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Protect America: Spying Lies

More Lies From The Bush Fascists
by Paul Craig Roberts
President George W. Bush and his director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, are telling the American people that an unaccountable executive branch is necessary for their protection. 
Without the Protect America Act, Bush and McConnell claim, the executive branch will not be able to spy on terrorists, and we will all be blown up. Terrorists can only be stopped, Bush says, if Bush has the right to spy on everyone without any oversight by courts.

The fight over the Protect America Act has everything to do with our safety, only not in the way that Bush and McConnell assert.  

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Change We Can Recycle: A Presidential Campaign Quiz

Change We Can Recycle: A Presidential Campaign Quiz
by Mickey Z.    
Every four years, we get Coke vs. Pepsi. MasterCard vs. Visa. McDonald's vs. Burger King. Leno vs. Letterman. Can you differentiate between the campaign quotes below?

1. "We will keep America the strongest nation in the world. And we will couple that strength with firm diplomacy—no apologies, no regrets. Always willing to negotiate for peace, but never conceding anything without getting a concession in return."
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Hillier: The General Does Not Debate

Hillier: The General Does Not Debate
by C. L. Cook
Canada's Numero Uno military man, shoot from the lip Rick Hillier mounted a pre-emptive attack on those parliamentarians with the temerity to voice doubt over the course the country has taken in Afghanistan.
In fact Hillier says those expressions are in essence aiding the "Taliban" and could be proving the impetus for the spate of suicide attacks mounted against Canadian soldiers over the last several weeks.

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Tatters Beneath a Surge of Claims

In Tatters Beneath a Surge of Claims
by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail
What the U.S. has been calling the success of a "surge", many Iraqis see as evidence of catastrophe. Where U.S. forces point to peace and calm, local Iraqis find an eerie silence. And when U.S. forces speak of a reduction in violence, many Iraqis simply do not know what they are talking about.

Hundreds died in a series of explosions in Baghdad last month. This was despite the strongest ever security measures taken by the U.S. military, riding the "surge" in security forces and their activities.

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Haiti: A Cycle of State Violence

Brazilian Military’s Experience Comes Full Circle in Haiti
by Kevin Pina
US Marines, Canadian Special Forces and troops of the French Foreign Legion were authorized by the UN Security Council to 'stabilize' Haiti following the ouster of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004.
In June 2004, the United Nations sent the militaries of Brazil, Argentina and Chile to take control of Haiti with the objective of creating conditions for new elections. The Brazilian armed forces were given overall control of the military component of the UN operation.

On February 19, 2008, Brazilian military forces stormed the neighborhood of Village de Dieu on the outskirts of the capital of Port-au-Prince. Their troops entered with weapons drawn and began a massive sweep with UN police in tow that ended with the arrest of dozens of young men in the area. Residents claim this military incursion was executed without a single warrant being presented from Haiti’s courts or just cause.
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Of Surge and Siege: A Terrifying Journey Through the American Psyche

Crusade of Surge and Siege
by Manuel Valenzuela
Sojourn into the outer recesses of a nation bordering on madness, into a land deeply disturbed and emotionally bewildered, a world of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism, of fanaticism and fundamentalism, entering a case study into fantasyland and escapism, taking a pilgrimage into realms both of purposeful ignorance and blindness, of electing lifelong incompetents based on wanting to have a beer with them, walking through the dark valley of indifference, climbing the monolithic mountain of hubris, finally reaching the hallowed halls of smoke and mirrors, a place where only the blind lead the blind and where the deafening roars of death and destruction are easily suppressed in delusion and denial.
Journey, if you will, into a nation that lost its moral compass inside the dungeons of fear and hatred.

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know where the !@#$% Tajikistan is?

Admit it: You don’t know where the !@#$% Tajikistan is
by Greg Palast
Or Kyrgyzstan. Or Turkmenistan. But as your kids will be fighting there among the oil pipes, you should kiss Ted Rall’s crazy ass for going there first - and getting it all down in a book of dead-on cartoons and reportage, Silk Road to Ruin.

Rall almost didn’t make it back. The Taliban who was supposed to execute Rall spoke English - the gunman picked it up as an NYU grad student. As happens when two guys from New York get together, they talked about New York women. Rall told his executioner that you could learn a lot about women by looking at their legs. The Talib said he looks at their eyes. “Not like you got much choice,” Ted opined, noting the draped figures nearby.

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Freedom to Speak: Another Look at the First Amendment

Freedom of the Press, Bush Edition
by Scott Horton
Today No Comment features an interview with Anthony Lewis based on his new book Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment.
Lewis celebrates the triumph of modern First Amendment liberties, starting with the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Louis Brandeis, through the break-through year of 1931, when the Supreme Court finally began to take the First Amendment seriously and on to current issues relating to commercial speech, the internet and political speech.
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Fidel Steps Out, Corpse Media Tees Off

Fidel Steps Down, Press Puts Him Down; Obama, McCain Win Again
by Danny Schechter
A wall of predictable mostly one-sided media hostility, sarcasm, criticism and contempt in the press, laced with a large dose of anti-communism and “democratic” pretension greeted the announcement that Fidel Castro was stepping down as the President of Cuba in a peaceful transfer of power after having outsurvived 8 US presidents, most of who tried to ignore, isolate and even kill him. That in itself is quite a political achievement.
I am sure if a global poll was taken tomorrow on who is more admired, the Cuban President or our own, you know which would get the most votes.

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Kosovo: NATO and the Gangsters

Kosovo: The US and the EU support a Political Process linked to Organized Crime
by Michel Chossudovsky
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is part of a criminal syndicate.
Hashim Thaci and EU Secretary-General Javier Solana

"Our orientations are clear. The building of the state of Kosova, economic development, economic and social well-being and rigorous measures against corruption, organized crime and negative behavior, so we can have improved security and integrate Kosova into European Union structures." - (Hashim Thaci, chairman of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Prime Minister of the Kosovo provisional government, former KLA leader and known criminal)
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Presto! Change-O!: Bush the Magnificent

The Million Year War: How Never to Withdraw from Iraq
by Tom Engelhardt
Think of the top officials of the Bush administration as magicians when it comes to Iraq. Their top hats and tails may be worn and their act fraying, but it doesn't seem to matter. Their latest "abracadabra," the President's "surge strategy" of 2007, has still worked like a charm.
They waved their magic wands, paid off and armed a bunch of former Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists (about 80,000 "concerned citizens," as the President likes to call them), and magically lowered "violence" in Iraq. Even more miraculously, they made a country that they had already turned into a cesspool and a slagheap -- its capital now has a "lake" of sewage so large that it can be viewed "as a big black spot on Google Earth" -- almost entirely disappear from view in the U.S.

Of course, what they needed to be effective was that classic adjunct to any magician's act, the perfect assistant.
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