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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Voters Return to New Orleans for Mayoral Election

The People of New Orleans have you forgotten, will you ever forget. Today Hopefully you will be the DECIDER, Hopefully you will DECIDE, who is elected to run your city, if your votes are counted.

How many days later did he decide to even look at the damage to your city 5 days wasn't it Yes I am sure it was five days later while your people were dying, and they are still discovering bodies under the rubble 9 months later.



Oil Hits Record High, Gas Prices Soar Higher...

Well I tell you who is not suffering at the pump, and that is you and your corporate crime cronies, Only we the people suffer for your Foreign Policy and your Illegal war.

Associated Press JENNIFER LOVEN April 22, 2006 at 10:05 AM
READ MORE: George W. Bush

As oil prices hit a record, drivers worried about $3-a-gallon gas and politicians feared the impact on elections, President Bush on Friday acknowledged the pain but seemed resigned to being able to do little about it.

"I know the folks here are suffering at the gas pump," the president said while promoting his competitiveness initiative at the Silicon Valley headquarters of Internet networking company Cisco Systems Inc. "Rising gasoline prices is like taking a -- is like a tax, particularly on the working people and the small-business people."



America how about giving the World Community, some one who is EDUCATED for a start, a DIPLOMAT to deal with FOREIGN POLICY, A Man who has served his country with HONOUR AND DIGNITY, NOT CHICKENSHITS with the mentality of 5 year olds, who think of the Death of so many of Iraqi Innocents, American sons and daughters, and the Coalition Countries sons and daughters , as just COLLATORAL DAMAGE, please give us the free world, something to put our faith in, after the corruption of the past six years. PEACE

Russia Will Not Agree to Iran Sanctions Without Proof :

Russia says again it will not agree to sanctions against Iran until Moscow sees hard evidence that Tehran's nuclear program is not for peaceful purposes

Link Here

No Longer Sitting Pretty

Two years and nine months to go. How much more can George W. Bush take? More important, how much more can we?

Bush's approval rating is bottoming out. Retired generals have launched a media coup against his Secretary of Defense. Republican strategists have actually started to consider the unthinkable: Their party could lose control of the House. (That does not yet seem likely, but the consequences are frightening for GOPers: Congressional investigations and subpoenas.) Bush's best pals in the "coalition of the willing" are not faring well: Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was defeated in Italy, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair is once again on the ropes. The war in Iraq continues to get uglier--perhaps morphing into intractable sectarian conflict--and progress on the political front there seems elusive. And let's not forget, no WMDs have been found.

Worse (for Bush), it seems that every few days there's another news story--some related to the prosecution of accused liar Scooter Libby--that reminds the public that Bush's primary case for the now unpopular war was based on bunk and that he overstated that bunk. A coming-to-an-end (or a chickens-coming-home?) feeling has enveloped the Bush White House that no staff shuffle can puncture. (Will the American people cry, "Hooray! There's a new press secretary and Karl Rove has a different job title"?)

Bush's approval ratings in recent polls have dropped into the mid-30s--twenty to thirty points lower than Bill Clinton's ratings during his tawdry Monica scandal. Bush may say he doesn't care about the polls, but other Republicans do, fearing that Bush has become a pair of concrete shoes for Congressional candidates running in November--some of whom are running away from joint appearances with Bush. Accompanying Bush's decline is a drop in Republicans' overall numbers. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that registered voters favor a House Democratic candidate over a Republican by 55 to 40 percent--the biggest Democratic edge since the mid-1980s. Given the gerrymandering of House districts and the GOP's ability to raise a tremendous amount of money and to demagogue Democrats on national security issues, Republicans don't need to panic yet. But any party would rather be swimming with the current than staring at an incoming wave. The only good news for Bush, poll-wise, is that he's ahead of Dick Cheney.

The retired generals' revolt has raised questions about the Commander in Chief, such as: How come he's the last person in the room to know the war is going poorly and that the guy he picked to run it has screwed up royally? The White House had Bush speak out in defense of Rumsfeld, but did they really believe the public would take the word of a onetime MIA National Guardsman over that of the generals--especially when Bush's credibility, because of those missing weapons of mass destruction, is shot? Bush and his White House tacticians don't seem to get it: It doesn't matter what he says anymore. He's delivered a series of we're-making-progress speeches to rally support for the war, but there has been no discernible impact on the public's attitude. He's busted in the rhetoric department. Reality, for the moment, has trumped his spin.

There's still plenty of time for him to make things worse (see Iran). But the Rumsfeld imbroglio is a pointed reminder that this is a man stuck too much within himself and his world of distortion. And relying on false or disingenuous assertions is not working for him the way it once did. So finally--years too late--he is paying a price. Alas, so is the rest of the world.

Link Here

Larry C. Johnson | The Firing of Mary McCarthy

By Larry Johnson bio

The case against the CIA Intelligence Officer, Mary McCarthy, fired for her alleged role in leaking information about secret prisons to the Washington Post's Dana Priest smells a little fishy. Let me state at the outset that the officer in question, Mary McCarthy, is an old acquaintance. I hasten to add that I do not consider her a friend. She was my immediate boss in 1988-89 and was instrumental in my decision to leave the CIA and take a job at the State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism. Mary, in my experience, was a terrible manager. I left the CIA in 1989 despite having received two exceptional performance awards during my last eight months on the job because I could not stand working under her.

That said, I take no delight in the news that she was fired. In fact, there are some things about the case that puzzle me. For starters, Mary never worked on the Operations side of the house. In other words, she never worked a job where she would have had first hand operational knowledge about secret prisons. She worked the analytical side of the CIA and served with the National Intelligence Council. According to press reports, she subsequently worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) from 2001 thru 2005. That is a type of academic/policy wonk position and, again, would not put her in a position to know anything first hand about secret prisons.

Sometime within the last year she returned to CIA on a terminal assignment. I've heard through the grapevine that she was attending the seminar for officers who are retiring while working with the Inspector General (IG). Now things get interesting. She could find out about secret prisons if Intelligence Officers involved with that program had filed a complaint with the IG or if there was some incident that compelled senior CIA officials to determine an investigation was warranted. In other words, this program did not come to Mary's attention (if the allegations are true) because she worked on it as an ops officer. Instead, it appears an investigation of the practice had been proposed or was underway. That's another story reporters probably ought to be tracking down.

I am struck by the irony that Mary McCarthy may have been fired for blowing the whistle and ensuring that the truth about an abuse was told to the American people. There is something potentially honorable in that action; particularly when you consider that George Bush authorized Scooter Libby to leak misleading information for the purpose of deceiving the American people about the grounds for going to war in Iraq. While I'm neither a fan nor friend of Mary's, she may have done a service for her country. She was a lousy manager in my experience, but she is not a traitor and has not betrayed the identity of an undercover intelligence officer. That dirty work was done by the minions of George Bush and Dick Cheney.

It is important to keep that fact in the forefront as the judgment on Mary McCarthy's acts is rendered.

Link Here

Former Collegue Says Fired CIA Agent "Being Used As A Sacrificial Lamb

New York Times David S. Cloud April 22, 2006 at 10:48 PM

In 1998, when President Bill Clinton ordered military strikes against a suspected chemical weapons factory in Sudan, Mary O. McCarthy, a senior intelligence officer assigned to the White House, warned the president that the plan relied on inconclusive intelligence, two former government officials say.

Ms. McCarthy's reservations did not stop the attack on the factory, which was carried out in retaliation for Al Qaeda's bombing of two American embassies in East Africa. But they illustrated her willingness to challenge intelligence data and methods endorsed by her bosses at the Central Intelligence Agency .

On Thursday, the C.I.A. fired Ms. McCarthy, 61, accusing her of leaking information to reporters about overseas prisons operated by the agency in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks. But despite Ms. McCarthy's independent streak, some colleagues who worked with her at the White House and other offices during her intelligence career say they cannot imagine her as a leaker of classified information.


Monica closes on NT at 320km/h

CYCLONE Monica was upgraded to a Category 5 storm late yesterday as it approached the Northern Territory coast.With very destructive winds of up to 320km/h at its core, northwest Arnhem Land was beginning to feel Monica's fury.

The cyclone was in the Gulf of Carpentaria, 240km east of Nhulunbuy, and moving northwest at 7 km/h. Several isolated Aboriginal communities were in its path.

Gales up to 120 km/h were forecast between Groote Eylandt and Elcho Island overnight or early this morning, lifting to 160km/h gusts as the cyclone moved closer to the coast.
It was also feared that perilously high tides whipped up by Monica and heavy rain could cause extensive flooding.

The weather bureau said the huge storm had the potential to cause more destruction than Cyclone Larry in far north Queensland because it was larger and slower. >>cont

Link Here

Christie Have a look at this link http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/swf/runway.html.
This is where I live. They reckon it will be a city it is going to be so big, I sure as hell got to think about the noise'

Computer programmer Clinton Curtis testified at the December 13th, 2004 Congressional hearing in Columbus, Ohio naming Republican Congressman Tom Feen

Watch the Video Link thanks to dragongirl 724

Computer programmer Clinton Curtis testified at the December 13th, 2004 Congressional hearing in Columbus, Ohio naming Republican Congressman Tom Feeney as the person who hired him to prepare vote-rigging software.

The programmer claims that he designed and built a "vote rigging" software program at the behest of then Florida Congressman, now U.S. Congressman, Republican Tom Feeney of Florida's 24th Congressional District.

Clint Curtis, 46, claims that he built the software for Feeney in 2000 while working at a sofware design and engineering company in Oviedo, Florida (Feeney's home district).

Curtis, in his affidavit, says that as technical advisor and programmer at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) he was present at company meetings where Feeney was present "on at least a dozen occasions".

Feeney, who had run in 1994 as Jeb Bush's running-mate in his initial unsuccessful bid for Florida Governor, was serving as both corporate counsel and registered lobbyist for YEI during the period that Curtis worked at the company.

Feeney was also concurrently serving as a Florida state congressman while performing those services for YEI. Feeney would eventually become Speaker of the Florida House before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002. He is now a member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

At an October 2000 meeting with Feeney, according to the affidavit and BRAD BLOG interviews with Curtis over the past three days, Feeney inquired whether the company could build a "vote fraud software prototype".

At least three YEI employees are said to have been present at that meeting; Curtis, company owner, Mrs. Li Woan Yang, and her executive secretary, Mike Cohen. Two other YEI employees may have come in and out at different points of the meeting according to Curtis.

Curtis says that Feeney "was very specific in the design and specifications required for this program."

"He detailed, in his own words, that; (a) the program needed to be touch-screen capable (b) the user should be able to trigger the program without any additional equipment (c) the programming to accomplish this needed to stay hidden even if the source code was inspected."

Though there was no problem with the first two requirements, Curtis explained to the Congressman that it would be "virtually impossible to hide such code written to change the voting results if anyone is able to review the uncompiled source code"

Nonetheless, he was asked at the meeting by Mrs. Yang to build the prototype anyway.

Curtis, "a life-long Republican" at the time, claims that it was his initial belief that Feeney's interest was in trying to stop Democrats from using "such a program to steal an election". Curtis had assumed that Feeney, "wanted to be able to detect and prevent that if it occurred."

Upon delivery of the software design and documentation on CD to Mrs. Yang, Curtis again explained to her that it would be impossible to hide routines created to manipulate the vote if anybody would be able to inspect the precompiled source code.

Mrs. Yang then told him, "You don’t understand, in order to get the contract we have to hide the manipulation in the source code. This program is needed to control the vote in South Florida."

Mrs. Yang then took the CD containing the software from Curtis, reportedly for later delivery to Feeney.

In other meetings with Feeny prior to the 2000 elections, it became clear to Curtis that Feeney had plans to suppress the vote in strong Democratic precincts. In the affidavit, Curtis claims that in those meetings Feeney had "bragged that he had already implemented 'exclusion lists' to reduce the 'black vote'." Feeney also mentioned that "proper placement of police patrols could further reduce the black vote by as much as 25%."

Curtis says that he submitted his resignation to YEI effective December 2000, but stayed on until they had found someone to replace him in February of 2001. He eventually became employed by the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) after leaving YEI.

More than 1,000 protesters converged around the Hoover tower.

Protesters block Bush motorcade

Meeting moved after 1,000 plus surround Stanford U. tower;

3 students arrested.

Navy sailors trade in their sea legs for land combat skills so they can survive when

AP Photo/MARY ANN CHASTAINArmy senior drill sergeant Warren Brown, top, helps Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jade Permenter, of Columbus, Ohio, during a combat training Wednesday, April 19, 2006, at Fort Jackson Army base in Columbia, S.C. In a major turnabout, the U.S. Army is opening its largest training base to help Navy sailors trade in their sea legs for land combat skills so they can survive when sent to places such as Afghanistan or Iraq.

Army suicides hit highest level since '93

Their not alarmed, Hell why should they be, to them they are just collatoral damage, they are not their Sons and Daughters Husbands or Wives, A*******.


WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of U.S. Army soldiers who took their own lives increased last year to the highest total since 1993, despite a growing effort by the Army to detect and prevent suicides.

In 2005, a total of 83 soldiers committed suicide, compared with 67 in 2004, and 60 in 2003 - the year U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq. Four other deaths in 2005 are being investigated as possible suicides but have not yet been confirmed. The totals include active duty Army soldiers and deployed National Guard and Reserve troops.

"Although we are not alarmed by the slight increase, we do take suicide prevention very seriously," said Army spokesman Col. Joseph Curtin.

"We have increased the number of combat stress teams, increased suicide prevention and training, and we are working very aggressively to change the culture so that soldiers feel comfortable coming forward with their personal problems in a culture where historically admitting mental health issues was frowned upon," Curtin said.

Of the confirmed suicides last year, 25 were soldiers deployed to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars - which amounts to 40 percent of the 64 suicides by Army soldiers in Iraq since the conflict began in March 2003.

The suicide rate for the Army has fluctuated over the past 25 years, from a high of 15.8 per 100,000 in 1985 to a low of 9.1 per 100,000 in 2001. Last year it was nearly 13 per 100,000.

The Army recorded 90 suicides in 1993, with a suicide rate of 14.2 per 100,000.

The Army rate is higher than the civilian suicide rate for 2003, which was 10.8 per 100,000, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the Army number tracked closely with the rate for civilians aged 18-34, which was 12.19 per 100,000 in 2003.

When suicides among soldiers in Iraq spiked in the summer of 2003, the Army put together a mental health assessment team that met with troops. Investigators found common threads in the circumstances of the soldiers who committed suicide - including personal financial problems, failed personal relationships and legal problems.

Link Here

"The Age of the Permanent Campaign": Political Ad Spending Could Top $1 Billion In ‘06...

Political Wire April 21, 2006 at 11:03 PM

A new forecast by the Campaign Media Analysis Group finds that political ad spending is growing to record levels this year. "With nearly half of the gubernatorial races, 40% of the Senate races, dozens of U.S. House seats considered 'in-play', and a disproportionate number of Perfect Storm Markets, CMAG predicts significant levels of advertising throughout much of the country.

Our current prediction places year-end spending well over $1 billion dollars -- a historic milestone during a nonpresidential election."


Ted Koppel: News Networks "Have Almost Surrendered Even The Pretense Of Civic Responsibility"...

Editor & Publisher Joe Strupp April 21, 2006 at 11:57 PM

Ted Koppel, honored with the President's Award from the Overseas Press Club Thursday night, used his time as keynote speaker to urge that foreign reporting not only be maintained, but increased in the face of growing international tensions that go beyond just terrorism.

Honored for his more than 40 years in television news, much of it as an overseas reporter and anchor, Koppel told the crowd at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel that the focus on profits and ratings is too often overshadowing news, especially on the foreign beat.


Air Force One Graffiti Hoax Video Briefly Fools Air Force...

Associated Press TED BRIDIS April 22, 2006 at 08:51 AM
READ MORE: George W. Bush

A startling Internet video that shows someone spraying graffiti on President Bush's jet looked so authentic that the Air Force wasn't immediately certain whether the plane had been targeted.
It was all a hoax. No one actually sprayed the slogan "Still Free" on the cowling of Air Force One.


Govt. Losing Nearly Half a Cent Per Minted Penny...

New York Times FLOYD NORRIS April 22, 2006 at 10:01 AM

WHAT happens if a penny is worth more than 1 cent? That is an issue the United States Mint could soon face if the price of metals keeps rising. Already it costs the mint well more than a cent to make a penny.

This week the cost of the metals in a penny rose above 0.8 cents, more than twice the value of last fall. Because the government spends at least another six-tenths of a cent -- above and beyond the cost of the metal -- to make each penny, it will lose nearly half a cent on each new one it mints.


30 Percent Of Gitmo Cleared To Go But US Hasn't Arranged Travel Home...

I wonder what crimes have been committed, in the name of freedom, by the deviates that run this war?

Reuters Will Dunham April 21, 2006 at 10:58 PM

Nearly 30 percent of the Guantanamo detainees have been cleared to leave the prison but remain jailed because the U.S. government has been unable to arrange for their return to their home countries, the

The Pentagon refused to identify these 141 men despite having released on Wednesday its first comprehensive list of detainees held at the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


Saturday Morning Art

Death warrants – Saddam 148, Bush 152


Pages: 1

The difference between Saddam Hussein and George Bush is that both signed death warrants but only one of them is in the dock. Let us draw some parallels between these two men and reach some conclusions.

Saddam 148 Bush 152

Saddam Hussein, we now hear, signed the death warrants of 148 Shiite villagers who had risen up against him in Dujail in 1982, for which Saddam Hussein sits in the dock and could face the death penalty. George Bush, in his six-year tenure as Governor of Texas, signed 152 death warrants, a record for any governor of any state in the history of the USA. An example of what George Bush is capable of is provided by the signing of the death warrant of Terry Washington, a mentally retarded man of 33 with the brain of a seven-year-old. Pleas of clemency were denied after a hearing which lasted barely half an hour.

Saddam Hussein was derided because he invaded a sovereign nation – in the event, Kuwait, which was stealing Iraq’s oil by cross-drilling, and which had been warned against this practice. George Bush invaded a sovereign nation – Iraq, based on lies and deception.

George Bush accused Saddam Hussein of lying when he claimed he did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction. “This man stiffed the world,” he said. “We know where they are,” the Bush regime said. Rumsfeld said they were “In Baghdad and Tikrit and north, south, east and west of there”. Powell said, “They are being driven around the desert, in vehicles”.

But the one who was telling the truth was Saddam Hussein and the one who stiffed the world was George Bush. Where are the WMD?

Saddam Hussein was derided for his terrible prisons in which prisoners were tortured. Yet what happened in Abu Ghraib under the legions of George Bush defies logic, such was the shock and awe of the horrific scenes of human suffering and sexual depravity meted out on prisoners by American guards.

The US Armed Forces, of which George Bush is Commander-in-Chief, attacked civilian targets with military hardware, something Saddam Hussein never did. The USAF strafed civilian areas with missiles, dropped cluster bombs in residential complexes, committed acts of terrorism against women and children. Schools were destroyed, hospitals were strafed, hotels were targeted, infra-structures were razed so that billionaire contracts could be meted out for the reconstruction campaign.

Yet Saddam Hussein sits in the dock and George Bush sits in the White House. What a telling statement in the injustice of today’s world, what a perfect comment on the hypocrisy of the USA, a country which likes to brag about how egalitarian it is, about how concerned it is for equal human rights yet in practice perverts every course of justice and breaks every law in the book.


America’s Terror-war in Iraq

“The bottom line in combating the hopes and dreams of ordinary people is to resort to spreading terror through the application of extreme violence.” Max Fuller “In Iraq, the Salvador Option becomes Reality”

By Mike Whitney

04/21/06 "ICH" -- -- The failure to build support for the Iraq war has forced some dramatic changes in the Pentagon’s approach to psychological operations (Psy-ops). The fictional terror-mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been jettisoned for an entirely different narrative centered on the prospect of an Iraqi civil war. The media shifted away from the Zarqawi-myth on the day of the bombing of the Golden-domed mosque in Samarra, one of the great icons of Islam. From that point on, Zarqawi, the fabricated, fanatical psychopath has been replaced by Iraq’s “catalyzing event” which, like 9-11, is being used to conceal the vast devastation of the American occupation.

Lt. General John Vines announced last week to a group at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that Zarqawi has admitted strategic defeat in Iraq and was “on his way out of the country”. Vines added that Al Qaida “no longer views Iraq as fertile ground to establish a caliphate and as a place to conduct international terrorism”. It is, of course, completely absurd to think that Vines knows what a foreign terrorist may be thinking or where he might choose to move. The real purpose of Vine’s announcement was to cancel-out Zarqawi and pave the way for the Pentagon’s latest fable, civil war.

Earlier in the week the Washington Post had already exposed the Zarqawi ruse when Colonel Derek Harvey admitted that the military intentionally “enlarged Zarqawi’s caricature” to create the impression that the struggle against occupation was really a fight against terrorism. As Harvey said, “The long term threat is not Zarqawi or religious extremists, but former regime types and their friends”.

Zarqawi has been an effective tool for diverting attention from the occupation, but now he is being replaced by another calculated distraction; sectarian violence. The media now focuses all its attention on the free-wheeling militias which attack mosques and marketplaces alike; disposing of hundreds of young men every week after torturing them with drills and shooting them in the backs of the head.

Whether the storyline is build around elusive terrorists or civil war, the imperial puppeteers insist on controlling the narrative by spinning a tale that is faithfully reiterated in the press. Most of what we read is simply Pentagon summaries of the daily violence. The truth must be sought at an entirely different level where the realities of a savage occupation and its cynical motives are more apparent.

The Iraqi resistance has never abandoned their original strategy to attack American troops, Iraqi security forces, and oil pipelines. Why would they… their strategy is succeeding? The idea that they suddenly shifted directions from guerilla warfare to sectarian violence following the demolition of the Golden-domed mosque is pure myth intended to persuade the American public that the uptick in violence is not created by the occupation but by deep-seated ethnic and religious divisions.

That’s not what is happening.

What’s really taking place is that American armed and trained death squads are attacking Sunnis and Shiite alike to facilitate a break-up of Iraq which Pentagon planners and right wing ideologues have sought from the very beginning. The media, of course, is assisting in the disinformation campaign by dumping the Zarqawi fantasy and spinning an entirely new storyline centered on the destruction of the golden-domed mosque. Readers should be sensitive to the reiteration of this theme in nearly every article appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post; the headwaters of the American propaganda system.

There have been three occasions when allied troops have been directly connected to the bombing incidents which are invariably blamed either on foreign jihadis or Sunni resistance fighters. The first was the famous incident in Basra where two British paramilitaries were caught disguised as Arabs with a truck-full of explosives in their vehicle. Panicky British forces destroyed the Basra jail to release the two captured SAS soldiers clearly afraid that occupation forces would be directly connected to the savage bombings that are designed to promote sectarian warfare.

An interview on Syrian TV with Ziyad Al-Munajid on the night the special-forces soldiers were caught clarifies this point, Al-Munajid said,

“This incident gave answers to questions and suspicions that were lacking evidence about the participation of the occupation in some armed operations in Iraq. Many analysts and observers here had suspicions that the occupation was involved in some armed operations against civilians and places of worship and in the killing of scientists. But those were only suspicions that lacked proof. The proof came today through the arrest of the two British soldiers while they were planting explosives in one of the Basra streets. This proves, according to observers, that the occupation is not far from many operations that seek to sow sedition and maintain disorder, as this would give the occupation the justification to stay in Iraq for a longer period. "

More evidence of American complicity surfaced in a Boston Globe article which stated, “The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering some vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior US Government officials.” (“Cars Stolen in US used in Suicide Attacks”, Bryan Bender)

The implication is clear; the American intelligence services have been importing stolen cars from the US to use in alleged “suicide bombing” in Iraq.

Another incident that was unreported by any other news service except Reuters was this:

American arrested with weapons in Iraq

By Reuters 2006

03/15/06 BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An American described as a security contractor has been arrested by police in a northern Iraqi town with weapons in his car, said a provincial official.

Abdullah Jebara, the Deputy Governor of Salahaddin province, told Reuters the man was arrested in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on Monday.

The Joint Coordination Center between the U.S. and Iraqi military in Tikrit said the man it described as a security contractor working for a private company, possessed explosives which were found in his car. It said he was arrested on Tuesday.”

Remember, no Iraqi has ever been caught with explosives attempting to blow up civilians. The only people who have ever been arrested have been connected to the occupation.

More proof of American involvement in terrorism in Iraq surfaced after the bombing of the Golden-domed mosque. The AFP reported that the bombing “was the work of specialists” and the “placing of explosives must have taken at least 12 hours”. The report continues:

“Construction Minister Jassem Mohammed Jaafar said, “Holes were dug into the mausoleum’s four main pillars and packed with explosives. Then charges were connected together and linked to another charge placed just under the dome. The wires were then linked to a detonator which was triggered at a distance.”

Clearly the bombing was not carried out by rogue elements in the disparate Iraqi resistance but highly trained saboteurs executing a precision demolition to incite sectarian violence. The blast bears all the hallmarks of a covert Intelligence agency operation. Eyewitness accounts verify that American troops and Iraqi National Guard were active in the area throughout the night and that their cars could be heard running “the whole night until next morning”. People living around the mosque were told “to stay in your shop and don’t leave the area”.

At 6:30 AM the American troops left, just 10 minutes before the bombs went off.

There’s little doubt that the occupation is directly involved in the demolition of the mosque or that it is being used to craft a new narrative about sectarian violence.

So far, there has been no official investigation of the bombing at the mosque although every news service in the western media has used it as evidence of a burgeoning civil war.

The strategy for inciting civil war has never changed. If the United States really wanted to establish security in Iraq they would have increased the number of troops on the ground. Instead, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has convinced the White House that we are fighting “a new kind of war” that requires massive counterinsurgency operations papered over by daily infusions of propaganda. The script closely follows the directives of Henry Kissinger who summarized the current strategy in the 1980s (during the Iran –Iraq war) when he callously noted, “I hope they kill each other”. That continues to be the rationale that animates the current policy in Iraq to this day.

Author Max Fuller has made a major contribution in painstakingly documenting the proof of America’s involvement in the terror war that is being waged against the Iraqi people. In “Crying Wolf: Media disinformation and Deaths squads in Occupied Iraq” Fuller’s exposes the Interior Ministry as the hub of the clandestine death squad activity. Contrary to popular opinion, he shows that the ministry is not exclusively manned by theocratic Shiites. In fact, one of the more brutal counterinsurgency groups, the Sunni-led Special Police Commandos, is headed by a former officer in Saddam’s Baath Party. (The Commandos were founded by the son of the former Iraqi Chief of Staff Falah al-Naqib, who many believed to be a CIA asset.) The connections of Interior Ministry chieftains to their CIA managers are deep and compelling. As Fuller notes, "the Police Commandos were formed under the experienced tutelage and oversight of veteran US counterinsurgency fighters, and from the outset conducted joint-force operations with elite and highly secretive US special-forces units." (Reuters, National Review Online)

Fuller says: "A key figure in the development of the Special Police Commandos was James Steele, a former US Army special forces operative who cut his teeth in Vietnam before moving on to direct the US military mission in El Salvador at the height of that country’s civil war…. Another US contributor was the same Steven Casteel who as the most senior US advisor within the Interior Ministry brushed off serious and well-substantiated accusations of appalling human right violations as 'rumor and innuendo’….Casteel’s background is significant because this kind of intelligence-gathering support role and the production of death lists are characteristic of US involvement in counterinsurgency programs and constitute the underlying thread in what can appear to be random, disjointed killing sprees."

Needless, to say, the CIA does not move major assets like Steele and Casteel into a prickly situation like Iraq to shuffle papers by a water-cooler. These are the main gears in the machinery of the Iraqi death squads and they illustrate the real motive behind Washington’s campaign of terror. There is nothing either "random" or "disjointed" in the butchery produced by their labors.

Fuller adds: "The Police Commando headquarters has become the hub of a nationwide command, control, communications, computer and intelligence operations centre, courtesy of the US (Defend America)."

The administration has provided a "state of the art" communications network to "coordinate mass murder".

"DeBaathification" is a sham. Many of the top-ranking officials in the Ministry are Sunnis, including "deputy Minister for Intelligence Affairs (also leader of the Interior Ministry’s spy service) currently held by General Hussain Kamel". The intention of the Bush administration is not to promote one group over the other but to foment widespread sectarian violence that will precipitate the destruction of the state and easier control of its resources.

The much-maligned Interior Ministry does not operate independently from their benefactors in Washington nor does the newly discovered 146,000 Facility Protection Service. These militias are at least somewhat functioning under Washington’s auspices and, as the Tribunes’ Liz Sly and Cam Simpson say in “US Arming of Iraq Cops Skates close to Legal Line”, they are probably getting weaponry from the US to carry out their human rights violations.

That’s because As the Los Angeles Times notes, "The entire intelligence establishment is a creation of the Anglo-American secret services, which began building at least as early as the beginning of the occupation."

Max Fuller clarifies this point: "What is possible is that both sides of the apparent sectarian violence are run as part of a huge CIA-lead intelligence operation designed to split Iraq at the seams. I tentatively suggest that the intelligence apparatus at the Interior Ministry is contriving attacks on Sunnis and that British and US Special Forces in conjunction with the intelligence apparatus at the Iraqi Defense Ministry are fabricating insurgent bombings of Shias.”

Rumsfeld, who graduated from America’s counterinsurgency wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador, is demonstrating his theories of warfare for the 21st century; a massive covert terror-campaign aimed at Sunnis and Shias alike. It is a shocking departure from the widely-held belief that security is required for governance. Instead, fear and chaos are being used alternately to pacify the population and achieve the occupation’s overall objectives. As Fuller says in “In Iraq, the Salvador Option becomes Reality”, “the bottom line in combating the hopes and dreams of ordinary people is to resort to spreading terror through the application of extreme violence.” That is an apt description of America’s ongoing war in Iraq.

Link Here

The Salvador Option exposed.

Who's Blowing Up Iraq? Evidence shows that bombs are planted by occupation forces.

Save the Internet

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **

Congress is about to sell out the Internet by letting big phone and
cable companies set up toll booths along the information superhighway.

Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending tens of millions
in Washington to kill "network neutrality" -- a principle that keeps the
Internet open to all.

A bill moving quickly through Congress would let these companies become
Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow -- and
which won't load at all -- based on who pays them more. The rest of us
will be detoured to the "slow lane," clicking furiously and waiting for
our favorite sites to download.

Don't let Congress ruin the Internet:

Rep. Joe Barton <http://www.savetheinternet.com>

Congress Sells Out

After accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from
big telecom firms, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is sponsoring a bill to
hand over the Internet to these same companies. He's not alone.

Where Does Your Representative Stand? <http://www.savetheinternet.com/=map>

Act Now: Save the Internet

*Tell Congress to Save Net Neutrality Now*

Our elected representatives are trading favors for campaign donations
from phone and cable companies. They're being wooed by people like
AT&T's CEO, who says "the Internet can't be free" and wants to decide
what you do, where you go and what you watch online.

The best ideas never come from those with the deepest pockets. If the
phone and cable companies get their way, the free and open Internet
could soon be fenced in by large corporations. If Congress turns the
Internet over to giants like AT&T, everyone who uses the Internet will

* *Google users* -- Another search engine could pay AT&T to
guarantee that it opens faster than Google on your computer.

* *iPod listeners* -- Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering
you to a higher-priced music service that paid for the privilege.

* *Work-at-home parents* -- Connecting to your office could take
longer if you don't purchase your carrier's preferred
applications. Sending family photos and videos could slow to a crawl.

* *Retirees* -- Web pages you always use for online banking, access
to health care information, planning a trip or communicating with
friends and family could fall victim to Verizon's pay-for-speed

* *Bloggers* -- Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and
audio clips -- silencing citizen journalists and amplifying the
mainstream media.

* *Online activists* -- Political organizing could be slowed by the
handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to
pay a fee to join the "fast lane."

* *Small businesses* -- When AT&T favors their own services, you
won't be able to choose more affordable providers for online
video, teleconferencing, and Internet phone calls.

* *Innovators with the "next big idea"* -- Startups and
entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big
corporations that pay for a top spot on the Web.

We can't let Congress ruin the free and open Internet.

*Let Congress Know that You Want Net Neutrality Now*

We must act now or lose the Internet as we know it.


Robert W. McChesney
Free Press

P.S. Visit www.SavetheInternet.com <http://www.savetheinternet.com> to
contact your representative, learn more about this issue, and discuss
this campaign with other activists.

P.P.S. Tell your friends about this campaign

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for the Free
Press at:

Tell Your Senator to Support Vets' Health Care

Dear IAVA Supporter,

The Department of Defense has been considering plans to double or even triple health care fees for military retirees - which could mean an increase in cost of up to $1,000 annually for some vets. You can take action on this issue today. In less than 3 minutes you can support a new, bipartisan bill that will protect Veterans from dramatic increases in health care costs.

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) have introduced legislation to limits increases to TRICARE military health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-payments. Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and Mike DeWine (R-OH) are cosponsors of the bill.

Tell your Senator to support the Lautenberg-Hagel Military Retirees' Health Care Protection Act.

Just as American Troops have protected us, it's our responsibility to take care of them when their service ends. Click here to take action now.

Thanks again for your support.
Paul RieckhoffExecutive DirectorIAVAwww.iava.org

Arrivederci, Silvio: George W. Bush's Italian problem

NEW YORK The wafer-thin victory of Romano Prodi's center-left coalition over Silvio Berlusconi's center-right alliance is another setback for the Bush administration's foreign policy, and ushers in what is likely to be a complicated period in U.S.-Italian relations.

Berlusconi gave uncritical support to the Iraq war in the face of overwhelming opposition from his own electorate. This hurt him politically, even though Italy's stagnant economy and his own erratic and undignified performance in the election campaign were probably more important factors in his election defeat.

For most of the postwar years, a close association with an American president was a major plus for a European political leader, particularly an Italian one. Alas, those days are now past. President George W. Bush made a major miscalculation when he arranged for Berlusconi to address a joint session of Congress on the eve of the Italian election, and endorsed his re-election in a joint press conference. The Italians, and particularly the leaders of Prodi's victorious center-left coalition, will not soon forget this blatant interference in Italy's domestic affairs, television reports of which were run over and over on Berlusconi's three private television networks as well as on the three state television networks under his control.

Prodi and the leaders of the coalition of reformed Communists and moderate democrats that will form the main element in his government are not anti- American, even though most of them are anti-Bush. During the election campaign, they denounced the decision to invade Iraq as both a strategic mistake and a violation of international law, and made clear that they would withdraw Italy's 3,000 troops in Iraq as soon as possible.

As Prodi emphasized in his television debates with Berlusconi and in his election manifesto, a Prodi government will seek to maintain good relations with America, but will rebalance Italian foreign policy toward its other traditional pillars - the European Union and the Mediterranean (including the Middle East).

Unlike the Euroskeptic Berlusconi government, Prodi will try to promote a common European foreign policy and a credible European military capability. He will also seek more active European involvement in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In Iraq, he will limit Italy's role to helping build democracy and rebuild the economy.

These Italian attitudes deserve understanding from a Bush administration used to enthusiastic Italian support for every U.S. initiative. After all, Italy's center-left has demonstrated before that it can work with the United States for good causes. When he was prime minister in the late 1990s, Massimo d'Alema of the Democrats of the Left, although a former Communist youth leader, gave loyal support to the NATO military campaign to terminate Serbia's ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

Bush, who on Friday had yet to contact Prodi with his congratulations, will have to deal with a Prodi government that yearns for what its leaders call "the other America" - the America of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton, an America that knew how to combine military power with "soft power," attracting the support of foreign countries for American leadership by identifying U.S. interests with theirs. >>>cont

Link Here

Army to inquire into fatal accident

First digger killed on Iraq duty

AN Australian soldier serving in Baghdad has died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while cleaning his weapon, officials said today.

Now I darn well question that???????

Nuclear Showdown in Nevada

Nuclear Showdown in Nevada

The government will detonate a massive amount of conventional explosives to figure out the math on a tactical nuclear weapon--perhaps to be used on Iran, warns Air America host Randi Rhodes.

Suit filed to block explosion: 700-ton blast scheduled on June 2

WASHINGTON -- The Western Shoshone tribe and a group of Utah downwinders on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Las Vegas to prevent a 700-ton explosion scheduled June 2 at the Nevada Test Site.

Robert Hager, a Reno attorney who is representing the tribe and Utahns, said he is confident the court will issue a restraining order to block the explosion. "I believe, based on the violations of the National Environmental Policy Act alone, the court will be required to enjoin the Defense Department from following through with this scheduled blast," Hager said in a phone interview.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection last week halted the test until the federal Defense Threat Reduction Agency showed the blast would comply with air quality standards and that hazardous particles would be tracked.

Hager said he understood the Nevada agency has withdrawn its objection to the test. Calls to the agency on Thursday were not returned. "We continue to provide (the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection) the information requested so we can move forward (with the test)," Darwin Morgan, a test site spokesman, said Thursday. >>>cont

Link Here

March On Capitol Shows Growing Furor Over Boot Camp Death

POSTED: 3:39 pm EDT April 21, 2006

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Gov. Jeb Bush and state lawmakers face a rapidly growing furor over the death of a boy at a juvenile boot camp, with about 1,500 demonstrators accusing authorities Friday of a cover-up, and Florida's chief law enforcement officer resigning under fire.
The protesters, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, demanded answers in the death of Martin Lee Anderson, who was punched and kicked by guards in a videotaped altercation. A first autopsy found he died from complications of a blood disorder, but the protesters believe the encounter with guards killed him.

While Bush says the protests haven't affected how he's approached the case, the reverends and students think they've brought more change in the past three days than seen in the four months since the teen's death, including the resignation of Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Guy Tunnell.

Students say their protests also got Bush to meet with Anderson's parents, Sharpton and Jackson, and had Bush to look into missing e-mails in the case.

"They would not be talking if you were not marching," Sharpton told the group as they assembled on the Capitol steps after marching roughly four blocks, chanting "Justice delayed is justice denied" and "If you don't act, we will come back."

Link Here

Don't Impeach Bush. Commit Him

A Maniacal Messianic Prepares to Fulfill His Destiny

By Ted Rall

Until I read Seymour Hersh's expose in The New Yorker and subsequent follow-up coverage by other journalists about the Bush Administration's plans to start a war against Iran, I had dismissed talk of George W. Bush's messianism as so much Beltway chatter. True, he hears voices, even claiming that God and Jesus Christ talk to him. "I believe God wants me to run for president," he told a friend in Texas. Eschewing mainstream religion, he routinely parrots the apocalyptic ravings of fringe Christianist cults:

Link Here

That's our problem." --Howard Zinn, "Failure to Quit",


"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem."


Oil Touches Record Above $75 a Barrel- Likely to climb higher

Lawyer: Rice Leaked Defense Information

Associated Press Writer

April 21, 2006, 7:57 PM EDT

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaked national defense information to a pro-Israel lobbyist in the same manner that landed a lower-level Pentagon official a 12-year prison sentence, the lobbyist's lawyer said Friday.

Prosecutors disputed the claim.

The allegations against Rice came as a federal judge granted a defense request to issue subpoenas sought by the defense for Rice and three other government officials in the trial of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman. The two are former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who are charged with receiving and disclosing national defense information.

Defense lawyers are asking a judge to dismiss the charges because, among other things, they believe it seeks to criminalize the type of backchannel exchanges between government officials, lobbyists and the press that are part and parcel of how Washington works.

During Friday's hearing, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said he is considering dismissing the government's entire case because the law used to prosecute Rosen and Weissman may be unconstitutionally vague and broad and infringe on freedom of speech.

Rosen's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said the testimony of Rice and others is needed to show that some of the top officials in U.S. government approved of disclosing sensitive information to the defendants and that the leaks may have been authorized.

Link Here

US Ambassador to Azerbaijan recalled after prostitute scandal

Front page / World / Former USSR

The day before yesterday the USA's Ambassador in Baku Reno Harnish was conversing with Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Safar Abiev as if nothing had happened, discussing the strategic nature of the two countries' partnership and speculating over what President Ilkham Aliev's upcoming visit to America will achieve. But at the same time everyone already knew that Reno Harnish is a 'lame duck'.

It all started with information that had leaked to the press saying that the ambassador is apparently returning to his homeland. 'What's the reason for that?' the local media asked all at once, having easily calculated that the state department is recalling the senior diplomat before the stipulated end of his tenure. 'It was nothing other than his failure over the 'orange revolution' that betrayed poor Harnish,' the opposition press sympathetically supposed. After all the ambassador worked tirelessly for the victory of the Azerbaijani 'Orangeists': he took part in zonal confrontations with them in the provinces, forced through the registration of opposition leader Rasul Guliev, even though he is on the wanted list, and helped with meetings.

Actually the FBI was on the tail of the major mafia which trades in 'living' goods. FBI agents turned up in Harnish's lobby, embassy officials began to be called in to speak with them. It is known for certain that the enlistment and transfer of young people from sunny Azerbaijan to no less sunny Florida were organized on a truly American scale and brought large profits. There turned out to be a large demand for scorching brunettes in the USA, and so joint business between American diplomats and Baku prostitutes, which had lasted for many a year, flourished. Baku has been more successful with its integration into the Western sex industry, than in its NATO partnership.

At the very moment when rumours began to emerge about American agents being interested in the arrangement for issuing visas, another scandal broke out: a former translator for the American embassy Zarifa Dzhabieva was found murdered in her own home. Detectives, this time Azerbaijani ones, soon informed the press: an unknown killer had inflicted 50 knife wounds on the woman, none of the victim's valuables had been touched, but the criminal had clearly been looking for something. At the same time the translator's involvement in the secret business of American diplomats was investigated - she was mixed up in aiding and abetting the issuing of visas and forged documents to girls who had agreed to become prostitutes in the dollar-haven of America.

It cannot be said that the American embassy was particularly embarrassed. 'The uncovering of the crime linked to the sale of Azerbaijani girls to the USA, and the punishment of the guilty parties merely shows the high level of American-Azerbaijani relations,' Jonathan Henick, head of the Public Relations Centre for the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, commented on the situation, without a trace of embarrassment.

But anyway Reno Harnish is packing his bags. They are now guessing in Baku whether he will be leaving the Caspian shores forever or, like his predecessor, Stanley Escudero, having left the diplomatic field, he will reappear in Baku in a few months in a new position - as a senior consultant for one of the oil companies. This is possible, as the corruption scandal which Escudero was implicated in has still not died down, yet this does not stop him rolling around Baku in his jeep and being accepted at the very highest level.

Link Here

Dollar Falls As Sweden Cuts Holdings in Half

Dollar in rough water and needing support
By Steve Johnson
Published: April 21 2006 12:28 Last updated: April 21 2006 18:02

The US dollar suffered a terrible week, hitting a seven-month low against the euro, as the market wondered what would support the currency when monetary tightening had run its course.

The dollar was first hit by the release of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting, which said that “most members thought that the end of the tightening process was likely to be near”.

The minutes, alongside soft economic data, prompted a growing number of commentators to opine that the Fed would call it a day after one last quarter-point interest rate rise in May, which would take Fed funds to 5 per cent.

Slightly firmer than expected US consumer inflation data on Wednesday did threaten to throw the dollar a lifeline by suggesting that US rates may need to rise above 5 per cent after all.

However, strategists’ minds were already turning to what might drive the market once US yield support dissipates. According to most, the future looks ugly for the greenback with the huge US current account deficit seen casting its shadow once more.

The International Monetary Fund chipped in, helpfully pointing out that the dollar will need to depreciate “significantly” if global economic imbalances are to be resolved in an orderly fashion. Then on Friday it was the turn of politicians and central bankers to highlight another potential threat to the dollar – that of reserve diversification.

Sweden’s Riksbank said it had slashed the proportion of dollars in its reserves from 37 to 20 per cent, pushing its euro holdings up to 50 per cent.

Link Here

Protests Force Bush To Relocate Meeting -1,000 People in the Streets

Friday, April 21, 2006, last updated April 21, 2006 7:25 PM PT

Although President George Bush was scheduled to meet with fellows at the Hoover Institution on Friday, the presence of more than 1,000 protesters forced him to change his plans and meet with the advisors and faculty members at the residence of former Secretary of State and Hoover Fellow George Shultz on the outskirts of the Stanford campus.

More than 100 armed law enforcement and Secret Service officers lined the streets outside of Encina Commons, as students, parents, faculty members and local residents protested Bush's anticipated arrival on east campus. While the protest was peaceful, three Stanford students seniors Claire Wagenseil, Diogo Pereira and Caroline Martin were arrested as police pushed the crowd out of Serra Street.

The protest began at approximately 2 p.m. in White Plaza, where 200 students gathered to make signs and rally against the administration. As they began marching toward Hoover Tower, others joined their ranks and began to chant slogans. By the time the rally reached Hoover Tower at 2:30 p.m., approximately 400 protesters had lined the police barriers set around the building.

People continued to join the movement and the slogans for reform grew louder as time passed. This increased protest ultimately forced Bush to conduct the meeting at Shultz's house on Delores Street.

Link Here

Almost 70 lawmakers sign Bush impeachment letter

April 21, 2006

NEWFANE, Vt. --Almost 70 Vermont legislators have signed a letter urging Congress to begin an investigation of President Bush's domestic surveillance program and the reasons for the war in Iraq and, which would lead to impeachment proceedings, if warranted.

The letter written by Rep. Richard Marek, D-Newfane, was signed by 56 members of the House and 13 members of the Senate. No Republicans have signed the letter.

The letter will be sent to the members of Vermont's congressional delegation.

Marek's letter asks Congress to hold hearings to determine if censure or "setting in motion the constitutional process for possible removal from office" are necessary.

"Vermonters from across the state have expressed concerns with the president's actions and have displayed that through resolutions, meetings and petitions," Marek said.

"I thought it was important to put our voices down as supporting an investigation and possible censure and impeachment," he said.

Earlier this month the Democratic State Committee urged Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against the president, but decided against asking the Legislature to join that call.

Democratic committees in at least eight Vermont counties have adopted similar resolutions.

On Town Meeting Day a number of towns also passed similar resolutions. The town of Newfane, which Marek represents, was the first community to call for Bush's impeachment.

Link Here

Illinois Legislators Introduce Bill for Bush Impeachment

A Spy Speaks Out

(CBS) A CIA official who had a top role during the run-up to the Iraqi war charges the White House with ignoring intelligence that said there were no weapons of mass destruction or an active nuclear program in Iraq.

The former highest ranking CIA officer in Europe, Tyler Drumheller, also says that while the intelligence community did give the White House some bad intelligence, it also gave the White House good intelligence — which the administration chose to ignore.

Drumheller talks to 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley in his first television interview this Sunday, April 23 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Drumheller, who retired last year, says the White House ignored crucial information from a high and credible source. The source was Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, with whom U.S. spies had made a deal.

When CIA Director George Tenet delivered this news to the president, the vice president and other high ranking officials, they were excited — but not for long.

" told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction programs," says Drumheller. "The group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested. And we said 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.' "

Link Here

Defying Senators, Bush Renames 2 Social Security Public Trustees

Published: April 20, 2006

WASHINGTON, April 19 — President Bush reappointed the two public representatives on the board of trustees for Social Security and Medicare on Wednesday, defying Senate leaders of both parties.

The appointments clear the way for the Bush administration to issue its annual reports on the financial condition of the programs, which together account for more than one-third of all federal spending.

The White House announced that Mr. Bush had granted "recess appointments" to the public trustees, John L. Palmer, former dean of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and Thomas R. Saving, an economist at Texas A&M.

Under the Constitution, a president can "fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate." Mr. Palmer, a Democrat, and Mr. Saving, a Republican, were first appointed by President Bill Clinton in 2000. They can now serve until the end of the next session of the Senate, in late 2007.

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and its senior Democrat, Max Baucus of Montana, had urged Mr. Bush to find other candidates. They did not criticize Mr. Palmer or Mr. Saving, but said they wanted fresh perspectives on Social Security and Medicare.

Senators Grassley and Baucus said they were disappointed with Mr. Bush's action and still hoped that he would find other candidates.

"Now that the impasse is cleared," Mr. Grassley said, "I hope the White House will nominate new people so we can return to the goal of having fresh faces on the board."

Mr. Baucus said Mr. Bush had chosen to "ride roughshod" over the Senate.

"The White House has failed to consult in good faith with Congress on new nominees for these positions," Mr. Baucus said. "Public trustees for Social Security and Medicare have never served more than one term. It is vital to have new blood and fresh thinking for these programs so critical to all Americans."

Link Here

Official-looking TSA plane busted for hauling cocaine in Mexico.

***Wayne Madsen Report***

April 21, 2006 -- SPECIAL REPORT. Porter Goss's Cocaine Import Agency (CIA) has links to "Al Qaeda" and Saudis. Last year, WMR reported on links between the Saudi Royal Family and CIA proprietary airline companies involved in cocaine smuggling. On April 10, Mexican police, acting on a tip from INTERPOL, seized a DC-9 aircraft carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of $100 million. The U.S.-registered plane was en route from Caracas, Venezuela, which, according to French intelligence, is a known hub for cocaine shipments from Colombia to Saudi Arabia (see article below). The DC-9 (registration number N900SA) made an emergency landing at Ciudad del Carmen in Campeche state. A Falcon aircraft that arrived at Ciudad del Carmen from Toluca airport in Mexico state in advance of the arrival of the DC-9 was also seized. The cocaine was contained in 128 suitcases. The Mexican police later claimed the unidentified DC-9's pilot managed to escape. However, the police did arrest the co-pilot.

The DC-9 was painted in the familiar blue and white colors of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration with am official-looking seal with an American eagle bearing the inscription: "Sky Way Aircraft - Protection of America's Skies." The registered owner of the aircraft is: Royal Sons Inc., 15875 Fairchild Drive, Clearwater, Florida. On April 5, 2006, the plane flew from St. Petersburg/Clearwater International to Simon Bolivar International in Caracas. "Sky Ways" (see article below) has also been linked to the Saudi government and Bush family/CIA activities. Royal Sons, the name of which may indicate the involvement of Saudi princes, such as the cocaine-transporting Prince Nayif, cited below, also maintained an office at 224 East Airport Ave., Venice, Florida, at the same time lead hijacker Mohammad Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi were training at Huffman Aviation, which was located near by at 400 East Airport Avenue. Two years before 911, Venice was also the subject of intensive intelligence operations by Israeli intelligence agents masquerading as "art students." Not surprisingly in light of Saudi involvement with cocaine smuggling, the activities of the Israelis drew the particular attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which had Venice airport under surveillance and later prepared a lengthy report on the activities of the Israelis. Atta and al Shehhi also used Clearwater airport for practice take-off and landings during off-peak hours.

Official-looking TSA plane busted for hauling cocaine in Mexico. >>>cont
Link Here

Friday, April 21, 2006

The latest Bush crime family outrage: selling our nation's history to the highest bidder.

***Wayne Madsen Report***

April 20, 2006 -- In another assault by the Bush administration on freedom of information, the Smithsonian Institution has cut a deal with Showtime that requires all filmmakers and documentary producers to offer their work to Showtime's Smithsonian On Demand cable network. Producers, researchers, and filmmakers who refuse to deal with Showtime will find their access to Smithsonian film archives and subject matter experts sharply curtailed. More than 214 researchers, documentary filmmakers, and historians, including Michael Moore and Ken Burns, sent a petition to Smithsonian secretary Lawrence Small calling the move anti-competitive. Essentially, the Smithsonian has sold America's film archives and history to a corporation. The Smithsonian has refused to provide the group of independent filmmakers and historians with a copy of the Smithsonian's contract with Showtime. Showtime Networks Inc. is owned by CBS. The CBS board includes "neocon lite" insider, former Defense Secretary and Maine Republican Senator William S. Cohen. Showtime's Chairman and CEO is Matthew Blank. Showtime has a partnership deal with Paramount Pictures.
The latest Bush crime family outrage: selling our nation's history to the highest bidder. Smithsonian Institution signs secretive deal with Showtime for exclusive use of film archives. Meanwhile, the National Archives comes under CIA and Air Force control as the FBI intimidates Jack Anderson's family for access to his papers.

On April 18, the New York Times reported that the head of the National Archives Allan Weinstein announced that the Archives penned a secret agreement with the CIA in 2001 that permitted the agency to withdrawal from public access previously declassified documents. In 2002, the Archives concluded a similar agreement with the Air Force. Over 50,000 pages, some dating back to the 1950s, have been reclassified and withdrawn from public access. The Archives revelations came at the same time the FBI was revealed to have tried to intimidate the family of the late investigative journalist Jack Anderson to turn over his 200 boxes of files of papers to the FBI for censorship, reclassification, and potential theft. It is clear that the actions of the Smithsonian, National Archives, CIA, Air Force, and FBI are clear attempts to censor American history. Not until the Bush crime family is driven out of office and into prison will the threat to our very birthright as a nation loom large on the horizon.

Link Here

Hell Yeah

Ohhhhhhh Shit that would be absolutely the most gross thing I could think of, but please one of his fundamentalist crazies could oblige us maybe

FOCUS| William Fisher: Getting Closer to the Top?

In less than a month, we may finally get to hear from the army general who ordered commanders at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison to "get dogs." Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who ran the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and then was sent to Iraq to "Gitmo-ize" Abu Ghraib, has been ordered to testify in the trial of a military dog handler.

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Punishing Whistleblowers Quote
"There is just so much violence in the world, and someone has to stop it. Joe, he did his part."Gilbert Reffner, former neighbor of Spc. Joe Darby

Jason Vest has a profile in Government Executive about Torin Nelson, a military interrogator who was one of the whistleblowers alerting officials to the abuses at Abu Ghraib. And where is he now? Struggling to find contract work with the military. "They're saying there's no blacklisting policy, but there's clearly a blacklist." It sure seems that way. Here's what someone who does the right thing can look forward to these days:

All Nelson did was pass on what little he had heard and had been able to document. And as far as he was concerned, he'd already paid a fair price for doing the right thing. It was bad enough that word of his meeting with investigators leaked almost immediately at Abu Ghraib. The ostracization that followed was far from pleasant. Worse were the thinly veiled death threats that convinced even as formidable a man as Nelson that he had no choice but to flee not just Abu Ghraib, but Iraq.

Comparatively speaking, Nelson hasn't had the worst of it. Darby [the main whistleblower at Abu Ghraib] and his family, for example, had to be taken into protective custody after receiving death threats. After Provance [yet another whistleblower] spoke to the media about Abu Ghraib and the Fay investigation, his superiors ordered him to cease contact with the press, and subsequently suspended his security clearance, reassigned him and demoted him. Through the graces of Provance's home state senator, torture opponent Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Provance did address a congressional subcommittee on whistleblower protection in February.Nelson, by the way, is now running for congress in Utah.

Posted by Bradford Plumer on 04/20/06 at 11:58 AM

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Abu Ghraib Whistleblower in Protective Custody

E.J. Dionne Jr. | Rove's New Mission: Republican Survival

"Here's the real meaning of the White House shake-up and the redefinition of Karl Rove's role in the Bush presidency: the administration's one and only domestic priority in 2006 is hanging on to control of Congress," writes E.J. Dionne Jr.

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The Business of Tragedy

By Michael Hastings
Updated: 8:41 a.m. ET April 20, 2006

April 20, 2006 - The outlook for Iraq's economy is grim. Oil production has fallen to prewar levels. With foreign investors scared off by political instability and a climate of violence that produces about 70 attacks a day, private investment has stagnated. Local businesses keep shorter hours, while wealthy businessmen are regularly targeted for kidnapping. Electricity levels have dropped to the same as they were three years ago, frustrating ordinary Iraqis and hampering new development projects. The main reason for these troubles: insurgents and unchecked militias have done a good job of driving Iraq's economy to a near halt.

Well, almost. One sector of the economy has been quietly expanding since the March 2003 invasion—the so-called death industry. Cemeteries are growing from Najaf to Fallujah, while projects to expand morgues are underway in Baghdad. An entire class of low-wage workers now relies solely on the bloody violence to make their living—from men who shuttle bodies to cemeteries to caterers who provide coffee and tea for funerals. There's more money in the business than ever before, too, as costs for funerals have multiplied. The prices for coffins, plots, tombstones and other funeral services have skyrocketed.

In the past year of the war, there were 36 violent deaths a day, according to Iraq Body Count, an independent organization that tracks media reports of civilian casualties. In the first year there was an average of 20 per day. "The number of bodies that come to our house has increased a hundred fold after the fall of Baghdad," says Jamal Abdul Hassan, whose family has run a funeral preparation shop in Baghdad for three generations. "Before that, maybe out of each 1,000 cases, one would be a murdered person. Now the opposite applies."

Hassan saw a recent spike in business following the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya mosque in Samarra, which set off a wave of killings that has now claimed over 1,500 lives. In the single worst attack of the year, suicide bombers dressed in women’s robes struck a Shiite mosque in Baghdad on April 7, killing 79 people and wounding more than 160. "I am too exhausted to talk," the 48-year-old with a well-trimmed gray beard told a NEWSWEEK reporter recently. "I am exhausted, emotionally and psychologically."

It was a car bombing of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad that occurred a week after Samarra that pushed Hassan to the edge: 25 of the dead ended up at his shop for the Islamic cleansing ritual. Hassan and two partners worked through the night to prepare what was left of the bodies, simply washing them with water, bandaging the wounds, and stuffing nostrils, ears and mouths with cotton. "Many had either missing organs or were greatly deformed, not to mention the bodies that weren't found," he said bitterly. "I wonder what those families had done to deserve such a destiny?"

Perhaps the clearest evidence of this morbid business trend is at Baghdad's central morgue. According to the head of the morgue's statistics department, Dr. Qais Hassan, the number of dead passing through the morgue has been on the rise since 2002. There were about 2,000 bodies in 2002, 8,000 in 2004 and 10,015 in 2005. The majority of those cases, he says, are related to the war—assassinations, victims of shootouts and bombings. The morgue is so full at times, he says, they have to cool the bodies in shifts. "Taking out the bodies that are frozen, bringing the fresh ones instead, and so on," he explains.

Hassan is currently waiting for funds to expand the number of refrigeration rooms from 13 to 33. (Each room is supposed to hold 10 bodies; they cram 20-25 in them now.) At Yarmouk Hospital, one of Baghdad's largest, workers recently completed two new refrigeration rooms and construction is under way for a new morgue, a first for a city hospital.
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