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Diebold Voting Machines DESIGNED for Election Fraud
(Matthew Cardinale, YubaNet.com, Jun 4, 2005)
Two new and startling discoveries announced by Bev Harris and BlackBoxVoting.org indicate that Diebold Optical Scan Machines are vulnerable to, and designed for, hacking that would modify the results of an election. . . . Whereas Touch Screen voting machines have received the most attention, she asserts, Optical Scanning Machines pose as much cause for concern based on recent findings. . . . "This is really the most important thing," Harris said. "Yes we can hack the poll tapes [and the Central Tabulator]. But what we've learned is there is a 'built-in' [on the individual machines] that provides the mechanism to hack any election on the poll tapes in the Diebold Optical Scan System." . . . "It's probably not an accident," Harris said, "because you can look back through the source code to see that [Diebold] went through some programming contortions to keep this thing there. It had to have been expensive for them, frankly." . . . Hursti is said to have confirmed that the built-in hacking program ‘lived' in the memory card of the "ballot box" on individual election machines, according to Harris. "What this means is that the program operates on the votes. You can change what's on there; it's just a disk," Harris said. . . . "So when the Optical Scan Machine asks it to count the votes, instead of using its own program to count the vote, it asks the ballot box how it should count, and that is what's so bizarre," Harris explained. . . . Ion Sancho, the Leon County Supervisor of Elections, reportedly allowed Harris and her experts to conduct a number of testing and auditing operations on their Diebold Scanning Equipment in recent months. . . . "Mr. Sancho is famous for his integrity and openness," Harris said. "We wanted to get a county with an Optical Scan System so we could prove once and for all if they're vulnerable." . . . A series of demonstrations were held on February 14, May 02, and May 26, 2005, in Leon County Elections Offices, she said. . . . With U.S. Representatives Corinne Brown (D-FL) and Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) on hand, Dr. Herbert Thompson, a Professor of Computer Science, took less than five minutes to "hack" a Central Tabulator in the second public audit on May 02, 2005, Harris asserts. . . . "[Election officials] loaded up an actual election. Elections are saved as a file. And [Dr. Thompson] went in and had his way with it," Harris said. . . . "The second time they'd put in additional security measures, unbeknownst to us, and he got in even faster," Harris said. "And [U.S. Rep.] Corrine Brown said, can you make it so it changes, say one in every 5 votes? And [Dr. Thompson] was like, no problem! And she said, it IS a problem!" . . . It was after discovering problems with the Central Tabulator, that the BlackBoxVoting Team turned their attentions to the individual scanning machines. . . . "My question was, can you [hack the machines] in a way that wouldn't be detected. And the answer we found is yes, absolutely." . . . "We proved it by going down there," she said. On May 26, 2005, "We made bogus memory cards. We put them on the machines. And the cards told the voting machines how to come out. It proved the memory card was controlling the machine and not the other way around," Harris said. . . . "We used real election results from Leon County. We simply re-wrote the program on the card, and we manipulated the recording of the voting. It would flip em, it would do different things, and the results came out wrong," she said. . . . "Everybody is like, oh, paper ballots, we can check them if we need to, but that's not a true statement. That's the big distraction." Harris cites a number of cases where recounts of the actual ballots were not allowed by state officials. . . . Diebold's computer program is written in ABO basic, a new language written by Diebold. "They made up their own computer language!" Harris said. "Which is a flat-out violation of all FEC standards. It's completely against federal law not to use standard language."
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posted by Lorenzo 10:42 AM
Former MI5 Agent Says 9/11 An Inside Job
(TheyKnew, 26 June 2005)
Attack Was 'Coup de'tat,' Buildings Were Demolished By Controlled Demolitions . . . Former MI5 agent David Shayler, who previously blew the whistle on the British government paying Al Qaeda $200,000 to carry out political assassinations, has gone on the record with his conviction that 9/11 was an inside job meant to bring about a permanent state of emergency in America and pave the way for the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and ultimately Iran and Syria. . . . Shayler again risked jail by speaking out. The British government has a legal gag preventing him from speaking about his work during his MI5 tenure. Since what Shayler discussed was already on the public record (a consequence of which was his imprisonment on two separate occasions), he now feels safer in stepping back out into the limelight. . . . Shayler delved into his past investigations and the evidence that led some within MI5 to conclude that the Israelis bombed their own London embassy in July 1994. Shayler said that the Israelis framed two Palestinians who remain in jail to this day. . . . "The same thing has happened with two Palestinians who were convicted of conspiracy to cause the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Britain in 1994 but MI5 didn't disclose two documents which indicated their innocence. One document indicated another group had carried out the attack and the other document was the belief of an MI5 officer that the Israelis had actually bombed their own embassy and allowed a controlled explosion to try and get better security and these documents were never shown to the trial judge let alone the defense." . . . Shayler said that his suspicions were first aroused about 9/11 when the usual route of crime scene investigation was impeded when the debris was immediately seized and shipped off to China. . . . "It is in fact a criminal offence to interfere with a crime scene and yet in the case of 9/11 all the metal from the buildings is shipped out to China, there are no forensications done on that metal. Now that to me suggests they never wanted anybody to look at that metal because it was not going to provide the evidence they wanted to show people that it was Al-Qaeda." . . . "There are so many questions that need to be answered, protocols being overridden within national defense, people actively being stopped from carrying out investigations. This wasn't an accident, they were aware there was intelligence indicating those kind of attacks, there were FBI intercepts saying it in the days before the attacks. When you look at it all, that is a big big intelligence picture and yet these people were crucially stopped from doing their jobs, stopped from trying to protect the American people." . . . Shayler elaborated by saying the evidence suggests the attack was originally meant to be much wider in scope and was an attempt at a violent coup intended to decapitate the entire government as a pretext for martial law. . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: And don't think they've quit planning their coup. My guess is that the Bush Junta is planning another attack during the 2008 election cycle so they can declare martial law and stop the election. . . . And WHY would Cheney, Rumsfeld, & Bush do this? Because if the Fascists lose control of the government their entire gang will be tried for crimes against humanity.] . . . "So you're looking at a situation in which you almost have a coup de'tat because you've got to bear in mind that there were weapons discovered on planes that didn't take off on 9/11. Now people have obviously postulated that they were going perhaps to attack the White House, Capitol Hill. That looks to me like an attempt to destroy American government and declare a state of emergency, in fact a coup de'tat, a violent coup de'tat." . . . Shayler was forthright in his assertion that the attack was planned and executed within the jurisdiction of the military-industrial complex. . . . "They let it happen, they made it happen to create a trigger to be able to allow the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq and of course what they're trying to do now is the same thing with the invasion of Iran and Syria." . . . Shayler ended by questioning the highly suspicious nature of the collapse of the twin towers and Building 7, the first buildings in history, all in the same day, to collapse from so-called fire damage alone. . . . "I've seen the results of terroristic explosions and so on and no terrorist explosion has ever brought down a building. When the IRA put something like a thousands tonnes of home-made explosives in front of the Baltic Exchange building in Bishopsgate and let off the bomb, all the glass came out, the building shook a bit but there was no question about the building falling down and it doesn't obey the laws of physics for buildings to fall down in the way the World Trade Center came down. So you have the comparison of the two, Building 7 compared with the north and south towers coming down and those two things are exactly the same, they were demolished." . . . David Shayler joins a spate of recent credible whistleblowers who share the same sentiments about the real story behind 9/11. Former Chief Economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds publicly questioned the unexplained collapse of WTC Building 7 earlier this month. In addition, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts, shared his concerns last week when he said the Bush Administration were making the same mistakes as the Nazis when they invaded Russia in the dead of Winter. Roberts seriously doubts the official explanation behind 9/11.
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posted by Lorenzo 7:00 AM
Why aren't the media screaming about the Downing Street memos?
(Mark Morford, SF Gate, June 22, 2005)
[NOTE: This is an excellent opinion-piece. Click the link above to read the full article. Here is how it ends.]
Let's just say it outright: Of course Bush deserves to be impeached. But of course Bush will not be impeached, because impeachment requires a massive federal investigation and an act of Congress and the support of countless senators and representatives, and right now the GOP controls Congress with a little iron penis, and therefore any sort of uprising or scandal or suggestion of punishment gets immediately slammed down or scoffed away or buried under an avalanche of shrugs and yawns and neoconservative smugness. Isn't that right, Mr. Gannon? Mr. DeLay? Abu Ghraib? Gitmo? Saddam? Et al.
BushCo survived the illegal sanctioning of inhumane torture. They survived a gay male prostitute acting as a journalist. They survived Enron and Diebold and the rigging of the first election and they will survive Downing Street simply because all the people who should be on the attack about these atrocities all work for the guys who committed them.
So then, the question is not merely when will the stack of lies, of abuses become so high, so unstable, so inexcusable that the entire nation finally takes notice and the whole house of cards comes crashing to the ground in a big nasty soul-jarring spirit-cleansing patriotism-redefining whoomp and smothers the whole lot of them, but rather, can it be soon enough?
And to that question, we all know the answer.
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posted by Lorenzo 4:16 PM
Who gave George Bush the right to send our children to death?
Where is it written in the Constitution, in what article or section is it contained, that you may take children from their parents and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly and wickedness of the government may engage itself?
-- Daniel Webster,
Speech in the House of Representatives
January 14, 1814
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posted by Lorenzo 5:07 PM
A Fascist Christian America Is Upon Us
(George E. Lowe, BuzzFlash, June 10, 2005)
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
They're planning ... to create a nation where you can change the Constitution with simple majorities, where you can pass laws with simple majorities, where you can pack the courts and thereby create a Christian nation through a simple majority vote. ... The whole thing is one of the grand coup d'etats of all time. That's what we're seeing. . . . George E. Lowe's two-volume collection [It Can Happen Here] is a labor of love (originally and prophetically written in 2000) that offers a provocative and persuasive explanation about how the Neo-Cons became a logical partner with the "Rapture" Christians, whose goal is to precipitate Armageddon and a Second Coming of Christ. One clear common political goal is increasing weapons production, because it will both enrich the Neo-Con corporate interests and help precipitate a Messianic age for the radical fundamentalists. . . . For many BuzzFlash readers, following the subtleties of the religious right fanatics is a challenge. But Lowe takes the reader on a journey through the strange permutations of Christian extremism and the danger it presents to America as a Constitutional democracy. Moreover, the Christian fanatics seek a World War III, because it will lead to the triumphant return of a resurrected Christ and a transformed Israel. . . . [From the interview with Lowe] When the Reagan Administration came in, I was Secretary of Education Bell's speech writer. I looked around and who did I see? Gary Bauer as an Assistant Secretary. Bob Billings, one of the founders of the Moral Majority -- -- another Assistant Secretary. Civil rights was handed over to Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas. They dumped a lot of strange people into the department that had Hal Lindsey's book, The Late, Great Planet Earth, and the Good Shepherd's Yellow Pages. They had little cards that they would post up in the halls saying, "Listen to Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye." They were revolutionaries. And here I am, an American historian, worried about this, because I was fighting the military fascists in the sixties. Here we get Christian fascists, and I just couldn't comprehend it. . . . As I say on the cover of my book, it's that they've taken over the party of Lincoln. You could just look at the electoral map and you know that. It's the old Confederacy. And they've expanded it to the new booming Southwest. That and the Mountain West is their core base. There are people that essentially are the old David Duke crowd -- the Northern European, white, Protestant, small town, middle and lower-middle classes -- and their time has come. They're tired of all these foreigners that came in after '48 or after the Civil War, and all those two million Jews and all those Southern European Catholics -- those dusty people -- all those. They feel it's time to take back America. In essence, this is the revenge of the South for losing the Civil War. . . . The genius behind this is Pat Buchanan. He put together the great coalition, along with Paul Weyrich, and that other genius, Richard Viguerie, and they put together a coalition of Orthodox Jews, conservative Catholics and fundamentalists, conservative Evangelicals and Pentecostals. And that's the coalition that is now in power. . . . some of the Catholics are going back to a previous golden age, and some of the Protestants are looking forward to a new golden age. But the idea is a fusion, or a union of church and state. Franco did that, Peron and Mussolini did it. . . . Jerry Falwell, and others, believe God wanted them to have the entire West Bank, frankly Syria and the whole Middle East. That should be the greater Israel, from Jerry Falwell's point of view. . . . Scalia is blinded by Opus Dei [the Catholic Church's ultra right wing coven of wealthy white men]. The point is that he is a hyper-intellectual, and he's taken all this doctrine and believes it, that's all. . . . The only way you can get Christ back is if you destroy the Dome of Omar and the infidel structures and build the third temple. And if the Jews don't build the third temple, Jesus can't give his abomination of desolation. Once they build the third temple, Jesus comes back and he brings the raptured church back with him, armed with NRA Uzi and AK-47s, and they run us all for a thousand years. . . . It's signing the death warrant of the Jewish race. No question about it. . . . BuzzFlash: We have now a concerted effort by the Bush Administration to put onto the federal bench judges who believe that they, in essence, have a divine calling. What are the implications of this? . . . George E. Lowe: I explain it in my book at length, but it's simply this. They're planning to, and they almost did except for the senate's recently reached judicial filibuster compromise -- they're going to create a nation where you can change the Constitution with simple majorities, where you can pass laws with simple majorities, where you can pack the courts and thereby create a Christian nation through a simple majority vote. And put no more lifetime judges -- five years at the most. The whole thing is one of the grand coup d'etats of all time. That's what we're seeing. . . . BuzzFlash: Well, what would a fascist Christian America look like? Are we there yet? . . . George E. Lowe: Oh, we're much further ahead than I ever expected. . . . Incidentally, I was part of a top-secret Navy team that helped create the idea that the military-industrial complex imposed a threat to America. We also worried then about fascist Christian military officers. . . . In the Bush Administration you have, it seems to me, two divisions. On one side you have the extreme fundamentalists, what some people call the American Taliban, and you call the Christian fascists. . . . And the key weapons system is the ballistic missile defense system, and the RMA -- the Revolution in Military Affairs. The New York Times has the most amazing piece by historian Niall Ferguson, in which he talks about the great scheme of Rumsfeld, and why he won't put more troops into Iraq, and why they're talking about attacks against all the rogue nations. Rumsfeld had an idea called 10-30-30. Ten days to take down the rogue nations, thirty days to mop up, and then thirty days to plan for the next rogue nation. . . . Exactly. And they have to have Armageddon because their doctrine won't bring Jesus back unless they have Armageddon. That's their whole point. That's why they've got to get Bush to trigger Armageddon. So they're happy to make all sorts of deals with the Likud and welcome anything that stirs up conflict. . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: If you think the world is upside down right now, just wait until 2008. Once the Bush Junta realizes that even with their control of the black box voting machines the people of this nation are going to rise up against them, they are going to precipitate a crisis that calls for marshal law . . . and then the real battle for control of this besotted nation will begin in earnest. IMHO, the Bush Junta was directly involved in the events of 9-11. I think we can expect them to do it again once they realize that the majority of citizens in this nation want to see them sent to prison for the rest of their lives in punishment for their crimes against humanity.] . . . BuzzFlash: In closing -- A lot of moderate Republicans don't take people like Gary Bauer and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and James Dobson seriously. They find them almost disgustingly amusing and entertaining. But they don't take them seriously. . . . George E. Lowe: The moderates didn't take Hitler seriously either. Remember the great scene in "Cabaret" at that outdoor garden, when suddenly a German fascist kid starts singing? And the response is, "Oh, we can control them." . . . George W. Bush met these people when he was his father's liaison in the 1992 campaign. That's where he met them, and that's when he solidified his base. And that's when he went into this whole business of the Jesus is my favorite philosopher. The point is that Bush has been doing this for a long time. . . . Kevin Phillips says the best thing the Bush family does is steal elections . . . And destroy documents. And keep them from the public. Bush is the Manchurian Candidate. There's no question. He's been put in by the cabal.
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posted by Lorenzo 6:01 AM
U.S. Supreme Court Rules Government May Seize Homes and Sell the Land to Corporations
(Hope Yen, Associated Press, June 23, 2005)
A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights.
The 5-4 ruling — assailed by dissenting Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as handing "disproportionate influence and power" to the well-heeled in America -- was a defeat for Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They had argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.
As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: Can someone explain to me how this is any different (albeit more humane) from what the Brutal Dictator Mugabe is doing in Zimbabwe.
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posted by Lorenzo 1:08 PM
Doing Something About Wal-Mart
(Danny Glover, AlterNet, June 22, 2005)
We may be living in a time when the generation now in school will, for the first time in our country's history, be worse off than the previous generation. . . . While there are no doubt many reasons for this threat, there's one that we can do something about. It's the corrosive, drive-to-the-bottom approach some rogue corporations take toward the people they employ. Wal-Mart, the world's -- and this country's -- largest employer uses tactics that are shocking. . . . Wal-Mart puts kids around the world at risk. It requires its suppliers to import goods from China and other impoverished nations where young people work horrendous hours for little pay. In this country, it was found guilty in April of violating child labor laws. Wal-Mart exposed 85 of its own employees under 18 to dangerous machinery such as chain saws, cardboard balers and forklifts. It got a light fine, a slap on the wrist. Now it faces the largest class action discrimination suit in history--for how it treats its female employees. . . . My parents were both union members. Because of their unions, we had a decent standard of living. Wal-Mart is one of the most viciously anti-union companies in America. It takes two Wal-Mart jobs just to earn above-poverty wages. 600,000 of its employees can't afford their health care plan. Consequently, the taxpayers in every state wind up paying for those employees' health care, either through Medicaid, or through higher premiums for their own health care plans. . . . That's just wrong and I think we can change it. The first step toward changing Wal-Mart's anti-social behavior is to use the Internet to recruit teachers, parents, mentors and concerned citizens to send Wal-Mart a simple, loud, clear message: "Because of your behavior, I'm going to do my shopping for back-to-school supplies someplace else this fall." . . . I urge you to sign this pledge, then become an essential player in this new movement to change America. It's a chance for all of us to use new technology -- Internet and email -- that can bring about social change, to make America's corporations accountable to America's communities and America's kids.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:08 AM
What if Everything You Know about 9/11 is Wrong?
(Bruce David and Carolyn Sinclair, Hustler Magazine, August 2005 . . . interview with David Ray Griffin)
HUSTLER: You've compiled a record of the facts-but are they beyond dispute?. . . DAVID RAY GRIFFIN: I simply gather research that has been done by others, a lot of it based on mainline stories from The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Guardian and so on. These reports tend to, more or less, contradict the official theory. . . . One problem with the official theory of the attacks being pulled off entirely by the 19 men named as al Qaeda terrorists is that six of them have, subsequently, shown up very much alive. This has been reported in the BBC, but not in the American mainstream press. One guy even walked into the U.S. Embassy and asked what was this nonsense about his having
died on 9/11? . . . The government had every reason to know this was going to happen. There were some 52 warnings of the attack, many of which the Bush Administration didn't see fit to have released until after the inauguration. . . . Another example involves David Schippers, the attorney who prosecuted Bill Clinton and is highly thought of in Republican circles. Schippers says he called up Attorney General John Ashcroft repeatedly to tell him that FBI agents were warning of an attack, that they knew the date and said it was going to be in Lower Manhattan. Schippers couldn't get the Attorney General's office to call him back. The New American, a conservative political magazine, interviewed these FBI agents and confirmed their story. . . . Further evidence of foreknowledge involves the Secret Service's seeming to not only know the attacks were coming, but know who was targeted and who was not. . . . What are some of the contradictions involving the attacks? . . . One involves the story about the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. We had three buildings collapse there, the North Tower [WTC I], the South Tower [WTC 2] and Building 7 [WTC 71. Each was a high-rise steel-frame building. Now, steel-frame high-rise buildings have never in the history of the universe been brought down by fire. And yet on this day, three of them were allegedly brought down by fire. There have been experiments with buildings raging with fire. In the experiments, fire made them sag a little, but never caused them to collapse. . . . The collapse of Building 7 is particularly unusual, and yet the 9/11 Commission never mentions it once in their report. Somehow fire got started in Building 7, which is two blocks away and was never hit by a plane. There was no jet fuel inside to feed the fire. There are photographs that show only small fires on floors 7 and 12 of this 47-story building. And yet at 5:20 in the afternoon it comes collapsing down in exactly the same way as the other buildings. . . . Now I stress in the same way because they all came straight down into their own footprint for the most part. They collapsed very quickly, within about ten seconds. That's amazing when you think about it, that fire could produce that kind of effect, just like controlled demolition. In fact, on that very night, Dan Rather-viewing the collapse of Building 7-blurted out, "It looked just like one of those controlled demolitions." . . . If the Twin Towers did come down by controlled demolition, wouldn't they have to be wired for the event well in advance of the attack? . . . They would have had to be wired, and then closer to the time [of the attack] the explosives would actually have to be placed. Several people who worked in the towers reported that there were times [shortly before the attack] when a certain part of one tower or the other was sectioned off for several days, and no one could go there except these special workers who were called "engineers." So it does appear that there could have been this kind of advance planning and that there would have been
time to do this. . . . Were aircraft parts ever found in the Pentagon wreckage? . . . 'There is clearly good evidence that plane parts were photographed in the Pentagon. But that they were parts from a Boeing 757 is highly and vigorously contested by many students of 'this event. What passes for the official story is that somehow this airplane hit the building, went into this tiny hole, which forced the wings back, and so they folded up and slipped inside the building. . . . The fire chief in charge of putting out the fire was asked if he saw any plane parts inside. He said no big pieces, no fuselage, no engine, nothing like that. So the people who try to defend this story respond by saying the fire was so hot it vaporized the plane. It not only melted the steel and the aluminum, but it vaporized them; and that's why they disappeared. . . . We've since learned that a lot of the bodies in the WTC were so destroyed that they were not able to identify them using any modern techniques. Yet this fire in the Pentagon that was hot enough to vaporize steel and aluminum left the bodies so they could be identified. . . . You've suggested that we will know what happened on 9/11 when those in power are arrested or forced to give sworn testimony. Who should that be? . . . Cumulative evidence would seem to suggest that it was people such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Meyers who probably would have led the activities. . . . Do you think the truth will ever come out? . . . It is extremely difficult to get the truth to come out in America because the mainstream media are not only co-opted, but accomplices in these matters. This is understandable because we have a corporate-owned media. . . . Take NBC, for example, which is owned by General Electric, one of the major producers of military equipment in the world. It's very unlikely you're going to get some reporter on NBC to expose this stuff. Thus far we've seen nothing about this in any mainstream magazine, newspaper or television show in this country. . . . An international commission with prestigious people would be able to command attention-so much so that even the American press would be unable to ignore it.
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posted by Lorenzo 2:13 PM
Bush Insider Says 9-11 Looks Like an "Inside Job"
(John Daly, UPI, 14 June 2005)
A former Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9-11.Former chief economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the official story about the collapse of the WTC is "bogus" and that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7. Reynolds, who also served as director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas and is now professor emeritus at Texas A&M University said, "If demolition destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade Center on 9/11, then the case for an 'inside job' and a government attack on America would be compelling." Reynolds commented from his Texas A&M office, "It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a scientific debate over the cause of the collapse of the twin towers and building 7. If the official wisdom on the collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous engineering analysis is not likely to be correct either. The government's collapse theory is highly vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with the collapse of the three buildings."
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: There now is a tremendous amount of information that leads me to believe that the Bush Junta has fed us a pack of lies about what really happened on September 11th. Check out 911Truth.org and see what you think.]
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posted by Lorenzo 7:40 PM
National Guard stretched to the limit
(David Wood and Harry Esteve, The Oregonian, June 12, 2005)
Thrown into a fast-paced new era of fighting insurgents abroad and protecting neighbors from terrorists at home, the Army National Guard is hanging on by its fingertips. . . . It provides half of the Army's combat power and is the United States' primary terrorism response team. But its battalions are struggling to scrape up enough soldiers and hand-me-down equipment to meet overseas deployment orders. Recruiting has fallen behind, and seasoned soldiers are quitting in frustration. . . . Internal Guard documents tell the story: All 10 of its special forces units, all 147 military police units, 97 of 101 infantry units and 73 of 75 armor units cannot, because of past or current mobilizations, deploy again to a war zone without reinforcements. The Guard needs a staggering $20 billion worth of equipment to sustain its operations, a bill Washington may balk at paying. . . . Any new crisis -- a bloody escalation overseas or a series of domestic terrorist attacks -- could find the Guard unable to respond and could put the United States at risk. . . . The Guard is losing soldiers and cannot attract enough recruits to replace them. And the normally dependable flow of soldiers moving from active duty into the National Guard has slowed dramatically. . . . "One can conclude," said Brig. Gen. Bill Libby, commander of the Maine National Guard, "that we're going to run out of soldiers." . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I say BRAVO! If we run out of soldiers there are only two good options left to the Bush Junta: 1) stop attacking other countries, or 2) reinstate the draft. While I prefer the first option, a draft could provide the incentive for college students to get off their asses and get involved. Why there aren't more (and larger) demonstrations against the war on college campuses I can't understand. Let's hope it isn't because today's youn'g people have become so dumbed-down that they can't see what is going on. Because if that's the case, our opportunity to change the course of events in this sad nation could well be lost.] . . . Many Guard families, fed up with long, unanticipated combat tours, are opting out. Employers are pressed to hold jobs for deployed guardsmen, as the law requires. Governors are demanding that their Guard units remain home. And recruiters are coming up against a new impediment: Parents who once encouraged their children to join the supposedly safe National Guard are growling at recruiters to stay away. . . . The Army National Guard's 331,019 soldiers -- the most recent count -- are full-time civilians who serve part time in uniform. For many, the Guard was historically a comfortable, sleepy backwater, famous as a dodge from the more dangerous, go-to-war, active duty military. . . . Guard units typically met one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer, using worn-out gear, such as field telephones from the Korean War, that the Army no longer wanted. Their wartime mission, as reinforcements for a large-scale conflict, seemed remote. . . . But the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks sent the Guard into a frenzied pace that has yet to let up. . . . Internal National Guard documents show that in December, 86,455 soldiers were available for duty. As of April 30, the number had shrunk to 74,519 soldiers available for global deployment. The current need for National Guard soldiers in Iraq alone is 32,000, and tens of thousands of others are required for missions in 83 countries worldwide. . . . Two reasons for the squeeze: a shortfall in recruiting and a dramatic drop in the number of active duty soldiers switching to the Guard. In October and November, the Guard missed its monthly recruiting goals by big margins, gaining only two-thirds of the enlistees needed. . . . In extreme cases, the Pentagon can deploy Guard soldiers with less than 18 months of service remaining. When the clock runs out, they are kept on active duty on "stop-loss" orders. Currently, 27,495 Army National Guard soldiers are being involuntarily kept on active duty, a status that can last months. . . . Inevitably, this takes its toll: Guardsmen are fed up and quitting. . . . In Virginia, Republican Rep. Tom Davis faulted the Pentagon for what he thinks was a failure to adequately staff and equip the Guard for its new role in combat. Now that bill is coming due, he said. . . . "We brought these folks into a war, and we were not logistically prepared to do it," Davis said. . . . That situation may become more pointed in the months ahead. Demands for military manpower for the global war on terrorism will remain high or even increase, Pentagon officials say. There will be no respite for the Guard. . . . "We are going to have to ask them to do more than we have in the past," said Thomas Hall, assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs.
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posted by Lorenzo 7:13 AM
New Evidence Reveals Bush/Blair War Crimes
(Michael Smith, The Sunday Times UK, 12 June 2005)
Damning new evidence provides proof that Bush and Blair conspired to wage war on Iraq and created a smoke screen to hide their criminal activities. . . . "The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair's inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal." . . . Ministers were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal. . . . The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier. . . . The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair's inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was "necessary to create the conditions" which would make it legal. . . . This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action. . . . "US plans assume, as a minimum, the use of British bases in Cyprus and Diego Garcia," the briefing paper warned. This meant that issues of legality "would arise virtually whatever option ministers choose with regard to UK participation". . . . The paper was circulated to those present at the meeting, among whom were Blair, Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, and Sir Richard Dearlove, then chief of MI6. The full minutes of the meeting were published last month in The Sunday Times. . . . The document said the only way the allies could justify military action was to place Saddam Hussein in a position where he ignored or rejected a United Nations ultimatum ordering him to co-operate with the weapons inspectors. But it warned this would be difficult. . . . "It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject," the document says. But if he accepted it and did not attack the allies, they would be "most unlikely" to obtain the legal justification they needed. . . . The suggestions that the allies use the UN to justify war contradicts claims by Blair and Bush, repeated during their Washington summit last week, that they turned to the UN in order to avoid having to go to war. The attack on Iraq finally began in March 2003. . . . The briefing paper is certain to add to the pressure, particularly on the American president, because of the damaging revelation that Bush and Blair agreed on regime change in April 2002 and then looked for a way to justify it. . . . There has been a growing storm of protest in America, created by last month's publication of the minutes in The Sunday Times. A host of citizens, including many internet bloggers, have demanded to know why the Downing Street memo (often shortened to "the DSM" on websites) has been largely ignored by the US mainstream media. . . . He and other Democratic congressmen plan to hold their own inquiry this Thursday with witnesses including Joe Wilson, the American former ambassador who went to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium ore for its nuclear weapons programme. . . . Frustrated at the refusal by the White House to respond to their letter, the congressmen have set up a website - www.dowingstreetmemo.com - to collect signatures on a petition demanding the same answers. . . . Conyers promised to deliver it to Bush once it reached 250,000 signatures. By Friday morning it already had more than 500,000 with as many as 1m expected to have been obtained when he delivers it to the White House on Thursday. . . . After DowningStreet.Org, another website set up as a result of the memo, is calling for a congressional committee to consider whether Bush's actions as depicted in the memo constitute grounds for impeachment. . . . It has been flooded with visits from people angry at what they see as media self-censorship in ignoring the memo. It claims to have attracted more than 1m hits a day.
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: At last, the truth is starting to seep out. Thankfully, the UK hasn't been able to screw down the lid on information leaks as tightly as the criminals in D.C. have done. Personally, I don't think the USA will ever recover even a small semblance of it's former goodwill. The only thing that would make me feel proud of this nation once again is to hold war crimes trials after Bush is impeached . . . AND THEN have Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and all of their family members paraded through the streets of Washington in chains. And even that will never make up for the hundreds of thousands of human beings who will have died at their hands. . . . These are truly dark days my friends.]
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posted by Lorenzo 4:18 PM
(Guy Herron, Rense.com, 6-2-5)
- It's time we started calling this crap what it is. Representative Sensenbrenner has come up with yet another ironically named attack on our freedoms the "Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005" (H.R. 1528) This act would require you to report any of the following examples to the police or face a two year jail sentence.
- * You see someone you know pass a joint to a 20-year old college student.
- * Your cousin mentions that he bought Ecstasy for some of his college friends.
- * You find out that your brother, who has kids, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife.
- * Your substance-abusing daughter recently begged her boyfriend to find her some drugs even though they're both in drug treatment.
* You can also be forced to go under cover in order to trap your friends or relations into giving the police enough evidence to prosecute them -- do it or go to jail yourself.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 11:31 AM
Bush, The Spoiled Man-Child
What causes the fall of empires? Why, stubborn leaders who speak like toddlers and never admit mistakes
(Mark Morford, SFGate, June 3, 2005)
Know what real men do? They admit their mistakes. Know what real people do in times of great stress and strife and economic downturn? They seek help, understand they don't know all the answers, realize they might not've been asking the right questions in the first place.
Know what great leaders, great nations do at times of war and fracture and massive bludgeoning debt? All of the above, all the time, with great intelligence and humility and grace and awareness and shared humanity. Or they die.
But not BushCo. This is the hilarious thing. This is the appalling thing, still. How can this man remain so blindly, staggeringly resolute? How can he be so appallingly ignorant of fact, of truth, of evidence, of deep thought? In short, what the hell is wrong with George W. Bush?
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 11:17 AM
Jennifer Dohrn: I Was The Target Of Illegal FBI Break-Ins Ordered by Mark Felt aka "Deep Throat"
(Democracy Now!, June 2, 2005)
Mark Felt -- who was exposed this week as Deep Throat -- was one of only two FBI officials ever to be convicted for ordering COINTELPRO operations. In 1980 he was convicted for ordering FBI agents to break into the home of Dohrn and other associates of the Weather Underground. He was later pardoned by President Reagan. Jennifer Dohrn discusses the FBI surveillance, break-ins and a secret FBI proposal to kidnap her infant. Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez also reveals that as a leader of the Young Lords that he, too, was also a target of a similar FBI campaign. . . . On Tuesday the family of Mark Felt publicly said they hoped history would view him as hero for being Deep Throat. . . . But not everyone is praising Felt. . . . While Felt's name will forever now be linked to helping expose the Watergate scandal, he is also connected to another dark moment in U.S. history -- the FBI's counter intelligence program known as COINTELPRO. . . . Under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI carried out an extensive campaign of surveillance and neutralization of political groups including the Black Panthers, American Indian Movement, the Young Lords, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. . . . In 1980, Mark Felt -- along with Edward Miller -- became the highest ranking FBI officials to be convicted of criminal charges since Hoover became head of the agency in 1924. . . . The two officials were convicted by a jury of conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens for ordering FBI agents to secretly break into the homes of friends and relatives of the militant anti-war group The Weather Underground. . . . In September 1980, government prosecutors said in court that Felt's actions were a "violation of the rights of all people of this country, violations that cannot and will not be tolerated as long as we have a Bill of Rights." . . . Felt and Miller were later pardoned by President Ronald Reagan who credited them for bringing a "end to the terrorism that was threatening our nation." In 1983 a federal judge ordered that Felt and Millers' criminal record be swept clean. Felt and Miller were the only FBI officials convicted in connection to COINTELPRO.
[NOTE: Click on the link above for the complete transcript of an interview with Jennifer Dohrn.]
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posted by Lorenzo 12:22 PM