Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Drones, Airwar and Rendition

Good evening and let's get things started with Democracy Now!

US Refuses to Apologize For CIA Bombing in Pakistan
In other news, the US government has refused to express regret over last week's CIA bombing in Pakistan. The attack killed a reported 17 people, including women and children. The U.S. has said little about the bombing but it is believed to have been carried out by a CIA Predator drone. On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack told reporters only: "The United States clearly values innocent human life. And that is why we're fighting the war on terror." Meanwhile, Pakistani officials said Tuesday the strike had killed up to 5 suspected militants.

"Up to 5 suspected militants." Are they telling that to Pakistanis? Or is this just sop as they try to make it look okay that at least 17 people died, 6 of them children? We're not fighting the war on terror, we're terrorizing.

Swiss Senator Says Evidence Confirms CIA Renditions in Europe
In Europe, a Swiss Senator has said there is no longer any question that the CIA undertook in illegal activities in Europe by secretly transporting and jailing suspected terrorists. The official -- Dick Marty -- is heading up a European investigation into allegations that the CIA operated secret prisons in Poland and Romania. He also said blame has to be placed on all European nations who have helped the U.S. carry out its covert operations.
Swiss Senator Dick Marty : "I'd like it to be clear that the problem does not only concern Rumania and Poland. It would be too simple to criminalize these two countries. I think it's to whole of Europe that accepted to keep quiet, because if it's true that something happened in Rumania and Poland, something also happened in many other countries, and many of them were certainly aware of what was going on. And to me, in such a situation, knowing and keeping quiet is as bad as tolerating that such activities be led on its territory."
Last week a Swiss newspaper published the text of an intercepted Egyptian memo about U.S. interrogation centers in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The memo had been faxed from the Egyptian foreign ministry to the Egyptian embassy in London. But it had been intercepted by the Swiss secret service and then leaked to the press.

Let me pick back up on my last sentence, "We're terrorizing." We're not fighting a war on terror, we're tossing aside everything we're supposed to believe in. It's time the country pulled the Bully Boy's blank check and told him to stop his "war on terror" talk. How long would Japanese Americans have been interned if Americans had said, "That's not how we do things. Stop it." Instead, that's a shame we live with. We need to start living up to what we're supposed to believe in.

Now be sure to check out Elaine's site because we both found some stuff we wanted to share tonight and her comments will probably be more deep than mine -- whatcha' want to bet! :D So check out Like Maria Said Paz.

Pakistanis were apparently killed by a predator drone, but we've got an air war going on in Iraq that no one likes to talk about so let's note Brian Cloughley's "Fly Boys and Lie Boys:"

Even the most accurately-delivered 500 pounder cannot destroy a building without damaging adjacent houses and killing people therein. Anyone who imagines or declares that this is possible is a liar or a moron or both.
Which brings us again to Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson, the military parrot who squawked on autocue that "Coalition forces employed precision guided munitions on the structure."
This man -- and all the others like him - - the dozens of uniformed and civilian clones who spout false statistics, misinformation, disinformation, twisted propaganda and sheer downright lies - - is untrue to his uniform and disloyal to the American Constitution. We should remember what one honorable US military officer said years ago to a Congressional Committee when accused of being disloyal to the evil Nixon : "Sir, I did not take an oath to defend the president; I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States". (I might not have this quotation verbatim, as I'm traveling at the moment and don't have access to 'The Best and the Brightest' by the brilliant Halberstam, in which it appears.)
After the slaughter of civilians by grotesquely inaccurate precision-guided weapons Lieutenant Colonel Johnson said "We are determining the facts in this particular case so we will know exactly how civilians may have been drawn into the air strike that was deemed necessary by our forces fighting insurgents on the ground."

That's a point C.I.'s been making for some time, that the oath is to the Constitution, not to a person. C.I. and Ava talked about this and the way Colin Powell seemed to believe it too, how he seemed to think his oath was to Bully Boy. They wrote about Powell's "blot" and you should check that out.

You should also ask yourself if you're okay with an air war dropping bombs on innocent people because that's what happens.

Tony said C.I.'s "NYT: '2002 Memo Doubted Uranium Sale Claim' (Eric Lichtblau)" "has" to be noted and I agree. Here's a section where C.I.'s doing the strong talk about the invasion/occupation that's usually the first thing members point to when they're asked by Gina and Krista why they became members:

The war was based on lies. The lies were well known by the administration. As Paul Wolfowitz suggested to Vanity Fair, they went with the best spin they could. Bringing "democracy" to Iraq didn't fly because Americans weren't keen on seeing people killed for the Bully Boy's notion of (or The New Republic's for that matter) concept of "democracy." So instead, we were whipped into a hysteria of "mushroom clouds" and "nuclear threats" (possibly the same sort of hysteria they'll attempt with regards to Iran).Blood on their hands. Blood of Iraqis (for which there is no official released count though it's obvious the Defense Department has long been keeping track in some manner of a body count), blood of Americans (2221 military fatalities is the offical count as I type this), blood of democracy, blood of the Constitution.
That's the reality and all the spin won't change the facts.

Last thing, Tom Hayden was on Democracy Now! and Irish-Americans stick together so let me plug his segment:

Eugene McCarthy (1916 - 2005): The Legacy of the Former Senator and Anti-War Presidential Candidate
We look at the life of former anti-war presidential candidate, Eugene McCarthy. Hundreds gathered for his memorial service this weekend. We speak with a reporter who covered him for decades and SDS founder Tom Hayden. [includes rush transcript - partial]

You'll learn a lot about Eugene McCarthy in this and, if you're my age, it'll be an important history lesson.