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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Frank Rich: "It's The Recklessness At The Top Of Our Govt., Not The Press's Exposure Of It, That Has Truly Aided The Enemy"...

Editor & Publisher May 14, 2006 at 12:47 AM
READ MORE: New York Times

In his Sunday opinion column for The New York Times, Frank Rich, who returned from book leave just last week, shook off the cobwebs to launch a vigorous defense of newspapers -- and an attack on the real "traitors," including top officials.

Rich opens by recalling charges of treasons against the late New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal when he published the Pentagon Papers in 1971. "Today we know who the real traitors were: the officials who squandered American blood and treasure on an ill-considered war and then tried to cover up their lies and mistakes," Rich observes.


Oh. My. God.

Report: Suicidal troops sent into combat

U.S. military violated own rules on mentally ill troops, newspaper finds

Link Here

Get our kids the HELL OUT of that awful place. Bring them home NOW!

If you can see this US Soldier...

We are fighting for you even as you fight in our name.

Do whatever the hell you have to do to live to fight another day. Do not give up.


Strength To Our Soldiers. Power To The People!!!!

To all the women of all the world, Happy Mothers Day!!

only millions of suspicious ones...

Ohhhhhhh Hell I did it again indict me Fitz

Red Hot..!

This Dashing Handsome and very Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitrzgerald gave me one hell of a Mothers Day to celebrate. God my Kids and Grand Babies are going to lock my computor up for the day, Darn.

Go enjoy your romantic picnic you deserve it.
Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators

By Jason Leopoldt r u t h o u t Report

Dashingly handsome and very Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney, did not return a call for comment. Sources said Fitzgerald was in Washington, DC, Friday and met with Luskin for about 15 hours to go over the charges against Rove, which include perjury and lying to investigators about how and when Rove discovered that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA operative and whether he shared that information with reporters, sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said. [continued]

I have never been known as one who spills my candy in the lobby, but Friday was a very long day AND Karl is guilty as sin AND this grand jury hates evil doers as much as I do - so you can draw your own conclusions! Please allow me to go back to enjoying my romantic picnic. ;)

Have a great weekend.

posted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald


US files motion to intervene in AT&T secrets case
Sat May 13, 2006 10:18 AM ET

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. government filed a motion on Saturday to intervene and seek dismissal of a lawsuit by a civil liberties group against AT&T Inc. (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research) over a federal program to monitor U.S. communications.

The suit filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California accuses AT&T of unlawful collaboration with the National Security Agency in its surveillance program to intercept telephone and e-mail communications between the United States and people linked to al Qaeda and affiliated organizations.

The class-action suit was filed by San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of AT&T customers in January -- before reports this week that AT&T and two other phone companies were secretly helping the government compile a massive database of phone calls made in the United States.

In its motion seeking intervention, posted on the court's Web site, the government said the interests of the parties in the lawsuit "may well be in the disclosure of state secrets" in their effort to present their claims or defenses.

"Only the United States is in a position to protect against the disclosure of information over which it has asserted the state secrets privilege, and the United States is the only entity properly positioned to explain why continued litigation of the matter threatens the national security," said the motion, dated May 12.

A hearing is scheduled for June 21 before federal Judge Vaughn Walker.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said in court filings that a former AT&T technician had approached the group in January to share details of the company's role in the surveillance program.

The revelation in December that the NSA was eavesdropping inside the United States without warrants on international calls and e-mails of terrorism suspects sparked an uproar.

On Thursday, USA Today reported that the NSA, helped by AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and BellSouth Corp. (BLS.N: Quote, Profile, Research), was secretly collecting phone records of tens of millions of people, and using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity.

U.S. President George W. Bush denied the government was "mining and trolling through" the personal lives of Americans.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Link Here

"Giuliani Time" Documentary Takes Critical View Of "America's Mayor"...

Newsweek May 13, 2006 at 08:57 AM

The new documentary "Giuliani Time," takes its title from the scandal surrounding Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant who was sodomized with a broomstick by New York City police in 1997. Louima claimed one of the officers beating him had said, "It's Giuliani time." That claim turned out to be untrue, but the phrase lived on, crystallizing for many their misgivings about the mayor's "zero tolerance" policy on crimefighting.

The film, which opens Friday in New York, contains no information that will surprise New Yorkers. Rudolph Giuliani, who served two terms between 1994 to 2002, is taken to task on First Amendment issues for threatening to cut funding to the Brooklyn Museum of Art for an exhibit he considered offensive. Giuliani's welfare-reform policies are portrayed as doing more to hurt the poor than help them, forcing many welfare recipients out of school and into menial, dead-end jobs. He's also criticized for being insensitive on immigration and human-rights issues during his premayoral tenure in the Reagan administration's Justice Department. A spokeswoman for Giuliani told NEWSWEEK that "the mayor hasn't seen the movie, nor does he plan on it."


Fox News Blames Stocks Tumble On Spying Revelations: Wall Street Won’t Let “Some Puny, Little Traitor…Take Down Our Market…Our Country”…

The only ones taking down your Country is Faux News whoring the for the White House, I hope when the time comes, you are all held accountable, in Gods Kingdom. I would say the Georgie and his White House has committed every sin the Ten Commandments asks us to adhere to.

Think Progress May 13, 2006 at 09:16 AM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Fox News

RUDER: Many thought this was the week the Dow would hit an all-time high. We seemed well on our way and looked like Thursday could be the day. Well guess what? Then came the headlines in yesterday's papers. A leak about national security. The president saying the country is less safe and stocks sell off big-time. A coincidence? So when national security is compromised, how closesly does Wall Street watch? With us now, the Cost-of-Freedom All-Stars, we've got Brenda Butler, she starts it off on Saturdays, the host of Bulls and Bears, along with Stormin-Mike Norman and Charles Payne. So Mike, a coincidence? I don't think so....
RUDER: We saved the best for last. Brenda?

BUTLER: Let me tell you something. Wall Street knows, we are winning this war on terror. They are not afraid that we will win it. They are so secure in President Bush's winning it, they are not going to let some puny, little traitor, some leaker who went ahead and compromised our national security, take down this, take down our market, take down our country, there is no way.


By the way girls it's MOTHERS DAY here Down Under, the kids and Grandkids will be decending shortly. Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers out there.

Peace to you all Down Under

Iraqi Violence Continues: Son Of Top Iraqi Judge Murdered, Attacks Kill Us Soldier And Five Iraqis...

Wecome to Georgies War, Like Mother like Son, Pychopaths

Associated Press BUSHRA JUHI May 13, 2006 at 11:47 AM

Gunmen killed the son of Iraq's top judge along with two of his bodyguards and dumped their bodies in Baghdad, officials said Saturday. Other attacks outside the capital killed five Iraqis and a U.S. soldier, police said.

The violence came as Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki struggled to put together his Cabinet, the final step in establishing a new government of national unity. The pace has been slow because of rivalries among Iraq's political parties, most of which represent specific religious or ethnic groups.


NY Times: Cheney Urged NSA To Intercept Purely Domestic Calls And Emails Without Warrants After 9/11...

Fitz, Fitz where the hell are you, you going to indict this Guy for us, is he A+

New York Times SCOTT SHANE May 13, 2006 at 01:04 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Halliburton, Dick Cheney, 9/11

In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser argued that the National Security Agency should intercept purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages without warrants in the hunt for terrorists, according to two senior intelligence officials.

But N.S.A. lawyers, trained in the agency's strict rules against domestic spying and reluctant to approve any warrantless eavesdropping, insisted that it should be limited to communications into and out of the country, said the officials, who were granted anonymity to discuss the debate inside the Bush administration late in 2001.


Fox News Host: "Make More Babies." In "Twenty-Five Years...The Majority Of The Population Is Hispanic"...

He doesnt like me at all this Asshole, we had a few emails back a forward with me telling the wanker exactly what I think of him and Faux news, and he telling me to butt out of his Countries affairs. I actually think all of faux new dont have much time for me, DEADSHIT WANKERS

Media Matters May 13, 2006 at 02:55 PM

From the May 11 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:

GIBSON: Now, it's time for "My Word." Do your duty. Make more babies. That's a lesson drawn out of two interesting stories over the last couple of days.

First, a story yesterday that half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far, the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably, the ones Hispanics call "gabachos" -- white people -- are having fewer.

Read the whole story here.

Newsweek Poll: Americans Dissatisfied With Way Things Are Going In Country Grows In Two Months From 64% To 71%...

Darn it all, its is a bit late to be figuring that out, should have done that 4 yrs ago for the House and Senate, and 2 years ago for the White House, before they could have committed their rape of America Iraq, and maybe Iran

Newsweek David Jefferson May 13, 2006 at 02:55 PM
READ MORE: 2006, George W. Bush, 2008

The fracas over surveillance is yet another headache the Republicans didn't need heading into the November midterm elections. Seventy-one percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country, and more than half--52 percent--say they would like the Democrats to win enough seats to take over Congress this November (only 35 percent want the Republicans to keep control).

Looking ahead to the presidential race in 2008, more Americans said they would like to see a Democrat elected than a Republican--50 percent versus 31 percent. That, despite the fact that a majority of those polled don't believe a Democrat would do any better than Bush is doing on a variety of issues. Democrats also have a significant lead in being perceived as better able to bring about the changes the country needs: 53 percent to 30 percent.

Read the whole article here.

British Inventor Touts Car Capable of 8,000 Miles To The Gallon...

Now that would be interesting, to bad Carters Plans had not been kept in play, and these Bastards would not have been able to commit their corrupt war, and rob Countries blind of their resources.

AFP May 13, 2006 at 09:27 AM

A British inventor unveiled a car he claims is the world's most fuel efficient -- capable of doing 8,000 miles (12,875 km) to the gallon (4.5 litres).

Andy Green, 45, spent just 2,000 pounds (2,925 euros or 3,732 US dollars) over two years creating the three-wheeled contraption in his spare time.


Newsweek Poll: Americans Wary of NSA Spying

Looks like the previous ABC-Washington Post poll was a fluke, probably using a sample of too many W loyalists...

Newsweek Web Exclusive

By David Jefferson
Updated: 11:59 a.m. ET May 13, 2006

May 13, 2006 - Has the Bush administration gone too far in expanding the powers of the President to fight terrorism? Yes, say a majority of Americans, following this week’s revelation that the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone records of U.S. citizens since the September 11 terrorist attacks. According to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, 53 percent of Americans think the NSA’s surveillance program “goes too far in invading people’s privacy,” while 41 percent see it as a necessary tool to combat terrorism.

President Bush tried to reassure the public this week that its privacy is “fiercely protected,” and that “we’re not mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans.” Nonetheless, Americans think the White House has overstepped its bounds: 57 percent said that in light of the NSA data-mining news and other executive actions, the Bush-Cheney Administration has “gone too far in expanding presidential power.” That compares to 38 percent who think the Administration’s actions are appropriate.

There’s more bad news for the White House in the NEWSWEEK poll: President Bush’s approval rating has dropped to the lowest in his presidency. At 35 percent, his rating is one point below the 36 percent he received in Newsweek’s polls in March and November, 2005.

Read more

Mel Gibson Turn On Bush? Wow it must suck to be georgie.

He tells British film magazine Hotdog, "The fear-mongering we depict in the film reminds me of President Bush and his guys".

Link Here

--It is like watching the dead eat the dying. Fascinating stuff, really.--

Fashion Ally

This one is for Rachel.

Since we liked the idea so much Rachel, I will start off Rebs fashion review with these two gentelmen.

Now I dig the red, highlights ther skin beautifully, but I thought plaid was a joke the Scotts played only on themselves.

The spear is a great accessory and I think we should all buy one just to spruce up those days when you feel plain. You will definately stick out in a crowd and will be equipped to deal with any violent encounters with antelope that may come up, as it so often does these days. Talk about your wedge issue.

Speaking of wedges. Um. Is that a hat or did haystacks just spontainiously sprout from their foreheads ? The world may never know, but I must admit, the more I look, the more I like them.

Simply Freudian, if you ask me. Macho, yet, still funky and fun.

Two thumbs up is my review.

BTW, can we add fingers and toes or are we limited to opposable appendages only?



Baghdad street cleaners face lethal garbage

- LINK -

As if removing dead dogs, collecting trash and hosing down bloodstained pavements were not enough, street cleaners in Baghdad face a lethal enemy lurking underneath mounds of garbage -- bombs.

TVNL Comment: Lethal living made possible by Bush/PNAC!

Silent Protester at Rumsfeld Speech Comes Forward

Randy Aronov:

While one man questioned and berated Rumsfeld, another stood silently, in the audience, with his back turned to him. I am that man.

Link Here

Original Post: Poll: 2004 Election Was Stolen; according to viewers of all news ... except Fox ...

Who are these Fox viewers. OpEdNews gives you the details.

In the first poll of its kind, (using First choice of TV news network as a demographic variable)OpEdNews.com, in the second OpEdNews/Zogby People's poll has learned that except for viewers of right wing news show, Fox News, poll respondents believe that the 2004 presidential election was stolen.

Overall, the poll of Pennsylvania residents found that 39% said that the 2004 election was stolen. 54% said it was legitimate. Shortly after the election, the NY Times suggested that a few fringe extremists and bloggers were concerned about the theft of the election.

But let's look at the demographics on this question. Of the people who watch Fox news as their primary sourc of TV news, one half of one percent believe it was stolen and 99% believe it was legitimate. Among people who watched ANY other news source but FOX, more felt the election was stolen than legitimate. The numbers varied dramatically:

Here are the stats by network listed as first choice by respondent and whether the respondent thought the election was stolen or legitimate.

Network Stolen Legitimate
ABC 56% 32%
CBS 64% 31%
CNN 70% 24%
FOX .5% 99%
MSNBC 65% 24%
NBC 49% 43%
Other 56% 28%

The poll asked people which was their favorite source of TV newst. Among the 689 people in the poll who answered this question, 37% watched Fox news, more than any other single network. CNN came in second with 21% with MSNBC third, with 13%. It makes sense for these three 24/7 news networks to be the top in this category, since the others air news for limited parts of the day.

A lot more information on Fox News viewers :

After Fox news, the second choice for news network among Fox viewers is ABC 38% and MSNBC 37%, followed by CNN with 27%, NBC with 19% and CBS with 6%.

Link Here

Original Post: Iran and Turkey fire salvo over Iraq

Iran and Turkey fire salvo over Iraq
By Sami Moubayed

DAMASCUS - Both Turkey and Iran have been launching military raids into northern Iraq against a Kurdish paramilitary group that is based there, posing a dangerous new threat to stability both within Iraq and to the region.

The Iraq-based Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), labeled a terrorist group by the United States, Britain and the European Union, is a paramilitary party that preaches Kurdish nationalism, especially in Turkey, where it is demanding political rights and better living standards for the country's 12 million Kurds.

Turkey recently launched a massive military operation involving more than 250,000 troops against the PKK (nearly double the number of US troops in Iraq), concentrated in the mountains along Turkey's borders with Iran and Iraq. Extensive incursions into northern Iraq have been reported, aimed at cutting off the PKK's supply lines to Turkey from its camps in northern Iraq. Turkey also claims that "the PKK has recently increased its activities and obtained weapons from Iraq".

Link Here

Was Presidential Helicopter Deal a Pay Off for Italy's Pre-War Yellow-Cake Intel...

also see related story President's Helicopter Gets New Makeover To The Tune Of $6.1 Billion
Link Here

Was Presidential Helicopter Deal a Pay Off for Italy's Pre-War Yellow-Cake Intel Role?

New America Media, Special Investigative Report, Jeffrey Klein and Paolo Pontoniere, May 11, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO-Italian journalists and parliamentary investigators are hot on the trail of how pre-Iraq War Italian forged documents were delivered to the White House alleging that Saddam Hussein had obtained yellowcake uranium ore from Niger.

New links implicating Italian companies and individuals with then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi now raise the question of whether Berlusconi received a payback as part of the deal -- namely, a Pentagon contract to build the U.S. president's special fleet


What did the Berlusconi government get in return for providing the Bush administration with a convenient "smoking gun" to attack Iraq? At the end of the yellowcake trail may be the prestigious contract an Italian firm won to manufacture Marine One -- the fleet of presidential helicopters. In January 2005, the U.S. Navy awarded the contract for the construction of 23 new Marine One helicopters to AgustaWestland. Marketing itself as an Anglo-Italian firm, AgustaWestland is wholly owned by Finmeccanica, Italy's largest defense conglomerate.

The choice of AgustaWestland for Marine One surprised most industry observers because U.S.-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. was the heavy favorite. Sikorsky patented the first helicopter design in 1939 and built virtually every president's helicopter since 1957. President Eisenhower regularly flew in a Sikorsky to his Gettysburg farm, and the Sikorsky that Nixon boarded when he resigned from the White House is now being restored for permanent display at the Nixon Library.

Not only did Sikorsky lose, but it lost to a foreign firm that has no problems selling its helicopters to the United States' adversaries. (See side bar, "Choppers for Sale, to Everyone")

As with the yellowcake dossier, the key figure in the Marine One contract is Gianni Castellaneta. When the Pentagon put the Marine One contract out for bid, Castellaneta was deputy chair of Finmeccanica and national security advisor to Prime Minister Berlusconi. By the time the contract was awarded, Castellaneta had been appointed Italy's ambassador to the United States.

Castellaneta proudly told U.S. Italia Weekly, "At noon President Bush received me for the official delivery of credentials. He didn't make me wait a single day. An exceptional courtesy."

Castellaneta's role in obtaining the Marine One contract has never been examined before, but according to Affari Italiani, Italy's first online daily, and disarmo.org, an Italian arms control advocacy group, Castellaneta has long managed the most sensitive dossiers in U.S.-Italian bilateral relations. helicopters.

Link Here

Coalition Strikes Insurgents, Terrorists Target Tal Afar

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2006 – For the third straight day, coalition aircrews targeted an abandoned train station in Ramadi today, and a terrorist bomb detonated in a crowded area of Tal Afar last night, military officials in Iraq reported.

Coalition forces have delivered precision munitions at the same train station multiple times in the past three days in response to hostile insurgent activity, officials said, adding that the station is a known hub of insurgent activity. Officials did not provide a casualty or damage assessment. Last night's Tal Afar attack left at least 16 Iraqi civilians dead and 134 others injured, officials said.

Iraqi army units and Tal Afar emergency services immediately responded and began transporting victims to the local hospital. As the numbers of casualties mounted, the overflow was diverted to coalition medical facilities.

Task Force Band of Brothers soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, treated more than 60 of the victims.

Twenty-four of the 60 victims treated by U.S. medics were critically injured and were flown by coalition aircraft to the combat surgical hospitals in Mosul and Tikrit for more advanced care.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

Link Here

USS Enterprise en route to Middle East

USS Enterprise en route to Middle East

NORFOLK, Va. The aircraft carrier U-S-S Enterprise is on its way to the Middle East.

The six-ship Enterprise Strike Group left today from the Norfolk Naval Station. Its 75-hundred sailors prepared for a wide range of missions: providing security in the troubled waters and skies, fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa and supporting humanitarian efforts.

The carrier launched some of the first strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Sailors have closely followed events in Iraq and Iran but it's unclear about the exact missions the carrier group will undertake during the six-month deployment.

Link Here

The group's departure began a busy week for local waterways, with almost 11-thousand sailors scheduled to deploy or return home to Norfolk Naval Station and Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach.

US Considers Strikes on Iran from Azeri Territory

US Considers Strikes on Iran from Azeri Territory
11.05.2006 15:58 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ UN former nuclear weapons inspector Scott Ritter stated the US Administration considers strikes upon Iran from the territory of Azerbaijan. In his words, after acquainting oneself with military maps, it will be clear that deploying troops in Azerbaijan is extremely important for the US. «US command is extremely interested in deployment of forces in that South Caucasian country. Why is this important? It is Iran's neighbor. The shortest route to Teheran lies below the Caspian, where the army plans an offensive to,» the expert noted.

Ritter supposes that the military believe they can fulfill this mission and they plan implementing it. «They got political instructions from the commander-in-chief to fulfill that task. No one should doubt US President, his closest circles and the military prepare to war with Iran,» Scott Ritter emphasized, reports American Patriot.

Link Here

TIA (aka Topsail) unveiled: the real scope of the NSA's domestic spying program

USA Today just went to print with some alarming new details on the NSA's citizen surveillance activities, and I've put together a few more pieces that show more revelations will probably come out. What USA Today has uncovered is, it appears, one piece of a larger program that's identical to the infamous Total Information Awareness (TIA) program that Congress has tried to nix multiple times over the years and that lives on under the codename Topsail. The program was transferred from its original home at DARPA to the NSA, and has been active for years.

Communications metadata and The Big Database in the Sky
The new USA Today article reveals that the NSA has been collecting and archiving "transactional information" on all domestic calls made within the US—who called whom, when, from where, etc. The transactional data is acquired from cooperating telcos (AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth, but not Qwest) and fed it into a massive database so that the NSA can analyze the collected calling patterns for clues as to possible terrorist activity. Contrary to what the government has publicly claimed about the NSA's massive signals intelligence (SIGINT) vacuum, there is no requirement here that one end of the call be located in a foreign country; we're talking about calls between me and my grandmother, and in fact about every call I've ever made over the past few years.

The NSA's domestic program began soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the sources. Right around that time, they said, NSA representatives approached the nation's biggest telecommunications companies. The agency made an urgent pitch: National security is at risk, and we need your help to protect the country from attacks.

The agency told the companies that it wanted them to turn over their "call-detail records," a complete listing of the calling histories of their millions of customers. In addition, the NSA wanted the carriers to provide updates, which would enable the agency to keep tabs on the nation's calling habits.

The sources said the NSA made clear that it was willing to pay for the cooperation. AT&T, which at the time was headed by C. Michael Armstrong, agreed to help the NSA. So did BellSouth, headed by F. Duane Ackerman; SBC, headed by Ed Whitacre; and Verizon, headed by Ivan Seidenberg.

With that, the NSA's domestic program began in earnest.

Link Here

Canberra briefed in 2003 on Iraq oil carve-up plan

THE Howard Government was briefed in May 2003 by BHP Billiton and Tigris Petroleum on their plans to get US Vice-President Dick Cheney, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to support their bid to carve up Iraq's oilfields.

Documents released by the Cole inquiry reveal Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer was told by former British foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind at a meeting on May 19, 2003, in London that BHP and Tigris planned to inject up to $2 billion into Iraqi oilfields. Sir Malcolm, a BHP consultant and long-time associate of Tigris chief Norman Davidson Kelly, told Mr Downer that high-level political support would be required to ensure that the BHP/Tigris plan succeeded.

He told Mr Downer the Australian Government would need to press the BHP/Tigris claim in Washington and Baghdad. Sir Malcolm said he would meet Mr Cheney to discuss the proposal, adding that BHP and Tigris would also lobby Downing Street.

Mr Downer pledged to support the oil plan but stressed the political sensitivities raised by the proposal. A declassified Foreign Affairs document recording the conversation with Sir Malcolm shows Mr Downer said the suggestion of new oilfields could pose problems as it "played into sensitivities over the war". Mr Downer is also recorded as saying: "The Coalition has been clear there would not be blood for oil. The Australian Government said sincerely that it had not joined Coalition forces on the very basis of oil."

The document also reveals that Prime Minister John Howard's chief of staff, Arthur Sinodinos, was briefed by BHP and Tigris about their plans to to develop Iraqi oilfields shortly after former dictator Saddam Hussein was deposed by US-led forces in May 2003. Under the plan, a consortium of BHP, Shell and Tigris would develop the Halfayah oilfield, estimated to contain almost 5 billion barrels of oil. In a separate plan, BHP and Tigris proposed to develop the North Rumaila oilfield, investing $100 million to produce 90,000 barrels of oil a day

Link here

The World's Honeymoon with America appears to be over.

Nearly forty years ago,in the University where I went to school, one could sense the excitement of foreign students from India, Taiwan,Korea and other Asian countries who wanted not just to go to graduate schools of engineeering but to put down roots in this country because of the enormous opportunities they had after graduation.On a recent campus visit with my daughter who will be entering undergraduate school in the Chicago area,after conversations with many professors and their graduate students, I sensed a very different mood.Many students, while expressing great admiration and respect for their professors, did not believe their future lay in this country because places like India and China now offer many more opportunitie to start and a grow businesses in high technology areas like Computers, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and others.

Given the moral and scientific blindness of this Administration, the wages of their sins will come home in the next two decades or more.

Link Here

Global stock markets tumble as U.S. dollar shatters

Markets around the world plummeted Friday as the U.S. dollar went into freefall.

The American currency's near collapse followed several weeks of declines, which has seen the dollar lose 7% of its value against the euro, yen, and the pound,in the last month alone. The dollar index (weighted against a number of currencies) has fallen to its lowest level since October 1997. The relentless selling has failed to cause even the shallowest of corrections. Friday's announcement by the Trade Department of a 5.6% fall in the trade deficit for April, coming in at $62 billion against analysts expectations of $67 billion, failed to arrest the slide.

The dollar rout has unnerved global stock markets with major falls being recorded in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. London's FTSE 100 fell 129.90 or 2.15% to 5,912.10. The Paris-based CAC 40 at 5,150.45 was down 112.49 or 2.14%. The German DAX fell 138.44 or 2.29% to 5,916.28. The Amsterdam Exchanges index was off 11.79 or 2.53% at 455.09. In Sweden the OMX Stockholm 30 index fell 29.71 or 2.85% to 1,013.69. The Swiss SMI shed 143.17 or 1.77% to 7,954.10.

In Asia Japan's Nikkei 225 ended the day down 260.36 points or 1.54% at 16,601.78. The Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 238.93 or 1.39% at 16,901.85.

Middle East markets, where the week ends on Thursdays, suffered one of their worst weeks ever. Most Mideast currencies are pegged to the dollar which means the value of stock investments held by foreigners has been plummeting in line with the U.S. currency. The Dubai stock market shed 14.35% for the week, while the Abu Dhabi market gave up 10.49%. Market analysts fear the stock meltdown may feed into the propery sector which is overblown, particularly in Dubai. Emaar, the emirate's largest property developer lost 22.8%, more than a fifth of its value, over the week.


Massacre Tears Apart U.S.-Uzbek Alliance

Associated Press Writer

More World Video

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was perhaps the single worst atrocity committed by a government against demonstrators since China's Tiananmen Square in 1989. And amid the carnage from that violent day in Uzbekistan lay the remains of what had been a promising U.S. strategic partnership with that country.

Seldom has a country fallen faster from Washington's grace than Uzbekistan, the result largely of the attacks by heavily armed government forces against peaceful demonstrators in the eastern city of Andijan a year ago this weekend.

Hundreds are believed to have died. Since then, "Internal repression has gotten even worse with arrests, intimidation and violence against political opponents," according to Mark Schneider of the International Crisis Group, which monitors global hotspots.

It is time for sanctions against the regime, say leading Republican members of Congress. The European Union took that step last fall, but the Bush administration has yet to deal with the issue.

Bills introduced in the past week by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., both active on human rights, would ban U.S. travel by Uzbek leaders, freeze any U.S.-based assets they hold and bar munitions exports to the country.

"History will remember the Andijan massacre of May 2005, and history will remember Uzbekistan's human rights abuses. It must also recall that America stands firmly and actively against them," McCain told a gathering of rights and public policy groups Tuesday. >>>cont

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Increase seen in lung scarring diseases caused by the WTC destruction on 9/11

Sept. 11 increased lung scarring cases

NYT: Increase in diseases caused by exposure to dust, ash, smoke at WTC site.

Unclaimed Territory

Glenn Greenwald

Polling hysteria and the NSA program

Somehow, The Washington Post -- on the very same day most people learned about the new NSA data-collection program -- managed to conduct a poll which purports to show that "63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism." The reaction is painfully predictable. Bush followers are celebrating with glee, as though the issue is resolved in their favor and they won, while some Democrats are quivering with caution, urging that this issue be kept at arm's length lest they take a position that isn't instantaneously and overwhelmingly popular.

I didn't even read about this story until yesterday morning and it took awhile to process the various issues and implications. I'm still doing that. I have a hard time believing that less than 24 hours after this program was first revealed by USA Today, most Americans had informed themselves about what this program is, why it is a departure from past practices, and what are its potential dangers and excesses -- let alone had an opportunity to hear from those who are opposed to the program explain why they are opposed to it.

The whole point of having political leaders and pundits is to articulate a point of view and provide support for that view in order to persuade Americans of its rightness. That process changes public opinion on every issue, all of the time, often dramatically. None of that has occurred here. Let's have a few days of debate over whether Americans actually want the Government to maintain a permanent data base of every call they make and receive -- to their girlfriends and boyfriends, their doctors and lawyers, their psychiatrists and drug counselors. And let's have a debate about whether the law prohibits this program. And then let's see where public opinion is.

When the NSA eavesdropping scandal was first disclosed, Rasmussen Reports quickly issued a blatantly flawed poll purporting to show that "Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. " The question mentioned nothing about warrants. It mentioned nothing about FISA. And it specified that the Government would be eavesdropping only on conversations "between terrorism suspects."

The only surprise with the results was that only 64% favored that. One would think that virtually everyone would favor eavesdropping on terrorism suspects. Nonetheless, since that was the first poll, it was held up by Bush followers as proof that the NSA scandal was political suicide for Democrats; the media repeated this theme; and many Democrats were scared by it. >>>cont

Link Here

Unclaimed Territory

Glenn Greenwald

Polling hysteria and the NSA program

Somehow, The Washington Post -- on the very same day most people learned about the new NSA data-collection program -- managed to conduct a poll which purports to show that "63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism." The reaction is painfully predictable. Bush followers are celebrating with glee, as though the issue is resolved in their favor and they won, while some Democrats are quivering with caution, urging that this issue be kept at arm's length lest they take a position that isn't instantaneously and overwhelmingly popular.

I didn't even read about this story until yesterday morning and it took awhile to process the various issues and implications. I'm still doing that. I have a hard time believing that less than 24 hours after this program was first revealed by USA Today, most Americans had informed themselves about what this program is, why it is a departure from past practices, and what are its potential dangers and excesses -- let alone had an opportunity to hear from those who are opposed to the program explain why they are opposed to it.

The whole point of having political leaders and pundits is to articulate a point of view and provide support for that view in order to persuade Americans of its rightness. That process changes public opinion on every issue, all of the time, often dramatically. None of that has occurred here. Let's have a few days of debate over whether Americans actually want the Government to maintain a permanent data base of every call they make and receive -- to their girlfriends and boyfriends, their doctors and lawyers, their psychiatrists and drug counselors. And let's have a debate about whether the law prohibits this program. And then let's see where public opinion is.

When the NSA eavesdropping scandal was first disclosed, Rasmussen Reports quickly issued a blatantly flawed poll purporting to show that "Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. " The question mentioned nothing about warrants. It mentioned nothing about FISA. And it specified that the Government would be eavesdropping only on conversations "between terrorism suspects."

The only surprise with the results was that only 64% favored that. One would think that virtually everyone would favor eavesdropping on terrorism suspects. Nonetheless, since that was the first poll, it was held up by Bush followers as proof that the NSA scandal was political suicide for Democrats; the media repeated this theme; and many Democrats were scared by it. >>>cont

Link Here

Official "A" - Feeling The Heat...

Did I forget to say "Happy Friday" today? ;)

Rove Informs White House He Will Be Frogmarched

"Within the last week, Karl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration officials, that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him, according to sources.

Details of Rove's discussions with the president and Bolten have spread through the corridors of the White House where low-level staffers and senior officials were trying to determine how the indictment would impact an administration that has been mired in a number of high-profile political scandals for nearly a year, said a half-dozen White House aides and two senior officials who work at the Republican National Committee.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources confirmed Rove's indictment is imminent. These individuals requested anonymity saying they were not authorized to speak publicly about Rove's situation."

"Late Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning, several White House officials were bracing for the possibility that Fitzgerald would call a news conference and announce a Rove indictment today following the prosecutor's meeting with the grand jury this morning. However, sources close to the probe said that is unlikely to happen, despite the fact that Fitzgerald has already presented the grand jury with a list of charges against Rove. If an indictment is returned by the grand jury, it will be filed under seal."

Building a case against Official "A" has been complex and lengthy, ONLY because it does not end there. Let's just say that there is an Official "A-" and Official "A+," and that is all I have to say about that! ;)

posted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Office of Special Counsel

Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Friday, May 12, 2006

Verizon Sued for Giving NSA Phone Records

By BETH DeFALCO, Associated Press Writer
Fri May 12, 5:48 PM ET

TRENTON, N.J. - Two New Jersey public interest lawyers sued Verizon Communications Inc. for $5 billion Friday, claiming the phone carrier violated privacy laws by turning over phone records to the National Security Agency for a secret government surveillance program.

Attorneys Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer filed the lawsuit Friday afternoon in federal district court in Manhattan, where Verizon is headquartered.

The lawsuit asks the court to stop Verizon from turning over any more records to the NSA without a warrant or consent of the subscriber.

"This is the largest and most vast intrusion of civil liberties we've ever seen in the United States," Afran said of the NSA program.

USA Today reported on Thursday that the NSA has been building a database of millions of Americans' everyday telephone calls since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Verizon, along with AT&T Corp. and BellSouth Corp., complied, the newspaper reported.

The lawsuit claims that by turning over the records to the government, Verizon violated the Telecommunications Act and the Constitution.

"No warrants have been issued for the disclosure of such information, no suspicion of terrorist activity or other criminal activity has been alleged against the subscribers," the lawsuit said.

Verizon, the country's largest telecommunications company by revenue, said in a statement that the company had not yet seen the lawsuit and, because of that, believed it was premature to comment.

The lawsuit seeks $1,000 for each violation of the Telecommunications Act, or $5 billion if the case is certified as class-action.

Afran and Mayer have filed numerous lawsuits against New Jersey officials over such things as political appointments and finances.

Afran said that he and Mayer will also ask for documents dealing with the origination of the program and President Bush's role in the program.

Verizon said that because the NSA program is highly classified, it wouldn't confirm or deny whether the company participated.

However, the company did suggest it limited access to customer records.

"Verizon does not, and will not, provide any government agency unfettered access to our customer records or provide information to the government under circumstances that would allow a fishing expedition," the company said.

Link Here

I've had enough.

by PsiFighter37
Thu May 11, 2006 at 07:50:08 PM PDT

Warning: some graphic photos below.

It's nice to see that good people like John Kerry are beginning to recognize that the Bush administration is crawling in the feces of its own incompetence, that it is governing about as poorly as a boozed-up alcoholic. But it's stories like this one that really piss me off.

I'm a thoroughly middle-class American. I was born in another country. I have no delusions about the 'American Dream'; that's been dead since before I was born. But I would expect that our government would have sense of common decency, a sense of fairness, that they would care an iota. But they don't, and I'm sick of it. I can't take it anymore. >>>cont

Link Here

Vintage Alley

CHRISTY!!!! Are you tired of elections being rigged?

Wanna stop it?

O.K. Here is how.

Familiar with these ? Of course you are.

They are standard petty cash/rent reciepts

Click to enlarge.

Or, if you will, Example A... You know how they work.

Carbonless, as you write on them two exact duplicates are made. You keep the original. Pink Copy stays in local offices, yellow copy goes to headquarters. Or something like that.

Now imagine casting a vote on a reciept made just like these cash receipts.

They are virtually tamper proof. And you would retain the original proof of your vote. In your own handwriting.

Every vote would automatically produce THREE paper trails.

Yellow copy goes to regional elections boards. Pink Copy stays at local boards. Or, something like that.

Oh, and did I mention they could be printed in every language imaginable? And with pictures?

With simple black and white images not even the illiterate could be disenfranchised.

And... you can print up 200 of them for about 5 bucks. Yes, I said 5 bucks, as in five dollars. The taxpayers would literally save millions.

Put this system in place, and rigging elections would be virtually impossible.

Have a nice day.Power




posted by Christy

Help Protect Us All - Join Me at YearlyKOS

by Michael Schiavo
Fri May 12, 2006 at 11:09:36 AM PDT

Nearly half of Americans (49%) approved of George Bush's job performance before he and other right-wing politicians tried to score political points from my deeply personal family tragedy.
If you believe in polls, the President has never recovered.

The President's respect and popularity took a fatal hit from their illegal and unprecedented attempts to use politics to block me from fulfilling Terri's wishes. For the first time, Americans saw leaders in our government selling our individual rights and ignoring the law just because they thought they knew better.

Michael Schiavo's diary :: ::

It was a shameful public display by a breed of politician who use the power of government for no other aim than to gain more power. Since then, these same right-wing leaders in our government have ordered eavesdropping on Americans, compiled the world's largest collection of private information on Americans and released savage personal and political attacks on their opponents.

Believe me; I know what those attacks are like - I have to be among the most investigated men in America.

Their attacks on me, Ambassador Joe Wilson and others are equal parts fiction and intensity. They are as relentless as they are baseless. And they have only one aim - discredit those who would question what our government is doing.

Of course, the easiest thing to do now would be to walk away and move on. But the most dangerous time is now - after the headlines have faded. If Americans forget what happened, not only could it happen again, these politicians would escape the accountability our democracy demands.
That's why I've started TerriPAC - a national political committee dedicated to fighting for our rights and holding the politicians accountable who played politics with my life and would do the same to you. We've already supported and contributed to several candidates and leaders who know the difference between running a country and running our lives.

But I'm writing this today to let you know that TerriPAC is sending me to Las Vegas to attend the YearlyKOS convention! At the convention, I've been invited to host a round-table discussion about the politics surrounding my case, the right-wing's growing threat to our privacy and what we can do about it.

I hope you'll join me at YearlyKOS because unless we work to change the culture of our government by demanding that today's leaders return to defending the rights of individuals and families, or elect new leaders who will, I fear that other Americans will quickly find their privacy and freedoms sold to the highest political bidder.

Link Here

NSA Whistleblower: There's More, People Are "Going To Be Shocked"

by georgia10
Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:38:00 PM PDT

From the subscription-only Congress Daily, Chris Strohm reports that NSA whistleblower Russell Tice will make some on bombshell revelations on Capitol Hill next week:

A former intelligence officer for the National Security Agency said Thursday he plans to tell Senate staffers next week that unlawful activity occurred at the agency under the supervision of Gen. Michael Hayden beyond what has been publicly reported, while hinting that it might have involved the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens. Russell Tice, who worked on what are known as "special access programs," has wanted to meet in a closed session with members of Congress and their staff since President Bush announced in December that he had secretly authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a court order. In an interview late Thursday, Tice said the Senate Armed Services Committee finally asked him to meet next week in a secure facility on Capitol Hill.

Tice was fired from the NSA last May. He said he plans to tell the committee staffers the NSA conducted illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of U.S. citizens while he was there with the knowledge of Hayden, who has been nominated to become director of the CIA. Tice said one of his co-workers personally informed Hayden that illegal and unconstitutional activity was occurring. [...] "I think the people I talk to next week are going to be shocked when I tell them what I have to tell them. It's pretty hard to believe," Tice said. "I hope that they¹ll clean up the abuses and have some oversight into these programs, which doesn't exist right now." [...]

Tice said his information is different from the Terrorist Surveillance Program that Bush acknowledged in December and from news accounts this week that the NSA has been secretly collecting phone call records of millions of Americans. "It's an angle that you haven't heard about yet," he said.

Link Here

Sari Gelzer | Middle East Experts Against Military Option in Iran

Sari Gelzer reports, "200 American Middle East experts have warned President Bush against threatening US military action against Iran. Experts have not been consulted as the US has developed policy toward Iran. Professor Ahmad Sadri explains, 'This is the same mistake the US government made before going to Iraq. We're saying don't do that again.'"

Link Here

Diebold Voting Machine Security Flaw "Worst Ever"

The most serious security breach that's ever been discovered in a voting system has been discovered in the Diebold voting machines. The security hole allows someone with a common computer component and knowledge of Diebold systems to load almost any software without a password or proof of authenticity and potentially without leaving telltale signs of the change.

Link Here

Iran Nuclear Conflict Is About US Dominance

As the George W. Bush administration pushes for a showdown over Iran's nuclear program in the UN Security Council, it has presented the issue as a matter of global security - an Iranian nuclear threat in defiance of the international community. But the history of the conflict and the private strategic thinking of both sides reveal that the dispute is really about the administration's drive for greater dominance in the Middle East and Iran's demand for recognition as a regional power.

Link Here

Pentagon's Finance Management "An Embarrassment"

The Defense Department's accounting practices are in such disarray that defense officials can't track how much equipment the military owns, where it all is, or exactly how they spend defense dollars every year, according to a report Thursday.

Link Here

Rice, Rumsfeld Block Red Cross Access to Secret Detainees

The United States has again refused the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to terrorism suspects held in secret detention centers, the humanitarian agency said on Friday.

Link Here

Dow down 260 points in 2 days

Breaking News Karl Rove will be Indicted

That the Boy FitzMore when I can find it

BREAKING Jason Leopold: Rove Informs White House He Will Be Indictedhttp://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/051206Y.shtmlKarl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him.

Envoys Say Enriched Uranium Found in Iran

By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer
31 minutes ago

VIENNA, Austria - U.N. inspectors have found traces of highly enriched uranium on equipment from an Iranian research center linked to the military, diplomats said Friday — a revelation likely to strengthen U.S. arguments that Tehran wants to develop nuclear arms.

The diplomats, who demanded anonymity in exchange for divulging the confidential information, cautioned that confirmation still had to come through other laboratory tests.

Initially, they said the density of enrichment appeared to be close to or above the level used to make nuclear warheads. But later a diplomat accredited to theInternational Atomic Energy Agency said it was below that, although higher than the low-enriched material used to generate power and heading toward weapons-grade level. >>>cont

Link Here

Clashes Erupt Between Two Iraqi Army Units

1 hour, 38 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Clashes erupted Friday between two Iraqi army units following a roadside bombing north of the capital, and Iraqi police said a Shiite solder was killed in an exchange of fire with a Kurdish unit.

The U.S. military and Iraqi police provided differing accounts of the incident, which began with a roadside bombing near Duluiyah, about 45 miles north of Baghdad.

The Americans said one soldier from the Iraqi army's 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 4th Division was killed and 12 were wounded in the attack.

But Iraqi police 1st Lt. Ali Ibrahim said four were killed and three others wounded. He identified the soldiers as Kurdish but did not specify their unit.

According to both accounts, the wounded were rushed to the U.S. military hospital in Balad. Police said that when the Kurdish soldiers drove up to the hospital, they began firing weapons to clear the way, and one Iraqi Shiite civilian was killed.

When security rushed to the scene, the Kurds decided to take their wounded elsewhere, Iraqi police said. Iraqi troops from a separate Shiite unit tried to stop them and shots were fired, Iraqi police said.

The U.S. account said that an Iraqi soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade was killed in a "confrontation" as the other Iraqi troops were trying to remove their wounded. Iraqi police identified the dead soldier as a Shiite. But the U.S. statement did not say what prompted the soldiers to try to take wounded comrades away from a hospital — the best equipped American medical facility in the country.

A third Iraqi army unit set up a roadblock in the area and stopped the soldiers who were leaving with their wounded, the U.S. statement said. American troops intervened at the roadblock and calmed the situation.

The U.S. said the Iraqi army was investigating the incident.

Thousands of Kurdish peshmerga militiamen were integrated into the Iraqi army and provide security in areas with large Kurdish populations, some of which are located near Shiite and Sunni Arab communities.

The peshmerga also provides security in the three provinces that form the Kurds' self-governing entity in the north.

Link Here

Lawsuit Challenges New Bankruptcy Law

Fri May 12, 12:36 PM ET

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Organizations representing thousands of attorneys are challenging the nation's tough new bankruptcy law, saying it illegally restricts the advice lawyers can give and makes it harder for clients to navigate the bankruptcy system.

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Thursday claims that the law treats attorneys the same as unlicensed document preparers or credit counseling firms, which are required under the new law to give specific advice — including not to go deeper into debt. >>>cont

Link Here

Quote of the Day

"I'm not going to defend the indefensible. ... I'm prepared to defend a very aggressive anti-terrorist campaign, and I'm prepared to defend the idea that the government ought to know who's making the calls, as long as that information is only used against terrorists, and as long as the Congress knows that it's underway. But I don't think the way they've handled this can be defended by reasonable people. It is sloppy."

-- Newt Gingrich, on Hannity and Colmes, discussing the Bush administration's massive database of phone calls made by Americans.

USA Today has more on the "fierce debate" raging in Washington, D.C.

Bookmark this at del.icio.us Categories: National Security

Link Here

Inspector General Probes HUD Chief Comment

Inspector General probes contract story

Housing and Urban Dev. secretary: Don't 'like Bush,' don't get contracts.

More than 50 in Congress write Bush demanding special counsel to investigate NSA surveillance

RAW STORYPublished: Friday May 12, 2006

Over 50 in Congress have signed a letter demanding that President Bush appoint a special counsel to investigate reports of domestic surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency, RAW STORY has learned.

This move came late yesterday, after a USA Today report revealed that the U.S. had assembled a database of all calls made by U.S. users of most major telephone carriers. One official is quoted in the report as calling the database the "largest ever assembled."
Democrats, who currently hold a minority position in both houses of Congress, have repeatedly made calls for investigations that went unanswered.

The letter, in its entirety, follows: >>>cont

Link Here

Clinton bests Bush in honesty poll

Published: Friday May 12, 2006

A new poll being reported by CNN has found that more Americans rate impeached former President Bill Clinton to be honest than would say the same of current President George W. Bush.

Clinton, who admitted to perjuring himself about an extramarital affair, was rated as honest and trustworthy by 46% of Americans. Bush, whose popularity continues to decline, was rated honest by just 41% of Americans.

Bush has also found his overall approval hitting a new low in recent polls, dipping for the first time to just 29%.

Earlier polls have found that many Americans who do not approve of Bush's job performance still rated him as honest and trustworthy.

More information as it becomes available...

Link Here

Time to change tactics

FOr Christy from FDLblog:
ccobb says:

May 11th, 2006 at 9:55 pm
For a long time I thought that protests were ineffective and kinda hippy-drippy. But I have begun to think that they could be a very useful tool today, so long as they are targeted at the media filter itself.

BushCo has waged first and foremost a war of information. But the only other entity fighting that war is Osama bin Laden. Both do so through competing campaigns of misinformation. Yet we on the left are fighting the last war, with the same old weapons.

To fight on the terms of an information war, we have to target the tools of misinformation that BushCo has used to decieve and obfuscate. We are where we are because of the witting and un witting help of the media. So we have to go after the media filter itself.

Case in point: I live in Los Angeles. A major media market, and yet I didn’t see one second of footage from the NY protests. Not one. But if the 500,000 or so protesters had had a different strategy and a different target, I might have.

What if, say 50,000 or 10,000 or even just 1,000 protesters blocked all access to the NBC offices in Manhattan for one day. Don’t want to get arrested? Ok, what if 1,000 protesters lined the streets to the entrance of Rockfeller Center for a day.

Then the next day another 50,000/10,000/1,000 protesters did it again, and so on. For ten days those protesters either 1) make it impossible for NBC anchors and producers and accountants to get into their offices or 2) in the non-arrest version, just make them wade through a wall of signs pointing to their complicity in the Bush Administrations campaign of misinformation. Do you think that would get reported? I find it hard to believe it would not.

The idea is to create an approach with a viral component, one that could easily spread. CNN in Atlanta could soon have the same protest tactics applied, as could CBS. FOX, ABC, and (at the grassroots level) your local station. As implied above, 50,000 or 10,000 or 1,000 or even just a couple hundred protesters could get the job done in a highly targeted way, even in the biggest cities. In fact, a couple of hundred protesters out on the street outside my old place of work, Paramount Pictures, might even be overkill. But unlike the mass protest in NY, it sure would get covered in my hometown.

The goal would be to hold the corporate media accountable for their role in the lies that got us to where we are. And if the media doesn’t change, then we target their advertisers with the same tactics. Again, a relatively small number or protesters could have a much larger impact, because the target is much more susceptible to disruption than BushCo.

These NSA revelations are proof positive that it’s time to fight the war we are in folks, using the tactics of those we are fighting. We’ve been lied to, manipulated, ignored and dismissed. And the other side has been very effective. Time to change tactics and attack them where they are weak, by going after the very filter through which they lie, manipulate, ignore and dismiss.

Posted by: mkh at May 12, 2006 06:34 AM

FOCUS | US Army Recruits Abused on US Soil

The Army has shaken up a program to heal recruits injured in basic training after soldiers and their parents said troops hurt at Fort Sill were punished with physical abuse and medical neglect. "The supreme irony," said one mother, "is that I was more worried about my son at Fort Sill than the one in Iraq."

Link Here

More NSA Surveillance...

About a month ago, Wired interviewed a former AT&T technician who claimed that his company was letting the NSA tap its circuits, something that sounded ominous but was kind of vague. (Link thanks to Kevin Drum.) Today USA Today has more on phone companies collaborating with the NSA:

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

Last year the president insisted that the NSA was only focusing on international calls. According to USA Today, that's not entirely true, and the administration is looking at "the communications habits of millions of Americans" making domestic calls. Of course. The man lies. Now granted, gathering info about phone records is different from actually listening into those domestic calls without a warrant, but here's what the paper has to say about the legal issues:

Q: Is this legal?

A: That will be a matter of debate. In the past, law enforcement officials had to obtain a court warrant before getting calling records. Telecommunications law assesses hefty fines on phone companies that violate customer privacy by divulging such records without warrants. But in discussing the eavesdropping program last December, Bush said he has the authority to order the NSA to get information without court warrants.

In other words, it's probably against the law, but the president feels like his "wartime powers" take precedence over the law. (Orin Kerr has a more detailed look at the legal issues—he says collecting phone records probably isn't unconstitutional, but could create "statutory problems under… FISA.")

But frankly, at this point, figuring out whether this program is "technically" legal or not seems beside the point. The administration has done this sort of thing way too many times—the government, recall, now claims that it can listen in on phone calls without a warrant, detain citizens indefinitely without trial, and have them tortured if it so desires—to earn the benefit of the doubt for even the smallest of steps. And as Atrios says, once you start entering legal gray areas, even with something as apparently "harmless" as looking at phone records, it's very hard to stop. If the government picks up a "suspect" thanks to information from an illegal wiretapping program, then it can't use that evidence in court, so it can't ever bring the suspect to trial, which means it has to keep the person in an extralegal detention center somewhere, presumably forever. And so on. "It's all one thing. You can't separate them." No kidding.

Posted by Bradford Plumer on 05/11/06 at 10:44 AM E-mail Print

Link Here

Up to 200 people killed in oil pipeline explosion near Nigerian city of Lagos, police official tells CNN.

Officers try to empty the fuel in 500 jerry cans brought by people to steal fuel from the pipeline.

Link Here

Appears Cheney Has Fallen Asleep At Another Meeting...

Reuters May 12, 2006 at 01:32 PM
READ MORE: Dick Cheney, Iraq, Halliburton, George W. Bush

U.S. President George W. Bush speaks during a meeting about the situation in Iraq with current and former U.S. secretaries of state and defense at the White House in Washington May 12, 2006. From left are Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.


Just The Facts...

United States of America


Lewis Libby

[full transcript]

posted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Republican Bribery Scandal Widens: Fmr. No. 3 At CIA Has House, Office Searched…

CBS/AP May 12, 2006 at 02:12 PM

Law enforcement officials executed search warrants Friday on the house and office of CIA's outgoing executive director, the FBI said.

The agency's third-ranking official, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, has been under investigation by the FBI, IRS, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the CIA's inspector general, said FBI spokeswoman April Langwell in San Diego.


Tony Snow on His First Press Gaggle: "This is Just a Mess"

By E&P Staff

Published: May 12, 2006 11:40 AM ET

NEW YORK Ending his first week on the job on a chaotic note, White Hosue Press Secretary Tony Snow on Friday conducted his first informal "press gaggle" this morning, but had to admit when it went awry, "This is just a mess."

It followed two days of Snow counter-attacks on press coverage of the administration. After complaining earlier in the week about articles in The New York Times, USA Today and on CBS News, he added the Associated Press and Washington Post to the hit list on Thurday.

Snow has not scheduled a formal press briefing until Monday but attempted the more informal morning "gaggle" today. After scheduling it for 9:00, he switched it to 9:30 -- then began at 9:15, causing protests.
"Well, I apologize," Snow said. "That's just flat my fault."

Then he had to admit he did not know enough to answer some questions, and referred others to deputy press secretary Dana Perino. She spoke so softly he had to intervene, reading some talking points from a sheet of paper. "As the new kid on the block, I'm not fully briefed on the issue," he said.

Meanwhile, the press was unhappily crammed into the tight quarters of his West Wing office instead of the usual briefing room, leaving some out in the hall. "This is just a mess," he acknowledged good-naturedly.

Earlier, on Thursday, Snow had criticized the AP for a story headlined: “Army Guard, Reserve fall short of April recruiting goals.” The White House countered: “The Army National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and Marine Corps Reserve all have exceeded or achieved their year-to-date recruitment goals.” That did not address the April numbers, however.

The White House also noted that the Washington Post ran an editorial calling Bush’s tax cuts “a windfall for the rich” on Thursday, the same day it published a news article saying the measure would aid the middle class.

Link Here

Post slams Bush press sec's first briefer - Full briefing
free hit counter