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Archive for the ‘Nancy Pelosi’ Category

Expelling the American Myths

Posted by msrb on July 15, 2009

submitted by a reader

Whatever our differences with Cindy Sheehan, we find her latest speeches more to the point and worth a listen

“Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution”

Myth #1. America: Greatest Nation in the Universe!
Myth # 2. Elections Matter
Myth # 3. There’s a huge Difference Between Dems and Repubs
Myth # 4. It is Noble to Die in Robber Class Wars
Myth # 5. The Federal Reserve Cares About You
Myth # 6. It’s a Privilege to pay Income Taxes to the Robber Class
Myth # 7. Housing, Health Care and Education are Privileges, too
Myth # 8. America has a Free Press
Myth # 9. The Environment, Who Needs it?
Myth #10. Nineteen Muslims with box cutters were responsible for 9/11

This page is mirrored at http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23034.htm

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6


Ms. Sheehan was speaking at an event that was co-sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Thomas Paine Chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Social Concerns Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley. Click here to purchase “Myth America”

Cindy Sheehan takes on the Robber Class

By Bob Fitrakis

July 11, 2009 “The Free Press he United States has produced several mythic historical figures – Paul Bunyan, John Henry and the like – but our actual prophetic peace activists are actually far more interesting. People like Eugene Victor Debs, Emma Goldman, and in our present day, Cindy Sheehan.

Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution places Sheehan firmly in the pantheon of progressive heroes. Myth America is an online book by Sheehan geared towards destroying the military industrial and security industrial complex that killed her son Casey in the corrupt war in Iraq.

Sheehan is calling for re-localization and the uncoupling of the “robbed class” from the war profiteers and new high-tech robber barons that are flourishing under globalization. The beauty of Sheehan’s work, directly echoing the speeches and writings of Debs, is its sheer bluntness.

I interviewed her for freepress.org, and she began by pointing out that “the last month or so in Iraq does not show that the war is winding down, and that part of Obama’s plan to withdraw from the cities in Iraq simply involved redefining the border of the city.” She termed the so-called withdrawal “painfully slow.”

“The peace movement has been co-opted by the Democratic Party,” Sheehan said, while on her way to a national gathering of peace activists in Pittsburgh on July 10. She ran a Congressional campaign in the Democratic primary last year against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and raised the issue of Pelosi being aware of the practices of torture and waterboarding.

Sheehan favors the appointment of an independent special prosecutor to look into the issues of torture and war crimes in Iraq. She is well aware that if you begin digging up facts concerning the practices of the Bush administration following 911, you’re going to “pull up some Democratic skeletons as well.”

Sheehan argues that it’s necessary to dig up all the bodies and bones or there’ll be “no healing.”

In one sense, Sheehan is both old-fashioned and cutting edge – she uses the appropriate term in discussing U.S. foreign policy – “imperial.” When asked she believes current U.S. policy is imperialist, she replied “Of course.”

But her focus is more on re-invigorating the peace movement at the local level, which she says is doing a “bad job” under the Obama administration. Make no mistake, Sheehan sees the current imperial policy of the U.S. reflected in a domestic “class war” as well. The book poses a key question: “What can the vast majority of Americans do as the “robbed class?” She recently wrote: “The so-called Ship of State that ‘turns slowly’ cannot turn at all if the rudder keeps pointing in the direction of economic piracy for the Robbers and economic pillage for We the Robbed.” This populism from below sentiment has usually been a harbinger for large-scale social economic movements, from the original Populists to the Socialists, Wobblies, progressives and New Leftists.

Her new book analyzes the relationship between the U.S. government and the six or so transnational media corporations that control 80% of the world’s for-profit content. Sheehan’s strategy is to avoid the Robber Class corporations as much as possible, whether its through publishing e-books and articles on the internet, or re-allocating one’s capital in a different direction.

Sheehan’s pitch is to free ourselves from our co-dependency with the Robber Class. “…Only buy used, only use cash or bank debit cards, or only buy from local merchants,” she recently wrote. They can only steal from us if we enable them.” And when the Robber Class steals from us they generally get away with it. Sheehan argues that Bernie Madoff was punished so severely because he stole from the rich.

Sheehan’s book is a plea for the robbed class to take back their independence and the wealth that they produce, not only for their own good, but for the good of all the people on the planet.

Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of freepress.org and the author of The Idea of Democratic Socialism in America and the Decline of the Socialist Party.

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Posted in 9/11, Dick Cheney, Nancy Pelosi, Veterans for Peace, waterboarding | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dick Cheney’s War on America

Posted by msrb on July 13, 2009

submitted by a reader

Dick Cheney and the CIA always operated above and beyond the law!

From the  testimony of former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta before the 9/11 Commission on May 23, 2003 concerning American Airlines Flight 77 and the actions of Vice President Richard Cheney on the morning of September 11, 2001  …

dick cheney
Richard B. Cheney: The Mastermind of 9/11 attacks on America.

MR. MINETA:

No, I was not. I was made aware of it during the time that the airplane coming into the Pentagon. There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, “The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.” And when it got down to, “The plane is 10 miles out,” the young man also said to the vice president, “Do the orders still stand?” And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?”  [Source: Journal of 9/11 Studies]

The following is an account of how the former Vice President Dick Cheney and CIA Director George J. Tenet ran a private and  secret intelligence program in the US.

Report: Cheney ordered CIA to hide info from Congress

By Scott Shane  – The New York Times

The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The report that Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

Panetta, who ended the program when he learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.

Efforts to reach Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.

The question of how completely the CIA informed Congress about sensitive programs has been hotly disputed by Democrats and Republicans since May, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the agency of failing to reveal in 2002 that it was waterboarding a terrorism suspect, an allegation Panetta denied.

The law requires the president to ensure the intelligence committees “are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.” But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be conducted “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

Not “fully operational”

In addition, for covert-action programs, a particularly secret category in which the role of the United States is hidden, the law says briefings can be limited to the so-called Gang of Eight, consisting of the Republican and Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress and of their intelligence committees.

Democrats in Congress, who contend the covert action provision was abused to cover up programs under Bush, are seeking to change the law to permit the full committees to be briefed on more matters.

President Obama, however, has threatened to veto the intelligence authorization bill if the changes go too far.

A spokesman for the intelligence agency, Paul Gimigliano, declined Saturday to comment on the report of Cheney’s role.

“It’s not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing,” Gimigliano said. “When a CIA unit brought this matter to Director Panetta’s attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared appropriately with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect.”

Bill Harlow, a spokesman for George Tenet, who was director of central intelligence when the unidentified program began, declined to comment Saturday, noting the program remains classified.

Intelligence and congressional officials have said the unidentified program did not involve the CIA interrogation program and did not involve domestic intelligence activities.

They have said the program was started by the counterterrorism center at the CIA shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but never became fully operational, involving planning and some training that took place sporadically from 2001 until this year.

“Because this program never went fully operational and hadn’t been briefed as Panetta thought it should have been, his decision to kill it was neither difficult nor controversial,” one intelligence official, who would speak about the classified program only on condition of anonymity. “That’s worth remembering amid all the drama.”

Members of Congress have differed on the significance of the program, whose details remain secret. Most of those interviewed, however, have said that it was an important activity they felt should have been disclosed.

Secret program

In the eight years of his vice presidency, Cheney was the Bush administration’s most vehement defender of the secrecy of government activities, particularly in the intelligence arena. He went to the Supreme Court to keep secret the advisers to his task force on energy and won.

A report released on Friday by the inspectors general of five agencies about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program makes clear Cheney’s former chief of staff, David Addington, had to approve every government official who was told about the program. The report said “the exceptionally compartmented nature of the program” frustrated FBI agents who were assigned to follow up on tips it turned up.

High-level NSA officials who were responsible for ensuring the surveillance program was legal, including the agency’s inspector general and general counsel, were not permitted by Cheney’s office to read the Justice Department opinion that found the eavesdropping legal, several officials said.

Addington could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Questions over the adequacy and truthfulness of the CIA’s briefings for Congress date back to the creation of the intelligence oversight committees in the 1970s after disclosures of agency assassination and mind-control programs and other abuses. But complaints increased in the Bush years, when the CIA and other intelligence agencies took the major role in pursuing al-Qaida.

The use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, for instance, was first described to a handful of lawmakers in September 2002.

Pelosi and CIA officials have disagreed about what she was told, but in any case, the briefing occurred after a terrorism suspect, Abu Zubaydah, had been waterboarded 83 times.

Investigation

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a member of the House intelligence committee, wrote Friday to the chairman, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, to demand an investigation of the unidentified program and why Congress was not told of it. Aides said Reyes was reviewing the matter.

“There’s been a history of difficulty in getting the CIA to tell us what they should,” said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma. “We will absolutely be held accountable for anything the agency does.”

Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the committee’s top Republican, said he would not judge the agency harshly in the case of the unidentified program because it was not fully operational. But he said that, in general, the agency has not been as forthcoming as the law requires.

“We have to pull the information out of them to get what we need,” Hoekstra said.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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Posted in attack on America, cheney plot, George Tenet, Leon Panetta, Nancy Pelosi, National Security Act of 194 | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

The United States Waterboarding Team

Posted by msrb on April 23, 2009

sent by a reader

Rice approved torture in 2002

Rice, Ashcroft, Richard Cheney [and by extension GW Bush] and others again approved the CIA techniques in July 2003


The Evil Eyes:
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, shown Jan. 15, 2009. (UPI Photo/Mannie Garcia/Pool). Image may be subject to copyright.

Condoleezza Rice and John Ashcroft, among other U.S. administration staff, approved harsh CIA interrogation methods in 2002, documents reveal.

“Declassified information about the evolution of the Bush White House’s decisions to employ interrogation methods on terrorism suspects that some consider to be torture — such as simulated drowning known as waterboarding — were contained in Senate Intelligence Committee documents released Wednesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,” UPI said.

Does it look like someone is absent?


Condoleezza Rice meeting with President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales in September 2001.
(By J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press). Image may be subject to copyright.

“Declassified information about the evolution of the Bush White House’s decisions to employ interrogation methods on terrorism suspects that some consider to be torture — such as simulated drowning known as waterboarding — were contained in Senate Intelligence Committee documents released Wednesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,” UPI said.

“Rice gave a key early green light when, as President George W. Bush’s national security adviser, she met on July 17, 2002, with the CIA’s then-director, George J. Tenet, and ‘advised that the CIA could proceed with its proposed interrogation of Abu Zubaida,’ subject to approval by the Justice Department, according to the timeline.” Washington Post reported.

“A year later, in July 2003, the CIA briefed Rice, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Attorney General Ashcroft, White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and National Security Council legal adviser John B. Bellinger III on the use of waterboarding and other methods, the timeline states. They ‘reaffirmed that the CIA program was lawful and reflected administration policy.'”


Several hundred students gathered on Sproul Plaza at the University of California Berkeley on Wednesday November 14, 2007 to witness a demonstration of Waterboarding. Source: Indybay

Four senior members of Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), were briefed on the CIA interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, in 2002, U.S. officials said. “Pelosi has confirmed that she was then ‘briefed on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future. The administration advised that legal counsel for both the CIA and the Justice Department had concluded that the techniques were legal.'” Post said

Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were  briefed on the program in September 2003. “Strikingly, unless there is a further story in records not yet shown to us, the secretary of state and the secretary of defense were not involved in the decision-making process, despite the high stakes for U.S. foreign policy and for the treatment of the U.S. military,” Post reported Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) as saying.

Read more…

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Posted in Colin L. Powell, Donald H. Rumsfeld, John D. Rockefeller, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. foreign policy | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »