1. “Iran has become more of a concept, a frightening idea, than a set of people with a proud civilisation, a turbulent modern history, and a legitimate viewpoint or even humanity. And, of course, you can only convince yourself that it is morally legitimate to bomb other people – don’t kid ourselves that Iran’s nuclear sites could be destroyed without also bombing a great many Iranian women, men and children – when you have dehumanised them or reduced them to caricatures of evil. The enemy.
Iran’s isolation in the world since 1979 is what sustains the rule there of a repressive elite motivated as much by money, and its own survival, as theocratic ideals. But, after 30 years of mutual suspicion, it has become difficult for most Westerners to think of Iranians en masse as anything other than terrifying, irrational freaks on a martyrdom mission, when there is a daily and hypocritical drumbeat led by Fox News neocons about the supposed threat they pose.”
2. “Virginia declares “emperor has no clothes”: NDAA nullified
Virginia’s Senate voted today (39-1) to nullify NDAA 2012 provisions to seize American citizens at the dictate of the federal executive branch. They joined the House’s 96-4 vote.
Do an Internet news search for this story (like this); you won’t find any corporate media coverage. This is what Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld meant with Information Operations Road Map (specifically with endnote 76 in an article on the also non-covered Martin Luther King civil trial that found the US government guilty of assassinating Dr. King), and what CIA-disclosed Operation Mockingbird was meant to achieve: no corporate media opposition.”
3. “Two Years Left to Prosecute Bush and Cheney … But Obama Has Done Everything In His Power to Legitimize Bush’s Crimes
Holtzman ends her book by pointing out that legal accountability can come after many years, as in the case of various Nazis, or of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, or of the murderers of civil rights activists including Medgar Evers.
In between, for the bulk of the book, Holtzman, a former district attorney, lays out the prospects for a prosecution of Bush and others on charges of lying to Congress about the grounds for war, wiretapping Americans, and conspiring to torture. This is an excellent sampling of the many horrors on the list of Bush’s abuses, and clearly the three areas in which Holtzman believes a prosecution would stand the best chance of success. Her analysis of the war lies parallels and builds on that of Elizabeth de la Vega, another former prosecutor who has written on the topic. Holtzman adds an analysis of the steps Bush took to protect himself from prosecution in this and each other area. She also examines his possible legal defenses, finding some of them strong and others easily overcome.
In each area Holtzman finds charges that would stick, if our laws were enforced. She also finds charges that would have stuck, had the statute of limitations not elapsed, and others for which a couple of years yet remain. Holtzman believes charges for conspiring to defraud the government with war lies could be brought until January 20, 2014. She also believes that charges for violation of FISA could be brought until that same date, pointing out that changes made to the law have not provided immunity for prior violations of what the law used to be, and that immunity has been granted from civil suits but not from criminal prosecution. Charges of torture, Holtzman concludes, could be brought at any time in the future.
Holtzman argues for lengthening the statutes of limitations for grave abuses of power, for creating a special prosecutor, restoring the War Crimes Act, reclaiming protection against unchecked surveillance, recovering missing records, pursuing civil cases, impeaching torture lawyer turned judge Jay Bybee, and looking abroad for hope and change. She sees some chance of the International Criminal Court pursuing charges of torture.
This book is an ideal guide for a prosecutor with nerve and decency, although we haven’t found one in this country in the past several years. Other than Kurt Daims who is running for the office of Town Grand Juror in Brattleboro, Vermont, which voted to direct its police to indict Bush and Cheney four years ago, I’m not aware of any prosecutors in the United States with plans to pursue this kind of justice.”
4. “Iran Moves Further To End Petrodollar, Announces Will Accept Payment In Gold Instead Of Dollars
Much has been spun in recent weeks to indicate that as a result of collapsing trade, Iran’s economy is in shambles and that the financial embargo hoisted upon the country by the insolvent, pardon, developed world is working. We had a totally different perspective on things “A Very Different Take On The “Iran Barters Gold For Food” Story” in which we essentially said that Iran, with the complicity of major trading partners like China, India and Russia is preparing to phase out the petrodollar: a move which would be impossible if key bilateral trade partners would not agree to it. Gradually it appears this is increasingly the case following a just released Reuters report that “Iran will take payment from its trading partners in gold instead of dollars, the Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted the central bank governor as saying on Tuesday.”