Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
It's the mustache.
At this point, I didn't believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record. In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki's father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims. That's not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what's most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is "state secrets": in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are "state secrets," and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.
Obama Argues His Assassination Program is a "State Secret"
by Glenn Greenwald
Obama thinks he has the authority to order you killed.
No judge or jury.
And you have no right to face your accuser, or defend yourself in court.
This isn't the power of a President of the United States.
It's the power of an Adolf Hitler.
And a Josef Stalin.
And a Pol Pot.
And a bunch of other bloody bastards we say we're different from.
I'd like to know just where this supposed former "constitutional law instructor" finds this authority.
There's nothing in my copy of the constitution that gives the President --- or anyone else -- any such power. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Don't take my word for it.
Look it up, yourself.
The Constitution also does not grant any "state secret" privileges, either.
But I suppose when we allow this SOB to murder Iraquis and Afghanis and Pakistanis with impunity, we can't be too awfully surprised that we're also to be subjected to his imperial power.
Mr. Obama, like his predecessor, belongs in jail or on the gallows.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
They feel a change coming.
Hearts beat like drums.
Warpaint on the trees.
Old scars ache
Of long-ago adventures
And foolish mistakes
Some scars you can see
And others you can't
Some were given to me
Others I had to fight for
A breeze, a glass of wine,
the scent of my horse
Fresh in my nostrils
And I can't help wondering
What good I've done
Or if I'll be able to do any
Friday, September 24, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Judge Decides to Devote Four Months to Studying Issues and Testimony Presented in "Creech 14" Case
LAS VEGAS - September 15 - The “Creech 14” went to trial on September 14, 2010 in Clark County Regional Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. The case originated during a week of demonstrations and vigils in April 2009, when the activists entered Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs to highlight the serious injustice of the U.S. military’s use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Crews at Creech control the drones used in these expanding wars, including killing civilians in remote controlled assassination attacks. The protesters were charged with trespassing. Judge William Jansen scheduled the verdict for January 27, 2011.
Judge Jansen allowed the pro-se defendants to call three expert witnesses – former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, retired Col. and former Embassy Official Ann Wright, and Bill Quigley, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
“Targeted assassinations by Predator and Reaper drones,” said defendant Renee Espeland, “must be catapulted into the court of public opinion. I am bound by the law of our land that makes it my duty to stop the killing of civilians and to protect U.S. soldiers being ordered to perform illegal acts.”
The judge limited the defense to questions strictly pertaining to the charge of trespass. However, through carefully crafted questions, the defendants were able to extract several key points from their witnesses:
- Intentional killing is a war crime, as embodied in U.S. constitutional law.
- Drone strikes by U.S. and coalition forces kill a disproportionate number of civilians.
- People have the right, even the duty, to stop war crimes.
- According to the Nuremberg principles, individuals are required to disobey domestic orders that cause crimes against humanity.
Defendant Brian Terrell delivered the group's closing statement. Referring to earlier mention of a classic metaphor used in cases invoking the necessity defense, he depicted a house on fire, with a baby trapped inside. “The house is on fire; the baby is in the house,” said Terrell, “We fourteen are ones who see the smoke, and will not allow a ‘no trespass’ sign to stop us from reaching burning children.” Terrell was speaking about the civilian deaths caused by U.S. drones in Afghanistan.
The Creech 14 include Fr. John Dear, SJ; Dennis DuVall; Renee Espeland; Judy Homanich; Kathy Kelly; Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ; Mariah Klusmire; Brad Lyttle; Libby Pappalardo; Sr. Megan Rice, SHCJ; Brian Terrell; Eve Tetaz; Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM; and Fr. Jerry Zawada, OFM.
Voices for Creative Nonviolence has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003.
CONTACT: Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Jim Haber 415-828-2506
Kathy Kelly: 773-619-2418
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
- Robert F . Kennedy
And just the kind of loose talk that can get you shot.
Ever notice that it's never the tyrannical bastards that catch a bullet?
Maybe we should try to change that.
Start a new trend.
Might catch on.
Bigger than the hula hoop.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
If this were any other crime, you'd have secured the crime scene and gone over every shred of it, piece by piece, photographing each item in place, carefully removing and analyzing it and carefully preserving the chain of custody.
One of the wilder stories circulating about Sept 11 (and one that has attracted something of a cult following amongst conspiracy buffs) is that it was carried out by 19 fanatical Arab hijackers, masterminded by an evil genius named Osama bin Laden, with no apparent motivation other than that they “hate our freedoms.”
Never a group of people to be bothered by facts, the perpetrators of this cartoon fantasy have constructed an elaborately woven web of delusions and unsubstantiated hearsay in order to promote this garbage across the Internet and the media to the extent that a number of otherwise rational people have actually fallen under its spell.
Normally I don't even bother debunking this kind of junk, but the effect that this paranoid myth is beginning to have requires a little rational analysis, in order to consign it to the same rubbish bin as all such silly conspiracy theories.
These crackpots even contend that the extremist Bush regime was caught unawares by the attacks, had no hand in organizing them and actually would have stopped them if it had been able. Blindly ignoring the stand down of the U.S. Air Force, the insider trading on airline stocks (linked to the CIA), the complicit behavior of Bush on the morning of the attacks, the controlled demolition of the WTC, the firing of a missile into the Pentagon and a host of other documented proofs that the Bush regime was behind the attacks, the conspiracy theorists stick doggedly to a silly story about 19 Arab hijackers somehow managing to commandeer four planes simultaneously and fly them around U.S. airspace for nearly two hours, crashing them into important buildings, without the U.S. intelligence services having any idea that it was coming, and without the Air Force knowing what to do.
-- Gerard Holmgren
You'd have made a list of persons who might have benefitted from the crime.
That boils down to love or money.
Contrary to the Lennon-McCartney theory on it, money can, indeed, buy you love.
In an arson, the first person you look at is the owner -- especially if he's about to collect on a hefty insurance policy. In a homicide, you check to see if there was a life insurance policy and who the beneficiary is.
That's not Sherlock Holmesian stuff.
That's elementary, my dear Watson.
You'd compile a list of the victims, too, and determine who might have had a reason to kill any of one them. Yes, there are people who would kill a whole building full of innocent people just to "get" one guy, just as there are nations that would bomb a country full of innocent people just to "get" one alleged "bad guy."
You make a list of who had a motive.
Then you'd make a list of who had the means and compare those two.
You'd second-string anyone who didn't have both motive and means.
Then you'd make a list of who had the opportunity and compare/contrast that list, too.
At the end, you'd have a pretty good list of suspects.
Most of the physical evidence has been -- rather hurriedly -- destroyed, something that might get your average detective busted back to foot patrol if he'd let it happen.
But there's still a LOT of witness testimony, photographic evidence and circumstantial evidence (which can be VERY good evidence even though it gets a bum rap on TV) and some trace evidence that has been scientifically analyzed.
If you want to know the truth, follow the evidence.
Even if you don't like where it goes.
If you're one of those who's inclined to "honor" the dead, I suggest the best way to "honor" them is to find out who murdered them and then prosecute the bastards.
If you're not willing to do that, the rest is just fluff.
At first, he approached the edge of the area, bordered by a drainage ditch, and stood a long while, nostrils flaring, head up, ears at attention, as if searching out a suspected predator.
He took a tentative step forward and searched some more.
Then he slowly crossed the ditch and stood in the tall grass, and searched once more.
At last, he reached down, snipped off a sampling of grass, chewed it slowly.
After a moment, he lowered his head and set about transforming the grass into horse.
He must have noted my expression, because he deigned to explain it to me.
"She's gone, Jack," he said. "And there's nothing I can do about it. I won't forget her. But there's nothing to do now but keep moving."
It reminded me of a similar conversation I'd once had with a D-Day veteran. Caught in a frenzy of enemy fire buzzing around him like a sandstorm of angry hornets, he'd seen friends fall, too.
But there was nothing to do but keep moving, get off the beach. To falter would only mean dying with them; nothing he could do could save them. But if he survived, there would eventually come a moment of quiet and he would take the time then to remember, to grieve.
I mentioned it to my partner and he nodded sagely.
"What you have to understand, Jack," he said softly, "is that every day is D-Day."
He's a wise old horse.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I'm not a "pacifist."
You smite me and the only other cheek I'm going to be turning is yours.
And you're not getting up any time soon.
But the wars America is fighting -- and has fought -- haven't a damn thing to do with self-defense.
It's all about the money.
That's a low reason to kill and a stupid reason to die.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I hear she went down swinging.
Fought like a champ.
Oh, they managed to kill her, all right.
But she got a couple of good licks in.
My partner is angry about it, too.
He was her next-paddock neighbor.
Liked each other.
Shared a water trough.
He followed her scent, snorting and pawing,
Eyes wide and alert.
Searched for her.
But her scent told the story.
There's good, tall grass near where they buried her.
Used to be his favorite spot to graze.
Won't go there now.
Some people don't think horses feel the emotions we feel.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
That's why there are horses.
Can you say "cover-up," Kids?
I knew that you could.
In an investigation, when you catch somebody lying, the odds are EXTREMELY high that that person is involved in the crime, either as a principal, an accomplice, or an accessory before or after the fact.
My mentor, who was a former FBI agent, advised me that you can determine the truth from the pattern of lies.
What does the pattern of lies in the "official story" of 911, and everything based on that story, suggest to you?
Not pretty, is it?
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Rap isn't particularly my thing.
But I dig this one.
Bush and his entire neo-fascist circle of jerks belong in prison, at least.
And Obama, who's currently running Dudya's short pass to a totalitarian touch-down, can have the next cell over.
Not just 3000 innocent people murdered in New York, but hundreds and hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I'm against the death penalty.
But in Dubya's case I'd be sorely tempted to make an exception.
Just a note to the vicious racial/religious bigots out there.
You can be an "American" and be a Muslim, too.
And in America religious freedom belongs to EVERYone.
Not just to whites.
Not just to Christians.
So when you hear somebody running his or her mouth against Muslims, the way it's become so acceptable to do (the same way it was acceptable to badmouth Jews back in Nazi Germany), I hope you'll stand up and speak up.
It's the right thing to do.
And, I would hope, it's the AMERICAN thing to do.
(Thanks to Linda for hipping me to this clip)