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Health Care & Environment
12.17 Brazilian police foil million-dollar fraud to export precious wood to China [clear-cutting forests harshly impacts all life above and below ground-level for decades; it decreases oxygen production and seguestration of CO2 and increases area, frequency and duration of drought]
12.13 English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal [Are similar tests of U.S. waters conducted by the EPA anymore? We think not...]
News Media Matters
12.17 A Report to Our Readers
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
12.17 'Making America Stupid Again': Outrage Over Forbidden 7 Words You Can't Say at Trump's CDC [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
12.16 Poverty in US set to increase due to Donald Trump's policies, says UN official [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 Republicans Despise the Working Class [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.17 Venue of last resort: the climate lawsuits threatening the future of big oil [something else Republicans are packing the courts for...]
12.15 Who Pays for Judicial Races? The Politics of Judicial Elections 2015-16 [desperately packing the courts at all levels to protect white power & unregulated capitalism]
12.13 US Concern Over 'Pervasive' High-Level Corruption Surging Under Trump: Poll [anyone surprised?]
12.17 Trump’s Misuse of Intelligence on Iran [immoral behavior that could lead to War]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
12.17 How a Philadelphia nun became the unlikely face of conscientious capitalism [Why don't we teach morality in Law & Business schools?]
12.16 The Republican Tax Bill Provides Huge Benefits to People Who Don’t Work. But Only if They’re Rich. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 The United States Is Now as Unequal as Russia. And That’s Before the Tax Bill. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 EU to force firms to reveal true owners in wake of Panama Papers [what are the chances oligarchy-controlled countries (esp. America and Russia) ever agree to fight tax evasion and money landering? International agencies must all mandate common regulations as a condition for UN membership, trade agreements, world bank loans, etc.]
12.15 FCC Chair Ajit Pai 'Shows Just How Dumb He Thinks Americans Are' With Video Mocking Net Neutrality [he won't discuss how giving more monopoly power to cable ISPs will increase consumer costs and stifle innovation]
12.13 The “Death Tax” Cargo Cult [we lack for morals and sanity in U.S. media & politics]
International & Futurism
12.17 Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life [a good model that converts victims of abuse and cruelty into positive activists with good jobs...]
12.14 Israeli undercover soldiers seen arresting Palestinian protesters [Palestinians need more and better weapons for a fair fight]
On Constitution Day: Talk of Impeachment and Rumors of War
The threat of presidential abuse of power is back, including the same crime of illegal spying that Nixon was impeached for--this time more seriously than before.The talk on the the weekend of Sept. 16-17 at Camp Democracy in the shadow of the Washington Monument on the National Mall was of impeaching the president--and of looming war with Iran.
I spoke on the morning of Sept. 17, along with John Nichols of the Nation, David Green of Hofstra, former federal prosecutor and author Elizabeth de la Vega, and long time anti-war activist Marcus Raskin. Later, in the afternoon, a second group of people spoke on the same topic, including veteran former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Jennifer van Bergen (who first exposed Bush's secret "signing statements"), Michael Avery, president of the National Lawyers Guild, and former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY).
And yet, scarcely one generation later, the threat of presidential abuse of power is back, including the same crime of illegal spying--this time more seriously than before.
Holtzmen observed that when Nixon was ordered by the Supreme Court to produce the tape recordings that the government had learned had been made in the Oval Office, after some hesitation, he agreed, and his fate was sealed. This time, she suggested ominously, Bush and his gang might decide to ignore orders from the Supreme Court.
Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzmen (D, NY) suggested ominously, Bush and his gang might decide to ignore orders from the Supreme Court. That, everyone agrees, would be the moment when tyranny would be upon us.That, everyone agrees, would be the moment when tyranny--the very thing that the Founding Fathers feared most, and that was their motive in including an impeachment clause in the Constitution--would be upon us.
As the NLG's Mike Avery noted, at that point, the only remaining recourses for the American People would be impeachment, or Thomas Jefferson's other remedy: "revolution."
Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern announced at the session the electrifying news that secret orders had gone out for a Naval battle group to set sail immediately for the Persian Gulf, with a planned ETA off the coast of Iran of Oct. 21--less than three weeks before Election Day.Speaking of arms, Ray McGovern announced at the session the electrifying, if not wholly unexpected news that Naval officers had notified his organization of former intelligence officers about secret orders that had gone out for a Naval battle group to set sail immediately for the Persian Gulf, with a planned ETA off the coast of Iran of Oct. 21--less than three weeks before Election Day. (McGovern, before he resigned in disgust during the Bush first term of office, had been in charge of threat assessment at the CIA.)
"It would appear," one well-connected Washington source informed me after hearing about the Naval maneuvers, "that the Bush administration's internal polling is telling them that they are in serious trouble in November and that they are getting desperate."
If Bush and his gang cannot get all their crimes retroactively approved by the current compliant Republican Congress, he and Cheney, fearing impeachment and war crimes prosecution, may have decided to go with a "Hail Mary" strategy--an aerial bombardment of Iran's nuclear facilities just before Election Day designed to rally Americans once more around the already abased and abused Flag.Maybe so. If Bush and his gang cannot get all their crimes retroactively approved by the current compliant Republican Congress, he and Cheney, fearing impeachment and war crimes prosecution, may have decided to go with a "Hail Mary" strategy--an aerial bombardment of Iran's nuclear facilities just before Election Day designed to rally Americans once more around the already abased and abused Flag.
This time, though, such a desperate, jingoistic strategy may not work. In fact, if such an act of unprovoked war leads Iran to unleash Shi'ia militias in Iraq against American forces, it will lead to an exponential increase in American casualties at a time that Americans are massively turning against that war.
The potential for an attack on Iran to become a new Tet is probably as great or greater than the likelihood of its rallying the public around an already widely discredited president and war.The potential for an attack on Iran to become a new Tet is probably as great or greater than the likelihood of its rallying the public around an already widely discredited president and war.
Crucial in determining which way things would go is how Democrats respond to news of a new war in the offing. If they run true to form and start cheering for more war, they will have nailed the coffin shut on the Democratic Party as a functioning political organization. If they finally stand up against this abuse of American power and say no to yet another Bush war, the end to this nightmare could be in sight.
And which way the Democrats react will depend on what the American people do between now and any new Bush war.
As McGovern said darkly, "We have only seven weeks to act to stop this from happening."
Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns, titled This Can't be Happening!, is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's latest book is The Case for Impeachment, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. Visit his website for more information. Lindorff may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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This story was published on September 18, 2006.