Saturday, December 03, 2005

Via Martha, here's what's coming up on The Laura Flanders Show:

Today on The Laura Flanders Show
Air America Radio, 7-10 PM EST
From cutting and running after Katrina to shredding more than abortion rights. We look at corruption
'W' style and consider solutions.
MILES RAPOPORT, president of on Connecticut's political reforms.
ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project director, on what difference a single Supreme Court decision might make.
A report from the U.N. global warming conference with KERT DAVIES,
GreenpeaceUSA research director.
And singer-songwriter-animal rights activist
You can listen to shows you missed:
Download archived shows HERE or Subscribe to the Free PODCAST through the iTunes Music Store
Go to the Laura Flanders Blog

So the topics will include political reform, abortion rights, global warming and musical guest Joy Askew who will talk activism and about who knows what else? That's not an insult. That's just to note that she's had quite a career and could speak of performing and touring with any number of people -- Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel, Joe Jackson . . . She has a plethora of professional experiences to share from. And, like Marci, I always enjoy Saturday's last hour best it explores the line between politics and art. So today's show has quite a mix. (And in case I don't have the time to post on Sunday, remember The Laura Flanders Show airs on Saturdays and Sundays -- Sunday is not a rebroadcast of Saturday's show.)

Listen to The Laura Flanders Show via podcast (as noted above), via broadcast radio (if there's an AAR in your area), via XM Satellite Radio (channel 167) or listen online.

The e-mail address for this site is

Ruth's Morning Edition Report

Ruth: Did you take part in Cyber Monday? Do you know what it is?

If you listened to
FAIR's CounterSpin, you busted through the myths to find out that Cyber Monday was an inventented event. " . . . decided that internet businesses needed a marketing hook to help them get a Black Friday type boost. As's executive director told Business Week, "It's not the biggest day but it was an opportunity to create some consumer excitement."

Each week CounterSpin punctures the myths and exposes the reality. You heard that with their two main stories. They interviewed Michelle Goldberg about her research for an article at Salon
How the Secular Humanist Grinch Didn't Steal Christmas") and for her upcoming book on the same topic to refute the false claim that a conspiracy exists among George Soros, the ACLU and left-wing websites to "take the Christ out of Christmas." As Ms. Goldberg pointed out, this is an old rumor that in previous times was tied to Jews and now is used to slime secularists.

My favorite part each week is when, at the start of the program, they address recent media coverage. Janine Jackson, who was not on this week, never fails to make me laugh with her delivery. Mitchell e-mailed to ask if they were really that funny? Yes, Ms. Jackson, Peter Hart and Steve Rendell all do a great job puncturing the blow hards of the pundit set. Mitchell wrote that if I really think they are that funny, he will make a point to try out the program. Mitchell, I really do think they are that funny so I expect you to listen to
this week's program or next week's.

Mr. Rendell addressed the Washington Post's David Broder and Cokie Roberts in the making Gloria Borger who has two regular outlets, U.S. News & World Report and the CBS network. Both believe that America is not interested whether we were lied to into war. Polls not withstanding, the two apparently have their fingers on the pulse of America or somewhere that causes them to man the battle stations and downplay a very serious concern. Although the people have not dropped this issue, as Mr. Rendell notes, "The pundits, however, have moved on."

Counterspin is a half-hour weekly program. You can listen via
WBAI, another radio station or at the FAIR website. This may not be a program for you. As a grandmother, I long ago learned that what I find tasty, someone else may not. But as I always told my children, my grandchildren and my husband, "Sample it. If you don't like it, you do not have to eat it." So do try to listen to the program and if it turns out that you enjoy it as much as I do, wonderful; however, if it is not your type of radio, you will know that and can look for something more to your tastes.

Of all the programs I listened to this week, the one that I felt delivered day after day was
KPFA's The Morning Show. Let's take two issues that were cited as worth more attention in the poll in the latest gina & krista round-robin.

Wally addressed
what was going on in Florida at The Daily Jot this week. As Andre Lewis noted, this is an issue that "doesn't seem to be getting attention." Her guest was Sushma Sheth, of the The Miami Workers Center, who raised issues that really have not been getting out in the mainstream media.

As Wally pointed out
November 2nd, the first heavy rains were when the effects of Hurricane Wilma were more noticeable as roofs collapsed. Ms. Sheth pointed out that the official response was "basically every family for themselves." She discussed how "buildings that had not been kept up to code . . . caved." The collapses and the fact that other buildings were not up to code has led to mass evictions in Liberty City and Miami Beach. Some people have been forcibly evicted in the early morning hours.

Ms. Sheth also pointed out that issues of relief supplies were confusing such as attempting to determine "who had at ice at what time where?" There was a lack of leadership in all areas from the government's response on all levels. While this inadequate response was ongoing you also had people losing wages due to businesses being closed and this especially hit hard persons living pay check to pay check. Also harshly effected were immigrants who not only suffered from poor housing and lost wages but also found, when attempting to get relief, that they had to produce documents before receiving relief from governmental institutions.

The Miami Workers Center is calling for:

1) A halt to economic evictions.
2) An halt to foreclosures on homes.
3) A halt to threat of losing utilities due to loss of payments.

The economic impact from Hurricane Wilma is very real and the threat of evictions, foreclosures, lack of service is a very real concern. Another concern is that some of the same mistakes may be made again if the planning for future responses relies upon the same voices.
Public transportation was not a concern to those planning responses to the aftermath. There was no attempt made to waive the requirement for bus passes nor was there apparently any thought that relief supplies need to be better distributed and better publicized for those who rely on public transportation since a good portion of the day can be spent traveling from one area to another.

The second issue that the community felt needed more attention from the national media is the one addressed in "
Target: the 9th Circuit (The Republican war on the judiciary continues)." Friday, Ms. Lewis interviewed constitutional law scholar Eddie Lazarus on the topic of splitting the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Lazarus gave the background. There are thirteen federal court of appeals that cover the United States. The Ninth Circuit covers California, Arizone, Alaska, Oregon, Washinton, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. For over twenty years now the idea of splitting the Ninth Circuit conservatives have "been kicking around." What would the split do?

Mr. Lazarus: It would increase the number of judges overall, that's right. You'd see Bush being able to get at least the first round of appointments. . . . In the short term, yes, it would be a boom for those who want to put more conservatives on the judiciary."

Ms. Lewis: So I'm trying to get just a little sense, do you think this is something we shouldn't be so concerned about, Eddie, is it something that you think is just a political ploy by the right-wing, it won't be that big of a deal one way or another? What's your bottom line on this?

Mr. Lazarus: Well I think it would be unfortunate if the Ninth Circuit was split because it's one of the few circuits that's left that has a true slate of national cases. And it does provide, still, something of a counterpoint to some of the other circuits around the country which have grown so conservative. It's not as liberal as it once was but it still has a number of liberal judges on it and I think it's refreshing to see a different perspective, particularly one that I often agree with, but leaving that aside, I think it's a healthy thing for their to be a variety of points of view on the Federal Court of Appeals and if the Ninth Circuit is out of step, there's the Supreme Court sitting there to step in and it can always create uniformity by taking a case and reversing the Ninth Circuit which it does from time to time.

On the issue of whether or not the proposal to split the court would be successful, Mr. Lazaraus felt that it was "fifty-fifty."

Mr. Lazarus: It's certainly the greatest chance that it would ever happen. But on the Ninth Circuit, even the conservative judges by and large, strongly oppose splitting the court and so, at least in this situation, you would have a lot of behind the scenes lobbying by conservative judges saying really you shouldn't do this.

The Morning Show is one of my favorite programs. I enjoy the wide range of topics, the news headlines on the half-hour. If this were a book, I would say you could curl up with it. Andrea Lewis, usually the coh-host but the solo host this week due Philip Malderi being on vacation, is someone who always seems to ask the questions that you are thinking. She is very knowledgable but she never comes off as a show off. Instead she comes off as someone who is really interested in the topics being addressed whether it was the above the two, the pressures on women to marry (
Monday), the film The Passenger, or you name it. I also enjoy the opening theme which always make my grandson Elijah stand up and start dancing. [Note: "Theme Music: The Morning Show theme is 'Maria Moita', written by Carlos Lyra, performed by Bossacucanova, off a CD entitled "Revisited Classics," on Six Degrees Records."]

One thing that Ms. Lewis and others on
Pacifica Radio have been emphasizing is an upcoming special:

Pacifica Radio Archives All-Day Fundraising Special
18-hour natl. simulcast of programming from Pacifica's 50-plus-year history. Focuses: civil rights movement, live music, and the 1970 live reading on WBAI of
Tolstoy's War and Peace. On December 6 the entire Pacifica network will pre-empt its regular schedule for an 18-hour simulcast of programming drawn from Pacifica's 50-plus-year history. This will be a fundraiser for the Pacifica Radio Archives that preserves the network's audio treasures. This year we're focusing on three major subject areas: the civil rights movement recordings, live music, and the 1970 live reading on WBAI of Tolstoy's War and Peace.

That airs this Tuesday.

Lou has suggested that I sample
KPFA's Sunday Salon. I will do so this Sunday, Lou.

Sunday Salon
In our first hour...Vietnam all over again, or worse? The Iraq War: Lies, Torture, Occupation -- how will we move forward? A discussion with Daniel Ellsberg, Judith Coburn, Aaron Glantz, and Tom Hayden. In the second hour...We'll take another look at the case of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, who's scheduled to be executed at San Quentin State Prison. Tom Hayden will be joined by California Assemblymember Mark Leno, who is a sponsor of the Assembly bill calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.
Listen to past shows, get contact and reference info for guests, see announcements of upcoming programs, and more at:

If you listened to
Pacifica's live coverage of the John Roberts' confirmation hearings, you are familiar with the host of Sunday Salon Larry Bensky. If you're reading this in the repost on Monday, please note the link above where you can listen to archived broadcasts of Sunday Salon. The first hour addresses the issue members ranked number one in need of more attention from the mainstream media on Gina and Krista's most recent poll and the second hour ranks number five. So four of the five issues in need of further attention have been addressed in this Morning Edition Report. The mainstream media may take pass on all five but if you are listening to Pacifica Radio, you have heard these issues addressed.

Ex primer ministro iraquí: La tortura es igual de mala ahora que bajo el régimen de Hussein

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

Ex primer ministro iraquí: La tortura es igual de mala ahora que bajo el régimen de Hussein
El ex primer ministro de Irak, Iyad Allawi, afirma que las violaciones a los derechos humanos que ocurren hoy en Irak son igual de malas que las que ocurrían bajo el régimen de Saddam Hussein. En una entrevista con el periódico "Observer" de Londres, Allawai dijo: "Nos enteramos sobre la policía secreta, sobre búnkers secretos donde se interroga a las personas. Muchos iraquíes son torturados o asesinados durante los interrogatorios".

Rumsfeld y Pace discrepan acerca de la respuesta que debe dar Estados Unidos ante abusos cometidos por fuerzas iraquíes
En el Pentágono, el Secretario de Defensa, Donald Rumsfeld, se vio envuelto en un intercambio inusual con el presidente de la Junta de los Jefes de Personal, General Peter Pace, en una conferencia de prensa el martes. Cuando se le preguntó al General Pace si los soldados estadounidenses tenían la responsabilidad de evitar violaciones a los derechos humanos por parte de las fuerzas iraquíes, él contesto: "Es totalmente la responsabilidad de todos los integrantes del servicio estadounidense, si presencian algún trato inhumano, intervenir para detenerlo". Mientras Pace respondía, Rumsfeld lo interrumpió y dijo: "Pero no creo que quiera decir que tienen la obligación de detenerlo ellos mismos; deben informarlo". Pero el General Pace replicó: "Si están presentes cuando el trato inhumano se lleva a cabo, tienen la obligación de intentar detenerlo".

Estados Unidos paga a medios iraquíes para publicar informes que ellos mismos escriben
El "Los Ángeles Times" informa que las Fuerzas Armadas estadounidenses están pagando secretamente a los periódicos iraquíes para que publiquen artículos escritos por estadounidenses y que son favorables a la presencia de Estados Unidos en Irak. El "Times" informa que los artículos escritos en el marco de "operaciones de información" de las Fuerzas Armadas estadounidenses son traducidos al árabe y luego publicados en los periódicos iraquíes con la ayuda de la firma Lincoln Group, contratista de defensa de Washington. Los artículos son presentados ante la población iraquí como informes sin prejuicios, escritos por periodistas independientes. El contrato de Lincoln Group es de más de 100 millones de dólares por más cinco años. Un alto funcionario del Pentágono dijo: "Aquí estamos, tratando de crear los principios de democracia en Irak. Cada discurso que damos en ese país es sobre democracia. Y al hacerlo, estamos violando todos los principios básicos de la democracia".

Comité del Senado mantendrá sesión a puertas cerradas sobre propaganda militar en periódicos
Mientras tanto, funcionarios de alto rango del Pentágono comparecerán hoy a una sesión a puertas cerradas del Comité de los Servicios Armados del Senado, para responder a informes de que Estados Unidos paga a periódicos iraquíes por publicar propaganda militar. Altos funcionarios del Pentágono dicen que aún no han recibido una explicación. Luego de que se conoció la historia esta semana, el General George Casey argumentó que el programa no debía ser discutido públicamente porque era reservado. Cuando se le preguntó sobre el asunto al portavoz militar General Rick Lynch, el jueves, defendió el programa sin confirmar sus detalles. El General Lynch dijo: "Nosotros no mentimos. No necesitamos mentir. Damos poder a nuestros comandantes operativos para que informen al público iraquí, pero todo lo que hacemos está basado en hechos, no en ficción".
El portavoz del Departamento de Estado, Sean McCormack, dijo a reporteros: "El Departamento de Estado trabaja con periodistas en Irak para ayudarlos a desarrollar las capacidades que todos ustedes tienen en lo que refiere a la ética y prácticas periodísticas... Este es un país (Irak) donde los medios de comunicación libres no existieron por décadas, por lo tanto, están aprendiendo. Consideramos que es importante asistirlos en eso".

Pelosi: Los demócratas apoyan a Murtha
También el miércoles, la líder de la minoría demócrata, Nancy Pelosi, se convirtió en la primer líder del Congreso en apoyar la postura del congresista Murtha. Pelosi y otros demócratas de alto rango inicialmente habían tomado distancia de Murtha. Pero Pelosi dijo al Washington Post: "Claramente, la mayoría de los representantes (demócratas) apoyan a Murtha” en su pedido de retirar a los soldados estadounidenses de Irak".

Informe: Más de 300 vuelos de la CIA a aeropuertos europeos
En un nuevo episodio del creciente revuelo por las presuntas prisiones secretas de la CIA en Europa, el diario "Guardian" de Londres dice que obtuvo registros de vuelos que indican que más de 300 vuelos de la CIA aterrizaron en aeropuertos europeos. El "Washington Post" recientemente informó que la CIA opera prisiones secretas en Estados ex socialistas de Europa del Este. A pedido del Pentágono, el Post no dio a conocer el nombre de los países. La revelación provocó que el Comisario de Justicia de la Unión Europea amenazara con sancionar a cualquier Estado miembro que haya albergado una prisión secreta. Según el Guardian, los aviones de la CIA visitaron tanto Alemania como Gran Bretala más de 80 veces. El miércoles, el Departamento de Estado anunció que respondería a la brevedad al pedido europeo de una explicación acerca de las supuestas prisiones.

Las Naciones de la Unión Europea podrían perder el derecho al voto por albergar prisiones secretas de la CIA
La Comisión Europea advirtió a todos los países miembros de la Unión Europea que se les podría suspender su derecho a votar en los organismos de ese bloque si se descubre que han mantenido prisiones secretas de la CIA. Franco Frattini, Comisario de Justicia de la Unión Europea, dijo: "La protección de los derechos básicos y la libertad esta muy arraigado en nuestra cultura, es el fundamento de la Carta Europea de Derechos Básicos". Y agregó: "Por eso continuaremos buscando un balance entre incrementar la seguridad y confirmar la protección y promoción de nuestras libertades". El "Washington Post" informó recientemente que la CIA ha manejado dos prisiones secretas en países de Europa del Este que tuvieron regímenes comunistas. A pedido del Pentágono, el Post no publicó los nombres de los países, pero Human Rights Watch los identificó como Polonia y Rumania.

Candidato a la Corte Suprema Alito argumentó contra derechos de inmigrantes
Documentos del Departamento de Justicia dados a conocer recientemente indican que Samuel Alito, candidato a ocupar un cargo en la Corte Suprema, argumentó en la década del 80 que los inmigrantes que entraran ilegalmente a Estados Unidos y los extranjeros que no vivieran en sus países no tenían los mismos derechos constitucionales que los estadounidenses. Alito hizo estas afirmaciones cuando era asistente del Fiscal General durante el gobierno de Reagan. El analista constitucional conservador Bruce Fein dijo: "Parece estar diciendo que los funcionarios estadounidenses no tienen ninguna restricción sobre el trato a los extranjeros no residentes o ilegales. ¿Se les puede disparar? ¿Pueden ser torturados?"
Martín Redish, un profesor de legislación constitucional en la Northwestern University Law School, dijo al "Washington Post" que la postura de Alito podría ser utilizada para justificar la actual política gubernamental en cuyo marco la CIA realiza interrogatorios en prisiones secretas en el extranjero. El "New York Times" informa que estos documentos también indican que Alito apoyó activamente los esfuerzos del gobierno para aumentar los poderes de las fuerzas de seguridad y limitar las restricciones a la acción de los fiscales.

Chávez acusa a Bush de apoyar el boicot de la oposición
En Venezuela, el Presidente Hugo Chávez acusó al gobierno de Bush de respaldar un boicot de la oposición a las elecciones legislativas de este fin de semana en dicho país.
Los grupos de la oposición anunciaron que boicotearán la votación, porque alegan que el Consejo Electoral no aseguró que la votación sea secreta. En las pasadas semanas, los analistas predijeron una victoria arrolladora de los seguidores de Chávez. El "Financial Times" indica que el boicot es inusual, ya que el Consejo Electoral del país no utilizará las controvertidas máquinas de votación de las que la oposición se ha quejado.

Corte Suprema rechaza apelación de Sibel Edmonds
La Corte Suprema rechazó una apelación de la ex informante del FBI Sibel Edmonds, que ha intentado demandar al FBI y al Departamento de Justicia por su despido. Edmonds sostiene que fue despedida luego de hablar acerca de posibles fallas de seguridad, mala conducta y trabajo de traducción incompetente en la agencia. Un Juez de Distrito de Estados Unidos desestimó el caso en primera instancia, luego de que el entonces Fiscal General John Ashcroft invocara el "privilegio de secretos de Estado", rara vez utilizado. Ashcroft había advertido que la revelación de más información acerca de las tareas de Edmonds y de otros traductores podía provocar "un grave daño a los intereses de la seguridad nacional de Estados Unidos". Edmonds fue noticia por primera vez cuando sostuvo que el FBI tenía información antes del 11 de septiembre acerca de que se planificaba un ataque con aviones.

Al Jazeera exige respuestas del gobierno de Bush
El director general de la cadena televisiva árabe Al-Jazeera exigió que Washington responda a los informes que dicen que el Presidente Bush quería bombardear las oficinas de la cadena en Doha. La semana pasada, el periódico "Daily Mirror" citó un memorando británico secreto que revelaba que Bush le comunicó a Tony Blair el año pasado su deseo de bombardear la sede del canal. El gobierno de Bush dijo que el informe de "Daily Mirror" era "ridículo". Funcionarios de Al Jazeera ponen en duda ahora si Estados Unidos atacó intencionalmente la cadena cuando bombardeó sus oficinas en Afganistán en 2001 y en Bagdad en abril de 2003. El ataque en Irak mató a Tariq Ayub, corresponsal de Al Jazeera. La viuda de Ayub, Dina, dijo que considera la posibilidad de demandar al gobierno estadounidense por la muerte de su marido. Dina dijo: "Estados Unidos siempre afirmó que fue un accidente. Pero creo que las nuevas revelaciones prueban que esa afirmación era falsa o al menos no era digna de confianza." Mientras tanto, en Gran Bretaña continúa vigente la prohibición para todos los medios de comunicación de revelar los contenidos del memorando secreto. Pero un miembro del Parlamento, Boris Johnson, prometió publicar el memorando y arriesgarse a ir preso si alguien le entrega ese documento.

Informe: El Pentágono expande capacidad de espiar en Estados Unidos
El "Washington Post" informa que el Pentágono expandió su capacidad de espiar a los ciudadanos de Estados Unidos. Según el Post, el gobierno de Bush está considerando permitirle a una agencia poco conocida del Pentágono, llamada Campo de Actividad Contra la Inteligencia, investigar ciertos crímenes a nivel local. El Pentágono también presiona en Capitol Hill por una norma que exima a las actividades de inteligencia de la Ley de Privacidad, y que permitiría al FBI y a otros organismos compartir información sobre los ciudadanos estadounidenses con el Pentágono, la CIA y otras agencias de inteligencia. Kate Martín, del Centro de Estudios de Seguridad Nacional, dijo que esa legislación eliminaría una de las pocas protecciones de la privacidad existentes, contra la creación de expedientes secretos de ciudadanos estadounidenses por parte de las agencias de inteligencia del gobierno". El Senador demócrata Ron Wyden de Oregon dijo: "Estamos habilitando a los militares a espiar a estadounidenses que cumplen con la ley en Estados Unidos. Esto es un gran salto sin siquiera una audiencia (del Congreso)".

Maria: In English, here are twelve headlines fom Democracy Now! Remember that the headlines are provided daily in English and Spanish and please pass on to your friends. Peace.

Ex-Iraqi PM: Torture As Bad Now As Under Hussein
Iraq's former prime minister Iyad Allawi is claming that the human rights abuses occurring today in Iraq are as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein. In an interview with the Observer newspaper of London Allawai said "We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated. A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations."

Rumsfeld, Pace Differ on US Response to Iraqi Abuse
At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld engaged in an unusual exchange with Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Peter Pace at a press conference Tuesday. Asked whether US troops are responsible for preventing human rights abuses by Iraqi forces, General Pace answered: "It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it." As Pace elaborated, Rumsfeld interrupted him, saying: "But I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it's to report it." But General Pace replied: "If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it", he said.

US Paying Iraqi Media to Publish US-Authored Reports
The Los Angeles Times is reporting the US military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish American-written articles favorable to the U.S. presence in Iraq. The Times reports articles written by U.S. military "information operations" are translated into Arabic and then placed in Iraqi newspapers with the help of Washington-based defense contractor the Lincoln Group. The articles are presented to an Iraqi audience as unbiased news accounts written by independent journalists. The Lincoln Group’s contract is worth up to $100 million dollars over five years. A senior Pentagon official commented : "Here we are trying to create the principles of democracy in Iraq. Every speech we give in that country is about democracy. And we're breaking all the first principles of democracy when we're doing it."

Senate Committee to Hold Session on Newspaper Propaganda
Meanwhile, top Pentagon officials will appear before a closed-door session of the Senate Armed Services Committee today to answer reports the US is paying Iraqi newspapers to publish military propaganda. Senior Pentagon officials say they have yet to receive an explanation. After the story broke earlier this week, General George Casey argued the program should not be publicly discussed because it was classified. Asked about the issue Thursday, military spokesperson Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch appeared to defend the program without confirming its specifics. Major General Lynch said: "We don't lie. We don't need to lie. We do empower our operational commanders with the ability to inform the Iraqi public, but everything we do is based on fact, not based on fiction." State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters: "The State Department is working with journalists in Iraq to help them develop the skills that you all have in terms of reporting and journalistic ethics and practices… This is a country where free media didn't exist for decades, so they are learning. We think it's important to assist them in that."

Pelosi Backs Murtha Call for Withdrawal
Calls for a troop withdrawal have been bolstered by the stance taken by hawkish Democratic Congressman John Murtha. On Wednesday, Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi became the first congressional leader to endorse Congressman Murtha's position. Pelosi and other top Democrats had initially distanced themselves from Murtha's call to end the deployment in Iraq to and maintain rapid reaction force in the region. But Pelosi told the Washington Post: "clearly a majority of the [Democratic] caucus supports Mr. Murtha" in his call to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

Report: Over 300 CIA Flights at European Airports
In a new development in the growing uproar over alleged CIA secret prisons in Europe, the Guardian of London says it has obtained flight logs showing more than 300 CIA flights have landed at European airports. The Washington Post recently reported the CIA has been operating secret prisons in former Soviet states in Eastern Europe. At the request of the Pentagon, the Post did not name the countries. The disclosure prompted the European Union Justice Commissioner to threaten sanctions against any member state found to have hosted a secret CIA prison. According to the Guardian, CIA planes visited both Germany and Britain over 80 times. On Wednesday, the State Department announced it will respond shortly to European requests for an explanation on the alleged prisons.

EU Nations Could Lose Voting Rights For Housing Secret CIA Prisons
The European Commission has warned all member states of the European Union that they could have their voting rights suspended if they are found to have operated secret CIA prisons. "The protection of basic rights and liberty is deeply rooted in our culture, is the basis of the European charter for fundamental rights," said Franco Frattini, European Union Justice Commissioner. "That's why we will continue following a balanced approach between increasing security and confirming protection and promotion of our liberties" The Washington Post recently reported the CIA has been operating two secret prisons in former Soviet states in Eastern Europe. At the request of the Pentagon, the "Post" did not name the countries but Human Rights Watch has idenitified them as Poland and Romania.

Supreme Court Nominee Alito Argued Against Immigrant Rights
Newly released Justice Department documents show that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito argued in the 1980s that immigrants who enter the United States illegally and foreigners living outside their countries are not entitled to the constitutional rights afforded to Americans. Alito made the argument at a time when he was deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration. Conservative constitutional analyst Bruce Fein said QUOTE "He seems to be saying that there is no constitutional constraints placed on U.S. officials in their treatment of nonresident aliens or illegal aliens. Could you shoot them? Could you torture them?" Martin Redish, a constitutional law professor at Northwestern University Law School, told the Washington Post that Alito's view could be used to justify the current administration policy under which the CIA conducts interrogations in secret prisons overseas. The New York Times reports the newly released documents also show Alito played an active role in advancing the administration's efforts to expand law enforcement powers and limit restrictions on prosecutors.

Chavez Accuses Bush of Backing Opposition Boycott
In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez has accused the Bush administration of backing an opposition boycott of this weekend’s legislative elections in the country. Chavez said: "I denounce him before the world from here, from the Miraflores palace. The one responsible for this new conspiracy is the head of the empire: Mr. Danger. To give him his proper name, the president of the United States of America, Mr. George W. Bush. That's the new head of this conspiracy." Opposition groups have announced a boycott of the vote, alleging that the electoral council has not ensured voter secrecy. In recent weeks, analysts had been predicting a sweeping victory for Chavez supporters. The Financial Times notes the boycott is unusual since the country’s electoral council has withdrawn the use of controversial voting machines the opposition complained about.

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Sibel Edmonds
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds who has been trying to sue the FBI and Justice Department over her dismissal. Edmonds says she was fired after speaking out about possible security breaches, misconduct and incompetent translation work. A U.S. District Judge originally dismissed the case after then-Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the rarely used "state secrets privilege." Ashcroft had warned that further disclosure of the duties of Edmonds and other translators could cause QUOTE "serious damage to the national security interests of the United States." Edmonds first made headlines when she claimed the FBI had information that an attack using airplanes was being planned before Sept. 11.

Al Jazeera Demands Answers from Bush Administration
The director-general of the Arabic tv network Al-Jazeera has demanded Washington respond to reports that President Bush wanted to bomb the network's headquarters in Doha. Last week the Daily Mirror cited a secret British memo revealing that Bush told Tony Blair last year of his desire to bomb the news outlet. The Bush administration has described the Daily Mirror's report as "outlandish." Officials at Al Jazeera are now questioning whether the U.S. might have been targeting the network when it bombed its bureaus in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Baghdad in April 2003. The attack in Iraq killed Al Jazeera's correspondent Tariq Ayub. Ayub's widow, Dina, said she is now considering suing the U.S. government for her husband's death. She said "America always claimed it was an accident. But I believe the new revelations prove that claim was false or at least not trustworthy." Meanwhile in Britain a ban remains in place on all media outlets from disclosing the contents of the secret memo. But a member of parliament - Boris Johnson - has vowed to publish the memo and risk jail time if anyone leaks him the document.

Report: Pentagon Expands Ability to Spy At Home
The Washington Post is reporting the Pentagon has expanded its ability to spy on citizens within the United States. According to the Post, the Bush administration is considering allowing a little known Pentagon agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity to investigate certain crimes domestically . The Pentagon is also pushing legislation on Capitol Hill that would create an intelligence exemption to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information gathered about U.S. citizens with the Pentagon, CIA and other intelligence agencies. Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies, said such an exemption would remove one of the few existing privacy protections against the creation of secret dossiers on Americans by government intelligence agencies." Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said "We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America. This is a huge leap without even a [congressional] hearing."

NYT: "Leak Ruling Has Mystery, 8 Blank Pages" (Adam Liptak)

Julie e-mails to share the thought, "Oh, Adam, how could you?" She's writing about Adam Liptak's "Leak Ruling Has Mystery, 8 Blank Pages" in this morning's New York Times. (Page A15.) Patrick Fitzgerald has "told the court that he had no objection to the unsealing of parts of those pages [federal appeals court decision], and he gave hints of what they say." Which is, apparently that he had reason to believe that Scooter Libby was giving false testimony.

Julie's commenting on Liptak's statement that "Mr. Cooper avoided jail after his source, Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adivser, gave him permission to testify." As Julie notes, Liptak's own reporting (in real time) contradicts that.

Julie, we're just going to have to accept that there are a lot of spinners and a lot of ____ who will say anything. You can assume that Liptak (or "Liptak") buckled under pressure if it helps. It appears that, in print, the lone voice of truth on this will remain Michael Wolff.

Alicia e-mails to note that Ron (Why Are We Back In Iraq?) has excerpts of Judith Miller's BBC interview. (And links.) Ron offers this commentary:

Aside from the fact that this is the first time Judith Miller has faced some hard questioning in front of the camera since returning from prison, this interview is "newsworthy" for the sort-of apologies Judy offers (notice how she piles on the CIA for being wrong but not the President) and a teensy bit of information she adds about who else spoke to her about Plame other than Libby.
Judy clearly says that her sources were plural...that's new...and she sure clammed up when Rove's name came up.
It seems that Judy Miller has decided to adopt the Bush doctrine: pretend that two-and-a-half years ago absolutely every single person in the world - not to mention the entire intelligence community - was in agreement about Saddam Hussein's weapon arsenal. Isn't it supposed to be elephants that never forget?

My thoughts? The New York Times, as an institution, wanted war with Iraq. "Star reporter" or not, her "scoops" could have been balanced with other reporting. That was an institutional decision and it has less to do with Miller and more with the Times. She was wrong. She was wrong for a number of reasons. But the Times has more than one reporter (and more than one editor). Her articles were one-sided and these weren't supposed to be op-ed pieces so that resulted in her name being damaged (to put it mildly). That doesn't excuse the paper. She played the game the institution wanted. Now she's the "bad" one and the paper walks.

The mea culpa promised to get to the bottom of it. It still hasn't explored the issues. (The bottom of it isn't Judith Miller.) Op-eds and editorials do not count. The paper has failed to address the issues of how we ended up where we are today. Was Todd S. Purdum the one who mocked the Downing Street Memos? (Regardless, Todd's already the source of many jokes at his new employer, Vanity Fair.)

If you're a paper that led the charge for war in print (they weren't alone), you can't offer a genuine mea culpa and then downplay the Downing Street Memos. Or any other details that arise. The New York Timid wanted war and got war. The reasons for the war exploded in their face and they offered up a mea culpa that's meaningless because they've failed to address how we got over there.

The intelligence wasn't wrong (as Miller claims). The intelligence was cooked and we knew that in real time. The paper's failure to address this topic seriously and extensively doesn't demonstrate that their mea culpa was anything other than an attempt to take the heat off of themselves.

They chose to play up Miller's articles. They choose now to act as though "we were all wrong." We weren't. And the intel was cooked.

There are hair splitters, on the left, who want to argue that "We can't know if George W. Bush lied! We can't look in his heart!" We can go by the public record. It was known, if you went beyond the half-assed articles appearing in the mainstream press (domestic).

We can't "look" into anyone's heart. We can look at the facts. The administration wanted the war and they pushed it and they pushed intel to come up with the results they wanted and then selectively quoted from intel in public papers and public statements.

There's an ___ online who's had his own little war on Joseph Wilson (for a number of reasons) and he likes to offer that Bully Boy couched his Niger claim in the State of the Union address on "British intelligence." If the ___'s frame of reference wasn't so narrow, he'd be aware that George Tenet himself told Tony Blair that there were serious problems with the Niger claim. If the ___ wasn't working through his own personal agenda against Wilson, he'd be aware that what happened here, happened in England. Bully Boy released the latest report in such a way that Congress had to vote (October, 2002) with little time to examine the report. Blair did the same thing in England.

This didn't just happen. Two leaders coordinated it. Whether they hatched it at their Camp David meeting or merely firmed it up, it was decided upon by them. They handled their war lust in the exact same manner. Both "sexed up" intelligence. Both shut out the voices saying the allegations weren't true. Both created new "offices" to launch their intel from because there were too many doubters inside their intelligence agencies.

They ignored and overrode the normal intelligence channels. That was their decision. It was a decision to lie.

The attacks on Joseph Wilson from some on the "left" have never stopped to note that they can't see in his heart. They give Bully Boy a benefit of the doubt that they don't give Wilson (as they run with GOP talking points). There are some ugly truths there but some can't get honest. They're too busy carrying water for too many people while pretending to be "honest voices."

On the BBC Miller trots out a GOP talking point (also one for some on the "left") again. -- she found it was interesting that Wilson might have been sent by Valerie Plame. (As we noted here long ago, when one idiot on the "left" wouldn't stop pushing that lie -- Plame was in no position to make assignments.) That's a nice little side issue that has nothing to do with whether Bully Boy lied or not. It's as though Miller's wondering whether Wilson wore a t-shirt or a button down shirt while on his mission. What does that have to do with what he discovered? Not a thing.

But it muddies the water and confuses the issue.

And the fact that the op-eds (including Wilson's but we'll even note Nicky K) and editorials have occassionally been hard hitting doesn't excuse the fact that the reporting for the paper was slanted. That's not Miller. She didn't write every story, she didn't put herself on the front page.
The Times didn't want doubts in the reporting. That goes far above her.

Her articles were slanted. They were one sided. She is incorrect when she claims that everyone was wrong. She is lying when she says that all of her sources were on the same page. (Her sources cited, but not named, were on the same page. She did hear from other sources, and shut them out, sources telling her that the "facts" weren't fact.) She made a decision and it was one the institution supported. Who supported it first, Miller or the paper, is a good question but the fact is the paper sold the war. (They weren't the only ones.)

Her fear of being called into court is supposedly genuine (from what a friend of her's tells me). That doesn't excuse her slanting the truth. "If your sources are wrong, you're wrong" is her mantra. It's actually true. A reporter is only as good as his or her sources. That's why she wasn't a good reporter. That was the whole point of Rudith Miller.

But Judith Miller didn't own and operate the Times. If her articles couldn't present dissenting views (she shut them out), nothing prevented the paper from assigning other reporters and giving their articles front page play.

She's paying a price professionally and personally for her reporting. I'm not shedding any tears.
I am wondering when the New York Timid is served their own bill?

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NYT: Iraq

In this morning's New York Times, Micah feels that Richard W. Stevenson has "the article on Iraq today" -- "Bush Did Not Mention Attacks in Rose Garden Appearance." From the article:

As he went before the cameras in the Rose Garden on Friday morning, President Bush was aware of bad news that had not yet been made public: that 10 marines had been killed by a bomb in Iraq. But he made no mention of the attack, sticking to the sunny White Houses message of the day that the economy is strong and the outlook "as bright as it's been in a long time."

Micah notes that it's just like Bully Boy sitting in a classroom instead of addressing reality. On Bully Boy's latest attempt at Operation Happy Talk, Micah asked that we note this from Stevenson's article:

The intensity of the public relations effort was especially striking given the news that the White House was citing. The gain of 215,000 jobs in November was certainly healthy and signaled that the hurricanes had not dented the economy much, but would not typically be the kind of development that would lead to a Rose Garden appearance by Mr. Bush. During the eight years of the Clinton administration, the economy generated an average of 240,000 jobs a month.
Moreover, Mr. Bush and his allies ignored or glossed over statistics suggesting that the economy, in the short run as well as the long run, faced big challenges. Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, used a speech on Friday to warn of the dangers from the budget deficit. And while job growth has picked up over the last two years, wages have continued to lag behind inflation, leaving many families struggling to keep up with the cost of living.

On the attack that resulted in the death of ten American troops and eleven more wounded, Rachel asks that we note this from David M. Halbfinger's "For Some Marines, Deaths of Comrades Fuel Doubts:"

"I have no problem going over there, doing what my country asks," said Matt, who asked that his name not be used because he was afraid of retaliation from his superiors. "But sometimes it seems like there's no point any more. We've gone, we did what we needed to do, but we're still there. That country's always going to be fighting. That's their history. If we were to stay till we're finished, we'd probably never leave."

If either article seems stronger than the actual reporting from Iraq, there's probably a reason for that.

Zach feels Edward Wong's trying to become Edward Wrong with "U.S. Goals for Iraqi Forces Meet Success and Challenges in Najaf." Zach refs an interview Randi Rhodes did with a Time magazine reporter this week (Zach doesn't give the date but it was either Wednesday or Thursday, I believe. Air America Place archives broadcasts.) The reporter pointed out that US forces were leading, not Iraqi forces. Wong uses qualifiers like "for the most part." Was Wong there? Who knows. Sometimes, Times reporters do venture out of the Green Zone with military escorts. Possibly this was one of those times. Or possibly the unnamed Iraqi mentioned in the "end credits" is responible for the observations?

New topic: Like Ian Fisher, I spread out these entires, inserting here, there and everywhere. (Fisher caused a stir during the death watch for a draft of an article, that shouldn't have been available online, which stated something along the lines of "insert ___ here." I forget whether it was supposed to be the voice of the "right" or the voice of the "center." It's the Times, they rarely have left voices.) Point, I never thought it was the great tragedy of our lives. And I do that here all the time when I realize a quote from an e-mail or a highlight will fit somewhere in an entry.

Zach had a point to make re: Wong's article and the Times reporter. But for the last hour and a half, I've been shut out of both e-mail accounts (private and That effects not only Zach's quote but the highlights for this post. That includes The Nation's book offerings. The plan was to include the books from The Nation as well as from an organization that e-mailed the public site. Hopefully those can be included no later than tomorrow.

With regards to Fisher, if anything came from that article (anything truly revealing) it was the paper's "on the one hand" and "on the other hand style." I don't believe I commented on that at the time here (though I think I have at The Third Estate Sunday Review). That's how I write. If I know a paragraph or sentence that I think works, I slap it down. I then come back and write around it. I did that in college as well. I'd grab my research, write a paragraph on each sub-point from a loose outline (each subpoint got it's own page), then I'd figure out the order and work on my transitions. After the body was in order, I'd write my conclusion and then my introduction.

Not everyone writes from opening sentence to final sentence. (A more common approach is that people write to a stopping point, then begin rewriting what they've already written, going a little further with each rewrite.) It works for me. Except when I'm shut out of the e-mail accounts.

When you read below, you'll see that the highlights were going to be books. There was no plot to push BuzzFlash over any other outlet. We will note The Nation's books as well as the other organizations. And if any member has additional book outlets they want to note, e-mail and, provided I can get into the accounts, we'll note those as well. Ruth's entry was already pulled out of the e-mails and passed on to Dallas who hunted down links (thank you, Dallas). Martha e-mailed on Laura Flander's guests tonight and that information is saved in a draft for me to write around it. I'd copied Maria's entry before I started on the Times' entries so that will go up as well.

But if you had a highlight and it's not here, that's why. If there's something you need to pass on ASAP, use the third e-mail address listed in the gina & krista round-robin. (Labeled "backup.")

Someone (I think it was Kylie) e-mailed on Dahr Jamail's "'Pacified' Fallujah" (Iraq Dispatches):

Yesterday morning on NPR (National Pentagon Radio) their reporter in Baghdad was asked if he felt what Mr. Bush said in a recent speech was true-was the US military strategy in Iraq working? He replied that he felt what Mr. Bush said was true in some cases, like in Fallujah. The NPR reporter referred to Fallujah as "pacified."
"Pacified" Fallujah looks like a dead six year-old child in that city, shot by a US sniper in the Al-Dubbat neighborhood on December 1st, according to Al-Sharqiyah.
"Pacified" Fallujah looks like "two US soldiers were killed by sniper fire on Wednesday [30 November] in the city of Al-Fallujah, [60 kilometers] west of Baghdad, according to eyewitnesses. A tense atmosphere prevailed in the city after the US forces besieged some of its quarters and blocked the main street, while National Guard forces closed shops and asked the residents to stay in their homes." Again according to Al-Sharqiyah.
"Pacified" Fallujah looks like 10 Marines killed and 11 wounded by a roadside bomb while on a "foot patrol near Fallujah" on Thursday December 1st, which was the deadliest attack on American troops in nearly four months.
So if you want to keep thinking there is peace in Fallujah, you’d better ignore the facts on the ground and keep listening to NPR "presstitutes" talking on the radio from their hotel rooms in Baghdad.
Surprised to hear this about NPR? Don’t be.
According to Robert McChesney, president of Free Press, a national, non-profit, media reform group in the US which works to support a diverse and independent media, our public broadcasting outlets are already infiltrated by Bush Administration ideologues.

On the Before You Click onto a Commercial Site, Give the Gift of Democracy by Supporting Progressive Books, DVDs and CDs. These Authors, Actors, Directors and Musicians Need Your Financial Support, As Does BuzzFlash. Vote with Your Dollars. There's No Excuse Not to. Think of a World Without BuzzFlash -- Not That We're Going Anywhere -- and Then Buy from BuzzFlash on Holiday Gift Day, Saturday, December 3.

BuzzFlash doesn't accept advertising so that it can remain an independent voice. Eddie note this book this week:

Molly Ivins Loved this Book, So Did We: "An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas," by Diane Wilson
Clueless George Goes to War. Read All About It.

In addition (Denise fowarded her e-mail from BuzzFlash and asked that we note the selections):

Robert Greenwald's "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" for $12.95 on Wal-Mart Uses Public Relations to Create an Image Completely At Odds with the Ugly Reality of Its Corporate Practices and Disregard for Employees and Customers. It's Kind of a Corporate Version of the Bush Administration. Now Shipping.

"Punishment Park": You Know Cheney Must Have Seen This Film. See What He Has Planned for You.

I'll also note that the new issue of The Progressive has a feature entitled 'Our Favorite Books of 2005" which has book suggestions from Kate Clinton, Ruth Conniff, Anne-Marie Cusac, Elizabeth DiNovella, Susan J. Douglas, Andrea Lewis (a favorite of Ruth's and her latest Ruth's Morning Edition Report is ready and will be posting later this morning), John Nichols, Adolph L. Reed, Jr. and Matthew Rothschild. This feature covers ten pages in print but isn't available online. However, by clicking here for the current issue, you can see The Wizard of Oz inspired cover (drawn by Tomer Hanuka).

Starting with "Now book notes" was the first section written for this entry. Again my apologies for not having the other two book outlets noted.

The e-mail address for this site is There is one more Times entry and it contains at least one highlight e-mailed by a member (I'm only remembering one).

NYT: Texas redistricting

I never ask members their locations (or other details). Some like Alabama, Durham Gal, Portland, Oregon, etc. use nicknames that make their locations obvious. But usually it comes up in e-mail exchanges over time. Billie, Eddie, Dallas, In Dallas, Nat and others had shared their locations in Texas due to an issue coming up that they wanted covered so I knew we had a lot of Texans in the community. And, like everyone else, I've followed the member profiles that Gina and Krista have done in the gina & krista round-robin. All of that did not prepare for the e-mails this morning. I'm estimating at least eighty members are from Texas. All who wrote brought up the issue of the redistricting in Texas and probably thirty highlighted one of two (sometimes both) articles in this morning's New York Times.

So this entry is for all members but consider it in honor of our Texas members. Whether you're longterm like Billie or a more recent member, you are appreciated. There's no way to note every point in the e-mails (nor did all members give permission to be quoted) but I have read all on Texas this morning and will try my best to cover the issues and facts you raise.

The article most cited in the Times by Texas members is Ralph Blumenthal's "Little Surprise at Redistricting Document From Democrats Who Lost 2004 Race." This article may be the most cited because it quotes from Texans (including those reps who lost out due to redistricting) or it may be because a number of you wanted to weigh in and say that ____ was your rep and he (all quoted in the article are men) got it right. Carrie breaks from the pack to note Martin Frost. Frost offers his reasons for losing out in redistricting and then in the race. Carrie notes that a problem not mentioned in the article is that more yard signs were up in his former district than in the one he ran in for the 2004 race. She would walk her dog and if someone was in their yard, she would ask them if they knew that Frost was not going to be on their ballot (Carrie was redistricted into Eddie Bernice Johnson's district) and was surprised to learn that many did not know that. (Though Billie didn't note it this morning, she's been quoted here in the past noting that Frost's signs refused to acknowledge party affiliation. Frost, FYI, was put into a race against another incumbent, Republican Pete Sessions who won the seat they were both vying for.)

East Tex criticized an omission from the article. He wanted a quote from Ralph Hall who until recently was a Democrat (or that's how he labeld himself -- Nolanda, Barry and Joe Paul have written in the past saying he was a Democrat in name only so his switch to the Republican Party was only formalizing what already was true). East Tex writes that he would have enjoyed hearing "another lame comment from Hall for redistricting since he's the best argument for a mandatory retirement age for Congress."

Everyone who noted this article selected an excerpt. We'd have to reprint the article in full to honor all the requests.

For those late to the story, Texas was redistricted in 2000 by the court after the state legislature failed to do so. At that time, Rick Perry (the governor) had no problem with the redistricting. In 2002, it was suddenly a problem. (Tom DeLay was very active in that and we'll get to that in a moment.) There were two attempts by Democrats in the state legislature to stop redistricting. The first attempt found the Democrats in the state house leaving for Oklahoma to stop the voting from taking place; the second attempt found Democrats in the Senate (In Dallas says to mention his state senator Royce West) leaving the state for New Mexico. The house move was successful because the Democrats remained a single group, on the same page. The senate move was not as what Tina labels "turncoats" eventually caved.

At which point, there was no reason for the remaining ones to continue their stand, the state legislature voted, and the plan passed. (Which allowed Texas to redistrict twice in the same decade. Though Sissy swears she believes, if the Republicans remain in power in the state, they'll attempt a third redistricting before 2010 rolls around.)

Blumenthal's getting the reaction from the Democratic Party in Texas, the state's NAACP and the Democratic reps who were redistricted and lost their seats. East Tex, again, would like to have seen Ralph Hall squirm but otherwise no complaints from members on this article.

The same cannot be said for "New Twist in Texas Districting Dispute" (written by David E. Rosenbaum and Eric Lichtblau). Mayra is the nicest about the article noting that it attempts to provide perspective by tying in the fact that the Justice Department's own lawyers found the redistricting plan to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act with other ethical and legal issues (the failure of the FDA to listen to scientists re: Plan B; Kenneth Tomlinson's efforts to circumvent and violate the shield guidelines of the CPB). However, she has no sympathy for the fact that a key detail is not included in the article.

I'm counting thirty-one e-mails mentioning the same detail so it's obviously key to Texans (and I'll argue it's key to the issue as well), where in the article is any mention of Homeland Security?
Bud wonders if it's "down the memory hole" on Homeland Security which was requested to track the state legislatures that disappeared (some to Oklahoma, this was the state house members)? Homeland Security used for partisan reasons, in 2002 when we're still reeling from 9/11, is a pretty important detail.

Members also note that Tom DeLay was present for the attempts to force the state house to vote and they don't think the article makes clear how present he was. Eddie states that DeLay was "practically commanding the whole thing."

Where the issue stands now is that Democrats hope the Supreme Court will grant cert to their appeal. If not, the plan stands until the next redistricting (2010, though Sissy expects the Republicans to make another power grab). I can remember the media dismissing this in real time as though it were only a Texas issue. Not true. The plan was designed to add Republicans to the US House of Represenatives (and, in fact, that was the result). That effects the entire nation. But the media (mainstream) treated it as though it was comical. State reps "fleeing" to prevent a vote. Ha ha.

Here's what we know now (besides that Republicans did benefit from the plan). Homeland Security was contacted to track legislatures. (With a lie, that supposedly Republicans were worried something possibly tragic had befallen the missing Democrats.) The Justice Department's own civil rights staff found that the plan violated the Voting Rights Act. That while Bully Boy was saying publicly that it was a matter for Texas and not connected to the White House, that was not true.

The Washington Post knew it at the time. In their August 14, 2003 editorial entitled "A Texas Turnoff," the Post concluded:

The whole sorry episode, which has paralyzed the legislature, is being carried out with a wink and nod from the White House. The hands of presidential strategist Karl Rove are said to be all over the game being played down in Austin. The president can end the standoff, and he should. This bit of political ugliness could spread to other states where Democratic governors and state legislatures might elect to redraw their already redisctricted legislative maps during the same census cycle, just as the DeLay-and-Rove-led Texas Republicans are attempting to do.

(If the link to the editorial doesn't work, please e-mail. The web address was dictated to me over the phone just now and I could have made an error while typing it in. [Note: 12-04-05 As members have pointed out, the link did not work. Either you got an error message or you got the title of the editorial and nothing else. I've taken the link out. You can read the editorial here and here.])

Eddie notes that "the rocks are finally getting kicked over and we're seeing the underneath."
Let's hope so. Maybe, for instance, we can now look at the US House of Representatives' Committee on Resources (chair Richard W. Pombo) and their "Headline News" for March 15, 2004. Exactly what right did they have to inject themselves (on a government website) into an election? "John Kerry is dead wrong" weighed in Richard W. Pombo. "But is this just another flip-flop?" wondered the website. A congressional website, paid for with tax dollars from everyone, playing partisan?

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Friday, December 02, 2005

Talking entry

This'll be a talking entry.

We'll start with something mentioned earlier today, the e-mail that came in on Beatty Chadwick. A few e-mails came in slamming the man, a few came in saying it was outlandish (that he's imprisoned for ten years). Most wanted to know my opinion.

And it seems to be on order of: ex-husband or ex-wife, who do you sympathize with?

I don't know enough about the case to "take sides." I'd honestly never heard of it until the e-mail came in. I called a few friends (including two at ABC news which is how we ended up with that link) asking, "Is this legit?" because I honestly thought it might be a joke e-mail.

I was told that it was indeed a real case and given background on it. I know neither party and haven't followed the story. So I wouldn't "take sides" on this.

My impression based upon details by five reporters is that Beatty (we'll refer to both by the first names) didn't want to part with money. Greed. Bobbie (the former wife) has details of difficulties (his cheapness, etc.) and hardships she suffered in their marriage. I could see Tuesday Weld playing the part in a TV movie.

But in a Weld movie, "Bobbie" would find a way to track him down and freeze his assets.

I don't know that we put people behind jail for something like this. This is a community property issue. But he's been imprisoned for contempt of court. I don't think Susan McDougal should have been imprisoned for that. (Especially after reading her book.)

If Beatty were a child and the court was a parent, we'd characterize this as a power struggle that's escalated out of control.

Is he going to die behind bars? (I believe he's now at least seventy.) (I didn't read the ABC story, by the way. If you did, you have read more than I have -- I only read the e-mail and then depended upon friends to walk me through it.)

What's being served here, what principle?

To me, this isn't about Bobbie or Beatty at this point, it's about a court engaged in a power struggle over something that I'm not sure they should have jurisidiction over.

He's in contempt of court not for holding back information that would help solve a crime (such as a murder or kidnapping). This is about money.

It's an ugly dispute between two parties and one refused to satisfy the court so he's been kept behind bars for ten years.

I'm not really sure that's the court's role.

That Alito is sure of it bothers me in light of legislation such as the new bankruptcy laws.

Beatty probably has socked the dough away (all five reporters I spoke to believed he had) but there's been no legal finding on that in a criminal court. He's not been charged (or tried) for anything criminal. The court feels he's not been forthcoming (and probably that he's mocked the court with his refusals) so he's been put behind bars for ten years.

That really strikes me as something that goes to an out of control judge. He could be charged with and convicted of crimes and already be out on parole. He's not been judged as a threat to anyone (other than a judge's hurt feelings and ego) and he's served ten years behind bars.

That bothers me.

If Household Credit sues you for lack of payment and you say you don't have the money, what happens if Alito's on the Supreme Court?

Again, there's no criminal charge that Beatty's facing. Bobbie feels he has the money (and she's probably correct) but this isn't anything to do with her (his being behind bars). This is a judge deciding that someone's not cooperating so the person is held in contempt.

At what point has enough time been served?

Let's use everyone's favorite pinata, Judith Miller. Had she not come forward, could this have been her? Reporters are sometimes held in contempt of court for refusing to name a source. Usually what happens there is that after a certain limit, public opinion begins to go towards the reporter and the judge releases the reporter (or refuses to extend the initial contempt sentence).

Alito agrees with these findings (of contempt) so I think it's worth asking exactly how long should someone be held in contempt? I have no idea what the "proper" number of days should be. But I can tell you ten years seems excessive (putting it mildly) to me.

It's a power struggle. It has nothing to do with justice, it has a lot to do with ego. "You will do as a I say." Obviously, he won't. So he's going to die behind bars because some judge's ego is too great to be an adult and find a way to de-escalate this situation?

I'd love to know where in the Constitution Alito feels the case has validity since he's not of the belief that we live under a living constitution. Some might see this as an example of a case where judges have legislated from the bench. (Contrary to the myth, the right wing does do that.)

But I personally see it as a power struggle between a person and the court. That Alito's unable to work out some resolution on this issue adds another question of whether he's fit for the Court or not.

On another topic, we didn't have a large number of highlights in that entry this morning. The reason for that was I was trying to track down whether or not the e-mail was accurate. (And away from a computer for most of the morning so dependent on the phone.) As that was winding down, I was finally at the computer and working on that entry. But Skip wondered if the visitors were getting preference over members? That's a question worth asking and one I asked myself as I e-mailed the post.

Everyone will have to decide for themselves (or refer the issue to Beth). We had Susan and Ken's highlights. We had the three headlines from Democracy Now! selected by members. I wanted the Human Rights Watch list included because as I was reading Ian Fisher's article (in the Times), I thought, "Why didn't they list the names?"

It's easy to say "twenty-six" and for people to see it as a number. These ghost detainees are people. I felt Human Rights Watch brought that home. I felt it was important and since I didn't see the names (or a story on it) in two other papers I'd read that morning, I made the decision to lead with that.

On Alito, as on Roberts before, we address him via the gina & krista round-robin. That's Gina and Krista's commentaries, their roundtables, the thing I write for them each week and, when the hearings begin, Judge will provide commentary. But this was an issue that I was unaware of (and judging from the e-mails, members were unaware of as well). I thought it was worth noting.

So there was that from a visitor and then there was the radio program. With that, the topic was of interest to at least one member and it's an indy radio show. If it had arrived before the Indymedia posts went up last night, I would've included it in then. It served at least one member and that's why it was included.

There are also some e-mails asking where is Rebecca? She didn't post tonight. That was her decision to attempt to post this weekend because there are issues about "all the sites go dark on the weekend." Rebecca's rearranged her schedule and is going to attempt it this week and next and then decide whether to return to posting on Fridays or to do one on the weekend. She'll base it on what's comfortable to her.

A few e-mails wondered if I agreed with Cedric and that's why I didn't post on race last night?
I think Cedric wrote a wonderful entry on that topic (I think everyone who contributed did a wonderful job) but I'd stated that morning that it was Thursday and we had our Indymedia focus. There were a huge amount of e-mails highlighting Indymedia. (Which is why I pushed the five excerpts that members had requested. And also why I passed one on to Gina and Krista for their round-robin.) For those entries, I go to the member's e-mail account and read through the e-mails and then select what I hope are the highlights the membership will be most interested in (and if something's on a topic that we haven't covered but should have, it will always get included). If there's an explanation of why something should be included, I read that. Otherwise I scan the excerpts quickly. Even so, those entries take three hours to compose. (I use three screens, one for the e-mails, and two to post on as I come across things.)
On another day, I would've come up with something on that topic. Thursdays doesn't really allow for playing by ear. We're locked in to the morning entries, the Democracy Now! entry and then the Indymedia entries at night.

I'd noted that morning that unless members e-mailed saying to drop the Indymedia posts on Thursday (no e-mails came in suggesting that), it was unlikely that I'd have time to address it.
There are plans to do that again, to try to get as many people online to address the topic, hopefully, we'll be able to have something up here then. (And any member could then and can in the future weigh in on that topic and it will be posted here.)

The e-mail address for this site is

Democracy Now: World AIDS Day, Campus struggles: Hampton & NYU; Goodman on Hardball, Alaina C. Beverly ...

List of "Ghost Prisoners" Possibly in CIA Custody
List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch
The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as "ghost detainees" -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The list is compiled from media reports, public statements by government officials, and from other information obtained by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch does not consider this list to be complete: there are likely other "ghost detainees" held by the United States.
[. . .]

1. Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi
Reportedly arrested on November 11, 2001, Pakistan.
Libyan, suspected commander at al-Qaeda training camp.
Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

2. Abu Faisal
Reportedly arrested on December 12, 2001
Nationality unknown. See next entry.

3. Abdul Aziz
Reportedly arrested on December 14, 2001
Nationality unknown. In early January 2001, Kenton Keith, a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, produced a chart with the names of senior al-Qaeda members listed as killed in action, detained, or on the run. Faisal and Aziz were listed as detained on Dec. 12 and 14, 2001. See: Andrea Stone, "Path to bin Laden may lie behind bars; US interrogates al-Qaeda, Taliban prisoners in hope of nailing down war on terror's prime targets," USA Today, January 8, 2002; Bradley Graham and Walter Pincus, "Al-Qaeda Trainer in U.S. Hands," The Washington Post, January 5, 2002.

4. Abu Zubaydah (also known as Zain al-Abidin Muhahhad Husain)
Reportedly arrested in March 2002, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Palestinian (born in Saudi Arabia), suspected senior al-Qaeda operational planner. Listed as captured in "George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror," available on the White House website. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

5. Abdul Rahim al-Sharqawi (aka Riyadh the facilitator)
Reportedly arrested in January 2002
Possibly Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda member (possibly transferred to Guantanamo). Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch (see note 27).

6. Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi
Reportedly arrested in January 2002
Nationality unknown, presumably Iraqi, suspected commander of al-Qaeda training camp. U.S. officials told Associated Press on January 8, 2002 and March 30, 2002, of al-Iraqi's capture. See e.g., "Raid May Have Nabbed Bin Laden Lieutenant," Associated Press, March 30, 2002. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch (see note 27).

7. Muhammed al-Darbi
Reportedly arrested in August 2002
Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda member. The Washington Post reported on October 18, 2002: "U.S. officials learned from interviews with Muhammad Darbi, an al Qaeda member captured in Yemen in August, that a Yemen cell was planning an attack on a Western oil tanker, sources said." On December 26, 2002, citing "U.S. intelligence and national security officials," the Washington Post reports that al-Darbi, as well as Ramzi Binalshibh [see below], Omar al-Faruq [reportedly escaped from U.S. custody in July 2005], and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [see below] all "remain under CIA control."

8. Ramzi bin al-Shibh
Reportedly arrested on September 13, 2002
Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda conspirator in Sept. 11 attacks (former roommate of one of the hijackers). Listed in "George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror," available on the White House website. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

9. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (or Abdulrahim Mohammad Abda al-Nasheri, aka Abu Bilal al-Makki or Mullah Ahmad Belal)
Reportedly arrested in November 2002, United Arab Emirates.
Saudi or Yemeni, suspected al-Qaeda chief of operations in the Persian Gulf, and suspected planner of the USS Cole bombing, and attack on the French oil tanker, Limburg. Listed in "George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror," available on the White House website. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

10. Mohammed Omar Abdel-Rahman (aka Asadullah)
Reportedly arrested in February 2003, Quetta, Pakistan.
Egyptian, son of the Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted in the United States of involvement in terrorist plots in New York. See Agence France Presse, March 4, 2003: "Pakistani and US agents captured the son of blind Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman. . . a US official said Tuesday. Muhamad Abdel Rahman was arrested in Quetta, Pakistan, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity." David Johnston, New York Times, March 4, 2003: "On Feb. 13, when Pakistani authorities raided an apartment in Quetta, they got the break they needed. They had hoped to find Mr. [Khalid Sheikh] Mohammed, but he had fled the apartment, eluding the authorities, as he had on numerous occasions. Instead, they found and arrested Muhammad Abdel Rahman, a son of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric. . ."

11. Mustafa al-Hawsawi (aka al-Hisawi)
Reportedly arrested on March 1, 2003 (together with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad), Pakistan.
Saudi, suspected al-Qaeda financier. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

12. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Reportedly arrested on March 1, 2003, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Kuwaiti (Pakistani parents), suspected al-Qaeda, alleged to have "masterminded" Sept. 11 attacks, killing of Daniel Pearl, and USS Cole attack in 2000. Listed in "George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror," available on the White House website. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

13. Majid Khan
Reportedly arrested on March-April 2003, Pakistan.
Pakistani, alleged link to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, alleged involvement in plot to blow up gas stations in the United States. Details about Khan's arrest were revealed in several media reports, especially in Newsweek: Evan Thomas, "Al Qaeda in America: The Enemy Within," Newsweek, June 23, 2003. U.S. prosecutors provided evidence that Majid Khan was in U.S. custody during the trial of 24-year-old Uzair Paracha, who was convicted in November 2005 of conspiracy charges, and of providing material support to terrorist organizations.

14. Yassir al-Jazeeri (aka al-Jaziri)
Reportedly arrested on March 15, 2003, Pakistan.
Possibly Moroccan, Algerian, or Palestinian, suspected al-Qaeda member, linked to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Details of arrest reported: Alex Spillius, "FBI Questions al-Qaeda Man in Pakistan," Daily Telegraph, March 17, 2003; Paul Haven, "Al-Qaida suspect begins cooperating with authorities, Pakistani security officials say," Associated Press, March 17, 2003.

15. Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (aka Ammar al Baluchi)
Reportedly arrested on April 29, 2003, Karachi, Pakistan.
A Pakistani, he is alleged to have funneled money to September 11 hijackers, and alleged to have been involved with the Jakarta Marriot bombing and in handling Jose Padilla’s travel to the United States.
U.S. Judge Sidney Stein ruled that defense attorneys for Uzair Paracha could introduce statements Baluchi made to U.S. interrogators, proving that he was in U.S. custody. Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey also mentioned Baluchi during remarks to the media about the case of Jose Padilla on June 1, 2004

16. Waleed Mohammed bin Attash (aka Tawfiq bin Attash or Tawfiq Attash Khallad)
Reportedly arrested on April 29, 2003, Karachi, Pakistan.
Saudi (of Yemeni descent), suspected of involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, and the Sept. 11 attacks. See Afzal Nadeem, "Pakistan Arrests Six Terror Suspects, including Planner of Sept. 11 and USS Cole Bombing," Associated Press, April 30, 2003. His brother, Hassan Bin Attash, is currently held in Guantanamo. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.
President Bush described his arrest as a "major, significant find" in the war against terrorism: "He's a killer. He was one of the top al-Qaeda operatives. . . . He was right below Khalid Shaikh Mohammad on the organizational chart of al-Qaeda. He is one less person that people who love freedom have to worry about." David Ensor and Syed Mohsin Naqvi, "Bush Hails Capture of Top al Qaeda Operative,", May 1, 2003.

17. Adil al-Jazeeri
Reportedly arrested on June 17, 2003 outside Peshawar, Pakistan.
Algerian, suspected al-Qaeda and longtime resident of Afghanistan, alleged "leading member" and "longtime aide to bin Laden." (Possibly transferred to Guantanamo.) Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

18. Hambali (aka Riduan Isamuddin)
Reportedly arrested on August 11, 2003, Thailand.
Indonesian, involved in Jemaah Islamiyah and al-Qaeda, alleged involvement in organizing and financing the Bali nightclub bombings, the Jakarta Marriot Hotel bombing, and preparations for the September 11 attacks. Listed in "George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror," available on the White House website. Previously listed as "disappeared" by Human Rights Watch.

19. Mohamad Nazir bin Lep (aka Lillie, or Li-Li)
Reportedly arrested in August 2003, Bangkok, Thailand.
Malaysian, alleged link to Hambali. See next entry.

20. Mohamad Farik Amin (aka Zubair)
Reportedly arrested in June 2003, Thailand.
Malaysian, alleged link to Hambali. For more information on the arrest of Mohammad Farik Amin and Mohamad Nazir bin Lep, see: Kimina Lyall, "Hambali Talks Under Grilling; Slaughter of Innocents," The Australian, August 21, 2003; Kimina Lyall, "Hambali Moved JI Front Line to Bangladesh, Pakistan," The Weekend Australian, September 27, 2003; Simon Elegant and Andrew Perrin, "Asia's Terror Threat," Time Asia Magazine, October 6, 2003; Simon Elegant, "The Terrorist Talks," Time, October 13, 2003.

21. Tariq Mahmood
Reportedly arrested in October 2003, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Dual British and Pakistani nationality, alleged to have ties to al-Qaeda. See "Pakistan grills detained British al-Qaeda suspect," Agence-France Presse, November 10, 2005; Sean O'Neill, "Five still held without help or hope; Guantanamo," The Times, January 12, 2005.

22. Hassan Ghul
Reportedly arrested on January 23, 2004, in Kurdish highlands, Iraq.
Pakistani, alleged to be Zarqawi's courier to bin Laden; alleged ties to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. President Bush described Hassan Ghul's arrest on January 26, 2004, in comments to the press, Little Rock, Arkansas: "Just last week we made further progress in making America more secure when a fellow named Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Hassan Ghul reported directly to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, who was the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. . . . He was captured in Iraq, where he was helping al Qaeda to put pressure on our troops."

23. Musaad Aruchi (aka Musab al-Baluchi, al-Balochi, al-Baloshi)
Reportedly arrested in Karachi on June 12, 2004, in a "CIA-supervised operation."
Presumably Pakistani. Pakistani intelligence officials told journalists Aruchi was held by Pakistani authorities at an airbase for three days, before being handed over to the U.S., and then flown in an unmarked CIA plane to an undisclosed location. Anwar Iqbal, "Pakistan Hands Over 1998 Bomber to US," United Press International, August 3, 2004. See also, reports cited in next entry, and Zahid Hussain, "Pakistan Intensifies Effort Against al Qaeda," The Asian Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2004; Bill Powell, "Target: America," Time Magazine, August 16, 2004, Vol. 164, Issue 7; "Pakistani Aides: Al-Qaida Arrest in June Opened Leads," Dow Jones International News, August 3, 2004; "CIA-supervised arrest in Pak opened valuable leads: Report," The Press Trust of India, August 3, 2004.

24. Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan (aka Abu Talaha)
Reportedly arrested on July 13, 2004, Pakistan.
Pakistani, computer engineer, was held by Pakistani authorities, and likely transferred to U.S. custody. (Possibly in joint U.S.-Pakistani custody.) See Douglas Jehl and David Rohde, "Captured Qaeda Figure Led Way To Information Behind Warning," New York Times, August 2, 2004. Kamran Khan, "Al Qaeda Arrest In June Opened Valuable Leads," Washington Post, August 3, 2004; Kamran Khan and Dana Priest, "Pakistan Pressures Al Qaeda; Military Operation Results In Terror Alert and Arrests," Washington Post, August 5, 2004; "Pakistan questioning almost 20 Al-Qaeda suspects," Agence-France Presse, August 5, 2005; Robert Block and Gary Fields, "Al Qaeda's Data on U.S. Targets Aren't New: Surveillance of Listed Sites In Eastern Cities Took Place Over Time, Perhaps Years," The Asian Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2004; Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, "One Huge U.S. Jail," The Guardian, March 19, 2005.

25. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani
Reportedly arrested on July 24, 2004, Pakistan
Tanzanian, reportedly indicted in the United States for 1998 embassy bombings. U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials told UPI that Ghailani was transferred to "CIA custody" in early August. See Anwar Iqbal, "Pakistan Hands Over 1998 Bomber to US," United Press International, August 3, 2004. Pakistani security officials told AFP and Reuters in January 2005, that Ghailani was handed over to the United States "several months ago." See e.g., "Pakistan hands Tanzanian Al-Qaeda bombing suspect to US," Agence France Presse, January 25, 2005. Listed as captured in "George W. Bush: Record of Achievement, Waging and Winning the War on Terror," available on the White House website.

26. Abu Faraj al-Libi
Reportedly arrested on May 4, 2005, North Western Frontier Province, Pakistan.
Libyan, suspected al-Qaeda leader of operations, alleged mastermind of two assassination attempts on Musharraf. Col. James Yonts, a U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, "said in an email to The Associated Press that al-Libbi was taken directly from Pakistan to the U.S. and was not brought to Afghanistan."

The above list is compiled by Human Rights Watch and can be found here. On page A9 of this morning's New York Times, Ian Fisher has an article about this which does not list the ghost detainees.

We'll now move on to our usual opening.

Justice Dept.: Delay Redistricting Plan Violated Voting Act
A memo obtained by the Washington Post shows lawyers at the Justice Department concluded a controversial Texas redistricting plan spearheaded by indicted Congressmember Tom Delay violated the Voting Rights Act. The memo argued the redistricting plan illegally diluted the voting influence of minorities in several Texas congressional districts. The memo said: "The State of Texas has not met its burden in showing that the proposed congressional redistricting plan does not have a discriminatory effect." Texas lawmakers approved the plan anyway, the memo says, because it stood to increase the number of elected federal Texas Republicans. Following the plan's approval in 2003, Republicans gained five seats in the following year's congressional elections. The redistricting plan is currently being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Congressmember Delay is facing state charges of money laundering and conspiracy in connection with state elections.

Families Plead for Release of CPT Hostages
The families of the four Christian Peacemakers Team members taken hostage in Iraq have released a statement calling for the release of their loved ones. The daughter of Tom Fox, the Virginia resident who was kidnapped along with one British citizen and two Canadians Saturday, wrote: "My father made a choice to travel to Iraq and listen to those who are not heard. His belief that peaceful resolutions can be found to every conflict has been tested time and again, but he remains committed to that ideal, heart and soul. This is very difficult for my brother and me. We want to be with our dad again." The daughter is not releasing her name to the public. The families' letters are available on the CPT

Rumsfeld, Pace Differ on US Response to Iraqi Abuse
At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld engaged in an unusual exchange with Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Peter Pace at a press conference Tuesday. Asked whether US troops are responsible for preventing human rights abuses by Iraqi forces, General Pace answered: "It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it." As Pace elaborated, Rumsfeld interrupted him, saying: "But I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it's to report it." But General Pace replied: "If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it", he said.

The above three items are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and were selected by Eddie, Nolanda and Brandon. Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):

Headlines for December 2, 2005

- 1,000th Capital Punishment Death Reached in North Carolina
- Justice Dept.: Delay Redistricting Plan Violated Voting Act
- Families Plead for Release of CPT Hostages
- Insurgents Attack Military Base in Ramadi
- Senate Committee to Hold Session on Newspaper Propaganda
- South African Court Approves Gay Marriage
- Events Mark 50th Anniversary of Montgomery Bus Boycott

Los Titulares de Hoy: Democracy Now!'s daily news summary translated into Spanish

World AIDS Day: A Look at the Fight Against the Global Pandemic

The 18th annual World AIDS Day was observed yesterday around the theme "Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise." The World Health Organization estimates that 3.1 million people worldwide will die of AIDS this year including 500,000 children and a recent UN AIDS report showed that the number of people living with HIV has topped 40 million for the first time. We speak with the Center for Health and Gender Equity. [includes rush transcript]

CDC: AIDS the Leading Cause of Death Among African American Women Aged 25-44

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68% of women who contract AIDS are black. The CDC also reported AIDS was a leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 44. We speak with the National Coalition of One Hundred Black Women.

Hampton Univ. Students Face Disciplinary Action for Anti-Bush Walkout

Seven students at Hampton University in Virginia face disciplinary action for staging a walkout during the World Can't Wait day of action against the Bush administration one month ago. Shortly before they appear before a disciplanary hearing today, we speak with one of the walkout's main organizers. [includes rush transcript]

AMY GOODMAN: We are joined by one of those students, Bryan Ogilvie, sophomore at Hampton, majoring in entrepreneurship. He is a member of the school's Progressive Student Alliance. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Bryan.

BRYAN OGILVIE: Hey, how are you doing?

AMY GOODMAN: Very good. Can you talk about what you did?

BRYAN OGILVIE: Well, actually, as you know, November 2 was the nationwide student walkout and protest of the Bush regime under the World Can't Wait organization. So a few of our students got in contact with some of the World Can't Wait people in New York, and we decided to bring that event out here on campus, because the student body here could really use some social awareness, we felt.

Basically, what we wanted to do was structure this event where we can address a multitude of issues around this entire Bush regime awareness. We addressed issues such as the cost of the war in Iraq, AIDS, homophobia, the prison-industrial complex, and a multitude of other things, but about half an hour into our event, we were just told we couldn't pass out any fliers. We were videotaped, and several students just had their I.D.s confiscated. So we weren't able to actually do too much of what we planned.

NYU Grad Student Strike: A Debate On the Rights of Students to Unionize

The New York University graduate student strike has entered its 24th day. On November 9th, some of the school's graduate student teaching and research assistants went on strike in an effort to force the school to recognize the graduate student union. We host a debate between Michael Palm, chair of the student union, and Paul Boghossian, professor of philosophy who is representing the administration.

Jonah highlights this from last night's Hardball (the topic is the propaganda & the Lincoln Group):

MATTHEWS: Anyway, let me go to Amy Goodman. Your view of this matter. This is of course the story we're getting the last couple of days. It's going to be investigated tomorrow by the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, John Warner of Virginia. Senator Warner said he's going to be holding--getting a briefing from the Pentagon as to what role they played at the top. What do you make of it, Amy?

AMY GOODMAN, DEMOCRACY NOW: Well, Chris, it's an absolute outrage, and there are many levels of it. One is of course the outrage against the Iraqi people, that they're not getting true operations, that this is a kind of psychological warfare, and you've dealt with it well on the program.

But I want to talk about a few other levels of this. You also have the blowback effect. When you have pieces that appear in Iraqi papers and then you have newspapers around the world and in this country as well citing those papers, and the blowback comes to this country.

And then you have the marginalization of a press in Iraq that may well be telling the truth. You have organizations like Al-Jazeera. If you have some news outlets telling the truth and others only telling the, quote, "good news." In fact, the lies that the Bush administration is putting out, and wants the Iraqi people to believe, that marginalizes those news organizations.

Ken e-mails to note Alaina C. Beverly's "Voter Photo ID - Legislators Should Look Before They Leap" (The Black Commentator):

State legislators are jumping on the voter identification bandwagon so quickly that these voter "integrity" initiatives have become a modern tool of voter suppression, much like poll taxes, white-only primaries, and grandfather clauses of the past. Whether deliberately or unknowingly, state legislatures are casually proposing measures that will have a devastating impact on poor, African-American and other minority voters.

For months, Wisconsin has been pushing to join the ranks of states like Indiana, Florida and Georgia by mandating that voters provide a government-issued photo identification ("photo ID") to register or vote. Earlier versions of the proposed law were heard on the floor of the Wisconsin legislature on three separate occasions, and were rightfully vetoed by Governor Jim Doyle. The most recent attempt to override the Governor's veto failed by just one vote.

Now in an unprecedented move, the legislature proposes to amend the state constitution to include a voter photo ID requirement ("Wisconsin Amendment"). Although, Wisconsin currently accepts 13 forms of identification at the polls (including allowing another voter to vouch for you), the constitutional amendment proposed in May, would prevent potential voters from registering or voting without a government issued photo ID. As drafted, the law is silent on whether individuals without photo ID would be allowed to cast provisional ballots as mandated by federal law, or whether, like South Dakota's photo ID measure, a voter could sign an affidavit swearing to their identity as a fail-safe means of voting.

Susan highlights this from CODEPINK:

Say NO to War Toys &
Shop CODEPINK Style!

Every holiday season, manufacturers prey on our children with pro-war propaganda disguised as innocent toys. Don't let your child be a victim of G.I. Joe! Check out the CODEPINK No War Toys webpage for ideas and actions you can take to Say No to War Toys! You can also find other fun holiday ideas, like our outrageous, alternative holiday carols, Raging Granny-style! Also, don't forget to check out our online store for fabulous gift giving ideas.

The following was sent in to the public account ( by a visitor. I believe the visitor wants the issue noted so we'll quote. I do not have permission to identify the visitor so we won't name:

Judge Alito says he's a strict constructionist, except when it comes to the language in his own job application; he says he won't legislate from the bench, except when the dispute involves the company that minds his own cash; he says he's not a judicial activist, except when he volunteered on his own as a soldier of fortune for the radical right; he says he'd go to bat for victims of constitutional injustice... well maybe he's just applying for his "new job," while feeding us the same old pappahirum.
Take his Chadwick decision which his supporters have successfully buried by characterizing it as being just "a rich man's nasty divorce." Would were that the holding. But its tentacles reach far and wide with dire implications for our hard-earned civil rights and freedom. Here's the lowdown:
Beatty Chadwick has been in jail in for over TEN YEARS on a divorce case. Where? In China, Iran, or a secret gulag in Siberia? No, he's in a Pennsylvania County Jail.
Judge Alito wrote the 3rd Circuit decision affirming his "civil incarceration." The facts of the case are uncertain since Chadwick was never tried nor convicted of anything by a local county court. His ex-wife says he has hidden marital assets off-shore. Chadwick maintains he can't comply with the court's order to return the money. He's lost in the system and can't ransom himself out. At this point he's already paid his debt in years, 10 1/2 to be exact.
The founders of this nation wrote a Constitution that abolished debtor's prisons. The cruel punishment inflicted on this civil detainee under the guise of constitutional "origanalism," indicates that on the subject of civil rights, Alito just doesn't see the forest from the trees... a scary trait for a Supreme Court justice.
Can we afford to squander our hard-earned freedom by putting our trust in a judge who uses one standard to measure his own compliance with the law and another for the rest of us? Ask Beatty.

If you're unfamiliar with this topic, ABC (the United States' ABC) covered this in April. It's hard to believe that conservatives are as excited by Alito as they seem to be. You'd assume a few in that crowd would hear that tale and scream in horror for a number of reasons. You'd assume that terms such as "debtors prison" would be tossed around.

While we're in the public account, we'll also note this e-mail:

Show #15 of The Bat Segundo Show, a literary podcast featuring interviews with today's contemporary writers, is now up. But neither Jorge nor Bat Segundo are to be found. We're hoping that they will return for the next show. The producer explains the situation in the first minute of this week's show. The latest show runs 41 minutes and 11 seconds long and features Octavia Butler.

The main Segundo site can be found here:

To subscribe to the show with a podcatcher program (for later transfer to your iPod), copy and paste the following URL into your program:

Please note: You do not have to have an iPod to listen the show! If you go to the main Segundo site, you can save the MP3 to your lovely machine by clicking on the bat picture.

We have many more exciting shows in the works. Stay tuned for perverse authors, social theorists, esteemed historians, D-list
entertainers, and a few wiseacres. We're hoping to hit Show #20 by the end of the year, time permitting.

Here are the details for this week's show:

Octavia Butler

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Unknown. We can’t find him this week.

Subjects Discussed: Anne Rice, the advantages of writing vampire novels, research, the ambiguities of "
persistently repulsive" material, Fledgling as ripping vampire yarn and multilayered quest story, setting vampire rules, naming character names, the influence of the state of Washington upon atmosphere, Butler's editorial relationship with Seven Stories, Warner vs. Seven Stories, on being categorized as a science fiction author, auctorial labels, Butler's three primary audiences, Dorothy Allison, the influence of criticism, fiction as prophecy, Bush and global warming, education, Margaret Atwood, why Butler dislikes Survivor, the Parable books, why this is the first book in seven years, on writing a "continuous first draft," Butler's working methods, typewriters, technology, Alfred Hitchcock, cell phones, how Butler's computer is set up, T.C. Boyle, on being a baby boomer, being "comfortably asocial," inner introverts, polyamory, sexuality, the science aspect of science fiction, and science fiction vs. fantasy.

Community member Vince is a big fan of Octavia Butler's writing (and highlighted an interview with her last night) so I know he'll find the above interesting. If anyone else does as well, feel free to check it out.

Participating in yesterdays blog against racism day (in this community) were Rebecca, Wally, Mike & Betty and Cedric. You've got a range of angles so please check out their entries.

And please check out Betty's "Hell is your house-bound husband on house arrest with you serving the sentence" (Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man):

Hell is your house-bound husband only more so.

Following his
ludicrous claim that Bully Boy was entering his third term, Thomas Friedman is on vacation. That's the pretty way of saying it. The ugly truth is he was placed on vacation by Gail Collins who told him, "Friedman? Try Free-Bland! I can't take anymore of the hate mail, the yelling callers. You can't get your facts right? You're on vacation!"

"You can't bench me!" Thomas Friedman bellowed. But obviously
Gail Collins can.

What lit the fire under Ms. Nonsense & No Sensibility?

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