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Siegelman Case Gets Smellier with Release of Accuser

Siegelman Accuser Released
by Scott Horton
The nation’s highest profile political prosecution just got a little smellier–as if that were possible.
U.S. Attorney Leura Canary and her chief prosecutor, Louis Franklin, built their case against Siegelman largely off the testimony of businessman Lanny Young.
As Time magazine’s Adam Zagorin recounts, Young came in to the discussions with the Justice Department telling them he had dynamite information linking Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and then-Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to corruption. He also had something quite trivial relating to Governor Siegelman.

But it turns out that the prosecutors didn’t want to hear a word about the big-name Republicans. They only cared about Siegelman.
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Revisiting that Other Hitler: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic

Western Promises
by Marc Perelman
If you saw the grainy footage of Saddam Hussein being brutally hanged on December 30, 2006, amid the taunts of his political enemies, "international justice" is probably not the first thought that came to mind. "Tribal vendetta" is a more likely guess.
More than sixty years ago, the need to avoid vendettas was one of the factors behind the establishment of an international military tribunal at Nuremberg to judge Nazis accused of war crimes. The Nuremberg tribunal has since served as a model of sorts for the handful of international tribunals created by the United Nations in the past two decades to judge people accused of committing war crimes in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. 
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Still Spinning: Media-Made War

Manufacturing Threats: Sudan, Iran, and the War for Civilisation
by Media Lens
News that British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons had been jailed in Sudan after allowing her pupils to call a teddy bear Mohammed fed straight into the UK media's hate factory and its "war for civilisation".

The Gibbons story was mentioned in a massive 257 articles in UK national newspapers in the first week, providing an excuse to boost claims of "genocide" in Sudan in 10 of these.
The suffering in Sudan has certainly been appalling - it is estimated that the conflict has cost the lives of 100,000 people with two million made homeless. But Iraq is far worse - the occupation has so far resulted in the deaths of 1 million people with more than 4 million displaced from their homes.

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America: A Police State Under the Christmas Tree

Police State America - A Look Back and Ahead      
by Stephen Lendman
Year end is a good time to look back and reflect on what's ahead. If past is prologue, however, the outlook isn't good, and nothing on the horizon suggests otherwise.
Voters last November wanted change but got betrayal from the bipartisan criminal class in Washington. Their attitude shows in an October Reuters/Zogby (RZ) opinion poll with George Bush at 24% that tops Richard Nixon's worst showing of 25% at his lowest 1974 Watergate point.
And if that looks bad, consider Congress with "The Hill" reporting from the same RZ Index that our legislators scored a "staggering 11%, the lowest (congressional) rating in history," but there's room yet to hit bottom and a year left to do it. Why not with lawmakers' consistent voter sellout and failure record that keeps getting worse.

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Putting the "X" Back in Xmas

Huckabee & the 'Persecuted' Christians
by Robert Parry
[Editor's note: To understand Mike Huckabee’s surprising rise to the top of the Republican presidential field, it’s worth looking back two years to December 2005 when the right-wing media manufactured an alarming tale about how secularists and non-Christians were waging a “War on Christmas.”

Huckabee – in his unthreatening, easy-going style – has managed to tap into that now widely perceived view among white Christian conservatives that they are somehow facing persecution at the hands of Jews, Muslims and atheists.

So, when Huckabee airs an ad in Iowa in which he wears a red sweater, sits in front of a Christmas tree and what looks like a cross, and says “what really matters” this time of year is not politics but “the celebration of the birth of Christ,” he is subtly touching this powerful sense of Christian victimhood.

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Church and State: Forward Christian Soldiers

Military Evangelism Deeper, Wider Than First Thought
by Jason Leopold
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation says the two photos show how the infiltration of fundamentalist Christianity in the US military is starting to mirror Islamic fundamentalism.
Soldiers at Fort Jackson Army Base pose with their rifles and Bibles.   

For US Army soldiers entering basic training at Fort Jackson Army base in Columbia, South Carolina, accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior appears to be as much a part of the nine-week regimen as the vigorous physical and mental exercises the troops must endure.

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Lakota Declaration of Independence

Freedom! Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status
by Lakota Freedom Delegation
Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government.
The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.
“This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!”

“Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit,” shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. “They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today.”

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Clarity and Truth Resurrected

The Green Stick: A Voice of Clarity and Truth Resurrected
by Chris Floyd
You open the book, you turn the page, and once again you are in that familiar drawing-room, clutching your invitation to the soiree of Anna Pavlovna Scherer and being ushered over to pay your respects to her ancient, beribboned aunt.
Then you take your long-accustomed place among the guests: the pert little Princess Bolkonsky with her needlework; the suave and repulsive Prince Vasily; the celebrity exile, Viscount Mortemart; and Princess Helene, whose astonishing yet deadening beauty gleams in the shining flesh of her bare shoulders and diamond-draped bosom...then at last to the fat, bumbling bear, the bastard Pierre Bezukhov, and his sworn friend, Prince Andrei, resplendent in his dry, sharp, angry gloom.

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Mexico: The Next Massacre

New Massacres Loom in Mexico
by John Ross
The men milled about on the shoulder of the mountain road, their faces hooded and masked. Christmas was just three days away but first they had some killing to do.
When the signal was given, they picked up their weapons--at least five AK-47s were included in their arsenal--and began firing downhill into the trees. A detachment of 40 state police officers posted at a school 200 meters down the road seemed to take no notice.

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Paving the Holy Land(s)

Pave the Holy Lands with Good Intentions
by Christopher Ketcham
"Razing Jerusalem, Mecca! Free holy land in Baja California! Get it while it's cheap!"
I came across this real estate notice in a copy of Take a Shit, an odd little zine published out of Brooklyn that proselytizes (if we can call it that) the notion that human beings aren't shitting enough -- backed up too much with meat, Jello, the Internet, suffering from the peculiar condition that doctors identify as scatalitosis, wherein the compost trapped in the intestines actually produces a kind of bad breath.
An ex-girlfriend had this condition: common constipation brings it on, too. Extrapolate to human history, the zine argues -- we aren't shitting out the past fast enough: our acculturations, tribal fealties, land fetishes.

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Iraq: The Wizening of Muqtada al-Sadr

Muqtada al-Sadr's Power Grab
by Mohamad Bazzi
The bad boy of Iraqi politics is going back to school. Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of Iraq's largest Shiite militia, is studying to become an ayatollah.
It might seem like a minor development within Iraq's notoriously insular Shiite politics, especially against the backdrop of daily bloodshed. But Sadr's decision has enormous implications for Iraqis and the United States.

The 33 year-old Sadr is taking a long view, showing greater political skill than the United States and his Iraqi rivals usually give him credit for.

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