Tag Archives: US politics

Afridi & Pollard – Spy Vs Spy

DrShakilAfridi

The U.S. government is upset about Pakistan’s recent sentencing of Dr Shakil Afridi – the man who helped them run a fake vaccination program in Abbottabad, Pakistan which allegedly led to the capture and summary execution of Osama bin Laden –  to 33 years in prison for  high treason. The recent escalation in drone attacks in Pakistan might be seen as a bid to punish Pakistan for conviction of Dr. Afridi as well as its reluctance to reopen NATO supply routes. (CMC)

Now Médecins Sans Frontières, the international medical aid charity, is claiming the CIA’s fake vaccination program has damaged the reputation of vaccination programs around the world and particularly polio vaccinations in Pakistan where people fear that the vaccinations are part of a U.S. conspiracy to render their children infertile.

Of course, American has nothing against throwing people in jail for life for treason – ask Jonathan Pollard, a Texan who is still in jail after receiving a life sentence in 1987 on charges of spying for America’s close ally, Israel, or Bradley Manning.

It’s the same old story – if you spy against us, you’re a traitor who deserves life in jail. If you spy for us, you’re a hero who deserves a medal.

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Obama Targeting Journalists

According to Jeremy Scahill, the Obama administration (and President Obama directly) is running a campaign against whistleblowers and journalists (see article at RT.com).

Now it has been divulged that Obama even appealed with the president of Yemen to ensure that one of their own journalists would stay behind bars for telling the truth. Journalist Jeremy Scahill tells RT that Yemeni reporter Abdulelah Haider Shaye was instrumental in exposing the falsities of a covert war in Yemen. In December 2009, Scahill says the press reported that a Yemeni strike had killed 34 members of al-Qaeda. When Shaye went to investigate though, he soon learned through spending time on the ground that the US was actually directly involved in the attack — an attack which took the lives of civilians. Shaye was eventually put on trial for exposing the truth behind the event and allegedly the court introduced false evidence, which in the end yielded a conviction that potentially  carried a death sentence. But since the entire case against the journalist was fabricated by his government, the journalist got off with a relatively mild sentence of just five years. Under pressure, Yemeni President Saleh intended to pardon Shaye. This is when he got a call from President Obama himself, personally requesting that Saleh switch his stance on pardoning the reporter.

Is this the Obama people thought they were voting for in 2008? Chomsky says Americans should vote for Obama again in 2012 because he is “the lesser of two evils”. Perhaps. But it’s also important that they understand who they are voting for. Look behind the Hollywood-written speeches and shiny images and pay attention to what his administration actually *does*, not what it says.

Democracy Now has an excellent interview with Scahill who has just returned from Yemen.

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The No Illusions Podcast #43 – Operation Ajax

Why do the Iranian people distrust the United States? Because they “hate our freedoms”, as Bush said about Al Qaida? Or do they have genuine reasons?

How many of us know the history of America and England’s involvement in the illegal and covert overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953?

My guests today are Daniel Burwen & Ash Aiwase, two of the guys behind Operation Ajax, one of the most exciting apps I’ve seen developed for the iPad so far.

Check out the trailer:

Operation Ajax Trailer

I chatted with Daniel and Ash recently about how Operation Ajax came about and how the iPad can make a dent in the Universe.

You can hear No Illusions on Stitcher SmartRadioStitcher allows you to listen to your favorite shows directly from your iPhone, Android Phone,  BlackBerry  or Palm phones

On-demand and on the go!

Dont have Stitcher? Download it for free today at Stitcher.com or in the app stores.  Stitcher SmartRadio- The Smarter Way to listen to radio.

 

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U.S. Senate Backs Indefinite Detention of American Citizens

Just in case you were wondering what happened with that bill before the U.S. Senate that I mentioned in last week’s show? Well… it passed.

Via the World Socialist Web Site:

The US Senate voted Thursday night to approve a military funding bill that codifies into law the criminal state practices begun under Bush — and continued under Obama — in the name of the “global war on terror.”

It explicitly authorizes the military’s indefinite detention without trial of American citizens and mandates that all non-citizens charged as terrorists—including those arrested on US soil—be detained indefinitely by the military rather than brought to trial in a civilian court.

The legislation was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides $662 billion to finance the US military machine and its multiple wars abroad. The act passed the Democratic-controlled body by an overwhelming margin of 93 to 7, underscoring once again that there exists no serious constituency for the defense of democratic rights within any section of the American ruling elite or its two big business parties.

Thrown out by this legislation is the right guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution for all those accused of a criminal offense to a “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury,” and the core provision of the Fifth Amendment declaring that no person shall be deprived of liberty “without due process of law.” It legalizes the abrogation in practice over the past decade of the bedrock principle of habeas corpus, which requires that the state bring a detained individual before an independent court and show just cause for imprisonment.

Read More: World Socialist Web Site

Here’s an interesting sidenote. When I searched for the NDAA in Google News, I was flat out finding a link to the legislation on many large news sites.

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No Illusions Podcast #40 – Doug La Follette, Wisconsin Secretary of State

Doug La Follette (born June 6, 1940) is an American academic, environmental activist, and politician from the state of Wisconsin. A Democrat, he is the current Secretary of State of Wisconsin and has served in that role since 1983. He is also a Fulbright Distinguished American Scholar and the author of the 1991 book The Survival Handbook: A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth.

I had the chance to chat with Secretary La Follette this morning for an hour about the attempts to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, President Obama’s track record in his first term and the trend of U.S. politics since Reagan.

 

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No Illusions Podcast #33 – The Pentagon Fraud

On today’s show, I talk about the following stories:

WORLD PEACE COULD BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK 

The Empire at Dusk  – How the Pentagon is a massive fraud on the American people.

The Great Splintering – What happens when you destroy the social contract.

Obama’s war on whistleblowers suffers setback

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Why Obama is Owned by Goldman Sachs

In March 2008 I wrote a blog post called “Who Does Obama Work For?” I was interested in where the funding for his election campaign was coming from. This was still early in the campaign, about 7 months before the election. At the time, his biggest single source of funding was Goldman Sachs and their employees. (The same source, OpenSecrets.org, now lists Goldman as only the second largest contributor, after the University of California). Apparently Michael Moore also makes mention of this fact in his new film, Capitalism (which I’m yet to see…. Rob Irwin, I’m looking at you).

I just remembered this today while listening to a recent episode of No Agenda where they mentioned that Adam Storch, a Goldman Sachs VP, has been made “COO of SEC Enforcement” under the Obama administration.

It looks like investing in Obama was a good bet for Goldman. Their stock value increased from $53.31 a share when Obama was elected to about $187.32 today. And they’ve skated through the financial crisis (which some people think they deliberately  created) and hold many powerful positions in the Obama administration.

Other high level financial positions held in the Obama administration by former Goldman Sachs executives are Neel Kashkari, heading the TARP bailout; Mark  Patterson, Chief of Staff for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Gary Gensler, top executive at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and finally Goldman has its top lobbyist, Michael Paese, Rep. Barney Frank’s top aide, who is the chair of the House Financial Services Committee. (source)

This is one of the inescapable downsides of capitalism. The people with the money buy the power. They also buy the media which, in turns, indoctrinates people with a belief in how great capitalism is.

Go back to sleep, America. Goldman Sachs is in control.

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Debating Americans About Healthcare

Here’s a transcript of a chat I’ve been having on a Facebook thread belonging to an American conservative. I think it’s a demonstration of a) how little some Americans have actually thought through this issue and b) how little some Americans are able/willing to hold an intelligent debate about the subject. They would prefer to rant, bully and abuse. It’s the typical response I’m used to when discussing religion with similar people. When they can’t put forward an intelligent argument, they just attack like rabid dogs.

Original post:

The Battle for your health care Tuesday, 10/13 ~ Everett Wilkinson ~~ Contact Senate Finance Committee
By Everett Wilkinson October 13, 2009, 1:19am

The battle for your health care is going to be fought on Tuesday. We need to melt the phone lines and stop the takeover of our health care.

1. Please contact every member of the Senate Finance Committee
2. Send 2 free faxes at: http://www.gotfreefax.com
3. Send emails to your representatives: http://www.capwiz.com/freedomworks/issues/alert/?alertid=14115176-

No, Mandates For Insurance-
No, Penalties For Not Buying Insurance-
No, Government Option-
Yes, Tort Reform-
Yes, Take Care of Abuse-
Yes, Free Markets

Pass this on to your friends. I cannot stress the importance of action. We need everyone to make calls, emails and faxes. If you are near a Senate office, please visit it today!

Comments:

Cameron Reilly

you don’t HAVE any health care yet to “take over”. Catch up to the rest of the civilised world and stop being so backwards.
Yesterday at 11:58pm · Delete
Richard Yadon

Richard Yadon

This is a bad bill all the way around. It will not improve health care quality and will actually raise the cost of health care.
13 hours ago
Art Collins

Art Collins

We have a very GOOD healthcare system. There are some areas that need to be improved, but not replaced by Socialized Medicine. Anyone who thinks otherwise, needs to pack up and move out.
13 hours ago
Christine Steele Gates

Christine Steele Gates

We have a mostly free market system that could use MORE free market, not less. Gov’t over-involvement will limit competition and limit innovation. NO THANKS!!!

3 cheap reforms needed to the current system:
1) Tort reform (loser-pays)
2) Legalize interstate medical insurance salesRead More
3) End employment-base group insurance

These 3 ideas are no-cost to the taxpayer. We can’t afford $900 billion with 10% unemployment and a seriously declining dollar. We can’t trust this government either.

12 hours ago
Damon Dean

Damon Dean

This is likely the decisive moment for action. Today will tell if we become a socialist state, or remain a republic!
10 hours ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Art, according to WHICH metric does the USA have a “good healthcare system”? Which country are you comparing the USA to? Zimbabwe?

Damon, what a load of nonsense. Is Australia a “socialist state”? No. Yet we have far superior healthcare to the USA. And nobody in Australia would swap our system for your system. You folks need to pull your heads out.

6 hours ago · Delete
Joanne Davis

Joanne Davis

Australian population update: According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report in early June 2009, the Australian population had hit 21.6 million by the end of 2008.

U.S. Population 304,059,724 – Jul 2008 — 304,059,724 vs 21,600,000

Cameron – there is a “slight” difference in total population; Australia does not have “land borders’ with illegals flowing into your country.Read More

This health care insurance/care bill that they are trying to RAM through against the majority of American’s wishes, will reduce care, cost more and they absolutely, in “their own words” are trying to force the US into a “single payer system” run by the Federal Gov’t. Single payer is filled with corruption, cost over-runs (Medicare and Medicaid). Our Gov’t states if this bill passes they will fix the corruption? If that is true, then they should have fixed the corruption long ago.

NO THANKS!

4 hours ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Joanne, what does population size have to do with it?

What data do you have that says the majority of Americans are against it? Wasn’t Obama voted in BY the majority of Americans on a platform for change?

And single payer is NONE of those things you are suggesting. In Australia we have had a single payer system for 35 years and nobody complains about it. It works. Read More

While I’ll agree that the US govt is corrupt, that’s got nothing to do with single payer healthcare. On the contrary – it’s the corruption in your system that’s trying to spin single payer healthcare as bad.

I would love to see those Americans who are against improving healthcare to compare the US system with Australia and tell me what’s so wrong with our system.

2 hours ago · Delete
Marcus McConkey

Marcus McConkey

Delete/block the troll Obama operative Cameron.
2 hours ago
Penny Baird Mercer

Penny Baird Mercer

It ain’t over till it’s over! We lost this battle, but we knew we would. Remember the ALAMO! Keep fighting!
about an hour ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Marcus’ comment basically sums up the lack of intelligent debate some people can put up for this topic. If I put forward a different argument, I’m a “troll” or an “operative” (which is amusing considering I’m a) an Aussie and b) a vociferous Obama critic) and should be blocked.
about an hour ago · Delete
Marcus McConkey

Marcus McConkey

Cameron, it really comes down to (IMO) no one cares or should care what a non-voting, non-U.S. citizen THINKS, let alone ignorantly articulates here. It’s called “civilizational confidence”. Look into it, Australia will benefit.

WHO cares what you think of Obama, or the latest rounds of still unreleased healthcare legislation? Stick to what you know and can quantify with some actual experience. You’ve probably never set foot in a U.S. hospital, but again, NO ONE CARES IF YOU HAVE.

Joanne has gone to great lengths to share the ramifications of the last published healthcare legislation (which most of us here actually read and now understand) and you jump in here like an imbecile looking for attention. That’s what TROLLS do. Read More

We don’t have the time or the inclination to educate you.

24 minutes ago
Cameron Reilly

Cameron Reilly

Marcus, again, your venomous attacks don’t do you any favours. Are you completely unable to engage is intelligent dialogue?

Perhaps if some Americans, such as yourself, took the time to actually educate yourself about what citizens of other countries, who already HAVE a single payer healthcare system, think about such systems, you might cure Read Moreyourself of your delusional attitudes towards the Obama legislation. Despite Joanne’s analysis of the theoretical ramifactions, there are 100 million people living in democratic, capitalist countries, such as Australia, Canada and the UK, who actually live quite happily under a single payer healthcare system and have for decades. If American’s current approach is to superior to a single payer system, you might ask why the people of these other countries aren’t demanding changes to THEIR healthcare system.

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Obama’s Health Care Explained

I know you’ve all seen this video before, but here’s my translation:

The white team are the Democrats trying to push through health care.

The black team are the Republicans trying to stop it.

And the moonwalking bear? He’s America’s Military Industrial Complex, selling 70% of the world’s arms, overthrowing countries, and stealing natural resources from developing countries.

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