Archive for ‘June, 2010’

The Civilian And The General: The Reality Behind The McChrystal Interview Fall-Out

The Civilian And The General: The Reality Behind The McChrystal Interview Fall-Out

In a 10-day interview with Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone, McChrystal and his senior aides poked fun or criticized almost every civilian in the highest levels of the chain of command, including the President, Vice-President, and National Security Advisor James L. Jones, former Marine Corps commandant who, an aide told the magazine, was a “clown.” Another aide told Hastings that Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) “turn up, have a meeting with [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it’s not very helpful.”

Pakistan’s Trillion Dollar Problem

Pakistan’s Trillion Dollar Problem

While at the same time a few high-risk investors are sufficiently intrigued by Afghanistan’s potential to take an early look, the ISI sees a bigger stake in the market value of this mine. The ISI had been well-known for their prolific and ambiguous practices and their double standard policy in Afghanistan. The Inter-Service Intelligence which was created in1948, in order to strengthen the performance of Pakistan’s Military intelligence during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, it was formerly in the Intelligence Bureau, which handled intelligence sharing between the different branches of the military as well as external intelligence gathering, but with a puny civilian government in Islamabad, ISI has emerged as the executive branch of Pakistan’s government.

The Dead Hand of Ronald Reagan

The Dead Hand of Ronald Reagan

As the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spew out ever more toxic oil and methane into the sea, floating toxic sludge, by the millions of gallons, starts destroying the wetlands across the American Southeast, the dead hand of President Ronald Reagan is at work, making sure nothing is done to prevent yet another such disaster from occurring. The name of that dead hand is Martin Leach-Cross Feldman, a federal judge in Louisiana, a part of the notoriously right-wing Fifth Circuit.

Abu Zubaydah and the Case Against Torture Architect James Mitchell

Abu Zubaydah and the Case Against Torture Architect James Mitchell

Attempts to call to accountability any of the architects of the Bush administration’s torture program have so far been depressingly unsuccessful. First, any hopes that President Obama would lead the way were dashed when, even before taking office, the President-Elect declared “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” Then, in January this year, the best hope to date — the final report of a four-year internal investigation into the Justice Department lawyers who wrote the “torture memos” in 2002 and 2003 that purported to redefine torture so that it could be practiced by the CIA, and later by the US military — was shattered when a senior Justice Department official was allowed to override the report’s damning conclusions, declaring that, instead of facing disciplinary measures for “professional misconduct,” the men in question — John Yoo, now a professor at Berkeley, and Jay S. Bybee, now a judge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — had only exercised “poor judgment.”

Kooky Rabbi Misquotes Helen Thomas

Kooky Rabbi Misquotes Helen Thomas

In an op-ed published by The Washington Post, Rabbi David Nesenoff ascribes this incendiary opinion to the legendary journalist Helen Thomas, who was recently forced to retire after the rabbi posted an impromptu interview he had conducted with Thomas on the internet: “The Jew has no connection with the land of Israel.” Nesenoff then writes: “And why? Because, as Thomas went on to explain to me, ‘I’m from Arab descent.’ That’s it? That’s all you got? Do we all travel with only our parents’ stereotypes to guide us, never going beyond them to get to a peaceful destination?”

Obama Weighs Releasing Innocent Yemenis from Guantanamo

Obama Weighs Releasing Innocent Yemenis from Guantanamo

Three weeks ago, I wrote a bitter commentary about the repeated failures of the US government to release an innocent Yemeni prisoner in Guantánamo — a student, Mohammed Hassan Odaini, now aged 26, but just 18 when he was seized — even though he was cleared for release by a military review board under President Bush in 2006, and, to the best of my knowledge, had also been cleared for release last year by President Obama’s Guantánamo Review Task Force.

Faisal Shahzad Pleads Guilty To Times Square Bomb Plot

Faisal Shahzad Pleads Guilty To Times Square Bomb Plot

Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum to all counts of the 10-count indictment against him, for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square on the evening of May 1, 2010, the Justice Department announced. Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, was taken into custody at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport) on May 3, 2010, after he was identified by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection while attempting to leave the United States on a commercial flight to Dubai. Shahzad was then charged in a five-count criminal complaint. On May 18, 2010, he was presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV. Last week, on June 17, 2010, Shahzad was indicted in the Southern District of New York.

Israel’s Security: What The Media Has Underreported

Israel’s Security: What The Media Has Underreported

There are six hugely important developments that have happened in the last month that will provide extraordinary help to protect Israel’s security. Unfortunately, these events have been underreported in the media:

Mass Murder in Charlottesville, Virginia

Mass Murder in Charlottesville, Virginia

During the past five years since I moved back to Charlottesville, Virginia, I had yet to observe the slightest violent incident, prior to the recent spree of horrific mass murders. There was crime, but I hadn’t ever seen it. I had only heard about it in the local media. First there was a young woman picked up hitch hiking and murdered. That was many months ago now. Then there was a man from Charlottesville attacked out of the blue up in the mountains, not actually in Charlottesville. Most recently, a University of Virginia student was alleged to have killed his girlfriend; this made national news, apparently because they were both Lacrosse players.

Unrest in Pakistan: Moving Beyond U.S. National Interest

Unrest in Pakistan: Moving Beyond U.S. National Interest

“The military is the muscle that protects the ruling elite from the wrath of the people,” says Pakistani political analyst Dr. Mubashir Hassan. “Right now, people are out on the street; blocking roads, attacking railway stations, etc. If you read the papers, it seems as though a general uprising has started all over Pakistan.”

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