I like to acknowledge when the members of the Congressional Black Caucus are up to something good as opposed to well, self-serving. Jane Hamsher over at FireDogLake gives a solid shout-out to Rep. Barbara Lee’s efforts to take the strong stand on Iraq that the Democratic party leadership seems challenged to erect.

The tension between the Congressional Business Caucus and the CBC Progressives may continue though on Iraq and the need to re-define our national security strategy, the CBC appears more united.

Rep. Barbara Lee is leading a group of 78 Members of the House of Representatives in telling the President that the only funding for the war they are planning to vote for will be funding that protects the troops and fully redeploys them in 2008. I am proud to say that by my count (please correct me if I am wrong) 33 out of the 78 signers to the letter are members of the CBC. Rep. Lee wants to get to 100 signers which would be almost a fourth of the House itself.

Only a handful of black legislators have NOT signed the letter. Will someone in their family please call and ask them what their problem is? I urge the following lawmakers to get on the bandwagon now and help bring Peanut, Junebug, Lil Man and my cousin Rupert home.

The List of Shame:

Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Jim Clyburn (D-SC)
Al Green (D-TX)
Stephanie Tubbs Johnson (D-OH)
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI) and the Chair of the CBC — Shame!
Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and the CBC Foundation Chair
and of course, an extra mention medal of valor for William J Jefferson (D-LA)

Please email your Member of Congress, especially if you live in one of those states.
I was glad to see some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on board although not in the near universal numbers seen among the CBC. I also hope that co-signers and CHC leaders Reps. Raul Grijalva and Grace Napolitano can help recruit more of their fellow CHC members to help get the count to 100 by the end of Sept. This war impacts Latinos in America disproportionately almost as much as blacks so their support for redeployment to a place where troops are really needed (as opposed to the crossfire of civil war) like Afghanistan/Pakistan would be appreciated. I mean, even Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is co-signing!

Here’s an excerpt from the letter.

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to inform you that we will only support appropriating additional funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office.

More than 3,600 of our brave soldiers have died in Iraq. More than 26,000 have been seriously wounded. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or injured in the hostilities and more than 4 million have been displaced from their homes. Furthermore, this conflict has degenerated into a sectarian civil war and U.S. taxpayers have paid more than $500 billion, despite assurances that you and your key advisors gave our nation at the time you ordered the invasion in March, 2003 that this military intervention would cost far less and be paid from Iraqi oil revenues.

We agree with a clear and growing majority of the American people who are opposed to continued, open-ended U.S. military operations in Iraq, and believe it is unwise and unacceptable for you to continue to unilaterally impose these staggering costs and the soaring debt on Americans currently and for generations to come.

h/t to SuperSpade — A Louisiana judge has overturned Mychal Bell’s conviction saying the case should have been brought in juvenile court. At the time of the incident in Dec 2006, Mychal was only 16.

This case is important because it shows a growing willingness among blacks to challenge a legal system often biased and skewed against us. Comfortable integration and new affluence have yet to remove the affliction felt by each and every African-American of a system — intended to protect all Americans — that is statistically stacked against us. It’s one of the issues in the black community that crosses all socio-economic lines. Ask a black friend to tell you about the time they or a relative were harassed by the police. Chances are, he or she will have a story to tell you that will grit your teeth.

The legal lynching of these young men is being stopped (hopefully) through the efforts of ordinary people like you and me who are willing to say no to racial profiling and legal lynching for political, vengeful or fear-inducing purposes.

Over at YourBlackWorld.com….

There is a petition to disbar the DA, Reed Walters.

Remember:

LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters, flanked by the police, informed the black students at an assembly later that day that he could end their lives “with the stroke of a pen.”

If Mike Nifong can go down for what he did with the Duke Lacrosse team, surely Mr. Walters can be held accountable for his actions in this sham.

FREE THE JENA SIX!

Was listening to Tavis Smiley this morning on the Tom Joyner show, and his commentary was about how:
1. Rudy Giuliani
2. Mitt Romney
3. John McCain

have ALL sent their ‘ regrets’ about Tavis’ All-American Presidential Forum. I wrote a post on Sunday about the GOP snubbing Univision, and McCain was still in. Now, he’s dropped out too.

This is not an isolated incident. In forum upon forum, the GOP has come up missing when it comes to speaking and presenting in front of Black audiences. ONLY TOM TANCREDO has bothered to present himself to a Black Audience, where he was received well.

Tavis did a ‘Shout out’ to his fellow Black Republicans, asking them why they were so silent on this matter. They keep on yapping that the GOP is a valid alternative for Black America, yet, when a nationally televised forum is put together so that GOP Candidates can present what they believe are GOP answers to concerns of the Black community, three of their Major Candidates don’t even bother to respect Black Americans with their presence.

Why aren’t these Black Republicans CHALLENGING their own frontrunners to appear in front of a Black audience?

I will give Maryland Senatorial Candidate Michael Steele credit. In an interview this week, Steele said that the GOP should be at Tavis’ forum, and that they need to either ‘ put up or shut up’ about being serious about presenting a platform to the Black community.

But, I haven’t heard from any more prominent Black Republicans or Conservative Bloggers…their silence is deafening. And, until they speak up and out about this, they should just keep quiet about the GOP actually being a ‘ choice’ for Black folk. But, as with so much else with the GOP, Black Republicans will find some sort of mental gymnastics to excuse this away.

Related Article:

GOP Candidates Snub Univision

Reading an article in the paper about the Mattel CEO, Robert Eckert, on his testimony before Congress, and in the middle, it hit me:

Where is the RESPONSIBILITY of the American CEO?

One of the men over in China kills himself in ‘shame’, and Mr. Eckert has overseen the flooding of the American toy market, with dangerous toys, to our children.

Mattel has recalled TWENTY ONE MILLION TOYS.

TWENTY ONE MILLION DEFECTIVE TOYS.

And, the best he can do is a ‘ My bad, we’re going to do better’?’

Why does he have a job after selling our children poisonous toys?

I don’t have any children, but I don’t think you need to in order to grasp that this man shouldn’t be employed by Mattel anymore.

Just wondering.

As a good member of the black middle class, I found myself attending the opening night of a theatrical production of “My Children, My Africa!” by Athol Fugard. Though Fugard is a white South African, he was against apartheid before it was cool. This is one of his classic plays.

It’s remarkable now to think how controversial and confrontational this work was at the time it was performed when now it’s part of a growing canon of establised theater.

It struck me because black bloggers are too engaging in a struggle that involves confrontation at times with those who look a lot like us. There’s a disagreement at a critical time and a palpable disappointment in our (self or media) appointed leaders.

Still you may, like me, wonder: what does it all add up to — all of these words? Does it make a difference? Is anyone listening?

As I sipped a mango mojito and nibbled veined cheese at the reception and after congratulating the actors on their mastery of South African dialect, I resolved to share these words with you. I found they gave me a little more strength for the struggle ahead. How about you?

If the struggle needs weapons give it words Thami. Stones and petrol bombs can’t get inside those armored cars. Words can. They can do something even more devastating than that…they can get inside the heads of those inside the armored cars. I speak to you like this because if I have faith in anything, it is faith in the power of the word. Like my master, the great Confucius, I believe that, using only words, a man can right a wrong and judge and execute the wrongdoer. You are meant to use words like that.

When I think of 9/11, I initially think of a birth, my own, then a death, that of South African freedom fighter Steve Biko, who was murdered by police on the 11th of September 1977. Some of you may remember his name from the movie, Cry Freedom, made based on his story.

A clip from the movie of a memorial celebrating Biko:



My mother raised me with her own Pan-Afrikan educational bent, and I’ve been thinking about her as well, since I recently lost a massive amount of data on a hard drive that included conversations with her (please backup your precious memories, people).

Today, the UK paper, The Independent, has done a lengthy article on Biko that’s worth reading. It covers the circumstances of his death, his political beliefs, the pop-culturalization of his image a la Che Guevara and the impact he might have in South Africa today were he alive to criticize the ANC-led government.

Excerpt from the article:

To an ANC government vulnerable to left-wing accusations that it has pursued rigidly orthodox capitalist economic policies that have not done enough for the masses, it is not an entirely comforting thought.

There is disenchantment among young South Africans, who see the country’s leaders embroiled in scandal and a new black elite growing richer while most blacks find it harder and harder to keep up with inflation.

As we combat our own disconnected leadership in a country attempting racial reconciliation, and as we are engaged in an occupation of another nation, no one better embodies the idea of “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” as does Steve Biko.

(cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK)

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Remembering 9/11

11 Sep 2007

Everyone has their story about where they were that day. Everyone can remember being gripped by the television.

What I remember is how I knew that the internet had changed so much in our lives. I wasn’t near a television that day until evening. All of my information that day came from the internet. The pictures I saw, the stories. I was able to relay the info to the rest of my colleagues.

But, also how the internet was the place where we were able to try and connect with those that we knew were in NYC and Washington, D.C. Through Emails, IM’s, and Posts on Message Boards that we frequent, more often than not, we were alerted to the safety of our online community, before we could talk to them on the telephone.

The missteps, one after another, that have happened for this country since 9/11 is what upsets me more.

Shredding the Constitution?
Giving away civil liberties and privacy?
Involving ourselves in torture and secret prisons?
Pissing away our reputation around the world?
Involving ourselves in a quagmire known as Iraq?

No, it hasn’t made us safer. Not in the least.

Don’t dare question my patriotism, because I’m not a mind-numbed, war monger. For all my criticisms, this IS my country, and I’m not going anywhere. Which is why I want it to be the best that it possibly can be, and that simply hasn’t happened since September 11, 2001.

Hat tip:Prometheus 6

FBI enters case of ghastly abuse


Video: FBI enters case of ghastly abuse
by From staff, wire reports

Police are looking for two more people in the torture, beating and sexual assault of a Charleston woman, and the Logan County prosecutor said he believes the woman first met one of her abductors over the Internet.

The two people being sought by police are believed to have picked up 23-year-old Megan Williams from Charleston and transported her to Big Creek, where she was held captive in a home for at least a week.

Police have arrested six people already. The FBI has entered the case because it is a possible federal hate crime, authorities said.

The victim is black and the alleged assailants are white.

Prosecutor Brian Abraham said he heard from one of the arresting officers that Williams met a Logan County man on an Internet site.

Abraham could not verify whether that person was already in custody or one of the suspects still sought by police.

“I think she may have met an individual on the Internet and he agreed to pick her up in Kanawha County and take her to Logan County,” Abraham said. “That individual may have befriended her and at some point turned her over to these people.”

Abraham, who has served eight years as prosecutor, said he has never witnessed or imagined a case of this proportion.

“We’re up to our eyeballs in murder cases in Logan County, but nothing quite like this,” he said. “We have typical homicides motivated by jealously, passion and theft. This seems like outright malice. It’s something you’d see in a horror movie.”

Magistrate Leonard Codispoti told The Logan Banner, “It was the worst case of human abuse I have seen since I have been a magistrate.

“Something like this is so horrifying it makes you want to puke. They got this girl out of Charleston and took her to Big Creek, threw her in a shack, raped and stabbed her, put a rope around her neck, made her eat animal feces and did other horrifying things to her.”

It’s not over. Seems as if there are two more ‘ alleged’ suspects still wandering out there. This poor woman. Seems like it’s Open Season on Black folk, doesn’t it? Reminds me of that famous Vernon Johns sermon.

Now, if it walks like a hate crime, talks like a hate crime, smells like a hate crime….what is it – oatmeal? They just didn’t ‘happen’ upon this victim, they searched her out, which, for me, is the pure definition of a hate crime.

In the aftermath of the David Vitter scandal, in which the Louisiana Senator was revealed to be on the list of customers for the infamous “DC Madam,” Tucker Carlson was all righteous indignation. Despite Craig’s record of attempting to legislate other people’s sex lives, the media had no right to be delving into his. In defending Vitter, Tucker even compared seeing a prostitute to “double parking”, and claimed the media was “ruining” Vitter’s life by publicizing the news that he was on the DC Madam’s list of customers. (Press is radio host Bill Press) From the July 14th Tucker:

CARLSON: You know what`s even more ridiculous, it`s not really the Democrats who are doing it; it`s the press. It`s us. It`s the media. After humiliating David Vitter, putting his wife`s picture on television, as many of us have, which is almost indefensible in my opinion, because she did not do anything — the guys has four kids. We have helped destroy his life. We publicized this thing he did.

Now we in the press are attacking him for not showing his face in public.

PRESS: Wait a minute, this guy lied for years about this, OK.

CARLSON: Lied about going to hookers. Is he supposed to tell the truth? What are you talking about?

PRESS: He lied about going to a hooker. By the way, may I point something out? This is against the law. This is a felony. The question is not is he going to resign, the real question is; is he ever going to be charged with breaking the law. By the way, prostitution is against the law even in New Orleans and even in Washington, D.C.

CARLSON: It`s against the law in the sense that double parking is against the law.

PRESS: Tucker, you ask the vice squad about that. They`re a little more serious.

CARLSON: In New Orleans?

PRESS: I think it ought to be legal.

CARLSON: Have you ever been to a restaurant in New Orleans? One out of three women is for sale. I mean, come on–


Well, I’ve been to New Orleans. But I guess I’ve never been to one of those “restaurants” Tucker normally goes to.

Tucker’s tirade against the media for delving into Vitter’s “private life” continued for days. From the July 17th Tucker:

DICK ARMEY, FREEDOMWORKS.ORG: If there is a question of whether or not he has broken the law, there is a due process. My guess is, from what I understand, there would be statute of limitations issues as well in this case. The thing is, you have to understand that David Vitter is in a difficult situation because a very large part of his voting constituency, those people who voted for him enthusiastically in the past, are evangelical Christians who have very little tolerance for this sort of thing.

And then a very large part of the opposition is the militant Democrat party that opposes him. They are going to seize on the opportunity to vilify him. My guess is, if you check the voting record of the editors that wrote the editorial that are so dang sanctimonious about this, they are one, very aggressive liberals, and two, the same editors that a few years ago were making all kind of excuses about why we ought to stay out of the private business of President Clinton.

CARLSON: Yes, and I bet they got some pretty far out bedroom habits. I mean, look, they are in the press. Alexandra, you have been in the press your whole life. You tell me, as you sit and watch people in the press wag their fingers at David Vitter and say, you hypocrite, you sinner, how disgusting; can you believe it? Can you believe the gall of journalists mocking another person`s sex life, of all groups, journalist, famously creepy in the sack? It`s pretty overwhelming, don`t you think?

Can you believe the gall of journalists “mocking” other people’s sex lives?

Last week Tucker misread a statement from Michelle Obama to suggest that she and her husband were “not sleeping in the same bed.” After the Obama campaign called to take issue with his statement, he suggested that the Obamas should come on his show and discuss their sex life.

On the September 6 edition of MSNBC’s Tucker, host Tucker Carlson quoted Michelle Obama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), from a recent interview with Glamour as saying of her husband and children: “We have this ritual in the morning. They come in my bed, and Dad isn’t there — because he’s too snore-y and stinky, they don’t want to ever get into bed with him.” Glamour left out a key word from Michelle Obama’s quote; she had said, “They come in my bed, and if Dad isn’t there …” — the addition of “if” turning her remark into a conditional statement that her children come into bed “if Dad isn’t there.” But Carlson went beyond Glamour’s original error, asserting, based solely on the inaccurate quote, that “the Obamas do not sleep in the same bed, Mrs. Obama is saying.” Later in the program, Carlson reported that he “just received a call from the Obama campaign taking issue” with his claim that Michelle Obama said “the Obamas do not sleep in the same bed.” Carlson claimed to “know nothing about the Obama’s bedroom habits beyond what Michelle Obama has told the rest of us,” and reread the excerpt from the interview adding: “I don’t know anything she hasn’t told me. So if there’s more they want to tell us about their bedroom habits, this is the show to tell us on.”

Tucker, who described the media covering the possibility that a Senator who campaigned on his willingness to legislate the sex lives of others was frequenting prostitutes as “galling,” “creepy,” and “overwhelming” suddenly lost his sense of outrage when it was time to speculate about the sex life of a Democratic presidential candidate, despite having to invent a reason to do so.

I won’t speculate on the reasons for Tucker’s odd desire to fabricate marital problems among the Obamas, but if he’s going to tell journalists how to cover politics he might want to at least follow his own advice.

Transcripts via Lexis-Nexis.

From Politico.com

GOP candidates snub Univision
By: Gebe Martinez Sep 9, 2007 08:40 AM EST

When Fox News and other English-language television networks extended presidential debate invitations earlier this year, Republican and Democratic primary candidates
asked for the details.

But when Univision–the Spanish-language network with the top-rated local newscast in 16 media markets–scheduled an historic GOP debate on Latino issues for Sept. 16 in Miami, a week after a similar forum for Democrats, only
Arizona Sen. John McCain accepted.

What’s worse, in the eyes of national Hispanic leaders and progressives who are keeping count, this is the third time in recent months that Republican presidential candidates have dissed the fastest-growing part of the electorate by passing up chances to address Latinos’ concerns about the Iraq war, health care, the economy and immigration.

The major Republican candidates also refused invitations to address NCLR, the National Council of La Raza, at its annual conference in July. In June, the only Republican to show up at the convention of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials was California Rep. Duncan Hunter, the patron of the border fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Republicans’ slight of Hispanics “is very unusual,” said Cecilia Munoz, vice president of NCLR, who noted that President Bush spoke to the group when he was a candidate in 2000.

“It’s not just that they are not coming. It’s that some of them are visibly insulting us,” Munoz said, noting the party’s vitriolic message against legal and illegal immigrants in the presidential campaign and also on Capitol Hill, where Republicans are trying to introduce anti-immigrant language into unrelated measures.

“It’s very hard to imagine how some of these candidates are going to turn around and ask us for our vote” when the eventual GOP nominee is facing the Democrat in the general election, Munoz said. “It’s tremendously distressing and it’s not just immigrants who are feeling this disrespect,” she added.

All three forums were staged in Florida, a huge 2008 election battleground where the usually reliable Republican vote among Cuban-Americans is beginning to diminish. as younger Cuban-Americans are breaking from their parents’ political loyalties to the GOP, and the number of non-Cuban Hispanics is increasing.

While Univision scrapped the Sept. 16 debate after only McCain accepted, there is still faint optimism inside the network that other Republicans will eventually agree to attend at a later date.

A network spokeswoman noted that Republicans also hesitated in signing up for the unconventional CNN/YouTube debate, which now has been rescheduled for late November.

But many others doubt the major Republican candidates other than McCain will find time in their schedules for the Spanish-language network that reaches 80 percent of Hispanics nationwide. The University of Miami is co-sponsor of the debate.

The Romney and Giuliani campaigns did not respond to inquiries about their participation.Perhaps Republicans wondered –as did Democrats–how their words would be translated for a Spanish-speaking audience.

Democrats knew that two in their field–New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd–are proficient in Spanish, and did not want them to have an advantage. Imagine a candidate having to ask: “Como se dice comprehensive immigration reform?”

Debate organizers settled on a format for the Democratic forum Sunday night that requires candidates to answer in English. (The questions will be asked in Spanish and interpreted into English. The candidates’ responses will be in English and interpreted into Spanish for the television audience.)

Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a progressive group that helped bring together the Univision debates, said that by staying away, “Republicans really are writing off an enormous part of America in the 21st century. It’s not a good strategy from a policy or political standpoint.”

Republican and Democratic strategists agree that in order to win the White House, the presidential candidate must receive at least 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Hispanics are expected to make up 10 percent of the total vote in 2008.

GOP candidates seem to be following the conclusion of its conservative base that the party cannot win over the Hispanic vote, Rosenberg said. “I think we will look back on this time and it will be seen as one of the greatest strategic blunders in American history,” he added.

Well, I don’t know why the Hispanics are so surprised. They might be, but I’m not. Any group that are whining about a Youtube debate, certainly can’t come forth and defend their positions to an audience that might actually ask serious questions.

It’s September 9, 2007. Tavis Smiley is supposed to have his All-American Presidential Forum at Morgan State on September 27th. Now, WHO hasn’t accepted?

Ah yes, Rudy and Flipping Mitt. Even Fred Thompson has accepted. Of course, the entire thing is suspect to me because Tavis didn’t even ask for questions from the public from this one. What are they afraid of, hmmmmmm?

Do you know, that with all the opportunities to speak in front of Black audiences, the only one who accepted was Tancredo? How pathetic is that?

So, Univision shouldn’t be too surprised, that’s all.

Under one of the most bizarre stories written to date about Barack Obama:

Son of presidents, thieves and tribal chiefs


Son of presidents, thieves and tribal chiefs
In a five-page special report, Sun-Times Political Editor Scott Fornek reveals Barack Obama’s remarkably far-flung family tree

September 9, 2007
BY SCOTT FORNEK sfornek@suntimes.com

One of his ancestors accused a fellow New England colonist of witchcraft and later stole from the governor’s house.

Another had two brothers killed by American Indians, who scalped one brother and kidnapped the other’s daughter.

White House hopeful Barack Obama already has presidential timber in his family tree: He is distantly related to three U.S. presidents.

Still another ancestor was said to have been slain by pirates. Yet another lost a son in the Civil War to pro-slavery bushwackers who torched the man’s home and threw burning coals on his infant daughter.

And, four centuries ago, his great- great-great-great-great-great- great-great-grandfather was a respected warrior and leader in eastern Africa.

It would take an orchard to contain all of Sen. Barack Obama’s diverse ancestral branches.

Obama — who has seven half-brothers and half-sisters spread across more than 10,000 miles — has ancestors who were born in Kenya, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands, the Sun-Times found in an exhaustive look at the South Side Democratic presidential hopeful’s family history.

Obama’s heritage is a key part of his public persona. He explored his ancestry in his memoir, Dreams From My Father, asking: “What is a family? Is it just a genetic chain, parents and offspring, people like me?”

And when he introduced himself to the nation in his 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote speech, Obama said he was “grateful for the diversity of my heritage.”

“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth is my story even possible,” he told a packed convention hall in Boston.

Our research began with Obama’s own writings and genealogical work already done by William Addams Reitwiesner and other researchers. Then, we pored over documents on Ancestry.com and from other sources and interviewed descendants, historians and genealogists.

Like many Americans with deep roots in this country, Obama has ancestors who were slave owners. But unlike many African Americans, he is not known to have any who were slaves.

Rest at link above.

Isn’t it interesting how they hop, skip, and jump over the slave OWNING ancestry?

But, I gotta ask….

Why only the BLACK candidate getting this kind of treatment?

Now, I’m just asking…

But, um, how come, they’re ONLY doing this with him?

Am I missing something?

How come only with the Black candidate?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……………………….


Seriously, I don’t even know why we are still debating the need to pull out from Iraq and focus on areas of real concern. Why is it that people are still fact-challenged about this? Bush has proven time and again that he is either a liar or badly mis-informed. Why would any sane, reasonable person believe him now after so many lies about who actually attacked us on 9/11, the WMDs, Katrina relief and recovery just to name a few off the top of my head.

Devilstower does an outstanding job setting everyone straight and really, I challenge the MSM to step up and contrast — as they did so well during and after Katrina — the Administration’s statements versus real facts on the ground and let people decide for themselves.

Damn reality and it’s “get our service men and women the hell out of your massive screw up” bias! Not only has every single month of this year has seen an increase in US casualties, the last three months — the months when the “surge” has been at full strength — have been the worst summer ever since the war began, with every single month topping the charts.

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden is apparently getting a beard makeover and is all set to humiliate Americans by threatening us in a shiny new video for Sept 11. And the Taliban has become powerful enough that one of their recent terrorist actions against the nations of a major U.S. ally — South Korea — succeeded in convincing the South Koreans to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. And received a $20 million ransom that we know will be used to try and kill the people who disagree with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. That would include you and me. Don’t believe me?

“We got more than $20 million dollars from them (the Seoul government),” the commander told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “With it we will purchase arms, get our communication network renewed and buy vehicles for carrying out more suicide attacks.” [...]

The commander is on the 10-man leadership council of the Islamist Taliban movement, which is led by the elusive Mullah Mohammad Omar.

I just don’t understand why $200 billion more needs to go to Iraq when we are threatened at home and overseas — still — by the people who struck us on 9/11. We’re not making Iraq any safer as the occupying force and as the government behind the government. We are compounding the problem. Most of the world apparently (according to the BBC) thinks we should leave. We cannot improve security there. We are the problem in Iraq right now, not the solution.

It is the height of folly and the nursery for our self-destruction to ignore real threats while attempting to save face on a national scale. Responsible lawmakers will find a way to put America’s defense back on track this September.

As if one needed another reason to distrust Rudy Giuliani


Giuliani hitches his star to conservative legal group
By James Oliphant Washington Bureau
September 6, 2007

WASHINGTON – Candidates sometimes speak in code, using language that might sound ordinary but has particular meaning to a chosen few.

Consider Rudolph Giuliani earlier this summer as he swung through Iowa. In the town of Council Bluffs, along the Nebraska border, he promised to select “strict constructionist” federal judges if elected president. It’s likely that the pledge elicited nods, some yawns, and more than a few blank stares among the crowd.

But the sound bite really wasn’t for them so much as it was a smart bomb aimed at the conservative legal elite in Washington. And its intended message was clear: “I am one of you.”

That’s no small statement where Giuliani is concerned. The former New York mayor is on the record supporting abortion rights and gun control, which loom as twin icebergs in his so-far-smooth sail toward the Republican presidential nomination. That means he needs some conservative bona fides in a hurry.

In that effort, Giuliani has tied himself in a big way to the Federalist Society, the expanding network of conservative lawyers who over the past quarter-century have played a leading role in reshaping the nation’s judiciary and setting high-level Republican administration policy.

The newest Supreme Court justice, Samuel Alito, is a proud son of the group, as are his elders on the court, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. And although the reported membership of Chief Justice John Roberts has been a matter of some dispute, Roberts will be delivering the keynote speech at the society’s annual convention this fall.

Giuliani will be there too. His overture to the Federalist Society seems to be a bid to reassure nervous conservatives that they can count on him to do the right thing when it comes to selecting judges and crafting legal policy.

Rest of article is here:

This is the group that brought us Scalia, Uncle Clarence, Alito and John Roberts. So now that Rudy is singing their tune, it makes him even more dangerous than he already was. Keep a watchout folks. Not that you needed a reason to not trust Rudy, but here’s one more. If there ever was a clear enemy of Black Folk, it’s the Federalist Society. Keep your eyes open for more developments.

I heard about this story from the radio this morning, and went WTF at the few details I was able to get.

Hat tip to Prometheus 6:

As per the NYTimes.com


Despite DNA Test, a Case is Retried
By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: September 6, 2007

MACON, Miss., Aug. 31 — The scene in the tiny Noxubee County jail on a rainy afternoon has become almost commonplace. Kennedy Brewer, sentenced to death and locked up for 15 years for the rape and murder of a 3-year-old, was released on the strength of a DNA test showing that the semen in the rape kit was not his.

The bail bondswoman snapped a Polaroid.

Mr. Brewer’s sister, Martha, smiled and said, “I ain’t got to mow the lawn no more.”

Back home on Highway 388, two of Mr. Brewer’s nieces sketched out a T-shirt design to read “Welcome Home Kenny.”

But Mr. Brewer is not free and clear. He is only out on bail.

In a move that appears to be novel, prosecutors intend to retry him for the crime.

Virtually no effort has been made to find the man who raped the girl, Christine Jackson, and dumped her body in a creek in Noxubee County, one of the most rural in the state.

This is the first time prosecutors have sought a new capital murder trial after a conviction was overturned by DNA evidence, said Peter Neufeld, director of the Innocence Project, a legal aid group based in New York that has used DNA testing to exonerate the wrongly convicted since 1992. Usually such cases are simply dropped.

But prosecutors are not convinced of the innocence of Mr. Brewer, a black laborer who is mildly retarded. Forrest Allgood, the district attorney who first tried the case, said his theory then was that Mr. Brewer, who was the boyfriend of the victim’s mother, acted alone.

At the trial, Mr. Allgood argued that the couple’s bedroom was “the killing field,” although traces of human blood found there were so small that they could not be tested.

His view has changed.

“I perceive that Kennedy Brewer assisted someone else in the killing of the child,” Mr. Allgood said. “Whether he actually penetrated that child or not functionally doesn’t make any difference if he was aiding, assisting and encouraging in her death.”

Mr. Allgood declined to offer a new theory of what occurred the night Christine disappeared, saying only that Mr. Brewer was the baby sitter that evening and that there was no sign of forced entry at the house.

The defense lawyers, including Mr. Neufeld, say the girl could have been abducted by way of a broken window in the bedroom.

Mr. Brewer is being retried as Mississippi has been trying to reverse a reputation for judicial chicanery that dates from the civil rights era. In that time, vigilante violence often went unpunished, and the state conspired to shield Ku Klux Klan members from the law.

In recent years, high-profile cases from that period have been retried, resulting in convictions.

“The Brewer case illustrates that there are two Mississippi criminal justice systems,” Mr. Neufeld said. “There’s the old system that hasn’t changed at all and the new system that is trying to take the Bill of Rights seriously.”

Modern forensic tools do not appear to carry much weight in Noxubee County. Mr. Allgood said DNA reversals — there have been more than 200 nationwide — did not prove innocence.

Prosecutors often drop such cases only because witnesses are no longer available or evidence has been lost, Mr. Allgood said, but “John Q. Public thinks another innocent man got convicted who would have been killed.”

After the DNA results from the rape here came back in 2002, Mr. Brewer was moved from death row to the county jail, where he stayed for five years. Because Mr. Allgood was still seeking the death penalty, Mr. Brewer was not eligible for bail.

Mr. Allgood tested the DNA found on the girl against that of two men who visited Mr. Brewer at the house the night of Christine’s disappearance. The men were not a match.

He also ran a second test that excluded Mr. Brewer’s male relatives. But he did not run the profile against the state’s DNA database, saying in an interview that no such database exists.

That was a surprise to John M. Allen, the assistant director of the state crime laboratory, who said, “We’ve been up and running on our DNA database for years.”

Mr. Allgood also said he had notified the sheriff’s office of the DNA results. But the sheriff, Albert Walker, said he had not received any official notification and had not reopened the case.

“The case is already solved, far as the murder,” Sheriff Walker said.

Read about the rest of this rairoad job at the link above.

Sigh.
Sigh.
Sigh.

This is another case of

It’s enough to make a Negro turn Black.

The DNA DIDN’T MATCH.

PERIOD.

Didn’t match him. Didn’t match relatives.

DIDN’T MATCH.

They CHOOSE NOT TO RUN IT IN A DATABASE, but are willing to try this MENTALLY DISTURBED MAN FOR MURDER?

I would say unreal, but there’s nothing unreal about this farce. If a man’s LIFE WEREN’T AT STAKE, it would be almost comical, their obvious DELIBERATE, RACIST incompetence.


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