Pope Thanks CIA War Criminal

Pope Thanks CIA War Criminal  Panetta said the Pope said to him, “Thank you for helping to protect the world.” [He]said he replied, “Pray for me.” Fellow Catholics, can only hope that the Pope said something else that Panetta was reluctant to mention to US foreign policy promoting reporters. One paragraph re Panetta’s crimes, Reagan’s Assist. Sec of Treasury quoted, and the usual plea for a responsible public to call for prosecution of illegal war.Panetta, at Vatican, Says Pope Thanks Him for Service, NY Times, 1/16/13, by Elizabeth Bumiller,

"ROME — Leon E. Panetta had an audience on Wednesday morning at the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI, who told him, Mr. Panetta said, “Thank you for helping to protect the world.” Mr. Panetta said he replied, “Pray for me.”
Mr. Panetta, ... who attends Mass every Sunday, is halfway through a week-long trip to Europe meant as a goodbye tour of American allies"

Zero Dark Thirty. The movie.

Have you seen Zero Dark Thirty? The movie, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, has received rave reviews — it's going to be an Oscar contender — and if you enjoy a thriller, you should see it.

But as you watch, you should know that the movie has generated controversy because it leaves a mistaken impression: that the CIA's torture of prisoners "worked" by providing information that led to bin Laden. Some will use the movie to argue that the CIA's torture program was justified.

Of course, as I can tell you, movies are entertainment, not fact. And especially on an issue as important as torture, we shouldn't mistake fiction for fact.

The fact is that torture did not lead to bin Laden. The Senate Intelligence Committee spent four years investigating the CIA's torture program and according to three of its leaders, Senators Diane Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain, who know the facts, the torture program didn't lead to bin Laden.

These senators said, "The use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America's values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged. It remains a stain on our national conscience."

The problem is that the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings — in a 6,000-page factual report — have been adopted by the Committee, but not released. They are sitting in a Congressional vault and with the CIA.

As a concerned American who wants to make sure our nation never takes the wrong path again, I believe it is essential that we all have the truth. Because when it comes to torture, the national conversation should be based on the facts — and not what makes the most the exciting story.

Imperial Warrior Kerry at State

Imperial Warrior Kerry at StateHillary Clinton will leave State. She'll further her 2016 presidential ambitions. She wants to succeed Obama. 

She hopes to become America's first woman president. If successful, she'll likely exceed his worst policies. He did what supporters thought impossible. He outdid George Bush. Imagine what's ahead in term two.

Kerry was chosen to further America's imperium. He supports global wars. He'll differ from Clinton only in style and tone. Longstanding policies won't change.

America seeks unchallenged global dominance. War is the bottom line option when other methods fail. 

In November 1984, Kerry became junior Massachusetts senator. He succeeded Paul Tsongas. He stepped down for health reasons. 

In 1992, his Democrat presidential nomination efforts failed. In January 1997, he succumbed to pneumonia and liver failure complications from cancer. 

Obama hypocrisy: do Arabs cry for their children too? - By Tom McNamara, Counterpunch, 18 December 2012

Obama hypocrisy: do Arabs cry for their children too?
19 December 2012     Tom McNamara     USA and the War on Terror
American policy and actions in the Arab world, has resulted in the deaths (i.e. murder) of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent children.

By Tom McNamara
18 December 2012

ONE MORE TRAGEDY befalls America. But this time the tragedy is even more bitter due to the fact that such a large number of young children were involved.

A gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them children – all between the ages of 5 and 10 – at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on the 14th of December. The attack ended with the gunman committing suicide. It was the Nation’s second deadliest school shooting.

Most people can’t imagine the evil and insanity needed to drive a person to commit such a heinous act. The murder of innocent people is reprehensible, but it is even more so when carried out on the most vulnerable elements of our society, children.

Most disturbing of all is the well planned, deliberate and determined manner in which the murders appear to have been carried out. Early reports state that the gunman was highly accurate, leaving only one wounded survivor alive at the school.

President Obama, reading a prepared statement, was overcome with emotion. “Our hearts are broken,” he said. The victims were “beautiful little kids. They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” It was at this moment that the President reached up to the corner of one eye, touching an apparent tear.

De-humanizing Muslims and indifference to child victims of Barack Obama's militarism

De-humanizing Muslims and indifference to child victims of Barack Obama's militarism

The Guardian 19 December 2012 Glenn Greenwald USA and the War on Terror

For the children continuously killed in the Muslim world huge numbers of people, particularly in the countries responsible, remain completely untouched by the grief that is caused.

Over the last several days, numerous commentators have lamented the vastly different reactions in the US to the heinous shooting of children in Newtown, Connecticut as compared to the continuous killing of (far more) children and innocent adults by the US government in Pakistan and Yemen, among other places. The blogger Atrios this week succinctly observed:

"I do wish more people who manage to fully comprehend the broad trauma a mass shooting can have on our country would consider the consequences of a decade of war."

My Guardian colleague George Monbiot has a powerful and eloquent column this week provocatively entitled: "In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats". He points out all the ways that Obama has made lethal US attacks in these predominantly Muslim countries not only more frequent but also more indiscriminate - "signature strikes" and "double-tap" attacks on rescuers and funerals - and then argues:

"Most of the world's media, which has rightly commemorated the children of Newtown, either ignores Obama's murders or accepts the official version that all those killed are 'militants'. The children of north-west Pakistan, it seems, are not like our children. They have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and flowers and teddy bears. They belong to the other: to the non-human world of bugs and grass and tissue.

The Woes of an American Drone Operator By Nicola Abé - Gilles Mingasson/ DER SPIEGEL

The Woes of an American Drone Operator

By Nicola Abé

Gilles Mingasson/ DER SPIEGEL
A soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States Air Force in New Mexico. He kills dozens of people. But then, one day, he realizes that he can't do it anymore.

For more than five years, Brandon Bryant worked in an oblong, windowless container about the size of a trailer, where the air-conditioning was kept at 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for security reasons, the door couldn't be opened. Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world.

The container is filled with the humming of computers. It's the brain of a drone, known as a cockpit in Air Force parlance. But the pilots in the container aren't flying through the air. They're just sitting at the controls.

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