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Showing posts from December, 2011

New Guantanamo Commander Seeking to Diminish Detainee Rights Further -- News from Antiwar.com

New Guantanamo Commander Seeking to Diminish Detainee Rights Further -- News from Antiwar.comThe new commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison is seeking to impose new rules on communication between detainees and their lawyers, despite stern objections on the grounds that they violate legal ethics and constitutional rights.

The proposed rules, still in draft form, would allow a “privilege team” from the Defense Department to conduct security reviews of all communications to the prisoners and would restrict their correspondence to letters only, banning any supporting documents such as legal motions or articles about their case.

The media consensus on Israel is collapsing

The media consensus on Israel is collapsing

Freedom of this sort was visible in the pages of the New York Times last week. Thomas Friedman, the paper’s foreign affairs columnist, wrote that American leaders were betraying the country by outsourcing their foreign policy to Israel. A standing ovation given to the Israeli prime minister by the U.S. Congress this year was “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby,” he wrote. Phrased bluntly as it was, Friedman’s sentence was startling. As the quintessential establishment columnist, Bill Clinton’s favorite pundit and a thrice Pulitzer Prize-winner, Friedman is often seen in the U.S. as authoritative on the Middle East and rivaled only perhaps by the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in the influence of his writing on popular discussion.

US Blocks UN From Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion -- News from Antiwar.com

US Blocks UN From Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion -- News from Antiwar.comIn a move Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin termed “historic,” all 14 other members of the United Nations Security Council united today to offer statements slamming the United States for its decision to block a UN Security Council resolution on Israel’s settlement expansion.

New Photos Released of Iraq Atrocity, With Documents and Video :  Information Clearing House

Casualties of War

Pfc. John Needham, son and grandson of military men, joined the U.S. Army in 2006 with “the whole goal of giving your life for somebody else”?his comrades?and in Iraq he was awarded the Purple Heart. But he suffered depression and excruciating back pain, crippling post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to various drugs and vodka. Before enlisting, he had never touched a drink. In 2008 he considered suicide; and in a fight with his drug-addicted former girlfriend, he battered her with his fists. She died in the hospital. He remembered nothing.

Private Needham had fallen apart, he said, because he had witnessed “war crimes”; and when he reported them, his comrades mocked him. According to his letter in 2007 to Army officials, members of his company shot Iraqis without provocation. A sergeant killed one, removed the man’s brain, strapped the corpse to the humvee hood and paraded it through town blaring warnings in Arabic. An investigation found no crimes.

In February…

How Maliki and Iran Outsmarted the U.S. on Troop Withdrawal  :  Information Clearing House

How Maliki and Iran Outsmarted the U.S. on Troop Withdrawal  :  Information Clearing HouseThe real story behind the U.S. withdrawal is how a clever strategy of deception and diplomacy adopted by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in cooperation with Iran outmaneuvered Bush and the U.S. military leadership and got the United States to sign the U.S.-Iraq withdrawal agreement. 

A central element of the Maliki-Iran strategy was the common interest that Maliki, Iran and anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr shared in ending the U.S. occupation, despite their differences over other issues. 

Maliki needed Sadr’s support, which was initially based on Maliki’s commitment to obtain a time schedule for U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Iraq.

How Maliki and Iran Outsmarted the US on Troop Withdrawal by Gareth Porter -- Antiwar.com

How Maliki and Iran Outsmarted the US on Troop Withdrawal by Gareth Porter -- Antiwar.comDefense Secretary Leon Panetta’s suggestion that the end of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq is part of a U.S. military success story ignores the fact that the George W. Bush administration and the U.S. military had planned to maintain a semi-permanent military presence in Iraq.

The real story behind the U.S. withdrawal is how a clever strategy of deception and diplomacy adopted by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in cooperation with Iran outmaneuvered Bush and the U.S. military leadership and got the United States to sign the U.S.-Iraq withdrawal agreement. 

A central element of the Maliki-Iran strategy was the common interest that Maliki, Iran and anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr shared in ending the U.S. occupation, despite their differences over other issues. 

Maliki needed Sadr’s support, which was initially based on Maliki’s commitment to obtain a time schedule for U.S. troops’ withdrawal from …

Tomgram: Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich, The Fall of the "Liberal Elite"

You might almost think the news was good.  The Europeans, so headlines tell us, have at least a “partial solution” to the Euro-zone crisis (until, of course, the next round of panic is upon us); the stock market has sort of rebounded (until the next precipitous plunge); the unemployment rate “dropped sharply” to 8.6% in November, the lowest it’s been in more than two years (thanks in part to the strangest category around -- the 315,000 people who grew too discouraged last month to look for work and so were no longer considered unemployed but out of the labor force); and talk of a double-dip recession seems on holiday.  So why pay attention to the modest-sized Associated Press story you were likely to find, if at all, deep inside your newspaper (as on page 21 of last Friday's Washington Post)? It was headlined “Household wealth down in 3rd quarter,” with the telling subhead, “Corporate cash continues to grow, Fed report says.”