Fred Branfman writes for Truthdig.com: "Noam Chomsky’s description of the dangers posed by U.S. elites’ “Imperial Mentality” was recently given a boost in credibility by a surprising source—Bill Clinton. As America’s economy, foreign policy and politics continue to unravel, it is clear that this mentality and the system it has created will produce an increasing number of victims in the years to come. Clinton startlingly testified to that effect on March 10 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee..."
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla: Framing the Narrative
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "They called it Operation Sea Breeze. Despite the pleasant-sounding name, Israel’s violent commando raid on a flotilla of humanitarian aid ships, which left nine civilians dead, has sparked international outrage. The raid occurred in the early-morning hours of May 31, as the six vessels laden with humanitarian aid were still in international waters, bound for Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinian residents are in their third year of an Israeli-imposed blockade. Israel has, from the outset, sought to limit the debate over the attack, and to control the images."
In Afghanistan, the Beginning of the End?
Tom Hayden writes for The Nation: "With eighteen Democratic senators voting for Russ Feingold's legislative call for withdrawal from Afghanistan, is a long and bloody end to the Afghanistan quagmire in sight? Feingold says he was "encouraged" by the May 27 vote in spite of its rejection, particularly because of support from most of the Senate's Democratic leadership—senators Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer and Patty Murray."
Afghan Corruption Czar Is "Dead Meat" if He Pursues Top Graft
joint statement from Obama and Karzai referred to Karzai's "efforts to strengthen the powers and authorities" of the High Office of Oversight, Kabul's national anti-corruption unit. Asked whether Karzai was making progress combating corruption, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs pointed to this office, and he noted that the High Office "now operates with a mission to increase its accountability." In another briefing, Lt. General Douglas Lute, a deputy national security adviser, asserted that Karzai had provided the head of this office "renewed powers to deal with corruption." Yet shortly after Karzai departed Washington, the RAND Corporation held a briefing on Capitol Hill that delivered a starkly different message: The High Office of Oversight and its commissioner, Mohammad Yusin Osmani, are virtually powerless to confront the serious corruption that infects the senior levels of Karzai's government." Photo: Flickr/zzzack (Creative Commons.)
Did the Bush Administration Experiment on Detainees?
Nick Baumann reports for Mother Jones: "In the course of trying to prove that its "enhanced" interrogation program was legal, the Bush administration may have broken the law, according to a new report (PDF) by Physicians for Human Rights. The watchdog group claims that in an attempt to establish that brutal interrogation tactics did not constitute torture, the administration ended up effectively experimenting on terrorism detainees. This research, PHR alleges, violated an array of regulations and treaties, including international guidelines on human testing put in place after the Holocaust."
Another KBR Employee Says She Was Raped While Working for the Military Contractor in Iraq
Matt Corley reports for Think Progress: "In 2007, former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones revealed that she had been gang-raped by her co-workers while working in Baghdad, and then left by the company in a 'shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water.' Since Jones went public, several more female KBR employees have come forward with allegations of rape. ABC News reports today that "another female ex-employee of KBR has come forward to claim that she was raped while working for the military contracting company in Iraq."
Europe in the Iron Grip of Neoliberal Fiscal Discipline and Anti-Labor Measures
Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: MayaEvening, Giampaolo Squarcina.
What Emergencies? Fear of Deficits Leads Congress to Punt
David Lightman reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "When Congress returns Monday from a 10-day break, it will struggle to try to meet an impatient public's demands for it to fund, among other things, an extension of unemployment benefits that have expired, summer jobs for at-risk youth and fair fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients."
Deficit Reduction = Selling Out to Wall Street
Why We're Falling Into a Double-Dip Recession
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "We're falling into a double-dip recession. The Labor Department reports this morning that the private sector added a measly 41,000 net new jobs in May. (The vast bulk of new jobs in May were temporary government Census workers.) But at least 100,000 new jobs are needed every month just to keep up with population growth."
Showdown in Arizona: Obama Must Pursue Immigration Reform
The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged."
Glenn Beck's Revisionist History
his favorite themes, declaring that progressives have "done everything they can to erase history," and he was "working feverishly to restore it." But like his false belief that Fox News was the only network to air Israeli Defense Forces video of the Gaza flotilla raid, Beck's belief that history is being abandoned in America by everyone but himself is an assertion without concern for the facts. On the show yesterday, Beck claimed that "we don't study the Holocaust" in America, ignoring the fact that most states have Holocaust curricula. Despite the flawed premise of his historical explorations, Beck's pose as a common man's history professor has gained influence on the right. When Time magazine named Beck one of the World's Most Influential People this year, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin penned an essay praising Beck as "a history buff with a quirky sense of humor." "Glenn's like the high school government teacher so many wish they'd had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers," wrote Palin. "Self-taught, he's become America's professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth." As demonstrated by Palin's praise, Beck's role as a revisionist historian has been embraced by many in the conservative movement. When Associate Professor of American History Josephy Palermo recently mocked Beck as "Fox News's resident 'historian,' with his area of expertise being American civilization, with emphases on the early republic, Progressivism, and the New Deal," another right-wing revisionist historian, Amity Shlaes, came to Beck's defense. "Beck has begun to develop a new canon for adults," wrote Shlaes, claiming that "to academics, Mr. Beck is more dangerous than any other radio show host, and they know it." But in reality, Beck's skewed view of history is "more dangerous" for the millions who embrace it since he's not only painting a misleading picture, but also reviving interest in crackpot historians like Cleon Skousen and Elizabeth Dilling."
Years of Internal BP Probes Warned That Neglect Could Lead to Accidents
BP Well May Be Spewing 100,000 Barrels a Day, Scientist Says
Renee Schoof and Erika Bolstad report for McClatchy Newspapers: "BP's runaway Deepwater Horizon well may be spewing what the company once-called its worst case scenario - 100,000 barrels a day, a member of the government panel told McClatchy Monday."
Photos: What BP Doesn’t Want You To See From Their Oil Spill
After spilling up to 39 million gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast with 11 BP employee casualties, these are a few pictures of the countless amounts of seabirds caught in the oil slick. Photos by Associated Press photographer Charlie Riedel.
Don't Ask. Tell: Why the Military Should Soldier on With Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Media Advisory: Pundits in Denial on Gaza Plight - 'No humanitarian crisis,' some media figures claim
FAIR writes: "The May 31 Israeli attack on the Free Gaza humanitarian flotilla has returned some media attention to the humanitarian crisis faced by 1.5 million Palestinians living under Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip. But some media figures have sought to deny the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza at all."
Benedict Arnold Dems Betray Net Neutrality
Michael Collins writes for The Daily Censored: "74 Democrats signed a joint letter to the FCC supporting internet throttling by Verizon, ATT and Comcast. Throttling lets carriers slow or block internet traffic. This is a clear attack on net neutrality. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just endorsed net neutrality. But The Money Party is busy buying votes. Here’s a Top Ten list of the biggest rake-offs by the 74 Democrats. They had a total take of $2.8 million with an average of $37,000 a piece from industry sources and lobbyists. No telling how many jobs, trips, and other favors were provided. The Money Party is nothing, if not thorough."
As "New Media" Proliferate, Does Government Have a Role?
Comcast-NBC Merger Is a Bad Deal
Corie Wright writes for Other Words: "When you watch the news or read the paper, it's not hard to find evidence of the negative impact of media consolidation. As media companies get bigger, local news and in-depth reporting take a backseat to sensationalism and celebrity gossip. Now there's a new media merger on the horizon. And it's a real doozy. A few months ago, cable giant Comcast announced it would buy NBC. Comcast has agreed to pay billions of dollars to acquire the venerable broadcaster--but the cost to the public will be far greater."