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Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Getting the Goat: A Bipartisan Proposal on Torture
Accepting Torture as “U.S. Policy” Will Not Absolve U.S. Participants of International War Crimes
Friday, 13 February 2009
Jason Leopold has the low-down on some more smoking guns proving the highest level involvement in some of the basest tortures in the American gulag. In this case, we have more documentary evidence, gathered by the Pentagon's own investigators, linking former Pentagon honcho Donald Rumsfeld – the preppy pipsqueak who nosed his way through blood and filth for decades at the center of the American power structure – to the criminal abuse and murder of several prisoners by government goons who were following Rummy's "Special Interrogation Plan." As Leopold reports, those documents which span thousands of pages include:
“Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals don’t stop there—many of them move on to their fellow humans.”
But Rumsfeld did not confine himself to general principles of torture. He sometimes took a keenly personal interest as well:
The most that any Democrat with even a modicum of influence – Sen. Patrick Leahy – is willing to do is to suggest setting up a "truth commission" that will punish no one for their base crimes. A shameful situation all around.
We know that President Obama and leading Democrats believe that no one should be prosecuted for these putrid atrocities. As the progressive president himself reminded us just the other day, his "general orientation" is to "move forward," not look back at such unseemly matters as a widespread system of torture and murder created by the top officials of the government which he now heads. And the most that any Democrat with even a modicum of influence – Sen. Patrick Leahy – is willing to do is to suggest setting up a "truth commission" that will punish no one for their base crimes. A shameful situation all around.
But in keeping with the spirit of comity and cooperation that exemplifies our new era – an era whose motto, also stated by the president, is "do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good" – we would like to suggest a compromise. It is obvious that there is no political will amongst our great and good to launch a wide-ranging criminal prosecution of the atrocities that have been so well documented. It's just not going to happen. Yet it is also clear that a majority of the American people do want to see some sort of investigation and redress of these high crimes, as USA Today reports. So why don't we split the difference, in the good-old fashioned time-honored tradition of the Beltway's beloved centrists? Let's take one high-level fall guy and put him through the legal meat-grinder: investigate him, try him, and put him in prison for the rest of his life, as a symbol that "no one is above the law."
Sure, it will be a sham; all kinds of powerful people will continue to get away, literally, with murder, because they are, literally, above the law. But the folks at home can go back to believing they are living in the last best greatest whizbang God-blessed happy valley homeland on earth, and stop pestering their betters with all this sissy handwringing about torture. The Republicans can claim they got rid of their "bad apple," and the Democrats can claim they have "restored American honor." Most importantly, at least one of these bloodstained putzes will get what's coming to him. As the Scarlet Pimpernel would say: Odd's fish, that's something, isn't it? It's certainly better than no justice at all – which is precisely what we will get if our "forward-looking" president and our toothless "truth commissioners" have their way.
So I hereby nominate Donald Henry Rumsfeld to be the designated sacrifice of the American elite to expiate the blood guilt of the United States government (at least for a few news cycles). It is an honor that he richly deserves; why, one might say that he made love to this employment.
We wait with bated breath for the White House to act upon this bold, bipartisan compromise.
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published on February 14, 2009.
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