David Ray Griffin vs. Cass Sunstein

Stephen Lendman

David R. Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA where he's still co-director of the Center for Process Studies. He's authored and/or edited three dozen books, mainly in his field, but notably and heroically on 9/11 truth, Osama bin Laden, and his newest titled, "Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory." More on it below.

Cass Sunstein is a well-known University of Chicago and Harvard Law School Professor before being appointed Obama's Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, in charge of "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs," among other duties.

Distinguished Law Professor, activist, and international law and human rights expert Francis Boyle said this about both law schools and the University of Chicago's political science department, steeped in neo-con Straussianism:

"Do not send your children to the University of Chicago where they will grow up to become warmongers like (Paul) Wolfowitz and (John) Ashcroft. The University of Chicago is an intellectual and moral cesspool," referring to its political science department and law school.

Its extremist economics department is much the same, indoctrinating students with predatory capitalist ideology. Boyle's "Harvard's Gitmo Kangaroo Law School: The School for Torturers" article advised:

"Do not send your children or students to Harvard Law School where they will grow up to become racist war criminals! Harvard Law School is a Neo-Con cesspool." "Harvard is to Law School as Torture is to Law." [Commenting on Sunstein when he was mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee, Boyle, calling him a] "Neo-Con," [said he'd be a] "lethal" choice.

Professor Emeritus James Fetzer, Founder, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, took sharp issue with Sunstein's attempt to discredit its proponents, saying his

"Conspiracy Theories" [report (discussed below) is a] "corrosive approach" [and a] "massive blunder" [...] "obviously false!" [In fact,] "No one can know which theories are true or false without investigating them." That a Harvard Law professor would suggest it "is simply stunning," yet unsurprising given the source.

Sunstein is a notorious neo-con, abhorrent of First Amendment and other democratic freedoms, believing the rule of law is best served by subverting it.

Palestinian Authority Recommends Whitewashing Gaza War Crimes

Stephen Lendman

Who do they serve anyway? It's clear from the sham peace talks and a new development. The Mahmoud Abbas-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) wants Israel absolved of accountability for Cast Lead crimes of war and against humanity. No matter that conclusive evidence exposed them, the result of the IDF's 23-day day rampage, killing over 1,400, injuring over 5,000, many severely, and practically leveling wide areas of Gaza, affecting mostly civilian and non-military related targets.

Besides other investigations, two UN Human Rights Council (HRC) ones unequivocally condemned Israel's lawlessness, each demanding accountability.

On September 21, the HRC's independent fact finding Committee issued a stinging indictment, among other conclusions, saying:

"It was clear to the Committee that the IDF had not distinguished between civilians and civilian objects and military targets. Both the loss of life and the damage to property were disproportionate to the harm suffered by Israel or any threatened harm."

Israel clearly violated Fourth Geneva and other international laws. Responsible officials must be held accountable.

America’s Undeclared War: Deadly Drone Attacks In Pakistan Reach Record High

Rick Rozoff

On September 25 three missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone killed four people near the capital of North Waziristan in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, marking at least the 16th such attack in the country so far this month.

This September has seen the largest amount of American unmanned aerial vehicle – drone – attacks in Pakistan and the most deaths resulting from them of any month in the nine-year war waged by the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in Afghanistan and, though insufficiently acknowledged, increasingly in Pakistan.

By way of comparison, in the deadliest month preceding this one, January of 2010, there were 11 missile strikes directed by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activities unit inside Pakistan. Last September there were six.

In 2009 there were 53 drone attacks. This year so far there have been nearly 75. The estimated death toll from strikes for last year was 709. In less than nine months this year there have been close to 650. If the annual, and surely if September’s monthly, rate continues, 2010 will be the deadliest year to date just as this month is already the deadliest month.

Review: Norwegian doctors' "Eyes in Gaza"

Raymond Deane
The Electronic Intifada

Eyes in Gaza is a detailed and harrowing account by the Norwegian doctors Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse of their experiences in al-Shifa Hospital during Israel's deadly assault on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. For a time, they were not just the only western doctors in Gaza, but the only western witnesses to what they repeatedly call Israel's "massacre" of some 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children. Hence the book's title, bearing witness to their status as witnesses.

At noon on New Year's Eve 2008, four days after the start of Israel's onslaught, Gilbert and Fosse entered Gaza from Egypt. On the morning of 10 January 2010, with Israel's campaign still having a week to run, they returned to Egypt and were replaced by another Norwegian medical team. During the intervening period they assisted their Palestinian colleagues -- whose "historic heroism" (112) they praise unstintingly -- in performing an average of twenty operations daily on the civilian victims of Israel's orgy of shooting and bombing. In the absence of western media they also acted as reporters ("white voices" -- 121-122), giving ten to fifteen interviews daily.

These doctors make no claim to neutrality; they are political activists, committed to advocating Palestinian rights and to condemning western complicity with Israel's crimes. "We are doctors, but we do not want to be only doctors," Gilbert asserts proudly (306).

Not surprisingly, it is this aspect of their activities in Gaza that proved most controversial, causing FOX News to describe Gilbert, shamefully, as "[t]he Hamas propaganda doctor" (123), simply because he described the horrors he witnessed rather than keeping quiet about them. Mordantly, Gilbert asks whether there "[s]hould not then be a limit to the number of times that members of the international press who were not let into Gaza allow themselves to be bussed by Israeli press officers to places just north of the border in Israel where Palestinian rockets had landed, on the whole resulting in holes in the ground?" (130).

In their foreword (jointly written, whereas otherwise they contribute separate chapters on a roughly 50/50 basis) they spell out their refusal to hide behind the "smokescreen" of conventional language that is "laid down over power relationships and political realities." Thus the West Bank and Gaza are "Palestine" or "occupied Palestine," "settlements" are "colonies" and "settlers" are "occupiers," the "Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)" are "the Israeli military forces," "terrorists" (invariably Palestinian, of course, in western discourse) are "combatants," and so forth (16-17).

Pakistanis have great deal of emotional attachment with the Iranian people: Shahid R. Siddiqi

Kourosh Ziabari

The 2010 Pakistan flood was one of the most unpleasant and painful incidents of the year which attracted widespread international attention due to its extensiveness and destructive impacts. The floods started in July following heavy monsoon rains and overflow of the Indus River in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan. It is estimated that more than two thousand people lost their lives and over a million homes were destroyed since the flooding began. According to the United Nations estimates, over 21 million people have been injured or displaced as a result of the devastative flood.

Pakistani journalist and former Air Force employee Shahid R. Siddiqi joined me in an interview to discuss the aftermaths of the unprecedented flood which encompassed the whole Pakistan in a matter of days and caused serious damages to the country's agriculture, industry, energy sector, infrastructures and even politics. Mr. Siddiqi answered my questions about the government's management of the flood and the distribution of humanitarian aid sent by different countries to the flood-hit regions. He explained that how the unanticipated disaster paralyzed Pakistan in an astonishing way and surprised the unprepared government which failed to manage the crisis appropriately. In this interview, I also seized the opportunity to ask Mr. Siddiqi some questions about the prospect of Iran – Pakistan relations and Pakistan's stance on Iran's nuclear program.

Shahid R. Siddiqi has been a broadcaster with the Radio Pakistan and the Islamabad bureau chief of the "Pakistan and Gulf Economist". His articles and political commentaries appear in the Pakistani newspapers such as Dawn, The Nation and Pakistan Herald. He is also the founder of Asian American Republican Club. Siddiqi is a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy Journal, Middle East Times and Axis of Logic.

NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan

Rick Rozoff

On October 7 the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization military allies will begin the tenth year of their war in Afghanistan, over 3,000 miles from NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

The following month midterm elections will be held in the U.S. and NATO will hold a two-day summit in Portugal. The American administration is eager to achieve, or appear to have achieved, a foreign policy triumph in an effort to retain Democratic Party control of Congress and NATO something to show for the longest and largest military mission in its 61 years of existence.

President Barack Obama has tripled the amount of American combat troops in Afghanistan to 100,000 and along with forces from other NATO member states and partner nations there are now over 150,000 foreign troops in the nation, the most ever stationed in the war-wracked country. 120,000 of those soldiers are now under the command of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the most ever serving in a North Atlantic Alliance-led military operation. NATO deployed 60,000 troops to Bosnia in 1995 and 50,000 to Kosovo four years later, in both instances after bombing campaigns and in post-conflict situations.

The 120,000 NATO forces currently in theater – from 50 nations already with more pegged to provide troops – are at the center of the world’s longest-lasting and increasingly deadly hot war. NATO’s first ground war, its first combat operations in Asia.

Last year was the most lethal for the U.S and NATO in what is now a nine-year conflict and this year has already proven even more costly in terms of combat deaths. And there are three more months to go.

Afghan War News Shock - Norwegian and U.S. Soldiers Kill for Thrills

Christopher Bollyn
Christopher Bollyn's Blog

I have deployed my men for a mission to kill, and we've had great
success with it...I don't reflect much about taking peoples' lives
company chief Kristian Simonsen in Meymaneh, near the border
with Turkmenistan, told VG (newspaper).

Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty. ~ Madame de Stael

Norwegians and Scandinavians are shocked and appalled to read that Norwegian soldiers actually enjoy killing Afghan resistance fighters, who are fighting the foreign occupation of their country. The Norwegian magazine Alfa coming out this week carries an article with interviews with Norwegian snipers who brag about killing Afghans from more than 2,500 meters. The Norwegian report mirrors a grisly ABC News report of U.S. troops "Killing for Sport" innocent Afghan civilians and cutting off parts of their bodies. These reports reveal the false morality of the criminal war in Afghanistan.

Our Mission Is "To Kill"

To kill Afghans, the soldiers say, is better than having sex.

"To fight and kill is worth three months without sex. Maybe it sounds idiotic but it is better than sex," [one Norwegian sniper said.] "When you are on the field it is you or the enemy. And when you see the 'red mist' (blood spurt from sniper victim)...it is indescribable. It's why we are here." "Sometimes we get lucky," [one of the snipers told Alfa.] "I hit a Taliban in the neck from 2,770 meters on February 2. That was really great."

Alfa magazine appears to be of that peculiar genre of magazines for men that mixes sex with war and violence. Although the issue of Alfa has not yet hit the newstands the story has already caused an uproar in Norway, a land that suffered a brutal occupation under the Nazi regime during the Second World War. This presents the fundamental ethical problem that I posed to the Norwegian government several years ago when it became clear to the public that Norwegian soldiers were not promoting democracy or building schools in Afghanistan - they were simply killing people.

The Norwegian mission that Simonsen commands is called the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) but what are they really constructing? What is the real purpose for the 500 Norwegian soldiers who are on a mission to kill Afghans in the province of Afghanistan that borders Turkmenistan? Could it be that greedy Norwegian oil oligarchs (read Statoil) are invested in the criminal scheme to occupy Afghanistan in order to build the TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India - for Israel's Mossad gangsters?

Imperial Israel

Stephen Lendman

"israel" using white phosphorous to build peace in Palestine

In his book "Against Empire," Michael Parenti defines imperialism as

"the process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people."

In a September 21 article, titled "What Do Empires Do?" he says "Imperialism is what (they) do." They don't just pursue "power for power's sake. There are (significant) interests at stake, fortunes to be made many times over," including land, mineral wealth, cheap labor, and easily exploited markets. They're there, so take them, the strong dominating the weak. Besides seizing and controlling Syrian and Lebanese land, it's how Israel rules Palestine, no regional country a match for its military might with no shyness about using it.

The Latest Peace Process Round

On and off again for 35 years, it's a charade going nowhere, a cul-de-sac ending "road map." Strategically rebranded and reemerged periodically, it's neither a process or way to peace, and according to a September 3 Time magazine article, Israelis care more about other things. Titled, 'Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace," it's a controversial notion given how close they live to a war zone. In spite of it, however, their lives go on, perhaps not wishing to hunker down or take to the barricades.

The Time Has Arrived: Is Rebellion At Hand?

Greg Evensen

The countdown clock and the last chance for “The Founder’s Legacy” of patriotic Americans willing to lay it all on the line for a new Republic, has hit 0:00. Rebellion is no longer an option, a late night “what if” discussion around a bottle of good wine and snacks. It is now the mandated response of oath keeping citizens and Constitutional defending men and women who have heard Paul Revere in 2010. That “watchman,” who made the most famous call to prepare for rebellion in the history of the world, has come again, through all of us who have been riding across our land for several years and warned of the arrival of this most critical moment. It did not materialize lightly or without a desperate realization that it was on the way, and when it did appear at the horizon, life has not and will not ever be the same. Whether you accept this assessment or not, you will be involved in its reality, prepared or not, on board with the need to reclaim this country for freedom’s sake or not, courageous enough to muster with the band of the free and brave or not, you WILL still be counted among those who stood and fought with your countrymen, or posterity will judge you as cowards unworthy to live free.

If you need a “Manifesto” to justify your opposition to “traitors” in communistic, statist Washington D.C., and a supremely evil Presidential cabal headed by Obama, then here is one.

Health Care is now “law of the land” and an affront to the Constitution in every word. That law alone is worthy of open rebellion. The REAL ID Act and its “Nazi like” classifications of who you are and what you will be allowed to do is just the beginning. ANY of the federal agencies that are obvious rights breakers (FBI, IRS, BATFE, CIA, NSA, DHS, FEMA, USDA, FDA, CDC, etc.) and thousands of bureaucrats who owe their souls to a democracy of devils, head the list of particulars that define our corrupted rulers.

Control through the police state is the hallmark of tyranny throughout history. America in 2010 is no different.

US escalates killing on both sides of Afghanistan-Pakistan border

Bill Van Auken

"The Obama administration has come to rely heavily on this cowardly form of warfare. Since coming to office in January 2009, it has quadrupled the number of strikes that were carried out during the last year of the Bush administration. According to Pakistani authorities, 708 people were killed in 51 drone strikes in 2009, and another 600 or more have died in the 75 such strikes carried out so far this year. This adds up to more than 1,300 slaughtered since Obama entered the White House. The overwhelming majority of the victims—referred to vaguely by officials and the media as “suspected militants”—are civilians, including women and children. These attacks constitute war crimes. They are designed as extrajudicial killings, banned by international law, and are directed against clearly non-military targets, including the homes of supposed “suspects,” which is likewise a violation of the Geneva Conventions."

Amid signs of increasing desperation in the nine-year US war in Afghanistan, Washington has simultaneously launched a major offensive against the country’s second-largest city, Kandahar, and stepped up its attacks in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), escalating the bloodshed on both sides of the border.

Tens of thousands of US troops have been massed in southern Kandahar province, a stronghold of the Taliban, for an offensive aimed at crushing armed resistance in the area and imposing control by the occupation forces and the puppet government of President Hamid Karzai.

“Operation Dragon Strike,” as the offensive has been dubbed by Washington, has already driven thousands from their homes and destroyed farmers’ crops, as the US military levels wide swathes of land to remove improvised explosive devices.

A spokesman for the occupation, Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, said Monday that the ground operation was proceeding with air support, increasing the threat of mass civilian casualties. He predicted “hard fighting” in the days and weeks ahead. The US troops, he said, “are destroying Taliban positions so they will have nowhere to hide. Once this is done, insurgents will be forced to leave the area or fight and be killed.”

In practice, this means uprooting whole communities, since the armed opposition groups are an indigenous force with substantial support in the area.

Venezuela Votes

Stephen Lendman

On September 26, Venezuelans again voted, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC - vicuk.org) saying to elect members to the 165-seat National Assembly. It happens every five years, and it's the 16th national election or referendum since Chavez's 1998 victory, taking office as President for first time on February 2, 1999.

Bolivarianism is always at stake, represented by his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). They were pitted against the opposition's Table for Democratic Unity (MUD), an alliance hoping to deny Chavez a two-thirds super-majority. It was PSUV's goal, campaign head Aristobulo Isrutiz saying pre-election:

"We're not working for a majority, but for hegemony in the assembly. It would be a convincing victory to surpass 110 lawmakers."

Post-election, he said,

"We put forth two-thirds as a goal and it was not possible to achieve it. But we are the majority,"

though short of a three-fifths one needed to enact Enabling Laws giving Chavez temporary decree powers that are limited, not unrestrained. How it works can be accessed through THIS link.

Reaping terror’s reward: get in there first – that’s the secret

Stuart Littlewood

If it wasn’t for the “war on terror” America and Israel wouldn’t be enjoying such military fun and games and reaping such fat rewards. Whole new industries are flourishing thanks to the considerable effort they’ve devoted to sowing the seeds of terror.

The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), for example, is an American-Israeli corporation “created to help organizations succeed and prosper in a world threatened by terrorism”.

Its partners include The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute – “your gateway to business in Israel”. Their global intelligence division even maintains a presence in London where, they claim, “our intelligence-gathering and analysis, research, training and consulting services reduce your vulnerability to global and regional forms of terrorist threats and mass-casualty events”. It’s just a coincidence, of course, that Britain’s most important security bodies – the Intelligence and Security Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Defence Committee – are all headed by senior Israel flag-wavers with access to highly classified material.

ITRR recently staged a Mass Casualty and Terrorism Workshop in Jerusalem attended by students from Philadelphia University. Topics included mass casualty management, security and counter-terrorism, forensic medicine as it relates to terrorism and visits to suicide bomber sites. “These site visits include actual video footage of the events… One student was amazed with the resiliency of the Israeli people and how quickly they are able to return a site ‘back to normal’.”

Just across the border in Gaza is the mother of all mass-casualty sites far more serious than anything Israel has had to cope with, although it caused it. A visit there would have opened students’ eyes to how the Palestinians are never given the chance to return to ‘normal’ after Israel’s endless terror onslaughts, robbed as they are of medical essentials and reconstruction materials. I bet ITRR’s workshop didn’t cover that.

Afghan Girl Killed by Reckless U.S. Mortar Fire

Matthew Nasuti
Kabul Press

"A gunman fired a few cents worth of AK-47 rounds at the U.S. Marines and in response the Marines probably fired $10,000.00 in mortar rounds that all missed their target, yet killed an innocent. This incident could sum up the entire Afghan war and helps explain why American efforts have largely failed."

On July 28, 2010, reckless mortar fire by U.S. Marines ended the life of a 14 year old Afghan girl named Gul Makay. Her name مکئ ګل is that of the heroine in the famous Pashtun folk tale of Musa Khan. The Marine unit, according to Time Magazine’s Adam Ferguson, was the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. The location was the “liberated” Afghan district town of Marjah in Helmond Province. The Marines had been fired upon by a lone gunman 250 meters away in what appears to be a semi-residential area. In response, the Marines radioed for indirect fire support. A nearby outpost thereafter fired an unknown number of mortar rounds into the area. The suppression fire apparently chased away the gunman but killed Gul Makay.

Similarly, on March 24, 2010, the Taliban attacked an American outpost in Ali Sher District, Khost Province. In response, the Americans fired mortars, one of which hit a home in Chargoti village, killing a teenage couple and injuring a man, his wife and two of his children. [reported by the Afghan women’s network - RAWA]. The Wiki-leaks documents reveal other incidents of civilians being killed by errant U.S. mortars, the total number of such deaths being unknown. In each incident, there is no press release by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). There is never any apparent official investigation and no apparent discipline or courts-martial of the military members involved. The pattern just continues to replicate in another part of Afghanistan.

The culprit is the “mortar.” The mortar is by definition an indiscriminate weapon. It began its life as simply a tube from which a shell or rocket is launched. As depicted in the top photo for this article, some mortars in use in Afghanistan today are just as crude and inaccurate as those used 60 years ago during the Second World War.

Truth will set the US free: breaking Israel’s stranglehold over American foreign policy

Maidhc Ó Cathail

Maidhc Ó Cathail argues that it is vital for the American public to understand that unconditional support for Israel is doing incalculable damage to the US national interest and that, to steer US policy back so that it serves the American people, it is crucial to break the Israel lobby’s stranglehold over policy-making and the media.

If Israel’s stranglehold over US foreign policy is to be broken, Americans will need to be informed about the harm that Washington’s unconditional support for the Jewish state is doing to American interests, say leading analysts of US-Israeli relations.

According to John J. Mearsheimer, co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,

“The only plausible way to weaken the lobby’s influence on US foreign policy is for prominent policymakers and opinion-makers to speak openly about the damage the special relationship is doing to the American national interest.”

“Plenty of people in the United States, especially inside the Beltway, know that Israel is an albatross around America’s neck,” says Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. “But they are afraid to stand up and say that for fear that the lobby will attack them and damage their careers.” “Hopefully, some of them will develop a backbone,” [he adds.]

The Left Right Paradigm is Over: Its You vs. Corporations

Barry Ritholtz
The Big Picture

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

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