Friday 21st of September 2018

MILITARY COURTS


The White House is seeking legislation that would allow people not affiliated with terrorism to be prosecuted in military commissions -- with far fewer rights than afforded civilians.


WASHINGTON - A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such ''commissions'' to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not al Qaeda members or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal plan.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, also allows the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.

The draft proposed legislation, set to be discussed at two Senate hearings today, is controversial inside and outside the administration because defendants would be denied many protections guaranteed by the civilian and traditional military criminal justice systems.

Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

Detainees also would not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

An early draft of the new law prepared by civilian political appointees and leaked to the media last week has been modified in response to criticism from uniformed military lawyers. But the provisions allowing a future expansion of the courts to cover new crimes and more prisoners were retained, according to government officials who are familiar with the deliberations.

Halliburton, Mexico and Australia... Does This Ring Any Bells?

MEXICO CITY (August 4th) -- Jacinto Guzman, an 80 year-old retired oilworker from Veracruz state, plants himself in front of the headquarters of the Halliburton Corporation on the skyscraper-lined Paseo de Reforma here and recalls the great strikes of the 1930s that culminated in the expropriation and nationalization of Mexico's petroleum reserves.

Dressed in a wrinkled suit and a hard hat, the old worker laments the creeping privatization of PEMEX, the national oil corporation, by non-Mexican subcontractors like Halliburton, which is installing natural gas infrastructure in Chiapas. But he is less agitated about the penetration of the transnationals in the Mexican oil industry, or even Halliburton's craven role in the obscene Bush-Cheney Iraq war, than he is about the fraud-marred July 2nd presidential election here.

sniff sniff .....

Blair signs climate pact with Schwarzenegger .....

California deal paves way to joining EU scheme
Agreement represents snub to White House

Patrick Wintour, political editor
Tuesday August 1, 2006
The Guardian

ony Blair yesterday sidestepped the Bush administration's refusal to act on climate change by signing what was hailed as a ground-breaking agreement with California, the world's 12th largest carbon emitter, to fight global warming.

the skull & bones mob .....

‘Few things are more crucial to our global situation today than a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental habits and recent overtly aggressive trend present in United States foreign policy.  To achieve such requires a look into the long-standing tradition of creating external threats to conceal unsavory imperial operations conducted elsewhere in the world.  This paper includes an examination of the US-USSR Cold War and the so-called “war on terror” as covers for expansion of imperialism, and 9-11 in the context of provoked and internally engineered first strikes throughout American history, devoting much of its contents to theories on militarism and post-World War II influence on policymaking - how and why those in power do what they do.’ 

Kovco, Halliburton- where does it end?

 I started writing about Kovco days before his body was misplaced, and before Defence Minister Nelson changed stories. Looking at the blatant levels of military propaganda in the  reports at the time, I felt that a cover-up was underway.  I still do.

Why all the trouble and effort by the Army and Government?  If the bloke was, as the "official" version is beginning to "reveal" clowning around miming a Cranberries song (most likely Zombie) then why did the military spinners rush out the Australain flag and Lord's prayer stories?  In a situation considered important enough to have radio bulletins and TV pictures of the body leaving Bagdad, how could anyone possibly create a situation in which the body goes missing?

bananas alright .....

From great rooster to cheap feather duster ….

our great international statesman, the great besider: a full partner in the discredited coalition of the willing, who championed Australia’s participation in its first illegal war of aggression, that wrecked the world’s oldest civilization ….

able to topple the government of East Timor in a single bound ….

root causes .....

‘The rage and extremism of the Islamic militants in Lebanon and the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza appear incomprehensible to the outside world. The wanton murder, the raw anti-Semitism, the callous disregard for human life, including the lives of children and other innocents, permit those on the outside to thrust these militant fighters in another moral universe, to certify them as incomprehensible.

But this branding of these militants as something less than human, as something that reasonable people cannot hope to understand, is possible only because we have ignored and disregarded the decades of repression, the crushing weight of occupation, the abject humiliation and violence, unleashed on Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel because of our silence and indifference. It is the Israeli penchant for violence and occupation that slowly created and formed these frightening groups.

No More Middle Ground

 

By Katherine Juestel

These haven't been good days for Bush and his pack of lap dogs. It certainly has not been good for his stated goal of spreading democracy through the Middle East. The main problem here is that the man is either totally oblivious to the fact that his decisions and his actions have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the region, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Lebanon and all areas in between, or he really believes that all of these people deserve to die.

Bush continues to insist that Israel's battle with Hezbullah is part of a wider struggle against terrorism. He blindly refuses to lay blame equally on both sides, even as he professes to mourn the loss of "innocent life" both in Israel and Lebanon. Bush continues to insist that "Israel is exercising its right to defend itself," a right he continues to deny the Iraqi people, the people of Lebanon, and the Palestinians who have been the target of systematic genocide for nearly 60 years.

While the majority of the civilized world loudly
condemns the excessive force exercised by Israel, Bush continues to play God with peoples lives, not only in the Middle East, but also in his own country where he has seized upon the right to ignore domestic law with as much impunity as he does International laws. And in the process he is dragging Australia and Her people deeper and deeper into the same quagmire of fear and hate and death, bringing the collective hatred of a larger and larger alliance of enemies down upon all of our heads.

"Not In Our Name" was the cry of those who opposed the invasion of Iraq. "Not In Our Name" will you kill innocent children and women and elderly peoples who had nothing to do with any attacks on any citizens of the countries who became part of the "coalition of the willing". But it seems that Bush and Chaney and Rumsfeld and their poodle partners Blair and Howard have succeeded in muting those voices by gagging the opposition and the formerly objective media while letting loose the likes of Coulter and Limbaugh and Drudge and Murdock to plaster the print and electronic media with lies and distortions and cover ups and massive amounts of distractions such as "when will Howard resign", the price of bananas, which actor is cheating on their spouse or what some actor said while in being arrested for driving drunk.

Once again the term "anti-Semitism" is being bantered about in an attempt to silence the voices crying out for the killing to stop. Once again the guilt of one generation is being used to silence another and to justify the crimes committed by the descendants of one group of those who died in the Holocaust.

Could it be that Bush revels in the God-like powers he has, in the life and death decisions he makes, just as he did when he was governor of Texas and presided over the record number of executions that occurred in Texas under his watch?

Bush and those who serve him are true serial killers, mass murderers no different from the mass killers who preceded them. They stand beside Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussain and Melosavitch.

Bush has either deliberately set out to bring about another world war, or he has seriously miscalculated in his stance in Iraq and on the Israel-Hezbullah violence. By allowing Israeli violence against Lebanese citizens to continue unabated, the tide of world opinion against both Israel and the United States has swelled and has fanned support across the Arab world for Hezbullah.

By the United States continued slaughter of the people of Iraq, and it's continued threats against Iran, and it's
unwavering support and continued arming of Israel it has helped to forge alliances between many countries who have, until now, had little to do with each other. With each innocent life lost Hezbullah and other organizations of it's type gain more and more recruits, each dedicated to the destruction of Israel, the United States and their allies.

Already the violence has begun to overflow into our own region, even into our own country as the attacks on Synagogues and Mosques become more and more frequent. Our country is becoming more and more polarized as such issues the right of people to hold dual citizenship and the rights of those who do to be rescued from a war zone or their right to fight for their other country dominate talk back radio and blogs in all major newspapers and many smaller local ones. The wars that are occurring thousands of kilometres from our shores are tearing our own people apart, causing friends and neighbours to turn on each other. How long before the bombs begin to explode in our own back yards?

The madness must come to an end, one way or the other. Either the killing has to stop or the nuclear weapons must be deployed and life as we know it must end. There is no longer any middle ground left.


killing people is like squashing an ant

 
July 30, 2006 10:55 PM ET

WASHINGTON Steven Green, the former U.S. soldier accused of raping and murdering an Iraqi girl and members of her family compared killing people in Iraq to "squashing an ant," in an interview with a reporter about a month before the attack.

Writing in Sunday's Washington Post, Andrew Tilghman, a former correspondent for the military paper Stars and Stripes, said he interviewed Green several times in February south of Baghdad.

"I came over here because I wanted to kill people," he quoted Green as saying. "The truth is, it wasn't all I thought it was cracked up to be. I mean, I thought killing somebody would be this life-changing experience. And then I did it, and I was like, 'All right, whatever.'

"I shot a guy who wouldn't stop when we were out at a traffic checkpoint and it was like nothing," Green was quoted as saying. "Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant.

"I mean, you kill somebody and it's like, 'All right, let's go get some pizza.'"

Green is under arrest in Kentucky for the March 12 murders of the Iraqi girl and three of her relatives. He was honorably discharged from the military for a "personality disorder," has pleaded not guilty.

Tilghman said Green saw the war in Iraq as pointless. "I just want to go home alive," he quoted the soldier.

Downer Suffering Stage Fright- Karoake Korea Over.

That's the question that the Canberra Times asked, but you have to wonder which particular stage Alex was running from.  The King of Karaoke has played a different role for Condi in more ways than one.  It  might be that the only way for Downer not to appear like a twit next to Dr Rice was to be invisible.

Take a bow … Alexander Downer has entered the building.

Photo: AP

secret places, secret crimes .....

‘A United Nations rights panel Friday demanded the immediate closure of any secret U.S. detention facilities and said Washington should grant the international Red Cross access to captives.

The United States "should only detain persons in places in which they can enjoy the full protection of the law," said a 12-page report by the U.N. Human Rights Committee. "It should also grant prompt access by the International Committee of the Red Cross to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict."

making us safer .....


‘US citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.

A 32-page draft measure is intended to authorize the Pentagon's tribunal system, established shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to detain and prosecute detainees captured in the war on terror. The tribunal system was thrown out last month by the Supreme Court.

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