Wikileaks: 600 docs show UN Peacekeepers raping and stealing!

This bulletin just came in from Wikileaks:

Wikileaks has released over 600 United Nations investigative reports, over 70 of which are classified. The reports expose sensitive matters from allegations of hundreds of European peace-keepers sexually abusing--and impregnating--refugee girls, to generals in Peru using Swiss bank accounts to engage in multi-million dollar procurement fraud.

A number of the reports have not only been marked "Strictly Confidential" but as an additional measure have had selected regions redacted before before internal distribution.  Often these redacted regions can be "unredacted" by simply "cut and pasting" the blanked area.  On the description page for each report, where possible, Wikileaks has provided a simple text version of the report that includes the redacted portions.  

Since the number of reports is subtantial we ask that journalists, bloggers and other investigators take responsibility for those those reports closest to the month and day of their date of birth before considering the material at large.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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An Appeal to the American Conscience

I have never helped to elect a president, not by voting anyway. Every vote I that I've cast has been for the loser. This is one reason why I don't gamble. This election will be no different, and that's why I won't cast a vote for president. I don't want to insure a McCain victory by voting for Obama or anyone else.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about impeachment. Many Democrats have claimed that impeachment could jeopardize their chances of putting a Democrat in office. If you look at recent history however, impeachment has been a very good thing for an opposition party. When Nixon was facing impeachment and resigned instead, the Democrats were able to get Carter elected. When Clinton was impeached the Republicans were able to elect Bush. That particular argument just won't wash. Impeachment has been a good thing for the political party that introduces it.

The Democrats have actually come out against impeachment because this president has such a short time left on his term. I wonder if they have ever considered this to be a reason to impeach. There are many reasons to expect that Bush and Cheney will decide to attack Iran before they leave office. The idea that they would be under indictment could be seen as a way to take the wind out of their sails. The article by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker this week illustrates exactly how serious this administration takes the idea of regime change in Iran. It is a foregone conclusion that war with Iran is one of the top objectives that Bush & Co would like to accomplish before another president takes office. The idea that Bush would like to take on Iran if it appears that Obama will succeed hi has already been voiced by Bill Kristol and other Neo-Con cheerleaders. Why the Democrats still refuse to support Rep. Kucinich and his 35 Articles of Impeachment is a mystery.

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In case we have forgotten what is really at stake

Today on there is an article about a Canadian training manual for Canadian Diplomats which lists the United States, along with countries such as Saudi Arabia, China, Israel, Iran, and Syria as places where inmates could face torture. The manual specifically mentions the Guantanamo Detention Center, where a Canadian citizen who fought with the Taliban has been held since he was 15 years old.

Here is the link: 1/18/canada.torture.list.ap/index.html

I know that we are all caught up with the horse race right now,and with defending our chosen candidate (and often leveling vicious attacks at others, as well as their supporters,) but I think that it might be relevant that we remind ourselves what is really at stake here. The United States has lost much of its standing in the world as a result of its behavior over the last 7 years and it will be up to our next President to set the tone that turns that around.

I am not writing this diary in advocacy for anyone candidate. Rather I found a piece of news that I thought was both depressing and an important reminder of what we, as Democrats, are fighting for.  

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"Chatting" With Ahmadinejad


"Chatting" With Ahmadinejad
eileen fleming

Among the Americans who were held hostage from 1979-1981 in Iran, Bruce Laingen, the former charge de affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Iran, has now publicly called for the Bush administration to put aside its incendiary language and seek diplomatic direct discussions with Iran instead.

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Did Tony Snow Just Take "Invading Iran" "Off the Table"?

Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, February 9, 2007

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned yesterday a U.S. attack on Iran would trigger Iranian retaliation against U.S. interests "around the world," the Washington Post reported.

In response to Khamenei's warning, White House spokesman Tony Snow said, "I've said it, the secretary of defense has said it, the president has said it: We're not invading Iran."

Now this raises two questions.

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