August 12, 2009 - The Constantine Report    
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Spinning the Honduras Coup

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

Jul. 29, 2009

IN THE SUMMER of 1984, under the oversight of U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, I was deported from Honduras with five other Americans for meeting with union representatives who wanted to tell us about the murders and disappearances of their leaders.

At the time, the poor nation was known as “the aircraft carrier USS Honduras” due to the attacks launched from it into neighboring Nicaragua by the Contras, the proxy force created by the U.S.

The current Honduran constitution was written in 1982 when Negroponte worked closely with Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, an Argentine-trained proponent of the death squads then killing leftist leaders. From 1981 to 1985, U.S. aid to the Honduran military went from $4 million to $77.4 million a year.

Such behavior was hardly new. Marine Gen. Smedley Butler described his service there in the 1920s: “I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long.”

The leftward trend across Latin America that runs from Chile’s European-style left to Hugo Chavez’s strongman style is in large part a response to this legacy.

On June 28, soldiers broke into Honduran President Manuel Zelaya’s home, threatened to kill him and put him on a plane to Costa Rica. Since then, there have been reports of violence and killings directed at Zelaya allies. The tension is increasing. No nation has recognized the coup.

Some say what happened wasn’t a coup. Others say Zelaya broke the law and deserved to be removed. Some just mention Chavez, and that seems enough.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is reluctant to call it a coup because to do so would require breaking relations with the Honduran military elite we have a long and deep relationship with.

No one has adequately explained how Zelaya broke the law. What he seems to have done is what elected populist leaders do: pursued reforms that made waves in a society ruled by, and for, the rich and powerful.

He sought a nonbinding poll asking citizens whether they wanted a yes-no question on the November ballot about a constitutional assembly to rewrite the constitution, apparently quite legal under the 2006 Honduran Civil Participation Act.

Zelaya says the 1982 constitution, already rewritten 16 times, diminishes the rights of Honduras’ poor, and has always said any changes, like a presidential second term, wouldn’t apply to him, since his term ends in January.

For many Latin Americans, the coup is a direct assault on the larger democracy-based, reform-minded leftward trend. It recalls the reform-killing coups in Guatemala in 1954 and Chile in 1973.

The actions of the Obama administration have lagged behind its rhetoric, which suggests it may be using the coup, as one Washington pundit put it, to return Zelaya to office as a “neutered” president. The winner would be the military, which runs Honduras anyway.

The Clinton State Department is thick with right-wingers left over from the Bush administration who funneled millions in “pro-democracy” funds to elements involved in both the 2002 coup in Venezuela and the one in Honduras.

We know Zelaya had plans, approved by President Bush in 2006, to revamp the U.S.’s Soto Cano Air Base into a much-needed new civilian airport.

In exchange, the U.S. military was to get access to the Atlantic Coast. Coup leader Gen. Romeo Vasquez wanted to keep Soto Cano for the military.

Following the coup, a group of wealthy Honduran businesspeople and bankers with business interests in the U.S. hired Lanny Davis to sell the coup to North Americans. Davis was Bill Clinton’s personal lawyer and backed Hillary Clinton for president. He defended the coup before a congressional hearing. His job is to smear Zelaya to make the coup palatable.

THIS IS reminiscent of Edward Bernays, “the father of public relations,” who was instrumental to the success of the 1954 Guatemala coup, which overthrew President Jacobo Arbenz, who was undertaking land reform that the United Fruit Co. didn’t like. The coup not only killed the Arbenz reforms, it ushered in what was probably the bloodiest military regime in hemisphere history.

Coup-spinner Davis assures us, “This is about the rule of law” and Zelaya “was acting unconstitutionally and illegally” when he sought to poll citizens about the 1982 constitution. Davis chose not to quote Article 3 of that constitution:

“No one owes obedience to a government that has usurped power . . . The people have the right to recur to insurrection in defense of the constitutional order.”

If not overturned, this illegal coup can only contribute to less democracy and more violence in Latin America.

John Grant is a Vietnam veteran and a member of Veterans for Peace. He lives in Plymouth Meeting.

By Dan Mariano
Manila Times, July 29, 2009

THE Washington Times editorial last Sunday, which drew an unflattering picture of Gloria Arroyo on the eve of her State of the Nation Address and visit to the American capital, was as much an attack on US President Barack Obama as it was a smack on the Philippine president.

The Washington Times—reportedly Ronald Reagan’s favorite reading material when he was still in the White House—does not conceal its rabidly conservative agenda, which is diametrically opposed to Obama’s liberal platform.

Malacañang mouthpieces who took umbrage at The Washington Times commentary, titled “Obama the sanitizer” should perhaps have taken a cue from the White House’s own reaction—which was, to borrow a term from local swardspeak, dedma.

Either the Obama administration has learned to take such editorial smacks from its right-wing detractors in stride or it does not give a hoot about what Washington’s “second paper” has to say.

Online sources show that from October 2008 to March 2009 The Washington Times had an average daily circulation of 83,511—about an eighth of the audited circulation of The Washington Post, the number one paper in the District of Columbia.

The Sunday circulation of The Washington Times for the same period was 43,889—roughly one-twenty second that of The Washington Post.

Given the limited reach of The Washington Times, some coffee-shop wags in Manila have ventured that perhaps more Filipinos read or got to know of its “Obama the sanitizer” editorial than the D.C. residents targeted by the paper.

In fact, “Obama the sanitizer” was at the bottom of a lineup of three editorials published in last Sunday’s edition of The Washington Times.

As of 2:30 p.m. Monday (Manila) time, The Washington Times website showed that the first editorial, “Americans’ right to carry,” generated 14 online comments and the second editorial “No profit motive” seven.

The third editorial “Obama the sanitizer” drew 19 comments from online readers, many of whom by their apparent familiarity with the Philippine situation and, in a couple of cases, by their grammatical lapses were probably Filipinos.

In response to the editorial, a Palace spokesperson did offer a clue as to where The Washington Times was coming from.

Brett M. Decker is the managing editor for opinion pages of The Washington Times. He is the likely author of “Obama the santizer.” However, even if he did not actually pen the piece, he must have given it the once over and then caused its publication.

Decker is also the author the life-story of former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.—with the kilometric title Global Filipino: The Authorized Biography of Jose de Venecia Jr., the Visionary Five-Time Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. Whew!

Decker’s position in the ideological spectrum can be reckoned even from the titles of a sampling of his articles: “Frustration in the Desert” (March 15, 2004); “The Vatican II Sham” (December 9, 2003); “The Jihad Menace to the West” (October 16, 2003); and “Islam: A Religion of Conquest” (September 24, 2003).

But Decker’s involvement in the publication of “Obama the sanitizer” is not the only tell-tale sign linking one of Mrs. Arroyo’s fiercest critics to the editorial.

Again online sources point out that The Washington Times was founded under the direction of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon in 1982.

During the paper’s 20th anniversary party in 2002, Reverend Moon was reported to have said, “The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world.”

By 2002, sources added, the Unification Church—whose members some quarters call “Moonies”—had spent about $1.7 billion in subsidies for The Washington Times. The paper has lost money every year that it has been in business. By 2003, The New Yorker magazine reported, the owners of The Washington Times had spent a billion dollars since its inception.

In 2008 Thomas F. Roeser of the Chicago Daily Observer mentioned that Moon had “announced he will spend as many future billions as is needed to keep the paper competitive.”

Where does JdV figure in all this?

In 1999 Unification Church officials in Manila invited several Manila newsmen to South Korea to attend a conference of the Universal Peace Foundation in Seoul. To their surprise, they found out that a speaker in one of the workshops was de Venecia.

Through the years the Pangasinan lawmaker has evidently cultivated his Moonie ties.

An article in the website of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, another Moonie organization, spoke of a gathering held in June at the COEX Convention Center in Seoul where “nearly two hundred dignitaries from overseas [came] to celebrate the successful publication of the surprising new best-seller, Becoming a Global Citizen of Peace, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s autobiographical memoir.”

The article added: “Current and former political leaders both from Korea and from abroad participated in this event, which coincided with a conference of world political leaders organized by the Universal Peace Federation. Attendees included . . . Alfred Moisu, a former president of Albania; Rahim Huseynov, a former prime minister of Azerbaijan; Hassan Muratovic, former prime minister of Bosnia; Hamilton Green, former prime minister of the Republic of Guyana; Kessai Note, former president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; Jose de Venecia Jr., former speaker of the house in the Philippines; Sir James Richard Mancham, first president of the Republic of Seychelles; Gabriel Mesan Agibeyome Kodjo, former prime minister of the Republic of Togo; and Malimba Nathaniel Masheke, former prime minister of Zambia,”

Enough said.

Posted by Desta Bishu
Ethiopian Review
August 5th, 2009

Major David J.R. Frakt gave a blistering argument, a virtual indictment of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gonzales for enabling war crimes in his request for pre-trial dismissal in the case of United States v. Mohammed Jawad, the 12 year old child that was tortured by the United States then held in Gitmo indefinitely. The Court has now ordered the release of Jawad.

Sadly, this military commission has no power to do anything to the enablers of torture such as John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Robert Delahunty, Alberto Gonzales, Douglas Feith, David Addington, William Haynes, Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, for the jurisdiction of military commissions is strictly and carefully limited to foreign war criminals, not the home-grown variety. All you can do is to try to send a message, a clear and unmistakable message that the U.S. really doesn’t torture, and when we do, we own up to it, and we try to make it right.

The article “Closing Argument at Guantanamo: The Torture of Mohammed Jawad
Major David J.R. Frakt” has been published in the Harvard Human Rights Journal. The journal’s editors give high praise to the brilliant work of JAG Frakt, beginning with this introduction.

The editors of the Harvard Human Rights Journal are pleased to publish Major David J.R. Frakt’s argument for a pre-trial dismissal in the case of United States v. Mohammed Jawad. Jawad was the first military commission case to squarely present the issue of the provable torture of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, and Mohammed Jawad was the first Guantanamo detainee to take the witness stand in a military commission and describe his mistreatment under oath.

JAG Frakt not only defended his client but he spoke truth to power as only a outraged patriot could do. He put on the court record the outrageous duplicity before congress and criminal acts of Donald Rumsfeld. His success, in court, gives credence to his claims.

Throughout the Global War on Terror we have heard repeatedly from our military and civilian leaders that this was a new kind of war, a war that requires new methods, new ideas, “thinking outside the box.” So that is what the highly creative and motivated people at Guantanamo did; they abandoned the tried and true and lawful methods of Army Field Manual 34-5262 and wrote a new playbook, a playbook that included intimidation with dogs, sexual humiliation, and sleep deprivation. These and other methods were employed at Guantanamo and, as the Schlesinger report put it, migrated to Abu Ghraib, where they resulted in the shocking conduct portrayed in the infamous photographs. The Secretary of Defense said “take the gloves off” and the soldiers and sailors of Guantanamo saluted smartly and said, “Yes, Sir!” In fact, many of the illegal and abusive “enhanced” interrogation techniques were personally approved for use by the Secretary of Defense; other techniques, like the frequent flyer program, were simply invented on the fly.

The public revelation of the events at Abu Ghraib on 60 Minutes II in late April 200464 caused the Department of Defense to go into full damage control mode. As part of the damage assessment, Secretary Rumsfeld dispatched the Navy Inspector General, Vice Admiral Church, to Guantanamo
to evaluate the treatment of detainees there. He visited Guantanamo from May 5 to May 7, 2004, and reported back to the Secretary and to the press that there was virtually no detainee abuse at Guantanamo, and that everything was in order. General Hood was running a tight ship. Detainees received great treatment.

Incredibly, the very day that Admiral Church was investigating conditions at Guantanamo and finding the treatment of detainees to be so wonderful, detention officials at Guantanamo ordered the initiation of the frequent flyer program on Mohammed Jawad. Before the wheels of Admiral Church’s plane were even off the Guantanamo runway, Mohammed Jawad’s arms and legs were being shackled in preparation for the first of 112 moves up and down the hall of L Block, every 3 hours for the next 14 days. While Mr. Jawad was being shackled for the first of these moves, back on Capitol Hill, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was testifying before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, reassuring the nation that the abuse at Abu Ghraib was isolated to a few rogue guards.

When Secretary Rumsfeld testified before the HASC on May 7, 2004, the day the torture of Mohammed Jawad commenced, he told Congress, in reference to those detainees who had been abused at Abu Ghraib, “I am seeking a way to provide appropriate compensation to those detainees who suffered such grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the U.S. military. It is the right thing to do.” Today, the government takes a decidedly different tack. They deny the suffering of Mr. Jawad, accusing him of being weak. And they are attempting to reward him by pressing forward with the first war crimes trial against a child soldier in the history of the civilized world.

Valtin has observed that the order to release Jawad will not stop his suffering or even secure his release. Congress’ cowardice has left Jawad in legal limbo. However,Valtin’s tireless efforts to stop torture and restore the stature of American psychologists assisted in securing this verdict.

As previously reported by McClatchy News, Mr. Jawad’s release is going to be complicated by the provisions of an amendment the cowardly U.S. Congress stuck onto the recent Defense Appropriations Bill. But all lindications are that Jawad is going home to Afghanistan before the end of August. But his private hell will not end there, as the sufferings he endured will haunt him for a long, long time, if not the rest of his life.

As I wrote to the Convening Authority at Guantanamo, Judge Susan Crawford, last September:

This case has particular interest for me, as in my professional role as a licensed psychologist, I have worked with victims of torture from multiple countries around the world, both as a psychotherapist, and in a forensic role. I have been certified as an expert witness in the immigration court of the Department of Homeland Security….

As a psychologist myself, I was horrified to read that young Jawad endured multiple episodes of 30-day isolation upon the “recommendation of a psychologist with Guantánamo’s Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT) who suggested that he was feigning homesickness and depression as a technique to resist interrogations.” Even after Mr. Jawad reportedly made a suicide attempt in December 2003, he was subjected to Guantanamo’s “frequent flyer” program, which, according to a Washington Post article I read last month, consisted of moving Jawad and other prisoners “repeatedly from cell to cell to cause sleep deprivation and disorientation as punishment and to soften detainees for subsequent interrogation.”

JAG Fract, by winning this case with this damning evidence has put into the legal record, a basis for trying Yoo, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other high level Bush administration officials as war criminals.

It’s past time to appoint a special prosecutor.

However, if American courts don’t act there is now a clear case on the record for action in the Hague or other courts to try Cheney, Rumsfeld and other high level Bush administration officials for war crimes.
Associated Press
August 11, 2009

A Detroit-area woman has pleaded guilty to falsifying her work as a CIA investigator who did background checks on employees and potential employees.

Authorities say Kerry Gerdes of Royal Oak lied in about 80 investigative reports, from December 2006 through May 2007.

Gerdes was supposed to interview people who knew current or potential federal employees. Her reports influenced hiring decisions and the granting of security clearances, but the interviews didn’t occur.

Gerdes faces up to a year in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday. Messages seeking comment were left with her lawyer, Richard Helfrick, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Falvey Jr.

There’s no mention of a motive in court filings. U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg calls the case a betrayal of trust.,0,1937794,print.story


(Aug. 11) — Someone spray-painted a large swastika on a sign outside the office of a Georgia congressman who was involved in a contentious argument over health care at a recent community meeting.

Democratic Rep. David Scott, who is black, said the swastika is the latest example of what he believes is an increasingly hateful and racist debate over reforming health care. The Atlanta lawmaker said he also has received mail in recent days that used N-word references to him, and that characterized President Barack Obama as a Marxist.

“We have got to make sure that the symbol of the swastika does not win, that the racial hatred that’s bubbling up does not win this debate,” Scott said in a telephone interview. “That’s what is bubbling up with all of this. There’s so much hatred out there for President (Barack) Obama.”

Skip over this content Scott said staffers discovered the graffiti Tuesday morning at his Smyrna, Ga., district office. The Nazi emblem covered a sign bearing the congressman’s name.

Scott said local police were notified along with the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police, who have warned lawmakers about potential threats stemming from the increasingly emotional debate over health care reform.

Scott, a moderate Democrat who represents a majority-white district, said he thinks the racism is isolated but can’t be ignored. He said the swastika was probably intended as a warning but hopes it instead convinces reasonable people that it’s time to cool down the rhetoric surrounding health care.

“We must not allow it to intimidate us,” he said.

Scott’s Smyrna office is located in a bank building, so he said he is optimistic that surveillance cameras captured the vandalism.