1)The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.
PESHAWAR, March 29: The Awami National Party and the local Taliban have formally made contacts to negotiate peace and find a solution to the growing militancy in the NWFP and tribal areas.
The ANP has already expressed its desire of bringing all hostile quarters to the negotiating table to work out a lasting solution to the war-like situation along the Durand Line and in some settled districts of the province. The local Taliban had welcomed the ANP’s move, sources told Dawn.
ANP central information secretary Zahid Khan confirmed that his party was in contact with the Taliban. “Yes, the ANP has been in contact only with the local Taliban, but Amir Haider Hoti (the chief minister-designate of the NWFP) will formally announce modalities for talks after assuming the charge,” he told Dawn on Saturday.
NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani is likely to administer oath to Mr Hoti by Tuesday evening after getting ascertainment from the provincial assembly.
Mr Hoti has already announced that his government will hold talks with militants in order to maintain peace in the province. He said ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan had conveyed to a US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher that his party would negotiate with the local Taliban to find an amicable solution to the problem.
ANP sources said the Taliban had agreed to initiate peace talks, adding that tribal elders had been facilitating negotiations between the ANP and the local Taliban.
The Taliban have welcomed the ANP’s victory in the elections and congratulated the party leadership. “Greetings have been extended to the ANP leadership and Mullah Omar has praised party’s victory in the elections,” said a senior officer-bearer of the ANP.
However, he said he did not know exactly whether Mullah Omar of Afghanistan had greeted the party or it was a local Taliban leader, Mullah Omar.
Militant commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad recently told a public meeting in Bajaur that his men had started negotiations with the ANP. He claimed that the ANP had taken an initiative and offered talks to the Taliban.The sources said that Tahrik Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsudhad also offered his cooperation to the new government for resolving the crisis.
1b)The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited.
Key Pakistani official says U.S. must end attacks on militants
Posted on Tue, Apr. 01, 2008
Key Pakistani official says U.S. must end attacks on militants
Saeed Shah | McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: April 01, 2008 08:37:36 PM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The new top official in Pakistan's terrorism-racked northwest frontier has demanded that the United States end missile strikes in the country and called for negotiations with militants — an approach that would dramatically alter the American-inspired war on terror there.
Amir Haider Hoti, who took the oath of office Tuesday as chief minister of the North West Frontier Province, said in an interview with McClatchy that military action should now be used only as a "last resort."
"To some extent, the interests of Pakistan have been sacrificed to the war on terror. We've suffered a lot," Hoti said. The United States "should let us handle it, let Pakistan handle it."
Hoti's demands, if he carries them out, could severely undercut U.S. strategy in Pakistan. President Bush has relied on an alliance with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to attack Islamic militants in the tribal areas.
But Musharraf's party was drubbed in Pakistan's February parliamentary elections, and there are growing concerns in Washington that the country's newly elected leaders will reverse the military-dominated strategy, which has caused an angry public backlash in Pakistan.
Under Pakistan's federal system, the nation is divided into four provinces, each with its own parliament and government.
The region now headed by the 37-year-old Hoti runs along the Afghan border and, in recent weeks, has seen a sharp escalation in U.S. missile attacks from Afghanistan on suspected Islamic militants. Hoti insisted that this tactic must end.
"We will be making a request to the U.S. government, that please stop this thing because it is only adding to the problem," Hoti said. "There is a general hatred in (the province) against certain policies, especially against these strikes. We will consider it as an open violation, interfering in internal affairs."
Hoti's comments seem to fly in the face of Washington's assessment of the threat. On Sunday, CIA Director Michael Hayden warned of a "clear and present danger" to the West from militants in Pakistan's border area with Afghanistan. He said the area had become a "safe haven" for terrorists.
Hoti said his government would use the traditional forum for negotiations — called the jirga — among the Pushtun people of the northwest province to talk to the extremists. His approach has been echoed by Pakistan's central government, which formally has jurisdiction over the Federally Administered Tribal Area, the sliver of land sandwiched between the province and Afghanistan.
The war on terror "wasn't handled properly," Hoti said. "They used force as a first option, never went in for a proper dialogue. They made a lot of errors. Force should be used as a last resort.
"Pushtuns, we have our traditions. We have our own history and dialogue. Through jirga we have been able to sort out our own problems."
The Afghan Taliban, al Qaida and the Pakistani version of the Taliban that they have spawned use the tribal area as a base.
Pakistan's new prime minister,Yousuf Raza Gilani, in his first major speech on Saturday, said that the federal government is "ready to talk to all those people who give up arms."
The Pakistani Taliban have already responded.
At a gathering of 5,000 heavily armed tribesmen on Sunday, leaders said that they were willing to make peace with the Pakistani authorities, but only if the country "severs ties with the U.S." They also wanted the enforcement of Sharia, Islamic law.
They also said that the "jihad against America would continue in Afghanistan." On Sunday, they blew up another girls' school in the area.
Hoti said that his administration wouldn't immediately talk to Mehsud, but "naturally we have to negotiate with the Tehreek-e-Taliban, all the way up because they are the concerned party."
Hoti didn't require any precondition of renouncing violence but said that his dialogue would be limited to Pakistani, not foreign fighters.
"The mandate we got, people voted for a change. What they want from us is peace, peace and stability in this region," Hoti said of the February elections. "Pushtuns are peace-loving people. We've always wanted peace. Who would want a suicide jacket for his child?"
ISLAMABAD, March 28: US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher has said that Washington is looking for long-term relations with the new democratic government in Pakistan.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari after a meeting at the Zardari House on Friday, the US official said he was happy to have met the coalition and opposition leaders and discussed relations with the new government.
Responding to a question about US strikes in the tribal areas, he said: “They were very dangerous people who were carrying out attacks in Pakistan, Europe and the US and we are working on subduing their activities.”
Earlier, Mr Boucher held talks with Asfandyar Wali Khan of the Awami National Party and Maulana Fazlur Rahman of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and Pakistan Muslim League-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain.
He said the people of Pakistan were hospitable and aware of the relationship with the US and they would be looking forward to long-term relations.
Mr Boucher said: “We all want to move together to help make Pakistan a safe and secure democratic society.” He said: “We all understand various aspects of the problem and that after that new parliament has come into being, it will discuss and decide on all issues, including the issues of terrorism and extremism that are affecting Pakistan itself.”
Maulana Fazl told Mr Boucher that Pakistan was suffering from terrorism because of the war being waged in Afghanistan.
Talking to newsmen, he said he had made it clear that the use of force was no answer to the problem of violence.
The new government would not be able to continue the policy pursued by a dictator without consulting parliament or the people of the country, he said.
The ANP chief stressed the need for implementing the proposed development package for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and said peace could not be restored without the help of tribesmen.
He alleged that some leaders who had met the US officials over the past two days were making statements in public which were completely different from what they had actually told the Americans in private.
1d)The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited.
New Pakistani Leaders Tell Americans There’s ‘a New Sheriff in Town’
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The top State Department officials responsible for the alliance with Pakistan met leaders of the new government on Tuesday, and received what amounted to a public dressing-down from one of them, as well as the first direct indication that the United States relationship with Pakistan would have to change.
On the day that the new prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gillani, was sworn in, Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte and the assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, Richard A. Boucher, also met with the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, whom they had embraced as their partner in the campaign against terrorism over the past seven years but whose power is quickly ebbing.
The leader of the second biggest party in the new Parliament, Nawaz Sharif, said after meeting the two American diplomats that it was unacceptable that Pakistan had become a “killing field.”
“If America wants to see itself clean of terrorists, we also want that our villages and towns should not be bombed,” he said at a news conference here. Mr. Sharif, a former prime minister, added he was unable to give Mr. Negroponte “a commitment” on fighting terrorism.
The statements by Mr. Sharif, and the cool body language in the televised portions of his encounter with Mr. Negroponte, were just part of the sea change in Pakistan’s domestic politics that is likely to impose new limits on how Washington fights militants within Pakistan’s borders.
That fight, which has recently included American airstrikes in the lawless tribal areas where the Taliban and Al Qaeda have made sanctuaries, has become widely unpopular, particularly in the last few months as a surge in suicide bombings here has been viewed as retaliation for the American attacks.
Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, also met with the Americans but did not speak to reporters afterward. Husain Haqqani, an adviser who attended the meeting with him, said, though, that the American officials had been given notice that the old ways were over.
“If I can use an American expression, there is a new sheriff in town,” Mr. Haqqani said. “Americans have realized that they have perhaps talked with one man for too long.”
Mr. Sharif and Mr. Zardari boycotted the swearing-in of Mr. Gillani as prime minister by Mr. Musharraf at the presidential palace, another sign of their determination to sideline Mr. Musharraf.
Distancing himself from Mr. Musharraf, Mr. Gillani, moments after taking the oath of office, said, “We have to give supremacy to the Parliament so that we can jointly take the country out of these crises.”
The new chief of staff of the Pakistan Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, also seemed to eager to show he was his own man, relieving two generals on Monday who had been close to Mr. Musharraf.
The timing of the American visit was harshly criticized in the Pakistan media for creating the appearance that the United States was trying to dictate policy to a government not even hours old. The two American diplomats met Mr. Sharif as Mr. Musharraf administered the oath of office to Mr. Gillani.
“I don’t think it is a good idea for them to be here on this particular day,” said Zaffar Abbas, the editor of the English-language newspaper Dawn. “Here are the Americans, right here in Islamabad, meeting with senior politicians in the new government, trying to dictate terms.”
An editorial on Tuesday in The News, one of Pakistan’s most-read English dailies, was headlined “Hands Off Please, Uncle Sam.” The Americans should understand, the editorial said, that the newly elected Parliament was now their proper partner, not Mr. Musharraf.
“The people have spoken and rejected the religious parties, and at the same time they have rejected the people who will automatically nod to the United States,” Mr. Tareen said.
An independent analyst on the Pakistani military, Shuja Nawaz, who lives in Washington, said Pakistani officials had told him they discouraged the American diplomats from coming this week.
But the Pakistanis were told that Mr. Negroponte was on a trip that included other already arranged stops and that Tuesday was the only possible day for him. Mr. Nawaz called the visit “ham-handed,” and said it could be seen as Washington wanting to keep acting as the “political godfather behind Musharraf.”
The changes in the military hierarchy by General Kayani seemed intended to display his independence from Mr. Musharraf, who appointed him chief of the military in December. General Kayani reassigned two of the most important corps commanders, the 11 powerful generals in charge of regional posts: Lt. Gen. Shafaat Ullah Shah, the corps commander of Lahore, Pakistan’s second biggest city; and Lt. Gen. Sajjad Akram, the corps commander at Mangla on the Indian border
What's Really Going on Here??
Democracy threatens US influence in Pakistan
Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March 24, 2008
Despite, or possibly because of american efforts to prop up pakistan's military dictator musharraf, the normally contentious political parties in pakistan were able to come together and take a commanding majority in parliament.
The prime minister's promise to restore the judiciary musharraf dismissed and arrested is a clear and direct threat to musharraf's hold on power, and our ability to project power in pakistan through him.
Our role in pakistan is clear. We have supported musharraf's dictatorship because we desire the unchecked power to kill, kidnap, secretly detain, and torture any one we suspect of anti-americanism in the pakistani provinces bordering Afghanistan.
Our demand for lawless authority is not limited to pakistan. We support a ring of dictators across the middle-east and around the world who act above the rule of law.
The death of bhutto did more to unify pakistan than if she would have continued her life of political and economic corruption.
Bhutto's death has opened up a historical moment allowing all the major pakistani parties the opportunity to unify on a shared public repudiation of the dictatorships and corruption that have plagued pakistani politics for decades. Bhutto has given more in death than she was ever capable of when she lived.
There are three dangerous wild cards hidden in this deck that can screw up the emergence of democracy in pakistan. The first is zadari, the corrupt widower of Bhutto. If "10% zadari" tries to wrestle the speaker ship out of the hands of his PPP underling, gillani, this fragile coalition may shatter. The other wild card is the role of the army.
If the army is willing to step back and take a back seat as musharraf is finally deposed, a parliamentary democracy could emerge in pakistan that resembles the relationship of the army and government in turkey.
The final wildcard is the role we will play in supporting musharraf, manipulating zadari, plotting with the army, and staging attacks in the western provinces. The history of our relationship with pakistan is clear: we will support military dictators who are willing to do our bidding.
If zadari cuts a deal to act as an agent of american authority, or the military intervenes to maintain musharraf, or we put too many missiles into the tribal areas, the situation in pakistan could spin out of our control into instability that will favor the adherents of radical islam.
We should step back and take a look at The Big Picture to get a better understanding of the context of the political situation in pakistan. To pakistan's west sits our military and political failures in Afghanistan.
We started our latest imperial adventure in pakistan to prop up our war in Afghanistan, but we have effectively lost Afghanistan, and now we are on the verge of losing pakistan.
This suggests that no tactical adjustments will salvage our position in east asia. Our imperial policies are going down in flames across the middle-east. To recover from these failures we need to honestly examine our approach to, and our goals of our war in Afghanistan and our support of authoritarian regimes across the middle-east.
An honest evaluation of our policies towards pakistan indicates that our actions reflect our values, means, and goals. Our goals and means are those of a corporate empire, not a democratic republic. This implies that the breakdowns and failures of our war and foreign policies are centered in washington, not baghdad, kabul, or islamabad.
The consistency of our historical support for dictators spans both democratic and republican dominated congresses, and is consistent across the administrations of both parties suggests that our political breakdown is systematic, and not the product of a particular administration.
If we want to democratize the world we must first restore our democracy here. Otherwise we will continue to talk of freedom and democracy while making war and imposing dictators on nations seeking self-rule around the world.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department in 2003 gave military interrogators broad authority to use extreme methods (torture: ed.) in questioning detainees and argued that wartime powers largely exempted interrogators from laws banning harsh treatment (torture: ed.), according to a memorandum publicly disclosed on Tuesday.
In a sweeping legal brief written in March 2003, when the Pentagon was struggling to determine the appropriate limits for its interrogators, the Justice Department gave the Pentagon much of the same authority it had provided to the Central Intelligence Agency in a memorandum months earlier. Both memorandums were later rescinded by the Justice Department.
The disclosure of the 2003 document, a detailed 81-page opinion written by John C. Yoo, who at the time was the second-ranking official at the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, is likely to fuel the already intense debate about legal boundaries in the face of a continuing terrorist threat.
Mr. Yoo’s memorandum is the latest document to illuminate the legal foundation that Bush administration lawyers used after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to give the White House broad powers to capture, detain and interrogate (kidnap, disappearances,torture: ed.) suspects around the globe.
The thrust of Mr. Yoo’s brief has long been known, but its specific contents were revealed on Tuesday after government lawyers turned it over to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has sought hundreds of documents from the Bush administration under the Freedom of Information Act.
Some legal scholars said Tuesday that they were amazed at the scope of the memorandum.
“This is a monument to executive supremacy and the imperial presidency,” said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School and the Washington College of Law at American University. “It’s also a road map for the Pentagon for fending off any prosecutions.”
The memorandum gave the military broad latitude to use harsh interrogation methods (torture: ed.). It reasoned that federal laws prohibiting assault were not applicable to military interrogators dealing with members of Al Qaeda because of White House authority during wartime. It also argued that many American and international laws would not apply to interrogations overseas.
“Even if an interrogation method arguably were to violate a criminal statute, the Justice Department could not bring a prosecution because the statute would be unconstitutional as applied in this context,” it reads.
Justice Department lawyers later rescinded both Mr. Yoo’s memorandum and the similar one written for the C.I.A. in August 2002. In a book published last year, Jack Goldsmith, who as head of the Office of Legal Counsel made the decision to rescind the memorandums, criticized the documents, saying they had used careless legal reasoning to provide national security agencies with sweeping interrogation authority.
Written to William J. Haynes II, who at the time was the Pentagon’s general counsel, Mr. Yoo’s document was meant to give legal guidance to Defense Department lawyers as they wrestled with a list of interrogation methods for prisoners at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The document explains that Mr. Haynes had asked the Justice Department “to examine the legal standards governing military interrogations of alien unlawful combatants held outside the United States.”
The Pentagon was trying to set clear guidelines for military interrogators after Donald H. Rumsfeld, the defense secretary at the time, withdrew approval for some interrogation techniques opposed by some senior military lawyers.
Ultimately, Mr. Yoo’s memorandum provided the legal foundation for the group’s final report, which defended the use of harsh interrogation methods.
Similar to the document written for the C.I.A. in August 2002, Mr. Yoo’s memorandum offered a narrow definition of what constitutes torture.
“The victim must experience intense pain or suffering of the kind that is equivalent to the pain that would be associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions will likely result,” Mr. Yoo wrote.
Despite the wide latitude the document gave to the military, the Pentagon never authorized some of the harshest interrogation methods used by the C.I.A., including waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique.
Amrit Singh, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the Yoo memorandum seemed to give military interrogators “carte blanche” to use any techniques and suggested that it was the legal underpinning for abuses that occurred months later at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Some legal experts and civil liberties groups have for years criticized the August 2002 memorandum written for the C.I.A. as overly expansive in the authority it gave the agency to interrogate detainees.
That memorandum was also written by Mr. Yoo, who is now a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, but it was signed by Mr. Bybee and for several years has been commonly known as the Bybee memo.
It was prepared after an internal debate in the government about the methods used to extract information from Abu Zubaydah, one of Osama bin Laden’s top aides, after his capture in April 2002.
The document provided a legal foundation for coercive techniques used later against other high-ranking detainees, like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is believed to be the chief architect of the Sept. 11 attacks and was captured in early 2003.
The Detainee Treatment Act passed by Congress in 2005 required the Defense Department to restrict interrogation methods to those set out in the Army Field Manual, which bans coercive interrogations.
The proper terms for bush's crimes are "kidnapping, disappearances, and torture"
Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 2, 2008
The powers that bush claimed were not "extreme methods in questioning detainees," nor were they "capturing and detain(ing) suspects around the globe." as the mealy-mouthed lapdogs of power at the NYT describes the issue.
The issue is that the President claimed the right to kidnap, secretly imprison, and torture anyone they want, anywhere in the world. The NYT is aiding and abetting this illegal administration's crimes against humanity and our constitutional government by describing these crimes with forgiving words that mislead their readers about the criminal nature of these acts.
the nyt article fails to mention the basic fact that congress is constitutionally mandated to make the rules for our military forces. The president has no power to alter these rules, nor to craft new rules for himself.
This simple fact makes bush's "findings" not only illegal on their face, but defines bush's disregarding congress' constitutional right and duty to make laws regulating the military as a high crime against our constitutional system as well as the congressional laws against torture.
But you would not know any of this from the NYT article. Hell, the NYT is incapable of using the correct terms to describe the crimes of kidnapping, torture, and disappearances that bush has been authorizing.
The corporate media has bought the Administration's retention of torture Hook, Line, and Sinker, yet again. This is hauntingly reminiscent of the lead up to the war on Iraq, where lies and half-truths were reported as fact. Let's look at the facts again.
These claims render all of the previous rules, laws, and judicial decisions on torture, including the "rules for torture" he just issued, worthless.
Fact: The painful arguments of the Administration to render the word "torture" meaningless, and the clear signals the Administration has sent to both interrogators and "judges" who handle "detainees" indicates that this Administration has no intention whatsoever to limit its ability to secretly kidnap, endlessly detain, torture and finally "convict" their victims.
Fact: Bush is hiding his crimes behind a veil of secrecy. Rather than being crimes, kidnapping, torture, illegal searches and detentions are "state secrets."
Fact: Bush's actions during his ongoing terror war consist of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against American law, and our Constitution.
Fact: Congress has tolerated this Administration's claim to, and use of, criminal powers that constitute a clear and present danger to our democratic republic. Congress has continued to provide funding for all of Bush's crimes, and by failing to withdraw funding and prosecute these offences have become party to them.
Key Reference:Secret findings by White House and Justice authorized torture despite their denials in 2004, and the laws of the land.
White House issues "waiver," exempting itself from torture laws, 1-4-06
The vote's integrity was being called into question, a spokeswoman said.
Hundreds of members of Egypt's main opposition Muslim Brotherhood group have been arrested since February.
The Muslim Brotherhood is officially banned in Egypt but members standing as independents currently hold a fifth of the seats in parliament.
The Brotherhood says the authorities are holding more than 730 members in custody, and have detained more than 350 in the last month.
Observers say the detentions have coincided with the 10-day registration period for candidates in the key council elections on 8 April.
"We are concerned by a continuing campaign of arrests in Egypt of individuals who are opponents of the current governing party and are involved in the upcoming local elections," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
"The people of Egypt should be permitted to choose freely among competing candidates.
"We call on the government of Egypt to cease any actions that would compromise the ability of the Egyptian people to fully exercise their internationally recognised human rights and to participate in a free and fair election."
This pronouncement by the white house does not ring true. This administration has supported mubarak's dictatorship politically, economically, and militarily as mubarak has employed secret arrests, mass arrests, false charges, open state violence, torture, and military trials to maintain his dictatorial authority. None of these crimes has bothered bush, nor the clinton administration that proceeded bush's.
Let's look at the muslim US allies in the region. Mubarak in egypt is a military dictator. Abbas of the Palestinian Authority lost the last Palestinian elections, then lost a US-sponsored military adventure to defeat Hamas and conquer Gaza. The Saudi royal family is an authoritarian monarchy. The UAE is composed of tyrannical aristocracies. Hussein in Jordan is an absolute monarch who depends on a brutal secret police to maintain his power.
Every one of our allies in the region is an abomination against our democratic principals and the human rights of their "subjects," except one: israel.
Our relationship with Israel offers an instructive counterpoint to our relations with the arabs. We constantly speak about how israel is an outpost of democracy and western military might among the arabic tyrannies. That is not the case. Our support for israel has checked the development of democratic institutions across the middle east.
In support of israel we have used the full weight of our power to support any arab dictator, king, or tyrant who is willing to use american economic, military, and political support to seize or maintain dictatorial power over their people in exchange for their toleration of israel.
The cost the arab dictatorships pay for tolerating israel and accepting our support is domestic insecurity. The danger lays in the fact that their tolerance of israel is intolerable to their people. But it gets even better.
Israel's "democracy" is founded on a continuing ethnic cleansing and denial of the rights of the Palestinians to control their own lands, or participate in the polity that controls their lands. Israel pretends to call itself a democracy, but in reality it is no more than an exclusive western religious colony, and has no more legitimacy than the force of its, and our arms.
Israel is the last vestige of the collapsing british empire at the end of WWII, imposed upon palestine at the cost of palestine. Israel today represents the high tide of arrogance, blind racism, and and the sense of cultural superiority over the muslims that americans share with the jews.
The following links tell the story of our dictator mubarak doing everything he can to prevent the egyptian people from expressing their democratic will. I believe these repressive efforts will intensify and radicalize domestic discontent in egypt, and will ultimately fail.
The consequences of our support for mubarak will be the loss of egypt from our stable of middle eastern dictatorships, replaced by a radicalized egypt that will look at israel as the enemy it is.
Corruption Updates 18, 7th article on page, FOR MODERATE DEMOCRACY: EGYPTIANS BELIEVE DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT IS NOT A REAL CONCERN” (of the United States)
Corruption Update 21, 3rd article on he page, Egypt Sends Sadat's Nephew to Prison for Defaming Military page, states that:
“The United States had at one time talked about Egypt as leading the way toward democratic reform in the Middle East. But with the chaos in the region, and the political uncertainty in Egypt, officials in Egypt said the United States has dropped all pressure to make democratic reforms.” Now compare that with our latest rational for the Iraq war: “We Will Spread Democracy across the Middle East.”
Corruption Update 27, 5th article down,Egypt adopts Bush style arrests based on no more than the will of the President
Corruption Update 27, 6th article on page,“2007, Redrawing the Map,” This article describes Mubarak's suppression of democracy through arbitrary Constitutional amendments.
Corruption Update 40, 6th article on page, "Before the vote" (MUBARAK ABOUT TO IMPOSE BUSH RULES ON EGYPT) The Constitutional changes Mubarak is about to impose on Egypt are the same powers Bush has claimed here!
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2008 (Reuters) — The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world and for the first time in the nation's history, more than one in every 100 American adults is confined in a prison or jail, according to a report released on Thursday.
The report by the Pew Center on the States said the American penal system held more than 2.3 million adults at the start of the year.
The far more populous nation of China ranked second with 1.5 million behind bars, with Russia a distant third with 890,000 inmates.
"Beyond the sheer number of inmates, America also is the global leader in the rate at which it incarcerates its citizenry, outpacing nations like South Africa and Iran," according to the report.
The latest report tracked similar findings on the U.S. prison population by the Justice Department and various private groups. A report in November by a criminal justice research group found the number of people in U.S. prison had risen eight-fold since 1970.
The new report said that the national prison population has nearly tripled between 1987 and 2007.
"The number of people behind bars in the United States continued to climb in 2007, saddling cash-strapped states with soaring costs they can ill afford and failing to have a clear impact either on recidivism or overall crime," it said.
The report said the current prison growth has not been driven mainly by a parallel increase in crime or a corresponding surge in the nation's population.
"Rather, it flows principally from a wave of policy choices that are sending more lawbreakers to prison and, through the popular 'three-strikes' measures and other sentencing enhancements, keeping them there longer," it said.
As you may or may not know, this website has a specific plan. The plan, and the whole goal behind this website is to qualify the initiative for the nov '09 general election in california.
At this point, the majority of the effort is directed towards developing the websites and the internal organization and tools required to publicize the initiative, and effectively organize the respondents to qualify the initiative for the nov '09 ballot.
To do this successfully, we need to attract the latent expertise of our citizens. To complete and maintain the committee news site, we need:
We need authors and editors to submit Corruption Updates articles that inform about political corruption and what it costs our citizens.
The preferred format is to cut and past an abstract of the news item, including headline, author, and source along with enough of the body text to describe the event. This can be followed by your brutal analysis of the meanings the corporate press omitted. Finally, as it is important to provide context for the story, all the links, related articles, and references you can find to support your analysis.
Editing and Website upkeep
Maintaining the website and database is an endless chore.
Webdesign and Programming
Both sites (this one and NextRevolution.org) require the addition of HTML and PHP programming elements and expertise. NextRevolution is a drupal/PHP site, and requires more knowledge than I now possess to make it operate effectively as a political social networking/political organization tool.
The initiative needs a legal review.
The business plan needs to be completed.
Non-profit status and an accounting structure must be established.
Develop multi-faceted approach for developing traditional and digital and bases of public support. Contact and develop rapport with existing political organizations including teacher and nursing unions, civil rights groups, and other advocacy organizations.
Plan effort to solicit and secure foundation grants, celebrity endorsements and prominent political and financial supporters.
Other than these ongoing task requirements, the sites are coming along well. During march the committee site attracted 4099 individuals who viewed over 11,000 pages. The nextrevolution site collected over a thousand hits during its first month online.
The timeline to complete the sites, open the public promotion, and begin the search to find and secure funding is August 2008.
If there is any way you can help, or if you have any questions about any of these issues, or anything else, you can email me at
State Sen. Carole Migden's re-election campaign received a much needed boost Tuesday when a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction allowing her to spend $647,000 from an old campaign account.
In ruling against California's political watchdog agency, federal Magistrate Judge Edmund Brennan said there is reason to believe the San Francisco Democrat could suffer irreparable harm without the money.
During a brief interview on the floor of the Senate after the court decision, Migden expressed relief.
"I was heartened by the ruling," she said. "This is certainly very good news."
Her attorney, James Harrison, said the money will allow the senator to run a competitive race.
Brennan did not rule on the merits of her suit but said there is sufficient evidence to suggest Migden could prevail when the trial is over.
With the election only two months away, the judge said she needs the money immediately to remain a viable candidate.
Migden's public image has taken a beating since she rear-ended another vehicle last May in her state-owned vehicle during an erratic ride near Fairfield.
In addition, she recently agreed to a negotiated settlement with the FPPC and was fined $350,000 for 89 spending and disclosure violations, the largest fine ever assessed a state official.
The FPPC investigation in that case prompted the agency to rule she could not spend the remaining money she raised before she was elected to the Senate.
State law requires elected officials to spend money they raised in office before leaving that office. Migden was termed out of the Assembly in 2004 and FPPC officials say she has already spent nearly $400,000 to which she is not entitled.
Migden's attorneys blamed accounting errors and argued that by prohibiting her from spending money she legally raised, the FPPC was violating her First Amendment rights to free speech.
The FPPC filed a $9 million counterclaim against Migden, alleging Migden failed to report a number of large transactions and reported other large transactions that never occurred.
FPPC officials said they were disappointed after Tuesday's ruling. The surplus funds law, they noted, has been on the books for nearly three decades and is designed to prevent officeholders from using that money for personal gain after leaving office.
"We now look forward to a full trial on the merits of our case against Sen. Migden, which will be decided by an impartial jury," the agency said in a prepared statement.
Lawrence Woodlock, an attorney for the FPPC, said in court that Migden was the first person to challenge the surplus funds law. Allowing her to spend the money, he argued, would encourage other officials to flout the law.
But the judge said the purpose of the law is to prevent former lawmakers from using leftover campaign money for personal use, while Migden intends to spend the money on her campaign.
Pigden fights for the right of politicians to universalize political bribes
Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 4, 2008
migden is able to run a competitive race, not because she has local supporters for her continuing in office, but because the previous bribes she collected in her runs for other offices can now be used to maintain her senate seat.
The good news is that when the special interests bought migden, years ago, she stays bought! The real import of this decision is that when a special interest buys a politician, their bribery money and influence travels into whatever subsequent office their bribed tool is able to crawl into.
Migden is saying that the money used to bribe her in previous campaigns is good forever, following the her through whatever different office she pursues. Once bribed, always bribed!
What this means to you is that the candidate you believe is running to represent your interests is being influenced by bribery money from hidden sources that have no interest in your welfare.
This will have the effect of making the special interest that bribed your politician three elections back more important than your contributions, and the contributions of local voters in the current election.
The current law allows this type of transfer of bribes between campaigns, but has a time limit and reporting standards. Pigden could not even meet these simple standards, and as a consequence has decided to inflict more yet more damage on our already corrupted democracy to preserve her position.
Simply stated, pigden has put herself before our democracy.
On april 6th, 2007 it appeared that the upcoming summer crops in the northern hemisphere were going to suffer from a range of hardships, from excessive heat in europe, drought across much of the US, to an erratic monsoon in asia and south asia. As it turned out, there were substantial declines in crop yields last summer.
This trend of declining crop yields across the northern hemisphere has continued through this winter, with freak weather destroying winter crops across asia, africa, and the US.
The aberrations in the seasons we are now experiencing appear to be pushing the impending summer planting deeper into spring. As late summer heat has become hot enough to damage most summer crops, planting late in spring reduces summer crop yields.
Expect significant declines in summer crop production across the northern hemisphere again this summer due to late planting, unpredictable weather, and increased temperature
As global food stocks are at record lows, and commodity prices at record highs, it appears that the increase of unpredictable summer weather patterns has the potential to trigger the threat of a global famine by october of 2008.
The basic cause of this crisis is that we have destabilized global weather patterns at the same time that the global population is testing the ability of our agricultural skills to provide the minimal levels of production required to feed this massive population.
Exactly the same situation applies to our water and energy use.
The magnitude and danger of the situation we have created demands a significant reevaluation of how we approach life, starting with our goals and the means we pursue our goals.
Our goal of endless growth in population, consumption, and profit through the means of a corporate dominated state has proved to be both practically and ethically flawed.
Practically speaking, our growth and consumption is the main cause of the climatic chaos we are experiencing. Ethically speaking, our corporate state is a violation of our own political values and our constitution. In pursuit of the resources our growth and consumption demand we have become the main source of tyranny and oppression around the world.
Until we change our goals and means, we will be incapable of confronting the many-headed crisis our irresponsibility has created. Our corporate and special interests have used our government to consume the world. Our democratic rights and constitution were the appetizers. It's time to end the orgy of greed. It's time to take our government back.
The first step towards a cleaner world is clean elections. Until we diminish the power of our special interests to buy politicians and policy, our government will continue to be a tool of the most powerful interests in our country, and they will continue to use our own wealth and power against us, and what little remains of our natural environment.
The same greed that made our country so rich and powerful is the real source of the impending global famine. Unless we wise up fast, america's greed will be the main reason our planet will be incapable of feeding us.
The pursuit and maintaience of criminal powers and profits
Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 6, 2008
China is a police state that should not have one of our jobs, nor any of our trade, let alone the olympics.
China is using their wealth and the olympics to give them credibility on the world stage despite their social, political, economic, and environmental crimes. China should be cut-off until they make basic political and social reforms. But that will not happen as long as their leaders are allies with the corporate class that runs our government.
Our corporate leaders have empowered all of china's crimes in an attempt to evade the costs that social, political, economic, and environment responsibility would have cost them here in the US. Our corporate government has traded our environmental health and used cheap labor in china to disenfranchise, if not destroy, our middle-class by sending our manufacturing to china
In the run up to the olympics the state department took china off their list of serious violators of human rights. China responded by re-raping tibet after a fierce bitch-slapping.
This presents no problem for the US, as we don't want china saying anything about our war crimes, starting with our illegal invasion of iraq, and including our claims to be "legally" employing kidnapping, disappearing, torturing, and kangaroo military courts.
As it sits now, the neither the US nor china should be allowed to hold, let alone participate in the olympics.
9)The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.
State senator targets torture
By Aurelio Rojas - firstname.lastname@example.org
Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, April 5, 2008
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A4
The California Senate is preparing to weigh in on the hot-button topic of torture, with a twist that combines elements of the Hippocratic oath and the military oath.
Under a resolution that state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas plans to put to a vote Thursday, California regulators would notify physicians and other health professionals that they could lose their license and be prosecuted by the state if they are involved in the torture of suspected terrorists.
The Los Angeles Democrat chairs the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, which oversees boards that license health professionals in the state.
In the email you write to State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas, (D, LA), be sure to encourage and congratulate him for his current anti-torture law, while encouraging him to craft one to cover the University of California.
Below is an email letter you can cut and paste. Make sure you adjust it for each recipient!
Dear Chancellor, (or president, or UC Academic Senate)
I am very concerned that the appearance and reputation of UC Berkeley is at great risk by its continued association with John Yoo.
It appears obvious that Mr. Yoo has aided and abetted the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as indicated by the recent release of his memos declaring torture "legal," if not un-prosecutable, when employed by our military overseas.
If you have any kind of ethical standards for faculty membership, you must take action.
If aiding and abetting the commission of the crime of torture is not sufficient to violate your ethical standards, you must alter your ethical standards.
It would be wise to take action before Mr. Yoo is indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Thank you for proposing a California law against the torture the federal government is doing in our name. Are you aware that one of the masterminds behind the legal opinions justifying these war crimes is employed at UC Berkeley's Boalt School of Law?
I understand that all state employee contracts include a morals clause. I find it incredibly disturbing that an individual who added and abetted torture is employed by our state, let alone teaching law in our state.
I encourage you to find a way to apply state law to the UC system, or even the whole educational profession in California, which strips their licence and prosecutes any teacher who is, or has been involved in torture.
economic/market update: Last week's historic run-up
The Death of Bubble Psychology
Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., April 7, 2008
Last week's big run up in the dow jones was remarkable. The market rose on the teeth of the news that UBS, a major euro bank, had declared a major write-down of american mortgage securities.
This write-down and the rise in american stocks that it triggered can be marked down in your economic diary as the last major exercise of the notion that perception is the basis of market valuation.
The 350 point market rise was a function of market psychology. The experts in the corporate media explained this rise as the market expressing the belief that the heart of credit market weakness, the credit crisis we are experiencing, had exposed itself through the UBD writedown.
This massive rise in the equities market indicated that the market believed that things would now begin to calm down and return to the endless growth in values and profits this generation of financial managers was raised on.
The problem with this scenario is that the perception does not fit the reality. The fundamental reality that drives the mortgage security crisis is that the value of the mortgage securities are based on the price of housing.
If that is true, then the continuing and deepening decline in housing prices and sales volume we are experiencing has already spread the threat of foreclosure beyond the holders of sub-prime mortgage, into the once secure paper behind the holders of prime and jumbo mortgages.
The drop in housing prices below the purchase prices that prime mortgage holders bought their property has now put into doubt the value of what I estimate to be trillions of dollars of mortgage securities held by financial institutions around the world.
The markets precipitous rise in response to this writedown, and the nature of the economic reality we confront can only be called a titanic act of almost evangelical faith that the never ending growth in values and profits, the good times, are right around the corner.
On the other hand, if my analysis is accurate, this means that the markets are just begriming to enter the deep end of the mortgage security and credit crisis, as their faith that the market will recover deepens.
There are other indications that market profits are headed downward. The serious decline in "consumer" (citizen?) spending that is following in the wake of the housing downturn and credit contraction are being seriously compounded by global inflation of commodity prices, especially in food and energy prices, triggered by devaluation of the dollar.
This massive decline in consumption is just beginning to reflect back into a serious decline in the profits of public stock companies. If public stock company's investments and credit are as leveraged as the banking industry's investments are, we have not even reached the eye of the storm.
If I am correct, we are coming to a moment in time where economic perception and economic reality will find a moment of parity. The market is coming to the harsh conclusion that the true value of american assets is not the same thing as corporate profits.
The debt to profit ratio of our country indicates that although corporate profits have reached historical levels, so too has consumer and business debt reached record levels. Despite the best efforts of our corporate political and business leadership, reviving the speculative bubble in housing will prove to be impossible.
At this point is is obvious to every player in the world economy that america's overall profits subtracted from our overall debt means that america's record corporate profits have been made at the expense of the american economy. This makes the value of the dollar, which is based on the overall health of the economy, uncertain.
Interestingly, the economic welfare of everyone in the country, from crimigrant to corporate banker, has been based on nothing more than a temporary misperception that life itself is a pyramid, and endless growth in values and profit was possible.
note: the draft above omitted the fact that the psychology behind last week's market upturn was substantially based on message that the fed's bailout of bear stearns and their opening the discount window to private banks sent to the equities market.
This move informed the market that the fed, and by proxy, the us government, was going to protect the capital of the big losers in the mortgage securities market with the full faith and credit of the us government.
This does not affect the conclusions of the above essay, as the credit that the Fed has extended to the private banks is the same as printing money. This action only pads private profit while damaging the economy, which is perpetuating exactly the same economic policies that brought on the housing and credit crisis.