Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Guardian:U.K. Paper Says Has Unseen 9/11 Video

A previously unseen video made by Mohammed Atta, ringleader of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, has been obtained by a Britain's The Sunday Times, the newspaper reported Saturday.In editions available late Saturday, the paper said it had been handed the so-called martyrdom video, but did not reveal the source of the tape.It reported that Atta was filmed reading a document marked in Arabic as a will as he sat beside fellow hijacker Zaid Jarrah - who seized control of United Airlines flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa.The newspaper said that a timecode stamp on the videotape indicated it had been recorded on January 18, 2000 and the recording was made at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan.

Link Here

Focus: Chilling message of the 9/11 pilots

See the video from noon today

World’s Largest Rice Company Halts All Imports from USA

World’s Largest Rice Company Halts All Imports from USA
Bayer’s illegal GE rice continues to inflict damage on US rice industry

AMSTERDAM - September 29 - In yet another blow to the US rice industry, the world’s largest rice processing company, Ebro Puleva,(1) which controls 30% of the EU rice market, has confirmed to Greenpeace International that it has stopped all imports of rice from the USA to the EU due to the threat of contamination by genetically engineered (GE) rice.

The move follows a summer of scandals, with illegal GE contamination found in rice products all over Europe. As a result of Bayer’s recklessness, the global food industry is facing massive costs associated with this contamination, including testing costs, product recalls, brand damage, import bans and cancelled imports and contracts.

In a letter to Greenpeace(2), the Chairman of Ebro Puleva states: “We regret that US rice is facing a problem with GM rice and decided to stop any imports of US rice since August 2006.”

Ebro Puleva has also indicated that it will not consider purchasing from the US until the situation is under control. Instead, the company will purchase rice from other countries, with the exception of China, which continues to have problems with GE contamination of its rice.

“By imposing a blanket ban on rice imports from the US, Ebro Puleva has acknowledged how real and costly the risk of GE contamination is,” pointed out Jeremy Tager, GE campaigner, Greenpeace International. “With GE now as uneconomic as it is unacceptable, governments in countries that grow or import GE must stop placing farmers, consumers, the environment and industry at such high risk.”

At least three multi-million dollar class action lawsuits have been filed by US rice farmers against Bayer CropScience already, as farmers struggle to protect their livelihoods (3). Ebro Puleva has said they expect to bring legal actions against Bayer as well.

In January this year, Bayer’s illegal GE LL601 rice was detected in rice intended for export from the US. This variety has not been approved for human consumption anywhere in the world. It has only been grown in field trials that ended in 2001, and yet in September 2006, testing commissioned by Greenpeace and then by various European government agencies showed a broad variety of products on supermarket shelves in Europe had been contaminated by Bayer’s illegal GE rice. Following the Greenpeace exposé German supermarket chain Edeka announced that they would cease selling all US long grain rice. A number of European retailers, millers and processors have followed suit.

“It is now time for governments to respond strongly as well. They cannot leave enforcement of food safety laws to industry alone. We urge the EU to enforce its laws more vigorously and ensure that all member states comply, particularly those that have thus far refused to enforce EU law,” concluded Jeremy Tager.

Link Here

Iraqi politician complains of US raid

Saturday 30 September 2006, 3:33 Makka Time, 0:33 GMT

The head of the largest Sunni bloc in Iraq's parliament says US soldiers raided his home and detained his guard.

Adnan al-Dulaimi said on Friday that 10 Humvees circled his western Baghdad home, then US soldiers went through the building with a dog.

"I condemn this act and I demand they free the guard [Khudhir Farhan]," al-Dulaimi said, adding they had the "illusion ... of the guard's involvement with terrorist activities".

US military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Johnson said he had "no reason to dispute his claims" that US forces raided his house, but that he could not comment further on "our ongoing operational activities".

"They found nothing," al-Dulaimi said.>>>cont

Link Here

Israel withdraws from Lebanon

The Israeli army has completed its withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Israeli security sources said. FULL STORY

9/11 Commission Counsel: Bush Admin. May Have Covered Up Imp. Meeting Between Tenet And Rice...

Think Progress September 30, 2006 at 06:57 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Bob Woodward, 9/11

Most of the world has now seen the infamous picture of President Bush tending to his ranch on August 6, 2001, the day he received the ultra-classified Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) that included a report entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US." And most Americans have also heard of the so-called "Phoenix Memo" that an FBI agent in Phoenix sent to FBI headquarters on July 10, 2001, which advised of the "possibility of a coordinated effort" by bin Laden to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation schools.

As a Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, I became very familiar with both the PDB and the Phoenix Memo, as well as the tragic consequences of the failure to detect and stop the plot. A mixture of shock, anger, and sadness overcame me when I read about revelations in Bob Woodward's new book about a special surprise visit that George Tenet and his counterterrorism chief Cofer Black made to Condi Rice, also on July 10, 2001:


Overpass collapse traps cars

05:48am: A HIGHWAY overpass in a suburb of Montreal in Canada has collapsed, trapping cars underneath and sending others crashing down from above.

Link Here

Beijing secretly fires lasers to disable US satellites:

China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by "blinding" their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.

Link Here

Venezuela asks U.N. to act against Cuban militant Posada Carriles :

Venezuela said Thursday that it has asked the U.N. Security Council for help in its demands that the United States hand over a Cuban militant accused of planning the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner.

Link Here

Attorneys For Guantanamo Detainees Could Be Detained As Enemy Combatants Under New Legislation

On September 26, 2006, attorneys for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) determined that what appears to be the final version of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 could allow the government to detain the attorneys themselves as 'enemy combatants.'

Link Here

Why British government conceals true casualty figures in Afghanistan, Iraq?

British soldiers wounded in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not eligible to timely help as the British government is reluctant to disclose the actual casualty figures in the two wars, recent media reports in Britain note.

Link Here

Where are all the dead Taliban?

British troops in Afghanistan are brave, says robert fox, but the body count doesn’t add up
Troops in line for VCs," the Daily Telegraph trumpeted this week, claiming there had been recommendations for 180 gallantry awards for soldiers in Afghanistan, including six Victoria Crosses.

The news was given by "a senior Whitehall source" who explained just how tough the fighting had been and that the British were now winning against the Taliban.

Official spin of this kind frequently appears during controversial military campaigns. The line about six VCs for Helmand - "to be rushed through for Christmas," as the Telegraph added breathlessly - has an echo of the Lancashire Fusiliers' "Six VCs before Breakfast" for their assault on W Beach at Gallipoli on April 24, 1915.

The trouble is that, while there undoubtedly have been great acts of bravery in Afghanistan, the figures just don't add up

In the past two months 'official sources' have claimed that an aggregate of several thousand 'Taliban' have been killed by British, Canadian, Danish and special forces. The Nato commander, General Jim Jones, said last week: "It wouldn't surprise me if 1,500 had been killed" by Canadian forces in Kandahar this month alone.

The numbers game - giving increasingly implausible counts of enemy dead - was one of the main factors that undermined the credibility of US forces in Vietnam.

If hundreds of Taliban really have been killed in one attack or another, it raises two questions: Who are they? And what on earth was the Blair government doing sending a force with initially only 650 combat troops against 'thousands' of Taliban fighters?

Only a few of the Taliban appear to be diehard followers of Mullah Omar Mohammed, who founded the movement in Afghanistan a dozen years ago. "I am afraid we have killed an awful lot of local villagers," a special forces commander said this week.


All chaotic on the Afghan front

Link Here

U.S. army `coming to end of its rope':

Not only are troop levels not being reduced, but almost 8,000 soldiers have just had their 12-month tours of duty extended.

Link Here

Iraq situation dire, says Straw :

The current situation in Iraq is "dire" according to former foreign secretary Jack Straw.

Link Here

U.S. Commander Says Insurgency In Iraq Unlikely To Be Defeated Until U.S. Forces Leave:

The insurgency in Iraq's volatile western Anbar province can be beaten but probably not until after U.S. troops leave the country, the commander of forces in the provincial capital said Friday.

Link Here

The Breaking Point

More than a half trillion dollars in 3 years.

By Mike Whitney

The war is bankrupting the nation while grooming the next generation’s terrorists. This is the very definition of failure.


A Personal Declaration of Independence

By William A. Cook

As a citizen of these United States for 70 years, I refuse to be ruled by a tyrant who imposes despotic, autocratic control on the citizens of these United States through a series of clandestine actions that usurp the rights of the people.

Link Here

“A Total Rollback Of Everything This Country Has Stood For”

Sen. Patrick Leahy Blasts Congressional Approval of Detainee Bill

This is a must listen interview

The Senate has agreed to give President Bush extraordinary power to detain and try prisoners in the so-called war on terror. The legislation strips detainees of the right to challenge their own detention and gives the President the power to detain them indefinitely.

Click to listen. Audio and transcript

Uncomfortably Numb to Torture

By JoAnn Wypijewski The Los Angeles Times
Saturday 30 September 2006

As America's politicians, media and citizens get used to wartime abuses, Bush's horrific policies get a pass.

A year ago this week, a military jury convicted Army Reserve Pfc. Lynndie R. England of maltreating detainees. The face of the Abu Ghraib scandal, England is forever fixed in photographs as the girl with the bowl cut and the pixie smile who pointed at Iraqi prisoners while they were forced to masturbate and who held a writhing, naked man by a leash. Before sentencing, the Army prosecutor thundered: "Who can think of a person who has disgraced this uniform more? Who has held the US military up for more dishonor?"

Indeed, it was that uniform - not the breach of immutable standards of decency held by this nation - that put England in the dock and eventually in prison. It was that uniform and nothing else, because if England and the others charged in the scandal had been civilian interrogators instead of military police, they would be among the privileged torturers whom President Bush and members of both parties in Congress are determined to keep on the job and to shield from future prosecution.

Abu Ghraib has become shorthand for the kind of abhorrent behavior that, in the latest discussion about interrogation techniques, nobody ventures to allow. In that sense, Abu Ghraib is the new American standard, a negative one, marking the line that must not be crossed. A positive standard - that is, humane treatment of unarmed prisoners - being inconceivable, debate turns on permissible degrees of inhumanity; "rough stuff," as New York Times columnist David Brooks and others justifying pain say lightly.

So here is the bitter joke: England, the public emblem of torture, was convicted for nothing so awful as what the president and his flank have chosen to protect. Her crime was to smile, to pose, to jeer at naked, powerless men, and to fail to stop their humiliations or to report them afterward. She did not shackle men in stress positions, strip them of their clothes, deny them sleep, force them to stand for hours or days, douse them with icy water, deprive them of heat or food or subject them to incessant noise or screaming.

Despite Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's compromise, none of those brutalities is expressly outlawed in the legislation that Congress just passed and the president is about to sign.

Such brutalities were regular fare at Abu Ghraib because interrogation, by civilian and military personnel, was regular fare. But interrogation was largely sidestepped in the Abu Ghraib trials, in which prosecutors focused on what soldiers did for "fun," for "laughs," with common criminals "of no value" to US intelligence. The infamous pyramid and sexual mortifications were not part of interrogations, so these formed the centerpiece of criminal charges. The daily application of fear and cold and want and pain - what Spc. Charles A. Graner Jr., the putative ringleader of the scandal at Abu Ghraib, called his job of "terrorizing prisoners" - was an accompaniment to questioning, so it went unpunished.

"We just humiliated them," England said; it could have been worse. For many detainees, it was. Two days before England was photographed laughing at prisoners, Manadel Jamadi died in a shower stall at Abu Ghraib. Army investigators found that he entered the stall under his own power with civilian interrogators said to be from the CIA. Later, soldiers smiled in pictures with his corpse. The interrogators had vanished, and no one was charged.

Congress would never justify murder by interrogators, but it hasn't insisted that anyone be held accountable for Jamadi's death either. There's a similar indifference to accountability in the one case in the Abu Ghraib scandal unavoidably linked to interrogation.
The Army never took a sworn statement from the prisoner who was forced to stand atop a box, draped in a hood and cape and told he would get a shock if he moved. Then the Army conveniently lost him, and though the MPs who improvised his ghoulish torment went to prison, the civilian interrogator who the MPs said instructed them to keep the prisoner awake was never charged. Take away the bogus wires and the iconic costume and this is the kind of treatment the president says is absolutely necessary for our safety.

The bold opposition wags a finger but leaves it to the president to set the rules. Where is the outrage? Like England and the others who went from good to bad, or bad to worse, through acquaintance with cruelty, finally accommodating themselves to it or even administering it, the citizenry, the media and the politicians have become insensible to horror.

Years of conditioning to abuse and war have had a numbing effect. So the president's advocacy of an "alternate set of procedures" for detainees gets a pass. The Democrats' official response, a pass. The McCain compromise, a pass masquerading as courageous dissent. Public reaction to legislating indefinite detention, the admissibility of hearsay, prosecutions based on torture, a pass.
As at Abu Ghraib, up is down, day is night.

JoAnn Wypijewski covered the Abu Ghraib trials at Ft. Hood, Texas, for Harper's magazine.

The Circle of Life

Naomi Klein had a very interesting commentary (“Children of Bush’s America: The torturers of Abu Ghraib were McWorkers who ended up in Iraq because they could no longer find decent jobs at home”) in the Guardian of London this week. (One difference between commentaries in English papers and those in American papers is that the English ones deal with facts. Come to think of it, that’s one difference between commentaries in English papers and news stories in American ones.) Examining the factors that came together to create the American prison at Abu Ghraib, Klein writes:

More than 82% of the jobs created [in the United States] in April were in service industries, including restaurants and retail. The biggest new employers were temp agencies. Over the past year, 272,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost. No wonder the president’s economic report in February floated the idea of reclassifying fast-food restaurants as factories. “When a fast-food restaurant sells a hamburger, for example, is it providing a ‘service’ or is it combining inputs to ‘manufacture’ a product?” the report asks.

But not all of the job growth in the US has come from burger-flipping and temping. With more than 2 million Americans behind bars, the number of prison guards has exploded - from 270,317 in 2000 to 476,000 in 2002.

The ridiculous remark about the possibility of reclassifying fast-food restaurants as factories (and a further one: “Mixing water and concentrate to produce soft drinks is classified as manufacturing. However, if that activity is performed at a snack bar, it is considered a service”) comes from the same February report about which Gregory Mankiw, the President’s top economic advisor, stated: “Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade. More things are tradable than were tradable in the past and that’s a good thing.”

Since George Bush became President, we’ve been blessed with an overabundance of good things—over 2.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. Unemployment in manufacturing cities such as Rockford is over ten percent. Setting aside the question of how much of this can be laid at the feet of the current administration and how much is the result of the free-trade policies of the Bush I and Clinton administrations, there is no doubt that the loss of manufacturing jobs has been a political hot potato for George W. Bush—and a boon for military recruitment.

Klein continues:

Free trade has turned the US labour market into an hourglass: plenty of jobs at the bottom, a fair bit at the top, but very little in the middle. At the same time, getting from the bottom to the top has become increasingly difficult, with tuition fees at state colleges up by more than 50% since 1990.

That has led many—among them, Jessica Lynch, Lynddie England, and England’s fellow Abu Ghraib guard Sabrina Harman—to sign up for a tour of duty, in the promise of receiving college tuition after four years (a phenomenon Klein call the “Nafta draft”). Their dire economic straits do not excuse their actions, but they do help to explain why people who were unsuited for duty ended up in the military. (This does not explain, however, why they were accepted into the service.)

Of course, the poverty of the soldiers involved in prison torture makes them neither more guilty, nor less. But the more we learn about them, the clearer it becomes that the lack of good jobs and social equality in the US is precisely what brought them to Iraq in the first place.

Despite his attempts to use the economy to distract attention from Iraq, and his efforts to isolate the soldiers as un-American deviants, these are the children George Bush left behind, fleeing dead-end McJobs, abusive prisons, unaffordable education and closed factories.

It’s a powerful article and a good counterweight to the libertarian argument (advanced today by Gene Callahan) that Abu Ghraib simply stems from “the nature of the State.” Yes, indeed, the state has played an important role here, not least in instituting the free-trade agreements that have led to the outsourcing that Callahan and his LewRockwell.com colleagues cannot praise enough. And the state has played no small part in the cultural corruption so well documented by Tom Fleming in “The Face of America”. But to get so wrapped up in a theory that you blame Abu Ghraib on the “nature of the State” and ignore the increasing cultural decadence and economic decline in which we find ourselves is to willingly blind yourself to reality.

I don’t like this war, or the way it has been conducted, any more than does Callahan. The answer to our problems, however, does not lie in some pie-in-the-sky theory about the glory days that will ensue after the (never-to-be-consummated) destruction of the state but, instead, in opening our eyes to the ways in which the political, economic, and cultural decline of America continue to reinforce one another.

(By the way, the Guardian, while clearly rooting for John Kerry, has had some of the best and most in-depth coverage of the U.S. presidential election so far, particularly the ongoing series by Matthew Wells, who is traveling through the Midwest, covering reactions to the war and its possible effect on the election. You can find his first three articles here, here, and here.)

Link Here

Ashcroft Is Denied Immunity in Case

A federal judge in Idaho has ruled that former attorney general John D. Ashcroft can be held personally responsible for the wrongful detention of a US citizen arrested as a "material witness" in a terrorism case.

Link Here

Former Pollster Describes 2000 Election Theft

Former UNH professor and pollster David Moore contends that his new book about the 2000 presidential election - titled "How to Steal an Election" - is not partisan. Moore said he knows it's a "hard sell," but he argues the book simply explains how George W. Bush took the presidency that was rightfully won by Al Gore.

Link Here

This Time, Congress Has No Excuse

Andrew Cohen writes, "Of all the stupid, lazy, short-sighted, hasty, ill-conceived, partisan-inspired, damage-inflicting, dangerous and offensive things this Congress has done (or not done) in its past few recent miserable terms, the looming passage of the terror detainee bill takes the cake."

Link Here

Iraqi Journalists Slaughtered, Suppressed for Speaking Against Government

Ahmed al-Karbouli, a reporter for Baghdadiya TV in the violent city of Ramadi, did his best to ignore the death threats, right up until six armed men drilled him with bullets after midday prayers. He was the fourth journalist killed in Iraq in September alone, out of a total of more than 130 since the 2003 invasion, the vast majority of them Iraqis. But these days, men with guns are not Iraqi reporters' only threat. Men with gavels are, too.

Link Here

Bludgeoning Iraq's "Burgeoning Free Press"

It's a rotten time to be an Iraqi journalist. If being kidnapped and murdered by insurgents or detained indefinitely by the U.S. military aren't bad enough, now the government is cracking down. From today's New York Times:

Under a broad new set of laws criminalizing speech that ridicules the government or its officials, some resurrected verbatim from Saddam Hussein’s penal code, roughly a dozen Iraqi journalists have been charged with offending public officials in the past year.

Currently, three journalists for a small newspaper in southeastern Iraq are being tried here for articles last year that accused a provincial governor, local judges and police officials of corruption. The journalists are accused of violating Paragraph 226 of the penal code, which makes anyone who “publicly insults” the government or public officials subject to up to seven years in prison. [snip]

The office of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has lately refused to speak with news organizations that report on sectarian violence in ways that the government considers inflammatory; some outlets have been shut down.

Meanwhile, back inside our own executive media bubble... President Bush, earlier this year: "I like the fact in Iraq that there's a burgeoning free press, there's a lot of press, which is a positive sign. It's a healthy indication."

Posted by Dave Gilson on 09/29/06 at 9:47 AM

Link Here

Hundreds Arrested in Week of Anti-War Actions

Demonstrations, marches, rallies, vigils and prayer meetings continue to take place in dozens of cities across the United States this week as part of a nationwide campaign aiming to force the administration of President George W. Bush and Congress to end the US occupation of Iraq.

Link Here

Diebold Added Secret Patch to Georgia E-Voting Systems in 2002, Whistleblowers Say

By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor, Atlanta Progressive News (September 28, 2006)

APN) ATLANTA – Top Diebold corporation officials ordered workers to install secret files to Georgia’s electronic voting machines shortly before the 2002 Elections, at least two whistleblowers are now asserting, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

Former Diebold official Chris Hood told his story concerning the secret “patch” to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., for Kennedy’s second article on electronic voting in this week’s Rolling Stone Magazine.

Hood’s claims corroborate a second whistleblower who spoke with Black Box Voting and Wired News in 2003.

Whistleblower Accounts

“With the primaries looming, [Chief of Diebold’s Election Division] Urosevich was personally distributing a ‘patch,’ a little piece of software designed to correct glitches in the computer program,” Rolling Stone Magazine reported.

"We were told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn't do," Hood told Rolling Stone. "The curious thing is the very swift, covert way this was done."

"It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state," Hood told Rolling Stone.

"We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from Urosevich. It was very unusual that a president of the company would give an order like that and be involved at that level,” Hood told Rolling Stone.

The “patch” was applied to about 5,000 polling places in Fulton and DeKalb Counties in 2002, Rolling Stone reported.

Hood did not immediately return a text message from Atlanta Progressive News and his voicemail was not operational.

The second whistleblower, Rob Behler, was contracted to work with Diebold in the lead up to the 2002 Elections.

Two patches were applied in June and July 2002 respectively while Behler worked in the Diebold warehouse; another patch was applied in August 2002 after Behler left the warehouse, Wired News reported.

“Behler said Diebold programmers posted patches to a file-transfer-protocol site for him and his colleagues to apply to the machines,” Wired News reported.

Diebold officials first denied any patches were applied in an interview with Salon in 2003, according to Wired News.

"We have analyzed that situation and have no indication of that happening at all," Joseph Richardson, Diebold spokesperson, is reported to have told Salon at the time.

This story later changed.

Activists Speak Out

Elections integrity activists are outraged by the relevations, although they say the apparent secretive nature of “the patch” has only confirmed the things they already suspected and feared.

“The fact that they were doing any patch of any kind is very disturbing,” Garland Favorito of VoterGA, an organization that is suing the State of Georgia over the meaningless nature of elections here, told Atlanta Progressive News.

“It raises the distinct possibility the machines might have counted [in a] different [manner] on Election Night than when certified,” Favorito said.

“It corroborates two of our key points of the suit. One, machines can count differently on Election Night than when certified. So, the only way is to verify on Election Night. Two, it’s another example of how people have been removed from the counting of the votes,” Favorito said.

“I’m not surprised people are playing tricks. As far as the patch, I say ‘time out’ for that,” Donzella James, who is contesting her purported loss in the Democratic Primary in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District to US Rep. David Scott (D-GA), told Atlanta Progressive News.

“I’m definitely going to look into it. I’m glad there’s a credible person–Kennedy–who has brought this information forward,” James said.

An outspoken advocate for a voter verified paper trail since her days in the Georgia State Senate, James said she is getting ready to run again in 2008 whatever the outcome of her lawsuit.

“It immediately shows Diebold has not been telling the truth, has been covering up facts, in state after state, year after year. This is someone who knows. He has insider knowledge,” Brad Friedman of BradBlog told Atlanta Progressive News.

“These are things people suspected. He confirmed it. Diebold never gave a damn about security, accuracy, or transparency,” Friedman said.

What is worse, the use of last-minute patches on electronic voting machines are routine, Friedman said.

“It has happened all over the country. Because they find out about security issues at the last minute and apply them without going through the proper procedures,” Friedman said.

At a recent press conference called by Donzella James, poll watchers say one county official locked herself in a room with the machine for three unexplained minutes during the recent Primary.

Cathy Cox’s Role

Where was Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox during all this?

Apparently, Diebold leadership asked employees to not let her office know about the patch or patches.

And Diebold first alleged this application of patches wasn’t going on.

However, Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox appears to have found out anyway.

And Diebold appears to have at some point acknowledged the patches existed.

At least one patch was approved by Kennesaw State University, who got a state contract to do so, according to Wired News.

And Diebold admitted to the Elections Assistance Commission about the “0808" patch, Garland Favorito said.

Cox wrote a letter after the 2002 Elections, asking Diebold to address a total of 29 problems with the functioning of their E-voting machines, technology, and procedures, Rolling Stone reported.

This list of 29 items was also brought up in a press conference by US Rep. Cynthia McKinney, her first major press conference on electronic voting.

Cox referred to the item of the mysterious patch as “The application/implication of the 0808 patch.”

“The state was seeking confirmation that the patch did not require that the system ‘be recertified at national and state level’ as well as ‘verifiable analysis of overall impact of patch to the voting system,’” Rolling Stone Magazine reports.

But shouldn’t they be seeking her confirmation and not the other way around?

Diebold’s reply to Cox’s letter, if one exists, has not been made publicly available, according to Rolling Stone.

“She [Cox] should be the one confirming it, not the vendor. She’s the one responsible for running elections in Georgia,” Favorito told Atlanta Progressive News.

“She appears to be trying to privatize the election system to the point where she’s trying to ask the vendor to determine if they’re in compliance, rather that using their own resources,” within the Office of the Secretary of State, Favorito said.

“They claim [as an excuse] to have changed the operating system and not the tabulating software. We believe the law says the systems have to be re-certified with a patch of any kind. The State did not certify those patches. The State took Diebold’s word,” Favorito said.

“However, State Law does not seem to support Diebold’s testimony,” Favorito said.

Atlanta Progressive News will be looking more into how Diebold was, or was not, able to satisfy Cox’s 2002 concerns.

“Atlanta Progressive News is the only media outlet in Georgia that’s covering this story,” Garland Favorito of VoterGA said.

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor for Atlanta Progressive News. He may be reached at matthew@atlantaprogressivenews.com

Syndication policy:

This article may be reprinted in full at no cost where Atlanta Progressive News is credited.

Link Here

Legal US resident jailed under new government program

Jennifer Van BergenPublished: Thursday September 28, 2006

Questions are being raised about the arrest, detention, and treatment of a long-term Ukrainian legal resident alien in Florida.

Bella Maryanovsky, a thirty-year legal resident of the United States, was arrested last week on Tuesday, September 19, when she entered immigration offices for a routine update of her green card papers. It appears she was arrested under a new immigration program called “Operation Return to Sender.”

According to Michael Chertoff in a June 2006 press release, “Operation Return to Sender is another example of a new and tough interior enforcement strategy that seeks to catch and deport criminal aliens, increase worksite enforcement, and crack down hard on the criminal infrastructure that perpetuates illegal immigration.”

“The fugitives captured in this operation,” claimed Chertoff, “threatened public safety in hundreds of neighborhoods and communities around the country. This department has no tolerance for their criminal behavior.”

However, Maryanovsky, according to her family and friends, has long been an upstanding member of society. She is currently employed placing engineers in jobs nationwide with salaries ranging from $75,000 to $250,000.

Gino Sedikov, Maryanovsky’s attorney, explained in a Monday conversation that he has yet to determine the charges on which Maryanovsky is being held. She was not provided with a “notice to appear” or given any indication that her immigration file had been flagged or that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intended to arrest her. Sedikov believes this is part of the new policy in the ICE office.

Michael Keegan, a spokesman for ICE in Washington, D.C. told RAW STORY in a phone conversation on Wednesday, “It is not our job to create the law. It is not our job to interpret the law. Our job is to enforce the law.” According to Keegan, “the posture of law enforcement agencies has completely changed since 9/11.”

The most likely reason Maryanovksy’s file was flagged is that in 1989 she was convicted – wrongfully, according to her family – of committing a crime that at the time was not a deportable offense. Laws passed in the 1990’s that applied retroactively, according to Keegan, would have made her offense a deportable one.

However, according to immigration expert Mark Levey, who has practiced immigration law in Washington, D.C. for twenty years, only crimes that were aggravated felonies at the time of commission were swept in under the retroactive rule. Thus, Levey believes that Maryanovsky’s immigration file was probably flagged incorrectly.

"Because Maryanovsky's crime precedes the 1990's laws," Levey explains, "although she is still deportable, she is nonetheless eligible for bond and for relief from removal based on her good character."

Why was Maryanovsky arrested now, almost twenty years after her conviction? Keegan contends, “It’s because we’re such a good agency,” implying that ICE does a better job than its predecessor, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

According to Sedikov, thousands of immigrants are sitting in jails and detentions centers without any hope of what is called "relief from removal" – that is, cancellation of a charge that would otherwise result in deportation.

The present immigration system, reformulated under the Department of Homeland Security after the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, was divided into two parts: an enforcement agency (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or “ICE,” ironically referred to by immigration attorneys as the “ICEmen”) and a separate service agency for getting a green card.
ICE is further divided into an investigative unit, a deportation/removal unit, and a detection/arrest unit. Because of these divisions, “the wheels of justice move slowly,” says Sedikov. A detainee’s file is supposed to follow them from unit to unit, but sometimes – as in Maryanovsky’s case – the file is lost. The detainee may then wait in detention for months until the file is found. Even when a file is accounted for, detainees may still spend weeks in jail, since detention centers are overfull.

In the meantime, explains Sedikov, if the detainee is not held near an immigration court there is no mechanism by which they can be brought before an immigration judge to challenge their detention. The individual must simply wait until the right official in the right department of ICE decides it is time to bring them to court. Immigration courts do not have sheriffs who can bring detainees in, so judges will not entertain an attorney’s request for a bond hearing unless the detainee is accessible. Thus, an individual put into detention falls into a sort of black hole. According to Sedikov, “ICE has no duty to respect [the attorney’s] requests.”

Sedikov claims he has left 70 messages on the Maryanovsky case in five days, and has received no return call from ICE officials. His current aim is to have her transferred to a location that would allow her to be brought before a judge.

Maryanovsky claims that she is currently being held in a jail cell with an accused murderer. Last week she was in a cell with five other people and only two beds, so she slept on a “urine-laden cement floor.”

To make matters more disheartening, Maryanovsky takes medication for heart arrhythmia and high blood pressure. She confided to her family and friends that prison personnel mockingly refused to give her medication, telling her, “When you have a heart attack, then we’ll help you.”
One friend, Lauren, who wished to keep her last name private, said that she has visited Maryanovsky twice, and her ankles and extremities are swelling. “[She] can go into heart failure,” Lauren told RAW STORY. According to family members, her blood pressure hit 220/110, and the family obtained a doctor’s letter to present to immigration authorities, but she was still apparently not being given her medication.

Maryanovsky is scheduled soon to be transferred to Krome Detention Center, outside Miami, according to Sedikov. Two years ago, Krome garnered much press attention when an 81-year old Haitian Baptist minister, Joseph Dantica, died while being detained there after seeking asylum. He fell ill during his hearing, after, like Maryanovsky, requesting medication for high blood pressure. Officials contend that he died of pancreatitis and deny responsibility for his death.

Ray Del Papa of the South Florida Peace and Justice Network – a coalition that includes representatives from such groups as the Quakers, Pax Christi, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Jewish Arab Defense Association, Haiti Solidarity, and many others – told RAW STORY that he sees an incongruity in the arrest and detention of such persons as Maryanovsky or Dantica while known terrorists, such as Luis Possada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, and Virgilio Paz Romero, are allowed to remain free in the U.S., despite their criminal records.

Sedikov claims that the arresting officer told him, “We got orders to arrest everybody.”
That officer, Keith Bradley, refused to confirm or deny anything about the case to RAW STORY, saying “I still have a mortgage and bills to pay.”

Some have speculated that Maryanovsky’s sudden arrest and detention may have a political motive. Levey disagrees, as does RAW STORY managing news editor Larisa Alexandrovna, who was raised together with Maryanovsky since their arrival in the United States. But Alexandrovna, who did not contribute to the writing or editing of this piece, says she believes readers should “view this as a typical day.”

“Sure, I find it odd that in Southern Florida – where immigration targets are usually Cuban, South American, and Haitian – suddenly a Ukrainian Jew is arrested, held without charge, and her file goes missing,” says Alexandrovna. “But I also find it odd that thousands of people are being swept up in these raids, we don’t know their actual citizenship status, they are disappeared and held in detention facilities, and no one notices. It is all odd,” added Alexandrovna in a Wednesday evening email.

Jennifer Van Bergen is a free-lance journalist who holds a law degree. Her book The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America has been called a “primer for citizenship.” She can be reached at jvbxyz@earthlink.net.
'Operation Return to Sender' stumbles

Woodward: Two months before 9/11 attacks, Rice gave 'brush-off' to 'impending terrorist attack' warning from CIA

State of Denial: Two months before 9/11, Rice gave the 'brush-off' to 'impending terrorist attack' warning

Ron BrynaertPublished: Saturday September 30, 2006

According to a new book written by Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward, two months before the September 11 attacks, then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice gave the "brush-off" to an "impending terrorist attack" warning by former C.I.A. director George J. Tenet and his counterterrorism coordinator.

An article in Friday's New York Times first mentioned the warning, and a front page book review of Woodward's State of Denial in Saturday's edition provides more details.

"On July 10, 2001, the book says, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, met with Ms. Rice at the White House to impress upon her the seriousness of the intelligence the agency was collecting about an impending attack," David E. Sanger reported on Friday. "But both men came away from the meeting feeling that Ms. Rice had not taken the warnings seriously."

Sanger also reported that Tenet told Woodward that before 9/11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was "impeding" efforts to catch Osama bin Laden.

"Mr. Woodward writes that in the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Tenet believed that Mr. Rumsfeld was impeding the effort to develop a coherent strategy to capture or kill Osama bin Laden," wrote Sanger. "Mr. Rumsfeld questioned the electronic signals from terrorism suspects that the National Security Agency had been intercepting, wondering whether they might be part of an elaborate deception plan by Al Qaeda."

Saturday's New York Times review claims that in Woodward's book, Rice "is depicted as a presidential enabler, ineffectual at her job of coordinating interagency strategy and planning."
"For instance, Mr. Woodward writes that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism coordinator, J. Cofer Black, met with Ms. Rice to warn her of mounting intelligence about an impending terrorist attack, but came away feeling they’d been given 'the brush-off' — a revealing encounter, given Ms. Rice’s recent comments, rebutting former President Bill Clinton’s allegations that the Bush administration had failed to pursue counterterrorism measures aggressively before 9/11," writes Michiko Kakutani.

Saturday's Washington Post has more details regarding the meeting.

"The book also reports that then-CIA Director George J. Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, grew so concerned in the summer of 2001 about a possible al-Qaeda attack that they drove straight to the White House to get high-level attention," Peter Baker reports for the Post.

"Tenet called Rice, then the national security adviser, from his car to ask to see her, in hopes that the surprise appearance would make an impression. But the meeting on July 10, 2001, left Tenet and Black frustrated and feeling brushed off, Woodward reported," the article continues. "Rice, they thought, did not seem to feel the same sense of urgency about the threat and was content to wait for an ongoing policy review."

Excerpts from Post article:
The report of such a meeting takes on heightened importance after former president Bill Clinton said this week that the Bush team did not do enough to try to kill Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) said her husband would have paid more attention to warnings of a possible attack than Bush did. Rice fired back on behalf of the current president, saying the Bush administration "was at least as aggressive" in eight months as President Clinton had been in eight years.

The July 10 meeting of Rice, Tenet and Black went unmentioned in various investigations into the Sept. 11 attacks, and Woodward wrote that Black "felt there were things the commissions wanted to know about and things they didn't want to know about."

Jamie S. Gorelick, a member of the Sept. 11 commission, said she checked with commission staff members who told her investigators were never told about a July 10 meeting. "We didn't know about the meeting itself," she said. "I can assure you it would have been in our report if we had known to ask about it."

White House and State Department officials yesterday confirmed that the July 10 meeting took place, although they took issue with Woodward's portrayal of its results. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, responding on behalf of Rice, said Tenet and Black had never publicly expressed any frustration with her response.

"This is the first time these thoughts and feelings associated with that meeting have been expressed," McCormack said. "People are free to revise and extend their remarks, but that is certainly not the story that was told to the 9/11 commission."

'This is going to be the big one'

Another Post article slated for Sunday's edition provides even more details.

"For months, Tenet had been pressing Rice to set a clear counterterrorism policy, including specific presidential orders, called "findings," that would give the CIA stronger authority to conduct covert action against bin Laden," the uncredited Post article reports. "Perhaps a dramatic appearance -- Black called it an 'out of cycle' session, beyond Tenet's regular weekly meeting with Rice -- would get her attention."

J. Cofer Black later said that "[t]he only thing we didn't do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head."

Excerpts from Sunday's Post article:
Tenet had been losing sleep over the recent intelligence. There was no conclusive, smoking-gun intelligence, but there was such a huge volume of data that an intelligence officer's instinct strongly suggested that something was coming.

He did not know when, where or how, but Tenet felt there was too much noise in the intelligence systems. Two weeks earlier, he had told Richard A. Clarke, the National Security Council's counterterrorism director: "It's my sixth sense, but I feel it coming. This is going to be the big one."

But Tenet had been having difficulty getting traction on an immediate bin Laden action plan, in part because Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had questioned all the intelligence, asking: Could it all be a grand deception? Perhaps, he said, it was a plan to measure U.S. reactions and defenses.

Tenet had the National Security Agency review all the intercepts, and the agency concluded they were of genuine al-Qaeda communications. On June 30, a top-secret senior executive intelligence brief contained an article headlined "Bin Laden Threats Are Real."
Tenet left the meeting feeling frustrated. Though Rice had given them a fair hearing, no immediate action meant great risk. Black felt the decision to just keep planning was a sustained policy failure. Rice and the Bush team had been in hibernation too long. "Adults should not have a system like this," he said later.
An "editor's note" appended to the end of the article notes that "[h]ow much effort the Bush administration made in going after Osama bin Laden before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, became an issue last week after former president Bill Clinton accused President Bush's 'neocons' and other Republicans of ignoring bin Laden until the attacks."

"Rice responded in an interview that 'what we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years,'" the editor's note continues.


Molly Ivins | Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (1215 - 2006)

Molly Ivins writes: "Fellow citizens, this bill throws out legal and moral restraints as the president deems it necessary - these are fundamental principles of basic decency, as well as law. I'd like those supporting this evil bill to spare me one affliction: Do not, please, pretend to be shocked by the consequences of this legislation. And do not pretend to be shocked when the world begins comparing us to the Nazis."

Link Here

Damage to underside of White House bedroom cornice could have only been seen by someone lying on their back on the bed.

Sep. 29, 2006 -- Involvement of Bush Republicans in pedophilia and child prostitution back in news. Yesterday, ABC News reported that it obtained e-mails sent from Florida Republican Representative Mark Foley's private AOL account to a 16-year old former male congressional page in which the congressman requested the teen to provide his age, a photo of himself, and what he wanted for his birthday. The former page, believing Foley's e-mails to be "sick," provided copies to congressional staff members. In one e-mail, Foley wrote, "did you have fun at your conference?…what do you want for your birthday coming up?…what stuff do you like to do?" In another, Foley asked, ""how are you weathering the hurricane?…are you safe?…send me an email pic of you as well…" Foley has been a strong supporter of George W. Bush. Damage to underside of White House bedroom cornice could have only been seen by someone lying on their back on the bed.

The scandal breaking around Foley comes as new questions are being raised about a story that rocked Washington in 1989. The Washington Times broke a major story about a top GOP lobbyist, registered lobbyist for Japan, and former ABC news reporter in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War named Craig Spence who was hosting huge parties for "U.S. military officers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides, media representatives and other professionals" and arranging liaisons between these power brokers and underage male teen prostitutes. Among Spence's close friends was Japanese nuclear scientist Motoo Shiina, a Liberal Democratic Party politician who was later suspected of passing defense secrets to the Soviet Union.

The Washington Times led off the exposure of the teen prostitution ring with this above-the-fold front page headline on June 29, 1989: "Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush." The July 7, 1989 edition of the Washington Times reported, "Administration officials continued yesterday to stonewall reporters on the growing federal 'call boy' investigation, apparently hoping the scandal will fade before President Bush is asked his view of a late-night White House tour that reportedly included two male prostitutes. Nebraska Republican State Senator John DeCamp later said that many of the young prostitutes were procured from the Boy's Town orphanage near Omaha.

Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, who heads the Secret Service, reluctantly conceded yesterday at the White House that the agency is looking into the July 3, 1988, tour - one of several arranged by a Secret Service officer for lobbyist Craig J. Spence." The report continued, "White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater and several of his deputies have said repeatedly that they do not know if Mr. Bush considered it appropriate for male prostitutes to be touring the White House at 1 a.m. Yesterday, while talking informally to several reporters at the White House, Mr. Fitzwater parried one question this way: "What are they saying, that you should have sexual-preference checks on people that come into the White House?"

New details emerge about 1989 Bush I White House teen prostitute scandal: teens entered private quarters of the White House while George W. Bush was occasionally residing there while acting as his father's hatchet man in the White House.

The Washington Times also stated, "White House officials have said that the midnight tours such as those arranged for Mr. Spence do not threaten the First Family's security because they are allowed only in office areas and not the residence." In fact, according to the Times, then First Lady Barbara Bush brushed aside the story of the teen prostitutes entering the White House for midnight tours, saying, "There haven't been a lot of stories in our house about it . . . I'm not into all of this," adding it was "good" that The Washington Post wasn't following The Times' story. However, WMR has learned that Spence was close to a number of Washington Post journalists as well as others working for The New York Times, CBS News, and ABC News. Spence was arrested in New York City for gun and cocaine possession and in November 1989 was found dead in a Boston hotel, fully clothed in a black tuxedo and white bow tie reportedly from a suicide. There were no signs of injury to Spence's body.

And, although Fitzwater and Mrs. Bush claimed Spence's male prostitutes never entered the private quarters of the White House, WMR has learned otherwise. WMR was told by one of the chief investigators on this story that one of the teen prostitutes said that he noticed damage to the underside of a cornice (a special molding along the top of a wall) in one of the bedrooms in the private quarters of ithe White House during one of his overnight stays. The Lincoln Bedroom and the Rose Guest Room are both located within the more secure confines of the private quarters on the second floor of the White House. The prostitute's story about a damaged cornice in a corner bedroom of the private quarters was later confirmed by a White House source. Moreover, the damage to the cornice could have only be seen by someone who was lying on their back on the bed.

Damage to underside of White House bedroom cornice could have only been seen by someone lying on their back on the bed.


Not sure if this ad placement by the Washington Post yesterday was intentional or not:

Wayne Madsen Report
Sep. 30/Oct. 1, 2006

A Quarter Million Iraqis Flee Sectarian Violence


A quarter of a million Iraqis have fled sectarian violence and registered as refugees in the past seven months with an upsurge in attacks over Ramadan. In Baghdad, police found the bodies of 40 more victims - bound, tortured and murdered. The United States says violence in Iraq has surged in the last two weeks, and this past week saw the most suicide bombs of any week since the war began in 2003.

Link Here

Bush Throws Down the Gauntlet

Gone suddenly is the Republican strategy for trying to "localize" the Nov. 7 congressional elections and stop Democrats district by district. George W. Bush has thrown down the gauntlet to Democrats for a "nationalized" referendum on his handling of the "war on terror" and the Iraq War. The big question now is whether the American people will view Bush's "World War III" as a necessity or as a mad rush to destruction. September 29, 2006


FOCUS | Revolt of the Generals

A revolt is brewing among our retired Army and Marine generals. This rebellion comes not because their beloved forces are bearing the brunt of ground combat in Iraq but because the retirees see the US adventure in Mesopotamia as another Vietnam-like, strategically failed war, and they blame the errant, arrogant civilian leadership at the Pentagon.

Link Here

Fool's goal

Sheila Samples, Online Journal Contributing Writer

...Still, it's difficult to determine who's dumb and dumber here -- the American people or their foolish president. I cannot believe people don't realize that Bush gives the same damn speech over and over, word for word, and has for five years. He uses the singed flesh of the people slain on 9-11 to justify killing so many, many innocents throughout the world -- September the 11th . . . we're on the hunt . . . got the evildoers on the run . . . we're bringing them to justice . . . September the 11th . . . freedom's on the march . . . we don't kill 'em over there, they'll follow us home and we'll have to kill 'em over here . . . September the 11th . . . September the 11th . . . they kill without mercy because they hate our freedoms . . . September the 11th. Bush's speeches are replete with hate, and with horror, fear, death, suffering, plotters, planners, and hateful ideologies..

continua / continued


Malcom Lagauche

...The destruction of the Iraqi education system was devastating and the number one reason why Iraq was kept in a "pre-industrial" mode for years after the U.S. assault in 1991. However, few people in the U.S. have a clue to the former crown jewel of the country. Today, there is a tremendous amount of revisionist history that is effective propaganda for the U.S. public. The new version could not be further from the truth. In 1973, Iraq began an all-out assault on illiteracy. Thousands of Iraqis were sent overseas to obtain advanced degrees. They, in turn, came back to Iraq to educate the next generation of educators. In the 1980s, the Iraqi education system was universally acknowledged by the U.N. and many international education organizations as the best in the world for developing countries. Officials from many nations visited Iraq and took notes at how the system worked. These facts have simply been ignored in the past few years in re-writing the history of Iraq. An interesting part of the Ba’ath education system was its secular approach. Students received a first-class education regardless of their religious affiliation. Females attended school regularly and did not have to wear a veil if they did not choose. Today’s Iraqi education experience is far different. Few females attend class. In most areas, they are compelled to wear veils, ever if they’ve never worn one in their lives. And, they mostly have to be escorted to school by two male family members. By 1990, the literacy rate in Iraq had grown from about 40% in 1973, to almost 90% This success rate was unheard of in the Arab world...

continua / continued

A Personal Declaration of Independence

William Cook

Citizens of the United States of America bear an awesome responsibility to maintain control of their government’s behavior since that government derives its powers from the consent granted it by the citizens. When the government ceases to act in accord with the dictates of the respective consciences of its citizens as determined by its foundational documents – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights -- , when it violates the established principles that give this nation legitimacy before the nations of the world through mutually accepted agreements, charters, and conventions, when it abrogates the inalienable rights granted the citizens by the Creator, when it declares unequivocally that the citizens cannot dissent with an action or actions taken by the government, then it is the right and the duty of the citizen to "alter or abolish" that government...

continua / continued

The Breaking Point

Mike Whitney

There is no good news from Iraq. It’s all bad. The magnitude of America’s defeat is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day. Rumsfeld’s cheery propaganda campaign has fallen on hard times and will have no effect on the wars’ final outcome. The problem is the policy; it is untenable and will require a thorough overhaul. We should expect to see dramatic changes following the elections. The Iraq Survey Group, steered by committee-chair and Bush family friend James Baker, will release their findings right after the November balloting. Judging by their guarded comments, big changes are ahead. Perhaps, the troops will move to the perimeter and let the Iraqis kill each other in a full-blown civil war. Whatever transpires, the first phase of the Iraqi fiasco is nearly over. The Bush administration will be compelled to protect its interests while limiting the exposure of its troops. They may choose to minimize their activities to bombing raids and counter-insurgency operations, further destroying the threadbare fabric of Iraqi society....

continua / continued

Relatives of new Saddam trial judge are killed in Baghdad

The Associated Press

Iraq The brother-in-law of the new judge presiding over Saddam Hussein's genocide trial was killed and his nephew was wounded in a shooting Friday in Baghdad, the latest deadly violence linked to proceedings against the former Iraqi leader. Kadhim Abdul-Hussein was fatally shot, and his son, Karrar, was wounded in the capital's western Ghazaliyah neighborhood by unidentified assailants, police 1st Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said (...) During Saddam's first trial, three defense lawyers were killed, and in July, Saddam and three other defendants refused food to protest lack of security for lawyers and conduct of the trial...

continua / continued

On Friday, September 29, It's Mourning in America


Just as it is hard to fully comprehend the grief of a beloved friend or relative killed needlessly in an accident, it is excruciatingly painful to try to come to terms with the pernicious betrayal of our Constitution and liberty that occurred in the Senate on Thursday, September 28. In the past week alone, we have seen factual evidence that belies the need for the power play/pre-election attack on our Constitution. In fact, these developments indicate that giving Bush even more unprecedented power is not only unconscionable; it puts the national security of the United States of America in peril...

continua / continued

Bush Given Authority To Sexually Torture American Children

The "horror of the shrieking boys" gets a rubber stamp from the boot-licking U.S. Congress & Senate as America officially becomes a dictatorship
Slamming the final nail in the coffin of everything America used to stand for, the boot-licking U.S. Senate last night gave President Bush the legal authority to abduct and sexually mutilate American citizens and American children in the name of the war on terror. There is nothing in the "detainee" legislation that protects American citizens from being kidnapped by their own government and tortured. Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman states in the L.A. Times, "The compromise legislation....authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights."...

Bob Woodward: Bush Misleads On Iraq Tells 60 Minutes' Wallace That Kissinger Is Regular Visitor To White House

Little bit late arn't you, why should we believe anything you print, you where up Georgies ass in 2001, where were you then when the world at large where waiting for the truth.

Veteran Washington reporter Bob Woodward tells Mike Wallace that the Bush administration has not told the truth regarding the level of violence, especially against U.S. troops, in Iraq. He also reveals key intelligence that predicts the insurgency will grow worse next year. In Wallace’s interview with Woodward, to be broadcast on 60 Minutes this Sunday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. ET/PT, the reporter also claims that Henry Kissinger is among those advising Mr. Bush. According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. "It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That's more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces," says Woodward...

continua / continued

Bring out the nails

Anwaar Hussain, Fountainhead

Bring out the nails to be hammered into the coffin of the fast approaching death of the dream of American Empire which has started to wane badly in its staging outposts of Afghanistan and Iraq. Bring out the nails. Bring out the nails because in Afghanistan, the first Neo-colony of the American Neo-Conservatives, the Taliban are on the rise a la the fabled phoenix rising from the ashes and where they once again control most parts of southern Afghanistan openly setting up shadow administrations there and where the coalition forces are getting a beating of their lives from the rag tag Taliban and where the whining and griping among the coalition forces over their looming defeat is increasing with each passing day and where on the Pakistani side too, the supremo General Musharraf has beaten a hasty retreat from the bordering Waziristan rather than trying to reinforce failure. Bring out the nails...

continua / continued

Cleland Speaks Out Against Negative GOP AD: "I've Seen This Movie Before...It Beat Me In 2002"...

Associated Press David Hammer September 29, 2006 at 05:05 PM

Former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia says he was reminded of his own campaign experience when he saw a new Republican television ad against Senate candidate Sherrod Brown. So the disabled Vietnam veteran came to the Ohio Democrat's defense.

"I've seen this movie before. I've seen what distortions can do," Cleland said Friday. "It beat me in 2002, and I hope the voters of Ohio don't buy it."


Gonzales Warns Courts Against Interfering With Bush's Detainee Bill, Anti-Terrorism Tactics...

Dont you just love it, they are bigger than the courts now.

Associated Press September 29, 2006 at 09:15 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Supreme Court

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending President Bush's anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president's judgments in wartime.

He said the Constitution makes the president commander in chief and the Supreme Court has long recognized the president's pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. "The Constitution, by contrast, provides the courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during wartime," the attorney general told a conference on the judiciary at Georgetown University Law Center.


Oh Blackwater, Keep on Turning? Soon it'll be State's Evidence for The Black Prince

Rick Jacobs

Where was Congress when Blackwater was killing its own people, starting wars in Falluja and consorting with Halliburton to take billions in taxpayer money?


We're There Now

Jane Smiley

Bush and his friends cannot be punished for crimes they have committed, while others can be thrown in jail without even knowing what crimes they are accused of.


So Long, It's Been Good to Know Ya

Ellis Weiner

They've empowered the most mendacious and destructive president in history to do exactly what the military juntas in Argentina and Brazil used to do.


Derelictions Of Duty: How George Bush Has Disrespected Commanders and Hurt Our Troops

Kangaroo says RIGHT ON
READ MORE: Iraq, Bob Woodward, Washington Post, Afghanistan, George W. Bush George W.

Bush has now made one of the most appalling speeches in presidential history, comparing himself to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman and making charges against his opponents that should not be dignified by repeating.

It is time to set the record straight. Those who President Bush was really attacking were his commanders, his former Secretary of State, leaders of the NATO alliance among
many others who have warned him of dangers and urged him to change course.

Time and time again, itemized in detail below, George Bush has shown contempt for his commanders, disrespected their advice, demeaned them publicly and privately, and taken action after action that directly harmed the safety of our troops and caused great damage to the mission and our national security.

In the Washington Post of September 26 I was both honored and outraged to read four full pages of American heroes lost in action in Iraq.

Honored because these young men and women, many of them 18 to 21 years of age, black, white, hispanic, asian, are truly the best that America has to offer. There are not words to fully express the honor they bring in the long line of American patriots, from the days of the Continental Army until every next morning in the America they defend for us.

Outraged because these American heroes deserved a damn sight better than they have gotten from the politicians in Washington and the nation that celebrates its tax cuts and housing bubbles while their blood is shed in the sands of the Middle East

What we have witnessed on a massive scale is a dereliction of duty of unparalleled proportion, from those who sent these young men and women to war, where they heroically did their duty, while politicians used them as cannon fodder for partisanship while committing derelictions of duty that did them great harm.

On issue after issue our hyper-partisan president has abused both the chain of command and his trust as commander in chief.

Congress should conduct televised public hearings, now, that would bring every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, every commander of the Iraq mission, and a significant number of enlisted men and women who have served in Iraq, to testify publicly and fully about what they truly believe about what should be done now.

They should be put under oath, not to question their truthfulness, but to protect them from any more abusive pressure or misrepresentation from civilians in the Administration or Congress. >>>cont

Link Here

New Slogan: Clinton Tried; Bush Lied

Let's play another round of Condi: Liar or Stupid or Both?

Here's Rice on Hannity still trying to tar Clinton for Bush's mistakes: "What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years...The notion that somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false."

Well, the 9/11 Commission Report says otherwise. Now, I'm not one to give Clinton a free pass.

He had his weaknesses. Although I think all rational people can agree that philandering is preferable to a destabilizing war under false pretenses and violating the basic tradition of due process and rule of law by selectively suspending habeas corpus. I'm not sure Clinton was as dedicated to fighting Bin Laden as was necessary in retrospect. But hey -- those are the breaks when you're being hounded by the high horsemen of the moral apocalypse. When Clinton bombed Bin Laden's camps, he was accused of wagging the dog. He probably was, to some extent. But at least he did something. Unlike Bush, who never had a passport before becoming President and leaves details to incompetent (but loyal!) subordinates, Clinton was actually interested in the nitty gritty of solving problems around the world. He engaged the terrorist threat rather than pretending to clear woods on his ranch for photo-ops during a month-long vacation.

Remember, that's where Bush was on August 6, 2001, when received the President's Daily Brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." According to the 9/11 Commission Report, here's how the Bush administration reacted:

"[President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so." [p. 260]


"We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period." [p. 262]

Now here how Clinton responded when he received a President's Daily Brief in December 1998 entitled "Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks," according to the 9/11 Commission report:

"The same day, [Counterterrorism Czar Richard] Clarke convened a meeting of his CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] to discuss both the hijacking concern and the antiaircraft missile threat. To address the hijacking warning, the group agreed that New York airports should go to maximum security starting that weekend. They agreed to boost security at other East coast airports. The CIA agreed to distribute versions of the report to the FBI and FAA to pass to the New York Police Department and the airlines. The FAA issued a security directive on December 8, with specific requirements for more intensive air carrier screening of passengers and more oversight of the screening process, at all three New York area airports." [pg. 128-30]

How about a new slogan? Maybe:


Today Show Looks At Woodward Book: Asks "Has White House Lost Control Of Iraq?"...

GOP Members Knew Of Rep. Foley's Emails To Minors For Months...

Treating Criminality as Daring Boldness

David Swanson writes: "Bush has launched an illegal war, lied to Congress to do so, and misused funds by beginning the war before asking for approval. Bush has targeted civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and used illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and the Napalm-like weapon found in Mark-77 fire bombs. Bush has arbitrarily detained Americans, legal residents and non-Americans without due process, without charge, and without access to counsel. To call this criminal is merely to agree with the US Supreme Court."

Link Here

In Case I Disappear

William Rivers Pitt writes: "I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent reporting on the astonishing and repugnant abuses, lies, and failures of the Bush administration, to watch my back. 'Be careful,' people always tell me. 'These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes, make sure you aren't being followed.'" He continues: "I thought. I am a citizen, and the First Amendment hasn't yet been red-lined, I thought. Matters are different now."

Link Here

Friday, September 29, 2006

A Boeing 737 passenger airliner is missing over Brazil, the country's Gol Airline says.

Air Force seeking missing jetliner

The Brazilian air force continued searching Saturday in the densely forested Amazon region for a Gol airlines jet with about 155 people aboard that is Friday. Authorities are now saying they are no longer certain the disappearance was caused by a midair collision.


Observations on death tolls

ecthompson said...

This is a Halliburton employee who's driving in a convoy and get ambushed in

Iraq. Check out this videoWhere's the Outrage?

Kangaroo said... The outrage is there, if you have read Rebelle Nation you will understand that, for the innocent Iraqi People and for the American Military Machine, that where sent to war for a lie.

But your so called Commander in Chief has lied so many times, no one knows why you and the coalition are the Hell in Iraq, wasn't WMDs, certainly was not the Liberation of the Iraqi People from Sadam , you and we are occupying Iraq a Sovereign Nation, that in no way at all committed a crime against the American People or the coalition countries, WHAT CRIME DID THESE PEOPLE COMMIT who are dying daily. This Halliburton employee went over there to make lots of money, he knew the consequences of his decision, he knew that Iraq had not committed any crimes against his country. And what about the military dying to protect these contractors who are making exhorbatent amounts of money while your military are protecting them for a pittance. Dont talk to me about Cheneys Halliburton WHO ARE RAKING IN BILLIONS AT THE EXPENSE OF INNOCENT IRAQI PEOPLE, AND THE AMERICAN MILITARY MACHINE.

David Edwards and David Cromwell

...There is an echo here of the treatment given the October 2004 Lancet report that found 100,000 excess Iraqi civilian deaths since the 2003 invasion. This was dismissed at the time and has generally been ignored ever since, even though earlier mortality studies in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the same lead author, Les Roberts, and using the same methodology, were cited by the likes of Tony Blair and Colin Powell. Last February, Roberts returned to the subject of Iraq, this time estimating that the civilian death toll there could have reached 200,000-300,000. Having examined the media's preferred study, produced by the Iraq Body Count (IBC) website - which puts the number of civilian deaths, based on reports by the media, at 43,000-48,000 - Roberts and colleagues found that "it cannot be more than 20 per cent complete"...

continua / continued
free hit counter