Saturday, June 07, 2008

Norman Solomon cries oink-oink

"Women bombers show shifting insurgent tactics in Iraq" (Kim Gamel, AP):
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) -- A girl strapped with explosives approaches an Iraqi army captain, who dies in the suicide blast. A woman posing as a mother-to-be to disguise a bulging bomb belt strikes a wedding procession as part of a coordinated attack that kills nearly three dozen people.
The attacks last month were among the latest blows by female suicide bombers — and further evidence of shifting insurgent tactics amid an overall drop in bloodshed around Iraq.
U.S. military figures show the number of female suicide attacks has risen from eight in 2007 to at least 16 so far this year -- not including a suicide bombing Friday near Ramadi that Iraqi police believe was carried out by a woman. That compares with a total of four in 2005 and 2006, according to the military.

Wednesday, in "Who's standing up for Iraqi women?," I emphasized C.I.'s Tuesday's "Iraq snapshot," because it is NEWS that the US government is paying Iraqi males $10 a day for a job and yet they pay Iraqi women $8 a day for the same job. It's news, it is wage discrimination and the US is encouraging already sexist attitudes in Iraq to harden even more. I do not support the "Awakening" Councils. If the US is going to utilize them, the males and the females (who do the same work) need to be paid the same sum. At some point, allegedly, the puppet government in Iraq will take over payment for the "Awakening" Council members. When that happens, don't expect them to raise the pay of Iraqi women. Expect to see them take the attitude of, "Well, even the US conceeds that women are worth less than men. Let's cut them down to $6 a day and save a little money."

Digging into the e-mails. Jordan Taylor, I don't know who you are, I don't know what you are. You're writing to see me speak in person. What are you wishing to hear me speak on?

C.I., Ava and Kat are going around speaking out against the illegal war. From time to time, I am able to join them on that. C.I. has been doing it since February 2003, one month before the illegal war broke out. C.I., Ava and Kat are on the road every week speaking out. Are you a student? Do you belong to a labor group? A woman's group? If so and you don't live in Alaska (the only state C.I. has not repeatedly visited -- or even once visited since 2003), you have opportunites to catch them.

In getting out the vote for Hillary, I joined them in South Dakota and Puerto Rico.

Are either of those events you are writing about?

I have no idea.

For strong writing check out Ava and C.I.'s ""TV: Grime & Grit TV " and Marcia's "Spare us your 'help'."

Now for Norman Solomon. Mike found the pig's article and was going to write about it. I told Mike, "Rebecca couldn't get away with saying what needs to be said. Let me." That's because C.I. loves Norman. C.I. will call out Norman when he goes off the deep end (more and more these days) but the easiest way for him to be called out is to let me do it.

I like Norman Solomon. I have only met him five times in my life. All were functions C.I. dragged me to. While my interaction with Normal Solmon is sleight, C.I. knows I do not loathe Norman. (Rebecca doesn't loathe him either, however, she's made fun of his hair for years.) (Approximately two years ago, Norman finally got a haircut that suits him.)

So Norman Solomon decided to (again) weigh in on the primary process. It's the sort of cheerleading for Obama that Norman's become infamous for and has led to more charges of "gatekeeping" than any attacks he made on the 9-11 Truth Movement. (For the record, I have no opinion on that movement. As C.I. always said, "If it's your issue, have at it.") Norman wrote an insulting article and I'm sure it popped up everywhere but, of course, it popped up at the anti-woman Common Dreams -- apparently those dreams do not include women.

The article is entitled "Obama, Clinton and Anger to Burn" and Norman pretends like he wants to talk about sexism but he doesn't. Here's his 'analysis': "The anger that’s churning among many Hillary Clinton supporters is deserving of respect. For a long time, she’s been hit by an inexhaustible arsenal of virulent sexism, whether from Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh or Chris Matthews."

Where's Keith Olbermann? He's not listed. He will never be listed because FAIR, which Norman is a part of, refuses to call out their beloved Keith.

Equally true is that the MSM was where the sexism bubbled up. It started in Panhandle Media and Norman will never bite the hands that feed him.

Norman wants women to 'get over it' in terms of the misogny that's paraded through the country non-stop for months and months. He pretends that it's equal to the racism on parade. Racism hasn't been on parade. Barack's not Black, he's bi-racial. Calling him "Black" is racist because, as Betty has so often pointed out, it's as insulting as the use of the term "octoroon." Ava and C.I. have hit hard on that issue because they know the damage Dream Boy has done to the bi- and mutli-racial movement. It used to be considered a social justice movement but then people like Solomon fell in love with a bi-racial man and felt the need to call that man "Black."

"Racism" in the campaign has been such nonsense as accusing anyone who noted that Barack did drugs as being "racist." Barack did drugs. He wrote about it in two books. He cracked jokes about it with Jay Leno on NBC. It's not racism to point out that he did drugs. (In fact, it's one of the reasons Dave Lindorff supports Barack, see the snapshot at the end.) "Racism" was a phony charge and it showed up when the Obama campaign played dirty and tossed in a trash bin the mantra of "hope."

That was South Carolina and it's really important for Norman to pretend South Carolina never happened. Not just because it allows him to make false charges of racism but also because if he brings that up, his nonsense of everyone needs to support Barack falls apart.

South Carolina was where the lies start from the Obama campaign, true. It's also where the campaign demonstrated that they'd use anything to pull ahead. In South Carolina, that was homophobia.


The 'ism' least remarked upon by the gas bags.

Barack put homophobes on stage despite protests from his own supporters as well as human rights groups. He put them on stage at his campaign event and allowed the hate speech to be broadcast.

No, Norman, we don't "all" have to pull behind Barack.

Norman and Barack are two of a kind in my mind. They both lie.

They both lie and beg you for money.

Norman's one up on Barack in that regard. I've tossed a few nickles at Norman over the years. Barack, by contrast, revealed that he was not planning to fight to end the illegal war (if elected to the Senate) and C.I. and I stormed out of his radical fundraiser. That's the one the MSM never tells you about. I might think it never took place were it not for the fact that I have so many snapshots of that evening. C.I. and I were going to be around a number of people we hadn't seen in years. It was a reunion of sorts. I have photos of them. I have photos of them with the candidate.

People like Norman Solomon lying for Barack are the sort of people that will lead me to posting those personal photos at this website and, you better believe, that will create a media firestorm.

Norman wasn't there, to be clear. He doesn't have the money to be a high roller.

But it was really amazing to see the group that ____ and ____ turned out. (I was invited. C.I. was going to be in town and I asked if C.I. could come along -- knowing it wouldn't be a problem, you always want C.I.'s checkbook at any fundraiser.) It was amazing to see all of these 'radical' minds be taken in. They'd come back from their face time all excited about how Barack was "the real deal." I might have been taken in as well. I hope not. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As various radicals showed up squealing with joy over being next to Barack, it was amazing to hear them say (it was a predominately White crowd) that Barack was good looking and well spoken and blah blah blah. I did wonder whether they thought the Beatles had landed but chalked it up to the excitement of the evening.

But when C.I. went up for our face time, I flat out asked the question, the only one that mattered, was he going to fight in the Senate to end the illegal war. His response was "no" concelaed in many words. I was shocked and speechless. Two conditions that C.I. never exhibits. C.I. immediately pressed him for clarification and Barack had obviously never been pressed on anything before. If he hadn't been attempting to beg for money, he probably would have told C.I. off (then there really would have been fireworks because C.I.'s never at a loss for words). Instead, he got petulant but answered the questions.

No, he had no interest in ending the illegal war. His position was that the US was there now and would have to stay. It was important to "win." It was blah, blah, blah. We turned and walked off. As we were leaving, a friend caught up with us to ask how much money we were giving? I responded not a dime. There was disbelief. C.I.: "In the words of Mama Cass, I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire." With that, we left.

Norman's not a player in the world of money. If he were, he wouldn't have to beg for money. So what you're seeing these days are the radicals without money responding the same way the ones with money did that night.

I didn't. I care about ending the illegal war.

Norman pretends to. He really can't care too much about it and act as Barack's pimp. So, in his column, he tosses it out once, to note that "children are dying" there -- quickly adding in Chicago and elsewhere. (Sidebar: Tony Rezko's slums, well known in real time, made a lot of children from poor families live even harsher lives. Where was Norman's concern for the children in Chicago then?) Well, Norman, Barack's not ending the war and it's really pathetic to see you prostitute what's left of your reputation and beliefs to promote a candidate who is not going to end the illegal war.

Sorry, Norman, I do care about the children of Iraq. I also care about the LGBT community. I also care about self-respect which is why this woman will never vote for Barack Obama.

You may be able to fool some people with your efforts to use your once good name to pimp Barack, but you're not fooling me.

Let me explain to you what happens next, Norman, because I don't think you know. You can share it with your rag-tag set because it's a lesson you'll all be learning.

There will be no avalanche of money coming your way for your foundations and organizations. The Democratic with big money will not say, "Oh, Norman's making sense!"

You are paraiah to them because, in the past, you actually showed independence. It is too late in the game for you to suck up and expect them to be taken in. They will not be putting you on the payroll. Leftists with moeny -- a small group, however, we do exist -- also will not rush to invest your outlets. Their attitude will be, "You've whored yourself out for a corporatists, War Hawk already so why don't you just go peddle it on a street corner?" Unlike many, Norman's cute enough that he probably could make some money doing just that. Not that he would, but including that compliment will make C.I. laugh and not ask me, "Elaine, how could you?" Norman could be Midnight Older Cowboy and make a living at that (though he wouldn't want to).

So all you've done is lost the group that has supported you in the past and your efforts to recruit Democratic money are for naught. Your track record is too long. They don't want questions raised about Bosnia, Serbia, et al. They don't want the 'right' to brutal war challenged. Your credentials on that front are well known and will keep donations from flooding your way.

You'll see a drying up because no one's going to respect your efforts to pimp Barack as a candidate of peace. Through good times and bad, you always had your self-respect, Norman. Now you've tossed that aside.

Good luck in the future. If I feel comfortable leveling this criticism at you, I'm sure others feel the same (and that will most likely include in C.I.).

I lost both my parents before I was a teenager so I missed out on many "life lessons." But my father did like to dabble in gambling for sport. Whether he was good at it or not, I have no idea. There was plenty of money to burn so he could have been the worst gambler in the world and I'd never have known. But what I do know, what I do remember, is his advice: Never back a loser if you want to win.

I think many of Norman's past supporters will take that attitude with regards to his future fundraising attempts and, as I stated before, his past work ensures he will never be warmly embraced by Democratic partisans.

"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
Friday, June 6, 2008. Chaos and violence continue, Barack isn't 'pledging' to do anything on Iraq, the VA computer systems lack all security, Nader qualifies for Arizona ballot, and more.

Starting with war resistance.
Teviah Moro (The Orillia Packet & Times) reports that the Quakers in Orillia will demonstrate tomorrow in an attempt to register their support for war resisters in Canada. Ottawa, Nelson, B.C., Victoria, B.C., Port Dover, Sarnia and Strathory will also hold demonstrations. Moro notes: "Organizers of the Orillia rally, to be held outside the Opera House from 12:30 to 1:30 p. m., aim to explain the underlying issues of the pending deportations and will have petitions on hand."The rallies will be taking place to underscore the recent action in Canada's Parliament. Tuesday Canada's House of Commons passed a motion granting war resisters safe harbor. The motion is non-binding but it is hoped that the country's prime minister, Stephen Harper, will honor it. It is especially important with regards to US war resister Corey Glass. May 21st, US war resisters and Iraq War veteran Glass was informed that he had until June 12th to leave Canada or he would be deported. That is six days from now. Will the non-binding motion prevent the conservative Harper from ordering Glass' deportation? Rick Salutin (Toronto Globe & Mail) doesn't seem optimistic noting that from an AIDS conference (global conference) to any other issue, Harper loves to say no to the people: "Lately, it's been no to a safe-injection site in Vancouver; provincial climate plans; Ontario's budget; an inquiry into the Bernier case; letting U.S. war resisters stay. For a government, the Conservatives are uniquely, bizarrely litigious, the sign of a mentality that loves to fight."With more on that, this is from Michael Werbowski (OhmyNews International) reports that the vote on the motion "comes just in time for US army recruit Corey Glass, 25, a war resister who came to Canada in 2006 and was recently told to leave Canada by June 12 or face removal to the United States, welcomed the vote. Upon hearing the news of the motion passed by the lower house, Glass expressed his appreciation for the parliamentarians, "I'm thankful that the MPs voted to let me and the other war resisters stay in Canada. I'm also thankful to all the Canadians who urged their MPs to support us."

Meanwhile, It was two years ago today, as
Austin Jenkins (OPB News) notes, that Ehren Watada became the first officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq in June 2006. In August 2006, he faced and Article 32 hearing. In February, he faced a kanagroo court-martial. Judge Toilet (aka John Head) declared a mistrial over defense objection as Watada was about to take the stand (after which the defense would have rested and the military jury would have reached a decision). Judge Toilet forgot a lot that day. He announced that a new court-martial would take place in March but that was really beyond his call (and why no court-martial took place then). He also forgot about the US Constitution, popularly known as "the law of the land," and it's provision against double-jeopardy. In November of last year, as Judge Toilet repeatedly tried to force another court-martial, US District Judge Benjamin Settle ruled that no action could take place until the double-jeopardy was resolved. Watada has been in limbo since. William Cole (Honolulu Advertiser) speaks to Ehren's father, Bob Watada who has "suggested to his son's attorneys that they somehow force a conclusion to the issue" and whom Cole quotes stating, "The attorneys are talking to the Army. They aren't telling me what they are saying, but they are talking to them." Austin Jenkins (OPB News) quotes one of Watada's two civilian attorneys, Ken Kagan, declaring, "It's conceivable that the appeals process in the 9th Circuit could consume anywhere from 18 months to three years. So that is a limbo that is very hard for Lt. Watada to imagine but he's prepared to do what he needs to do."

There is a growing movement of resistance within the US military which includes Megan Bean, Chris Bean, Matthis Chiroux, Richard Droste, Michael Barnes, Matt Mishler, Josh Randall, Robby Keller, Justiniano Rodrigues, Chuck Wiley, James Stepp, Rodney Watson, Michael Espinal, Matthew Lowell, Derek Hess, Diedra Cobb,
Brad McCall, Justin Cliburn, Timothy Richard, Robert Weiss, Phil McDowell, Steve Yoczik, Ross Spears, Peter Brown, Bethany "Skylar" James, Zamesha Dominique, Chrisopther Scott Magaoay, Jared Hood, James Burmeister, Jose Vasquez, Eli Israel, Joshua Key, Ehren Watada, Terri Johnson, Clara Gomez, Luke Kamunen, Leif Kamunen, Leo Kamunen, Camilo Mejia, Kimberly Rivera, Dean Walcott, Linjamin Mull, Agustin Aguayo, Justin Colby, Marc Train, Abdullah Webster, Robert Zabala, Darrell Anderson, Kyle Snyder, Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman, Kevin Lee, Mark Wilkerson, Patrick Hart, Ricky Clousing, Ivan Brobeck, Aidan Delgado, Pablo Paredes, Carl Webb, Stephen Funk, Blake LeMoine, Clifton Hicks, David Sanders, Dan Felushko, Brandon Hughey, Logan Laituri, Jason Marek, Clifford Cornell, Joshua Despain, Joshua Casteel, Katherine Jashinski, Dale Bartell, Chris Teske, Matt Lowell, Jimmy Massey, Chris Capps, Tim Richard, Hart Viges, Michael Blake, Christopher Mogwai, Christian Kjar, Kyle Huwer, Wilfredo Torres, Michael Sudbury, Ghanim Khalil, Vincent La Volpa, DeShawn Reed and Kevin Benderman. In total, at least fifty US war resisters in Canada have applied for asylum.
Information on war resistance within the military can be found at
The Objector, The G.I. Rights Hotline [(877) 447-4487], Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resisters Support Campaign. Courage to Resist offers information on all public war resisters. In addition, VETWOW is an organization that assists those suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

Shhhh. Listen? It's the sound of hundreds of computers in
Panhandle Media booting up over their sobs as they force determination to yet again sell their political crush as someone who will end the illegal war. Media anointed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is not 'anti-war' and is not seriously opposed to the illegal war. But if you didn't have Tommy Hayden, Laura Flanders and the gang lying for him non-stop, people wouldn't think otherwise, now would they? (Those two named because they have both -- in February -- talked about how Barack's feet need to be held to the fire and yet they've never done so. Someday I suppose, as the Mighty Bosstones once sang.)

The Press Trust of India reports that Barack told CNN he would "not tule out the possibility that conditions on the ground could alter his policy of immediately beginning a troop withdrawal and that Barack insisted of his 'pledge' to end the illegal war, "Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind."
Confronted with his statements on withdrawal policy, Obama replied, "Well, you know, I'd never say there's 'nothing' or 'never' or 'no way' in which I'd change my mind". He spoke of "broader perspective"s and offered praise for Gen David Petraeus. It's shocking only if you've trusted the liars of Panhandle Media. Barack has changed his position on the Iraq War repeatedly. While running for the US Senate, he told
Elaine and I at a big money, private fundraiser that he didn't favor withdrawal. His attitude was that the US was in Iraq now and had to win. (Neither Elaine nor I contributed to his run. We both immediately walked out of the fundraiser.) At that point he was a myth of the radical left, an "anti-war" candidate. The press picked up on that and he became the "anti-war" Senator which required ignoring not only his public statements (his many public statements) but his continued voting for the illegal war once he got into the US Senate. Throughout the campaign, he has signaled (and sometimes stated) to the mainstream press that his stance is far from it's portrayed. "Hopelessly Devoted To Barack" Tom Hayden made a real ass out of himself doing a quickie write up of an NYT article co-written by Michael Gordon. The reality of what was what was in the transcript of the interview which the paper posted online. In February, after his advertsiments where he robotically declared that his mother died of cancer, the campaign went into overtime with an advertisement that played like the Pepsi Generation (truly, it was the late 60s and early seventies Pepsi generation commercials). To a bad 'rock' guitar, the commercial opened and featured quick shots of Barack barking out sentences while groupies swooned. "We want . . ." he barked over and over, a laundry list of demands. The Iraq War was on it. But Barack wasn't running to be "we," he was running to become the nominee of the Democratic Party and then the president. There were no "I will end the Iraq War." All he did was offer what "we" wanted. It got the psychos in Panhandle Media excited. Of course, were he serious about ending the illegal war, his campaign would have stolen not the Pepsi commercials of that period, but the Coke commericals: I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony . . .

There was no "pledge" or "promise" made to end the illegal war, despite the groupies like Tom Hayden going bug-eyed crazy in their efforts to pretend otherwise (a fleeting sentence delivered in Houston, TX, as ginned up by Hayden into a new plan for Iraq). Then came the crash and burn of his advisor (a counter-insurgency supporter and War Hawk) Samantha Power. The pathetics in Panhandle Media made themselves laughable -- and include John Nichols, Davey D and BuzzFlash at the top of that list. Poor Samantha "fired" (Power resigned) for calling Hillary Clinton a "monster." Poor sweet Sammy. No, she resigned because of the damage she did with the press in England. The "monster" insult was the trivia the MSM pumped out. On that same trip, she insulted Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the UK and presumed ally of the next US administration regardless of who becomes president, and
she gave an interview (that Panhandle Media refused to cover) to the BBC where she explained that Barack would be not be held accountable, if elected president, to any 'pledges' about Iraq he's making on the campaign trail. She explained, as an advisor to Barack and a campaign insider, that any plans about what to do in Iraq would be decided only after he entered the White House. Had that interview gotten the attention it should have, Barack would have faced tough questions. That didn't happen. It wasn't of interest to the corporate media (which still wants the illegal war) to give it much traction and the rejects of Panhandle Media are in love with Barack because of his 'connections' (his using of) Saul, Bernardine and Bill. They deluded themselves into believing he was a Socialist when he is just a user who will use anyone regardless of political ideology in his efforts to climb to the top.

The Queen of the Beggars,
Amy Goodman, wanted credit for a few minutes (two?) she aired of her speaking with Barack. In it, he basically repeated what Samantha Power had said. Goody never pursued that in panel discussions (all panel discussions accepted the lie that he was against the illegal war and would immediately end it). Goody never connected it with the Samantha Power BBC interview (though Barack was making the same points Power had months prior) and she never wrote one of her bad columns, where she recycles some segment of her show, on the topic. It was lie, lie, lie, denial, denial. They worked overtime not to include Eli Lake (New York Sun) report in the narrative. Lake reported that the "day-to-day coordinator" of Barack's campaign had just written a paper which argued for 60,000 to 80,000 US troops to remain in Iraq "as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office."

Among the very few who have tried to maintain perspective and stick to reality about War Hawk Barack are
Phyllis Bennis, John Pilger, Doug Henwood and Juan Gonzalez. It's a very small list. By contrast, most have offered 'reasons' of support for Barack like the insane Dave Lindorff who believes Barack should be supported because Barak is "a black candiate who has risked jail by doing drugs."

The violence continues every day in Iraq and Barack, not even having the nomination, already signals it's a-okay with him. In some of today's reported violence . . .


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a home bombing in Sulaiman Beck, a Jalwla roadside bombing that wounded one person. Reuters notes a woman blew herself in at a Ramadi police station claiming the life of 1 police officer and injuring four more and, dropping back to Thursday, that 4 people were killed in Sadr City from a US air strike.

Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 4 suspects shot dead in Al Anbar Province, 1 police officer shot twice in Al Anbar Province and wounded and 1 civilian shot in Kirkuk. Reuters notes 3 police officers were shot dead in Dour.


Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers) reports 1 person kidnapped in Kirkuk.

Yesterday CNN's Jamie McIntyre broke the latest Department of Defense news on
CNN Newsroom:

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Asked to resign, which is code for firing, is the top civilian in charge of the Air Force, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and the top military general in charge of the Air Force, Air Force Chief of Staff General Mike Moseley. The two top leaders of the Air Force are being replaced because Secretary Gates has received a highly critical report of how the Air Force has reacted to an embarrassing incident last year which a B-52 bomber flew across country with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles that nobody knew were live nuclear weapons until the plane landed in Barksdale , Louisiana .There were supposed to be big changes made from that. But a recent inspection of the base was less than satisfactory, and Secretary Gates just got a report on his desk from an independent investigator, a Navy admiral who has been in charge of reviewing what the Air Force has done to take care of this. It's not just this issue though. There have been a number of leadership issues in the Air Force including questions about a conflict of interest around a high-profile public relations contract that was left from the Air Force. And all of that together led Secretary Gates to decide that he was going to take decisive action.It's not unlike what he did when he heard about the shortcomings at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital . In that case, he fired the Army secretary and head of the hospital there, as well -- Brianna.

There have been a number of issues with the Veterans Administration Dept as well but no heads are rolling. At the start of the week,
Mary Mosquera (FCW) reported, "Sensitive data on about 1,000 patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other military hospitals might have been compromised, Walter Reed spokesman Chuck Dasey said. The names of the patients, who are enrolled in the Military Health System, their Social Security numbers and birth dates were among the personally identifiable information in a computer file that was shared without authorization, officials said June 2." AP broke this news about the May 2006 breach at Walter Reed. The key point of the reports is how the Office of Management and Budget issued orders, in 2006, for increased securit on the part of the VA. But they broke it with the government explaining this week about the 2006 computer breach. We (Ava and C.I.) revealed earlier this week that there's a VA breach that took place after the breach the government is now admitting to. This breach has nothing to do with Walter Reed. The basics are that an over-forty-years-old male (who name rhymes with "Los Lobos" and who is a veteran) used a civilian computer to access veterans records. The government is not only aware of the breach, they investigated it. They didn't do a very good job. The government does not know what the person viewed or changed. They know that, from the basement of a non-federal government building, he used a PC to enter the VA's computer database without permission or authorization. Present when he did this was a woman (also a civilian and one who has never served in the military) whom the government never questioned. What the government did do was call together the suspect's superiors at his place of employment -- a four story building whose fourth floor is not used for anything (the basement counted as a floor makes for five floors) -- on the second floor in what passed for an investigation. Those civlians 'assisting' in the investigation of the breach that happened at their place of business were known as "administration." (E.g., they spoke with "administration.") The investigation could not figure out whether the supsect was telling the truth about why he entered the VA system without permission and, certainly, to know about that they should have spoken with the woman present when the breach occurred. The suspect offered two versions of his story and that may be what confused the investigators (though it was very simple for us to track down the particulars). They do know, due to the suspect admitting to it, that the records of someone who served during Vietnam (and only during Vietnam) were accessed. (Hint to reporters, that leads to your human interest angle). The suspect briefly told government investigators a story regarding that Vietnam era veteran that the investigators did not buy; however, it was easily checked out had they bothered to speak to the Vietnam veteran (which they never did). There is fear that the suspect altered the Vietnam veteran's record (we are told by civilian sources that no alteration of that record took place). Why does the government think that? It goes to the human interest angle. In terms of hard news, the angle is the "how." The "how" of it goes to a huge flaw that was supposed to have been addressed and was never addressed. It goes to lack of oversight at the VA.

We're not here to spoonfeed news outlets, get off your lazy asses and don't expect two media critics to do all your work. (It's as if today's Woodward & Bernsteins expect you not only to spill the beans, but also type up their reports and then wipe their asses.) The federal goverment made a big deal this week about honesty and 'fessed up to problems in May of 2006. The 2007 breach is more serious not because of the suspect or what he may or may not have done but how he got into the system without authorization. The breach should never happened and were basic guidelines followed (guidelines that any civilian computer system would follow), it never would have happened. The big story is the "how" of the breach, not the "who." And it goes to the OMB's orders not being followed. The first three digits of the civilian location where the breach took place are "312." The street has "East" in it. And the street's name was also the name of a long running TV show but in singular not plural. We're done spoonfeeding the press except to advise NYT that Ralph should have had this story.

This is our third (
here's the second) and last spoonfeeding. After the "how," the "who" still isn't the next big story. The big story then is how the federal government attempted to bury the breach. That wasn't just by still not telling the public about it. It also included a rush to wrap up the investigation before it was complete (the orders for the wrap up came from high up). That's why the woman who witnessed the breach was never interviewed. It was that woman's computer that was used to breach the VA system. There's no reason not to interview her. All this time later, she's still not been interviewed by the government. When the investigation was ongoing, a family emergy meant she was "unaccessible" (to her place of employment but nothing prevented the investigators from seeking her out away from her place of her work) and the rush to wrap up the investigation and keep the entire matter on the down low meant she was never interviewed. The big story is the "how" and goes to the lack of security. The next angle is the rush to keep the story as quiet as possible which includes rushing through an investigation. The suspect himself is really not a huge part of the hard news story. (And the suspect, for the record, is the only person we have not spoken to.) (There are feature articles to be found throughout.)

In other news,
the UN Rights of the Child Committee is calling out the US government for (a) the imprisonment of juvelines in Iraq, Afghanstan and Guantamo and for (b) military recruitment of under-18-year-olds in the US.

Turning to US political news,
Team Nader reports that US presidential candidate Ralph Nader needed nearly 22,000 signatures to get on the ballot in Arizona and that over 65,000 were collected. Ralph Nader and his running mate Matt Gonzalez should now be on the ballot in Arizona -- barring any dirty tricks on the part of the DNC. Despite Nader's strong polling when his name included in the polling, there is an effort on the part of the MSM and Panhandle Media to ignore his campaign. Today, Team Nader points to another example of how the independent candidate is shut out of the discussions and argues the case for Nader-Gonzalez as the only agents of change:

"How do you get people to vote against their own self interest? That's the trick.
One way is to make people believe in a dream. That's what all of the mainstream politicians are doing - feeding that dream. Obama is feeding a dream - a dream of change and renewal. He's feeding a dream that the conditions that surround us - Iraq, the economy, the racial divide, the class divide in this country - that they are magically going to go away by voting for this centrist Democrat. That is nonsense, of course. Obama is not proposing any structural changes. McCain is feeding us the dream, the fantasy of power and control. That somehow the military might of the U.S. will prevail across the globe. These are fantasies that are being fed by the politicians. They are not so much lies, as delusions. But we will have brought it on ourselves by supporting these politicians.
By ignoring any candidate or any ideas that might conflict with those dreams. The Obama moment is a feel good moment. It makes us feel good. But the programs Obama is proposing - up and down and all around - are the same centrist Democratic positions.
The same people are going to be running the show. All of the corporations are rapidly switching their contributions to the Democrats."
These are the words of the American novelist Russell Banks.
We heard Banks the other day interviewed by Chris Lydon on Radio Open Source. (
Listen to the interview here.) What wasn't mentioned was Nader/Gonzalez. So, let us say it loud and clear. Nader/Gonzalez. Shift the power from the few to the many. Free our government of corporate domination. Restore the sovereignty of an engaged people. Don't fall for the trick. Help us put Nader/Gonzalez on the ballot. We're on our way to give the American people a choice in November. But we need your help. And we need it now.
You can give up to $4,600. But please, give whatever you can. Shift the power.
Feed the living, breathing people-powered alternative.
Support Nader/Gonzalez.

iraqcorey glassteviah moroehren watadaaustin jenkinsrick salutinmichael werbowskiwilliam cole
cnn newsroomjamie mcintyrejohn walcott