July 9, 2009 archive

The Usual Suspects

AIDS activists shut down US Capitol rotunda over Obama reversal on AIDS policy

by John Aravosis (DC), Americablog

on 7/09/2009, 12:35:00 PM


by Tim F., Balloon Juice

7/8/09, 11:38 am

Panetta: CIA Misled Congress ‘For a Number of Years." We Are Shocked!

By Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars

Thursday Jul 09, 2009 10:30am

Mission Accomplished

by digby, Hullabaloo

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Obama justice system

Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Wednesday July 8, 2009 08:09 EDT

The significance of McClatchy’s act of journalism

Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Thursday July 9, 2009 09:10 EDT

Stunning al-Haramain Filing Shames Obama; Shows Duplicity Of Officials

By: bmaz, Firedog Lake

Thursday July 9, 2009 12:35 pm

Obama and Gang of Eight Veto Threat: "Fundamental Compact" My Ass

By: emptywheel, Firedog Lake

Wednesday July 8, 2009 1:27 pm

Want To Read That al-Haramain Filing?

By: Spencer Ackerman, Firedog Lake

Thursday July 9, 2009 4:53 pm

Jeh Johnson Opens The Door To Post-Acquittal Detentions

By: Spencer Ackerman, Firedog Lake

Tuesday July 7, 2009 12:14 pm

Guantanamo After January 2010

By: Spencer Ackerman, Firedog Lake

Tuesday July 7, 2009 6:05 pm

Ex-Military Commissions Prosecutor Says The System Cannot Be Reformed

By: Spencer Ackerman, Firedog Lake

Tuesday July 7, 2009 8:30 pm

Vandeveld’s Military-Commissions Dissent: Jawad Edition

By: Spencer Ackerman, Firedog Lake

Wednesday July 8, 2009 10:56 am

Mike Mullen On U.S. Mideast And Defense Policies

By: Spencer Ackerman, Firedog Lake

Wednesday July 8, 2009 2:02 pm

Four at Four

  1. McClatchy reports China is replacing the U.S. as Latin America’s top trade partner. China has “supplanted the United States to become the biggest trading partner with Brazil, South America’s biggest economy. China has moved aggressively to fill a vacuum left by the United States in recent years, as the U.S. focused on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the global economic crisis sapped its economy.”

  2. Bombings in Iraq as the LA Times reports on Double suicide bombings kill 34 people and wound at least 70 others in Tall Afar, “a predominantly Shiite Turkmen city in Nineveh province, where Arabs, Kurds and other religious groups are engaged in a dispute over the Iraqi state’s internal boundaries… The quarrel is complicated by the lucrative oil reserves that exist in Kirkuk province, which all sides want.”

    And in Afghanistan as the NY Times an reports Afghan truck blast kills 16 children. “A huge explosion in a truck Thursday killed 24 people south of Kabul, including 16 schoolchildren, 4 police officers and 4 bystanders, local officials said, as the death toll rose among American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.”

    Meanwhile, the LA Times adds Two U.S. soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. In addition, casualties for British, Canadian and Dutch troops also “have spiked in the last few weeks.” More U.S. and NATO casualties are expected.

Four at Four continues with what happens when al Qaeda members comes home after training in Iraq, Pakistan tortured on behalf of the UK and US, and the father of Hacky Sack.

Iran Protests Continue



The movement for democracy in Iran persists.  The New York Times reports that demonstrations have again erupted in the streets of Tehran, and that to no one’s surprise, the Government has repressed them:

Iranian security forces fired repeated rounds of tear gas, and militiamen wielding batons moved in quickly to try to disperse thousands of protesters who massed in the streets of central Tehran on Thursday evening, witnesses said, defying government warnings and resuming a strategy of direct confrontation with the police nearly a month after Iran’s disputed presidential election.

The protesters set trash alight and threw stones. Motorists honked horns in solidarity, as shopkeepers closed for business but opened their doors to offer refuge to demonstrators fleeing from the militia forces, witnesses said.

There was no immediate word on arrests or injuries.

Throwing aside admonishments of a “crushing response” by the state security forces, the demonstrators gathered on the 10th anniversary of violent confrontations at Tehran University, both to mark that event and to commemorate the demonstrators who were killed in the turmoil after the June 12 election, which the protesters say was corrupt and invalid.

The Times says that the protest was initially “festive,” even though police in riot gear had shut down the streets.  But then, as was threatened by the regime:

…the effort to halt the protest quickly turned violent, people at the scene said. A middle-aged woman ran through the crowd, her coat covered with blood stains. Trash fires burned, cloaking the streets in black smoke, as protesters lobbed rocks at security forces. Two men held a huge floral arrangement of yellow and purple flowers on green leaves in commemoration of those killed last month and in 1999, a witness said.

“Tell the world what is happening here,” one 26-year old engineering student demonstrator said. “This is our revolution. We will not give up.”

Asked what he wanted, he said, “We want democracy.”

And so, phoenix like, the demonstrations for democracy in Iran continue.  The press embargo continues (the Times article was datelined from Cairo).  The Government was not reported to fire bullets at demonstrators.  However, reports of detention of large numbers of demonstrators and also their lawyers continue, as do reports of torture and disappearance. It was not reported what opposition leaders say about the current demonstrations, but their web sites continue to contest the election.  And it appears that there may be a split in the clerical backbone of the Government.

The Twitter feed for #iranelection is still active, though the volume seems lower than last week.  It continues to report the democracy movement.

I am delighted by the news.  I was afraid that the democracy movement had been snuffed out.  That it was over. But I see now that was not the case.  The movement hasn’t given up, and it is still asking us to stand in solidarity with it.  

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles



Markos Speaks: Daily Kos IS a Progressive Community!

Just parking this quote here for future reference in flame wars on Dkos with people who say it is not a progressive site.

In a really worthwhile interview re online communities here….

Having learned from the failures of the others, I immediately announced that dKos was a progressive community, and that conservatives would be on a short leash. There was a lot of crying about “free speech” and whatnot, but I made clear that cons had plenty of places to go online – Free Republic, Lucianne, etc – and liberals didn’t, and that Daily Kos would be a safe haven for progressives. I aggressively cleaned out the conservative troublemakers, and what do you know, liberals liked their little safe haven

Of course this will just lead to arguments over what “Progressive” and “Liberal” REALLY mean, but I thought it worth noting, sharing and recording, lol.

OK I must be missing something here

There must be something going on that I’m not aware of.

According to my view of the front page here, there have only been a few essays written since I posted this one:


That one is still visible and is still on the recommended list.

However, I wrote another one since then:


Which isn’t visible now.

But if I go to “inky99’s page” it’s there.

And people have obviously read it because there are eight comments.

But why isn’t it on the “recent essays” list?

Or is it just me?

This is very confusing.

I wrote to the admin’s last night but haven’t heard anything back and nothing has changed.

Are we missing out on a lot of new essays here on the Recent Essay list?

Because the front page that I see only shows 9 essays written since I posted that top one about the 7 troops killed.

I know it’s kinda slow here compared to some other sites, but THAT slow?

And I know mine is missing, so what else is missing?  

The Unifying Principle

I am a very fortunate person. Either that or a tragic figure, only time will tell.

My Dad was a beatnik, artist and architect, creative and with an aesthetic view of life that has colored my view of it…even though he wasn’t around much. But when he split to go around the world on his spiritual quest just as the decade of the sixties was born, he gave me another inheritance as well, albeit unintentional. He left us in the Haight Ashbury….just as the sixties were being born. And that is where I grew up.

I had no real idea what exactly was going on there, because like any child, I thought that the environment I was growing up in was normal. I thought that the explosion of what can only be called Love Energy in the 60’s that was centered in San Francisco, in the Haight, and then “spread” from there was just how life was.

It didn’t really spread from there of course. That explosion of creativity and an entirely new way of thinking was very much a planetary phenomenon, as we can see looking back at the time.

As the blurb for a new book  called 1959 by Fred Kaplan puts it…

It was the year of the microchip, the birth-control pill, the space race, and the computer revolution; the rise of Pop art, free jazz, “sick comics,” the New Journalism, and indie films; the emergence of Castro, Malcolm X, and personal superpower diplomacy; the beginnings of Motown, Happenings, and the Generation Gap-all bursting against the backdrop of the Cold War, the fallout-shelter craze, and the first American casualties of the war in Vietnam.

It was a year when the shockwaves of the new ripped the seams of daily life, when humanity stepped into the cosmos and commandeered the conception of human life, when the world shrank but the knowledge needed to thrive in it expanded exponentially, when outsiders became insiders, when categories were blurred and taboos trampled, when we crossed into a “new frontier” that offered the twin prospects of infinite possibilities and instant annihilation-a frontier that we continue to explore exactly fifty years later, at an eerily similar turning point.

It was a planetary explosion that was expressed, as all such pervasive and revolutionary energies are, in each place and in each person in a unique way to that place or person. But that burst of energy that brought about a new way of thinking, a new form of what can loosely be called ‘politics,’ and a huge burst of creativity was expressed….to my subjective eye…most purely in the Haight.

By one word, by one Unifying Principle.


And Love’s inevitable partner, Peace.

That purity was quickly diluted.

From the purity of the precursor expressions of Ginsburg’s Howl and Kerouac’s On The Road that heralded the explosion by expressing the feeling of preliminary angst and chaos and restlessness that such a huge wave of Energy was in the beginning of bringing, right up to Altamont and the realization of horror at how easily Love could be killed, there was a vast searching to express it and a vast seeking of it’s meaning. (Until of course Madison Avenue got hold of it)

From “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked….”


The angst and eventually expression of that burst of what I to this day regard as some sort of cosmic gift of accelerated evolutionary information combined into and was refined and finally expressed as what SHOULD be the Unifying Principle of Mankind for the 21st Century.

Love and Peace.

I was very fortunate to have been at ground zero for that explosion in my youth. I am, perhaps, a tragic figure for having to live through the aftermath of all of these years of the dilution and pollution of that explosive energy. Having seen the potential inherent for all of humankind, but not only not seeing it realized, but seeing the very antithesis of it play out for the last eight years….having watched in great frustration as ….seemingly….the last remnants were destroyed, as exemplified by George “The Torturer” Bush. And the seminal representation of hate and fear, the Anti-ChristHippie, and Anti-Love….Dick Cheney.

A tragic figure…..unless….

Rick Scott Literally Swift Boating The Health Care Debate

As she so often does, digby makes a great catch. The health care debate is being partially highjacked by a major right wing donor, who also just happens to be a former health care industry executive. And the corporate media are helping him along.

The article comes from Mother Jones:

You’ve probably seen the ads. Ominous voice-overs warn you about how health care reform “could put a bureaucrat in charge of your medical decisions, not you.” A massive bulldozer with “government-run insurance plan” written on the side crushes your health care “choices.” Canadians and Britons relay horror stories of their experiences dealing with health care in those nightmarish socialist dystopias.

The ads are the product of a multimillion-dollar ad campaign designed to derail health care reform-especially what’s been dubbed the “public option,” which would set up a government-run plan to compete with private insurers. The man behind this ad blitz is the person who might be Public Option Enemy No. 1: one-time hospital executive and longtime Republican donor Richard Scott.

Back in March, Scott spent $5 million of his own money to set up a nonprofit called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. The group aims to be the command center for the right’s fight against Democratic reform efforts. With the major interest groups-including hospital companies, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors-that have opposed reform in the past holding their fire this year in order to have a seat at the legislative table, Scott’s group has filled the anti-reform void. According to an estimate reported by the Associated Press, around $15 million has already been spent on ads favoring the Democrats’ plan, and  $4 million has been spent to oppose it. Much of that $4 million has come from Scott and CPR, and he’s claimed his group will spend as much as $20 million.

Of course, as the article points out, and as is true “Harry and Louise” style, Scott’s group doesn’t say it opposes health care reform. Of course not. It does want reform, it’s just a matter of the details. Of course, when you get into the details of the details, it’s really about derailing real reform. And the ad is, according to Media Matters, simple based on lies.

Valley Forge Village

This comes from Nadia McCaffery who’s son Patrick was killed in Iraq. Her campaign to Honor her son, and all that serve:

Patrick McCaffrey Foundation

Sgt Patrick Ryan McCaffrey

May 26 1970 * June 22 2004

Prosecute Bush/Cheney diary series. I need help

I would like to start an ongoing series of diaries that provides new information on the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration and the need to investigate and prosecute those crimes, but I can not do it alone, and I need someone’s help.

If you have an active account at the Great Orange Boogeyman, that is even better

Investigate and Prosecute Bush/Cheney


    Now that Torture News Roundup has been discontinued for the time being I would like to carry on the hard work of Meteor Blades, Valtin and Patriots Daily News Clearinghouse.

    This will be an ongoing series of diaries detailing the evidence of criminal behavior engaged in by the Bush/Cheney Administration as well as the need to fully investigate and prosecute the Bush/Cheney Administration. I would like to find two or three other diarists who want to contribute to this series on a rotation so that we can keep others informed on a daily basis. If you wish to contribute please e-mail me at [email protected]

Recently the series Daily Torture News Roundup at Daily Kos was discontinued. I would like to carry on this fight, but I do not want to dairy the subject seven days a week.

If I can find 3 – 6 diarists who will rotate this series with me and crosspost here at Docudharma and on the Daily Kos. We can keep the issue in the news, and this will keep the issue on the forefront of priorities instead of just moving forward and pretending it is not there.

   Suggestions for a name of this series are appreciated, or any other help you can provide. Any questions or suggestions are appreciated, and may be asked in the comments below.

Thank you,


Secrecy and Transparency

top secret

From Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News:

Although people have been complaining about abuse of the national security classification system for decades, such complaints have rarely been translated into real policy changes.

More than half a century ago, a Defense Department advisory committee warned that “Overclassification has reached serious proportions.”  But despite innumerable attempts at corrective action over the years by official commissions, legislators, public interest groups and others, similar or identical complaints echo today.  What is even more interesting and instructive, however, is that a few of those attempts did not fail.  Instead, they led to specific, identifiable reductions in official secrecy, at least on a limited scale.

For example, the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) that was created in 1995 has consistently overturned the classification of information in the majority of documents presented for its review.  And the Fundamental Classification Policy Review that was performed by the Department of Energy in 1995 eliminated dozens of obsolete classification categories following a detailed review of agency classification guides.  These and just a few other exceptional efforts demonstrate that even deeply entrenched secrecy practices can be overcome under certain conditions.

Aftergood’s recent paper Reducing Government Secrecy: Finding What Works has just been published in the Yale Law Review’s Spring 2009 edition (warning, pdf).

What else was the CIA lying about?

Crossposted at http://www.dailykos.com/story/…


Panetta: “Agency officials did indeed mislead Congress and did so since 2001.”


    ” Congress was not adequately informed about unspecified post – 9/11 activity, classified activity. ”

Investigate and Prosecute Bush/Cheney


    Now that Torture News Roundup has been discontinued for the time being I would like to carry on the hard work of Meteor Blades, Valtin and Patriots Daily News Clearinghouse.

    This will be an ongoing series of diaries detailing the evidence of criminal behavior engaged in by the Bush/Cheney Administration as well as the need to fully investigate and prosecute the Bush/Cheney Administration. I would like to find two or three other diarists who want to contribute to this series on a rotation so that we can keep others informed on a daily basis. If you wish to contribute please e-mail me at [email protected]

    Some reports state that the lies were in regards to torture, others say they are not. Who is to say what these “false statements” were? I will leave the issue of what the CIA was lying about be discussed in the comments below.

Docudharma Times Thursday July 9

Thursday’s Headlines:

Obama tax pledge unrealistic

Who asked for Ireland’s blasphemy law?

New evidence may solve mystery of decapitated monks

Israel’s wall still deepening the divide

Tehran’s leaders braced for renewed violence

Soldiers storm city in turmoil

North Korea ‘launches massive cyber attack on Seoul

Protest leader, relative shot to death in Mexico

Cities Lose Out on Road Funds From Federal Stimulus


Published: July 8, 2009

Two-thirds of the country lives in large metropolitan areas, home to the nation’s worst traffic jams and some of its oldest roads and bridges. But cities and their surrounding regions are getting far less than two-thirds of federal transportation stimulus money.

According to an analysis by The New York Times of 5,274 transportation projects approved so far – the most complete look yet at how states plan to spend their stimulus money – the 100 largest metropolitan areas are getting less than half the money from the biggest pot of transportation stimulus money. In many cases, they have lost a tug of war with state lawmakers that urban advocates say could hurt the nation’s economic engines.

Mexico accused of torture in drug war

Army using brutality to fight trafficking, rights groups say

By Steve Fainaru and William Booth

PUERTO LAS OLLAS, Mexico – The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.

From the violent border cities where drugs are brought into the United States to the remote highland regions where poppies and marijuana are harvested, residents and human rights groups describe an increasingly brutal war in which the government, led by the army, is using harsh measures to battle the cartels that continue to terrorize much of the country.

In Puerto Las Ollas, a mountain village of 50 people in the southern state of Guerrero, residents recounted how soldiers seeking information last month stuck needles under the fingernails of a disabled 37-year-old farmer, jabbed a knife into the back of his 13-year-old nephew, fired on a pastor, and stole food, milk, clothing and medication.


In fundamental shift, consumers are saving rather than spending

The belt-tightening is almost certain to have a negative effect on the U.S. economy, in which about 70% of gross domestic product comes from personal consumption.

By Don Lee

July 9, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The continuing decline in consumers’ use of charge cards and other forms of credit reflects an underlying weakness in the U.S. economy that most of the government’s recovery plans fail to attack head-on. And it suggests a fundamental shift in the way Americans save and spend that is likely to act as a drag on the economy for at least several years.

Beset by rising unemployment, declining wages and persistent credit-tightening by banks, consumers are pulling back. Although some economists welcome the trend after years of open-handed spending, the belt-tightening is almost certain to have a negative effect on the U.S. economy, in which about 70% of gross domestic product comes from personal consumption.

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