Saturday, April 26, 2008

America: Fearful People Do Stupid and Amoral Things

The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah
by Andy Worthington

Abu Zubaydah, an alleged senior al-Qaeda operative, has been held without charge or trial as a "high-value detainee" for over six years, first in secret CIA custody, and then in Guantánamo, while battles have raged within the administration over his supposed significance. Drawing, in particular, on the story of former Guantánamo prisoner Khalid al-Hubayshi, Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison, makes the case that Zubaydah's importance has been wildly exaggerated.

A recent article in the Washington Post, Out of Guantánamo and Bitter Toward Bin Laden, which was based on an interview with former Guantánamo prisoner Khalid al-Hubayshi (released in 2006), was noteworthy as much for what it did not reveal as for what it did.

In the article, Faiza Saleh Ambah began by explaining how "A calling to defend fellow Muslims and a bit of aimlessness took Khalid al-Hubayshi to a separatists' training camp in the southern Philippines and to the mountains of Afghanistan, where he interviewed for a job with Osama bin Laden."

Part of this story was previously known from al-Hubayshi's long years in Guantánamo, as Detainee 155, when he admitted to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) in 2004 that he had trained in the Philippines and had also trained at the Khaldan camp in Afghanistan in 1997. He also said that he moved to Afghanistan in 2001, joining a "private small camp" outside Jalalabad, which was subsequently closed down by the Taliban. Throughout, he presented himself – with some eloquence – as a freedom fighter who focused on particular struggles that various Muslims around the world had with non-Muslim oppressors (the model that was largely superseded by bin Laden's declaration of global jihad in 1998).

It was for this reason, he said, that he trained at Khaldan, which was not associated with either the Taliban or al-Qaeda at the time, and it was also for this reason that he returned to Afghanistan in 2001, and joined the camp near Jalalabad. He insisted, "I wasn't a member of al-Qaeda or on the front lines with the Taliban because I don't believe in what they are doing. I believe what the Taliban did in Afghanistan was ethnic war [and] al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization."

He also explained, "I think Osama bin Laden is wrong. He just wants to be famous. He doesn't care how he does it, killing people, killing Muslims, or destroying countries. I think he got what he wanted – to be famous. I don't need to meet him. I don't understand the politics. People look at the vision of Osama bin Laden and believe America is their enemy. They don't understand what is going on or what happened in Afghanistan in 1980 [when the Soviet invasion began]."

This opinion of bin Laden, as it transpired from al-Hubayshi's interview with Faiza Saleh Ambah, was true, but rather lacking in context. In the interview he admitted that, although he had certainly become disillusioned with the inter-ethnic fighting in Afghanistan – "I was not there … to help Afghans fighting Afghans for political gain," he said, adding, "If I was going to die, I wanted to die fighting for something meaningful" – his return to Afghanistan in May 2001, and what he subsequently did there, was both more complicated and more compromised than he had admitted at his tribunal.

He explained that, while attempting to return home in 1999, he had been arrested and imprisoned by the Pakistanis, who confiscated his passport, and that he had then returned to his job at a utilities company in Saudi Arabia on a false passport. His return to Afghanistan in 2001 came about when he discovered that he was wanted for questioning by the Saudi authorities, and it was at the camp near Jalalabad, where he became "adept at making remote-controlled explosive devices triggered by cellphones and light switches," that he attracted the attention of al-Qaeda.

Introduced to Osama bin Laden, he said that he refused to join al-Qaeda because bin Laden's fight "had changed from defending Muslims to attacking the United States. I wasn't convinced of his ideology. And I wanted to be independent, not just another minion in this big group." After returning to his independent life, he was drawn once more into bin Laden's orbit after 9/11, when, after fleeing Afghan persecution, he and others were invited to the Tora Bora mountains, for what, it seems, was touted as a glorious showdown with the Americans.

"Bin Laden was convinced the Americans would come down and fight," al-Hubayshi said. "We spent five weeks like that, manning our positions in case the Americans landed." He added, however, that as the airstrikes moved closer, and as the Americans' Afghan allies advanced on their positions, bin Laden abandoned the fight and fled. "There was no dignity in what he made us do," he told Faiza Saleh Ambah, adding that he was "sorry that Muslims carried out the Sept. 11 attacks because they targeted civilians." "That was wrong," he explained. "Jihad is fighting soldier to soldier."

While this entire report fills in some rather large gaps in al-Hubayshi's testimony in Guantánamo – and also provides some apposite insight into his opinion of bin Laden – what was missing from Faiza Saleh Ambah's interview was any mention whatsoever of another allegedly pivotal figure in al-Qaeda: Abu Zubaydah, the Palestinian-born facilitator of the Khaldan camp, and one of 14 "high-value detainees" transferred to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons in September 2006.

In the interview, the only mention of Khaldan was that al-Hubayshi "learned to fire anti-aircraft missiles, anti-aircraft machine guns, anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades and became an expert in explosives," whereas his comments in Guantánamo about his relationship with Abu Zubaydah struck me as enormously significant while I was researching The Guantánamo Files, and remain so to this day, as they cast important light on a fierce debate within the US administration, which has raged since shortly after Zubaydah was captured in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad in March 2002.

Contrary to claims made by the administration and the CIA – which, as described in Time magazine shortly after his capture, indicated that he was "al-Qaeda's chief of operations and top recruiter," who would be able to "provide the names of terrorists around the world and which targets they planned to hit" – the story that emerged in Ron Suskind's 2006 book, The One Percent Doctrine, was that Zubaydah was nothing like the pivotal figure that the CIA had supposed him to be, and had actually turned out to be mentally ill.

Investigating his diary, analysts found entries in the voices of three people – a boy, a young man and a middle-aged alter ego – which recorded in numbing detail, over the course of ten years, "what people ate, or wore, or trifling things they said." Dan Coleman, the FBI's senior expert on al-Qaeda, explained to one of his superiors, "This guy is insane, certifiable, split personality." According to Suskind, the officials also confirmed that Zubaydah appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations, and was, instead, a minor logistician.

And yet, as Suskind also reports, so misplaced was the CIA's belief in Zubaydah's importance that when they subjected him to waterboarding and other forms of torture, and he "confessed" to all manner of supposed plots – against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty – "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each target ... The United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

Last December, when there was a brief uproar over the destruction by the CIA of videotapes showing the "enhanced interrogations" of Zubaydah and another "high-value detainee," Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, Dan Coleman spoke out once more about Zubaydah, telling the Washington Post that the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" tactics by the CIA cast doubt on the credibility of Zubaydah's confessions. "I don't have confidence in anything he says," Coleman explained, "because once you go down that road, everything you say is tainted. He was talking before they did that to him, but they didn't believe him. The problem is they didn't realize he didn't know all that much."

Coleman also revisited the rift that developed between the FBI and the CIA when CIA operatives began holding him naked in his cell, "subjecting him to extreme cold and bombarding him with loud rock music," explaining that FBI operatives who witnessed this said, "You've got to be kidding me. This guy's a Muslim. That's not going to win his confidence. Are you trying to get information out of him or just belittle him?"

Reiterating his skepticism about Zubaydah's supposed importance, Coleman said that he "was a ‘safehouse keeper' with mental problems who claimed to know more about al-Qaeda and its inner workings than he really did," that his diaries were "full of flowery and philosophical meanderings, and made little mention of terrorism or al-Qaeda," and that he and others at the FBI had concluded, by looking at other evidence, including a serious head injury that Zubaydah had suffered years earlier, that he had severe mental problems. "They all knew he was crazy, and they knew he was always on the damn phone," Coleman explained, referring to other al-Qaeda operatives, adding, "You think they're going to tell him anything?"

Largely unnoticed, although featured in my book, are two more analyses of Zubaydah's role that reinforce the opinions expressed by Dan Coleman and Ron Suskind: those of Khalid al-Hubayshi, and of Zubaydah himself, during his CSRT in Guantánamo last spring.

Al-Hubayshi explained that, far from being a mastermind, Abu Zubaydah was responsible for "receiving people and financing the camp," that he once bought him travel tickets, and that he was the man he went to when he needed a replacement passport. He also suggested that Zubaydah did not have a long-standing relationship with bin Laden. When asked, "When you were with Abu Zubaydah, did you ever see Osama bin Laden?" he replied, "In 1998, Abu Zubaydah and Osama bin Laden didn't like each other," adding, "In 2001, I think the relationship was okay," and explaining that bin Laden put pressure on Zubaydah to close Khaldan, essentially because he wanted to run more camps himself.

The echoes with Zubaydah's own account are uncanny. In his CSRT, Zubaydah said that he was tortured by the CIA to admit that he worked with Osama bin Laden, but insisted, "I'm not his partner and I'm not a member of al-Qaeda." He also said that his interrogators promised to return his diary to him – the one that contained the evidence of his split personality – and explained that their refusal to do so affected him emotionally and triggered seizures.

Speaking of his status as a "high-value detainee," he said that his only role was to operate a guest house used by those who were training at Khaldan, and confirmed al-Hubayshi's analysis of his relationship with bin Laden, saying, "Bin Laden wanted al-Qaeda to have control of Khaldan, but we refused since we had different ideas." He explained that he opposed attacks on civilian targets, which brought him into conflict with bin Laden, and although he admitted that he had been an enemy of the US since childhood, because of its support for Israel, pointed out that his enmity was towards the government and the military, and not the American people.

I await the development of Abu Zubaydah's story with interest. Just a month ago, his lawyers, Brent Mickum and Joe Margulies, followed Coleman and Suskind's lead by filing an unlawful detention suit arguing that their client is insane, and I'm fascinated to know what they – and others who are wondering why, if Zubaydah was so important, he was not charged in February in connection with the 9/11 attacks along with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five others – will make of the testimony of Khalid al-Hubayshi, who, as Faiza Saleh Ambah reported, is now a world away from his previous life as a would-be soldier and US prisoner, happily married and working at the utilities company from which he twice escaped to pursue his dreams of jihad.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

McCain: A Warmonger? You Can Bet On It.

As with most articles we post, we do not agree with all of this article. We do not believe, for example, that Barack Obama really believes that McCain is a man who should ever be president for any reason. He is saying what he must say in order to run a campaign more like that of John Kennedy than either of the Bush campaigns. We have become so accustomed to sound bite hits and smear jobs, some of us do not have any remembrance of the campaigns of yesteryear.

I, for one, have tuned out the TeeVee news. It is grown past annoying to outright nauseating.

However, I must ask again, what about John McCain's service makes him a military expert. He was a poor student at Annapolis, was shot down relatively early in Vietnam and spent the rest of the war as a POW. How does that make him any more qualified that anyone else, especially when one considers that he is probably still a walking time-bomb?

John McCain had horrible things done to him in Vietnam, which he probably still blames on Russia. Trust me on this. One never forgets those things. We are all a product of our experience. Everyone knows about McCain's temper. Even members of his own party talk about it and some, quite frankly, think he is several french fries short of a happy meal. Isn't that about the last thing we need right now?

By Doug Bandow

Sen. John McCain is a man of physical courage and personal honor. He's also a warmonger, with little concern for those who would die in his military adventures. The Democrats won't say that. But it's the truth.

Earlier this year Sen. Barack Obama was appearing at a fund-raiser in Grand Forks, N.D. Talk show host Ed Schultz warmed up the crowd by calling John McCain a "warmonger." Sen. Obama distanced himself from Schultz's remarks, with his spokesman opining that "John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He's a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged."

Let us stipulate that McCain believes war is necessary to advance American interests. All that means is that he is a sincere warmonger. He is still far too ready to view war and the threat of war as appropriate and prudent policy tools. If McCain had his way, the U.S. would be fighting several wars at once, none of which would be in America's interest or worth the cost.

There's Iraq, of course. It was a horrid mistake, built on administration fantasies masquerading as intelligence. McCain likes to parade around as a military expert based on his naval service 40 years ago, but his vaunted expertise is never in evidence. On Iraq he ignored all of the discordant voices which disputed virtually every administration claim. He failed to ask any probing questions of an administration that clearly wanted war irrespective of the facts and saw no need to plan for any unpleasant contingencies. McCain's concern about mismanagement of the war didn't begin for months, until the administration's botched performance was evident to all. In short, McCain refused to allow his supposed experience and judgment to get in the way of a war that he evidently wanted America to fight.

At least McCain appeared to treat the decision to go to war with Iraq with a modicum of seriousness. That's not the case with Iran. When asked about the issue on the stump, he famously broke forth with his rendition of "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" set to the tune of the Beach Boys' hit "Barbara Ann." It was a funny performance, if you think the idea of unleashing death and destruction on other people is funny.

Unfortunately, McCain's little ditty appears to encapsulate his view of war: just another policy tool to employ without much concern for the consequences. Has he considered what war with Iran would be like? How Iraqi Shi'ites would respond if Washington bombed Iran? The potential of Iranian subversion throughout the Persian Gulf? The consequences of an expanded Middle Eastern war on Pakistan? If he has, he hasn't bothered to share his analysis with the rest of us. Instead, he prefers to sing about bombing Iran.

Frivolous disdain for consequences characterizes his discussion of war against North Korea. He cheerfully dismissed the concerns of South Korea and Japan, American allies that would bear the worst consequences of any attack on the North. Indeed, absent a full-scale U.S. assault that succeeded in crippling North Korean conventional capabilities, the South's capital of Seoul, presently subject to massed artillery fire and Scud missiles, likely would end up in ruins. It's an ugly picture, but apparently not one that concerned McCain.

He and Sen. Hillary Clinton shared an enthusiasm for war in the Balkans, both having endorsed the foolish attack on Serbia over control of its territory of Kosovo. The U.S. had no security interest in the outcome of one of the world's smaller guerrilla wars, but that didn't deter them from pushing war. However, McCain distinguished himself by publicly advocating a ground war against Serbia. It's bad enough to inaugurate an aerial campaign, largely out of range of Serb air defenses, for no purpose. But to guarantee casualties by sending in ground troops? His enthusiasm for having a big war clearly outran his judgment over how best to fight the conflict.

Anyone willing to go to war with Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and Serbia is prepared to fight anyone. Most people lean toward peace and believe that only dangerous necessity can justify loosing the dogs of war. Not McCain, who appears to be in permanent "yes" mode. If that famous 3 a.m. phone call came into the McCain White House, he likely would yell "bomb them" into the receiver, then wait until the morning to ask who we had attacked.

It wouldn't be quite so dangerous if he only wanted to attack small, largely defenseless nations like Serbia. But he is intent on jumping into religious and ethnic conflicts that he obviously doesn't understand, as in the Middle East. (Shia? Sunni? What, me worry?) He also wants to threaten nations that possess the ability to retaliate militarily, namely North Korea. Even worse, he advocates confrontation, if not war – right now, anyway – with major powers, most notably China and Russia.

McCain adviser Robert Kagan says that "We have made the mistake of being too passive as Putin has consolidated his autocracy." Exactly what Washington could have done to stop Putin – other than bombing Moscow – isn't clear. But McCain wants the U.S. to back the state of Georgia against Russia over the status of Abkhazia and Ossetia, as if they mattered one whit to American security. (There's also McCain's unprincipled aggressiveness: he enthusiastically pushes Kosovo's independence, but he opposes self-determination by Abkhazia and Ossetia. In each case his only principle appears to be taking the position most likely to result in conflict between Washington and Russia.)

As for China, McCain has mercifully said less. He evidently knows next to nothing about Islam and the Middle East. He appears to understand even less about China's history and ambitions. But the potential for conflict may grow in coming years, as Beijing behaves more assertively in East Asia, which is, of course, its home region. His "bomb now, ask questions later" philosophy could lead to disaster there.

McCain's foreign policy appears to be a form of neoconservatism squared. All you have to do is threaten everyone around you, and they will kowtow. Talk a little more loudly, brandish your military stick a bit more tightly, and you'll get what you want. If you don't, no problem, just bomb away and you will emerge victorious, so long as you are determined and willing to spill as much blood and treasure as necessary. That's clearly McCain's position in Iraq and likely would govern his approach to any other conflict.

That sounds like a warmonger to me.

But there's more to McCain, another truth that even the Democrats don't want to speak. For instance, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) observed: "McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."

Naturally, the war lobby erupted, and Rockefeller apologized. Obama said that he disagreed and had "a deep respect for Senator McCain's service to this country."

It's hard to ask combat pilot John McCain, whose own life was at risk, along with those of his comrades, to worry about what happened at the receiving end of his weapons. But it is fair to expect policymaker John McCain, cheerful advocate of multiple wars around the globe, to consider what happens when the missiles get to the ground. Yet there's no evidence that he does so.

Consider Iraq. Four thousand Americans are dead, thousands are maimed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead and injured, and four to five million Iraqis are refugees. Have these numbers registered with policymaker McCain as he justifies the decision to invade? Does he consider the prospect of increasing the toll in advocating fighting as long as necessary for whatever is considered to be victory these days?

When McCain sings about bombing Iran, does he give a thought to the Iranians who would die? Does the prospect of increased fighting in Iraq as a result give him even a momentary pause? Then there's Korea. Does he believe that the U.S. has any responsibility to avoid triggering a war that could generate hundreds of thousands of casualties in South Korea? Did the prospect of killing even more Serbian civilians occur to him as he was pushing for an expanded war in the Balkans? Does the admittedly distant prospect of war, and the casualties that would result, enter his consciousness as he advocates confronting Russia over such geopolitical irrelevancies as Abkhazia and Ossetia? Or in challenging China over who knows what in the coming years? It would appear not.

In short, Rockefeller might have been unfair about pilot John McCain, but he almost certainly was right about policymaker John McCain.

We are left with no good choices for November. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama fill most Americans with confidence. Certainly not on economics, where they have rushed to the populist Left, engaging in such silly displays of ignorance as worrying about the impact of trade with Colombia on the $13 trillion U.S. economy. On foreign policy, both appear to be conventional liberal interventionists, right on Iraq, thankfully, but untrustworthy on many if not most other potential wars.

However, John McCain is far worse. Establishment Democrats might be afraid to state the truth, but McCain is a warmonger. A sincere one, yes, but that only makes him more dangerous.

And there is no evidence that he cares about the human consequences of his policy prescriptions. That doesn't make him unique on Capitol Hill – or as president if, God forbid, the worst comes to pass in November. Nevertheless, his callous hawkishness should be a key issue in the coming campaign.

It would be nice to have a president who has suffered for his or her beliefs, in contrast to such chicken hawks as George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. But more important than courage is judgment. And the latter quality is what John McCain completely lacks.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

12,000 Suicide Attempts Among Iraq Vets, Per Year

How many more must die for Bush and Cheney's lies?

This whole damned miserable administration should be tried and hung, as a lesson to imperialists and fascists world wide.

Senator: VA Lying About Number of Veteran Suicides
By Les Blumenthal
McClatchy Newspapers

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Washington - The Veterans Administration has lied about the number of veterans who've attempted suicide, a senator charged Wednesday, citing internal e-mails that put the number at 12,000 a year when the department was publicly saying it was fewer than 800.

"The suicide rate is a red-alarm bell to all of us," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Murray also said that the VA's mental health programs are being overwhelmed by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, even as the department tries to downplay the situation.

"We are not your enemy, we are your support team, and unless we get accurate information we can't be there to do our jobs," Murray told Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon Mansfield during the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.

Mansfield told Murray and the other senators that he didn't think the VA had deliberately tried to mislead Congress or the public.

Murray remained skeptical, however, saying that the VA has demonstrated a pattern of misleading Congress about the increasing number of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now seeking help and straining Defense Department and VA facilities and programs.

Murray said she's spoken with VA Secretary James Peake and demanded that he fire the man in charge of the department's mental health programs, Dr. Ira Katz. The senator said Peake has yet to respond to her request.

"I used to teach preschool, and when you bring up a 3-year-old and tell them they have to stop lying, they understand the consequences," Murray said. "The VA doesn't. They need to stop hiding the fact this war is costing us in so many ways."

The existence of the e-mails, uncovered as part of a class-action lawsuit filed against the VA in San Francisco, was first reported by CBS News on Monday.

"Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities," Katz wrote in a Feb. 13 e-mail to Ev Chasen, the department's communication director. "Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before someone stumbles on it?"

Chasen responded: "I think this is something we should discuss among ourselves, before issuing a press release. Is the fact we are stopping them good news, or is the sheer number bad news? And is this more than we have ever seen before?"

CBS reported that the VA had provided it with data earlier that showed only 790 attempted suicides in all of 2007.

"How do we trust what you are saying when every time we turn around we find out that what you are saying publicly is different from what you are saying privately?" Murray asked Mansfield. "How can we trust what you are saying today?"

Mansfield responded that the situation was unfortunate and didn't "send the right message" to Congress or the public.

"I know Dr. Katz is a dedicated public servant," he said. "There isn't a lot the VA should be keeping secret."

Murray pointed to a RAND Corp. study released last week that found that 320,000 troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from traumatic brain injuries and 300,000 troops suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.

Of those with PTSD or depression, Murray said, only half have sought treatment, and only half of those have received treatment that was "minimally" adequate.

"I think we ought to be worried," Murray said, adding that, as with Vietnam-era vets, some of the more violent symptoms might not show up for 50 years.

"They can be walking time bombs for decades," Murray said. "I hope everyone in the VA understands this."

Mansfield said the VA is spending $3 billion on mental health programs this fiscal year and has 17,000 mental health workers.

"We want to make sure we take care of these individuals," he said.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

When Is This SOB Going To Be Arrested?

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh is sparking controversy again after he made comments that appear to call for riots in Denver during the Democratic National Convention this summer.He said the riots would ensure a Democrat is not elected as president, and his listeners have a responsibility to make sure it happens."Riots in Denver, the Democrat Convention would see to it that we don't elect Democrats," Limbaugh said during Wednesday's radio broadcast. He then went on to say that's the best thing that could happen to the country.
Limbaugh cited Al Sharpton, saying the Barack Obama supporter threatened to superdelegates that "there's going to be trouble" if the presidency is taken from Obama. Several callers called in to the radio show to denounce Limbaugh's comments, when he later stated, "I am not inspiring or inciting riots, I am dreaming of riots in Denver."

Limbaugh said with massive riots in Denver, which he called part of "Operation Chaos," the people on the far left would look bad."There won't be riots at our convention," Limbaugh said of the Republican National Convention. "We don't riot. We don't burn our cars. We don't burn down our houses. We don't kill our children. We don't do half the things the American left does." He believes electing Democrats will hurt America's security and economy and appeared to call on his listeners to make sure that doesn't happen."We do, hopefully, the right thing for the sake of this country. We're the only one in charge of our affairs. We don't farm out our defense if we elect Democrats ... and riots in Denver, at the Democratic Convention will see to it we don't elect Democrats. And that's the best damn thing that can happen to this country, as far as I can think," Limbaugh said.

Later, Limbaugh downplayed his "dreaming of riots in Denver" statement, and said that he wasn't calling for riots and was referring to warnings of trouble if superdelegates decide the nomination at the Democratic National Convention.

Limbaugh's comments prompted Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to say, "Anyone who would call for riots in an American city has clearly lost their bearings."Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar also responded to Limbaugh's comments Friday, asking Lee Larsen, senior vice president of Clear Channel Radio Rocky Mountain Region to reprimand Limbaugh."As I read Mr. Limbaugh's comments about riots at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, they appear to me to be a clear exhortation that those riots are exactly what he wants to happen," Salazar said in a letter to Larsen.

Denver will host the DNC on Aug. 25 to Aug. 28.Additional Resource:

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Oh Crap,! Moer Trouble in The Gulf of make that Persian Gulf

CAIRO, Egypt - A civilian ship contracted by the U.S. military fired warning shots at two small boats approaching it in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy said Friday, describing the latest of a string of similar incidents that have triggered concern in Washington.

The U.S. military has been wary of small boats operating near its ships ever since an explosive-laden vessel rammed the USS Cole as it refueled in a Yemen harbor in 2000, killing 17 sailors on-board.

Those fears were heightened in recent months by several incidents in the Gulf's narrow Strait of Hormuz where small Iranian boats approached American warships despite warnings to alter their course. Senior U.S. military officials have warned Iran about the risk of triggering an unintended conflict if its boats continue to harass American ships in the Gulf.

Story continues

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Danger Is Real And The Worst in 40 Years

Yes Admiral, the danger is real now, but it wasn't before the Bush/Cheney Lies that led us into this incredible, horrible hell realm. The danger will be very real, until we can get someone in the White House that the world might trust; someone we can trust.

Until then, we are all waiting to exhale.

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Food Riots: Coming To A Neighborhood Near You

If anyone thinks that America and Americans can ride this one out, untouched, they are honestly too dumb to live.

I live for the day when words like "multinational corporations" and "neoconservatism" are as despised as the word "liberal' has been in the U.S.; as despised as they should be, by the whole world.

Their greed is going to kill us all.

Food Riots Erupt Worldwide
By Anuradha Mittal

Friday 25 April 2008

It's time to stop worshiping at the alter of "market forces."

Food riots are erupting all over the world. To prevent them and to help people afford the most basic of goods, we need to understand the causes of skyrocketing food prices and correct the policies that have fueled them.

World food prices rose by 39 percent in the last year. Rice alone rose to a 19-year high in March - an increase of 50 per cent in two weeks alone - while the real price of wheat has hit a 28-year high.

As a result, food riots erupted in Egypt, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Mauritania, Mexico, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen. For the 3 billion people in the world who subsist on $2 a day or less, the leap in food prices is a killer. They spend a majority of their income on food, and when the price goes up, they can't afford to feed themselves or their families.

Analysts have pointed to some obvious causes, such as increased demand from China and India, whose economies are booming. Rising fuel and fertilizer costs, increased use of bio-fuels and climate change have all played a part.

But less obvious causes have also had a profound effect on food prices.

Over the last few decades, the United States, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have used their leverage to impose devastating policies on developing countries. By requiring countries to open up their agriculture market to giant multinational companies, by insisting that countries dismantle their marketing boards and by persuading them to specialize in exportable cash crops such as coffee, cocoa, cotton and even flowers, they have driven the poorest countries into a downward spiral.

In the last thirty years, developing countries that used to be self-sufficient in food have turned into large food importers. Dismantling of marketing boards that kept commodities in a rolling stock to be released in event of a bad harvest, thus protecting both producers and consumers against sharp rises or drops in prices, has further worsened the situation.

Here's what we must do to prevent an epidemic of starvation from breaking out.

First, it is essential to have safety nets and public distribution systems put in place. Donor countries should provide more aid immediately to support government efforts in poor countries and respond to appeals from U.N. agencies, which are desperately seeking $500 million by May 1.

Second, we should help affected countries develop their agricultural sectors to feed more of their own people and decrease their dependence on food imports. We should promote production and consumption of local crops raised by small, sustainable farms instead of growing cash crops for western markets. And we should support a country's effort to manage stocks and pricing so as to limit the volatility of food prices.

To embrace these crucial policies, however, we need to stop worshipping the golden calf of the so-called free market and embrace, instead, the principle of food sovereignty. Every country and every people have a right to food that is affordable. When the market deprives them of this, it is the market that has to give.


Anuradha Mittal is executive director of the Oakland Institute.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

The Implosion of the American Right

By Sydney Blumenthal

April 24, 2008 | On May 3, 2007, ten Republican candidates aspiring to succeed George W. Bush as president debated at the Ronald W. Reagan Library, where they mentioned Reagan 21 times and Bush not once. By raising the icon of Reagan, they hoped to dispel the shadow of Bush. Reagan himself had often invoked magic -- "the magic of the marketplace" was among his trademark phrases and he had been the TV host at the grand opening of Disneyland, "the Magic Kingdom," in 1955. Evoking his name was an act of sympathetic magic in the vain hope that its mere mention would transfer his success to his pretenders and transport them back to the heyday of Republican rule.

Bush's second term has witnessed the great unraveling of the Republican coalition. After nearly two generations of political dominance, the Republican coalition has rapidly disintegrated under the stress of Bush's failures and the Republicans' scandals and disgrace. The Democrats have the greatest possible opening in more than a generation -- potentially. They should pay strict attention to how Bush has swiftly undone Republican strengths as an object lesson.

On September 10, 2001, Bush was at the lowest point in public approval of any president that early in his term. It was a sign that he seemed destined to join the list of previous presidents who had gained the office without popular majorities and served only one term. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, Bush's fortunes were reversed, and he was no longer seen as drifting but masterful. Now he appeared to take his place in the long line of Republican presidents who had preceded him. He acted as though his astronomical popularity in the aftermath of September 11 ratified whatever radical course he might take in international affairs and vindicated whatever radical policies and politics he might follow at home.

Vice President Dick Cheney assumed control of concentrating unfettered executive power, a project to which he had been devoted since he had served as the assistant to presidential counselor Donald Rumsfeld in the Nixon White House. Karl Rove, the president's chief political strategist, took charge of subordinating federal departments and agencies to the larger political goal of achieving a permanent Republican realignment through a one party state -- another Nixonian objective, run by another Nixonian. Cheney and Rove's complementary efforts gave the substance to the radical theory of the "unitary executive."

In 2004, Bush swaggered through his reelection campaign, still swept along on the momentum from September 11. He and Rove did not consider the perverse and unprecedented illogic of Bush v. Gore as anything but a rightful decision. They did not see the means by which he became president as artificial, making his position inherently weak and unstable. Bush took occupying the office itself and September 11 as tantamount to a resounding mandate for his radicalism. Nor did Bush or Rove view Bush's steady and precipitous decline in popularity as cause to reconsider their preconceptions. After the Afghanistan invasion, Bush's numbers tumbled until he ramped up the campaign for the invasion of Iraq, after which his standing dived again, only to spike once more after the capture of Saddam Hussein, only to fall again. Nonetheless, Rove drew no lessons from these warnings, except that war and terror served as indispensable political weapons to sustain Bush. On this rock, Rove proposed to build a reigning party.

After the 2004 election victory, Rove's former political deputy and Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman said, "If there's one empire I want built, it's the George Bush empire."

Perhaps the most considered, comprehensive and boldest analysis after the 2004 election came from two English journalists, writers for The Economist magazine, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. In their book, The Right Nation, they conflated Bush's unilateralism, the religious right, and the conservative counter-establishment of think tanks and foundations with American exceptionalism. "Today, thanks in large part to the strength of the Right Nation, American exceptionalism is reasserting itself with a vengeance."

They categorically declared that the realignment Rove was seeking had at last appeared. Bush's reelection was the crowning moment of the entire Republican era, setting it on a firm foundation for a generation to come. "Who would have imagined that the 2004 presidential election would represent something of a last chance for the Democrats?" they wrote. "But conservatism's progress goes much deeper than the gains that the Republican Party has made over the past half century or the steady decline in Democratic registration. The Right clearly has ideology momentum on its side in much the same way that the Left had momentum in the 1960s."

The Economist's correspondents were Tories in search of a promised land after the Labour Party became the natural party of government in Britain with the post-Thatcher crackup of the Conservatives. The United States was a fantastic canvas for their thwarted dreams. They were delirious to discover that while conservatism had fallen from grace and favor in Britain it held every lever of national power in the New World. "Thatcher could never rely on a vibrant conservative movement to support her (unless you regard a couple of think tanks as a movement) while American conservatism has been going from strength to strength for decades," they wrote with undisguised envy.

At least in one way the Republican triumph in 2004 echoed British political history, resembling that of the British Liberal Party in 1910. "From that victory they never recovered," wrote George Dangerfield in The Strange Death of Liberal England. But the strange death of Republican America, the supposed "Right Nation," cannot be attributed to the same reasons as the decline of Liberal England, a complacent faith of good intentions bypassed and trampled by events that it presumed to understand as it drifted into the dark passage of world war.

The guiding assumption of American politics was that Bush's presidency was girded by a stable conservative consensus and that politics would operate on this consensus into the foreseeable future. In this view, Bush became not only the most recent expression of Republican supremacy but also its strongest. It was a curious refraction of the consensus school of the 1950s that envisioned American politics as an unbroken thread of liberalism.

Next page: The scale of the Bush disaster is larger than any cataclysm since then

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Many Earth Days Do We Have Left?

According to the prophesies of the Mayans and many other ancient tribes, not to mention more modern geek-type prophets, we have 4 more earth days left. This world will pass away on Dec. 21, 2012. How that will happen, largely depends on us.

Will mankind pass away with it or will enough of our species awaken in time to save us from extinction? (Sounds like a teaser on a sci-fi channel soap opera, eh?)

I thought this was major b.s. until I began to look into it and spoke to a very old Hopi woman last Spring.

Hint: arming yourself and laying in thousands of pounds of food and other supplies won't help. None of our old ways will be of any help to us. NONE OF THEM.The same is true of our thinking habits, emotional habits and all other forms of mechanical, unconscious existence.

Don't think "punishment." Rather think, "balance."

We, homosapiens, can be part of the solution or part of the problem. We cannot be both.

We can hope and pray that our collective conscious changes in time for our species to survive and we can rest assured that our species will not survive unless there is a major awakening.

When it comes to the survival of the planet or the survival of mankind, I will give my care to the planet any time, and I do not believe I am alone. If mankind finds that the earth is not exactly as he would have it, he has only himself to blame. No, he cannot blame God. God didn't burn fossil fuels like a suicidal maniac. We did that. God didn't pollute our oceans, streams, rivers, lakes and air. We did that. God didn't race about the globe, polluting the environment of others in foreign nations, nor did God out-right poison people in those nations, as well as in many of our own communities. Nope, we did that too, in our very distressing disguise as corporate sociopathic deciders.

While it all seems pretty damn hopeless, there are far more enlightened or semi-enlightened people on this earth than most people would suspect; they are in this country and around the world. Of course, no one would know that by simply watching the news or reading the local paper. It is true, nonetheless.

How Many Earth Days Do We Have Left?

Terrence McNally, AlterNet

Environment: Lester Brown, author of Plan B 3.0, shows us how we can change in enough time to save life on earth, as we know it.

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Say You Want A Revolution.......

Norman Solomon: Let's Party Like Its â€&#8482#^ 1932

Monday, April 21, 2008 10:00 PM

Obama has the potential to become as great a president as FDR, while activists have the potential to prompt change comparable to the New Deal.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Iraq War and American Economic Collapse

Dave Lindorff: The U.S. Economy and the Costs of War

Monday, April 21, 2008 2:29 AM

Is the Iraq War to blame for America's long-term economic decline and for the current economic crisis?

Martin Neil Baily, a chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton, and now director of the business initiative at the Brookings Institution, in an opinion piece that ran Sunday in The New York Times, says no. Claiming to be opposed to the Iraq War, he nonetheless suggests the nearly $500 billion spent on Iraq to date -- all of it borrowed money -- cannot be blamed for the credit crisis, or for high oil prices.

But Baily is looking at things way too narrowly. First of all, as Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel economist and chief economist at the World Bank, has noted that the real cost of the Iraq War is probably now closer to $3 trillion, in terms of future costs of veterans benefits, replacement of equipment, and payment on the debt that has been piling up because of the government's unwillingness to make the public pay for the war in real time. That whopping bill is in the minds of the international investors who have been deserting the dollar in droves, causing it to approach Third World status as a currency.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Socialist Senator Sanders; An American Hero

Senator Bernie Sanders Stands Up For the Middle Class and Takes on Corporate Mainstream Media

Monday, April 21, 2008 5:34 PM

Year after year, the Bush people come forward and say how great the economy is, and that's full of crap. Since Bush has been President, median family income has gone down. For working families, it's gone down hundreds of dollars. Five million more people have slipped into poverty. Eight million people have lost their health insurance. Three million Americans have lost their pensions. And we have lost millions of good-paying jobs.

-- Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Military Looking For A Few Good Felons

To Meet Quotas, More Convicted Felons Are Being Allowed To Enlist --

One could argue right about now
The Marines should then
Just announce, "We're looking for
A few not-so-good men."


Tony Peyser provides daily poems and weekly cartoons for BuzzFlash and also writes the BuzzFlash column, "Blue State Jukebox." He was a daily cartoonist for the L.A. Times from 1994 to 1997. You can e-mail Tony at

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

What's Really Going On With Iraq And Iran?

Last week Bill Moyers sat down with Leila Fadel while she was stateside to receive a George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting. In this interview she bluntly lays bare all the spin on Iraq and Iran in a way that is all too rare these days.

I can’t say enough good things about this brave woman, but I would echo all of what Spencer and Matthew have written about her and then some. McClatchy, one of the few sane voices on Iraq since before the invasion (when they were still known as Knight-Ridder) continues to impress.

Watch the full interview on Moyers’ PBS website, and you can check out Leila Fadel’s McClatchy blog, Baghdad Observer and her team’s Inside Iraq.


BILL MOYERS: Just this week Iraq was struck by a fresh wave of violence. At least 50 people died from a bombing at a funeral - a funeral! Sixty people were killed earlier in the week, and 120 wounded.

It’s difficult … but gruesome news doesn’t go away because we look away. So consider these photos taken in Baquba, Ramadi, and Mosul — victims of car bombs and suicide attacks.

Such scenes are routine for the people in Iraq and the journalists who still cover them. One of those journalists is Leila Fadel - the Baghdad bureau chief for the McClatchy Newspaper Group. She was born in Saudi Arabia of a Lebanese father and a mother from Michigan. The fact that she speaks Arabic may have saved her life when she was covering the war between Hezbollah and Israel.

She’s reported on everything from Iran’s relationship with Iraq… to the impact of war on families in ethnically torn neighborhoods …to the constant stress on US troops. And she does it all so well that this week she received a George Polk award for foreign reporting - an honor bestowed for courage under fire.

- - - - - - - - - transition - - - - - - - - - -

BILL MOYERS: [W]e read a lot about the thousand Iraqi soldiers who quit the fight in Basra, laid down their arms. And this week there were stories of more defectors in Sadr City. Are these people cowed? Are they afraid? What’s happening?

LEILA FADEL: I think it’s a combination of things. I think there are people who don’t feel that they should be fighting the Mahdi Army, who don’t feel that they should be killing their Shia brothers because most of the Iraqi security forces are Shia. And I think there is also threats. I mean, we had reports of the Mahdi Army going house to house in Sadr City and if they were Iraqi security forces, they would say, “We know where you live. We know where your family is. And if you fight us, we’ll find you.” And so I think it’s a combination of the fear that their families will be killed and that they’re being killed as well as a moral objection by some of them.

BILL MOYERS: Moral objection?

LEILA FADEL: I think so, yes.


LEILA FADEL: To fighting who the people they consider their brothers.

BILL MOYERS: You broke the story that it was an appeal to an Iranian source. You broke the story that the Iranians actually intervened to stop the fighting in Basra, right?

LEILA FADEL: That’s right. Yeah, that’s right.

BILL MOYERS: So there’s real evidence on the ground that Iran is influential in Iraq.

LEILA FADEL: Yes. I mean, I don’t think anybody questions that Iran is influential in Iraq. I don’t know that all of Iran’s influence in Iraq is bad influence. Iran has chips on every table, you know? They’re betting on everybody. You’ll talk to Iraqi officials who say that the Iranians are willing to give money to anybody. You have Sunni leaders going to meet with Iranian officials in Iran. The man who is the Iraqi affairs man is the head of the Qods force in Iraq in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who the United States says is a terrorist.

He is the man that deals with Iraqi affairs. He is the man that deals with Iraqi officials. He is the man that was involved when an Iraqi delegation went to Iran in March to stop the fighting in Basra and apparently was the one that was helping get Moqtada Sadr to say stand down. Now maybe it’s a bad thing that the Iranians have so much influence, but what do we expect when we put a Shia government into power? These men took refuge and had funding in Iran.

BILL MOYERS: Let’s listen to what President Bush said recently about Iran’s influence in Iraq.

PRESIDENT BUSH:The regime in Tehran also has a choice to make. It can live in peace with its neighbor, enjoy strong economic and cultural and religious ties. Or it can continue to arm and train and fund illegal militant groups, which are terrorizing the Iraqi people and turning them against Iran. If Iran makes the right choice, American will encourage a peaceful relationship between Iran and Iraq. Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests, and our troops and our Iraqi partners.

BILL MOYERS: What’s your reaction hearing the President talk that way?

LEILA FADEL: First of all, just in the practical sense, the American Army’s tired. They’re on third and fourth rotations in Iraq. Can they really go after Iran at this point? And secondly, what are we going to do if we go into Iran, the United States? They say that the Iranian government is bringing weapons into Iraq and funding and training the Shia militias. I don’t know if the Iranian government is doing that.

I know that they say that the rockets hitting the Green Zone are 107-millimeter rockets that are made in Iran. I know they say the deadliest weapon used against U.S. troops are the EFPs, and those are deadly. But do you really go and invade the neighboring country of the unstable nation that you’re already in?

BILL MOYERS: But do you, as a reporter, find evidence of mischief on the part of Iran?

LEILA FADEL: Oh, definitely. I don’t think Iran is not mischievous. I don’t think the United States is not mischievous in Iraq. I think Iran has a vested interest in having a weak Iraq next to them because they did have an eight-years war with Iraq. They did have a hostile environment between the two nations. And I think it’s in their interest to have some control over that neighbor. And that’s what they have. I mean, they have groups, the parties that are in power are the parties that were created in their area, are the parties that thrived and fought Saddam from Iran. And so when the best friend in the government of the United States, which I explain the Islamist Supreme Council of Iraq, when Hakim is coming to the White House and speaking to President Bush but also going to Iran and speaking to Ahmadinejad and is very, very much influenced by Iran, it’s really unclear what we’re complaining about. I mean, we should have expected that this government would be Iran friendly.

BILL MOYERS: Here’s Senator Joe Lieberman speaking on this when General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker were in town recently.

SENATOR LIEBERMAN: Let me ask you first, are the Iranians still training and equipping Iraqi extremists who are going back into Iraq and killing American soldiers?

GENERAL PETRAEUS: That is correct, Senator.

SENATOR LIEBERMAN: Is it fair to say that the Iranian-backed special groups in Iraq are responsible for the murder of hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians?

GENERAL PETRAEUS: It certainly is. I do believe that is correct. Again some of that also is militia elements who have then subsequently been trained by these individuals.

BILL MOYERS: What about that?

LEILA FADEL: Well, I don’t, you know, the U.S. military says that they have people in detention that say they were trained and supplied in Iran and apparently have killed U.S. soldiers. I don’t know. That’s what they say. I don’t know that it’s true. They have– and they also, you know, they’re calling these Iranian-backed special groups. The entire Iraqi government is Iranian backed. You know, all these– they say that if the United States pulls out, Iran says they can fill the security vacuum in Iraq. That’s what Iran says. And Iran says, on their side of the story when they’ve never admitted to being involved in these things publicly. And when you ask them about it, they say, “Well, actually the problem is the United States. They want unrest in Iraq so they’ll never leave.”

BILL MOYERS: So, on the one hand, Iraq is working behind the scenes to broker a cease fire in Sadr City. And yet we’re, again, making Iran out to be the one behind the violence. I mean, there’s a paradox there, right?

LEILA FADEL: Right. Right. I don’t think Iran is nothing’s black and white. I don’t think Iran is the white knight or the evil villain either. I think that Iran is playing a political game in Iraq. …

Full video and transcript here.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

The Highly Complicit Corporate News Media

Pundits in Their Pockets -- A Peek at Pentagon PsyOps and Message Control

by Christine Bowman

Here's a story to ponder while waiting for the PA election returns to trickle in Tuesday night. This one's bigger than politics; it's Constitutional. Put the cable pundits on mute for awhile and look instead at how they've been covering stories from the Pentagon.

David Barstow and his team at The New York Times dug deep into some Freedom of Information Act documents to come up with a dramatic expose of Bush Administration manipulation of public opinion on Iraq, Gitmo human rights issues, and Donald Rumsfeld's performance as Secretary of Defense. Barstow documents that the administration selected people, mostly ex-military, to "catapult the propaganda" by going directly from meetings with Rumsfeld and others at the Pentagon to the microphones of big media with a set of administration talking points in hand. Outlets including CNN, Fox News, ABC and CBS, to name just a few, uncritically provided them with same-day opportunities to sell the Pentagon view to Americans while posturing as independent experts and pundits on major news programs. Pentagon staffers also helped two Fox analysts write "their" OpEd for publication in The Wall Street Journal. The Pentagon called these folks "message force multipliers."

Selected by the Bush administration, and paid as pundits on the nightly news, some of these mouthpieces benefited financially, too, as defense industry lobbyists who had been granted special access to Pentagon players who influence the awarding of contracts. Cozy, all around.

The White House has been caught previously blurring the lines between PR and public manipulation in a variety of ways. By controlling access to the President and other top officials (in Jeff Gannon's case) and even paying journalists directly to promote administration viewpoints (Armstrong Williams was paid to promote No Child Left Behind), they've made a mockery of separation between government sources and journalistic outlets.

Take time to read the original investigative article; or go to the NY Times multimedia page dealing with the "generals' revolt" against Rumsfeld in 2006; or look at the insights of some truly independent Internet analysts.

Then let your news sources know how you feel about them.


Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand (NY Times)

How the Pentagon Spread Its Message (NY Times)

“MindWar”: The Bush Propaganda Machina (

A Guide to 'NYT' Scoop on Pentagon's Media Propaganda (Editor and Publisher)

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Bush Police State: Part VI

Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part VI, The government places itself above the law

Bush's ascent to dictatorship began with a violent attack upon vote re-counters in Florida. It was given an imprimatur of legitimacy with the disingenuous 5-4 decision of a conservative SCOTUS. A felonious, physical attack had the effect of stopping the court ordered recount of votes, a count that would have given the White House to Al Gore. Those events and the consolidation of near absolute power since are simply the most visible characteristics of a stunning coup d'etat consolidated quickly in the aftermath of what many believe to have been a false flag attack upon the US: 911! Since these events, the Bush path to a totalitarian dictatorship has been by the Nazi playbook and Herr Goebbels guidebook to Nazi propaganda. The Bush rise to power is nothing new. No one ever accused Nazis of being imaginative or innovative. The following is just another variation on a theme that Herr Hitler would have recognized.
  • A Stolen Election
  • A False-Flag Attack
  • A War Begun Upon a Pack of Lies
  • Rule by Decree
  • Suspension of Habeas Corpus
  • The Unitary Executive
  • Bush Becomes the 'State'
Our nation is now left with a stark choice: either force from office an illegitimate usurper or forever lose the Democratic Republic. By arrogating unto himself the powers of an absolute dictator, Bush has simply made it impossible to unseat him peaceably and, as Nancy Pelosi infamously declared: impeachment is off the table! Few, if any, peaceful options remain. If power can be seized in a coup d'etat, perhaps, it will be taken back as well.
But if a coup does not use warfare or a mass uprising to seize control, then where does it get the power to do so? "The short answer," Luttwak says, "is that the power will come from the state itself... A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder." 5 Normally, a coup does not seek to destroy the basic structure of the existing government, which is more typical of a revolution or a war for liberation. Instead, Luttwak explains, those undertaking a true coup d'etat "want to seize power within the present system, and [they] shall only stay in power if [they] embody some new status quo supported by those very forces which a revolution may seek to destroy." 6 (Emphasis in original.)In other words, the coup takes advantage of the governmental structure itself, as well as the bureaucratic nature of modern governments. There is an established hierarchy, an accepted chain of command, and standard procedures that are followed when instructions come down this pipeline. So long as the instructions come from the appropriate source or level of authority, they will almost always be followed even if from a new, and illegitimate, holder of that authority.Luttwak explains that a coup "operates by taking advantage of this machine-like behavior: during the coup because it uses parts of the state apparatus to seize the controlling levers; afterwards because the value of the 'levers' depends on the fact that the state is a machine." 7 Thus, by gaining control over a few carefully selected pivotal points of power within the government bureaucracy, the plotters of the coup can effectively gain control over the entire "machine" of state.During the presidential election, the key pivot points proved to be quite limited in number, not to mention patently obvious. The first was the state government of Florida, the second the US Supreme Court. But of course, every puppet needs a puppeteer. --John Dees, Coup 2K
Dees was among the pioneer 'whistle-blowers' of the election debacle in Florida which was followed by the infamous Bush v Gore
The Constitution assigns to the States the primary responsibility for determining the manner of selecting the Presidential electors. See Art. II, §1, cl. 2. When questions arise about the meaning of state laws, including election laws, it is our settled practice to accept the opinions of the highest courts of the States as providing the final answers. On rare occasions, however, either federal statutes or the Federal Constitution may require federal judicial intervention in state elections. This is not such an occasion.--Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer join, dissenting, Bush v Gore
Gore won the popular vote in 2000 and had not Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, Kennedy and O'Connor intervened, the nation would have been spared the tragic ascension of GWB to the White House. The justices acted just in time to prevent our really knowing the truth when it really counted, that is, who really should have gotten that state's Electoral votes. Antonin Scalia had said that continuing a recount of all the votes would be harmful to Bush.
Counting the votes would threaten irreparable harm to petitioner, and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to the legitimacy of his election. Count first, and rule upon legality afterwards, is not a recipe for producing election results that have the public acceptance democratic stability requires.

--Antonin Scalia
First of all --it was not the 'legality' of the election but the conduct of GOP partisans and brownshirts who cast doubt upon the process itself. Secondly, the candidate who gets the fewer number of votes is supposed to lose! Scalia forever stained the high court, disgraced his office and became a political tool. His tortured logic enabled a felonious coup d'etat. Americans are still paying the price.

Thus --Bush's coup d'etat was hardly a velvet revolution. It was, rather, a violent overthrow of legitimate government in which Bush 'brownshirts', paid thugs, and white coller criminals, were organized, paid, and trucked to Florida for the purpose of shutting down a legally mandated recount of all the votes.
In Florida, the Bush campaign quietly organized "rent-a-rioters" and flew them to Florida from all over the country. While disingenuously portraying the protests as "spontaneous grass-roots efforts," the Bush campaign sent special squads of GOP Congressional staffers who, in several instances, led violent attacks on Democratic observers, smashed windows, and tried to force their way into vote-counting rooms. This was not civil disobedience intended to show disagreement, but a concerted attack designed to threaten and intimidate. 38

Shortly after the election, the Bush campaign began a two-pronged program to import as many protesters into Florida as they could. The first prong was done openly: phone-trees reached out across the country to coax party loyalists to head down and fight Al Gore's "theft" of the election. This much is standard political fare. What was unusual was the more discreet second prong.

Under the direction of House Republican Whip Tom DeLay (of Texas, mind you), staff members of GOP Congressmen were quietly approached with offers of all-expenses-paid trips to Florida, "all paid for by the Bush campaign." 39 In addition to staying in swanky beach-side hotels, part of their reward would be an exclusive Thanksgiving Day party in Ft. Lauderdale.

According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 200 Congressional staffers signed on, with many of them staying in Florida for over a week. "Once word leaked out," said one GOP operative, "everybody wanted in." 40

Of course, the law prohibits Congressional staffers from participating in partisan political activities on "company" time. However, the rules allow them to "go on vacation" or declare themselves on "temporary leave" at a moment's notice. Their marching orders came from their bosses, but officially they were simply "private citizens" (albeit on the Bush campaign's tab).

Once on the scene, high-level coordination was done as secretly as possible. The Wall Street Journal described the "air of mystery to the operation," noting that daily instructions were issued in the form anonymous memos slipped under hotel-room doors late at night. One aide told the paper, "To tell the truth, nobody knows who is calling the shots." 41

On the streets, operations were coordinated from a motor home decorated with Bush-Cheney campaign shwag, like many others parked nearby. The mobile command center was kept a block or so away from the center of the protests, far enough to lay low but close enough for instant access. The protesters were brought to the scene in specially rented busses. Party operatives used bullhorns to shout inflammatory rhetoric, passed out t-shirts and leaflets, and generally kept things heated.

The first GOP riot occurred in Miami on November 22. 42 In command were some 75 members of the "Congress Gang," who floated in and out of the mobile home a block away where the votes were being counted.

NY Rep. John Sweeney, who was observing the recount, gave the order to "shut it down." 43 Within minutes, an angry mob filled the halls of the government building, screaming threats with their fists in the air. Leading the mob, clearly visible in news footage and photographs, were a number of the staffers in the "Congress Gang."

Panicked sheriff's deputies tried to close the doors leading to the counting area. The protesters responded by pounding on the doors and the large window looking in on the besieged canvassers. The glass bulged under the strain.

Joe Geller, the chairman of the local Democratic Party, decided wisdom was the better part of valor. He shoved some papers and a standard blank sample ballot into his brief case and tried to get away. Someone shouted that Geller was "stealing a ballot," and the mob leapt into hot pursuit. Once on the street, Geller was surrounded. He was beaten and kicked as he tried to shield himself with his arms. Finally, local police waded into the crowd and after a considerable struggle managed to extract Geller in one piece. 44

Back inside, other Democrats were attacked. Party spokesman Luis Rosero was shoved, punched and kicked when cornered outside the election supervisor's office. Even Congressman Peter Deutsch was "manhandled." Then word came that 1,000 Cuban-Americans were on their way to join the fray, egged on by the most influential Spanish-language radio station, Radio Mambi.

To stave off a full-fledged lynching, the canvassing board announced the counting would be re-opened to the public. Sheriff's deputies had to escort the three terrified counters back into the public recount area. Meanwhile, the local election board held a private meeting in more secure quarters. When they emerged, they announced exactly what the mob wanted: the recount would be stopped altogether, and the original results from Nov. 7 would be certified. The Miami-Dade election supervisor, David Leahy, initially admitted that the attacks had played a part in their decision to stop the count. "If what I'd envisioned worked out," he said at the time, "and there were no objections, we'd be up there now counting." 45 Later, he denied the protests had been a factor.

With their work done in Miami, the motor home and its troops moved on to Broward County, where they were joined by about 20 other Congressional staffers who were already on the scene. The promised Cuban-American activists also arrived, many of whom were members of the Cuban American National Foundation, a right-wing organization with documented ties to the CIA.

Security was much heavier in Broward, in part because of the Miami riot that had just been broadcast live on CNN. As a result, the protests there were extremely vocal and sometimes tense but, judging from the available press reports at least, no one was physically assaulted. However, the local Democratic Party Headquarters was surrounded and at one point a brick was thrown through its window.

Other "Congress Gang" platoons were sent to Fort Lauderdale, and some of the same Congressional staffers were also involved in a tense confrontation with Democratic volunteers in West Palm Beach. The group, which included Rev. Al Sharpton, was cornered while trying to retrieve some campaign signs. Things got quite tense and heated words were exchanged, but no violence erupted.

In the end, the secret GOP effort was so successful that at many demonstrations, GOP protesters outnumbered Democratic supporters 10 to one.

When it was all over, the Republican rent-a-rioters got their lavish Thanksgiving Day party, with plenty of free food and booze. Wayne Newton crooned "Danke Schoen" for the crowd, until screaming female fans stormed the stage. "Danke schoen, darling, danke schoen. Save those lies, darling, don't explain...." 46 But the real highlight of the evening was a conference call from Bush and Cheney. Instead of chastising the goon squad for their violent tactics, the candidates thanked them for their work. They even cracked mocking jokes about their rivals. 47

The judicious application of "spontaneous" protests and mob violence has always been a key feature of CIA destabilization. Such operations help put political pressure on the target, make for good TV propaganda, and are sometimes used to intentionally provoke a crackdown that is then widely publicized, often through journalists on the Agency payroll.

For example, the CIA's plan for the 1953 coup in Iran called for "stage[d] political demonstrations under religious cover," to include "staged attacks" on Muslim religious leaders which would then be falsely blamed on the Mossadegh government. 48

In their Chilean operations against Salvador Allende during the early '70s, one of the CIA's greatest propaganda victories was "The March of Empty Pots." Thousands of women marched through the streets banging empty cooking pots with ladles to protest food shortages. In reality, the shortages were artificially induced through a secret campaign of economic sabotage coordinated by the CIA along with ITT, Anaconda Copper and other multinationals. Many of the marching "housewives" were actually the spouses of wealthy anti-Allende partisans who were suffering little. Armed fascist gangs backed by the CIA marched along with the women, then provoked violent clashes with the police. Stories of police "attacking women with empty pots" flooded the world press. Dozens of other protests were organized by CIA front groups in order to artificially escalate tensions and portray Allende as having little support or control. 49

In 1990, during Bulgaria's first post-Communist elections, professional agitators, backed by millions in covert financing from the US, organized massive street protests that ultimately succeeded in unseating the duly elected government. Even though the renamed Communist party had won the overwhelming majority in voting which western observers on the scene widely agreed had been fair, the US (through the CIA) used the mobs to intimidate and ultimately hound officials from office. 50

Not coincidentally, one of the senior members of the Bush administration who coordinated the Bulgarian action was none other than James Baker – the man who spearheaded the Bush campaign's post-election response to Gore's challenges in Florida. 51

--John Dees, Coup 2K"Spontaneous" Mob Violence
In the aftermath of coup 2k Bush would opine: 'this would be a whole lot easier if this were a dictatorship!' In the aftermath of 911, Bush would issue yet another example of what passes for wit among GOP conspirators and traitors: "Lucky me, I just hit the trifecta!" In fact, his regime had begun working on an attack and invasion of Iraq eight months before 911. [See: Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq]. Dick Cheney, likewise, had already formed and convened his National Energy Policy Development Group in which the rich oil fields of the Middle East were carved up among the robber barons of big oil. [See Enron: What Cheney Knew; also: John Dean: GAO's Final Energy Task Force Report Reveals that the Vice President Made A False Statement to Congress; Task Force Map of Iraq Oil Fields] At some point, the Bush administration anticipated the opposition to a war about which he lied: Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction nor had he ties to Bin Laden --a near mythical creation of al Qaeda, itself a creation of the American CIA. Like all incipient dictatorships, Bushco would find it expedient to use against US citizens measures it claimed would be directed only at 'terrorists'. Here's the 'gotcha': a 'terrorist' is whatever and whomever Bush says is a 'terrorist'. Again --Bush would find himself at odds with a 'goddamned piece of paper'.
The Constitution forbids the government from arresting and holding people in the United States without "due process of law." Nonetheless, Bush has claimed the power as commander in chief to designate people as "enemy combatants" and imprison them indefinitely without filing charges.In 2002, US citizen Jose Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and held in military brigs for nearly three years. Civil libertarians said that was unconstitutional. His case had been heading toward the Supreme Court; the administration recently brought criminal charges against him, thereby thwarting a clear ruling on the issue.In the past, Congress has ratified treaties pledging that the United States and its agents will not use torture or inhumane treatment against captives. Once ratified, treaties become part of American law, according to the Constitution.But before this week, the White House maintained that the laws and treaties did not bind the president in handling terrorist leaders. White House lawyers wrote memos that appeared to justify the use of extreme measures - which critics called torture - in interrogating suspected terrorists. Civil libertarians say the latest revelations add to their frustration with the Bush administration. "If we are a nation of laws, then the president must be bound by the rule of law," said Lisa Graves, senior counsel at the ACLU in Washington.-- '78 Law Sought to Close Spy Loophole, David G. Savage, The Los Angeles Times
It was all entirely too convenient for a known liar (called 'shiftless' by Ronald Reagan) , a man who had stated that not only was the Constitution a 'goddamned piece of paper', 'this would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship!'.
Washington - In 1978, Congress thought it had closed a loophole in the law when it passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The loophole concerned secret spying authorized by the president on grounds of national security.

On Friday, many in Washington were surprised to learn that despite the 1978 law, President Bush and his advisors had claimed the power to authorize secret spying within the United States.

The New York Times reported that Bush had authorized the National Security Agency to listen in on the phone calls of thousands of people in this country without getting permission from a court. Bush's lawyers maintained that the president had the inherent authority as commander in chief to protect national security through secret spying. The account was confirmed by the Los Angeles Times.--A President Above the Law
A government that robs you of the right to privacy can likewise arrest you in secret, deny you Due Process of Law, Habeas Corpus, the right to legal counsel, the right to make a phone call. In short, Bush has arrogated unto himself and by extension his toadies in the 'administration', the absolute powers of a police state.
The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.--US Constitution
Bush simply decreed that Habeas Corpus be suspended, though there is no rebellion nor is there an invasion and, in any case, the power to suspend Habeas Corpus, is not consigned by the Constitution to the 'President' whose only sworn duty is to uphold and defend the Constitution. 911 was not an invasion even if it had not been an inside job. But there is, in any case, no evidence to support Bush's absurd fairy tale about '19 arab hijackers' and, even if it were true, it hardly amounted to an invasion. FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that the FBI had no evidence to link the 19 'Muslim men' who have apparently disappeared --neither on the autopsy list or the original 'official flight manifests'. In speech to the Common Wealth Club in San Francisco on April 19, 2003, Mueller stated that the purported hijackers 'left no paper trial'. "In our investigation", he said: "we have not uncovered a single piece of paper - either here in the United States or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere - that mentioned any aspect of the Sept. 11 plot." That's because the plot to pull off 911 originated inside the White House. There is enough probable cause right now to indict Bush and Cheney on that very charge. An event all but forgotten now, overshadowed by the calamitous war against Iraq and the economic ruin brought upon the nation by the Bush administration, had the effect of bullying Congress and the media just as Congress had stalled key portions of Bush's Patriot Act. As the the following sequence of videos from the History Channel and CBS News, the FBI has been implicated in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Terrorist Act Was an Inside Job

The anthrax attacks occurred over the course of several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001. Anthrax spores in letters mailed to several news organizations and two Democratic U.S. Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, killed five people and infected 17 others. The crime --perpetrated by the government of the US on its own citizens --remains unsolved. A government that wages war upon its own citizens is guilty of high treason!

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.