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clarence Gatemouth Brown - Catfish
“It is interesting how some banks say the new regulations will be too burdensome, and yet are prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying to kill them.”
-- Christine Lagarde
News and Opinion
UN Official: Aspects of US Drone Program Clearly 'War Crimes'
UN special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights announces investigation of civilians killed by US drone attacks
The UN's special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights announced Thursday that the Human Rights Council at the UN will likely initiate an investigation into civilian deaths caused by the CIA and US military's use of drones and other targeted killing programs, and said that if certain allegations against the US prove true, he considers them serious enough to call "war crimes".
Ben Emmerson, at speech given at Harvard Law School on Thursday, said that he and his UN colleague—Christof Heyns, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions—are compelled to investigate the controversial programs because the US government has so far refused to answer even some of the most basic questions about how it justifies such programs or prove that it has put in necessary safeguards to prevent the death of civilians.
“The Obama administration continues to formally adopt the position that it will neither confirm nor deny the existence of the drone program. . . . In reality, the administration is holding its finger in the dam of public accountability,” he said according to a prepared copy of the speech.
“I will be launching an investigation unit within the special procedures of the [U.N.] Human Rights Council to inquire into individual drone attacks, and other forms of targeted killings conducted in counterterrorism operations, in which it has been alleged that civilian casualties have been inflicted,” he added.
WikiLeaks Reveals 'Systematized Human Rights Abuses' at US Detention Facilities
Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released a new series of secret files from the US government Wednesday pertaining to treatment of foreign prisoners at military prisons such as Guantánamo Bay, including guidelines for military officials that reveal vast institutionalized human rights abuses.
According to WikiLeaks, the documents, which include the 2002 manual for staff at Camp Delta at Guantánamo, reveal "a formal policy of terrorizing detainees during interrogations, combined with a policy of destroying interrogation recordings," which have "led to abuse and impunity" among US officials.
"The 'Detainee Policies' show the anatomy of the beast that is post-9/11 detention, the carving out of a dark space where law and rights do not apply, where persons can be detained without a trace at the convenience of the US Department of Defense," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stated.
"It shows the excesses of the early days of war against an unknown 'enemy' and how these policies matured and evolved, ultimately deriving into the permanent state of exception that the United States now finds itself in, a decade later."
"Seven countries in five years"
Wesley Clark's new memoir casts more light on the Bush administration's secret strategies for regime change in Iran and elsewhere.
While the Bush White House promotes the possibility of armed conflict with Iran, a tantalizing passage in Wesley Clark’s new memoir suggests that another war is part of a long-planned Department of Defense strategy that anticipated “regime change” by force in no fewer than seven Mideast states. ...
“‘Oh, it’s worse than that,’ he said, holding up a memo on his desk. ‘Here’s the paper from the Office of the Secretary of Defense [then Donald Rumsfeld] outlining the strategy. We’re going to take out seven countries in five years.’ And he named them, starting with Iraq and Syria and ending with Iran.”
While Clark doesn’t name the other four countries, he has mentioned in televised interviews that the hit list included Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan.
Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations
DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti — Around the clock, about 16 times a day, drones take off or land at a U.S. military base here, the combat hub for the Obama administration’s counterterrorism wars in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.
Some of the unmanned aircraft are bound for Somalia, the collapsed state whose border lies just 10 miles to the southeast. Most of the armed drones, however, veer north across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen, another unstable country where they are being used in an increasingly deadly war with an al-Qaeda franchise that has targeted the United States.
Camp Lemonnier, a sun-baked Third World outpost established by the French Foreign Legion, began as a temporary staging ground for U.S. Marines looking for a foothold in the region a decade ago. Over the past two years, the U.S. military has clandestinely transformed it into the busiest Predator drone base outside the Afghan war zone, a model for fighting a new generation of terrorist groups.
The Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal the legal and operational details of its targeted-killing program. Behind closed doors, painstaking debates precede each decision to place an individual in the cross hairs of the United States’ perpetual war against al-Qaeda and its allies.
Spanish unemployment tops 25 percent
Spain announced Friday that its unemployment rate broke the 25-percent barrier for the first time as austerity cuts squeezed the recession-struck economy.
Tens of thousands of jobs were destroyed in the third quarter, even as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government raised taxes, cut spending and pondered whether to snatch a eurozone rescue line.
The unemployment rate rose to 25.02 percent in the third quarter from 24.63 percent in the previous three months, a National Statistic Institute report showed.
Among workers aged 16-24 the jobless rate towered at 52.34 percent in the third quarter, only slightly down from 53.27 percent in the previous quarter, the institute said.
No reliable intelligence during Benghazi attack: U.S.
US military leaders ruled out sending in forces during the attack on an American consulate in Libya last month because of a lack of reliable intelligence, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
Although forces were on alert and ready to launch an operation if needed, the US military commander for Africa, General Carter Ham, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and Panetta all decided against any intervention as they had no clear picture of events unfolding in Benghazi, he said.
“There’s a basic principle here, and the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told a news conference.
“And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who’s …in that area, General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
Children’s Defense Fund: PA Republicans ‘starving children’ to punish new moms
A bill introduced by a group of Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania this week set off alarms at the Children’s Defense Fund, which told Raw Story on Thursday that the proposal boils down to “starving children” in order to punish women for giving birth while on taxpayer-funded welfare.
“This is absolutely outrageous,” Patti Hassler, spokesperson for the Children’s Defense Fund, told Raw Story. “Children do not choose their parents and should not be punished for whatever their parents’ actions are. Starving a child, no matter the circumstances of birth or actions of the parents, is always wrong. It’s just outrageous.”
If only we could turn the Children's Defense Fund loose on this sociopathic moron:
Chevron Gives $2.5 Million to Conservative Super PAC - Oil company's donation to Super PAC is largest corporate gift ever to this kind of group
The dearth of large contributions being made by big corporations to super PACs so far this election has ended.
Chevron Corp., ranked No. 3 on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies, made a $2.5 million contribution on Oct. 7 to the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing Republicans to the House and Senate. ...
Chevron becomes at least the fifth Fortune 500 company to give to super PACs this election, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of corporate giving, and by far, the largest. Others include Florida-based Fidelity National Information Services (425th), which gave the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future $75,000; CONSOL Energy (399th), which donated $150,000 to the group; Alpha Natural Resources (356th), which gave $100,000 to American Crossroads; and Caesars Entertainment Corp. (288th), which gave $150,000 to Majority PAC.
Brazilian Indigenous tribe denies mass suicide reports, says it plans mass resistance
A Brazilian organization representing an Indigenous tribe in the country’s south-west denied local and international reports that spread online Thursday claiming a group of Guarani-Kaiowa were planning to commit mass suicide if a judge ordered them off their ancestral lands.
Ruy Sposati, a spokesperson for the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), said the Guarani-Kaiowa group of about 170 people planned mass resistance to the death, not mass suicide, to protect their lands in a southwestern Brazilian state.
Sposati said they would rather be massacred than leave their lands where their ancestors have been buried. ... The group of Guarani-Kaiowa has been fighting for over a century to reclaim lands they lost in the late 1800s and early 1900s to a tea company that forged a deed to their territory.
They were further displaced by a Brazilian government program to populate the southwestern state of Mato Gross do Sul in the 1920s and later by cattle ranchers and now agro-businesses growing things like soy and corn.
Fish near Fukushima still contaminated: study
Elevated levels of cesium found in fish off Japan’s east coast 18 months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster suggest a “continuing source” of radiation in the ocean, a new study has revealed.
Marine chemist Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reviewed official Japanese data on radiation levels in fish, shellfish and seaweed collected near the crippled nuclear plant.
Buesseler concluded the lingering contamination may be due to low-level leaks from the facility or contaminated sediment on the ocean floor, according to his research, published Thursday in the US magazine Science.
He estimated that about 40 percent of fish caught near Fukushima are considered unfit for consumption under Japanese regulations.
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
A Little Night Music
Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, Vassar Clements, Keith Nelson - Six levels below plant life
L. C. Robinson - She Got It From the Start
L. C. Robinson - L. C. Shuffle
L. C. Robinson - Things so bad in California
L.C. Robinson - Somerville Blues
Papa John Creach - Papa Johns Down Home Blues
Papa John Creach - Bumble Bee Blues
Papa John Creach - Git Fiddler
Papa John Creach with Hot Tuna - Uncle Sam Blues
Papa John Creach with Hot Tuna - Walking the Toutou
Papa John Creach - Janitor Drives A Cadillac
Papa John Creach - Papa Blues
Clarence Gatemouth Brown w/Canned Heat - Live at Montreux
Clarence Gatemouth Brown w/Canned Heat - Worried Life Blues
Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?
Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.
Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." ~ Noam Chomsky