Blog Posts

Libya news

First up: Lest we forget, Gaddafi would like to remind us all that he's living in another universe:

Qaddafi Writes to Obama, Urging End to Airstrikes
By David D. Kirkpatrick and Fareem Fahim, New York Times, April 6/7, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya sent another strikingly personal letter to President Obama on Wednesday.....

“You will always remain our son whatever happened,” Colonel Qaddafi wrote. “We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne. You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action,” he added, in idiosyncratic spelling and capitalization.


....Qaddafi’s letter, addressed to “Mr. Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu Oumama,” the Libyan leader reiterated his characterization of the rebels as "Al Qaeda gangs.” He recalled Mr. Obama’s repeated statements “that America is not responsible for the security of other peoples.”,“That America helps only. This is the right logic,” Colonel Qaddafi wrote, adding, “As you know too well democracy and building of civil society cannot be achieved by means of missiles and aircraft, or by backing armed members of Al Qaeda in Benghazi.”.....

Côte d’Ivoire

Hundreds of Thousands Flee Ivory Coast Crisis, U.N. Says
By Adam Nossiter, New York Times, March 25, 2011:

DAKAR, Senegal — At least 700,000 people have fled their homes in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, to escape the increasing violence and collapsing economy stemming from the nation’s political crisis, the United Nations said Friday.

Daily gunfire spurred by Laurent Gbagbo’s efforts to stay in power after losing a presidential election in November has pushed thousands of residents out of neighborhoods surrounding the city’s central districts, while the closing of banks and businesses have led to widespread unemployment.

“The massive displacement in Abidjan and elsewhere is being fueled by fears of all-out war,” a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told reporters Friday in Geneva, estimating that 700,000 to one million people had already left their homes.[....]

Libya Operation "Odyssey Dawn" news & analysis

Going to use this thread to post information on topic in comments rather than clog up the "In the News" section with multiple posts. And others are welcome to contribute if they'd like.

First item from Al Jazeera's Libya Live Blog:

Federal TSA workers only acquired collective bargaining rights earlier this month

I just ran across this, and thought it might be of interest to some.

The February 4 announcement is here:

NTEU Welcomes TSA Bargaining Rights; Achieves Cornerstone of Five-Point Plan

In the following Feb. 14 press release, they also say they "played a key role" in defeating a Republican Senate amendment that would have blocked them from doing so:

New way to fight a foreign enemy of the state if you're a royal family

How the Americas of the Great Depression and the Reagan recession compare to America now

The Pew Resarch Center published two reports on those comparative studies topics on December 14. They really are a must read for those who are interested in "FDR values." Whether you agree with the conclusions or not, they clarify some of the arguments about where that infamous group, "the American people," were compared to where they are now:

How a Different America Responded to the Great Depression
by Jodie T. Allen, Senior Editor, Pew Research Center

Nuke-related cables coming out

The Guardian's feed of diplomatic cables from Wikileaks is just now putting out a cluster of them on nuclear security matters, and they have also published a couple of related articles So far, for me at least, there's some clues why Obama might be so fixated on nuclear regulatory issues. Especially if the PDB is full of this kind of stuff. Some links after the jump.

"We decry what has happened. These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests."

--Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State
Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC, November 24, 2010

The relevant excerpt:

QUESTION: WikiLeaks.
MR. CROWLEY: Last question. One more, then I got to go.

QUESTION: WikiLeaks.

QUESTION: Is it coming down this week? Are you expecting it this weekend? Do you have any idea of what you can on the record, off on background, or off the record --

MR. CROWLEY: Last question on WikiLeaks. We – no, no. I literally got to go. All right. On WikiLeaks --

QUESTION: This is on the record?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah, sure. We are very mindful of the announcement that WikiLeaks made earlier this week, that there is a release of documents pending at some point in the future. If the past is prologue, that would mean that certain news organizations may well already be in possession of specific documents. So we continue to work through, as we have throughout this process, evaluating both the material that we think was previously leaked from government sources to WikiLeaks, and we continue to make clear that this is harmful to our national security. It does put lives at risk. It does put national interests at risk.

It’s hard for us to give you any kind of assessment of what the potential impact is, because we actually don’t know what is going to be released. It is our expectation – we’ve known all along that WikiLeaks has in its possession State Department cables. We are prepared if this upcoming tranche of documents includes State Department cables. We are in touch with our posts around the world. They have begun the process of notifying governments that release of documents is possible in the near future. Many of you are aware, we have had similar conversations with members of the Hill to let them know what we are prepared for. This is going to be unhelpful.

This is – without getting into any discussion of any specific cables, the kinds of cables that posts send to Washington are – they’re classified. They involve discussions that we’ve had with government officials, with private citizens. They contain analysis. They contain a record of the day-to-day diplomatic activity that our personnel undertake. And this back and forth between government, the government of the United States and governments around the world, it is diplomacy in action. It is part of the system through which we collaborate and cooperate with other countries. Inherent in this day-to-day action is trust that we can convey our perspective to other governments in confidence and that they can convey their perspective on events to us. It helps inform us of what’s happening around the world. It informs our – the policies that we undertake on behalf of the American people.

And when this confidence is betrayed and ends up on the front pages of newspapers or lead stories on television and radio it has an impact. We decry what has happened. These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests. They are going to create tension in our relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world. We wish that this would not happen. But we are, obviously, prepared for the possibility that it will.

QUESTION: And you’ve notified Congress this week?


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