July 16, 2009 archive

Segregation: Editorial Apology

Va. paper expresses regret for backing segregation

A Virginia newspaper is expressing regret for supporting the state’s fight to maintain separate schools for blacks and whites in the 1950s.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says in Thursday’s editorial that it played a central role in the “dreadful doctrine” of Massive Resistance _ a systematic campaign by Virginia’s white political leaders to block school desegregation. The newspaper says that “the record fills us with regret.”

The newspaper took the unusual step of promoting the editorial on its front page. It comes on the eve of a conference in Richmond marking the 50th anniversary of the end of Massive Resistance.

House set for Full Blown Probe of CIA/Cheney

Also, on Daily Kos President Carter: Many Children Were Tortured Under Bush

    Call Congress and AG Eric Holder TODAY and Demand Justice!

What more do you need in order to pick up the phone, send an e-mail and jump out of your chair to YELL LOUDER!

Yell Louder! Take Action against the Bush/Cheney criminals today. AG Holder is leaning towards a Special Prosecutor, H.Res 383 is calling for investigations and review, and now this . .

    The House Intelligence Committee asked the CIA to provide documents about the now-canceled program to kill al-Qaida leaders, and agency officials said it would comply with the request, congressional officials said Tuesday.


    The House request for documents is likely a precursor to what would likely become a full-blown investigation into the secret operation and why the program was not disclosed to Congress. Panetta, meanwhile, has ordered a thorough internal review of the program, agency spokesman George Little said.

Huffington Post

bold text added by diarist

CIA? Death Squads? How do I know Dick Cheney is at the bottom of this?

Because he is . . .  

President Carter: Many Children Were Tortured Under Bush

(Crossposted from Orange with author’s permission)

“You have the power to hold your leaders accountable.” – President Obama, Ghana, July 14, 2009

While congress says it is gearing up to investigate what is old news, that CIA and Special Ops forces are killing Al Qaeda leaders, a decision of far different gravity is being contemplated by Attorney General Eric Holder.  The new insistence of Congress on its oversight role, conspicuously absent throughout 8 years of Bush, is suddenly rearing its head in the form of questioning a policy which has been in place with no controversy for years.  The U.S. has been hunting and killing Al Qaeda leaders outside of official war zones since 2004, when the New York Times reported that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had signed an order authorizing Special Forces to kill Al Qaeda where they found them.

Buzz Aldrin calls for “an American colony” on Mars

Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon, writes in an opinion piece at the Washington Post that “it is time we were bold again in space.”

Aldrin’s vision, “Time to Boldly Go Once More“, advocates creating an American colony on Mars in 20 years. He believes if the United States space program “avoided the pitfall of aiming solely for the moon, we could be on Mars by the 60th anniversary year of our Apollo 11 flight.”

Aldrin thinks NASA plans to re-explore the moon is a “dead end”. Instead, Aldrin says we should commit our nation to establishing “an American colony” on Mars.

Four at Four

  1. The Hill reports Job worries for Obama at NAACP. “Some NAACP officials say the president’s general approach to the economy and unemployment has not gone far enough to address the specific concerns of the black community… One source said many in the black community have expressed frustration with the administration over the number of traditional Wall Street firms handling the funds’ disbursement.”

    With black unemployment rates nearly 5 percent higher than the national average, Obama’s standard line that growing the national economy as a whole “will lift all boats” won’t cut it with some NAACP members.

    We heard that phrase from Ronald Reagan, and it isn’t necessarily so,” said NAACP board member Amos Brown.

    Brown said that he and others “would expect of [Obama] the same as we would any other president – to be involved in specifics and not generalities.”

    Mr. Brown, good luck with getting specifics from the president.

  2. The LA Times reports Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson testifies that Merrill Lynch sale helped stave off ‘great peril’. Paulson tried to justify the “actions he and other Bush administration officials took during the crisis in conjunction with the Federal Reserve and other financial regulators… Paulson said the actions
    ‘were not perfect’ but ‘they saved this nation from great peril.'”

    Paulson claimed he was told not acting would have caused another Great Depression with “people in the streets” and global political instability. “I knew it was going to be very bad, and I didn’t want to experience very bad,” Paulson said.

    The NY Times adds Members of Congress say Paulson misled them. ‘Several lawmakers accused Mr. Paulson of misleading Congress about how government money in the banking bailout would be used.”

    Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, said the real issue was whether taxpayers should have aided the merger of Bank of America and Merrill. He calls the government’s $20 billion capital injection into the bank a “potentially illegal act.”

    Mr. Paulson repeatedly defended himself during the course of the hearing, saying at one point, “No one was more protective of the American taxpayer than I was.” …

    Representative Michael Turner, [an] Ohio Republican, called TARP “a crock” and the “largest theft in American history.”

    Along with Rep. Turner, the LA Times adds Rep. Stephen Lynch, a Democrat from Massachusetts, “accused Paulson of misleading Congress during its consideration of the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.”

    “If you had come up here with Mr. Bernanke and said, ‘I want to take [$700 billion] of taxpayer money and I want to give it to my pals in the nine biggest banks in America,’ how many votes do you think you would have got here?” Lynch told Paulson, a former head of Goldman Sachs. “That’s why in my opinion you misled Congress.”

Four at Four continues with Obama seeking to increase the size of the Army and an update from Afghanistan.

Crossroads For The Rule Of Law – Cheney Hit Squads

For those of us who are really concerned (obsessed) with the rule of law the revelations of the Cheney sponsored CIA Death Squads are the kind of thing which makes you want to curl up and rock back and forth while thinking of our happy place. It might be going a little under-thought about by most of the nation right now as we are focused on the Health Care bills and the ever diverting “Great Republican Melt Down” with Americas three current favorite clowns, Governor’s Palin and Sanford, and Sen. Ensign (The Family, NV) taking up all the oxygen but this is serious stuff we should be really concerned about.

Originally posted at Squarestate.net

The Evil That Men Do….Politics vs Justice

Subtitle: facing the tragedy of the human condition.

Warning: This essay is depressing.


All of us have evil inside of us.

The worst of all humanity lives in every human. Greed, unhealthy lust, violence, the willingness to hurt others to get what we want and to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.

All of human history is a parade of evil, and a parade of the fight against that evil. Prophets and Messiahs and wise men have written volumes on it. An entire segment of society, lawyers and judges, cops and prisons, preachers and….politicians, have evolved to cope with it. In fact virtually all of society, all of civilization, is a way for humankind to find ways to address and contain the evil within us.

In the most cynical, but perhaps the fairest reading, politics is always the process of choosing the lesser of two evils. Not just electorally, but when it comes to making decisions on governing as well. One mans evil is another mans Noble Cause.

After 10,000 years of civilization, you see, we still as a species cannot agree on what is Right and what is Wrong.

Killing people is wrong….except when it isn’t.

Stealing is wrong…..except when it isn’t.

Cruelty to others is wrong…except when it isn’t.

Just as we have evolved societies and civilizations to deal with the evil in all of us, there has been a parallel track in evolution of rationalization, justification and denial. We all agree that killing, stealing and cruelty, such as torture, is wrong. Every religion says so, and every set of laws says so. And yet we continue to kill, steal, and be cruel to each other, and continue to find new and exciting ways to rationalize, justify and deny that it is wrong…..when we ourselves do it.

One of the names for that evolutionary track of rationalization, justification and denial….is politics.

Build your own Bush/Cheney War Crimes Accountability and Action essay

If you want to host a War Crimes Accountability series diary let me know. I will be posting these myself until someone wants me to pass the baton to them or share the load with me. E-mail me at [email protected] if you are interested, or say so in the comments below.

    Scroll down in order to contact the White House, The Attorney General’s Office, and Congressional Leadership in order to demand accountability today.


img hspace=”5″ align=”left” src=”http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u65/vradul/warcrimesactionlogo.gif” align=”left”

add > at the end and < at the begin to post

  Click and paste it into your Bush/Cheney Action and Accountability diary.





    What ever aspect of the war crimes, cover up and other matters pertaining to the criminality of the Bush/Cheney Administration you feel is appropriate is suitable for this series of diaries, within certain guidelines as will be determined by the

Important points

When calling The White House and AG Holder

– Support a Strong, independent Special Prosecutor

When calling Congressional Leadership and your Congressional Representatives

Support H.Res 383 to investigate Bush/Cheney and their policies

When calling members of the House Rules Committee Chairwoman Lousise Slaughter and House Rules Committee members

– Support a closed rule with no amendments allowed and public hearings in a select House committee to investigate Bush/Cheney and review their national security policies

    Do NOT YELL LOUDER while speaking to Congressional staff and Representatives. They do not appreciate being woken up.

   Please, call and E-mail yourself if you can too. What else do you have to do? It’s not like you aren’t staring right at the page with the phone numbers and links on it in front of your computer.


Obama Admin. Protests Loss of Private Contractors


So according to the Washington Post, the Obama Administration is objecting to a provision in the 2010 defense funding bill that would bar the hiring of outside contractors for purposes of interrogations.

The provision, strongly backed by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), describes interrogations as an “inherently governmental function” that “cannot be transferred to contractor personnel.” It would give the Defense Department one year from the bill’s enactment to ensure that the military had the resources to comply with it.

We have seen the egregious consequences of privatization of governmental functions – all one has to do is mention KBR or Halliburton or Blackwater.  But why is the Obama Administration objecting to this provision?

Righteous Murder

I was lying in bed in the wee hours, trying to still my mind, or trick it into contemplating some blissful fantasy to lull myself back to sleep.

But no.

It kept coming back at me, flipping between the style of a debate or like the lyrics of a Henley song, with far more questions than answers.

As both the Health Care debate and the Sotomayer confirmation degrades back into the abortion question, I have to wonder if the zealots ever took a course in Ethics. I think I did, in High School. I’m fairly sure. In a Catholic High School, no less, in that tiny post-hippy, post ruler-smacking and pre-born again window, where they thought being hip and relevant might boost their sagging popularity. They welcomed critical thinking at that age level, even in a Catholic system. But still, short a course, who has not mentally weighed the murk of right, wrong, the greater good in any decision?

Sure, sure I can speak in black and white absolutes with the best of them, depending on my mood, my audience, my opposition and the subject matter. Truth be told? All is grey.

The core question to these subjects haunting me today really comes down to the one thing that is never discussed when abortion is the tool to make reactionaries react.

Do individuals have the right to conscientiously object to any aspect of where their tax dollars are spent? The flip? Does the Federal Government have a right to spend our tax dollars as they see fit, as elected representatives with no public input or recourse?

The path to get to that question is much more convoluted. It wanders through societal limits, personal self determination, collective punishment, vengeance, and self defense.

There are no easy answers, but I wish we could have a societal debate, as reasoned people, thinking men.


Docudharma Times Thursday July 16

Thursday’s Headlines:

Sotomayor Avoids Pointed Queries

Health Care Vote Illustrates Stubborn Partisan Divide

Award-winning human rights campaigner murdered in Chechnya

Oligarch pays for party that enraged Putin

Chinese economic growth accelerates to raise hopes for global recovery

The Big Question: Can India’s tigers be saved or are they now doomed to disappear?

Israeli navy in Suez Canal prepares for potential attack on Iran

Al-Jazeera banned from West Bank

Global piracy levels at a record high as Somali raiders cash in

Bongo son set for Gabon candidacy

Fugitive politician is tied to gang targeting police

CIA was a long way from Jason Bourne

The agency tried to assemble a team of anti-terrorist assassins. But officials could not solve logistical problems, including how to get close to targets while keeping U.S. involvement secret.

 By Greg Miller

July 16, 2009

Reporting from Washington — In movies, the CIA has so many prolifically lethal assassins roaming the world that the main problem often seems to be reining them in.

But details that spilled out this week about a real CIA assassination program indicate that when the plotting is being done by spies instead of screenwriters, the obstacles are not so easy to surmount.

According to current and former U.S. intelligence officials, the CIA spent seven years trying to assemble teams capable of killing the world’s most wanted terrorists but could never find a formula that worked.

The struggles came during a period in which the agency had been given unprecedented authority and resources, and a cause — responding to the Sept. 11 attacks — with broad public support.

High-Born Prussians Who Defied Their Origin



Published: July 15, 2009

BERLIN – Monday is the anniversary of the July 20, 1944, plot to kill Hitler, and services will be held here, as they are every year, where the conspirators were executed. Among those remembered, Count Fritz-Dietlof von der Schulenburg may not ring many bells these days outside Germany, or even inside it. Others came to be famously associated with the plot. But as the German historian Hans Mommsen wrote, “Schulenburg was the inner driving force of the conspiracy.”

Schulenburg’s sister, Countess Elisabeth von der Schulenburg – Tisa, as she was called – was an artist. They constituted an extraordinary pairing.

The Schulenburgs were a very old, very high Prussian clan, staunchly Nazi, and as such a reminder of the complexity of families, not least German ones, aristocratic or otherwise. Their story is a cautionary tale about judging history, or a people, any people, in black and white.

Note Docudharma Times will not appear tomorrow as I “must” attend an Enkai

This is NOT a “crisis”

I think a lot of the wrongheaded thinking on both sides of the discussion about the “economic crisis” is that people keep calling it a “crisis”. This is a word that’s abused almost as much as the word “tragedy”. A crisis is a short, sharp event or series of events. And when it’s done, things get back to normal. If — as I strongly suspect — the capitalist system is collapsing into a much smaller economic ball (a collapsing star, if you will), then the unemployment numbers and the nosediving housing situation and the freezing of formerly free-flowing credit are nothing more (or less) than the new normal. Perhaps, going forward, 10% + unemployment is going to be normal (it already is in the EU). Perhaps, going forward, those houses that popped in “value” from $500K to 1.5 mil in a few years will stay at their real value (say, $200K)and never regain their former puffed-up “value”. Perhaps, going forward, credit of all kinds will not be freely available to one and all, and the engine of American consumerism — which has always, at its base, been built on the mad flow of credit — will slow down permanently to the more sedate levels we saw when people put things on layaway instead of whipping out their Platinum Card.

Perhaps this is the new normal. Perhaps this is how we live from now on. Perhaps.

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