Top U.S. News : The Slow Decline of American Empire
November 3, 2007, 8:10 pm
Filed under: empire, fascism, news, politics, Uncategorized

 11 things the U.S. can learn from the rest of the world (Alternet)

Great article, with links to further information.

The Nuclear Bombshell That Never Went Off (Congressional Quarterly)

EXCERPT: “Twenty years ago, the House Foreign Affairs Committee learned that officials in the Reagan and Bush administrations were looking the other way while Pakistan acquired U.S. technology for its clandestine nuclear weapons program. Later, the United States allowed Pakistan to tweak its U.S.-supplied F-16s to carry nuclear bombs over India.”

U.S. Army accused of hiding Chemical Weapons Information (Environmental News Service)

EXCERPT: “Citizen groups trying to stop the U.S. Army from shipping waste from deadly VX nerve agent from Indiana across eight states to Port Arthur, Texas say sources who wish to remain anonymous told the groups that the Army had withheld crucial information from the public and a federal judge during a hearing on the shipments last July.”

Guantanamo lawyer breaks ranks to condemn ‘unconscionable detention’ (ZMag)

EXCERPT: “An American military lawyer and veteran of dozens of secret Guantanamo tribunals has made a devastating attack on the legal process for determining whether Guantanamo prisoners are “enemy combatants”.  The whistleblower, an army major inside the military court system which the United States has established at Guantanamo Bay, has described the detention of one prisoner, a hospital administrator from Sudan, as “unconscionable”.

His critique will be the centrepiece of a hearing on 5 December before the US Supreme Court when another attempt is made to shut the prison down. So nervous is the Bush administration of the latest attack – and another Supreme Court ruling against it – that it is preparing a whole new system of military courts to deal with those still imprisoned. The whistleblower’s testimony is the most serious attack to date on the military panels, which were meant to give a fig-leaf of legitimacy to the interrogation and detention policies at Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. The major has taken part in 49 status review panels.

“It’s a kangaroo court system and completely corrupt,” said Michael Ratner, the president of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, which is co-ordinating investigations and appeals lawsuits against the government by some 1,000 lawyers. “Stalin had show trials, but at Guantanamo they are not even show trials because it all takes place in secret.”

Spark for Dubya Dubya Three: Ray L. Hunt (DailyKos)

“Why have tensions suddenly escalated along the Turkish border with Iraq? Why have Kurdish PKK guerrillas been going out of their way in recent weeks to provoke a conflict with Turkish forces? Why have Kurdish PJAK guerrillas been stepping up their cross-border activities into Iran?  The catalyst may well be Bush crony Ray L. Hunt.  Ray L. Hunt is CEO of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., a member of the Halliburton Board of Directors, a Bush “Pioneer,” a major Republican fund-raiser, a contributor of $35 million to Southern Methodist University (SMU) to support a George W. Bush Presidential Library and think tank, and, by the way, a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB)”

“On September 8th, 2007, Hunt’s company signed an oil production sharing agreement (PSA) with the Kurdistan Regional Government–much to the irritation of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad. A major strategic goal of the signing may have been to resurrect an old pipeline route from Mosul in Kurdistan, through Jordan, and on to Israel. The pipeline would presumably follow the southern route on this map.”

The FBI has the right to threaten torture (Counterpunch)

Another corrupt Defense Department contract (LA Times)

EXCERPT: “A Defense Department medical services contract worth up to $790 million was awarded last month to a Wisconsin-based company three months after it hired a former Bush administration appointee who had supervised military health programs at the Pentagon for the last six years.”

The $10 Million Bat Mitzvah that’s killing our troops (GNN)

“David H. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, earned $70 million in 2004, 13,349% more than his 2001 compensation of $525,000. Brooks also sold company stock worth about $186 million last year, spooking investors who drove DHB’s share price from more than $22 to as low as $6.50 [DHB was trading at $4.20 Wednesday]. In May 2005, the U.S. Marines recalled more than 5,000 DHB armored vests after questions were raised about their effectiveness. By that time, Brooks had pocketed over $250 million in war windfalls.”

“Thought Crime” Bill Could Ensnare Peaceful Activists (PrisonPlanet)

EXCERPT: “A new bill that recently passed the House and is headed for Senate approval has online activists worried that the vague definitions used for defining the Internet’s contribution to radicalization of potential terrorists could lead to a government crackdown on talk radio, free speech and the 9/11 truth movement.  The bill is H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 and passed Congress after a bipartisan vote on October 23rd.

The bill defines “violent radicalization” as “The process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.”  It further defines “homegrown terrorism” as “The use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Doctors, Torture and the War (Uruknet)

EXCERPT: “Various reports have alleged physicians’ complicity in the mistreatment of prisoners being held by the United States at Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo. Physicians are reported to have advised interrogators as to whether particular prisoners were fit enough to survive physical maltreatment, informed interrogators about prisoners’ phobias and other psychological vulnerabilities that could be exploited during questioning, failed to report incidents of alleged torture, force-fed prisoners who were on hunger strikes, and altered the death certificates of prisoners who died.”

“Any or all of these actions by physicians violate the standards of the Geneva Conventions. But do most physicians even know those standards? Do they know that doctors could be drafted into military service? Some of my colleagues at Cambridge Health Alliance and I surveyed medical students on these subjects. The results astounded us.”

Judiciary Committee official ‘inadvertently’ sends out open email to all whistleblowers who called in to tipline, including a copy to the public email address for Dick Cheney. (PoliticsPlus)

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