Friday, June 30, 2006

Where do messages from OBL, Zawahri come from?

Ever wonder how the government gets access to audio and video tapes from the likes of terrorist masterminds like Ossama Bin Laden or Ayman El Zawahri? Turns out that they pay a couple of third-rate privately owned, US-based counter-terrorist organizations to provide them with a constant stream of terrorist propaganda from popular Islamic evil-doers.

The unique access these two groups have to these terrorist 'releases' is nothing short of remarkable. It's almost as if they have an exclusive license to market the world's most popular foes.

And boy are they hard at work for their clients - whoever they are.
[The pace of messages] has increased dramatically this year - with four audiotapes from bin Laden and seven audios and videos by his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

Hours after Friday's message appeared, an advertisement on the same Islamic Web site said bin Laden would issue another tape directed to "the Islamic nation in general and the mujahedeen in Iraq and Somalia in particular." A similar announcement proceeded bin Laden's message Friday by about 24 hours.

The advertisement banner was signed by As-Sahab, the production branch that releases al-Qaida videos, and had an old picture of bin Laden. The teaser was first reported by the SITE Institute and the IntelCenter, two U.S.-based independent groups that provide counter-terrorism information to the U.S. government and media.

The IntelCenter said the promised message was expected within 36 hours.
How would they know???
For the past 13 years, offerings from IntelCenter and its sister company, Tempest Publishing, have been designed to assist professionals in furthering this goal. All of our products are designed to achieve real results for the operator, analyst or first responder.

Our focus as a company is on studying terrorist groups and other threat actors and disseminating that information in a timely manner to those who can act on it. We look at capabilities and intentions, warnings and indicators, operational characteristics and a wide variety of other points in order to better understand how to interdict terrorist operations and reduce the likelihood of future attacks.
For the past 13 years? Where were they on 9/11?

Their "products" are not cheap either. According to their "sales catalog"...
US$3,175 per user per year [!!!]
This package is designed to enhance your situational awareness of the current terrorism threat environment. Feeds will provide detailed information on incidents around the world, information on new threats and tactics and much more.

Information will be provided to you on the wireless device of your choice, through email and through database access over the Internet. You will receive both Alert and Current Intelligence feeds as well as access to the full IntelCenter Database (ICD) for any research work you need to perform on various groups, individuals, incidents or other developments. Information will range from non-sensitive to law enforcement sensitive. Two hours of phone consultation is also included.
Phone consultation???

The US government, which has billions of dollars at its disposal for intelligence operations around the world needs desk help from a private subcontractor that appears to be nothing more than a highly automated one man show that operates two companies from one PO Box and sells cheesy over-priced merchandise on its website??? WTF?

And what about the other group, SITE Institute ("The Search for International Terrorist Entitities")? What are they about?
The SITE Institute works regularly with and provides important and often unique information to journalists, law firms pursuing civil litigation, major corporations, law enforcement, U.S. Congress, and numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department, Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), the FBI, Customs, and the Department of Justice.
What kind of "unique" information? Who are these people???
Rita Katz, Director and co-founder of the SITE Institute, has studied, tracked, and analyzed international terrorists and their financial operations for more than six years.

Since well before September 11, she has personally briefed government officials, including former terrorism czar Richard Clarke and his staff in the White House, as well as investigators in the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security on the financing and recruitment networks of the terrorist movement. Many of her leads have prompted the government to investigate and take legal action against individuals and organizations suspected of ties to terrorism.

Before founding the SITE Institute in 2002, Ms. Katz served as Research Director of the Investigative Project in Washington, DC. Born in Iraq and a graduate of the Middle Eastern Studies program at Tel Aviv University, Katz speaks both Arabic and Hebrew with native fluency.

Ms. Katz is the author of TERRORIST HUNTER: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America (HarperCollins, 2003). Her commentary on terrorism issues frequently appears in prominent media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, 60 Minutes, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal.

Josh Devon, Senior Analyst and co-founder of the SITE Institute, focuses on the research and analysis of the global terrorist network. He has consulted on terrorism-related investigations for several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. Mr. Devon has published numerous articles on terrorism, including the extensive use of the Internet by terrorist groups and their followers worldwide. He appears regularly in the media. [So?]

Mr. Devon has a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently pursuing an advanced degree in International Relations, concentrating in Middle East Studies, at Johns Hopkins University's School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
That's it? Two people run SITE and one guy runs IntelCenter? And our government and media are getting all their terrorist intelligence from them? Is this some kind of sick joke?

Evangelical pilgrims cheer Israel on at Gaza border

Strumming guitars and banging bongos, Christian pilgrims journeyed to Israel's dusty border with the Gaza Strip on Thursday to offer support to Israeli troops participating in the military action.
Apparently, Palestinians do not pose the existential threat that Israelis want us to believe they do. Otherwise, these people wouldn't be flocking to the Gaza border from all over the world to sing kumbaya with their Israeli war brethren.
About 25 people, wearing white T-shirts that said "Your God is my God," waved Israeli flags and sang religious songs.
They must think that their God is different from the God Palestinians pray to. I thought these people called themselves monotheistic. I guess that's only in theory.
Hundreds of troops milled about in the distance alongside tanks and armored vehicles, seemingly oblivious to the group.

The group had planned to visit Israel long before this week's invasion. But after the military operation was launched, the pilgrims decided to show their support. Members came from the U.S., Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Sweden, France and Germany.
What? No Palestinian Christians?
"We are here to support Israel, and we are here to tell it we support you, we pray for you and we want to bless Israel," said Leena Eronen of Finland.
I was under the impression that blessing was God's job.
Many evangelical groups support Israel, believing that Jewish sovereignty over the region is part of biblical prophecy.
And they are not willing to wait. They intend to bring it on.

  Thursday, June 29, 2006

No agency left intact - NASA's demise under Bush

A 30-year NASA veteran and one of the agency`s top shuttle engineers has reportedly angrily resigned only five days before Saturday`s Discovery launch.

* * *

Unidentified sources at NASA told ABC News Camarda has been feuding with Wayne Hale, the manager of NASA`s space shuttle program, and NASA Administrator Mike Griffin about treatment Camarda`s engineers received when they raised concerns about the upcoming Discovery launch. Some engineers believe more substantial changes need to be made.

Something tells me now is not a good time to be flying on that shuttle.

In a Tuesday email to his colleagues at Johnson, ABC News said Camarda reaffirmed his disappointment with NASA officials.

'I cannot accept the methods I believe are being used by this Center to select future leaders,' he wrote. 'I have always based my decisions on facts, data and good solid analysis. I cannot be a party to rumor, innuendo, gossip and-or manipulation to make or break someone`s career and-or good name.'

I guess he can forget about politics then.

One of the commentators after the article says it best.
President Bush has used the spoils system to replace meritorious public officials with politcal hacks and unqualified cronies. This time-honored, yet lethal approach to governance has resulted in the Katrina debacle and the administration-wide culture of incompetence has entangled the nation in an unwinnable war in Iraq which was predicated upon false pretexts and unfounded assumptions.

It is no surprise that Bush's congenital propensity for fostering corruption and incompetence has affected NASA as well.

They ought to strap Junior Bush to the problematic fuel tank when Discovery blasts off - he could ride that baby into space Slim Pickens style - Yeeeehaaawww!!

Sounds good to me! I've got a great windbreaker that he can use for the ride.

  Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Israel's attack against Gaza pre-planned

Amid sonic booms that shattered windows, Israeli planes hit the three bridges and Apache helicopters targeted all six of the transformers at the power plant - an attack Israeli officials said was necessary to make any transfer of Gilad more difficult.

"Nobody understands the logic," Rafik Maliha, the plant's manager, said as firefighters worked to keep down smoke that still rose hours after the attacks. "They want to keep people in the dark so kidnappers don't move? What's the relationship?"

He added: "If there is no electricity, THERE IS NO WATER. It is more than collective punishment."

Both Palestinian and Israeli officials said the plant, built by Norway and run by oil subsidized by the European Union, provided 42 percent of the power to Gaza's 1.3 million residents, and now Gaza is completely dependent on Israel for its power.

Maliha said it would take as long as a year to replace the transformers, at a cost of more than $1 million each.
If Israel's reasoning sounds illogical, it's because it's just an excuse - a pretext to implement a pre-planned effort to decimate whatever's left of Gaza and leave Palestinians entirely dependent on Israelis.

"I don't believe at this point we'll be able to save Gilad Shalit, but we have to go in anyway," says Eliraz - conscripted troops can only give their first names.

Yvgeny, from the elite Givati Brigade, nods. "They'll know next time that they can't just go and kidnap our soldiers and expect to get away with it."

Israel's goal in Gaza is to make Palestinians uncomfort- able enough to think twice about committing more kidnappings, or in the language floating around the camp here, to teach them a lesson.

The real question is what lesson will the world learn from this fiasco?

Iraqi gov't directs insurgents to e-mail surrender

In a sign of the e-times, Iraq's prime minister has set up an e-mail account to communicate with insurgents.
No attachments, please.
Nouri al-Maliki had the address flashed during a broadcast Sunday night on state-run al-Iraqiya television. It was advertised as an address to which insurgents could write and be assured confidentiality.
Yeah, right.
Al-Maliki unveiled his national reconciliation plan earlier in the day, calling on insurgents to lay down their arms and offering a limited amnesty for fighters who had not committed terrorist acts or killings.
They keep saying that. But, how are they supposed to know who did and did not commit terrorist acts and killings? Are they going to institute an honor system?
Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker and close associate of President Jalal Talabani, confirmed al-Maliki set up an e-mail account but did not have details about how many electronic messages had been received.

But Iraqi presidential security adviser Wafiq al-Samaraie said the response so far had been low, with just two messages reportedly arriving Wednesday.

The government did not repeat the address after the initial broadcast to prevent it from being flooded with junk mail.
What a joke.

Employers cut retiree healthcare, stick gov't w/ bill

Many Americans don't realize that when employers collect "subsidies" in order to provide health "benefits" to their employees, in effect, employees are paying for those so-called benefits themselves.
Most U.S. employers are planning to further scale back health benefits offered to retirees, as companies struggle with the upward march in the cost of medical care and weigh increased contributions from government's Medicare program, a survey found.

Ninety-five percent of the mostly Fortune 500 companies polled expect to further restrict their retiree health plans over the next five years, and 14 percent plan to stop providing coverage entirely, the survey of 163 companies by benefits consultants Watson Wyatt found.
Unbelievable. Between price gouging and tax breaks, money has been filling up their coffers like never before - yet they still can't get enough.
Employers have been exiting the retiree health business for a decade-and-a-half, amid rapid inflation in the cost of health care and increasing mobility of workers.
Don't you just love the euphemism? When workers get fired these days, more often than not they can no longer find full-time positions but must settle for temporary work, MINUS benefits. It is this disappearing job security that the MSM characterizes as "increased mobility."
[Some] feared the pace would quicken amid recent changes that boost benefits provided by Medicare, the government's health insurance program for the nation's 43 million elderly and disabled people.

"There is definitely more change in the air now that Medicare Part D has come into play . . . "The willingness to eliminate the benefit is clearly increasing."

Changes in the Medicare program include adding prescription drug benefits, known as Medicare Part D. Experts feared that with a richer government benefit, employers would be more likely to stop offering coverage.

About a third of U.S. employers offered current workers retiree coverage in 2005, down from about two-thirds in 1988, according to a recent study by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

According to Standard & Poor's, plans for retiree benefits at S&P 500 companies, excluding pensions, were underfunded by $321 billion, meaning promises to retirees are only 22 percent funded.
They're not only cutting benefits, they don't even fund the ones they promise!
About three-quarters of U.S. companies polled are accepting a Medicare subsidy from the government intended to keep employers in the business of helping workers defray health costs when they retire.

But most are skimming the benefits they do offer. A quarter of employers are tightening eligibility for current workers, and a similar amount are offering more expensive plans.

About 40 percent of employers said they believed the best way to solve their retiree health cost problem is to exit it altogether, although most continued to offer benefits because of practical considerations, the study found.

The same amount, about 40 percent, said taking the government subsidy is the best way to keep costs down.
Of course it's the best way to keep costs down! They get the best of both worlds. Employees don't know the difference! Employers get the credit - government pays (i.e., taxpayers, a.k.a., employees)!
Jareb said it showed that even though companies might think exiting the business would help with costs, most are unlikely to do it at this point.

"In essence the numbers indicate that -- whether due to employee relations, benefits philosophy or collective bargaining -- exiting retiree heath is not a viable option for the majority of employers" the study said.
In other words, they would cut employee benefits in a heartbeat if it improved their bottomline.

Earth to working America - neither corporate America nor our government gives a flying sh*t about US. It's time to let them know that we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.

4,765 Palestinians for 6 Israelis - that's some exchange rate

I'm sure Palestinians are thrilled that they can save so many of their fellow lives by sparing just one Israeli life. Nevertheless, the implication of this sharp disparity in value to Israelis of Palestinian lives as compared to Israeli lives is very disturbing. Indeed, it encapsulates all that is wrong with this conflict and with Israel's position.
Israel's concern for captive soldiers has been called its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Soldiers know they won't be left behind in the field, but on the other hand, the emotional outpouring can prompt the government to bend its principle of refusing to negotiate with kidnappers.

The results are sometimes wildly disproportionate.

In January 2004, Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon agreed to exchange one Israeli civilian and the bodies of three abducted soldiers for 400 Palestinians, 23 Lebanese, five Syrians, three Moroccans, three Sudanese, one Libyan and one German. Fifty-nine Lebanese and the remains of Hezbollah guerrillas were included in the deal.

Israel freed 4,765 Palestinian prisoners in 1983 in exchange for six soldiers held by the Fatah movement, then led by Yasser Arafat.

And in 1985, Israel released 1,150 Arab prisoners, almost all of them Palestinians, in exchange for three soldiers captured by Lebanese guerrillas in 1982. The deal came under harsh criticism at the time, intensifying when the freed prisoners played key roles in a Palestinian uprising that began in 1987.

* * *

"We won't hesitate to carry out extreme action to bring Gilad back to his family," Olmert said. "All the military activity that started overnight will continue in the coming days."

Palestinians said they were confused by Israel's refusal to negotiate an exchange.

Palestinian prisoners are no less "precious" than Lebanese prisoners, said Nihaya Armelad, a 31-year-old mother of five who lives in the southern town of Rafah, which would likely be the front line of any Israeli ground assault.

"They have to exchange him for (Palestinian) prisoners," Armelad said. "They haven't seen their children in years. We are (humans) just like the Israelis."

Since the abduction, prisoners' relatives have marched through Gaza's streets demanding their family members be released in exchange for his freedom.

Sanaa Hirz, 44, said she was willing to weather attacks from Israel if it would bring the release of her husband, a Fatah activist who has been in prison for 22 years.[!!!]

"Gazans are used to missiles, assassinations, artillery. Every day there is death. Death is a natural thing," she said. "Let it come ... it is better with honor."

The last time an Israeli soldier was abducted by Palestinians was 12 years ago when Hamas militants kidnapped Cpl. Nachshon Waxman and demanded a prisoner release. Waxman was killed in a botched rescue operation.

Palestinian pollster Nader Said said the current abduction has given the Palestinians a "temporary sense of self esteem" and hope. But with the Israeli incursion into Gaza, they will be faced with a new reality that will "transform any small victory into a big loss," he said.

* * *

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared publicly that Israel would not negotiate or release Palestinian prisoners, rejecting demands by the Shalit's captors. But Cabinet minister Rafi Eitan, who served for decades in Israel's intelligence services, said anything is possible.

"In the Middle East you have to be able to change your skin, to go from one extreme to the other, from A to Z, within a second," he told Army Radio. "If you are able to do this, you can win. If you can't do this, you should go home."
In other words, they can be trusted about as far as they can be thrown. When was the last time you threw a nation state?

  Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Americans Can't Win - caught between a corrupt gov't and a corrupt MSM

I knew there was something fishy about our corporate-owned media ratting out our corporate-owned government. It's simply a matter of which corporate interests hang in the balance. In the end, working Americans lose, no matter who they support in this financial surveillance fiasco.
According to the reports in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the financial tracking program was part of an aggressive post-Sept. 11 effort to gather intelligence, tapping into the world's largest financial communication network for information on bank transfers.

The network — run by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT — carries up to 12.7 million messages a day. Those messages typically include names and account numbers of bank customers — private citizens and HUGE CORPORATIONS ALIKE — that are sending or receiving funds.
That's where the buck stops folks. The NYT doesn't care about us OR our privacy. They care about corporate freedom to engage in unfettered shady financial transactions without ANYONE - especially the corporate competition - getting a heads up through government surveillance.

And to that end, our corporate-owned media hopes to enlist the help of freedom loving Americans under the guise of protecting our constitutional rights, when really, they're concerned about their economic privileges.

We're in a no win situation. If we fight the surveillance, the corporations backed by the media stand to gain, and if we don't fight it, the corporations backed by the government prevail.

Working Americans are caught in the middle, like a hapless and hopeless nationwide ping-pong ball - one way or another, we go where they want us to go.

We need dramatic change in America. What are you guys doing on the 4th of July?

  Monday, June 26, 2006

re: kidnapped Israeli soldier - who on earth enlisted this boy?

He looks like a pre-teen Bill Gates. His "kidnappers" must have taken him out of pity. The 19yr old doesn't look like he can defend himself, let alone someone else. Who on earth enlisted this guy in the IDF? He should have gone to summer camp, not boot camp.

But now that he's gotten himself taken prisoner, which is to be expected as a soldier, Israel is crying bloody foul and plans on raising Gaza to secure his return rather than release Palestinian women and children held prisoner in Israeli jails.

Why can't Israelis just admit they were out-foxed and negotiate to save lives? If they release Palestinian women and children, Gilad can then go home to his family, from whose side he should have never left. BUT, NOOOO. Israel must always come out on top.
A LARGE-SCALE military clash loomed in Gaza last night as Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, rejected demands to negotiate for the release of a captive soldier and his army prepared an operation to free the man.

Gaza militants who seized Corporal Gilad Shalit after a raid on Sunday had demanded the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails in return for information about his whereabouts.

Mr Olmert quickly responded: “The question of freeing prisoners is in no way on the Israeli government agenda. There will be no negotiations, no bargaining, no agreements.”

He was speaking as Israel massed tanks on the border and said that the country was prepared to assassinate senior Palestinians, including the leaders of Hamas, the ruling party. An incursion to free the soldier would be by far the largest move into Gaza since the Israeli withdrawal a year ago.

So, Israelis are prepared to assassinate an indefinite number of Palestinian leaders in cold blood in retribution for their taking ONE teenage Israeli soldier prisoner and trying to bargain for the release of Palestinian women and children. Sounds equitable - if you're Israeli. To the rest of us, though, it sounds like an extreme position taken by a government that thinks that its people's lives are worth more than the lives of anyone else.

“I gave the orders to our military commanders to prepare the army for a broad and ongoing military operation to strike the terrorist leaders and all those involved,” Mr Olmert said. “Let it be clear: we will reach everyone, no matter where they are, and they know it. There will be immunity for no one.”

* * *

“We expect Mahmoud Abbas to exert his authority,” Mr Gillerman told The Times. “He has the means and military capability to ensure the soldier’s safe return. Leaders in the region and the world realise this is a watershed. It’s the last chance for President Abbas to show he’s in charge.”

One 19yr old soldier who should have never been in the military to begin with is taken prisoner and his return is "watershed." Meanwhile, the slaughter of 14 Palestinian civilians in less than 2 weeks is "to be expected." Apparently, Palestinians disagree.
“Gaza is surrounded by Israeli troops. Daily in Gaza there are massacres and murders and assassinations, so it is not easy to tell people you have to be be patient and polite. You expect a kind of reaction sometimes,” he told The Times. He also complained of international double standards: ignoring thousands of Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails but protesting at the capture of one Israeli.

* * *

Ahmed Attiyah, whose house is overlooked by an Israeli watchtower in Kerem Shalom, said that Gaza was so ground down by Israeli air attacks and border closures that it had nothing to lose by hitting back. “We were under Israeli threat any time, from their rockets and from their shelling,” he said. “We had no safety, so why not retaliate?” In a nearby hospital Baha Mehedin said that Palestinians wanted peace but were not prepared to sell their rights. “Hamas did something against soldiers, not citizens and not civilians, so I think everyone supports this,” the 56-year-old English teacher said.
Sounds reasonable to me. But according to Israelis, Palestinians must either roll over and play dead or prepare to die.

How to fight the terrorists!

Citisucks saw the comment "The only way to get rid of them(terrorists) is to get to the root of the problem".

Citisucks replied: "Then why are the troops in Iraq verses the White House, Citigroup Headquarters, or Walmart Headquarters?"

But then again if you are a rich white male you are allowed to be a terrorist.

Congresscritter who seeks to prosecute NYT may be next in line

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee called Sunday for criminal prosecution of The New York Times, saying its report Friday on government surveillance of confidential banking records "compromised America's anti-terrorist policies."
Look who's calling the kettle black. Those who stand in glass houses should not throw stones. He should be more concerned about himself and his comrades being held accountable for leading this country into an unjust war based on demonstrable LIES.

This is by no means a general defense of the New York Times or other mainstream media outlets that have repeatedly let the American public down through their constant publication of both government and corporate lies.

However, it is beyond absurd that a cowardly little pipsqueak from Congress, after voting from the safety of his armchair to keep our troops indefinitely in an unjust war in Iraq, thinks he has any standing to criticize the NYT for actually doing something RIGHT - exposing this administration's unconstitutional conduct.
Interviewed on Fox News Sunday, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., accused the newspaper of compromising national security when it exposed a Treasury Department program that attempts to track terrorist financing by secretly monitoring worldwide money transfers. The program, instituted after the Sept. 11 attacks, bypasses safeguards put in place to prevent government abuse.

Similar reports were published the same day by other media outlets.

"By disclosing this in time of war, they have compromised America's anti-terrorist policies," said King, referring to New York Times reporters and editors.

"Nobody elected The New York Times to do anything. And The New York Times is putting its own arrogant, elitist, left-wing agenda before the interests of the American people," King said.
What a joke. First, the same can be said about YOU, considering that (1) very few Americans vote to begin with, and (2) thanks to Diebold, it doesn't matter who votes!

Second, Congress regularly puts its own arrogant, elitist, political (read corporate) agenda before the interests of the American people. So, what's new? The NYT is simply putting one elitist agenda before another.
Calling the report "absolutely disgraceful," King said he would call on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to begin a criminal investigation of the newspaper.
And I call on the American people to tar and feather everyone in Congress and this administration for taking our nation to war under false pretenses and causing the deaths of thousands of young American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.
The Bush administration pressed The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times to refrain from publishing their reports, but editors at each newspaper concluded that it was in the public interest to go forward.

"One of the most hotly debated issues in the country right now is the conduct of the war on terror," said Los Angeles Times Editor Dean Baquet on Sunday. "It is our job to publish what we know about the government's role, to offer the public what it needs to know to participate in that debate."
It's a little late for THAT, isn't it? Where were you when America was being led into this war based on LIES?

Oh yeah! You were helping them DISSEMINATE the LIES!
Senators from both parties declined to join the Long Island congressman's call for an investigation.

"We have seen the newspapers in this country act as effective watchdogs," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on the same program.

"I think it's premature to call for a prosecution of The New York Times, just like I think it's premature to say that the administration is entirely correct."
I think it's long over due that the American people hold both the media and their elected representatives to account for the piss-poor job they've been doing over the past thirty years.

And it is never too soon to point out that this administration has been demonstrably incompetent in every single measure it has and hasn't taken both domestic and foreign since the minute they were appointed to office by our judiciary.
On CNN's Late Edition, Sen. Joseph Biden Jr., D-Del., said that although he would have preferred The New York Times not publish the information, "the truth of the matter is, they've uncovered an awful lot of things that the government has been doing that (don't) make sense as well."
No, Senator. While there are an isolated few reporters in the mainstream media that are still doing admirable journalistic work. By far, the bulk of the heavy lifting these days is done by BLOGGERS.
Both senators cited Thomas Jefferson's maxim: "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
If it were up to me, we would start from scratch. Very limited federal government. Strong local representative governments. NO mainstream media. Just bloggers and a FREE internet.

AND of course, the most important thing a NEW, INTEREST-FREE, MONETARY SYSTEM -- minus the Federal Reserve.

  Sunday, June 25, 2006

It Ain’t Just Bu$h: Part 5 of 100 of Part A: Why they all must go!

So we will go alphabetically by state. I’m not going to waste my time my listing “party” affiliations. Please though if you don’t know their “party” go ahead and try to guess it. I can promise it will be a challenging game. I’m not even going to base this on their voting records, I’m just going to base this on crap posted on their website. If you are student doing research, please I’m begging you help educate your teacher and use this info. By the way these posts are based on the your Senutor's actually websites.

Arizona 1: John Kyl (aka K(ill)y(a)l so long as your female, non-white, and or poor)

5. The recommended reading list. Reading is not a good thing if you are reading lies. Here is the first book on his list: A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror. You've got to be fucking kidding me. Let's see the book begins with the lie that Columbus discovered America and ends with a self explanatory lie. The native americans discovered america, but even you don't consider non-white people people, it is a known fact that Columbus isn't even the first European to discover America. It ends with another lie that there is a war on terra verses the true war on dissent, poor people (formerly known as the middle class) and non-white people.

4. Hating non-white people, this nutjob and lowest life form also suggest an article about how Amnesty International is not credible, an obvious attempt by this murderer to make sure his corporate terrorist friends get to continue to murder the non-white people these racists hate.

3. I'm scared to see what brainwashing the student center offers. Dare I look? I looked and now I am puking-and if this shithole was here I would puke all over him. The first link is the to military academies. So this yellow corporate terrorist can recruite poor (formerly middle class) to fight the war against the poor and further increase the rich poor divide, while sitting around in his armchair and driving around in an SUV making everyone less safe including himself.

2. Lest you think that is the end of this nutjob corporate terrorists attack on children, there is a children's recommended reading list. The first book on it is a book of virtues. Somehow I get the feeling they are nutjob virtues. But perhaps if they are not, the children can teach this dumbass nutjob corporate terrorist some virtues.

1. I really don't want to learn more about Senutor Kill-Yal (his white corporate terrorist friends will be spared though). Oh, great the asshole has introduced legislation to make the 2001 and 2003 tax gifts to his corporate terrorist friends and his own corporate terrorist fat ass permanent. But maybe perhaps this will hasten the revolution, if idiot america is actually alive and hasn't all straved to death or died of lack of health care by the time they are finally ready to fight the revolution and overthrow jackasses like Kill-Yal.

Power to the Green Party and Independent Progressives. Get the Democratic-Republican idiots out of office.

Buffet donates $30 billion to the Gateses’ “Charity”

Like Bill and Melinda really need it.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is donating a total of $37 billion -- most of his personal fortune -- to a foundation started by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and to several family foundations, making it the largest-ever individual charitable gift in the United States.

Buffett, 75, is the chief executive of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa). He is worth an estimated $44 billion, according to Forbes magazine, making him the second-richest man behind Gates, who is worth about $50 billion.

The $37 billion comprises about 85 percent of Buffett's fortune.
Something tells me this has more to do with taxes than charity.
In a letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Buffett, 75, said he will set aside 10 million shares of Berkshire class B common stock (BRKb) for the foundation.

Based on the stock's per-share price of $3071.01 [!!!] as of Friday, the total amount for the Gates foundation comes to about $30 billion.

The amount is the largest commitment to a philanthropic cause ever made by one person in the United States, said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

"Even if you look at what (John D.) Rockefeller and (Andrew) Carnegie gave historically -- even if you do it in today's numbers, it doesn't come close to that," she said.

In a letter to the Gateses, Buffett wrote that "You have committed yourselves to a few extraordinarily important but underfunded issues, a policy that I believe offers the highest probability of your achieving goals of great consequence."

"We are awed by our friend Warren Buffett's decision to use his fortune to address the world's most challenging inequities, and we are humbled that he has chosen to direct a large portion of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation," the Gateses said in a statement on the foundation's Web site.
And what exactly do Bill and Melinda do with the fortune they sucked out of humanity through exorbitant royalties on their monopoly software or with the fortunes they continue to bleed out of borrowers by charging interest on the pristine "principal" that constitutes their "charitable" foundation?

They buy up all the intellectual property they can get their grubby little hands on and exploit young unsuspecting brilliant minds to churn out more.

And we're supposed to hail Bill and Warren, the former an extortionist and the latter a speculator, for their pretentious philanthropy?

If Bill and Melinda cared one iota about anyone but themselves they wouldn't be charging the world an arm and a leg for the use of technology that COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED but for the grace of God and the hard work of thousands of people over thousands of years.

The benefits of human progress and technology shouldn't be hoarded by a handful of individuals through the power of courts and police states.

What do Dubya and Saddam have in common?

They're both delusional megalomaniacs who think that the world would fall apart without them.
Saddam Hussein believes the United States will have to seek his help to quell the bloody insurgency in Iraq and open the way for U.S. forces to withdraw, his chief lawyer said Sunday.

* * *

"He's their last resort. They're going to knock at his door eventually," the lawyer said. Saddam is "the only person who can stop the resistance against the U.S. troops."

There is no indication U.S. officials have considered seeking his help.
Ah, but it's well known that they already have.
[Saddam's lawyer] quoted Saddam as saying:

"These puppets in the Iraqi government that the Americans brought to power are helpless. They can't protect themselves or the Iraqi people. The Americans will certainly come to me, to Saddam Hussein's legitimate leadership and to the Iraqi Baath Party, to rescue them from their huge quandary."

Although he would not say exactly what Saddam might ask in return for helping, al-Dulaimi said it would not necessarily involve being reinstated as president of Iraq - a nation he ruled brutally and plunged into three devastating wars.

The lawyer suggested, though, that Saddam might be willing to negotiate such help by making the verdict in his trial a bargaining chip.
In other words, the scoundrel wants to save his grubby little neck from the noose. And like a typical politician, no lie is too grand to accomplish his goals.
Saddam predicted Iraq would "flourish within five years," saying that was the time that would be needed for reconstruction that would transform the country into the envy of the region, the lawyer said.

* * *

"The ongoing trial and verdict, which are already decided by Washington, are expected to result in the death penalty," he said.

"The death penalty is political blackmail to pressure President Saddam to help the American forces out of their predicament in Iraq and to rescue it from the mess it created there."
But, unparalleled economic recovery is not all the former dictator promised to deliver.
Al-Dulaimi said Washington also should look to Saddam as the only person who can stop the growing influence of Iran and radical Shiite Muslims in the region.

Pointing to Saddam's 1980-88 war with Iran - a conflict in which the United States and others backed Iraq - he said Saddam served as a counterbalance to Iranian power.

The Bush administration should recognize the "hard reality" that the U.S. invasion of Iraq delivered the mostly secular Arab nation into the hands of Shiites strongly sympathetic to their larger Iranian neighbor, the lawyer said.

"Iran is the enemy of Arabs, Islam and the United States, and the only person who can stand in the face of Iran is Saddam Hussein," he said.
You have to hand it to Saddam, he knows how to capitalize on neocon thirst for Iranian blood. The man will do anything to stay alive.

And no doubt, Dubya will do anything to get what he and his neocon buddies want in the Middle East.

Zarqawi's death marks bloody downturn for US in Iraq

Instead of marking the beginning of the end of the insurgency in Iraq, Zarqawi's "death" whether staged or authentic, appears to have marked a turning point for the worse from which the US will not recover.
The new Iraqi government and its American patrons should have been basking in the glow of a two-week blitz of ["good news."]

* * *

But insurgents have counterattacked, scuffing the sheen of progress.

By week's end al-Maliki's government was forced to declare a state of emergency and shoo its citizens off Baghdad's streets with two hours notice after the tenacious insurgency took the offensive Friday along Haifa Street, just blocks from Iraq's seat of government.

Two days earlier, one of the defense lawyers for Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants was kidnapped from his home by men wearing Interior Ministry uniforms and flashing genuine-looking credentials. He was found slain in Sadr City, Baghdad's Shiite Slum - the third defense attorney to be murdered since the trial started.

On Tuesday, the bodies of two captured American soldiers were recovered - beheaded and surrounded by booby traps. And al-Zarqawi's successor, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, said he conducted the brutal slayings.

At least 14 other U.S. soldiers or Marines died in combat or insurgent bombings in a particularly bloody week for the military.
So much for the deadly blow that was allegedly dealt to Al Qaeda by Zarqawi's "death." Iraq is disintegrating.

Armchair warriors in the White House and in Congress continue to argue that in theory "staying the course" is better than "cutting and running." Meanwhile, in fact, our soldiers are dying by the dozen each week, not to mention dozens of innocent Iraqis.

When will this madness end? How many young lives must be obliterated before working Americans realize that this war is being fought so that a tiny minority of the world's population can live like kings?

  Saturday, June 24, 2006

Send US Senators to patrol Iraq on foot

It's a dangerous proposition for our delicate Senators. But it's the only way to get the cowardly weasels to reverse their vote to keep American troops in Iraq.
A bomb killed a U.S. soldier on a foot patrol Saturday south of Baghdad, the military said, after a particularly deadly week for U.S. forces in Iraq.

The soldier with the Multi-National Division in Baghdad died at about 7:20 a.m. Saturday due to injuries "suffered from a bomb explosion while on a dismounted patrol south of Baghdad," the military said.
What a terrible way to die. They haven't announced his name yet, but thousands of families must be holding their breath, hoping that their son, brother, father, or husband was somewhere else at the moment that unlucky soldier lost his life.
The military also announced the deaths of two other soldiers from the same division Friday.

One soldier was killed in a roadside bomb about 2:45 a.m. Friday in the capital, according to a statement. The attack occurred hours before clashes broke out on a volatile street near the heavily guarded Green Zone, prompting the Iraqi government to impose a curfew.

Another soldier from the same division died in a "non-combat incident" at about 5 p.m. Friday, the military said, adding the incident was under investigation.

* * *

Fifteen U.S. servicemembers have died or been found dead in Iraq this week.
Meanwhile, our Senators were acting out in Congress - some playing armchair warriors, others pretending to oppose the war when indeed they voted 96-0 to support it.
Both measures were offered as amendments to a largely noncontroversial $571 billion defense bill that passed 96-0 later in the day.
This kind of play acting won't end until each of these beaurocratic bozos, adept at prevaricating and smiling for the camera, is forced to put his or her own life and the lives of their children where their vote is.

  Friday, June 23, 2006

Israelis secretly arm Iraqis, Iran gets blamed

The United States accused Iran Thursday of being a major destabilizing force in Iraq, accusing Tehran of training and arming insurgent groups and using "surrogates" to carry out terrorist strikes.

"It's decidedy unhelpful," the top US commander in Iraq, General George Casey, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
However . . .
Casey said that he had NO EVIDENCE of Iranians actually in Iraq directing attacks against Iraqis or US forces, but said that he assumed elements in Tehran were guiding the process.
I wonder why he assumes it's Iran?
"We are quite confident that the Iranians . . . are providing weapons, IED technology and training to Shi'a extremist groups in Iraq" [he said].

"They are using surrogates to conduct terrorist operations in Iraq both against us and against the Iraqi people," he said.

Improvised Explosive Devices like road-side bombs are among the most commonly used methods to attack US forces in Iraq.
Isn't it possible that some OTHER nation might be secretly arming Iraqis?
Israel is one of the world's leading weapons exporters. Deals must be cleared through the Defense Ministry, but in past years there have been a number of cases of ex-army officers negotiating deals on their own, or taking on military training missions in foreign countries without approval.

In December, an investigative report by another daily, Yediot Ahronot, alleged that a number of private Israeli companies won contracts to provide security services to the Kurdish government in Iraq. The report said Israelis who had served in elite military combat units were teaching anti-terrorism methods to the Kurds.

At the time the Defense Ministry said, "we haven't allowed Israelis to work in Iraq, and each activity, if performed, was a private initiative, without our authorization, and is under the responsibility of the employers and the employees involved."

* * *

The Haaretz daily said Thursday that an Israeli businessman living in the United States and a Swiss firm operating in Israel, are suspected of selling security equipment and training courses to Kurds in northern Iraq.

Reaction was not immediately available from the Kurdish government.
So, if they're arming Kurds, who's to say they're not arming others in Iraq?

To those who blame me for unfairly scrutinizing Israeli conduct - explain this one, please.

US can't even keep its puppets in line

Not even Karzai the Klown is prepared to sit idly while "coalition" forces target and kill every military age male in Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday criticized the U.S.-led coalition's strategy for fighting terrorism, saying the current approach of hunting down militants is killing an "unacceptable" number of Afghans.

* * *

"It is not acceptable for us that in all this fighting, Afghans are dying," Karzai complained. "In the last three to four weeks, 500 to 600 Afghans were killed. (Even) if they are Taliban, they are sons of this land."

Most of those killed in the latest coalition offensive have been Taliban insurgents.

"I strongly believe ... that we must engage strategically in disarming terrorism by stopping their sources of supply of money, training, equipment and motivation," Karzai said.

Yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces raided a "known" Taliban compound, killing eight militants. Six others were captured.
It's important to learn the age and gender of the six captured 'others'.

The US had better change its strategy. By attacking every Afghani male who may have the means or the motive to fight back, they are giving thousands of other Afghanis a motive to fight back, too.

  Thursday, June 22, 2006

More Greenwash Bullshit From Citibank

Aka: Fake Green watch.

Watch out for World Resource Institute, they are claiming to be something they are not. Yes, these assclowns, have paired up with corporate terrorists Citigroup to produce fake environemntal proganda.

The report goes on to discuss 12 companies that will benefit from global warming. How convientant because the corporate terrorists at Citigroup are huge environmental destructivists and by stuffing World Resources Institutes g-strings they get to pretend like they aren't. In exchange for the report corporate terrorist Fred Wellington, senior financial analyst with WRI's capital markets research team, out right lies and whores for Citigroup praising them for their role in helping the environment.

But wait a second, does this sound like an environmentaly friendly terrorist cell (aka company)to you
Here is the truth about Citigroup and their Environmental Destruction:

According to

“Remember Citigroup’s loud claims to have become environmental? Well, last week it was reported that Citigroup will arrange a $10 billion loan to OAO Gazprom to finance the state-owned gas producer's purchase of a controlling stake in OAO Sibneft. Citigroup spokeswoman Lindsey Deans in London declined to comment. Typical.(”.

This is from the Sept. 19th update. Now let’s go back a few weeks to the week of August 22nd.

“Two of Citigroup’s far flung purchases last week -- a move on oil company, Inchon Oil Refinery Co., in South Korea (how’s that for environmental standards?) and, a department store with a subsidiary called Yes, parasite -- that’s Citigroup(”

Citigroup is no stranger to environmental destruction. Only a few years ago Rain Forest Action Network had an anti-Citigroup campaign going. On April 15 2003 Rainforest Action Network declared the campaign off when Citigroup made a bunch of (false) promises to become a leader in environmental standards. Now not even two and a half years later Citigroup is back to its old games and fucking over the environment.

It gets even better (3 more articles and fine examples of Citibank's environmental destruction:
Funding of big time environmental destruction
Money for (Murdering) Trees
Do these people ever stop funding environmental destruction!

Any questions left on who is really profitting from environmental destruction?

Boycott Greenbiz the corporate terrorist site publishing this bullshit, boycott World Resources Institute-as their pairing with corporate terrorist Shitigroup shows where they real stand, and most of all boycott the corporate terrorists at Citigroup (bank, cards, etc).

Slain Marine: 'Mom, everywhere we turn, we face death'

So much for being greeted with flowers by Iraqis. The only 'people' who want our soldiers in Iraq are multinational corporations.

McCaffreys mother, Nadia, told NBC11 News that she had a hunch something wasn't right when the military initially told her -- two years ago -- that her son was killed during an ambush while on patrol.

"He said, 'Mom, everywhere we turn, we face death and there's a bounty on our head,’" said Nadia McCaffrey.

"It just didn't add up and I know inside that I have to find the truth because Patrick was for peace and justice," said McCaffrey.

* * *

Despite the revelation that her son was killed by people he worked with, she says she has forgiven his killers.

"You know, it's an interesting thing because I'm not angry at the Iraqis," said McCaffrey. “I understand the situation. My son did not approve being there."

He was not alone. The only people who approve do it from the safety and comfort of an armchair.

  Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bush freaks out over abysmal EU poll numbers; invokes 9/11

If you can't take the heat, stop fanning the flames.
Although diplomatic relations between the United States and Europe have improved significantly since the rift over the Iraq war in 2003, Bush remains widely unpopular in Europe. A recent poll found that many Europeans consider the United States a threat to global stability.

"That's absurd," Bush snapped when asked, in general terms, about the poll results.

His irritation grew when an Austrian reporter read him some specific poll numbers.

"Look, people didn't agree with my decision on Iraq, and I understand that.

For Europe, September the 11th was a moment; for us, it was a change of thinking," he said, as his jaw muscles twitched in irritation . . .
He doesn't give a flying sh*t . . .
"People can say what they want to say. But leadership requires making hard choices based upon principle."
Nevermind that Bush wouldn't know a principle if it hit him in the nose, Schuessel crouched down to pay his respects to Boy blunder, so-called leader of the free world.
Schuessel jumped to his guest's defense, invoking memories of World War II and America's post-war help for Europe to rebuild. He warned Europeans that they should not be "naive" about the threat of terrorism.

"Don't forget, I was born in 1945. ... I will never forget that America fed us," Schuessel said. "I think it's grotesque to say that America is a threat to the peace in the world compared with North Korea, Iran, other countries."
Now, THAT'S what I call absurd.

Defending Saddam: EXTREMELY Bad for your health

I know attorneys are not always likeable. But, this is a little extreme.
One of Saddam Hussein's lawyers was abducted from his home and later found shot to death Wednesday, becoming the third member of the defence team killed since the former Iraqi leader's trial began eight months ago.

Khamis al-Obeidi, who represented Saddam and his half brother Barzan Ibrahim in the trial, was abducted at about 7 a.m. local time by men wearing police uniforms, court and police officials said.

He was shot dead and his body was later found on the street near Sadr City.
When assassins want to hide their identities, they know how to do it. These guys wanted the world to know (or think) that the killers are the same ones doing all the so-called ethnic cleansing.
Unlike some of other members on the defence team, al-Obeidi continued to live in Baghdad during the trial, even after two other defence lawyers were killed.

"Whatever will be will be," he told Reuters last year.
Hmmm . . .
"Que sera, sera,
Whatever will be, will be;
The future's not ours to see.
Que sera, sera,
What will be, will be."
And now he's dead. Alfred Hitchock couldn't have come up with a scarier ending.

Saddam must be in panic mode.

Qui Bono?

Bush tells North Korea ‘Don’t shoot – or I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll . . . ’

. . . vacation in Crawford.'

Americans better get a clue because while we're busy working for a living, our government is busy spending our hard earned money on defective 'defense' products.

When you pay for a product that goes by the name of 'defense shield', you're entitled to receive a shield that DEFENDS. But, apparently Bush and his cronies haven't figured that out yet.
As the Bush administration warns North Korea not to test a long-range missile, the U.S. missile-defense system remains a patchy and unproven shield, government studies and outside experts say.

President Bush ordered the Pentagon to start fielding prototype anti-missile rockets in 2004 to have at least some chance of destroying an intercontinental missile heading for the USA. Although there are 10 of those interceptors on bases in Alaska and California, their hurried deployment prevented complete testing and contributed to technical glitches and manufacturing problems, congressional investigators reported this year.

Unbelievable. First, Boy blunder asks for an over-priced system that has only "some chance" of defending the nation. Then - after 2 whole years - handsomely paid experts blame "hurried deployment" for their failure to produce a working product.

"Our system is still developing," Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff said Tuesday. "It's a limited missile-defense system right now."

It's limited, alright! – It doesn't work!

Ruff and other Defense Department officials would not confirm reports by The Washington Times and Reuters that the missile-defense system had been switched to operational mode. "It's not like we can press a button and go on alert," spokesman Lt. Col. Brian Maka said.

What were we thinking? Aggressors must wait until our government and its contractors get their sh*t together.

The Pentagon now spends about $8 billion a year [!!!] toward development of a network of systems designed to destroy enemy missiles, particularly those from Iran and North Korea. One of the most developed parts of that system is the handful of ground-based missile interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The interceptor rockets are meant to boost a "kill vehicle" into space, where its own sensors and ground-based radars would guide it to smash into an oncoming missile at 15,000 mph. The last successful test of the idea was in 2002.

Those interceptors have never been fully tested under real-world conditions, and the past two tests fizzled when the interceptors failed to launch.

Umm, WHAT exactly did they test in 2002 and under what "conditions," if not real-world?

Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, the Missile Defense Agency's commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April that he was confident the interceptors still provided "an initial defensive capability" despite the manufacturing problems blamed for the aborted tests. He said he had suspended testing and reviewed the program because of the failures.

"I believe we are back on track, but we will pause again if necessary," Obering said.

How pathetic. If by "initial defense capability" he means the deterrent effect that accompanies merely having the capability to defend ourselves, then he can rest assured that after this report, even that is gone.

Americans should sue the government under the Uniform Commercial Code for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability.

Philip Coyle, a longtime critic of the missile-defense program, said there's no firm evidence the interceptors would work against a North Korean missile.

If North Korea test-fires a missile to the south, it would be out of range of the system anyway, said Coyle, a former director of weapons testing for the Pentagon.

"Suppose North Korea launches a missile and the MDA tried to shoot it down, and like in some of the recent tests, it failed," Coyle said. "It would be totally embarrassing. It would cause a huge uproar in Congress."

What a moron! Thousands might be killed, but all he cares about is the national embarassment and the uproar in Congress??? Who gives a sh*t about Congress. They're mostly cowardly traitors who run for the hills at the first sound of alarm.

The ground-based missile-defense component was over budget by more than $365 million last year and delivered fewer interceptors than planned without proof they would work, according to a review by the Government Accountability Office this year. Inadequate oversight could have allowed some shoddy parts to be installed in the interceptors, the report said.

The story of our life. One government f*ckup after another.

Rep. Duncan Huner, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says a limited anti-missile capability is better than none at all. The California Republican said the system is worth the billions spent.

SOLD! to the Republican with the brown nose!

"We're going to have to be able to stop an incoming ballistic missile," Hunter said. "That's a truth that liberals are going to have to accept."

The TRUTH is that it doesn't work, you moron. Even Democrats know that the only good defense shield is a defense shield that works.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a California Democrat on the Armed Services panel, dismissed Hunter's statement. "We want something that works," she said.

So, essentially, when Bush warns North Korea not to shoot, the only thing that backs it up is his Texas swagger.

What a joke.

Too bad the only people laughing are bankers and defense manufacturers.

  Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ever get the feeling you're being had?

Why is it that every time something disturbing happens that involves our troops, the military finds 'good news' to offer the media.
A key al-Qaida in Iraq leader described as the group's "religious emir" was killed in a U.S. airstrike hours before two American soldiers went missing and in the same area, the military said Tuesday.

Mansour Suleiman Mansour Khalifi al-Mashhadani, or Sheik Mansour, and two foreign fighters were killed as they tried to flee in a vehicle near the town of Youssifiyah, in the so-called Sunni "Triangle of Death."

U.S. coalition forces had been tracking al-Mashhadani for some time, American military spokesman William Caldwell said in announcing his death. He said al-Mashhadani was an Iraqi, 35 to 37 years old, and that one of the men killed with him was an al-Qaida cell leader identified as Abu Tariq.

The three men were killed just hours before an insurgent attack on a traffic checkpoint near Youssifiyah, by a Euphrates River canal. One U.S. soldier was killed in the attack and two were reported missing afterward.
Why didn't they announce this when the incident happened?
Two bodies believed to be those of the missing men - Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., were recovered in the same area.
Good way to reassure families that their loved ones died for a just cause. The worst part about it is that there's almost no way to verify the military's report. But, based on past performance alone, we can be almost certain that part or all of the account is fabricated.
Caldwell said the Iraqi militant played a key religious and recruiting role in the group. The spokesman said Mansour was linked to the senior leadership, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a June 7 U.S. airstrike, and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the man the U.S. military has identified as al-Zarqawi's replacement.

Mansour "reportedly served as a right-hand man of Zarqawi's, and also served as a liaison between al-Qaida in Iraq and the various tribes in the Youssifiyah area, as well as playing a key role in their media operations," Caldwell said.

Citing intelligence sources, Caldwell also said Mansour was responsible for the shooting down of a coalition aircraft this spring.
But, there was a time that the military didn't think this guy was so important - so much so that they let him go.
The U.S. military captured Mansour in July 2004 because of his ties to the militant groups Ansar al-Islam and Ansar al-Sunna, but released him because he was not deemed an important terror figure at the time, the spokesman said.

The militant joined al-Qaida in Iraq sometime in the fall of 2004, Caldwell said. He displayed photos that purportedly showed Mansour with a mustache before his death and with a battered face and one eye closed after he was killed. Another photo identified Mansour as a masked figure sitting on the floor with al-Zarqawi.

A document seized from an al-Qaida hideout and released by National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie that portrayed the Iraqi insurgency as being in "bleak" shape was directly linked to Mansour, Caldwell said.
Surprise, surprise. This made-for-tv saga just keeps getting better with each passing day.

Israel, Israel, Israel, Kill, Kill, Kill - that's all I ever read online

Could it be because that's all Israel ever does?
A car was hit in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and one Palestinian child was killed, Palestinian witnesses said.
Note the passive structure of the statement. Israel didn't fire a missile at the car, the car was hit by it, and Israel didn't kill the child, the child was simply killed as if the car and the child were respectively hit and killed spontaneously. But, dead is dead - no matter how you describe it - and so is state-sponsored murder.
The strike targeted a car carrying Palestinian militants in the Jebaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, said the witnesses, adding that 11 people including seven children were also injured in the attack.

There was no immediate comment from Israel concerning the incident.

Israel has recently stepped up airstrikes against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip in a bid to prevent rocket attacks against the Jewish state.
Ghee, these preventative measures sound awfully familiar.

UPDATE: Israel killed, not one, but three children with this airstrike.
Israel killed three Palestinian children, two of them siblings, in an air strike on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after its defence minister pledged to step up military action against cross-border rocket salvoes.

Witnesses said aircraft fired at least one missile at a car carrying al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militants in Gaza City. The occupants managed to leap free but a 7-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother nearby were killed, as was a 16-year-old.

Nine bystanders, most of them minors, were wounded.
They must be proud.

BIG Slide Begins: World's Biggest Bond Fund leads the way

Attention all bond investors: In May, Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund, cut holdings of U.S. Treasury securities and agency debt to their lowest levels in four years as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates at a 16th consecutive policy meeting.

Gross, chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, reduced his Total Return Fund's holdings of Treasury bonds and securities sold by government-chartered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a seventh straight month. Holdings of U.S. debt dropped to 6 percent in May, the fund's lowest amount since April 2002, from 7 percent in April, according to Pimco's Web site.
What does this mean? First, it means that prospects are looking grim in the real estate market. Second, PIMCO decided that it isn't prudent to hold on to Treasury debt now at such low rates when alternatively they can (1) bleed people who need cash, and in the meantime (2) wait until Treasury yields are sky high before sticking it to the government, a.k.a. taxpayers.
Rising interest rates have pushed Gross to move his holdings away from Treasury holdings and other long-term government debt and into cash and its equivalents. He raised the fund's holdings of cash and securities with a maturity of less than one year for a sixth straight month to 34 percent in May from 32 percent in April.

He also cut holdings of mortgage-backed securities to 56 percent in May from 57 percent in April. Mortgage bonds pay interest from a pool of mortgages.
And no one wants to be left holding that worthless bag of debt. The mortgage-backed bond market is imploding.

Life is going to get increasingly harder for average Americans who must either labor over every dollar they need to survive, or borrow it at interest.

  Monday, June 19, 2006

Israel saves whales, but kills Palestinians with impunity

Forgive me for failing to see the virtue in jumping to the rescue of world whalery while continuing to kill Palestinians with impunity.
The tide hasn't ebbed at the International Whaling Commission's annual meeting in St. Kitts and Nevis, but Israel has already made a splash in keeping whales safe.

Israel cast ballots against the three Japanese-initiated measures voted on so far at the meeting, which began Friday and will continue until Tuesday, helping to defeat all of them in tight votes.

One of the defeated measures would have permitted a commercial moratorium exemption allowing countries to hunt 150 Minke and 150 Byrde whales in their own territorial waters. . .

"The main thing about the IWC is it's extremely polarized and every vote counts," said Merav Datan, Greenpeace International's political adviser for the Mediterranean and Middle East.
That makes for very effective PR. You think I'm being cynical? I don't think so.
Esther Efrat, the head of the treaty division at the Foreign Ministry, is representing Israel at the meeting. Since Israel joined the IWC only two weeks ago at the invitation of the US, Efrat had to cram to learn all the necessary information before leaving.
Spectacular timing. Always poised to take advantage of a good opportunity.
"We consulted the United States, Japan and Australia to find their agendas," said an official in the treaty department. "The secretary of the IWC was also very helpful with information."

The IWC, an international organization dedicated to managing whaling and protecting the world's largest mammals, has banned whaling for all but scientific purposes since 1986. Japan and Iceland have used this provision to continue killing whales, selling the meat after conducting scientific tests.
Let me get this straight. Corporations can torture and kill whales to study them for commercial exploitation (most likley Big Agri and Big Pharma), but others can't hunt whale in their OWN territory in order to EAT? Sounds inequitable. So, what's new?
Japan has brought in small Pacific island countries to the IWC to help sway the majority to its favor.

* * *

Israel has joined other anti-whaling countries in voting against any changes to the IWC's restrictions on whaling.

"We have laws protecting wildlife and since whales are part of wildlife, this influences how we vote," said the treaty department official.
We also have laws protecting people. But, apparently THAT does not phase you.

If Saddam gets death for killing 148, what's the going rate for starting WWIII based on lies?

Concluding his remarks, al-Moussawi asked for the death penalty against Saddam, his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Taha Yassin Ramadan, a former senior regime member. "They were spreading corruption on earth … and even the trees was not save [sic] from their oppression," he said.

"Well done," Saddam muttered sarcastically.
What a spectacle. The hopelessly corrupt prosecuting the demonstrably arrogant.

They best be careful, though. They're setting themselves up with this precedent. If Saddam gets death for killing 148, then Bush and Co. have much to fear for their crimes.

Fannie Mae's about to get its *ss kicked

America’s Fannie has been spanked with $400 million in fines, only the beginnings of turning inside out the entire ponzi scheme of American real estate finance.

Criticism levied at the mortgage finance giant after an $11 billion accounting scandal is fair and remains ongoing into the far foreseeable future as the onion is peeled away by Congressional investigators and greater public scrutiny. By the time real honest accounting is done, Fannie will be trading in the pennies.
I don't have time for detailed excerpts and commentary, but this article is a must read.

The proverbial sh*t is about to the hit the real estate fan.

As usual, NY’ers last to know about plot to kill them

A reported plot by al-Qaida terrorists to kill thousands of New Yorkers by spreading cyanide gas in the subway underscores the folly of a Homeland Security Department cutback of funds for major cities, a Democratic lawmaker said Sunday.
NO. It underscores the folly of a flawed foreign policy that has made Americans less safe now than ever before.

And when were these bozos going to tell us about this so-called terror plot, anyway? Over the loud speaker while we're trapped in a subway car???

If it wasn't for Ron Suskind's new book, we would have heard about these warnings just like we did those they received prior to 9/11 - in RETROSPECT.
The cyanide plot is described in a new book, "The One Percent Doctrine," by author Ron Suskind and excerpted in the current issue of Time magazine.

According to the book, U.S. intelligence agencies learned the scheme involved the use of a crude but effective device made of Mason jars that would release the deadly gas through several subway cars, but was called off, 45 days before it was set to occur, by Osama bin Laden's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
This reads more like a Hollywood script than a terror alert.

And marvel at the timing. Ron Suskind couldn't have asked for a better marketing campaign than what appears to be a confirmation that its contents are based in reality and not just a figment of his imagination.
"This is just more evidence that what Homeland Security did to us was terribly misguided and just wrong," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "It shows that New York is the prime target, and shows the importance of prior intelligence and of manpower."
No, Chuck. It shows the importance of minding our own business and putting an end to US imperialist adventures.
New York lawmakers, and state and municipal officials, have pledged efforts to reverse a recent decision by the federal agency to cut New York's federal anti-terror allocations by 40 percent, some $83 million less than the $207 million it received in 2005.
OH, I see!!! He doesn't care about what happens to us scruffy New Yorkers who travel to and from work every day on those God-forsaken subways. All he cares about is the Federal funds - that come out of our pockets through taxes and inflation, and provide sweetheart contracts for his Democratic supporters.
Schumer, a leading proponent in Congress of tighter security measures for the nation's ports and transportation systems, quoted security authorities, "both federal and local," as saying the al-Qaida plan to spread deadly gas in the subways in 2003 was considered a valid threat.

"It came from a serious source. It was never corroborated, but it was certainly enough to be taken seriously, and law enforcement, including the Joint Terrorism Task Force, worked together, taking all the precautions," Schumer said in a telephone interview.

He said he could not vouch for all details outlined in the book but "the basic thrust of the story seems to be true. There were only inklings about it at the time."
If Ron Suskind knew about it early enough to include in his book - which must have been planned at least a year ago - WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW??? After all, WE ARE the targets!!!
Paul Browne, a New York Police Department spokesman, said Saturday that authorities had known about the planned attack. "We were aware of the plot and took appropriate precaution," he said.
Inquiring minds want to know what, pray tell, are 'appropriate precautions'?
FBI spokesman Bill Carter said the bureau would have no comment on the excerpted material, and on Sunday's CBS' "Face the Nation," White House press secretary spokesman Tony Snow said: "I don't want to confirm or deny this particular story."
What a scam. Like Mike Rivero said the other day, if these guys said that the sun was shining, we would have to look for ourselves to make sure.
The book says U.S. officials had discovered plans for the device in the computer of a Bahraini arrested in February 2003, and were able to build a working model.

Shown the model, the author says, President Bush ordered government alerts, and when reports said al-Zawahiri had canceled the plan, Bush worried that something worse _"more destructive and more disruptive than 9/11" - might be coming, according to Suskind.
Does this ring a bell for anyone, because I don't remember hearing about this in February '03. Maybe I was just too busy with first year law school??? Send a link if you find relevant information.
An informant revealed the cyanide plot after becoming unhappy with al-Qaida's leadership, linking the plot to the terrorist group's top agent in Saudi Arabia, according to the book. The agent was later killed in a shootout with Saudi authorities.
How convenient.
The plan to attack the subway was one of at least four that were exposed or reported in the past decade.

In July 1997, police acting on a tip from an Egyptian immigrant wounded and captured two men, both of Palestinian background, in a plot to suicide-bomb Brooklyn's busy Atlantic Avenue subway station. One drew a life sentence, the other was convicted of having a fake immigration card.
Huh? Atlantic avenue? Palestinians? This is the first I've heard of this. Any links are appreciated.
Last October, police flooded subways with extra security after receiving intelligence reports of a suspected bomb plot using baby carriages. Although news organizations later suggested the information was a hoax, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said it was credible enough to merit taking action and alerting the public.
Baby carriages??? What complete and utter nonsense. They must think that we're braindead if they expect us to believe that sh*t.
In May, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted a 23-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Shahawar Matin Siraj, of plotting to bomb a Manhattan subway station.

To increase subway security, more than 1,000 surveillance cameras are now in use, with 2,000 more planned by 2008 if the funds are available to install them. The recent cuts by Homeland Security may force a freeze on other city surveillance camera plans, Kelly has said.
Over the protests of some civil rights advocates, police subject passengers to random searches of bags and backpacks. Until means are developed for detecting chemical, biological or nuclear substances, Schumer said, "intelligence is the only way of finding out ahead of time if a threat exists."
You don't need "intelligence." Anybody with half a brain can tell you that "a threat" exists.

Thanks to an unjust invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan more people hate America now than ever before in the history of this nation. The fact that Schumer hasn't figured that out is evidence that he is operating with less than half a brain.