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Black America NewsWednesday 1/31/2007
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present 1/31/2007 Buzzflash: book review
2 election workers convicted in '04 tally 1/25/2007 Plain Dealer: "A jury found two Cuyahoga County elections workers guilty Wednesday of charges that they skirted Board of Elections procedures to thwart a countywide ballot recount after the divisive 2004 presidential election. The jury convicted Kathleen Dreamer, 40, of Cleveland and Jacqueline Maiden, 59, of Richmond Heights on one felony and one misdemeanor each. They each had been charged with seven counts and were exonerated on five apiece, including all charges that they knowingly conspired to break the law and violate their duties. Instead, they were found guilty of being criminally negligent."
Louisa Hanoune, Algerian National Peoples Assembly Deputy agrees to serve as International Convener 1/15/2007 International Tribunal on Katrina: "Kali Akuno, Executive Director of the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF), conducted an international organizing tour in Algeria and France from November 26th through December 11th, 2006 to promote and build the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The tour was organized with the support of the International Liaison Committee (ILC) and Black Workers for Justice (BWFJ)."
Angela Davis Speaks Out on Prisons and Human Rights Abuses in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 12/29/2006 Democracy Now
Why is HUD Using Tens of Millions in Katrina Money to Bulldoze 4,534 Public Housing Apartments in New Orleans When It Costs Less to Repair and Open Them Up? 12/29/2006 Counterpunch
New Congress mirrors shift in California - A delegation largely white, male and Republican yields to a diverse array of Democrats. 12/24/2006 LA Times
Potential buyers can cast lot with Sequoia Voting Systems - Oakland-based firm to be sold due to a hostile environment 12/22/2006 Inside Bay Area: "Citing a hostile environment for foreign ownership of U.S. infrastructure, the parent company of Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. is selling the Oakland-based firm, one of the nations three largest suppliers of voting equipment. The Venezuelan owners of Smartmatic Corp. were expected to announce today that they are putting Sequoia up for sale. Almost a third of California counties use the firms voting machines, including Alameda and Santa Clara counties, and Sequoia is the largest seller of ATM-like touch-screen voting machines in the state. Smartmatic executives say the reason for the sale is a persistent controversy over foreign ownership of a U.S. voting company, which has included allegations of Smartmatic ties to the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a critic of U.S. policies."
Foundations, Nonprofits and the Second Looting of New Orleans - A Catastrophic Failure 12/16/2006 Counterpunch
Locking Up Surplus Labor - U.S. Prison Nation 12/3/2006 Counterpunch
The Shooting of Sean Bell and the Resurgence of American Racism 12/3/2006 Counterpunch
New St Denis Statement Defending Rue Mumia 12/1/2006 IndyMedia: The city hall of Saint Denis re-affirms yet again its support to the women and men who are demanding Mumia Abu-Jamal be treated with fairness and justice. The picket this 30th day of November 2006 has been organized to protest against the pressure brought to bear on the city of Saint Denis by members of the american extreme right in order to bring about the cancellation of our decision to name one of our streets after an African American militant who has been unfairly incarcerated and sentenced to the death penalty. This ultra conservative pressure group, based in Philadelphia, has not hesitated to make use of the grossest manipulations. Thus, the widely disseminated information according to which the city of Philadelphia is suing the cities of Saint Denis and Paris, because of their commitment in favor of Mumia Abu-Jamal - is nothing but a lie. The Mayor of Philadelphia, as well as the president of its city council, informed the city of Saint Denis that they never intended to file any kind of suit, and have absolutely nothing to do with this campaign."
After 40 Years, the First National Security Whistleblower Still Seeks Justice 11/30/2006 Common Dreams: published 2/17/06 - "After an outstanding career in law enforcement, Abraham Bolden was appointed by John F. Kennedy to be the first African American presidential Secret Service agent, where he served with distinction. But you haven't heard about Abraham Bolden during Black History month, because after helping to prevent JFK's assassination in the weeks before Dallas, Bolden was arrested on the very day he went to Washington to tell the Warren Commission about those attempts. Caught in a maze of National Security concerns that only became clear after four million pages of JFK files were released in the 1990s, Bolden was sentenced to six years in prison, becoming America's first National Security Whistleblower. The files released after Congress passed the JFK Act unanimously in 1992 show the massive amount of information that had been withheld from at least five Congressional investigations. Even worse, the Final Report of the JFK Board created by Congress shows that crucial files about attempts against JFK--the cases Bolden worked on--were destroyed by the Secret Service in 1995. And, a report by the government oversight group OMB Watch says that "well over one million CIA records" related to JFK's era remain unreleased, perhaps until the mandatory release date of 2017... Unknown to Bolden until recently, the crux of all this secrecy about the attempts to assassinate JFK in Chicago, Tampa, and Dallas were John and Robert Kennedys' "Plan for a Coup in Cuba" to overthrow Fidel Castro on December 1, 1963. The most secret operation of the Kennedy years, the CIA side of the operation was code-named AMWORLD, a term withheld from five Congressional investigations (and the Warren Commission) and declassified only in the 1990s. It appeared in print for the first time just three months ago. Using declassified files from the National Archives, we found that in the days, weeks, and months before Dallas, Robert Kennedy had a secret government committee looking at how the US could deal with the "assassination of American officials" if Castro found out about the Kennedys' coup plan, and tried to retaliate."
Reid selects GOP hack as Senate Sergeant-at-Arms 11/15/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: "Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has picked former chief of the US Capitol Police Terrance W. Gainer as the Democrat's political patronage position of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Ironically, Gainer, who is a Republican who started out his police career by clubbing protestors at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, was the choice of House Speaker Dennis Hastert and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to head the Capitol police. Gainer was forced to resign after it was discovered he violated Capitol police ethics rules by hiring his son-in-law as a Capitol policeman. Gainer is also suspected by African American members of the Capitol police of being involved in setting up an incident with House GOP staff in which Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney was harassed by a white Capitol cop, resulting in a GOP and right-wing media feeding frenzy over the confrontation. Gainer also headed the Illinois State Police at a time during which ex-Governor George Ryan cited police misconduct by the state police as a primary reason for his commutation of the death sentences of death row inmates. Gainer, while Chief of the Capitol Police, worked under the aegis of the House Sergeant-at-Arms who was partially responsible for House pages in his role as a member of the House Page Board. Capitol Police failed to get involved in the predatory pederast activities of ex-Rep. Mark Foley in targeting underage House pages. As Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, Gainer will have direct responsibility for the Senate Page System."
Why Bill Cosby is Wrong - Don't Blame Black Culture for Economic Decline 11/15/2006 Counterpunch: "Black poverty fell 10.6 percentage points from 1993 to 2000 (from 33.1 to 22.5 percent) to reach its lowest level on record. Black child poverty fell an unprecedented 10.7 percentage points in five years (from 41.9 percent in 1995 to 31.2 percent in 2000). The "culture of poverty" argument cannot explain these trends. Poor black people did not develop a "culture of success" in 1993 and then abandon it for a "culture of failure" in 2001. What really happened was that in the 1990s, the job market finally tightened up to the point where less-advantaged workers had a bit of bargaining clout. The full-employment economy offered all comers opportunities conspicuously absent before or since. Since 2000, black employment rates have fallen much faster, and poverty rates have risen faster, than the average… The "bad black culture" argument also overlooks positive trends in critical areas such as education, crime and teen pregnancy (pregnancy and birth rates among black teenagers are down 40 percent since 1990). Those same critics are too dismissive of anti-black discrimination in the labor market. Mr. Cosby says black people use charges of discrimination to avoid dealing with their cultural failings. The Manhattan Institute's John H. McWhorter claims they "spit in the eye of [their] grandparents" when they say their lives are limited by racism. Journalist Juan Williams argues that poor black people are squandering opportunities opened up by the civil rights movement. Yes, there are far more opportunities available to black Americans today, but the conclusion that racial discrimination is no longer a serious issue is simply not supported by the evidence."
This Election Did Not End Saber-Rattling against Iran, Yet 11/15/2006 Common Dreams: "More troublesome is the Congressman expected to play an important role in the Democrats' foreign policy in the House of Representatives: Tom Lantos. Lantos, while liberal on other issues, was a co-sponsor of the Iran Freedom Support Act, and supported both Gulf Wars and the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon. He is likely to be chairman of the International Relations Committee, a powerful seat he could use to back aggressive actions like an attack on Iran… Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited President Bush in the White House this week. During their joint press conference, President Bush said they "spent a great deal of time on Iran" in their discussions. He continued, "I recognize the threat to world peace that the Iranians pose, as does the Prime Minister." For his part Olmert, after stating his inexplicable admiration for American policy in Iraq, which he claimed had brought stability, repeated that Iran is a threat to the "whole world." He accused Iranian president Ahmadinejad of threatening "the very existence" of Israel. Presumably, the Prime Minister is referring to a faulty translation of Ahmadinejad's comments that the Israeli occupation of Palestine should "disappear from the pages of time." (Some major news outlets translated Ahmedinajad's remarks provocatively and incorrectly as, "Israel should be wiped from the map.") The next day, the right-wing British broadsheet, the Daily Telegraph, published absurd allegations on its front page that Iran is training the next generation of al-Qaeda leaders. Al-Qaeda's ideology is based in part on an extreme version of Sunni Islam, while Iran is ruled by Shi'a clerics. There is no sympathy between the country and the terrorist group; in fact, Iran was actively supportive of the US invasion of Afghanistan, which was intended to deny al-Qaeda a base of operations there."
Be Like Obama—Or McKinney? 11/13/2006 Common Dreams: "Obama and McKinney have been converted to useable images, traditional tools to instruct folks on what is acceptable opposition, that is, a less feared image of a black person. If Obama grew dreads, spoke out of line to important folks like Rumsfeld and if McKinney “permed” her hair straight as silk and spoke with “poise”—less emotion, would the media respond to them differently?"
Rahm's Losers 11/11/2006 Counterpunch: "Now that the Democrats have won the House overwhelmingly, the media is falling all over itself to proclaim Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and dearest friend of Israel, a boy genius. Even that congenital liar and close friend of Ariel Sharon, the ever tendentious NYT neocon William Safire, came out of retirement to hail Rahm as the Karl Rove of the Dems and to spin the election in various ways designed to keep Emanuel's influence alive."
ELECTION 2006 - Let The Recounts Begin 11/3/2006 National Journal
Joe Lieberman's Dangerous Alliance with Christian Zionists [VIDEO] 11/3/2006 Alternet
Jail fees a cruel twist to ‘paying your dues’ 10/31/2006 Final Call: "In a time when corporations are operating jails and prisons for profit, local jails are getting in on the act.The Warren County jail in Bowling Green, Ky. is operating one such "pay as you go" jail. Inmates are charged a $20 processing fee to be booked in and $20 dollars a day for every day they remain in the jail. A visit to the jail doctor runs $20, and $5 for a visit to the jail nurse."
Where have all the black soldiers gone? African-Americans written out of Pacific war in Clint Eastwood's new film, veterans say 10/21/2006 Guardian
U.S. skinhead violence on the rise: watchdog group 10/20/2006 Reuters: "The gangs consist mainly of young white men and some women who are bonded around music, racist ideology and violence, according to the center, which is based in Montgomery, Alabama, and has tracked far-right groups for decades. "The skinhead scene is both growing and is very much destabilized (because of splits in its ranks) and that presents a danger to the public," Potok said in an interview after the center published a report on skinhead gangs. Skinheads became active in the United States in the early 1980s. Their violence reached a peak between 1988 and 1992 before falling off because of a crackdown by law enforcement agencies. The gangs are mainly active in cities like Los Angeles, Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boston and in the Midwest. The groups have links to similar gangs in Europe."
Putting a halt to grassroots democracy 10/19/2006 Progresso Weekly: "“And the winner is … me” The New York Times recently wrote in its editorial pages on a political situation that may get stickier. It deals with the governor’s race in Ohio – the state which guaranteed George W. Bush’s presidential victory in 2004. The person with the power in his hand is Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio’s secretary of state, who may end up deciding if his opponent in the governor’s race, Congressman Ted Strickland, a Democrat, is not qualified to run for office in that state. This is the same Mr. Blackwell who in 2004 emulated Katherine Harris in Florida four years earlier and as the state’s chief election officer also served as the President’s Ohio co-chair in his reelection bid. Numerous studies clearly illustrate how Ohio 2004 had many things in common with Florida 2000. But that’s in the past and we’re looking ahead. For anyone who may have doubts, Mr. Strickland does live in Ohio. The mess started when someone discovered that the address under which he is registered to vote is that of a condominium he owns, but which some claim is not his home. He happens to be one of those lucky persons who own more than one home in the state. The law clearly states he has a right to register to vote in either one of them. If this situation sounds surreal, believe it. A decision whether to allow Strickland to run or not has yet to be reached. Party politics and dirty politics in general may put the decision in the hands of the secretary of state. Did I mention Secretary Blackwell trails in the polls by more than 20 percentage points? "
State race signals big defeat for Mexican leftist 10/17/2006 CSM: "Andrés Manuel López Obrador jolted Mexico City when he moved protesters to close down main streets in the wake of the nation's disputed July 2 presidential election. The dissent reached its peak when supporters named the defeated leftist president of a "parallel government" at a mass demonstration this fall. But a month later, his supporters have packed up their tents, traffic is flowing, and many are wondering if his protest movement - which emerged amid allegations of massive electoral fraud - is now losing steam. This weekend, a gubernatorial race in Tabasco - which voted heavily for Mr. Obrador, a native of the southern state - ended in defeat for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) candidate, despite Obrador having campaigned hard for his fellow party member. The loss is being viewed as a referendum on the future of Obrador's national protest movement."
"Ghetto Fabulous" Parties: the New Face of White Supremacy - Racism and Cheap Thrills at the University of Texas Law School 10/16/2006 Counterpunch
Death and Resurrection of the US Dollar 10/15/2006 Global Research
Activist opposing the government's policies is charged with crimes against the state, declared mentally unbalanced, and forced to take psychotropic drugs in a military prison 10/12/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to first entry for October 12, 2006 - "On September 8, Susan Lindauer, a one-time congressional staffer for Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden or Oregon [Wyden is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence], and journalist, was ordered released from incarceration from the Bureau of Prisons Carswell Federal Medical Center located at the Naval Reserve Air Station in Fort Worth, Texas. Lindauer, who was never convicted of any crime, spent seven months in the prison hospital and was transferred to New York City where she spent an additional four months in prison. Lindauer claims that from August 1996 to the outbreak of the Iraq war, she served as a back channel intermediary with the Iraqi Mission to the UN in New York and was constantly supervised by her handlers in the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). In March 2004, Lindauer was arrested by the FBI at her Takoma Park, Maryland home and charged with acting as an unregistered agent for the Iraqi government from October 1999 to February 2004 and engaging in illegal financial transactions with the Iraqis. Federal prosecutors also charged Lindauer with meeting Iraqi intelligence agents during a 2002 trip to Baghdad, including a meeting at the Al Rashid Hotel. Lindauer claims that she was one of three CIA assets who were covering the Iraqi Mission to the UN. She said she and the other two assets, who were also being run by the FBI, were charged with being agents for Iraq. From the beginning, the government's case against Lindauer was unique. In his decision ordering Lindauer's release from federal custody, Judge Michael Mukasey of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan ruled that the government could not force Lindauer to take psychotropic drugs in order for her to stand trial in the case. In in a rare departure, Mukasey commented on the government's case against Lindauer before the trial. He stated, "There is no indication that Lindauer ever came close to influencing anyone or could have." The Justice Department maintained that Lindauer attempted to influence her cousin to prevent a U.S. military attack on Iraq. Lindauer's second cousin is none other than Andrew Card, who served as George W. Bush's Chief of Staff and who is a major source for Bob Woodward's revealing book about the Bush march to war, State of Denial. Lindauer's father is John Lindauer, the 1998 GOP candidate for governor of Alaska, who was defeated by Tony Knowles."
The BBC and Israeli Propaganda - Israel's Plan for a Military Strike on Iran 10/11/2006 Counterpunch
Dave Lindorff: Iran Attack Looks More Likely as Eisenhower Carrier Group Sails for Iran Theater 10/9/2006 Buzzflash: "What is deeply troubling here is the total silence on the part of the Democratic Party opposition. Not one Democrat in Congress, and as far as I know, not one Democratic candidate for Congress -- not even anti-war insurgent Ned Lamont in Connecticut -- has demanded an answer from Bush and the Pentagon for the obvious military buildup around Iran, or about published reports that the U.S. already has special forces in side Iran backing the terrorist organization MEK, and selecting targets for U.S. bombardment. If and when the U.S. attacks Iran, leading to a predicable -- if temporary -- rallying around the flag by the American public, and to an upset win by incumbent Republican congressional candidates, Democrats will have only themselves to blame for the debacle."
Harriet Tubman 10/8/2006 PBS
A Heck Of A Mistake - Schieffer: Bush's Protection Of Power At Expense Of FEMA Leadership Is Wrong 10/8/2006 CBS: "The White House served notice that the president would not abide by new Congressional rules which require the next head of FEMA — that's Brownie's old job — to have five years' experience in disaster management. Why would the president have a problem with that? The White House says it would encroach on his constitutional power to appoint anyone he chooses for top government jobs. In other words, if the president wants to appoint someone as incompetent as Old Brownie, he will fight for his right to do that. Now let's make sure you understand we are talking about Brownie, of "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" fame. Brownie, you may recall, had a lot of experience as a horse show judge and no experience managing emergencies which is why Congress decided to write a new job description for the next emergency manager."
Democrats Assail Frist's Afghan Comments 10/3/2006 AP: "Democrats accused Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of waving a white flag of surrender for saying the Afghan war against Taliban guerrillas can never be won militarily and favoring bringing "people who call themselves Taliban" into the government."
Joanne Chesimard Still a Priority 10/3/2006 Police News: published 5/06 - interestingly enough, all the blogged comments on this police site are favorable to Assata…
Revolt of the Generals 9/28/2006 The Nation: "A revolt is brewing among our retired Army and Marine generals. This rebellion--quiet and nonconfrontational, but remarkable nonetheless--comes not because their beloved forces are bearing the brunt of ground combat in Iraq but because the retirees see the US adventure in Mesopotamia as another Vietnam-like, strategically failed war, and they blame the errant, arrogant civilian leadership at the Pentagon. The dissenters include two generals who led combat troops in Iraq: Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack Jr., who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, and Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the First Infantry Division (the "Big Red One"). These men recently sacrificed their careers by retiring and joining the public protest."
House Report Details 485 Contacts Between Abramoff Team and White House Officials 9/28/2006 Roll Call
New Orleans is Back ... Without Blacks 9/26/2006 Counterpunch
Why Bush Will Nuke Iran by Paul Craig Roberts 9/26/2006 AntiWar
South Africa: Overt Racism Gives Cuban Ideal a Sinister Hue 9/23/2006 Business Day, South Africa: "I HAVE lived in the US on and off for the past three years and have yet to experience racial profiling, or what people of colour in America know as walking/driving/breathing while black. I spent three weeks in Cuba in 2000, and was subjected to racial profiling five times -- all in one day. I am sure, then, that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) -- who swear by Cuba and all it stands for -- will understand why a leftist like me is not as enthusiastic as they are about that socialist island. I had my love of Cuba mugged out of me by racism."
Secret CIA Prisons in Your Backyard 9/22/2006 Alternet
President Hugo Chavez calls George W. Bush the devil. 9/21/2006 Wayne Madsen: scroll down to third entry for Sep 21, 2006 - "President Hugo Chavez calls George W. Bush the devil. Amid applause and laughter from the UN General Assembly, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez yesterday called George W. Bush the devil in his address to the UN General Assembly. [It should be noted that Chavez is not the only world leader to link Bush to demonic influences. The late Pope John Paul II feared Bush was the anti-Christ]. In comparison, Bush's speech the day before was met with stony silence, with many delegates who did not leave the assembly hall beforehand, crossing their arms, looking downward in boredom, or reading. The neocon media is haranguing Chavez, even suggesting that he supports "terrorism" -- the new "communism" bogeyman for the right -- and putting Venezuela's Jewish population in jeopardy as a result of Chavez's support for Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. The media paid scant attention to Chavez's references to two terrorist incidents in which the Devil's father was directly involved as CIA Director -- the Washington, DC car bombing assassination of former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and the bombing by right-wing Cuban terrorists of a Cubana airliner off Barbados, both occurring in 1976 when George H. W. Bush was ordering these and other atrocities from his perch in Langley, Virginia."
Racism Charges at DC Moonie Paper 9/21/2006 The Nation: "There's a desperate fight for control at the top of the Washington Times, and accusations from the staff are flying that the newsroom is run by racist good ole' boys."
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called Hugo Chavez a "thug" 9/21/2006 Wayne Madsen: scroll down to first entry for Sep 21, 2006 - "House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called Hugo Chavez a "thug" for the Venezuelan President's "diablo" remarks about George W. Bush. Pelosi was speaking at a Washington news conference today when she denounced Chavez as a thug and said he demeaned himself and Venezuela. Pelosi seems to forget that it is a thug who tried to oust Chavez in a bloody 2002 coup, a thug who has invaded and killed tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, a thug who gave Israel the green light to pulverize Lebanon and kill over a thousand civilians, and a thug who wants to torture prisoners in U.S. custody. And while Pelosi was calling Chavez a thug, he was busy negotiating the sale of cheap heating oil to the people of Harlem. When was the last time Ms. Pelosi did anything to provide cheap commodities to the poor? Perhaps Ms. Pelosi is a bit confused by the term "thug." Her father, Thomas D'Alessandro, broadcast wartime radio messages to Italy exhorting Italians to rise up against Benito Mussolini. An ally in the program to get Italians to revolt was none other than Mafia don Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who, after the war, was paroled from a federal prison and deported to Italy where he continued to run the Mafia in exile. D'Alessandro was elected Mayor of Baltimore in 1947 -- a time when Luciano's mob had a virtual free reign in the port of Baltimore. It would appear that Ms. Pelosi has forgotten that her mobbed up dear old dad dealt with thugs on a routine basis. Perhaps she should remember that the next time she has an urge to call a democratically-elected real populist leader (Pelosi does not know the meaning of the term "populist") a "thug." Visit Krissy Keefer's web site, the Green candidate for the House to replace Nancy Pelosi from the California 8th Congressional District. Keefer is endorsed by WMR."
Fox News Ups the Fear Factor After Chavez Speech 9/20/2006 News Hound: "Fox News turned to fomenting war against another country Wednesday (Sept. 20, 2006), with one of its anchors warning of a Cuban missile crisis looming with Venezuela and claiming that the country's president is on his way to becoming a dictator."
Few Black Churches Get Funds - Small Percentage Participate in Bush's Faith-Based Initiative 9/19/2006 Washington Post
In Shadow of 70’s Racism, Recent Violence Stirs Rage 9/17/2006 NYT: "On June 4, the police said, three white men beat a Navajo man, William Blackie, 46, and shouted racial slurs at him after asking him to buy beer for them. The men were charged with kidnapping, robbery and assault, and are being prosecuted under the state hate crimes law, which allows for longer sentences. Six days later, a white Farmington police officer killed a Navajo man, Clint John, 21, after a struggle in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The police said Mr. John had assaulted his girlfriend and attacked the officer — grabbing his baton and moving aggressively toward him — before the officer shot Mr. John four times. Mr. John had a history of violence, the police said. Mr. John’s family says he did not have the baton when he was shot and is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against city officials, the Police Department and the officer."
Pakistan: Hello al-Qaeda, goodbye America 9/7/2006 Asia Times: "With a truce between the Pakistani Taliban and Islamabad now in place, the Pakistani government is in effect reverting to its pre-September 11, 2001, position in which it closed its eyes to militant groups allied with al-Qaeda and clearly sided with the Taliban in Afghanistan. While the truce has generated much attention, a more significant development is an underhand deal between pro-al-Qaeda elements and Pakistan in which key al-Qaeda figures will either not be arrested or those already in custody will be set free. This has the potential to sour Islamabad's relations with Washington beyond the point of no return. The main problem - and one that has been unreported - was to keep Pakistan authorities' hands off members of banned militant organizations connected with al-Qaeda. Thus, for example, it has now been agreed between militants and Islamabad that Pakistan will not arrest two high-profile men on the "most wanted" list that includes Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Saud Memon and Ibrahim Choto are the only Pakistanis on this list, and they will be left alone. Saud Memon was the owner of the lot where US journalist Daniel Pearl was tortured, executed and buried in January 2002 in Karachi after being kidnapped by jihadis. Pakistan has also agreed that many people arrested by law-enforcement agencies in Pakistan will be released from jail. Importantly, this includes Ghulam Mustafa, who was detained by Pakistani authorities late last year. Mustafa is reckoned as al-Qaeda's chief in Pakistan. (See Al-Qaeda's man who knows too much, Asia Times Online, January 5. As predicted in that article, Mustafa did indeed disappear into a "black hole" and was never formally charged, let alone handed over to the US.) Asia Times Online contacts expect Mustafa to be released in the next few days. He was once close to bin Laden and has intimate knowledge of al-Qaeda's logistics, its financing and its nexus with the military in Pakistan."''
Pakistan's peace with militants won't please US, Kabul By Anwar Mansuri 9/6/2006 Deutsche Presse Agentur: "Musharraf's political difficulties have been growing since he deployed more than 60,000 troops to suppress the Taliban and their supporters in the semi-autonomous tribal belt. Both Islamic and secularist parties have accused him of killing his own people to curry favour with the Americans. Some 30 months ago even non-religious non-Pushtun tribal leaders in Balochistan formed a Balochistan Liberation Army and started sabotage activities and attacks on security troops to claim rights over the mineral resources and gas fields of the province which meets 40 per cent of the energy needs of Pakistan. On August 26, one of the rebel leaders, Nawab Akbar Bugti, was killed in a military operation against his cave hideout, igniting violent protests by Baloch nationalists and political rivals alike."
The 'New' New Orleans Blues 8/22/2006 Alternet: ''Spike Lee's HBO doc about Hurricane Katrina is a haunting and expertly told story that shows how little our government truly cares about many of its citizens.''
Spike Lee points lens back to New Orleans 8/20/2006 Chicago Sun Times: NEW ORLEANS -- Spike Lee is not hiding his anger about New Orleans' devastation by levee breaks and the government's slow response to save lives. He hopes his documentary on the subject will bring attention back to the region, where it's needed, he said last week.
U.S. hires DynCorp to train Sudanese rebels 8/16/2006 World Tribune: DynCorp International has been awarded a contract to begin training of thousands of members of the former Sudanese People's Liberation Army in 2007. The rebels would be recruited into a new Sudanese Army that would include former rebel groups and patrol areas near Chad and Ethiopia. Executives said DynCorp has been awarded several contracts by the U.S. State Department to provide training, communications as well as build barracks for southern units of the Sudanese Army. They said the total value of the contracts, which did include weapons deliveries, would reach $40 million, Middle East Newsline reported.
Climate of Fear 8/16/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to first entry for Aug 16, 2006 - "WMR has reported on the policy of the neo-cons in the Bush administration to destroy the effectiveness and influence of the United Nations. America's unconfirmed ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, his staff, working together with Israeli ambassador Dan Gillerman and his staff, have instituted a climate of fear among UN staff, diplomatic missions, and media. WMR has now learned that a similar situation exists at the Commonwealth headquarters in London. The motive of British neo-cons is to weaken the Commonwealth of Nations, the last vestige of the British Empire, thus depriving the British monarchy of a major raison d'etre and dealing another blow to Prince Charles, a bitter foe of Tony Blair and his neo-con "New Labor" policies. The Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon of New Zealand, a London-born New Zealander and member of the right-wing National Party under which he served as Defense Minister and Foreign Minister, was singled out for criticism in a May 31 report by a Commonwealth Investigative Panel headed up by Glenda Morean Philip, Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner to the UK. The report stated that there is a "climate of fear in the Commonwealth Secretariat" and that people will not speak out because of a "fear of retribution." The language used in the Commonwealth report is similar to the words spoken on strict background by employees of the United Nations, U.S. Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, State Department, and other international organizations and government departments. The Commonwealth is composed of 53 member states that are mostly former British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. The organization is headquartered in Marlborough House in Pall Mall in central London and the head of the Commonwealth is Queen Elizabeth. The situation in the Commonwealth Secretariat worsened in 2002 when Zimbabwe had its membership suspended, largely as a result of pressure from the Bush and Blair administrations, which were attempting to oust Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. One of the harshest critics of the Commonwealth under McKinnon is Professor Victor O. Ayeni of Nigeria, the Commonwealth's director of the Governance and Institutional Development Division. Since Zimbabwe's suspension, a number of black African and Caribbean staff members have detected a strong whiff of racism in the air at the Commonwealth. While the Commonwealth is used as an instrument to ensure the spread of neo-con policies in the English-speaking world, it is doing little to promote democracy. While kicking out Zimbabwe for its dictatorship, McKinnon has chosen Uganda as next year's site of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, thus rewarding that country's pro-American and pro-British dictator Yoweri Museveni. Museveni is a favorite of the neo-cons and their racialist philosophies, having once blamed Africans themselves for slavery."
A Split In the Racist Right 8/16/2006 Alternet: A rift has opened between those who see blacks, Hispanics and Muslims as the primary enemy, and those who blame Jews for every evil.
US Mercenaries in the Sudan 8/16/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to second entry for Aug 16, 2006 - "Mercenaries, mercenaries, everywhere. The Bush administration continues to be a dream-come-true for mercenary firms. In just a a little over a week, Blackwater USA received a $7.1 million contract for personal security detail services in Baghdad. Interestingly, the contract is due to expire on September 30, 2008. Dyncorp received a contract to "re-train" the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLM/A) of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement into a "professional" fighting force. The SPLM/A is the southern Sudanese guerrilla force that signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese central government in Khartoum. Neighboring Uganda already serves as a hub for U.S. mercenary and CIA activity in central and eastern Africa. Large oil reserves have been discovered in areas under the control of the SPLM.''
US Press Corp out of White House for Duration of Bush Administration 8/16/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to third entry for Aug 16, 2006 - "From our National Press Club sources who cover the White House: the White House Press Corps was told that its move from the White House to "temporary" quarters in the New Executive Office Building across Pennsylvania Avenue (which is now more like Red Square than an avenue) is far from temporary. The Bush White House promised that renovations to the James Brady Press Briefing Room will take nine months. However, WMR's sources who cover the White House that the press corps will remain in the New Executive Office Building for the duration of the Bush administration. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, a former talking head on Fox News, consistently arranges for his Fox friends to get exclusive stories ahead of their competitors. With the press corps now out of the White House, Fox has a tremendous advantage over other news networks. The last time the press corps was temporarily moved out of the White House was 1902."
Activists hold police brutality ceremony 8/15/2006 Final Call: NEW YORK - There wasn’t a dry eye in Harlem’s St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on July 22 during the Stolen Lives Project induction ceremony, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality. There are over 2,000 names on the scroll.
Robert Fisk: Desert of trapped corpses testifies to Israel's failure 8/15/2006 Independent: You have to be down here with the Hizbollah amid this terrifying destruction - way south of the Litani river, in the territory from which Israel once vowed to expel them - to realise the nature of the past month of war and of its enormous political significance to the Middle East. Israel's mighty army has already retreated from the neighbouring village of Ghandoutiya after losing 40 men in just over 36 hours of fighting. It has not even managed to penetrate the smashed town of Khiam where the Hizbollah were celebrating yesterday afternoon. In Srifa, I stood with Hizbollah men looking at the empty roads to the south and could see all the way to Israel and the settlement of Mizgav Am on the other side of the frontier. This is not the way the war was supposed to have ended for Israel… Indeed, last night, scarcely any Israeli armour was to be seen inside Lebanon - just one solitary tank could be glimpsed outside Bint Jbeil and the Israelis had retreated even from the safe" Christian town of Marjayoun. It is now clear that the 30,000-strong Israeli army reported to be racing north to the Litani river never existed. In fact, it is unlikely that there were yesterday more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers left in all of southern Lebanon, although they did become involved in two fire-fights during the morning, hours after the UN-ceasefire went into effect."
London Fog - Doubts Hang Over Terror Plot 8/14/2006 Counterpunch: We await the release of more facts about the 21 (or 23, or 24) young men and one (or two) young women who intended to blow up in mid-air nine (or 10 or 12) transatlantic airplanes soon" or in the "next few days" or just "imminently". The two-score young Muslim Brits allegedly were preparing liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks, but actually nitroglycerin (or nitormethane, or triacetone triperoxide). However, one of these was so unstable it was likely to fail (as it did in another plot) or smelled so pungent a patrol dog would sniff it at half a mile, or was "almost impossible" to mix on an airplane. Then we were told the British police had been tracking this plot for a "year" or "several months" but decided to pounce on the alleged perps last Wednesday because of "information" from a "source" in Pakistan. Why then? A good question, especially as we were also told none of the intended terrorist travellers had yet purchased an airline ticket. Odd...for at this time of year in Britain transatlantic tickets are not immediately available."
Tony Blair government, under siege by a Labor Party revolt, cleverly cooked up a new "terror" scare to avert the public's eyes away from Blair's increasing political woes. 8/13/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: The London terror plan was known" last Sunday by British and American authorities, according to the Indian press. American Airlines flight 109 from London Heathrow to Boston boarded a family of five, however, after the plane left Heathrow authorities determined that the father appeared on a British suspect list drawn up after the 7/7 London transit attacks. At first, the pilot was instructed to fly all the way to Boston where U.S. authorities could claim credit for apprehending the suspect. However, the pilot, fearing for the safety of his passengers and crew, refused and quickly returned to Heathrow without informing the passengers. Once on the ground, it was discovered that the male had in his carry-on baggage the type of combination liquid explosive and electronic device now being hyped by the British and American media. British sources report that the reason for the delay in informing the airlines and traveling public about the liquid bomb on the American flight was to maximize the beneficial political impact for Blair and George W. Bush, both plummeting in the polls from the situations in Iraq and Lebanon. Earlier this week, two employees of Murdoch's London tabloid, News of the World, were charged with hacking into the voice and text cell phone messages of three members of the staff of Clarence House, the residence of Princes Charles, William, and Harry. One of those charged with the wiretapping was Clive Goodman, the Royals editor of the News of the World. The same paper earlier tried to politically damage two anti-Iraq war British politicians -- Scottish Socialist Tommy Sheridan and Respect Party MP George Galloway. The paper charges that Sheridan was unfaithful to his wife by going to swinger's clubs. He won a quarter million dollar lawsuit against the paper. Galloway was confronted by Mazher Mahmood, an individual who uses the moniker "Fake Sheik," who posed as a wealthy Arab businessman and tried unsuccessfully to get Galloway to accept cash and make anti-Semitic remarks. In fact, Mahmood was and continues to be a reporter for News of the World, his continued employment approved by Murdoch. Goodman has merely been suspended by Murdoch but he has not been fired. However, what prompted Murdoch and Blair to hype a new global "terror" threat was what Murdoch learned from eavesdropping on the phone calls of Prince Charles' staff at the future king's office, home, and limousine. The eavesdropping revealed that Charles was working with Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who is to the left of Blair, to conduct the same type of political maneuver that John Major used to oust Margaret Thatcher from office."
Veteran Policy-Makers Fear Disaster in US Course 8/11/2006 AntiWar: This whole business is nuts – unless, of course, you believe what the rumormongers are beginning to pass around, wrote Wilkerson in reference to the Lebanon war in an e-mail exchange with IPS. "[T]hat this entire affair was ginned up by Bush/Cheney and certain political leaders in Tel Aviv to give cover for the eventual attack by the U.S. on Iran. At first, I refused to believe what seemed to be such insanity. But I am not so certain any longer."
Christian Right Steps Up Pro-Israel Lobbying 8/10/2006 Dissident Voice: In mid-July, while the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict continued to escalate, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) -- an organization founded less than six months ago by Texas evangelist Rev. John C. Hagee, pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and the author of Jerusalem Countdown," a 2006 book about a nuclear-armed Iran -- rolled into Washington, D.C., for its first major get-together. More than 3,400 delegates from across the country attended the inaugural meeting. CUFI kicked off the gathering on July 19 with its "A Night to Honor Israel" banquet at the grand ballroom in the Washington Hilton. The festivities attracted a number of high-profile Israeli and US political leaders, including Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, retired Israeli defense chief Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, and Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman. According to a report posted at Israpundit, Hagee read greetings from President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. While Bush urged "God [to] bless and stand by the people of Israel and ... bless the United States," Olmert's letter referred to CUFI's "'bold stand at this crisis time,' and the group's acknowledgment of Israel's biblical 'birthright.'" The following day, at a well-attended press conference, Hagee said that “The dots are there to be connected, and it is not some big thing called terrorism. It is Islamic fascism -- all of the various things and forces that we've seen around the world are not merely hot spots but they are all part of a theme -- a war against Western civilization.” "
New Orleans residents frayed by stress 8/10/2006 AP
ACLU National Prison Project Report on Orleans - Abandoned & Abused: Orleans Parish Prisonners in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina 8/9/2006 ACLU
Pat Robertson Prays for Israeli Victory 8/9/2006 My Way: U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson said he joined hands Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to pray for victory in Lebanon. I'm here to say I love Israel. I'm here to say evangelical Christians in America stand with Israel in their struggle," Robertson told reporters. "For all our sakes, they cannot lose this struggle.""
Rep. Conyers Issues Report Identifying 26 Laws Broken by Bush Admin 8/4/2006 Buzzflash
Club: video contradicts claims about Hilton Ruiz death 8/3/2006 AP: "Bouncers at a Bourbon Street dance club threw the late jazz pianist and composer Hilton Ruiz face-first into heavy wooden doors and then onto the floor after he was attacked by a patron of the club, his daughter claims. But a representative for Club Utopia says its tapes show Ruiz signing a tab for more than $200, leaving by himself and walking straight down the alley. Tapes from a sister club next door show him tripping minutes later and hitting his face on the curb, said Jacques Chrysocoos (kris-AH-kohs), who said he is a business representative for some of the owners. Ruiz, of Teaneck, N.J., was hospitalized after falling near the club on May 19, and died June 6 without regaining consciousness. He had come to New Orleans May 18 to make a video to go with a Hurricane Katrina benefit recording."
Zimbabwe: White Lies, Black Victims 8/3/2006 Rastafari Speaks
Halutz's Bombing War - Hezbollah's Top Ally in Israel 8/3/2006 Counterpunch: Since then Halutz has efficiently united all Lebanese in loathing of Israel, while being an effective propagandist for Hezbollah. What better recruiter of sympathy for Lebanon than Halutz screaming we're going to turn Lebanon back into what it was 20 years ago," and threatening to blow up a 10-floor building for every missile. By the second day in August Halutz's bombardment had achieved the extraordinary feat of prompting the Maronite Catholic patriarch - the spiritual leader of the most pro-Western populace - to assemble Lebanon's religious leaders -- Shiite and Sunni Muslims and various Christian confessions. The group issued a joint statement of solidarity, condemning the Israeli "aggression" and hailing "the resistance, mainly led by Hezbollah, which represents one of the sections of society." All Halutz knows how to do is to bomb defenseless targets. This ability does not require brain power or skill in political analysis."
The Bush administration is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act 7/27/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: last entry for July 27, 2006 - "The Bush administration is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by authorizing the Defense Department to pay $1 million to a former Special Forces legal adviser to find ways to limit FOIA and rein in state freedom of information acts to comply with a much more restrictive Federal access to information policy. The Pentagon is paying Dr. Jeffrey Addicott's St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas the million dollars to find out new ways for the federal government to classify previously open government information in the name of protecting it from access by "terrorists." Pentagon funding for the FOIA scale-back program is being laundered through the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York. Addicott's mission is to create a model designed to prevent the public and the media from having access to currently public federal and state government information, including information on environmental hazards and homeland security information. Addicott, as previously reported by WMR, has been associated with neo-confederate causes, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans."
Suburban mayor charged with child porn 7/25/2006 Chicago Sun Times: Another Republican Child Pornographer Nabbed: Thomas Adams, longtime Green Oaks, Illinois, mayor and former chairman of the Lake County Republican Central Committee, was charged Monday with possession and distribution of child pornography. Adams, 67, faces 11 counts of disseminating child pornography and two counts of possession. Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti set his bond at $100,000.
Montgomery Police Department's SWAT Team Learns Israeli Tactics 7/25/2006 WSFA Alabama: As the fighting continues overseas, some lessons from the Middle East conflict are hitting home right here in Alabama. Members of the Montgomery Police Department SWAT team are in a five day counterterrorism school taught by a former Israeli servicemember. Out at the practice range, the 12 member team learns that timing is everything. SWAT team member Todd Wheeler notes, The way the Israelis do it, it's extremely dynamic. It's extremely fast and that's the only way to fight counterterrorism." That's also why the Montgomery SWAT team is training with Aaron Cohen. He's a veteran of the Israeli counterterrorist unit. Now his four year stint with that team will work for this team. Cohen says he wants, "to be able to help them reduce risk while responding to terrorist threats while in crowded areas." Cohen says these drills and the current situation in the Middle East are a powerful combination for him. He explains,"It's tough. It hits home for me because my unit is working there right now.""
Katrina's Vanishing Victims - Media forget the 'rediscovered' poor 7/15/2006 FAIR
A Few Bad Men - Ten years after a scandal over neo-Nazis in the armed forces, extremists are once again worming their way into a recruit-starved military 7/7/2006 SPLC: Ten years after Pentagon leaders toughened policies on extremist activities by active duty personnel -- a move that came in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing by decorated Gulf War combat veteran Timothy McVeigh and the murder of a black couple by members of a skinhead gang in the elite 82nd Airborne Division -- large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists continue to infiltrate the ranks of the world's best-trained, best-equipped fighting force. Military recruiters and base commanders, under intense pressure from the war in Iraq to fill the ranks, often look the other way. Neo-Nazis stretch across all branches of service, they are linking up across the branches once they're inside, and they are hard-core," Department of Defense gang detective Scott Barfield told the Intelligence Report. "We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," he added. "That's a problem." "
Racist extremists active in U.S. military SPLC urges Rumsfeld to adopt zero-tolerance policy 7/7/2006 SPLC
Ten months after Katrina: Gutting New Orleans 7/5/2006 SF Bay View: "Not a single dollar of federal housing repair or home reconstruction money has made it to New Orleans yet. Tens of thousands are waiting. Many wait because a full third of homeowners in the New Orleans area had no flood insurance. Others wait because the
Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater in New Orleans - "A Mercenary Army" 6/2/2006 Counterpunch
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