Tuesday, May 23, 2006

70+ million want new 9/11 investigation

from raw story: According to a new Zogby poll, less than half of Americans are convinced that that the events of September 11 have been thoroughly investigated... 45%, indicated they were more likely to agree "that so many unanswered questions about 9/11 remain that Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously allowed or helped facilitate their success."

from pr web: Although the Bush administration continues to exploit September 11 to justify domestic spying, unprecedented spending and a permanent state of war, a new Zogby poll reveals that less than half of the American public trusts the official 9/11 story or believes the attacks were adequately investigated.

Monday, May 22, 2006

terror muffins

mmm, these muffins are terrorrific! just like those rubik's cubes. god, we are so much safer with the stasi, i mean, homeland security...

kvue: Dallas Health Department has confirmed to WFAA that marijuana was in the muffins delivered to Lake Highlands High School on Tuesday which led to 18 staff members being taken ill...

The FBI has released a series of surveillance photos showing the young man who delivered a bag of muffins to the school...

The Joint Terrorism Task Force has been deployed to investigate this case.

"We weren't sure whether it was a weapon of mass destruction or a food tampering incident," said John McSwain from the Force.

1 in 136 americans behind bars

from breitbart: Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.

The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in the government reported Sunday. That 2.6 percent increase from mid-2004 to mid-2005 translates into a weekly rise of 1,085 inmates.

read more about the prison-industrial complex

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

bush dispatches nat'l guard to borders bookstores

ah, satire...

from democratic underground: In an effort to prevent the gravest threat to the survival of the GOP, President Bush has announced that he will send the entire National Guard to Borders bookstores across the nation.

Addressing the country in a prime-time speech, Mr. Bush explained that the only way for him to even maintain his miniscule approval ratings was to ensure that no additional citizens have access to books or other reading material, and thus develop the type of critical thinking that is fatal to Republican domination.

The President also stated that this extraordinary deployment of the National Guard would have a dual benefit: not only will it prevent additional people from becoming educated, but it would effectively seal off and imprison in the bookstores those unpatriotic intellectuals who were already inside.

some europeans say surveillance acceptable

from guardian: Europeans are no strangers to eavesdropping: East Germans endured the all-pervasive Stasi secret police, a French president had a penchant for wiretaps and Britain had "Camillagate" - with Prince Charles taped making a steamy call to his lover.

Perhaps little wonder, then, that many Europeans barely shrug at news that the Bush administration has collected telephone records on millions of Americans.

Although experts and officials say Europe does not centrally collect telephone data on a massive scale, government surveillance has been increasing since the Sept. 11 attacks. Some say European nations could further boost surveillance if terrorism becomes an even bigger threat...

That is not a problem for Carolina Lio, a university student from Bologna. ``As long as there isn't a CCTV camera in my house, I am not worried,'' she said. ``I know the surveillance is not directed against me, but rather to protect me.''

But others warn the delicate balance between security and freedom is being lost.

``Politicians have tapped into this mood of fear,'' said British expert Ian Leigh.

``A lot of the safeguards that were erected, first of all in the U.S. in the 1970s, and then in other countries in the '80s and '90s following well-documented abuses have been taken down to some degree to fight the war on terror,'' he said. ``It's likely that this will store up problems for the future.''

Monday, May 15, 2006

new stories about old news

Total Information Awareness logodid you think governmental spying was a purely post-9/11 phenomena? well, you'd better (double) think again. have you heard of ECHELON? how about Carnivore? ooh, and Magic Lantern, Information Awareness Office, or Project RESISTANCE...

from alternet: With news reports exposing the National Security Agency's previously secret spying on the phone conversations of tens of millions of Americans, what is the status of the U.S. Department of Justice probe of the Bush administration's authorization of a warrantless domestic wiretapping program?

The investigation has been closed.

That's right. Even as it is being revealed that the president's controversial eavesdropping program is dramatically more extensive -- and Constitutionally dubious -- than had been previously known, the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has informed Representative Maurice Hinchey that its attempt to determine which administration officials authorized, approved and audited NSA surveillance activities is over.

7/7 prior knowledge

from times online: The full extent of what was known about the July 7 bombers was not disclosed to the parliamentary committee that investigated intelligence failings in the run-up to the suicide attacks.

MI5 is alleged to have kept back material from bugging operations and data gleaned from computer analysis of the bomb cell from the Intelligence and Security Committee before its critical report last week.

from the australian: British domestic spy agency MI5 is being accused of a cover-up for failing to disclose to a parliamentary watchdog that it bugged the leader of the July 7 London suicide bombers discussing the building of a bomb months before the attacks.

MI5 had secret tape recordings of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the gang leader, talking about how to build the device and then leave the country because there would be a lot of police activity.

But, despite the recordings, MI5 allowed him to slip the net. Transcripts of the tapes were never shown to the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, which investigated the attacks.

more evidence of prior knowledge... sound familiar?

Friday, May 12, 2006

US army troop build up on Iraq-Iran borders

US army troop build up on iraq-iran bordersfrom zaman: After the Tehran administration conducted operations against the terror network Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) by crossing the Iraqi border, the US Army in Iraq is claimed to have increased the military build up of US troops on the Iranian border.

Tehran local radio announced the US stationed army units on the Iraqi border, increased reconnaissance flights in the region, and trained anti-Iran militias in Iraq. Iranian Interior Ministry confirmed the information.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

dyncorp/halliburton sex slave scandal won't go away

from infowars: We have a government that says it doesn't advocate torture and yet tries to block a law that would end torture. We have a government that repeatedly burns lower level minions to wash its hands of every major scandal that encompasses policies directly administered by the government itself, as in the case of Abu Ghraib and the Dyncorp sex scandal.

from huffington post: You probably missed the Chicago Tribune's series Pipeline to Peril last fall, but it has borne fruit. The multi-part special report "revealed how some subcontractors used deception and coercion to recruit foreigners to work on U.S. bases in Iraq. The series told the story of 12 Nepalese, some of whom thought they had gotten hotel jobs in Jordan. Instead, all 12 were sent to Iraq, where they were kidnapped and killed."

from chicago tribune: Three years ago, President Bush declared that he had "zero tolerance" for trafficking in humans by the government's overseas contractors, and two years ago Congress mandated a similar policy.

But notwithstanding the president's statement and the congressional edict, the Defense Department has yet to adopt a policy to bar human trafficking...

The lobbying groups opposing the plan say they're in favor of the idea in principle, but said they believe that implementing key portions of it overseas is unrealistic. They represent thousands of firms, including some of the industry's biggest names, such as DynCorp International and Halliburton subsidiary KBR, both of which have been linked to trafficking-related concerns.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

skeleton in the bush family cupboard

skull & bonesfrom telegraph: One of America's great historical controversies intensifed yesterday with the publication of fresh evidence that members of an elite secret society may have dug up the remains of the Indian leader Geronimo and displayed his skull in their headquarters.

from cnn: A Yale University historian has uncovered a 1918 letter that seems to lend validity to the lore that Yale University's ultra-secret Skull and Bones society swiped the skull of American Indian leader Geronimo.

read more at the straight dope...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

rfid-hacking underground

RFIDTAGfrom wired: They can steal your smartcard, lift your passport, jack your car, even clone the chip in your arm. And you won't feel a thing. 5 tales from the RFID-hacking underground.

Friday, May 05, 2006

talking smack and saying thanks

some call it 'speaking truth to power.' alternet may have coined the phrase 'getting colbert-ed.' but we don't care what you call, just as long as you keep on doing it! and we'll remember to say thank you...

thank you ray mcgovern, thank you harry taylor, thank you stephen colbert and now, thank you jay babcock for "talking to Godsmack about what they use their music for."

JAY (arthur magazine): What about this? In 2003 you did a show that started with video footage of Apache helicopters ”honing in on a desert target interspersed with the words ‘We will prevail…Stronger than them all.”

SULLY (godsmack frontman): Say that again?

JAY: I’m reading from a Boston Globe review of a show you did at the Tweeter Center.

SULLY: Yeah.

JAY: In front of 13,000 people on May 22, 2003.

SULLY: Yeah, but tell me what it said again.

JAY: Yes sir. It said “Godsmack’s ferociously high energy 90-minute set started with video footage of Apache helicopters honing in on a desert target, interspersed with the words ‘We will prevail…Stronger than them all.”

SULLY: Yeah…?

JAY: So you’re using military imagery with your music at your concerts?

SULLY: First of all, it was a COMPUTER image, a computer-animated helicopter that didn’t… There was no scene of a desert in there. It was a helicopter that rose up from the screen and scanned the audience. It was an EFFECT. And then it shot out missiles that hit the stage.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

kennedy's & cars

so let's get this straight: if you're a kennedy and you are f*cked up (i.e. drunk) while you're driving, it's your fault and you are in deep sh*t...
but, if you're a kennedy and you get f*cked (i.e. assassinated) while someone else is driving, it's still your fault and you are, well, still in deep sh*t...

from boston globe: Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed his car near the Capitol early Thursday, and a police official said he appeared intoxicated. Kennedy said he had had no alcohol before the accident.

Kennedy, D-R.I., addressed the issue after a spate of news reports.
"I was involved in a traffic accident last night at First and C Street SE near the U.S. Capitol... I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

rage against the (electronic voting) machine

from newsnet5: A 61-year-old man was arrested after an alleged poll rage incident, NewsChannel5 reported. Officials said Marc A. Fenster was arrested after he knocked over two voting machines worth $2,700 each. They also said he assaulted a 17-year-old outside the polling place.

Fenster faces disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and resisting arrest charges. It took several people to restrain Fenster, who was trying to vote at a 4330 Jennings Road.

It's unclear what caused him to become upset.

Monday, May 01, 2006

mission: incompetent

mission: incompetent

from thinkprogress
: On May 1, 2003, President Bush stood underneath a “Mission Accomplished” banner and announced that “Major combat operations have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

billions wasted in iraq

from guardian: A US congressional inspection team set up to monitor reconstruction in Iraq today publishes a scathing report of failures by contractors, mainly from the US, to carry out projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

In one case, the inspection team found that three years after the invasion only six of 150 health centres proposed for Iraq had been completed by a US contractor, in spite of 75% of the $186m allocated having been spent.
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