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Jan 08   Feb 08   Mar 08   Apr 08   May 08   Jun 08   Jul 08



Georgia Conflict Could Revive Big Military Spending

August 12, 2008
A prolonged conflict in southwest Asia between Russia and Georgia could eventually benefit military contractors that build heavy weapon systems such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co., one analyst said Monday. "No less than the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1978, [the] events of the past several days are a bell-ringer for defense stocks," said Paul Nisbet, an analyst with JSA Research, an aerospace equity research firm. "We strongly urge purchase of aerospace/defense issues, a sector which has declined with the broad market since the start of the year." Heavy weapon systems, such as the F-22 Raptor being built by Lockheed and Boeing, along with ships, tanks and artillery, will be in higher demand as the U.S. positions itself to check the growing challenges posed by Russia and China, Nisbet wrote in an industry note. But the Cold War gravy days for the military-industrial complex may not be entirely at hand.
Full Story


US Military Surprised By Speed,
Timing Of Russia Military Action

August 12, 2008
The US military was surprised by the timing and swiftness of the Russian military's move into South Ossetia and is still trying to sort out what happened, a US defense official said Monday. Russian forces surged into the breakaway region last week after weeks of clashes, threats and warnings between Tblisi and Moscow which culminated August 6 in a two-day Georgian offensive into South Ossetia. That the two countries were on a collision course was no surprise to anyone, but the devastating Russian response was not expected, officials said. "We were tracking it earlier in that week and we knew that things were escalating," said a military official, who asked not to be identified. "I can tell you it moved quicker than we anticipated that first day." But how it unfolded is still unclear, clouded by conflicting claims from both sides. "I think a lot of what you're asking needs to be ironed out," said the official. "Some of these little issues are definitely still big questions in this event -- What was the intent? Who started it? Why did they start it? And why weren't they prepared to defend what they started?" President George W. Bush, who urged Moscow to cease fire and return to pre-August 6 positions, charged in a televised statement that Russia's intention appeared to be depose Georgia's democratically elected president.   Full Story

Neocons Call For U.S. To Launch War With Russia

August 12, 2008
Today the New York Times reports that Russia is escalating its war with Georgia, "moving tanks and troops through the separatist enclave of South Ossetia and advancing toward the city of Gori in central Georgia" and even bombing parts of Tibilisi, the Georgian captial. Russia's increasing aggression is putting a spark into American neoconservatives. Today on the Times op-ed page, one of their leaders, William Kristol, claims the U.S. must "defend" Georgia's sovereignty as a reward for its participation in Iraq, while the conservative Washington Times is calling for "maximum pressure" on Russia. Bill Kristol: [Georgia] has had the third-largest military presence - about 2,000 troops - fighting along with U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq. For this reason alone, we owe Georgia a serious effort to defend its sovereignty. Surely we cannot simply stand by as an autocratic aggressor gobbles up part of - and perhaps destabilizes all of - a friendly democratic nation.   Full Story

FDIC Fund Strained By Bank Failures May Lift

August 12, 2008
The failure of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. and seven other banks this year may erase as much as 17 percent of a government insurance fund and raise premiums for all banks, from Franklin National of Minneapolis to Bank of America Corp. The closing of IndyMac in July, the third-biggest U.S. bank failure, may cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s fund $4 billion to $8 billion, in addition to an estimated $1.16 billion for seven closures through Aug. 1. Premiums for insuring deposits will likely rise, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said in a July 30 interview. A decision is due by the fourth quarter. "It's going to be a bloody, expensive mess for the banking industry," said Bert Ely, president of Ely & Co. Inc., a bank consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. "Healthy banks are paying for the mistakes made by failed banks." The pace of bank closings is accelerating as financial firms have reported almost $495 billion in writedowns and credit losses since 2007. The FDIC's "problem" bank list grew by 18 percent in the first quarter from the fourth, to 90 banks with combined assets of $26.3 billion. A revised list is due this month. The insurance fund had $52.8 billion as of March 31.   Full Story

Oil Rises On Russia-Georgia Conflict

August 11, 2008
Oil prices rebounded Monday on concerns a widening conflict between Russia and Georgia over a the breakaway province of South Ossetia could disrupt supplies in the region. Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose $1.16 cents to $116.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by noon in Europe. The contract fell $4.82 on Friday to settle at $115.20 a barrel. "The market is watching what happens there closely," said Mark Pervan, senior commodity strategist at ANZ Bank in Melbourne. "It's not a major oil producer, but there are major transport links to Europe through that region." Vienna's JBC Energy cited the Azeri company SOCAR as saying shipments from the two Georgian ports, Batumi and Kulevi, ceased during the weekend, adding "the company could declare force majeure on its exports from the two ports." Force majeure frees oil companies from liabilities if a catastrophe or other major event it cannot control stops them from meeting their obligations.   Full Story

Putin Assails US Over Conflict With Georgia

August 11, 2008
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is criticizing the United States for airlifting Georgian troops from Iraq. Putin said Monday that the U.S. move will hamper efforts to solve Russia's conflict with Georgia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. The U.S. military has begun flying 2,000 Georgian troops home from Iraq after Georgia recalled them. The Russian-Georgian conflict blew up after a Georgian offensive to regain control of the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Georgian troops fled South Ossetia on Sunday, yielding to superior Russian firepower, and Georgian leaders pleaded for a cease-fire. Moscow responded that Georgia was not observing its cease-fire pledge.   Source

Israel Has A Hand In South Ossetia War

August 11, 2008
Israel has provided Georgia with military assistance amid an ongoing armed conflict in the breakaway region of South Ossetia. The Israeli web site Debkafiles which is believed to have close links with the regime's intelligence and military sources, reported that last year, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had commissioned from Israeli security firms up to 1,000 military advisers to train the country's armed forces. According to the report, the Israeli advisors also helped Tbilisi with military intelligence and security operations. Georgia also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel. The report added the Israeli advisers were deeply involved in the Georgian army's preparations to attack and capture the capital of South Ossetia on Friday. The web site quoted "its military experts" as saying a project to pump Caspian oil and gas to the Turkish terminal of Ceyhan instead of the Russian pipeline network is in the interest of Tel Aviv.   Full Story

Bush Classifies $200 Million Surveillance Program

August 11, 2008
As Americans focus on the Olympics and the 2008 presidential campaign, the Bush Administration is finalizing plans to establish yet another massive surveillance program -- and has classified almost every single detail. The Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative, established by National Security Presidential Directive 54 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 in January, is intended to improve the government's ability to defend against cybersecurity attacks. But the Bush Administration has refused to release details on the program's budget, how contracts will be administered, or what contractors might be involved. A whopping $115 million was allocated for the program this year, without any disclosure of progress or accomplishment. Earlier this week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee released vague details about the program, after receiving some documentation from the Administration following a hearing in March. But the Administration's response redacted information regarding the contractors involved -- despite a history of giving away massive no-bid Iraq reconstruction contractors to companies such as Halliburton, Vice President Cheney's former firm.   Full Story

Massive US Naval Armada Heads For Iran

August 8, 2008
Operation Brimstone ended only one week ago. This was the joint US/UK/French naval war games in the Atlantic Ocean preparing for a naval blockade of Iran and the likely resulting war in the Persian Gulf area. The massive war games included a US Navy supercarrier battle group, an US Navy expeditionary carrier battle group, a Royal Navy carrier battle group, a French nuclear hunter-killer submarine plus a large number of US Navy cruisers, destroyers and frigates playing the "enemy force". The lead American ship in these war games, the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN71) and its Carrier Strike Group Two (CCSG-2) are now headed towards Iran along with the USS Ronald Reagon (CVN76) and its Carrier Strike Group Seven (CCSG-7) coming from Japan. They are joining two existing USN battle groups in the Gulf area: the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN72) with its Carrier Strike Group Nine (CCSG-9); and the USS Peleliu (LHA-5) with its expeditionary strike group. Likely also under way towards the Persian Gulf is the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) and its expeditionary strike group, the UK Royal Navy HMS Ark Royal (R07) carrier battle group, assorted French naval assets including the nuclear hunter-killer submarine Amethyste and French Naval Rafale fighter jets on-board the USS Theodore Roosevelt. These ships took part in the just completed Operation Brimstone.   Full Story

President John F.Kennedy, The Federal
Reserve And Executive Order 11110

August 8, 2008
On June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. Mr. Kennedy's order gave the Treasury the power "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury." This meant that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury's vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation. In all, Kennedy brought nearly $4.3 billion in U.S. notes into circulation. The ramifications of this bill are enormous. With the stroke of a pen, Mr. Kennedy was on his way to putting the Federal Reserve Bank of New York out of business. If enough of these silver certificats were to come into circulation they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve notes. This is because the silver certificates are backed by silver and the Federal Reserve notes are not backed by anything. Executive Order 11110 could have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level, because it would have given the gevernment the ability to repay its debt without going to the Federal Reserve and being charged interest in order to create the new money. Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S. the ability to create its own money backed by silver.   Full Story

Ron Paul: Washington's Intervention Addiction

August 8, 2008
One problem with politicians is that when problems they create come to a head, they typically feel this irresistible urge to DO something, rather than to UN-do something, or to simply back off to avoid exacerbating the situation. Too often, that which they end up doing has very little connection to the cause of the crisis, but plays well in the press and superficially makes everyone feel better. Bills that are rushed through Congress under duress are never studied enough, providing too tempting an opportunity to quietly slip in unrelated provisions that erode freedoms in ways that would never pass as a stand-alone bill. We famously saw this with the PATRIOT Act, but Washington learned nothing from that. The current housing crisis and the corresponding big government fix are another prime example. First of all, the so-called solution will actually make the problem worse. The problem stems from easy credit and a rush to flood the housing and mortgage markets with money. Relaxed or non-existent lending standards led many into mortgages and houses they could not afford. As more foreclosures hit, the lending institutions will continue collapsing like dominoes under the weight of all the bad paper they underwrote.   Full Story

American Conservative: It Was Feith's Office,
Not CIA, That Forged The Habbush Letter

August 8, 2008
Ron Suskind's new book alleges that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein linking the dictator to the 9/11 terrorists. The American Conservative's Philip Giraldi argues today that "an extremely reliable and well placed source in the intelligence community" told him Suskind's overall claim "is correct," but that it was Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans - not the CIA - that forged the letter: My source also notes that Dick Cheney, who was behind the forgery, hated and mistrusted the Agency and would not have used it for such a sensitive assignment. Instead, he went to Doug Feith's Office of Special Plans and asked them to do the job. It was Feith's office that produced the letter and then surfaced it to the media in Iraq. Unlike the [Central Intelligence] Agency, the Pentagon had no restrictions on it regarding the production of false information to mislead the public. Indeed, one might argue that Doug Feith's office specialized in such activity. A CIA counterrorism expert said that, in the run-up to war, Feith's office recommended that the CIA's finding of no link between Iraq al Qaeda relations "be ignored. Not challenged, not made the subject of a critical dialogue between policymakers and analysts, but ignored."   Source

America, Time To End The Madness!

Witnesses Allege Police Brutality
In Death Of Tasered Man

August 7, 2008
A Pennsylvania man has died after being tasered by local police, and the Civil Rights section of the FBI's Pittsburgh office has now opened a preliminary investigation. Although the cause of death has not yet been determined, witnesses insist the man was kicked and beaten by police officers after he was forced to the ground and handcuffed. Residents in Swissvale, PA had called police after they observed 37 year old Andre Thomas knocking on doors in the middle of the night and yelling that someone was trying to shoot him. According to Allegheny County Police Assistant Supt. James Morton, when the officers arrived Thomas "was like yelling and screaming and acting really erratically, and they didn't know what the situation was. So they asked him just to calm down and so forth and he made a movement towards them. So they had to tase him." However, witnesses insist that Thomas was then brutalized by police, with one telling KDKA News that "after he was tased and handcuffed, one officer used a football-type kick and stomped him in the head."   Full Story

Nothing Says "Change" Like 3,000 Cops In Riot Gear

August 7, 2008
Last month, under pressure from the A.C.L.U. lawsuit, the city of Denver released a list of expenses related to the convention showing that the police were preparing for large demonstrations and mass arrests and that the department had spent $2.1 million on protection equipment for its officers, $1.4 million for barricades and $850,000 for supplies related to the arrest and processing of suspects. In disclosing the cost breakdown, city officials denied rumors that had circulated for weeks that they had contemplated buying exotic nonlethal weapons that fired an immobilizing goo, or that used radiation or sonic waves to incapacitate people or vehicles. As the article makes clear, all of this over-the-top preparation is to contain political protestors-not to protect against a terrorist attack-even though authorities admit that there is no credible threat of either terrorism or violent protest. The federal government is also sending Denver an additional $50 million for security, and while I'm not so nave as to think that no additional security is required, my experience in New York in 2004 (coupled with the stories I have heard about Boston) tells me that all this extra muscle will encourage authorities to err on the side of imagined security while actively suppressing the First Amendment rights of many protesters and passers-by.   Full Story

Suskind: Sources Of White House Forgery
Claim Now Under Pressure To Deny It

August 7, 2008
Author Ron Suskind says his sources are under "enormous pressure" to change their stories after revealing to him that the Bush administration had ordered the CIA to forge a letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence connecting Iraq to the 9/11 hijackers. On Tuesday, former CIA official Robert Richer, who is one of Suskind's sources, sent a statement to news outlets in which he wrote, "I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document from Habbush as outlined in Mr. Suskind's book." Richer's statement also quoted Suskind's other source, former CIA officer John Maguire, as saying, "I have no knowledge to the origins of the letter." Suskind told NBC's Meredith Vieira on Wednesday morning, "It's interesting. ... Rob Richer talked to me, and actually other reporters too, yesterday morning. He was fine, he'd gotten the book Monday night, read it. And then something happened yesterday afternoon."   Full Story

From MSNBC's Countdown, Broadcast 8/5/08

The FBI's Emerging, Leaking Case Against Ivins

August 7, 2008
It's certainly possible that once the FBI closes its investigation and then formally unveils its evidence -- which apparently will happen tomorrow -- a very convincing case will be made that Bruce Ivins perpetrated the anthrax attacks and did so alone. But what has been revealed thus far -- through the standard ritual of selected Government leaks which the establishment media, with some exceptions, just mindlessly re-prints no matter how frivolous -- is creating the opposite impression. The FBI's coordinated leaking is making their claim to have solved the anthrax case appear quite dubious, in some instances laughably so. One glaring and important exception to the dynamic of uncritical media recitation is this morning's New York Times article by Scott Shane and Nicholas Wade, which evinces very strong skepticism over the FBI's case thus far and discloses facts that create more grounds for skepticism.   Full Story

David Icke: Big Brother The Big Picture

What The Iraq Forgery Says About 9/11

August 6, 2008
Bestselling Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind has revealed that the White House ordered the CIA to forge and backdate a document falsely linking Iraq with Muslim terrorists and 9/11 . . . and that the CIA complied with those instructions and in fact created the forgery, which was then used to justify war against Iraq. Suskind also revealed that "Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official 'that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.' This is a stunning revelation in its own right. But what does it say about the government's claims that 9/11 was an attack by Muslim extremists which the U.S. government could not have anticipated? Well, if the White House ordered the CIA to forge documents falsely implicating the people against which they wanted to wage war (Iraqis), and falsely linking supposed Al Qaeda terrorists with someone they had no connection with (Saddam Hussein), is it possible that a similar thing occurred as to who carried out 9/11?   Full Story

The Irrelevancy Of The Gitmo Trials

August 6, 2008
The Pentagon's model "judicial" system at Guantanamo Bay has many fascinating features, virtually all of which are contrary to the rights and guarantees in the federal system established by the Constitution. Among the features in the Pentagon's system are a presumption of guilt for the accused, no right to confront witnesses, the use of hearsay evidence, the use of evidence acquired by torture or coercion, no right against self-incrimination, no protection against cruel and unusual punishments, no right to bail, and no right to trial by jury. But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Pentagon's system is the irrelevancy of the trial itself. Under the Pentagon's rules, if a person is found not guilty the Pentagon can nonetheless continue to keep him in custody for as long as it wants, even for the rest of his life. In the federal judicial system here in the United States, when a jury acquits an accused he is immediately discharged from custody, enabling him to walk out the courtroom a free man.   Full Story

My Energy Plan Is Better Than Yours

August 6, 2008
In addition to dueling over Afghanistan (the subject of my last column), Senators McCain and Obama are trying to one-up each other when it comes to energy. Most notably, the McCain campaign recently released an ad that essentially blames Obama for $4-a-gallon gasoline (although the price of gasoline has actually gone down since the ad was first aired). According to McCain, "the rising price of oil has brought hardship to our country," and this hardship is "because the price of oil is too high, the supply of oil is too uncertain, and we depend on oil too much." McCain has previously admitted to not knowing a lot about economics, and his comments reflect that. While we might not like paying more for gasoline at the pump, there is no such thing as the price of oil being too high (or too low). Ultimately - all things being equal - the price of oil is determined by supply and demand. If the latter outpaces the former, then the price will go up. So why has the price come down in recent weeks? Largely because we're driving less (Americans drove nearly 10 billion fewer miles in May - when the price of gas broke the $4-a-gallon barrier - compared to the previous year, and more than 40 billion fewer miles during the first four months of the year), which means demand is less. Less demand drives the price down. It's amazing how that happens.   Full Story

The Patsy: Was Bruce Ivins the anthrax Killer?

August 6, 2008
The media narrative now being woven around the apparent suicide of U.S. government scientist Bruce E. Ivins - a prominent anthrax researcher who worked at Ft. Detrick's U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases bio-weapons research lab (USAMRIID) - is that he was a lone nut, a "homicidal maniac" who poisoned the five people killed in the 2001 anthrax attacks and was determined to go on another killing spree at his workplace as the Feds closed in on him. The Times of London headline says it all: "Mad Anthrax Scientist in Threat to Kill Co-Workers." However, as we sift through the reams of media coverage occasioned by this startling development in a 7-year-old case, we get quite a different story from the alleged objects of his rage: his colleagues on the job at Ft. Detrick. As the Washington Post reported: "Colleagues and friends of the vaccine specialist remained convinced that Ivins was innocent: They contended that he had neither the motive nor the means to create the fine, lethal powder that was sent by mail to news outlets and congressional offices in the late summer and fall of 2001. Mindful of previous FBI mistakes in fingering others in the case, many are deeply skeptical that the bureau has gotten it right this time.   Full Story

WH Pressured FBI To Blame AL Qaeda For Anthrax

Do You Know What Freedom Really Means?

Deleted Photo Sparks Fears DEA Hiring Mercenaries

August 5, 2008
When a California medical marijuana dispensary, Organica Collective, was raided last Thursday by agents of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency and local police, the Los Angeles Times ran a dramatic story on the incident, accompanied by a set of photographs showing the raid and its aftermath. According to the Times, witnesses described the DEA agents as "removing computers, medicine and money, and using a steel cylinder battering ram to get into the upstairs bedrooms." When they left four hours later, all that remained was "trash, counters strewn with open and empty glass jars, piles of receipts thrown on the ground, upturned couch cushions, bits of marijuana on the edges of counters and an ATM with its doors torn open and emptied. ... An outdoor vegetable garden had plants uprooted, along with marijuana plants removed by the agents."   Full Story


Roads, Airports Being Sold To Private Investors

August 5, 2008
Cash-strapped U.S. state and city governments are likely to sell or lease more highways, bridges, airports and other assets to investors desperate for stable returns after being frazzled by the credit crisis. The trend is set to pick up speed given worsening budget deficits in state capitals and city halls nationwide. It will also be welcomed by Wall Street bankers hoping to help create and market so-called "infrastructure" transactions at a time many debt markets remain paralyzed, and after major U.S. stock indexes fell into bear market territory. "When you are nervous about everything else, you put your money in a toll road," said John Schmidt, a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown LLP in Chicago. "That's the logic of infrastructure. Returns are stable and predictable. You won't get fabulously rich, but you'll get stable cash flow.   Full Story

DHS Claims Authority To Steal Private Property

August 5, 2008
The Department of Homeland Security more popularly known as the Department of Homeland Enslavement has now come out and stated that they have the authority to confiscate people's personal property including laptops, electronic devices and even paperwork at the border without any probable cause. They also claim that they can hold those items for an unspecified period of time. All of this they claim is justified under the guise of fighting terrorists. It doesn't matter that thousands of illegal aliens are entering the country from Mexico unchecked. No, instead the Department of Homeland Security thinks its more effective stealing the property of U.S. citizens to keep us safe from terrorists. Any member of the Department of Homeland Security that takes the property of a U.S. citizen without a warrant should immediately be charged with theft. Of course, in this insane world we live in, that will never happen and the people who conduct this activity will probably be given some sort of freedom medal. This is just another case of the government taking a big dump on the Fourth Amendment which at this point is non-existent.   Full Story

Karadzic 'Lived Under Protection Of
CIA Agents Until He Broke Deal'

August 5, 2008
The former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic lived under US protection after the Dayton peace accords until the CIA intercepted a phone call in which he broke the terms of a "secret deal" to stay out of politics, a Serbian newspaper claims. "Karadzic, indicted for genocide and war crimes, was under US protection until 2000, when the CIA intercepted his telephone conversation that clearly proved he personally chaired a meeting of his old political party," the Belgrade daily Blic quoted a "well-informed US intelligence source" as saying. "They went crazy realising Karadzic was making a fool of them," it said yesterday. "The US and CIA withdrew [his] informal protection." Mr Karadzic has revived the allegations of a deal between himself and the chief US peace negotiator in Bosnia, Richard Holbrooke, since appearing before the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague last Thursday.   Full Story


How To Create An Angry American

Improbable Collapse : The Demolition Of Our Republic

Washington Post Scrubs Friday Article That Cast Doubt On Reported 'Anthrax Killer' Case

August 4, 2008
We're glad it's the Washington Post, and not just us "bloggers", asking questions about this anthrax case. Had we been the ones pointing to the questions that WaPo is now pointing to, we'd have been accused of forwarding "just another conspiracy theory" and the notable questions raised might have been relegated to the trash-bin of history. Since it's WaPo raising the questions, on the other hand, the trash-bin will take an extra day or two to fill up, but we suspect the results may eventually be the same: Legend will have it that the lone "Anthrax Killer," Bruce E. Ivins, killed himself just before he was to be indicted on capital murder charges. Case closed on the previously-unsolved deadly series of terrorist attacks that occurred on American soil since. That said, it's certainly odd the way that WaPo has been covering this story. While their top story on page A1 today is headlined "Scientists Question FBI's Probe of Anthrax Attacks" and sub-titled "Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say," the paper nonetheless managed to scrub from their website.   Full Story

Pelosi: Bush Would Never Cooperate
With His Own Impeachment

August 4, 2008
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued her search for book sales and it seems her search for a plausible rationale for personally blocking any impeachment investigation of President Bush. The latest explanation can in an interview with Time Magazine. It seems that she would not allow an investigation because Bush would never have supplied incriminating evidence against himself. It seems that House investigators rely on the accused to build an impeachment case. Before moving to the obvious problems with the latest rationale for blocking any impeachment effort for years, it is worth noting that it took the Speaker's book tour to finally prompt her to answer questions about her decision. Only last week, Pelosi used the august body of the hosts of The View to reveal her view on impeachment: there is simply no evidence of crimes committed by President Bush, click here. My understanding is that her office was inundated with copies of the various documented crimes alleged against Bush. Now, Pelosi is claiming a different rationale: they could not rely on the White House and GOP supplying the evidence needed to convict.   Full Story

Cracks In The AIPAC Stranglehold

August 4, 2008
Despite the expectation of easy passage, AIPAC's controversial resolution is stalled in committee. The efforts of antiwar groups who mobilized messages of protest proved fruitful, but the debate over the use of military force in Iran is just beginning. Ordinarily, the American Israel Policy Action Committee (AIPAC) has an influence on U.S. foreign policy which goes unchallenged. In the case of the current House resolution, H. Con. Res. 362, despite the intense pressure exerted by AIPAC, some members of the United States House of Representatives who initially were about to rubber stamp this reckless non-binding resolution promoted by the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, are having a change of heart. After receiving many thousands of messages which pointed out that the resolution could be interpreted as Congressional authorization for military action against Iran, legislators began expressing their own reservations.   Full Story

Exposing GOP Lies, Myths And Propaganda
About Ronald Reagan

August 4, 2008
Three myths about the cold war" 'We won the cold war'! But in fact, the end was negotiated. 'The Soviet Union collapsed because the US brought pressure to bear or because Unca Ronnie 'outspent' them.' In fact, the opposite is true as you will learn. 'Ronald Reagan defeated communism'. In fact, Ronald Reagan defeated America! Let's set the record straight. Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with the fall of communism. A great statesman-- Mikhail Gorbachev --deserves the credit for withdrawing nuclear weapons from Eastern Europe which he did upon his own initiative. Gorbachev was the architect of Perestroika and, later, Glasnost. Reagan merely followed the leader. As I have pointed out: Ronald Reagan Blew the World's Last Chance for Peace! It was Gorbachev --a real leader --who had put total nuclear disarmament on the table. It was an offer Reagan could not accept! Reagan had bosses who had already made him an offer he didn't refuse: the sale of his soul!
Full Story


Ron Paul: Housing Rescue Bill Will Require All
Credit Card Transactions Be Reported To The IRS

2 Supporters Of NH Tax Evaders
(Protestors) Sentenced To Prison

August 3, 2008
One of four men who helped a New Hampshire couple avoid arrest for tax evasion last year was sentenced to 20 years in prison, while another was sentenced to 2 1/2 years behind bars. Jason Gerhard, 22, of Brookhaven, N.Y., was convicted in April of helping tax protesters Ed and Elaine Brown, whom he brought guns during a prolonged standoff with authorities. He was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to impede federal agents, being an accessory after the fact and possessing or carrying weapons in connection with a crime of violence. Robert Wolffe, 50, of Randolph, Vt., who pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy and accessory charges similar to Gerhard's, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison. Wolffe had cooperated with prosecutors and testified against Gerhard, Daniel Riley of Cohoes, N.Y., and Cirino Gonzalez, of Alice, Texas, at trial in April. Riley and Gonzalez were convicted.
Full Story


McCain Suggests Military-Style Invasion Modeled
On The Surge To Control Inner City Crime

August 3, 2008
Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spoke to the National Urban League, a group "devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream." When an audience member asked him how he planned to reduce urban crime, McCain praised Mayor Rudy Giuliani's efforts in New York Cirty before invoking the military's tactics in Iraq as the model for crime-fighting: McCain: And some of those tactics - you mention the war in Iraq - are like that we use in the military. You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement, etc, etc.   Full Story

Secret 'War On Terror' Prison
On Diego Garcia Confirmed

August 3, 2008
The existence of a secret, CIA-run prison on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean has long been a leaky secret in the "War on Terror," and yesterday's revelations in Time - based on disclosures by a "senior American official" (now retired), who was "a frequent participant in White House Situation Room meetings" after the 9/11 attacks, and who reported that "a CIA counter-terrorism official twice said that a high-value prisoner or prisoners were being interrogated on the island" - will come as no surprise to those who have been studying the story closely. The news will, however, be an embarrassment to the U.S. government, which has persistently denied claims that it operated a secret "War on Terror" prison on Diego Garcia, and will be a source of even more consternation to the British government, which is more closely bound than its law-shredding Transatlantic neighbor to international laws and treaties preventing any kind of involvement whatsoever in kidnapping, "extraordinary rendition" and the practice of torture.   Full Story

Dead Army Vaccine Scientist Eyed In Anthrax Probe

August 1, 2008
An Army scientist committed suicide as federal prosecutors readied an indictment alleging he mailed anthrax-laced letters in 2001 in what authorities said Friday may have been a bizarre attempt to test a vaccine for the deadly poison. The scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, worked at the Army's biodefense labs at Ft. Detrick, Md., for 18 years until his death on Tuesday. He had a long history of homicidal threats, according to papers recently filed in local court by a social worker. The developments marked an unexpected turn in an episode that rattled a nation shaken only a few weeks earlier by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Letters containing anthrax powder turned up at congressional offices, newsrooms and elsewhere, killing five and sending numerous victims to hospitals with anthrax poisoning. Ivins' attorney asserted the scientist's innocence and said he had been cooperating with investigators for more than a year.   Full Story

"Weaponized" Or "Weapons Grade" Anthrax".

The "Anthrax Attacks" Of 2001

Friday's House Judiciary Hearing On Impeachment: A Victory And A Challenge

August 1, 2008
So determined were Pelosi, Hoyer and Conyers to limit the scope and intensity of the hearing that they acceded to a call for Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to adhere to Thomas Jefferson's Rules of the House, which prohibit any derogatory comments about the President, which was interpreted by Chairman Conyers as meaning no one, including witnesses or members of the committee, could suggest that Bush had lied or deceived anyone. Since a number of Rep. Kucinich's proposed articles of impeachment specifically charge the president with lying to Congress and the American People, this made for some comic moments, with witness Bruce Fein, a former assistant attorney general under former President Ronald Reagan, saying he would have to reference his listing of crimes to the "resident" of the White House, without naming him. In the end, the ludicrous rule imposing a gag on calling the president a criminal fell by the wayside, with witness Vincent Bugliosi, a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney, accusing Bush of being guilty of the murder of over 4000 American soldiers and of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians because he had "lied" the country into an illegal and unnecessary war, and with committee member Shiela Jackson Lee (D-TX) suggesting that the president may have committed treason in invading Iraq, and that he appeared to be preparing to commit it again with an unprovoked invasion of Iran.   Full Story

California Judge Rules Early Cell Phone
Termination Fees Illegal

August 1, 2008
In one of the most significant legal rulings in the tech industry this year, a Superior Court judge in California has ruled that the practice of charging consumers a fee for ending their cell phone contract early is illegal and violates state law. The preliminary, tentative judgment orders Sprint Nextel to pay customers $18.2 million in reimbursements and, more importantly, orders Sprint to stop trying to collect another $54.7 million from California customers (some 2 million customers total) who have canceled their contracts but refused or failed to pay the termination fee. While an appeal is inevitable, the ruling could have massive fallout throughout the industry. Without the threat of levying early termination fees, the cellular carriers lose the power that's enabled them to lock customers into contracts for multiple years at a time. And while those contracts can be heinously long, they also let the carriers offer cell phone hardware at reduced (subsidized) prices. AT&T's two-year contract is the only reason the iPhone 3G costs $199.   Full Story

To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To
Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them

August 1, 2008
Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh - a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker - revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President's office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran. In Hersh's most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The "meeting took place in the Vice-President's office. 'The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,'" according to one of Hersh's sources. During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney's office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected.   Full Story

Federal Judge Rules Bush's
Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

August 1, 2008
A federal judge on Thursday rejected President Bush's contention that senior White House advisers are immune from subpoenas, siding with Congress' power to investigate the executive branch and handing a victory to Democrats probing the dismissal of nine federal prosecutors. The unprecedented ruling undercut three presidential confidants who have defied congressional subpoenas for information that Bush says is protected by executive privilege. Democrats swiftly announced they would schedule hearings in September, at the height of election season. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House could soon vote on a contempt citation against one of the three officials, Karl Rove, formerly Bush's top adviser. "It certainly strengthens our hand," she said of the ruling. "This decision should send a clear signal to the Bush administration that it must cooperate fully with Congress and that former administration officials Harriet Miers and Karl Rove must testify before Congress." That wasn't clear at all to the White House or Rove's attorney. Bush administration lawyers were reviewing the ruling and were widely expected to appeal. They also could seek a stay that would suspend any further congressional proceedings.   Full Story

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