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Christian Leaders' Stance of Civil Disobedience is Dangerous

Monday, November 30, 2009

By Editorial
The Los Angeles Times


Philosophers have argued for centuries over whether it is ever justifiable to break the law in the service of a higher cause. The question acquired a new complexity with the advent of societies such as the United States, in which laws were enacted by elected representatives and not decreed by a monarch or dictator.

Few today would criticize civil rights activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., for participating in or condoning the violation of laws that perpetuated white supremacy -- with the understanding that they would face punishment for their actions. But such civil disobedience is rightly regarded as the exception that proves that the proper redress for unjust laws lies in legislation or in court rulings based on the Constitution.

That cautious approach has been thrown to the wind by Christian religious leaders who, even as they insist on their right to shape the nation's laws, are reserving the right to violate them in situations far removed from King's witness.

Last week, a group of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox leaders released a “declaration” reminding fellow believers that "Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required." Then, after a specious invocation of King, the 152 signers hurl this anathema at those who would enact laws protecting abortion or extending the rights of civil (not religious) marriage to same-sex couples:

"Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality. . . . We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's."...(Remainder.)

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Vice President Biden Wants to Know Who You Trust About Health Insurance Reform?

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Paul Krugman Smacks Down George Will's BS Global Warming Claims

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Howard Kurtz Points Out Right-Wing Hypocrisy Over Grayson Comment & Beck Calling Landrieu a Prostitute

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Former WaTimes Editor, Miniter, Says He Had to Attend Unification "Church" Ceremony as Prerequisite for Job

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Matt Taibbi Discusses "Obama's Big Sell-Out to Wall St" on MSNBC

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Richard Miniter Tells Howard Kurtz Unification "Church" Pays a Weekly Bribe to WaTimes to "Keep Complete Control"

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The Most Boring Person on Earth, Ben Stein, Moans About Obama Making a "Socialist Paradise"

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Never Having Spend a Day in Uniform in His Life, Chickenhawk Coward, Jon Kyl, Wants to Keep Sending Troops to Afghanistan

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Reichsführer Beck Wants Another Terrorist Attack Against the US...Sedition Much?



By Heather
Crooks and Liars


Happy holidays from Glenn Beck everybody! Beck in another one of his phony populist rants asks his audience to imagine a terrorist attack on the United States where we’re as lucky as we were when the World Trade Center was hit. Just when I think this clown can't get much worse, he manages to one up himself again. I will be thankful when he finally is no longer polluting our airways.

Beck: You know everything is too big to fail, but nobody talks about the little guy. Nobody talks about the individual. Let me ask you this question. Please ponder this over the holiday season. Heaven forbid anything happens. God help us if al Qaeda would come but imagine if somebody could succeed in blowing up any of our great American icons. If they destroyed all of Washington, let’s just pretend that we would be as lucky as we were with the World Trade Center where everybody was gone or most people were gone—and they destroyed the Washington Monument and everything else—all of our enduring symbols, all the monuments we’ve always treasured—would it matter?

I don’t think so. The monuments are meaningless. The monuments are there to remind us who we are. But we have forgotten. We have become about the structure. We are the people that defeated the most powerful empire on earth as a group of rag-tag farming colonists. We were the people that explored. We mapped. We tamed the west. We crossed the mountains in wagons. We stunned the world with technical marvels and defeated the Nazis. We defeated the communists. We walked on the moon.

Nobody else has ever done that. We are Americans—rich or poor. We have always believed in the rugged individualism and self-actualization. We are not the people I think the people in Washington think we are. We are not fearful people. We are not people that give in or give up. We’re not about to give into some new whiney mentality where “Ooh, somebody help me”. That’s not who we are.

The only one that is too big to fail is you. And the only one that will, the only one that will create your failure is you. The only way the United States government, or the United States of America, or we fail as a collective is if we fail as individuals. And the only way guaranteed we as individuals will fail is to depend on the government to prop us up. That is just not who we are. And for me I am thankful for that.

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Phlegm Speck Says He's "Not Going to Take a Back Seat to a Chick" in 2012...Sexist Much?

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The Fucktard & KKKarl Do More Fearmongers Over KSM Trial

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The Jobs Imperative

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times


If you’re looking for a job right now, your prospects are terrible. There are six times as many Americans seeking work as there are job openings, and the average duration of unemployment — the time the average job-seeker has spent looking for work — is more than six months, the highest level since the 1930s.

You might think, then, that doing something about the employment situation would be a top policy priority. But now that total financial collapse has been averted, all the urgency seems to have vanished from policy discussion, replaced by a strange passivity. There’s a pervasive sense in Washington that nothing more can or should be done, that we should just wait for the economic recovery to trickle down to workers.

This is wrong and unacceptable.

Yes, the recession is probably over in a technical sense, but that doesn’t mean that full employment is just around the corner. Historically, financial crises have typically been followed not just by severe recessions but by anemic recoveries; it’s usually years before unemployment declines to anything like normal levels. And all indications are that the aftermath of the latest financial crisis is following the usual script. The Federal Reserve, for example, expects unemployment, currently 10.2 percent, to stay above 8 percent — a number that would have been considered disastrous not long ago — until sometime in 2012.

And the damage from sustained high unemployment will last much longer. The long-term unemployed can lose their skills, and even when the economy recovers they tend to have difficulty finding a job, because they’re regarded as poor risks by potential employers. Meanwhile, students who graduate into a poor labor market start their careers at a huge disadvantage — and pay a price in lower earnings for their whole working lives. Failure to act on unemployment isn’t just cruel, it’s short-sighted.

So it’s time for an emergency jobs program....(Remainder.)

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$6,800 for Cap-and-Trade Not a CBO Estimate

Sunday, November 29, 2009

By Catharine Richert
PolitiFact


Critics of the Democratic cap-and-trade proposal have many complaints about the plan, but their biggest is cost. They say it will cost so much that it will be a significant burden on a typical American family.

The latest variation of this comes in a chain e-mail that contends the cap-and-trade plan will require more energy-efficient homes (a claim we rated Pants on Fire ). The e-mail says, "The Congressional Budget Office -- supposedly non-partisan -- estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year. No one is excluded."

We've spent a lot of time looking into claims about how much the cap-and-trade plan could cost families, and one thing's for certain: There's no consensus. The Environmental Protection Agency says it could cost as little as $80 per year while the conservative Heritage Foundation says it could cost as much as $1,241 annually in higher energy bills.

We've explained the pros and cons of the various estimates in those previous items, so here we're going to look into the chain e-mail's claim that the CBO estimates cap-and-trade will cost a family of four $6,800 a year.

The bill in question is called the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. It is sponsored by Henry Waxman of California and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, and aims to reduce carbon emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. Companies, particularly utilities, would have to either buy pollution credits or adopt cleaner technology.

Critics say that either way, the cost of energy will go up, and that cost will be passed on to the consumer. ...(Remainder.)

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Enter the Foxulists: The Fake Populism of Palin, Dobbs and Beck

By Jonathan Alter
Newsweek


With unemployment surging and the public mood souring, populism is in the air. Sarah Palin, flattered in recent days by a comparison to William Jennings Bryan, is a plausible presidential candidate, according to George W. Bush's pollster. Lou Dobbs, the modern incarnation of the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s, is dropping hints about running for the White House in 2012, presumably without the benefit of the Hispanic vote. And Glenn Beck is planning a huge rally next summer in Washington dedicated to "Re-founding America." If Beck pulls a big crowd and wins some credit for decimating Democrats in the midterms, it's not hard to guess what he might try next.

We haven't elected a populist president since Andrew Jackson 180 years ago. But we haven't had a black guy with no experience and a Muslim name as president either. Our omnipresent mediacracy makes a lot of unthinkable things thinkable. Barack Obama's use of social networking and YouTube in 2008 just scratched the surface of what's possible when anyone can have access to any idea or image at any time. That's the science-fiction society we live in now.

The resulting Tower of Babel has good news and bad news for would-be populists. The good news for them is that the dissemination of outlandish ideas is easier than ever. Where cranks were once limited to red-ribbon typewriter rants or maybe a radio show, they now have unlimited potential to get their message out. The bad news for them is that they have nothing to say. They say nothing loudly, colorfully, and sometimes even charmingly, but it still doesn't amount to a new vision for the country. If their means of communicating are dramatically enhanced, their ends are hopelessly conventional....(Remainder.)

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Are We Going to Let John Die?

By Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times


If Joe Lieberman or other senators came across John Brodniak writhing in pain on the sidewalk, they presumably would jump to help him and rush him to a hospital.

Unfortunately, an emergency room won’t help — indeed, the closest E.R. has told him not to come back, he says. So, for those members of Congress who are wavering on health reform, listen to John’s story.

John is a sawmill worker from Yamhill County, Ore., where I grew up. He was a foreman at a mill, he felt strong and healthy, and he had very basic insurance coverage through his job. On April 18, he was married, at age 23, and life was looking up.

Ten days after the wedding, he was walking in his backyard carrying a neighbor’s dog — and he suddenly blacked out. That led, after rounds of CAT scans, M.R.I.’s and other tests, to the discovery that the left parietal lobe of his brain has a cavernous hemangioma. That’s an abnormal growth of blood vessels, and in John’s case it is chronically leaking blood into his brain.

John began to have trouble walking and would sometimes collapse. He developed spasms and restless leg syndrome, he began to use a cane, and his mind suffered.

“He forgets stuff a lot, he bumps into things,” said his new wife, Esther Brodniak. “But he keeps things light. He jokes about it.”

Perhaps the worst is the pain — blinding, incapacitating headaches that have left him able to sleep only in short intervals. He vomits daily when the pain surges....(Remainder.)

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Purloined Emails Don't Change the Facts

By Eugene Robinson
Truthdig


Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week—portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories—does not prove that global warming is a fraud.

If I’m wrong, somebody ought to tell the polar ice caps that they’re free to stop melting.

That said, the e-mail episode is more than a major embarrassment for the scientists involved. Most Americans are convinced that climate change is real—a necessary prerequisite for the kinds of huge economic and behavioral adjustments we would have to make to begin seriously limiting carbon emissions. But consensus on the nature and scope of the problem will dissipate, and fast, if experts try to obscure the fact that there’s much about the climate they still don’t know.

Here’s what happened: Someone hacked into the servers at one of the leading academic centers in the field—the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England—and filched a trove of e-mails and documents, which have been posted on numerous Web sites maintained by climate skeptics.

Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, released a statement Wednesday saying, “My colleagues and I accept that some of the published e-mails do not read well.” That would be an example of British understatement.

In one message sent to a long list of colleagues, Jones speaks of having completed a “trick” with recent temperature data to “hide the decline.” The word “trick” is hardly a smoking gun—scientists use it to refer to clever but perfectly legitimate ways of handling data. But the “hide the decline” part refers to a real issue among climate researchers called the “divergence problem.”

To plot temperatures going back hundreds or thousands of years—long before anyone was taking measurements—you need a set of data that can serve as an accurate proxy. The width of tree rings correlates well with observed temperature readings, and extrapolating that correlation into the past yields the familiar “hockey stick” graph—fairly level temperatures for eons, followed by a sharp incline beginning around 1900. This is attributed to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide....(Remainder.)

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Chain Email Says Those on Public Option Will Have Microchip Implanted

By Louis Jacobson
PolitiFact



It's a recipe for a great conspiracy theory: a big health care bill, an effort to centralize medical records and a new microchip that can be implanted under your skin.

Just add outrage and stir!

A chain e-mail warns darkly that an "implantable radio frequency transponder system for patient identification and health information" would be "implanted in the majority of people who opt to become covered by the public health care option" -- the government-run insurance plan designed as an affordable option for people who are uninsured or whose employers don't offer health coverage. The chip would "collect data in medical patients," including "claims data" and "electronic health records."

Americans, the e-mail continues, would likely flock to the the public option. This would mean that "the number of people chipped will be plentiful as well. Children conceived by parents who are already covered under the public option will more than likely be implanted with a chip by the consent of the parent. Eventually everyone will be implanted with a chip. And with the price and coverage of the public option being so competitive with the private companies, the private company [sic] may not survive."

This seems on its face to be so ridiculous that we wondered if it was satire. But we couldn't find its origins. Meanwhile, the e-mail is making the rounds (it was sent to us by a reader who wondered whether it's true) and we found it posted on dozens of blogs, so we decided to examine it.

First, let's get out of the way the one grain of truth in the claim -- a rice-sized grain, to be precise.

A company called PositiveID, which has its headquarters in Delray Beach, Fla., sells a small microchip that can be implanted under the skin for identification purposes. It can be read from a few inches away by a handheld scanner. The company began working on its product in December 2001, and by October 2004, it had received the Food and Drug Administration's approval to insert the device into patients. According to the company, a few hospitals have "agreed to use the technology in their emergency departments."...(Remainder.)

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Think Obama Hasn't Gotten Much Done? Think Again




By Jacob Weisberg
Newsweek


About one thing left and right seem to agree: Obama hasn't done anything yet. Maureen Dowd and Dick Cheney have found common ground in scoffing at the president's "dithering." NEWSWEEK recently ran a sympathetic cover story titled "Yes He Can (But He Sure Hasn't Yet)." The sarcasm brigade thinks it has finally found an Achilles' heel in his lack of accomplishments. "When you look at my record, it's very clear what I've done so far, and that is nothing. Nada. Almost one year and nothing to show for it," Obama stand-in Fred Armisen recently riffed on Saturday Night Live. Jon Stewart asserts "it’s chow time" for a president who hasn't followed through on his promises.

This conventional wisdom about Obama's first year is sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health-care-reform bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more in his first year than any other postwar American president. This isn't an ideological judgment. It's a neutral assessment of his emerging record.

The case for Obama's successful freshman year rests above all on the health-care legislation now awaiting action in the Senate. Democrats have been trying to pass national health insurance for 60 years. Past presidents who tried to make it happen and failed include Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Through the summer, Obama caught flak for letting Congress lead the process, as opposed to setting out his own proposal. Now his political strategy is being vindicated.

We are so submerged in the details of this debate—whether the bill will include a "public option," limit coverage for abortion, or tax Botox—that it's easy to lose sight of the magnitude of the impending change. For the federal government to take responsibility for health insurance will be a transformation of the American social contract and the single biggest change in government's role since the New Deal. If Obama accomplishes nothing else, he may be judged the most consequential domestic president since LBJ. He will also undermine the view that Ronald Reagan permanently reversed a 50-year tide of American liberalism....(Remainder.)

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Does Palin Believe Jews Will Flock to Israel to Set Off Apocalypse?

By David Edwards and Murial Kane
The Raw Story

Sarah Palin frequently refers to to her religious beliefs as part of her core values, but she has never made it clear just what those beliefs are. Now one casual remark during an interview last week with Barbara Walters may have drawn back the curtain a bit.

In response to a question about Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, Palin told Walters, "I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead."

Palin's expectation of massive Jewish immigration to Israel -- which would have to come primarily from the United States -- has no basis in current fact but does correspond closely to the end-times theology espoused by many evangelical Christians.

After Palin's interview, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg spoke to a representative of Liberty University, who told him, "'What Sarah Palin probably believes is that this is the first regathering,' when the Jews all migrate to Israel. 'This is a condition for the second regathering, the regathering in belief, when the Jewish nation is converted. Then there will be the battle of Armageddon.'"

"In the last two weeks," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann commented on Tuesday, "she has revealed pieces of the puzzle of her religious doctrines that suggest she shares the beliefs of her church, the Assemblies of God, that in the end-times, the Rapture, Jesus lifts true believers up with him as non-believers suffer through the apocalypse. She is also implying now that her interpretation of Biblical prophecy drives core elements of her foreign policy."...(Remainder.)


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Christians Dream of Nazi Germany

By Jessica Sideways
The Gaythiests

Christians always masturbate over, er I mean fantasize, about what it would be like to be living in heaven and being with God. But given what I (and any other Christian who has actually and thoughtfully read the Bible, you know, ex-Christians) know about the Christian view of the end times, what we can all expect can only be described as the horror of World War II and Nazi Germany. However, unlike Nazi Germany, this is all planned out by an all-powerful, immortal dictator who cannot die and has long-since went mentally insane. But that does not stop Christians believing that the Christian view of end times is good and that they should praise god for being so utterly wonderful to create a place that is a lot like Nazi Germany, including all of the events and features of Nazi Germany. So, I am going to explain, to the best of my ability how the Christian picture of the end times equates to Nazi Germany. Hopefully, this analytical approach will get a few people to see that the god of the Bible, who is touted as being all-loving and benevolent is actually evil and malevolent. However, I intend to use actual comparisons based on what we know from historical accounts of life in Nazi Germany, as a citizen of Germany, of Europe and as a resident of the death camps. However, I do hope that in my work, that I do not diminish the importance of remembering the Holocaust or the fact that unlike what is depicted in Christian folklore, the Holocaust actually happened.

How did Hitler get the German people to go along with his plan, recruiting so many citizens for his Nazi army? Well, he promised Lebensraum (or “living space”, as it is translated) to the German people by taking over as much of Europe as humanly possible during his regime. He promised that the “master race” would excel over all others and this allowed him to exterminate anyone who was not German. The same thing is happening with heaven, since Christians think that it is a good idea to destroy this world, off all of the non-believers for endless torture and pain for mocking them with logic, reason and facts and have their Lebensraum with der Fuhrer, the Lord their God. Apparently, they will be the “master race” because of the fact that they are “bathed in the blood of the Lamb”, which to be honest sounds a lot like it was pulled from the sick mind of Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs (fun fact: He was displaced by the Nazis during his childhood, in the movie “Hannibal Rising“, which depicts Hannibal’s young life)....(Remainder.)

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Meet the U.S. Politicians Who Want to See Gay People Dead in Uganda

Friday, November 27, 2009

By Michael A. Jones
Change.org

Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts have a lot more in common than just working together to strip reproductive rights out of U.S. health care reform. The two are also tied through an evangelical network known as “The Family,” which has dubious ties to at least two Ugandan leaders who are championing draconian legislation in the country that would institute the death penalty for homosexuality.


Speaking yesterday on NPR’s Fresh Air, Jeff Sharlet – who wrote a best-selling book documenting the political influence of the family – noted that many U.S. politicians, straddling both sides of the political aisle, are involved with “The Family.” Sharlet spoke about how members of “The Family” have been quite active in Uganda, including Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati, who is a member of “The Family” and one of the legislators behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.

“[Bahati] appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Uganda National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda,” said Sharlet.

Not only that, but The Family has long considered Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to be their key point man in Uganda, according to Sharlet. And President Museveni, it turns out, is one of the biggest advocates for killing gay people in Uganda. He also just met with a bunch of Ugandan youth and urged them to resist the forces of homosexuality.

That’s a pretty direct, not to mention abhorrent, connection between U.S. evangelical political leadership and Ugandan human rights abusers. Do U.S. politicians like Congressmen Bart Stupak really want to have on their consciences the murder and imprisonment of gay people in Uganda? Urge his office to condemn this proposed bill now....(Remainder.)

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Couching Anti-Gay Bias in the Language of Civil Rights Does Not Make it Right

By Jeremy Holden
The Media Matters


Leave it to Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter to equate the denial of civil rights to the civil rights movement. There they were on The O'Reilly Factor last night, discussing the "call of Christian conscience" known as the Manhattan Declaration, which O'Reilly described as "a document that encourages religious Americans to fight back, and in some cases even break the law." Coulter explained:
COULTER: The civil disobedience parts of it are pretty narrow. It's for saying that we won't participate as doctors, nurses, hospitals, in euthanasia, in abortion. Churches won't participate in same-sex marriage or -- or in denouncing, condemning homosexuality in the practice of their faith.
And just like that, Coulter put organized efforts to deny civil rights to gays and lesbians on par with black civil rights pioneers who used civil disobedience to expand their rights. The "civil disobedience" of churches that "won't participate in same-sex marriage" becomes elevated to a perch next to activists who refused to adhere to Jim Crow's separate-but-equal charade. Of course the distinction here is that Jim Crow laws were very real, and very brutally enforced. Coulter offers no evidence of a single church that would be required to bless or in any way recognize a single gay marriage.

Think about it for a moment. Coulter and her enabler O'Reilly would have you believe that in a nation where 78 percent of the citizens are Christians, it is Christians who need to engage in acts of civil disobedience for protection from laws passed by overwhelmingly Christian lawmakers. At what point does the notion of civil disobedience get turned on its head?...(Remainder.)

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Michael Mann in His Own Words About the Stolen CRU Emails

By Kevin Grandia
The Huffington Post


With all the wild accusations flying around over the illegally obtained email correspondence from the University of East Climate Research Unit, I thought I would ask one of the scientists in the middle of the issue to provide some context.

Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, whose name appears in some of the stolen emails, provided me with a run-down of the emails that involve him. His responses provide some much needed context and give you an idea of just how wildly some people have blown this story out of proportion.

What follows is quotes taken directly from the stolen emails, followed by Dr. Mann's response:
1. "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i. e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." (from Phil Jones).
Phil Jones has publicly gone on record indicating that he was using the term "trick" in the sense often used by people, as in "bag of tricks", or "a trick to solving this problem ...", or "trick of the trade".

In referring to our 1998 Nature article, he was pointing out simply the following: our proxy record ended in 1980 (when the proxy data set we were using terminates) so, it didn't include the warming of the past two decades. In our Nature-article we therefore also showed the post-1980 instrumental data that was then available through 1995, so that the reconstruction could be viewed in the context of recent instrumental temperatures. The separate curves for the reconstructed temperature series and for the instrumental data were clearly labeled....(Remainder.)

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China Pledges 40% Cut in CO2 Ahead of Summit

By Leigh Phillips
EU Observer


BRUSSELS - China has finally come to the table with a CO2 emissions reduction target ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit less than two weeks from now. But its proposal would still mean emissions growth in net terms in the coming years.

Until now, the Middle Kingdom, the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, has resisted all pressure to come up with a specific target, preferring to emphasise its plans for energy efficiency and renewable energy instead.

On Thursday (26 November), Beijing announced that at a Chinese State Council executive meeting the day before, the country's leadership agreed to a cut of between 40 and 45 percent on 2005 levels by 2020.

"China has always attached great importance to climate change, unswervingly taking the road of sustainable development," the government said in a statement.

The offer came a day after the United States tabled its provisional proposal of a reduction. At the UN climate summit in Copenhagen December, US President Barack Obama is to announce a cut "in the range of" 17 percent on 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent by 2050.

The EU, by comparison, has agreed it is to reduce its emissions by 20 percent on 1990 levels by 2020, moving up to a 30 percent cut if an ambitious agreement is reached in Copenhagen.

To use the same baseline as the EU, the US offer amounts to a reduction of four to five percent on 1990 levels.

While on the face of it, China, a rapidly developing but still relatively poor country, appears to trump by a considerable margin the offer of the US, a fully industrialised nation, details in the Chinese target give pause for thought.

Washington has proposed its reduction based on its absolute level of emissions, while Beijing's target is a reduction of 40-45 percent "per unit of GDP."...(Remainder.)

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According to Beck, Americans Left Egypt and the Pharoah, to Come to DC to Build the Washington Monument

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Right-Wing Anti-Intellectual Ass Weasel, Fred Barnes, WRONGLY Claims Climate Science is in Dispute

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The America Hating Insane Clown Attacks the Constitution He Claims to Love, this Time is Separation of Church & State

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With All Evidence to the Contrary, the Baron of Batshit Claims Progressives Want to Control Your Life

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Beck Says We're Somehow Stomping All Over the Pilgrams...I Don't See a Big Black Hat on Your Head Fuckface

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Another of Fox's Anti-TRUTH Asshats, John Scott, Thinks Hacked Emails Proved Global Warming False

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The Retarded Baby Jesus is Not Even Close on 2009 Temperatures

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nti-Gay Bishop Tobin Does His Best to Prove the "Anti-Catholic Bigots" Right


By David Neiwert
Crooks and Liars


Bishop Thomas Tobin, the fellow who decided that abortion-tolerant Catholics like Rep. Patrick Kennedy should be denied the right to partake of Communion ceremonies, went on The O'Reilly Factor last night to try to answer his critics.
In the process, all he did was make it look like the anti-Catholic bigots of yore were right after all.

Tobin's arguments were not exactly convincing. When O'Reilly asked Tobin why it's OK to deny Communion to politicians who are pro-choice but not to Catholics who are pro-death-penalty, Tobin answered with a flimsy argument that amounted to nothing more than theological lawyering, evading the core issue that both are core matters of Catholic beliefs pertaining to "defending the values of life."

And when O'Reilly pointed out that, for people like Kennedy and Sen. John Kerry, it's a matter of democratic principle to separate their personal religious beliefs about abortion from the conduct of their policy, Tobin replied that opposing abortion rights is a matter of "defending your faith."

What people like Tobin refuse to acknowledge is that their belief that abortion is murder, based on the belief that life begins at conception, is fundamentally a religious belief that is not shared by many other Americans, especially those who take a more strictly biological view of the process.

So in denying any American the right to an abortion, anti-abortion politicians are fundamentally shoving their religious beliefs down the throats of everyone else. That's not "defending your faith", it's forcing it upon everyone else. Which is what that whole First Amendment thing about church and state was bout....(Remainder.)

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Caribou Barbie on Running With Beck in 2012: We'll See

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Some Douche Named Peter Johnson Exploits Thanksgiving to Fearmonger About Health Care

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President Obama Pardons White House Turkey

Thursday, November 26, 2009

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President Obama Thanksgiving: Family, Turkey ... and a Weekly Address

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In Reichsführer Beck's Violent Fantasy Land He Wants US to Shoot Detainees in the Head

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Reichsführer Beck Continues His Violent Psychotic Fantasies, Saying Obama Wants to Put a Spike in Babies' Heads

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Reichsführer Beck Claims to No Longer Support Military Actions...Just Another Angle to Attack Obama?

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Reichsführer Beck Attacks the Anti Defamation League

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US Chamber of Commerce Needs to "Start Over" With Some Facts

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Beck Has the Gall to Compare Himself to MLK! You're Not Fit to Lick the Soles of His Feet Glenn!

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The Drug-Addled Gas-Bag Wants GOP Leader to go on Radio to "Hammer" at Obama

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Robin Williams Talks About Sarah Palin with David Letterman

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The Insane Clown's "Plan" for Eliminating Debt is to Institute a Massively Regressive VAT and Kill Off Middle & Lower Class

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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The Insane Clowns Psychotic Rants Continue: The Last Chapters of American are Being Written! Agggh!!!!

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Does the Retarded Baby Jesus Even Know Which Obama Appointee He's Attacking for False "Serilization" Claims

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Anti-Gay Oozing Syphllitic Anal Discharge, Ann Coulter, Endorses "Mahattan Declaration"

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Fixed Noise Promotes Porcine Shitbag Breitbart's Suspect ACORN "Document" Drop Claims

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Hannity the Dim-Witted Manatee Says Stolen Emails are "Evidence" Global Warming a "Hoax"

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Pathecit Sack of Homophobic Shit, Rove, Claims Manhattan Declaration is Mainstream

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Toe-Sucking Troll from Under the Bridge Uses Faux News Once Again to Raise Money

By Media Matters

On Fox News' Hannity, Fox News contributor Dick Morris touted "the work we're trying to do through DickMorris.com" to oppose health care reform and instructed viewers to "go there and help us." Morris has repeatedly used his frequent appearances on Fox News to raise money for conservative political organizations, including those in which he has a financial interest, a practice that also has been followed by Fox News' Mike Huckabee....(Remainder.)


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The Fucktard Claims There's No Doubt that AARP is "a Left-Wing Organization"

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The Fucktard Spins Homophobic Manhattan Declaration as a "Religious Awakening"

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ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!? Perino Claims there were NO Terrorist Attacks During Bush's Term!!!

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Children's Television Workshop's Westin Releases "Spill O'Reilly" to Expose Insnait of Right-Wing Freak Out

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Fox Ass-Monkey, Varney, Complete Distorts Stolen Emails to Announce "Climategate"

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President Obama Welcomes Prime Minister Singh of India

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FAIL! Michael Steele Tries to Claim Palin a "Successful Governor"; Andrea Mitchell Reminds Him She Quit!



Via Heather
Crooks and Liars


You've got to love watching these guys trying to put a good spin on Sarah Palin's potential return to politics. Michael Steele gets stopped in his tracks by Andrea Mitchell while calling Palin a "successful governor" when Mitchell points out that she quit half way through her term. Of course Steele plays the victim card for Palin and blames her quitting on the media making it impossible for her to do her job. Steele also claims that we've never seen this level of disrespect shown for a female political candidate.

I'd like to see Steele tell Hillary Clinton that to her face if he thinks no other female politician has ever been treated disrespectfully. I'd also like to ask Steele how President Obama is managing to concentrate on doing his job with amount of constant attacks being leveled at him by the media, primarily Fox and the right wing talk show hate machine?

How long will it take before the right wing blogs are trying to spin Mrs. Greenspan as an evil "librul" picking on poor old Sarah for this interview?...(Original.)

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The Insane Clown Claims that the Fed Gov't is Going to Take Over Cali, Time to Remove a Star From the Flag

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Poo Blobs Fill-In Giordano Hysterically Claims Terror Trials Could be Deadly?

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The Oxy-Moron Says Scientists Should be Kill for "Hoax" Eventhough There's No Hoax

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CNN's Rick Sanchez Discusses Panel Finding Gov Sanford Broke the Law 37 Times

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Ed Schultz Calls the Insane Clown's "100-Year Plan" Psycho Talk

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CBS' Nancy Cordes Flat-Out Lies in Saying Health Care Bills Won't Reduce Deficits After 10 Years

By Media Matters

CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes forwarded the Republican suggestion that the House and Senate health care reform bills are a "trillion-dollar scam" because the bills "impos[e] new taxes years before the tax credits would kick in to help Americans buy insurance," and thus would only reduce the deficit in the first decade after enactment. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that both bills would also reduce the deficit beyond the first 10 years....(Remainder.)


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Chris Matthews Gets to Heart of Abortion Matter With Bishop Tobin

By Susie Madrak
Crooks and Liars


In a breathtakingly tight argument, Chris Matthews corners Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin, who has banned Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., from receiving Holy Communion due to his views on abortion.

Because here's the moral hypocrisy at the heart of the Church's abortion position: If it's really and truly murder, you're talking about prosecuting mothers, sisters, lovers and friends for having them. Tweety is quite aggressive with the bishop, demanding to know exactly what legal penalties he thinks should be legislated.

I mean, we won't even touch the concept of one religion imposing its moral position on everyone else. We don't have to. Because if you're saying abortion is murder, you may not create a separate class of penalties under the law. You can't argue that women "didn't know what they were doing." You can't say they were "confused" or "coerced" if there's no evidence they were, anymore than you can say that about any other murder for hire. Either she paid someone to murder her child - or she didn't.

So she has to be tried for murder. The churches can't have it both ways. They can't advise forgiveness and legal exemption for one specific class of murders.
And there's no way the majority of Americans would ever support sending their relatives, neighbors and friends to prison for it.

This is really what Tweety was getting at, and it was damned brilliant. Go, Tweety!...(Remainder.)





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Oceans Rising Faster than Expected as Climate Change Exceeds Grimmest Models

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

By The Associated Press
The Raw Story
Photo is of Larsen B Ice Shelf collapse in Feb 08

Warming exceeds grimmest climate models

Since the 1997 international accord to fight global warming, climate change has worsened and accelerated — beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then.

As the world has talked for a dozen years about what to do next, new ship passages opened through the once frozen summer sea ice of the Arctic. In Greenland and Antarctica, ice sheets have lost trillions of tons of ice. Mountain glaciers in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa are shrinking faster than before.

And it's not just the frozen parts of the world that have felt the heat in the dozen years leading up to next month's climate summit in Copenhagen:
  • The world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half.
  • Droughts and wildfires have turned more severe worldwide, from the U.S. West to Australia to the Sahel desert of North Africa.
  • Species now in trouble because of changing climate include, not just the lumbering polar bear which has become a symbol of global warming, but also fragile butterflies, colorful frogs and entire stands of North American pine forests.
  • Temperatures over the past 12 years are 0.4 of a degree warmer than the dozen years leading up to 1997.
(Remainder.)

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A Third Way in Afghanistan

Why Obama's right to try an approach that is neither all-in nor all-out.


By E.J. Dionne Jr.
The New Republic

WASHINGTON--When there is no good solution to a problem, a president has three options. One is to avoid the problem. The second is to pick the least bad of the available options. The third is to mix and match among the proposed solutions and minimize the long-term damage any decision will cause.

Afghanistan has presented President Obama with exactly this situation, and he is soon likely to settle on something closest to the third approach. This will make no one very happy. Yet it might be the least dangerous choice.

If we wanted to be successful in Afghanistan, we wouldn't choose to start from where we are now. We wouldn't have put this war on the back burner for so long, and we would have dealt much earlier with the debilitating deficiencies of President Hamid Karzai's government.

Obama can change none of this. And unlike enthusiasts for an all-out counterinsurgency strategy, Obama knows he has to make a decision that's sustainable over the long run, which means taking into account domestic economic and political realities.

One of these is the weariness over a truth that Andrew Bacevich, the hardheaded foreign policy analyst, put more plainly than most: “that permanent war has become the de facto policy of the United States.”

Americans have always been willing to battle terrorists. What they did not count on--and were not led to expect when the Bush administration committed troops first to Afghanistan and then to Iraq--were two long, violent, indefinite occupations costing thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars....(Remainder.)

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FBI Reports Sharp Increase in Anti-Gay Hate Crimes

By Agence France-Presse

The Raw Story


WASHINGTON — The number of US hate crime victims rose slightly last year to nearly 9,700 from 9,500 in 2007, with most people targeted because of their skin color, the FBI said Monday.

However, as Think Progress notes, "Hate crimes based on sexual orientation had the largest increase — nearly 11 percent."


More than half of hate crimes committed in the United States were racially motivated, and three-quarters of the victims were black, the FBI's annual report on hate crimes said.


Of the 6,927 known perpetrators of all hate crimes -- which include attacks driven by not only racial bias but also by the victims' religious affiliation, sexual orientation, ethnic origins or disability -- 61 percent were white. Blacks perpetrated attacks in around 20 percent of cases.

The report was compiled after the issue of race was thrust into the center of US politics with African American Barack Obama's successful bid to be elected the first black president of the United States.

Around 17 percent of hate crime victims were attacked because of their sexual orientation, the overwhelming majority, 96 percent, because they were gay or lesbian.

Nearly 20 percent were attacked for their religious affiliation, with Jews making up around two-thirds of the victims of those attacks.

Muslims were the targets of less than eight percent of religious hate crimes, putting them in third place behind Jews and followers of unspecified "other religions" attacked in 13 percent of religion-fueled hate crimes....(Remainder.)

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Geithner's Disgrace

The new AIG report reveals how the Treasury secretary—and U.S. taxpayers—were fleeced by Wall Street banks.

By Eliot Spitzer
Slate Magazine

The issue has been festering for months: Why were AIG's counterparties—including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS—paid 100 cents on the dollar when the feds rescued the insurance giant, helping raising the cost of the bailout to nearly $200 billion? A new report issued by Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky now reveals that government officials, notably then-New York Fed President and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, grievously damaged the nation and capitulated to the very banks they should have been supervising.

Barofsky's report reads like a case study in failed negotiation. The New York Fed didn't have the backbone to stand up to Wall Street, didn't understand its capacity to protect taxpayers, and didn't appreciate that its responsibility was to taxpayers.

Geithner and the Fed have proffered a series of spurious reasons for their willingness to pay AIG's counterparties—the leading Wall Street banks—in full while demanding concessions from every other entity with whom the Treasury or the Fed dealt. Geithner suggested he could not use the threat of AIG's default in the absence of a federal bailout to get concessions from AIG's creditors. Why not?

That is exactly what the government did with the auto industry, and rightly so. The entity providing financing to a near-bankrupt institution must always seek contributions from everyone else at risk. The fact that the Fed had a strong predisposition against letting AIG go into bankruptcy didn't mean the Fed shouldn't have used every opportunity to wrangle concessions from the other parties. For Geithner to say it would have been "unethical" to negotiate for concessions is sheer silliness. It is akin to saying that having decided that you are willing to pay up to $250,000 for a house, it is unethical to negotiate to buy it for $225,000....(Remainder.)

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Reichsführer Beck Plans ‘Obama-Hating’ Marches for 9/11 & MLK Speech Anniversaries

By Ron Brynaert
The Raw Story


Perhaps America needs to give Fox pundit Glenn Beck his own day, since he seems to be hellbent on usurping days that are tied to other historical happenings.

Politico's Glenn Thrush reports that "Beck’s 9.12 Project is co-sponsoring a march on Washington on Sept. 11, 2010, to voice unhappiness with the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Congress and that the group will also become involved in voter registration drives."
The letter, released at the conclusion of a campaign-style rally at a massive retirement community in Central Florida at which Beck discussed his plan, is short on specifics and long on self-promotion, as well as the populist, anti-government, self-help rhetoric that has become Beck’s trademark.


Nonetheless, the announcement seems to indicate a new course for Beck, who this year began encouraging his followers to organize themselves politically but had refrained from participating directly in their activities.
At Media Matters, Eric Boehlert vents, "The idea of trying to politicize the 9/11 anniversary in such a naked way is shocking. But of course nothing actually shocks us any more about Beck's tasteless, Obama-hating campaign. What would be amazing though, is if Beck is able to get away with this. (At least this year's anti-Obama rally was held the day after Sept. 11.) Meaning, if Beck's followers really follow through with their plan and use the hollowed anniversary of 9/11 and turn the tragic terrorist attacks of 2001 into a day for hurling hateful attacks against the President of the United States, will there be no outcry?"...(Remainder.)

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India Fears Losing US Favor Even as Obama Fetes Singh

President Obama is hosting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this week with his first state visit. But India worries the US cares more about wooing rivals China and Pakistan.


By Mian Ridge
The Christian Science Monitor
Photo:  Charles Dharapak (AP)


New Delhi - As India's prime minister Manmohan Singh arrives to a red carpet welcome in Washington Monday – the first state guest of President Barack Obama – commentators in India seemed more preoccupied with the United States' growing friendship with China.

Ties between India and the US are stronger than they have been in decades. Bilateral trade has surged, doubling since 2004 to more than $43 billion a year. Last year the two countries signed a landmark civil nuclear deal, agreed upon by Mr. Singh and former US President George Bush in 2005, that brought India out of nuclear isolation and symbolized a sea change in the countries' political relationship. Indeed, the US sees a vital role for India in the battle against terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan and in a host of other issues from world trade to climate change.

But while talks between Mr. Singh and Mr. Obama scheduled for Tuesday are likely to focus on such matters as Afghanistan, climate change, and cooperation on nuclear energy, pundits in India are more interested in the question of where the US's new friendship with China, as well as its relationship with Pakistan, leaves India.

"We may aspire to a seat at the high table of world power but China is already sitting at the head of the table along with the United States," wrote journalist Gautam Adhikari in the Times of India Monday. "It has enough IOUs in its pocket to stop anyone from pushing it around. We also are a billion-strong nation, a democracy to boot and growing economically at a still impressive rate given the global conditions. But, realistically speaking, we are a second or perhaps third tier force in the eyes of the United States."...(Remainder.)

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Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan

By Jeremy Scahill
The Nation


At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, "snatch and grabs" of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help run a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater's involvement. He spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so "compartmentalized" that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.

The White House did not return calls or email messages seeking comment for this story. Capt. John Kirby, the spokesperson for Adm. Michael Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Nation, "We do not discuss current operations one way or the other, regardless of their nature." A defense official, on background, specifically denied that Blackwater performs work on drone strikes or intelligence for JSOC in Pakistan. "We don't have any contracts to do that work for us. We don't contract that kind of work out, period," the official said. "There has not been, and is not now, contracts between JSOC and that organization for these types of services." The previously unreported program, the military intelligence source said, is distinct from the CIA assassination program that the agency's director, Leon Panetta, announced he had canceled in June 2009. "This is a parallel operation to the CIA," said the source. "They are two separate beasts." The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the United States has not declared war--knowledge that could further strain the already tense relations between the United States and Pakistan. In 2006, the United States and Pakistan struck a deal that authorized JSOC to enter Pakistan to hunt Osama bin Laden with the understanding that Pakistan would deny it had given permission. Officially, the United States is not supposed to have any active military operations in the country. Blackwater, which recently changed its name to Xe Services and US Training Center, denies the company is operating in Pakistan. "Xe Services has only one employee in Pakistan performing construction oversight for the U.S. Government," Blackwater spokesperson Mark Corallo said in a statement to The Nation, adding that the company has "no other operations of any kind in Pakistan."...(Remainder.)

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Gonzales Evades Criminal Prosecution for Misleading Congress on NSA spying

By Raw999
The Raw Story

The Justice Department has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for allegedly misleading Congress about the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program.

The decision was first disclosed yesterday on the blog of New York Magazine. The magazine cited public court records and federal law enforcement officials as its sources.

Although Gonzales remains under investigation by the Justice Department for two other matters, it had been allegations that he gave false or purposely misleading testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the warrantless eavesdropping program that placed him by far in the greatest legal jeopardy.

In not bringing criminal charges, however, investigators for the Department’s Inspector General, which conducted the investigation, hardly let Gonzales off the hook completely. They concluded that Gonzales testimony before Congress about the eavesdropping program was “confusing,” “incomplete’ and had the “effect of misleading” both Congress and the public.

A major reason that Gonzales escaped criminal charges, according to people close to the investigation, was that he was willing to do something that he had steadfastly refused to even contemplate before: admit that many of his most controversial decisions, first as White House counsel, and later, as Attorney General, in authorizing, overseeing, and concealing the eavesdropping program were done at the specific director of former President Bush. In other instances, Gonzales and his attorneys argued to the Justice Department that Gonzales’ actions were done in furtherance of Bush administration’s policies, and thus he did not act with personal intent to do wrong....(Remainder.)

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