Trump Appoints Abusive Gitmo General As Chief Of Staff

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By Staff of CCRJusitce – General Kelly’s aggressive oversight of the illegal military prison at Guantánamo Bay disqualifies him to head the Department of Homeland Security. Presiding over a population of detainees not charged or convicted of crimes, over whom he had maximum custodial control, Kelly treated them with brutality. His response to the detainees’ peaceful hunger strike in 2013 was punitive force-feeding, solitary confinement, and rubber bullets. Furthermore, he sabotaged efforts by the Obama administration to resettle detainees, consistently undermining the will of his commander in chief. His temperament and actions make him unfit to lead an agency that currently holds tens of thousands of immigrants, including many fleeing violence and many in long-term indefinite detention. Kelly’s recent vow to end “political correctness” in U.S. national security policy is a thinly veiled endorsement of policies and practices that are illegal and immoral, including torture and racial and religious profiling. His statement is a clear warning sign, and the Senate must reject his nomination to preserve and protect the rule of law.

Protesters Bellow ‘U.S. Out Of Korea’ Just Blocks Away From White House

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Ji Gephardt [L] and Angie Kim [R] join fellow like-minded protesters during a rally against perceived U.S. militarism in Korea.

By Jared Feldschreiber for The Huffington Post – Approximately 20 demonstrators rallied at Lafayette Park Friday afternoon to protest U.S. involvement in Korea, just as President Moon Jae-In met with his counterpart, Donald Trump in the Oval Office. The protesters uniformly agreed that it is continued U.S. presence and bellicose language coming out of Washington, which has destroyed prospects for peace in Korea. “[President Moon] was elected [in May] with a mandate to change course. He said he would during the election campaign,” Sarah Sloan, with the anti-war Answer Coalition, told me. “We’re saying: ‘live up to it.’ I think he has different pressures on him. We oppose the deployment of THAAD – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense – [which has been deployed in South Korea].” THAAD is an advanced system designed to intercept short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during their terminal flight phase. It is believed to be capable of intercepting North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missiles, as it is equipped with long-range radar. In July 2016, military officials in South Korea and the U.S. agreed to deploy it to counter threats.

The Washington Post’s Renewed Attack On Whistlblowers

Jake Waage; Edited: LW / TO

By Melvin Goodman for Counter Punch – The Washington Post’s schizoid approach toward whistleblowers continues unabated. On the one hand, its news staff has effectively used authoritative leaks to expose the bizarre and possibly illegal contacts between senior members of the Trump administration and high-level Russian officials. On the other hand, its editorial writers maintain an ugly campaign against U.S. officials who have kept the Post and the New York Times aware of the dangerous antics of Donald Trump and his senior staff. Post oped writer Michael Gerson has provided the latest example of the paper’s criticism of those whistleblowers who allow investigative reporters to do their constitutionally-sanctioned job. First of all, some background on Gerson. In January 2002, President George W. Bush told Gerson, his chief speechwriter, that the U.S. public had to be prepared for war. Gerson immediately instructed David Frum to “provide a justification for war” by linking the 9/11 attacks to Saddam Hussein. Gerson and Frum drafted the most memorable speech of the Bush presidency, the 2002 State of the Union address, which falsely linked North Korea, Iran, and Iraq in an “axis of evil” that threatened world peace.

A Recipe For Corruption In The White House

White House senior advisers Jared Kushner (right) and Kellyanne Conway (left) gather with Trump Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon (second left ) and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (bottom) Carlos Barria/Reuters

By Matea Gold for Independent – The White House disclosed Wednesday evening that it has granted ethics waivers to 17 specific appointees who work for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, including four former lobbyists. The waivers exempt the appointees from certain portions of ethics rules aimed at barring potential conflicts of interest. In letters posted on the White House website, the White House counsel’s office wrote that the waivers were in the public interest because the administration had a need for the appointees’ expertise on certain issues. Among the high-profile figures who received waivers: White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who were both permitted to engage with their former employer or clients. In addition, a blanket waiver was given to all executive office appointees to interact with news organisations — a move that gives senior strategist Stephen Bannon permission to communicate with Breitbart News, the conservative website he used to run. The waiver information – which was requested of all federal agencies by the Office of Government Ethics in April – provides a window into how far the Trump administration is willing to bend on its “drain the swamp” pledge.

A Critique Of ‘False And Misleading’ White House Claims About Syria’s Use Of Lethal Gas

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By Theodore A. Postol for Information Clearing House – “Truth Dig”- This is my third report assessing the White House intelligence Report (WHR) of April 11. My first report was titled “A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017 About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria,” and my second report was an addendum to the first report. This report provides unambiguous evidence that the White House Intelligence Report contains false and misleading claims that could not possibly have been accepted in any professional review by impartial intelligence experts. The WHR was produced by the National Security Council under the oversight of national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. The evidence presented herein is from two selected videos that are part of a larger cache of videos that are available on YouTube. These videos were uploaded to YouTube by the SMART News Agency between April 5 and April 7. Analysis of the videos shows that all the scenes taken at the site the WHR claims was the location of a sarin release indicate significant tampering with the site.

Peace Vigil Stands Near White House As A Warning To Nuclear War

Philipos (seated) and some of the Peace Vigil activists. Photo: John Zangas

By John Zangas for DC Media Group – Whenever the President looks out from the North Portico side of the White House, he can see his nearest neighbor seated in front of the white tent of the Peace Vigil. Its plastic canvas is silhouetted against the lawn of Lafayette Park, which is lined with tulip beds and stately elms. The tent is flanked by two large white signs standing over it like guards, displaying photographs of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bomb aftermaths. The black and white photos illustrate the graphic carnage of the end of WWII when the US nuclear bombings extinguished tens of thousands of lives in milliseconds and ushered the age of atomic warfare.

Native Nations Rise In March To White House

Native Americans march to White House. Photo: John Zangas

By John Zangas for DC Media Group – Thousands of Native Americans rallied early Friday at the Government Accountability Office, location of the Army Corps of Engineers Headquaters, in a protest of its final approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Over 150 tribes came from around the country, some joining from Canada and Mexico. Their message to the Trump administration: the fight for their sovereignty, protection of their land and water, against the Dakota Access Pipeline project is not over. From the Army Corps of Engineers they marched through the city with youth and women leading the way. They carried a giant banner reading “Recongize Indigenous Peoples Rights, We Exist, We Resist, We Rise”. Their drums echoed loudly through the concrete canyons of office buildings. Many carried colorful banners and streamers reading ‘Water is Life’ and ‘Mni Wiconi’.

'The Fight’s Not Over’: Water Protectors Pitch Tipis Within View Of White House

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By John Zangas for DC Media Group – Washington, DC–Indigenous tribes from across the country have set up a camp of seven tipis right across from the White House. Led by the Standing Rock Sioux, who have been in a battle with the federal government over the placement of a pipeline on their ancestral lands, the tribes says they are here to demand that rights of indigenous people everywhere be respected. Dallas Goldtooth with the Indigenous Environmental Network said the camp is the next step in a continuation of a movement not only to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, but to energize a global movement against fossil fuels. “Dakota Access, win or lose, has always been about keeping fossil fuels in the ground,” Goldtooth said.

Lies The White House Sells Us

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By William Boardman for Reader Supported News – Fake news” as a denunciation peddled by Republican and Trump apparatchiks is an old-fashioned, fascist-style Big Lie with a neat capitalist twist. The obvious lie is that most of the media, accused of reporting “fake news,” actually report real news – with real corrections when they get something wrong. This is the antithesis of the way the “conservative” con machine has operated for decades. Among the world’s shortest books would be “Setting the Record Straight by Republican Senators” or “The Collected Corrections of Donald Trump.”

How “Blue Lives Matter” Went From Reactive Slogan To White House Policy

Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty

By Dara Lind for Vox – They’re symbolic, but that doesn’t make them pointless. Trump is picking a side in a culture war that’s arisen in the past few years, with advocates for racial justice and improvements in police-community relations on one side, and law enforcement officers (and their supporters) who fear “anti-police” reforms on the other. There’s no reason that “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” should necessarily be in conflict, because there’s no necessary trade-off between improved police-community relations and officer safety. It’s the Blue Lives Matter side that’s decided the two are zero-sum — and that any implication that police could do more to help communities of color puts officers in danger.

Anonymous Group Releases Direct Phone Numbers For White House Staff

Anonymous Group Releases Direct Phone Numbers for White House Staff [Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons]

By Janet Shan for Hinterland Gazette – An anonymous group has released some direct phone numbers for several White House staff employees. Well, we knew sooner or later someone was going to release some stuff on Donald Trump, particularly since he’s trying to make himself into something of a dictator. This comes after the White House public comments line was shut down after Trump was inaugurated. That’s because the wannabe dictator doesn’t want to hear what the public has to say. He just wants to hear his voice only. Well, the anonymous group set up the “White House Comment Line,” to send a message to the White House. Click on the link to see the phone numbers and make some calls before they are changed.

Greenpeace Drops “Resist” Banner Within View Of White House

Photo courtesy Greenpeace

By John Zangas for DC Media Group – Washington, DC—The first sight President Donald Trump and top aides may have seen Wednesday morning was a giant banner waving in the sky reading, “RESIST.” The “RESIST” message was courtesy of seven Greenpeace activists, who pulled off a spectacular banner drop from the top of a 270-foot crane in downtown Washington, DC. They scaled the crane in early pre-dawn hours and unfurled their bright yellow, orange and black-lettered banner spelling “RESIST” during morning rush hour. Police closed surrounding streets below while hundreds gazed up at the banner billowing in the breeze. The 70 x 35′ banner contained an orange rising sun and could easily be seen as far as half a mile away.

In Call To Arms, Giant ‘Resist’ Banner Dropped Above Trump’s White House

The 70-foot, hand-painted banner appeared to hang above the White House for several hours. (Photo: TheAnonnMessage/Twitter)

By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – Greenpeace activists have unfurled a 70-foot, hand-painted banner declaring “RESIST” from atop a 270-foot construction crane facing the White House, demonstrating to President Donald Trump that his anti-environment, anti-women, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-immigrant policies are going to be met with a sustained popular resistance. The action involved seven people—including the chair of Greenpeace’s board of directors—and was also meant as a call to arms, explained San Francisco community organizer Nancy Pili Hernandez, who helped unfurl the banner. In a livestream from atop the crane, Hernandez said, “We’re asking everybody to pledge to join the resistance.”

Trump’s White House Counsel “Architect” Of Corrupt Big Money Politics

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

By Jon Schwarz for The Intercept – Jon McGahn, soon to be Donald Trump’s White House counsel, bears as much responsibility as any single person for turning America’s campaign finance system into something akin to a gigantic, clogged septic tank. From 2008 to 2013, McGahn was one of the six members of the Federal Election Commission, the government agency in charge of civil enforcement of campaign finance laws. While there, he led a GOP campaign that essentially ground enforcement of election laws to a halt. “I’ve always thought of McGahn’s appointment as an FEC commissioner as analogous to appointing an anarchist to be chief of police,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president at Common Cause.

Trump In The White House: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky speaks in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 12, 2015. (Photo: Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina)

By C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout – On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump managed to pull the biggest upset in US politics by tapping successfully into the anger of white voters and appealing to the lowest inclinations of people in a manner that would have probably impressed Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels himself. But what exactly does Trump’s victory mean, and what can one expect from this megalomaniac when he takes over the reins of power on January 20, 2017? What is Trump’s political ideology, if any, and is “Trumpism” a movement? Will US foreign policy be any different under a Trump administration?