Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA who resigned from the agency in 2004, has told the Germans newspaper, Die Zeit, that the Clinton administration had been looking for a way to circumvent US legal system since the mid-1990s .
President Clinton, his national security adviser Sandy Berger and his terrorism adviser Richard Clark ordered the CIA in the autumn of 1995 to destroy Al Qaeda. We asked the president what we should do with the people we capture. Clinton said ‘That’s up to you’.
Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit that tracked Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, says he developed and led the “renditions” program.
It appears that both Democratic and Republican administrations hae been willing to shred human rights protections in the war on terror.
Does anybody else think we need an alternative?
The British Department of Trade and Industry has named the top 10 new green projects of 2005.
The list includes three wind farms, three solar-power projects, and two examples of microgeneration (mini power plants.) The other projects are a biomass plant in Northern Ireland that produces a new wood pellet bio fuel created by burning sawdust and woodchips, and a wave buoy project off the north Cornwall coast.
Britain has set a goal of generating 10 percent if its electricity from renewable energy by 2010.
Racist, and proud of it.
Although the city says the law was aimed narrowly at dealing with overcrowded housing, Vice Mayor Harry “Hal” Parrish said earlier this month that the law also was aimed at addressing illegal immigration and the problems the city associates with it — including parking, garbage issues and tight school budgets.
“I know there’s frustration out in the community from the people we talk to, our citizens, and largely they believe, as do I, that the federal government hasn’t followed through with enforcing its [immigration] laws . . .,” he said. “And we’re trying our best to deal with it.”
Whatever the intent, city officials say the new ordinance, which is enforced when complaints are received, is so far overwhelmingly affecting the city’s growing Latino population.
Click here for link.
Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada
This is funny! (As long as there aren’t any current plans, of course.)
Invading Canada won’t be like invading Iraq: When we invade Canada, nobody will be able to grumble that we didn’t have a plan.
First, we send a joint Army-Navy overseas force to capture the port city of Halifax, cutting the Canadians off from their British allies.
Then we seize Canadian power plants near Niagara Falls, so they freeze in the dark.
Then the U.S. Army invades on three fronts — marching from Vermont to take Montreal and Quebec, charging out of North Dakota to grab the railroad center at Winnipeg, and storming out of the Midwest to capture the strategic nickel mines of Ontario.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy seizes the Great Lakes and blockades Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific ports.
At that point, it’s only a matter of time before we bring these Molson-swigging, maple-mongering Zamboni drivers to their knees! Or, as the official planners wrote, stating their objective in bold capital letters: “ULTIMATELY TO GAIN COMPLETE CONTROL.”
* * *
It sounds like a joke but it’s not. War Plan Red is real. It was drawn up and approved by the War Department in 1930, then updated in 1934 and 1935. It was declassified in 1974 and the word “SECRET” crossed out with a heavy pencil. Now it sits in a little gray box in the National Archives in College Park, available to anybody, even Canadian spies. They can photocopy it for 15 cents a page.
Click here for link.
Rules Rewritten After Byrd Barred the Door
An accidental activist for the rights of the disabled, Beau, a yellow Labrador retriever, died quietly in his sleep this month, eight years after having an inhuman impact on the question of who may gain entry to the hallowed Senate floor.
Click here for link.
Activists Criticize New Housing Limits As Anti-Immigrant
Can you spell racism?
There had been a complaint, he said. The city needed to know not just how many people lived there but how they were related. He handed Leyla Chavez a form and explained that she could be prosecuted for lying.
“Okay,” she said and, in a mild state of shock, began filling it out.
There was Chavez and her husband. Their two sons. A nephew. The man who rented downstairs. His girlfriend.
“Your nephew, under our law, is considered unrelated,” Purchase said, then delivered the verdict: Two people had to go.
Click herefor link.
This jolted me out of my “it can’t get any worse, my expectations can’t get any lower” attititude. The key sentence for me: “Although Mr Tuttle, a Beverly Hills car dealer and major donor to George Bush’s re-election campaign, has been ambassador in London only since the summer, he is proving to be accident-prone.” If I donate enough money, can I be the one to drive the fighter jet/nuclear sub/aircraft carrier? Mr. President, can I make my mark by driving some species into extinction? Can I flatten the Appalachian mountains and destroy miles of natural beauty with my mining efforts if I donate enough money? Can I turn the key on the Minuteman missiles if I pay enough? Pretty please$$? Those positions are filled? But you’ll let me be Ambassador to the U.K? Well, OK, I’ll take it.
US Embassy Close to Admitting Syria Rendition Flight
By Ewen MacAskill
The Guardian UK
Tuesday 27 December 2005
Statement contradicts ambassador’s interview. Correction could leave Britain open to challenge.
The US embassy in London was forced to issue a correction yesterday to an interview given by the ambassador, Robert Tuttle, in which he claimed America would not fly suspected terrorists to Syria, which has one of the worst torture records in the Middle East. A statement acknowledged media reports of a suspect taken from the US to Syria.
Torture is banned in the US but the CIA has been engaged in a policy of rendition, flying terrorist suspects to countries in the Middle East and other parts of the world where torture is commonplace.
Although Mr Tuttle, a Beverly Hills car dealer and major donor to George Bush’s re-election campaign, has been ambassador in London only since the summer, he is proving to be accident-prone. Last month he vigorously denied British media reports that American forces used white phosphorus as a weapon in Iraq, only to be undercut by an admission from the Pentagon the next day.
Mr Tuttle gave an interview to the BBC Today programme on Thursday for broadcast yesterday morning. On Friday, the US embassy returned to the BBC with a lengthy statement of clarification, which was also broadcast yesterday at the end of the interview.
The music at the Barking Dog Club in Bethesda was loud, the beer was flowing, and the atmosphere was lively. It was the perfect night for a party, but a better night for a political fund-raiser.
On Tuesday, a group of young Democrats, New Generation Montgomery PAC, held its third fund-raiser aimed at voters under 30. With the promise of drink specials, giveaways and networking opportunities, organizers filled the second floor of the bar, but more importantly, they identified a new group of activists.
The group is just one of Montgomery County’s newest line of political power groups: political action committees aimed at and created by young people. With 2006 being one of the state’s and the county’s most important elections, young people could play a major role in determining any number of races.
For the New Generation group, young means under 40. In fact, in races where candidates are older, the group does not even issue an endorsement.
But endorsements are a minor part of New Generation’s work. Its main goals are increasing voter turnout, supporting candidates and doing the party’s basic organizing work.
‘‘Most of the young people in this county are already politically informed, New Generation gives them a way to transform that information into action,” said Tom Manatos, 26, the PAC’s treasurer.
Encouraging young activists is not unique to Democrats by any means.
The Young Republicans of Montgomery County, started in the 1980s for Republicans under 40, focuses on party support, but so far does not recruit candidates from its membership or contribute to individual campaigns.
‘‘For the upcoming elections, we want our party to know that we are the ones that invest the shoe leather,” said Rachael Gingrich, 26, president of the 70-member group. ‘‘We’re not just gofers, we can also be go-to’s.”
In addition to Gingrich’s group, the state GOP also boasts Teenage Republicans and College Republicans.
Like the young Dems and Reps, the College Reps are found on most campuses of state colleges and universities. It plans to work on the U.S. Senate campaign of Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele and on Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s re-election, said state adviser Daniel Zubairi, 29, who is running for Congress in the 8th District.
With the Green Party, where the average age of active members is in the 30s, youth is implied.
Although the party does not have a separate PAC for young voters, 90 percent of its new Montgomery County members were between 17 and 19 as of May, when the most recent count was taken.
‘‘We’re a value-based group, and that means a lot to young people,” said Joseph P. Horgan, 50, treasurer of Montgomery’s Green Party Central Committee. ‘‘Our four pillar values [social justice, ecology, nonviolence and grassroots democracy] are a large draw for young voters.”
The zeal of these groups is an extension of the youth voting bloc’s involvement in the 2004 presidential election. During that election, political activists brought out the heavy artillery to influence young voters: famous people. And it worked. More than 20 million people under age 30 ‘‘rocked the vote” according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement in College Park.
Can the youth PACs help sustain that level of interest in 2006?
That depends a lot on the war in Iraq, said Ronald W. Walters, government and politics professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.
‘‘A lot of the 2004 turnout was directly related to the war, and the large numbers brought a new dimension to the elections,” he said. ‘‘But it is already being said that if something is done to key down the war, like reducing the number of deployed soldiers to below 100,000, then the activity may be diminished.”
In Maryland, Walters said, he is not sure the youth PACs will make much difference in the state elections.
‘‘As with most groups like this, to really effect change, they have to raise a large sums of money, and usually these groups aren’t able to do this,” Walters said. ‘‘Turnout is the biggest asset of these groups to their parties.”
The supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the ICC is due out December 30. Only 45 days are being allowed for public comment even though the document runs some 8,900 pages. Anyone concerned about this issue should be ready to gear up quickly for a response.
The ICC is slated to be a toll road that would cost $6 round trip. It will cost $3 billion to build, with a quarter billion coming directly out of Maryland’s general funds, and another quarter billion paid for by Maryland bonds. According to a Maryland government study it would not decrease congestion on 495, 270, or 95.
For more information see Save Our Communities.