February 12, 2010 archive

Honduras: The making of a death squad “democracy”

Original article, by Bill Van Auken, via World Socialist Web Site:

With the restoration of diplomatic relations and the resumption of aid and credits from the world’s major governments and financial institutions, Honduras is being welcomed back into the fold of “democratic” nations, even as the organizers of last year’s coup remain at their posts and death squad murders continue.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Talk to me, ek

 This has all been a bitch.

I’m working on liquidating my assets.

I’m asking you: if I want to send $100 US currency to some non-prof who will work my small sum to send $100

can you fix this?

Can you help and fix this?

You can help, ek.


The Factor: Illiterate is Cool 20100211

I am jotting this down really fast because of the midnight pumpkin thing here on Kos.  I will flesh it out in the next half hour.

I monitor FOX “News” so that you do not have to do so.  This evening there was one of the most outrageous installments that I have seen.

For Your Consideration: “Yes, They Are Serious” Category

I’m not sure what is in the water coolers in the South Carolina Legislature but one must give them credit for “creativity”

23 – Law Enforcement and Public Safety



South Carolina now requires groups and persons who intend to overthrow the United States government to register with the Secretary of State. They must file a form and pay a $5 registration fee

Warning: Please do not eat or drink while reading.

Who Lost America? (xposted at DK)

If the American middle class collapses, the first order of the day will be assigning blame and settling scores. This is a task that the right is much better prepared to do than the left, simply because the right controls the corporate media/propaganda apparatus – and with it the social narrative and the conventional wisdom. You can bet that, instead of trying to fix problems or help ordinary people, the right will redouble its normal scapegoat patrol. This is presaged in their incessant screaming of “socialism” – in homage to obsolete “red scare” tactics – such as the Palmer Raids of the 1920s and  the McCarthy witchunts of the 1950s, which really took off with the loss of China.

When the Chinese Communists declared victory in 1949, an immediate outcry asked “Who lost China?”…Senator Joe McCarthy expanded these accusations…

– Wikipedia China Hands

The irony in my not-unlikely blame-casting scenario is that the roles are now reversed. A corrupt American government is totally dependent on a lifeline of Communist Chinese loans and trade imbalances. As we shall see, America is at risk today for the same reasons Nationalist China was.

Overnight Caption Contest

For Your Consideration: The “Jobs” Bill

Reid Stiff-Arms Baucus, Cuts Giveaways And Ornaments Out Of Senate Jobs Bill

The strange conviction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.

Dr. Aafia Saddiqui, a Pakistani citizen who earned her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience in the United States, was recently convicted on multiple counts of attempted murder of US soldiers.  She was alternately and rather hyperbolically demonized by the US media and government as “Lady al Qaeda,” “the Mata Hari of al Qaeda,” and “one of the top seven most wanted al Qaeda operatives,” whereas in the accounts of human rights activists she was known as the grey lady of Bagram and prisoner 650.  

It’s difficult to summarize this bizarre tale as told in often conflicting, incomplete, and often utterly unsubstantiated media accounts, though some parts of the storyline remain somewhat consistent.    The skeleton of the story looks like this: Siddiqui completed her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at Brandeis and MIT.  She moved to Pakistan with her husband three children.  After divorcing her husband, she and her children were again returning to the US in 2003, but they never made it to the airport, and were unaccounted for over the next five years.  There are allegations that she was captured in Pakstan and sent to Bagram prison.  At around this time, she was accused by US officials of being a terrorist suspect.  In 2008, she was detained by Afghan police, interrogated and shot by Americans, then subsequently convicted of attempted murder by US courts on flimsy and dubious grounds.

Here’s one fairly apt summary of her case by Paul Craig Roberts, in an article titled, It’s now official: The US is a police state.

Dr. Siddiqui, a scientist educated at MIT and Brandeis University, was seized in Pakistan for no known reason, sent to Afghanistan, and was held secretly for five years in the U.S. military’s notorious Bagram prison in Afghanistan. Her three young children were with her at the time she was abducted, one an eight-month old baby. She has no idea what has become of her two youngest children. Her oldest child, 7 years old, was also incarcerated in Bagram and subjected to similar abuse and horrors.

Siddiqui has never been charged with any terrorism-related offense. A British journalist, hearing her piercing screams as she was being tortured, disclosed her presence. An embarrassed U.S. government responded to the disclosure by sending Siddiqui to the U.S. for trial on the trumped-up charge that while a captive, she grabbed a U.S. soldier’s rifle and fired two shots attempting to shoot him. The charge apparently originated as a U.S. soldier’s excuse for shooting Dr. Siddiqui twice in the stomach resulting in her near death.

On February 4, Dr. Siddiqui was convicted by a New York jury for attempted murder. The only evidence presented against her was the charge itself and an unsubstantiated claim that she had once taken a pistol-firing course at an American firing range. No evidence was presented of her fingerprints on the rifle that this frail and broken 100-pound woman had allegedly seized from an American soldier. No evidence was presented that a weapon was fired, no bullets, no shell casings, no bullet holes. Just an accusation.

Wikipedia has this to say about the trial: “The trial took an unusual turn when an FBI official asserted that the fingerprints taken from the rifle, which was purportedly used by Aafia to shoot at the U.S. interrogators, did not match hers.”

An ignorant and bigoted American jury convicted her for being a Muslim. This is the kind of “justice” that always results when the state hypes fear and demonizes a group.

The people who should have been on trial are the people who abducted her, disappeared her young children, shipped her across international borders, violated her civil liberties, tortured her apparently for the fun of it, raped her, and attempted to murder her with two gunshots to her stomach. Instead, the victim was put on trial and convicted.

This is the unmistakable hallmark of a police state. And this victim is an American citizen.

Discharging Single Mom

Many have been hoping for this outcome to this single mothers plight.

Army discharging single mom who refused deployment

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