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Archive for April, 2011

Gitmo: Tangled Web of Tortuous Lies

April 29th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in antiwar, Civil Liberties, Gitmo

Seven Shocking Gitmo

Revelations from WikiLeaks

By Kase Wickman
Beaver County Peace Links via Raw Story

April 25, 2011 – A massive leak of more than 700 military documents, attributed to infamous transparency group WikiLeaks, was released Sunday night. Much of the new information deals with detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, records that begin immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks and range to 2009, including documents relating to 172 prisoners still held at the controversial detention facility.

Here are seven shocking revelations about Guantanamo Bay and the practices there.

One hundred twenty-seven "high risk" prisoners remain at Guantanamo Bay, but almost as many "high risk" prisoners have been released to other countries or freed, despite being described as "likely to pose a threat." Of the 600 detainees known to have been transferred out of the prison since 2002, 160 fell under the "high risk" categorization, according to NPR. At least two dozen transferred "high risk" prisoners have been linked to terrorist activity since their Gitmo exit, including two Saudis who became leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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Progressive Democrats Want a Peace Candidate, Not Three Long Wars

April 27th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in afghanistan, antiwar, iraq, Libya

Obama’s Decisions on Afghanistan, Iraq,

Pakistan Will Determine Re-Election Chances

By Tom Hayden
Progressive America Rising via The Nation

April 26, 2011 – The president is on the cusp of a decision which will define his presidency and re-election chances in 2012: whether to risk multiple military quagmires or campaign on a decisive pledge to pull American troops out of Afghanistan and Pakistan and drones out of Pakistan and Libya.?

Centrist that he is, President Obama may gamble on a promise to “stay the course.” Sound familiar? All that is known is that the decisions will come quickly.

On Afghanistan, Obama told the Associated Press last Friday that his coming July announcement of troop withdrawals would be “significant…not a token gesture.”

Though the president offered no specific numbers, the phrasing was an important signal, delivered in White House–speak.  According to Bob Woodward’s book Obama’s Wars, the internal debate between the White House and Pentagon over Afghanistan has been intense. When the president announced in a December 2009 West Point speech that he was sending 30-33,000 more American troops in a military surge to Afghanistan, it appeared that the Pentagon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had won the argument. But Obama slipped a hedge into the West Point speech pledging that he would “begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July 2011.”

What did it mean to “begin” a transfer? When would it end? …

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American Feminism’s New Chapter

April 26th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in elections, Feminism, women

Planned Parenthood’s Almost Demise,

Michele Bachmann’s Presidential Exploration

and Geraldine Ferraro’s Death – All Mark

A New Chapter in American History

By Rebecca Sive

Progressive America Rising via Huffington Post

April 12, 2011 – The budget battle that turned on funding for Planned Parenthood, on the heels of Michele Bachmann’s announcement that she will likely form a presidential exploratory committee, along with the passing of Geraldine Ferraro, marked the end of an important chapter of American women’s political history, and the beginning of another, what looks to be very different, one.

Ferraro’s nomination, capping consideration of several women to be Walter Mondale’s vice-presidential running mate, proved the modern feminist political movement right: the nomination, remarkably just a couple years after the ERA was soundly defeated, was proof, notwithstanding, that one of the two major American political parties thought a woman could hold the most important political office in the world.

Importantly, however, this view came with two conditions: that this woman be pro-choice, and, second, that she be committed to helping women and girls achieve legal equality and equal economic opportunity through the instrument of the federal government.

National Democratic Party leaders held this view for two important reasons. First, because a pro-choice position would signify that the candidate concurred with the party’s threshold premise for achieving women’s equality: the right and ability to control one’s reproductive destiny. Second, because they believed that any Democratic vice president or president must be committed to social policies that advance opportunity for the least among us, i.e., women and their families.

And so, in 1984, the nation got, amazingly enough, first time out of the box for a major political party, a pro-choice, pro-social justice woman as a vice-presidential candidate.

Tragically for the women of this country, in the years since Ferraro’s nomination, the nation’s view on the requisite qualifications for a woman presidential or vice-presidential candidate has radically shifted.

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Note to Obama: Get Out Now!

April 18th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in afghanistan, antiwar, pushing obama

Here’s More Than You Probably

Wanted to Know About Afghanistan

More than 30 FEATURED ARTICLES & ESSAYS
Beaver County Peace Links via UFPJ’s Afghan War Weekly
Anatomy of an Afghan war tragedy
By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times [April 10, 2011]
—- "We have 18 pax [passengers] dismounted and spreading out at this time," an Air Force pilot said from a cramped control room at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, 7,000 miles away. He was flying a Predator drone remotely using a joystick, watching its live video transmissions from the Afghan sky and radioing his crew and the unit on the ground. None of those Afghans was an insurgent. They were men, women and children going about their business, unaware that a unit of U.S. soldiers was just a few miles away, and that teams of U.S. military pilots, camera operators and video screeners had taken them for a group of Taliban fighters. The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-drone-20110410,0,2818134,full.story


Brandon Barrett’s War
The Army didn’t tell anyone about a disturbed AWOL soldier until it was too late.
By Rick Anderson, Seattle Weekly [April 13 2011]
—- Brandon Barrett, who killed at least two enemy fighters during his yearlong tour, didn’t seem to fare badly, however. During a post-deployment health screening last summer, he told doctors only that he was a bit nervous, could be startled from time to time, and had seen lots of dead people. Otherwise, he was fine, he added, and certainly not suicidal. But doctors, according to a 200-page Army report on Barrett’s case obtained exclusively by Seattle Weekly, worried he was keeping his real feelings to himself. http://www.seattleweekly.com/2011-04-13/news/brandon-barrett-s-war/


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Japan’s Nuke Crisis Gets More Curious as it Gets More Dangerous

April 12th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in Environment, Japan, militarism, Nuclear power

Is Japan’s Elite Hiding a Weapons

Program Inside Its Nuclear Plants?

By Yoichi Shimatsu
Progressive America Rising via New America Media

April 06, 2011 – Confused and often conflicting reports out of Fukushima 1 nuclear plant cannot be solely the result of tsunami-caused breakdowns, bungling or miscommunication. Inexplicable delays and half-baked explanations from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) seem to be driven by some unspoken factor.

The smoke and mirrors at Fukushima 1 seem to obscure a steady purpose, an iron will and a grim task unknown to outsiders. The most logical explanation: The nuclear industry and government agencies are scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan’s civilian nuclear power plants.

A secret nuclear weapons program is a ghost in the machine, detectable only when the system of information control momentarily lapses or breaks down. A close look must be taken at the gap between the official account and unexpected events.

Conflicting Reports

TEPCO, Japan’s nuclear power operator, initially reported three reactors were operating at the time of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Then a hydrogen explosion ripped Unit 3, run on plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (or MOX). Unit 6 immediately disappeared from the list of operational reactors, as highly lethal particles of plutonium billowed out of Unit 3. Plutonium is the stuff of smaller, more easily delivered warheads.

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Jobs: Structural Crisis and the Racial Divide

April 6th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in Jobs, racism, youth and students

Youth Need Jobs, Hope for the Future:

A National Unemployment Emergency

By Rev. Jesse Jackson
Progressive America Rising via Huffington Post – 04/ 5/11

The jobs numbers were hailed as good news on Friday, with employers adding more than 200,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate ticking down to 8.8 percent. Less attention was given to the downside of these numbers. Black unemployment remains about twice as great as the national unemployment average — and is going up, not down.

What is going on here? To some extent, this reflects the old patterns: Minorities are the last hired and the first fired, and the last to be brought in and the first to go.

But it is more than that. The stepladders that hard-working minorities could climb into the middle class are being dismantled. With the migration to the North after World War II, African Americans flooded into cities and eagerly sought jobs in the growing manufacturing sector. But manufacturing has been in decline since the 1980s, as companies began shipping more good jobs than goods abroad.

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Multilateral Globalism: Some Insight into Libya from the Traditional Right

April 5th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in antiwar, Libya

Samantha Power’s Power:

On the Ideology of an Obama Adviser

By Stanley Kurtz
Progressive America Rising via National Review Online

A member of the president’s National Security Council who shares Noam Chomsky’s foreign-policy goals? An influential presidential adviser whom 1960s revolutionary Tom Hayden treats as a fellow radical? A White House official who wrote a book aiming to turn an anti-American, anti-Israeli, Marxist-inspired, world-government-loving United Nations bureaucrat into a popular hero? Samantha Power, senior director of multilateral affairs for the National Security Council and perhaps the principal architect of our current intervention in Libya, is all of these things.

These scary-sounding tidbits might be dismissed as isolated “gotchas.” Unfortunately, when we view these radical outcroppings in the full sweep of her life’s work, Samantha Power emerges as a patriot’s nightmare — a woman determined to subordinate America’s national sovereignty to an international order largely controlled by leftist bureaucrats. Superficially, Power’s chief concern is to put a stop to genocide and “crimes against humanity.” More deeply, her goal is to use our shared horror at the worst that human beings can do in order to institute an ever-broadening regime of redistributive transnational governance.

Knowing what Samantha Power wants reveals a great deal about Barack Obama’s own ideological commitments. It’s not just a question of whether he shares Power’s long-term internationalist goals, although it’s highly likely that he does. Power’s thinking also represents a bridge of sorts between Obama’s domestic- and foreign-policy aspirations. Beyond that, Power embodies a style of pragmatic radicalism that Obama shares. Both Obama and Power are skilled at placing their ultimate ideological goals just out of sight, behind a screen of practical problem-solving.

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Inside the Gray Zone Dept: Prospects for a Solution?

April 4th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in antiwar, Libya

Saadi and Seif el-Qaddafi

Two Qaddafi Sons Are Said to Offer Plan to Push Father Out

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

Progressive America Rising via NYTimes, april 4, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — At least two sons of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are proposing a resolution to the Libyan conflict that would entail pushing their father aside to make way for a transition to a constitutional democracy under the direction of his son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a diplomat and a Libyan official briefed on the plan said Sunday.

The rebels challenging Colonel Qaddafi as well as the American and European powers supporting them with air strikes have so far insisted on a more radical break with his 40 years of rule. And it is not clear whether Colonel Qaddafi, 68, has signed on to the reported proposal backed by his sons,  dafi, although one person close to the sons said the father appeared willing to go along.

Speaking in Rome, a representative of the rebels, Ali al-Essawi, the former Libyan ambassador to India, said on Monday that it was unacceptable to replace Colonel Qaddafi with one of his sons. “Any political initiative which does not include the departure of Qaddafi is not acceptable,” he said.

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Trade Union Insurgency: ‘This Is What Democracy Looks Like!’

April 3rd, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in rightwing, trade unions

‘People Are Pissed Off’:

An Interview With Leo Gerard

on Taking Down the GOP Right

By David Moberg
Progressive America Rising via In These Times

March 21, 2011 – Leo Gerard is the international president of the 850,000-member United Steelworkers, the nation’s largest manufacturing union. Although his union represents only a small number of public workers, Gerard has attended protests in Wisconsin and elsewhere since they began in February. On March 3, after the biannual AFL-CIO executive council devoted most of its spring meeting to discussing Republican initiatives in at least a dozen states to weaken or destroy collective bargaining and unions (especially in the public sector), Gerard, a Canadian, talked with In These Times about what the showdown in Wisconsin and other states means for the labor movement.

Why is what’s going on in Wisconsin and beyond important?

For the first time in years, we have a real opportunity to educate citizens on the importance of collective bargaining and unions. Many people didn’t know, and still don’t know, what collective bargaining is. But when they see it being debated on television, on the radio and in streets, and they see people who look just like them standing up for the right to have a voice at work, that is a tremendous education.

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Libya Bombing: The Rotten Deal Under the Perfumed Package

April 2nd, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in antiwar, Libya, Middle East

Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya deal

 

By Pepe Escobar
SolidarityEconomy.net
via Asia Times Online: April 2, 2011

You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a "yes" vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya – the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, "This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner."

As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to "seduce" three other members to get the vote.

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