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Did Bradley Manning force Obama to end the Iraq war?

"Cruel and unusual": Did Bradley Manning force Obama to end the Iraq war?


    Who ended the Iraq war? The President is receiving credit for pulling American troops out of that quagmire, but writer Chris Floyd argues that Manning forced Obama's hand. The argument draws from a point made by William Blum:

    It was after seeing American war crimes such as those depicted in the video "Collateral Murder" and documented in the "Iraq War Logs," made public by Manning and Wikileaks, that the Iraqis refused to exempt US forces from prosecution for future crimes. The video depicts an American helicopter indiscriminately murdering several non-combatants in addition to two Reuters journalists, and the wounding of two little children, while the helicopter pilots cheer the attacks in a Baghdad suburb like it was the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

    The insistence of the Iraqi government on legal jurisdiction over American soldiers for violations of Iraqi law — something the United States rarely, if ever, accepts in any of the many countries where its military is stationed — forced the Obama administration to pull the remaining American troops from the country.

Legal Experts Destroy Rationale for Obama’s Assassination Policy … And Slam Democrats for Supporting It

Legal Experts Destroy Rationale for Obama’s Assassination Policy … And Slam Democrats for Supporting It

Obama Expanding Program Started by Cheney

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced at Northwestern University law school that the U.S. can assassinate U.S. citizens without any without disclosure of why they are even alleged to be baddies and without any review of any nature whatsoever by any judge, Congress or the American people.

    Northwestern University’s law school professor Joseph Margulies said:

      I defy anyone to read [Holder's] speech and show any differences between Obama and Bush on these issues, They both say we are in a war not confined to particular battlefield. … Both say we can target citizens without judicial oversight and that can happen anywhere in the world.

    Columbia law school professor Scott Horton notes that this assassination strategy was created by Dick Cheney, and is being carried out by the Obama administration:

      A lot of this seems to have been put in place under the tutelage of Dick Cheney. So here we see one of Dick Cheney’s ideas being ratified by Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder.

Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity with Tavis Smiley

Remaking America

Tavis Smiley moderated a conversation on solutions for restoring America's prosperity with the following people.

Majora Carter, Founder and
President Majora Carter Group
Roger A. Clay, Jr., President Insight
Center for Community Economic Development

Barbara Ehrenreich, Author
Vicki B. Escarra,
President and CEO, Feeding America

Michael Moore, Filmmaker
Suze Orman, Host CNBC

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor
Columbia University, Sustainable Development
Tavis Smiley, Talk Show Host PBS &
Cornel West, Professor Princeton University,
Religion and African Amer. Studies

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

Inside the Mind of the President

Dr. Justin Frank

Dr. Justin Frank talks about his new book, Obama on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President with Peter B. Collins.  Dr. Frank is a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, and previously wrote Bush on the Couch. Frank maintains a private practice in marital and family therapy.  He describes “Obsessive Bipartisan Disorder” and remarks on Obama’s attraction to appeasing the GOP leaders who are committed to his destruction.

Source: Dr. Justin A. Frank Puts ‘Obama on the Couch’

Peter B. Collins

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law

Posted by Amanda Simon, ACLU Blog of Rights

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, allowing indefinite detention to be codified into law. As you know, the White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use it and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations.

The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.

Artists Challenge Ten Years of War

For ten years, the U.S. has been at war in Afghanistan. The human cost continues to mount.

This short video, using mural images from AFSC's Windows and Mirrors Exhibit (, makes a powerful statement about the human cost of the war in Afghanistan. Visit the WAM website to see all the artwork - and to join AFSC's efforts to end the war.

Obama Offers Same Old Sell-out Faux Hope for Jobs as for Health Care

Fool us once blame you. Fool us twice and then again and again and again?

Obama is being credited due to the usual bureaucratic numbers twisting that though he hasn’t been able to increase jobs, he has at least arrested job losses. This is profound bullshit.

Hugh of correntewire has done the real math which deserves a serious read. He has dug into The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September jobs report with its “undercount” and unearthed the real and horrifying dimensions of disemployment in America. He has also explained just how pathetically and grotesquely inadequate Obama’s and the Dem’s faux-emergency solution to the jobs crisis actually is.


The Afghanistan War after 10 years

Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern and Prof. Jonathan Stevenson talk to Peter B. Collins. They talk about Afghanistan and Gen. David Petraeus. McGovern served 27 years in Army intelligence and at the CIA.

Jonathan Stevenson

Professor Stevenson teaches strategic studies at the Naval War College, and has a background as a journalist. He notes that the generals are becoming bolder in overstepping their roles, and that presidents are becoming more passive to this kind of behavior. They talk about Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Syria.

Source: Two Critical Views of Gen. Petraeus: Ray McGovern and Prof. Jonathan Stevenson; plus Will Durst on Birthers

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

Protest and Die-in to Stop the Wars

Protest and Die-in to Stop the Wars
on the 10th anniversary of the war on Afghanistan

Friday, Oct 7, 4:30 - 6pm,
Federal building,
7th and Mission Streets, San Francisco.

Sponsored by ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism),

Carpools from Sac - 916-448-7157

Libya: Here We Go Again

Monday 5 September 2011
by: Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed

A rebel fighter loads ammunition into a canister next to gun mounted onto the back of a truck at a service station on the road between Misrata and Sirte, in Libya, Sept. 3, 2011. The rebels have formed a Supreme Security Committee of civilian officials and militia leaders, which will take control of all security matters in Tripoli. (Photo: Bryan Denton / The New York Times)

Here we go again. The cheering crowds. The deposed dictator. The encomiums to freedom and liberty. The American military as savior. You would think we would have learned in Afghanistan or Iraq. But I guess not. I am waiting for a trucked-in crowd to rejoice as a Gadhafi statue is toppled and Barack Obama lands on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit to announce “Mission Accomplished.” War, as long as you view it through the distorted lens of the corporate media, is not only entertaining, but allows us to confuse state power with personal power.It permits us to wallow in unchecked self-exaltation. We are a nation that loves to love itself.

Austerity = Anarchy

Common sense, right? I guess notsomuch to our political "leadership." Two blogs that prove what we already know. One from the London Review of Books, and the other from MIT. The graph from the MIT blog shows a correlation between escalating food prices and social unrest

Austerity and Anarchy

Thomas Jones 10 August 2011

U.S. empire vs. U.S. republic

Bruce Fein

Dr. Mike Beitler interviews Bruce Fein. Bruce Fein is a constitutional scholar who served as the Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan from 1981 to 1982. Bruce discusses War Powers Act, Renewal of the Patriot Act, and cutting national security/defense spending to balance the budget. He has the best summary of the history of the U.S. empire I've ever heard.
Source: Now Playing:Bruce Fein, Constitutional Scholar & Author

Why Patriot Act Serves Empire, Not Republic
Source: Patriot Act Serves Empire Not a Republic

Obama Institutes Indefinite Detention
Interview with Bruce Fein, former assistant deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, conducted by Scott Harris.
Source: Obama Executive Order to Institutionalize Indefinite Detention

Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren, author of "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the War for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People", talks about his book and his observations on Western-style nation building.
Source: TomCast for May 15, 2010: We Meant Well

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

End Corporate Welfare

David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author. He has worked as an investigative reporter for several newspapers including the New York Times.
He is the author of two bestsellers, "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else" and "Free Lunch: How The Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expenses (and Stick You with the Bill)". In this interview, he talks with Terrence McNally, journalist and radio host.
Source: Q&A: DAVID CAY JOHNSTON - Pulitzer Prize Journalist / Author

Scott Horton

Scott Horton Interviews The Other Scott Horton

The Other Scott Horton discusses the protest letter signed by top U.S. legal scholars – including Obama’s law professor at Harvard – about Bradley Manning’s illegal and immoral conditions of detainment. They talk about how Manning is subjected to unnecessary security/suicide prevention measures to punish and vilify him.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews The Other Scott Horton

Music includes Earth Anthem, We'll Met Again, Charlie Parker - Scrapple from the Apple, Do You Hear?, Hero of War, drunken lullabies, Strange Fruit, South of the Border, Lodi, I Ain't Marching Anymore, If You Want to Stop Terrorism then Stop Killing Muslims

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

As Obama Administration Negotiates Away Democratic Party Principles - Time for a 2012 Primary Challenge?

Karen Bernal photoOriginally published in the California Progress Report
By Karen Bernal
Progressive Caucus of the CA Democratic Party

We've had enough. The country has had enough.

As elated as we were when President Obama was elected in 2008, after a disastrous eight years under the repressive and war-mongering Bush Administration, the Obama Administration has been a major disappointment to the working class and Progressives of this country.

So much so that on July 30, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party adopted a resolution criticizing President Obama for negotiating away Democratic Party principles to extremist Republicans, and suggesting that we may explore steps to "effect necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama." The resolution, overwhelmingly adopted at a meeting of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party July 30, did not say President Obama would not be that candidate.

The officers and members of the caucus are willing to meet with the President if he wishes to discuss our concerns. In fact, we would welcome the opportunity. Our Caucus leadership wishes HOPE BEYOND HOPE that President Obama will rework his priorities to respond to the needs of working class Americans in order to get progressive support in 2012.

Iraq war veterans speak out “Refuse to fight Wall Street’s wars!”

Sun. Aug. 14, 5pm
2969 Mission St. btwn 25th and 26th Sts.
near 24th St. BART, #14, 49 MUNI

Forum: Iraq war veterans speak out
“Refuse to fight Wall Street’s wars!”
March Forward! members speak in San Francisco

Iraq war veterans turned anti-war organizers will speak in San Francisco about their experiences in Washington’s wars, how it transformed them into anti-war activists, and how they are building a GI resistance movement within the U.S. military today.

The event is organized by March Forward!, an organization of veterans and active-duty troops opposed to the wars (click here to learn more about March Forward!), and will come on the heels of a major speak-out at Army base Fort Lewis, where they have been organizing among active-duty soldiers.