Tuesday 28th of May 2024

state terror .....

‘A black flag hangs over the "rolling" operation
in Gaza. The more the operation "rolls," the darker the flag becomes.
The "summer rains" we are showering on Gaza are not only pointless,
but are first and foremost blatantly illegitimate. It is not legitimate to cut
off 750,000 people from electricity. It is not legitimate to call on 20,000
people to run from their homes and turn their towns into ghost towns. It is not
legitimate to penetrate Syria's airspace. It is not legitimate to kidnap half a
government and a quarter of a parliament.

tailspins .....

From the ABC …..

Labor takes 6-point lead over Coalition: poll

A new opinion poll shows the
Federal Opposition has a six-point lead over the Coalition.

The Newspoll published in The
Australian newspaper reveals Labor has 53 per cent support compared to 47
per cent for the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis.

The survey also finds
satisfaction with John Howard's performance as Prime Minister has slumped
seven points to its lowest level in eight months - 43 per cent.

the "value" of law .....

From letters in The Sydney
Morning Herald

Lawyers: uphold the law .....

Adele Horin, what a case you
presented against the lawyers in John Howard's cabinet ("So many
lawyers, so little responsibility", July 1).

I have a dream that the lawyers
of Australia will unite and declare their outrage at the Government's
denial of justice to David Hicks. 

reflections on the blind, one-eyed cyclops …..

‘It is hard sometimes to know what is real and what is
fiction when it comes to the news out of Iraq. America is in its "silly
season," the summer months leading up to a national election, and the
media is going full speed ahead in exploiting its primacy in the news arena by
substituting responsible reporting with headline-grabbing entertainment.

So, as America closes in on the
end of June and the celebration of the 230th year of our nation's birth, I thought
I would pen a short primer on three myths on Iraq to keep an eye out for as we
"debate" the various issues pertaining to our third year of war in
that country.’

the real law-breaker .....

In its 5-3
(PDF), the US Supreme Court ruled yesterday in Hamdan
v. Rumsfeld
that the special military tribunals created by the Bush
administration to try suspected terrorists are illegal. Specifically, the court
that the tribunals "were not authorized by any act of Congress and that
their structure and procedures violate the Uniform
Code of Military Justice
(UCMJ) and the four Geneva
signed in 1949.

promised retaliations .....

From the New York Times .....

Israel Steps Up Confrontation in Gaza Strip

Published: June 29, 2006

GAZA, June 30 — With the
detention of dozens of senior Hamas officials and its military hunkered
down, Israel appeared to delay any ground incursion into northern Gaza on
Thursday, but it continued to pound Palestinian territory with artillery

our ABC .....

Jones was prepared to spend money and this would become a
game of deep pockets, and that's where the ABC would be exposed

The ABC will not proceed with the publication
of Jonestown, the controversial unauthorised biography of Alan Jones by the
Four Corners journalist Chris Masters.

the good fairy gitmo' .....

Supreme Court Blocks Guantánamo
Tribunals .....

By John
O'Neil & Scott Shane

June 29, 2006

The Supreme
Court today delivered a sweeping rebuke to the Bush administration, ruling
that it exceeded its authority by creating tribunals for terror suspects
that fell short of the legal protections that Congress has traditionally
required in military courts.

As a result, the court said in a 5-to-3 ruling, the tribunals violated
both American military law and the military's obligations under the Geneva

fake brush up the aside .... ?

Coonan rejects Murdoch's media
policy criticisms …..

Communications Minister Helen Coonan
has brushed aside Rupert Murdoch's criticism of the Federal Government's
plans for changes to media laws. 

The News Corporation chairman and
chief executive has suggested the Government should throw out its package
of changes or leave things the way they are until someone with the
political will to make more drastic change emerges.

the prison of political hypocrisy .....

‘When a man's plea for help is rejected by both of the
countries that legally owe him a duty of care, it is clear that political
expediency has triumphed over justice.

David Hicks, the only Westerner
still incarcerated in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, was born in
Adelaide of an English mother. This entitles him to dual citizenship. 

Since January 2002, Hicks has
languished in detention while the Australian Government has denied any
obligation for his welfare, preferring to support clear breaches of
international law by its American allies. Now, the British Foreign Office has
decided not to make representations for his release because he was an
Australian citizen when captured and handed to US forces.

another tricky dicky .....

Four former Bush administration officials involved in the run-up to the
Iraq war testified before the Democratic Policy Committee yesterday to explain
how and why the intelligence was manipulated.

Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin
Powell's former chief of staff, said he needed just three words to explain why
a small number of individuals in the administration “had more influence…than
the professionals.” "The
Vice President
," he said.  

more prime ministerial gas .....

Howard says IR protests threaten
resources trade ….

Prime Minister John Howard says
today's national day of protest and the Opposition's policy to abolish
workplace agreements (AWAs) jeopardises resources trade with China. 

Mr Howard and the Premier of China
today attended a ceremony in southern China, marking the start of multi-billion-dollar
Australian liquid natural gas exports.

Downer- Celebrity Cupid Or Country Singer Stalker ?

Australia's Foreign Minister believes he's responsible for the marriage of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban?  This is the man that George W. Bush wanted to lead the world into Iran?

Ninemsn has reported that Downer was "in the vicinity" when Kidman and Urban met.  Apparently he's just told BBC Radio that he has a photograph to prove it.  Until this photo is released the mental pictures in my head will keep me giggling for days.

Alex, you're always going to be an "extra", even in attempted publicity stunts like this one.  What the Brits think of this announcement is a point of conjecture, but the word "tosser" springs to mind. 

muck media .....

from yesterday’s Crikey ….. 

No basis for Murdoch's Muslim

Charles Richardson writes: 

Rupert Murdoch picked a bad time
to express the view, as he did yesterday, that Muslims'
religion "supercedes any sense of nationalism wherever they go".
Perhaps he was following Mark Steyn, who maintained back in February that Islam
"is not something you leave behind in the old country. Indeed, for its
adherents in the West, it becomes their principal expression – a Pan-Islamic
identity that transcends borders."

Just last week, the Pew Global Attitudes Project released a report that
provides strong evidence against the Murdoch-Steyn position. Pew surveyed
people in Muslim countries, western Europe and the US, and also specifically
Muslims in western Europe. While the responses were not monolithic, they show
that as a general rule European Muslims were more liberal and less anti-western
than their counterparts in the Middle East.

Australian Aid Agency Lax On Corruption: Audit Report

The Australian Government's Aid Agency Ausaid, a major Australian employer of Halliburton/KBR, has been warned to tighten its anti-corruption practices in a report released today (Wednesday)

The report follows admission by Ausaid representatives earlier this year that the organision had no internal protocols for reporting detected corruption in aid deals.

The report, released by the National Audit Office, states that funds earmarked to provided relief to Indonesia following the Decenber 2004 tsunami were used to pay Ausaid officers and to cover administration costs.   It includes the statement that "a key risk for activities is that of fraud and corruption" and claims that numerous contracts were not signed until after the provision of services had commenced.

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