Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Stripping Rumsfeld and Bush of Impunity

by Matthew Rothschild

When Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last year, he was asked whether he "ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise, and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison." Sanchez, who was head of the Pentagon’s Combined Joint Task Force-7 in Iraq, swore the answer was no. Under oath, he told the Senators he "never approved any of those measures to be used."

But a document the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained from the Pentagon flat out contradicts Sanchez’s testimony. It’s a memorandum entitled "CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy," dated September 14, 2003. In it, Sanchez approved several methods designed for "significantly increasing the fear level in a detainee." These included "sleep management"; "yelling, loud music, and light control: used to create fear, disorient detainee, and prolong capture shock"; and "presence of military working dogs: exploits Arab fear of dogs."

On March 30, the ACLU wrote a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, urging him "to open an investigation into whether General Ricardo A. Sanchez committed perjury in his sworn testimony."

The problem is, Gonzales may himself have committed perjury in his Congressional testimony this January. According to a March 6 article in The New York Times, Gonzales submitted written testimony that said: "The policy of the United States is not to transfer individuals to countries where we believe they likely will be tortured, whether those individuals are being transferred from inside or outside the United States." He added that he was "not aware of anyone in the executive branch authorizing any transfer of a detainee in violation of that policy."

"That’s a clear, absolute lie," says Michael Ratner, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is suing Administration officials for their involvement in the torture scandal. "The Administration has a policy of sending people to countries where there is a likelihood that they will be tortured."

The New York Times article backs up Ratner’s claim. It says "a still-classified directive signed by President Bush within days of the September 11 attacks" gave the CIA broad authority to transfer suspected terrorists to foreign countries for interrogations. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International estimate that the United States has transferred between 100 and 150 detainees to countries notorious for torture.

So Gonzales may not be the best person to evaluate the allegation of perjury against Sanchez.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Britain, U.S. Conspired to Force Iraq Showdown

May 30 - Beginning a year before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, the US and UK governments ordered aircraft patrolling Southern and Northern "no-fly zones" to step up their bombing of Iraqi air defenses and other targets, according to new information discovered by opponents of British leader Tony Blair.

The new information, first reported in the London Times, shows that bombing by the US Air Force and Royal Air Force more than doubled from 2001 to 2002. The two countries used twice as many missiles and bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as during all of 2001, according to the data.

The increased attacks began six months before the passage of a United Nations resolution the two nations would cite as the legal basis for invading Iraq.

Western governments unilaterally established the controversial no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War, ostensibly to protect Kurds in the Iraqi North and Shi'ite Arabs in the South from Saddam Hussein's warplanes. Critics soon began to speculate that aggressively patrolling sovereign Iraqi airspace was more provocation than deterrent.

This new revelation comes almost a month after the leak of a memo showing that US and British officials had already decided on ousting Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein before going to the UN, and that they were engaged in "fixing" facts to support such a policy.
--Brendan Coyne

2005 The NewStandard. Posted by Hello

In Memoriam-Since 4/28/04

From Sunday's Doonesbury. Click on picture for larger image. Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Why Iraq Still Looks Like A Holy Crusade Against Islam

This is a photo from the DOD's own website. Apparently things have become so cavalier regarding the Righteous Holy Crusades that this actually passed review. I'm so proud! Click photo for larger image. Posted by Hello

Governor digs fixing potholes

San Jose crews destroy part of road for staged event
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveled to a quiet San Jose neighborhood Thursday, and -- dogged by protesters -- filled a pothole dug by city crews just a few hours before, as part of an attempt to dramatize his efforts to increase money for transportation projects.

The choreographed press opportunity -- at least the governor's fourth recent event involving transportation issues -- seemed aimed as much at thwarting the demonstrators who have followed Schwarzenegger for weeks as grabbing new attention for his proposal.

Schwarzenegger strode toward television cameras on Laguna Seca Way to the sounds of the Doobie Brothers' "Taking it to the Streets,'' while flanked by 10 San Jose city road workers wearing Day-Glo vests and work gear. After speeches by the governor and city officials, a dump truck backed up and unloaded a mound of black asphalt and, as television cameras recorded the moment, Schwarzenegger joined the work crew, taking up a broom and filling the 10-by-15-foot hole, later smoothed over by a massive roller truck.

"I'm here today to let everyone know that we're going to improve transportation all across our state,'' said Schwarzenegger, highlighting his proposal to fully fund Proposition 42 and restore $1.3 billion in transportation money to the current state budget.

The governor's brief San Jose appearance, announced at the last minute, left some residents scratching their heads.

"For paving the streets, it's a lot of lighting,'' said resident Nick Porrovecchio, 48, motioning to a team of workmen setting up Hollywood-style floodlights on the street to bathe the gubernatorial podium in a soft glow.

Porrovecchio and his business partner, Joe Greco, said that at about 7 a.m. they became fascinated watching "10 city workers standing around for a few hours putting on new vests,'' all in preparation for the big moment with Schwarzenegger.

But their street, he noted, didn't even have a hole to pave over until Thursday morning.

"They just dug it out,'' Porrovecchio said, shrugging. "There was a crack. But they dug out the whole road this morning.'' (More here...)

National security and the ‘war on terror’

The blatant disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law in the “war on terror” continued to make a mockery of President George Bush’s claims that the USA was the global champion of human rights. Images of detainees in US custody tortured in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq shocked the world. War crimes in Iraq, and mounting evidence of the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in US custody in other countries, sent an unequivocal message to the world that human rights may be sacrificed ostensibly in the name of security.

President Bush’s refusal to apply the Geneva Conventions to those captured during the international armed conflict in Afghanistan and transferred to the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was challenged by a judicial decision in November. The ruling resulted in the suspension of trials by military commission in Guantánamo, and the government immediately lodged an appeal. The US administration’s treatment of detainees in the “war on terror” continued to display a marked ambivalence to the opinion of expert bodies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and even of its own highest judicial body. Six months after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal courts had jurisdiction over the Guantánamo detainees, none had appeared in court. Detainees reportedly considered of high intelligence value remained in secret detention in undisclosed locations. In some cases their situation amounted to “disappearance”.

The “war on terror” and the “war on drugs” increasingly merged, and dominated US relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. Following the US elections in November, the Bush administration encouraged governments in the region to give a greater role to the military in public order and internal security operations. The blurring of military and police roles resulted in governments such as those in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Paraguay deploying military forces to deal with crime and social unrest.

The US doubled the ceiling on the number of US personnel deployed in Colombia in counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics operations. The Colombian government in turn persisted in redefining the country’s 40-year internal conflict as part of the international “war on terror”.

From the Amnesty International Report On Human Rights 2005

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Assuming That You Have A Job, That Is...

It should be constant front-page news that the US has gone through a remarkable period of modern economic history: a quarter-century in which real wages for the majority have almost stagnated (in part declined) and incomes are kept up only by increasing the work load well beyond the rest of the industrial world, also with few benefits and huge pressure to consume and borrow.

It's an efficient disciplinary technique, if nothing else.

--Noam Chomsky, MIT, from a ZNET forum reply.

Friday, May 27, 2005



WASHINGTON POST - Critics of Owen pointed to a poll issued last week by the Houston Bar Association, which reported that its members rated Owen as the worst of the six Texas Supreme Court justices. The poll, in which attorneys rated justices on several criteria, found that 45.3 percent of the responding lawyers who had practiced before Owen considered her "poor" overall, compared to 39.5 percent who said she was "outstanding" and 15.2 percent who deemed her "acceptable."

Owen's rating was the worst (46.3 percent "poor") of the six on the question of whether her opinions were well-reasoned, clearly written and properly applied the law. She was rated second worst (48.8 percent "poor") on the question of whether she was "impartial and open-minded with respect to determining the legal issues."

Thursday, May 26, 2005



GUARDIAN - The US politician who led the campaign to change the name of french fries to "freedom fries" has turned against the war. Walter Jones, the Republican congressman for North Carolina who was also the brains behind french toast becoming freedom toast in Capitol Hill restaurants, told a local newspaper the US went to war "with no justification".

Mr Jones, who in March 2003 circulated a letter demanding that the three cafeterias in the House of Representatives' office buildings ban the word french from menus, said it was meant as a "light-hearted gesture". But the name change, still in force, made headlines around the world, both for what it said about US-French relations and its pettiness.

Now Mr Jones appears to agree. Asked by a reporter for the North Carolina News and Observer about the name-change campaign - an idea Mr Jones said at the time came to him by a combination of God's hand and a constituent's request - he replied: "I wish it had never happened."

Terrorists At The Casa Blanca

Bush Receives well-known Accomplice of Posada at the White House
By Jean-Guy Allard / 24-05-2005

On Friday, May 20 at the White House Oval Office, US President George Bush received a small Cuban-American delegation headed by terrorist Luis Zúñiga Rey, founder of the Cuban-American National Foundation’s paramilitary committee in Miami, which for years assured the financing and logistics of Luis Posada Carriles’ terrorist activities.

Zúñiga created and led the CANF paramilitary committee with Horacio García, Roberto Martin Pérez, Alberto Hernández and Feliciano Foyo. The international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles publically designated that committee and those individuals as his primary financial and logistical support.

That individual previously had been captured on August 1, 1974, near Boca Ciega, in Havana, when he was caught red-handed with a load of explosives and weapons, together with two other members of a terrorist commando who had infiltrated with the objective of carrying out attacks. (More Here...)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tits On A Boar, I Tell Ya...

Democrats Turn Belly-up Again!

You know, this about says it for me. I have been unable to understand why a nation with as large a workforce as the United States doesn't have a laborite/social political party. If we expect rich white men to fight for the rights of the working class, we have been successfully duped!--Pete

This is a comment on the outcome of the "compromise" in the Senate over judicial nominations. C. Clark Kissinger is one of the initiators of the Not In Our Name Statement of Conscience who, along with Joan Bokaer (Founder of Theocracy Watch.org) and others, called for people to protest the threatened "nuclear option":

"After all the bluster and shadow boxing was over, President Bush got his way. Under the terms of a "compromise," three of Bush's worst nominees will be voted on and they will likely be confirmed. And what did the Democrats get in return? They got to keep the right to filibuster, provided they promise not to use it!

"That's right. The Democrats got nothing. And what will happen when even more disgusting candidates are brought up as nominees for the Supreme Court? The Republicans will simply roll out the threat of the "nuclear option" once again, since nothing in the so-called "compromise" prohibits them from doing that.

"Once again this demonstrates the need for a mass popular movement of resistance. Without the kind of mass upsurge that we witnessed in the 1960s, there is nothing that will prevent the current threatening dynamic from continuing. This is why we called on people to go to Washington, and make their presence felt in the streets. The world can't wait any longer. We need to be about the business of driving the Bush regime from power."

C. Clark Kissinger

The "What Country Are You From?" Department


AP - A congressman says comedian Bill Maher's comment that the U.S. military has already recruited all the "low-lying fruit" is possibly treasonous and at least grounds to cancel the show. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., takes issue with remarks on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, first aired May 13, in which Maher points out the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42% in April. "More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies." . . . "I think it borders on treason," Bachus said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country." . . . "I don't want (Maher) prosecuted," Bachus said. "I want him off the air."


[From the online National Review comment section]

A READER - [Jonah Goldberg] looks to be of military age. Ask him why his sorry a** isn't in the kill zone."

JONAH GOLDERG - As for why my sorry a** isn't in the kill zone, lots of people think this is a searingly pertinent question. No answer I could give -- I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry, are a few -- ever seem to suffice. But this chicken-hawk nonsense is something that's been batted around too many times to get into again here. What I do think is
interesting is that out of the thousands upon thousands of emails I've gotten from people in the military over the years, maybe a dozen have ever asked this question. Invariably, it's anti-war leftists who believe that their personally defined notions of hypocrisy trump any argument and any position. Meanwhile, the military guys have been overwhelmingly friendly and very often grateful for the support we offer around here.

[A response from the Daily Kos]

DAILY KOS - Well, the maximum enlistment age is now 38, so great news for Jonah and those in similar dire straits. His family can't afford lost income? Well, half of reservists have experience a loss of income due to enlistment. They must make the sacrifice for this war, but Jonah and his ilk are above that. And as for baby daughters...

||| [Sgt. Anthony J. Davis Jr.], the 22-year-old Long Beach resident was killed Saturday in the restive city of Mosul when a passenger car filled with explosives rammed into the 19-ton, eight-wheel Stryker troop transport vehicle he was riding in [...] Michell said the news of Anthony's death hasn't quite sunk in, and she's drawing upon her close-knit family to keep herself together. One of the toughest aspects of his death is the fact that he didn't get to meet his youngest daughter,
Aniya, born two weeks after his deployment in October. |||

Lucky for Jonah, and the rest of his crew, it's getting exceedingly easier to sign up and turn words into action.

Two hundred miles away, in northern Ohio, another recruiter said the incident hardly surprised him. He has been bending or breaking enlistment rules for months, he said, hiding police records and medical histories of potential recruits. His commanders have encouraged such deception, he said, because they know there is no other way to meet the Army's stiff recruitment quotas. "The problem is that no one wants to join," the recruiter said. "We have to play fast and loose with the rules just to get by."

So why don't they enlist? Is it that they think they're too good to serve with the good men and women in the armed forces? Too middle-to-upper class? Too intelligent? Do they think the nation will suffer from their blogging and punditry absence? That they're doing more for the war effort than they could ever do so with a rifle in their hands? Or is it merely cowardice?

Except that "cowardice" is too light a word for those who claim to believe in a just cause, but would rather send others to die in the service of that cause.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, Americans lined up at military recruitment offices to give themselves to their nation in its time of need. That was the true definition of patriotism, those men spoke truth to our national anthem's "home of the brave".

The cowards in the 101st Fighting Keyboardists are the polar opposite. They lay shame to our nation.


Sam Smith, Progressive Review Undernews

RELIABLE SOURCES inform us that Newsweek will no longer be using reliable sources. Instead it will be relying on such unreliable sources as professional message manipulators, bureaucrats with their asses in hock, political appointees on their way up, legislators funded by corporate payola and such demonstrable masters of prevarication as our current president

Newsweek reporters will still be allowed to talk to reliable sources, they just won't be able to quote or cite them unless the editor approves, which considerably diminishes their utility.

This is not a journalistic decision. It is a corporate, bureaucratic, and legalistic response to the deliberate abuse of a story by professional message manipulators, bureaucrats with their asses in hock, political appointees on their way up, legislators funded by corporate payola and such demonstrable masters of prevarication as our current president.

What we may expect from this rank journalistic cowardice can be found in a current Newsweek story, one paragraph of which includes the following:

"Simon Schorno, an [International Committee of the Red Cross] spokesman, said the Red Cross had provided 'several' instances that it believed were 'credible.' The ICRC report included three specific allegations of offensive treatment of the Qur'an by guards."

The remaining seven paragraphs consist of transmitting the Pentagon's line on the topic. In other words, the Red Cross is not to be trusted until the Pentagon says so.

If the sniveling, timorous corporate hacks running places such as Newseeek these days had been around in an earlier time, there would have been no Pentagon Papers, no Watergate, no countless other stories that essentially pitted the honesty of journalists and government whistleblowers against the manifold mendacities of agents of the state.

The justified conceit of a free press is that, on average, Michael Isikoff is going to tell you the truth more often than a Pentagon or White House press secretary. Finding this truth requires far more than documents and statements or the faithful stenography of faithless officials. It requires finding people who, rightfully in fear of their jobs, are at least willing to share a bit of the truth with a reporter
whose confidence they trust. It requires judgment, perception, and inductive reasoning on the part of the scribe and it requires considerable courage on the part of the whistleblower. Once you believe the journalist no more trustworthy than an official source you no longer need a free press.

What Newsweek has done is to resign from the free press. Its defection should be regarded with far more contempt than any occasional misinformed story or deceitful writer. Such problems come and go, but a massive capitulation to the government and officials sources will change the nature of journalism forever and, with it, the public's ability to find the truth.

What Smoking Gun? Where?

By Robert Dreyfuss, TomPaine.com
Posted on May 23, 2005, Printed on May 25, 2005

We've all seen enough CSI to know that you can't ignore a smoking gun. But the media has so far pretty much ignored the so-called Downing Street memo, which implicated the Bush administration in falsifying intelligence in connection with the plan for war in Iraq. Let's try to understand why.

On the left, it's part of the catechism now that President Bush and his administration lied about the reasons for going to war against Iraq in 2003, and that they "cooked" the intelligence used to inflate the Iraqi threat. The over-baked intelligence was then used, wittingly, to justify claims that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program, vast stockpiles of chemical and biological arms, SCUD missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver them, and, of course, ties to Al Qaeda that implicated Saddam Hussein in the events of 9/11.

On the right, the catechism says the opposite: that the Bush administration went to war in good faith, that U.S. intelligence functioned without political pressure to come up with its way-off-the-mark conclusions, and that not only did the weapons exist but that we might still find them if we keep looking--in Syria, perhaps?

Only one of these catechisms has the imprimatur of truth--which is why, 26 months after the war with Iraq began, it seems more important than ever to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, just as the United States has given up looking for Iraqi WMD, official Washington and the media have given up trying to see which one of these catechisms is phony. The proof is the utterly blasé reaction to what seems to be a true "smoking gun": the so-called Downing Street memo, based on verbatim U.S.-British talks in 2002, in which the British calmly reported that the United States had already decided to make war on Iraq and that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." (MORE...)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What Really Happened at Guantanamo Bay?

By Laura Flanders, AlterNet
Posted on May 24, 2005, Printed on May 24, 2005

In their first article in Newsweek since the magazine received a dressing-down by Scott McClellan, Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas quote Defense Department spokesman Lawrence Di Rita, who alleges that Guantanamo commanders changed prison rules in response to prisoner complaints about treatment of the Qu'ran. But Di Rita's claims couldn't be further from the experience of Martin Mubanga, a recently freed Guantanamo Bay detainee who spoke to U.S. media for the first time this weekend.

Mubanga, a 32-year-old Londoner who was arrested in Zambia in 2002 and taken to Guantanamo, was released without charge in January 2005, after 33 months in captivity. He says that offensive treatment of the Qu'ran was ongoing, even routine, over the three years he was a prisoner. Mubanga says complaints by inmates about the desecration of the Qu'ran fell upon deaf ears, and often resulted in severe punishment, including pepper-spraying of prisoners.

Laura Flanders' exclusive interview with Martin Mubanga was produced by Christabel Nsiah-Buadi and broadcast on The Laura Flanders Show on Air America Radio on Sunday, May 22. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.

Laura Flanders: Did Newsweek lie about abuse of the Qu'ran? What did you see?

Martin Mubanga: From my own personal experience and from what I know of what occurs in Guantanamo Bay, this is actually an ongoing thing for the past three years, so we don't need Newsweek to corroborate or substantiate these accusations. We who have been in Guantanamo Bay know that these and other things occur in degradation of our religion.

You described a situation where your cell was searched by six or seven military police and a Qu'ran was thrown to the ground. Can you explain why that was so offensive to you?

In our religion, firstly, the Qu'ran is believed to be the word of God, who we refer to as Allah in our religion. Basically the Qu'ran is supposed to be treated with respect and most people believe that the Qu'ran should be placed in a high place in a house or only taken with respect in a certain condition of purification or ablution. It's never to be placed on a floor, on a dirty floor or to be treated or to be mishandled in any way.

What did those six or seven military police do?

At the time, there was a story going around that I was supposed to be a top-notch fighter, as they said, and they tried to provoke me in many ways to see what I could do. This was one of the methods that was used to see if I would fight and I believe that's why they chose me on this particular occasion and threw the Qu'ran on the floor.

So, they came in, they threw the Qu'ran on the floor, then what happened?

Well, as I was saying, there were two on either side of me, holding my wrists as I was kneeling down, and they had me in wristlocks. And one of the three that were searching took my Qu'ran. And instead of replacing it, to its place, he threw that on the floor... Rahul [Ahmed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, who was returned to Britain on March 9, 2004] from Tipton witnessed this and he was in the cage next to me. And he remonstrated the soldier, the MP who did this, which they ignored. They wanted to see if they could provoke a strong reaction from me. And obviously, I was not able to do anything at that time.




BILL PIPER, ALTERNET - A senior congressman, James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), is working quietly but efficiently to turn the entire United States population into informants--by force. Sensenbrenner, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman, has introduced legislation that would essentially draft every American into the war on drugs. . .

Here's how the "spy" section of the legislation works: If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" about them, you must report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution" of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to police within 24 hours:

You find out that your brother, who has children, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife; You discover that your son gave his college roommate a marijuana joint; You learn that your daughter asked her boyfriend to find her some drugs, even though they're both in treatment. In each of these cases you would have to report the relative to the police within 24 hours. Taking time to talk to your relative about treatment instead of calling the police immediately could
land you in jail.

In addition to turning family member against family member, the legislation could also put many Americans in danger by forcing them to go undercover to gain evidence against strangers.

Even if the language that forces every American to become a de facto law enforcement agent is taken out, the bill would still impose draconian sentences on college students, mothers, people in drug treatment and others with substance abuse problems. If enacted, this bill will destroy lives, break up families, and waste millions of taxpayer dollars.

Prepare for Direct Corporate Rule (i.e.,Fascism)

May 20, 2005 | Prepare for the not-so-magnificent seven. With Republicans poised to pull the trigger on the nuclear option, President Bush's right-wing nominees ride again.

Their return -- all were blocked in the Senate their first time around -- is propelling the government into a crisis, as they prepare to take seats in federal appeals courts, the second highest position in the judicial branch of government, beneath only the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court. Democrats oppose them for their extreme judicial and political philosophy, what they consider a conservative version of "judicial activism."

An assessment of the nominees' records suggests that all consider government regulation a central problem, while they view private enterprise and property a bedrock constitutional right. These nominees are the most visible examples of a judicial nomination trend that the Center for Investigative Reporting discovered in examining all appeals court and court of federal claims nominees during George W. Bush's first term as president.

In the CIR study, 21 of 59 had a history of working as lawyers and lobbyists on behalf of the oil, gas and energy industries. This trend concerns legal scholars, who fear that long-term industry ties may raise questions about the judges' ability to be fair and objective. Rutgers University School of Law professor Jay Feinman told CIR, "Increasingly you will have federal courts with a pro-industry and anti-government perspective."

Some of the nominees' judicial philosophies were shaped while in the service of corporate clients (Owen, Saad, Pryor, McKeague and Myers), and some while working closely with the Republican Party (Pryor, Saad, Brown, McKeague and Myers). Democratic opponents see them potentially eroding public power and expanding private reach, while heartening the religious right on key issues such as abortion.

At stake is no less than Republican domination of all three branches of government -- not only to recast laws, but to extend their impact long after President Bush has left office, and undo a generation of legal precedents. Here's a look at the extremist credentials they would bring to the bench.


This so-called ill treatment and torture in detention centers, stories of which were spread everywhere among the people, and later by the prisoners who were freed . . . were not, as some assumed, inflicted methodically, but were excesses committed by individual prison guards, their deputies, and men who laid violent hands on the detainees.

--Rudolf Hoess, the SS commandant at Auschwitz.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


San Francisco -- May 9, 2005. THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE, the first feature-length documentary to explore the theory that Jesus Christ never existed, will have its theatrical world premiere on May 21, 2005, at 1 p.m. at the Off-Market Theater, 965 Mission Street, San Francisco. It will also screen at 1 p.m. May 22. The world premiere is being hosted by San Francisco Atheists. Theatrical openings in New York, Los Angeles, Birmingham and other cities will follow.

THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE is directed by internationally acclaimed filmmaker and playwright Brian Flemming ("Nothing So Strange," "Bat Boy: The Musical")and includes interviews with some of the top religion experts in the world. They include Robert M. Price ("Deconstructing Jesus"), Alan Dundes ("Holy Writ as Oral Lit") and Sam Harris ("The End of Faith").

The movie's soundtrack by DJ Madson, available now on CD, includes remixes of songs by David Byrne, Thievery Corporation, Zap Mama and Le Tigre.

"Jesus Christ is almost certainly a fictional character," said director Brian Flemming, a former fundamentalist Christian. "There are no historical accounts of Jesus from the period, and the stories that came later bear a striking resemblance to previous god myths. Even the early Christians did not believe in a human Christ.

"This is the dirty secret of Christianity, and it shouldn't be. THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE attempts to restore Jesus to his rightful place--as a powerful literary character."

THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE also explores the modern use of Jesus by the Christian right in the United States, and the rise of the paranoid apocalyptic theology represented by the popular "Left Behind" series of novels. "THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE not only demonstrates that Jesus is a mythical character, but also shows why it matters that people believe he is something else," said Jim Heldberg, coordinator for San Francisco Atheists, which is hosting the world premiere.

A schedule of theatrical openings, a press kit and high-resolution photos are available now at www.thegodmovie.com. The press kit includes contact information for experts on the Christ-myth theory and others interviewed in the film. Requests for review copies of THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE and interviews with Brian Flemming should be directed to David Fitzgerald of San Francisco Atheists at 415-939-3043.


Brian Flemming's work has been called "a parallel universe" by the BBC, "jaggedly imaginative" by the New York Times, and "immensely satisfying" by USA Today. The Fox News Channel dubbed him "a young Oliver Stone." Flemming won the New York Times Claiborne Pell Award for Original Vision for his groundbreaking feature film "Nothing So Strange," which was released theatrically in 2003. A playwright as well as a filmmaker, Flemming is the co-author of the hit play "Bat Boy: The Musical," which opened in New York in 2001 (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Off Broadway, six Drama Desk nominations) and has since been produced all over the world, including at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and in London's West End.

Flemming is a former fundamentalist Christian. He is currently in production on "The Beast," a fictional thriller about a Christian girl who discovers proof that Jesus Christ never existed. "The Beast" is scheduled for worldwide theatrical release on 6-6-06.

Sovietization of America

Excerpt: http://www.alternet.org/story/22057/
One of the Republican party's proudest boasts is that Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Evil Empire. The irony is they are now recreating pieces of that police state here at home now.

Hyperbole? You judge -- while you still can. From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, May 18 - The Bush administration and Senate Republican leaders are pushing a plan that would significantly expand the F.B.I.'s power to demand business records in terror investigations without obtaining approval from a judge, officials said on Wednesday. "This is a dramatic expansion of the federal government's power," said Lisa Graves, senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington. "It's really a power grab by the administration for the F.B.I. to secretly demand medical records, tax records, gun purchase records and all sorts of other material if they deem it relevant to an intelligence investigation."

Now, the Patriot Act -- you know, the law that among other things allows federal agents to demand your local library tell them what books you are reading -- is about to be expanded.

Little by little this administration has chipped away at state powers by transferring them to Washington. And nowhere has this process been more pronounced than in the area of law enforcement and the courts. The FBI, which once had to defer to local and state law enforcers when on their turf, can now barge right in and take charge. All they have to do is an investigation a "national security" or "homeland security" matter.

Federal courts, which have acted as a brake on law enforcement abuses, are being systemically stacked with rightwing judges less likely to side with victims of overzealous cops or invasions of personal privacy.

That's why this is going on right now:

WASHINGTON, May 18 - The Senate plunged into an intense partisan struggle on Wednesday over the fate of stalled federal court nominees and the governance of the institution itself as the two parties locked in a debate over the right of the minority to prevent votes on a president's judicial candidates. "If Republicans roll back our rights in this chamber, there will be no check on their power," said Senator Reid. "The radical, right wing will be free to pursue any agenda they want. And not just on judges. Their power will be unchecked on Supreme Court nominees, the president's nominees in general and legislation like Social Security privatization.

The Bushites are on a neocon roll and the federal judiciary is their final obstacle. If they can stack the appellate courts and appoint two rightwing Supreme Court justices before the end of Bush's final term, it will be "game over" for civil libertarians -- and America as we knew her.

Related article here...http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0518-24.htm

Guantánamo Comes to Define U.S. to Muslims

From the New York Times

NEW DELHI, May 20 - In one of Pakistan's most exclusive private schools for boys, the annual play this year was "Guantánamo," a docudrama based on testimonies of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, the United States naval base in Cuba.

The cast was made up of students between 16 and 18 years old, each playing the role of a prisoner being held on suspicion of terrorism. To deepen their understanding of their characters, the boys pored through articles in Pakistani newspapers, studied the international press and surfed Web sites, including one that described itself as a nonsectarian Islamic human rights portal and is called cageprisoners.com.

It didn't matter that the boys at the Lahore Grammar School, an elite academy that has sent many of its graduates to study in American universities, lived in a world quite removed from that known by most prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. The more they explored, the more the play resonated, the director of the school's production, Omair Rana, recalled Friday in a telephone interview. The detainees were Muslim, many were Pakistani and one had been arrested in Islamabad, the country's capital.

"It was something we all could relate to," Mr. Rana said of "Guantánamo," a play created "from spoken evidence" by Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo, a Briton and a South African, that was staged in London and in New York last year. "All that seemed very relevant, very nearby - in fact, too close for comfort."

Accounts of abuses at the actual American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, including Newsweek magazine's now-retracted article on the desecration of the Koran, ricochet around the world, instilling ideas about American power and justice, and sowing distrust of the United States. Even more than the written accounts are the images that flash on television screens throughout the Muslim world: caged men, in orange prison jumpsuits, on their knees. On Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, two satellite networks, images of the prisoners appear in station promos.

For many Muslims, Guantánamo stands as a confirmation of the low regard in which they believe the United States holds them. For many non-Muslims, regardless of their feelings toward the United States, it has emerged as a symbol of American hypocrisy.

"The cages, the orange suits, the shackles - it's as if they're dealing with something that's like a germ they don't want to touch," said Daoud Kuttab, director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Ramallah, in the West Bank. "That's the nastiness of it."

(More here...)

Iraqi Resistance Report

Tuesday, 17 May 2005. from charlievictor

Al-Anbar Province, Saqlawiyah. An Iraqi Resistance martyrdom fighter blew up an explosives-laden white Daewoo car amidst a US foot patrol. The fighter driving the car pulled up close to the American patrol and suddenly stopped. He called to the Americans asking them to come over to help him with his car. He did not have the appearance of a militant nor was he armed, but when the American troops gathered around him he blew himself and his car up, killing 20 US troops. Seven of the dead Americans had gathered very close to his car and their bodies were completely charred by the blast.

Rutbah. Iraqi Resistance forces near the border with Jordan fired a rocket scoring a direct hit on the rear of a US Apache helicopter. American troops and Iraqi fire fighters headed to the wreckage of the aircraft burning on the ground in a farm field. No information on the fate of the helicopter crew, since US forces kept the area sealed off.

Al-Qa'im. An Iraqi Resistance martyrdom fighter drove an explosives-packed car into a US checkpoint killing nine American troops and wounding five. The Americans called in two Apache helicopters to evacuate their dead and wounded. The American forces arrested an American Associated Press photographer who tried to take pictures of the bodies of the dead and wounded Americans strewn on the ground and smashed his camera.

Ramadi. An Iraqi Resistance Opel car bomb parked on a dirt road as an American patrol was passing, destroying one Humvee and killing four American soldiers. US troops deployed and sealed off the area, raided and searched houses and nearby farms, and arrested four civilians.

Baghdad. US troops attacked the home of the Iraqi lawyer representing President Saddam Hussein, stole his legal documents and Defense Committee papers relating to the case, in addition to money and valuables, in particular jewelry, telephones, and $40,000. The legal defense team for President Saddam Hussein, which the Iraqi President and his daughters selected, consists of 24 attorneys, including the former French Minister of Defense Roland Dumas, and the Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

The Iraqi Resistance bombarded the notorious American Abu Ghurayb prison camp yet again with seven mortar rounds. US helicopters in the air tried to pinpoint the source of the incoming fire, but failed. Later an Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a US military patrol in a village east of Abu Ghurayb destroying one Humvee, killing three US soldiers and wounding two.

An Iraqi Resistance car bomb exploded by a US military column as it passed the intersection on the highway from Baghdad to the west, destroying two Humvees and killing seven US troops and wounding two. US forces encircled the area closing the highway to traffic and preventing anyone from approaching. Other American troops hauled away the wrecked vehicles and the remains of the dead and wounded to their base.

Puppet forces are waging a massive sectarian campaign targeted at Sunni personalities in conformity with US "divide and rule" strategy of pitting Iraqis against each other. The so-called Wolf Brigade of the puppet "Iraqi National Guard" over the past two days carried out repressive raids, arrests, torture and murder targetting more than 100 persons in various parts of the country, but especially Baghdad.
The murder took place of Sunni Shaykh Dulaymi during a raid on his mosque and the arrest of Shaykh Nu'aymi, a member of the Consultative Council of the Board of Muslim 'Ulama', along with several worshippers in his mosque, some tortured and then murdered. Their bodies were found near the al-Firdaws Mosque on the outskirts of Baghdad. Relatives of the victims said they had been abducted by members of the Wolf Brigade of the Iraqi puppet regime's "national guard."
Two men were found barely alive among the corpses of the other victims: both were taken to the City Medical Hospital but members of the puppet "national guards" caught up with one of them and took him out of the hospital and no more is known of him. The puppet guards failed to find the other man.

The Board of Muslim 'Ulama' expressed concern over the fate of Shaykh Nu'aymi and Shaykh Razzaq who were arrested several days ago and demanded their immediate release, after prisoners released from the overcrowded occupation prison camps reported that the two religious leaders had been subjected to intensive torture likely to cause death.

"Two days after the arrest by the so-called Shock Forces of the puppet police of Shaykh Nu'aymi, Imam and preacher of the Shahid Yusuf Mosque in Baghdad, his body was identified among the corpses in the Medical City Hospital in Baghdad. The Shaykh had been killed by those forces after his arrest was announced on television by a satellite TV network."

Kazakh Defense Minister, General Altynbayev supports the withdrawal of the Kazakh contingent from Iraq. "It's time to think about stopping the work of our formation in Iraq,' he told reporters. Asked whether he would submit his proposal to the president, he said: "I have expressed my opinion. I think the head of state and parliament will hear about it on TV." Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, of which Kazakhstan was a constituent republic, the country has increasingly been drawn into the orbit of Washington. A 27-man-strong sapper platoon was sent to Iraq in August 2003 to serve the American occupation, clearing mines and working on water supplies. Since its deployment, the Kazakh contingent neutralized 3 million mines, unexploded bombs and shells. One Kazakh soldier has been killed and several wounded.

Diyala Province, Mundhiriyah. Iraqi Resistance forces killed seven Iranians, agents of Iranian intelligence, who infiltrated across the border into Iraq illegally. The Iranians were found in possession of weapons and explosives. Killed along with the seven Iranians was one Iraqi resident of the border area acting as their guide. They intended to commit acts of sabotage in the Land of the Two Rivers, and they "received their just punishment after confessing to their ugly intentions." Later, the Iraqi puppet police found the eight bodies.

At-Ta'mim Province, Kirkuk. A Resistance car bomber blasted a joint US-Iraqi puppet checkpoint, killing six Americans, and three Iraqi puppet troops. US forces evacuated Americans, leaving Iraqi casualties behind. Iraqi stooges showed resentment that the Americans evacuated their dead, but left the Iraqi stooges lying there in their pools of blood. Such behaviour contradicted what the Americans told the Iraqi puppet forces, that the Iraqi puppet army and the American army were united as one in confronting what they call "terrorism" - meaning the Iraqi Resistance.

Iraqi Resistance Report

Monday, 16 May 2005. from charlievictor

It would seem that Newsweek is being used as a patsy for the obfuscation of the clash of mythologies and ideologies, since it is well-known that the Righteous Holy Crusaders and the New Israelite Warriors routinely desecrate the holy scriptures of the occupied Muslim citizens of Iraq.--Pete

Khalidiyah. Resistance fighters armed with anti-personnel rockets and BKC medium machine guns attacked an American foot patrol near the Citizenship Office, killing or wounding 11 US troops. The Resistance fighters withdrew unscathed towards the old city cemetery. US forces surrounded the scene and closed the old highway linking Ramadi with Baghdad.

Hit. A high-explosive Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a column of four Humvees near the old citadel destroying one Humvee, killing four US troops and wounding two in the vehicle. Two more Americans in the vehicle behind the one that blew up were also wounded by flying shrapnel. US troops surrounded the area and arrested a number of shopkeepers in the area, accusing them of being involved in the attack and not telling the occupation troops that Resistance fighters were planting a bomb.

Baghdad. Iraqi Resistance forces mounted an intensive mortar bombardment with ten heavy 120mm and 80mm mortar rounds on the US 'Ayn al-Asad base causing a series of explosions and flames and rising smoke as American aircraft came in over the area.

Ramadi. Violent combat broke out between 20 Iraqi Resistance forces, equipped with light and medium arms, RPG7 rocket-propelled grenades and pipe rockets, and US occupation forces in a column of five US armored vehicles and three Humvees.The fighting left six American soldiers dead and five wounded. One armored vehicle was set ablaze and a Humvee destroyed.

An Iraqi Resistance explosives-laden Opel car exploded on a road leading to the US al-Warrar base as a column of six US armoured vehicles was passing, destroying one armoured vehicle and disabling a second. Six American troops were killed and four were wounded.

50 US soldiers stormed into the al-Quds Mosque at dawn and "searched" the building. They ransacked the mosque tearing up copies of the Qur'an and beating up worshippers. The Imam of the mosque said : "Americans stormed into the mosque as we were starting the dawn prayer. They trampled all over the mosque with their boots while surrounding us and confining us to one corner while they searched the mosque and the adjoining rooms. A number of the soldiers, in full view of the commander of their group, kicked copies of the Qur'an around on the floor having fun in a game among themselves, until they got to the outer door of the mosque. One soldier pointed to a copy of the Qur'an with his finger while kicking it with his foot and laughing." "Another soldier carrying black paint, drew seven crosses on the pulpit and three on the prayer rug of the Imam who was standing in front of the worshippers. He drew three more crosses on the interior door of the mosque and on the two interior supports. If they desecrated a copy of the Qur'an in Guantanamo, here in Iraq, God's Book is abused every day by the Crusaders and the Jews."

Fallujah. Iraqi Resistance forces fired four Grad rockets into the US base, sending up two plumes of dense smoke. US helicopters hovered over the base.

Baghdad. An Iraqi Resistance martyrdom fighter drove a pickup truck loaded with propane gas cylinders used for cooking into a column of US occupation troops destroying a Humvee, killing all aboard. The explosion set a tank on fire from the turret, disabling it and wounding the soldiers aboard. US forces encircled the area and called in two helidopters to evacuate their dead and wounded. The Americans left a small force to guard the disabled tank and the wreck of the Humvee from the cameras of journalists who gathered in the vicinity.

The puppet "Iraqi minister of defense" ad-Dulaymi, who comes from the predominantly Sunni city of Ramadi banned raids on Sunni mosques in Baghdad and the provinces by puppet "national guard", and puppet army troops, the so-called "shock forces." The order stipulated penalties of imprisonment and discharge from the puppet service for any members who violated the order and raided Sunni mosques on the excuse that Resistance fighters might be inside. Several Shi'i collaborator politicians expressed strong reservations with the order. Since the installation of the current Shi'i chauvinist puppet "prime minister" al-Ja'fari, raids by largely Shi'i puppet security forces on Sunni mosques and arrests of Sunni religious and community leaders have sharply increased.

Balad. Iraqi Resistance forces using heavy machine guns shot down an unmanned US reconnaissance plane used for spying on the movements of the Iraqi Resistance and set it on fire, causing it to crash.

Ba 'qubah. An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a patrol of four Humvees, destroying one Humvee, killing two US troops, wounding three.

Mosul. An Iraqi Resistance roadside bomb destroyed a US Zil troop transport and killed five American soldiers and seriously wounded one. After the attack US forces opened fire indiscriminately around the area, killing a woman and her husband who happened to be passing in their car on their way home.

Iraqi Resistance forces armed with light weapons and RPG7 rocket-propelled grenades attacked an American truck convoy loaded with fuel for the US occupation forces, setting two tankers ablaze, killing two American drivers and wounding two.

Tall 'Afar. Iraqi Resistance forces fired a barrage of rockets into the US base destroying an observation tower. A number of US troops inside the tower were killed or wounded when it fell to earth.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Terrorist Network Operating Openly In The United States

By Jane Franklin

Three years ago, President Bush said that his War on Terror would pursue terrorists "in any dark corner of the world," but no light has been cast on Miami where terrorists for decades have waged a campaign against Cuba of hit-and run attacks, sabotage, infiltration of armed agents, assassination, etc. After the failure of the CIA's 1961 invasion, using Cuban émigrés at the Bay of Pigs, the CIA tried another plan, Operation Mongoose, which also failed after leading directly to the 1962 October Missile Crisis. Then, for years, about 300 agents operating out of a CIA station housed at the University of Miami, with the code name JM WAVE, employed a few thousand Cuban émigrés in efforts to overthrow the Cuban government. These covert activities and the overt trade embargo and travel ban constitute a continuing State of Siege against the island 90 miles from Florida.

To this day, groups with names like Alpha 66 and F4 operate with impunity. They even brag about their exploits on TV. After a raid on a Havana hotel in 1992, Tony Bryant, the head of Comandos L, announced at a televised news conference plans for more raids on Cuba's tourist industry, which was becoming the mainstay of the Cuban economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bryant warned tourists to stay off the island, declaring, "From this point on, we're at war," adding, "The Neutrality Act doesn't exist."

Last year on Channel 41, Oscar Asa, nephew of former Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista, hosted Comandos F4 leader Rodolfo Frómeta, who described continuing plans for armed attacks against Cuba. These days another nation has become a target of U.S.-based terrorists: along with F4 on Asa's program was former Venezuelan Army Captain Eduardo García, who was involved in the 2002 coup that briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. García praised Comandos F4 for their help in his continuing efforts to topple the Venezuelan government. They train together in the Florida Everglades.

Among the earliest Cuban émigrés to become CIA agents were Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, two of the most notorious terrorists in the Western Hemisphere. As Posada boasted in 1998 to New York Times reporters, "The CIA taught us everything--everything." "They taught us explosives, how to kill, bomb, trained us in acts of sabotage." (more...)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Iraqi Resistance Report

Wednesday, 11 May 2005. From Charlevictor

Anbar Province, Al-Qa'im. More than 40 US Marines were killed in bloody battles with the Iraqi Resistance in the villages of Rummanah and Karabilah. Iraqi Resistance forces at dawn mounted a fierce rocket attack on US positions on the outskirts of the villages, killing and wounding dozens of American troops. After the attack, US troops stormed into the houses of local people to sleep there, using the civilians as human shields.

The Iraqi Resistance announced their forces killed the notorious US General "Drinkwine", Commander of US operations in al-Qa'im, observing the situation of his military units in the area. His body was found among the crew of a US helicopter shot down in flames to crash over Rummanah village. The General's name "Drinkwine" seems to be a nickname, as American field commanders have taken to adopting names intended to intimidate or enrage the Iraqi Resistance and raise the morale of the American invader troops. Two days ago a US officer at a press conference in the American occupation HQ in the Republican Palace area of Baghdad, known to the Americans as the "green zone," introduced himself as "Bull" presumably not intended to reflect the officer's limited intellectual abilities or insensate brutality, but his supposed strength and courage. In another example, an American field lieutenant identifying himself as "Thunder" appeared in a communiqué by the 4th Marine Division in the al-Ba`aj area of Mosul in which the Americans boasted they would soon arrest Jordanian Islamist Abu Zarqawi.

Whatever the true name of the American general shot down and killed, he was the same American general who issued an infamous statement during the last American siege of al-Qa'im three weeks ago when he threatened the Iraqi Resistance saying, "we'll beat them even if Muhammad and Muhammad's Lord are with them."

US forces rocketed and destroyed the Great Mosque in the town of Ubaydi, east of al-Qa'im at dawn, claiming Iraqi Resistance fighters were inside. American F-16 fighter bombers fired three rockets into the mosque, causing extensive damage. The attack killed the mosque custodian, an elderly man aged 75, according to his son. Four other people in the mosque also perished. The American attack on the mosque comes amidst a large-scale US offensive on the people of al-Qa'im and surrounding towns.

Iraqi Resistance forces mounted a fierce bombardment of a US concentration point north of Karabilah destroying several US vehicles. Resistance fighters attacked the American position from the south and west, with medium range Katyusha rockets and 120mm mortars. A number of US vehicles were set on fire, sending up clouds of smoke.

Ramadi. An Iraqi Resistance explosives-laden Supra car bomb, parked by the side of the road, exploded by a column of three US armoured vehicles and two Humvees destroying one Humvee and disabling one armoured vehicle, killing four US troops and wounding four.

Hadithah. The US military ransacked and set fire to Hadithah General Hospital causing a humanitarian disaster that now looms over it. US troops, in the name of the American people, barbarously raided the hospital, destroying and burning large parts of the facility. The damage caused by the savage American raids on the hospital destroyed 90 percent of the building, bringing to a halt all of its health services to the population. The American troops smashed doors and windows, wrecked the kidney dialysis machine unit, damaged the maternity ward, and the operating room.
Director Dr. Ubaydi called "on all humanitarian organizations and people of good will to help re-equip the hospital, if only partially, since this was a central hospital where all difficult cases in the whole of western Iraq were brought for treatment." Dr. Ubaydi asked for urgent necessities, such as all types of medicines, especially those used for emergency cases, as well as material assistance in re-equipping the hospital after the devastation wrought by the American forces.

Hadithah. An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a US patrol column of five US Humvees on the highway linking Hadithah with the city of al-Qa'im destroying one Humvee, killing three US troops and seriously wounding one.

Fallujah. An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a US patrol opposite the Dept of Civil Defense killing five US troops and wounding one. US forces surrounded the scene and opened fire around the area indiscriminately.

Baghdad. An Iraqi Resistance car bomb exploded outside a puppet police station in the southern suburb of ad-Durah, killing four and wounding dozens.

Tikrit. A car bomb blew up in the middle of a group of Shi`i workers who had been trucked in from the south, leaving 33 dead and 60 wounded. The Partisans of the Sunnah announced: "Today your brothers prepared a booby-trapped car and placed it on the square in the city through which pass dozens of apostate workers who work in the American base there. Those workers are a bunch of apostates have sold their religion and are content to be the servants and tails of the US Crusaders. We do not attack Muslim civilians or anyone who has no connection with this war . . . but we do target workers who work in an American base, helping the Americans who are shedding the blood of Muslims every day."

Mosul. An Iraqi Resistance martyrdom fighter drove an explosives-laden Mercedes car into a US armoured column destroying an armoured vehicle and killing four US soldiers and wounding two.

Kirkuk. Iraqi Resistance forces fired a barrage of medium-range Grad rockets and heavy 120mm mortars into the main US base destroying several US vehicles and killing four American troops and wounding nine.

Huwayjah. An Iraqi Resistance martyrdom fighter with an explosives belt strapped about him walked into a recruiting center for the puppet military and blew himself up, killing 19 and wounding 25 collaborators.

Samawah. Powerful blasts occurred according to the Japanese Kyodo Tsushin agency, which covers news of the Japanese aggressor contingent based in the city.

Basrah. Puppet security forces arrested four members of Basrah's Sunni community, including the Imam of the Qiblah Mosque and his son and an in-law, as well as the Muezzin of the Rahman Mosque.

A patrol of British troops entered the area to identify houses of Sunnis. The British were involved in a plot to stoke sectarianism in the country with the aim of splitting the Iraqi people on sectarian lines.

11 of the Sunnis arrested in the nearby town of Khasib were released after the invaders could find no evidence against them.



JEFF COHEN - Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations. And tell your friends. Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is
Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care,
literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.


How to Succeed in Business, Without Really Succeeding

May 15, 2005


HERE'S a pop quiz for you frequent fliers (and disgruntled investors and union members): Who was the highest-paid executive at a major domestic airline last year, taking home $1.1 million in salary and bonus?

Not Gary C. Kelly at Southwest: His reward for running the industry's most profitable company was just $542,000. Nor was it Bruce Lakefield at US Airways, who got $425,000 as his company struggled to avoid liquidation. And forget about Gerald Grinstein at Delta, who earned a mere $250,000 as his airline battled to stay out of bankruptcy protection.

The big payday went to Glenn F. Tilton, the chief executive of United Airlines, which has been operating in bankruptcy since December 2002. Since its filing, it has lost billions, forced its workers to take deep cuts in pay and benefits, and dumped billions of dollars of unfunded pension obligations on the federal government.

And he is still not sure when United will get out of bankruptcy.

Mr. Tilton's compensation has outraged some of his workers, who want him to return his $366,000 bonus. (He did take a pay cut last year, and is taking another this year.) But one could argue that Mr. Tilton is worth every penny of his pay - even if his strategy has not been out of a business school textbook.

In his time at United, which began shortly before the airline filed for Chapter 11 protection, Mr. Tilton has - wittingly or not - used bankruptcy protection as a competitive tool. And he has gained respect in the industry, however grudgingly, for doing so.

If nothing else, United has made itself an airline to be reckoned with - not in the traditional way, through strong operations, but in a completely new way, by leveraging its weakness.

United's bankruptcy, which has lasted longer than any airline case since 1989, has given the company the opportunity to take steps that other carriers have found difficult, if not impossible. Cutting wages and benefits, for one. Renegotiating and rejecting aircraft leases, for another. And the biggest step: terminating its four employee pension plans.

"United has become a much more formidable competitor than we were" when it filed for bankruptcy protection, Mr. Tilton acknowledged in an interview.



Twice in three days last week, Hillary Rodham Clinton basked in the adulation of cheering union members. Her record of supporting collective bargaining, however, is considerably worse than wobbly. Pity the thousands of unionists at last Tuesday's state Democratic convention who chanted her name, and the hundreds of retired Teamsters at Thursday's luncheon in midtown who had interrupted their Founder's Day meal to hear the corporate litigator turned union-loving Democrat deliver a campaign speech.

They would have dropped their forks if they had heard that Hillary
served for six years on the board of the dreaded Wal-Mart, a
union-busting behemoth. If they had learned the details of her
friendship with Wal-Mart, they might have lost their lunches. . .

In 1986, when Hillary was first lady of Arkansas, she was put on the
board of Wal-Mart. Officials at the time said she wasn't filling a
vacancy. In May 1992, as Hubby's presidential campaign heated up, she resigned from the board of Wal-Mart. Company officials said at the time that they weren't going to fill her vacancy.

So what the hell was she doing on the Wal-Mart board? According to press accounts at the time, she was a show horse at the company's annual meetings when founder Sam Walton bused in cheering throngs to celebrate his non-union empire, which is headquartered in Arkansas, one of the country's poorest states. According to published reports, she was placed in charge of the company's "green" program to protect the environment.

But nobody got greener than Sam Walton and his family. For several years in the '80s, he was judged the richest man in America by Forbes magazine. . .

Was Hillary the voice of conscience on the board for American and
foreign workers? Contemporary accounts make no mention of that. They do describe her as a "corporate litigator" in those days, and they mention, speaking of environmental matters, that she also served on the board of Lafarge, a company that, according to a press account, once burned hazardous fuels to run its cement plants. . .

The Clintons depended on Wal-Mart's largesse not only for Hillary's
regular payments as a board member but for travel expenses on Wal-Mart planes and for heavy campaign contributions to Bill's campaigns there and nationally. . .

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart's first lady, who also benefited from Wal-Mart
stock, solicits support from union workers. Which makes her words to the elderly Teamsters last week especially poignant: "You can count on me to stand up for the right to collectively bargain!" Right on, sister!


BushCo Kills Annual Report On Terrorism

Mid-April, The State Department decided to discontinue its annual report on terrorism. I'm thinkin' it was 'cuz the report concluded that there were more "turrist" attacks in 2004 than at any time since 1985!

If BushCo doesn't like what its own agencies produce, they merely suppress it, like in any good fascist theocracy. Now that's good gummint!

Thanks to the sainted Mark Morford for the assist.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Iraqi Resistance Report

Sunday, 8 May 2005 from Charlievictor

Al-Anbar Province.Ramadi. Sunday was the second day of a civil disobedience campaign which religious leaders called for in sermons to protest against the continued US occupation. The protests were prompted by continuous provocation by invader troops and their stooges, and continued campaigns of arrests of local residents. The Americans hold so many people that now the city is like a Guantanamo in Iraq, in reference to the notorious prison camp where American jailers operate outside US law and that of the rest of the world.
Anbar University has been frequently raided by US occupation troops who have randomly arrested numerous university students, none of whom has been charged with any "offense." Ramadi Hospital has also been frequently raided by US forces, searching for "wanted" individuals among the patients. In the course of such raids, the Americans smashed equipment and apparatus, and blasted down doors in the hospital, infuriating local people. Schools and government offices remain closed in occupied Ramadi, bringing much of the normal life in the city to a halt.

Hit. Resistance fighters, armed with pipe rockets and anti-personnel rocket-propelled grenades attacked two black GMC vehicles from the American 'Ayn al-Asad base, carrying Zionist Mossad agents and American employees of a "security" company supplying mercenaries to the US occupation command. The two cars were destroyed and nine foreigners in civilian clothes were killed. Identity papers captured in the attack confirmed that four of the dead were Zionist Mossad agents, four were Americans, and one was Australian.

Baghdad. An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded in the Abu Ghurayb area, destroying one US Humvee military vehicle and killing four American troops. The bomb had been planted near the Abu Munaysir Bridge and went off when a column of seven US Humvees passed by. US forces removed the bodies and the wreckage after shutting down the highway, forcing local traffic to take a dirt road nearby instead - a road where there are frequent Resistance attacks on the occupation troops.

An Iraqi Resistance roadside bomb exploded by a column of US trucks on the highway in the suburb of Durah setting one American truck ablaze, killing one US soldier and wounding another.

Three masked Resistance fighters opened fire with machine guns and killed the General Director for plan implementation at the puppet "ministry of transport and communications" and his driver in an attack in southern Baghdad as he was on his way to work. The attackers left the scene unscathed.

Iraqi puppet "national guards" raided the Duyuf ar-Rahman Mosque. They opened fire inside the mosque and arrested Shaykh Majma'i, the Imam and preacher in the place of worship. The Board of Muslim 'Ulama', said that the puppet guards used foul language to insult and demean Shaykh 'Ata who is a member of the Board of Muslim 'Ulama'[Scholars], the highest Sunni religious authority in occupied Iraq.

Suwayrah. 'Ali Rida, a deputy of the pro-American Shi'i religious authority 'Ali as-Sistani was shot as he was leaving his home to go to a nearby Shi'i Husayniyah place of worship. US and puppet forces surrounded the scene. No party claimed responsibility.

Hillah. An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded next to a Polish foot patrol in the vegetable market killing two Polish occupation soldiers and wounding four. Polish aggressor troops surrounded the area and launched a campaign of raids in the vegetable market and the shops in it but found nothing.

Ba 'qubah. Iraqi Resistance forces fired six heavy caliber mortar rounds at a US checkpoint set up in front of the ar-Razi General Hospital, causing heavy damage to the position, killing and wounding several US troops. American helicopters rushed to the checkpoint and evacuated the casualties. US forces, as usual, closed all roads leading to the scene of the attack and carried out air sorties over the city.

Bayji. An Iraqi Resistance martyrdom fighter in an explosives-laden car drove into a column of six US troop transports destroying one troop carrier and disabling a second, killing five US soldiers and wounding six.

Mosul. A high-explosive Iraqi Resistance roadside bomb destroyed one Humvee, and killed four American troops. US forces encircled the area and called in an Apache helicopter to evacuate the bodies. The Americans had to admit the attack, since it took place in a crowded area and was thus common knowledge.

An Iraqi Resistance car bomb exploded by a column of six US military vehicles. The car bomb, parked by the side of the main road destroyed an armoured vehicle and killed five US troops and wounded two. US forces launched a campaign of raids and searches in the neighborhood, arresting three local civilians.

By what right do the American people send their troops armed with deadly weapons to occupy other people's countries and kill them?

Uzbekistan Shaken by Unrest, Violence and Uncertainty

And so we learn a bit more...--Pete


MOSCOW, May 15 - Skirmishing between armed Uzbeks and troops along Uzbekistan's border with Kyrgyzstan persisted Sunday, news agencies reported, as uncertainty grew about the circumstances and extent of bloodshed on Friday when the government suppressed a mass demonstration by force.

Reports of the number of deaths since the violence began varied widely, from dozens to hundreds of civilians. The Associated Press reported that residents of the village of Tefektosh had said the latest clashes left several soldiers dead. Uzbekistan's president, Islam A. Karimov, said Saturday that 10 government soldiers and "many more rebels" had been killed.

None of the reports could be verified, and it was difficult to determine who was fighting, and with what ambitions, although in addition to elements of a general uprising against a repressive government, armed and newly freed inmates were in the area of strife. Telephone service has been intermittent, and the Uzbek government has forced many journalists to leave.

Hardened elements of his opposition, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, collaborated with Al Qaeda and trained in camps in Afghanistan. After the attacks in the United States in 2001, the Karimov government presented itself as a Bush administration partner in counterterrorism efforts, and the Pentagon opened a base in southern Uzbekistan...

There has also been evidence that the United States has used the country for interrogations of terrorist suspects seized elsewhere.

Nonetheless, signs of strain in the relationship have emerged since 2003, as uprisings have toppled corrupt post-Soviet governments in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, isolating the Uzbek president.

Mr. Karimov, speaking at a news conference on Saturday as journalists reported seeing blood-stained streets and full morgues, made an oblique but unmistakable reference to American interference.

"Attempts by some countries to plant democracy in Central Asia can be used by a third force," he said, according to RIA Novosti. He added, "This force is radical Islam." (more...)

Corporate College

By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Believe or not, there exists a group of homeschooling parents who teach their kids at home because they believe that the public schools have been destroyed by corporations.

The food is corporate junk. The street clothes and sportswear are covered with corporate logos. The curriculum is often sponsored by corporate predators. (The winner of a spelling bee sponsored by the local high school's principal last week won a choice of prizes from Wendy's, McDonald's or Dairy Queen. Can you spell diabesity?). Even the music increasingly is corporate-inspired crapola, driven
largely by payola.

And the morality of the schools is the morality of the marketplace.

But even the most ardent anti-corporate homeschooling parents often give up the fight when it comes to college. At 18, little Johnny has had enough of being at home. And it's time to send him off to -- College. We can only guess at the extent of the corruption of academia by the corporate predators.

But if we are to believe what we read in journalist Jennifer Washburn's
new book, then academia is in it deep. The title of Washburn's book tells it all -- University Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education (Basic Books, 2005).
(Disclosure: an old research piece of ours is mentioned in the book.)

If you listen to right-wing radio, or watch Fox News -- as we do -- then you might be under the impression that universities are dominated by left-wing professors, liberals and cranks. If you don't, you might believe that universities are independent non-profits dedicated to education and research.

Not true, Washburn says.

Traditionally, universities were not governed by market forces and were largely independent of commercial interests. But over the past 25 years, universities are acting less like universities and more like corporations. (more...)

America's Drug Plan Collapses In Chaos

By Hugh O'Shaughnessy
Republished from The Indepedent

Washington’s “war on drugs” in Colombia is collapsing in chaos and corruption, and the drug producers are winning. The so-called Plan Colombia, which has cost the US more than $3bn (£1.6bn) in the past five years, is being abandoned, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced.

Last year, the hugely expensive effort to poison coca bushes – whose leaves are the source of cocaine – by aerial spraying ended in failure. More bushes were flourishing in January this year than in January 2004.

Meanwhile, complaints have multiplied about the damage done by the chemical poisons to the health of humans, especially children, as well as to livestock, fish and the environment.

Plan Colombia was designed to eradicate narcotics, control powerful left-wing guerrillas and strengthen the position of the US military in South America. The scheme was eventually expected to cost $7.5bn.

The government of Colombia, the world’s principal source of cocaine, has sent out an emergency appeal to the Bush administration for an extra $130m to supplement the $600m it expects to receive in 2006 under Plan Colombia.

The extra money, the Colombians insist, is needed for more aircraft to increase the government’s capacity to spray poison on the jungle patches where coca bushes grow.

They also want more helicopters to protect the spray planes and stop any more of them being shot down by growers and guerrillas.

The appeal for emergency cash comes in the wake of the details quietly put out by the White House during the Easter holiday about last year’s spraying débâcle. On 1 January 2004 US satellite pictures showed that 281,323 acres in Colombia were under coca. The target was to reduce that area by half, so nearly 340,000 acres were sprayed with poison. But in vain.

In January, the acreage of coca bushes had increased slightly to 281,694 acres. Consequently, as Congressman Bob Menendez, leader of the Democratic caucus in the US lower house and a critic of Plan Colombia, remarked last week, the international price of cocaine has stubbornly refused to rise – as it would have if the anti-drugs effort had dented its availability worldwide.

Corruption in Colombian government service is said by the Home Office in London to cost $4bn a year.

Drug profits have also corrupted US troops stationed in Colombia. This month a US Green Beret lieutenant-colonel and a sergeant were caught selling 32,900 rounds of ammunition to the right-wing death squads who are flush with drug profits.

In March, five US soldiers – supposedly training local troops in anti-guerrilla and anti-narcotics techniques – were arrested after 16 kilos of cocaine were found in the aircraft taking them from a military base in southern Colombia back to the US.

The Wolfowitz Coup

By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Although many thought it was a cruel practical joke when Paul
Wolfowitz's name was first floated to head the World Bank, this was no April Fool's prank: Last Thursday, the executive directors of the World Bank approved the key architect of the Iraq war as president of what is supposed to be the world's largest development agency.

For decades, the World Bank has veered out of control with a
corporate-led development model. The Bank has pushed mega-development projects that have displaced millions of people, failed to improve national well-being and thrown countries into a downward debt spiral. Simultaneously, it has pushed market fundamentalist policies -- including blind support for privatization, deregulation, and marketization and commodification of social services and public goods -- that have benefited multinational corporations, but impoverished hundreds of millions.

Periodically, the Bank acknowledges its past failures -- devastatingly obvious upon objective review of its record -- and promises to start anew. With each renewal, however, the institution manages to repeat the mistakes of the previous era, yet again.

If the Bank is going to continue to exist, it does need a new start, but not the kind that Paul Wolfowitz's nomination portends.

Wolfowitz assumes the presidency of the Bank thanks to colonialist
tradition and craven geopolitical calculation. (more...)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Gunfire Persists in Eastern Uzbek City-AP

ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan - Gunfire persisted Monday in the eastern city where Uzbek security forces fired on protesters last week — a clash that reportedly left several hundred dead — and new accounts emerged that violence in nearby towns killed hundreds more, further threatening the stability of the government in this key U.S. ally in Central Asia.

Protesters, eh? Hmmm...
When an AP story refers to a nation as a "key U.S. ally", you know something's up. You also know that the death toll will start rising soon.
I warned about Central Asia being the actual next target in the rush to global hegemony two years ago. Their resource-rich soils are of vital importance to the Righteous Holy Crusaders. The CIA dossier on Uzbekistan alone lists natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, and molybdenum as the natural resources begging to be liberated by the Empire

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Newsweek Apologizes for Quran Story Errors

The issue here is to get the truth out, to acknowledge as quickly as possible what happened, and that's what we're trying to do
--Daniel Klaidman.

Yes, that is what they're trying to do. In point of fact, however, should the "actual" truth escape its confines to run willy-nilly 'round the Internet, there will always be a member of the corporate media made to publicly apologize for this grievous error with a slap on the wrist and a promise that it will never happen again.

This is also a sure-fire method for verifying that a story is, in fact, true.--Pete

Article here...

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Whoa...! It gets worse and worse, doesn't it? I think the idea of de-evolution holds more sway now than it did when Devo were preaching it.--Pete

From The Progressive Review Undernews


GLENN SCHERER, E-MAGAZINE - [Beyond the right's] more obvious
anti-environmental motivations there lies a more deep-seated
inspiration. Difficult as it may be to believe, many of the
conservatives who have great influence in the Bush administration and now in Congress are governed by a Higher Power.

In his book The Carbon Wars, Greenpeace activist Jeremy Leggett tells how he stumbled upon this otherworldly agenda. During the Kyoto climate change negotiations, Leggett candidly asked Ford Motor Company executive John Schiller how opponents of the pact could believe there is no problem with "a world of a billion cars intent on burning all the oil and gas available on the planet?" The executive asserted first that scientists get it wrong when they say fossil fuels have been sequestered underground for eons. The Earth, he said, is just 10,000, not 4.5 billion years old, the age widely accepted by scientists.

Then Schiller confidently declared, "You know, the more I look, the more it is just as it says in the Bible." The Book of Daniel, he told
Leggett, predicts that increased earthly devastation will mark the "End Time" and return of Christ. Paradoxically, Leggett notes, many
fundamentalists see dying coral reefs, melting ice caps and other
environmental destruction not as an urgent call to action, but as God's will. Within the religious right worldview, the wreck of the Earth can be seen as Good News!

Some true believers, interpreting biblical prophecy, are sure they will be saved from the horrific destruction brought by ecosystem collapse. They'll be raptured: rescued from Earth by God, who will then rain down seven ghastly years of misery on unbelieving humanity. Jesus' return will mark the Millennium, when the Lord restores the Earth to its green pristine condition, and the faithful enjoy a thousand years of peace and prosperity.


As we have noted before, a wise anti-terrorism program would eliminate the costly protection of eminently replaceable figures like George Bush and most of the Congress and assign better security to the irreplaceable like fine musicians, poets, chefs, and scientists.

But that's not how things are done in this war on terror in which an
inordinate amount of funds are spent on protecting the people who
approve the spending of inordinate amount of funds. They are, and
rightfully so given their policies, scared. The devil take the rest of

Thus yesterday the occupants of the White House and the U.S. Capitol were massively evacuated while the mayor of Washington, just a few blocks away, wasn't even told what was going on.

AP - At the Capitol, lawmakers, tourists and reporters raced out of the building, dodging the speeding motorcades of Latin American leaders who had been meeting with members of Congress. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., was hustled to a secure location. Police, rushing to get House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi out of the building, lifted her out of her shoes.

Armed security officers raced through the Capitol shouting for people to leave. "This is not a drill!" some yelled as they moved people away from the building. "There's a plane coming," warned another.

WONKETTE - Reporting on today's mass hysteria at the Capitol has done little to clarify whether Hill denizens behaved like bored middle school students during a fire drill (Fox's contention) or if they ran away like little girls scared of some huge symbolic penis. One Wonkette operative reports that "the goddamn cops on the 2nd floor of the cannon building were basically yelling at us to run out of the building.... i tried walking, which just got me yelled at even more."

A second operative writes that others were also above the whole
"running" thing: About 5 minutes before the all clear was signaled,
Brownback and his staff started walking back. A police officer tried to stop him, but Brownback blew him off with 'don't bother me' type of hand wave and continued on. We think our operative my be confusing the "don't bother me" type hand wave with the "Fuck it, I know I'm going to heaven" one. Either way: very smooth. . .

A former FEMA official is saying on Fox News that "the word 'running' is probably inappropriate. . . we have to figure out what language to use in the future." On the other hand, Sen. Lautenberg says that someone came into the hall and yelled, "Come on, you only have two minutes!" and that they did run. Far. "I saw a lot of very tired people. I must tell you, a very heavy woman running next to me."

Our favorite eyewitness description comes from Suzanne Malavaux,
however, who gives this appropriately deadpan account:

"One man told me this is not a joke, and he said run, get off of the
grounds. . . and then the tone changed. At that point, I yelled, I
asked him do we go inside or get off the grounds? We wanted
clarification, and then he started yelling, get out of here, get off of
the grounds, run. And that is when we started moving rather quickly. For what it's worth, the video on CNN shows at least one woman going somewhere between a canter and gallop.

JOE STRUPP, EDITOR & PUBLISHER - "I was standing outside the Senate floor waiting for them to wrap up a vote, and the police said to exit the building," said Anne Gearan of The Associated Press. "Then they started yelling louder and louder so everyone left." She said some people were running, but most veteran journalists calmly walked. "They pulled us down to the park across from [nearby] Union Station, and I didn't hear anyone panic.". . .

(Article here...)

Dr. Hager's Family Values


[from the May 30, 2005 issue of The Nation]

Late last October Dr. W. David Hager, a prominent obstetrician-gynecologist and Bush Administration appointee to the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), took to the pulpit as the featured speaker at a morning service. He stood in the campus chapel at Asbury College, a small evangelical Christian school nestled among picturesque horse farms in the small town of Wilmore in Kentucky's bluegrass region. Hager is an Asburian nabob; his elderly father is a past president of the college, and Hager himself currently sits on his alma mater's board of trustees. Even the school's administrative building, Hager Hall, bears the family name.

When Hager's nomination to the FDA was announced in the fall of 2002, his conservative Christian beliefs drew sharp criticism from Democrats and prochoice groups. David Limbaugh, the lesser light in the Limbaugh family and author of Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging Political War Against Christianity, said the left had subjected Hager to an "anti-Christian litmus test." Hager's valor in the face of this "religious profiling" earned him the praise and lasting support of evangelical Christians, including such luminaries as Charles Colson, Dr. James Dobson and Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham.

Back at Asbury, Hager cast himself as a victim of religious persecution in his sermon. "You see...there is a war going on in this country," he said gravely. "And I'm not speaking about the war in Iraq. It's a war being waged against Christians, particularly evangelical Christians. It wasn't my scientific record that came under scrutiny [at the FDA]. It was my faith.... By making myself available, God has used me to stand in the breach.... Just as he has used me, he can use you."

Up on the dais, several men seated behind Hager nodded solemnly in agreement. But out in the audience, Linda Carruth Davis--co-author with Hager of Stress and the Woman's Body, and, more saliently, his former wife of thirty-two years--was enraged. "It was the most disgusting thing I've ever heard," she recalled months later, through clenched teeth.

According to Davis, Hager's public moralizing on sexual matters clashed with his deplorable treatment of her during their marriage. Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent. Several sources on and off the record confirmed that she had told them it was the sexual and emotional abuse within their marriage that eventually forced her out. "I probably wouldn't have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time," she explained to me. "But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible." (more here...)

The Religious Right - An Anti-American Terrorist Movement

Thu, 12 May 2005 18:50:30 -0500

Author: “To even attempt to understand the religious right, which many are now naming “Dominionism”, one must grasp the mental duress it holds on its followers. I should know; I was one of them. Axiomatic in the worldview of the fundamentalist, born-again Christian is: “I have the truth, I’m right; you don’t have the truth, you’re wrong.” As a result, critical thinking, research, or intellectual freedom of exploration are not only unnecessary, they are dangerous and potentially heretical.”
[Posted By Ryz]
By Carolyn Baker
Republished from Information Clearing House
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"

When I was in college, I wrote a research paper that changed my life forever. I had grown up in a fundamentalist Christian family living in the buckle of the Bible Belt where I was fed a steady diet of racism and Cold War anti-communism. My grandfather had been a member of the Klan in the 1920s, and as a high school student, I was saving money to join the John Birch Society. Most personally detrimental to me, however, was the denigration by my high-school-educated parents of higher education. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” they exhorted from the Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. And, when I insisted on attending college, they reminded me incessantly that the wisdom of man is foolishness in the eyes of God. However, getting an education from a fundamentalist, Bob Jones University-like institution would be acceptable. I did not attend Bob Jones, but almost miraculously, given the fact that I was attending a similar institution, I started to think critically, and therefore, from their perspective, my parents’ caveat that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” was validated.

In the second semester of my freshman year, I chose to write a research paper on race. It was 1964, and that summer, the Congress would pass the Civil Rights Act. Throughout my high school years, Martin Luther King was becoming a household word, and few people in my world held anything but contempt for the “colored communist sympathizer.”

As I reflect on my innocence at that age, but more importantly, my thirst for knowledge, I recall the hours of reading and research invested in the topic. Specifically, I set out to discover if African Americans were genuinely equal with whites. Pathetically, I was actually seeking evidence for the humanity of blacks. On the one hand, that I needed to research the topic in order to grasp that African Americans were my brothers and sisters was tragic, but on the other hand, that particular research project at that particular time in my life opened one door and closed another permanently, forever, and there was no turning back. I didn’t get an A on the paper, but it launched for me a journey of social justice that I have been on ever since. (more...)