Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GOP logic

The Fifty Top U.S. War Criminals Who Need To Be Prosecuted

The former Bush administration officials rank at the top of the list of the 50 most nortious war criminals living in the U.S.
The former Bush administration officials rank at the top of the list of the 50 most notorious war criminals living in the U.S.

Compiled below, in hopes that it may be of some assistance to Eric Holder, John Conyers, Patrick Leahy, active citizens, foreign courts, the International Criminal Court, law firms preparing civil suits, and local or state prosecutors with decency and nerve is a list of 50 top living U.S. war criminals. These are men and women who helped to launch wars of aggression or who have been complicit in lesser war crimes. These are not the lowest-ranking employees or troops who managed to stray from official criminal policies. These are the makers of those policies.

The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have seen the United States target civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, use antipersonnel weapons including cluster bombs in densely settled urban areas, use white phosphorous as a weapon, use depleted uranium weapons, employ a new version of napalm found in Mark 77 firebombs, engage in collective punishment of Iraqi civilian populations — including by blocking roads, cutting electricity and water, destroying fuel stations, planting bombs in farm fields, demolishing houses, and plowing down orchards — detain people without charge or legal process without the rights of prisoners of war, imprison children, torture, and murder.

The list below does not include those responsible for war crimes prior to 2001. Nor does it include those currently in power who are making themselves complicit by failing to prosecute or cease commission of these crimes. The list could be greatly expanded. It could also be narrowed. I would argue, however, that it presents a more reasonable starting place than Holder's reported proposal to investigate only CIA employees who failed to comply with criminal torture policies, of whom there are no doubt more than 50.

Because each of the people on this list should be nonviolently protested everywhere they go (more on that below), I have organized them by location. Please post updates on where they are as comments at


1. John Yoo: Professor of Law at Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley, California, with house at 1241 Grizzly Peak Blvd., Berkeley, (but a lawyer with the Pennsylvania bar from which he should be disbarred and would be if enough people demanded it) counseled the White House on how to get away with war crimes, wrote this memo promoting presidential power to launch aggressive war, and claimed the power to decree that the federal statutes against torture, assault, maiming, and stalking do not apply to the military in the conduct of the war, and to announce a new definition of torture limiting it to acts causing intense pain or suffering equivalent to pain associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in loss of significant body functions will likely result. Yoo claimed in 2005 that a president has the right to enhance an interrogation by crushing the testicles of someone's child. Yoo has been confronted in his classroom: video, and defended by the Washington Post, and again confronted in the classroom.

Additional collaborators:
2. Robert J. Delahunty, Yoo colleague, should be disbarred in NY
3. Patrick F. Philbin, Yoo colleague, Deputy, should be disbarred in D.C. and MA

4. Jay Bybee: federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, headquartered in San Francisco, California (but Bybee based in Las Vegas), counseled the White House on how to get away with war crimes, including by helping Yoo draft the memo linked above. He signed not only torture memos but also a memo purporting to legalize illegal and unconstitutional wars. BYBEE SHOULD BE IMPEACHED. He works, among other places, at the James R. Browning Courthouse, 95 7th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, — This is a giant marble building in the center of the city represented in Congress by the Speaker of the House.

5. William J. "Jim" Haynes, II: was General Counsel to the Department of War ("Defense"). He is now Chief Corporate Counsel at the Chevron Corporate Office in San Ramon, California. He counseled the White House on how to get away with war crimes, including by drafting memos for Yoo. Works at Chevron Headquarters, 6001 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94583. Member of bar in GA, NC, DC.

More collaborators:
6. Major General (Ret.) Michael E. Dunlavey, (now Judge, Erie County Court, Common Pleas, Erie, PA
7. Diane Beaver, top military lawyer at Gitmo
8. Jack Landman Goldsmith, III, [the illegal transfer memo in March 2004], DoD General Counsel's Office at Pentagon
9. Ms. Eliana Davidson, International Law Division, Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of "Defense"

10. Colin Powell: strategic limited partner with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, appears as a speaker in a series of motivational events called Get Motivated, board member of Revolution Health and of the Council on Foreign Relations, took part in White House meetings personally overseeing and approving torture by authorizing the use of specific torture techniques including waterboarding on specific people, lied to the United Nations about the grounds for war in a failed attempt to legalize a war of aggression, and was in fact a leading liar in making the false case for an illegal war of aggression.

Remember: Not every man in a dark suit is a war criminal. Check for blood under their fingernails to confirm identification.



NASA Researchers Make First Discovery of Life’s Building Block in Comet

PASADENA, Calif., (NASA) — NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.

"Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins, and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts."

This is an artist's concept of the Stardust spacecraft beginning its flight through gas and dust around comet Wild 2. The white area represents the comet. The collection grid is the tennis-racket-shaped object extending out from the back of the spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL
This is an artist's concept of the Stardust spacecraft beginning its flight through gas and dust around comet Wild 2. The white area represents the comet. The collection grid is the tennis-racket-shaped object extending out from the back of the spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL

Elsila is the lead author of a paper on this research accepted for publication in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. The research was presented during the meeting of the American Chemical Society at the Marriott Metro Center in Washington, D.C., August 16.

"The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare," said Carl Pilcher, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, which co-funded the research.

Proteins are the workhorse molecules of life, used in everything from structures like hair to enzymes, the catalysts that speed up or regulate chemical reactions. Just as the 26 letters of the alphabet are arranged in limitless combinations to make words, life uses 20 different amino acids in a huge variety of arrangements to build millions of different proteins.

Stardust passed through dense gas and dust surrounding the icy nucleus of Wild 2 (pronounced "Vilt-2″) on Jan. 2, 2004. As the spacecraft flew through this material, a special collection grid filled with aerogel – a novel sponge-like material that's more than 99 percent empty space – gently captured samples of the comet's gas and dust. The grid was stowed in a capsule that detached from the spacecraft and parachuted to Earth on Jan. 15, 2006. Since then, scientists around the world have been busy analyzing the samples to learn the secrets of comet formation and our solar system's history.

Even more advertisers leave Glenn Beck

by Stephen C. Webster

When RAW STORY ran a blog just last week detailing the stunning success of a campaign to knock advertisers off the Glenn Beck television show and radio program, our story was stunningly successful, with almost 3,000 votes on Digg and tens of thousands of page views.

But that kind of response is likely just a taste of the pressure to drop Beck currently being applied to numerous major U.S. corporations.

Because of that pressure, Color of Change announced today that Walmart, a key bank with GMAC Financial Services, Best Buy, CVS, Travelocity, Re-Bath, Broadview Security and Allergan have all backed out, bringing the list of former Glenn Beck advertisers to Twenty.

Other high-profile companies shaken loose from the Fox editorialist's fold include, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, State Farm, S.C. Johnson, GEICO, Men's Wearhouse, Sargento, ConAgra, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and RadioShack.

"We are heartened to see so many corporate citizens step up in support of our campaign against Glenn Beck," said James Rucker, executive director of Color of Change, in a media advisory. "Their action sends a clear a message to Glenn Beck: Broadcasters shouldn't abuse the privilege they enjoy by spewing dangerous and racially charged hate language over the air. No matter their political affiliation, hate language doesn't belong in our national dialogue."

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 6): Security

The war in Afghanistan is increasing the likelihood that American civilians will be killed in a future terrorist attack.

Part 6 of Rethink Afghanistan, Security, brings you three former high-ranking CIA agents to explain why.

There is no "victory" to be won in Afghanistan. It is the most important video about U.S. Security today.

Become a Rethink Afghanistan Producer:

Fox News's Live Desk completely misplaces Iraq

By GottaLaff

Via Raw Story:

As Tweetpic'ed from user stefanoscalia, this image was broadcast by Fox News on July 27, 2009, during Live Desk.

Maybe you can spot the problem here ...

Pssst... ClusterFox! Hint:

Obama tells veterans Afghanistan is a 'war of necessity'

His speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference gave the president a chance to tout efforts to modernize the military, boost veterans' medical care and eliminate wasteful spending.

President ObamaReporting from Phoenix - Speaking to more than 5,500 veterans, President Obama on Monday renewed his commitment to dismantling Al Qaeda in Afghanistan -- a struggle he said was "fundamental to the defense of our people" -- and offered assurances that his healthcare overhaul would not touch veterans' medical benefits.

"This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity," Obama told the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars conference -- cautioning that the insurgency would not be defeated overnight. "Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans."

With U.S. forces scheduled to leave Iraq by 2011, Obama pledged that in the future, he would only send service members "into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary."

What if Democrats behaved more like Republicans???

New Rule: A-hole in One Shouldn't Be Obama's Game

by Bill Maher

New Rule: President Obama must give up that awful habit that sets such a bad example for young people. I'm talking, of course ... about golf.

Golf, if you're not familiar, is a pastime where you basically walk outdoors with a bag, muttering and cursing. It's like being homeless in loud pants. Anyway, Time magazine is reporting that since he became president, Barack Obama has taken up golf with a passion, playing almost every weekend for the past few months -- and I feel betrayed. He campaigned as a basketball player. It said to us, "I'm urban and athletic and hip and a team player." Golf says, "I like Lipitor and white collar crime." And it's not just golf -- he's been purposefully eating a lot of hamburgers in public lately, to prove he loves meat. And he said that, unlike before he became president, he prays all the time now and that his Faith and Neighbor Initiatives Director sends him scripture on his Blackberry to start every day. Jesus, is there something about that house that turns people into assholes?

I kid the Commander in Chief, he's very far from an asshole, he's a cool dude, and I want to keep him that way! I don't want a regular guy running the country. We tried that for eight years and New Orleans still smells like mildew. Obama was different. He wasn't Joe Six-Pack. He had a six-pack. And when he gave a speech it didn't make English teachers cry. He wasn't some regular schmuck who spent five hours a weekend on the golf course. Why? Because he actually likes his family!

But Democrats have this bad habit of letting the Republicans scare them into acting more "regular guy" than they really are, and then they look inauthentic. Like Hillary drinking shooters. Like Dukakis in the tank. So I'm putting you on notice, Barack Obama: you're from Chicago, the day I see you in a duck blind, I'm taking my hope elsewhere.

So that's why I'm so worried when I see my president playing golf, because golf is a slippery slope. First comes the golf attire, then the golf stories and pretty soon you're telling black jokes. What's worse is that you know Obama doesn't really wanna be golfing, he's just doing it because he thinks it will relax the white people. "How could I be a socialist, I'm putting!" Well, I've got news for you, Mr. President, the people who think you want to kill their Great Aunt Millie aren't going to be swayed by a photo-op on the golf course. They see those photos, they're not thinking you're just like Tiger Woods, they're thinking, "Here comes the Angel of Death, and he's got a nine iron."

There is also a more serious side to this, because golf, hamburgers, and religion are all things that are incredibly bad for the environment. According to the U.N., in 15 years almost two billion people will be living in conditions of absolute water scarcity. And yet, a golf course in Palm Springs consumes as much water per day as an American family uses in four years. Golf courses in America consume over 114 million gallons of water a year on grass that doesn't even get you high. Golf courses also need large quantities of fertilizers and pesticides whose run-off pollutes the ground water for miles around.

This isn't just a third world problem -- there's a water shortage right now in the western United States. If I surpass my monthly water allotment here in Los Angeles, I'll get fined by the city. If I do it twice, they'll send 40,000 prisoners to live in my backyard.

But when it comes to bad for the environment, nothing -- literally -- compares with eating meat. The business of raising animals for food causes about 40 percent more global warming than all cars, trucks, and planes combined. If you care about the planet, it's actually better to eat a salad in a Hummer than a cheeseburger in a Prius.

Who's a Nazi now?

If Obama's a goose-stepper, according to Rush, then what about Ike, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dubya?

The GOP and far-right media have been working hard to define socialism down. Now everything is socialist: healthcare reform, the New Deal, the Great Society, even presumably Bo Obama, the president's federally housed dog.

Even GOP icons are socialists under the new definition: Ike's Interstate Highway system, Teddy Roosevelt's parks, Richard Nixon's Environmental Protection Agency, George W. Bush's enormous government debt and spending. The only people who aren't socialists: Conservatives who take Social Security, use Medicare, farm on land irrigated and electrified by the feds, grow crops according to the latest federal farm program giveaways, drive on freeways, listen to FCC-licensed talk radio stations, and have their mail delivered by a uniformed agent of the federal government six days a week. No, these people hate socialism.

Now that we've established who's a socialist, the new argument is whether or not you're a Communist socialist or a Nazi-style National Socialist. Last April, I wrote about the right's creeping Nazi rhetoric against Obama in a story on fake populism called "Sieg Heil Obama". One of the dangers is that formerly fringe ideas and claims are being mainstreamed. The healthcare debate, with Congressional representatives being branded as Nazi eugenicists for programs that don't even exist (the so-called "death panels"), is a logical, planned outcome.

The result can be seen in absurdities like a lecture on National Socialism by Rush Limbaugh. Hitler, he tells us, was a socialist. Well kind of. He was an anti-communist fascist dictator who fused the nation's and corporate interests under an iron hand. He was a kleptomaniac who ran a regime that looted Germany and numerous other countries for the benefit of a few. He went to war against the world and massacred millions of people in the Holocaust. Limbaugh says, when discussing National Socialism, you have to put the Holocaust aside — the implication being, aside from not killing Jews and gypsies, Obama, the Democrats, and healthcare reformers are in the same Hitler mold.

Some Republicans are honest enough to call this insane, from David Brooks to former Reagan administration supply-sider Bruce Bartlett, who bravely says what the GOP ragers are really mad about is George W. Bush. It was he, even more than Bill Clinton, who grew government, broke the financial system, failed to address health care. He also expanded the national security state. Republicans, like Limbaugh, spent years defending these depredations. Now they're out of power and they've only got themselves to blame.

Thus, it's easier to hurl the worst insults to obscure the fact that your guy screwed up. As Bartlett wrote on The Daily Beast: "Until conservatives once again hold Republicans to the same standard they hold Democrats, they will have no credibility and deserve no respect. They can start building some by admitting to themselves that Bush caused many of the problems they are protesting."

Woman yells ‘Heil Hitler’ to Jewish man praising Israel’s national health care system.

Conservatives have strenuously denied that there is any anti-Semitism on display by anti-health reform protesters at town hall meetings nationwide — despite all the evidence to the contrary. Last week, Las Vegas radio station KDWN AM720 sponsored a "contentious" town hall, emceed by conservative morning show host Heidi Harris. At the event, local news stations were interviewing an Israeli man who was praising the "fantastic" "national health care" in Israel. During his remarks, a woman yelled out, "Heil Hitler!" The man stopped, became visibly upset, and exclaimed, "Did you hear this? She say to a Jew, 'Heil Hitler'! Hear? I'm a Jew! You're telling me, 'Heil Hitler'? Shame of you!" After he angrily confronts her, the woman mocks him by making a crying sound to imply he is a whining baby. Watch it:


DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show


Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.

The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.

"You can just engineer a crime scene," said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. "Any biology undergraduate could perform this."

Dr. Frumkin is a founder of Nucleix, a company based in Tel Aviv that has developed a test to distinguish real DNA samples from fake ones that it hopes to sell to forensics laboratories.

The planting of fabricated DNA evidence at a crime scene is only one implication of the findings. A potential invasion of personal privacy is another.

Using some of the same techniques, it may be possible to scavenge anyone's DNA from a discarded drinking cup or cigarette butt and turn it into a saliva sample that could be submitted to a genetic testing company that measures ancestry or the risk of getting various diseases. Celebrities might have to fear "genetic paparazzi," said Gail H. Javitt of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Tania Simoncelli, science adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union, said the findings were worrisome.

"DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints," she said. "We're creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology."

The Lanny Davis disease and America's health care debate

Davis' history is as long and consistent as it is sleazy.  He was recently hired by Honduran oligarchs opposed to that country's democratically elected left-wing President and promptly became the chief advocate of the military coup which forcibly removed the President from office.  He became an emphatic defender of the Israeli war on Gaza after he was named by the right-wing The Israel Project to be its "Senior Advisor and Spokesperson."  He has been the chief public defender for Joe Lieberman, Jane Harman and the Clintons, all of whom have engaged his paid services.  And as NYU History Professor Greg Grandin just documented:

Recently, Davis has been hired by corporations to derail the labor-backed Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for unions to organize, all the while touting himself as a "pro-labor liberal."

Davis was also the chief U.S. lobbyist of the military dictatorship in Pakistan in the late 90s and played an important role in strengthening relations between then President Bill Clinton and de facto president General Perez Musharraf.

Most recently, Davis has aggressively attacked progressive critics of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey after Mackey, whose company targets progressive consumers, published a Wall St. Journal Op-Ed opposing health care reform.  Needless to say, Davis had been hired by Whole Foods, serving as its lawyer in a protracted and expensive (i.e. profitable for Davis) antitrust battle with the Federal Trade Commission.

Republican moron