Author Archive | 5by5

Massive Guatemala Sinkhole (Photo)

This image is NOT a Photoshop alteration. This is a real sinkhole that spontaneously appeared in Zone 2 of Guatemala City due to tropical storm Agatha, and was posted to the Guatemalan government’s image feed:

Photo by Gobierno de Guatemala (CC)

Photo: Gobierno de Guatemala (CC)

How’d you like to have that just drop out from under you?

The roundness of the hole makes it all the more freakish, and I think we can probably count the seconds between now and when someone will say “aliens”, “end times”, “2012”, or “satellite weapon test” due to that one physical property of this crazy pit.

On a more serious note, this is just the most obvious sign of the destruction that was visited upon already impoverished Guatemala with the first big storm of the upcoming hurricane season in the Gulf. 30,000 people displaced from their homes, roughly 120,000 evacuated, and 93 dead. Does not bode well.

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Is Voter Suppression Behind Arizona’s Anti-Illegal Immigration Law?

Greg Palast in a guard tower looking out on Joe Arpaio's jail in Maricopa County, Arizona. Photo: Greg Palast/Truthout (CC)

Greg Palast in a guard tower looking out on Joe Arpaio's jail in Maricopa County, Arizona. Photo: Greg Palast/Truthout (CC)

BBC journalist Greg Palast has written a new article for TruthOut suggesting that perhaps the real reason for the insane-o “Papieren, bitte” (that’s “Papers, please” to you non-Nazis) law in Arizona is not actually about illegal immigration, so much as it is about voter suppression of LEGAL Hispanic residents.

If past trends in that state are any indicator, he may not be far off the mark. He writes:

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote — and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters … directed by one Jan Brewer.

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Newly Released FBI Documents Support Sibel Edmonds’ Allegations

Thanks to a FOIA request, new evidence has emerged from the FBI's own internal communications that appear to support many of the claims made by Sibel Edmonds regarding (largely though not exclusively) GOP collusion in the spying activities of the Turkish government. This is no small matter, as it involves blackmail and bribery of high-level officials like former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, PNAC signatory Richard Perle, Congressman Roy Blunt, Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, Turkish Ambassador Marc Grossman, Congressman Stephen Solarz, Asst. Sec. Def. Douglas Feith, Congressman Dan Burton and others to "look the other way" from those engaged in spying activities with a foreign government against the United States. Per the report from the Boiling Frogs website:
Recently released FBI documents prove the existence of highly sensitive National Security and criminal investigations of “Turkish Activities” in Chicago prior to September 11, 2001. These documents add further support to many of the allegations that former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has claimed, in public and in Congress, since 2002. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into an organization called the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA), an organization repeatedly named by Ms. Edmonds as being complicit in the crimes that she became aware of when she was a translator at the FBI...
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Bush Officials Warned 9/11 Commission Against Probing Too Deeply

Some people ask, "Why do conspiracy theories get such traction in people's minds?" Perhaps because the arguments against them are not entirely dissuasive, but I have to say, if nothing else, it's largely because of stories like this one, that actually lend credence to people's suspicions by providing them with objective proof of the government's attempt to obfuscate and withhold vital information. Whether it is done in order to prevent embarrassment, or to protect themselves from prosecution, the fact remains, Bush officials in Washington were more concerned with covering their own butts, than publicly revealing an inconvenient truth. Even if it meant that national security might be improved and a similar event avoided. As of today, it has been revealed via a FOIA request made by the ACLU, that Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and CIA Director George Tenet sent a letter dated January 16, 2004 to the members of the 9/11 Commission that there was an investigatory line it was "not allowed to cross."


The line was in questioning the terrorist suspects that the Bush Administration was busy torturing, in violation of both U.S. and international law. In other words, the Commission was not allowed to question the accused. Hardly a high point for American jurisprudence.
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