1. “Lusitania Truthers Vindicated!
The Jan/Feb 09 Archaeology Magazine “Lusitania’s Secret Cargo” appears to have vindicated the Lusitania “Truthers” .
The article states:
“The nearly century-old debate about whether the passenger liner Lusitania was transporting British war munitions when torpedoed by a German U-boat is over.
Physical evidence of just such a cargo has been recovered from the wreck, which rests 12 miles off the Irish coast in 300 ft. of murky turbulent water.”
“Lusitania was sunk off County Cork on May 7, 1915. The attack killed 1,198 people, including 128 Americans and helped push the United States into WWI. Ever since the ship went down, there have been suspicions [by conspiracy theorists known as ‘the Lusitania truthers’ (JC.)] that the Lusitania was carrying live munitions. Under the rules of war, that would have made the liner a legitimate target, as the Germans maintained at the time.”
“The British government has always been evasive about the presence of munitions on Lusitania. Two cargo manifests were submitted; the second, filed after the ship sailed indicated there were light munitions on board. Some believe the ship was carrying much more, however, and that the British Navy attempted to destroy the wreck in the 1950s to conceal its military cargo.”
“Now a team led by County Waterford-based diver Eoin McGarry, on behalf of Lusitania’s American owner, Gregg Bemis, has recovered live ammunition from the wreck … This past September, Bemis’s team used a remotely operated vehicle to penetrate the wreck. They were able to clearly identify a vast amount of ammunition in an area of the Lusitania not believed to have carried cargo. The Remington .303 caliber bullets the team discovered on the ship had been used by the British Military during WW1. Ten of the bullets were brought to the surface.”
“The charge that the Lusitania was carrying war materiel is valid,” says Bemis. “She was a legitimate target for the German submarine.”
2. This sounds like really good news:
“Amazing Appointment — Chas Freeman as NIC Chairman
But, more to the point, he was probably the most direct and outspoken — and caustic — critic of the conduct of Bush’s “global war on terror,” especially of the influence of the neo-conservatives — of any former senior member of the career foreign service. His appointment constitutes a nightmare, for the Israeli right and its U.S. supporters, in particular, (and for reflexive China-bashers, as well).”
3. “War Criminals, Including Their Lawyers, Must Be Prosecuted
The smoking gun that may incriminate George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, et al., is the email traffic that passed between the lawyers and the White House. Isikoff revealed the existence of these emails on The Rachel Maddow Show. Some maintain that Bush officials are innocent because they relied in good faith on legal advice from their lawyers. But if the president and vice president told the lawyers to manipulate the law to allow them to commit torture, then that defense won’t fly.
There is precedent for holding lawyers criminally liable for giving legally erroneous advice that resulted in great physical or mental harm or death. In U.S. v. Altstoetter, Nazi lawyers were convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity for advising Hitler on how to “legally” disappear political suspects to special detention camps.”
4. “The CIA Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated
The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has confirmed the worst fears of its creator President Harry Truman that it might degenerate into “an American Gestapo.” It has been just that for so long it is beyond redemption. It represents 60 years of failure and fascism utterly at odds with the spirit of a democracy and needs to be closed, permanently.
Over the years “the Agency” as it is known, has given U.S. presidents so much wrong information on so many critical issues, broken so many laws, subverted so many elections, overthrown so many governments, funded so many dictators, and killed and tortured so many innocent human beings that the pages of its official history could be written in blood, not ink. People the world over regard it as infamous, and that evaluation, sadly for the reputation of America, is largely accurate. Besides, since President Obama has half a dozen other major intelligence agencies to rely on for guidance, why does he need the CIA? In one swoop he could lop an estimated 27,000 employees off the Federal payroll, save taxpayers umpteen billions, and wipe the CIA stain from the American flag.
If you think this is a “radical” idea, think again. What is “radical” is to empower a mob of covert operatives to roam the planet, wreaking havoc as they go with not a care for morality or, for that matter, the tenets of mercy implicit in any of the great faiths. The idea of not prosecuting CIA interrogators (i.e., torturers), as President Obama has hinted, is chilling. These crimes have to be stopped somewhere, sometime, or they will occur again.
“The CIA had run secret interrogation centers before—beginning in 1950, in Germany, Japan, and Panama,” writes New York Times reporter Tim Weiner in his book “Legacy of Ashes, The History of The CIA”(Random House). Weiner has won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the intelligence community. “It had participated in the torture of captured enemy combatants before—beginning in 1967, under the Phoenix program in Vietnam. It had kidnapped suspected terrorists and assassins before…”
5. “The ban on questioning U.S. policy towards Israel and the requirement that uncritical homage be paid to the Israeli government is clearly coming to an end. Several members of Congress — Sen. John Kerry as well as Reps. Brian Baird and Keith Ellison — visited Hamas-ruled Gaza this week in order to survey the massive damage that was done. Newly appointed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand openly declared this week that the U.S. should use its leverage to push Israel into serious peace negotiations “regardless of what Netanyahu says he wants to do.” And the Jewish-American group J Street is well on its way to destroying the stranglehold which right-wing groups have long exerted on American policy debates over Israel and the monopoly those groups have deceptively claimed on speaking for American Jews.
America’s destructive involvement in all Israeli conflicts and its blind devotion to all Israeli actions is one area where — not due exclusively or even primarily to Obama — change is on its way. That policy just isn’t sustainable any longer, nor are the myths that have long been propagated, and the smear tactics that have long been invoked, in service of shielding that policy from critical scrutiny and open debate. As the debate finally unfolds, Jeffrey Goldberg can — and almost certainly will — scream “anti-Semite” until he loses his voice. But the louder he screams, the more he abuses and exploits that accusation, the fewer people who will be listening. Or caring. “