Wednesday, August 30, 2006

CHINA: Carlyle takeover bid stirs new debate

China’s brewing debate over its rulers’ aggressive denationalisation program has recently been bubbling with new heat after a Chinese private firm threatened to launch a hostile takeover in an attempt to stop the US Carlyle Group investment firm from taking over the state-owned Xugong Construction Machinery company.

In October, Carlyle publicly agreed to pay US$375 million for 85% of Xugong, which has annual sales of $2 billion, including being a major supplier of construction machinery to Iran.

Carlyle, formed in 1987, has operated no production facilities directly anywhere in the world but has $42 billion of funds under its management. It is backed by or employs many high profile former Western government leaders, such as former US president George Bush senior, former US secretary of state James Baker and former British PM John Major.

Another worry is that the Carlyle bid for Xugong represents the first attempt by foreign capitalists to gain a controlling stake in a Chinese state firm — moreover, one that is central to setting the pace of technological development in a strategic industry.


Here is my question: Do the major players at Carlyle know that Iran will soon need lots of (re)construction machinery? If so, did Junior tell them that a US attack is imminent?

Backgrounders on the Carlyle Group with links to books, articles, etc.

CIA spy chief for Venezuela

The United States has named a "manager" for its intelligence operations against Venezuela and Cuba.

North Korea and Iran are the only other countries that have been assigned so-called "mission managers", who supervise intelligence operations against them.

In a statement released on Friday, August 19th, the office of John Negroponte, the natioinal intelligence director, said the manager would be responsible "for integrating collection and analysis on Cuba and Venezuela across the intelligence community" and "ensuring the implementation of strategies" that have not been disclosed.

The statement said that J Patrick Maher, whose previous job was deputy director of the CIA's office of policy support, will assume the role temporarily until a permanent candidate is found.

August 17, 2006, Federal Register: DEPARTMENT OF STATE, [Public Notice 5506], Bureau of Political-Military Affairs: Revocation of Defense Export Licenses to Venezuela

Note: Venezuela is happy to purchase Russian defense articles.

Russia Overtakes Saudi Arabia as World’s Leading Oil Producer — OPEC

Statistics recently published by the oil cartel OPEC show that Russia is currently extracting more oil than Saudi Arabia, making it the biggest producer of “black gold” in the world, the British Financial Times reported on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

OPEC statistics show that in the period since 2002 Russian companies have surpassed the Saudis as the world’s biggest oil producers on an on-and-off basis. The latest figures, however, have been hailed in Russia as evidence that such periodic production spikes are no one-offs and that Moscow really does have a right to lay claim to the number one spot.

Government refuses to authenticate bin Laden 9/11 “confession video”; WTC 7; Flight 93

In response to the July 10, 2006 Freedom of Information Act request made by the Muckraker Report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the authenticity of the December 13, 2001 Osama bin Laden “confession video” in which Osama bin Laden allegedly confesses his involvement and masterminding of 9/11, the FBI said:

The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 552, subsection (b)(7)(A).

Please note that the Information Dissemination Section of the FBI did not respond to the Muckraker Report’s Freedom of Information Act Request by indicating that the documentation requested did not exist. It said that the material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 552, subsection (b)(7)(A).

So what does Title 5, United States Code, Section 552, subsection (b)(7)(A) say?

According to the Explanation of Exemptions sheet included in the government response to Muckraker Report FOIA request:

(b)(7) records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information (A) could be reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings

It’s anyone’s guess as to what (b)(7)(A) actually means, but it smells like more cover-up to me. One can only assume that the interfere with enforcement proceedings segment means that if the truth were to be revealed to the world regarding the circumstances and authenticity of the December 13, 2001 Osama bin Laden confession video, the neo con would have a one dickens of a time enforcing its current policies – both foreign and domestic. The truth is all hell would break loose if it was widely reported in the mockingbird mainstream media that the December 13, 2001 Osama bin Laden confession video was a fabrication.

Explanation of the confession video by whatreallyhappened

New WTC Complex Photos Highlight Bizarre Building 7 Collapse

Flight 93 'was shot down' claims book

The absence of any significant debris — including tailplane and wings — bewildered witnesses, relatives and, more importantly, some crash experts.

They found it hard to believe that an airliner up to 155ft long, with two engines each weighing more than six tons, could have penetrated the ground so completely as to utterly disappear. Had it, in reality, been blown to pieces in mid-air?

Certainly it is unclear how a single piece of fuselage the size of a dining room table could have been recovered from a marina in Indian Lake, a couple of miles away from the crash site — unless it fell from the sky during an aerial break-up.

But a bigger mystery is why the engines went missing.

Considering their weight, they should have plunged deep into the earth along with the rest of the airliner.

Yet they weren’t in the crater and only a one-ton segment of an engine was ever recovered, again more than a mile from the crash site. The FBI said, unconvincingly, that it had ‘bounced’ there.

The FBI also claimed metal fragments found up to eight miles away could have been carried there by the wind, even though the breeze was very light.

Journal of 911 Studies

Pluto kicked out of the planets

Pluto has lost its status as the ninth and outermost planet of the solar system, the world's leading astronomical body has decided.

After a heated debate, 2,500 scientists and astronomers voted at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on Thursday that Pluto, which has been called a planet since being discovered in 1930, would be put into a category called "dwarf planets".

The IAU resolution said: "The eight planets are Mercury, Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune."

EU still anxious for details on U.S. biotech rice; Japan suspends imports of U.S. long-grain rice

EU food safety authorities are still waiting for Washington to provide more details about an unauthorised biotech rice strain that may have crept into exports and fear the problem may be bigger than first feared.

Last week, the EU tightened requirements on U.S. long grain rice imports to prove the absence of a genetically modified (GMO) strain known as LL Rice 601 marketed by Germany's Bayer AG and produced in the United States.

The EU decision followed the discovery by U.S. authorities of trace amounts of LL Rice 601, engineered to resist a herbicide, in long grain samples that were targeted for commercial use -- the first time this had happened.

EU food safety experts are still waiting for the United States to offer more details of how much GMO rice -- at the moment, no biotech rice strains may be imported or sold in the bloc -- may have entered European ports within other cargoes.

"We still have no formal information about the extent of the contamination, origin or timeframe for when this happened," one EU official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"But we have heard informally from the rice industry that their preliminary testing indicates that the contamination may be much more widespread than first thought," he said.

Japan has suspended imports of U.S. long-grain rice following a positive test for trace amounts of a genetically modified strain not approved for human consumption, a news report said Sunday.

Japan's Health Ministry imposed the suspension on Saturday after being informed by U.S. federal officials that trace amounts of the unapproved strain had been discovered in commercially available long-grain rice, the Asahi newspaper said.

The genetically engineered rice was detected by Bayer CropScience AG. The German company then notified U.S. officials. The strain is not approved for sale in the United States, but two other strains of rice with the same genetically engineered protein are.

Cosmic smash-up provides proof of dark matter

Bush is Two Times a Criminal [just for the NSA wiretapping...this does not include his deception leading the US into a war of choice, nor 9/11]

For the second time in two months, a federal court has ruled that the president is in violation of the Constitution. This time it's a federal court in Detroit that has ruled that President Bush has violated the Fourth Amendment against illegal search and seizure for his order to the National Security Agency to monitor the phone and Internet messages of Americans without bothering to obtain a court order based upon probable cause.

The first time, it was the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in late June that the president had violated the Constitution by asserting he had the power to ignore the Third Geneva Convention on Treatment of Prisoners of War--a treaty formally signed into law by the U.S. and made an integral part of the U.S. Criminal Code.

The important thing about these two rulings--and it is a point that the squeamish mainstream media have shied away from mentioning--is that they both are declaring the president to be a criminal. That is, he has been found in the first case to be in criminal violation of the Constitution, as well as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, and in the second, he has been found to be in violation of U.S. and International Law.

From the Washington Post; Judge Rules Against Wiretaps: NSA Program Called Unconstitutional

From Brad Friedman; The Men Who Knew Too Much? NSA Wiretapping Whistleblowers Found Dead in Italy and Greece, The Story of Adamo Bove and Costas Tsalikidis

Mainstream TV Media Drops The Ball On NSA Ruling, Instead Devotes Attention To JonBenet Ramsey

Scientists flock to test 'free energy' discovery

A man who claims to have developed a free energy technology which could power everything from mobile phones to cars has received more than 400 applications from scientists to test it.

Sean McCarthy says that no one was more sceptical than he when Steorn, his small hi-tech firm in Dublin, hit upon a way of generating clean, free and constant energy from the interaction of magnetic fields. 'It wasn't so much a Eureka moment as a get-back-in-there-and-check-your-instruments moment, although in far more colourful language,' said McCarthy. But when he attempted to share his findings, he says, scientists either put the phone down on him or refused to endorse him publicly in case they damaged their academic reputations. So last week he took out a full-page advert in the Economist magazine, challenging the scientific community to examine his technology.

McCarthy claims it provides five times the amount of energy a mobile phone battery generates for the same size, and does not have to be recharged. Within 36 hours of his advert appearing he had been contacted by 420 scientists in Europe, America and Australia, and a further 4,606 people had registered to receive the results.

Info on the technology


Robert W. Young, the Assistant Inspector General for Audit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and author of Audit Report 50601-8-Te that was released last December, “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Controls Over Issuance of Genetically Engineered Organism Release Permits” is a voice that should be heard by every US citizen concerned about our food supply.

Like the prophet Nathan before sinful King David, Mr. Young wags his honest pen in the face of the slothful, incompetent imbeciles who have failed miserably in their responsibility of checking the ambitions of mad scientists, greedy corporations, and corrupt politicians with the chains of the law.

In part, the report states that:

The government does not know WHERE the genetically engineered (GE) crops are planted, WHAT is being planted, and WHERE they end up.

Our government allows the planting of genetically engineered crops, whose safety is unknown, without a WRITTEN plan for keeping those crops from contaminating anything planted around them, or the entire environment. And inspections are done with a phone call.

Mr. Young blasts APHIS for many other violations, including failing to file progress reports late or not at all, not sufficiently documenting the scientific basis for approving applications, not tracking information during the field tests, including the results of the tests.

Link to the full Audit Report

Fox News Producers Resigns Over Middle East Coverage

In early August, two producers working for Fox News in Amman Jordan resigned in protest of the network's coverage. In their resignation letter, Serene Sabbagh and Jomana Karadsheh wrote "We can no longer work with a news organization that claims to be fair and balanced when you are so far from that." They went on to write "Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are war mongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism."

Link to a interview with one of the producers

Michael C. Ruppert author of Crossing the Rubicon has said goodbye to the United States

A Permanent Goodbye to the United States
by Michael C. Ruppert

It was about a week before I left the United States forever that I watched Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tell Charlie Rose something all of us already know in our hearts. “Today,” he said, “the United States is hated around the world far worse than it was at the height of the Vietnam War.” I remember the Vietnam War. I will never forget it.

Ruppert's site: From the Wilderness

9-11 Investigative Journalist Harassed And Beaten By Undercover Cops By Christopher Bollyn

After calling 911 to report a suspicious vehicle with three armed men in my neighborhood, I was harassed, beaten and shocked with a Taser gun in my front yard in Hoffman Estates, Ill., in front of my wife and child. I was subsequently charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault. I was then subjected to six hours of abuse at the hands of the local police.

I suspect that this operation was not accidental and was not an initiative of the local police. The questions remains whether I have been targeted as part of an ADL-FBI operation because of my journalistic investigations. Over the years, I have investigated the many unanswered questions surrounding 9-11. Having received several threats in my career with AFP and the now defunct Spotlight newspaper, this is the first time I have been beaten and abused by authorities.

Last summer, we discovered that two local people, who had befriended us for years, are actually FBI informants tasked to monitor us. For this reason, we feel vulnerable and are reluctant to spend time at our home. We returned this summer primarily because our children badly missed our home, a simple suburban tract home that has belonged to the Bollyn family since 1957.

Since returning to the area in July, I have noticed an unusual amount of police activity around my house, which lies on a quiet side street where one normally sees a police cruiser once or twice a week.

On Aug. 14, I noticed an unusual vehicle around my house. It was an unmarked car with three armed men wearing body armor.

Collection of Bollyn's American Free Press stories

What the U.S. Government No Longer Wants You to Know about Nuclear Weapons During the Cold War

The Pentagon and the Energy Department have now stamped as national security secrets the long-public numbers of U.S. nuclear missiles during the Cold War, including data from the public reports of the Secretaries of Defense in 1967 and 1971, according to government documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive (

Pentagon and Energy officials have now blacked out from previously public charts the numbers of Minuteman missiles (1,000), Titan II missiles (54), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (656) in the historic U.S. Cold War arsenal, even though four Secretaries of Defense (McNamara, Laird, Richardson, Schlesinger) reported strategic force levels publicly in the 1960s and 1970s.

The security censors also have blacked out deployment information about U.S nuclear weapons in Great Britain and Germany that was declassified in 1999, as well as nuclear deployment arrangements with Canada, even though the Canadian government has declassified its side of the arrangement.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bush clears the way to sell weapons to another tiny African nation...

...this time it is Lesotho.

Presidential Determination No. 2006–18 of August 2, 2006: Waiving Prohibition on United States Military Assistance With Respect to Lesotho

You may remember that recently there was a
similar memo (Presidential Determination No. 2006–16 of June 19, 2006) regarding Swaziland. Both Lesotho (11,717 sq miles) and Swaziland (6,704 sq miles) are countries that reside "within" South Africa. Lesotho and Swaziland have some of the world's highest concentrations of AIDS victims: over 25% of the populations. Swaziland has the world's lowest life expectancy at under 33 years.

Hey George, why are you selling them guns and not sending in medicine?!

2005 Gifts from Foreign Governments to Federal Employees

Department of State Office of Protocol; Gifts to Federal Employees From Foreign Government Sources Reported to Employing Agencies in Calendar Year 2005; Notice

Interestingly, Condi Rice seems to be the only high profile member of the federal government who hasn't turned over any of the lavish gifts she has received to the GSA or the Foreign Archives as is typically done to prevent the appearance impropriety. All items listed under her name are currently "Pending transfer to General Services Administration."

The most ironic item of hers:

Ivory, jeweled, gold and silver
dagger. Received—June 21,
2005. Est. Value—$1,000.00.


Men’s wristwatch and jewelry set
of emerald and diamond necklace,
earrings, ring and bracelet.
Received—July 11, 2005.
Est. Value—$90,000.00.


His Royal Highness, Abdallah bin
Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, Crown
Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister
and Commander of the
National Guard of the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia.

Total value of items Ms. Rice has not turned over to the GSA (for 2005 only): $145,905.00

Also, of interest, is the fact that gifts received on behalf of Michael Hayden, Deputy Director of National Intelligence (as of 2005), and John Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence do not mention who, or from what country their donations/gifts originated citing...wait for it...wait for guessed it: The National Security Act of 1947, 50 U.S.C. 403–(1)(i) as amended

(basically stating that they cannot divulge this information because the publication of such information could adversely affect United States intelligence sources!)

Friday, August 18, 2006

BushCo changes public access, FOIA rules for HUD

Public Access to HUD Records Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Production of Material or Provision of Testimony by HUD Employees; Proposed Rule

The long and the short of it: HUD and the CIA have been involved for decades in scandal. The Bush family has full knowledge of the details and wants to cover its collective ass.

For the full account read the following: Former Bush Assistant Secretary for HUD Reveals "Ethnic Cleansing" Connected to CIA Drug Dealing in Los Angeles

Directly from the proposed rule:

§ 15.202 Production of material or provision of testimony prohibited unless approved by the Secretary or General Counsel.

Neither the Department nor any employee of the Department shall comply with any demand for production of material or provision of testimony in a legal proceeding among private litigants, unless the prior approval of the Secretary or General Counsel has been obtained in accordance with this subpart.

Hezbollah Leads Work to Rebuild, Gaining Stature

As stunned Lebanese returned Tuesday over broken roads to shattered apartments in the south, it increasingly seemed that the beneficiary of the destruction was most likely to be Hezbollah.

A major reason — in addition to its hard-won reputation as the only Arab force that fought Israel to a standstill — is that it is already dominating the efforts to rebuild with a torrent of money from oil-rich Iran.

Nehme Y. Tohme, a member of Parliament from the anti-Syrian reform bloc and the country’s minister for the displaced, said he had been told by Hezbollah officials that when the shooting stopped, Iran would provide Hezbollah with an “unlimited budget” for reconstruction.

In his victory speech on Monday night, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, offered money for “decent and suitable furniture” and a year’s rent on a house to any Lebanese who lost his home in the month-long war.

“Completing the victory,” he said, “can come with reconstruction.”

Gullible Americans By Paul Craig Roberts

I was in China when a July Harris Poll reported that 50 percent of Americans still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when Bush invaded that country, and that 64 percent of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had strong links with Al Qaeda.

The Chinese leaders and intellectuals with whom I was meeting were incredulous. How could a majority of the population in an allegedly free country with an allegedly free press be so totally misinformed?

The only answer I could give the Chinese is that Americans would have been the perfect population for Mao and the Gang of Four, because Americans believe anything their government tells them.

Americans never check any facts. Who do you know, for example, who has even read the Report of the 9/11 Commission, much less checked the alleged facts reported in that document. I can answer for you. You don’t know anyone who has read the report or checked the facts.

The mobile weapons factories BushCo used as evidence of the need to take out Saddam proved to be bogus

Further Information Regarding US Government Attribution of a Mobile Biological Production Capacity by Iraq

The illustration of the set of three vehicles that purportedly portrayed Iraq's mobile BW production vehicles and which first appeared in US Secretary of State Powell's address to the United Nations in February 20031 and then in the CIA/DIA-released report on May 28, 2003,2 were produced by graphic artists working at Battelle under a CIA contract.

Contrary to the prevalent assumptions, the illustrations apparently were not made following any detailed descriptions provided by the Iraqi informant codenamed "Curveball," but rather on the basis of specifications made by CIA staff and its contractor as to the equipment that such a vehicle or set of vehicles would require.

In summary, these self-conceived and self-imagined illustrations were all the "evidence" that the United States government had to give to Secretary of State Powell to place before the United Nations and the world to support the claim that Iraq had mobile biological weapon production platforms which had been hidden from UNSCOM and UNMOVIC, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687. This was one of the prime justifications for the US and the UK to invade Iraq. Whether the responsibility for this deception belongs to Vice President Cheney's office or to the CIA alone still remains to be determined.

One should also remember that nine months after the two vehicles recovered in Iraq in 2003 were independently determined by US and by British teams as absolutely not being for BW production, George Tenet still portrayed the issue as an open question in a speech at Georgetown University in February 2004.

Biometric screening under the US-VISIT program

Welcome to our country. Please provide a photo and your fingerprints. Thank you. His Excellency King George wishes you safe travels, free from terrorism at the hands of evil men. Hope you aren't planning any subversive activity. Have a nice stay in our free society.

Specifically included persons in this program are:

-Lawful permanent residents of the United States (LPRs).

-Individuals entering the United States who seek admission on immigrant visas.

-Individuals entering the United States who seek admission as refugees and asylees.

-Certain Canadian citizens entering the United States for specific business or employment reasons (i.e. Form I-94 holders). This excludes most Canadian citizens entering the United

-States for purposes of shopping, visiting friends and family, vacation or short business trips.

-Individuals paroled into the United States.

-Individuals applying for admission to Guam under the Guam Visa Waiver Program.

List of ports with US-VISIT entry procedures in place

DHS US-VISIT website

Bald eagles in Texas not as important as new housing development

In the linked section of Monday, August 14th Federal Register, permits for direct and indirect "take" of the bald eagle and the Houston toad are extended for additional development in Bastrop County, TX.

Endangered Species Act of 1973, states: The term "take" means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.

The relevant authority that is quoted in pursuit of the housing developments states: any taking otherwise prohibited by section 9(a)(1)(B) if such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity.

So, since the building of 46 subdivisions in Texas, so long as the intention of the development is not to destroy, harass, etc., and any "take" is incidental to such activity they are exempted from the restrictions of the Act.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Twin Towers wreckage turning up all over the place

And you thought all the 9/11 WTC wreckage was swept up in eight months and sent to be smelted in foreign countries or secret places in our own strange land, right? And that the rest of the rubble was buried in Fresh Kills (appropriate name), Staten Island. So did I. But now it turns out last remains of the Towers are being stored in an 80,000-square-foot hangar at JFK International Airport in New York. Ain’t that a kick in the head?

The previous fact comes from the fifth paragraph of an article Fragments of Twin Towers may return to Coatesville by Jennifer Miller at It’s a story about Coatesville, Pennsylvania, wanting to get some WTC steel “trees” for the future National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum, to be built in the city’s Lukens National Historic District. The Graystone Society is the group propelling the museum project. Well, how nice.

Scot Huston, a “direct” descendant of the Luken family, president of the Graystone Society, and Gene DiOrio, Graystone Society vice president, traveled to that JFK hangar to meet with New York Port Authority officials about bringing some of the remnants back to Coatesville. That’s even sweeter.

But how about giving some steel “trees” to some 9-11 scientists and engineers? To see if the steel is still strong or if there is any evidence of explosives on them or to test their melting points. I mean since NYPA officials are accommodating these Coatesville folks, let’s remind them there is a 9-11 Truth Movement concerned with all these little details in little ole New York City, where the tragedy occurred. And this movement lives around the nation and the world as well.
So to me, further sharing of the “trees” for forensic research seems like a modest proposal, especially in light of some of the darker purposes for which the wreckage is being shared. Trust me. Nothing’s ever simple concerning 9-11.

Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11, by Bill Christison (former senior official of the CIA. He was a National Intelligence Officer and the Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis before his retirement in 1979. Since then he has written numerous articles on U.S. foreign policies)

Bush gets so close to giving loan guarantees to alternative energy sources, then remembers he is an oilman

In Monday, August 14th's edition of the Federal Register the following notice was printed:

Loan Guarantees for Projects That Employ Innovative Technologies; Guidelines for Proposals Submitted in Response to the First Solicitation

SUMMARY: DOE publishes policy guidelines that DOE intends to use in connection with the first solicitation of proposals for a loan guarantee for Eligible Projects under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that are expected to contribute to the goals of the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative.

(see page 527)
(a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may make guarantees under
this section only for projects that—
(1) avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic
emissions of greenhouse gases; and
(2) employ new or significantly improved technologies as
compared to commercial technologies in service in the United
States at the time the guarantee is issued.
(b) CATEGORIES.—Projects from the following categories shall
be eligible for a guarantee under this section:
(1) Renewable energy systems.
(2) Advanced fossil energy technology (including coal gasification
meeting the criteria in subsection (d)).
(3) Hydrogen fuel cell technology for residential, industrial,
or transportation applications.
(4) Advanced nuclear energy facilities.
(5) Carbon capture and sequestration practices and technologies,
including agricultural and forestry practices that store
and sequester carbon.
(6) Efficient electrical generation, transmission, and distribution
(7) Efficient end-use energy technologies.
(8) Production facilities for fuel efficient vehicles, including
hybrid and advanced diesel vehicles.
(9) Pollution control equipment.
(10) Refineries, meaning facilities at which crude oil is
refined into gasoline.
[Almost forgot!]

I was honestly thrilled about the initial appearance of this policy guideline in the FR, but, of course, with a little digging I found that this is just another BS kickback to big oil. Hopefully, DOE will loan money to innovative companies that are seeking out efficient use of renewables.

Big church publisher buys 9-11 Bush plot

It wasn't Osama bin Laden who orchestrated the 9-11 attacks, it was George W. Bush, according to a book to be published this month by the Presbyterian Church USA.

Called "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action," it is the third book on the conspiracy theory authored by David Ray Griffin, a professor emeritus of theology at Claremont School of Theology.

US, Israel and the takeover of the Middle East

Author James Bamford (Puzzle Palace, Body of Secrets) discussing this topic with Keith Olbermann:

"They‘ve had this goal for years, for a decade, at least. In 1996, they came up with the clean-break plan, which was an outline for how Israel would basically get rid of Iraq and Saddam Hussein and move into Syria, Lebanon, and on to Iran.

I think they‘re trying to carry out this plan. It was written by the person who‘s now the Middle East adviser to Dick Cheney, and the person who was in charge of the war in Iraq, largely, Doug Feith at the Pentagon, in addition to the person who is head of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle.

So this has been a plan that‘s been in the works for a long time. And I think now it‘s their chance to see a possibility for this to come to fruition."

On CNN, Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker, the one who mainstreamed the Abu Ghraib story, has confirmed with insiders that Bush and the Israeli Government planned months in advance that any incident, no matter how small, would ignite a broad and punishing response by Israel in a preemptive move to start a war with Iran. Bush's Neocon advanced plan actually included Israel destroying Hezbollah's missles as pre-cursor to an attack on Iran. The war with Iran is on the assembly line. Only a mass (I mean millions of people marching) protest will stop this insane neo-dictator in the Whitehouse. Hersh even says that Bush doesn't even regard Congress or the people when deciding foreign policy.

Link to the paper that Bamford mentioned above: A Clean Break: New Strategy for Securing the Realm"

What the General Never Told Us About the Bush Plan for Serial War

9/29/2003: Wesley Clark, the retired four-star general who is one of 10 candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, has written a new book that is just arriving on bookstore shelves. Called Winning Modern Wars, it’s mostly about the Iraq war and terrorism—and it is laced with powerful new information that he held back from the public when he was a CNN military commentator during the Bush administration’s preparations for the war.

For example, he says he learned from military sources at the Pentagon in November 2001, just two months after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, that serious planning for the war on Iraq had already begun and that, in addition to Iraq, the administration had drawn up a list of six other nations to be targeted over a period of five years.

Here’s what he writes on page 130:

"As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan." Clark adds, "I left the Pentagon that afternoon deeply concerned."

Declaring war on the Constitution?

The Cheney-Specter National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2453) constitutes a virtual declaration of war on the Constitution. It would mutilate constitutionally protected privacy, cripple checks and balances, and inhibit political dissent. The bill's profoundly anti-constitutional philosophy is that "trust the president" should be the measure of our civil liberties.

The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, i.e., the right to be left alone unless the government can demonstrate a strong law enforcement or intelligence need to a neutral magistrate. Its centerpiece is particularized suspicion. The government is not permitted to search willy-nilly in the hope that something may turn up. If that were not the case, the police could ransack every household in America on the theory that at least a handful will reveal evidence of crime. The amendment was not motivated by sympathy for criminals or enemy terrorists, however, but from recognition that a police state exposes citizens to harassment or retaliation for voicing dissent or being personally obnoxious to government officials. Without the amendment, citizens would be soon cowed into docility.

The Cheney-Specter bill promotes that evil. It would authorize the NSA to intercept all e-mails or international communications of Americans without warrants. It would authorize data mining that informs the government of the parties to every phone call made in the United States without warrants. It would give congressional endorsement to the theory that the president enjoys inherent constitutional power to ignore any federal statute regulating the collection of foreign intelligence, including prohibitions on mail openings, torture or breaking and entering homes. And the bill would authorize unprecedented program warrants to conduct electronic surveillance against Americans without any suspicion that the individual targets are implicated in terrorism or other wrongdoing.

Link to the THOMAS record on The Cheney-Specter National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2453)

Bush taps DOD environmental official to serve as EPA inspector general

It seems that Bush is on a roll nominating Inspectors General of various agencies who would prove to be the least suited for the responsibilities of the job...unless, you don't want anything investigated that might interfere with your connections to big business.

President Bush plans to move one of the Defense Department´s top environmental officials to fill a vacancy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

President Bush announced Aug. 1 that he plans to nominate Alex A. Beehler, of Maryland, to be inspector general of the EPA, serving as the agency´s watchdog. Beehler has served as the assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for the environment since January 2004. Prior to that, he served as vice president for environmental programs for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Earlier in his career, he served as a senior trial attorney at the Department of Justice.

Prior to serving in the Bush Administration "environmental protection" efforts, Beehler was at Koch Industries who faced a 93 count indictment for toxic dumping and coverup in Texas.

Records of campaign finances from the 2004 race show that
Koch Industries' Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) disbursed $997,943.00 in total that year. KOCHPAC's single largest contribution of $15,000 was given to three individuals in the US House: JIM R. RYUN (R-KS), PETE SESSIONS (R-TX), WILLIAM MARSHALL THOMAS (R-CA). The next tier of $12,500 went solely to: Tom Delay.

6/30/2004: A congressional report released Tuesday found that the military is not taking steps to clean up areas where high levels of the hazardous chemical perchlorate have been found.

The report, by the General Accounting Office, criticized the military for lacking a comprehensive policy for testing and cleaning up perchlorate, a component of fuel used in munitions and rockets, and 19 other chemicals associated with munitions that present serious public health risks.

"The report represents an invalid characterization of the department's environmental efforts at operational ranges," Alex A. Beehler, an assistant deputy undersecretary of Defense, said in a letter responding to the report. [What Beehler meant to say was, "You cannot characterize our cleanup efforts such considering we have no desire to cleanup in the first place!"]

Read about David H. Laufman, Bush's nomination for IG of the DoD here

The Brilliantly Profitable Timing of the Alaska Oil Pipeline Shutdown

By Greg Palast:

Is the Alaska Pipeline corroded? You bet it is. Has been for more than a decade. Did British Petroleum shut the pipe yesterday to turn a quick buck on its negligence, to profit off the disaster it created? Just ask the "smart pig."

Years ago, I had the unhappy job of leading an investigation of British Petroleum's management of the Alaska pipeline system. I was working for the Chugach villages, the Alaskan Natives who own the shoreline slimed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker grounding.

Even then, courageous government inspectors and pipeline workers were screaming about corrosion all through the pipeline. I say "courageous" because BP, which owns 46% of the pipe and is supposed to manage the system, had a habit of hunting down and destroying the careers of those who warn of pipeline problems.

In one case, BP's CEO of Alaskan operations hired a former CIA expert to break into the home of a whistleblower, Chuck Hamel, who had complained of conditions at the pipe's tanker facility. BP tapped his phone calls with a US congressman and ran a surveillance and smear campaign against him. When caught, a US federal judge said BP's acts were "reminiscent of Nazi Germany."

This was not an isolated case. Captain James Woodle, once in charge of the pipe's Valdez terminus, was blackmailed into resigning the post when he complained of disastrous conditions there. The weapon used on Woodle was a file of faked evidence of marital infidelity. Nice guys, eh?

Now let's talk timing. BP's suddenly discovered corrosion necessitating an emergency shut-down of the line is the same corrosion Dan Lawn has been screaming about for 15 years. Lawn is a steel-eyed government inspector who has kept his job only because his union's lawyers have kept BP from having his head.

Indeed, it's pretty darn hard for BP to claim it is surprised to find corrosion this week when Lawn issued a damning report on corrosion right after a leak and spill were discovered on March 2 of this year.

Why shut the pipe now?

U.S. sells surplus military hardware over the net to the highest bidder (no questions asked)

AMERICAN defence chiefs are selling millions of dollars worth of military hardware from Iraq and Afghanistan to the highest bidder over the internet.

The items - which include rocket launchers and guided missile radar - can easily be used or adapted by criminals and terrorists.

One American government source described it as a "bargain basement" for terror chief Osama Bin Laden.

TheUSDepartment of Defense claims buyers on are carefully vetted.

But our investigators registered a bogus company on their website.

Within minutes, our registration was accepted without question and we were sent a list of items for sale - many of which were surplus from Afghanistan and Iraq. These items included: Launcher mounts for anti-tank missiles.

Full military uniforms, including hi-tech, bullet-proof body armour.

Radar sets for guided missile systems and all-band antennae radios which can track enemy aircraft.

Small invasion landing craft.

A US government report last month revealed the Department of Defense had become a "bargain basement for would-be terrorists".

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Guess who said that

"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman, and child of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our Homeland."

"Evil men obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience must be taken very seriously, and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply. We're reorganizing our government to give this nation a broad and coordinated homeland defense."

One of the above statements can be attributed to George W. Bush, the other to Adolf Hitler. Can you guess which? Does it really matter?

Collection of Bush-Hilter comparisons

George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

For a comprehensive review of Bush-Harriman dealings with Nazi Germany read
American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips

For those keeping score: the first quote is Hitler, the second quote is Bush. Hide your watches.

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

A few months old (from 2/2006), but still very curious.

A Halliburton subsidiary has just received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to provide "temporary detention and processing capabilities."

The contract -- announced Jan. 24 by the engineering and construction firm KBR -- calls for preparing for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." The release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when.

To date, some newspapers have worried that open-ended provisions in the contract could lead to cost overruns, such as have occurred with KBR in Iraq. A Homeland Security spokesperson has responded that this is a "contingency contract" and that conceivably no centers might be built. But almost no paper so far has discussed the possibility that detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law.

For those who follow covert government operations abroad and at home, the contract evoked ominous memories of Oliver North's controversial Rex-84 "readiness exercise" in 1984 (
click here for info on Rex-84 and related operations and detention camps). This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary "refugees," in the context of "uncontrolled population movements" over the Mexican border into the United States. North's activities raised civil liberties concerns in both Congress and the Justice Department. The concerns persist.

"Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters," says Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. military's account of its activities in Vietnam. "They've already done this on a smaller scale, with the 'special registration' detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo."

U.S. threatens suit if Maine probes Verizon ties to NSA

The Bush administration is threatening to sue if Maine regulators decide to investigate whether Verizon Communications illegally turned over customer information to the National Security Agency.

Verizon customers in Maine have asked the state's Public Utilities Commission to investigate whether the telecom giant violated privacy laws by cooperating with a domestic surveillance program. The PUC is expected to decide Monday whether to open such a probe.

In a July 28 letter to the PUC, the U.S. Department of Justice cites national security as a key reason for its opposition to a state investigation. The seven-page letter suggests a lawsuit is likely if Maine regulators decide to investigate.

"We sincerely hope that, in light of governing law and the national security concerns implicated by the requests for information, you will decline to open an investigation and close these proceedings, thereby avoiding litigation over the matter," the letter reads.

Governors Object to Bid to Let Bush Take Control of National Guard Without Their Consent

The nation's governors are closing ranks in opposition to a proposal in Congress that would let the president take control of the National Guard in emergencies without consent of governors.

The idea, spurred by the destruction and chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina's landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi, is part of a House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act. It has not yet been agreed to by the Senate.

The measure would remove the currently required consent of governors for the federalization of the Guard, which is shared between the individual states and the federal government.

George W. Bush - AWOL from the National Guard 1972-'73

Many, who have done the research, seem to think that this was about the time Bush II got busted for possession of cocaine. Next time you see W ask if he had fun working with the poor kids at Project PULL. For more on that, read James Hatfield's "Fortunate Son". BTW: Hatfield "killed himself" overdosing on prescription drugs six months after Bush II overtook the office of president.

Questions about market manipulation, missing M3 figures

Freemarket Gold & Money Report's James Turk, who wrestles in his latest piece with the Fed's very peculiar decision to stop reporting M3 (cast in even stranger light by, as I understand it, their having eliminated the M3 archives from their Web site). Turk for many years maintained a "Fear Index", which was a ratio of M3 and the U.S. gold price.

When last calculable, the chart of this was ominous: Turk not unreasonably comments: "Why does the Fed no longer want to report the total quantity of dollars in circulation? They know what's coming - massive amounts of dollar creation to fund the worsening trade and federal government budget deficits."

But Turk goes onto assert that an implicit Fear Index he has constructed gives him the data to solve for the gold price, which equates to $900 per ounce ... even though the Fear Index has climbed a long way, it is still below levels reached at other key low points in the gold market, specifically, in 1971, 1976, 1982, and 1993. This low level means that gold is still way undervalued.

Many people hold cash in the belief that it is the safest and most liquid asset. However, current geopolitical developments mean that the security of "money in the bank" is facing strong challenges.

In the words of George Bernard Shaw: "you have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the government. And, with due respect to these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold".

Now, it is the modern financial world that faces ruin. Having inflated the money supply, the Bernanke Fed attends rising consumer prices like Joan of Arc waiting for a match.

But what can they do about it? The Fed has stopped reporting increases in broad money supply, M3, and has redefined the word 'inflation' so as to exclude prices that are going up. It has also increased short rates by 450 basis points - the sharpest increase since the '60s. But while it publicly fights inflation, its real enemy is deflation. So, while M3 goes unreported, M2 tells us that the money supply has exploded at a 10% rate over the last 10 weeks. The Fed is desperately trying to avoid deflation by making more money and credit available.

Previous posts on the M3 money supply

Protest you will not see in the US media

India Bans Arab TV Channels Under Pressure From Israel

In a country widely referred to as the world’s largest democracy, the Indian government has succumbed to mounting Israeli pressure and ordered a nationwide ban on the broadcast of Arab television channels.

The Indian government’s ban on Arab television stations is in complete contrast to the friendship that Arab countries imagine exists with their neighbor across the Arabian Sea. It seems the ban is a move to ensure that Indians do not get to see the atrocities that are presently being committed by Israel in Lebanon and the occupied territories.

Nabila Al-Bassam, a Saudi businesswoman on a trip to Bombay, told Arab News how she became exasperated at not being able to watch Arab channels at Bombay’s leading five-star Oberoi Hotel. When she took up the issue with the hotel manager, she was told that Arab television channels had been banned across India.

Temporary continuation of oil acquisition reports

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) will continue the monthly collection of data on the Forms EIA–182, ‘‘Domestic Crude Oil First Purchase Report,’’ and EIA–856, ‘‘Monthly Foreign Crude Oil Acquisition Report,’’ through the reporting of October 2006 data that is due to EIA by November 30, 2006.

Discontinuance of the collection of these forms was orginally slated for June 2006, and was discussed in this space in March 2006,

The kicker is that collection of these reports are mandated by Public Laws 93-275, and 95-91, but the EIA's reasoning for discontinuance is budgetary shortfalls. The discontinuance may be illegal. The EIA gives reference in the Federal Register to section 3507(h)(1) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 2005, 44 USC, Chapter 35, as legal authority to ignore the law and cease to collect this data. The data collected by these forms is too important, especially since Bush himself said in his SOTU speech we are "addicted to foreign oil", to allow the tenuous authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 2005, to be the basis by which the EIA decides it can eliminate the collection of this information.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Rep. Conyers Issues Report Identifying 26 Laws Broken by Bush Admin

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) released "Constitution in Crisis," a report identifying 26 specific laws and regulations implicated by the Bush Administration.

The 350-page document is divided into sections on Iraq and civil liberties and supported with more than 1,400 footnotes. [
PDF of the full report] This report should be given out to everyone you know.

Sampling of the laws BushCo have violated:

Deception of Congress and the American Public
Committing a Fraud Against the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371)
Making False Statements Against the United States (18 U.S.C. § 1001)
War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148)
Misuse of Government Funds (31 U.S.C. § 1301)

Improper Detention, Torture, and Other Inhumane Treatment
Anti-Torture Statute (18 U.S.C. § 2340-40A)
The War Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 2441)
The Geneva Conventions and Hague Convention: International Laws Governing the Treatment of Detainees
United Nations Convention Against Torture, and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment: International Laws Governing the Treatment of Detainees
Command Responsibility (for known illegal acts of subordinates in the military)
Detainment of Material Witnesses (18 U.S.C. § 3144)

Retaliating against Witnesses and Other Individuals
Obstruction Congress (18 U.S.C. § 1505)
Whistleblower Protection (5 U.S.C. § 2302)
The Lloyd-LaFollette Act, or "anti-gag rule" (5 U.S.C. § 7211)
Retaliating against Witnesses (18 U.S.C. § 1513)

Leaking and other Misuse of Intelligence and other Government Information
Revealing Classified Information in Contravention of Federal Regulations (Executive Order 12958/Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement)
Statutory Prohibitions on Leaking Information (18 U.S.C. § 641, etc.)

Laws Governing Electronic Surveillance
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (50 U.S.C. § 1801, et seq.)
National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. chapter 15)
Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. § 222)
Stored Communications Act of 1986 (18 U.S.C. § 2702)
Pen Registers or Trap and Trace Devices (18 U.S.C. § 3121)
Laws and Guidelines Prohibiting Conflicts of Interest (28 U.S.C. § 528, etc.)

Link to a December 2005 post with the original press release on Conyers report and an early draft of the same along with two resolutions to censure Bush and Cheney

C-SPAN's most popular viewing: EVER

VIDEO: Alex Jones at American Scholars Symposium

911 is a joke (at least the "official" version)

9/11 NORAD tapes, commission deception, and outright lies

Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.

Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said. [NOTE: these are the types of matters the the Inspector General of DOD would handle. If David H. Laufman is confirmed forget about any honesty. He is a BushBoy...has been for decades.]

Vanity Fair has an exclusive on the release of the the NORAD tapes from September 11, 2001. Click here for the article.

BOSTON CENTER: Hi. Boston Center T.M.U. [Traffic Management Unit], we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.
POWELL: Is this real-world or exercise?
BOSTON CENTER: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.

09:04:50—Is this explosion part of that that we're lookin' at now on TV?—Yes.—Jesus …—And there's a possible second hijack also—a United Airlines …—Two planes?…—Get the fuck out …—I think this is a damn [wargame] input, to be honest.
[Thank you Dick Cheney.]

More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll. You may say, "There is no way that our government would do such a horrible thing." I wish you were right. Our government can and has proposed similar things in the past. Not only that, but Daddy Bush drilled for 911 all the way back in 1976. It should be easier to believe such a seemingly outlandish claim considering that 50% or US citizens wrongly believe that Saddam Hussein had WMD and that is why Bush invaded Iraq. Sadly, the WMD claim has yet to be proven. Hussein had a bad attitude and tried to kill Bush's dad, but he did not have WMD. Call the Pentagon and ask for proof of any WMD in Iraq...good luck. Do your research. Don't just believe what you are told.

Pictures that show what Israel has done to Lebanon

These two satellite images provided by GeoEye show the same area of Beirut, Lebanon before and after Israeli bombardment. The image on the left was taken Wednesday July 12, 2006, and the image on the right was taken Monday July 31, 2006. (AP Photo/GeoEye)

Why So Ungrateful to Our Uncle George and Aunt Condi?

The following is a wonderful insight into how the majority of the Arab world view the US presently. Please follow the link and read the entirety of this posting. Even if you may not agree with what is said, distance yourself from preconceived ideas and absorb another viewpoint. Broaden your horizon and accept the fact that the US is not the world's favorite team player at the moment.

The atrocities being committed in Lebanon provide us in the Arab world with another superfluous reminder of the fact that our blood is cheap. As if Iraq wasn't enough to prove our irrelevance in the global picture, further insults are being heaped upon our mounting sense of humiliation.

The duplicity and flagrant disregard for the destruction of an entire nation by the Israeli government; and an American president, his neocon cronies and "Yo Blair," have demonstrated beyond doubt that the return of two Israeli soldiers (even though thousands of their Arab counterparts rot in Israeli prisons) equate with the deaths of hundreds of innocent Lebanese civilians. While the rest of the world desperately awaited the announcement of a cease-fire that only America has the clout to negotiate, Auntie Condi arrived to play the fiddle to Israel's tune, as Lebanon burned to a crisp in the background.

As civilians in Lebanon and Palestine are murdered daily by U.S.-made and U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons, President Bush has characteristically shown more interest in the abstract phenomenon of protecting frozen embryos. One would be forced to wonder (given his total disinterest in the sanctity of Arab and Muslim life), that if these embryos were conceived in the Middle East, whether Bush would be as enthusiastic about the question of their preservation.

We should be grateful to Bush. He is, after all, our self-appointed savior and wants to instill within us the etiquette of democracy. No. Not hypocrisy, democracy. Even though they the two words sound remarkably similar when he pronounces them. (The "Ayrab" definition of hypocrisy would be the United States providing humanitarian aid to Lebanon while rushing precision-guided missiles to Israel, in so doing helping to obliterate those it seeks to "help."). However, not democracy in the broad definition of the word, since when we did follow his advice and elect Hamas by a sweeping majority, we were punished for bringing in the people's choice!

Der Spiegel ElBaradei Interview

The interview is short, but covers a fair amount of ground.

SPIEGEL: There have not been any UN inspectors in North Korea since the end of 2002. Does Pyongyang pose a more dramatic threat [than Iran] to humanity?

ElBaradei: Most specialists and intelligence experts, including the Americans, believe that Iran is still five to ten years away from building nuclear weapons. In this respect, North Korea is much further along than Iran. Indeed, a nightmare scenario has already developed in North Korea.

Charles W. Freeman, a long-time State Department China hand who was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing during the Reagan years, recollects a still-born step toward opening direct talks with North Korea that might have emerged from a surprising Chinese offer during the first Reagan administration to broker real diplomatic discussions. This initiative was effectively killed, according to Freeman, by the determined opposition of Paul Wolfowitz, who was then Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Mr. Wolfowitz has effectively scuttled any attempts at real concert between nations for non-proliferation for decades in favor of sullying the United States' global image for a teenage sense of "I am better than you, so do as I say or I'll rape your sister". God bless you paul. Thank you for keeping America #1 in the eyes of the world. Real Americans love this country for what it represented. Your followers (fanatical -- dare I say radical fundamentalist -- christians) are the bane of our society. Don't get me wrong...they are entitled to their beliefs and ways of life just as anyone else is, but look at what you've done. Great, we have a very loose hold on Iraqi oil. Wooo. Now what? Alienate the rest of the world by pushing on Syria and Iran and Saudi Arabia? Oh, of course. That, I forgot, has been the plan all along. Go get 'em tiger. If you believed in your ideas as much as you profess, you would get off of your policy and planning plank, spit on your comb, brush your hair, and go push a gun in some poor Arab's face so you can take his oil and make America "safe and secure" for another 20 years. Boo Yah.

White House Proposal Would Expand Authority of Military Courts

They call it a "proposal" which technically it is, but in fact the White House has drafted what could be considered "pending legislation".

A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.

The draft proposed legislation, set to be discussed at two Senate hearings today, is controversial inside and outside the administration because defendants would be denied many protections guaranteed by the civilian and traditional military criminal justice systems.

Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

UN report a 'moral indictment' of US

Following a series of hearings held in Geneva in July, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has released a final report which, as RAW STORY has learned, amounts to a moral indictment of US treaty violations, as well as what some attendees and delegates describe as US hubris, willful disregard for international and domestic law, and contempt for the Committee itself.

“The US ratified only three human rights treaties out of seven major human rights treaties. In fact, the US and Somalia are the only two countries in the world that have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child – and Somalia does not have a functional government!” said Jamil Dakwar.

“Judging from the lack of domestic application of human rights law, and from the gap between human rights law and US law in many areas, we can certainly say that the US government had never taken its human rights treaty obligations seriously,” he added.

PDF of the UN report

What Congress Can Do About Higher Gas Prices

by Ron Paul (Republican from TEXAS)

First: We must reassess our foreign policy and announce some changes.

Second: We must end our obsession for a military confrontation with Iran.

Third: We must remember that prices of all things go up because of inflation.

The Global War on Terrorism is doomed to fail using the current methodology

Every Middle East war that was started with the intention of reducing, or even eradicating, terrorism resulted instead in an increase of terrorist activities.

A study of terrorist trends reveals that the number of terrorist attacks to occur after a conflict has consistently increased.

What's the real federal deficit?

The federal government keeps two sets of books.

The set the government promotes to the public has a healthier bottom line: a $318 billion deficit in 2005.

The set the government doesn't talk about is the audited financial statement produced by the government's accountants following standard accounting rules. It reports a more ominous financial picture: a $760 billion deficit for 2005. If Social Security and Medicare were included — as the board that sets accounting rules is considering — the federal deficit would have been $3.5 trillion.

Congress has written its own accounting rules — which would be illegal for a corporation to use because they ignore important costs such as the growing expense of retirement benefits for civil servants and military personnel.

Last year, the audited statement produced by the accountants said the government ran a deficit equal to $6,700 for every American household. The number given to the public put the deficit at $2,800 per household.

Outtheliars posts: "deficit"

Bill would ban chip implantation in employees

Ohio State Sen. Robert Schuler (R -- 7th District) recently introduced a bill that would prevent companies from implanting microchips in their employees without their consent.

The Employee Privacy Protection Bill comes as an answer to the company's use of radio frequency identification tags in two employees.

The Walnut Hills-based security company came under fire in February after it was discovered that Chief Executive Officer Sean Darks and another unnamed employee were injected in the forearm with a VeriChip.

As far as I can tell, this is the second state to introduce legislation preventing forced implantation. The other is

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Senator blocks Pentagon nominations

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., is blocking all civilian Pentagon nominations until the Defense Department makes it easier for members of the military serving overseas to vote.

Included among those blocked is David H. Laufman slated for the Inspector General post of the Department of Defense.

The DOD IG is responsible for investigation/oversight of DOD activities, generally. For instance, investigation into the military's use of torture, the whereabouts of the trillions missing from the DOD, and other indiscretions. Problematically, Laufman was one of the "cleaners" who as part of the House Task Force investigating the 1980 October Surprise, where American hostages in Iran were witheld until Reagan's swearing-in, ignored pertinent information that Republicans (George H.W. Bush was an involved participant) held illegal, back door meetings with the Iranians in Paris to secure Reagan's victory in the presidential election by keeping the Americans away from an early (read: Carter) release.

PDF of Laufman's written answers to advance questions provided him by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Simulated nuclear explosion planned as a way to prep for martial law

Hawaii plans to hold an exercise in mid-August simulating the explosion of a half-kiloton nuclear device at the entrance of Honolulu Harbor, a mock blast that theoretically would result in 10,000 casualties.

State Adjutant Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, head of the Hawai'i National Guard, said Hawai'i is one of the first to take on the nuclear device planning.

Several hundred state and military planners and first responders will take part Aug. 14 to 16 in "Exercise 'A Kele."

Officials said there is a terrorism response plan calling for a collective state and federal response using the powers of the president to declare a disaster.

A presidential disaster declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency and military to work with the state.

Bush doesn't know his head from his ass...oh, excuse me, a Shia from a Sunni

Ambassador claims shortly before invasion, Bush didn't know there were two sects of Islam

I find this amazingly hard to believe considering all the time the Bush family has spent in the graces of the Saudi royals. Bandar in particular. Anyway, story follows.

Former Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith is claiming President George W. Bush was unaware that there were two major sects of Islam just two months before the President ordered troops to invade Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

In his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, Galbraith, the son of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, claims that American leadership knew very little about the nature of Iraqi society and the problems it would face after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”

Bush and Prince Bandar (known affectionately in the Bush family as "Bandar Bush") discuss how "awesome" September 11th was. Not sure if that is what they are actually discussing, but I'm sure they did on the White House's Truman balcony on September 13, 2001.

"Bandar Bush" answering Larry King without much subtlety.

One giant blunder for mankind: how NASA lost moon pictures

The heart-stopping moments when Neil Armstrong took his first tentative steps onto another world are defining images of the 20th century: grainy, fuzzy, unforgettable.

But just 37 years after Apollo 11, it is feared the magnetic tapes that recorded the first moon walk - beamed to the world via three tracking stations, including Parkes's famous "Dish" - have gone missing at NASA's Goddard Space Centre in Maryland.

A desperate search has begun amid concerns the tapes will disintegrate to dust before they can be found.