If a prince or any other grand poobah or high hoohah tells a head of state that there will be a terrorist attack if he is investigated, the poobah should be pushing up Daisies within 72 hours. I don't care how. But the head of government should admit it and not try to keep it a secret. Of course, this isn't just any old prince. This is the Saudi prince that was so close to the Bush family for years and spent so much time at their residences while he was the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. that they nicknamed him Bandar Bush. He was recalled to Arabia several years back, the Saudis said, because he was depressed. I'd sure as hell depress him!
We keep trying to fight this war on terror as if it was WWII all over again and, of course, it isn't. There are no armies, except ours and the U.K.'s, which cannot seem to deal with the kind of "forces" the "terrorists" put forth. we have no business in Iraq (except for the oil of course , and it does not belong to us.)
However, we do have the right to do whatever we think reasonable to a powerful person who threatens us and then let all the scum of his life come pouring out into public view; arms dealing, corruption, fraud, threatening murder, etc., etc.
We will never rid the world of terrorists. Terrorism has been around since man developed a cortex and frontal lobes and could truly be terrorized. But, in order to tune it down a notch or three, we must learn to fight it effectively, in the shadows and without big bulky uniforms with a bull's eye on the back.
That's how one would fight and semi-win a war on terrorist, if that's what we are really doing and I have come to doubt that. The war on terror is bogus, if not so incredibly stupid as to make ones head swim.
My God, I could have done a better job. But then, I would have been thoroughly focused on the terrorists and becoming independent of middle eastern oil first, and then oil from the rest of the world. I would have called on the American people to cut down on consumption of energy and invest in green energy. I would have taken some of the money we have spent on that debacle in Iraq and offered to subsidize hybrids for every American that can't afford to trade their car on something more energy efficient and the same with solar and wind power at home. For those who could afford to trade their car, there would have been tax breaks. (We aren't talking about communism here.We are talking about national security.) Speaking of tax breaks, I would have given them to our auto industry for the express purpose of designing the most energy efficient transportation possible, certainly not to the craven oil companies.
And one more thing; I would have called together the people who could do it, and said we need rail systems; new ones, fast ones and slower ones. We need rail systems for cities and suburbs and for travel from city to city and cross-country. We need fast trains for the business traveler and others who are in a hurry. Slower trains are fine for leisure travel. The railroads were a major force in building this country. Why can't a new version of them save it?
I would have called in mayors and governors, within days, and asked them to work on schemes for their particular states and cities, towns and communities to make it possible for energy efficient transportation; like 86 mpg scooters that people can ride around their neighborhoods, to the grocery, pharmacy and such without having to worry that their lives will be taken by one of those urban assault vehicles. What about golf cart-type vehicles?
My head explodes with ideas, but all Junior could come up with was, travel and shop, 'till your credit cards are maxed out, for old glory. (As if one has to ask Americans to shop and consume.)
So now, not only is the nation in debt so deep it will take generations to pay it off, after we had a huge surplus at the end of the Clinton administration, providing those generations are still alive to do so. (People require a planet that will support life in order to live.) But the American people are also individually in debt, having maxed out their credit cards, they took to using the equity in their houses like a credit card. By this time, in most cases, it wasn't to buy a new Mercedes, but to keep the bill collectors at bay.
I look around where I live and I can see that some people are making big bucks off this market and economy, either that or they have one helluva theft ring going. Many, many more are not. I drive through some neighborhoods and it's like touring a "third world country" (I hate that phrase, but I can't think of another one that would be as appropriate.)
Americans should decide on a place in each state and a date. Go there on the decided date and make an announcement to the banks and other lenders (you know the ones I'm talking about: Sub-prime lenders (which were once known as loan sharks) and credit card lenders who offer low interest rates until you are 5 minutes late with a payment, at which point your interest rate goes from 5.25 to 23%, once and always known as evil bastards). They should say, "you can have my house if you are that heartless, and you can have my car, if you can catch me, but I won't pay one dime of interest on what I owe you and I'll pay my debt in the monthly amount I can afford. If my kid gets sick, he comes first, not you, as does heat in winter, medication, food and other expenses that are a matter of life and death.
Then proceed to throw your plastic on a bonfire and swear to never live above your means again. Contrary to what advertisers and every other capitalist institution would have you believe, it's not a sin to be poor, nor should it be humiliating for you. It should reflect pretty badly on whomever you work for, unless they are not doing that much better than you are. It reflects horribly on the nation if you are elderly or disabled. Who can have any respect for a nation such as that; a nation claiming wealth and moral authority, yet cares not a whit for the "least of these." No one can live on what the disabled are expected to live on, or the elderly, if they don't have investments, pensions or some other kind of income. I can't have any respect for such a nation. No one should.
Further, it should be shameful for the guy that has three houses and 5 cars, one of which is one of those god-awful Humves. If you want to drive a Humvee, go to Afghanistan or Iraq.
If you pay that kind of money for a vehicle and it sucks that much gasoline, you should be prepared to live in it.
Had I been president on 9/11, I would have slapped a federal sales tax on gas-guzzlers. What did Bush do. He gave them a tax break. For what? The higher gas prices he knew he was about to cause.
You have to fight terrorists with smarts, which the U.S. has plenty of, just apparently not in D.C.
I would not be surprised in the least in there is another terrorist event on U.S. soil, if not on inauguration day, soon after. It's been being planned for some time. It was ready to go in Jan. 2005, if necessary. It wasn't necessary. Osama's favorite president won, or so they say. Osama and others, in this country, whom will probably never be named.
I wonder who will get the blame this time?
Whoever is behind it had damned well better know, people are watching, all over the country, and in other countries, and listening. There will be no shock value this time. Just American rage.
BAE: secret papers reveal threats from Saudi prince
Spectre of 'another 7/7' led Tony Blair to block bribes inquiry, high court told
Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.
Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.
He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family.
The threats halted the fraud inquiry, but triggered an international outcry, with allegations that Britain had broken international anti-bribery treaties.
Lord Justice Moses, hearing the civil case with Mr Justice Sullivan, said the government appeared to have "rolled over" after the threats. He said one possible view was that it was "just as if a gun had been held to the head" of the government.
The SFO investigation began in 2004, when Robert Wardle, its director, studied evidence unearthed by the Guardian. This revealed that massive secret payments were going from BAE to Saudi Arabian princes, to promote arms deals.
Yesterday, anti-corruption campaigners began a legal action to overturn the decision to halt the case. They want the original investigation restarted, arguing the government had caved into blackmail.
The judge said he was surprised the government had not tried to persuade the Saudis to withdraw their threats. He said: "If that happened in our jurisdiction [the UK], they would have been guilty of a criminal offence". Counsel for the claimants said it would amount to perverting the course of justice.
Wardle told the court in a witness statement: "The idea of discontinuing the investigation went against my every instinct as a prosecutor. I wanted to see where the evidence led."
But a paper trail set out in court showed that days after Bandar flew to London to lobby the government, Blair had written to the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, and the SFO was pressed to halt its investigation.
The case officer on the inquiry, Matthew Cowie, was described by the judge as "a complete hero" for standing up to pressure from BAE's lawyers, who went behind his back and tried to secretly lobby the attorney general to step in at an early stage and halt the investigations.
The campaigners argued yesterday that when BAE failed at its first attempt to stop the case, it changed tactics. Having argued it should not be investigated in order to promote arms sales, it then recruited ministers and their Saudi associates to make the case that "national security" demanded the case be covered up.
Moses said that after BAE's commercial arguments failed, "Lo and behold, the next thing there is a threat to national security!" Dinah Rose, counsel for the Corner House and the Campaign against the Arms Trade, said: "Yes, they start to think of a different way of putting it." Moses responded: "That's very unkind!"
Documents seen yesterday also show the SFO warned the attorney general that if he dropped the case, it was likely it would be taken up by the Swiss and the US. These predictions proved accurate.
Bandar's payments were published in the Guardian and Switzerland subsequently launched a money-laundering inquiry into the Saudi arms deal. The US department of justice has launched its own investigation under the foreign corrupt practices act into the British money received in the US by Bandar while he was ambassador to Washington.
Prince Bandar yesterday did not contest a US court order preventing him from taking the proceeds of property sales out of the country. The order will stay in place until a lawsuit brought by a group of BAE shareholders is decided. The group alleges that BAE made £1bn of "illegal bribe payments" to Bandar while claiming to be a "highly ethical, law-abiding corporation".
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.