Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I hate war and Eleanor hates war

Growing up I heard my mother repeat this FDR phrase many times. In hindsight it's debatable whether FDR actually hated war, he took us into WWII through deception and for world banking interests, but it's likely Eleanor did hate war.

Women get it or at least they used to. Seeing their sons, husbands, fathers and friends die in war evokes that innate revulsion to killing.

Where are the mothers now? The 'volunteer' military and the incessant propaganda by the controlled media seems to have diminished those mothering instincts in the population at large. It's exactly what the ruling class of endless war wants. The Dead Soldier

The lies of war coming from the psychopaths in charge never cease.

Bill Van Auken in Panetta and Washington's endless war explains...
“We are a nation at war.” This phrase was invoked hundreds if not thousands of times by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales and others to justify military atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan, torture, extraordinary rendition, illegal domestic spying and an imperial presidency’s arrogation to itself of unprecedented powers.

Earlier this year, White House aides indicated to the media that the Obama administration was dropping references to the “global war on terrorism,” the Bush administration’s all-purpose justification for its wars abroad and assault on democratic rights at home.

What is becoming ever clearer, however, is that the methods introduced under Bush are being maintained largely intact by the new Democratic administration, while its dishonest rhetoric justifying them is sounding more and more like that of its predecessor.

What does it mean to say America is “a nation at war”? The US Congress has not issued a declaration of war against any country.

America is a nation at war only in the sense that its military is perpetually employed in carrying out illegal invasions, colonial-style occupations, bombings, assassinations by predator drones and other acts of violence against peoples unfortunate enough to find themselves in the way of American capitalism’s plundering of the world’s resources and markets.

The enemy’s identity in this never-ending war is deliberately kept vague as the targets for US military aggression are ever changing. Thus, Panetta refers only to “those that would threaten the United States of America.”

To call this Orwellian is not hyperbole. The perpetual state of war imposed upon the oppressed citizens of Oceania in Orwell’s “1984” could have been written as an allegory for modern US state policy under both Bush and Obama.

Panetta left little to the imagination about the political implications of this supposed state of war.

The CIA director said that he wouldn’t “deny them,” meaning the US Congress, “the opportunity to learn the lessons from that period.” However, he cautioned that any investigation must be done in a “very careful” manner. Probing the war crimes of the past must not interfere with the war crimes of the present and the future.

When Panetta was first nominated as CIA director, Republicans and some Democrats pointed to his lack of any intelligence experience. In the end, however, he was confirmed by the unanimous consent of the Senate.

He is a man clearly trusted by America’s ruling elite to protect its interests. First a Republican aide to the Nixon administration, he became a Democratic congressman and then chief of staff to President Clinton. Afterward he pursued profitable relations with the centers of corporate and financial power, while remaining deeply involved in state policy. In 2006, he joined the Iraq Study Group, which was formed to effect a tactical shift in US war policy. In 2008, he was paid more than $830,000 in consulting fees and honorariums by the likes of the BP Corporation, Merrill Lynch and the Carlyle Group.

Panetta speaks for the state-within-the-state, the permanent apparatus of the military and the intelligence agencies that dominate the US government no matter which party is in power.

These layers are pushing back following the limited exposure of the Bush administration’s crimes with the release of the torture memos last month. This was further indicated in an article that appeared Tuesday in the Washington Post by Walter Pincus, who enjoys close ties to the CIA. It cited concerns by “agency personnel” that they would not be able to “conduct interrogations effectively,” given new proscriptions against torture, and that “other operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan will come under review.”

The Democrats are cowering before these pressures. Obama’s press secretary has refused to utter a word about the clash between Pelosi and Panetta, while Democrats in Congress are shying away from the debate on torture, treating it increasingly as a distraction.

The Obama administration is acting to perpetuate and politically legitimize the criminal policies initiated under Bush, while shielding those responsible. The two wars launched to assert US hegemony over the Persian Gulf and Central Asia are continuing with bipartisan support, and Obama is responsible for his own war crimes, including this month’s bombing that slaughtered 150 civilians in Afghanistan. Domestic spying, extraordinary rendition and military commissions have all been upheld by the administration. The resumption of torture is inevitable and in all likelihood has already begun.

In the end, this entire process exposes the futility of elections under America’s two-party system. Those who take office—Obama no less than Bush—are accountable not to the American people, but to a narrow constituency consisting of the financial oligarchy, the military command and the intelligence agencies, those who really rule America.

read the entire essay

A couple of mothers did take action by suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the Iraq war. But surprise, surprise...the lawsuit was thrown out. I thought it was supposed to be the duty of the federal courts to rule on questions regarding the constitution.

Federal judge in NJ dismisses suit charging Iraq war is unconstitutional

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two mothers of soldiers who served in Iraq have failed in their attempt to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of the war.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday.

The women and the group New Jersey Peace Action claimed President Bush overstepped his authority by invading Iraq in 2003 without formally declaring war.

Linares sided with the government's position that the courts don't have jurisdiction to rule on what is essentially a political matter. He also wrote that second-guessing Congress is not the judiciary's duty. {source}

Constitution...what constitution? Old words on a GD piece of paper can't interfere with politics.
The Judiciary
The Court System

Article III of the Constitution establishes the federal judiciary branch of government. The Supreme Court was organized in 1790 with judicial power to review cases arising under the Constitution, the Laws of the United States and treaties. Statutory authority for the Court can be found in 28 U. S. Code Sect.1251 et seq. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to create additional federal courts. The hierarchical system which evolved is Courts of Appeal and lower level trial courts, Federal District Courts.

The federal courts have the judicial responsibility to rule on the constitutionality of federal laws, to interpret and to apply the laws to resolve disputes. The federal courts have "limited" jurisdiction in that they can only decide certain types of cases as determined by Congress or defined in the Constitution. That means the federal courts decide cases interpreting the Constitution, all federal laws, federal regulations and rules, and controversies between states or between the United States and foreign governments. {source}

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