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Unread postby socrates » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:15 pm

The big news of course is the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Revealed: Pakistan hosed away scene after Bhutto attack
The Raw Story
John Byrne
December 29, 2007

May have violated law by skipping autopsy

Despite official reports by Pakistan's interior ministry claiming that the government had intercepted congratulatory messages sent by al Qaeda surrounding the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a motley of strange occurrences has sparked new suspicion of the government's official story.....





Here is a recent interview Bhutto did with David Frost on November 2nd. By the way, she claimed that Bin Laden has been dead for quite a while. Interesting. Maybe she posed a threat to elites in more ways than the obvious ones.

AlJazeeraEnglish wrote:Sir David speaks to former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto about her controversial return to Pakistan, who she thinks is behind the deadly bombing of her convoy in Karachi last month, and whether she and Musharraf can forge a powersharing agreement.





She mentioned the murder of Bin Laden when answering whom she felt was behind the previous attempt on her life. Perhaps she was killed for advocating for the investigation of money trails. The following article is very disturbing. It looks into possible connections between the man she said killed Bin Laden, 9/11, the CIA, the ISI, and al-Qaeda.

Sept. 11's Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh
By Paul Thompson

A young Saeed Sheikh.

The ISI: “The Invisible Government”

As the London Times has put it, Saeed Sheikh “is no ordinary terrorist but a man who has connections that reach high into Pakistan’s military and intelligence elite and into the innermost circles of Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization.” [London Times, 4/21/02] To understand why Saeed is so important in understanding 9/11, it is necessary to first understand the Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The ISI plays a much more significant role in the Pakistani government than do its counterparts in other countries. Time Magazine has noted, “Even by the shadowy standards of spy agencies, the ISI is notorious. It is commonly branded ‘a state within the state,’ or Pakistan’s ‘invisible government.’” [Time, 5/6/02] The ISI grew into its present form during the war between the Soviet Union and mujaheddin guerrillas in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The CIA thought the Afghan war could be Russia’s own costly Vietnam War, and they funneled billions to the mujaheddin resistance to keep them a thorn in Russia’s side. The strategy worked: Soviet soldiers withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, and the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, partly due to the costs of the war. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/01]

But the costs to keep the mujaheddin fighting were staggering, with estimates ranging between $6 billion and $40 billion. [New York Times, 8/24/98, Nation, 2/15/99] While a substantial portion of this amount came from the CIA and the Saudi Arabian government, who were both funneling the money through the ISI, much of the cost was deferred by Afghanistan’s opium trade. The Sydney Morning Herald notes, “Opium cultivation and heroin production in Pakistan’s northern tribal belt and adjoining Afghanistan were a vital offshoot of the ISI-CIA cooperation. It succeeded in turning some of the Soviet troops into addicts. Heroin sales in Europe and the US, carried out through an elaborate web of deception, transport networks, couriers and payoffs, offset the cost of the decade-long war in Afghanistan.” [Sydney Morning Herald, 9/27/01] Afghan opium production ballooned from 250 tons in 1982 at the start of the war to 2,000 tons in 1991 just after its end. The Minneapolis Star Tribune observed, “If their local allies were involved in narcotics trafficking”—the ISI and their allies in Afghanistan—“it didn’t trouble CIA.” [Star Tribune, 9/30/01]

........





Interestingly enough, a new "Bin Laden" warning has arrived.

Bin Laden issues warning on Iraq, Israel
Osama Bin Laden Issues Warning on Iraq, Israel in New Audiotape to Unify al-Qaida

SALAH NASRAWI
AP News

Dec 29, 2007

Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaida and vowed to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."

Most of the 56-minute tape dealt with Iraq, apparently al-Qaida's latest attempt to keep supporters in Iraq unified at a time when the U.S. military claims to have al-Qaida's Iraq branch on the run.

The tape did not mention Pakistan or the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, though Pakistan's government has blamed al-Qaida and the Taliban for her death on Thursday. That suggested the tape was made before the assassination.

Bin Laden's comments offered an unusually direct attack on Israel, stepping up al-Qaida's attempts to use the Israeli-Arab conflict to rally supporters. Israel has warned of growing al-Qaida activity in Palestinian territory, though terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.

"We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the sea," he said, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."

"We will not recognize even one inch for Jews in the land of Palestine as other Muslim leaders have," bin Laden said....







Bush and Cheney better stay out of Vermont. Although I've been telling MightyMike for years that those two were gonna get impeached. He said no way. I will never forgive Nancy Pelosi for taking impeachment off the table.

Vermont town seeks Bush, Cheney arrests

Town in Liberal Vermont Considers Measure to Have Bush, Cheney Arrested for War Crimes

DAVE GRAM
AP News
Dec 28, 2007
President Bush may soon have a new reason to avoid left-leaning Vermont: In one town, activists want him subject to arrest for war crimes.

A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.

"This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they're supposed to do," said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.

As president, Bush has visited every state except Vermont.

The town meeting, an annual exercise in which residents gather to vote on everything from fire department budgets to municipal policy, requires about 1,000 signatures to place a binding item on the agenda.....




Tens of millions of birds disappearing across North America

CBC’s The National reports that tens of millions of birds are disappearing across North America.
The following video is from CBC’s The National, broadcast on December 28, 2007






In sports, the New England Patriots lead the New York Giants 38-28 with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Patriots are trying to become the first team in history to finish a regular season 16-0. Even if they hold on, the pressure will certainly keep building. To have a successful season, the Patriots need to win the Super Bowl. If they lose this season, it has to be tonight. Otherwise, even with all their new records and a 16-0 season, it won't mean a thing.

It was good to see the New York Giants give it their all. They could have easily rested their starters for most of the game and take the loss. The Giants are closing in for a score. These guys do get paid too much. Sports is kind of a joke compared to what really matters. But once in a while, it's nice to see these rich fockers looking like they have the spirit of kids playing in the backyard for free.
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Unread postby socrates » Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:39 pm

Crosspost from the following thread at the Randi Rhodes forum
Watch Bhutto on BBC Tell David Frost Bin Laden Murdered

I think this Bhutto quote may or may not be a dead end. But there is a story to this. Many folks want to figure out the implications. People want to know about the ties between the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Musharaff, the ISI, the CIA, and the seemingly fabricated war on terror. People do want to know where the money trail leads for the assassination attempts on Bhutto. There is much to that interview that goes beyond the one statement about Bin Laden.

There is good reason to believe Bin Laden has been dead for years. Even if Benazir made a mental gaffe, there is probable cause that Bin Laden tapes have been fabricated. With Pelosi taking impeachment off the table, with Reid being Lieberman lite, there is probable cause that the whole US government is rigged.

Not everything is an enigma. There appears to be something fishy going on between those groups I mentioned above. It is quite possible that Bin Laden was killed at some point, so he wouldn't be able to contradict the "official" proclamations of the US state apparatus.

Bin Laden said he had nothing to do with 9/11. Yet, right after the sad events of that day, all we heard was Bin Laden this, Bin Laden that.

CIA agent alleged to have met Bin Laden in July
Anthony Sampson
Thursday November 1, 2001
The Guardian

{bold emphasis mine}
The disclosures are known to come from French intelligence which is keen to reveal the ambiguous role of the CIA, and to restrain Washington from extending the war to Iraq and elsewhere.

Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards, to be treated in the urology department. While there he was visited by several members of his family and Saudi personalities, and the CIA....

Bin Laden has often been reported to be in poor health. Some accounts claim that he is suffering from Hepatitis C, and can expect to live for only two more years.

According to Le Figaro, last year he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to his base at Kandahar in Afghanistan.....





It's illogical to separate the various stories. The anthrax scares. How the CIA tried to handle Bin Laden. This ISI-CIA connection. There is so much here, that I am hopeful honest people can work through it.

The internet and search engines have been corrupted, to make it more difficult to find good sources in which to connect the dots. The ptb's fear that good, sincere people are gonna be able to overcome the internet ******** and start to piece together social reality. They worry that their fakes and useful idiots won't be able to taint everything with the tinfoil by association scam.

How the CIA created Osama bin Laden
19 September 2001
BY NORM DIXON

“Throughout the world ... its agents, client states and satellites are on the defensive — on the moral defensive, the intellectual defensive, and the political and economic defensive. Freedom movements arise and assert themselves. They're doing so on almost every continent populated by man — in the hills of Afghanistan, in Angola, in Kampuchea, in Central America ... [They are] freedom fighters.”

Is this a call to jihad (holy war) taken from one of Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden's notorious fatwas? Or perhaps a communique issued by the repressive Taliban regime in Kabul?

In fact, this glowing praise of the murderous exploits of today's supporters of arch-terrorist bin Laden and his Taliban collaborators, and their holy war against the “evil empire”, was issued by US President Ronald Reagan on March 8, 1985. The “evil empire” was the Soviet Union, as well as Third World movements fighting US-backed colonialism, apartheid and dictatorship....








My mother said democracy is best revenge - Bhutto son
19-year-old student becomes joint party leader as rivals call for quick election

Declan Walsh in Naudero
Monday December 31, 2007
The Guardian

Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son Bilawal was catapulted into the maelstrom of Pakistani politics yesterday, appointed leader of her party just three days after the assassination that plunged the country into chaos.

It is arguably the most perilous job in Pakistani politics. Bilawal's grandfather died at the gallows, his mother following last week's bomb and bullet attack. But his leadership will be initially symbolic because the party will be stewarded by his father, Asif Zardari, until his studies at Oxford are over.

Article continues
"When I am at university my father will take care of the party," said Bilawal at his maiden press conference at the family estate in Naudero.

"The party's long struggle for democracy will continue with renewed vigour," he said. "My mother always said, democracy is the best revenge." ......





The NY Times seems to like to control both sides of the debate. They slam Bush and the direction of our country, but they also hired that neocon slug Kristol.

New York Time's Editorial Slams Bush
December 31, 2007
Editorial
Looking at America
There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.

It was not the first time in recent years we’ve felt this horror, this sorrowful sense of estrangement, not nearly. This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.

The country and much of the world was rightly and profoundly frightened by the single-minded hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President Bush and his advisers panicked — how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.

Out of panic and ideology, President Bush squandered America’s position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America’s global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world’s anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.....



Neoconservative critic of New York Times hired by paper
CBC News
Sunday, December 30, 2007

The New York Times has hired one of its most virulent critics, prominent right-wing pundit William Kristol, as a columnist.

The venerable newspaper announced Saturday that it was hiring the 55-year-old writer for a weekly column on a one-year contract.

Kristol is the editor and co-founder of The Weekly Standard, a Washington political magazine with a staunchly conservative viewpoint.

He's a defender of the war in Iraq and once called the New York Times ""irredeemable."

In its announcement, the Times mentioned that Kristol had urged the federal government to prosecute the paper in 2006 for disclosing a secret government program to track international banking transactions........






commondreams.org
Poison From Depleted Uranium Munitions Site Lingers
New study shows people who lived near or worked at former munitions factory in Colonie have depleted uranium in their bodies
by Jordan Carleo-Evangelist
The Albany Times-Union (New York)
December 6, 2007

COLONIE, NY - Former workers at a Cold War-era munitions plant and nearby residents still carry traces of toxic depleted uranium in their bodies, a team of scientists said Wednesday.

The findings, unveiled at a news conference, seem to contradict an earlier assessment by the federal government that deemed it impossible to measure contamination because it had been so long since the emissions ended.

Contrary to that 2004 assessment by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the scientists from England and the University at Albany say they can now show that more than two decades later, people still carry the radioactive metal in their bodies.

The state shuttered the former NL Industries plant in 1984.

Because the contamination can still be detected, a study could be done to track down the thousands of people who could have been exposed, the researchers said. But additional financial resources are needed to pay for the pricey tests, they said.....






Top economist says America could plunge into recession
Suzy Jagger in New York
From The Times
December 31, 2007

Losses arising from America’s housing recession could triple over the next few years and they represent the greatest threat to growth in the United States, one of the world’s leading economists has told The Times.

Robert Shiller, Professor of Economics at Yale University, predicted that there was a very real possibility that the US would be plunged into a Japan-style slump, with house prices declining for years.

Professor Shiller, co-founder of the respected S&P Case/Shiller house-price index, said: “American real estate values have already lost around $1 trillion [£503 billion]. That could easily increase threefold over the next few years. This is a much bigger issue than sub-prime. We are talking trillions of dollars’ worth of losses.” ......






In sports:
Barnett's Agent Seeks League Action
By CHRIS JENKINS, AP
Thu Dec 27, 3:02 PM EST
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Nick Barnett might not file a formal grievance against NFL official Jim Quirk after all.

The Green Bay Packers linebacker's agent says he is more interested in having the league admit that Quirk's rough treatment of Barnett was wrong.

"Look, I don't think there's a lot to be gained by a grievance," agent Chuck Price said Thursday. "All we're trying to do is to protect Nick."

Umpire Quirk grabbed Barnett by the neck and threw him to the ground while breaking up a scuffle during the Packers' loss at Chicago on Sunday.

Price said he doesn't expect Quirk to apologize directly to Barnett, but hopes the league will "step up and acknowledge" that the official's actions were out of line.

"I think the Packers organization and Nick both are owed an apology," Price said......





In music news:
Former Midnight Oil Rocker Is Australia's New Environment Minister

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The music of Peter Garrett has always been politically charged. Now the towering, baldheaded former singer of Midnight Oil is charged with practicing politics - as Australia's new environment minister.

Garrett founded the band when he was a law student in 1973, but the semi-punk group did not achieve global fame until its 1987 track ''Beds are Burning,'' a protest song about Aboriginal land rights in Australia. With his wild dancing and strident voice, Garrett became one of Australia's most recognizable singers until the band broke up in 2002.

A longtime environmental campaigner and advocate for Aboriginal rights, Garrett made his first foray into politics with an unsuccessful bid for the Senate as a member of the Nuclear Disarmament Party in 1984. Alongside his singing career, Garrett also served as head of the Australian Conservation Foundation during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and sat on the international board of the environmental group Greenpeace.....


Beds are Burning
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Unread postby socrates » Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:16 pm

No comment. This speaks for itself.



Bhutto report: Musharraf planned to fix elections
By Saeed Shah | McClatchy Newspapers
December 31, 2007

NAUDERO, Pakistan — The day she was assassinated last Thursday, Benazir Bhutto had planned to reveal new evidence alleging the involvement of Pakistan's intelligence agencies in rigging the country's upcoming elections, an aide said Monday.

Bhutto had been due to meet U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to hand over a report charging that the military Inter-Services Intelligence agency was planning to fix the polls in the favor of President Pervez Musharraf.

Safraz Khan Lashari, a member of the Pakistan People's Party election monitoring unit, said the report was "very sensitive" and that the party wanted to initially share it with trusted American politicians rather than the Bush administration, which is seen here as strongly backing Musharraf.

"It was compiled from sources within the (intelligence) services who were working directly with Benazir Bhutto," Lashari said, speaking Monday at Bhutto's house in her ancestral village of Naudero, where her husband and children continued to mourn her death.

The ISI had no official comment. However, an agency official, speaking only on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak on the subject, dismissed the allegations as "a lot of talk but not much substance."

Musharraf has been highly critical of those who allege that his regime is involved in electoral manipulation. "Now when they lose, they'll have a good rationale: that it is all rigged, it is all fraud," he said in November. "In Pakistan, the loser always cries."

According to Lashari, the document includes information on a "safe house" allegedly being run by the ISI in a central neighborhood of Islamabad, the alleged headquarters of the rigging operation.

It names as the head of the unit a brigadier general recently retired from the ISI, who was secretly assigned to run the rigging operation, Lashari said. It charges that he was working in tandem with the head of a civilian intelligence agency. Before her return to Pakistan, Bhutto, in a letter to Musharraf, had named the intelligence official as one of the men she accused of plotting to kill her.

Lashari said the report claimed that U.S. aid money was being used to fix the elections. Ballots stamped in favor of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, which supports Musharraf, were to be produced by the intelligence agencies in about 100 parliamentary constituencies.

"They diverted money from aid activities. We had evidence of where they were spending the money," Lashari said.

Lashari, who formerly taught environmental economics at Britain's Cranfield University, said the effort was directed at constituencies where the result was likely to be decided by a small margin, so it wouldn't be obvious.

Bhutto was due to meet Specter and Kennedy after dinner last Thursday. She was shot as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi early that evening. Pakistan's government claims instead that she was thrown against the lever of her car's sunroof, fracturing her skull.

(Shah is a McClatchy special correspondent.)
McClatchy Newspapers 2007

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Unread postby socrates » Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:43 pm

Not everyone can be a fake. I think this BradBlog dude is for real.
New Hampshire is having its primaries inspected with limited recounts, etc..
One of the big problems with the recount done in Florida back in 2000 was that it was limited in scope.
I wish these recounts could be done for the whole state. Nonetheless, there do seem to be many anomalies being uncovered.

link
NH CONTEST: DIEBOLD MISCOUNTS REPORTED ACROSS MANY CANDIDATES, WARDS, IN FIRST DAY OF ELECTION CONTEST HAND COUNTS

Also: Diebold Memory Cards Unaccounted For; Public Record Request by Election Integrity Advocates on Ground Reveal 550+ Votes Read as Blank by Op-Scanner in Stratham...
Clinton, Kucinich Observers There, Nobody from Obama or Edwards, Says Election Attorney...

Blogged by Brad Friedman from on the road...

(As mentioned in previous items, I'm now on the road --- currently in Oakland for the Thursday night screening of the more-ironically-named-than-ever documentary, UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections --- and doing my best to keep up while moving. So apologies for the terse reports for the moment, as I continue to roll and have limited time online.)

LATEST OUT OF NH: Disparities being found during hand-counts of ballots, in many wards, many candidates. Diebold op-scan memory cards unaccounted for at the moment, Secretary of State (SoS) doesn't track them after elections, doesn't track error reports during elections. LHS Associates (see below) handles all of it instead, according to reports on the ground. Public records request reveals hundreds of ballots in one area scanned as blank due to incorrect ink used on ballots, and other problems on LHS problem report forms.

* * *

Numbers are now being posted from both the Democratic and Republican hand-counts in the NH Primary Election contest. So far, only wards in Manchester (Hillsborough County) have been hand-counted, and disparities between the original counts from the Diebold optical-scan machine and the hand inspections seem to be occurring in many wards, and for many candidates.

Here is the SoS Recount page with the totals, that I haven't yet been able to review in full.....





Amid troubling reports on election integrity, Dem introduces paper-ballot legislation
Diane Sweet
January 17th, 2008

As new reports are emerging about vote-counting problems and potential conflicts of interest regarding handling of ballots, a Democratic congressman has introduced new legislation that would make it easier for states to audit their election results.

Rep. Rush Holt's bill was introduced the same day that Maryland voters learned the security of their electronic voting machines would be entrusted to a high-profile Republican operative, and as activists were documenting irregularities in last week's New Hampshire primary......





House prepares to file contempt charges against Bush aides
Nick Juliano
January 16, 2008

Activists wonder whether move will work

Well-rested and back at work after a monthlong vacation, Congressional Democrats are preparing for a move in the House to approve criminal contempt citations against two Bush administration figures.

Democratic aides tell RAW STORY that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preparing to bring the contempt citations passed by the Judiciary Committee to the full House for a vote.

Pelosi has not determined a date for a vote but is "pretty certain" to push forward the contempt charges against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers, a leadership aide said. Bolten and Miers refused to respond to Congressional subpoenas last year requesting their testimony and documents related to the federal prosecutor purge scandal that resulted in Alberto Gonzales stepping down as Attorney General.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the contempt charges in July and Pelosi and Committee Chairman John Conyers believed there were enough votes for the measure to pass the House in October.

Judiciary Committee Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter to Pelosi asking her not to pursue the criminal charges, arguing the attorney firing investigation so far has failed to demonstrate any malfeasance by the administration.

"Rather than conclude the investigation, Democrats now plan to take this meaningless pursuit one step further," read the letter co-signed by ranking member Lamar Smith and nine other GOP judiciary panel members. "Bringing contempt charges against Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten is a waste of valuable time and would force a constitutional confrontation that is unwarranted."

Activists who have been following the case are wary about whether the contempt citations would compel White House compliance with the congressional probe. The Justice Department, under Gonzales, indicated it would not prosecute contempt charges against administration figures. President Bush has invoked executive privilege in justifying his administration's lack of cooperation......




I was gonna post a video of Tom Cruise that came out this week clearly demonstrating that the guy is a nut, that Scientology is a nutjob cult, but the videos have been pulled for copywrite rules. These youtube clips will have to do. I hope that eventually everyone will be able to see the Tom Cruise interview where he is clearly unbalanced. It went beyond him jumping up and down on a couch on Oprah.




SCIENTOLOGY AND ME the deja vu edit (long)






How 'bout some tunes? They can sometimes take the edge off of a crazy world.



Radiohead - High & Dry




Radiohead - Creep




System Of A Down - Toxicity




Hole - Celebrity Skin
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Some Links

Unread postby socrates » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:38 pm

UK Sunday Times: State Dept. Official (Marc Grossman) Outed Plame's 'Brewster Jennings' to Turkish Agents in 2001, According to Sibel Edmonds
blogged by Brad Friedman

Image

Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe
timesonline.co.uk



US propped up Suharto despite rights abuses: documents
AFP
January 29, 2008

The United States declassified documents Monday detailing how Washington propped up ex-Indonesian leader Suharto, who died at the weekend, at the expense of democracy and human rights.

The documents, declassified following requests under a freedom of information law, showed the US administration did not use its leverage to bring Suharto to account during his 32-year reign until his last months in office.

"One thing that is clear from the tens of thousands of pages of which we had declassified concerning US ties with Suharto from 1966 to 1998 -- at no moment did US presidents ever exercise their maximum leverage over his regime to press for human rights or democratization," Brad Simpson of the National Security Archive told AFP.....






motherjones.com
Showdown in Blackwater's Backyard

Washington Dispatch: Why the controversial private security company wants to run congressional candidate Marshall Adame "out of Dodge."

By Bruce Falconer
January 28, 2008

Marshall Adame is a Democrat running for Congress in North Carolina's 3rd District, a jurisdiction along the Tar Heel state's low-lying eastern coast that is home to the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune, Air Station Cherry Point, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, as well as Blackwater Worldwide's 7,000-acre corporate headquarters and training facility. Adame is an underdog in the congressional race, where he will likely face seven-term Republican incumbent Walter B. Jones—who brought the term "freedom fries" to Congress—in the general election. Jones has since become an opponent of the Iraq war, atoning for his vote to authorize the war by writing letters of condolence to the families of dead soldiers—a "mea culpa to my Lord," he says. But the incumbent and his Republican party are not the only obstacles Adame will have to overcome if he hopes to take over the 3rd District's congressional seat. He also faces tough opposition from Blackwater.....




coloradoconfidential.com
Even Without Video, Proof of CIA Torture Exists
by: Jim Spencer
Tue Jan 29, 2008




Finally, in fake news.....

SCTV: News Anchor Floyd Robertson Returns From Rehab
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Unread postby socrates » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:36 pm

antiwar.com

The Cable-Cutter Mystery
Spies, lies, and "conspiracy theories" – what's behind the Middle East internet outage
by Justin Raimondo
February 8, 2008

{fair use excerpt}
I was skeptical, at first, of speculation over the cutting of two cables linking the Middle East with the Internet, which had it as part of some Vast Neocon Conspiracy to isolate the region prior to a US military assault. However, when two more cables – this time, in the Persian Gulf – were mysteriously cut, I began to wonder ….

In a piece headlined "Cable cutter nutters chase conspiracy theories," The Register goes out of its way to laugh off the prospect that what we are witnessing is a military operation, or the prelude to one, sniffing "there's little more than suspicions to work with" since we've yet to reach the damaged cables. Yet, given the sort of government we are dealing with – a regime that lied us into one war, and is not-so-subtly trying to finagle us into yet another one – why shouldn't we be suspicious? We'd have to be crazy not to be.

The Economist follows suit, sneering at "internet conspiracy theories" and denouncing the whole brouhaha as an "online frenzy" that is "way out of line." Yet one has to wonder: four cable cuts in the past week? I'm with Steven Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia University, who avers:

"As a security guy, I'm paranoid, but I don't understand the threat model here. On the other hand, four accidental failures in a week is a bit hard to swallow, too. Let's hope there will be close, open examination of the failed parts of the cables."

.......







smh.com
Hackers declare Scientology D-day
Leo Shanahan
February 7, 2008

Anonymous internet users who have previously crashed Church of Scientology websites have named February 10 as a worldwide day of protest in a bid to "destroy" the controversial religion.

The group - called Anonymous - which includes skilled computer hackers, has posted a message on YouTube declaring war on Scientology, accusing it of trying to censor the internet and conducting "campaigns of misinformation".

The apparent catalyst for the attack was YouTube's decision to remove a video of Hollywood star Tom Cruise - one of Scientology's most high-profile recruits - espousing the religion's virtues after the church asked that it be pulled......



Message to Scientology


Hello, Scientology. We are Anonymous.

Over the years, we have been watching you. Your campaigns of misinformation; suppression of dissent; your litigious nature, all of these things have caught our eye. With the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation, the extent of your malign influence over those who trust you, who call you leader, has been made clear to us. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed. For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind--for the laughs--we shall expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form. We acknowledge you as a serious opponent, and we are prepared for a long, long campaign. You will not prevail forever against the angry masses of the body politic. Your methods, hypocrisy, and the artlessness of your organization have sounded its death knell.

You cannot hide; we are everywhere.

We cannot die; we are forever. We're getting bigger every day--and solely by the force of our ideas, malicious and hostile as they often are. If you want another name for your opponent, then call us Legion, for we are many.

Yet for all that we are not as monstrous as you are; still our methods are a parallel to your own. Doubtless you will use the Anon's actions as an example of the persecution you have so long warned your followers would come; this is acceptable. In fact, it is encouraged. We are your SPs.

Gradually as we merge our pulse with that of your "Church", the suppression of your followers will become increasingly difficult to maintain. Believers will wake, and see that salvation has no price. They will know that the stress, the frustration that they feel is not something that may be blamed upon Anonymous. No--they will see that it stems from a source far closer to each. Yes, we are SPs. But the sum of suppression we could ever muster is eclipsed by that of the RTC.

Knowledge is free.

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

We do not forgive.

WE DO NOT FORGET.

Expect us.





Tom Cruise is a nutjob.

Tom Cruise Scientology Video








politico.com
Obama campaign claims "irregularities" in Louisiana
Ben Smith
February 09, 2008






Plan would sidestep Electoral College

By NGUYEN HUY VU
Associated Press Writer
Feb. 10th, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- If John R. Koza gets his way, American voters will never again have to wonder about the workings of the Electoral College and why it decides who sits in the White House.

Koza is behind a push to have states circumvent the odd political math of the Electoral College and ensure that the presidency always goes to the winner of the popular vote.

Basically, states would promise to award their electoral votes to the candidate with the most support nationwide, regardless of who carries each particular state.

"We're just coming along and saying, 'Why not add up the votes of all 50 states and award the electoral votes to the 50-state winner?'" said Koza, chairman of National Popular Vote Inc. "I think that the candidate who gets the most votes should win the office."

The proposal is aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2000 election, when Al Gore got the most votes nationwide but George W. Bush put together enough victories in key states to win a majority in the Electoral College and capture the White House.

So far, Maryland and New Jersey have signed up for the plan. Legislation that would include Illinois is on the governor's desk. But dozens more states would have to join before the plan could take effect........






alternet.org

Latest Anti-Pot Quack Science: 'Marijuana Makes Your Teeth Fall Out'
By Bruce Mirken, AlterNet.
Posted February 9, 2008.

A rash of new studies of marijuana has hit the mass media, generating absurd headlines like "Smoking Pot Rots Your Gums."

Recent weeks have seen a rash of new studies of marijuana hitting the mass media, generating scary headlines like "Smoking Pot Rots Your Gums," "Cannabis Bigger Cancer Risk Than Cigarettes" and "Pot Withdrawal Similar to Quitting Cigarettes. Most of this coverage can be boiled down to a fairly simple equation:

Flawed science + uncritical reporting = misinformation.

Mercifully, the U.S. mass media were so distracted by Super Tuesday, Heath Ledger's autopsy and the latest Britney Spears trauma that reports of these studies didn't get as much play as they might have. That's good, because the research had significant gaps, and the reporting ranged from slapdash to flat wretched.

Lung cancer: One joint = 20 cigarettes?

The lung cancer study was the scariest. Since cigarettes are a known lung cancer risk, it seems plausible that marijuana might carry similar risks. In fact, most of the scientific evidence tends in the opposite direction -- though one would never know it from reading either the study or the Reuters wire story that got the heaviest circulation.

Conducted in New Zealand, this was what is called a "case-control" study, in which researchers looked at a group of patients who had lung cancer and compared them to a group without cancer -- the controls -- matched for age and other demographics. All were asked about various factors that might increase their lung cancer risk, including smoking cigarettes or marijuana. After running the data on 79 cancer cases and 324 controls through myriad equations and mathematical analyses, the researchers proclaimed that one joint packed a cancer risk roughly equal to 20 cigarettes -- an assertion that became Reuters' lead.

What was downplayed in the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, and missing entirely from most media reports was context -- context that strongly suggests that its alarming conclusion is wrong.

For one thing, the new conflicts with other, much larger studies. In a study published in 1997, Kaiser-Permanente researchers followed 65,000 patients for 10 years and saw no sign of marijuana use increasing the risk of lung cancer or other smoking-related cancers. And a UCLA study similar in design to this one, published in 2006, found a trend toward lower lung cancer rates among marijuana smokers. Instead of 79 cancer cases, the UCLA team looked at 1,212. The result was so striking that they speculated that it "may reflect a protective effect of marijuana."

That's right: Marijuana might protect from cancer. Piles of published studies going back to the mid-1970s document the cancer-fighting properties of marijuana's active components, THC and other chemicals called cannabinoids. Anticancer activity has been shown in many types of malignant cells, including lung cancer cells. So even though marijuana smoke contains tars and other potentially carcinogenic compounds, it is entirely plausible that cannabinoids counter any harmful effects.

But even without such context, a closer look at the New Zealand data raises questions that should have been asked by reporters. For example, most marijuana smokers in the study actually didn't show an increased risk of cancer. The only group that did was those whose marijuana use equaled at least 10.5 "joint-years" (one joint-year equals smoking a joint every day for one year). That group constituted a whopping 14 people. All those complicated mathematical models leading to the "20 times the risk" assertion, and contradicting reams of published research, rest on exactly 14 people.

Does marijuana rot your gums?

The gum disease study was even more tenuous, but again you would never know it from most of the coverage. Researchers -- also in New Zealand -- followed 903 participants from birth through age 32. At ages 18, 21, 26 and 32, they were asked whether they had used marijuana in the past year, and how often. The heaviest marijuana users had a 60 percent increased risk for gum disease after controlling for several factors that might affect their risk, including cigarette use and professional dental care.

The researchers were careful to say they hadn't proved cause and effect, but simply what scientists called an "association." But that didn't stop one U.S. reporter from writing that marijuana "could ... destroy gum tissue" and an Australian headline writer from declaring that marijuana "makes teeth fall out."

Reading the actual study -- something one suspects most reporters never did -- raises questions the media never asked. Why is there no indication that participants were questioned about use of alcohol or other illicit drugs, both of which are known risk factors for dental and gum problems? Why were they not asked about brushing and flossing habits?

Given the relatively small effect -- the statistical margin of error meant that the increased risk could be as low as 16 percent -- confounding by alcohol/drug use or poor dental hygiene could easily explain the whole difference. In other words, there is a very good chance this study found nothing real at all.

I raised this issue with an editor at one news organization, whose story had been particularly hysterical and lacking in context, asking why they hadn't noted these potential doubts. The rather snippy reply: "As for the rest of your concerns, we are dealing with a peer-reviewed journal study, and I don't feel at all comfortable going beyond what they are publishing. That is not our role."

Memo to editors: Journal peer-reviewers are human. They sometimes miss stuff. When did it stop being a reporter's job to ask questions?

Marijuana as addictive as tobacco?

If you haven't lost your teeth or died of lung cancer yet, another set of grim headlines warned that marijuana is as addictive as tobacco -- again, a conclusion that went beyond the study's findings and which was almost certainly wrong.

In this U.S. study, researchers took 12 people who regularly smoked both marijuana and cigarettes and had them stop using one, the other and both, in varying orders. Physiological tests and responses to questionnaires were used to assess withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and difficulty sleeping. The withdrawal symptoms reported were roughly comparable.

But the limitations of this research are obvious. In fairness, most were acknowledged in the study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

For one, the study looked only at regular users of both substances, so it tells nothing about marijuana users who do not use tobacco -- a considerable number, by most accounts. Second, the researchers did not publish the results for individual participants. In a sample of 12, one or two extreme responses can skew the averages enough to make them meaningless.

The researchers also did not note any changes in participants' use of caffeine or alcohol, which could easily have affected their findings. Volunteers were asked not to change their use of these substances, but we have no clue whether they followed these instructions.

And though the overall withdrawal symptom ratings were similar, ratings of anger and craving were higher for tobacco than for marijuana. And even in areas where the two substances were statistically comparable, there was often a trend toward the tobacco withdrawals being stronger. Had this been a larger study, those trends might have reached statistical significance.

Also, the five-day abstinence period may not have been enough to fully gauge withdrawal effects. For longtime cigarette smokers, tobacco cravings can continue for years.

Finally, a reality check: It is an established fact that about 32 percent of those who ever touch a cigarette become dependent on tobacco. For marijuana, the figure is nine percent. In the real world, it's clear that marijuana is nowhere near as addictive as tobacco -- but again, you'd never know it from the coverage of this study.

In fact, you wouldn't learn much from the coverage of any of these studies.

comments.....
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Unread postby socrates » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:29 pm

We need this country cleaned up. We need illegal wars and torture to stop. We don't need head games.


link
Media outlets label Obama supporters as 'cult-like'
Mike Aivaz and Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday February 20, 2008

Hillary Clinton's campaign may be focusing its attacks on Senator Barack Obama by suggesting that the candidate is plagiarizing his speeches. But to the media, another issue may be just as important: the strong base of supporters that Obama has built up in the course of his campaign. And many press outlets seem convinced that Obama's following is less of a movement and more like a cult.

A Tuesday night broadcast on ABC News' Nightline offered an example of behavior it implied might be 'cult-like.' Show host Terry Moran started out the report calling Obama's base "a massive and fervent following." Correspondent David Wright then referred to the supporters as a "congregation," and proceeded to compare Obama events to Bruce Springsteen concerts, and Obama's starpower to that exerted by The Beatles or Hannah Montana. And after showing clips from Obama's various campaign appearances, he interviewed LA Times columnist Joel Stein on how the senator's followers are like a cult.

"It is a happy cult, it's kind of like a [Grateful] Dead show, except better-looking people, it smells a little less, and he plays better music," Stein argues. "If you have to join a cult, this is not a bad one."

Nightline hasn't been alone in advancing this theme......






Is the fix in to elect John McCain? The most viable candidate, John Edwards, has already been pushed out. Are Rethuglicans trying to figure out who is the easier to swiftboat, Obama or Hillary?


link
Conservative blogger outlines GOP attack plan for Obama
Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday February 20, 2008

Barack Obama appears to be riding high after winning his ninth and tenth primary contests in a row on Tuesday night in Wisconsin and Hawaii. And while Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign may be struggling to knock the Illinois senator off stride, all indications show that Republican political strategists are gearing up for their own attacks on the candidate if he sustains his momentum.

In a blog post at the National Review Online, reporter Jim Geraghty asked the question, "Once you take away Barack Obama’s likeability… what’s left?"

Geraghty argued in the Tuesday post that Obama is highly vulnerable to a set of criticisms that can only be made by Republicans, and that once they are deployed, they will reverberate with voters around the country and end the idea that Obama is untouchable.....




Fake news story exposed:



link
US: Bombers didn't have Down syndrome

US Military: Bombers Underwent Psychiatric Treatment, No Indication They Had Down Syndrome

BRADLEY BROOKS
AP News

Feb 20, 2008 15:15 EST

The U.S. military said Wednesday that two women used as suicide bombers in attacks earlier this month had undergone psychiatric treatment but there is no indication they had Down syndrome as Iraqi and U.S. officials initially had claimed.

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a military spokesman, said the women used in the Feb. 1 pet market bombings had been identified as residents from the northeastern outskirts of Baghdad who were in their late 20s or early 30s.

The two attacks killed nearly 100 people, and Iraqi and U.S. officials said at the time the women appeared to be unwitting attackers.

Lt. Gen. Abboud Qanbar, the chief Iraqi military commander in Baghdad, said soon after the attacks that photos of the women's heads showed they had Down syndrome, but he did not offer any other proof......




GW Bush's support is down to 19% according to one report.

americanresearchgroup.com/economy

American Research Group, Inc.


February 20, 2008

Concerns over Economy Push George W. Bush's Overall Job Approval to New Low

George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has dropped to a new low in American Research Group polling as 78% of Americans say that the national economy is getting worse according to the latest survey from the American Research Group.

Among all Americans, 19% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 77% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 14% approve and 79% disapprove.

Among Americans registered to vote, 18% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 78% disapprove. When it comes to the way Bush is handling the economy, 15% of registered voters approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 79% disapprove.

A total of 78% of Americans say the national economy is getting worse and 47% say the national economy is in a recession. A total of 42% of Americans, however, say they believe the national economy will be better a year from now, which is the highest level for this question in the past year. This optimism does not spread to improvements in household financial situations as 17% of Americans say they expect their household financial situations to be better a year from now, which is the lowest for this question in the past year.

The results presented here are based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews conducted among a nationwide random sample of adults 18 years and older. The interviews were completed February 16 through 19, 2008. The theoretical margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, 95% of the time, on questions where opinion is evenly split.

Overall, 19% of Americans say that they approve of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president, 77% disapprove, and 4% are undecided.........





Republicans have been stealing the Presidency lately for various reasons. But one of the biggest is so they are able to stack the Supreme Court with fascists.


msnbc.msn.com
Top court rejects ACLU domestic spying lawsuit
Supreme Court decision doesn't explain reason for turning down appeal

Associated Press
Feb. 19, 2008

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to civil rights and privacy advocates who oppose the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

The justices, without comment, turned down an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union to let it pursue a lawsuit against the program that began shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The action underscored the difficulty of mounting a challenge to the eavesdropping, which remains classified and was confirmed by President Bush only after a newspaper article revealed its existence........




truthout.org

Rigged Trials at Guantanamo
By Ross Tuttle
The Nation

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Secret evidence. Denial of habeas corpus. Evidence obtained by waterboarding. Indefinite detention. The litany of complaints about the legal treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay is long, disturbing and by now familiar. Nonetheless, a new wave of shock and criticism greeted the Pentagon's announcement on February 11 that it was charging six Guantánamo detainees, including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, with war crimes - and seeking the death penalty for all of them.

Now, as the murky, quasi-legal staging of the Bush Administration's military commissions unfolds, a key official has told The Nation that the trials are rigged from the start. According to Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for Guantánamo's military commissions, the process has been manipulated by Administration appointees in an attempt to foreclose the possibility of acquittal.

Colonel Davis's criticism of the commissions has been escalating since he resigned this past October, telling the Washington Post that he had been pressured by politically appointed senior defense officials to pursue cases deemed "sexy" and of "high-interest" (such as the 9/11 cases now being pursued) in the run-up to the 2008 elections. Davis, once a staunch defender of the commissions process, elaborated on his reasons in a December 10, 2007, Los Angeles Times op-ed. "I concluded that full, fair and open trials were not possible under the current system," he wrote. "I felt that the system had become deeply politicized and that I could no longer do my job effectively."

Then, in an interview with The Nation in February after the six Guantánamo detainees were charged, Davis offered the most damning evidence of the military commissions' bias - a revelation that speaks to fundamental flaws in the Bush Administration's conduct of statecraft: its contempt for the rule of law and its pursuit of political objectives above all else.

When asked if he thought the men at Guantánamo could receive a fair trial, Davis provided the following account of an August 2005 meeting he had with Pentagon general counsel William Haynes - the man who now oversees the tribunal process for the Defense Department. "[Haynes] said these trials will be the Nuremberg of our time," recalled Davis, referring to the Nazi tribunals in 1945, considered the model of procedural rights in the prosecution of war crimes. In response, Davis said he noted that at Nuremberg there had been some acquittals, something that had lent great credibility to the proceedings.

"I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process," Davis continued. "At which point, [Haynes's] eyes got wide and he said, 'Wait a minute, we can't have acquittals. If we've been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can't have acquittals, we've got to have convictions.'"

Davis submitted his resignation on October 4, 2007, just hours after he was informed that Haynes had been put above him in the commissions' chain of command. "Everyone has opinions," Davis says. "But when he was put above me, his opinions became orders."

Reached for comment, Defense Department spokesperson Cynthia Smith said, "The Department of Defense disputes the assertions made by Colonel Davis in this statement regarding acquittals."

"That he [Haynes] said there can be no acquittals will stain the entire [tribunal] process," says Scott Horton, who teaches law at Columbia University Law School and who has written extensively about Haynes's conflicts with the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) corps, the judicial arm of the Armed Forces, which is charged with implementing the military commissions. According to Horton, Haynes tried to cut the JAG corps out of internal debates over the detention and prosecution of detainees, knowing it was critical of the Administration's views. In private memos and in public Senate testimony, high-ranking officers of the corps have repeatedly expressed concerns about the Administration's advocacy of "extreme interrogation techniques."

"The JAG corps consists of a group of rigorous professionals, but Haynes never trusted them to do their job," says Horton. "His clashes have always had the same subtext - they want to be independent, he wants them to do political dirty-work."

Haynes, a political appointee and chief legal adviser to Defense secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, was nominated in 2006 by the Bush Administration for a lifetime seat as a judge in the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. But his nomination never got out of committee, primarily because of the opposition of Republican Senator (and former military lawyer) Lindsey Graham and other members alarmed over Haynes's role in writing or supervising the writing of Pentagon memos advocating the use of harsh interrogation techniques the Geneva Conventions classify as torture.

Currently, in his capacity as Pentagon general counsel, Haynes oversees both the prosecution and the defense for the commissions. "You would think a person in that position wouldn't be favoring one side," says Colonel Davis.

Told of Davis's story about Haynes, Clive Stafford Smith, a defense attorney who has represented more than seventy Guantánamo clients, said, "Hearing it makes me think I'm back in Mississippi representing a black man in front of an all-white jury."

He adds, "It confirms what people close to the system have always said," noting that when three prosecutors - Maj. Robert Preston, Capt. John Carr and Capt. Carrie Wolf - requested to be transferred out of the Office of Military Commissions in 2004, they claimed they'd been told the process was rigged. In an e-mail to his supervisors, Preston had said that there was thin evidence against the accused. "But they were told by the chief prosecutor at the time that they didn't need evidence to get convictions," says Stafford Smith.

At the time, the military wrote it off as "miscommunication" and "personality conflicts." And then there were changes in personnel. "They told us that the system had been cleaned up...but I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same," says Stafford Smith.

The terrible irony is that even if acquittals were possible, the government has declared that it can continue to detain anyone deemed an "enemy combatant" for the duration of hostilities - no matter the outcome of a trial. And most of the 275 men held at Guantánamo are classified as "enemy combatants" while the hostilities in the "war on terror" could be never-ending.

Says ACLU staff attorney Ben Wizner, "The trial doesn't make a difference. They can hold you there forever until they decide to let you out." The one person to be released from Guantánamo through the judicial process, Australian David Hicks, pleaded guilty. As Wizner wrote in the Los Angeles Times in April 2007, "In an ordinary justice system, the accused must be acquitted to be released. In Guantánamo, the accused must plead guilty to be released."

Still, the trials serve a purpose for the government, in providing the semblance of a legitimate judicial process. According to defense attorneys involved - and many of the former prosecutors, like Davis - the process is political, not legal.

"If someone was acquitted, then it would suggest we did the wrong thing in the first place. That can't happen," says Horton sardonically. "When the government decides to clear someone, it calls the person 'no-longer an enemy combatant' instead of just saying they made a mistake."

He adds, "For people like Haynes, justice is meant to serve the party."

-----------

Research support provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.
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Important Stories Being Buried

Unread postby socrates » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:43 pm

link

American Gangsters

-- by Brad Friedman
2/22/2008

The U.S. Attorney Purge scandal still ranks, in my estimation, as the key to unlocking almost every other unprecedented domestic (and perhaps even foreign) criminal abuse of power by the White House. The matter strikes at the very heart of the dirty dealings by all of the President's men and, if it were to ever be fully cracked open, would likely display the totality of the blood and guts of the Administration's highly illegal, fully politicized takeover and wholesale abuse of the U.S. criminal justice system.

Little wonder then that the White House has determined to go to the mattresses when it comes to fighting off both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees' investigations into the matter. They've determined they are better off playing chicken with Congress and risking criminal contempt charges (which they believe they can either refuse to enforce via the DoJ, or otherwise pardon the players whenever necessary) by refusing to turn over requested documents to Congress and ordering the refusal to testify by top officials such as Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten.

In order to guard the castle gates, after consigliere Alberto Gonzales could no longer effectively hold off the investigation, they found a man who would play ball for them in AG Michael Mukasey, betting --- correctly --- that Democrats in congress would fold rather than refuse to confirm a man who was, even during Senate hearings, so obviously in the pocket of the White House crime syndicate.

Two stories breaking today each serve as fresh reminders of how much is at stake, and how much is being hidden by the WH stonewalling of the scandal's full investigation. Each of them --- the indictment today of AZ's Republican Rep. Rick Renzi on charges of extortion, wire fraud, and money laundering, and this Sunday's long-awaited 60 Minutes exposé on the Rove/DoJ/WH gang-bang frame-up of Alabama's now-imprisoned Democratic former Governor Don Seigelman --- merely offer salacious clues as to how bad, how corrupt, and how historically unprecedented (in this country, anyway) the illegal machinations at the heart of this scandal really are.......
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Unread postby socrates » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:43 am

This isn't a new story. It just seems that way, because it's been widely ignored.
Karl Rove is a worse person than we could ever imagine.

America is the last place there should be political prisoners.

Don Siegelman 60 Minutes pt. 1





Don Siegleman 60 Minutes pt. 2





News Archive, How to Contribute to the Defense Fund
donsiegelman.org

Image

Image

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David Bowie/Pat Metheny Group - This is not America
{trailer for Falcon and the Snowman}
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Unread postby socrates » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:53 pm

f-brilliant.blogspot.com

KKOB Radio News Anchor Laura MacCallum Quits After Station Pulls Stories About Alleged Republican Vote-Buying Efforts

Ex-anchor Says Station Caved to Pressure From Heather Wilson’s Senate Campaign

Station Says Story Had No Legs


By Dennis Domrzalski
March 3, 2008

KKOB Radio afternoon drive time news anchor Laura MacCallum quit her job last Thursday after the station’s news director pulled her stories about alleged vote-buying efforts at the recent Bernalillo County Republican Party delegate nominating conventions.

MacCallum, a 32-year radio and TV news veteran who has worked in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles, said the station caved to complaints from Congresswoman Heather Wilson’s Senate campaign about the stories. Wilson campaign spokeswoman Whitney Cheshire called the station to argue the unfairness of stories alleging that many delegates to the ward conventions were paid by Wilson’s and other campaigns to show up and cast their votes for certain delegates.

Critics of the alleged vote-buying effort say it was an unfair scheme to lock out any challengers to Wilson’s senate and Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White’s congressional campaigns

KKOB News Director Pat Allen said the stories were pulled, not because of the campaign’s complaints, but because he felt they lacked corroboration and that a source in some of MacCallum’s stories, former New Mexico Governor Dave Cargo, was bitter because he wasn’t elected as a delegate to the upcoming state Republican Party nominating convention.

“I talked to Heather Wilson’s campaign and they expressed concerns that the stories had no basis in fact,” Allen said, adding that he also talked to sate a Republican Party official about MacCallum’s stories, which were broadcast last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

MacCallum was outraged by the situation.

“I had an ethical problem with the stories being pulled because Heather Wilson’s campaign put pressure on newsroom management,” MacCallum said. “They allowed political pressure to dictate the news. As journalists we can’t do that. The news has to stand alone. That a political candidate can inject herself into news department management is just mind blowing. Should we just be doing the Heather Wilson news? And as soon as we make her angry she’s going to call and start giving everybody trouble?

“If a political campaign can bring pressure on a news department to change how they cover the news, that is a disservice to everyone who listens. We are not there to make everybody happy; we are there to do the news. And if we don’t do that if we are serving as the biggest PR agency in the state of New Mexico and we are not doing our jobs.”

Flabbergasted by Memo; Bloggers Didn’t Have the Story

MacCallum was also flabbergasted by a memo she got from News Director Allen on Thursday morning before she quit. The memo said that because there were no official investigations of criminal wrongdoing into the matter, the story would go nowhere. It also suggested that the story wasn’t valid because bloggers and other news outlets hadn’t picked it up.....




chron.com

Teen's free speech rights at issue after blog post
Associated Press

NEW YORK — A teen who used vulgar slang in an Internet blog to complain about school administrators shouldn't have been punished by the school, her lawyer told a federal appeals court.

But a lawyer for the Burlington, Conn., school told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday that administrators should be allowed to act if such comments are made on the Web.

Avery Doninger, 17, claims officials at Lewis S. Mills High School violated her free speech rights when they barred her from serving on the student council because of what she wrote from her home computer.......






link
Vt. towns approve Bush 'indictment'
Residents of Vermont Towns Vote to Support Hypothetical Bush-Cheney Indictment

JOHN CURRAN
AP News

Mar 04, 2008 20:23 EST

Voters in two Vermont towns approved measures Tuesday calling for the indictment of President Bush and Vice President **** Cheney for what they consider violations of the Constitution.

More symbolic than anything, the items sought to have police arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever visit Brattleboro or nearby Marlboro or to extradite them for prosecution elsewhere — if they're not impeached first.

In Brattleboro, the vote was 2,012-1,795. In Marlboro, which held a town meeting on the issue, it was 43-25 with three abstentions.

"I hope the one thing that people take from this is, 'Hey, it can be done,'" said Kurt Daims, 54, who organized the petition drive that led to the Brattleboro vote........



This last one might shed some light on why all that ufos as aliens nonsense has been produced and astroturfed for decades on end.

sfbg.com
Spying on the government
A UC Berkeley geographer maps the secret military bases of the American West – where billions of dollars disappear into creepy clandestine projects.

By A.C. Thompson
San Francisco Bay Guardian News

IT STARTED WITH an e-mail inviting me to join an expedition to Area 51, the secret military site in the Nevada backcountry.

"Let me be clear about this," wrote Trevor Paglen, the 30-year-old geographer leading the trek. "The trip will not be easy. It might not even be that fun, depending on your attitude, how well-prepared you are, and what you consider fun. The weather is unpredictable – it could be really hot or really cold, or (most likely) both.... If you are not in reasonable shape, or are without proper equipment, you will die. Seriously." .......


We need sunshine laws. There should be no secrets, no more hidden agendas.
Nobody - I mean nobody - pulls the wool over the eyes of a Gambini
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