August 2nd, 2008


US agents can seize property without cause

U.S. agents can seize travelers' laptops: report

Fri Aug 1, 2008 8:13am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. federal agents have been given new powers to seize travelers' laptops and other electronic devices at the border and hold them for unspecified periods the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Under recently disclosed Department of Homeland Security policies, such seizures may be carried out without suspicion of wrongdoing, the newspaper said, quoting policies issued on July 16 by two DHS agencies.

Agents are empowered to share the contents of seized computers with other agencies and private entities for data decryption and other reasons, the newspaper said.



Was 9/11 an Inside Job?

Posted 01/08/2008

by Mark H. Gaffney

Regrettably, there is considerable evidence that elements of the Bush administration were complicit in the 9/11 attack, and may even have helped stage it. Let us now examine some of what I regard as the most compelling evidence. However, the following discussion makes no claim to be comprehensive.

We know that within minutes of the “worst terrorist attack” in US history, even before the collapse of WTC-2 at 9:59 am, US officials knew the names of several of the alleged hijackers. CBS reported that a flight attendant on AA Flight 11, Amy Sweeney, had the presence of mind to call her office and reveal the seat numbers of the hijackers who had seized the plane.[1] FBI Director Robert Mueller later said, “This was the first piece of hard evidence.”[2] In his memoirs CIA Director George Tenet emphasizes the importance of the passenger manifests, as does counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke.[3] All of which is very strange because the manifests later released by the airlines do not include the names of any of the alleged hijackers. Nor has this discrepancy ever been explained.

According to MSNBC, the plan to invade Afghanistan and “remove Al Qaeda from the face of he earth” was already sitting on G.W. Bush’s desk on the morning of 9/11 awaiting his signature.[4] The plan, in the form of a presidential directive, had been developed by the CIA and according to Richard Clarke called for “arming the Northern go on the offensive against the Taliban [and] pressing the CIA to...go after bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leadership.”[5]


The economy of influence

July 31, 2008 12:59 p.m. by Lawrence Lessig

On Tuesday, Senator Ted Stevens was indicted by federal prosecutors for failing to report gifts he had received from an oil company to help him renovate his Alaskan home. The charges were not a surprise, though official Washington mustered its collective, and requisite outrage. Senators Dole and Sununu were quick to return campaign contributions from the now-tainted Stevens. Editorials across the nation were quick to condemn the obvious graft targeted by the government.

But I confess, I don't get it. Not that I don't see the wrong in what Stevens has done. That's obvious. What's not obvious to me is why this wrong is so different from everything else that DC thinks is right.

The concern with the gifts that Stevens allegedly took from oil companies is clear enough. If a Senator takes a gift from a special interest, he's less likely to weigh the interests of that special interest properly. If he's getting gifts from an oil company, for example, he's less likely to weigh concerns about global warming properly. He's more likely to ignore those concerns. He's more likely, in other words, to put his private interest (in continuing the gifts) above the public interest (dealing with the threats from global warming). These types of events are exactly why myself and Joe Trippi started Change Congress: as a way to address corruption in Washington D.C. 


Obama flip flops: Now supports offshore drilling

Posted on Fri, Aug. 01, 2008

In major change, Obama says he'll support offshore drilling 

David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: August 01, 2008 08:04:53 PM

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama Friday dropped his opposition to offshore oil drilling, saying he could go along with the idea if it was part of a broader energy package.

Obama made his comments in St. Petersburg during an interview with the Palm Beach Post. "My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," he said.

"If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage - I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done," the paper quoted Obama as saying. 


US sub leaked radioactive water, possibly for months

Story Highlights 

Leak was found on the USS Houston during routine maintenance last month

Navy officials say amount of radiation leaked into water was virtually undetectable

Sub spent time at ports in Guam, Japan and Hawaii

Officials: Radiation was "negligible" and an "extremely low level"

From Jamie McIntyre and Mike Mount
CNN Pentagon Unit

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Water with trace amounts of radioactivity may have leaked for months from a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered submarine as it traveled around the Pacific to ports in Guam, Japan and Hawaii, Navy officials told CNN on Friday.

The leak was found on the USS Houston, a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, after it went to Hawaii for routine maintenance last month, Navy officials said.

Navy officials said the amount of radiation leaked into the water was virtually undetectable. But the Navy alerted the Japanese government because the submarine had been docked in Japan. 


New British government committee may police the Internet

 August 1, 2008 by Mark O'Neill |

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

In what goes to prove that the British really do have a sense of humour, it has been recommended that a government committee be set up to protect Internet users from nasty people online such as abusive bloggers.   Hey you…..f**king read this OK?   I’m putting a lot of damn work into this post!!  :-)

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has just brought out their report on harmful content on the Internet and video games (start reading it and I guarantee you’ll fall asleep).   One of the recommendations being put forward is that a government watchdog be set up to monitor and “police” the net against all the baddies roaming about cyberspace.

This “watchdog” would operate an online ‘code of practice’ and - here’s Joke Of The Month - order bloggers and social networking sites to take down offensive messages or photographs.   As Shane Richmond says here, “good luck with that!”.   You might get a responsible site such as Facebook complying with such an order, but try giving such an order to a blogger.   He’ll laugh, flip the cyber-finger and put the written order on Reddit or Digg.



Dr. Bruce Ivins, Ms. Jean Duley, and the FBI’s “Court Document”

Posted by willyloman on August 2, 2008

by Scott Creighton

“This is rumor control! Here are the facts…”

It is not surprising that the government’s official story about the second worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil should have nearly as many holes in it and unanswered questions, as it’s prequel; 9/11. And it is ALL based on one court document witness statement, that originated… with the FBI.

But as hastily as the “official spokespersons” and the MSM are rushing to hang this heinous crime around the neck of Dr. Bruce Ivins, people like Glenn Greenwald, Rachel Maddow, and Atrios are trying to kick open the shutters to shed a little light on the matter. Let’s see if we can help them out, shall we?

(photo copies of the official “court documents” after the break) 



McCain foreign police advisior was a "key player" in getting the US to invade Iraq

Did McCain's foreign-policy advisor profit from the Iraq war? 

In a confidential memo, a company tells investors consultant Randy Scheunemann can help it win Iraqi oil contracts -- because he was a "key player" in getting the U.S. to invade. 

By Mark Benjamin

Aug. 01, 2008 | As recently as last year, John McCain's senior foreign-policy and national security advisor, a neoconservative who played a leading role in pushing for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, was trying to use his role in promoting the Iraq war to make money off Iraqi oil. In a confidential memo, a company called World Strategic Energy, for which top McCain aide Randy Scheunemann was an executive consultant, told prospective investors that Scheunemann could help World Strategic Energy win oil contracts in Iraq because he was well-connected in the Iraqi exile community and had been a "key player" in getting the U.S. involved in Iraq. The memo was first published by blogger and Salon contributor Lindsay Beyerstein, who wrote that the 44-page brochure-style "placement memorandum" was being circulated to potential investors as late as 2007.

Scheunemann was pushing for the use of U.S. military force in Iraq a decade ago. He was a director of the Project for the New American Century, the neoconservative group that sent a public letter to President Clinton in 1998 urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In 1998, while working for Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, he helped author a bill that gave close to $100 million to the Iraqi National Congress, the anti-Hussein exile group run by Ahmad Chalabi. The World Strategic Energy document memo includes a photo of Scheunemann with Chalabi. After working on McCain's failed presidential bid in 2000, Scheunemann went on to become the head of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a non-government organization with close ties to the Bush administration that was formed in 2002 and dedicated to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003. "Randy Scheunemann was a key player in the U.S. involvement in the Iraq war," says the memo. "[H]e coordinated the White House's 'Outside the Government' public relations campaign on Iraq while administering relationships with key Iraqi leaders in exile." The brochure says that thanks to Scheunemann, "some of the team's strongest relationships are in Iraq."

Scheunemann is McCain's point man in articulating and defending the senator's Iraq policy. McCain was also a major advocate of the original invasion. The Worldwide document seems to portray Scheunemann as attempting to profit off the war. It is unclear how much, if any, money Scheunemann made from Worldwide. 


The Tennessean: Bush must be stopped before starting war with Iran

By JOE PARKO • July 28, 2008

The Bush administration, in rhetoric that is eerily similar to that used to build the case for a war against Iraq, asserts that the Iranian Quds Force is arming anti-U.S. groups in Iraq and providing them with high-tech roadside bombs and sophisticated rockets.

It dismisses the National Intelligence Estimate conclusion that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program.

The White House has not provided evidence to back up its claims. I suspect it never will. And when Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz tells the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth an attack on Iran is "unavoidable" if Tehran does not halt its alleged nuclear weapons program, what he is really telling us is we should prepare for war.


Pelosi confronted

Added: July 29, 2008

Nancy Pelosi is currently serving as the Speaker of the House... despite much of her talk about opposing President Bush's agenda and standing behind the Constitution, Mrs. Pelosi's record speaks for itself! She voted for the PATRIOT act, voted for every bill funding a war she supposedly is against, and has also even voted against legislation that would protect the 4th Amendment. It is also key to mention that Mrs. Pelosi is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a global think tank which has publicly stated that it wants to destroy national sovereignty.

Nancy Pelosi was brought into the House in order to push for impeachment as well as an end to the war in Iraq... to date, she has done none of this!

Recently, members of WeAreCHANGE confronted Mrs. Pelosi at the New York Times Center in Manhattan about these facts.


Attorneys for Dead Anthrax Scientist Respond to Client’s Suicide


August 1, 2008, 1:46 pm

Attorneys for Bruce Ivins Respond to Client’s Suicide

Posted by Dan Slater

kempEarlier today, we noted the suicide of Bruce Ivins, a biodefense researcher who the DOJ was close to filing criminal charges against. Ivins, 62, was a leading military anthrax researcher who worked for the past 18 years at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Ivins had reportedly been told of the impending prosecution. For their part, the prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Ivins.

This afternoon, Ivins’ attorneys at Venable, Paul F. Kemp (pictured) and Thomas M. DeGonia, released the following statement:

    For more than a year, we have been privileged to represent Dr. Bruce Ivins during the investigation of the anthrax deaths of September and October of 2001. For six years, Dr. Ivins fully cooperated with that investigation, assisting the government in every way that was asked of him. He was a world-renowned and highly decorated scientist who served his country for over 33 years with the Department of the Army. We are saddened by his death, and disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to defend his good name and reputation in a court of law. We assert his innocence in these killings, and would have established that at trial. The relentless pressure of accusation and innuendo takes its toll in different ways on different people, as has already been seen in this investigation. In Dr. Ivins’ case, it led to his untimely death. . . .


What happens when the mayor's name is Bloomberg and the owner's name is Steinbrenner?

What happens is graft and corruption on a ten-figure scale. Tax monies that should be going to public schools and police and fire departments now is being shoveled into the greedy paws of a couple of Khazar descendants to build a modern day coliseum for baseball's New York Yankees.

Let them eat cake.

Let's not forget who got this mess rolling in the first place, that lover of all things Israel and dedicated Zionist, Rudy GHOULiani.

Seems like the former mayor was busy in his final days, whether it was helping with the pre-9/11 planning or helping his Zionist buddies rake-off billions of dollars in public money.

P.S. This story was told on Democracy Now when Zionist gatekeeper, Amy Goodman, was away on vacation. DN was hosted by Juan Gonzalez.

Field of Schemes: Congress Probes How New Sports Stadiums Turn Public Money into Private Profit


McCain suggests military approach to control inner city crime

Added: August 01, 2008

Speaking at the National Urban League today, McCain compared fighting crime to the troop surge in Iraq:

"And some of those tactics -- you mention the war in Iraq -- are like that we use in the military. You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement, etc, etc."


A Surge on the Homefront?

August 01, 2008 12:48 PM

ABC News' David Wright reports: Answering a question at the Urban League about his approach to combating crime, John McCain suggested that military strategies currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods here in the US.

McCain at first praised the crime-fighting efforts of Rudolph Giuliani when he was mayor of New York City. Then he down-shifted into an approach that sounded considerably harsher.


Who's Really Running Iraq?

Weekend Edition
August 2 / 3, 2008

Home Truths You'll Never Read in the Press


American politicians and journalists have repeatedly made the same mistake in Iraq over the past five years. This is to assume that the US is far more in control of events in the country than has ever truly been the case. This was true after the fall of Saddam Hussein when President Bush and his viceroy in Baghdad Paul Bremer believed that what Iraqis thought and did could safely be ignored. Within months guerrilla war against American forces was raging across central Iraq.

The ability of America to make unilateral decisions in Iraq is diminishing by the month, but the White House was still horrified to hear the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki appearing to endorse Barack Obama’s plan for the withdrawal of American combat troops over 16 months. This cut the ground from under the feet of  John McCain who has repeatedly declared that ‘victory’ is at last within America’s grasp because of the great achievements of ‘the Surge’, the American reinforcements sent to Iraq in 2007 to regain control of Baghdad.

The success of ‘the Surge’ is becoming almost received wisdom in the US. This is strange since, if the US strategy did win such an important victory, why do America generals need more soldiers, currently 147,000 of them, in Iraq than they did before ‘the  Surge’ started? But belief in this so-called victory is in keeping with the American tradition of seeing everything that happens in Iraq as being the result of actions by the US alone. The complex political landscape of Iraq is ignored. US commentators have never quite taken on board that there are not one but three wars being fought out in the country since 2003: the first is the war of resistance against the American occupation by insurgents from the Sunni Arab community. The second is the battle between the Sunni and Shia communities as to who should rule the Iraqi state in succession to Saddam Hussein. The third conflict is a proxy war between the US and Iran to decide who should be the predominant foreign power in Iraq. The real, though exaggerated, fall in violence in Iraq over the last year is a consequence of developments in all three of these wars, but they do not necessarily have much to do with ‘the Surge’.



Egypt Killing Starved Palestinians for Israel

PA torments Palestinians on Israel’s behalf

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

Last update - 11:58 02/08/2008

Five Palestinians suffocate to death after Egypt blows up tunnel

By News Agencies

Five Palestinians were killed and 18 wounded in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border after Egyptian troops blew up the entrance, an Egyptian security official and Gaza hospital doctors said Saturday.

"The destruction of the entrance deprived those inside the tunnel of oxygen," said the Egyptian official, who is stationed at the border and spoke on customary condition of anonymity. Gaza hospital officials said the five died from lack of oxygen.

The tunnel entrance was destroyed late Friday, near the Gaza border town of Rafah.


Mudslinging will damage McCain’s brand—but it may be the only way he can win

The Low-Road Warrior

By John Heilemann

Published Aug 1, 2008

On the morning in March when Barack Obama was preparing to give his speech on race in Philadelphia to try to contain the fallout from the Jeremiah Wright imbroglio, I was having breakfast in Washington with a member of John McCain’s inner circle. The topic at hand was whether McCain was licking his chops at the prospect of facing Obama in the fall—whether he relished the idea of running negative against the hopemonger on questions of his patriotism and, er, otherness. My McCainiac source noted that his boss had “demonstrated admirable restraint and respect for Obama in the last few weeks,” citing McCain’s rebuke of the Tennessee GOP when it issued a press release that invoked Obama’s middle name and featured that photo of him in Somali tribal clothing, calling it “Muslim garb.” “McCain has drawn a bright line and said that’s unacceptable,” my companion said. “It’s a genuine reflex: He really wants the campaign to be civil.”

The following night I was drinking with a big-time Republican operative who’d worked during the primaries for a rival candidate. When I floated the notion of the Good McCain, this person snorted. “He didn’t have a problem calling Mitt Romney a phony in New Hampshire or comparing George W. Bush to Bill Clinton in South Carolina in 2000,” he said. “McCain is a tough guy. He’ll do whatever he needs to do.”

Until last week, it was an open question which of these visions of McCain bore a closer relation to reality. But with the weeklong string of attacks uncorked by the Arizona senator and his people during Obama’s trip abroad and in its aftermath—some brutal, some mocking, but all personal and focused on Obama’s character—we now have an inkling of just how deep in the mud McCain and his people are willing to wallow in order to win in November: right up to their Republican eyeballs.


Air Force General Dead; 'Likely' a Suicide

Air Force Officer Dead; Likely a Suicide

By Sharon Weinberger July 29, 2008

Tinsley The Air Force's bad year just got a whole lot worse. A general who spent nearly two years as the executive officer to the recently ousted Air force chief of staff has died in an apparent suicide at his home in Alaska, AP reports:

Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Tinsley suffered a gunshot wound to his chest late Sunday night and was pronounced dead within a half hour, said Col. Richard Walberg, who assumed command at Elmendorf Air Force Base after Tinsley's death.

Tinsley, the commander at Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base, previously worked at the Pentagon under General T. Michael "Buzz" Mosely, who along with Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, was recently forced to resign.





By Mike Gravel

It saddens all who respect the distinguished Israeli historian Benny Morris to see him join forces with Vice President Dick Cheney’s neocon cabal, which dictates Middle East policy for the Bush White House, and AIPAC, which influences the majority of the U.S. Congress. The New York Times, the self-styled newspaper of national record, published the incendiary Morris op-ed article, Using Bombs to Stave Off War, on July 22 in its continuing effort to gin up a needless and dangerous war with Iran.

Morris, who has long fought for the humane treatment of the Palestinian people, is now trashing his reputation as a scholar when he repeats without proof a speciously false generalization like “every intelligence agency in the world believes the Iranian [nuclear] program is geared toward making weapons.” When talking about nuclear war, “belief and fact” are serious distinctions. The American National Intelligence Estimate, the report of 16 intelligence agencies, which compiled information from around the world, reported in 2007 that Iran had given up a nuclear weapons program in 2003. Even the Israeli Mossad can find no proof; if they could, they would shout it from the rooftops.

Morris now resorts to echoing baseless claims made by AIPAC, Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CN) that call for the U.S. and Israeli militaries to launch an unprovoked attack against Iran––essentially committing a war crime—an unprovoked invasion of another sovereign nation. Was not the Iraq War––licensed by the Lieberman resolution––crime enough?


Israel lobby calls the shots in US

By Fawaz Turki, Special to Gulf News

Published: August 02, 2008

A funny thing happened to Barack Obama on the way to Palestine recently - he chose to forget that there were Palestinians there who had lived and suffered grievously under a foreign occupation for 40 years.

In Israel, he visited Sderot, the town abutting the Gaza border, to express solemn sympathy for the 13 civilians killed there by Gazan militants in recent years, making no reference to the fact that this would equal the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis on a slow weekend. In the West Bank, where his motorcade skirted that wall of hate snaking in places for miles into Palestinian territory, and where for four decades Palestinians have had to endure checkpoints, land expropriation, curfews and collective punishment, there was nary a word of commiseration for the victims.

By why blame Obama, an American politician, for being an American politician? The man was trolling for American Jewish votes back home, and where else do American politicians traditionally go to do that but Israel, for which you're expected to demonstrate your undying love? That's the way it has always been for presidential candidates, who rarely worry about adjusting their comments to accomodate Arab-American internet groups but are always mindful to appease a well-organised, affluent and influential Jewish lobby. And this goes back, all the way back, to president Harry Truman who once famously remarked, "In all of my political experience, I don't ever recall the Arab vote swinging a close election".


The Planned Collapse of America

By Peter Chamberlin

There is no shortage of speculation about “why” our leaders are still adamantly planning for the destruction of Iran, in the face of overwhelming popular opposition, even though everyone except the neocons and their allies believes that America would not survive our own actions. An irrational attack is planned and apparently the decision has been chiseled in stone. It may be for Israel. It may be for oil. Maybe it is for world domination.

We are launching a nuclear world war to save us from ourselves. “We have found the enemy and he is us.” - Pogo. We risk blowing the world apart, to avoid watching America slowly choke on its own excesses.

The government has known for decades that America is on a countdown to self-destruction. Among the elite it is common knowledge that our “global economy” must one day collapse from its own dead weight. In 1974 an intensive research project was undertaken by the Stanford Research Institute and the Charles F. Kettering Foundation for the Dept. of Education. Their final report was released as the Changing Images of Man.



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09:04 am: US agents can seize property without cause
09:06 am: Was 9/11 an Inside Job?
09:08 am: The economy of influence
09:10 am: Attempted Citizens' Arrest for War Crimes of Ex-Head of MI6 Richard Dearlove
09:14 am: Obama flip flops: Now supports offshore drilling
09:16 am: Bush 41 to Rush: "Do you see our man Ailes at all?" Ha. Ha. Ha.
09:19 am: Pelosi shut down House cameras. Culberson (R-TX) began streaming video through QIK from his phone
09:26 am: US sub leaked radioactive water, possibly for months
09:28 am: New British government committee may police the Internet
09:32 am: China reminds Internet users Big Brother is watching - every 30 minutes
09:35 am: Dr. Bruce Ivins, Ms. Jean Duley, and the FBI’s “Court Document”
09:40 am: McCain foreign police advisior was a "key player" in getting the US to invade Iraq
11:13 am: The Tennessean: Bush must be stopped before starting war with Iran
11:16 am: JAMES PETRAS and war with Iran - Listen live
11:20 am: Pelosi confronted
11:23 am: Attorneys for Dead Anthrax Scientist Respond to Client’s Suicide
11:28 am: What happens when the mayor's name is Bloomberg and the owner's name is Steinbrenner?
11:29 am: McCain suggests military approach to control inner city crime - 1 comment
11:46 am: Jesse Ventura Talks 9/11 Truth On Howard Stern
12:04 pm: Palestinians Face Home Demolitions Spree by Israel
12:05 pm: Who's Really Running Iraq?
12:10 pm: Egypt Killing Starved Palestinians for Israel
12:33 pm: Mudslinging will damage McCain’s brand—but it may be the only way he can win
12:34 pm: Air Force General Dead; 'Likely' a Suicide
01:05 pm: Israel lobby calls the shots in US
01:33 pm: The Planned Collapse of America