In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Links of the Day 4/11/2008 Iran and Pakistan Wheel and Deal While George Fiddles

I am sure all of you have heard by now Randi Rhodes will be live on NovaM radio starting this Monday!


If you experience problems be patient NovaM is doing updates on their web site.


RANDI RHODES JOINS NOVA M RADIO


The Nova M Radio Network is thrilled to announce the addition of “The Randi Rhodes Show” to its nationally syndicated talent offerings beginning this Monday, April 14, 2008.

Randi Rhodes is the #1 rated progressive talk radio host in the nation.

Nova M CEO John Manzo says, “I just can’t stop smiling - Randi is simply the biggest and the best. Randi Rhodes and Mike Malloy under one roof – talk about TALENT!”

Randi Rhodes adds, “With Manzo at helm of Nova M, I am truly going to work for the best of the best. He is radio elite…and I am too . I’m home, I’m home, I’m home!”

“The Randi Rhodes Show” will air live Mon-Fri from 3-6pm Eastern on The Nova M Radio Network.

http://www.novamradio.com/index.php?pid=30




Today is the second day in a row I have tried to get into icasualties. Now I know why, some jerk attacked their web site. Unhappy that soldiers are dying like flies in a country where the surge is working.

Shame on the ignorant malicious hacker!

My God we’ve lost 14 soldiers in just the last 2 days, Wednesday and Thursday. While Perteaus and Crocker lied to congress as they died.


Special Note:
Due to a malicious attack on our web server we have removed most of the content from this site. The attack caused users to be redirected to random sites that have no affiliation with iCasualties. After a good deal of effort we think that we have identified problem and hope that we will soon return the site back to it's proper state. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Michael White
iCasualties.org

http://icasualties.org/oif/



04/09/08 AP: Military strained by suicides, long deployments

U.S. soldiers are committing suicide at record levels, young officers are abandoning their military careers, and the heavy use of forces in Iraq has made it harder for the military to fight conflicts that could arise elsewhere.


04/09/08 theaustralian: Super sniper kills six Brits in Basra

SIX British soldiers serving in Iraq were killed by the same Western-made rifle within three months last year, an inquest was told yesterday.




As you read yesterday Maliki want US troops to leave Iraq. But George and his stubborn wrong headedness just doesn’t know when he is not wanted. So he continues to send them into the meat grinder for that oil contract the Iraqi Parliament refuses to pass.

I don’t blame them for not passing it, it is their oil and belongs to their people. Now if they would just spend the hundreds of billions of the profits they are sitting on. Yes they have that much money. I watched Senator Carl Leven on c-span yesterday ask Gates WHY was the DOD asking for billions in Iraq reconstruction money when Iraq has hundreds of billions from their oil sales.

As you read yesterday Maliki want US troops to leave Iraq. But George and his stubborn wrong headedness just doesn’t know when he is not wanted. So he continues to send them into the meat grinder for that oil contract the Iraqi Parliament refuses to pass.

I don’t blame them for not passing it, it is their oil and belongs to their people. Now if they would just spend the hundreds of billions of the profits they are sitting on. Yes they have that much money. I watched Senator Carl Leven on c-span yesterday ask Gates WHY was the DOD asking for billions in Iraq reconstruction money when Iraq has hundreds of billions from their oil sales.

While our country continues to borrow money and go indebt.

As you read yesterday Maliki want US troops to leave Iraq. But George and his stubborn wrong headedness just doesn’t know when he is not wanted. So he continues to send them into the meat grinder for that oil contract the Iraqi Parliament refuses to pass.

I don’t blame them for not passing it, it is their oil and belongs to their people. Now if they would just spend the hundreds of billions of the profits they are sitting on. Yes they have that much money. I watched Senator Carl Leven on c-span yesterday ask Gates WHY was the DOD asking for billions in Iraq reconstruction money when Iraq has hundreds of billions from their oil sales.

While our country continues to borrow money and go indebt.


In fact here is what Senator Leven said to Gates.


Opening Statement of Senator Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on the Situation in Iraq with Secretary Gates and Chairman Mullen


April 10, 2008

Welcome, Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. We appreciate your willingness to appear before the Committee this afternoon, and we thank you for your dedication and service.

The issue before us isn’t whether or not we want to succeed in leaving Iraq stable and secure. We all seek that goal. The question is how to maximize the chances of success, and whether the course we are on is the right one.

Since the beginning of this conflict, we’ve tried repeatedly to get this Administration to change course and put responsibility on the Iraqi leaders for their own future since all agree that there is no military solution and only a political settlement among the Iraqis can end the conflict. The Administration, however, has repeatedly missed opportunities to shift this burden to the Iraqis.

In January 2007, President Bush said in announcing the surge that “the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November” of 2007. Clearly the Iraqis have not taken the lead on security “in all of Iraq’s provinces.” As of March, 2008, the Iraqi Government had not assumed security responsibility for the most populous provinces, and as the fighting in Basrah demonstrated, Iraqi security hold in provinces for which it is responsible is tenuous at best.

In February of this year, Secretary Gates said that there was within the Department “a broad agreement that the drawdown should continue” as the added pre-surge brigades left. Secretary Gates in his written statement to the Committee this afternoon refers to a period of consolidation and evaluation as a “brief pause.” That stands in direct contrast to what General Petraeus said to this Committee two days ago. Under questioning, General Petraeus pointedly refused to use either “brief” or “pause” to describe how long reductions might be suspended under the approach he recommended.

General Petraeus’ recommendation was that there be “a 45-day period of consolidation and evaluation” beginning in July, which will then be followed by a “process of assessment” which will determine, “over time,” when he can make recommendations for further reductions. In September, in other words, a period of assessment will just begin. General Petraeus repeatedly refused to estimate how long this assessment period would last, or how low U.S. troop levels in Iraq might be by the end of the year, even if all goes well.

What recommendation did President Bush adopt a few hours ago – General Petraeus’ open-ended approach or Secretary Gates’ brief pause? The answer is – General Petraeus – since the President said General Petraeus “will have all the time he needs” and even went so far as to say that “Some have suggested that this period of evaluation will be a pause. That’s misleading….”

In summary, instead of continuous reductions beyond pre-surge levels or even a brief pause, what President Bush did this morning is reinforced our open-ended commitment in Iraq, by suspending troop reductions in July for an unlimited period of time.

The Administration’s current policies are perpetuating Iraq’s dependency on the United States politically, economically, and militarily and take the pressure off the Iraqis to reach a political solution. The Administration has repeatedly expressed its unconditional support for the excessively sectarian government of Prime Minister Maliki. Key legislation for reconciliation – including a hydrocarbon law, elections law, and amendments to the constitution – have not been passed, and the success of other laws will depend on their implementation.

(Now the bit about the oil revenue and spending)

Our continuing funding of Iraq’s reconstruction makes utterly no sense, particularly in light of Iraq’s cash surplus resulting from the export of two million barrels of oil a day. Prior to the start of the Iraq war, the Administration told Congress that Iraq would be able to “finance its own reconstruction” through oil revenues in fairly short order.

Five years later, the U.S. taxpayers have paid at least $27 billion for reconstruction activities while Iraq has reaped the benefits of skyrocketing oil prices. Iraq now has tens of billions of dollars in surplus funds in their banks and in accounts around the world, including about $30 billion in U.S. banks. Furthermore, according to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the Iraqi Government budgeted $6.2 billion for its capital budget in 2006 but spent less than a quarter of it.

Ambassador Crocker told this Committee on Tuesday that quote “the era of U.S.-funded major infrastructure projects is over” and the U.S. is no longer “involved in the physical reconstruction business.” However, as of last Thursday, the U.S. government is paying the salaries of almost 100,000 Iraqis who are working on reconstruction. And listen to this, and while Crocker was saying that and the President said today that “American funding for large scale reconstruction projects is approaching zero”, just this week the Committee received a notice that the Department of Defense intends to increase U.S. funding for reconstruction for the year by over 50% by reallocating $590 million of Iraq Security Forces Funds previously designated for training, equipping and sustainment of the ISF. The increased funding would be used, for example, to build 55 new police stations. I sent a letter to Secretary Gates earlier today requesting that the Department of Defense notice of its plan to use U.S. taxpayer money to pay for Iraqi reconstruction be withdrawn.

Supporters and critics of the Iraq war may disagree over much of the Administration’s policies, but can’t we at least agree that Iraq – a country awash in cash even as oil tops $110 a barrel – should be using the resources they have to pay for their own reconstruction? I look forward to hearing from our witnesses this afternoon.

The President said today that “Iraqis in their recent budget would outspend us on reconstruction by more than 10 to one.” However, as of August 31, 2007, according to the Government Accountability Office, the Iraqi Government had spent only a fraction of its $10.1 billion capital budget for 2007. Senator Warner and I wrote to the Government Accountability Office on March 6 asking the Comptroller General to look into why the Iraqi Government is not spending more of its oil revenue on reconstruction, economic development and providing essential services for its own people.

So there you have it! Bush continues to demand money for Iraq that they do NOT need! I am speechless.

http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=295954




Leven said this the day before


April 9, 2008


Opening Statement of Senator Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing with Dr. Andrew Bacevich, General John Keane, USA (Ret.) and Dr. Robert Malley on the Situation in Iraq


It is clear to me from General Petraeus’ testimony yesterday that the Bush Administration’s open-ended commitment in Iraq will continue, now reinforced by an open-ended pause. General Petraeus has recommended to his chain of command that there be “a 45-day period of consolidation and evaluation” which will then be followed by a “process of assessment” which will determine, over time, when he can make recommendations for further reductions. Under questioning, General Petraeus was unwilling to estimate how long this period of assessment would last – not even agreeing that it could be concluded in three or four months and then the redeployment would recommence. This is a far cry from what Secretary Gates described in February as a “brief pause.” Moreover, General Petraeus was even unwilling to venture an estimate of U.S. troop strength in Iraq at the end of the year “if all goes well.”

It is also clear from General Petraeus’ testimony that Prime Minister Maliki’s actions in Basra once again demonstrated his incompetence. I asked General Petraeus about an April 3rd article in The New York Times which said that before the Iraqi Government’s assault on the Mahdi Army in Basra, he had counseled Prime Minister Maliki, saying “we made a lot of gains in the past six to nine months that you’ll be putting at risk.” I also asked General Petraeus about that same article’s claim that he advised Maliki not to rush into a fight without carefully sizing up the situation and making adequate preparations. General Petraeus acknowledged that Maliki did not follow his advice, that the operation was not adequately planned or prepared. In effect, U.S. troops, with no control over an Iraqi operation in a province which had already been turned over to Iraqi control, were drawn into the fight when that operation went bad.

It is also clear from Ambassador Crocker’s testimony that after five years of training and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces, and after five years of reconstruction, it is still the American taxpayer who is shouldering the greatest economic burden in Iraq while tens of billions in Iraqi money sit in bank accounts around the world.

There is vast agreement that there is no military solution to the situation in Iraq, no matter how dedicated our troops may be, and no matter how much military success they may achieve. To maximize success in Iraq the Iraqi government must take control – politically, economically and militarily. The Iraqis must make the political compromises to bring all factions into the political system and effect political reconciliation. They must spend their own vast oil revenues to improve the lives of all Iraqi citizens. They must take the military initiative, using the training and equipment we have provided them, to subdue the politically irreconcilable and criminal elements in Iraqi society. We cannot continue to do for the Iraqis, they must do for themselves. The open ended commitment the Bush administration maintains, now reinforced by a suspension of further U.S. troop reductions beginning in July, works against getting the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country.

http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=295790




Good Luck to the people of Layton Utah, who get their water near the landfill where they buried the ash from the depleted uranium that was burned then buried. Your children and grandchildren just may see babies born to them that are being born to hundreds and thousands of Iraq parents everyday.

You voted for Bush twice and continue to vote for the warmongers who kill innocent people so now the tables are turned on YOU!

Hey Layton here’s just a sampling of what you might see born to you and your kids. LOOK if you dare!

May your God have mercy on all of you.




Depleted Uranium-Related Birth Defects in Iraq

http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/du-watch/iraq_images/



Depleted uranium burned at Hill


April 10th, 2008 6:13 pm

Associated Press


LAYTON, Utah — Trace amounts of depleted uranium were incinerated during the destruction of classified components at the burn plant near Layton, military officials said Wednesday.

Less than five pounds of depleted uranium were burned over eight months before it was discovered last month that the parts contained the material, according to officials at Hill Air Force Base.

“Based on our calculations, there were no public health, safety or environmental risks,” Col. Linda Medler, commander of the 75th Air Base Wing, said in a statement.

Crews conducting the work were not aware the parts contained depleted uranium because the 40-year-old drawings and other information describing the components weren’t readily available, she said.

Eight batches of the components were incinerated at the Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District — the burn plant — before the depleted uranium was discovered and work was halted, military officials said.

Depleted uranium, a high-density metal left over after processing natural uranium, is 40 percent less radioactive than its natural state.

The amount of radioactive material released into the air after the parts were incinerated was less than the amount found in a typical home smoke detector, Medler said. The material was also in ash that was later taken to a local landfill.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality was notified of the releases last week but disagreed with the military’s calculations of how much radioactive material the public may have been exposed to, said Bill Sinclair, the agency’s deputy director. The military appeared to use a best-case scenario and the DEQ prefers to use worst-case scenarios when calculating that risk, he said.

“I believe a recalculated number still would show little risk, but we need to see it,” Sinclair said.

Hill AFB officials said they also met with health officials, elected leaders and others to discuss the releases. Engineers at the plant are now looking at other ways to destroy the components, Hill AFB officials said.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latestnews/index.php?id=11272




Depleted Uranium Contaminates the Body for Twenty Years


Thursday, April 10, 2008 by: David Gutierrez | Key concepts: depleted uranium, Gulf War and veterans

(NaturalNews) Traces of depleted uranium (DU) have been found in people even 20 years after their initial exposure, according to research conducted by a scientist from the University of Leicester, England and presented at the 119th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver.

Professor Randall R. Parrish and colleagues developed a new method for detecting DU residue in urine. They then tested this method on people known or suspected to have been exposed to DU, including a large group of veterans from the 1991 Gulf War. Traces of DU were found among all those known to have been exposed, even more than 20 years prior.

Parrish said that the study showed that while exposure to DU might be rare among Gulf War veterans, the effects of that exposure can be long lasting. He said that the new test provides a way to resolve cases in which exposure is uncertain or becomes a legal issue

"Our method has been used to show that it is capable of resolving legal cases based on a claim of DU exposure," Parrish said. "It offers a way to resolve debates about DU and health and provide perspective on the issue.

"Resolving the potential implications of DU to health in contaminated populations is best done by properly testing exposed cohorts. The cohorts in need of study are those living in DU-contaminated areas of Iraq, or those living in the vicinity of DU munitions factories with large DU contamination footprints."

DU is a waste product of uranium enrichment, containing approximately one-third the radioactive isotopes of naturally occurring uranium. Because of its high density, it is widely used by the U.S. military in armor- or tank-piercing ammunition. When the metal strikes another object at high impact, however, small aerosol particles can be release into the air and inhaled. Inhalation of DU has been linked to a variety of health problems caused by both its chemical and radioactive properties.

http://www.naturalnews.com/022983.html




Go check out these interesting video’s from Wal Mart. There’s even one of Silent Hillary and Unions. Gee doesn’t Hillary have the backing of several unions?

Mmmm I seem to remember another man named Reagan who had the air traffic controllers union backing him for prez and the first thing he did was bust their union and they lost their jobs. What I just said is 100% true!

Wal-Mart Exposed: Videos You Were Never Meant To See

Videos From Inside Wal-Mart's Corporate Meetings Are For Sale To Willing Buyers


By RHONDA SCHWARTZ and MADDY SAUER


April 9, 2008

From the tough anti-union talk to the wilder side of men in drag, videos of Wal-Mart corporate meetings are being sold to willing buyers, and the corporate behemoth is not happy about it.

The videos, thousands of them spanning three decades, are in the library of a production company in Lenexa, Kan. Flagler Productions Inc. was hired on a handshake deal by Wal-Mart in the 1970s to produce and film corporate sales meetings and other company events.

After receiving a verbal commitment that Flagler would be used for meetings in the future, Wal-Mart abruptly ended its deal with Flagler in 2006 causing the company to lay off most of their employees, according to Flagler. Representatives from Wal-Mart tried to buy the library in 2007, but Flagler and Wal-Mart could not agree on a price so the sale never happened.

Now, Flagler is offering the tapes to anyone else who might be interested, including the media and plaintiffs' attorneys.

Wal-Mart is currently defending itself in a lawsuit that claims widespread sex discrimination regarding issues of salary and promotional opportunities on behalf of at least 1.6 million female employees.

The attorney representing the female employees, Joe Sellers, says that some videos show the company acknowledged there was a lack of women in management back in the late 1980s.

"There's no question these videos capture in a fairly candid way the sentiment of top executives many years ago," Sellers said. "This is not new, and it is not something that top management was unaware of."

Indeed, in one video obtained by ABCNews.com, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton addresses the issue at a shareholders meeting in 1987. "We know we haven't gotten as far as we'd like to be advancing women in our company. But we're very conscious of it," he says.

Wal-Mart released this statement to ABCNews.com today. "Needless to say, we did not pay Flagler Productions to tape internal meetings with this aftermarket in mind. It's definitely an unusual business model on their end, and we can't imagine too many other clients will be eager to pay for this service."

NOW go watch the video’s

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4619734&page=1



28%



AP Poll: Bush Public Approval at New Low


April 10th, 2008 6:13 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public approval of President Bush has reached a new low in the Associated Press-Ipsos poll, driven by dissatisfaction with his handling of the economy.

A survey released Thursday showed just 28 percent approve of the overall job he is doing. His previous record low in the poll was 30 percent last month.

In another record low, only 27 percent are happy with his job on the economy, which threatens to enter a recession.

The AP-Ipsos poll was taken from April 7-9 and involved telephone interviews with 1,005 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latestnews/index.php?id=11270



LOOK OUT GEORGE! Your buddy Mushariff is dealing with Iran!!!!!!!!!!!

And YOU gave them the bomb! Idiot. I wonder did Pakistan trade Iran the bomb for cheap oil?

Mmm could be.

Pakistan pays for a pipeline while we the American taxpayer pay Pakistan to secure the boarder with Afghanistan.

YOUR DOING A HECK OF A JOB GEORGIE!

Iran gas best choice for Pakistan: ambassador



Tehran Times Economic Desk

TEHRAN – Pakistan has constructive political, cultural and economic ties with Iran and we are determined to finalize the trilateral Peace Pipeline project, Mehr cited the Pakistani ambassador to Tehran as saying on Wednesday.

Addressing a ceremony on the occasion of Pakistan National Day, Shafkat Saeed added that supplying gas from Iran is the ‘most economically justified’ alternative out of the three choices of Iran, Turkmenistan and Qatar.

“Pakistan has vowed to broaden its relations with Iran,” he said adding launching the Peace Pipeline project will bolster relations between Tehran, Delhi and Islamabad.

He expressed hope that the concerns over the transit charges would be resolved soon.

India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora will arrive Pakistan on April 21 for talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif to hold talks on the transit fee of the Iran-Pakistan-Indian (IPI) gas pipeline project.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=165904



China Outraged by US-Tibet Resolution


By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN – 2 hours ago

BEIJING (AP) — An indignant China said Friday the U.S. "seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" when Congress passed a resolution calling on Beijing to stop cracking down on Tibetan dissent and talk to the Dalai Lama.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu labeled the resolution anti-Chinese, saying it misrepresented Tibet's "history and modern reality."

"The Chinese side expresses its strong indignation and resolute opposition toward this," Jiang said in a statement posted on the ministry's Web site.

The resolution sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and passed on Wednesday called on Beijing to "end its crackdown on nonviolent Tibetan protesters" and put a stop to cultural, religious, economic and linguistic "repression."

While noting reports of deadly rioting in Lhasa and other Tibetan areas in March, the resolution called China's response "disproportionate and extreme." It said hundreds of Tibetans had been killed and thousands detained, but did not say how it obtained its information.

China says 22 people were killed in the riots, many in arson attacks, and over 1,000 detained. The Dalai Lama's India-based government-in-exile says more than 140 people were killed.

The resolution also called on China to begin an unconditional "results-based dialogue" with the 72-year-old Dalai Lama to address Tibetan concerns and work toward a long-term solution to the dispute.

China has held six rounds of contacts with representatives of the Dalai Lama with no apparent result, and has demanded he meet numerous preconditions before it will talk to him directly.

Jiang said the resolution failed to condemn the "Dalai Clique" that China blames for orchestrating the protests that began peacefully on March 10 among Buddhist monks in Lhasa before spiraling into violence four days later. Beijing has called the protests a plot to sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games and advance the cause of Tibetan independence.

The resolution "makes willful accusations against the ... lawful handling of the serious violent criminal incident in Lhasa and crudely interferes in China's internal affairs," Jiang said.

China has stepped up condemnation of Tibetan protesters following major demonstrations when the Olympic torch passed through San Francisco, London and Paris this week on its relay around the world.

Thousands of protesters angry at China's Tibet policies, human rights record and friendly ties with Sudan have attempted to block the torch's passage, with some individuals seeking to grab it or extinguish the flame.

The San Francisco route was changed and shortened to sidestep demonstrations, but the International Olympic Committee said it had no plans to cancel the rest of the relay, which was to continue Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

China plans to carry the torch over Mount Everest and through Tibet, but jitters about protests during that leg apparently prompted a reversal of a decision to reopen Tibet to foreign tourists on May 1, the start of a three-day national holiday.

Foreigners have not received permits to visit the Himalayan region since the Lhasa protests. Tour operators said Thursday the Tibetan Tourism Bureau told them this week to stop arranging trips for foreigners. They said the bureau cited the need for safe passage for the torch relay to the summit of Everest, as well as continuing safety concerns in Lhasa.

On Thursday, the Dalai Lama said he supports China's hosting of the Olympics but insisted that nobody had the right to tell protesters demanding freedom for Tibet "to shut up."

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j0-ELdy-LRv8gjr3ESO_Huga72BAD8VVH9P00



Resolution in Support of Tibet


On April 9th, the House passed a resolution calling on the Chinese government to end its crackdown in Tibet and to enter into a substantive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, H.Res. 1077. House Resolution 1077 was introduced by Speaker Pelosi and members of the bipartisan Congressional Delegation that met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in India.




Watch Speaker Pelosi speak in support of the resolution:


http://www.speaker.gov/legislation?id=0173


I was watching http://www.c-span.org and saw the house pass the following resolution on Tibet.


This is the Resolution that has China’s panties in a very tight knot or it could be a wedgie.


HOUSE RESOLUTION 1077


Calling on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to end its crackdown in Tibet and enter into a substantive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to find a negotiated solution that respects the distinctive language, culture, religious identity, and fundamental freedoms of all Tibetans, and for other purposes. Whereas March 10, 2008, marked the 49th anniversary of a historic uprising against Chinese rule over the Tibetan people, which forced His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, to escape into exile in India;

Whereas Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in and around Lhasa were blocked by Chinese authorities from staging peaceful demonstrations on this anniversary date and were met with excessive force by the Chinese authorities;

Whereas protests by Tibetans spread inside the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas of China;

Whereas the accumulated grievances of almost six decades of cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression of the Tibetan people by the Government of the People’s Republic of China has resulted in resentments which are at the root of the Tibetan protests;

Whereas resentment of the Chinese Government by the Tibetan people has increased sharply since 2005 as a result of Chinese policies, laws, and regulations that have reduced economic opportunity for Tibetans and severely eroded the ability of Tibetans to preserve their distinctive language, culture, and religious identity;

Whereas the response by the Chinese Government to the Tibetan protests was disproportionate and extreme, reportedly resulting in the deaths of hundreds and the detention of thousands of Tibetans;

Whereas there have been reports that some Tibetans engaged in rioting that may have resulted in the destruction of government and private property, as well as the deaths of civilians;

Whereas His Holiness the Dalai Lama has used his leadership to promote democracy, freedom, and peace for the Tibetan people through a negotiated settlement of the Tibet issue, based on autonomy within the context of China;

Whereas six rounds of dialogue between representatives of the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials have not resulted in meaningful progress;

Whereas the Chinese Government has rebuffed calls by the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and world leaders to respond positively to the Dalai Lama’s willingness to be personally involved in discussions with Chinese leaders on the future of Tibet;

Whereas the Chinese Government has denigrated the Dalai Lama, labeling him as ‘‘a splittist’’ and ‘‘a wolf in monk’s robes’’, thereby further alienating Tibetans who consider the Dalai Lama their spiritual leader;

Whereas the Dalai Lama was recognized for his contribution to world peace when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989;

Whereas the United States Congress, in recognition of the Dalai Lama’s outstanding moral and religious leadership and his advocacy of nonviolence, awarded him with the Congressional Gold Medal on October 17, 2007;

Whereas the Chinese Government has failed to honor its commitment to improve the human rights situation in China as a condition for Beijing being selected as the site for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games;

Whereas the Chinese Government has impeded the access of international journalists to Tibetan areas of China and distorted reports of events surrounding the Tibetan protests, thereby violating the commitment it made that ‘‘there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games’’;

Whereas for many years, the Chinese Government has restricted the ability of foreign journalists and foreign government officials, including United States Government officials, to freely travel in Tibetan areas of China, thereby curtailing access to information on the situation in Tibetan areas;

Whereas the Chinese Government’s use of propaganda during the protests to demonize Tibetans and incite ethnic nationalism is exacerbating ethnic tensions and is counterproductive to resolving the situation;

Whereas the United States Department of State included the People’s Republic of China among the group of countries described as ‘‘the most systematic violators of human rights’’ in the introduction of the 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and in previous Human Rights Reports, but did not do so in the 2007 Human Rights Report, despite no evidence of significant improvements in the human rights situation in China in the past year;

And

Whereas it is the policy of the United States ‘‘to support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity’’ and ‘‘to support economic development, cultural preservation, health care, and education and environmental sustainability for Tibetans inside Tibet’’, in accordance with the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 6901 note): Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the United States House of Representatives—

(1) calls on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to end its crackdown on nonviolent Tibetan protestors and its continuing cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression inside Tibet;

(2) calls on the Chinese Government to begin a results-based dialogue, without preconditions, directly with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people and provide for a long-term solution that respects the human rights and dignity of every Tibetan;

(3) calls on the Chinese Government to allow independent international monitors and journalists, free and unfettered access to the Tibet Autonomous Region and all other Tibetan areas of China for the purpose of monitoring and documenting events surrounding the Tibetan protests and to verify that individuals injured receive adequate medical care;

(4) calls on the Chinese Government to immediately release all Tibetans who are imprisoned for
nonviolently expressing opposition to Chinese Government policies in Tibet;

(5) calls on the United States Department of State to publicly issue a statement reconsidering its decision not to include the People’s Republic of China among the group of countries described as ‘‘the world’s most systematic human rights violators’’ in the introduction of the 2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices;

And

(6) calls on the United States Department of State to fully implement the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 6901 note), including the stipulation that the Secretary of State ‘‘seek to establish an office in Lhasa, Tibet to monitor political, economic and cultural developments in Tibet’’, and also to provide consular protection and citizen services in emergencies, and further urges that the agreement to permit China to open further diplomatic missions in the United States should be contingent upon the establishment of a United States Government office in Lhasa.

http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=1258




Yesterday Jackie Speier was sworn in by Nancy Pelosi. Jackie won the special election and will replace Tom Lantos who recently died.

Tom Lantos was a good man and the only Congressperson to survive the genocide of the Nazi’s in World War II.

After reading about her I think the voters of California made a great move by hiring her.

But as usual the republicans were rude and out of order as Jackie gave her first speech on the House floor and were asked several times to remove their conversation. At one time they even booed Jackie during her speech.

Always the assholes.

Rep. Speier: “Madam Speaker I was struck by something while I was campaigning for this seat. A public servant is never more in tune with her constituents than when she is first running for the office. While holding over 60 community meetings across my district this year, the most common question was: when will we get out of Iraq? It was asked by votes across the spectrum — veterans, students, parents, the prosperous, the middle class, those still working towards their piece of the American dream…”

Go watch the speech of the highly unusual woman. You won’t be sorry you did.

http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=1277


Out of the archives.

Jackie Speier -- moving on, moving up

Survivor of Jonestown ambush plans run for lieutenant governor


Vicki Haddock, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, November 16, 2003

There is a compartment in Jackie Speier's mind where she stores away the old memories of her fact-finding trip to the cult compound of Jonestown.

When it opens, all the agony comes rushing back: She is there on the oppressively humid jungle airstrip in her polka-dot sundress and platform shoes, a congressional aide with clipboard in hand, rushing anxious defectors onto a waiting plane. Then the ambush, as Jonestown's henchmen open fire.

She feels five bullets pierce her body, one blowing away a huge chunk of her thigh. She sees her boss and mentor, Rep. Leo Ryan, dead on the tarmac. She chills as flies and mosquitoes buzz around her wounds. She sips rum to deaden the searing pain. Left for dead with a handful of other wounded survivors throughout the night, she thinks of her parents back in the Bay Area and tape records them a farewell message.

On the cataclysmic night of Nov. 18, 1978, the Rev. Jim Jones dispatched the death squad to the airstrip and then led more than 900 of his flock -- most of them from the Bay Area and about a third of them children -- into a "white night" that became the worst mass murder/suicide in modern history.

Under his perverse sway and the watchful eye of armed guards, residents of his Peoples Temple compound in Guyana either drank cyanide-laced punch from a vat or had it injected into them.

The carnage was incomprehensible. So, too, perhaps, was the survival of Jackie Speier. Ten operations and 25 years later, she still carries within her some of the bullets and all of the psychic determination from that experience.

"After Guyana, I decided that life gives everybody their fair share of heartache and loss, and mine had just come early in life," she says now. "I was wrong, of course -- life isn't fair. Life is whatever you get, and what you do with it . . . and I've had to learn that.

Guyana was just the beginning of a cascade for me."

Continued http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/11/16/INGEM3070L1.DTL&type=printable




Also in the house

House General Counsel Files Contempt Brief

April 10th, 2008 by Jesse Lee

Today, the House General Counsel filed a motion for partial summary judgment with the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia.

Motion for partial summary judgment, memorandum of points and authorities, statement of uncontested facts, and declaration (pdf) >>

Proposed order (pdf) >>

Dems fault Bush on executive privilege


Laurie Kellman, Associated Press - April 10, 2007

President Bush’s refusal to let two confidants provide information to Congress about fired federal prosecutors represents the most expansive view of executive privilege since Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee told a federal judge Thursday.

Lawyers for the Democratic-led panel argued in court documents that Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers are not protected from subpoenas last year that sought information about the dismissals.

The legal filing came in lawsuit that pits the legislative branch against the executive in a fight over a president’s powers.

The committee is seeking the testimony as it tries to make a case that the White House directed the firing of nine U.S. attorneys because they were not supportive enough of Republicans’ political agenda.

The White House says such information is private and covered by executive privilege, the doctrine intended to protect the confidentiality of presidential communications.

House lawyers told U.S. District Judge John D. Bates that subpoenaed White House officials cannot simply skip hearings as Miers did during the committee’s investigation. Further, they said, any documents or testimony believed to be covered by the privilege must be itemized for Congress’ assessment.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2008 at 4:46 pm by Jesse Lee and is filed under Civil Rights, Draining the Swamp, Oversight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

http://www.speaker.gov/blog/?p=1279


If RawStory continues to advertise for John McCain and Ann Coulter web sites I will STOP using them as a resource. >.<


Dems invoke Watergate in contempt trial


Bush's Executive Privilege Claims Most Expansive Since Watergate, House Committee Says

LAURIE KELLMAN
AP News

Apr 10, 2008

President Bush's refusal to let two confidants provide information to Congress about fired federal prosecutors represents the most expansive view of executive privilege since Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee told a federal judge Thursday.

Lawyers for the Democratic-led panel argued in court documents that Bush's chief of staff, Josh Bolten, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers are not protected from subpoenas last year that sought information about the dismissals.

The legal filing came in lawsuit that pits the legislative branch against the executive in a fight over a president's powers.

The committee is seeking the testimony as it tries to make a case that the White House directed the firing of nine U.S. attorneys because they were not supportive enough of Republicans' political agenda.

The White House says such information is private and covered by executive privilege, the doctrine intended to protect the confidentiality of presidential communications.

House lawyers told U.S. District Judge John D. Bates that subpoenaed White House officials cannot simply skip hearings as Miers did during the committee's investigation. Further, they said, any documents or testimony believed to be covered by the privilege must be itemized for Congress' assessment.

Executive privilege is not a right spelled out in the Constitution, so the legal issues are murky and disputes are normally resolved politically. The suit is risky for both sides. Courts have not been kind to the presidency in fights over subpoenas; Congress could have its power to demand information curtailed permanently.

The White House has said Bush was not personally involved in deciding which U.S. prosecutors to fire and that any White House communications on the matter are off-limits under the privilege. Presidential counsel Fred Fielding declared Miers and Bolten immune from prosecution because their refusal to comply with the subpoenas was done at the White House's direction under the privilege.

He also did not provide a privilege log, arguing that revealing the information sought would compromise the president's access to candid advice.

The result, the committee wrote, is White House defiance of congressional oversight unseen since the presidential intransigence that led to Richard Nixon's resignation.

"Not since the days of Watergate have the Congress and the federal courts been confronted with such an expansive view of executive privilege as the one asserted by the current presidential administration and the individual defendants in this case," according to the House's filing.

The idea that Miers could disregard an order to appear at a hearing simply at the president's request suggests a return to the sentiment expressed in Nixon's statement, as quoted in a 1977 New York Times interview, that "when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal," the House lawyers wrote.

Even during Watergate, however, the courts were restrained.

Nixon reluctantly allowed his aides to testify on Capitol Hill but refused to surrender his tape recordings to prosecutors. The Supreme Court ordered the tapes turned over, citing the criminal investigation, but avoided the question of whether presidents can refuse demands from Congress.

The House in February voted 223-32 to hold Bolten and Miers in contempt. Most Republicans boycotted the vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to refer the matter to a federal prosecutor. Mukasey refused and the committee sued on March 10.

House Democrats say the record reveals numerous questionable or outright false statements to Congress and the public by other members of the administration, including purported reasons for seeking the forced resignations and the scope of White House involvement.

They say that executive privilege does not cover documents whose contents are widely known, previously released or that were the subject of extensive, previously authorized testimony.

In the court filing, the House asks Bates to:

_rule that Miers must appear before the committee, be sworn and respond to questions.

_rule that each invocation of the privilege must be itemized.

_grant an injunction that Miers and Bolten produce privilege logs identifying all documents withheld under executive privilege.

The administration is scheduled to respond to the House filing on May 9.

___

Associated Press writer Matt Apuzzo contributed to this report.

http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/Dems_invoke_Watergate_in_contempt_t_04102008.html



This had some of the best pissing and moaning from the House republicans I‘ve seen in a while. I half expected Johnny Boner to start crying (as usual) on the House floor “We want our free trade agreement so we can put millions more out of work, PLEASE”!


House Stops Fast Track Rule for Colombia Free Trade Agreement


The House has just passed a rule to suspend the requirement that the Colombia Free Trade Agreement be considered within 90 legislative days by a vote of 224-195-1 — giving Congress the prerogative in scheduling a vote. This change is necessitated by the President’s partisan actions. Instead of working with Congress on the economic concerns of the American people, on Tuesday, the President took the unprecedented step of sending up the Colombia Trade deal without following established protocols of Congressional consultation. His actions were political and counter-productive. This rule would remove the fast-track timeline for the Colombia free-trade agreement — simply returning to Congress the rightful constitutional role in scheduling consideration of measures. The Fast Track law (PL 107-210) expressly recognizes “the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedures of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as any other rule of that House” and that is what the House is doing.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “The fact is, as I said to the President, many people in America now are concerned about losing their jobs, they’re concerned about losing their homes — most people won’t. But most people are concerned about losing their living standard when the cost of groceries and gasoline and the cost of health care and education and other staples continues to go up and the purchasing power of the income that people have is either stagnant or going down. They have concerns about their economic security. So let’s have a timetable for the American people. Let’s have a timetable on our consideration of a trade bill that addresses the concerns and is compatible with the needs of America’s working families. That is, I think, the only fair thing to do.”

WOW 17 Trade Unionists have been assassinated in Colombia! You see the working people of Colombia know what American workers know Free Trade is not for their benefit but for the benefit of the corporations to get richer off their backs.

Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-03): “In just the first 12 weeks of 2008, 17 trade unionists have already been assassinated. Mr. Speaker, like many of myHhouse colleagues, I have traveled to Colombia several times over the past seven years… I visited the slums of Bogota where the poor and internally displaced struggle to survive. I spent hours in meetings with human rights groups, with families whose loved ones are held in brutal captivity by the FARC… I’ve met with the constitutional court, religious, and labor leaders. With indigenous people and dozens of government and military officials. There is so much more to Colombia than the Administration’s day and a half excursion tours…”

Go watch both video’s of Nancy Pelosi and Jim McGovern here:

http://www.speaker.gov/blog/



U.S. Airstrikes Make More Iraqi Funerals;

"We are fleeing because the shelling and airstrikes on us are increasing."




Telecom Whistleblower Discovers Circuit that Allows Access to All Systems on Wireless Carrier -- Phone Calls, Text Messages, Emails and More


Longshoremen to close West Coast ports to protest war


Justice Department Increasingly Avoiding Corporate Prosecutions


Cheney, Powell, Rice linked to meetings that approved torture on terrorist suspects


Bush to send envoys to Arab capitals


International Monetary Fund says US crisis is largest financial shock since Great Depression


“I consider this the biggest financial crisis of my lifetime", warns Soros


Frontier Airlines Becomes 4th US Air Carrier To Go Under In Past Week


Salmon fishing canceled in California and Oregon as stocks plummet


US Food Safety Not Improving, New Report Shows No Drop in Food Poisoning Cases



Gates and Petraeus differ over troop levels in Iraq


Bush faces growing calls to boycott Olympics opening


Athletes who take Tibet stand 'face Olympic cut', warns Olympic Chief


Milestone for Chinese currency as US dollar slips again


UK House prices: disaster ahead


Brown won't attend opening of Beijing Olympics

The UK’s Prime Minister will not attend while out bumbling anti Democracy, anti Human Rights torturing President will attend!


Euro scores record highs against dollar, sterling

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Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home

Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home
If Not Now When?