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Tomgram | Adam Hochschild: Thank You for Making War!

Celebrating War Over and Over and Peace Once 

Adam Hochschild, TomDispatch

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Adam%20Hochschild%20%7C%20To%20End%20All%20Wars.jpgDecember 9, 2014 | Often enough when something goes missing, it takes a while to realize that it’s gone.  An example that came to me recently is the once-commonplace word “peace.” It’s not just that, in a time of public dissatisfaction with America’s wars, there’s no mention of a “peace movement” or “peace signs,” but that in wartime Washington, when it comes to the world rather than the domestic realm, the very idea of “peace” has gone missing in action. Once upon a time, even in the midst of war, politicians still talked of peace -- of a future, that is, in which whatever war was underway had ended and some other way of existence was imaginable. But it turns out that there was a prerequisite for that: you had to believe that one day the state of war would indeed be over, that someone would win or “peace negotiations” would begin.

These days in Washington that turns out to be unimaginable. Think of it as part of a post-9/11 sea change. It didn’t take long after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked for the top officials of the Bush administration (and their neocon cronies) to begin imagining a “wartime” that would never end. “World War IV” or “the Long War,” as they liked to call it, had begun. In fact, they road-tested a number of names meant to catch the spirit of the moment as they imagined it, though the only one that stuck was “the Global War on Terror.” From the beginning, it was seen as a multi-generational struggle stretching off into the fog of time.  In that light, the national security state was massively built up to offer Americans eternal safety from “terror” in a world in which danger would never be more than a hijacked plane away.  That structure has now reached monumental proportions, becoming embedded in Washington and in “the homeland” in a way that's undoubtedly beyond dislodging in any foreseeable future.

Adam Hochschild's most recent book, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. During the Vietnam era, he was a U.S. Army Reservist and a founder of the Reservists Committee to Stop the War.

Full story … 

“Corrupt, toxic and sociopathic”: Glenn Greenwald unloads on torture, CIA and Washington’s rotten soul.

  • Glenn Greenwald tells Salon how the torture report exposes true evil — and a nation drowning in hypocrisy
  • Mark Udall Says The CIA Is Still Lying
  • Revelations in Senate torture report demand prosecutions

Elias Isquith, Salon

glenn_greenwald2-620x412.jpgGlenn Greenwald (Credit: AP/Silvia Izquierdo)

It took years until the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report — which shows not only that the CIA’s torture regime was larger and more vicious than understood, but that the agency repeatedly lied about it to the White House and Congress — was finally released to the public. But it only took hours before President Obama was once again urging the nation to look forward, not back. “Rather than another reason to refight old arguments,” read a White House statement, “I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong — in the past.” When members of the media asked whether that meant the White House considered torture to be ineffective, as the report claims, an anonymous official said Obama would not “engage” in the ongoing “debate.” On the issues of rape, waterboarding and induced hypothermia, apparently, reasonable minds can differ.

Glenn Greenwald, the Intercept’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and longtime critic of the war on terror, disagrees. “There’s no debate,” he told Salon. “Everything that we did,” he continued, “in terms of how we treated detainees, has [long] been viewed as morally vile and inexcusable and criminal.” Greenwald has little doubt, however, that Washington will turn torture into yet another partisan squabble. It’s the go-to move, he says, when America’s political and media elite decide they’d rather look the other way. “That’s just the ritual Washington engages in,” Greenwald said.

1284856024_4238/300h.jpgElias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics.

Glenn Greenwald, winner of the Polk Award for national security reporting, is an American columnist, blogger, and author. He was a columnist for Guardian US from August 2012 to October 2013. He was a columnist for Salon.com from 2007 to 2012.

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Related:

Mark Udall Says The CIA Is Still Lying, Matt Sledge, Huffington Post

  • “It’s bad enough to not prosecute these officials, but to reward and promote them is incomprehensible,” Udall said. “The president needs to purge his administration.”
  • Revelations in Senate torture report demand prosecutions

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Revelations in Senate torture report demand prosecutions, The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) 

  • Action%20Today%20button.jpgTake Action. Join CCR and demand that the Department of Justice act now
  • Please take action, share these materials widely, and help us build a groundswell of support for prosecuting those who torture and those who protect torturers!
  • 10 appalling findings in the Senate’s torture report

Mark Udall Says The CIA Is Still Lying

  • “It’s bad enough to not prosecute these officials, but to reward and promote them is incomprehensible,” Udall said. “The president needs to purge his administration.”
  • Revelations in Senate torture report demand prosecutions

Matt Sledge, Huffington Post

senatetorturereport-dec2014.jpg12/10/2014 | The CIA is still lying about its post-9/11 torture program, even in the face of a devastating Senate report, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said Wednesday.

In a dramatic floor speech during his final month in the Senate, Udall said the CIA's lies have been aided and abetted by President Barack Obama's White House and called on the president to "purge" his administration of CIA officials who were involved in the interrogation program detailed in the report.

Matt Sledge is a reporter for the Huffington Post based in New York. Prior to joining HuffPost he worked as the Rhode Island director for FairVote.

Full story … 

Related:

Revelations in Senate torture report demand prosecutions, The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) 

  • Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgTake Action. Join CCR and demand that the Department of Justice act now
  • Please take action, share these materials widely, and help us build a groundswell of support for prosecuting those who torture and those who protect torturers!
  • 10 appalling findings in the Senate’s torture report

 

Restoring an America That Has Lost Its Way

Reporter Bob Herbert on his new book, Losing Our Way, an intimate and heartrending portrait of America in economic despair.

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

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9780385528238?&height=281&maxwidth=190October 7, 2014 | Three years ago, reporter and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert took to the road and traveled across the country to gather research for his new book, Losing Our Way.

In it, Herbert tells the stories of the brave, hardworking men and women he met who have been battered by the economic downturn. He found an America in which jobs have disappeared, infrastructure is falling apart and the “virtuous cycle” of well-paid workers spending their wages to power the economy has been broken by greed.

Bob Herbert is a senior distinguished fellow at the public policy and analysis think tank, Demos. He is also a board member of the Schumann Media Center, from which he is presently on leave working on a major documentary.

Bill Moyers is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.

Watch online ...

Wall Street to Workers: Give Us Your Retirement Savings and Stop Asking Questions

  • In a recent essay, Steve Judge, president of the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, wrote that secrecy is necessary and appropriate to protect the financial industry’s commercial interests.
  • Congress Poised To Eliminate Key Tax Breaks For Middle Class, Provide Permanent Tax Breaks For Corporations

David Sirota, In These Times

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013651-wall-street-091514.jpg08 December 14 | If you are a public school teacher in Kentucky, the state has a message for you: You have no right to know the details of the investments being made with your retirement savings.

That was the crux of the declaration issued by state officials to a high school history teacher when he asked to see the terms of the agreements between the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System and the Wall Street firms that are managing the system’s money on behalf of him, his colleagues and thousands of retirees.

David Sirota is a staff writer for PandoDaily, television commentator and nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columnist and has written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Wired, Vice, The Nation and Salon.com. He covers the intersection of politics, technology and popular culture.

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Related:

Congress Poised To Eliminate Key Tax Breaks For Middle Class, Provide Permanent Tax Breaks For Corporations, Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress

A White House spokesperson has issued a statement saying that the president would veto this deal. Negotiations between the two parties are still ongoing.

 

Apocalypse Now: Seriously, It's Time for a Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics

Politics%20Banner.jpg

  • It is time to take a hard look at why and how we have failed. And we need to rethink pretty much everything, along the way. As Robert Jensen writes in his mini book and on AlterNet, "We are all apocalyptic now."
  • We are losing badly to the corporate state. Here's what we need to do.

Don Hazen, AlterNet

October 25, 2014  |  As the editor of AlterNet for 20 years, I have read and seen the entire range of horrendous and growing problems we face as a society and a planet virtually every day. It is not just climate change, or ISIL, or Ferguson, or poverty and homelessness, or more misogynistic murdering of women, or the Democrats about to lose the Senate as Obama gets more unpopular. It is much, much more. Every day, it passes by before my eyes. At AlterNet, there are no issue silos—there is just the open faucet of depressing political information coming and going every hour of every day (with the occasional story of success and inspiration). 

So I am sorry to share my deep-seated opinion, which should jibe with anyone who is paying attention. After decades of engagement in progressive politics and media, it is very clear to me: we progressives, liberals, common-sense people, are losing badly to the conservative business state, the tyranny of massively expanding tech companies, theocratic right-wing forces and pervasive militarism, home and abroad. By virtually every measure, things are getting worse. And things are trending much, much worse in ways we can easily measure, like inequality, climate, militarization of police forces, etc., and in ways that are more psychological and emotional.

Don Hazen: Editor, AlterNet

Full story ... 

Ferguson Grand Jury's Huge Mistakes

  • “This process is broken. The process should be indicted. It should be indicted because of the continuous, systematic result that is yielded by this process,” said Benjamin Crump, Michael Brown Family Attorney.
  • Part 1: Everything the Darren Wilson grand jury got wrong 
  • Part 2: Ferguson grand jury’s huge mistake: What the transcripts reveal about eyewitness testimony

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Everything the Darren Wilson grand jury got wrong 

  • The lies, errors and mistruths that let Michael Brown’s killer off the hook
  • The prosecutor's document dump was designed for transparency. It shows how transparently flawed the process was.

Paul Rosenberg, Salon

St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office photo shows Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson photo taken shortly after August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, presented to the grand jury and made available on November 24, 2014. (Credit: Reuters)

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014 |The fix was in from the moment Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown. Data is sketchy and incomplete, but police shoot scores of unarmed blacks every year, and rarely face significant consequences, so why should why shouldn’t Wilson get away with murder?  Still, at least giving the appearance of justice for all, and requiring Wilson to stand trial hardly seemed too much to ask—unless, of course, you were St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who defended Wilson and attacked his accusers, the media and social media in a night-time press conference Monday that seemed perfectly timed and perfectly toned to elicit the most angry, unfocused and uncontrolled response possible.

As part of his theatre of openness and impartiality, however, McCulloch included a document dump which may have been intended to be overwhelming, and therefore ignored, but which has already proven sufficient to undermine McCulloch’s ludicrous posture of legal rectitude.

Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English.

Full story … 



Part 2: Ferguson grand jury’s huge mistake: What the transcripts reveal about eyewitness testimony

A look at the investigation transcript illuminates a hugely problematic fact: This testimony cannot be trusted.

Paul Campos, Salon

ferguson_announcement.jpgSt. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch. (Credit: MSNBC)

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014 | To read through the transcripts of the Ferguson grand jury investigation of the shooting of Michael Brown is to be reminded of how unreliable eyewitness testimony often is. We know a great deal of this testimony must be unreliable, because it’s so contradictory on so many key points.

In particular, in regard to what, from a legal perspective, is the single most important question in the case, various witnesses tell critically different stories. That question is whether Brown was running away from, or charging toward, or slowly staggering in the direction of, Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot at him 12 times, hitting him with seven bullets.

Paul Campos is a professor of law at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Full story … 

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