Those who hoped that the change promised by candidate Barack Obama would include repeal of the various acts that have stripped Americans of their constitutional rights should be disappointed. Benjamin Franklin supposedly wrote, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." The citation is likely apocryphal, at least in terms of its attribution to Franklin, but it is useful shorthand for the unfortunate abandonment of many of the liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution as a consequence of 9/11. The trauma of 9/11 created an opportunity for those seeking to centralize executive power, an objective of recent presidents from both political parties. Many Americans initially accepted that there had to be some abridgment of fundamental liberties while fighting a multi-faceted and unconventional war against terrorism, but few realize just how much the constitutional rights that all citizens take for granted have been eroded. History also teaches us that once a right is suspended, in all likelihood it is gone forever.
So Israel will continue expanding its settlements in the West Bank. In fact, the Israeli press is reporting that Netanyahu and Lieberman agreed in their negotiations to form a government that Israel would build 3,000 housing units in an area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim (a huge settlement bloc) known as E-1. Once that is accomplished, Israel will have effectively cut the West Bank in half, making it almost impossible to create a viable Palestinian state. This deal was supposed to be secret, because the United States is opposed to Israel building in the E-1 area.
Medical officers who oversaw interrogations of terrorism suspects in CIA secret prisons committed gross violations of medical ethics and in some cases essentially participated in torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a confidential report that labeled the CIA program "inhuman."
The Justice Department improperly withheld important psychiatric records of a government witness who was used in a "significant" number of Guantanamo cases, a federal judge has concluded.
The government censored parts of the records, but enough has been made public that it's clear that the witness, a fellow detainee, was being treated weekly for a serious psychological problem.
Rubin, Summers and Greenspan succeeded in inducing Congress -- funded, of course, by these same financial firms -- to enact legislation blocking the CFTC from regulating these derivative markets. More amazingly still, the CFTC, headed back then by Born, is now headed by Obama appointee Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive (naturally) who was as instrumental as anyone in blocking any regulations of those derivative markets (and then enriched himself by feeding on those unregulated markets).
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in November chose not to pursue tough negotiations with large foreign and domestic banks and instead allowed them to receive 100 cents on the dollar in government funds to settle tens of billions of dollars of exotic financial bets guaranteed by American International Group.
At the time, Timothy Geithner, now Treasury Secretary, headed the powerful New York Fed.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh says $2 billion that flowed from Britain to bank accounts controlled by the Saudi ambassador in the U.S. were sent as part of a secret arms deal between the British and the Saudis that, among other things, made it easier for the Saudis to evade American weapons-sales restrictions.
TVNL Comment: Do some research into Freeh's conduct and actions prior to the events of 9/11. It's all connected.
Just a few days after ruling to force Palestinian homeowner Darwish Hijazi off his land to allow Israeli expansion in his home and property, the Israeli high court has issued a ruling on the cases of two more families who challenged the Israeli demolition orders placed on their homes.
The demolition orders are part of a larger Israeli settlement plan, which the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem and the city planners have called the 'E1 Plan’, to tear down thousands of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to make way for Disney-like theme parks based on biblical themes.
"Israel does not take orders from [Barack] Obama," Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said on Monday, responding to an earlier statement by the US president in which he reaffirmed his administration's commitment to all previous understandings between Israel and the Palestinians, including the process launched at Annapolis, Maryland, in 2007.
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