Monday, March 27, 2006

War criminal Henry Kissinger outed by old documents yet again

Good evening. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Let's get to Democracy Now!

Scalia: Guantanamo Detainees Have No Rights
Questions are now being raised as to whether Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should recuse himself from an upcoming case about the U.S. military prison at Guantanano Bay. Newsweek is reporting Scalia recently gave a speech in Switzerland, where he dismissed the idea that the detainees have rights under the U.S. Constitution or international conventions. During the speech Scalia said he was "astounded" at the "hypocritical" reaction in Europe to Guantanamo. Scalia said "War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts." On Tuesday the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in a case that will decide whether the Bush administration can try Guantanamo detainees in special military tribunals. Two years ago Scalia recused himself from a case about the Pledge of Allegiance after he made public comments about the issue.

Recusal. That's what Scalia has to do here. There's no other path for him. He has given up even the appearance of an open mind on this issue. Having made these statements, he has indicated that no matter what argument comes before him, he has already decided how he would rule. He, the one who decries international law, goes out of the country to make these remarks? "While we are at war!" as Diane Sawyer would screech. (I know C.I. will get a kick out of that. Diane Sawyer tried to shame the Dixie Chicks in an interview over and over. )

He's coming to the case having already stated how he would rule. The fact that he didn't expect his comments to become public don't change that. He needs to recuse himself.

Papers: Kissinger Ordered U.S. Support for Argentine Military Junta
Meanwhile newly declassified documents reveal that then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ordered immediate U.S. support for the military junta shortly after it seized power in Argentina 30 years ago. According to the minutes of one meeting, Kissinger said "I do want to encourage them. I don't want to give the sense that they're harassed by the United States." Kissinger said this even though his own top deputy in Latin America was predicting Argentina would face "a fair amount of repression [and] probably a good deal of blood" under the new regime. In addition State Department cables show that U.S. officials had prior knowledge of coup plotting. More than a week before the coup, the commander of the Argentine Navy requested the U.S. embassy recommend public relations firms inside the United States which would work for the future military junta.

Henry Kissinger is a war criminal and, when war criminals aren't punished, others come along and up the ante. That's how Bully Boy and others think they can get away with the crap they pull. It's why the name John Yoo is one you haven't heard the last of. He'll pop back up in a few years as something other than a law professor. This is Ted Koppel's friend and mentor. Ted Koppel loves him some war criminals.

Now, tomorrow, and this is from Ruth's Public Radio Report:

Programming notes for next week. First, Larry Bensky and KPFA will be covering Tuesday's **NSA Hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee** I assume that other Pacficia stations will carry this or some coverage of it as well but I have only heard it noted on KPFA. [Dallas note: Houston's KPFT will air the coverage beginning at 8:30 a.m. Central Time.]

So tomorrow, you can hear that on Pacficia, not NPR, but Pacficia because NPR doesn't give a damn about informing you. They just like their freeze dried programs. So you can hear it tomorrow morning on Pacficia.

Danny Schechter's got a speaking gig day after, Wednesday and this is from our note at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

The News Dissector Danny Schechter has an upcoming book presentation. We'll note this again (and how often will depend upon how many times I'm reminded):
If you are in New York City, please come out for a talk I will be giving on my new book WHEN NEWS LIES: Media Complicity and The Iraq War at Housing Works' handsome Used Book Café on Cosby Street just below Houston, one block east of Broadway at 7 PM March 29. CSPAN will be in the house broadcasting so it is especially important to have a crowd. Please tell your friends. It is free.
C.I. noted the above Friday and we wanted to be sure to do our part to get the word out. That's March 29th (Wednesday) at Used Book Cafe in NYC. We recommend the event, we recommend the book. We've noted Schechter's The Death of the Media and we've noted his documentary WMD. You can also check for more on Schecter. But most important, at 7:00 pm on March 29th, you can hear a presentation on the media's efforts in selling Bully Boy's illegal war. And it's free. No charge. So if you're in the area, make a point to show up.

So that's two things already for you this week. Meantime you can check out Dave Zirin's "Death Row Talks Back to Etan Thomas:"

This Sunday at 4pm, I am proud to be speaking at an event in San Francisco called a "Civil Rights Slam for Justice," sponsored by among others the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. The slam will be at the Malcolm X school at 350 Harbor Street. In addition to myself and a crew of young artists, activists and poets, speakers will include an NBA basketball player by the name of Etan Thomas.
Regular readers of this column know that I'm not exactly shy about singing the praises of the Washington Wizards forward. Etan plays a gritty, elbows-up style of basketball, but on a microphone he is pure Jordan. In the tradition of Amiri Baraka, his poems are sharp enough to cut glass, and generous enough to leave seedlings that can sprout in the cracks.
I first heard about Etan's political poetry when a rumor started going around Washington DC that this rather gigantic gentleman with dreads was going to U street coffee houses reading anti-death penalty, anti-racist verse in front of a crowd you could fit in a van. Since then Etan has risen to every occasion, speaking out at last September's anti-war rally, speaking out against the mistreatment of Katrina refugees, speaking out against the execution of Stan Tookie Williams, and speaking out through a published book of verse fittingly enough called "
More Than An Athlete" [Moore Black Press].

Need some commentary on Iraq and the media? Check out the following:

"NYT: Bully Boy did want to go to war (despite lying to Helen Thomas last week)"
NYT: SITE gives Dexy translations, he gives them play -- None dare call it reporting"
"And the war drags on"

And check out Betty's "The Big Boob Likes Big Boobs" which is the latest chapter in the continuing online novel.

That's really it for me. I'm tired tonight. We worked hard at The Third Estate Sunday Review this weekend. I'm usually not wiped out after one of those marathons but I am this time. Jim may write something about that and, in case he does, I don't want to steal his thunder. But if he doesn't, I might talk about it here.

Now get over to Like Maria Said Paz for Elaine's commentary.