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Gatefold: Doormats of the World, Unite!

This is your new-style, reinvigorated, hard-charging, tough-talking, speaking-truth-to-power, practicing-vigorous-oversight gaggle of Senate Democrats in action one month after their historic triumph at the polls:

Senate approves Gates as defense secretary (CNN)
By a vote of 95-2, the Senate approved President Bush’s defense secretary nominee Wednesday, a day after the nomination sailed through the Armed Services Committee.
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Across the Borderline

The House of Death (The Observer, via Avedon Carol at The Sideshow)

This is a dirty story, about as dirty as it gets. It’s a story of top government officials knowingly, deliberately, willingly countenancing a string of horrific murders – then punishing decent, law-abiding colleagues who tried to work through the proper channels in order to rectify the government’s egregious complicity and ensure such barbarity wouldn’t happen again. Those who sought to do right were beaten down. Those who covered up the truth, and

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Voices Carry: Metaphysics as a Guide to Murder

Below is a reprise from June 2003, which appeared on CounterPunch and in my Moscow Times column, a piece that was not included in the Empire Burlesque book. It is a general argument that tries, briefly, to get at some of the deeper issues underlying the bedevilments of the age, which, as noted below, are by no means exclusive to our modern times.

We meant no offense to any Christian readers with our recent blast at the crude fundamentalism

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Pale Fire and London Fog: Illuminating Outliers in the Death of Alexander Litvinenko

This is an updated version of the piece that appeared yesterday at

I. The Baron and the Billionaire
Everyone knows that Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko was killed by radiation poisoning in London last month. But beyond that bare fact, almost nothing is clear about the case. The truth has
disappeared, probably forever, into the shadowlands – that murky confluence of crime, violence, money and politics where so much of the

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Hideous Kinky: The Genocidal Fury of Thomas Friedman

You would think that by now we would have “supp’d full with horrors” on the New York Times op-ed pages. What could be worse than the atrocities that have filled those gray columns in the past few years, the loud brays for war, the convoluted excuses for presidential tyranny, the steady murmur of chin-stroking bullshit meant to comfort the comfortable elite and confirm them — at all times, at any cost — in their well-wadded self-righteousness? Surely, you would think, we have seen the

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Women and Children First: The Lessons of Iraq

Women, kids, old, sick most at risk in Iraq (Reuters)
Single women, children and the old and sick in Iraq are most at risk of being left hungry and homeless among people uprooted by the sectarian violence, an international aid group warned on Tuesday. In a report, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said that children were especially vulnerable to malnutrition and spread of disease.

“… traditional coping mechanisms are not only being stretched to the limit but are starting
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Dispatch From the Shadowlands

Wise man William Blum has more on “The Case That is Still Not Dead” in his latest “Anti-Empire Report.” Check out more of Blum’s work at Killing Hope.

BLUM: I have closely followed and often written about the case of PanAm Flight 103, blown out of the sky by a terrorist bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, taking the lives of 270 people. For well over a year afterward, the US and the UK insisted that Iran, Syria, and a Palestinian group had been
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Endgame in Iraq: The Inside Story

Want to know what’s really going on behind the scenes as the American war on Iraq spirals to its fiery conclusion? Ask someone who knows, who moves among the top players, who has been there, on the bloodstained ground, in the gold-plated palaces: Paul William Roberts. The intrepid Senior Writer for our sister site, Atlantic Free Press, is back with his latest report on the American debacle and Iraq’s agony. His piece, Decline

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Giving Thanks in the Shadow of the Terror War

The “War on Terror” represents a horribly, monstrously wrong turn for the United States, Britain, and the world. Like its offshoot, the aggression in Iraq, the Terror War is a strategic disaster of mind-boggling proportions, a moral, political and cultural failure so immense as to be almost unfathomable, an all-corrupting, counterproductive policy of resounding stupidity. We have not even begun to comprehend the scope and depth — and duration — of the harm that this reckless, witless, ignorant campaign has wrought. Tyranny, bankruptcy,

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Family Feud: Little Bush Hits Back at Daddy

Excerpt: President Bush formally launched a sweeping internal review of Iraq policy yesterday, pulling together studies underway by various government agencies, according to U.S. officials. The initiative… parallels the effort by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to salvage U.S. policy in Iraq, develop an exit strategy and protect long-term U.S. interests in the region…The White House’s decision changes the dynamics of what happens next to U.S. policy deliberations. The administration will
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