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Gen. Petraeus Has Epiphany

I can’t even make an introduction to this:

“One of our doctrines is: Live your values,” Petraeus says. “And there are two arguments for living your values. One is you have the moral obligation to do it. It is the right thing to do. If you don’t buy that, you have a practical reason to do it, because every time you violate it, you pay for it.” The damage done by Abu Ghraib, for instance, is permanent; he has called it a “nonbiodegradable” event. It undercuts the core objective, the trust and respect of the indigenous population. Petraeus says, “The human terrain is the decisive terrain.”

You think, General?  You think Iraqi’s seeing muslim men hooded, naked, being humiliated, tortured, while U.S. troops photographed it would all go away?

Better question, did you just NOW have this epiphany?

One-Term President

President Obama in January (2010):

“I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president,” he told ABC’s “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview today.

He isn’t the only person talking about him being a one-term President. In fact, it can be argued that he never saw himself as more than a one-term President whose only job was to enact what Bush couldn’t and keep in place Bush policies.

Vatican Uses Torture Defense in Abuse Scandal

The Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI are in trouble. As more information comes to light about how the church, under Vatican orders, shielded priests that molested children, more lawsuits are being filed against them. In particular is a lawsuit filed in Kentucky seeking class-action status against the Vatican itself.

VATICAN CITY – Dragged deeper than ever into the clerical sex abuse scandal, the Vatican is launching a legal defense that it hopes will shield the pope from a lawsuit in Kentucky seeking to have him answer attorneys’ questions under oath.

The response by the Vatican is, to say the least, predictable:

Court documents obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press show that Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the pope has immunity as head of state, that American bishops who oversaw abusive priests weren’t employees of the Vatican, and that a 1962 document is not the “smoking gun” that provides proof of a cover-up.

But, buried in the story, is that the Vatican also plans to use the “torture” defense.

“If Pope Benedict XVI is ordered to testify by a U.S. court, foreign courts could feel empowered to order discovery against the president of the United States regarding, for example, such issues as CIA renditions,” Lena wrote in a 2008 brief.

The Monster That is Now Called Law Enforcement

The Jacksonville, Florida, Sheriff’s Department is now having to answer why five officers fired 42 rounds into a vehicle that had been carjacked. In the car when police fired at it was a 2 year-old toddler, a 7 year-old, and their mother. The toddler was hit twice, once in the arm and once in the upper torso, and, remains in critical condition.

“We had a very volatile situation,” Sheriff John Rutherford told the Florida Times Union. “I just don’t want to try to speculate on why they felt the need to shoot at the suspect while he was in the vehicle.”

I wouldn’t want to try and speculate, either, since there was NO REASON that an officer would think to fire at a vehicle that still held three innocent people.

What isn’t speculation is that law enforcement officers have turned into monsters, and, that this is the result of too many officers committing too many offenses without punishment.


CIA Admits to Illegal Operations; United States Now a Pariah

Did you hear?  The United Kingdom has decided that maybe, just maybe, it shouldn’t be subservient to the United States anymore.

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee said the government should be “less deferential” toward the Americans and take a more realistic view of the relationship. In a report published Sunday, the committee said that, while ties with America remain close, it is important to recognize that Britain is just one of many countries with important U.S. links.

It’s not hard to see why the UK may be feeling this way since they were unable to squelch investigations into complicity in the torture of detainees, a program started by the Bush administration.  Now, politicians and government officials in Britain are trying their best to run from that complicity.

The government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, the former head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed last night.

She also said the Americans concealed from Britain the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 2001 attacks.

“The Americans were very keen that people like us did not discover what they were doing,” Lady Manningham-Buller told a meeting at the House of Lords.

She also admitted MI5 were slow to recognise that the US was torturing detainees. Asked if Britain protested, she replied: “We did lodge a protest.” She declined to elaborate but it is believed that the protests were made at ministerial level.

Yes. We PROTESTED the use of torture, but, didn’t do anything to actually STOP it.  Yet, NOW that it is all coming out, British politicians are worried they are seen as America’s “poodle”.

“The perception that the British government was a subservient ‘poodle’ to the U.S. administration leading up to the period of the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” the report said. “This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the U.K.”

Actually, what has damaged Britain’s reputation isn’t perception, but, the facts that are now emerging; Tony Blair DID follow George W. Bush into war with Iraq and the torture of detainees.  He turned Britain INTO America’s poodle.


Enough with the “War On Iran” Already!

I previously wrote about a report that America was shipping classified ordnance to Diego Garcia in preparation for a likely attack against Iran.  In my view and experience this report, at best, is questionable, and is, in my opinion, total psy-op garbage.  The reasons are simple; a) A shipment of extremely classified ordnance is going to be handed over to a 3rd-party contractor?, b) A shipping manifest is going to be posted online so everyone can see that classified ordnance is being shipped to Diego Garcia?, c) The company named in the report hasn’t posted any projects on their website since 2006, nor, does it post this alleged project?, and d) There is no doubt in my mind that Diego Garcia already has all of the ordnance it would need to perform operations.  

This very simple reasoning, however, hasn’t stopped the story from being picked up by other news outlets. has now run two articles/op-eds that cite this very report (here and here).  We have only heard that the United States or Israel were going to attack Iran for years.

Here is why there is little reason to believe there is an upcoming attack on Iran…

The state of the Supreme Court

Glenn Greenwald has a great article up about the next opening on the Supreme Court.  With the next Presidential election two years away, it is likely that President Obama will be able to pick a second Supreme Court Justice, and, Greenwald opines on this NYT article.

If Justice Stevens retires, Democrats close to the White House said, the leading contenders will be three runners-up from last year: Elena Kagan, the solicitor general; Diane P. Wood, an appeals court judge in Chicago; and Merrick B. Garland, an appeals court judge in Washington.

If you think that President Obama will nominate a person with “liberal” leanings, you are sadly mistaken.

Proof of Election Fraud

Do you remember, as I do, how anyone at Daily Kos that dared state that the 2000 election was stolen was scoffed at?  Do you remember, as I do, how without “evidence” it was all a conspiracy theory and extraordinary claim?

Well, the proof is now there for all to see.  Eight defendants were found guilty in federal court for election fraud stemming from the 2000, 2004 and 2006 elections. From the Kentucky article:

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A jury convicted a former judge and seven others on Thursday of scheming to buy votes for several local offices in an eastern Kentucky county.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Frankfort deliberated for nine hours over two days before convicting all eight people in a federal racketeering conspiracy. Those convicted on Thursday included former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle and former school Superintendent Douglas C. Adams.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the jury also convicted several of the defendants on other charges, including mail fraud, extortion and laundering money that was used to buy votes.

America, Politics and the Law

During the George W. Bush administration, Republicans were working to achieve perpetual GOP dominance of our government. The Department of Justice was politicized and stocked with individuals, like Monica Goodling, willing to hire only those loyal to the GOP. Other government agency officials, like Lurita Doan, wondered how their agency could assist during elections to ensure continued dominance. But, eight years of scandals and lies by the Bush administration ended those dreams with electoral landslides in 2006 and 2008 by the Democratic Party.

The political party that ran on the slogan “Country First” has decided that they really don’t like our country, or its democracy, now that they are out of power. Republicans are blocking committee hearings from occurring in the Senate. Republican Rep. Gohmert (R-TX) is introducing a Constitutional amendment to eliminate public senatorial elections. The GOP is filibustering every piece of legislation, mandating that the Democratic party needs 60 votes to govern, then crying how it should be higher if 60 votes are garnered.

James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 48, “They seem never to have recollected the danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpations.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote in his “Notes on the state of Virginia”, “All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands, is precisely the definition of despotic government.”

Given the tactics used by the GOP in order to maintain their dominance of our government, but worse, their tactics once they hold no power, is there any doubt that their form of governing is the very definition of tyranny?

No One Should Be Above the Law

In 1776, our founding fathers made a bold pronouncement; that all men are created equal, that we were endowed with unalienable rights, and, among these were Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Enshrined in our Constitution were more bold pronouncements; that no man could be deprived of his rights, that no man above the law, and, that our government was designed to protect these rights. These words hinged on one key principle; that the truth of these words would always be upheld. We learned during the years of the Bush administration how these principles were forsaken and that the truth didn’t matter as long as a political agenda was advanced.

Iran Attack Coming?

A reporter with the Scotland Herald, Mr. Rob Edwards, is reporting that the U.S. may be gearing up for an attack on Iran.

According to the report, “A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia.

Also, it is reported that among the cargo are “192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.”

Can this be true?  I’m very, VERY skeptical about this report for a few reasons.


’24’ Over; Torture Remains

It is being reported that the television show ’24’ is ending.  Good riddance.  If you don’t know about the show, it featured a character named Jack Bauer, who, when faced with “ticking time bomb” scenarios wasn’t afraid to use a little torture to get the plot and save the day.

But, what was ’24’ ACTUALLY used for, and, what was the result of it?

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