Noam Chomsky: violence and dignity – reflections on the Middle East – video highlights
The Guardian – March 22, 2013
The academic and political theorist Noam Chomsky gave the Edward W Said lecture on 18 March at London’s Friends’ House. In these highlights from the lecture Chomsky discusses Iran’s relations with the west and democracy in the post-Arab-spring Islamic world…
US Betrayal of Truth – Interview with Whistleblower Thomas Drake
This is a very important and very chilling interview with NSA Senior Executive whistleblower Thomas Drake regarding the ominous implications of Sec. 21 of the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act signed by Barack Obama in 2012 – 'indefinite detention without trial']
CAAB supports Thomas Drake and is in solidarity with him in his brave stance in exposing what is happening to civil liberties and more in the US.
Senate Committee Hears from CIA Director Nominee
C-SPAN.org – February 7, 2013
The President’s choice to be the new CIA Director, John Brennan, goes before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday for his confirmation hearing. If approved, Brennan will replace Acting Director Michael Morell.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) stopped the hearing about 20 minutes in to clear the room after several outbursts from protesters seemed likely to delay the hearing. Members of the public wishing to return to the hearing had to be screened by Capitol Police.
Several Committee members ask Brennan “tough questions,” including questions on the use of American drones overseas and the administration’s decision-making process for kill or capture missions. He also fields inquiries about the agency’s budget, and about intelligence leaks in the administration.
Following this hearing, a second, classified hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. …
Cory Booker says U.S. military spending is greater than the next 10-12 countries combined
PolitiFact New Jersey – February 1, 2013
The United States must have a prepared military, but it’s not unpatriotic to say the country is spending too much money on its defense, according to Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
How much money? It’s more than the military spending of up to the next 12 countries combined, the Democratic mayor said.
Booker made that point on the Feb. 1 episode of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” during a panel discussion about the recent Senate hearing on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be U.S. Defense Secretary.
“The reality is we have to make sure that we have a military that’s prepared, but right now, we have more military spending than the next 10, 11, 12 countries combined, and we’ve got to start realizing that we can secure and protect ourselves, but also be responsible in the way that we do that,” Booker said.
“And it’s not unpatriotic to say that we’re spending too much money,” the mayor added. “In fact, to me, that’s the patriotic thing to say.”
Decision overturns 1994 policy preventing women from serving in small frontline combat units.
Aljazeera.com – January 24, 2013
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat, a move that could open thousands of frontline warfighting jobs to female service members …
The decision would give the individual military services until 2016 to seek an exemption if they believe any jobs should remain closed to women, a defence official said.
The move was welcomed by US Senator Carl Levin, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who said it reflected the “reality of 21st century military operations,” and by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a suit in November seeking to force the Pentagon to end the ban. …
The Tragic Return Home of a Guantánamo Bay Detainee
AlHittin.com – By Laura Poitras – January 17,2013
When President Obama pledged to close the Guantánamo Bay prison on his first day in office as president in 2009, I believed the country had shifted direction. I was wrong. Four years later, President Obama has not only institutionalized Guantánamo and all the horrors it symbolizes, but he has initiated new extrajudicial programs, like the president’s secret kill list. …
Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif recently died in solitary confinement at Guantánamo at age 36, after nearly 11 years of imprisonment there, despite never having been charged with a crime. Last month his body was returned to his family in Yemen, but we are left with many unanswered questions about his imprisonment and death.
Mr. Latif’s death is under investigation by the United States military, which claims he committed suicide from an overdose of prescription medication complicated by acute pneumonia. But that’s hard to take at face value. Why was he placed in solitary confinement when he was suffering from acute pneumonia? How could he have overdosed on medication, given the strict protocols at Guantánamo? Why did it take three months for the body to be returned to Yemen? And finally, why are his autopsy and toxicology report classified and being withheld from his family?
These questions are not just about Adnan Latif. They also address the injustices that our government has instituted and normalized in the war on terror.
We have just marked the 11th year of the continuing illegal, torturing and abusing US base at Guatanamo. This film is shocking and we ask that you send it round as widely as possible – also please come to the weekly Tuesday pm demonstration (6-8 pm) outside the main entrance to NSA Menwith Hill. And just to make the point we recall that Barack Obama is a Nobel peace prize winner…
The U.S. Empire of bases abroad, over one thousand!
The Pentagon estimates that each year it spends $22.1 billion to maintain its bases and troops around the world. However, the actual costs even on conservative estimates is about $170 billion annually.
The totals could be even higher. Estimates of maintaining US bases abroad since the start of the war on terror in 2001 range from $1.8 trillion to $2.1 trillion. ….
There are about 1 million US military and Defense Department personnel and families abroad. …
The number of bases is difficult to determine exactly and depends on what is defined as a base. But the total of foreign bases likely is in excess of 1,000. The US has by far the largest military expeditures of any country on the globe. Some of the details of the military budget can be found here …