Friday, April 9, 2010

Truthout 4/9

Wilkerson: Cheney, Bush Aware Guantanamo Detainees Were Innocent
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell during George W. Bushís first term, claims that Bush, Vice Present Dick Cheney and others knew the 'vast majority' of prisoners captured in the so-called War on Terror were innocent and the administration refused to set them free because of the political repercussions that would have ensued."
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Supreme Court Justice Stevens Will Retire in June
Michael Doyle and David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers: "Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement Friday, setting up a long-anticipated confirmation battle during the most sensitive of political seasons."
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US and Russia Sign New Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty
Grace Huang, Truthout: "President Obama and President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia signed a major nuclear arms control treaty on Thursday that aims to reduce existing nuclear stockpiles of both countries."
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A Supreme Court Shift to the Right?
Ruth Marcus: "Here is an unsettling thought for those who waited eight years to have a Democratic president appointing judges: Barack Obama could well end his first term with a more conservative Supreme Court than the one he inherited."
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Infrastructure: Rebuilding an American Legacy
Joe Conason, Truthout: "If there is any subject that enrages those who now call themselves conservatives, it is federal spending - and especially the stimulus program enacted by the Democratic administration and Congress last year. The government can do nothing right, they say. The stimulus was pure waste that created no jobs at all. The country would be better off without Washington taxing and spending at all."
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The Business of Disaster: Where's the Haiti-Bound Money Going?
Beverly Bell and Tory Field, Truthout: "'A sweeping exercise in nation-building on a scale and scope not seen in generations,' said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the international donors conference on March 31 in New York, where foreign nations and other international institutions pledged $5.3 billion toward Haiti over the next 18 months, of which $1.15 billion comes from the US government. Ban continued, 'Today, we have mobilized to give Haiti and its people what they need most: hope for a new future.'"
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The Torture Victim and the Taliban Recruit
Andy Worthington, Truthout: "Such is the hysterical disregard for the law in parts of the United States that when, on March 22, District Court Judge James Robertson ordered the release from Guantanamo of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a 38-year-old Mauritanian who was once described as the 'highest-value detainee at the facility,' Republican lawmakers were in uproar."
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If You Think the Civil War Ever Ended, Think Again
Adele Stan, AlterNet: "When I first moved to Washington, D.C., I had hardly a stick of furniture, so I boarded a bus to take me to the nearest Ikea, which was in a Virginia mall. Quite unfamiliar with the territory, I watched out the window with curiosity as the bus traveled along the chain-store lined route."
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Iraq: Seven Years of Occupation
Raed Jarrar, Truthout: "On April 9, 2003, exactly seven years ago, Baghdad fell under the US-led occupation. Baghdad did not fall in 21 days, though; it fell after 13 years of wars, bombings and economic sanctions. Millions of Iraqis, including myself, watched our country die slowly before our eyes in those 13 years. So, when the invasion started in March of 2003, everyone knew it was the straw that would break the camel's back."
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Reclaiming Our Hope
Paul Rogat Loeb, Truthout: "How do we counter political demoralization among those who had such high hopes for the American political process just over a year ago? It helped to finally pass the health care reform bill - Democratic Party donations have surged since the vote. But we're still facing dashed hopes (including those due to the bill's more mixed aspects); exhaustion from eight years of Bush; the dispiriting legacy of the Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia elections; and the disastrous Supreme Court campaign finance decision. Even before all these last, too many long-time activists spent much of the past year withdrawing from the fray. Too many newer ones quit before they barely began. We need to reverse this process of withdrawal."
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The Five Commandments of Tax Reform
Froma Harrop, Truthout: "The tax code needs fixing to be fairer and less complex. But let's set some rules for this debate. Here are the Five Commandments of Tax Reform: Thou shall simplify with care: Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, proposes a much simplified income-tax system. Gosh darn, you can do your taxes on a postcard."
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US Military Slaughters Sheep in Apology for Afghanistan Deaths
Julius Cavendish, The Christian Science Monitor: "A top US Special Forces commander visited the village of Khataba in eastern Afghanistan today to apologize for a night raid that went terribly wrong. It was here on Feb. 11 that a Special Forces team gunned down an Afghan police chief, a prosecutor, and three unarmed women, infuriating locals and drawing a sharp rebuke from politicians in Kabul."
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Nurses' Unions for Health Care (Video)
Laura Flanders, GRITtv: "The California Nurses Association and other nurses' unions were some of the strongest voices for real healthcare reform, continuing to call for single-payer Medicare for All even now. But with the birth of the new National Nurses United, the nurses are fighting battles on all fronts for healthcare - from a strike at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia to struggles with Massachusetts' program."
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Another GOP Senator Blocks Extension of Jobless Benefits
David Lightman, Halimah Abdullah and Grace Gagliano, McClatchy Newspapers: "An estimated 212,500 people across the United States are in danger of exhausting their federal unemployment benefits this week because a Republican senator has blocked Congress from considering an extension. The House of Representatives approved the funding last month, but it stalled in the Senate after Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., insisted that the bill be paid for."
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