Tag Archives: accountability

Peddling War to Children

By Robert C. Koehler

In the gap between a boy’s passionate fantasies and the smell of dead bodies in a mass grave marches . . . America’s Army.

“He wonders if God is punishing him because before he joined the Army he thought of war as something fun and exciting.”

We couldn’t wage our current wars without the all-volunteer military whose recruitment goals get fed every year by idealistic young people, who continue, despite all counter-evidence bursting off the front pages, to buy into the romance and excitement of war and armed do-goodism that the recruiters, with the help of a vast “militainment” industry, peddle like so many Joe Camels.

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Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it

A man washed soot from his face in Lagos, Nigeria, after a gas pipeline ruptured in 2006.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades

John Vidal  The Observer May 30, 2010

We reached the edge of the oil spill near the Nigerian village of Otuegwe after a long hike through cassava plantations. Ahead of us lay swamp. We waded into the warm tropical water and began swimming, cameras and notebooks held above our heads. We could smell the oil long before we saw it – the stench of garage forecourts and rotting vegetation hanging thickly in the air.

The farther we travelled, the more nauseous it became. Soon we were swimming in pools of light Nigerian crude, the best-quality oil in the world. One of the many hundreds of 40-year-old pipelines that crisscross the Niger delta had corroded and spewed oil for several months.

Forest and farmland were now covered in a sheen of greasy oil. Drinking wells were polluted and people were distraught. No one knew how much oil had leaked. “We lost our nets, huts and fishing pots,” said Chief Promise, village leader of Otuegwe and our guide. “This is where we fished and farmed. We have lost our forest. We told Shell of the spill within days, but they did nothing for six months.”

That was the Niger delta a few years ago, where, according to Nigerian academics, writers and environment groups, oil companies have acted with such impunity and recklessness that much of the region has been devastated by leaks.

In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP‘s Deepwater Horizon rig last month.

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Alan Grayson Discloses That Dodd Bill Covertly Eliminates Already Passed Legislation Requiring Full Fed Audit

Zero Hedge 04/23/2010

Once again we get confirmation that Chris Dodd is nothing but a paid manservant for his Federal Reserve masters, in addition to being a lame duck, whose last days in office are meant to do everything to allow the old-school Wall Street ways of endless secrecy and Fed bailouts to continue in perpetuity. As Ryan Grim points out “Alan Grayson and co-author Rep. Ron Paul passed legislation through the House that would allow the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit the Federal Reserve and, after a delay, release the information to Congress. It was a remarkable victory, with a populist coalition beating back the combined lobbying efforts of the Treasury Department, the Fed and Wall Street banks.  The Senate has been more hostile territory for the Fed audit provision. Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) opposes the Grayson-Paul version, but allowed a much more restrictive audit proposal from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) into his bill.” Why and how Dodd believes he can stand against this critical issue, that over 80% of America supports by demanding Fed transparency, is beyond any rational attempts at explanation. How he hopes to get away with it is even more mindboggling.

From the Huffington Post:

The Wall Street reform bill headed for a test vote on the Senate floor Monday night will allow the Federal Reserve to continue to pump trillions of dollars into major banks largely in secrecy, the co-author of House language that would open the central bank to an audit charged in a memo to the Senate.

“The Senate has a provision in its reform bill that purports to audit the Fed. But, it really doesn’t do anything of the sort. I’m going to run down the details for you, and reprint the legislative language so you can read it yourself,” writes Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.).

Grayson’s summary of the bill’s shortcomings, presented below, indicate that the “Senate bill would allow an audit of the TALF program and slightly expands authority to audit emergency lending conducted under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, but restricts it to very specific purposes. Meanwhile, it would not allow the GAO to look into the Fed’s massive purchase of toxic assets, its hundreds of billions in foreign currency swaps with other central banks or its open market operations, among other restrictions.”

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The 9/11 Commission Rejects Own Report as Based on Government Lies

ground_truth_“I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The [Norad air defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years. This is not spin.”

By Gordon Duff  Salem-News.com

(CINCINNATI, Ohio) – In John Farmer’s book: “The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11″, the author builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version… is almost entirely untrue…

The 9/11 Commission now tells us that the official version of 9/11 was based on false testimony and documents and is almost entirely untrue. The details of this massive cover-up are carefully outlined in a book by John Farmer, who was the Senior Counsel for the 9/11 Commission.

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CIA Torturers Running Scared

torture icon w USA flagBy Ray McGovern

For the CIA supervisors and operatives responsible for torture, the chickens are coming home to roost; that is, if President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder mean it when they say no one is above the law – and if they don’t fall victim to brazen intimidation.

Unable to prevent Holder from starting an investigation of torture and other war crimes that implicate CIA officials past and present, those same CIA officials, together with what those in the intelligence trade call “agents of influence” in the media, are pulling out all the stops to quash the Justice Department’s preliminary investigation.

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Defense Contractors Titan and CACI Win Dismissal of Abu Ghraib Abuse Claims

CACI defense contractor abu ghraibBy ANNIE YOUDERIAN

Defense contractors Titan and CACI narrowly avoided liability over claims that their agents abused detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 that the contractors, as wartime agents of the U.S. military, can’t be sued under state tort laws. 

The ruling affirms dismissal of claims against Titan, but reverses a decision to allow Iraqi detainees and their relatives to sue CACI.

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Can a Court Grant Access to Classified Info?

classifiedInfo hides gov crimeBy Steven Aftergood

In an electrifying decision on August 26, the US District Court (DC) ruled against the government, saying that counsel have a “need to know” and that they may have access to the classified information that their clients already possess.

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