U.S. assisting Pak military aid to Taliban; Obama Admin argued to Court ‘state secrets is Constitutional’; Blackwater founder implicated by former employee and marine in murder; Big Pharma ‘at the table’ writing healthcare reform bill; Immigration crackdown under Obama mirror Bush; U.S. journalists kidnapped by N. Korea released; and more…
U.S. officials are protected Pakistan military aiding the “Taliban”, Gareth Porter reports (IPS): “Despite evidence implicating the current Pakistani Army chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, in a major military assistance program for the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan over the past few years, senior officials of the Barack Obama administration persuaded Congress to extend military assistance to Pakistan for five years without any assurance that the Pakistani assistance to the Taliban had ended.”
An Obama Admin brief to the SCOTUS last month argued ‘that the state secrets privilege was rooted in the Constitution’ (NYT).
Top Iraq Gen. Ray Odierno ‘dismissed’ Col. Timothy Reese’s memo advising the U.S. should pull troops out of Iraq next year, 16 months ahead of Obama’s ‘schedule’ (HuffPo).
An ex-Blackwater employee and an ex-U.S. Marine are implicating Blackwater founder Erik Prince “may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince ‘views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,’ and that Prince’s companies ‘encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life,” Jeremy Scahill reports (The Nation). The two men also allege Mr. Prince smuggled arms on private planes, destroyed damning electronic and documentary evidence, and terminated mental health professionals who wouldn’t clear mercenaries for work.
China has 718 people in detention from the ethnic riots which erupted from the Uighurs (Muslims) protesting oppressive government policy in favor of the ethnic Han Chinese July 4 in Xinjiang for “disturbing the peace” (NYT).
A poll shows Chinese people trust hookers more than politicians and scientists (HuffPo).
Israel DM Ehud Barak says Israel should “take the lead” in accepting the peace deal to be offered by the U.S. in the coming weeks (Ha’aretz).
Israeli police teargas and arrest members of two evicted Palestinian Families. See the video here.
Israel moving to declare NGO rights groups as “foreign agents” in a “much more aggressive stance” against those who aid the Palestinian people (ei).
Big Pharma lobbyists “have a seat at the table” in writing healthcare policy at the White House, reports Tom Hamburger (LAT). Mark these words: ObamaCare will be a corporatist-fascist policy so tyrannical that only Wall St. and the military industrial complex will challenge it’s size of the ‘American pie’.
“[The Obama Admin] is pursuing an aggressive strategy for an illegal-immigration crackdown that relies significantly on programs started by his predecessor,” reports Julia Preston (NYT). “The administration recently undertook audits of employee paperwork at hundreds of businesses, expanded a program to verify worker immigration status that has been widely criticized as flawed, bolstered a program of cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies, and rejected proposals for legally binding rules governing conditions in immigration detention centers.”
Three Americans hiking along the Iranian/Kurdish border were kidnapped by Iran — Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal (AJE).
The Obama Admin is looking to “roll back” sanctions against Sudan enacted by the Clinton Admin for harboring terrorists about a year or two after Sudan offered Osama bin Laden to the U.S. on a silver platter and the Clinton Admin did nothing (LAT).
Fmr. U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton is in North Korea (DPRK) to negotiate the release of two kidnapped American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, from DPRK custody. The two women were kidnapped in March and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for “illegally” entering the country. DPRK media sources are saying the two women are being released (McClatchy).