News Items – 02.17.17

At least five killed and dozens wounded in Saudi-led [and US-backed] airstrike on Yemen funeral,” by The Guardian:

“Five women were killed and dozens of people were wounded in a Saudi-led airstrike on a funeral near Yemen’s rebel-held capital, according to Houthi insurgents and medical officials. … Earlier Wednesday, Doctors Without Borders warned of a worsening situation in the Yemeni city of Taiz, where hospitals have been repeatedly attacked and where some 200,000 people are facing shortages of food, water and medicine. Djoen Besselink, the head of the aid group’s Yemen mission, told reporters in Jordan that attacks on hospitals, ambulances and medical staff had severely limited the group’s activities in the city, which has been partially besieged by the Houthis since April 2015. Besselink, who visited Taiz last month, said he’s ‘never seen such destruction’ at the four hospitals his group supports. ‘There’s not a single room without bullet holes, the windows are gone, there’s no more equipment. It’s total failure,’ he said.”

For more on the US role in Saudi Arabia’s blood-drenched war in Yemen, without which Saudi Arabia literally wouldn’t even be able to get off the ground with, can be found here, here, and here. “2 Years Into Yemen War, US Ramps Up Refueling of Saudi Jets

Peter Dale Scott — Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California-Berkeley; former Canadian Foreign Service Officer to the United Nations and Poland; and former Canadian Social Sciences Research Council and Guggenheim Fellow:

Donald Trump and the Deep State, Part 1

Donald Trump and the Deep State, Part 2

This is today’s Democracy Now show.

Trump Wants to Steal Middle East Oil, and He’s Not Alone,” by Michael Klare — Five College Professor of Peace & World Security Studies at Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst:

“‘Take the oil’ isn’t just an applause line — it’s a policy that has been discussed in Washington for decades.”

Five Ways Donald Trump is Wrong About Islam,” by Stephen Walt — Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University.

Trump & Co.: The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown?,” by David Faris — chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Roosevelt University.

Washington Post: “Trump family’s elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense

This is extremely hypocritical considering how much faux concern Trump had for the expenses for Obama’s vacations.

Top Air Force Official Told JCS in 1971: ‘We Could Lose Two Hundred Million People [in a Nuclear War] and Still Have More Than We Had at the Time of the Civil War,’” by George Washington University’s National Security Archive:

“The Air Force chief of staff told the Joint Chiefs at a September 1971 meeting that in a nuclear war the United States “could lose two hundred million people and still have more than we had at the time of the Civil War.” The quote comes from a recently declassified and highly revealing diary entry by JCS Chairman Thomas Moorer, published today for the first time by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. The other chiefs did not challenge Gen. Thomas Ryan’s inaccurate numbers, seemingly choosing to ignore his comment altogether. The notes are not only an eye-opening acknowledgement of certain senior military attitudes about nuclear survivability in the early 1970s, but are part of a critically important discovery – the existence among Admiral Moorer’s files of at least a partial record of JCS meetings that were thought to have been lost after the Chiefs in the late 1970s destroyed their entire collection of minutes going back to 1947.”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “5 former US ambassadors to Israel say David Friedman unqualified

The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation,” by Andrew Cockburn at Harper’s Magazine.


These are satirical articles by Andy Borowitz at the New Yorker:

F.B.I. to Special-Order Pair of Tiny Handcuffs

DeVos Says Trump’s 40% Approval Rating Means More Than Half of Country Supports Him

German Intel Clears Russia on Interference,” by Ray McGovern — antiwar activist; 28-year CIA veteran, including as senior analyst in the Soviet Affairs Division, preparer of the President’s Daily Brief, chair of the National Intelligence Estimates (largest US intelligence estimate involving every agency), and recipient of the Intelligence Commendation Medal, which he returned in protest of CIA torture.

The New York Times, 1993: “C.I.A. Formed Haitian Unit Later Tied to Narcotics Trade

The Los Angeles Times, 1993: “CIA’s Aid Plan Would Have Undercut Aristide in ’87-’88, but Senate panel stymied agency’s effort to boost candidates, counter his call for vote boycott.

Juan Cole — Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan:

All of Putin’s/Trump’s Men

Trump plots to keep Palestinians Stateless forever

After Miller’s Mega-Lies, time to rev back up the Reality Based Community

Israel Legalizes Settlement Options as a Prelude to the Netanyahu Visit to Trumpland,” by Richard Falk — Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton University

There was an Internet of Things cyberattack on a university.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting: “WaPo’s Post Live Series Is a Love Letter to Corporate Conflicts of Interest

Here are some from The Intercept:

After Advancing Scott Pruitt Confirmation, Senator Heads Over to Energy Lobbyist Fundraiser

Trump Says Palestinian Statehood Isn’t Necessary for Peace. Netanyahu Calls Him the Greatest.

Trump Has the Power to Declassify Whatever He Wants — Including the Russian Intercepts

After Michael Flynn’s Resignation, Surveillance Defenders Suddenly Care About Wiretap Abuse

Note that Trump’s interests in detente with Russia are for business, not peace or security for everybody. However, that’s still better than deliberate/accidental nuclear war/disaster. “Why Trump Is Right on Russia,” by Anatol Lieven — professor of international politics at Georgetown University-Qatar.

MuckRock: “The NSA’s fear of psychic nukes: Agency wondered if ten psychics could cause a chain reaction that would cause a city to become lost in time and space

Analysis: Noncitizen Voting is Vanishingly Rare,” by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice:

“In one analysis of the first three years of a Justice Department initiative to uncover voter fraud ending in 2005, she found that there were only 14 convictions of noncitizens for voting. In another study, Minnite examined all complaints of voter misconduct received by the California and Oregon Secretaries of State for more than a decade. California received a total of 28 complaints of noncitizen voting, and Oregon, five. Out of that total, there were only four convictions. … Even if one accepts all of the allegations of noncitizen voting as true, noncitizens voters would have accounted for between .0002 percent and .017 percent of the votes in the relevant jurisdiction.


2010 survey of Minnesota county attorneys found that, in the 18 months following the 2008 election, only nine incidents of possible noncitizen voting had been investigated out of 2.9 million ballots cast. None of these nine incidents resulted in a conviction. New Mexico’s Secretary of State reviewed that state’s list of 1.2 million voters in 2011. The Secretary of State’s office only referred nine individuals to the Attorney General for investigation about their citizenship status. In a 2013 letter to the North Carolina General Assembly, the Executive Director of the Board of Elections detailed every case of potential voter fraud in the state from 2002 to 2012. In those years, the Board of Elections referred 58 cases of potential noncitizen voting to prosecutors for further investigation. Considering that 19.5 million votes were cast in that time and assuming every allegation were true, noncitizen votes would have amounted to .0003 percent of the total. In a check of the registration rolls in 2013 and 2015, Ohio Secretary of State’s concluded that 44 noncitizens voted in at least one election dating back to 2000. By way of reference, there were 3.26 million ballots cast in Ohio in 2015. “None of these affected the outcome of an election,” Ohio Secretary of State John Husted told The Columbus Dispatch.


After the 2016 election, The New York Times surveyed election and law enforcement officials in 49 states and the District of Columbia. They learned of two possibleinstances of noncitizens voting – out of 137.7 million voters nationwide. The Washington Post also did a survey after the 2016 election. They compiled reports from the Nexis database. In all, the Post found four demonstrated cases of any type of voter fraud, and no instances of noncitizens voting. News21, an investigative reporting project based at Arizona State University, reviewedall reported instances of voter fraud from 2000 to 2012. They found 56 cases of alleged noncitizen voting. Even assuming all of these allegations are true, and all of these noncitizens voted in 2016, it would total approximately .00004 percent of all ballots cast.

It All Connects: Adam Curtis and the Secret History of Everything,” by The New York Times

Look at the graph in this article by MuckRock on Trump’s Frankenstein-esque ability to resurrect the prison-industrial complex back from the dead.

Here are two documentaries:

HyperNormalization,” by Adam Curtis of the BBC

Anarchism in America” (1983)

teleSUR: “Sikh Temples Offer Shelter to Oroville Dam Evacuees

Here are interviews of Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept by Democracy Now:

Trump Is Asked About Rising Anti-Semitism in U.S., He Responds by Boasting About Election Victory

Glenn Greenwald: Trump Seems to Be Committed to Escalating Violence in Yemen

Glenn Greenwald: Trump Seems to Be Committed to Escalating Violence in Yemen

Glenn Greenwald on Flynn-Russia Leaks: Highly Illegal & Wholly Justified

Greenwald on Trump-Netanyahu Meeting & How Israel Is Turning into an Apartheid-Like State

Greenwald: Empowering the ‘Deep State’ to Undermine Trump is Prescription for Destroying Democracy

Greenwald: Democrats Seem to Consider Snowden’s & Manning’s Leaks Evil & Leaks Under Trump Heroic

Here are interviews of Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept by Democracy Now:

Jeremy Scahill: Trump CIA Deputy Director Pick Gina Haspel Ran Secret Torture Black Site

Yemen: Jeremy Scahill & Advocates Question ‘Success’ of Trump Raid That Killed 24 Civilians

Bureau of Investigative Journalism: “Fake news and false flags: How the Pentagon paid a British PR firm $500M for top secret Iraq propaganda

Loving America and Resisting Trump: The New Patriotism,” by Frida Berrigan — the daughter/niece of peace activists Philip Berrigan and Father Daniel Berrigan.

This is a great blogpost by Adam Curtis of the BBC about the Kurds and their varying anarchism of Bookchin and Ocalan.



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