Sunday, October 24, 2010

War Secrets: Democracy Now with Ellsberg

WikiLeaks' Latest Document Dump

Is Largest Intel Leak in US History

Daniel Ellsberg: I've Waited 40 Years for This

The US government is racing to prepare for the fallout

October 22, 2010  |  

The whistleblowing group WikiLeaks has released up to 400,000 US intelligence reports on the Iraq War. The disclosure is the biggest leak in US history, far more than the 91,000 Afghanistan war logs WikiLeaks released this summer. Democracy Now! spoke to the nation’s most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971, just before he headed to London to participate in the WikiLeak press conference.

DEMOCRACY NOW! CO-HOSTJUAN GONZALEZ: The US government is racing to prepare for the fallout. A team of more than a hundred analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency have been combing through classified Iraq documents they think will be released.

AMY GOODMAN: WikiLeaks sparked condemnation from the US government when it released the 91,000 Afghan war logs in July. The White House and the Pentagon accused the website of irresponsibility. They claimed they were putting people’s lives in danger. But the Associated Press recently obtained a Pentagon letter reporting that no US intelligence sources or practices were compromised by the leak.

Nevertheless, WikiLeaks says it’s been targeted by the US government. In the aftermath of the Afghan war logs leak, the US reportedly asked Britain, Germany, Australia and other Western governments to open criminal investigations into Julian Assange and severely restrict his international travel. Most recently, WikiLeaks accused the US of targeting it with financial warfare. Last week, Julian Assange said the company responsible for collecting the WikiLeaks’ donations terminated its account after the US and Australia placed the group on blacklists. Meanwhile, Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning has been in prison since May, when he was arrested on charges of leaking a video of a US military helicopter killing a group of innocent Iraqis in Baghdad.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Iraq Occupiers Still Can't Keep the Lights On

Seven Years of War and Still

No Power to the Iraqi People

By Paul McGeough

The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

Oct. 16, 2010 - In the searing heat of the Iraqi summer, the difficulty of life with virtually no electricity is hard to comprehend.

But overlay it with the physical and spiritual challenges of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, and the big cities become time bombs ticking at the feet of government.

Or they would, if there was a government. For seven months the country has been paralysed by the failure of the political parties to agree on the make-up of a new government after national elections in mid-March. So with nobody in charge in Baghdad, Iraqis vent their spleen on the streets - being doused by water cannon or arrested and, in some cases, shot by the police.

Summer in Baghdad is not just a hot spell. Day after grinding day and for weeks at a stretch, the temperatures reach anywhere between 46 and 49 degrees. Air conditioning fails. Elevators stop working. Life, seriously, is a bitch.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Report Back: Huge Rally in DC for Jobs, Justice, Education and Peace

‘One Nation’ March Shows the Tough Fight

Ahead for the Emerging Progressive Majority


By Carl Davidson

Beaver County Blue

If you wanted to know what a dynamic and emerging progressive majority of Americans looked like, the place to be was the National Mall at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on the beautiful and sunny Saturday afternoon of Oct. 2, 2010. 

It was a sight to behold. Pulled together by the ‘One Nation Working Together’ coalition of some 400 groups, an estimated 175,000 people filled the area. They were the country’s trade unions, civil rights, women’s rights, and community organizations, peace and justice groups, and many more. The focus was jobs, justice and education, with sizable contingents against the wars as well.

“I hope they look at the mall today,” stated the Rev. Al Sharpton from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, referring to the GOP and the Tea Party right, “because this is what America looks like, not just one color or one gender.”

A rainbow of nationalities, men and women, young and old, and with a solid core from all sectors of the working class filled the area. The crowd’s mood was upbeat and militant, and they let it be known with a range of voices, from old-fashioned liberals to the socialist left, that they were fed up with the right wing assaults from Tea Party, the GOP neoliberals and the Blue Dog Democrats going along with them.

“This gathering is a wakeup call for the American people,” declared Harry Belafonte, in one of the strongest and most critical speeches of the day. “"Do we really believe that sending 100,000 troops to kill innocent men and women in Afghanistan and Pakistan makes any sense?” he continued, clearly and sharply criticizing Obama’s concession to the war machine. The actor-singer went on to attack the “crippling poison of racism” and "the undermining of the Constitution and the systematic attack on our most inalienable rights….At the heart of this danger is the Tea Party which is coming close to achieving its villainous ends. On November 2, in the millions, we must overburden our voting booths, and vote against those who would have us become a totalitarian state." 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Where's the Exit? Obama's Dangerous 'Long War' Cul-de-Sac

Another 9/11: The Danger of Obama’s Secret Policy


By Tom Hayden

Beaver County Peace Links via The Nation

OCTOBER 6, 2010  - Bob Woodward’s book Obama’s Wars should scare the hell out of you. It is essential reading—between the lines—for anyone seeking a map out of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Here is one example: If and when a terrorist attack occurs in the United States which can be traced to Pakistan, the American military response will be a “retribution plan” to bomb at least 150 targets in Pakistan. The plan is “one of the most sensitive and secret of all military contingencies,” Woodward writes. There is no discussion of The Day After in this scenario of saturation bombing. Nor did the President and his advisers have “anything on the shelf [which] specifically addressed securing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.”

Such an attack already has been attempted this year, when Faisal Shahzad, who was funded and trained by the Pakistani Taliban, placed a car bomb in Times Square on May 1. Last year the FBI arrested an AQ operative, Najibullah Zazi, for planning to blow up New York subways with 14 backpack bombs, and also nabbed Chicago resident David Coleman Headley for planning an attack in Europe. Both individuals were trained in Pakistan.

Monday, October 4, 2010

'Rooting Out' to 'Draw Down': Deeper into an Unjust War

Afghan Violence Kills 13 Civilians

Agence France-Presse

KABUL — Thirteen Afghan civilians were killed in separate incidents across Afghanistan over the weekend as a result of Taliban insurgent attacks and NATO action, officials said Sunday.

Seven members of one family died when a roadside bomb ripped through a civilian vehicle in Yahyakhail district of eastern Paktika province on Saturday, provincial spokesman Mukhlis Afghan told AFP.

"Seven civilians including three children, all members of one family, were killed in the bomb blast," he said.

Also Saturday, three civilians were killed when NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bombed a Taliban meeting in southern Helmand province, during an attack in which 17 militants also died, provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Angar told AFP.