Created on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 21:57
Written by Scott Horton
Ending a Culture of Impunity for Contract Soldiers
by Scott Horton
oday, Human Rights First released its report â€œPrivate Security Contractors at War: Ending the Culture of Impunityâ€(4MB PDF), which I helped write and edit. The reportâ€™s focus is not on the misdeeds of private military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather it focuses on the United States Government, and particularly the Department of Justice.
The Bush Administration has crafted a culture of impunity for contractors in Iraq. This can be seen in a number of acts and in a policy of official indifference towards violent crime involving contractors.
The victims of this policy are Iraqi civilians, coalition military, and members of the contractor force themselves. As a senior general in Iraq recently told one of my colleagues: â€œThe three biggest threats faced by American soldiers in Iraq are IEDs, al Qaeda fighters, and unaccountable contractors.â€
Repeated hearings and demands for action from Congress are ignored by the Justice Department.
Read more: Ending a Culture of Impunity
Created on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 20:34
Written by Scott Horton
Brecht â€˜To Those Who Follow in Our Wakeâ€™
by Scott Horton
Wirklich, ich lebe in finsteren Zeiten!
Das arglose Wort ist tÃ¶richt. Eine glatte Stirn
Deutet auf Unempfindlichkeit hin. Der Lachende
Hat die furchtbare Nachricht
Nur noch nicht empfangen.
Truly, I live in dark times!
An artless word is foolish. A smooth forehead
Points to insensitivity. He who laughs
Has not yet received
The terrible news.
Read more: To Those Who Follow in Our Wake
Created on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 20:15
Written by Chris Cook
Canadians Too Thick to Support Afghanistan Mission
by C. L. Cook
y way of getting to know his new subjects, freshly minted Conservative Defence Minister, Gordon O'Connor summed up what he sees as his greatest challenge: How to get through to the sixty-two percent of Canadians who don't believe the country should be involved with the worsening occupation of Afghanistan.
"The population out there doesn't really understand right now why we're there and what we're doing. You have to say the thing five, six, seven, eight times before it really gets through to a large number of people." - Defence Minister O'Connor instructs the foreign press.
Read more: Canadians 'Too Thick' to Support Afghanistan Mission
[This comes from 2006. The minister has since departed his post. - lex]
Created on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 19:33
Written by Chris Cook
Deceits to Come: A Predictive History of George Bush's Second Term
by C. L. Cook
efore the New Year gets out of its diapers, and in the spirit of pre-emption lately so fashionable, I think it fitting to sketch out a few of the inevitable crimes, and misdemeanors George W. Bush must commit during his second illegitimate term if he is to complete the creation of the nightmare project that is his New American Century.
Read more: A Predictive History of George Bush's Second Term
[I wrote this in the early days of 2005, those halcyon years when war was young and... - lex]
Created on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 18:20
Written by Paul Craig Roberts
Read more: Libertyâ€™s Light and Independent Views
Extinguishing Libertyâ€™s Light and Independent Views
by Paul Craig Roberts
hat was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bushâ€™s â€œsurgeâ€ in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress.
The American peopleâ€™s attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference.
The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly.
Created on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 17:57
Nuclear Safety Watchdog Head Fired for "lack of leadership": Minister
by CBC News
ederal Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn defended his decision to fire the head of Canada's nuclear safety watchdog Wednesday, arguing she lost the government's confidence over the way she handled the shutdown of a medical isotope-producing nuclear reactor late last year.
Read more: Canadian Nuke Watchdog Fired Hours Before Testimony
The former head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Linda Keen, will remain a member of the commission. (CBC)
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission president Linda Keen was let go hours before she and Lunn were set to appear before a House committee in Ottawa on Wednesday. Keen subsequently backed out.
Created on Wednesday, 16 January 2008 07:34
Written by Jim Miles
Canada Report 2007 â€“ Part II â€“ Canadaâ€™s Policy on Israel/Palestine
by Jim Miles
Previously I had looked at several factors that tend to indicate that Canadaâ€™s actions with foreign policy and with domestic policy are increasingly following American policies.
One of the areas that receives very little local media attention is the official policy towards the Israeli/Palestine question â€“ seldom do the issues on Israel/Palestine surface in any of the media, and what little does generally follows the lines of Palestinian terrorists, the undemocratic Hamas takeover of Gaza, and the hardships of the Israeli population.
Read more: Canada: Nearly Achieving Sub-Nation Status II
Created on Tuesday, 15 January 2008 20:04
Written by Agence Global
Hillary's Real MLK Problem
by Barbara Ehrenreich
t first I took it as another -- yawn -- white rip-off of black culture and creativity: the Rolling Stones appropriating the Bo Diddley beat, Bo Derek sporting corn rows, and now Hillary giving Lyndon Baines Johnson credit for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
If you had to give this honor to a white guy, LBJ was an odd choice, since he'd spent the 1964 Democratic convention scheming to prevent the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party from taking any Dixiecrat seats.
Read more: Hillary's Martin Luther King Dilemma
By Clinton's standards, maybe Richard Nixon should be credited with the legalization of abortion in 1972.
Created on Tuesday, 15 January 2008 19:34
Written by Mike Whitney
The Deflation Time Bomb
by Mike Whitney
We are to about see how much George Bush really believes the â€œsupply sideâ€ mumbo-jumbo heâ€™s been spouting for the last seven years.
Last weekâ€™s Labor Department report confirmed that unemployment is on the rise (5%) and that corrective action will be required to avoid a long and painful recession. Thereâ€™s a good chance that the Chameleon in Chief will jettison his â€œtrickle downâ€ doctrine for more conventional Keynesian remedies like slashing interest rates, government programs, and tax relief to middle and low-income people.
Read more: America: Deflation Time Bomb
Created on Tuesday, 15 January 2008 19:11
Written by Kahentinetha Horn
Women Title Holders Assert the Great Law over ALGONQUINS
by Kahentinetha Horn
he Kahtihonâ€™tia:kwenio have been forced to assert their responsibilities as caretakers of Haudenosaunee land.
Read more: Ontario Uranium Mining the Line Too Far: Ottawa on the Mohawk
The land in question is south of the Ottawa River which was Huron [Wyandot] territory 308 years ago. After many years of warfare between the Iroquois and the French and their allies, the Hurons, there was a meeting in Montreal in 1700. At this time, this land passed to the Haudenosaunee in exchange for prisoners.