Monthly Archives: June 2010

Ray McGovern on Gen. McChrystal

excerpt from “Obama’s Truman-MacArthur Moment.” by former Army infantry/intelligence officer and CIA analyst Ray McGovern, ConsortiumNews, June 22, 2010, commenting on Michael Hastings’ forthcoming Rolling Stone article:

…Little can account for Obama’s promotion of McChrystal to his current post, except for a strange blend of cowardice tinged with ignorance. McChrystal had been Vice President Dick Cheney’s right-hand man in running Special Forces hit-squad assassins and torturers in Iraq.

For these endeavors, McChrystal has accumulated a fearsome following of what might be called the “worst of the worst” among both the U.S. military and Blackwater-style mercenaries. Here is Hastings on McChrystal’s entourage:

“The general’s staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators, and outright maniacs. There’s a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. … they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority.”

For good measure, Hastings adds a troubling vignette. Someone apparently called his attention to what Hastings calls “a piece of suspense fiction” written by McChrystal for the literary magazine at West Point while he was studying there. Hastings includes a description of the short story:

“The unnamed narrator appears to be trying to stop a plot to assassinate the President. It turns out, however, that the narrator himself is the assassin, and he’s able to infiltrate the White House: ‘The President strode in smiling. From the right coat pocket of the raincoat I carried, I slowly drew forth my 32-caliber pistol…I had succeeded.’”…

[for earlier critique of the McChrystal strategy, see “Pentagon Doubts Grow on McChrystal War Plan” by Gareth Porter, IPSNews, 5/10/10]

Comments Off on Ray McGovern on Gen. McChrystal

Filed under Peace, Security, Terrorism, War

Gasland: Will New York Be the Next Casualty of the Halliburton Loophole?

by Alison Rose Levy

Huffington Post, June 21, 2010

When the Sundance award-winning film, Gasland, begins nationwide broadcast on HBO this Monday, the curtain will rise on Act II of the health tragedy wrought by the insurgent fossil fuel race to profit. This exquisitely crafted documentary feels like America’s Nuremberg, as ordinary heartland citizens rise up to indict gas giants, who, they claim, have been on the loose since 2005, when former Vice-President Dick Cheney crafted the so-called Halliburton Loophole.

The Halliburton Loophole expressly exempts oil and gas companies, from customary safety measures, health safeguards, regulatory oversights, penalties and liabilities that most Americans assume are in place to protect citizens, health and resources. As the film depicts, since 2005, the companies have ratcheted into high gear around the country, using a fuel collection practice, called “fracking” linked to drinking water contamination and health harm….

keep reading at Huffington Post

Comments Off on Gasland: Will New York Be the Next Casualty of the Halliburton Loophole?

Filed under Environment, Energy, Science

Supreme Court: Torture and Rendition Victim Maher Arar Cannot Sue in US Courts

Democracy Now!, June 15, 2010

In a major setback for holding US officials accountable for rendition and torture, the Supreme Court has rejected Arar’s lawsuit against the US government. Arar was seized at New York’s Kennedy Airport in 2002 on a stopover from a vacation abroad. Instead of allowing him to return home to Canada, Arar was sent to his native Syria, where he was tortured and interrogated in a tiny underground cell for nearly a year. Just after the Court’s decision was announced, Arar revealed a major new development: Canada’s federal law enforcement agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is conducting a criminal investigation into US and Syrian officials for their role in Arar’s rendition and torture. We speak to Maher Arar. …

keep reading at Democracy Now!

Comments Off on Supreme Court: Torture and Rendition Victim Maher Arar Cannot Sue in US Courts

Filed under Peace, Security, Terrorism, War, Rights, Justice, Law

Targeting Whistleblowers: Truth Telling Endangered

By Stephen Lendman at Information Clearing House, June 14, 2010

On April 16, journalist John Cole wrote:

The message is clear – you torture people and then destroy the evidence, and you get off without so much as a sternly worded letter. If you are a whistle blower outlining criminal behavior by the government, you get prosecuted.

In fact, it’s worse. Under Bush, torture was official policy. It remains so under Obama who absolved CIA torturers, despite unequivocal evidence of their guilt. But leaking it risks criminal prosecution for revealing state secrets and endangering national security.

On June 7, New York Times writer, Elisabeth Bumiller, headlined, “Army Leak Suspect Is Turned In, by Ex-Hacker,” explaining that US Army intelligence analyst Specialist, Bradley Manning, told Adrian Lamo that he leaked the following materials to WikiLeaks:

– “260,000 classified United States diplomatic cables and video of a (US) airstrike in Afghanistan that killed 97 civilians last year,” and

– an “explosive (39 minute) video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the Reuters news agency.” Manning called it “collateral murder,” a crime he felt obliged to expose….

keep reading at Information Clearing House

Comments Off on Targeting Whistleblowers: Truth Telling Endangered

Filed under National govt & politics, Rights, Justice, Law