The Beginnings of Martial Law In Chicago?

If every law abiding citizen had the right to carry we wouldn't have this problem. And no, crime is not "out of control" in Chicago, just the PROJECTS.

CHICAGO — As Governor Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday signed a new law that will put in place tougher penalties for selling guns to minors, he also announced he’s got a new idea to help combat the violence that Chicago is experience: he’s talking to the Illinois State Police and the National Guard to see if they could help.

“Violent crime in the city of Chicago is out of control,” Blagojevich said at the bill signing ceremony. “I’m offering resources of the state to the city to work in a constructive way with Mayor Daley to do everything we can possibly do to help stop this violence,” said the governor.

The summer of 2008 will be remembered as especially violent. Blagojevich said there’s been a child shot nearly every day since June 26.

Bringing in state troopers — even National Guard helicopters to high-crime areas — is still very much in the planning stages.

“It might be able to free up some resources that the Chicago police uses for capital needs, to be able, to maybe to, hire more police officers, or possibly ask some to come out of retirement, to put them into these violent zones, hot zones, where, clearly, I think, part of the challenge is that gangbangers outnumber police officers five to one,” Blagojevich said.

The governor said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley hasn’t asked for help, but Blagojevich said he’ll call the mayor once he has some concrete suggestions about what help he can provide. He didn’t have many specifics, but he said it’s more likely that state police will be brought in than the National Guard.

In fact, Daley’s office said the mayor did not know anything about Blagojevich’s comments and did not know he was going to make them.

“The mayor welcomes partnerships, not just on this issue but on a variety of issues,” said spokeswoman Jody Kawada. “Beyond that, it is difficult to comment because we don’t have any facts.”

And police department spokeswoman Monique Bond said they learned of the comments after Blagojevich made them as well, and said it was too soon to comment.

But Bond took issue with the governor’s contention that crime is “out of control” in Chicago, pointing out that if the current murder rate holds in the city, 2008 may end with fewer than 500 homicides and that it is expected to be one of the least deadly years in the city in the last 40 years.

On Wednesday, Superintendent Jody Weis was grilled by members of a city council committee, who complained both about rising crime and statistics that suggested to them that the police department wasn’t doing enough to stop it.

They also come as the governor tries to find support for a massive statewide construction program that would be funded by expanded casino gambling. So far, Daley has refused to go along because he objects to the amount Blagojevich wants to charge Chicago to run a downtown casino.

Blagojevich raised that issue as he discussed the possibility of state aid with Chicago’s crime problem.

“We need help in that legislative process and the mayor could be a big help in this in getting the House Democratic leadership to pass that big capital program or versions of it,” the governor said.

Blagojevich’s offer, whether or not it comes to anything, also puts him in the position of trying to help on an issue dominating the news in Chicago.

Blagojevich said it is far more likely that state troopers would be used than guardsmen. In fact, his office moved quickly after the governor’s comments to stress in a news release that Blagojevich was not considering bringing in National Guard troops to the city.

“The only way the National Guard would be involved, if they are involved, is with the use of tactical helicopters that are currently used in narcotics operations,” spokesman Lucio Guerrero said in a prepared statement.

Blagojevich had few details, but suggested that one possibility would be to assign state troopers to areas of the city with lower crime rates, freeing Chicago police officers for areas where there is more crime.

“Maybe we can play a role in providing more manpower so that the mayor doesn’t have to make that choice between taking a police from, let’s say the North Side, and putting that police officer on the street on the South Side,” he said.

He also suggested that retired Chicago police officers and state troopers could be hired on a temporary basis to help out during the summer months when the violent crime rate typically climbs.

Blagojevich Signs Tougher Gun Bill

The bill signed Wednesday puts the adult who provides a gun to a minor in the same legal hot water as the minor who uses it to commit a crime.

The bill signed Wednesday means that adults who sell or give guns to minors are eligible for the same sentence as minors convicted of violent crimes — including murder — in which they used the weapon.

Before the law was signed, the maximum sentence an adult could get for providing a gun to a minor — whether it’s used in a crime or not — was seven years.

Senator Kwame Raoul sponsored the bill after a spate of shooting deaths of Chicago school children.

Supporters of the bill said they hope the possibility of a stiffer sentence will make adults think twice about handing over guns to minors.



Obama adding War Criminals to team of Foreign Policy Adviser

Obama’s war room
Socialistworker. org

Elizabeth Schulte looks at the some of the veterans of U.S. war crimes past and present that Barack Obama is adding to his team of foreign policy advisers.

"I FEEL he is totally different." Those were the words of Naser Mahdi, a school teacher in Buquba, Iraq, on the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama. "The world needs new blood in rulers," Mahdi told Inter Press Service, "and we hope that he might decrease the dominating authority of the United States.

Mahdi speaks for the millions of people, in the U.S. and around the world, who hope that Obama represents a new direction after eight miserable years of George W. Bush and his fellow warmongers.

But Mahdi and many others are in for a terrible disappointment--as Obama himself is making clear. On June 18, Obama convened the first meeting of his "Senior Working Group on National Security," a collection of advisers and possible future Cabinet members in a new administration--many of them former Clinton administration operators. Their record of war-making and imperial arrogance is enough to make your blood curdle.

Madeleine Albright: The price is worth it
IN 1996, CBS’s Lesley Stahl asked Madeleine Albright, then secretary of state, about the U.S-imposed sanctions against Iraq. "We have heard that a half million children have died," Stahl said. "I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima.

Is the price worth it?"

Albright didn’t hesitate. "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it," said Albright.

Albright advocated "regime change" in Iraq long before the Bush administration took power. It was during the Clinton administration that the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act was passed, making regime change offical U.S. policy and paving the way for Bush’s invasion.

As U.S. ambassador to the UN before becoming secretary of state, Albright made it clear who was boss, declaring to the UN, "We will behave multilaterally when we can, and unilaterally when we must.

Albright was one of the architects of the U.S.-led NATO war on the former Yugoslavia, carried out under the cover of "humanitarian" concerns for the Kosovar Albanians. But the real purpose of the war was shown in 1999 negotiations in Rambouillet, France, with Serbian President Slovodan Milosevic, where Albright gave him an impossible choice--allow NATO troops unrestricted access or suffer the consequences.

Milosevic’s refusal to surrender set the stage for a three-month bombing campaign that caused the deaths of some 2,000 Serbs and made conditions even worse for the Kosovar Albanians who the U.S. claimed to be protecting.

Albright was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, but as the Washington Post reported, when "Sen. Barack Obama convened the first meeting of his new ’Senior Working Group on National Security’...he put Madeleine Albright at the head of the table.

Warren Christopher: Not genocide
BEFORE ALBRIGHT, Warren Christopher was Bill Clinton’s secretary of state. The Clinton administration used the rhetoric of "humanitarian intervention"--the idea that the U.S. military would use its power to bring democracy and end the suffering of people in "less fortunate" countries-- to justify invasions of several countries.

"Humanitarianism" was the watchword of U.S. interventions in Somalia in 1992-93, Haiti in 1994 and the NATO war in the former Yugoslavia. In each case, the outcome of U.S. "help" was to make the situation even worse for the people of these countries.

In some cases, those suffering violence and oppression didn’t event warrant the rhetoric of "humanitarianism." During Christopher’s tenure, the Clinton administration specifically refused to use the word "genocide" to describe what was taking place in the African country of Rwanda--even though between April and July of 1994, some 800,000 minority Tutsis were killed in massacres.

Why? Because use of the word "genocide" would require the U.S. to take action--and in a clear display of American imperialism’s double standards, the Clinton administration’s conclusions were that the U.S. had no "strategic interest" for intervening in Africa.

As for Iraq, the Clinton administration inherited the devastating economic sanctions imposed by George Bush Sr. before the first Gulf War. When the pressure was on for the new administration to reconsider the sanctions, Christopher gave assurances no such thing would happen.

As incoming secretary of state, he told reporters, "I find it hard to share the Baptist belief in redemption.... I see no substantial change in the position and continuing total support for what the [Bush] administration has done.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result of the continuing economic blockade.

David Boren: Friend to sneaks
DAVID BOREN is--along with another of Obama picks for his foreign policy team, Sam Nunn--a former conservative Democratic senator. He was chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

He helped push through the appointment of Robert Gates to head the CIA in 1991. "In his memoir, Gates thanked his friend, David Boren, for pushing through the nomination," journalist Robert Parry reported. "’David took it as a personal challenge to get me confirmed,’ Gates wrote.

Boren’s top aide at the time was George Tenet, who would later become director of the CIA under Clinton and later Bush the Younger. "David Boren," Tenet said in a 2003 speech, "is my lifetime mentor and friend--the man whose example of service and values I have chosen to follow. He taught me that when it comes to our nation’s security, there are no Republicans or Democrats; there are only Americans.

True enough. Boren is hard to pin down on his political leanings--even though he is a Democrat, he’s a longtime friend of the Bush family, and has also been courted by the right-wing Reform Party.

Lee Hamilton: One of the wise men

A 2006 article in the Chicago Tribune called Lee Hamilton one of America’s "Wise Men...a storied but shrinking club trusted for the soundness of their advice and judgment, not for the favor that can be returned.

The fawning praise continued: "’Wise Men’ are summoned at moments of national crisis, brought in precisely because of their ability to rise above partisan conflict in moments like the September 11 attacks and, now, the Iraq war. In both crises, official Washington turned to the same quietly resolute Midwesterner to make sense of it all: Lee Hamilton, a 75-year-old former Indiana Democratic congressman with a ’50s-era brush cut and a clear-eyed appreciation for the hard realities of foreign policy.

In other words, to give the illusion of real debate and problem-solving where there is none.

The former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Hamilton co-chaired the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan committee pulled together in 2007 in the face of growing opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Hamilton was also vice chair of the 9/11 Commission and the Iran-contra congressional investigation in the 1980s.

In other words, if there’s a national security scandal, Hamilton can be trusted to serve on a bipartisan blue-ribbon committee to paper it over--and preserve the status quo in the long run.

During the hearings on the Iran-contra scandal--in which it was revealed that the U.S. government was covertly and illegally helping arm to the Nicaraguan contras to overthrow the democratically elected Sandinista government--Hamilton opted to stop the investigation before it reached President Ronald Reagan or Vice President George H.W. Bush, even though evidence existed that they might know about the scheme.

Hamilton explained later in an interview on PBS’ Frontline that he didn’t think it would have been good for the country for there to be another impeachment trial.

William Perry: Weapons dealer
IT’S SAFE to say that William Perry, Bill Clinton’s former secretary of defense, is one of the best friends the defense industry ever had.

A consultant for Martin Marietta immediately before joining the Clinton administration, he restructured the defense industry in a plan nicknamed "payoffs for layoffs" by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in which the government paid military contractors to consolidate. "Perry’s Pentagon picked up the costs of moving equipment, dismantling factories and providing golden parachutes for top executives," wrote journalist Laura Flanders.

Previously, Perry served in the Carter administration as undersecretary of defense for research and development, where he pushed through the making of expensive high-tech weapons to counter the "Soviet threat.


He cleared the way for funding for laser-guided bombs, Cruise missiles, the Apache helicopter and the F-117 Stealth fighter. Perry also advocated for some of the most expensive defense boondoggles ever, such as the MX missile, the Maverick missile, the F-18, the DIVAD gun--and, of course, the B-2 Stealth bomber, with a price tag of $2.2 billion a plane.

After leaving Washington in 1998, Perry took a seat on the board of directors of Boeing.

Robert Gates: If it’s not broke...
IT’S NOT a done deal, but rumor has it that Barack Obama might keep Robert Gates in his Cabinet.

Yes, that Robert Gates--the one who’s currently defense secretary in the Bush administration and a leading light of the Republican Party.

Before taking over as supervisor of the Bush administration’s war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates served in the Reagan and Bush administrations, where the hard-line Cold Warrior was at the heart of several important intelligence operations.

Serving both in the CIA and at the National Security Council, Gates helped come up with a plan, later shelved, to topple Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. He helped in arming the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq so Iraq wouldn’t lose its war against Iran, the U.S. government’s main nemesis in the region at the time.

Gates also came up with a plan to bomb or invade Nicaragua, where the left-wing Sandinista government faced continual opposition in the 1980s from U.S.-backed counterrevolutionary forces. Gates had to settle for covertly arming the contras, whose war took the lives of some 58,000 people and crushed the Nicaraguan economy.

Richard Danzig, another one of Obama’s advisers on national security, said, "My personal position is Gates is a very good secretary of defense and would be an even better one in an Obama administration.


Could the evidence be any clearer that an Obama presidency will have a lot more in common with the outgoing Bush administration than differences?