Tuesday, October 31, 2006

war games in persian gulf: a provocation?

war games in persian gulf: a provocation?from global research: There is a massive concentration of US naval power in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Two US naval strike groups are deployed: USS Enterprise, and USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group. The naval strike groups have been assigned to fighting the "global war on terrorism."

War Games
Concurrent with this concentration of US Naval power, the US is also involved in military exercises in the Persian Gulf, which consists in "interdicting ships in the Gulf carrying weapons of mass destruction and missiles." ...

Tehran considers the US sponsored war games in the Persian Gulf, off the Iranian coastline as a provocation, which is intended to trigger a potential crisis and a situation of direct confrontation between US and Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf...

USS Boxer ESG to arrive in Arabian SeaUSS Boxer ESG to arrive in Arabian Sea
The USS Boxer, which is the flagship for the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group which left Singapore on October 16, is scheduled to join the two other naval strikes groups...

“We are about to enter a part of the world that can be very dangerous,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Jacques Beaver, Boxer’s flight deck ordnance chief. “We must be flexible and prepared to defend ourselves from any threats.

Canada is part of the Expeditonary Strike Group
Canada is formally participating in this military deployment under the disguise of the "war on terrorism". The Canadian Navy has dispatched Frigate HMCS Ottawa, which is now an integral part of ESG 5, under US Command. It is worth noting that particular emphasis has been given to medical evacuations and combat medical support suggesting that a combat scenario could be envisaged.

Dangerous Crossroads: Tonkin II?
"An incident" in the Persian Gulf could be used by the US as a pretext for war against Iran.

A war pretext incident, similar to "the Gulf of Tonkin Incident", which triggered the Vietnam war, could be used by US forces, with a view to justifying retaliatory military action against Iran.

Dangerous Crossroads: Tonkin II?In August 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson claimed that North Vietnamese forces had attacked US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Tonkin incident, which had been manipulated, contributed to unleashing a full-fledged war against Vietnam:

"A phantom attack on two U.S. destroyers cruising the Gulf of Tonkin was staged by the Pentagon and the C.I.A. The bogus attack occurred early in August, 1964. That evening President Lyndon Johnson went on television giving the grim details of the non-attack. Later, however, it was revealed that navy commander James Stockdale flew cover over the Gulf of Tonkin that night. Stockdale disclosed that U.S. ships were firing at phantom targets—targets that didn’t exist.

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident that drew the U.S. into the quagmire of Viet Nam simply didn’t happen. Johnson, as presidents so often do, lied to the American people. The result was the rapid passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which was the sole legal basis for the Viet Nam War. As a result of Johnson’s lie, three million Vietnamese people and fifty eight thousand U.S. soldiers died."

spooks at google… & myspace, paypal, youtube, ebay & yahoo

spooks at google… & myspace, paypal, youtube, ebay & yahoofrom kurt nimmo: It comes as no surprise that Google is in bed with the CIA, or rather it is no surprise the CIA ate Google and has turned it into yet another front company. “A former clandestine services officer for the CIA who also maintains close relationships with top Google representatives says that the company is ‘in bed with’ the intelligence agency and the U.S. government,” writes Paul Joseph Watson for Prison Planet...

“Even while Google presents a public image of vigorously protecting its users’ privacy, it has quietly provided assistance to several U.S. intelligence agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, as the U.S. prosecutes its war on terrorism,” writes Michael Hampton for Homeland Stupidity. “In addition, Google may be providing assistance to the National Security Agency.” ...

But if this does not make you paranoid enough, consider a post at Internet Portal Community Watch. Ebay is run by Richard T. Schlosberg III, former graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. MySpace, of course, is now owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. According to blogger Josh Smith, the “social networking” site Facebook is a data-gathering operation that received initial funding from Peter Thiel, who is connected to James Breyer, who is the former chairman of In-Q-Tel. Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal. Yahoo, the IPVW post asserts, is a possible “U.S. Military or psyOP Pentagon front.” Yahoo director Ed Kozel worked at Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, and SRI International. Chad Hurley, a former PayPal employee, is CEO and Co-Founder of YouTube. As we know, Google bought up YouTube, and Google’s connection to the CIA is less than speculative.

A radome at RAF Menwith Hill, a site with satellite downlink capabilities used by ECHELON.Finally, if you’re thinking about using Yahoo over Google, think again. Earlier this year, Michael Callahan, Yahoo’s senior vice president and general counsel, under “cross-examination during a congressional hearing … refused … to say whether the company opens its records for government surveillance [that is, the NSA] without a court order,” according to ZDNet.

Although the NSA is supposedly restricted by its charter from “acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons,” it has done so habitually since its establishment on November 4, 1952. The NSA captures civilian telephone, fax, satellite, and data traffic through ECHELON. It runs “the largest database ever assembled in the world,” containing call detail records of all calls (domestic and international) placed through AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.

china harvesting organs from falun gong detainees

from thought criminal: Western countries are beginning to pay high-level attention to accusations that Chinese authorities are killing jailed members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement in order to sell their body parts for organ transplants.

A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on the accusations on September 29. The matter was also raised at foreign-minister level at the China-European Union summit meeting on September 9 in Helsinki.

Monday, October 30, 2006

outside the box #75

here is the latest episode of "outside the box," hosted by alex ansary.
it was originally broadcast by portland community media on october 26, 2006.

from alex ansary: Tonight it was open lines for the entire program. I covered some of the top stories of the world. Later I featured a brief segment from the documentary film, 'What the Bleep do we Know?' This film focuses on changing our reality and heightening our perception of what is possible.

italian court orders berlusconi to stand trial

italian court orders berlusconi to stand trialfrom cbc: An Italian court on Monday ordered former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and a British lawyer to stand trial on charges of corruption.

Berlusconi, who was defeated in an April election, is accused of channelling at least $700,000 to lawyer David Mills nine years ago.

Italian prosecutors allege that in exchange for the money, Mills provided false testimony during trials in 1997 and 1998 related to Berlusconi's company Mediaset SPA.

Milan Judge Fabio Paparella ordered the men to separately stand trial on charges of false accounting, embezzlement and tax fraud in the purchase by Berlusconi's Mediaset SPA empire of TV rights for U.S. movies.

Paparella issued the ruling after refusing a defence motion to remove him from the case.

If convicted, each man could spend between three and eight years in prison.

Berlusconi, who is Italy's richest man, has faced previous corruption charges but has never been convicted.

In late 2004, he was acquitted on charges of trying to bribe judges while attempting to block a rival businessman's takeover of the state-owned SME food group in the 1980s.

The trial, which spanned about a decade, was temporarily halted after Berlusconi's Forza Italia party changed the law to grant Italy's top five political officeholders immunity from prosecution.

The constitutional court struck down the law in January of 2004, ruling that all Italians were equal before the law.

DU death toll hits 11,000

DU death toll hits 11,000from global research: The death toll from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU) has reached 11,000 soldiers and the growing scandal may be the reason behind Anthony Principi’s departure as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department.

This view was expressed by Arthur Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, writing in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter.

“The real reason for Mr. Principi’s departure was really never given,” Bernklau said. “However, a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the U.S. military.”

The “malady [from DU] that thousands of our military have suffered and died from has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. . . . The terrible truth is now being revealed,” Bernklau said.

Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are now dead, he said. By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. More than a decade later, more than half (56 percent) who served in Gulf War I have permanent medical problems. The disability rate for veterans of the world wars of the last century was 5 percent, rising to 10 percent in Vietnam.

“The VA secretary was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,” Bernklau said. “He and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, it is far too big to hide or to cover up.”

Terry Johnson, public affairs specialist at the VA, recently reported that veterans of both Persian Gulf wars now on disability total 518,739, Bernklau said.

“The long-term effect of DU is a virtual death sentence,” Bernklau said. “Marion Fulk, a nuclear chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved in the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers [from the second war] as ‘spectacular’ - and a matter of concern.’ ”
While this important story appeared in a Washington newspaper and the wire services, it did not receive national exposure - a compelling sign that the American public is being kept in the dark about the terrible effects of this toxic weapon.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

report: halliburton unit exploited rules

report: halliburton unit exploited rulesfrom ap/my way: The Halliburton subsidiary that provides food, shelter and other logistics to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan exploited federal regulations to hide details on its contract performance, according to a report released Friday.

The special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction found that Halliburton's Kellogg, Brown & Root Services routinely marked all information it gave to the government as proprietary, whether it was or not. The government promises not to disclose proprietary data so a company's most valuable information is not divulged to its competitors.

By marking all information proprietary - including such normally releasable data as labor rates - the company abused federal regulations, the report says.

In effect, Kellogg, Brown & Root turned the regulations "into a mechanism to prevent the government from releasing normally transparent information, thus potentially hindering competition and oversight."

Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann said that since the current contract is being reviewed and may be divided among several contractors, "It is clearly appropriate to mark data as proprietary that could potentially be used for competitive purposes" as would be the case in any new contract.

She said such proprietary markings have been used on a majority of the data for at least the last decade, and the company will work with the military on matters outlined in the interim report as the final audit is completed.

The Iraq reconstruction audits have routinely found significant problems with contracting and rebuilding in the country, ranging from high costs for security and overhead to alleged fraud and lack of oversight.

Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, said that in 13 oversight hearings on the war in Iraq the committee found more than $1 billion in waste, fraud, abuse and what it called "shoddy work" by contractors.

"I'm convinced that this is the most significant waste, fraud and abuse in the history of this country," Dorgan said.

If the Democrats take control of the Senate, he said, they will launch oversight hearings on war matters ranging from faulty intelligence leading up to the war to wrongdoing by contractors.

'fascism' on google video

Here is the "Director's Final Cut" authorized version of Aaron Russo's documentary, America: Freedom to Fascism. It is being uploaded to Google Video for the first time during the evening of October 19-20th, 2006. Aaron has listened to everyone's feedback - volunteers, students, lovers of freedom & liberty, young and old alike - and, true to his word, he is putting this up "for free" on Google Video knowing that the hour has come for Americans to either be awakened to restore the Republic or be swept aside by the dark global forces of fascism that seeks to enslave mankind.

AFTF's main focus comes in a statement with six very simple words:

After viewing the movie, please be sure to visit freedom to fascism where you will soon be able to view a much higher quality "pay per view" Internet version of AFTF, buy the DVD and sign up as an affiliate to sell/distribute DVDs to others.

We also urge everyone to be sure to sign up as volunteer, register for email alerts and tell your family, friends and neighbors about this groundbreaking movie.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

school safety drill upsets some parents

school safety drill upsets some parentsfrom ap/my way: A school safety drill that included police officers in riot gear with weapons has caused concern among some parents who say it was too realistic and frightened some students.

Police in the western Michigan community of Wyoming entered two classrooms at Lee Middle and High School on Thursday and announced there was a threat to the school, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

Students, who were unaware police were conducting a drill, were taken from the classroom into the halls, patted down by officers and asked what they had in their pockets, the newspaper said.

"Some of these kids were so scared, they just about wet their pants," said Marge Bradshaw, a parent with four children in Godfrey-Lee Schools. "I think it's pure wrong that the students and parents were not informed of this."

Officers wore protective gear, including vests and helmets, and carried rifles that were unloaded and marked with colored tape to indicate they were not live weapons, the newspaper said.

Diana Silva, a parent of an eighth-grade student, said the drill went too far.

"My child was with his face to the wall in the hallway of the high school," Silva said. "I certainly don't want anything like this happening to my child."

Principal David Britten said students weren't told ahead of time to make the drill as realistic as possible. Teachers were informed moments before it took place, he said.

"I think this is the best way to do it," Britten said. "We're not looking to scare anyone, but we want a sense of urgency."

But Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody said his officers were not aware students and parents were not told. He said his department will mandate that parents be notified ahead of time in the future.

"The purpose was to show how we will evacuate the classroom, not to assault the classroom," Carmody said.

lab confirms classified material found

lab confirms classified material foundfrom santa fe new mexican: Los Alamos National Laboratory has confirmed that classified material was found during a drug search at the home of a former lab contract employee.

As a result, some work at the lab has been affected, and security measures have been increased.

No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the case, which is being handled by the FBI. A search warrant executed by the agency has been sealed by a judge.

The lab's director, Michael Anastasio, said a former worker is being investigated, but neither the lab nor the FBI would identify the employee.

"While I cannot discuss the details of what we know and don't know about what happened, I can confirm that classified material was found in her residence," Anastasio told lab employees Thursday.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the former employee had a high-level security clearance.

"This is a very serious matter for all of us," Anastasio said. "We are taking and must continue to take immediate and appropriate action."

Anastasio did not elaborate on the case but said the FBI interviewed several employees at the lab Wednesday. A lab spokesman declined to comment...

Friday, October 27, 2006

bush reserves right to repeat katrina failures

from crooks & liars: In yet another egregious executive-power grab, President Bush asserted his right last week via signing statement to ignore a Congressional mandate that the next FEMA Director have at least five years of disaster response experience. You would think after the Brownie debacle during Katrina last year the President would be eager to appoint someone with qualifications exceeding Arabian horse show judge to lead the nations emergency response efforts. Sadly, no. Because, after all, his unchallenged powers as Decider-In-Chief are far more important than competence and keeping Americans safe.

from washington post: President Bush reserved the right to ignore key changes in Congress's overhaul of the Federal Emergency Management Agency — including a requirement to appoint someone with experience handling disasters as the agency's head - in setting aside dozens of provisions contained in a major homeland security spending bill this week.

The standards for the FEMA director were inspired by criticism of former FEMA chief Michael D. Brown's performance after Hurricane Katrina last year. Brown, a lawyer and judge of Arabian horses, had no experience in disaster response before joining FEMA.

Besides objecting to Congress's list of qualifications for FEMA's director, the White House also claimed the right to edit or withhold reports to Congress by a watchdog agency within the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for protecting Americans' personal privacy.

outside the box #74

here is the latest episode of "outside the box," hosted by alex ansary.
it was originally broadcast by portland community media on october 19, 2006.

from alex ansary: In this episode Alex covers a large range of world news including the possibility of war with North Korea. Later the debate rages on over whether this movement is peaceful or not. Alex firmly sets far away from anyone and any caller who has a violent plan in the works.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

more allegations from EPA whistleblower

more allegations from EPA whistleblowerfrom raw story: An Environmental Protection Agency whistleblower who has long argued that her agency failed to issue proper warnings about air quality at the World Trade Center disaster site, has leveled new accusations against the agency...

As Raw Story reported this past August, Cate Jenkins, an EPA biochemist, sent a letter to the New York congressional delegation, alleging that the inconsistent official reports about inhalant alkalinity were part of an intentional cover up by government scientists and officials.

Jenkins' latest sixty-page document, addressed to the acting Inspector General of the EPA, is in large part a compilation of her previous allegations, but also claims to offer new evidence that criminal fraud is to blame.

In the latest report, Jenkins contends that by failing to report that some of the particulates in the air constituted a severe health hazard--and by suppressing the results of tests for the presence of other toxic chemicals--the EPA misled the public about the dire health consequences of remaining near ground zero or participating in the clean-up effort in the days following the attack.

Tens of thousands of cases of lung disease have reportedly resulted from exposure to the smoke and pulverized debris that hovered in the vicinity of the disaster site for months after the towers collapsed.

Earlier this year, federal judge Deborah Batts ruled that then-EPA director Christine Todd Whitman had misled residents and rescuers when she pronounced that the air quality in lower Manhattan met public safety standards and necessitated neither a surgical mask nor a respirator.

John Manibusan, spokesman for the office of the Inspector General, told Raw Story that he had not yet received the complaint, but added, “[Jenkins] has issued a number of complaints to our office, about the World Trade Center and other things. We always take a look at them. In some cases we issue a response. How long that takes depends on a lot of factors.”

Manibusan directed Raw to a 2004 official response to earlier Jenkins allegations of a conflict of interest in the peer review of EPA's assesment of ground-zero health hazards. That investigation found that though the “EPA's Contractor did not inquire whether the three panelists had received funding from industry or had publicly expressed viewpoints on the issues to be reviewed,” they “did not find that the panel's input was biased,” or “that any of the panelists should have been excluded” from participating.

Jenkins' full memorandum may be read here. Jenkins' full memorandum may be read here

german troops in skull photos controversy

german troops in skull photos controversyfrom bbc: Photos apparently showing German troops posing with a skull in Afghanistan have caused outrage in Germany.

The tabloid newspaper Bild, which carried the photos, says they show German troops in Afghanistan in 2003.

On one of the pictures, a soldier is seen holding the skull next to his exposed penis, on another - soldiers pose with the skull on their jeep.

German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed disgust at the photos and said there would be full investigation.

Two possible suspects have already been identified and are being questioned, said army chief of staff General Wolfgang Schneiderhan.

One of suspects was still with the armed forces and the other had left the army, the general said.

"We all saw pictures today that are shocking, that are repugnant and that can be excused by nothing," Chancellor Merkel said.

"The government will investigate the soldiers who played a role and act with full severity," she added.

'Criminal measures'

German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung pledged "disciplinary or even criminal measures" for those involved, if the story was confirmed.

"Anyone who behaves this way has no place in the Bundeswehr [German military]," he added.

The story was given wide coverage on German television on Wednesday.

"We can't use such people in our army," Bernhard Gertz, head of the main organisation representing German troops, said on ARD television channel.

"We must investigate exactly how such degeneration and misbehaviour can happen despite good training and good supervision," he added.


The Bild newspaper did not say how it had obtained the photographs, nor gave any proof of their authenticity.

It is not clear where the skull in the pictures came from, the newspaper admitted, adding that according to a military source it could have been taken from a mass grave.

Germany has about 2,800 troops stationed in Afghanistan within Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

Unlike British, American and Canadian troops, who are fighting the Taleban in the south, the Germans are based in the relative calm of the capital Kabul and in the north of the country.

Last month, the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, voted to extend the mission of the German forces in Afghanistan until October next year because of the worsening security situation there.

cia's travel agent

cia's travel agentfrom new yorker: On the official Web site of Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, there is a section devoted to a subsidiary called Jeppesen International Trip Planning, based in San Jose, California. The write-up mentions that the division “offers everything needed for efficient, hassle-free, international flight operations,” spanning the globe “from Aachen to Zhengzhou.” The paragraph concludes, “Jeppesen has done it all.”

Boeing does not mention, either on its Web site or in its annual report, that Jeppesen’s clients include the C.I.A., and that among the international trips that the company plans for the agency are secret “extraordinary rendition” flights for terrorism suspects. Most of the planes used in rendition flights are owned and operated by tiny charter airlines that function as C.I.A. front companies, but it is not widely known that the agency has turned to a division of Boeing, the publicly traded blue-chip behemoth, to handle many of the logistical and navigational details for these trips, including flight plans, clearance to fly over other countries, hotel reservations, and ground-crew arrangements.

The Bush Administration has defended the clandestine rendition program, which began during the Clinton years, as an effective method of transporting terrorists to countries where they can be questioned or held. Human-rights activists and others have said the program’s primary intent is to send suspects to detention centers where they can be interrogated harshly, and have criticized it as an illegal means of “outsourcing torture.”

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

oregon group to screen 9/11 documentary

from mail tribune: Ken Becker is a bright, educated and progressive fellow who normally scoffs at conspiracy theories.

But the Talent resident isn't scoffing at those who believe the truth has yet to be told about the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Becker, 52, is the founder of "9/11 Truth Now," an independent grassroots group demanding an independent criminal investigation into 9/11.

"I'm open-minded but I'm also skeptical — I'm not a conspiracy theorist," said the married father of two. "I have a family. I have my own business. I'm an Eagle Scout.

"But 9/11 raised so many questions that have never been answered by our government," he added. "I don't know what happened. But I do know we need to find out."

The group is sponsoring the Oregon premiere of "9/11: The Myth and The Reality," a documentary film that will be shown Saturday evening in the performing arts center at Crater High School in Central Point...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

olbermann on gop fearmongering

from crooks & liars: Keith issued arguably his most powerful Special Comment yet tonight. This time he takes on the GOP's newest fearmongering ad which quotes Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri superimposed over pictures of explosions with the sound of a ticking bomb in the background. As if that wasn't enough, it's topped off with the cryptic message echoing LBJ's 1964 "Daisy" ad that ran just once: These are the stakes.

In my opinion, the most important point Keith makes concerns the recent uproar over the video CNN showed this week of a sniper attack on US troops in Iraq. House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter and Congressman Brian Bilbray have come out strong against it calling it a "terrorist snuff film" yet they seem to have no problem with a RNC ad which is really nothing short of a terrorist propaganda film itself.

pelosi gives neocons get out of jail card

from kurt nimmo: Once again, demonstrating there is essentially no difference between Democrats and Republicans, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has told CBS’s 60 Minutes that the war criminal cabal deserves to escape justice. “Wouldn’t they just love it if we came in and our record as Democrats coming forth after 12 years is to talk about George Bush and Dick Cheney? This election is about them. This is a referendum on them. Making them lame ducks is good enough for me.”

According to Pelosi, prosecuting Bush and Cheney for torturing children, killing 650,000 Iraqis, and destroying the United States economy is “off the table.” Of course, this makes sense, as Democrats will continue killing Iraqis and deficit spending the nation into bankruptcy.

Finally, making Bush and Cheney - that is to say, the neocons - lame ducks will add a jolt of adrenalin to the neocon plan to decimate the Muslim and Arab Middle East, lest the neolib faction, under a Democrat president and Congress, go back to its old ways, that is, instead of mass murdering Iranians in one fell swoop, imposing the sort of sanctions levied against Iraq under Clinton, resulting in the slow death of 1.5 million Iraqis, 500,000 of them children.

We can only hope, when the day finally arrives, Nancy Pelosi will be paraded before the world in her stylish orange jumpsuit, along with Bush, Cheney, and the vile neocons.

Monday, October 23, 2006

ex-cia & marine intel officer: 9/11 was an inside job

ex-cia & marine intel officer: 9/11 was an inside jobfrom infowars: An important story that broke over the weekend and may not have been widely picked up was that another former US intelligence insider has turned whistleblower and concedes that the 9/11 attacks represented a "Neoconservative Neo-Nazi Coup D'etat".

In a review of Webster Tarpley's "9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA", for Amazon, Steele contends that the book is the "strongest of the 770+ books I have reviewed." Steele goes on:
"I am forced to conclude that 9/11 was at a minimum allowed to happen as a pretext for war (see my review of Jim Bamford’s “Pretext for War”), and I am forced to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to indict (not necessarily convict) Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and others of a neo-conservative neo-Nazi coup d’etat and kick-off of the clash of civilizations (see my review of “Crossing the Rubicon” as well as "State of Denial"). Most fascinatingly, the author links Samuel Huntington, author of “Clash of Civilizations” with Leo Strauss, the connecting rod between Nazi fascists and the neo-cons."
Steele's biography is impressive. He was the second-ranking civilian (GS-14) in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence from 1988-1992. Steele is a former clandestine services case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.

He is the founder and president of Open Source Solutions, Inc., and is an acknowledged expert on computer and information vulnerabilities. Steele holds graduate degrees in International Relations and Public Administration from Leigh University and the University of Oklahoma. He has also earned certificates in Intelligence Policy from Harvard University and in Defense Studies from the Naval War College.

This is another example of how far the 9/11 truth movement has come over the past year. Before the 2004 election Steele advocated the re-election of George W Bush. Given what he knows now I don't think that would still be the case.

Last month we highlighted how Bill Christison, a 28-year CIA career man, former National Intelligence Officer and the Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis had gone public to say 9/11 was an inside job.

Along with 16 year CIA veteran Ray McGovern, this trio have a combined total of over 65 years in intelligence. It's safe to say they know a covert op when they see one.

Over the past couple of years we have seen a deluge of former government and intelligence agency insiders to boldly go public with their doubts about the official story behind 9/11. This is very encouraging and sets the precedent for future whistleblowers who might be considering the same course of action.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

blair quizzed on bilderberg

blair quizzed on bilderbergfrom infowars: Tony Blair was questioned in the House of Commons yesterday on his involvement with the secretive Bilderberg Group. Liberal Democrat MP, Norman Baker asked Blair to provide a full answer to a previous 12th October question about Bilderberg and whether Mr Blair had had any involvement in Bilderberg Conferences since he became Prime Minister in 1997.

The entry into the House of Commons records is below and can be viewed online here:
Prime Minister
Bilderberg Group
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 12 October 2006, Official Report, column 862W, on the Bilderberg Group, if he will provide the information requested in respect of himself since 1997. [95308]

The Prime Minister: I have not attended any such meetings.
Is Blair telling the truth? Certainly he has lied about previous attendances to Bilderberg meetings, most notably the 1993 conference which he attended before he'd even become leader of his own party. One year after his attendance Blair became leader of the Labour party and a rapid rise to power ensued, culminating in his election as Prime Minister in 1997, baffling many political analysts.

In 1998 an MP asked Blair the same question to which he gave the same answer, that he had never attended a Bilderberg meeting. However, the evidence clearly shows he was there. A number of mainstream media reports, plus the official Bilderberg attendee list, confirm that Blair attended Bilderberg in Athens in 1993. Furthermore , Parliamentary records prove he was there with long term member, and supposed opposition party stalwart Ken Clarke.

Tony Gosling at Bilderberg.org has tirelessly worked to expose the influence that the Bilderberg group has on world events. Here he analyses the incredible rise to power that other Western leaders have experienced after attending Bilderberg meetings.

Norman Baker, the MP who questioned Blair, has recently made waves in British politics by launching into a private, year-long investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly, the scientist who found himself under siege after apparently accusing the government of 'sexing up' the case for war to a BBC journalist.

norman baker disputes kelly 'suicide'Kelly, the UK's leading weapons inspector, was found dead under a tree on Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire after telling associates and friends that he feared that's what would happen to him. An inquiry set up under Lord Hutton duly reported that Dr Kelly had committed suicide. In a brave attempt to reveal the truth, Norman Baker disputes this conclusion.

Baker has also recently suggested that he sees inconsistencies in the official story of the 9/11 attacks.

This year's Bilderberg Conference was held in Ottawa Canada and was covered in depth by Alex Jones and the Infowars team who went through hell and high water to protest and raise awareness of the event.

Bilderberg has a proven history of acting in a kingmaker capacity, yet they are unelected and unaccountable to anyone. Their directives are driven towards undermining national sovereignty and establishing a world order that benefits their elite interests. Both Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were "groomed" by Bilderberg before becoming President and Prime Minister and the mainstream media reported that Bilderberg selected John Edwards as John Kerry's running mate in 2004.

ottawa newspaper covers bilderberg meeting in 2006Further Parliamentary records indicate that the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer attended the Bilderberg conference this year. This is interesting given that Gordon Brown, a man on the verge of becoming the next Prime Minister, attended the Bilderberg Conference when he was shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1991.

A House of Lords minute entry dated 11th October also indicates that an answer is awaited on whether any ministers attended this year's Bilderberg Conference:

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon—To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any Ministers attended the Bilderberg Conference in Ottawa between 8th and 11th June; if so, whether they attended in a Ministerial or private capacity; whether they made contributions to debates; and, if so, on which subjects. [CO] (HL7569)

It seems that some members of The Houses want to know exactly who is attending Bilderberg meetings and in what capacity.

US in secret truce talks with insurgency chiefs

from times online: American officials held secret talks with leaders of the Iraqi insurgency last week after admitting that their two-month clampdown on violence in Baghdad had failed.

Few details of the discussions in the Jordanian capital Amman have emerged but an Iraqi source close to the negotiations said the participants had met for at least two days.

They included members of the Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the main Sunni militias behind the insurgency, and American government representatives. The talks were described as “feeler” discussions. The US officials were exploring ways of persuading the Sunni groups to stop attacks on allied forces and to end a cycle of increasingly bloody sectarian clashes with members of the majority Shi’ite groups.

chemical warfare

from reuters: Israel confirmed on Sunday it had used phosphorous shells, a controversial munition condemned by many human rights groups, during its recent war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

The International Red Cross and other human rights organisations have urged an world ban on the munitions, saying that they cause chemical burns and lead to undue suffering.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed a report in Israel's left-leaning newspaper Haaretz that it has used phosphorous munitions in the 34-day offensive against Hezbollah, which ended in a U.N.-brokered cease-fire on August 14.

"The army made use of phosphorous shells during the recent conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon for the purpose of attacking military targets located in open areas," the Israeli military said in a statement.

"According to international law, the usage of phosphorous ammunition is permitted and the army conforms to international regulations and standards."

The Pentagon has acknowledged using incendiary white-phosphorus munitions in a 2004 assault against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja. It says using them against enemy fighters is legal and not banned by any convention.

Human Rights Watch has also accused Israel of using cluster bombs in populated areas of southern Lebanon during the war, which killed about 1,200 Lebanese and 157 Israelis.

Hezbollah, which fired nearly 4,000 rockets into northern Israel, was also accused by human rights groups of using cluster munitions, which are small bomblets that remain unexploded on the ground.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

simpsons pitch tent in anti-war camp

kang wins hearts & mindsfrom radar online: Anyone who thinks Hollywood is run by a liberal cabal won't change his mind after watching The Simpsons' annual Halloween special. The episode, which airs Nov. 5, concludes with an Iraq war satire that may rank as the most pointed political statement the show has ever made. In the segment, aliens invade Springfield to prevent mankind from obtaining "weapons of mass disintegration," but their mission, called "Operation Enduring Occupation," turns into a quagmire. "You said we would be greeted as liberators!" accuses one alien.

"We were looking for an ending to the episode, and it just kind of suggested itself," says Simpsons executive producer Al Jean. "I'd like to take credit for being adventuresome, but I think we're expressing a viewpoint 69 percent of the country agrees with."

Perhaps - but in the past, the show's writers have usually been careful to maintain an ironic distance from the hot-button issues they've tackled, including abortion and evolution. The Halloween segment, in contrast, feels remarkably earnest, right up to its final line: "This sure is a lot like Iraq will be." That line may not make it to the air; some of the writers want it cut, says Jean, though not because it's politically loaded. "The debate is whether people already get it and we're being too obvious," he adds.

springfield ... or baghdad?Jean makes no apologies for the sobering tone of the segment: "When you read the headlines, it's just so sad for everybody over there."

He says there was little concern about alienating conservative viewers, and no interference from Fox (whose conservative corporate chairman, Rupert Murdoch, has lately been accused of drifting to the left). "They didn't have any objection to this," he says.

In fact, he says, if The Simpsons doesn't weigh in on more political controversies, it's partly because it takes a full year for a script to get filmed and broadcast. "It's actually a good inner check on us."

Friday, October 20, 2006

remember the eisenhower!

remember the eisenhower!from chris floyd: On October 21, a U.S. naval battle group led by the USS Eisenhower will arrive in the Gulf of Hormuz, just off the coast of Iran. There is every good likelihood that such a deliberately provocative act will lead to what will be termed as an Iranian attack on an American vessel. This Tonkin-like incident will be used as the justification for a U.S. military strike against Iran – or alternatively, for a mighty rattling of American sabers at the perfidious Persians that stokes war fever and "rally-round-the-flag" sentiment but falls short of an actual attack at that time. This flashpoint – however it is expoited – will occur some time in the brief interim between the arrival of the Eisenhower group and the U.S. elections on November 5.

Such a scenario is not a sure thing, of course, and this is not a prophecy. It's simply an assessment of the possibilities of the situation, based on the well-established history of the American use of highly convenient "provocations" – of whatever provenance – to launch politically expedient military actions, and on the Bush Administration's record of manipulating the nation into unnecessary wars, along with the highly public calls of some of its most influential members and advisors for a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear program or a full-blown "regime change" action.

Also not to be discounted is the Administration's proven penchant for initiating stupid, murderous policies that deeply harm the interests and security of the United States – but goose the poll numbers for George W. Bush and fill the coffers of his war-profiteering cronies.

In any event, the Eisenhower group will still be there after the election: a hair-trigger waiting to be pulled whenever the time is ripe.

(Dave Lindorff has been all over this story at The Nation and our own Atlantic Free Press.)

after pat's birthday

Pat Tillman (left) and his brother Kevin in Iraq in 2003from truthdig: (Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.)

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

remains found at WTC

remains found at WTCfrom cnn: Human remains that appear to be from World Trade Center victims were found by utility workers in a manhole at the northern edge of the site, a Port Authority official said Thursday.

A Consolidated Edison crew doing excavation of the manhole at street level found the remains, some as big as arm or leg bones, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.

Con Ed said it entered the site Wednesday to remove material from two manholes that had been damaged and abandoned after the 2001 collapse of the twin towers.

Crews hauled the excavated materials Wednesday to a work center more than a mile away, as is customary, Con Edison said. On Thursday morning, a contractor working for the Port Authority realized the materials contained remains, Con Edison spokesman Chris Olert said, and the medical examiner's office was contacted.

Five years after 2,749 people died in the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, families of about 1,150 victims still do not know whether their loved ones' remains were recovered.

During the excavation of the 110-story twin towers, which began the evening of the attacks and lasted for nine months, about 20,000 pieces of human remains were found. The DNA in thousands of those pieces, many small enough to slip into a test tube, was too damaged by heat, humidity and time to yield matches in the many tests forensic scientists have tried over the years.

The city told victims' families last year that it was putting the project of making identifications on hold, possibly for years, until new DNA technology was developed. Last month, the company contracted to work on the bone fragments said advances had been made and new identifications would be forthcoming.

Besides the new remains found by the utility workers, the lab also has recently received hundreds of bone fragments discovered on the roof of a building just south of where the trade center had stood. The building had been condemned since the attacks and was about to be torn down when workers found the bone pieces.

Charles Wolf, whose wife Katherine's remains were never recovered, said he wants an independent party to take over the remains search. He showed up at the Con Edison site after being contacted by television stations Thursday.

"We've got a problem right now," Wolf said. "Where else are we going to find them next?"

state dept's official misinformation

from online journal: The US State Dept.'s “countermisinformation” office headed by Todd Leventhal is the subject of a nationally syndicated article originally published in the Hartford Courant, and reprinted in major papers, including the San Francisco Chronicle.

Leventhal, and the Bush administration’s “truth ministry” (the US State Department "Identifying Misinformation" Web Site) was previously exposed by Wayne Madsen as a shameless attack and cover-up apparatus. Madsen himself is the target of many of Leventhal’s attacks.

Since Madsen’s 1995 expose, Leventhal’s ministry has obviously remained busy.

Among Leventhal's current targets, all of which he concludes (as an official asset of the US government) are myths:
  • 9/11 "conspiracy theories"
  • US plans to invade Venezuela
  • US creation of Osama bin Laden
Historians, investigators, journalists, researchers and academics know full well that a great number of Leventhal’s targeted items, notably the above, are not myths, "urban legends" or "conspiracy theories," but fact, proven by official US government documents and credible mainstream news reports.

The site identifies what issues this administration considers threatening enough to "debunk" - i.e. cover up, deny, and discredit. It identifies groups and individuals that the government wishes to undermine.

It is also no surprise that Leventhal’s office has resorted to a familiar trick: lump genuine facts and real history into one cesspool along with bad, genuinely "crackpot" material, so that the important facts and real history are flushed down the pipe. Anything deemed to be damaging to the image of the US government is fair game. This includes documented facts.

The site goes out of its way, for instance, to label John Perkins' book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, a work of fiction. The book details how Perkins sabotaged the economies of various nations while in the employ of the National Security Agency.

Perkins responded to the State Department’s web site:
"Their mission statement is a lie. So when they use their mission statement to say my book is a lie, I think it speaks for itself."

The very existence of this “truth ministry” speaks volumes about what this country has become, and how low this administration has stooped. Again, see the original expose by Wayne Madsen.

The government has devoted an enormous apparatus (which includes the State Department, the CIA, a corporate media, a corrupted educational system, and more) to control what you think, openly manipulate reality, and cover up its malfeasance.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

publishers are so screwed

publishers are so screwedfrom ad jab: Ad revenue is down at both Tribune Co. and the New York Times.

Ad revenue is down at the parent company of the Chicago Sun Times.

Ad revenue is down at Scripps and only up due to a technicality at McClatchy.

judge orders cheney visitor logs opened

from ap/my way news: A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President Dick Cheney's office and personal residence, an order that could spark a late election season debate over lobbyists' White House access.

The Washington Post asked for two years of White House visitor logs in June but the Secret Service refused to process the request. Government attorneys called it "a fishing expedition into the most sensitive details of the vice presidency."

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ruled Wednesday that, by the end of next week, the Secret Service must produce the records or at least identity them and justify why they are being withheld.

The newspaper sought logs for anyone visiting Cheney, his legal counsel, chief spokesman and other top aides and advisers.

The Secret Service had no comment on the ruling Thursday. In court documents, government attorneys said releasing the documents would infringe on Cheney's ability to seek advice.

"This case is about protecting the effective functioning of the vice presidency under the Constitution," attorneys wrote.

A lawsuit over similar records revealed last month that Republican activists Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed - key figures in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal - landed more than 100 meetings inside the Bush White House.

The Post cited those records, which were released to the Democratic Party and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, as evidence that the documents should be released.

flashback: papers show bush allies inside access

olbermann: your words are lies, sir

from crooks & liars: Keith Olbermann has been calling it like it is. His "Special Comments" are indeed special because no other talking head outside of Cafferty is willing to step up to the plate and say what needs to be said on 24/7. "Your words are lies, Sir. They are lies, that imperil us all." Sounds about right to me.

read a full transcript here

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

could an "october surprise" shape the midterm election?

could an 'october surprise' shape the midterm election?from reuters/yahoo: A last-minute "October surprise" - a dramatic news event that shakes up the U.S. election - could be a big wild card in the final three weeks of the fight for control of Congress.

With Democrats threatening to sweep Republicans out of power in Congress in the November 7 elections, a late-breaking foreign crisis, terrorist attack or a new scandal could change the debate and shape the ultimate outcome.

The possibilities are numerous, as President George W. Bush juggles multiple foreign threats like North Korea's nuclear tests, Iran's nuclear ambitions and civil war in Iraq, along with mushrooming Republican scandals at home.

"There is a huge potential for some sort of October surprise that changes the dynamic, something that reminds everyone just how unstable the world is," pollster John Zogby said.

the collapse of hostage negotiations with IranThe October surprise has a long history in U.S. political campaigns, from the collapse of hostage negotiations with Iran before President Jimmy Carter's 1980 loss to Ronald Reagan to the airing of an Osama bin Laden video before President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004.

The phenomenon is not as prevalent in congressional elections, which involve a collection of individual races and are not as focused on a single event. This year, Democrats must pick up 15 seats in the House of Representatives and six Senate seats to win control of Congress.

the death of democratic sen. paul wellstoneIn the last midterm elections, in 2002, the plane crash death of Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota little more than a week before the vote threw his Senate race into chaos. Republican Norm Coleman beat replacement Democrat Walter Mondale, the former vice president.

But the potential for a campaign-shaping event in the final weeks remains a topic of intense speculation.

"We are wary of their October surprise," said New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate Democratic campaign committee, which he said was keeping campaign money in reserve for late emergencies.

While most late-breaking events are beyond the control of politicians, plenty of conspiracy theorists expect the White House to make a late attempt to halt Democratic momentum.


"It should come as no surprise if the Bush administration undertakes a pre-emptive war against Iran sometime before the November election," Gary Hart, a former Democratic senator and presidential candidate, predicted last month on the Huffington Post, an Internet site.

the man imagined to be pulling the strings on an october surpriseIn many scenarios, the man imagined to be pulling the strings on an October surprise is White House political adviser Karl Rove, the architect of Bush's 2004 re-election.

"Karl Rove wouldn't be earning his pay if he didn't try something that would benefit the White House," said Larry Sabato, a political analyst at the University of Virginia.

Early speculation about a late surprise to benefit Republicans focused on troop pullouts in Iraq, but that has been off the table for months. Another favorite, a plunge in gasoline prices, already happened to little apparent effect.

One Web site ran a contest to pick the most likely October surprise, with the winner being "Iran totally had it coming." The capture or death of bin Laden is another favorite.

Democrats already benefited from a sex scandal involving ex-Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican. News of a federal investigation into Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania will make his re-election more difficult.

lbj halted bombing of north vietnamThe October surprise phenomenon surfaced in 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson halted bombing of North Vietnam a week before the 1968 election. It was not enough to help his vice president, Hubert Humphrey, beat Richard Nixon.

bush's 1976 drunken driving arrestIn 2000, Bush's 1976 drunken driving arrest became public days before the election. Bush narrowly lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore but won the Electoral College after the U.S. Supreme Court halted a dispute over votes in Florida.

For those running campaigns, though, strategy and voter turnout efforts trump concerns about a late surprise.

"There is nothing you can do. If something happens, then we'll worry about it," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the House Republican campaign committee.
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