The ignominious Peru NAFTA expansion -- or PFTA (or PFFFFFFTA!) -- legislation comes up for a vote next week. Peru has privatized its social security program, and might be in the mood, one day, to reverse that privatization, because privatization is, you know, a stupid idea -- but Citibank has a stake in keeping Peru's social security private, and could, under a PFFFFFFTA!, sue Peru to do so. That's right, a corporation telling a government what to do, about which not even Benito Mussolini dared to dream. You can see, also, where this might just set a bad precedent -- corporations already have "the rights of people," so said that one corrupt Supreme Court clerk all those years ago and some 300 lousy Supreme Court decisions afterward. Hand out the beatdown here.
NPR suggests in an on-air report that confessions extracted by torture are reliable. Even, like, news. Apparently, three renegade members of Mr. al-Sadr's militia, clearly tortured by said militia, said they were trained in making car bombs and such in Iran. Perhaps not coincidentally, that testimony resembles the "smoking gun" Messrs. Bush and Cheney have repeated suggested would "justify" a pre-emptive attack on Iran. Don't bet Bill O'Reilly will cite this report as evidence that NPR has "mended its liberal ways." And don't expect good Americans will fail to contact the NPR Ombudsman, whose address is ombudsman at npr dot org.
Glenn Greenwald picks apart Senator Rockefeller's justification for giving immunity to telecoms involved in warrantless wiretapping, and ActforChange provides another contact tool with which you may oppose said immunity for said wiretapping. The Rockefeller bill has made its way to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but neither Chairman Leahy (D-VT) nor ranking member Spector (R-PA) seem very happy about it. Mind you, Mr. Spector doesn't break with his party unless it's very safe to do so -- again, what would the vote against Robert Bork in 1987 have been if Mr. Spector hadn't added his admittedly vociferous "no"? Why, 57-43 against, of course, instead of 58-42. So, with that in mind, let's give our Arlen plenty of cover.