Posted by: quiscus | November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

1.  “UK Captain Confirms Details: Wesley Clark Ordered Attack on Russian Troops in Kosovo

In an interview with BBC Radio, former British military Captain James Blunt discussed the details of how, during the height of the NATO occupation of Kosovo, he was ordered by US General Wesley Clark to attack 200 Russian soldiers and “destroy” them.

Blunt had been ordered to occupy the Pristina airport, but 200 Russian soldiers had arrived on site before him, so he radioed on for instructions. It was at this point that General Clark, then the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO, ordered Blunt to “destroy” the Russian soldiers and take the airport for NATO.

It was at this point, Blunt noted, that General Sir Michael Jackson, then commander of the British military, chimed in and told Clark “I’m not going to have my soldiers start World War Three.” Blunt added that even in the absence of this he was willing to risk court-martial to avoid carrying out the attack.

But for this odd twist of fate, we may never have known just how close the Kosovo War of the Clinton Administration came to escalating into World War Three, and how comfortable the former Supreme Allied Commander was in ordering that.”

2.  ” Iraq’s disappearing Christians are Bush and Blair’s legacy

The irony of the Iraq invasion is it may have wiped out their faith where other conquests failed”

3.  “Toxic cancer-causing industrial chemical in Iraq: KBR Knew of Exposure at Iraq Plant”

4.  “Orwellian Scenario: The “Total Control Society” Is Here: Iris Scanners
“In the future, whether it’s entering your home, opening your car, entering your workspace, getting a pharmacy prescription refilled, or having your medical records pulled up, everything will come off that unique key that is your iris. Every person, place, and thing on this planet will be connected [to the iris system] within the next 10 years.”– Jeff Carter, CDO of Global Rainmakers

The U.S. government and its corporate allies are looking out for you–literally–with surveillance tools intended to identify you, track your whereabouts, monitor your activities and allow or restrict your access to people, places or things deemed suitable by the government. This is all the more true as another invasive technology, the iris scanner, is about to be unleashed on the American people.

The perceived benefits of iris scan technology, we are told, include a high level of accuracy, protection against identity theft and the ability to quickly search through a database of the digitized iris information. It also provides corporations and the government–that is, the corporate state–with a streamlined, uniform way to track and access all of the information amassed about us, from our financial and merchant records, to our medical history, activities, interests, travels and so on. In this way, iris scans become de facto national ID cards, which can be implemented without our knowledge or consent. In fact, the latest generation of iris scanners can even capture scans on individuals in motion who are six feet away. And as these devices become more sophisticated, they will only become more powerfully invasive.

The goal of the corporate state, of course, is to create a total control society–one in which the government is able to track the movements of people in real time and control who does what, when and where. In exchange, the government promises to provide security and convenience, the two highly manipulative, siren-song catchwords of our modern age

Ultimately, it comes back to power, money and control–“how it is acquired and maintained, how those who seek it or seek to keep it tend to sacrifice anything and everything in its name”–the same noxious mix that George Orwell warned about in his chilling, futuristic novel 1984. It is a warning we have failed to heed. As veteran journalist Walter Cronkite observed in his preface to a commemorative edition of 1984:

1984 is an anguished lament and a warning that vibrates powerfully when we may not be strong enough nor wise enough nor moral enough to cope with the kind of power we have learned to amass. That warning vibrates powerfully when we allow ourselves to sit still and think carefully about orbiting satellites that can read the license plates in a parking lot and computers that can read into thousands of telephone calls and telex transmissions at once and other computers that can do our banking and purchasing, can watch the house and tell a monitoring station what television program we are watching and how many people there are in a room. We think of Orwell when we read of scientists who believe they have located in the human brain the seats of behavioral emotions like aggression, or learn more about the vast potential of genetic engineering. And we hear echoes of that warning chord in the constant demand for greater security and comfort, for less risk in our societies. We recognize, however dimly, that greater efficiency, ease, and security may come at a substantial price in freedom, that “law and order” can be a doublethink version of oppression, that individual liberties surrendered for whatever good reason are freedoms lost. “

5.  “The “pro-Constitution=pro-terrorist” canard

No matter how much people like Karima Bennoune wish it weren’t true, it nonetheless is true that the Supreme Court has emphatically held in Brandenburg v. Ohio that the First Amendment bars the Government from punishing people even for explicit advocacy of violence except where it’s designed and likely to result in “imminent” (i.e., basically immediate) violent acts.  All reviewable evidence that has been publicly disclosed about Awlaki regards clearly protected speech.  If there’s evidence that goes beyond protected advocacy into criminal acts — as there very well might be — then it would be easy to indict him on those crimes.  And when that happens, it’s up to these institutions we call “courts,” in adversarial proceedings we call “trials” — complete with lawyers representing the accused — to determine whether he is actually guilty: not the President acting alone without any checks or oversight while issuing unilateral, due-process-free death penalty decrees.

And if the President really does have that unreviewable assassination power under the Constitution — based on some sort of Cheneyite War theory or anything else —  then that, too, is for courts to decide.   Stigmatizing those who take part in that process and who seek judicial rulings on the Constitutionality of government acts is itself a direct assault on our basic system of government — rather ironic for someone who purports to enforce lines of patriotism.  That’s how Constitutional rights are vindicated:  by dedicated lawyers defending those whose rights are under assault (usually the most despised and marginalized among us:  at least at first).  Lawyers who defend our Constitutional rights pro bono (i.e., for free) by representing such individuals are acting with particular nobility and deserve extra gratitude, not scorn; that’s how our core liberties are preserved.

Are we really back at the point where those lessons need to be recited?  And worse, are we back at the point where those who defend the Constitutional rights of accused Terrorists — thereby defending the Constitutional rights of everyone — are going to be smeared as being pro-Terrorist or breaching some sort of ill-defined patriotism “line”?

One other question for Andrew Sullivan and anyone who agrees with him:  In 1770, John Adams defended two British soldiers accused of murdering several Americans when they fired indiscriminately into a crowd of civilians, as part of the Boston Massacre.  Adams called his decision to defend them “one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.”  Was Adams right, or did he “cross the line”?

Also, when Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol launched their despicable campaign to brand various Obama DOJ lawyers as the “Al Qaeda 7” for having represented “Terrorists’ right,” Sullivan accused them of “gutter McCarthyism” and wrote:  “The Cheney-Kristol faction reveals once again their contempt for core American values: they endorse torture and they demonize lawyers who represent unpopular clients.”  Indeed.”

6.  “British Politician: ‘Israel is the Root Cause of Terrorism’

Liberal Democratic peer asks why world allows Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to continue – “Is it Holocaust guilt?”

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