National news you may have missed … postal workers, Obama feared coup, Army base on the brink

by on September 12, 2011 · 2 comments

in American Empire, Economy, Veterans, War and Peace

Presidents Obama and Bush embrace on Inauguration Day as Vice President Cheney looks on, 01/20/09. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Here is a set of national news posts – articles you may have missed in the nation’s rush to commemorate 9-11:

Postal Workers: The Last Union

by Allison Kilkenny / Truthout/ Sept 8, 2011

 The recent attacks against the United States Postal Service (USPS) are more than signs of desperate times – a natural sunset moment for a service rendered archaic by FedEx and UPS. Rather, the Postal Service has been under constant, vicious assault for years from the right, who views this as an epic battle with the goal of finally taking down the strongest union in the country, the second largest employer in the United States (second only to Wal-Mart,) and a means to roll the country ever closer toward the abyss of privatization.

 The Postal Service, which is older than the Constitution itself, stands at a precipice. If this great institution, which provides one of the oldest, most reliable services in the country, is permitted to fall and Congress kills its great union, then truly no collective bargaining rights, no worker contract, no union will be safe within the United States.

 As the USPS spirals toward default, the historically uncontroversial mail service system has suddenly become a hot-button issue. It’s an unlikely organization to inspire such hysteria. The Postal Service isn’t paid for by taxpayer dollars, but rather fully funded by the sale of stamps. It’s easy to forget what a marvel this is – that today, in 2011, one can still mail a letter clear across the country for less than 50 cents. And if the impressiveness of that feat still hasn’t sunk in, attempt this brain exercise: consider what else you can buy for $0.44.

 For the remainder of this article, please go here to TruthOut

Obama Team Feared Coup If He Prosecuted War Crimes

 By Andrew Kreig, Justice Integrity Project / RSN / September 9, 2011

President-Elect Obama’s advisors feared in 2008 that authorities would revolt and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Obama’s top transition advisers.

 University of California at Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., … the sixth highest-ranking member of the 2008 post-election transition team preparing Obama’s administration, revealed the team’s thinking on Sept. 2 in moderating a forum on 9/11 held by his law school (also known as Boalt Hall). Edley sought to justify Obama’s “look forward” policy on Bush-era lawbreaking that the president-elect announced on a TV talk show in January 2009.

 But Edley’s rationale implies that Obama and his team fear the military/national security forces that he is supposed be commanding. It suggests also that Republicans have intimidated him right from the start of his presidency even though voters in 2008 rejected Republicans by the largest combined presidential-congressional mandate in recent U.S. history. Edley responded to our request for additional information by providing a description of the transition team’s fears, which we present below as an exclusive email interview. Among his important points is that transition officials, not Obama, agreed that he faced the possibility of a “revolt.”

For the remainder of this article, please go here.

Army Base on the Brink

At an Army base near Seattle, soldiers are committing suicide, murdering their families—and in one case, waterboarding their own kids.

by Winston Ross / The Daily Beast-RSN / September 9, 2011

 Back when Jonathan Gilbert was still in middle school, he attended his cousin’s graduation ceremony from the U.S. Army’s basic training, watching men in neatly pressed uniforms marching, saluting one another, and smiling.

 “That was it for him,” Gilbert’s mother, Karrie Champion, tells The Daily Beast. “He knew what he wanted to do. He enlisted before he was out of high school.”

 The boy had no idea what he was getting into—that he’d wind up in Iraq, driving a Stryker, watching the unit in the caravan ahead of him roll off a bridge and land upside down. Two soldiers were killed, one of them decapitated. Nineteen-year-old Jonathan helped clean up the body parts.

 This event and his upcoming redeployment, Gilbert’s mom believes, is what led her son to kill himself on July 28 at the age of 21, forcing a pistol to his head and pulling the trigger after a violent struggle with a fellow soldier who apparently tried to stop him. It was the 11th “suspicious death” (the Army has yet to officially declare any of them suicides) of a soldier stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this year. Assuming they’re all ruled suicides, that tops the previous record set the year before, of nine. The year before that, there were nine suicides, too.

 Champion, along with a growing legion of modern-day war veterans and their families, says it’s long past time the Army took notice of a tragic, preventable epidemic—one that seems especially acute at Lewis-McChord.

 The base, an hour or so south of Seattle, was named by the government-owned, independent news source Stars and Stripes last year as the most troubled in the military, thanks to an “incredible” number of incidents rooted in post-traumatic stress disorder, says Joseph Carter, a former Army sergeant with two Iraq tours under his belt.

 For the remainder of this devastating article, please go here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Mercy September 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

The Postal Worker Union is one of the most useless unions around these days. My best friend is in her last year and a half of a 30 year employment with the P.O. and I have had to listen to how worthless they have been to their employees for all that time. When she has needed their help, the have not been there for her….every single time. They literally shrug their shoulders and don’t lift a finger. It’s not just her, but everyone she has known there for many years. You can rail all you want about something, but unless you are really on the inside looking out, or are privy to the machinations of their uselessness, you can’t really talk about it. The reason she has needed their help all these years? It’s the near Gestapo type leadership they force upon their employees. I have heard horror stories that would curl your hair over the years! The phrase, “Going Postal” was born out of the tactics used against their minions. ‘Nuff said.


Marilyn Steber September 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm

In re the article about Obama’s team fearing a coup if he selected a special prosecuter to investigate the Bush/Cheney administration.
A coup by the CIA and the military in the US is not so far fetched. I suspected that Obama may have been threatened when the communications system suitcase was passed to him. My old copy of the Secret Government by Bill Moyers has gone to the thrift store, but I googled that subject and found the documentary from 1987, which anyone interested may watch. I hope OB Rag Readers will watch it, and may be stimulated to comment here politely.


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