Guy Parent finds badly wounded soldiers not getting disability cheques

Aug 19, 2014

A new report by Canada’s veterans watchdog says nearly half of the country’s most severely disabled ex-soldiers are not receiving a government allowance intended to compensate them for their physical and mental wounds.

Veterans ombudsman Guy Parent also concluded that those who are receiving the permanent impairment allowance, along with a recently introduced supplement, are only awarded the lowest grade of the benefit.

The criteria used by federal bureaucrats to evaluate disability do not match the intent of the allowance, and the guidelines are too restrictive, the report said.

It doesn’t make sense to set aside cash to deal with a problem and then not spend it, Parent said. “You can flood programs with money, but of you don’t broaden the access, then you haven’t accomplished anything.”

It’s a pattern with the current government, he said, noting how the Conservatives poured funding into the burial program for impoverished ex-soldiers in 2013, but took a year to ease the eligibility criteria so people could actually qualify.

“The evidence presented in the report clearly demonstrates that many severely impaired veterans are either not receiving these benefits or may be receiving them at a grade level that is too low,” the ombudsman said.

“This is unfair and needs to be corrected.”

Investigators could find no evidence that Veterans Affairs adjudicators consider the effect of an enduring injury on an individual’s long-term employment and career prospects, he added.

Findings under review

In a statement, Veteran Affairs Minister Julian Fantino said the findings of the ombudsman’s latest report will be considered as the government prepares its response to a Commons committee review, which has recommended a series of improvements to the legislation governing veterans benefits.

“I have asked officials at Veterans Affairs to ensure that they consider the recommendations found in the veterans ombudsman’s PIA report as well as consult his office in the development of solutions to improve the New Veterans Charter,” Fantino said.

In defending itself against criticism that veterans are being short-changed, the Harper government has been quick to point to the allowance and the supplement as a sign of its generosity.

Fantino told a House of Commons committee last spring that some permanently disabled soldiers receive more than $10,000 per month, but figures from his own department show that only four individuals in the entire country receive that much.

The department went a step further and released a chart at the end of July that shows the maximum benefits soldiers of different ranks could qualify for under existing legislation — a “misleading” display that could raise “false expectations” among veterans, Parent said.

The latest report also noted that when a veteran dies, the spouse automatically loses the allowance, creating financial hardship for the family. Under the old Pension Act system, the widow or widower continued to receive support.

The permanent impairment allowance is a taxable benefit awarded to disabled soldiers in three grade levels as compensation for lost future earnings. The Harper government introduced a supplement to the allowance in 2011.

In some respects, that supplement contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of applications.

According to figures released by Veterans Affairs in June, some 521 ex-soldiers are deemed to be the most critically injured, but the vast majority of them — 92 per cent — receive the lowest grade of allowance support.

The ombudsman’s report estimates Canada has a total of 1,911 severely wounded soldiers, 924 of whom receive no allowance at all.

Ron Cundell, of the web site VeteranVoice.info, said the latest review doesn’t tell ex-soldiers anything they don’t know already.

“It’s a shame,” Cundell said. “The (office of the veterans ombudsman) reports are proving what the veteran community has known for a long time. Veterans Affairs is not treating veterans fairly.”

One of the best comments.

This also applies to most countries not just Canada.

 

Strange world this western world, give a man a helmet and a rifle, send him to a strange country, feed him some army rations, pay him as little as possible, send him home and try to forget about him, healthy or wounded.
Give a man a helmet and a football, fly him all over your own country, put him up in luxury hotels, feed him steaks and champagne, pay him more then his agent asks for, put his name and picture on the front pages of everything from magazines to breakfast cereal box, if he gets hurt provide him with his own private doctor and full staff, retire him in a mansion with full compensation and staff and talk about him for years at every sports program.

Seems Harper has followed what the US does to it’s Veterans. As little as possible or nothing.

More times then not these young men and women are sent to wars that are fabricated so weapons manufactures, banks, oil companies etc make profit.

ISIS in Syria are freedom fighters, but in Iraq they are the bad guys.

John McCain happens to be friends of those ISIS terrorists.

ISIS brags about links to US Senator John McCain

The US and the Harper Regime also support the Ukrainian Government,

which is killing people in Eastern Ukraine,

Both also support Israel who is killing people in Gaza.

Both supported the killing of people in Libya.

Both support the killing of Syrians.

All of the above are fabricated, wars based on Lies.

Those so called freedom fighters in Libya, Syria are Terrorist funded by the US.

The US started the war in the Ukraine. That is typical of the US however, they have been starting wars for years.

The main stream media is a disgrace. They push the propaganda and lies produced by the Governments.

Like the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. All lies.

Those so called freedom fighter remind me of Death Squads.

Well we all know, who trains them, now don’t we?

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Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

November 10 2011

The Harper Government wants to create more Criminals.
The total crime rate for serious offences fell by 19% between 2000 and 2010. The crime severity rate has fallen 6% since 1998, which means that Canadians commit fewer violent crimes like murders, attempted murders and serious assaults. There are also fewer brake-ins, car thefts, robberies and drunk driving charges — still Harper wants to spend massive amounts of our money locking up more Canadians.

Crime rates in Canada have been falling steadily for over a decade yet Harper insists on spending our money to lock up our most vulnerable citizens like youth and aboriginals. Spending billions on bad crime laws means that our taxes will rise or valuable social programs like Employment Insurance will be cut. Quebec and Ontario have already said they won’t pay.

Creating mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana smokers and putting kids who make mistakes behind bars is not the way to make Canada a better place. Join the call to show Harper that we’d rather invest in social programs that really help Canadians.

This week, experts are speaking out against the massive crime bill that our Conservative government is rushing through Parliament.1 Even conservative Texans are warning Canada not to follow American’s failed path of mandatory sentences and massive prison expansion.2 Now, we need a massive public outcry to stop the bill, and make Canada safer, not meaner.

Experts agree that the crime bill would make Canada a more dangerous place by filling new prisons with people who should not be there. Instead, experience shows that we should focus on proven strategies to prevent crime, rehabilitate people and reintegrate them into society.1,3 The stakes are huge: if this bill passes we will be spending billions to trap people and create a permanent underclass of Canadians with little hope for a better life.4

The good news is that more and more Canadians are speaking out and public opinion is close to a decisive shift. The Conservatives want to be “Canada’s natural governing party” and they care about public opinion. We need to show the Conservative government that they can either choose a better path, or they will pay a serious political cost for making Canada a meaner and more dangerous place.

Mandatory sentences and prison expansion backfired in the United States, a country with only 5% of the global population and 25% of all the world’s prisoners. Today, state after state is in crisis and is repealing those laws.2

One conservative Texan, Judge John Creuzot of the Dallas County Court, has warned us, saying: You will spend billions and billions and billions on locking people up. And there will come a point in time where the public says, ‘Enough!’ And you’ll wind up letting them out.” 2

We all want to make Canada safer. Yes, there is a role for punishment that is proportionate to the crime and wisely chosen for the circumstance. However, in the vast majority of cases, rehabilitation is better than long jail sentences. Canada âs focus on prevention and rehabilitation has already brought crime rates to historic lows.3,5

Every billion dollars our federal government forces our provinces to spend on new prisons is a billion dollars that could have been spent preventing crimes by supporting programs for at-risk youth, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and strategies for mental health.

The crime bill represents a creeping erosion of Canada’s social fabric. We know that millions of Canadians believe that prevention and restorative justice – approaches that make sure the victim’s needs are met and the community is healed – should be the heart of Canadian justice.

This crime bill would move us in the wrong direction. Who benefits from one-size-fits-all punishments? Who benefits from massive prison expansion? Who benefits from throwing more of Canada’s youth, poor, and mentally ill in prison?

It’s time we speak out together. This petition is an essential first step in a major campaign. Will you join us?

Click here to tell Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and your MP you want a new strategy for Canadian justice:

So far 22,413 strong.

As of Nov 13 2011 22,823 messages sent

http://www.leadnow.ca/keep-canada-safe

You can also sign this Petition over  80,765 strong

As of Nov 13 2011 96,960 have signed

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_harpers_cruel_crime_bill/?cl=1378432192&v=11036

Both only take a minute of your life to sign..

Please do pass this on.

Bill  S-10

Sources:

[1] Critics of omnibus bill advocate for criminals,Conservatives charge (Globe and Mail):
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/critics-of-omnibus-bill-advocate-for-criminals-conservatives-charge/article2205213/

[2] Texas conservatives reject Harper’s crime plan – ‘Been there; done that; didn’t work,’ say Texas crime-fighters (CBC):
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/17/pol-vp-milewski-texas-crime.html

[3] Study: Prevention Fights Crime Better Than Jail (Seattle Times):
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960620&slug=2335526

[4] Tough on crime will likely lead to more crime, bigger deficit (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives):
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/tough-crime-will-likely-lead-more-crime-bigger-deficit-report

[5] Crime rates fall to lowest level since 1973
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/07/21/crime-rates.html

[6] Open letter to the Government opposing mandatory sentences from over 550 Canadian experts and public health professionals (Urban Health Research Initiative):
http://uhri.cfenet.ubc.ca/content/view/90

[7] A Meaner Canada : Junk Politics and the Omnibus Crime Bill (Alex Himelfarb)
http://afhimelfarb.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/a-meaner-canada-junk-politics-and-the-omnibus-crime-bill/

[8] What is Wrong With Harper’s Omnibus Crime Bill (Behind the Numbers)
http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2011/09/20/whats-wrong-with-harpers-omnibus-crime-bill/

[9] Rough Justice in America: Too many laws, too many prisoners – Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little (The Economist):
http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

[10] Salvaging a faulty crime bill (Irvin Waller)
http://www.themarknews.com/articles/6942-salvaging-a-faulty-crime-bill

[11] Incarceration and Crime: A Complex Relationship, (The Sentencing Project)
http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_iandc_complex.pdf

[12] The cartoon is by Malcolm Mayes, in the Edmonton Journal.

The Harper Government in Canada wants to create Legislation similar to the Drug offenses in the US. Lets hope Canadians do not get coerced into this. Marijuana is not that bad. It has many uses medically and fewer violent crimes if any are committed because of it. Alcohol is far worse as far as crimes.  Those who use Marijuana are non violent.

If a police officer had a choice of going into a room with 20 Marijuana users or 20 drunk people the room with the Marijuana uses would be a much safer room. Drunk people are much more violent and much more dangerous. Marijuana users would be listening to music and eating. They don’t even bother to argue they just enjoy themselves. Drunk people fight and argue and alcohol is addictive where as Marijuana is not.

So I have to say Harper’s bill is wrong on many counts. If anything Marijuana should be legalized and the Government could regulate it and make profits/taxes on it. Open stores to have it sold etc.

It would eliminate grow ops and many other problems now associated with Marijuana.

If individuals grew their own or buy it from a Government store there would be no need for dealers and all the other problems now faced by police at this time.

Then the police could spend their time looking for dangerous criminals.

It would save a lot of money and make a lot of money.

End of a lot of problems.

Check the link below and get some insight as to how Medical Marijuana helps people and it is safer then many Pharmaceuticals.

It will even get rid of a headache.

The lobby groups who want to prevent the legalization of Marijuana are the Pharmaceutical companies. Not because it is dangerous, but because it would cut into their profits.

Medical Marijuana


Legalizing Marijuana  would create a lot of jobs something we all can agree on is needed. Maybe the drinkers would take up smoking Marijuana and make the world a safer place especially for women who are beaten by their drunken spouses.

What’s wrong with Harper’s omnibus crime bill

By Paula Mallea

September 20, 2011

Prime Minister Harper will be launching his tough-on-crime agenda today. Our criminal justice system is by no means perfect, but the omnibus crime bill will send us back to a 19th century punishment model. Here are some reasons why Canadians need to speak out against this legislation.

The former U.S. drug czar (Asa Hutchinson) has encouraged Canada not to make the same mistakes the U.S. made. The two mistakes he cited were mandatory minimum sentences, and insufficient attention to rehabilitative programs.

1. The cost of the Harper crime agenda will be colossal, and a large part of it (some say most) will be borne by the provinces, who are responsible for implementing whatever the feds pass. So provinces and territories (many of them in elections as we speak) will be expected to pay for additional courts, clerks, prisons, Crown Attorneys, judges, sheriffs, court reporters and so on. And the numbers are high-$5 billion over 5 years for the one piece of legislation which was examined by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The new drug sentences alone will increase numbers of offenders by a huge amount. The Corrections department is one of the few which is receiving huge increases in its budget as we speak.

2. Virtually all of the crime legislation is directed towards increasing punishment by way of more prison terms for more people and for longer. Virtually nothing in any of the legislation does anything to prevent crime (as the Conservatives claim), help victims (as they claim) or target guns, gangs, drugs and organized crime (as they claim). The Harper government’s stated objectives will not be met by the omnibus crime bill.

3. Other jurisdictions, notably the United States, have rejected the Harper approach. Newt Gingrich is fronting a group called Right on Crime which advocates for less incarceration. Ronald Reagan presided over a huge reduction in incarceration when he was governor of California. Maggie Thatcher refused to allow incarceration rates to rise in Britain. Many states are abolishing mandatory minimum sentences and reducing the proportion of sentences which must be served before release.

4. Canada is moving in the wrong direction, and the results will not be pretty. I predict there will be expanding deficits at all levels, an increase in misery for all parties, including offenders’ families and communities, and victims (who in fact advocate for improvements in preventive and rehabilitative programs). The picture becomes darker when you consider that up to 80 to 90 per cent of offenders in some institutions are addicts (mostly to alcohol), and up to 40 per cent have mental illnesses. A huge proportion are Aborignal people. Many offenders are homeless, illiterate, victims of sexual abuse, and so on. What is significant is that we have the means to deal with all of these conditions-we know how, and the resources required would be a fraction of the budget necessary to incarcerate so many new inmates. Dealing with these issues would not only reduce crime but would also make for a healthier community. Because the Conservatives are so concentrated on the punishment model, there will be no resources (and no inclination) to fund the programs necessary to deal with these fundamental problems.

5. Journalists continually state that the omnibus crime bill is considered necessary by the Harper government because the crime legislation was otherwise “unpassable” or because of “obstructive measures” taken by the opposition. This is demonstrably not true. The opposition never got a chance to oppose most of the crime legislation because it never came to a vote: most of the laws died on the order paper when Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament twice and when he called the 2008 election. Most of the rest of them were never brought forward in a timely manner.

The Conservatives have the majority they need to pass this legislation. The only thing that might give them pause would be a public groundswell against the law. If for no other reason than financial, we should be making our voices heard.

 

Paula Mallea, B.A., M.A., Ll.B, practised criminal law for 15 years in Toronto, Kingston, and Manitoba. She acted mainly as defence counsel, with a part-time stint as prosecutor, and spent hundreds of hours in penitentiaries representing inmates. She is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She is the author of The Fear Factor: Stephen Harper’s Tough On Crime Agenda and Lorimer Publishing will be releasing her book on the tough-on-crime agenda this fall.

This article first appeared on Behind the Numbers.

 

Ceasefire in the War on Drugs?

CIA Drug Trafficking over 50 years

Why do you think American troops are Guarding the Poppy Fields in Afghanistan? Afghanistan went from no Heroin to tons of Heroin.

Plus the US got their pipeline.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Cost of the war on Drugs in US

Canadians do not want the American system. Check link below to see why.

The Prison Industry in the United States Costs Taxpayers Billions

You also might want to check this out as well.

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Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Comments Off on Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill  
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Obama Approves $30 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Over Next Decade

By Jason Ditz,
December 18, 2009

As the single largest expense of the 2010 foreign aid budget, President Obama approved $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel, the first payment in a decade-long commitment that will reach at least $30 billion.

Last year, Israel’s military budget amounted to $13.3 billion, so the US funding is a significant portion of their overall expenditure. The US formerly provided both military and civilian aid, but it has since been folded entirely into military aid, at Israel’s request.

The money is not a blank check, however. The US requires that Israel spend at least 75% of the money given in military aid with US military contractors, effectively using the foreign aid budget to subsidize domestic weapon-makers.

In addition to military aid, the US also provides $3.148 billion in loan guarantees to Israel, part of a Treasury Department program aimed at keep Israel’s debt manageable. Ironically, though the US budget is spiraling out of control and America’s own debt continues to rise, there was no serious debate of reducing aid to Israel.

The budget also pledges $500 million in American aid to the Fatah Party’s Palestinian Authority. This aid is contingent on certain requirements, including that the group recognize Israel. This funding is distinct from any funding the CIA may give the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, which would be secret.

$500 Million in Aid Also to Go to Palestinian Authority

Source

The US debt is now nearing 13 trillion.

CIA working with Palestinian Authority security agents

US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank.

Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned.

Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups.

The relationship between the CIA and the two Palestinian agencies involved – Preventive Security Organisation (PSO) and General Intelligence Service (GI) – is said by some western diplomats and other officials in the region to be so close that the American agency appears to be supervising the Palestinians’ work.

One senior western official said: “The [Central Intelligence] Agency consider them as their property, those two Palestinian services.” A diplomatic source added that US influence over the agencies was so great they could be considered “an advanced arm of the war on terror”.

While the CIA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) deny the US agency controls its Palestinian counterparts, neither denies that they interact closely in the West Bank. Details of that co-operation are emerging as some human rights organisations are beginning to question whether US intelligence agencies may be turning a blind eye to abusive interrogations conducted by other countries’ intelligence agencies with whom they are working. According to the Palestinian watchdog al-Haq, human rights in the West Bank and Gaza have “gravely deteriorated due to the spreading violations committed by Palestinian actors” this year.

Most of those held without trial and allegedly tortured in the West Bank have been supporters of Hamas, which won the Palestinian elections in 2006 but is denounced as a terrorist organisation by the PA – which in turn is dominated by the rival Fatah political faction – and by the US and EU. In the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been in control for more than two years, there have been reports of its forces detaining and torturing Fatah sympathisers in the same way.

Among the human rights organisations that have documented or complained about the mistreatment of detainees held by the PA in the West Bank are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, al-Haq and the Israeli watchdog B’Tselem. Even the PA’s human rights commission has expressed “deep concern” over the mistreatment of detainees.

The most common complaint is that detainees are severely beaten and subjected to a torture known as shabeh, during which they are shackled and forced to assume painful positions for long periods. There have also been reports of sleep deprivation, and of large numbers of detainees being crammed into small cells to prevent rest. Instead of being brought before civilian courts, almost all the detainees enter a system of military justice under which they need not be brought before a court for six months.

According to PA officials, between 400 and 500 Hamas sympathisers are held by the PSO and GI.

Some of the mistreatment has been so severe that at least three detainees have died in custody this year. The most recent was Haitham Amr, a 33-year-old nurse and Hamas supporter from Hebron who died four days after he was detained by GI officials last June. Extensive bruising around his kidneys suggested he had been beaten to death. Among those who died in GI custody last year was Majid al-Barghuti, 42, an imam at a village near Ramallah.

While there is no evidence that the CIA has been commissioning such mistreatment, human rights activists say it would end promptly if US pressure was brought to bear on the Palestinian authorities.

Shawan Jabarin, general director of al-Haq, said: “The Americans could stop it any time. All they would have to do is go to [prime minister] Salam Fayyad and tell him they were making it an issue.. Then they could deal with the specifics: they could tell him that detainees needed to be brought promptly before the courts.”

A diplomat in the region said “at the very least” US intelligence officers were aware of the torture and not doing enough to stop it. He added: “There are a number of questions for the US administration: what is their objective, what are their rules of engagement? Do they train the GI and PSO according to the manual which was established by the previous administration, including water-boarding? Are they in control, or are they just witnessing?”

Sa’id Abu-Ali, the PA’s interior minister, accepted detainees had been tortured and some had died, but said such abuses had not been official policy and steps were being taken to prevent them. He said such abuses “happen in every country in the world”. Abu-Ali sought initially to deny the CIA was “deeply involved” with the two Palestinian intelligence agencies responsible for the torture of Hamas sympathisers, but then conceded that links did exist. “There is a connection, but there is no supervision by the Americans,” he said. “It is solely a Palestinian affair. But the Americans help us.”

The CIA does not deny working with the PSO and GI in the West Bank, although it will not say what use it has made of intelligence extracted during the interrogation of Hamas supporters. But it denies turning what one official described as “a Nelson’s eye to abuse”.

The CIA’s spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, denied it played a supervisory role over the PSO or GI. “The notion that this agency somehow runs other intelligence services … is simply wrong,” he said. “The CIA … only supports, and is interested in, lawful methods that produce sound intelligence.”

Concern about detainee abuse is growing in the West Bank despite an effort by the international community to create Palestinian institutions that will guarantee greater security as a first step towards creating a Palestinian state. More than half of the PA’s $2.8bn (£1.66bn) budget came from international donors last year; more than a quarter was swallowed up by the ministry of the interior and national security. Human Rights Watch and al-Haq have said that in raising the security capacity of the PA, donor countries have a responsibility to ensure it observes international human rights standards.

At the heart of the international effort is the creation of the Palestinian national security force, a 7,500-strong gendarmerie trained by US, British, Canadian and Turkish army officers under the command of a US general, Keith Dayton. Many Palestinians blame Dayton for the mistreatment of Hamas sympathisers, although the general’s remit does not extend to either of the intelligence agencies responsible.

Some in Dayton’s team are said to have been warned by senior CIA officers that they should not attempt to interfere in the work of the PSO or GI. Privately, some of them are said to fear that the mistreatment of detainees, and the anger this is arousing among the population, may undermine their mission. One source said: “I know that Dayton and his crew are very concerned about what is happening in those detention centres because they know it can jeopardise their work.”

Source

The CIA are the torture teachers. They seem to be doing what they always do, considering Obama said no more torture. I guess he lied.

I have great faith the CIA  have helped immensely in the torture of
Hamas victims. I don’t believe the so called spokes person for the CIA. Not knowing what I know about the history of the CIA.  They are in it up to their ears, as usual.

Torture is illegal under  International Law.

At least Hamas was elected democratically and they are the ones being punished by the PA, Israel, the CIA and the rest of the world just sits idly by while they are also being tortured as well.  US tax dollars hard at work.

Just more Guantanamo Bay slop.

So the US tortures, Israelis torture and now the Palestinian Authority also tortures.

Those citizens who pay for this in the US should be so proud their tax dollars go to a good cause. The Enablers are as bad as the ones who torture.

Aid should be for the hungry people of the world not for torture or weapons. Of course all the weapons that are purchased with the military aid are from  US weapons manufactures.  They make a fortune off the tax payers in the US who pay for it all.  The enablers of wars around the world.

The US Gov uses tax payers money given to other countries to buy weapons from the US.  Not profitable at all.

Not for the people who give their hard earned money in taxes just to profit the weapons dealers.
I bet those weapons manufactures  give a whole lot of money to candidates at election time however. Nothing like getting business on silver platter given to you.

1263 – U.S. Foreign Economic and Military Aid by Major Recipient Country [Excel 74k] | [PDF 458k] Up to 2007 Source

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Canadian Doctors host ‘A Celebration of Medicare in Canada’

August 28 2009

There is also a video at the site.

Canadian Doctors for Medicare hosted a celebration of Medicare in Canada. The speakers included Roy Romanow, former Saskatchewan Premier and Commissioner on Health Care in Canada.

The present debate in the U.S. over health care has at times resulted in having Canada’s health care system being shown to Americans in a negative light. The Canada Health Act’s 25th birthday party was thrown by an activist group of physicians known as Canadian Doctors for Medicare, which has set up shop in Saskatoon in a large part to act as a counterweight to the Canadian Medical Association’s reformist lobbying. Canadian Doctors for Medicare want to send a message to Americans telling them the Canadian universal health care system works and to encourage Americans to implement a single payer universal health care system. Former Premier of Saskatchewan Roy Romanow, who was also the man that headed up the Royal commission on health care in Canada says the system needs some work, but changes should not include privatization reports the Canadian Press. He said that the present debate in the U.S. “taps into Canadian emotions” and that “Canadians object to the misrepresentations of the Canadian health care system by a lot of the American opponents.” He said that 86 percent of Canadians rate their health care system as “high” and “are extremely satisfied with their services.” Continued vigilance and lobbying will be required to protect and improve Canada’s medicare system, Mr Romanow said. “A great responsibility rests on all of us who believe in medicare,” reports Canadian Medicine. Dr Danielle Martin followed Mr Romanow’s speech by arguing that evidence has shown publicly delivered, not-for-profit health care to be cheaper and of a higher quality than private, for-profit care. Another advantage, she said, can be seen in the difference between administrative costs in the health care systems of the United States and Canada. In the US, administrative costs represent 31% of health spending; in Canada that figure is just 1.3%. As attendees got ready to leave, one young med school graduate stood up at a microphone to invite people to her friend’s parents’ house to drink sangria and continue the conversation about health policy, proving once again that the Canada Health Act truly is an unusual piece of legislation. As Dr Nuala Kenny, the well-known retired Nova Scotia pediatrician and bio ethicist, said, “just compare the civil tone of Sunday’s Canada Health Act discussion to the wildly acrimonious attitudes we’ve seen on television at the health insurance reform town-hall meetings taking place now in the United States.”

Source

No advertising.

No Stockholders.

No Insurance lobbing.

No profiteering.

Saves a fortune for all concerned.

Published in: on August 29, 2009 at 12:17 am  Comments Off on Canadian Doctors host ‘A Celebration of Medicare in Canada’  
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Last Guantanamo trial of Bush era is delayed

December 10 2008

By Jane Sutton

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba

A U.S. military judge on Wednesday indefinitely delayed the January trial of a young Afghan captive, leaving the future course of justice at the Guantanamo prison camp in the hands of President-elect Barack Obama.

Defendant Mohammed Jawad had been set to go to trial at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba on January 5 on charges of throwing a grenade that injured two U.S. soldiers and their Afghan interpreter at a bazaar in Kabul in December 2002.

His was the last trial scheduled to start before Obama takes office on January 20. Obama has said he will close the Guantanamo detention center and move the prisoners’ terrorism trials into the regular U.S. civilian or military courts.

Human rights groups have urged him to issue an executive order immediately upon taking office, halting the tribunals that have been widely condemned by rights activists, foreign leaders and military defense lawyers.

In the seven years since President George W. Bush first authorized the tribunals, military juries have convicted only two prisoners on terrorism charges and a third pleaded guilty in an agreement that limited his sentence to nine months.

A military judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley, indefinitely postponed Jawad’s trial on Wednesday to give prosecutors time to appeal his earlier decision to throw out much of the evidence.

Henley had ruled that Jawad’s confession to Afghan government authorities was obtained through death threats that constituted torture and that his subsequent confession to U.S. interrogators was fruit of that torture.

The judge ruled that neither could be admitted as evidence against Jawad, who was drugged and only 16 or 17 years old at the time of his arrest in Afghanistan. Jawad was turned over to U.S. forces and sent shortly afterward to Guantanamo.

A hearing is still scheduled at Guantanamo on Friday for a young Canadian captive, Omar Khadr, who is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in July 2002. His trial is scheduled to start on January 26, a date now in doubt because of the change in the U.S. administration.

CONFUSION IN HIGH PROFILE CASE

No further hearings have been set for the most high-profile case among the 17 pending at Guantanamo, that of five al Qaeda suspects charged with orchestrating the September 11 attacks.

The five, including self-described mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, came to the Guantanamo courtroom on Monday ready to hand the Bush administration a major victory in its final days by confessing to the mass murders that prompted its war on terrorism.

What stopped them was confusion over whether the murky tribunal rules allowed the defendants to plead guilty to charges that could lead to their execution and whether their treatment at U.S. hands had left them sane enough to do it.

All five said they were tortured, though details have not been made public. A decision is still pending on whether two of them, Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa Ahmed al Hasawi, are mentally competent to act as their own attorneys and carry out their plans to confess.

“Each one of these individuals has some problems because of what we did to them,” said Army Maj. Jon Jackson, the military lawyer appointed to defend Hawsawi.

The defense lawyers said the confusion over whether the tribunal rules allow guilty pleas in death penalty cases illustrates why the trials should be moved into the regular courts where the rules have been long tested.

They said they were confident Obama would pull the plug on the Guantanamo tribunals, which are formally known as military commissions.

“What you saw was the death throes of the commissions,” said Michael Berrigan, deputy chief defense counsel for Guantanamo. “Everybody knows why — it’s not justice.”

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source

Pleading Guilty after Torture-Did you really do it?

Omar Khadr witness withdrawn to `cover up’ abuse: defence

U.S. acknowledges it held 12 juveniles at Guantanamo Bay prison

Scandal of six held in Guantanamo even after Bush plot claim is dropped

Sindh High Court issues notice to respondents in Aafia Siddiqui case

CIA Torture Tactics Endorsed in Secret Memos

Silence on Canadian coalition crisis in U.S. media What a Shocker, LOL

December 4 2008

by KEITH GOTTSCHALK

I watch a lot of CNN. I watch a lot of MSNBC. I read many news sources online. I have seen nothing in the US media about the attempt by the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc to oust Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a no confidence vote and rule by a coalition of the opposition parties.

I understand that there has been a mention in the Huffington Post and one other progressive site.

Perhaps it’s too much to expect the myopic and self-absorbed US media to pay any attention at all to events in Canada. In reality, I feel strongly that this is extremely short-sighted and journalistically irresponsible.

I have to wonder if such a crises occurred in Mexico, if the coverage in the US press would have been any different. Because of the border and immigration issue, I suspect it would be.

These are possibly cataclysmic political events in one of the leading democracies in the Western world AND the USA’s number one trading partner.

This is serious stuff of which the incoming administration of Barack Obama, who strongly favors continuing cooperation on North American trade, travel and security issues, should, and probably are, keeping an eye on.

But the media? No. And that is a shame. Every day across Canada, Canadians are kept abreast of everything that happens to the neighbor to the south. Americans knowledge of Canada lands up being a punch line for Rick Mercer.

Well, I’m doing my part here on rabble and talking to MY fellow Americans about this issue. Of course, most of the time I get the MEGO (my eyes glaze over) reaction.

I don’t expect much international news from the myopic American media. But for goodness sakes we shouldn’t be ignoring historically significant events in Canada.

And for that, as a former journalist, I feel a sense of shame.

Source

Poor Keith: well you know the American media only airs what is important to the Bush agenda nothing more nothing less. Could be nobody told them about it. Could be they are blind as bats.

Do Canadians want their politics ravaged by the American media anyway.?

They would come up with some interesting scenarios I bet.

My Lord they would have Canadians turned into terrorists in not time flat.

Then they would be bombing the country just for the sake of so called “WE MUST PROTECT OURSELVES” from those evil doers up north.

You know it may be better if Canadians just didn’t bother to mention it at all to the Americans for their safety. They can really take a simple thing and turn it into something outrageous.

Wouldn’t want Canadians to be accused of something horrible.  One thing about the American media is they can take anything simple and make a mountain out of it. Anything for ratings you know. So Keith in the best interest of the Country be thankful they haven’t noticed.

So sorry for your dilemma however. I do whole heartily see what you mean and it is rather odd one might say.  Or is it? Americans are told only what the Government wants them to know.

So I guess my Question would be:  Why don’t they want them to know?

Then again I haven’t noticed it anywhere else in the world either.

Do you think Canadians should mention it to the rest of the world?  Cuz they don’t know.

Amazing that little secret has been so well kept. LOL

Well you know Iceland became a Terrorist Nation because of Gordon Brown and I have to wonder how many in the US knows anything about that one either?

I have it on good authority they probably don’t have a clue.

The Shame of it all. Now that I think of it when Palin was running for office with McCain, she didn’t even know Stephen Harper was the  Prime Minister of Canada. LOL Her next door neighbour and she missed it. How special.

So now someone actually expects their media to notice anything.  Okey dokey.

OK I rest my case.

All I can say is Keith if I trip over a story (on page 22 or 35 whatever the case), in any of their papers I will send you a copy. Then you can Frame it for future references. Or throw darts at it whichever you feel is befitting the story they write. I promise. Honest to goodness I will.

I swear on a stack of bush wackers. Or on a box of Cracker Jacks.

Sometimes being ignored is a good thing.

These are the folks who thought the $2 coin with a poppy on it was dangerous. Go figure that one. Fox news had a great time with that one.

OH that evil coin. Oh that one is so hard to forget. LOL

Harper ‘lies’ about coalition details

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 11:42 am  Comments Off on Silence on Canadian coalition crisis in U.S. media What a Shocker, LOL  
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Canadian Leaders Fighting tooth and nail

Tories launching public opinion war to prevent coalition takeover

OTTAWA — The Conservative government launched an all-out air and web war Tuesday and may toss in an old-fashioned nationally televised prime ministerial address to save itself.

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, the target of much of the Conservatives’ furious lobbying, cut short a state visit to Europe and will return to Ottawa today to deal with the unprecedented parliamentary meltdown.

Click here for more on the political crisis in Ottawa

She should expect to find outraged Conservatives waiting for her outside the gates of Rideau Hall.

A far more pugnacious Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he will fight a coalition threat to his government by mobilizing public opinion against what his party calls the “imposition of radical new government without the people’s consent.”

A formal Liberal-NDP coalition, led by Stephane Dion and backed by the Bloc Quebecois, says it will defeat Harper’s minority at the earliest opportunity and then ask the Governor General to give it the chance to govern.

The Harper government has appeared to be reeling for days. On Tuesday, the prime minister fought back with a frantic 11th -hour effort to paint the coalition as utterly lacking in democratic legitimacy.

The Tories launched English-language radio ads, staged small rallies around the capital, blitzed radio call-in shows and promoted a massive weekend demonstration called RallyforCanada. An official said Harper may take to the airwaves in a national TV address.

The government also announced, in conjunction with Ontario, a special adviser on the auto crisis and restructuring plans.

The Liberal party says it’s also developing an ad campaign, and the Canadian Labour Congress, which is organizing rallies to support the coalition, says it has radio spots ready to go in Vancouver and Toronto.

There are limited survival options for Harper’s minority. His Conservative government has lost the confidence of the majority of MPs in the House of Commons but has not yet permitted the formal expression of this non-confidence in a parliamentary vote.

What took place Tuesday in the Commons was full-throated battle rhetoric.

“The highest principal of Canadian democracy is that if you want to be prime minister, you get your mandate from the Canadian people — not from Quebec separatists!” Harper thundered across the aisle at Dion.

The Liberal leader responded by quoting the prime minister’s own words from 2005, when Harper as Opposition leader said avoiding confidence votes in the Commons was a “”violation of fundamental constitutional policies and principals in our system.””

“Is he in agreement with himself?” Dion needled.

As strange, unheralded and unwieldy as the proposed Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition may be, constitutional experts are unanimous that its installation as an alternative government is well within the letter of Canada’s parliamentary system.

The combined Commons majority, agreeing that it has lost confidence in the Harper government because of a provocative economic update, has written Jean asking that she install them in power rather than forcing Canada into its second $300-million election in two months.

The current tempest may be unprecedented in Canada’s federal history, but the Governor General appeared to be taking the looming crisis in stride.

“This is part of our democratic system,” Jean told CBC on Tuesday before departing from Prague for Ottawa.

“The role of the Governor General is to make sure that our governance is on the right path. So as soon as I’m back I will fulfil my duties in total, sound judgment.”

The pressure on her slender shoulders is going to be immense.

The Conservatives are counting on public outrage to create dissension and doubts within the fledgling coalition.

They’re also cultivating second thoughts for a Governor General who is plumbing uncharted constitutional depths. Without naming Jean, government officials are adamant that a new election must be called if the Tories fall.

“Our position is very clearly that it’s undemocratic to change the government in this way — in this radical way — without going back to the people,” a Harper spokesman said at a background briefing.

“It’s an affront to democracy. It’s an attack on our democracy.”

In an effort to inflame public sentiment and drive a wedge into the coalition, the Conservatives are also pounding away at the theme of Dion — who earned his political spurs as a defender of national unity — in bed with the separatist Bloc.

Harper invoked the names of Tory and Liberal prime ministers Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau to warn Dion that he was “betraying the best interests and the best traditions of his own party” by making a deal with Duceppe.

And — at least in English — the Conservatives repeatedly stated that the Bloc will have a “veto” over every policy of the new coalition.

In French, however, Public Works Minister Christian Paradis cited a Liberal MP to claim that “the leader of the Bloc has signed a blank cheque and given away his independence.”

During an extraordinary head-to-head exchange later during question period, Dion and Harper debated the Quebec angle at length. Dion, his voice cracking, was sputtering with rage while pointing out the contradictory Conservative messages for French and English Canadian audiences.

“He’s saying that we Liberals are selling Canada to the separatists — and his Quebec MPs are saying that the separatists are solding (selling) their soul to the Liberals! He needs to choose between these two lies.”

The National Citizens Coalition, which Harper used to head, is publicly advocating that Parliament be prorogued — or dissolved — until the end of January. The right-leaning advocacy group is urging citizens to directly lobby the Governor General to that end.

The Conservatives refuse to even utter the word “prorogue.” But they also refuse to rule it out, saying repeatedly that they’ll pursue “every legal means” to avert defeat.

“That’s the million-dollar question,” said one Conservative insider.

Such a tactic would require some pretzel logic from Harper.

As Opposition leader, he argued convincingly in 2005 that the Liberal minority of Paul Martin should be able to earn the confidence of the Commons every day.

Exactly a week before a May 18, 2005, confidence vote, Harper expressed outrage that the Liberals were delaying an expression of Parliament’s will.

“The government has lost the moral authority and the democratic legitimacy to govern,” said Harper. “They cannot carry on. It is time, for God’s sake, to go.”

Source

Well isn’t this a fine mess.

There are two sides to every story.

I remember A Conservative stating he wanting to sell Crown property/assets.

Of course I never did find out what it was they wanted to sell.  So there is one issue that I am still curious about.

Taking away funding to parties when going to election. Well that was just stupid on the part of the Conservatives. That could be a rather large problem. Obviously pissed of a few people.

I am guessing it would mean if you wanted to run as an MP in Canada, one would have to be quite rich.

That of course that would leave a lot of potential candidates in financial crisis and of course unable to run for a position in Government.  Well that is So Not Canadian.

Only having those rich enough to run, is not Canadians cup of tea for sure.

Harper deliberately seems to want to antagonize the opposition.  Why I am not sure.

Maybe he wants to be run out of town.

A Coalition Government may not be a bad idea. I would have to examine all the ups and downs to it first.  In other words I have to think about it for a while.

It is obvious they are co-operating quite nicely with one another. Co-operation is a rather refreshing. I am rather amazed they could all come together on this. Having the Block in there isn’t the end of Canada, not by a long shot. Lets face it none of the other parties would tolerate a vote  to separate Quebec, from the rest of Canada, so that isn’t a problem. So simply through the process of elimination that one is off the table. Next……..

Harper called the election early which was against HIS OWN LAW he and his party created.

So when it comes to having faith in Harper well a few might think about that one for a bit……?  When one breaks a law that makes them a criminal……………… Does it not?

Just throwing some thoughts out there.

Seems to me Harper is doing a few things that are just a bit off. He cannot even be trusted to comply by laws he and his party created.  Just a an observation.

Two other Questions Canadians should be asking.

  1. Why would one deliberately antagonize the opposition?
  2. What Crown assets are the Conservatives planning on selling and to who?

So Harper will not get a pity party from here that is for sure.

$2.3 billion in crown assets for sale. Will Flaherty spend the cash or pay down the debt?
November 27 2008

The Canadian Press is reporting that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty hopes to keep the government out of deficit in part by selling $2.3 billion in crown assets, including real estate, and making $2 billion in cuts by eliminating department waste and reining in perks for ministers and top bureaucrats.

The government is also proposing a temporary removal of the right to strike in the public service, perhaps indicating its intentions to get serious about reducing the size of government, and neutralizing the union opposition in advance.

I’m impressed.

As for the sale of government assets, it’s not entirely clear if the Harper Government intends to add this money directly to general revenue, or if the party will follow the advice of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) and apply these windfall revenues against the national debt, and use the interest savings for tax relief stimulus.

Kevin Gaudet with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation thinks the government should “turn assets into tax relief” by selling crown assets, paying down the debt and applying interest savings toward tax relief, which is exactly what the government’s own “tax back guarantee” policy does.

Source

The above author may be impressed but I am not. This has a chilling memory of  Mike Harris around it. You know the guy who messed up Ontario.

So the rhetoric and mud slinging begins.

But is will be interesting to watch it all to say the least.

ONTARIO IS THE CHILD POVERTY CENTRE OF CANADA

Canadians using food banks at record levels

Canadian Government to Curb Parliamentary Perks

Published in: on December 3, 2008 at 12:14 pm  Comments Off on Canadian Leaders Fighting tooth and nail  
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Canadian Government to Curb Parliamentary Perks

November 25 2008

Marie-Rose Angers, left, and Kevin Larocque clean the the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Nov. 17, 2008.  (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Marie-Rose Angers, left, and Kevin Larocque clean the the

Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on

Monday, Nov. 17, 2008. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Kory Teneycke, the prime minister's communications director, speaks on Mike Duffy Live in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008.

Kory Teneycke, the prime minister’s

communications director, speaks on

Mike Duffy Live in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008.

As the economic storm clouds gather, Ottawa plans to curb the pay, bonuses and perks of politicians and top bureaucrats in Thursday’s fiscal update, CTV News has learned.

“In this time of belt-tightening, politicians have to be able to demonstrate to people that they are able to do that themselves,” Kory Teneycke, the prime minister’s communications director, told CTV News on Tuesday.

Sources told CTV News the measures will include:

  • Cancellation of a planned three per cent or $4,600 pay hike for MPs who already earn $155,400
  • Restricting the use of government challenger jets
  • Ending all unnecessary travel and entertainment
  • Cutting all business-class travel for cabinet ministers and top civil servants

It’s also believed that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will order spending cuts at Crown corporations and other federal agencies. Insiders say the financial belt-tightening could save Canada tens of millions of dollars each year.

On Tuesday, debate in the House of Commons focused on the way the Conservative government has handled the country’s economy in recent months. Flaherty took much of the heat from opposition members on behalf of the absent prime minister.

Stephen Harper, who recently attended the APEC conference in Lima, Peru, this past weekend, was not present during question period.

Flaherty has said that there will be no fiscal stimulus included in the fiscal update, set to be delivered at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Flaherty was on the defensive, telling his fellow MPs that the Conservatives made prudent financial moves in recent years that left Canada in a better position than many of its peers.

“Canada is not an island, but fortunately, we are well prepared,” Flaherty said Tuesday, noting that the Conservatives had cut taxes and increased spending on infrastructure in the past two years.

But Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said it appeared to him that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had failed to predict the coming recession.

“The prime minister contradicts himself on deficits. He contradicts himself on recessions as well,” said Dion, pointing to the prime minister’s recent referrals to ‘structural’ deficits and ‘technical’ recessions.

“Recessions are not about semantics — they are about job losses, about Canadians who need help,” Dion said.

“Why doesn’t the prime minister get it?”

In response, Flaherty said Dion “ought to take the advice of the expert on deficits in his own caucus” — whom he named as Liberal MP Bob Rae.

Rae served as premier of Ontario during the recession of the early 1990s.

Flaherty quoted Rae as saying that it was “not a reasonable position or an intelligent position to take” that the prime minister was personally to blame for any recent deficit that may have occurred at the federal level.

A few minutes later, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe returned to the issue of the prime minister not predicting the economic crisis.

“The prime minister said during the election that there would not be a recession, but today he admits that there will be a recession — and that the recession is right at our door,” Duceppe said in French.

“Can the minister explain what was so urgent to call an election because of the economic crisis, whereas now it’s not so urgent to take action to deal with the impacts of this crisis?”

Flaherty said “no one in the world was predicting the kind of economic downturn, and the severity and depth of the economic downturn that we’ve experienced in the last 12 weeks.’

Things also got a little heated during an exchange between the finance minister and Liberal backbencher Yasmin Ratansi, who asked Flaherty about the way he would use “non-core federal assets” to help raise funds for the government.

Flaherty said the government intended to review corporate assets under the expense management program, to determine if individual assets “still fulfill a need for the people of Canada.”

The finance minister bristled at a follow-up question from Ratansi, who suggested the finance minister had shown a “lack of fiscal discipline” in doing his job prior to the current economic crisis.

“Fiscal discipline is an oxy moron coming from a Liberal member,” Flaherty said, while house members both cheered and jeered.

Think-tank predicts big deficit numbers for Canada

Also on Tuesday, the Ottawa-based Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a left-of-centre research institute, said Canada may see a $46.8 billion deficit in the coming years, if there is a major recession.

That’s much bigger than the high end of the parliamentary budget officer’s prediction, who said last week that Canada’s deficit could be as high as $14 billion as the economy slows in the next two years. Kevin Page put the low end of possible deficits at just below $4 billion.

According to the CCPA, those numbers may be too low.

“A major recession starting in the fourth quarter of 2008 and lasting through 2009 could produce deficits of $1.4 billion in 2008/09, rising to $27.9 billion in 2009/10, and $46.8 billion in 2010/11,” said a CCPA press release.

However, it also noted that a mild recession would create:

  • a very small deficit in 2008/09, perhaps in the $1.4 billion range
  • a $12.6 billion deficit in the following year that would go up to $20.5 billion in 2010 and 2011

The CCPA is calling on Ottawa to take decisive action to curtail the damage from a global economic slowdown.

“The real underlying question now is not whether the federal government should run a deficit but how large the planning deficit for 2009/10 should be,” Marc Lee, CCPA senior economist, said in a press release.

“The federal government has a lead role to play in cushioning the impact of a recession, both through federal programs and in partnership with the provinces.”

Source

Canada urged to join U.S. in creating ’strong, bold’ stimulus package

Icelandic politicians to get paid less

Elusive threats boost PTSD risk in Afghanistan

A Canadian soldier stands guard at the side of a suicide attack in the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008. (AP / Allauddin Khan)

A Canadian soldier stands guard at the side of a suicide

attack in the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan on

Sept. 11, 2008. (AP / Allauddin Khan)

A Canadian soldier carries an improvised explosive device out of the grape field in which Taliban fighters had hidden it, on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008 in Nakoney, Afghanistan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Bob Weber)

A Canadian soldier carries an improvised explosive device

out of the grape field in which Taliban fighters had hidden it, on

Oct. 8, 2008 in Nakoney, Afghanistan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Bob Weber)

November 8 2008

Stefania Moretti

Canadian troops fighting in Afghanistan are up against two dangerous adversaries. The first, the elusive enemy; the second, the less-tangible threat of mental breakdown.

Indeed, new studies suggest soldiers deployed to Afghanistan are more likely to suffer from mental illness because of the high degree of uncertainty that characterizes the NATO-led mission.

Traditionally, wars have been fought on the front lines of the battlefield with an identifiable enemy in uniform. But in Afghanistan, the enemy is “elusive,” said one mental health expert. Threat can come from anywhere.

Afghanistan has been described as a 360-degree war with virtually no safe zone. Suicide bombers dressed in civilian garb, improvised explosive devices strewn across the treacherous “Highway of Death” connecting Kabul and Kandahar and entire communities surrounded by deadly land mines means soldiers face around-the-clock danger.

As a result, Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are likely at higher risk of developing post-traumatic disorder than their comrades serving in other missions, Dr. Alain Brunet, of the Douglas Research Centre and McGill University, recently told CTV.ca in a telephone interview from Montreal.

British troops sent to Afghanistan last year were nine times more likely to suffer from PTSD, according to that country’s Ministry of Defence in a study released this month. Most British troops are stationed in Helmand province — a less volatile region than Canadians stationed in the Taliban hotbed of Kandahar province.

Veterans Affairs Canada pegs the number of Canadian war vets who will experience PTSD as high as 10 per cent.

But the figure only represents former soldiers, and does not reflect soldiers currently on duty in Afghanistan, where the risk of PTSD is likely much different, Brunet said.

As many as 28 per cent of troops come back from armed combat with one or more mental health issues, according to data complied by the head of the Canadian military’s deployment health section last year. Of those:

  • seventeen per cent exhibited signs of high-risk drinking
  • five per cent showed symptoms of PTSD
  • five per cent had signs of serious depression

Since the mission in Afghanistan began in 2002, the number of Veterans Affairs members with a PTSD condition has more than tripled, up from roughly 1,800 to 6,500, according to a Veterans Affairs briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press in March. Veterans Affairs expect the numbers will continue to climb with troops scheduled to stay until at least 2011.

In 2007, the number of suicides among regular and reserve members of the Canadian Forces rose to 36, the highest in more than a decade, military police records from earlier this year show.

There is a sense that there has been a recent surge in PTSD, and it can be attributed to a number of factors, Brunet said.

The spike in military PTSD cases may also stem from fewer cases going unreported, thanks to education and screening programs implemented by the army in recent years.

Within two months of returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan soldiers undergo a mandatory PTSD assessment followed by several weeks off and counseling.

Brunet, whose research focuses on the risk and remission factors associated with the disorder, said an officer with PTSD symptoms should not be re-deployed because the risks are “cumulative.”

“The more you go (to Afghanistan) the more likely you are to develop the disease,” he said, adding the diagnosis of PTSD in the army is “amazingly important.”

Dozens of soldiers have already completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and some could face a third if the mission is extended.

But significant barriers preventing PTSD diagnoses among soldiers remain, despite efforts made by the Canadian Armed Forces to educate soldiers about the disease.

Having PTSD can be a career-ender for a soldier, Brunet said.

A combination of this fear of dismissal from duty and the “macho culture” that permeates the force makes officers hesitate to disclose their problems, Brunet said. “We are sending mixed messages.”

The “hallmark” of PTSD is persistent nightmares, but symptoms can also include, flashbacks, gaps in memory, detachment from loved ones, little control over impulses, problems concentrating, anger and irritability.

Although it’s natural to experience any or all of these symptoms after witnessing a traumatic event, PTSD sufferers become incapacitated by their frequency and severity.

“Personally, I wouldn’t want to have a comrade working with me and to have to rely on someone with PTSD,” Brunet said.

Source

Afghan veterans more likely to suffer from mental illness

Search for peace ‘doomed’ by scramble for minerals in Congo

Rebels reject ceasefire until demands are met

November 8, 2008

By

Efforts to avert all-out war in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo are doomed as long as negotiators ignore the role of the area’s lucrative mineral trade in fuelling the violence, according to anticorruption advocates and development officials.

They say that the deployment of thousands more United Nations peace-keepers to the region would be fruitless if armed groups continue to profit from the illegal trade with the connivance of international corporations.

Armed groups, including the Congolese Army and Tutsi rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda, have profited from the illegal trade of minerals such as coltan and tin ore for years, with British, Canadian, American and Belgian companies among their best clients.

Efforts to break that link have been stymied by Western governments unwilling to loosen their grip on the trade and made more difficult by the emergence of China as a big economic player on the continent. Rebels under General Nkunda’s control dismissed ceasefire calls made at yesterday’s emergency regional summit in Nairobi because, they said, it failed to address any of their demands – including the cancellation of a $9 billion (£6 billion) mining and infrastructure deal between China and the Congolese Government in Kinshasa.

The European Union said it regretted that the summit did not adopt measures to curb illegal mining. The Chinese deal gives China access to vast reserves of copper and cobalt in return for a project to link eastern Congo to Kinshasa by rail for the first time. General Nkunda complained that the deal would “line the pockets of a few politicians while the Congolese people would see no benefit”.

But advocates say that a host of foreign companies and governments are complicit in fuelling the violence by continuing to profit from the trade.

A 2002 UN investigation to name and shame companies involved, and consider sanctions until the trade could be cleaned up, foundered on international reluctance to lose a foothold in the trade. “Governments have been ignoring the issue and doing their best to paper over the war economy, to dampen down criticism of their companies and keep the minerals flowing,” Patricia Feeney, of the British-based lobby group Rights and Accountability in Development, said. “Unless we are willing to disrupt the supply chains, this remains a self-perpetuating illegal war economy.”

Britain is the only country to have censured companies – Afrimex and DAS Air – for unethical conduct in breach of international guidelines after intense pressure from the anticorruption group Global Witness and concerned MPs. At least another dozen identified by the UN have gone unrebuked.

The US has refused to examine any of its cases, while Belgium has exonerated its companies. German and Austrian companies, among others, remain accused of continuing to source minerals from mines in eastern Congo controlled by armed groups. China, the most recent entrant to the scramble for Africa, remains outside international guidelines on ethical trade.

Source

Seems the Corporations are in part responsible for much of the war doesn’t it?

And for What profit. When people are being killed for minerals and the Corporations buy them illegally they should be punished and stopped. Minerals of any type should only be purchased from any country legally.

I guess we have more corporate criminals. They should be treated as war criminals. Charged with crimes against humanity. They are in fact contributing to the deaths of many. They are in essence funding the war.  Maybe they should do some jail time as well. Murder is against the law. Conspiracy to commit murder is as well.

Cause and affect.

Take away the funding that pays for the war and the war could be brought under control. It could and should be ended.

Corporate profiteers such as this deserve to be in jail.

Someone should get out a roto router, ferret out these companies and find a way to stop them.

Published in: on November 8, 2008 at 8:11 am  Comments Off on Search for peace ‘doomed’ by scramble for minerals in Congo  
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CIA Torture Tactics Endorsed in Secret Memos


Waterboarding got nod from White House

By Joby Warrick

The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency’s use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects — documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public.

The classified memos, which have not been previously disclosed, were requested by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet more than a year after the start of the secret interrogations, according to four administration and intelligence officials familiar with the documents. Although Justice Department lawyers, beginning in 2002, had signed off on the agency’s interrogation methods, senior CIA officials were troubled that White House policymakers had never endorsed the program in writing.

The memos were the first — and, for years, the only — tangible expressions of the administration’s consent for the CIA’s use of harsh measures to extract information from captured al-Qaeda leaders, the sources said. As early as the spring of 2002, several White House officials, including then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Cheney, were given individual briefings by Tenet and his deputies, the officials said. Rice, in a statement to congressional investigators last month, confirmed the briefings and acknowledged that the CIA director had pressed the White House for “policy approval.”

Worried about lack of paper trail
The repeated requests for a paper trail reflected growing worries within the CIA that the administration might later distance itself from key decisions about the handling of captured al-Qaeda leaders, former intelligence officials said. The concerns grew more pronounced after the revelations of mistreatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and further still as tensions grew between the administration and its intelligence advisers over the conduct of the Iraq war.

“It came up in the daily meetings. We heard it from our field officers,” said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the events. “We were already worried that we” were going to be blamed.

A. John Radsan, a lawyer in the CIA general counsel’s office until 2004, remembered the discussions but did not personally view the memos the agency received in response to its concerns. “The question was whether we had enough ‘top cover,’ ” Radsan said.

Tenet first pressed the White House for written approval in June 2003, during a meeting with members of the National Security Council, including Rice, the officials said. Days later, he got what he wanted: a brief memo conveying the administration’s approval for the CIA’s interrogation methods, the officials said.

Administration officials confirmed the existence of the memos, but neither they nor former intelligence officers would describe their contents in detail because they remain classified. The sources all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to discuss the events.

The second request from Tenet, in June 2004, reflected growing worries among agency officials who had just witnessed the public outcry over the Abu Ghraib scandal. Officials who held senior posts at the time also spoke of deteriorating relations between the CIA and the White House over the war in Iraq — a rift that prompted some to believe that the agency needed even more explicit proof of the administration’s support.

“The CIA by this time is using the word ‘insurgency’ to describe the Iraq conflict, so the White House is viewing the agency with suspicion,” said a second former senior intelligence official.

As recently as last month, the administration had never publicly acknowledged that its policymakers knew about the specific techniques, such as waterboarding, that the agency used against high-ranking terrorism suspects. In her unprecedented account to lawmakers last month, Rice, now secretary of state, portrayed the White House as initially uneasy about a controversial CIA plan for interrogating top al-Qaeda suspects.

After learning about waterboarding and similar tactics in early 2002, several White House officials questioned whether such harsh measures were “effective and necessary . . . and lawful,” Rice said. Her concerns led to an investigation by the Justice Department’s criminal division into whether the techniques were legal.

Misgivings apparently overcome
But whatever misgivings existed that spring were apparently overcome. Former and current CIA officials say no such reservations were voiced in their presence.

In interviews, the officials recounted a series of private briefings about the program with members of the administration’s security team, including Rice and Cheney, followed by more formal meetings before a larger group including then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, then-White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. None of the officials recalled President Bush being present at any of the discussions.

Several of the key meetings have been previously described in news articles and books, but Rice last month became the first Cabinet-level official to publicly confirm the White House’s awareness of the program in its earliest phases. In written responses to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, Rice said Tenet’s description of the agency’s interrogation methods prompted her to investigate further to see whether the program violated U.S. laws or international treaties, according to her written responses, dated Sept. 12 and released late last month.

“I asked that . . . Ashcroft personally advise the NSC principles whether the program was lawful,” Rice wrote.

‘CIA had the White House boxed in’
Current and former intelligence officials familiar with the briefings described Tenet as supportive of enhanced interrogation techniques, which the officials said were developed by CIA officers after the agency’s first high-level captive, al-Qaeda operative Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, better known as Abu Zubaida, refused to cooperate with interrogators.

“The CIA believed then, and now, that the program was useful and helped save lives,” said a former senior intelligence official knowledgeable about the events. “But in the agency’s view, it was like this: ‘We don’t want to continue unless you tell us in writing that it’s not only legal but is the policy of the administration.’ “

One administration official familiar with the meetings said the CIA made such a convincing case that no one questioned whether the methods were necessary to prevent further terrorist attacks.

“The CIA had the White House boxed in,” said the official. “They were saying, ‘It’s the only way to get the information we needed, and — by the way — we think there’s another attack coming up.’ It left the principals in an extremely difficult position and put the decision-making on a very fast track.”

But others who were present said Tenet seemed more interested in protecting his subordinates than in selling the administration on a policy that administration lawyers had already authorized.

“The suggestion that someone from CIA came in and browbeat everybody is ridiculous,” said one former agency official familiar with the meeting. “The CIA understood that it was controversial and would be widely criticized if it became public,” the official said of the interrogation program. “But given the tenor of the times and the belief that more attacks were coming, they felt they had to do what they could to stop the attack.”

Anxiety
The CIA’s anxiety was partly fueled by the lack of explicit presidential authorization for the interrogation program. A secret White House “memorandum of notification” signed by Bush on Sept. 15, 2001, gave the agency broad authority to wage war against al-Qaeda, including killing and capturing its members. But it did not spell out how captives should be handled during interrogation.

But by the time the CIA requested written approval of its policy, in June 2003, the population of its secret prisons had grown from one to nine, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged principal architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Three of the detainees had been subjected to waterboarding, which involves strapping a prisoner to a board, covering his face and pouring water over his nose and mouth to simulate drowning.

By the spring of 2004, the concerns among agency officials had multiplied, in part because of shifting views among administration lawyers about what acts might constitute torture, leading Tenet to ask a second time for written confirmation from the White House. This time the reaction was far more reserved, recalled two former intelligence officials.

“The Justice Department in particular was resistant,” said one former intelligence official who participated in the discussions. “They said it doesn’t need to be in writing.”

Tenet and his deputies made their case in yet another briefing before the White House national security team in June 2004. It was to be one of the last such meetings for Tenet, who had already announced plans to step down as CIA director. Author Jane Mayer, who described the briefing in her recent book, “The Dark Side,” said the graphic accounts of interrogation appeared to make some participants uncomfortable. “History will not judge us kindly,” Mayer quoted Ashcroft as saying.

Participants in the meeting did not recall whether a vote was taken. Several weeks passed, and Tenet left the agency without receiving a formal response.

Finally, in mid-July, a memo was forwarded to the CIA reaffirming the administration’s backing for the interrogation program. Tenet had acquired the statement of support he sought.

Source

This was also Done.

Maher Arar is a 34-year-old wireless technology consultant. He was born in Syria and came to Canada with his family at the age of 17. He became a Canadian citizen in 1991. On Sept. 26, 2002, while in transit in New York’s JFK airport when returning home from a vacation, Arar was detained by US officials and interrogated about alleged links to al-Qaeda. Twelve days later, he was chained, shackled and flown to Syria, where he was held in a tiny “grave-like” cell for ten months and ten days before he was moved to a better cell in a different prison. In Syria, he was beaten, tortured and forced to make a false confession.

During his imprisonment, Arar’s wife, Monia Mazigh, campaigned relentlessly on his behalf until he was returned to Canada in October 2003. On Jan. 28, 2004, under pressure from Canadian human rights organizations and a growing number of citizens, the Government of Canada announced a Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar.

On September 18, 2006, the Commissioner of the Inquiry, Justice Dennis O’Connor, cleared Arar of all terrorism allegations, stating he was “able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offence or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada.” To read the Commissioner’s report, including his findings on the actions of Canadian officials, please visit the Arar Commission’s website or click here.

You can read the chronolgy of events that led to Maher’s arrest, deportation and return in pdf format here.
You can read Maher’s statement during the press conference held on November 4, 2003 in pdf format here.
You can watch a short video about what happened to Maher here.

What happened to Maher Arar was horrifying.

Bush said repeatedly they didn’t torture people.  They also new where to send someone to, to get the torturing done for them as well.  Of course we now, know the Bush administration did torture people.

Bush lied. If he lied about that. One has to wonder what else he lied about?

There is a bit of a list at the bottom.


Steering Committee To Seek Prosecution of Bush For War Crimes

October 14 2008

Massachusetts law school Dean Lawrence Velvel will chair a Steering Committee to pursue the prosecution for war crimes of President Bush and culpable high-ranking aides after they leave office Jan. 20th.

The Steering Committee was organized following a conference of leading legal authorities and scholars from the U.S. and abroad convened by Velvel on Sept. 13-14 in Andover, Mass., titled “The Justice Robert Jackson Conference On Planning For The Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals.”

“If Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and others are not prosecuted,” Velvel said, “the future could be threatened by additional examples of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences for their actions, including more illegal wars such as Iraq.”

Besides Velvel, members of the Steering Committee include:

Ben Davis, a law Professor at the University of Toledo College of Law, where he teaches Public International Law and International Business Transactions. He is the author of numerous articles on international and related domestic law.

Marjorie Cohn, a law Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif., and President of the National Lawyers Guild.

Chris Pyle, a Professor at Mount Holyoke College, where he teaches Constitutional law, Civil Liberties, Rights of Privacy, American Politics and American Political Thought, and is the author of many books and articles.

Elaine Scarry, the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University, and winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism.

Peter Weiss, vice president of the Center For Constitutional Rights, of New York City, which was recently involved with war crimes complaints filed in Germany and Japan against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others.

David Swanson, author, activist and founder of AfterDowningStreet.org/CensureBush.org coalition, of Charlottesville, Va.

Kristina Borjesson, an award-winning print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years and editor of two recent books on the media.

Colleen Costello, Staff Attorney of Human Rights, USA, of Washington, D.C., and coordinator of its efforts involving torture by the American government.

Valeria Gheorghiu, attorney for Workers’ Rights Law Center.

Andy Worthington of Redress, a British historian and journalist and author of books dealing with human rights violations.

Initial actions considered by the Steering Committee, Velvel said, are as follows:

# Seeking prosecutions of high level officials, including George Bush, for the crimes they committed.

# Seeking disbarment of lawyers who were complicitous in facilitating torture.

# Seeking termination from faculty positions of high officials who were complicitous in torture.

# Issuing a recent statement saying any attempt by Bush to pardon himself and aides for war crimes prior to leaving office will result in efforts to obtain impeachment even after they leave office.

# Convening a major conference on the state secret and executive privilege doctrines, which have been pushed to record levels during the Bush administration.

# Designation of an Information Repository Coordinator to gather in one place all available information involving the Bush Administration’s war crimes.

# Possible impeachment of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee for co-authoring the infamous “torture memo.”

Source

List of a few Lies:

1. Bush: “We went into Russia, we said, ‘Here’s some IMF money,’ and it ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin’s pocket and others.”

Fact: “Bush appears to have tangled up whispers about possible wrongdoing by Chernomyrdin — who co-chaired a commission with Gore on U.S.-Russian relations — with other unrelated allegations concerning the diversion of International Monetary Fund money. While there has been speculation that Chernomyrdin profited from his relationship with Gazprom, a big Russian energy concern, there have been no allegations that he stole IMF money.” Washingon Post, 10/12/00

2. Bush: “We got one [a hate crime law] in Texas, and guess what? The three men who murdered James Byrd, guess what’s going to happen to them? They’re going to be put to death … It’s going to be hard to punish them any worse after they get put to death….We’re happy with our laws on our books.”

Fact: “The three were convicted under Texas’ capital murder statute…The state has a hate crime statute, but it is vague.” LA Times, 10/12/00.
“The original Texas hate-crimes bill, signed into law by Democrat Ann Richards, boosted penalties for crimes motivated by bigotry. As Gore correctly noted, Bush maneuvered to make sure a new hate-crimes law related to the Byrd killing did not make it to his desk. The new bill would have included homosexuals among the groups covered, which would have been anathema to social conservatives in the state.” Washington Post, 10/12/00

3. Bush: bragged that in Texas he was signing up children for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as “fast as any other state.”

Fact: “As governor he fought to unsuccessfully to limit access to the program. He would have limited its coverage to children with family incomes up to 150 percent of the poverty level, though federal law permitted up to 200 percent. The practical effect of Bush’s efforts would have been to exclude 200,000 of the 500,000 possible enrollees.” Washington Post, 10/12/00

4. Bush: “He [Gore] is for registration of guns.”

Fact: “Gore actually favors licensing for new handgun purchasers but nothing as vast as registering all guns.” Salon, 10/12/00

5. Bush: Said he found Gore’s tendency to exaggerate “an issue in trying to defend my tax relief package. There was some exaggeration about the numbers” in the first debate.

Fact: “No, there wasn’t, and Bush himself acknowledged that the next day on ABC’s Good Morning America when Charlie Gibson pinned him on it.” Salon, 10/12/00

6. Bush: “I felt during his debate with Senator [Bill] Bradley saying he [Gore] authored the EITC [earned-income tax credit] when it didn’t happen.”

Fact: “Actually, Gore had claimed to have authored an ‘expansion of the earned-income tax credit,’ which he did in 1991.” Salon, 10/12/00

7. Fact: Gore noted that Texas “ranks 49th out of the 50 states in healthcare in children with healthcare, 49th for women with healthcare and 50th for families with healthcare”

Bush: “You can quote all the numbers you want but I’m telling you we care about our people in Texas. We spent a lot of money to make sure people get healthcare in the state of Texas.”

8. Fact: Gore said, “I’m no expert on the Texas procedures, but what my friends there tell me is that the governor opposed a measure put forward by Democrats in the Legislature to expand the number of children that would be covered … And instead [he] directed the money toward a tax cut, a significant part of which went to wealthy interests.”

Bush: “If he’s trying to allege I’m a hardhearted person and don’t care about children, he’s absolutely wrong.”

9. Bush: “The three men who murdered James Byrd, guess what’s going to happen to them? They’ll be put to death. A jury found them guilty.”

Fact: Two of the three are being put to death. The other was given life. Bush Watch, 10/12/00

10. Bush: said he favored “equal” rights for gays and lesbians, but not “special” rights.

Fact: “Bush has supported a Texas law that allows the state to take adopted children from gay and lesbian couples to place the kids with straight couples.” Salon, 10/12/00.
“Bush supports hate crime protections for other minorities! So Bush doesn’t believe that gays should have the same ‘special’ rights in this regard as blacks, Jews, Wiccans and others. Employment discrimination? Again, Bush supports those rights for other Americans, but not gays. Military service? Bush again supports the right to military service for all qualified people–as long as they don’t tell anyone they’re gay. Marriage? How on earth is that a special right when every heterosexual in America already has it? But again, Bush thinks it should be out-of-bounds for gays. What else is there? The right to privacy? Nuh-huh. Bush supports a gays-only sodomy law in his own state that criminalizes consensual sex in private between two homosexuals.” New Republic, 10/13/00

11. Bush. “We ought to do everything we can to end racial profiling.”

Fact: The Texas Department of Public Safety has just this year begun keeping detailed information about the race and sex of all people stopped by its troopers, the sixth year Bush has been in office. Salon, 10/12/00

12. Bush got caught not giving the full story on Texas air pollution laws. He was correct in saying the 1999 utility deregulation bill he signed into law had mandatory emissions standards.

Fact: “What was missing, as Gore’s campaign pointed out, was that many more non-utility industrial plants are not mandated to reduce air quality. The issue is an important one because Texas ranks near the bottom in air-quality standards. Bush instead approved a voluntary program allowing grandfathered oil, coal, and other industrial plants to cut down on pollution.” Boston Globe, 10/12/00

13. Bush: About the Balkans, “I think it ought to be one of our priorities to work with our European friends to convince them to put troops on the ground.”

Fact: “European forces already make up a large majority of the peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Kosovo.” Washington Post, 10/12/00

14. Bush: “One of the problems we have in the military is we’re in a lot of places around the world” and cited Haiti as an example.

Fact: “Though approximately 20,000 U.S. troops went to Haiti in 1994, as of late August this year, there were only 109 U.S. troops in Haiti and most were rotating through as part of an exercise.” Washington Post, 10/12/00

15. Bush: “I don’t think we ought to be selling guns to people who shouldn’t have them. That’s why I support instant background checks at gun shows. One of the reasons we have an instant background check is so that we instantly know whether or not someone should have a gun or not.”

Fact: “Bush overstates the effectiveness of instant background checks for people trying to buy guns … The Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 3 that during Bush’s term as governor, Texas granted licenses for carrying concealed guns to hundreds of people with criminal records and histories of drug problems, violence or psychological disorders.” Washington Post, 10/12/00
“He didn’t mention that Texas failed to perform full background checks on 407 people who had prior criminal convictions but were granted concealed handgun licenses under a law he signed in 1995. Of those, 71 had convictions that should have excluded them from having a concealed gun permit, the Texas Department of Public Safety acknowledged.” AP, 10/12/00

16. Bush:”Said the number of Texans without health insurance had declined while the number in the United States had risen.”

Fact: ” A new Census Bureau report says the number of uninsured Americans declined last year for the first time since statistics were kept in 1987. About 42.5 million people, or 15.5 percent of the population, lacked insurance in 1999, compared with 44.2 million, or 16.3 percent, in 1998, the agency reported. Texas ranked next-to-last in the nation last year with 23.3 percent of its residents uninsured. But that was an improvement from 1998, when it ranked 50th at 24.5 percent.” AP, 10/12/00

17. Bush: “Some of the scientists, I believe, Mr. Vice President, haven’t they been changing their opinion a little bit on global warming?”

Fact: “Bush’s dismissive comments about global warming could bolster the charge that he and fellow oilman Dick Cheney are in the pocket of the oil industry, which likewise pooh-poohs the issue. [While] there is no consensus about the impact of global warming, … most scientists agree that humans are contributing to the rising global temperature. ‘Most climate experts are certain that global warming is real and that it threatens ecology and human prosperity, and a growing number say it is well under way,’ wrote New York Times science writer Andrew Revkin.” Salon, 10/13/00

18. Bush: When Jim Lehrer asked Bush if he approved of the U.S. intervention in Lebanon during the Reagan years, Bush answered a quick “yes” and moved on.

Fact: “Lebanon was a disaster in the history of American foreign affairs. Next to Iran-Contra, it was the Reagan administration’s greatest overseas fiasco. Quoting from the Encyclopedia of the American Presidency: ‘[In 1983] Reagan stumbled into a disastrous intervention in the Middle East when he sent U.S. Marines into Lebanon on an ill-defined mission as part of an international peacekeeping force.’ In December, according to Reagan biographer Edmund Morris, ‘two days before Christmas, a Pentagon commission of inquiry into the Beirut barracks bombing humiliated [Secretary of State] Shultz [who had backed the intervention], and embarrassed Reagan, by concluding that the dead Marines had been victims of a myopic Middle Eastern policy.'” tompaine.com, 10/11/00

19. Bush: “I thought the president made the right decision in joining NATO and bombing Serbia. I supported him when they did so.”

Fact: The bombing of Serbia began on March 24, 1999, and Bush did not express even measured support until April 8, 1999 — nearly two weeks later. Prior to April 8, 1999, every comment by Bush about the bombing was non-committal. Finally, he offered a measured endorsement: “It’s important for the United States to be slow to engage the military, but once the military is engaged, it must be engaged with one thing in mind, and that is victory,” he said after being pressed by reporters. A Houston Chronicle story documented the Governor’s statements on the crisis and reported that “Bush has been widely criticized for being slow to adopt a position on Kosovo and then for making vague statements on the subject.” Houston Chronicle, 4/9/99

20. Bush: Discussing International Loans: “And there’s some pretty egregious examples recently, one being Russia where we had IMF loans that ended up in the pockets of a lot of powerful people and didn’t help the nation.”

Fact: Bush’s own vice presidential candidate, Dick Cheney, lobbied for U.S.-backed loan to Russia that helped his own company. “Halliburton Co. lobbied for and received $ 292 million in loan guarantees to develop one of the world’s largest oil fields in Russia. Cheney said: ‘This is exactly the type of project we should be encouraging if Russia is to succeed in reforming its economy … We at Halliburton appreciate the support of the Export-Import Bank and look forward to beginning work on this important project..” PR Newswire 4/6/2000.
The State Department, armed with a CIA report detailing corruption by Halliburton’s Russian partner, invoked a seldom-used prerogative and ordered suspension of the loan. The loan guarantee “ran counter to America’s ‘national interest,” the State Department ruled. New Republic, 8/7/00

21. Bush “There’s a lot of talk about trigger locks being on guns sold in the future. I support that.”

Fact: When asked in 1999, if he was in support of mandatory safety locks, Bush said, ” No, I’m not, I’m for voluntary safety locks on guns.” In March of 2000, Bush said he would not push for trigger lock legislation, but would sign it if it passed [Washington Post, 3/3/00;ABC, Good Morning America, 5/10/99]. When Bush was asked, “when two bills were introduced in the Texas legislature to require the sale of child safety locks with newly purchased handguns, and you never addressed the issue with the legislature, and both bills died. If you support it, why did that happen?” Bush said, “Because those bills had no votes in committee.” When asked again if he supported the bills, Bush said, “I wasn’t even aware of those bills because they never even got out of committee.” NBC, Today Show, 5/12/00

22. Bush: “Africa is important and we’ve got to do a lot of work in Africa to promote democracy and trade.” Fact “While Africa may be important, it doesn’t fit into the national strategic interests, as far as I can see them,” Bush said earlier. When he was asked for his vision of the U.S. national interests, he named every continent except Africa. According to Time magazine, “[Bush] focused exclusively on big ticket issues … Huge chunks of the globe — Africa and Latin America, for example — were not addressed at all.” Time, 12/6/99; PBS News Hour, 2/16/00; Toronto Star, 2/16/00

23. Bush: “There’s only been one governor ever elected to back-to-back four year terms and that was me.”

Fact: The governors who served two consecutive four-year terms (meeting Bush’s statement criteria are): Coke R. Stevenson (2 consecutive 4-year terms) August 4, 1941-January 21, 1947. Allan Shivers (2 consecutive four-year terms) July 11, 1949-January 15, 1957. Price Daniel (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 15, 1957-January 15, 1963. John Connally (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 15, 1963-January 21, 1969. Dolph Briscoe (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 16, 1973-January 16, 1979. George W. Bush (2 consecutive four-year terms) January 17, 1995 to present. Source: Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission.

24. Bush: “We spend $4.7 billion a year on the uninsured in the state of Texas.”

Fact: The state of Texas came up with less than $1B for this purpose. $3.5 came from local governments, private providers, and charities, $198M from the federal government, and just less than $1B from Texas state agencies. Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Source

Bush-Cheney Administration Lies About Iraq

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

– Dick Cheney, August 26 2002

“Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.”

– George W. Bush, September 12 2002

“If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.”

– Ari Fleischer, December 2 2002

“We know for a fact that there are weapons there.”

– Ari Fleischer, January 9 2003

“Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.”

– George W. Bush, State of the Union address, January 28 2003

“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.”

– Colin Powell, February 5 2003

“We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons.”

– George Bush, February 8 2003

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

– George Bush, March 17 2003

“Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.”

– Ari Fleischer, March 21 2003

“There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.”

– Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22 2003

“We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.”

– Donald Rumsfeld, March 30 2003.

“Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.”

– Bush in October 2002.

“Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda.”

– Bush in January 2003 State of the Union address.

“Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.”

– Bush in February 2003.

“sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.”

Powell in his U.N. speech prior to the Iraq War.

“We have removed an ally of Al Qaeda.”

Bush in May 2003.

Stated that the Iraqis were “providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the Al Qaeda organization.”

– Cheney in September 2003.

“Saddam had an established relationship with Al Qaeda, providing training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional weapons.”

– Cheney in October 2003.

…….

Cheney said Saddam “had long established ties with Al Qaeda.”

– June 14, 2004.

Bush said, “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.”

– June 17, 2004.

Source

Stephen Harper hid the actual cost of the War

Stephen Harper hid the cost of the war


As you may have seen from reports in yesterday and today’s morning newspapers, the cost of the war in Afghanistan will reach $18 billion by the end of 2011, according to a new report released by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

The report, by Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, does not even include the salaries of the 2500 soldiers in Afghanistan, and is still much higher than the $8 billion estimated cost provided by the Conservative government, which included salaries.

I attended the press conference yesterday in Ottawa, and during the announcement of the investigation, Page noted that this study is incomplete because he did not receive full co-operation from government departments, including the military. Even worse, those departments may not realize how much they are spending on the war because of sloppy accounting.

This the first public costing of the war completed by a government office or department. The study was produced at the request of NDP MP for Ottawa Centre Paul Dewar.

Earlier this week, David Macdonald and I released our own costing of the war in Afghanistan called The Cost of the War and the End of Peacekeeping: The Impact of Extending the Afghanistan Mission.

Based on our calculations, the cost of the war to the government coffers, including the salaries of the troops, will be $21 billion. Add to that the financial loss felt by families and communities from so many young men and women injured or killed, and the impact reaches $28 billion.

I was astounded to see that the Parliamentary Budget Office’s findings, when adjusted to use comparable methodologies, are actually much higher than our own results. Therefore the real cost is higher than anyone imagines.

Our report went a step further to look at our military’s contribution to peacekeeping, and we learned that it has dropped by more than 80 per cent since the beginning of the Afghanistan war. This year the military will spend a paltry $15 million for the entire year on UN peacekeeping, the equivalent of what we spend on the war in just two or three days. We contribute only 63 soldiers for UN peacekeeping operations – they could all fit into a school bus!

Yesterday we were busy discussing the cost of the war to Canadians through the national news media, in both Quebec and the rest of Canada. Here you can watch interviews on CTV Newsnet, CBC Radio, CBC TV, GlobalTV, and Business News Network. We also received coverage in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and elsewhere.

Our message was this:

• The $18 billion estimate for the cost of the Afghanistan war provided by the Parliamentary Budget Office is very large – the largest anyone has seen. It is welcome information and should serve as a basis for further reporting.

• The number is likely too low, because the office did not receive full co-operation from the departments involved, including the military. The Prime Minister should have instructed departments to co-operate fully.

• It is appalling that Conservative and Liberal MPs voted to extend the war by three years, to December 2011, without even knowing that they were approving the expenditure of an additional $7 billion over the $11 billion already spent.

• With financial storm clouds gathering on the horizon and no large budget surpluses to rely upon, will the government cut social programs to fund the war and avoid tax increases or a deficit?

I would like to hear from you. Do you think the Afghanistan war has been worth the cost?

Source

Stephen Harper hid the cost of the war

Sparks fly over Afghan mission cost

Budget officer admits $18.1B estimate likely low

Mike Blanchfield , Canwest News Service

Published: Thursday, October 09, 2008

OTTAWA – Opposition leaders attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday for hiding the full cost of the Afghanistan mission after the Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page said a lack of “transparency” meant his projection of up to $18.1 billion was on the low side.

The eagerly awaited report of the cost of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan catapulted the mission back to the centre of the federal election with five days left in the campaign.

Page took pains to present his office’s analysis – sparked by a request from a frustrated NDP MP – as apolitical.

The cost of the war in Afghanistan, from the time it began until it is scheduled to end in 2011, will cost each and every Canadian household $1,500.

But Page’s criticism of a confused bureaucracy that didn’t have its numbers straight placed Harper on the defensive when the Liberals, NDP and the Bloc Quebecois piled on criticism.

Page’s report cites a cost in the range of $13.9 billion to $18.1 billion to 2011. But several relevant departments – including Foreign Affairs and the Canadian International Agency, the military’s two main partners in Afghanistan – refused to give his office additional figures beyond what they had already posted on their websites.

Page’s estimate means each household is contributing $1,500 to support the deployment. But because of inconsistent government bookkeeping, that figure would be significantly higher because departments “have not met any appropriate standard or best practice,” said Page, who called on Treasury Board to implement a streamlined practice.

“Budget transparency for parliamentarians and Canadians needs to be improved,” Page said. “When compared with international experience, Canada appears to lag behind the best practices of other jurisdictions.”

Page did not spare the previous Liberal government, which first sent Canadian troops to Afghanistan, when he said: “Although Canada is in the seventh year of the mission, Parliament has not been provided with estimates by successive governments on the fiscal costs incurred by all relevant departments.”

Paul Dewar, the NDP MP for Ottawa Centre who requested Page’s investigation, said knowing the true cost of the mission would have radically changed the House of Commons debate earlier this year that extended the Afghanistan mission by two years to 2011.

“The reason I asked the Parliamentary Budget Officer for this study is because the government would not answer my questions in the House nor at committee nor through order paper question. So Canadians were never given the facts,” Dewar said. “This is the tip of the iceberg as you’ve heard today.”

Dewar argued Page’s finding showed Harper could not be trusted and he reiterated his party’s stand that Canada’s 2,500 troops should be withdrawn within months.

Page’s estimate is still significantly higher than the original $8 billion that has been publicly cited, said Dewar.

The Canwest News Service first reported that figure in April based on an Access to Information request made by the NDP.

“The debate is not that the numbers are wrong. It’s a debate about what to include and what not to include. This is something that governments of both stripes have been supporting for a decade,” the prime minister said.

“One can go back and debate, ‘Should we have made this commitment in 2002, should we have gone into Kandahar in 2005?’ These are interesting questions. But the fact is the commitment was made, and this government has no option but to respect its obligations.”

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion accused Harper failing to provide Canadians with an accurate year-to-year account of spending.

“It is the false transparency that is the problem,” said Dion.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said the Conservatives were not being “transparent and honest” with Canadians.

“In presenting numbers that were grossly erroneous on the cost of the mission in Afghanistan, Harper wanted to mislead the population,” Duceppe said.

Page was supposed to report to Parliament last month, but it was dissolved when Harper called an election.

Page then said he would be willing to release his figures before Canadians went to the polls on Oct. 14 if all major party leaders agreed. They did.

The report said that CIDA’s departmental performance reports “do not provide annual spending in Afghanistan for individual projects.”

The Canadian government has earmarked $1.9 billion between 2001-2011 for development spending in Afghanistan.

“VAC (Veterans Affairs Canada) does not report basic financial data specific to the Afghanistan mission, although Canada’s involvement in the Afghanistan mission is a major project and the death, disability, medical and stress related payments are fiscally material,” the report said.

So far, 97 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan, while hundreds more have been injured.

The military also does not provide “mission specific details” to parliament, the report found.

“For example, it is impossible to determine how many reservists were deployed for each year of the mission; how much fuel was consumed; or the level of expenditure on equipment reset and betterment, for all Afghanistan related operations.”

Page backed away from publicly criticizing the various government departments after the report’s release, saying he wanted to build bridges with the bureaucracy.

His new oversight office was created this past spring, and is a largely unknown entity in Ottawa, he said, but is determined to bring better “fiscal transparency” to the federal government.

“It’s important for me to be diplomatic,” Page said, while also making clear he’s not worried about being kicked out of a job if he ruffles a few feathers.

“Do I look afraid? I promise you I’m not afraid.”

Source

Published in: on October 11, 2008 at 2:29 am  Comments Off on Stephen Harper hid the actual cost of the War  
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Tragedy in the Making in Washington and on Wall Street: The Canadian Solution

By Rodrigue Tremblay

“When troubles come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.” – Shakespeare (1564-1616)

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd US president

“Our economy is facing a moment of great challenge. … We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis.” – George W. Bush, September 24, 2008

The Washington gridlock about finding a solution to the subprime financial crisis in the United States is turning into a tragedy, seemingly because of a fundamental lack of understanding and communication about the causes of this financial crisis and the most efficient way to solve it. The nature of the crisis, the economic consequences if it is not solved, and how it could be solved without costing the government and U.S. taxpayers a single penny has not been properly explained to Congress and to the U.S. population.

Indeed, in this election period, there is a clear danger that the financial crisis is not going to be solved properly by the U.S. government and by Congress, and that there will be dire economic consequences in the months and years ahead, not only for the United States but also for the world economy. A similar subprime crisis has been solved in Canada, without costing the government and Canadian taxpayers a single cent. Although such a solution, i.e. transforming most of the subprime mortgage-back securities into medium term debentures, would have to be adapted to the peculiar American situation, this can be done.

The Canadian solution

In August 2007, it was discovered that Canada, just as the U.S., had a subprime mortgage-backed securities problem. Since the Canadian economy is more than ten times smaller than the American economy, the magnitude of the problem was also smaller, but it was nevertheless acute.

Indeed, Canada’s subprime mortgage market was a smaller proportion of the total mortgage market than in the U.S. and mortgage defaults have not been as prevalent in Canada as in the United States. For instance, there has not been a housing bubble burst in Canada. Overall, risky mortgage-backed paper constituted, about 5 per cent of the total mortgage market, while in the U.S., subprime mortgage paper constitutes about 20 per cent of the total mortgage market, and mortgage defaults have been rising dramatically.

Nevertheless, there was some $32 billion (CAN) of non-bank asset-backed commercial paper in Canada. When this market became illiquid after August 2007, as a consequence of the global credit crisis that originated in the U.S., a restructuring committee was assembled in Canada by large pension plans, Crown corporations, banks and other businesses holding the bulk of $32 billion in non-bank asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) in order to find a solution to the liquidity problem. (Large Canadian banks covered the asset-backed commercial paper that were on their books or in their money market funds). This was the Pan-Canadian Investors Committee for Third-Party Structured ABCP, chaired by a Toronto lawyer, Mr. Purdy Crawford, and created after a proposal that originated from the large Quebec pension fund, the Caisse de dépôt. This was the Montreal proposal.

The committee ended up proposing to restructure the frozen and illiquid securities into longer-term securities. It proposed that ABCP notes, initially intended as low-risk and short-term debt, be exchanged for new replacement notes or debentures that would not mature for years (seven or nine years) while earning interest originating from the underlying primary mortgages. The plan was approved by a Canadian court last June and is scheduled to close by September 30, after Canada’s Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal against the plan.

The plan was designed to prevent a forced a fire sale of the asset-backed paper and to restore confidence in the Canadian financial system, especially in the money market funds. And it did all that without the government risking a penny of taxpayers’ money.

Of course, those entities that had invested in what they believed to be liquid and relatively high-yield 30- to 90-day debt instruments had to accept new notes maturing within nine years, but most of them thought that this was better than the alternative of outright liquidation. Those investors can hold the newly-issued notes to maturity or they can try to trade them in the secondary market. A market for asset-backed securities was thus indirectly created where none existed before.

What lesson can be drawn for the current U.S. predicament?

The U.S. Problem: Real danger of a cascading debt-deflation spiral

The financial crisis is much more severe and much more widespread in the U.S. than in Canada. Therefore, a large scale Canada-like solution would have been, most likely, unrealistic. Could hundreds of American banks and pension funds get together to restructure the illiquid mortgage-backed paper? This is doubtful.

However, the principles behind the Canadian solution can be retained and the mortgage-backed securities could be restructured into longer-term securities carrying interest. But because of the size and complexity of the American financial system, this would have to involve the U.S. government as an intermediary.

In the U.S., for example, the mortgage market (residential and commercial) is about $14 trillion, that is a size equal to the annual gross domestic product (GDP). Overall, the U.S.’s total interest-bearing debts are now a staggering $51 trillion (consumer, corporate and government debt), that is to say a level of total debt more than three and a half times the annual GDP. For decades in the past, the ratio of debt to GDP was about 1.0. This shows the extent of American current over-indebtedness.

In the short run, however, there are two urgent problems faced by the U.S. economy that must be solved with as little economic perturbation as possible.

First, there is the most urgent problem of solving the overhang of illiquid mortgage-backed securities which were created as the equivalent of liquid commercial paper. They must be urgently aligned more closely with the more long term mortgages downstream they are based on. Since much of this illiquid mortgage-backed paper is found in the $4 trillion money market funds market, there was and there still is the danger of a run on such funds in the coming days and weeks if investors fear for the safety and liquidity of their balances. A collapse of the market in money market funds would be equivalent to the banking collapse of the 1930’s, since this is where companies park most of their required cash flows in the short run.

The second American financial problem is related to the approximately $2.7 trillion in municipal securities outstanding, a large proportion of which have been relying on a bond insurance system that is teetering on the brink of collapse. The U.S. Treasury partly solved this problem temporarily when it announced on Tuesday, September 16, that it had loaned $85 billion (for two years) to the largest world insurance company, American International Group (AIG), in exchange for a 79.9 percent stake in the company, thus avoiding a formal bankruptcy filing for AIG. This was, of course, after announcing that the U.S. Treasury promised to inject some $200 billion in the government sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in preferred shares, in order to solidify their mortgage lending operations and their $5.3 trillion joint debt.

The Bush administration’s proposal to create a fund of $700 billion to buy back illiquid mortgage-backed paper does not seem to have been structured in a manner that would avoid an outright subsidy to the American banking sector. If it were to be used to recapitalize private banks, this amount would be too small. This need not be. In fact, much of the legitimate fear that many Americans have that large amounts of public money are going to be used to subsidize Wall Street firms can be avoided, and the amount required to restructure the subprime-based securities market could be considerably reduced.

Indeed, there is a way for the U.S. Treasury to play an intermediary role in restructuring most of the illiquid mortgage-backed paper that creates so many problems today, not the least would be the possible collapse of large segments of the U.S. financial system.

Since time is of the essence, Congress could approve the creation of a U.S Government Banking Restructuring Trust, designed to exist for a twelve-year maximum period, that is, until 2020. Such a government trust could buy back, at a fair market value (including a substantial discount to reflect poor liquidity and poor marketability), illiquid but still solvent mortgage-backed securities, held by banks or money market funds.

Simultaneously, the government trust would have the power to reissue mortgage-backed debentures with a maturity of nine years or less and carrying interest financed by the underlying mortgages thus acquired, and in an amount large enough to cover at least the initial cost of acquisition. The Fed and its twelve regional banks, plus Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, could play an important role in creating a liquid secondary market for such government-backed securities. Because of this reissuance feature, the $700 billion guarantee initially proposed by Sec. Henry Paulson could be reduced, possibly to a more palatable level of $250 billion.

Such an operation would relieve the U.S. banking system from short-term mortgage-backed securities that are presently de facto frozen, because there is no market for them. It would also allow American savers and investors to include in their IRAs or 401(k) plans safe and profitable investments. Moreover, it would provide capital to the mortgage market and help turn the housing slump around.

And, what’s more, such a debt restructuring operation need not cost the government and American taxpayers a single penny, in the end. To the contrary, the program can be structured in such a way as to generate a fair return on the government’s initial investment.

Simultaneously, a regulatory ban on the issuance of any new securitized mortgage-backed paper could be issued. The same could apply also to the dangerous practice of elevating the credit rating of certain bonds or debentures through reliance upon the credit-default (insurance) market. These were the two main corrosive “innovations” which have resulted in the present financial mess.

Moreover, such a restructuring plan could be kept simple and totally transparent.

In conclusion, this is something that the Bush administration and the U.S. Congress might want to consider if they hope to get out of the ideological and political deadlock they have talked themselves into.

Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal and can be reached at: rodrigue.tremblay@ yahoo.com. He is the author of the book ‘The New American Empire’. Visit his blog site at www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog. Author’s Website: www.thenewamericanempire.com/. Check Dr. Tremblay’s coming book “The Code for Global Ethics” at:   www.TheCodeForGlobalEthics.com/

Published in: on September 29, 2008 at 3:16 am  Comments (1)  
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