Losing our rights is not helping the war on terror

October 3, 2007 at 9:38 pm | Posted in civil liberties, terrorism | Leave a comment

The Bush administration has taken the position that it can lock up anyone anywhere in the world — including US citizens — without any hearing whatsoever, without any access to a lawyer, simply because the president considers him to be, in his words, “a bad guy.” We’ve sacrificed the principles of the First Amendment’s right of association in the name of punishing people for their association with quote/unquote terrorist groups — groups that have been labeled terrorist. We’ve seen sacrifices in commitments to due process because of the Bush administration’s notion that the government can coercively interrogate people to try to get information out of them.You argue that we’ve been made less safe by this.

The stated justification for these measures is indeed to keep up more safe, but our argument in this book — based on the six years of evidence we’ve had to assess how the administration has done — is that we are in fact less safe as a result of these measures. We show that many of these tactics have captured few if any terrorists; have disrupted few if any terrorist plots; and have had tremendous negative consequences, both in terms of immunizing people who are bad from being brought to justice (because the information on them was tainted because it was gotten by torturing somebody) and in terms of prompting a tremendous amount of resentment against the United States.



October 1, 2007 at 10:32 pm | Posted in Burma, myanmar, Stallone | Leave a comment

Sylvester Stallone said he witnessed “a hellhole beyond your wildest dreams” while filming on the Burma border.The actor and his movie crew were shooting “John Rambo”, the fourth movie in the action series, on the Salween River separating Burma and Thailand.”I witnessed the aftermath – survivors with legs cut off and all kinds of land mine injuries, maggot-infested wounds and ears cut off.

“This is a hellhole beyond your wildest dreams,” Stallone said. “All the trails are mined. The only way into Burma is up the river.”

“This is full scale genocide. I want the violence in there because it is reality. It would be a whitewashing not to show what’s over there,” he said.


Blackwater security $445,000 per year per man

October 1, 2007 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Blackwater, iraq war | Leave a comment

The report also raised questions about the cost-effectiveness of using Blackwater forces instead of United States troops. Blackwater charges the government $1,222 per day per guard, “equivalent to $445,000 per year, or six times more than the cost of an equivalent U.S. soldier,” the report said.

Why is the U.S. deploying private firms to do its dirty work?


The myth that bigger cars are safer

October 1, 2007 at 10:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

While we’re at it, we might as well deal with the whole “big = safe” proposition. Proponents of delivering 1.0 people to the office in a vehicle designed to carry 1.8 basketball teams often get in a hurry to present the idea that bigger cars are safer than smaller cars. They point at indicators that show fewer deaths per million miles traveled in large vehicles than in smaller ones. But what those charts don’t show is another important figure: dollars. In America, small cars are almost uniformly cheap small cars. Many of these cars carry over older designs and pack in less safety gear than more expensive larger vehicles. When price is factored into the equation, the supposed advantage of large vehicles more than disappears. For example, a Mini Cooper has a curb weight of about 2,700 pounds. A Ford Excursion has a curb weight above 7,000 pounds. But the rate of deaths per million miles is 68 in the Cooper, 115 in the Excursion. For a more extreme example, you only have to watch a Formula 1 car, weighing less than 1500 pounds, smash into a wall or go flying through the air, only to have the driver climb out of the wreck unharmed. Engineering matters more than weight. So long as small cars are considered “starter cars,” they get poor engineering. When they get good engineering, they’re as safe as larger vehicles.


Of course minis are popular in England where they are much less likely to have encounters with Bubbas in F150s, Dodge Ram Trucks, etc.   The average car size in England is just a bit oversize to fit in the back of an Excursion.

Chicago police plan murder of one of their own

October 1, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Bad Cops | Leave a comment

CHICAGO – Videotapes of angry officers savagely beating civilians and charges that a murder plot was hatched within an elite special operations unit have Chicago’s troubled police department reeling again.Adding to the department’s woes is word from federal prosecutors that they are investigating claims that homicide detectives tortured suspects into confessing to murders that landed them on death row in the 1980s.Not since club-swinging cops in baby-blue helmets chased demonstrators through clouds of pepper gas at the 1968 Democratic National Convention have Chicago police been so awash in trouble.

The biggest shock came Wednesday when federal prosecutors charged special operations officer Jerome Finnigan with planning the murder of another member of the unit to keep him from talking to the government.


AT&T will shut off your service if you report they break the law

October 1, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Posted in AT&T, internet | Leave a comment

And AT&T just changed its acceptable use policy to prevent you from using AT&T’s Toobz to tell others about the bad things AT&T is doing (via boing boing).

Failure to observe the guidelines set forth in this AUP may result in AT&T taking actions anywhere from a warning to a suspension of privileges or termination of your Service(s). When feasible, AT&T may provide you with notice of an AUP violation, via Email or otherwise, and demand that such violation be immediately corrected. AT&T reserves the right, however, to act immediately and without notice to suspend or terminate Service(s) in response to a court order or other legal requirement that certain conduct be stopped or when AT&T determines, in its sole discretion, that the conduct may (1) expose AT&T to sanctions, prosecution or civil action, (2) cause harm to or interfere with the integrity or normal operations of AT&T’s network(s) or facilities, (3) materially or repeatedly interfere with another person’s use of AT&T’s Service(s) or the Internet (4) damage or disparage the reputation of AT&T or its Service(s), or (5) otherwise present a risk of harm to AT&T or AT&T’s customers , employees, officers, directors, or agents.


You are prohibited from engaging in any other activity, illegal or not, that AT&T determines in its sole discretion, to be harmful to its subscribers, operations, network(s), reputation, goodwill, or customer relations.


Can they get away with this?

Back in June, the Bush Administration invited one of AT&T’s key lobbyists, Ed Gillespie, to serve as White House counselor. A few weeks after that, BushCo expanded AT&T’s resident lobbyist’s role to include most of Karl Rove’s portfolio. Just days after Gillespie took over that role, the DOJ made an unusual intervention into the FCC’s request for comments on Net Neutrality, weighing against Net Neutrality.

Well today, one of AT&T’s former key attorneys, Peter Keisler, just took over the Department of Justice.


Michael Bolton – US ambassador to U.N. – Bomb Iran – Iraq is model for change

October 1, 2007 at 10:21 pm | Posted in iran, iraq war, war | Leave a comment

The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that former U.N. ambassador John Bolton advised Tory delegates in Britain this weekend that they should press for “pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities” in Iran.

“Because life is about choices, I think we have to consider the use of military force,” Bolton said. He added that any strike “should be followed by an attempt to remove” the “source of the problem,” Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Fleshing out his hawkish dreams on British television, Bolton suggested that the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was a model for the “policy of regime change” he would like to see done in Iran:


U.S. Diplomats told to look for excuses to go to war with Iran

September 30, 2007 at 10:26 pm | Posted in iran, war | Leave a comment

Members of the US secretariat in the United Nations were asked earlier this month to begin “searching for things that Iran has done wrong”, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Some US diplomats believe the exercise — reminiscent of attempts by vice-president Dick Cheney and the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld to build the case against Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war — will boost calls for military action by neo-conservatives inside and outside the administration.

Concern is also growing in the CIA and the Pentagon that the White House exaggerated intelligence used to justify an Israeli air raid on a suspected nuclear facility in Syria earlier this month, which some neo-conservatives hope is a precursor to war with Iran.


Burmese government burning live witnesses to genocide

September 30, 2007 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Burma, myanmar | Leave a comment

An eyewitness from inside Burma reports that injured protesters are being taken to the Yay Way cemetery outside of Rangoon, and burned alive in an effort to destroy the evidence of the genocide occurring.This shocking report comes only hours after news that dozens of high school students were shot and beaten to death.Regardless, the junta continue to claim responsibility for only 9 deaths. They have cut off internet and telephone connections to the country almost entirely, to shield their horrific actions from world scrutiny.


New Spin on Iran – Kill people rather than Nuclear Facilities

September 30, 2007 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Bush, iran, war | 1 Comment

“They’ve changed their rhetoric, really. The name of the game used to be nuclear threat,” Hersh said on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, adding a moment later, “They’ve come to the realization that it’s not selling, it isn’t working. The American people aren’t worried about Iran as a nuclear threat certainly as they were about Iraq. So they’ve switched, really.”The Bush Administration is all but set to authorize a campaign of limited, surgical airstrikes against Iranian targets, Hersh reports in the New Yorker’s latest edition. In his piece, Hersh writes, “During a secure videoconference that took place early this summer, the President told Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, that he was thinking of hitting Iranian targets across the border and that the British ‘were on board’… Bush ended by instructing Crocker to tell Iran to stop interfering in Iraq or it would face American retribution.”

The sites in Iran being targeted however, reflect the change in the White House selling of armed conflict with Iran.

“Instead of… hitting the various [nuclear] facilities we know that exist, instead they’re going to hit the Iranians as payback for hitting us [in Iraq],” Hersh told Blitzer in the CNN interview.

Such targets, Hersh says, would include Iran’s Revolutionary Guard headquarters and other sites of Iran’s alleged support for the insurgency in Iraq.


Is somebody just itching for a fight or this all internet noise?

« Previous PageNext Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.