Disclaimer: This site is *not* affiliated with AIPAC, Ahmed Chalabi, K Street, ClearChannel, or Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, NJ. In case you were curious. Full disclosure: I have a "long Apple position" and therefore I have an Apple bias.
If you want to see the weird 1970s documentary "Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood," which followed HST and Ralph Steadman around for a while, check it out here. Thompson gets pissed off with the kinda-fanboy treatment he gets from the Brit producer...
Mick O'Regan: Could I take you back to September 11th. What I'd really like to know is your reactions. And I know you said you were writing a sports column for ESPN when the planes hit the towers, but could I get you to tell that story of when you found out about it and what you were doing and what your reaction was?
Hunter S. Thompson: I had in fact just finished a sports column for ESPN. Here it is: "It was just after dawn in Woody Creek, Colorado when the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City on Tuesday morning. And as usual I was writing about sports. But not for long. Football suddenly seemed irrelevant compared to the scenes of destruction and other devastation coming out of New York on TV."
Mick O'Regan: You went on to say in that article, which I have in front of me, that "even ESPN was broadcasting war news. It was the worst disaster in the history of the United States." Do you think that the event completely transformed the way in which Americans see themselves and their own vulnerability?
Hunter S. Thompson: No, the event by itself wouldn't have done that. But it was the way the Administration was able to use that event. Even use it as a springboard for everything they wanted to do. And that might tell you something. I remember when I was writing that column you sort of wonder when something like that happens, Well who stands to benefit? Who had the opportunity and the motive? You just kind of look at these basic things, and I don?t know if I want to go into this on worldwide radio here, but ...
Mick O'Regan: You may as well.
Hunter S. Thompson: All right. Well I saw that the US government was going to benefit, and the White House people, the republican administration to take the mind of the public off of the crashing economy. Now you want to keep in mind that every time a person named Bush gets into office, the nation goes into a drastic recession they call it.
Mick O'Regan: It seems a very long bow to me, but are you sort of suggesting that this worked in the favour of the Bush Administration?
Hunter S. Thompson: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I have spent enough time on the inside of, well in the White House and you know, campaigns and I've known enough people who do these things, think this way, to know that the public version of the news or whatever event, is never really what happened.
The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now -- with somebody -- and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.
It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. Osama bin Laden may be a primitive "figurehead" -- or even dead, for all we know -- but whoever put those All-American jet planes loaded with All-American fuel into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon did it with chilling precision and accuracy. The second one was a dead-on bullseye. Straight into the middle of the skyscraper.
Nothing -- even George Bush's $350 billion "Star Wars" missile defense system -- could have prevented Tuesday's attack, and it cost next to nothing to pull off. Fewer than 20 unarmed Suicide soldiers from some apparently primitive country somewhere on the other side of the world took out the World Trade Center and half the Pentagon with three quick and costless strikes on one day. The efficiency of it was terrifying.
We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.
This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed -- for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now. He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why. If the guilty won't hold up their hands and confess, he and the Generals will ferret them out by force.
Good luck. He is in for a profoundly difficult job -- armed as he is with no credible Military Intelligence, no witnesses and only the ghost of Bin Laden to blame for the tragedy.
OK. It is 24 hours later now, and we are not getting much information about the Five Ws of this thing.
The numbers out of the Pentagon are baffling, as if Military Censorship has already been imposed on the media. It is ominous. The only news on TV comes from weeping victims and ignorant speculators.
The lid is on. Loose Lips Sink Ships. Don't say anything that might give aid to The Enemy.
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government
Creating Secret Laws
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders
Duly noted. It was important to get this on the record, even if the mainstream Dems don't care. It's all very well cited and certainly worthy of any politician to stand on.
In any case, you could campaign against all of these articles, in talking-point form. They're quite well-worded, and I have to hand it to the clever wordsmiths that put this beast together.
Unfortunately, in our system of government the actual impeachment system is a mess - and there's really very little way for the legislative branch to chip away at patently awful leaders.
On the other hand, the DFL-controlled Minnesota Senate blocked Lt. Gov. Molnau's confirmation as Transportation Commissioner. So you've got a bit more chutzpah around these parts.
George Soros: Balkans cocaine trafficking sponsored by OSI-promoted local Albanian warlord types? Sure, who cares... WayneMadsenReport.com:
June 3, 2008 -- Soros' destabilization of the Balkans: Creating a haven for drug trafficking
George Soros, the multi-billionaire funder of progressive causes, has made no secret of his desire for drug legalization. The wish has made Soros a darling for not only progressives but libertarians as well. However, according to FBI sources, Soros' support for the destabilization of the Balkans, particularly the cause of Kosovo's independence, has enabled drug trafficking in the region to increase exponentially. FBI intercepts of Turkish and Albanian intercepts have shown collusion between certain Western "pro-democracy" non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Kosovo drug trade.
Soros' Open Society Institute (OSI) and his stewardship of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty helped elevate, with the help of then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader Hashim Thaci from terrorist thug and drug and arms smuggler to Prime Minister of an independent Kosovo. Kosovo, along with Israel and Greek Cyprus, now plays host to organized criminal syndicates from around the world, particularly elements of the Russian-Israeli mafia and its affiliates.
Independent Kosovo now serves as an important hub for the distribution of heroin from Afghanistan and cocaine from Colombia (mostly via Guinea-Bissau in West Africa). Afghanistan and Colombia are both surrogates of the United States and examples of the marquis "democratization" pushed by OSI and Freedom House and the International Crisis Group, other contrivances funded by Soros. The Albanian government, also enmeshed in drug smuggling, provides important diplomatic and political cover for the Kosovo criminal syndicates.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A comparative analysis of dream images suggests how deeply the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks impacted Americans' emotions, researchers report.
Everyone experienced some sort of trauma, or at least emotional arousal by these events, Dr. Ernest Hartmann told Reuters Health. "We found, surprisingly, even dreams could pick this up," said Hartmann, of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.
Hartmann and colleagues assessed the dreams of 11 men and 33 women living outside of Manhattan when the attacks occurred. The participants, who ranged in age from 22 to 70 years, had been recording their dreams for years, and none had relatives or friends who died in the attacks, the investigators note in the journal Sleep.
According to the results, post-9/11 dreams showed more intense images, which is "very consistent with findings in people who have experienced trauma of various kinds," Hartmann said in a statement. "The idea is that that we all experienced at least some trauma on 9/11."
The dreams after 9/11, however, did not contain more images of airplanes or tall buildings. Actually, none of the recorded dreams involved airplanes flying into towers or anything remotely close to that, even though all subjects had seen these images on TV. Hartmann suggests this is because a dream is a creation, not a replay. Dreams make new connections that integrate new material into existing memory, he said. [more on it]
I am cooped up with a cold. I have very little productive to do right now, it's Saturday and I am fidgety. Therefore it is time to listen to some techno and post links like a good little February recluse.
How the spooks took over the news: In his controversial new book, Nick Davies argues that shadowy intelligence agencies are pumping out black propaganda to manipulate public opinion – and that the media simply swallow it wholesale, Monday, 11 February 2008
On the morning of 9 February 2004, The New York Times carried an exclusive and alarming story. The paper's Baghdad correspondent, Dexter Filkins, reported that US officials had obtained a 17-page letter, believed to have been written by the notorious terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi to the "inner circle" of al-Qa'ida's leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war.
The letter argued that al-Qa'ida, which is a Sunni network, should attack the Shia population of Iraq: "It is the only way to prolong the duration of the fight between the infidels and us. If we succeed in dragging them into a sectarian war, this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis."......
...There is very good reason to believe that that letter was a fake – and a significant one because there is equally good reason to believe that it was one product among many from a new machinery of propaganda which has been created by the United States and its allies since the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it.
The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. I've spent the last two years researching a book about falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media.
The "Zarqawi letter" which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004 was one of a sequence of highly suspect documents which were said to have been written either by or to Zarqawi and which were fed into news media.
This material is being generated, in part, by intelligence agencies who continue to work without effective oversight; and also by a new and essentially benign structure of "strategic communications" which was originally designed by doves in the Pentagon and Nato who wanted to use subtle and non-violent tactics to deal with Islamist terrorism but whose efforts are poorly regulated and badly supervised with the result that some of its practitioners are breaking loose and engaging in the black arts of propaganda.
.......Some of this comes from freelance political agitators. It was an Iranian opposition group, for example, which was behind the story that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was jailing people for texting each other jokes about him. And notoriously it was Iraqi exiles who supplied the global media with a dirty stream of disinformation about Saddam Hussein.
But clearly a great deal of this carries the fingerprints of officialdom. The Pentagon has now designated "information operations" as its fifth "core competency" alongside land, sea, air and special forces. Since October 2006, every brigade, division and corps in the US military has had its own "psyop" element producing output for local media. This military activity is linked to the State Department's campaign of "public diplomacy" which includes funding radio stations and news websites. In Britain, the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations in the Ministry of Defence works with specialists from 15 UK psyops, based at the Defence Intelligence and Security School at Chicksands in Bedfordshire.
Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.
According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."
Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?
Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."
The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.
Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.
U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.
According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.
A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.
What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?
The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law......
The intelligence community has begun contemplating how to use Second Life and other such communities as platforms for cyber weapons that could be used against terrorists or enemies, intelligence officials said.
There is some kind of thing getting floated about the Obama/Rashid Khalidi connection. This is goofy stuff, but there is some rightwing stuff along these lines, @ NRO , Commentary (the arch-retreat of grouches). More from Larry Johnson, whom I disagreed with (see comments)
Welcome to free Kosovo and its American Military Masters! I got linked off a blog in Portugal run by one Antonia Maria Cerveira Pinto O António Maria. Pretty awesome. He was noting how Kosovo is dominated by the U.S., and here is teh gigantic and very geopolitically key Camp Bondsteel.
Some times 'the back of the room' starts only the third row back...
Indeed, tonight PBS gave us a documentary on Nader, that pariah of exclusion himself, and elucidated clearly how much support he has had, and lost, and retained, due to his own earnestness. And he's in the second row. Maybe.
I'm all for fact-based communities, and those whom while not necessarily waiting for such clarity of hindsight still admirably toe the tinfoil hat line of discretion most carefully. There is then the rest. Discretion and restraint are admirable qualities but do dampen much reasonable public discourse when taken even the slightest bit beyond their due. The tin foil hat line and the nominal line define between them a broad segment in my view.
I appreciate this site. I just discovered it thanks to your comment on the agonist, and have hardly backread through it all, but have whiffread enough to know it fills a specific bill for me; neither repelled or attracted by issues with magnitudes of audacity or circuitous complexities, or bullhorning simplistic adrenalin-charged dogmas of kneejerk reactionary bellicosity, but rather exercising the freedoms of exploration and discovery in open-eyed fashion for it's own sake. I appreciate this site because if I'm somehow utterly clueless and totally wrong then at least I am fairly sure at least I'll be allowed the above concession. *koff*
I respect all the places I've blogged and posted, but for me, a writing environment is a large factor, and each makes their own difference.
I am here then, with my own words and views, spewed through my own take on your venue as it is (and grows).
With regard to my views on drugs, see http://zuma.vip.warped.com/z/ which encompasses south america and beyond (as most issues, in my view, are not disconnected topical entities).
With regard to my view on dissent, see my comments to LJ's original agonist post on the homegrown terrorism prevention act.
With regard to 9-11, the third topic I tagged this post with when I began, there are no urls of my own to proffer; I haven't said jack yet about it. It's one of those things one needn't to directly. I've posted links to '9-11 Mysteries', and Loose Change, et al, and one says much in doing simply that, and there's little to add; -I like the effectiveness of the simplicity of the title '9-11 Mysteries'...
'Freedoms of exploration and discovery in open-eyed fashion' I said. Information, like numbers, is an intrinsic thing. Innate to reality and fundamental to our view, the truth of things is ever approximated at, but it has it's own ironclad testimony of itself in the very next moment: like the butterfly effect, what actually has occurred is what everything that followed was predicated upon. A butterfly flapping it's wings in Chicago may very well affect the weather in China, and it is a trifle difficult to reverse-engineer China's weather to discern some particular butterfly in Chicago, but the chain of cause and effect between the two are still existent to be known...
...Light leaves the planet every day, I like to say, taking with it an external record... etc...
Disinformation is something else entirely. Deliberate disinformation is rampant these days, and more despicable than ever. Sites like Media Matters have begun to take great heat for their efforts.
The levels of BS have exponentially increased so much that we are far from where I'd even begin to speak to the public at large with any comfort level -I am after all, an aging hippie artist, quite homesick in this futureless blot of a future, and quite to the left of the left of those on the left -and yet with that given, I can hardly afford to wait things out and say nothing...
I can speak freely, reasonably here (civilly of course -all the nominal norms of discretion) and that means everything to me.
Even if this is my only post ever here, I am glad for the opportunity to have said what little I have (and in under 9,000 words at that, mind you).
I adamantly believe there are no secrets, and that which is hidden shall be known to be hidden. I have said these 2 things over and over and over.
Personally, that's why I draw (& write); to uncover my own unknown.
I like to know what I'm editing...
A lot of stuff piled up on my computer over the last couple weeks. So here it is in a highly messy, condensed and frankly ugly fashion. Also I have to say, my Ecto is having a little trouble making clean links. This post is one of the more badly formatted ones I think I've ever made. *bow*
"[Bin Laden supposedly confessed] to the Qaeda September [attack] to the two towers in New York [claiming to be] the author of the attack of the 11, while all the [intelligence services] of America and Europe ... now know well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized from the CIA American and the Mossad with the aid of the Zionist world in order to put under accusation the Arabic Countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part ... in Iraq [and] Afghanistan."
Mark Baard's Parallel Normal is a new one: World food supply will be rooted in India’s troubled soil. Apparently: "Watching those who watch the watchers: I am a technology reporter tracking the work of conspiracy and esoteric researchers, with an emphasis on brain-chipping, psyops, alternate realities and the apparatus of globalism." Sounds like a good idea there. Nifty site really.
Liberty Dollars wiped out. Take that, alternate currency! Federal Reserve again rules supreme in money printing department!!!1!
We should know better by now. We should know that They’re just not going to let the thing go off the rails and crash in a single, violent event. The purpose of the American Corporate State is to externalize the costs of unthinkable plunder onto the backs of people who are mostly too tired, dumb and angry to understand anything that’s happening to them. Americans, in general, are content to flush more of their children’s futures down the gurgler and thank Christ for their big screen TVs. Anyone who’s not behind the plan to save the criminal gangs on Wall Street must be with Bin Laden.
(9-24-07) This is the long and broad view of what Bernanke is doing with the Fed. He is simply inheriting and following the script, as it were, from the Greenspan Fed. The Greenspan Fed has been roundly criticized for reducing interest rates, thus creating a lot of cheap money, which has fueled speculative bubbles worldwide. Then there are the reasons why nobody applauds him because it’s an area that no one dares talk about…
To defend himself, Greenspan says that he was simply lowering rates to prevent the onset of a recession in 2001 and 2002. On the surface, it makes sense to say that, because clearly the economy was headed to recession by the end of 2001.
The recession was being driven by two factors. One of those factors gets overlooked because it’s not politically convenient – the collapse in the speculative bubble in equities beginning in March of 2000, which was a long unwinding process into the autumn of 2002, wherein equity prices fell consistently, combined with the installation of a fiscally reckless regime – i.e., a Bush Cheney Regime – and the reinstitution of Bushonomics, which we refer to as Bushonomics II, which had the effect of depleting all of the $158-billion fiscal surplus that the Bush Cheney Regime inherited from its fiscally prudent predecessor.
On the day the Bush Cheney Regime came to power (January 20, 2001), it inherited from its successor a $158-billion federal surplus. It had all of that surplus diminished, and indeed generated a deficit, by the end of its first year in power, which is part and parcel, as we’ve pointed out before, of Bushonomics.
So what are the differences between the terms referred to as recession and inflation? Inflation and inflationary periods invariably precede recessions.
The economic boom/bust cycle – that the United States has always had and will always have as long as it follows Smithsonian capitalism – has effectively been turned on its ear by the Bush Cheney Regime. How? Through cheap money and easy liquidity -- by creating a series of speculative bubbles in asset prices whose intent is more political than economic, from the regime’s point of view.......
"Essentially, there is only one investigation – a very big one, an all-inclusive one... But I can tell you there are a lot of people involved, a lot of ranking officials, and a lot of illegal activities that include multi-billion-dollar drug-smuggling operations, black-market nuclear sales to terrorists and unsavory regimes, you name it... You can start from the AIPAC angle. You can start from the Plame case. You can start from my case. They all end up going to the same place, and they revolve around the same nucleus of people."
Boston artist Nick Rodrigues developed a cell phone box that you wear. Pretty awesome. Video here. Old news apparently, but sweet. The auto-loader harness that pops it onto your back is nice. Here is another booth made of fabric, not quite as nifty a construction.
By Ellen Nakashima Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 23, 2007; Page A01
Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers.
In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives.
Such requests run counter to the Justice Department's internal recommendation that federal prosecutors seek warrants based on probable cause to obtain precise location data in private areas. The requests and orders are sealed at the government's request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied.
The issue is taking on greater relevance as wireless carriers are racing to offer sleek services that allow cellphone users to know with the touch of a button where their friends or families are. The companies are hoping to recoup investments they have made to meet a federal mandate to provide enhanced 911 (E911) location tracking. Sprint Nextel, for instance, boasts that its "loopt" service even sends an alert when a friend is near, "putting an end to missed connections in the mall, at the movies or around town."
With Verizon's Chaperone service, parents can set up a "geofence" around, say, a few city blocks and receive an automatic text message if their child, holding the cellphone, travels outside that area.
"Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air."
At this point I have to hand it to the so-called Tinfoil Hat crowd, but I can't remember if it was Stew Webb or Tom Flocco. One of these guys is hawking damper bags that can suppress all signal from the NSA scheme that's listening to your mic. For bonus points, here are some random paranoia links of the classic style, sure to entertain the Reynolds Wrap fans. So here are some fun links
I seriously have to roll my eyes at how the supposedly open-minded conspiracy crowd has already decided what goes. I mean it could have been holograms and space lasers. Not really very likely, but is it that much less likely than other widely accepted conspiracy theories? I find it funny that they are drawing up these rules against poor Killtown:
I saw Loose Change a week ago at the Riverview Theater and I was definitely impressed: they took out the dumber stuff about 9/11, and replaced idle speculation about media clips with quality interviews. The graphics are great, the music is good, (although I liked some of the old music more), and overall it was a much stronger film than Loose Change 2.
This is not a full review; I'll cough that up later. Suffice it to say, Loose Change is a lot more fun to watch in a packed theater.
This surfer dude apparently defeated string theory with a great and simple theory which places all subatomic particles on a 248-point structure dubbed E8. This is great because the theory can easily be proven: missing E8 particles should be discoverable:
Telegraph, U.K. Telegraph, U.K. - An out-of-work surfer with a Ph.D. in astrophysics has published a paper entitled An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything that has caught the attention of the scientific community as a possible explanation of the four basic forces of the cosmos. Physicists from Einstein and on have long sought a "theory of everything" but have been stymied by the inability to include gravity in a simple, workable approach.Garrett Lisi, 39, of Nevada, believes he has uncovered a model that not only incorporates gravity, but also requires no complex mathematics and relies on only one dimension of time and three of space, corresponding to the dimensions humans experience in daily life. Standard cosmological theories of the universe, especially string theory, require ten or more dimensions of space that are difficult to imagine.
The mathematics behind Lisi's model are based on a geometric structure known since the 19th century as E8. The structure of E8 consists of 248 points, and the formulas necessary to understand the interrelationships among these points were recently worked out in detail. Lisi believes all sub-atomic particles fit on these points and that the observed groupings of these particles correspond to defined sections of E8. His theory posits new sub-atomic particles that allow his theory to be tested, much like Einstein's General Theory of Relativity provided certain tests that could be determined in nature as a means of proving his theory.
Several prominent cosmologists have lauded Lisi's paper, though the bulk of the scientific community remains skeptical and cautious. Even Lisi cautions that his theory, while beautiful in construction, has many hurdles to overcome. If correct, the theory would not only overthrow the work of scientists for the past three or more decades, and upset the current Standard Theory, it would like the General Theory of Relativity be another major physics breakthrough that comes from an outsider and loner in the scientific community.
Lisi spends his time surfing and snowboarding, and conducts hiking guides for a living. Lisi's theory was first published in New Scientist. Popular notice of his theory has arisen because of an article published by the science editor of the U.K. Telegraph.
Obama has a really good technology plan, which supports net neutrality and other awesome ways to open the government to public participation via the Internets! WhiteHouse.gov having public comment threads for legislation. Awesome!! This alone is prolly enough to swing me over to Obama at this stage. VentureBeat » Exclusive: Barack Obama to name a “Chief Technology Officer”.
Some interesting stuff from The Agonist if you're interested in quality international affairs coverage. The "Hitler Comparison". On the one hand, Bush started killing people a lot faster than Hitler did. On the other hand, he doesn't really seem to throw his full lot in with it. But rationalized annihilation runs strong with both these figures, and the political movements they head definitely both have some fascist traits, which I won't elaborate on here.
In Chalmers Johnson's Nemesis he talked about how the U.S. is headed for bankruptcy because of 'military Keynsianism.' i.e. juicing the economy by pumping in the mil cash. But unlike regular keynsianism, where you quit adding so much money on the boom side, with military keynsianism it's a perpetual motion machine, with the consequent expanding of foreign wars.
the best solution is to tally up all the jobs salaried from the machine, and make a goal of no Net job loss, while splitting up and non-profitizing the corporate entities like Boeing. You convert the profit war jobs to non profit green energy institute jobs, preferably at a 1:1 ratio. The result is that all the whizbang stuff is devoted to finding new sustainable energy stuff, and therefore you would be able to capitalize on new tech methods and provide a legitimate, economically viable foundation for the future. (while avoiding the dislocation from mass firings and Falling Down Michael Douglas psychos running the streets.) All these salaries could still be paid straight outta debt like they are now, but at least produced widgets would be economically productive!
It's the red light hour folks, and FOX News Porn is there for you. (and now Fox Business Porn). What? Well basically they love to show tasty young strippers and whatnot, in an effort to maintain viewership among the vaunted Lecherous Old Men Who Hate Arabs niche.
For this entry, I come bearing more gifts than than a coal/oil/auto/baby seal poacher lobbyist meeting with Mitch McConnell. It's more of your favorite Fox fun! Yes, we at Brave New Films, after our Fox Attacks Decency video went over so well, used the remaining, 457,927 hours of smutty Fox coverage to embark on a more sober project.
It's called Fox News Porn!, and the video is hot (well, not as hot as Rush-Limbaugh-with-a-cornucopia-of-little-red-pills-in-the-red-light-district-of-Bangkok hot, but of ample degree). In fact, it was so risque, apparently, that Digg flagged it as porn (or could it be that they are in takeover talks with News Corp.?), YouTube makes you promise to be 18 and spam filters in emails across the land are working harder than Pat Robertson to justify his lusty-lipped love-in with Rudy Giuliani.
So let's go to the videotape (back up above)! And as a side note, we promise no "wide stances," prostitutes with the same name as your wife or acohohol-blamed, Congressional Page binges. Fair is fair, and the GOP has already staked their claim to this territory. We do, however, give you the video that over 167,000 peole watched in one day. Fox News Porn!
In a suit filed Tuesday in the Supreme Court of New York, Regan alleges that "a senior executive" at News Corp. asked her to lie to federal investigators about information she may have obtained about ex-New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik because it might do harm to former mayor Rudolph Giuliani's campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
(Let's not forget, "No new radios" Giuliani wanted to make this towering pile of grease America's Homeland Security chief.)
On a related note, the horrible Nancy Grace gets pissed off when the 'wrong' Paris Hilton clips run, and then apparently the control room staff veers off and starts playing clips of.. other stuff. Short but funny.
Note from HongPong: I have talked with Lukery and he told me a while ago that I could repost material from his various nifty and methodical blogs about the Sibel Edmonds case, which remains stuck mostly in a dormant state. Sibel just announced she was willing to get slammed for the gag order if a national network will air her case. Tellingly, no one wants to bother so far. All of this was posted on Lukery's blog Let Sibel Edmonds Speak a while ago.
Nice work Lukery. Also be sure to check out the ever-solid BradBlog.com for GOP voting machine hacking and other whistle-blower stuff.
Last week, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, announced that she was willing to tell everything that she knows if any of the major networks are willing to give her airtime, without airbrushing the essence of her case. Bradblog will have an update on the progress, or lack of it, next week.
Of course, Sibel would prefer to testify under oath in congress, but apparently our Democratic Congresscritters (I'm looking at you, Waxman) don't care about the treason, bribery, and corruption that has hijacked US foreign policy.
Meanwhile, last week we learnt that the judge in the AIPAC case has allowed subpoenas to be issued to 15 current and former high-level officials. Many of us are excited about the prospect of the trial - but Sibel assures us that the case, as it stands, is just the tip of the iceberg.
'AIPAC' is at the core of Sibel's case, and Sibel’s story needs to be heard - either in Congress, or in the media.
Those of you who have been following Sibel's case will be familiar with the American Turkish Council (ATC) - the 'mini-AIPAC' that (ostensibly) exists to promote Turkey's military interests in the US.
As it happens, the ATC is a creation of AIPAC (and other Israeli lobbying interests) - and there is significant overlap in the membership, goals and activities of both AIPAC and the ATC. This is perhaps not surprising given the long-standing tri-lateral military (and military 'defense' spending) relationship between the three countries. In fact, Sibel refers to AIPAC and the ATC as 'sister organizations.'
Not only were the ATC and AIPAC 'sister organizations,' they also had something else in common: there have been 'sister investigations' into both organizations. And of course, both investigations uncovered serious criminality at the highest levels of the US administration - Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.
Sibel described the overlap in this interview with Antiwar's Chris Deliso in 2005:
SE: Look, I think that that [the AIPAC investigation] ultimately involves more than just Israelis – I am talking about countries, not a single country here. Because despite however it may appear, this is not just a simple matter of state espionage. If (Patrick) Fitzgerald and his team keep pulling, really pulling, they are going to reel in much more than just a few guys spying for Israel.
CD: A monster, 600-pound catfish, huh? So the Turkish and Israeli investigations had some overlap?
SE: Essentially, there is only one investigation – a very big one, an all-inclusive one. Completely by chance, I, a lowly translator, stumbled over one piece of it.
But I can tell you there are a lot of people involved, a lot of ranking officials, and a lot of illegal activities that include multi-billion-dollar drug-smuggling operations, black-market nuclear sales to terrorists and unsavory regimes, you name it. And of course a lot of people from abroad are involved. It's massive. So to do this investigation, to really do it, they will have to look into everything.
CD: But you can start from anywhere –
SE: That's the beauty of it. You can start from the AIPAC angle. You can start from the Plame case. You can start from my case. They all end up going to the same place, and they revolve around the same nucleus of people. There may be a lot of them, but it is one group. And they are very dangerous for all of us.
In 2004, Knight Ridder's Warren Strobel and Jonathon Landay confirmed that the 'AIPAC case' was much more serious than anything that has seen the light of day so far:
"Several U.S. officials and law-enforcement sources said yesterday that the scope of the FBI probe of Pentagon intelligence activities appeared to go well beyond the Franklin matter.
FBI agents have briefed top White House, Pentagon and State Department officials on the probe. Based on those briefings, officials said, the bureau appears to be looking into other controversies that have roiled the Bush administration, some of which also touch Feith's office.
They include how the Iraqi National Congress, a former exile group backed by the Pentagon, allegedly received highly classified U.S. intelligence on Iran; the leaking of the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters; and the production of bogus documents suggesting that Iraq tried to buy uranium for nuclear weapons from the African country of Niger. Bush repeated the Niger claim in making the case for war against Iraq.
"The whole ball of wax" was how one U.S. official privy to the briefings described the inquiry."
Keep in mind that the FBI operation against AIPAC et al goes back to at least 1999 - so they were watching all of the relevant characters throughout this period. In fact, you'll note that Strobel refers to "the FBI probe of Pentagon intelligence activities" - apparently the Pentagon, particularly Doug Feith's Office of Special Plans, was itself the 'target' of the investigation.
Investigations shut down. What happened to that Pentagon investigation? Why aren't Doug Feith, Richard Perle and others in prison? I can only presume that this particular investigation was shut down, just like so many other investigations into these criminals.
In a recent interview Sibel described some cases that were shut down. The case referred to in this excerpt is apparently an Israeli counter-intelligence case:
"There are other cases we are not hearing about that I'm aware of that have to do with similar cases, maybe having to do with other countries. For example, again this is another relevant case, an outside case, the Larry Franklin case, with the espionage case that they pursued with AIPAC. And what the American public doesn’t know is the fact that there were other counter-intelligence operations within the FBI that obtained far more information not only limited to Mr. Franklin, that were similarly shut down in 2000 and 2001 because they ended up going to higher levels and involving maybe way too many people, US persons. I’m talking about individuals who are breaking the law, misusing the trust and abusing their power, and in some cases I would even say engaging in treason."
And here Sibel describes the same thing taking place within Turkish counter-intelligence:
Now the same thing was about to take place with Turkish counter-intelligence. In the main portion of the documented — wiretapped or paper — operations that I translated verbatim (not only for the Washington Field Office but also for the Chicago and New Jersey offices), they were obtained before 2001. If we were to put a date on it you’re looking at end of 1996 to 2001. Now, in 1998 and 1999, there were so many pieces of evidence of U.S. individuals’ involvement. We’re talking about people with official positions, whether they were in the State Department or the Pentagon or the U.S. Congress that forced the Justice Dept, and the good agents who did the right thing, they started a parallel investigation that targeted these individuals who were possibly committing acts of treason.
However, as I was told by first-source agents I was working with, this was put on hold in 1999 because President Clinton was then going through the Lewinsky scandal. After the current administration came into power and after I was working there, the agents were told to shut down.
Similar allegations Sibel isn't the only person who claims that investigations like this have been shut down. For example, in Kill The Messenger, ex-CIA agent Phil Giraldi says:
All of these people (Richard Perle, Doug Feith) have been investigated by the FBI at one point or another for passing secret information to Israel. In no cases, were any of them convicted. The prosecutions were dropped… in my opinion because of political pressure not to get into this kind of case that involves Israel and espionage.
Similarly, Laura Rozen and Jason Vest reported in Prospect:
"Since the Pollard case, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement sources have revealed to the Prospect that at least six sealed indictments have been issued against individuals for espionage on Israel's behalf. It's a testament to the unique relationship between the United States and Israel that those cases were never prosecuted; according to the same sources, both governments ultimately addressed them through diplomatic and intelligence channels rather than air the dirty laundry. A number of career Justice Department and intelligence officials who have worked on Israeli counterespionage told the Prospect of long-standing frustration among investigators and prosecutors who feel that cases that could have been made successfully against Israeli spies were never brought to trial, or that the investigations were shut down prematurely."
Sibel often makes the same point. The FBI agents in the field are doing a great job, however:
The people who made that decision (to shut down the investigation) were not the Justice Department or the FBI, and that’s what I try to emphasize all the time — they were pressured, they were forced by higher-up forces within the Pentagon and the State Department.
That is, the guilty parties at the Pentagon and State Dept have the power to stomp on investigations into their own illegal activities. And as Sibel says, these people were involved in criminal activity, not just simple state-based espionage.
"In fact, much of what Edmonds reportedly heard seemed to concern not state espionage but criminal activity. There was talk, she told investigators, of laundering the profits of large-scale drug deals and of selling classified military technologies to the highest bidder."
Once we understand that simple fact, this report from Washington Post makes more sense:
"Reports on the investigation have baffled foreign policy analysts and U.S. officials because the Bush administration and the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon already cooperate on intelligence matters and share policy views. Despite some rocky moments, the relationship has been among the United States' closest in both policy and intelligence sharing since Israel was founded almost six decades ago."
Current AIPAC case As I've demonstrated, the current 'AIPAC' case involving Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen receiving information from Larry Franklin barely scratches the surface of the underlying crimes that these investigations have yielded, and even this very limited case may never see the light of day. In an apparent greymail attempt, the defense has called 15 current and former government officials to testify - including Condi Rice, Douglas Feith, Stephen Hadley, Elliott Abrams and Richard Armitage. In fact, in Judge Ellis' opinion last week, he gave the admistration this offer ultimatum:
"The government's refusal to comply with a subpoena in these circumstances may result in dismissal or a lesser sanction"
Surely the administration won't refuse that offer ultimatum.
There was, however, one interesting piece of news in the judge's ruling last week. In footnote 8, page 7, Judge Ellis wrote
"The government does not object to the issuance of subpoenas to Franklin, Satterfield, Pollack, or Makovsky."
JTA, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, reported, without elaboration, that:
"The government did not raise objections to the four subpoenas for officials who were identified in the indictment."
If this is correct, then one of the mysteries of the case has apparently (nearly) been solved. In the original indictment, the unindicted co-conspirators were addressed using codewords. We now know that Ken Pollack was USGO-1, David Satterfield was USGO-2 but we didn't know the identities of two others: "DoD employee A" and "DoD employee B."
"DoD employee A" played the trivial, and quite possibly innocent, role of telling Rosen that Larry Franklin was an expert on Iran. On the other hand, "DoD employee B" was a willing participant in at least one espionage-related meeting with Rosen, Weissman and Franklin.
Michael Makovsky, one of Larry Franklin's co-workers at the OSP is apparently either "DoD employee A" or "DoD employee B." If he is "DoD employee B," why hasn't he been indicted?
One Remaining Mystery Given all this history, the one remaining mystery is how on earth this current 'AIPAC' trial has come as far as it has. Laura Rozen and Jason Vest reported:
This history (of shutting down investigations) had led to informed speculation that the FBI -- fearing the Franklin probe was heading toward the same silent end -- leaked the story to CBS to keep it in the public eye and give it a fighting chance.
Three and a half years later, it appears that the fight is over. Larry Franklin has pled guilty, but even if the AIPAC case goes forward, most of the underlying crimes, and most of the criminal perpetrators, will go unpunished.
One Last Chance Sibel has evidence of the underlying crimes. She knows who the criminals are. She wants to testify under oath in Congress but the spineless Democrats, particularly Henry Waxman, want her to keep quiet about these issues.
In an act of desperation, Sibel has bravely offered to tell all, at great personal (both legal and physical) risk, if one of the major networks will air her story. Given the history, Sibel's offer is the only chance we'll have to hear any of these remarkable allegations.
Waxman can be contacted in DC:(202)225-3976 and LA:323 651-1040. The toll free Capitol switchboard number is 800-828-0498. See if you can shame him into doing something.
The blog We Can Change The World has put together a list (with contact details) of journalists and media outlets that have (partially) covered Sibel's story in the past. If you contact those journalists, perhaps they'll be willing to at least write about Sibel's offer - which might put pressure on either Waxman or one of the networks to actually take up the offer.