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Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

I think the USA needs to reverse its founding motto to: “No Representation with Taxation”.

Why do corporations get such an inordinate amount of influence on politics, including being considered “persons” by a corrupt SCUSA, when they hardly pay taxes? Maybe this is what #OccupyWallStreet should call for.

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Hillary least electable Dem

One (several actually) more reason to hope Hillary doesnt get the Dem ticket.

While Clinton maintains her lead in national polling among Democrats, in direct matchups against Republican presidential candidates, she consistently runs behind both Barack Obama and John Edwards.

[..]

By contrast, Obama beats every major Republican candidate: He beats McCain 45 percent to 38 percent; Guiliani 46 percent to 41 percent; Romney 46 percent to 40 percent; Huckabee 46 percent to 40 percent; and, Thompson 47 percent to 40 percent. In other words, Obama consistently runs 8 to 11 percent stronger than Clinton when matched against Republicans. To state the obvious: The Democratic presidential candidate will have to run against a Republican.

Clinton’s inherent weakness as a candidate shows up in other ways. In direct matchups for congressional seats, Democrats currently are running 10 percent to 15 percent ahead of Republicans, depending on the poll, while Clinton runs 3 percent to 7 percent behind — a net deficit ranging from 13 to 22 percent. No candidate in presidential polling history ever has run so far behind his or her party.

To look at Clinton’s candidacy another way, Clinton runs well behind generic polling for the presidency

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This is pretty much what i was implying earlier.

With the attention of a great power like the United States, and a regional power like Venezuela, Brazil finds itself in a position of power that gives it several opportunities. Whether or not the Brazilian government headed by President Lula Ignacio da Silva will choose a path of unilateral action and stay completely unaffected by the two interceding powers or cooperate with the two powers vying for its attention is yet to be seen, but it is critical to recognize that Brazil will determine its own actions and that it is a strong enough power to hold all the cards in the current situation.

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The Washington Post about Jordan’s role as a CIA holding prison and proxy interrogator. Nothing you havent previously heard. Some excerpts:

The building is the headquarters of the General Intelligence Department, Jordan’s powerful spy and security agency. Since 2000, at the CIA’s behest, at least 12 non-Jordanian terrorism suspects have been detained and interrogated here, according to documents and former prisoners, human rights advocates, defense lawyers and former U.S. officials.

[..]

The General Intelligence Department, or GID, is perhaps the CIA’s most trusted partner in the Arab world. The Jordanian agency has received money, training and equipment from the CIA for decades and even has a public English-language Web site. The relationship has deepened in recent years, with U.S. officials praising their Jordanian counterparts for the depth of their knowledge regarding al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic networks.

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, however, the GID was attractive for another reason, according to former U.S. counterterrorism officials and Jordanian human rights advocates. Its interrogators had a reputation for persuading tight-lipped suspects to talk, even if that meant using abusive tactics that could violate U.S. or international law.

[..]

Sharqawi said he was threatened with sexual abuse and electrocution while in Jordan. He also said he was hidden from officials of the International Committee for the Red Cross during their visits to inspect Jordanian prisons.

“I was told that if I wanted to leave with permanent disability both mental and physical, that that could be arranged,” Sharqawi said in his April 2006 statement, which was released by a London-based attorney, Clive Stafford Smith, who represents Guantanamo inmates. “They said they had all the facilities of Jordan to achieve that. I was told that I had to talk, I had to tell them everything.”

Bush administration officials have said they do not hand over terrorism suspects to countries that are likely to abuse them. For several years, however, the State Department has cited widespread allegations of torture by Jordan’s security agencies in its annual report cards on human rights.

[..]

Former prisoners have reported that their captors were expert in two practices in particular: falaqa, or beating suspects on the soles of their feet with a truncheon and then, often, forcing them to walk barefoot and bloodied across a salt-covered floor; and farruj, or the “grilled chicken,” in which prisoners are handcuffed behind their legs, hung upside down by a rod placed behind their knees, and beaten.

hm.

 On June 26, 2006, just after 6 p.m., Nowak, the U.N. investigator, paid a surprise visit to GID headquarters in Amman.

The Jordanian government had previously agreed to give Nowak carte blanche to inspect any prison in the country, with no preconditions and unfettered access to inmates. As a new member of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Jordan was eager to win Nowak’s seal of approval. GID officials permitted Nowak to tour its prison wing. But they refused to allow him to speak with prisoners in private. When Nowak asked about allegations that the CIA had used the building as a proxy jail, department officials said the reports were untrue.

“The response was just very flat, a simple denial, ‘We don’t know anything about that,’ ” Nowak recalled in an interview.

“It is common for prisoners to make false allegations about torture in a pathetic attempt to evade punishment and to influence the court,” the government wrote.

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Washington post article on Rumsfeld’s memos as Secretary of Defense. Nothing shocking, really. But i thought this pathetic:

He also lamented that oil wealth has at times detached Muslims “from the reality of the work, effort and investment that leads to wealth for the rest of the world. Too often Muslims are against physical labor, so they bring in Koreans and Pakistanis while their young people remain unemployed,” he wrote. “An unemployed population is easy to recruit to radicalism.

First, it’s generally gulfies that bring in foreign labor, not even Arabs. Second, last time i checked the number of non-Muslim Pakistanis was kind of negligible. Offensive race(religios)ism aside, this just demonstrates how ignorant these people are. The US Secretary of Defense does not know the religion of the country that’s at the front line of the war on terror. He is also incapable of differentiating between Arabs and Muslims.

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John Judis looks at two books mentioned by bin Laden in a recent tape: Michael Scheuer’s Imperial Hubris and Emmanuel Todd’s After the Empire.

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AFRICOM opens

Africom, the States’ new unified command for Africa became operational on Monday out of Germany. It’s ostensibly meant to raise Africa’s profile and help coordinate activities that were previously divided among three other -COMs. The command will consolidate not only all military branches and DoD and DoS, but apparently also depts such as trade and agriculture. There has been a decent amount of vocal resistance from African countries. And it’s not just rogues like Nigeria. Even South Africa is not very pleased. CFR has a backgrounder here.

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