Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Iran's central bank governor said Tehran had plans to end the sale of its oil in dollars completely. This is part of a move to protect the Islamic Republic from mounting US pressure.

Call That Humiliation?

No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch.

By Terry Jones
03/31/07 "The Guardian" -- -- I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this - allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world - have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God's sake, what's wrong with putting a bag over her head? That's what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it's hard to breathe. Then it's perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can't be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn't be able to talk at all. Of course they'd probably find it even harder to breathe - especially with a bag over their head - but at least they wouldn't be humiliated.
And what's all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It's time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That's one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.

The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn't rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it's just invaded. The inmates of Guantánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!

What's more, it is clear that the Iranians are not giving their British prisoners any decent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting "stress positions", which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles. A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It's all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.

And this brings me to my final point. It is clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioural psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is "unhappy and stressed".

What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her "unhappy and stressed". She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs should then be circulated around the civilised world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on.

As Stephen Glover pointed out in the Daily Mail, perhaps it would not be right to bomb Iran in retaliation for the humiliation of our servicemen, but clearly the Iranian people must be made to suffer - whether by beefing up sanctions, as the Mail suggests, or simply by getting President Bush to hurry up and invade, as he intends to anyway, and bring democracy and western values to the country, as he has in Iraq.

· Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python - www.terry-jones.net

© Guardian News and Media Limited 2007


Bush '04 Strategy Chief: "Kerry Was Right"

New York Times March 31, 2007 03:09 PM

He said his decision to step forward had not come easily. But, he said, his disappointment in Mr. Bush's presidency is so great that he feels a sense of duty to go public given his role in helping Mr. Bush gain and keep power.

Mr. Dowd, a crucial part of a team that cast Senator John Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security during wartime, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled "Kerry Was Right," arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq.


Gonzales Implicated In Cover-Up Of New Pedophile Scandal

Gonzales Implicated In Cover-Up Of New Pedophile Scandal
Letter from Sutton's office legitimized raping of boys in minor's facility

Journalist Jerome Corsi appeared on the Alex Jones Show today to discuss in depth his astounding new investigation that implicates both Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in the cover-up of a pedophilia scandal involving the Texas Youth Commission.

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, both already under siege for other matters, are now being accused of failing to prosecute officers of the Texas Youth Commission after a Texas Ranger investigation documented that guards and administrators were sexually abusing the institution's minor boy inmates," writes Corsi in a report for World Net Daily.

"Among the charges in the Texas Ranger report were that administrators would rouse boys from their sleep for the purpose of conducting all-night sex parties."

A 2005 investigation led by Texas Ranger Brian Burzynski revealed that systematic abuse of minors was commonplace at West Texas State School in Pyote, Texas. Burzynski presented the findings of the investigation to both Gonzales and Sutton but was rebuffed, and even received a letter from Sutton's office that attempted to legitimize the sexual abuse of children, claiming that "under 18 U.S.C. Section 242," it would have to be demonstrated "that the boys subjected to sexual abuse sustained "bodily injury," states the letter from Bill Baumann, assistant U.S. attorney in Sutton's office.

Incredulously, Baumann's letter goes on to make the case that the minors consented to and even enjoyed the acts of pedophilia, therefore no further action was necessary.


Leaving Kuwait for Baghdad by troop transport has really forced me to bond with the troops. GWB, this are my guys now. Hurt them and you will have to go through me. Stop blundering, fool!

I've been writing about this for the last four years. Maybe they should pay me for this information.

It Was All About Carol Lam, Always.

My theory is that Carol Lam was originally the sole target. The Rove White House and the Dept. of Justice assembled a list of seven other US Attorneys plus Lam, in order to create a plausible cover story for her dismissal. If a bundle of attorneys were replaced with a common rationale for dismissal, Lam's dismissal would stick out less like a sore thumb.*


Iraq the Model on being a House Arab

Meanwhile in Palestine and Iraq
March 30, 2007

Remember the two Iraqi asshole brothers that Bush quoted the other day? The idiots over at Iraq "the Model"? Anyway, those two morons JUST had their homes raided by American soldiers. Would you believe that they offered the soldiers BBQ and beer? Can you believe that? How disgusting are they? How embarrassing for them. Those poor pathetic morons.

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One Third of the “Coalition of the Willing” are Mercenaries

m taqi::independent freelance writer, Iraqi League

A UN report published recently showed that the number of mercenaries working in Iraq has been steadily increasing and is now estimated that the number of such professional mercenaries to over 30%. Between 30,000 and 50,000 mercenaries are working in Iraq, making them the second largest military force there after the occupying United States. The case of Iraq "is a new manifestation of the use of mercenaries that has caught the UN by surprise", Spain's Jose Luis Gomez del Prado -- a member of the UN working group on mercenaries -- said Friday during a visit to Peru. The United States has 130,000 soldiers in Iraq, he noted. Britain has 10,000 troops (...) The use of mercenaries is favoured by the forces occupation as a form of 'human-sheild’ inserted between US regulars and the forever rising potency of Iraqi insurgency. The mercenaries are seen as 'dispensable’ because the killing of mercenaries is not reflected in the US government statistics of 3,245 dead soldiers as reported by CNN online at the time of writing this article...

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It's still unclear why I and my fellow U.S. attorneys were fired. But by failing to tell the truth, Bush officials have damaged our justice system.

By Bud Cummins

Gen'ls To Bush: Soldiers Not Props

A trio of retired generals concerned that President Bush might use his scheduled appearance this afternoon at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to try and score political points against Democrats, urged the president, via a teleconference with reporters, to focus strictly on the problems with military medical care.

The generals were spurred into action by news reports that suggested the president might use the event to take on Democrats as both sides clash over the Iraq and Afghanistan spending bills just passed by the Senate and House which include timelines Bush fiercely opposes for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

Some of the pointiest of comments came from retired Army Major Gen. Paul Eaton who seconded the comments made right before him by retired Army three-star, Lt. Gen. Robert Garde, who welcomed the president's visit to Walter Reed, especially if it meant a faster solution would be forthcoming to the problems there and at other facilities.

Eaton, incidentally, was known as the "father of the Iraqi Army" for his work in rebuilding the Iraqi army after the 2003 U.S. invasion.


Giuliani Faces Questions About Sept. 11

NEW YORK (AP) - Rudy Giuliani's White House aspirations are inescapably tied to Sept. 11, 2001 - for better and for worse.

While the former mayor of the nation's largest city was widely lionized for his post-9/11 leadership - "Churchillian" was one adjective, "America's mayor" was Oprah Winfrey's assessment - city firefighters and their families are renewing their attacks on him for his performance before and after the terrorist attack.

"If Rudolph Giuliani was running on anything but 9/11, I would not speak out," said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was among the 343 FDNY members killed in the terrorist attack. "If he ran on cleaning up Times Square, getting rid of squeegee men, lowering crime - that's indisputable.

"But when he runs on 9/11, I want the American people to know he was part of the problem."

Giuliani was also criticized for locating the city's emergency center in 7 World Trade Center, a building that contained thousands of gallons of diesel fuel when it collapsed after the terrorist attack.


Maliki gov't. backs plan to relocate Arab Iraqis out of Kurdish city of Kirkuk.

Rosie, O'Reilly Feud Over 9/11 Conspiracy Remarks

YouTube/AOL March 31, 2007 10:46 AM

Rosie O'Donnell has never been one to shy away from speaking her mind, but her latest controversial topic of conversation on 'The View' brought up a taboo that most daytime talk shows would never go near - the possibility of a conspiracy on 9/11.


Court Tosses Bush Plan To Allow Logging Of National Forests Without Environmental Review

Associated Press March 31, 2007 11:07 AM

A federal judge on Friday tossed out new Bush administration rules that gave national forest managers more discretion to approve logging and other commercial projects without lengthy environmental reviews.

U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that the government failed to adequately consider the effects the rules would have on the environment and neglected to properly gather public comment on the issue.


Giuliani-Kerik Partners: Kerik Likely To Be Indicted

Washington Post March 31, 2007 08:53 AM

Federal prosecutors have told Bernard B. Kerik, whose nomination as homeland security secretary in 2004 ended in scandal, that he is likely to be charged with several felonies, including tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wiretapping.

Kerik's indictment could set the stage for a courtroom battle that would draw attention to Kerik's extensive business and political dealings with former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who personally recommended him to President Bush for the Cabinet. Giuliani, the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination according to most polls, later called the recommendation a mistake.


Militiamen return to Sadr City


Shi'ite militiamen, who melted away from Baghdad when U.S. and Iraqi troops began their security crackdown seven weeks ago, are rolling back into the city with fresh Iranian training, Iraqi and other officials said. It is not clear whether the radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is in control of the newly trained group (...) The Iraqi National Police are coordinating with the U.S. in Sadr City with the approval of Sheik al-Sadr, said one U.S. official working in the area to train the police force. "There is a tacit political agreement here, but no one is sure how long it will hold," he said. "There may be elements that are unhappy with the level of cooperation."...

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Israelis NO Partner in Peace

Hiyam Noir , PalestineFreeVoice

As the international community expected - the cocky Israelis refused again the Arab peace initiative - never-ceasing to accept the only "road to peace " in the Mid East - claiming more negotiations are needed - meaning they believe they can unabated continue to dictate the conditions for the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. The Israeli deputy prime minister, Shimon Peres told media on Thursday - "There is only one way to overcome our differences, and that is negotiation."It's impossible to say 'you must take what we offer you as is. There is no alternative to negotiations - with a diktat neither the Palestinians, nor the Arabs nor us will achieve a solution."...

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Video Killing the Children of Iraq

The Fanonite

The immediacy of the unfolding tragedy in Iraq at times makes one forget that prior to the war, the nation had already endured twelve years of devastation sanctions, where the highest price was paid by the children of Iraq. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 567,000 children had died already by the end of 1995 from the effects of the sanctions. Two courageous officials — Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck — resigned their posts at the UN because they were unwilling to carry out a genocide masquerading as foreign policy. To the American secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, this price was "worth it". Here is, "Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq", John Pilger’s moving portrait of the devastation wrought on the Iraqi society by the UN on behalf of US and UK...

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US-European Showdown Over CIA Operatives

After all America is never accountable for their crimes, are they?

The Bush administration is warning that US cooperation with German intelligence agencies could be jeopardized if that country pursues attempts to extradite 13 CIA officers charged with illegally abducting a German Muslim on suspicions of terrorist connections.


Condi's Free Ride

Tony Karon addresses the US media's treatment of the diplomatic meandering of the secretary of state: "Mainstream US media outlets were alone in their willingness to swallow the preposterous narratives offered by Rice's State Department spinners on the significance of her latest diplomatic efforts. For months, we have been reading a fantasy version of American diplomacy in which Rice was at the center of a realignment of forces in the Middle East, building a united front of Arab moderates to stand alongside the US and Israel against Iran and other 'extremist' elements."

Link Here

Gates says Guantanamo trials lack international credibility:

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that trials of war on terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba lack international credibility because of the taint of past treatment of detainees.


Afghan war may be lost: experts:

Two Afghanistan experts painted a sobering picture of the conditions there yesterday, arguing support among Afghans for NATO forces is plummeting, the U.S.-driven policy of poppy eradication is wrongheaded, and the war might not be winnable in its present form.


Israel: War was a catastrophe, top security officials told Olmert :

The heads of Israel's main security organizations, the Mossad and the Shin Bet, harshly criticized the results of the Second Lebanon War during a meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, calling it "a national catastrophe."

Link Here
ElBaradei: Iran not a nuclear threat to world :
In an interview with Al-Arabia television network, he said the country poses no nuclear threats to any country around the globe.

George Bush's Land Mine:


George Bush has a land mine planted in the supplemental appropriation legislation working its way through Congress. - He threatens a veto, but he might well be bluffing. Buried deep in the legislation and intentionally obscured is a near-guarantee of success for the Bush Administration's true objective of the war-capturing Iraq's oil-and George Bush will not casually forego that.


Talabani lashes out at US policy in Iraq under 'occupation'

"The decision to turn the liberation of Iraq into an occupation ... with the dire consequences this had internally and the fears (it aroused) in Arab, regional and international arenas, all this was contrary to what Iraqi parties and national forces were planning at the time," he said.


Tehran Levels New Charges About Seized Britons:

An official Iranian news agency, quoted a naval official on Thursday as saying that the Britons, in two inflatable, high-speed patrol boats from the frigate Cornwall, had entered Iranian waters several times before they were seized. The Iranian official said Iran had film showing intrusions.


A fake British map? More on the Captured Brits:

"The British Government has published a map showing the coordinates of the incident, well within an Iran/Iraq maritime border. The mainstream media and even the blogosphere has bought this hook, line and sinker.



A peculiar outrage:

The treatment of Faye Turney is wrong - but not in the same league as British and US abuses

A Sacred Right

By Salman Abu-Sitta

Why should I, a Jew from north London, be permitted to take up Israeli citizenship, when that right is denied to a Palestinian who languishes in a refugee camp in Lebanon? Especially when I acknowledge that a large majority of those that left in 1948 were ethnically cleansed by Israeli forces.


Why George Bush is Insane

By Harold Pinter

The US is at this moment developing advanced systems of "weapons of mass destruction" and it prepared to use them where it sees fit. It has more of them than the rest of the world put together. It has walked away from international agreements on biological and chemical weapons, refusing to allow inspection of its own factories. The hypocrisy behind its public declarations and its own actions is almost a joke.


Hicks home soon, says Downer

Australian soldiers were siezed by Iran and held for five years in conditions which according to ALL human rights organisation were tantamount to torture would John Howard be happy. If these sailors were then put through a sham trial and forced to confess would he feel vindicated. By allowing this for David Hicks he has given every despot government his blessing to do the same to any Australian anywhere.

Posted by: Gary Dargan 3:56pm today Darn right I say.
Nothing to stop his father writing a book, and good on him. A couple of the statements from the trial that should be in the the book giving more detail, Sold his gun for a taxi ride back to Pakistan and while looking after the tank had his lunch delivered daily by a 'fat man on a bicycle' (suggested chapter heading 'Meals on Wheels') As for any chapter dealing with Howard and his 'Gang' suggested heading 'The Mouse that Roared'

Posted by: Jwmcd of Perth 1:55pm today
Grow up everybody. Anti-Howard, Anti-Bush, Anti-US anti-Liberals it doesn't really matter. The REAL point is, guilty or not, we have witnessed an Australian citizen (one of us) being held WITHOUT charge for five years. He has the same rights as all of us. How the world has changed in the last few years. This is a sad day for all of us. R.I.P. our international rights as Australian Citizens.

Posted by: Darren of Newcastle 1:49pm today

4:32pm: DAVID Hicks, today sentenced to nine months detention, will return to Australia to serve his time in an Adelaide jail "much sooner" than initially thought.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Jeremy Scahill on Soldiers of Fortune


The writer speaks with Truthdig about his new book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army," privatization in America and abroad, and our dysfunctional democracy...

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FBI discusses Emmett Till case with family

52 years after slaying of black teen in Mississippi, autopsy report released

An undated portrait shows Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old Chicago boy who was brutally murdered near Money, Miss., Aug. 31, 1955, after whistling at a white woman.

CHICAGO - More than half a century after 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman, his family sat down with federal investigators to discuss the final autopsy on the boy's exhumed body and to hear about the investigation.

The report released Thursday found that Till died of a gunshot wound to the head and that he had broken wrist bones and skull and leg fractures. When his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River in the summer of 1955, the report said, "the crown of his head was just crushed out ... and a piece of his skull just fell out."

The report also set out a timeline constructed from witness statements, and it said a third man had given a deathbed confession.

Roy Bryant, the white woman's husband, and his half-brother J.W. Milam were charged in Till's death shortly after the killing but were acquitted by an all-white jury. Both men, now deceased, later confessed in a 1956 interview with Look magazine. >>>cont


10 Year Olds Accused In Brutal Beating Of Homeless Veteran

Associated Press March 30, 2007 07:36 PM

A homeless Army veteran was recovering in a hospital Friday after two 10-year-old boys and a teenager were accused of attacking him on a street and smashing a concrete block into his face.

The three boys were in custody on aggravated battery allegations and face a hearing next week to determine if they should remain in juvenile detention.


Webb aide not granted same weapons privileges extended to Jordanians.

March 28, 2007 -- Whenever a Democratic member of Congress is reported to have trouble with the US Capitol Police one can be assured that one person is always involved -- Terrance Gainer, the Republican former Chief of the Capitol Police and Harry Reid's mortifying pick as Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. In March 2006, Gainer, who was embroiled in a nepotism scandal, defended his police force after a scuffle ensued between a US Capitol cop and then-Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA). Our sources on the Hill said that McKinney was targeted by Gainer and the Republican leadership in a ploy to embarrass her. The incident was referred to the US Attorney for the District of Columbia rather than handled internally. Shortly after Gainer resigned as chief, Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) was involved in a minor automobile accident on Capitol Hill. Gainer weighed in again and suggested that Kennedy should have been given a sobriety test by the Capitol cops.

Now, we have the case of Phillip Thompson, executive assistant to Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb, who was arrested Monday by the Capitol Police at the Russell Senate Office Building for carrying a loaded pistol allegedly given to him by Webb. The Capitol Police enforced a DC law that prohibits anyone other than law enforcement officers from carrying weapons in the District. Webb said he has a license to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia and Thompson, an ex-Marine, inadvertently carried the weapon into the building after dropping Webb off at the airport. However, the US Capitol Police jumped into Democrat-bashing mode when one spokesman said he had never heard of a member of Congress carrying a concealed weapon. The Capitol Police are partially overseen by the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms -- Terrance Gainer. A former Chicago cop, whose rookie year included clubbing demonstrators over their heads at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, later went on to run the Illinois State Police. Former Governor George Ryan cited Illinois state police misconduct when he commuted the death sentences of Illinois' death row population.

Webb aide not granted same weapons privileges extended to Jordanians.

Rather than extend professional courtesy to Webb and Thompson, the Capitol Police, a quasi-GOP Gestapo, threw the book at Thompson. Details of the incident were leaked by the cops to Fox News and other neo-con outlets, as what also occurred with McKinney and Kennedy. Weapons are carried into the Congress every day by security personnel for Pentagon and other Cabinet officials, intelligence agency heads, Governors of states, ambassadors, and foreign heads of state, including one of the most recent visitors -- King Abdullah of Jordan. One question for the Democrats -- why does the Capitol Police grant weapons carrying privileges to Jordanians when they do not extend the same courtesy to Americans helping to protect a U.S. Senator? Perhaps a Democratic Senate Sergeant-at-Arms will clear up this idiocy

Wayne Madsen Report

Wanna Puke

That picture is so repulsive, after his treatment of the veterans.
CNN March 30, 2007 02:40 PM

President Bush apologized Friday for the shoddy conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and promised during a visit to the facility for war veterans that "we're going to fix the problem."

Critics questioned the timing of Bush's visit six weeks after poor conditions and neglect of veterans were exposed there.

Read the entire article here

Watch the video from CNN: QUICK READ
General Warned Bush Not To Promote Tillman Death
Associated Press March 30, 2007 05:55 PM

Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

It was not until a month afterward that thePentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth -- that Tillman was mistakenly killed inAfghanistan by his comrades.


Gonzales Today: "I Don't Recall Being Involved In Deliberations"

AP/CNN March 30, 2007 04:01 P

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, amid a growing clamor for his resignation, acknowledged Friday confusion about of his role in firing eight U.S. attorneys but said he doesn't "recall being involved in deliberations" over which prosecutors were to be ousted.

"I believe in truth and accountability and every step that I've taken is consistent with that principle," Gonzales said when asked why he is not heeding calls to resign. "I am fighting for the truth as well."

Read the entire article here.

Watch Gonzales on video from CNN: QUICK READ

Who protects the kids from the Department of Justice?

March 28, 2007 -- Where was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales yesterday as a pedophile scandal swirled around his department and the US Attorney for West Texas? (See yesterday's story) He was attending a conference of U.S. and state attorneys on a new Justice Department program -- "Operation Safe Childhood," a program designed to protect children from online predators. What about a program to protect children from predators working for the Department of Justice?

Wayne Madsen Report

Desperate GOP wives.

March 29, 2007 -- Desperate GOP wives. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, like the man he is trying to replace, is "losing it," according to people who work with the Arizona senator. Like George W. Bush, not only is McCain in denial over the U.S. military disaster in Iraq but McCain's wife Cindy has reportedly increasingly been in the company of a close (and younger) male friend. Laura Bush has also been relying on the personal support of a close male friend, a wealthy Texas businessman, according to our well-placed Washington social sources.

Wayne Madsen Report

The new Chinese embassy in Washington

March 29, 2007 -- When completed, the new Chinese embassy in Washington, at 10,760 square meters, will be one of the largest in the nation's capital. The embassy, which takes up an entire city block and then some, is situated in the International Center in northwest Washington off Connecticut Avenue. Its smaller neighbors include the embassies of Israel, Pakistan, Ghana, Bangladesh, and Singapore. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Chinese embassy has been located in the old Roosevelt Hotel on Connecticut Avenue.

Wayne Madsen Report

Confirmation of the ties that bind the White House to the corporate media.

March 30-April 1, 2007 -- This editor is never found anywhere near the annual Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner, held Wednesday night at Washington's "Hinckley Hilton," or the White House Correspondents Association dinner. These are yearly fetes where supposed independent members of the Fourth Estate drink, eat, and swap jokes with members of the administration. Socializing with such rogues and cheats clouds the judgment of journalists who are supposed to be looking out for the public's interest. Karl Rove's rap dancing in concert with the NBC News White House correspondent is a case in point. Seeing this blatant display of frivolity between the indictable Rove and a member of the mainstream media is a confirmation of the ties that bind the White House to the corporate media.

Wayne Madsen Report

Bush's Long History of Tilting Justice

By Joseph D. Rich

THE SCANDAL unfolding around the firing of eight U.S. attorneys compels the conclusion that the Bush administration has rewarded loyalty over all else. A destructive pattern of partisan political actions at the Justice Department started long before this incident, however, as those of us who worked in its civil rights division can attest.


Follow The e-mails

By Sidney Blumenthal

The discovery of a previously unknown treasure chest of e-mails buried by the Bush administration may prove to be as informative as Nixon's secret White House tapes.


Govt Report: Bush Is Hyping False Iraq Spending Deadline

Think Progress March 30, 2007 02:17 PM

The Bush administration has been trying to force Congress to abandon its support for an Iraq withdrawal time line by claiming that a "clean" Iraq spending bill must be signed by mid-April or U.S. troops will suffer. The Hill reported, the Pentagon and the White House have been "sounding alarms and sketching worst-case scenarios if Congress does not pass the 2007 supplemental by April 15."


Hicks Found Guilty At Gitmo In First Conviction In US War Crime Trial Since World War II

AP MICHAEL MELIA March 30, 2007 12:07 PM

An Australian detainee held for five years at Guantanamo Bay was found guilty Friday of providing material support for terrorism, marking the first conviction at a U.S. war-crimes trial since World War II.
David Hicks, a 31-year-old Muslim convert, faces a prison sentence of up to seven years under a plea agreement revealed Friday that also requires Hicks to drop any claims of mistreatment by the U.S. government since he was captured in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo Bay, said the judge, Marine Corps Col. Ralph Kohlmann.


Iran Broadcasts Soldier's Apology For Entering Waters "Without Permission"

AP NASSER KARIMI March 30, 2007 08:44 AM

One of the 15 British service members held captive in Iran appeared Friday on the government's Arabic-language TV and apologized for entering Iranian waters "without permission." The Iranians meanwhile released a third letter allegedly by captured sailor Faye Turney, in which she said she has been "sacrificed" to the policies of the British and U.S. governments.

The Iranian Embassy in London criticized both Britain and the U.N. Security Council on Friday for becoming involved in the crisis.


See no Karl, hear no Karl

Guess who the latest Bush administration officials stricken with amnesia are trying to protect in the U.S. attorneys scandal.

By Joe Conason

Punishing hearings on the U.S. attorneys scandal brought no relief for the attorney general's disgraced former chief of staff, or the embattled White House.

By Michael Scherer

It's not only the U.S. attorneys who are threatened by partisan politics. Since Day One, the Bush administration has been quietly dismantling the DOJ's Civil Rights Division

By Alia Malek

9/11 Families And Firefighters: Giuliani Was "Part Of The Problem"

AP LARRY McSHANE March 30, 2007 08:55 AM

Rudy Giuliani's White House aspirations are inescapably tied to Sept. 11, 2001 -- for better and for worse.

While the former mayor of the nation's largest city was widely lionized for his post-9/11 leadership -- "Churchillian" was one adjective, "America's mayor" wasOprah Winfrey's assessment -- city firefighters and their families are renewing their attacks on him for his performance before and after the terrorist attack.


The New York Times WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM March 30, 2007 12:07 AM

Rudolph W. Giuliani told a grand jury that his former chief investigator remembered having briefed him on some aspects of Bernard B. Kerik's relationship with a company suspected of ties to organized crime before Mr. Kerik's appointment as New York City police commissioner, according to court records.

Mr. Giuliani, testifying last year under oath before a Bronx grand jury investigating Mr. Kerik, said he had no memory of the briefing, but he did not dispute that it had taken place, according to a transcript of his testimony.


Company Chief Sentenced For Hiring Illegals To Build Border Fence

Washington Times Jerry Seper March 30, 2007 08:45 AM

The head of a California company hired by the U.S. government to help build a fence along the Southwest border to curb the flow of illegal aliens into the United States has been sentenced on charges of hiring illegals for the job.

Mel Kay Jr., 64, founder, chairman and president of the Golden State Fence Co., pleaded guilty in December in federal court in San Diego to felony charges of hiring the illegals and was sentenced Wednesday to six months home confinement, three months probation and 1,040 hours of community service.


Another Rove Scandal: Congress Investigates Plans To Target '08 Dems

Washington Post Scott Higham, Robert O'Harrow Jr. March 30, 2007 11:44 AM

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sought more information yesterday about a presentation by a White House aide given to political appointees at the General Services Administration that discussed targeting 20 Democratic congressional candidates in the next election.

In a letter to White House political affairs director Karl Rove, the committee chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), asked about the Jan. 26 videoconference by Rove deputy J. Scott Jennings, which was directed to the chief of the GSA and as many as 40 agency officials stationed around the country.


Video History of the US “Death Squads”

Roads to Iraq

Does this video rings any bells in your head from today’s events? If not, then wait for tomorrow’s video.

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Nearly 400 killed in Iraq bloodletting

Jay Deshmukh, AFP

Nearly 400 people have been killed over the past three days in Iraq as insurgents and sectarian militias ripped through a massive United States security crackdown concentrated around Baghdad. On Tuesday, 160 Iraqis were slaughtered in the northern town of Tal Afar, 85 in a suicide truck bombing targeting a Shi'ite crowd waiting for food supplies and 75 Sunni men shot in a brutal vengeful killing spree. Nearly 200 others were wounded in the bombing and 40 men remain missing after being dragged out of their homes at gunpoint in the shooting rampage. In Iraq's chilling sectarian conflict, many bodies are never found or taken to certification at city morgues, especially those who are kidnapped...

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If the Iraqis Get Revenue Sharing, Exxon Gets Their Oil George Bush's Land Mine

RICHARD W. BEHAN, CounterPunch

George Bush has a land mine planted in the supplemental appropriation legislation working its way through Congress. The Iraq Accountability Act passed by the House and the companion bill passed in the Senate contain deadlines for withdrawing our troops from Iraq, in open defiance of the President's repeated objections. He threatens a veto, but he might well be bluffing. Buried deep in the legislation and intentionally obscured is a near-guarantee of success for the Bush Administration's true objective of the war-capturing Iraq's oil-and George Bush will not casually forego that...

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Falluja may slip out of U.S. control


Iraqi insurgents have intensified their attacks on U.S. targets inside the restive city of Falluja and the outlying villages and towns. Daring attacks have taken U.S. troops aback in a city where the majority of its nearly 300,000 people are not happy with the presence of U.S. invaders. Falluja has become a symbol of anti-U.S. resistance not only in Iraq but across most of the Arab and Muslim worlds...

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The President's Bloggers vs. The Body Count

Bob Cesca

If only Thursday's reports from Baghdad were as hilarious as the president successfully pronouncing the word "blogger" in public.


Bloody Thursday: 186 Iraqis Killed; 293 Wounded

Party Games

Number cruncher ... Karl Rove (l), the top political advisor to US President George W. Bush, finally accepts the rap at a dinner where Washington's power elite let down what is left of their hair


What do you expect from garbage, why so much surprise, they are capable of anything, other peoples lives are their personal toys.

Stunningly Ugly Americans

You will have to search far and wide, long and hard, possibly for the rest of your life, to find a more repugnant performance than Karl Rove's "rap" at the White House Sycophants Dinner last night. Here's the video, look at it before you read any further.

Where to begin? The repetitive joking about tearing off the heads of small animals by the chief advisor to the man who passed his childhood days blowing up frogs with firecrackers? The repulsive "comedian" making between-the-lines allusions to child molestation? The alleged journalist David Gregory crawling so far up Karl Rove's ass that you can see his head coming out of Rove's mouth?

Pooh-pooh the Bush/Hitler comparisons all you want, but this hideous display of otherworldly shamelessness on the part of EVERYONE ON THE STAGE AND EVERYONE WHO LAUGHED OR APPLAUDED evokes nothing so much as those home movies of Hitler, Goering and pals partying while millions were being annihilated. This clip will be referenced by future historians as a key moment in the ongoing progression of America's forfeiting all claims of moral superiority over any other nation.

If you can watch this horrific thing without your stomach churning, call a mortician. You're already dead.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues

...The only sentence I found that is probably as close as to what I need to express, came from a mail I received from a fellow Iraqi and this is what he had to say: "Since March 19, 2003 I am a shadow of my former self. The past four years have changed me forever." Another mail tells me the same thing using slightly different wordings: "I no longer recognize myself, I am beside myself..." Simple powerful sentences that reveal something deep and true...It sounds as if that former Self that one knows or has gotten used to has also been invaded and occupied...changed forever. It sounds as if this is no longer my country, this is no longer my home, this is no longer my self... I am no longer myself. I am shadow of me as if someone else or something else took over and I am standing by the sides watching it all and I no longer recognize anything... It goes beyond bewilderment, amazement, stupefaction, or shock...It is worse. It is estrangement from one's self. We have become strangers to ourselves, strangers to one another, strangers to society, strangers to the group and strangers within...beside ourselves. And am still trying to find the words...the right words...that inner truth that will convey to you the exactness...

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Multiple Bombings Kill More Than 100

Associated Press

Timed suicide bombing attacks In Iraq claimed more than 100 lives on Thursday. Authorities said the bombings were timed. Two cars exploded in quick succession near a busy market in the center of Khalis. A third followed about 45 minutes later, exploding about 500 yards away. Two other suicide bombers struck a market in the Shaab neighborhood of northeastern Baghdad at 6 p.m., killing at least 61 people and wounding 40, police and security officials said. The attacks came at about 6 p.m. local time...

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Bush War on Terror Draws Fire as Misguided Venture

Five and one-half years after the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush's war on terror has emerged as a wasteful, misguided exercise that poses its own threat to US national security, experts say.


Rise of a Very "Loyal Bushie"

Richard L. Fricker writes: "If you want to know what the career path of a 'loyal Bushie' looks like, let me introduce you to J. Timothy Griffin, a Karl Rove protege who was slipped into the post of US attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas, and now is at the center of the controversy over whether the Bush administration has sought to politicize federal prosecutions."


Pakistan's $4.2 Billion "Blank Check" for US Military Aid

In the three years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, US military aid to Pakistan soared to $4.2 billion, compared to $9.1 million in the three years before the attacks - a 45,000 percent increase - boosting Pakistan to the top tier of countries receiving this type of funding. More than half of the new money was provided through a post-9/11 Defense Department program - Coalition Support Funds - not closely tracked by Congress.


It's time to 'hunt the words'

Amen, Your words give me some hope, that maybe change will come eventually.
From Where I Stand by Joan Chittister, OSB

There's an old monastic quatrain that fascinates me. It reads:

I and Pangur Ban my cat,
T'is a like task we are at.
Hunting mice is his delight.
Hunting words I sit all night.

What intrigues me about the little rhyme is that it was written around the year 800 by a monk who lived on Skellig Michael. I'm not surprised that he wrote it; I'm surprised by its implications -- for both then and now.

You see, Skellig Michael, a pyramid of needle-pointed rock totally unredeemed by beaches or fields at its base, juts out of the Atlantic Ocean 714 feet above the sea that froths at its jagged edges. It stands bare and forbidding, not a piece of flat land on it till you get to a ledge below the summit. Up there, a group of sixth century Celtic monks began what historians say was the first monastic settlement in Europe.

Intent on living in direct relationship to God and nature, these early monks left the mainland to build five "beehive huts" -- small, cone-shaped rock cells -- at the peak of the mountain. They lived off the fish of the ocean, a few small native plants, and the thousands of birds that inhabited this otherwise uninhabitable place with them. They were, to all appearances, totally removed from the world around them.

Most striking of all about Skellig Michael, perhaps, is that this bare chunk of a mountain in the middle of the sea is over nine miles off the coast of County Kerry in Southwest Ireland. To reach the mainland would take a day's sail, and then only when the water was calm enough to allow them to even attempt it. To reach the summit, the monks chiseled, by hand, more than 2,300 stone steps into the surface of the mountain. (I know that because I have climbed them myself .) Up there at the top, where the winds are strong enough to blow a person right off the side of the crest into the bitter sea below, life was raw, cold and remote. Very remote. Surely isolated. Definitely 'out of this world,' out of touch, out of step, out of time.

Don't believe it.

The monks who inhabited this God-forsaken place in the middle of the ocean for more than 500 years -- until midway through the 12th century, in fact -- wrote most of the history of that part of the world. They wrote about earthquakes in Gaul, about small pox epidemics, about cures for disease, about the plunderings of the Vikings, and about one social struggle after another over hundreds of miles away. Clearly, "chasing words they sat all night." Physically distant and totally separated, far removed and supposedly disinterested in the world around them, they nevertheless knew what was going on and set out to alert the rest of the world to it. They contributed to the development of Europe from a mountain outpost in the Atlantic Ocean.

Point: We all have a responsibility for the world around us. No one is out of touch unless her or she chooses to be.

Which brings us to the present.

We have in modern U.S. history, it seems, our own version of Skellig Michael. It's called "The White House." It juts out of the sea of people who think it's there to represent the ideals of this country and its people, but it is out of touch and out of time.

There, separated from the rest of the world and isolated even from its own, a community of advisors who think the country elected King George I instead of President George Bush, work hard to maintain his isolation. But we know now that there are breaches in the system.

For instance, this president has been told by countless political figures -- Congress people and heads of state, by two secretaries of state and now by his own new secretary of defense, Robert Gates (See Chanker and Sanger, New York Times, March 23) to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Called a "detention and interrogation center" in polite language, conducted as a torture center, in plain language, Guantanamo is still holding 385 prisoners incomunicado after five years of imprisonment and is doing more harm to this country than anything any enemy could possibly do to us.

Supposedly designed offshore to protect the United States mainland, it has ruptured not only our public relations with other countries but our own sense of self. With its policies of illegal detention, isolation, abuse and torture, it is doing more harm to the reputation, credibility and future of this country than anything in U.S. history. It serves only to harden the world's attitudes against us and to justify the very evil we say we're fighting.

It discredits the whole notion of U.S. justice, of public morality, of civil rights and of the rule of law in what we like to think is one of the most moral countries in the world. To be held without charge is probably to breach the most fundamental human rights we have, the very ones the founding fathers struggled to establish.

And, counseled by their own advisors, as well as the U.S. public, to close Guantanamo for that reason, the White House knows that. What is hard to understand, then, is why they go on maintaining it.

But what is at least as difficult to understand as why they do it is why we as a country, as a judiciary, as a legislature, as a people, allow it to go on? What kind of democracy is it that never raises its voice? Is this the real spiritual vacuum we face as a nation while we struggle so hard to present ourselves as a spiritual people and so preserve a patina of ongoing moral righteousness?

From where I stand, it is clear from the history of Skellig Michael that it's true: no one really is an island, no matter how hard they try to be. Like the monks in the middle of an ocean, we cannot simply stand afar off and say nothing when our world is being systematically dismantled in the name of God, by virtue of raw power, without regard even for our own best ideals.

The monks went offshore to find God but there they discovered that, in order to do that, they needed to accept responsibility for one another, as well. It may be time for us, here and now, to learn that lesson again, to "sit all night," to "hunt the words" that say it clearly, that make it real.

What a chicken liver friking Asshole you are howard, He could not even be charged with this crime it was not even on the books. Shame on You Slime Bag

Darn it Kevvie, dont you even dare contemplate, any Hail Marys for me because I am to angry, at this moment with my appalling Govt. and it so called lost system of Justice.
Friking Puppet

By James Grubel
Thursday, March 29, 2007; 2:44 AM

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia will have no power to shorten any prison
sentence for Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks under a new prisoner-
exchange deal with the United States, the country's top lawmaker said
on Thursday.

The Australian government on Thursday formally endorsed the new
prisoner exchange deal, which covers people jailed by U.S. military
tribunals, clearing the way for Hicks to serve out his prison sentence
at home.

After five years in detention at Guantanamo Bay, Hicks, 31, could be
sentenced by the end of the week after he pleaded guilty to a charge of
helping al Qaeda fight American troops and their allies in 2001 during the
U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

"The arrangement with the United States is such that only the United
States can pardon a prisoner," Attorney-General Philip Ruddock told
parliament, adding the government would not be able to alter or shorten
any prison sentence.
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