Friday, September 12, 2008


Ernesto Londono's "Iraq Rejects No-Bid Contracts" (Washington Post) reports on the cancellation of the contracts with Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP and referring to the Ministry of Oil's spokesperson's Assem Jihad they state, "He said the ministry decided to end the talks because they had dragged on for too long. But he said Iraq looks forward to working with those companies in the future."

AP's Anna Johnson offers "Iraqi women take aim at expanded police roles"

The 30-year-old recruit and the 20 other women training at the academy are a critical part of the U.S. and Iraqi response to the latest deadly tactic of al-Qaida in Iraq: female suicide bombers.
But the academy -- the only one of its kind in Iraq -- is taking that response one step further. For one month, the women stay and train at the academy in the volatile Diyala province with 680 male colleagues.
Unlike many other security programs for women, where they come only during the day and where classes are confined mostly to search methods, this academy offers women the same lessons as men -- including weapons training.
Women have been serving as auxiliary members of Iraqi security forces in markets and during pilgrimages, but these recruits will be full-time policewomen once they graduate next week. They also will receive an official police certification from the Ministry of Interior.

These are not "Awakening" Councils members, the article is about the actual police. It notes resistance in Diyala Province to using women. Consider it one of the 'accomplishments' of the illegal war, police women are nothing new to Iraq, they only became an issue after the illegal war.
In US political news, Levi Pulkkinen's "McDermott joins call to oust Bush" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) offers:

Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott wants to see George Bush impeached, whether or not, he says, Bush is still in office.
The long-serving Democrat and outspoken advocate for liberal causes made his displeasure with the president official Tuesday, joining a call from Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush.
Chiefly at issue, McDermott said, is Bush's decision to mislead the country to war with Iraq.
"It's increasingly clear to me that we were led into a war without any justification whatsoever," McDermott said in an interview Wednesday. "And the president deliberately did this. It wasn't an accident of any kind."

Kendrick notes this from Team Nader:

CNN/Time Poll: Nader at 6 Percent in Michigan


CNN/Time Poll: Nader at 6 Percent in Michigan .

Drop $6 on Nader/Gonzalez.

We're pulling solid numbers in key swing states.

Including 6 percent in Michigan, according to yesterday's CNN/Time poll.

Nobody can say what will happen over the next seven weeks.

What we can say is this:

Independents are now positioned for an historic breakthrough.

Yesterday, Ron Paul appeared with Ralph Nader on CNN.

And together they announced a joint breakaway from the "evil of the two lessers" -- the Democrats and the Republicans.

We need to continue to ratchet up the pressure on the corporate controlled, illegitimate two party system.

To break through the media blackout.

To break through into the debates.

To let the people know --

There is a choice in November.

A candidacy that will deliver full Medicare for all.

A living wage.

A peaceful solar economy.

Reversing U.S. policy in the Middle East.


Let's keep the pressure on.

Don't let up.

Here's one thing you can do.

Donate $6 now to Nader/Gonzalez.

To help meet our goal of $80,000 by Constitution Day -- September 17.

(Remember -- Ralph Nader will appear on Lou Dobbs tonight at 7:00 pm EST.)

Together, we are making a difference.

Onward to November.

The Nader Team

PS: Remember, if you give $100 or more now, we will send you In Pursuit of Justice, the 520-page book of essays by Ralph Nader -- essays on corporate power, the Constitution, and transforming our country. If you donate $100 now, we will send you this historic collection -- autographed by the man himself -- Ralph Nader. (This offer ends at 11:59 p.m. September 17, 2008.)


In the public e-mail account, a visitor notes this from Team Nader:

Nader Issues Statement on 9/11 Anniversary

Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM


Press Release
Contact: Toby Heaps, 202-441-6795


Statement by Ralph Nader on the 7th anniversary of 9/11:

The Massacre of September 11, 2001 -- before, during and after -- continues to raise many questions among millions of Americans who believe they have not been told the truth about what really happened that day. These questions include ones relating to the procedures of the 9/11 Commission, its independence, the depth of the inquiry, and the scope of the explanations as to what happened in each of these three stages.

From the beginning, public skepticisms were fed by the early refusal of the Bush Administration to authorize an independent investigation into the attacks -- a response that would have been automatic for a prime minister of Canada, the United Kingdom or Australia, for example. Only the tenacity and probing efforts of the bereaved families changed the White House's mind. Then the 9/11 Commission aborted its expected or prudent objectives by announcing at the outset that it would neither name names nor assign responsibility for various segments of the sequences that led to the tragedy and delineated its aftermath. By failing to name names, or assign responsibility, the commission betrayed its duty to the American public.

The White House helped to fan the flames of skepticism further by initially allocating only $3 million for the 9/11 Commission's work, a paltry sum compared with, for example, the $50 million spent to investigate the Columbia shuttle disaster -- a far less complex, deadly event.

Public confidence was additionally eroded by unexplained concessions to the closed, secret testimony by President Bush and Vice President Cheney which was not under oath. No recording was made of the session, no stenographer was allowed in the room, and no transcript exists.

Not surprisingly, when public confidence in such a commission's work erodes, criticism ranges from the very sound, to the heuristic, to the plausible to the outlandish. Plausibility is not evidence. But that does not vitiate the need for more evidence -- an insufficiency only partly of the Commission's own making. But partly is still significant in an episode with many dimensions and penumbras.

Closing the books on the federal government's 9/11 Commission is a syndrome nourished by fatigue and the desire for "closure" or "for putting it behind" the nation. Unfortunately, the sense that the commission was unnecessarily incomplete and unfinished seems to be growing with more commentary, criticism, documentaries, rumors and charges. Other jurisdictions may see the need for extending the investigation -- most notably New York City, New York State, Virginia and Pennsylvania. An effort to establish such an independent commission of inquiry, by registered voters backing a referendum, seems to be continuing in New York City.

It helps our country little to stereotype the critics of the 9/11 Commission categorically. Their range covers nearly the entire spectrum of the human imagination, critical analysis, and capacity for suspicion. That is to be expected with major sudden traumas to a society. What should not be expected is to use stereotypes as the basis for dismissal of all the critics, regardless of the quality of their procedural and substantive queries. A further authoritative and properly funded inquiry is in order.

For starters, why not a four hour debate at the National Press Club (with an intermission) between a leading proponent of the 9/11 Commission's performance and a leading critic on the other side? This may join, clarify or jettison issues that have festered.



It's Friday. On the weekends some members only check on home computers and some have dial up. Point. We don't do videos on Friday. But a strong argument was made in the public account for this video of Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney.

And this is a video of Ralph Nader speaking at the same event Wednesday.

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