Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Since returning to the United States, soldiers from the brigade have have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, drunk driving, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides. One of the soldiers, Kenneth Eastridge, is now serving ten years for accessory to murder. Eastridge told the paper, “The Army pounds it into your head until it is instinct: Kill everybody, kill everybody. And you do. Then they just think you can just come home and turn it off.” Several soldiers said unit discipline deteriorated in Iraq before they returned home. Iraqi taxi drivers got shot for no reason. Soldiers dropped men off bridges after interrogations. Tanks drove over Iraqi cars for no reason. Another soldier, Daniel Freeman, said, "Toward the end, we were so mad and tired and frustrated. You came too close, we lit you up.”

I guess we'll have to ask the Iraqi military to come kill our terrorists.
I asked again, ‘Okay. I would like to see the guidelines governing this discretion. That way I’ll know how to prepare for security in the future, as I did with your rules on shoes, water, liquid baby formula…’

She snapped back, ‘we have unlimited discretion. There are no rules. And we don’t have to answer your questions…’

I didn’t move, and I repeated my question, and added ‘Unlimited discretion? You mean you can also take us in and do a cavity search based on this discretion? This sounds like unlimited authority, and as a citizen, as a taxpayer, I have the right to know…’

At this point she took out her radio and called the airport police while I stood there looking and listening in disbelief. When two uniformed local airport police showed up, the TSA supervisor told them, ‘This lady insists on seeing our internal rules and classified procedures. I believe she poses a threat at this point and would like to have you either arrest her or keep her under observation until we decide to clear her for travel…’

That’s right. As a petite 5’4, 105 pound mother with an infant I was either being placed under arrest or observation as a security threat because I dared to question my rights and my government’s rules on security screening of its citizens.

The police officer, a gentlemanly young man, looked disgusted with the TSA supervisor. He turned to me and said,

‘Ma’am, why don’t you stop asking these questions and just proceed to your gate? We don’t want to be forced to act on this.’

I calmly responded, ‘Officer, I will proceed as soon as I am provided with an answer. If this is a cause for arrest now, and if you think you can back it up with probable cause, then please go ahead. You know and I know that this is not lawful.’

At the end of the security screening belt, as these events were unfolding, people were rushing past us towards their gates. Most of them were avoiding eye contact; maybe it was too much for them to actual see the reality and the state of their mobility on display before them. Some were shooting quick wondering glances. A very few brave ones actually slowed down or paused to whisper things like, ‘This is disgusting,’ or ‘they have no right to treat people like this,’ or, ‘this is a shame,’…

The TSA supervisor, seeing that her bluff did not have the desired effect and a bit nervously, changed her tune,

‘All we are doing is protecting you and everyone else from the terrorists. These procedures, these measures, are all for your own good; for your own safety.’

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Obama: A New Face for the Same Place, our Bush/Cheney America.

From today's Democracy Now headlines:

UN: US Uncooperative on Human Rights Probes

The Obama administration continues to deny UN requests to investigate conditions at Guantanamo Bay and other US prisons overseas. The Washington Post reports at least two human rights investigators were recently turned down after asking to visit Guantanamo. A top UN torture official also requested a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but was denied. One researcher says though the Obama administration has banned CIA torture techniques, it’s avoiding a legal obligation under the 1984 Convention Against Torture to investigate unresolved allegations. Six months after the Bush administration left office, the UN officials say the investigations are particularly urgent since a statute of limitations on prosecuting alleged torturers expires as early as next year.

Judge: Case Against Gitmo Prisoner “an Outrage”

The Obama administration meanwhile is facing a Friday deadline on whether to continue jailing Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamed Jawad. The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged Jawad’s indefinite imprisonment, saying he’s been abused, threatened, and deprived of sleep in US custody. The case has received further scrutiny because it’s believed Jawad was jailed when he was twelve years old. Federal District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle has given the Justice Department until tomorrow to explain why Jawad should still be jailed. Huvelle called the government’s current case “an outrage” and “riddled with holes.”

Audit: US Embassy in Iraq Should Be Scaled Down

In Iraq, an internal State Department audit has found the US embassy is overstaffed and needs to be scaled down. The $700 million facility currently employs more than 1,800 staffers and over 13,000 contractors. The report came as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met President Obama at the White House on Wednesday. Obama repeated previous claims that the US has no territorial designs in Iraq, saying the US isn’t seeking military bases or control of Iraqi resources.

US Toll Passes 5,000 in Iraq, Afghanistan

Meanwhile, the official US death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan has surpassed the 5,000 mark. The Pentagon has recorded at least 5,002 military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The number doesn’t include the dozens of soldiers who have committed suicide in war-related incidents.

Clinton Warns Iran of US “Defense Umbrella” in Mideast

The Obama administration is intensifying rhetoric toward Iran. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the US would consider a “defense umbrella” over the Middle East to protect Gulf allies if the Iranian government doesn’t meet international demands on its nuclear activities. Clinton said she hopes that Iran would realize that “If the US extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it’s unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer.”

Top Banks Set Aside $74B for Bonuses

And new figures show some of the top beneficiaries of the Wall Street bailout are increasing their employee bonuses over a year ago. According to the Washington Post, the top six US banks have allotted $74 billion to pay their employees, up from $60 billion at the same point last year.

Monday, July 20, 2009

When I was sitting down I was beside Sen. Obama, the star said the future President whispered to him, 'Nice work with the hug dodge.'"

Hey Obama, nice work on the justice dodge. Fuck law. And order. Let's just "Move Forward." Which we all know now, means "Move Forward with the Exact Same Mother Fucking Agenda."

Fuck the poor. Fuck the innocent. Yay America. Kill 'em all.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009