Nov 25, 2009
Iraq inquiry: Britain rejected regime change as illegal in 2001 --British officials discussed toppling Saddam Hussein in 2001 but rejected a policy of "regime change" as illegal under international law, the Iraq war inquiry has heard.
24 Nov 2009 On its opening day of public hearings, Sir John Chilcot’s public inquiry into the invasion heard that British diplomats heard the "drumbeat" of war emanating from Washington even before the September 11 terrorist attacks. The inquiry into the war, which cost 179 lives, opened yesterday with a promise from Sir John, a former Whitehall mandarin, to "get to the heart of what happened" and "not shy away" from criticising anyone who made mistakes.
Iraq inquiry: Bush administration 'discussing regime change two years before invasion' --Elements of the new US administration of President [sic] George Bush were already discussing ''regime change'' in Iraq two years before the invasion of 2003, the official inquiry into the war has been told.
24 Nov 2009 Sir Peter Ricketts, who was chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee in 2001, said there was concern in both London and Washington that the strategy of ''containment'' of Saddam Hussein was ''failing''. Giving evidence at the first public hearings of the inquiry, he said a review of the Iraq policy was already under way in Whitehall in anticipation of the arrival of the new Bush administration. He said that, in discussions with Secretary of State Colin Powell, it appeared the Americans were ''thinking very much on the same lines''.
'UK complicity is clear.' 'Cruel, illegal, immoral': Human Rights Watch condemns UK's role in torture --Pressure for inquiry grows as torturers themselves allege British complicity
24 Nov 2009 The attorney general was under intense pressure tonight to order a wider series of police investigations into British complicity in torture after one of the world's leading human rights organisations said there was clear evidence of the UK government's involvement in the torture of its own citizens. After an investigation spanning more than a year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) today condemned Britain's role in the torture of terror suspects detained in Pakistan as cruel, counter-productive and in clear breach of international law.
Updates: Iraq: The inquiry cover-up that will keep us in the dark
Iraq Inquiry: The First Big Lie
From 3AM on Wednesday November 25, 2009, until 3AM the following day (US East Coast time), WikiLeaks is releasing over half a million US national text pager intercepts. The intercepts cover a 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington... Messages in the archive range from Pentagon and New York Police Department exchanges, to computers reporting faults to their operators as the World Trade Center collapsed. Here
"the chickens of the government’s spending are coming home to roost. And I quote from a New York Times piece titled “Wave of Debt Payments Facing US Government.”
On that last point, the government’s projections are invariably based on the assumption that there will be, at worst, a modest pick-up in inflation. Once that assumption is revealed for the fiction it is, the dyke will break.
Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new
debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.
Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages.
With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House
estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.
Full article here.
And while it doesn’t surprise me, it saddens me to read that next week the Obama administration is going to announce a troop surge for Afghanistan. The final number is expected to be a compromise 25,000 more troops, less than the 40,000 the military requested, but 125,000 more than it should be. (Do the math.) ...
...The U.S. dollar index, a six-currency gauge of the greenback’s value, has dropped 7.1% so far this year. Meanwhile, gold is up 34% year-to-date. In other words, for every 1% drop in the dollar index, gold has risen 4.7%. ... If the dollar were simply to return to its March 2008 low of 71.30 next year – a 5% drop from current levels – this would imply a rise in gold of 23.5% and a price of about $1,437 an ounce. The long-term scenario is more dramatic... Source
"I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely."
You can read the article here.
by Aaron Goldstein
"There are four reasons Sarah Palin will seek the GOP nomination in
by Justin Raimondo
"All in all, we face a depressing prospect: the Left brain-dead with Obama idolatry, the Right neoconized beyond redemption -- and no one left to oppose a futile, draining, and horrifically destructive conflict, a war we cannot afford and which directly contravenes our real interests as a nation. No one, that is, except a clear majority of the American people, who, according to polls, think the battle for Afghanistan is not worth it. Here is a clear instance in which ordinary, everyday Americans are radically out of sync with partisan activists of both the Right and the Left -- thus creating a huge opening for libertarians, particularly the campus arm of the movement." (11/25/09)
UK: Terror squad arrest over model rocket
The Register [UK]
"The first person jailed under draconian UK police powers that Ministers said were vital to battle terrorism and serious crime has been identified by The Register as a schizophrenic science hobbyist with no previous criminal record. His crime was a persistent refusal to give counter-terrorism police the keys to decrypt his computer files. The 33-year-old man, originally from London, is currently held at a secure mental health unit after being sectioned while serving his sentence at Winchester Prison." (11/24/09)
by Bruno Waterfield
"Behind closed doors, in conditions of utmost secrecy, two of the highest jobs in European public office were stitched up on the basis of lowest-common-denominator expediency rather than merit. The decision, taken in a conclave of European leaders on 19 November, marks an important stage in the evolution of institutions, a statecraft and political method that have entirely dispensed with any reference or accountability to the public." (11/24/09)
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