7/11 From Amerika: Savage Degradation in Life & Death; Cui Bono "Rebranding Africa"

Not one word from the imperialist "house negro" chief
Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro. Malcolm X, November 19, 1963
AMERIKA'S GENOCIDAL DEGRADATION AND DESTRUCTION OF THE U.S. BLACK NATION ... IN LIFE AND DEATH

employees accused, responsible corporate slum landlords MIA...
Saturday, July 11, 2009 | 5:47 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6910416
Texas resident Melvin Bryant is listed as the President and CEO of Perpetua Inc. Friday night, his public relations manager said Mr. Bryant was in Chicago, but has briefly left and will return soon. He released a statement saying "at this time, we do not know to what extent of the number of improper relocation of remains at the cemetery"...

Perpetua Inc.'s Tucson telephone number has been disconnected and its Web site is down. Calls to its parent company, Texas venture capital and private equity firm Pacesetter Capital Group, were not returned Friday.
http://www.pacesettercapital.com/

COMPANY OVERVIEW
Pacesetter Capital Group is a principal investment firm specializing in expansion and acquisition investments. The firm seeks to invest in broadcasting, manufacturing, services, communication, and technology infrastructure sectors. It prefers to invest in the companies based in the Southwestern region of United States. Pacesetter Capital Group was formed in 1970 and is based in Dallas, Texas.
2435 North Central Expressway
Suite 200
Richardson, TX 75080
United States
Founded in 1970
Phone:
972-991-1597
Fax:
972-991-4770
www.pacesettercapital.com
KEY EXECUTIVES

Mr. Donald R. Lawhorne
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Felix Villalba
Chief Financial Officer and Vice President
Mr. Rahul Vaid
General Partner and Senior Vice President
Ms. Mary A. Barrera
Vice President and Controller
Mr. Patrick W. Pullman
Vice President

REAL ESTATE
Perpetua, Inc.
COMPANY OVERVIEW
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?p...
Perpetua, Inc. operates as a funeral home and cemetery acquisition/development company. It specializes in the areas of personalized funerals and the use of technology in the death care industry. The company owns and operates funeral homes and cemeteries in New York, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. Perpetua is based in Tuscon, Arizona.
3430 East Sunrise Drive, Suite 160, Tuscon, AZ 85718
KEY EXECUTIVES
Perpetua, Inc. does not have any Key Executives recorded. If you would like to update data for this company, follow the link below and fill out the form.
Submit Company Information

Industry: Funeral Homes & Funeral Related Services
Revenues: $4 Million
Employees: 29
Description: Perpetua, Inc. is a national funeral home and cemetery acquisition/development company based in Tucson, Arizona.
Perpetua has been recognized nationally for leadership and innovation in the areas of personalized funerals and the use of technology in the death care Industry. The organization is currently preparing to expand into cities across the nation. This growth will be fostered through a combination of innovative business models., the development of a national chain of branded funeral homes, the use of cutting edge technology, and the highest level of training for our employees.
http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/CompanyDetail.aspx?CompanyID=30162971&cs=...

www.perpetuainc.com
Phone: (520) 615-1227
Fax: (520) 577-7295

Hundreds of bodies dug up in Chicago grave reselling scheme
Authorities Thursday sharply increased the estimate of the number of bodies disinterred at Burr Oak Cemetery in a suburb of Chicago in a scheme to illegally resell grave sites... Burr Oak Cemetery, is home to the graves of civil rights-era lynching victim Emmett Till [whose coffin was found rotting in garbage dump] and blues singer Dinah Washington and heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles.....
Authorities Thursday sharply increased the estimate of the number of bodies disinterred at Burr Oak Cemetery in a suburb of Chicago in a scheme to illegally resell grave sites.
Two hundred to 300 bodies were dug up and dumped into an isolated, weedy area of the cemetery...
Former cemetery manager Carolyn Towns, 49... she earlier had been fired by the cemetery's owners because of theft allegations authorities said...foreman Keith Nicks, 45, and dump-truck operator Terrence Nicks, 39, all of Chicago, and backhoe operator Maurice Dailey, 59, of Robbins, Ill., were each charged with one count of dismembering a human body, a Class X felony. They all face up to 30 years in prison. Authorities are also investigating an Emmett Till Memorial Fund that Towns set up for a museum in the slain teen's memory. ...

Authorities declared portions of the cemetery a crime scene and closed it Friday after thousands of relatives showed up looking for the graves of loved ones. Families continued to arrive Saturday morning. Lines snaked out of white tents, where people were given forms to fill out. "...every black person in Chicago has someone buried here," said Chicago resident Jennifer Gyimah, 51, waiting to check on family members buried at the cemetery. "As a living human being, you give dignity to the dead. The dignity has been shattered."
Officials said they'd try to respond to families in the next week.

For many African-Americans, burial of the dead is a ritual loaded with meaning that reaches all the way back to slavery. African-American families didn't have the authority to properly bury their dead until after slavery, then many families were fragmented across the United States. It was at segregated, black-only cemeteries where they could rejoin loved ones to wait in peace "to rejoin their spirits for a journey to the afterlife." http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/07/sheriff-bodies-dug-up-dumped-...

as U.S. sinks its predatory claws ever deeper into the continent savaged and bled to death by western imperialism...
Unveiling Food Plan, Obama Presses Africa on Corruption
By PETER BAKER NYT
President Obama, who arrived in Ghana on Friday, said that he had appealed to G-8 leaders to donate more to the food aid program for the developing world.
L’AQUILA, Italy — President Obama told African countries on Friday that the legacy of colonialism was not an excuse for failing to build prosperous, democratic societies even as he unveiled a $20 billion international program to help the developing world grow more food to feed its people.... said that he had appealed to G-8 leaders to donate more citing his own family’s experiences in Kenya.... The food security initiative is designed to transform traditional aid to poorer countries beyond simply donated produce, grains and meats to assistance building infrastructure and training farmers to grow their own food and get it to market more efficiently....

“There had been some talk about the legacies of colonialism and other policies by wealthier nations,” he said, “and without in any way diminishing that history, the point I made was that the South Korean government, working with the private sector and civil society, was able to create a set of institutions that provided transparency and accountability and efficiency that allowed for extraordinary economic progress and that there was no reason why African countries could not do the same.”

But as he again hailed progress with Russia during a stop in Moscow earlier in the week, President Dmitri A. Medvedev returned to sharper rhetoric about American missile defense plans. He repeated a past threat to order short-range missiles placed in the western enclave of Kaliningrad if Mr. Obama proceeds with an anti-missile project in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Moreover, just four days after he said at Mr. Obama’s side that “no one is saying that missile defense is harmful in itself or that it poses a threat to someone,” Mr. Medvedev said Friday that missile defense is “harmful” and “threatening to Russia.”

Rebranding Africa
Bono, Op-Ed Guest Columnist
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/opinion/10bono.html?em=&pagewanted=all
Soon, Air Force One will touch down in Accra, Ghana; Africans will be welcoming the first African-American president. Press coverage on the continent is placing equal weight on both sides of the hyphen.
...On a visit there, I met the minister for tourism and pitched the idea of marketing the country as the “birthplace of cool.” (Just think, the music of Miles, the conversation of Kofi.) He demurred ... too cool, I guess. Quietly, modestly — but also heroically — Ghana’s going about the business of rebranding a continent. New face of America, meet the new face of Africa.
Ghana is well governed. After a close election, power changed hands peacefully. Civil society is becoming stronger. The country’s economy was growing at a good clip even before oil was found off the coast a few years ago. Though it has been a little battered by the global economic meltdown, Ghana appears to be weathering the storm. I don’t normally give investment tips — sound the alarm at Times headquarters — but here is one: buy Ghanaian.
So it’s not a coincidence that Ghana’s making steady progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Right now it’s one of the few African nations that has a shot at getting there by 2015.
No one’s leaked me a copy of the president’s speech in Ghana, but it’s pretty clear he’s going to focus not on the problems that afflict the continent but on the opportunities of an Africa on the rise. If that’s what he does, the biggest cheers will come from members of the growing African middle class, who are fed up with being patronized and hearing the song of their majestic continent in a minor key.

I’ve played that tune. I’ve talked of tragedy, of emergency. And it is an emergency when almost 2,000 children in Africa a day die of a mosquito bite; this kind of hemorrhaging of human capital is not something we can accept as normal.

But as the example of Ghana makes clear, that’s only one chord. Amid poverty and disease are opportunities for investment and growth — investment and growth that won’t eliminate overnight the need for assistance, much as we and Africans yearn for it to end, but that in time can build roads, schools and power grids and propel commerce to the point where aid is replaced by trade pacts, business deals and home-grown income.

President Obama can hasten that day. He knows change won’t come easily. Corruption stalks Africa’s reformers. “If you fight corruption, it fights you back,” a former Nigerian anti-corruption official has said.

From his bully pulpit, the president can take aim at the bullies. Without accountability — no opportunity. If that’s not a maxim, it ought to be. It’s a truism, anyway. The work of the American government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation is founded on that principle, even if it doesn’t put it that bluntly. United States aid dollars increasingly go to countries that use them and don’t blow them. Ghana is one. There’s a growing number of others.

That’s thanks to Africans like John Githongo, the former anticorruption chief of Kenya — a hero of mine who is pioneering a new brand of bottom-up accountability. Efforts like his, which are taking place across the continent, deserve more support. The presidential kind. Then there’s Nigeria’s moral and financial fist — Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a managing director of the World Bank and the country’s former finance minister — who is on a quest to help African countries recover stolen assets looted by corrupt officials. And the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which is helping countries like Ghana clean up the oil, gas and mining business, to make sure that profits don’t wind up in the hands of kleptocrats.Presidential attention would be a shot in the arm for these efforts — an infusion of moral and political amino acids that, by the way, will make aid dollars go further. That should be welcome news to the Group of 8 leaders gathered in Italy to whom Mr. Obama bids a Hawaii-via-Chicago-inflected “arrivederci,” as he leaves for Africa. This week’s summit meeting looks as if it will yield some welcome new G-8 promises on agriculture. (So far, new money: America. Old money: everyone else.) This is the good news that President Obama will bring from Europe to Ghana.

The not-so-good news — that countries like Italy and France are not meeting their Africa commitments — makes the president’s visit all the more essential. The United States is one of the countries on track to keep its promises, and Mr. Obama has already said he’ll more than build on the impressive Bush legacy....The president can facilitate the new, the fresh and the different. Many existing promises are expiring in 2010, some of old age and others of chronic neglect. New promises from usual and unusual partners, from the G-8 to the G-20, need to be made — and this time kept. If more African nations (not just Ghana) are going to meet the millennium goals, they are going to need smart partners in business and development. That’s Smart as in sustainable, measurable, accountable, responsive and transparent.

Africa is not just Barack Obama’s homeland. It’s ours, too. The birthplace of humanity. Wherever our journeys have taken us, they all began there. The word Desmond Tutu uses is “ubuntu”: I am because we are. As he says, until we accept and appreciate this we cannot be fully whole. Could it be that all Americans are, in that sense, African-Americans?
Bono, the lead singer of the band U2 and a co-founder of the advocacy group ONE and (Product)RED, is a contributing columnist for The Times.

HARD & SOFT POWER WARS MERGED
President Obama's FY2010 Budget Request
http://www.one.org/c/us/issuebrief/1776/
On May 7, 2009, President Obama sent his FY2010 Budget request to Congress. In total, the FY2010 request includes $53.9 billion for International Affairs (the 150 Account), $4.1 billion more than the total appropriated in FY2009, or an 8.2% increase.... FY2010 request includes all FY2010 funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and humanitarian needs... The FY2010 Budget request for international affairs is organized around three themes: capacity building at USAID and State Department, global issues (including global health, agriculture, climate change and education), and funding for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Obama administration is currently taking back control over many development projects from USAID. The Post writes that there will be “a fundamental realignment of power in Washington when it comes to shaping development policy.”
http://www.one.org/blog/2009/06/19/what-were-reading-61909/

Starting Over on Development: Lessons from Afghanistan
Jun 26th, 2009
By Larry Nowels
http://www.one.org/blog/?p=6480
Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran filed an interesting piece on June 19 documenting past failures of U.S. economic assistance in Afghanistan and how the new Administration is taking a different approach (Obama’s War: Starting Over on Development; U.S. Pursues a New Way to Rebuild in Afghanistan).

Chandrasekaran notes President Obama’s new team in Afghanistan, led by Richard Holbrooke, is “shifting away from an approach employed during the Bush presidency that focused on generating discrete ‘success stories’ and creating long-term economic sustainability through free-market reform.”... According to the article, the new plan in Afghanistan will use smaller contracts, align more closely with priorities of Afghan development organizations, and channel more funds through Afghan government systems. These measures will help to strengthen country ownership and build capacity, two fundamental principles of effective aid that should be integrated throughout U.S. aid programs....

All good and necessary. But the Obama Administration also needs to think globally. The foreign aid and development challenges in Afghanistan are present around the world where the United States will spend nearly $30 billion this year addressing poverty reduction, economic growth, reconstruction, and humanitarian crises. If the lessons of reform in Afghanistan are applied globally, the result will be a more modernized and coherent American development program that is better equipped to reduce poverty and disease around the world.
As the article points out, Holbrooke and his team have taken control of the reconstruction program from USAID and looked to other agencies to play a greater role in the effort. Some of these measures, at least in the short term, might be necessary to get quick results. But they also highlight the declining capacity that has been allowed to occur for years at USAID, where technical expertise and strategic planning have withered. Turning to the Department of Agriculture for more experts and utilizing National Guard personnel with farm experience may make sense right now. But it is a workaround that does not address the underlying problem of not having a strong, empowered, and adequately staffed development aid agency that can serve as the voice and direction for U.S. global foreign assistance efforts. Do we really want to utilize these highly trained and dedicated National Guardsmen to perform agricultural technical support? Is this the most efficient use of their talents?...
A global development strategy, a new law, and a strengthened, capable development agency are key ingredients for the successful reform of our outdated foreign aid system. Afghanistan provides some new thinking and hopefully, some good lessons for the broader reform effort.

ONE reaction to G8 food security communiqué
L'Aquila - The G8's US$20bn agreement to provide support for the world's poorest farmers was welcomed today by advocacy group ONE.
http://www.one.org/c/us/pressrelease/2873/

ONE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
http://www.one.org/us/about/oneboard.html

includes:
Bono
Lead singer, U2
Co-founder, ONE and (RED)

Morton H. Halperin
Open Society Institute
Morton H. Halperin is a consultant to the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Policy Center. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Dr. Halperin served in the Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations, most recently as Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State (1998-2001). He taught at Harvard (1960-66) and, as a visitor at other universities including Columbia, George Washington, and Yale. He has been affiliated with a number of other think tanks including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Century Foundation and the Brookings Institution. He is the author of numerous books and articles including Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy, The Democracy Advantage, and Protecting Democracy.

Joshua Bolten
Joshua Bolten spent the last eight years working in the White House under President George W. Bush. He started in January 2001 as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. Upon confirmation by the Senate in June 2003, he joined the President's Cabinet as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. And from April 2006 through January 2009, he served as White House Chief of Staff.
For the two years prior to joining the White House, Mr. Bolten was Policy Director of the Bush presidential campaign. For the five years preceding that, from 1994 to 1999, Mr. Bolten was Executive Director, Legal & Governmental Affairs, for Goldman Sachs International in London.

Nigeria: “USAID has been here - from the American people.”
http://www.one.org/blog/category/us-agencies/usaid/

SMART Aid Success Stories
http://www.one.org/c/us/issuebrief/2818/
SHARE
There are countless examples of SMART Aid programmes achieving results across Africa, whether in fighting disease, promoting literacy, boosting agriculture, helping African countries to trade and attract investment, or empowering African citizens to fight corruption and hold their own governments to account... a few examples.

The World Bank's International Development Agency (IDA) Uganda model has been replicated in other African countries; it serves as a strong example of "bottom-up accountability", engaging civil society, donors and governments to improve aid systems and deliver smarter aid continent-wide....

USAID "Trade Hub" programs are designed to help African businesses take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) - an American preference program that permits the export of certain African goods to the United States...

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an initiative funded by international donors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. AGRA works to enhance agricultural productivity in Africa...

The Investment Climate Facility (ICF) is an initiative that grew from the 2005 Commission for Africa and started operations in July 2007. Its aim is to work with receptive African governments "to make the continent an even better place to do business". It is currently active in ten African countries and working on four pan-regional projects and two other initiatives. The ICF is funded by eight donor agencies - Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, the UK, the African Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation - and nine companies - Anglo American, The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, SABMiller, Sasol, Shell Foundation, Standard Bank, Unilever and Zain....

ONE.ORG > INTERACTION

Sam Worthington is the President and CEO of InterAction, the largest coalition of U.S.-based international NGOs focused on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. More information available at: http://interaction.org/

Doing Development: Who Should Lead the Charge?
http://www.one.org/blog/2009/03/30/doing-development-who-should-lead-the...
Mar 30, 2009
U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs “Striking the Appropriate Balance: The Defense Department’s Expanding Role in Foreign Assistance.”... ongoing debate about... who should implement non-military U.S. foreign assistance:. General Michael Hagee (former commandant, Marine Corps), Nancy Lindborg (President, Mercy Corps), Ruben Brigety (Director of the Sustainable Security Program, Center for American Progress Action Fund), and Philip Christenson (former Assistant Administrator, USAID).
2007, David J. Kilcullen, then a senior advisor to Gen. David Petraeus remarked: “… the Department of Defense is about 210 times larger than USAID and State combined—there are substantially more people employed as musicians in Defense bands than in the entire foreign service.” ... Recently, DoD has been taking on traditional civilian activities, including establishing institutions of governance, reviving market activity, and rebuilding infrastructure. Between 2002-2005, the percent of U.S. official development assistance (ODA) – which excludes the supply or financing of military equipment or services and use of military personnel to control civil disobedience - directed through the Pentagon surged from just under 6 percent to nearly 22 percent, and now accounts for about 16% of ODA (Official Development Assistance)

To: President-elect Barack Obama
Re: Historic Opportunity to Strengthen the U.S. Foreign Policy Toolbox
From: Samuel A. Worthington, President & CEO, InterAction
Your Administration has the extraordinary opportunity to strengthen the United States foreign policy toolbox by updating foreign assistance and bringing it into the 21st Century.
Your stated support for improving U.S. foreign assistance, matched with the potency of your newly nominated national security team, and the work of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman could realistically lead to the first total overhaul and reorganization of our foreign assistance structure since its incarnation in 1961. Please consider the following four points as you continue to shape your Cabinet.
First, nominate a highly respected individual to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Consider elevating this appointee to serve as an integral member of your National Security Team along with the re-elevated U.N. Ambassador and department Secretaries. This would demonstrate a commitment to adding a strong development arm to our national security apparatus. USAID, like State and Defense, has staff deployed overseas in war zones and other post-crisis environments conducting critical development work. (digest added emphases) http://www.interaction.org/files.cgi/6536_Memo_to_the_President_-_FINAL_...

the vicious 'soft power circle' leads of course back to George Soros

InterAction.org |
http://www.interaction.org/search/index.html?cx=014146307218016846274%3A...
Keynote Address: George Soros, Founder of the Open Society Institute. 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm. WORKSHOPS. What Does it Take to Assess International NGO Program ...
www.interaction.org/forum/pastforums/forum2007program.html

Humanitarian Policy and Practice Team of InterAction
with the support of a cooperative agreement with USAID/OFDA
1400 16th St reet , NW, Suit e 201, Washin gt on DC 20036
Phone (202) 667-8227 Fax (202) 667-8236
Websit e: www.int eract ion.org

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OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 'AID & DEVELOPMENT' SOFT POWER TO MEET & MERGE WITH MILITARY U.S.AFRICOM
Obama administration plans forceful policy to end conflicts in Africa
US president to emphasise democratic goals for African countries during speech to Ghanaian parliament
Chris McGreal in Washington
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/10/obama-africa-democracy-ghana

The US is planning a dramatically more assertive policy in Africa, sometimes backed by a threat of force, to end conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria that are seen as among the principal obstacles to the continent's revival. Barack Obama is to address Ghana's parliament tomorrow on his first visit to Africa as president with a speech that is expected to emphasise that the key to prosperity is democratic, accountable government. But an important part of the new administration's policy will focus on ending key conflicts through more forceful diplomatic initiatives after years of drift by the Bush administration.

The White House is shortly to appoint a special envoy to central Africa with a brief to tackle a web of conflicts that have afflicted eastern Congo for 15 years, and destabilised the region, in the belief that the success or failure of one of the continent's largest countries will decide central Africa's future. A senior administration source said that the US believes the primary problem is the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which is led by men wanted for the 1994 genocide of Rwanda's Tutsis who fled to Congo and controls swaths of territory close to Rwanda's border. The source said that the priority will be to break the FDLR leadership with a mix of diplomatic pressure, including the prospect of war crimes trials, backed by the establishment of "a more professional force" to replace the ill-trained troops serving in the UN largest peacekeeping mission who have failed to contain the conflict. However, the source said that there is a belief that the threat may be enough to force the FDLR to give up the fight. He said that the make-up of such a force is unresolved.The initiative will also focus on confronting the Lords Resistance Army, a particularly brutal Ugandan rebel group also based in Congo. But the source said that broader pacification will require more interventionist diplomacy to press other countries such as Rwanda and Uganda that contribute to the destabilisation to recognise that their security is intertwined with Congo's success.

The administration is also eyeing the continuing violent upheaval in the Niger Delta which is a major source of America's oil imports amid deep scepticism over the capabilities of President Umaru Yar'Adua who is seen as weak and indecisive as his country fragments. The conflict is deepening with several rebel groups and parts of the military now acting as warlords and some major oil companies warning that they are considering pulling out of the region altogether. But the emphasis there is likely to remain firmly diplomatic as the US presses Yar'Adua to address seriously the issues of impoverishment, environmental devastation and endemic corruption that have alienated people in the delta and given rise to rebel groups and armed gangs that now control large parts of the region....

Confronting the FDLR is likely to draw in the US Africa Command (Africom) which is increasingly involved in conflicts on the continent, including overseeing a botched Ugandan attack on LRA rebels in Congo. The US military is also now supplying weapons to the fragile government in Somalia as it tries to stave off Islamist insurgents. The Americans also allied themselves closely with Ethiopia's repressive regime during its attack on Somalia.

Daniel Volman, director of the African Security Research Institute, one of three dozen organisations which wrote an open letter to Obama urging him to reverse the militarisation of US policy in Africa, said Africom's growing role will further destabilise the continent...."The US is now engaged in a major new military project in Somalia, providing arms and ammunition to the Somali government there, encouraging countries like Burundi and Rwanda which have peacekeeping forces there to conduct military training so we don't send to have our own troops there, all of which encourages that government to seek a military solution instead of developing a political solution to the kind of problems that exist."

There remain deep divisions over other aspects of Africa policy, especially Darfur. Before his election, Obama promised strong action against the Sudanese regime but the state department is at odds with itself on the crisis. The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, believes the Khartoum leadership is not to be trusted and wants a hard line taken with Sudan but others argue that the conflict has been over simplified and that it is in any case largely over. However, when Obama addresses Ghana's parliament tomorrow, his focus will be on democratisation as the path to Africa's revival.

............

PASSIVE VOICE UNDERSTATEMENT -- MASTER COVER-UP APOLOGISTS' TOOL
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
By JAMES RISEN
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/world/asia/11afghan.html?pagewanted=pr...
WASHINGTON — After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations.
American officials had been reluctant to pursue an investigation — sought by officials from the F.B.I., the State Department, the Red Cross and human rights groups — because the warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, was on the payroll of the C.I.A. and his militia worked closely with United States Special Forces in 2001, several officials said. They said the United States also worried about undermining the American-supported government of President Hamid Karzai, in which General Dostum had served as a defense official....

...The Back Story
While the deaths have been previously reported, the back story of the frustrated efforts to investigate them has not been fully told. The killings occurred in late November 2001, just days after the American-led invasion forced the ouster of the Taliban government in Kabul. Thousands of Taliban fighters surrendered to General Dostum’s forces, which were part of the American-backed Northern Alliance, in the city of Kunduz. They were then transported to a prison run by the general’s forces near the town of Shibarghan.
Survivors and witnesses told The New York Times and Newsweek in 2002 that over a three-day period, Taliban prisoners were stuffed into closed metal shipping containers and given no food or water; many suffocated while being trucked to the prison. Other prisoners were killed when guards shot into the containers. The bodies were said to have been buried in a mass grave in Dasht-i-Leili, a stretch of desert just outside Shibarghan....

A recently declassified 2002 State Department intelligence report states that one source, whose identity is redacted, concluded that about 1,500 Taliban prisoners died. Estimates from other witnesses or human rights groups range from several hundred to several thousand. The report also says that several Afghan witnesses were later tortured or killed.

In 2002, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, then the White House coordinator for Afghanistan, made it clear that he was concerned about efforts to investigate General Dostum, Mr. Prosper said. “Khalilzad never opposed an investigation,” Mr. Prosper recalled. “But he definitely raised the political implications of it.”...Mr. Khalilzad, who later served as the American ambassador to Afghanistan, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Prosper said that because of the resistance from American and Afghan officials, his office dropped its inquiry. The State Department mentioned the episode in its annual human rights report for 2002, but took no further action.

Report Says Wiretaps Got Too Little Legal Review
By JAMES RISEN and ERIC LICHTBLAU
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/us/11nsa.html?hp

WASHINGTON — The warrantless surveillance program approved by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks received too little legal review at its inception and its ultimate effectiveness was unclear, according to an in-depth review released Friday by the inspectors general of five federal agencies... the independent auditors, reviewing the program at the request of Congress, found that other intelligence tools used in assessing threats provided more timely information and that the value of the program was unclear....
The investigation stopped short of assessing whether the wiretapping program broke the law that required the Justice Department to get a court-ordered warrant before it could wiretap Americans’ communications.
In 2008, Congress gave the Bush administration much of the formal wiretapping power it had exerted on its own when it passed the biggest restructuring of federal surveillance law in three decades. It also gave legal immunity to the telecommunications companies that cooperated in the wiretapping program....the backing of Barack Obama, a senator at the time, drew intense criticism from some liberal supporters, because he voted to support the measure after initially threatening to filibuster it. Since Mr. Obama took office, his administration has used many of the same legal tactics as the Bush administration, including the assertion of a “state privilege” claim, to try to quash legal challenges to the program in federal court.