Archive for January 2010
Dispatches from America’s Class War Joe Bageant
Joe recently asked our “masked political consultant,” a well known West Coast political adviser for his quick take on the Tea Party movement. He is now writing under the pseudonym John Brown (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. His previous contributions to this site are:”Not New Ideas, but Identifying New Enemies“, “Moving to the Center of Elite Consensus“, and “Life in the Post Political Age“. As usual, the masked consultant cuts through the bullshit like a laser. Here is their exchange:
I don’t get it about the Tea Party movement. After eight years of of a super right wing administration destroying jobs and what social safety net there was … “the people” have suddenly decided: “Now that I’m unemployed, I think I’ll form a grassroots movement to destroy my health care too. Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s commentary by David Reilly at Bloomberg.com has an alarming (if not surprising) header: Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows. Now it’s not just conspiracy-nuts or fringe Congressmen who are wondering why and how so much power-without-oversight has been given to the NY Fed et al, just what they have been doing with it, and how so many profited from the meltdown of AIG.
Reilly notes: “…when it became clear information would be disclosed, New York Fed legal group staffer James Bergin e-mailed colleagues saying: “I have to think this train is probably going to leave the station soon and we need to focus our efforts on explaining the story as best we can. There were too many people involved in the deals — too many counterparties, too many lawyers and advisors, too many people from AIG — to keep a determined Congress from the information.”
Think of the enormity of that statement. A staffer at a body with little public accountability and that exists to serve bankers is lamenting the inability to keep Congress in the dark.”
Oh yes. Think!
Since 1993, oil giant Texaco, owned by Chevron since 2001, has been fighting an ongoing legal and publicity battle against an unlikely adversary.
Thirty thousand indigenous people of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest have accused the oil giant of massive and intentional environmental devastation from 1964-1990, leading to elevated cancer levels, unusually high numbers of birth defects and miscarriages, and many other health issues.
Tom Engelhardt and Anand Gopal explore the practices of our military and mercenary forces in Afghanistan in the Tomgram article “Obama’s Secret Prisons: Night Raids, Hidden Detention Centers, the “Black Jail,” and the Dogs of War in Afghanistan”:
“You don’t know what counterterror is? Not so surprising. The truth is, if you’re not a complete news jockey, you probably don’t know much about targeted assassinations, night raids, secret detention centers, disappearances, and other acts of counterterror (which is really terror in uniform or at least under state orders). Of course, the Afghans know well enough. For them, it’s not a secret war, particularly in the southern parts of the country, where the Taliban is strongest; it’s but one particularly frightening aspect of everyday life.
It’s just we Americans who are ignorant. Our secret war is essentially kept secret from us. Our Special Forces operatives, along with the CIA (and possibly private contractors), have long been involved in the “night raids” that Anand Gopal describes below. And regularly enough, if you’re reading closely, you’ll see news bubbling to the surface about their results — like those eight students in grades 6-10, who were taken from their beds by “Americans” in a night raid in Kunar Province, handcuffed, and then evidently executed. (A statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that they were “martyred” and the UN has confirmed that they were students.) Or consider the recent night raid in Ghazni Province that killed at least four Afghan villagers, including an 11-year-old. Both incidents led to angry protests; both resulted in denials by the U.S. military that the dead were anything but “insurgents” or “bomb-makers.” ”