Thursday, January 11, 2007





Witness Against Torture
Thursday, January 11, 2007: The 5 year anniversary of the first
prisoners being brought to Guantánamo. March, Press Conference
and Nonviolent Direct Action in Washington, DC. Endorsed
by Center for Constitional Rights, CodePink, Network of Spiritual
Progressives, Pax Christi USA, School of Americas Watch, United
for Peace and Justice and other groups.



We make a call to the immigrant community and all those who are
in solidarity with our struggle to join us in front of the Federal Building
to protest the raids that we have been victims of and that are occurring
in different parts of the country.

They harass us as though we are animals of prey.
They lock us up in prisons for working for a miserable salary.
They steal our salaries that we earn with the sweat of our brow.
They separate us from our children leaving them traumatized for life......

We denounce the North American government for treating us like garbage
to be thrown away and taking advantage of our search for our daily bread
for their own political reasons.

We denounce the Mexican and Latin American governments for being
accomplices with the North American government for our misery and
for this involuntary exodus that has been forced upon us because
of the political, social, and economic conditions of our countries

We demand.......
To cease the immigration raids now!
To free all detained workers!
To return jobs to all those detained!
The right to all undocumented immigrants to unionize!

We demand a General and Unconditional Amnesty for all!

Protest the United States government

When: Friday, January 12, 2007
Where: 450 Golden Gate (Federal Building)
Time: 4pm to 7pm
Join in the struggle!

For more information call 415-431-9925

In Spanish:

Hace un llamado a la población emigrante y a todos las que se
solidarizan con ella a un piquete enfrente del Edificio Federal
en protesta a las redadas de que estamos siendo victimas
en diferentes partes del país.
Se nos acosa como si fuéramos animales de caza.

Se nos encierra en prisiones para trabajar por sueldos de miseria.

Se nos roban los sueldos que hemos ganado con el sudor de
nuestra frente...

Se nos separa de nuestros hijos dej*ndolos traumados de por vida......

Denunciamos al gobierno Norte Americano por tratarnos como
basura desechable y utilizar nuestra búsqueda por el pan de cada
día para sus propósitos políticos...

Denunciamos a los gobiernos de México y América latina por ser
cómplices con el gobierno de Estados Unidos de nuestra miseria
y de este éxodo involuntario que las condiciones políticas,
sociales, y económicas de nuestros países nos ha obligado
a emprender.


¡Cese a las redadas de la migra ahora!
¡Libertad a todos los trabajadores detenidos!
¡Regreso a su puesto de trabajo a todos los detenidos!
¡Derecho de los indocumentados a sindicalizarse!
¡Demandamos una Amnistía General e Incondicional para todos!

Piquete al Gobierno de Estados Unidos
Cuando: Viernes, 12 de Enero 2007
Dónde: 450 Golden Gate
Hora: 4pm a 7pm
Únete a la lucha
Para mas información llame a 415-431-9925



7:00 PM Saturday, January 13
522 Valencia Street, 3rd Floor Auditorium

Hear about:

-Factories run by workers

-The election turnout for Hugo Chavez

-Occupied factories

-Socialism of the 21st Century

See: A short film on current developments in Venezuela.


-John Peterson, National Secretary of US Hands Off Venezuela,
Participant in HOV’s International Delegation to Venezuela

-Mel Martynne and Mary Eliasar, participants in Global
Exchange’s Election Delegation in Venezuela

-Nell Myhand and Lori Nairne, Global Women’s Strike,
San Francisco Bay Area

An opportunity for discussion will follow the presentations.

Sponsored by Hands Off Venezuela

Hands Off Venezuela is an international organization dedicated
to the principle that the people of Venezuela have the right to
determine their own destiny without interference from foreign

Contact info: (415) 786-1680, email: web


1) Airstrike Rekindles Somalis’ Anger at the U.S.
January 10, 2007

2) Democrats Plan Symbolic Votes Against Iraq Plan
January 10, 2007

3) House Passes Security Bill; Senate Stance Is Uncertain
January 10, 2007

4) 9/11 Bill Contains Little-Known Provisions
By Angie C. Marek
Posted 1/9/07

5) Climate Experts Worry as 2006 Is Hottest Year on Record in U.S.
By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007; A01

6) Iraqi Civilians Brace for a Surge
January 9, 2007

7) Soldier Diagnosed With Mental Problems
"FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — An Army private charged with the slaughter
of an Iraqi family was diagnosed as a homicidal threat by a military
mental health team three months before the attack."
By RYAN LENZ, Associated Press Write
Wednesday, January 10, 2007,4670,IraqSoldierDiagnosisABRIDGED,00.html

8) Raids, Reforms, and the Labor Movement
By Tim Costello, Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributors
Tuesday 09 January 2007

9) CIA gets the go-ahead to take on Hizbollah
By Toby Harnden, US Editor
Last Updated: 1:47am GMT 10/01/2007

[Col. Writ. 1/3/07] Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

11) The Real Disaster
New York Times Editorial
January 11, 2007

12) White House Pushes Hard on Iraq Plan
January 11, 2007

13) Bid to Secure Baghdad Relies on Troops and Iraqi Leaders
Military Analysis
January 11, 2007

14) To Counter Iran’s Role in Iraq, Bush Moves Beyond Diplomacy
January 11, 2007

15) Life After Prison Can Be Deadly, a Study Finds
January 11, 2007

16) Democrats Plan to Fight Expansion of Troops
January 11, 2007

17) Police Detective in Fatal Shooting Is Questioned by Prosecutors
January 11, 2007

18) Déjà vu, 67 to 07
"... what happened on January 10, 1967 ...
alan pogue wrote:
alanpogue@mac. com
Thu, 11 Jan 2007
From: alan pogue
alanpogue@mac. com
To: Tomas Heikkala

19) George Bush once again proved that he is a mass killer.
By Don Vasicek, Producer of "The San Creek Massacre,"
a documentary film.

20) Open Letter to Members of the United States Congress from
Former Special Forces Soldier Stan Goff:
[Via Email -]

“Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar”
and Bring the Troops Home Now!
Sandra Schwartz cell (415) 999-2436
Stephen McNeil cell (415) 350-9305 
January 11, 2007


1) Airstrike Rekindles Somalis’ Anger at the U.S.
January 10, 2007

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Jan. 9 — Somali officials said Tuesday that dozens
of people were killed in an American airstrike on Sunday, most of them
Islamist fighters fleeing in armed pickup trucks across a remote, muddy
stretch of the KenyaSomalia border.

American officials said terrorists from Al Qaeda had been the target
of the strike, which they said had killed about a dozen people. But the
officials acknowledged that the identities of the victims were still

Several residents of the area, in the southern part of the country, said
dozens of civilians had been killed, and news of the attack immediately
set off new waves of anti-American anger in Mogadishu, Somalia’s
battle-scarred capital, where the United States has a complicated legacy.

“They’re just trying to get revenge for what we did to them in 1993,”
said Deeq Salad Mursel, a taxi driver, referring to the infamous “Black
Hawk Down” episode in which Somali gunmen killed 18 American
soldiers and brought down two American helicopters during
an intense battle in Mogadishu.

The country’s Islamist movement swiftly seized much of Somalia last
year and ruled with mixed success, bringing a much desired semblance
of peace but also a harsh brand of Islam.

Two weeks ago, that all changed after Ethiopian-led troops routed the
Islamist forces and helped bring the Western-backed transitional
government to Mogadishu. Ethiopian officials said the Islamists
were a growing regional threat.

The last remnants of the Islamist forces fled to Ras Kamboni, an
isolated fishing village on the Kenyan border that residents said
had been used as a terrorist sanctuary before. Starting in the
mid-1990s, they said, the Islamists built trenches, hospitals
and special terrorist classrooms in the village and taxed local
fisherman to pay the costs.

On Sunday, an American AC-130 gunship pounded the area
around Ras Kamboni, and also a location father north where
American officials said three ringleaders of the bombings in 1998
of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were hiding.
Somali officials said those bombings had been planned in Ras Kamboni
after a local Somali terrorist outfit invited Al Qaeda to use the village
as a base.

According to Abdul Rashid Hidig, a member of Somalia’s transitional
parliament who represents the border area, the American airstrike
on Sunday wiped out a long convoy of Islamist leaders trying to flee
deeper into the bush, though he said he did not know if the specific
suspects singled out by the United States had been with them.

“Their trucks got stuck in the mud and they were easy targets,”
he said.

Mr. Hidig toured the area with military officials on Tuesday and said
he had met several captured foreign fighters who had come from
Europe and the Middle East. “I saw two white guys and asked,
Where are you from?” Mr. Hidig said. “One said Jordan, the other
Sweden. Yeah, it was weird.”

Mr. Hidig said two civilians had been killed by the airstrike, but
representatives of the Islamist forces said it had killed many more.

The Islamists’ health director said dozens of nomadic herdsmen
and their families were grazing their animals in the same wet valley
that the Islamists were trying to drive across. “Their donkeys, their
camels, their cows — they’ve all been destroyed,” he said.
“And many children were killed.”

He spoke by telephone from an undisclosed location; his account
could not be independently verified.

Mustef Yunis Culusow, a former Islamist leader who abandoned
the movement days ago, said the once-powerful Islamist movement’s
top leaders were now trapped in a small village with Ethiopian
soldiers in front of them, the Indian Ocean behind them and now
American gunships circling above them.

“The leaders know they’re finished,” Mr. Culusow said in a telephone
interview from Kismayo, a large town north of Ras Kamboni. “They’ve
basically told the young fighters they can go, it’s over, and that anyone
who stays behind should be resigned to die.”

For several days, Ethiopian fighter jets and helicopter gunships have
been laying down a blanket of fire over the area, and attacks
continued on Tuesday.

American military and intelligence officials expressed confidence
that at least one senior Qaeda leader in Somalia had been killed
in the American attack or subsequent strikes by Ethiopian troops.
One official said Abu Taha al-Sudani — a Sudanese aide to Fazul
Abdullah Mohammed, who is thought to be the ringleader of
Al Qaeda’s East African cell — might have been killed.

American military and intelligence officials said that they expected
further military strikes but that the terrorism suspects were probably
traveling separately and trying to blend into the civilian population.

Pentagon and intelligence officials said the Ethiopian offensive
had unearthed fresh intelligence about the location of Qaeda
operatives whose trail had long gone cold.

“When you disrupt things and people move around, they become
easier to target,” said one American counterterrorism official,
speaking on condition of anonymity. “They have to make
arrangements on the fly, and they become easier to find.”

American and Ethiopian forces are sharing intelligence to pinpoint
the whereabouts of the terrorism suspects and their entourages.
The Pentagon announced that the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower
had been dispatched to the region to tighten a naval blockade
off the Somali coast.

Washington’s decision to wade back into Somalia was, in a way,
a culmination of America’s seesaw policy toward the country
in the last five years.

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan consuming the attention
of national security planners in Washington, the Bush administration’s
interest in Somalia was driven primarily by fact that a handful
of Qaeda operatives responsible for attacks in the Horn of Africa
were thought to be hiding there.

America’s recent forays into Somalia have tended to backfire.
President Clinton abruptly curtailed a large American-led aid mission
in the 1990s after the 18 soldiers were killed, leaving the country
in a swirl of chaos and bloodshed, where much of it remains.

Then, last summer, American efforts to finance a band of Mogadishu
warlords as a bulwark against the growing Islamist movement stumbled
when many Somalis learned of the hidden American hand and threw
their support behind the Islamists.

With the Pentagon still snakebitten by its experience in Somalia —
rendering a ground offensive in the lawless country unpalatable —
there was little the thousands of American soldiers and marines
stationed in neighboring Djibouti could do to track down the
Qaeda suspects.

Until this week, Washington was content to remain behind the
scenes and use the Ethiopian invasion as the public face of the
effort against the Islamists and their allies.

Now the Islamists have lost their grip on the country, and Somalia
could be close to a turning point. For the first time since 1991,
when the military dictator Mohammed Siad Barre fled, plunging
the country into anarchy, there is a potentially viable government
in the capital. But its survival depends on the thousands of Ethiopian
troops still here, and increasingly, it seems, many Somalis
do not like them. For their part, the Ethiopians have vowed
not to stay much longer.

Some call the Ethiopians infidel invaders because Ethiopia is
a country with a long Christian identity, though it is in fact half
Muslim. Others do not like them because Ethiopia is a close
ally of the United States, which is why American airstrikes
could make things difficult for the Ethiopians and transitional
government officials.

Some Islamists have vowed to carry on as an Iraq-style insurgency,
and on Tuesday night two truckloads of gunmen attacked Ethiopian
troops based at a government building, the former Ministry of Skins
and Hides, in downtown Mogadishu.

The booms of rocket-propelled grenades echoed across town and
set off a two-minute gunfight. As shoppers in a nearby market
ducked for cover, spent shells clinked on the pavement. Afterward,
residents reported seeing two bodies on the street.

Jeffrey Gettleman reported from Mogadishu, and Mark Mazzetti from
Washington. Mohammed Ibrahim and Yuusuf Maxamuud contributed
reporting from Mogadishu.


2) Democrats Plan Symbolic Votes Against Iraq Plan
January 10, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 — Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they
intended to hold symbolic votes in the House and Senate on President
Bush’s plan to send more troops to Baghdad, forcing Republicans
to take a stand on the proposal and seeking to isolate the president
politically over his handling of the war.

Senate Democrats decided to schedule a vote on the resolution
after a closed-door meeting on a day when Senator Edward M. Kennedy
of Massachusetts introduced legislation to require Mr. Bush to gain
Congressional approval before sending more troops to Iraq.

The Senate vote is expected as early as next week, after an initial
round of committee hearings on the plan Mr. Bush will lay out for
the nation Wednesday night in a televised address delivered from
the White House library, a setting chosen because it will provide
a fresh backdrop for a presidential message.

The office of Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, followed with
an announcement that the House would also take up a resolution
in opposition to a troop increase. House Democrats were scheduled
to meet Wednesday morning to consider whether to interrupt their
carefully choreographed 100-hour, two-week-long rollout of their
domestic agenda this month to address the Iraq war.

In both chambers, Democrats made clear that the resolutions —
which would do nothing in practical terms to block Mr. Bush’s
intention to increase the United States military presence in Iraq
— would be the minimum steps they would pursue. They did not
rule out eventually considering more muscular responses, like
seeking to cap the number of troops being deployed to Iraq
or limiting financing for the war — steps that could provoke
a Constitutional and political showdown over the president’s
power to wage war.

The resolutions would represent the most significant reconsideration
of Congressional support for the war since it began, and mark
the first big clash between the White House and Congress since
the November election, which put the Senate and House under
the control of the Democrats. The decision to pursue
a confrontation with the White House was a turning point for
Democrats, who have struggled with how to take on Mr. Bush’s
war policy without being perceived as undermining the military
or risking criticism as defeatists.

“If you really want to change the situation on the ground,
demonstrate to the president he’s on his own,” said Senator
Joseph R. Biden Jr., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
“That will spark real change.”

The administration continued Tuesday to press its case with
members of Congress from both parties. By the time Mr. Bush
delivers his speech, 148 lawmakers will have come to the White
House in the past week to discuss the war, White House aides
said Tuesday night, adding that most met with the president

While Mr. Kennedy and a relatively small number of other
Democrats were pushing for immediate, concrete steps to
challenge Mr. Bush through legislation, Democratic leaders
said that for now they favored the less-divisive approach
of simply asking senators to cast a vote on a nonbinding
resolution for or against the plan.

They also sought to frame the clash with the White House on
their terms, using language reminiscent of the Vietnam War
era to suggest that increasing the United States military
presence in Iraq would be a mistake.


3) House Passes Security Bill; Senate Stance Is Uncertain
January 10, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 — Delivering on a major campaign promise,
House Democrats used their new majority Tuesday to push through
a bill that would write into law several remaining recommendations
of the Sept. 11 commission.

The measure includes more than a dozen initiatives like tightening
cargo security and distributing antiterrorism grants based more
on risk rather than on a political formula.

The vote put Republicans in a difficult spot. They opposed major
elements of the bill, saying they went beyond panel recommendations
and would be prohibitively expensive without significantly aiding security.

But after failing to delay action on the bill, many Republicans felt
they had no choice but to vote in favor of it — and 68 did.
The measure passed 299 to 128.

House Democrats said the rapid vote reflected their commitment
to eliminating important vulnerabilities that remain in the nation’s
antiterrorism programs.

“Our first and highest responsibility as members of this Congress
is to protect the American people, defend our homeland and
strengthen national security,” said Representative Steny H. Hoyer,
Democrat of Maryland and the House majority leader.

The effort faces an uncertain future in the Senate, as some
Democrats have expressed concerns that the bill’s mandate
on inspecting ship containers may be unreasonable. The bill
says that before any United States-bound ship container leaves
an overseas port, it must be checked for radioactive material
that could be used to build weapons.

The Bush administration also opposes major parts of the bill.

The legislation includes no formal estimate of its cost, but
it clearly would be in the billions of dollars.

One of its most far-reaching provisions would require that
all air cargo on passenger jets be inspected for explosives;
now only high-risk shipments are inspected.

The bill also calls for the United States to develop, with other
nations, an agreement on how to handle detainees of the Iraq
war or counterterrorism efforts, and for creation of a new
federal coordinator of efforts to prevent the spread of
unconventional weapons.

And it would require that Transportation Security Administration
workers be subject to the same labor rules as other federal
workers, perhaps allowing them to unionize.

Republicans said that 39 of the commission’s 41 recommendations
had already been adopted — a claim Democrats do not accept.
They also said that many of the bill’s provisions did not reflect
changes explicitly called for by the panel.

“I hope the 9/11 families do not give you a pass on this,” said
Representative Phil Gingrey, Republican of Georgia, who called
the bill an overtly political measure.

But the Democrats called each section essential. “Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita reminded us all again how unprepared we all
are to deal with catastrophe whether caused by nature or terrorist
attack,” said Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, who
held a hearing Tuesday as the Senate prepared for its version
of this bill, noted that one major recommendation — not in the
House measure — was strengthening Congressional oversight
of intelligence and counterterrorism efforts. “We found it a lot
easier to reform the rest of the government than we did to
reform ourselves post-9/11,” Mr. Lieberman said. “That’s
unfinished work.”


4) 9/11 Bill Contains Little-Known Provisions
By Angie C. Marek
Posted 1/9/07

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is starting off her first week in power
with H.R. 1, a hefty bill designed to implement the 9/11 commission
recommendations that she says remain undone. The measure has
some highly publicized–and controversial–recommendations, including
one plan calling for 100 percent of roughly 2 billion tons of cargo carried
on commercial flights each year to be screened by security officials
by 2009. Only about 10 to 15 percent of such cargo is inspected today,
and airlines have expressed concerns the measure could endanger
an arrangement that generated $13 billion in profits for them in 2005.

But not every proposal in the bill is familiar to lobbyists who frequently
traffic the halls of Capitol Hill. Here's our take on some smaller points
in the 279-page bill that could substantially change the way homeland
security looks today:

TSA unionization:

Ever since the Transportation Security Administration was created
in a hurry in the days right after 9/11, the country's airport screeners–
a force that today includes about 43,000 people–have been unable to
formally unionize. The House bill gives all TSA employees collective
bargaining rights, as well as some protection if they become whistle-
blowers. "TSA has the highest injury and attrition rates in the federal
government," John Gage, the national president of the American
Federation of Government Employees, a government union, said
Monday. "The new legislation will improve security by stabilizing
the workforce and improving morale."

Redress for watch listers:

Democrats want to create a formal Office of Appeals and Redress
that will handle the dozens of cases each year of people who believe
they are incorrectly on the TSA's no-fly or special selectee list, which
earns them extra screening when they fly. The Government Accountability
Office reported earlier this year that 31 names were removed from
terrorist watch lists in 2005 alone because of errors.

Funds for Muslim schoolchildren:

9/11 commission member Tim Roemer praised Democrats on Monday
for introducing a bill that would ensure "progress on winning hearts
and minds around the world." Democrats plan to create an International
Arab and Muslim Youth Opportunity Fund that would invest in public
education in Arab and Muslim countries. No word in the bill on how
much such an effort would cost.

An independent civil liberties watchdog board:

The president currently has a civil liberties panel within his office that
he appoints to keep an eye on homeland security efforts. Democrats
would create a four-person independent civil liberties board staffed
with nominees who earn the Senate's approval. No more than three
members could be from the same party.

More money for fusion centers:

Democrats would make many ideas in a report they released this
fall on state and local intelligence gathering into law with the 9/11
commission bill. Democrats want to create special grant and training
programs that will help law enforcement officials set up fusion centers,
hubs where they are able to synthesize intelligence gathered by cops
on the ground for signs of terrorism activities. Special liaisons posted
in Washington would gather intelligence tips from state and local
agencies and serve as a point of contact for them within the director
of national intelligence's office. (More information on fusion centers
is in our story "Spies Among Us.")

Terrorism grants for the risky:

The House bill picks up on an issue that has stoked disagreement
between the House and the Senate for years by enshrining a bill
originally passed into law in 2005 by the House Homeland Security
Committee. That measure would have lowered the share of homeland
security grants guaranteed to each state to just 0.25 percent
of the total funding pot–with 0.45 percent guaranteed for border
states. That would have left 90 percent of the roughly $2 billion
in annual homeland security grants to be divvied up according
to risk. The Senate favored higher minimal percentages in 2005
and is likely to take that tack again.

Much more security for sea cargo:

On Monday, Bennie Thompson, the incoming head of the House's
Homeland Security Committee, vowed to "speed up" an already
planned pilot program in which DHS will screen 100 percent
of cargo headed to the United States out of three foreign ports.
(Our recent story has more on that program and other port
security efforts.) Once H.R. 1 passes, Democrats will give DHS
three years to ensure that 100 percent of cargo headed to the
United States from large foreign ports is screened before it's
loaded onto ships. DHS will have five years to bring smaller
ports up to that standard. Smart seals, which set off alarms
if a container is tampered with at sea, will be required on
cargo containers as soon as the technology becomes available.


5) Climate Experts Worry as 2006 Is Hottest Year on Record in U.S.
By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007; A01

Last year was the warmest in the continental United States in the past 112
years -- capping a nine-year warming streak "unprecedented in the
historical record" that was driven in part by the burning of fossil fuels,
the government reported yesterday.

According to the government's National Climatic Data Center, the
record-breaking warmth -- which caused daffodils and cherry trees to bloom
throughout the East on New Year's Day -- was the result of both unusual
regional weather patterns and the long-term effects of the buildup of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"People should be concerned about what we are doing to the climate," said
Jay Lawrimore, chief of the climate monitoring branch of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Burning of fossil fuels is causing
an increase in greenhouse gases, and there's a broad scientific consensus
that is producing climate change."

The center said there are indications that the rate at which global
temperatures are rising is speeding up.

Average temperatures nationwide in 2006 were 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit higher
than the mean temperatures nationwide for the 20th century, the agency
said. It reported that seven months in 2006 were much warmer than average,
and that last month was the fourth-warmest December on record. Average
temperatures for all 48 contiguous states were above or well above average,
and New Jersey logged its hottest temperatures ever.

Many researchers are concerned that rising temperatures could lead to
widespread melting of the polar ice caps, resulting in higher sea levels
and more extreme droughts and storms. But NOAA also pointed to one silver
lining: The unusually warm temperatures from October to December helped
keep residential energy use for heating 13.5 percent below the average for
that period.

NOAA said an El Ni?o weather pattern in the equatorial Pacific also
contributed to the warm temperatures by blocking cold Arctic air from
moving south and east across the nation.

Climate experts generally do not make much of temperature fluctuations over
one or two years, but Lawrimore said the record 2006 temperatures were part
of a long and worrisome trend. For instance, NOAA said, the past nine years
have all been among the 25 warmest years on record for the continental
United States.

Advocates for more action to control carbon dioxide emissions also voiced

"No one should be surprised that 2006 is the hottest year on record for the
U.S.," said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of
Concerned Scientists, a public interest group. "When you look at
temperatures across the globe, every single year since 1993 has been in the
top 20 warmest years on record."

"Realistically, we have to start fighting global warming in the next 10
years if we want to secure a safe environment for our children and
grandchildren," she said.

Lawrimore said other NOAA research has found that the rate of temperature
increase has been significantly greater in the past 30 years than at any
time since the government started collecting national temperature data in
1895. Globally, 2005 was the hottest year on record, Lawrimore said, and
2006 was slightly cooler.

He said that although there is a scientific consensus that carbon dioxide
from cars, power plants and factories is leading to global warming, there
is no consensus yet on whether the warming will increase more quickly or
more slowly in the future. Some researcher have predicted that temperatures
worldwide will increase by a catastrophic 7 to 8 degrees on average by the
end of the century, while others project an increase of a more modest 2
degrees by century's end.

The burning of oil and other fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, which
rises, blankets the Earth and traps heat. Climate scientists report that
there has not been this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the past
650,000 years.

The Bush administration has rejected proposals to cap carbon dioxide
emissions or impose carbon taxes as a way to limit global warming.
Lawrimore said he believes the problem could and should be addressed by
developing new technologies for powering vehicles and industry.

Late December's springlike temperatures in the eastern two-thirds of the
country made it the fourth-warmest December on record in the United States
and contributed greatly to the record high for the year. Several Northern
cities were unusually warm -- with Boston 8 degrees above average and
Minneapolis-St. Paul 17 degrees above average for the last three weeks of
the month.


6) Iraqi Civilians Brace for a Surge
January 9, 2007

Successive waves of ethnic cleansing that have washed over Baghdad
in recent weeks are spreading to neighborhoods that had until now
been spared.

"Today two of the Shiite families on our street received threats,"
said a woman living in Baghdad's Sadia district, a majority-Sunni
area where until now the presence of the Jaish al-Mahdi, a Shiite
militia, had apparently pre-empted cleansing.

As the Bush Administration seeks to send as many as 20,000
more US troops to Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced
Saturday that three more Iraqi army units will also be deployed
in the capital. The units will come from the Shiite south and the
Kurdish north, where the military is little more than militia units
loyal to various political leaderships.

Salam al-Midi is a Kurd and a former US military translator living
in Iraqi Kurdistan, where the two major Kurdish political parties
use pesh merga units to maintain a police state. In Mosul, Iraq's
second-largest city, three hours north of Baghdad, Midi helped
the military train these units, which essentially make up the police
force in the largely Arab city. Midi said the presence of pesh
merga in Mosul only exacerbates decades-old tensions between
Kurds and Arabs over political dominance in the city.

"They don't know the language, the Arabic language, it's hard.
It's one of the major difficulties they will face," Midi said. "Second,
they are Kurds. Comparing Kurds and Arabs is like comparing
apples and oranges. They cannot work together. For sure,
terrorist organizations are going to react, and their reactions
are going to be bad. And at the same time the Kurdish
side will want to take revenge on the Arabs, the Iraqi people."

Sunni parliamentarians have complained that the plan does
not focus heavily enough on battling Shiite militias like the
Mahdi Army, which is blamed for engaging in ethnic cleansing
and assassinations. Many Shiites, on the other hand, view the
militia as necessary to provide any modicum of safety against
Sunni guerrillas and lawlessness. The Mahdi Army reportedly
has begun a conscription drive in Sadr City in response to the
plan, compelling each family to send one man between the
ages of 15 and 45. Last year the militia also sent troops
to Mosul in response to an increased armed Kurdish presence.
Many of the Shiites Saddam Hussein drove from southern Iraq
were resettled in his Arabization campaigns of Kurdish areas.

Muthanna Harith al-Dhari, the son of Harith al-Dhari, the
spokesman of Iraq's influential Association of Muslim Scholars,
a hard-line Sunni group, pointed out that this is not the first
time security plans for the capital have been announced.
As violence rose steadily throughout last year, sweeps
of Baghdad have done little to impede the ability of Iraqi
guerrillas and militiamen to attack US troops or one another.
December was the third deadliest month of the war for
US troops and the deadliest for Iraqis.

Harith al-Dhari left Iraq after being threatened with arrest
by the current government and accused of terrorist activities
by Muqtada al-Sadr, the most influential hard-line Shiite cleric
and the Mahdi Army's nominal leader. But Dhari's son Muthanna,
who remains in Baghdad, said that past security plans--which
mostly amounted to sweeps of neighborhoods known
for Sunni guerrilla activity--created resentment among
the population. He also warned against adding US troops.

"We think that the security plan that started today does not
follow good principles," the younger Dhari said. "To figure
out the situation, they should take into account who is
responsible for poor security. They have a lot of foreign
troops making all these problems, and now they will send
more and it will make a bigger problem. They will search
the areas where they think the problems are starting. Can
they tell us if the security plans they have used until now
have had any success? I can tell you there is nothing new
here, it is the same old thing. They just will make more
checkpoints, which will make people's lives more difficult.

In largely Sunni cities such as Falluja and Samarra, the
presence of Shiite militias and Kurdish pesh merga in the
military has already added acrimony to claims of collective
punishment, round-ups, raids and death-squad activity.

That record makes many Iraqis uneasy when they see
announcements like the Iraqi Ministry of Defense recent
disclosure that the US military will provide 4,000 armored
personnel carriers, 1,800 Humvees and sixteen helicopter
gunships to the Iraqi military. Until now, the United States
has been reluctant to provide such heavy materiel.

"Any support to the sectarianism and the security mess will
be preparation for the civil war. This will increase the violence
in Iraq, and they will fail again," said Saleh Mutlaq, leader
of the Iraqi Dialogue Front, a secular party accused by its
critics of links to the previous government. "America is sending
tools to strengthen sectarian strife and the civil war. These tools
are dirty and will be given to dirty people."


7) Soldier Diagnosed With Mental Problems
"FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — An Army private charged with the slaughter
of an Iraqi family was diagnosed as a homicidal threat by a military
mental health team three months before the attack."
By RYAN LENZ, Associated Press Write
Wednesday, January 10, 2007,4670,IraqSoldierDiagnosisABRIDGED,00.html

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — An Army private charged with the slaughter
of an Iraqi family was diagnosed as a homicidal threat by a military
mental health team three months before the attack.

Pfc. Steven D. Green was found to have "homicidal ideations" after
seeking help from an Army Combat Stress Team in Iraq on
Dec. 21, 2005. Green said he was angry about the war, desperate
to avenge the death of comrades and driven to kill Iraqi citizens,
according to an investigation by The Associated Press.

The treatment was several small doses of Seroquel--a drug to
regulate his mood--and a directive to get some sleep, according
to medical records obtained by the AP. The next day, he returned
to duty in the particularly violent stretch of desert in the southern
Baghdad suburbs known as the "Triangle of Death."

On March 12, 2006, Iraqi police reported a break-in at the home
of a family in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles from Baghdad.
The intruders shot and killed the father, mother and two
young daughters. The older girl, 14-year-old Abeer Qassim
al-Janabi, was raped and her body set afire.

The carnage first was assumed to be the work of insurgents. That
changed in late June when two members of Green's unit told their
superiors of suspicions that soldiers were involved in the killings.
Now the Army believes Green and four other soldiers are responsible.
One of them has confessed and provided information to prosecutors;
in testimony at his court-martial, the soldier identified Green
as the ringleader.

If the charges are true, the attack would be among the most horrific
instances of criminal behavior by American troops in the nearly
four-year-old war. It also would represent a worst-case scenario
for the military's much-criticized practice of keeping mentally
and emotionally unfit personnel in the killing fields of Iraq.

Col. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, psychiatry counsel to the Army
Surgeon General, would not specifically discuss Green when
contacted by The AP. She defended the military's policies
regarding the treatment of emotionally or psychologically
distressed soldiers.

"If unresponsive to treatment and/or a persistent danger to
self or others, they will be evacuated," Ritchie told
The AP in an e-mail.

The 101st Airborne Division also declined to comment, noting
it is an open federal case.

The Army and the Marines, who have the most personnel on the
ground in Iraq, have been faulted for the manner in which troops
with mental and emotional difficulties are being treated.

Sending troops already in Iraq who have been diagnosed with
mental illness back to combat duty--often under medication
that has not been prescribed long enough to have provided relief
--has been a particular criticism.

Green has been charged with the murders and rape and pleaded
not guilty in federal court in Kentucky. He is being tried in federal
court because his arrest came after he had been discharged from
the Army. Three others face the same charges and will be court-

From interviews with people who spoke on condition of anonymity
because they were not authorized by the military to discuss the
case, and from viewing the Army's medical and investigative
records, the AP also has learned:

-Three months passed without Army doctors and clinicians from
the Combat Stress Team having any contact with Green. He was
summoned for a second examination on March 20, 2006--eight
days after the killing of the family. Green was diagnosed as having
an anti-social personality disorder and declared unfit for service.
The process of discharging him began a week later and he was
sent home.

-The Army's own investigation of Green's initial treatment, prompted
by concerns he and others would use mental health problems
as a defense in trial, is highly critical. Among the most salient
findings from a July review of Green's treatment: "Although a safety
assessment was conducted, there is no safety plan addressing how
Soldier (Green) will keep from acting on his homicidal thoughts."

-Lt. Col. Elizabeth Bowler, a psychiatrist and Army reservist from
California who took over the Combat Stress Team with Green's unit
in January, recommended his discharge after the second examination
in March. Yet she wrote a final evaluation that said Green exhibited
no traits that would indicate dangerously erratic or homicidal moods,
according to documents viewed by The AP.

Green deployed to Iraq in September 2005 from Fort Campbell with
a battalion from the 101st Airborne Division's 502nd Infantry
Regiment. The unit was charged with security operations and
assisting Iraqi army units in the "Triangle of Death."

Eleven days before Green's first visit with the stress team in December
2005, he and five others were manning a checkpoint when an Iraqi
civilian approached, according to testimony in military hearings.
The civilian was familiar because of his status as a sometimes
informant. He greeted the soldiers warmly before pulling a pistol
from his belt and shooting two of them at point-blank range.

Green's behavior worsened after that, according to commanders.
He was directed to visit doctors a second time. Eight days later,
Bowler told commanders that Green was unfit for service,
according to documents. The discharge process for Green
concluded in May 2006.

The Pentagon issued new guidelines in November that prevent
personnel with certain pre-existing mental problems from deploying
to Iraq or Afghanistan. Clinicians evaluating whether a soldier
in Iraq or Afghanistan is fit for service are now required to review
all medical records. Mental illnesses that are not expected to be
resolved in one year will be cause for discharge.

The Army's hearings on the family's murder concluded in August.
Those who testified put forth this outline of the crime:

The plot to rape and kill was hatched as the soldiers hit golf balls
at a checkpoint. They had seen the older daughter on patrols
in the area. After drinking whiskey bought from Iraqi policemen,
they masked their faces and crept through backyards in afternoon
daylight to get to the family's home.

They knew the family kept a gun in one bedroom for protection.

Once in the house, Green herded the father, mother and 5-year-old
daughter to another room, closed the door and shot them dead.
Green had blood on his clothes and boots when he returned.

Green and at least two others took turns raping the other daughter
before killing her with the family's AK-47. They set her body
on fire with kerosene dumped from a lamp in the kitchen
in an effort to hide evidence.

Steven Green is in custody at an undisclosed location in Kentucky,
according to federal law-enforcement officials. Prosecutors have
not said if they will seek the death penalty.

Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, 22, of Chambersburg, Pa.; Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24,
of Barstow, Calif.; and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, 23, of Huffman, Texas,
have been charged with rape and murder and await courts-martial.
They are in custody at Fort Campbell.

Spc. James P. Barker, 24, of Fresno, Calif., pleaded guilty in November
as part of an agreement to testify against the others.


8) Raids, Reforms, and the Labor Movement
By Tim Costello, Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributors
Tuesday 09 January 2007

The December immigration raids at Swift & Co., and increased
enforcement activity elsewhere, are a body blow against labor's
attempt to organize low-wage workers.

Undocumented workers comprise a significant percentage
of the work force in many of the industries targeted for organizing
by unions, including cleaning contractors, hotels, meatpacking,
food processing, light industry, and commercial laundries. The
raids will make workers feel more insecure and may make them
less willing to take the chances required to organize. The raids
may also make employers more willing to use immigration status
as a club to thwart organizing and more willing to cooperate with
immigration authorities to protect themselves from prosecution
or lawsuits. If a significant percentage of the work force feels
vulnerable, all workers will be hurt, since chances of successful
organizing campaigns will be greatly reduced.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which
represents workers at five of the six plants [raided] has pursued
an aggressive legal defense and support strategy for workers
caught in the raids. But with so much at stake, the response
by the labor movement as a whole has been remarkably timid.
Those unions that have spoken out have mainly issued press
releases to condemn the raids and to call for Congressional
action on immigration reform. That is simply not enough.

In fact, the raids also provide a good opportunity for labor
to reframe the immigration debate with fresh ideas and new
action. The raids were an affront to common decency. They
were an assault on human rights, on labor rights, and on the
notion of proportionality in the conduct of law enforcement.
The raids were conducted under false pretenses: Only a handful
of those caught in the raids were charged with "identity theft" -
the ostensible reason for the raids; and they were discriminatory
because company officials, who knowingly built an entire staffing
system in the meatpacking industry based on undocumented
workers, walked away free.

As part of reframing the immigration issue, labor leaders
need to stand shoulder to shoulder with workers from the
affected communities, in the affected communities. They need
to make a public display of supporting those swept up in the raids,
many of whom are now unemployed and facing deportation. And,
very importantly, they need to stress that the raids undermine
working conditions for all workers - not just undocumented
immigrants. One way to do this would be to hold public hearings,
in which workers in the industry - immigrants and non-immigrants
- tell their stories. Properly done, reframing the immigration issue
can both help build alliances between immigrant and non-immigrant
workers for real immigration reform, and also cement the relationship
of labor with immigrant communities in the upcoming policy
debates and the 2008 elections.

Current immigration policies function badly, as they have
for years. Reform is needed, but the immigration "crisis" is largely
a product of the Republican right's attempts to fan the flames
of a growing, but still contained, backlash against undocumented
immigrants to create a wedge issue during the 2006 elections.
They miscalculated badly. The real backlash was among the millions
of Hispanic voters, many of whom had voted Republican in past
elections but voted Democratic in this time. Nevertheless, it is
undeniable that the nativists have poisoned the national debate
on immigration reform. Many working-class and middle-class
voters with genuine concerns about globalization and the economy
are at least listening to hard-liners.

As the socially sanctioned institution representing workers' interest
in policy debates on labor and employment issues, the labor movement
must step forward and assume its responsibility to help craft a worker-
friendly immigration policy. As an institution representing both immigrant
and non-immigrant workers; as an institution with ties to potential allies
in sending countries, and as an institution with renewed political clout
in this Congress, the labor movement is in a perfect position to convene
a genuine debate on immigration reform.

Here are some ideas to help shape such a debate.

Labor must demand that the raids be stopped. The current immigration
problem is a result of conscious action - and inaction - on the part of
governments throughout the hemisphere; of businesses looking for
cheap labor; of workers looking for jobs wherever they can find them,
and of consumers looking for cheaper goods. To single out the most
vulnerable - immigrant workers and their families - as scapegoats
for an entire system violates any accepted standard of decency.
A rational debate on immigration reform cannot be conducted with
the immigration authorities ready to storm plant gates.

There is the basis for an alliance between established and
immigrant workers. Immigrant-rights advocates and progressives
should not cede the established working class to the right-wing
nativists. US workers - partially because many have immigrant roots -
can be an ally in the fight for just reforms, as the generally progressive
role of US unions in the current debate shows. But fears that
immigrants take jobs and decrease wages need to be taken
seriously. Immigration legislation should emphasize the labor
rights of immigrant workers, both to protect their human dignity
and to protect the wages and working conditions of established

Any comprehensive immigration program will be the result
of a compromise among workers - both immigrant and established
- employers, and politicians. The result will not be perfect, but
it can be satisfactory. Employers need immigrant workers; workers
need jobs. The interests of both are opposed to the right-wing,
anti-immigrant ideologues. But it's time to junk the existing narrow
debate that revolves around a limited amnesty, a fortress America,
and a guest-worker program. A comprehensive plan is needed -
one that addresses the concerns of all the stakeholders in the
US and the sending countries.

Policies supported by the US and institutionalized in treaties
like NAFTA are a key factor pushing migrants north. NAFTA
helped push around two million peasants off the land in Mexico.
It forced many Mexican companies out of business because they
were unable to compete with cheaper imports. While NAFTA was
touted as a way to slow northward migration, it has done the
opposite. The giant sucking sound that many thought NAFTA
would produce turned out to be less from jobs going south
than from workers heading north. In 1995, there were 2.5 million
undocumented Mexican workers in the US; ten years later, there
were around 10.5 million. Any solution to the immigration
problem must begin with rewriting NAFTA. With massive political
change going on in Latin America, it's time to take a fresh look
at ways new hemispheric economic policies can make it possible
for people to live decently at home without being dependent
on migration or remittances from the US or elsewhere.

In some industries and some localities, there is already
a hemispheric labor market. In some occupations, undocumented
immigrants make up a substantial percentage of the work force.
About 24 percent of all farm workers are undocumented immigrants;
17 percent of all cleaners; 14 percent of all construction workers,
and 12 percent of all food-preparation workers. Taking a closer
look at jobs within these categories, 36 percent of all insulation
workers; 29 percent of all roofers and drywall workers, and
27 percent of all butchers and food processors are undocumented.
National laws have not kept pace with the reality of transnational
labor markets. What's needed now are laws and regulations that
guarantee immigrant workers the basic human and labor rights
needed to let them work and live in dignity.

Immigration reform must be hemispheric in scope. A step in
the direction of recognizing the hemispheric and global nature
of the immigration issue has already been taken. The
governments of the nations of Latin America that send
migrants to the US have banded together to lobby against
the most draconian immigration reform bills were before the
last Congress. This recognition that immigration is no longer
a strictly national issue should prompt the labor and social
movements in Latin America and the US to convene
a hemispheric meeting of unions and social movements
to help draft an immigration program that is friendly
to workers and immigrants. Unions and social movements
should not leave immigration reform to elite decision-makers,
whether in the US or in the hemisphere.

Increased border security fails to keep undocumented
immigrants out, but it does keep them in. Labor needs to
stop pandering to the enforcement crowd and take them
on in a policy debate, beginning with the myth that increasing
border enforcement is part of the solution. The facts speak
otherwise. The number of border patrol agents increased
from around 2,500 in the 1980s to 12,000 today. Overall
spending on border security since the late 1980s has
increased 500 percent. One result is that the cost for an
undocumented immigrant to make a crossing today is
about $2,500. According to Princeton sociologist Douglas
Massey, in the 1980s about half of all undocumented
Mexicans returned home within 12 months, but by 2000
the return rate was only 25 percent. That's because, while
the increased enforcement doesn't keep people out, it does
keep them in by making it more expensive and riskier
to return to their homeland. Thus, the net result of increased
border security is to actually increase the number
of undocumented workers in the US. Effectively sealing
the border would require a massive attack on civil liberties
and unacceptable economic and political costs in the US and
abroad - and its primary effect would be to keep even more
undocumented immigrants from returning home.

Abruptly halting undocumented immigration would have
a chaotic effect on the economies of Mexico and Central America.
After oil, remittances from the US provide the second-largest
source of foreign capital in Mexico. About 18 percent of Mexican
adults - and 29 percent of Salvadoran adults - receive remittances
from someone in the US. Those remittances are essential to support
families and build communities. Shutting off the flow would create
hardship and instability in Mexico and Central America. Instead,
ways need to be found to smooth the flow of remittances and
make them part of a new economic development strategy that
utilizes them to provide socially constructive forms of credit.

A program can be developed that represents the interests
of established US workers, undocumented immigrants, and Latin
Americans. Their interests can be meshed with those of US
employers on this issue. The claims of nativist ideologues to
speak for American workers can be discredited. If the groundwork
for such a program is laid now, the alliance of immigrants and
established workers can seize the initiative in shaping progressive
immigration legislation in the next few years.

Tim Costello, Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith are the
co-founders of Global Labor Strategies, a resource center providing
research and analysis on globalization, trade, and labor issues.
GLS staff members have published many previous reports on
a variety of labor-related issues, including Outsource This!;
American Workers, the Jobs Deficit, and the Fair Globalization
Solution; Contingent Workers Fight For Fairness, and Fight Where
You Stand!: Why Globalization Matters in Your Community and
Workplace. They have also written and produced the Emmy-
nominated PBS documentary Global Village or Global Pillage?
GLS has offices in New York, Boston, and Montevideo, Uruguay.
For more on GLS, visit: or


9) CIA gets the go-ahead to take on Hizbollah
By Toby Harnden, US Editor
Last Updated: 1:47am GMT 10/01/2007

The Central Intelligence Agency has been authorised to take covert
action against Hizbollah as part of a secret plan by President
George W. Bush to help the Lebanese government prevent the
spread of Iranian influence. Senators and congressmen have been
briefed on the classified "non-lethal presidential finding" that allows
the CIA to provide financial and logistical support to the prime
minister, Fouad Siniora.

The finding was signed by Mr Bush before Christmas after
discussions between his aides and Saudi Arabian officials.
Details of its existence, known only to a small circle of
White House officials, intelligence officials and members
of Congress, have been passed to The Daily Telegraph.

It authorises the CIA and other US intelligence agencies
to fund anti-Hizbollah groups in Lebanon and pay for
activists who support the Siniora government. The secrecy
of the finding means that US involvement in the activities
is officially deniable.

The Bush administration hopes Mr Siniora's government,
severely weakened after its war with Israel last year, will
become a bulwark against the growing power of the Shia
sect of Islam, championed by Iran and Syria, since the
fall of Saddam Hussein.

Mr Bush's move is at the centre of a fresh drive by America,
supported by the Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and
Egypt as well as Israel, to stop Iranian hegemony in the
Middle East emerging from the collapse of Iraq.

The finding, drawn up at the White House by National
Security Council (NSC) officials, is a sign of Mr Bush's
growing alarm at the threat posed by Iran, which has
infiltrated the Iraqi government and is training Shia
insurgents as well as supplying them with roadside

A former US government official said: "Siniora's under
siege there and we are always looking for ways to help
allies. As Richard Armitage [a former deputy US secretary
of state] said, Hizbollah is the A-team of terrorism and
certainly Iran and Syria have not let up in their support
of the group."

Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, the former Saudi Arabian ambassador
to Washington, is understood to have been closely involved
in the decision to prop up Mr Siniora's administration and
the Israeli government, which views Iran as its chief enemy,
has also been supportive.

"There's a feeling both in Jerusalem and in Riyadh that the
anti-Sunni tilt in the region has gone too far," said an
intelligence source. "By removing Saddam, we've shifted
things in favour of the Shia and this is a counter-balancing

Prince Bandar, now King Abdullah's national security adviser,
made several trips to Washington and held meetings with
Elliot Abrams, the senior Middle East official on the NSC.

Prince Turki al-Faisal resigned abruptly as ambassador
to Washington last month. Intelligence sources said that
a principal reason for this was his belief he had been
undermined by Prince Bandar, who had not told him
of the Lebanon plan or even that he was visiting

As a quid pro quo to the Sunni Arab states, Mr Bush
and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, have agreed
to work harder to re-start negotiations about a peace
deal with the Palestinians.

According to the Swoop website (, which
contains briefings on diplomatic and intelligence matters:
"US officials point to the Israeli release of some tax monies
owed to the Palestinian Authority as the first fruits of this

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former clandestine CIA officer, said
that such a finding would involve "various steps and types
of non-military activity" agreed to by the Lebanese. "It takes
two to tango. You're only those things that the Lebanese
themselves would want you to do," he said.

Bush administration officials have spoken of their desire
to promote "mainstream" Arab states and have even spoken
of the existence of a "Sunni crescent" in the Middle East. But
there is tension between this policy and the support for Nouri
al-Maliki's Shia-led government in Iraq, which has links to
Shia death squads and Iran.

"The administration is reaping its own whirlwind after Iraq,"
said the intelligence source. "For 50 years the US preferred
stability over legitimacy in the Middle East and now it's got
neither. It's a situation replete with ironies."


[Col. Writ. 1/3/07] Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal

I have struggled to not write about the passing of U.S. President Gerald
Ford. I sought to not do so for days.

Yet, the imperial fashion adopted by most of the American press, which
praised his administration almost unanimously as "his salvation of the
republic," forced me to put pen to paper.

Much of the reporting that we have seen has simply been dishonest,
historically inaccurate, and a national amnesiac.

What I found particularly perturbing was the virtually unanimous
official opinion that former President Ford's pardon of Richard M. Nixon
was an act of "courage."


Because he opposed the will of the majority of the American people?

There is something unseemly about issuing a pardon to a man *before* he
was criminally charged with anything, and further, *one who built much
of his political career on law and order.**

Ford, to hear the corporate press tell it, simply made a deep, inner
decision to save the nation the trauma of a trial against Nixon, by
issuing a preemptive pardon.

The problem with this official reading is that there's plenty of
evidence that it just ain't true.

Acclaimed historian, Howard Zinn, in his phenomenal "A People's History
of the United States - 1492-Present" (New York: Harper Collins
Perennial, 2003) tells us that *months* before the Nixon resignation,
".... top Democratic and Republican leaders in the House of
Representatives had given secret assurance to Nixon that if he resigned
they would not support criminal proceedings against him." (p. 546]

The *New York Times* reported that what Wall Street wanted in case Nixon
resigned was, "the same play with different players."

It took a French journalist to voice what no mainstream American paper
would -- that U.S. political leaders wanted a change of face, but not a
change of politics. Zinn writes:

"No respectable American newspaper said what was said by Claude Julien,
editor of 'Le Monde Diplomatique' in September 1974. 'The elimination
of Mr. Richard Nixon leaves intact all the mechanisms and all the false
values which permitted the Watergate scandal.' Julien noted that
Nixon's Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, would remain at his post --
in other words, that Nixon's foreign policy would continue. 'That is to
say,' Julien wrote, 'that Washington will continue to support General
Pinochet in Chile, General Geisel in Brazil, General Stroessner in
Paraguay, etc....'" [p. 545]

Clearly, for millions of people in the U.S., and in Latin America, 'the
long national nightmare' was far from over.

Nixon's regime was criminal to the core, despite his rhetoric about 'law
and order.' It was a government that broke laws frequently and
flagrantly, *and got away with it*. Slush funds, burglaries, illegal
corporate campaign contributions, illegal wiretaps, corruption -- you
name it.

A deal. A pardon. A swift goodbye, and the imperial press applauds.

'Law and order' was a program for Blacks, Hispanics, poor people,
political opponents, and radicals. For the wealthy and well-to-do, it
was business as usual.

Ford was part of that program.

And because he played his part, the media played their part: 'the king
is dead, long live the king.'

From Shakespeare's "Richard II," the immortal lines are writ:

"For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:...."

The stories, we see, are still being told.

Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal


11) The Real Disaster
New York Times Editorial
January 11, 2007

President Bush told Americans last night that failure in Iraq would
be a disaster. The disaster is Mr. Bush’s war, and he has already failed.
Last night was his chance to stop offering more fog and be honest
with the nation, and he did not take it.

Americans needed to hear a clear plan to extricate United States
troops from the disaster that Mr. Bush created. What they got was
more gauzy talk of victory in the war on terrorism and of creating
a “young democracy” in Iraq. In other words, a way for this
president to run out the clock and leave his mess for the next one.

Mr. Bush did acknowledge that some of his previous tactics had
failed. But even then, the president sounded as if he were an
accidental tourist in Iraq. He described the failure of last year’s
effort to pacify Baghdad as if the White House and the
Pentagon bore no responsibility.

In any case, Mr. Bush’s excuses were tragically inadequate.
The nation needs an eyes-wide-open recognition that the only
goal left is to get the U.S. military out of this civil war in a way
that could minimize the slaughter of Iraqis and reduce the
chances that the chaos Mr. Bush unleashed will engulf Iraq’s

What it certainly did not need were more of Mr. Bush’s open-
ended threats to Iran and Syria.

Before Mr. Bush spoke, Americans knew he planned to send
more troops to pacify lawless Baghdad. Mr. Bush’s task was
to justify that escalation by acknowledging that there was no
military solution to this war and outlining the political mission
that the military would be serving. We were waiting for him
to detail the specific milestones that he would set for the
Iraqis, set clear timelines for when they would be expected
to meet them, and explain what he intended to do if they
again failed.

Instead, he said he had warned the Iraqis that if they didn’t
come through, they would lose the faith of the American people.
Has Mr. Bush really not noticed that the American people long
ago lost faith in the Iraqi government — and in him as well?
Americans know that this Iraqi government is captive to Shiite
militias, with no interest in the unity, reconciliation and
democracy that Mr. Bush says he wants.

Mr. Bush said yet again that he wanted the Iraqi government
to step up to the task of providing its security, and that Iraq
needed a law on the fair distribution of oil money. Iraq’s
government needs to do a lot more than that, starting with
disarming the sectarian militias that are feeding the civil war
and purging the police forces that too often are really death
squads. It needs to offer amnesty to insurgents and militia
fighters willing to put down their weapons. It needs to do
those things immediately.

Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government has heard this list before.
But so long as Mr. Bush is willing to back that failed government
indefinitely — enabling is the psychological term — Iraq’s leaders
will have no reason to move against the militias and more fairly
share power with the Sunni minority.

Mr. Bush did announce his plan for 20,000 more troops, and
the White House trumpeted a $1 billion contribution to
reconstruction efforts. Congress will debate these as
if they are the real issues. But they are not. Talk of a
“surge” ignores the other 132,000 American troops
trapped by a failed strategy.

We have argued that the United States has a moral obligation
to stay in Iraq as long as there is a chance to mitigate the
damage that a quick withdrawal might cause. We have called
for an effort to secure Baghdad, but as part of the sort of
comprehensive political solution utterly lacking in Mr. Bush’s
speech. This war has reached the point that merely prolonging
it could make a bad ending even worse. Without a real plan
to bring it to a close, there is no point in talking about jobs
programs and military offensives. There is nothing ahead but
even greater disaster in Iraq.


12) White House Pushes Hard on Iraq Plan
January 11, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 — President Bush’s top aides pushed hard today
for the administration’s new Iraq strategy as they unveiled plans to add
92,000 soldiers and marines to the United States military and help
Iraqis far beyond Baghdad’s city limits.

The addition of 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 to the Marine
Corps, to bring the services to 547,000 and 202,000, respectively,
over five years, was announced by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates
the morning after Mr. Bush told the American people that about
20,000 more troops will be sent to Iraq.

The move to “further decentralize and diversify” the American
civilian presence in Iraq was announced by Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice as the administration moved to persuade
a skeptical Congress to embrace an intensified plan to pacify
Iraq and strengthen its frail, fledgling democracy.

“Success in Iraq relies on more than military efforts,” Ms. Rice
said at a news conference. “It requires robust political and
economic progress.”

It also depends on diplomacy, Ms. Rice said, reiterating that
the United States would bring renewed pressure on Iran and
Syria, both regarded by Washington as interlopers in Iraq.

Addressing the notion that some Iraqis may not want a stable
nation as much as Americans do, Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who appeared with the two Cabinet
members, said a look at the casualty lists in Iraq should
convince anyone that the Iraqis are doing their share
to eradicate terrorists and sectarian killers. And Ms. Rice
said more than 12 million Iraqis showed their commitment
to a new way of life by voting in the first free elections
of their lifetimes.

Immediately after their joint news conference, the secretaries
and General Pace headed to Capitol Hill, where Mr. Gates
and General Pace were to testify before the House Armed
Services Committee and Ms. Rice was appearing before
the Senate and House foreign relations panels.

The Cabinet members and the general were in line for sharp,
perhaps hostile questions from the Democratic-controlled
committees, if the reaction to Mr. Bush’s Iraq speech
of Wednesday night was any indicator.

“The president’s speech last night ignored the recommendations
of both parties, military leaders and foreign policy experts and
the will of the American people,” said Senator Russell D. Feingold,
Democrat of Wisconsin and a member of the Foreign Relations
Committee. “With the president determined to escalate a failed
strategy in Iraq, Congress must use its power of the purse to
safely bring our brave troops out of Iraq.”

And Representative Ike Skelton of Missouri, the chairman of
the House Armed Services Committee, described Mr. Bush’s
plan to send just over 20,000 more troops as being “three
and a half years later and several hundred thousand troops
short” and said it was time for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal
al-Maliki to show that he is as committed as the United States
to a new, peaceful Iraq.

But while Democrats control both houses of Congress, their
margin in the Senate is so slender that Republicans can fight
back, using their chamber’s arcane rules to frustrate Democrats
on other issues.

Ms. Rice said she has appointed Tim Carney, a former ambassador
to Haiti, to the new position of coordinator for “Iraq transitional
assistance” to work with Iraqis on economic and development

“Iraq is central to the future of the Middle East,” Ms. Rice said
at the news conference. She described the region, where she will
travel on Thursday, as one of great strategic opportunity as well
as peril, a region whose security “is an enduring vital interest
for the United States.”

The region’s potential explosiveness was underscored as General
Pace said it was essential to go after those Iranians who supply
weapons to insurgents in Iraq.

“Are you going after them in Iran?” the general was asked at the
news conference. “Why not go to the source?”

The general said the security of American troops could be protected
“by doing the business we need to do inside of Iraq,” and that there
were non-military means to pressure Iran.

“Has anyone in the military recommended operations inside
Iran?” the questioner persisted.

“No,” the general replied.

Ms. Rice said she is ready to meet “anytime, anywhere” with her
Iranian counterpart and end 27 years of estrangement between
Washington and Tehran, once Iran forsakes its nuclear ambitions.

As for conditions inside Iraq, Ms. Rice said it is essential to get Americans
“out of the embassy, out of the Green Zone,” the heavily fortified sector
in Baghdad, and into the countryside to help the people build their
country. “As important as Baghdad is, not everything rests
on Baghdad,” she said.

Mr. Gates said it would be obvious fairly soon if Iraqis are indeed
living up to their obligations, and that the depth of their commitment
would be a factor in how long the temporary American troop increase
would last.

At the same time, he said that Iraq would continue to be a very
dangerous place, at least as long as Americans are, in effect, “the
prisoners of anyone who wants to strap on a bomb and blow
themselves up.” But given the enormous stakes, Mr. Gates said,
“failure in Iraq is not an option.”


13) Bid to Secure Baghdad Relies on Troops and Iraqi Leaders
Military Analysis
January 11, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 — With his new plan to secure Iraq, President
Bush is in effect betting that Iraqi leaders are committed to building
a multisectarian state, and his strategy will stand or fall on that

The plan differs in several respects from the faltering effort to bring
stability to Baghdad that began last summer. It calls for a much
larger American force. There are to be no havens for renegade
militias. And, importantly, Iraqi security forces throughout the
city are to be put under the direct control of a new Iraqi
commander — and backed by American Army battalions.

But the new plan depends on the good intentions and
competence of a Shiite-dominated Iraqi government that
has not demonstrated an abundant supply of either.

“Everybody raises a question about the intentions and
capability of this government,” a senior American official
said, referring to the Iraqi government. “Is this a government
that really is a unity government or is it in fact pursuing,
either explicitly or implicitly, a Shia hegemony agenda?”

It was just in August that the Bush administration hailed
the advent of “Operation Together Forward II,” a plan that
was intended to provide security to Baghdad’s violence-
ridden neighborhoods but did not stop the rise in
sectarian violence.

Based on the assumption that the establishment of security
in Baghdad was a bedrock condition for the broader push
to stabilize the country, that plan called for American and
Iraqi forces to clear contested neighborhoods in the capital,
which would then be held with Iraqi police officers. That was
to be followed to an energetic effort to fix sewage lines and
generally rebuild neighborhoods, an effort intended to win
public support and help remedy Iraq’s chronically high

That plan was backed by only modest resources from
the start.

With an increase of only 7,000 American troops, the number
of Americans taking part in the operation was only about
15,000. The Iraqis sent only two of the six battalions promised
as reinforcements, bringing the number of Iraqi soldiers
involved to 9,600. Some 30,000 Iraqi policemen were
to help secure Iraqi neighborhoods, but many police units
were infiltrated by the Shiite militias they were supposed
to control or proved ineffectual.

Much of the reconstruction that was to have been carried
out by the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government was never
undertaken or was directed away from Sunni areas.

The failure of the old plan led to a new strategy. Instead
of emphasizing the turning over of security responsibilities
to the Iraqi forces as quickly as possible so American troops
could begin to withdraw, a new priority was to be put on
protecting the Iraqi population.

The new strategy required more American forces, and the
generals initially had different views as to how large the
American troop reinforcement should be.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top American commander in
Iraq, and Gen. John P. Abizaid, the leader of the United States
Central Command, who have long argued that sending too
many troops would put off the day when the Iraqis would
take responsibility for their own security, initially had a more
modest approach. According to a senior administration official,
they thought two additional American combat brigades would
be sufficient for Baghdad. A third would be held in reserve in
Kuwait and two more would be on call in the United States.

But Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, whom Mr. Bush has selected
to replace General Casey, wanted to ensure that he had enough
troops to carry out what by all accounts will be an extremely
challenging mission. He sought a commitment that all five
combat brigades would be sent.

Mr. Bush opted for the larger commitment. Five brigades are
to be sent to improve security in the greater Baghdad area —
an increase of about 17,500 troops that will double the
American force involved in security operations there.

Beyond the capital, the force in Anbar, the volatile province
in western Iraq that is the base for many Sunni insurgents
and Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, will be expanded by about
4,000 marines. The Americans and the insurgents are essentially
locked in a stalemate there, and some officers have long
complained that the effort in the west is understrength.
This reinforcement is intended to buttress the Americans’
ability to interrupt insurgent supply lines from Syria and
to make it harder for the insurgents to concentrate their
efforts on Baghdad.

Critics of the troop-increase plan have complained that
17,500 more troops are too few to control a capital of six
million people. Supporters say that by concentrating these
soldiers in crucial neighborhoods, along with the 15,000
American troops already involved in the operation, the
reinforcement can be effective.

An unknown variable is the performance of the Iraqis. The
Iraqis are to reinforce Baghdad with three more Iraqi Army
brigades, bringing the total number of Iraqi brigades in the
city to nine — or some 20,000 troops if the units are at full

The Iraqi brigades, along with Iraqi National Police units and
regular Iraqi police units, will be deployed in nine sectors of
Baghdad, each under an Iraqi commander. In an innovation,
an American battalion will be assigned to each sector, a way
to stiffen the Iraqi forces and monitor them should some harbor
sectarian agendas.

In carrying out the old operation, Americans conducted patrols
from large American bases in and around the city. This time,
according to Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the second-ranking
American command in Iraq, some American troops will remain
in contested areas “24/7” to deter death squads and insurgents
from infiltrating the sectors once the neighborhoods have
been cleared.

In explaining the genesis of the new strategy, administration
officials described its formation as essentially the product of
a process of elimination. Other options were discarded until
the White House was left with what it considered to be the least
bad choice in a difficult situation.

Strikingly, Mr. Bush in his speech did not exclude the risk of failure.
After listing all the reasons the new plan has a better chance
of succeeding than the old one, Mr. Bush stressed that he had
informed Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that the United
States commitment to the new operation was not open-ended.

“If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises,
it will lose the support of the American people,” Mr. Bush said.
“Now is the time to act.”


14) To Counter Iran’s Role in Iraq, Bush Moves Beyond Diplomacy
January 11, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 — In promising to stop Iran from meddling
in Iraq, President Bush returned Wednesday night to a strategy
of confrontation in dealing with Tehran, casting aside what had
been a limited flirtation with a more diplomatic approach toward it.

Mr. Bush accused Iran of providing material support for attacks
on American troops and vowed to respond. “We will disrupt the
attacks on our forces,” he said in his speech. “We will seek out
and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and
training to our enemies in Iraq.”

Mr. Bush said the United States would send another aircraft
carrier and its supporting ships to the Persian Gulf. Administration
officials said the battle group would be stationed within quick
sailing distance of Iran, a response to the growing concern that
Iran is building up its own missile capacity and naval power, with
the goal of military dominance in the gulf.

Mr. Bush also announced the deployment of Patriot missiles
to protect America’s gulf allies. A battery of such missiles
is already in Qatar, having been moved there several months ago.

The more combative talk reflects increased frustration
in the administration with Iran, which American officials
blame for part of the rising death toll in Iraq.

Military officials in Baghdad say they have documented
a gradual rise in the number of sophisticated roadside
bombs using “shaped charges” — a type of weapon that
commanders believe is imported from Iran. According
to military statistics, 78 coalition troops were killed
and 243 were wounded by these bombs between
September and December of last year, compared
with 53 killed by the bombs in the previous nine

American officials have provided members of Congress
information to support the claim that Iran is helping to
orchestrate attacks on Americans in Iraq, but the
administration has not made that information public.

The American officials say that the Revolutionary Guard’s
Quds force trains inside Iran and then dispatches
operatives into Iraq, using contacts with Iraqi Shiite
militias to attack American troops.

“They’re training to kill coalition forces,” said one senior
American counterterrorism official, speaking on condition
of anonymity. “Their comments about wanting to see
a stable Iraq are belied by this type of activity.”

Gen. Michael V. Hayden, director of the Central Intelligence
Agency, told Congress late last year that while he was
originally skeptical of reports of Iranian operations
inside Iraq, he now had the “zeal of a convert” on the

One American official who recently returned from a trip
to Baghdad said American commanders in Iraq believed
that Iran was using its vast political influence to press
Shiite politicians not to forge any long-term agreements
with Sunnis.

“We caught them with their finger in the cookie jar last
month,” a senior administration official said, referring
to the arrest of five Iranians in Iraq whom the Americans
accused of running guns and planning sectarian attacks.
The Iranians were eventually released by Iraqi authorities.

American officials maintain that the latest moves should
not be seen as preparations for a military strike against
Iran. But they also said that Mr. Bush’s top deputies,
including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National
Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, had decided that, barring
some major conciliatory move from Tehran, American moves
to engage Iran had run their course.

The United States has grown frustrated with what one
administration official described as the “molasseslike” pace
of diplomatic efforts at the United Nations to impose broad
sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

The Security Council passed a resolution on Dec. 23 with
sanctions intended to curb Iran’s uranium enrichment program,
which Iran says is for peaceful purposes but the United States
and some European nations contend is for the purpose
of creating nuclear arms. The measure bars the trade of goods
or technology related to Iran’s nuclear program.

But American officials acknowledge that the resolution is too
weak to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program and are
seeking to increase economic and psychological pressure
on Iran. The United States is pressing governments and
financial institutions in Europe, Japan and China to cut
some of their financial ties with Iran.

For instance, during talks in Washington last week between
Ms. Rice and visiting Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi of
China, American officials urged Beijing to abandon a proposal
for a $16 billion natural gas deal for the China National
Offshore Oil Corporation to develop Iran’s North Pars gas
field, American officials said. The Chinese assured the United
States that a decision was not imminent, American officials said.

Mr. Bush is expected to seek to apply pressure to other
countries to limit their dealings with Iran in the coming month.
American officials are hoping that the economic pressure will
also persuade Iran not to actively oppose the new Bush
strategy in Iraq.


15) Life After Prison Can Be Deadly, a Study Finds
January 11, 2007

BOSTON, Jan. 10 (Reuters) — Being released from an American prison
may be more dangerous than being in one.

Death and prison records from Washington State show that 30,237
convicts released from 1999 to 2003 were 12 times more likely
to die from a drug overdose and 10 times more likely to be slain
in a two-year period than the general population.

The study, to be published in The New England Journal of Medicine
on Thursday, said the reason went beyond the bad habits and
willingness to take risks that probably landed people in prison
in the first place.

“We know this is a population that has a higher rate of smoking,
higher rate of mental health problems, higher rate of chemical
dependency, and more risk-taking behavior,” said Dr. Ingrid
Binswanger, a researcher at the University of Colorado, Denver.

“But you might not expect the higher death rate to be as dramatic
as it is,” said Dr. Binswanger, who led the study.

The danger peaks sharply “in the first few weeks of their transition
back into their communities,” she added.

The high rate of drug overdose may have been caused by heroin
or cocaine users who relapsed and overestimated the amount
it takes to get high, not realizing that they had lost the tolerance
they had before they were imprisoned, the study said.

More than 600,000 inmates are released from American prisons
every year. An additional 7.2 million people are let go after being
held in jails while awaiting trial or serving short sentences for
misdemeanors. The United States has 2.2 million people behind
bars, about a quarter of all the world’s prisoners.

Heart disease “is the second-leading cause of death in this population,”
Dr. Binswanger said, maybe because prisoners smoke more, or because
they may have other risk factors like diabetes or high blood pressure.


16) Democrats Plan to Fight Expansion of Troops
January 11, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 — The new Democratic leaders of Congress
on Wednesday accused President Bush of ignoring strong American
sentiment against the war in Iraq and said they would build a bipartisan
campaign against his proposed military expansion.

Democrats continued to debate how assertively to confront Mr. Bush
over his plan. House Democrats said that they would seek to attach
conditions to the spending request Mr. Bush will send to Congress
soon and that those conditions, if not met, could lead Congress to
limit or halt money for wider military operations.

“We are going to fund the troops that are there,” said Brendan Daly,
an aide to Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House
speaker. “Any escalation of troops we will subject to scrutiny.
We will have hearings, and we will set benchmarks that the
president must meet to obtain this money.”

Any challenge to Mr. Bush over paying for the additional troops
is probably months away. House Democrats said their first step
would be to vote on a nonbinding resolution opposing Mr. Bush’s
plan. The Senate is planning to vote on a similar resolution
as soon as next week.

“The president’s response to the challenge of Iraq is to send
more American soldiers into the crossfire of a civil war,” said
Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the
Senate, responding for his party immediately after Mr. Bush spoke.
“The escalation of this war is not the change the American people
called for in the last election.”

The criticism from Democrats resounded in near unison on
Wednesday evening, a rare moment for a party that for more
than four years has struggled to present a unified policy on Iraq.

Of more immediate concern to the administration was the bleak
assessment from some Republicans.

Senator Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota, delivered a strong
rebuke to the plan in a speech on the Senate floor only hours before
the presidential address. A recent trip to Iraq, Mr. Coleman said,
confirmed his fears that Baghdad was besieged by irreparable
sectarian violence.

“I refuse to put more American lives on the line in Baghdad
without being assured that the Iraqis themselves are willing
to do what they need to do to end the violence of Iraqi against
Iraqi,” said Mr. Coleman, who is up for re-election in 2008.

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, one of the
administration’s staunchest allies on Iraq, disagreed. Public
opinion was not entirely against the war, Mr. McCain said,
adding, “Americans want to be told how we can prevail
in Iraq and how we can get out.”

Even though Mr. Bush proposed a bipartisan Congressional
working group on Iraq, he set the stage for a major confrontation
with Democrats, who won the majority last fall after the lingering
war soured the climate for Republicans. The clash begins Thursday
as Democrats open a series of hearings to scrutinize the
president’s approach on Iraq.

“In the coming days and weeks, we should undertake
respectful debate and deliberation over this new plan,” said
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, a Democrat
turned independent singled out by Mr. Bush for recommending
a new bipartisan group focusing on the war on terror. “Excessive
partisan division and rancor at home only weakens our will
to prevail in this war.”

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, whose
potential presidential ambitions are complicated by her previous
support for the war, rejected the proposal to send more American
troops to Iraq. Mrs. Clinton said more pressure should be placed
on the Iraqi government to begin solving its own crisis.

“The president simply has not gotten the message sent loudly
and clearly by the American people, that we desperately
need a new course,” she said. “The president has not offered
a new direction, instead he will continue to take us down
the wrong road, only faster.”

The White House had asked Republicans to reserve judgment
on the Iraq strategy — or to at least stay silent — but several
Republicans distanced themselves from the president
Wednesday. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and
Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, made
calls and held meetings in an effort to stem political damage.

“This is a dangerously wrongheaded strategy that will drive
America deeper into an unwinnable swamp at a great cost,”
said Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska. “It is
wrong to place American troops in the middle of Iraq’s civil war.”

Senator Gordon H. Smith of Oregon, who was among the
first Republicans to drop his support of the administration’s
Iraq policy, said he was opposed to a troop increase. “This is
the president’s Hail Mary pass,” Mr. Smith said. “Now it
is up to the Iraqi army to catch the ball.”

Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, said he had
reservations about increasing troops, but declined to condemn
the president’s plan until Congress had had the opportunity
to study it.

“Blow the whistle, time out, until Congress has done its homework
and its analysis,” Mr. Warner said. “But each day that goes by,
all of us are pained by the casualties. We cannot dither about.”

Six hours before the president delivered his address, Congressional
leaders from both parties were called to the White House for
a briefing. Democrats dismissed the meeting as a last-minute
procedural briefing, saying the president had failed to consult
with them, as he promised to only a week ago.

Anne E. Kornblut contributed reporting.


17) Police Detective in Fatal Shooting Is Questioned by Prosecutors
January 11, 2007

The undercover detective who fired the first of 50 shots at a car driven
by a groom-to-be, killing him and wounding two friends, was
questioned yesterday by Queens prosecutors investigating the
shooting, the detective’s lawyer said.

“The questions were detailed and thorough,” said Philip E. Karasyk,
who represents the undercover detective, whose name has
not been publicly disclosed. He is one of four detectives and
one police officer who fired their weapons in the Nov. 25 shooting,
which killed an unarmed man, Sean Bell, 23, outside a Jamaica
nightclub hours before his wedding.

“We answered each and every one accurately, and we did so without
requesting or being granted any immunity” from prosecution based
on his answers, said Mr. Karasyk, who accompanied the detective
along with his partner, James Moscella. He has said his client will
testify in front of a grand jury.

The office of the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown,
declined to comment on the interview. But according to a person
involved in the case, the detective was questioned for three hours
by three prosecutors and at least three investigators from the
district attorney’s office.

The detective was asked about his background, his training
and his assignments in the Police Department, according to
the person involved in the case. Prosecutors then asked him
about the club enforcement task force, the unit he worked
for at the time of the shooting.

They then questioned him in detail about the night of the shooting,
which began as a relatively uneventful shift for a nine-member team
and ended with the shooting of the three unarmed men.

During the shooting, the undercover detective emptied his gun,
a Glock Model 26, which holds 10 rounds in the magazine and
one in the chamber. The Police Department’s preliminary report
of the shooting said that he was not wearing his bulletproof vest
or carrying his gun during the undercover operation. Not having
them in such circumstances is routine procedure.

He retrieved his gun but did not put on his vest — as another
detective did — and remained vulnerable as the group of officers
scrambled to deal with what they said they feared was imminent

He was the only undercover officer who fired in the shooting.

Last Thursday, prosecutors questioned Officer Michael Carey, 26,
who fired three times.

Stephen C. Worth, Officer Carey’s lawyer, said that his client had been
interviewed by prosecutors for about two hours. Mr. Worth said that
he had not yet decided whether his client would testify in the grand
jury. “We’re leaving our options open and watching the proceedings
with interest,” he said.

Detective Marc Cooper, 39, who fired four times, was questioned
by prosecutors on Tuesday. In December, investigators interviewed
Paul Headley, 35, a detective with nine years on the force, who fired
one shot in the confrontation. One detective, Michael Oliver, 35, who
fired 31 shots, has not yet been interviewed, several people involved
in the case have said. Yesterday, the state attorney general, Andrew
M. Cuomo, met with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Nicole Paultre Bell,
Mr. Bell’s fiancée. Afterward, Mr. Sharpton said that during the
meeting he expressed his concern to Mr. Cuomo over police
procedures statewide and over the length of time it is taking
prosecutors to investigate the case. In the meeting, Mr. Cuomo
expressed his condolences and vowed to closely monitor the
investigation, said his spokesman, Javier Gomez, who added
that Mr. Cuomo made it clear that “justice must be done and
we must learn from this tragedy.”

Emily Vasquez contributed reporting.


18) Déjà vu, 67 to 07
"... what happened on January 10, 1967 ...
alan pogue wrote:
alanpogue@mac. com
Thu, 11 Jan 2007
From: alan pogue
alanpogue@mac. com
To: Tomas Heikkala

"... what happened on January 10, 1967 ...

The big news story that night? President Lyndon B. Johnson's State of the
Union address.

The topic that dominated all others: Vietnam.

I'm going to guide you to some excerpts of that address -- exactly 40 years
ago tonight.See how it compares to some of the excerpts from the Bush
speech,"... tonight victory wont be declared on deck of a battleship."

*LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967*: We have chosen to fight a limited war in Vietnam in an
attempt to prevent a larger war--a war almost certain to follow, I believe,
if the Communists succeed in overrunning and taking over South Vietnam by
aggression and by force. I believe, and I am supported by some authority,
that if they are not checked now the world can expect to pay a greater price
to check them later.

*GWB, Jan. 10, 2007*: Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United States
are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global
war on terror and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline
tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the
fight against terror.

*LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967*: I wish I could report to you that the conflict is
almost over. This I cannot do. We face more cost, more loss, and more agony.
For the end is not yet. I cannot promise you that it will come this year--or
come next year. Our adversary still believes, I think, tonight, that he can
go on fighting longer than we can, and longer than we and our allies will be
prepared to stand up and resist.

*GWB, Jan. 10, 2007*: Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two
principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure
neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there
were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.

*LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967*: Our South Vietnamese allies are also being tested
tonight. Because they must provide real security to the people living in the
countryside. And this means reducing the terrorism and the armed attacks
which kidnaped and killed 26,900 civilians in the last 32 months, to levels
where they can be successfully controlled by the regular South Vietnamese
security forces. It means bringing to the villagers an effective civilian
government that they can respect, and that they can rely upon and that they
can participate in, and that they can have a personal stake in. We hope that
government is now beginning to emerge.

*GWB, Jan. 10, 2007*: Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and
secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan
to do it.

*LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967*: This forward movement is rooted in the ambitions and
the interests of Asian nations themselves. It was precisely this movement
that we hoped to accelerate when I spoke at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in
April 1965, and I pledged "a much more massive effort to improve the life of
man" in that part of the world, in the hope that we could take some of the
funds that we were spending on bullets and bombs and spend it on schools and

*GWB, Jan. 10, 2007:* A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military
operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are
accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities.
So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has

*LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967*: We have chosen to fight a limited war in Vietnam in an
attempt to prevent a larger war--a war almost certain to follow, I believe,
if the Communists succeed in overrunning and taking over South Vietnam by
aggression and by force. I believe, and I am supported by some authority,
that if they are not checked now the world can expect to pay a greater price
to check them later.

*GWB, Jan. 10, 2007*: The challenge playing out across the broader Middle
East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological
struggle of our timeŠIn the long run, the most realistic way to protect the
American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology
of the enemy by advancing liberty across a troubled region.

*LBJ, Jan. 10, 1967*: A time of testing--yes. And a time of transition. The
transition is sometimes slow; sometimes unpopular; almost always very
painful; and often quite dangerous. But we have lived with danger for a long
time before, and we shall live with it for a long time yet to come. We know
that "man is born unto trouble." We also know that this Nation was not
forged and did not survive and grow and prosper without a great deal of
sacrifice from a great many men.

*GWB, Jan. 10, 2007*: Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and
grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a
battleshipŠA democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country
that fights terrorists instead of harboring them and it will help bring a
future of peace and security for our children and grandchildren.

Not much to add here -- the words of Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush
pretty much speak for themselves.

Two things, though.

*First of all, ** 7,917 American troop had died in Vietnam through the
end of 1966* *, or ten days before Johnson's speech. From the beginning
of 1967 though the end of the war, an addition 50,285 -- more than six
times as many -- Americans would lose their lives*.

Also, and we're not endorsing this action by any means, then or now, but it
is interesting to note that in that 1967 SOTU, LBJ also called for a 6
percent surcharge on personal and corporate income taxes to pay for the cost
of the war. That's a level of responsibility -- and yes, sacrifice -- for
war that our current president is unwilling to take."
*"E-Day":It was 40years ago today*

January 10, 2006


19) George Bush once again proved that he is a mass killer.
By Don Vasicek, Producer of "The San Creek Massacre,"
a documentary film.

"On January 10, 2007, the President of the United States, George
Bush, once again proved that he is a mass killer. He ignored the
Iraq Study Group Report, complied and put together by some of the
greatest minds we have in America. He virtually thumbed his nose at
the report. He is closer to being a dictator, than any other
president in the history of the United States. He and his chronies
are direct threats to all that we, as Americans, hold dear. Amongst
other things that he stated on his televised speech, was that he
knows there will be more American and Iraqi casualties with the surge
of the 20,000 troops being placed in Iraq. He added, in so many of
his choice words, something like, that this is what is needed for us
to prevail in Iraq. Then, he moved on with his speech.

In my interpretation of this, I see it as an indictment against human
beings, human beings who will die because of one man's (Cheney and a
couple of other thugs as well) desire to "win" so that he can leave a
"positive" legacy about himself in history books. Our soldiers and
civilians in Iraq are victims of poor leadership. Victims of sick
leadership. Victims of a person who believes it is more vital to
"win" than to preserve human life. Victims of a person who spends
more money in Bagdad than in New Orleans, a city in the United
States of America. Victims of a power monger who does what he wants to do
when he wants to do it (see how he circumvented the law to get Thomas
Bolton, a thug, in my opinion, into the United Nations as US
Ambassador, as one example).

What has Bush learned since the Viet Nam War? He has proved to me
that he has learned nothing. He believes that might over right
works. While people were dying in Viet Nam, Bush was sniffing coke
and getting drunk, how could he have learned anything of the horrors
of war? One has to care before they can learn. One learns by living
in the trenches of everyday life in America to survive, not by living
in an elitist world where reality is composed of power brokering, at
the expense of human beings.

During his presidency, Bush (it is difficult for me to address him as
President Bush for it degrades the office of the Presidency in my
opinion) has always done what he's wanted to do, regardless of the
law, regardless of the loss of life, and regardless of the welfare
for the people of the United States. He also stated that if Iraqi
President Milaki doesn't conform to his wishes and take control of
the sectarian violence, that Milaki will lose the support of the
American people. This is outrageous! It is misleading. It is a
lie! I did not vote for this man. I have never supported the War in
Iraq, or any other war during my 66 years of life. I don't want this
man speaking for me. This man should be impeached and thrown out of
office. He should be put on trial for murder, just like Saddam
Hussein was. This man is a danger to the American way of life."

January 11, 2007

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC,+Don

The Sand Creek Massacre Documentary Film Project
consists of eight parts and can be viewed at:


1. Award-winning trailer (1:45) (completed)
Click on Sand Creek Massace, then Trailer.

2. Award-winning documentary short (6:37)(completed)
Click on Shop.

3. Educational Documentary Presentation (completed).
Click on Shop.

4. Two-hour, six part series documentary film titled "Ghosts of Sand
Creek" (goes into production when money is raised).
Click on Sand Creek Massacre, then on Proposal.

5. Book (will be written when money is in place.)

6. Interactive Media (goes into production when money is raised.)

7. Curriculum/Lesson Plans (completed and available.)
Click on Shop.

8. Study Guide (completed and available).
Click on Shop.

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC,+Don

Letter to Don Vasicek
By Bonnie Weinstein,

Dear Don,

I just viewed your powerful documentary, The Sand Creek Massacre.
I can't get the words out of my mind, question to Rivington from
a soldier: "Should we kill the children?" answer, "Nits make lice."

This horror needs to be exposed. I am so honored that you sent this
to me. We are meeting this Monday evening and I will make the
proposal for a film festival. I want this to be first on the list.
Meanwhile, I will circulate this to our members for review over
the weekend.

I profoundly feel that this information has terrific relevance for

We can't let this continue to slide!

Again, I am so honored. I thank you so much.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein,


20) Open Letter to Members of the United States Congress from
Former Special Forces Soldier Stan Goff:
[Via Email -]

The Bush-Maliki Plan, now called The Surge, to deploy an additional 20,000
US troops to Iraq is a last-ditch effort to prevent a decisive US political
defeat in Iraq. The principle purpose of this „surge‰ is to destroy the
Mehdi Army of Muqtada al Sadr , who broke his alliance with the Maliki
government after Maliki met with George Bush to confirm Iraqi government
submission to US forces two months ago. Sadr enjoys immense local support
from almost 3 million Iraqis, and is a very popular figure through most of
the Southern half of Iraq. Not only will the attempt to use this „surge‰
to destroy the Mehdi Army inflict massive civilian casualties in the
tightly-packed warrens of Sadr City, it will ignite a popular rebellion
among Shia, from Baghdad to Um Qasr, that will effectively destroy what is
left of the legitimacy of the Maliki „government.‰

Opposing this „surge‰ is not only politically smart for Democrats; it is a
moral imperative because of the civilian casualties that are certain to
accrue. But it is also a maneuver to dodge the larger issue of the war
itself, and of the 2006 election‚s implicit demand that the US withdraw
from Iraq. Now is the time to put as much local pressure as possible on
both parties‚ Senators and Representatives in order to accelerate the
inevitable US withdrawal from Iraq at the least costing lives. It is in
that spirit that this Open Letter to Members of the United States Congress
is offered.

Please distribute this Open Letter to Members of the United States Congress
as widely as possible, with the suggestions for using it.

Suggestion 1: Sign a copy and send it by email and paper mail to your own

Suggestion 2: Have a group from the same Congressional district sign it
and send it to your Representatives and Senators.

Suggestion 3: Circulate the letter to as many people and organizations as
possible in your city, county, or state, and send copies to both Senators
and all Representatives.

Suggestion 4: Set up local web sites and lists to garner signatures, and
publish the letter and signatories in the local liberal entertainment
weekly. Then send copies of the paper to both Senators and all

Suggestion 5: Come up with more creative suggestions∑ and implement them, now.


Open Letter to Members of the United States Congress

We the undersigned are opposed to the Bush administration‚s continuing war
in Iraq, but we are also disappointed with much of Congress – Republican
and Democrat – as well as with much of the media, for failing to explain
the real situation in Iraq and refusing to take decisive steps to halt the
US-led occupation.

Media and therefore Congressional representations of the situation in Iraq
are not just over-simplified; they are deceptive.

(1) There is never any mention of oil in these accounts. Both the media
and most members of Congress are pretending that the US government‚s
preoccupation with Iraq has nothing to do with fossil energy reserves; but
most people in the US know that were it not for oil, the US government
would have little interest in the region or its people. We do not believe
that continuing the US addiction to oil (five percent of the world‚s
population consuming 25% of its oil) is a valid reason to bomb and invade
other nations and engage in wars of aggression.

(2) Media and Congressional accounts of the war almost always suggest that
the war in Iraq – however „flawed‰ – is part of something called the Global
War on Terrorism. But there can be no such thing as a war on a tactic, so
we have to ask ourselves if this is not just another one-size-fits-all
pretext for future military adventures. Iraq is not now nor has it ever
been a threat to the security of people in the United States.

(3) There is no such thing as an Iraqi government except inside the Green
Zone. Congressional and the media accounts constantly refer to the Iraqi
government as the entity that requires US military assistance to become the
guarantor of Iraqi security. But the relationship of all Iraqi forces
demonstrates that this is a dangerous fantasy. The Maliki government – or
any other government that relies on US military protection to survive for a
week – commands the loyalty of only a fraction of the armed actors in
Iraq. The armed forces being trained for that „government‰ are themselves
loyal to factions with agendas, and these forces are filled with
opportunists and infiltrators. With 80% of Iraqis now asking for an end to
the Anglo-American occupation, and the Iraqis themselves identified not
merely as Sunni or Shia (as simplified accounts have it), but of three
major armed Shia factions, two major Sunni armed factions, and a Kurdish
militia of 100,000 that resides in the north itself is divided into two
camps, there is no possibility of one faction gaining the acquiescence of
the whole Iraqi population and the various armed expressions of
populations. The Ma.liki-Bush „surge‰ plan is designed to eliminate
Maliki‚s Shia and Sunni opposition inside Baghdad.

(4) The various sectors of the Iraqi population share one goal: they want
stability to rebuild. This goal cannot be accomplished without
negotiations between the various groups. With most Iraqis now supporting
armed resistance to the Anglo-American occupation, no sector that is
identified with the occupation can gain legitimacy in the eyes of most
Iraqis. American support for any Iraqi „government‰ is not preventing
so-called „sectarian‰ violence, it is incubating it. There may be some
fighting in Iraq after a US withdrawal, but the balance of forces and their
geographical dispersion are more likely to produce negotiations than
protracted civil war. At any rate, it is not the role of the US government
to shape the future of Iraq. What our government has already done to the
future of Iraqis is quite enough, thank you. Iraqis are far more qualified
to figure this out than the US Departments of State and Defense.

(5) An exit is not a strategy; it is a command. Elaborate plans about how
to withdraw are the responsibility of the military commanders, not
Congress. Most members of Congress wouldn‚t know how to run a rifle
platoon for an hour, much less the en masse redeployment of 150,000
troops. Leaving is a technical and tactical exercise. What is required,
and what requires the political will of Congress – by de-funding the war –
is the order to withdraw. Your job is the what, not the how.

(6) Half-measures happen while people continue to die. Opposing a „surge‰
in troop levels, but failing to oppose the war, is a half-measure.

(7) It has been said that „cutting and running‰ would send the „wrong
message‰ to the world about the US∑ as if being ground down in a
humiliating series of daily defeats hasn‚t already accomplished this.
That‚s what they are. Defeats. Speak plainly. Military success is not
predicated on tactical outcomes; but on political outcomes. By this
measure, the US has already lost the war in Iraq. We never should have
gone there in the first place. If this is about preserving the „national
masculinity,‰ then every life lost in this effort is a pure sin. This
machismo is the ideology of gangsters.

(8) De-funding the war will not put troops in danger. Specific conditional
allocations of funds can be made available for the sole purpose of
conducting a re-deployment. Much of the money being used in Iraq is paying
exorbitant prices to private contractors. The war is what is putting
troops in danger, not cutting funds to continue an illegal and immoral war.

In November 2006, the majority of voting Americans expressed its opposition
to the war by putting Democrats back in control of Congress. You must
understand that this was a „vote against,‰ not a „vote for.‰
Many of us have been disappointed and even angered by Democratic complicity
in this criminal war.

Quit reading the wind, and start reading the weather. Since this horror
began, support for US aggression in Iraq has gone from 90% to 30%. Ask
yourself what the pattern is here. Republicans are already breaking ranks
with the war. Democratic equivocation is establishing the basis for a
historical reversal on the political question of the war. Those who are
reading the weather will succeed in 2008. Those who are merely reading
today's winds will be caught in the storm.

We want out of Iraq. By 2008, the majority of voters will want out of
Iraq, and want out immediately, as we do now. They will remember who had
the courage to say this before it crossed the 50% tipping point.
They will also remember those who had their eyes fixed on today‚s
anemometer. You have one weapon to use against this administration – the
power of the purse – and you must use it.

Not one more day; not one more dime; not one more life; not one more lie.

Cut the funds for the war, and bring the troops home now.


“Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar”
and Bring the Troops Home Now!
Sandra Schwartz cell (415) 999-2436
Stephen McNeil cell (415) 350-9305 
January 11, 2007

San Francisco, CA—The American Friends Service Committee calls
on all Americans to voice their opposition to both the call for more
troops in Iraq as well as the forthcoming funding supplemental for
the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The U.S. public has clearly called
for a new direction, and this is not it.  We call upon Congressional
leadership to stop giving the Administration a blank check.  We call
upon all to recognize in action that military force is not the solution
to the war in Iraq.  Rebuilding Iraq remains an obligation under
international law and cannot proceed until a political solution
is achieved.  Contact you members of Congress:

Senators Diane Feinstein at 415-393-0707
Barbara Boxer at 415-403-0100
Nancy Pelosi at 415-556-4862
Ellen Tauscher at 925-932-8899
Barbara Lee at 510-763-0360
Tom Lantos at 415-566-5257



Democrats Risk Antiwar Wrath if They Waver on Iraq Exit

Soldiers Doubt an Influx of American Troops Will Benefit Iraqi Army

Bush to Face Street Protests over Iraq Escalation Plan

YouTube User Spurs Iraq War Dialogue

Robert Fisk: Bush's new strategy - the march of folly
So into the graveyard of Iraq, George Bush, commander-in-chief,
is to send another 21,000 of his soldiers. The march of folly
is to continue...
Published: 11 January 2007

Rights of Unions and Nonmembers Vie at Court
January 11, 2007

If you can stomach it:
Transcript of President Bush’s Address to Nation on U.S. Policy in Iraq
as recorded by The New York Times:
January 11, 2007

Israel’s Purging of Palestinian Christians
by Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
January 9, 2007

Democrats Beef Police State With 9/11 Commission Bill
Political "opposition" also helping Bush gain traction for Iran military strike
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wage Increase Could Hinge on Tax Cuts
January 10, 2007

Britain: An Increase in Profit at the London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange, seeking to fend off a hostile takeover
by the Nasdaq Stock Market, reported a 9.9 percent increase in
third-quarter profit and forecast a “strong performance” in fiscal
2008. Net income rose to £31 million ($59.8 million) in the three
months ended Dec. 31, up from £28.2 million a year earlier, the
exchange said. Revenue increased 11 percent, to £89.9 million
($173.5 million). The third-quarter results “support the board’s
rejection of Nasdaq’s offer, which significantly undervalues the
business and the exchange’s unique strategic position,” the
exchange’s chief executive, Clara Furse, said. “Our strong growth
prospects will continue to enhance the quality of our markets.”
The exchange, Europe’s biggest equity market, released its
earnings about three weeks ahead of schedule and two days
before Nasdaq’s offer to pay £12.43 a share expires.
January 10, 2007

Venezuelan Plan Shakes Investors
January 10, 2007

Mayor Finds Friendly Ears on Senate Homeland Security Panel
WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took his perennial
pitch for more security money to Congress on Tuesday, but this year,
for a change, lawmakers seemed poised to listen.
January 10, 2007

3 Relatives of Plotter Are Held by Officials
January 10, 2007

Gas-Like Odor Permeates Parts of New York City
January 8, 2007

The Second Declaration of Havana
Walter Lippmann, CubaNews Los Angeles, California
This is one of the great political documents of all time. It was
presented to the Cuban people on February 4, 1962, following Cuba's
expulsion from the Organization of American States. It is printed
here in its entirety. [editorial note from Fidel Castro Speaks,
edited by James Petras and Martin Kenner, Grove Press, 1969.]
It is now web-posted in English here:
Original Spanish:

The universe gives up its deepest secret
It is the invisible material that makes up most of the cosmos.
Now, scientists have created the first image of dark matter
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 08 January 2007

Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's
most precious commodity
The Independent (UK)
January 7, 2007




FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2007, 4:00 - 7:00 P.M.


All human beings have basic, inalienable human rights to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. If your family is starving and you
can not find work, you have the right to find someplace where you can
feed, clothe and house your family.

If capital can go all over the world exploiting workers, then workers
have the right to move to find work for their family's basic survival.


From South America, Latin America, China, Africa, India--in countries
all over the world, not to speak of the war in Iraq--a war of blood
for oil--U.S. businesses are raking in huge profits off the backs of workers
who earn slave wages and work under the most dangerous working conditions
at best, and under a state of war at worse.

Meanwhile, here at home, they are laying off workers, closing factories,
away with benefits and working conditions won by worker's struggles
in the past--installing two, three, many-tiered pay scales--driving down
wages to below the scale parents are earning--leaving our children
with the heritage of a guaranteed life of poverty without union


And now they launch an all-out war against the most vulnerable workers
--who are driven to work in these meatpacking plants. Whether
documented or not, this is brutal, dangerous and difficult work.

And not so coincidentally, these same workers just happen
to be in the midst of a fight to win union recognition!


These mass arrests are terrorist tactics designed as a warning
to all workers that if they struggle for a better life and better
working conditions, they will be persecuted in every way

This is an all-out assault on every worker and it is being
executed by a terrorist government--the U.S. Government--
who uses pre-emptive war based upon outright lies to further
their oil profits; who will stop at nothing to increase their
rate of profit.

The ultimate goal of the U.S. Government is for American big
business to continue to accumulate unimaginable wealth
at the expense of the hardworking majority all over the
world--nothing is off-limits to them in this, their fundamental


An injury to one is an injury to all! We are only as strong as our
weakest link. If we allow these terrorists from ICE to continue
to carry out these assaults against the basic human rights
of any of us--no matter what our immigration status--they
will not hesitate one second to use these same tactics of mass
firings, arrest, etc. against all of us who dare to struggle
in our own defense and in our own, basic human interests and
for our own basic rights as workers and human beings!

It's up to us to organize and fight back! If we are united, we cannot loose!


For more information contact:

Barrio Unido por una Amnistia
General e Incondicional
Cristina Gutierrez,

Bonnie Weinstein,


7:00 PM Saturday, January 13
522 Valencia Street , 3rd Floor Auditorium
Hear about:
-Factories run by workers
-The election turnout for Hugo Chavez
-Occupied factories
-Socialism of the 21st Century
See: A short film on current developments
in Venezuela .
-John Peterson, National Secretary
of US Hands Off Venezuela (recently
returned from Venezuela )
-A speaker from Global Exchange
-A speaker from Global Women’s
Strike, San Francisco Bay Area
-An opportunity for discussion will follow
the presentations.
Sponsored by Hands Off Venezuela
Hands Off Venezuela is an international
organization dedicated to the principle
that the people of Venezuela have the
right to determine their own destiny
without interference from foreign
Contact info:
phone (415) 786-1680


Washington, D.C.
VOLUNTEER Live in NYC or DC? We need your help
before and during the protest. Call 212-868-5545
updated information and to sign up for our action alerts
DONATE Whether you can contribute $10, $100, or
$1000, we need your support to help end the war!
Call 212-866-5545 or visit
Join us for a massive
march on Washington
to tell the new Congress:
unitedforpeace&justice (212)868-5545
On Election Day the voters delivered a dramatic,
unmistakable mandate for peace. Now it's time for action.
On Jan. 27, 2007, help send a strong, clear message to
Congress and the Bush Administration:
Bring the troops home now!


From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund the People's Needs NOT THE
WAR MACHINE! End Colonial Occupation: Iraq, Palestine, Haiti and
everywhere! Shut Down Guantanamo


FEBRUARY 23-25 (Lynne and her husband Ralph will
stay on several more days. Stay tuned for complete
schedule of events.)
Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
I am pleased to announce that Lynne Stewart and Michael Ratner have
just accepted our invitation to tour the Bay Area. The confirmed
dates are February 23-25, 2007. Lynne, accompanied by her husband
Ralph Poynter, will stay on several more days for additional meetings.
In solidarity,
Jeff Mackler,
West Coast Coordinator, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Co-Coordinator, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
O: 415-255-1080
Cell: 510-387-7714
H: 510-268-9429


May Day 2007
National Mobilization to Support Immigrant Workers!
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
New York: (212)330-8172
Los Angeles: (213)403-0131
Washington D.C.: (202)595-8990



Join us in a campaign to expose and stop the use of these illegal weapons


You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


Call for action to save Iraq's Academics
A little known aspect of the tragedy engulfing Iraq is the systematic
liquidation of the country's academics. Even according to conservative
estimates, over 250 educators have been assassinated, and many
hundreds more have disappeared. With thousands fleeing the country
in fear for their lives, not only is Iraq undergoing a major brain drain,
the secular middle class - which has refused to be co-opted by the
US occupation - is being decimated, with far-reaching consequences
for the future of Iraq.


Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.


March 17-18, 2007

Please circulate widely


Sand Creek Massacre
Hello, Everyone,
On November 29, 1864, 700 Colorado troops savagely slaughtered
over 450 Cheyenne children, disabled, elders, and women in the
southeastern Colorado Territory under its protection. This act
became known as the Sand Creek Massacre. This film project
("The Sand Creek Massacre" documentary film project) is an
examination of an open wound in the souls of the Cheyenne
people as told from their perspective. This project chronicles
that horrific 19th century event and its affect on the 21st century
struggle for respectful coexistence between white and native
plains cultures in the United States of America.

Listed below are links on which you can click to get the latest news,
products, and view, free, "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" award-
winning documentary short. In order to create more native
awareness, particularly to save the roots of America's history,
please read the following:

Some people in America are trying to save the world. Bless
them. In the meantime, the roots of America are dying.
What happens to a plant when the roots die? The plant dies
according to my biology teacher in high school. American's
roots are its native people. Many of America's native people
are dying from drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, hunger,
and disease, which was introduced to them by the Caucasian
male. Tribal elders are dying. When they die, their oral
histories go with them. Our native's oral histories are the
essence of the roots of America, what took place before
our ancestors came over to America, what is taking place,
and what will be taking place. It is time we replenish
America's roots with native awareness, else America
continues its decaying, and ultimately, its death.

READY FOR PURCHASE! (pass the word about this powerful
educational tool to friends, family, schools, parents, teachers,
and other related people and organizations to contact
me (, 303-903-2103) for information
about how they can purchase the DVD and have me come
to their children's school to show the film and to interact
in a questions and answers discussion about the Sand
Creek Massacre.

Happy Holidays!

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC,+Don

(scroll down when you get there])



NOW's Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes us inside the
world's largest pork processing plant, located in Tar Heel, North
Carolina. As the first TV journalist ever allowed to film inside the
plant, owned by The Smithfield Packing Company, Hinojosa gives
us an insider's view of what conditions are like in a plant that
slaughters over 33,000 hogs per day.


Rights activist held in Oaxaca prison
Three students arrested and held incommunicado in Oaxaca



The following quote is from the 1918 anti-war speech delivered
in Canton, Ohio, by Eugene Debs. The address, protesting World War I,
resulted in Debs being arrested and imprisoned on charges of espionage.
The speech remains one of the great expressions of the militancy and
internationalism of the US working class.

His appeal, before sentencing, included one of his best-known quotes:
"...while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal
element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Read the complete speech at:


My Name is Roland Sheppard
This Is My `Blog'
I am is a retired Business Representative of Painters District
Council #8 in San Francisco. I have been a life long social activist
and socialist. Roland Sheppard is a retired Business Representative
of Painters District Council #8 in San Francisco. I have been
a life long social activist and socialist.
Prior to my being elected as a union official, I had worked
for 31 years as a house painter and have been a lifelong socialist.
I have led a unique life. In my retire age, I am interested in writing
about my experiences as a socialist, as a participant in the Black
Liberation Movement, the Union Movement, and almost all social
I became especially interested in the environment when I was
diagnosed with cancer due to my work environment. I learned
how to write essays, when I first got a computer in order to put
together all the medical legal arguments on my breakthrough
workers' compensation case in California, proving that my work
environment as a painter had caused my cancer. After a five-year
struggle, I won a $300,000 settlement on his case.
The following essays are based upon my involvement in the
struggle for freedom for all humanity. I hope the history
of my life's experiences will help future generations
of Freedom Fighters.
For this purpose, this website is dedicated.


The Corporate Looting of the Gulf Coast
Robin Hood in Reverse
More Info:
For a detailed report:
Big, Easy Money: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast
by Rita J. King, Special to CorpWatch
August 15th, 2006




Communist Manifesto illustrated by Disney [and other cartoons) with
words by K. Marx and F. Engels--absolutely wonderful!]


Asylum Street Spankers-Magnetic Yellow Ribbon com/watch? v=bfMgRHRJ- tc


Homer Simpson Joins the Army
Another morale-booster from Groening and company. [If you get
a chance to see the whole thing, it's worth]


A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer
Clara Jeffery (May/June 2006 Issue
IN 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined.
Today, they re worth $1.13 trillion more than the GDP of Canada.
THERE'VE BEEN FEW new additions to the Forbes 400.
The median household income
has also stagnated at around $44,000.
AMONG THE FORBES 400 who gave to a 2004 presidential
campaign, 72% gave to Bush.
IN 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires,
a 62% increase since 2002.
IN 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps,
a 49% increase since 2000.
ONLY ESTATES worth more than $1.5 million are taxed.
That's less than 1% of all estates


Do You Want to Stop PREVENT War with Iran?

Dear Friend,

Every day, pundits and military experts debate on TV when, how and where
war with Iran will occur. Can the nuclear program be destroyed? Will the
Iranian government retaliate in Iraq or use the oil weapon? Will it take
three or five days of bombing? Will the US bomb Iran with "tactical"
nuclear weapons?

Few discuss the human suffering that yet another war in the Middle East
will bring about. Few discuss the thousands and thousands of innocent
Iranian and American lives that will be lost. Few think ahead and ask
themselves what war will do to the cause of democracy in Iran or to
America's global standing.

Some dismiss the entire discussion and choose to believe that war simply
cannot happen. The US is overstretched, the task is too difficult, and
the world is against it, they say.

They are probably right, but these factors don't make war unlikely. They
just make a successful war unlikely.

At the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), we are not going to
wait and see what happens.

We are actively working to stop the war and we need your help!

Working with a coalition of peace and security organizations in
Washington DC, NIAC is adding a crucial dimension to this debate - the
voice of the Iranian-American community.

Through our US-Iran Media Resource Program , we help
the media ask the right questions and bring attention to the human side
of this issue.

Through the LegWatch program ,

we are building opposition to the war on Capitol Hill. We spell out the
consequences of war and the concerns of the Iranian-American community
on Hill panels

and in direct meetings with lawmakers. We recently helped more than a dozen
Members of Congress - both Republican and Democrats - send a strong
message against war to the White House

But more is needed, and we need your help!

If you don't wish to see Iran turn into yet another Iraq, please make a
contribution online or send in a check to:

2801 M St NW
Washington DC 20007

Make the check out to NIAC and mark it "NO WAR."

ALL donations are welcome, both big and small. And just so you know,
your donations make a huge difference. Before you leave the office
today, please make a contribution to stop the war.

Trita Parsi
President of NIAC

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

PMB 153
1718 "M" Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Voicemail: 202/521-5265

Co-convenors: Gene Bruskin, Maria Guillen, Fred Mason,
Bob Muehlenkamp, and Nancy Wohlforth
Michael Eisenscher, National Organizer & Website Coordinator
Virginia Rodino, Organizer
Adrienne Nicosia, Administrative Staff


Immigration video:


Enforce the Roadless Rule for National Forests
Target: Michael Johanns, Secretary, USDA
Sponsor: Earthjustice
We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:
This past September, Earthjustice scored a huge victory for our roadless
national forests when a federal district court ordered the reinstatement
of the Roadless Rule.
The Roadless Rule protects roadless forest areas from road-building
and most logging. This is bad news for the timber, mining, and oil
& gas industries ... And so they're putting pressure on their friends
in the Bush Administration to challenge the victory.
Roadless area logging tends to target irreplaceable old growth forests.
Many of these majestic trees have stood for hundreds of years.
By targeting old-growth, the timber companies are destroying
natural treasures that cannot be replaced in our lifetime.
The future of nearly 50 million acres of wild, national forests
and grasslands hangs in the balance. Tell the secretary of the
USDA, Michael Johanns, to protect our roadless areas by enforcing
the Roadless Rule. The minute a road is cut through a forest, that
forest is precluded from being considered a "wilderness area," and
thus will not be covered by any of the Wilderness Area protections
afforded by Congress.


Mumia Abu-Jamal - Reply brief, U.S. Court of Appeals (Please Circulate)

Dear Friends:

On October 23, 2006, the Fourth-Step Reply Brief of Appellee and
Cross-Appellant, Mumia Abu-Jamal was submitted to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia. (Abu-Jamal v. Horn,
U.S. Ct. of Appeals Nos. 01-9014, 02-9001.)

Oral argument will likely be scheduled during the coming months.
I will advise when a hearing date is set.

The attached brief is of enormous consequence since it goes
to the essence of our client's right to a fair trial, due process
of law, and equal protection of the law, guaranteed by the Fifth,
Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The issues include:

Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied the right to due process
of law and a fair trial because of the prosecutor's "appeal-after
-appeal" argument which encouraged the jury to disregard the
presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt, and err
on the side of guilt.

Whether the prosecution's exclusion of African Americans
from sitting on the jury violated Mr. Abu-Jamal's right
to due process and equal protection of the law,
in contravention of Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).

Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied due process and equal
protection of the law during a post-conviction hearing
because of the bias and racism of Judge Albert F. Sabo,
who was overheard during the trial commenting that
he was "going to help'em fry the nigger."

That the federal court is hearing issues which concern
Mr. Abu-Jamal's right to a fair trial is a great milestone
in this struggle for human rights. This is the first time
that any court has made a ruling in nearly a quarter
of a century that could lead to a new trial and freedom.
Nevertheless, our client remains on Pennsylvania's death
row and in great danger.

Mr. Abu-Jamal, the "voice of the voiceless," is a powerful
symbol in the international campaign against the death
penalty and for political prisoners everywhere. The goal
of Professor Judith L. Ritter, associate counsel, and
I is to see that the many wrongs which have occurred
in this case are righted, and that at the conclusion
of a new trial our client is freed.

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *---------*---------*

Antiwar Web Site Created by Troops
A small group of active-duty military members opposed to the war
have created a Web site intended to collect thousands of signatures
of other service members. People can submit their name, rank and
duty station if they support statements denouncing the American
invasion. "Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price,"
the Web site,, says. "It is time for U.S. troops
to come home." The electronic grievances will be passed along
to members of Congress, according to the Web site. Jonathan
Hutto, a Navy seaman based in Norfolk, Va., who set up the Web
site a month ago, said the group had collected 118 names and
was trying to verify that they were legitimate service members.
October 25, 2006


Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Child Rape Photos
Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2006-10-23 20:54. Evidence
By Greg Mitchell,


Profound new assault on freedom of speech and assembly:
Manhattan: New Rules for Parade Permits
After recent court rulings found the Police Department's
parade regulations too vague, the department is moving
to require parade permits for groups of 10 or more
bicyclists or pedestrians who plan to travel more than
two city blocks without complying with traffic laws.
It is also pushing to require permits for groups of 30
or more bicyclists or pedestrians who obey traffic laws.
The new rules are expected to be unveiled in a public
notice today. The department will discuss them at
a hearing on Nov. 27. Norman Siegel, a lawyer whose
clients include bicyclists, said the new rules
"raise serious civil liberties issues."
October 18, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/18/nyregion/ 18mbrfs-002. html

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer's View of America
Jessica Murray
Format: Paperback (6x9)
ISBN 1425971253
Price: $ 13.95
About the Book
Astrology and geopolitics may seem strange bedfellows, but
Soul-Sick Nation puts the two together to provide a perspective
as extraordinary as the times we are living in. Using the principles
of ancient wisdom to make sense of the current global situation,
this book invites us to look at the USA from the biggest possible
picture: that of cosmic meaning. With a rare blend of compassion,
humor and fearless taboo-busting, Soul-Sick Nation reveals
America's noble potential without sentiment and diagnoses
its neuroses without delusion, shedding new light on troubling
issues that the pundits and culture wars inflame but leave
painfully unresolved: the WTC bombings, the war in Iraq,
Islamic jihad, media propaganda, consumerism and the
American Dream.
In her interpretation of the birth chart of the entity born
July 4, 1776, Murray offers an in-depth analysis of America's
essential destiny--uncovering , chapter by chapter, the greater
purpose motivating this group soul. She shows how this
purpose has been distorted, and how it can be re-embraced
in the decades to come. She decodes current astrological
transits that express the key themes the USA must learn
in this period of millennial crisis-including that of the
responsibility of power-spelling out the profound lessons
the nation will face in the next few years.
Combining the rigor of a political theorist with the vision
of a master astrologer, this keenly intelligent book elucidates
the meaning of an epoch in distress, and proposes a path
towards healing-of the country and of its individual citizens.
Murray explains how each of us can come to terms with this
moment in history and arrive at a response that is unique
and creative. This book will leave you revitalized, shorn
of illusions and full of hope.
About the Author
"Jessica Murray's Soul-Sick Nation raises the symbol-system
of astrology to the level of a finely-honed tool for the critical
work of social insight and commentary. Her unflinching,
in-depth analysis answers a crying need of our time. Murray's
application of laser beam-lucid common sense analysis
to the mire of illusions we've sunken into as a nation is
a courageous step in the right direction... Just breathtaking! "
--Raye Robertson, author of Culture, Media and the Collective Mind
" Jessica Murray,..a choice-centered, psychospiritually- oriented
astrologer.. . has quietly made a real difference in the lives of her
clients, one at a time. In "Soul Sick Nation," she applies exactly those
same skills to understanding America as a whole. Starting from
the premise that the United States is currently a troubled adolescent,
she applies an unflinching gaze to reach an ultimately compassionate
conclusion about how we can heal ourselves and grow up."
- Steven Forrest, author of The Inner Sky and The Changing Sky
http://www.authorho e/ItemDetail~ bookid~41780. aspx

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!
Interested in furthering your knowledge about Palestine
and its people?
Want to help make the Palestinian Right to Return a reality?
Looking for ways to show your support for Palestine and
Palestinian refugees?
Why not shop for a donation at Al-Awda
http://al-awda. org/shop. html
and help support a great organization and cause!!
Al-Awda offers a variety of educational materials including interesting
and unique books on everything from oral histories, photo books
on Palestinian refugees, to autobiographies, narratives, political
analysis, and culture. We also have historical maps of Palestine
(in Arabic and English), educational films, flags of various sizes,
and colorful greeting cards created by Palestinian children.
You can also show your support for a Free Palestine, and wear with
pride, great looking T-shirts, pendants, and a variety of Palestine pins.
Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!
Visit http://al-awda. org/shop. html for these great items, and more!
The Educational Supplies Division
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
E-mail: info@al-awda. org
WWW: http://al-awda. org
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC), is a broad-
based, non-partisan, democratic, and charitable organization of
grassroots activists and students committed to comprehensive public
education about the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their
homes and lands of origin, and to full restitution for all their confiscated
and destroyed property in accordance with the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, International law and the numerous United Nations
Resolutions upholding such rights (see FactSheet). Al-Awda, PRRC
is a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3)
organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the
United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations
to Al-Awda, PRRC are tax-deductible.

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Before You Enlist
Excellent flash film that should be shown to all students. com/watch? v=ZFsaGv6cefw

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -


In an interview in March 1995 entitled, "Jesse Helms: Setting the
Record Straight" that appeared in the Middle East Quarterly, Helms
said, "I have long believed that if the United States is going to give
money to Israel, it should be paid out of the Department of Defense
budget. My question is this: If Israel did not exist, what would
U.S. defense costs in the Middle East be? Israel is at least the
equivalent of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Middle East. Without
Israel promoting its and America's common interests, we would
be badly off indeed."
(Jesse Helms was the senior senator from North Carolina and the
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time.)
http://www.meforum. org/article/ 244

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -


These pdf files can be found on Michael Schiffmann's web site at:

http://againstthecr imeofsilence. de/english/ copy_of_mumia/ legalarchive/

The first brief is from the National Lawyers Guild.
The second brief is from the NAACP Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, Inc.

Howard Keylor
For the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Asylum Street Spankers-Magnetic Yellow Ribbon com/watch? v=bfMgRHRJ- tc


I urge everyone to get a copy of "Sir! No Sir!" at:
http://www.sirnosir .com/
It is an extremely informative and powerful film
of utmost importance today. I was a participant
in the anti-Vietnam war movement. What a
powerful thing it was to see troops in uniform
leading the march against the war! If you would
like to read more here are two very good

Out Now!: A Participant' s Account of the Movement
in the United States Against the Vietnam War
by Fred Halstead (Hardcover - Jun 1978)


GIs speak out against the war;: The case of the
Ft. Jackson 8; by Fred Halstead (Unknown Binding - 1970).

Both available at: com/gp/search/ 103-1123166- 0136605?search- alias=books&
+availability, -proj-total- margin&field- author=Fred% 20Halstead

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Endorse the following petition:
Don't Let Idaho Kill Endangered Wolves
Target: Fish and Wildlife Service
Sponsor: Defenders of Wildlife
http://www.thepetit takeaction/ 664280276?
z00m=99090&z00m= 99090<l= 1155834550

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.
Personalize the message text on the right with
your own words, if you wish.
Click the Next Step button to send your letter
to these decision makers:
President George W. Bush
Vice President Richard 'Dick' B. Cheney
Your Senators
Your Representative
Go here to register your outrage:
https://secure2. pep/site/ Advocacy?
JServSessionIdr003= cga2p2o6x1. app2a&cmd= display&page= UserAction& id=177

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Idriss Stelley Foundation is in critical financial crisis, please help !
ISF is in critical financial crisis, and might be forced to close
its doors in a couple of months due to lack of funds to cover
DSL, SBC and utilities, which is a disaster for our numerous
clients, since the are the only CBO providing direct services
to Victims (as well as extended failies) of police misconduct
for the whole city of SF. Any donation, big or small will help
us stay alive until we obtain our 501-c3 nonprofit Federal
Status! Checks can me made out to
ISF, ( 4921 3rd St , SF CA 94124 ). Please consider to volunteer
or apply for internship to help covering our 24HR Crisis line,
provide one on one couseling and co facilitate our support
groups, M.C a show on SF Village Voice, insure a 2hr block
of time at ISF, moderate one of our 26 websites for ISF clients !
http://mysite. vzeo9ewi/ idrissstelleyfou ndation/
http://groups. group/isf23/
Report Police Brutality
24HR Bilingual hotline
(415) 595-8251
http://groups. group/Justice4As a/

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Appeal for funds:
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website http://dahrjamailir
Request for Support
Dahr Jamail will soon return to the Middle East to continue his
independent reporting. As usual, reporting independently is a costly
enterprise; for example, an average hotel room is $50, a fixer runs $50
per day, and phone/food average $25 per day. Dahr will report from the
Middle East for one month, and thus needs to raise $5,750 in order to
cover his plane ticket and daily operating expenses.
A rare opportunity has arisen for Dahr to cover several stories
regarding the occupation of Iraq, as well as U.S. policy in the region,
which have been entirely absent from mainstream media.
With the need for independent, unfiltered information greater than ever,
your financial support is deeply appreciated. Without donations from
readers, ongoing independent reports from Dahr are simply not possible.
All donations go directly towards covering Dahr's on the ground
operating expenses.
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Legal update on Mumia Abu-Jamal's case
Excerpts from a letter written by Robert R. Bryan, the lead attorney
for death row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
...On July 20, 2006, we filed the Brief of Appellee and Cross
Appellant, Mumia Abu-Jamal, in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia.
http://www.workers. org/2006/ us/mumia- 0810/

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -


Contact: Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

Howard Zinn joins Kathy Kelly, Dahr Jamail, Ann Wright and Neil MacKay in
endorsing "War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and
Mechanisms for Accountability."

The report was published internationally by 10 organizations in October.

"This report on the war crimes of the current administration is an
invaluable resource, with a meticulous presentation of the
evidence and an astute examination of international law.
- Howard Zinn.

The 37 page report, written by Consumers for Peace with the
consultation of international humanitarian law expert Karen
Parker, JD, is available for free download at

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Today in Palestine!
For up to date information on Israeli's brutal attack on
human rights and freedom in Palestine and Lebanon go to:

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

Congratulations on your bill for creating an
African-American Centennial Plaza near the

I have a suggestion for including an important
moment in Oklahoma African-American
history in the displays.

The first African-American speaker at the
University of Oklahoma was Paul Boutelle,
in 1967.

He is still alive but has changed his name
to Kwame Somburu. I believe it would be
very appropriate also to invite Mr. Somburu
to attend the dedication ceremony for
this plaza. I correspond with him by email.

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:


Mike Wright

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Interesting web site with many flash films. The site is managed
by veteran James Starowicz, USN '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In-Country
'70-'71 Member: Veterans For Peace as well as other Veterans
and Pro-Peace Groups. Also Activist in other Area's, Questioning
Policies that only Benefit the Few, supporting Policies that Benefit
the Many and Move Us Forward as a Better Nation and World!
Politics: Registered Independent

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Taking Aim with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone has a new Internet

Essential reading for understanding the development of Zionism
and Israel in the service of British and USA imperialism.
The full text of the book can be found for free at the
new Taking Aim web address:

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

For those of you who don't know who Lynne Stewart is, go to
www.lynnestewart. org and get acquainted with Lynne and her
cause. Lynne is a criminal defense attorney who is being persecuted
for representing people charged with heinous crimes. It is a bedrock
of our legal system that every criminal defendant has a right to a
lawyer. Persecuting Lynne is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate
all criminal defense attorneys in this country so they will stop
representing unpopular people. If this happens, the fascist takeover
of this nation will be complete. We urge you all to go the website,
familiarize yourselves with Lynne and her battle for justice
www.lynnestewart. org

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Visit the Traprock Peace Center Video Archive at:
Visit the Traprock Peace Center
Deerfield, MA

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos
Who are the Cuban Five?
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving
four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly
convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero,
Fernando González and René González.
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing
espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related
But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were
involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups,
in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
The Five's actions were never directed at the U.S. government.
They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any
weapons while in the United States.
The Cuban Five's mission was to stop terrorism
For more than 40 years, anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based
in Miami have engaged in countless terrorist activities against
Cuba, and against anyone who advocates a normalization
of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. More than 3,000 Cubans
have died as a result of these terrorists' attacks.

Gerardo Hernández, 2 Life Sentences
Antonio Guerrero, Life Sentence
Ramon Labañino, Life Sentence
Fernando González, 19 Years
René González, 15 Years

Free The Cuban Five Held Unjustly In The U.S.!

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Eyewitness Account from Oaxaca
A website is now being circulated that has up-to-date info
and video that can be downloaded of the police action and
developments in Oaxaca. For those who have not seen it
elsewhere, the website is:
http://www.mexico. indymedia. org/oaxaca

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

http://www.indybay. org

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Iraq Body Count
For current totals, see our database page.
http://www.iraqbody press/pr13. php

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

The Cost of War
[Over three-hundred- billion so]
http://nationalprio index.php? optionfiltered=com_
wrapper&Itemid= 182

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

"The Democrats always promise to help workers, and the don't!
The Republicans always promise to help business, and the do!"
- Mort Sahl

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -
"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata
---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Join the Campaign to
Shut Down the Guantanamo Torture Center
Go to:
to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
http://www.ANSWERco http://www.actionsf .org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

"It is reasonable and honorable to abhor violence and preach
against it while there is a visible and rational means of obtaining,
without violence, the indispensable justice for the welfare of man.
But, if convinced by the inevitable differences of character, by the
irreconcilable and different interests, because of the deep diversity
in the sea of the political mind and aspirations, there is not a peaceful
way to obtain the minimum rights of a people (...) or it is the blind
who against the boiling truth sustain peaceful means, or it is those
who doesn't see and insist on proclaiming it that are untrue
to their people."[2]
[2] José Martí " Ciegos y desleales Obras Escogidas in III volumes;
Editorial Política 1981 Volume III p182

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Great Counter-Recruitment Website
http://notyoursoldi php?list= type&type= 14

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -


Last summer the U.S. Border Patrol arrested Shanti Sellz and
Daniel Strauss, both 23-year-old volunteers assisting immigrants
on the border, for medically evacuating 3 people in critical
condition from the Arizona desert.

Criminalization for aiding undocumented immigrants already
exists on the books in the state of Arizona. Daniel and Shanti
are targeted to be its first victims. Their arrest and subsequent
prosecution for providing humanitarian aid could result in
a 15-year prison sentence. Any Congressional compromise
with the Sensenbrenner bill (HR 4437) may include these
harmful criminalization provisions. Fight back NOW!

Help stop the criminalization of undocumented immigrants
and those who support them!

For more information call 415-821- 9683.
For information on the Daniel and Shanti Defense Campaign,
visit www.nomoredeaths. org.

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

According to "Minimum Wage History" at
http://oregonstate. edu/instruct/ anth484/minwage. html "

"Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. "The 8 dollar per hour Whole Foods employees
are being paid $1.12 less than the 1968 minimum wage.

"A federal minimum wage was first set in 1938. The graph shows
both nominal (red) and real (blue) minimum wage values. Nominal
values range from 25 cents per hour in 1938 to the current $5.15/hr.
The greatest percentage jump in the minimum wage was in 1950,
when it nearly doubled. The graph adjusts these wages to 2005
dollars (blue line) to show the real value of the minimum wage.
Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. Note how the real dollar minimum wage rises and
falls. This is because it gets periodically adjusted by Congress.
The period 1997-2006, is the longest period during which the
minimum wage has not been adjusted. States have departed from
the federal minimum wage. Washington has the highest minimum
wage in the country at $7.63 as of January 1, 2006. Oregon is next
at $7.50. Cities, too, have set minimum wages. Santa Fe, New
Mexico has a minimum wage of $9.50, which is more than double
the state minimum wage at $4.35."

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -


---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 [1.8 MB]
http://www.ed. gov/policy/ elsec/leg/ esea02/index. html
Also, the law is up before Congress again in 2007.
See this article from USA Today:
Bipartisan panel to study No Child Left Behind
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
February 13, 2006
http://www.usatoday .com/news/ education/ 2006-02-13- education- panel_x.htm

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies uslawdocs/ declaration. html decind.html
http://www.usconsti declar.html
http://www.indybay. org/news/ 2006/02/1805195. php

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Bill of Rights constitution/ constitution. billofrights. html
http://www.indybay. org/news/ 2006/02/1805182. php


"The International"
Lots of good information over at Wikipedia, as often the case:

What I've always found fascinating is the wide variety of translations (or
perhaps it would be better to call them "interpretations" or "variations")
that exist, even in English. It's also fascinating to read all the different
verses of the song.

One thing I learned at Wikipedia is that the original intention was that the
song would be sung to the tune of the Marseillaise, but that shortly
thereafter different music was written. Good thing, in my opinion, I'd hate
to see the identities of two stirring songs be confused. Each deserves their
own place in history.



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