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Kennedy: Palin is Big Oil’s Dreamgirl

“THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SARAH PALIN AND DICK CHENEY IS…LIPSTICK.” — RFK JR.

* The Los Angeles Times published this opinion piece by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in today’s edition:

Palin’s Big Oil infatuation

She is as much a product of the oil industry as the current president and his vice president.
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
September 24, 2008
I was water-skiing with my children in a light drizzle off Hyannis, Mass., last month when a sudden, fierce storm plunged us into a melee of towering waves, raking rain, painful hail and midday darkness broken by blinding flashes of lightning. As I hurried to get my children out of the water and back to the dock, I shouted over the roaring wind, “This is some kind of tornado.”

The fog consolidated and a waterspout hundreds of feet high rose from the white ocean and darted across its surface, landing for a moment on a moored outboard to spin it like a top, moving toward a distant shore where it briefly became a sand funnel, and then diffusing into the atmosphere as it rained down bits of beach on the harbor. For 24 hours, a light show of violent storms illuminated the coastline, accompanied by booming thunder. My dog was so undone by the display that she kept us all awake with her terrified whining. That same day, two waterspouts appeared on Long Island Sound.

Those odd climatological phenomena led me to reflect on the rapidly changing weather patterns that are altering the way we live. Lightning storms and strikes have tripled just since the beginning of the decade on Cape Cod. In the 1960s, we rarely saw lightning or heard thunder on the Massachusetts coast. I associate electrical storms with McLean, Va., where I spent the school year when I was growing up.

In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today’s anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don’t own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.

In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington’s C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and its carbon cronies continue to pour money into think tanks whose purpose is to deceive the American public into believing that global warming is a fantasy. In 1998, these companies plotted to deceive American citizens about climate science. Their goal, according to a meeting memo, was to orchestrate information so that “recognition of uncertainties become part of the conventional wisdom” and that “those promoting the Kyoto treaty … appear to be out of touch with reality.”

Since that meeting, Exxon has funneled $23 million into the climate-denial industry, according to Greenpeace, which combs the company’s annual report each year. Since 2006, Exxon has cut off some of the worst offenders, but 28 climate-denial groups will still get funding this year.

Corporate America’s media toadies continue to amplify Exxon’s deceptive message. The company can count on its hand puppets — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, John Stossel and Glenn Beck — to shamelessly mouth skepticism about man-made climate change and give political cover to the oil industry’s indentured servants on Capitol Hill. Oklahoma’s Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe calls global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public.”

Now John McCain has chosen as his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a diligent student of Big Oil’s crib sheets. She’s something of a flat-earther who shares the current administration’s contempt for science. Palin has expressed skepticism about evolution (which is like not believing in gravity), putting it on par with “creationism,” which posits that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

She used to insist that human activities have nothing to do with climate change. “I’m not one … who would attribute it to being man-made,” she said in August. After she joined the GOP ticket, she magically reversed herself, to a point. “Man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming,” she told Charles Gibson two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Alaska is melting before our eyes; entire villages erode as sea ice vanishes, glaciers are disappearing at a frightening clip, and “dancing forests” caused by disappearing permafrost astonish residents and tourists. Palin had to keep her head buried particularly deep in an oil well to ever have denied that humans are causing climate change. But, as Upton Sinclair pointed out, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Palin’s enthusiastic embrace of Big Oil’s agenda (if not always Big Oil itself) has been the platform of her hasty rise in Alaskan politics. In that sense she is as much a product of the oil industry as the current president and his vice president. Palin, whose husband is a production operator for BP on Alaska’s North Slope, has sued the federal government over its listing of the polar bear as an endangered species threatened by global warming, and she has fought to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Alaska’s coast to oil drilling.

When oil profits are at stake, her fantasy world appears to have no boundaries. About American’s deadly oil dependence, she mused recently, “I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem.”

I guess the only difference between Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney is … lipstick.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an environmental lawyer and a professor at Pace University Law School.

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RFK Jr. on the 9/11 Truth Movement

What made these towers fall? Inquiring minds want to know...

What made these towers fall? Inquiring minds want to know...

RFK JR: WHERE HE STANDS ON 9/11 TRUTH

In the wake of the 7th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Ralph Nader’s well-timed call for a “real investigation,” and this blog’s week-long series of features on independent, third-party and true maverick candidates like Jesse Ventura, Nader, Ron Paul, and Cynthia McKinney all who question the official story, many of our readers have been asking us where Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stands on the question of 9/11 Truth.

Some have pointed out that Kennedy’s uncle, President John F. Kennedy, often warned against such an “inside job” happening in America, citing 1962′s Operation Northwoods, his famous anti-secrecy speech (see video clip below), and even a fascinating doodle by Kennedy from late 1963 in which he scribbled “9″ and “11″ and the word “conspiracy” as proofs that he must have been either incredibly psychic or else knew something we didn’t 45 years ago.

In To Seek a Newer World, Robert F. Kennedy wrote these controversial and perhaps telling words which some have interpreted as a warning to mankind:

“All of us will ultimately be judged and as the years pass we will surely judge ourselves, on the effort we have contributed to building a new world order and the extent to which our ideals and goals have shaped that effort.”

Does this mean RFK saw exactly what was happening and refused the Electric Kool-Aid that was being passed around in the late 1960s? A lot of folks sure seem to think he was blessed with second sight!

Others point to the assassinations of both Kennedy brothers as inside jobs, and openly question how any member of the Kennedy family could fail to see that 9/11 was another coordinated “hit.” How could the Kennedys, of all people, know of this tyranny and not speak out against it, they ask?

So, to put the question to rest, here is what RFK Jr. has said on the record about 9/11 Truthers, the Pentagon plane mystery, bombs in the Twin Towers, and all that jazz.

These comments were made during an interview Bobby did with Philip Shenon, investigative journalist for the New York Times and author of the book The Commission, about the 9/11 Commission. The date of this interview was May 10, 2008, and aired on Ring of Fire, Kennedy’s weekly Air America radio show.

Below are direct permalinks to the interview on the official Ring of Fire and GoLeft.tv websites, so you don’t think we’re making this stuff up! Direct from the source, folks!:

AUDIO LINK – (Interview segment begins about halfway into the hour)
VIDEO LINK – (9/11 Truth issue is raised around 14:20) 

We encourage our readers to take 20 minutes out of their day to listen very carefully to this interview and understand where Kennedy stands on the 9/11 issue.

Many of RFK’s supporters are openly skeptical of the government’s official story about the events of September 11, and the 9/11 Commission. But in the interest of presenting the facts, we want Kennedy’s supporters to know what they are. We do not want any one putting words in Kennedy’s mouth by saying he stands for 9/11 Truth when he clearly does not.

You might think he’s wrong – and feel free to disagree with him – but at least you now know what his take is on the 9/11 Truth movement. We do not censor comments on this blog (avoid personal attacks, and you’ll be welcome here), so 9/11 Truthers are encouraged to express themselves in this forum. Let’s have an open, honest debate. Bring your evidence, bring your facts, and let’s get into it!

Before anyone turns this into a flame war, keep this in mind: Kennedy openly admits in the above interview that he hasn’t taken the time to really look into the evidence. Maybe he should. So our readers who hope to convince Mr. Kennedy can be most helpful by pointing out where he can find the info he needs. Post external links to reputable sources and documents online, or better yet, print out a stack of documentation and mail it to him (that’s the stuff he’ll actually look at – he doesn’t have much time for websurfing). Or call him up on his radio show and ask him about specific 9/11 facts. Perhaps you’ll bump into him at a booksigning and have the chance to talk to him in person. Respectful disagreement is what America is all about, with an emphasis on respectful. At least that’s our motto here.

It’s a tough issue, this whole 9/11 “inside job” thing - one that divides my own family and even this blog’s own editorial staff argues amongst ourselves as to whether “the gubberment did it” or not. Wouldn’t surprise me if the Kennedys themselves are divided over what really happened on Sept. 11. What about RFK Jr.’s supporters? Where do you stand, and do you think Bobby is right or wrong? Let us know…

Example of the JFK/911 Connection perpetuated by many conspiracy research groups across America today, this one in Portland, OR.

 
Copyright 2008 by RfkJrForPresident.com.

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RFK Jr.’s Weekly News

Here’s this week’s “Unearthed” news report from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan DeMelle (courtesy Huffington Post):

“UNEARTHED”

NEWS OF THE WEEK THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FORGOT TO REPORT

Home Foreclosures Could Affect Voting Rolls

The mortgage foreclosure crisis may pose a problem in the November election as voters still registered at their former addresses could lose the opportunity to vote or be forced to cast provisional ballots which might not get counted. The problem could impact election results in battleground states, particularly Ohio, where several cities were hit hard by foreclosures and Republican operatives jump on any opportunity to challenge voter eligibility in heavily Democratic urban areas. In 2004, the Ohio Republican Party challenged the registration of more than 31,000 Democratic voters statewide after letters it mailed out in a targeted disenfranchisement effort came back as undeliverable. Ohio’s requirement that voters show ID at the polls along with a new state law requiring counties to mail their own notices to all registered voters set the stage for another round of pre-election challenges by Ohio Republicans. Other battleground states where foreclosures could impact voter eligibility include Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, New Jersey and Georgia.

 
Pentagon Seeks to Transport Deadly Chemical Weapons On U.S. Highways

A proposed Pentagon plan to ship deadly chemical weapons to military sites in four states in order to accelerate their destruction would expose neighboring communities to potentially catastrophic risks. In order to meet a Congressional deadline requiring the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile by 2017, the Pentagon wants to ship munitions to military destruction sites in Utah, Oregon, Alabama and Arkansas. The weapons shipments, which would include lethal nerve agents and mustard gas, could travel up to 1,200 miles on U.S. highways in some instances if the plan is approved. Lawmakers from the affected states object to the plan, citing the potential risk of terrorist attack and traffic accidents among other concerns. Congress would have to repeal laws forbidding the transport of the weapons in order for the proposal to proceed. The Pentagon previously confirmed that it would miss the 2012 deadline agreed upon at the 1993 international Chemical Weapons Convention.

 
Georgia Judge Blocks Coal Plant Due to Global Warming Concerns

In an unprecedented ruling, a Georgia Superior Court judge stopped the construction of a coal-fired power plant due to the enormous emissions of carbon dioxide the plant would generate without a system to capture the global warming pollution. Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore relied on the pivotal April 2007 Supreme Court decision confirming that carbon dioxide – the main driver of global warming – is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Judge Moore ruled that “[t]here is no dispute that the proposed power plant would be a ‘major emitting facility’ as defined by the [Clean Air] Act,” which therefore mandates that the plant incorporate the “best available control technology” to limit CO2 emissions. “There was no effort to identify, evaluate or apply available technologies that would control CO2 emissions and the permit contains no CO2 emission limits,” Moore wrote in her June 30 ruling, overturning a lower court’s decision to issue an air-pollution permit to Dynegy’s Longleaf power plant near Columbus, Georgia. The Sierra Club and Friends of the Chattahoochee brought the suit against Dynegy, arguing that the proposed plant would emit 9 million tons of CO2 annually – the equivalent of emissions from 1.3 million cars – far more than a typical coal-fired plant which emits an average of 3.7 million tons annually, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Dynegy plans to appeal the ruling.

 
Japan Automakers Control 34.7 Percent of U.S. Market, Detroit Falters

Consumer demand for more fuel-efficient cars and hybrids due to record high gas prices is causing a predictable problem for Detroit’s Big Three automakers. The market share of GM, Ford and Chrysler dropped to 45.8 percent of the total U.S. market as consumers continue to shun Detroit’s bloated selection of gas-guzzlers and the companies scramble to overhaul their selections to finally focus on efficiency. Conversely, Japanese automakers are struggling with U.S. inventory shortages of popular fuel-sipping models like the Toyota Prius and hybrid Camry. The three major Japanese automakers increased their U.S. market share to 34.7 percent, led by Honda which overtook Chrysler to gain third place in U.S. market sales. A J.D. Power survey found that 72 percent of Americans are interested in buying a hybrid. While Detroit’s gas-guzzling SUVs sit on dealer lots, Toyota reports that customers face a six-month waiting list in some areas for the popular Prius and similar shortages of other efficient models.

 
Justice Department Seeks to Use Racial Profiling Rather Than Evidence to Launch Terror Probes

The Justice Department proposes to let the FBI use racial profiling rather than hard evidence to launch investigations into U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist activities. The plan would enable FBI agents to investigate Americans based on a review of public records including racial and ethnic background, military training and travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, regardless of whether any hard evidence on targeted individuals exists. The plan would shatter America’s long-standing legal doctrine of the presumption of innocence, and enable the FBI to operate “by assuming that everyone’s a suspect, and then you weed out the innocent,” said Caroline Fredrickson of the American Civil Liberties Union. The changes – which do not require congressional approval – would allow FBI agents to ask Arab- and Muslim-Americans open-ended questions about their activities or investigate them if their work or travel backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect.

President Bush has condemned racial profiling as “wrong in America” and openly criticized an airline in 2001 for refusing to let an Arab-American Secret Service agent board a commercial flight, stating “If he was treated that way because of his ethnicity, that will make me madder than heck.”

 
Serious Methodological Flaw Discovered in Wildlife Extinction Rates – Likely 100 Times Faster

Methods used to predict wildlife extinction rates dramatically underestimate the bleak outlook for endangered species, which may become extinct 100 times faster than previously thought, according to a study in the journal Nature. Scientists say the error means the threat to global biodiversity is much more serious than previously believed. Current methods used to predict when wildlife species will die out dramatically underestimate the speed at which extinctions could come by failing to account for the proportion of males to females in a wild population, and failing to account for the variation of reproductive success between individuals in the wild.

“The older models could be severely overestimating the time to extinction. Some species could go extinct 100 times sooner than we expect,” one author of the study said. An estimated 16,000 species worldwide currently face extinction, a figure sure to rise when conservation groups account for these methodological flaws in upcoming analyses.

 
Greenpeace Activists Held By Japanese Without Bail For Exposing Illegal Whale Meat Transfers

Two Japanese Greenpeace activists face theft and trespass charges for exposing corruption in the Japanese whaling fleet, and will likely be held without bail until their trial. The two activists tracked a package sent by crewmembers of the Nisshin Maru whaling “research” ship that was marked “cardboard” and shipped to a private address. Greenpeace intercepted the package – one of dozens of similar packages offloaded from the ship – and found it actually contained thousands of dollars worth of prime whale meat cuts. While Japan claims its annual Southern Ocean whaling expeditions are conducted strictly for research purposes, Greenpeace claims much of the meat is embezzled by the ship’s crew and finds its way onto Japan’s black market. The group turned the intercepted package over to Tokyo authorities as evidence and provided additional documentation from Greenpeace’s four-month investigation into corruption in the Japanese whaling industry. Instead of investigating the crew or bureaucrats in charge of the program, Tokyo police raided Greenpeace Japan’s office, seizing computers, documents and cell phones, and arrested the two activists. The pair were held for three weeks without charge before learning they are accused of theft and trespass, and face likely convictions under Japan’s strict laws.

 
EPA Whistleblower Reveals Cheney Deleted Half of CDC Testimony on Global Warming Health Impacts

A former EPA administrative staffer claims the Vice President’s office ordered the deletion of every mention of the health impacts of global warming from draft testimony on climate change by the director of the Centers for Disease Control. Former EPA associate deputy administrator Jason Burnett – who resigned last month citing the Bush administration’s inadequate response to global warming – told the Environment and Public Works Committee that Cheney’s office and the White House Council on Environmental Quality instructed him to “work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change.” The cuts amounted to six pages out of the 14 pages submitted by the CDC director for White House review, and included a table of the likely public health impacts of global warming.

 
U.S. Exports to Iran Grew Tenfold Under Bush Administration


U.S. exports to Iran increased tenfold under President Bush, who labeled the country part of an “Axis of Evil” yet oversaw the escalated trading of weapons and consumer products worth $546 million to Iran since 2001. The U.S. exported at least $148,000 in weapons and military gear to Iran during Bush’s time in office, including rifles and aircraft carrier accessories. An Associated Press review found that the Bush Treasury Department denied only 178 out of at least 4,523 license applications by companies seeking to export goods to Iran during Bush’s presidency. Cigarettes accounted for $158 million of the exports to Iran, more than any other product. Senator John McCain responded to the news of rising U.S. cigarette exports to Iran by joking crudely, “maybe that’s a way of killing ‘em.”

 
Guantanamo Interrogations Based on Faulty Chinese Communist Techniques
Military trainers at Guantanamo taught interrogation techniques for possible use on detainees based on a document copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of methods used by Chinese Communist interrogators on American prisoners during the Korean War. Despite the original study’s conclusion that many of the confessions obtained through use of the “coercive management techniques” were false, the Pentagon based its training on Communist methods that the United States long labeled as torture. The title of the original study from which the interrogation methods used in the recent past by the CIA and the military was “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War.” President Bush repeatedly argued that the use of the communist techniques by military and CIA interrogators helped provide critical intelligence and prevented new terrorist attacks.

 

Send tips about other stories the mainstream media forgot to report: unearthednews@gmail.com

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RFK Jr.’s News of the Week

Here’s the latest “Unearthed” News from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan DeMelle:

UNEARTHED:

NEWS OF THE WEEK THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FORGOT TO REPORT

 

Government Report Links Extreme Weather In North America To Global Warming Pollution

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program released a 162-page report overwhelmingly confirming that manmade pollution is causing “changes in weather and climate change.” The report concludes that an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events “could seriously affect” human health, agricultural production, and the availability and quality of water in North America.

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080619_climatereport.html

Led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the report represents the most extensive assessment yet of how global warming will impact North Americans in the future, synthesizing the findings of more than 100 academic papers, including the latest scientific evidence which wasn’t considered in the most recent IPCC assessment. The report confirms that manmade global warming pollution has caused an increased frequency of heat waves, droughts, severe rainfall, and fierce hurricanes, and that there is a 90 percent likelihood that the frequency and intensity of such extreme weather events will continue to accelerate unless immediate action is taken to slow global warming pollution.


Exxon, Shell and BP Among Oil Giants Set to Receive No-Bid Contracts in Iraq

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company prior to nationalization of Iraq’s oil business 36 years ago — are “in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields.” The contracts are intended to jumpstart oil production by half a million barrels a day while Iraqi leaders debate legislation on how to divide the nation’s oil revenues.

Although worth only about $500 million to each company, the no-bid contracts are expected to give the companies a significant bidding advantage over competitors in future contracts on Iraqi oil development. The New York Times confirmed that the “unusual” no-bid contracts were awarded to the oil companies because they provided free advice over the past two years to the Iraq Oil Ministry. In all cases but one, the same company that provided free advice to the ministry on a specific oil field was awarded the contract for that field.

Leila Benali, an authority on Middle East oil at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, told the Times that “The bigger prize everybody is waiting for is development of the giant new fields,” and that these initial contracts give the winning companies a “foothold” to vie for longer-term deals in Iraq.

While State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters that the U.S. had “no involvement” in encouraging the no-bid deals with U.S. oil companies, the Times points out that “there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.”

The Bush administration indicated that it sees no need to “get involved” with the negotiations, despite concerns that the presence of U.S. companies, particularly ExxonMobil, could escalate tensions in Iraq and lead to further violence against U.S. troops.
U.S. Government Testing Drugs with Severe Side Effects on War Veterans

The government is employing hundreds of military veterans as lab rats in drug tests, distributing medications known to have potentially severe side effects like psychosis and suicidal behavior. A media investigation uncovered how the Department of Veterans Affairs is paying cash to distressed soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to take part in medical experiments. The practice raised serious ethical concerns in the wake of a near-lethal confrontation between police and an Iraq war veteran who suffered a psychotic episode while taking the controversial anti-smoking drug Chantix.

The VA knew for weeks that the drug had potentially severe mental side effects, yet failed to inform study participants of the dangers prior to the near-fatal incident involving James Elliott, a decorated Iraqi veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who was Tasered by police responding to a 911 call at his Maryland home. Elliot claims he was suffering from Chantix-induced psychotic hallucinations when he reached for a gun as officers approached him. Elliott was part of a Chantix trial targeted toward veterans with PTSD, and said the drug led him to suffer frequent hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

The FDA alerted the VA weeks before Elliott’s incident that Chantix was responsible for a large number of reported hallucinations, suicide attempts and psychotic behavior, but the VA did not alert Elliott or his fellow study participants of the risks prior to his confrontation with police. “You’re a lab rat for $30 a month,” Elliott said, arguing that the VA treated him like a “disposable hero.”
New Research Links Traffic Pollution to Childhood Allergies

A study by German epidemiologists reveals the strongest evidence yet that the risk of developing a range of allergies and respiratory illnesses increases the closer children live to congested roads. The study suggests the risk of developing asthma, hay fever, eczema or other allergies is roughly 50 percent higher for children living 50 yards from a busy road than for those living 1,000 yards away.

“We consistently found strong associations between the distance to the nearest main road and the allergic disease outcomes,” the study’s lead author, Joachim Heinrich, wrote in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


Oil Tycoon Pickens Tells Congress World Oil Production Has Peaked

Billionaire oil investor T. Boone Pickens told Congress he believes that oil production has peaked at 85 million barrels per day. Pickens said during testimony to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the United States’ continued heavy reliance on foreign oil could drain the U.S. economy unless lawmakers act quickly to jumpstart a clean technology revolution. “The price of oil will go up further,” Pickens predicts. “In 10 years, we will have exported close to $10 trillion out of the country if we continue on the same basis we’re going now. It is the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind,” he said. Pickens, who made his fortune investing in oil, announced plans for a $2 billion wind energy project earlier this year.
Blackwater Asks Judge to Apply Afghan Islamic Law Instead of U.S. Law In U.S. Soldier Fatalities Lawsuit

Private military contractor Blackwater is asking a federal court to rely on Sharia, the Islamic law of Afghanistan, rather than U.S. law, in an effort to avoid potentially stiff penalties in a lawsuit brought by the widows of three American soldiers who died when the Blackwater-run plane they were on crashed in the Afghan mountains.

Blackwater founder and owner Erik Prince told editors and reporters at North Carolina’s News & Observer newspaper that, because the crash occurred in Afghanistan, the company believes the case should be decided by Afghan law. Sharia does not hold a company responsible for the actions of employees during the course of their work.
The lawsuit would be dismissed if the judge agrees that Sharia law applies in Blackwater’s case.
Denver Police Stockpiling Pepper Weapons Ahead of Democratic Convention

Denver police are buying dozens of guns that fire a pepper spray-like substance instead of bullets, designed to aid police efforts to disperse crowds. The guns fire plastic balls filled with a powder that’s “like a combination of cayenne pepper and baby powder,” according to the manufacturer, which confirmed to reporters that the police requested the order be delivered in time for the Democratic National Convention in late August.

Denver received a $50 million federal grant for security during the convention, but refuses to disclose exactly how it is spending that money, prompting a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union last month.


Cheney Wins Battle, Records Will Remain Hidden From the Public

Vice President Dick Cheney won the battle to withhold his office’s records from the public, leaving members of Congress frustrated and convinced that there may not be any further avenues to gain access to the secretive Vice President’s records before he leaves office. “I’m not sure there’s anything we can do,” said Representative Henry Waxman, the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “He has managed to stonewall everyone.”

Cheney argues that he doesn’t belong to either the executive or the legislative branch of government exclusively, and therefore isn’t subject to public information laws, even though previous administrations complied with information requests. Government personnel officials also confirmed that they have no information on Cheney’s staff available for public review either.

The Justice Department rebuffed repeated requests by members of Congress to investigate Cheney’s claims to secrecy, agreeing with the Bush administration’s assertion that Cheney and his staff are not part of the executive branch.
Rumsfeld Solicited Torture Advice From Army Psychologists, Ignored Lawyers’ Objections

A Senate Armed Services Committee investigation revealed that former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and senior aides in the Pentagon asked military psychologists as early as July 2002 to provide a list of harsh methods interrogators might employ against detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. The psychologists, who train Army troops how to survive enemy interrogations, responded with a list of techniques including sensory deprivation, sleep disruption, stress positions, waterboarding and slapping. Despite immediate objections from military lawyers who questioned the legality of using the proposed techniques without further review, Rumsfeld ordered interrogators to use the methods on detainees at Gauntanamo anyway.

The Committee’s investigation also revealed that the Defense Department strategically hid prisoners who were subjected to the harsher techniques from Red Cross personnel monitoring detention centers to ensure compliance with the Geneva Convention rules for treatment of prisoners of war. According to secret memos from 2002 when the harsh methods were first employed at Guantanamo, Pentagon attorney Lt. Col. Diane Beaver advised interrogators to “curb the harsher operations” while the Red Cross monitors were around, and said in a private meeting that interrogators’ use of the techniques “is not being reported officially. The [Red Cross] is a serious concern. They will be in and out, scrutinizing our operations, unless they are displeased and decide to protest and leave. This would draw a lot of negative attention.”

Beaver’s comments were recorded in the minutes of an October 2002 meeting between CIA and military lawyers and intelligence officials who discussed how to hide “ghost detainees” from the Red Cross at military detention centers.

Another attendee at the meeting, senior CIA lawyer John Fredman, explained that whether harsh interrogation amount to torture “is a matter of perception.” Fredman said, “If the detainees dies you’re doing it wrong.”

Armed Services Committee chair Sen. Carl Levin commented, “Were these actions the result of ‘a few bad apples’ acting on their own? It would be a lot easier to accept if it were. But that’s not the case. The truth is that senior officials in the United States government sought information on aggressive techniques, twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.”

 

This column originally appeared in Huffington Post.

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More Bush Administration Arrogance

ALL THE NEWS THAT’S UNFIT TO PRINT, EPISODE 3

Hot off the presses…the latest edition of RFK Jr’s “Unearthed” column, for the week ending May 9, 2008.

Here Kennedy covers a vast array of subjects – everything from the Siegleman case to Cheney and Ashcroft’s refusal to testify about U.S. torture tactics; from the head of the EPA being fired for political purposes to depleted uranium being dumped in Idaho; from hundreds of dead ducks turning up in Canada to right-wing talk radio’s domination of the U.S. airwaves; from the oil crisis to American contractors quite literally making out like bandits in Iraq — all with one common thread, the central underlying theme which ties these stories together:

More unprecedented ARROGANCE from the Bush Administration!

In a mad dash to cover their tracks while scooping up all the spoils they can possibly grab before we kick them out of the White House next January, the Bushies seem to be wholly unconcerned with how things look or smell at this point. (A new poll shows that Bush is now the most unpopular president in history, but ask him if he cares.) Yes, they’re openly farting in our faces, and we’re supposed to love it.

Laughing all the way to the bank, these criminals now feel certain that they will never face prosecution or impeachment, so hey – why not take all they can get? After all, we’ve given them a pass, carte blanche’ and a blank check for the past seven years, turning a blind eye to their crimes against humanity. (And that’s not to mention those High Crimes and Misdemeanors.)

So put on your seat belts and gas masks, America. The ride is only going to get rougher and smellier as Bush’s clock runs out.

Did you ever feel like the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water as the heat is slowly being turned up hotter and hotter? Well, you know what happens then, don’t you?

We must take a stand. We must stop them before they kill again (looks like you’re next, Iran). We must fight back. We must prosecute. We must stop taking “I don’t recall” for an answer. Because if we don’t, we could all wind up as dead as those Canadian ducks RFK Jr. writes about.

It may be too late to impeach (as our Democratic brethren continue to insist) now, but it’s never too late to try them for war crimes at the Hague.

Oh…and there’s no statute of limitations on murder, either.

UNEARTHED:

NEWS OF THE WEEK THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FORGOT TO REPORT

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan De Melle

The Huffington Post

EPA Official Ousted For Offending Dow Chemical

At the request of Dow Chemical, the Bush administration forced out one of its own hand-picked EPA regulators on May 1st because she naively attempted to do her job by enforcing the law against Dow. EPA officials told Mary Gade, the federal agency’s top Midwest regulator to step down from her post or be fired by June 1. Bush appointed Gade in 2006, but Gade ran afoul of the White House when she pressured Dow Chemical to clean up dioxin pollution extending 50 miles downstream from the company’s Michigan headquarters. Dow asked EPA headquarters to intervene. In response EPA chief Stephen Johnson’s top deputies repeatedly grilled Gade about the case. When she refused to lay off Dow, they stripped her of her authority and told her to quit or be fired. “There is no question this is about Dow,” Gade said. “I stand behind what I did and what my staff did. I’m proud of what we did.”

Gade was formerly a loyal George W. Bush supporter and adviser. In 2000, she praised then-governor and candidate Bush for his “fresh approach” and “strong leadership.” But her loyalty couldn’t shield her from an administration bent on insulating its chemical industry cronies from public health laws.
Bush’s Misleading Claims About the Arctic Refuge Denied by Federal Officials

President Bush last week repeated his claim that if only Congress had approved his 2002 plan to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge it “would likely mean lower gas prices” today. However, oil industry experts and Bush’s own Energy Department officials say that Bush is greatly exaggerating the theoretical impact that opening the refuge would’ve had on current gas prices. They explained that it takes over a decade to find and develop a new oil field. Furthermore, the oil available in ANWR — even under the most optimistic projections — could supply less than 2% of U.S. demand, an amount that would have a negligible impact on prices at the pump.
Green Construction Could Drastically Slash North American Energy Dependence

Employing existing and emerging green construction practices could cut North America’s deadly fossil fuel dependence faster and more cost-effectively than any other measure, according to a new study by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a panel erected by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Green construction has immediate paybacks, including “reduced energy costs and water costs as well the indoor health environment and increased productivity of the inhabitants of those buildings,” according to John Westeinde, an advisor on the report. The report found that North America’s buildings release more than 2,200 megatons of CO2, or about 35 percent of the continent’s total. If the construction industry rapidly adopted current and emerging green technologies, that number could be cut by 1,700 megatons by 2030, the report found.
Hundreds of Ducks Die at Canadian Oil Sands Mine

Hundreds of ducks made a fatal landing recently in a tailings pond filled with a witch’s brew of oil and toxic sludge at a northern Alberta tar sands mine. Regulators are investigating why Syncrude Canada — the country’s largest tar sands producer — failed to deploy a system designed to scare off waterfowl. Alberta’s tar sands development has been heavily criticized for huge carbon dioxide emissions, destruction of the boreal forest, and the potential for tailing ponds to contaminate local rivers and waterways.

 
Feds Acknowledge Error On Attempts to Muzzle Siegelman

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegleman, who was falsely imprisoned by Alabama cronies of Karl Rove, and is now released on appeal, was recently placed on a “special offender” list to restrict his right to travel. Siegelman was notified by federal probation officers of the new restriction shortly after he traveled to Washington to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, and appeared on 60 Minutes, the Tavis Smiley Show, and Dan Abrams’ Verdict.

The federal “special offender” designation applies to “Individuals identified or associated with traditional or non-traditional organized crime such as the Mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian gangs, prison gangs, etc., persons identified as potential terrorists, kidnappers, members of a supremacy group, major bookmakers, major drug or weapon traffickers, pornographers, sex offenders, armed bank robbers, offenders of high notoriety, or cases similar nature.”

“This basically means I can’t travel out of Birmingham or Montgomery without a lot of red tape, and long delays. For example to travel in some places requires at least 30 days advance approval,” Siegelman said.

But on May 2, federal court officials acknowledged that they erred in classifying Siegelman as a special offender.

“They made an honest mistake,” Redmond said, acknowledging that the restrictions were illegal. “They were giving him conditions for a special offender under probation. He’s not. He’s pretrial.”
Cheney refuses to cooperate with Congressional Torture Investigation, claiming Congress has no authority over vice-president

The lawyer for U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney said Cheney would refuse to allow David Addington, the vice president’s chief of staff, to testify about his involvement in the approval of interrogation tactics used at Guantanamo Bay. The privilege asserted by Cheney’s office recalls his attempt last year to evade rules for disclosing classified documents by claiming that the vice president’s office is a hybrid branch of government that is neither executive nor legislative.
Ashcroft and Yoo Refuse to Testify About Torture

In another imaginative legal claim with dubious constitutionality, two other witnesses sought by Congressman John Conyers, former U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft and former U.S. justice department lawyer John Yoo, claim that their involvement in civil lawsuits related to harsh torture allows them to avoid appearing before Congress. “I am aware of no basis for the remarkable claim that pending civil litigation somehow immunizes an individual from testifying before Congress,” Conyers wrote.
Karl Rove Resists Congressional Request to Testify on His Siegelman Mischief

“The House Judiciary Committee threatened last Thursday to subpoena former White House adviser Karl Rove if he does not agree by May 12 to testify about former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman’s corruption case.

“In a letter to Rove’s attorney, committee Democrats called it ‘completely unacceptable’ that the Republican political strategist has rejected the panel’s request for sworn testimony even as he discusses the matter publicly through the media and op-eds and magazine interviews with tame reporters at GQ, and appearances with the administration’s media poodles on Fox News.

On April 7, MSNBC anchor Dan Abrams reported that Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said Rove would agree to testify if Congress issues a subpoena to him as part of an investigation into the Siegelman case.

Ten days later, committee members invited Rove to appear, citing among other things Rove’s interview with GQ magazine. In that interview, Rove hurled insults at CBS News for airing a 60 Minutes segment on the Siegelman case, called his chief accuser a “lunatic” — but didn’t specifically deny any of the accusations.

In an April 29 letter back to the committee, Luskin changed his position[PDF], arguing that Rove would only appear under the following conditions: “Mr. Rove is prepared to make himself available for an interview on this specific issue with Committee staff. Mr. Rove would speak candidly and truthfully about this matter, but the interview would not be transcribed nor would Mr. Rove be under oath.”

 
Hate-filled Right Wing Radio

Racial slurs abound these days on right wing radio, particularly among the right’s leading shock jocks Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage and Lou Dobbs. During his May 5 appearance on FOX News, Rush Limbaugh referred to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D), who is Hispanic, as a “shoe shine guy.

A 2007 study of talk radio conducted by the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that in the second quarter of 2007, when right wing radio resorted to spreading fear and hatred in order to defeat immigration reform. Immigration was the #1 topic – representing 16% of all airtime on right wing radio – led by Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage. Neal Boortz chipped in too, urging listeners to help defeat “this illegal alien amnesty bill” and “yank out the welcome mat.” Speaking of undocumented immigrants he said, “Give ‘em all a little nuclear waste and let ‘em take it on down there to Mexico. Tell ‘em…it’ll heat tortillas.” Michael Savage encouraged his listeners to “burn a Mexican flag” and to “tell them to go back to where they came from.”

Bigotry and Hatred is Good Business

Propped up by the conservative bias among corporate media barons who control the airwaves, right-wing radio now claims 91 percent of U.S. radio airspace. Salon.com reported that “Talk like Savage’s, or Limbaugh’s or O’Reilly’s, has become routine, even systematic, and certainly a big business. According to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, the top five radio station owners that control the 45 most powerful, 50,000-watt or more radio stations broadcast 310 hours of nationally syndicated right-wing talk. But they broadcast only a total of five hours of countervailing talk.” Meanwhile the public popularity of progressive talk is growing.
Thanks to Right-Wing Corporate Owners Right-Wing Hate Talk Dominates Airwaves

While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, right-wing talk reigns supreme on America’s airwaves. Some key findings:

– In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.

– Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk–10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

– 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.
Bush Is the Least Popular President in History

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of President Bush’s job performance, making him the most unpopular president in modern American history, even less popular than Richard Nixon just prior to his resignation.

“Bush’s approval rating, which stands at 28 percent in our new poll, remains better than the all-time lows set by Harry Truman and Richard Nixon [22 percent and 24 percent, respectively], but even those two presidents never got a disapproval rating in the 70s,” Keating Holland, CNN’s polling director said. “The previous all-time record in CNN or Gallup polling was set by Truman, 67 percent disapproval in January 1952.”

A January poll – conducted on the five-year anniversary of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” moment on board the USS Abraham Lincoln – found the percentage of Americans who think the U.S. is making progress in Iraq stood at 50 percent. That number has since dropped to 39 percent.

 
Radioactive waste being shipped from Kuwait for Disposal in Idaho

6,700 tons of sand contaminated with depleted uranium and lead is currently being shipped by rail from Longview, Washington to a hazardous waste disposal site in Idaho. The radioactive sand – which was shipped from Camp Doha, a U.S. Army Base in Kuwait – was contaminated with uranium after military vehicles and munitions caught fire during the first Persian Gulf War in 1991. The contaminated sand is destined for burial at American Ecology’s dumping grounds in the Owyhee Desert 70 miles southeast of Boise. The Kuwaiti government wanted no part of the waste which it considered a danger to the Kuwaiti people. Kuwait’s Ministry of Defense contracted Texas-based MKM Engineers Inc. to package and transport the waste back to the United States. MKM then subcontracted with American Ecology to dispose the military waste at its Idaho facility.
Whistleblowers Say Private U.S. Contractors Looted, Stole and Ran a Prostitution Ring

In an investigative report largely ignored by the mainstream media, Mother Jones reports the shocking testimony of three whistleblowers who recently appeared before the Senate’s Democratic Policy Committee (DPC). The whistleblowers told the committee that U.S. private contractors routinely looted Iraqi palaces and ministries, stole military equipment, fenced supplies destined for U.S. troops, and even operated a prostitution ring that may have contributed to the death of fellow contractor.

Barry Halley, a former project manager for Worldwide Network Services, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that was working on subcontract for DynCorp, testified that his site manager in Iraq, who he said was employed by a “major defense contractor,” moonlighted as the leader of a prostitution ring serving American contractors in Iraq. The sex business sideline indirectly caused the death of a colleague. “A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was traveling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission,” he told the committee. “I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by a manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.”

Frank Cassaday, a former contract employee of disgraced Cheney-connected firm KBR told the committee about an ice-stealing operation the company ran “cheating the troops out of ice at the same time that [the foreman in charge was] trading the ice for DVDs, CDs, food, and other items at the Iraqi shops across the street.”

Cassaday also detailed how he was jailed in his tent for two days by KBR security and later transferred to a laundry job because he had reported to KBR superiors that his colleagues were stealing equipment from the U.S. military, including refrigerators, artillery round detonators, two rocket launchers, and about 800 rounds of small arms ammunition.

Another KBR whistleblower, Linda Warren, testifying about her time in Baghdad in 2004, said she was shocked by the number of contractors involved in criminal activity. “KBR employees who were contracted to perform construction duties inside palaces and municipal buildings were looting,” she said. “Not only were they looting, but they had a system in place to get contraband out of the country so it could be sold on eBay. They stole artwork, rugs, crystal, and even melted down gold to make spurs for cowboy boots.” Like Cassaday, KBR superiors punished Warren for speaking up, taking her vehicle away, monitoring her movements, cutting off her access to phones and the Internet, and ultimately transferring her out of Baghdad.
Iraqi Interpreters Who Helped U.S. Are Being Tossed Under the Bus By Bush Administration

The Bush administration is ignoring the plight of Iraqi interpreters who have risked their lives to provide essential help to U.S. soldiers. Interpreters have been kidnapped, tortured and assassinated by insurgents punishing them for working with the U.S. The Bush administration promised them refugee status to bring them here to safety, but has not delivered, leaving them at lethal risk.
Rockefellers Call on Exxon Mobil to Spend More on Oil Alternatives

Descendants of company founder John D. Rockefeller want Exxon Mobil to spend more money on alternative fuels and bar the CEO from also serving as chairman. Sixteen Rockefeller family members are urging fellow shareholders to support four resolutions on the environment and corporate governance at the company’s May 28 annual meeting.
More Record Profits for Oil Barons

Astounding profits in the oil industry are becoming as routine as the anguished looks of motorists filling up their gas tanks, the AP reports.

ExxonMobil, Shell and BP netted almost $13 million an hour combined in the first quarter amid the steepest increase in oil prices since 2000.

Exxon’s revenue climbed 34 percent to $116.9 billion, but Exxon’s 17 percent profit increase lagged behind the gains of 25 percent and 63 percent by Shell and BP. Chevron put yet another exclamation point on the oil patch’s long run of prosperity Friday with a first-quarter profit of $5.17 billion. That was up 10 percent from net income of $4.72 billion last year.

It was the second-highest quarterly profit in the company’s 129-year history and marked the most money that it has ever made during the January-March period. That puts the No. 2 U.S. oil company on track for its fifth straight year of record earnings.

BP posted a 63 percent surge in first-quarter net profit to $7.6 billion, while Shell reported a 25 percent rise, to a record $9.08 billion. ConocoPhillips reported a 16 percent rise in net income to $4.14 billion. Like BP and Shell, the third biggest U.S. producer far outpaced industry expectations.

Republicans Block Federal Aid to Wind and Solar

Tom Friedman of the New York Times reports:

Few Americans know it, but for almost a year now, Congress has been bickering over whether and how to renew the investment tax credit to stimulate investment in solar energy and the production tax credit to encourage investment in wind energy. The bickering has been so poisonous that when Congress passed the 2007 energy bill last December, it failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar energy production. Oil and gas kept all their credits, but those for wind and solar have been left to expire this December. I am not making this up. At a time when we should be throwing everything into clean power innovation, we are squabbling over pennies.

These credits are critical because they ensure that if oil prices slip back down again — which often happens — investments in wind and solar would still be profitable. That’s how you launch a new energy technology and help it achieve scale, so it can compete without subsidies.

The Democrats wanted the wind and solar credits to be paid for by taking away tax credits from the oil industry. President Bush said he would veto that. Neither side would back down, and Mr. Bush — showing not one iota of leadership — refused to get all the adults together in a room and work out a compromise. Stalemate. Meanwhile, Germany has a 20-year solar incentive program; Japan 12 years. Ours, at best, run two years.

“It’s a disaster,” says Michael Polsky, founder of Invenergy, one of the biggest wind-power developers in America. “Wind is a very capital-intensive industry, and financial institutions are not ready to take ‘Congressional risk.’ They say if you don’t get the [production tax credit] we will not lend you the money to buy more turbines and build projects.”

If the wind and solar credits expire, said Rhone Resch, the president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the impact in just 2009 would be more than 100,000 jobs either lost or not created in these industries, and $20 billion worth of investments that won’t be made.

While all the presidential candidates were railing about lost manufacturing jobs in Ohio, no one noticed that America’s premier solar company, First Solar, from Toledo, Ohio, was opening its newest factory in the former East Germany — 540 high-paying engineering jobs — because Germany has created a booming solar market and America has not.

 

Send tips about other stories the mainstream media forgot to report: unearthednews@gmail.com

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Op-Ed: Bush and Cheney Should Be in Handcuffs

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. often says that “we need to impeach President Bush as a civics lesson.” Apparently, our Congress does not agree. So if impeachment is “off the table,” what can We The People do to bring these two criminals to justice?

Guest Blogger Jack Mosel suggests in this original Op-Ed piece that it is time to take action at the local level, highlighting the case of one Vermont town which is setting an example as to how it can be done – and calls for other cities around the world to follow suit.

It stands to reason, after all, that if upon leaving office, Bush and Cheney have nowhere to run, they will have nowhere to hide. 

OP-ED: GEORGE W. BUSH AND DICK CHENEY SHOULD BE IN HANDCUFFS, NOT IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Jail to the Chief!

By Jack Mosel

Guest Blogger

“Bush and Cheney: Arrested for Gross Violations of International and U.S. Law!”

A new proposal in the township of Brattleboro, Vermont — authorizing local law enforcement to arrest Bush and Cheney — would make this headline a reality, should either of them step inside the town’s jurisdiction.

The Brattleboro proposal is to be voted on in the coming weeks at a town hall meeting. This innovative solution is up for discussion thanks to the hard work of community activists, who petitioned citywide to have the motion put to a vote.

The petition — with more than 436 signatures, or at least the 5 percent of voters necessary to be considered — was duly submitted and the town Select Board voted 3-2 to put it on the ballot. It goes to a town-wide vote March 4.

“This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they’re supposed to do,” said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.

Daims has been circulating documents that claim the community acquires a “universal jurisdiction” to take such steps “when governments breach their highest duties.”

“We have the full power to issue indictments, conduct trials, incarcerate offenders and do all other acts which Independent jurisdictions may of right do,” the statement says.

The measure asks: “Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?”

Fearful of the indictment, Bush and Cheney are mounting a counteroffensive. But in town after town in Vermont, the people have voted to support impeachment recognizing that Bush and Cheney have committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

Photo from PirateNews.org

After a concerned citizen’s call to 911, the Tyranny Response Team does their patriotic duty.

JAIL TO THE CHIEF

The Brattleboro indictment of Bush and Cheney is reflective of the tide of opposition to the current administration. The people of this country are refusing to let Bush leave office without facing charges for his criminal deeds.

Just this week, the New Hampshire State House held an impeachment hearing, which was flooded by activists and community members insisting that the state legislature take action.

Hollywood actor Ed Asner wrote a letter for the hearing expressing his support for the resolution, which indicts Bush for “invading Iraq without just cause or provocation.”

This, I submit, is the call for citizen activism for our voices to be heard on the subject of whether High Crimes and Misdemeanors are actually relevant as defined by the Constitution of the United States. 

What I mean by that is simply put: Does the activity of a collection of townships and state legislatures (as of late Westchester County, NY included) taking proactive legal steps towards indictments of our President and Vice President seem over-reactive? Or are they simply stepping up to the plate and doing the one thing Congress lacks the courage to do?

This isn’t a question of a few isolated communities anymore. City, County, and State governments are getting more done at the local level on this matter than the members of the actual House of Representatives, whose task it is to introduce Articles of Impeachment.

The ‘Pyramid’ is upside down… Those folks in Washington work for us, not the other way around.

The elected officials in Washington, D.C. are going to have to take a stand and be accountable for either their ability to represent the best interest of their constituents and their country – or not.

He looks pretty good in an orange jumpsuit

On his perp walk down the runway, the Veep demonstrates the latest fall colors; orange jumpsuits are all the rage this year.

THE CONSTITUTION IS A WAR CASUALTY

A small town in Vermont’s resolution instructing their local police to arrest the President of the United States and the Vice President of the United States for Acts of Treason is awe inspiring… Awe inspiring to the extent that it is embarrassing to our elected representatives in Washington who failed us. Again

Don’t get me wrong. I am proud of every local government which feels that they have no other choice but to do this. I’m quite sure that they would not pursue these activities if they did not have the legal authority to do so. They have taken a bold stand for the rule of law and are sending a strong message to those in Congress, in cities around the country, and indeed around the world.  

There is something burning foks…It’s the smell of a nearly 220 year-old parchment (which our president calls “just a goddamn piece of paper!”), printed from the actual blood of people like you and me. The movement for a free Republic, the Revolutionary war we fought to win that freedom, and the signing of our Constitution in Philadelphia all those years ago is not so different from the activities which are currently going on in Brattleboro, Vermont, Concord, New Hampshire, or Westchester, New York. (Home to both Sen. Hillary Clinton and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.).

The Constitution is a War Casualty… This is from the desk of ‘The Decider’. Our voices not being heard and the relentless refusal to not entertain the motions of Articles of Impeachment, is simply un-Patriotic, un-American and un-fair!

Why should we take a stand? Because it isn’t always about us, folks. The rest of the world is watching and waiting to see what we are going to do about our situation. They know that there are huge discrepancies afoot in our country’s actions over the last 8 years…that our deeds don’t live up to our words.

How are we going to save our face and continue to live up to the world’s expectations of America being a great, successful, democratic power if we handicap ourselves by taking the word of a handful of people who unilaterally claim to know best for all of us? Whatever happened to the “consent of the governed?”

When asked to testify for the 9/11 Commission about their prior knowledge of the attack on America, or about their activities on that day, both our president and our vice president balked, delayed, refused, and then finally (sort of) complied. But only with conditions — such as no record of the discussion, no paper allowed in the room, no sworn statements in testimony and no public participation…and we let this happen.

I have serious questions…and to this day, they remain unanswered. Obviously. I am not a nut. I am a father, a husband, an active community volunteer, an environmentalist by profession. I am a New Yorker born and raised, and I am still outraged that this heinous crime was committed in my state. I care about my country and the people I call Americans who live this dream with me, and above all, I am a realist.

The facts we’ve been given about what happened on September 11th and why we went to war just don’t add up.  The ones that do point to politicians at the highest levels of our own government needing to answer these questions, even if we have to arrest them in order to get to the truth. The record needs to be straightened out for the sake of history, the true perpetrators must be brought to justice once and for all.  So that your children and mine can have the same great American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness our forefathers gave us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Jack Mosel is an an environmental activist and owner of Aquatic Restoration, LLC. He can be contacted at: moseljack@yahoo.com.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions in the above editorial are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. or the owners of this website.

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Snoozing While Rome Burns

PHOTO CAPTION: Vice President Dick Cheney, minutes before cameras caught him nodding off at a cabinet meeting. (Come to think of it, he *does* look pretty woozy here.) President Bush called the emergency meeting Wednesday regarding the federal government’s response to wildfire devastation in California. Reuters photo.

WHILE WASHINGTON SLEPT

So I’m glued to CNN’s coverage of the California wildfires yesterday afternoon, and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Vice President Dick Cheney dozing off during an emergency cabinet meeting called to determine how the federal government will respond to the crisis.

CNN’s footage showed Cheney sitting in a tall leather chair, head down, hands folded, eyes closed, gently swaying to and fro. Snoozing while California burned.

These 18 wildfires, the most devastating California has ever seen, prompted the largest mass evacuation in American history. Nearly 1 million people were forced to abandon their homes, a far greater exodus than what we saw two years ago during Hurricane Katrina.

Apparently our Vice President could really care less, deciding to take a little nap-e-poo during one of the nation’s worst natural and environmental disasters. And it’s not the first time he’s been known to sack out at important meetings:

 PHOTO CAPTION: U.S. President George W. Bush speaks during a meeting about the situation in Iraq with current and former U.S. secretaries of state and defense at the White House in Washington May 12, 2006. From left are Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, sleeping Veep Dick Cheney, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

PHOTO CAPTION: Vice President Dick Cheney gets caught napping in 2006 during a press briefing by President Bush and Chinese leader Hu Jintao. The veep’s people later insisted he was reading his notes.

What the hell is wrong with our Vice President, folks? Is the old ticker so weak that he can just drift off at any moment? Does he suffer from chronic narcolepsy? Or is he just resting his eyes?

Was Bush really running the country there for a minute? Should we be worried?

According to Reuters and other mainstream media outlets (who quickly “disappeared” that pesky footage of Cheney dozing at yesterday’s cabinet meeting), there is absolutely, positively no need to worry. Bush has everything under control.

You’re in good hands, America. Everything’s fine, go back to sleep.

Just get a load of this fawning coverage off the Reuters wire yesterday:

BUSH “HAUNTED” BY KATRINA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Haunted by the legacy of Hurricane Katrina, the White House is scrambling to make sure the Southern California wildfires don’t become another public relations nightmare for President George W. Bush.

(Too late!)

His administration, faced with the worst U.S. natural disaster since Katrina, has shifted into high gear to show it learned its lesson from the federal government’s botched handling of the storm that devastated New Orleans in 2005.

Mindful of the severe damage the Katrina response caused to Bush’s image and popularity, the White House has taken pains to depict him as deeply engaged in tracking the latest crisis.

(Which explains why the “Sleeping Veep” story was killed within hours of its initial airing…)

He was quick to declare a state of emergency in California, even going as far as anticipating Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (cousin by marriage to RFK Jr.) request by leaving behind a pre-approved order before leaving the Oval Office on Monday evening.

Many will remember that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. harshly criticized the Bush Administration’s lack of response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, arguing that the disaster had been entirely preventable. He reserved some of his fiercest blows for Vice President Cheney in a controversial article he wrote for the Huffington Post. Wonder what he’ll have to say about the California crisis?

While the rapidly declining health of the man who is “one heartbeat away” from the presidency is really no laughing matter…oh, what the hell, why not? 

“Remember when the most embarrassing thing to happen to a vice-president was misspelling the word potato?” –Jimmy Kimmel

“A White House spokesman announced today that Vice President Dick Cheney’s recovery is exceeding his doctor’s expectations. You know what that means? He’s still alive.” –Jay Leno

“President Bush sent Vice President Dick Cheney to New Orleans. Is that what they need down there? Another person requiring emergency medical help?” –Jay Leno

“As Cheney told CNN, he has been 100 percent heart attack free since ascending to the vice presidency. He added, ‘In fact, rather than giving me stress, being vice president has actually fueled my blackened soul, allowing me to gorge vampire-like on the bloody nectar of unlimited power.’ I’m sorry that should have read ‘I never felt better.’” -Jon Stewart, on Dick Cheney’s insistence that he is the picture of health

 

 

 

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