Category Archives: War

“First, they came for the hippies and I said nothing…”

Anti-war protester rejects plea deal

A community activist pepper- sprayed by NFTA police at a downtown anti-war rally two months ago rejected a plea deal Thursday that could have sent him to jail for up to a year.

Nate Buckely turned down an offer to plead to obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, trespass and disorderly conduct. Instead, Buckley will face charges of inciting riot and riot, as well as resisting arrest and disorderly conduct—charges he has asked a judge to dismiss.

Here’s the video of the pepper spray incident. It’s pretty obvious from the clip that the pepper spray was an unnecessary escalation but such tactics are becoming all too common. I’d be interested to see what a person who has devoted his life to spreading a message of nonviolence actually did or what they alledge he did that qualifies as “inciting a riot.”

§ 240.08 Inciting to riot. A person is guilty of inciting to riot when he urges ten or more persons to engage in tumultuous and violent conduct of a kind likely to create public alarm. Inciting to riot is a class A misdemeanor.

Bush, version 3.0: Anti-war = “Terrorist”

He is not who he says he is.

What more evidence of this do we need than his government agents swooping down on non-violent anti-war protestors, using star-chamber search warrents issued under Bush-era PATRIOT Act “terrorism” legislation. See the reports in this weeks news:

Also in this week’s news, are reports on President Obama’s efforts to get the Justice Department to allow him to have American citizens (and others) assassinated without trial or conviction — even if they are not an immediate violent threat to anyone, i.e., for thought crimes.

While all this “news” is going on, Mr. Obama is in New York City presuming to lecture Sudanese officials on freedom and democracy.

In the meantime, also this week, but most decidedly not in the news, I had three transient workers, two white, one black, ask me for directions in Springfield, Illinois! These were guys in their mid- to late-50′s, dragging luggage that they had obviously purchased from the Salvation Army (or perhaps fished from a trash dumpster), who were trying to get from the Greyhound station to the downtown employment services center. One was a handicapped Vietnam vet. The recession, depression, what-ever Mr. Obama and his merry crew of Keynesian economists want to call it, certainly isn’t over for them. I haven’t even heard of “hobos” — that’s what they used to call such poor transient workers in rural Illinois in the old days — since I was child. Welcome back to those not-so-good old days America!

Is this the kind of “hope and change” we were looking for?

The Danger of Courtrooms

Court rooms are unwieldy devices. They often let truths emerge that are inconvenient. This seems to have been the case in the trial this month (April 2010) of Najibullah Zazi, who admitted to dumping his likely ineffectual bomb-making materials (made from beauty salon products) after he changed his mind about bombing the NYC subway system. He then flew home to Denver.

Zazi is a citizen of Afghanistan, but a legal permanent resident of the United States, who is accused of planning to commit suicide with a bomb in a crowded train. His arrest was famously broadcast with video footage of him buying hydrogen peroxide in a Denver beauty supply store. He has plead guilting to planning the crime. What is at issue is the fact that he chose not to commit the crime.

So, what does this mean to jurisprudence in America? It means that the government is now arresting people, not for something they actually did, or even for things they were actively planning to do, but for things that they formerly considered doing, but decided not to. This is alarming enough in itself, but more frightening still is the likelihood that this is only a tiny step away from arresting people for things they might do — given their ethnicities, cultures, religion, personal histories, and personality traits.

While this scenario may sounds like a bad mashup of 1984 and Minority Report, it is, unfortunately, fast becoming the reality of the present-day justice system in post 9/11 America. Only this month (April, 2010), it was reported that the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has begun using software from a private company, IBM, to do predictive modeling of whom is most likely to commit a crime. Citizens of Florida, be very afraid.* Citizens of Missouri should likewise be worried. Even though it was withdrawn following controversy, the Missouri Fusion Center MIAC report classified entire categories of Americans as potential terrorists. Actually, citizens of the whole country should be alarmed. A report from the Department of Homeland Security also identified whole classes of citizens, as disparate as returning veterans, Ron Paul supporters, and born-again Christians, as potential terrorists. Phillip K. Dick’s nightmares are fast becoming our daily realities.

For decades now, scientists have been failing in efforts to use computers to model the behavior of the economy and the weather — both of which are far less complex than the human mind. Using such modeling tools, both the SEC and Federal Reserve put our economy exactly where it is today — mostly broke, and broken. When the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) models get it wrong, the consequences can be even worse. The list of disasters resulting from bad weather predictions is simply too long to enumerate. In either case though, a person — you — can’t end up in jail as the result of a missing variable or a computer bug.

All this technology aside, there is an even more basic, and far larger problem with the concept of pre-emptive prosecution: it undermines civil society. Where is the motive, under such a system, for people to reconsider the consequences of their actions if they can be held equally accountable for committing or not committing the crime? By the same standard being pursued in trying Mr. Zazi, a good percentage of all people are guilty of some crime or another — whether that be having thought of jaywalking or of having considered eliminating their mother-in-law. Predictive prosecution is’t a recipe for a safer society, it is a recipe for turning half the country into a detention camp and the other half into mindless, soulless, unquestioning automatons of the state whose highest common denominator matches the lowest common denominator of the committee of unelected bureaucrats who dictated the parameters of a computer program.

We should not forget that Mr. Zazi was previous investigated and cleared as a threat by the F.B.I. It was only after the Obama administration felt the need to demonstrate a political victory in the war on terror that the case was reevaluated and a plea agreement was extorted out of Mr. Zazi by the Justice Department’s threat of charging his relatives with miscellaneous charges of dubious credibility. As a result, he has plead guilty to charges of having aiding al-Qaeda. Of course, the truth of any matter can never be known with any degree of certainty in plea arrangement situations, which are notoriously abused by overzealous prosecutors.

President Obama where is the change? Under your guidance, America is now not only putting people on trial for “thought crimes,” it is now  extending that abuse of justice to putting them on trial for “past thought” crimes — and that puts us on the slippery slope to far worse: pre-emptive prosecution. Is an Obama Doctrine of Predictive Prosecution, to match the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive War, really the legacy you want to leave America? Is it not crystal clear to you that African-Americans and other minorities will most certainly be disproportionately victimized by such a system?

This is not quite the change we were expecting.

Blessed are the peacemakers


In Downtown Buffalo, New York, Catholics outside St. Joseph’s Cathedral handed out flyers featuring Franz Jagerstatter which promoted their own unique fast. Jagerstatter was an Austrian conscientious objector from Hitler’s Army who was beatified (i.e., declared “blessed,” or having possessed heroic virtue) on October 26, 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI… The flyer handed out by the “Franz Jaggerstatter People for Breaking the Silence” contained the following explanation for their unique fast: “Inspired by the witness of Blessed Franz Jaggerstatter; angered by the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by our government and the subsequent acts of terror and civilian atrocities committed in the past eight years, mourning American casualties, both loss of life as well as physical and mental disabilities; we admit our own complicity by our failure to raise our voices more forcefully.” Click here for the full article…

Left Starting to Turn on the Messiah


Not all hope is lost as Obama continues his Bushian march of Empire-building and war. It appears that some on the left are actually standing up to him unlike the knee-jerk, mindless militarism of the Right during the Bush years.

From Politico:

On Monday morning, Michael Moore wrote an open letter calling on Obama to hold off on escalating the war in Afghanistan during his prime-time speech at West Point. And by the evening, it was another leading liberal voice joining the anti-war chorus: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann.

Even though the comments are weak and sniveling, this is a good start that some lefties will challenge the chicken-hawk, warmonger-in-chief as he sends more off to die and to kill in a no-win quagmire. I only expect the opposition to grow as things dramatically deteriorate.

Obama Sells Out to the Neocons


My latest from The New American magazine which actually makes a great Christmas gift for your freedom loving friends and family. Here’s an excerpt from my article about the blood-thirsty, warmongering, chicken-hawk President Obama and his neoconservative quagmire escalation in Afghanistan:

This is an increase in U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan of over 300 percent from 32,000 at the start of 2009. The cost alone associated with sending more forces over is staggering. Obama’s Office of Management and Budget estimated the cost per every additional service member at $1 million. Spending in Afghanistan on the war has more than doubled over the last year with $6.7 billion spent in June alone. Add this to the sickening fact that the United States just suffered the deadliest month in its eight-year war with 59 deaths in October. Civilian casualties have also been climbing up to 202 in September from 168 in August. Click here for the full article…

Glenn Beck is Useless


Seriously, I can gather everything I need to know about the guy from this quote:

The president is expected to announce plans that he will, “settle on a middle-ground option that would deploy an eventual 32,000 to 35,000 U.S. forces to Afghanistan.”

That’s less than the 40,000 the General wanted and it would take two and a half years for full deployment. That’s more like a “drip” than a surge. Now, I’ve been told there are some reports that say the full two years are needed for logistic reasons. Well, if that’s true, then why would McCrystal request 40,000 within the year?

That’s his beef with warmonger Obama? Obama’s tripling of U.S. forces in Afghanistan since taking office is a “drip?” And this after he said some stuff that got my hopes up. Just goes to show you that you can’t trust anyone from the establishment beltway Right. The two party hoax is sickening.

The GOP should dump the Neocons

By Ed Crane

Which brings us to the war in Afghanistan. The neocons are predictably enthused about the prospect of a prolonged U.S. occupation there. A dozen or so of them recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to up the ante. Astonishingly, the president who was elected as the antiwar left’s protest candidate appears poised to take the neocons’ advice and commit tens of thousands more troops to a conflict in which immediate U.S. interests are unclear at best.

Meanwhile, Obama’s domestic agenda is in shambles. Americans are outraged at the prospect of trillion-dollar deficits, auto bailouts and the subsidies to irresponsible bankers. And they don’t want socialized medicine.

The “tea parties” and town hall meetings are essentially libertarian. There is no conservative policy agenda — only a demand that the government stop trying to run our lives.

Republicans should take this opportunity to return to their traditional noninterventionist roots and throw their neoconservative wing under the bus. The Republicans have a chance at this moment to reclaim the mantle of the party of nonintervention — in your healthcare, in your wallet and in the affairs of other nations. Click here for more…

Warfare-State Stimulus Spending

Billions upon billions of egregious spending on military stuff nobody needs or wants so a group of the native criminal class can funnel stolen loot into their states in the name of saving jobs.
Oh!, and the bribes aren’t bad either.

US politicians face inquiry into arms deals

More than 30 US politicians, among them seven members of a defence procurement committee, are being investigated in congressional ethics inquiries into influence-peddling, according to a document leaked accidentally on to the internet.

The disclosure sheds light on a process by which billions of dollars a year are spent on defence projects that the Pentagon does not want and which limits funds available for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

House Representatives named in the document include John Murtha, the chairman of the House Defence Appropriations Sub-committee, who added so-called “earmarks” worth more than $100 million (£61 million) to last year’s defence budget and received $743,000 in campaign contributions from defence contractors. The contributions were funnelled through the PMA Group, a lobbying company set up by a former aide to Mr Murtha which closed after being raided by the FBI this year.


Give Peace a Chance


The media is in a tizzy over how much more Obama will escalate the Afghanistan Quagmire. The neocon controlled GOP, in love with mindless militarism, are hedging their electoral future on promoting war, war and more war. Meanwhile, the war-hawk Obama who has killed numerous innocent civilians since taking office, vows that, either way, the Afghanistan War is not ending any time soon. We all know how this will play out. The blood-thirsty Obama will send more troops and get more innocent people killed and the blood-thirsty establishment Right will cry that he’s not sending enough troops and not killing enough innocent people.

What has happened to us that our only possible choices are two different flavors of aggressive war? Why can’t anyone in the mainstream promote a position of peace?