Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Danny Schechter, Robert Parry, new White House pet, terrorists walking free in the US

Hump day. My hump! Your hump! I have no idea what that song by the Black Eyed Peas means, but it is catchy. :D Hump day and Friday on the way.

Let me start with something C.I. had up this morning:

Wally noted two things from Danny Schechter's News Dissector for yesterday. First:
David Swanson writes:I'll be co-hosting with Verna Avery-Brown of Pacifica Radio, a live broadcast on Pacifica from 8:30-11 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 27, of a forum on Capitol Hill hosted by Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee.
Thanks for tuning in. I will be speaking in Boston at Emerson College on Friday at 7 PM. The film The Jihadi and the Journalist which I worked on opens at the Tribeca Film Festival on the 27th, and South African Broadcasting's SABC 1 airs on April 26th on SABC 1 at 9 PM. Amandla!
As Wally notes, that will tick Mike off. (We're all going to be in NYC just as Danny comes to Mike's area.) If you're in that area or can be, don't miss Danny -- great speaker, will make you think and leave you inspired (and hopeful -- important in these times).

I am ticked. But that's cool. I hope everyone who is here goes and sees Danny Schechter. But we're all going to be in NYC for the big protest Saturday. And to explained the "ticked," Schechter came through this area awhile back but I didn't know the time or the where. Rebecca, Tony, Nina and me would have gone if we'd known. There's always next time. And if I wasn't going to NYC, I'd be there. Some people, all over the country, won't be able to be in NYC so if you're not able to go to the big protest, check out what is going on in your area. Maybe you have something cool like Danny Schechter coming to Boston.

If you can go, you should take at least one person with you. At least one. We're taking my sister Kelley with us to NYC. Last protest (local), I didn't even think about inviting her. I just didn't think she'd be interested and she's busy all the time. So this weekend, if you're protesting or demonstrating or making yourself heard (and you can make yourself heard by going to hear the truth from Danny Schechter), let's up the ante and all try to take one person with us this time.

Now let's kick things off with Democracy Now!

New White House Spokesperson Criticized Bush
In news from Washington, Republican officials have confirmed Fox News anchor Tony Snow has agreed to become the new White House Press Secretary. Snow will replace Scott McLellan, who resigned last week. President Bush is expected to make the announcement today. Although Snow will be tasked with defending the President, one of his first duties may be to answer for previous criticisms he's made of his new boss. In an op-ed piece published in November, Snow said President Bush had "lost" his swagger and was "cowering under the bed" in the face of Democratic opposition. Snow went on to say: "The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."

Snow gives Bully Boy class and Bully Boy gives Snow ass? Is that how it works? :D I saw the headlines online about this and they were using "tapped" as in: Bully Boy Taps Snow. And I was thinking, "Do they realize what that means today?" :D

Wally saw 'em too and wrote a hilarious thing: "THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY TAPS IT!" That is funny. And if you're not middle aged (or if you are middle aged but keep up), you were laughing every time you saw one of those "Bully Boy Taps Snow" headlines today.

(In case anyone's not with it. "Tap" is like "hit it" -- means had sex with. Like you'd say, "Man, I'd love to tap that ass." Guys say it, gals say it, straight and gays says it. It's just lingo today.)

Carriles To Apply For US Citizenship
Lawyers for detained Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles have announced he has applied for US citizenship. Carilles is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela for his role in a 1976 bombing that killed 73 people aboard a Cuban airliner. He was arrested in Miami last May after entering the US two months earlier.

So Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist, may become a US citizen? And Congress wants to worry about undocumented workers? Get the idea that besides scapegoating people, they're missing out on the big picture? 73 people died. He should be handed over to Venezuela. He's a terrorist and it shows you how fake the "war on terror" is that he hasn't been kicked out of the country. Now he might become a citizen and that's a slap in the face to every American and everyone wanting to become a citizen. You don't let killers become citizens, you send them to prison.

For more on Carriles, you can check out Robert Parry's "Bush's Hypocrisy: Cuban Terrorists."

Two Cuban exiles, Hernan Ricardo and Freddy Lugo, who had left the Cubana plane in Barbados, confessed that they had planted the bomb. They named Bosch and Posada as the architects of the attack.
A search of Posada's apartment in Venezuela turned up Cubana Airlines timetables and other incriminating documents.
Posada and Bosch were charged in Venezuela for the Cubana Airlines bombing, but the men denied the accusations. The case soon became a political tug-of-war, since the suspects were in possession of sensitive Venezuelan government secrets that could embarrass President Andres Perez. The case lingered for almost a decade.
After the Reagan-Bush administration took power in Washington in 1981, the momentum for fully unraveling the mysteries of anti-communist terrorist plots dissipated. The Cold War trumped any concern about right-wing terrorism.
In 1985, Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison, reportedly with the help of Cuban exiles. In his autobiography, Posada thanked Miami-based Cuban activist Jorge Mas Canosa for providing the $25,000 that was used to bribe guards who allowed Posada to walk out of prison.
Another Cuban exile who aided Posada was former CIA officer Felix Rodriguez, who was close to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush and who was overseeing secret supply shipments to the Nicaraguan contra rebels, a pet project of President Reagan.
After fleeing Venezuela, Posada joined Rodriguez in Central America and was assigned the job of paymaster for pilots in the contra-supply operation.
When one of the contra-supply planes was shot down inside Nicaragua in October 1986, Posada was responsible for alerting U.S. officials to the crisis and then shutting down the operation’s safe houses in El Salvador.
Even after the exposure of Posada’s role in the contra-supply operation, the U.S. government made no effort to bring the accused terrorist to justice.
By the late 1980s, Orlando Bosch also was out of Venezuela's jails and back in Miami. But Bosch, who had been implicated in about 30 violent attacks, was facing possible deportation by U.S. officials who warned that Washington couldn’t credibly lecture other countries about terrorism while protecting a terrorist like Bosch.
But Bosch got lucky. Jeb Bush, then an aspiring Florida politician, led a lobbying drive to prevent the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service from expelling Bosch. In 1990, the lobbying paid dividends when Jeb's dad, President George H.W. Bush, blocked proceedings against Bosch, letting the unapologetic terrorist stay in the United States.
In 1992, also during George H.W. Bush's presidency, the FBI interviewed Posada about the Iran-Contra scandal for 6 ½ hours at the U.S. Embassy in Honduras.
Posada filled in some blanks about the role of Bush's vice presidential office in the secret contra operation. According to a 31-page summary of the FBI interview, Posada said Bush’s national security adviser, Donald Gregg, was in frequent contact with Felix Rodriguez.
"Posada … recalls that Rodriguez was always calling Gregg," the FBI summary said. "Posada knows this because he's the one who paid Rodriguez' phone bill." After the interview, the FBI agents let Posada walk out of the embassy to freedom. [For details, see Parry's
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & Project Truth.]

The book, Robert Parry's Lost History, is a really good one. You should read it because it's all about Latin America, our government's actions there, and how we sided with terrorism (and participated by proxy and sometimes more). This was truly "lost history" when Ronald Reagan died and people were acting like he was St. Reagan of Burbank. (That was a joke someone told me when we were on all on vacation. I said I was going to use that at some point and this is the perfect time.)

Now C.I.'s antidote to the various waves of Operation Happy Talk:

Iraq snapshot.
Chaos and violence continue.
Associated Press notes that "[m]ore than 100 Iraqi civilians or police have been killed . . . since [Jawad] al-Maliki was tapped as Iraq's prime minister designate on Saturday . . ." Not a pretty picture. Thank goodness the word's premier video popped up to distract everyone with instead. (Has so much time been consumed covering a video since Madonna's "Like a Prayer"?) South of Baghdad (to use the 'location' favored by the BBC here and CNN here -- Reuters identifies it as Yusufiya), a US air strike (and "ground forces") have attacked a house in Baghdad an twelve people are dead including one woman. The media's running with the US military's statements (presented not as quotes) that it was a "safe house." The facts are, as known now, a US air strike and "ground forces" has resulted in 12 deaths "south of Baghdad." In Baghdad? China's People's Daily reports that a minibus contained a bomb which killed at least three Iraqis and wounded at least four while a roadside bomb "hit a passing police patrol" and killed at least one person and wounded at least two others. The AP notes that four corpses were found in Baghdad. Reuters notes that the four bodies had "signs of torture and . . . gun shot wounds to their head".
Corpses continue to surface all over Iraq. As
noted last week by Knight Ridder, the US administration didn't take the militia issue seriously. That may be the nicest explanation. Jawad al-Maliki is calling for the militias to disarm according to Reuters.
Knight Ridder's Lelia Fadel reports that sectarian lines are forming in Iraq's university system as well. KUNA reports that a "decomposed dead body in a bag" was discovered in Kirkuk. Reuters notes six corpses found "signs of torture and gunshot wounds" in Kerbala. In Kirkuk, "a wealthy trader" was kidnapped while, in Mahmodiya, "a bomb blast" has wounded three police officers.

By the way, C.I. asked me if I came up with "Iraq snapshot" because C.I. wanted to give me credit. I didn't. I may have used at the site before C.I. did, but C.I. had called it that while we were all together two weeks ago and that's why I used it. I like it. It is a quick snapshot that pulls together events in Iraq. (It's not quick to do. While we were all together, I got to see C.I. pulling that thing together. If it's a dicated entry, that's the only portion C.I. types up. C.I. takes that very seriously and we all know that there may be days when there's not time for it but we're all glad that there hasn't been a weekday missed yet this week. Leigh Ann wondered about the links to audio in some of these.

The community has two couples (possibly more) where one partner is blind. So, how it works is that one half reads to the others.

We also have some members who are deaf and Eli does a daily summary of the radio program Free Speech Radio News that he sends out to those. He's been doing that for over a year now. That and Democracy Now! were the first audio links C.I. put up. With Democracy Now! it is close captioned on TV and it also provides transcripts so deaf and hearing impaired people can follow along. (On Labor Day, we started watching all together here, getting everyone in the living room on the holidays to share it. And we put on the close captioned option because it can get loud and also because I have a great uncle with a hearing problem.) So Democracy Now! is something everyone can follow. Now days, Free Speech Radio News provides a summary at its site so Eli usually just pulls some direct quotes and adds to it most days. I'm signed up to that because I usually don't have time to listen to Free Speech Radio News lately. It's a great program. C.I. highlighted a NBC news report today and doesn't usually do that but the reason there was that it was text and a video so, if one of the couples were looking at it together and wanted to check out more on the story, they had the option of listening to the sound with the video together. Things like that will impact whether a highlight makes it. Also whether or not everyone can go to the site. That means nothing that they have to pay a membership for and C.I. avoids unless it's a major story because you're either paying for that site or you watch a commercial and we have some members on older computers and with dial up connections who will click and find that there computers freeze. (That's why C.I. tries to sum up a major PDF report or else to find an HTML of it.)

It's also true that most of the audio links go to our independent media like in this paragraph:

The National Lawyers Guild, as noted yesterday on the KPFA Evening News and also aired during the first news break anchored by Sandra Lupien on KPFA's The Morning Show today, has filed for key documents on the Iraq war including documents pertaining to the rules of engagement for the slaughter of Falluja. This is a FIO lawsuit. In addition, they are requesting documents on the incident involving Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena -- after Sgrena was rescued by Italians and being taken to the airport, her car was fired upon by US forces and Nicola Calipari died.

You've go the link to NLG and you've got a link to KPFA's Evening News, to The Morning Show and to Democracy Now! with the Sgrena story. All are Pacifica programs and it's part of noting the radio network more and its programs. Both to pick up some slack so Ruth's not left doing everything and also to get the word out.

Be sure to check out Like Maria Said Paz for Elaine's thoughts and also check out these cool entries:

Recommended: "NYT: Do we get excited as the whitewash continues?" -- C.I. putting perspective on the "charges" that a higher up in the military faces.
"flashpoints (rita moreno) cover to cover with denny smithson (jane fonda)" -- Rebecca on some great radio programming. Read it! And listen to the shows!
"Condi hides in Greece, NY Teens sue Rumsfeld, Wakeup Call, Jane Fonda" -- Wonderful writer. Who is this guy? He is amazing! :D I'm joking, it's me from yesterday. I swiped this listing from Wally.
"It's never up to an administration... It all depends upon what people force them to do." Elaine writing about several topics (despite slicing her finger on Monday). My blog twin. :D
"Cell Phone Use Tips" Cedric cracked me up with his tips for cell phone use. Do you use a cell? Do you think you're cool? Better check out this to see if maybe others aren't finding you so cool.
"Thomas Friedman is the Meanest Generation" Betty wants to do some corrections to this. She said she was on the phone with C.I. reading it to get some input and C.I. had to repeat her name several times because she fell asleep while reading it. I told her she may have fallen asleep but I thought it was funny. You will too.
"Guns & Butter airs tomorrow; The Free Design, Ani DiFranco, Pink, Josh Ritter" -- Kat's talking about some music and asking for input on something she may review.