Che Guevara

A Victory for All of Us: Obama's NDAA struck down in court of law

© AP/Mary Altaffer
Iraq War veteran Sgt. Shamar Thomas leads a demonstration in New York’s Grand Central Station to call attention to a law signed by President Barack Obama that granted extraordinary powers to the military.
In January, attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran asked me to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that challenged the harsh provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We filed the lawsuit, worked for hours on the affidavits, carried out the tedious depositions, prepared the case and went to trial because we did not want to be passive in the face of another egregious assault on basic civil liberties, because resistance is a moral imperative, and because, at the very least, we hoped we could draw attention to the injustice of the law. None of us thought we would win. But every once in a while the gods smile on the damned.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, in a 68-page opinion, ruled Wednesday that Section 1021 of the NDAA was unconstitutional. It was a stunning and monumental victory. With her ruling she returned us to a country where - as it was before Obama signed this act into law Dec. 31 - the government cannot strip a U.S. citizen of due process or use the military to arrest him or her and then hold him or her in military prison indefinitely. She categorically rejected the government's claims that the plaintiffs did not have the standing to bring the case to trial because none of us had been indefinitely detained, that lack of imminent enforcement against us meant there was no need for an injunction and that the NDAA simply codified what had previously been set down in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act. The ruling was a huge victory for the protection of free speech. Judge Forrest struck down language in the law that she said gave the government the ability to incarcerate people based on what they said or wrote. Maybe the ruling won't last. Maybe it will be overturned. But we and other Americans are freer today than we were a week ago. And there is something in this.

Great-grandma: Ready to 'lose' my life protesting


The Psychopaths Killed Another American

The Psychopaths killed another American this month. Dave Johnson over at AlterNet is telling the story of Norman Rousseau and his wife - two people who did everything they were supposed to do. They were responsible homeowners who did business with Wells Fargo and put a 30% down payment on this house in California back in 2000, and they made every payment from then on - never missing even one single month. At that same time, the housing bubble frenzy took off. Banks discovered they could make enormous profits dragging homeowners away from safe fixed-rate mortgages and into exploding adjustable rate mortgages. For the bank, it didn't matter if the interest rate on the new loan would skyrocket and eventually lead to a foreclosure. The bank got their money no matter what, either through missed payment fees, late-payment fees, refinancing fees, and then after foreclosure through government support, tax write-offs, and the underlying value of the property, which they end up with.

Comment: If you haven't yet, buy these books, read them, pass them around. It's not too late but time's a-wastin'...

Without Conscience
Snakes in Suits
Sociopath Next Door
Puzzling People
Political Ponerology

Che Guevara

Veterans Symbolically Discard Service Medals at anti-NATO Rally

© Reuters / Adrees Latif
A U.S. war veteran pulls his medals off his uniform before throwing them towards the site of the NATO Summit in Chicago on May 20, 2012. Nearly 50 veterans threw service medals into the street near the summit site in protest.
Chicago - Nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street on Sunday, an action they said symbolized their rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some of the veterans, many wearing military uniform shirts over black anti-war t-shirts, choked back tears as they explained their actions. Others folded an American flag while a bugle played "Taps," which is typically performed at U.S. military funerals.

"The medals are supposed to be for acts of heroism. I don't feel like a hero. I don't feel like I deserve them," said Zach LaPorte, who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.

LaPorte, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer from Milwaukee, said he enlisted in the Army at 19 because he felt there were few other options. At the time, he could not afford to stay in college.

"I witnessed civilian casualties and civilians being arrested in what I consider an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation," LaPorte said.

He said he was glad the United States had withdrawn its combat troops from Iraq, but said he did not believe the NATO military alliance was going to leave Afghanistan.

Comment: From natoindymedia at Chicago:


Bank Runs In Greece Will Soon Be Followed By Bank Runs In Other European Nations

The bank runs that we are watching right now in Greece are shocking, but they are only just the beginning. Since May 6th, nearly one billion dollars has been withdrawn from Greek banks. For a small nation like Greece, that is an absolutely catastrophic number. At this point, the entire Greek banking system is in danger of collapsing. If you had money in a Greek bank, why wouldn't you pull it out?

If Greece leaves the euro, all euros in Greek banks will likely be converted to drachmas, and the value of those drachmas will almost certainly decline dramatically. In fact, it has been estimated that Greek citizens could see the value of their bank accounts decline by up to 50 percent if Greece leaves the euro. So if you had money in a Greek bank, it would only make sense to withdraw it and move it to another country as quickly as possible.

And as the eurozone begins to unravel, this is a scenario that we are going to see play out in country after country. As member nations leave the eurozone, you would be a fool to have your euros in Italian banks or Spanish banks when you could have them in German banks instead. So the bank runs that are happening in Greece right now are only a preview of things to come. Before this crisis is over we are going to see bank runs happening all over Europe.

If Greece leaves the euro, the consequences are likely to be quite messy. Those that are promoting the idea that a "Grexit" can be done in an orderly fashion are not being particularly honest. The following is from a recent article in the Independent....

Comment: Nationalized Spanish Bank Plummets On News Of Bank Run

Light Saber

Protect Yourself from Radiation: Take Vitamin C Daily, Take Responsibility For Yourselves

Fukushima Video by The Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy

The government of Japan has failed to protect its people and is hiding the dangers of radiation from Fukushima. There are options for radio-protection that have not been disclosed.

When people cannot avoid radioactive contamination, there are safe radioprotectants that can help prevent the damage.

Video in English and Japanese with subtitles.

Comment: Chernobyl: A Million Casualties


Hillary's Terrorists: US about to delist a dangerous terror group

On May 21, 1975, Col. Paul Shaffer, a military attaché to the US mission in Iran, kissed his wife and two children goodbye, and entered a waiting car with his colleague, Lt. Col. Jack Turner, whose wife was getting their three children ready for school. It was the last time the families of these two US servicemen would see them alive.

As the Iranian driver pulled into a side street to avoid traffic a car blocked their passage and another car rammed them from behind. Three gunmen appeared and fired at the two Americans pointblank, killing them instantly: the three escaped in a third car, leaving a leaflet on the blood-drenched seat. The leaflet denounced "US imperialism" and bore the imprint of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), or "People's Crusaders," a Marxist-Islamist group led by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.

All in all, the MEK killed 6 Americans in Iran: Lt. Col. Louis Lee Hawkins, an Army comptroller, cut down by gunman in front of his Tehran home, and William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard, all employees of Rockwell International. They wounded Air Force Gen. Harold L. Price, and tried and failed to kidnap the US ambassador, Douglas MacArthur II. After the Iranian Revolution, the MEK supported the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran, opposed the release of the diplomats - calling a mass demonstration in protest - and demanded their execution.

Light Saber

US Judge Blocks Obama's Fascist NDAA Indefinite Detention Law

© Unknown
Manhattan, New York - A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction late Wednesday to block provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of knowingly or unknowingly supporting terrorism.

Signed by President Barack Obama on New Year's Eve, the 565-page NDAA contains a short paragraph, in statute 1021, letting the military detain anyone it suspects "substantially supported" al-Qaida, the Taliban or "associated forces." The indefinite detention would supposedly last until "the end of hostilities."

In a 68-page ruling blocking this statute, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest agreed that the statute failed to "pass constitutional muster" because its broad language could be used to quash political dissent.

"There is a strong public interest in protecting rights guaranteed by the First Amendment," Forrest wrote. "There is also a strong public interest in ensuring that due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment are protected by ensuring that ordinary citizens are able to understand the scope of conduct that could subject them to indefinite military detention."

Weeks after Obama signed the law, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges filed a lawsuit against its so-called "Homeland Battlefield" provisions.Several prominent activists, scholars and politicians subsequently joined the suit, including Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg; Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Noam Chomsky; Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir; Kai Wargalla, an organizer from Occupy London; and Alexa O'Brien, an organizer for the New York-based activist group U.S. Day of Rage.

They call themselves the Freedom Seven.

In a signing statement, Obama contended that the language in Section 1021 "breaks no new ground" and merely restates the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF).

Government lawyers whistled the same tune to swat away the lawsuit, but they failed to convince the judge that no changes had been made.

"Section 1021 tries to do too much with too little - it lacks the minimal requirements of definition and scienter that could easily have been added, or could be added, to allow it to pass constitutional muster," Forrest wrote.

Light Saber

Greeks withdraw $894 million in a day: Is this beginning of a run on banks?

Political leaders in Athens were due to discuss an emergency government Wednesday to deal with a possible run on banks as it emerged Greeks withdrew almost $900 million in a single day, fearing their country could crash out of the euro currency by the end of the week.

An interim government would take the country through to new elections on June 17, triggered by the collapse on Tuesday of talks to form a coalition between winners of the inconclusive May 6 election.

Greeks are withdrawing euros from banks, apparently afraid of the prospect of rapid devaluation if the country leaves the European single currency and returns to the drachma.

Comment: Despite the fear mongering promoted by the "experts" above, if Greece leaves the eurozone, though they will face difficulties initially, the possibility exists that the country and its people would reclaim their sovereignty eventually. The change in currency has nothing to do with the creation of totalitarian regimes, as a look at current international politics proves.

Bad Guys

Perverted Justice: The Rise of Secret Trials in America

One of the lasting challenges to America's federal judiciary will be addressing American complicity in the tortures and disappearances of the past ten years. Two recent appeals-court decisions show us how judicial panels are tackling these issues: by shielding federal officials and their contractors from liability, and even by glorifying the fruits of their dark arts. In the process, legal prohibitions on torture are being destroyed through secrecy and legal sleight of hand, and our justice system is being distorted and undermined.

War Whore

Vote for Endless War: In 2012, whoever gets elected, its the Pentagon that wins

© Getty

Let's start with this: according to the Pentagon, the production and acquisition costs of Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet, the military's most expensive weapons program, have risen yet again, this time by 4.3% since 2010 to $395.6 billion. If you're talking about the total cost of the system, including maintenance and support for the nearly 2,500 planes that will some (endlessly delayed) day be produced for the military, that has now reached an estimated $1.51 trillion, a 9% rise since 2010. All this for a plane that some experts doubt has any particular purpose in the future U.S. arsenal.