May 23, 2009 archive

“I don’t care if we’re holding 15,000 innocent civilians! We’re winning the war!”


Brigadier General Janis R Karpinski:     “The secret here is getting these people released, and we’re holding innocent people out there. ”  

    And General Wodjakowski turned around and said to me ” I don’t care if we are holding 15,000 innocent civilians! We are winning the war! “

Cross-posted from

    That quote came from this 237 page official document which was released to the ACLU by a FOIA request. The actual quote by General Wodjakowski can be found on page 171.

    This document not only addresses the necessity and inability of our military to release detainees who were innocent and had no intelligence value at all, it touches upon the known abuse of innocent Iraqi citizens, as well as the over-crowded conditions within the detainees facilities.

    Rather than giving you my version of this document, I thought it would be more beneficial to allow you to read it for yourself and form your own opinion.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Obama picks ex-astronaut Bolden to lead NASA

By David Alexander and Irene Klotz, Reuters

2 hrs 42 mins ago

WASHINGTON/CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will name former space shuttle commander Charles Bolden to lead NASA, the White House said on Saturday, in the midst of a major shift in the U.S. human space program.

Bolden, 62, a retired Marine general, flew on four shuttle missions before leaving the U.S. space agency in 1994 to return to the military.

Bolden, who would become the 12th administrator in NASA’s 51-year history and its first black head, is seen as a strong advocate for human space flight.

Mancow Waterboarding V. Real Waterboarding

Yesterday a good thing happened, one of the Conservative talk radio torture apologists had himself waterboarded and after six seconds of it he was ready to call it what it is, torture, pure and simple. The Dog thinks this is a good first step, but we are not at the level where people realize how bad it is. What the Mancow had done to him was superficially like the waterboarding torture that we inflicted on Abu Zabaydah and Khalid Sheik Mohamed but it was in no way the full blow thing.  

Prolonged Detention: Whip Cream On Manure

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Put in the simplest terms, the proponents of “prolonged detention” think that dressing up preventive detention with post detention procedures will make it constitutional.  Procedures= whip cream.  Detention= manure.  This will not make the prolonged detention policy palatable.  It will not preserve the sentiments behind the US Constitution.  And a debate about how many dollops of whipped cream are required will completely miss the point.  The point imo is that prolonged detention is in a single word unacceptable. It should not be countenanced. The idea should be shelved and abandoned.

Unemployed? Get used to it.

Our Kleptocracy: Saving the American economy by looting it

“Economists are already floating the concept that Americans better get used to a lower standard of living.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished forever in industries such as auto manufacturing and financial services. Millions of people who were fired or laid off will find it harder to get hired again and for years may have to accept lower earnings than they enjoyed before the slump.

Layoffs now taking place are similar to those in the 1981-1982 recession, when unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent and 2.8 million jobs disappeared, leaving industries such as durable-goods manufacturing permanently smaller. Some 14 percent of durable-goods positions vanished in that slump, and the sector never regained the employment level of June 1981.”

also at

FDR warned about “Economic Royalists” — What was he Talking About?

Economic Royalists:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for a second term, delivered at Philadelphia on 27 June 1936, said, “The economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power.”

(emphasis added)…

Owe My Soul to the Company Store

Some of you may remember Tennessee Ernie Ford’s old song. I do. When I was a kid we spent summers in eastern Kentucky with my Aunt and grandparents, Dad sometimes took us out to an old strip mine to shoot tin cans with his pearl-handled six shooters, and learn some history while we were at it. Back in the day, he told us, the coal barons had a clever scheme to enslave the local populations who worked to dig out the coal from its natural habitat.

Obama Reduced To Demonizing His Critics

Crossposted from Antemedius

The other day, after Barack Obama’s speech at the National Archives Building in Washington, the New York Times printed a “news analysis” piece that was one of the most offensive pieces of manipulation I think I’ve ever read, in it’s oh so reasonable sounding efforts (probably successful with the vast majority who read it) to marginalize and equate with neanderthals and the far right wing anyone who is not interested in becoming terrorists to fight invented terrorism, with it’s interpretation of Obama’s statements in his speech:

He must convince the country that it is in safe hands despite warnings to the contrary from the right, and at the same time persuade the skeptical left that it is enough to amend his predecessor’s approach rather than abandon it.

In the reductionist debate in Washington, either any sacrifice must be made to win a pitiless war against radicals, or terrorism does not justify any compromise with cherished American values.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems to be in complete agreement with the NYT’s manipulations of public opinion:

“Both sides may be sincere in their views, but neither side is right,” Mr. Obama said. “The American people are not absolutist, and they don’t elect us to impose a rigid ideology on our problems. They know that we need not sacrifice our security for our values, nor sacrifice our values for our security, so long as we approach difficult questions with honesty and care and a dose of common sense.”

Today, Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, talks with Real News Network CEO Paul Jay with his own analysis of Obama’s speech and his determination to “legalize” the Military Commissions set up under George Bush with the 2006 Military Commissions Act (MCA).

Single Payer Health Insurance: My Japanese Experience

As the debate about Health Care continues to heat up with the usual suspects from the Health Insurance industry begining their campaign to convince Americans that Universal Health insurance is against their best interests, would decrease quality of care, limit options, increase wait time (as if those under the current system don`t have similar issues)and all the other usual lies they spout hoping to scare a large enough portion of the electorate to dash the hopes of us who want Health Care reform.

I would like to share with you MY experience under a single payer system which we have here in Japan. It is called National Health Care Service or for those of you who can read Japanese: (grrrr..why cant I post Japanese characters? Every time I try here I get this error message:java.sql.SQLException: Incorrect string value: ‘xE5x9BxBDxE6xB0x91…’ for column ‘mainText’ at row 1)

Of course first I should tell you how it`s paid for before I go into the details of how it works.

Every month a certain percentage is deducted from my pay check which includes both my National Health Care and my National Pension. This amount is matched by my employer. While I don`t wish to discuss my finances in detail, I can tell you every month they deduct roughly 40,000 yen (around $385 dollars) by comparison my wife who is a stay at home mom pays roughly 7000 yen (around $65) for her coverage. All children under 15 are covered for free.  

Docudharma Times Saturday May 23

Newt And Dick Race

To The Past 2012

Yea! Pass The Champagne  

Saturday’s Headlines:

Obama works with Graham on new detainee policy

Pakistani army claims Taliban’s elimination in Swat valley imminent

Mahinda Rajapaksa wins Sri Lanka but peace may prove elusive

Revealed: how Italy tried to cut a deal with the Mafia

Holocaust toll will rise even higher, says priest on trail of Nazi mass-killers

Iran’s Ahmadinejad rallies supporters

Somalia: East African bloc calls for a UN blockade and no-fly zone

Africa hunger crisis seen still tied to politics

Colombian Farmers Get Broad Incentives To Forgo Coca Crops

Definitive Account Of Briefings Still Elusive

Lawmakers Divided After Reviewing CIA’s Notes on Pelosi Session

By Paul Kane and Joby Warrick

Washington Post Staff Writers

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sequestered in rooms buried deep within the Capitol and requiring top-secret clearances to enter, members of the House and Senate intelligence committees have spent the past week leafing through documents at the heart of Washington’s latest who-knew-what-and-when saga.

But rather than emerging with clear agreement on what the memos reveal about the CIA briefing  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received in 2002, and whether she was aware that aggressive interrogation methods were being used on terrorism suspects, lawmakers remain as divided as ever about the story they tell.

In Germany, widespread spying is back, this time by corporations

Hundreds of thousands of employees have had their cellphone, e-mail and computer records secretly searched. Companies say they did it to expose misconduct.

By Henry Chu

May 23, 2009

Reporting from Berlin — Growing up in West Germany, Lothar Schroeder never knew that terrible sense of violation suffered by people in the communist East at the hands of the secret police who tailed them, bugged their homes and recruited neighbors and even family members to snitch on them.

Now he knows.

But it’s not a totalitarian state doing the snooping this time; it’s some of the country’s largest corporations — big names in telecommunications, transportation and retail.

Last year, authorities informed Schroeder that Deutsche Telekom had secretly combed through his cellphone records, apparently to root out the source of leaks to the news media. Schroeder, a union representative on the company’s board of supervisors, was stunned.

“I never could believe that Deutsche Telekom would use their data in this way, never,” he said, adding ruefully, “Perhaps I’m a little bit naive.”

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is being rocked by a string of spying scandals that have staggered residents with their scale and brought back painful memories of the prying eyes of Big Brother during the Cold War.


President’s Detention Plan Tests American Legal Tradition


Published: May 22, 2009

President Obama’s proposal for a new legal system in which terrorism suspects could be held in “prolonged detention” inside the United States without trial would be a departure from the way this country sees itself, as a place where people in the grip of the government either face criminal charges or walk free.

There are, to be sure, already some legal tools that allow for the detention of those who pose danger: quarantine laws as well as court precedents permitting the confinement of sexual predators and the dangerous mentally ill. Every day in America, people are denied bail and locked up because they are found to be a hazard to their communities, though they have yet to be convicted of anything.

In the beginning, god created…


Tax cheats KBR made $150 million + building Guantanamo bay, Cheney smirks at justice

     According to DoD records made over $150 million dollars building Guantanamo bay’s detainee holding facilities, or, as other’s have come to call them, torture chambers.

    KBR, of course is one of Dick Cheney’s special interests friends.

    Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation’s top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.


    With an estimated $16 billion in contracts, KBR is by far the largest contractor in Iraq, with eight times the work of its nearest competitor. March 6, 2008

    The no-bid contract it received in 2002 to rebuild Iraq’s oil infrastructure and a multibillion-dollar contract to provide support services to troops have long drawn scrutiny because Vice President Dick Cheney was Halliburton’s chief executive from 1995 until he joined the Republican ticket with President Bush in 2000. March 6 ,2008

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