No Trials: Attorney General's Veiled Threats to Obama

Mukasey Tries to Steer Obama Away From Probing Torture, Spying
by Jason Leopold
S
ince he replaced disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales last year, Michael Mukasey has stonewalled every attempt made by Congress to investigate the Bush administration's most controversial policies related to the so-called global war on terror.

Now Mukasey is taking his loyalty to President George W. Bush even further: by publicly declaring there is no legal basis to prosecute current and former administration officials for authorizing torture, domestic surveillance, and certainly no reason for President George W. Bush to issue blanket pardons when he leaves the White House in January to the individuals who implemented those policies.

"There is absolutely no evidence that anybody who rendered a legal opinion, either with respect to surveillance or with respect to interrogation policies, did so for any reason other than to protect the security in the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful,” Mukasey said during a roundtable discussion with reporters Wednesday. “In those circumstances, there is no occasion to consider prosecution and there is no occasion to consider pardon.

“If the word goes out to the contrary, then people are going to get the message, which is that if you come up with an answer that is not considered desirable in the future you might face prosecution, and that creates an incentive not to give an honest answer but to give an answer that may be acceptable in the future. It also creates some incentive in people not to ask in the first place.”
 
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Is Capitalism Running Out of Road?

You Bastard, You Burst My Bubble! No not really
by William Bowles
Up until this current crisis manifested itself, it was true to characterize a distinguishing feature of capitalism as the “Constant revolutionizing of production”, that is to say, the destruction and recreation of the means of production, new products created and new or existing markets exploited anew.
 
“Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones ... All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.” — Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

However, in a world where there is now global over-production and increasingly impoverished working classes unable to afford the products of their own labours, is it possible that this distinguishing feature has reached a dead-end? And if so, what are the implications? Will general war, as it has in the past, be the only ‘solution’ to this, the greatest crisis of the over-accumulation of capital in history?

Or has the capitalist system finally ran out of road? And if so, are we in a position to replace it with something else?
 
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Three Canadians Killed in Afghanistan

Three Canadians Killed in Afghanistan
by C. L. Cook
C
anada's state media is reporting three Canadian soldiers were killed today when their vehicle encountered a roadside bomb. The three deaths bring to 100 the number of Canadians killed in Afghanistan since 2002.

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation says Cpl. Robert McLaren, Pte. Demetrios Diplaros, and Warrant Officer Robert Wilson, all based in Petawawa, Ontario, were killed near Kandahar when their armoured patrol vehicle was struck, around 9am local time this morning.
 
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Up Against the Wall Mo...fu...kers!

Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers!
by Ron Jacobs
T
he Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers were the Weatherman before there was Weatherman. They were the Yippies without the media bullshit. They were the Black Panthers without the discipline or the uniforms. They were the Diggers with a New York City edge and guns. They were crazy street kids who needed other like themselves to run with in the streets of New York City’s Lower East Side. They were political activists who believed in the propaganda of the deed. Osha Neumann, who called himself Tom at the time and whose stepfather during his preteen and teen years was the so-called Father of the New Left Herbert Marcuse, joined the gang early in its inception.

The times he spent with them are what he chronicles in his recently published book Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers: A Memoir of the 60s, With Notes for Next Time. The tale told therein is open to criticism for the occasional pointlessness of the acts described.  Yet it is a criticism that usually can occur only via retrospect. Neumann tells a story of street living, street politics, fights with biker gangs and police, and an ever-increasing sense of impending apocalypse. Indeed, it was this sense of apocalypse that fed many individuals involved in the antiwar movement and the counterculture and it can easily be argued that it was that same sense that seeded the birth of Weatherman and the myriad of other revolutionary and radical groups that turned to armed struggle as the 1960s became the 1970s.
 
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Canadian Census Objector to go on Trial

Lockheed Canadian Census Objector on Trial
by Sandra Finley
T
he corporatist agenda of privatizing public services means that more and more of the data that was originally handled by various levels of government are now being handled by corporations. When the 2006 Canadian Census was contracted out to the worlds largest military contractor, Lockheed Martin (an American multinational that is subject to the US Patriot Act), Saskatchewan resident Sandra Finley objected and refused to fill out her Census form.
 
 
 
She has been charged under the Statistics Act with failure to comply with the census. If she is found guilty she faces a maximum $500 fine and 3 months in jail. She is trying to get in touch with the 60 other people who have been charged. Sandra can be reached by phone at (306) 373-8078 or by email at  sabest1@sasktel.net for more information visit www.vivelecanada.com

Please pass this video link along http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEe5WuN0Hsc

Sandra is featured in my soon to be released documentary “You me and the SPP – Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule”.  

 
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The Afghan War Deciphered

Who Are the Taliban? The Afghan War Deciphered
by Anand Gopal
I
f there is an exact location marking the West's failures in Afghanistan, it is the modest police checkpoint that sits on the main highway 20 minutes south of Kabul. The post signals the edge of the capital, a city of spectacular tension, blast walls, and standstill traffic. Beyond this point, Kabul's gritty, low-slung buildings and narrow streets give way to a vast plain of serene farmland hemmed in by sandy mountains. In this valley in Logar province, the American-backed government of Afghanistan no longer exists.

Instead of government officials, men in muddied black turbans with assault rifles slung over their shoulders patrol the highway, checking for thieves and "spies." The charred carcass of a tanker, meant to deliver fuel to international forces further south, sits belly up on the roadside.

The police say they don't dare enter these districts, especially at night when the guerrillas rule the roads. In some parts of the country's south and east, these insurgents have even set up their own government, which they call the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the name of the former Taliban government). They mete out justice in makeshift Sharia courts. They settle land disputes between villagers. They dictate the curricula in schools.
 
 
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Going to the Dogs: Vancouver Transit Proposes Platform Dog Patrols

BCCLA says Translink shouldn't unleash plan for sniffing transit users
by BCCLA 
V
ancouver, British Columbia - The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says that Translink's proposal to introduce police dogs to sniff transit users is unjustified and will violate people's rights. Translink's plan, calling for the introduction of police sniffer dogs on Skytrain and select transit stations, was announced today. No date for implementation was announced.
   
"This represents a massive intrusion into the rights of transit users. Authoritarian regimes use animals to control people. We are supposed to be readying Vancouver as a showcase to the world of a peaceful and democratic country. Yet once again a security measure is being sprung on us without consultation or debate. Will anyone really believe that this proposal to engage in mass searches of the public is driven by anything other than the Olympics?" asked Rob Holmes, President of the BCCLA. "This is as bad or worse than the Victoria police stopping and screening all users of public transit on Canada Day, frisking them to check for alcohol."
 
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America's Security Charade in Iraq

Iraq's US Security Charade
by Ramzy Baroud
W
orld media rashly celebrated the "historic" security pact that allows for US troops to stay in Iraq for three more years after the Iraqi parliament ratified the agreement on Thursday, 27 November. The approval came one week after the Iraqi cabinet did the same.

Thousands of headlines exuded from media outlets, largely giving the false impression that the Iraqi government and parliament have a real say over the future of US troops in their country, once again playing into the ruse fashioned by Washington that Iraq is a democratic country, operating independently from the dictates of US Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker and the top commander of US troops in Iraq, General Ray Odierno. The men issued a joint, congratulatory statement shortly after the parliamentary vote, describing it as one that would "formalise a strong and equal partnership" between the US and Iraq.

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Closing the Enbridge Gateway

Approval Process for Enbridge Gateway Flawed: BC First Nations
by Office of the Wet'suwet'en
A
resolution, passed at today's First Nations Summit meeting in Vancouver, calls on the federal government to establish an independent First Nations Review Process for Enbridge's Northern Gateway project. The resolution follows a November 6 gathering where Hereditary Chiefs, Elected Chiefs and representatives from six First Nations shared concerns about the Gateway pipeline and coastal tanker traffic. They agreed that current consultation attempts by the federal government and Enbridge do not meet a standard of genuine engagement with First Nations.

"Regulators are not respecting the fact that we have a responsibility to protect our ancestral territories, rights, title and interests," says David de Wit, Natural Resources Manager at the Office of the Wet'suwet'en. "Gateway is a major project with significant risks. Yet the federal government is advancing a decision-making process for Gateway without any provision for addressing Aboriginal Rights and Title. This is unacceptable."
 
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Between the Queen and the Tribe

The Lady Between the Queen and the Tribe
by Gilad Atzmon
I
n spite of the fact that I monitor Israeli press and Jewish activism on a daily basis, I must admit that almost once a day I come across something new and refreshing about my ex-brethren. As it happened, yesterday I learned about an organisation named the “International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists” (IAJLJ). An association with such a name didn’t take me by complete surprise. By now I am used to the concept of ‘primarily-Jewish’ organisations and associations. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t take any of us by surprise, Israel, as we know, is the ‘Jews-only’ state. Furthermore, Israel’s very few sporadic vocal opponents within the Jewish world tend for some reason to operate also in similar racially orientated primarily Jewish political settings such as ‘Jews For Peace’, ‘Jews for Justice in Palestine’, ‘Jewish Independent Voice’, etc.

Apparently, more than just a few contemporary Jews insist upon maintaining a form of segregation that allows them to operate ideologically, intellectually and spiritually within a closed racially or ethnically orientated circuit. I would agree that within the liberal democratic discourse, this is something we must accept and even approve. The ethos of multi-culturalism maintains that people of different and varied ethnic groups are welcome to celebrate their symptoms politically, ideologically and spiritually in isolation. Yet, as much as we may approve of any form of ethnic, spiritual or religious segregation, some of the primarily Jewish organisations claim to maintain a ‘universal agenda’ while pursuing ‘human rights’. An obvious question must be followed. If universalism is what they insist they are practicing or promoting, why do they do it in isolation? Why do they practice it in racially orientated cells? If humanism is what they are really after, why don’t they just join the rest of humanity in pursuing it?

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A Little Recession Music, Please

Woody Guthrie: A little recession music, please
by Mickey Z.
If you were to open your mouth and belt out the words “this land is your land,” you could rest assured that someone nearby would add: “this land is my land.” The chorus to Woody Guthrie’s 1940 classic is common knowledge…as are the first couple of verses. But it ain’t until you get to the later verses—those often omitted from official versions—that you start comprehendin’ what good ol’ Woody had in mind:
 
As I was walkin’ I saw a sign there
And that sign said “No tresspassin’”
But on the other side, it didn’t say nothin’
Now that side was made for you and me
 
In the squares of the city/In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office, I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me
 
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Shock Resistance: Understanding Harper's Crisis of Democracy

'We can't lose this moment'
by Naomi Klein
K
im Elliott: As you outline so well in your book and in various interviews in the U.S. media, the current financial crisis holds the possibility of being one of those moments when the shock doctrine can best be applied. Can you comment on both the Harper government's economic and fiscal statement introduced last week, and on the Opposition's response to that - that is, the formation of a coalition - in the context of the shock doctrine?

Naomi Klein: Yes, absolutely. What I think we are seeing is a clear example of the shock doctrine in the way the Harper government has used the economic crisis to push through a much more radical agenda than they won a mandate to do.

At the same time we are seeing an example of what I call in the book a "shock resistance," where this tactic has been so overused around the world and also in Canada that we are becoming more resistant to the tactic - we are on to them - and Harper is not getting away with it.

What I think is really amazing about this moment is whatever happens next - whether we end up with this coalition or not, we will have an extremely chastened Harper. So the attempted shock doctrine has failed. I think we can say that decisively.
 
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