U.S. News Blogs


Thursday, December 19, 2002

Bush Nominates Himself to Chair 9/11 Investigation
(William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t, December 19, 2002)
This nomination comes in the wake of the choice of Henry Kissinger for that post, and his sudden departure. Kissinger, considered a master of secrets and a war criminal to boot, was an odd pick for the post to say the least. He resigned rather than give up the list of clients he has served since leaving public life, as the 9/11 victims families had demanded and the protocols of security clearance had required. One wonders what manner of Kissinger clients could have caused a 'conflict of interest' in a terrorism investigation, but that question will have to wait. . . . Kean is also a director for the petroleum giant Amerada Hess, the food services corporation Amarak, and the Pepsi Bottling Group. Kean is likewise a board member of the Fiduciary Trust Company International. He is a former board member for the CIT Group and UnitedHealth Group. . . . Hess has business agreements with Saudi Arabia and oil exploration facilities in Indonesia and Malaysia. The latter countries are widely believed to be home to al Qaeda terrorists . . . There can be no question that Kean's nomination is a quantum improvement over Kissinger. However, it was a curious choice. Kean has been out of politics since 1990, and is a virtual unknown on the national stage. . . . In the final analysis, it appears that Bush has nominated someone who will be easily controlled by the administration. Kean does not possess, by dint of experience, the wherewithal to ask the difficult questions that must be pressed if this investigation is to be successful. His is not, and never has been, the kind of boat-rocker that will be necessary to pry the truth from the administration, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the Department of Defense . . . It is vital in this to remember that the Bush administration thwarted this independent investigation for 18 months, until they got the two things they wanted. . . . Now, we have Thomas Kane, a man with no training or background in any of the areas necessary to the investigation, a man who does not appear capable of taking on the intelligence community and the administration, much less the five other Republicans who will have veto power over the issuance of subpoenas. . . . What corporations are currently profiting from the War on Terror? In particular, how much does the multinational corporation The Carlyle Group, an entity steeped in petroleum production and weapons sales, stand to make from the conflict? . . . these are the questions that must be answered. By nominating Thomas Kean for this duty, George W. Bush has basically nominated himself. Kean holds every appearance of being a good and decent man. One hopes the puppet strings will not pain him too much.

posted by Lorenzo 10:49 AM

The Bush Administration's Dual Loyalties
(Kathleen and Bill Christinson, Counterpunch, December 13, 2002)
Arabists have been steadily replaced by their exact opposites, what some observers are calling Israelists, and policymaking circles throughout government now no longer even make a pretense of exhibiting balance between Israeli and Arab, particularly Palestinian, interests. . . . The link between active promoters of Israeli interests and policymaking circles is stronger by several orders of magnitude in the Bush administration, which is peppered with people who have long records of activism on behalf of Israel in the United States, of policy advocacy in Israel, and of promoting an agenda for Israel often at odds with existing U.S. policy. These people, who can fairly be called Israeli loyalists, are now at all levels of government, from desk officers at the Defense Department to the deputy secretary level at both State and Defense, as well as on the National Security Council staff and in the vice president's office. . . . The issue we are dealing with in the Bush administration is dual loyalties-the double allegiance of those myriad officials at high and middle levels who cannot distinguish U.S. interests from Israeli interests . . . an examination of the cast of characters in Bush administration policymaking circles reveals a startlingly pervasive network of pro-Israel activists . . . Cheney has established his own personal national security staff, run by aides known to be very pro-Israel . . . Elliott Abrams is another unabashed supporter of the Israeli right, now bringing his links with Israel into the service of U.S. policymaking on Palestinian-Israeli issues. The neo-con community is crowing about Abrams' appointment as Middle East director on the NSC staff (where this Iran-contra criminal has already been working since mid-2001, badly miscast as the director for, of all things, democracy and human rights). . . . Although Abrams has no particular Middle East expertise, he has managed to insert himself in the Middle East debate repeatedly over the years. He has a family interest in propounding a pro-Israel view; he is the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, one of the original neo-cons and a long-time strident supporter of right-wing Israeli causes as editor of Commentary magazine, and Midge Decter, a frequent right-wing commentator. Abrams has written a good deal on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, opposing U.S. mediation and any effort to press for Israeli concessions. . . . The suggestion that the war with Iraq is being planned at Israel's behest, or at the instigation of policymakers whose main motivation is trying to create a secure environment for Israel, is strong. Many Israeli analysts believe this. The Israeli commentator Akiva Eldar recently observed frankly in a Ha'aretz column that Perle, Feith, and their fellow strategists "are walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments and Israeli interests." The suggestion of dual loyalties is not a verboten subject in the Israeli press, as it is in the United States. . . . The dual loyalists in the Bush administration have given added impetus to the growth of a messianic strain of Christian fundamentalism that has allied itself with Israel in preparation for the so-called End of Days. These crazed fundamentalists see Israel's domination over all of Palestine as a necessary step toward fulfillment of the biblical Millennium, consider any Israeli relinquishment of territory in Palestine as a sacrilege, and view warfare between Jews and Arabs as a divinely ordained prelude to Armageddon. These right-wing Christian extremists have a profound influence on Bush and his administration, with the result that the Jewish fundamentalists working for the perpetuation of Israel's domination in Palestine and the Christian fundamentalists working for the Millennium strengthen and reinforce each other's policies in administration councils. The Armageddon that Christian Zionists seem to be actively promoting and that Israeli loyalists inside the administration have tactically allied themselves with raises the horrifying but very real prospect of an apocalyptic Christian-Islamic war. The neo-cons seem unconcerned, and Bush's occasional pro forma remonstrations against blaming all Islam for the sins of Islamic extremists do nothing to make this prospect less likely. . . . the most critical factor directing U.S. policymaking is the group of Israeli loyalists: neither Christian fundamentalist support for Israel nor oil calculations would carry the weight in administration councils that they do without the pivotal input of those loyalists, who clearly know how to play to the Christian fanatics and undoubtedly also know that their own and Israel's bread is buttered by the oil interests of people like Bush and Cheney. This is where loyalty to Israel by government officials colors and influences U.S. policymaking in ways that are extremely dangerous.

posted by Lorenzo 10:39 AM

Information Awareness Office Website Deletes Logo
(The Memory Hole, December 18, 2002)
The government's Information Awareness Office--you know, the Defense agency that's running the Total Information Awareness Program, the huge database that will track everything about everyone in the US and beyond, helmed by convicted felon John Poindexter--keeps getting more shy. First, the IAO took down the biographies of its senior staff. (The Memory Hole has mirrored them.)

Now, the IAO has removed its eye-death-ray logo, which was denounced far and wide as being Orwellian, Masonic, and just plain creepy as hell.

Above [click link], we've archived the logo's large version. Below, we've archived the IAO's banner, which used to incorporate the logo but is now quite plain. (The banner also used to contain the IAO's slogan, "Scienta est potentia," which is Latin for, "Knowledge is power.")

posted by Lorenzo 9:19 AM

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Eyeballing Total Information Awareness ... pictures of John Poindexter's House
The SF Weekly's column by Matt Smith in the Dec 3 issue points out that there may be some information that John M. and Linda Poindexter of 10 Barrington Fare, Rockville, MD, 20850, may be missing in their pursuit of total information awareness. . . . Some people are suspicious that the degenerate Poindexter's Total Information Awareness system will be used to harass and track the activities of people who some significant fraction of society disagree with. They fear a replacement of today's general tolerance (and official blindness to one's Bill-of-Rights-protected activities such as speech and association), with specific harassment of those whose names pop up in the database.

posted by Lorenzo 6:15 PM

Elcomsoft DMCA Case - Not Guilty
17 December 2002
Elcomsoft is the Russian company that created software that removes protections from Adobe eBooks and they are the first company to be charged under DMCA. Jurors requested a complete copy of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA); U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte declined their request, but instead said he would answer specific questions about the law. In the end, the jury decided Not Guilty.

posted by A Curmudgeon 9:25 AM

The Office of Strategic Influence Is Gone, But Are Its Programs In Place?
(Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, November 27, 2002)
The Federation of American Scientists has pointed to a startling revelation by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that mainstream media have missed: In remarks during a recent press briefing, Rumsfeld suggested that though the controversial Office of Strategic Influence (OSI) no longer exists in name, its programs are still being carried out. . . . the new Pentagon group was �developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations.� The news was met with outrage, and within a week the Pentagon had closed down the OSI, saying that negative attention had damaged the office�s reputation so much �that it could not operate effectively" . . . The plan was troubling for many reasons: It was profoundly undemocratic; it would have put journalists� lives at risk by involving them in Pentagon disinformation; and it�s almost certain that any large-scale disinformation campaign directed at the foreign press would have led, sooner or later, to a falsified story being picked up by U.S. media. . . . Rumsfeld has suggested that though the exposure of OSI's plans forced the Pentagon to close the office, they certainly haven't given up on its work. . . . "I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have." . . . A search of the Nexis database indicates that no major U.S. media outlets-- no national broadcast television news shows, no major U.S. newspapers, no wire services or major magazines-- have reported Rumsfeld's remarks. . . . Rumsfeld is redesigning the U.S. military to make "information warfare" central to its functions. . . . This new policy, says Arkin, increasingly "blurs or even erases the boundaries between factual information and news, on the one hand, and public relations, propaganda and psychological warfare, on the other." Arkin adds that "while the policy ostensibly targets foreign enemies, its most likely victim will be the American electorate."

posted by Lorenzo 7:50 AM

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

The Nazification of America--Step Three

posted by Lorenzo 4:27 PM

Agencies see homeland security role for surveillance drones ... Big Brother takes to the sky
(Richard H.P. Sia, CongressDaily, December 12, 2002)
Incoming Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., said in an interview Tuesday that he will ask President Bush to explore the possible deployment of such aircraft, known as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, by civilian agencies responsible for homeland security. . . . The drones would be similar to those used in high-profile missions by the CIA and U.S. military to target suspected Taliban and al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. . . . Warner said he believes UAVs could be an effective means of watching the home front in the war on terror. But he acknowledged that �they�re quite intrusive.� Warner said concerns about individual privacy . . . Among the agencies now committed to deploying UAVs are the Coast Guard and Border Patrol, both of which are moving to the Homeland Security Department. Other non-Defense Department agencies, such as the Transportation Department, are in the early stages of exploring possible security roles for drones. . . . Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, interest in UAVs among federal agencies has swelled, industry sources said. �There�s been a lot more activity over the last couple of months,� said one manufacturing executive who asked not to be named. �It�s been really intense. We�re doing things now that we wouldn�t have been doing a year ago.�

posted by Lorenzo 5:58 AM

Friday, December 13, 2002

White House insiders: Bush is "out of control" ... sees himself divinely appointed
(Mike Hersh, Online Journal, September 12, 2002)
Sources within the White House inner circle say George W. Bush is "out of control." An unprovoked attack against Iraq is imminent, because Bush believes he's on a mission from God to rid the world of Saddam Hussein, whether the world likes it or not. . . . "Brent Scowcroft and James Baker, respectively the national security adviser and secretary of state in the first Bush administration, have advised against invasion." . . . The European Union and international elder statesmen oppose Bush's designs against Iraq. . . . "Former South African president Nelson Mandela expressed firm opposition to military action. Mandela said he had tried to speak to Bush and had instead spoken with his father, the former president. 'I asked him to speak to his son, and I have already spoken to Powell,' Mandela said. 'I have not given up trying to persuade the president not to attack Iraq.'" . . . Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger is perplexed by Team Bush's demands that America and the World's leaders should trust one man's judgment�without consultation or proof�as justification for an unprovoked attack. This is beyond a leap of faith. It is a mad jump to an illogical conclusion at odds with American honor and dignity. Our allies, military experts, and Republican Secretaries of State Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger and Powell oppose this Bush Doctrine. . . . Bush's Doctrine starts with the first strike use of massive deadly force in defiance of every American principle. . . . Bush's sense of unquestionable authority drives him out of control when anyone defies him. Court decisions declaring his and Attorney General Ashcroft's actions unconstitutional and excessive infuriate Bush. People are questioning him on Iraq, and that makes Bush very angry. . . . Bush is furious anyone dares "defy" his "authority" to declare war. This rage renders him unwilling to listen to anyone other than partisan political yes men. He is "out of control." . . . Bush's party leaders, his father's national security team, several Secretaries of State�including his own, and our top military planners all advocate alternatives to invasion. They all oppose Bush's first strike doctrine. Without support from his party, the public, or our allies in the Middle East and, and without any evidence Iraq poses a threat to us or the region, Bush is pushing for an imminent attack. . . . Bush sees himself as the divine sword of retribution against Saddam. For him, nothing else matters. . . . Despite their wise counsel and his assurances to the contrary, Bush has already made up his mind. He will step up his actions because, as the White House sources tell us, Bush is "out of control." Bush believes he was personally called by God to lead America. . . . Bush has embraced this notion of Biblical mission, and now operates with an absolute sense of supreme authority without qualification and without limitation. He stands poised to unleash American might full force against anyone who would dare to defy him. . . . His top political team and Rumsfeld support and enable Bush's messianic mission. There is no sign of caution or consideration of consequence in their analysis. . . . Some among Bush's trusted White House staff fear what they are seeing and where Bush is taking us. His state of mind hauntingly reminds them of Richard Nixon's Final Days. They fear Bush is becoming Nixonesque . . . or worse. Although Bush lacks Nixon's paranoia, he may entertain even more dangerous notions. . . . Bush's monomania about Saddam and his sense of divine purpose scare some of his closest advisors. His resentment of dissent and refusal to credit counsel alarm many from the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations. Even top officials from his father's administration fear the worst, and former President Bush is among them. . . . Will we go to war for Republican partisan political advantage? Will Bush lead us on a crusade based on his misguided sense of divine missionary purpose? Will American forces kill and die for all the wrong reasons? It all depends on media responsibility reporting the facts, public awareness and opposition, and Congressional courage. In other words, prospects appear bleak.

[Hagerty comment: Is there any doubt in anyone's mind about the fact that this un-elected psychopath is totally mad? It is now official, the U.S. has it's own Caligula. Our fall is surely immanent..]

posted by Lorenzo 1:42 PM

t r u t h o u t - Enron Investigation Heats Up -- New Evidence
(truthout, 11 December 2002)
As disturbing as Enron's own misconduct is the growing evidence that leading U.S. financial institutions not only took part in Enron's deceptive practices, but at times designed, advanced, and profited from them. . . . Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase repeatedly used these deceptive prepays to issue Enron huge loans that were disguised as energy trades, which enabled Enron to misstate the loan proceeds as cash flow from business operations. Investors and analysts were misled, along with the many employees who lost their life savings and jobs. . . . The evidence shows that Citigroup and Chase actively aided Enron in these transactions, despite knowing they employed deceptive accounting or tax strategies and were being used by Enron to manipulate its financial statements or deceptively reduce its tax obligations. Citigroup and Chase received substantial fees for their actions or favorable consideration in other business dealings. . . . Enron could not have completed Slapshot without a major bank like Chase which had the resources to use $1 billion for a few brief moments and quickly move that $1 billion through multiple bank accounts across international lines. Chase charged Enron $5 million for its so-called "tax technology." Chase has also shopped the same "tax technology" to other companies.

posted by Lorenzo 11:04 AM

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Does Trent Lott Speak for the South?
(Andrew Beck Grace, AlterNet, December 11, 2002)
What's troubling about Lott's statement � which he described in a press release as "a poor choice of words" spoken during "a lighthearted celebration" � is that one of the most influential politicians in this country, soon to be the Majority Leader of the Senate, hasn't been affected enough by one of the most powerful moments in American history, a moment which happened in his state, to change what he says among friends during a birthday party. . . . But to suggest that the attention being placed on Lott's words is merely another sign of partisan bickering is to lessen the gravity of his words. The comments of people in power are almost universally censored by their handlers, speechwriters and PR teams. The way we come to understand the true feelings behind the rhetoric of our ever-polished leaders is to see how they act and hear what they say in "lighthearted celebrations" with friends. . . . He is a racist in the grand tradition of powerful white Southern men, unaware and unconcerned with the real history of the region, and preeminently concerned with the narrative of white domination. . . . What is unfortunate is that we continue to choose leaders who represent a myth as lifeless as a confederate monument. The challenge now for the South is emphatically to deny a voice to those like Lott who want to represent the mythology; not the reality.

posted by Lorenzo 7:22 PM

Memo Reveals FBI National Security Wiretap Violations
A recently released FBI memo provides the latest evidence that the Bureau has frequently overstepped its legal bounds when conducting intrusive national security surveillance. The document, which was written in April 2000 and originally classified as "secret," reveals that FBI agents illegally videotaped suspects, intercepted e-mail without court permission, recorded the wrong phone conversations, and conducted "unauthorized searches." The incidents detailed in the memo involved cases requiring warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). . . . The newly disclosed "mistakes" memo reveals errors that extend beyond those detailed by the surveillance court in May, which concerned FBI misrepresentations in applications for surveillance warrants. The new "mistakes" involve the manner in which surveillance activities were actually conducted, a potentially more serious issue as the incidents appear to involve violations of both FISA and the Fourth Amendment.

posted by Lorenzo 5:13 PM

The Israelization of America
(James Brooks, AntiWar.com, December 7, 2002)
US officials recently announced the somewhat jarring news that Israeli security forces will be training American soldiers in the techniques of urban warfare. Apparently Israel's illegal thirty-five year occupation of Palestine has enabled it to perfect tactics that our troops will need in a 'possible' war on Iraq. . . . The brutal tactics of the Israeli "Defense" Forces have been denounced for decades by human rights groups, the United Nations, and scores of foreign governments. Is this how we want our own troops to fight? . . . Over the past half century, Israel's organized terror against Palestinian civilians has moved from the relatively secret operations of special Israeli army and paramilitary units to globally televised depredations wrought with helicopter gunships, state-of-the-art tanks, and F-16 fighters. In the process, massacres like those perpetrated in the old days by Israeli army units at Deir Yassin and Qibya have been dwarfed, in terms of casualties, scope, and property damage, by today's daily and indiscriminate destruction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Crimes that Israel once felt compelled to hide from the world are now on full display, vigorously defended by the Israeli government. . . . Meanwhile, the American populace has been steadily learning to accept Israel's gross violations of human rights, international law, and common decency as "necessary for peace and security", justified by "Israel's right to defend herself". This lesson in moral decay and desensitization is proving handy indeed, as the current US administration seeks to extend American hegemony in the Middle East by a new war of occupation. . . . Just as Israel depends on billions of dollars annually from a compliant US government to maintain its military occupation and indifference to UN resolutions and international law, America's power axis also thrives on a steady flow of wealth from a similarly remote and supine source � the American people. And just as Israel makes it a point to occasionally disobey the orders of its US sponsors, so American politicians at the pinnacle of power pointedly disregard the many voices of the people that call for justice and peace.

posted by Lorenzo 12:42 PM

It is time to take risks ... Ellsberg's call for leaked documents
(The Guardian, December 10, 2002)
In 1971, former marine Daniel Ellsberg leaked documents that exposed US government lies and helped end the Vietnam war. He tells Duncan Campbell why he did it, and why he is calling on today's officials to do the same to the Bush regime - and prevent a war in Iraq. . . . Ellsberg photocopied what were to become known as the Pentagon papers, and then tried to persuade politicians to release them and alert the country. When that failed, he gave them to the New York Times. . . . a burglary of Ellsberg's psychoanalyst's office was authorised in the hope of finding information that might discredit him or, when publicised, drive him to suicide. The Watergate burglars, Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt, carried it out. A team of heavies was recruited to break Ellsberg's legs. His phone was tapped. It also emerged, during his trial in 1973, that the judge had earlier been offered the post of director of the FBI, a job he coveted. . . . Once these plots became known, the judge had to abandon the trial and acquit Ellsberg. The Pentagon papers also helped to so discredit the war that they became one of the key factors in the US's final withdrawal and Nixon's humiliating resignation. Ellsberg became a counter-cultural hero. . . . "One of the key differences is that the military now are clearly against this, which was not the case with Vietnam." . . . He lists "oil, oil and oil" as the main reasons for the present war plans. He also anticipates an "incident" that will be used as a rationale for the first US strike, just as the Gulf of Tonkin incident - a supposed attack on a US destroyer - precipitated deeper US military action in Vietnam. "Bush will want to claim, just as Johnson did, that he was immediately protecting American troops." . . . "I believe Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfowitz are using our own troops as bait. There will be deaths, and they know that." . . . Ellsberg has noted that there have been frequent leaks about the war plans in recent weeks. "There is great dissent and that is clearly the major reason for the leaking. It is clear that the administration is filled with people who believe this is reckless, unnecessary, foolish ... I am using every opportunity to say to people in the government who are in the position that I was then, and who know that their president is lying us into a wrongful and reckless war, to do what I wish I had done in 1964-65: to go to Congress and the press with documents and tell the truth. That would be a risk but there are times when big risks are worth that to save a lot of lives." . . . his book [see our recommended books section] contains some still unclassified secrets - one about a dialogue between Johnson and the then Canadian prime minister, Lester Pearson, in which nuclear war was discussed as an option in Vietnam. He is challenging attorney general John Ashcroft to prosecute him for breaking the law. . . . You cannot be a democracy in foreign affairs and have the amount of secrecy unchallenged that we have in America or you have in Britain. It's not just a joke, it's something that has to be resisted and changed."

posted by Lorenzo 11:15 AM

White House Chutzpah
(Arianna Huffington, December 12, 2002)
When describing the administration at midterm, the words that come to mind are arrogant, cocky, galling, and drunk with power. . . . Almost every day brings fresh evidence that Bush and his crew believe that they can get away with just about anything -- no matter how shocking, offensive, corrupt, underhanded or in-your-face the transgression. The prevailing motto seems to be: "Our way or the highway. If you don't like it, you can just move to Canada." . . . The latest example of Bush's "screw you" mind-set was the stunning appointment of cover-up cover boy Henry Kissinger to head the 9/11 commission. . . . It's only a matter of time before Rush Limbaugh is tapped to be Chief of Protocol. . . . In the last few months alone, the White House has shown its disdain for public opinion -- and indeed the public interest -- in an exceptionally wide variety of areas. . . . In your eye, American people!

posted by Lorenzo 9:20 AM

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography
(Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin)
The thesis of this book is simple: if George Bush were to be re- elected in November 1992 for a second term as the president of the United States, this country and the rest of the world would face a catastrophe of gigantic proportions. . . . The authors observed George Bush very carefully as the Gulf crisis and the war unfolded, and had no doubt that his enraged public outbursts constituted real psychotic episodes, indicative of a deranged mental state that was full of ominous portent for humanity. The authors were also horrified by the degree to which their fellow citizens willfully ignored the shocking reality of these public fits. A majority of the American people proved more than willing to lend its support to a despicable enterprise of killing.

Chapter Titles:
1--- THE HOUSE OF BUSH: BORN IN A BANK (33,914 bytes)
2 --- THE HITLER PROJECT (55,321 bytes)
5 --- POPPY AND MOMMY (47,684 bytes)
6 --- BUSH IN WORLD WAR II (36,992 bytes)
8 --- THE PERMIAN BASIN GANG (64,269 bytes)
10 -- RUBBERS GOES TO CONGRESS(129,439 bytes)
12 -- CHAIRMAN GEORGE IN WATERGATE (104,415 bytes)
13 -- BUSH ATTEMPTS THE VICE PRESIDENCY, 1974 (27,973 bytes)
14 -- BUSH IN BEIJING (53,896 bytes)
15 -- CIA DIRECTOR (174,012 bytes)
16-- CAMPAIGN 1980 (139,823 bytes)
17 -- THE ATTEMPTED COUP D'ETAT OF MARCH 30, 1981 (87,300 bytes)
18 -- IRAN-CONTRA (140,338 bytes)
19 -- THE LEVERAGED BUYOUT MOB(67,559 bytes)
20 -- THE PHONY WAR ON DRUGS(26,295 bytes)
21 -- OMAHA (25,969 bytes)
23 -- THE END OF HISTORY (168,757 bytes)
24 -- THE NEW WORLD ORDER (255,215 bytes)
25 -- THYROID STORM (138,727 bytes)

[Webmaster's Note: Click the above link and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can download a free copy of the book. (The zip file is about one Megabyte. It contains all the chapters in HTML format.)]

posted by Lorenzo 4:52 PM

Monday, December 09, 2002

Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US
By David R. Francis | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person. This is an estimate by Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist in Washington. For decades, his analyses of the Middle East scene have made him a frequent thorn in the side of the Israel lobby. For the first time in many years, Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. So far, he figures, the bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War. And now Israel wants more. In a meeting at the White House late last month, Israeli officials made a pitch for $4 billion in additional military aid to defray the rising costs of dealing with the intifada and suicide bombings. They also asked for more than $8 billion in loan guarantees to help the country's recession-bound economy.

Considering Israel's deep economic troubles, Stauffer doubts the Israel bonds covered by the loan guarantees will ever be repaid. The bonds are likely to be structured so they don't pay interest until they reach maturity. If Stauffer is right, the US would end up paying both principal and interest, perhaps 10 years out. Israel's request could be part of a supplemental spending bill that's likely to be passed early next year, perhaps wrapped in with the cost of a war with Iraq.

posted by A Curmudgeon 11:25 AM

New Breed of Patriots Speaking Up
By Scott Martelle, Times Staff Writer
EUGENE, Ore. -- Hope Marston keeps the seeds of revolution in four plastic crates stacked on the planked floor of her overcrowded bungalow here at the southern edge of this left-leaning college town. There are pamphlets and petitions, news stories and political analyses, all part of Marston's battle against what she sees as the excesses of the USA Patriot Act, a sweeping federal law enacted after last year's terrorist attacks that broadens the government's ability to use secret searches, wiretaps and other covert surveillance techniques in the pursuit of terrorists. While the law's defenders say average citizens have nothing to fear, civil libertarians like Marston believe the law opens the door for government agents to resume the kind of domestic spying that flourished under J. Edgar Hoover, when affiliation with radical ideas was enough to get someone a place in the FBI's secret files. Under pressure from a campaign that drew together liberals and Libertarians, Democrats and even a few Republicans, the Eugene City Council recently joined a growing list of local governments calling for a full or partial repeal of the Patriot Act, part of a nascent nationwide effort organizers hope will persuade Congress to undo the law. Last week, city councils in Sebastopol, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, and Burlington, Vt., joined with their own resolutions, and activists are busy in Pasadena, Santa Barbara and at least eight other California communities.

The campaign began in November 2001 in Northampton, Mass., although the first cities to pass resolutions were Ann Arbor, Mich., and Denver, said Nancy Talanian, one of the Massachusetts organizers. So far, 17 cities have passed resolutions, and campaigns are underway in at least 50 cities in 25 states."Resolutions passed by elected local leaders carry a lot more weight than letters from individual citizens," Talanian said. Still, the resolutions are largely symbolic, as local governments have no authority over federal laws or issues. The campaign echoes the grass-roots efforts of a generation ago in which local groups lobbied cities to declare themselves nuclear-free zones, a largely symbolic show of hands of those opposing the development, use, transport and storage of nuclear weapons. "The most important aspect is to build a national consortium, a groundswell, and by making these somewhat symbolic resolutions cities are taking a stand," said Brian Michaels, a Eugene attorney who helped draft the local resolution. "You do what you can to slow these things down." The resolutions differ from place to place, each tailored to local political concerns. But most call for the federal government to reveal what local acts they've taken under the USA Patriot Act, and demand that Congress either repeal the law or revoke some of its elements allowing domestic spying.

posted by A Curmudgeon 9:43 AM

Take the Homeland Security Quiz!
By William Rivers Pitt -- t r u t h o u t | Perspective - Sunday, 1 December, 2002

Question One: Do you approve of the new Homeland Security Department, signed into law by President Bush? [Y / N / IDK]

Question Two: Do you approve of the creation of a 'Total Information Awareness' database by the Department of Defense that will track a wide variety of data regarding every American citizen? [Y / N / IDK]

Question Three: Do you believe that citizens should be allowed to sue in civil court the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Corporation for the production of products which cause autism in children? [Y / N / IDK]

Question Four: Do you approve of the Freedom of Information Act? [Y / N / IDK]

Question Five: Do you approve of an investigation into the attacks of September 11, 2001? [Y / N / IDK]

Question Six: Did you know that the 'Total Information Awareness' database, under the stewardship of Admiral Poindexter and the Department of Defense, is an integral part of the new Homeland Security legislation, and will begin mining for data soon? [Y / N ]

Question Seven: Did you know that the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Corporation was granted immunity from lawsuit and liability regarding the autism allegations in the new Homeland Security legislation, because they are under contract to produce bioweapons vaccines for the federal government? [Y / N]

Question Eight: Did you know that the Freedom of Information Act has been severely curtailed by the new Homeland Security legislation, because public data on the actions of federal agencies is now considered a "potential security weakness?" [Y / N]

Question Nine: Did you know that, thanks to new restrictions on the Freedom of Information Act which will be decided upon on a case by case basis by the same department that manages the Total Information Awareness database, an effective investigation into what happened on September 11th, 2001 is now a practical impossibility? [Y / N]

Question Ten: Do you approve of the new Homeland Security Department, signed into law by President Bush? [Y / N / IDK]

******I wonder how many of my neighbors here in Florida would not get the point...most likely the same number that had problems with pregnant or hanging chads or voted Kathryn Harris into office...****** but that just this old curmudgeon's opnion

posted by A Curmudgeon 8:34 AM

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Arrogance Is Humility
by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom Foundation - December 4, 2002
Taking a step back from all the particulars, the lesson of 9/11 is that for more than 50 years the U.S. government has put the American people in harm�s way by its heavy-handed intervention in bitter disputes throughout the Middle East. Then, despite hundreds of billions spent each year on �national security� and countless signals of the coming threat, it was unable to protect us from the �blowback.� So the government went to war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, proclaiming success all the way, even if it could not bag the top men. But then last week, the head of the CIA, George Tenet, went to Congress and said, �The threat environment we find ourselves in today is as bad as it was last summer, the summer before September 11. It is serious; they�ve reconstituted; they are coming after us, they want to execute attacks.� This has not stopped our national misleaders from insisting that they are our ticket to security. But for that assertion there has been as little evidence offered as there has been for the claims that Saddam Hussein is a threat to Americans or that he had anything to do with al-Qaeda. �We don�t need no stinkin� evidence� is the attitude that oozes from President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

posted by A Curmudgeon 8:51 AM

Court Considers Morpheus Peer-to-Peer Software Case
Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release - December 2, 2002
Los Angeles - Attorneys argued in federal court today over a copyright lawsuit brought by entertainment companies against StreamCast Networks, maker of the popular Morpheus peer-to-peer (P2P) software. Federal District Court Judge Stephen Wilson will likely rule on both sides' motions for summary judgment, or rapid resolution of the case, within the next few weeks. Major entertainment companies sued the technology companies behind the Morpheus, Grokster, and Kazaa P2P software claiming the technology companies should be responsible for the public's use of the software to infringe copyrights.

******Following the entertainment group's line of reasoning...then they become responsible for murder and mayhem committed upon society that is based on movie or television show story lines...you know, copycat killers... after the media has taken some gruesome act (real or fiction), turned it into a movie/tv deal worth millions, hired some over-priced has-been actor/actress (oh wait, they both prefer to be called actor now - how un-pc of me) and made gazillions in the box office - only to be righteously repulsed (the entertainment industry) when some zero with no hope decides they (he or she) wants to make the front page by doing that thing the guy in the movie/tv show did. Way cool! But they (the entertainment industry) is not responsible for the actions of those that purchase (watch) their product. Oh no! They aren't guilty , unlike the gun manufacturers who obviously need to find better lawyers 'cause they got raped. Bottom line - you can't blame society for how they use a product? If someone assaults another someone with a book, are they going to outlaw books? Oh, wait, they're already trying to do that. Well, what about outlawing thinking...Hmmm, nevermind. For what it's worth, that's just this old curmudgeon's opinion.*******

posted by A Curmudgeon 8:23 AM

Friday, December 06, 2002

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later ... the U.S. Police State emerges
(Charles Sheehan-Miles, AlterNet, December 4, 2002)
Bush's political appointee intends to claim our government has the right to coerce information from a witness . . . Olsen plans to argue the police can detain or arrest anyone for any reason and then beat you up or even shoot you to get information, even if there are no emergent circumstances. . . . In other countries, this is called torture. . . . Five years ago, Oliver Martinez was riding his bike down a path when he came upon two police officers questioning another man. The officers ordered Martinez to stop, forcibly stopped him, frisked him, wrestled him to the ground, and then shot him five times at point-blank range. Martinez was blinded and paralyzed and screamed for medical care. . . . A police officer, Sergeant Ben Chavez, kept the injured passerby in police custody. Chavez climbed into the ambulance with the paralyzed and blind man and interrogated him for 45 minutes in the ambulance and at the hospital. Chavez tape recorded the injured man's pleas to leave him alone and stop questioning him. . . . After the incident, Martinez hired an attorney and sued the police for illegal arrest, use of excessive force, and coercive interrogation while in police custody. Though he was shot five times, no charges were ever filed against him, and the police department never provided any assistance or compensation. . . . Bush, through Olsen, makes the argument there is no constitutional guarantee against coercive police questioning, even when medical personnel are telling the police to move back. . . . In other words, Bush says it is okay for the police to grab citizens off the street, shoot them, question them without an attorney, keep medical assistance away, and try to cover up a police shooting with impunity. . . . In essence, Bush says beat them and shoot them, because the ends justify the means. . . . Will innocent civilians, under the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act and the end of Miranda warning, have to submit to a beating before they get their one phone call? . . . Has the U.S. political leadership in Washington, DC gone crazy? . . . And, I ask, why is this news, and the broad impact it may have on liberty, limited to the Los Angeles Times and the alternative press? . . . Now is the time to stand up and stop these horrors, before President Bush completes his plan to turn America into a police state, where anyone, anywhere, can be picked up off the street, shot, beaten, questioned without an attorney, and not told why we are in custody.

posted by Lorenzo 9:29 AM

Thursday, December 05, 2002

World Survey Says Negative Views of U.S. Are Rising
By ADAM CLYMER - The New York Times
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 � While people in most non-Muslim countries continue to view the United States favorably, negative opinions have increased in most nations over the past two years, according to public opinion surveys in 44 countries. The surveys of 38,000 people conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press indicated that, although there is widespread support for the United States-led campaign against terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks, it was tempered by large minorities or even majorities in many countries who say the Bush administration is ignoring their nations' interests. Moreover, followup polls last month in four countries � Britain, France, Germany and Russia � found substantial percentages of people saying they thought that the main reason the United States would go to war with Iraq would be "because the U.S. wants to control Iraqi oil." That view was held by 44 percent in Britain, 54 percent in Germany, 75 percent in France and 76 percent in Russia. A parallel survey in the United States found 22 percent agreeing with the war-for-oil theory. While polling could not be conducted in some important countries, like Saudi Arabia, and sensitive questions could not be asked in others, like China, the combined surveys appeared to be the largest simultaneous effort to gauge world opinion ever conducted, said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Center. "The main lesson," Mr. Kohut said, "is that while there is a reserve of good will toward the United States, the most powerful country in the world has an increasing number of detractors." He said the post-cold-war reality was "how old friends who need us less, like us less," especially in Europe, while "the Russians have a better opinion of us."

posted by A Curmudgeon 9:15 AM

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

One-Click Activism
(Lane Fisher, Hope Magazine, October 30, 2002)
TrueMajority is here to help voters tell Congress to listen up. The project will attempt to engage the 50 million "cultural creatives" named by sociologist Paul H. Ray � U.S. citizens who share, among other things, social, ecological and political values that the government is failing to address adequately. . . . Instead of being guided by the values of the American people, the government is being guided by the values of corporations � which are, essentially, to maximize profits," he says. . . . Cohen's plan is "one-click activism," a free service that he believes will help Congress act according to Americans' deeper values. The TrueMajority Website lets individuals register for email alerts that arrive once or twice a month. Complementary to Working Assets' Act for Change alerts, TrueMajority focuses exclusively on national leadership and easy action. By clicking on the URL in the TrueMajority email, members open three options: having a letter in front of them faxed with their names to their own congressional delegates or revising the letter before TrueMajority sends it. Or they can send nothing. . . . Barbara Valocore, president of Lifebridge Foundation, which is making a grant to TrueMajority, agrees. "There's a large portion of the population that feels strongly about life-enhancing and values-based issues but is not getting its voice heard. If that voice of concern was really organized, we could change things rapidly for the better for all people," she says. "It's not necessary to have 24,000 people dying every day. Poverty can be solved for a fraction of the military budget." . . . Cohen fumes at the subject of military spending. "Despite all the talk about reducing nuclear weapons, our country is developing new nuclear weapons and continues to spend about $30 billion a year on our nuclear arsenal. That's enough to blow up the entire world ten times over. That didn't make any sense before the terrorist attacks, and it doesn't make any sense after the terrorist attacks. . . . "What's really patriotic is struggling and fighting for the soul and spirit of America.... The majority of the population wants to increase spending for education. They want to take care of people in poverty at home and abroad. They want the U.S. to act in a multilateral fashion, cooperating with other countries in the world instead of ... refusing to sign international treaties," says Cohen. "These are things that are based on the traditional American values of compassion, equality, and social justice."

posted by Lorenzo 6:03 PM

Oppose the New Homeland Security Bureaucracy!
(Congressman Ron Paul, U.S. House of Representatives, November 14, 2002)
One hundred years of intense government "benevolence" in the United States has brought us to the brink of economic collapse, a domestic police state, and perpetual war overseas. And now our obsession with conquering and occupying Iraq is about to unleash consequences that no one can accurately foresee. The negative possibilities are unlimited and the benefits negligible. . . . More likely, the consequences will be severe and surprising and not what anyone planned for or intended. . . . Pre-emptive war against Iraq may well prompt traditional enemies in the regions to create new alliances, as the hatred for America comes to exceed age-old hatreds that caused regional conflicts. Iraq already has made overtures and concessions to Iran and Kuwait, with some signs of conciliation being shown by both sides. Total domination of the entire Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea regions by the U.S. will surely stir survival instincts in these countries as well as in Russia. As the balance of power continues to shift in the U.S.�s favor, there will be even more reasons for countries like China and Pakistan to secretly support the nations that are being subjected to U.S. domination in the region. The U.S. will never have a free ride in its effort to control the entire world�s oil supply. Antagonisms are bound to build, and our ability to finance the multiple military conflicts that are bound to come is self-limited. . . . Islamic fundamentalism in the entire region will get a shot in the arm once the invasion of Iraq begins, especially in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Turkey. Our placing the Shah in power in Iran in the 1950�s was a major reason that the Ayatollah eventually made it to power in the late 1970�s- a delayed but nevertheless direct consequence of our policy. . . . Expect Israel to use the chaos to further promote their occupation and settlements in the Palestinian homeland and possibly even in Lebanon. Israel�s possession of nuclear weapons in a period of outright war will surely serve to intimidate her neighbors and intensify her efforts to further expand the Israeli homeland. . . . Our own CIA has warned that war with Iraq will more likely cause Saddam Hussein to use any massively lethal weapons that he might have than if we don�t attack him. Also, they warned that the likelihood of al Qaeda attacks on our own soil will increase once an invasion begins. This, of course, could cause a wave of well-placed snipers around the United States. . . . Our very weak economy could easily collapse with the additional burden of a costly war. War is never a way to make the people of a country better off. It does not end recessions, and is much more likely to cause one or make one much worse. A significant war will cause revenues to decrease, taxes to increase, inflation to jump, encourage trade wars, and balloon the deficit. Oil prices will soar and the dollar will retreat ever further. . . . Already we�re hearing demands for a military draft to be instituted for both men and women. I see that coming, and it will serve as another source of domestic friction as our economy deteriorates and unemployment rises. Under these conditions the standard of living for all Americans is destined to go down. . . . The net result, regardless of the size and duration of the coming war, will be that the people of the United States will be less free and much poorer. The bigger the war, the greater will be the suffering.

posted by Lorenzo 1:47 PM

Robert Fisk: Railing against the 'facile acceptance of authority'
(Thomas P. Healy, The Bloomington Alternative, November 24, 2002)
Fisk railed against "the facile acceptance of authority" by most journalists in the post-9/11 era who rely heavily on anonymous official sources, and worse, who don war clothing. . . . The Bush Administration was also the object of his ire. Fisk said the tragic events of 9/11 "gave an excuse for George Bush to manipulate the American public's grief and fear." Listening to the president speak to the United Nations this past September, Fisk said, it was apparent that "Bush is starting an attempt to reshape the Middle East" to suit his own and Israeli objectives. . . . "Almost invariably, investigative reporting in the Mideast generates hate mail," Fisk said. "The easiest way out of this problem for most journalists is to change the story." . . . He quoted from an official CNN memo that informed reporters that henceforth they should refer to Gilo as a Jewish neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem - not as "occupied territory" - despite the fact that the settlement was constructed in violation of international law. When Fisk confronted a CNN editor about the memo, he was told, "We really don't want to talk about this." . . . Asked about the American Left, Fisk said, "Look, the problem with the progressive, Left activists is that all they do is talk to each other. I went to this seminar at an East Coast college and all these middle-class women were sitting around talking about 'bridge-building between progressives and activists and socialists' and they want to 'build a bridge to the mainstream press.' And I said, it's irredeemable. Don't waste your time. First of all, stop calling it mainstream. Start calling your press mainstream and theirs alternative. I said, "You are a very privileged little elite in this room. And I'm not giving you advice for what you ought to do; I'm a journalist. But if you want to reach out to people, stop talking to each other in your privileged little room. Talk to ordinary Americans: the truck drivers and the rail crews and the bellhops whose brothers and fathers are going to be sent to Iraq."

posted by Lorenzo 1:34 PM

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Call for a New Party
(Robin Miller, Dissident Voice, December 2, 2002)
To be an American today is to confront an economic system that drains the lifeblood from our people, and promises the same fate to our children. . . . To be an American today is to be certain of the failure of our political process. . . . The American people have not agreed to this savage distortion of priorities and violation of American ideals. No rational people would. But with both political parties and the mainstream media firmly in the control of the wealthy, that sliver of our population is permitted to dictate our country's direction. This is the reality to which thirty years of post-Vietnam progressive organizing has brought us. . . . We must form a new national political party, offering a new politics--the politics of justice, compassion, humility, and faith. We must compete for power in the only avenue through which real change is possible--the electoral system. . . . This party will compete for power at the national level. Only election to Congress has the potential to affect national policies and provide national media exposure. . . . Initially, this party will limit itself to candidates for the House of Representatives. Voters are willing to elect political newcomers as federal representatives. Conversely, we will not devote any of our limited resources to quixotic presidential campaigns. (We'll defer until later the question of running senatorial candidates.) . . . Our goal is to trisect the American electorate. If we could earn the votes of one-third of those who didn't vote in the 2000 election, and 15 percent of those who did, we would have a vote total comparable to those of the Democratic and Republican parties. Accomplishing this will require a massive, national voter education and registration drive. . . . The Democratic Party is not an alternative. It is beholden to the same interests as the Republicans; we have seen what each has to offer. The Democratic Party may play good cop to the Republicans' bad cop, but both serve the same masters. . . . to rely on the Democratic Party is unthinkable.

posted by Lorenzo 4:24 PM

Totally Idiotic Americans
(Ted Rall, AlterNet, November 27, 2002)
Rear Admiral John Poindexter, the scandal-scarred Iran-Contra figure who heads the $62.9 million "data mining" operation for the Defense Department, says that the TIA's mission is "to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists � and decipher their plans � and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully preempt and defeat terrorist acts." Sounds like a magnificent idea. So why do such unusual allies as the American Civil Liberties Union, The New York Times, William Safire and Republican senator Charles Grassley say it's dangerous? . . . Total Information Awareness will use sophisticated computer-modeling programs to search every database they can get their hands on. They'll scan credit card receipts, bank statements, ATM purchases, Web "cookies," school transcripts, medical files, property deeds, magazine subscriptions, airline manifests, addresses � even veterinary records. The TIA believes that knowing if and when Fluffy got spayed � and whether your son stopped torturing Fluffy after you put him on Ritalin � will help the military stop terrorists before they strike. . . . Most of this raw data is already available to businesses trying to market their products. The TIA represents the first full-scale attempt by a government agency � the Department of Defense � to collect and analyze that information. . . . Critics are understandably anxious that the TIA is merely the Bush Administration's latest effort to emulate the most unsavory aspects of Soviet society. "If the Pentagon has its way, every American � from the Nebraskan farmer to the Wall Street banker � will find themselves under the accusatory cyber-state of an all-powerful national security apparatus," warns Laura Murphy of the ACLU. . . . Is Poindexter more interested in digging up dirt on Bush's political foes than fighting Islamist terrorism? . . . Since most of the data the TIA analyzes relates to loyal American citizens, Total Information Awareness creates the potential for abuse of governmental power on an unprecedented scale. Because it won't track the most likely future terrorists � people who live in, for example, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia � it's a waste of money that furthers the illusion that our government is protecting us. . . . Since Sept. 11, George W. Bush has asked us to trade our precious freedoms for a little security. The TIA forces Americans to sacrifice privacy for nothing.

posted by Lorenzo 12:19 PM

Still more Kissinger stuff...
Kissinger's 1974 Plan for Food Control Genocide
by Joseph Brewda - Dec. 8, 1995
On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, "National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests." The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture. The bogus arguments that Kissinger advanced were not original. One of his major sources was the Royal Commission on Population, which King George VI had created in 1944 "to consider what measures should be taken in the national interest to influence the future trend of population." The commission found that Britain was gravely threatened by population growth in its colonies, since "a populous country has decided advantages over a sparsely-populated one for industrial production." The combined effects of increasing population and industrialization in its colonies, it warned, "might be decisive in its effects on the prestige and influence of the West," especially effecting "military strength and security." NSSM 200 similarly concluded that the United States was threatened by population growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 "key countries" in which the United States had a "special political and strategic interest": India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome, since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military strength.

Read the entire NSSM here.
Also December 8, 1995 issue of Executive Intelligence Review

******Hmmm...I wonder if the lack of concern regarding the AIDS epidemic on the sub-continent (everywhere, really) has ANYTHING to do with this... Maybe food shortages weren't providing results fast enough?******But that's just this Old Curmudgeon's opinion...

posted by A Curmudgeon 11:46 AM

More Kissinger Stuff...
America's "New War" Directed By Old Profiteers
by Dr. Len Horowitz - LightStream Productions
Dr. Henry Kissinger is heralding war directions once again. On "Black Monday" (September 17, 2001), the day stocks took their biggest single day loss in history, the American news media detailed this eighty-six-year-old foreign policy analyst's prescription for bombing Afghanistan and Iran. Rhetorically admitting such actions would likely prompt terrorist counterattacks, Dr. Kissinger claimed such strikes were urgently needed to stop future terrorist attacks. Given the incongruity of his counsel, many Kissinger critics believe the "elderly statesman" may be losing his mind. Others suggest he should simply refrain from advising Bush administration officials on such matters. Still more believe he should "mind his own business." This, however, is precisely what he is doing since America's "New War" strategy represents, above all, BIG BUSINESS! Officials are now warning that America's "New War" will require unprecedented economic and social sacrifices. Included here, we are told, are imminent losses of life from biological and chemical attacks. This best explains why "Black Monday's" few winning stocks included pharmaceutical giants Merck, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson-companies destined to profit greatly by plagued populations.

posted by A Curmudgeon 11:26 AM

The Latest Kissinger Outrage
Why is a proven liar and wanted man in charge of the 9/11 investigation?
By Christopher Hitchens - Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2002, at 3:36 PM PT
The Bush administration has been saying in public for several months that it does not desire an independent inquiry into the gross "failures of intelligence" that left U.S. society defenseless 14 months ago. By announcing that Henry Kissinger will be chairing the inquiry that it did not want, the president has now made the same point in a different way. But the cynicism of the decision and the gross insult to democracy and to the families of the victims that it represents has to be analyzed to be believed.

1) We already know quite a lot, thanks all the same, about who was behind the attacks. Most notable in incubating al-Qaida were the rotten client-state regimes of the Saudi Arabian oligarchy and the Pakistani military and police elite. Henry Kissinger is now, and always has been, an errand boy and apologist for such regimes.
2) When in office, Henry Kissinger organized massive deceptions of Congress and public opinion. The most notorious case concerned the "secret bombing" of Cambodia and Laos and the unleashing of unconstitutional methods by Nixon and Kissinger to repress dissent from this illegal and atrocious policy.
3) In his second career as an obfuscator and a falsifier, Kissinger appropriated the records of his time at the State Department and took them on a truck to the Rockefeller family estate in New York.
4) Kissinger's "consulting" firm, Kissinger Associates, is a privately held concern that does not publish a client list and that compels its clients to sign confidentiality agreements.
5) On Memorial Day 2001, Kissinger was visited by the police in the Ritz Hotel in Paris and handed a warrant, issued by Judge Roger LeLoire, requesting his testimony in the matter of disappeared French citizens in Pinochet's Chile. Kissinger chose to leave town rather than appear at the Palais de Justice as requested.
Moreover, on Sept. 10, 2001, a civil suit was filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court, charging Kissinger with murder.

posted by A Curmudgeon 11:13 AM

Monday, December 02, 2002

Capital Games: Kissinger's Back!
(David Corn, The Nation, 11-27-02)
Asking Henry Kissinger to investigate government malfeasance or nonfeasance is akin to asking Slobodan Milosevic to investigate war crimes. Pretty damn akin, since Kissinger has been accused, with cause, of engaging in war crimes of his own. Moreover, he has been a poster-child for the worst excesses of secret government and secret warfare. Yet George W. Bush has named him to head a supposedly independent commission to investigate the nightmarish attacks of September 11, 2001, a commission intended to tell the public what went wrong on and before that day. This is a sick, black-is-white, war-is-peace joke--a cruel insult to the memory of those killed on 9/11 and a screw-you affront to any American who believes the public deserves a full accounting of government actions or lack thereof. . . . Vietnam. Kissinger participated in a GOP plot to undermine the 1968 Paris peace talks in order to assist Richard Nixon's presidential campaign. . . . Chile. In the early 1970s, Kissinger oversaw the CIA's extensive covert campaign that assisted coup-plotters, some of whom eventually overthrew the democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende and installed the murderous military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. . . . East Timor. In 1975, President Gerald Ford and Kissinger, still serving as secretary of state, offered advance approval of Indonesia's brutal invasion of East Timor, which took the lives of tens of thousands of East Timorese. . . . Argentina. In 1976, as a fascistic and anti-Semitic military junta was beginning its so-called "dirty war" against supposed subversives--between 9,000 and 30,000 people would be "disappeared" by the military over the next seven years--Argentina's foreign minister met with Kissinger and received what he believed was tacit encouragement for his government's violent efforts. . . . Kissinger is a man on the run for his past misdeeds. He is the target of two lawsuits, and judges overseas have sought him for questioning in war-crimes-related legal actions. . . . When he left office, Kissinger took tens of thousands of pages of documents--created by government employees on government time--and treated them as his personal records, using them for his own memoirs and keeping the material for years from the prying eyes of historians and journalists. He and the Bush-Cheney White House agree on open government: the less the better. . . . The Bush-Cheney administration has been a rehab center for tainted Republicans. Retired Admiral John Poindexter, a leading Iran-contra player, was placed in charge of a sensitive, high-tech, Pentagon intelligence-gathering operation aimed at reviewing massive amounts of individual personal data in order to uncover possible terrorists. Elliott Abrams, who pled guilty to lying to Congress in the Iran-contra scandal, was warmly embraced and handed a staff position in Bush's National Security Council. But the Kissinger selection is the most outrageous of these acts of compassion and forgiveness. . . . His has been a career of covertly moving chips, not one of letting them fall. He is not a truth-seeker. In fact, he has prevaricated about his own actions and tried to limit access to government information. He should be subpoenaed, not handed the right to subpoena. He is a target, not an investigator. . . . The public would be better served and the victims of 9/11 better honored by no commission rather than one headed by Kissinger.

posted by Lorenzo 8:56 AM

Rooting Out Evil - Weapons Inspectors in the U.S.
Rooting Out Evil is a campaign of resistance to US unilateralism and domination of global affairs. The campaign is aimed at reframing the perception of the US�s role in world politics by turning President Bush�s rhetoric and tactics against him. . . . We oppose the development, storage, and use of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, or nuclear) by any state. . . . We are based in Canada, but have allies and supporters in the US and around the world.

Join us in challenging rogue states run by military fanatics who produce and conceal weapons of mass destruction.

Rooting Out Evil is sending a weapons inspection team to the United States to inspect the chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons produced and concealed by the Bush regime. And we want you to join us - in person or in spirit. Become an Honorary Weapons Inspector And Support Our Mission Into The USA!

posted by Lorenzo 6:01 AM

The Memory Hole - Operation TIPS Website Deleted
(The Memory Hole, December 2, 2002)
At some point prior to 20 November 2002, the federal government deleted the portion of the Citizen Corps Website dealing with the citizen-snitch program Operation TIPS. This was undoubtedly because the Homeland Security Act, which had passed the House at that point, specifically canned TIPS. . . . [On the Memory Hole website] you'll find archived versions of the main Webpage for TIPS, as well as other Citizen Corps Webpages that used to refer to TIPS but no longer do. We've also stored copies of the two TIPS newsletters, which strangely remain on the site but are prime candidates for deletion.

posted by Lorenzo 5:38 AM

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Remember now, he said, "kinder, gentler, compassionate conservative..."
Justice Dept. Seeks to Seal Vaccine Papers
WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 � The Bush administration asked a federal claims court today to seal documents relating to hundreds of claims that a mercury-based preservative in vaccines, thimerosal, has caused autism and other neurological disorders in children. Lawyers for the Justice Department asked for the protective order on behalf of Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, whose department administers a government fund to compensate people injured by vaccines. About 1,000 families have filed claims under the program, asserting that their children suffered mercury poisoning from the vaccines, which until recently included the preservative. The claims are being heard by a special master, George Hastings, in a so-called vaccine court that was created in 1986, when Congress passed the measure setting up the government fund. Lawyers for the families said they were outraged by today's move. They said the government was trying to prevent families from obtaining damaging information about the preservative, which could later be used against drug companies in civil courts.

posted by A Curmudgeon 2:33 PM

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