Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Jeff Halper, Kerry Pither, J9 Jan. 26. 2009

This Week on Gorilla Radio
by C. L. Cook
Jeff Halper is the coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and is the author of the book, 'An Israeli in Palestine.' Jeff is currently on a North America speaking tour, addressing the now redundant issues of peace and justice. 
And, Kerry Pither is a long-time human rights and civil liberties champion and intervener on a wide range of local, regional and international issues. She is also the author of the recently released book, 'Dark Days: The Story of Four Canadians Tortured in the Name of Fighting Terror.'
And Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with good local goings-on, and to keep us abreast of Victoria's current housing and shelter crisis.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
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NSA Unwarranted Spy Program: Who's Watching Whom?

Did Bush’s Terrorist Surveillance Program Really Focus on American Journalists?
by Scott Horton
For the last several weeks, Michael Hayden, the former CIA director who previously led the NSA, has been sweating bullets. In recent press meetings he was a bundle of worries, regularly expressing worries about “prosecutions.”
Fear of the consequences of criminal acts has been a steady theme for Hayden. In her book The Dark Side, Jane Mayer reports that in 2004 Deputy Attorney General James Comey was “taken aback” by Hayden’s comments when he was let in on the details of the program that Hayden ran at NSA. “I’m glad you’re joining me, because I won’t have to be lonely, sitting all by myself at the witness table, in the administration of John Kerry.”

Last night on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” we learned that Hayden is concerned about more than just allegations that detainees in CIA custody were tortured. Former NSA analyst Russell Tice, a source for the New York Times disclosure of details of the program, appears to offer further details on the program.
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For the Record: Obama Revokes Bush Secrecy Provisions

Obama Frees Bush Historical Record
by Robert Parry
When authoritarian forces seize control of a government, they typically move first against the public’s access to information, under the theory that a confused populace can be more easily manipulated. They take aim at the radio stations, TV and newspapers. In the case of George W. Bush in 2001, he also took aim at historical records, giving himself and his family indefinite control over documents covering the 12 years of his father’s terms as President and Vice President.

It was, therefore, significant that one of Barack Obama’s first acts as President was to revoke the Bush Family’s power over that history and to replace it with an easier set of regulations for accessing the records.
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Spawn of the Bear Mountain Planned for Langford

OMG, It's Another Bear Mountain!
by Zoe Blunt
Here's my take on the "South Skirt Mountain Village" development, plus details on the next public meetings.

Developers are planning 2819 residential units (mostly apartments and condos) on the 84-acre site straddling the Bear Mountain Parkway over the next fifteen years. The development spans the steep and rugged south slope of Skirt Mountain from Florence Lake west to Goldstream Provincial Park, and from Highway 1 all the way up to Bear Mountain Resort on top of the mountain.

The proposed new zoning for the mountain calls for high-rises and towers throughout – a few areas up to six stories, but most with no upper limit. One zoning proposal requests a single-family home designation for a small area west of the parkway, and a couple commercial zones are planned near the new interchange.

Clearing the forest could begin in a couple weeks or a couple years, depending on who you ask. Langford's Planning and Zoning Committee discusses the application for this new "Comprehensive Mixed-Use Development" on Monday, January 26, 7 pm at Langford City Hall, and the City Council is holding a public hearing on the  application at 7 pm on Monday, February 2 in its chambers. It is likely Langford will approve the zoning and development soon after, in accordance with its policy of fast-tracking permits.
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The Cure for Obama Fever is "Indian" History

by MNN
U.S. President Barack Obama slipped a subtle comment into his inauguration "mind control" speech on January 20th.   When Obama defined America as a nation of "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers", he deliberately left out Indigenous peoples. 
We have our value systems.  We have our knowledge.  He sneaked in the intention to ignore us when he said that "the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve".  To Americans the word "tribe" means the Ongwehonwe.  We are the caretakers and trustees of the lands and resources of the world which the New World Order NWO or One World "Government" must steal to control the world. 
Our role puts us squarely in the path of this grand scheme of a few bankers, the governments they control and their deadly enforcement agencies.  

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The Power of Hope, The Promise of Greatness

The Age of Obama: The Power of Hope, The Promise of Greatness
by Jack Random
The inauguration of Barack Obama as America’s 44th president was a moving and powerful symbol of change.  Every citizen and ally who allowed himself and herself to appreciate the moment felt a surge of pride that will not easily abate.  

We have elected a leader who’s every word, step and breath seems to hold the promise of greatness.  Amidst everything that is wrong with our nation and our world – our homes foreclosing, our jobs lost, our banks defaulting, our debt mounting, our wages falling, our health care declining, our air and water filled with toxic poisons, our government dysfunctional and two wars still spilling daily blood – we have yet this moment and this man upon whom we place our hope and trust.  

If he did not seek the position it would be an act of supreme injustice.  

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Niebuhr and the Necessary Evils of Resistance

Peace is in the Eye of the Beholder
by Chris Hedges
I do not like Hamas. I detest religious fundamentalism and the use of suicide bombers. I find the group’s anti-Semitism and ruthless silencing of internal Palestinian opponents repugnant. The rocket attacks on Israeli civilians are a war crime. But this does not negate the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance to the long Israeli siege and occupation of Gaza. 

The moral scum of any society rises to the surface in war. Those who have a penchant for violence and an access to weapons dominate the landscape. It was the criminal class and gangsters who first organized the defense of Sarajevo. It was the thugs of Gaza who took control to confront the Israeli army. This is nothing new in wartime. Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause. But there are moments when a people face the terrible tragedy of resistance or obliteration. This was true in Sarajevo. It is true for the Palestinians. It does not make it pretty or good. It is what happens.
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Beyond the Honeymoon

THE OBAMATHON HAS BEGUN: How Long Will The Honeymoon Last?
by Danny Schechter
Every President has a honeymoon but Barack Obama’s won’t last long, probably because the real world won’t give him a pass. The markets showed their lack of sentimentality by dropping sharply on inauguration day. The Repugs are looking to knock off a Cabinet nominee, and do anything they can to show they are still a force to be dealt with

In truth,  indeed they are. 48% of the country did not support Obama. He knows that and hence his symbolic attempts to neutralize his opponents with smiles and civility, a preacher at the ceremony, and a few Cabinet positions. Will that assuage the hard right “movement activists,” the Limbaugh ditto heads or the Hannity hard heads?

I doubt it, but for now, they are on the defensive. Bill Clinton says he thinks the days of ideology are waning, that the polarization of the past will go away because the right has to become more pragmatic to return to power.

I don’t buy his consensus of the center viewpoint for several reasons.
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Aftermath: Tallying the Total War

Aftermath: Tallying the Total War
by C. L. Cook
Though still in early days following the mayhem, some preliminary numbers are coming down the main media pipe regarding the toll of Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead,' (the uber carnage recently featured on the world's front pages) prosecuted against the captive denizens of the Gaza Strip.
Israel says it's to investigate the use of white phosphorus in Gaza
The death toll already exceeds 1300, even as buildings still smolder and few of the thousands of erstwhile apartment buildings and houses now rubble fields strewn throughout Gaza has been fully excavated.
More than five thousand bear physical wounds; more than a hundred thousand are homeless; more than a third of the victims children; and that's just the beginning.
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A Good Man Goes to Guantanamo Bay

One Good Man Goes to Gitmo
by Scott Horton
Former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias has been appointed as a JAG prosecutor for the Gitmo cases. Iglesias, a Native American and 24-year Navy veteran with the rank of captain, rose to national prominence with the U.S. attorney’s scandal.
His appointment marks a distinct upgrade to the quality and caliber of the prosecution effort, which recently has been beset with controversy concerning its independence.
Six Gitmo prosecutors have resigned or requested reassignment, many noting that political officials of the Bush Administration improperly interfered with their management of the cases or suggested the existence of vital evidence which was being withheld from the defense.
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Dammed Nation

Dam Nation
by Mickey Z.
Every morning when I awake, I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam,” Derrick Jensen writes. “I’ve written books and done activism, but it is neither a lack of words nor activism that is killing salmon here in the Northwest. It’s the dams. Anyone who knows anything about salmon knows the dams must go. Anyone who knows anything about politics knows the dams will stay.”

To that, I’ll add: Anyone who knows anything about hydroelectric dams comprehends and laments the damage they cause: From climate change to the destruction of rivers to human displacement to disappearing salmon…and beyond. As Jacques Leslie, author of Deep Water: The Epic Struggle over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment, points out: “The world’s dams have shifted so much weight that geophysicists believe they have slightly altered the speed of the earth’s rotation, the tilt of its axis, and the shape of its gravitational field.”
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What Will Obama Inherit?

The Day the Earth Still Stood: What Will Obama Inherit?
By Tom Engelhardt
Inauguration day!

Gazillions of Americans descended on Washington. The rest of us were watching on TV or checking out streaming video on our computers. No one was paying attention to anything else. Every pundit in sight was nattering away all day long, as they will tomorrow and, undoubtedly, the next day about whatever comes to mind until we get bored. And in the morning, when this post is still hanging around in your inbox, you'll be reading your newspaper on… well, you know… the same things: Obama's speech! So many inaugural balls! Etc., etc.

So I'm thinking of this post as a freebie, a way to lay out a little news about the world that no one will notice. And all I can say -- for those of you who aren't reading this anyway, and in the spirit of the clunky 1951 sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still -- is: Klaatu barada nikto!

Okay, no actual translation of that phrase (to the best of Wikipedia's knowledge) exists. We do know that, when invoked, the three words acted as a kind of "fail-safe" device, essentially disarming the super-robot Gort (which arrived on the Washington Mall by spacecraft with the alien Klaatu). That was no small thing, since Gort was capable not just of melting down tanks but possibly of ending life on this planet. Still, I remain convinced, based on no evidence whatsoever, that the phrase could also mean: "Whew! We're still here!"
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