Submitted by tnjp on October 16, 2010 - 1:29pm.

October 15, 2010 at 10:10:16
Pentagon Hides Iraq War Deaths Tally
By Rory O'Connor

In July, the United States military issued its largest release of raw data ever on deaths during the Iraq war. The Pentagon's tally of the number of Iraqis killed in that country between January 2004 and August 2008 amounts to almost 77,000 people both civilians and security forces who died in the carnage.

As the Associated Press reported, the information went unnoticed for months after being "quietly posted on the Web site of the United States Central Command without explanation." It was only recently discovered by the AP "during a routine check" for civilian and military casualty numbers," which the news agency had first requested in 2005 through the Freedom of Information Act. As AP noted , "The military has repeatedly resisted sharing its numbers, which it uses to determine security trends." (One exception: U.S. military officials in Baghdad released their July 2010 Iraqi casualty tally in order to refute the Iraqi government's much higher monthly figures, a decision made just weeks before U.S. forces withdrew all but 50,000 troops from Iraq "in an attempt to wind down the war and tout the nation's improved security.")

According to the AP, "a spokesman at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., could not answer basic questions about the information." Iraqi Health Ministry officials were equally reticent and refused to discuss the American figures, which fall thousands of deaths short of those the Iraqis have compiled using actual death certificates...

Submitted by tnjp on October 15, 2010 - 8:41pm.

Antiwar Activism Marks 10th Year of War - UFPJ report

Antiwar activists across the US marked the war anniversary with protests last week. Mock drone attacks dramatized the human cost of war in Madison, WI [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRuNVp8Vrvs ] and Boston [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovCbTqHC2lE ], and in Washington, DC [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLqJ3eDX6Xk ] at the Capitol, Union Station, and Dupont Circle (video). There was a die-in in Springfield, Oregon, and check out the great op-ed by Dan Goldrich in the Register Guard. On Long Island, Veterans for Peace and other peace activists demonstrated for an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiXIVL7L-9E ] (video). And in San Francisco, Daniel Ellsberg joined a panel on "Anti-War Perspectives from the Left and Right", which brought together antiwar voices from a range of political perspectives...

Submitted by tnjp on October 12, 2010 - 8:56pm.

For now, antiwar activists will not be forced to testify
By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune
October 12, 2010
Thistle Parker-Hartog originally was supposed to testify before a grand jury in Chicago Tuesday. She didn't go. Mick Kelly was scheduled to make the same trip next week. Don't bet on it. In all, 14 antiwar activists and several organizations from the Twin Cities and Chicago who are being investigated for alleged support of terror groups received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury this month. All -- including five who were to appear last week -- have told the U.S. Department of Justice that they are not going.

Instead, several were among about 60 people gathered in front of the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday to protest what they consider harassment and intimidation because they oppose U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. So far, it seems, the Justice Department has acquiesced. All the subpoenas have been canceled, according to a Chicago attorney working on the case. Instead of being encouraged by the inaction, they are left wondering when the other shoe is going to fall for a growing number of people under investigation...

Submitted by tnjp on October 12, 2010 - 8:54pm.

Despite Army Efforts, Soldier Suicides Continue
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
US | October 11, 2010

Nearly 20 months after the Army began strengthening its suicide prevention program, the suicide rate among active service members shows little sign of improvement.

FORT HOOD, Tex. - At 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday in August, Specialist Armando G. Aguilar Jr. found himself at the end of his short life. He was standing, drunk and weepy, in the parking lot of a Valero station outside Waco, Tex.

He had jumped out of his moving pickup. There was a police officer talking to him in frantic tones.

Specialist Aguilar held a pistol pointed at his head. This moment had been a long time coming, his family said. He had twice tried to commit suicide with pills since returning from a tough tour in Iraq a year earlier, where his job was to drive an armored vehicle to search for bombs.

Army doctors had put him on medications for depression, insomnia, nightmares and panic attacks. Specialist Aguilar was seeing an Army therapist every week.

But he had been getting worse in the days before his death, his parents said, seeing shadowy figures that were not there, hallucinating that he heard loud noises outside his trailer home. "He wanted help - he was out there asking for help," said his father, Armando Aguilar Sr. "He just snapped. He couldn't control what he was doing no more." Specialist Aguilar was one of 20 soldiers connected to Fort Hood who are believed to have committed suicide this year...

Submitted by tnjp on October 12, 2010 - 1:23pm.

The Road Ahead for Progressives: Back to Basics
Gara LaMarche and Deepak Bhargava
October 11, 2010

Twenty-one months after Barack Obama was inaugurated on a wave of hope for change in America's politics and policies, at least two important and seemingly contradictory things can be said.

First, there has been a series of significant progressive reforms: an economic stimulus bill that contained far-reaching antipoverty, infrastructure, green jobs and conservation measures, and that is widely credited with pulling the economy from the brink; comprehensive healthcare reform that has eluded presidents of both parties for a century; and financial regulatory reform.

For progressives, each of these accomplishments are flawed—the stimulus could have been bigger, there could have been a public option in healthcare and more teeth in financial regulation—but they are long strides in the right direction, and given the near-total opposition of Republicans and the conservatism of key Democrats, this is an impressive substantive record that has made and will make a big difference in people's lives.

Second, the nation's politics are more toxic than ever. The president's approval ratings have fallen steadily, even if they may have bottomed out. Independents are said to be disillusioned, many Democrats are demoralized and Republicans are in the grip of an increasingly—there is no other way to say it but—crazy "base," ousting very conservative officeholders in favor of extremist Tea Party candidates who oppose virtually every role government plays.

That's where things stand today...

Submitted by tnjp on October 11, 2010 - 11:56am.

Dissent in the age of Obama - Peace activists had high hopes of an Obama presidency only to face the harsh realities of FBI raids and intimidation.
Cindy Sheehan Last Modified: 09 Oct 2010

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.” - Albert Camus

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) raided the homes of at least eight anti-war/social justice activists here in the US.

I happen to be a prominent anti-war activist myself, and have joked that I am a “little hurt” that I was not raided and perhaps I should try harder. Even though, we have the urge to try and be light-hearted in this time of an increasing police state, with civil liberties on the retreat, it really isn't funny considering that the activists could face some serious charges stemming from these raids.

I have felt this harassment on a smaller scale myself and I know that defending oneself against a police state that has unlimited resources, time and cruelty, can be quite expensive, time consuming and annoying.

There is nothing noble about an agency that has reduced itself to being jackbooted enforcers of a neo-fascist police state, no matter how much the FBI has been romanticized in movies, television and books...

Submitted by tnjp on October 9, 2010 - 11:51am.

Barack Obama accused of exaggerating terror threat for political gain

• Pakistani diplomat launches scathing attack on White House
• European intelligence claims raised terror alerts 'nonsensical'

Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 7 October 2010
A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian.

The non-specific US warning, which despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their overseas terror alert levels, was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have "set the country on fire", said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the high commissioner to Britain.

Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan's president, suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat before next month's midterm congressional elections, in which the Republicans are expected to make big gains.

He also claimed President Obama was reacting to pressure to demonstrate that his Afghan war strategy and this year's troop surge, which are unpopular with the American public, were necessary...

Submitted by tnjp on October 8, 2010 - 10:26pm.

From CodePink...
*Tell Hillary Clinton: Stop Doing Business with Blackwater!*
October 6, 2010

As we mark the 9th year of this bloody war in Afghanistan, please join us in calling on Secretary Clinton to stop giving our taxdollars to the mercenary firm Blackwater. We'll never end the war in Afghanistan as long as companies like Blackwater can make a killing out of killing. *Tell Hillary Clinton: Stop Doing Business with Blackwater!*

**As part of our Cut Blackwater Loose campaign, CODEPINK's *Medea Benjamin teamed up with DC's premier hiphop artist Head-Roc *to create a rap video "Blackwater Makes a Killing."Check it out.


**Also check out this WIRED report on all the shady things private security firms can do and still walk away with a wheelbarror full of your tax dollars, including killing civilians, lying to investigators, retaliating against whistle-blowers, stealing guns, running guns, and buying drugs...

Submitted by tnjp on October 8, 2010 - 2:04pm.

October 6, 2010
Attention Left, Liberal and Radical Groups - Pennsylvania Has Been Monitoring You!
By BILL QUIGLEY and RACHEL MEEROPOL

Thank you, Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), for reminding us how many bad-ass, dedicated, and creative groups we count as allies in our efforts to create a more just world! 

Our friends at MoveON.org, the Ruckus Society, Immokalee Workers, the new SDS, Jobs with Justice, the Brandywine Peace Community, ANSWER, PETA, Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty, MOVE, The Yes Men, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, Climate Ground Zero, the Rainforest Action Network, pro-Palestinian Groups, Puerto Rican nationalists, prisoners’ rights organizations, citizen conservation groups, and immigration activists opposing Arizona’s crazy attempts to criminalize all non-citizens should know – Pennsylvania has been monitoring you. 

Just over a month ago, ProPublica broke the story that Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeland Security contracted with the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), a private Israeli-based company, to assess terrorist threats impacting law enforcement priorities in Pennsylvania...

Submitted by tnjp on October 8, 2010 - 1:20pm.

Latest from Robert Greenwald...

Submitted by tnjp on October 7, 2010 - 8:20pm.

Operation Recovery launches publicly today
Today Iraq Veterans Against the War publicly announces our Operation Recovery campaign to Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops. Our team of campaign organizers has been working around the clock for the past month to prepare for today's action in Washington, D.C.

You can do your part to raise awareness by sending a Letter to the Editor of your local paper. Click here to send a Letter to your local Editor. We've made it easy.

Today's Action


  • The campaign launch will start at 9:15 AM EST at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center where we will hold a ceremony in honor of all those wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • From there we march 6 miles to Capitol Hill, where we will testify about our experiences being deployed in war zones while suffering from traumatic injuries.

  • At Capitol Hill, we will read a letter out loud before delivering it to the offices of members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. (The letter is also being sent by mail to officials within the Pentagon and Veterans Administration.) The letters will serve to put these officials on notice that service members and veterans are standing up for their right to heal, and we will expose those responsible for the deployment of troops who are suffering from trauma.


Today's launch marks the beginning of Phase One of our campaign. Over the next several weeks, we will work to investigate the issues, decide which officials will become our campaign's targets, and work to raise awareness about the campaign.

That's where you come in.....

Submitted by tnjp on October 7, 2010 - 6:47pm.

The Long War: Year Ten
Thursday 07 October 2010
by: Andrew Bacevich |

In January 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s charge to a newly-appointed commanding general was simplicity itself: "give us victories." President Barack Obama’s tacit charge to his generals amounts to this: give us conditions permitting a dignified withdrawal. A pithy quote in Bob Woodward’s new book captures the essence of an emerging Obama Doctrine: "hand it off and get out."

Getting into a war is generally a piece of cake. Getting out tends to be another matter altogether - especially when the commander-in-chief and his commanders in the field disagree on the advisability of doing so.

Happy Anniversary, America. Nine years ago today - on October 7, 2001 - a series of U.S. air strikes against targets across Afghanistan launched the opening campaign of what has since become the nation’s longest war. Three thousand two hundred and eighty five days later the fight to determine Afghanistan’s future continues. At least in part, "Operation Enduring Freedom" has lived up to its name: it has certainly proven to be enduring.

As the conflict formerly known as the Global War on Terror enters its tenth year, Americans are entitled to pose this question: When, where, and how will the war end? Bluntly, are we almost there yet?....

Submitted by tnjp on October 7, 2010 - 1:40pm.

Afghanistan Veterans Speak Out on 10th Anniversary

Submitted by tnjp on October 7, 2010 - 1:21pm.

In January 2010, five Republicans on the Supreme Court gave foreign corporations a Constitutional right to buy Congress and our next President.

If foreign corporations want to buy our elections publicly, they can simply create U.S. subsidiaries. If they want to buy our elections secretly, they can launder their money through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which aggressively raises foreign money, or through Karl Rove's secretive American Crossroads GPS, both of which are spending millions in this year's elections.

That means foreign leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Hu Jintao of China, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia can use their enormous wealth to steal millions of American jobs, keep us dependent on foreign oil and even make us fight their wars.

Watch our powerful ad and tell Congress to Stop the Foreign Takeover:

The Supreme Court put America's national security in danger. They were absolutely wrong and their ruling (Citizens United v. FEC) must be overturned.

Urge your Representatives to co-sponsor the DISCLOSE Act to require full disclosure of all corporate campaign spending and ban foreign corporate spending...

Submitted by tnjp on October 7, 2010 - 12:10pm.

Media Advisory
http://www.fair.org/

One Nation Fails to Impress Corporate Media
Progressive D.C. rally doesn't get Tea Party treatment

10/6/10

Thanks to the efforts of independent media outlets like Free Speech TV (10/2/10), GritTV (10/4/10) and Democracy Now! (10/4/10), you may have been able to follow the happenings at last weekend's One Nation Coming Together rally. Organized and endorsed by hundreds of progressive citizens' groups, labor unions and grassroots activists, the gathering drew tens of thousands to Washington, D.C., to make the case for jobs, peace and social justice. But the corporate media seemed mostly less than impressed, either ignoring the rally completely or framing it in the shadow of the Tea Party.

The network evening newscasts were mostly uninterested, with NBC Nightly News the only one of the big three to file a report, according to a search of the Nexis news database. The PBS NewsHour did not cover One Nation, though a few weeks prior Tea Party organizer Dick Armey was featured in a long one-on-one interview (FAIR Blog, 9/10/10). And far-right Fox News personality Glenn Beck's August rally in Washington was covered on the NewsHour before it happened (8/27/10) and afterwards as well (8/30/10)...