Tag: John McCain

Stop Listening to Morons

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Surface To Air Missiles Kill People

I know I’m a silly and naive hippie. Very Serious People know the importance of arming the rebels, and the rebels of the rebels, and of the governments fighting the rebels, and of the random people who might just be good guys today but who knows about tomorrow, because it’s what we know how to do and our friends get rich in the process.

But, you know, weapons kill people. That’s what they’re for.

Atrios

We need to stop arming morons but most of all we need to stop listening to them.

In the wake of the tragic crash of Malaysian Air Flight 17 yesterday that took the lives of 290, there is a lot of ranting and finger wagging among war hawk conservatives who believe this tragedy could have been averted of we had just given the new Ukrainian government weapons. Considering the clear possibility that the plane was taken down by a Russian made Soviet era surface to air missile, the logic of these neo-cons is baffling. The US backing, arming and training rebels and rogue governments hasn’t worked very well in the past and isn’t working out very well today in either the Middle East or Latin  and South America

Charlie Pierce thinks we should stop listening to morons, in particular a couple of our elected morons, who have never seen a war they didn’t like or a terrorist under every rock, want more weapons and more war. Sen. John “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCain (R-AZ):

“It’s just been cowardly,” McCain said. “It’s a cowardly administration that we failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.” He speculated that the Russian separatists who allegedly shot down the plane “may not even have occupied and had access to these weapons, which apparently they got at an airfield,” [..]

“First, give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves and regain their territory. Second of all, move some of our troops in to areas that are being threatened by Vladimir Putin, in other countries like the Baltics and others. Move missile defense into the places where we got out of, like the Czech Republic and Poland and other places. And impose the harshest possible sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Russia. And that’s just for openers.”

This from the man who wanted to arm the Syrian rebels who were affiliated with Al Qaeda, some of whom are now trying to overthrow the American backed Iraqi government. John, please, just please, retire.

And of course the call for throwing more weapons into the mix wouldn’t be complete without some good ol’ fear mongering for Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

“[W]e need more leadership from the president,” King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on MSNBC. “He gave this a passing reference in his speech in Delaware, then went on to tell Joe Biden jokes and take the usual shots at Republicans – which is fair game, but not on this day – and then to go to New York and go to two fundraisers. I mean, I can’t imagine [former Presidents Dwight] Eisenhower or [John F.] Kennedy or [Ronald] Reagan doing that.”

Ronnie Reagan? Seriously. The man who slept through the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 over the Kamchatka Peninsula by Soviet forces in 1983 and took three days to make a statement? Pete, get a grip

More of what Charlie said about arming morons:

I often refer to the scene featuring the great character actor Philip Bosco, as a judge in the small upstate New York town that is the setting for the vastly underrated Paul Newman movie Nobody’s Fool. Newman is before the judge because he has punched a local cop — played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman — and, in response, the cop had fired off a warning shot that frightened an old woman a few blocks over. Bosco listens to the story and then addresses the police chief. “You know my views on arming morons,” Bosco says. “If you arm one, you have to arm them all. Otherwise, it isn’t good sport.”

It is becoming plain that the atrocity visited on the Malaysian jetliner is a direct result of arming morons. The New York Times obtained audiotape, allegedly from the people who shot down the plane, and these guys sound like they shouldn’t be trusted with a lemon zester, let alone a surface-to-air missile. And it is quite plain that the one thing this situation doesn’t need is to arm more morons, or to have another superpower come bungling in. Either by accident or by design — and Josh Marshall is right to point out that, if it’s the former, that’s infinitely worse — Vladimir Putin is responsible for a horrendous crime, and one that weakens his international standing. The only thing that would bail him out would be a flood of American arms to our own set of morons. The only thing that would bail him out would be if we all started listening to John McCain again.

We do know that the separatists in Eastern Ukraine have been armed by the Russians and have taken credit for bring down other planes over the last several weeks. If this is true, the culpability for this tragic loss of lives lies directly at the feet of Vladimir Putin, he alone has the power to stop this. Like Putin, the US needs to stop arming morons and stop listening to them as well.

Tit For Tat Diplomacy

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This week after much hinting, President Barack Obama cancelled his private meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin that was to take place before the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg in early September. The primary reason for the snub (yes, despite what you are hearing in the American msm, in the international community this is a snub) is Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In a statement, the White House said that it had concluded there was “not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda” to hold a US-Russia summit. It cited a lack of progress on arms control, trade, missile defence and human rights, and added: “Russia’s disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our co-operation on these issues remains a priority for the United States.” [..]

The decision to cancel the meeting was greeted with little surprise in Moscow, where analysts and lawmakers have been predicting such a step. Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said the Kremlin was disappointed that Obama cancelled the meeting with Putin, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported. “It’s obvious that this decision is connected to the situation with the American intelligence services employee Snowden, which was not created by us,” he said.

Nonetheless, the invitation to Obama to visit Moscow remains open, and Russia is prepared to co-operate with the United States on pressing issues, Ushakov said.

Nationalist Duma deputy Vladimir Zhirinovsky, perhaps the most rabid of the many critics of the United States in parliament, said the decision shows “disrespect” towards Russia.

“If you postpone or completely cancel meetings between heads of state under the pretext of the refusal to hand over one person, then relations between countries will quickly reach zero,” Zhirinovsky said.

Pres. Obama has no room to criticize Russia for giving Snowden asylum considering the fact that the US has given shelter to internationally wanted criminals and refused to investigate or prosecute Americans accused of war crimes

In his opinion article, Glenn Greenwald high lighted the most glaring cases:

New York Times, February 28, 2007:

miglior sito per comprare viagra generico 50 mg a Venezia U.S. to refuse Italian request for extradition of CIA agents

BRUSSELS – A senior U.S. official said Wednesday that the United States would refuse any Italian extradition request for CIA agents indicted in the alleged abduction of an Egyptian cleric in Milan, a case investigated by the European Parliament.

“We’ve not got an extradition request from Italy,” John Bellinger, a legal adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, told reporters after meeting in Brussels with legal advisers to EU governments.

“If we got an extradition request from Italy, we would not extradite U.S. officials to Italy.”

Washington Post, July 19, 2013:

source url Panama releases former CIA operative wanted by Italy

A former CIA operative detained in Panama this week at the request of Italian authorities over his conviction in the 2003 kidnapping of a Muslim cleric in Milan was released Friday and had boarded a flight to the United States, U.S. officials said.

Robert Seldon Lady’s release from Panama appeared to avert the possibility that he would be extradited to Italy, where he faces a sentence of up to nine years in prison for his role in the CIA capture of a terrorism suspect who was secretly snatched off a street in Milan and transported to Egypt.

Lady, who left Panama on Friday morning, was “either en route or back in the United States,” Marie Harf, State Department deputy spokeswoman, told reporters at a midday briefing.

It was not immediately clear what steps the United States had taken to secure Lady’s release.

The Guardian, September 9, 2012:

propecia vellus America’s refusal to extradite Bolivia’s ex-president to face genocide charges

Obama justice officials have all but granted asylum to Sánchez de Lozada – a puppet who payrolled key Democratic advisers

[US refuses Bolivia’s request to extradite its former CIA-supported president, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, to stand trial on charges of genocide and other war crimes after de Lozada hires Democratic lobbyists to represent him]

El Paso Times, December 30, 2010:

http://citiva.com/?search=cialis-canadian Luis Posada Carriles won’t be extradited to Venezuela

The US constantly refuses requests to extradite – even where (unlike Russia) they have an extradition treaty with the requesting country and even where (unlike Snowden) the request involves actual, serious crimes, such as genocide, kidnapping, and terrorism. Maybe those facts should be part of whatever media commentary there is on Putin’s refusal to extradite Snowden and Obama’s rather extreme reaction to it. [..]

At his blog Informed Consent, Juan Cole notes that Russia has denied visas to US officials who have been accused of war crimes:

A less remarked-on round in this game of tit for tat (which so far doesn’t rise to the level of being very serious) is the government’s decision last April to deny visas to American officials and former officials who had something to do with torture at Guantanamo, where Russian citizens have been held.

The Moscow Times reports

   “The list of banned officials released by the Foreign Ministry in April included former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, former U.S. Justice Department adviser John Yoo and various other Justice Department officials alleged to have violated Russian citizens’ human rights. United States Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson, the former head of the Guantanamo prison, was denied a Russian visa in January, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.”

Professor of international law at Princeton University, Richard Falk explained in an article in Al Jazeera, that the granting of asylum to Snowden wasn’t just within Russia’s rights, but was legally compelled.

The most influential media in the United States has lived up to its pro-government bias in the Snowden Affair in three major ways: firstly, by consistently referring to Snowden by the demeaning designation of ‘leaker’ rather than as ‘whistleblower’ or ‘surveillance dissident,’ both more respectful and accurate.

Secondly, real viagra without prescription they are completely ignoring the degree to which Russia’s grant of temporary refugee status to Snowden for one year was in full accord with the normal level of protection to be given to anyone accused of nonviolent political crimes in a foreign country, and pursued diplomatically and legally by the government that is seeking to indict and prosecute. In effect, for Russia to have turned Snowden over to the United States under these conditions would have been morally and politically scandalous considering the nature of his alleged crimes.

Thirdly, http://cancersupportmontana.org/?search=free-propecia-brand-5mg the media’s refusal to point out that espionage, the main accusation against Snowden, is the quintessential ‘political offense’ in international law, and as such is routinely excluded from any list of extraditable offenses. That is, even if there had been an extradition treaty between the United States and Russia, it should have been made clear that http://caseyanthony.com/?search=generic-viagra-online there was no legal duty on Russia’s part to turn Snowden over to American authorities for criminal prosecution, and a moral and political duty not to do so, especially in the circumstances surrounding the controversy over Snowden.

And as Mark Weisbot noted

Meanwhile, Snowden and Glenn Greenwald and Wikileaks are winning. At the outset Snowden said his biggest fear was that people would see “the lengths that the government is going to grant themselves powers unilaterally to create greater control over American society and global society and that ‘nothing will change'”. But his disclosures have already created a new debate, and political change will follow. [..]

The spectacle of US attorney general Eric Holder trying to offer Russia assurances that his government would not torture or execute Snowden speaks volumes about how far the US government’s reputation on human rights – even within the United States – has plummeted over the past decade.

Legally, morally and ethically, Pres. Obama has no room to criticize Russia on it human rights violations.  

John & Lindsey’s Not So Excellent Adventure

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

What was Barack Obama thinking when he gave his blessing to a these two clods to represent the US in Egypt, for any reason. Apparently, Republican Senators John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC) not only managed to fail at whatever it was they were sent to accomplish but managed to insult everyone in the military led interim government.

First, didn’t anyone in the State Department brief McCain to put a sock in it and not use the word “coup”?

McCain (R-Ariz.) and Graham (R-S.C.) had used the word “coup” at an afternoon press conference to describe the manner in which Egypt’s military had seized power from the Muslim Brotherhood’s elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in early July. [..]

In a statement later on Tuesday, distributed by Egypt’s Middle East News Agency and reported by Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, a top media advisor to Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, offered a stronger rebuke. The statement accused McCain of twisting facts, and dismissed his remarks as “clumsy,” or “irresponsible,” depending on the translation. (On Twitter, bilingual Arabic speakers debated the best translation for the word, “kharqa,” which also could be interpreted as “moronic” or “irrational.”)

Pres. Mansour went to call McCain’s comments “an unacceptable interference in internal policies”. When later asked by journalists whether the pair really meant that the military-backed overthrow was a coup, a term the US State Department has avoided using, McCain’s response was,  “I’m not here to go through the dictionary. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

These two dolts went on to lecture the Egyptian leadership on ways to reach an accord with the Muslim Brotherhood, urging General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a Tuesday meeting to release all political prisoners as a starting point for holding free elections. In a press conference after the meeting, Graham further stepped in the diplomatic mire the two had created

“In democracy, you sit down and talk to each other. It is impossible to talk to somebody who is in jail.” [..]

“The people who are in charge were not elected. The people who were elected are in jail. The status quo is not acceptable.”

Really? Could Pres. Obamba sent two worse representatives into such a volitile situation? Maybe he could have sent Bill and Ted, from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Middle East expert and historian Juan Cole weighed in on why McCain and Graham the lack of credibility to talk to the Egyptians:

1. McCain and Graham are urging the interim Egyptian government to engage in dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood. But in winter of 2011 just after the fall of Mubarak, this is what McCain said:

   ” SPIEGEL: What is your assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood?

   McCain: I think they are a radical group that first of all enter site supports Sharia law; that in itself is http://community2community.info/?search=buy-cialis-online anti-democratic – at least as far as women are concerned. They have been prednisone 10mg tablet wat involved with other terrorist organizations and I believe that they should be specifically excluded from any transition government. “

The phrase “they have been involved with other terrorist organizations” suggests that McCain considered the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, just as Gen. Sisi does. One of the pretexts on which Sisi has jailed several Muslim Brotherhood leaders is their ties to Hamas and “terrorism.” So how would McCain argue him out of that stance.  [..]

2. McCain insisted that there was in fact a military coup in Egypt on July 3, and called for political prisoners (the former Muslim Brotherhood elected government) to be released. But McCain supported the military coup of 1999 by Gen. Pervez Musharraf against the elected government of Muslim League leader Nawaz Sharif.

3. Graham doesn’t like people to win elections if he doesn’t like them. When the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, won the Palestine Authority elections in early 2006, Graham rejected their legitimacy [..]

If this mission was meant to help resolve the crisis the crisis in a country that is instrumental in Washington’s Middle East policy, it was a miserable failure that may have actually harmed the US relationship with Egypt.

Where in the World Was John McCain?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This weekend the perennial war hawk of the Senate, John McCain (R-AZ), was conspicuously absent from his usual place on the Sunday talk shows. We now know why, he was in Syria meeting with the rebel opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogan had the exclusive story:

McCain, one of the fiercest critics of the Obama administration’s Syria policy, made the unannounced visit across the Turkey-Syria border with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army. He stayed in the country for several hours before returning to Turkey. Both in Syria and Turkey, McCain and Idris met with assembled leaders of Free Syrian Army units that traveled from around the country to see the U.S. senator. Inside those meetings, rebel leaders called on the United States to step up its support to the Syrian armed opposition and provide them with heavy weapons, a no-fly zone, and airstrikes on the Syrian regime and the forces of Hezbollah, which is increasingly active in Syria.

The visit comes in the midst of Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to get the warring parties to negotiations at an international conference in Geneva this June. The Senate has been pushing the White House to better arm the rebels, the administration has been more cautious. The White House said that they were aware of Sen. McCain’s trip and looking “forward to speaking with Senator McCain upon his return to learn more about the trip.”

While Sen McCain visited with Gen. Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, the meeting was arranged by an American nonprofit organization that works in support of the Syrian opposition, the Syrian Emergency Task Force whose founder has supported Al Qaeda. The organization was founded by a former Senate staffer, Moustafa Mouaz. According to Justin Raimondo ar Anti-War.com, the organization “doesn’t have to register as an agent of a foreign power – since the Foreign Agents Registration Act is only selectively enforced.”:

Mouaz is a former aide to Senator Blanche Lincoln and Rep. Vic Synder, both liberal to centrist Democrats. Here he is cheering on al-Nusra – the official al-Qaeda franchise in Syria – on Twitter. (See also here and here.) The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the “educational” branch of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, lists him on their web site as one of their trusted “experts”: he recently addressed a WINEP conference. [..]

(..) the same Moustafa Mouaz who is now serving as the executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force formerly held the same position for – you guessed it! – the Libyan Emergency Task Force. And we know how well that worked out for us. [..]

Where does the money come from? Who is providing the media connections, the organizational heft, and the cold hard cash it takes to make a major push for US intervention in Syria?

Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to US involvement in Syria but there is little opposition in congress. Tea Party, sometimes Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was one of the few voices that criticized the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for supporting Al Qaeda:

This is an important moment. You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It’s an irony you cannot overcome.

Al Jazeera reported in April that the Al-Nusra Front vowed to “obey al-Qaeda.”

“The sons of Al-Nusra Front pledge allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the man who identified himself as Abu Mohammed al Julani said in an audio clip posted on YouTube that went public on Wednesday.

Zawahiri is known to be the chief commander of al-Qaeda.

Julani, who is recognised as the head of the group Jabat al Nusra, or Al-Nusra Front, said in the video that his fighters had declared from the start of the uprising that Islamic law needs to be enforced across Syria, but did not want to announce the group’s affiliation to al-Qaeda prematurely.

Fellow war hawk, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), upon learning of his cohort’s clandestine adventure, ironically tweeted:

Jason Raimando noted that these rebels are dangerous and not a joke:

Leave it to Sen. Graham, who has been agitating along with McCain for the US to send weapons to the rebels, to joke about the untrustworthiness of the very people he wants to arm. But the rebels’ savagery is no joke: we are, after all, talking about people who eat the lungs of their enemies.

The European Union has ended its arms embargo to the Syrian Rebels and the United Nations Human Rights Council has called for the end of fighting around the strategic town of Qusayr and condemned “the intervention of foreign combatants on the government’s side in the Syrian civil war.”. Russia denounced the resolution calling it “odious and one-sided,” and “untimely, counterproductive and likely to complicate the launch of the peace process in Syria.”

All indications are that the Syrian rebels are Islamic militants. This is a civil war as was Libya and we see how well that has turned out. What ever happened to the “war on terrorism” and destroying Al Qaeda? Apparently it goes to the back burner when it interferes with America’s regime changing foreign policy.

John McCain: Torture Doesn’t Work

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Torture is a war crime. Water boarding is torture. If you advocate, authorize or perform it on another person, you are breaking not just US law but international law. Period. The President and the DOJ are obligated by law to investigate and prosecute war crimes. Under the law if they do not, they, themselves are complicit. There are no excuses.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who was tortured while a POW in Viet Nam, wrote an editorial in the Washington Post rejecting and chastising those who were making the claim that torture, specifically water boarding, was instrumental in finding Osama bin Laden. He then appeared on the Senate floor ans spoke for 20 minutes.

Former attorney general Michael Mukasey recently claimed that “the intelligence that led to bin Laden . . . began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed , who broke like dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included water boarding. He loosed a torrent of information – including the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.” That is false.

I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was water boarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led to bin Laden, as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee who was held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were water boarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.

Law professor Jonathan Turley appeared on MSNBC’s The Ed Show and addressed this on his blog

Last night on The Ed Show, I discussed the amazing speech and column by Senator John McCain on torture. One of the most notable aspects of the comments was McCain stating that the claim by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey that torture led to the location of Bin Laden is simply untrue and confirmed as false by CIA Director Leon Panetta.

As did Ron Paul in the recent Republican debate, John McCain confronted his colleagues over the effort to redeem torture by claiming that it was beneficial in this case. As he correctly notes, torture is a war crime not because it lacks any benefit in terms of intelligence but because it is immoral . . . . .

To the contrary, McCain points out that the torture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed resulted in demonstrably “false and misleading information.”

Where I part with McCain is his insistence that, despite it being torture (and thus a war crime), no one should ever be punished for the crimes. It is important to stand for principle but it is even more important to bear the responsibility that comes with principle. It may not be popular or convenient, but we are obligated to investigate and prosecute torture.

Glenn Greenwald is an absolute must read on the Nuremberg Principles:

Benjamin Ferencz is a 92-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, American combat soldier during World War II, and a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, where he prosecuted numerous Nazi war criminals, including some responsible for the deaths of upward of 100,000 innocent people.  He gave a fascinating (and shockingly articulate) 13-minute interview yesterday to the CBC in Canada about the bin Laden killing, the Nuremberg principles, and the U.S. role in the world.  Without endorsing everything he said, I hope as many people as possible will listen to it.

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey then lamely attempted to rebut McCain through an op-ed by former Cheney speech writer, Marc A Thiessen. It does not change the fact that Mukasey, Gonzalez, Bybee, Yoo, et al and now, Holder, have excused, covered up and defended war crimes, thus making them all eligible for cells at the Hague.

Navy Vets Scam Artist Formally Charged

Just a short update on something I really want to keep ‘in the news’ for a couple of reasons, actually as a Navy vet there are others as well, but the political side should not be forgotten.

You can google the name or main points to get the past reports.

One reason is the obvious and the pictures tell that story. While sending our soldiers into two more ‘wars of choice’ and laughing about their ‘purple heart bandages’ as well!

By the way, a talking head journalist on CBS finally even said that about Afghanistan, war of choice, the other night.

Arrrrrghhh !!!

As Lieberman deliberated, the new chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), told HuffPost that the party would consider supporting Lieberman if he returned to the fold.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Joe Lieberman,Senator Joe Lieberman

Joe & George the President


The feeling of ill will is mutual: Lieberman said during the health care debate that one reason he opposed a Medicare buy-in compromise was that progressives were embracing it.

Joe Lieberman and John McCain

Joe & John the Presidential Candidate




March 20, 2003

” What we are doing here is not only in the interest of the safety of the American people. Believe me, Saddam Hussein would have used these weapons against us eventually or given them to terrorists who would have. But what we are doing here, in overthrowing Saddam and removing those weapons of mass destruction and taking them into our control, is good for the security of people all over the world, including the Iraqi people themselves.”

http://www.lobelog.com/lieberm…

John McCain Joe Lieberman,McCain,Lieberman

Joe and John in Iraq


September 29, 2011.    10 years and 18 days after 9-11 attacks on NYC



” It is time for us to take steps that make clear that if diplomatic and economic strategies continue to fail to change Iran’s nuclear policies, a military strike is not just a remote possibility in the abstract, but a real and credible alternative policy that we and our allies are ready to exercise.

It is time to retire our ambiguous mantra about all options remaining on the table. It is time for our message to our friends and enemies in the region to become clearer: namely, that we will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability — by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must. A military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities entails risks and costs, but I am convinced that the risks and costs of allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability are much greater.

Some have suggested that we should simply learn to live with a nuclear Iran and pledge to contain it. In my judgment, that would be a grave mistake. As one Arab leader I recently spoke with pointed out, how could anyone count on the United States to go to war to defend them against a nuclear-armed Iran, if we were unwilling to go to war to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran? Having tried and failed to stop Iran’s nuclear breakout, our country would be a poor position to contain its consequences.

I also believe it would be a failure of U.S. leadership if this situation reaches the point where the Israelis decide to attempt a unilateral strike on Iran. If military action must come, the United States is in the strongest position to confront Iran and manage the regional consequences. This is not a responsibility we should outsource. We can and should coordinate with our many allies who share our interest in stopping a nuclear Iran, but we cannot delegate our global responsibilities to them.”

http://www.lobelog.com/lieberm…

http://lieberman.senate.gov/in…

Monday: Welcome Back From Your Trip, Mr. President of the Republican Party

President Obama is back from his Pan Pacific – Asian debt sales trip, and the Lame Duck session of Congress is now officially underway.

Dan Choi,Lt Dan Choi,Get Equal,White House Protest,DADT

Lt. Dan Choi and 12 other Get Equal civil rights activists handcuff themselves to the White House fence on Monday, Nov 15, 2010, to protest the military’s discriminatory policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (photo of murky screenshot from video was highlighted. )

About that “Green” Lt. Gov Candidate- You’ll Find This Interesting

Jimi Castillo, the Native American  Green candidate for Lt. Gov, is affiliated by name with a tribe is on the verge of getting official recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on whether they are about to get official recognition so they could build a casino.  That decision was supposed to be made Oct 4th, but it’s been delayed post election to Dec 15th, no doubt to see how the election plays out plus this state is so amazingly crooked with this Casino lobbyist money flying like confetti everywhere at this time of year.

I don’t know of any Southern CA Indian tribes (or even the ones up here) with official tribal recognition which support Democrats.  

That being said, Mr. Castillo himself is an honorable person, other than his bio on his website is a bit sketchy,  but I am now pretty sure after my little side trip thru the archives that he definitely being backed by unseen business interests that would prefer to keep it that way.  THAT is also typical so that tribes can gain public media name recognition.

Hopefully his candidacy will not result in sticking us with Maldonado for a full term.  I really don’t think the anti climate change and anti women’s reproductive rights Maldonado is a net improvement over Newsom.  

Jimi Castillo is called, or refers to himself in interviews, as a Tongva, a Tongva Achjachemen (spelled several ways),   Gabriellino / Tongva ,   a Gabrielino – Tongva.

He is also mentioned on the Kumeyaay Tribal website news pages.

This site already did a background check on him http://www.newagefraud.org/smf…

The Achjachemen are also called the Juaneno.

Here’s the webpage for the Gabrielino – Tongva tribe  http://www.gabrielinotribe.org…

Here’s the webpage of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians Acjachemen Nation

http://www.acjachemennation.co…

They all fall into the category of the Mission Bands of Indians who lived on the coastline of Southern CA from LA to San Diego area at the time of the invasion of the Spanish, 1769, when the Spanish re named them after whatever Mission they were living near.  

The fight over Federal BIA tribal recognition is of course, splitting off tribal factions.

He (Jimi Castillo, the Lt Gov candidate)  worked as an employee for the Herman G Stark Youth Prison for 20+ years until they laid him off last year.  He conducted weekly sweat lodges for the inmates.     They changed it over to an adult prison.  


Kumeyaay News

Sweat Lodge tradition ends at Stark site in Chino

http://www.kumeyaay.com/kumeya…

Castillo is outspoken about his troubles with drugs and alcohol. This is his 28th year being sober.

“I had a troubled youth,” Castillo said. “I would go to psychologists, priests, ministers….They would seem to give up on me just when I was ready to open up and spill my guts.”

Born and raised in Whittier, Castillo is a member of the Tongva tribe and now lives with his wife, Jeanette, in Rancho Cucamonga. Before being hired at Stark in 1998, Castillo worked as a cabinet maker. As a spiritual leader, he volunteered at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and began volunteering at Stark in 1989.

I think working as a woodworker is also an honorable profession and I don’t see why that isn’t also mentioned on his campaign website.

I can find NO campaign finance filings with the state of CA for this candidate, not even who is his campaign manager and treasurer, which is typical of all the CA Greens I’ve looked at this cycle. (  We have one here in this district which has nothing I can find filed with the Federal EC, either.  )

Federal Recognition for Juaneno (Acjachemen) Tribe is pending, fr Sept 9th

9/9/10

http://www.ocregister.com/arti…

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – After nearly three decades of seeking federal recognition, a divided Juaneño Band of Mission Indians could get a final answer in the next few weeks.

R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Federal Acknowledgment, said in a letter to one of the tribal leaders that the office is making a final determination and that a decision is anticipated on or before Oct. 4.

If the Juaneños – also known as the Acjachemen Nation – become a tribe in the eyes of the federal government, the group will be recognized as a sovereign nation. This means it would be allowed to buy land anywhere in the United States for a reservation, where it could govern itself, get federal aid for things such as education and health care and, under federal law, be allowed to build a casino.


9/9/10

http://www.ocregister.com/news…

Final decision on Juanenos now expected by Dec 15

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – A decision on whether the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians will get federal recognition is now expected on or before Dec. 15, a ruling pushed back more than two months since it was originally anticipated.

R. Lee Fleming, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Federal Acknowledgment, informed petitioners of the new decision deadline in a new letter dated Sept 24

“… the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs need this extension to allow for review of the recommended decisions,” the letter said in part.

The petitioning groups had expected a decision, called final determination, on or before Oct. 4, which was the date set in a previous letter by Fleming.

The divided group has been seeking federal recognition for nearly three decades.

In 2007, the Bureau of Indian Affairs dealt the Juaneños a setback in their continuing effort to become a federally-recognized American Indian tribe, saying the group did not meet four of the seven criteria required.

The negative finding indicated that if the group cannot provide more evidence, it will not be considered a tribe under federal law, a status that would allow it to own land, build a casino and get federal aid for things such as education and health care.

The lobbyists working this routine in DC  are not using the tribe’s name “Juaneno Band of Mission Indians” in this Casino tribal recognition wrangling, but calling them by the client name of a Texas lobbying company called “Hard Count.”

This is a BIG SH*T money deal to try to get a Casino opened in Los Angeles.  You see how it says Connecticut below ?  That’s Abramoff related,  and it even is Doolittle related, altho that’s another story.   You even have SoCal Rep. John Campbell(R, CA 48 ) chiming in, but he’s just trying to protect the turf of already established Casinos that are already funding Republicans.


Lobbyists spar over unrecognized tribe  9/9/2007

http://www.politico.com/news/s…

Two prominent Washington lobbying firms are representing rival factions of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians.

On one side is David Belardes and a Texas firm called Hard Count. Their lobbyist is Barbour Griffith & Rogers, a Republican-heavy firm with ties to the Bush administration and a firm that recently represented anti-recognition foes in Connecticut.

On the other side is Anthony Rivera, whose lobbyist is Paul Moorehead of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Moorehead was the Republican chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Belardes and Rivera both claim to control the Juaneno Band. Whoever is in charge could land a lucrative casino near Los Angeles.

___

Suspicion is fueled by Hard Count’s contract. Its president, Billy Horton, is in line to receive 5 percent of the tribe’s business revenue for seven years if, at any point, the annual revenue exceeds $10 million.

___

Rivera’s lobbyist, Paul Moorehead, a former chief counsel to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, reported being paid $20,000 in his 2007 midyear disclosure form. Rivera denied having any connection to gaming but said he would not disclose the identity of donors to the tribe.

The lobbying firm Barbour Griffith Rogers (BGR) worked to REVOKE tribal recognition for 2 Indian tribes in Connecticut in 2005.  

Haley Barbour used to be a lobbyist with Jack Abramoff a long time ago.

Barbour Griffith Rogers also has a client list that would make your liberal head explode.  This includes the Iraqi Kurds, the same foreign government who use the Republican PR firm King Media aka the Russo Marsh/ Move America Forward / Tea Party Express.

Yes, I said Kurds and Tea Party Express, those swiftboating nuts who are currently running Tea Party candidates Sharron Angle against Harry Reid and Christine O’ Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska.  Or at least doing lots of “independent expenditures” for them.

This Shinnecock Nation Indian Casino feud in the Southhamptons of Connecticut has been going on for years, from 2003 – .    This year 2010 the Federal govt. finally recognized them as a tribe.

Another other tribe which was unrecognized was the Schaghticoke.  Also the Pequot were tossed out.


September 27 2009

http://www.indiancountrytoday….

NEW YORK – Almost five years to the date after the BIA issued a devastating reversal of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s federal acknowledgment, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the nation’s ongoing quest to restore its federal status.

The BIA recognized STN in a Final Determination Jan. 29, 2004, then reversed its decision on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, 2005, in an unprecedented Reconsidered Final Determination, taking away the federal acknowledgment of both the Schaghticoke and Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.

In addition to direct contact with officials in the White House, Interior and the BIA, the lobbying was so fierce that it included the first termination bill in Congress since the 1960s, sponsored by a former Connecticut congresswoman, and a threat by a Virginia congressman to go to the White House and have former Interior Secretary Gale Norton fired if she didn’t reverse STN’s federal acknowledgment.

Jimi Castillo’s bio on his campaign website does not mention the Juaneno tribal name, nor any of the ongoing efforts by the two rival factions to get the Juaneno Acjachemen tribe official BIA Federal recognition.

This is just sort of ….. odd.


http://www.jimicastillo.org/bi…

Biography

Jimi Castillo (Tongva / Acjachemen), a respected Native American spiritual leader, has served as a mentor for young men at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility.  Born and raised in Whittier, California, Castillo is a Pipe Keeper and Sun Dancer for the People. He is also a proud member of the statewide Bear Clan Society and a Marine Corps veteran (1960 to 1965).  Jimi participated on the Board of Directors and also contributed as a counselor for the Southeast Area Counseling Center in Santa Fe Springs, California, actively helps plan and staff  UCLA’s annual Graduation Powwow and Youth Leadership Conference and donates much time to work with the UCLA Native American Student Association. Jimi is married to Jeanette Castillo and has four children and nine grandchildren.

Mr. Castillo has done much good in the world with his prison counseling work and in his efforts to protect Native American burial grounds in the Southern California area.

This does not mean on November 5th, because the Greens drew away so much support, that  I want to see the state of California with an ex e Bay executive billionaire Republican who bought the seat as Governor, a global climate change denier Republican as Lt. Governor,  and the woman who outsourced Hewlett Packard and never missed a photo opp with John McCain as Senator.   Especially with McCain being on the Senate’s Dept of the Interior Committee for Indian Affairs.    

Hard to compete for attention with this-


Be An Abel Fan   –  Abel Maldonado ’10 for Lt Governor

Fundraiser in Highland, California

Special Guests Gloria & Emilio Estefan

Where: San Manuel Casino

When: Thursday, October 14, 2010, 5:00 PM

Hosted by:

Alex Meruelo and Luis Armona

Special Guests Gloria & Emilio Estefan

VIP Dinner and Concert

$10,000 Per Couple

Pressure Mounts For Moderate Republicans To Support the DREAM Act

Originally posted on Citizen Orange.

Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) is starting to feel the heat of pro-migrant voters, specifically Latino voters. Tonight, Univision will air a debate in which current Florida governor and U.S. Senate nominee Charlie Crist will come out in support of the DREAM Act.  The day before yesterday, Representive Kendrick Meek (D-FL), and also a nominee for U.S. Senate, hand delivered a letter to LeMieux.  This part of Meek’s letter says it all:

The Stars Have Aligned: The Time Is Now for the DREAM Act

Originally posted at Citizen Orange.

If you haven’t been on facebook, twitter, or following the news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced yesterday that he would be introducing the DREAM Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  Univision anchor Jorge Ramos tweeted last week that Reid wanted to move the DREAM Act before November.  Now we know how Reid wants to move it.  The DREAM Act could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday of next week.

DREAM Now Letters to Barack Obama: Lizbeth Mateo

Originally posted on Citizen Orange.

The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Lizbeth Mateo and I am undocumented. On May 17th, on the 56th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, I, along with Mohammad Abdollahi, Yahaira Carrillo and two others, became the first undocumented students to risk deportation by staging a sit-in inside Senator McCain’s office in Tucson, Arizona, to demand the immediate passage of the DREAM Act. As a result of that sit-in we were arrested, turned over to ICE, and we now face deportation

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