Just thought I would link to this here.
Needless to say, that is an interesting development.
Just thought I would link to this here.
Needless to say, that is an interesting development.
Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of the United Nations. However, I believe this to be a noble thing to do.
AMY GOODMAN: Ben Emmerson, finally, you’ve called on Britain and the U.S. to release confidential reports into the countries’ involvement in the kidnapping and torture of terrorism suspects, accusing them of years of official denials. Can you expand on that?
BEN EMMERSON: Yes, I presented in my last report to the Human Rights Council a series of principles on accountability for what are described in international law as gross or systemic human rights violations. And I think that there’s no doubt that the conspiracy that involved the commission of acts of secret detention, torture and rendition under the Bush administration constitute gross and systematic human rights violations. And international law is clear on this. There is no superior orders defense. There is no principle that would justify—just as at the Nuremberg trials there was no principle that would allow someone to say, “Well, this is what was ordered by my officials.” There must be—international law requires that there be—a system for achieving accountability.
And we know that the Feinstein Senate committee report into the activities of the CIA is said to be a very thorough and comprehensive analysis and to identify who made the decisions, who committed the acts alleged, and where and how and why. And a crucial part of the duty of accountability under international law is the so-called right to truth. And that’s a right that’s not just belonging to the victims, but to society at large. And, therefore, I mean, the time has come, unequivocally, for the release of the Feinstein report. I mean, if there have to be particular redactions in order to protect the identity of operatives from reprisals, so be it. But the key findings of the Feinstein report and of a parallel report commissioned and prepared and provided to the British prime minister in relation to the United Kingdom’s involvement in these activities must now be made public. And we will not stop calling for the publication of this material until at least a sufficient amount of it has been put into the public domain.
AMY GOODMAN: Ben Emmerson, I want to thank you for being with us, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, has issued an interim report on his investigation into U.S. drone strikes and targeted killings. His findings, along with a report by the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, will be debated today at the U.N. General Assembly. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report.
Again, while U.N. isn’t really something I am too fond off, as a Conservative. I have come to accept it; and think that doing things like the above, is a very good idea. Like it or not; the Bush Administration made some seriously bad mistake during the war, and in the attempt to get information for more terrorist attacks after 9/11, crossed some constitutional lines. Here is hoping that the parties involved are held accountable.
By rights, they SHOULD be held accountable by the United States Government; but we all know that will never happen. The US Democrats do not have the guts to pursue justice. This my friends, is a great American tragedy.
Looks like the Obama administration is continuing with the same stuff that the Bush administration did.
The head of the National Security Agency (NSA) admitted before a congressional committee this week that he lied back in June when he claimed the agency’s phone surveillance program had thwarted 54 terrorist “plots or events.”
NSA Director Keith Alexander gave out the erroneous number while the Obama administration was defending its domestic spying operations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. He said surveillance data collected that led to 53 of those 54 plots had provided the initial tips to “unravel the threat stream.”
But Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Wednesday during a hearing on the continued oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that the administration was pushing incomplete or inaccurate statements about the bulk collection of phone records from communications providers.
“For example, we’ve heard over and over again that 54 terrorist plots have been thwarted by the use of (this program),” Leahy said. “That’s plainly wrong,” adding: “These weren’t all plots and they weren’t all thwarted.”
Alexander admitted that only 13 of the 54 cases were connected to the United States. He also told the committee that only one or two suspected plots were identified as a result of bulk phone record collection.
New lies for old. There is no difference anymore. Hence why I am not voting Republican come 2016, unless something changes drastically on that side of the fence; and I know darned well I am not voting for a Democrat, ever again.
American version of it or not. I simply do not trust it and this here is why. This comes via Memri TV:
Some of you might say, “But, aren’t you a Buchananite type?” Yes, indeed I am. Which simply means that I am not a fan of Wilsonian Foreign Policy and that’s all it means. If Al-Jazeera TV is putting this sort of garbage on it’s Arab speaking network, it has zero business being in the United States of America. This is nothing more than Anti-Jewish propaganda and it furthers the blood libels that the terrorists thrive on and use to commit acts of carnage.
If our President were actually worth a tinkers damn, he would tell Al-Jazeera TV, “You either do something about that, or you can pack your little network up and go back to mecca, where you truly belong.” But, because we have a President who kowtows down to Arabs and their religion, instead of defending Jewish Americans, you have this network Al-Jazeera TV here to brainwash Americans into believe that 9/11 was somehow justified.
…and that, my friends, is a great American tragedy.
(H/T to Commentary Magazine)
Glad to see this.
A Boston Marathon bombing victim hospitalized for weeks after the blasts lashed out at the mother of the accused bombers, calling Zubeidat Tsarnaeva “vile” for her jihad-laced rants and denials.
Michelle L’Heureux, a 38-year-old John Hancock consultant, told the Herald yesterday it’s time to stop being “politically correct” and speak out — making her one of the first victims to stand up to the terror-talking Chechen family.
“I feel a little bit of hatred towards her. I think she is a vile person,” L’Heureux said of the mom. “If you don’t like our country, get out. It’s as simple as that.”
L’Heureux lost most of her left knee in the blasts, and 30 percent of her hearing in her left ear. Her left arm is riddled with shrapnel scars, and there’s a piece of metal still inside her leg. She was 8 feet away from the first blast on Boylston Street. She came to the city to see her boyfriend cross the finish lin
If only more liberal Democrats felt this way, maybe we would have actually won the war on terror. Instead, because of the Democrat’s almost allergic reaction to war and because of the bungled methods of the Bush Administration — we lost it and badly. Oh, and BTW, I have seen where people have blamed this guy here for the loss of the Afghan war. Sorry, but that is bunch of flipping malarkey and I think the person that wrote that knows it; he is just looking to deflect the fact that Bush’s mishandling of the war in Afghanistan and the overselling of the war in Iraq.
Plus too, I believe we pulled out too early of Iraq and Afghanistan; we could have done it better, but we needed more time. But, when you have a war weary nation, what can you do?
Ol’ Dick (head) Cheney says that we ought to just trust the Government.
The Video: (Via Think Progress)
Okay here is the little small problem with trusting Dick Cheney and his boss George W. Bush, they lied, as in like 935 times in a row, during their Presidency and Vice Presidency.
Prove it, you say? Sure.
Via The Center for Public Integrity, which is as follows:
The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: To enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.
Anyhow, here is why I don’t trust Neocons, nor do I trust Democratic Party liberals or Neo-leftists:
President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).
The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews.
Consider, for example, these false public statements made in the run-up to war:
- On August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney’s assertions went well beyond his agency’s assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind, “Our reaction was, ‘Where is he getting this stuff from?’ “
- In the closing days of September 2002, with a congressional vote fast approaching on authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, Bush told the nation in his weekly radio address: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. . . . This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.” A few days later, similar findings were also included in a much-hurried National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — an analysis that hadn’t been done in years, as the intelligence community had deemed it unnecessary and the White House hadn’t requested it.
- In July 2002, Rumsfeld had a one-word answer for reporters who asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists: “Sure.” In fact, an assessment issued that same month by the Defense Intelligence Agency (and confirmed weeks later by CIA Director Tenet) found an absence of “compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda.” What’s more, an earlier DIA assessment said that “the nature of the regime’s relationship with Al Qaeda is unclear.”
- On May 29, 2003, in an interview with Polish TV, President Bush declared: “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.” But as journalist Bob Woodward reported in State of Denial, days earlier a team of civilian experts dispatched to examine the two mobile labs found in Iraq had concluded in a field report that the labs were not for biological weapons. The team’s final report, completed the following month, concluded that the labs had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons.
- On January 28, 2003, in his annual State of the Union address, Bush asserted: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.” Two weeks earlier, an analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research sent an email to colleagues in the intelligence community laying out why he believed the uranium-purchase agreement “probably is a hoax.”
- On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.” As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information. One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named “Curveball,” whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had “decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].”
The false statements dramatically increased in August 2002, with congressional consideration of a war resolution, then escalated through the mid-term elections and spiked even higher from January 2003 to the eve of the invasion.
It was during those critical weeks in early 2003 that the president delivered his State of the Union address and Powell delivered his memorable U.N. presentation.
In addition to their patently false pronouncements, Bush and these seven top officials also made hundreds of other statements in the two years after 9/11 in which they implied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or links to Al Qaeda. Other administration higher-ups, joined by Pentagon officials and Republican leaders in Congress, also routinely sounded false war alarms in the Washington echo chamber.
The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, “independent” validation of the Bush administration’s false statements about Iraq.
The “ground truth” of the Iraq war itself eventually forced the president to backpedal, albeit grudgingly. In a 2004 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, for example, Bush acknowledged that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. And on December 18, 2005, with his approval ratings on the decline, Bush told the nation in a Sunday-night address from the Oval Office: “It is true that Saddam Hussein had a history of pursuing and using weapons of mass destruction. It is true that he systematically concealed those programs, and blocked the work of U.N. weapons inspectors. It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As your president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. Yet it was right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.”
Bush stopped short, however, of admitting error or poor judgment; instead, his administration repeatedly attributed the stark disparity between its prewar public statements and the actual “ground truth” regarding the threat posed by Iraq to poor intelligence from a Who’s Who of domestic agencies.
On the other hand, a growing number of critics, including a parade of former government officials, have publicly — and in some cases vociferously — accused the president and his inner circle of ignoring or distorting the available intelligence. In the end, these critics say, it was the calculated drumbeat of false information and public pronouncements that ultimately misled the American people and this nation’s allies on their way to war.
Bush and the top officials of his administration have so far largely avoided the harsh, sustained glare of formal scrutiny about their personal responsibility for the litany of repeated, false statements in the run-up to the war in Iraq. There has been no congressional investigation, for example, into what exactly was going on inside the Bush White House in that period. Congressional oversight has focused almost entirely on the quality of the U.S. government’s pre-war intelligence — not the judgment, public statements, or public accountability of its highest officials. And, of course, only four of the officials — Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz — have testified before Congress about Iraq.
Short of such review, this project provides a heretofore unavailable framework for examining how the U.S. war in Iraq came to pass. Clearly, it calls into question the repeated assertions of Bush administration officials that they were the unwitting victims of bad intelligence.
Above all, the 935 false statements painstakingly presented here finally help to answer two all-too-familiar questions as they apply to Bush and his top advisers: What did they know, and when did they know it?
The real sick and sad part is this; the same people that are having a hissy fit on the right about this program existing under Obama, are the same ones who were perfectly fine with it existing under Bush. In other words, they trusted the program under Bush. like idiots. My question to that crowd is this; why do you not trust Obama? Because he is black or because he is a Democratic Party liberal?
Anyone and I mean anyone, who puts their trust in this Government of ours, based upon partisanship is nothing more than a darned fool in my opinion. Both of these political parties are two sides of the same coin and that is corruption and big Government socialism. Both parties promote it, both parties contribute to it. Government hand outs are Government hand outs; whether it be in the forum of welfare or Government subsidies. It is big Government statist and it flies in the face of our Constitution and in the face of what this great Nation was founded upon.
Others: Prairie Weather
This is via TLG’s YouTube Channel:
Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.
Poop, meet fan.
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There are a ton of opinions on this subject and we’ll get to those in a moment.
But first the story:
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
But, there is a big difference this time:
Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.
The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.
Which sounds about right for the Democrats, because they are perfectly fine with Government of a massive scale.
Now there are two very important opinions on this subject that I want you to see. They are same political slant; however, the opinions are very different. Please go check out Michelle Malkin’s take and Ed Morrissey’s take on this subject. While I agree on Michelle Malkin’s assessment, I really do not agree with her narrative at all. If you are smart and read her a good deal, you will know what I am talking about.
Now there is one thing that Ed Morrissey wrote that I, as an Independent, and someone who believes that the war on terror is a very real thing and that we should at least try to keep America safe, without trampling on our constitutional rights. I believe this to be very true and very profound statement coming from someone like Mr. Morrissey:
Hypocrisy is an unfortunately ubiquitous condition in politics, but in the case of NSA seizing Verizon’s phone records, it’s particularly widespread. Some of the people expressing outrage for the Obama administration’s efforts at data mining had a different attitude toward it when Bush was in office. Conversely, we’ll see some people defending Obama who considered Bush evil incarnate for the same thing.
Either way, we’re left with the situation of having the federal government seizing private records without any meaningful civil due process that engages the citizens affected, whether that includes actual wiretaps or just cataloguing our calls and movements. Perhaps this will move this issue out of the partisan sphere and into a common ground in which we can all work to define exactly how far we’re willing to go in trading privacy for security. In order to get there, we’d all better recognize the hypocrisy that has abounded on this issue for far too long, and start thinking about higher principles than party affiliation when it comes to national security and constitutional protections.
Now that last part that I underlined, is something I wholeheartedly agree with. When the story broke about Bush and Co. came about the wiretaps, I remember Keith Olbermann doing a special comment on it and I admired him for standing up. Now, where’s Keith? Where are the liberals who thought that this was much too intrusive? Where are they now? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
My hat tip goes to Glenn Greenwald for putting principles over partisanship and getting this story to the masses. Glenn has been about the only liberal who has stood up and pointed out that Obama Administration has continued the policies of the George W. Bush Administration and in some cases; like this one here — has expanded them to an alarming degree. Yes, this is overreach and it is alarming and I do hope the Congress does something about it.
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Ron Paul hardest hit:
AFP – Al-Qaeda’s military chief in Yemen warned Americans in an audio message posted online Sunday that the Boston bombings revealed a fragile security as he urged Muslims to defend their religion.
Qassim al-Rimi, the military chief of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said making bombs such as the ones used in the twin blasts in Boston in April, is within “everyone’s reach”.
“The Boston events… and the poisoned letters (sent to the White House), regardless of who is behind them, show that your security is no longer under control, and that attacks on you have taken off and cannot be stopped,” he said, in the message entitled: “A letter to the American people.”
“Every day you will be hit by the unexpected and your leaders will not be able to defend you,” warned the man whose organisation is considered by Washington the world’s most dangerous Al-Qaeda branch.
Rimi said the killing of Al-Qaeda’s founder Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and top Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in September 2011, had not ended the struggle.
“Have you eliminated the jihadist groups that have spread everywhere after they had only been in Afghanistan? Today, they are in your land or close to it,” he warned.
To the Muslims in the United States, he said: “We encourage you to carry on with this way, be steadfast in your religion
This is why I could never quite get into the whole idea of Ron Paul dismantling our Military. I want, as anyone else does, a reasonable foreign policy. However, I do want our Government to defend the Republic.
Irregardless of why they hate us; whether it is because of our foreign policy decisions of the past or because we are free or because of capitalistic society — the fact remains — they hate us and they want to kill us and we do have to be able to defend ourselves.
…..and that my friends — is no laughing matter.