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Archive for the ‘war’ Category

Every so often, something reminds you that good fortune has brought you in touch with a remarkable family. Friendship seems to work that way: it brings families as well as individuals together.

When my mother came to the United States from the Netherlands after World War II, she lived in Minneapolis to see if my dad would make up his mind and propose to her. Meantime, she took a summer job waiting tables at Yellowstone National Park. There she met a co-worker named Jane, a smart woman my mom’s age. They became friends.

About the time my mom and dad married in 1953, Jane married Franz Gayl in Minneapolis. The Gayls had two children: a daughter, Ilse, and a son, Franz, Jr. Today the Washington Post published an article about Franz, Jr. that begins:

Franz Gayl made a name for himself a few years ago as a Marine Corps whistleblower, a civilian scientist who helped push the Pentagon to shift its Iraqi weapons strategy. Senators called him a hero for disclosures that helped get heavily armored vehicles known as MRAPs to the battlefield.

To reward Franz for his efforts, the Marine Corps stripped his security clearance and tried to place him on administrative leave. As another article put it, what was left of his career is over.

A few years ago I visited Jane and Franz’s stepfather Arthur Pejsa in Minneapolis. Franz had recently assumed the troublemaker’s arduous role at the Pentagon. Arthur warned that Franz placed his career at risk if he didn’t keep quiet. According to the Washington Post report, Arthur was right. You try to get the government to do the right thing, and your career is over.

I told Arthur at the time that some things are more important than your career. We needed people who would speak truthfully about the war in Iraq. At the time Franz started to speak up, the Pentagon would not even provide extra armor for its Humvees, let alone buy the more expensive MRAPs.

You may remember the soldier who challenged Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when he met with troops in Iraq. The soldier asked Rumsfeld why his men had to go scavenging in local junkyards to find extra metal to protect their vehicles. Rumsfeld’s answer amounted to, “Suck it up. You don’t always get what you want.” Indeed. Many men and women died in Iraq because their government didn’t provide them with the proper equipment.

One person persistently prodded and pushed for better armor — appealed to the Marines’ sense of honor not to leave their soldiers unprotected. What did he get? Fired. Our government should have piled honors on him because he tried hard to make people do the right thing. He tried to lead and speak openly in an organization that prizes only good followers, and leaders who follow the rules. So the Marines dismissed him.

You have to wonder how we can win wars or defend ourselves when we treat our best people that way. I hope Franz finds a way to contribute as a scientist — talented people can usually cope with obstacles. Whatever he accomplishes, though, our armed forces won’t receive the benefit. Once people show you the door, they don’t welcome you back. To clear up uncertainty about that, the Pentagon should post a sign on its front door: FREE THINKERS AND UPSTARTS NOT WELCOME. GO AWAY.

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Nothing to add to what’s been said about this by others.

Just my attempt to get a threadjacking off IPR and bring it to where it is on subject. That is, here.

If you have thoughts on the question, whether you find this from IPR or elsewhere, please add them in the comments.

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Candidate Endorsement: Chris Bennett for Vice President

Chris Bennett[NOTE: Originally posted on Last Free Voice]

As you are hopefully all by now aware, longtime LFV contributor Chris Bennett is seeking the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination. While he would have my support simply for being an LFV contributor and a great guy, there is so much more to his candidacy that I have decided to formally endorse his bid for the LP Vice Presidential nomination.

Chris is 35 years old (will be 36 on August 30th) and lives in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado. As an interesting aside, Chris was classmates with Matt Stone, co-creator of “South Park”.

Chris has been married to Evonne Bennett for eight years, and they have two children, Brandon (age 7) and Charity (age 9). He will graduate in May from the University of Illinois at Springfield, with a degree in Political Studies, and a minor in Economics. As such, there should be no question that he has the education to back up his candidacy, especially when compared with other LP candidates (including many of those seeking the LP’s Presidential nomination).

Chris also has the actual experience to back him up. As a libertarian activist for the last 16 years, he has volunteered on four presidential campaigns, three of them Libertarians. He was Scheduling Coordinator for the late Aaron Russo during his 2004 presidential campaign, and was also heavily involved in the Marrou and Badnarik presidential campaigns. He is currently the Legislative Chair for the Libertarian Party of Illinois, where he has fought for better ballot access for third parties in one of the most difficult ballot access states in the country.

Chris announced his candidacy right here on Last Free Voice last year, and his platform is as follows:

I will not make promises I can not keep. I do not have 200,000 dollars in future contributions and I am not endorsed by a famous dead person. However there are some promises I will keep:

I am strongly against the invasion and the “police action” in Iraq and will help push for an anti-war resolution at the Denver Convention.

I am against a fair tax and I will continue to fight to decrease the tax burden for all Americans.

I will continue to fight to restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights and fight to eliminate the Patriot Act, the Real ID Act, the Military Commissions Act and the North American Union.

As an African-American, I will use my candidacy to recruit more minorities and women into the libertarian movement.

As a soon-to-be college graduate, I will continue to convince younger voters and non-voters that the Libertarian Party is the future not the two “boot on your neck” parties and use my candidacy to re-energize libertarian college campus and local organizations across the country.

If I am nominated, I will help/assist state parties on getting our presidential ticket on their respective state ballots.

If I am nominated, I will assist serious Libertarian candidates running for office in all facets of their campaign across the country.

The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over. Our VP candidate should be as active as our Presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our Presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.

Chris has been working hard to spread the word about his candidacy, and in fact he is one of the few Libertarian candidates to get attention from the mainstream press. Even better, he received FRONT PAGE attention in a major newspaper, the Springfield State Journal-Register.

By BERNARD SCHOENBURG
POLITICAL WRITER

Published Monday, October 15, 2007

At 6-foot-9, Chris Bennett is hard to miss. And his political aspirations match his height.

Bennett, 35, a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is hoping to become the vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.

“The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over,” said Bennett in a news release announcing his quest last week. “Our VP candidate should be as active as our presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.”

Bennett was soft-spoken as he explained in an interview how he realized, after working on Bill Clinton’s primary campaign in 1992, that he didn’t really believe in Clinton’s platform.

“I just didn’t like how he wanted more government in more stuff,” Bennett said. “I didn’t like government having more control over the health-care situation, as Hillary tried to do and she’s proposing to do now.”

So, Bennett said, “I went soul searching.”

“The Republicans didn’t feel right,” he said. “They never really do reach out to minorities or a lot of women. And the Democrats, it just seems like they were taking the black vote for granted. So I decided ‘I’m going to search for another party.’”

Bennett had seen a Libertarian Party convention on C-SPAN. The convention included an African-American candidate for the presidential nomination, Richard Boddie.

“He was saying stuff that I really agreed with,” said Bennett, who is black.

Bennett now has been a Libertarian activist for more than 15 years, including working as scheduling coordinator during the late Aaron Russo’s 2004 attempt to be the Libertarian nominee for president.

“For the longest time, I used to carry a Constitution in my back pocket,” Bennett said, “so if anybody wanted to get in a philosophical, constitutional argument, I could whip out my Constitution.”

Bennett doesn’t think the country’s leaders are adhering to the Constitution, including going to war in Iraq without a formal declaration of war. Among his platform planks are “restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights,” including elimination of the Patriot Act and a proposed federal “Real ID” identification card. He said both invade people’s privacy.

He’d like to see lower taxes, with eventual elimination of the Internal Revenue Service.

Bennett frequently posts on Web sites, including one called

lastfreevoice.com, often in strong language.

“Jesse Jackson has taken up the anti-gun issue only because he failed as a ‘civil rights’ leader and pushes his new agenda to re-invent himself,” Bennett claims in one entry. “Just remember Hitler forced his people to give up their guns and look what happened; millions died in concentration camps. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; I’ll defend those values with my gun to protect my right to bear arms.”

Bennett said he actually doesn’t own a gun, but believes in the right to own one.

He’s also taken off on television preachers who get rich through their appeals.

“TV evangelists are the scum of the Christian community,” he said, writing about recent allegations of misspending by Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts. “Isn’t it immoral to steal from your contributors for your own lavish lifestyles …? Who do they think they are — the GOVERNMENT?”

And in an essay chastising Democrats for not doing more to get U.S. troops out of Iraq, he refers to the president as “Fuhrer Bush.”

Bennett is pro-life on abortion, which goes against the Libertarian platform. But he thinks other Libertarians may be coming around. He also thinks steps should be taken to legalize drugs.

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bennett moved to Littleton, Colo., at age 9. He’s been married to his wife, Evonne, for 71/2 years, and they have two children. He moved to Springfield in 2005 to attend UIS.

While he said rural or suburban Libertarians might not be keyed into the issue of race relations, those from urban areas are, and he thinks the party is good for African-Americans.

In addition to ending discriminatory drug laws, which he blames for too many blacks being in prison, the Libertarians’ anti-tax sentiment would also help, Bennett said.

“If we lower taxes, people would be more able to get the house that they want or be able to contribute to their church or their social organization a little bit more,” he said. People could also “save for a rainy day.”

“I know a lot of people who would like to start their own IRA account, but they can’t because they’re taxed so much,” Bennett said.

Clearly, Chris interacts well with the media, and is able to get across his point intelligently, but also in a way that the average person can easily understand.

For the above reasons, I endorse Chris Bennett, without reservation, for the Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential candidacy.

This brings me to another point. Chris is in desperate need of donations, to help him get to the Libertarian Party Convention in Denver. As a family man working his way through college, with a wife and two children, he is far from wealthy. Not only will he need the funds for travel and hotel, plus incidentals such as food and beverage, he will also need the funds to print brochures, to hand out to the delegates in order to get the votes he needs.

We all give money to other candidates, whether Ron Paul or Steve Kubby or George Phillies, or someone else. We need to start giving money for Chris’s campaign, because unless he can afford to get to Denver, he will be unable to continue his campaign. It would be a travesty if a qualified candidate such as Chris was not seriously considered for the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination, solely because he lacks the funds to attend the convention. We can do much better than that, especially with a candidate who has proven his worth. If we all pitch in, we can get Chris to Denver.

You can make donations to Chris’s campaign by clicking here, or you can click directly on the “donate” link on his website, which will take you to the same place. You can donate by credit card, debit card, or by setting up other payment arrangements via PayPal.

While I normally would never ask anyone to donate to a specific campaign, I’m making an exception in this case. Chris is “one of us”, a valuable and respected member of the blogosphere, a valuable and respected contributor to Last Free Voice, and a valuable and respected member of the libertarian movement, who has given freely not only of his time and expertise on other campaigns, but also has managed to engage in hands-on activism while in college and trying to raise a family.

Chris is not just another libertarian on the internet, waxing philosophical about libertarianism, who suddenly decides he should be nominated to represent the LP in a lofty position; nor is is a Johnny-Come-Lately to the LP who suddenly decided he should be nominated for for the Vice Presidency; he has actually made many years of sacrifices which benefit us all, and he has the experience and education to back up his campaign for the Vice Presidency.

Unlike many candidates, Chris is not looking to raise millions. He has set a goal of $3000 to attend the LP Convention, and since I used to live in Denver, I can assure you that it’s a very reasonable goal, especially since it will also cover the costs of his campaign brochures.

I have made a commitment to donate $100 to Chris’s campaign, to help him get to Denver. If only 29 more people match that commitment (and I know there are many others who can afford to do so), Chris will have met his goal. However, even if you can only spare $10, or $20, or $50 – or if you can give the legal maximum of $2300 per person, or $4600 per married couple – you can rest easy with that donation, knowing Chris is a tried and proven libertarian, and a candidate who has actually earned that donation through his many years of activism on behalf of libertarians everywhere.

Please, help spread the word. Let’s raise the funds necessary to get Chris to Denver!

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I found this very disturbing local story while looking for updates on the cop who hit and killed a pedestrian, dragged his body under the police cruiser for over half a mile, then claimed he didn’t know he had hit anyone.

Soldiers dying in their sleepApparently a lot of young soldiers are making it through the war, and coming home only to die in their sleep unexpectedly. Even more strangely, this has happened three times within a three-week period, to three families in West Virginia who live within an hour of one another.

Is the Veterans Administration giving returning soldiers a fatal cocktail of medication for post-traumatic stress disorder? It certainly seems that way, since all three of these young men were taking the same drug cocktail. Healthy young men don’t just die in their sleep. Something stopped their respiration while they were sleeping, and I’d guess it was the drugs they were prescribed combined with their disturbed sleep patterns.

I haven’t heard anything about this in the national media. Is this a national epidemic? It’s possible that it is, and journalists just haven’t put the pieces together to realize that.

Clearly, anyone reading this who is taking that combination of drugs (or knows someone else who is taking it) needs to contact their doctor immediately.

“He would normally stay up watching TV at night because it was hard for him to sleep and I went ahead and went to bed. The next morning when I got up, I found him on the couch, he was in the same position he was in when he went to sleep and he was already gone,” Layne said.

A soldier from Kanawha City, Eric Layne left behind an 18-month old son and a baby girl on the way.

Meanwhile, Logan County resident Cheryl Endicott’s son Nicholas died January 29th while being treated at a military hospital in Bethesda.

He too reportedly went to bed and never woke up.

“They told me that at 10:55, they entered his room, he was non-responsive, had no pulse so they deceased him right then and there,” said Endicott.

Finally, on February 12th Stan and Shirley White lost their son Andrew, another Kanawha County service member who stopped breathing in his sleep. For the Whites, it was the second son they said goodbye too. Robert White died while serving in Afghanistan.

“You’re always expecting and fearing when your children are at war that they’re not going to make it back. They don’t come back and lie in their bed, go to sleep and die. That doesn’t happen. That’s not supposed to happen,” Stan White said.

Each family heard about the others’ tragedies and eventually compared stories.

All three men were in their 20s, served in Iraq and died in their sleep within a three-week period, but that’s only the beginning of the similarities.

Each military man was being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had started exhibiting the same strange behavior and symptoms.

“Excessive weight gain, anger management disturbed sleep patterns, tremors,” White said.

The young men were each taking a number of prescription drugs before they died, but the combination they all had in common includes Paxil, Klonopin and Seroquel.

You can read the rest of this extremely disturbing article here.

___________________________

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

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Libertarian Party logoWHEREAS the government of the United States should return to its historical libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures and;

WHEREAS the armed forces of the United States have invaded Iraq, a foreign nation that neither directly attacked nor imminently threatened to attack the United States and;

WHEREAS the injustice and imprudence of this invasion cannot be undone by the continued presence of the armed forces of the United States in Iraq and;

WHEREAS the stability and security of Iraq lie outside the jurisdiction of the government of the United States;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party National Committee calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States without undue delay.

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

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Bush pinocchioAt this point, there should be no doubt in the mind of any intelligent person that George W. Bush has repeatedly lied and altered the truth to fit his own agenda. His “war on terror”, based on lies and prevarications, has resulted in the deaths of untold numbers of people – both Americans and Iraqis – and the deaths are unlikely to end in the foreseeable future as he continues and expands his warmongering.

However, just exactly how dishonest is this guy? Are his lies restricted to his “war on terror”, or do his lies go much, much further?

Finally, we have the answer. It appears that he regularly lies and twists the truth with the specific intent of misleading Congress and the American public on other important issues as well. As if that’s not bad enough, he also edits official reports to leave out information he doesn’t want us to know. Worst of all, he seems to be doing this in order to further his own financial interests, and that of his friends in the oil industry.

Here is the House Oversight Committee’s Executive Summary of their investigation into allegations that the Bush administration has improperly manipulated the findings of scientists with regard to global warming.

For the past 16 months, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating allegations of political interference with government climate change science under the Bush Administration. During the course of this investigation, the Committee obtained over 27,000 pages of documents from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Commerce Department, held two investigative hearings, and deposed or interviewed key officials. Much of the information made available to the Committee has never been publicly disclosed.

This report presents the findings of the Committee’s investigation. The evidence before the Committee leads to one inescapable conclusion: the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.

In 1998, the American Petroleum Institute developed an internal “Communications Action Plan” that stated: “Victory will be achieved when … average citizens understand’ uncertainties in climate science … [and] recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the ‘conventional wisdom.’” The Bush Administration has acted as if the oil industry’s communications plan were its mission statement. White House officials and political appointees in the agencies censored congressional testimony on the causes and impacts of global warming, controlled media access to government climate scientists, and edited federal scientific reports to inject unwarranted uncertainty into discussions of climate change and to minimize the threat to the environment and the economy.

Here is a listing of their findings:

The White House Censored Climate Scientists

The White House Controlled which Climate Scientists Could Speak with the Media

The White House Extensively Edited Congressional Testimony Regarding Climate Science

The Administration’s Censorship of Climate Scientists was Widespread

The White House Extensively Edited Climate Change Reports

The White House Edited the Strategic Plan of the Climate Change Science Program

The White House Edited EPA’s Report on the Environment

The White House Edited Our Changing Planet

The White House Eliminated the Climate Change Section of EPA’s Air Trends Report

The White House was Involved in Editing EPA’s Legal Opinions

The White House Edited the EPA Administrator’s Op-ed n Climate Change

And here is their conclusion:

The Committee’s 16-month investigation reveals a systematic White House effort to censor climate scientists by controlling their access to the press and editing testimony to Congress. The White House was particularly active in stifling discussions of the link between increased hurricane intensity and global warming. The White House also sought to minimize the significance and certainty of climate change by extensively editing government climate change reports. Other actions taken by the White House involved editing EPA legal opinions and op-eds on climate change.

I very strongly suggest you read the actual documents, linked under sources below, because it gives an interesting insight into just how dishonest George W. Bush really is, and how far he will go to hide the truth from Congress and the American people when it fits his various agendas to do so.

What I don’t understand, and will never understand, is why Congress hasn’t impeached this pathological liar.

____________________

Sources:

House Oversight Committee Synopsis of Findings

House Oversight Committee Report: Political Interference with Climate Change Science Under the Bush Administration

____________________

Originally written and posted by ElfNinosMom on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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Does this actually surprise anyone?

The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.

The C.I.A. said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made “within the C.I.A. itself,” and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.

So they destroyed evidence to save their own asses.  I’d be far more surprised if they didn’t do it, to be quite honest.  The CIA believes that it is a law unto itself, and always has.

I doubt it was really done to protect the safety of undercover officers, though.  It was undoubtedly done to cover up evidence of war crimes.

Source:  New York Times

Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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Bush lies. Again.

Bush devilBush devilBush continues to ignore the latest report about Iran’s nuclear program, claiming Iran is a serious nuclear threat, while simultaneously taking credit for the end of Iran’s nuclear program.

Huh?

Is it just me, or does that not make any sense at all?

The Bush administration has spent years warning that Iran’s development of nuclear power plants and enriched uranium masked an effort to produce an atomic bomb. But in a reversal of a 2005 report, the National Intelligence Estimate released Monday concluded that Iran suspended nuclear weapons work in late 2003 and was unlikely to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb until at least 2010.

Instead of focusing on that reversal, Bush has continued to stress that the report confirms long-standing suspicions that Iran had a nuclear weapons program in the first place. He said Wednesday that Tehran “has more to explain about its nuclear intentions and past actions,” including a weapons program “which the Iranian regime has yet to acknowledge.”

But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the report was “a declaration of victory” for Iran in the face of international pressure to suspend his country’s production of nuclear fuel.

“Iran is a peaceful nuclear country now, and they have all accepted Iran as a nuclear country and have announced they will stand a nuclear Iran,” Ahmadinejad said Wednesday.

But Bush said Tuesday the report “doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world.” And Perino called Ahmadinejad a “liar” Wednesday, because the new NIE shows that Tehran did have a clandestine nuclear weapons program at one time.

“If anyone wants to call the president a liar, they are misreading the situation for their own political purposes,” Perino said. “The liar is Ahmadinejad, and he has a lot of explaining to do.”

In the August meeting, the White House said, McConnell told Bush “that the intelligence community would not be able to meet a congressionally imposed deadline requiring a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran because new information had been obtained.”

Perino said this information showed the White House was correct in believing that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, which it halted only because of Bush’s policies.

“The international pressure — and the president’s approach — has worked,” she said.

So anyone who dares to question the warmongering Bush is “misreading the situation for their own political purposes”, but Bush never misreads anything even though he continues to claim Iran is an imminent nuclear threat despite reports that they do not presently have a nuclear program, and haven’t had one since 2003.

Yeah, that makes sense. Not.

On the bright side, we have less than a year before Dear Leader Bush has no choice but to leave the White House.

Source: CNN

Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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Bush devilBush devil I thought I’d post this before it goes down the memory hole …..

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/world/middleeast/03cnd-iran.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to be explosive in the middle of tense international negotiations aimed at getting Iran to halt its nuclear energy program, and in the middle of a presidential campaign during which a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear program has been discussed.

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran’s ultimate intentions about gaining a nuclear weapon remain unclear, but that Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.”

Of course, a delusional sociopathic warmonger like Bush would never let little things like facts get in the way of his quest for world domination.

UPDATE: Not at all surprisingly, the Bush administration wasted no time twisting the above to fit their warmongering agenda. I received the following in a Google Breaking News update:

WASHINGTON (AP) Iran halted its nuclear weapons development program in the fall of 2003 under international pressure but is continuing to enrich uranium and could develop a weapon as early as 2010, senior intelligence officials said Monday.

Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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George PhilliesWe Don’t Attack Our Allies

share_data={max_recipients:20}

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Phillies: We Don’t Invade Our Allies

“It’s very simple. Invading a foreign country is an act of war,” Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies said in answer to fellow candidate Barack Obama. “I am shocked that an allegedly serious Presidential candidate would call for invading Pakistan. Not only is Pakistan an ally, but it is a nuclear power.”

Under pressure from Republican opponents and fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton that he appeared too soft on terrorism, on August 1 Senator Obama said* that the United States might invade Pakistan to pursue Al Qaeda members. Obama said “I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear…If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

Phillies strongly disagrees. “Thank goodness Obama is not our President. It has always been understood that when you invade a foreign country you are potentially at war with them. President of Musharaf of Pakistan is honor-bound to defend his country. He cannot afford to look weak. Apparently these issues are beyond Senator Obama’s understanding of foreign affairs.” Phillies asks Mr. Obama, ‘What is your working plan if the Pakistanis respond to our act of war with their own acts of war? They might arm the guerrillas now fighting our forces in Iraq. They might send their army to deny us bases in Afghanistan. Worse, Pakistan knows that their nuclear arsenal is not secure against an American strike. Any militarist can start a war. Stopping one is far more challenging.’

In a recent statement on pursuing Al Qaeda, Professor Phillies said that the United States needs to stop fighting “the last war,” and update its tactics. “Finding Mr. Bin Laden is a job for spies, not a job for tank divisions. The Afghan people have been governing themselves for a very long time. They will not long tolerate foreign occupation, even ours. Only a Libertarian President will give the Bin Laden problem to the right people.”

*For the text of Senator Obama’s speech: http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/remarks_of_senator_obama_the_w_1.php To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit http://phillies2008.org/donation.

Contact Information:
Carolyn Marbry,Press Director
pressdirector@phillies2008.org
(510) 276-3216
http://phillies2008.org

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A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Iraq War veterans against the US Department of Veterans Affairs. A copy of the lawsuit complaint may be seen at http://www.mofo.com/docs/pdf/PTSD070723.pdf

Along with a plethora of abuses alleged in that lawsuit, it is additionally alleged (as previously touched upon in this forum, when I noted that this is a longstanding action dating back to at least the early 1980s) that the VA has conspired with the Pentagon to falsely categorize veterans as suffering from preexisting personality disorders, as a way of denying them their veteran benefits.

According to the lawsuit, the Veterans Administration has a backlog of between 400,000 and 600,000 claims. It states that it takes 177 days to process an initial claim, and 657 days to process an appeal, and some benefit claims take up to ten years to decide while injured veterans suffer and, sometimes, die awaiting necessary care. The suit additionally compares this timeline to healthcare claims made in the private sector, which take on average less than 70 days to decide.

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, senior VA officials were given $3.8 million in bonuses during 2005, the same year in which the VA spent $1 billion over budget while timely and appropriate treatment of injured veterans continued to decline.

Most recently, there have been a rash of suicides by Iraq War veterans, which were attributed to the agency’s failure to provide sufficient and appropriate mental health care to war veterans.

The law firm representing the veterans, Morrison and Foerster, stated that the lawsuit does not seek to make a statement about the war, but instead is intended to force action on veterans’ benefit issues.

Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a sharply worded decision regarding the failure of the VA to pay retroactive benefits to Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and suffered from a form of leukemia, “The performance of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has contributed substantially to our sense of national shame.”

According to the newest complaint, which seeks a court order directing the Veterans Administration to make drastic changes in order to properly and timely treat injured and ill veterans, “Unless systemic and drastic measures are instituted immediately, the costs to these veterans, their families and our nation will be incalculable, including broken families, a new generation of unemployed and homeless veterans, increases in drug abuse and alcoholism, and crushing burdens on the health care delivery system.”

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Reno GonzalezFrom Reno Gonzalez’s myspace blog…..

Understand this please…
Current mood: peacefulfor those that do not yet understand; I am not at Elaine or Ed’s home any longer.

There are three stories, what I was told by Ed and what Ed tells others, then the real reason. You can go ask ed why, I am tired of the lies flying around. Just another distraction from the stand I have taken on and it needs support.

Understand this…

I am working at holding our very own government accountable for the wrongs in the past and in the here and now.

I am not holding a protest march, not asking for permission to stand on a corner to tell others the truth… I am not giving into the non laws that control us.

I was sad to leave the home, but they made the choice to ask me to leave. But that does not mean much to me really. Sitting on my ass waiting for what? Security, I gave my two cents… And got nothing.

Waiting? For what? Ask to leave? Yes I was, but being on the move is where I am more at ease. Waiting for what!?!

If not me then who? If not now then when?

I have not gone home. I have been helping others setup their own orgs to networks and reach out to others…

I am not going home. Not while I still have the means… And the means I have. Thanks to your very own support and from the donations to the cause that moves this movement forward.

I will not ask for permission to continue, I have the personal responsibility to push myself forward. I determine my own level of involvement.

I sit on my ass only when I have to drive and eat. Sometimes both of those at the same time.

I cannot just sit and wait for others to wake up. So I am pushing myself to find others that are ready to cut the bullshit off. Too god damn many are hurt everyday just waiting… fuck that!

I have some interesting news for you all…

For those of you that did not know, Cindy Sheehan is going to Jordan, Syria and then to Iraq as part of her peace efforts.

A good friend of mine called and updated me about the Camp Casey’s change of command and then went on to explain the peace efforts that he will be joining Cindy Sheehan on. After a long pause, I offered my services to the group going.

He and I talked at length about what would be expected and I assured him I was ready. This is not my first time to Iraq and this is not my first time at a war zone. Nor is it my first time placing myself in harms way.

It has occurred to many that I have been allowed to travel freely about after my time with the Elaine and Ed Brown.

And I myself wonder; along with others if I will be grabbed at the airport or will they wait to allow me to leave and have someone else do their dirty work… Either way… This is new for me…

A chance to work with people that are known and actively working to end what I first saw as a must be stopped war.

I mean I have done the anti war marches and the peace marches, but none of them I felt really did anything. And the coverage was just suck.

Cindy on the other hand, moves around and gets in people’s faces and demands answers. And demands them then and there. My kinda activist.

I remember hearing about Cindy going to Cuba, and I so fucking wanted to go meet that group there… But instead I set my focus on something that could be tracked and explained to bring our government back to the people’s will and control; and hold those that lied accountable for their actions.

On Easter weekend of this year I met Cindy in person. It was part of my trip on my way to offer my services to Elaine and Ed Brown. Funny how some things work out.

Once I have things all set I will update my status on my work here at home. Perhaps I could blog about my account of what happens over seas…

IF, I am not able to go with them on their “Peace Efforts”… Then I will carry on here. California and Arizona have been asking for a meeting there and I want to go talk to them.

Plus I understand that Bree Walker would like to speak with me… I would love to visit Camp Casey again…

Reno

I am glad to hear that someone with experience in a war zone will be accompanying Ms. Sheehan, and I send their entire peace party the very best wishes for a safe and fruitful journey.

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Road To GuantanamoAccording to this article, we’re supposed to believe that prisoners being held at Gitmo are being treated as if they’re merely guests of the goverment, while the only real abuse is directed at the guards.

However, it’s far more likely that the government is sending military members back to the states with strict orders to report that all is well at Gitmo. It’s easy to get them to do that, after all, especially if the person in question is an officer with a pension on the line, as with the person who gave the information for this story. It’s even easier when the military member knows that they, too, can be declared an enemy combatant and simply disappear if they dare to speak the truth about the atrocities they have witnessed. There is also the fear that they will be discharged due to a nonexistent “personality disorder”, and thus shamed and stripped of the civilian benefits of having served voluntarily and honorably in the armed forces.

That’s nothing new, incidentally. The military was discharging soldiers on the basis of alleged preexisting personality disorders in the early 1980s, when I served in Air Force Intelligence Operations. Those airmen were not mentally ill, and in fact were extraordinarily good at their specialties; however, they had committed the unspeakable crime of not remaining silent against what they perceived to be wrong, and branding them mentally deficient is the military’s way of silencing them. Once they are so categorized, the military can easily discount anything they may later say against the military’s interest. But, I digress.

Like so many in the current administration, this Brigadier General (for those unfamiliar with military ranks, that’s a one-star General) believes it’s acceptable to hold people in a lawless prison environment long-term with no charges, and no hearing, because they’re “enemy combatants” …… and he really and truly thinks there’s a difference between enemy combatants and prisoners of war, which causes Geneva Convention protections to not apply to enemy combatants. Yet the only real difference is that prisoners of war are captured while engaging in war, while enemy combatants are, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped. In other words, while he is willing to toe the military line and is quite successful in that position, in the civilian world his brainwashing would render him, for all intents and purposes, useless.

If prisoners at Gitmo are specifically classified as not being prisoners of war, for whom torture is forbidden under the Geneva Convention, does the government actually expect us to believe that these men are not being tortured? It’s quite obvious that the only reason to classify them differently is so that they can be tortured without violating the Convention.

What’s most sickening about this particular article, beyond the brainwashing aspect, is that it is being distributed and touted as truth on a discussion list for paralegals, who should definitely know better than to mindlessly accept what the government says. Or maybe, just maybe, these particular paralegals know just enough to be dangerous. (more…)

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From ABC News:

A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to “crank up the violence level.”

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

“We were told to crank up the violence level,” said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: “We beat people, sir.”

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.

Lopezromo said the suspected insurgent was known to his neighbors as the “prince of jihad,” and had been arrested several times and later released by the Iraqi legal system.

Unable to find him, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it appear he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Four Marines and the corpsman, initially charged with murder in the April 2006 killing, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been given jail sentences ranging from 10 months to eight years. Thomas, 25, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and is the first defendant to go to court-martial.

Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.

“I don’t see it as an execution, sir,” he told the judge. “I see it as killing the enemy.”

Read the rest of this disturbing story here.

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Yes, I know, I already had this up in the comments section, but more people probably read this than that, so I thought I’d put it up on the wall too…

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From ABC News:

The CIA ran secret prisons in Europe, including in Poland, said the head of a European investigation who was to present new findings Friday on what he has called a “spider’s web” of human rights abuses during the war on terror.

“We have proof, on the basis of information collected, of the existence of illegal prisons in countries closely collaborating with the United States, such as Poland,” the French daily Le Figaro quoted Swiss senator Dick Marty as saying.

Marty, leading an inquiry on behalf of the Council of Europe, has spoken to former CIA agents to corroborate his earlier accusations against Poland and Romania, where he suggested CIA planes landed to drop off detainees, a person familiar with the investigation said.

Marty was to release his latest findings Friday. In Romania, a senator who headed a panel investigating the allegations on behalf of the Romanian parliament rejected Marty’s conclusions.

“The report is totally unfounded,” Norica Nicolai said on news television Realitatea TV. “There are very serious allegations and I would not have expected a European lawmaker to make such serious accusations without evidence.”

President Traian Basescu’s former security adviser Sergiu Medar also denied allegations Romania’s military intelligence department was involved in the CIA prison scandal.

Read the rest of the story here.

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By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 7 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility and move its terror suspects to military prisons elsewhere, The Associated Press has learned.

Senior administration officials said Thursday a consensus is building for a proposal to shut the center and transfer detainees to one or more Defense Department facilities, including the maximum-security military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where they could face trial.

President Bush’s national security and legal advisers had been scheduled to discuss the move at a meeting Friday, the officials said, but after news of it broke, the White House said the meeting would not take place that day and no decision on Guantanamo Bay’s status is imminent.

“It’s no longer on the schedule for tomorrow,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “Senior officials have met on the issue in the past, and I expect they will meet on the issue in the future.”

Three senior administration officials spoke about the discussions on condition of anonymity because they were internal deliberations.

Expected to consult soon, according to the officials, were Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace.

Previous plans to close Guantanamo ran into resistance from Cheney, Gonzales and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. But officials said the new suggestion is gaining momentum with at least tacit support from the State and Homeland Security departments, the Pentagon and the Intelligence directorate.

Cheney’s office and the Justice Department have been against the step, arguing that moving “unlawful” enemy combatant suspects to the U.S. would give them undeserved legal rights. (more…)

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A while back I wrote about the Energy Vortex and others have commented on the same issue.

The most cited instance of this is the War in Iraq (and possibly Afghanistan; it may have had a lot to do with the proposed oil pipeline through Afghanistan).

This view of

Operation
Iraqi
Liberation

has worked its way into popular culture:

Many have denied the connection, but the new Iraqi Oil Law
makes it harder to give any credibility to such denials.

Nor is the regime’s energy fascism solely confined to grand projects abroad; sometimes, it can also be quite petty and domestic.
Francois Tremblay
reports:

Despite his good intentions, the state fined Teixeira $1,000 for not paying motor fuel taxes. North Carolina officials also told him that to legally use veggie oil here he’d have to first post a $2,500 bond.

Such penalties have also been levied against other North Carolina drivers whose vehicles were powered by alternative fuels.

It’s enough to make you do a Katrina Clap…

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H/T djomama

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Jimmy CarterCRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) – The White House on Sunday fired back at former President Jimmy Carter, calling him “increasingly irrelevant” a day after Carter described George W. Bush’s presidency as the worst in history in international relations.Carter, a Democrat, said on Saturday in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.”White House spokesman Tony Fratto had declined to react on Saturday but on Sunday fired back.“I think it’s sad that President Carter’s reckless personal criticism is out there,” Fratto told reporters. “I think it’s unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.”Carter has been an outspoken critic of Bush, but the White House has largely refrained from attacking him in return. Sunday’s sharp response marks a departure from the deference that sitting presidents traditionally have shown their predecessors.In the newspaper interview, Carter said Bush had taken a “radical departure from all previous administration policies” with the Iraq war.“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” Carter said.In a separate BBC interview, Carter also denounced the close relationship between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.“Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient,” Carter said when asked how he would characterize Blair’s relationship with Bush.”I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world,” Carter said.Carter, who was president from 1977-1981 and won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his charitable work, was an outspoken opponent of the invasion of Iraq before it was launched in 2003. [Source: Reuters.com]

Across the blogosphere, conservatives are now making the rather shocking claim that 9/11 occurred as a result of Jimmy Carter’s policies. In a way, it’s amusing, since most of those bloggers are too young to even remember the Carter presidency. As a middle-aged left Libertarian, I remember it well. Jimmy Carter was the first president I ever voted for, although he lost that time around to Ronald Reagan. I voted for Carter because he is a humanist who believes in a strict policy of non-military intervention in international affairs, opting instead for diplomacy, except if our national security is directly threatened. After all, I was alive during Vietnam, and during the height of the Cold War, so that was (and will always be) an extremely important issue for me.

At the same time, it’s typical that conservatives would find a way to blame the actions of George W Bush – decades after Jimmy Carter left office – on a liberal. After all, they can’t blame themselves for re-electing a known warmonger who openly advocates torture and the erosion of our civil rights …. can they?

Let’s compare the two presidents.

Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. George W. Bush couldn’t even win second prize in a beauty contest on Monopoly.

Jimmy Carter is known as a peace-advocating diplomat, and a humanitarian. George W Bush is known as a lying, draft-dodging, bloodthirsty warmongerer.

Don’t blame a man, who advocated peace, for a war that started decades after he left office. And don’t just dismiss him because he dared to say what many, if not most, politically active Americans are already thinking.

Put the blame where the blame is due. This is a war based on lies and deceptions, all of which are directly traceable and attributable to the Bush administration. There were no WMDs, folks, and Bush knew there were no WMDs; but he attacked Iraq anyway because they might one day get WMDs. Huh? I’m still scratching my head about that one. Now, Bush wants to attack even more countries, and the Democrats have already backed off the promises they made when they were elected, to end the war in Iraq. Is it therefore any wonder that third parties are more attractive than ever to voters during the 2008 presidential election cycle? (more…)

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With all the attention we have been paying to Republican Presidential candidates Adolf Giuliani and Ron Paul lately, I thought it would be only fair to say a word or two about creepy warmonger
John McCain.

Here he is singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” and laughing about it.

What did the Iranians ever do? Never mind, war criminal McCain has never met a war he didn’t like.

McCain can’t help but remind me of the
Manchurian Candidate.

This illustrious member of the Keating Five Savings and Loan scandal Senators and noted gigolo is also well known for the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act.

Somewhat less well known is that he also co-sponsored the McCain/Lieberman gun show bill, which would have given the federal government the administrative power to prohibit all gun shows, and to register everyone who attends a gun show. According to wikipedia, “Since 2004, McCain has gained the unique distinction of receiving an F- rating from Gun Owners of America; and further unlike any other 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate has a dedicated section/compendium within the GOA web site, which contains numerous pages relating to John McCain’s very own anti-Second Amendment initiatives while in the Senate”.

Wikipedia also points out that he hired a board member of the Project for the New American Century, Randy Scheunemann, as his foreign-policy aide and is considering Billion Dollar Bob Riley for veep.

Oh, and his anti-torture provision? Not all it’s cracked up to be.

To sum it all up, I have to give McCain the maximum number of flushes.

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H/T Reason Hit & Run

Eric Dondero, who commented on some of last night’s debate threads, has made an announcement at Redstate.

I am this morning, declaring my candidacy for Congress in the GOP primaries against Ron Paul. If he does not resign his seat, and if another Republican candidate does not declare against him, I will run a balls-to-the-wall campaign for Congress in Texas CD 14. I am the guy that got Ron Paul elected to Congress in 1996. I can and will defeat him in 2008.

Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
1997-2003


Dondero says he’ll defer if another pro-war conservative, like former Rep. Steve Stockman, makes the run. Paul’s 1996 win was sort of miraculous, given how the national GOP marshalled its strength against him and even backed a Democratic opponent to keep him out of Congress. I’d guess the party will have too much to worry about in 2008 to back a Paul primary challenge (it’ll spend at least $3 million getting back Tom DeLay’s seat, for example), but this is the kind of thing that could attract a nice fat stream of web donations.

If Eric loses the primary, he has made plans to challenge RP in the general election as the candidate of the Lieberman Lebensraum for Amerika Party (not officially, at least not yet).

While I still endorse Steve Kubby for President, I’m happy to offer my endorsement to Ron Paul for reelection to Congress.

Ron Paul was of course clearly 100% correct in last night’s debate against Dondero’s fascist idol, Adolf Giuliani.

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Despite what a certain milk shake would like you to believe, Rudolf Giuliani Mussolini is As Far From Libertarian As Possible (click on the link to read about his early history as a psychotically deranged persecutor of victimless white collar “criminals”).

Even some of Giuliani’s admirers admit he has fascist tendencies. The amazing record of corruption and perfidy simply boggles the mind. Giuliani even had the incredible temerity to
try to stay on as mayor after his term was over.

Check out the comments at Serf City. Giuliani abused his mayoral office to go after cabbies, artists, street vendors, porn,
sex-related businesses, and anyone who did business without a license. His phony tax cuts were merely deficit spending – putting the tax bill on future victims, plus interest, while ducking the responsibility for his out of control spending, a favorite ploy of scumbag Rapepublicneoconartists.

Ron Moore reports,

Let’s take the pot smokers. One study points out that under Rudy’s Broken Windows policy, public-toking arrests rose 2000% from about 2000 in 1994 to over 50,000 by 2000 ( Harcourt & Ludwig, Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing and Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests in New York City, 1989-2000 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=948753). The study also finds that this had no measurable effect on violent crime.”

Furthermore,

Unfortunately, Rudy’s broken windows policy didn’t apply to Rudy’s buddies in the New York Police Department. An April 1999 article in Crime and Delinquency (Zero Tolerance: A Case Study in Police Policies and Practices in New York City, Judith Greene) points to a 75% increase in new civil rights claims against the police for abusive conduct. The article also points to a sharp increase in the number of complaints which resulted in no arrest and no summons and where there was no suspicion of criminal activity. Um – just why were people being stopped? What was Mayor Rudy’s response to growing concern about police misconduct? According to the article the new Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) funding was cut 17% compared to the agency it replaced.

Victim disarmament? According to Mike Blessing, Giuliani said on one of the

morning empty-talk shows that “We shouldn’t just try one of these [”gun control”] plans, we should try them all.”

Giuliani libertarian?

King George Dubai-ya Dubai-ya III Bush has gone a long way towards creating a fascist Amerikkka. Rudolf the coke nosed Fascist would go all the way. No libertarians should even remotely consider being fellow travellers in helping Ayatollah Giuliani set up his gulag regime.

We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

-Rudy

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Via Brad Spangler

Dana Rohrabacher wants me dead. Well, not just me. Dana Rohrabacher wants a whole bunch of Americans dead.

“I hope it’s your family members that [sic] die,” said US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to American citizens who questioned the Bush administration’s unlawful extraordinary rendition policies.

Rohrabacher, bring it you fucking traitor.

“But in 1969-71, Dana Rohrabacher was the most successful and most beloved libertarian activist… he was a close friend of mine until he crossed the line with his campaign for Congress. — Samuel Edward Konkin III

This reminds me. I’ve been trying to get confirmation as to whether Rohrabacher was a warmonger during the Vietnam War. As a former anarchist and follower of an actual pacifist, Robert LeFevre, it would have been illogical, but I would like independent reports from those who actually knew Rohrabacher back then.

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I hate to say I told you so. But, I told you so.

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This is an attempt to get Andy and Gary to stop sending this stuff to my email.

Here you go guys, have at it.

Source material for the debate:

1 (continues for 12 pages when you hit (“previous entries”).

2

The Case for Free Trade and Open Immigration


Both sides

OK, now you can quit copying me on those emails! Thanks.

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Iconoclastic novelist, essayist and humanist Kurt Vonnegut Jr has died, at the age of 84. While Vonnegut would be best described as a libertarian socialist (putting him in a category with such groups as the ACLU and Food Not Bombs), he was the writer whose work most strongly influenced my left libertarian beliefs. The loss of his wry wit and great intellect is a loss to us all.

For anyone not familiar with Vonnegut, he was without question one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Penning such classics as Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut mixed science fiction, sarcasm, black humor, and keen insight to force us to confront the commonality of mankind. His “bad guys” were never people, but governments and situations. His characters were each “a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.”

Vonnegut spoke out against war, despite his belief that WWII was necessary. In Slaughterhouse Five, named after the underground meat-packing cellar in which he was held as a POW during the bombing of Dresden, he confronted a truth that most would like to overlook when he wrote, “You know we’ve had to imagine the war here, and we have imagined that it was being fought by aging men like ourselves. We had forgotten that wars were fought by babies. When I saw those freshly shaved faces, it was a shock. ‘My God, my God—’ I said to myself. ‘It’s the Children’s Crusade.'” His Slaughterhouse Five catchphrase “So it goes”, an ironic reference to death, was adopted by protesters during Vietnam. (more…)

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In this week’s “radio address” (slightly late due to maintenance at the Gcast site) Steve Kubby discusses former Congressman Bob Barr’s decision to join the Libertarian Party (and the Marijuana Policy Project):

I’m sure that Congressman Barr’s ideas about what it means to be a libertarian are very different from mine … and that’s okay. We come from different backgrounds. Our views have been formed from very different life experiences. There are almost certainly things we still disagree on, and there probably always will be.

BUT! We don’t have to agree on everything. Stick two libertarians in a room, give them something to argue about, and they’ll come out of that room with THREE different opinions.

At the end of the day, Bob Barr and I agree that government is too big, too expensive, too powerful, too intrusive.

At the end of the day, Bob Barr and I agree that something needs to be done to reduce the size, power and scope of government.

And since we agree on those two things, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t work together to make America a better, freer nation.

Welcome to the Party, Congressman Barr.

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Hat tip Presidential Election ’08 blog:

JACKSONVILLE, North Carolina. April 1 — Vice President Cheney delivered a speech early Sunday morning before a formation of soldiers at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The speech was not publicized and the prepared remarks were intended to boost troop morale. The comments were fairly unremarkable except for one short comment near the end of the speech in which Mr. Cheney suggested that the Bush Administration may seek to challenge the 22nd amendment in the 2008 presidential election in an effort to ensure that the war in Iraq is successful.

Vice President Dick Cheney delivers a speech Saturday at Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Mr. Cheney again cited the war in Iraq as a key component in the effort to combat terrorism, saying “The war in Iraq is such a crucial part of the greater war on terror that we currently have our legal advisors looking into the possibility that the 22nd Amendment may not apply in 2008.”

Because the speech was not publicized and was held on a secure military base, very few journalists were present, and none were able to ask questions about what the Vice President’s comments might mean. Repeated efforts to contact the Vice President’s Office to clarify the comment were unsuccessful.

The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution prohibits U.S. Presidents from running for a third term, stating “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice…“. The 22nd Amendment was passed in 1951 after President Franklin Roosevelt broke a tradition that dated back to George Washington, in which Presidents voluntarily refused to run for a third term.

Click to read the rest of the article by Philip McKrack of the New York Times.

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From
Classically Liberal

…sit down with the kids. Warn them. Tell that there will be people who pretend to be their friends. They hang out outsides the schools, at the malls, anywhere where kids hang out. They lurk around the internet. They will even call at home if they know the parents aren’t around. Not only will they pretend to be a friend but they will promise rewards, opportunity, even cash if the kids just do what they want. And they really, really don’t want the parents to know about this. Remember if you don’t tell you kids about these people they will get your children.

And if you think the comparison between recruiters and molesters is strained then watch the following CNN report. Over 80 recruiters, in 2005, were caught for sexual misconduct with the young people they are trying to recruit. Over 100 victims have come forward. These people are given, without the knowledge of parents, full access to kids anytime they want at any school in the US under Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation. They are given private information on all children including unlisted phone numbers and you are not able to block their calls, they can bypass blocks on any phone. Since 1996 almost 800 military recruiters have faced these charges.

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From Wally Conger by way of LeftLibertarian.org

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The American Freedom Agenda
has come forward with a
Freedom Pledge
which has been endorsed by some Libertarian candidates, including Steve Kubby and George Phillies (in the comment section at LP blog). We hope all the other candidates sign it too.

LP Presidential nomination Candidates, supporters and staff, please let us know any other candidates you know who have signed it!

Freedom Pledge after the jump:

(more…)

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In this week’s “radio address,” Steve Kubby discusses the war on Iraq:

Over the last four years, a majority of Americans have come to agree with what libertarians have been saying all along:

That this war was a mistake and that it is a continuing atrocity.

That this war makes us less, not more, secure from military or terrorist attack.

That this war positions our nation as an international enemy of peace and freedom.

And that this war carries far too high a price in American blood and treasure for whatever goals its supporters may claim they want to achieve.

Unfortunately, our so-called leaders in Washington either disagree, or just don’t care. Republican and Democrat alike continue to resist the American majority’s call for withdrawal from Iraq.

Tune in for more:

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This past weekend I went to the LNC meeting, State Chairs Conference and Florida LP Convention in Orlando and handed out some Kubby brochures, and then went to an Alabama Ballot Access Case hearing at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. More details in a later post.

Several candidates for the LP Presidential nomination were in Orlando: George Phillies, Mike Jingozian, Wayne Allyn “WAR” Root, Daniel Imperato, and Alden Link were in a debate.

Kubby campaign manager Tom Knapp explains why Kubby had better things to do this past weekend:

(more…)

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For those of you who have been following this food fight,


There's a wanker who does not like our blog because we act rowdy and curse
. I think the
problem stems from him getting fired from the Badnarik 2004 campaign as webmaster, and he
has had it in for Steve Van Dyke and Steve Gordon ever since. He's come after others, such as Loretta Nall, as proxies since then.

R. Noval, the Bike Messenger, who also blogs at said wanker's blog, commented....

You all are, of course, welcome to post your views at smallgov, as we are loathe to block commentary, as Mr. dondero, I’m sure, will attest.

Apparently not, as some of us did in fact comment, and our comments were...well, erased.


Scroll down and read the comments that were erased for yourself, reproduced in our comments
and see if that action was merited.

Your move, Dirasian :-) (more…)

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By Brian Doherty and Angela Keaton

This was a key document in a rejected version of U.S. plans for Iraq. It was found, damp, crumbled in a State Department trash can.

  • Dear Iraq:

    When I decided that we belonged together, I had the best intentions. Our relationship was never about control for me. I truly believe that if you love something, you ought to set it free.

    I could see that Saddam was bad for you. You weren’t happy with him. He was abusive, he was controlling, and there’s no way you were better off with him than with me—though I slowly started to notice, you certainly seemed calmer with him than you have with me.

    This is hard for me to admit. I’ve invested so much in this relationship—time, money, my highest ideals. But I’ve come to realize there’s a lot wrong with our relationship. Face it: we’ve become a seriously high-conflict couple. I never wanted to admit how violent our relationship had become. I thought it was just a phase, and that things would change if I just showed you how much I cared, how much I was willing to bleed to make this work.

    But I’ve had some good advice lately from friends, and I even consulted some professionals who gave me a more objective outlook on what’s been going on between us.

    They helped me see something I was afraid to face. I thought it was my duty to put up with how crazy things had gotten. I thought it was my fault, that I had to stick with you no matter how awful the relationship was for us both. Some serious co-dependency is at play here, Iraq. Despite my best intentions, we continue to bring out the worst in each other. (more…)

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by way of LP blog

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posted by Justin Raimondo at AntiWar.com blog

This video (hat tip: Lew Rockwell) is revealing in a number of different ways. First of all, it shows up Hillary Clinton for what she truly is: an opportunist who is only tenuously acquainted with the truth. She now claims that if she had known then what she knows now, she would never have voted for the war: but in this video, in which she meets with members of Code Pink, the antiwar women’s group, she downplays the “weapons of mass destruction” rationale for war, and emphasizes, instead, the brutality of Saddam’s dictatorship.

Secondly, I would note the unctuousness of Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin, who shamelessly kisses up to Hillary in her introduction, and even declares that she “knows you secretly agree with us” about the war. The fun begins when Hillary sternly disabuses Ms. Benjamin of this illusion, lecturing her about the absolute evil represented by Saddam’s Iraq, and reminding her of the Clintonian war against the Serbs, which, as all good liberals know, was a righteous war. Poor Medea — talk about having the rug pulledout from under you!

The best part is when one of the Code Pink women approaches Hillary, at the end, and tries to hand her a “pink slip” — some pink underpants of a decidedly delicate character. This is when Hillary bares her fangs, and lashes out: “I am the Senator from New York,” she intones, wagging her finger at the woman like a schoolmarm, “and if you think I’m going to endanger the security of my constituents you are very much mistaken!”

Wow! How telling that, when cornered, Hillary resorts to the Bushian “we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” argument — and so readily, almost instinctively.

Now that the war is unpopular, however, Hillary is trying to distance herself from her previous incarnation as a hawk. It won’t work — thanks to Youtube!


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Photos by Jim Bovard

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An exchange provoked by the Libertarian Response to Bush’s State of the Union Speech

Andrew L Sullivan writes…

You have a choice of drilling for oil in your own damn country or fighting for it in the Persian Gulf. PICK AND CHOOSE!

http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/

Well, yeah, those are a couple of choices. But there are others such as biodiesel from hemp, biodiesel from other sources, hydrogen, elctric based on wind, wave, geothermal, solar, fusion etc.

Currently the market incentives for developing alternative energy are pretty badly distorted: one way of looking at half a trillion for Iraq, among other military expenditures, is as a subsidy for petroleum. There are also non-military subsidies like highway spending (actually, in a sense military spending as well, they are technically Defense Highways).

Then there is the prohibition related ban on industrial hemp, even though it can’t possibly get anybody high.

Also, corporate personhood and limited liability absolves corporations of the true costs and risks of petroleum drilling, refining and burning, thus throwing off the cost/benefit/risk of petrol against other types of energy.

Taxes and regulations fossilize the market, destroying the natural turbulence that keep new companies from forming and rising and artificially keeping the big players securely on top.

That, and the SS system, keeps potential venture capital locked up.

The linkage of health care to employment is another system that keeps people, on the margin, as corporate employees rather than starting up entrepreneurial ventures, and the government school system teaches regimentation and unthinking leader-following for the purpose of
docile corporate and government employment.

Those are just a few of the factors.

Steve Kubby’s Energy Policy:

http://www.kubby2008.com/node/9


Originally posted at pauliecannoli wordpress

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