Thursday, November 30, 2006
from the truth will set you free: This may be Daily Show material, but it is decidedly NOT funny. This is extremely dangerous ground the media is treading. At this pace, within a year, they'll be rounding up Muslims across America and shipping them over to Haliburton's pre-fab detention centers.
from prison planet: A landmark legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations seeks to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web - and their argument is supported by the U.S. government.
Ray Beckerman, a lawyer representing clients in cases against the RIAA, recently took part in a conference call organized by DefectiveByDesign.org, an organization which opposes DRM Technology, content restricting programs embedded into software that blocks users access to music, movies, software and other forms of digital data.
Beckerman describes how Internet users are randomly targeted by the RIAA for simply having a folder of music on their computer, kept in the dark about legal details and intimidated into paying thousands of dollars immediately or facing a federal lawsuit. The RIAA doesn't even attempt to prove copyright infringement with specific examples, dates or times - it simply coerces and threatens the victim until they relent into paying out huge settlement fees...
In one case, UMG vs. Lindor, a cleaner who has never used or owned a computer but simply dusted near one was sued as an online distributor in peer to peer file sharing.
Accusing the RIAA of "conducting a reign of terror" by bringing lawsuits against defenseless people, Beckerman warned that one case in particular, Elektra vs. Barker, has the potential to shut down the Internet completely.
RIAA's argument is that Miss Barker, a poor nursing student who lives in housing projects, should be prosecuted on the basis that "merely making files available on the internet is in and of itself a copyright infringement."
Beckerman calls the complaint "a shocking argument because if it were accepted it would probably shut down the entire internet."
One of the UK's biggest technology news websites, the Inquirer also today highlights the frightening development in an article entitled, RIAA wants the Internet shut down.
The U.S. government has also filed legal briefs supporting the RIAA's argument.
Deep sixing the entire Internet seems a highly unlikely move in that it would probably derail the world economy and put thousands of huge transnational corporations out of business. An outcome more likely to happen if this ruling is accepted is that it would further pave the way for government regulation and tracking of the Internet, namely "Internet 2," a completely controlled, surveilled and autocratic cyber police state similar to the Chinese model, whereby website owners have to obtain government permission to run a blog, be approved by a biometric thumb scan just to turn their computer on, and immediately get their Internet access shut off if they misbehave.
This case is another attack arm of forces in government and the corporate structure that seek to suffocate the last outpost of true freedom of speech and dissent and it must be countered at all costs.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers.
Because plans for implementing the commission's recommendations are still fluid, Democratic officials would not speak for the record. But aides on the House and Senate appropriations, armed services and intelligence committees confirmed this week that a reorganization of Congress would not be part of the package of homeland-security changes up for passage in the "first 100 hours" of the Democratic Congress.
"I don't think that suggestion is going anywhere," said Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee and a close ally of the incoming subcommittee chairman, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.). "That is not going to be their party position."
“Speaking in Manchester last night, Gingrich said the country may need a different set of rules to reduce terrorists’ ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message,” the Boston Globe reported.
If we didn’t live in Bushzarro times, the response would be immediate and scorching, and Gingrich would be pilloried as the fascist he is. But we live in Bushzarro times, so little was said, except at the aforementioned Huffington and a handful of other sites.
“Our rights are not Gingrich’s to eliminate, we are endowed with them by our Creator, as some dude named Jefferson wrote in 1776,” notes a post on the NW Progressive blog.
“This man intends to be the Republican president of 2008. Perhaps we should change the title of the office to Unser geliebter Führer with a snappy long-armed salute of respect should he win,” another post declares on the Technocrat site.
“In keeping with the Republicans’ continuing power grab and trampling all over the US Constitution, Newt says free speech laws need to be changed ‘before we lose a city,’ which he said ‘could happen in the next decade,’” writes Short News, a German site.
from propaganda matrix: British police have been photographed wearing bizarre Nazi-like insignia on their uniforms as the attire of Tony Blair's enforcers begins to compliment the totalitarian society the Prime Minister is creating by openly abolishing freedom of speech and freedom of assembly under draconian crime and terror laws.
The image was sent to us by a protester who joined around 200 others to march against the presence of the British National Party in Blackpool England on Saturday. Many consider the BNP to be a neo-Nazi front organization but some demonstrators probably left the event more worried about the similar direction in which UK police are heading, as exemplified by their changing uniforms.
The police officer photographed is wearing black attire that clearly bears the logo of a yellow lightening strike on a red background. It looks somewhat like a single 'S' as oppose to the double 'SS' worn by Hitler's feared Schutzstaffel, otherwise known as the Waffen SS, the Fuhrer's bodyguards who later grew to become the elite corps of the third reich's army.
The "sieg heil" hand salute is purely coincidental but it marries the context.
Should Brits be a little concerned that a branch of their police is wearing insignia that wouldn't look out of place in 1930's Nazi Germany? Allied to the fascist policies that have all but ended every fundamental freedom in the country under the stewardship of Tony Blair, it seems this is just the natural progression for the proto-dictatorship, where you are completely free so long as you don't exercise any of your freedoms.
Blair has created over 3,000 new criminal offences during his time in office - one for every day of his tenure and six times the amount created by Tory predecessors John Major and Margaret Thatcher. Allied with a raft of authoritarian anti-terror legislation, social behavior mandates and hate speech restrictions - ridiculous measures such as criminalizing the nomination of a neighbor to turn off your house alarm have also been introduced.
The so-called 'liberal' Blair has instituted a police state that obliterates anything the traditionally imperious Tories could ever get through.
In addition to the frenzied lawmaking, Blair has overseen the abolition of jury rights, handing cases likely to last over 3 months to the dictate of a single judge, criminalized any protest not authorized by the government under the Serious Organised Crime Act, mandated the entry of any protester into a terror database upon police questioning, created glorification of terror laws that are so sweeping they could apply to any form of free speech, eradicated habeas corpus by introducing house arrests and ever-increasing time lengths of detention without charge, attacked the notion of guilty until proven innocent by imposing curfews for under 16's, supported the use of intelligence knowingly obtained from torture in Uzbekistan and allowed the use of British airports for the 'extraordinary rendition' of terror suspects, created framework for the introduction of mandatory ID cards and implemented a national DNA database that stores records for eternity even if the suspect is acquitted of their crime.
Using the fear of terror, Blair has presided over the destruction of liberty in Britain.
We should remember that the bobby on the beat does not craft the policies and does not design the uniform, this is merely an outward expression of the deliberate fostering of authoritarianism that the world has been forced to labor under since 9/11.
An 8.3pc crash in US industrial orders and an admission by the Federal Reserve chairman that Washington does not know how bad housing really is set off another day of wild gyrations on the currency markets...
The "truckers index" of tonnage shipped by US haulage companies was down 1.8pc in October, a leading indicator of contraction. Merrill Lynch called the fall "borderline recessionary".
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Carter said there was "no doubt now that a minority of Israelis are perpetuating apartheid on the people in Palestine, the Palestinian people."
Carter called Israel's occupation the "prime cause" of continuing violence in the Middle East.
"And contrary to the United Nations resolutions, contrary to the official policy of the United States government, contrary to the Quartet so-called road map, all of those things – and contrary to the majority of Israeli people's opinion – this occupation and confiscation and colonization of land in the West Bank is the prime cause of a continuation of violence in the Middle East," he said.
"And what is being done to the Palestinians under Israeli domination is really atrocious. It's a terrible affliction on these people."
from kurt nimmo/information clearinghouse:
John Stockwell, former CIA Station Chief in Angola in 1976, working for then Director of the CIA, George Bush. He spent 13 years in the agency. He gives a short history of CIA covert operations. He is a very compelling speaker and the highest level CIA officer to testify to the Congress about his actions. He estimates that over 6 million people have died in CIA covert actions, and this was in the late 1980's.
Monday, November 27, 2006
The film, “Body of War,” is unfinished but riveting. It should make Tomas Young, its central character, a star on the lecture and possibly talk-show circuit...
Young, who was 24 years old, went to Baghdad in April 2004 as a very green solider. He’d enlisted right after Sept. 11, thinking he’d be sent to Afghanistan to hunt down the terrorists who caused the tragedies at the World Trade Center.
Within five days of arriving in Iraq, however, Young was caught in the same battle in Sadr City that killed Casey Sheehan, son of Cindy Sheehan, now a well-known activist. Young was shot through the chest, and the bullet severed his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
Donahue, the story goes, met Young on a tour of Walter Reed Army Medical Center with Nader. Right away, he and filmmaker Ellen Spiro saw the potential for a movie based on this young man.
Donahue’s film — like some others of recent vintage — traces Young’s journey from soldier to activist. Throughout, he remains patriotic.
Young, a real Midwesterner from Kansas City, Mo. — started asking questions soon after his release from the hospital. Donahue’s team follows him as he grows as a speaker and a voice for other vets.
And Young becomes politicized, too. By the end of the film he’s meeting with Sen.Robert Byrd, who recalls the 23 other senators who voted against the Iraq war (Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, most pointedly, were not in that group).
Byrd, in fact, plays a big part in Donahue’s film. The 88-year-old senator, with 47 years in office, not to mention six more in Congress, is used by Donahue as a Yoda of sorts for in the film and for the war. He’s proud to be the leader of the 23 dissidents, and his scenes with the wheelchair-bound Young are poignant.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
The madrasah in the tribal agency of Bajaur was bombed during a visit to Pakistan by the Prince of Wales amid allegations that it was being used to train suicide bombers.
“We thought it would be less damaging if we said we did it rather than the US,” said a key aide to President Pervez Musharraf. “But there was a lot of collateral damage and we’ve requested the Americans not to do it again.”
The Americans are believed to have attacked after a tip-off that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the deputy leader of Al-Qaeda, was present. Local people claimed the victims included boys as young as 12 and that the tribal area had been negotiating with the Pakistan government for a peace deal.
Pakistani officials insist they were shown satellite images of people training and have checked the identity cards of all those killed, and that all were adults.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
A report released last week by the Wisconsin-based nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy and Free Press listed KPTV-12 and KOIN-6 among 46 stations nationwide that the center claims use videos created by corporations for advertising purposes in their news segments.
Known as VNRs (video news releases), these clips even get passed off by some stations as their own reportage.
And that's just wrong, says Dan Price, co-author of the center's report. (To get a sense of the debate this touches off among local TV types about VNRs filling air time for small news staffs and other issues, check out oregon media insiders)
'Everyone has the right to know who's seeking to persuade them,' Price says. 'VNRs are corporate advertising in the false guise of independent, objective journalism.'
In the most egregious local example, the KPTV lifestyle show More Good Day Oregon aired a promotional clip, pitched as a news piece, about the sleep aid Rescue Sleep. In the program's 'Need to Know' segment on Sept. 15, anchor Andy Carson told viewers that Rescue Sleep is a 'natural alternative' and has 'no side effects,' adding that 'its biggest benefit is that Jennifer Aniston takes it...so it must be good.'
What Carson didn't mention was that the clip was a VNR made by a production company for Rescue Sleep—or that the spray, which is squirted on the tongue, contains 27 percent alcohol (no wonder it helps you sleep).
KPTV did not return calls seeking comment. (The clip can be seen here.)
Another VNR turned up on KOIN during a piece about identity theft and computers early last month on a 5 am newscast. (The clip can be seen here.)
While the story was reported by anchor Lynn Huston, part of the segment came from a VNR called a 'New Type of Kidnapping,' made by security software company Computer Associates.
Although the software is unmentioned in the piece, Price says the 'report' is still ethically murky.
'In these video news releases, it's still a story being told by people with motivated interests,' Price says. 'None of these VNRs are objective—they're telling a one-sided story.'
Huston and news director Jeff Alan say they didn't know the clip was a VNR when they got it from Pathfire, a video distribution company operated by CNN. Pathfire carries both actual news bits as well as VNRs. While most VNR videos are labeled, this clip, they say, was not.
Nonetheless, Alan defends their use of the VNR footage.
'We merely used a couple of pieces of video and a sound bite from a victim of computer identity theft,' Alan says. 'We didn't use anything to do with the commercial aspect of it.'
He adds that the real problem isn't TV stations, but the companies who create VNRs and try to make them look like credible news clips.
'There are really tricky ways these companies find to get their stuff on the air,' says Alan. 'We have to be detectives half the time.'
The Last White Hope - America's War on Drugs gives a radical new perspective to the Drug War by putting a human face on the War's casualties, while enlisting help from some unlikely sources. A Republican Governor? A right-wing Judge? The Last White Hope has made ending the drug war a mainstream issue.
Director Kevin Booth takes the viewer on a very personal three-year journey through the front yards to the alleys and prisons of the American drug war. From conservative district court judges to hashish smugglers, from LAPD narcotics officers to the most famous crack kingpin of the 1980's, from actors and doctors to gang members and drug dealers, The Last White Hope casts the Drug War in a new light, one that shows how money, power and greed have corrupted not just dope fiends but an entire government.
More importantly, it shows what can be done about it. This is not some 'pro-drug' stoner film, but a collection of expert testimonials from the ground troops on the front lines of the drug war, the ones who are fighting it and the ones who are living it. The Last White Hope is the culmination of three years of passionate filmmaking. The result is a film that has the courage to tell the truth and the power to persuade even the most skeptical.
update: 'how weed won the west': new doc exposes the drugwar
Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told Spain's El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld which allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation.
Karpinski, who ran the prison until early 2004, said she saw a memorandum signed by Rumsfeld detailing the use of harsh interrogation methods.
"The handwritten signature was above his printed name and in the same handwriting in the margin was written: "Make sure this is accomplished"," she told Saturday's El Pais.
"The methods consisted of making prisoners stand for long periods, sleep deprivation ... playing music at full volume, having to sit in uncomfortably ... Rumsfeld authorized these specific techniques."
The Geneva Convention says prisoners of war should suffer "no physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion" to secure information.
"Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind," the document states.
A spokesman for the Pentagon declined to comment on Karpinski's accusations, while U.S. army in Iraq could not immediately be reached for comment.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Tancredo lashed out at the White House’s lack of action in securing U.S. borders, and said efforts to merge the U.S. with both Mexico and Canada is not a fantasy.
“I know this is dramatic — or maybe somebody would say overly dramatic — but I’m telling you, that everything I see leads me to believe that this whole idea of the North American Union, it’s not something that just is written about by right-wing fringe kooks. It is something in the head of the president of the United States, the president of Mexico, I think the prime minister of Canada buys into it. …
You might think the right would immediately repudiate this kind of conspiracy theory. You’d be wrong. The National Review’s Andy McCarthy came to Tancredo’s defense:
This is not a fringe. It’s a wave. It’s fine to disagree with Rep. Trancredo; it’s wrong to treat him like a lunatic when he is anything but.
[I]t’s not unreasonable for people to look at Bush’s immigration policies and worry that he is insufficiently alert to the internationalist pressures (what John Fonte calls “transnational progressivism”) vigorously challenging the traditional understanding of sovereignty on many fronts.
Fox’s Neil Cavuto recently said Tancredo “owns” the issue of immigration predicted that “if he were to run for president, he just might well be president.”
Thursday, November 23, 2006
here is the latest episode of "outside the box," hosted by alex ansary.
it was originally broadcast by portland community media on november 16, 2006.
from alex ansary: Jim Fetzer of 'Scholars for 9/11 Truth' joined me from Madison, WI to discuss the 9/11 Truth Movement and it's unstoppable popularity. We provided an update on Steven Jones and Kevin Barrett. Finally, I reported on DARPA's plan to build a high tech robotic army for use in military applications.
David Ray Griffin
Peter Dale Scott
Friday Nov 24th: 4:00 pm EST / 1:00 pm PST
Saturday Nov 25th: 3:30 am EST / 12:30 am PST
10:00 pm EST / 7:00 pm PST
Spread the word!
Speaking at a national conference of transplant surgeons in Guangzhou last week, Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu admitted, "Apart from a small portion of traffic victims, most of the organs from cadavers are from executed prisoners," according to the China Daily, a state-run English-language newspaper published in Beijing.
Harry Wu, a former political prisoner in China and human rights activist, says that Huang's statement is an important admission.
"Ten years ago I talked about this, ABC and BBC reported, Congress held hearings about this, and China always denied it, saying 'No, no, no, never,'" said Wu. "And this time, they said 'Yes.'"
Wu assisted ABC News' 1997 Primetime investigation where the story, "Blood Money: Black Market for Kidneys from Chinese Prisoners," first broke.
According to the published account, the health vice-minister complained that foreigners were getting the vast majority of the organs because they could better afford to pay than Chinese citizens. The cost of a prisoner's kidney has been estimated by human rights groups at about $90,000.
Wu says that poor Chinese are selling their organs on the black market, even though it is now illegal in China to sell organs for profit.
A Ministry of Health official in Beijing declined to comment, saying that ABC News needed to submit a written application for an interview.
Sophie Richardson, an Asia expert for Human Rights Watch, says China still has a long way to go to improve its human rights standards. "This is the beginning of an effort to look like it's responding to concerns about some pretty grotesque behavior."
The Chinese government established a special committee to crack down on the organ black market earlier this year.
flashback: China harvesting organs from falun gong detainees
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
"In November '63, one week after the murder of Vietnamese President Diem in Saigon, and two weeks before the assassination of our President . . . I was sent by my superior officer, call him Y, to the South Pole as the military escort for a group of international VIP's. This trip had nothing to do with my nine years of work in Special Operations. It was sort of a "paid vacation."
. . . Anyway, after I came back I asked myself why was I, the chief of special ops, selected to travel to the South Pole at that time to do a job that any number of others could have done? One of my routine duties if I had been in Washington would've been to arrange for additional security in Texas. The Secret Service is relatively small, and by custom the military will augment them. I checked it out when I got back and sure enough, I found out someone had told the 112th Military Intelligence Group at 4th Army Headquarters at Fort Sam Houston to "stand down" that day, over the protests of the unit Commander, a Colonel Reich . . .
Now this is significant, because it is standard operating procedure, especially in a known hostile city like Dallas, to supplement the Secret Service. Even if we had not allowed the bubbletop to be removed from the limousine, we'd've put at least 100 to 200 agents on the sidewalks, without question! There'd already been several attempts on De Gaulle's life in France. Only a month before in Dallas UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson had been spit on and hit. We'd have arrived days ahead of time, studied the route, checked all the buildings . . . We never would've allowed all those wide-open empty windows overlooking Dealey . . . never . . . We would have had our own snipers covering the area. The moment a window went up they'd have been on the radio. We would've been watching the crowds -- packages, rolled up newspapers, a coat over an arm, never would have let a man open an umbrella along the way -- Never would've allowed that limousine to slow down to 10 miles per hour, much less take that unusual curve at Houston and Elm. You would have felt an Army presence in the streets that day, but none of this happened. It was a violation of the most basic protection codes we have. And it is the best indication of a massive plot in Dallas."
- Mr. X from JFK
"He was knocked down, punched, kicked -- his wallet and ID were stolen," Honolulu Police Department Capt. Frank Fujii said.
Gregg Pitts' passport and international phone were also taken.
Pitts left the bar alone. He walked through International Marketplace, where he was confronted by three men beaten up and robbed, according to a source familiar with the case.
His friends went looking for him and found him lying in a pool of blood.
People familiar with Waikiki said muggings happen occasionally. Police said they have no evidence of an increase in violence against tourists.
Pitts accompanied President George W. Bush on a brief visit to Hawaii. The stop came after an eight-day trip to Asia.
While Bush stayed at Hickam Air Force Base, White House staff, crew from the airplane and reporters stayed at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.
Paramedics treated Pitts and took him to Queen's Medical Center. He did not return with the president to Washington.
John Tunheim: U.S. District judge. He served as chairman on the Assassination Records Review Board that recommended public release of certain documents pertaining to the JFK assassination in 1998.
listen to the interview on minnesota public radio
This morning, three were seen lying on the grass at the Hickam Air Force Base near their overturned motorcycles as the motorcade passed by taking Bush to a breakfast with Hawaii troops.
One solo bike officer hit a slippery spot near a curve in the road before crashing. Police say two other officers lost control of their bikes while trying to avoid the accident.
One officer had internal bleeding and remained at The Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. The two other officers were treated and released.
Police did not release their names.
In another incident, a fourth solo bike officer crashed and injured his wrist when attempting a U-turn on loose gravel last night. He was also treated and released.
We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions.
Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know."
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The Selective Service System, an agency independent of the Defense Department, says it's ready to respond quickly to any crisis that would threaten to overwhelm the current all-volunteer military.
"We're the fire department," said spokesman Pat Schuback at the service headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
"We're prepared to do the mission with whatever time period we're asked to do it in. Our current plan is 193 days and that was based on manpower analysis."
With an active list of more than 15 million names, Schuback said an estimated 93 percent of all men in the United States between 18 and 26 have registered for the Selective Service, as required by law.
Chris Baker, 20, of Decatur, Georgia, said he wouldn't support a draft under any circumstances.
"I don't believe it's right to send people who don't really want to go fight for the country," Baker said. "I probably wouldn't go, but I know that'd I have to go to jail for that. That's probably what I would do -- sit in jail."
But 25-year-old Donnie Deerman of West Blocton, Alabama, said he would feel obligated to participate in a military draft.
"I'd have to do it. My dad did two tours of duty for Vietnam and for this country," Deerman said. "I wouldn't want to leave my kids behind, but I wouldn't argue about it."
While U.S. commanders insist sending more U.S. troops is not the answer in Iraq, they concede they really couldn't maintain a much bigger force than the 150,000 deployed there now because the U.S. military is just too small.
Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, the Democrat who likely will head the powerful House Ways and Means Committee in the next congressional session, said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" he plans to propose a new military draft next year.
The movie, based on the original 1953 novel, has been updated with a terrorism plotline in which the bad guy, Le Chiffre, is a banker to the world's terrorists and in order to stop him, and bring down the terrorist network, Bond must beat Le Chiffre in a $150 million poker game at the Casino Royale.
The movie contains a significant reference to 9/11 when M, the fictional head of MI6, tells Bond the following:
"When they analyzed the stock market after 9/11 the CIA discovered there had been massive shorting of airline stocks. When the stocks hit bottom on 9/12, somebody made a fortune."In the film, Bond prevents the same thing happening again with the Boeing stock, by thwarting the bombing of an airbus prototype plane at Miami airport. With their prototype destroyed the company would have been near bankruptcy. Instead, someone (we later discover it's Le Chiffre) loses over a hundred million dollars betting the wrong way as Bond foils the plot.
As has been extensively reported over the past five years, multiple sources of criminal insider trading were discovered after 9/11, indicating that many different parties had prior knowledge of the attacks.
The most significant instances of this however, and ones obviously not revealed in the Bond film, are the CIA and FBI linked cases that indicate the intelligence services, at best had prior knowledge of the attacks, and at worst were involved in their orchestration.
The London Independent among others reported that the firm used to buy many of the "put" options – where a trader, in effect, bets on a share price fall – on United Airlines stock was headed until 1998 by "Buzzy" Krongard, at the time the executive director of the CIA.
Until 1997, Mr Krongard was chairman of Alex Brown Inc, America's oldest investment banking firm. Alex Brown was acquired by Bankers Trust, which in turn was bought by Deutsche Bank. His last post before resigning to take his senior role in the CIA was to head Bankers Trust – Alex Brown's private client business, dealing with the accounts and investments of wealthy customers around the world.
Other publications reported similar stories concerning FBI personnel.
On the one hand it is quite surprising to see that such a reference to the shorting of airline stocks made it into the Bond movie, primarily because the 9/11 Commission spectacularly omitted it from their investigation into the attacks.
One would think that any investigation would attempt to follow the money as it were, to trace the funding of and profits made from the attack in an attempt to discover the perpetrators. Apparently not in this case.
The Commission also failed to look into the fact that the head of the Pakistani Intelligence agency, General Mahmoud Ahmed, wired $100,000 to the lead hijacker, Mohammed Atta, in the days before 9/11. Ahmed was having breakfast on the morning of 9/11 with Porter Goss, the head of the House Intelligence Committee and the next head of the CIA.
Is the 9/11 reference a simple plot device in the Casino Royale? Is it an attempt by the script writers to further blow the whistle on the insider trading? Or is it an attempt to steam valve the information, to mix fiction with reality and thus confuse the two?
In another item of interest to Infowars readers, the film, on general release now, also features Bond being "chipped" with a tracking device in his forearm, which at one point saves his life.
Monday, November 20, 2006
from earth times: MADD wants alcohol sensors in cars... As a first step in trying to rein in DUI, Mothers Against Drunk Driving will campaign for the introduction of alcohol sensors in every car so as to detect the presence of alcohol in vehicles.
from bbc: Plan to create human-cow embryos... UK scientists have applied for permission to create embryos by fusing human DNA with cow eggs.
from irish examiner: Terror unit investigates Russian’s poisoning... Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism unit was last night leading an “extensive” investigation into the alleged deliberate poisoning of the former Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko.
from int'l herald tribune: Blackstone acquiring firm in richest buyout... Blackstone Group, a private investment firm, has agreed to acquire Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest office-building owner and manager in the United States, for about $36 billion.
But the Air Force's Global Hawk has never flown a mission over the United States.
That is set to change Monday, when the first Global Hawk is scheduled to land at Beale Air Force Base in northern California.
"This landmark flight has historic implications since it's the first time a Global Hawk has not only flown from Beale, but anywhere in the United States on an official Air Combat Command mission," base spokesman Capt. Michael Andrews said in a statement.
Beale-based pilots are flying the drones daily on combat missions in the Middle East, Andrews said. The planes are operated by four-person crews from virtual cockpits the size of shipping containers.
The planes are designed to fly at high altitudes for 40 hour-missions covering as much as 10,000 miles, mostly providing aerial surveillance. The aircraft, which can cost more than $80 million each, can reach an altitude of 65,000 feet and send back high-resolution imagery.
The Hawks are among a growing fleet of unmanned aircraft that also includes the missile-carrying Predators and five-pound Ravens that are small enough to be carried in soldiers' backpacks.
Beale is to have seven Global Hawks by 2009. It is currently the only U.S. base with the drones. Eventually the Air Force's fleet will include 54 of the Global Hawks, but most will be based overseas.
The chief medical officer for the city Fire Department said one of the study's "insurmountable barriers" included the possibility that the information could be used in civil lawsuits by lawyers and others with an "undeniable self-interest" in the cause of death.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in a note posted Friday on its Web site, said the agency "instead will pursue other avenues for documenting long-term health effects from exposure to air contaminants from the World Trade Center disaster."
Outside medical experts who reviewed the original plan had raised several questions, the institute said, including concerns that "the draft document could be misinterpreted or misapplied, hindering rather than furthering progress in addressing WTC health concerns."
The collapse of the twin towers sent thick plumes of concrete dust, fiberglass, asbestos and lead into the air in Lower Manhattan. The tainted air was taken in by thousands of workers at Ground Zero in the weeks after the terrorist attack, which killed about 2,750 people in New York.
Yesterday, meanwhile, 70 trucks began pouring the concrete base for the signature skyscraper at the new World Trade Center.
The base will anchor the concrete core of the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower. Next month, the first steel beams for the tower are scheduled to rise.
The work has continued despite calls from some family members of victims to halt construction. A search for human remains continues in the area after more than 200 bones were found recently in manholes on the site's western edge.
John Cahill, chief of staff for Gov. George E. Pataki (R), said that the city needs to be sensitive to victims' families but that "it is time to build this site."
In Iraq to film a historical documentary, Kar was charged with being a terrorist and placed in the notorious prison at Abu Ghraib. He was held for 55 days, most of them in solitary confinement. After 49 days, he was finally given a hearing and eventually freed.
Rumsfeld has filed motions to have the suit dismissed. A hearing in January will determine if Kar's lawsuit can go forward.
... full transcript ...
Sunday, November 19, 2006
The White House said it was confident about security precautions for Bush's visit Monday despite police warnings of an increased threat of attack by al-Qaida-linked groups.
The president was to spend just six hours in Indonesia, most of it at Bogor Palace, a presidential retreat outside the capital of Jakarta and far from the scene of protests Sunday where Bush was denounced as a "war criminal" and "terrorist."
While President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is a close U.S. ally in the war on terror, Bush is highly unpopular in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.
It was Bush's first appearance on the world stage since his Republican Party lost control of Congress and was rebuked for the unpopular war in Iraq.
Seymour Hersh, writing in an article for the November 27 issue of the magazine The New Yorker released in advance, reported on whether the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was more, or less, inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week.
A month before the November 7 legislative elections, Hersh wrote, Vice President Dick Cheney attended a national-security discussion that touched on the impact of Democratic victory in both chambers on Iran policy.
"If the Democrats won on November 7th, the vice president said, that victory would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran," Hersh wrote, citing a source familiar with the discussion.
Cheney said the White House would circumvent any legislative restrictions "and thus stop Congress from getting in its way," he said.
The Democratic victory unleashed a surge of calls for the Bush administration to begin direct talks with Iran.
But the administration's planning of a military option was made "far more complicated" in recent months by a highly classified draft assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency "challenging the White House's assumptions about how close Iran might be to building a nuclear bomb," he wrote.
"The CIA found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running paallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency," Hersh wrote, adding the CIA had declined to comment on that story.
A current senior intelligence official confirmed the existence of the CIA analysis and said the White House had been hostile to it, he wrote.
Cheney and his aides had discounted the assessment, the official said.
"They're not looking for a smoking gun," the official was quoted as saying, referring to specific intelligence about Iranian nuclear planning.
"They're looking for the degree of comfort level they think they need to accomplish the mission."
The United States and other major powers believe Iran's uranium enrichment program is ultimately aimed at producing fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Iran insists it will use the enriched uranium only to fuel nuclear power stations, something it is permitted to do as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The major powers have been debating a draft United Nations resolution drawn up by Britain, France and Germany that would impose limited sanctions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile sectors for Tehran's failure to comply with an earlier UN resolution on halting enrichment.
On Wednesday, Israel's outgoing US ambassador Danny Ayalon said in an interview that Bush would not hesitate to use force against Iran to halt its nuclear program if other options failed.
"US President George W. Bush will not hesitate to use force against Iran in order to halt its nuclear program," Ayalon told the Maariv daily.
Israel, widely considered the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, views Iran as its arch-foe, pointing to repeated calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
Kissinger presented a bleak vision of Iraq, saying the U.S. government must enter into dialogue with Iraq's regional neighbors - including Iran - if progress is to be made in the region.
"If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he told the British Broadcasting Corp.
But Kissinger, an architect of the Vietnam war who has advised President Bush about Iraq, warned against a rapid withdrawal of coalition troops, saying it could destabilize Iraq's neighbors and cause a long-lasting conflict.
"A dramatic collapse of Iraq - whatever we think about how the situation was created - would have disastrous consequences for which we would pay for many years and which would bring us back, one way or another, into the region," he said.
Kissinger, whose views have been sought by the Iraqi Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James Baker III, called for an international conference bringing together the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Iraq's neighbors - including Iran - and regional powers like India and Pakistan to work out a way forward for the region.
"I think we have to redefine the course, but I don't think that the alternative is between military victory, as defined previously, or total withdrawal," he said.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
In his frankest admission about the war to date, Mr Blair admitted that Western forces have been powerless to stop the descent into violence.
The Prime Minister stopped short of accepting the blame for plunging Iraq to the brink of civil war - blaming instead the insurgent uprising that has killed 125 British troops.
But his admission in an interview with the Arab news channel Al Jazeera will be seen as an historic climbdown for Mr Blair, who has always fought to put a positive gloss on often disastrous events.
Challenged by veteran interviewer Sir David Frost that the Western invasion of Iraq has"so far been pretty much of a disaster", Mr Blair said: "It has."
His words were last night seen as an olive branch to other states in the Middle East and his critics at home.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed the deployment orders for about 20,000 Soldiers from active duty Army brigades based in North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Kansas and Italy. Another 10,000 reserves and 27,000 active duty troops are scheduled to go to Iraq in smaller units...
The announcement comes as some Democrats, who are poised to take control of the House and Senate, continue to press for substantial reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq, and a timetable for that drawdown.
Friday, November 17, 2006
iraq for sale: the war profiteers will be showing in portland at performance works northwest on sunday night at 7. it is also available on dvd from the disinformation corporation.
from wikipedia: Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is a documentary about the ongoing Iraq War and the behavior of companies with no-bid contracts working within Iraq. The movie was made by Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films. The movie criticizes the perceived greed, waste, and ineffectiveness of the contractors in a war that has been privatized by corporations on a historic level. Specifically, the film claims contractors are over-billing the government and doing substandard work while endangering the lives of American soldiers and private citizens. The documentary contends these major four companies are composed of ex-military and ex-government workers who unethically help these companies get and keep enormous contracts and milk the American taxpayer.
The companies criticized are: Blackwater, KBR-Halliburton, CACI, and Titan.
also, here is an interview with robert greenwald on the conscious media network...
The neo-cons in the administration are trying to come up with ways to keep Bolton in his position even though the current Republican-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee (with the support of defeated Rhode Island Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee) does not look likely to approve Bolton's nomination. Incoming chairman Joe Biden said as far as he is concerned the Bolton nomination is dead.
However, neo-cons, including Cheney, are toying with the idea of appointing Bolton to the third ranking position at the UN mission, which does not require Senate confirmation. By not filling the vacant ambassador position, Bolton would serve as an unconfirmed acting ambassador.
It is well known that following Donald Rumsfeld's ouster at the Pentagon, Bolton is one of Cheney's sole remaining allies. Bolton is also vehemently anti-Iranian and opposed to the Baker-Hamilton committee's outreach to Tehran.
Therefore, it is important for Cheney to keep Bolton at the UN to rattler sabers at Iran. Bolton is also supported by the Israeli lobby in Washington that does not want to see any Washington-Tehran talks dedicated to working together on Iraq.
There is also another wild card working in Bolton's favor. While he was at the State Department, Bolton gathered a number of NSA intercepts on US persons and may be using their content to blackmail members of the administration and Congress to support his continued tenure at the UN.
WMR reported on Bolton's involvement in the NSA surveillance on May 15, 2005:
According to National Security Agency insiders, outgoing NSA Director General Michael Hayden approved special communications intercepts of phone conversations made by past and present U.S. government officials. The intercepts are at the height of the current controversy surrounding the nomination of Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. It was revealed by Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd during Bolton's Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing that Bolton requested transcripts of 10 NSA intercepts of conversations between named U.S. government officials and foreign persons. Later, it was revealed that U.S. companies [also treated as "U.S. persons" by NSA] were also identified in an additional nine intercepts requested by Bolton. However, NSA insiders report that Hayden approved special intercept operations on behalf of Bolton and had them masked as "training missions" in order to get around internal NSA regulations that normally prohibit such eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.
Following last week's article detailing the imminent release of the Doubletree hotel video, a reader has informed us that after calling Judicial Watch and asking when the video would be made public, he was told:
'The Government said they needed more time'. When asked when enough time would pass before they could release the tape, they said they didn't know and it was indefinite...Judicial Watch had previously announced that the video would be released before November the ninth and even speculated that it may be used as a political tool in order to sway mid-term election votes.
Ongoing FOIA requests and subsequent lawsuits should now have forced all known video tapes of the Pentagon attack out into the open. It seems that abiding by judicial law is something that the FBI refuses to be a part of however.
here is the latest episode of "outside the box," hosted by alex ansary.
it was originally broadcast by portland community media on november 9, 2006.
from alex ansary: Commentary of post-2006 Mid-term election and the new speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.