December 7th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Israel Has Already Violated the Annapolis Agreement

Press Release

New Har Homa Settlement Expansion Undermines New Peace Efforts and
Future Negotiations
<http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=pzkuihcab.0.qe8uihcab.5juzrwbab.18641&ts=S0301&p=http%3A%2F%2Famericantaskforce.org%2Finmedia.php%3Ftype%3Dpress%26id%3D54521>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (December 6, 2007)
Contact: Rafi Dajani
Phone: 202-669-5888

Washington, DC, December 6 -- The American Task Force on Palestine
(ATFP) expressed grave concern today about reports that the Israeli
government has invited bids to build more than 300 new housing units in
the Har Homa settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

Both Israelis and Palestinians had committed at the Annapolis meeting to
immediately begin implementing their Roadmap obligations, of which an
Israeli settlement freeze including natural growth is a key part. ATFP
urges the Bush Administration to use its good offices to ensure that
this new settlement construction program does not go forward, and that
neither side take steps to jeopardize re-launched peace efforts or
undermine final status negotiations scheduled to begin on December 12.

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Chris Keeley

Making History -- Remember Pearl Harbor

Sixty Six years ago today(I was not quite 13 years old)  I was attending
a Washington Redskins-Philadelphia Eagles football game at Griffith
Stadium in Washington, DC. I didn't have a seat-- I was standing up in a
little corrugated  steel "house" called "Wheatieville" on the roof over
the stands  (Behind home plate for baseball. It was the broadcast
"house" or booth for Radio Sportscaster Arch McDonald who broadcast
Washington Senators baseball games)) where my mother was the telephone
switchboard operator for Redskin home games. It was quite a walk to get
up there. A ramp was built across the roof and steps were added  from
the upper level of the regular stands. When walking on the ramp over the
roof, you could see the US Capitol building in the distance. Griffith
Stadium was on Florida Avenue at 7th Street, less than a mile from the
Capitol.

After the game was well underway, my mother started getting a lot of
incoming phone calls. She started taking messages that I was going to
deliver to important people sitting in the stands. It turns out that
many of the messages were for Japanese dignitaries who were at the game.
The messages were all the same -- return home or to the Japanese Embassy
immediately. So I ran up and down the steps several times to specific
seats in the stands with those messages. That's how we learned about
Pearl Harbor.

It turns out that the Japanese had just attacked Pearl Harbor and it was
important to get the Japanese dignitaries out of the ball park so they
would not be attacked by angry US citizens.

But actually very few people attending the game knew about the attack
since nobody had portable radios in those days. But as the crowd left
the stadium they began to hear the news. It was the most somber football
crowd I ever saw.

Driving home to our house on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, we  passed
the Japanese Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue. There were many police on
guard outside the Embassy walls. Looking in through the wide driveway
gate we could see a big bonfire in the oval courtyard. And we could see
Embassy employees rushing out of the building with hands full of papers
they were dumping on the bonfire. We knew what they were doing.

And that's what I remember about today, sixty-six years ago!
Bud Vaden
Chris Keeley

The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogat

December 7, 2007

C.I.A. Destroyed 2 Tapes Showing Interrogations

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terrorism suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. The tapes were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that video showing harsh interrogation methods could expose agency officials to legal risks, several officials said.

In a statement to employees on Thursday, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, said that the decision to destroy the tapes was made “within the C.I.A.” and that they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value.

The destruction of the tapes raises questions about whether agency officials withheld information from Congress, the courts and the Sept. 11 commission about aspects of the program.

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Chris Keeley

Slate Article on Habeas Cases Before Supreme Court

 Link: http://www.slate.com/id/2179268 <http://www.slate.com/id/2179268>

supreme court dispatches
It Was the Best of Habeas, It Was the Worst of Habeas
The Supreme Court gets a reality check in the Guantanamo cases.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007, at 8:30 PM ET

If the rule of law were a religion, habeas corpus would be the first
commandment.

The right to have the state justify anyone's incarceration is so
fundamental—dating back centuries to the Magna Carta—that in this
country it's protected by statute, by the Constitution, and at common
law. Today's oral argument in Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United
States is about nothing less than whether the Bush administration's war
on terror—endless in its geographic reach and indefinite across
time—will become the instrument of the great writ's demise.

The question the court must answer is whether Congress properly stripped
the remaining 300-and-some detainees at Guantanamo Bay of their right to
go before a neutral judge and challenge their detention. If that feels
familiar, it's because we've heard this fight before in Hamdan v.
Rumsfeld (2006). And also before that in Rasul v. Bush (2004). What's
changed is that Congress, by enacting the 2006 Military Commissions Act
(PDF), joined President Bush in the family habeas-stripping business.
Now the president and the legislature together are telling federal
courts to stay out of the executive's decisions about who gets detained
where and on what charges. Rasul gave detainees a statutory right to
habeas corpus. The MCA erased it. Hamdan struck down the president's
military tribunals. Congress reinstated them. The Bush administration
keeps winning by losing. The question is whether the third time's a charm.

A lot has changed since the president first gave himself the authority
to seize and hold "enemy combatants" on a lawless little hunk of Cuba.
For instance, justices who used to complain, "It's been two years!" at
oral argument can now say, as does Justice Stephen Breyer, "It's been
six years!" And whereas the only precedents available to the justices in
2004 were World War II cases, today we have the court's 2004 ruling in
Rasul, which—as several justices note today—seems to decide much of the
present case in favor of the detainees.

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Chris Keeley

The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War,

The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future 

The story of how the Bush administration took the United States to war in Iraq is such a complicated tale with so many plots and subplots, so much misinformation and spin, so many missteps and outrageous misjudgments that reporters in countless newspaper and magazine articles, television documentaries and dozens of books have struggled to piece together the narrative. It is a continuing process, as more and more information comes to light and needs to be sifted and weighed and connected.

While Bob Woodward gave us, in a series of three books, a broad account of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, week by week, month by month (based largely on the testimony of administration insiders and other firsthand sources), investigative reporters like Seymour M. Hersh, Jane Mayer, Dana Priest, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau have shed a fierce light on hidden aspects of the administration’s war on terror, including its misuse of intelligence, its embrace of aggressive interrogation methods and its covert surveillance programs at home. Legal experts like Charlie Savage, Frederick A. O. Schwarz Jr. and Aziz Z. Huq have explicated the Bush White House’s efforts to expand the power of the executive branch, while military reporters like Thomas E. Ricks have chronicled the administration’s disastrous mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

In his new book, “The Fall of the House of Bush,” the reporter Craig Unger (the author of the 2004 book “House of Bush, House of Saud”) attempts to turn an all-encompassing, wide-angle lens on the Bush presidency, looking at the rise of George W. Bush and his support from the religious right; his relationship with his father, George H. W. Bush, and its impact on foreign policy; the alliance between Israeli hard-liners and Christian Zionists, and the neoconservatives’ push for the war against Iraq; the administration’s use of flawed intelligence before the invasion; and Vice President Dick Cheney’s efforts to expand executive power. The resulting book is a sprawling hodgepodge of the persuasive and the speculative, the well researched and the hastily assembled, the original and the highly derivative.

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Chris Keeley

IMAGINEPEACE.com

Dear Friends

This December 8th is the 27th anniversary of John Lennon's passing.
You are welcome tovisit www.IMAGINEPEACE.com <http://www.IMAGINEPEACE.com>  at any time on Dec 8th
for a special message & video.

WAR IS OVER! artwork is now available for download at:
http://www.imaginepeace.com/downloads/WarIsOver.jpg
Print & display in your window, workplace, school, street, car, computer & elsewhere over the holiday season.

On December 8th, 11.15pm (your local time) remember John by taking a moment of quiet reflection. If you would like to play or sing the song "Imagine" and imagine a world of peace,just know that we are all together at that moment in every time zone, as IMAGINE PEACE makes its way around the world - every hour for 24 hours.

Send in stories & photos of what you did on December 8th to stories@imaginepeace.comfor us, the family of Peace and Love, to tell us and tell us of your experiences. That would be lovely!

With deepest love
Yoko Ono Lennon
Chris Keeley

She died of a gunshot fired inside her mouth while seated in a foyer in Spector's suburban Los Angel

December 7, 2007

Spector Has New Attorney for Retrial

Filed at 2:53 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A San Francisco lawyer says he will represent Phil Spector in his retrial on a murder charge and that he could not be ready to proceed until September.

Doron Weinberg's proposed date for the new trial would put it exactly one year after the record producer's first one ended in a hung jury.

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Chris Keeley

WWF Warns 60% of Amazon Could Be Wiped Out

WWF Warns 60% of Amazon Could Be Wiped Out

As the UN Climate Change Conference continues in Bali, a new study by the World Wide Fund For Nature said the impact of climate change plus deforestation could wipe out or severely damage nearly 60 percent of the Amazon forest by 2030. The group says this would make it impossible to keep global temperatures from reaching catastrophic levels.

Israeli Official Cancels UK Trip Fearing War Crimes Arrest

An Israeli government minister has cancelled a trip to Britain after he was warned that he risked arrest on war crimes charges. The Guardian newspaper reports Avi Dichter was scheduled to speak next month at a conference on security at King’s College London Dichter is Israel’s public security minister and a former head of the Shin Bet internal security agency. Dichter was the head of Shin Bet in July 2002 when Israel bombed a house in Gaza that killed Hamas military commander Salah Shehadeh, his bodyguard and 13 civilians, including children. The strike drew strong international criticism, including from then UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who warned Israel to comply with international law.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry Prepares to Sign Oil Contracts

UPI is reporting Iraq’s Oil Ministry is preparing to sign deals for the country’s largest oil fields even though the Iraqi government has failed to pass an Iraq oil law. BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and other oil companies are all attempting to win contracts in Iraq. Executives from BP and Shell are expected to be meeting soon with Iraq’s Oil Minister. Under Iraqi law, the Oil Ministry can sign service contract deals on its own. But any production-sharing contracts would need parliamentary approval.

CIA Admits to Destroying Tapes of Two Interrogations

The CIA has admitted it destroyed at least two tapes documenting the interrogations of two prisoners held at a secret CIA prison. The American Civil Liberties Union accused the CIA of deliberately destroying evidence that could have been used to hold CIA agents accountable for the torture of prisoners. One of the tapes is believed to have shown CIA agents waterboarding the Al Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah. C.I.A. Director Michael Hayden said the tapes were destroyed because they posed a “serious security risk.” He said that if they were to become public they would have exposed C.I.A. officials and their families to "retaliation from Al Qaeda and its sympathizers.” Human rights groups say the videotapes could have led to criminal prosecution of the CIA agents involved for torture and abuse. The CIA had previously refused to provide the recordings to members of the Sept. 11 Commission or a federal judge in the Zacarias Moussaoui case. The former general counsel for the 9/11 commission, Daniel Marcus, said the destruction of the tapes could amount to obstruction to withhold evidence being sought in a criminal or fact-finding investigation.