tnjp's blog

Submitted by tnjp on May 25, 2013 - 2:39pm.

You Gotta Love Medea Benjamin

If you're an advocate for Peace and Justice you just gotta love Medea Benjamin. She consistently speaks out when the rest of us only wish we could. As co-founder of CodePink she's been at it for over a decade, repeatedly speaking truth to power at the risk of losing personal freedom and physical harm. She may be diminutive in size but posses a gargantuan spirit.

Her latest exploit? Speaking out against President Obama's policies during his counter-terrorism policy speech at the National Defense University. As Obama said himself - "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to..."

Witness it yourself in the below videos, reports, and interviews...

President Obama Heckled By Code Pink Leader Madea Benjamin. Guantanamo Gitmo Speech

Medea Benjamin v. President Obama: CodePink Founder Disrupts Speech, Criticizing Drone, Gitmo Policy

Submitted by tnjp on May 24, 2013 - 11:55am.

Verizon (and Google) Helped U.S. Government to Spy on Reporters
by Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch Blog
May 23rd, 2013

Technology companies willingly provided information to U.S. government agencies to help the Obama administration snoop on reporters from the Associated Press (AP) and Fox news in order to ostensibly crack down on leaks that pose a “threat” to national security.

Verizon, one of the largest mobile phone companies in the U.S., turned over records on 20 reporters from the AP who were working on a story on Yemen without questioning the government. Likewise Google turned over email records on Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a federal contractor, over his conversations about North Korea with Fox news.

This is not the first time that the Obama administration has asked telecommunication companies to turn over records on journalists. In 2010 the federal government asked for the phone records of New York Times reporter James Risen for his investigation of Operation Merlin, a failed attempt by the Clinton administration to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program by supplying misleading information on key technology.

"Every president wants to control the message, but this administration has taken things to a different level," Kathleen McClellan, a lawyer for the Government Accountability Project

Submitted by tnjp on May 23, 2013 - 9:21pm.

New light shed on US government's extraordinary rendition programme

Online project uncovers details of way in which CIA carried out kidnaps and secret detentions following September 11 attacks

The Rendition Project interactive
CIA rendition flights explained

Ian Cobain and James Ball
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 May 2013

A groundbreaking research project has mapped the US government's global kidnap and secret detention programme, shedding unprecedented light on one of the most controversial secret operations of recent years.

The interactive online project – by two British universities and a legal charity – has uncovered new details of the way in which the so-called extraordinary rendition programme operated for years in the wake of the September 11 attacks, and the techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to avoid detection in the face of growing public concern.

The Rendition Project website is intended to serve as a research tool that not only collates all the publicly available data about the programme, but can continue to be updated as further information comes to light.

Data already collated shows the full extent of the UK's logistical support for the programme: aircraft associated with rendition operations landed at British airports more than 1,600 times.

Although no detainees are known to have been aboard the aircraft while they were landing in the UK, the CIA was able to refuel during operations that involved some of the most notorious renditions of the post-September 11 years, including one in which two men were kidnapped in Sweden and flown to Egypt, where they suffered years of torture, and others that involved detainees being flown to and from a secret prison in Romania...

Submitted by tnjp on May 23, 2013 - 4:21pm.

Scahill spoke at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on May 22, 2013 on the eve of President Obama's address on drone policy, just after Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wrote a letter to members of Congress acknowledging the deaths of four Americans, including Anwar al-Awlaki, in counterterrorism strikes "outside of areas of active hostilities." Though these strikes had long been the subject of press reports about the administration's use of drones, the letter marks the first time the classified operations have been publicly acknowledged.

Submitted by tnjp on May 18, 2013 - 5:55pm.

This Isn’t the First Time the IRS has Targeted Specific Groups
by Rainforest Action Network
May 17, 2013
Written by Melanie Gleason

At first glance, it may seem like another annoying addition to the scandal du jour list: Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that the Justice Department and FBI began a criminal investigation on whether Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees broke the law when they targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status–using search terms such as “tea party” and “patriot.”

However, what may initially appear as a political party tit for tat goes much deeper–in that the IRS has long been a vehicle of political retribution (with politics depending on what administration is currently seated in power)–and perhaps most disconcerting of all: tossing the constitutionally guaranteed equal protection clause right out the window.

The recurrent theme of governmental power targeting marginalized political communities has been a consistent, abysmal tradition dating back to the FDR administration. The administration admitted using inflated charges of tax evasion on political targets such as former Louisiana governor and senator Huey Long. And the tactic of wielding the IRS’ fiery wrath is an equal opportunity strategy for both sides of the aisle: under the Nixon administration, the IRS created the Special Services Staff (SSS) to look into thousands of perceived political enemies–including reporters who wrote critical stories of Nixon, such as Newsday’s Robert Greene, and civil rights organizations like the NAACP.

Submitted by tnjp on May 18, 2013 - 2:28pm.


Friday, May 17, 2013 "Astoundingly Disturbing":
Obama Administration Claims Power to Wage Endless War Across the Globe
A Pentagon official predicted Thursday the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates could last up to 20 more years. The comment came during a Senate hearing revisiting the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, enacted by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At the hearing, Pentagon officials claimed the AUMF gives the president power to wage endless war anywhere in the world, including in Syria, Yemen and the Congo. "This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here," said Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. "You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Common Dreams
Pentagon 'Rewrites Constitution' Affirming Endless War
Senate hearing on the Authorization for Use of Military Force confirms congressional war powers rendered 'null and void'
- Lauren McCauley, staff writer
The United States is truly engaged in an endless war.

In a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Forces Thursday morning entitled Oversight: The Law of Armed Conflict, the Use of Military Force, and the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pentagon officials argued that the wide-ranging counter-terrorism laws implemented after 9/11 will continue to be the law of the land until "hostilities with al-Qaeda," or any individuals potentially associated with the group, come to an end....

Submitted by tnjp on May 16, 2013 - 2:18pm.

Monitoring of AP Phones a "Terrifying" Step in State Assault on Press Freedom


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us to discuss what could mark the most significant government intrusion on freedom of the press in decades. The Justice Department has acknowledged seizing the work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press. The phones targeted included the general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery.

Submitted by tnjp on May 15, 2013 - 8:33pm.

From Bill McKibben at www.350.org

For the last two years, all across the country, people have said the same thing to us: “We’re ready to fight.”

And as the planet lurches past 400 parts per million concentrations of CO2, the moment has come, the moment to ask you to do hard, important, powerful things. The last two weeks of July are, statistically, the hottest stretch of the year. This year we want to make them politically hot too. Which means we need you, out on the front line. We need some of you to risk going to jail, and all of you to show up and speak out. And since it’s a hard thing to ask, this letter is going to be a little longer than usual. (If you want to cut to the chase, though, the list of actions can be found here.)

We’re calling this next phase of the fight “Summer Heat.” Over the course of the final weeks of July, from the Pacific Northwest to the coast of Maine, from the Keystone pipeline route to the White House where the administration has broken its promise to put solar on the roof, to the Utah desert where they’re getting ready for the first tar sands mine in the US, we’re going to try and get across the essential message: it’s time to stand up – peacefully but firmly — to the industry that is wrecking our future. Click here to make your stand: www.joinsummerheat.org/map

We believe that mass action can breathe life into even the most hardened political fights, and so these actions will all aim to bring together thousands of people to stand together -- perhaps sometimes on the wrong side of the law...

Submitted by tnjp on May 3, 2013 - 4:44pm.

May 1, 2013
Julian Assange: Wikileaks Has the Goods on the Deaths of Innocent Iraqis Killed by the US
By Medea Benjamin

The government doesn't even claim that Bradley passed information directly to "the enemy" or that he had any intent to do so. But they are nonetheless making the absurd claim that merely informing the public about classified government activities makes someone a traitor because it "indirectly informs the enemy."

Source: AlterNet

The WikiLeaks founder talks Bush and Bradley Manning.

George W. Bush's new presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Texas has opened with great fanfare, including the attendance of Presidents Obama and former Presidents Carter, Bush Sr. and Clinton. George Bush has said that the library is "a place to lay out facts." What facts would you like to see displayed at his library?

A good place to start would be laying out the number of deaths caused by the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. At Wikileaks, we documented that from 2004-2009, the US had records of over 100,000 individual deaths of Iraqis due to violence unleashed by that invasion, roughly 80% of them civilians. These are the recorded deaths, but many more died. And in Afghanistan, the US recorded about 20,000 deaths from 2004-2010. These would be good facts to include in the presidential library.

And perhaps the library could document how people around the world protested against the invasion of Iraq, including the historic February 15, 2003 mobilization of millions of people around the globe.

Many people worked hard during the Bush years to protest the wars, but the Bush administration refused to listen. It was very demoralizing for people to think that their efforts were for naught.

They should not be demoralized. I believe that the opposition to the Iraq war was very important, and that it actually altered the behavior of US forces during the initial invasion of Iraq. Compare it to the 1991 Gulf War, when massive numbers of Iraqis, both soldiers and civilians, were killed. In the 2003 invasion there was a lot more concern about casualties. The protests rattled their cage....

Submitted by tnjp on May 3, 2013 - 1:21pm.

Boston Truth Revealed In Pictures

Pictures from Across the web showing the truth of the Boston Bombing.

http://imgur.com/a/Nx8EU

For further info check out the videos below...

Submitted by tnjp on April 26, 2013 - 6:07pm.

Boston: This is what a police state looks like
By Steve Gillis on April 23, 2013

Boston — Using war jargon associated with Iraq and Afghanistan, authorities have repeatedly described the blasts that killed three people and injured 176 at the crowded Boston Marathon on “Patriots Day,” April 15, as “IED bombings,” for improvised explosive devices. Many of the injured suffered horrific amputations and shrapnel wounds.

Since then, a common sentiment shared among people here has been, “This must be what it looks like every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Over the next four days, people in the greater Boston area experienced a police state operation that many also described as a preview of martial law.

Media: false reports and glorifying military

Thousands of heavily armed and mechanized National Guard troops, military police, FBI SWAT teams and federal agents of every stripe — from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the Drug Enforcement Administration — mobilized to assist the Boston police lockdown of the downtown area. At the same time, the media began a nearly uninterrupted 24/7 coverage of the “manhunt.”

TV newscasters breathlessly glorified a “courageous civilian” for allegedly tackling a “fleeing Saudi national” whose hands were “suspiciously burned” at the bombing scene. Boston police set up an armed guard at his hospital room and federal SWAT teams raided an apartment building in Revere known to house hundreds of international students, displaying bags of “seized evidence” to the cameras.

A CNN reporter repeatedly shared his scoop with the world, straight from “sources at the highest level of law enforcement,” that authorities were focusing on a “dark skinned, Black male seen with a package in surveillance video” at the scene shortly before the blasts....

Submitted by tnjp on April 25, 2013 - 6:02pm.

Apr24, 2013
Drone Strike Testimony: Not News?
By Peter Hart

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee held an unusual–and at times quite critical–public hearing about the U.S. drone program. The most noteworthy testimony came from Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemeni writer and activist who spoke movingly about a drone attack on his village last week.

Al-Muslimi had spent a year in the United States, and had returned to his country to share his positive experiences in the U.S.–that is, until the United States attacked his village:

In the past, what Wessab's villagers knew of the U.S. was based on my stories about my wonderful experiences here. The friendships and values I experienced and described to the villagers helped them understand the America that I know and that I love. Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads, ready to fire missiles at any time. What the violent militants had previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant. There is now an intense anger against America in Wessab....

Submitted by tnjp on April 21, 2013 - 5:58pm.

Illegality of War Acknowledged in Congressional Record

By davidswanson - Posted on 20 April 2013

Printer Friendly Display

RECOGNIZING THE KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT -- HON. KEITH ELLISON (Extensions of Remarks - April 18, 2013)

GPO's PDF[Page: E491]

---

HON. KEITH ELLISON

OF MINNESOTA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, April 18, 2013

  • Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

  • One of the busiest streets in Minnesota's state capital of St. Paul is Kellogg Boulevard. This street runs along the Mississippi River and was named after the only person from Minnesota to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. Frank B. Kellogg was a Department of Justice prosecutor who was elected President of the American Bar Association and then served as a U.S. Republican Senator from Minnesota, followed by an appointment as U.S. Secretary of State for President Calvin Coolidge from 1925 to 1929.

  • Kellogg was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929 for his work in co-authoring the Kellogg-Briand Pact that made war illegal, renounced the use of war, and committed nations to the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Kellogg-Briand Pact--also called the Pact of Paris, or the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War--was signed on August 27, 1928 by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, and several other countries.

  • The Pact prohibited the use of war as ``an instrument of national policy'' except in matters of self-defense. President Coolidge signed the Pact on January 27, 1929 and the U.S. Senate passed it by a vote of 85 to 1. On July 24, 1929 President Herbert Hoover declared the Pact in force. The Kellogg-Briand Pact provided the legal basis for prosecuting Nazi officials at Nuremburg and is still U.S. and international law, with 84 state signatories.

  • Mr. Speaker, some of my own constituents are currently planning a commemoration of the Kellogg-Briand Pact to mark its 85th anniversary and to recognize Frank B. Kellogg. The Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of Veterans for Peace is taking part in a peace essay competition organized by the West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition. The competition asks the question, ``How can we obey the law against war?'' The best essays will be sent to members of Congress. I urge this body to welcome these essays and give them due attention. Everyone must do their part to help eliminate war and promote the cause of peace.

Submitted by tnjp on April 18, 2013 - 11:33pm.

Peace Activist Carlos Arredondo Hailed as Hero for Aid to Boston Marathon Bombing Victims -
"the man in the hat".

Peace activist Carlos Arredondo has come to be known as "the man in the hat" and widely described as a hero for a viral image of him in a cowboy hat pinching the severed artery of a bloodied, wheelchair-bound victim in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Arredondo is no stranger to tragedy: He became a prominent opponent of the Iraq War after his son, Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, was killed in Iraq in 2004. His surviving son, Brian, committed suicide in 2011. Carlos and his wife Mélida, join us to describe witnessing the Boston Marathon bombings and the immediate response to aid the victims....

Submitted by tnjp on April 12, 2013 - 3:41pm.


April 11, 2013 by Common Dreams
Two Obamas, Two Classes of Children
by Ralph Nader
An Associated Press photograph brought the horror of little children lying dead outside of their home to an American Audience. At least 10 Afghan children and some of their mothers were struck down by an airstrike on their extended family household by order of President Barack Obama. He probably decided on what his aides describe as the routine weekly “Terror Tuesday” at the White House. On that day, Mr. Obama typically receives the advice about which “militants” should live or die thousands of miles away from drones or aircraft. Even if households far from war zones are often destroyed in clear violation of the laws of war, the president is not deterred.

These Obama airstrikes are launched knowing that very often there is “collateral damage,” that is a form of “so sorry terrorism.” How can the president explain the vaporization of a dozen pre-teen Afghan boys collecting firewood for their families on a hillside? The local spotter-informants must have been disoriented by all those $100 bills in rewards. Imagine a direct strike killing and injuring scores of people in a funeral procession following a previous fatal strike that was the occasion of this processional mourning. Remember the December 2009 Obama strike on an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Yemen, using tomahawk missiles and – get this – cluster bombs, that killed 14 women and 21 children. Again and again “so sorry terrorism” ravages family households far from the battlefields...

Syndicate content