Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Impeach+Bush+Cheney; Updating On Primary NH Eve… Kucinich Matters, NH Poll Update, More McGovern , Hot Spots And As Usual:

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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Impeach+Bush+Cheney; Updating On Primary NH Eve… Kucinich Matters, NH Poll Update, More McGovern , Hot Spots And As Usual:

Impeach+Bush+Cheney; Updating On Primary NH Eve… Kucinich Matters, NH Poll Update, More McGovern , Hot Spots And As Usual:

“It’s The Judiciary Committee Stupid!” Campaign Lead Link

Work With Wexler http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com182,316

GOP Doubts, Fears 'Post-Partisan' Obama (By Jonathan Weisman)

Clinton, Romney on Offensive As Pivotal Contest Draws Near (By Anne E. Kornblut and Shailagh Murray)

The Republicans: Romney Puts Focus On Immigration (By Michael D. Shear)

PHOTOS: Race Moves to New Hampshire (

PostTalk: Interview With John McCain (Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza)

VIDEO: Watch the Interview With McCain (

Campaign Sketch: Whose Line Is It, Anyway? (By Dana Milbank)

SKETCH VIDEO: Fired Up and Ready to Bore (

Department of Human Behavior: Obama's Iowa Victory Fits Democratic Trend (By Shankar Vedantam)

Romney Focuses on Immigration: He Hopes to Sting McCain on Hot-Button Issue (By Michael D. Shear)

The Fact Checker: One Day to Go (By Michael Dobbs)

Rudy Battles the Press (By Howard Kurtz)

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In a Shorter War, the Numbers Might Have Added Up (By Michael Abramowitz)
THE TALK: A Weekly Roundup of the Buzz from the Sunday Talk Shows

Obama Takes the Lead in N.H.

Top 10 Reasons The Fix Loves New Hampshire
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PostTalk: McCain Insists He Can Beat Obama

Tension Builds as the Stakes Rise (Susan Page & Jill Lawrence, USA Today)

Road to the White House Passes Through NH (Albert Hunt, Bloomberg)

The New New Mitt vs. McCain (Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal)

Clinton's Mistake & Her Last Chance to Fix It (Bob Shrum, NY Daily News)

The Splendid Theatre of American Democracy (Janet Daley, UK Telegraph)

Ed Rollins: More Dirty Tricks
Which '08 Candidate Is Winning the Beer Vote?

NEW: Campaign ToolboxEverything you need to keep track of the 2008 presidential campaign.
George McGovern: Impeach Bush and CheneyBy Sopan Greene Case in point: George McGovern (shown above at the 2006 dedication ceremony for the George and Eleanor McGovern Library in South Dakota) says Bush and Cheney are worse than Nixon was. ...The Invisible Opportunity -

Impeachment: Fla ACLU Votes Bush/CheneyThe Florida state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union voted Saturday to support impeachment hearings for George Bush and Richard Cheney calling on national ACLU to bring to US - World News/Edito... -

Impeachment on New Hampshire TableOpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA... Senator George McGovern's column calling for impeachment. Things are moving in Congress with Dennis Kucinich's efforts and those being led by Robert Wexler:See all stories on this topic

John Seery: Reflections on George McGovern's Call for ImpeachmentBy John Seery( In Sunday's Washington Post, George McGovern, at 85-years-old, sternly recommends that Congress ought to impeach Bush and Cheney ("Why I Believe Bush Must Go: Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are Worse"), even though much prevailing sentiment ...Politics on -

McGovern calls for Bush-Cheney impeachmentPolitics on the Hudson - White Plains,NY,USAFormer presidential candidate George McGovern, who ran unsuccessfully against Nixon in 1972, has called for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice ...See all stories on this topic

Time For Impeachment?By Grandmère Mimi(Grandmère Mimi) McGovern thinks that Bush is far worse that Nixon, and that it's time for impeachment. I agree, but realistically, I know that it won't happen. McGovern lays out his arguments showing that the grounds for impeachment are far more ...Wounded Bird -

Kucinich energizes 3,000 Democrats in NH
Dennis Kucinich and healthcare at NHDP 100 Club Dinner
Dennis Kucinich-A Renewed America and Impeachment

SFFS E letter January 7By Kathy Emery(Kathy Emery) Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) wrote an op ed article calling for the impeachment of Dick Cheney. the Wexler/Gutierrez/Baldwin op ed was rejected by every major newspaper they ...
SF Freedom School -

McGovern: Time to impeach BushBy CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney McGovern is calling for Bush and Cheney to be impeached. WASHINGTON (CNN) – George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 nominee for president, is calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. ...CNN Political Ticker -

Impeach+Bush+Cheney, Kucinich Matters, NH Poll Update, Here comes ...By Ed, Dickau(Ed, Dickau) George McGovern Calls For Impeachment of Bush & CheneyBy nytexan In his Sunday Washington Post op-ed “Why I Believe Bush Must Go; Nixon Was Bad These Guys Are Worse,” George McGovern details his reasons why Bush and Cheney both need to ...Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes -

Amb. Marc Ginsberg: WHEN NASHUA MET NANCY AND HARRYBy Amb. Marc Ginsberg( Another elderly Democratic voter actually said it was time for a coup d'etat against Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi for their failure to convincingly stand up to Bush on Iraq, Gonzales, Cheney, Gitmo, surveillance, health care, ...Politics on -

Don't let the Sibel Edmonds story SUCKER you ...By CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD...(CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD...) Henry Waxman, who would be the logical choice to head up hearings cannot be relied on; there are three guesses as to WHY This is .. he is being blackmailed, Nancy Pelosi won't let him, he is too close to AIPEC and the Israeli lobby and ...CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE... -
Israel to brief George Bush on options for Iran strike

Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv

ISRAELI security officials are to brief President George W Bush on their latest intelligence about Iran’s nuclear programme - and how it could be destroyed - when he begins a tour of the Middle East in Jerusalem this week.

Ehud Barak, the defence minister, is said to want to convince him that an Israeli military strike against uranium enrichment facilities in Iran would be feasible if diplomatic efforts failed to halt nuclear operations. A range of military options has been prepared.

Last month it was revealed that the US National Intelligence Estimate report, drawing together information from 16 agencies, had concluded that Iran stopped a secret nuclear weapon programme in 2003.
This spring, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is revealing the reality of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. In what will be history's largest gathering of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Iraqi and Afghan survivors, eyewitnesses will share their experiences in a public investigation called Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan.

Winter Soldiers, according to founding father Thomas Paine, are those who stand up for the soul of their country, even in its darkest hours. With this spirit in mind, IVAW members are standing up to make their experiences available to all who are concerned about the direction of our country.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time America has needed its Winter Soldiers, in 1971, over one hundred members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War gathered in Detroit to share their stories with America. Atrocities like the My Lai massacre had ignited popular opposition to the war, but political and military leaders insisted that such crimes were isolated exceptions. The members of VVAW knew differently.

Obama’s Surges In NH Polls Following Iowa Victory

In election news all eyes are on New Hampshire today, one day ahead of the state’s primary. Several new polls suggest Senator Barack Obama has received a major boost in New Hampshire following his victory in the Iowa caucus.

Obama Advocates U. S. Unilateral Military Action In Pakistan

On Saturday, four of the Democratic candidates were invited to take part in a debate hosted by ABC News. Senator Barack Obama repeated his assertion that he would authorize the U. S. military to carry out unilateral attacks inside Pakistan without the support of the Pakistani government if there was actionable intelligence against Al-Qaeda.

Sen. Barack Obama: "And that’s the flaw of the Bush doctrine. It wasn’t that he went after those who attacked America, but he went after those who didn’t. And as a consequence we have been bogged down, paid extraordinary price in blood and treasure, and we have fanned the anti-American sentiment. "

Edwards & Clinton Clash During Democratic Debate

One of the most heated moments of the debate came when Senator John Edwards teamed up with Senator Barack Obama and accused Senator Hillary Clinton of representing the status quo.

Sen. John Edwards: “But both of us are powerful voices for change. And I might add we finished first and second in the Iowa Caucus. I think in part as a result of that. Now what I would say is this: anytime you speak out powerfully for change, the forces of status quo attack. That’s exactly what happens.”

Senator Hillary Clinton responded.

Bq. Sen. Hillary Clinton: "I want to make change, but I’ve already made change. I will continue to make change. I’m not just running on a promise of change. I’m running on 35 years of change. I’m running on having taken on the drug companies and the health insurance companies, taking on the oil companies. So, you know, I think it is clear that what we need is somebody who can deliver change. And we don’t need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered. The best way to know what change I will produce is to look at the changes that I’ve already made. "

Kucinich Files FCC Complaint After Being Barred From Debate

Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over his exclusion from the debate. Kucinich pointed out that ABC’s parent company Walt Disney had contributed to the campaigns of the four candidates invited. Former Senator Mike Gravel was also excluded from the debate. GOP Pulls Sponsorship of Debate to Protest Exclusion of Ron PaulMeanwhile the Republican Party pulled its sponsorship of Sunday night’s debate on Fox News because the network had excluded Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was invited to the debate even though he lost to Paul in Iowa.

McCain: “Fine With Me” If U. S. Is In Iraq For 100 Years

In other campaign news, Republican Senator John McCain admitted he would be fine if the United States military stayed in Iraq for a hundred years. McCain said "We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so… As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That’s fine with me. "

Bill Bradley Endorses Sen. Obama

In the Democratic race, Senator Barack Obama has picked up the endorsement of Bill Bradley, the former presidential hopeful and senator. Bradley said "His movement for change could create a new era of American politics — truly a new American story. "

Bloomberg May Be Urged to Run Independent Campaign

In third party news, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has arrived in Norman Oklahoma for a bipartisan conference to discuss ways to end partisan polarization in Washington. The organizers of the conference have suggested they would consider urging Bloomberg to mount an independent presidential campaign if the major-party nominees do not formally embrace bipartisanship to address the nation’s problems.

U. S. Considers Expanding Covert Operations in Pakistan

In other news, the New York Times reports President Bush’s senior national security advisers are debating whether to expand the authority of the CIA and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Pakistan’s military rejected the idea of covert U. S. actions inside Pakistan. A military spokesperson said "It is not up to the US administration, it is Pakistan’s government who is responsible for this country. "

Jose Padilla Sues Torture Memo Author John Yoo

Attorneys for Jose Padilla have filed a lawsuit against former deputy assistant Attorney General John Yoo. The lawsuit alleges that Yoo’s legal opinions formed the basis for Padilla being tortured during his detention. Padilla is the U. S. citizen who was held for three and half years without charge at a Navy brig. Padilla’s attorney Jonathan Freiman said: “John Yoo is the first person in American history to provide the legal authorization for the institution of torture in the U. S. "John Yoo is now a professor of law at the University of California Berkeley.

Israel Vows To Escalate Attacks in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has vowed to escalate Israeli attacks in Gaza where at least 14 Palestinians have died since Thursday. Olmert defended Israel’s actions saying they were needed to stop rocket attacks. Israel has also sharply reduced fuel supplies to the only electric plant in Gaza. Power is now being cut off eight hours a day inside the territory. Israel is coming under increasing criticism from Palestinian leaders and the Arab League. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa says Israel’s recent actions in Gaza and the West Bank jeopardize the talks that began in Annapolis.

Amr Moussa: “Secondly the League Council considers that the continuation of the settlement policy and the continuation of the siege and the closing of the crossings, and the military attacks on civilian homes in Gaza and the West Bank, undermines the chances of the follow-on negotiations that have emerged from the Annapolis track.”

President Bush is scheduled to visit Israel on Wednesday as part of a regional tour that will cover seven nations.

Death Toll in Kenya Reaches 486 Following Disputed Election

In Kenya, at least 486 people have now died in violence following Kenya’s disputed presidential election. Some two hundred fifty thousand people have been displaced from their homes. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has refused an offer by President Kibaki to form a government of national unity.

Raila Odinga: “So I think it is an insult to the intelligence of the people of this country that somebody who knows clearly that he did not win the elections is inviting people to a government of national unity.”

But a spokesperson for the opposition said Odinga is willing to discuss a coalition government with genuine power sharing.

Dow Jones Index Suffers Worst Start to New Year Since 1904

In economic news, more signs are emerging indicating the country might be heading toward a recession. The reported unemployment rate hit 5 percent in December – it was the biggest jump in unemployment since a month after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The price of oil briefly topped one hundred dollars a barrel for the first time ever last week. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its worst start to a new year since 1904. The Nasdaq composite index dropped over five percent last week–its worst start to a new year ever.

And the Times of London reports the living standards in Britain are set to rise above those in the United States for the first time since the 19th century. Ethan Harris, the chief economist at Lehman Brothers predicted 2008 would be a difficult year for the U. S. economy.

Ethan Harris: "We are going into a very uncertain period for the economy with lots of downside risks. The fact that the stock market started the year on a down note is a reminder that there are significant risks out there, so that’s the message. It’s just confirming what we knew, which is it’s going to be a difficult year. The stock market could be up in the year if the economy can skirt recession, but it’s going to be a choppy ride this year. "

President Bush: “This Economy Of Ours Is On A Solid Foundation”

President Bush has attempted to put a positive spin about the recent economic news.

President Bush: “While there is some uncertainty, the report is that our financial markets are strong and solid. And I want to thank you for being diligent. This economy of ours is on a solid foundation. But we can’t take economic growth for granted. And there are signs that cause us to be ever more diligent in making sure good policies come out of Washington.”

Sen. McGovern Calls For Impeachment Of Bush & Cheney

Former presidential candidate George McGovern has publicly called for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. In an article in the Washington Post, Senator McGovern writes: “The case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew after the 1972 election. ”McGovern ran against Nixon in 1972 but lost. McGovern accused Bush of repeatedly violating the Constitution and lying to the American public. He wrote: "Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. ”

Trent Lott Confirms He Will Start D. C. Lobbying Firm

In news from Washington, former Republican Senator Trent Lott has confirmed he is planning to establish a new lobbying firm with former Democratic Senator John Breaux. Lott abruptly resigned his Senate seat last month. By quitting in December Lott managed to avoid new ethics rules that require senators wait two years, instead of one, before becoming paid Capitol Hill lobbyists. It is unclear if Lott may have broken ethics rules by negotiating terms of the lobbying firm while he was still in the Senate. The Hill newspaper has revealed that in October, Lott’s son purchased the Web site domain name breauxlott. com.

Red Cross: U. S. Held Dozens Incommunicado at Bagram Prison in Afghanistan

And finally the New York Times reports the International Committee of the Red Cross has determined the United States has held dozens of prisoners incommunicado for weeks or even months at the Bagram military base in Afghanistan. The Red Cross said the prisoners were kept from its inspectors and sometimes subjected to cruel treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The U. S. is now holding 630 prisoners at Bagram – more than twice the number being held at Guantanamo.

Pakistan: A Dangerous Cauldron Heats Up

On December 27, the Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. In the days immediately following, people rose up in protest across the country. The government, led by Pervez Musharraf, answered the protests with bloody suppression and a state of emergency. It postponed previously scheduled elections. Masses of people in Pakistan are fed up with their situation and extremely concerned about “what comes next.”

Within the U.S., the ruling class has reacted in different ways. Some are clearly putting their chips on the current leader Musharraf; others are looking for a different alternative. All are alarmed at the possibility of the situation spinning even more out of U.S. control. Pakistan is key to American imperial aims to dominate the region of south and central Asia, and to combat the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalism. It stands at a strategic crossroads, it contains 165 million people, and it has nuclear arms. Meanwhile, according to the January 6 New York Times, plans are on the table at the top levels of the Bush regime for further U.S. CIA and military penetration of Pakistan.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is being spun by the U.S. as a setback for U.S. attempts to bring enlightened democracy to Pakistan. But an examination of the real political, economic, and military forces that set the stage for her death reveals a far different reality, and a very different picture of the problems the people of Pakistan face and the solution.

Pakistan: A Bloodsoaked Geopolitical Outpost for U.S. Imperialism

“What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.”—Bob Avakian

Nowhere is this truer than in Pakistan. Pakistan is an oppressed nation. At the most basic and fundamental level, the economic life and development of Pakistan is dominated by capital that is rooted in the imperialist nations of the U.S., Europe, and Japan. There are sweatshops in the cities which produce low-cost goods for the markets dominated by imperialism. There is feudal and semi-feudal agriculture, which has also been integrated into circuits of global capital, where landlords still dominate peasants in ways that are both centuries old and as modern as an AK-47.

On cotton plantations, hundreds of thousands of women and young girls pick cotton for less than a dollar a day. Over half of the country’s 165 million people are without access to safe drinking water. The army—which itself has been built up by the U.S.—controls many key industries. (One major grievance of the middle class and bigger bourgeois forces inside Pakistan has been the way in which the army has enriched itself and further dominated the economy during the last ten years.)

There are extreme gulfs between urban centers like Lahore (near the Indian border), with a large, educated middle class, and the countryside where landless peasants live in abject poverty. Pakistan is also split apart by nationality, with oppressor/oppressed relations among them. There are extreme differences between the conditions of Urdu-speaking people driven from India; Pashtuns, who are the same nationality as the dominant nationality in Afghanistan; the Baloch people, who are involved in an armed insurgency for autonomy in their gas-rich region against the central government; and the populous Punjab province. The Bhutto clan is based in the Sindh region where the clan patriarch rules over peasants and servants. There is also a simmering conflict between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims which occasionally comes to a boil.

In short, different sections of the country are not well-integrated into a single, relatively coherent economy, as they are in imperialist powers like the U.S.—and there are very sharp conflicts among these different sectors. At the same time, all these conflicts take place in a context of overall imperialist political-military domination. As a consequence, assassinations, hangings, and coups—as well as the bloody civil war that gave rise to the nation of Bangladesh—have marked the brief history of Pakistan. And none of these have signaled any break whatsoever with the basic imperialist domination of the economic, political, and social life of the country.

The great and overriding importance of Pakistan to the U.S. is not so much economic but as a military outpost and agent in a very critical and volatile region of global contention. Pakistan borders Afghanistan, where the U.S. still has many occupying troops and faces a growing insurgency; Iran, which the U.S. continues to threaten militarily; and India, home to a billion people and one of the most rapidly growing, and important, economies in the world. U.S. military aid accounts for about a quarter of Pakistan’s entire military budget. The Pakistani army is today the seventh largest in the world. The Pakistani military has served as U.S. imperialism’s most reliable agency in Pakistan, sometimes ruling overtly through military dictatorship, sometimes allowing one or another political party to have a turn, but in every case serving as a major conduit and guarantor of U.S. influence and power—even if this has been, and is right now, contradictory at times.

The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism and the “War on Terror”

This U.S. domination took a leap with the seizure of power by a pro-Soviet government in neighboring Afghanistan in 1977 and the outright Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan two years later. This invasion set in motion what would become pivotal events in the global contention between the two clashing imperialist blocs—U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism (imperialism in the name of socialism). When pro-Soviet forces seized power in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Benazir’s father) made moves towards accommodation with the Soviets. He was overthrown in 1977 by General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, and later hung.

The U.S. moved in with major support for Zia. This included massive aid to Pakistan and to its army, and included the use of Pakistan’s intelligence agency to finance and train the jihadist, or Islamic fundamentalist, guerrilla forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s vast border with Afghanistan served as the rear area for military operations. The U.S./Pakistani-sponsored Islamic fundamentalist forces not only fought the Soviets, they ruthlessly slaughtered progressive and revolutionary Maoist forces fighting the Soviet invasion.

The Zia forces not only saw this as an opportunity to strengthen the army, but also to strengthen Pakistan’s position against India, its rival within the region. (India tilted toward the Soviet camp during this period.) As for the Islamic fundamentalists who were trained and financed by Pakistani intelligence, they saw this as a step toward actually getting some countries under Islamic rule. In the end, the forces built up by the U.S. were able to drive out the Soviets. Two years later, the Soviet Union collapsed and the U.S. became the unchallenged dominant power in the world.

After the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the armies of jihadists in Afghanistan and their powerful infrastructure, including Islamic schools along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, were no longer needed or useful to the U.S. The Pakistan government—by then led by none other than the “enlightened” Benazir Bhutto!—still saw these forces as useful in their rivalry with India and for other reasons as well. Bhutto’s government supported the rise of the Taliban, the brutal religious fanatics who swept into Afghanistan in the early 1990s from the Pakistan refugee camps and instituted strict Islamic rule.

With the Soviets out of the way, the U.S. now saw the opportunity to directly project its military force in the Middle East. They invaded Iraq in 1991 for the first time, and then implanted military bases in Saudi Arabia. The non-Afghani jihadist forces built up by Pakistan—now grouped around Osama bin Laden—reacted with outrage. The former allies—the U.S. and the fundamentalists—now came into conflict. Frankenstein’s monster turned on its creator with a vengeance on September 11, 2001.

Pakistan again became a focal point of U.S. imperialist military aims. For a while the Pakistan rulers had tried to ride two horses—keeping alive its support of the Taliban without disrupting its client status with U.S. imperialism. In the wake of September 11, 2001, a U.S. diplomat presented Musharraf with an offer he couldn’t refuse: cut all ties with the Taliban and enlist in the “War on Terror,” or “Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age.”

Today, the very Pakistani military the U.S. used to set up the Taliban is being ordered to wipe out the Taliban. These Taliban forces are dug into the Waziristans, a large impoverished Pakistani region of 3 million people bordering Afghanistan. U.S. military operations—both direct attacks on Pakistan and through the Pakistani army—generate support for Islamic fundamentalist forces. Missiles fired from U.S. CIA “predator drone” (pilotless) aircraft on villages in the Waziristans have killed many civilians, and led to massive Islamist-led protests against the U.S. and Musharraf. And meanwhile, many within the army still see the Taliban as important potential allies; many share their ideology; and some might even see letting them stay around as a way to keep the U.S. aid flowing.

In 2004 and 2005, under U.S. pressure, Musharraf sent tens of thousands of Pakistani troops into the Waziristans. That operation was a disaster for Musharraf and the U.S.—hundreds of Pakistani troops surrendered or deserted to the Taliban. The agreements that resulted from this fiasco ended up further institutionalizing Taliban control over these regions.

Musharraf has carried out the campaigns against Muslim fundamentalists, as well as the regionally based opposition movements, through death squads, torture, secret detentions, and massacres. These have flouted any pretense of legal process. This was one of the factors behind the opposition to Musharraf from high court judges, and the rebellion of lawyers—a movement that in turn was hit with widespread and vicious suppression. Turning the fist of the regime against the lawyers further angered the urban middle classes, students, and other sections of society that the U.S. sees as potential allies in the “War on Terror.”

In these conditions, sharp debate emerged in the U.S. ruling class, framed by a consensus that Musharraf lacked sufficient desire and ability to mobilize the army against the Pakistani Taliban while maintaining some semblance of legitimacy for his rule.

(Re)Enter Bhutto: Another Creature and Servant of Imperialism

The U.S. directly brokered and imposed a partnership between Musharraf and Bhutto, and she returned to Pakistan in October 2007. The exact terms of the power-sharing between Musharraf and Bhutto were a matter of conflict. But everyone, especially the U.S. godfather, agreed that Bhutto’s participation in elections would legitimate Musharraf’s continued rule through some form of power-sharing between the two. Musharraf would represent the army and Bhutto would bring in the alienated middle classes and the sections of the national bourgeoisie who felt cut out of the action thereby stabilizing the political situation. The payoff would be that the new alliance would strengthen the moves to go after the Taliban.

Bhutto is far from the “heroic, if flawed, saint” portrayed by the U.S. media. When she was in power as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, she was a brutal servant of imperialism and shamelessly corrupt. During her two terms as Prime Minister, the Pakistani intelligence agency worked closely with Al Qaeda and installed the Taliban in Afghanistan. She worked with and facilitated the growth of Islamic fundamentalist influence within Pakistan, and played a key role in wiping out radical, secular influence in the struggle against Indian rule in Kashmir. Her rule was characterized by death squads, murders in police custody, “disappearances” of dissidents, and torture. When her brother Murtaza Bhutto, a rival in her Pakistan People’s Party, charged her with corruption, he was shot dead in highly suspicious circumstances during a police ambush outside the Bhutto family home.

Bhutto stayed largely silent during the uprising of lawyers against Musharraf and his draconian “state of emergency.” Under pressure from her supporters, she issued late, pro-forma statements opposing emergency rule crackdowns. She was widely condemned by protesters for standing aside from the struggle, and for collusion with Musharraf.

Bhutto’s supporters blame Musharraf for her assassination. He, along with other forces in the volatile mix of contradictions in Pakistan, might have seen benefit in her assassination. But other forces in Pakistan also opposed her insertion into the equation. In the violent and complex swirl of events in Pakistan, it is impossible to know who was actually behind her death.

New Dangers & New Openings

The new situation is one of tremendous uncertainty. Every force is scrambling to advance their interests within the “new reality.” In regards to the U.S. rulers, they must now weigh how the actions that they feel compelled to take in both Afghanistan and Iran—including the possible military attack against Iran, which is still “on the table”—would be affected by the current volatile and explosive situation in Pakistan; and how actions in those countries might make Pakistan even more explosive. The U.S. can’t just “walk away” from this situation. Pakistan’s size, strategic location and nuclear weapons—as well as the strength of the Islamic fundamentalist trend in the army—make it an extremely important country from the calculus of U.S. control. If this country, or any part of it, falls under the control of the Islamic fundamentalists, this would mark a huge strategic setback for the U.S.

The Islamic fundamentalists, for their part, would see controlling Pakistan—or parts of it—as a critical base area for further operations and to enforce their own forms of oppression. This would be a big advance for their interests—one which the U.S. could not long tolerate. Again, the conflict between what Bob Avakian has pinpointed as the two main contending forces in the world representing outmoded and reactionary social relations poses explosive and high-stakes challenges, both for the reactionaries…and for the people.

Back in the U.S., presidential candidates debate and posture over how to “defend our interests”—masking how the preservation of “our interests” through successive Pakistani regimes has sentenced 165 million people to lives stunted and cut short by imperialist domination. And while this goes on, the Bush regime (as noted earlier) is reported to be figuring out how to take advantage of the situation to insert an even more aggressive CIA and U.S. military presence in Pakistan, especially the Waziristans.

The current upheaval in Pakistan poses dangers of even more severe repression against the people. Many rightly fear and oppose the ascendancy of reactionary Muslim fundamentalists who could move to “fill the vacuum” if things further disintegrate. And there is a real sense of “no good options” for the future.

But the recent past has seen courageous struggle by the Pakistani people, like the courageous movement of lawyers protesting illegal detentions, disappearances, torture, and murder. It has also seen the uprising and anger—much of it directed against the U.S.—following Bhutto’s assassination. The real interests of the vast majority of the people of Pakistan—from the urban middle strata chafing at the repressive, corrupt regime, to the impoverished peasants and agricultural workers, to the sweatshop workers in the city—lie in breaking free of the so-called “choices” of Islamic fundamentalism or Western imperialist “democracy.” And the real interests of the people in the U.S. lie in opposing this whole horrible imperialist system and its ugly deeds and brutal aims around the world, and in making common cause with those whom it oppresses.

In countries like Pakistan (and most of the rest of the world), the task of national liberation from imperialism is the pressing task. New-democratic revolution—pioneered by Mao Tsetung in China—is the path to that liberation. New-democratic revolution unites and represents the interests of all who can be united to overthrow the bureaucrat-capitalist class and state system dependent on and serving imperialism. But the goal is not to repackage imperialist domination in a democratic form. Instead, new-democratic revolution overthrows imperialism, as the first stage of a socialist revolution aimed ultimately at the worldwide overthrow of capitalism-imperialism.

Today, as in most of the world, the people of Pakistan are urgently up against the need to solve the problems of making this new-democratic revolution, in theory and practice, in the challenging conditions of our times. If forces step forward in this current upheaval with that aim, something good for the people of Pakistan—and for humanity—can come out of all this.

“What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these ‘outmodeds,’ you end up strengthening both.”

Bob Avakian,

A Message for 2008 from The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

Seven years into the Bush administration, the conscience of the world is shocked by the crimes and destruction the American people have allowed to be carried out in our names: Iraq in ruins, torture codified, due process shredded, and the science of global warming suppressed as the future of the planet itself hangs in the balance. When, two years ago, we issued a Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime, even we did not anticipate the pace, cruelty and extremeness with which this program would advance and expand.

Today, impervious to the repeated pronouncements that he is a lame duck, George Bush is unrelenting in his determination to drive the savageness of his agenda into the next administration. If the consensus of the National Intelligence Estimate has put an unexpected road bump in Bush’s intent to conduct as many as 1,000 air strikes on Iran, it has also served to warn the public just how close we have come to another war predicated on a lie. Already the regime is redoubling its efforts to come up with new reasons to justify the outbreak of hostilities. This is still a president serene in his belief that he is on “God’s mission.” A war time president making use of unbridled executive power. A tyrant with his hands still on the levers of power.

Under the Military Commissions Act, passed by Congress in 2006, anyone the President decides to declare an enemy combatant can be disappeared into secret prisons without the right to know what crime he has been charged with and without the right to see his lawyer. And in this never-land where George Bush claims “We Do Not Torture” a detainee will be methodically robbed of his senses. He may be subjected to “stress positions” such as tying his arms behind his back and being strung from the top of a cage; he may subjected to electrical shocks, sexually degraded and deprived of sleep to the point where humans lose sanity. He may also be a she—or as young as the 14-year-olds held in Guantánamo. The tapes destroyed by the C.I.A. document the commission of water-boarding and crimes against humanity.

The last seven years have also shown this to be true: There will be no savior from the Democratic Party. No “viable candidate” is calling for the immediate repeal of the Military Commissions Act or the Patriot Act. Clinton and Obama are not planning to dismantle the Department of Homeland Security’s domestic surveillance apparatus or the permanent U.S. military bases newly strung across the Middle East and Africa. The candidates for Commander-in-Chief are campaigning to better prosecute, not end, the so-called war on terror, a war promised to span generations. The election of 2008 will not be remembered for the candidate who campaigned to return the diaspora of black families displaced by natural disaster and criminal neglect back home to New Orleans. It is already remarkable for the regular bashing of immigrants.

There will be no pendulum swing when Democratic contenders join Republicans in lacing their speeches with professions of their faith, when Democrats seek common ground with religious fanatics who do not believe in evolution and want to see the church as state. There will be no pendulum swing when Democrats show tolerance for judicial nominees and “moral” agendas that are targeting the most fundamental rights of women to abortion and birth control for obliteration.

Official politics have proven to be a disaster. Your government does not want what you want and the Democratic nominee of 2008 will not speak for us.

THIS JANUARY join with us in mounting what has been gravely missing from political, ethical and cultural life in this country for the last 4 years—the voice of the people who refuse to be ruled in this way.

World Can’t Wait calls on all those who have shared a sense of collective outrage and shame—who would rise tomorrow if they believed there was a way to really change things—to do the only thing that is actually realistic. We can and must through mass political resistance create a political situation where this criminal regime is driven from office before their term is up—and the whole fascistic direction George Bush has been taking society is reversed. Only people highly mobilized and motivated by values that repudiate unjust war, bigotry and greed can bring the Bush agenda to a halt.

Only the people who will not remain silent when their government tortures, terrorizes whole peoples and moves to quash dissent and critical thinking can change the course of history.

It’s up to us. We must show it or it doesn’t count. It begins with you taking personal responsibility to show how you feel and where you stand: wear orange daily, spread orange everywhere, protest and speak out in every way you can. As this orange resistance spreads to millions who represent the majority sentiment, Bush and Cheney’s illegitimacy to rule will stand out vividly before the world.

This January the world needs to see that the people of this country rise to say NO to torture. Torture is a crime against humanity. Torture is an impeachable offense, ordered by the White House and still being sanctioned by Congress.

We Must Act Now—The Future Is In the Balance

The world can’t wait and it’s counting on You!

Drive Out the Bush Regime.

This January…TIME TO ACT!

January 11—“Shut Down Guantánamo” Protest

On the day six years ago that the first prisoners began arriving at the U.S. torture camp at Guantánamo, Amnesty International and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture are leading a protest at the White House to demand that Guantánamo be shut down, followed by a Guantánamo Prisoner Procession to the Supreme Court. World Can’t Wait is calling on people to wear and display orange, the color of those tortured and detained, and to distribute orange ribbons, buttons, armbands, etc. and for institutions to display orange “NO TORTURE” banners. The ACLU is distributing orange armbands saying “Close Down Guantánamo.” Protests are planned in cities around the country. For info:

January 31—Mass Civil Disobedience

From the January 31 Call to Action at

Challenge the “Politics of the Possible” with Mass Civil Resistance–Drive OUT the Bush Regime!

…In times such as these, people living in this country must speak up and make their sentiments known, acting independently as THE PEOPLE. Let us not go down in history infamously for standing silent in the face of grave crimes the way the “Good Germans” allowed the Nazis to carry out their atrocities. In solidarity with those being tortured in our name and as the color of resistance, wear and display orange everywhere, daily.

On January 31, make a splash: Hang orange signs in store windows; drop orange banners with messages resisting the Bush program from overpasses and on school campuses. Create the atmosphere of resistance by spreading orange far and wide.

On Thursday January 31: Stop “business as usual” with non-violent mass civil disobedience outside military recruiting centers, FEMA offices, immigrant detention centers, federal buildings and court houses, creatively speaking up for those who are disappeared and violated, tortured and left without hope.

Dear EmailNation Subscriber,

Starting this month, will host some of the most incisive, cutting-edge political bloggers in a new rotating guest blog, Passing Through, featuring frequent posts by experts on economics, the environment, youth culture, the Middle East and more. The bloggers will rotate each month,

First up is Jessica Valenti, a 29-year-old writer from New York and founder of the nationally celebrated blog Feministing. Valenti writes for the Guardian and Salon and is the author of Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters, released last spring by Seal Press. She is also a co-founder of the REAL Hot 100, a campaign that highlights the important work that young women are doing across the country. Read her debut post on why Mike Huckabee screams Daddy State and look for new posts soon.

And don't miss regularly-updated campaign 08 posts from Ari Berman, John Nichols and Ari Melber.

Youth Journalism Conference
The Nation and Campus Progress are hosting a West Coast Youth Journalism Conference on January 26 in Los Angeles on the campus of UCLA. It's entirely free of charge and open to all student and aspiring journalists. Featured speakers include Naomi Klein, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Patricia J. Williams, Roberto Lovato, Robert Scheer, Marc Cooper, Jon Wiener, Tom Hayden, Abigail Goldman and many others. Click here for info and to apply to attend.

Finally, please visit The Nation online to read new Nation blogs, to view newsfeed links updated each day, to see when Nation writers are appearing on TV and radio, to get info on nationwide activist campaigns, and to read exclusive online reports and special weekly selections from The Nation magazine!

Best Regards,Peter Rothberg,The Nation

Dear EmailNation Subscriber,

In a discussion of the subprime mortgage crisis the Rev. Jesse Jackson made the case for a citizens' bailout during a recent visit to the Nation offices days before leading a march on Wall Street on December 10.

But, as Nation editors wrote in "Subprime Politics," from the December 31 issue of The Nation, while several helpful proposals--changes to bankruptcy law, most notably--have been introduced by Democrats in Congress, debtors have little sway in Washington. On their own, none of the imperiled homeowners have the luxury of being, in Wall Street parlance, "too big to fail." Together, though, they are. The question is, will anyone find the political will to save them?

Jackson is making every effort to do so with his Wall Street Conference 08 and march to demand a subprime bailout taking place this week in New York City.

As part of the conference, The Nation is sponsoring a special panel discussion this Wednesday devoted to exploring the enduring impact of the Rainbow Coalition and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr's 1988 presidential run on the progressive politics and movements of today. Featuring the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Katrina vanden Heuvel, Steve Cobble, John Nichols and Bill Lynch, the forum will investigate the lasting legacy of a profound progressive political movement. This Wednesday, January 9, 5:30 to 7:00pm in the Second Floor Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers at 811 7th Avenue, at 52nd Street. No charge. on the Campaign : CAMPAIGN 08

Bill Bradley, John Anderson Back Obama

Will Independents Ditch McCain for Obama?

Political Tourism

NH GOP Objects to Fox Censoring Ron Paul

Anybody But Romney -- Even Duncan Hunter

Finally, please visit The Nation online to read new Nation blogs, to view newsfeed links updated each day, to see when Nation writers are appearing on TV and radio, to get info on nationwide activist campaigns, and to read exclusive online reports and special weekly selections from The Nation magazine!

Best Regards,Peter Rothberg,The Nation

Closing Time
By Daniel PolitiPosted Monday, Jan. 7, 2008, at 6:11 AM ET

The New York Times leads with a look at how the number of prisoners at the Bagram detention center in Afghanistan keeps on increasing. The Bush administration has spent more than $30 million over the past three years to transfer detainees to a center operated by the Afghan military, but it has far less capacity than expected so the "makeshift American site" is unlikely to go out of business anytime soon. The site at Bagram had "barely 100" prisoners in early 2004 and now holds 630 detainees, which is more than double the number at Guantanamo.

USA Today leads with its new poll of New Hampshire voters that shows how the candidates who were once front-runners in each party continue to shed support. Sen. Barack Obama polls at 41 percent and now holds a 13 percentage-point lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain was the choice of 34 percent of those polled, compared with Mitt Romney's 30 percent, a difference that is still within the margin of error. The Los Angeles Times leads with Clinton's furious campaigning efforts in New Hampshire, where voters go to the polls on Tuesday. "Clinton is undeniably on the defensive," says the LAT. The Washington Post's lead purports to take a look at how both Clinton and Romney are getting more aggressive in attacking their fellow candidates, but it spends the bulk of the story talking about the New York senator's efforts. The Wall Street Journal leads its world-wide newsbox with how candidates from both parties "have embraced change" after the Iowa caucuses.

Conditions for detainees at Bagram are reportedly far worse than Guantanamo, although everyone agrees they have improved since two prisoners died there in 2002. The NYT got hold of a confidential Red Cross memo that said some prisoners at Bagram had been held "incommunicado for weeks or even months" in isolation cells, where they were hidden from inspectors and sometimes treated harshly in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The military always justified the prison's shoddy living quarters ("most prisoners are fenced into large metal pens") by saying it was just temporary.

USAT's new polling data echoes a CNN-WMUR poll, which had a smaller sample size but showed similar trends of a rising Obama and McCain. Also of note from USAT's poll is that Mike Huckabee has 13 percent, compared with Rudy Giuliani's 8 percent, which is the same amount of support that Rep. Ron Paul received.

The Post says Clinton "has taken direct control over her strategy" and is ordering staff members to aggressively target Obama as a candidate of good talk, but no action. At campaign rallies, Clinton continued to point out how Obama acted like a regular politician when he got to Washington by, for example, voting for the Patriot Act and Iraq war funding, and then led her supporters in a "that's not change" chant. Clinton is working hard to drive home the message that just because Obama can give a rousing speech doesn't mean he's ready to be president. "You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose," she said at a campaign rally (the Post's Dana Milbank points out her husband used that same line in 1993). The LAT notes that Clinton is no longer giving long policy speeches, her events are more upbeat, and she is also making herself more available to reporters. Despite the positive message, the Clinton campaign seems to recognize it might fall short tomorrow and so is also trying to play up the importance of other states, notes the LAT. But there's a clear reason for the nervousness, because, as USAT points out, "for more than three decades" the contender that won both Iowa and New Hampshire ended up receiving the nomination.

In order to appeal to younger voters, Chelsea Clinton is taking a more prominent role in her mother's campaign, notes the WSJ. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton isn't getting the kind of crowds that he's used to, says the NYT on Page One. The former president is having trouble filling big venues, or at least he did at a handful of events right after his wife's loss in Iowa.

After he was attacked from all sides on Saturday, Mitt Romney came back swinging yesterday and criticized McCain and Huckabee on a few issues, including immigration and taxes. The NYT says that a few of the exchanges between Romney and Huckabee "were some of the most testy and angry of the Republican campaign to date." It's all seen as a sign that Romney's "big-budget, highly organized campaign may be on the verge of a spectacular collapse" if he loses tomorrow, says the WP. For his part, Huckabee has "toned down his religious message" in order to appeal to a wider base, notes the WSJ.

Obama's campaign is touting the victory in Iowa particularly to black voters who may think the country won't elect a black president. Volunteers are under explicit instructions to say that Obama "proved the cynics wrong." It's clearly working for some, but others are still skeptical and note that a general election is very different from a Democratic primary.

Those who still aren't satisfied with the current crop of candidates might find their salvation in Lou Dobbs, says the WSJ. Dobbs has never said he's planning on running but talk of a potential candidacy is increasing in a few circles.

In other news, the LAT fronts an interesting dispatch from Burma that says the country's military junta might have done the burgeoning opposition a favor when it threw so many protesters in jail last fall. Those who wanted to work against the government always had trouble organizing because they never knew who they could trust. But after spending days in crowded cells, protesters were able to exchange contact information and stay in touch after the majority of them were released. The opposition leaders dream of some outside intervention to help their plight, but the LAT quotes an "unusually blunt" Western diplomat who said they can keep dreaming and shouldn't expect anything more than "words" of support.

The Post points out that as January rolls on, TV viewers now definitely can't escape the effects of the writers' strike as they suddenly find their nighttime viewing options being reduced to a barrage of reality programming. How bad is it? Well, CBS is bringing back its "summer skankathon" Big Brother in February.

In a front-page feature the LAT looks at how anti-abortion activists are trying to "dramatically expand the message" by enlisting men who say they've suffered trauma as a result of an abortion. They call themselves "post-abortive men" and insist that post-abortion trauma isn't just a women's issue. The LAT asks one man, who is now racked with guilt over two girlfriends that had abortions, whether his past partners would agree with him that they shouldn't have ended their pregnancy. "I never really thought about it for the woman," he said.

Where is the rotten old bastard taking his latest acquisition?

Media scholar Ben Compaine tells me he thinks the Wall Street Journal has begun to reflect the journalistic philosophy of genocidal tyrant Rupert Murdoch, who completed his acquisition of its parent company, Dow Jones & Co., in the middle of December.

Obama's Rise Dismays Clinton's Supporters

Ed’s Note: The Clinton Campaign has some serious fundamental problems of Assumptions, Assessments and OLD Operative Attitudes and Tactics. Hillary may think she is well organized on the ground in Ohio. That is an illusion that can be un raveled in a 48 hour time period. They do not understand, and as a result they cannot pierce the dynamic that is hammering them. It has to be grim in the Hillyland Parlor.

Being caught by surprise time and again, reacting, unable to respond only leads to more Kerry Campaign type They do not understand, and as a result they they cannot pierce the dynamic that is hammering them.

Being caught by surprise time and again, reacting, unable to respond only leads to more Kerry Campaign type errors. It is hard to image how they regroup after a NH defeat and adjust everywhere they will have to of Feb.5

By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, January 6, 2008; Page A01

MILFORD, N.H. -- The pillars of the New Hampshire Democratic establishment had filled the front tables at the party's annual dinner Friday night, the better to applaud enthusiastically when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, their overwhelming choice for president, talked about her readiness to lead.

But when Sen. Barack Obama took the stage, hundreds of Obama supporters swarmed the front of the hall, surrounding their tables and sending people such as Beverly Hollingworth to the exits.

"I'm really worried about him," said Hollingworth, a member of the state's Executive Council and a former state senator, as she headed for the door. "Other people have been working their whole life for change, and have made good progress. This is just rhetoric."

With the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, Obama is riding a very big wave, spreading consternation and bewilderment through the ranks of Clinton supporters here struggling to make sense of what is unfolding before them.

For months, Clinton campaign officials have assumed New Hampshire could play the same role for her that it did for Bill Clinton in 1992, when his comeback in his first primary ignited his campaign. Yet across the state, Obama is drawing crowds that are double and triple the size of Clinton's.

In Nashua on Saturday, 3,000 people jammed a high school gym, with many in an overflow room. About the same time, a crowd about a quarter that size, according to the local fire department, was at a Clinton event in Concord.

The contrast in the tone and substance of the candidates' events is even starker. Obama has infused his stump speech with a new air of assurance, telling his huge crowds that the movement of national reconciliation he has been calling for -- "turning the page" for a "working majority" -- is now underway, with Iowa as evidence. "New Hampshire, it is your turn to change America," he declares.

Clinton is sticking with her experience argument, telling voters that she is the candidate most able to take charge on the first day in office and to absorb Republican attacks in a general election. In Concord, she dispensed with her stump speech and instead took questions from the audience for nearly two hours, showing a policy command that several voters later said won them over.

Her supporters are placing hope in history: New Hampshire's tendency to assert itself every few years by rejecting the preference of voters in Iowa. They argue that the Iowa caucuses, with their public declarations of preference and last-minute vote-switching, are ideal for a movement candidate such as Obama. New Hampshire voters, they argue, are able to make their judgments in privacy and with greater thoughtfulness.

"New Hampshire is pragmatic. I hear everyone talk about change, but we need a strong hand to get us back on track," said Ann Martin, a federal employee who turned out at an airplane hangar in Nashua on Friday to welcome Clinton back from Iowa. "New Hampshire isn't attracted by a flash in the pan."

There are signs, though, that the momentum that Obama has here is not simply a function of his Iowa victory. Even before Iowa, Obama had closed to within a few points of Clinton in some polls after being behind more than 20 points in September.

Political scientists attributed his rise partly to the changing demographics of the state: New Hampshire, unlike the rest of New England, has undergone significant growth in the past decade, with nearly a quarter of its eligible voters new since 2000, the year Al Gore, the establishment candidate then as Clinton is now, withstood a challenge by former senator Bill Bradley, who appealed to a similar group of voters as Obama.

These new voters have none of the bonds with the Clintons that were formed in 1992 and strengthened over the years when Bill Clinton was president.

*** The new residents tend to be well-educated professionals -- the kind of voters Obama does best with -- and many of them are political independents. Obama racked up big margins with independent voters in Iowa, and they are expected to make up an even greater share of the Democratic electorate on Tuesday. New Hampshire is also significantly younger on average than Iowa, playing to another of Obama's strengths.

Ted and April Weismann are part of New Hampshire's demographic shift. They moved to Brookline in 1999 from the Boston area partly for more affordable real estate, and they have seen many other young families follow them. They say that they, like many of their peers, are supporting Obama.

"A lot of the old-time New Hampshire people are being replaced by people from across the border, and he's the right candidate to win them," said Ted Weismann, who works in public relations. "It's a sea change."

Obama's pre-Iowa rise was also aided by the organization he has built here. As in Iowa, his campaign has reached out to new voters in unconventional ways. It organized a statewide three-on-three basketball tournament (players needed to agree to volunteer, and 160 took part), book clubs to discuss Obama's memoir, and a network of small voter groups defined by professions or common interests.

Volunteers on the state's 10 campuses got fellow students to file absentee ballots if they were going to be away on winter break Tuesday. And the campaign now has several thousand volunteers from outside the state, many of them college students, for the final push.

"Iowa has given us a shot in the arm and is making undecided voters take a look at Obama," said Jim Demers, a Concord lobbyist advising Obama's state campaign. "But our plan was always to go out and win votes."

The Clinton campaign here is countering with a solid organization and plenty of out-of-state help of its own, including a strike force of 200 volunteers sent north by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Yet there is palpable disbelief among top Clinton supporters here that she should be facing a tight finish in a state that was once seen as Clinton turf, and against a candidate with as thin a Washington resume as Obama's.

Asked why the race here was so close, Terie Norelli, speaker of the New Hampshire House, declined to answer, instead repeating that Clinton is the "best prepared," thanks to her "35 years of experience."

Mary Louise Hancock, the 87-year-old grande dame of the state's Democrats, said she "resented" that independent voters were poised to influence the outcome of the Democratic primary, saying it turned the vote into a "personal-liking affair" dominated by "students and the trendies."

Senate President Sylvia B. Larsen came closest to acknowledging the threat. While she held out hope that Clinton could hold on here, Larsen also made the case that a loss would not be fatal.

"She's so well organized in the other states, like Ohio," Larsen said. "She's ready to go on, even if she comes in second here."

Surviving a CIA ‘Black Site’
Posted on Dec 18, 2007
By Amy Goodman

The kidnap and torture program of the Bush administration, with its secret CIA “black site” prisons and “torture taxi” flights on private jets, saw a little light of day this week. I spoke to Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah in his first broadcast interview. Bashmilah was a victim of the CIA’s so-called extraordinary rendition program, in which people are grabbed from their homes, out of airports, off the streets, and are whisked away, far from the prying eyes of the U.S. Congress, the press, far from the reach of the courts, to countries where cruelty and torture are routine.

Bashmilah is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and by the New York University School of Law International Human Rights Clinic in a lawsuit with four other victims of CIA rendition. They are suing not the U.S. government, not the CIA, but a company called Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing Corp. A former Jeppesen employee, Sean Belcher, entered an affidavit in support of Bashmilah, reporting that Jeppesen executive Bob Overby bragged, “We do all of the extraordinary rendition flights,” further explaining to staff that he was speaking of “the torture flights,” and that they paid very well.

Through a translator, over the phone from his home in Yemen, Bashmilah described how his ordeal began on Oct. 21, 2003, when he was arrested in Amman, Jordan: “It was approximately six days, but what I endured there is worth years. They wanted me to confess to having some connections to some individuals of al-Qaida. They tried several times to get me to confess, and every time I said no, I would get either a kick, a slap or a curse. Then they said that if I did not confess, they will bring my wife and rape her in front of me. And out of fear for what would happen to my family, I screamed and I fainted. After I came to, I told them that ‘please, don’t do anything to my family. I would cooperate with you in any way you want.’”

After signing a false confession, he was told he was going to be released. In the process of being led through the Jordanian intelligence facility, he lifted his blindfold. “I saw another man who had a Western look. He was white and somewhat overweight and had dark glasses on. I realized then that they were probably handing me over to some other agency, because during the interrogations I had with the Jordanians, one of the threats was that if I did not confess, they will hand me over to American intelligence.” He was prepared for transit, stripped “completely naked. They started taking pictures from all directions. And they also started to beat me on my sides and also my feet. And then they put me in a position similar to the position of prostration in Muslim prayer, which is similar to the fetal position. And in that position, one of them inserted his finger in my anus very violently. I was in terrible pain, and I started to scream. When they started taking pictures, I could see that they were people who were masked. They were dressed in black from head to toe, and they were also wearing surgical gloves.”

He says he was put in a diaper, had his eyes and ears covered, a bag was put over his head, and he had additional earphones put on his head to block noise. He was then flown to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was held in solitary confinement for close to six months. He believed he was being held by Americans. “Some of the interrogators would come to me and interrogate me in the interrogation room, and they would tell me, ‘You should calm down and be comforted, because we’ll send all this information to Washington.’ And they would say that in Washington, they will determine whether my answers are truthful or not.” Although kept isolated from other prisoners, he managed to overhear some of them speculating that they were being held at Bagram Air Base. He went on to say that he was kept awake with blaring music and was held in shackles that were removed only for periodic interrogations.

While Bashmilah was being interrogated and tortured, he was also visited by “psychiatrists.” “[T]he therapy mainly consisted of trying to look at my thoughts and trying to interpret them for me, and in addition to some tranquilizers.”

Bashmilah attempted suicide three times, staged a hunger strike that was painfully ended with a feeding tube forced down his nose, and was denied access to a lawyer, to any human-rights group, to the International Committee of the Red Cross. In effect, he was disappeared.

On May 5, 2005, he was transferred to a prison in Yemen, where he eventually gained access to his family. Amnesty International got involved. He was released in March 2006 with no charges relating to terrorism.

Mohamed Bashmilah said there were cameras in his cells and interrogation rooms. Perhaps tapes were made of his ordeal. Let’s hope that the CIA doesn’t destroy these, too.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 650 stations in North America.
© 2007 Amy Goodman
Impeachment Radio Online Tonight
Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2008-01-07 21:39. Impeachment

From 7-9 p.m. PT (that's 10-midnight ET) tonight, catch Phil Burk, Elizabeth dela Vega, John Nirenberg, and David Swanson discussing impeachment at

Impeachment Radio Online TonightFrom 7-9 pm PT (that's 10-midnight ET) tonight, catch Phil Burk, Elizabeth dela Vega, John Nirenberg, and David Swanson discussing impeachment at - Impeach... -

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