Wednesday, January 31, 2007

'aqua teen' bomber scare

'aqua teen' bomber scarefrom boston herald: A guerilla marketing campaign for a popular adult cartoon thrust Boston into pandemonium today as at least 10 bombs scares turned out to be battery-operated ads strategically place around the city, the Herald has learned.

Federal, state and local police swarmed around the city as reports poured in of suspicious devices, closing roads, tunnels and bridges for hours.

The chaos touched off a traffic nightmare and prompted a tense press conference from Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who assured residents the matter was under control. Fears of a possible terrorist act were quelled when it was determined the devices were part of an underground advertising campaign for the Cartoon Network TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." ...

"The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim’s animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They have been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger," said a statement by Turner Broadcasting, which also owns CNN.

germany issues cia arrest orders

germany issues cia arrest ordersfrom bbc: Germany has ordered the arrest of 13 suspected CIA agents over the alleged kidnapping of one of its citizens.

Munich prosecutors confirmed that the warrants were linked to the case of Khaled al-Masri, a German national of Lebanese descent.

Mr Masri says he was seized in Macedonia, flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan and mistreated there.

He says he was released in Albania five months later when the Americans realised they had the wrong man.

Mr Masri says his case is an example of the US policy of "extraordinary rendition" - a practice whereby the US government flies foreign terror suspects to third countries without judicial process for interrogation or detention.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

outside the box #86

here is the latest episode of "outside the box," hosted by alex ansary.
it was originally broadcast by portland community media on january 25, 2007.

from alex ansary: Wide open lines this evening as Alex discusses a few current developments with China, the situation with Iran, and other world news. Later, the Stanley Milgram experiement of 1963 was explained.

wyden: 'stop arming iran'

wyden: 'stop arming iran'from ap/yahoo: The Pentagon said Tuesday it had stopped selling surplus F-14 parts, announcing the step after congressional criticism of security weaknesses that had given buyers for countries including Iran access to the aircraft parts and other valuable gear.

Sales of parts from the recently retired fleet were halted last Friday, Defense Logistics Agency spokesman Jack Hooper said, adding that marketing of the parts will remain suspended until a "comprehensive review" is completed. He did not immediately elaborate.

The decision comes as a Democratic senator moves to cut off all Pentagon sales of surplus F-14 parts, saying the military's marketing of the spares "defies common sense" in light of their importance to Iran.

Sen. Ron Wyden's bill came in response to an investigation by The Associated Press that found weaknesses in surplus-sale security that allowed buyers for countries including Iran and China to surreptitiously obtain sensitive U.S. military equipment including Tomcat parts.

The Oregon Democrat's legislation would ban the Defense Department from selling surplus F-14 parts and prohibit buyers who have already acquired surplus Tomcat parts from exporting them. Wyden's bill, the Stop Arming Iran Act, is co-sponsored by the Senate's No. 2 lawmaker, Democratic Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois.

The surplus sales are one of the first national security issues to be addressed by the new Democratic-controlled Congress.

flashback: weapons for iran & china traced to pentagon

fbi turns to broad new wiretap method

fbi turns to broad new wiretap methodfrom zdnet: The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed.

Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.

Such a technique is broader and potentially more intrusive than the FBI's Carnivore surveillance system, later renamed DCS1000. It raises concerns similar to those stirred by widespread Internet monitoring that the National Security Agency is said to have done, according to documents that have surfaced in one federal lawsuit, and may stretch the bounds of what's legally permissible.

bush directive increases sway on regulation

from ap/nytimes: President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president’s priorities.

This strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts. It suggests that the administration still has ways to exert its power after the takeover of Congress by the Democrats...

Peter L. Strauss, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the executive order “achieves a major increase in White House control over domestic government.”

Having lost control of Congress,” Mr. Strauss said, “the president is doing what he can to increase his control of the executive branch.”

Sunday, January 28, 2007

news on the march

ohio poll workers convicted
ohio poll workers convictedfrom la times: Two election workers were convicted Wednesday of rigging a recount of the 2004 presidential election to avoid a more thorough review in Ohio's most populous county... Ohio gave President Bush the electoral votes he needed to defeat Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry in the close election and hold on to the White House in 2004.

israel 'may have' violated
cluster bomb agreement
from daily kos: As with other promises Israeli governments have made to the U.S., in return for billions of economic and military aid each year, such as promises regarding settlement activity in the occupied west bank and the use of F-16 helicopters Israel has felt free to disregard agreements regarding the use of cluster bombs sold to it by the U.S.

the 'wipe israel off the map' hoax
the 'wipe israel off the map' hoaxfrom paul joseph watson: ...The Guardian's Jonathan Steele cites four different translations, from professors to the BBC to the New York Times and even pro-Israel news outlets, in none of those translations is the word "map" used. The closest translation to what the Iranian President actually said is, "The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time," or a narrow relative thereof. In no version is the word "map" used or a context of mass genocide or hostile military action even hinted at.

poppy bush complains of media 'hostility'
poppy bush complains of media 'hostility'from reuters: President George W. Bush's father accused the news media of "personal animosity" toward his son and said he found the criticism so unrelenting he sometimes talked back to his television set.

"It's one thing to have an adversarial ... relationship -- hard-hitting journalism -- it's another when the journalists' rhetoric goes beyond skepticism and goes over the line into overt, unrelenting hostility and personal animosity," former President George Bush said.

9/11 myth is explicit basis of all the wars

9/11 myth is explicit basis of all the warsfrom webster tarpley: Bush’s bedrock motivation for this pattern of lunatic escalation is the racist, militarist, and fascist offi cial explanation of the events of September 11, 2001, especially as codified in the discredited Kean-Hamilton 9/11 commission report. The premise of Bush’s argument in his escalation speech is this: “On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.” A few days later, Dick Cheney evoked the official nightmare vision of 9/11 in when he told an interviewer that legislators who want to cut the funding for the Iraq adventure are playing into the hands of Bin Laden and al Qaeda. Senator Lieberman, the most extreme Democratic warmonger, cited the official 9/11 myth not once but twice when he appeared on Meet the Press the Sunday after Bush’s speech...

Peace activists often ask why the 9/11 truth movement insists on making the truth about terrorist a central component of anti-war agitation. One answer is that we bring up 9/11 frequently because Bush and Cheney do – they incessantly parrot slogans about the “global war on terror” and “the lessons of 9/11.” ... There can be no doubt that 9/11 is the foundation of Bush’s castle of warmonger lying – the fountainhead, motivation, and legitimation of the entire policy of unilateral aggression. To ignore the centrality of 9/11 to Bush’s every move is like trying to fight Hitler without mentioning anti-Semitism. Attacks on Bush that do not include 9/11 truth are simply impotent, and will not be effective.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

bush denies preparing attack against iran

from financial times: George W. Bush on Friday sought to deny widespread rumours his administration was preparing some kind of military action against Iran. Mr Bush confirmed a report in Friday’s Washington Post that he had authorised US troops to shoot and kill Iranian operatives in Iraq, but denied this was a prelude to stronger action.

We believe we can solve our problems with Iran diplomatically,” said the US president. “It makes sense that if somebody is trying to harm our troops, or stop us from achieving our goal, or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, that we will stop them.”

But the US president’s relatively emollient comments are unlikely to quell speculation about the reasons behind the recent escalation of White House rhetoric towards Iran. In his prime time address on the new way forward in Iraq two weeks ago, Mr Bush pledged to “interrupt the flow of support [for extremists in Iraq] from Iran and Syria...We will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”

In his State of the Union address to the joint houses of Congress on Tuesday, he lumped Iran with al-Qaeda. “It has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who...take direction from the regime in Iran. The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat.”

Last week, Mr Bush ordered a second US aircraft carrier to the Gulf and the deployment of more Patriot missiles in US military bases there. Richard Haass, former head of policy planning at the State Department in the first Bush administration, said the US president was leaving both the diplomatic and military option open...

Meanwhile, in a short statement to commemorate International Holocaust Day on Friday, Iran was the only country Mr Bush cited by name: “Remembering the victims, heroes, and lessons of the Holocaust is particularly important today as Holocaust denial continues, urged on by the Iranian regime, which perversely seeks to call into question the historical fact of the Nazis’ campaign of mass murder,” he said.

andy griffith vs. patriot act

from boing boing: Sheriff Andy Taylor lectures Opie on the ethical and legal issues around unauthorized eavesdropping in this clip from the Andy Griffith Show. Link (Thanks, Jason Schultz!)

Reader comments: Guilherme Roschke from says:
I shared the video with my colleagues here at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. With some digging, one of my colleagues figured out that this show aired on October 30, 1967.

That's two weeks after the Supreme Court heard the oral arguments in Katz vs. United States. The FBI had tapped a phone booth without a warrant, and convicted a gambler based on that. The Katz court overturned the conviction, stating that the 4th amendment prohibits this sort of a wiretap without a warrant.

tens of thousands protest war in DC

tens of thousands protest war in DCfrom ap/my way: Protesters energized by fresh congressional skepticism about the Iraq war demanded a withdrawal of U.S. troops in a demonstration Saturday that drew tens of thousands and brought Jane Fonda back to the streets.

A sampling of celebrities, a half dozen members of Congress and busloads of demonstrators from distant states joined in a spirited rally under a sunny sky, seeing opportunity to press their cause in a country that has turned against the war.

Standing on her toes to reach the microphone, 12-year-old Moriah Arnold told the crowd: "Now we know our leaders either lied to us or hid the truth. Because of our actions, the rest of the world sees us as a bully and a liar."

The sixth-grader from Harvard, Mass., the youngest speaker on the National Mall stage, organized a petition drive at her school against the war.

Friday, January 26, 2007

9/11 police hero dies awaiting lung transplant

9/11 police hero dies awaiting lung transplant
from raw story: A retired New York police officer, who was recognized as a hero for his service in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, has passed away while awaiting a lung transplant.

Ceasar Borja, Sr., who was known for pulling 16 hour shifts in the vicinity of the World Trade Center, developed the "WTC cough" shortly after his retirement from the police force. He died on Tuesday night, just before his son, Ceasar, Jr., was a guest of Senator Hillary Clinton at the State of the Union address. Borja, Jr., is seeking to become a voice for those with health needs related to the aftermath of the collapse of the towers.

flashback: nun dies from 9/11 dust
flashback: lung problems rife among wtc responders

new mexico lawmakers call for impeachment

from ap: Two New Mexico lawmakers have introduced a measure calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

State Sens. John Grubesic of Santa Fe and Gerald Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque, both Democrats, said the resolution is a serious effort to try to trigger impeachment proceedings.

New Mexico, where lawmakers are meeting until March 17, would be the first state to pass the resolution, they said.

The measure alleges that Bush and Cheney conspired with others to intentionally mislead Congress and the public about the threat posed by Iraq in order to justify the war.

It also cites the administration's warrantless wiretapping program and alleges the torture of prisoners and the denial of constitutional rights to enemy combatants.

"This is not a publicity stunt," Ortiz y Pino told a cheering crowd at a rally at the Capitol on Tuesday. "This is action that we can take, and it's an opening for the citizens to act."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

maine revolts against digital US ID card

maine revolts against digital US ID cardfrom reuters: Maine lawmakers on Thursday became the first in the nation to demand repeal of a federal law tightening identification requirements for drivers' licenses, a post-September 11 security measure that states say will cost them billions of dollars to administer.

Maine lawmakers passed a resolution urging repeal of the Real ID Act, which would create a national digital identification system by 2008. The lawmakers said it would cost Maine about $185 million, fail to boost security and put people at greater risk of identity theft.

Maine's resolution is the strongest stand yet by a state against the law, which Congress passed in May 2004 and gave states three years to implement. Similar repeal measures are pending in eight other states.

david lynch questions 9/11 on national radio

Iconoclastic director of upcoming Inland Empire, Twin Peaks & The Elephant Man says there's "more than meets the eye" to what people saw on September 11

david lynch questions 9/11 on national radiofrom propaganda matrix: Iconoclastic film director David Lynch has publicly questioned the official story of 9/11 on national U.S. radio, joining the Alex Jones Show to reiterate views that he first raised on Dutch television in December.

Lynch has directed a host of popular movies and television favorites, including Eraserhead, Dune, The Elephant Man and Mulholland Drive. He was also the creative force behind the Twin Peaks television series in the 80s. Lynch is currently enjoying rave reviews for his latest release Inland Empire.

When asked about his controversial and courageous comments during the Dutch TV piece which can be viewed below, Lynch stated, "I knew they were gonna bring it up and you saw what I said, we are all light detectives, human beings are all light detectives - we look at our world and we keep looking at it and we get these feelings that there's more going on than meets the eye."

"As far as 9/11 goes there's things we saw that conjure questions and wondering and something doesn't seem quite right so it makes us wonder and the next step is we need answers," said Lynch.

Lynch noted that there were numerous inconsistencies in the official story in stating, "There's questions arising from each of the events of that day and I don't have the answers."

"When you see that does it make you wonder about things, does it seem that what we were told actually happened - it just makes me wonder - I see things that don't add up, I have questions," said the director.

Lynch characterized 9/11 as just a surface problem, a symptom of a deeper fault the solution of which lies within us all.

"The ocean of solutions is within," said Lynch, "enliven that."

"It's a world of clues, a world of mystery but the mystery can get solved, you can find a lot of answers for these things within."

Lynch encouraged more high profile figures to go public on 9/11 as a means of raising mass awareness to the issue. Off-air he told Alex Jones that Charlie Sheen was the victim of an obvious attempted smear campaign after he went public on his doubts about the official 9/11 story in March 2006. Of Sheen's bravery in putting his career on the line to stand up for truth, Lynch stated "If people have questions then they have the right in this country to raise the questions."

Lynch encouraged listeners to cast of the fear generated by the perils of the modern world and have confidence that they can affect change.

"There's so many problems in our world, so much negativity - don't worry about the darkness, turn on the light and darkness automatically goes. Ramp up the light of unity within - help do that for yourself, help do that for the world and then we're really doing something, we're doing something that brings that light of unity."

"Let's start working on peace, real peace, dynamic peace for the world," said Lynch.

Appearing on Dutch Television on VPRO's Wereldgasten, on December 3rd 2006, Lynch discussed the context of clips from Dylan Avery's groundbreaking 9/11 documentary Loose Change.

After a four minute segment from the documentary was aired Lynch stated, "It's not so much what thy say, it's the things that make you look at what you thought you saw in a different light. And those things for me, that bother me, is the hole in the Pentagon being too small for a plane, the lawn isn't messed up, and the government's not showing the plane hitting when many cameras photographed it."

"At the World Trade Center, three buildings came down, like demolitions, and two of them were hit by a plane, but the third one they said "do you want us to pull it?" and they pulled it and it looked just like the other two. Those things bother me," said Lynch.

"In Pennsylvania, the plane that went down, there was just a hole in the ground, there wasn't any wreckage,there wasn't any skid marks, there wasn't any tear in the earth, and no one has ever really found out about that."

"So every place there's questions, coming from this documentary," said Lynch, "You don't have to believe everything in the documentary to still have questions come up... and you look back and you remember what you saw, and what you were told, and now, you have questions."

When asked "What about suggestions the American government was behind it?" Lynch answered, "That's too big for people to think about. it's too big. It's like something no one wants to think about."

Click here to listen to Alex Jones' interview with David Lynch.

flashback: lynch & brolin question 9/11

scalia: 'get over' 2000 recount

scalia: 'get over' 2000 recountfrom raw story: Several Supreme Court Justices have recently defended their intervention in the Bush v. Gore case that handed the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000. Sitting Justice Antonin Scalia responded to critics of the decision by telling them to 'get over it,' according to the report by the Associated Press.

AP reporter Mark Sherman brought together comments from two current and one retired Supreme Court Justice on the highly controversial 2000 case. In a recent address at Iona College, Justice Scalia told an audience that it was time for people to stop complaining about the case. "It's water over the deck — get over it," Scalia said to laughs in the audience.

Sitting Justice Anthony Kennedy and his retired colleague Sandra Day O'Connor also said that the Supreme Court had no choice but to intervene in the case. "A no-brainer! A state court deciding a federal constitutional issue about the presidential election? Of course you take the case," Kennedy told Jan Crawford Greenburg, an ABC News correspondent in the book Supreme Conflict.

O'Connor is reported to have said that the Court could have made a better decision if it had more time, though she pointed to some studies showing that Candidate Bush might have prevailed if the recount had only proceeded in counties where former Vice President Al Gore initially challenged the tally.

In the Bush v. Gore decision, the Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Florida Supreme Court to proceed with a recount. The decision handed the state's electoral votes to Bush, resulting in his election.

The full AP article can be found at this link.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

bush speech terror claim debunked a year ago

Just one of many State of the Union lies, following in the tradition of the 2003 yellowcake fraud, Bush commits an impeachable offense by knowingly lying to the American people

bush speech terror claim debunked a year agofrom paul joseph watson: A claim made by President Bush in his State of the Union speech last night, that an attack on an L.A. skyscraper had been averted, was universally debunked as a hoax by Mayors, CIA, FBI and NSA personnel and counter-terror experts nearly a year ago when it first surfaced. By regurgitating this fraud, Bush has committed an impeachable offense by knowingly lying to the American people.

Bush's address was punctuated with deception, horse hockey and propagandistic drivel throughout, again reinforcing a characteristic that was born in 2003 when Bush told the nation that Iraq had sought to buy uranium from Niger, a claim the CIA had informed the administration was based on falsified documents ten months before it was included in the speech.

Amidst the cacophony of bullshit came this belter.

"We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast."

According to numerous public officials, terror experts and intelligence personnel, this is simply not true.

Bush's is referring to an announcement made on February 9th last year in which he made the claim that an Al-Qaeda plan to fly a plane into the LA Library Tower was thwarted in 2002. The release of the news that the plot had been prevented by means of tapping terrorist suspect's phones was politically timed to coincide with the start of legal hearings on the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

Fox "News," the White House's PR mouthpiece, immediately began showing footage from the movie Independence Day, in which the famous tower is destroyed.

bush speech terror claim debunked a year agoHours after the announcement, the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, went public with comments of his absolute bewilderment concerning the alleged plot.

"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't expect a call from the president — but somebody."

The day after the announcement, twenty three separate intelligence experts, all with either CIA, FBI, NSA or military credentials, both in and out of service, angrily disputed Bush's remarks about the alleged L.A. plot, with one going as far as saying that the President was "full of shit."

Another described the claims as “worthless intel that was discarded long ago.

A New York Times story cited "several counter-terrorism officials" as saying that "the plot never progressed past the planning stages.... 'To take that and make it into a disrupted plot is just ludicrous,' said one senior FBI official."

The New York Daily News cited another senior counterterrorism official who said: "There was no definitive plot. It never materialized or got past the thought stage."

The Washington Post also dismissed the alleged plot as nothing more than talk, noting that no actual attack plan had been thwarted.

bush speech terror claim debunked a year agoThe LA attack plot arose from the same discredited informant who said that Washington and New York financial institutions were being targeted, which led the White House to raise the terror alert right as the 2004 election campaign was beginning.

"The President has cheapened the entire intelligence community by dragging us into his fantasy world," said a veteran field operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. "He is basing this absurd claim on the same discredited informant who told us Al Qaeda would attack selected financial institutions in New York and Washington."

In June 2004 John Pistole, the FBI's counterterrorism director, said he was "not sure what [the CIA] was referring to," after a CIA counterterrorism official who testified under the alias "Ted Davis" said that the US had prevented aviation attacks against the east and west coast.

Questions were raised at the White House press briefing as to the noticeably convenient announcement of a four year old alleged foiled plot in relation to the furore about domestic spying.

"But is it just a coincidence? You had February 6th circled on the calendar for the hearings, the NSA hearings. Is it just a pure coincidence that this comes out today?" asked one journalist.

"Scott, I wanted to just ask a follow-up about the LA plot. Is there something missing from this story, a practical application, a few facts? Because if you want to commandeer a plane and fly it into a tower, if you used shoe bombs, wouldn't you blow off the cockpit? Or is there something missing from this story?" asked another.

There was indeed a great deal missing from this story in that it was nothing more than hot air manufactured by the Bush administration at the most politically expedient time, a psychological fraud unleashed on the public in order to silence critics of the illegal NSA surveillance spying program.

Bush has again committed the impeachable offense of knowingly lying to the American people in regurgitating the debunked plot in last night's State of the Union address.

e. howard hunt dead at 88

e. howard hunt dead at 88from raw story: E. Howard Hunt, an enigmatic figure in 20th-century American political subterfuge, has died at age 88, the Associated Press is reporting.

Hunt, who had a key role in the Watergate Hotel break-in that led to the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon, "succumbed after a lengthy bout of pneumonia," the AP quoted his son, Austin.

Aside from his part in Watergate, Hunt was a World War II veteran, longtime officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, and a prolific author of spy novels.

According to an online biography, "In 1951, he hired William F. Buckley, Jr. as a CIA agent working within the Mexican student movement. Buckley and Hunt remained life-long friends."

Earlier this month, RAW STORY reported on Hunt's upcoming book, in which he speculates that President Lyndon Johnson "may have played a role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy." Hunt was often implicated by conspiracy theorists as having a part himself in the assassination.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

giuliani to exploit support from 9/11 victims

from newsmax: Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s supporters have begun discussions with relatives of 9/11 victims about participating in his campaign if he runs for president in 2008.

One relative, Marian Fontana – who lost her firefighter husband on 9/11 – told the New York Post that she got an invitation to attend a Giuliani exploratory committee dinner last week from an ex-firefighter working with the committee.

Lee Ielpi, who lost his son in the terrorist attacks, said he talked about supporting Giuliani with Larry Levy, who ran the Twin Towers Fund and now works at Giuliani’s consulting firm.

"I admire what he accomplished in the city,” he told the Post. "And then 9/11 just brought out to the world . . . how strong a man he is.”

Ielpi added that he is "more than confident” Giuliani is capable of running the country.

It’s unclear what role the victims’ relatives might play in a Giuliani campaign. But some relatives are expected to be critical of Giuliani, blaming him for communications failures on the day of the attacks and charging that he didn’t do enough to protect rescue and recovery workers from polluted air at the scene, according to the Post, which notes that pro-Giuliani kin "could help Giuliani counter that criticism.”

Monday, January 22, 2007

bush readies state of the union address

bush readies state of the union addressfrom national post: President George W. Bush will be walking into the lion’s den tonight when he delivers his annual state of the union address to a joint session of Congress.

Not only will he be face a sea of Democrats who have made it plain they will fight the president’s plan to escalate U.S troop levels in Iraq. Bush will also have to face a growing and worrisome number of Republicans who say they will oppose the president on Iraq.

Even as he put the final touches on a speech aimed at building American support for a troop surge in Iraq, Bush learned Monday that a group of senior Republican senators will introduce their own resolution condemning the deploying an additional 21,500 soldiers...

White House press secretary Tony Snow gamely tried to spin the 2007 speech in advance as Bush’s best ever.

"It's like looking at a drawer full of diamonds," Snow said, provoking laughter from reporters who had asked him to provide early highlights. "It's difficult to figure out which is the best."

US unwittingly evolved superpathogen

US unwittingly evolved superpathogenfrom raw story: A drug-resistant bacteria that is infecting wounded US soldiers in Iraq - and has spread to civilian hospitals in parts of Europe - accidentally evolved in US military hospitals in Iraq, Wired Magazine will report in a massive expose on Monday, RAW STORY has learned.

The full story is now available here.

The several thousand word expose is set to bring uncomfortable new light to the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii that Pentagon officials previously said was likely a product of Iraqi soil.

"By creating the most heroic and efficient means of saving lives in the history of warfare, the Pentagon had accidentally invented a machine for accelerating bacterial evolution and was airlifting the pathogens halfway around the world," the magazine reveals.

federal workers owe billions in unpaid taxes

from wtop: As the 2006 tax season approaches, the federal government is still trying to recover nearly $3 billion from its own employees who failed to file income tax returns for 2005.

More than 450,000 active and retired federal employees did not voluntarily comply with federal income tax requirements for the 2005 tax year, according to documents obtained by WTOP through the Freedom of Information Act.

The total balance owed is $2,799,950,165.

The documents show that every federal agency has employees who failed to comply with federal tax laws.

news on the march

leading senator assails bush over iran stance
leading senator assails bush over iran stancefrom new york times: The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday sharply criticized the Bush administration’s increasingly combative stance toward Iran, saying that White House efforts to portray it as a growing threat are uncomfortably reminiscent of rhetoric about Iraq before the American invasion of 2003... “To be quite honest, I’m a little concerned that it’s Iraq again,” Senator Rockefeller said during an interview in his office. “This whole concept of moving against Iran is bizarre.”

'NY money people’ pushing war with iran
from jewish daily forward: Retired general Wesley Clark drew harsh criticism this week after reportedly saying that “New York money people” are pushing America into a war against Iran. By Tuesday, Clark, a past and likely future Democratic candidate for president, was working to assure Jewish groups that he was in no way attempting to advance an antisemitic conspiracy theory. But the controversy still had Jewish organizations bracing for a new wave of claims that they are the driving force behind any future military strikes against Tehran.

bush orders more cia activity in venezuela

from venezuelanalysis: During a briefing before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Intelligence, current CIA chief General Michael V. Hayden revealed President George W. Bush had requested his agency “pay more attention” to the activities of President Hugo Chávez and his government in Venezuela.

lying like it's 2003

from new york times: Those who forget history may be doomed to repeat it, but who could imagine we'd already be in danger of replaying that rotten year 2003? ... This time we must do what too few did the first time: call the White House on its lies. Lies should not be confused with euphemisms like 'incompetence' and 'denial.'

canadian spy coins never existed
from seattle times: Reversing itself, the Defense Department says an espionage report it produced that warned about Canadian coins with tiny radio-frequency transmitters was not true. The Defense Security Service said it never could substantiate its own published claims about the mysterious coins. It has begun an internal review to determine how the false information was included in a 29-page report about espionage concerns.

failure is not an option
failure is not an option. it's standard!from larry beinhart/op-ed news: Failure is not an option. It's standard! On every policy we make! Name a policy, and it's got failure! Guaranteed! Or your government back! ... Another way to look at it, is that the phrase "Failure is not an option" is very clever. It creates the illusion that failure has not already happened.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

outside the box #85

here is the latest episode of "outside the box," hosted by alex ansary.
it was originally broadcast by portland community media on january 18, 2007.

from alex ansary: Alex discusses the current attack on access tv that has been launched by numerous telco companies. He interview two people from Later, he discusses the current in fighting within the so called Patriot community / truth movement.

9/11 ballot question won't have congressional help

9/11 ballot question won't have congressional helpfrom burlington free press: Vermont's two U.S. senators and one congressman are not interested in urging a new investigation into the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

A Burlington group working through the fall and early winter gathered more than 1,350 signatures - 5 percent of the city's registered voters - to put an advisory question about 9/11 on the city's Town Meeting Day ballot.

The question asks whether Vermont's congressional delegation should be "advised to demand a new, thorough, and truly independent forensic investigation that fully addresses the many questions surrounding the tragic events of September 11, 2001."

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, a persistent critic of the Bush administration, said in an e-mail from his spokesman, David Carle, that he "respects the work and the findings of the 9/11 Commission. Their report was highly critical of the failures and miscues they discovered, and they recommended a wide range of reforms."

"Since then," the e-mail continued, "some have come up with their own theories, and that's always the case after major events like this. The 9/11 Commission's report remains the most credible, the most thorough and the most constructive investigation that has been undertaken about those attacks."

Participants in the petition drive have noted the question doesn't offer a theory of what happened Sept. 11, but the group's Web site,, refers to the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report - the federal commission was created in late November 2002 - as "the official conspiracy theory" and raises a number of questions about the day.

The unexplained collapse of WTC7 is the tip of the iceberg of unexplored issues of 9/11.The Web site questions why Building No. 7 in the World Trade Center complex collapsed without being struck as the two towers were, and why all three buildings in the complex collapsed as though they were "brought down by controlled demolition." The Web site also provides links to books, videos and 31 separate 9/11 Web sites, including one to the online "Journal of 9/11 Studies."

The subject is emotional for people who doubt the official report. That has been reflected in numerous e-mails sent to the Free Press responding to articles about the local petition drive.

"Bless you for covering this important signature-gathering event," wrote Steve Dondanville of Ridgefield, Wash. "An investigation into what really happened on 9/11 is crucial if we are to continue as a republic."

"We do need a new, real investigation," Chris Noth of Iowa wrote. "The Kean/ Hamilton Commission failed terribly. The WTC complex was blown up by controlled demolition that had been planned for years most likely."

"I am proud to see Americans questioning what really happened on September 11," wrote Jim Brewer of Austin, Texas.

Lorie Van Auken, whose husband, Kenneth, was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, said by telephone from her home in East Brunswick, N.J., that the Burlington ballot item is valuable because "it brings attention to these unanswered questions."

The Jersey Girls were instrumental in the creation of the 9/11 Commission.Van Auken said she was one of the "Jersey widows" who demanded for 14 months that an official investigation be mounted to explain what happened Sept. 11. She was unhappy with the commission's 2004 report. "It's pathetic," she said.

A thorough investigation, she said, would have included interviews with intelligence, aeronautical and military experts. "Every agency failed," she said of Sept. 11. "Intelligence, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). ... We had just one great failure of everything. We wanted experts not just to be called, but to follow up on questions."

Van Auken said the many unanswered questions are important because the Bush administration "is using 9/11 as a reason to take our nation to war. We all need to understand what went down that day," she said.

Some who dismiss the thoroughness of the 9/11 Commission Report question whether the fires caused by the exploding jet fuel could have been hot enough to cause the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Others say no videos have been released of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon, and some say the area covered by debris from United Airline Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, suggests the plane was brought down by a missile.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Rep. Peter Welch said they wouldn't push for a new investigation of Sept. 11, making the congressional delegation unanimous in its answer to the ballot question. Welch said, through a spokesman, he believed the official report was "both thorough and complete in outlining the events of September 11 and the mistakes made leading up to the attacks."

Sanders' chief of staff, Jeff Weaver, said in an e-mail that Sanders believes the official report was "thorough" and provided "important suggestions to help our country combat terrorism." Sanders also believes, Weaver wrote, "we should continue to work to make sure that all the recommendations of the commission are implemented."

flashback: 9/11 question may go to vermont voters

related: 250+ 9/11 'smoking guns' found in the mainstream media

Saturday, January 20, 2007

militant tax evader prepares for raid

militant tax evader prepares for raidfrom ap/aol: A former militia man convicted of tax evasion prepared for a government siege Friday at his fortress-like home, but U.S. marshals gave no indication they were planning to confront him.

Ed Brown said he was ready for a swarm of federal agents to descend on his property to execute an arrest warrant issued after he failed to appear for the end of his trial. He and his wife contend that they did not have to pay income taxes, and his supporters say a conflict could be violent.

"If Mexico came up on my land and tried to take my land, would I not fight?" Brown said. "The United States is the same exact thing as Mexico in this state."

Brown, 63, and his wife, Elaine, 65, were convicted Thursday of plotting to conceal their income and avoid paying federal income tax. They argued the tax is illegitimate and they are not required to pay it.

militant tax evader prepares for raidU.S. marshals said negotiations with Brown continue and they have no plans to attack Brown's Plainfield home or act quickly on the arrest warrant. He has been holed up in his home with armed supporters for much of the trial.

"He wants attention. We're determined to keep this very low-profile," U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier said.

Brown said he has a stock of food and supplies and that his home can run on wind and solar generators.

"It's all set up for me to stay here forever," Brown said by phone.

Elaine Brown, a dentist who earned most of the couple's income, was staying at her son's home in Worcester, Mass., pending the couple's sentencing in April. She said she had no plans to return to Plainfield, where she fears there will be a violent confrontation.

The Browns' case has found support on the Internet from militia members to libertarians and anti-tax groups.

Rick Stanley, a Denver-based Web radio host and a militia leader, urged listeners to join Brown at his home.

"We are continuing to ask patriots to surround Ed Brown's property and life with a ring of armed Americans with firearms and video cameras to protect a fellow American," he said. "This is the flash point. This is the time of raised pitchforks."

kissinger calls for a 'new world order,' again

kissinger calls for a 'new world order,' againfrom raw story/blacklisted news: Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, an iconic conservative who continues to command the attention of the White House, praises President Bush's moves in Iraq and says that leaving the war-torn nation is not possible under present conditions.

Kissinger has penned an editorial in which he states that Bush's "bold decision to order a 'surge' of some 20,000 American troops for Iraq has brought the debate over the war to a defining stage. There will not be opportunity for another reassessment."

The elder statesman remarks that the early strategy of replacing U.S. forces with Iraqis was "in retrospect, premature," and says that the "most flagrant shortcoming of Iraqi forces" is that they are unclear on what they're fighting for and for whom.

Kissinger asserts that the Iraq war is part of a larger conflict, namely "the assault on the international order conducted by radical groups in both Islamic sects," particularly against the United States. He insists that despite public disenchantment with the war in Iraq, "under present conditions, withdrawal is not an option."

He calls America "the indispensable component of any attempt to build a new world order."

Perhaps most telling, Kissinger declares that the U.S. is in Iraq as "an expression of the American national interest to prevent the Iranian combination of imperialism and fundamentalist ideology from dominating a region on which the energy supplies of the industrial democracies depend."

flashback: kissinger calls for 'new world order'

Friday, January 19, 2007

media monarchy episode011

listen to portland radio authorityhere is the latest podcast from media monarchy...
episode 011 - january 19, 2007 download episode 011

media monarchy is originally broadcast on the portland radio authority every friday at 10am pst/1pm est... music, media & all the news that's fit to suppress!

plus, you can get podcasts of previous episodes here...
thanks to

pentagon & cia involved in domestic spying

pentagon & cia involved in domestic spyingfrom wired: Just a day before the nation celebrated the life of the once-federally-spied-upon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the New York Times reported that both the Pentagon and the CIA have been issuing subpoenas to domestic financial institutions to investigate possible terrorism. Although the military and the CIA are largely barred from spying on Americans, the Pentagon has stepped up its surveillance of American citizens after September 11 as part of what it calls "force protection" - that is, the protection of military installations on American soil.

Now, Eric Lichtblau and Mark Mazzetti reveal that both agencies have been using "National Security Letters" - which are self-issued subpoenas for documents. These subpoenas are widely used by the FBI since they do not require a judge's approval. In 2005, the first year the Justice Department was required to report how often they used this power, the DOJ said it issued 9,254 such letters to get information on 3,501 U.S. citizens and green card holders.

cheney defends efforts to obtain recordsUnlike the FBI's version, the military and CIAs' are voluntary. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Patrick Ryder said the letters "provide tremendous leads to follow and often with which to corroborate other evidence in the context of counterespionage and counterterrorism," according to the New York Times. Vice President Dick Cheney defended the use of the power in an interview Sunday, saying the letters don't violate civil rights since banks could contest them in court.

The Pentagon said it intended to keep the records it gained from the letters and feed the information into a database run by the Counterintelligence Field Office. That office houses a database called TALON that included records on peaceful anti-war protesters. The Pentagon also, in the name of base protection, funded a data-mining study examined ways to study travel database records and commercial data to identify potential travelers. That study used commercial data provided by Acxiom paired with the entirety of JetBlue's travel database, which the company secretly handed over in September 2002 to the government in violation of its privacy promises.

While the Pentagon has reportedly issued only a relatively small number of such letters - approximately 500 or so -, civil libertarians say the military has no place investigating American citizens on American soil. House Intelligence chair Silvestre Reyes said he plans to hold hearings, and I expect the topic to get attention even in Thursday's Senate Judiciary committee's planned grilling of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

anti-first amendment s.1 passes congress

anti-first amendment s.1 passes congressfrom kurt nimmo: It was bad enough George Bush Senior found it necessary to blame bloggers for creating what he deems an “adversarial and ugly climate” (never mind his particular bit of ugliness in Iraq more than a decade ago, eventually resulting in the murder of more than a million people), last month we had the Manchurian candidate, John McCain, introducing legislation “that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards, effectively nixing the open exchange of ideas on the Internet, providing a lethal injection for unrestrained opinion, and acting as the latest attack tool to chill freedom of speech on the world wide web,” as Paul Joseph Watson writes for Prison Planet.

Since Watson wrote his piece about McCain’s anti-First Amendment bill, Richard A. Viguerie has warned that Congress is attempting the silence bloggers and other critics of the government. “We have the First Amendment right to speak and urge citizens to contact Washington—without the intimidation inherent in federal regulation of our activities.”

Thursday, January 18, 2007

pelosi won't block the surge

pelosi won't block the surgefrom abc news: There may be a growing battle between Congress and the president over the Iraq War strategy, but new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she won't block funding for additional troops.

Pelosi's position, revealed in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, came a day after a group of senators announced a bipartisan resolution condemning the Bush administration's plan to increase U.S. forces in Iraq by more than 20,000 troops.

While the Senate resolution would be non-binding, it would send a message to the president, and at least a dozen Republican senators have already offered their support.

Below is an excerpt from Sawyer's interview, in which Pelosi said Democrats in Congress would not be held responsible for putting the soldiers in the troop surge in additional harm's way by blocking funds.

The complete interview with Pelosi will air tomorrow morning on "Good Morning America."

Sawyer: As we sit here right now, 3,500 troops are moving in. That's the first of the surge. It has begun. Fifty-one percent of the American people say they want Congress to stop the surge. Money is the method at hand to do that.

Are you going to move to cut off funding for troops going into Iraq as part of the surge?

Pelosi: Democrats will never cut off funding for our troops when they are in harm's way.

It is, I think, very difficult for the president to sustain a war of this magnitude without the support of the American people and without the support of the Congress of the United States. That's why Congress will vote to oppose the president's escalation, from the standpoint of policy. We will have our disagreement.

Sawyer: But short of that — questions posed, resolutions passed — short of that, are you acquiescing in the surge if the pocketbook is the only other control mechanism?

Pelosi: The president knows that because the troops are in harm's way, that we won't cut off the resources. That's why he's moving so quickly to put them in harm's way.

But we will hold the president accountable. He has to answer for his war.

US officials say rumor of Iran strike not true

from reuters/alertnet: U.S. defense officials on Thursday said a rumored Iranian missile strike on a U.S. naval vessel in the Gulf was not true.

"No such event took place," said one of the officials on condition of anonymity.

The bond market briefly pared losses on talk of possible military engagement between the United States and Iran, but turned back down after the Defense Department said the incident did not occur.

Tensions are high between Washington and Tehran. The United States accuses Iran of supporting insurgents in Iraq and charges that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian energy program.

The Pentagon has increased the U.S. military presence in the Gulf in recent weeks, a move widely seen as a warning against provocative actions by Iran.

gates & commanders ready buildup in gulf

gates & commanders ready buildup in gulffrom ap/yahoo: Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with senior U.S. and coalition naval commanders Thursday to plan operations in the Persian Gulf, including the arrival next month of another U.S. aircraft carrier and more Patriot missiles meant in part as a warning to Iran. This tiny state in the northern Gulf is headquarters to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet and Central Command's naval staff.

Gates also flew to nearby Qatar for a private meeting and lunch with that nation's leader, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Later he was visiting an air base that hosts a high-tech war room that is the nerve center of all U.S. and coalition air operations throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Under ground rules imposed by U.S. officials, reporters traveling with Gates were prohibited from identifying the base or the country in which it is located.

military parents 'must do what they are told'

military parents 'must do what they are told'from raw story: An Associated Press video reports on a new film, Brats: Our Journey Home, which documents the lives and sacrifices of children in U.S. military families, who are commonly referred to as "military brats."

The filmmakers launched a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization called Brats Without Borders Inc. in order to produce the documentary, which highlights the children of Vietnam era veterans, as well as the children of those currently serving in Iraq.

Among those featured in the film is Ret. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, a "military brat" himself, who notes, "To a small boy when your father hands you the sword and says you're now the man of the house, take care of your mother and sisters, you take that very seriously." Singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson, another former "military brat" provides narration and music for the documentary.

The film also highlights the sacrifices military parents face, raising their children while also serving their country.

"Parents are not free to make decisions around the needs of children," Psychotherapist S. Donaldson Pressman notes. "The parents in the military must do what they are told to do."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

chris matthews & the 'shit'

from thinkprogress: [chris matthews] was “against this bullshit war from the very beginning.” Tonight, [he] argued, “If you want America to be a hegemonic power in the Middle East, you’re out of step with the American people. We’re not going to fight it out with Iran for the next 30 years to see who the big shit — I’m sorry — the big name is on the block.”

senators agree on 'non-binding resolution'

senators agree on 'non-binding resolution'from ap/yahoo: A group of senators including a Republican war critic announced agreement Wednesday on a resolution opposing President Bush's 21,500 troop build up in Iraq, setting their marker for a major clash between the White House and Congress over the unpopular war.

The non-binding resolution, which was also gaining interest from a second key Republican, would symbolically put the Senate on record as saying the U.S. commitment in Iraq "can only be sustained" with popular support among the American public and in Congress.

"I will do everything I can to stop the president's policy as he outlined it Wednesday night," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican and potential 2008 presidential candidate, who joined Democrats at a press conference on the resolution.

"I think it is dangerously irresponsible," Hagel said.

Even as skeptical Republicans were summoned to private meetings with Bush and national security adviser Stephen Hadley at the White House, Bush's aides made clear that the Capitol Hill challenge would be met aggressively by the administration.

Presidential spokesman Tony Snow said resolutions passed by Congress will not affect Bush's decision-making.

"The president has obligations as a commander in chief," he said. "And he will go ahead and execute them."
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