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Gender: Male
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 49,995

Journal Archives

To ensure torture is never repeated, why not prosecute those responsible?

We know their names and addresses.

"Why don't we send Officer Friendly out to serve them a warrant, Unka Dick?"


Could a Change in Sense of Humor Signal Dementia?


Almost feel sorry for him.

Cheney Considered Nuking Iraq

Important news Corporate McPravda ignores:

George Herbert Walker Bush Reveals Cheney Considered Using Nuclear Weapons Against Iraq

George Bush Sr book reveals a more dangerous Dick Cheney than anyone knew

Destiny and Power shows a VP with more authority than almost all his predecessors, making plain Bush Jr’s administration could have been even worse

Julian Borger, Diplomatic editor
The Guardian, Thursday 5 November 2015


This unilateralist inclination was clearly the younger Bush’s choice. It was how he intended from the outset to make his foreign policy distinctive from his father’s. And it was this characteristic that made for such a dangerously volatile and over-reaching US response when the 9/11 attacks came.

There is no doubt that Cheney and Rumsfeld were given more licence and authority than almost all their predecessors once the “war on terror” began. Cheney was certainly the most powerful vice-president of modern times, with a large and assertive staff, something that Bush Sr draws particular attention to.

Cheney and Rumsfeld used their enhanced power to poison the flow of information to the president’s desk about Iraq and its supposed weapons of mass destruction. The vice-president even made repeated trips to CIA headquarters in Langley to bully analysts into producing more hawkish reports, while Rumsfeld’s Pentagon sucked up highly dubious “evidence” from Iraqi exiles and ideological freelancers. But, as even as the ever-forgiving father admits in Meacham’s book, it was President Bush who allowed Cheney to grow his own empire.


Perhaps the most alarming revelation to emerge from the new Bush biography is the elder man’s recollection that while Cheney had been his defence secretary, he had commissioned a study on how many tactical nuclear weapons would be needed to eliminate a division of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard.

Apparently the answer was 17, though a more profound conclusion is that Cheney was a more dangerous figure than anyone knew. It adds weight to reporting by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker that Cheney also contemplated the use of low-yield nuclear bunker-busters against Iran’s underground uranium enrichment facilities. The more we hear about the George W Bush administration, the clearer it becomes that the global damage it wrought could have been even worse.

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/05/george-bush-sr-book-reveals-a-more-dangerous-dick-cheney-than-anyone-knew

And people wonder why I'm angry that these traitors walk free.

Kissinger on Ellsberg

“Because that son-of-a-bitch—First of all, I would expect—I know him well—I am sure he has some more information---I would bet that he has more information that he’s saving for the trial. Examples of American war crimes that triggered him into it…It’s the way he’d operate…. Because he is a despicable bastard.” (Oval Office tape, July 27, 1971)

SOURCE: http://www.alternet.org/world/top-10-most-inhuman-henry-kissinger-quotes

John M. Newman found a gap in Pentagon Papers...

In his landmark work, JFK and Vietnam, the then US Army major and West Point professor Newman found that the Pentagon and CIA gave LBJ, as veep, a more accurate picture of what was happening in Vietnam than they provided JFK, as president.

Why? JFK said he would not get into a land war in Southeast Asia and he certainly was not going to place US draftees in the middle of Vietnam's civil war; Johnson would and did after the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Vietnam Withdrawal Plans

The 1990s saw the gaps in the declassified record on Vietnam filled in—with spring 1963 plans for the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces. An initial 1000 man pullout (of the approximately 17,000 stationed in Vietnam at that time) was initiated in October 1963, though it was diluted and rendered meaningless in the aftermath of Kennedy's death. The longer-range plans called for complete withdrawal of U. S. forces and a "Vietnamization" of the war, scheduled to happen largely after the 1964 elections.

The debate over whether withdrawal plans were underway in 1963 is now settled. What remains contentious is the "what if" scenario. What would Kennedy have done if he lived, given the worsening situation in Vietnam after the coup which resulted in the assassination of Vietnamese President Diem?

At the core of the debate is this question: Did President Kennedy really believe the rosy picture of the war effort being conveyed by his military advisors. Or was he onto the game, and instead couching his withdrawal plans in the language of optimism being fed to the White House?

The landmark book JFK and Vietnam asserted the latter, that Kennedy knew he was being deceived and played a deception game of his own, using the military's own rosy analysis as a justification for withdrawal. Newman's analysis, with its dark implications regarding JFK's murder, has been attacked from both mainstream sources and even those on the left. No less than Noam Chomsky devoted an entire book to disputing the thesis.

But declassifications since Newman's 1992 book have only served to buttress the thesis that the Vietnam withdrawal, kept under wraps to avoid a pre-election attack from the right, was Kennedy's plan regardless of the war's success. New releases have also brought into focus the chilling visions of the militarists of that era—four Presidents were advised to use nuclear weapons in Indochina. A recent book by David Kaiser, American Tragedy, shows a military hell bent on war in Asia.

CONTINUED with very important IMFO links:


Recently, The Nation magazine wanted to know "Why don't Americans know what really happened in Vietnam?" Interesting read, it brings up how much USA uses the volunteer military and observes the corporate owned news media don't want to bring that up so that people continue to thank the troops for their service without wondering why they're tasked with missions in 133 countries around the world. What the article missed and people need to know:

JFK ordered withdrawal from Vietnam. LBJ reversed it four days after Dallas.

In National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 263 JFK orders everybody out...

The 1,000 advisors were the beginning. All US military personnel were to be out of the country by the end of 1965, reported James K. Galbraith.

Then in NSAM 273, four days after the assassination in Dallas, LBJ changes the policy to stay and support South Vietnam in its "contest against the externally directed and supported Communist conspiracy."

That important part of the Vietnam story doesn't get repeated much, except on DU and a few gargling places on the Net.


''Bring back the old America...''

"Did it ever leave, Mr. President?"

images (Victor Jara's last poem)

September 17, 2013 by thelemniscat

This is the last poem of Víctor Lidio Jara Martínez, who was born on September 28, 1932 and murdered on September 16, 1973. Jara, a teacher, theatre director, poet, singer, songwriter and political activist was arrested after Pinochet’s US-Backed coup, in Chile. He was tortured, both his hands and ribs broken and shot 44 times. His body was dumped in the streets of Santiago. This is Jara’s last poem, written in a concentration camp, memorized, and smuggled out by other political prisoners:

SOURCE: https://thelemniscat.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/victor-jaras-last-poem/


There are five thousand of us here
in this small part of the city.
We are five thousand.
I wonder how many we are in all
in the cities and in the whole country?
Here alone
are ten thousand hands which plant seeds
and make the factories run.
How much humanity
exposed to hunger, cold, panic, pain,
moral pressure, terror and insanity?
Six of us were lost
as if into starry space.
One dead, another beaten as I could never have believed
a human being could be beaten.
The other four wanted to end their terror
one jumping into nothingness,
another beating his head against a wall,
but all with the fixed stare of death.
What horror the face of fascism creates!
They carry out their plans with knife-like precision.
Nothing matters to them.
To them, blood equals medals,
slaughter is an act of heroism.
Oh God, is this the world that you created,
for this your seven days of wonder and work?
Within these four walls only a number exists
which does not progress,
which slowly will wish more and more for death.
But suddenly my conscience awakes
and I see that this tide has no heartbeat,
only the pulse of machines
and the military showing their midwives’ faces
full of sweetness.
Let Mexico, Cuba and the world
cry out against this atrocity!
We are ten thousand hands
which can produce nothing.
How many of us in the whole country?
The blood of our President, our compañero,
will strike with more strength than bombs and machine guns!
So will our fist strike again!

How hard it is to sing
when I must sing of horror.
Horror which I am living,
horror which I am dying.
To see myself among so much
and so many moments of infinity
in which silence and screams
are the end of my song.
What I see, I have never seen
What I have felt and what I feel
Will give birth to the moment …


September 1973

Neruda was one of our time's great minds.

Neruda, Pinochet, and the Iron Lady

The New Yorker, APRIL 9, 2013

It’s curious, historically speaking, that Margaret Thatcher died on the same day that forensic specialists, in Chile, exhumed the remains of the late, great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The author of the epic “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” and the winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature, Neruda died at the age of sixty-nine, supposedly of prostate cancer, just twelve days after the violent September 11, 1973, military coup launched by army chief Augusto Pinochet against the country’s elected Socialist President, Salvador Allende. Warplanes had strafed the Presidential palace, and Allende had bravely held out, but committed suicide with a rifle given to him by Cuba’s President Fidel Castro as Pinochet’s goons stormed into the Presidential palace. Neruda was a close friend and supporter of Allende’s; he was ill, but in the midst of planning to leave the country for Mexico, where he had been invited to go into exile. When he was on his deathbed in a clinic, his home had been broken into by soldiers and trashed.

At his funeral, a large crowd of mourners marched through the streets of Santiago—a grim city that was otherwise empty except for military vehicles. At his gravesite, in one of the only known acts of public defiance in the wake of the coup, the mourners sang the “Internationale” and saluted Neruda and also Allende. As they did, the regime’s men were going around the city, burning the books of authors it didn’t like, while hunting down those it could find to torture or kill.

A couple of years ago, Neruda’s former driver came forth to express his suspicion that Neruda had been poisoned, saying that he’d heard from the poet that doctors gave him an injection and that, immediately afterward, Neruda’s condition had worsened drastically. There are other tidbits of evidence that bolster his theory, but nothing conclusive. Forensic science, in the end, may provide the answer to a nagging historic question.

Why bring Maggie Thatcher into it? In a tribute Monday, President Barack Obama said she had been “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.” Actually, she hadn’t. Thatcher was a fierce Cold Warrior, and when it came to Chile never mustered quite the appropriate amount of compassion for the people Pinochet killed in the name of anti-Communism. She preferred talking about his much-vaunted “Chilean economic miracle.”

And kill he did. Pinochet’s soldiers rounded up thousands in the capital’s sports stadiums and, then and there, suspects were marched into the locker rooms and corridors and bleachers and tortured and shot dead. Hundreds died in such a fashion. One was the revered Chilean singer Víctor Jara, who was beaten, his hands and ribs broken, and then machine-gunned, his body dumped like trash on a back street of the capital—along with many others. The killing went on even after Pinochet and his military had a firm hold on power; it was just carried out with greater secrecy, in military barracks, in police buildings, and in the countryside. Critics and opponents of the new regime were murdered in other countries, too. In 1976, Pinochet’s intelligence agency planned and carried out a car bombing in Washington, D.C., that murdered Allende’s exiled former Ambassador to the United States, Orlando Letelier, as well as Ronni Moffitt, his American aide. Britain regarded Pinochet’s killing spree as unseemly, and sanctioned his regime by refusing to supply it with weapons—that is, until Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister.

In 1980, the year after Thatcher took office, she lifted the arms embargo against Pinochet; he was soon buying armaments from the United Kingdom. In 1982, during Britain’s Falklands War against Argentina, Pinochet helped Thatcher’s government with intelligence on Argentina. Thereafter, the relationship became downright cozy, so much so that the Pinochets and his family began making an annual private pilgrimage to London. During those visits, they and the Thatchers got together for meals and drams of whiskey. In 1998, when I was writing a Profile of Pinochet for The New Yorker, Pinochet’s daughter Lucia described Mrs. Thatcher in reverential terms, but confided that the Prime Minister’s husband, Dennis Thatcher, was something of an embarrassment, and habitually got drunk at their get-togethers. The last time I met with Pinochet himself in London, in October, 1998, he told me he was about to call “La Señora” Thatcher in the hopes she could find time to meet him for tea. A couple of weeks later, Pinochet, still in London, found himself under arrest, on the orders of Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón. During Pinochet’s prolonged quasi-detention thereafter, in a comfortable home in the London suburb of Virginia Water, Thatcher showed her solidarity by visiting him. There, and in front of the television cameras, she expressed her sense of Britain’s debt to his regime: “I know how much we owe to you”—for “your help during the Falklands campaign.” She also said, “It was you who brought democracy to Chile.”



General Pinochet at the Bookstore

You are most welcome, JEB. Somehow I knew you would appreciate poetry.

Here's one you probably know from Martín Espada ...

General Pinochet at the Bookstore

Santiago, Chile, July 2004

The general’s limo parked at the corner of San Diego street
and his bodyguard escorted him to the bookstore
called La Oportunidad, so he could browse
for rare works of history.

There were no bloody fingerprints left on the pages.
No books turned to ash at his touch.
He did not track the soil of mass graves on his shoes,
nor did his eyes glow red with a demon’s heat.

Worse: His hands were scrubbed, and his eyes were blue,
and the dementia that raged in his head like a demon,
making the general’s trial impossible, had disappeared.

Desaparecido: like thousands dead but not dead,
as the crowd reminded the general,
gathered outside the bookstore to jeer
when he scurried away with his bodyguards,
so much smaller in person.

-- Martín Espada

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