Tag Archives: President Obama

CIA’s Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel

CIA’s Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel

“Brandon Bryant, a former US Predator operator, told the film he decided to speak out after senior officials in the Obama administration gave a briefing last year in which they said they wanted to “transfer” control of the CIA’s secret drones programme to the military.

Bryant said this was disingenuous because it was widely known in military circles that the US air force was already involved.

‘There is a lie hidden within that truth. And the lie is that it’s always been the air force that has flown those missions. The CIA might be the customer but the air force has always flown it. A CIA label is just an excuse to not have to give up any information. That is all it has ever been.'”

 

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More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years

More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years

“But reports of civilian casualties began to emerge. As later reports revealed, the strike was far from a success. At least nine civilians died, most of them from one family. There was one survivor, 14-year-old Fahim Qureshi, but with horrific injuries including shrapnel wounds in his stomach, a fractured skull and a lost eye, he was as much a victim as his dead relatives.”

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Tea Party politics: A look inside the Republican Suicide Machine

Tea Party politics: A look inside the Republican Suicide Machine

Republicans were also ecstatic when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision undermined the system of regulated campaign finance. But this boon to the wealthy donor class has become the bane of those trying to forge party unity. Now donors can microtarget the faction of Republicanism that suits them best. “There’s a difference between rich Republicans used to working through K Street and the guy who just sold his plumbing business and happens to be a total libertarian winger,” says the think-tank fellow. The rise of outside money has made a mockery of what used to be the leadership’s biggest stick: “If leadership says, ‘We’re not going to fund you if you don’t vote with us,’ the members laugh,” the strategist says. “‘Keep your $10,000. I’m going to take $200,000 from an outside group.’ Or better yet, ‘I’m going to start my own Super PAC and send out e-mails about how John Boehner is standing in the way of our shared values.'”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-republican-suicide-machine-20131009page=4#ixzz2iButc0Mb 
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California bans NDAA, indefinite detentions

California bans NDAA, indefinite detentions

“California Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed a bill in direct defiance of the controversial National Defense Authorization Act provision which legalizes the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. The California law, which garnered strong support through the state legislature, bans any state cooperation with any federal attempts to indefinitely detain individuals.”

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Cornel West and the Fight to Save the Black Prophetic Tradition

Cornel West and the Fight to Save the Black Prophetic Tradition

“It is understandable why this tradition frightens Obama. It exposes him as the ideological heir of Booker T. Washington, a black accommodationist whose core message to black people was, in the words of W.E.B. Du Bois, “adjustment and submission.” The wide swath of destruction Obama has overseen on behalf of the corporate state includes the eradication of most of our civil liberties and our privacy, the expansion of imperial war, the use of kill lists, abject subservience to Wall Street’s criminal class and the military-industrial complex, the relentless persecution of whistle-blowers, mass incarceration of poor people of color and the failure to ameliorate the increasing distress of the poor and the working class. His message to the black underclass in the midst of the corporate rape of the nation is drawn verbatim from the Booker T. Washington playbook. He tells them to work harder—as if anyone works harder than the working poor in this country—and obey the law.”

Great article!

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Mass surveillance in America: A timeline of loosening laws and practices

Mass surveillance in America: A timeline of loosening laws and practices

“After a post-Watergate Senate investigation documented abuses of government surveillance, Congress passes theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to regulate how the government can monitor suspected spies or terrorists in the U.S. The law establishes a secret court that issues warrants for electronic surveillance or physical searches of a ‘foreign power’ or ‘agents of a foreign power’ (broadly defined in the law). The government doesn’t have to demonstrate probable cause of a crime, just that the “purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”

The court’s sessions and opinions are classified. The only information we have is a yearly report to the Senate documenting the number of “applications” made by the government. Since 1978, the court has approved thousands of applications – and rejected just 11.”

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Senate confirms first openly gay Latina judge to federal court

NBC Latino

The U.S. Senate confirmed on Thursday the first ever openly gay Latina to the federal judiciary.

Nitza Quiñones Alejandro was nominated by President Obama to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Senate confirmed her nomination by voice vote.

This is not the first time the Latina judge has broken barriers. She was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas when she was appointed in 1991. She was previously a lawyer in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and an attorney adviser for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Human Rights Campaign spokesman Paul Guequierre commended the Senate for confirming Quiñones Alejandro.

“We are very pleased to see yet another highly qualified, openly-LGBT nominee appointed to the bench. These sorts of appointments should be based on merit which in this situation is the case,” Guequierre says.

Senators Pat Toomey…

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President Obama’s Speech on the Future of the War on Terror

President Obama’s Speech on the Future of the War on Terror

“This last point is critical, because much of the criticism about drone strikes – at home and abroad – understandably centers on reports of civilian casualties. There is a wide gap between U.S. assessments of such casualties, and non-governmental reports. Nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

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