Thursday, June 3, 2010

Truthout 6/3

William Rivers Pitt | Down to Raisins
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "There is an old story about Abraham Lincoln spending vast amounts of time in the telegraph room of the War Department waiting for dispatches from his commanders in the field. One day, according to Lincoln biographer John C. Waugh, after a particularly long night, the president turned to the telegraph operators and said, 'Well, boys, I am down to raisins.'"
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John Pilger | The Black Art of "Master Illusions"
John Pilger, Truthout: "How do wars begin? With a 'master illusion,' according to Ralph McGehee, one of the CIA's pioneers in 'black propaganda,' known today as 'news management.' In 1983, he described to me how the CIA had faked an 'incident' that became the 'conclusive proof of North Vietnam's aggression.' This followed a claim, also fake, that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had attacked an American warship in the Gulf of Tonkin in August 1964."
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Oil Spill Jail Time for BP Officials? It Could Happen
Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor: "The US Department of Justice has launched civil and criminal investigations into the events surrounding the BP oil spill. Does that mean people who helped cause the spill will be going to jail? Yes, they might be. Violations of some of the applicable environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act, can result in severe repercussions."
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CIA Drone Operators Oppose Strikes as Helping Al-Qaeda
Gareth Porter, Truthout: "Some CIA officers involved in the agency's drone strikes programme in Pakistan and elsewhere are privately expressing their opposition to the programme within the agency, because it is helping al Qaeda and its allies recruit, according to a retired military officer in contact with them."
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Former UN Official Urges Irish-Americans to Defend the Rachel Corrie
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "Former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday said it was imperative that the Obama administration supported Ireland's call on the Israeli authorities to ensure safe passage for the Irish-flagged Rachel Corrie to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Irish Times reports. Speaking by satellite phone from on board the Rachel Corrie, Halliday called on Irish-Americans to lobby the Obama administration: 'We also feel there is a role for the Irish diaspora here, in the US and elsewhere to lobby politicians over this continued illegal blockade of Gaza, which is causing such hardship to the Palestinian people.'"
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Tom Tomorrow | This Modern World
Tom Tomorrow sends us into the future in his award-winning political cartoon for a history lesson that illuminates our current short-sightedness in preserving our earth and society.
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George Lakoff | Privatization of Public Housing Shelved - for Now
George Lakoff, Truthout: "The Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) attempt to privatize all of America's public housing has been put on hold - for now. You played an important role. Thousands of you signed the petition and spread the word, so that those at the House Financial Services Committee hearing on May 25 understood what the stakes were."
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Ruth Marcus | Intoxicated on Fundraising
Ruth Marcus, Truthout: "'You don't have to drink. You just have to pay.' Has there ever been a better summary of how Washington works - and the need for campaign finance reform - than this line from a 2007 e-mail? The context: An executive at Innovative Concepts, a small defense contractor, was balking at going to a wine-tasting fundraiser for Rep. Jim Moran."
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News in Brief: States Roll Back Abortion Rights and More ...
At least 11 states pass legislation this year to regulate or restrict abortion; bodies of activists killed while aboard the Gaza aid flotilla have been sent to Turkey; President Obama orders government agencies to expand benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees; White House considered offering administration job to Democratic politician in Colorado to sidetrack his primary challenge.
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This Can't Be Happening - Happens!
Truthout's Leslie Thatcher interviewed veteran reporter, master raconteur and founder of the "This Can't Be Happening" web site, Dave Lindorff. Dave's remarkable background - and that of his three colleagues at the new "news collective" - informs the style, content and unmistakable attitude the new venture brings to Internet journalism.
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Weekly Diaspora: Thousands Protest SB 1070; Arizona Governor Braces for Lawsuits
Erin Rosa, The Media Consortium: "Over Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of people marched in Phoenix, AZ to protest SB1070, a law that immigrants to carry papers at all times and makes it possible for any police officer to detain on suspicion of immigration status alone."
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Doubling Down in Afghanistan: Why We Refuse to Fold a Losing Hand
William J. Astore, TomDispatch: "As Congress moves toward rubber-stamping yet another 'emergency' supplemental bill that includes more than $33 billion for military operations, mainly to fund the latest surge in Afghanistan, maybe we should take a page from the new British government. Facing debilitating deficits, the conservative Tories and their Liberal Democrat partners are proposing painful cuts to governmental budgets, including military operations in Afghanistan."
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On Having the Right to Remain Silent
Michael Gass, Truthout: "The Supreme Court has just ruled, in the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins, that a person has the right to remain silent as long as they tell law enforcement they intend to remain silent. The case revolved around Van Chester Thompkins, who was convicted in a drive-by shooting."
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Breaking Up With Arizona
Kung Li, Truthout: "President Obama has a closed-door meeting today with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. DC is abuzz. What to call it? Is it a huddle, showdown, summit, smackdown or negotiation? The state's aggressive immigration law SB 1070 is on the agenda. Both the White House and the governor's office have kept mum about what they expect from the meeting, but safe to say, it will be awkward: the Department of Justice is preparing to file a lawsuit asserting SB 1070 is an unconstitutional attempt by the state to snatch immigration policy out of the hands of the federal government."
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On the Front Lines of the BP Oil Spill (Video)
Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!: "The Justice Department has confirmed itís opened a criminal and civil investigation into the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast, now believed to be the worst environmental disaster in US history. For residents of southern Louisiana, the spill is impacting the ecology, the economy and entire ways of life. Over the past several days, Democracy Now! traveled across the bayous and towns of coastal Louisiana meeting the people on the front lines of the onrush of BPís oil slick."
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