"Congress is about to vote on worldwide war authority. This was long on the Bush administration's wish list. Now, a few top congressional insiders see an opportunity to sneak it in to a "must pass" piece of legislation: the Defense Authorization bill.
This expanded war authority would give the president — any president — the power to use military force, whenever and however he or she sees fit. It would essentially declare a worldwide war without end.
It is shocking that Congress is entertaining such legislation at a time when many are looking to see an end to escalating conflict and abuses of power in the name of fighting terrorism."
"I don’t know what happened, but here’s what I suspect. The White House press office was horrified. The image of an unarmed Bin Laden killed in his PJs, and his unarmed wife shot as she was trying to protect him, was too bland for prime time TV. So after consulting with the 'perception managers' at The Rendon Group, they quickly called together a team of experts for a conference in the Roosevelt Room to come up with a better narrative.
Among those present was Nurse Nayirah, daughter of the former Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., accompanied by several PR representatives from Hill & Knowlton. It was her false claim that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in Kuwait and leave them on the floor to die, a lie propagandized around the world by H&K, that helped push the U.S. into the first Gulf War. Sitting next to her was Ahmed Chalabi, the man whose deceptions about Saddam and his WMD, heavily promoted by the New York Times, helped lead the country to war with Iraq. Then there was Jim Wilkinson, the Bush master propagandist who needed to find a way to get the country behind the war. He thus fed the story to the media of how Pvt. Jessica Lynch fearlessly mowed down Fedayeen terrorists with her M16 until she ran out of ammo, whereupon she was shot, stabbed, captured, tortured and raped. Unfortunately, through no fault of Lynch, it was later discovered to be totally made up. Finally, there was General Stanley McCrystal, largely responsible for promoting the fact that football star and Army private Pat Tillman was killed in a heroic battle in Afghanistan when in reality he was accidentally shot by his own men. The false story was then ballyhooed by the press and used by the Army as a major recruiting tool for the Afghan War.
After a few hours going around the table for ideas, the White House press people finally had their story. With one hand wrapped around his wife as a shield, Bin Laden used the other in a desperate effort to fight off capture by firing wildly at the commandos with an AK-47, but was finally taken down with a bullet right between his eyes."
"In reality, Bin Laden's death changes nothing, except perhaps to ensure that, economy permitting, Barack Obama is re-elected. The occupation of Iraq, the Af-Pak war and Nato's Libyan adventure look set to continue. Israel-Palestine is stalemated, though the despotisms in the Arab world that Obama has denounced are under pressure – except the worst of them all, Saudi Arabia."
"The portrayal of Muslims as mortal enemies serves the interests of the expanding security state and the war industry, which consume half of all federal discretionary spending. The 'Muslim threat' propagates the culture of fear and ensures our political passivity. Yusuf calls the attacks on American Muslim leadership and Islamic charities 'Swiftboating,' in reference to the right-wing smearing of John Kerry’s war record when the senator was running for president in 2004. Create doubt in people’s minds about the allegiances of Muslim leaders and you effectively undermine the entire community. He says these caricatures of Muslims as evil terrorists become effective tools in justifying the ongoing occupations and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the proxy wars in Yemen and Pakistan, and the suspension of basic civil liberties at home. Israel, as well as its supporters in the United States, routinely employs the same racist cant to excuse Israeli war crimes and deny the legitimate rights of Palestinians."
"A number of significant questions arise with the announced killing of Osama bin-Laden. Here are some that members of the Green Party are asking:
1) Why would the U.S. government order the summary execution of an unarmed and frail individual – even an alleged terrorist, criminal, and former CIA "asset" like bin-Laden?
2) Why would they dump the body – and thus the proof of his identity and wounds -- into the ocean, preventing an autopsy? Is there something they are trying to hide?
3) Why would the rulers of the most powerful country on the face of the earth be afraid to capture and arrest Osama bin-Laden and put him on trial, as was done with the World War 2 Nazi Adolf Eichmann?
4) Why was bin-Laden not captured and at least questioned about further terrorist plans if he was the mastermind, as charged?
5) Why did the President not re-visit former President G.W. Bush's rejection of the offer of the Taliban to turn bin-Laden over to the U.S. for prosecution following the 9/11 attacks?
6) Who was responsible for initial reports released to the media and the public that bin-Laden was armed and that he was using his wife as a human shield, when neither of those were true?
7) When will President Obama allow the questions by the 9/11 families to finally be heard, recorded, and answered? When will he order a criminal investigation of the events of 9/11?
8) When will the President order home the troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya and provide them with the medical support they need, but which has been to a large extent cut out of the budget?"
"A part of me is going to miss Bin Laden, at least I understood him. I certainly do not condone his methods or his twisted logic; but his actions were extremely predictable (I was one of the few people that actively tried to prevent 9-11). But I do not understand our own government. First we attack a country that had nothing to do with 9-11, we lower our moral standing in the eyes of the world, we violate our Constitution, we turn our military into the Peace Corps resulting in thousands of our own military casualties and tens of thousands of innocent civilian casualties overseas, we treat our own citizens as guilty of something until proven otherwise at airports, the list is endless. The final straw, however, is the PR campaign of the killing of BL. If ever there was a “black operation” in the traditional use of the term, this was it. Our government should have said nothing about this assassination. Oh, word would have leaked out over time and years from now we could have our day in the sun, but this isn’t the time. We celebrate this killing like it’s the winning touch-down at the Super Bowl. All this dog and pony show is a rallying cry for the same fanatics that rioted and killed over cartoons. How many more innocent lives will be lost just so our politicians can make a little splash in the news?"
(Bogdan Dzakovic- Special Agent, Team Leader of the Red Team (terrorist team) and Federal Air Marshals for the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA), and Former Coast Guard Officer & Federal Criminal Investigator)
"It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial.
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a 'suspect' but uncontroversially the 'decider' who gave the orders to commit the 'supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole' (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region."
(-Noam Chomsky, on alleged Bin Laden assassination)
"Only with strong grass roots pressure, including nonviolent civil disobedience when appropriate, will there be any real hope that the demon of "terrorism" periodically resurrected by the politicians can be exorcised. That, in turn, could bring an early end to the squandering of $2 billion a week into the stalemate in Afghanistan; the allocation of those resources to job creation and educational opportunity for tens of millions of Americans; and stanching the alarming erosion of the liberties the Constitution was carefully crafted to guarantee and the President solemnly sworn to enforce."
"The latest leaks of classified documents, which show that the U.S. government imprisoned hundreds of men at Guantánamo Bay on the most dubious 'evidence,' brings to mind the question, Why hasn't President Obama kept his promise to close the infamous prison that will forever stain America's honor?
As the UK Guardian, one of the newspapers that disclosed the documents, reported, 'The U.S. military dossiers ... reveal how, alongside the so-called 'worst of the worst', many prisoners were flown to the Guantánamo cages and held captive for years on the flimsiest grounds, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment.... More than two years after President Obama ordered the closure of the prison, 172 are still held there.... The files depict a system often focused less on containing dangerous terrorists or enemy fighters, than on extracting intelligence.'
Many men were detained on the basis of hearsay after the U.S. government paid bounties for information. Some detainees had traveled to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban in the civil war, then were declared enemies of the United States after its invasion in October 2001. After years in custody hundreds of men whom the Bush administration had branded as the monsters were released, indicating they were no threat at all. For this reason Guantánamo is an international symbol of American criminality.
In March Obama signed an executive order permitting him to hold detainees indefinitely without charge or trial. The administration wishes to keep some prisoners in custody even though the supposed evidence against them would not be admissible in a court or even in a military tribunal, which has far less protection for defendants. Some of that evidence was obtained by methods most would regard as torture.
More than a year after Guantánamo was to be closed it remains open. Why, and why has Obama largely escaped criticism for breaking such an important pledge?
Previously the president's defenders have claimed that his efforts to close the prison were thwarted by members of Congress, mostly Republicans. Is that true?
Obama signed an executive order calling for the closure two days after he was inaugurated in 2009, when the facilities held 241 prisoners. But 'the fanfare never translated into the kind of political push necessary to sustain the policy,' reports the Washington Post. 'The White House, often without much internal deliberation, retreated time and again in the face of political opposition.'
Obama did not want to risk political capital on the matter, and no leader in Congress was willing to go out on a limb without presidential backing.
The Post reports that Obama was shocked to learn that only 20–36 of the detainees could be brought to trial: 'White House officials were in such disbelief that they asked Justice Department participants to write up a memo explaining exactly why they couldn't bring more of the men to trial. In many cases, the intelligence gathered on the men was not court-worthy evidence.'
Administration officials claim to be surprised that in May 2009 the Senate voted overwhelmingly against an appropriation to close Guantánamo. But how could they really have been surprised when they did little or nothing to support the objective? The Post makes clear that public opinion polls running against closure also played a role in Obama's retreat. His advisors warned that the issue would imperil his larger agenda.
Thus President Obama, the man heralded as a new kind of politician, is revealed as just another officeholder looking out for his own political fortunes. The United States had betrayed its commitment to due process and the rule of law, but rectifying that shameful record could not be allowed to impede the president's political objectives. That demonstrates a perverse set of priorities.
It's par for the course with Obama. Since taking office he has escalated the covert wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia and has doubled down on Afghanistan. The resulting casualties and destruction have fueled further anti-American resentment. Now he is using drones over Libya, recklessly endangering the innocent. He has done what few once thought possible: out-war-mongered the Bush-Cheney gang.
And for the most part, the phony anti-war activists of the Bush years have lost their voices.
"The reason I say this is that Americans have succumbed to propaganda that has conditioned them to believe that they are under attack by practically omnipotent adversaries. Proof of this is broadcast every day. For example, on March 9, I heard over National Public Radio in Atlanta that Emory University, a private university of some distinction, treated its 3,500 graduating class to a commencement address by Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security.
This is the agency that has goons feeling the genitals of young children and adults and which has announced that it intends to expand this practice from air travelers to shopping malls, bus and train stations. That a serious university invited such a low-lifer, who clearly has no respect for American civil liberty and is devoid of any sort of sense of what is appropriate, to address a graduating class of southern elite is a clear indication that the Ministry of Truth has prevailed. Americans are living in George Orwell’s 1984.
For those who haven’t read Orwell’s classic prediction of our time, Big Brother, the government, could tell the “citizens” any lie and it was accepted unquestioningly. As a perceptive reader pointed out to me, we Americans, with our “free press,” are at this point today: 'What is really alarming is the increasingly arrogant sloppiness of these lies, as though the government has become so profoundly confident of its ability to deceive people that they make virtually no effort to even appear credible.'
A people as gullible as Americans have no future."
(-Dr. Paul Craig Roberts)
"Upon viewing this awful documentary, I was stricken by the arguable fact that every generation turns into self congratulatory assholes. The first generation punks have turned into the self satisfied hippies they claimed to hate. Bullshit. I was one of those suckers who took 'punk ideology' seriously. The undying thirst for true freedom of expression, thought, idea and art. Man, I got conned! Ha! This movie provides sure fire proof that getting famous kind of makes you suck. At least a little."
(-Frankie Delmane on all the smug, comfy, yuppies who used to be "punks" in the Johnny Ramone documentary)
The psy-op's paychecks in the big-media, and university professors owned by the think-tank billionaires love to caracature anyone who asks intelligent questions as a tinfoil hat wearing, lone gunman, ufo conspiracy freak, but it's not just comic book collecting dungeon-masters who question the "official stories" the American government tells them, anymore-it's thinking folks, academics, real journalists, former law enforcement, ex military, and retired government officials. The class that should be summarily ridiculed, is the corporate media-class-the propaganda broadcasters like Wolf Blitzer, Chris Hitchens, and the women of "The View", who all cheerfully help sell war and torture, perpetate frauds, fiction, and coverup human rights crimes, the absolute evisceration of the Constitution, bio warfare, and ethnic cleansing. Obama was groomed by shadowy forces to be the unruffled face of friendly fascism. He was elected on a tide of hope for change, but has since, only advanced the Bush/Cheney agenda. The cover-up of B.P. and Halliburton's crimes in the Gulf. The consolidation of the media-monopolies, who fail to report the full truth of the oil catastrophe, even as big oil successfully lobbies Congress for even more ridiculous subsidies, and insane domestic off-shore drilling. He's ignored the cover up of 9/11, even when thousands of architects, pilots, and engineers all insist the "eleven Arabs story" is full of holes. He's started wars in Pakistan, Libya, and Yemen. His administration wants to invade Iran, as well. He ended no war, but falsely decalred he halted combat operations in Iraq, after a million and a half people have lost their lives for Dick Cheney oil. He presided over the trillion dollar corporate giveaways. He stood idle, while the Koch brothers and other rightwing conspirators poured millions into undermining unions, and villifying school teachers. He watches rightwing war profiteers corrupting colleges, media, governors, and Congress. His TSA and DHS officials are creating an Israeli style fascist police state, with humiliations, violations, checkpoints, GPS tracking devices, and warrantless wiretaps. Murdoch's rightwing media empire is allowed to hack into the voicemail of public figures with total impunity. Eric Holder refuses to go after corporate spies, Wall Street crooks, torturers, or mercenary war criminals. The Bush junta still dominate the mass media "infotainment" Sunday propaganda shows. Every program on TV has some kind of pro-war subtext, from Fox fraudcasting, to all the spy glamorizing shows on the "Discovery" channel, to "Inside Edition", and "The Insider", to all the Toby Keith Uncle Sam flag waving on "Dancing With The Stars". Peace activists are blacklisted and demonized. FBI invade their homes, and steal their property, in a Stalinesque inquisition to what they read, and write, and think and believe. No one can stand up for the exploitation of the poor, or the wrongly criminalized, non-violent drug-offenders, anymore, because everybody's broke, and even home owners, and people who are still rich enough to fly, are being fondled, radiated, and ransacked, by badged thugs, hired by the elites, to keep the citizens "in line", and condition them to blindly accepting tyranny. This is supposed to be the land of the free, but "we, the people" are treated like the Palestinians...If Obama had integrity, he would resign in protest.