December 5, 2013 archive

In Memoriam: Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

South African leader and icon, Nelson Mandela died today at his home in Johannesburg surrounded by his family and friends.

Mandela 1918 - 2013 photo nelsonmandela_zps5917367e.jpg

Madiba is gone from this earth but not from the hearts of the world.

Blessed Be. The Wheel Turns

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PRNewswire: San Francisco, Dec. 2, 2013

Federal Court to Examine Legality of Iraq War Based on Lawsuit Filed by Comar Law

A federal court will hear argument next April from an Iraqi woman who claims the Iraq War was illegal under international law.

Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the Iraq War was a “crime of aggression” against Iraqi civilians, a legal theory used at the Nuremberg Trials to convict Nazi leaders for planning and waging wars in Europe during World War II.

Saleh served the complaint in June 2013 against six Bush-era officials, including George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Her complaint seeks damages for herself as well as for other Iraqi civilian victims of the war.

Saleh alleges that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz openly planned the Iraq War beginning in 1998 through a neoconservative think-tank called “The Project for the New American Century.” She further alleges that once in power, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz convinced other Bush officials to invade Iraq and to use 9/11 as an excuse to scare and mislead the American public into supporting a war.

Cartnoon

On This Day In History December 5

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning best price soft viagra no rx Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past go to link “On This Day in History” here.

December 5 is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 26 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1933, The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the era of national prohibition of alcohol in America. At 5:32 p.m. EST, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, achieving the requisite three-fourths majority of states’ approval. Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified it earlier in the day.

The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for national liquor abstinence. Several states outlawed the manufacture or sale of alcohol within their own borders. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. On January 29, 1919, the 18th Amendment achieved the necessary three-fourths majority of state ratification. Prohibition essentially began in June of that year, but the amendment did not officially take effect until January 29, 1920.

The proponents of Prohibition had believed that banning alcoholic beverages would reduce or even eliminate many social problems, particularly drunkenness, crime, mental illness, and poverty, and would eventually lead to reductions in taxes. However, during Prohibition, people continued to produce and drink alcohol, and bootlegging helped foster a massive industry completely under the control of organized crime. Prohibitionists argued that Prohibition would be more effective if enforcement were increased. However, increased efforts to enforce Prohibition simply resulted in the government spending more money, rather than less. Journalist H.L. Mencken asserted in 1925 that respect for law diminished rather than increased during Prohibition, and drunkenness, crime, insanity, and resentment towards the federal government had all increased.

During this period, support for Prohibition diminished among voters and politicians. John D. Rockefeller Jr., a lifelong nondrinker who had contributed much money to the Prohibitionist Anti-Saloon League, eventually announced his support for repeal because of the widespread problems he believed Prohibition had caused. Influential leaders, such as the du Pont brothers, led the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, whose name clearly asserted its intentions.

Women as a bloc of voters and activists became pivotal in the effort to repeal, as many concluded that the effects of Prohibition were morally corrupting families, women, and children. (By then, women had become even more politically powerful due to ratification of the Constitutional amendment for women’s suffrage.) Activist Pauline Sabin argued that repeal would protect families from the corruption, violent crime, and underground drinking that resulted from Prohibition. In 1929 Sabin founded the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), which came to be partly composed of and supported by former Prohibitionists; its membership was estimated at 1.5 million by 1931.

The number of repeal organizations and demand for repeal both increased. In 1932, the Democratic Party’s platform included a plank for the repeal of Prohibition, and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt ran for President of the United States promising repeal of federal laws of Prohibition.

Late Night Karaoke

Newtown

Next Saturday marks the first anniversary of the school shooting that took 26 beautiful lives for no reason. The families and people of Newtown have requested that everyone, including the news media stay away and let them mark this sad day within the community. Rachel Maddow reports on Newtown’s request to be left alone on the Sandy Hook tragedy anniversary, and slams the playing of the 911 tapes from that day.

Since Newtown there have been 26 more school shootings. The gun control group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America wants to know “is silence what America needs right now?”

The following commercial is an effort by the group to bring attention to the need to tighten gun control in a country obsessed with guns as we all mourn with Newtown

Blessed Be

Saudi Arabia’s 9/11 Connnection

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In a four part series on RAI with Paul Jay, Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) explains why he persists in making the case that facts directly connect the Saudi government with 9/11 conspirators.

Investigating the Saudi Government’s 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment Part 1



Full Transcript can be read here

Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham says greater awareness of Saudi Arabia as “essentially a co-conspirator in 9/11…would change the way in which, particularly in the current milieu of events in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is being viewed” by the U.S. public.

Saudi Arabia, an historic ally of the U.S., had put significant pressure on the Obama administration in recent months to militarily intervene in Syria, and had also attempted to derail recent U.S.-Iran rapprochement.

Senator Graham co-chaired the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 that investigated intelligence failures leading up to 9/11.  The inquiry’s final report included a 28-page chapter describing the Saudi connection to 9/11, but it was completely redacted by U.S. intelligence agencies.

“I was stunned that the intelligence community would feel that it was a threat to national security for the American people to know who had made 9/11 financially possible,” said Senator Graham.  “And I am sad to report that today, some 12 years after we submitted our report, that those 28 pages continue to be withheld from the public.”

The investigation into 9/11 intelligence failures and the subsequent cover-up of Saudi involvement by the Bush administration led Senator Graham to question his life-long reverence of presidential authority.

“I grew up with the idea that the president was almost a divine figure, that he was the literally the father of the country and always acted in a way that was beneficial to the mass of people in America,” said Graham. “You may have disagreements with the current occupant of the office, but the presidency itself was a beknighted position deserving of your respect and worthy of your confidence.”

“So when I got involved particularly at the national level in the U.S. Senate and saw some of the things that were happening-which were not theoretical; they were things that I was dealing with on a very day-to-day hands-on basis that were contrary to that view of what was the presidency-it was a very disillusioning experience.  And maybe some of the comments that I make in the book Intelligence Matters reflect that path to disillusionment,” said Graham.

Revealing the 9/11 Conspiracy Would Undo the Entire US-Saudi Alliance Part 2



Full transcript can be read here

Why Would Saudi Arabia Support the 9/11 Conspirators, Why Would the US Gov. Cover it Up? Part 3



Full transcript can be read here

Former Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, believes that the Saudi government “had a high and what has thus far turned out to be credible expectation that their role” in 9/11 “would not be exposed” by the U.S. government.

“Everything that the federal government has done since 9/11 has had as one of its outcomes, if not its objectives-and I believe it was both outcome and objective-that the Saudis’ role has been covered,” says Graham.

Senator Graham had talked to the other co-chair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry and the two chairs of the citizen’s 9/11 commission about the possibility of the 19 hijackers acting independently.

“All three of them used almost the same word-implausible-that it is implausible that that could have been the case. Yet that has now become the conventional wisdom to the aggressive exclusion of other alternatives,” says Graham.

Graham says it is also possible that the Saudis gave financial support for Osama bin Laden’s operations in order to stop him from launching a campaign of civil unrest within Saudi Arabia as retaliation for allowing U.S. troops to occupy a part of the country during the first Gulf War.

The Saudis’ “confidence in the fact the United States would not react, or that the United States would not go to the extremes that in fact it has to cover up their involvement, were sufficient to outweigh the reality that bin Laden had the capability and the will to topple the monarchy,” says Senator Graham.

The 9/11 Conspiracy: Did Bush/Cheney Create a Culture of Not Wanting to Know? Part 4



Full transcript can be read here

Former Senator Graham says that a new inquiry into 9/11 should be launched to ask whether the 19 hijackers acted alone, the extent of Saudi involvement in the attacks, and why the US concealed evidence of a support network for the hijackers.

The Bush administration also failed to seriously respond to a Presidential Daily Brief from August 6, 2001 that contained a section titled “bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.”

“It was a fairly stark and specific call,” says Former Senator Bob Graham.  “The president, from all evidence, basically ignored that warning and no steps were taken to try to dig deeper or to disrupt the plot.”

Graham served as the co-chair of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11.  A 28-page chapter in the final report detailing Saudi involvement in the financing, support, and execution of the attacks on the World Trade Center was redacted by the FBI.

The FBI also withheld information about the support networks for several of the 9/11 hijackers located through the United States, says Graham.

When asked about whether a deliberate culture had been created by the Bush administration to suppress information about possible terrorist attacks, Graham admitted that “virtually all of the agencies of the federal government were moving in the same direction, from a customs agent at an airport in Orlando who was chastised when he denied entry into the United States to a Saudi, to the president of the United States authorizing large numbers of Saudis to leave the country.”

“You don’t have everybody moving in the same direction without there being a head coach somewhere who was giving them instructions as to where he wants them to move,” said Graham.

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