Saturday, February 20, 2010

Truthout 2/20

DOJ Report on Torture Memo: Yoo Said Bush Could Order Civilians "Exterminated"
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "A long-awaited report into the legal memos former Justice Department attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee prepared for the Bush administration on torture was released Friday afternoon and concluded that the men violated 'professional standards' and should be referred to state bar associations where a further review of their legal work could have led to the revocation of their law licenses."
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Bill Moyers and Michael Winship | What Are We Bid for American Justice?
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Truthout: "That famous definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing has come to define this present moment of American politics. No wonder people have lost faith in politicians, in parties and in our leadership. The power of money drives cynicism deep into the heart of every level of government."
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E.J. Dionne Jr. | The Elephant at the Health Care Summit
E.J. Dionne Jr.: "This week will determine the shape of American politics for the next three years. No, that's not one of those journalistic exaggerations intended to catch your attention, although I hope it did. It's an accurate description of the stakes at the health care summit President Obama has called for Thursday."
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ACLU Sues USAID: Are We Exporting US Taxpayer-Funded Religion?
Amie Newman, RH Reality Check: "The ACLU has waited long enough. On Thursday, February 18th, they filed a lawsuit against USAID for refusing to comply with their Freedom of Information Act requests from July and September 2009, for documents related to USAID-funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs abroad. The ACLU has patiently awaited documents that may help shed light on an audit completed last year suggesting USAID is dispersing money, unconstitutionally, for religiously-based HIV prevention programs."
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Cindy Sheehan | Lost Causes Are the Only Causes Worth Fighting For
Cindy Sheehan, Truthout: "In the movie, 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,' at the end of a filibuster, idealistic freshman US Sen. Jeff Smith (played by Jimmy Stewart) reminds us that the struggle is what counts. 'Lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for,' he says. Just before collapsing on the Senate Floor, he croaks out, 'you fight for the lost causes even harder than the others - you even die for them.'"
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Obama's Pentagon Rebrands Iraq War, Rolls Out PR Offensive in Afghanistan
Liliana Segura, AlterNet: "This week, the same week that saw the U.S. military launch a major new assault in Afghanistan - a much ballyhooed effort that is as much a PR offensive as a military one - the Pentagon decided to formally rebrand the Iraq War. In a one-page memo dated Feb. 17, 2010 and signed by Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense officially requested that U.S. Central Command 'change the name of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn.'"
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DOJ, FBI Close Investigation into 2001 Anthrax Attacks
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "The Department of Justice, the FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service on Friday announced they have formally concluded a nine-year investigation into the Anthrax attacks that occurred shortly after 9/11 that killed five people and left 17 others seriously ill."
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Obama Aid Package to Help With Home Foreclosures
Michael B. Farrell, The Christian Science Monitor: "The five states where the housing crisis has taken the biggest toll will receive part of a $1.5 billion federal aid package intended to slow the tide of home foreclosures, the Obama administration announced Friday."
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Private Contractors "Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot"
Anthony Fenton, Inter Press Service: "Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging 'shock doctrine' for earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a 'Haiti summit' which aims to bring together 'leading officials' for 'private consultations with attending contractors and investors' in Miami, Florida."
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