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Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Answer To An Interesting Question.


Q: WHY does ReBelle Nation Exist...? What is the entire PURPOSE..?

A: We are news junkies who are archiving as much news as possible so that one day our children will find this and understand what happened here, to their empire. One day they will seek out answers.

It is all relevent.

ALL of it.

What you see here is our own personal collection of what we find. So much is being hidden.

Once we realized the MSM had COMPLETELY violated the trust of the American people we, myself and Rossi started searching world wide for alternate sources of information. We simply can not get enough and eventually had to find a place to 'store' everything we were finding.

That is why this site does not ask for nor raise money. It is actually a utilitarian function of our personal archiving of information we believe is not being properly recorded on the 'public record' . If we didn't have this blog we would need a crap load of printer ink.

It has always been considered part of an ongoing three dimentional conversation between the group of friends that seek us out for what we have found. They were our friends before we became 'bloggers'. As a matter of a fact the night I made this blog I was sitting in a chatroom with them, drunk on NightQuil. Sick as a dog. I have been known to say I made this blog because I got tired of people asking me a million times a day "What did you find today Christy..?" Now they can come see for themselves.

Many of them come here to see what we have found.

Our private conversations have always taken place elsewhere. We all struggle to understand.

That is why we never worried about slowing down for a real comments section to take hold. Your comments are welcome in this dialouge, however, that was not the point either.

Even our related private chatroom is actually more for Rossi and I,than you, since we speak privately everyday and I hate Yahoo messenger. It is just more convienant.

Rossi is one of the best online researchers I have ever seen. Simply amazing. Her birthday is coming up soon.

The celebration though can start right now. Happy Birthday Love!! Why have ONE day when you can take FOUR!!! Hell,make it ten..

This is also why we do not post much of our personal lives here ( pics of our kids for example).. we have 'other' blogs for that.

My own personal blog..? Umm.. it just seems creepy to archive MYSELF, in depth. I honestly tried. I bored me.

If Rossi ever releases me from my iron clad secrecy pledge, I'll proudly show you hers. It's AMAZING. A perfect blog. A wonderful, huge life.

Proudly, because I made that blog for her, haha. Now I make them for everyone that wants one. I figured since I'm here I may as well do something to break up the monotony.

Some of the things we research really sucks. Sometimes its simply amazing.

I just hope my kids will see it. I think they will. We do not do this for money. We do it for them. It is they that will have to sort all this out.

The TRUTH, when crushed into the earth, shall rise again.

I will teach mine to be expecting it.

This site will help.

People As Art

EXCUSE ME WHITE PEOPLE..... Why are we not The United States Of Columbia. ? And can SOMEONE please rewrite that whole Alamo/Crockett thing correctly?

China map lays claim to Americas

The map clearly shows the Americas and Africa

Photo:The Economist/PA
Click pic to enlarge

Link Here

A map due to be unveiled in Beijing and London next week may lend weight to a theory a Chinese admiral discovered America before Christopher Columbus.

The map, which shows North and South America, apparently states that it is a 1763 copy of another map made in 1418.

If true, it could imply Chinese mariners discovered and mapped America decades before Columbus' 1492 arrival.

The map, which is being dated to check it was made in 1763, faces a lot of scepticism from experts.

Chinese characters written beside the map say it was drawn by Mo Yi Tong and copied from a map made in the 16th year of the Emperor Yongle, or 1418.

It clearly shows Africa and Australia.

The British Isles, however, are not marked.

Controversial claim

The map was bought for about $500 from a Shanghai dealer in 2001 by a Chinese lawyer and collector, Liu Gang.

According to the Economist magazine, Mr Liu only became aware of the map's potential significance after he read a book by British author Gavin Menzies.

The book, 1421: The Year China discovered the World, made the controversial claim that a Chinese admiral and eunuch, Zheng He, sailed around the world and discovered America on the way.

Zheng He, a Muslim mariner and explorer, is widely thought to have sailed around South East Asia and India, but the claim he visited America is hotly disputed.

The map is now being tested to check the age of its paper and ink, with the results due to be known in February.


--For a clue on the Alamo/Crockett thing...

Try saying BEHEADED in Spanish.

Just because they are brown does not automatically mean they are lying.

They ARE still AMERICANS. And they keep records too. Whada 'ya know!!!

The 'other' Americans. As GHW Bush would say 'The little brown ones over there.... Wave." Ok, I made part of that up.

Did I mention the death march south with him in chains, hobbled like a wayward mule...??

Oh, I'm sorry. Was I supposed to be reverent..?

Hold on. Let me go look at my INDIAN face in the mirror.


I don't think so.--

In Case You Missed It... A State Senator Is Going For IMPEACHMENT. It has ALREADY began.

An Initiative of Pennsylvania State Senator Jim Ferlo

Link Here

Dear Friends,I am writing to you and hundreds of other Pittsburghers with a sense of urgency regarding the most important issue now facing our nation. We have a President whose Administration has brazenly violated the Presidency and the law of the land by openly engaging in domestic spying in flagrant violation of the rule of law. Our personal liberties have been abridged and threatened by the Executive Branch of our government. The legal freedoms we are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the U. S. Constitution apparently mean little to President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Impeachment proceedings are now the most important issue facing our nation. The debate and opinions expressed should not be limited to the views of journalists, legal scholars, intelligence officials and just a few politicians. Every American must confront this issue and speak out loudly and clearly. This is one opportunity to do so.

I ask that you please consider adding your name to a petition, calling for impeachment and a censure of the President and Vice-President, which will appear as a full-page ad in the Pittsburgh City Paper news weekly prior to the State of the Union Address. To sign the petition, please fill out this form or call 412-621-3006 or fax 412-621-0373.

You may also confirm your support for the Ad by emailing me at:senatorferlo@gmail.com .

Your name and expression of support is critical at this time in our nation's history. Please share the petition and this website with other individuals and organizations so that we may fully express the breadth of outrage and concern.PLEASE ACT NOW!


PA State Senator

--God be with you Senator.

We The People certainly are.--

I Believe We Have Been Introduced To The "Straw That Breaks The Camels Back". His Name Is... James Risen


Link Here

Pregnant Conjunctions

Reference to the "conjunction" of terrorism and WMD is transparent. By the time the Downing Street minutes hit the front page of the Sunday Times, it had long since been clear that, for whatever reason, Blair had bought into Bush's plan to invade Iraq; that the plan included conjuring up the specter of a "mushroom cloud" to deceive Congress and Parliament into approving war; and that this would be achieved by pretending that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and might give them to terrorists. That "conjunction" is clear.

But what about the "But?" The answer to that becomes clearer elsewhere in the minutes, which quote Foreign Secretary Jack Straw daring to warn that the case was "thin." According to the minutes, Straw said that:

It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.

It was presumably at this point that Dearlove countered, "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Sadly, as is now well known, in the summer and fall of 2002 that is precisely what was done, with the full cooperation of American and British intelligence and invaluable help from the likes of the archdeacon of con-men, Ahmed Chalabi, and his stenographer, Judith Miller of the New York Times.


''Don't do what I did,'' Ellsberg said. ''Don't wait until the bombs are falling in Iran. Don't wait until people are dying. "

Ellsberg urges whistle-blowing

Reveal secrets to save lives, he says

Link Here

PALM DESERT (AP) - Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers 35 years ago, said Friday that whistle-blowers shouldn't be afraid to reveal government secrets in an effort to save people's lives, even if it means going to jail.

''Don't do what I did,'' Ellsberg said. ''Don't wait until the bombs are falling in Iran. Don't wait until people are dying. Go to the press and reveal.''

Ellsberg told the American Bar Association's Forum on Communications Law that he waited nearly two years before handing over the top secret study of the Vietnam War to The New York Times in 1971.

''I wasted 22 months,'' he said, advising others planning to leak materials to ''take your risks and go to prison if it means saving lives.''

He compared the Pentagon Papers revelations to the recent New York Times disclosures that President Bush had authorized wiretapping the phone conversations of U.S. citizens without court authorization. He also noted that the Times has acknowledged holding that story for a year at the White House's request.

In an interview following his talk, Ellsberg said he believes that by withholding the story the Times played a role in Bush's re-election.

''We had a lawbreaking president here and they helped to re-elect him,'' he said.

He added, however, that it was fortuitous the story appeared before a congressional vote on extending the Patriot Act, adding the Times should be commended for that. The act was temporarily extended until next month while debate on it continues.

Ellsberg shared the stage at the gathering of some 250 First Amendment lawyers with other players in the Pentagon Papers drama, including former New York Times Executive Editor Max Frankel and former Times attorney James C. Goodale.

They gave vivid recollections of key decisions that shaped the historical case.

Frankel said Goodale immediately feared the government would seek an injunction claiming national security dangers, which it did.

Asked about his newspaper's concerns about exposing a secret government report, Frankel, then the Times Washington bureau chief, said he was more concerned about the consequences of not publishing.

''The frame of mind of people at my level was, 'It's a hot story and how do we get it out and damn the consequences,''' he said. ''The first instinct and the last instinct is to get it out.

''What you judge are what are the consequences of not publishing,'' he continued. ''What happens when your readers find out you had it and you didn't publish it?''

Goodale said he did some quick legal research, determined there was no law against leaking and that Ellsberg's actions did not fall under espionage statutes. While he at first urged caution, he said that his attitude changed after reading the Pentagon Papers.

''I got so darned angry at the documents and the history that I decided they had to be published,'' he said.

He added that there was so little legal precedent on the issue that, ''I felt rather certain that the government didn't know what it was doing.''

Another panel member, David Rudinstine, said he was confident that if the case went to court today The New York Times would still prevail.

Rudinstine, dean of the Cardozo School of Law in New York and author of a book on the Pentagon Papers case, also noted that the existence of the Internet has made it harder to keep information from being publicized once it is leaked.

''Once it's out there, you can't restrain it,'' he said.

Ellsberg said he initially believed he wouldn't be charged with a crime for leaking the Pentagon Papers.

''My lawyer, Leonard Boudin, came to me and said, 'You haven't broken any law.' This was a year into the case,'' Ellsberg recalled.

But when Ellsberg was charged with violating the nation's espionage laws he said Boudin warned him there was a 50-50 chance he'd be convicted.

''I said, 'How can it be 50-50 when I haven't broken the law?' And he said, 'Face it, Dan. Copying 7,000 pages of secret documents and showing them to the Times has a bad ring to it.' ''

Ellsberg's case was dismissed because of government misconduct after it was disclosed that a group working for the White House had broken into his psychiatrist's office in an attempt to gain information it could use to embarrass him.

All Of History, Is Starting To Collide. God Be With Our Beloved Nation.

Proof Bush Deceived America
Ray McGovern
January 13, 2006
Link Here

James Risen’s State of War: the Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, may hold bigger secrets than the disclosure that President George W. Bush authorized warrantless eavesdropping on Americans.

Risen’s book also confirms the most damning element of the British Cabinet Office memos popularly called the “Downing Street memos;” namely, that “the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy.” The result is that it is no longer credible to maintain that the failures in the Iraqi intelligence were the product of a broken intelligence community. The Bush administration deliberately fabricated the case against Iraq, lying to Congress and the American people along the way.

Risen, a senior reporter for The New York Times, reports that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had an urgent need in the summer of 2002 to get the equivalent of a “second opinion” regarding Bush’s plans for war in Iraq—insight independent of his own telephone conversations with the president and independent of what Blair was hearing from his own foreign office.

During his April 2002 visit to Crawford, Blair had gone out on a limb in pledging to support war on Iraq. The following months saw him getting nervous. So he chose what intelligence parlance calls a “back channel,” and sent the chief of British intelligence, Richard Dearlove, to Washington to sound out his counterpart: the garrulous CIA director George Tenet, who he knew to be very close to the president.

The highly revealing Downing Street memo contained the minutes of Dearlove's briefing of Blair and his top advisers upon his return from Washington on July 23. But what the memo left unanswered was the question of who gave Dearlove the confidence to say this to his prime minister:

Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy.

When the Sunday Times published the minutes of that key briefing on May 1, 2005, it seemed a safe bet that Dearlove’s source was Tenet, and I said so.

Now we have the confirmation. Risen writes that George Tenet was reluctant to receive Dearlove, but acquiesced when the British made clear that Blair considered the back-channel meeting urgent. Tenet then rose to the occasion—with a vengeance. Risen, quoting a former senior CIA official who helped host the British for a session that lasted most of Saturday, July 20, 2002, reports that Tenet and Dearlove had a 90-minute one-on-one conversation, during which Tenet was “very candid.”

Risen adds that by the time of this “intelligence summit,” senior CIA officials had concluded that “the quality of the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction didn’t really matter,” since war was inevitable. That perverse attitude certainly prevailed two months later, when the fabricated National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq and WMD was produced by Tenet’s National Intelligence Council in a successful attempt to deceive Congress into voting for war.

A former CIA official told Risen that after the conversation with Tenet, Richard Dearlove could certainly “figure out what was going on; plus, the MI6 station chief in Washington was in CIA headquarters all the time, with just about complete access to everything.” In any case, we now know that Blair got what he wanted out of the visit—the inside scoop from someone enjoying the complete trust of, and daily access to, President Bush.

The president now says that he does not want his political opposition to dwell on how he lied to Congress and the American people in order to invade a country and kill tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and more than 2,200 U. S. troops—not to mention the many thousands maimed for life. Perhaps he knows that Risen's book could do as much damage to his administration by calling renewed attention to the Downing Street memos as is likely to be done by the revelations of the secret NSA wiretapping.

One world leader recognizes the extreme danger of official lies told to a nation in the service of an aggressive war. He also happens to be a leader who survived the horrors of fascism in the last century. In a Jan. 1 address to the world, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the consequences of lies such as these, in what can only be a thinly veiled reference to the president of the United States:

…Sacred Scripture, in its very first book, Genesis, points to the lie told at the very beginning of history by the animal with a forked tongue, whom the Evangelist John calls ''the father of lies'' (Jn 8:44). Lying is also one of the sins spoken of in the final chapter of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, which bars liars from the heavenly Jerusalem: ''outside are... all who love falsehood'' (22:15). Lying is linked to the tragedy of sin and its perverse consequences, which have had, and continue to have, devastating effects on the lives of individuals and nations. We need but think of the events of the past century, when aberrant ideological and political systems wilfully twisted the truth and brought about the exploitation and murder of an appalling number of men and women, wiping out entire families and communities. After experiences like these, how can we fail to be seriously concerned about lies in our own time, lies which are the framework for menacing scenarios of death in many parts of the world.

The ethos of the Central Intelligence Agency in which my contemporaries and I worked was chiseled into the marble at the entrance of CIA headquarters: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Sadly, the agency has come a long way.

Al Qaeda claims US chopper shooting

Al Qaeda in Iraq says it was behind the downing of a US military helicopter near the northern city of Mosul, which killed two pilots yesterday.


Dems Ready Proposal on Code of Conduct

WASHINGTON -- Democrats intend to unveil a sweeping plan this week to tighten Congress' code of conduct, officials said Saturday night, including a ban on lobbyists' gifts to lawmakers and a crackdown on special interest provisions slipped into legislation in the final moments before passage.

Eager to claim the mantle of reform in the wake of an election-year corruption scandal, Democrats also will propose doubling the current one-year cooling off period that former lawmakers or senior aides must observe before they are allowed to lobby without restriction.

The ban on lobbyist gifts would include meals and tickets to sporting or entertainment events as well as travel, according to officials familiar with the proposals.

The party's top leaders in Congress, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, are scheduled to announce the Democratic proposals on Wednesday.

The officials who described their plans did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to pre-empt the formal announcement.


Link Here

The weekly update from Media Matters for America

Alito hearings double standard, part one

A frequent theme of media coverage of Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s nomination hearing has been that Democrats -- but not Republicans -- entered the hearing with closed minds, having already decided how they were going to vote.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer has been one of the most prominent proponents of this storyline. As Media Matters for America noted, Blitzer asked Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) during a January 9 interview: "It sounded, based on your opening statement, as if you have already made up your mind. You are going to oppose this nominee. Is that right?" Yet, during a subsequent interview, Blitzer chose not to ask Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) whether he had made up his mind, despite Frist's effusive praise of Alito.

Blitzer was back at it two days later, declaring: "Some Democrats are delivering an early verdict on Alito's performance." Blitzer did not mention the "early verdict" issued by Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham [R-SC], who used his opening statement to tell Alito: "It's possible you could talk me out of voting for you, but I doubt it. So I won't even try to challenge you along those

Blitzer wasn't the only one in the media to suggest that Democrats entered the hearings with a closed mind -- and he did at least ask one Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter [R-PA], whether he had made up his mind about the nominee before the hearing began. The Associated Press, for example, reported on January 11 that "Republicans complained that Democrats have already made up their minds about Alito." True, Republicans have made that complaint -- but the AP should have told readers that several Republicans have made up their minds, making the Republican complaint more than a little hypocritical.

In repeatedly suggesting that Democrats had made up their minds about Alito before the hearing began -- and less frequently suggesting it of Republicans -- news outlets reinforced a claim often made by Republicans: Democrats would oppose anybody Bush nominated. And by focusing on the Democrats, the media let Republicans off the hook. In fact, the Republicans' job is no more to grease the wheels for Bush's nominee than the Democrats' is to decide in advance to oppose.

And left unexamined amid all this talk of who made up their mind when is the question of when it would make sense for a senator to make up his or her mind. Which is more defensible, a senator quickly deciding to oppose Alito, or to support him? Since it is conservatives who are pushing the "closed-minded" talking point, it might be assumed that a quick decision to oppose Alito is less defensible than a quick decision to support him. Indeed, it seems many in the media have reached this conclusion. But is it rational? Is it correct?

Not if you consider that one single fact about a nominee could be enough to justify opposing him or her -- but one fact isn't enough to justify supporting a nominee. To take an extreme example, if a senator found out that a nominee had murdered someone, nobody would expect that senator to wait until finding out the nominee's view of Griswold v. Connecticut -- or that such a view would matter.

But if the senator knew the nominee's view of Griswold, we wouldn't expect him or her to think that sufficient information on which to reach a decision on their nomination: the senator, one hopes, would still want to know the nominee's views on other legal issues, the nominee's ethical suitability for office, and whether the nominee was a murderer.

Alito hearings double standard, part two

In the wake of the bungling of the Hurricane Katrina response by Michael D. Brown, President Bush's former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director, several news reports questioned how thorough Senate Democrats were during his nomination hearing when Brown was first nominated to work at FEMA in 2002.

CNN focused on the Brown hearing during the September 14, 2005, edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight. Dobbs introduced a segment by correspondent Ed Henry by saying, "It turns out many of the very people publicly blasting Brown's performance are the very same people who played a significant, critical role in his winning the job in the first place." Henry began his report:
HENRY: Democrats have acted surprised and outraged that the president's FEMA director had next to no experience.

But Democrats were running the Senate when Brown was easily confirmed as FEMA's deputy director in June 2002. The Democrat in charge of the confirmation hearing, Joe Lieberman [D-CT], declared he would support Brown because of his, quote, "extensive management experience."

Only four of 17 senators on the committee showed up for that hearing, which lasted only 42 minutes, with no tough questions about Brown's nine years running an Arabian horse association.

When pressed by CNN about whether he did a tough enough job scrutinizing Brown, Lieberman put the onus on the president.

Likewise, USA Today reported on September 28, 2005:

For all the criticism of Brown as being unqualified, the Senate had a shot at questioning his credentials in 2002, but it didn't. The confirmation hearing on Brown's nomination as FEMA's second-in-command lasted 42 minutes. Only four members attended. Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., then the confirmation committee chairman, promised support. The Senate confirmed Brown, who had been at the agency one year, by a voice vote. No hearing or vote was required when Brown was promoted in 2003 to run FEMA.

News organizations, in short, chided Democrats for not having conducted extensive hearings examining Brown's nomination to be deputy director of FEMA.

What does that have to do with Alito?

News organizations are now criticizing Democrats for being too aggressive in examining Alito's record -- and for virtually ignoring the fact that not only are Republicans not thoroughly examining Alito's background, they are actively trying to stop the public from finding out anything about him.

Fox News called Democrats "vicious"; CNN's Henry uncritically repeated Republican spin that Democrats are "just really hitting below the belt"; CBS News' Gloria Borger suggested that Democrats may have gone "a step too far" -- a statement echoed by NBC's Katie Couric.

CNN's Blitzer suggested that Democrats' efforts to examine documents relating to an organization Alito belonged to was "simply a fishing expedition designed to look for something that may or may not be there." His CNN colleague, Bob Franken, declared that the Democrats' "questioning could turn to the desperate side." Also on CNN, John King told viewers: "The Democrats are looking ... either for some way to trip him up on the way to nomination or for some -- perhaps a reason to justify a filibuster." And Henry - who, just a few months earlier, had chided Democrats for not being aggressive enough in conducting confirmation hearings -- said: "Democrats signaled they were heading into the attack mode yesterday in their opening statements."

To recap: News organizations chided Democrats for not spending much time examining the background of a nominee for deputy director of FEMA. Now, they accuse Democrats who ask a Supreme Court nominee -- a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land -- questions about his background and his legal opinions of "demonization," conducting a "fishing expedition," being in "attack mode," and being "vicious."

Meanwhile, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are actively trying to prevent an examination of Alito's qualifications and suitability for the court. They are not only failing to take their advice-and-consent role seriously, they are actually trying to stop the American public from learning about a nominee to the Supreme Court. They are working for the nominee and the Bush administration, not on behalf of their constituents or in accordance with their constitutional role.

Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX] specifically told Alito he thought it was not "fair" for other members of the Committee to ask Alito if there is a constitutional right to abortion: "I think in all fairness the question is not a fair one to ask you, whether the right to an abortion is written in this document." But that was positively hard-hitting in comparison to a "question" Cornyn asked Alito:

CORNYN: Well, I wonder if you're aware of one thing that he [Judge A. Leon Higginbotham] was quoted as having said. This is out of the Los Angeles Times, comments he made about you to Judge Timothy Lewis. Quoted in the Los Angeles Times, quote, "Sam Alito is my favorite judge to sit with on the court. He's a wonderful judge and a terrific human being. Sam Alito is my kind of conservative. He is intellectually honest. He doesn't have an agenda. He is not an ideologue."

Were you aware that Judge Higginbotham had said that about you?

And the following is an actual exchange between Sen. Jeff Sessions [R-AL] and Alito:
SESSIONS: Judge Alito, you know the salary that a federal judge makes; is that right?
ALITO: I do, all too well.

SESSIONS: Do you know what it would be on the Supreme Court?

ALITO: I actually don't know exactly, no.
SESSIONS: A little more, I think. Not much. Do you think you can live on that?
ALITO: I can. I've lived on a federal judge's salary up to this point.

Well, good thing we cleared that up.

But while reporters have focused much attention on the supposed impropriety of Democrats using confirmation hearings to actually exercise some congressional oversight, very little media attention has been paid to the Republicans' decision to make a mockery of the hearings.

Put it all together, and what do you have?

Democrats get criticized for lax oversight in conducting Brown's confirmation hearing.

Democrats get criticized for aggressive oversight in Alito's confirmation hearing.

Republicans make a mockery of the very notion of "congressional oversight" in their conduct of the Alito hearings -- and their conduct escapes media notice.

Chris Matthews: Presidential law-breaking just "part of the job"

An old sports cliché holds that it is far more difficult to defend a championship than to pursue one. That may be true, but 2005 Misinformer of the Year Chris Matthews showed this week that he won't give up his title without a fight.

On the January 12 edition of his MSNBC television show, Matthews declared that breaking the law might be part of the president's job:

MATTHEWS: We're under attack on 9-11. A couple of days after that, if I were president of the United States and somebody said we had the ability to check on all the conversations going on between here and Hamburg, Germany, where all the Al Qaeda people are, or somewhere in Saudi [Arabia], where they came from and their parents are, and we could mine some of that information by just looking for some key words like "World Trade Center" or "Pentagon," I'd do it.

NSA WHISTLEBLOWER RUSSELL TICE: Well, you'd be breaking the law.
MATTHEWS: Yeah. Well, maybe that's part of the job. We'll talk about it. We'll be right back with Russ Tice. You're watching Hardball on MSNBC.

Somehow, presidential law-breaking seems inconsistent with the constitutional requirement that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" -- though it does seem to be addressed directly by the provision stating that the "President ... shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Also this week, Matthews declared during a discussion of the Jack Abramoff scandal that "you have to be a real ideologue, a real partisan to believe that one party's more crooked than the other."

While it's safe to assume that there is little inherently corrupt about being either a Republican or a Democrat, and that the overwhelming majority of members of both parties are not corrupt, Matthews wasn't discussing party membership in the abstract, or among rank-and-file membership. He was discussing congressional leaders, in Washington, of the two parties. And in that context, it's abundantly clear on which side of the aisle crookedness -- or, to borrow a word National Review editor Rich Lowry used, "perfidy" -- predominates.

Media continues to spin Bush domestic spying operation

While most media figures haven't been quite as brazen in downplaying the Bush administration's apparently illegal domestic spying operation as Matthews has, misinformation about the program continues to run rampant.

Several news organizations, for example, reported Bush's January 11 assertion that he acted legally in authorizing the program -- without noting the program's legality is very much in dispute and, in fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service and a former National Security Agency general counsel have both questioned Bush's legal defense of the wiretapping.
Others, like Rush Limbaugh, assert that "Americans were not spied on without a warrant." But Limbaugh has no basis for that claim; the wiretapping program is controversial precisely because evidence suggests that Bush authorized the NSA to spy on people within the United States without obtaining warrants. It's worth noting that Bush has not said, "Americans were not spied on without a warrant."

Art For Boys

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches ** Fear Overshadows Eid Festival

*BAGHDAD, Jan 14 (IPS) - What should have been a joyous four-day Islamic
holiday for Eid al-Adha which Iraqis began to celebrate Jan. 10, has
only highlighted the suffering under U.S. occupation.*

The feast of sacrifice which begins on the tenth day of the Islamic
month of Dhul Hijja is celebrated as a commemoration of Prophet
Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son for God.

Eid festivities in Baghdad used to be an occasion for family reunions,
where everyone turned up in their best. But sky-rocketing fuel costs
have driven up the price of food, clothing and everything else, and Eid
could no longer be the same. The frightening lack of security did much
to dampen the holiday mood.

"I hope that everybody finds happiness in these days, even our enemies,"
Salma, a 15-year-old student told IPS. "Because these are days we wish
good to everybody, even though we are not free to go where we like due
to the security situation or the obstacles that are put up to secure our
city, as they say."

Salma, who did not want to give her last name added, "I wish for God to
forgive their sins against these peaceful people. Eid is the day we meet
our relatives, yet on this one we are missing so many of our friends and

U.S. Brig. Gen. Donald Alston estimates that at least 500 Iraqis have
been killed since the Dec. 15 elections. Over this period, at least 54
U.S. soldiers have also been killed.

"Nobody will allow us to leave our homes now," 17 year-old student Salam
told IPS after a roadside bomb exploded just blocks away from his home
in central Baghdad. "Everybody is afraid they might be kidnapped just
like our relative who had been kidnapped for two weeks."

Salam said his relative was released after 4,000 dollars ransom was
paid. Now, he said, no one will allow children to leave the house.

Salam's uncle who had traveled from Amman to join them in their Eid
celebration had his car robbed at gunpoint.

"They held guns to me and my mother's heads," the 50 year-old man told
IPS. "They then pushed both of us out of the car along with my daughter,
and took our car. We tried to catch them but they went away very fast.."

He added: "How can we love the country if we can't enjoy the pleasure of
celebrating Eid with our family?"

Those meant to provide security are themselves not safe. Two policemen
died and five were wounded when a car bomb struck their patrol in Baquba
on Friday. In Iskandariya, Iraqi police found the body of a blindfolded
policeman with his hands tied behind his back. He had been shot in the

"There is a big difference between here and Amman," his 14 year-old
daughter Maessa told IPS. "We are free to go wherever we want there but
here we should stay in our homes. Everybody here is afraid we will be
lost, even during Eid. What kind of freedom have the Americans brought
us? The freedom to steal, kill and humiliate everybody. And deny their
rights to live as humans?"

The Ties that Bind: Laundering Casino Cash for Neo-Con politicians

January 12, 2006 -- Abramoff scandal could end Netanyahu's and Cheney's plans for Likud takeover in Israel. Informed sources in Washington report that Vice President Dick Cheney and his advisers David Addington and John Hannah are working behind the scenes to ensure that former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu succeeds acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. With elections scheduled for March 28, Cheney and his neo-con cabal are hoping that Olmert's Kadima Party -- formed by Ariel Sharon and his more moderate ex-Likud allies -- is defeated in the elections.

According to law enforcement sources, investigators are looking at Abramoff's possible connections to the defunct Oasis Casino in Jericho in the West Bank. The casino, which began operations in 1998, was partly-owned by CAP, a company registered in Liechtenstein in which the Palestinian Authority under Yasir Arafat was a 23 percent shareholder. Another owner was a Vienna, Austria-based casino company, Casinos Austria International, in which Martin Schlaff, a close friend of Sharon, was a major investor. Schlaff's brother, James, is also under investigation. Last week, Israeli police seized computers, cell phones, documents, and a PDA from the home of Schlaff's parents in Israel while he was visiting from Austria. Police also investigated money transfers to Gilad Sharon, Ariel Sharon's son, from South African businessman Cyril Kern and other transfers via BAWAG Bank in Austria. Sharon's other son, Omri, was also financially involved in the Oasis casino.

It is noteworthy that the Israeli Justice Ministry has postponed any indictments until after the March 28 elections. The neo-con media is ignoring Netanyahu's own role as Israel's Finance Minister during the casino scandals, choosing to repaint the radical right-winger as championing "clean government."Scroll Down >>>>CONT

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Oh Boy Does Murtha Respond To Being Smeared

By Rep. John Murtha

Questions About My Record
Link Here

This afternoon, CNSNEWS.com published an article entitled "Murtha's War Hero Status Called Into Question" on its website. The article questions the validity of my purple hearts. This is my response:

"Questions about my record are clearly an attempt to distract attention from the real issue, which is that our brave men and women in uniform are dying and being injured every day in the middle of a civil war that can be resolved only by the Iraqis themselves."

"I volunteered for a year's duty in Vietnam. I was out in the field almost every single day. We took heavy casualties in my regiment the year that I was there. In my fitness reports, I was rated No. 1. My record is clear."

--The ONLY way to make georgies military service look good..

Is to make REAL soldiers records look bad.--

The UN Oil-for-Food Scandal and the Bush Family


The total sum in kickbacks from George W. Bush’s cousin-in-laws to Saddam’s bank accounts: $1,294,620.

George Galloway was correct when he called the Coleman Committee the “mother of all smoke screens.” Major political contributors and friends of Bush not only paid illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein but personally profited from sanctions-busting with Iraq. Those involved in the scheme included individuals who date back to the Reagan/Bush 41 “cluster bombs and biological and chemical weapons-for-oil” scandal of the 1980s. Galloway is correct when he stated that there is enough evidence on Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair and their neocon advisers to park them in prison cells in The Hague for an awfully long time. >>>cont

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Men Intoxicated with Power and Courtiers Who Serve Them

Individually, the new "dots" supplied by revelations about the Iraq war in James Risen's "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration" are not very surprising. Collectively, though, they provide valuable insight into the peculiar way in which President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair prepared to launch an unprovoked war - shades of Germany and Quisling Austria two generations ago.

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Kickback Mountain

Scandals are healthy for the body politic. Like fevers and other symptoms of physical illness, they alert us to the diseases that attack our democracy and its government, and the publicity that accompanies major scandals often leads to the removal of the most toxic agents from the system. Such has been the case with the scandal surrounding Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The revelations regarding his transformation from conservative partisan into ultimate Washington fixer have confirmed, for anyone who was still unsure, that Washington under Republican rule is defined by a culture of corruption. And it has removed from the councils of leadership the pre-eminent practitioner of that corruption, Congressman Tom DeLay, who, faced with Abramoff's decision to rat out his co-conspirators, gave up his quest to return as House majority leader.

So far, so good. But now we get to the tricky part of any political scandal: the question of whether the initial revelations and removals will be misinterpreted as cures for what ails a very sick system. As of now, the scandal has wrought no change in the way business is done in Washington. And there is every reason to believe that the House Republican Caucus will continue to be run by junior DeLays, who amid talk of how everyone must follow the rules will quickly get back to the business of bending those rules in the same direction as did their deposed master. Roy Blunt, the veteran DeLay lieutenant who is the frontrunner to replace his former boss, is not going to change a thing. Blunt's chief challenger, John Boehner, talks a better line about cleaning up the caucus, but Boehner's been swimming for years in the same pay-to-play pool as DeLay and Blunt. No one is standing for the GOP leadership as a genuine reformer echoing the honest talk of renegade conservatives like Jeff Flake, who told his fellow Republicans, "We don't just need new leaders, we need a course correction. This is deeper than just who stands at the head of the party. We have created a system here...that just breeds corruption." Flake's right about that, just as he is right to point out that unless Republicans enact "meaningful reforms" now, they may be in the minority after midterm elections. An AP/Ipsos poll, taken after Abramoff accepted a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with a Justice Department investigation of Congressional wrongdoing, found that Americans favored handing control of Congress to the Democrats by a 49-to-36 margin.

But this is not a time for Democrats to stand by and delight in the disarray of the GOP majority, as they did in 2001 when the Enron scandal was unfolding. The revelations about Abramoff's actions have muddied a lot of Republicans, from George W. Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert to pre-eminent GOP fixers like Grover Norquist and Christian right leader Ralph Reed, all the way down to rank-and-filers like Senator Conrad Burns and appropriately named Congressman John Doolittle. But they have also dirtied some Democrats, including Senate minority leader Harry Reid, who accepted more than $66,000 in campaign contributions from Abramoff's operations. Reid now says the Republican-led Congress is "the most corrupt in history." Perhaps, but that does not mean that, come November, the American people will necessarily decide that Washington's ills are best addressed by shuffling control of Congress. If Democrats want to be taken seriously as the party of reform, they should follow the lead of Senator Russ Feingold. Feingold's not playing any games with this scandal; though he received no money from Abramoff or the lobbyist's associates, he has gone so far as to return a small contribution from a political action committee linked to a powerful Washington law firm, Greenberg Traurig, for which Abramoff once worked.

Feingold understands that Democrats who would identify themselves as reformers have to start with clean hands. He also understands that reformers need more than symbolism; they need a program. While there are moves afoot to enact slightly tougher controls on the free meals, entertainment and travel that members of Congress now accept from lobbyists, Feingold and Massachusetts Democrat Marty Meehan are pushing for an appropriately aggressive agenda that would bar gifts from lobbyists to members of Congress and Hill staffers, would double--to two years--the time retiring lawmakers must wait before lobbying Congress and double to $100,000 the fine for failing to file lobbying reports.

Feingold and Meehan have been proposing these measures for almost a year. With the opening provided by the Abramoff scandal, they should go even further. For instance, Feingold and Meehan want lobbyists to file quarterly reports on their activities. But why shouldn't lobbyists file weekly, or daily, and why shouldn't Congress members and their staff be required to file daily reports on their meetings with lobbyists and the pending legislation discussed? And why bar gifts from lobbyists without barring the ultimate benefit they direct to politicians: huge campaign contributions, which Feingold correctly identifies as "legalized bribery"? Voters are not going to get very excited about a reform agenda that lacks meaningful campaign finance reforms, including voluntary public financing for federal candidates who agree to raise no private money and abide by spending limits.

Public financing is essential, as it signals a recognition that Congress has been corrupted not by Abramoff but by the steady flow of corporate campaign contributions that provide lobbyists with the muscle to influence members of both parties to such an extent that those who are supposed to be regulated are writing the rules--literally. That, and not the details of Abramoff's dirty dealing, is what Americans think of when they hear the term "culture of corruption." And only by promising to change that culture, with ethics and campaign finance reforms designed to dramatically reduce the ability of corporate interests to call the tune in Washington, will Democrats get a hearing from the great mass of Americans who believe that both parties are compromised. If Democrats are serious about becoming the party of reform, they cannot merely treat the symptoms that the latest scandal has exposed. The cure will be complete only when a corporate lobbyist like Jack Abramoff has no more influence in Washington than a constituent in Weirton or Waukesha or Walla Walla.

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Europe Complicit in CIA 'Dirty Work'

A Swiss investigator said on Friday European governments had been complicit in illegal CIA activities in the "war on terror," after reports that America ran secret prisons in Europe.


Sparks Fly over Flyover at MLK March

By Lisa Marie Gomez
San Antonio Express-News

Friday 13 January 2006

A bitter dispute over the planned military flyover at Monday's Martin Luther King march has split peace activists, longtime march supporters and East Side community members, and could result in a smaller turnout for what has been the nation's largest MLK march.

Some opponents of the flyover are calling for a boycott of the march, while others plan to attend with bandanas over their mouths and black and yellow ribbons around their arms in a show of protest.

Two fighter jets from the 99th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph AFB will zoom over Pittman-Sullivan Park at noon at the end of the nearly three-mile march from Martin Luther King Drive to Iowa Street.

While some say the flyover will provide a patriotic flair to the march during a time of war, others say it will represent support for the war - something King would not approve of.

The Rev. Herman Price, chairman of the city's MLK Commission, said the flyover was meant to honor King, and he is dismayed by the divisiveness it has caused.

"It all depends on how you look at it," Price said Thursday. "They say the planes represent war and bombs and death, but at the same time those planes can also represent our freedom and peace."

But City Councilwoman Patti Radle, who objected to the flyover in a letter to the editor in Wednesday's Express-News, doesn't see it that way.

"War is a different system working for peace. Martin Luther King was not part of that system," she said.

City Councilwoman Sheila McNeil, whose district includes the march route, contented the flyover is exactly what King would have wanted.

"I think that the military plays too significant of a role in our community for us to ignore them and not include them in this march," she said. "They are the reason why we have peace, and this is MLK's peace march."

The dispute has been brewing since November, when someone brought up the idea for a flyover at an MLK Commission meeting. Commissioners voted for a motion to add the flyover, though it's unclear whether the issue was placed on the agenda.

As word of the flyover spread throughout the community, some peace activists became upset and banded together through e-mails and meetings.

Many opponents of the flyover, including Radle, said they might skip the event.

A flier distributed at City Hall on Thursday urged people to boycott the march.

"San Antonio's MLK march, one of the largest in the nation, is absolutely the wrong event for a military flyover," P.C. McKinnon wrote in an e-mail to the Express-News. "Would it have been appropriate to have a flyover at Dr. King's funeral? I think not."

McKinnon said he won't take his family to the march.

Tommy Calvert Jr., an East Side activist, said when he tried to rescind the flyover decision at an MLK commission meeting Monday, Price would not allow it.

"I think I'm going to wear a gag bandana in my mouth since I was not allowed to call a vote on the floor in solidarity with the dozens of people who were there to overturn the vote," Calvert said. "If you're going to honor Dr. King, you have to honor the nonviolent point. It's fundamental."

He added that no one in the peace movement wants to keep the military from marching.

"But a fighter jet is not a soldier," he said. "Dr. King said that you lay down your arms at the table of brotherhood. A fighter jet is an arm."

Jane Tuck, who attended the meeting with Calvert, said she told the group the flyover would be antithetical to the beliefs of King and his work.

Others joined in, and the meeting soon turned sour.

"It got to be a very ugly meeting," said Tuck, a member of a pacifist organization.

A look at Judge Alito's decisions on law enforcement

The Yale Report on Alito examines thirteen categories of decisions rendered by Judge Samuel Alito throughout his career. One of those categories, "Responsible Law Enforcement," provides a summary of Alito's decisons regarding the powers of law enforcement agencies and the rights of the accused:

Doe v. Groody--Alito dissented from the majority in that he would have allowed the strip search of a ten-year-old girl and her mother, even though neither of them was named in the search warrant. Alito wrote that he was aware of "no legal principle that bars an officer from searching a child (in a proper manner) if a warrant has been issued and the warrant is not illegal on its face."

U.S. v. Stiver-- Alito interpreted the content of a search warrant that permitted the law enforcement agency to "seize all drug paraphanalia" to include allowing the law enforcement authority to answer the suspect's telephone and pretend to be him.

United States v. Lee--The FBI, without a warrant, hid a video camera in the room of a man whom they suspected would be discussing bribery payments with an informant. The camera ran twenty-four hours a day, yet Alito found no evidence of the suspect's Fourth Amendment privacy rights. Leveto v. Lapina--Alito ruled that the government agents had violated the rights of a wealthy couple who was accused of tax evasion. Alito declared the suspects had been detained without probable cause, had not been read their Miranda rights, and that the wife had been given a body pat-down when she was dressed in only a nightgown.

United States v. Zimmerman--The majority reversed a district court denial of a defendant's motion to suppress evidence found in his house. The reversal was made because the panel found that the information used to obtain the warrant was too old to construct probable cause. Judge Alito dissented, citing a police "good faith" exception to excuse what had happened.

These are only a few of the cases. There are numerous others described in the Yale report. In fact, in the more than fifty cases involving criminal procedure issues for which Judge Alito wrote opinions, he ruled in favor of the government 90% of the time.

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Iraq War Veteran Fights For Custody Of Her Son

Mother Says She Followed Military's Family Care Plan

Wayne Masden Report

January 14, 2006 -- Serious questions remain concerning Col. Westhusing's "suicide" in Iraq. Army's chief ethics expert was murdered, according to Carlyle Group insider.

According an informed source within The Carlyle Group business consortium, Col. Ted Westhusing, the Army's top military ethicist and professor at West Point, did not commit suicide in a Baghdad trailer in June 2005 as was widely reported in the mainstream media five months later. At the time of his death, Westhusing was investigating contract violations and human rights abuses by US Investigations Services (USIS), formerly a federal agency, the Office of Federal Investigations (OFI), which operated under the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

In 1996, OFI, which conducted background investigations for civil service personnel, was privatized. The 700 government employees of OFI became employee-owners as part of USIS. In January 2003, the New York investment firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe, described by a Carlyle insider as a virtual shadow operation for The Carlyle Group, bought USIS for $545 million. With 5000 current and former employees of USIS sharing $500 million, the deal made them wealthy with the stroke of a pen. However, upper management within USIS became much wealthier than the rank-and-file. Insiders report that the twelve top managers at USIS became multimillionaires as a result of their cashing in of their Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Many of these instant millionaires already had a close relationship with The Carlyle Group.

Carlyle had been a shareholder in USIS since 1999 and with the buy-out deal via the Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe deal, Carlyle became the major shareholder.

USIS continues to have a virtual exclusivity deal to perform background security investigations for OPM. The company bills itself as "one of the largest Intelligence and Security Services companies in North America.”

With the Iraq invasion, USIS obtained lucrative Pentagon private security contracts in Iraq. At a 2004 job fair in Falls Church, Virginia, USIS was advertising for "interrogators" and "protection specialists" for "overseas assignments." While he was in Iraq training Iraqi police and overseeing the USIS contract to train police as part of the Pentagon's Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, Westhusing received an anonymous letter that reported USIS's Private Services Division (PSD) was engaged in fraudulent activities in Iraq, including over-billing the government. In addition, the letter reported that USIS security personnel had murdered innocent Iraqis. After demanding answers from USIS, Westhusing reported the problems up the chain of command. After an "investigation," the Army found no evidence of wrongdoing by USIS.

That decision signed Col. Westhusing's death sentence. USIS and Carlyle have powerful allies in the administration, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Princeton roommate of Carlyle Chairman Emeritus and former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci. Former President George H. W. Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker, and former British Prime Minister John Major are Carlyle international advisers. George W. Bush was formerly employed by a Carlyle subsidiary and the Bin Laden business cartel was a one-time investor in the firm.

Westhusing, who, according to friends and colleagues, showed no signs of depression, left a suicide note the Army concluded was in his handwriting. However, Westhusing's family and friends have thrown cold water on the Army's investigation.
Col. Ted Westhusing: Chalk up another victim of the Bush crime family

WMR can report that based on information obtained from Carlyle insiders, Col. Westhusing's death was not caused by suicide. The fact that Westhusing was investigating one of the most politically and financially powerful firms in the world resulted in higher-ups wanting him out of the way. According to the Los Angeles Times, all of the witnesses who claimed Westhusing shot himself were USIS employees. In addition, a USIS manager interfered with the crime scene, including handling Westhusing's service revolver. The USIS manager was not tested for gunpowder residue on his hands.

Westhusing's investigation threatened to unearth a network of fraudsters looting the US Treasury that included the Bush family and some of their closest financial partners. After Westhusing's murder, USIS management sent a vaguely-worded memo to employees about how to respond to derogatory information in the media or rumors about USIS. Management's attention, described as "psychotic" in nature, was on USIS's upcoming IPO (initial public offering), according to a well-placed source.

USIS also owns Total Information Services of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a commercial personal data mining operation.

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"I Have A Dream.."

Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. Source: Martin Luther King, Jr: The Peaceful Warrior, Pocket Books, NY 1968

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights.

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. we must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Saudi king opens up $1 trillion of business to the West

The Times January 14, 2006

By Jenny Davey

SAUDI ARABIA has embarked on an unprecedented drive to open up to $1,400 billion (£795 billion) of its industries to foreign investment as it strives to scale back dependence on oil exports.

The Kingdom, which is committed to lowering investment barriers as it enters the World Trade Organisation, has launched a $624 billion investment programme and has accelerated an $800 billion privatisation plan.

Riyadh is already waging a charm offensive on Western businesses and is to encourage investment from 400 British companies in a roadshow this month. The Saudi Ambassador to the UK and a Saudi government minister are taking part in the campaign to persuade British companies to join in the programme.

The planned spending spree, which is mapped out for the desert state between now and 2020, has the backing of Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the King of Saudi Arabia, who acceded to the throne last August.


BREAKING...NEY To Quit House Chairmanship Position

Just now on CNN, no link yet.

Iran Sanctions Could Mean $100 Barrel Of Oil

US tries to stop arms sale to Venezuela

Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Saturday January 14, 2006
The Guardian

The US moved yesterday to stop Spain completing a $2bn (£1.13bn) arms sale to one of America's bitterest critics in the Americas, Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez. State department officials informed the Spanish government that it would not give the licences needed to allow the sale of a dozen military aircraft that carry US technology. Spain vowed to press ahead with the deal regardless.

The 10 C-295 transport planes and two CN-235 patrol planes, which Venezuela has insisted would not be armed and would be used for tackling drug smuggling, were part of a deal to supply ships and planes. "In a region in need of political stability, the Venezuelan government's actions and frequent statements contribute to regional instability," the US embassy in Madrid said in a statement. "This proposed sale ... has the potential to complicate the situation."

"Despite being democratically elected, the government of President Hugo Chávez has systematically undermined democratic institutions, pressured and harassed independent media and the political opposition, and grown progressively more autocratic and antidemocratic," it added.
Mr Chávez denounced the move as evidence of Washington's "horrific imperialism". He derided President George Bush as "Mr Danger" and said he would "crash up against the force of the truth."

The decision also looks set to sour relations with Washington that have never recovered from socialist prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's decision to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq in 2004.

The US says it is concerned that Basque separatist group Eta is active in Venezuela - though Spain's own intelligence services denied the group was there.

Spain's deputy prime minister, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, said Spain would press ahead with the contract. adding that substitute parts would be sourced.

How we (the Australian Govt) wrongly locked away 60 people

UP to 60 Australian residents, many suffering severe mental problems, may have been mistakenly incarcerated in detention centres by overzealous Immigration Department officials.

Andrew Metcalfe, the new secretary of the Immigration Department, has confirmed that the plight of mentally ill residents was being investigated by the Ombudsman as part of an inquiry into 221 cases of suspected maladministration.

In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Age, Mr Metcalfe predicted that his department would have to deal with more bad publicity before the reforms he was introducing took hold.

"We are likely to see more critical reports of what has happened," he said yesterday in reference to the Palmer and Comrie investigations into the deportation and incarceration of Australian citizens Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez.

Mr Metcalfe said the assumption-based culture prevalent in the compliance branch was to blame for the department's failure to identify and deal with people suffering from mental illness.

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Gag Reflex: Force-Feeding Tyranny and Torturing Children

Friday, 13 January 2006

This is an expanded version of the column that appeared in the Jan. 13 edition of the Moscow Times.

If George W. Bush shows no qualms about violating the 217-year-old U.S. Constitution or the 791-year-old Magna Carta, why should we be surprised to find that he is now violating the 2,400-year-old Hippocratic Oath?

And yet this week's revelation of how American doctors are force-feeding captives on hunger strike in Bush's concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay still has the power to shock and sicken – not just from the savage act itself, but also for the wider moral defeat it represents: another open embrace of raw brutality, another step in America's accelerating plunge into vicious despotism.

News of the hunger strike has been trickling out -- in obscure dribs and drabs – from the ever-incurious U.S. media for months. Indeed, Pentagon warlord Donald Rumsfeld even joked about prisoners "going on a diet." But the full scope of the strike – and the unethical methods being used to quash it – only emerged this week in The Observer, which obtained legal affidavits from the Army doctors involved in this "torture lite." The strike, which began last August with a handful of captives, has now spread to 81 prisoners trying to starve themselves to death.
Men driven to such a pitch of desperation make bad PR for their captors – especially a blustering pipsqueak who likes to pass himself off as a God-blessed beacon of goodness and freedom. So the strikers are being strapped down and force-fed by tubes shoved through their noses and crammed down into their stomachs. This daily process leaves them bleeding and retching, according to sworn testimony from the concentration camp's hospital chief, Captain John Edmondson.

The good doctor defended the practice as humane, noting that his medicos always grease the captives' nostrils with lubricant, and use only "soft and flexible" 3mm hoses – a benevolent amelioration of their previous technique: stuffing 4.8mm hard-rubber tubes down nose and gullet in order to pump gruel into a prisoner's belly more quickly. Yet despite the Christ-like tenderness of this treatment, Edmondson is now being sued in California, his native state, for unprofessional conduct. It seems that U.S. doctors are legally bound by the 1975 World Medical Association Tokyo Declaration, which explicitly forbids force-feeding under any circumstances.
Ah, but what are laws and treaties and oaths in our brave new world? There are of course no inherent legal protections or human rights in the Bushist philosophy of power. Like his brother in blood, Osama bin Laden, Bush recognizes no law beyond his own will. Anyone he arbitrarily designates an "enemy" – without any charges or evidence whatsoever – becomes sub-human, a piece of trash. And so it is with the Guantanamo captives. None of them have been charged with any crime, as the Observer notes; none of them have ever been shown any evidence justifying their imprisonment, or know how long they will be held. Many of the hunger strikers have been chained in this agonizing limbo for more than four years – a living death guaranteed to induce torment, madness and fatal despair.

Yet it has been thoroughly documented – sometimes by the Pentagon itself – that numerous "Terror War" prisoners are innocent men (and children) who have been falsely accused through incompetent intelligence work, or even sold into captivity by bounty hunters paid by eager Bushist agents, as the Washington Post reports. We know too – by the Regime's own admission – that any "high-value" terrorist targets are held in secret CIA prisons hidden around the globe, not at Guantanamo.

But last week Bush turned the screws even tighter on his Gitmo trash, signing a law that strips the captives of the ancient right of habeas corpus, which actually predates the Magna Carta. They are to have no access to the legal system, not even a simple declaration of why they are being held. What's more, last week Bush also asserted his right to ignore an anti-torture law he had just signed, the Boston Globe reports. Even as he reaped kudos for his apparent approval of the mild restraints on torture pushed by Senator John McCain, Bush simultaneously issued a "signing statement" – an unconstitutional "presidential interpretation" of law – declaring that he can set aside the law if he feels it conflicts with his "authority as Commander-in-Chief" at any point. (Cries of "Amen, brother!" were immediately heard in that quadrant of hell where Hitler and Stalin sit gnawing on the anuses of rats.)

But just how far does the "Commander's" torture authority reach? To the crushing of an innocent child's testicles. So says John Yoo, the former Bushist deputy assistant attorney general who helped craft the official White House "torture memos" that justified any torture short of permanent maiming or death – and even countenanced the latter if it was "unintentional." Yoo also helped devise the Regime's crank philosophy of the "unitary executive" – i.e., dictatorship for a "war president." In response to a question at a public debate last month, Yoo declared that Bush could override any law or treaty and order his goons to crush the testicles of a prisoner's child in the name of "national security," the Guardian reports.
This issue is not entirely theoretical, by the way. In 2003, the CIA grabbed the sons – age 7 and 9 – of accused terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan and flew them to the U.S. for "interrogation," in a bid to force their father to talk, as the Daily Telegraph and New York Times reported. In this case, the interrogators claimed to have handled the children with "kid gloves" – although the choice of satorial materials would hardly prevent a gloved hand from crushing someone's testicles. But the Bushists have firmly entrenched the practice of hostage-taking as an accepted tool of American policy, not only in this case but repeatedly and routinely in Iraq.

No doubt any spot of legal bother about force-feeding captives will be dismissed under the rubric of this unbridled "authority" – no doubt with the help of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, a long-time apologist for authoritarian rule by unrestrained presidents. After all, it was Alito himself who concocted the law-gutting device of the presidential "signing statement" when he was a Yoo-like legal factotum in the Reagan White House, the Washington Post reports. Who better than this sycophant to realize the dream Bush voiced just days after his appointment to the presidency in December 2000: "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier – just so long as I'm the dictator."

Crushed testicles. Hostages. Torture. Tyranny. Aggressive war. Bush better start developing a taste for rat rectums right away. He's going to need it.

Chris Floyd Link Here

In New Orleans, Bush Speaks With Optimism but Sees Little of Ruin

- The chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein has tendered his resignation in protest at pressure from the Iraqi government on himself and court

Saddam Judge Resigns In protest Over Pressure From Iraqi Govt....

By Mariam Karouny

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein has tendered his resignation in protest at pressure from the Iraqi government on himself and the court, a source close to the judge told Reuters on Saturday.

The revelation will fuel argument over the U.S.-backed government's ability to give the former president a fair trial in the middle of the bitter sectarian and ethnic conflict that has raged since Saddam's overthrow three years ago.

High Tribunal officials were trying to talk Kurdish judge Rizgar Amin out of his decision, the source said, adding that Amin was reluctant to stay because Shi'ite leaders had criticized him for being too lenient on Saddam in court.

"He tendered his resignation to the court a few days ago but the court rejected it. Now talks are under way to convince him to go back on his decision," the source said. "He's under a lot of pressure; the whole court is under political pressure." >>> cont

Link Here

Murtha Revs Up…

Medicaid, DISMANTLED. If you are NOT pissed off, you are NOT paying attention.

The States Step In As

Medicare Falters

Seniors Being Turned Away, Overcharged Under New Prescription Drug Program

By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post

Two weeks into the new Medicare prescription drug program, many of the nation's sickest and poorest elderly and disabled people are being turned away or overcharged at pharmacies, prompting more than a dozen states to declare health emergencies and pay for their life-saving medicines.

Computer glitches, overloaded telephone lines and poorly trained pharmacists are being blamed for mix-ups that have resulted in the worst of unintended consequences: As many as 6.4 million low-income seniors, who until Dec. 31 received their medications free, suddenly find themselves navigating an insurance maze of large deductibles, co-payments and outright denial of coverage.

Yesterday, Ohio and Wisconsin announced that they will cover the drug costs of low-income seniors who would otherwise go without, joining every state in New England as well as California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota and New Jersey.

"This new prescription drug plan was supposed to be a voluntary program to help people who didn't have coverage," said Jeanne Finberg, a lawyer for the National Senior Citizens Law Center. "All this is doing is harming the people who had coverage -- America's most vulnerable citizens."

--O.Man. This is intolerable.--
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