Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pentagon Using “Backdoor Draft” To Fuel Troop Demand...

Associated Press Rebecca Santana August 19, 2006 at 06:08 PM

Spc. Chris Carlson had been out of the U.S. Army for two years and was working at Costco in California when he received notice that he was being called back into service.

The 24-year-old is one of thousands of soldiers and Marines who have been deployed toIraq under a policy that allows military leaders to recall troops who have left the service but still have time left on their contract.


Miani Herald: Author: Terror Spy Show a TV Whitewash

Here's an interesting story from today's Miami Herald:

What was expected to be a controversial documentary that charges that Osama bin Laden's top spy infiltrated three U.S. security agencies has gotten even hotter, with investigative reporter Peter Lance calling the TV piece based on his book a whitewash that's ``like doing Schindler's List from Hitler's perspective.''

The documentary, Triple Cross, is scheduled to air on the National Geographic Channel Aug. 28, with Lance's book of the same name due out a few weeks later. But their accounts of how bin Laden's master spy Ali A. Mohamed outwitted the CIA, the FBI and the U.S. Army may be overshadowed by the war of words between Lance and the network.

Lance, who in early treatments of the Triple Cross script was the narrator, was so infuriated by the program's eventual direction that he refused to appear. National Geographic's producers at one point held back transcripts of interviews they were supposed to share with Lance, and still won't let him see the final documentary unless he signs what they call a ``non-disparagement agreement.''

As the dispute has grown, some sources interviewed for the Triple Cross documentary have asked National Geographic to be removed from the program.


My commentary: I have direct contact with the author in question, Peter Lance, so I know some of the "inside scoop." It seems to me that Lance's book is very hard hitting about the FBI and their failures leading up to 9/11, and the FBI didn't like that. They threatened National Geographic not to allow key people to be interviewed unless certain conditions were made, and Nat Geo agreed. Ironically, a documentary about a cover up in itself becomes a cover up. What a sad state our media is in.

Link Here

Cheney grabs GOP cudgel

VP hits the road to attack Democrats
By Mark Silva, Washington Bureau.

Tribune staff reporter John McCormick in Chicago contributed to this reportPublished August 19, 2006

WASHINGTON -- With Republicans facing increasingly tough prospects in November, Vice President Dick Cheney has returned to the campaign trail in a familiar role: Accusing Democratic war critics of defeatism and leveling harsh charges that President Bush is less comfortable making.

"If we follow advice and withdraw from Iraq," Cheney said this week in Arizona, "we will simply validate the Al Qaeda strategy and invite more terrorist attacks." Advocates of withdrawal play into the hands of terrorists, he charged the next day in Montana: "They fundamentally believe that we don't have the stomach for the fight."

As the war debate intensifies--with the White House insisting on staying the course and Democrats increasingly demanding an exit strategy--it is becoming a pivotal issue in many races.

In Chicago, where the Democratic National Committee was meeting Friday, top Democrats ridiculed Cheney's attacks. Calling the comments a " rear-guard action," committee member Harold Ickes, formerly an aide to President Bill Clinton, said that "the Middle East is in more chaos than it ever was. That's the issue the Democrats need to raise."

Link Here

Military calling out-of-uniform troops

By REBECCA SANTANA, Associated Press Writer

CAMP ANACONDA, Iraq - Spc. Chris Carlson had been out of the U.S. Army for two years and was working at Costco in California when he received notice that he was being called back into service.

The 24-year-old is one of thousands of soldiers and Marines who have been deployed to Iraq under a policy that allows military leaders to recall troops who have left the service but still have time left on their contract.

"I thought it was crazy," said Carlson, who has found himself protecting convoys on Iraq's dangerous roads as part of a New Jersey National Guard unit. "Never in a million years did I think they would call me back."

Although troops are allowed to leave active duty after a few years of service, they generally still have time left on their contract with the military that is known as "inactive ready reserve" status, or IRR. During that time, they have to let their service know their current address, but they don't train, draw a paycheck or associate in any other way with the military.

But with active duty units already completing multiple tours in Iraq, the Pentagon has employed the rarely used tactic of calling people back from IRR status, a policy sometimes referred to as a "backdoor draft."

Link Here

Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal

Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal
By Paolo Pontoniere and Jeffrey Klein, New America Media. August 19, 2006.

European investigators are tracking the mysterious deaths of two security experts who had uncovered extensive spyware in their telecommunications firms.>>>snip

Investigations into the alleged suicides of both Adamo Bove and Costas Tsalikidis raise questions about more than the suspicious circumstances of their deaths. They point to politicized, illegal intelligence structures that rely upon cooperative business executives. European prosecutors and journalists probing these spying networks have revealed that:

The Vodaphone eavesdropping was transmitted in real time via four antennae located near the U.S. embassy in Athens, according to an 11-month Greek government investigation. Some of these transmissions were sent to a phone in Laurel, Md., near America's National Security Agency.

According to Ta Nea, a Greek newspaper, Vodaphone's CEO privately told the Greek government that the bugging culprits were "U.S. agents." Because Greece's prime minister feared domestic protests and a diplomatic war with the United States, he ordered the Vodafone CEO to withhold this conclusion from his own authorities investigating the case.

In both the Italian and Greek cases, the spyware was much more deeply embedded and clever than anything either phone company had seen before. Its creation required highly experienced engineers and expensive laboratories where the software could be subjected to the stresses of a national telephone system. Greek investigators concluded that the Vodaphone spyware was created outside of Greece.

Link Here

Blair 'feels betrayed by Bush on Lebanon'

By SIMON WALTERS22:57pm 19th August 2006

The alliance between George Bush and Tony Blair is in danger after it was revealed that the Prime Minister believes the President has 'let him down badly' over the Middle East crisis.

A senior Downing Street source said that, privately, Mr Blair broadly agrees with John Prescott, who said Mr Bush's record on the issue was 'crap'.

The source said: "We all feel badly let down by Bush. We thought we had persuaded him to take the Israel-Palestine situation seriously, but we were wrong. How can anyone have faith in a man of such low intellect?"

The disclosure comes ahead of a mini recall of Parliament to allow MPs to vent their fury over Mr Blair's handling of Israel's war with Hezbollah and whether the recent terror plot in Britain was affected by his role in the Iraq war.

Link Here

Law denies military widows benefits

As many as 61,000 military widows whose husbands died of causes relating to their military service lose out on thousands of dollars a year in survivor benefits because of a law that dates from the 1970s.

Widows and retirees have spent decades trying to persuade Congress to change the law, which hits hardest at the widows of lower-ranking service members and is referred to by many as the "widow's tax."

The Senate passed such a change last year and again this year as part of the military authorization bill. But House Republican leaders oppose the change because of its steep price tag, nearly $9 billion over 10 years, Senate legislative aides from both parties say. A change was not in the military bill that passed the House, but lawmakers who support the change said they are hoping to make it part of the bill's final version, which is now being worked on by a bipartisan congressional committee.

"My husband thought he was securing my future," said Edie Smith, a member of the Gold Star Wives, a group of military widows who are lobbying to change the law. "He didn't realize his own disability would void the benefit he purchased for me."

Link Here

Innocent children jailed, U.S. official says

Children who have never been charged with a crime are being held in juvenile prisons in Iraq, a State Department official stated in a report he posted on the Internet this week.

Some of the children are in the detention centers simply because there is no one to pick them up and take them home, said Marshall Adame, an official with the National Coordination Team based out of Camp Victory in Iraq.

"These are not hardened criminals or terrorists," said Mr.

Adame in a personal detailed report he published on an Internet log.He added that there had been reports of "physical and other abuse" in the detention centers but that the U.S.-led coalition considered the issue "not our urgent business."

Link Here

Will U.S.-Israel honor cease-fire? Lebanese unity behind victory

Sara Flounders

In every conflict, morale is a material factor. Often it is the decisive factor. Now that a cease-fire has gone into effect—on Aug. 14—after Israel’s brutal 30-day bombing and invasion of Lebanon, it is clear that Lebanon has emerged more united than at any time in its history. Hezbollah has a new standing and wide popularity all over the country. The entire war, in which Israel had full U.S. support, was based on arrogant assumptions of technological superiority and a political miscalculation that the bombing of whole towns, reservoirs, fuel storage depots, roads, ports, bridges and hospitals would divide the Lebanese people and force Hezbollah to disarm. Instead, the ruthless attack united the population as nothing else has in Lebanon’s long history. It is Israel that has emerged divided, consumed by infighting and purges, with its reputation as an invincible military machine shattered before the whole world...

continua / continued

Lebanon gives warning after Israeli raid

By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 7 minutes ago

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Israeli commandos raided a Hezbollah stronghold deep in Lebanon on Saturday, engaging in a fierce gunbattle, and the Lebanese government threatened to halt further troop deployments in protest as the 6-day-old U.N.-brokered cease-fire was put to a critical test.

Israel said the raid was launched to stop arms smuggling from Iran and Syria to the militant Shiite fighters, while Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called the operation a "flagrant violation" of the U.N. truce. An Israeli officer was killed during the raid, and two soldiers were wounded, one seriously.

Link Here

Israeli commando dies in Lebanon raid

By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer Sat Aug 19, 8:59 AM ET

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hezbollah fighters battled Israeli commandos who landed near the militants' stronghold deep inside Lebanon early Saturday, killing one soldier, in the first large-scale violation of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between the sides.

UN Chief Kofi Annan: Israel Violated Cease-Fire...

A Terrible Foretaste of Furies to Come

Remind you of Hamas being democratically elected by the People of Palistine. The results of Georgies one sided Foreign Policy in the Middle East good one Georgie.
As I watched Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah making his frequent television addresses in recent weeks, particularly his Monday night one, after the fighting had stopped earlier that day, he seemed to take on the veneer of a national leader rather than the head of one group in Lebanon's rich mosaic of political parties. In tone and content, his remarks seemed like those that a president or prime minister should be making while addressing the nation after a terrible month of destruction and human suffering. His prominence is one of the important political repercussions of this war...

continua / continued

Hollywood Supports Israeli Mass Murder

Kurt Nimmo

"Nicole Kidman has made a public stand against terrorism," reports the Herald Sun. "The actress, joined by 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, has taken out a powerfully-worded full page advertisement in today’s Los Angeles Times newspaper." It specifically targets "terrorist organizations" such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine. "We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas," the ad reads. "If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die. "We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs." In addition to Kidman, Michael Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Danny De Vito, Don Johnson, James Woods, Kelly Preston, Patricia Heaton and William Hurt signed the ad, as did directors Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Dick Donner and Sam Raimi. "Other Hollywood powerplayers supporting the ad included Sumner Redstone, the chairman and majority owner of Paramount Pictures, and billionaire mogul, Haim Saban."

continua / continued

“Honor First”; the liberation of Lebanon


...Lebanon has been an embarrassing defeat for Israel, but this is probably just Round One. As public rage grows, it will be more and more tempting for Olmert to disregard the ceasefire and go on the offensive. He needs some way to acquit himself in the eyes of his people and revenge is an unfailing cure-all. He also needs to prove that he can be a reliable ally to the Bush team who gave him carte blanche to pulverize Hezbollah while they stalled the ceasefire at the UN. Israel needs to show that they can hold up their end of the bargain by cleaning up matters in their own back yard. Olmert’s failure will not go down well with the Washington neocons who’ve worked tirelessly to provide him with all the weaponry and support he needed. ..

continua / continued

"More Propaganda Than Plot" - Former British Ambassador on Alleged UK Terror Plot

Democracy Now!

...A judge in Britain has ruled police have until next week to continue to hold 23 suspects arrested in the alleged plot to blow up airplanes bound for the United States. British police arrested 24 people in raids last week. One person has since been released. No one has been charged with a crime. Questions have been raised over whether British authorities were pressured by the United States to make the arrests. A senior British official told NBC News that British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence. The British official suggested the attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. Some did not even have passports. Now, a former British ambassador is suggesting that the timing of the arrests has been deeply political and should be viewed with skepticism. Craig Murray is Britain's former ambassador to Uzbekistan. He was removed from the post two years ago in part because of his outspoken criticism of Uzbekistan's human rights record...

continua / continued

Replacing FEMA

Audrey Mantey

Hezbollah’s leader, Nasrallah, gave a victory speech Monday in which he offered to pay a year’s rent for a house plus a furniture budget to all displaced Lebanese refugees. The following day, just one day after the cease-fire, Lebanese refugees began returning home. As the NYT reported on Tuesday, "hundreds of Hezbollah members spread over dozens of villages across southern Lebanon began cleaning, organizing and surveying damage. Men on bulldozers were busy cutting lanes through giant piles of rubble. Roads blocked with the remnants of buildings are now, just a day after a cease-fire began, fully passable. … Hezbollah men also traveled door to door checking on residents and asking them what help they needed." When Katrina hit, it took Bush days to direct a person to chair a task force to coordinate the relief efforts. It took days for the National Guard to appear on the scene. Despite FEMA having 500 buses on standby on the day of the storm, ready to be deployed, it took almost a week to get those buses to the Convention Center in New Orleans to begin evacuations there. Nearly a year after the storm, hundreds of thousands of refugees still have not returned to their homes...

continua / continued

Iraq Forced To Import Oil To Tackle Shortages

Think Progress

Paul Wolfowitz, 3/27/03: There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. … We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon. AP, 8/17/06: Iraq has doubled the money allocated for importing oil products in August and September to tackle the country’s worst fuel shortage since Saddam Hussein’s 2003 ouster, a senior Iraqi official said Thursday. Even though Iraq has the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, it is forced to depend on imports because of an acute shortage of refined products such as gasoline, kerosene and cooking gas--.

continua / continued

7 Shiite Pilgrims Killed On Major Religious Holiday...

Associated Press Vijay Joshi August 19, 2006 at 11:08 AM

Seven pilgrims heading to a major Shiite religious gathering were shot dead in a Sunni neighborhood, while a vehicle ban aimed at preventing attacks during two days of ceremonies emptied Baghdad's streets Saturday.

The seven victims were among a group of Shiites walking in western Baghdad on Friday night when assailants in a passing car sprayed them with gunfire, said police Lt. Maitham Abdul Razzaq. The Shiites had been heading to spend the night at the site of a religious gathering in northern Baghdad.


Iraqis Saying It's Now "Too Dangerous" To Go To The Mosque...

The New York Times Edward Wong August 19, 2006 at 12:28 PM

Haider Ali communes with God through his CD player. That is how he listens to the lectures of Shiite imams these days, for he rarely sets foot in a mosque anymore.

Even on Fridays, the Muslim Sabbath, he prefers to pray at home, kneeling on a rug in a room adorned with posters of green-robed Shiite martyrs slain centuries ago.

"We'd go a lot to mosque before, but it's too dangerous now," Mr. Ali, 42, said as he watched his 9-year-old son stack boxes in his downtown convenience store. "Now, you feel a little empty inside."


GOP Actively Helping Lieberman Win Senate Race...

New York Times Anne E. Kornblut August 19, 2006 at 08:35 AM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Iraq

Facing Senator Joseph I. Lieberman's independent candidacy, Republican officials at the state and national level have made the extraordinary decision to abandon their official candidate, and some are actively working to help Mr. Lieberman win in November.

Despite Mr. Lieberman's position that he will continue to caucus with Democrats if re-elected, all three Republican Congressional candidates in Connecticut have praised Mr. Lieberman and have not endorsed the party's nominee, Alan Schlesinger. An independent group with Republican ties is raising money for Mr. Lieberman, who has been a strong supporter of President Bush on the Iraq war.


Why America Needs Hezbollah

By Ted Rall

Who cares if Hezbollah is a State Department-designated terrorist organization? Unlike our worthless government, it gets things done!

Link Here

W.House sees "huge challenges" in Iraq

Aug 17, 1:27 PM (ET)
August 14, 2006....Full ImageBy Steve Holland

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid a largely bleak picture in Iraq, President Bush received an update on the security situation from top commanders on Thursday and the White House said "huge challenges" remain.

Bush held talks with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and senior advisers. Participating by video link were top generals George Casey and John Abizaid.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said he suspected there could be some discussion about U.S. troop levels in Iraq but he had no details.

President Bush meets with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, August 14, 2006. REUTERS/Jim Young

"When you're getting a comprehensive review, one of the questions that's going to come up is, what do we need? The president has always said that that's the first question he asks his commanders, and I suspect that it will arise today," said White House spokesman Tony Snow.

Link Here


The Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no power not created by the Constitution.
-- Judge Anna Diggs TaylorU.S. District Court Read the landmark decision >>

RELATED CONTENT > Federal Court Strikes Down NSA Warrantless Surveillance Program > ACLU v. NSA Stay Stipulation

Description: In the first federal challenge ever argued against the Bush administration's NSA spying program, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor rules that the program to monitor the phone calls and e-mails of millions of Americans without warrants is unconstitutional. Calling for a halt to this abuse of presidential power, Judge Taylor states that "[t]here are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution," so all the president's "inherent powers" must derive from the Constitution.


Open File in Browser (If this feature is supported in your browser)

If you need the viewer for this file format, go to: Adobe Acrobat Reader

Bush says confident economy is headed in right direction

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. economy is headed in the right direction, President Bush said Friday, and and his economic team remains confident about the outlook. "The economy grew at a 4% annual rate in the first half of 2006. This means our economy is maintaining solid growth and performing in line with expectations," Bush said after a two-day closed-door meeting with his top economic advisers at Camp David. Economists say the economy is clearly slowing, as consumers have cut back spending due to weakness in the housing market and high energy prices. But growth hasn't slowed yet to the point where it has become the major political issue. Bush's remarks echo earlier comments by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who has argued that the economy is simply slowing to a more sustainable growth path and is not in danger of recession.


The Outstanding Public Debt is:

The estimated population of the United States is 299,326,975
so each citizen's share of this debt is $28,354.43.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$1.72 billion per day since September 30, 2005


Ohio jobless rate increases(Ohio5,000 Michigan28,000 last month)

Ohio and Kentucky, along with Michigan were among the six states registering the biggest job losses in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the Midwest reported the highest unemployment rate last month.

Ohio lost 5,000 jobs over the month, and Kentucky lost 5,100. But Michigan, dependent on manufacturing of automobiles and related products, lost 28,600 jobs between June and July.

While Michigan has the largest employment decrease for June, that largest employment increase was registered by Illinois, which gained 29,800 jobs.

Results for Ohio and neighboring states are:

* Ohio's jobless rate rose to 5.8 percent from 5.1 percent between June and July, but fell slightly from 5.9 percent in July 2005.
* Kentucky's unemployment rate jumped to 6.3 percent from 5.8 percent over the month, up slightly from 6.2 percent in July 2005.
* Indiana's jobless rate was 5.7 percent in July, compared to 5.2 percent in June and 5.5 percent in July of last year.


AP: Hispanics Angered by Democratic Web Ad

Unfriking Believable, what wankers.

Hispanics Angered by Democratic Web Ad
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Democratic political ad is under fire from Hispanics who say it unfairly compares Latino immigrants to terrorists.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sponsored a 35-second ad on its Web site that shows footage of two people scaling a border fence mixed with images of Osama Bin Laden and North Korea President Kim Jong Il.

Pedro Celis, chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, said in a statement Tuesday that the DSCC should remove the ad because it vilifies illegal Hispanic immigrants and is "appalling."

Houston City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado, a Democrat, sent a letter to DSCC Chairman Sen. Charles Schumer of New York asking that the ad be pulled. She said it could alienate Latino voters.

"To liken Latino immigrants to bazooka-toting terrorists not only undermines the positive relationship our party has with this community, but also lowers us to a despicable level as breeders of unfounded fear and hatred," Alvarado wrote....

Link Here

Tape revives Mexican conspiracy theory

MEXICO CITY — Claims by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that a powerful cabal of politicians and the mega-wealthy have conspired to rob him of this summer's presidential election have long been dismissed by his critics as paranoia.

But the interrogation of a real estate developer, taped two years ago in Cuba and broadcast here Friday on a radio program, might well confirm the notion that just because a man could be paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get him.

On the tape, jailed businessman Carlos Ahumada alleges that several Mexican Cabinet ministers, a powerful senator from President Vicente Fox's party and former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari engineered the February 2004 release of other videotapes showing the developer bribing senior aides to Lopez Obrador.

"It's the fight for 2006, that's what they won," Carlos Ahumada, a native of Argentina who had been active in Mexico City construction, says on the tape. "I mean, they practically pulled Andres Manuel out of the presidential race."

Link Here

San Francisco Bay Area latest target of illegal Bush administration data theft program.

Aug. 18, 2006 -- The covert program to steal personal data on Americans to populate a highly secretive NSA/Homeland Security Total Information Awareness surveillance database continues at a frenetic pace. The FBI, under orders to leave these thefts alone, sits idly by as more and more data is stolen from government agencies and corporations. The San Francisco Bay Area has been particularly hard hit in the latest rash of personal data thefts.

The latest victim is Chevron of San Ramon, California which has reported the theft of a laptop computer from an independent auditor that potentially contains "tens of thousands" of files on Chevron employees' retirement, savings, and disability programs. Included in the data are Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and sensitive financial information. "U.S. payroll employees of the firm are affected and they number approximately 29,000. San Francisco-based William-Sonoma said an employee of Deloitte-Touche had a laptop computer stolen in Los Angeles that contained the financial information and Social Security Numbers of 1200 Williams-Sonoma employees. Kaiser Permanente in Oakland reported a laptop stolen that contained medical record numbers and dates of birth of 160,000 Kaiser patients.
San Francisco Bay Area latest target of illegal Bush administration data theft program.

The indifference of the outlaw Bush administration in investigating hundreds of similar thefts is an indication of its complicity in the illegal program to acquire personal data on millions of Americans.

WMR's data theft chart has been updated.


British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, a major player in the aborted midnight coup against Tony Blair, calls Bush's policies "crap." Prescott ca

Aug. 18, 2006 -- Two recent events appear to be connected to WMR's Aug. 14 story on how NewsCorp's Rupert Murdoch conspired with Tony Blair and the Bush administration to cook up the "London liquid bomber" plot in an effort to shore up Blair's and Bush's sagging poll numbers. On our report on how the phony scare was cooked up by Murdoch and Blair to prevent a midnight coup against Blair by his Labor opponents working with Prince Charles, it has now been reported that Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, passed over by Blair in favor of Home Secretary John Reid to handle the Cabinet meetings in Blair's absence, said President Bush had been "crap" on the Middle East peace process and described him as a "cowboy."

Predictably, the Murdoch-influenced neo-con media, particularly Mr. Hispaniola Weird Sex himself, Rush Limbaugh, wasted no time in calling Prescott a "drunk," "slob," "union hack," "pig," and a "womanizer."

Since WMR's scoop on the events that precipitated the phony liquid bomber scare, the group of Labor officials who were in on the anti-Blair coup is widening to include some previous Blair loyalists. International Development Secretary Hilary Benn, the son of veteran Labor Party progressive leftist Tony Benn, and a strong Blair supporter, was part of the anti-Blair movement, along with another Blair loyalist, Environment Secretary David Miliband; Blair's former aide Bruce Grocott; and Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander, who was vacationing on the Isle of Mull as the airplane scare plot was being hatched by Blair's and Murdoch's operatives. Alexander, with primary responsibility for air travel in Britain, was one of the last to be informed about the "threat," a decision taken by Blair's inner circle of neo-cons, including Home Secretary Reid, a one-time Communist student leader and campus agent provocateur.

British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, a major player in the aborted midnight coup against Tony Blair, calls Bush's policies "crap." Prescott called a "slob" by neo-con drug-addled pig face Rush Limbaugh.

The other clue that Murdoch's media empire is more into making up news rather than reporting it -- a situation covered recently in depth by WMR -- is the sudden resignation of Fox News's Amman, Jordan bureau. Two producers based in Amman for Fox -- Serene Saddagh and Jomana Karadsheh -- resigned in protest over how the so-called "news" network was covering the Middle East crisis. They both accused Fox of being propaganda organs for the Israeli government and its Bush administration facilitators.
Fox News Amman bureau resigns over network's shilling for Israel and its neo-con friends.


WP: Verdict Against Iraq Contractor Overturned (Custer Battles)

I wonder if the federal judge is a republican

Occupation Authority's Murky Status Cited

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 19, 2006; Page D01

A federal judge threw out a $10 million jury verdict against an American company accused of overcharging on an Iraq reconstruction contract after concluding that the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority was not a U.S. government entity.

The civil fraud suit against Custer Battles LLC, which has offices in Northern Virginia, arose out of the chaotic 14-month period during which the authority governed Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Using federal whistle-blower laws, a former employee and a subcontractor claimed Custer Battles created phony Cayman Islands companies to overcharge the authority on a contract to furnish Iraq with a new currency. The firm denied the claim.

Although a jury found the company guilty, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III ruled on review that the firm could not be sued under the federal False Claims Act because of the ambiguous structure of the authority, which issued the contract. The judge also concluded that the way in which the company had been paid distanced it from the U.S. government.

He said there was ample evidence that the company had submitted "false and fraudulently inflated invoices" but found that the nature of the Coalition Provisional Authority precluded a fraud claim. Ellis signed his ruling Wednesday; it was made public yesterday.

Although "the CPA was principally controlled and funded by the U.S., this degree of control did not rise to the level of exclusive control required to qualify as an instrumentality of the U.S. government," the 23-page ruling said. "In fact, the evidence clearly establishes that it was created through and governed by international consent."

The case is one of several to emerge from the $21 billion U.S. reconstruction effort as complaints emerge about sole-source contracts and allegations of fraud and corruption. The office of the special inspector general for Iraq Reconstruction has referred more than 20 criminal cases to the Justice Department for prosecution and has said that the authority's financial systems were so flimsy that billions of dollars could not be accounted for.

The Custer Battles litigation was brought under a separate anti-fraud law that allows citizens to sue on behalf of the government. It is not known whether any similar cases have been brought against contractors for the CPA. Such matters are sealed until the Justice Department decides whether to join the suit, which it did not in the Custer Battles case.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the ruling or its possible impact on other cases.
The plaintiffs in the Custer Battles suit, Robert Isakson and William Baldwin, will appeal, said their attorney, Alan M. Grayson. "If you want to make a list of all the things the Bush administration has screwed up, they created this Frankenstein entity called the Coalition Provisional Authority," Grayson said.

"CPA was created by the U.S. government, run by largely U.S. employees. This ruling could stand logic on its head," said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.). "It's a setback for accountability."

Custer Battles was founded by Scott Custer, a former Army Ranger, and Michael Battles, a West Point graduate who served in the CIA. The company grew rapidly after the Iraq war as it was awarded CPA contracts.

The company's owners are "ecstatic," said their attorney, Robert Rhoad.

Staff writer Dan Eggen contributed to this report.


Blair asked to resign by own party

By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
Published: 19 August 2006

Demands for Tony Blair to quit over his support for US President George W Bush in the Middle East are to be taken to Labour's annual conference next month in a direct challenge to his leadership by left-wing Labour campaigners.

An emergency resolution will be sent to all constituency Labour parties calling for Mr Blair to quit because of his "disgraceful" policy in Iraq, and for a leadership election within two months of the conference.

Mr Blair will seek to shrug off the challenge, but it has been tabled by leaders of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, who successfully backed four candidates elected to the National Executive of the party, including the veteran anti-war campaigner Walter Wolfgang.

The calls for Mr Blair to go will be boosted by the burst of support for John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, since the The Independent disclosed that he said President Bush's performance on the Middle East road map was "crap".

Mr Prescott is worried the remark may damage him, but there has been support for his words about Mr Bush to a private meeting of MPs. "I think he could get a standing ovation now," said one of his close friends. "He's said what a lot of us have been thinking."

The call for a new leader is also intended as a spur to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, to force Mr Blair out.

"So far, Gordon has been too afraid to strike. He has got to demonstrate that he is ready for the leadership by helping the party to get rid of Blair," said one NEC member.

The group want Mr Prescott to stay on as deputy to let Mr Brown secure the leadership, before a contest for the deputy's position. "Alan Johnson [the Education Secretary] is Blairite. He won't win the deputy job. Peter Hain [the Northern Ireland and Wales Secretary] could do better. Reid [the Home Secretary] could throw his hat in. He has got a lot going for him at the moment, but we don't want some Blairite getting the deputy leadership. We want the Blairites totally destroyed, utterly obliterated," he added. >>>cont

Link Here

Murdoch uncovered Prince Charles-Gordon Brown plot to oust Blair. Phony terror plan cooked up to derail political coup plans.

Aug. 11, 2006 -- UPDATED.

Aug. 11, 2006 -- UPDATED. According to knowledgeable sources in the UK and other countries, the Tony Blair government, under siege by a Labor Party revolt, cleverly cooked up a new "terror" scare to avert the public's eyes away from Blair's increasing political woes. British law enforcement; neo-con and intelligence operatives in the United States, Israel, and Britain; and Rupert Murdoch's global media empire cooked up the terrorist plot, liberally borrowing from the failed 1995 "Oplan Bojinka" plot by Pakistan- and Philippines-based terrorist Ramzi Ahmad Yousef to crash 11 trans-Pacific airliners bound from Asia to the United States. In the latest plot, it is reported that liquid bombs were to be detonated on 10 trans-Atlantic planes outbound from Britain to the United States.

British and American authorities permitted a man with a liquid bomb to board a U.S.-bound flight in Heathrow on Aug. 6 -- the pilot foiled secret UK-US attempt to hype an incident en route to or at Boston Logan.

The London terror plan was "known" last Sunday by British and American authorities, according to the Indian press. American Airlines flight 109 from London Heathrow to Boston boarded a family of five, however, after the plane left Heathrow authorities determined that the father appeared on a British suspect list drawn up after the 7/7 London transit attacks. At first, the pilot was instructed to fly all the way to Boston where U.S. authorities could claim credit for apprehending the suspect. However, the pilot, fearing for the safety of his passengers and crew, refused and quickly returned to Heathrow without informing the passengers. Once on the ground, it was discovered that the male had in his carry-on baggage the type of combination liquid explosive and electronic device now being hyped by the British and American media.

British sources report that the reason for the delay in informing the airlines and traveling public about the liquid bomb on the American flight was to maximize the beneficial political impact for Blair and George W. Bush, both plummeting in the polls from the situations in Iraq and Lebanon.
Earlier this week, two employees of Murdoch's London tabloid, News of the World, were charged with hacking into the voice and text cell phone messages of three members of the staff of Clarence House, the residence of Princes Charles, William, and Harry. One of those charged with the wiretapping was Clive Goodman, the Royals editor of the News of the World. The same paper earlier tried to politically damage two anti-Iraq war British politicians -- Scottish Socialist Tommy Sheridan and Respect Party MP George Galloway. The paper charges that Sheridan was unfaithful to his wife by going to swinger's clubs. He won a quarter million dollar lawsuit against the paper. Galloway was confronted by Mazher Mahmood, an individual who uses the moniker "Fake Sheik," who posed as a wealthy Arab businessman and tried unsuccessfully to get Galloway to accept cash and make anti-Semitic remarks. In fact, Mahmood was and continues to be a reporter for News of the World, his continued employment approved by Murdoch. Goodman has merely been suspended by Murdoch but he has not been fired.

Murdoch uncovered Prince Charles-Gordon Brown plot to oust Blair. Phony terror plan cooked up to derail political coup plans.

However, what prompted Murdoch and Blair to hype a new global "terror" threat was what Murdoch learned from eavesdropping on the phone calls of Prince Charles' staff at the future king's office, home, and limousine. The eavesdropping revealed that Charles was working with Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who is to the left of Blair, to conduct the same type of political maneuver that John Major used to oust Margaret Thatcher from office. London's left-wing Mayor, Ken Livingston, was also in on the Charles-Brown plan and it was expected that in return for his support, Livingston would get a senior position in a Brown cabinet -- a development that sent shock waves through the neo-con circles in London, Washington, and Jerusalem, including British Home Secretary John Reid and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The Charles-Brown plan was briefed by Blair to Bush during the former's recent visit to Washington. However, because the phony terror plot was known to both leaders -- they decided to be away on vacation when the terror plot was "uncovered." Bush is vacationing at his Crawford, Texas "ranch," while Blair is on vacation in Barbados, staying at Sir Cliff Richard's luxurious villa.

After Blair met with Bush in Washington, he flew to California where on July 30 he attended Murdoch's News Corporation private corporate executive conference at the posh Inn at Spanish Bay golf resort in Pebble Beach. Blair met with Murdoch, Israeli former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Newt Gingrich, and various Fox, Star, and Sky News executives. The final touches were agreed to by Blair and Murdoch on how the fake terror plot would play out in Murdoch's media empire.

Airline terror plot cooked up by Blair, Bush, and Murdoch to save Tony's political ass.

Blair told Bush that a Brown government would move to withdraw British troops from Iraq, break the "special relationship" with the Bush White House, and move closer to the European Union and the United Nations.

The Israeli attack on Lebanon created a rift within Blair's Cabinet with some former Blair loyalists signaling their support for the political coup against Blair. As a result, a suspect passenger was permitted to board an American aircraft at Heathrow with a liquid bomb to lay the groundwork for the media and travel hysteria five days later.

Final touches on fake terror plot were agreed to by Blair and Murdoch at July 30 News Corp/Fox VIP meeting at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, California.

The wiretapping of Charles' messages also indicated that he has weighed in with various European royal families to discourage them from inviting Bush on state visits to their nations. This, reportedly upset the Bush and Blair regimes, who were working together to improve Bush's image in Europe. The White House's displeasure with the monarchies in Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Norway are a direct result of the Murdoch eavesdropping on Charles' staff.

Murdoch-Bush-Blair perception management hoax: Be afraid, be very afraid.

Not surprisingly, after Galloway tore into a Sky News reporter on a recent televised interview, The Sun, a Murdoch paper, is now reporting that one of the 24 British aircraft liquid bomber suspects now under arrest, Waheed Zaman, met with Galloway "many times." The paper quotes the sister of the suspect. A Galloway spokesman denies that Galloway knows the suspect. What is suspect is the Murdoch media empire that makes up news and commits illegal acts to provide cover for the false flag operations being conducted by Britain, the U.S., and Israel.

Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has helped provide the cover story for the alleged liquid bombers. Working with British and U.S. intelligence, the ISI says it broke up the plot after arresting terrorist suspects in Lahore and Karachi. However, the ISI claims that the men were affiliated with the Kashmiri terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba, a group that is run and funded by the ISI itself.

The disclosure of the Charles-Brown plot has already created a backlash from the neo-cons. The Murdoch media is already floating the rumor that Home Secretary Reid is now Blair's chosen successor, while there will be an effort to scandalize Charles in an effort to convince the British public that it would be best to skip over him and have Prince William assume the throne upon Queen Elizabeth's death or abdication.

British commentators are noting that it is Reid, a noted neo-con, who is chairing national security "Cobra" meetings in Blair's absence. Blair bypassed Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and many political observers believe that Prescott was passed over because of evidence that he was involved in supporting the Charles-Brown coup. Prescott chaired Cobra meetings in the wake of the July 7, 2005 (7/7) London transit bombings.

Meanwhile, Republican governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mitt Romney used the occasion to boost their sagging popularity by placing their states' National Guardsmen at major airports in their states.


Why Democracies evolve into Dictatorships

By James Cooke

Liberal commentators continue to respond with hysterics or dumfoundedness at the ability of Conservatives to destroy civil liberties while thus far waging three preemptive wars (yes Lebanon is a U.S. war). It should have been clear by now- with the media and Democrats suppressing or supporting the most blatant atrocities engineered by the Republicans- that larger forces are at play.

Link Here

Kidnapped Fox Journalist's Wife Pleads For Information...

Associated Press DIAA HADID August 18, 2006 at 04:21 PM

The wife of a kidnapped Fox News cameraman made a tearful plea Friday for information about the whereabouts of her husband and a fellow Fox journalist.

Cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, of New Zealand, and American reporter Steve Centanni, 60, were taken Monday from their TV van near the Palestinian security services headquarters.


Why Do We Hate Them?

By Jason Miller

Western corporate media shamelessly serve the Neocons by perpetuating a virtually endless cycle of hatred and violence. They incite and feed Islamophobia and they fabricate a plethora of false justifications for the malevolent actions of Israel and the United States. But then in a fascist nation, corporations are wedded with the state, militarism is the state's primary focus, scapegoats and enemies are essential, and the function of the Fourth Estate is to provide the propaganda to control the masses.

Link Here

The army is back, but don't expect it to disarm Hizbollah

By Robert Fisk

Now you see them, now you don't. Hizbollah weapons? None to be seen. And none to be collected by the Lebanese army. For when this august body of men crossed the Litani river yesterday, their officers made it perfectly clear that it would not be the army's job to disarm the Hizbollah. Nor was anyone in Lebanon surprised.

Link Here

US heckles Castro's 'baby brother'

From correspondents in Washington
August 19, 2006 06:00am
Article from: Agence France-PresseFont size: + -

A US State Department official poked fun Friday at ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro's brother, who is interim ruler of the communist state, calling him "Fidel's baby brother" and "Fidel light."

Tom Casey, the deputy State Department spokesman, made the remarks when asked to comment on Raul Castro's first public statement since the president temporarily ceded power to him on July 31 following major surgery.

The junior Castro had told the Communist Party newspaper Granma that he had mobilised tens of thousands of reservists and militia members to face a possible US invasion threat.

"Wow. Gee. I guess you're asking me what we think of remarks by Fidel's baby brother?," Casey said. "And what do we think of them?

"I guess, not much is the answer," he said at the department's daily media briefing.

Mr Casey continued, "We're not particularly fond, as you know, of the government of Cuba as run by Fidel. I can't say that we're particularly enamoured of the first words we've heard from "Fidel light".

The United States has invaded and administered Cuba in the past, a subject of everyday political discussion by the Cuban government. The communist regime has been the target of a US trade embargo for more than 40 years.

"What we do not accept is the arrogant and interventionist policy frequently assumed by the current administration" of US President George W. Bush, said Raul Castro, the bearded president's constitutionally designated successor and the Caribbean nation's defence chief.

The State Department reiterated overnight that "the United States has no plans to invade Cuba."

Washington has dismissed suggestions it would take advantage of Castro's illness to foment a crisis in Cuba, but reiterated demands for free elections and democratic change in the Americas' only one-party communist regime.

A commission on Cuba that Bush created in 2003 to help defeat the Castro regime has recommended a series of steps to speed up the emergence of democracy, including funding for dissidents and support for an eventual transition government committed to holding free elections.

"The plan that we've put forward is designed to assist the Cuban people as they move through a transition to a democratic government. It's our firm hope that that transition comes sooner rather than later," Mr Casey said.

Link Here

'Martyrdom' plot videos surface

From correspondents in London
August 19, 2006 05:12am
Article from: Agence France-PresseFont size: + -

BRITISH police have found "martyrdom" video tapes apparently recorded by some of the suspects held over an alleged plot to blow up US-bound airliners, a media report said overnight.

Officers have found at least half a dozen videos in which the suspects allegedly recorded their last statements in preparation for suicide attacks, according to BBC television which quoted unofficial police sources.

It said the "videos found on laptops appear to be recorded by some of the suspects currently in custody."

London's Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the report.

Police have searched more than 50 buildings since the authorities announced August 10 that they had foiled a plot to blow up as many as 10 planes in mid-flight between Britain and the United States.

Some 23 suspects remain in custody.

The BBC reported previously that police had found a suitcase containing components needed to make an explosive device, in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, northwest of London.

Link Here

"Mass murder on an unbelievable scale"The timing is political
By Craig Murry

One of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not have passports. It could be pretty difficult to convince a jury that these individuals were about to go through with suicide bombings, whatever they bragged about on the net.

Link Here

What we know and don't know about 9/11 "Holding the Bush regime accountable for its obvious & documented lies"

Paul Craig Roberts
August 18, 2006

What we know and don't know about 9/11

"Holding the Bush regime accountable for its obvious & documented lies"
Paul Craig Robert

August 18, 2006

I received a number of intelligent responses from readers of my August 14 column, "Gullible Americans," The letters deserve a reply. Moreover, some contain important points that should be shared with a wider audience. Pundits such as myself are not the only people who have interesting things to say. Considering the number of letters and the time it would require to respond individually, I am replying instead in this column.

Most readers from whom I heard understand the difference between loyalty to country and loyalty to a government. They understand that to support a political party or a government that is destroying the US Constitution and America's reputation in the world is, in fact, an act of treason. Therefore, I did not have to read the usual drivel about how doubting "our government" is un-American.

Among the issues raised are:

How could the complicity of the US government, or some part of it, in the events of 9/11 be kept a secret? For the most part, this question comes from Americans who believe the government must have been, to some extent, complicit in the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.

How can we differentiate between the real facts, the 9/11 Commission's reporting of the facts, and "conspiracy theories"?

What about the role of suicide flyers led by M. Atta?

What about the Popular Mechanics article and the TV documentary that debunk the skeptics and support the official explanation of 9/11?

What about the role of the US media in propagandizing Americans with the official explanation instead of examining the explanation, especially with regard to such truncated hatchet-job interviews with 9/11 skeptics such as the hatchet jobs presided over by Donny Deutsch on CNBC and by neocon Tucker Carlson on MSNBC?

Why are so many Americans hostile to holding the Bush regime accountable for its obvious and documented lies, lies that have misled America to war and gratuitously slaughtered and maimed tens of thousands of people, including our own troops?

I will begin by stating what we know to be a solid incontrovertible scientific fact.

We know that it is strictly impossible for any building, much less steel columned buildings, to "pancake" at free fall speed. Therefore, it is a non-controversial fact that the official explanation of the collapse of the WTC buildings is false.

We also know for a fact that the Air Force somehow inexplicably failed to intercept the alleged hijacked airliners despite the fact that the Air Force can launch jet fighters to 29,000 feet in 2.5 minutes. We also know that the two co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission have just written a book that reveals that the US military lied to the Commission about its failure to intercept the hijacked airliners.

There are various explanations for this second fact. The military could have lied to cover up complicity or to cover-up its incompetence. However, no investigation has been made to ascertain the true explanation for the failure.

This leaves us with the incontrovertible fact that buildings cannot "pancake" at free fall speeds.

The only explanation known to science for the free fall collapse of a building, especially into its own footprint, is engineered demolition, which removes the supports for each floor of the building at split second intervals so that the debris from above meets no resistance on its fall. To call this explanation a "conspiracy theory" is to display the utmost total ignorance. Any physicist or engineer who maintains that buildings can "pancake" at free fall speed has obviously been bought and paid for or is a total incompetent fool.

The WTC buildings are known to have collapsed at free fall speed into their own footprints.

This fact does not tell us who is responsible or what purpose was served.

Since the damning incontrovertible fact has not been investigated, speculation and "conspiracy theories" have filled the void. Some of the speculation is based on circumstantial evidence and is plausible. Other of the speculation is untenable, and it is used to protect the official explanation by branding all skeptics "conspiracy theorists." I would not be surprised if some of the most far-out "conspiracy theories" consist, in fact, of disinformation put out by elements in the government to discredit all skeptics. But I do not know this to be the case.

How could government complicity be kept a secret? It can be kept a secret, because so many Americans are scientifically ignorant and emotionally weak. They are incapable of realizing the contradiction in the government's claim that the WTC buildings "pancaked" at free fall speed, and they are emotionally incapable of confronting the evil of the Bush regime. Many Christians think that Bush is "a man of God" who is protecting American morality from homosexuals and abortionists. Others who wear their patriotism on their sleeves think Bush is standing up for America and innocent Israel, and that they must not let anti-American anti-war protesters cause America to lose another war and repeat the Vietnam experience. Americans are both ignorant and full of resentments against the left. This makes them easily manipulated by the neoconservatives who dominate the Bush regime and the media.

Also, many anti-war and anti-Bush online sites are scared of being called "crazy conspiracy kooks." They protect their sites by staying away from the 9/11 issue, just as so many Americans are scared to death of being called "anti-semitic" and thereby do not dare criticize Israel no matter the heinous war crimes that state routinely commits. Of all the online subscribers to my column, only vdare.com and NewsMax had the courage to post my column. Realizing that even antiwar sites would serve as de facto gatekeepers for the neocons, I offered the column to ICH, whose editor cannot be intimidated.

The Popular Mechanics article and the TV documentary are obviously false since they both endorse the official explanation that the WTC buildings "pancaked" at free fall speed, an obvious scientific impossibility. Whether the false reporting by Popular Mechanics and television are due to incompetence or to complicity in a government cover-up, I do not know.

We know nothing about alleged suicide flyers led by M. Atta except what the government has told us, a government that has lied to us about everything else, such as Iraq's alleged WMD and alleged links to Osama bin Laden, and Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, a program for which the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors cannot find evidence.

According to reports, the BBC has found 6 of the alleged suicide hijackers alive and well in their home countries. I do not know if the report is true, but I do know that the report has been ignored and there has been no investigation. Both the US government and the US media have turned a blind eye. We have no way of knowing if Atta and his named accomplices hijacked the planes, or, if they did, whether they were dupes of intelligent services that pretended to be a terrorist cell and organized the cover for the engineered demolition.

The fact that we do not know any of these things, and the fact that the 9/11 Commission co-chairmen now tell us that their report is flawed, are good indications that we have no documented information of who was behind the plot, why it occurred, or how it operated.

With regard to the role of the US media, if it is indeed a media rather than a propaganda ministry, one reader cited remarks by the distinguished investigative reporter, John Pilger, made in an address at Columbia University on 14 April 2006:

"During the Cold War, a group of Russian journalists toured the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by their hosts for their impressions. 'I have to tell you,' said their spokesman, 'that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV, that all the opinions on all the vital issues were by and large, the same. To get that result in our country, we imprison people, we tear out their fingernails. Here, you don't have that. What's the secret? How do you do it?'"

This quote is probably apocryphal, but it is well used to make a valid point. The answer to the Russian's question is that during the cold war the American public viewed the Soviet Union as a dangerous adversary and were amenable to reports to that effect. The fact that the Soviets were a potentially dangerous adversary made Americans blind to the roles of the US military-industrial complex, which benefited financially from cultivating the adversary relationship, and the US government, which benefited politically from cultivating the adversary relationship, in keeping the adversarial relationship alive.

The uniformity of the US media has become much more complete since the days of the cold war. During the 1990s, the US government permitted an unconscionable concentration of print and broadcast media that terminated the independence of the media. Today the US media is owned by 5 giant companies in which pro-Zionist Jews have disproportionate influence. More importantly, the values of the conglomerates reside in the broadcast licenses, which are granted by the government, and the corporations are run by corporate executives--not by journalists--whose eyes are on advertising revenues and the avoidance of controversy that might produce boycotts or upset advertisers and subscribers. Americans who rely on the totally corrupt corporate media have no idea what is happening anywhere on earth, much less at home.

Despite the dark days in which we live, some readers find optimism in recent polls that show more than one-third of the US public now disbelieve the official account of 9/11 despite the Bush regime's propaganda faithfully trumpeted by the US media. Bush's own rock-bottom polls show that Americans, like the Russians of the Soviet era, can read between the lines of the propagandistic US media. Many Americans can still spot a liar and a cheat when they see one.

Key Ronald Reagan advisor Hon. Paul Craig Roberts: "Gullible Americans have been duped by the 9/11 Hoax... Wise up -- the World is laughing at you."

Gullible Americans

By Paul Craig Roberts Information Clearing House 08/14/06

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

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

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

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

The two co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission Report, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have just released a new book, "Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission." Kean and Hamilton reveal that the commission suppressed the fact that Muslim ire toward the US is due to US support for Israel's persecution and dispossession of the Palestinians, not to our "freedom and democracy" as Bush propagandistically claims. Kean and Hamilton also reveal that the US military committed perjury and lied about its failure to intercept the hijacked airliners. The commission even debated referring the military's lies to the Justice Department for criminal investigation. Why should we assume that these admissions are the only coverups and lies in the 9/11 Commission Report?

How do you know that 9/11 was a Muslim terrorist plot? How do you know that THREE World Trade Center buildings collapsed because TWO were hit by airliners? You only "know" because the government gave you the explanation of what you saw on TV. (Did you even know that three WTC buildings collapsed?)

I still remember the enlightenment I experienced as a student in Russian Studies when I learned that the Czarist secret police would set off bombs and then blame those whom they wanted to arrest.

When Hitler seized dictatorial power in 1933, he told the Germans that his new powers were made necessary by a communist terrorist attack on the Reichstag. When Hitler started World War II by invading Poland, he told the Germans that Poland had crossed the frontier and attacked Germany.

Governments lie all the time--especially governments staffed by neoconservatives whose intellectual godfather, Leo Strauss, taught them that it is permissible to deceive the public in order to achieve their agenda.

Some readers will write to me to say that they saw a TV documentary or read a magazine article verifying the government's explanation of 9/11. But, of course, these Americans did not check the facts either--and neither did the people who made the documentary and wrote the magazine article.

Scientists and engineers, such as Clemson University Professor of Engineering Dr. Judy Woods and BYU Professor of Physics Dr. Steven Jones, have raised compelling questions about the official account of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The basic problem for the government's account is that the buildings are known to have fallen at freefall speed, a fact that is inconsistent with the government's "pancaking" theory in which debris from above collapsed the floors below. If the buildings actually "pancaked," then each floor below would have offered resistance to the floors above, and the elapsed time would have been much longer. These experts have also calculated that the buildings did not have sufficient gravitational energy to accommodate the government's theory of the collapse. It is certainly a known and non-controversial fact among physicists and engineers that the only way buildings can collapse at freefall speed into their own footprints is by engineered demolition. Explosives are used to remove the support of floors below before the debris from above arrives. Otherwise, resistance is encountered and the time required for fall increases. Engineered demolition also explains the symmetrical collapse of the buildings into their own foot prints. As it is otherwise improbable for every point in floors below to weaken uniformly, "pancaking" would result in asymmetrical collapse as some elements of the floor would give sooner than others.

Scientific evidence is a tough thing for the American public to handle, and the government knows it. The government can rely on people dismissing things that they cannot understand as "conspiracy theory." But if you are inclined to try to make up your own mind, you can find Dr. Jones' and Dr. Woods' papers, which have been formally presented to their peers at scientific meetings, on line at http://www.st911.org/

Experts have also pointed out that the buildings' massive steel skeletons comprised a massive heat sink that wicked away the heat from the limited, short-lived fires, thus preventing a heat buildup. Experts also point out that the short-lived, scattered, low-intensity fires could barely reach half the melting point of steel even if they burned all day instead of merely an hour.

Don't ask me to tell you what happened on 9/11. All I know is that the official account of the buildings' collapse is improbable.

Now we are being told another improbable tale. Muslim terrorists in London and Pakistan were caught plotting to commit mass murder by smuggling bottles of explosive liquids on board airliners in hand luggage. Baby formula, shampoo and water bottles allegedly contained the tools of suicide bombers.

How do we know about this plot? Well, the police learned it from an "Islamic militant arrested near the Afghan-Pakistan border several weeks ago." And how did someone so far away know what British-born people in London were plotting?

Do you really believe that Western and Israeli intelligence services, which were too incompetent to prevent the 9/11 attack, can uncover a London plot by capturing a person on the Afghan border in Pakistan? Why would "an Islamic militant" rat on such a plot even if he knew of it?

More probable explanations of the "plot" are readily available. According to the August 11 Wayne Madsen Report, informed sources in the UK report that "the Tony Blair government, under siege by a Labor Party revolt, cleverly cooked up a new 'terror' scare to avert the public's eyes away from Blair's increasing political woes. British law enforcement, neocon and intelligence operatives in the US, Israel, and Britain, and Rupert Murdoch's global media empire cooked up the terrorist plot, liberally borrowing from the failed 1995 'Oplan Bjinka' plot by Pakistan- and Philippines-based terrorist Ramzi Ahmad Yousef to crash 11 trans-Pacific airliners bound from Asia to the US."

There are other plausible explanations. For example, our puppet in Pakistan decided to arrest some people who were a threat to him. With Bush's commitment to "building democracy in the Middle East," our puppet can't arrest his political enemies without cause, so he lays the blame on a plot.

Any testimony against Muslim plotters by "an Islamic militant" is certain to have been bought and paid for.

Or consider this explanation. Under the Nuremberg standard, Bush and Blair are war criminals. Bush is so worried that he will be held accountable that he has sent his attorney general to consult with the Republican Congress to work out legislation to protect Bush retroactively from his violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Tony Blair is in more danger of finding himself in the dock. Britain is signatory to a treaty that, if justice is done, will place Blair before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

What better justification for the two war criminals' illegal actions than the need to foil dastardly plots by Muslims recruited in sting operations by Western intelligence services? The more Bush and Blair can convince their publics that terrorist danger abounds, the less likely Bush and Blair are ever to be held accountable for their crimes.

But surely, some readers might object, our great moral leaders wouldn't do something political like that!

They most certainly would. As Joshua Micah Marshall wrote in the July 7 issue of Time magazine, the suspicion is "quite reasonable" that "the Bush Administration orchestrates its terror alerts and arrests to goose the GOP's poll numbers."

Joshua Micah Marshall proves his conclusion by examining the barrage of color-coded terror alerts, none of which were real, and, yes, it all fits with political needs.

And don't forget the plot unearthed in Miami to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. Described by Vice President Cheney as a "very real threat," the plot turned out to be nothing more than a few harmless whackos recruited by an FBI agent sent out to organize a sting.

There was also the "foiled plot" to blow up the Holland Tunnel and flood downtown New York City with sea water. Thinking New Orleans, the FBI invented this plot without realizing that New York City is above sea level. Of course, most Americans didn't realize it either.

For six years the Bush regime has been able to count on the ignorant and naive American public to believe whatever tale that is told them. American gullibility has yet to fail the Bush regime.

The government has an endless number of conspiracy theories, but only people who question the government's conspiracies are derided for "having a conspiracy theory."

The implication is even worse if we assume that the explosive bottle plot is genuine. It means that America and Britain by their own aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by enabling Israel's war crimes in Palestine and Lebanon, have created such hatred that Muslims, who identify with Bush's, Blair's, and Israel's victims, are plotting retaliation.

But Bush is prepared. He has taught his untutored public that "they hate us for our freedom and democracy."

Gentle reader, wise up. The entire world is laughing at you.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions

continua / continued

Hezbollah says it foiled Israeli raid (AP)

By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago

Hezbollah says it foiled Israeli raid

By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago

Hezbollah said it foiled an Israeli commando raid early Saturday near its stronghold of Baalbek, a confrontation that could prove to be the biggest violation to date of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

Lebanese security officials confirmed a report on Hezbollah TV that Israeli commandos were dropped off by helicopter outside the village of Boudai west of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release information to the media, said the Israelis apparently were seeking a guerrilla target in a school. The officials also reported heavy Israeli overflights.

Israel's army said it was looking into the report.

The provincial government official, Bekaa Valley Gov. Antoine Suleiman, told the privately owned Voice of Lebanon radio station that Israeli soldiers landed outside Baalbek and brought two vehicles with them.

If the report proves true, it would mark the first time Israel launched a military operation on such a scale since the cease-fire went into effect Monday. Israeli troops have killed several Hezbollah fighters who threatened their troops in south Lebanon since the cease-fire, and warplanes have flown over the country. The cease-fire allows for self-defense.>>>>cont


Four killed in Lebanon raid

LAT: Radioactive Leak Reaches Nuclear Plant's Groundwater

Radioactive Leak Reaches Nuclear Plant's Groundwater
At San Onofre, the cancer-causing tritium isn't known to infect drinking water, but experts are checking.
By Seema Mehta and Dave McKibben, Times Staff Writer
August 18, 2006

Radioactive, cancer-causing tritium has leaked into the groundwater beneath the San Onofre nuclear power plant, prompting the closure of one drinking-water well in southern Orange County, CA, authorities said.

Officials have not found evidence that the leak from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, California's largest, has contaminated the drinking water supply.

As a precaution, San Clemente officials shut down and are testing a city well near the contaminated area.

"We owe it to our residents and business folks to properly test the water," said Dave Lund, San Clemente's public works director.

In recent years, tritium leaks have been found at more than a dozen nuclear plants across the nation, prompting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to form a task force this year to study the cause of the contamination. The findings are scheduled to be released this month....

Link Here

Lieberman hires new (Republican) media consultant, pollster

AP Political Writer

August 18, 2006, 4:16 PM EDT

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Sen. Joe Lieberman continued retooling his campaign staff Friday, hiring a nationally known pollster and media consultant to assist in his independent re-election bid.

Lieberman hired Democratic consultant Josh Isay, who has worked for Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, as a senior strategist who will produce TV and radio ads.

He also hired Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who lists two key Connecticut Republicans, Gov. M. Jodi Rell and U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, among his clients.

Lieberman, who must appeal to Republicans and unaffiliated voters to beat Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger in November, touted the new hires as proof of his campaign's bipartisanship.

"They are not just among the best in their respective businesses, but they bring a deep knowledge of Connecticut from across the political spectrum, which will be essential to our effort to build a broad coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and independents," Lieberman said in a release.

Replacing his pollster and media consultant is the second major campaign change since Lieberman lost the Democratic primary last week to Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont. Lieberman had previously replaced his campaign manager and campaign spokeswoman and asked other staff members to reapply for their jobs.

Liz Dupont-Diehl, Lamont's campaign spokeswoman, said the hirings show that Lieberman just wants to keep his job. Lamont has called on Lieberman to back the winner of last week's Democratic primary.

"These new appointments beg the question: Who is the real Joe Lieberman?" Dupont-Diehl said. "What we have seen so far of Joe Lieberman is consistent enabling of the Bush/Cheney agenda. He is changing his tune now in a last-ditch attempt to hold on to power."

Lamont edged Lieberman by 10,000 votes in the primary by criticizing the centrist senator's support for the Iraq war and linking him to President Bush and the Republicans. Political pundits say the primary was evidence of voters' frustration with the war and predict it could have national political ramifications.

Top state and national Democrats have since abandoned Lieberman and are endorsing Lamont. Some city mayors and state House Speaker James Amann, however, are sticking by Lieberman.
A day after the primary, Lieberman filed petitions to run as an independent in November's general election. A recent poll shows Lieberman leading Lamont by 12 percentage points among likely voters, with Schlesinger trailing far behind.

Isay, a New Haven native, replaces Carter Eskew, who had worked with Lieberman in 1988 when he defeated then-Republican U.S. Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. Newhouse replaces Al Quinlan, from Greenberg Quinlan.

Also Friday, Rell seemed to distance herself from Schlesinger, a fellow Republican. Asked if she is backing the former mayor and state representative in the three-way race, Rell would say only that Schlesinger is the party-endorsed candidate.

Rell had suggested last month that Schlesinger consider dropping out of the race after news reports that he gave Foxwoods Resort Casino a fake name when he signed up for a so-called wampum card, which awards points based on how much someone gambles. Those points can be traded for meals and other perks.

Asked again Friday if Schlesinger should drop out, Rell said, "Alan Schlesinger is the endorsed candidate of the Republican party at the nominating convention back in May. I have not had any conversations with him and as I said, he is the endorsed candidate and he has given every indication that he intends to stay there."

Rell said she is not endorsing Lieberman, who garnered support from two-thirds of Republicans in this week's Quinnipiac University poll.

Schlesinger said Rell is not trying to distance herself from him.

"What she says stands," he said.

Schlesinger said he and Rell have appeared at several campaign events together and he expects they will meet up again.

"I look forward to campaigning with her the rest of the campaign," he said. "I think she's doing a great job as governor and I think she's going to be re-elected."


Editor's note: Susan Haigh has covered the Connecticut statehouse and political scene since 1994.

Link Here

Israel alarm at UN force members (could threaten the ceasefire)

Israel alarm at UN force members

Israel says it would be "difficult if not inconceivable" to accept nations which do not recognise its right to exist as part of a UN force in Lebanon.
Israeli UN envoy Dan Gillerman was speaking after Indonesia and Malaysia, which do not recognise Israel, pledged troops for the UN deployment.

Malaysia said Israel should have no say in the make-up of the force.

The UN has expressed cautious optimism that it can deploy an initial 3,500-strong force within two weeks.

UN deputy chief Mark Malloch Brown warned earlier that delay could threaten the ceasefire.

But building the force has proved problematical. Mr Malloch Brown said a lot of work was needed in the coming days to meet the two-week deadline.

There is concern that the offers do not necessarily provide the right mix of troops and capabilities needed for the deployment, the BBC's Bridget Kendall in New York says.

A number of countries are calling for clearer guidance on the exact nature of the mission.

As the UN's efforts to build the force continued, Mr Gillerman made clear Israel's unhappiness with some of the contributors.

"It would be very difficult if not inconceivable for Israel to accept troops from countries who do not recognise Israel, who have no diplomatic relations with Israel," he told the BBC.

He said they would be "very happy" to accept troops from Muslim countries they have friendly relations with.

"But to expect countries who don't even recognise Israel to guard Israel's safety I think would be a bit naive," he said.

His comments were dismissed by Malaysia, which, along with Indonesia, has a Muslim majority population.

"We're going to be on Lebanese territory ... We're not going to be on Israeli territory," Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said.

Link Here

Intelligence officials doubt Iran uranium claims, say Cheney receiving suspect briefings

Larisa AlexandrovnaPublished: Friday August 18, 2006

The Bush administration continues to bypass standard intelligence channels and use what some believe to be propaganda tactics to create a compelling case for war with Iran, US foreign policy experts and former US intelligence officials tell RAW STORY.

One former senior intelligence official is particularly concerned by private briefings that Vice President Dick Cheney is getting from former Office of Special Plans (OSP) Director, Abram Shulsky.

"Vice President Cheney is relying on personal briefings from Shulsky for current intelligence on Iran," said this intelligence official.

Shulsky, a leading Neoconservative and member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), headed the shadowy and secretive Department of Defense's OSP in the lead-up to the Iraq war -- helping to locate intelligence that would support the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq.

In an earlier report by Raw Story on an OSP spin-off dubbed the Iranian Directorate (ID), Lt. Col. Barry E. Venable -- a spokesman for the Pentagon -- confirmed that Shulsky was consulting for this new initiative as well.

"Mr. Shulsky continues in his position as Senior Advisor to the USD, focusing on Mid-East regional issues and the [global war on terror]," stated Venable.

Several foreign policy experts, who wish to remain anonymous, have expressed serious concern that much like the OSP, the ID is manipulating, cherry picking, and perhaps even -- as some suspect -- cooking intelligence to lead the U.S. into another conflict, this time with Iran.

"Cheney distrusts the information being disseminated by CIA on Iran," said one former senior intelligence official. "The reports assembled by the Iranian Directorate at the Pentagon differ significantly from the analysis produced by the Intelligence Community. The Pentagon Iranian Directorate relies on thin and unsupported reporting from foreign sources."

In the build-up to the Iraq war, Cheney relied on intelligence almost exclusively from the OSP, which leveled allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. This was later debunked, but no OSP or DOD officials were held accountable for what many believe was a "deliberate effort" to mislead the nation into war.

New Uranium Allegations

Adding to the similarities between the pre-war build up to Iraq, new allegations of Uranium transactions began aggressively circulating earlier this month. For example, in an August 6th Sunday Times of London article entitled "Iran's plot to mine uranium in Africa," Iran is alleged to have purchased Uranium from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"A United Nations report, dated July 18, said there was 'no doubt' that a huge shipment of smuggled uranium 238, uncovered by customs officials in Tanzania, was transported from the Lubumbashi mines in the Congo.

"Tanzanian customs officials told The Sunday Times it was destined for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, and was stopped on October 22 last year during a routine check."
The UN report, however, does not mention Iran. It is only the Tanzanian official who does.>>>cont

Link Here
free hit counter