Liberty Activist Blog

Sunday, August 14, 2005

US lowers sights on Iraq
Washington Post

"The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad. The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say. .... U.S. officials say no turning point forced a reassessment. "It happened rather gradually," said the senior official, triggered by everything from the insurgency to shifting budgets to U.S. personnel changes in Baghdad." [Editor's note: What's this, an Emily Litella 'Never mind' moment? And this is supposed to make up for the thousands of dead Americans and Iraqis? -MLS] (08/14/05)

Security cameras multiply in Manhattan
My Way News

" Six surveillance cameras could be seen peering out from a chain drug store on Broadway. One protruded awkwardly from the awning of a fast-food restaurant. A supersized, domed version hovered like a flying saucer outside Columbia University. To the dismay of civil libertarians and with the approval of law enforcement, they've been multiplying at a dizzying rate all over Manhattan. "As many as we find, we miss so many more," Alex Stone-Tharp, 21, said on a recent afternoon while combing the streets, clipboard in hand, counting cameras in the scorching heat. A student at Sarah Lawrence, Stone-Tharp is among a dozen college interns enlisted by the New York Civil Liberties Union to bolster their side of a simmering debate over whether surveillance cameras wrongly encroach on privacy, or effectively combat crime and even terrorism - as in the London bombings investigation, when the cameras were used to identify the bombers.
The interns have spent the summer stalking Big Brother - collecting data for an upcoming NYCLU report on the proliferation of cameras trained on streets, sidewalks and other public spaces." (08/13/05)


One mother's stand
By Scott Galindez

Live blog updates from Camp Casey. "1,000 spirited supporters rallied with Cindy at Camp Casey. Today, Cindy emerged as a leading voice of the anti-war movement. During the week there were many comparisons to Rosa Parks, but today Cindy showed she is not only a spark plug but a leading voice. Cindy's speech was a call to action, a speech that will be seen as historic. I say a leading voice because many other family members and veterans also came out of the shadows this week and onto the national stage. We will keep bringing you their stories." (08/13/05)
Fable of the Emperor and the Grieving Mother
Common Dreams
By David Krieger

"All fables have a moral, and the moral of this one is: If your son or daughter has died in war and you are a grieving mother, know that while your words may not move the Emperor to come out from behind the safety of his castle walls, your pain and courage may still stir a revolt across the empire and save other mothers’ sons and daughters as well as the innocent citizens of far-off lands." (08/14/05)


A shot in the arm for protesters
San Francisco Chronicle
by Joe Garofoli

"Coverage of Sheehan's spontaneous vigil is a godsend for the anti-war movement, which has been struggling to gain traction outside of liberal areas of the country. In Sheehan, organizers say they finally have a face that red-state America can relate to. They see in her a human reflection of sentiment expressed in this month's Associated Press/Ipsos poll, among others. Only 38 percent of respondents to that poll approve of Bush's handling of the war, a new low. The practical political question is whether the momentum gathering behind Sheehan will translate into political power in Washington. Members of Congress are circulating a letter asking Bush to meet with Sheehan, a request Sen. George Allen, R-Va., echoed in a CNN interview. But that effort won't go far unless more Americans -- particularly conservatives and those on the fence -- take up Sheehan's rallying call, "Meet with Cindy." Glenn Smith, a veteran Texas political consultant who is organizing a counter-event to the evangelical-sponsored Justice Sunday II gathering in Nashville, said it's rare that a voice like Sheehan's emerges. "Probably the best thing the movement can do is get out of her way," said Smith, whose Nashville gathering of liberal faith leaders is called Freedom and Faith. "She doesn't need managing.'" (08/14/05)


Singapore: Police send in riot squad to deal with 4 protesters
Singapore Democrat

"The threat? Four (yes, 4) activists who had assembled outside the Central Provident Fund Building in downtown Singapore to protest against the non-transparent and non-accountable nature of the way the Singapore Government deals with public funds. Two of the protesters were women. The number of police officers numbered at approximately 40." (08/11/05)


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