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Carter's Peace Mission

Carter's Peace Mission
by Mike Whitney
Jimmy Carter arrived in Syria today in an effort to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He is scheduled to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal.
Carter has been severely criticized in the western media for meeting with Hamas and was snubbed by Israeli leaders during his stay in Israel. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, all refused to meet with the former president. They believe that Carter's trip undermines Israel's current policy towards the Palestinians and will force them to negotiate with a group they think is a terrorist organization.

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Team Torture: Accounting for Bush and Co.

Brilliant Disguise: Bush Torture, Obama and The Boss        
by Chris Floyd     
We offer now a telling juxtaposition of stories. First is the Guardian's new excerpt of Phillipe Sands' new book, Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty, and the Compromise of Law. (Another extract was published earlier in Vanity Fair, which we examined here.)
Sands' book lays out in great detail the process by which the highest officials of the American government – including the President, Vice President and the Secretary of Defense – with great deliberation and malice aforethought constructed a regimen of systematic torture which they knew, to a certainty, violated existing American and international law.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andrea Licata, Joan Russow, J9 - Monday April 21, 2008

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook
This week, Andrea Licata is an Italian scholar, author, and campaigner against both Air Base Aviano and the proliferation of American and NATO military bases spreading around the world; Joan Russow on watching the Security and Prosperity Partners in New Orleans; Janine Bandcroft brings us up to speed with all that's good going-on in and around Victoria in the coming week.
Listen. Hear. And Hear
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:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

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Chertoff: Last Torturer Standing

Torture Question Hovers Over Chertoff
by Jason Leopold
John Yoo and some other Bush administration lawyers who built the legal framework for torture are now out of the U.S. government, but one still holds a Cabinet-level rank – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

In the summer of 2002, Chertoff, then head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, offered assurances to the CIA that its interrogators would not face prosecution under anti-torture laws if they followed guidelines on aggressive techniques approved by the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where Yoo worked.

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Canada: Foreign Affairs Expresses Concern over Haiti Food Riots

Canada Concerned About the Situation in Haiti
by Foreign Affairs (Canada)
The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today expressed serious concern over the recent protests in Haiti against the rising cost of living.

Peaceful protests against the rising cost of fuel and staples began on April 3. Protests turned violent in the capital and other cities, but have diminished in intensity since April 9.

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Riad Hamad: A Death in Austin

Riad Hamad: A Death in Austin
by C. L. Cook
This week, Lebanese immigrant to the United States, and founder of the Palestinian Children's Welfare Fund was found dead in Austin's Lady Bird Lake.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008, the Austin Police Department announced Riad Hamad's death as a 'suicide,' despite his body being discovered gagged and bound with duct tape. Hamad had claimed he was being targeted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement.  
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George Stephanopoulos This Week with John McCain

George Stephanopoulos This Week with John McCain
by Brave New Films
Last week's Democratic debate in Philadelphia was an abysmal display of journalism. By sticking to trivial topics for half of the debate, ABC sought to provoke controversy without asking the candidates serious questions. The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins wrote that the debate "ventured into territory so utterly asinine that I could scarcely believe what I was witnessing."

Ironically, the mainstream media have been giving John McCain a free ride while trying to pin Clinton and Obama with manufactured "gotcha" questions. In fact, they don't seem to be challenging McCain at all. So there's no reason to think ABC's brand of pseudo-journalism won't continue tomorrow morning, when George Stephanopoulos will interview McCain on his show.
Here's a satirical look at what that interview might be like.

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Clinton Goes Deep: Digging up the Weather Underground

The Weather Underground 'Theme'
by Robert Parry
While nearly all politicians shade the truth now and then, some utterly disdain the truth, a category that includes George W. Bush and increasingly Hillary Clinton, as she made clear again in Wednesday night’s debate on the strange topic of Vietnam-era Weather Underground leader William Ayers.

Since last year, the Clinton campaign has been pushing the supposed Ayers connection to Barack Obama as an attack "theme" to take down his candidacy. But Clinton went even further in the debate suggesting that Ayers had reveled in the 9/11 attacks – a false claim clearly meant to inflame Americans against Obama.

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DefCon On: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Loathe the Bomb

Leaving Cheyenne Mountain: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Loathe the Bomb
by William Astore
It took more than four years just to excavate and construct that mountain redoubt outside of Colorado Springs, that Cold War citadel whose two huge blast doors weighed 25 tons each.
Within its confines, under 2,000 feet of Rocky Mountain granite, fifteen buildings were constructed, each mounted on steel springs, each spring weighing nearly half a ton, so that, when the Soviet nukes exploded, each building would sway but not collapse.

When it became operational in 1966, the Cheyenne Mountain Complex was the ultimate bomb shelter. Its 200 or so crewmembers were believed to have a 70% likelihood of surviving a five-megaton blast with a three-mile circular error of probability, even if the surrounding countryside became an irradiated wasteland.
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The US Palestine-Israel Fairytale

The US Palestine-Israel Fairytale
by Ramzy Baroud
A memorable quote in Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894) still carries a wealth of relevance. He writes,
  • "They own the [holy] land, just the mere land, and that's all they do own; but it was our folks, our Jews and Christians, that made it holy, and so they haven't any business to be there defiling it. It's a shame and we ought not to stand it a minute. We ought to march against them and take it away from them."
Recently an influential pastor, John Hagee of the Dallas's Cornerstone mega-church, followed his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate John McCain with some telling remarks.
  • "What Senator McCain, I feel, needs to do to bring evangelicals into his camp is to make it very clear that he is a strong defender of Israel and that he has a strong 24 years of being pro-life. And I think on those two issues they will get on common ground and have a common understanding."
Such are the views of a man who has ever- growing influence among an ever-swelling culture in the US -- the evangelical Christian bloc. No mention was made of the well being of Palestinians, even Christian Palestinians, many of who are descendants of the early church.
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Global Siege: The First Weapon of Mass Destruction

Food - the ultimate weapon of the ruling elite  
by William Bowles
Using food as a weapon is as old as the siege but today’s barbarians have upped the anté by several orders of magnitude.
  • “…There are only two possible ways in which a world of 10 billion people can be averted. Either the current birth rates must come down more quickly. Or the current death rates must go up. There is no other way. There are, of course, many ways in which the death rates can go up. In a thermonuclear age, war can accomplish it very quickly and decisively. Famine and disease are nature’s ancient checks on population growth, and neither one has disappeared from the scene … To put it simply: Excessive population growth is the greatest single obstacle to the economic and social advancement of most of the societies in the developing world.” — Speech to the Club of Rome by Robert McNamara, Oct. 2, 1979
  • “Overpopulation and rapid demographic growth of Mexico is already today one of the major threats to the national security of the United States. Unless the U.S.-Mexico border is sealed, we will be up to our necks in Mexicans for whom we cannot find jobs.” —Robert McNamara, then World Bank president, March 19, 1982

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