Sunday, February 17, 2013

Truest statement of the week

And-and there's one woman.  Her name is Karimah.  She and her family, I'd spent time at their house a lot in 2003 and 2004 and she's a widow and her husband was killed in the Iran - Iraq War.  She has a large number of kids.  And I went to visit her and her son, her oldest son, Aalee had been picked up at a cafe in a raid.  And there were these Iraqi security forces who were looking for members of the Sadr militia.  They picked him up, detained him, didn't charge him with anything really and interrogated him, extracting a confession from him and then proceeded to sort of keep him in prison until the family sold everything they had and could buy him out of prison basically.  And that speaks to the state of the Iraqi judicial system today.  It's a confession-based sort of system and people are frequently detained and not charged with anything until people can just buy them out.  And that's included in this Human Rights Watch report.  So it's really, the biggest concerns for the people who are coming up from this new very sort of corrupt  and ineffective Iraqi government, in their words, in the way they described it and also the infrastructure was just a mess.

-- photo journalists Kael Alford on Friday's Your Call (KALW).  She and photo journalist Thorne Anderson  have an exhibit, "Eye Level in Iraq," at the de Young Museum in San Francisco through June 16th.

A note to our readers

 Hey --

Another Sunday.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

We continue to look for new truests sources.
A rehash serving of mashed potatoes from MSNBC?
Ava and C.I. crown Amy Goodman with a new title.
A look at an endangered species and the corrupt.

Jane Arraf scores this week.

What do the two have in common?  Quite a lot.

CBS really needs to.

A puzzler.

A press release from Senator Murray's office.
A repost from Workers World.
Upcoming veterans hearings.

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

That's it, see you next week.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I

Editorial: The crimes against Iraq didn't end in 2008

The question could be asked: How does Barack get away with supporting thug Nouri al-Maliki?  But the answer's so obvious that the question may seem uneeded.  He gets away with supporting Nouri because American media really doesn't give a damn about Iraq.

"There just isn't a huge amount of reporting coming out of Iraq these days by western media because budgets are shrinking,"  photo journalist Kael Alfred declared Friday on Your Call (KALW).  "There are a lot of conflicts happening all over the world and our attention shifts elsewhere.  And, you know, we were just speaking about this before the show, how ten years on, the anniversary of this war, we really don't know what's happening in Iraq, we don't what it looks like."

Which is why we're not doing cartwheels over Rachel Maddow's 'special' on MSNBC tomorrow night.  It's not just that Hubris is based on a book from several years ago, it's also that Rachel been talking it up as "this really definitive statement about how Bush lied us into a war."

Wow.  Color us underwhelmed.

Exactly how is that new or novel?

More importantly, what does it have to do with today.

MSNBC prime time is heavy on jocular hosts and light on actual reporters.  Maddow herself is nothing but a dee jay.  She wouldn't know how to break a story if you slow-walked her through it.

Iraq is a tragedy.

Maybe if Rachel put down the axe she uses on Bully Boy Bush long enough to explore the realities for the Iraqi people, how they are protesting and even why they are protesting?

iraq protests

They are protesting, you know?

Even if American media doesn't give a damn, Iraqis are protesting.  Shafaq News pointed out Thursday, "Demonstrations and sit-ins still continue in Iraq in protest against Maliki's policies, as the sit-in in Ramadi had entered its 56 day.  Maliki's government is witnessing recently protests in several areas, including Anbar, Fallujah, Kirkuk, Samarra, Mosul and a number of neighborhoods in Baghdad to demand reforms and cancel laws that prohibit some from participating in the political process, as well as cancelling Article 4 of Anti-Terrorism Act and release detainees especially women detainees and achieve balance in the institutions of the state."

When Maddow's special airs, it will be day 60 of the sit-in.  

The birth defects, will they be covered?

What about the 2010 elections?  Will Maddow acknowledge how Barack backed thug Nouri and the US government brokered The Erbil Agreement to get around the Constitution and let Nouri have a second term after the voters refused to grant him one?

Will she note how talk of democracy became a bigger joke under Barack when he refused to back the will of the Iraqi people in order to keep the US puppet installed as prime minister?

Again, the talk of the special indicates to us that we'll be seeing something we've seen many times before.

Bully Boy Bush is a War Criminal.  We've said that for years now.  So is Barack Obama and we've also said that for years now.  MSNBC, however, struggles with that.  So we're expecting a nostalgia program that does nothing to illuminate Iraq today or what the Iraqi people are going through.

TV: First Among All Whiners

Maybe it was the fact that Tim Allen's Last Man Standing finally found its footing in season two when the lead character found a political position (conservative)?  Maybe that's what's taken the long running sitcom Democracy Now! and turned it ever rightward?


There was the ridiculous February 6th broadcast where activist, author and media critic Norman Solomon was supposedly brought on to debate Colin Powell's guy pal Lawrence Wilkerson.  Only it ended up being Norman debating him, Amy Goodman and Aaron Mate.  Goody felt the need to repeatedly tell Norman to let Lawrence speak.

This despite the fact that Wilkerson had dominated the conversation and, in fact, was allowed to speak at length before Norman Solomon even got introduced.  In fact, Colin Powell's bag boy would get to speak 1503 words to Norman's 1212.  And though he repeatedly cut off Norman, Goody never asked him to let Norman speak.

As Barack's second term kicks off, Democracy Now! has become that raspberry cream candy in the box of chocolates -- squishy and somewhere in the center.

It wasn't always so.

You've probably caught Goody's stale act.  In 2008, she was insisting in The Progressive, "The media acts as a megaphone for those in power." Variations on that pad out her copy-and-past 'books.'  In 2003, she told Michael Powell (Washington Post), "War coverage should be more than a parade of retired generals and retired government flacks posing as reporters.  Why not invite on some voices that are not Pentagon-approved?"

She's played Last Journalist Standing for years now.  But she's toying, pretending.

The proof is in what you actually do.

February 15, 2003 was a monumental day -- one like the world has rarely seen.  Close to 40 million people, by some estimates, around the world marched and said "NO" to war on Iraq.

In real time, Goody grasped it was a major story and the Monday after the Saturday protest, this was her show's lineup:

But Friday was the anniversary of that day, the tenth year anniversary.

And what did Goody do?

As The Guardian and The New Statesman and even the conservative Telegraph of London spent last week looking back on the protests with multiple features over multiple days, Goody devoted a whole hour to it, right?

Because this is people power and she supposedly believes in that, right?

This is like an event out of a Howard Zinn history book so Goody would be all over it, right?


She did manage to mention it.  On Friday.  In the sixteenth of sixteen headlines.

She gave the largest protest the world has ever seen 105 words.

And that's all she gave it.

You can hector, you can critique.

But the fact of the matter is if, in your own outlet, with your own power, if you refuse to behave any differently than those you criticize, you're nothing but a whiner.

And that's what last week was about as Amy made nice with Daryl Hannah (making nice about Barack), explored the Papacy and she and close-to-retirement Davy D spoke of 'wronged'  murderer Christopher Doran.  On NPR's Tell Me More last week, Doran's groupies (28,000 likes on Facebook) were addressed by reporter Karen Grigsby Bates who noted:

Well, I think that there are a couple of different reactions. There were - almost universally people are saying nothing condones murder. And this is something that the mainstream media hasn't picked up on very much. You know, it kind of worries me because it was like after O.J. Simpson was acquitted and all you saw were people of color jumping up and down going yay, yay, O.J.'s free.

Well, I interviewed a lot of people who said we think a travesty was done and this is wrong and we really resent having, you know, these scenes of joy shown all over as if this is in the entire black community. So the entire black community is not jumping up and down about this. But there are people who say that there are still serious problems with the police.

Remember, journalism just isn't done on Democracy Now! because Goody's too tired from forever posing as Last Journalist Standing.

Back to that 2008 interview with The Progressive:

Q: You travel around the country a lot. What do you see as being the pressing issues right now? 

Goodman: War is the defining issue. We cannot take the focus off of that because we are determining who lives and who dies. In Iraq, the population is just decimated, displaced, killed. We have destroyed a civilization. It's horrifying. And as long as that is going on I think it is our responsibility to show that. Then people can make up their own minds. But as long as it falls off the front pages of the newspapers, people can think, "Well, it must not be that bad." It’s our job to make sure it’s front and center.

War is a defining issue, she insists.  But not so much so that she needs to actually cover it.  So she ignores the protest, the same way she dropped Iraq in 2008, the same way she never did a segment on Abeer. Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi's parents and five-year-old sister were murdered in their Iraqi home while Abeer was gang-raped in another room. Following the gang-rape, Abeer was murdered.  But it was never important enough for an hour of Democracy Now! or even for a 20 minute segment.

Again, if you criticize others for failing to use their power, you need to be using your own power.  When you fail to do that, when you're even worse than what you say the Mainstream Media is, you're not the Last Journalist Standing, you're just First Among All Whiners.

Greed and The Rhino

Did you know that "Trade in Rhinoceros horn has been regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ('CITES') since1976"?  Or that "All species of Rhinoceros are protected under United States and international law and all Black Rhinoceros species are endangered"?  David Hasuman may or may not have known -- doesn't matter, ignorance of the law is no excuse.


As the US Fish and Wildlife Service notes, black rhinoceros were declared endangered July 14, 1980.  Despite this, Rhishja Cota-Larson (Rhino Conservation) explained last month that "668 rhinos were massacred in South Africa in 2012."  Operation Crash is the name of the program the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Justice Department are operating "to investigate and prosecute those involved in the black market trade of endangered rhino horns."

b rhino 3

Manhattan antiques dealer David Hasuman is one of those who got caught.  Kevin Sheehan and Bruce Golding (New York Post) reported on the sting in which Hausman spent $8,500 for a rhino head and was then seen at a truck stop "sawing off the horns in a motel parking lot."  Miguel Llanos (NBC News) explains that Hausman would use rhino "horns to make 'libation cups' and passing them off as antiques that can sell for up to $300,000."

operation crash photos

The Justice Department details that incident and another:

 In December 2010, Hausman – while purporting to help the government crack down on illegal rhinoceros trading – advised FWS that the taxidermied head of a black rhinoceros containing two horns had been illegally sold by a Pennsylvania auction house.  Upon learning that the sale was not finalized, Hausman covertly purchased the rhinoceros mount himself, using a “straw buyer” to conceal that he was the true purchaser because federal law prohibits interstate trafficking in endangered species.  Hausman instructed the straw buyer not to communicate with him about the matter by email to avoid creating a paper trail that could be followed by law enforcement.  After the purchase was completed, Hausman directed the straw buyer to remove the horns and mail them to him.  He then made a realistic set of fake horns using synthetic materials and directed the straw buyer to attach them on the rhinoceros head in order to deceive law enforcement in the event that they conducted an investigation.  After his arrest, Hausman contacted the straw buyer and they agreed that the rhinoceros mount should be burned or concealed. 
In a second incident, in September 2011, Hausman responded to an internet offer to sell a (different) taxidermied head of a black rhinoceros containing two horns.  Unbeknownst to Hausman, the on-line seller was an undercover federal agent.  Before purchasing the horns on Nov. 15, 2011, Hausman directed the undercover agent to send him an email falsely stating that the mounted rhinoceros was over 100 years old, even though the agent had told him that the rhinoceros mount was only 20 to 30 years old.  There is an antique exception for certain trade in rhinoceros horns that are over 100 years old.  By falsifying the age of the horns, Hausman sought to conceal his illegal conduct.  Hausman also insisted on a cash transaction and told the undercover agent not to send additional emails so there would be no written record.  After buying the black rhinoceros mount at a truck stop in Princeton, Ill., agents followed Hausman and observed him sawing off the horns in a motel parking lot. 

Thursday Hausman was sentenced "to six months in jail for obstruction of justice and creating false records in connection with illegal rhinoceros horn trafficking."  He was also ordered to make a $18,000 donation to the Rhino Tiger Conservation Fund" and $10,000 to the Lacey Act Reward Fund.


Rhinos are endangered because there are so few of them.  The Rhino Foundation explains:

Today there are five species and 11 subspecies of rhinos surviving on earth. Two species (Black and White) occur in Africa. Three species (Greater One-horned rhino, Javan, and Sumatran) occur in Asia.
Thousands and especially millions of years ago, rhinos were more diverse, widespread and abundant. Rhinos occurred in North America and Europe as well as in Africa and Asia. The surviving rhinos are precious representatives of the glorious heritage and history of the rhino family on our planet.

And in terms of numbers of rhinos alive right now?  The Fish and Wildlife Service notes, "African rhino populations fell by 96 percent between 1970 and 1992 and now only about 25,000 remain in the wild."


For David Hausman, rhinos were nothing but a way to make a lot of easy cash.  He didn't see them as living and breathing inhabitants of the planet, he saw them only in relation to how much money their horns could bring him.


The Assistant Attorney General for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice Ignacia S. Moreno explained last week of greedy Hausman, "He posed as someone who was protecting this endangered species when he was really obtaining and using inside information to further the illegal trade in black rhino horns."


All images from the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Tweets of the Week

Jane Arraf reports for Al Jazeera, The Christian Science Monitor and PRI.

Protesters in Anbar Province were talking of coming to Baghdad Friday to participate in morning prayers and a sit-in.  Nouri al-Maliki immediately began working to prevent that from happening.  On Monday, Arraf Tweeted:

army security checks from /Fallujah to blocking traffic for miles days ahead of Friday protest in Baghdad.


  1. army closing roads from for the night. 'Don't you know what the situation is like?' soldier says.

Tuesday, she continued her coverage:

  1. Back in this evening, anti-aircraft batteries along the river, roadblocks, rumors of a Thursday curfew. That is some scary protest.

And Friday, she Tweeted about the protests.

In protest central , cleric makes clear these are Sunni protests, says Iranians have more freedom in Baghdad than they do.

sheikh to more than 100,000 protestors - we are exiles in our own country. Other protests in warn they will come to Baghdad.

John and Junior: Modern Day Morality Tales

What do two men have in common?


sunset jackson

When the two men are John Edwards and Jesse Jackson Jr., we can think of multiple commonalities.

Both men's first names start with "J."

Both men cheated on their wives.

Both men endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Both men also had a problem with campaign funds.

John Edwards thought campaign funds were best spent on keeping a mistress.

Jesse Jackson Jr. thought campaign funds were best spent on Eddie Van Halen's old guitar and Michael Jackson's fedora.

Two sleazy crooks.  They once had good names and good images.  What was it about them that destroyed them?

Both of them lost a great deal more than their once-good names.  Jason Zengerle (New York magazine) takes us back to 2008:

Four years later, when Obama ran for president, Jackson was there to help again. He leaned heavily on his fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus to support Obama, going so far as to threaten primary challenges against those who’d endorsed Hillary Clinton—a move that particularly rankled older black congressmen, like Charlie Rangel and John Lewis, who’d known Junior since he was a child. But Jackson’s biggest battles on behalf of Obama were with members of the Jackson family, many of whom were supporting Clinton. When his mother Jackie cut a radio ad for Clinton in South Carolina, the Obama campaign had already aired one that Junior made there; he also worked to raise money for Obama in order to offset the $100,000 his brother Yusef raised for Hillary.

Jesse Jr.’s thorniest task was managing his father. Although the reverend had endorsed Obama, he didn’t always act like it—complaining to a South Carolina newspaper that Obama was “acting like he’s white” and, most infamously, being caught by an open mike saying that “I want to cut [Obama’s] nuts off” for “talking down to black people.” In public, Jesse Jr. was blunt with his push back, saying that he was “deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson’s reckless statements” and that his father “should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself.” Privately, he was even more pointed in what he said to his father, telling one Democratic strategist, “I smacked him down.” By the time Obama was elected, there was so much ill will in the Jackson family that Jesse Jr. and his younger brother Jonathan, best friends since childhood, were barely on speaking terms.

"I smacked him down," Junior bragged about his own father.

Now it's the law that's smacking Junior's ass.


John and Junior have also both been topics in Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts.  From May 18, 2008, "The Endorsement" features John and,November 25, 2012's "Sunset Jackson" features Junior.

Explain it to us

CBS spends several days polling 1,148 respondents and get results.

Asked if the approved or disapproved of the way Barack Obama handles the economy, 49% stated they disapproved and 45% stated they approved.

That's pretty clear.

So explain how Sarah Duttun, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus's brief article on the poll ended up with the following headline?


Is CBS News trying to become Pravda USA?

What makes for a romantic movie?

The Free Dictionary defines romance as "a love affair," "ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love," "an artistic work, such as a novel, story, or film, that deals with sexual love," etc.

How does Netflix define romance?


We wondered that when "Romantic Movies" included Anger Management and Top Gun.

Anger Management?  Okay, maybe some Netflix worker saw Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson with their faces pressed against one another, mouths wide open and assumed the two must kiss in the movie -- possibly frequently since the poster promotes the moment.  But Top Gun?  A romantic film?  When?  When Goose, Maverick and Iceman are parading around the locker room?  When Tom Cruise is "Playing With The Boys," hopping around on the beach?

This is the 1986 film of which Pauline Kael observed, "When [Kelly] McGillis is offscreen, the movie is a shiny homoerotic commercial: the pilots strut around the locker room, towels hanging precariously from their waists.  It's as if masculinity has been redefined as how a young man looks with his clothes half off, and as if narcissism is what being a warrior is all about."

Expand Health Care for CHAMPVA Children

senator patty murray

Senator Patty Murray (above)  is now the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee and her office issued the following last week:

Thursday, February 14, 2013
CONTACT:  Murray 202-224-2834
Tester 202-228-0371

Murray, Tester Introduce Bill to Expand Health Care for CHAMPVA Children
Would raise maximum age for CHAMPVA eligibility to 26 to bring program into parity with Affordable Care Act

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced legislation to adjust current eligibility requirements for children who receive health care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA). Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a child may stay on a parent’s health insurance plan to age 26. However, children who are CHAMPVA beneficiaries lose their eligibility for coverage at age 23, if not before. The legislation introduced today by Sens. Murray and Tester would raise the maximum age for CHAMPVA eligibility to age 26 in order to bring eligibility under the VA program into parity with the private sector.

“As more and more servicemembers return home from Afghanistan, CHAMPVA will continue playing a vital role in caring for veterans’ loved ones,” said Senator Murray. “In our ongoing commitment to keep the faith with our nation’s heroes, this bill ensures CHAMPVA recipients, without regard to their type of coverage, student status, or marital status, are eligible for health care coverage under their parent’s plan in the same way as their peers.”

"Allowing young folks to stay on their parents' health insurance until they turn 26 gives them a chance to finish school or start their careers without worrying what happens if they get sick,” said Senator Tester. “This bill makes sure that the children of our most selfless citizens have access to the same care as the rest of the country."

“MOAA strongly supports VA-sponsored health coverage for eligible adult children of CHAMPVA beneficiaries,” said VADM Norb Ryan, USN-ret., President, Military Officers Association of America. Such coverage is mandated in law to be made available for every other qualifying adult child across the nation and only a technical adjustment to the VA statute is needed to extend it to the grown kids of our nation’s heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.” 

“The DAV applauds Senators Murray and Tester for introducing legislation we strongly support, which would grant adult children of beneficiaries of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) eligibility for continuing health benefits through age 26,” said Disabled American Veterans National Commander Larry Polzin. “DAV believes children of severely disabled veterans and of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation should be able to enjoy the same comfort and peace of mind of having health coverage into their young adult years as every other child in our great nation.”

“This legislation is critical to ensure that dependent children of severely disabled veterans are afforded the same health care protection as all other children,” said Paralyzed Veterans of America President Bill Lawson. “It is simply unacceptable that the only children who do not have the benefit of extended health care coverage are those children of the men and women who have sacrificed the greatest.” 

CHAMPVA is a VA health insurance program that provides coverage for certain eligible dependents and survivors of veterans rated permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected condition. CHAMPVA is a cost-sharing program that reimburses providers and facilities a determined allowable amount, minus patient copayments and deductible. Once a veteran becomes VA-rated permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected disability, the veteran's spouse and dependents are then eligible to enroll in CHAMPVA.

Meghan Roh
Press Secretary | New Media Director
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Mobile: (202) 365-1235
Office: (202) 224-2834
Get Updates from Senator Murray

CIA confronted for drone attacks (Gene Clancy,WW)

Repost from Workers World:

CIA confronted for drone attacks

By on February 15, 2013 » Add the first comment.

John Brennan found himself in an uncomfortable and unusual situation on Feb. 7 when protesters loudly confronted him, intent on holding him and the U.S. government accountable for their past and present war crimes. Brennan is the chief counterterrorism adviser to the Obama administration.

At a Senate confirmation hearing to consider his nomination as Central Intelligence Agency director, Brennan repeatedly tried to speak, only to find himself shouted down by courageous demonstrators. They condemned the Obama administration’s policy of targeted assassinations using unmanned drones.

Activists held up red-painted hands to symbolize blood and displayed signs which read, “Brennan = drone killings” and “Stop CIA Murder!” Finally, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairperson Dianne Feinstein found it necessary to call a halt to the hearing and clear the chamber before continuing. Eight Code Pink members were then arrested.

Brennan is a career CIA operative with more than 35 years experience in the U.S. spy/torture/murder/falsehood business. He was an executive at the highest level in three different administrations. In 2008, Brennan was forced to withdraw his name from consideration to be CIA director because of his previous support for waterboarding and other forms of torture. Last year, he strongly endorsed the practice of targeted assassinations using drones.

The Feb. 5 New York Times said that Brennan has been “the principal coordinator” of American kill lists. The same article quotes former Obama administration counterterrorism official, Daniel Benjamin, who stated that Brennan “probably had more power and influence than anyone in a comparable position in the last 20 years.”

Brennan was a key organizer of the “disposition matrix,” a database that U.S. officials describe as “a next-generation capture/kill list.” (Washington Post, Oct. 23) Developed by the Obama administration beginning in 2010, the disposition matrix goes beyond existing kill lists and creates a blueprint for tracking, capturing, rendering (kidnapping and torturing) or killing terrorism suspects. It is intended to become a permanent fixture of American policy. (WP, Oct. 26)

The Pakistan Observer reported that Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malikhas, stated that 336 American drone strikes in his country claimed more than 2,300 victims; 80 percent of them were innocent civilians. (Oct. 18) A Pew Research Center poll shows that 74 percent of Pakistanis believe that America “is the enemy,” an increase from prior years. (, Oct. 26)

Thousands more have been killed in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere by drones which are often controlled from thousands of miles away by faceless military officers or contractors who murder at the touch of a joystick.

As expounded by Brennan and the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. president now has the power and “legitimate authority” to kill anyone at any time for reasons developed and forever kept secret by the executive branch alone — whether they are in a war zone or not — as long as the president, as advised by the CIA, believes that they are an “imminent threat.” To be an imminent threat, a person need not have done anything concrete, but only be a member of a suspect organization, which need not be publicly identified.
The policy also allows the killing of individuals whose identities are unknown, but who are thought to be engaged in certain activities considered dangerous. (WP, Oct. 26)

Despite its name, the CIA is often not all that intelligent, but it is always brutal. In December 2003, as deputy executive director of the CIA under George W. Bush, Brennan became convinced that the scrolling news at the bottom of Al-Jazeera broadcasts contained “secret messages” about plots against the U.S. On the basis of this questionable “intelligence,” they ordered the color-coded threat level raised from yellow to orange during the holiday season.

The entire episode was subsequently shown to be ridiculous, even by CIA standards, and the color coding of threat levels was dropped. But it is chilling in the extreme to consider the impact of such “intelligence” being applied to a worldwide program of organized murder such as the disposition matrix.
The brave demonstrators who disrupted Brennan’s confirmation hearing should be congratulated. These protests must be expanded to expose and bring a halt to these war crimes.

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

House and Senate Veterans committees announce hearings


The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (Chair Bernie Sanders and Ranking Member Richard Burr pictured above) announced  two joint-hearings this month.

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
United States Senate
113th Congress, First Session
Hearing Schedule

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 2:00 p.m. 345 Cannon HOB (House Side)
Joint Hearing on the legislative presentation of Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:00 a.m. SD-G50
Joint Hearing on the legislative presentation of Military Officers Association of America, Retired Enlisted Association, Non Commissioned Officers Association, Blinded Veterans Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Wounded Warrior Project, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, American Ex-Prisoners of War

Heather L Vachon
Chief Clerk
Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
SR-412 Russell Senate Office Building


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"Enhanced State of the Union lying (as with Iraq, s..." -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

"Iraq snapshot" -- C.I. reports on a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.

"British media remembers what the US media forgets" and "10 years ago today" -- C.I. and Elaine on the protests ten years ago.  All but one of those is C.I. and she also noted the protests last week.  We're including this for a Pacifica whiner who e-mailed this site whining that Amy Goodman covered the anniversary Friday -- she didn't -- and that C.I. barely noted the protests in Friday's snapshot.  C.I. noted them all this past week and she also noted them the week before.

"EZ Nachos in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers an easy nacho recipe for kids.

"Junior heads off for prison"  and "Jesse Jackson Jr. The Dirty Crook" -- Betty and Marcia on the felon.

"Warrior,"Some movie talk" "Zero Dark Thirty,"  "Zero Dark Thirty,"
"Oz"  and  "Side Effects (with spoilers)" -- Stan, Mike, Elaine and Kat go to the movies.

"Another historic moment for Curiosity" and  "Black holes" -- Betty's science posts.

"CBS whores for Barack,"  "The embarrassing press" and "THIS JUST IN! SO DAMN LAZY!" -- Trina, Cedric and Wally take on dumb 'reporting.'

"Ralph Nader, why do I smell pork?" and  "I still smell pork" -- Ann on how Ralph Nader goes to town on women with relish but seems a little timid when going after a man.

"Live and learn" -- Kat on news cycles and discussions.

"Dream Team Take Two" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

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