David Brooks continues to type a lot of words in the ‘paper of record’ without saying anything; bin Laden had ‘intimate relations’ with the U.S. until 9/11; Justin Raimondo comments on ‘progressives’ turning a blind eye to Obama trampling on civil liberties; Obama wants a military-‘civilian’ court hybrid prison in the U.S.; More MI5 connections to participation in the C.I.A. torture of Binyam Mohamed; Chalmers Johnson lays out three reasons to shut down the U.S. Empire and ten steps to do it; Over 1,000 Afghan civilians killed in the first half of ’09 during Obama’s ‘Af-Pak surge’; Jury rules man should pay $675k to Copyright Nazis for downloading 30 songs; and more…
David Brooks continues to be stupid. He advocates that the FED should’ve bailed out Lehman Brothers, says that Paulson “had some sort of intuitive moral sense” to not bail them out and concluded with this gem: “The Federal Reserve is not the most democratic institution, but under Bernanke et al, it seems to have done a good enough job.” (NYT) Is this moron capable of an original thought. And what worse when you’re a person who copy/pastes random mainstream talking points creating the avatar of a “moderate”, you end up making contradictory statements throughout your columns. What’s truly amazing is that David Brooks takes every stupid thing that stupid people.
The U.S. maintained “intimate relations” with Osama bin Laden “all the way until that day of September 11,” former F.B.I. translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds said in early June (Brad Blog). Ms. Edmonds is the “most gagged women in American history”, according to the ACLU, regarding the gag orders on her, but Luke Ryland took this quote with other empirical evidence and statements by Ms. Edmonds to fill some gaps to confirm this (dKos).
“It looks to me like we are going back in time, rather than progressing – an odd phenomenon when you consider that there’s an alleged ‘progressive’ in the White House,” writes Justin Raimondo on the revelation that the U.S. military is spying on antiwar activists this last week (AntiWar.com). “At least with people like Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover, we had some kind of ideological consistency and honesty: those guys thought they had the right – and the duty — to carry out their crimes against the Constitution, and didn’t make any bones about it. It’s the “progressives,” who claim fealty to civil libertarian values, and yet countenance the Obama administration’s continuation and expansion of the surveillance state, that are the real danger. Because they manage to fool an awful lot of people – the very same people who wrote to me in anger and puzzlement when I first began to take on the Obama-ites.” See Amy Goodman’s exclusive here.
The Obama Admin is considering a “courtroom-within-a-prison complex in the U.S. to house suspected terrorists, combining military and civilian detention facilities at a single maximum-security prison” (AP). With Pres. Obama’s ‘preventative, prolonged, indefinite detention’ plans and the military spying on activists, the mind can only wander….
An MI5 officer who interrogated Binyam Mohamed in Pakistan visited Morocco three times while Mr. Mohamed was being held there. Mr. Mohamed was kidnapped by the U.S. in 2002, and passed around to different C.I.A. “black sites” around the world to be tortured without ever having been charged until being released earlier this year. MI5 has admitted feeding questions to the C.I.A., but have denied knowing Mr. Mohamed’s whereabouts, let alone collaborating with the U.S. in torturing him (Telegraph).
Glenn Greenwald on the Congress and it’s professional/moral failure to protect natural rights (Salon): “Every time a federal judge orders another Guantanamo detainee released on the grounds of insufficient evidence (and that does not mean ‘insufficient evidence to convict’; it merely means: ‘insufficient evidence even to justify their detention’), just remember that the vast majority of the current members of Congress voted to deny those detainees any opportunity to have a court review their imprisonment, the most basic and defining right of Western justice. Put simply, they knowingly voted to deny innocent people the right to have a court review their indefinite imprisonment. If that isn’t morally depraved, what is?
“If the 85% success rate for Gtmo detainees holds up, that would mean govt lacks evidence to support holding about 195 of 229 detainees left,” Daphne Eviatar points out.
“Three Good Reasons to Liquidate Our Empire” by Chalmers Johnson (AntiWar.com):
1. We Can No Longer Afford Our Postwar Expansionism
2. We Are Going to Lose the War in Afghanistan and It Will Help Bankrupt Us
3.We Need to End the Secret Shame of Our Empire of Bases
The U.N. reports 1,013 Afghan civilians have been killed in conflict in the first six months of 2009 — 24% more than the 818 in the same time period last year. 200 were due to air strikes, a campaign Pres. Obama has greatly escalated in 2009 (BBC). July ’09 was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the invasion began almost eight years ago (LAT). 75 U.S.-led coalition troops died in July and nine more this weekend (NYT).
We will be in Afghanistan “for decades”, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, U.K. ambassador to the U.S. says foreign troops says (RAW STORY).
A senior defense official in D.C. said that Gen. McChyrstal’s report will recommend the U.S.-led coalition needs 400k troops. Currently, there are ~275k troops including local army and police, 62k U.S. troops, and 39k other foreign troops. Stephen Biddle, one of the top Afghan commander’s advisers and of the Council on Foreign Relations, says there should be 300-600k troops in Afghanistan…. This is in order to make an attempt at reaching whatever endgame is yet to be determined (HuffPo).
Immigrants protesting U.K. involvement in wars could be denied U.K. citizenship (Independent).
“It’s ironic that the very people who were against the U.S. intervention in those early days are now the biggest presence [in bidding for oil contracts],” says Samir Shakir Sumaida’ie, Iraq’s ambassador to Washington — noting that Germany, France, China, and Japan are among the most active countries. Submissions for Iraq gov’t approval near $100bn (CSM). Something tells me the German and French corporations.
Deaths in Iraq fell to 275 in July from 437 in the deadly month of June. U.S. troops pulled out of Iraqi cities June 30 (AFP).
“Israeli police have recommended that Avigdor Lieberman, the country’s ultra-nationalist foreign minister, be indicted on charges including bribery and money laundering.” (FT)
Israel Occupation Forces evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem. “Further reports state that two additional construction plans being currently reviewed by the Jerusalem municipality would create an additional 150 housing units, for a total of 350 new housing units for Israelis, as well as a synagogue in Sheikh Jarrah.” (AJE)
Israel asked the Spanish gov’t to halt funding for Breaking the Silence, a rights groups investigating the Gaza Massacre (Ha’aretz).
The Chinese gov’t has kidnapped 319 (mostly Uighurs) suspected of the crime of “taking part in” protesting Chinese policy to displace and impoverish them, days after it was reported 253 were taken “into custody”. The Chinese gov’t has kidnapped over 2,000 since the July 5 protests (NYT)
Malaysian authorities used tear gas and water cannons to break up mass protests in Kuala Lumpur. 589 people were arrested protesting “calling for the repeal of a law that allows the government to jail its critics indefinitely without charge” (NYT).
Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan is under house arrest for allegedly provoking 200 Saudi agents to stage a coup against King Abdullah. Prince Bandar, known as “Bandar Bush” for his close relationships with the former U.S. presidents, is a former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. (PTV)
32 radio stations and two television stations went off the air in Venezuela, Saturday, for ‘abusing free speech’. (RAW STORY)
India won’t discuss cutting greenhouse gas emissions for at least ten years. “In 2020, it’s conceivable that we might look at a limited target. But in 2009, no way,” Indian environment minister Jairam Ramesh said (FT).
Ten were arrested in Harlem by New York City (NYC) police for refusing to leave a vacant lot, demonstrating for ‘homeless rights’. There are an estimated 24,000 vacant apartments in NYC, intentionally kept vacant by developers for real estate prices (IPS). One wonders how many of these developers were financed with no money down and are now restructuring their lending contracts thanks to financiers receiving bailout money stolen from the people.
A federal jury ruled that Joel Tenenbaum must pay $675k to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 30 songs he downloaded from Kazaa. The RIAA Copyright Nazis won its second verdict, the first being the case of Jammie Thomas, where a jury ruled a woman she should pay $1.92m for 24 songs (Wired).
D.C. lawyer Pepin Tuma was arrested for saying, “I hate the police!” The arresting officer allegedly called Mr. Tuma “faggot” in the process. Mr. Tuma is openly gay. Double oops. Read more at Jonathan Turley’s blog.