June 4th, 2008

glasses

No new evidence of 'al Qaeda' threat despite report: U.S.

Attention Rita Katz: Get a better camera.

No new evidence of al Qaeda threat despite report: U.S.

Wed May 28, 12:04 AM

By JoAnne Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There is no evidence of a direct threat from al Qaeda or that the group has obtained weapons of mass destruction, U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday, despite reports that al Qaeda will release a new video urging jihadists to use such weapons to attack the West.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the bureau sent out an alert to U.S. law enforcement agencies about the expected video. "We got information the tape is coming," he said. "We sent out an alert to law enforcement to let them know the tape was coming."

Kolko said the alert was a routine precaution sent to 1,800 U.S. law enforcement agencies.

--MORE--

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AIPAC is pushing us to war with Iran for Israel

Wesley Clark told Arianna Huffington about the push for war on Iran, "How can you talk about bombing a country when you won't even talk to them?" said Clark. "It's outrageous. We're the United States of America; we don't do that."

"When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: "You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.""

"Criticize the neocons for what they are actually doing -- or even use the word "neocon" -- and you're an anti-Semite. That means they get to keep doing it even if it means they are acting on behalf of what they believe are Israel's interests ... rather than America's."

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'Gay' Jewish activist claims Constitution deems sex with animals 'inalienable right'

The subject advocating having fun and frolicking with the barnyard animals is one Frank Kameny, who is a Jewish member of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists

Did the Bible say man had "dominion" over the animals or "domination?'

"Bessie, does that 'Mooo' mean yes? Oh Bessie, you've made me the happiest Yid in this pasture!!!"

Wonder if PETA will go after Kameny?

Bestiality 'OK if animal approves'

Famous 'gay' activist claims Constitution deems sex with animals 'inalienable right'

By Bob Unruh June 02, 2008

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Obama clinches nomination with 2119 votes. It's over

 updated 1:48 a.m. EDT, Wed June 4, 2008

Obama: I will be the Democratic nominee

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Clinton says she's not making any decisions tonight
  • NEW: CNN projects Clinton wins South Dakota; Obama takes Montana
  • Obama passes delegate threshold
  • Clinton tells New York lawmakers she would be Obama's No. 2

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In what he called a "defining moment for our nation," Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday became the first African-American to head the ticket of a major political party.

art.obama.ap.jpg

Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday told supporters he will be the Democratic nominee.

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Obama's steady stream of superdelegate endorsements, combined with the delegates he received from Tuesday's primaries, put him past the 2,118 threshold, CNN projects.

"Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another -- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America," he said.

"Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States." Video Watch Obama say he'll be the nominee »

Obama's rally was at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota -- the same arena which will house the 2008 Republican National Convention in September.

Speaking in New York, Sen. Hillary Clinton, congratulated Obama for his campaign, but she did not concede the race nor discuss the possibility of running as vice president.

--MORE WITH VIDEO--

glasses

Fallon Breaks Silence on His Dissent

Fallon Breaks Silence on His Dissent
June 04, 2008
International Herald Tribune

His friends call him Fox, and for years William Fallon was considered one of America's most successful four-star admirals, serving most recently as the commander of military operations in the territory stretching from the Horn of Africa across Central Asia.

Now, the 63-year-old former aviator is struggling with reinvention, nudged into early retirement in March after a 40-year naval career because of frank talk that left the perception that he was disloyal to his commander in chief.

Breaking his silence since his departure in an hourlong interview, Fallon said he had felt the pressure building for several months.

He had, after all, taken public positions favoring diplomacy over force in Iran, greater troop withdrawals from Iraq than officially planned and more high-level attention to Afghanistan.

--MORE--

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War and Occupation, American-style

posted June 03, 2008 4:14 pm

Tomgram: Chris Hedges

American soldiers have long scrawled messages to the enemy on the bombs they were about to deliver. In the The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes reminds us, for instance, that "Little Boy," the bomb that would inaugurate a new age over Hiroshima, "was inscribed with autographs and messages, some of them obscene. 'Greetings to the Emperor from the men of the Indianapolis,' one challenged." (The Indianapolis, a heavy cruiser which had transported parts of Little Boy to the island of Tinian for assembly, had been torpedoed by a Japanese submarine only a week earlier and most of its crew had died at sea under gruesome circumstances.)

Recently, my eye was caught by a report on just such "autographs and messages" from our most recent war. A Washington Post piece discussing the air war over Baghdad and the Hellfire missiles the U.S. military has been regularly firing into the vast Shiite slum, Sadr City, these last months included this passage:

"At a sprawling air base on the outskirts of Baghdad, Edens, Katzenberger and their colleagues live in small trailers surrounded by blast walls, play volleyball on sand courts and eat at an outdoor food court. Many of the pilots are in their 20s. The pilots sometimes scrawl messages on the five-foot-long missiles strapped to their 'birds.' During a recent visit to the base, a reporter saw a missile addressed to 'Haji,' an honorific for people who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Many U.S. soldiers use it to refer dismissively to Iraqis and Arabs in general. Someone wrote 'rock this thang' on another."

"To refer dismissively…": This is the Post's polite way of describing the bedrock racism -- the demeaning of the enemy (and hardening of the self) -- that is essentially bound to go with any counterinsurgency-cum-neocolonial war like those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Few know this better than Pulitzer Prize-winning former war reporter Chris Hedges who, along with Laila al-Arian, has produced a remarkable new book, Collateral Damage, America's War Against Iraqi Civilians (officially published on this very day). Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with veterans of the Iraq war and occupation, it lays out graphically indeed and in their own words the American system of patrols, convoys, home raids, detentions, and military checkpoints that became a living nightmare for civilians in Iraq. Think of their book as a two-person version of the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier Investigation, this time for a war in which Americans have seemed especially uneager to know much about what their troops, many thousands of miles from home, are really doing to the "hajis."

The following piece -- with echoes of Hedges's classic work War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning -- has been adapted from his introduction to the new book. Tom

Collateral Damage

What It Really Means When America Goes to War
By Chris Hedges

Troops, when they battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are placed in "atrocity producing situations." Being surrounded by a hostile population makes simple acts, such as going to a store to buy a can of Coke, dangerous. The fear and stress push troops to view everyone around them as the enemy. The hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find. The rage soldiers feel after a roadside bomb explodes, killing or maiming their comrades, is one that is easily directed, over time, to innocent civilians who are seen to support the insurgents.

Read More >>
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In Defeat, Clinton Pretends to Win: She's abrasive, self-absorbed, selfish, delusional, extortionate

"Hillary Clinton, who delivered the most abrasive, self-absorbed, selfish, delusional, emasculating and extortionate political speech I've heard in a long time"

Related
For old times sake experience the crazy
Clinton looks for a SHOT at the presidency
Clinton campaign seems to be issuing veiled threats pushing her to be VP...
THE UNTOUCHABLE - Hillary Clinton Assassination Comment
Clinton says she's open to VP slot if it helps Dems; Pulling an LBJ, JFK, President Hitlery Scam


No shame, no gain

US elections 2008: On a night when Obama made history, Clinton's reaction was dangerously abrasive and selfish

Michael Tomasky

June 4, 2008 4:45 AM

The lead story tonight - my "lede," as we spell it here - should have been about the remarkable fact that a black man has been nominated by a major party to lead a developed Western nation for the first time in the history of the world. A man - in whose lifetime people with his shade of skin were denied the right to vote and to use public accommodations - who is now on the cusp of the presidency. It says something good about America, and I would like to have been able to dwell on it.

But no. Once again, it's all about Hillary Clinton, who delivered the most abrasive, self-absorbed, selfish, delusional, emasculating and extortionate political speech I've heard in a long time. And I've left out some adjectives, just to be polite.

Here's an interesting point for you. Barack Obama's speech, which featured a long and gracious nod to Clinton toward the beginning, was posted on various websites as early as 8:10pm East coast time. That means that Clinton - who didn't start speaking until 9:31pm, noticeably missing her introductory cue - and her staff had more than an hour to read Obama's speech and see that he was going to be more than kind to her.

--MORE--
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McCain’s Past Infidelities, Ongoing Sanctimony Haunt Him In Town Hall Meeting

McCain makes Cheney look like Ghandi.
(McCain: Obama is too liberal...he sides with Bush)


Related
McCain: I'd Spy on Americans Secretly, Too
LA Times' Resisdent Neocon and Israeli Citizen Jonah Goldberg Rewrites McCain’s Consistently Wrong Record on Iraq; Invents a Fictional McCain at Odds with President Bush
The Crimes And Coverups of "Reformer" McCain


By: Cliff Schecter Wednesday June 4, 2008 7:05 am

As you'll see in this video above, from a town hall meeting in Nashville, Tennessee Monday, mixed in with platitudes about gay marriage, we get a nice little comment from this questioner on the sanctity of marriage in McCain's life--or more to the point, sanctimony. Here is a rough transcript of her question to The Morally Righteous One, which comes at the beginning of the video (it includes McCain's answer to this question and a previous on on Hillary Clinton):

My second and final question, you talk a lot about the character issue...and...like you, um, I was opposed to gay marriage, I was in always in favor of civil unions but the basic definition of marriage....but, then I get to thinking, that is based on what we consider to be the sanctity of marriage. There is nothing....you see long-term couples splitting up, it's, it's just crazy...I know that you, your own situation, you're going to have to address that in the campaign. Infidelity is just a terrible cancer on this country....and I think if we're going to talk about...gay marriage, it has to be in the context of the preservation of marriage...which I just don't see it, I think we need to make it more difficult for people to get married, or whatever we need to do..if that's...if we're going to be consistent.

--MORE--

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Inside the US-Israel lobby

Related
When will Israel quit pretending it wants peace?


UPDATED ON:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 04, 2008
3:34 MECCA TIME, 0:34 GMT

By Rob Winder in Washington DC

McCain told the conference that Iran posed an
"unacceptable risk"

"Built to last" is the theme of this year's American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) policy conference and the lobby group has made sure that the US-Israeli relationship has solid foundations.

Thousands flocked to the influential organisation's annual conference in Washington DC on Tuesday to find an agenda dominated by one subject - Iran.

Aipac has been accused of leading a push toward military action against Iran, much as it was accused of pushing the US to invade Iraq.

--MORE--
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Bush On Iraq War: "I Don't Care If It Created More Enemies"

By rjsnj - Jun 3rd, 2008 at 7:35 pm EDT

***

This is the great war of our times. It is going to take forty years," [Bush told Engel]. "Bush said in forty years the world would know if the war on terrorism, and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, had reduced extremism, helped moderates, and promoted democracy."

- Bush admits to Engel that going to war was a decision based on his personal instinct and not on any long-range strategy for the Mideast:

"I know people are saying we should have left things the way they were, but I changed after 9/11. I had to act. I don't care if it created more enemies. I had to act."

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DOD Contracts Out Contractor Oversight

DOD Contracts Out Contractor Oversight

Wednesday 04 June 2008

by: Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t | Report

photo
As private security contractors continue to play a large role in military operations in Iraq, the Pentagon has delegated the duty of overseeing them to a new crop of contractors.(Photo: AP)

    The Department of Defense (DOD) now employs contractors to keep contractors in check in Iraq, under a new framework for war industry management solidified last month.

    In April, the Pentagon split its largest military contract in Iraq - formerly belonging to the Houston-based corporation KBR, Inc. - among companies Fluor and DynCorp, in addition to KBR.
A fourth company, the British-American service provider Serco, is responsible for managing and overseeing the other three, according to its contract, signed last year and now in effect.

    Based on the contract, Serco's duties include planning activities, managerial work, performance reviews, training and budget recommendations. According to an Army Sustainment Command news release last year, Serco is responsible for "analyzing performance contractors' costs," "working with the Army to measure contractor performance" and "recommending process improvements." The company also serves as a liaison between the other three contractors, and between the contractors and the government.

--MORE--

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Barack Obama (live — and with an Israeli-American flag pin on his lapel)

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Libby told FBI it is possible he was instructed by Cheney to leak CIA agent's identity

International Herald Tribune

Lawmaker says FBI files could yield information in CIA leak case

The Associated Press

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

WASHINGTON: A U.S. House of Representatives committee chairman is seeking more documents from the CIA leak probe, saying that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff made a significant disclosure to the FBI that warrants further congressional followup.

Democrat Henry Waxman said Tuesday that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that it is possible he was instructed by Cheney to disseminate information to the press about the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, CIA operative Valerie Plame. Wilson is an outspoken Iraq war critic.

Plame's CIA identity was leaked to the news media by several top Bush administration officials in 2003, including Libby and former top White House political adviser Karl Rove.

--MORE--
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Sibel Edmonds Case: ABC News investigates Hastert scandals and the Turkish Connections

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sibel Edmonds Case: ABC News investigates Hastert scandals and the Turkish Connections.

Kudos to ABC News for (belatedly) taking the opportunity of Dennis Hastert's new lobbying job to give a run-down of some of the scandals Hastert has been involved in.

Despite the benign headline ("Ex-House Speaker Hastert Finds New Home"), Justin Rood mentions the Mark Foley / House Page scandal, Hastert's (under-reported) involvement in the Abramoff affair, and Hastert's dodgy land / earmarking deals. Rood's piece ends thusly:

"A 2005 Vanity Fair article alleged Turkish groups and individuals at the Turkish Consulate in Washington, D.C. had discussed funneling tens of thousands of dollars to Hastert in exchange for political favors; his spokesman at the time denied Hastert had any knowledge of Turkish groups and had done no favors.

Hastert's new firm has done work for the government of Turkey and Turkish companies, a spokesperson confirmed Monday. She could not say whether or not Hastert would be working on projects involving that country."

--MORE--
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When Will Israel Quit Pretending Peaceful Intent?

Related
Beyond the make-believe of negotiations

Iran and Israel - understanding the dynamics
Israel Must Be Held To Same Nuclear Scrutiny as Iran


Linda Heard, sierra12th@yahoo.co.uk
 

Successive Israeli governments have perfected the art of announcing one thing and doing just the opposite. Almost every member of the Israeli leadership says a two-state solution on the lines of “the road map” is the way forward; yet they do nothing at all to bolster the credibility of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas except throw occasional smiles and handshakes his way.

On Sunday, Israel’s Ministry of Housing angered Palestinian negotiators by inviting tenders for the construction of 884 homes to enlarge two illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem — Har Homa and Pisgat Zeev. President Abbas termed this move “a dangerous threat” to the peace process.

The skeptics among us might feel tempted to ask Abbas, “What peace process?” Is there one, or is it a mere illusion designed to keep tensions off the boil as the apartheid concrete wall splits communities and robs Palestinians of their land and livelihoods.

--MORE--


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LBJ Admitted Assassination of SOUTH Vietnamese President


Added: August 26, 2007

LBJ Admits Murder of Diem

If I were Nuri al-Maliki, I'd be more than a little concerned that George Bush is starting to draw lessons from the Vietnam War for the current conflict in Iraq. In the early part of the Vietnam War Ngo Dinh Diem was "our man in Saigon" but by late '62 he was viewed as ineffective by many in the U.S. and a liability by the White House, more or less the way Maliki is now. Diem's fate has important health implications for Maliki. The White House had him murdered.

It is a rare thing to actually hear a U.S. President actually admit to participation in murder, but that is eactly what President Lyndon Johnson does in a very frank 1966 discussion with Eugene Carthy:

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Jimmy Carter tells Barack Obama not to pick Hillary Clinton as running mate

Related
In Defeat, Clinton Pretends to Win: She's abrasive, self-absorbed, selfish, delusional, extortionate
Former US President Jimmy Carter speaking at the 2008 Hay Festival

Former US President Jimmy Carter speaking at the 2008 Hay Festival. Photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA

Barack Obama should not pick Hillary Clinton as his vice-presidential nominee, former president Jimmy Carter has told the Guardian.

"I think it would be the worst mistake that could be made," said Carter. "That would just accumulate the negative aspects of both candidates."

Carter, who formally endorsed the Illinois senator last night, cited opinion polls showing 50% of US voters with a negative view of Clinton.

--MORE--

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Israeli Parliament advances a bill to make Jerusalem capital of Israel and all the Jews

Related
Obama to Palestinians: Bye bye East Jerusalem
"Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel," Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said in his first speech to a major organization after securing his candidacy.
Jerusalem is declared a world city by the UN, a city-state. The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv.
Barack Obama (live — and with an Israeli-American flag pin on his lapel)
Will Obama Stand Up to the War Party?: The Lobby's crime is not just that it puts Israel first. Worse, it represents the more unreasonable factions of that government, or possible future governments – the Likud-rejectionist wing that opposes any settlement of the Palestinian question except by expelling the whole lot of them to Jordan.
Judonia Rising: The Israel Lobby and American Society
Memory of the Cactus


UN Resolution 250: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 251: " . . . 'deeply deplores' Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250".
UN Resolution 252: " . . . 'declares invalid' Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital".
UN Resolution 267: " . . . 'censures' Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 271: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 298: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 476: " . . . 'reiterates' that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are 'null and void'".
UN Resolution 478: " . . . 'censures (Israel) in the strongest terms' for its claim to Jerusalem in its 'Basic Law'".


Senate advances bill to make New York City capital of all the Whites.

Israeli Parliament advances a bill to make Jerusalem capital of Israel and all the Jews

 Wednesday June 04, 2008 15:21 by IMEMC & Agencies 
The Israeli Parliament passed in preliminary reading a bill on Wednesday to ocndsider the city of Jerusalem as capital of Israel all the Jews world wide.

jerusalem_from_mt_olives.jpg

The bill was submitted by the right wing Israeli National Religious party to amend the Basic law which considers Jerusalem as capital of Israel. The bill passed in the ruling coalition with a majority of 58 to 12.

In an interview with the Israeli online Haaretz Avhsalom Vilan, an Israeli MP who voted against the law change deemed the bill as "nonsense" adding that he is worried that this law will lead the collapse of the entire peace process.

Vilan also expressed worries that Jews around the world will be involved in decisions related to Jerusalem if such bill is finally approved.

--MORE--
glasses

AIPAC and the American right

Related
Israeli Parliament advances a bill to make Jerusalem capital of Israel and all the Jews
Obama to Palestinians: Bye bye East Jerusalem
"Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel," Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said in his first speech to a major organization after securing his candidacy.
Jerusalem is declared a world city by the UN, a city-state. The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv.
Barack Obama (live — and with an Israeli-American flag pin on his lapel)
Will Obama Stand Up to the War Party?: The Lobby's crime is not just that it puts Israel first. Worse, it represents the more unreasonable factions of that government, or possible future governments – the Likud-rejectionist wing that opposes any settlement of the Palestinian question except by expelling the whole lot of them to Jordan.
Judonia Rising: The Israel Lobby and American Society
Wall Street puts its money behind Obama


June 4, 2008
AIPAC and the American right

Aijaz Ahmad traces the power of AIPAC to the "Reagan Revolution"

The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is currently holding its annual policy conference in Washington, where not only the Israeli prime minister but also all three main US presidential candidates and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are speaking.

AIPAC has developed a strong relationship with Republicans, as well as conservative Christians, since the years of the "Reagan Revolution." Senator and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain opened the conference, while Democratic senators Clinton and Obama will be closing on Wednesday in a joint session.

AIPAC has over 100,000 members and an operating annual budget which now soars above $100 million dollars. Over 7,000 of these members are attending the conference, and AIPAC has scheduled over 500 meetings with members of Congress to do their lobbying work on behalf of Israel.


glasses

The Fallout From the Fallout 3 Revelations; No new evidence of 'al Qaeda' threat despite SITE

Related
No new evidence of 'al Qaeda' threat despite report: U.S.

Attention Rita Katz: Get a better camera (scroll down through SITE's fake terror stories).
Website That Predicted London Bombs an Intelligence Agency Front




The Fallout From the Fallout 3 Revelations

by Omar al-Byg Daddi – June 2, 2008

Scroll down for update


As you have noted, the Telegraph newspaper article that ridiculed the SITE Intelligence Group's latest offering – the image of a nuclear-devastated Washington, D.C., turned out to be an image snatched from a new computer game called Fallout 3.

As at least one website operater reported, 30 minutes after this article was posted onto his and other websites, the link went dead, and even the Google cache memory of the article was wiped out.

SITE defended itself by contacting the Telegraph and informing them that they weren't red-faced about anything, and that they never claimed that the image was an original, only that some jihadi bad guys had inserted this image into a video posted onto one or two of the top terrorist,Al-Qaeda affiliated websites, or web forums.

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Did Taking Cues From Lobby Cost Clinton The Nomination?

Related
GOP Using Clinton's Words Against Obama. Something they've been planning for a long time

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 - By: Rosenberg, M. J.

John Judis in The New Republic writes that Hillary Clinton might have lost the nomination due to her efforts at "winning the support of the pro-Israel lobby."

Specifically, Hillary's big mistake was backing the Kyl-Lieberman resolution which targeted the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. That resolution was drafted by Dick Cheney's office and Congressional neocons as a part of the run-up to war with Iran.

"Like her refusal to apologize for the October 2002 war resolution, her vote on Kyl-Lieberman may have stemmed from her ignoring the primary and thinking about the general election, or--as Helene Cooper suggested in The New York Times--it might have been an attempt to win support from the pro-Israel lobby,' which strongly backed the resolution.

Whatever the case, her vote was a political disaster. It confirmed the worst fears of anti-war Democrats about her foreign policy inclinations. Her rivals denounced her vote, and she had to answer for it in ads, mailings, and debates through early January. It gave Obama an enormous push at a time when he seemed to be floundering and laid the groundwork for his success in fund-raising and in the Iowa caucuses.

Clinton's inability to put her Iraq vote behind her was also a key factor in Obama's pick-up of the important Moveon.org endorsement and in his continued success among young and upscale white voters who believed the war in Iraq was the most important issue. In the Connecticut primary on February 5, for instance, the 31 percent of voters who said Iraq was the most important issue went 63 to 35 percent for Obama. He might still have had an edge among these voters, but it almost assuredly wouldn't have been as great if Clinton had quickly apologized for her vote and rejected the Kyl-Lieberman resolution."

--MORE--
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Operation St. Paul: Ron Paul supporters poised to take over the city during the GOP convection

Related
Paul wins more votes than McCain in Montana

After our successful High Tide ad buys in Philly, Idaho, and South Dakota, we just launched a new project Operation St. Paul. Please donate if you can, and pass the link around!

DONATE HERE!

Imagine.

By August, all or the great majority of national GOP delegates have been delivered multiple DVDs from the DVDs4Delegates project and Manifesto books from the Manifesto Delegato project. In many cases these gifts have been hand delivered. Some have watched and read, others have spit on them and thrown them in the trash. Some have tossed them into their backyard fire pits, sacrificing them to their neo-con gods. Some are already annoyed they're being forced to support McCain is their "nominee". Of course, some love McCain and will support him until they get their asses handed to them in November.

September 1st they arrive at the MPLS-St. Paul Airport. Some get rental cars, some take taxis, some get shuttles to their hotels. The locals from neighboring states drive in because it's quicker and they can avoid the humiliation of being patted down and strip searched by TSA goons at the airport. On the way to their hotels they spot a Ron Paul billboard or maybe two, and wonder what the hell that's all about. They are stopped at a red light and glance over to the city bus stopped next to them, adorned with a Ron Paul ad on the side of the bus.

They arrive at their hotel, only to see an extremely large group of Ron Paul supporters, weathered from having just walked over 250 miles from Green Bay, WI, and Ron Paul himself is addressing the crowd as they cheer loudly. They take the elevator up 4 or 5 floors, run into some RP people in the halls, and finally arrive to their hotel rooms.

--MORE--

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Israel is a nation built on a Big Lie

Related
Judonia Rising: The Israel Lobby and American Society


Fulbright scholar fracas: Israel is a nation built on a Big Lie

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 - By: Martin, Andy
Andy Martin is a world respected Middle East Expert, a military security and intelligence consultant and a specialist in cyber war tactics. He serves as Executive Director of the Revolutionary War Research Center.. He is the Executive editor of Andy Martin's Worldwide News and Contrarian Commentary.  Andy Martin is a candidate for United States Senator in 2008. See AndyforUSSenator.com

ISRAEL, A NATION BUILT ON BIG LIE, BECOMES A SUCCESSOR TO THE THIRD REICH. NAZIS IMPRISONED NATIONS; ISRAELIS FOLLOW SUIT

THE PAINFUL TRUTH WAS INDIVERTIBLY REVEALED LAST WEEK, WHEN ISRAELI JAILERS GLOATED OVER IMPRISONING FULBRIGHT STUDENTS AND PRETENDED "SURPRISE" THAT THE WORLD CARED ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF A FEW "STUDENTS"

AMERICA’S POWERLESSNESS IN THE FACE OF WASHINGTON’S ISRAELI MASTERS WAS EXPOSED. BUT REMEDIATION WAS FAST IN COMING AND, AS USUAL, THE “CLUELESS CONDO RICE” WAS "UNHAPPY” ABOUT BEING EMBARRASSED

(CHICAGO)(June 3, 2008)(Exclusive) Israel is a nation conceived and crated based on a Big Lie. That lie was best encapsulated by the late Prime Minister Golda Meir, who said that British Palestine had been a “land without a people for a people without a land.” Palestinians, of course, were the vast majority of inhabitants in the “Land of Israel,” and sixty years ago they were ruthlessly attacked and dispossessed by invading Israeli legions.

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Former Israeli Finance Minister indicted for fraud

Former Finance Minister Hirchson indicted for fraud

State Prosecution files charges against former finance minister on theft, breach of trust, falsification of corporate records. Hirchson believed to have embezzled over $1.2 million while serving as head of National Labor Federation

Avi Cohen

Published: 06.04.08, 09:41 / Israel News

The State Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment against former Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson on Wednesday on multiple charges of theft, aggravated fraud, breach of trust, fraudulently obtaining funds, money laundering and falsifying corporate documents.

The State was able to press charges against the former minister after he relinquished his parliamentary immunity, opting to stand trial.

Hirchson pled not guilty on all counts.

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Mass. State Senator Arrested After Sexually Molesting Stranger on Park Bench

Related
Guilty Plea by Ex-Congressional Aide


State Senator James Marzilli Arrested for Sexual Assault

Massachusetts State Senator James Marzilli was arrested on Tuesday for trying to sexually assault a stranger on a park bench. He groped, lied and then led the Krispy Kreme badges on a foot chase that naturally led to his arrest (come on politicians aren’t known for their diet and exercise either).

State Sen. James Marzilli was arrested in Lowell yesterday after he allegedly attempted to sexually assault a stranger sitting on a park bench, gave police a false name and then led officers on a foot chase that ended in a downtown parking garage, law enforcement officials said.

Marzilli (D-Arlington), absolved of a separate sexual assault accusation last month, now faces a slew of new charges after yesterday’s alleged attack, which police said occurred in broad daylight on a busy street.

--MORE--
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Owner of embattled kosher slaughterhouse charges allegations are a big 'lie'

Related

What Will Happen When Citizens Have To Ask The Government For Permission To Work?
An Israeli rabbi who fled to Brazil amid child-abuse allegations is likely to be extradited for trial

Ben Harris
Aaron Rubashkin, outside his Brooklyn butcher shop on June 3, 2008, says his Agriprocessors firm "don't do no injustice to nobody, not to a cat."

[ Kindly looking old man, hunh? He was cooking big time meth and running one of the world's biggest human traffiking operations yet he walks and the employees get arrested and detained. Such a deal!
Related
- MUST READS: An astonishing criminal enterprise: Biggest immigration raid ever much worse than you think andReligion or criminal enterprise?
]

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Rubashkin: It's all a lie

Ben Harris

Speaking out for the first time, the owner of Agriprocessors was visibly angered by the flood of charges that have imperiled his business, the country's largest kosher slaughterhouse.

Published: 06/03/2008

NEW YORK (JTA) -- Aaron Rubashkin, the owner of the embattled kosher slaughterhouse Agriprocessors, denies he has engaged in unethical labor practices and blames the failure of U.S. immigration policy for his mostly illegal workforce.

In the first substantive comments by an Agriprocessors representative since the government rounded up more than a third of its employees on immigration charges in a May 12 raid of its Iowa plant, Rubashkin flatly denied allegations of worker mistreatment and plant mismanagement.

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Energy price manipulation and enabling legislation

EXCERPTS

By Doug Bracewell

While researching my third article for BusinessWeek online about the world’s oil situation in 2008, I asked for the most current report from Oil Movements. Because the oil industry is not transparent, Oil Movements tracks every tanker at sea, from both OPEC and non-OPEC oil countries, along with their cargoes’ final destinations. Anne O’Shea responded immediately to my request with their report dated May 8, 2008. Just so you will know, oil shipments are up from a year ago in almost every class, including Middle East oil in transit and Non-OPEC in Transit. The only class of oil shipment that has declined is covered on page 3 of that report. That chart is labeled, "4-Week Changes in Westbound Oil at Sea."

That’s right, shipments of oil headed west have shown serious declines during the month of April, down 800,000 barrels per day in the week before the publication of the report. Now, let me give you the first line from under the Westbound Oil shipments chart: "In the west, a big share of any [oil] stock building done this year has happened offshore, out of sight."

Could this be true? Oil Movements, the unimpeachable source for finding the real world situation on oil transits, is saying that oil is being hidden offshore, not declared in inventories? Yes, that is exactly what they are saying.

That same week our refineries cut their production runs back to 85 percent, down from 89 percent a year ago, to trim more gasoline out of our stock reserves, to increase their profits per gallon.
----------------------------------------------

ARTICLE:  

ICE, ICE, Baby (ICE = Intercontinental Exchange)

One piece of legislation is why the price of everything is going through the roof   (Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000)

By Ed Wallace
Special to the Star-Telegram

Ed Wallace is a recipient of the Gerald R. Loeb Award for business journalism, given by the Anderson School of Business at UCLA, and is a member of the American Historical Society


"There’s a few hedge fund managers out there who are masters at knowing how to exploit the peak [oil] theories and hot buttons of supply and demand and by making bold predictions of shocking price advancements to come, they only add more fuel to the bullish fire in a sort of self fulfilling prophecy." — National Gas Week, Sept. 5, 2005 as reprinted in the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ report, "The Role of Market Speculation in Rising Oil and Gas Prices," June 27, 2006

Fiddling While We Burn

There it is in plain sight for everyone to see, exactly what I’ve been reporting for the past few years: Many individuals who are investing in oil and natural gas futures are going out in the media and trying to convince the American public that either we are out of oil or there is a serious supply shortage of crude against worldwide demand.

The question is: Does it surprise you to discover that the US Senate investigated the rigging of the oil market by speculators in the summer of 2006 – and concluded that there was no supply and demand problem with oil? Did you know that their conclusion was that speculators were responsible for a 70 percent overcharge in the price of oil in the months leading up to the summer of 2006?

This from page 1 of the Executive Summary of that Senate investigation, there is this one troubling line: "Today, U.S. oil inventories are at an eight-year high, and OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) oil inventories are at a 20-year high."

That’s odd because, in 2006, just like today, the media reporting covered the serious international shortage of oil and justified oil’s high price. Even more troubling is that the House of Representatives held a hearing this past December, ominously titled "Energy Speculation and Price Manipulation." How did it pass under the radar that both the Senate and the House studied the issue of price manipulation in our energy markets and both concluded that it was unregulated, massive trading in one futures market that was really driving up the price of oil and natural gas?

And given that conclusion, why has Congress done nothing about it?

Investors Make the News, Literally

A week ago Goldman Sachs issued a new investor note, suggesting that somewhere between six months to two years, the price of oil could go into a "super spike" and prices jump as high as $200 per barrel. It became the major story of the night. Ignored in the reporting frenzy was that many legitimate and well-respected oil analysts dismissed Goldman Sachs’ prediction as groundless.

Get ready for the next shock to your system. In the past month we have added 11.9 million barrels of oil into our stock reserves, giving us 32.3 million more barrels of oil than we had on hand January 1.

On May 5, we found out that for the second time in as many years, Iran was storing its excess crude oil on tankers in the Persian Gulf, because it had run out of storage space in the desert and was awaiting buyers for its heavy crude.

That same day Saudi Arabia cut the discount price for its Arabian Heavy crude to $7.45, hoping to entice more buyers for immediate delivery. We didn’t hear that news, either.

While researching my third article for BusinessWeek online about the world’s oil situation in 2008,
I asked for the most current report from Oil Movements. Because the oil industry is not transparent, Oil Movements tracks every tanker at sea, from both OPEC and non-OPEC oil countries, along with their cargoes’ final destinations. Anne O’Shea responded immediately to my request with their report dated May 8, 2008. Just so you will know, oil shipments are up from a year ago in almost every class, including Middle East oil in transit and Non-OPEC in Transit. The only class of oil shipment that has declined is covered on page 3 of that report. That chart is labeled, "4-Week Changes in Westbound Oil at Sea."

That’s right, shipments of oil headed west have shown serious declines during the month of April, down 800,000 barrels per day in the week before the publication of the report. Now, let me give you the first line from under the Westbound Oil shipments chart: "In the west, a big share of any [oil] stock building done this year has happened offshore, out of sight."

Could this be true? Oil Movements, the unimpeachable source for finding the real world situation on oil transits, is saying that oil is being hidden offshore, not declared in inventories? Yes, that is exactly what they are saying.

That same week our refineries cut their production runs back to 85 percent, down from 89 percent a year ago, to trim more gasoline out of our stock reserves, to increase their profits per gallon.

National Short-Term Memory Loss

It’s amazing how quickly we forget our recent history. Congressional hearings in 2001, blasting certain Wall Street executives for using the media to sell the public on stocks in order to bid up the price – so their firm could divest of its shares without taking a beating. Meanwhile, other trusted advisors pushed stocks that were fundamentally worthless, because their affiliated banks had large loan agreements with those companies.

The year before Enron had been caught manipulating the California energy market, even forcing rolling blackouts across the northern part of their state apparently just for effect – to support their claim that there just wasn’t enough electricity to go around. Again, we now know that claim was untrue. It was Enron shutting down certain power generation plants, while placing bets on their unregulated energy futures market. The net cost to California consumers was almost $8 billion.

It didn’t end there.
Amaranth Advisors, a hedge fund, literally was cornering the market on natural gas futures, to make it appear that there was a shortage of natural gas, when the Commodities Futures Trading Commission told Amaranth to liquidate its position on the NYMEX because its bidding had already moved natural gas prices far beyond the reasonable limits of supply and demand. Now, remember this name: ICE, short for Intercontinental Exchange – the "dark futures lookalike market."

Once the CFTC told it to back off its natural gas futures contracts,
Amaranth simply shifted gears, got out of the NYMEX, placed its massive bets outside of government regulation in ICE and managed to drive natural gas futures to $8.50 per MBtu.

As the Senate investigation into the manipulation of the energy markets showed, "Amaranth – the day before they failed, natural gas was about $8.50; the day after it failed, it went to $4.46 MBtu." That’s right, one major hedge fund managed to double the price of natural gas simply by loading up on futures contracts; when the government told them their bets were unwarranted, they simply moved their monies to a futures exchange that was unregulated. Only when Amaranth failed did natural gas prices fall back to what was considered normal for supply and demand.

Sadly, like oil today, when this was happening we were being told that natural gas supplies were tight worldwide. That statement simply wasn’t true.

Dark Future

Likewise, British Petroleum was busted for manipulating the propane market in the winter of 2004 and fined $373 million. Of course, in Texas, under deregulation of our public utilities, our electric rates can be set using the futures market for natural gas, so the manipulation of the natural gas market spelled trouble for us. Consider this, by 2006, according to www.powertochoose.org, electricity rates for us had climbed to 15 cents a kilowatt-hour due to the high cost of natural gas. But, that was the exact same time period that Amaranth was proven to be manipulating the market and sending natural gas futures through the roof. Two months later the hedge fund collapsed and natural gas prices fell. Therefore, most Texans paid higher electric bills for Amaranth’s manipulation of the natural gas market.

Professor Michael Greenberger of the University of Maryland, a former board member of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, testified in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on December 14 of last year. Under discussion that day was the manipulation of the energy markets and prices, but Professor Greenberger added these comments: "Three, four months from now, you’re going to have a hearing on the subprime meltdown, and you’re going to find that the very same legislation [deregulating energy] deregulated something called collateralized debt obligations, CDOs." That legislation, friends, directly ties the mortgage meltdown to the high price of energy today.

It was called H.R. 5660, the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000. At first this bill went nowhere in the House, not even up for debate. Then, a few months later, late one night a 242-page bill written by Wall Street lawyers, with the exact same name as the former House bill, was quietly added to an 11,000-page appropriations bill, and the Enron loophole was created. The power behind that bill was one Texas Senator, one Texas Congressman and their wives.
----------------
Next week: How the unregulated futures market pushes the price of oil, natural gas and gasoline far beyond those commodities’ market value, thanks to the creation of the Intercontinental Exchange. Worse, Congress knows this, but does nothing.

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'Credit recession' may last more than two years, experts say

Related
Economic depression in America:
Evidence of a withering economy is everywhere
The Eye of the Credit Storm?
It's Only Going to Get Worse
Mortgaging America
Economists fear inflationary spiral
US Govt Rationing of Silver Coins is ILLEGAL Under US Law: 31USC5112(e), which dictates Treasury MUST supply enough to meet demand

Subprime debacle may spark 2-year credit recession

By Walden Siew1 hour, 46 minutes ago

A "credit recession" sparked by the U.S. housing market downturn and excesses in structured finance may last more than two years, and the financial sector will undergo "massive consolidation," leading Wall Street strategists said on Wednesday.

The fallout from deteriorating subprime mortgages and the broader housing and credit crisis will eventually lead to a healthier market, but not until after a prolonged purging process, Jack Malvey, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's (LEH.N) chief global fixed-income strategist, said in New York.

"We're going through a tough spell with regard to credit," Malvey said at a Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conference.

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The Palestinian Catastrophe - 60 Years of Justice Denied

Dr Jess Ghannam

Al-Awda Executive Committee
15 May 2008

Palestinians from across the world are marking and commemorating the 60th Year of the Nakba or Catastrophe. This Nakba began when roughly 800,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and villages of historic Palestine in carefully planned attacks by Jewish militias led by British trained officers. Their tactics included massacres and forced evacuation. During that period 531 indigenous Palestinian Arab villages, 11 towns and cities were de-populated and destroyed and the largest refugee problem in the world was created. Today the population of Palestinian refuges stands at over 7.0 million people. Three quarters of the entire world population of Palestinians are refugees and/or living in exile (shatat). There are 59 refugee camps scattered all over Palestine and the Arab World. To this day, justice has been denied. Justice has been denied because our inalienable right to return to our homes and lands in Palestine has been put on hold and subverted by the creation of a racist Zionist Apartheid State and the collusion of many other countries. But make no mistake, the Palestinian right to return is an inalienable natural right that is protected and guaranteed under International law, the Geneva Conventions, and by United Nations resolutions. No country, individual, or international body can stop the return home of our people to Palestine. At this historical moment, however, it is important to assess where we are in our process of returning.

From a narrow and myopic point of view, it would be very easy to feel hopeless. The current status of life in historic Palestine is very disturbing. Israel’s racist policies and processes, as a means to pacify and control our people, have created profoundly inhuman and immoral conditions on the ground for Palestinian men, women, and children. The Israeli Annexation Wall, despite being declared illegal by international courts and condemned by the international community continues its serpentine chokehold on the daily life of every Palestinian living in the West Bank. The Wall, together with some 600 or so Israeli military checkpoints scattered strategically throughout the West Bank to destroy any possibility of freedom of movement, access to health care, and the building of economic infrastructures for independence have produced a significant decline in the health, wellness, and economic viability for every Palestinian. In addition, Israel continues its voracious consumption and theft of Palestinian land in the West bank to create illegal Jewish-only colonies armed against our people and protected by the military. There are now close to 500,000 illegal Israeli ‘settlers’ living in Jerusalem and the hills of the West Bank.

Although the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is brutal and illegal, it sadly pales in comparison to the catastrophic conditions in the Gaza Strip. The cruel racist manifestations of Israel’s occupation are no more painfully evident than in the Gaza Strip where 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children are literally starving to death under the watchful eye of the Israeli military and international community. At the time of the writing this article, the only power plant in the Gaza Strip was shut down because Israel refuses to allow fuel to enter the Strip. Hospitals and clinics have no fuel for their emergency generators and have stopped functioning in any meaningful way. The steady Israeli diet of forced starvation for Palestinians living Gaza has reduced the food supply to below subsistence levels. Our people are starving. The Israeli military and government, control every aspect of the inflow of food, medicine, and water into and out of Gaza. They also control the outflow of people. Chronically ill cancer patients who have already been given permission to leave Gaza for emergency life-saving treatment have been left for dead at the Erez Crossing in Gaza. Literally left for dead-- Physicians for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch report that scores of Palestinians have died at that checkpoint waiting for medical care. Gaza is a large Bantustan where millions of Palestinians are imprisoned, feel the pain of starvation, and wait to taste the fruit of freedom and self-determination. While they wait, Palestinian men, women, and children die every day in Gaza from Israeli air strikes, incursions, and the denial of rights.

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Barack Obama: Ethnic Cleanser

Update
Hamas unendorses Obama after speech to pro-Israel lobby


"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, ‘What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said ‘Drive them out!’" -- Yitzhak Rabin, July 1948


Related
Obama to Palestinians: Bye bye East Jerusalem
"Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel," Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said in his first speech to a major organization after securing his candidacy.
Jerusalem is declared a world city by the UN, a city-state. The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv.
Barack Obama (live — and with an Israeli-American flag pin on his lapel)
Will Obama Stand Up to the War Party? : The Lobby's crime is not just that it puts Israel first. Worse, it represents the more unreasonable factions of that government, or possible future governments – the Likud-rejectionist wing  that opposes any settlement of the Palestinian question except by expelling  the whole lot of them to Jordan.
Judonia Rising: The Israel Lobby and American Society
Memory of the Cactus

UN Resolution 250: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 251: " . . . 'deeply deplores' Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250".
UN Resolution 252: " . . . 'declares invalid' Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital".
UN Resolution 267: " . . . 'censures' Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 271: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 298: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem".
UN Resolution 476: " . . . 'reiterates' that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are 'null and void'".
UN Resolution 478: " . . . 'censures (Israel) in the strongest terms' for its claim to Jerusalem in its 'Basic Law'".
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Triumph of Lunacy: The military-industrial complex, the 'Christian' right, and the “liberal media”

By Edward S. Herman

The public in the United States doesn't like what is going on and fully 81 percent feel that the country is moving in the wrong direction. But there doesn't seem to be much the public can do about it. It was widely felt that the 2006 election was a vote against the Iraq war, but the victorious Democrats failed to make any significant moves toward stopping the war or even halting, let alone reversing, Bush's attacks on constitutional government, and they have left the lame duck and discredited Decider in charge with a steady flow of additional funds to escalate the Iraq war.

Even more spectacular, Bush-Cheney seem headed toward a war against Iran, and the Democrats, while making a few chiding remarks, have actually given Bush-Cheney a quasi-legal basis for attacking Iran, with Pelosi removing from an Iraq War-funding bill a clause requiring Bush to obtain congressional sanction before starting a war on Iran, and the Democrats in the Senate voting unanimously for the Kyle-Lieberman bill declaring the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a segment of the Iranian army, a "terrorist organization." There are many other indications of a possible U.S. attack on Iran in the next few months by the lame duck administration—the removal of Admiral William Fallon from head of Central Command and replacement by Bush lap-dog David Petraeus; the recent Petraeus-Crocker stress on Iran's alleged involvement in the Iraq war; the further bolstering of U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf; open warnings that military attack is one option under consideration (Ann Scott Tyson, "U.S. Weighing Readiness for Military Action Against Iran," Washington Post, April 26, 2008); congressional funding of more "bunker-busting" bombs and extra bombers to carry them—all without serious Democratic Party response or media and "international community" concern and counter-action. UN chief Ban Ki-Moon is very upset about China's repressive actions in Tibet, but says nothing about the possibility of yet another "supreme international crime" against Iran, the form of action that was the main focus of the UN Charter under which Ki-Moon supposedly operates.

Other difficulties abound. The wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan continue and grow with the United States and NATO determined to impose their version of "stability" on those distant lands. The Israelis continue to expand settlements and mercilessly grind down the Gaza strip population, with unremitting U.S. and "international community" support. The Western powers (mainly the United States, Britain, France, and Israel) all work toward improving their nuclear arms and only very selectively support the Non-Proliferatiion Treaty, accommodating the U.S. moves toward war with Iran; and weapons budgets and arms sales continue to grow. The economic growth of China and India and the move to ethanol-based fuel have helped push up the price of oil and food, threatening a major food shortage crisis across the globe. Income inequality continues to advance within and between countries under the regime of neoliberalism (i.e., advanced class warfare). No important steps have been taken to meet the challenge of global warming and, in fact, the coal industry and coal-fueled power plants are expanding in China and elsewhere. Finally, the debt- and speculation-based growth in the United States has produced a financial and economic crisis there and beyond that is not yet resolved, and the failure to add any new regulations to constrain the financial casino market bodes ill for future stability.

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Occupation has cost Israel dear, says report

The report only deals with the cost to Israel; whatever effects on the Palestinians are not of interest to Israelis. And would the occupation and continuing grand larceny of Palestinian property be "justified" if its cost were manageable or paid for by the United States? And is this report really an argument to stop building the wall or more settlements? No, it even can be justified to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians – a "cheaper solution".

Related

Barack Obama: Ethnic Cleanser

· Thinktank labels conflict 'millstone around neck'
· Economy held back as defence spending soars

An Israeli flag in the former Gaza Strip settlement of Neve Dekalim

The precise cost to Israel of occupation of the Palestinian territories is hard to calculate as much of the defence budget is kept secret. Photograph: David Silverman/Getty Images

Israel's occupied territories and conflict with the Palestinians has undermined the country's economic growth and has cost at least an extra 36.6bn shekels (£5.7bn) in defence spending over the past two decades, according to an Israeli thinktank.

Calculations by the Adva Centre, an independent policy centre in Tel Aviv, suggest Israel's economy has been held back, inequality within the country has grown and there have been significant government budget cuts to pay for mounting defence spending.

Adva openly admits that its findings, contained in a new report published today and entitled The Cost of Occupation, challenge the widely received opinion that Israel's economy is successful despite the conflict: economic growth last year reached 5.3% and was above 5% for the previous two years.

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The power network

Charles Glass

Published 15 May 2008

Publicly, Israel will not do business with those who do not recognise it. But behind the scenes is a complex web of international contacts

The seven-and-a-half-year vacuum in Arab- Israeli peacemaking under George W Bush ends next January. Bush refused to play ball, but he wouldn't let anyone else on the field: not the UN, not Russia, not the European Union. The only legacies he leaves his successor to build upon are secret, deniable talks among intelligence agencies and the familiar engagement of violence.

Israel's public posture has always been that it would never speak with those who did not recognise its "right to exist". Putting aside the obvious fact that "right to exist" is meaningless in international law, Israel has talked for years with those who did not recognise it. It had contacts with King Hussein of Jordan, and it warned the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Sudan of plots in 1977 to overthrow their regimes. It sold arms to Iran during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, and it talked to the PLO for years before Yitzhak Rabin met Yasser Arafat at the White House. It has spoken through mediators to Hamas and Hezbollah. It is now talking to Syria, through Turkey and various independent peacemakers, though Syria assists Hezbollah and Hamas. Nothing will come of this, as the Syrian president now admits, without US involvement. And Washington does not want to get involved.

In Gaza, Israel and Hamas are setting the terms of discussion. "What kind of dialogue is being established?" asks Geoffrey Aronson, an American working to bridge differences between Syria and Israel through Swiss mediation. "The parties are engaged by fighting in Gaza. They learn from each other. They establish their limits and red lines. It's a sophisticated process. Both sides learn what will produce an explosion." Behind the scenes, Egyptian intelligence officers speak to Hamas and Israel about Hamas activists in Israeli prisons, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas, and the opening of a door to Gaza, through Egypt or Israel, that would permit the people of Gaza to receive food, medicine and other necessities.

The discussions are on two levels: exchanges of prisoners and, since the Gazans opened the wall to Egypt at Rafah last June, on a ceasefire and border agreements. For Hamas, as one Pal estinian put it: "A ceasefire must include new border arrangements." A fortnight ago, Hamas and 11 small resistance groups met in Cairo to discuss what the Palestinians would accept on the border. The Egyptian intelligence chief, General Omar Suleiman, presented proposals he had reason to believe Israel could accept. Hamas responded with a few minor amendments, which Suleiman was due to take to the Israelis for their response. Most observers believe that, if Israel rejects the plan, Egypt will have no choice - out of concern for the opinions of its own domestic Islamists - but to open the border with Gaza.

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Israel marks its 60th birthday in a climate of racism, intolerance, corruption and militarism

Israel's secret fears

Haim Baram

Published 15 May 2008

The nation that sees itself as the most misunderstood in the world celebrates its 60th birthday with deep apprehension about the future. Haim Baram finds anger and defensiveness among its politicians A deeply hidden diplomatic relationship between Israel and Jordan underpins the history of the search for peace in the Middle East

Israel marks its 60th birthday in a climate of increasing racism, intolerance, corruption and militarism. A nation that has long seen itself as one of the most misunderstood is now almost unable to understand the world beyond its borders. Fear and anxiety provide the mood music of the celebrations.

The past decade has brought a sharp increase in anti-Arab sentiment, which finds many forms of expression, from sordid chants at sporting events ("Death to the Arabs") to blatant racism and attacks on Arab colleagues by right-wing pol iticians in the Knesset. In such an atmosphere, it is almost impossible for Arab citizens (or 1948 Palestinians) to identify with the state of Israel, despite the terms of their legal status. Indeed, it is increasingly difficult for them even to protect their civil rights and express themselves freely in public.

Anyone who doubts the depth of anti-Arab feeling has only to scan the internet. On 8 May, I was commissioned by the popular news site Walla! (associated with the newspaper Haaretz) to write a short column about the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikva" (or Hope). Haaretz had asked another writer to support the anthem. I was commissioned to write against it and to suggest a more suitable one.

My main point of opposition was that the opening words - "As long as deep in the heart/A Jewish soul yearns . . . towards Zion" - excluded the more than one million Arab citizens of Israel. Walla! debates are allocated some two hours' airtime and previous ones, for example on economic issues or the evacuation of the Jewish settlements in Gaza, have generated talkback that was overwhelmingly right-wing. However, the anthem debate exceeded even my pessimistic ex pectations.

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Israel-US: Beyond the make-believe of negotiations

Israel needs a Palestinian state -- or at least the illusion of one -- to mask the reality of apartheid where millions of Palestinians, soon to be the majority population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, are ruled by a Jewish sectarian government in which they have no rights.

Arjan El Fassed and Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 June 2008

Palestinian refugees in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem take part in a demonstration marking 60 years of the Palestinian people's dispossession of their homeland, 15 May 2008. (Haytham Othman/MaanImages)

Just days before heading off to the United States this week, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert approved the construction of an additional 900 Jewish-only homes in occupied Jerusalem. Indeed, barely a week has passed since last November's gala relaunch of peace talks at Annapolis without Israel announcing new colony projects on occupied land. Since the media handshake orchestrated by the Bush Administration, construction continues in a hundred settlements across the West Bank and settler caravans have been transported to sites east of Israel's illegal West Bank wall.

On the ground, Israel is doing all it can to ensure there will be no "two-state" solution. For years, official heads, including those of politicians and diplomats in European capitals and Washington, have remained firmly planted in the sand. Every day the high priests of the Peace Process Industry repeat their testament of faith that there is no solution but the two-state solution.

Today, there are almost half a million Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. According to the Israeli interior ministry, the number of settlers living in the West Bank, excluding Jerusalem, rose by 5.1 percent last year -- about three times faster than Israel's population growth as a whole. For decades, diplomats, including representatives of the EU proposed a "freeze" on settlements but all these efforts, including the Road Map launched in 2003, have failed. US President George W. Bush on his recent visit to celebrate Israel's creation (and by implication Palestine's near destruction) said and did absolutely nothing to make good on his commitment to bring about a Palestinian state before he leaves office in January 2009.

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Israel's Shin Bet Intimidates Top Human Rights Medical Director and His Family

Related
Israeli soldiers who beat, tortured Palestinian teens receive light sentence, no demotion
Israeli military announces plan to uproot 440 olive trees from Naalin village


Wednesday, June 04 2008 @ 12:10 AM EDT
Edited by: Michael Hess

PHR-Israel to publish a signed declaration against this intimidation in Haaretz on Thursday

BBSNews 2008-06-03 -- While many in the United States have been focused on the upcoming general election in November, business as usual is occurring across the world in the Middle East in Israel, with the intimidating interrogation of Physicians for Human Rights Clinics Director Haj Yehya.

The deteriorating conditions in Gaza, particularly the serious medical complications arising from the US sanctioned Israeli blockade and collective punishment of Gaza civilians that yet continues even as Barack Obama becomes the presumptive Democratic nominee heading into the US November elections; it all will fall into the lap of the next US administration.

Secretary Condoleezza Rice has already conceded that hopes for an agreement ala the failed Annapolis Conference will have to be handed off to the next administration. She has signaled that the growing political crisis in Israel with the investigation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert allegedly receiving cash from US businessman Morris Talansky, hopes for a peace deal during Bush II's dwindling term are now dashed.

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UK Union of Journalists Protest Routine Police Surveillance

Why are the police using surveillance on journalists?

3 June 2008

By PA Mediapoint

Police should stop routine surveillance of reporters and photographers covering demonstrations in London, the National Union of Journalists has told Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear made the call in a letter to Smith after receiving complaints that journalists, particularly photographers, were facing what amounted to harassment by members of the Metropolitan Police Forward Intelligence Team (FIT).

Dear said the NUJ had serious concerns about the FIT's activities in monitoring and recording the activities of bona fide journalists, especially photographers.

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Council on Foreign Relations Dissects Obama's Team

Not one mention of Obama's main foreign policy handle, Zbigniew Brzezinski: That's the CFR for you.

FYI


CAMPAIGN 2008

Obama's Brains Trust

A new series from the Council on Foreign Relations profiles the main foreign policy advisers for Barack Obama

By Joanna Klonsky, Council on Foreign Relations |
Jun 3, 2008 | Updated: 6:47  p.m. ET Jun 3, 2008

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Winter Soldiers Hit the Streets

POLITICS-US

By Dahr Jamail


SEATTLE, Jun 3 (IPS) - In a clear change of strategy to energise public anti-war sentiment, Iraq veterans led a determined demonstration of hundreds through the streets of downtown Seattle last Saturday, following regional Winter Soldier hearings at the Seattle Town Hall.

A larger Winter Soldier event occurred at the National Labour College in Silver Spring, Maryland from Mar. 13 to Mar. 16 earlier this year. But the strategy for those hearings appeared to be based on keeping the event from being directly affiliated with any demonstrations or anti-war activities in an attempt to reach a broader audience. Those hearings were closed to the public, and no demonstrations or other overtly public actions were tied to the event.

This tactic was apparently meant to draw in more national mainstream media coverage of the event, which, with few exceptions, did not materialise.

Chanan Suarez Diaz, the Seattle Chapter president of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), which organised last weekend's event, had told IPS that his chapter, along with others in the northwest region, intended to make a major effort to draw the public into both the testimonials and taking action afterwards.

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Kosher slaughterhouse raids may have compromised ongoing child-sex trafficking investigation

Update
Kosher Meat Boycott: Sexual abuse of child workers

It's more than child labor. It's about child-sex trafficking.

Related

Owner of embattled kosher slaughterhouse charges allegations are a big 'lie'
A MUST READReligion or criminal enterprise? An astonishing criminal enterprise: Biggest immigration raid ever much worse than you think

desmoinesregister.com

May 28, 2008

Lawmakers: Did Postville raid stymie labor probe?

By JANE NORMAN
jnorman@dmreg.com

Washington, D.C. — Leaders of a congressional committee are pressing the U.S. Department of Labor for answers on whether an ongoing investigation of child- labor and wage violations at a meatpacking plant in Postville, Ia., will be compromised by a May 12 immigration raid there.

Democratic leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee wrote to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on May 16. They're asking for more information on the complaints that prompted the Agriprocessors Inc. investigation. They also want to know whether federal labor officials had any involvement with the raid, which was conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The letter was signed by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, chairwoman of a subcommittee on work force protection, and Rep. George Miller, chairman of the full committee. Both are California Democrats.

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Dems cut unemployment extension to fund wars

Extension of Benefits For Jobless Is at Risk
House Democrats Modify War Funding Bill

By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 4, 2008; A08

House Democrats are likely to drop a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance benefits from a major spending package that includes continued funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that would create a new education benefit for military veterans returning from the battlefields.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said yesterday that the unemployment insurance provision would "probably not" be part of the final package of war and domestic spending, which has become the most important legislative battle this spring between congressional Democrats and President Bush.

After huddling in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for more than two hours yesterday, House Democrats emerged to say they were still undecided about how to pare down the overall cost of the supplemental spending bill.

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Police To Seal Off DC Neighborhoods

June 4, 2008

Police to Seal Off D.C. Neighborhoods

2008_0604_police.jpg

Can you say Police State? The Examiner has the scoop on a controversial new program announced today that would create so-called "Neighborhood Safety Zones" which would serve to partially seal off certain parts of the city. D.C. Police would set-up checkpoints in targeted areas, demand to see ID and refuse admittance to people who don't live there, work there or have a “legitimate reason” to be there. Wow. Just, wow.

Some of the words used to describe such a plan by those quoted in the Examiner story include "breathtaking" and "cockamamie," but that hardly begins to scratch the surface. Interim Attorney General Peter Nickles actually said that measures of this sort have "been used in other cities.” Which cities are those, Mr. Nickles? Warsaw?

Today's proposal appears to be a desperate attempt by the city to tamp down recent violence that has ravaged the city, especially in Ward 5. The "Neighborhood Safety Zones" would last up to 10 days. It's a struggle to think of words to describe such a plan other than authoritarian or ghettoization.

The full description of this plan from the mayor's press release is below.

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Indicted Saudi Gets $80M US Military Contract

ABC News

Indicted Saudi Gets $80 Million US Contract

The Financier Has Been Indicted For His Alleged Role in a Scandal Costing US Taxpayers $1.7 billion

By GRETCHEN PETERS

Gaith Pharaon
(ABC News Photo Illustration)

June 4, 2008—

The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.

The Saudi businessman was also named in a 2002 French parliamentary report as having links to informal money transfer networks called hawala, known to be used by traders and terrorists, including Al Qaeda.

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Presidential Candidate Assassination Art Show Busted

Related
Once You Go Barack . . .

The art piece "Once You Go Barack . . . " is part of Yazmany Arboleda's "The Assassination of Barack Obama" exhibit which premiered in late February of 2008 but was shut down a week later.

ABC News

Candidate Assassination Art Show Busted

New York Police Officers Shut Down the Exhibition Entitled "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton / The Assassination of Barack Obama"

By MARK CRUDELE

June 4, 2008—

A controversial performance art exhibit titled "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama," was shut down by police in Midtown Manhattan this morning and the artist was interviewed by police and released without charge.

The Boston-born performance artist, Yazmany Arboleda, set up his exhibition at a vacant storefront and wrote "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama," in white stenciled letters on the front window.

NYPD officers and Secret Service agents quickly shut down the exhibition.

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Hamas unendorses Obama after speech to pro-Israel lobby

Related
Barack Obama: Ethnic Cleanser

Tales from the Trail

Tracking the 2008 U.S. campaign

June 4th, 2008

Posted by: David Alexander

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may have taken care of his Hamas problem onWednesday with a speech to the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby.

The Illinois senator was ridiculed, criticized and generally harassed back in April when a top Hamas adviser, Ahmed Yousef, told a radio interviewer that the Palestinian militant group — considered a terrorist organization rtx6iml.jpgby the U.S. government — liked Obama and hoped he would win the U.S. presidential election.

Yousef’s remarks were labeled a Hamas endorsement and Republican John McCain used them as part of a fundraising appeal to supporters. Obama’s denunciations of Hamas and criticism of McCain over the incident did little to undo the damage.

That may have changed Wednesday, when Obama went before American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington a day after clinching the Democratic nomination and declared his strong support for Israel.

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Study secretly tracks cell phone users outside US

4 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Researchers secretly tracked the locations of 100,000 people outside the United States through their cell phone use and concluded that most people rarely stray more than a few miles from home.

The first-of-its-kind study by Northeastern University raises privacy and ethical questions for its monitoring methods, which would be illegal in the United States.

It also yielded somewhat surprising results that reveal how little people move around in their daily lives. Nearly three-quarters of those studied mainly stayed within a 20-mile-wide circle for half a year.

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Ex-Bush health chief's firm wins 9/11 contract

Related
9/11 Victims' Families Send Letter Decrying Politicization Of Guantánamo Military Commissions
AP: Arizona legislator wants McCain to hear Sept. 11 suspicions

Ex-Bush health chief's firm wins Sept. 11 work

By DEVLIN BARRETT – 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Bush's health chief, Tommy Thompson proudly trumpeted millions of taxpayer dollars to help workers sickened by the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center, even amid complaints that his agency wasn't doing enough.

Now, Thompson's private company has won an $11 million contract to treat some of those same workers — the latest twist in a fitful government effort to determine how many people were made ill by the toxic debris — and to care for them.

The contract awarded by the Centers for Disease Control is aimed at tracking the health of between 4,000 and 6,000 workers who live outside the New York City area, where a separate health monitoring program is in place. The CDC is part of the Health and Human Services Department, which Thompson headed in Bush's first term.

--MORE--AP: Arizona legislator wants McCain to hear Sept. 11 suspicions AP: Arizona legislator wants McCain to hear Sept. 11 suspicions
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Rezko Convicted of Influence Peddling

DEPT. OF JURISPRUDENCE

Updated 5:23 p.m.


By Peter Slevin


CHICAGO -- A federal jury today convicted political fundraiser Antoin Rezko, a longtime backer of Sen. Barack Obama, of influence peddling in the high councils of Illinois state government.

The verdict comes after weeks of vivid insider accounts about attempts to sell political favors in the administration of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D).

The jury concluded that Rezko was part of a corrupt money-making scheme and found Rezko guilty of 16 of 24 felony counts, including fraud, money laundering and joining a bribery conspiracy.

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NEWSWIRE: JUNE 4, 2008 - CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

4th
08:17 am: No new evidence of 'al Qaeda' threat despite report: U.S.
08:20 am: AIPAC is pushing us to war with Iran for Israel
08:33 am: 'Gay' Jewish activist claims Constitution deems sex with animals 'inalienable right'
08:43 am: Obama clinches nomination with 2119 votes. It's over
08:46 am: Fallon Breaks Silence on His Dissent
08:47 am: War and Occupation, American-style
08:49 am: In Defeat, Clinton Pretends to Win: She's abrasive, self-absorbed, selfish, delusional, extortionate - 2 comments
08:56 am: McCain’s Past Infidelities, Ongoing Sanctimony Haunt Him In Town Hall Meeting
09:02 am: Inside the US-Israel lobby
09:04 am: Bush On Iraq War: "I Don't Care If It Created More Enemies"
09:08 am: DOD Contracts Out Contractor Oversight
09:11 am: Barack Obama (live — and with an Israeli-American flag pin on his lapel)
09:15 am: Libby told FBI it is possible he was instructed by Cheney to leak CIA agent's identity
09:19 am: Sibel Edmonds Case: ABC News investigates Hastert scandals and the Turkish Connections
09:31 am: When Will Israel Quit Pretending Peaceful Intent?
09:37 am: LBJ Admitted Assassination of SOUTH Vietnamese President
09:46 am: Jimmy Carter tells Barack Obama not to pick Hillary Clinton as running mate
09:55 am: Israeli Parliament advances a bill to make Jerusalem capital of Israel and all the Jews
10:05 am: AIPAC and the American right
10:12 am: The Fallout From the Fallout 3 Revelations; No new evidence of 'al Qaeda' threat despite SITE
10:35 am: Did Taking Cues From Lobby Cost Clinton The Nomination?
10:45 am: Operation St. Paul: Ron Paul supporters poised to take over the city during the GOP convection
10:48 am: Israel is a nation built on a Big Lie
11:01 am: Former Israeli Finance Minister indicted for fraud
11:10 am: Mass. State Senator Arrested After Sexually Molesting Stranger on Park Bench
11:15 am: Owner of embattled kosher slaughterhouse charges allegations are a big 'lie'
11:22 am: Energy price manipulation and enabling legislation
12:03 pm: 'Credit recession' may last more than two years, experts say
12:13 pm: The Palestinian Catastrophe - 60 Years of Justice Denied
12:24 pm: Barack Obama: Ethnic Cleanser
12:42 pm: Triumph of Lunacy: The military-industrial complex, the 'Christian' right, and the “liberal media”
12:44 pm: Occupation has cost Israel dear, says report
12:50 pm: The power network
12:52 pm: Israel marks its 60th birthday in a climate of racism, intolerance, corruption and militarism
12:56 pm: Israel-US: Beyond the make-believe of negotiations
01:16 pm: Israel's Shin Bet Intimidates Top Human Rights Medical Director and His Family
01:18 pm: UK Union of Journalists Protest Routine Police Surveillance
01:20 pm: Council on Foreign Relations Dissects Obama's Team
01:33 pm: POLITICS-US: Winter Soldiers Hit the Streets
01:36 pm: Kosher slaughterhouse raids may have compromised ongoing child-sex trafficking investigation - 2 comments
02:11 pm: Dems cut unemployment extension to fund wars
02:19 pm: Police To Seal Off DC Neighborhoods
02:24 pm: Indicted Saudi Gets $80M US Military Contract
02:28 pm: Presidential Candidate Assassination Art Show Busted
02:43 pm: theassassinationofbarackobama.com
02:53 pm: Hamas unendorses Obama after speech to pro-Israel lobby
03:05 pm: Study secretly tracks cell phone users outside US
03:11 pm: Ex-Bush health chief's firm wins 9/11 contract
03:43 pm: Rezko Convicted of Influence Peddling