Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Monday, February 28, 2005

More Pravda from Talon

Via a comment by THB:

"Remember that tinfoil hat stuff about American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon? How some said there was no airplane because there was no wreckage?"

More reliable people saw the airliner as it came down on the Pentagon- right?

"Well, one of "the most vivid eyewitnesses" was Bobby Eberle of GOPUSA, none other than the head of the organization that set up James Gannon/Jeff Guckert in the WH Press Pool.

Guy sure is at the center of some interesting stuff."

Vivid stuff, too...

So if you haven't seen this video- and you're like me, you did see the hole in the Pentagon and the pristine lawn in front of the hole, you need to download and watch this.

You'll need a Shockwave/Flash or RealPlayer to view it.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Another reason for Bu$hCo to shun science:

Bacteria that live in very extreme environments with little nutrients or oxygen often produce large amounts of methane (natural gas).

In the deepest darkest part of the ocean, and underneath the surface of the earth, and they're probably also involved in the "abiogenic" ( certainly a misnomer- here it means non-fossil ) production of oil.

Their genomes and some types of enzymes they produce are often used in biotechnology- google up "polymerase chain reaction extremophile" if you don't believe it.

An industrial process starting with methane producing bacteria to produce massive amounts of inexpensive hydrocarbon fuel would end the hegemony of the energy consortiums.

That's the end of the conservative movement's economic base. Cheap energy means no barrier to development of the third world. It means no barrier to the exploration of space. It provides for broad economic development and the re-establishment of a manufacturing-based economy.

How can you be a robber baron when everyone's successful?

No wonder they don't want kids thinking about science or their world.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bad Moon on the Rise

The Rise of Rove's Republic.

A constitutional order has three parts: mandate - what the government should do - and meaning - how the public views the role of its duties, rights and options in relationship to the government. These are tied together by mechanism - how the government functions. In American history, and to no small extent world history, the most important mechanism is money. Not in the sense of who gets money - but in the sense of how money works...

... the path to constitutional crisis runs through financial crisis...

The crisis then begins on the day where there is the last great compromise - in 1782 when the Articles of Confederation are created, in 1850 with the compromise of 1850, and in 1921, when the new Republican conservative administration agreed not to repeal, but would not extend, the half finished architecture of the Roosevelt-Taft-Wilson progressive-liberal era of government...

And, in 1990, when the pay go rules were put into place, as part of a series of revenue increases to pay off the ballooning budget deficit - and to bail out the bankrupt savings and loan system.

The 1780's, 1850's, 1920's and 1990's were consumed with efforts to prop up the old monetary order. But all of them failed, because none of them addressed the basic problem. Instead matters get worse, because every time a solution is converged on, a large minority that will have its interests gutted or reduced in importance has every reason not to cooperate. The reason Clinton was impeached was to prevent what needed to be done, from being done.

Then comes the moment when the bottom falls out...

Now there are many who would scoff at this idea, saying that big things don't happen. It is the strong version of the Copernican thesis - where ever you are is, by definition, unimportant. As far as I can tell there is exactly one person who has agreed with the reverse of that thesis all along, that instead we are at an important moment, and has methodically pursued the chance for the Republican Party to be the one that determines the shape of the new constitutional order.

His name is Karl Rove, perhaps you've heard of him...

Rove knows that to force the reactionary order, Bush must borrow. He must place a millstone around the necks of the next generation of government, and then make it so that to make those payments, the Republicans must be in charge. If the Democrats take the presidency by accident, the Republican Congress will merely stop doing the behind the scenes financial juggling - of budget borrowing, shuffling of money between accounts, raising the debt ceiling, passing huge unfunded mandates - that keep the economy alive. There will, in such a case, be a massive recession, and the Republicans will take power again. The government will become a massive protection racket, with the public held hostage...

Think about it, the government is borrowing more than a million dollars a minute - in order to produce hiring growth which is just keeping even with population growth. It's the Red Queen's Race. The Republicans are now building bridges to Europe, because it is Europe that will allow them to keep this up for a little while longer. And European leaders will be the biggest fools on the planet if they think that going along with Bush ends anywhere but their own ruin. The US played patsy to Europe in the 1920's - lending to fill the hole that Versailles and a foolish attempt at restoring the gold standard left. It meant the US was dragged down with Europe when the collapse finally hit.

The basis of Rove's Republic will be the massive debt, which can only be financed by back door agreements with Japan, China, Europe and Saudi Arabia. Since the money system won't actually work - merely present the illusion of working, as the real market will be what parts of America's future is being sold off this year in order to keep the money flowing from abroad...

The intent of the Republican Party is to make it so that the only ways that money enters the economy is through them. The genius of the Liberal Democracy is that money was created by land value. As people did things, at the ground level, that made houses and buildings and factories worth more - that allowed banks to lend more, and that created more money. While the Federal Reserve had the foot on the break, and the Congress the foot on the gas pedal - in a very real sense the money system of the liberal democracy was the most democratic that has ever existed, because everyone could, if they could figure out how, get some of what economists call "seinurage" - profit from creating money. As cities and towns had better communities, more people wanted to live in them. This increased housing prices, and that meant more lending, which meant more money.

But the flip side of every virtuous circle is a vicious circle. This entire system rested on manufacturing. Because, ultimately, it is manufacturing which allows exporting, or reduction of importing - and ultimately creates the "basic industry" which brings monetary base into a community to do all this magic with.

The drive is to break American manufacturing - and instead make it so that all new middle class hiring comes from either the security industry - which means only good republicans get hired, rather than the kind of people who worked the dot com boom - or the securties industry, which is dependent on the federal reserves interest rate policies, and on the retirement industry - pensions, 401ks, and, they hope, social security borrowing.

If people must be in line with the political ends of the Republicans to earn a good living, the nation will, because it must, become more like the Republicans. Those who do not want to play along must be poor, be careful, or be moving along to other nations...

The key change in the economy that has pushed the rise of the Republican party since 1969 is a change of the money system away from being based on assets - which is under the control of the people in their day to day economic, community and social activity, a truly grass roots money system in that the basic supply of money is governed by the value that people create - to one being based on oil. Oil is not something that people can create. Nor does conservation at the grass roots level help - because someone else will simply use the oil or energy you save to compete against you. Oil comes from a few places, and the money system is then under control of those places. The President became, in effect, the minister of oil.

And to keep the oil coming we had to borrow back the money we paid for the oil with. It went out, and came back. With each trip back it meant that financial sector had to eat a bit more of American life - because the dividends from the financial sector are what paid those who lent us the money. And with each round of paying more to the rich abroad, we had to lower the taxes on the rich here, so that they could stay even with the rich of other nations. It has been a vicious circle, this oil and money addiction, that has lasted for 30 years, and has now reached the every accelerating point from which there is no turning back.

And once an economic system is not about general activity, but about the control of some particularly scarce resource, it must become conservative, since economics is, on any given small time scale, zero sum...

... there are only two ways to pay off this debt. One is to sell everything in America - the national parks, government lands, the airwaves, the profits of our labor, the fruits of our agriculture, the mortgages that we pay on our houses - to foreigners so they will keep our economy lubricated with money and oil - or it will be to create new forms of industry and commerce will create more wealth and dwarf what was borrowed. The first is the Republican way - to strip the country bare to pay for present consumption. The second must become the proposal of the Democratic Party...

Read it all. It's that important.

I would only add that it's not just Karl Rove thinking this way.

There's Grover Norquist, who wants to get the part of government he can't control down to the size where he can "strangle it in a bathtub". There's old guard cons like Robert Bork who once said another Great Depression might be needed to force this nation into the proper social agenda. There's even crackpot intellectuals like our new Secretary of State, Dr. Rice, who specialized in the Great Game against Russia in her academic career.

This isn't just a conspiracy.

It's an attempt at a New World Order, which somehow looks and smells and tastes and tortures and wages war like the worst of the old feudal empires.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ragnarok a la carte

Since Dear Leader is shaking his Nukular MoJo at Iran, Syria, and North Korea this week, and to a lesser extent at China, Russia, and the European Union (well, France, anyway), and since RDF got me going over at Corrente with a post about Survivable Nuclear War, it's probably a good time to look at this issue.

Who in their right mind would count on surviving a nuclear exchange?

First: a list of nuclear weapons websites for your intellectual stimulation. Note that's a pro-Wrepublican paranoia site: with links to get you scared about Saddam and the Bomb.

That ought to put your fears about Iran in context right away.

A bit more rational source and compilation of policy informations may be found here at the Natural Resources Defense Council site.

But what about the other guys? And what about Dear Leader's puffy chest in Europe this week, alternately smirking and browbeating a lot of Foreigners who all speak English better than he does?

The root of Bu$hCo's love of packin' nukes comes from Rumsfeld's long standing conviction that really, for all you folks out there, nuclear war isn't so bad. He's been convinced it's quite survivable since the Days of the Gipper.

Rumsfeld and Cheney were principal actors in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan Administration. Under it U.S. officials furtively carried out detailed planning exercises for keeping the federal government running during and after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The program called for setting aside the legal rules for presidential succession in some circumstances, in favor of a secret procedure for putting in place a new "President" and his staff. The idea was to concentrate on speed, to preserve "continuity of government," and to avoid cumbersome procedures; the speaker of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the rest of Congress would play a greatly diminished role.

In 2002 Rumsfeld submitted a (mostly) Classified Nuclear Posture Review to Congress. Bits and pieces of it have been declassfied- mostly embers to stoke the fires of the American Enterprise Institute and other bastions of Imperial Philosophy. But an outsider can pick out the interesting tidbits that serve as rationale to those who daily dream of the unthinkable:

Early on, we recognized that the new security environment demanded that the Department go beyond the Congressional mandate in developing a strategic posture for the 21st century. President Bush had already directed the Defense Department to transform America's military and prepare it for the new, unpredictable world in which we will be living. ...

Nuclear weapons … provide credible military options to deter a wide range of threats. … Greater flexibility is needed with respect to nuclear forces and planning than was the case during the Cold War. … Nuclear-attack options that vary in scale, scope and purpose will complement other military capabilities

You know. Suitcase nukes. Burrowing nukes. Neutron bombs. Nice low yield weapons that the boys at General Dynamics and Raytheon and General Electric can mass produce. Nuclear hand grenades, no doubt. Or depleted uranium ones, anyway- but that's a subject for another post.

All these things become thinkable if you're convinced God is on your side, and the Apocalypse has to follow the Game Plan.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

National Security Threat

Bird flu

In Asia, there have already been a number of deaths among people who caught the flu from chickens or ducks. The mortality rate is very high — about 72 percent of identified patients, said Gerberding. There also have been documented cases of this strain of flu being transferred from person-to-person, but the outbreak was not sustained, she said.

Don't give me any nonsense about Acts of God.

This thing has a unique surface antigen- the H5 hyaluronidase moiety- and that means you can make a vaccine for it.

In fact:

The government has ordered 2 million doses of vaccine that would protect against the known strains of avian flu.

It kills 3/4 of the people that get it, which is why it hasn't spread much further. What happens if some bright maniac gives it to someone, puts 'em on an airline, and walks 'em through O'Hare? Coughing themselves literally to death?

Dear Leader, his closest friends, and maybe 2 million "others" get the vaccine. They ought to be ordering 200 million doses of it. It's less expensive than a week of fighting in Iraq.

It's what a government is good for. Unless it's run by Republicans. Who's "private contractors" couldn't even get the right formulation together this year.

More facts about avian influenza here.

Funny, all this time thinking it was the Constitution...

The hostilities began last month, when Goss tried to install a former CIA analyst named Michael Kostiw as the agency's executive director, the No. 3 spot.

Someone—likely a CIA official who opposed Kostiw's appointment—leaked an embarrassing tidbit to The Washington Post: years earlier Kostiw had been accused of shoplifting. It was enough to derail Kostiw's appointment. The sabotage infuriated Murray, who stormed into the office of the CIA's chief of counterintelligence, a respected undercover official known as "Mary."

According to two people familiar with the encounter, Murray told her the leaks had to stop, and put her in charge of making sure they did. If there were any more damaging leaks about future Goss appointments, Murray warned her, "I am going to hold you personally responsible." Mary's boss, Michael Sulick, and Sulick's boss, Stephen Kappes, confronted Murray. "Look, don't treat us like we're Democratic staffers on the Hill," Sulick told Murray, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Murray responded by ordering Kappes to fire Sulick. Kappes refused. Instead, both Sulick and Kappes resigned last week. The men received a five-minute standing ovation from CIA employees. Goss and Murray declined to comment, but people close to them say there are others at the agency who should fear for their jobs...

Goss's supporters insist he was merely stating the obvious: the CIA does, after all, exist to serve the president.

Don't we all?

And the president wants to serve man...

Thanks to Truthout.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Black Spot for Homeland Intelligence Czar

Yes indeed.

Billmon has spotted the inconsistencies between what the CIA's released and what Black Spot says about the Honduras.

More about Black Spot here.

Death squads coming to a home near you soon.

PoMo White House Ho's

And they damned Clinton for liking fresh young girls with big hair.

Maureen Dowd breeches the unbreechable today in The New York Pravda:

I am very impressed with James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon.

How often does an enterprising young man, heralded in press reports as both a reporter and a contributor to such sites as Hotmilitarystud.com, Workingboys.net, Militaryescorts .com, MilitaryescortsM4M.com and Meetlocalmen.com, get to question the president of the United States?

Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief?"

Bu$hCo has given justification to the term Media Ho's.

Ms. Dowd- or MoDo to those of us that like to laugh at her the same way she laughs at everyone else- goes into the details you won't hear on FOX:

"Jeff Gannon" was waved into the press room nearly every day for two years as the conservative correspondent for two political Web sites operated by a wealthy Texas Republican. Scott McClellan often called on the pseudoreporter for softball questions.

Howard Kurtz reported in The Washington Post yesterday that although Mr. Guckert had denied launching the provocative Web sites - one described him as " 'military, muscular, masculine and discrete' (sic)" - a Web designer in California said "that he had designed a gay escort site for Gannon and had posted naked pictures of Gannon at the client's request."

And The Wilmington News-Journal in Delaware reported that Mr. Guckert was delinquent in $20,700 in personal income tax from 1991 to 1994."

More details on the Gannon story than MoDo covers here.

The real cause of MoDo's righteous indignation is revealed below:

" At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.

In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon. "

Hell hath no fury like a MoDo scorned. But she does get to the meat in the end:

" They flipped TV's in the West Wing and Air Force One to Fox News. They paid conservative columnists handsomely to promote administration programs. Federal agencies distributed packaged "news" video releases with faux anchors so local news outlets would run them. As CNN reported, the Pentagon produces Web sites with "news" articles intended to influence opinion abroad and at home, but you have to look hard for the disclaimer: "Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense." The agencies spent a whopping $88 million spinning reality in 2004, splurging on P.R. contracts.

Even the Nixon White House didn't do anything this creepy. It's worse than hating the press. It's an attempt to reinvent it. "

MoDo is a liberal feminist progressive at heart, and I love her for that.

But like a lot of us, she turned on both Clintons when she realized their hypocrisy, mocked Al Gore, and gave only half-hearted support to Kerry's run.

MoDo may understand the real nature of the game being played in Washington, and the Big Reasons behind it.

So it's hard for me to damn her for damning the relatively good guys, too.

Even though her post modern relativism has given rise to the running joke:
MoDo is a PoMo Mofo fo sho.

I suspect if she'd made up that joke she'd be cattily smirking about it, too.

But damn it all, sometimes the difference between flawed and worse is bigger than the difference between good and better.

If only it were easy to judge, we wouldn't be heading into Endless World War for oil.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Heading towards Little Big Horn

When the Professionals quit the Company, you know it's bad.

Custer Battles was introduced to you below.

These fine examples of Bu$hCo's drive to privatize war (among other things) are examined more fully in their claims to be immune from fraud charges (among other things) here and here.

Thanks to the farmer at Corrente and also here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

If only it were Elmer Gantry now running the CIA

... the top-down expressions of apocalyptic, fundamentalist faith represent a screen theology, to deceive the sincerely devout - for instance, that Bush is a "godly man" who holds power by the "will of God" in these "Last Days" - and to mask the true hearts and intentions of the gangster elite. At best, they are hypocrites. And if they are worse than that, then they are much worse.

Many of America's conservative Christians may be surprised to learn their Christian Right isn't so Christian anymore. Over the past 15 years, it's been largely bought, borrowed, compromised and blackmailed by Reverend Sun Myung Moon. And what Moon represents is yet another hub in the fascist/intelligence/criminal nexus of money laundering, drug trafficking and arms dealing we frequently see behind the thinning veil of America.

One of these things is quite like the other, both of these things are kind of the same...

Releases of photographs of two different WMD installations in Iran and Korea at CNN are the same.

Smarter war profiteering criminal robber barons, please.

I would say "smarter chimps, please", but these relatively noble simians have had to bear the brunt of this comparison for far too long now.

Billmon rightly cites this as being another example of Down the Memory Hole. You should read what he's got to say.

CNN did post a correction after being laughed at by a couple of hundred emails. An "honest mistake", or just another instance of honest contempt for the facts? After all, the Koreans really have nukes.

It would be so much easier to sell a war in Iran if they had shots of a real nuke installation there...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Private Security paid in a gunny sack from Saddam's basement

Senate Democrats are investigating one of the greatest crimes in American history: the outright theft of uncounted billions of tax dollars perpetrated by GOP-connected corporations with the assistance of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

U.S. officials in postwar Iraq paid a contractor by stuffing $2 million worth of crisp bills into his gunnysack and routinely made cash payments around Baghdad from a pickup truck, a former official with the U.S. occupation government says.

Because the country lacked a functioning banking system, contractors and Iraqi ministry officials were paid with bills taken from a basement vault in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces that served as headquarters for the Coalition Provisional Authority, former CPA official Frank Willis said.

Officials from the CPA, which ruled Iraq from June 2003 to June 2004, would count the money when it left the vault, but nobody kept track of the cash after that...

Calling it looting by mercenaries sounds so coarse, doesn't it?

But do read all Athenae has to say, it only gets more interesting.

Sunday Funnies

The Good, the Bad, and the Saga of Homeland Joe .

Bu$hCo hearts Sun Myung Moon

Finding common cause in supporting the Contra death squads in those days was Reverend Moon, owner of the Washington Times, whose right-hand man cut the $100,000 check that opened Oliver North's "Freedom Fund."...

Further note on the Nicaragua Freedom Fund: NFF co-chairs included Michael Novak (American Enterprise Institute, among others) and William Simon (former Olin Foundation president and Nixon administration Treasury Secretary, among others). Arnaud de Borchgrave (Washington Times editor in chief) announced the formation of the NFF in 1985.

Oliver North had requested the NFF be established (reportedly with then National Security adviser Bud McFarlane's blessing) to route "humanitarian aid" to the Contra's.

Later, Ronald S. Godwin (Moral Majority and Washington Times) would help secure funding for North through the Interamerican Partnership, which, as Common Cause Magazine described it in 1993, was "a fore-runner to North's own Freedom Alliance."...

Ronald S. Godwin? Godwin was former executive director of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority and became a chief executive officer at The Washington Times following Moon's assisted bailout of Falwell's Libery University in the early 1990's. That's why Jerry Falwell always has that creepy smirk on his face."

Read it all.

More on Moon and Abrams here .

More on Moon's purchase of influence among the NeoTheoCons here.

Democracy-hating fascists of a feather flock together.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Why the So-Called Liberal Media Stopped Being Liberal

For one thing, it's hazardous to your health .

The bin Laden family hearts General Electric

No kidding.

Now an international conglomerate, the family business has 50,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues estimated at $5-billion. Its enterprises include construction, engineering, telecommunications, book publishing and manufacturing that ranges from motor vehicle parts to crystal chandeliers. Its business partners include General Electric, Nortel, Snapple beverages, Motorola and CitiBank. The conglomerate had a corporate office in Rockville, Md., that was dissolved last year, and several family members own homes in the United States. One of them, Khalil bin Laden, has a 20-acre vacation estate in Winter Garden.

You know GE. They bring good things to life and war to Iraq. General Electric hearts Carlyle, too, cause they've both made lots of money fighting these evil terra'sts.

Thanks to Alice for the heads up.

If you aren't with them, you're against them

Digby comments on the curious tendency of the hard right to accuse progressives of actively supporting the terra'ists, when the facts present a rather different picture.

I especially enjoy this accusation of the libertine, decadent elitist left being in cahoots with the gay hating, women oppressing Islamic fundamentalists. Because when you think about it, isn't it much more likely that there are those on the Right who find common cause with religious radicals?

And he not only goes to show it's more likely- because they have.

Federal documents reviewed by the Weekly show that [Dana] Rohrabacher maintained a cordial, behind-the-scenes relationship with Osama bin Laden’s associates in the Middle East—even while he mouthed his most severe anti-Taliban comments at public forums across the U.S.

From the top echelon of the Carlyle Group, to the Bu$hCo White House, to the machinations of the NeoTheoCon spear carriers, there have associations of the fascists and zealots of the East and West for the last 40 years that I know of.

To accuse the opponents of the Corporate takeover of America with supporting terrorism is worse than simple projection, it's an attempt to rally the misinformed against the people trying to make America the nation we all used to be proud of.

This quote comes to mind:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Dis Information

A note from a friend asks me what I think of Ward Churchill.

Ward Churchill should not be taken as representing a progressive viewpoint. Even if he gets a few things right, he makes many mistaken conclusions. A much better perspective is given by Emmanuel Ortiz here.

Not that both Bushes, Clinton, Albright, and others don't deserve slamming for a lot of reasons, some of which do include the deaths of several hundred thousand civilians in Iraq.

Beyond that I have some real problems with Churchill's position.

First, he reinforces the fallacy of assuming the 9/11 terrorists were acting in retribution for what's gone on in Iraq.

There wasn't a single Iraqi terrorist. They were mostly Saudis, whose government hated Saddam's and on whose Wah'habi religious fanatics despise secular humanist Islam as much as secular humanist Christianity. Their organization was originally trained by the CIA in the covert war against the Russians in Afghanistan.

The CIA may still be feeding that kitty.

Second, he makes the fallacy that American civilians in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were guilty of sinning by omission, that their inability to stop the mega corporations from plundering the earth made them as guilty as any other mass murderers.

That is illogical. The entire world is interconnected. Connection does not confer control.

Otherwise I could personally send Bu$hCo to jail.

One might as well assume Ward Churchill is just as guilty himself, since he no doubt obtains his food and clothing and shelter and his internet access from the same corporate mechanism that supported the innocent victims of 9/11.

One might as well assume the innocent Iraqi civilians are guilty of Saddam's atrocities.

Or that we are, since our government supported Saddam while he was gassing the Kurds.

Ward Churchill is guilty of some correct but some very confused thinking. He's right that the people at the top of the government are all making piles and piles of money off the middle eastern situation, Wrepublican or DINOcrat. But he's wrong about the motivations behind the 9/11 attack.

He's done more damage to the antiwar movement than good because of his tendency to blame the ignorant but innocent for the sins of the corporate manipulators.

Innocents are innocents, here or there or on any side.

It's our task to educate the ignorant, because without their enlightenment the cycle of retribution and violence won't end.

Of course, those who profit from the Blank Check for Endless War don't want the ignorant educated.

Of course, Bu$histas like to portray Ward Churchill as a typical liberal- which he isn't.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Never forget

They knew it was coming.

The Bush administration has blocked the public release of the full, classified version of the report for more than five months, officials said, much to the frustration of former commission members who say it provides a critical understanding of the failures of the civil aviation system. The administration provided both the classified report and a declassified, 120-page version to the National Archives two weeks ago and, even with heavy redactions in some areas, the declassified version provides the firmest evidence to date about the warnings that aviation officials received concerning the threat of an attack on airliners and the failure to take steps to deter it.

Among other things, the report says that leaders of the F.A.A. received 52 intelligence reports from their security branch that mentioned Mr. bin Laden or Al Qaeda from April to Sept. 10, 2001. That represented half of all the intelligence summaries in that time.

Tenet's CIA warned them. Tenet's CIA was ignored. They knew.

They let it happen.


Look all around you.

Look who has the money and power now.

That's why.

Your tax dollars at work

Bob Herbert, today:

Maher Arar is a 34-year-old native of Syria who emigrated to Canada as a teenager. On Sept. 26, 2002, as he was returning from a family vacation in Tunisia, he was seized by American authorities at Kennedy Airport in New York, where he was in the process of changing planes.

Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen, was not charged with a crime. But, as Jane Mayer tells us in a compelling and deeply disturbing article in the current issue of The New Yorker, he "was placed in handcuffs and leg irons by plainclothes officials and transferred to an executive jet."

In an instant, Mr. Arar was swept into an increasingly common nightmare, courtesy of the United States of America. The plane that took off with him from Kennedy "flew to Washington, continued to Portland, Maine, stopped in Rome, Italy, then landed in Amman, Jordan."

Any rights Mr. Arar might have thought he had, either as a Canadian citizen or a human being, had been left behind. At times during the trip, Mr. Arar heard the pilots and crew identify themselves in radio communications as members of "the Special Removal Unit." He was being taken, on the orders of the U.S. government, to Syria, where he would be tortured...

Mr. Arar was seized because his name had turned up on a watch list of terror suspects. He was reported to have been a co-worker of a man in Canada whose brother was a suspected terrorist.

"Although he initially tried to assert his innocence, he eventually confessed to anything his tormentors wanted him to say," Ms. Mayer wrote.

The confession under torture was worthless. Syrian officials reported back to the United States that they could find no links between Mr. Arar and terrorism. He was released in October 2003 without ever being charged and is now back in Canada...

Any government that commits, condones, promotes or fosters torture is a malignant force in the world. And those who refuse to raise their voices against something as clearly evil as torture are enablers, if not collaborators.

There is a widespread but mistaken notion in the U.S. that everybody seized by the government in its so-called war on terror is in fact somehow connected to terrorist activity. That is just wildly wrong...

Jettisoning the rule of law to permit such acts of evil as kidnapping and torture is not a defensible policy for a civilized nation. It's wrong. And nothing good can come from it.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

North Korea has the Bomb, and threatens to use it.

Exactly how did this happen?

In a surprising admission, North Korea's hard-line Communist government declared publicly today for the first time that it has nuclear weapons.

It also said that it will boycott United States-sponsored regional talks designed to end its nuclear program, according to a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement transmitted today by the reclusive nation's wire service.

Pyongyang said it has "manufactured nukes for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's undisguised policy to isolate and stifle" North Korea, and that it will "bolster its nuclear weapons arsenal."

And Japan doesn't care. Their response is:
"At first, we should make economic sanctions," Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo's conservative governor said in an interview this afternoon, just before North Korea's nuclear weapons vow was made public.

"At the second stage, let them bomb Japan with that nasty missile," Mr. Ishihara taunted with sarcasm in his voice as he spoke in his office, in Tokyo's tallest building. "Their missile cannot load a nuclear warhead." Asked what Japan would do in response to a missile attack, Mr. Ishihara merely smiled.

You don't suppose our friends in Japan have a Godzilla buster or two of their own?

So exactly how did this happen? Nattering nabobs of negativism about Dear Leader weakening our image abroad? Liberal media? Bill Clinton?

In order to do nuclear work, you have to have hardware for nuclear reactors. Who would sell such things to the North Koreans? Who would be so irresponsible?

Up steps Free Enterprise to take the credit. It makes me proud to be an American.

Rumsfeld was also on the board of the multinational, Swiss-based company Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), a key contractor in several controversial development projects like the Three Gorges Project in China and the Bakun Dam in Malaysia. (8) According to Swiss Radio International, in 2000, while Rumsfeld was still on the ABB board, the company won a $200 million contract with Pyongyang to deliver equipment and services for two nuclear power plants. The reactors are part of deal that was struck between the United States and North Korea in 1994 in an effort to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Interestingly, in 1998, Rumsfeld, one of the Bush administration's hardliners on Korea policy, chaired a congressional commission (the Rumsfeld Commission on the Ballistic Missile Threat) that argued that the Clinton administration erred when it made the 1994 deal with the North Koreans. Yet, while wearing his corporate hat, Rumsfeld was profiting from this very deal. He claims that the Korean reactor deal never came up in any of the ABB board meetings he attended.

To be fair, redRum sfeld's profiteering is only a drop in the ocean.

Because some pretty big fish are in this sea. Halliburton has sold nuclear detonators . So if Carlyle is swimming there, no one knows exactly how deep the water goes. But it's no wonder Bu$hCo couldn't be bothered to worry about them in the lead up to Iraq.

For one thing, it would be bad for Business.

You can't get a Blank Check without Endless War.

The problem for Dear Leader and Bu$hCo is that if the Big Ones start to go off, they might cash in before they can fully ca$h out.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Extraordinary Rendition

"The bottom line is getting anyone off the streets who is involved in acts of terrorism is a worthwhile activity...

"The practice of capturing people and taking them to second or third countries arose because the Executive assigned the job of dismantling terrorist cells to the CIA.

"When the agency came back and said 'Where do you want to take them?' the message was 'That's your job'."

He added: "The idea that this is a rogue operation that someone has dreamt up is just absurd. I personally have no problem with doing any operation as long as it's justified legal by my superiors."

So when they start using their new hired hands here in the Homeland to round up "risks", do they have to ship said risky business all the way to Egypt, or will Gitmo contract out again?

And how to assess legal treatment of said detainees if the "superiors" don't know where they're kept?

Thanks to Michael Moore.

On the Nature of Evil

Evil occurs when people forget they are human.

Humanity is a psychological construct that differentiates us from the jackals.

We make ourselves humane.

People are not intrinsically evil, no matter what the experts and pundits and clergy say.

Even Bu$hCo is not so.

But there is a point in every person's development whether they choose to adopt the mindset of humane behavior.

I submit that Evil is a result of a lack of humane empathy.

Whether Evil is due to nature or nurture or both depends on the world the person makes, and the person the world makes.

Thanks to Lambert at Corrente.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Signing Bonus

The Pentagon is planning to offer $150,000 bonuses in an expensive attempt to keep members of its elite Special Forces – Navy Seals, Green Berets and specially trained Air Force squads – from jumping ship to take more lucrative civilian jobs with U.S. contractors.

I know that's what I want my taxes to go for: training the Best of the Best to serve in Halliburton's own private army.

It all depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

"U.S. Officials Say a Theocratic Iraq Is Unlikely." This headline is probably wrong, but in any case it begs the question of what a "theocracy" is.

If it means a clerically-ruled state, then I agree with Vice President Dick Cheney that a) you have to look at what Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani wants, and b) that Sistani does not want clerics to rule the country as in Iran. But the main goal of political Islam in the past few decades hasn't been clerical rule. It has been the replacement of civil law with shariah or Islamic canon law. This was done by the non-clerical government of Sudan, e.g. And that is where Iraq is headed. The only question is how wideranging the substitution will be.

As usual, Juan Cole hits it.

"Life imitates art"

The film Seven Days In May is one of my all-time favourites. The gripping 1964 drama, starring Burt Lancaster, depicts an attempted coup by far rightists in Washington using a top-secret Pentagon anti-terrorist unit called something like "Contelinpro."

Life imitates art. This week, former military intelligence analyst William Arkin revealed a hitherto unknown directive, with the Orwellian name "JCS Conplan 0300-97," authorizing the Pentagon to employ special, ultra-secret "anti-terrorist" military units on American soil for what the author claims are "extra-legal missions."

In other words, using U.S. soldiers to kill or arrest Americans, acts that have been illegal since the U.S. Civil War.

Thanks to Truthout for the link.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A Private Contractor Army in the War on Terra

What I've just read from the business press the last couple of days probably reflects the thinking in Washington and London: "Uh well, okay, we'll let them have a government, but we're not going to pay any attention to what they say." In fact, the Pentagon announced at the same time two days ago: we're keeping 120,000 troops there into at least 2007, even if they call for withdrawal tomorrow...

[conscription] is going to be a last resort. The reason is the Vietnam experience. The Vietnam experience, I think, is the first time in the history of European imperialism that an imperial power tried to fight a colonial war with a citizen's army. I mean the British didn't do it, and the French had the Foreign Legion ... In colonial wars, civilians are just no good. [Colonial wars are] too brutal and vicious and murderous. You just can't take kids off the street and have them fight that kind of war. You need trained killers, like the French Foreign Legion.

-Noam Chomsky

And like an old friend pointed out to me: Sunnis mention the Central Intelligence Agency for promoting suspicious bombings; Shi'ite militias used in the leveling of Fallujah; peshmerga (paramilitaries) used to fight Arabs in Mosul; and the possibility of the Badr Brigades being called back. In a civil war, the Americans would divide Iraq in three parts - the juicy ones attributed to US corporations, the rotten ones controlled by warlords.

Who would be our Foreign Legion, paid for by the US taxpayer?

Carlyle provides the model for the financing of Security organizations here and in Iraq. It owns proxies like the Vinnell Group that arm and train mercenaries- or rather, since mercenaries are prohibited by the Geneva Convention, "private contractors". Such guards have been working in Saudi Arabia- employed by Carlyle and the House of Saud for the last 30 years .

Carlyle has promoted DynCorp in Iraq- a group of private contractors involved in the cocaine and white slavery trade, or Department of Defense computing, depending on where the money is.

And in the War on Terra, there's plenty of money to be made in lots of different ways.

There's Aegis and Blackwater, of course- the people whose actions touched off the Iraqi innsurrection.

There's CACI and Titan, with their specialized interrogation techniques. Soon to open a center near you.

Because you see, the Colonial War isn't just in Iraq/ Iran/ Syria/ wherever there's oil.

You see, even with the books being cooked, near half of 'Murika voted like the Blue states. You see, there's a Cultural War going on for the Soul of 'Murika. And it's only a matter of time before Homeland Security demands action.

CACI will know what to do to root out the Infidels.

Friday, February 04, 2005

War! What is it good for?

Oil, baby.

None of this Absolutely Nuthin' stuff.

More on What They’re Not Telling You About the “Election” from the source.

So most of the Sunnis didn't vote. And the Shiite's that did vote want a theocracy.

But the Administration's Iran hate fest has started, although they're being nice in front of the allies.

That's just a facade: at the same time Kindasleezy Rice "said the United States would continue to rebuff European requests to participate directly in offering incentives for Iran to drop what is suspected of being a nuclear arms program."

Bait and switch. Don't listen to what they say. Watch what they do.

There's no way they'll give this to Iran Shiites.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005