January 29, 2009

Iraq Gains Independence, Speaks Mind on Blackwater

The planets have aligned and now Iraq won't allow Blackwater to operate in country.

The planets: The Bush goon squad pressure tactics are gone, the consciousness is high due in great part to Jeremy Scahill's book [1], Blackwater's hubris reached a peak in the unprovoked Nassor Square killing 17 people, Iraqi is finding it's sovereign voice.

All good news. But the reality is that the inertia of Bush's post-911 unleashing of the security industrial complex is force that will take generations to reverse. People trained to fire fully automatic weapons from speeding vehicles don't forget their skills, and yearn to use them. Hoards of wealth are still controlled in many private hands willing to pay for private armies. Mutual fears among rivals with private security forces feeds private army and arms races (Look at Mexico for example).

We need to build on this little victory to slowly roll back the growth of the private security state of the world.

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1. Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.


January 26, 2009

Is Tide Turning on Impunity of Western Power?

We've seen some unbelievable headlines in recent years. We saw a US presidential election stolen in 2000-2001. We saw the twin towers in NYC collapse in 2001. We saw our nation initiate a war of aggression based on lies in 2002-2003. We saw Enron implode and Enronian blackouts in California. We saw the US looking like an under-developed nation as the government failed to respond to Hurricane Katrina. We are seeing headlines talking about economic depression. We've seen the headlines of the first African American president of the United States.

Is it really so unimaginable to envision headlines of war crimes being brought against high officials in the US and Israel? This thought recently reached my consciousness in reaction to a critique of my GDAE Podcast. The critique challenged my criticism of the main stream media:

I take a little exception to your characterization of mainstream media's coverage of the Gaza debacle. CNN has had some good reporting about the situation inside Gaza within the limitations of access granted by the IDF. One of their reporters was in one of the tunnels leading to Egypt and commented that whenever humans feel trapped they will try and tunnel out and Palestinians in Gaza certainly feel trapped.

I could quibble about this, but that's not the point.

This critique was in reference to Episode 3 of GDAE Podcast (Jan 15, 2009), in which I claimed the establishment media was perpetuating several false narratives about the Israel/Palestine conflict. In addition to this critique of GDAE Podcast, I saw the following Yahoo News Headline:

"Israel promises troops legal backing over Gaza war"
, the opening line of which put Israeli war crimes on the table:

International calls to investigate Israel over alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip prompted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday to promise military personnel state protection from foreign prosecution.

It goes on to quote Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, who said,

It does not mean there is an immunity against legal actions...More of such efforts will be seen also in the near future.

Is it possible the US media is beginning to ponder the imponderable?

So the thought occurs to me... we've seen some amazing headlines in the past few years. It's conceivable that a ground swell of demand for justice could spawn headlines about US and Israeli officials being charged and convicted for war crimes. It's possible.

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Associated Press,
Israel promises troops legal backing over Gaza war
, January 26, 2009.

Graphic Credit: Poet515 from DevianArt.


January 25, 2009

Another Call for Bush's Neck

This short video is bitingly funny, but takes artistic license up to the edge (1.30 min). Obama is welcome to look forward, but a critical mass of us needs to look back and hold some people accountable.

WARNING: The following video a bit irreverent.

Investigate George W. Bush for criminal actions.

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January 24, 2009

Art: Shoot an Iraqi

Last night I enjoyed an event sponsored by Red Emma's, a Baltimore radical book store and cafe. The event is described below:

Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal has been behind some of the most amazing critical artistic practice addressing the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. When his brother was killed at a U.S. checkpoint in 2005, he responded with "Domestic Tension," an unsettling interactive performance piece: for one month, Bilal lived alone in a prison cell-sized room in the line of fire of a remote-controlled paintball gun and a camera that connected him to internet viewers around the world. Visitors to the gallery and a virtual audience that grew by the thousands could shoot at him 24 hours a day. Bilal's experiences with this exhibit and the theory behind it are chronicled in his new book on City Lights, Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun.

Two interesting tidbits. First, on day-10 the paintball gun stopped; popularity of the website had crashed the webpage server. Wafaa, who for ten days had been completely preoccupied with staying out of the line of fire, was finally able to let down his guard. When he did, the grief of loosing his father and brother to Bush's Iraq war washed over him and his suppressed emotions were released.

Second, after Wafaa had been assaulted non-stop one day, because his site was #1 on Digg.com, a group of 39 people organized to take turns clicking on their key board to make the gun aim to the left. This gave Wafaa some relief and generated interesting dialoge via the chat feature of this performance art piece with those who wanted to shoot him.

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January 22, 2009

Iraq Veterans Send a Message to Obama

You can too. Watch this 30-sec. video and post where you can.

You can also promote it through the Digg.com page too.

Here's the Code to Paste:

Psssst... Do Something


January 21, 2009

Congratulations, Lets Get to Work

Welcome to Washington President Obama. Now we can start sending our e-mails to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when we want to Contact Obama. And today, we can raise our voice in unison on a specific economic issue: Obama's proposed tax cuts.

The Godless Liberal Homo blog lays out some rationals for sending this message to Team Obama:

Bush's tax cuts have been disastrous. The small checks for middle class and poor people did nothing to help our economy. They might have stimulated China's economy marginally, but China doesn't buy much anything from us.

Bush's enormous tax cuts for the rich have played a key role in our desperate economic situation. They contributed significantly to our government and foreign debt while doing nothing to create jobs here in the US. The wealthy used these unearned windfalls in an orgy of speculation, creating bubble after bubble (stocks, subprime mortgages, oil, gold, etc.) leading to crash after crash. Our treasury was looted to a huge extent to create money which mostly disappeared in 2008.

He's not alone. The January/February 2009 issue of Mother Jones Magazine also lays out the most "stimulating" actions that government can take to keep this recession from going further south.

You can read the Mother Jones article Stimulus is for Suckers for an explanation of the chart above. It's hard to see in the graph, but according to this analysis from Moody's Economy.com, an across-the-board tax cut only generates 3-cents of stimulus per dollar in cuts, whereas food stamps generates 73-cents per dollar of stimulus.

A bit wonkish I admit, but when Obama said in his inaugural speech that we need to be more responsible, this level of attention is part of what he was talking about.

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January 20, 2009

Investigate Israeli War Crimes

The crimes begin with failure to protect the civilians of an occupied land; not only does Israel violate social norms by the omission of "protection," Israel's violation is one of commission by collectively punishing the occupied civilian population. This is done, not only by blatant, disproportionate military violence, but by Israel's multi-year blockade of travel and commerce for Palestinians.

It has the effect of slow genocide or slow ethnic cleansing, in part because some Palestinians are fed up with the incessant check points, humiliations, and inability to develop their business enterprises... they're leaving (being cleansed) from their homeland.

I could continue adding to the list of war crimes, but the information is available elsewhere (just not in the US establishment-controlled media). We need to raise our voices against impunity and for justice to be served. It's also high time for more attention to the strategy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel.

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January 19, 2009

MLK Video by SleptOnTV

This 5 min. video by SleptOnTV goes into King's challenges, beyond civil rights, into questioning the economic system. Now is a good time to listen again to King's words.

SleptOnTV on YouTube

SleptOn Website

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January 15, 2009

GDAE Podcast Episode 3

Episode 3 - January 15, 2009 returns to a wider variety of music, current events, and laughs (at Joe Scarboro):
  • Music by Ryan Harvey on a corporate globalization scheme, song entitled "Plan Puebla Panama."
  • Joe Scarborough (MSNBC) gets comeuppance from Zbigniew Brzezinski via Wakeup AM Podcast.
  • Two false narratives by the US media on Gaza are exposed.
  • Rickbackbookbock on the prosecution of George W. Bush.
  • Auto industry bailout: Can't take our eyes off of this one. Opportunities and risks.
Update: Israel uses exotic, experimental weapons.

LINK to the GDAE Podcast Website or Subscribe via Buttons to the Right.

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Israel Uses Exotic, Experimental Weapons

The Israeli use of exotic, experimental DIME* weapons is goulish. While not 100% confirmed, a Norwegian doctor reports strange looking mutilations.

According to Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor who worked at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza during the Israeli assault,

The muscles are sort of split from the bones, hanging loose. And you also have quite severe burns where this energy wave has hit.

This is corroborated in an article entitled, Israel Tests New Highly Lethal, Cancer-Causing Tungsten Bomb in Gaza.

This is shown in the photo to the right from a different source (RaiNews).

Gilbert continues,

The additional effect in animal studies on the DIME weapon is that the residuals in the muscle in mice will cause a very severe form of muscle cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, which easily spreads to the lungs.

The DIME weapon was used in Gaza in July and August 2006: Italian TV Exposes Experimental IDF Use of U.S. Weapon Which Severs and Burns Limbs Below Genitals.

Abstract describing DIME [1].

* DIME: Dense Inert Metal Explosives. Developed by the US Air Force in 2006, they release intense power in a relatively confined area without shrapnel. They were developed under the banner of "limiting collateral damage". The physical mutilations result from what is like an intense, localized energy wave that shreds tissue.

According to a US military web site,

the projectile comprises a carbon-fiber casing filled with tungsten powder and explosives. In the explosion, tungsten particles - a metal capable of conducting very high temperatures - spread over a radius of four meters [12 feet] and cause death.
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1. Internet FAQ Archives, USAF, Aerojet look for damage limitation from their version of M1 HE 105 mm shell, Gibson, Neil, Jane's International Defense Review, 2006.


January 14, 2009

Oscar Grant

Thanks to Dusty for her post on Justice for Oscar Grant. Mr. Grant is just the latest in a pattern of similar police killings in the SF Bay Area (and other places).

We need to raise our voices on this. The media cannot be silent on this pattern of police brutality. As the country sinks into economic depression, and fear grows among the establishment insiders, it's critical that the rank and file police not be allowed to serve as their Praetorian Guard. We need to call them on it now.

DemocracyNow Coverage

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Now What? Do we Prosecute?

Another American hero is born: Susan Crawford.

"We tortured Qahtani," Susan Crawford said in an interview with the Washington Post published on Wednesday. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.

Crawford, a retired judge who also worked in the Reagan administration, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.

Go to Change.gov and send a note to Team Obama. They really need to hear our collective voices. If the Bush people have impunity, the fabric of civilization will unravel.

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U.S. official says Guantanamo detainee was tortured


Korean Blogger Arrested?

Paul Krugman ponders why Team Obama's economic plan falls short of providing enough stimulus to reduce unemployment to "natural" levels. His calculations suggest, within three years the Obama plan will push unemployment down to about 7.3% (from an estimated peak of 8.7%.... "natural full employment" is pegged at 4.3%).

My Comment on the matter:

Maybe Team Obama is considering a two-objective problem in which the objectives conflict with each other:

1) Minimize Unemployment
2) Minimize Inflation

Perhaps they have a trade-off curve that shows a break-point when unemployment is at 7.5% with diminishing returns on driving down unemployment as inflation goes through the roof.

Elaboration: As US dollars are flooded into the world market they loose their value. The Fed has already pumped out way more than the Treasury Department's $700 billion for the financial bailout, with little fan fare. Word is that inflation is a certainty and will likely be taking off while the uninformed TV pundits are still lamenting the deflationary economic collapse.

BTW, has you heard about the popular Korean blogger who was arrested after he posted a piece on Korea moving away from US Treasuries? Here's a Digg article on it for you to help promote.

The word is that the mad rush from US Treasury bonds is going to take place fairly soon; there is already movement away, in part because there is legitimate concern the US cannot pay off the bonds, as mentioned recently in an opinion piece published by the Washington Post [1].

I'm thinking about 1) Taking a loan, the interest of which will be inflated away (that's effectively the US plan for getting out of debt), 2) Buying assets now (stocking up on the basics like toilet paper while it's still cheap), and 3) Gold.

Update: What happened to the blogger Park Dae-Sung?

The 31-year-old Park, better known as his pen name "Minerva,'' was arrested early this year on charges of circulating false rumors in cyberspace but was exonerated in April. The prosecutors appealed the court decision, though.

MORE from the Korea Times, September 28, 2009.


1. Washington Post, DEFAULT OPTION: We're Borrowing Like Mad. Can the U.S. Pay It Back? January 11, 2009.


January 13, 2009

War Crimes and Pop Culture

I know nothing about the CBS show "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service," which airs on Tuesdays at 8pm. Here's the preview of tonight's show:

Preview of 'NCIS' 6.13: Broken Bird

One of the team members takes the fall in the next episode of "NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service". In "Broken Bird", Ducky (David McCallum) will be stabbed at a crime scene, leading to a revelation of his disturbing past that occurred more than 30 years before.

After Ducky is attacked while on duty, the NCIS team must delve into his clandestine past and they uncover a horrible truth about him. He was accused as a war criminal, torturing and killing citizen of Afghanistan.

How many more people like Ducky has the Bush administration turned into low-level war criminals? People who will be haunted by guilt for the rest of their lives? According to a Mother Jones article, Torture Comes Home, Ben Allbright (photo) watches The Daily Show, worships Dave Eggers—and still wound up "softening up" prisoners in Iraq. He now has to ask himself, "Am I a Torturer?"

If we are a just nation, and anyone should face prosecution, it should start at the top with George W. Bush.


January 12, 2009

Flattened by the Blues

If you want to see this blue montage right-side-up, you'll have to Click Here for a little repliderium.

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It's Ultimately So Sad

Now we must struggle to "make the world a better place," knowing that we have so much to over come just to get back to where we were eight years ago. But the reality is that Bush has done irreversible damage to so many aspects of our existence. * sigh * I guess it's time to get to work.

Psssst... Do Something


NPYD Wants Cell Phone Control

According to Wired Magazine, "The New York Police Department wants to be able to shut down cell phones, in case of a terrorist attack."

This desire was voiced during testimony on January 8 before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs by New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

"For now, Kelly said, the NYPD is taking a whole range of measures to stop another Mumbai-style spree -- from working with private businesses to interdicting boats to training recruits in heavy weapons to installing a spycam network across downtown Manhattan."

Concerned about your civil liberties? You might think twice after seeing the movie LOOK, which features the results of surveillance cameras in retail store dressing rooms (people steal stuff using dressing rooms you know). Review and revealing photo.

Psssst... Do Something


WIRED Magazine, NYPD Wants to Jam Cell Phones During Terror Attack, January 8, 2009.

Digg: As of January 11, 2009, this Digg post for the Wired article had 1615 "votes" on Digg.


January 11, 2009

"That's So Gay" is So Uncool

Very short educational video. I wasn't aware of this issue, but with a kid in my house, I'm now sensitized in case the issue comes up.

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Thanks to Godless Liberal Homo blog for raising my awareness.


January 9, 2009

Dennis Blair: Withdraw Nomination

My latest note to Team Obama via "comments" at Change.gov:

State Department documents show that Dennis Blair, nominee for the top intelligence post, ignored his formal instructions to tell the military leader of Indonesia to stop using militias to kill civilians in East Timore. (This occurred during the Clinton Administration).

His nomination should be withdrawn, otherwise there will be a very embarrassing fight in the Senate confirmation process.

MORE from DemocracyNow!

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January 8, 2009

Economic Stimulus Message to Obama

Below is a message I just sent to "Comments" at www.Change.gov (will anyone read it? Probably a young staff person, who will be slightly more educated as he or she engages others in Washington, DC.)

A bit wonkish, but...

You don't have to pay Paul Krugman, but you should heed his advice. Too much tax cut, as a stimulus, won't be effective.
1. Some of it goes into savings.
2. Much of it goes to cheap goods from WalMart/Chnia
3. It is merely consumption, not investment, e.g., in infrastructure.

As a State government manager, I urge you to a) fund local government jobs, b) fund design work, not just "shovels in the ground." Designer jobs are jobs too and we can expect to need well over a year of stimulus, so today's designs will be tomorrows "shovels in the ground."

Psssst... Do Something

Click on the Change.gov link above and leave a message for Obama's young staffer. You'll feel better for it.


Thanks to Paul Krugman for the motivation on this one.


Privatize Social Security!

Sounds rather funny today, the idea of having your safety net invested in the stock market a year ago, doesn't it? A lot of Republican ideas are like that.

But Bush's failure was the salvation of many Americans. The thought, "Dodged a Bullet" comes to mind. Unfortunately for some Italians, their government "succeeded" in partial privatization of their version of social security. It's that fascist tendency thing... government and corporations become one.

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Israel's Two-Front War?

Initial corporate media accounts are down-playing the significance of rockets fired from Lebanon as being isolated. But give Israel's gross violations of legal and ethical norms, an uncontrolled escalation is a risk.

Psssst... Do Something


Reuters, Rockets from Lebanon hit Israel amid Gaza offensive, Haim Shafir, January 8, 2008.


January 7, 2009

Palestinian AP Reporter Article to go Viral...

.... with your help.

AP Gaza reporter finds hometown in rubble

If you have a yahoo account, skim this article, go to the bottom, and click "Recommend." Then, click "BuzzUp" and add a comment.

If you don't have a yahoo account, you might consider starting one if only so you can participate in the buzz wars. Alone we are little, together we are large.

Psssst... Do Something


AP Gaza reporter finds hometown in rubble, IBRAHIM BARZAK, January 7, 2008.


March on Washington for Gaza

(please send to friends and lists)

Stop the U.S./Israeli War
Against the Palestinian People

National March on Washington
Saturday, January 10 Assemble at
the White House (north side) at 1:00 PM
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January 6, 2009

Blaming Hamas Rockets is an Excuse

First, Hamas is a political party that functions similarly to the Irish IRA, which had military, social and political wings.

Second, the most recent truce was broken by Israel on November 4, 2007 when they entered Gaza to conduct a targeted assassination raid. No rockets were being fired at that time. After several more targeted assassination raids, murdering twenty three Palestinians, resistance from Gaza was expressed by firing rockets at Israel.

Third, for two years Israel has conducted a siege on the Gaza Strip. This came after the US and Israel waged an increasingly brutal campaign against Hamas, despite its legitimate parliamentary election victory in 2005. This ended when the US and Israel attempted to provoke a Palestinian civil war by arming and training members of the Pelestinian Fatah party. Their attempt failed when Hamas exposed the US/Israeli coup plot and used force to eject Fatah party leaders from Gaza .

Fourth, the rockets initially fired from Gaza, in response to the targeted assassinations by Israel, were weak, home-made devices typically with warheads weighing about 5 kilograms (11 lbs)[1]. This compares with farm more powerful weapons being used by Israel. It's true that Palestinian weapons have marginally improved since 2006, but this link comparing only the Apache helicopter armaments to Palestinian rocket, not describing F-16 jets, drones, tanks, navel artillery, it's clear that Israel is applying disproportionate force, that is killing scores of Palestinian civilians.

Fifth, other Palestinians resisting the Israeli occupation, including Fatah members, are also firing rockets. It's not just Hamas.

No rockets are being fired from the Palestinian West Bank, yet Israel conducts routine military operations in that area resulting in Palestinian deaths.

The rockets from Gaza are a provoked excuse by Israel to get rid of the democratically elected Hamas, because Israel and the US cannot get rid of Hamas via the democratic process. This is the lesson of the current Israeli/Palestinian situation.

The following 7 min video is not for the faint of heart. I simply feel obligated to demonstrate my opposition to Israel's collective punishment and other violations of international law. I don't blame Hamas for the images in this video. Hamas is standing up for democratic principles. How many times have we seen this play out in history?

Gaza Children, Why were they Killed?

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[1] http://www.weaponsurvey.com I cant' vouch for this site.


January 5, 2009

Cartoon Economics

Four minutes worth watching for a humorous refresher on how we got into this economic mess, and a prediction for the future.

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Thanks Martha!


January 4, 2009

GDAE Podcast: Episode - 2

OK, if you want to subscribe to GDAE Podcast, click on the link below. It opens a webpage that lets you subscribe via the MP3 player of your choice, e.g., iTunes.

RSS LINK - Subscribe

It's easy to un-subscribe: Just delete the GDAE Podcast show from your list of podcast shows.

Or, you can listen to the GDAE Podcast directly from my new GDAE Podcast web page. The current format is about a half-hour. Check it out!

Episode 2:

You might call this episode of GDAE Podcat a "Special Edition" because much of the 30 minute show is devoted to voices from the homes of Palestinians in the midst of the first days Israeli attacks. The illegal Israeli invasion continues allegedly against the legitimately elected Hamas government. But there is more than that....
  • Prosecute Bush: A call to vsit Obama's Change.gov website and vote forf appointing a special prosecutor ("How To" below)*,
  • Voices from the Besieged Gaza Strip: Gripping interviews with Palestinians living in the Gaza strip as US-made Apache helicopters fire their guns[1],
  • A visit by Rick Back Book Bock: Parenting Wayword Financial Corporations,
  • Music: "Brazilita," acoustic guitar and xylophone, Pat and GDAEman.
* Simple "How To" vote for Bush's prosecution on Obama's "Change.gov" website:

1. Go to Obama's Transition Team web site, Change.gov
2. Go to the "Open for Questions" page
3. Sign In to your Change.gov account, or register if you don't have one (it's easy)
4. Search for the questions using the keywords: Special Prosecutor (or Gaza)
5. Vote in favor by clicking the Check Mark

Note: Many people have asked the same question (over 500). You can vote on as many of them as you like.


[1] Flashpioints Radio, December 29, 2008 Episode.



At the end of 2008 I posted my first Podcast. I've finished my second, but am in the midst of that internet-tinkering-thing, in addition to beating the drum for the criminal investigation and prosecution of George W. Bush and his associates.

I'm looking into using WordPress for a more robust web site, in addition to this blog... Yadda yadda. Any free advice would be welcomed. But for now, it's back to tinkering.


Tinkering Raccoon: Mary Mouse, Rackety's Robot.


January 1, 2009

Prosecute Bush: Change.gov

I've tried to beat the drum on the reasons Bush should be prosecuted. You probably agree, so now lets create the pressure. Here's an important drum to beat:

1. Go to Obama's Transition Team web site, Change.gov
2. Go to the "Open for Questions" page
3. Sign In to your Change.gov account or register if you don't have one (it's easy)
4. Search for the questions using the keywords: special prosecutor
5. Vote in favor by clicking the check mark (NOT the X)

Note: Many people have asked the same question (over 500). You can vote on as many of them as you like, just beware of the "truth commission" cop out questions mixed in... you might not want to vote for them.

As of today, the most popular "Additional Issue" under "Pick a Topic" is the following:

"Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"

14,350 votes "yes" as of today. Lets go viral and get that number to 500,000 million before the January 20 inauguration.

Psssst... Do Something


Thanks to the Godless Liberal Homo for the instructions on Obama's site.