Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Last Nail by Ron Paul

Congressman Ron Paul delivered a five-minute speech on the floor of the House of Representatives May 25, a short speech that may sound to the uninformed like one wild statement after another. In his speech, Dr. Paul (he's an obstetrician) made a number of charges that the executive branch of government has established a virtual dictatorship with the willing assistance of Congress and many Americans who fear for their "security." But Congressman Paul is complaining about the erosion of constitutional protections that have already happened.

The Last Nail

by Congressman Ron Paul

Congress turns on President Obama: Invokes War Powers Resolution

Cannot take democracy to Libya without safeguarding democracy at home

Monday, in a 248 to 163 vote, the US House of Representatives turned on President Obama by invoking the War Powers Resolution to prohibit funding U.S. military operations in Libya. The House adopted an amendment to a military appropriations bill to end what some Congressional leaders have called Obama's dictatorship and behaving like a king.
Congressional leaders have expressed dissatisfaction at U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to begin and to continue a war on Libya without congressional authorization, a serious violation.
According to U.S. law, the president must seek congressional authorisation to send US troops into combat. He failed to do that and is, therefore, in violation of the War Powers Act and the U.S. Constitution. (See embedded Press TV Youtube video on page left.)
Under U.S. law, the resident must also withdraw forces within 60 days if Congress did not authorize the military action.
Al Jazeera reported Tuesday that the military appropriations amendment, introduced by Democratic representative Brad Sherman (D - CA) invokes the War Powers Resolution, the 1973 law limiting presidential powers on sending troops into combat zones abroad without Congressional consent. 
Sherman's text states, "none of the funds made available by this act may be used in contravention of the War Powers Act."
Politicians must now approve the appropriations bill as a whole and the Senate needs to approve the measure.

Continue reading here.

Gaddafi impeded U.S. oil interests before the war (coincidence?)

When the war in Libya began, the U.S. government convinced a large number of war supporters that we were there to achieve the very limited goal of creating a no-fly zone in Benghazi to protect civilians from air attacks, while President Obama specifically vowed that "broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake."  This no-fly zone was created in the first week, yet now, almost three months later, the war drags on without any end in sight, and NATO is no longer even hiding what has long been obvious: that its real goal is exactly the one Obama vowed would not be pursued -- regime change through the use of military force.  We're in Libya to forcibly remove Gaddafi from power and replace him with a regime that we like better, i.e., one that is more accommodating to the interests of the West.  That's not even a debatable proposition at this point.
What I suppose is debatable, in the most generous sense of that term, is our motive in doing this.  Why -- at a time when American political leaders feel compelled to advocate politically radioactive budget cuts to reduce the deficit and when polls show Americans solidly and increasingly opposed to the war -- would the U.S. Government continue to spend huge sums of money to fight this war?  Why is President Obama willing to endure self-evidently valid accusations -- even from his own Party -- that he's fighting an illegal war by brazenly flouting the requirements for Congressional approval?  Why would Defense Secretary Gates risk fissures by so angrily and publicly chiding NATO allies for failing to build more Freedom Bombs to devote to the war?  And why would we, to use the President's phrase, "stand idly by" while numerous other regimes -- including our close allies in Bahrain and Yemen and the one in Syria -- engage in attacks on their own people at least as heinous as those threatened by Gaddafi, yet be so devoted to targeting the Libyan leader?
Whatever the answers to those mysteries, no responsible or Serious person, by definition, would suggest that any of this  -- from today's Washington Post -- has anything to do with it:
The relationship between Gaddafi and the U.S. oil industry as a whole was odd. In 2004, President George W. Bush unexpectedly lifted economic sanctions on Libya in return for its renunciation of nuclear weapons and terrorism. There was a burst of optimism among American oil executives eager to return to the Libyan oil fields they had been forced to abandon two decades earlier. . . .
Yet even before armed conflict drove the U.S. companies out of Libya this year, their relations with Gaddafi had soured. The Libyan leader demanded tough contract terms. He sought big bonus payments up front. Moreover, upset that he was not getting more U.S. government respect and recognition for his earlier concessions, he pressured the oil companies to influence U.S. policies. . . .
When Gaddafi made his deal with Bush in 2004, he had hoped that returning foreign oil companies would help boost Libya’s output . . . The U.S. government also encouraged American oil companies to go back to Libya. . . .
The companies needed little encouragement. Libya has some of the biggest and most proven oil reserves -- 43.6 billion barrels -- outside Saudi Arabia, and some of the best drilling prospects. . . . Throughout this time, oil prices kept rising, whetting the appetite for greater supplies of Libya's unusually "sweet" and "light," or high-quality, crude oil.
By the time Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited in 2008, U.S. joint ventures accounted for 510,000 of Libya's 1.7 million barrels a day of production, a State Department cable said. . . .
But all was not well. By November 2007, a State Department cable noted "growing evidence of Libyan resource nationalism." It noted that in his 2006 speech marking the founding of his regime, Gaddafi said: "Oil companies are controlled by foreigners who have made millions from them. Now, Libyans must take their place to profit from this money." His son made similar remarks in 2007.
Oil companies had been forced to give their local subsidiaries Libyan names, the cable said. . . .
The entire article is worth reading, as it details how Gaddafi has progressively impeded the interests of U.S. and Western oil companies by demanding a greater share of profits and other concessions, to the point where some of those corporations were deciding that it may no longer be profitable or worthwhile to drill for oil there.  But now, in a pure coincidence, there is hope on the horizon for these Western oil companies, thanks to the war profoundly humanitarian action being waged by the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner and his nation's closest Western allies:
But Libya's oil production has foundered, sagging to about 1.5 million barrels a day by early this year before unrest broke out. The big oil companies, several of which had drilled dry holes, felt that Libya was not making the best exploration prospects available. One major company privately said that it was on the verge of a discovery but that unrest cut short the project.
With the country torn by fighting, the big international oil companies are treading carefully, unwilling to throw their lot behind Gaddafi or the rebel coalition.
Yet when representatives of the rebel coalition in Benghazi spoke to the U.S.-Libya Business Council in Washington four weeks ago, representatives from ConocoPhillips and other oil firms attended, according to Richard Mintz, a public relations expert at the Harbour Group, which represents the Benghazi coalition. In another meeting in Washington, Ali Tarhouni, the lead economic policymaker in Benghazi, said oil contracts would be honored, Mintz said.
"Now you can figure out who’s going to win, and the name is not Gaddafi," Saleri said. "Certain things about the mosaic are taking shape. The Western companies are positioning themselves."
"Five years from now," he added, "Libyan production is going to be higher than right now and investments are going to come in."
Read the entire article here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

We no longer have freedom; there is only the appearance of freedom.

By Chris Hedges
In Franz Kafka’s short story “Before the Law” a tireless supplicant spends his life praying for admittance into the courts of justice. He sits outside the law court for days, months and years. He makes many attempts to be admitted. He sacrifices everything he owns to sway or bribe the stern doorkeeper. He ages, grows feeble and finally childish. He is told as he nears death that the entrance was constructed solely for him and it will now be closed.
Justice has become as unattainable for Muslim activists in the United States as it was for Kafka’s frustrated petitioner. The draconian legal mechanisms that condemn Muslim Americans who speak out publicly about the outrages we commit in the Middle East have left many, including Syed Fahad Hashmi, wasting away in supermax prisons. These citizens posed no security threat. But they dared to speak a truth about the sordid conduct of our nation that the state found unpalatable. And in the bipartisan war on terror, waged by Republicans and Democrats, this ugly truth in America is branded seditious.

The best the U.S. government could offer as evidence of Fahad’s crimes was that an acquaintance who stayed in his apartment with him while he was a graduate student in London had raincoats, ponchos and waterproof socks in luggage at the apartment and that the acquaintance eventually delivered these to al-Qaida. But I doubt the government is overly concerned with a suitcase full of waterproof socks taken to Pakistan. The reason Fahad Hashmi was targeted was because, like the Palestinian activist Dr. Sami Al-Arian, he was fearless and zealous in his defense of those being bombed, shot, terrorized and killed throughout the Muslim world while he was a student at Brooklyn College. Fahad was deeply religious, and some of his views, including his praise of the Afghan resistance, were to me unpalatable, but he had a right to express these sentiments. More important, he had a right to expect freedom from persecution and imprisonment because of his opinions. Facing the possibility of a 70-year sentence in prison and having already spent four years in jail, much of it in solitary confinement, he accepted a plea bargain on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.
It has been a year since his 15-year sentence was pronounced in a New York courtroom. He is now held in Guantanamo-like conditions in the supermax ADX [Administrative Maximum] facility in Florence, Colo. He is isolated in a small cell for 22 to 23 hours a day. He has only extremely limited contact with his mother, father and brother, often going weeks without any communication. Between his transfer to Florence last August and this March he was permitted only one phone call. The rule of law in America, especially if you are Muslim, fits Kafka’s grim parody. The tyranny we impose on those held in Guantanamo, Bagram and the secret CIA “black sites” we impose on ourselves. This is and always has been the disease of empire. Empire imports the crude and brutal tools of control and violence back to the homeland. It creates internal as well as external colonies.
Read entire article here:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

America can no longer afford the blood and treasure required to fight pointless wars in perpetuity

 The jockeying for position on troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq continues. Recently, departing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the U.S. military have tried to box the Obama administration into leaving as many troops in Afghanistan as possible. Gates argued that a rapid withdrawal would threaten the gains accrued from the surge of 30,000 troops. Gates opined, “I would try to maximize my combat capability as long as this process goes on—I think that’s a no-brainer.” He has argued for a modest withdrawal, which other sources have pegged at between 3,000 and 5,000 troops; in other words, only a token pullout to fulfill President Obama’s pledge to begin withdrawing troops this summer.
Pushing back are Vice President Joe Biden and the White House staff, including National Security Adviser Tom Donilon. Biden and Donilon were initially skeptical of the troop surge and are pushing for a more rapid withdrawal. Biden backs a speedier pullout but wants to keep a smaller force to perform counterterrorism missions and train the Afghan military.
 It is true that U.S. “gains” from the surge in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in southern Afghanistan are likely to be ephemeral unless American forces remain. In guerrilla wars, the foreign occupier’s superior technology and firepower can usually clear areas of less well-equipped insurgents. The problem is holding the territory after the foreign occupier’s forces have moved on. That would normally be done by Afghan forces, which are expanding but have 30 percent desertion per year, have only a 10 percent literacy rate among recruits, and are thoroughly corrupt (like the rest of the U.S.-backed client Afghan government). Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, in charge of training Afghan troops, however, prefers to look on the bright side; he argues that Afghan forces are improving because they must now be certified to be competent in using their weapons before joining the force, which wasn’t a requirement before. Surely, American troops that have to go into battle with these ragtag Afghans are ecstatic about this development.
More important, the Taliban has just moved to other parts of Afghanistan and is now attacking in the east, north, and west of Afghanistan. Since the U.S. has too few troops to conduct a counterinsurgency strategy in all parts of the country and the Afghan forces are too incompetent to fill the gaps, the wishful gains that the U.S. military sees in Afghanistan are largely illusory, as yet another prime fighting season begins. In the early 1980s, the U.S. encouraged a similar nationwide counterinsurgency strategy by the Salvadoran military, which also had too few troops to police the entire nation. The strategy failed because the insurgents just moved to areas that had fewer government troops. Baseball great Yogi Berra would say that Afghanistan is “déjà vu all over again.”
Read entire article here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Must watch film about the corrupt medical establishments suppressed cure for cancer

This film is free to watch June 11th through June 13th.  It is a stunning accusation of the medical industrial complex, and will blow you away.  Watch quickly HERE

Friday, June 10, 2011

Robert Scheer: The Bernanke Scandal: Full-Frontal Cluelessness

"Ben Bernanke claimed that the relief that the Fed provided to the bankers by buying up more than $1.2 trillion of the toxic mortgages those bankers had created “has been accomplished, I should note, at no net cost to the federal budget or to the U.S. taxpayer.”

This is the Big Lie technique at work, employed by a huge banking lobby that stresses the direct cost of the TARP program while ignoring other programs that will not be paid back, as well as the additional cost of $5 trillion to the national debt that a proper Fed policy could have avoided.

The record is by now indelibly clear that the economic approaches pursued by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with Bernanke playing a key role in both administrations, can be most accurately summarized as a policy of government of the bankers, by the bankers, and for the bankers."
Full article here.