Beyond ForeclosureGate - It Gets Uglier

Michael Collins

The ForeclosureGate scandal poses a threat to Wall Street, the big banks, and the political establishment. If the public ever gets a complete picture of the personal, financial, and legal assault on citizens at their most vulnerable, the outrage will be endless. (Image)

Foreclosure practices lift the veil on a broader set of interlocking efforts to exploit those hardest hit by the endless economic hard times, citizens who become financially desperate due medical conditions. A 2007 study found that medical expenses or income losses related to medical crises among bankruptcy filers or family members triggered 62% of bankruptcies. There is no underground conspiracy. The facts are in plain sight.

The Hornet's Nest Kicked Back - A Review of Susan Lindauer's Extreme Prejudice

Michael Collins

Fiction delivers justice that reality rarely approaches. Victims endure suffering and emerge as victors after overcoming incredible challenges. Stieg Larsson's gripping Millennium Trilogy weaves a story of revenge and triumphs for Lizbeth Salander, locked away in a mental institution and sexually abused for years. When Salander got out and threatened to go public about a high level sexual exploitation ring, the perpetrators sought to lock her up again. In the final installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Salander found some justice. (Image)

Susan Lindauer's autobiography, Extreme Prejudice, tells a story with certain broad similarities. In her case, however, the hornet's nest kicked back with a real vengeance. After over a decade as a U.S intelligence asset, Lindauer was privy to information about pre war Iraq that threatened to serve up a huge embarrassment to the Bush-Cheney regime. She hand delivered a letter to senior Bush administration officials in hopes of averting what she predicted would be the inevitably tragic 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Those officials, unnamed in the indictment, were her second cousin, then White House chief of staff Andy Card, and Colin Powell.

New Facts Call Into Question DOJ Investigations Past and Present

By Andrew Kreig posted by Michael Collins


Four days before Connecticut's Nora Dannehy was appointed to investigate the Bush administration's U.S. attorney firing scandal, a team of lawyers she led was found to have illegally suppressed evidence in a major political corruption case.

This previously unreported fact from Dannehy's past calls into question her entire national investigation. The revelation similarly compromises the pending investigation by her Connecticut colleague, John Durham, who since 2008 has been the nation's special prosecutor for DOJ and CIA decision-making involving torture.

Here's the story, which the Justice Integrity Project I lead just broke in Nieman Watchdog:

In September 2008, the Bush Justice Department appointed Connecticut career federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy to investigate allegations that Bush officials in 2006 illegally fired nine U.S. attorneys who wouldn't politicize official corruption investigations.

But just four days before her appointment, a federal appeals court had ruled that a team of prosecutors led by Dannehy illegally suppressed evidence in a major political corruption case in Connecticut. The prosecutors' misconduct was so serious that the court vacated seven of the eight convictions in the case.

WikiLeaks Video - The Greater Horror

Michael Collins

There they are, the people who brought you every bit of the action in the WikiLeaks video and all of the other horrors flowing from invasion of Iraq. Madeleine Albright (far right, above), former Clinton Secretary of State, is a good place to start. From 60 Minutes:

Nick Benton's Corner: The Decade From Hell?

Was this, as Time magazine suggests, really the “Decade from Hell?”

Actual reality, of course, can't be broken up into the neat packages of time, such as decades, that humanity has devised in the form of clocks and calendars. We worship those inventions, and it is universally accepted to place in them the inordinate powers we prescribe to anniversaries and other features of an occult-like numerology.

Nick Benton's Corner: The Decade from Hell

Was this, as Time magazine suggests, really the “Decade from Hell?”

Actual reality, of course, can't be broken up into the neat packages of time, such as decades, that humanity has devised in the form of clocks and calendars. We worship those inventions, and it is universally accepted to place in them the inordinate powers we prescribe to anniversaries and other features of an occult-like numerology.

The Ironies of 911


While viewing America's solemn commemoration of the eighth anniversary of 911, I began to reflect upon its many ironies. The very first thing that came to mind was Dick Cheney's claim that Bush administration policies have kept us safe. My second thought was he must think we're crazy - and too many of us are.

When one looks upon the trauma, anger, and pain still etched upon the face of America eight years after the loss of 3000 of its citizens, one can only imagine what the Iraqi people are feeling after the documented murder, by name, of over 101,552 innocent men, women, and Iraqi children. Only after we begin to recognize the gravity of the atrocity that we committed in Iraq will America begin to understand that we will never be safe until we make the people responsible for that carnage accountable for their actions.

Beneath the Spin: I Had a Dream

I dreamed that I opened my eyes one morning and all of America was wide awake. I could hear the echoes of the Bush/Cheney consortium desperately proclaiming their innocence from deep within the Hague, but the world had long since stopped listening. I dreamed that Rush, O'Reilly, and FOX News had imploded into a metaphor for latter-day McCarthyism, and the phrase corpo-congressional alliance was a new vulgarity that had become a part of the American lexicon.

Beneath the Spin: America: Are We Really that Exceptional?

 Well, there's that arrogant, xenophobic, and divisive phrase again - "American Exceptionalism."

President Obama is being roundly criticized by many conservatives for refusing to go around the world promoting the conservative vision of American superiority. Their shortsighted idea of effective American diplomacy is for the President of the United States to trot around the globe telling the people of the world that we're better than they are.

Beneath the Spin: Michael Jackson and America's Superstardom

I greatly admired Michael Jackson. I admire anyone who's the very best at what they do, and Michael Jackson was definitely that. I remember when I first heard him. He was doing a tune called "Who's Lovin' You?" He was a mere child at the time, but his talent was so fully developed, and he sang with so much emotional maturity, I mistook the high pitch of his voice to be that of a very soulful adult female. Then later when he did "Billie Jean" at the Motown reunion, he seemed to literally defy gravity as he Moonwalked across the stage. So yes, this young man was, without a doubt, one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived.

But Michael's life - that shooting star that dazzled humanity with its awesome display, only to burn out much too soon - threatens to serve as a perfect metaphor for America itself. The story of the United States parallels that of Michael Jackson. It is also the story of a precocious child star that dazzled humanity with its awesome display. The United States is undoubtedly a superstar among nations, but we must not let hubris allow us to forget that among those very same nations, we are nothing more than a precocious child.

The Moral Strangulation of America


The Moral Strangulation of America 

In my last article I pointed out that the character of America is being fundamentally changed. In less than two generations we've gone from citizens who were politically engaged and socially aware, to zombies who simply accept what we're being told by our favorite demagogues. We've gone from citizens who held our politicians' feet to the fire, to a group of cattle who allow our politicians to dictate what is, and what isn't, off the table - in spite of our instinctive clamor for the simple adherence to the law. We've allowed politicians to go from representatives with the single mandate of do our biding, to so-called leaders who dictate to us what's in our best interest. As a direct result, the script has been flipped - we now define what's in the people's best interest, by what's in the best interest of the politicians who are supposed to defer us.

The Legal Case Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Et Al., Is Murder One, Not Just War Crimes



by Mark Karlin

BuzzFlash fully supports trying Bush, Cheney, and their band of fellow sadists for war crimes, but while they are in the courtroom, let's not forget Murder One. Apparently, many in the mainstream press and blogosphere already have.

The focus right now is on legal memos justifying the horrifying and numbing repetition of torture against "high profile" targets.  We have a short memory in America -- and most of what was in these memos -- except for the diabolical excess of the waterboarding and the medieval torture by insects -- was, as President Obama has said, pretty much already known.

Update: Obama Opens Door to Investigations, Prosecution: What Will "Immunity" and "Good Faith" Come to Mean? REVISED

bumped by carol, originally posted 2009-04-19 12:43:02 -0500 Original title  on buzzflash: "Obama Releases Torture Memo's: What Will "Immunity and "Good Faith Come to Mean."

In remarks made this morning Obama has opened the door to Congressional investigations and prosecutions of former Bush adminstration officials for torturing people. His formulations are quite precise. Please check out the update links in the comments below. The transcript of what he had to say is provided in the link to raw story in the fourth comment. Please also compare what he said with what Senator Cardan (D-Md) said to MSNBC in the video report in the third comment. Thanks.

The ACLU, and the people who've worked with them over the last few years, deserve to be recognized and thanked profusely by everybody. They figured out what the paper trail which littered the path the Bush administration decided to adopt in pursuing what it called the "Global War on Terror" must be made up of, and how that all could be identified, and then brought out into the public. And they did it. Without their unremitting labor what happened last Thursday when Obama announced the release of the Bush torture memos, would not have happened, and surely not in the way it did. The ACLU legal cases provided the vehicle for  discovery and release, but to get to that outcome requires establishing the right to get to the evidence and a whole infrastructure chain of work from individuals and institutions, who we may never know, but who ought to know that there is a depth of appreciation for what they did and the way they did it.

This commentary is kind of a conjoint effort. Susie Dow thought the developments worthy of coverage and pulled together what she called the "bare bones links" through which the story is elaborated. But, unfortunately, she wasn't in a position to write it all up. She asked if any one wanted to help. Well, almost three years ago now, in June 2006 she picked up something I wrote which went on DailyKos, and cross-posted it here. It was the first posting I ever did on ePluribusMedia, and it was a report on a conference on torture held in a Maryland church that Spring Saturday, around a theme laid out by Ray McGovern. Ray told those there that torture isn't wrong because it is illegal, it is ilegal because it is wrong. I think the message of that conference is still one which applies, perhaps in more fundamental ways now than it did three years ago.  So I said "yes".

This is by way of introduction. I would like to discuss President Obama's statement from last Thursday in which he announced that the four documents which the ACLU had been demanding through the court system would be released. The documents can be found in the references at the end of this. I think it important to stress that the issue brought to the fore by what the President said does not involve the question of who will be punished under the law for what they did. The issue is the same as it was before. For there to be a rule of law there has to be an effective notion of the difference between right and wrong. The documents show how weasel words were developed to extricate the US as a country from the obligations of international treaties and its own statutes because one man wanted it to be that way. How can it be that one man, with his cronies, could over-ride everything this country has stood for for so long