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JackRiddler

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 21,940

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Sorry to the ACLU, but one point is directly contradicted...

No reports of extraordinary rendition to torture or other cruelty under his administration.


The known treatment of Bradley Manning represents torture under the Obama administration. If one wants to get around that by claiming no extraordinary rendition was involved in Manning's case, that's hardly an excuse. Torture is torture.

The known treatment of Guantanamo prisoners (another suicide last week of a man known and acknowledged to be innocent of "terrorism" charges) as it has continued under Obama also constitutes "torture or other cruelty."

Failing to hold those responsible accountable is the most essential failing. It means that torture has not been ended, it is merely waiting for the next administration willing to be more obvious about torture.

Subjecting populations to bombing campaigns with all the attendant trauma especially to children may not qualify legally as torture but it is certainly a cruelty.

And we'll take on faith that there are no more CIA (or other agency?) secret prisons, since that is all we have when $80 billion a year in federal spending is black budget (2/3 to private entitties) and a host of self-financed covert and parapolitical organizations are still in place.

Hooray for the steps, it's still far from justice or success.

Sure, but why do people keep lining up for this punishment.

Didn't we learn from the first term?

Expect Bowles to replace Geithner, Rice for Clinton, Hagel at the Pentagon and some spooky mofo at CIA (or Harman, same thing).

You vote for the least harm and then use the impulse to organize in the neighborhoods and across milieux. Only movements get change. Ten million people marching for a new green economy (or actually building it) is possible. That's in our hands, each of us as one 1 in 10 million. Our happy dream picks for cabinet posts are not in our hands.

"Outrage the right?" She is the right!

Besides that professionally "the right" specializes in being outraged at all things done by anyone who is not officially "the right," it's absurd to imply Jane Harman is somehow on "the left" simply due to party affiliation.

Jane Harman's 2008 financing:

Top 5 Contributors, 2007-2008, Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC
Contributor Total Indivs PACs
Northrop Grumman $32,000 $17,000 $15,000
Blue Dog PAC $20,000 $0 $20,000
Physical Optics Corp $19,000 $19,000 $0
Boeing Co $17,500 $2,500 $15,000
Edison International $17,250 $7,250 $10,000

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?type=C&cid=N00006750&newMem=N&cycle=2008

Sadly she was not in the end swallowed up in the AIPAC spying scandal of a few years ago.
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/04/the_harman-aipac_story_a_timeline.php

- Among the worst Democratic enablers and in fact cheerleaders of the Bush regime
- Among the worst of the total homeland non-stop terror-panic propaganda warriors
- Among the top 5 recipients of campaign cash from military-industrial contractors
- Always all the way with Pentagon and CIA
- I believe the absolute richest member of Congress
- "Blue Dog" PAC favorite
- Remember H.R. 1955, the Jane Harman Thought Crimes Act of 2007? Okay, I made up the title, it was called the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007" and actually passed the House 403-4 before stalling.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x5502013#5503984

You should read up on this...

Gaza is very much dependent on UN aid through UNRWA:

http://www.unrwa.org/

The Israelis have a policy of letting in just enough for a survival diet.

I haven't found a UN position on the current legal status of Gaza under international law, but if it's surrounded and blockaded and subject to incursion and has no air rights, that's an occupation in fact, regardless of what either Israel or Hamas claim (for different reasons).

There doesn't have to be a real "benefit." Some motivations are irrational. Most Israelis including the present establishment (not just Likud) see their benefit in keeping and expanding settlements in the West Bank and shrinking the Palestinian areas into isolated bantustans behind high walls. They perceive a mortal threat, even if they have 99 percent of the power and the Palestinians have 1 percent. Planners have contemplated mass expulsion but this would mean a general war. Tiny Gaza is a pain, they don't want that land, they can't get rid of it, they can't depopulate it without a war, and they can't tolerate development there because they don't want a stronger Palestine, which would be considered a threat. They want to forever punish the Gazans for voting for Hamas in 2005 (though of course Israel once supported Hamas as a strategy to weaken the PLO). I believe they use Gaza for making demonstrations of their ability and will to commit violence, and thus send a message to the rest of the world that Israel is never to be fucked with because they will go mad dog, etc. etc. As if anyone really needed it.

Sure, do something about the "fiscal cliff" - in January!

The world doesn't end after this hyped-up "fiscal cliff."

All the tax cuts expire. The automatic cuts are made. But the effects are day to day until they are corrected. (All the cited figures are projections of what might happen if there is no deal for the entire year of 2013. It won't happen on the first day after this "fiscal cliff" chimera.)

Let the media and markets howl about for a couple of weeks - so what? Inevitably the smart money will see it as a buying opportunity, and up she goes again. (For a while, until real crises assert themselves, like the overburden of private debt.)

After the "fiscal cliff," it becomes possible to float a middle-class-only tax cut. Let the Republicans vote against that - they won't. Or enough of them will break to pass it.

Once that inevitably passes, let the Republicans float a further tax cut for the rich only. It will be hilarious.

After the "fiscal cliff" it becomes possible to individually restore spending in given areas.

The "Grand Bargain" during the lame duck session will be a disaster - Republicans will gain the best possible deal on cuts to earned benefits (a.k.a. "entitlements.")

Many smaller bargains that likely accomplish a much better result on the whole become possible in the new Congress, with the tax cuts already expired.

Red herring.

No one said "disarm unilaterally." Go ahead and collect money. Fight for more seats. But never stop fighting for the necessary change. There is a lot of sentiment out there for money out of politics. It needs to be encouraged and mobilized. Those voters should be catered to! There is also money out there for money out of politics, at least until the goal is achieved. The "unrealistic" happens because people fight for it. Gay rights were also unrealistic quite recently. Every democratic and human rights achievement that people fought for and finally gained started out as "unrealistic," with someone always there to find excuses why we shouldn't bother.

Does it have aluminum tubes? Vials of anthrax? Rape rooms?

Are they bbquing babies on bayonets?

Hurry, hurry! Drop the bomb! Exterminate the brutes!

This isn't a critique of "Lincoln" the movie at all.

A more accurate title would have been, "Washington DC: January 1865," because 90 percent of the film occurs in this window and the focus is entirely on the drive to win passage of the 13th Amendment and machinations to avoid an early peace with the Confederacy that might preserve slavery. Past events are evoked only as they come up in the story, and entirely through dialogue. There are no flashbacks. It's barely mythologized, there is ample reference to ambiguities and contradictions and conflicts unresolved by this one stage. Thaddeus Stevens plays a role almost as significant as Lincoln's. Almost no one is simply good or evil, or even right and wrong. This is in no way a standard biopic and by no means intended to tell the biography of Lincoln, the history of the Civil War, or the full politics of the time beyond the particular struggles shown.

Also, if you see it, it will be clear immediately that it is not simply Spielberg's film, or that Spielberg is clearly the competent executor of someone else's vision. Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay and all the action is in the dialogue.

Slowly?

When was this country not an oligarchy? For about 4 years in the 1860s and maybe 10 in the 1930s to 1940s? For a few glorious imagined minutes in the 1960s?

We are in agreement - enough of this crew. Okay, Obama was going to be neoliberal and imperialist lite, but did he really have to bring back half the Clinton crew?

There's always a way to bring someone down... (Post #7)

Petraeus and his love-dick made it easy, but there would have been another way.

He was the rat sent into the snake's pit. Or if you prefer, the snake in the rat's pit, all the same to me. Either way - let's stick with the first metaphor - you don't wonder for long which of the snakes bit the rat. You just know it was inevitable.

CIA and Pentagon are organs of empire. They exist to commit crimes. One is literally defined by its criminality - the reason for a secret service is to violate the laws of given jurisdictions. Whereas the other one exists to flatten far-away places and murder people wholesale, and have a bunch of statesmen invent reasons why this is just and legal. In combination, they've caused the deaths of many millions around the world, and the classes of architects and commanders -- the snakes and the rats we're trained to call "mister" and "sir" -- have never paid the price. (With the exception of a few individuals; never as a class.)

CIA is a hotbed of bureaucratic in-fighting. A place of many secretive compartments run by capos and intrigants, closed and often hostile to each other in the competition for resources and privileges. A place where there are many ways to be exposed, and where exposure means your end. Where in recent years several directors - Deutch, Goss, now Petraeus - have met with sudden careericides. (And never mind what likely happened to Colby and Casey.)

CIA and JSOC have been struggling for years over which gets the lead in the drone wars. CIA has been winning, more or less. And then Petraeus is sent to run CIA? A suicide mission, surely.

I'm not saying Obama knew what would happen when he appointed Petraeus to the job. He just knew what was likely when he took this showboating little dictator (and potential Republican candidate for president) out of his prominent, "heroic" position in Afghanistan, and sent him to the bowels of Langley.

Bye, bye. Too bad it wasn't The Hague, alongside Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush and Wolfowitz and Powell and Rice and Blair and Straw and Brown and Aznar and Howard. Never forget.
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