• Written by Dave Lindorff

Sinister Cabal Takes Over Washington

by Dave Lindorff,

A sinister cabal of secret agents has infiltrated the U.S. government, working ceaselessly and tirelessly with one goal: to undermine Constitutional government, engineer economic collapse, and foment internecine conflict between races, regions and religions.

Working out in broad daylight, these agents have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams over the past half decade, and appear close to achieving most of their goals.

It is not clear whom it is they are working for, but that hardly matters. What matters is that the American nation today, such as it is, is almost unrecognizable.

The broad freedoms that once made the U.S. the envy of the world have been largely cancelled. The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty has been scrapped. Now people are presumed guilty upon arrest, with hundreds of thousands in prison only because they had no decent lawyer to defend them. The right to be charged, to face one’s accuser, and to a fair trial by a jury of one's peers is gone. Now people may be held indefinitely without charge, are prevented from knowing who said what against them, and don't get a trial, much less a jury of peers. Freedom of speech is largely gone, except for what people say privately to one another--about where it is in the People's Republic of China. The mass media have fallen under the sway of government pressures and are effectively closed to opinions and voices that lie outside of what is deemed "acceptable discourse." Meanwhile most means of communication are being secretly monitored, making people afraid to say or write anything critical of government policy.
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  • Written by Andrew Bard Schmookler

Reason and Emotion in the Anti-Bushite Movement, Or, Hey Democrat-hating Lefties, Get Real

by Andrew Bard Schmookler

Since the midterm elections, my primary focus has shifted from denouncing the Bush regime to exploring how to employ the newly won Democratic power.

This is not a shift in purpose, which is still to defeat the Bushites and to repair the damage that they have done to this nation, to the international system, and to the planet. But the change in circumstances means that our strategy needs a shift in emphasis. After the first stage devoted to waking people up enough to become an electorate that would begin transferring power out of Bushite hands, it now seems to time figure out how to best use that transferred power .

Many people have responded favorably to my strategic shift. But there are people who liked it better when I was denouncing the Bushites than when I portray the Democrats as a potentially effective instrument of our purposes.

Indeed, the very idea of valuing the Democrats and their newly won power makes them angry. And they express this by denouncing the Democrats for their various corruptions and weaknesses.

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  • Written by Amhed Amr

This is where George Bush gets dangerous

By Ahmed Amr

We now have six years of evidence that George Bush is not all there. The occupant of the White House has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary ability to evade reality and a reckless proclivity to steer the nation by a distorted compass made up of cocaine-induced delusions and two decades of insobriety. Add to this mix a little religious fanaticism and a gigantic ego that serves to accentuate an acute case of intellectual dwarfism. 

In Bush, we have a man who accepts only the counsel of those that agree with his rudimentary understanding of history. The man is a gambling fool – the kind of loser who doubles up as his political fortunes evaporate.

It seems forgotten that the 9/11 atrocities happened on the president’s watch.  Turn back the clock and witness a distraught nation rallying around the president and giving him a carte blanche to react as he saw fit. Recall that virtually every government around the world instinctively embraced America, wished her well, demonstrated solidarity and offered full cooperation in hunting down the terrorists responsible for the carnage.

In the months that followed, the president’s popularity went through the roof – some polls had him standing taller than any of his predecessors with a 90% approval rating.  Instead of holding him accountable for his failure to protect the nation from threats that were all too apparent, he was granted a mandate to reshape the world and dilute our sacred civil liberties.  Add a comment

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Another Litvinenko Cluedo

by Copydude

profplumAn interesting walk-on part in the Litvinenko drama is that of Andrei Sidelnikov.

So far, he has made few column inches. In the great murder mystery, he is only reported for having had a sandwich in Oxford Street with Litvinenko and later testing negative for Polonium.

But Andrei is one guy you could perhaps genuinely describe as a fierce critic. Sidelnikov is the leader of Pora! (Translation - It’s time). Pora is a youth movement modelled on the Ukrainian Pora which helped to facilitate the Orange Revolution. Russian Pora’s slogan is ‘Russia without Putin’. Well, that’s fairly clear.

Pora is a marketing clone of the Serbian youth movement that rallied (on NATO’s behalf) against Milosevich. It’s another clone of the (CIA funded) Georgian youth movement that aided the Velvet Revolution. Oh, and Andrei is also a former representative and spokesperson for Boris Berezovsky. (No surprise there.)
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  • Written by William Fisher

The Cost of Islamophobia

By William Fisher

Five years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, “Islamophobia” -- intensified by the war in Iraq and U.S. government actions at home – has left millions of American Muslims fearful of harassment, discrimination, and questionable prosecutions, and confused about their place in American society.

Recent polls indicate that almost half of Americans have a negative perception of Islam and that one in four of those surveyed have "extreme" anti-Muslim views. A survey by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) found that a quarter of Americans consistently believe stereotypes such as: "Muslims value life less than other people" and "The Muslim religion teaches violence and hatred."

In 2005, CAIR received 1,972 civil rights complaints, compared to 1,522 in 2004. This constitutes a 29.6 percent increase in the total number of complaints of anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment from 2004. It is the highest number of Muslim civil rights complaints ever reported to CAIR.
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  • Written by Jonathan Cook

End of the strongmen - Do America and Israel want the Middle East engulfed by civil war?

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
The era of the Middle East strongman, propped up by and enforcing Western policy, appears well and truly over. His power is being replaced with rule by civil war, apparently now the American Administration’s favoured model across the region.

Fratricidal fighting is threatening to engulf, or already engulfing, the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Iraq. Both Syria and Iran could soon be next, torn apart by attacks Israel is reportedly planning on behalf of the US. The reverberations would likely consume the region.

Western politicians like to portray civil war as a consequence of the West’s failure to intervene more effectively in the Middle East. Were we more engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or more aggressive in opposing Syrian manipulations in Lebanon, or more hands-on in Iraq, the sectarian fighting could be prevented. The implication being, of course, that, without the West’s benevolent guidance, Arab societies are incapable of dragging themselves out of their primal state of barbarity.

But in fact, each of these breakdowns of social order appears to have been engineered either by the United States or by Israel. In Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq, sectarian difference is less important than a clash of political ideologies and interests as rival factions disagree about whether to submit to, or resist, American and Israeli interference. Where the factions derive their funding and legitimacy from -- increasingly a choice between the US or Iran -- seems to determine where they stand in this confrontation. 

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  • Written by Murray Polner

More Cannon Fodder?

By Murray Polner

“To many politicians,” once explained Rep. Ron Paul, the Republican Texan libertarian congressional loner, “the American government is America,” thus explaining why every war or national “emergency” creates a national fervor for a draft. “Conscription is wrongly associated with patriotism,” said Paul after Rep. Charles Rangel tried recently to reintroduce a draft, “when really it represents collectivism and involuntary servitude.” For whatever reasons, including opposition to the Iraq death trap, most Americans have for now turned against a draft and its illegitimate child, compulsory national service for all eighteen year olds (girls and gays too?) which Gold correctly described in a 2004 article in Washington Law & Politics as a “kind of allegedly desirable work done via the creation of a monstrous new teenager-herding bureaucracy.”

When Jimmy Carter, intimidated by neoconservatives for being soft on Communism, foolishly reintroduced draft registration to “send a signal” to the Russians after their invasion of Afghanistan it had no effect on Moscow. Within ten years the Soviet Union would collapse of its own incompetence and corruption, none of which had anything to do with draft registration (which because of bureaucratic lethargy and governmental stupidity, still continues wasting taxpayer money). To those in out of Washington still promoting a draft in the hope of deterring other “axis of evil” nations, the suggestion, Gold believes, is highly debatable.

No draft is fair. Nor will many want to serve in Iraq, Iran, North Korea or anywhere else without knowing why. Philip Gold is no dove. A onetime Marine officer (and “disaffected conservative”) who earned a Ph.D. in history from Georgetown and writes about national security issues, he recognizes the serious problems created whenever America has resorted to conscription. In The Coming Draft: The Crisis in Our Military & Why Selective Service is Wrong for America” (Ballantine, 2006), Gold makes a persuasive case against reviving conscription. Add a comment

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  • Written by Mickey Z

Top Ten Ways to Change the World in 2007

by Mickey Z.

1. Wear a "Free Tibet" t-shirt
2. Switch to recycled toilet paper
3. Watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
4. Adopt a Third World orphan
5. Start a discussion about Africa
6. Eat free range chicken
7. Drive a hybrid SUV
8. Subscribe to The Nation
9. Chant for peace in your yoga class
10. Vote Democrat

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net. Add a comment
  • Written by Larry C. Johnson

Three Must Reads

 by Larry C Johnson

The mainstream media has finally caught up and fleshed out some important issues regarding Iraq that I wrote about on Sunday (see The Iraq Catch 22).  There are three in particular you should read:

First take a look at the Washington Post story by Robin Wright and Peter Baker, White House, Joint Chiefs At Odds on Adding Troops.  Let there be no doubt from this point forward, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have found their balls and are pushing back against crazy proposals advanced by the neo-cons.  New SecDef Robert Gates will have ample opportunity in the coming days to demonstrate whether he is on the side of the President or the troops.

Second, it is now official because the New York Times tells us today  (as I said on Sunday) that Attacks in Iraq at Record High, Pentagon Says.  The article by DAVID S. CLOUD and MICHAEL R. GORDON lays out the bad news that notwithstanding the surge of US troops into Baghdad in August and September the violence among the civilian population spiraled upwards.

Finally, as I warned on Sunday, we're going to try to take down Mookie.  Who?  "Mookie" aka Moqtada al Sadr is the villain in the latest Pentagon report.  According to Julian Barnes at the Los Angeles Times, Sadr Army is called top threat in Iraq, A Pentagon report cites the danger of the Shiite cleric's militia.  What Barnes neglects to mention in much detail is that Mookie is not killing U.S. troops.  However, if we move ahead with the neo-con plan to take out Mookie his followers will turn on our troops and that will be a bloodbath that will worsen things in Iraq.  Take that to the bank.
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  • Written by Tom Engelhardt

Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, End of the Year Review, 2026

by Tom Engelhardt,

[Note for Tomdispatch readers: With this post, I'm following so many of you offline for the year. I thank each of you who hung in there with TD through 2006. Have a recuperative holiday season. Let's hope for a distinctly better 2007. You can count on TD returning early in the New Year.]

2006 was a year just grim enough that a bit of perspective seemed a necessity. So Tomdispatch ordered up a little dose of the recent past from the distant future — a trick not normally easy to accomplish, but just about nothing is beyond Rebecca Solnit, this site's resident historian of hope and author of the remarkable book Hope in the Dark (now in a new, expanded edition) — not even a Tomgram from 2026. I look forward to the more modest future — the future of the small and innovative — that she promises. Enjoy. Tom

The Age of Mammals

Looking Back on the First Quarter of the Twenty-First Century
By Rebecca Solnit [For Solomon Solnit (b. Oct. 18, 2006)]

The View from the Grass

I've been writing the year-end other-news summary for Tomdispatch since 2004; somewhere around 2017, however, the formula of digging up overlooked stories and grounds for hope grew weary. So for this year, we've decided instead to look back on the last 25 years of the twenty-first century — but it was creatures from sixty million years ago who reminded me how to do it.

The other day, I borrowed some kids to go gawk with me at the one thing that we can always count on in an ever-more unstable world: age-of-dinosaur dioramas in science museums. This one had the usual dramatic clash between a tyrannosaurus and a triceratops; pterodactyls soaring through the air, one with a small reptile in its toothy maw; and some oblivious grazing by what, when I was young in another millennium, we would have called a brontosaurus. Easy to overlook in all that drama was the shrew-like mammal perched on a reed or thick blade of grass, too small to serve even as an enticing pterodactyl snack. The next thing coming down the line always looks like that mammal at the beginning — that's what I told the kids — inconsequential, beside the point; the official point usually being the clash of the titans.

That's exactly why mainstream journalists spent the first decade of this century debating the meaning of the obvious binaries — the Democrats versus the Republicans, McWorld versus Global Jihad — much as political debate of the early 1770s might have focused on whether the French or English monarch would have supremacy in North America, not long before the former was be beheaded and the latter evicted. The monarchs in all their splashy scale were the dinosaurs of their day, and the eighteenth-century mammal no one noticed at first was named "revolution"; the early twenty-first century version might have been called "localism" or maybe "anarchism," or even "civil society regnant." In some strange way, it turned out that windmill-builders were more important than the U.S. Senate. They were certainly better at preparing for the future anyway.
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  • Written by Rod Amis


by Rod Amis

Dear Keith,

First of all, congratulations on your raings victories over Bill O (your cute abbreviation of Fox News's Bill O'Reilly's name, which we all love.) You have gotten major press about this status just as your contract negotiations are coming up. You and your agent must be in Hog Heaven.

Also Keith, you have to admit that your news commentary essays directed at the Bush Administration and subsequently featured on YouTube and all over the blogosphere, have not hurt one bit. Which is why I'm writing to you today. You see, Keith, I admire the serious essays you've produced this year. But they are out of step with the rest of your show, "The Countdown."

For example, your daily Worst Person in the World, Oddball and Keeping Tabs features are probably big winners for your show, much as the faux news part of "Saturday Night Live" is now a perennial. But I have to admit they personally make me squirm. I feel like I'm watching the E! channel or some similar tripe. Sorry. Add a comment

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  • Written by Stephen Lendman


By Katherine Hughes

The Bush administration and its "justice department keeps finding ways to block justice and circumvent the rights the constitution grants.

For that reason this is an Urgent Request For Funds To Buy Trial Transcripts in defense of a blessed man wrongfully convicted by the Bush Justice Department for his crime of compassion:

In direct response to the humanitarian catastrophe created by the brutal and unjustifiable U.S. and U.K. sponsored UN embargo on Iraq, Dr. Rafil Dhafir started the charity Help the Needy (HTN). For 13 years he worked tirelessly to help publicize the plight of the Iraqi people and to raise funds to help them.

According to the US government, he donated $1.25 million of his own money. As an oncologist, he was particularly concerned about the effects of depleted uranium and skyrocketing Iraqi cancer rates. Because of this humanitarian work he has been incarcerated since February 26, 2003.

Bankrupting Dr.Dhafir was just one of the many tools the Bush Justice Department employed to make it impossible for him to defend himself. They also held him without bail for 31 months and denied him access to his counsel and his own records. He is now serving 22 years in jail for a crime he was never charged with in a court of law.

Although convicted as a white-collar criminal, the US government touts Dr. Dhafir's case as a success in its war on terror. In the most recent obstruction of justice in the case, the government is attempting to reverse an appeal court decision to grant Dr. Dhafir his transcripts at the court's expense; they are almost certain to be successful.

Transcripts are the bedrock of an appeal process and will cost about $22,000. It is 14 months since Dr. Dhafir's sentencing and we have been unable to move forward with the appeal because we don't have the transcripts or the funds to get them.

The vigor of the government's denial of due process from the outset of this case is appalling and a deliberate act of vengeance against this man. One can only wonder why despite the fact that the odds for a successful appeal are abysmal - a mere 5 percent - the government still feels it necessary to inhibit Dr. Dhafir's quest for justice.

During the McCarthy era, Judge Irving Kaufman warned once we embark on shortcuts by creating a category of obviously guilty whose rights are denied, we run the risk that the circle of the unprotected will grow. It is incumbent upon each of us to defend civil liberties for all, not least because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

For more information about the case see my recent Fellowship (Fellowship of Reconciliation) article: http://www.forusa.org/fellowship/nov-dec06/KatherineHughes.html

If you would like to join the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee contact: MacGregor Eddy P.O Box 5789 Salinas CA 93915 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Add a comment