Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Probe finds Haditha killings unprovoked…

Today, the Bush administration said a preliminary military inquiry found evidence that, in November, U.S. Marines killed two dozen Iraqi civilians in an unprovoked attack. The finding contradicted the troops' account. The preliminary finding is based on "the forensics [evidence that] painted a different story than what the Marines had said."

At a Pentagon briefing, Army Brig. Gen. Carter Ham said, "Allegations such as this, regardless of how they are borne out by the facts, can have an effect on the ability of U.S. forces to continue to operate." Gen, Ham is deputy director for regional operations for the military's Joint Staff.

Two military investigations are underway: First, Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investing whether murder charges should be brought. Secondly, a separate investigation is taking place to determine if military officials covered up the incident.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Massacre of civilians at Haditha worse than Abu Gharib...

We’ve been following the development about the massacre at Haditha: See, US Rep. Jack Murtha: Evidence the US military deliberately ... and Rep. Jack Murtha vindicated: US opens probe on Iraq civilian's death

Today Associated Press reports the massacre of civilians at Haditha in the Anbar province is worse than Abu Gharib:

The shootings last November at Haditha, a city in the Anbar province of western Iraq that has been plagued by insurgents, were covered up, said Rep. John Murtha…"Who covered it up, why did they cover it up, why did they wait so long?" Murtha said on "This Week" on ABC.

"We don't know how far it goes. It goes right up the chain of command….I will not excuse murder, and this is what happened," Murtha said. "This investigation should have been over two or three weeks afterward and it should have been made public and people should have been held responsible for it."

Additional coverage:
Haditha killings will likely weaken U.S. war support
The Shame of Haditha
Witnesses describe Haditha slayings of Iraqis

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bush administration continues its freefall downward…

Already a love-hate relationship, Bush continues his autocratic collision with a Republican controlled Congress.

Today, in a move to keep the government together, Bush ineptly
orders the FBI to seal documents confiscated from the offices of Louisiana Congressman Bill Jefferson.

The rule of law no longer reigns supreme in the U.S.

Mimicking 3rd World governments, Pres. Bush tries desperately to appear presidential even if he can no longer lead. It’s a shame the U.S. doesn’t have a method by which an ineffective government can be dissolved by a no-confidence vote. Watching the Bush administration in tailspin downward is excruciating at best.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rep. Jack Murtha vindicated: U.S. opens probe on Iraq civilian's death

Recently Rep. Jack Murtha, decorated Vietnam vet, condemned U.S. Military cover-up of the massacre of Iraqi civilians. On May 17, Murtha said the Haditha attack was far worse than originally reported. He accused U.S. troops of killing innocent women and children "in cold blood." Nearly twice as many people were killed than first reported. Murtha blamed the killings on an "overstretched and overstressed" military. See, US Rep. Jack Murtha: Evidence the US military deliberately ...
Today the U.S. military announced it was opening criminal investigation into allegations. Associated Press reports, “A preliminary investigation by Multinational Force-West found enough information to recommend an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service.”

AP further reported, “Videotape aired by an Arab television station showed images purportedly taken in the aftermath of the encounter: a bloody bedroom floor, bullet holes in walls and bodies of women and children. An Iraqi human rights group called for an investigation of what it described as another deadly mistake that had harmed civilians.”

Monday, May 22, 2006

U.S. Rep. Jack Murtha: Evidence the US military deliberately massacred Iraqi civilians.

Sometime last year, when we wrote about the real atrocities at Abu Ghrib we were called liars. But, references to photographs and videotapes mentioned only in European newspapers began to surface, albeit cryptically, during official investigation of the allegations.

After months of denial and a lawsuit by the ACLU, the Army admitted it had evidence that was more shocking than pictures of soldiers holding vicious dogs over prisoners. It had evidence of murder and rape.

Notwithstanding, a federal judge's order to release the evidence, the military stonewalled "full disclosure." Finally, an Australian newspaper had the courage to print what the American news media shunned. And with its disclosure, there was more evidence of pres. Bush’s dishonesty. More evidence the Bush administration was desperately trying to salvage war in Iraq in order to salvage Bush’s presidency.

Today, senior House Democrat Jack Murtha, himself a decorated Vietnam veteran, disclosed evidence the US military deliberately massacred Iraqi civilians. In Murtha's words, the evidence will prove to be a "very, very bad thing" for the US.

The slaughter stems from the death Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas on Nov. 19, 2005. A roadside explosive device killed Terrazas. Initially, the military covered up the atrocity, claiming the same roadside bomb that killed Terrazas also killed civilians. But, that wasn’t the case. As a result of Terrazas’s death, US marines conducted a house-to-house search that resulted in the slaughter of 23 civilians. But Murtha's sources say the killings were deliberate.

Those of us who lived through the Vietnam, remember the horror of My Lai Massacre. We also remember its cause. At that time, US soldiers were caught in a war that was ill advised and could not be won. Common sense dictates that our leaders would have learned a lesson, but they didn't.

Murtha explained, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." Like My Lai, information about the Iraqi atrocities came from military personnel. Murtha said his information "comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they are talking about."
It is difficult to believe that this nation will ever recover from the incredible damage inflicted upon it and the rest of the world by Pres. Bush.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Is it "we the people" or "me the people?" Presidential signing statements. A must see!

Phillip Cooper, a leading expert on Presidential signing statements, takes Pres. Bush to task in his 2002 book, By Order of the President: The Use and Abuse of Executive Direct Action. Cooper assesses the uses and abuses of signing statements by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

By Cooper's count, “George W. Bush issued 23 signing statements in 2001; 34 statements in 2002, raising 168 constitutional objections; 27 statements in 2003, raising 142 constitutional challenges, and 23 statements in 2004, raising 175 constitutional criticisms.” In total, during Bush’s first term Bush raised a remarkable 505 constitutional challenges to various provisions of legislation that became law.

“It’s ‘we the people,’ not ‘me the people,’ Mr. President. The new animation "Decider." A must see!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The determined killing of Joseph Clark....

Determined, an adj., meaning: Marked by or showing determination…resolute… decided or resolved, as in: “was engaged in a protracted struggle with a determined enemy.”

Determined to get drug money, Joseph Clark killed David Manning. The day before he killed Manning, determined to rob a store, Clark killed a store clerk. Joseph Clark was determined man – determined to kill Manning, determined to rob a store, and determined to kill the store clerk.

When the State of Ohio got its turn, it was determined – determined to kill Joseph Clark.

Determined to kill effectively, Ohio’s execution team anticipated special problems in killing Joseph Clark. One member of the execution team admitted, we knew Clark’s veins "were not going to be easy to find." Determined to succeed, Ohio’s execution team struggled to find a vein in Clark’s arm. Finally, success! And, then Clark’s vein collapsed.

Determined to assist in his own killing, Clark pushed himself up from his gurney saying, "It don't work."

Determined to die for Ohio’s execution team, Clark offered a solution. "
Can you just give me something by mouth to end this?" Clark asked his killers.

Determined not to be embarrassed, a member of Ohio’s execution team explained, we “tried to administer the lethal drugs through the first shunt by mistake.”

Determined not to hide the error, Ohio officials explained, “The vein simply collapsed — that wasn't a flaw in the process."

Then, Joseph Clark died.

Justice is a fickle thing....

Thank you, Mr. President: Disaster Unemployment Benefits Expire Soon

A republican-led Congress just approved big - and do mean big - tax cuts for the rich, but the working-stiff is told "get a job; if you can!"

The U.S. Labor Department announced the 13-week extension of disaster unemployment benefits approved by President Bush in March will expire June 3. This will affect about 72,000 Louisiana residents who are still receiving the assistance. New Orleans CityBusiness, 05/11/2006

A great champion is gone: Former Boxer Floyd Patterson Dies....

A great champion is gone: Former Boxer Floyd Patterson Dies at 71

In boxing, they strike the bell 10 times to show a great champion can’t answer the bell.

Bong… Bong… Bong… Bong… Bong… Bong… Bong… Bong… Bong… Bong… to show a great champion is gone.

Today, from New Paltz, it’s reported 71 year old Floyd Patterson, “who came back from an embarrassing loss to become the first boxer to regain the heavyweight title, died Thursday.” Patterson was a kind, humble champion, who overcame many disabilities to achieve what few men have achieved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

See it here: Comedian Stephen Colbert nails Pres. Bush

Comedian Stephen Colbert nails Pres. Bush at the Whitehouse Correspondents dinner. Unlike the mythical WMDs, Bush had no place to hide ... Play: Colbert Speech

Sunday, May 07, 2006

No shame: Rabid right wing wackos go after Christian peace group…

When dissent is threatened, what’s at strake? Nothing less than “the entire country.”

"It is the duty of the patriot,” Thomas Pine said, "to protect his country from the government.”

Each year a group of Americans gathers in Georgia to protest the School of the Americas (SOA), now called “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.” The SOA has the dubious honor of having been involved with:

El Salvador death squad leader,
Roberto D'Abuisson
Panamanian dictator and drug dealer,
Manual Noriega
Haitian coup leader,
Raoul Cedras
19 Salvadoran soldiers linked to the 1989 murder of
six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter
Col. Julio Roberto Alpirez, Guatemalan officer linked in the death of an American innkeeper
Hector Gramajo, former Guatemalan defense minister found liabile in United States court for abduction, rape, and torture of Sister Dianna Ortiz, a United States citizen.
Argentinian dictator,
Leopoldo Galtieri, leader of the "dirty little war: responsible for the deaths of 30 civilians
Two of the three killers of Archbishop
Oscar Romero of El Salvador
El Mozote massacre : Ten of the twelve officers responsible for the murder of 900 civilians in the El Salvadoran village of El Mozote.

I’ve only listed a few; there are thousands more. So mush so, in 1997, U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy introduced
H.R. 611 to close the campus the SOA because it exports murder.

But, nothing has gotten the attention of rabid-right-wing-wackos better than “Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Maryknoll Missionary Priest, ULL graduate, Vietnam veteran, Purple Heart winner, and founder of
School of the Americas Watch.” Fr. Bourgeois’s group, which numbers in the thousands, gathers each year at the gates of the SOA to register a Patriot’s Protest to export of American totalitarianism.

Now the FBI has turned its sights on Fr. Bourgeois group. In “
FBI Puts SOA Watch Under ‘Counterterrorism Surveillances,’” Matthew Rothschild explains.

When the government wanted to abuse you, they used to call you a “Red.” Now days you’re called a terrorist. Terrorism is the code word for internatioal totalitarianism.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Labor arbitrage: Happy Meals, Unhappy Workers

Labor arbitrage exploits human effort by searching the world for the cheapest labor possible, regardless of the effects. Labor arbitrage is one of the major causes of the worldwide totalitarian endeavor called Globalization. But, labor arbitrage would not be possible without economic collaboration and cooperation of former communist and bare knuckled capitalist.

And, no one abuses workers better than brutal communist states, like Vietnam, in partnership with bare-knuckled capitalist states, like the U.S.

Adam Smith envisioned such an effect as negative. Karl Marx, who read and understood Smith, envisioned it as well. Both men would condemn the joint efforts of communist states and capitalist states that arbitrage labor.

Aaron Glantz and Ngoc Nguyen report, "Vietnamese workers earn less than $2 a day making stuffed animals and Happy Meal toys for U.S. consumers.” You know the little package of toys kids cry for at fast food restaurants. But, Vietnamese workers fought back, calling for wildcat strikes until the government raised wages to prevent factories from moving to other countries. Read: Happy Meals, Unhappy Workers

Friday, May 05, 2006

When a conservative’s liberty is at risk, who’s he going to call: The ACLU

Yea…yea…yea…all conservatives say the same thing over and over: “How can anyone seriously try to claim that the ACLU is helping our country these days? Which of their causes [is] noble and admirable?”Yet, when conservatives and conservative causes are in trouble – really…really in trouble – they don’t go the Fox News or conservative pundits; they go to the ACLU.

Conservatives know who really defends personal liberty in this country.

Consequently when religious liberty – not petty piety but real religious liberty – is under attack, it's the ACLU who comes to the defense. Here's a short list:

ACLU of Nebraska Defends Church Facing Eviction by the City of Lincoln (8/11/2004)

ACLU's Defense of Religious Liberty (3/2/2005)

ACLU of Rhode Island Files Appeal on Behalf of Christian Prisoner Barred from Preaching at Religious Services

ACLU of Michigan Defends Catholic Man Coerced to Convert to Pentecostal Faith in Drug Rehab Program

ACLU of New Jersey Joins Lawsuit Supporting Second-Grader’s Right to Sing "Awesome God" at Talent Show

After ACLU Intervention on Behalf of Christian Valedictorian, Michigan High School Agrees to Stop Censoring Religious Yearbook Entries

ACLU Argues for Legal Recognition of Small Christian Church

ACLU of MA Defends Students Punished for Distributing Candy Canes with Religious Messages

ACLU Fights For Right Of Students To Distribute Christian Literature At School

ACLU Argument In Support of the Display of a Christian Cross in a Public Forum

ACLU Defends Free Speech Rights of Christians And Others On Main Street Plaza

ACLU Defends Prisoner’s Rosary Beads

ACLU Pledges to Back Church in a Zoning Battle

ACLU of PAFiles Discrimination Lawsuit Over Denial of Zoning Permit for African American Baptist Church

ACLU Offers To Represent Private Prayer on Public Property

Pro-Life advocates turned to the ACLU to defend their right to protest abortion clinics:

ACLU Backs Abortion Protester

When “rabid right wing wackos,” such as Rev Jerry Falwell, Rush Limbaugh, and Bob Barr, are under attack, they run to the ACLU:

Rev. Jerry Falwell - In Win for Rev. Falwell (and the ACLU), Judge Rules VA Must Allow Churches to Incorporate (4/17/2002)

Rush Limbaugh – ACLU Asks Court to Protect Confidentiality of Rush Limbaugh's Medical Records (1/12/2004)

Conservative Rep. Bob Barr - ACLU Announces Collaboration With Rep. Bob Barr; Says Conservative Congressman... 11/25/2002

Most conservatives are just unhappy, but they don’t know why!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Man on the run: Rumsfeld Is Confronted by Antiwar Protesters…

First, there were high-level accusations Rummy allowed torture at Gitmo. See, Man on the run: Rumsfeld personally allowed the abuse at Gitmo

Then, U.S. generals waded in making a strong case for Rummy’s incompetence. See, Man on the run: Rummy becomes “art of a sort” and the object of military scorn…

Today, in Atlanta, the public ratcheted it up a notch.

"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" Ray McGovern, the former CIA analysts, publicly demanded of Rumsfeld. Patricia Robertson, a grieving mother who lost her son in Iraq, insisted Rummy come clean.

"I did not lie," said Rummy unconvincingly.

But, facts show Rummy lied:

"But no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." (Testimony of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld before the House Armed Services Committee regarding Iraq, Rayburn House Office Building (Washington, D.C.), 9/18/02)

"His regime has amassed large clandestine stocks of biological weapons, including anthrax and botulism toxin and possibly smallpox. His regime has amassed large clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX and sarin and mustard gas." (Rumsfeld Testimony, 9/18/02)

Saddam's removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction (Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Big Oil’s new best friend: State Government

The assault on private property is unending. First, there was Kelo v. City of New London. Now, Big Oil has State Government as its new best friend. Sen. Robert Adley (District 36), who is welded to Big Oil, is pushing a bill that says a landowner whose property is damaged by Big Oil must turn the proceeds over to the State. Regrettably, Gov. Kathleen Blanco backs the bill. And, shamefully, both Blanco and Adley are Democrats. Lafayette Parish Republicans, Sen. Mike Michot and Sen. Craig Romero, warmly supported Adley’s bill, which favors Big Oil over landowners. Both men jumped at the chance to favor Big Oil.

But, Sen. Butch Gautreaux (St. Mary Parish), Sen. Nick Gautreaux (Lafayette Parish), and Sen. Reggie Dupre (Terrebonne Parish), all Democrats, fought Adley’s bill arguing a landowner, and not the State, has the right to decide what happens to his own property.

Sen. Butch Gautreaux says he'll offer SB 702 that would put district courts in charge of remediation plans and supervision. Gautreaux said, "If we depend on DNR to do it, they could defer action for years and years." Mike Hasten, The Shreveport Times 05/01/2006 Read Article: The Shreveport Times