By Peter Bauer
Here are two interesting stories from Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report that discuss Blackwater Vice President Cofer Black and his connection to the Mitt Romney campaign and the CIA Torture Tape Scandal.
“Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney cited Cofer Black, the former head of Counterterrorism at the CIA, as his advisor on issues involving prisoner interrogation during a recent presidential debate. Black is now the vice chairman on private military firm, Blackwater."
"Cofer Black’s name also comes up here over and over again as being right in the middle of this process leading to the application of these procedures, the preparation of recordings and then the destruction of the recordings."
By Peter Bauer
I came across this video on the website stumbleupon and wasn’t sure how to feel about it. In it, Anti-Fascist/Anti-Police State protesters are sabotaged by police who provoke a fight, and then sweep in from all sides to make arrests.
I have mixed feelings about videos like these every time I see them. I feel outraged that there is an open assault against freedom of speech and assembly taking place in America, and at the same time, I feel numb and apathetic. Many times this violence occurs major urban centers, miles away from my day-to-day life.
I feel like I want to do something, but I’m not sure what I can do. Should I editorialize and grandstand events like these as they happen? Is each case of police brutality an example of a country moving slowly toward a police state, or are these simply isolated incidents that are few and far between? What does it say about me as a citizen if I simply do nothing?
Six months ago I wrote a column for this website urging readers to remain vigilant because of a Presidential Directive that can consolidate power into the Executive Branch in time of a "National Emergency." Is this video evidence of an emerging Police State, or is this simply reflective of the times we are living in?
Your comments and banter are encouraged. If you have any similar videos, please post the links so that others can see them too.
By Peter Bauer
The National Debt in the United States is now over $9,000,000,000,000 (that’s trillion, baby!). Never before have we owed so much to so many. Did you know that we owed China $408 billion? Even more staggering is the $611 billion we owe Japan. The debt ceiling has been raised five times in the last five years to allow government spending to spiral completely out of control. And who has to pay this money back? Certainly not the people writing the checks. It’ll be the people who are too young to vote now who will have to deal with this mess later.
Last week, the Republicans squared off in yet another round of televised debates. Hosted by CNN and Youtube, it was operated in a format very similar to the last CNN sponsored Democratic Debate.
After watching both parties, it seems there are two types
of candidates: Those tired of the status quo, and those who
will be monetarily compelled to continue it. Aside from outsider
candidates Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, it would be interesting to
put candidates into brackets and have them battle all the way to an
ultimate face-off, much like a school wide arm wrestling tournament or
the movie “Over the Top.”
In addition to their debate portion of the broadcast, candidates could
showcase a talent, and a winner could be selected at the audience’s discretion via text message.
Anyhow, the debate progressed as follows.
The first seven minutes of the debate allowed “front runners” Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney to square off against each other in a battle of wits over immigration. Nearly seven minutes into the debate Fred Thompson, the Republican’s John Edwards, got a chance to respond to an immigration question. Unlike Edwards, who was stationed at the end of the stage in the last debate, Thompson was front and center, to the right of Giuliani. This kept the big three Media Stars at the center of attention.
Ten minutes into the debate, a fourth candidate got a chance to speak. John McCain was brought into the debate, also answering a question about immigration. This seems to be the Republican’s version of health care- an issue that the voting base cares about, and one that will likely sway undecided votes.
by Peter Bauer
Earlier this week, the PBS show Frontline aired a program examining Cheney’s role with the Justice Department.
The synopsis reads:
“For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy — without congressional approval or judicial review.”
To view the entire 60 minute episode, click here.
by Peter Bauer, Contributing Editor
For those of you who read our site
regularly, you already know that we wholeheartedly support the Iraq War
Moratorium. For those of you unfamiliar with the Moratorium, on the
third Friday of every month citizens take time out of their day to
protest or raise awareness for the Iraq War. There have been three
Moratoriums so far, and the movement is gaining momentum.
Here is an excerpt from their newsletter highlighting November’s success:
Some carried on longstanding traditions, like several weekly Friday peace vigils now in their 6th year–Oak Park, IL to name just one. Others built on previous efforts, like the folks who now leaflet almost every stop on the South Bay CalTrain commuter rail line. Still others have developed new approaches to protest, like the students a White Plains [NY] High School who held a noon die-in outside their lunchroom. The legendary Freeway Blogger’sdo-it-yourself roadside advertising reached hundreds of thousands of motorists in the Bay Area. A signer from Eugene, OR wrote a letter to Sen. Gordon Smith, and the owner of the Discursive Tendencies blog who linked a fine anti-war video she had found.
message is simple. People are fed up with this war, and are beginning
to realize that it’s not coming to an end just because the Democrats
now control Congress. Let’s face it: it’s two sides of the same
coin. If you want to affect change, here’s an easy way to do
something. The next Moratorium will be on Friday, December 21st, so be thinking of ways you can personally take action.
Learn more at iraqmoratorium.org.