Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 17th, 2009

Judge reinstated, Pakistanis feel good

Posted by Charles II on March 17, 2009

Juan Cole said (on Amy Goodman) that this was A Good Thing. Andrew Buncombe and Omar Waraich, London Independent:

The line started at the gate, turned at the steps, passed through the front door and then slipped along a hallway before heading down some steps. There, in a downstairs room, surrounded by colleagues and beaming as if he were a child on his birthday, stood Iftikhar Chaudhry, shaking hands with the long, endless line and receiving a million congratulations. “I feel good,” he declared, extending a large, fleshy hand and pumping enthusiastically.

On an historic day in which Pakistan’s government was forced into an embarrassing capitulation to its political opponents and reinstated the former chief justice, it appeared as if everyone in the country wanted to meet Mr Chaudhry. No matter that the government’s hand had been forced as much by the intervention of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani as by the forces of democracy, Islamabad buzzed with euphoria about the restoration of the country’s chief judge, ousted in 2007 by Pervez Musharraf.

Young and old, men and women, dancing Muslims and Christian bagpipe bands – everyone wanted to join in the celebrations for what was a rare feel-good event in a country where headlines are more often concerned with violence and political turmoil. “It feels like the country is finally moving towards democracy,” said Bilquees Khan, one of five female law students gathered outside Mr Chaudhry’s house.

Posted in Good Things, Pakistan | 1 Comment »

The Reagan Death Squads

Posted by Charles II on March 17, 2009

On another thread, there was some discussion of American involvement with death squads. Evidence has now surfaced that the US was aware of coordination of death squads at the top levels of the Guatemalan government in the 1980s. From the NSArchive newsletter:

Following a stunning breakthrough in a 25-year-old case of political terror in Guatemala, the National Security Archive today is posting declassified U.S. documents about the disappearance of Edgar Fernando García, a student leader and trade union activist captured by Guatemalan security forces in 1984. The documents show that García’s capture was an organized political abduction orchestrated at the highest levels of the Guatemalan government.

And in the detail on the website, this:

Declassified U.S. records obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the United States was well-aware of the government campaign to kidnap, torture and kill Guatemalan labor leaders at the time of García’s abduction. “Government security services have employed assassination to eliminate persons suspected of involvement with the guerrillas or who are otherwise left-wing in orientation,” wrote the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research four days after García disappeared, pointing in particular to the Army’s “notorious presidential intelligence service (archivos)” and the National Police, “who have traditionally considered labor activists to be communists.”

So:
1. We were providing large amounts of aid to Guatemala
2. We knew they conducting assassination, kidnapping, and mass murder on a mass scale. Forty thousand people were disappeared, two hundred thousand were killed.
3. Obviously, we had nothing to do with any of it. Weren’t even in town on that day.

Posted in Latin America, Ronald Reagan | 2 Comments »

A Little Question

Posted by MEC on March 17, 2009

Though I don’t hold the Obama Administration responsible for AIG’s abuse of government funds, I don’t think much of the excuse that AIG just had to pay those bonuses because it had contracts with the executives and contracts are binding and inviolable.

The contracts the Detroit automakers have with unions aren’t being treated as binding and inviolable. They are, in fact, being treated as the root cause of the financial problems, just as the workers are being treated as solely responsible for their employer’s failure to make good long-term choices.

So what’s the difference between contracts with executives and contracts with hourly workers, besides the economic and social class of the respective employees?

It’s not just me. Glenn Greenwald is asking the same question.

Posted in bailout | 2 Comments »

A Little Reminder

Posted by MEC on March 17, 2009

A quick survey of the snooze media shows that President Obama is being blamed for millions of dollars in bonuses that AIG paid out. The “outrage” is causing “blowback” that will hurt him politically, maybe even bring down his Administration.

Apparently the people in this snooze media don’t remember it wasn’t the Obama Administration that handed out those millions. It was the Bush Administration. No strings attached.

Posted in bailout, beat the press | 3 Comments »

Your Press Corps Inaction

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 17, 2009

Mr. Gibbs is far nicer to these clowns than I would be:

Fascinating, how the sniveling jerk who tried to shame Gibbs for rightly calling out Cheney never once questioned Cheney’s shameful attacks on President Obama.

Posted in Dick Cheney, GOP/Media Complex, President Obama | 5 Comments »

 
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