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Fit to Serve

Fit to Serve

By James C. Hormel and Erin Martin

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Tag: Terrorism

hiroshima
AP / Shizuo Kambayashi

Truthdig Classic: The Terror America Wrought

This week marks the anniversary of a U.S. attack that deliberately took the lives of thousands of children on their way to school.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Willow Run factory
U.S. Army Signal Corps

Hiroshima Day: America Has Been Asleep at the Wheel for 64 Years

Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame writes that “official secrecy and deceptions about our nuclear weapons posture and policies and their possible consequences have threatened the survival of the human species.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Militarism Makes Us Less Secure

The more wars you undertake abroad, the more places you intervene and the more bases you build around the world, the less secure you are.

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Homeland Security Surplus

Since 2001, there has been no actual terrorist attack reported inside the United States, much less one involving al-Qaida. Plenty of people have been killed by fellow Americans, ordinarily in old-fashioned ways, during that period.

Posted on Jul 30, 2009 READ MORE



UNICEF Iran / Hevash Ghader

U.S. Treats Refugees Like Terrorists

McClatchy reports on a section of the Patriot Act that bizarrely requires the U.S. to treat certain refugees as terrorists. Sami Alkarim, an Iraqi artist who was tortured by Saddam Hussein’s regime, can’t get his status sorted “because of messenger work he did as a teenager for the same political party that counts the current prime minister of Iraq as a member.”

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE


F-22
DoD / Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald, USAF

Deep-Sixing the F-22

I’ll believe it when it finally happens. But the news that Congress might actually stop production of a high-tech, job-generating and, most of all, high-profit weapons system because it fills no legitimate national security function is a considerable victory for President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, as well as for logic.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

War Without Purpose

Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Indonesia Ritz
krithikav.files.wordpress.com

Deadly Explosions Hit Two Indonesian Hotels

The Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta were the targets of two explosions on Friday in the first such attacks in four years. Nine people were killed and 50 injured in blasts that occurred within minutes of each other, according to the Associated Press. “There are indications of suicide bombs,” one official said.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 READ MORE


Stains From the Bush Era Won’t Fade

The legacy of that administration’s anti-terrorism tactics cannot be washed away in a tide of feel-good rhetoric about moving on, nor will it fade eventually if we apply Obama’s spiritual wisdom that this should be a time for “reflection, not retribution.”

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
White House / David Bohrer

CIA Program Too Good to Be True?

What is so controversial about killing al-Qaida bigwigs and avoiding civilian casualties that the CIA would have to conceal such things from Congress? The usual anonymous officials have emerged to explain the secret CIA program Dick Cheney and the agency are supposed to have hidden, and something smells awfully fishy.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



Original: Flickr / kiwanja

Bush’s Wiretaps Now Even More Warrantless

It turns out George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretap program wasn’t just illegal, it was pretty useless. A new report by the inspectors general of the agencies charged with catching the evildoers determined that many agents were flummoxed by the vague information coming out of the overly secretive program, and those who weren’t couldn’t demonstrate how it was helpful.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Two Standards of Detention

Nonviolent activists and Muslims are held in draconian conditions, while the man charged with killing Dr. George Tiller trumpets from jail the extreme anti-abortion movement’s campaign of intimidation, vandalism, arson and murder.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / TheeErin

Homeland Insecurity: Bombs in Government Buildings

In the last year, government investigators were able to take explosives into federal buildings, build bombs there and then waltz around unmolested.
The Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State were all infiltrated, as well as the offices of two members of Congress.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


The Battle Over the Burqa

Since President Barack Obama in his recent Cairo speech made a tut-tutting remark about countries that restricted wearing religious garb in school, the controversy over the Muslim burqa has resumed in Europe.

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Troops Leave Iraqi Cities, but Unsettled Issues Remain

Now that American troops are withdrawing from the cities of Iraq, the calculation must begin as to whether the loss of some half-million to million lives and the ruin of the infrastructure and social structure of Baghdad and much of the rest of the Iraqi nation have served some good purpose.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ali Zare

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away

Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE


The War Between Civilizations That Never Was

The West was wrong about this being a war of civilizations, and so were the Muslims. Islamic civilization is experiencing a double crisis, of modernity and of religion. Nothing could be clearer today in Tehran.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer / Archive

CIA Chief Wonders Whether Cheney Wishes for Terrorist Attack

Leon Panetta responds to the former vice president’s constant sniping in the latest New Yorker: “I think he smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue. ... It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.”

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE


The Lone Wolves Among Us

The white supremacist who allegedly took a rifle into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and killed a security guard is more than a bitter, demented old man. He is a known figure in the domestic hate industry and a reminder that words have consequences.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE


Tiller Killer
Reuters

Tiller’s Clinic to Close

Was the murder of Kansas doctor George Tiller an act of terrorism? In a move sparked by fear, Tiller’s family has decided to close the clinic, one of the few remaining places in the U.S. that performed late-term abortions.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Terrorist Stuff

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Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / steve9567

Domestic Terrorism by Any Standard

If right-wing broadcasters don’t want to be blamed when someone murders a person they have demonized repeatedly—as in the case of George Tiller, the doctor shot dead in his Wichita, Kan., church last Sunday—then they ought to moderate their rhetoric.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Rush and Newt Are Winning

A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

The Obama/Cheney Throwdown

As other news anchors gush over Thursday’s face-off between President Obama and former Vice President Cheney, Jon Stewart enlightens us on the discrepancies in their speeches. While Cheney wooed the crowd with his usual charm, Obama’s rhetoric sounded oddly familiar. Check out this clip from “The Daily Show.” 

Posted on May 22, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo prisoner
AP photo / Lynne Sladky

A Truth Commission Beckons

The partisan firefight over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s incendiary allegation that the CIA lied to Congress about its use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”—torture—is a blessing. It turns the compelling case for a public inquiry into the Bush administration’s policies toward terrorism detainees into an urgent necessity.

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan protest
AP photo / Musadeq Sadeq

Civilians Pay the Price of War From Above

Of course there will be an inquiry. And in the meantime, we shall be told that all the dead Afghan civilians were being used as “human shields” by the Taliban and we shall say that we “deeply regret” innocent lives that were lost.

Posted on May 10, 2009 READ MORE


May and Stewart

Jon Stewart Inflicts Discomfort on Cliff May

Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was clearly on the defensive as he took the hot seat during Tuesday’s “Daily Show” with the unenviable task of debating whether or not waterboarding is torture, whether American officials have to follow the Geneva Conventions under all circumstances, and whether President Truman was a war criminal.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / National Archives

Reagan and Nixon Greeted Despots, Too

Few aspects of American politics are as ridiculous and dangerous as the right-wing urge to substitute macho posturing for foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Bybee Must Go

It is astonishing that someone who has proved in his memos to be so lacking in judgment and so ideologically twisted in his reasoning that he laid a blanket of legal immunity over those who wanted to torture now holds one of the most powerful and prestigious seats a lawyer can attain.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Avigdor Lieberman
AP photo / Tsafrir Abayov

Israel’s Racist in Chief

It was unthinkable, when I was based as a correspondent in Jerusalem two decades ago, that an Israeli politician who openly advocated ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from Israeli-controlled territory, as well as forcing Arabs in Israel to take loyalty oaths or be forcibly relocated to the West Bank, could sit on the Cabinet.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime That Must Be Punished

I realize that many Americans, given the scope of the economic crisis and the ambitions of the new administration, would rather look forward than revisit the past. The business of torture, however, is too unspeakable to be left unfinished.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama: The Extremists’ Nightmare

In the struggle against the extremists and terrorists, the new president understands how to divide the enemy and neutralize their base—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission. He got elected in the United States of America, after all.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Muslims Still Under Siege

It turns out that people can still be arrested and deported based on the same charges they’ve been acquitted of in court. The U.S. Constitution protects people from “double jeopardy,” being charged twice with the same offense. But in the murky world of immigrant detention, double jeopardy is perfectly legal.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


Lahore protest
dailytimes.com.pk

Flogging of 17-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Raises Outrage

The public lashing of a 17-year-old girl named Chand in Pakistan’s Swat Valley became the catalyst for countrywide protests on Saturday after a video of the flogging made its way around the Internet. A spokesman for the local Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the video was fake and that the actual incident happened outside of Swat but defended the punishment as just.

Posted on Apr 4, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Wolf

Obstruction of Justice

The facts surrounding the trial and imprisonment of Dr. Sami Al-Arian have severely tarnished the integrity of the American judicial system and made the government’s vaunted campaign against terrorism look capricious, inept and overtly racist.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



What You Dig

Here are the five most-read stories of the last seven days, including Chris Hedges on America’s moral meltdown and Robert Scheer on the economic incompetents who find easy employment in the Obama administration. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Elizabeth Dalziel

Obama’s Plan to Save the World

Forget about terrorism for a moment. The potential catastrophe that climate change could unleash on America makes every other national security crisis pale in comparison. President Obama cannot secure the homeland without addressing this global emergency.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout

The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE



Jacob Heilbrunn on Alger Hiss

Susan Jacoby’s lucid new book reminds us that the Hiss case offered a vengeful postwar right a golden opportunity to tar the New Deal as a crypto-communist conspiracy—and why it still matters.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE


Pakistani Protests
nytimes.com

Police Pounce on Pakistani Protests

Anti-government demonstrations in Pakistan were thwarted by police Thursday, as opposition leaders were arrested and protesters were stopped after the government claimed that such public gatherings could be sites for terrorist attacks.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Tony Platt on Wall Street Terror Attack

Beverly Gage’s new book exhumes a nearly forgotten tale of class warfare—call it 9/16.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Andy Wong

We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction

All efforts to save the planet will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. And yet studies, books and documentaries that deal with various crises fail to discuss the danger of all those billions of hungry people looking for a better life.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

President Barack Obama met recently with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain, two NATO allies looking for a way out of Afghanistan even as the U.S. is talking escalation.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Redistributionist, and That’s Just Fine

The well-off will pay more in taxes. And before the howling on the right gets too loud, consider that we have just gone through a long era involving a far less frank form of redistribution—upward.

 

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Slumdog Millionaire
altfg.com

‘Slumdog Millionaire’: The Tour

As “Slumdog Millionaire” continues to rack up critical accolades (not to mention awards-season promotional blitzes), the film has also drawn crowds to its setting in the slums of Mumbai, India. But does this kind of attention represent a welcome boon for tourism or a form of exploitation—“poverty porn”—for a city still recovering from last November’s terrorist attacks?

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


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