May 5, 2011 archive

25 Navy Seals Defeated Exactly One (1) Arab with a Gun!


“Around 20 to 25 Navy SEALs, wearing night vision goggles, slid down ropes from the helicopters into the compound.”

From Fox News…

A senior U.S. official also told Fox News that only one of the five people killed in the raid was carrying a weapon and firing. The detail seemed at first to diverge from White House accounts claiming the Navy SEALs encountered resistance throughout the raid and were engaged in a firefight during much of the 40-minute operation. However, the scene was described as chaotic, with U.S. forces encountering barricades and women in the compound screaming and attacking the men.

And the AP…

WASHINGTON (AP) – Only one of the five people killed in the raid that got Osama bin Laden was armed and fired a shot, a senior defense official said Thursday, acknowledging the new account differs greatly from original administration portrayals of a chaotic, intense and prolonged firefight.

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

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This is an Open Thread

Can the US Return to the Pre-9/11 Rule of Law?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Dahlia Lithwick, a lawyer and senior editor at Slate, spoke with Cenk Uygur about returning the rule of law to thus country now that Osama bin Laden is dead. She calls for President Obama to fulfill his campaign promises to close Guantanamo, end military tribunal in lieu of Article III trials. In her article at Slate she discusses “Closing Pandora’s Box” ending the euphemistic “was on terror”:

The killing of Osama bin Laden has, for a brief instant, united an America that seemed permanently torn in two over birth certificates, the deficit, and the Donald. We can debate whether there should have been a trial, whether Americans ought to be dancing in the streets, whether it was legal to kill him, or even whether it matters whether it was legal to kill him. But we all appear to basically agree that the world is a far better place because the man responsible for one of the most vicious attacks in U.S. history is no longer in it.

So now what? Legally speaking, there are two broad lessons to derive from the Obama administration’s latest salvo in the war on terror. One is that it shows the need to continue operating outside legal norms indefinitely. The other is that it allows us to declare a symbolic victory over terrorism and return once more to the pre-9/11 regime in which the rule of law is inviolate.


About all we can say with certainty is this: We tortured. We live in a world in which we must contend with information obtained by torture. We now need to decide whether we want to continue to live that way. Writers from ideological backgrounds as diverse as Matt Yglesias and Ross Douthat argue that it is time to return to the paradigm abandoned after 9/11. Let’s put the 9/11 attacks and the existential threat it created behind us. With Bin Laden’s death, let’s simply agree that the objectives of the Bush administration’s massive anti-terror campaign have finally been achieved, and that the time for extra-legal, extra-judicial government programs-from torture, to illegal surveillance, to indefinite detention, to secret trials, to nontrials, to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay-has now passed. There will be no better marker for the end of this era. There will be no better time to inform the world that our flirtation with a system of shadow-laws was merely situational and that the situation now is over.

Although, I agree with Ms. Lithwick that President Obama has a grand opportunity to fulfill some of his campaign promises ending many of the extra-legal abuses of the Bush administration and his own, I disagree on others. Without prosecuting US war criminals — Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, all the lawyers and military commanders — the United States will never regain the stature it once had in the world in Human Rights. Pretending it never happened not going to make all the violations of International and US law go away. It is unrealistic to think it will.

DOJ Ignoring Grand Theft Wall Street

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Former New York governor and attorney general general, now CNN talk show host Eliot Spitzer appeared on Anderson Cooper’s “360” with “Rolling Stone” editor and blogger, Matt Taibbi discussing the two year investigation of the financial institutions that “plunged the U.S. economy into a painful recession”. The Senate subcommittee’s 650 page report that was released on April 13th is a scathing indictment of cover-ups,  lies, the conflict of interest of regulators and the cozy relationship with ratings agencies. During the discussion, Spitzer challenged Attorney General Eric Holder to either prosecute Goldman Sachs or resign:

SPITZER: Senator, I’m going to take a leap. I’m going to say it out loud. Very directly.

   Goldman Sachs, you lied to the public. You lied to your clients. You’ve got a problem. You come on the show. Sue me. I don’t care. You lied to the public, you should be prosecuted.

   I’m going to say it right now. And I hope they are.

It isn’t surprising that the “powers that be” went after Spitzer because this is the man who should be the US Attorney General.

Navy Vets Scam Artist Formally Charged

Just a short update on something I really want to keep ‘in the news’ for a couple of reasons, actually as a Navy vet there are others as well, but the political side should not be forgotten.

You can google the name or main points to get the past reports.

One reason is the obvious and the pictures tell that story. While sending our soldiers into two more ‘wars of choice’ and laughing about their ‘purple heart bandages’ as well!

By the way, a talking head journalist on CBS finally even said that about Afghanistan, war of choice, the other night.


Keith’s new show, Countdown, appears June 20th on Al Gore’s Current TV.  This Special Comment is from Friends of Keith.

Flash Crash

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

A year on, flash crash didn’t prove transformative

By Jonathan Spicer, Reuters

Thu May 5, 2011 8:55am EDT

In the hours and days after last year’s “flash crash,” it seemed like Wall Street’s high-tech marketplace was in for big changes.

Yet a year later, little has changed — suggesting that while the flash crash was historic, it was not transformative.

With Europe’s debt crisis keeping markets on edge on May 6, 2010, a big futures sale sparked a cascade of selling in the stock market. The high-frequency algorithmic traders that now supply much of the market’s orders started bailing out, leaving nothing to stop the stampede to sell at any cost.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 700 points in minutes that afternoon, eliminating $1 trillion in paper value before rebounding nearly as quickly. Blue-chip stocks hit record lows while others such as Accenture Plc traded for a penny, prompting thousands of trade breaks and wrecking havoc on investments.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has so far made only one structural adjustment to markets: trading pauses known as circuit breakers. The regulator also made some noncontroversial nips and tucks around the edges and is mulling further changes, but for now at least, an overhaul is nowhere on the horizon.

“Not enough has been done,” said Andrew Brooks, head of U.S. equity trading at T Rowe Price, a big Baltimore-based asset manager.

“Do we know who trades all the large stuff? Do we know the nature of the counterparties in the marketplace today? The answer is no, and it’s crazy.”

So much for free, efficient, and transparent markets.

The solution is a transaction tax.  Not only would it force high churn traders to reconsider their gambling bets “investment” decisions, but it would also solve our revenue (not deficit) problem at a stroke.

What we have to do structurally is make it impossible (or prohibitively expensive) to gamble ‘on the house’ by using leverage as a money multiplier unless you are prepared to pay off your private debts when you lose.

I have no sympathy at all for those who sold Accenture at a penny.  You were fucking stupid to let a computer make your decisions for you.  Master of the Universe my ass, you’re a con man with a gambling addiction, a moron, and you deserve to be kicked to the gutter penniless and homeless like your Randian philosophy demands.

Bad Kids!

Bad kids! Kids like you and me!


Tortilla Flaps

Cinco de Mayo

The name simply means “The Fifth of May” and it’s an oddly U.S. American holiday.

Except in the State of Puebla they don’t much celebrate the victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in Mexico which makes it much more like Patriot’s Day that we here in New England get to celebrate almost every year as an extra filing day (I understand there’s also a foot race in Boston).

Interestingly enough it was a stand up fight against the banksters which they lost (those who do not remember history…).  Some people say that the French intervention was intended to establish a supply line to aid the Slave Owner’s Rebellion (or as the more charitable put it, The War of the Rebellion).

Not Congressionally recognized until 2005, celebrations started in California as early as the mid 1860s and for over 100 years were most common in Southwestern States with a large population of people of Mexican descent.  Now of course it’s just another excuse to over consume the cheap crappy Tequila and Beer that Mexico exports (don’t get me wrong, there are good Mexican Beers and Tequila but Corona, Dos Equis, and Jose Cuervo are not them) and ignore real, actual factual Mexican history because we’re so fucking exceptional that understanding and caring about the countries we border is as beneath us as even knowing which ones they are.

Just don’t mistake it for Grito de Dolores.

Six In The Morning

How profile of bin Laden courier led CIA to its target

Mysterious Kuwaiti matched many criteria for al-Qaida leader’s contact with outside world

By Michael Isikoff

National investigative correspondent

The courier who led the CIA to Osama bin Laden’s doorstep was identified through years of painstaking detective work that included developing a composite “profile” of what an ideal courier for the al-Qaida leader would look like.

“It was like doing the profile of a serial killer,” said one U.S. official, who provided new details to NBC News about how the agency was able to track down the courier and, ultimately, bin Laden himself. The official, who spoke on the

condition of anonymity, was one of the three U.S. officials to describe the intelligence community’s search for the courier.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

The longest journey is the journey inward.

–Dag Hammarskj√∂ld

Connecting the Dots 6

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