You need to read about the abduction, confinement and torture of a German citizen by the US. Basically, the US paid bounties, thousands of dollars, for any “suspicious” looking person. I guess this Nordic looking guy looked suspicious to Pakistanis. Froomkin has the story.
Monthly Archives: March 2008
I expect great grandpa McCain will really get confused over this.….
A parliamentary delegation from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s own coalition (mainly now the Da`wa Party and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) defied him by going off to the holy seminary city of Qom in Iran and negotiating directly with Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr and with the leader of the Quds Brigades of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, [!!!!!!]Brig. Gen. Qasim Sulaymani.
As a result of those parleys, Muqtada al-Sadr called on his followers to stand down, though I read his statement as permitting continued armed self-defense, as at Basra where the Iraqi Army is attacking them and the US is bombing them. Significantly, he calls on the Mahdi Army to stop attacking the HQs of rival political parties. That language suggests that the parties are suffering from such attacks and are worried that party infrasture is being degraded ahead of the October 1 provincial elections. The southern parties have essentially defied al-Maliki and Bush to make a separate peace.
The entire episode underlines how powerful Iran has become in Iraq. The Iranian government had called on Saturday for the fighting to stop. And by Sunday evening it had negotiated at least a similar call from Sadr (whether the fighting actually stops remains to be seen and depends on local commanders and on whether al-Maliki meets Sadr’s conditions).
Attorney General Mukasey is spreading the fear, in order to scare Congress into legalizing Bush’s/telecom’s lawless surveillance. It’s clear why the Bush administration won’t bother with warrants, and it always has been. They just won’t admit it.
All phone calls coming to and from the US are being monitored en masse. It’s a total, mass, automated, all-encompassing system.
They work at the level of the massive trunk lines as they enter and leave the country, not at the level of some individual phone. So they get ALL CALLS.
Every call. All calls. each call. your call, my call. his call, her call; Russ Feingold’s call…. tous les calls. All the time. All day, all night, weekends. 24/7/365.
That’s why they can’t bother with warrants and probable cause and suspicion and evidence and judges and rights. They have no evidence. They are just sifting through everything. Looking for particular words. Grabbing the words, guessing what thoughts might be behind the words. Policing the minds.
It’s an automated machine. Think of a huge net thrown over the entire ocean: no individual fish has any rights..the net can’t respect any rights. They are wiretapping the calls of every person in the United States, if they talk to anyone overseas. It demolishes the entire idea of freedom from unreasonable search.
And it’s not just a search issue.
In effect, every call is being censored. Think of it. Every call from every journalist in Iraq is being monitored, and so is every elected official in the US who might get any information from overseas. How can anyone talk about the Middle East without using words that would make the alarms go off? He who controls the flow of information controls the public mind.
And it operates in total secrecy. No one knows what words and phrases will trigger the alarms, or what happens next, in terms of lists and investigations, and how you are ever cleared of suspicion. We can be pretty confident that Bush’s Pioneer donor lists are a get out of jail free card, and that Democratic governors are a free fire zone, but that’s about all we can guess.
There is one group of Iraqi Shiite militia that is given some support from Iran: formerly referred to as SCIRI, they are now called ISCI. The US, which regularly exaggerates Iran’s role in Iraq, is now helping this Iran-supported group to fight the Iraqi Shiite militias led by al-Sadr, who wants the US and Iran out of Iraq.
Are we clear? Bush’s BS about Iraq has always been self-contradictory. What the US wants under Bush (and McCain) is permanent occupation and dominance over Iraq. It’s all about the oil for Bush/Cheney and their fatcat oil baron friends and donors. The one force (al-Sadr) that wants independence for Iraq is Bush’s worst enemy. How long can this smoke and mirrors fool the American public?
How can this be? some flitty little songbirds took over an artificial floral wreath in an alcove outside our front door. Laid a bunch of little songbird eggs. Now we have to keep the kitchen blinds closed. And avoid using the front door? is this legal? can we sue them? what about the mail? WTF?
Why can’t we secure the borders?
I know that there’s a good reason for this….I just know there is….
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp said it has agreed to pay $28 million to Countrywide Financial Corp Chief Operating Officer David Sambol to induce him to run the merged companies’ consumer mortgage operations.
The amount, which vests over three years, is 37 percent higher than the $20.4 million that Bank of America Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis was compensated in 2007 to run the second-largest U.S. bank.
Bank of America disclosed the amount in a Thursday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.