had changed.

In one of the worst fiascoes, Maryland election officials forgot to send the cards primary voters needed to activate electronic machines at their polling places, and some voters had to cast provisional ballots on scraps of paper.

Baltimore County election director Jacqueline McDaniel said poll workers had a few problems on Tuesday, including one who left part of the equipment in his car.

Several Florida counties stocked up ahead of the election with extra voting machines, paper ballots and poll workers on standby. Apart from the state's infamous chads in 2000, Florida voters have struggled with poorly trained poll workers and precincts opening late or closing early.

"As of right now things are rolling smoothly," Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb said. "We're not real happy with the weather but it's not so bad and we hope that everybody will go out and vote."

Let's get out there, take charge of our own lives and change history.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, November 06, 2006

Keeping Track: Another Bush (41) Judicial Appointee From The Federalist Society Dismisses Case Against Bush & GOP

Detroit Judge Dismisses House Democrats' Lawsuit Over $39 Billion Budget Bill

The Honorable Nancy G. Edmunds, appointed to the federal bench by George H.W. Bush in 1992, presided over this case. reports:
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by U.S. House Democrats trying to stop a $39 billion budget bill because the House and Senate did not approve identical versions.

House Democrats accused GOP leaders of abusing the legislative process and contend they were denied their right to vote on legislation signed into law by President Bush in February. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, sued in April along with 10 other House members to prevent the law from being implemented.

The Senate version of the bill said Medicare can pay to rent some types of medical equipment for 13 months. A clerk erroneously wrote down 36 months before the bill was sent back to the House for a final vote, and the language was approved by the House on Feb. 1.

When the bill was sent to Bush for his signature, the number was back to 13 months. The lawsuit said the oversight amounted to an additional $2 billion in spending, and the plaintiffs claimed that because they never had the chance to vote on the version signed into law, the law was invalid.
The Department of Justice had sought the lawsuit's dismissal, claiming the 11 House members lacked standing because they are not renters of medical equipment and were not in "any way personally affected or injured."

The judge agreed with that argument. If that is the standard (only sick citizens on Medicare are recognized as having standing and may sue the King President, and not their representatives in Congress) not many cases, if any, will be filed.
Messages seeking comment were left Monday night with Conyers' office and the Justice Department.

The White House and Republican leaders in Congress have said the matter is settled because the mistake was technical and top House and Senate leaders certified the bill before transmitting it to the White House.

The Republicans have said the matter is settled, so it must be so. So there.

Do you think this is really what 'Reagan democrats' want when they vote for Republicans?

Cheney's Election Day Location No Secret

Cheney To Go Hunting On Election Day - Heads To South Dakota For First Hunting Trip Since Shooting Accident

CBS reports that Cheney will be hunting at a private hunting lodge in S. Dakota on Election Day, the first hunting trip since February, when he shot: "his best friend," "a close friend", "an acquaintance", "a guest at the ranch Cheney claims to have 'barely known'," "Harry who?":
Vice President Dick Cheney will spend Election Day on his first hunting trip since he accidentally shot a companion last February while aiming at a covey of quail on a private Texas ranch.

The vice president, after working at the White House on Monday morning, will head to South Dakota to spend several days at a private hunting lodge near Pierre. Lea Anne McBride, his press secretary, said it was an annual hunting outing and said Cheney spent Election Day in 2002 at the same lodge.

He will be accompanied by his daughter, Mary, and his political director, Mel Raines, who will help him keep track of the election returns, McBride said.

Mel Raines, Cheney's Political Director?

The first question is, "Why does the Vice-President have his own Political Director"?

The next question is, "Is this the same Mel Raines who heads (or at least used to) the Altria Group (previously known as Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, now diversified)?"

Yes, it's that Mel Raines, on the "Corporate Affiliate Roster" of the "National Association of Secretaries of State 2006." Interesting list, of corporate officers working with a national association of America's Secretaries of State (the elected administrators of each state's elections).

A private, presumably secluded hunting lodge in 'out of the way' S. Dakota, is as good a place as any to follow election returns on your laptop.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

"How come my dog don't bark when you come around?"

The Dr. (John) is in:

Filed under: , , , , , , , , ,

If You Think Too Long About Election Fraud and Work All the Angles . . . .

. . . . You can really begin to despise Republicans.

Democrats don't fare too well either.

It makes absolutely no sense that there would be enough voters in each district around the country voting for Democrats (enough for the House to change hands), and not the Senate, too.

It's the House districts that have been surgically shaped, gerrymandered, to favor the incumbents. Particularly incumbent Republicans. But if enough of the voters in these districts are willing to vote for Democrats (in great enough numbers to have the House switch to a Democratic party majority), then surely there would be enough within each state to elect a Democratic majority in the Senate, too.

I know, I know, I've heard the theory that voters like to split power, but I've never bought it. It's the lazy pundit's explanation, the pundit sitting in Washington and has no finger on the pulse of the local electorates around the nation to know what really motivated them to vote as they did.

It does not make sense that voters would be motivated to want to split the ticket, to vote for one party at the top of the ticket and then, consciously wanting to split the power between the Executive and Legislative branches, to further split their choices for the House and the Senate between the two parties.

If you believe that voters want to split the power by voting for one party for President-Vice President and the other party for Congress, then you can't believe that the last three elections weren't stolen. Because if they weren't stolen, then Bush-Cheney should have been dealing with a Democratic Congress. Either one or both houses.

I've read just about everything that's been published on this subject, and I'm convinced. But once you're at the point where you accept that Republican operatives have a lock on stealing elections, that they're home free and can do it with impugnity, what do you do with that? The Republican GOTV machine is solely for the purpose of hiding the theft. The theft itself actually takes place in the vote tabulation software, one person doing the deed. You know it, they know it, they know you know it, you know they know you know it, so now what?

I've been toying with this idea for a little while:

The political operators in Washington, elitests that they are, probably all agree that it wouldn't be a good idea to let the American people lose faith in their government and the election process by letting them know that Karl Rove and the Republican party have stolen the last three elections. If that was widely believed by most Americans (and verified as fact), and if politicians and media personalities openly discussed it, we'd be in uncharted waters. The future of the republic would be in grave doubt.

So how would one party (the Democrats) get the party that has been able to steal the last three elections (and any future election, because they are able to prevent any repair of the process from happening) to agree to stop doing it, and yield some of the power (or else the Dems will spill the beans to the American people, and damnitalltohell if the republic is lost)?

Rove-Bush-Cheney might reluctantly offer this: "We'll give you the House of Representatives, but not by much. You're not taking over control of the Senate - you won't have enough numbers to override a veto. We'll let enough votes for your candidates to slide through this election, to give you a majority in the House, on the condition that you will conduct limited investigations. Just enough so that your liberal base can believe you're with them. But you'll go nowhere close to uncovering anything that would lead to impeachment. Take it or leave it - it's your word against ours on the election-stealing thing."

I could see the Democratic party leadership agreeing to this (as well as other power mongers in the party, AND, other power brokers above the fray - those in the Iraq Study Group, for example, Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton). The soon-to-be-new-House-speaker might say publicly something like, "Impeachment is off the table if Democrats take control of the House," a couple of weeks before the election.

It would certainly keep the Democratic base on tenterhooks, "Do we vote Democratic (on the chance Pelosi's trying to appear unpolarizing and really will launch all appropriate investigations and oversight operations, even if they lead to impeachment), or vote independent (and give up on the Democratic party once and for all time), or stay home and pack for Canada?."

If Democrats had made a deal with Republicans, I'd then expect Democrats to tamp down their campaign rhetoric. The only reason to whip up the electorate is if elections are legitimate and you're out to motivate those who would vote for you to get to the polls. If Republicans can steal elections with a few strokes on a computer keyboard, and you're not willing to expose that fact, there's no point in riling the base up with negative campaigning if there has already been an agreement to share some of the power. If the deal is that Republicans get to negatively campaign in order to get their base to the polls, I can see Democrats standing down and relying on Rove to fulfill his part of the deal in the magical privacy of the Diebold vote tabulating program. Democrats would agree because once inside the room, with a little bit of power, they might be able to parlay it into more. In 2008.

The only X factor that I can see is the exit polls. The total number of voters and who they voted for. If the polls were to indicate overwhelming support for Democrats, that would have to be suppressed from the public. Because the deal had already been cut for just the House and not the Senate.

The media has already agreed on a blackout of the exit polling.

What if the Democrats get 5 of the 6 seats needed to take control of the Senate, and newly independent Joe Lieberman winds up winning over Ned Lamont (of course he will - the DLC sold out Lamont and the democratic voters in Connecticut when they didn't force Lieberman out of the race after the Connecticut Democratic primary in August). That would put ol' "out for himself"-Lieberman in quite the catbird (swing) seat? Are they really so sure of "pro-war"-Lieberman, that he'll caucus with the Democrats, if that happens?

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If You Needed More Proof That There is No War on Terror . . . .

. . . . Court acquits Zarqawi group of terror charges.

As Qatar's Peninsula On-line reports:
A Yemeni appeals court yesterday acquitted 19 suspected members of an Al Qaeda cell of terror charges, convicting only six of the group of forging documents.

The 19, including five Saudi nationals, had been charged by the prosecutor's office with having plotted anti-US attacks in Yemen at the behest of the then head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, killed last June in a US air raid near Baghdad.
The so-called "Zarqawi group" was acquitted in July by a Sanaa court which specializes in state security matters on grounds of lack of evidence.

The prosecutor challenged the verdict in an appeals court that looks into cases related to state security.

But judge Saeed Al Qattaa, presiding over the appeals court, again threw out the charge that the 19 men had formed an armed group and plotted attacks against Americans in Yemen.

He said there was not sufficient proof to support prosecution charges that they had "taken part in the formation of an armed unit" and "the planning of attacks against Americans in Yemen and Yemenis who deal with them."

Six members of the group, including one Saudi, were however convicted of forging travel and other official documents.

Two of those, both Yemenis, were jailed for three years while the court sufficed with the jail terms already served by the four others since their arrest.

The members of the group were detained in several parts of Yemen early last year, some after their return from fighting US-led forces in Iraq.

Their trial, which opened in February, was the latest in a number of cases involving suspected militants in Yemen, several of whom have been convicted.

The impoverished Arabian peninsula country has seen a series of attacks in recent years, notably the bombing by Al Qaeda militants of the US destroyer Cole in the southern port of Aden in 2000 that killed 17 American sailors.

The U.S.S. Cole

French oil vessel Limburg off of Yemeni coast.

A 2002 attack against the French oil tanker Limburg killed one Bulgarian crew member and wounded 12 others.

There is no 'war on terror,' only a sham of an operation, a half-hearted, torture-intensive, that moves into action whenever the Bush administration needs to instill fear into the American people in order to control the people and retain absolute power of the government by Republicans.

The Dubai Ports International deal is still on, and the U.S. remains as vulnerable to terrorist acts as it was on September 10, 2001. While governments can't protect their citizens from all acts by madmen, those ruling the U.S. (and all other corporate western nations today) continue creating the conditions that drive people to commit acts of terror, and write off their citizens that are killed in desperate acts by desperate people as "the cost of being the richest country in the world."

As we saw on September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda was able to bring us to our knees (bankrupt us and rip our Constitition to shreds) by using a low-tech weapon. They don't need nuclear weapons - that's the weapon of choice for our leaders, to "shock and awe" and strike fear into our hearts and bowels, making citizens more manageable. Bush-Cheney have done next to nothing to prevent any more low-tech attacks (such as small planes flying into liquid natural gas tankers or on-shore holding tanks in populated cities), because it would cut into corporate profits.

LNG catastrophes (liquid natural gas, a highly flammable gas when put under pressure turns into liquid which when you release the pressure, it turns back into a gas and burns like crazy) have devastated cities when they have been accidents. There's no telling the damage that an intentional attack might cause (a square city mile was destroyed in the Cleveland disaster).

Are you living anywhere near LNG holding tanks, or any proposed ones?

Bush and Cheney have no loved ones' lives on the line; even John Ashcroft stopped flying commercial before 9/11/01.

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,