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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2006

    Religious hate law - Blair loses by 288 votes to 278

    Another defeat for the Blairites, from Bloomberg:

    The House of Lords voted Oct. 25 to back amendments to the legislation introduced by a former head of the Church of England. They included moves to implement freedom of speech safeguards. Blair today asked lawmakers to reverse these watering-down moves, and, in the second of a series of votes on the amendments, they defeated him 288-278. After then losing a second vote by one, Home Secretary Charles Clarke accepted defeat and backed down.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush tells the truth!

    According to this report, from the Guardian, in Bush's speech tonight, he is to say that that America is addicted to oil, however, when he makes the following pledge, I doubt, sadly, that he is referring to his own regime:

    In his State of the Union address, Bush also renewed his commitment to the central pledge of his inaugural address. ``Our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal - we seek the end of tyranny in our world,'' he said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Prosecutors seek justice in trial of 4 US marines

    The Manila Standard has this report, looking at proceedings in the trial of 4 US marines charged with raping a 22 year old last November:

    Olongapo City Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni yesterday said he will file a motion asking Judge Renato Dilag to reverse his decision suspending the arraignment of US S/Sgt. Chad Carpentier, L/Cpls. Daniel Smith, Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis until Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has resolved the motions for review submitted by the defense. Jalandoni said Dilag has to reconsider his decision because the DoJ secretary has 60 days to resolve the motions for review, while the court has only 30 days within which to set the arraignment from the time the case is filed. He said this situation could lead to a dangerous predicament since the prescribed period for the court to set the arraignment is running out.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    2nd US soldier found guilty of Afghan abuses

    From the Special Broadcasting Service:

    The US military court in Afghanistan sentenced the American soldier to six months confinement and a reduction in rank after finding him guilty of punching detainees. The conviction of Sergeant Kevin Myricks came three days after another soldier was convicted for mistreating the same detainees at a base in eastern Afghanistan in July. Myricks was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to maltreat a detainee and another count of maltreatment of two detainees. He was reduced in rank to a private and sentenced to six months confinement, a US military statement said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    American soldier charged with murdering 79 year old neighbour

    According to this article, from Indystar, an American soldier who has recently returned from Iraq has been charged with murdering his 79 year old neighbour. His neighbour apparently didn't want to give the young trained thug $100 to buy cocaine:

    Martin said Marino told officers he killed Davis at his basement shop Tuesday afternoon when he became upset after the elderly man refused to loan him $100 -- money Marino said he wanted to buy crack cocaine. Police said Marino admitted that he picked up a hammer from a shop table and hit Davis on the back of the head, causing him to momentarily fall to the floor. Marino left, but quickly returned, pushing Davis to the floor and choking him to death, police said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Lawsuit on voting systems reaches US supreme court

    Yahoo has this report:

    The defendants in the Landes lawsuit are Margaret Tartaglione, Chair of the City Commissioners of Philadelphia; Pedro A. Cortes, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States. Attorneys for the defendants have successfully fought Landes, claiming that she did not prove an injury and therefore does not have standing. Landes counters that she has the right to challenge the constitutionality of acts of the legislative branch under federal statute and case law, most significantly under Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Hundreds of opposition activists arrested in Nepal

    The BBC brings us news of more arrests in Nepal:

    An opposition spokesman said up to 1,000 people had been detained ahead of rallies planned nationwide to mark King Gyanendra's seizure of absolute power. Dozens were held in Kathmandu during a women's rally, the spokesman said. Official figures were unavailable. Local elections are due next week which the opposition are boycotting.
    The international community appears to have forgotten Nepal. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iraqi elections solve little

    From Middle East Reference, a very interesting article:

    The participation of Sunni Arab parties in the new government is even less likely given the new US strategy in the country. The Bush administration has made it clear that it wants to remove the bulk of its troops from the country by early next year, and seeks instead to replace its boots on the ground with bombs from its planes. Through most of 2004 and 2005, US planes were launching around 25 air strikes a month. From November, that figure jumped to 120, and to 150 in December alone. Just as Britain tried to crush the Kurdish and tribal revolts of 1920s Iraq through intensive RAF bombing raids, US military officials are arguing that their role now is to provide the airpower to complement Iraqi ground assaults on rebellious Sunni Arab areas. The consequences of that strategy became all too apparent when a US fighter plane dropped a bomb on a residential house in the town of Baiji on 2nd January, incinerating the whole family of six. The US military released a statement admitting that they had hit the “wrong house”, but that this nonetheless had “successful effects against the insurgents”. Increasingly it is justifying its actions by claiming that it is acting with the permission of the Iraqi government. If anything is likely to drive the Sunni Arabs of Iraq away from accepting the new government, dispelling thoughts of national unity and perpetuating the brutal war, it is going to be this combination of wrong houses and American ‘successes’.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Breaking News: Iran preparing to resume uranium enrichment

    Just heard via the BBC At the moment, all I can find is this, from the BBC.

    The UN's atomic watchdog has confirmed that Iran has started preparations to resume producing enriched uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons. The findings come in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report made available to the press ahead of an urgent board meeting on Thursday.
    Note, CAN be and WILL be are 2 different things. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Senior American commander covered up cause of death of female soldiers

    According to this shocking report, from Uruknet, a former senior American military commander in Iraq gave orders to cover up the cause of death of female soldiers:

    The latrine for female soldiers at Camp Victory wasn't located near their barracks, so they had to go outside if they needed to use the bathroom. "There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were doubly easy targets in the dark of the night," Karpinski told retired US Army Col. David Hackworth in a September 2004 interview. It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said. Karpinski testified that a surgeon for the coalition's joint task force said in a briefing that "women in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the port-a-lets or the latrines were not drinking liquids after 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and in 120 degree heat or warmer, because there was no air-conditioning at most of the facilities, they were dying from dehydration in their sleep." "And rather than make everybody aware of that - because that's shocking, and as a leader if that's not shocking to you then you're not much of a leader - what they told the surgeon to do is don't brief those details anymore. And don't say specifically that they're women. You can provide that in a written report but don't brief it in the open anymore."
    Disgraceful. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Switzerland imposes sanctions on Uzbekistan

    This report from Radio Free Europe:

    Switzerland today imposed an arms embargo and travel sanctions on Uzbekistan in response to alleged human rights violations during the suppression of an uprising in Andijon in May. The Swiss government's move follows similar bans by the European Union, which in 2005 imposed an arms embargo on Uzbekistan and suspended a cooperation agreement.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush regime ignored "911" warnings

    This article, by Jason Leopold at Truthout makes a good read, in light of the fact that the rogue regime in Washington claim that their illegal wiretapping is warranted:

    Since the New York Times broke the domestic spying story last month, the Bush administration has launched a full-scale publicity campaign aimed at convincing an unsuspecting public that the program is legal and has saved thousands of lives. It's the administration's attempt to control the news cycle. But to suggest that the 9/11 attacks could have been avoided if the NSA had had domestic surveillance powers is outrageous. Simply put, terrorism was not a priority for the Bush administration during the first nine months of 2001. As former Bush administration counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke told the 9/11 Commission investigating the attacks in 2004: "To the loved ones of the victims of 9/11, to them who are here in the room, to those who are watching on television, your government failed you."
    America, the current regime has failed you now on a number of occasions. How long will you stand for criminal negligence from the people who are supposedly there to serve you? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Greens call for parliament to protect free speech

    The Green Party has called on MPs to reject Blair & Co's "racial and religious hatred bill". From their website:

    Speaking as the controversial Racial and Religious Hatred Bill faces its final Commons stage, Thacker said: "The government's attempt to distinguish between the belief and the believer displays a lack of understanding of the way religion works, while shackling a value, of which Britain has long been proud. "We need to encourage discussion and involvement between cultures and religions, not foster resentment and distrust, as this law risks doing."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair plans to visit New Zealand in March

    Anyone reading from New Zealand? Please let us know if there are any protests planned for Blair's visit, i'll make sure there's a post about them. The Dominion Post has this article:

    "Tony Blair very much wants to come to New Zealand, and there are plans being made," Miss Clark said. "There isn't a formal date to announce, but he would like to come around the time he plans to go to Australia for the Commonwealth Games . . . but one must bear in mind that in his position there's a lot of things that can come out of left field and stop one making trips to faraway parts of the world."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    MPs demand sacking of Ian Blair

    According to this article, from the Cambridge Evening News, 3 Tory MPs have called for Ian Blair to be sacked following his recent comments on the Soham murders:

    THREE Tory MPs have called for Sir Ian Blair to be sacked as Metropolitan Police Commissioner for saying that "almost nobody" could understand why the Soham murders became the biggest story in Britain. Last week he apologised to the parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman for the offence his comment caused.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush's speech, or "The State of Disunity"

    Alternet has this worthwhile read, from Tom Engelhardt:

    You have to wonder: Which sixteen words will it be this time? Will it be National Security Agency spying assurances ("As I stand here right now, I can tell the American people the program's legal, it's designed to protect civil liberties…"), the Abramoff denials ("I've had my picture taken with a lot of people…"), the complete-victory-in-Iraq pronouncements, or more bogus reassurances to the elderly and sickly in our society? It's your guess -- and while you're considering the matter, I have another urge. As I think back on this administration's record, on this country (call me "homeland," Bill Bailey), and on this planet in its edgy state of disunion, I'd like to tote things up for a moment.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Official "911" story is a hoax

    Regular readers will know that I personally believe that the rogue regime in Washington allowed the events of the 11th September 2001 to happen, in order to further their twisted agenda. Some, however, would go further than myself and state that the regime were complicit, and took an active role in the crimes committed on that date. I would agree with the "Scholars for 911 Truth", when they say that the current White House is incapable of investigating itself, and that "extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures", as this article, from eMediaWire says:

    Stunning as it may be to acknowledge, they observe, the government has brought but one indictment against anyone and, to the best of their knowledge, has not even reprimanded anyone for incompetence or dereliction of duty. The official conspiracy theory--that nineteen Arab hijackers under control of one man in the wilds of Afghanistan brought this about--is unsupportable by the evidential data, which they have studied. They even believe there are good reasons for suspecting that video tapes officially attributed to Osama bin Laden are not genuine. They have found the government's own investigiation to be severely flawed. The 9/11 Commission, designated to investigate the attack, was directed by Philip Zelikow, part of the Bush transition team in the NSA sector and the co-author of a book with Condoleezza Rice. A Bush supporter and director of national security affairs, he could hardly be expected to conduct an objective and impartial investigation. They have discovered that The 9/11 Commission Report is replete with omissions, distortions, and factual errors, which David Ray Griffin has documented in his book, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. The official report, for example, entirely ignores the collapse of WTC7, a 47-story building, which was hit by no airplanes, was only damaged by a few small fires, and fell seven hours after the attack.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Oil executives refuse to testify at US senate hearings

    Yahoo reports: Oil execs refuse to testify at Senate hearing

    Exxon Mobil said on Monday it earned $10.7 billion in the fourth quarter of last year and $36.1 billion for all of 2005 -- bigger than the economies of 125 countries. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which is holding the hearing on Wednesday morning, said it asked representatives from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero Energy and the U.S. units of BP and Royal Dutch Shell to tell their side of the story. "All declined the invitation to testify," the committee said in a statement on Monday, without providing details.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US Torturer General lied during confirmation hearings

    A Democratic senator has stated that they believe that Alberto Gonzales "misled" the US senate last year on the subject of wiretapping, according to this article from the Washington Post:

    In a letter to the attorney general yesterday, Feingold demanded to know why Gonzales dismissed the senator's question about warrantless eavesdropping as a "hypothetical situation" during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January 2005. At the hearing, Feingold asked Gonzales where the president's authority ends and whether Gonzales believed the president could, for example, act in contravention of existing criminal laws and spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant. Gonzales said that it was impossible to answer such a hypothetical question but that it was "not the policy or the agenda of this president" to authorize actions that conflict with existing law. He added that he would hope to alert Congress if the president ever chose to authorize warrantless surveillance, according to a transcript of the hearing.
    Quite obviously, Gonzales has lied. Although this should come as no surprise to those of us who have been watching the rogue regime closely. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Australian troops could withdraw soon

    According to this article, from the Australian, the Australian defence minister has said that their country would consider pulling out troops from Iraq once the Japanese begin their withdrawal:

    However, the Federal Government stressed there was no official confirmation from Japan over troop movements and said any withdrawal would not necessarily involve all 450 Australian soldiers serving in the al-Muthanna region. Australia's troops were deployed to guard the Japanese engineers, who are undertaking reconstruction work. Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, citing government sources, said yesterday Japan would begin withdrawing its ground troops from southern Iraq next month and complete the process by the end of May.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    New Hampshire protesters plan on drowning out Bush's speech

    WCAX has news that protesters in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, America, plan on holding a rally to drown out Bush's speech tonight. The rally will be held at 9 PM in the Market Square in Portsmouth:

    Seacoast Peace Response is holding a rally during the speech and inviting people to come and make noise by blowing car horns, banging drums, playing music ... whatever. Former state Senator Burt Cohen, one of the organizers, says people can't afford to be quiet. He says the group objects to the president's handling of the war in Iraq, terrorism, government spying and other issues.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Is Cheney with himself, or against himself?

    I always find it interesting to compare the words of leaders, to their actions in the past. I think this report from the Boston Globe, dated 8th October 2004, highlights why it is important to do so:

    Vice President Dick Cheney, who has called Iran "the world's leading exporter of terror," pushed to lift U.S. trade sanctions against Tehran while chairman of Halliburton Co. in the 1990s. And his company's offshore subsidiaries also expanded business in Iran.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Democracy? Only if our leaders approve

    Jez, over at "In Media Res" expresses his thoughts on democracy, following the Palestinian elections:

    So, if we are to understand this correctly, democracy is OK if the US is militarily present in the country, effectively occupying the country? I have always opposed the killing of innocent civilians. This, however is the reality of war, as practiced by Hamas, Israel, the US and countless others.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Peace Activists stage spy in

    From the Plain Dealer: Homeland Security cars bracket outdoor protest at federal building Merlin

    Some two dozen members of NOAC and other groups affiliated with the coalition dressed in exaggerated spy gear to protest government surveillance of a NOAC meeting in Cleveland last November, and similar monitoring of other peace groups, including the Quakers. Hence, "Operation Turn the Tables," as one sign read near the man wearing a CIA -- "Citizens Intelligence Agency" -- jacket. "Google This!" another sign dared.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Yet more victims of American gun culture

    CNN reports on 7 more deaths by shooting in America:

    A female former employee opened fire at a 24-hour postal service sorting facility in Goleta, California, killing six people and critically wounding another, before turning the gun on herself, authorities said early Tuesday.
    The land of the free to go out on a shooting spree, and home of the brave to walk out of the front door without wearing body armour. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Ian Blair: Remote and arrogant

    Colcam has news that more than 140 Met Police officers are now openly discussing how to get rid of Ian Blair. Colcam rightly points out that: "...an awful lot of ordinary people round the country have known Blair is a blundering idiot for a long time now, and cannot understand why he has managed to keep his job after the debacle of the Stockwell killing of Jean Charles de Menezes and the attempts at cover-up which followed." Indeed. We will of course keep readers informed about developments. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Romanian citizens plea on EU entry

    "A Logical Voice" received the following email today, I thought readers would be interested in reading this: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE HEADS OF STATE GOVERNMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Dear Madams and Sirs, As citizens of Romania, a country that is about to adhere to the European Democratic Union, we wish to express our concern for the corruption that permeates the highest official authorities and the judicial system in our country. We are really worried for our future and our children’s future due to the worsening of the judicial system in Romania. The law officials openly “defend” the wrongdoing committed by the Mafia groups, politicians, businessmen, by means of the resolutions that they sign and that oppose the very idea of justice, detrimental to the common citizen. These resolutions give carte blanche to money laundering, fiscal evasions of tens and hundred million euros every day. No one will ever bother to add up these amounts of money that our country is deprived of, through judgement ; there is nowhere a record of it, or of the taxes that should be paid for!! We truly believe that the trifling number of politicians under trial does not count at all, as long as the people behind the scene, the real corrupters judges ,- attorneys-at-law, public notaries, lawyers, policemen- are still at large, exempt from the long arm of the law and free to destroy lives, to impair the democratic beginnings in Romania. Corruption among the judges attorneys-at-law, public notaries, lawyers, policemen, has reached such level that endangers even the existence of the state of Romania. We are appealing and demanding from the European Union to stop the adhering process of Romania, while corruption is at peak in our country By simply accepting Romania into the EU on January 1 st , 2007, the European Union will undermine and harm the Romanian citizens irreversibly. The EU is in the position where it can help Romania and its citizens in their fight against this plague, corruption. Keep Romania out! This is the only way that we, its citizens, will have a place to go and file our petitions and complaints about malfeasance . Otherwise, we will go with our claims on corruption to the corrupters themselves! We are really convinced that, once Romania will put its name on the list of the member states, the Romanian people will not benefit anything from it, but all the funds destined to us will end up in the corrupters’ pockets!!! The Romanian justice has nothing in common with this so noble job, of defending the common man against evil. Democracy puts in danger everything that they believe in and, thus, they would do anything to stop this process of democracy. Romanian people deserve much more than humiliation and frustrations that they encounter on a daily basis, in their country. In Romania, laws are ignored by judges, and because of them, laws are not capable of having effects , nothing is predictable in the Romanian justice system as long as the law officials openly defend the corruption. The Romanian justice activity raises threats of harm to human rights. We are not protected against official corruption in Romania, as long as no judge, public notaries, attorneys at law, policemen, lawyers was convicted until now for corruption and abuses. Romanian Justice attacks directly the right to dignity and physical, mental and integrity. These are the people we are talking about! And they are free and nobody can do anything. And we are wasting our time, life, losing our dignity and pride! The fact of adhering to the EU of a state where justice does not hold in esteem the human rights and tramples on them would not do any good to its regular citizens. They will be always laughed at by the corrupters who will know that they are the winners. And they take it all!! We bear the obligation to admit and tell the truth about Romania of our days. You have the obligation to listen to us about our truth. Do not let yourselves fooled by deceitful statistics and reports. Corrupters will claim victory on their side should Romania adheres to the European Union. You have the obligation to hinder Romania from adhering, to acknowledge the corruption within the legal system in Romania! Which Romanian will ever dare to complain about corruption, ask for political or economical asylum in the EU member or any democratic states, if Romania will walk into the coalition? Afterwards, it will be even harder to realise how big of a mistake have been made by including Romania on the list! Do not praise and crown with laurels the Romanian justice’s forehead! The leaders of the western countries have to apprehend, in this twelfth hour, that the adhering will translate as the worst thing ever happened to Romania. Gentlemen, we do not find any justice in our own country: the retired people can barely afford their medication and food, our children get sick and die from minor diseases, the most of our income is appropriated by the people whom we have elected. We become more and more powerless and defenceless before the overnight - millionaires that pretend to serve us and , instead, they break the law nonchalantly. We need Your help in our fight against corruption. Do not praise us for the small steps we are making towards the real democracy , at the moment Romania fails to meet virtually every objective test for EU admission; so, laws can only work if they are enforced and enforcement can only work if the structures are in place to do it ; change old ways of doing things, it will require a CHANGE IN MENTALITY!!! We admit that changing mentality can not happen overnight, but we are waiting for this in Romania since 1989 ( 16 years), and nothing changed. Enforcing laws and changing mentality in not because for EU, far from it, THIS MUST BE THE FACTORS THAT HAS TO DETERMINE EU TO ACCEPT ROMANIA! The Romania adhering to the European Union on January 1 st , 2007 will mean a brutal repudiation of the dramatic reality we are witnessing nowadays. It would be the last straw for all the honest people living on the Romanian land. Do not give a helping hand to the Romanian justice by accepted the adhering of Romania to the EU. This would be one of the unforgivable history mistakes. Our people will be bound to a life full of disgrace and shame. We do wish a real adhering that will be beneficial to us, the people, not to the corrupted layers of our society. A real adhering that will slap in its face the genocide that our people have been surviving for a long time. YOU OWE THIS TO US, WHO TRUST IN DEMOCRACY, THE ROMANIAN PEOPLE AND TO PEOPLE OF EUROPEAN UNION! See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Australian ambassador to the US tried to kill probe into dealings with Iraq

    The Sydney Morning Herald has news that Australia's ambassador to the US lobbied the US congress to stop an investigation into an Australian company's dealings with Saddam Hussein's regime:

    The Federal Government confirmed last night that the then ambassador, Michael Thawley, met the chairman of a US Senate investigations committee in late 2004 to head off the planned inquiry. The AWB investigation was ultimately dropped, despite the US Government having information that an AWB wheat contract might have been inflated to cover kickbacks to Iraq. This information included a report, seen by the Herald, from the US Defence Contract Audit Agency. It is understood a Senate sub-committee did not pursue the AWB investigation in the face of the fierce resistance of AWB.
    Interesting, the Australian ambassador (An ally of the US) requests that the US drop an investigation into dealings with Saddam Hussein, and the US agrees, while George Galloway, an opponent of Bush's war is villified by the American right wing, and throw all sorts of allegations at him. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush makes an emergency state of the union speech

    Terrorism News brings us some satire:

    This a piece of satire and that is all it is meant to be. Please do not take this seriously for I certainly did not when posting it. Most sensible people will either find it amusing or pointless.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush - The "educator in chief"

    Our friend, over at the Deficient Brain blog has news that Bush believes his job is to be the "educator in chief":

    That's why I started giving these speeches (on Iraq and the war on terror), my job is not only commander in chief, but educator in chief,"
    Oh dear. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    47% of Iraqis support attacks on US troops

    According to this article, from The News Sentinel, almost half of all Iraqis support attacks on American occupation forces in their country:

    The poll also found that 80 percent of Iraqis think the United States plans to maintain permanent bases in the country even if the newly elected Iraqi government asks American forces to leave. Researchers found a link between support for attacks and the belief among Iraqis that the United States intends to keep a permanent military presence in the country.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Study finds Bush supporters don't like black people

    According to this report, from the Washington Post, a study has found that Bush regime supporters have systematically higher levels of bias against black people:

    "If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50 years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of research."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "The presidents decision violated the law"

    The Washington Post has this scathing editorial, looking at the Bush regime's spying programme:

    After the abuses of the 1960s and '70s, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act precisely to ensure that there would be an independent monitor, in the form of a secret court, on the government's domestic surveillance. That is the law that President Bush bypassed in authorizing the NSA to monitor the communications of Americans. We believe that the president's decision violated the law and exceeded his powers as president. If it did not also lead to the wrongful targeting of some American citizens, then the NSA operation would be a historical anomaly.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Vote to end debate on Alito, a roll call

    The Washington Post takes a roll call on the vote held yesterday to end debate on the Bush regime's nominee for US supreme court justice, Samuel Alito. In total, 75 senators voted to end debate, while 25 voted against. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Protests against religious hatred bill

    The Guardian today reports on opposition to Blair & Co's religious hatred bill:

    They back a series of amendments tabled to the bill during its passage through the Lords, which would tighten the definition of "incitement to religious hatred" to mean only specifically threatening words, and that the offence must be intentional. The government is seeking to restore the bill to its original draft. Atkinson, famous for his roles as Blackadder and Mr Bean, said: "In my opinion, freedom of expression is about being allowed to cause trouble, or create discomfort, or offence, as long as your words or behaviour are not threatening." "From a comedian's point of view, you cannot make a joke about a belief or practice without characterising it in human form," he said. "What is so frustrating for the creative community is the intransigence of the government on this issue when the amendment proposed by the Lords is such a workable compromise."
    It seems to me that the ammendment does make sense. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US - legislation planned to ban protests by religious crackpots

    According to this article, from the Times today, legislation is being planned in the US to ban protesters from right wing extremist religious crackpot groups at funerals of those killed in Iraq:

    Pastor Fred Phelps and his congregation have staged demonstrations at around 80 funerals. The website of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas contains the following message: “They turned America over to fags, they’re coming home in body bags.”
    It seems to me that Phelps and his bunch of loons should seek help immediately. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Another British soldier killed in Iraq

    It seems yet more British blood has been spilled to cement Blair's so called "special relationship". From the Guardian today:

    A British soldier was killed in southern Iraq today, taking the total death toll of UK military personnel in the country to 100 since the US-led invasion began in March 2003. The solider died from injuries sustained in an explosion in Um Qasr, Iraq's biggest port, which is in the southern Basra province.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Lib Dem leadership candidate argues for Iraq withdrawal by end of this year

    This report from today's Guardian:

    The Liberal Democrat leadership candidate Chris Huhne tried to outflank the bookies' frontrunner, Sir Menzies Campbell, yesterday by arguing that Britain should plan for a complete withdrawal of British troops from Iraq by the end of this year and calling for limits on the firepower of any replacement of Trident, Britain's independent nuclear deterrent.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The world according to Bush

    Of course, as usual, backwards is forwards, war is peace, and so on with the chocolate fireguard in charge of America. The Independent has an interesting look at the world according to Bush: The world according to George W Bush See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Several mentally ill executed by the US

    Reuters has a disturbing report looking at the numbers of people who are mentally ill who have been executed by the US:

    The number of people executed in the United States since 1977, when the Supreme Court ended a 10-year moratorium on capital punishment, passed 1,000 last month with the December 2 execution of Kenneth Boyd in North Carolina. Amnesty said a review of psychiatric examinations, medical records and documented cases of extreme behavior found at least 100 of the condemned prisoners had clearly cataloged cases of severe mental illness. In other cases it was impossible to determine whether inmates were mentally ill since many never received a thorough psychiatric examination. The statistical arm of the Department of Justice issued a report in 1999 stating that an estimated 283,000 mentally ill individuals were held in U.S. prisons and jails, around 15 percent of the total incarcerated population.
    It's quite shocking to think then, that overall, 67% of Americans support the death penalty. State sponsored murder I call it, and barbaric. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Calls grow to impeach Blair

    From today's Independent: Calls grow to 'impeach' Blair as 99th soldier dies in Iraq

    "We have to learn the lessons from this wrong-headed invasion. We have to stop this happening again, whether it is Iran or Syria or somewhere else." He said the calls by General Sir Michael Rose, the British UN commander in Bosnia, for Mr Blair to be impeached had strengthened the campaign for a inquiry. A former Labour minister said: "If we had not gone into Iraq, we could have put more resources into sorting out Afghanistan. It has been a complete disaster. The sooner we get out the better. We need a clear timetable for withdrawal." Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party, said more MPs would put their names to the motion. "It will strengthen the case for impeaching Tony Blair and fully investigating his conduct in the run-up to the war in Iraq," he said.
    Good luck to them. Don't allow Blair to simply step down, throw him out! See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Japan to begin withdrawing Iraq troops in March

    According to this article, from Yahoo, Japan will start withdrawing its troops from Iraq in March:

    The 600-odd soldiers, who are on a humanitarian mission in Samawa, southern Iraq, would start withdrawing in March, said the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, which closely covers national security issues, without identifying its sources.
    The article states that all troops will be out by May. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Monday, January 30, 2006

    Al Zawahiri calls Bush a butcher

    Breitbart has this report:

    Al-Zawahri, shown in the video wearing white robes and a white turban, said the Jan. 13 airstrike killed "innocents" and said the United States had ignored an offer from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden for a truce. "Butcher of Washington, you are not only defeated and a liar, but also a failure. You are a curse on your own nation," he said, referring to Bush.
    Of course, those of us intelligent enough to do some reading know that Bin Laden is not, as such, the leader of Al Qaeda. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Series of global protests to begin in March

    From Common Dreams: World Social Forum: Series of Global Protests to Begin in March

    A day of international protests against the occupation of Iraq, on Mar. 18, will mark the start of a series of demonstrations and mobilisations organised at the sixth World Social Forum, which ended Sunday in Venezuela. A conference against the U.S. occupation of Iraq will be held Mar. 24-27 in Cairo, Egypt, announced the international Assembly of Social Movements, which met on the final day of the WSF in Caracas. Some 2,200 civil society organisations organised nearly 1,800 seminars, panels, workshops and other activities during the five-day WSF, which served as a meeting-place for sharing ideas and experiences, but also for organising networks to undertake concrete campaigns, as advocated by the Assembly of Social Movements.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    More British blood spilled for Blair's "special relationship"

    More British blood spilled to cement Blair's "special relationship". He did say he was willing to sacrifice British lives and pay the "blood price". The BBC reports on more blood for Blair's "special relationship":

    The death brings the number of British service personnel to have died in Iraq to 99, with about 230 troops injured by enemy action. The soldier, whose name had not yet been released, was part of a multi-national patrol.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    International days of action against the war

    March 18 & 19 - International Days of Action Against the War

    On the weekend of March 18 & 19, TONC joins with all who are calling for mass coordinated actions coast to coast and around the world. TONC proposes that the movement jointly target military recruiting stations all across the country on this weekend with coordinated protest, especially neighborhood recruiting stations in poor communities and communities of color. We can shut the war down, and the way to start is by shutting down military recruiting. In the New York City region we call on activists protest in the morning at the recruitng office on 125th Street in Harlem as well as other neighborhood recruiting offices.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    America: Torturing the innocent, releasing the most wanted

    This is an interesting piece, from Prison Planet:

    Tabarak was captured and taken to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was classified as such a high-value prisoner that the Pentagon repeatedly denied requests by the International Committee of the Red Cross to see him. Then, after spending almost three years at the base, he was suddenly released. The article describes how Tabarak was a proven loyal and unceasing Al-Qaeda member with an unparalleled affinity for Osama bin Laden. Compare this to the 70-90% of Iraqis who are arrested, hooded, and thrown into prison camps for the crime of not showing their papers at checkpoints.
    Indeed, read the rest of the article, it's well worth a read. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Investigation into Iraq intelligence stalled by Feith and Pentagon

    This report from Raw Story:

    The second part of the Senate investigation into bungled pre-war Iraq intelligence is still being held up by an internal Pentagon investigation of Douglas Feith, one of the war's leading architects, RAW STORY has learned. As previously reported by Raw Story, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) inquiry -- titled Phase II -- is waiting on a report from the Pentagon inspector general as to Feith's alleged role in manipulating pre-war intelligence to support a case for war. Feith, who is also being probed by the FBI for his role in an Israeli spy case, resigned in January 2005.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US: Republican senator to oppose Alito nomination

    Raw Story has news that a Republican senator has said that he will be voting against Bush regime nominee, Samuel Alito for US supreme court justice:

    Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-RI) announced this morning in Providence that he will vote against the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court. In a statement this morning, the Rhode Island senator said he was "greatly concerned" about some of Alito's philosophies, according to the Providence Journal. Chafee is the first Republican to announce a vote against Alito.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Flashback to 2001: "911" Hijackers alive and well

    7 of those alleged to have hijacked those planes on the 11th September 2001 in total have turned up alive and well. The BBC report on 4 of those, from 23rd September 2001:

    He told journalists there that he had nothing to do with the attacks on New York and Washington, and had been in Morocco when they happened. He has contacted both the Saudi and American authorities, according to Saudi press reports. He acknowledges that he attended flight training school at Daytona Beach in the United States, and is indeed the same Waleed Al Shehri to whom the FBI has been referring. But, he says, he left the United States in September last year, became a pilot with Saudi Arabian airlines and is currently on a further training course in Morocco.
    It's now well over 4 years after those terrible events, and still, US authorities cannot name the real hijackers. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Flashback to 2002: US Air Force pilots need their speed

    Remember this, from June 2002?

    In the meeting, held in the week before Canadian soldiers were shelled by American bombs in Afghanistan, at least one F-16 pilot complained that requirements for crew rest were not being observed and that many of the pilots were overtired. The pilot was told, however, that further questions about crew rest would not be looked on favourably by the wing command. Instead, pilots were advised to speak to a flight surgeon about so-called "go/no pills" -- amphetamines used to help stay awake on long missions, and sedatives to help sleep.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    On Ian Blair's comments: "His tactics are pathetic"

    Those the words of the sister of a man who died in police custody in 1995, responding to Ian Blair's comments on racism in the media. From The Voice:

    Brenda Weinberg – whose brother Brian Douglas died at Kennington police station in 1995 – is campaigning for the officers involved to be prosecuted, and slammed the police chief for his comments last Friday. “What can I say? It’s his way of ingratiating himself with the ethnic minority community" she said. “His tactics are pathetic," she added. “Because they will backfire anyway and it’s not the case. The press and police work together."
    This is an interesting report from the Guardian, from March 2001:
    There have been 1,000 deaths in police custody in the past 30 years - and only one officer has been convicted as a result. Simon Hattenstone reports on a film that exposes persistent racism at the heart of an institution.
    As the campaigns build around these two deaths, we discover more and more deaths in custody. In December 1995 Wayne Douglas was arrested for suspected burglary. He collapsed and died while detained at Brixton police station. In March 1996 Gambian asylum seeker Ibrahima Sey was forced to the ground, sprayed repeatedly with CS gas, and then held face down for 15 minutes. When he went totally limp and stopped breathing, an ambulance was called. He was dead by the time they reached the hospital. Ken Fero says he is not interested in making objective films. He knew whose side he was on from the start. "When we started investigating the cases, the facts were so clear that it was never a question of right and wrong, it was simply wrong, and a wrong that has been hidden." There are no interviews with police officers in the film. He says he would have happily interviewed the officers if he'd been allowed to.
    Perhaps when Ian Blair has his meeting with Charles Clarke, Mr Clarke could remind him of all these deaths in police custody. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Diana, the "Princess of Whales"

    Ananova reports on a highly tacky, and tasteless talking Diana doll, made by an American company:

    The £18 doll is being marketed as a one-off "collectible" with just 10,000 being made. Texas-based Time Capsule Toys say they are dedicated to "the highest quality" products. However, they failed to get Diana's title right, referring to her as the "Princess of Whales".
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    MoD hiding true number of British military injuries in Iraq

    This report from the Scotsman:

    THE Ministry of Defence has admitted that it issued misleading figures for the number of British soldiers injured in Iraq after a Scotsman investigation found that they were wildly inaccurate.
    Of course, reports of deceptions by Blair & Co now come as no surprise. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Global warming is a bigger threat than previously thought

    This report from the Times:

    In one of its most worrying conclusions, Professor Chris Rapley of the British Antarctic Survey gives warning that the West Antarctic ice sheet, which had previously been considered a "slumbering giant" in terms of climate change, is now starting to disintegrate at an alarming rate. If it melts completely, scientists believe sea levels around the world could rise by up to 5m (16ft), swamping vast tracts of coastal land. The report also warns that changes in the acidity of the sea will reduce its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, with severe consequences on the entire marine food chain.
    Those who reject climate change science are those who will be ultimately responsible for catastrophes in the future. Climate change is a much bigger threat to makind than terrorism, time for the rabid right to grasp that fact. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    India plans to abstain on Iran vote

    From Reuters: India plans to abstain over Iran vote - officials

    The U.S. Ambassador to India, David Mulford, said last week that if India did not oppose Tehran at the IAEA, a landmark India-U.S. nuclear cooperation pact could be in trouble. "We cannot vote with the U.S. after his comments. We're planning to abstain," one senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Ian Blair ordered to appear before home secretary

    According to this article, from the Daily Mirror, Met Police chief, Ian Blair, has been ordered to appear before the home secretary, Charles Clarke because of comments made regarding the Soham murders:

    Charles Clarke is understood to be furious, despite the Met Police Commissioner making a full public apology. A Home Office source said last night: "Sir Ian has been told he has to appear in person before the Home Secretary. "The meeting will take place this week, possibly today. "I think it would be fair to describe them as showdown talks.
    Why wasn't our home secretary also furious about the blatent cover up by the police of the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes? Remember this report from August 2005 on the Met Police refusing to go along with an independent inquiry into the murder?
    As controversy raged over claims that he resisted attempts to set up an independent investigation into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian electrician shot seven times in the head by armed anti-terror officers, Sir Ian said the allegations "strike to the heart of the integrity" of his force. He added: "I fundamentally reject them. There is no cover-up. I am not going to resign. I have a job to do."
    It took the police 6 days to hand over documentation regarding Mr de Menezes' murder. And now we know for a fact there was a cover up. I wonder what the police managed to hide from the independent inquiry because of that 6 day delay? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    America talking to "terrorists"

    Our friends over at Terrorism News has this report on US officials talking to so called "terrorists", or "insurgents" in Iraq:

    U.S. intelligence officials have had back-door channels to insurgent groups for many months. The Dec. 15 elections brought many Sunnis to the polls and widened the split between Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi's foreign jihadists and indigenous Sunni insurgents. This marks the first time either Americans or insurgents have admitted that "senior leaders" have met at the negotiating table for planning purposes. "Those who are coming to work with [the U.S.] or come to an understanding with [the U.S.], even if they worked with Al Qaeda in a tactical sense in the past—and I don't know that—they are willing to fight Al Qaeda now," says a Western diplomat in Baghdad who has close knowledge of the discussions. An assortment of some of Iraq's most prominent insurgent groups also recently formed a "council" whose purpose, in addition to publishing religious edicts and coordinating military actions, is to serve as a point of contact for the United States in the future.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Jean Charles de Menezes: Prosecutions are in order

    Jamal, writing at Opinionated Voice speaks out over the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, and says:

    A prosecution is definatly in order
    I quite agree, although would alter "A prosecution" to "several prosecutions". Well done for speaking out Jamal, all decent law abiding citizens should be speaking out on this matter. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    No to privatising of GP services

    According to this article, from the Times today, Blair & Co have plans to privatise GP services. This is an absolute scandal, GPs should not operate from the private sector, people's health must come first, not market forces:

    The NHS would be able to invite interested parties to supply services in certain situations, such as areas which suffer from GP shortages. Private firms such as Boots and Bupa are expected to make bids to provide services, alongside ambitious family doctors.
    We all know about the mess our hospitals are in because of the introduction of market forces, we do not want our GP services to end up in the same situation. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Flashback to 1976: Kissinger meets Pinochet

    Nothing much changes. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Rumsfeld - The shifty "hawk"

    Above - Rumsfeld with 2 brutal dictators. He seems to like being in the company of human rights abusers. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Labour in the main benefits from Lib Dems downturn in polls

    This report from the Independent appears to show that although both Labour and the Tories benefit from the collapse of the Lib Dem vote, Labour is benefitting the most:

    Until now, it has been assumed that the turmoil in the Liberal Democrats since the resignation of Charles Kennedy would mainly benefit the Tories. The Cabinet was told this month that two out of three voters deserting the Liberal Democrats are switching to the Tories, and Labour fears a third party collapse could severely harm its prospects at the next election. The weighted average of this month's polls by ICM, MORI, ICM and Populus puts Labour on 39 per cent (up four points on last month), the Tories on 38 per cent (up one point) and the Liberal Democrats on 16 per cent (down four points).
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Ex Israeli spy chief says Hamas leaders should be hunted down

    Reuters has this report:

    Dichter singled out by name senior Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh when asked whether Hamas leaders-turned-ministers would be targeted for assassination despite their possible new roles in a democratically-elected government. "If tomorrow Ismail Haniyeh will become the minister of whatever, of health, he'll continue to be the generator of terror attacks from the Gaza Strip," Dichter said. "If we'll come to arrest him, terrorists will not get any immunity just because he is a minister. It's not going to be a shelter," Dichter said.
    It never ceases to amaze me that certain people believe in democracy only until a certain point, that point being when the outcome doesn't suit them. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Another deal between Blair and Brown?

    There appear to have been so many deals made over the leadership of the Labour Party that i've lost count of them all. According to this article, from the Guardian, comments made by Blunkett could lead some to suspect that yet another deal has been done:

    Senior Labour sources have dismissed speculation that Tony Blair had offered a timetable for his departure from Downing Street to Gordon Brown, prompted by David Blunkett's comment that there was "a new understanding" between them.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Pinochet's daughter arrested for tax evasion

    The Guardian has this report on the daughter of the rabid right's favourite brutal dictator being arrested:

    She had been detained in Washington because of an international arrest warrant against her. Ms Pinochet left Chile last week, hours after she should have appeared in court to be served with a subpoena along with her mother, two sisters and a brother who face similar charges. She has said repeatedly that she considers the charges against her family to be political persecution.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Sunday, January 29, 2006

    US - Republican senator unconvinced on Bush spying

    Yahoo reports on comments made by the Republican senator, Chuck Hagel:

    Hagel and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said they remain open to hearing testimony from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other administration officials but were uncertain that a president could have broad "blank check" authority. They said both Republicans and Democrats were equally committed to fighting terrorism, and they rejected as unhelpful efforts by White House aide Karl Rove to make national security the top partisan issue in the November midterm elections. "I think that I can make certain that we have the tools that are necessary to monitor calls from al-Qaida to U.S. citizens without going overboard and creating a situation in which, randomly, we are rifling through the e-mails and cell calls of ordinary American citizens," said Obama, who appeared on ABC. Added Hagel: "National security is more important than the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. And to use it to try and get someone elected will ultimately end up in defeat and disaster for that political party."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Diana inquiry fears tampering with Henri Paul's blood sample

    According to this report, from Contactmusic.com, the inquiry looking into the death of Diana, princess of Wales appears to be concerned that blood tests on Henri Paul, the driver on that night back in 1997 could have been "wrongly examined":

    Former Metropolitan police commissioner LORD STEVENS, who was Britain's top cop and is leading the inquiry into the Paris tragedy, is re-analysing the test results after fears of tampering. Fayed's father MOHAMED AL-FAYED is convinced the samples were deliberately mixed up by authorities to cover up the alleged murder of the pair by British intelligence officers. A source tells UK newspaper The Sunday Times, "We are re-examining the circumstances surrounding the taking of the blood samples.
    Reports claimed back in 1997 that Henri Paul's alcohol levels were above the legal limits. I guess if the inquiry is re-examining the blood tests in particular there must be questions that Henri Paul was indeed driving over the limit. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US: 8 year old boy shoots 7 year old girl

    Yet another example of shootings in the US, from USA Today, scroll down the page a little to read article:

    A gun brought to a day care center by an 8-year-old boy accidentally went off, wounding a 7-year-old girl in the arm, police in Germantown, Md., said. The boy was playing with the gun in a backpack when it went off at the For Kids We Care center, Montgomery County police spokesman Derek Baliles said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Germany gave US intelligence on Iraq at least 15 times

    According to this article, from Yahoo, Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, gave intelligence to America on Iraq, despite its official opposition to the illegal invasion of the country:

    Der Spiegel said that of the 130 notes the two German agents sent to BND headquarters at the time, 25 were passed on to Washington. At least one of the documents had a military content as it concerned troop movements. The two German agents were based in Baghdad between February 14 and May 2003. US-led troops invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. In a parliamentary debate last week, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier strongly denied that the two BND agents had helped US forces choose targets for bombing.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Ian Blair: Examine your conscience, then go!

    This report from Ananova:

    Asad Rehman, spokesman for the innocent Brazilian's family, said the allegations had "severely dented" confidence in Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and his force. He added: "Sir Ian Blair does need to seriously consider his own position today. "It seems that Sir Ian Blair was not aware of any of this information for quite a while following Jean's death, which does raise certain questions about how in touch he was with the operation. "Both then and today Sir Ian Blair is ultimately responsible for the safety of people in London and this country. It seems he didn't have his eye on the ball. "We will ask him to examine his own conscience today. We believe this issue hasn't gone away."
    Indeed, the murder of an innocent civilian will never go away until justice has been done. This is not about politics, or getting the upper hand, this is about right or wrong. Ian Blair, you are ultimately responsible for Mr De Menezes' death, the man was held down at close range, it is quite obvious to anyone that he looked nothing like Osman Hussein, yet police held him down, and shot him several times in the head. All those involved in the murder and the lies afterwards should be prosecuted for their part in this crime, however, I do realise that it is highly unlikely that the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on those who claim to uphold the law in this country. I don't recall another occasion when that has been the case anyway, sadly. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Hillary Clinton tries to defend her Iraq stance

    The Sunday Oregonian has this article, Hillary Clinton's stance on the Iraq issue seems to me to be exactly the same as the stance of British Conservatives:

    Clinton voted to authorize President Bush to invade Iraq and continues to disagree with an increasing number of Democratic politicians who want to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq. At the same time, she accuses Bush of misleading Congress before the war and of mismanaging the occupation. Before her speech, as many as 50 protesters demonstrated outside the Hilton as they carried such signs as, "Hillary, you're not listening. Bring the troops home.". "I think she has left the Democratic Party behind," said protester Linda Wiener of Code Pink, an anti-war group that helped organize the demonstration. She said Clinton has been trying to move to the political center to position herself for the presidential race.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    De Menezes family should be allowed to see report

    We continue to follow events, following the murder of innocent Brazilian, Jean Charles De Menezes. The BBC today has this report:

    The family of Jean Charles de Menezes has made a new demand to see the report on his death after details from it were apparently leaked to a Sunday paper.
    They, more than anyone else should be able to see that report. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    America loses $37 million jet in Australia

    Oops, perhaps the pilot wasn't concentrating properly, and had been thinking about a previous night, visiting all those prostitutes US service personnel like to visit when going ashore. From The Sydney Morning Herald:

    The accident happened when the aircraft carrier was 400 kilometres south-east of Brisbane, ABC television reported. The aircraft carrier, on its maiden overseas deployment, left Brisbane on Friday. The visit has been credited with delivering millions of dollars into the Queensland economy but it has left behind a trail of debris. A prawn fisherman from Mooloolaba found a hessian bag filled with fast-food wrappers, soft-drink bottles, plastic cutlery and forms identifying it as being from the Ronald Reagan. Five more similar bags were found floating nearby.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Euan Blair - like father like son

    The Telgraph reports that yet another Blair will be doing some gophering for an American Republican:

    He will be expected to answer the phone, make photocopies, file documents, write memos and prepare hearing rooms. Most interns work unpaid, satisfied just to spend some time at the heart of the nation's political world. The maximum stipend is usually $1,000 (£564) a month.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iran invites Blair to holocaust conference

    From the Times of India: Iran invites Blair for Holocaust conference

    "I suggest it would be good for Blair to attend the Holocaust seminar or send some articles," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told reporters in Tehran. His statement was in reference to Blair condemning the scheduled conference as "shocking, ridiculous, and stupid." "Blair can hear here (in Tehran) issues which he cannot hear over there (in London)," Assefi said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Labour party at war over education reforms

    According to this article, from the Observer, tensions are apparently high between Blair, and his deputy, Prescott, over education reforms. Around 100 of Blair's own MPs have threatened to vote against the reforms:

    The strain between Tony Blair and his deputy have reached an unprecedented level. Prescott has been frozen out of talks over a deal on the Education Bill, on which he has publicly expressed concerns. He was left isolated after Blair and Gordon Brown buried their differences over the bill in the past few days, prompting growing suspicions in Whitehall that they have come to a new understanding over a power handover.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    A weak Bush

    ABC News has this report:

    A weakened George W. Bush faces the nation in his 5th State of the Union address beset by war fatigue, persistent discontent on the economy and other domestic issues, ethics concerns and rising interest in Democratic alternatives in this midterm election year. Bush's bottom-line job rating — 42 percent of Americans approve of his work, 56 percent disapprove — is the worst for a president entering his sixth year in office since Watergate hammered Richard Nixon. And Bush's is not a single-issue problem: More than half disapprove of his work in eight out of nine areas tested in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, from Iraq to immigration to health care.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Cindy Sheehan considers challenging for a US senate seat

    The Huffington Post reports: Cindy Sheehan Considers Challenging Feinstein For Senate Seat

    "She voted for the war. She continues to vote for the funding. She won't call for an immediate withdrawal of the troops," Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview while attending the World Social Forum in Venezuela along with thousands of other anti-war and anti-globalization activists.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Flashback to 2003: Confirmation Rumsfeld assisted North Korea with nuclear programme

    Anyone remember this gem? As reported at Swiss Info, from February 2003:

    The Swiss-based ABB on Friday told swissinfo that Rumsfeld was involved with the company in early 2000, when it netted a $200 million (SFr270million) contract with Pyongyang. The ABB contract was to deliver equipment and services for two nuclear power stations at Kumho, on North Korea’s east coast. Rumsfeld – who is one of the Bush administration’s most strident “hardliners” on North Korea – was a member of ABB’s board between 1990 and February 2001, when he left to take up his current post.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Reid claims benefits of Afghan deployment underrated

    Via our friend from Deficient Brain: Afghanistan: John Reid sells 'the benefits'

    He said there had been "less than 10" soldiers' lives lost in Afghanistan since 2001, adding: "It is getting riskier. As we go through the phases to the south we will then find that there is a greater propensity for terrorists to attack as they retreat into the last bastions."
    Over 4 years have passed now since the invasion of Afghanistan, and still, politicians say that Afghan rebels are in retreat. The violence and criminality there of course continues. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bloggers push hard for Alito filibuster

    The Raw Story has this article:

    On Thursday night, Senator John Kerry (D-MA), after delivering a Senate floor speech against the nomination, posted his third diary at the popular Daily Kos Website (Filibuster Alito) which urged the community to help "stop Judge Alito from becoming Justice Alito." At that time, only the 2004 Presidential nominee and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) were behind such a move, as numerous reports showed that Alito would have enough votes to be confirmed.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Top NASA scientist says regime tried to silence him

    According to this article, from Common Dreams, a top NASA climate scientist who last month called for reductions in greenhouse gases linked to climate change has said that the regime in the US have been trying to silence him:

    He fell out of favor with the White House in 2004 after giving a speech at the University of Iowa before the presidential election, in which he complained that government climate scientists were being muzzled and said he planned to vote for Senator John Kerry. But Dr. Hansen said that nothing in 30 years equaled the push made since early December to keep him from publicly discussing what he says are clear-cut dangers from further delay in curbing carbon dioxide. In several interviews with The New York Times in recent days, Dr. Hansen said it would be irresponsible not to speak out, particularly because NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet." He said he was particularly incensed that the directives had come through telephone conversations and not through formal channels, leaving no significant trails of documents.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Polls show many Americans are simply dumber than Bush

    Paul Craig Roberts writes this piece, from Counter Punch:

    The LA Times/Bloomberg poll has equally striking anomalies. Only 43 percent said they approved of Bush's performance as president. But a majority believe Bush's policies have made the US more secure. It is extraordinary that anyone would think Americans are safer as a result of Bush invading two Muslim countries and constantly threatening two more with military attack. The invasions and threats have caused a dramatic swing in Muslim sentiment away from the US. Prior to Bush's invasion of Iraq, a large majority of Muslims had a favorable opinion of America. Now only about 5 percent do.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    39% of Lib Dems want Kennedy back as leader

    This report from the Telegraph. It seems there is now a huge split in the party:

    Asked whether the party would be better off with Mr Kennedy as leader, 39 per cent of the people intending to vote Lib Dem at the next election said 'Yes', while 47 per cent said they thought the party would be better off with another leader.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Friends relieved at Norman Kember video appearance

    The BBC has this report:

    Rebecca Johnson, spokeswoman for Christian Peacemaker Teams in Canada, said it was relieved to see the men alive on the tape. "This news is an answer to our prayers. We continue to hope and pray for their release," she said. Anas Altikriti, of the Muslim Association of Britain, who has been campaigning in the Middle East for Mr Kember's release, said the video showed there had been "some kind of breakthrough" in the efforts to communicate with the captors.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush broke the law and continues to break it

    From a Boston Globe editorial piece:

    The issue now is not national security, but presidential power. Congress balanced the two well in 1978, when, recognizing there would be cases when time is of the essence, it said the president could conduct surveillance without a warrant for three days (15 days when there is a congressional declaration of war), but that continued surveillance would require a warrant or court order. Despite repeated efforts, Bush and his minions have failed utterly to show why the fight against terror is crippled by the need to get a warrant. They have also failed to show why taking such action on their own, ignoring specific instructions from Congress, is not a baseless power grab.
    Now, let's see more editorials like this. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Breaking News: ABC reporter and cameraman in Iraq treated for serious head injuries

    There are various reports that an ABC reporter, and cameraman are both being treated for serious head injuries after their convoy hit some sort of explosive device. ABC News has this:

    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Arson attacks on 3 Afghan schools

    In "liberated Afghanistan", the violence, and criminality continues, from WAVY:

    Militants set fire to three primary schools in southern Afghanistan yesterday, part of an apparent Taliban campaign to undermine the country's U-S backed government. Two of the schools were for boys only and a third was co-educational. No one was hurt in any of the fires.
    Thank goodness no one was hurt. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iran to send Britain intelligence on bombings

    According to this article, from Yahoo, Iran says it is sending intelligence concerning the recent bombings to London. Now wouldn't it be interesting to read those documents:

    "The security authorities of the Islamic republic of Iran have announced their readiness to hand over their documents on the past and current incidents in Ahvaz to the concerned party in Britain," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters. "We hope with this we will prevent any future incidents," he said Saturday.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush and Blair were determined to attack Iraq regardless

    Of course, most of us know that this was the case. From the Independent:

    An updated edition of a book by Philippe Sands QC, a leading human rights barrister and Professor of Law at London University, to be published in Britain this week, is expected to strengthen claims that President Bush decided to go to war with or without UN backing, and that he had Mr Blair's support. The book is expected to produce fresh evidence that President Bush only went through the motions of giving a wholehearted endorsement to Mr Blair's attempts to gain full UN approval for military action.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Japanese protest US military criminals

    Yahoo has this report:

    Some 800 Japanese calling for an end to crimes by U.S. military personnel marched in protest on Saturday, a day after prosecutors indicted a U.S. sailor for killing and robbing a 56-year-old Japanese woman this month.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Cute twin girls for racism

    I honestly don't know what to say. This is too sick for words. Twin girls raised by their mother to be racist singing for the white race uber alles. Watch the video.

    Police cover up on De Menezes murder

    The Independent today reports that special branch deliberately falsified evidence about their actions on the day innocent Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes was held down and shot several times in the head by the police:

    Specific words were understood to have been changed to cover up the fact that surveillance officers had wrongly identified Mr de Menezes as terror suspect Hussein Osman. Alterations were hastily made to amend the wording of the official log once the shocking truth emerged that the dead man was not, in fact, the extremist wanted in connection with the failed 21 July Tube bombings.
    Above: Spot the difference, could you do a better job than the police? Could you tell the difference between these 2 men? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Report of violations of the Geneva Conventions

    Excerpts from this memorandum (PDF Format) - A report of violations of the Geneva Conventions by US personnel. Thanks to H of Terrorism News fame for the link: "I was employed by the Defense Intelligence Agency as an Intelligence Officer assigned and under the operational control to [BLANKED OUT]" "On or about 11 May 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq, I witnessed the mistreatment of a TF 6-26 detainee during the initial interrogation after his capture. During the interrogation, conducted by a US Army interrogator, four or five non-interrogator personnel from the Task Force entered the room and began slapping the detainee while he was attempting to respond to the questioning. After approximately 15 minutes, a senior NCO, going by call sign "XO3" entered the room and asked most of the personnel to leave, to include ALL of the interrogators. I am not aware of what specifically occurred during my absence. [BLANKED OUT] officer assigned to the Task Force, was present as well and witnessed the incident. [BLANKED OUT] was observing the interrogation and I was assisting the lead interrogator. A 1" SF Group interrogator also augmenting the unit. I am not aware if this matter has been previously reported." "On 9 May 2004, TF 6-26 personnel detained the wife of a suspected Iraqi terrorist, in Tarmiya, Iraq. The 28 year old woman had three young children at the house, one being as young as six months and still nursing...........During the pre-operation brief it was recommended by TF personnel that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target's surrender......I objected to the detainment of the young mother....." See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Britain's role in targeted assassinations by the CIA

    According to this disturbing article, from the Observer today, a British technology company, and a US base in Cambridgeshire are linked to what appears to me, to be an international law breaking scheme by the CIA of targeted assassinations carried out by "predator" drones:

    The Observer has discovered that the computer 'brains' of the unmanned Predators are made in Towcester, Northamptonshire, by Radstone Technology. The firm manufactures the computer boards that control the drones and enable the CIA to target top al-Qaeda suspects. Predators are controlled remotely by satellite and a joystick. When a target is identified, the Predators fire a Hellfire missile.
    Equally controversial is the disclosure that images taken by Predators as they fly across international airspace are beamed back to a top-secret US base at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. Staff at the American Joint Analysis Centre study the images and then decide what action to take.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Photos of Tuvalu show global warming in action

    This is an interesting, and thought provoking piece, from Grist:

    When I got to the capital, Funafuti, many of the friendly people who asked why I'd come looked at me blankly when I mentioned the tides. Most people in this tiny country -- whose nine coral atolls are home to 11,000 people -- are deeply religious. They expect to be protected; after all, God told Noah there would be no more floods, and created the rainbow as a sign of this covenant. Some see things differently, though. The increasing intensity of tropical weather and the rise in ocean levels and temperatures -- all documented results of global warming -- are threatening to sink this island nation. Its citizens face the possibility of being among the first climate refugees. "Our whole culture will have to be transplanted," says former assistant environment minister Paani Laupepa, now assistant secretary for foreign affairs.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US Homeland Security department addicted to porn

    This report from Sploid:

    The report concludes that Homeland Security has a laughably vulnerable computer network that is pounded by a steady stream of virus and hacker attacks while DHS employees engage in highly unprofessional and dangerous computer activities. It's just the latest embarrassing scandal for the bloated federal agency. Earlier this month, former attorney general John Ashcroft was caught chasing lucrative Homeland Security contracts for his business clients.
    Oh dear. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Google V Bush regime

    Yahoo reports that Google and the Bush regime have sought a hearing in February to argue their respective cases over requests from the pariah state for records of search terms by Google users:

    US district court Judge James Ware was asked for a hearing on February 27 in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose in which the opposing sides could argue their cases, according to his staff. Ware could opt to rely on written briefs submitted by Google and the government instead of holding the hearing to decide the case, his staff said.
    Perhaps if Google are forced to hand over records of searches carried out by the public, it could make available to the public records of searches carried out by Bush regime officials, i'm sure that would prove interesting. Actually, how about a pre emptive strike Google? Go for it anyway, let's see what Bush regime officials search for. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Guantanamo hunger strikers close to death

    The Sunday Times today has this disturbing report on hunger strikers at America's Guantanamo torture chamber:

    The condition of two emaciated Yemeni hunger strikers who have been refusing solid food since August is causing particular concern. There are also fears for the life of a hospitalised Saudi prisoner. The wife of a British resident and hunger striker, Shaker Aamer, visited the Commons last week to appeal to MPs for help. Aamer’s wife, 31, who lives in London with her four children and has asked for her name to be withheld, said: “This is the time to do something. My husband is not going to last.” Aamer has been on hunger strike since November 2. Although he has lost weight, he is stronger than some other prisoners taking part in the protest at their detention without trial.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    60% of Americans disapprove of Bush regime handling of Iraq

    From Monsters and Critics: Poll: Most disagree with Bush on Iraq

    A new Time magazine poll finds 60 percent of U.S. citizens disapprove of President George W. Bush`s handling of the war in Iraq.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Saturday, January 28, 2006

    Flashback to October 2004 - Florida Voting Scandal

    From the BBC, as reported on the Newsnight programme in October 2004: New Florida vote scandal feared

    A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    66% of Americans want Blair to replace Annan

    Words momentarily fail me. From Angus Reid Consulting:

    Many adults in the United States believe the current prime minister of Britain would be a perfect fit for the United Nations (UN), according to a poll by Gallup released by CNN and USA Today. 66 per cent of respondents would favour Tony Blair becoming the next UN secretary-general.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Clinton says US should stay in Iraq

    If any further proof were needed that SOME Democrats in the US aren't really that much different to their Republican "opponents", then Bill Clinton's comments about the US in Iraq, and quite possibly Iran should provide that. From the Times of India:

    Former US President Bill Clinton said on Saturday that US efforts to improve Iraq should not be abandoned and warned that all options for Iran must be considered.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush friendly Bechtel sets sights on UK taxpayers money

    From the UK Indymedia Centre: Bush-friendly BECHTEL sets sights on UK taxpayers money

    Bechtel which has been controversially awarded reconstruction contracts in Iraq is now setting its sights on the £15bn City led Crossrail scheme after the abuse of taxpayers money over the tube. UK politicians and the media refused to consider how much it will cost taxpayers as it is seen as a Millennium Dome
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Wave and tidal power could provide one fifth of UK power

    That is according to a new report from The Carbon Trust. From the BBC:

    The Carbon Trust, which helps firms develop low-emission technologies, urges the government to increase support for wave and tidal concepts. They are currently costly ways of generating electricity but the Trust's report says prices will come down. Investment now could help Britain establish a global lead in these technologies, it says.
    Britain could take a lead in this area, if the powers that be wished. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    ACLU files lawsuits against DC for police brutality

    From the DC Indymedia Centre: Inauguration Protesters Sue DC for Police Brutality

    Three lawsuits were filed late last week by the American Civil Liberties Union against the District of Columbia and Metropolitan Police Department officers. The lawsuits allege police made false arrests and indiscriminately used pepper spray against protesters in multiple incidents during the 2005 Presidential Inauguration.
    I remember the reports at the time of the protests, and I would challenge anyone who stated that these false arrests and pepper spraying were not typical of the type of fascistic clamping down on dissent which happens every day in the US under Bush. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iraqis want Americans out of their towns

    And while they're getting out of Iraqi towns, they should get out of the country as well. This from Stars and Stripes:

    While most Iraqi officials acknowledge the police and army are far from being able to handle security on their own, some say the time is now. “If the Americans left next week, the security situation would improve, for sure,” said Sheik Rashid Ahmed Osman al-Jabuli, head of the Salah ad Din provincial council. “What they call the resistance would go away. I am resisting also, but believe in peaceful resistance.” Rashid is one of many Sunnis who refuse to accept the new constitution, saying it is crafted to give power and oil to Shiites and Kurds, and exclude Sunnis. But if American troops pull back, he says, there will be no civil war, though some analysts say one has already begun. “It’s preferable there be no connection or meeting, other than officials who are seeking to get benefits for people. There is no reason for ordinary people to meet them,” he said, of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers.
    My own opinion, judging by comments made by many Iraqis in media reports, is that once all occupation forces leave Iraq the security situation would improve. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US diplomat flees Venezuela

    The Americans have been found out for their interference in yet another country's affairs. Now, one of their representatives has to flee from Venezuela to escape justice for that interference. VHeadline has this report:

    It was also disclosed that Correa was member of the Central Intelligence Agency with the highest rank in Venezuela, and was linked to the April 2002 coup ... he incited insubordination among Venezuelan officers in public incidents at the Altamira Plaza as well.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    28th February 1933 - The Reichstag Fire Decree

    Flashback to 28th February 1933, passed the day after the Reichstag fire in Germany:

    Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Empire are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [ habeas corpus ], freedom of opinion, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts