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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ally and Obstacle in the War on Terror

Five Years After 9/11, Pakistan's Cooperation Remains Critical


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 7, 2006 — In the five years since Sept. 11, 2001, Pakistan has become simultaneously America's most important ally in the global war on terror and the greatest obstacle to winning it.

Sometimes it's hard to come to grips with that inherent contradiction. >>>cont

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Suicide blast kills 16 in Kabul

Sep 8, 2006 — By Terry Friel

KABUL (Reuters) - A huge car bomb exploded near the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Friday, killing at least 16 people including up to seven foreigners, the worst suicide attack in the city since the Taliban were overthrown in 2001.

"Some of them turned into pieces," a policeman said as rescue crews hosed down fires and washed blood and body parts from the road, meters (yards) from the entrance to the embassy.
The attack, likely to have been aimed at a U.S. military convoy, came just days ahead of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States. >>>cont

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Widowed Husband Of Former Disney Records Exec Killed On 9/11 Writes To ABC's Iger: I "Urge You Not To Air This Film"

By Greg Sargent bio

John Beug, the widowed husband of Carolyn Beug, a former vice president at Walt Disney Records who was on the plane that slammed into 1 World Trade Center, has written a letter to ABC chief Bob Iger pleading with him not to run the film. A source provided us with a copy of the letter.

It reads, in part: "I am writing to express my concern and deep reservations about this film and to ask you, out of respect for the victims of 9/11 and their families, not to air it...I strongly and respectfully urge you not to air this film."

Reached by phone, Mr. Beug confirmed the letter was his and verified its accuracy. "I think it's unfortunate that people are sensationalizing the story for whatever reason they're doing it," Mr. Beug said. "It shouldn't be politicized." Soon after her death, Carolyn Beug was described by U.S.A. Today as a "former Walt Disney Records executive" who "won acclaim for her work on the Pocahontas film soundtrack."

ABC has said that judgments of the film are premature. "No one has seen the final version of the film, because the editing … is not yet complete, so criticisms of film's specifics are premature and irresponsible," a recent ABC statement said.

The full text of the letter follows after the jump.

Full text of the letter:

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GI Special 4I8: "This War Was Bullshit" - September 8, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

"Ordinary Soldiers Believed This War Was Bullshit""If I Lived Here, I’d Want To Kill Us, Too"My unit was tasked with base defense, and I [xxxx] the guys and gals in the towers for most of our 9-10 months there.I was able, therefore, to talk with many of the troops, both active and Guard, at length over the months.Most knew my politics; as the days wore on, more and more of the enlisteds, E-5 & below, spoke with me about their growing misgivings about the war.Some were openly angry and contemptuous of the officers, generals, and civilian leadership that sent us there.

continua / continued

John Kerry Blasts ABC's Desperate Docudrama

READ MORE: Iraq, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, CIA, Afghanistan, 9/11, Tim Russert, Saddam Hussein, Lebanon, Israel

by Taylor Marsh

"... In other words, we said to Osama bin Laden we think getting rid of Saddam Hussein is seven times more important than dealing with of you. - President Bill Clinton

So, after Bill Clinton got through ripping ABC and Republicans, with a little help from his lawyers, I started thinking. What does John Kerry think about "Path to 9/11"? So I emailed my contact in Kerry's Senate office.

Then I'm working this morning, in the middle of a conference call actually, when my cell phone rings. It was John Kerry.

After quick pleasantries, Kerry took off. If Iger's office door was open at the time he could have heard Kerry all the way from Massachusetts. Talk about ticked. He let rip. Let's just say Kerry's fed up and he's not going to take it anymore. After our conversation, which lasted around 15 minutes, I got a statement from him that says it all.

What I find most stunning in all of this is that now five years after the real 9/11 - as if any fiction could somehow make more searing what each and every one of us lived with our own eyes and ears - is that we need less revisionism about the past and a hell of a lot more reality about what's going on now. Right now.

Instead of the fiction written to excuse the invasion of Iraq by exploiting the 3,000 mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who were lost that day -- they were attacked and killed not by Saddam Hussein but by Osama bin Laden - we need the truth.

Here's a little truth: The President pretends Iraq is the central front on the war on terror. It is not now, and never has been. His disastrous decisions have made Iraq a fuel depot for terror - fanning the flames of conflict around the world.

The terrorists are not on the run. Worldwide, terrorist acts are at an all-time high, more than tripling between 2004 and 2005. Al Qaeda has spawned a vast and decentralized network operating in 65 countries, most of them joining since 9/11. The Taliban now controls entire portions of southern Afghanistan, and just across the border Pakistan is just one coup away from becoming a radical jihadist state with nuclear weapons. The Middle East is more unstable than it has been in decades. Hezbollah flags fly from rooftops in Shiia slums of Sadr City and Iran is rebuilding Southern Lebanon. We have an Iraqi Prime Minister sustained in power by our forces, who will not speak against the Hezbollah terrorists, who will not say that Israel has a right to exist, and who will not condemn the Iranian nuclear program, who will not even as a national leader support the national army over the Shiite militia. In other words, the Iraq government that the administration cites as the front-line force in the fight against terrorism won't even take our side when we are fighting terrorists. No American soldier should be asked to stand up for an Iraqi government that won't stand up for the values and interests that draw them into battle every day. Oh, and the 9/11 commission recently gave our government a failing grade on implementing intelligence reforms.

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The Weekend's 9/11 Horror-Fest will do Osama bin Laden's Work for Him

The weekend is to be wall-to-wall 9/11. Not glorifying terrorism? You must be joking.


Bush War Crimes: The Nuremburg Precedent


Yesterday the Senate released a bi-partisan report that the intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq was falsified intentionally as to WMDs and Iraq's connection to 9/11 and Al Qeada. The making of aggressive wars is a crime according to the Nuremburg Trials. Bush is also guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Below are the crimes cited by the military tribunal for the Nuremburg Trials:


The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes. The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

(a) Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
(c) Crimes against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,14 or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

Leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

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26-Year-Old Mayor Takes Charge Of Pittsburgh...

New York Times Ian Urbina September 9, 2006 at 10:07 AM

At 26, many people haven't even decided on a career. Luke Ravenstahl is already the mayor of Pittsburgh.

In the four short years since he left college, Mr. Ravenstahl has mastered the art of being at the right place at the right time, and last week he became the youngest mayor of any major city in the country, after the previous mayor, Bob O'Connor, died of a brain tumor.


Iraq Prime Minister To Make "Cordial Visit" To Iran...

Agence France-Presse Dave Clark September 9, 2006 at 10:08 AM

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced an important visit to Shiite neighbourIran, as a debate over a plan to divide Iraq into autonomous regions fuelled sectarian tension at home.

Maliki is due in Tehran on Monday for his first official trip, described by his spokesman as a "cordial visit" that will focus on "security and political relations, besides developing and promoting bilateral relations."


Bush Plans To Revive Unpopular Social Security Overhaul After Midterm Elections...

Reuters September 9, 2006 at 01:08 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush

President George W. Bush hopes to revive his plan to overhaul the U.S.Social Security retirement program if his Republican party keeps control of the Congress in the November midterm elections, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Despite polls suggesting Democrats have their best chance in years to regain control of the House of Representatives, Bush told the newspaper in an interview he was confident a power shift was "not going to happen."


Merkel On CIA Prisons: “Not Compatible With My Understanding Of The Rule Of Law”...

Reuters September 9, 2006 at 12:31 PM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has sought to bolster ties with the United States since she took office, rebuked Washington on Saturday for sanctioning secret CIA prisons used to interrogate terror suspects.

"The use of such prisons is not compatible with my understanding of the rule of law," Merkel said in Berlin.


EPA wants pollution rules eased for oil refineries, plants

Sept. 9, 2006, 12:54AM
EPA wants pollution rules eased for oil refineries, plants
Critics warn the accounting method would let industries taint the air even more

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration proposed easing environmental rules Friday to allow oil refineries and other industries to change how they calculate whether they need pollution control equipment.

The oil refinery industry says the eased regulation would open the way for production of more oil and other products. But environmental groups say the proposed rules are gimmicks and loopholes allowing the industry to emit more pollution, evade pollution controls and save money.
In a news release, the Environmental Protection Agency said the proposed rules will make it easier for owners and operators to determine whether changes to a plant or facility require installing pollution control equipment. The rules largely affect oil refineries and pharmaceutical and chemical plants.

U.S. refineries are planning to increase oil refining capacity by 1.4 million barrels a day and will do so under strict environmental standards, said Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association.

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U.S. schools compete for Saudi students (Saudi royals paying the tuition)

Ain't it Grand Thousands of students from Saudi Arabia are enrolling on college campuses across the United States this semester under a new educational exchange program brokered by President Bush and Saudi King Abdullah.

The program will quintuple the number of Saudi students and scholars here by the academic year's end. And big, public universities from Florida to the Kansas plains are in a fierce competition for their tuition dollars.

The kingdom's royal family - which is paying full scholarships for most of the 15,000 students - says the program will help stem unrest at home by schooling the country's brightest in the American tradition. The U.S. State Department sees the exchange as a way to build ties with future Saudi leaders and young scholars at a time of unsteady relations with the Muslim world.

But some officials say efforts to fast-track educational diplomacy with Saudi Arabia could use additional scrutiny. Clark Kent Ervin, a former inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, says the U.S. government has yet to ensure proper safeguards are in place to do effective background checks on all applicants.

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GOP Senators' Bid to Confirm Bolton Is Called Off

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff WriterFriday,
September 8, 2006; A03

Republican efforts to formally confirm John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations hit an unexpected snag yesterday when a Republican senator in a tough reelection bid said he could not support the diplomat until the Bush administration answers his questions on Middle East policy.

The protest by Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.) is only the latest development in the long-running battle to get Bolton confirmed to the post he now holds on a temporary basis. Last year, Chafee supported Bolton's confirmation, but the opposition of Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) prompted President Bush to name him to the U.N. post as a recess appointment.

This summer, Voinovich declared that his concerns over Bolton's temperament have been satisfactorily answered by the diplomat's performance at the United Nations. That conversion prompted Bush and GOP leaders to resubmit Bolton's name for confirmation. But Chafee informed Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) of his change of heart yesterday, forcing Lugar to call off the confirmation vote or face the possibility of a 9 to 9 deadlock in the 18-member panel.

Chafee is fighting for his political life. Next Tuesday, Rhode Island primary voters must decide between Chafee, the Senate's most liberal Republican, and Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey, who is challenging him from the right. If Chafee survives the GOP primary, he must then win reelection in one of the most Democratic states in the country.

Stephen Hourahan, Chafee's spokesman, said the senator's move against Bolton was not motivated by politics, noting that Chafee remains in a political bind. The move might play well with Democratic voters in November, he acknowledged, but next week it could enflame Republican primary voters already drawn to Laffey.

"Unfortunately, there was no win on this one," Hourahan said.

Moreover, Chafee's foreign policy concerns -- expressed in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- could alienate Jewish voters and some Christian conservatives who tend to be staunchly pro-Israel. In the letter, Chafee, who chairs the Foreign Relations subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian affairs, urged the Bush administration to stop Israel's construction of 690 new homes in two West Bank settlements.

"It is no secret that I have serious questions about this Administration's policies in the Middle East," Chafee wrote.

But victory in the primary will probably be decided by independent voters, not party stalwarts, and burnishing his independent credentials may be a help. In a new campaign advertisement airing in Rhode Island, a character labels the senator "independent minded" before Chafee states: "I believe that neither Republicans nor Democrats are always right."

Republican leadership aides said GOP leaders are willing to give Chafee some room to maneuver ahead of Tuesday's primary. But they indicated they will probably push for a vote after the polls close next week.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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NYT: 'Independent' Senator Lieberman begins 'complicated, occasionally clumsy tango'

RAW STORYPublished: Friday September 8, 2006

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, forced to run for reelection as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to challenger Ned Lamont, has "begun a complicated, occasionally clumsy tango as he tries to woo Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters without the backing of any party," according to an article slated for the front page of Saturday's edition of The New York Times.

"Since his defeat in the Aug. 8 Democratic primary, Lieberman has been seeking Democrats while appealing to Republicans with tough talk about terrorism that is similar to President Bush's," write Patrick Healy and Jennifer Media for the Times.

"He is mulling creating nonpartisan 'citizen town committees' because he must build a new voter-turnout operation from scratch," write Healy and Medina for the Times.

"And he is calibrating his language to try to appeal across party lines without seeming inconsistent or awkward -- though, at times, he does," the article continues.
Excerpts from Times article:
No longer the Democratic nominee, he has lost a handful of union endorsements, and his allies in the AFL-CIO may stay neutral. His campaign must replace and train hundreds of field workers that the state party usually deploys to help turn out voters. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, usually on his side, is now providing fundraising and strategy help to Lamont. And there is no party organization that can quickly gather its members for the large campaign rallies that can be a shot in the arm.

Independent candidacies are rare, because party affiliation provides so many advantages: Fundraising aid, battle-tested organizers, policy and strategy assistance, volunteers and an apparatus that can attack the candidate's opponent without the candidate appearing negative.

But interviews with Lieberman and his advisers make it clear that he has made a strategic bet:

That his stature, name recognition, appeal among Republicans and power to deliver federal money to Connecticut will more than compensate for the lack of a party behind him....
Yet as Lieberman acknowledges, there is an element of making it all up as he goes along.

NYT: President Bush's 'reset the clock' strategy

RAW STORYPublished: Friday September 8, 2006

Saturday's edition of the New York Times will carry an article slated for the front page which examines President Bush's "reset the clock" strategy.

"When President Bush and his top aides gathered in July to plan a strategy for the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, it was clear to all that they had to try to reset the clock -- back to a time, before Iraq, when portraying Bush as a steely commander in chief was a far simpler task, and before Katrina, when questions about the administration's competence did not weigh so heavily," write David E. Sanger and Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

From those discussions emerged the speeches Bush has delivered over the last week, the leading edge of a remarkably intensive and aggressive campaign in which he has attempted to regain ground he has lost for more than two years, by turning the conversation away from Iraq and back toward the broader war on terror," the article continues.
Excerpts from the Times article:
It is a carefully calibrated strategy that will continue in coming days, first with an appearance Sunday morning by Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the vehicle he used to advantage at key moments after Sept. 11 and then Mr. Bush’s appearance that night at ground zero in New York and a prayer service at St. Paul’s Chapel.

On Monday, for the first time since the first anniversary in 2002, Bush will visit all three sites of the attack that remade his presidency -- New York; Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon. Then he will cap the day and bring to a close this phase of his effort to portray himself and his party on his terms with a nationally televised speech from the Oval Office.
“You can never turn back the clock,” Dan Bartlett, the counselor to the president, said on Friday when asked about the strategy. “But we knew that news organizations and everyone else would be using this moment to define where we were five years later, and the president wanted to articulate his view, too.”

“He’s not trying to ignore Iraq — he wouldn’t, he doesn’t want to,” Mr. Bartlett added. “But he had to explain that even if we have a debate here about whether Iraq’s part of the war on terror, the enemy believes it is.”

US Excludes Car Bomb, Mortar Attack Deaths To Lower Baghdad Body Count…

By Mark Brunswick and Zaineb ObeidMcClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. officials, seeking a way to measure the results of a program aimed at decreasing violence in Baghdad, aren't counting scores of dead killed in car bombings and mortar attacks as victims of the country's sectarian violence.

In a distinction previously undisclosed, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said Friday that the United States is including in its tabulations of sectarian violence only deaths of individuals killed in drive-by shootings or by torture and execution.

That has allowed U.S. officials to boast that the number of deaths from sectarian violence in Baghdad declined by more than 52 percent in August over July.

But it eliminates from tabulation huge numbers of people whose deaths are certainly part of the ongoing conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Not included, for example, are scores of people who died in a highly coordinated bombing that leveled an entire apartment building in eastern Baghdad, a stronghold of rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Johnson declined to provide an actual number for the U.S. tally of August deaths or for July, when the Baghdad city morgue counted a record 1,855 violent deaths.

Violent deaths for August, a morgue official told McClatchy Newspapers on Friday, totaled 1,526, a 17.7 percent decline from July and about the same as died violently in June.

The dispute is an important one. With Baghdad violence reaching record levels in July, U.S. commanders warned that the country was tipping toward civil war. They then ordered 8,000 U.S. troops and 3,000 Iraqis to conduct house-by-house searches of Baghdad's neighborhoods in an effort to root out insurgent gunmen and militia death squads in Operation Together Forward.
The program, which began in earnest Aug. 7, included bringing in thousands of American troops from other parts of Iraq in what was seen by many as a last-ditch effort to head off a civil war that many Iraqis say has already begun.

Within weeks of the kickoff of the Baghdad security plan, the U.S. military's top spokesman, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, boasted that the murder rate in Baghdad had fallen by 46 percent and attributed most of the fall to the new security sweeps.

On Thursday, Caldwell revised the figures, posting a statement on the website of the Multi-National Force-Iraq that the murder rate had dropped even more - by 52 percent from July.

That claim was immediately contradicted by the morgue figures, which trickled out in accounts by various news organizations citing unnamed officials.

Johnson said he couldn't comment on morgue figures and declined to release the raw numbers on which Caldwell's claim was based. He said the numbers were classified and that releasing them might help "our enemy" adjust their tactics.

"We attempt to strike the right balance, being as open and transparent as possible without providing information that places our troops or Iraqi civilians at undo risk by the enemy adjusting their tactics for greater impact," he said, in explaining the decision not to release the figures.

Johnson said the numbers more accurately reflect the impact of Operation Together Forward's mission: targeting operations of shadowy sectarian death squads, who often use drive-by shootings, torture and executions as tactics for terror, rather than suicide bombings or rocket or mortar attacks.

He said the figures quoted by Caldwell reflect a "cautious optimism" that the situation is improving in Iraq.

But whether the violence is truly improving is far from clear. The morgue numbers made public this week reflect only deaths in Baghdad and figures compiled by the Ministry of Health for August violent deaths throughout Iraq won't be released until later this month.

Car bombs daily claim tens of victims, and tit-for-tat exchanges of mortar fire are nightly occurrences. Every morning bodies are discovered, many with their hands and feet bound.

The distinction in the way those people die is lost on victims' relatives, some of whom suggest the true numbers are higher.

"If you want the truth, even when we hear or see the scenes of explosions, assassinations, or number of dead on TV, we don't really care anymore, our feelings are dead," said Dhiya Ahmed, whose 17-year-old nephew was killed on Aug. 11. The young man was walking with a friend near his house when gunmen approached and shot them both dead.

"The numbers are not quite true," said Ahmed. "I bet the actual number is much more."

The family's tragedy has been intense. Last year the victim's father was killed in a similar fashion.

Even while touting the successes, Caldwell on Thursday warned on the coalition Web site about possible increases in violence from insurgent and terrorist attacks that he said would be used to divert attention from the Baghdad security initiative.

"It should not be a surprise if we witness brief up ticks in violence in the near future," he wrote.

Government leaders seem to be bracing for more bodies. A meeting was held recently between officials in the Health Ministry to talk about importing refrigerators for the morgue. The idea was to set them up in an empty building nearby.

But the discussion quickly broke down over what kind of freezers they would use: ones with sliding doors or a single large freezing room. More talks are scheduled.

In Baghdad on Friday, three civilians were killed and three others wounded when a bomb targeting the convoy of the Karrada neighborhood police commander exploded. Three police officers also were wounded.

Police also discovered 14 bodies in a western portion of the city.

Drew Brown in Washington contributed to this report.

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Don't Mess with Texas the Mob

Sept. 7, 2006 -- Those who watched Greg Palast's documentary "Bush Family Fortunes" will recall what former U.S. Navy pilot Bill White had to say about his former business partner James Bath, who was the U.S. agent for Salem Bin Laden and George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard AWOL running mate. White also provided Michael Moore with the "Bin Laden Trust Agreement" granted to Bath which the award-winning director highlighted in "Fahrenheit 911."

White, who lives in Houston, has been a long-time whistleblower on the crimes of the Bush family, including their ties to Saudi terrorist financiers and illegal cash that was flown into Texas on Saudi-owned aircraft for the benefit of the Bushes and their GOP cronies.
WMR has received the following statement from White, who is now facing the wrath of a GOP operative in New York City. The work of Karl Rove, the chief rat of the Bush administration, can be seen all over this sordid maneuver:

Forwarded by Bill White in Houston, Texas

Don't Mess with Texas the Mob

As hard as it may be to imagine, Harris County law enforcement officials are being maliciously used by a New York mob-connected racketeer to harass and intimidate two Texas residents. The target of this campaign is Houston resident Bill White, a man who served honorably in the armed forces as a Navy fighter pilot and who is a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis and the Harvard Business School.

This situation began when a repeat contributor to Republican political campaigns in Brooklyn, New York purchased several toy trains over the Internet from a Texas Corporation owned by White's wife (sub-chapter 'S'). After the GOP operative received the items that he ordered, he told White that he was Mafia and began threatening to make trouble for him. This was during the time that White was working with families of the victims of the 9-11 tragedy to expose the flow of Bin Laden money through Houston banks that may have been used to fund the terrorists. Disclosure of this information prior to the 2004 elections would have had adverse political consequences for certain prominent political figures in Washington, D.C. who were intent on clinging to power.

The Republican operative followed up his threat by instigating a criminal investigation against White through the Harris County District Attorney's office. When he provided proof to the investigator that the items ordered had been shipped to the GOP operative in Brooklyn (UPS delivery receipts showed that the toys had been signed for by the GOP operative, his wife and his maid), the investigation was closed with no charges having been filed.

The GOP operative then prevailed upon his daughter (a New York lawyer) to file a civil suit against White's company and White and his wife, personally, in Brooklyn. Although neither White, his wife or their company were ever personally or properly served, the GOP operative's daughter was able to obtain a default judgment against them in the amount of $100,000,000.

When White learned of the judgment and attempted to get it set aside, he was advised by the Kings County court that he could not defend against the judgment pro se. Because his hands were tied in New York, White filed suit against the GOP operative in Texas in State District Court in Harris County. The GOP operative refused to answer White's lawsuit against him and his daughter claiming that as a New York resident, Texas has no jurisdiction over him. At the same time that he was arguing that Texas has no authority over him, the GOP operative obtained a writ of execution in Texas to collect on his New York judgment. He wants it both ways - Texas is to exercise its jurisdiction on his behalf when he wants to collect on his New York judgment while claiming that the State has no authority to hold him accountable for his actions here in Texas.

The irony of this situation is that Texas law enforcement officials are being tasked with carrying out what is in essence a political hit by the New York mob. It has all the earmarks of another Karl Rove dirty trick.

Bill White: Whistleblower on activities of George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard AWOL buddy James Bath now faces retaliation from Bush-Rove mobster. The useless FBI, which is supposed to investigate rackeetering cases, is as silent on this shakedown of a Bush critic as it is on government-sanctioned personal data thefts.

Ed. note: If any attorneys are able to help out Bill White on a pro bono basis, we can forward your email to him. We can be reached at wmreditor@waynemadsenreport.com


Smoking gun" evidence uncovered in Ohio of massive vote fraud in 2004 election.

Sept. 7, 2006 --

After the November 2004 presidential election, this editor reported on massive vote fraud, particularly in Ohio. The relevant articles are found here, here, here, and here. Sources within the U.S. Intelligence Community provided information on the financing -- via foreign funding sources, covert intelligence networks, and illegal pseudo-banking routes -- of programmers, election officials, and others to ensure that Bush and Cheney captured Ohio's critical 20 electoral votes.

Pursuant to a federal law that permits the destruction of ballots, including absentee ballots, 22 months after a federal election, ballots from the 2004 Ohio election were scheduled to be destroyed on Sept. 2, but the intervention of Columbus-based attorney Cliff Arnebeck and the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights with the U.S. Court in Columbus resulted in a protective order being issued for ballots and voting records in all 88 Ohio counties. This decision upset the corrupt Ohio Republican Party and its gubernatorial standard bearer Kenneth Blackwell, the Secretary of State who helped engineer the 2004 electoral vote fraud coup in his state, who wanted to begin the document shredding process in Sept. 2.

Not only can the ballots and voting records now be used in a major civil rights case against Blackwell, in which he is accused of "inequitably distributing voting resources, suppressing votes, and spoiling ballots" in the 2004 election, but may also serve as major evidence in impeachment hearings against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney when Michigan Rep. John Conyers becomes the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, if the Democrats, as expected, win control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Blackwell still clings to the fast-eroding stance that the 2004 Ohio vote was legitimate.

The reason the Ohio GOP was anxious to destroy the ballots and records is that they are rife with prima facie evidence of massive vote fraud. Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, a researcher who uncovered the evidence of vote fraud, submitted an affidavit to the U.S. federal court in Columbus outlining details of the vote fraud. Along with the affidavit, Phillips provided evidence of vote fraud, including "documentation of ballot tampering in . . . eleven counties." The most startling evidence of ballot tampering is a punch card ballot that show tape affixed over votes for Kerry/Edwards. Other "stickered ballots" were apparently destroyed during an FBI investigation. The affidavit states:

"In Clermont County, eleven weeks of negotiations with the County Prosecutor’s office were required in order to gain access to the public records, and even then we were actively discouraged from completing our tasks in an expeditious manner. On each scheduled visit we were denied access to certain records and told to return another day. In the aftermath of the recount of December 2004, sworn affidavits were signed by three witnesses stating that they observed, on some ballots, white oval stickers over the Kerry-Edwards mark, and the Bush-Cheney oval filled in. The County Prosecutor’s office confirmed this in writing, stated further that there were fewer than 100 such ballots countywide (out of 89,822 ballots cast), and claimed that there had been an FBI investigation into the matter upon the request of Congressman John Conyers, but that the FBI report could not be located.

In Clermont County, in the first 4 precincts that we photographed, with 3589 ballots cast, we saw not one stickered ballot. Board of Elections personnel have confirmed that these 4 precincts were among the 97% of the ballots that were recounted by machine in December 2004, and that the observers who reported seeing stickered ballots were observing the 3% of the ballots that were hand-counted. The Board of Elections provided a statement, in writing, that 14 precincts were chosen for the hand count because they were the smallest in the county, with only 2696 ballots cast among them. Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell’s directive at that time required that the hand-counted precincts be chosen at random. We have now photographed ballots from 20 precincts, including the 14 hand-counted precincts, and have seen only one stickered presidential ballot, in Pierce Township H. [ See EXHIBIT C and EXHIBIT D ] In this case, there is a white oval sticker over the Kerry-Edwards mark, and the Bush-Cheney oval is filled in with a distinctively different pencil than was used on the rest of the ballot. Also in Pierce Township H we have digital photographs of 6 ballots rubber-stamped with the word “DUPLICATE.” The Board of Elections has been unable to provide the original ballots or the stickered ballots from which these are said to have been duplicated, and thus the validity of the duplicate ballots remains unverified."

Tampered ballot from Ohio: Smoking gun evidence of massive vote fraud in 2004 election.

According to the affidavit, in Delaware County, Ohio, an armed, uniformed security policeman working for an entity called Global Security Services (GSS), LLC, headquartered in Severna Park, Maryland, interfered with the team of researchers who attempted to examine punch card ballots. GSS's web site says the firm is composed of "former career U.S. Secret Service and FBI Agents, Customs Agents, CIA intelligence and operations specialists, Special Operations personnel, U.S. Marshals, former state and local law enforcement and emergency services professionals." And in a revelation that supports this author's original findings that the 2004 vote fraud had significant foreign and U.S. intelligence links, including off-shore banking connections, the GSS web site states the company has "a carefully developed a network of 11 affiliated offices in the United States and an additional 43 offices throughout Europe, Russia, the former Soviet Union and the Western Hemisphere. The network of affiliates and contacts also include a presence in the 'off-shore safe havens' found in the Caribbean, Europe, South America, Asia and the South Pacific." This author's November and December 2004 articles stated that the money for the throwing of the 2004 election was tied to accounts in the Isle of Man, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands (South Pacific), Nevis (Caribbean), and the Bahamas.

Evidence of the use of pre-programmed software to affect the election outcome was also discovered in Delaware County. Election officials said they allowed a "mentally retarded man" to corrupt the punch card ballots in record speed before they were run through vote tabulation machines. According to the affidavit:

"The chain of custody on November 2, 2004 could have allowed for ballot tampering in Delaware County. According to Board of Elections personnel, whichever party wins the precinct in the gubernatorial election gets to choose the precinct judge for the next four years. The precinct judges, unaccompanied, bring the ballots to the Board of Elections after the polls close on Election Night. In Delaware County, almost all of these would be Republicans, as Bob Taft, the Republican, carried Delaware County with 71.9% of the vote to 23.5% for Timothy Hagan, the Democrat, winning 121 of 123 precincts. On November 2, 2004, the ballots were driven to an underground parking area, where they were unloaded by teams of teenaged volunteers, including Boy Scouts, and carried into the Board of Elections building where, again according to Board of Elections personnel, a “mentally retarded man” scraped the chads from the ballots before they were run through the tabulator. For the record, even now, 20 months after the election, we are not allowed to touch the ballots in Delaware County. They must be handled by county employees, one Republican, one Democrat. Moreover, there were 79,691 ballots cast on Election Day and, according to the minutes of the Board of Elections, the unofficial results were certified at 12:40 AM, only 5 hours and 10 minutes after the polls closed. The “mentally retarded man” would have had to examine, and clean as needed, four or five ballots per second, which calls the whole story into question."

George W. Bush is on the speaking circuit this week, bragging about America's "democracy" and why "terrorists" hate us. Bush, who stole two presidential elections, has no ground to stand on. Mexico's actual President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who saw his election stolen wit interference from the same covert elements who engineered the 2004 election fiasco in America, has every reason to resist the illegal swearing in of neo-con Felipe Calderon, a tool of the global banking class and neo-con manipulators.


The Moral Insanity of State Terror Sadists

Chris Floyd

Bush's ballyhooed speech, full of swaggering braggadocio about his now-acknowledged secret prisons and the tortures his minions practice there (which Bush, using the usual prissy euphemisms favored by state-terror sadists, calls "an alternative set of procedures), made much hay of the information squeezed out of al-Qaeda factotum Abu Zubaydah. But as Ron Suskind noted in his piercing book, The One Percent Solution -- and notes again in a new Salon.com interview below -- Zubaydah is literally insane, suffering from a severe multiple personality disorder. He was never a top al Qaeda operative, as Bush claimed yet again in his bluster yesterday; and the "information" he spewed out under torture was almost entirely garbage -- yet, as Suskind notes, it sent American agents on wild goose chases all over the world...

continua / continued

False Flag Operations: Declassified Military Documents Show How US Government Planned Terrorist Attacks Against its Own Citizens


As reported by ABC News, stunning military documents codenamed "Operation Northwoods" were declassified in recent years and show how in 1962, the top US military leaders planned an operation to create terror attacks against its own cities and kill US citizens. The documents state that through the fabrication of false evidence, the US would blame Cuba and gain public support for an unpopular war against Castro. They included developing a fake Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, the use of airplanes, and much more. For further details, the now declassified military documents are available at the National Security Archive of the George Washington University...

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Pith helmets and colonialism in Afghanistan.

Lenin's Tomb

...Many, indeed, who oppose the war on Iraq say little or nothing about Afghanistan. And yet to separate these occupations is to do violence to the facts: the 'war on terror' is a unitary phenomenon, and each of its aspects is susceptible to the same critique. If one wants war crimes, one need look no further. Torture prisons? voila. Chaos and civilian suffering? Plenty of that. Massacres? Frequent widespread. Embezzled and misspent 'reconstruction' money? Feast your eyes. You wonder why Bush is trying to kill the War Crimes Act? He has openly admitted now that the CIA has secret prisons all over the world, so what do you think is happening? Are they in the democracy promotion business, do you think? And why do you suppose the US government has blocked an attempt by Senator Leahy to outlaw the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas in Afghanistan and Iraq? Is it because of their passion for human dignity, do you suppose?...

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Credibility where credibility isn't due

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News

Reporting on the transfer of 14 "high-profile suspects" to Guantanamo, The New York Times "informs" its readers: The transfer of the high-level suspects to Guantánamo Bay effectively suspended the extraordinary program, in which the intelligence agency became the jailer and interrogator of suspects counterterrorism officials considered the world’s most wanted Islamic extremists. Really? On whose say so? On the say so of people who have spent years denying (or "refusing to confirm") the existence of such prisons to begin with? And they don't even say so on the record!...

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The Torturer's Apprentice

Ray McGovern

Addressing the use of torture Wednesday, President George W. Bush played to the baser instincts of Americans as he strained to turn his violation of national and international law into Exhibit A on how "tough" he is on terrorists. His tour de force brought to mind the charge the Athenians leveled at Socrates—making the worse case appear the better. Bush’s remarks made it abundantly clear, though, that he is not about to take the hemlock. As the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches and with the midterm elections just two months away, the president's speechwriters succeeded in making a silk purse out of the sow’s ear of torture. The artful offensive will succeed if—but only if—the mainstream media is as cowed, and the American people as dumb, as the president thinks they are. Arguably a war criminal under international law and a capital-crime felon under U.S. criminal law, Bush’s legal jeopardy is even clearer than when he went AWOL during the Vietnam War. And this time, his father will not be able to fix it...

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28-Year Career CIA Official Says 9/11 An Inside JobHighlights missing Pentagon trillions as potential motive

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com

A 28-year CIA career man and a former skeptic of alternative 9/11 explanations has gone further than ever before in voicing his convictions that the attacks bore the hallmarks of an inside job and the three buildings in the WTC complex were brought down by controlled demolition. Bill Christison is a former senior official of the CIA. He was a National Intelligence Officer and the Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis before his retirement in 1979. Since then he has written numerous articles on U.S. foreign policies...

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The week the whole world was stung

Posted by Mark Strange of Brisbane on Tue 05 Sep 06 at 02:49pm:I’m not sure if this has been posted before, it probably already has, however, people in Queensland and indeed possibly all over Australia have been driving with their car headlights switched on today to show solidarity in the grief felt for Steve’s passing. Just this simple act helps to show how many people loved the man and that we are behind the his family and friends at this time. So please, switch your headlights on today and let others know that we are all feeling this huge loss. When I saw others with their lights on as I was driving to work this morning I managed a smile about the situation as I realised this great man’s spirit will live on forever in so many of us. Rest In Peace Steve, God Bless.

By Liz Bennett
September 07, 2006 12:00am

THE tragic death on Monday of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin overshadowed all other news coverage on NEWS.com.au and set new readership records.

Link Here

Friday, September 08, 2006

Report: Saddam Distrusted, Wanted To Capture Al-Zarqawi...

Associated Press Jim Abrams September 8, 2006 at 07:38 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Saddam Hussein, CIA, Iraq

Saddam Hussein regarded al-Qaida as a threat rather than a possible ally, a Senate report says, contradicting assertions President Bush has used to build support for the war in Iraq.

Released Friday, the report discloses for the first time an October 2005CIA assessment that before the war, Saddam's government "did not have a relationship, harbor or turn a blind eye toward" al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates.


Bush to give 9/11 speech WITHIN Mockudrama airing -- no pre-empting

Bush will give another one of his speeches on 9/11 -- during ABC's fictional account
9/08/2006 12:01:00 PM

How convenient. http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=top...

ABC won't even have to pre-empt programming -- they can just work Bush's speech in to "The Path to 9/11" -- anything he says will be fiction, too::

The Oval Office address, estimated to last 16 to 18 minutes, will culminate a series of addresses Bush has delivered to insist that five years after the catastrophic hijacked plane attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, America is safer but still faces a threat from al Qaeda.

While Snow insisted the speech does not have a political aim, Bush has been attempting to frame the election-year debate on national security to political and policy advantage. The president's Republican party is fighting to keep control of Congress in November elections.

"It will not be a political speech. It will not be calls to action by Congress, but instead reflect a date that's burned into all our experiences," Snow said. He said the speech "will have a note of optimism and at the same time sobriety about what we've been through."

Remember, it will not be a political speech.

Yes, its true.

Link Here

Friday, September 08, 2006

Democratic party leader Howard Dean calls on Disney/ABC to reveal funders of slanderous 9/11 fictional documentary
by John in DC - 9/08/2006 08:03:00 PM

A lot more legal terms being thrown around by senior Democrats. Use of the public airways is a term mentioned by a lot of Democrats in the past few days. The simple fact is that we do not give companies like Disney/ABC access to the public airways so that they can illegally try to influence our elections. When that happens, we step in and take away their rights to broadcast, as any democratic government would do when any entity, private or public, tries to illegally undercut our democracy.

Disney/ABC had better stop kissing up to the current administration and start worrying about the next one.

From an email I just received from the DNC

Today, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called on ABC/Disney to reveal who poured $40 million into the slanderous 9/11 propoganda film they plan to start airing starting Sunday, and issued the following statement:

"It's deeply disappointing that ABC would put something on the air that has been proven to have factual inaccuracies about one of the most important events in our nation's history. ABC should not air this distortion of history.

"The fact that the writer/producer of the piece is a well known conservative raises additional concerns and questions. The American people deserve to know who funded this $40 million dollar slanderous propaganda. Use of the public airwaves is a privilege conferred upon broadcasters in the public interest. It comes with a responsibility to the American people and a responsibility to the truth."

Link Here

Disney/ABC hired right-wing propaganda network to put together 9/11
by John in DC - 9/08/2006 07:05:00 PM

Well, here's another shoe dropping, and a rather big one at that.

My friend Max Blumenthal has put together an excellent article detailing just who it was Disney/ABC hired to put together its 9/11 film. They hired a clique of under-the-radar conservatives who have been making it their mission to infiltrate Hollywood and make it more Republican and evangelical Christian. And after all the drubbing the religious right has been giving Disney over the past several years (apparently the Mouse isn't anti-gay enough), isn't it interesting that Disney turned around and hired some religious right guys to make an anti-Democrat propaganda film.

A snippet of Max's piece:

In fact, "The Path to 9/11" is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The Path to 9/11's director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to "transform Hollywood" in line with its messianic vision.

Link Here

Red Cross Fined $4.2 Million For Blood-Safety Violations

Associated Press September 8, 2006 at 04:05 PM

The government said Friday it was fining the American Red Cross $4.2 million for violating blood-safety laws.

The violations include failing to ask appropriate questions of potential donors and not following test procedures, said the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA said it had no evidence of serious health consequences resulting from the violations.


US Government Paid Journalists For Anti-Castro Coverage...

Eat The Press September 8, 2006 at 03:31 PM

In the radio game, it's called payola. But the scheme whereby so-called journalists -- a term that's losing its cultural capital by the second -- take money from the U.S. government to bash anything or anyone the current administration hates, well that's called propaganda. And the latest hacks to get caught up in it are ten well-paid employees who are splitting time between their parent corporations, including the Miami Herald itself, and the Bush administration. The target of their collective, handsomely rewarded vitriol? Who else? Castro. According to today's Miami Herald:

"At least 10 South Florida journalists, including three from El Nuevo Herald, received regular payments from the U.S. government for programs on Radio Marti and TV Marti, two broadcasters aimed at undermining the communist government of Fidel Castro. The payments totaled thousands of dollars over several years."


GW National Security Archive: Rumsfeld-Hussein Handshake Most Downloaded File Ever...

Wall Street Journal September 8, 2006 at 08:23 PM
READ MORE: Saddam Hussein, Iraq

With Defense Secretary Rumsfeld making "appeasement" the big buzzword of the month, the George Washington University's National Security Archive notes that its single most-downloaded file is now the once-classified batch of documents, photos and video documenting Rumsfeld's handshake and meeting with Saddam Hussein in December 1983. President Reagan had sent Rumsfeld to Baghdad to help restore diplomatic ties with Iraq and aid Baghdad in its fight against Iran.

"Rumsfeld meeting Saddam has now far outpaced the previous winner, which was Elvis meeting Nixon," says Thomas Blanton, director of the archive, which collects and posts significant declassified documents under the Freedom of Information Act.


Writer: Mainstream media ignored torture, homicide

RAW STORYPublished: Friday September 8, 2006

A column at The Columbia Journalism Review has revealed the media establishment's collective reluctance to report incidents of detainee abuse, torture, and even homicide in the early days of the "war on terror," RAW STORY can report.

Writer Eric Umansky goes into extensive detail--relaying several anecdotes directly from journalists who attempted to cover such incidents--regarding mainstream network and newspaper distate for negative coverage of the war.

One British reporter that Umansky spoke to discussed an unnamed show that passed on his story of secret CIA prisoner transfers, telling the reporter that they preferred items with "somebody who's innocent."

Excerpts from the article, available in full here, follow.

Carlotta Gall was curious. It was early December 2002, and Gall, the Afghanistan correspondent for The New York Times, had just seen a press release from the U.S. military announcing the death of a prisoner at its Bagram Air Base. Soon thereafter the military issued a second release about another detainee death at Bagram. “The fact that two had died within weeks of each other raised alarm bells,” recalls Gall. "I just wanted to know more. And I came up against a blank wall. The military wouldn’t release their names; they wouldn’t say where they released the bodies."

She visited Khost and left empty-handed, but a few weeks later, she got another tip and traveled back. The body of one of the detainees had been returned, a young taxi driver known as Dilawar. Gall met with Dilawar’s family, and his brother handed Gall a death certificate, written in English, that the military had issued. "It said, 'homicide,' and I remember gasping and saying, 'Oh, my God, they killed him,'" says Gall. "I hadn’t really been thinking that before."
Gall filed a story, on February 5, 2003, about the deaths of Dilawar and another detainee. It sat for a month, finally appearing two weeks before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. "I very rarely have to wait long for a story to run," says Gall. "If it’s an investigation, occasionally as long as a week."
"Compare Judy Miller’s WMD stories to Carlotta’s story," says Frantz. "On a scale of one to ten, Carlotta’s story was nailed down to ten. And if it had run on the front page, it would have sent a strong signal not just to the Bush administration but to other news organizations."

Link Here

Armitage sorry Armitage sorry

Unfrikingbelievable, He's sorry, and what he gets away with it, Okay Fitz how many years of friking crap, for them to get away with TREASON, there seems to be no justice that you can count on for the republicans at all any more. Sep 7, 11:22 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The former No. 2 State Department official said Thursday he inadvertently disclosed the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame in conversations with two reporters in 2003.

Confirming that he was the source of a leak that triggered a federal investigation, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said he never intended to reveal Plame's identity. He apologized for his conversations with syndicated columnist Robert Novak and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

For almost three years, an investigation led by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has tried to determine whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame's identity as covert operative as a way to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the Bush administration's march to war with Iraq.

"I made a terrible mistake, not maliciously, but I made a terrible mistake," Armitage said in a telephone interview from his home Thursday night.

He said he did not realize Plame's job was covert.

Armitage's admission suggested that the leak did not originate at the White House as retribution for Wilson's comments about the Iraq war. Wilson, a former ambassador, discounted reports that then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger to make a nuclear weapon - claims that wound up in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

Armitage said he was not a part of a conspiracy to reveal Plame's identity and did not know whether one existed.

He described his June 2003 conversation with Woodward as an afterthought at the end of a lengthy interview.

"He said, 'Hey, what's the deal with Wilson?' and I said, 'I think his wife works out there,'" Armitage recalled.

He described a more direct conversation with Novak, who was the first to report on the issue: "He said to me, 'Why did the CIA send Ambassador Wilson to Niger?' I said, as I remember, 'I don't know, but his wife works out there.'"

Armitage, whose admission was first reported by CBS News Thursday, said he cooperated fully with Fitzgerald's investigation. He was never a target of the investigation and did not hire a lawyer. He agreed to speak to reporters after Fitzgerald released him from a promise of confidentiality.

Armitage said he considered coming forward late last month when a flurry of news reports identified him as the leak. But he said he did not want to be accused of trying to get the story out during the summer's slow news cycle.

"I did what I did," Armitage said. "I embarrassed my president, my secretary, my department, my family and I embarrassed the Wilsons. And for that I'm very sorry."

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, is the only administration official charged in the CIA leak case. He faces trial in January on charges he lied to authorities about conversations he had with reporters about Plame.

Armitage said he assumed Plame's job was not a secret because it was included in a State Department memo.

Link Here

Very Special Counsel...
Under Attack

"Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald and his investigation of the outing of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame are under attack by multiple mainstream media organizations acting simultaneously. The reports are - at best - shoddy journalism and at worst a deliberate attempt to bury one of the most powerful political news stories in US history."

"A startling decision on its face. The information on Armitage was hardly new: it had been reported months ago by several news agencies, including Truthout and the New York Daily News. Further, Fitzgerald's investigation/prosecution is hardly dead, as both the Times and Post are well aware. So why the deliberate attempt to kill the story?"

"The threat to the White House posed by Fitzgerald's investigation is abundantly clear, but Fitzgerald threatens another powerful institution in his pursuit of the Plame truth, America's multibillion-dollar commercial news industry. The threat is not abstract or academic, it's quite real. For undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame to have been "outed," someone had to reveal her identity, but someone else had to publish the information. Enter the US Fourth Estate - all rights intact." <more>

I can see clearly now, Ernesto is gone.

posted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald at 9/05/2006

Bill to Cripple Taliban Drug Trade Passes -- After GOP Tries to Kill It

Bob Geiger

Afghanistan's massive drug trade is one of the primary sources of funding for the Taliban, with that group generating roughly 70 percent of its income through opium.


Harvey Keitel speaks out on Path to 9/11: “It turned out not all the facts were correct”

By: John Amato on Thursday, September 7th, 2006 at 10:01 PM - PDT

Harvey Keitel speaks out on "Showbiz Tonight about the controversy ABC’s "Path to 9/11" has caused and in which he stars.

Video-WMP Video-QT (rough transcript-not full)

Keitel: Yea, I had questions about events–material I was given in the Path to 9/11 that I did raise questions about. Yes, I had some conflicts there.

Q: How was that met?

Keitel: With discussion..ummm with argument. When I received the script it said ABC history project –I took it to be exactly what they presented to me. History–and that facts were correct. It turned out not all the facts were correct and ABC set about trying to heal that problem..In some instances it was too late because we had begun.

Q: Do you feel that anything should be changed in this film?

Keitel: Yes I do. This is a tough issue.–(sure)

You can compile certain things as long as the truth remains the truth. You can’t put things together, compress them and then distort the reality.

Q:…in the case of September 11th though, do you feel that it is an absolute responsibility that it be factually accurate even if it is a dramatization?

Keitel: Absolutely, you cannot cross the line from a conflation of events to a distortion of the event. No. Where we have distorted something we have made a mistake-and that should be corrected. It can be corrected. It can be corrected by the people getting involved in the story that they are going to see.

(h/t Justin)

Senate Report: No Evidence Saddam Had Relationship With Zarqawi, Al Qaeda...

Associated Press JIM ABRAMS September 8, 2006 at 01:36 PM
READ MORE: Iraq, Saddam Hussein

There's no evidence Saddam Hussein had a relationship with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Al-Qaida associates, according to a Senate report on prewar intelligence on Iraq. Democrats said the report undercuts President Bush's justification for going to war.

The declassified document being released Friday by the Senate Intelligence Committee also explores the role that inaccurate information supplied by the anti-Saddam exile group the Iraqi National Congress had in the march to war


HP Sets Emergency Board Meeting…Company Under Criminal Investigation For Spying On Reporters, Board Members...

Bloomberg September 8, 2006 at 09:16 AM
READ MORE: Investigations

The scandal over Hewlett-Packard Co.'s secret probe to catch directors leaking information to the media deepened yesterday, with the California attorney general threatening to bring criminal charges.

Investigators hired by Chairwoman Patricia Dunn got board members' phone records using fake identities, and Dunn used the information to weed out the source of leaks under the assumption the methods were legal, according to Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard. Bill Lockyer, the state's highest-ranking law enforcement official, said he is working to determine who violated identity theft and computer-information theft laws.


Taliban Resurgence: “Fighting Is Far Greater Than In Iraq”…

Associated Press PAUL GARWOOD September 8, 2006 at 10:56 AM
READ MORE: Afghanistan, Iraq

A suicide car bomber struck a convoy of U.S. military vehicles in downtown Kabul on Friday, killing at least 16 people, including two American soldiers, and wounding 29 others, officials and witnesses said.

The blast, near the U.S. Embassy, came as NATO chiefs appealed for member nations to send reinforcements to combat resurgent Taliban militants fanning the deadliest violence in five years. A top British general said the fighting in volatile southern Afghanistan was now more ferocious than in Iraq.


Army Faces Rising Number of Roadside Bombs in Iraq

Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer

Roadside bombs in Iraq escalated to record levels this summer -- to about four times the number of January 2004 -- as tips from Iraqi citizens warning of the bombs and other attacks have dropped sharply amid a flaring of sectarian violence, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The leading killer of U.S. troops in Iraq, about 1,200 improvised explosive devices [IEDs] were detonated in August as insurgents continue to invent new ways to design and hide the lethal munitions, according to retired Army Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which is spearheading efforts to curb the bombs...

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Steve Clemons: Bolton Confirmation Process Is Now Dead According To Well-Placed Sources…

Several well-placed sources close to the Bolton nomination process have reported to me that the Bolton confirmation process is now dead.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is "highly unlikely" to reconsider Bolton's confirmation again as things now stand.

One insider reported, as far as the Committee is concerned, "we consider the confirmation over. It's dead."

American diplomacy may get a boost in January. She's tough and not a darling of many progressives, but my vote is for Bush's next nominee to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations is Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky.Senator Lincoln Chafee gets this week's 'Conservative with a Conscience' Award for his principled stand on the importance of America's Middle East diplomacy and for making the Bolton confirmation process an appropriate vehicle to express his concerns.

-- Steve Clemons is Senior Fellow and Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note.

Link Here

Drivers pay silent tribute to Brock

Wow not a good week for Aussie Legends this week is it.
Legend of the track ... Peter Brock was Australia's most successful motor sports driver, winning the Bathurst 1000 a record nine times.

Gallery More

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Protecting Our Torturers

Bad Faith and Distortions From the American Psychological Association

By Stephen Soldz

Those psychologists and citizens of goodwill who don’t believe in torture as public policy should cry out with one voice at such indifference to human barbarity. If we fail to act we cannot claim, as did so many Germans,

"We didn’t know!"


Ethnic Cleansing in New Orleans

By Charles Sullivan

Those who know their history will recognize the familiar patterns of Plutocracy at work. That is how the government has always treated the poor, just as it has always exploited the working class and sent them to die in wars not of their making. How could any but the ignorant and foolish dare call this democracy?


Election 2006 & World War III

By Robert Parry

As Americans go to the polls in two months, they should have one thought fixed in their minds: they will be voting on whether to commit the nation to fighting World War III against large segments of the world’s one billion Muslims. Beyond the cost in blood and treasure, this war will mean the end of the United States as a democratic Republic.


September 11, Afghanistan and “the survival of civilization”

Gabriele Zamparini, The cat's dream

On 20 September 2001 US President Bush addressing the Congress stated: "The United States respects the people of Afghanistan -- after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid…". On 7 October 2001 addressing the country Bush said: "At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we'll also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan. The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people…" . Five years later the results of this respectful and generous friendship have been published by the Senlis Council, an international policy think tank with offices in Kabul, London, Paris and Brussels. "Afghanistan Five Years Later: The Return of the Taliban" reads: After five years of intensive international involvement in Afghanistan, the country remains ravaged by severe poverty and the spreading starvation of the rural and urban poor. Despite promises from the US-led international community guaranteeing to provide the resources and assistance necessary for its reconstruction and development needs, Afghanistan’s people are starving to death....

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Court Hearing on Suit Filed by Iraq Veterans Contaminated with Depleted Uranium Against U.S. Military

AMY GOODMAN, Democracy Now!

...It was a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on a topic that Democracy Now! listeners know about: the soldiers from the New York National Guard who served in Iraq and who ended up being exposed to depleted uranium and who have been sick since coming back, they were finally -- had a beginning of a day in court. It was a hearing over their lawsuit, they and their relatives, their families, against the United States military, over their exposure to depleted uranium. And there was a hearing over the government's motion to dismiss the case completely. And it lasted for several hours...

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Dick Cheney Bets on US Economic Collapse


Wouldn't you like to know where Dick Cheney puts his money? Then you'd know whether his "deficits don’t matter" claim is just baloney or not.

As it turns out, Kiplinger Magazine ran an article based on Cheney's financial disclosure statement and, sure enough, found out that the VP is lying to the American people for the umpteenth time.

Deficits do matter and Cheney has invested his money accordingly.

The article is called "Cheney's betting on bad news" and provides an account of where Cheney has socked away more than $25 million. While the figures may be estimates, the investments are not.

According to Tom Blackburn of the Palm Beach Post, Cheney has invested heavily in "a fund that specializes in short-term municipal bonds, a tax-exempt money market fund and an inflation protected securities fund. The first two hold up if interest rates rise with inflation. The third is protected against inflation."

Cheney has dumped another (estimated) $10 to $25 million in a European bond fund which tells us that he is counting on a steadily weakening dollar.


France rejects 'war on terror'

Pity the corrupt band of thugs in the White House didn't have a brain between them on terrorism, except for when they are lining their own pockets and the pockets of their cronies with wealth from the natural resources of other nations, they have illegally invaded with their Weapons of Mass Destruction.

ARIS (Reuters) - France issued an implicit criticism of U.S. foreign policy on Thursday, rejecting talk of a "war on terror."

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, speaking in parliament, expressed these views on global terrorism, while President Jacques Chirac backed France's claims to the international front rank with a fresh defense of his country's nuclear arsenal.

Villepin noted Chirac's strong opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and said the Arab state had now sunk into violence and was feeding new regional crises.

"Let us not forget that these crises play into the hands of all extremists," the prime minister said in a debate on the Middle East. "We can see this with terrorism, whether it tries to strike inside or outside our frontiers," he added.

"Against terrorism, what's needed is not a war. It is, as France has done for many years, a determined fight based on vigilance at all times and effective cooperation with our partners."

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EU demands to know location of CIA jails

Thu Sep 7, 2006 11:30 AM BST254

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - European lawmakers demanded on Thursday that their governments reveal the location of secret CIA prisons after U.S. President George Bush admitted Washington held terror suspects in jails abroad.

Bush said on Wednesday the Central Intelligence Agency had interrogated dozens of suspects at undisclosed overseas locations and 14 of those held had now been sent to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

A leader of Europe's chief human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, said the revelation vindicated the exhaustive investigation the body had conducted on secret prisons and CIA flights moving suspects around Europe.

"Our work has helped to flush out the dirty nature of this secret war, which -- we learn at last -- has been carried out completely beyond any legal framework," said Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly president Rene van der Linden.

A Washington Post report last year that the CIA had run secret prisons in Europe and flown suspects to states where they could be tortured unleashed a spate of probes -- including one by the European Parliament -- prompting uncomfortable denials by European governments and evasions from Washington.


In a robust defence of the detention regime that has brought condemnation around the world, the US president said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaida operative believed to have plotted the attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon, and 13 other terror suspects had been brought to Guantánamo and would be brought to trial.

Administration officials later said there were no more prisoners in the CIA's secret detention system. However, the programme has not been shut down. Instead, Mr Bush's disclosure was intended to put pressure on the US Congress to support draft legislation put forward by the White House yesterday for a system of military tribunals for the Guantánamo detainees.

The US supreme court struck down the military tribunals established by the administration for the 450 inmates at Guantánamo last June, ruling that they had no basis in US law and violated the Geneva Convention.

The president's account yesterday of the CIA interrogation and detention of Mohammed and other suspects also appeared designed to enshrine national security as a core issue of November's congressional elections.

While Mr Bush refused to give details of interrogation methods, he said the CIA resorted to an "alternative set of procedures" when confronted with resistance from one of the men in its custody, the senior al-Qaida leader, Abu Zubaydah. "The procedures were tough and they were safe, lawful and necessary," he said.

That interrogation and the detention of Ramzi Binalshibh, a would-be hijacker, and Hambali, the suspected architect of the Bali bombings, had been invaluable in the war on terror, he said. "It has been necessary to move these individuals to an environment where they can be held in secret, questioned by experts and, when appropriate, prosecuted for terrorist acts."

The announcement that the 14 prisoners would be moved from CIA prisons to Guantánamo frustrates hopes that the Cuba detention camp detainees, who have been held for five years without trial, would earn early release and the prison would be shut down.

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