Kansas Fed head blows the whistle on it serving an ‘oligarchy of itnerests’, the significance of Iran’s elections on U.S. policy, Justin Raimondo responds to an Israeli Minister calling for sanctions on the U.S., the U.S. military holding over 11,000 kidnapped Iraqis, Russia calls out the U.S. double standard on nuclear disarmament, and more…
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas President Thomas Hoenig: “We will perpetuate an oligarchy of interests that will fail to serve the best interests of business, the consumer and the U.S. economy.” (emphasis added) Perpetuate=to preserve from extinction (dictionary.com). Mr. Hoenig also said, “We are seeing the financial regulatory structure being handed over to the Federal Reserve System. This was the source of the bubble in the first place.” This article by Gary North is an analysis of a recent speech given by Mr. Hoening “blowing the whistle” on the Fed: “Notice the key word: ‘perpetuate’. It is an admission of the existence of such an oligarchy.”
The Federal Reserve acknowledges receiving the subpoena from the U.S. Congress regarding the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch buyout and “expect to respond completely and fully, beginning today”. (FT)
“Iranian Elections Could Shape U.S. Engagement” by Daniel Luban and Ai Gharib (IPS) is a good analysis of the significance of Iran’s elections on U.S. policy.
“Iranians Favor Peace Deal with U.S.” by Ken Ballen and Amjad Atallah (CNN): “Right now, Iranians consider the United States and Israel as the greatest — and only — threats to Iran…. 77 percent of Iranians also back normal relations and trade with the United States…. 77 percent said they support a political system where the supreme leader, along with all leaders, can be chosen and replaced by a free and direct vote of the people.” Ken Ballen was on AntiWar Radio today. Hopefully, the interview is posted tonight.
Glenn Kessler’s doublethink-Newspeak in today’s WaPo runs through Dennis Ross’s life of being a pro-Israel lobbyist, hawkish doubletalk profiteer, but assures us that he’ll be rational is setting the U.S. policy on Iran. Mr. Ross is Secy. of State Hillary Clinton’s special adviser on Persian Gulf/Southwest Asian (Iranian) affairs. He’s been advocating de facto war with Iran for his clients for years.
Hamas: Israel freezing settlement erections in its Occupied Palestinian Territories (outside of its legal borders) is “an essential step” toward a peaceful “solution that is fair to the Palestinian people and enables them to realize their rights… Hamas will not be an obstacle. Everyone knows that the obstacle is Israel.”
“Gaza: The Destitute and the Forgotten” is a video report by Inigo Gilmore of the Guardian posted yesterday. Don’t forget Gaza.
“Anti-Americanism in Israel” by Justin Raimondo (AntiWar.com) is a hilarious, rational response to a Israeli cabinet minister suggesting Israel place sanctions on the U.S. and “become” involved in U.S. elections.
U.S. Middle East Envoy met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accomplishing nothing. Mr. Abbas is president in name only, as his term expired during the Gaza Massacre in January of this year. Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler of IPS have a good article today: “Long Way From ‘Settlerland’ to ‘Palestineland'”. Press TV reports Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as telling Israel PM Bibi Netanyahu over the phone, “Any peace process for the Palestinian question means peace and stability for the entire region” and “no other way” can that happen without committing to the 2003 “Road Map for Peace” plan.
Likely Lebanon PM Saeed Hariri will not seek a Lebanon-Israel peace path, pledging to stick to backing the Arab Peace Initiative. In an interview with the FT’s Ferry Biedermann shortly after his faction won a majority in Lebanon’s elections last weekend, Mr. Hariri said, “”If you look at even what came out of Israel vis-a-vis these elections in Lebanon, it’s absolutely ridiculous…. One morning they say if Hizbollah wins it’s a declaration of war, and the second morning when they wake up and they see that we won, we are pro-western. We are not pro-western, we are pro-Lebanon…. I don’t see any effect where the Obama Administration gave an advantage” to his party or had any effect on the elections. The Hizbollah (March 8) bloc won 57 seats for the minority as the U.S.-backed March 14 opposition — calling for Hizbollah to lay down its arms — won 71 seats. The March 14 faction is accused of rigging the election — financed by U.S.-collaborator Saudi Arabia to buy votes.
With hat in hand, U.S. Defense Secy. Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen talked up the Af-Pak Surge to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Elizabeth Bumiller of the NYT notes: “Mr. Gates did not mention the refugee crisis in Pakistan in the wake of the army offensive. A huge explosion by militants at a five-star hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed at least 11 people had yet not occurred on Tuesday when he addressed the panel…. [Adm. Mullen] said the administration had to reverse the trend of violence in Afghanistan over the next 12 to 18 months — about the time of the midterm elections in the United States — and that the military would have to reduce civilian casualties.”
The Commission on Wartime Contracting’s early report concludes the Pentagon has mismanaged tens of billions of dollars paid to private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan — an envionment that “has been and continues to be susceptible to waste, fraud, and abuse”. The final report is to be released nest year.
David Pilling comments on blowback in Pakistan to foreign invasion/interlopers dating back to at least 1980. (FT)
Jason Ditz: “The head of the provincial council of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province reported today that a U.S. soldier had thrown the hand grenade that struck a crowd of civilians in a bustling market, killing two and injuring 56 others.” (Antiwar.com)
The U.S. occupiers are holding 11,057 detainees in Iraq. (Antiwar.com) 3,000 have been released since early March, but the rate of releasing detainees has dropped from about 50 to about 30 per day.
“Iraq Pact Referendum Delayed Until 2010” by Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com). The agreement for the U.S. to withdraw troops was contingent on a poll this July, now delayed to 30 Jan. 2010. There is a push for this referendum to include a vote on U.S. pullout beginning in July 2010 — a year and a half ahead of the prior agreement. At least 35 were killed in a crowded Bathaa market bombing. Bathaa, according to a spokesman at a local hospital. The AP reports: “An Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to release the information, put the death toll at 28.”
“Russia ‘Could Drop Nuclear Arms'” is the BBC headline. Russian PM Vladmir Putin’s response to possible nuclear disarmament: “Was it us that invented and ever used it?… If those who made the atomic bomb and used it are ready to abandon it, along with — I hope — other nuclear powers that officially or unofficially possess it, we will of course welcome and facilitate this process [of nuclear disarmament] in every possible way.”
Glenn Greenwald comments on the Obama-sponsored bill being pushed by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to block the release of torture photos. Excellent article on the transparency of government. (Salon) the Senate Intelligence Committe has been conducting a secret probe into Fmr. VP Dick Cheney since March
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first Gitmo detainee to be tried in a U.S. civilian court pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 286 various murder and conspiracy charges. Mr. Ghailani is the alleged co-conspirator of the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa in the 90’s. Four conspirators have been convicted and are locked up in a Colorado federal prison for those bombings.
Palau has agreed to “temporarily resettle” the 17 Uighurs being held at Gitmo with no charges, cleared for release. The Chinese Muslims have been trapped with no country willing to accept them for the U.S. to approve their release. Mark Landler of the NYT notes: “The United States has pledged $200 million in long-term development aid to Palau. But a senior State Department official flatly denied it was a quid pro quo for the detainee deal.” Palau’s permanent U.N. representative Stuart Beck, an American lawyer calls Palau a “paradise”. We had to look up Palau on Wikipedia. Amnesty International is questioning the meaning of “temporary” and criticizes the U.S. for not taking “the measures necessary to facilitate family reunification”, nor fo r the men to “adapt to a new life in an unfamiliar country, taking into consideration their particular needs arising from years of indefinite detention”.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) warns that Pres. Obama’s plans for ‘preventative, prolonged, indefinite detention’ could “set the stage for future Guantanamos, whether on our shores or elsewhere, with potentially disastrous consequences for our national security”.
The U.N. Security Council’s permanent members (the “P5” — the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, and France) are all willing to impose economic sanctions on North Korea (DPRK). The sanctions will directly attack the DPRK’s arms trading and call for inspections. China is the DPRK’s closest ally and Russia initially thought a resolution would be overkill, but have come around to prevent any potential for a P5 veto in approving the latest draft. As we’ve seen with Sudan, U.N. sanctions don’t prevent China from doing business with anyone. Rotating members Libya and Vietnam have not committed to a “yes” vote. Prof. Peter Beck of American University notes: “Until last year,” when the DPRK and U.S. talks went up in smoke, “giving up nuclear weapons was possible”.
Robert Mackey has a great piece in the NYT blog on the DPRK’s gulags where recently sentenced U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are to spend the next 12 years for no reason.
Native American political prisoner in the U.S., Leonard Peltier, has a parole hearing July 27 of this year. Mr. Peltier has served 33 years of two life sentences. If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Peltier’s struggle, InfoShop News has a great post today.
An Indian Air Force plane with twelve people on it went missing on the historically disputed Indo-China border.