Queue 'Featured stuff'

Lukery: Sibel Edmonds and the Untellable story of AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee)

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.
Source: http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/2007/11/sibel-edmonds-case-unte...
Nice work Lukery. Also be sure to check out the ever-solid BradBlog.com for GOP voting machine hacking and other whistle-blower stuff.

Please look at my special basic collection of stuff about the case too.Though indeed that area of this site could be much better.
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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.

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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.

As reported in Vanity Fair:

"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.

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cross-posted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak

(Email me if you want to be added to my Sibel email list. Subject: 'Sibel email list')

The compass points the wrong way

Ah shit: Sarkozy calls for UN-led 'new world order':

The United Nations should avail itself as an instrument for a "new world order of the 21st century," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday in his first address to the General Assembly. Sarkozy, who won the presidency this year on a strong reform platform to modernize France, urged the world body to embark on programmes ranging from equal wealth distribution to fighting corruption in his speech full of references to France's past revolutionary ideals.

Jacobin Commie! Yikes!! The Neo Con New World Order etc. w00000!!11!!!

An ugly scenario: World War III: What World War III May Look Like - by Philip Giraldi - a former Intelligence officer:

The United States uses a neutron-type bomb against the main Iranian nuclear research center at Natanz, which it had already bombed conventionally and destroyed. It vows to bomb again if Iran continues to resist. Iran is defiant and fires another wave of Silkworms at U.S. ships, sinking one. Suicide bombers hit U.S. targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China place their nuclear forces on high alert. Pakistani militants take over parliament, aided by radical elements in the army and the intelligence service. India launches a preemptive strike against the main Pakistani nuclear centers at Wah and Multan, where the country's arsenal is believed to be concentrated. Pakistan has hidden some of its nukes elsewhere, however, and is able to strike back by bombing New Delhi. World War III has begun.

Someone said recently that this stuff with total NSA surveillance and paramilitary Blackwater insanity looks like Baron Hausmann's reorganization of Paris: the creation of new forms and institutions that aren't really helpful against Islamic terrorists, but quite useful against violent domestic insurrections. Haussmann built those big Parisian avenues so that revolt organizers couldn't blockade parts of the city. Saddam took a page from this when rebuilding Baghdad...

Seems too true. And all the damn compasses keep pointing that way. The fascist shift, the real deal.......

Classic colonial powers in Iraq:

Here is the legal framework on that. More from Prof. Juan Cole:

A big feature of the literature on decolonization is the delight leaders such as Gamal Abdul Nasser and Ruhollah Khomeini took in abrogating laws bestowing 'extra-territoriality' on colonial personnel and even just civilians from the metropole, while in the subject country. Now extra-territoriality is back with a vengeance; and, of course, no colonial enterprise can be run without it. One can't have persons of the superior race hauled before a native judge; bad show, old boy, to let the wily oriental gentlemen get the upper hand that way.

The argument about whether Cheney/Bush went into Iraq over petroleum is not interesting. Of course they did, one way or another. The question is what exactly they thought they were doing about Iraq's petroleum. I would argue that they threw public resources (perhaps as much as two trillion dollars worth when all is said and done) to secure profits for private companies.

Fake terror threat manipulates Congress to further spy powers: The insanity continues as Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) claims that "bogus" intelligence claims were bandied about by the White House in order to get the extension of spy powers. Here you have a legislative example of the classic fear "staged war on terror" dynamic. It's all right here.

When did the dissing of generals start? Right wing noxious fumers like Jonah Goldberg have been ripping on generals since quite a while ago: VAPAHS!!!

Hence, in any case, conventional wisdom will always be happy if Republicans More Happy With the "Democratic" Congress than Democrats.

Dan Rather: the video producer, Mary Mapes, who got nailed by some kind of repackaged info bomb, thinks Dan Rather's big lawsuit is courageous. Mary Mapes: Courage for Dan Rather.

The Drugging of our children: Someone made a video, mainly about ADHD and pumping the kids' heads full of psychotropic social control agents. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's by someone named Gary Null (Google Video), who seems to have some other weird offbeat medical videos on Google Video.

AT&T going to tap the Internet & scan to catch your bad movies: Slashdot carried the story that:

Save the Internet writes "Ars Technica is reporting that the MPAA is trying to convince major ISPs to do content filtering. Now, merely wanting it is one thing, but the more important point is that 'AT&T has agreed to start filtering content at some mysterious point in the future.' We're left to wonder about the legal implications of that, but given that AT&T already has the ability to wiretap everything for the NSA, it was only a matter of time before they found a way to profit from it, too."

The chic TASER police state: Andrew Meyer was that kid at the Kerry rally tagged for no particular reason (though of course it's not safe to suggest elections are rigged in Florida, let alone mention secret societies!) Creepy embrace of tasers by the establishment media. Bill O'Reilly was really creepy about the whole thing. Emil Steiner in the WaPo says creepy stuff too. Protest for Tasered Student Continues. More creeps - a connection between ominous neocons and violence-loving O'Reilly: A marriage made in Hell. Media Matters - Beck said he "enjoy[s] watching" Taser videos; O'Reilly rolled out "Don't Taze me, bro!" bumper stickers. Stunning future ahead for Taser.

We have our own police state issues around here. PrisonPlanet has a new web page devoted to classic police brutality incidents. The new Pain Ray Gun "Silent Guardian" which basically is a microwave weapon that hurts a lot. Let me share a bit of probably-classified wisdom about microwave weapons: they are perfectly defeated by aluminum foil. Tinfoil hats at the ready!!! (Apparently, ISBN numbers are intellectual property nowadays too - no sneeking into your university bookstore to steal those serials and order 'em online! Yikes) Police Culture In the US. America’s Police Brutality Pandemic by Paul Craig Roberts. Veterans Disarmament Act To Bar Vets From Owning Guns if anyone says they have PTSD. Underground militia here we come, before the blue helmets sez ya crazy!

Great moments in Homeland Security: Because if you're not a terrorist, no problem (via here):

Zakariya Reed, a Toledo firefighter, said in an interview that he has been detained at least seven times at the Michigan border since fall 2006. Twice, he said, he was questioned by border officials about "politically charged" opinion pieces he had published in his local newspaper. The essays were critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East, he said. Once, during a secondary interview, he said, "they had them printed out on the table in front of me."

Better yet: Alex Jones guys discover the horrible! Denver Sheriff's Office Helps Private Companies Take Blood And Saliva At Checkpoints. Nice! Ex-FEMA Leader Says Feds May Overreact. Michael Brown expects crazy feds. Shit!

Blackwater looks like the TASER International Comintern: At least those shady bastards are on the map right now. They're gonna get pegged by their own Zapruder film, hopefully. Here's an overview video from Jeremy Scahill, who was really good recently on MSNBC Countdown:

Bad economic news & views: "Greenspan Working To Destroy US Economy", at least suddenly talking down with great shock the excesses of Wall Street. Greenspan's Oil Claim in Context - by Dilip Hiro and Tom Engelhardt. Really helpful.

Financial Times reported:

Fresh economic shocks on the scale of the current credit squeeze will occur if US house prices continue to fall, one of the country’s leading housing experts warned on Wednesday. Robert Shiller, a Yale university economist, told a US congressional panel that he feared “the collapse of home prices might turn out to be the most severe since the Great Depression”.

Fears of dollar collapse as Saudis take fright. The Saudis Call Bernanke's Bluff. Foreign reserve currencies quietly getting ditched. Krugman asked if this is the Wile E. Coyote moment (where he looks down and falls through the air). (On a side note, the NY Times has made its editorial stuff free again - and the old article archives going back many years. They want to sell more ads now. Sweet!)

Why the dollar is taking another beating now. First World Government junk bonds on the way. Suddenly, the British pound looks vulnerable. West ‘complicit’ in Third World corruption. How the Bush economy worked.

Looks like a good book: Naomi Klein's The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

On a more funny note: Chinese buy into conspiracy theory. yes the hokey tale of the Rothschilds has become a hit Chinese book, read by all apparatchiks, nomenclatura and bureaucrats of note!

If it's all coming down, the operative question might be: If Humans Are a Virus, Then What Is the End Game? Worth considering I suppose.

Discrediting the North American Union: Reason Magazine calls NAU agenda "a Xenophobic Fantasy". I wish. I found these weird MnDOT documents, there is a real something big out there. Of that much I am certain, and it has Minnesota manifestations.

How about those loose nukes: Simple Error My Ass, says Larry Johnson, a former CIA guy.

Mideast tensions: Israeli rightwing Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu claimed some credit around the suspicious Israeli airstrikes on Syria. It's worth noting that this was certainly a kind of hegemonic shifting, a frame bump in the discourse of international politics. War strikes become the norm, and Netanyahu is positioning himself to bask in the glory. Syria’s Illusory Nukes: More Propaganda.

This stupid prancing shit with Ahmadinejad: Grow Up. Hell yeah. Newt Gingrich: Bush Should Blow Up Iran's Natural Gas Insfrastructure. A good point:

Gingrich said: "I can't imagine why they put up with this. I mean, either General Petraeus is wrong and the military spokesman's wrong or the current policies we have are stunningly ineffective. ... We should finance the students. We should finance a Radio Free Iran. We should covertly sabotage the only gasoline refinery in the country. We should be prepared, once the gasoline refinery's down, to stop all of the gasoline tankers and communicate to the Iranian government, that, if they want to move equipment into Iran - into Iraq - they're gonna have to walk."

What was legal beagle Greta's response to this bloodthirsty, illegal and immoral suggestion?

She said, "That actually seems rather simple and easy to do." The sheer insanity of this is mind-boggling.

Gingrich's open call for sabotage of Iran's gas industry lends more credence to my theory that Iran's natural gas infrastructure, including recent construction on a pipeline to India, is the real target of the Bush administration, not the nuclear plants.

That's why they've over-hyped the nuclear issue. Seek the money to find the hidden agenda. The target is gas, not the atom.

Better yet! Think Progress: Durbin: Lieberman-Kyl Amendment Is ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Puts Us On Record’ In Support Of Iran War. Fuck he's right!!! It's another batshit insane blank check thing. Iran promises missiles will fly if US attacks. UK Times throws out major neocon propaganda, but still: Secret US air force team to perfect plan for Iran strike.

Senate Neocons Provoke Iran. Dress Rehearsal for War. For more,Informed Comment always good. Michael Scheuer, formerly known as CIA's "Anonymous," has one on Why Does Norman Podhoretz Hate America? about the "Islamofascist" bullshit. Quite good.

Iran's Ahmadinejad, public enemy No. 1? shorter: "Demonizing the Iranian president and making his visit to New York seem controversial are all part of the neoconservative push for yet another war" by Juan Cole.

The Russian oil company LUKoil gets West Qurna oilfield development. Good thing American soldiers liberated the contracts to such field by fiat of the gun. What it may cost to stay in Iraq (to secure Russian oil contracts, which may or may not become petrodollars).

Michael Ledeen vs Michael Ledeen: Sell arms to Iran vs. Iran is a warring enemy of America!! Neocons have all this evil innuendo about crushing the liberals, but they themselves are the treasonous bastards since they were selling weapons to Iran during the Iran-Contra Rockstar Geopolitical Party of All Time.

Old news: Greg Palast on Alex Jones in 2002 - old stuff but it mainly checked out. Venezuela, Florida elections, Saudis and Pakistanis in 9/11.

Last bits: The unmasking power of the freedom of speech and dialogue - on the Columbia academic situation. It's really ugly scene with Peter King on mosques, really bad: Extremism in religion is not against the law.

Interesting from dailykos: Hadrian's Forum: Catiline and Rome's "Housing Bubble"; Roman Progressives, Part 1.



A town uses social networking for the Edwards campaign. Sounds like Matt Bai wrote an interesting book on the blogger roots blasting against the Democratic Party establishment.

Some crazy freakin' conservatives have a song about how much God hates America right now. This kind of masochism is how they are starting debates now. WHY SHOULD GOD BLESS AMERICA?!? These people WANT to KNOW!

Ok. ok...

UK diplomat: "Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time," Afghan-Uzbek-Russian pathway = $$ & Power!

All is going well on my trip and I'm now in France. I have been scanning the UK media quite heavily over the last week and later I'll share some really funny material (including a huge media buzz over cannabis & the seven members of the new cabinet who smoked it in the past). But for now just consider this basically obvious, yet also rather shocking, situation. In many ways nothing is new. Dostum, one of the elemental warlords of the situation, the leader of the ethnic Uzbek contingent in Afghanistan and currently a top minister, has for decades based his entire regional political economy around the export of opium. What's new is an entrenched Russian angle going to St. Petersburg, as well as the ongoing, pointless fight around there (as compared to the Moghuls and other hordes that have failed to secure the area for their purposes).

On a different note I'd recommend, as always, checking out agonist.org. The proprietor of the site is visiting Mexico right now, but the writing from contributors is, as always, well selected and top-notch.

I am reposting this article in full because it is an accurately framed deep reference to the regional situation, and also provides a new angle on the Litvinienko assassination that I haven't yet heard. One of the top stories in the UK last week was of course the booting of four Russian diplomats from the embassy after Putin failed to extradite a former FSB security officer supposedly implicated in the murder. (Of course I don't know what happened to Litvinienko, but the whole thing has reeked of Public Relations / PSYOPS manipulation, and I just don't grok why the Russkies didn't put two bullets in their former spy's head, and instead chose a lurid, slow poison offering dramatic time for interviews &etc. Altho the blanket of CCTV cameras in London woulda made that pretty hard to do....)

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Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time, By Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
Mail on Sunday
Sunday July 22, 2007

This week the 64th British soldier to die in Afghanistan, Corporal Mike Gilyeat, was buried. All the right things were said about this brave soldier, just as, on current trends, they will be said about one or more of his colleagues who follow him next week.

The alarming escalation of the casualty rate among British soldiers in Afghanistan – up to ten per cent – led to discussion this week on whether it could be fairly compared to casualty rates in the Second World War.

But the key question is this: what are our servicemen dying for? There are glib answers to that: bringing democracy and development to Afghanistan, supporting the government of President Hamid Karzai in its attempt to establish order in the country, fighting the Taliban and preventing the further spread of radical Islam into Pakistan.

But do these answers stand up to close analysis?

There has been too easy an acceptance of the lazy notion that the war in Afghanistan is the 'good' war, while the war in Iraq is the 'bad' war, the blunder. The origins of this view are not irrational. There was a logic to attacking Afghanistan after 9/11.

Afghanistan was indeed the headquarters of Osama Bin Laden and his organisation, who had been installed and financed there by the CIA to fight the Soviets from 1979 until 1989. By comparison, the attack on Iraq – which was an enemy of Al Qaeda and no threat to us – was plainly irrational in terms of the official justification.

So the attack on Afghanistan has enjoyed a much greater sense of public legitimacy. But the operation to remove Bin Laden was one thing. Six years of occupation are clearly another.

Few seem to turn a hair at the officially expressed view that our occupation of Iraq may last for decades.
Lib Dem leader Menzies Campbell has declared, fatuously, that the Afghan war is 'winnable'.

Afghanistan was not militarily winnable by the British Empire at the height of its supremacy. It was not winnable by Darius or Alexander, by Shah, Tsar or Great Moghul. It could not be subdued by 240,000 Soviet troops. But what, precisely, are we trying to win?

In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards. Yet we are not trumpeting it. Why not?

The answer is this. The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.

The Taliban had reduced the opium crop to precisely nil. I would not advocate their methods for doing this, which involved lopping bits, often vital bits, off people. The Taliban were a bunch of mad and deeply unpleasant religious fanatics. But one of the things they were vehemently against was opium.

That is an inconvenient truth that our spin has managed to obscure. Nobody has denied the sincerity of the Taliban's crazy religious zeal, and they were as unlikely to sell you heroin as a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

They stamped out the opium trade, and impoverished and drove out the drug warlords whose warring and rapacity had ruined what was left of the country after the Soviet war.

That is about the only good thing you can say about the Taliban; there are plenty of very bad things to say about them. But their suppression of the opium trade and the drug barons is undeniable fact.

Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.

Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and 'value-added' operations.

It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.

How can this have happened, and on this scale? The answer is simple. The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.

When we attacked Afghanistan, America bombed from the air while the CIA paid, armed and equipped the dispirited warlord drug barons – especially those grouped in the Northern Alliance – to do the ground occupation. We bombed the Taliban and their allies into submission, while the warlords moved in to claim the spoils. Then we made them ministers.

President Karzai is a good man. He has never had an opponent killed, which may not sound like much but is highly unusual in this region and possibly unique in an Afghan leader. But nobody really believes he is running the country. He asked America to stop its recent bombing campaign in the south because it was leading to an increase in support for the Taliban. The United States simply ignored him. Above all, he has no control at all over the warlords among his ministers and governors, each of whom runs his own kingdom and whose primary concern is self-enrichment through heroin.

My knowledge of all this comes from my time as British Ambassador in neighbouring Uzbekistan from 2002 until 2004. I stood at the Friendship Bridge at Termez in 2003 and watched the Jeeps with blacked-out windows bringing the heroin through from Afghanistan, en route to Europe.

I watched the tankers of chemicals roaring into Afghanistan.

Yet I could not persuade my country to do anything about it. Alexander Litvinenko – the former agent of the KGB, now the FSB, who died in London last November after being poisoned with polonium 210 – had suffered the same frustration over the same topic.

There are a number of theories as to why Litvinenko had to flee Russia. The most popular blames his support for the theory that FSB agents planted bombs in Russian apartment blocks to stir up anti-Chechen feeling.

But the truth is that his discoveries about the heroin trade were what put his life in danger. Litvinenko was working for the KGB in St Petersburg in 2001 and 2002. He became concerned at the vast amounts of heroin coming from Afghanistan, in particular from the fiefdom of the (now) Head of the Afghan armed forces, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, in north and east Afghanistan.

Dostum is an Uzbek, and the heroin passes over the Friendship Bridge from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, where it is taken over by President Islam Karimov's people. It is then shipped up the railway line, in bales of cotton, to St Petersburg and Riga.

The heroin Jeeps run from General Dostum to President Karimov. The UK, United States and Germany have all invested large sums in donating the most sophisticated detection and screening equipment to the Uzbek customs centre at Termez to stop the heroin coming through.

But the convoys of Jeeps running between Dostum and Karimov are simply waved around the side of the facility.

Litvinenko uncovered the St Petersburg end and was stunned by the involvement of the city authorities, local police and security services at the most senior levels. He reported in detail to President Vladimir Putin. Putin is, of course, from St Petersburg, and the people Litvinenko named were among Putin's closest political allies. That is why Litvinenko, having miscalculated badly, had to flee Russia.

I had as little luck as Litvinenko in trying to get official action against this heroin trade. At the St Petersburg end he found those involved had the top protection. In Afghanistan, General Dostum is vital to Karzai's coalition, and to the West's pretence of a stable, democratic government.

Opium is produced all over Afghanistan, but especially in the north and north-east – Dostum's territory. Again, our Government's spin doctors have tried hard to obscure this fact and make out that the bulk of the heroin is produced in the tiny areas of the south under Taliban control. But these are the most desolate, infertile rocky areas. It is a physical impossibility to produce the bulk of the vast opium harvest there.

That General Dostum is head of the Afghan armed forces and Deputy Minister of Defence is in itself a symbol of the bankruptcy of our policy. Dostum is known for tying opponents to tank tracks and running them over. He crammed prisoners into metal containers in the searing sun, causing scores to die of heat and thirst.

Since we brought 'democracy' to Afghanistan, Dostum ordered an MP who annoyed him to be pinned down while he attacked him. The sad thing is that Dostum is probably not the worst of those comprising the Karzai government, or the biggest drug smuggler among them.

Our Afghan policy is still victim to Tony Blair's simplistic world view and his childish division of all conflicts into 'good guys' and 'bad guys'. The truth is that there are seldom any good guys among those vying for power in a country such as Afghanistan. To characterise the Karzai government as good guys is sheer nonsense.

Why then do we continue to send our soldiers to die in Afghanistan? Our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq is the greatest recruiting sergeant for Islamic militants. As the great diplomat, soldier and adventurer Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Alexander Burnes pointed out before his death in the First Afghan War in 1841, there is no point in a military campaign in Afghanistan as every time you beat them, you just swell their numbers. Our only real achievement to date is falling street prices for heroin in London.

Remember this article next time you hear a politician calling for more troops to go into Afghanistan. And when you hear of another brave British life wasted there, remember you can add to the casualty figures all the young lives ruined, made miserable or ended by heroin in the UK.

They, too, are casualties of our Afghan policy.

Presidential Candidate!!! w00000

Virginia Tech loose ends: Cho Seung-Hui's a Lone Gunman with a military-industrial family

 Rcn2 Images Oswald2It's been good to spend some time away from blogging. The massacre at Virginia Tech presented that ugly, insane side of America again. Everyone makes really familiar arguments, gun-control this-and-that, they crack down on the weird kids for a while.

The night before I was reading something of a JFK classic, The Man Who Knew Too Much, about US Army intel spook Richard Nagell (at left), who nearly stopped Lee Harvey Oswald. Nagell and Oswald spent years in the spy world of Tokyo and Mexico City at the same time. Oswald's bizarre past created the man in the Book Depository: even Lone Gunmen have a past, that's what we need to learn from Nagell.

 Images Bond2

When the news broke it was a "lone gunman" at VTech, there was almost palpable relief on the TV. Within hours, the conceptual frame of the murderous act was cemented in solitude. In strictly symbolic terms, Cho Seung-Hui was removed from his past and his connections, placed by the TV in some separate continuum that blew up colliding with our own. The indifferent bureaucracies, the gun distributors, all these factors that add up to such a heinous crime are flattened by the sledgehammer conclusion: he's a lone gunman. Whew!

 Oswald3 Sscard

 Morningstar P4Out of respect for the victims I refrained from posting much on such an ugly topic. But in any case, in the exactly 7 days since the shooting, we shouldn't already exclude any particular factors that might have compelled this individual to cross that terrible line. All the stuff in his life added up to the act, and the morally self-satisfied frame their arguments by tilting this basic reality.

Realistically I think poor Cho Seung-Hui was an example of something we're going to see more of: violently unstable, self-motivated "suicide by cop" type cases. Right now I generally believe the mainstream reported narrative is essentially the accurate one. Naturally Alex Jones sez he was a mind controlled assassin, and I would say if you are including Prozac and video games that might be fair.

However, comparing VTech to the template of Conspiracy Stuff ©, there are a couple doozies left unquestioned:

 Images April2007 200407Police1) Security Drills prior to incident: A classic of conspiracy theorists who believe Terror is Staged, carefully compartmentalized security drills offer Illuminati© teams the chance to stage 9/11, 7/7, etc. At VTech there were three bomb scares days before the massacre, many around the ROTC area. Police from all over combed the area just days prior. Likely, Cho Seung-Hui created the scares to wear out the security response: this is worthy to take note of. But conspiracists will claim the opposite.

2) SSRI anti-depressant: Like with VTech, A number of mass murders have been carried out by people on serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs. Including Columbine and others. SSRIs can also suddenly cause suicidal thinking.

3) Violent video game trance created by SSRIs? A little bit more strange. Basically, what is the real mental state of someone on a high Paxil dose who plays CounterStrike more than 20 hours a week? You could easily say that they could get detached from reality, basically trapped in a militaristic hall of mirrors.

4) Family ties to Military-industrial complex: His sister works for a huge shady contractor complex: honestly, if DynCorp can't create Manchurian Candidate assassins, I would be seriously disappointed. MK-ULTRA was not just a punchline...

WMR: April 20-22, 2007 -- Mass killer Cho Seung Hui's link to Iraq occupation and private military contractors. It has been discovered that Cho's older sister. identified as Cho Sun Kyung by South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper, works as a contractor for the State Department's Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.

Her employer is McNeil Technologies of Springfield, Virginia. McNeil, which was involved in prisoner interrogations for the Defense Department, is owned by Veritas Capital, a defense industry acquisitions firm that also owns two other Defense and US intelligence contractors, Dyncorp International and selected remnants of the former company of Mitchell Wade (of Duke Cunningham infamy), MZM Inc., renamed Athena Innovative Solutions, Inc. Cho Sun Kyung is three years older than her brother. While attending Princeton, Cho's sister served a stint as an intern at the US Embassy in Bangkok, where among other tasks, she studied the plight of Burmese migrant workers on the Thai-Burmese border.

5) Federal law enforcement orders stand down of VTech campus police? There are rumors that the feds held off a campus lockdown after the morning shooting. I don't know, but the campus administration's failure to email everyone was extremely dubious. If not "suspicious" it's at least "stunning" & fucked up!

6) Copycat trigger? The media response to all this matters a lot: they could trigger copycat killings. The government & media must be conferring on ways to prevent this...

7) Mysterious photo attributed to Cho Seung-Hui:

 Images April2007 190407Killer

Of course this might not be him: Hu and Hui aren't the same name. But it's weird.

8) CIA operations around Blacksburg, VA: Virginia has some shady government facilities so why not throw in all that stuff? CIA also recruited from VTech. In a triple-tinfoil-hat multiplier, a woman named Cathy O'Brien who claimed to be a CIA brainwashing subject claimed the area had "mind control" schemes in the classic pulp-fiction sense. There is some kind of mysterious underground facility nearby which may be involved with DARPA and energy.

This little cartoon was grim and weird but funny: Yikes!

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Ok that's a little nuts. Anyway see also: Daily Kos: I'm Asian-American. I fear for my life. Some material on here was from stuff he may have posted on MySpace beforehand.

I mean no disrespect to anyone harmed by the VTech massacre by posting material about some apparent loose ends around the case. Only by picking over each individual part of the story does the whole arc emerge – and people ought to be honest about that. My best regards to the families and friends suffering on that campus.

Some very bad videos: Ollie North's Constitution-cancelling plan "Sledgehammer"; Stolen Florida election; Trailer Park Boys; Ron Paul chews the Fed; 9/11 Dentist Poisoning in Shreveport. War in Iran too!

The thrown election in Florida: the official Greg Palast report from British television: This got suppressed.

Ollie North and FEMA: Pretty short. A nice secret session in the Senate when they start grilling Ollie on the big takeover scheme, part of it dubbed "Sledgehammer", involving suspending the Constitution. Bonus: listen for the "Miami newspapers" and guys in big sunglasses telling everyone to skip the subject.

Hey all right: Conspiracy of Silence, a fuzzy yet impressively deep old conspiracy video, going into that GOP pedophile backstory known as the Franklin scandal. This GOP kingpin out in Middle America ran some kind of child-abusing ring out of his Savings & Loan. The connections run right to the top. This, obviously, never made it onto American TV. Surely, nothing related to the Mark Foley scandal and everything else here.....

Now the latest: Ron Paul letting those shady cats at the Federal Reserve know what the hell is going on: they are printing tons of money, and the cost of living is out of hand. Our money is worth less than freaggin' Loonies.

These Canadians are getting out of hand. I wonder if it's all the BC buds? Jesus Julian!!

Safariscreensnapz049

Oh what the hell, here's the whole Trailer Park Boys movie:



Dentist who met 9/11 Hijackers in Shreveport poisoned: Shreveport, yes it's all coming together now.

Here's a video from a new site, LiveLeak.com. Looks good! War with Iran already started! Sam Gardiner's a pretty interesting observer of military affairs: a while ago he documented dozens of cases of military propaganda in the media.

That's all for now!

NAFTA Superhighway scheme exposed in Minnesota - not bad for a day's work!! Now I'm going on vacation!!!1!!!

All right everyone. I am about to leave for England & France with my brother and dad tomorrow and I don't plan to blog or stay in the loop at all. But before I go, here is a story I did about the secret NAFTA superhighway scheme uncovered here in Minnesota. We published this in Politics in Minnesota: The Weekly Report yesterday...

SuperRondo Superhighway? MnDOT, NASCO, and plans for the I-35 NAFTA Superhighway

St. Paul's Rondo Days festival is right around the corner on July 21st. Rondo, of course, was the primarily black neighborhood obliterated when I-94 was built and blasted through, a route selected because of the neighborhood's lack of political clout. Deploying the "Stops-4-Us" message, the University Avenue Community Coalition plans to raise awareness about the potential damage to their neighborhoods because of the proposed Central Corridor light rail project, which they fear will remove parking, disrupt commerce and fail to offer enough stops for their community. The federal government wants fewer stops on the Corridor to reduce trip time, or else federal funds will be jeopardized. As one UACC organizer said to PIM, this federal policy has effectively removed transit stops from other urban communities around the nation.

On a much larger scale, proposals are now being drawn up for large transportation networks across America piggybacking on the interstate highway system. PIM has obtained documents from the Minnesota Department of Transportation about proposals to create major international transportation corridors along I-35 and I-94. The documents were obtained from MnDOT via the Minnesota Data Practices Act by local lawyer Nathan Hansen and posted on his blog and law firm's website. We have packaged the PDFs into a 66 MB ZIP archive available here through PIM's website.

The major group coordinating this effort is North America's Supercorridor Coalition, or NASCO. The MnDOT files include many strategic public relations emails among NASCO, lobbyists, government employees across the country, in Canada and Mexico, as well as grant applications specifying the exact nature of NASCO projects. Many emails among MnDOT personnel are also included. These documents formed the basis for a report by Jerome Corsi at WorldNetDaily, which also discussed MnDOT's views of U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's (R) position on the matter. (Officially, he doesn't have one). The documents confirm that MnDOT agreed to join NASCO for a specially discounted price of $15,000, money that perhaps could have been better spent patching I-35W's potholes.

NASCO's website declares that I-35 is already the NAFTA superhighway; the group is not trying to build some vast network. Oklahoma City's mayor recently agreed [GoogleVideo] that I-35 was "really a part of that NAFTA corridor," and the U.S., Canada and Mexico should really be one economy. Both publicly and privately, NASCO brushes off the supposedly sinister nature of their project, which they say is intended to benefit the economy and alleviate congestion. Also MnDOT provided NASCO an index of projects along I-35 and I-94 in an effort to get NASCO's Washington lobbyists to coordinate better funding.

Also released were NASCO public relations documents describing how to spin media coverage, and MnDOT emails about media incidents. Oddly, NASCO distributed PR material disambiguating themselves, the cross-border Security and Prosperity Partnership, and even the Council on Foreign Relations, among their materials sent to Minnesota.

Interestingly, NASCO discusses an advanced systems integration platform called NAFTRACS (North American Facilitation of Transportation, Trade, Reduced Congestion and Security Project), which would be developed by SAVI, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which already handles shipping container logistics for the Pentagon's Global Transportation Network. The NAFTRACS "integration pilot program will automatically gather, correlate, and interpret fragments of multi-source (Radar, AIS, & GPS tracks, Open Source, Intelligence, Watch list & Law Enforcement Report, CCTV, Bioterrorism sensors) data together into one collaborative portal-based environment, an [sic] ultimately a Total Transportation Domain Awareness Center of Excellence." The NASCO Center of Excellence and Total Domain Awareness Center would be the "centerpiece of the corridor coalition; will engage in studies, development and deployment activities; will seek funding & investment for a broad array of projects relevant to both the corridor and of current & national significance," including "the US-Mexico-Canada Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP); Hurricane Katrina/Rita impact; Cross-border trade facilitation and information sharing; inland ports network; counter-terrorism and security." In the last couple PDF files, the development of NAFTRACS through Lockheed Martin's advanced military-oriented research facility in Virginia is discussed at length.

PIM hasn't heard anything about this project through the grapevine; only nativist and conservative media outlets (what some would dub "right wing whacko") have focused on plans for continental integration. It seems unlikely that massive superhighways will be built along I-35, but still, it's quite interesting to examine the flurry of communications, message management and cross-border integration exposed by this set of documents. Check out the raw material; it's really quite unusual and informative. While activists in Texas and Oklahoma are raising a ruckus about the potential Rondoization of their counties, Minnesotans would be wise to look south and keep an eye out.

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Well that's it everyone. Have a good time, I will see you in two weeks. Thanks for visiting! And check out PoliticsInMinnesota to see how they pull it off when I'm gone!

Iran-Contra veterans; creepy corps corrupt intelligence; legit Iraq rant

Having a low-key afternoon after the Wednesday street market closed in Treguier. Outside my aunt & uncle's spot the vendors have been peddling their wares all morning.

We just watched the traditional afternoon game of Bocci-like bowling in a gravel parking lot in front of the river. Small kids, older folks, the young tough-looking dudes, everyone plays nicely together. They basically throw a tiny rubber ball out about 25 feet, then try to throw three metal balls apiece at it. Whoever lands the closest wins. I was surprised no one got pegged in the head. I took a few video clips; when I get back I'll share more digital bits than you can handle...

England started flooding severely the day we left; fortunately enough for us, the Stansted Airport actually had few problems. I bumped into a number of interesting news stories today.

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First of all, from the quite interesting site TheSpyWhoBilledMe.com, which focuses on the creepy and probably damaging outsourcing of intelligence, we learn that many really important products of intelligence analysis in Washington DC are generated by private contractors, who have become thoroughly integrated with the CIA, DIA and other intelligence agencies. The whole thing sucks in 'Corporate Content and the President's Daily Brief:'

Employees of corporations are handling sensitive government responsibilities in the Intelligence Community, including analytical products that are incorporated into our nation’s most important and sensitive document, the President’s Daily Brief. Thanks to outsourcing, for-profit companies have the American president’s ear on a daily basis and their words carry the weight of the combined intelligence agencies of the United States. The possibilities for manipulating politics on a global scale are unprecedented and chilling.

The President’s Daily Brief is a summary and analysis of national security issues that requires the President’s immediate attention and that the National Intelligence Director presents to the President each morning.

Across the board, US government intelligence agencies are now highly dependent upon the staff of companies for critical national security functions. Corporate intelligence professionals from companies such as Lockheed, Raytheon, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC and others are thoroughly integrated into analytical divisions throughout the Intelligence Community, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which produces the final document of the President’s Daily Briefing, based upon analytical products created by the Intelligence Community. It would be hard to find an analytical product that does not have contractor involvement in some way, shape, or form. And it’s not just the products. Raw intelligence gathered by contractors also goes into the pipeline.

These analytical products from multiple agencies are sifted through, probably in part by contractors, and presented to the President every day as the US Government’s most accurate and most current assessment of priority national security issues. It’s true that the government pays for and signs off on the assessment, but much of the analysis and even some of the underlying intelligence gathering is corporate. Corporations have so penetrated the Intelligence Community that it’s impossible to distinguish their work from the government’s. Although the President’s Daily Brief has the seal of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, it is misleading. For full disclosure, the PDB really should look more like NASCAR with corporate logos plastered all over it.

Theoretically, if a corporation wanted to manipulate the national security agenda, it could introduce something into the system and no one would realize what’s happening, particularly since these companies have analysts and often intelligence collectors spread throughout the system. For argument’s sake, let’s say a company is frustrated with a government that’s hampering its business or business of one of its clients. Introducing and spinning intelligence on that government’s suspected collaboration with terrorists would quickly get the White House’s attention and could be used to shape national policy. To get us into the Iraq war, manipulation of intelligence regarding alleged weapons of mass destruction had to be very artfully done to short-circuit a formidable bureaucracy designed to prevent just such warping of intelligence. Due to the shift toward wide-scale industrial outsourcing in the Intelligence Community, that safeguard has been eroded.

Iran-Contra Revisited: Laura Rozen points out that a Sy Hersh angle is coming all too true. Back in March, Sy reported that

Iran-Contra was the subject of an informal "lessons learned" discussion two years ago among veterans of the scandal. Abrams led the discussion. One conclusion was that even though the program was eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling Congress. As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future covert operations, the participants found: "One, you can’t trust our friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you can’t trust the uniformed military, and four, it’s got to be run out of the Vice-President’s office"--a reference to Cheney’s role, the former senior intelligence official said.

Which all reeks of uncanny accuracy, as well as echoing the quite true fact that everything got piped thru GW Bush's VP office back in the 1980s.

So today we find that basically whenever Congress wants to hold someone in Contempt for their various lies and stonewalling on Capitol Hill, then the U.S. Attorneys will be ordered to roll over like the puppies they are and stay right there on the rug, according to WaPo:

Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.
The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.
Under federal law, a statutory contempt citation by the House or Senate must be submitted to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, "whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action."
But administration officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege. Officials pointed to a Justice Department legal opinion during the Reagan administration, which made the same argument in a case that was never resolved by the courts.

Finally Rosen concludes the only possible conclusion:

Perhaps that is the take-away that Abrams' Iran Contra lessons learned exercise derived: with a closed circle feedback loop in which Congress's authority is consistently subjugated to the executive, the White House can get away with anything, and is indeed not subject to the rule of law. Under the Bush administration's definition, there are no checks on the executive branch, the very foundation of our democracy.

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Here's a useful one from Ian @ The Agonist: The War on Terror is the War on Drugs... on Crack. Because your legal system's erosion started with asset forfeiture and all that other insane shit first. Note Don's comment at the bottom about how he quit believing politicians after he saw the CIA pilot landing lotsa coke and weed. Don, an Agonist regular, (sig: 'i did inhale') spent some time in jail because he couldn't quite get out of his bit part in Iran-contra... he flicks off traffic security cameras in Texas nowadays.

Maryam: the well-justified rants of an Iraqi aid worker: There are a lot of people on the Internet pissed off and ranting for lame reasons. Maryam ain't one of em; she works cleaning up the mess in Iraq, trying to patch up wounded children and so forth. On various comments on a FireDogLake thread, she lets loose an ugly, but quite understandable, series of angry thoughts which crystallize the reality we can't handle facing in America, instead cowering behind abstractions:

Stop telling lies to yourself American. We know that your racist brutal murdering war criminal troops came from your society and reflect its values. we know that because we see how they behave and have to bury their victims. If you are stupid enough to think we feel anything but hatred and contrempt for your soldiers and the country that sent them to make war on my people then you are a fool.

As to Saddam bad though he was your country is far worse.

.......As I am an Iraki and as my job is to treat children maimed and deformed by the weapons your country uses and then prevented me from getting the medicines used to treat those cancers you will forgive me if I tell you that you too are telling lies to yourself. What we konw is that when it comes murdering Iraki civilians that there is no difference between the cynical and corrupt party called the Democrats and the cynical and corrupt party called the Republicans. Both are infected with the belief that America has the right to behave as it wishes especially when the people being killed are not white.

.......The Red Crescent to answer your question Siun is the only body working everywhere in Irak and outside it. It is probably the best way for those who want to undo some of the evil that America does to Irakis to help with humanitarian relief.

There are few people with more justifiable rants. Good luck to Maryam out there, somewhere on the fringe of oblivion.

Well I am off for now, probably not going to post anything for a few days as we enjoy Paris and the tail-end of this excellent two-week vacation. When I return, it'll be to a country still sliding quite rapidly downhill... Where it goes, nobody knows. At least i'll be a little more relaxed, enough to deal with things better in the future than I have lately.

Jordanian prince discerns suppressed American/Israeli extremist plan to shatter Arab nationalism into statelets: Re-Ottomanization & Oded Yinon revisited

 Images Hassan

"Hey now... I mean seriously WTF?" this photo seems to say...



A suppressed slice of news from the Mideast: a top member of Jordanian royalty discerns a plan to break up the Middle East into an array of new states with Israel up top. Here's a slice from Kurt Nimmo's Another Day in the Empire blog: Prince Hassan: Neocons and Israel Plan “New 100 Years of War” in the Middle East:

[Despite American media suppression] what does Bin Talal and millions of Arabs know?

“After a keynote speech at the European Policy Centre in Brussels on the ‘coexistence of civilizations’ Prince Hassan Bin Tallal, crown prince of Jordan in the final days of the late King Hussein, spoke to Today’s Zaman…. Prince Hassan made it clear that the idea of breaking Iraq into pieces, as is circulating in some US and Israeli circles, would be a fatal mistake. The Jordanian prince warned that a possible break-up would play into the hands of Israeli ‘extremists,’ making Israel the dominant minority in a region of minorities.”

Prince Hassan “is now one of the leading intellectuals and activists of the Islamic world,” and yet his comments go unreported in this country. “I want to cite the Clean Break paper of 1996 attributed to the conservatives in the US. It seems to me that the concept of pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism, supra-national identity was actually taken to pieces by this paper, arguing somehow that fragmentation was taking place in that part of the world, so let us take full advantage of this. Muslims and Arabs do not need enemies as they are doing an excellent job of destroying each other. Of course this plays into the hands of Israeli extremists that believe Israel should emerge as the dominating minority in a region of minorities or a mosaic of minorities.

The idea of taking “to pieces” Arab nationalism is hardly revelatory. “This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking,” writes Khalil Nakhleh in the publisher’s note to Israel Shahak’s transation of Oded Yinon’s A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties. “Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme,” going back at least to the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former prime minister of Israel, as documented by Livia Rokach (Israel’s Sacred Terrorism: A study based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary). Of course, until the Israelis hit the jackpot with the neocons, who were able to infiltrate the Bush administration and drive U.S. foreign policy, they were unable to carry out their master plan on the scale envisioned.

End of the Westphalian system, the end of the Middle Eastern community of states, the beginning of a Balkanization that could lead, in the words of the former Iraqi Defense Minister Ali Allawi, to a new 100 years of war,” Hassan continues.

In short, a plan perfect for the Israelis and their neocon helpers.

Of course, none of this matters—as we are essentially deaf, dumb, and blind here in America, a condition facilitated by the corporate media—and it appears quite plain we are headed for what Hassan characterizes as a “new 100 years of war,” not simply in the Middle East but across the board.

Who is Oded Yinon? One of those hardcore rightwing Zionists who wanted to see the chips fall where they may in the midst of chaos, leaving Israel as the ascendant regional hegemon. I'm not claiming this is the dominant strategic view in Israel, but it's still tempting as a perceived way for Israel to escape the grim wheels of fate. More sane Israeli analysts and strategists don't favor such madcap schemes, since the ensuing chaos would leave Israel far more vulnerable to nuclear attack, as nuclear proliferation would surely accelerate, probably leaving nukes in the hands of irrational actors.

So it's a chancy scheme. What kind of map are these guys after? Something kinda retrograde, like this:

 Gen Maps 1700S 1721Ottoman3200

More sweet maps here.

Check out The Zionist Plan for the Middle East by Oded Yinon, translated and edited by Israel Shahak, one of those old school kinds of theoretical schemes. Here is Shahak's introduction. Shahak is a leftist dissident Zionist and Israeli professor:

The Association of Arab-American University Graduates finds it compelling to inaugurate its new publication series, Special Documents, with Oded Yinon's article which appeared in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the Department of Information of the World Zionist Organization. Oded Yinon is an Israeli journalist and was formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry of Israel. To our knowledge, this document is the most explicit, detailed and unambiguous statement to date of the Zionist strategy in the Middle East. Furthermore, it stands as an accurate representation of the "vision" for the entire Middle East of the presently ruling Zionist regime of Begin, Sharon and Eitan. Its importance, hence, lies not in its historical value but in the nightmare which it presents.

The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel's satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.

This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication, Israel's Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach's study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980's," talks about "far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967" that are created by the "very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel."

Howard Hunt admits the truth about JFK conspiracy on deathbed tape: It was the Cubans/CIA angle, the "standard" conspiracy!

Jfkassassination2

In a shocking turn, old Spymaster and Watergate plumber E. Howard Hunt admitted his role in the Kennedy assassination, and named a great many names involved, shortly before he died. His son, Saint John Hunt, made several hours of audio recordings where his father outlines the scenario.

The audio played on the venerable underground radio show Coast to Coast on Saturday, and not surprisingly the media doesn't care.

Here is the audio of 4.5 minutes of it, edited down (MP3). He will soon release the multiple hours of recordings on his website.

 Assets Rn Img 9 2 2 2 13912229-13912232-SlargeAfter reading the Rolling Stone article about Hunt (with really sweet illustration by Matt Mahurin at right), I sensed we might finally shake out the goodies on this one. Fortunately, there are audio recordings, not just Hunt's notes! Here's more on PrisonPlanet and OnlineJournal about this, as they're the only ones willing to touch it:

E. Howard Hunt names numerous individuals with both direct and indirect CIA connections as having played a role in the assassination of Kennedy, while describing himself as a "bench warmer" in the plot. Saint John Hunt agreed that the use of this term indicates that Hunt was willing to play a larger role in the murder conspiracy had he been required.

Hunt alleges on the tape that then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was involved in the planning of the assassination and in the cover-up, stating that LBJ, "Had an almost maniacal urge to become president, he regarded JFK as an obstacle to achieving that."

Asked if his father followed the conspiracy theories into the Kennedy assassination, Saint John said the elder Hunt did follow the work of AJ Weberman, a New York freelance writer, who in the early 70's first accused Hunt of being one of three bums who were arrested in Dealy Plaza. The so-called bums (pictured above) were interrogated and later released by authorities shortly after the assassination. Weberman, one of the founders of the Youth International Party, the Vippies, published photographs of the tramps and found that two of them bore striking similarities to Hunt and Frank Sturgis, also named by Hunt in the tape as having been played a role in the assassination conspiracy.

My humorous graphic should drive home the major names. I am sorry I can't credit who did that Oswald guitar thing, it's awesome and they deserve credit but I couldn't find it.

Here's a bit from the site:

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Also duly noted is that guy who mighta been G. H. W. Bush at the Book Depository:

 Images April2007 300407Jfkbush

LBJ and the mystery wink from Rep. Albert Thomas (image here):

 1.Imagese Thewink

And a note to Mr. Hunt and his son: Thanks for trying to help us finally put together this most damned and ugly puzzle. It says a hell of a lot for Hunt's character that this nagged him until the very end. One hell of a whistleblower. Just amazing how it comes right in as a "centrist" conspiracy theory, like a bowling ball right down the middle...

Now that that's settled, it's on to the (related) matters of Iran-contra and Watergate!