Saturday, June 25, 2005

The World Tribunal on Iraq

In May of 2004 I interviewed a man who had just been released from Abu Ghraib. Like so many I interviewed from various US military detention facilities who’d been tortured horrifically, he still managed to maintain his sense of humor.
He began laughing when telling me how CIA agents made him beat other prisoners. He laughed, he said, because he had been beaten himself prior to this, and was so tired that all he could do to beat other detained Iraqis was lift his arm and let it drop on the other men.
Later, he laughed again as he told me what else had been done to him, when he said, “The Americans brought electricity to my ass before they brought it to my house.”
But this testimony is not about the indomitable spirit of the Iraqi people. About the dignity and strength of Iraqis, we need no testimony. This testimony is about ongoing violations of international law being committed by the occupiers of Iraq on a daily basis in regards to rampant torture, the neglect and obstruction of the health care sector and the ongoing failure to allow Iraqis to reconstruct their infrastructure.
To discuss torture, there are many stories I could use here, but I’ll use two examples indicative of scores of others I documented while in Iraq.

What does it take to get a Saturday entry out of me after I've started assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review? Something really important. Like Dahr Jamail's testimony before the World Tribunal on Iraq which we've quoted from above. It's an excerpt. Read "World Tribunal for Iraq, Culminating Session Testimony" in full.

The New York Timid's not interested (thus far). Apparently few are. That's why you should be interested. Where there is silence on a subject, it should peek your curiosity.

The World Tribunal on Iraq doesn't appear to merit much commentary in this country (US, to clarify for our foreign community members). Is it unimportant?

You tell me.

It's apparently unimportant to the mainstream. They're still refusing to tell you about the increased bombings beginning in May of 2002. (As reported by from Michael Smith's "RAF bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war." Also note, as Charlie pointed out, Jeremy Scahill's "The Smoking Bullet in the Smoking Gun." )

The World Tribunal on Iraq is going on right now. You can watch or listen online.

A number of e-mails came in on Baby Cries a Lot who got all teary eyed and spoke of his children as the reason why America needs to stay in Iraq. No, they aren't over there and, no, it didn't make any sense but does anyone expect sense from Baby Cries a Lot?

He whimpers, he whines, he tears up, he chokes up. Put him back on the shelf already because amidst all the drama, there's no functioning brain there.

Baby Cries a Lot resulted in over 800 e-mails on Friday so we'll note him here in terms of those who speak truth and those who gatekeep. Yes, he's so dumb that he's still claiming the Pottery Barn has a policy that it doesn't have. Yes, he's so wimpy he can't "fight" (or make a case) for anything without faking tears.

Baby Cries a Lot pimps his AEI friends. Baby Cries a Lot couldn't decide from one day to the next in January if he thought there was a problem in Ohio or not. Some days he did and spoke with (fake) passion, some days he resorted to calling those questioning the vote "tin foil hat conspiracy" types.

Here's a question. Why are some of you still listening to Baby Cries a Lot?

He angers you, I don't blame you. But you're not getting anything from him. So just walk on, Watch or listen to Democracy Now!, go to Pacifica, go to NPR, play some music. Go to Air America Place and check out the archives for The Laura Flanders Show, The Mike Malloy Show, The Majority Report, The Randi Rhodes Show, Ecotalk, So What Else Is News?, The Rachel Maddow Show, Ring of Fire and others.

Baby Cries a Lot is a nasty person, as you've noted in countless e-mails.

Baby Cries a Lot didn't serve but now wants to act as not just the troops' supporter but as the War Cheerleader.

Baby Cries a Lot has a meltdown when, for instance, Bob Somerby begins offering criticism of a policy or a politician. (And Somerby's not invited back.) Baby Cries a Lot freaks when in the midst of "IS REAGAN STILL DEAD!" coverage, Greg Palast offers a sound critique of Reagan's Latin American policies. Baby Cries a Lot rushes to cut Jeremy Glick off (though not by saying "Shut up!") when Glick attempts to speak.

Baby Cries a Lot was perfectly happy to pimp Glick's late father and to use that to settle a score with his nemisis. He just wasn't happy to let Jeremy Glick speak beyond what happened on Fox "News."

He's a whiney ass gatekeeper who's peddled sexism to get where he is. Quit listening.

There's nothing he's ever going to say that will matter.

But here's something that does matter, The World Tribunal on Iraq.

And you can hear it live, right now.

"They were telling us get out, get out, and then the roof collapsed on us. . . . They went away, the house is no longer there, I do not have a car, I have nothing. I saved my children from the rubble. . . . The ceiling collapsed on us. . . . Nobody came and asked us what we were doing. . . . Nothing was told us. They say that we can bomb anything we want to, we can interrogate anyone we want to. Now they've left us houseless. What right do they have to do this?"

You won't hear about that from Baby Cries a Lot.

He's working the clampdown, in diapers, but he's working it.

He's the court jester to the Bully Boy. You mention in your e-mails that he worked up, as he worked up those phoney tears, a defense for the Bully Boy. Well that tells you everything you need to know, now doesn't it?

He wants to be a player in his new field (there's very little left to him elsewhere which is why he entertains corporations). If you've got time, and some of you appear to have that time, to write and complain about what Baby Cries a Lot did this week, then you've got time to go online and listen or watch the testimony that's ongoing.

Mike Malloy, last night, offered that even if the Democratic Party gained a majority in the 2006 election, they wouldn't impeach the Bully Boy. He's right. That won't come from D.C. If it comes, it will have to come from outside D.C. -- pressure will have to be brought on your representatives to force the issue. And if you're willing to do that, you need to know what happened. You're not going to learn about it in the New York Timid. (Or on Baby Cries a Lot's show.) You will hear about this on Democracy Now! (and they noted it Friday and I'm sure will address it next week). But if you're online right now for whatever reason and you're at a computer with speakers or have a pair of headphones, you probably are able to listen to the Tribunal.

You can moan next week in e-mails about what Baby Cries a Lot pushed as "liberal" or "progressive" and how he yucked it up with his centrist and right-wing "pals." You can complain about how he shoots down any idea other than "stay the course." (While the "course" is killing Iraqis and the Coalition of the Coerced whose "brave" leaders, including the Bully Boy, don't seem concerned with the body count.) But if you want to do that, I want to see something in the e-mail that suggests you took the time to inform yourself. You can do that by following the Tribunal. Give it fifteen minutes. You gave Baby Cries a Lot three hours a day for five days this past week.

You're pinning your hopes on something that's not going to happen. There will be no awakening for Baby Cries a Lot until the troops are withdrawn. At that point, he'll sob and say he wanted it all along. You've all heard the inconsistencies in his day to day discussions. Because, despite the fact that he pushes himself as it, he's not a political person, you've failed to realize that he twists in the wind and always has.

Next week, Baby Cries a Lot will no doubt tear up again and give yet another "fathers & son" talk. And it will be as meaningless next week as it was this week as it was the week before as it was the week before that . . .

It has nothing to do with reality.

The Iraq World Tribunal has to do with reality. People are offering testimony. There's no Baby Cries a Lot there to rush in and stop them or to change the topic or say "We have to go to commercial" and nurse his wounded ego throughout the following segments.

This is reality and you can listen to (or watch it).

From Democracy Now! Friday:

World Tribunal on Iraq Opens In Turkey
In Turkey, the World Tribunal on Iraq is opening its three-day session today. The gathering is modeled after the International War Crimes Tribunal that British philosopher Bertrand Russell formed in 1967 during the Vietnam War. Russell's tribunal was charged with conducting 'a solemn and historic investigation' of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam in order to 'prevent the crime of silence.' Speaking at the World Tribunal on Iraq will be Indian writer Arundhati Roy, former UN Assistant Secretary General Dennis Halliday, independent journalist Dahr Jamail and others.

Baby Cries a Lot channels Robert McNamara via the sixties. That says everything you need to know about Baby Cries a Lot. (Who will probably emerge from a Fog of War years from now to speak out against the invasion/occupation of Iraq while still justifiying some similar action that's going on then.) (Yes, there will be future similar actions. Those like Baby Cries a Lot make that possible. This war and the next brought to you by the Babies Cry a Lot.)

We can complain about someone who's useless or we can focus on what does matter. While I understand the e-mailers complaints, no, I'm not going to fact check Baby Cries a Lot. Life is too short for me to put up with his nonsense. And while it's true that others have pushed him as a brave liberal voice, we haven't done that here. We've largely avoided him. Let's continue to do that and focus on what matters.

The World Tribunal on Iraq matters. You can follow it online.

As I type, Tim Goodrich is about to continue speaking. Goodrich is a founding member of IVAW -- an organization committed to ending the occupation. And though they don't feel the need to trumpet it in constant advertisements, "they were there."

How people are recurit into the military, who joins the military and why. . . . Military life is glorified and soldiers are seen as role models. In my case, I wanted to join the military since I was five-years-old . . .

He's speaking of the socio-economic draft right now. And you won't hear him saying that seated across from Baby Cries a Lot. You won't hear Jim Massey or Diana Morrisson or Michael Hoffman or any of the others. You will hear the clampdowners telling you that you can't speak because you weren't there or telling a Vietnam vet that they don't know what they're talking about because it's "not Nam, man." Your information flow with Baby Cries a Lot is severely restricted.

So you can wait until Monday and get upset that Baby Cries a Lot is goofing around for three hours with the occassionally teary sob, or you can make the effort to find out for yourself what's going on. Member can complain about Baby Cries a Lot but if you're going to do that, put something in the e-mail that demonstrates that not only do you realize the would-be Bob Hope has nothing to say, but also indicates you did make a point to get actual information you can use somewhere else.

Here's where I think (as always, I could be wrong), we are in the testimony to the Tribunal:

12:00 – 12:20 Witness - Tim Goodrich: The Conduct of the US Army
12:20 – 12:40 Amal Sawadi: Detentions and Prison Conditions
12:40 – 13:00 Witness - Fadhil Al Bedrani: Collective Punishment
13:00 – 13:20 Questions from the Jury
13:20 – 14:30 LunchFourth Session / Cont. ... (Moderator: Joel Kovel)
14:30 – 14:50 Joel Kovel: Effects of the War on the Infrastructure
14:50 – 15:10 Herbert Docena: Economic Colonization
15:10 – 15:30 Mohammed Al Rahoo: Iraqi Law Under Occupation
15:30 – 15:50 Abdul Ilah Al Bayaty: The Transfer of Power in Iraq
15:50 – 16:10 Niloufer Bhagwat: The Privatization of War
16:10 – 16:30 Questions from the Jury
16:30 – 16:50 Coffee Break
16:50 – 17:10 Nermin al Mufti: The Occupation as Prison
17:10 – 17:30 Barbara Olshansky: Covert Practices in the U.S. War on Terror and the Implications for International Law: The Guantanamo Example
17:30 – 17:50 Witness - Mark Manning / Rana M. Mustafa: Testimony on Falluja
17:50 – 18:10 Abdul Wahab Al Obeidi: Human Rights Violations and the Disappeared in Iraq18:10 – 18:30 Johan Galtung: Human Rights and the U.S./U.K. Illegal Attack on Iraq
18:30 – 18:50 Questions from the Jury
0509:00 – 09:10 Summary of the Previous DayFifith Session / Cultural Heritage, Environment and World Resources (Moderator: Hilal Elver)
09:10 – 09:20 Hilal Elver: The Framework of the Session
09:20 – 09:40 Gül Pulhan: The Destruction of Cultural Heritage: A Report from the Istanbul Initiative
09:40 – 10:00 Witness - Amal Al Khedairy: Testimony on the Destruction of Cultural Heritage
10:00 – 10:20 Joel Kovel: The Ecological Implications of the War
10:20 – 10:40 Witness - Souad Naji Al-Azzawi: Tes. on Radioactive Contamination in Iraq
10:40 – 11:00 Questions from the Jury
11:00 – 11:20 Coffee BreakSixth Session / Global Security Environment and Future Alternatives (Moderator: Ayşe Gül Altınay)
11:20 – 11:40 Ayşe Gül Altınay: Militarism and the Culture of Violence
11:40 – 12:00 Nadje Al-Ali: Gender and War: The Plight of Iraqi Women
12:00 – 12:20 Liz Fekete: Creating Racism and Intolerance
12:20 – 12:40 Samir Amin: The Economy of Militarization
12:40 – 13:00 Ahmad Mohamed Al-Jaradat: Relationship between Iraq, Palestine and Israel.
13:00 – 13:20 Questions from the Jury
13:20 – 14:30 LunchSixth Session / Continues
14:30 – 14:50 Wamidh Nadhmi: Polarization and the Narrowing Scope of Political Alternatives 14:50 – 15:10 John Ross: Collateral Damage: The Mexican Example
15:10 – 15:30 Christine Chinkin: Human Security in Iraq
15:30 – 15:50 Ken Coates: The Future of the Peace Movement
15:50 – 16:10 Corrine Kumar: Towards a New Political Imaginary
16:10 – 16:30 Biju Matthew: Alternatives for an Alternative Future
16:30 – 17:00 WTI İstanbul Coordination: The WTI as an Alternative: An Experimental Assertion
17:00 – 17:20 Questions from the Jury
17:20 – 17:40 Coffee Break
17:40 – 18:00 Richard Falk - Closing Speech on Behalf of the Panel of Advocates
18:00 – 18:20 Arundhati Roy - Closing Speech on Behalf of the Jury of Conscience
18:20 – 18:30 The Closing of the World Tribunal on Iraq, Istanbul.
27 JUNE 2005
11.00 Press conference announcing the decision of the Jury of Conscience at Hotel Armada

You can complain about Baby Cries a Lot (as many of you have) but you can also make a point to inform yourself. The World Tribunal on Iraq is being conducted right now. You can see it as a symbolic action or as a resource for information or however you want to see it. But you can also follow the proceedings online.

The e-mail address for this site is

Lineup for The Laura Flanders Show this weekend

It's the community's favorite Air America Radio show, so it gets its own entry (and it deserves it). Here's what's coming up on The Laura Flanders Show (broadcasts live Saturdays and Sundays at 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. est) this weekend:

Is denial and delay the new American Way? We're told victory is near in Iraq. Congress says ‘So what?' to global warming. Military doctors are aiding interrogators at Gitmo. Activist-attorney John Bonifaz on impeaching Bush, whether justice was done in Mississippi's civil rights murder conviction and the DNC's report on the GOP's Jim Crow election tactics in Ohio in 2004. Then, director Alice Wu talks about her film, "Saving Face."

What do evangelicals and gay rights crusaders have in common? Hear Laura's frontline report from Billy Graham’s final crusade and the Gay Pride Weekend in New York City. Guests: Bob Moser, whose article about the religious Right wing, ‘The Crusaders’, was published in Rolling Stone Magazine. Eve Ensler gives an update on how a coalition of individuals and groups, including Gloria Steinem and The Center for Constitutional Rights, are working to make the government shut Gitmo down and how you can get involved on July 4. Dr. Annie Sprinkle discusses her new book, ‘Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular - Makeover Your Love Life’, and how to change the world by facing your fears about sexuality. She will also answer your questions.

Sunday, Eve Ensler will be addressing the protests she discussed last Sunday on The Laura Flanders Show.

The e-mail address for this site is

Somerby's lastest Daily Howler and what's up for today

For Cedric, the plan for today. (We can be more casual on the weekend.) I've got errands and then in a few hours will be devoting time to assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review with their latest edition which will be the summer edition. Be sure to check that out Sunday. Rebecca, Kat and Betty are confirmed as also assisting. Michael is in the midst of a family reunion but would like to help if he's able to pull away. It's a "summer" issue and a number of you are attempting to figure out what that means. I'm sworn to secrecy so you'll just have to check it out tomorrow. (If Rebecca does an entry tonight, she'll probably provide a sneak preview.)

Beth's latest interview is completed. She's going through it as of her e-mail a half hour ago. She intends to have it edited by this evening. (There's no rush, Beth.) If she does and it's in the inbox during one of the breaks (while assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review) it will go up here. Again, that's if it's completed tonight and there's no rush on that. She's dealing with three hours of discussion that she wants to cut down to what she feels are the most important parts.

We'll note the Saturday Daily Howler now before it gets lost and we have to play catch up on Monday. Thanks to Dallas for selecting the excerpt and being on top of this. From Bob Somerby's The Daily Howler:

Plan of Attack is a fascinating book--more so today than when it appeared in April 2004. And yes, it does show the Bush Admin "fixing the intel," from shortly after the Downing Street memo right through Colin Powell’s famous appearance before the UN. Uh-oh! Although he is deferential to Powell, Woodward shows the good general, again and again, deciding to put weak, inferential, "iffy" intelligence into his famous presentation. How was your country persuaded to march off to war? Here’s one passage as Powell and his chief aide, Richard Armitage, are putting his presentation together:
WOODWARD (page 299): What was the best they had? Powell and Armitage reviewed an intercepted conversation between two senior officers of the Republican Guard...The intercept, from the day before inspections began in November, showed a colonel telling a brigadier general that he had a modified vehicle from the al-Kindi company, which in the past had been involved with WMD. The colonel then contradicted himself, saying, "We evacuated everything. We don't have anything left." It was suggestive, and potentially incriminating, but what he was talking about was not clear. No one could tell from this intercept or any other intelligence. An alternative explanation was that the colonel and the general just wanted to make sure they had complied. Powell decided to use it because it involved senior officials and the "evacuated" quote seemed strong.

Over and over during this four-day episode, Plan of Attack shows Powell "deciding to use it" anyway--deciding to use weak, shaky, inferential intelligence, intel which persuaded the nation but turned out, in the end, to be fake, bogus, wrong. (As we now know, much of Powell's UN presentation was based on bogus intel from "Curveball.") Here, for example, is the way he decided to pimp some iffy scuds:
WOODWARD (page 309): It had been four very, very difficult days for Powell as he sorted through the intelligence reports. So much was inferential, he thought. The intelligence people kept repeating that Saddam had a few dozen Scud missiles. "The Scuds are not anything anyone has seen," he said. As he read, he saw that previous U.N. inspectors had accounted for something like 817 of the 819 Scuds. But there was other information suggesting that some still remained, so he agreed to refer vaguely to "up to a few dozen Scud-variant" missiles.

"So he agreed." According to Woodward, Powell "agreed to refer vaguely" to a claim that seemed semi-bogus. But so it goes throughout the pages where Powell assembles his crucial presentation. This was fascinating material when Plan of Attack first appeared, but it’s even more so today, when sixteen months of turmoil have provided more reason to rue the process by which we were marched off to war.
So yes--Woodward’s book does show the Bush Admin "fixing the facts and the intelligence." And yes, it does show them starting to do this shortly after the Downing Street memo appeared. But when this fascinating book first appeared, it wasn’t used by the Washington press to batter the Bush Admin on this score. Quite the contrary--the book was used to praise Wise Leader Bush for the great depth of his honesty! How did this odd transaction occur? Let’s go back to the front-page report with which the Post introduced this new book--a front-page report which took us straight to the book’s most ballyhooed passage.

The Howler's worth reading (always). I'll note that he also takes on 'The Tale of Tenet' (that's "the book's most ballyhooed passage"). He addresses the fall guy aspect of the "slam dunk" and questions the validity of the most "pimped" (that's Somerby's term) passage. I've noted before that Woody's Tale of Tenent makes little sense (I think it makes none) and Somerby's worth reading on this. The only thing it proves is that the sources for Woody didn't include Tenet but did include people who wanted to come off well. (No surprise since the book was done with the administration's blessing. And, in fact, after it came out it was promoted by some GOP sites.) Some disagreed with my take on it (and I could be wrong) but if you did disagree, please read today's Howler because I'm sure where I lost you on a tangent, Somerby can steer you straight through.

The e-mail address for this site is

Air America weekend lineup (guests include Eve Ensler, Tim Robbins, Amy Ray and Jerry Rodriguez)

From the Air America Radio homepage, here's the line up for this weekend. Guests include Eve Ensler, Tim Robbins, Amy Ray and Jerry Rodriguez (among others). Note that you can listen online, via satellite radio or via traditional radio if you live in one of the 64 areas where Air America broadcasts over the airwaves. Toni wondered about online listening. I've noted you can listen via Real Player or Windows Media Player. Toni wondered if there was a charge "like with the BBC." At one point, you could listen to the BBC online via Real Player, now, however, I belive you have to buy an online package to listen to it. That's not the case with Air America (or for that matter Democracy Now! if anyone's confused), you can listen online free of charge. My apologies for not being clear about that.

So What Else Is News?
Saturday 3pm - 5pm with host Marty Kaplan
Rebroadcast: Sunday 8am-10am

Ring of Fire
Saturday 5pm-7pm with Mike Papantonio and Robert Kennedy, Jr
Rebroadcast Sunday 3pm-5pm
Guests: John Morgan, an attorney active in Florida Democratic politics, talks about Governor Jeb Bush's intentional loss of a Florida state workers' pensions case. Amory Lovins, award-winning physicist and co-author of Winning the Oil Endgame, a new roadmap for future energy sources. Andy Childers, an Atlanta-based lawyer who's closely watching the Ralph Reed race for Georgia Lieutenant Governor.

The Laura Flanders Show
Saturday & Sunday 7pm-10pm
Saturday: Is denial and delay the new American Way? We're told victory is near in Iraq. Congress says ‘So what?' to global warming. Military doctors are aiding interrogators at Gitmo. Activist-attorney John Bonifaz on impeaching Bush, whether justice was done in Mississippi's civil rights murder conviction and the DNC's report on the GOP's Jim Crow election tactics in Ohio in 2004. Then, director Alice Wu talks about her film, "Saving Face."Sunday: What do evangelicals and gay rights crusaders have in common? Hear Laura's frontline report from Billy Graham’s final crusade and the Gay Pride Weekend in New York City. Guests: Bob Moser, whose article about the religious Right wing, ‘The Crusaders’, was published in Rolling Stone Magazine. Eve Ensler gives an update on how a coalition of individuals and groups, including Gloria Steinem and The Center for Constitutional Rights, are working to make the government shut Gitmo down and how you can get involved on July 4. Dr. Annie Sprinkle discusses her new book, ‘Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular - Makeover Your Love Life’, and how to change the world by facing your fears about sexuality. She will also answer your questions.

The Kyle Jason Show
Saturday 10pm-Midnight

Sunday 7am-8am with host Betsy Rosenberg
What are the cars of our future? Are We There Yet? Are hybrids part of the answer to America's oil predicament and, if so, why aren't they making more of them? And what about hydrogen - are we two or twenty years away from a fuel cell future? Betsy poses these questions, and more, to a panel of clean car technology experts this weekend on EcoTalk..

So What Else Is News?
[Rebroadcast of Saturday's show] host Marty Kaplan Rebroadcast: Sunday 8am-10am

Mother Jones Radio
Sunday 1pm - 2pm with host Angie Coiro
Actor and filmmaker Tim Robbins discusses "Embedded Live," his new film about the media and the Iraq war. Plus, 24-year-old Iraq correspondent David Enders talks about starting the country's only English-language daily newspaper and his new book," Baghdad Bulletin."

Politically Direct
Sunday 2pm-3pm with host David Bender

David talks with Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico.

Ring of Fire
[Rebroadcast of Saturday's show] with Mike Papantonio and Robert Kennedy, Jr
Rebroadcast Sunday 3pm-5pm
Guests: John Morgan, an attorney active in Florida Democratic politics, talks about Governor Jeb Bush's intentional loss of a Florida state workers' pensions case. Amory Lovins, award-winning physicist and co-author of Winning the Oil Endgame, a new roadmap for future energy sources. Andy Childers, an Atlanta-based lawyer who's closely watching the Ralph Reed race for Georgia Lieutenant Governor.

The Laura Flanders Show
Saturday & Sunday 7pm-10pm

Sunday: What do evangelicals and gay rights crusaders have in common? Hear Laura's frontline report from Billy Graham’s final crusade and the Gay Pride Weekend in New York City. Guests: Bob Moser, whose article about the religious Right wing, ‘The Crusaders’, was published in Rolling Stone Magazine. Eve Ensler gives an update on how a coalition of individuals and groups, including Gloria Steinem and The Center for Constitutional Rights, are working to make the government shut Gitmo down and how you can get involved on July 4. Dr. Annie Sprinkle discusses her new book, ‘Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular - Makeover Your Love Life’, and how to change the world by facing your fears about sexuality. She will also answer your questions.

The Revolution Starts Now!
Sunday 10pm-11pm with host Steve Earle

You may know her best as one of the Indigo Girls, but Amy Ray has a solo career as a punk rocker. She and Steve discuss singer/songerwriters and activism in music. Music picks include some Patty Griffin, Tupac, the Distillers, The Butchies, The Great Unknowns and a piece from her new album, "Prom."

On The Real
Sunday 11pm-1am with Chuck D and Gia'na Garel

Gia'na chats it up with writer/director Jerry Rodriguez in The Greenroom. Big Brother's latest tactics for world domination, more Affluenza files and hot samples from Chuck D's top ten body rockin' music selections.

In "Air America News" we'll note three items from the home page (and due to complaints from members the person who will probably be awarded "Baby Cries a Lot" in the year-in-review will not have his item noted):

"Deadly Immunity" by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. investigates the government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal in the June issue of Rolling Stone Magazine.
Marty Kaplan LA Times Op-Ed
Marty Kaplan—host of “So What Else is News?”—wrote a
commentary that appeared in the LA Times on June 21st entitled “They Really Like Us—In our Dreams.” He contends that juries and public audiences of infotainment courtroom journalism will continue to acquit and excuse celebrities as long as they maintain the delusion that stars could be their friends.
Rachel Maddow on MSNBC
Rachel Maddow, host of
The Rachel Maddow Show, AAR's early morning news hour, will be become MSNBC's first and only progressive spokesperson when she takes her place as a regular panelist on the 'The Situation', hosted by conservative bowtie model Tucker Carlson.

Not on the home page, but news you've noted in your e-mails (and I heard it as well Friday), Janeane Garofalo (piloting The Majority Report solo on Fridays, and doing a damn fine job) and Mike Malloy (The Mike Malloy Show) both devoted considerable time on their programs to discussing The World Tribunal on Iraq. This was news even if the Timid and others took a pass on it. Those interested in something other than the mad musings of AEI guests passed off as close friends to Baby Cries a Lot (that's Tina's nickname, to give credit where it's due, as readers of the gina & krista round-robin know), these are two weekday shows on Air America that are worth listening to.

The e-mail address for this site is

Spirit of Justice and Majesty of Law uncovered

Workers at the Justice Department removed the blue drapes that had covered two scantily clad statues for three and one-half years. "Spirit of Justice," with her one breast exposed and her arm raised, and the bare-chested male "Majesty of Law" basked in the afternoon light of the Great Hall. The drapes installed in 2002 at a cost of $8,000 let John Ashcroft, then attorney general, speak in the Great Hall without fear of a breast showing up behind him on television or in newspaper pictures. Paul R. Corts, asistant attorney general for administration, recommended the drapes' removal and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales signed off on it, a spokesman said. (AP)

From the New York Times' "National Briefing" this morning, A9 (text).

Photo from ~quinnl/newsback.html

J-Ass is gone. His Bullying America tour has ended. Contract riders such as no brown M&Ms, no calico kittens allowed backstage and no art uncovered need no longer be honored. Hopefully fading into the kind of well deserved obscurity that only the conviction on a "morals" charge can break, J-Ass is gone.

The e-mail address for this site is

NYT: "Thirteen With the C.I.A. Sought by Italy in a Kidnapping" (Stephen Grey & Don Van Natta)

An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 officers and operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency on charges that they seized an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street two years ago and flew him to Egypt for questioning, Italian prosecutors and investigators said Friday.
The judge, Chiara Nobili of Milan, signed the arrest warrants on Wednesday for 13 C.I.A. operatives who are suspected of seizing an imam named Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, as he walked to his mosque here for noon prayers on Feb. 17, 2003.
It is unclear what prompted the issuance of the warrants, but Judge Guido Salvini said in May that it was "certain" that Mr. Nasr had been seized by "people belonging to foreign intelligence networks interested in interrogating him and neutralizing him, to then hand him over to Egyptian authorities."
Mr. Nasr, who was under investigation before his disappearance for possible links to Al Qaeda, is still missing, and his family and friends say he was tortured repeatedly by Egyptian jailers.

The detailed warrants remained sealed in a Milan courthouse on Friday. But copies obtained by The New York Times show that 13 American citizens, all identified in the documents as either C.I.A. employees or as having links to the agency, are wanted to stand trial on kidnapping charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years and 8 months in prison. The Americans' whereabouts are unknown.

The above is from this morning's New York Times, Stephen Grey and Don Van Natta's "Thirteen With the C.I.A. Sought by Italy in a Kidnapping." The story's the main story in the Times this morning (it is front paged).

Kara e-mails to note Lizette Alvarez's "Anglicans Consider Divesting in Solidarity With Palestinians:"

The Anglican Church's international advisory body voted Friday to urge the church to consider withdrawing its investments in companies that support the occupation of Palestinian territories.
The move, presented as a message of solidarity with Palestinian Christians, immediately came under attack by Jewish groups, with some calling it ill timed and predicting a likely chill in Anglican-Jewish relations.
By voting to support the divestment measure, the Anglican Consultative Council, the church's most representative advisory group, recommended to its 38 provinces that they support a September 2004 report by the council's Peace and Justice Network.

Lynda e-mails that she's appalled by the news in Eduardo Porter's "Group of Democrats Back Pact on Central American Trade:"

In a paid advertisement scheduled to be published tomorrow in The Washington Post, three dozen Democrats, including prominent officials in the administrations of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, said the agreement negotiated by the Bush administration "is good for the United States and Central America."
[. . .]
Yet with the administration pushing Cafta up on the legislative agenda and a Senate vote expected as early as next week, the signing Democrats - including former Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher; former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry; a former National Security adviser, Samuel R. Berger; and a former ambassador to the United Nations, Richard C. Holbrooke - are trying to provide Democrats with some cover to change their minds.

I'm appalled too. Appalledy that two months after pleading guilty to tampering with documents in the midst of the 9-11 Commission's investigation, Samuel ("Sandy") Berger thinks anyone in America needs to hear from him on what's good for the country. Having "drawn the veil" and still not publicly responded (outside of a courtroom where he pled guilty), Berger needs to realize that his opinions don't carry a great deal of weight. Warren M. Christopher needs to realize that after his part in botching the recount in Florida (2000), grassroots Democrats don't really give a damn what he says. Holbrooke's connection to the Kerry campaign raised more eyebrows than reassurances.

As for Clinton, after the destruction NAFTA's done, it's probably a good idea to spread trade destruction to another administration for historical reasons so that the texts can read, "Not only did Bill Clinton's trade policies lead to the destruction of the American manufacturing base, further damage was done by the Bully Boy's signing of CAFTA . . ." Spreading the historical blame around may be good for Bill, it's lousy for the country.

When it was announced that Berger would plead guilty, we noted here that if it were true, if he did plead guilty, there wouldn't be a great deal of sympathy for him. And that he'd need to explain his actions. This may play inside the beltway but off the D.C. party circuit, it doesn't.
He betrayed a public trust. How fitting that he would sign on to CAFTA.

Check David Sirota's blog (Sirotablog) this weekend because he'll probably have a post on this. (CAFTA as a big issue at his site as members who visit it know.)

And we'll note, in full (press release but also a government document -- i.e. we paid for it), this from the Department of Justice April 1, 2005 ("FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SAMUEL BERGER PLEADS GUILTY TO KNOWINGLY REMOVING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES"):

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division announced today that former National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger has pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly removing classified documents from the National Archives and Records Administration.
Berger entered a guilty plea this morning at federal court in Washington, D.C. to one count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 1924, a misdemeanor. As part of his plea agreement, Berger has agreed to cooperate with the government concerning his activities at the National Archives.
According to the facts admitted during his guilty plea, Berger was reviewing classified documents at the National Archives in July, September and October of 2003 in connection with requests for documents made by the National Commission Investigating Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9-11 Commission). On September 2, 2003, and again on October 2nd, Berger concealed and removed a total of five copies of classified documents from the Archives. The documents were different versions of a single document. Berger, who possessed a United States government security clearance and was aware of the laws and rules regarding classified documents, knew he was not authorized to remove the classified documents from the Archives.
Berger took the documents to his office in the District of Columbia, where he destroyed three of the copies. Soon after the October visit, the Archives discovered that documents were missing and, two days later, contacted Berger. Initially, Berger did not tell the Archives staff that he had taken the documents but later that night told Archives staff that he had “accidentally misfiled” two of them. The next day, he returned to Archives staff the two remaining copies of the five documents he had taken during the September and October visits. Each of the five copies of the document was produced to the 9-11 Commission in due course.
In his plea, Berger also admitted that he concealed and removed his handwritten notes from the Archives prior to a classification review, in violation of Archives rules and procedures. Those notes have been returned to the government.
Berger faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail, a $100,000 fine and a year of supervised release. According to the plea agreement, Berger has agreed to cooperate with the government and to surrender his security clearance.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Washington Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Inspector General of the National Archives and Records Administration, and was prosecuted by Criminal Division Trial Attorneys Thomas Reilly of the
Counterespionage Section, which is headed by Section Chief John Dion, and Howard Sklamberg of the Public Integrity Section, which is headed by Section Chief Noel Hillman.

And we'll note Kara's comments (April 1st):

I don't care what his reasons were or what someone Clintonista rushes in to offer as defense. If he did it, if he removed material the 9-11 commission was intending to review, it doesn't matter to me if he returned it or if "ultimately" the commission "determined" they had all the material they needed.

The e-mail address for this site is

Friday, June 24, 2005

Investigadores de la ONU acusaron a Estados Unidos de tortura en Guantánamo

Maria: Hola. De parte de "Democracy Now!" doce cosas que vale hacer notar este fin de semana.

Investigadores de la ONU acusaron a Estados Unidos de tortura en Guantánamo
Estas noticias vienen de Guantánamo, ya que investigadores de derechos humanos de Naciones Unidas denunciaron el jueves que fuentes confiables les informaron sobre prácticas de torturas en la base militar estadounidense en Guantánamo. Los investigadores citaron documentos desclasificados del gobierno y confirmaron el descubrimiento de “serias denuncias de tortura, trato cruel, inhumano y degradante a los detenidos, detención arbitraria, violaciones del derecho a la salud y al derecho de un proceso judicial”. Acusaron además al gobierno de Bush de ignorar múltiples solicitudes para entrar a la base y verificar las condiciones de los detenidos. Paul Hunt, profesor de derecho de Nueva Zelanda especialista en salud física y mental, indicó que quería investigar las acusaciones de violación a los derechos humanos personalmente. Hunt dijo que, “se supone que un equipo de médicos ayudó en el diseño de las estrategias para los interrogatorios, incluyendo privación del sueño y otros métodos interrogatorios coercitivos”.

Tribunal Mundial sobre Irak inicia sesión en Turquía
En Turquía, el Tribunal Mundial sobre Irak inicia su sesión de tres días. El encuentro está programado en virtud del Tribunal Internacional de Crímenes de Guerra que el filósofo británico Bertrand Russell formó en 1967 durante la guerra de Vietnam. El tribunal de Russell fue acusado de dirigir una 'investigación solemne e histórica' de los crímenes de guerra de Estados Unidos en Vietnam para “evitar el crimen del silencio'. En el Tribunal Mundial sobre Irak, hablarán el escritor de nacionalidad india Arundhati Roy, el ex Secretario General de la ONU Dennis Halliday y el periodista independiente Dahr Jamail, entre otros.

Nueva encuesta: estadounidenses se oponen a la guerra de Irak
Mientras tanto, la última encuesta realizada por CNN/USA y Today/Gallup demuestra que casi 6 de cada 10 estadounidenses se oponen a la guerra de Irak y un número cada vez mayor de personas están desconformes con la guerra al terrorismo. La encuesta fue publicada ayer y muestra que el apoyo a la guerra ha disminuido en forma significativa desde marzo y que se mantiene en un 40 %.

Hagel criticó con dureza a Bush por Irak
El senador republicano Chuck Hagel aumentó su crítica a la política del gobierno de Bush en Irak. En la edición de esta semana de U.S. News y World Report, el senador de Nebraska afirma que, "la realidad es lo que estamos perdiendo de vista en Irak". Luego expresó que "las cosas no están mejorando, sino que empeoran" y agregó: "la Casa Blanca está totalmente desconectada de la realidad. Es como si estuvieran improvisando sobre la marcha". Hagel criticó el manejo de la guerra por parte del gobierno, pero esta afirmación de "perder en Irak" representa su más dura apreciación hasta el momento y la realizó luego de que el vicepresidente Dick Cheney declarara que el mundo está siendo testigo de la agonía de la resistencia iraquí.

Se formó en el Congreso "Comité para retiro de Irak"
Mientras tanto, un grupo de 50 miembros progresistas del Congreso formaron un nuevo grupo denominado Comité Congresista para el Retiro de Irak. Señalan que su misión es aumentar la presión sobre el gobierno de Bush y del Congreso para finalizar el conflicto en Irak y lograr el retorno de las fuerzas estadounidenses al país.

Legisladores iraquíes piden a Estados Unidos el retiro de Irak
83 miembros del parlamento iraquí enviaron una carta al vocero del parlamento exigiendo que Estados Unidos retire sus tropas de Irak. Algunos líderes del movimiento pertenecen a la Alianza Unida Iraquí, la coalición de partidos religiosos chiítas que tiene la mayoría de los 275 escaños en el parlamento.

Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores británico: bombardeos ilegales en zona no permitida para vuelos en 2002
El Sunday Times de Londres informa que la oficina jurídica del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores británico decretó ilegal, de acuerdo al derecho internacional, el considerable aumento de bombardeos en la zona estadounidense y británica no permitida para vuelos en Irak, en el año anterior a la invasión oficial. El diario denuncia que en una primera instancia, en marzo de 2002, se asesoró a los ministros de mayor jerarquía. Dos meses más tarde, Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña iniciaron acciones para degradar la capacidad defensiva de Irak, en un intento por incitar el espíritu de venganza en Saddam Hussein, otorgando a Estados Unidos una excusa para la guerra. La Oficina de Relaciones Exteriores dijo que los bombardeos no cumplían con normas de la ONU, a pesar de que Estados Unidos mantenga lo contrario. En el llamado Memorándum de Downing Street, se cita al Secretario de Defensa británico Geoff Hoon en julio de 2002, quien dijo que Estados Unidos ya había comenzado los bombardeos.

CIA advirtió que Irak se está transformando en campo de entrenamiento para extremistas
El New York Times informa que la Agencia Central de Inteligencia advirtió que puede demostrar que Irak es un campo de entrenamiento de extremistas islámicos más eficaz que Afganistán en los comienzos de Al Qaeda, porque sirve como laboratorio para el combate urbano. Los funcionarios expresaron que la guerra de Estados Unidos en Irak probablemente genere peligrosas consecuencias, al expandir combatientes más adeptos y mejor organizados a otros países. Según el Times, el informe de la CIA deja de manifiesto cómo la naturaleza urbana de la guerra en Irak enseñaba a combatientes cómo realizar los asesinatos, secuestros, explosiones de coches bomba y otro tipo de ataques que nunca fueron un elemento esencial del combate en Afganistán en la década de los 80.

Audiencia por juicio de tortura contra Donald Rumsfeld
Un tribunal federal de Washington anunció que dará curso a una demanda civil contra el Secretario de Defensa Donald Rumsfeld, presentada por ocho detenidos iraquíes y afganos. Los detenidos sostienen que fueron torturados y maltratados mientras se encontraban detenidos por Estados Unidos.
Según la Unión Estadounidense de Libertades Civiles, la demanda pretende responsabilizar directamente a Rumsfeld y a otros jerarcas por los maltratos a detenidos que se encuentran bajo la custodia militar de Estados Unidos.

Pentágono lanza base de datos para contribuir con reclutamiento
El Pentágono comenzó a trabajar con una empresa privada para crear una base de datos masiva de alumnos de secundaria y universidad que contribuya a identificar estudiantes de 16 años para el reclutamiento militar, según informó el Washington Post.
El Pentágono contrató a la compañía BeNow, de Massachusetts, para administrar la base de datos. Se trata aparentemente de un intento por burlar leyes que restringen el derecho del gobierno de recopilar o retener información de ciudadanos.
La base de datos incluirá información proporcionada por centros educativos, en virtud de la Ley de educación primaria y secundaria "Ningún niño se quedará atrás", al igual que información recopilada por corredores de datos comerciales.
Según el Washington Post, el sistema proporciona al Pentágono el derecho, sin previa notificación a los estudiantes, de utilizar la información con múltiples fines, incluyendo aquellos que no sean militares. Además podrá compartir datos con autoridades a cargo del cumplimiento de la ley, autoridades de impuestos estatales y con el Congreso.
Un vocero del Pentágono defendió el sistema explicando que, "este programa es importante porque promueve la eficacia de todos los servicios de reclutamiento."
La nueva base de datos está siendo creada en un momento que las Fuerzas Armadas intentan incrementar el número de reclutamientos. En lo que va de este año, el Ejército no logró cumplir en ningún mes sus metas de reclutamiento mensual.
Sin embargo, Chris Jay Hoofnagle del Centro Electrónico de Información Privada (EPIC por sus siglas en inglés), criticó el sistema como un "plan audaz para reclutar jóvenes de 16 años en el servicio militar."
EPIC describió la base de datos como un intento del gobierno "nunca antes visto" de utilizar técnicas de marketing directo, que antes habían sido utilizadas únicamente por privados.
El grupo de vigilancia de la privacidad también criticó el programa, porque no permite que los estudiantes opten por no figurar en la base de datos, a pesar que sí pueden optar no ser reclutados.

Diputada Maloney criticó Seguridad Social por publicar información personal
Mientras tanto, en otras noticias de privacidad, la congresista de Nueva York Carolyn Maloney convocó audiencias por el reciente descubrimiento de que la Administración de la Seguridad Social, decidió compartir información personal de miles de personas con el organismo que controla el cumplimiento de la ley tras los atentados del 11 de septiembre.

Jurado condenó a miembro del Ku Klux Klan por matanza de activistas de Derechos Civiles en 1964
En Filadelfia Mississippi, un jurado condenó al ex miembro del KuKluxKlan por el asesinato de tres activistas de derechos civiles en 1964. El veredicto contra Edgar Ray Killen fue dictado el martes, exactamente 41 años después de la muerte de James Chaney, Andrew Goodman y Michael Schwerner, quienes en ese momento se encontraban en Mississippi investigando la quema de una iglesia de afro descendientes. Los fiscales acusaron a Killen por homicidio premeditado junto a otros miembros del KuKluxKlan y por determinar que una excavadora enterrara los cuerpos. Killen será condenado el jueves y puede ser condenado hasta un máximo de 60 años de prisión. El veredicto fue solo una victoria parcial para los fiscales del estado, ya que el jurado halló a Killen culpable de homicidio culposo y no de asesinato. La viuda de Michael Schwerner, Rita Schwerner Bender, señaló que "el hecho de que algunos miembros del jurado no reconozcan que se trató de asesinatos cometidos con alevosía, demuestra que aún hay gente entre nosotros que decide mirar a un costado, en lugar de buscar la verdad". Los abogados de Edgar Ray Killen anunciaron que apelarían la decisión del jurado.

NEW FEATURE: Democracy Now! is now offering the program's daily news summary translated into Spanish. Los Titulares de Hoy

Maria: Here are twelve stories from Democracy Now! that are worth noting. Democracy Now! is providing their headlines in both English & Spanish (audio and text) so please help get the word out. I am personally making sure that ESL and bilingual teachers I know are aware of this feature. Look around you and find someone to pass on the word to. The big broadcasting Spanish channels in this country are a part of the corporate media. As important as Democracy Now! is to the English speaking community, it can be that important to those who speak Spanish. If you don't care for the twelve I picked, go to Democracy Now! and select a day of headlines you prefer and send that out. "I don't speak Spanish!" Doesn't cut it. These are translations. Find a day of Headlines from this week that you feel are important, then click on the Spanish link and e-mail that. If you're someone who thinks, "Well I don't know any native Spanish speakers" take a moment to think if you know anyone who speaks English but studied Spanish? If so, they probably know someone they can pass this on to. I am going to push this off to the members who speak English- only because you make not think you can make a difference here, but you can. In this country and outside of it, Spanish media all over the world is experiencing the same problems as our domestic media. And in this country, which you may not be aware of, Telemundo was bought by NBC. Do you really want to leave it to NBC to get out the important stories?
You know how much Democracy Now! means to you so make an effort to seek out someone you can share the news that the Headlines are now available in Spanish with. Bush woos the Spanish speaking community via broadcast media that throws him soft balls. Do not let the Bully Boy score on this, do not let spin overcome reality. I know we can get the word out on this.

UN Investigators Accusing U.S. of Torture At Guantanamo
A team of United Nations human rights investigators said Thursday they had reliable accounts that detainees were being tortured at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Citing declassified government documents the investigators said they have uncovered what they describe as "serious allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees, arbitrary detention, violations of their right to health and their due process rights." The UN human rights investigators also accused the Bush administration of ignoring multiple requests for them to be given access to the base to check on the conditions of the detainees. Paul Hunt, a law professor from New Zealand who monitors physical and mental health, said he wanted to investigate the alleged violations in person. Hunt said "Reportedly medical staff have assisted in the design of interrogation strategies, including sleep deprivation and other coercive interrogation methods."

World Tribunal on Iraq Opens In Turkey
In Turkey, the World Tribunal on Iraq is opening its three-day session today. The gathering is modeled after the International War Crimes Tribunal that British philosopher Bertrand Russell formed in 1967 during the Vietnam War. Russell's tribunal was charged with conducting 'a solemn and historic investigation' of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam in order to 'prevent the crime of silence.' Speaking at the World Tribunal on Iraq will be Indian writer Arundhati Roy, former UN Assistant Secretary General Dennis Halliday, independent journalist Dahr Jamail and others.

New Poll: Americans Against Iraq War
Meanwhile, the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that nearly six in 10 Americans oppose the war in Iraq and a growing number of them are dissatisfied with the war on terrorism. The poll was released yesterday and shows that support for the war has fallen significantly since March and is hovering at about 40 percent.

Hagel Blasts Bush on Iraq
Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has amplified his criticism of the Bush administration's policy in Iraq. In this week's U.S. News & World Report, the Nebraska Senator said "The reality is that we're losing in Iraq." Continuing, he said "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse," adding: "The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're just making it up as they go along." Hagel has criticized the administraton's handling of the war before, but his talk of "losing in Iraq" represents his harshest assessment yet. His comments come after Vice President Dick Cheney declared that the world is seeing the "last throes" of the resistance in Iraq.

'Out of Iraq Caucus' Formed in Congress
Meanwhile, a group of 50 progressive Congressmembers has formed a new group called The Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus. They say its mission is to try to increase pressure on the Bush administration and Congress to end the Iraq conflict and bring US forces home.

82 Iraqi Lawmakers Call for US to Leave Iraq
This comes as eighty-two members of the Iraqi parliament have sent a letter to the speaker of the house demanding that the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq. Some of the leaders of this movement come from the United Iraqi Alliance, the coalition of religious Shiite parties that has a majority of the 275 seats.

British Foreign Ministry: 2002 No-Fly Zone Bombings Illegal
The Sunday Times of London is reporting that the British Foreign Ministry's Legal office ruled that the sharp increase in the US and British no-fly zone bombings of Iraq in the year leading up to the official invasion was illegal under international law. The paper says the advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002. Two months later the US and Britain began “spikes of activity” designed to degrade Iraq's defensive capabilities and in an effort to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the US a pretext for war. The Foreign Office said that the bombings were “not consistent with” UN law, despite US claims that they were. In the so-called Downing Street memo, British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon is quoted as saying in July 2002 that the US had already begun spikes in bombing.

CIA Warns Iraq Becoming Training Ground For Extremists
The New York Times is reporting that the Central Intelligence Agency is warning that Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat. Officials who have read the new assessment said it made clear that the U.S. war in Iraq was likely to produce a dangerous legacy by dispersing to other countries fighters more adept and better organized than they were before the conflict. According to the Times, the CIA report spells out how the urban nature of the war in Iraq was helping combatants learn how to carry out assassinations, kidnappings, car bombings and other kinds of attacks that were never a staple of the fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980's.

Court to Hear Torture Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld
A federal court in Washington has announced that a civil suit against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld filed on behalf of eight Iraqi and Afghan detainees will go ahead. The detainees claim they were tortured and abused while in U.S. detention. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the lawsuit seeks to hold Rumsfeld and others directly responsible for the abuse and torture of detainees in U.S. military custody.

Pentagon Launches Massive Database To Help Recruiting Efforts
The Pentagon has begun working with a private company to create a massive database of high school and college students to help identify students as young as 16 to target for military recruiting. This according to the Washington Post. The database includes an array of personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying. The Pentagon has hired the Massachusetts-based company BeNow to run the database apparently in an effort to circumvent laws that restrict the government's right to collect or hold citizen information. The database will include data given over by schools under the No Child Left Behind Act as well as information collected from commercial data brokers. According to the Washington Post, the system also gives the Pentagon the right -- without notifying the students -- to share the data for numerous uses outside the military, including with law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress. A Pentagon spokesperson defended the database saying, "This program is important because it helps bolster the effectiveness of all the services' recruiting and retention efforts." The new database is being created at a time when the Armed Forces is struggling to meet its recruiting goals. The Army has missed its monthly recruiting goals every month so far this year. But Chris Jay Hoofnagle of EPIC -- the Electronic Privacy Information Center --criticized the system as a "audacious plan to target-market kids, as young as 16, for military solicitation." EPIC described the database as a "unprecedented foray of the government into direct marketing techniques previously only performed by the private sector." The privacy watchdog group also criticized the program because it does not allow students to opt-out of being in the massive database although they can opt-out of being solicited for recruitment.

Rep. Maloney Criticizes Social Security For Releasing Personal Info
Meanwhile in other privacy news, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has called for hearings over the recent disclosure that the Social Security Administration decided to share personal information about thousands of people with law enforcement after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Klansman Convicted For 1964 Civil Rights Killings
In Philadelphia Mississippi, a jury has found a former Ku Klux Klansman guilty of felony manslaughter in the killings on three civil rights workers in 1964. The verdict against Edgar Ray Killen came down Tuesday exactly 41 years after James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were killed. The three had come to Mississippi to investigate the burning of an African-American church. Prosecutors charged that Killen plotted the murders along with other Klansmen and then arranged for a bulldozer to bury the bodies. Killen will be sentenced on Thursday and faces a maximum of 60 years in jail. The verdict was only a partial victory for state prosecutors -- the jury found Killen guilty of felony manslaughter instead of murder. Michael Schwerner's widow -- Rita Schwerner Bender -- said "The fact that some members of the jury could not bring themselves to acknowledge that these were murders, that they were committed with malice, indicates that there are still people among you that choose to look aside, not to see the truth." Edgar Ray Killen's attorneys said they would appeal the jury's verdict.

You do not want to miss BuzzFlash's pick for GOP Hypocrite of the Week!

BuzzFlash has picked it's GOP Hypocrite of the Week and community members won't want to miss it. Why? The Elite Fluff Patrol squad leader has finally earned her due! Yes, Elisabeth Bumiller has finally been given an award she so richly deserves.

Also from BuzzFlash, Becky e-mails to note Barbara's Daily BuzzFlash Minute:

George Bush “thinks” about Iraq every single day, so he says, and while he’s “thinking” the sons and daughters of America are DYING! If Bush believes thinking will absolve his responsibility for over 1700+ dead American soldiers and countless thousands of innocent Iraqis, he’s WRONG! Whenever I did something and attempted to make excuses, my grandmother used to say, “Too bad you didn’t think about it before you did it.” Today I would say, it’s an outrage George Bush didn’t do that thinking BEFORE he acted in Iraq!
* * *
One has to wonder, was it really necessary to bring in the “Angel of Death?” Did Donald Rumsfeld feel the United States had to act in
the spirit of Dr. Josef Mengele? Where else has Rumsfeld employed such methods of interrogation? Where else can American citizens expect them to be used? Are the Geneva Conventions wrong and outdated, as implied by the Bush administration? Does it really help to “fix the law” to fit the torture and abuse?

The above is an excerpt. Check out the link.

Nelson e-mails to note Media Matters' "Penguin declares Klein biased, sticks author with onus for accuracy:"

In a statement posted June 22 on its website, Penguin Group (USA), which owns the imprint Sentinel, publisher of Edward Klein's The Truth About Hillary, attempted to wash its hands of the controversy surrounding the book. The statement claimed that "the opinions and viewpoints" in the book do not reflect those of Penguin or its parent company, Pearson plc.
In a passage impugning its own author's sense of journalistic fairness, Penguin declared that "factual accuracy does not mean unopinionated or unbiased. Mr. Klein's interpretation of what he reports is unabashedly his opinion. Neither he nor Sentinel pretend otherwise."
Not only did Penguin impugn Klein's fairness, it refused to stand by the accuracy of his book, stating that "it is the long-established and legally recognized practice in book publishing that it is the author's responsibility to assure factual accuracy."

Also from Media Matters, Brenda e-mailed to note "The lies of Ken Tomlinson:"

Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), faces growing criticism from supporters of public radio and public television who argue that his leadership has compromised CPB's charter to protect public broadcasting against political interference. Sixteen U.S. senators have called on President Bush to remove Tomlinson as head of CPB, charging that Tomlinson "seriously undermines the credibility and mission of public television." In the wake of a May 2 New York Times article detailing the controversy surrounding Tomlinson, he has repeatedly defended himself against allegations that he has exerted political pressure on CPB. But new documents, along with increased scrutiny of his actions, have proved several of Tomlinson's prior statements false.
Tomlinson said CPB president approved, signed contract to monitor Moyers show
The Times
reported that, in a May 24 letter to Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), Tomlinson stated he saw no need to consult the CPB board of directors about hiring an outside consultant to monitor bias on PBS' NOW with Bill Moyers, because, he wrote, the contract was "approved and signed by then CPB President, Kathleen Cox."
But the Times reported on June 22 that a copy of the contract obtained by the paper shows that Tomlinson signed it on February 3, 2004 -- five months before Cox became CPB president. Tomlinson declined to comment to the Times on the apparent discrepancy.
CPB paid the consultant, Fred Mann, $14,170 to monitor bias on NOW. Mann
worked for 20 years at the National Journalism Center, an organization founded by the American Conservative Union and M. Stanton Evans, a conservative columnist, that counts among the alumni of its training programs Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter.
In a June 20 speech on the Senate floor, Dorgan
said that he had received the "raw data" Mann provided Tomlinson and was "struck and disappointed" by the methods he used in conducting the study. For example, Mann labeled certain segments of the show "anti-Bush," "anti-DeLay" and "anticorporation." In addition, Mann classified all the guests appearing on NOW as either "conservative" or "liberal," labeling Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as "liberal." Dorgan inferred that Hagel had "apparently said something that wasn't completely in sync with the White House" and concluded: "That is not the prism through which someone should evaluate whether something makes sense."

The above is an excerpt. (Please, you know the lies of Kenneth Tomlinson would never be a brief entry.) Use the link to read more.

For those wondering about the theme for Third Estate Sunday Review this Sunday, Jim just phoned to say there is a theme, it will be the "summer issue."

I'll also say thank you to Maria who's done another selection of Democracy Now! Headlines in Spanish and in English. That will go up right after this. After which, I'll be transferring all entries from today over to the mirror site and then doing the interview with Beth. Depending upon how long that lasts, there may or may not be additional posts tonight. Beth will be editing down the interview and when she's ready with that, it will be posted here. That may be tonight or it may be tomorrow.

The e-mail address for this site is