March 2010 archive

Obama Continues Bush/Cheney’s Persecution of Abu Zubaydah

On March 28, 2002, Abu Zubaydah was captured in Faisalabad, Pakistan by the FBI, “identified” as a high-ranking operative of al Qaeda, and subsequently tortured by American agents at Guantanamo and elsewhere.

Abu Zubaydah’s treatment at the hands of the CIA has been called torture by Ali Soufan, the FBI interrogator who witnessed part of Abu Zubaydah’s CIA interrogation, multiple U.S. officials including President Obama, and by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Media and DOJ reports about torturing Mr. Zubaydah were always careful to mention his connection to al Qaeda.

The C.I.A. officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2005 Justice Department legal memorandum. Abu Zubaydah has been described as a Qaeda operative.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Early 5 pm Edition.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Donors close to reaching goal of $3.8 billion for Haiti

by Gerard Aziakou, AFP

47 mins ago

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Donors neared their goal Wednesday of raising 3.8 billion dollars at a major UN fundraiser for quake-ravaged Haiti, with nearly two-thirds of the pledges coming from the European Union and the United States.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, co-hosting the conference with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, pledged 1.15 billion dollars, saying the funds would go toward supporting Haiti’s plan “to strengthen agriculture, energy, health, and security and governance.”

The 27-member European Union and the European Commission said its members would provide a total 1.235 billion dollars, with France offering to disburse 180 million euros (243 million dollars) in 2010-2011 for food and the re-establishment of government authority.

International Unemployment Day

  Mark Twain once said, “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

I wonder what Twain would think if he looked around America today?

 When unemployment rates hit crisis levels during the early 1930’s, the unemployed took to the streets and demanded relief aid from the government.

 Today the unemployed are again taking to the streets, but their demands are somewhat different.

 At rallies, gatherings and training sessions in recent months, activists often tell a similar story in interviews: they had lost their jobs, or perhaps watched their homes plummet in value, and they found common cause in the Tea Party’s fight for lower taxes and smaller government.

  The Great Depression, too, mobilized many middle-class people who had fallen on hard times. Though, as Michael Kazin, the author of “The Populist Persuasion,” notes, they tended to push for more government involvement. The Tea Party vehemently wants less – though a number of its members acknowledge that they are relying on government programs for help.

Must see TV tonight – MLK Jr. & Obama!

Tavis Smiley has produced a special report comparing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Barack Obama, focusing on their attitudes to war, empire and the consequences for society and the world.  

Smiley speaks out against what Cornell West has called “The Santa-Claus-ization” of King.  In typical goody-two-shoes, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” fashion, the mainstream has chosen to concentrate on what it considers the good, positive King, not the one who criticized U.S. foreign policy and called the United States the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”  

That was true when King said it in the sixties, one year before he was assassinated; and, sadly, it remains true today.  

The show airs on PBS tonight (8 PM Pacific, check your local time).  I’ve e-mailed the link out to my list, hoping some will hear, perhaps for the first time, King’s views on war and his contrast to Obama.

Read the Black Agenda Repost article on the program:

King and Obama.

Drill, Baby, Drill

The winner gets to implement the platform they ran on, right?

Or, the platform of the losing side.

He (Obama) said that his plan to allow drilling along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska – ending a longstanding moratorium on exploration from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean

….the sheer breadth of the offshore drilling decision will take some of his supporters aback.…

Today Is Al Gore’s Birthday

Today is Al Gore’s birthday. In July of 2008, this appeared at the Wall Street Journal:

Appearing before a packed crowd at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, the former vice president and Nobel laureate urged lawmakers to resist the temptation to overturn a federal ban on offshore drilling, and he reiterated his support for a carbon tax accompanied by a “sharp reduction” in payroll taxes.

“We should tax what we burn, not what we earn,” Gore told the crowd. His comments come at a pivotal time, with some Democratic lawmakers saying publicly that they could support a relaxation of the offshore drilling ban as a response to soaring oil prices.

Gore also challenged the country to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources within 10 years. He compared the goal to the Marshall Plan, the interstate highway system and the Apollo program. “Once again,” he said, “we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind.”

This isn’t about campaign promises. This isn’t about cutting a political deal. This isn’t about taking a moderate approach. This isn’t about baby steps. This is about the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. This is about science. This is about the desperate need for a global sense of desperate urgency. We don’t have time to waste. We don’t have time to compromise.

The world is not addressing climate change with anything remotely close to the urgency it demands. Nearly a month ago, I wrote about the collapse of international efforts to address climate change. I linked about the increased industry disinformation campaign. About how the British, the European Union, China, India, Russia, Australia, and the U.S Senate are failing. This is an historical moment when world leadership is required. When someone needs to step up and force the world to open its collective eyes and stop dithering and denying and pretending and avoiding. This is not a time to be perpetuating myths and enabling both the process and the paradigm that undermine the very concept of our having a collective future.

As I wrote, last month:

Open Parrish


The ‘al Qaeda’ Among Us

What’s al Qaeda? It’s a ghost enemy, and has only grown, that has been elevated to some sort of major world force over the past decade {bin Laden and friends are in constant smile in their caves and thanking those who elevated them, every day, giving him everything he wanted}. Anyone who espouses to criminal terrorism of others and wants the stature that name now brings to other like minded individuals or groups take the label readily. Those that commit violent criminal terrorist acts are readily labeled as members of or offshoot groups on the fringes of. Except of course here in the United States, do domestic criminal terror, or planning same, you’re not only Not Labeled As Such some actually Embrace What You’ve Done or are Planning and that you have every right to terrorize your communities or country! Recent acts have proven that out, i.e. Austin Texas, Killings in Churches, Militia Raids, and we can go back for only a few of the many, Oklahoma City Bombing, Eric Rudolf, Branch Dividians in Waco, many many examples, not only in recent history but our entire history as a Nation.

The Short Sword of State Sponsored Terrorism

Produced in 1992 for the BBC by Director Alan Frankovich, the three part documentary ‘Operation Gladio’ reveals ‘Gladio’ (Italian for Gladius, a type of Roman short sword) is a code name for a clandestine NATO “stay-behind” operation in Italy after World War II, set up ostensibly to conduct anti-communist resistance in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe.

According to a well documented and extensively referenced Wikipedia article “Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organisations, “Operation Gladio” is used as an informal name for all stay-behind organisations, sometimes called “Super NATO”.

This BBC series “is about a far-right secret army, operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups. Known as ‘stay-behinds’ these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.”

Jeffrey Kaye in a Seminal post Sunday March 28, 2010 notes that “When the invasion never occurred, the networks were not dismantled, but took on a different mission: to keep the left from gaining power in any of these states, from Sweden and Belgium to France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey and elsewhere.”

Jeff goes on in his post to note that “The sensationalistic charges have fed a number of conspiracy theories, particularly those around the existence of “false flag” government operations. Some have indicated they see the 9/11 attacks in this light, though I can’t say I have the kind of evidence to make such an assertion. But one can understand how any individual might come to seriously mistrust the U.S. government after learning of the Gladio history, which is extensive and well-documented.”

“Among other canards the Gladio story can put to rest is the silly belief that no large scale conspiracies can exist, at least in a so-called open, democratic society such as ours. And yet, Gladio proves that is not true. In fact, since the revelations of the early 1990s, there has been practically no discussion of this crucial aspect of contemporary history by U.S. historians or policy makers.”

Operation Gladio – Part One – “The Ringmasters”

Watch parts Two and Three below the fold…

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement

Wednesday Morning Science Supplement is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Science

1 What, or who, killed the last mammoths?

by Marlowe Hood, AFP

Tue Mar 30, 9:12 pm ET

PARIS (AFP) – The last known population of woolly mammoths, roaming a remote Arctic island long after humans invented writing, were wiped out quickly, reports a study released Wednesday.

The culprit might have been disease, humans or a catastrophic weather event, but was almost certainly not climate change, suggests the study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Exactly why a majority of the huge tuskers that once strode in large herds across Eurasia and north America died out toward the end of the last ice age has generated fiery debate.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Steam Heat

(Click on image for larger view)


I could put your entire life in 20 kilobytes.

I could put your entire life in 20 kilobytes, send it flying across the and collate it and generate a report on your actions, your preferences, and your entire life, including being cross checked by dedicated people to do just that, in about 15 minutes.

They are scary, but I’m scarier still.

Hope that gives you some comfort.

The form, which picture you put up in this diary .. this is what I do.

I owe you all on Docudharma, a sort of apology.  You see, I’ve been among you, for months, and I’m the enemy.  A very small, brilliant enemy, who doesn’t believe in, really, anything he does, but still, I feel like I’m the enemy.

I work for the insurance companies.

No, not the health insurance companies.  You see, insurance, like a product, is bought, sold, packaged, sent down the line, and then repackaged, vended, and consumed.  Though it is not a product, it is like a product.

I don’t work for the health insurance companies.  To tell the truth, I don’t even work directly for the homeowners insurance companies who are my clients.  No, I work for their vendors.  These are the people who compile statistics.

These people, many of them, who work for the insurance companies, homeowner, health, or otherwise .. these are well meaning people, fellow Americans like you and I.  

They worry about their futures, try to comfort their jobs by thinking they help people, and have the same dreams you have.  They want to send their children to school, too .. they are just looking to keep a job and leave the world a little better than they found it.

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