Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 9h 23m 19s|
Show trials are more important than the administration of Justice
According to Lt. Cmdr. William C. Kuebler, a military lawyer for a Guantánamo detainee, in a recent interview by the New York
The Bush administration’s war crimes system “is designed to get criminal convictions” with “no real evidence,” Commander
Kuebler says. Or he lets fly that military prosecutors “launder evidence derived from torture.”
“You put the whole package together and it stinks,” he said in an interview.
The lawyers, trained in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, were selected to defend detainees in a judicial system established
especially for terrorism suspects. But many of them share a sense of indignation that Guantánamo makes military justice seem
like watered-down justice. Representing detainees, said one of them, Lt. Cmdr. Brian L. Mizer, “is a historic opportunity to defend
the rule of law.
Commander Kuebler (pronounced KEEB-ler) is the latest example of a lawyer in uniform attacking the Pentagon’s legal system.
He is no natural agitator. At 37, he is in some ways deeply conventional. Married to the first girl he ever dated in high school, he
is a self-described born-again Christian and conservative who has “never voted for a Democrat.” Tom Fleener, a former
Guantánamo military defense lawyer, described Commander Kuebler, saying, “Take the average conservative guy in the street and
multiply that by a million.”
Glaberson | New York Times | 19 June 2008]
Today's SF Comical front page story?
- Cal and Tree-sitters both claim victory
- Tiger Woods knee injury
- African Penguins welcomed to new SF home
Proof again that the SF Comical isn't worthy of being used to wrap fish.
|Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 9h 8m 43s|
It was about oil
Oil companies have been running American foreign policy since the 1930's. No surprise's here.
Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years
after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.
Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company[which Saddam threw out when he
nationalized Iraqi oil] — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid
contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.
There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to
war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was
necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American
advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.
[SOURCE: Andrew E. Kramer | New York Times | 19 June
And so now we need 58 permanent military bases in Iraq to protect the
investments of the oil companies
|Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 8h 55m 42s|
The truth about drilling for oil in Alaska
The spin offered by a few too many ideologues and ignorant individuals is that drilling in Alaska will alleviate our dependence
upon Middle East oil, but that tree-hugging environmentalists are stopping that from happening.
The Energy Information Administration is the independent statistical and
analytical agency within the Department of Energy. From the Energy Information Administration's own May 2008 report on the
In all three ANWR resource cases, ANWR crude oil production begins in 2018 and grows during most of the projection period
before production begins to decline. In the mean oil resource case, ANWR oil production peaks at 780,000 barrels per day in
2027. The low- resource-case production peaks at 510,000 barrels per day in 2028, while the high- resource-case production
peaks at 1,450,000 barrels per day in 2028. Cumulative oil production resulting from the opening of ANWR from 2018 through
2030 amounts to 2.6 billion barrels in the mean resource case, 1.9 billion barrels in the low resource case, and 4.3 billion barrels
in the high resource case.
[SOURCE: Energy Information Administration | May 2008]
Peaking at 1,450,000 barrels per day in 2028 is the best-case scenario, and the mean-case scenario is only 780,000 barrels a
day by 2027. The total amount of oil that could be extracted (cumulative oil production) is somewhere between 2.6 and 4.3
billion barrels from 2018 to 2030 (2.6 is the average case scenario).
According to Nationmaster.com we use 20,730,000 barrels of oil per day. That is 7,566,450,000 barrels (7.5 billion) for
the entire year -- and this number is increasing !!!
In other words, if we drilled in Alaska, the total amount of oil we could extract over a period of 12 years is somewhere between 3
to 6 months of our yearly consumption. With the daily peak of barrels per day somewhere between 2% to 5% of our current daily
How is this difficult to extract oil going to free us from dependence on Middle East Oil?
Answer: it isn't.
But that won't stop spineless liars like Glenn Beck from saying otherwise, and then using his false statements to beat up on
liberal tree-hugging politicians.
|Thursday, 19 June 2008 at 8h 18m 58s|
What the mainstream press won't tell you about Cindy McCain
All this coverage over Michelle Obama -- including front page treatment in the San Francisco Comical -- but very little about
McCain's (2nd) wife -- remember he divorced the first one after she was badly mangled in a car accident.
Perhaps that's because Cindy McCain has some legit skeleton's in her own closet.
In 1989, following two back surgeries, Cindy McCain became addicted to the painkillers Vicodin and Percocet. To keep up with her
daily need of 10 to 15 pills, she used other people's names for prescriptions and stole drugs from the American Voluntary Medical
Team, a mobile surgical unit she'd begun in 1988 to provide emergency medical services around the world. A 1993 DEA audit of the
amount of painkillers her charity had obtained quickly uncovered her thefts. She avoided prosecution for those crimes through an
agreement with the Justice Department in which she submitted to drug testing, paid a fine, performed community service in a soup
kitchen, and joined Narcotics Anonymous. She also closed her medical charity
[SOURCE: Snopes.com | | April 2008]
If Snopes says it's true, then it is the truth.
Where is the race-baiting press on this issue?
|Wednesday, 18 June 2008 at 8h 45m 11s|
You are born that way
Funny that the San Francisco Comical which is busy putting the married gay people issue on every single front page this
week -- at the expense of more relevant breaking news, I mean what's wrong with page 3 or 4.
Yet this story is nowhere
in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Scientists investigating human sexuality have found that the brains of homosexuals have structural and functional differences
from those of “straight” people.
Lesbians appear to have a lower proportion of grey matter in their brains than straight women, giving their brains a more “male-
The brains of gay men appear to have structural similarities to those of heterosexual women. They also exhibit the same powerful
response as straight women to the sex hormones released in male sweat.
Scientists have long thought this meant there should be differences in the brains of homosexuals. Brain scanning equipment has
only recently become powerful enough to seek them out, however.
[SOURCE: Jonathan Leake | London Times | 15
Hmm, so writing endlessly about Gay marriages is okay, but writing about scientific research that indicates how homosexuals are
different from birth is not relevant. Notice that the Times article is from Sunday. So in 4 days, the Comical can't publish an
account of the Science behind homosexuality, but pumps out front page pictures and articles of gay people hugging and getting
Sounds like the editors just want to beat a controversial issue that gets people riled up rather than do an actual relevant news
|Tuesday, 17 June 2008 at 9h 47m 36s|
The corruption in Iraq defies the imagination
As quoted from a Sunni parlementarian in Le Monde. Click here for the article in French written by Patrice Claude.
The translation is mine, but I've included the French in italics.
According to Transparency International ... For the first time, a total number is cited this week by the BBC, and it is astronomical:
23 billion dollars (14.8 billion euros) have been "lost, stolen" or at the very least "not justified" during the 5 years from the
[Another] audit -- necessarily partial because the commercial contracts concluded by the military and American diplomats total
more than 165,000 documents since march 2003-- has been done by the inspector general of defense. Released in May in
Washington, it estimated as 8.2 billion dollars the sum payed to contractors without having any justification. No related invoice
or totally inadequate. One American enterprise not-identified was paid 320.8 millions of dollars with a simple mention on the
invoice: "Payment for Iraqi salaries." To whom, for what, and why, is a mystery....
The compatibility of public spendng is not less a mystery and cannot see the light since the Commission for public integrity,
which had been put in place at the end of 2003, was virtually dismantled in the summer of 2007 by Prime Minister Nouri Al-
Maliki, after it's President, the juge Radhi Al-Radhi, was publically disavowed [by Maliki] ...
63 years old, judge Radhi had been imprisoned and tortured by the Baathist dictator [Saddam Hussein]. He has seen 31 of
investigating staff assassinated since last year after having poked their noses into certain affairs. In October 2007, he revealed
that 18 billion dollars of Iraqi funds have been funneled into corruption...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Pour la première fois, un chiffre global est cité dans une enquête approfondie diffusée la semaine passée par la BBC, et il est
astronomique : 23 milliards de dollars, soit 14,8 milliards d'euros, auraient été "perdus, volés", à tout le moins "non justifiés"
depuis cinq ans auprès du Trésor américain....
Un audit, forcément partiel puisque les contrats commerciaux conclus en Irak par les militaires ou les diplomates américains
totalisent plus de 165 000 documents depuis mars 2003, a été réalisé par l'Inspection générale de la défense. Diffusé en mai à
Washington, il estimait à 8,2 milliards de dollars la somme payée à des contractants sans avoir été régulièrement justifiée. Pas
de facture afférente, ou alors totalement inadéquate. Comme cette entreprise américaine non identifiée qui s'est fait verser 320,8
millions de dollars avec une simple mention sur sa facture : "Paiement de salaires irakiens". A qui, pourquoi, comment ?
la comptabilité des dépenses publiques est encore plus mystérieuse et nul ne peut plus faire la lumière sur la corruption
ambiante puisque la Commission pour l'intégrité publique, qui avait été mise en place fin 2003, a été virtuellement démantelée,
l'été 2007, par le premier ministre, Nouri Al-Maliki, après que son président, le juge Radhi Al-Radhi, eût été publiquement
Agé de 63 ans, le juge Radhi, qui fut emprisonné et torturé sous la dictature baassiste, a vu 31 de ses enquêteurs assassinés ces
dernières années après avoir mis leur nez dans certaines sales affaires. Entendu en octobre 2007 par le Congrès, il estimait alors
à 18 milliards de dollars le montant des fonds publics irakiens détournés.
[SOURCE: Patrice Claude | Le Monde | 17 June
Building democracy is expensive, don't you know. And the Iraqi people are so grateful that the American construction effort over
the last 5 years have been so astoundingly successful, that only the green zone construction projects, the military bases, and the
huge American embassy have been on schedule.
The priorities of colonialism supersede the public statements of the colonialists.
|Monday, 16 June 2008 at 12h 49m 36s|
It's called the constitution Newt Gingrich.
Click here to listen to Thom
Hartmann's eloquent and irrefutable rebuttal of Newt Gingrich's insane statement that the Supreme Court 5-4 decision in support of
Habeas Corpus "will cost us a city."
Why does the corporate media allow this disgraced, scum-bucket who divorced his wife on her death bed in order marry the young
secretary he was having an affair with?
|Sunday, 15 June 2008 at 8h 35m 9s|
Innocent men are held at Guantanamo
This is why Habeas Corpus is written in the constitution.
An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens of men —
and, according to several officials, perhaps hundreds — whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and
elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.
McClatchy interviewed 66 released detainees, more than a dozen local officials — primarily in Afghanistan — and U.S. officials
with intimate knowledge of the detention program. The investigation also reviewed thousands of pages of U.S. military tribunal
documents and other records.
This unprecedented compilation shows that most of the 66 were low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary
criminals. At least seven had been working for the U.S.-backed Afghan government and had no ties to militants, according to
Afghan local officials. In effect, many of the detainees posed no danger to the United States or its allies.
The investigation also found that despite the uncertainty about whom they were holding, U.S. soldiers beat and abused many
Of the 66 detainees whom McClatchy interviewed, the evidence indicates that 34 of them, about 52 percent, had connections with
militant groups or activities. At least 23 of those 34, however, were Taliban foot soldiers, conscripts, low-level volunteers or
adventure-seekers who knew nothing about global terrorism.
Only seven of the 66 were in positions to have had any ties to al Qaida's leadership, and it isn't clear that any of them knew any
terrorists of consequence.
If the former detainees whom McClatchy interviewed are any indication — and several former high-ranking U.S. administration
and defense officials said in interviews that they are — most of the prisoners at Guantanamo weren't terrorist masterminds but
men who were of no intelligence value in the war on terrorism.
"As far as intelligence value from those in Gitmo, I got tired of telling the people writing reports based on their interrogations
that their material was essentially worthless," a U.S. intelligence officer said in an e-mail, using the military's slang for
Guantanamo authorities periodically sent analysts at the U.S. Central Command "rap sheets on various prisoners and asked our
assessment whether they merited continued confinement," said the analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of
the sensitivity of the subject. "Over about three years, I assessed around 40 of these individuals, mostly Afghans. ... I only can
remember recommending that ONE should be kept at GITMO.
At a Pentagon briefing in the spring of 2002, a senior Army intelligence officer expressed doubt about the entire intelligence-
"He said that we're not getting anything, and his thought was that we're not getting anything because there might not be
anything to get," said Donald J. Guter, a retired rear admiral who was the head of the Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps at
Many detainees were "swept up in the pot" by large operations conducted by Afghan troops allied with the Americans, said
former Army Secretary White, who's now a partner at DKRW Energy, an energy company in Houston.
One of the Afghan detainees at Guantanamo, White recalled, was more than 80 years old.
Army Spc. Eric Barclais, who was a military intelligence interrogator at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan from September 2002
through January 2003, told military investigators in sworn testimony that "We recommended lots of folks be released from
(Bagram), but they were not. I believe some people ended up at (Guantanamo) that had no business being sent there."
"You have to understand some folks were detained because they got turned in by neighbors or family members who were feuding
with them," Barclais said. "Yes, they had weapons. Everyone had weapons. Some were Soviet-era and could not even be fired."
In 2002, a CIA analyst interviewed several dozen detainees at Guantanamo and reported to senior National Security Council
officials that many of them didn't belong there, a former White House official said.
Despite the analyst's findings, the administration made no further review of the Guantanamo detainees. The White House had
determined that all of them were enemy combatants, the former official said.
Rather than taking a closer look at whom they were holding, a group of five White House, Justice Department and Pentagon
lawyers who called themselves the "War Council" devised a legal framework that enabled the administration to detain suspected
"enemy combatants" indefinitely with few legal rights.
In late 2004, Pentagon officials decided to restrict further interrogations at Guantanamo to detainees who were considered "high
value" for their suspected knowledge of terrorist groups or their potential of returning to the battlefield, according to Matthew
Waxman, who was the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, the Defense Department's head official for
detainee matters, from August 2004 to December 2005.
"Maybe three-quarters of the detainees by 2005 were no longer regularly interrogated," said Waxman, who's now a law professor
at Columbia University.
At that time, about 500 men were still being held at Guantanamo.
So far, the military commissions have publicly charged only six detainees — less than 1 percent of the more than 770 who've
been at Guantanamo — with direct involvement in the 9-11 terrorist attacks; they dropped the charges in one case. Those few
cases are now in question after the high court's ruling Thursday.
About 500 detainees — nearly two out of three — have been released.
Lasseter | McClatchy News Services | 15 June 2008]
The writ of Habeas Corpus is in Article One Section 9 of the US constitution:
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety
may require it.
The Supreme Court has upheld Habeas Corpus 3 god damn times during the Bush administration, with the 4 corrupt judges the
only one's to dissent (Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito). In his dissent this week, Scalia said that protections were included and that
our freedom is in jeopardy.
Are you kidding me? What more proof can there be of the absolute abdication of principle and willingness to mangle the words
of the United States constitution by a Supreme Court justice. This is worse than the Dred Scott Case of the 1850's when a freed
slave was forced back into bondage when he traversed into a slave state. Read the sentence in the constituion which says habeas
corpus shall NOT be suspended. We are not being invaded and there is no rebellion.
CNN -- the "Comedy News Network" -- is however more interested in puffing up McCain's credentials, discussing how Obama
can lose, and giving press-time to the whores who make hundreds of thousands of dollars saying Bill Clinton slept with them, but
couldn't prove it in a court of law.
|Sunday, 15 June 2008 at 8h 8m 32s|
It's an invasion stupid
The Boston Globe just issued an editorial which rips the notion that we invaded Iraq to install democracy and create a sovereign
nation of free people.
Bush and Maliki agreed in November on principles for a "status of forces agreement," which will be needed as a legal basis
for American troops to remain in Iraq after the United Nations' mandate for them expires Dec. 31. The agreement would set
rules for US forces in Iraq. Since March, Iraqis and Americans have also been negotiating a "strategic framework agreement" to
define more broadly the long-term political and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The two agreements have been reopened for negotiation. Though Bush speaks of Iraq as a free, democratic ally, the original
versions gave the United States privileges in Iraq more suitable to the relationship between a colonial power and its
The contents of the agreements were not cast in the form of a treaty because a treaty would have to be ratified by the US Senate.
Bush plainly does not want senators asking troublesome questions about the implications of an open-ended Iraqi approval for 58
American military bases on Iraqi soil.
Five of the 58 are sprawling megabases that replicate the amenities of an American town. Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, has
air traffic comparable to Chicago's O'Hare Airport. No wonder some Iraqis see these bases as proof that Bush invaded Iraq to gain
control of its vast oil reserves and to establish a new permanent military presence in the heart of the Middle East.
[SOURCE: Editorial | Boston Globe | 14 June 2008]
|Thursday, 12 June 2008 at 8h 36m 1s|
The difference between McCain and Obama (part one): tax plans
According to a report by the Tax Policy Center,
Families making between $37,595 and $66,354 of annual income with Obama would get an average tax cut of $1,042 per family
while McCain’s tax cut for this group would be $319, the report states.
[SOURCE: | Think Progress | 12 June 2008 ]
Click here for an easy to follow
side-by-side comparison of the 2 tax plans proposed by the candidates.
The Tax Policy Center is a think tank related to the Urban Institute and Brookings Institute. Certain newspapers will call it "left-
leaning" because it's substantive, non-partisan conclusions run counter to the political views of the editors in charge of those
newspapers. The editors and CEO's of the corporate press insert the phrase "left-leaning", just like they insert the phrase
"alledged" every time another one of their pet politicians gets caught in a corruption scandal.
Because I firmly believe everyone should always be aware of the potential bias of one's sources,here is a Wikipedia on the Tax Policy Center.
Accordingly, "Based in Washington, D.C., the Tax Policy Center is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings
Institution. The Center is comprised of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the
highest levels of government."
GOTO THE NEXT 10 COLUMNS