August 6th, 2008


Mauritanian forces seize president in a coup d'etat

President held in Mauritania coup 

22 minutes ago

NOUAKCHOTT (AFP) - Troops overthrew Mauritania's president in a military coup on Wednesday after he tried to sack senior army officers accused of being behind a political crisis destabilising the country. 

President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was arrested as troops rolled through the capital Nouakchott and took over the presidential palace and the prime minister's office.

They chased staff from the headquarters of state radio and television, though there was no sign of fighting in the city. 


Military jury reaches verdict in trial of Bin Laden's driver

Military jury reaches verdict at Guantanamo trial

By MIKE MELIA, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago

A military jury reached a verdict Wednesday in the first Guantanamo war crimes trial.

A spokeswoman for the military tribunals said the panel of six American military officers will soon deliver the decision in the case against Osama bin Laden's former driver.

Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni, faced up to a life sentence if convicted of consipiracy or supporting terrorism after the 10-day trial, which provided the first demonstration of a special tribunal system for prosecuting alleged terrorists.



Colonel Anderson Refutes False Allegations Against Dr. Ivins

Explained: Why The Anthrax Strain Was Found in Ivins' Office 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Colonel Arthur Anderson is the chief of human use and ethics at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the bioweapons facility where Dr. Ivins worked and where the anthrax strains were apparently obtained by the anthrax killer.

In that position, Colonel Anderson's responsibilities include the following jobs:

"Conduct inquiries and investigations upon receipt of allegations of scientific misconduct or improper researcher behavior.



Nothing says "Change" like 3,000 cops in riot gear ready to bash your skull in

Just a little taste of what awaits me in Denver.

Last month, under pressure from the A.C.L.U. lawsuit, the city released a list of expenses related to the convention showing that the police were preparing for large demonstrations and mass arrests and that the department had spent $2.1 million on protection equipment for its officers, $1.4 million for barricades and $850,000 for supplies related to the arrest and processing of suspects.

In disclosing the cost breakdown, city officials denied rumors that had circulated for weeks that they had contemplated buying exotic nonlethal weapons that fired an immobilizing goo, or that used radiation or sonic waves to incapacitate people or vehicles.

As the article makes clear, all of this over-the-top preparation is to contain political protestors—not to protect against a terrorist attack—even though authorities admit that there is no credible threat of either terrorism or violent protest.

The federal government is also sending Denver an additional $50 million for security, and while I’m not so naïve as to think that no additional security is required, my experience in New York in 2004 (coupled with the stories I have heard about Boston) tells me that all this extra muscle will encourage authorities to err on the side of imagined security while actively suppressing the First Amendment rights of many protesters and passers-by.



The Antisemitism Incitement Craze

August 5, 2008

The Case of Maurice Sinet


He was sued more than once for his anti-colonialist cartoons during the Algerian War. Now, the roles are reversed. French cartoonist Maurice Sinet, popularly known as Siné, is suing the French “leftist” magazine Charlie Hebdo for defamation against those who accused him of being anti-Semitic.

Siné was fired from Charlie Hebdo a week after publishing a satirical cartoon he drew about Jean Sarkozy in July, the son of President Nicolas Sarkozy. The President’s son had just announced he was getting engaged to one of the wealthiest young women in France, Jessica Sebaoun-Darty — an heiress to a family who owns Darty electrical good stores. Darty is Jewish, so rumors went flying that Jean Sarkozy intended to convert to Judaism before the marriage.

In the cartoon, Siné wrote about the young Sarkozy’s engagement and his recent appearance in court for running his scooter into the back of a car, then driving away without giving his name. 


Judge unseals anthrax documents

FBI said to have stalked Ivins' family
Anthrax Attacks — Assassin Nation
Bruce Ivins: The Movie

Judge agrees to unseal documents in anthrax probe


WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief judge of Washington's federal courthouse on Wednesday unsealed hundreds of pages of documents in the FBI's nearly 7-year investigation of anthrax mailings that killed five people.

The move by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth came after consultation with Amy Jeffress, a national security prosecutor at Justice, and as FBI Director Robert Mueller (MUH' ler) prepared to brief the families of anthrax victims on details of the case.

The documents that Lamberth authorized to be released include more than a dozen search warrants aimed at Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins, whom federal investigators were closing in on as he committed suicide last week. Among other things, the papers are expected to reveal how the FBI narrowed the scope of its investigation to the Fort Detrick, Md., scientist.



Giant online security hole getting fixed...slowly

By JORDAN ROBERTSON – 3 hours ago

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A giant vulnerability in the Internet's design is allowing criminals to silently redirect traffic to Web sites under their control. The problem is being fixed, but its extent remains unknown and many people are still at risk.

The gaping security hole enables a scam that targets ordinary people typing in a legitimate Web address. It happens because hackers are now able to manipulate the machines that help computers find Web sites. If the trick is done properly, computer users are unlikely to detect whether they've landed at a legitimate site or an evil double maintained by someone bent on fraud.

Security experts fear an open season for virus attacks and identity-fraud scams. 


How-To: Stop the RIAA/MPAA from sniffing your bittorrent traffic

Monday, August 4, 2008

If you live in the United States, France, UK, you may be thinking that getting music and movies from ThePirateBay isn't such a great idea anymore.

Well, you're wrong. By taking these easy steps, you can protect your privacy from the prying eyes of RIAA/MPAA and the gov't. The result? No one will come knocking your door, or if they do, they won't have any proof.


  • Make sure you have a strong password for your login/encryption, a password like 'iruletheworld' won't do. "G7s&8bnu9#8vHU" will. If you can't remember it, write it somewhere and put it in a SAFE, HIDDEN location.
  • Get a good password here 
  • --MORE-- 

White House 'buried British intelligence on Iraq WMDs'

The Times
August 6, 2008

White House 'buried British intelligence on Iraq WMDs'


George W Bush and Tony Blair

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Tony Blair and George Bush both saw intelligence contradicting the rationale for invading Iraq, a new book claims

Tim Reid in Washington and Sam Coates in London

MI6 told Tony Blair before the invasion of Iraq that a high-placed Iraqi source said that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. The intelligence was passed to the US but was buried by the White House, according to a new book.

The book claimed that the former Prime Minister sent a top British spy to the Middle East in 2003 — three months before the invasion — to dig up enough intelligence to avoid war but that President Bush and Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, dismissed any claims or possible evidence that would stop military action.

In The Way of the World, the Pulitzer prize-winning author Ron Suskind also claimed that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a backdated, handwritten letter purportedly from the head of Iraqi Intelligence to Saddam. The letter, which came to light nine months after the invasion, was meant to demonstrate a link between the Baathist regime and al-Qaeda. 



Deputy threatened to arrest 12-year-old for “unlawful photography”

Deputy threatened to arrest 12-year-old daughter for “unlawful photography”

By Carlos Miller
After arresting Scott Conover for “unlawful photography” in Mountain City, Tennessee last June, Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Starling McCloud threatened to arrest Conover’s 12-year-old daughter with the same charge after she snapped two photos of her father getting handcuffed.

As it turns out, she is a better photographer than her father because she actually managed to photograph the camera shy deputy.

The fact that she snapped the photos knowing it could get her arrested proves she is a chip off the old block. Her father, after all, is a rabble-rouser who has been a thorn in the side of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office since moving to Tennessee from Key Largo five years ago.

But what else can we expect from a man born and raised in Miami in a hospital down the street from where I grew up? 



The lies of Hiroshima live on, props in the war crimes of the 20th century

The 1945 attack was murder on an epic scale. In its victims' names, we must not allow a nuclear repeat in the Middle East

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then walked down to the river and met a man called Yukio, whose chest was still etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He and his family still lived in a shack thrown up in the dust of an atomic desert. He described a huge flash over the city, "a bluish light, something like an electrical short", after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. "I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead." Nine years later, when I returned to look for him, he was dead from leukaemia.

In the immediate aftermath of the bomb, the allied occupation authorities banned all mention of radiation poisoning and insisted that people had been killed or injured only by the bomb's blast. It was the first big lie. "No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin" said the front page of the New York Times, a classic of disinformation and journalistic abdication, which the Australian reporter Wilfred Burchett put right with his scoop of the century. "I write this as a warning to the world," reported Burchett in the Daily Express, having reached Hiroshima after a perilous journey, the first correspondent to dare. He described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries but who were dying from what he called "an atomic plague". For telling this truth, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared - and vindicated.



Internet Censorship is On it's Way. The i-Patriot Act

Posted by jL - Jeff Lombardo on August 5, 2008 at 10:08am

Amazing revelations have emerged concerning already existing government plans to overhaul the way the internet functions in order to apply much greater restrictions and control over the web.

Lawrence Lessig, a respected Law Professor from Stanford University told an audience at this years Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Half Moon Bay, California, that “There’s going to be an i-9/11 event” which will act as a catalyst for a radical reworking of the law pertaining to the internet.

Lessig also revealed that he had learned, during a dinner with former government Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke, that there is already in existence a cyber equivalent of the Patriot Act, an “i-Patriot Act” if you will, and that the Justice Department is waiting for a cyber terrorism event in order to implement its provisions.


'Wash Post' says McCain fundraising looks fishy

McCain bundler raises questionable contributions from mechanic, unregistered voters

This list of McCain’s questionable donors continues to rise. On Monday, Dansac highlighted a TPM piece that revealed that Alice Rocchio, a Hess office manager, and Pasquale Rocchio, an Amtrak train foreman, together donated $57,000 to the RNC.

Today, the Washington Post has a pretty explosive story about some more unlikely contributions that were sent McCain’s way.

The bundle of $2,300 and $4,600 checks that poured into Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign on March 12 came from an unlikely group of California donors: a mechanic from D&D Auto Repair in Whittier, the manager of Rite Aid Pharmacy No. 5727, the 30-something owners of the Twilight Hookah Lounge in Fullerton.

So how did these donors with everyday jobs manage to be able to fork over contributions of $2300-$4600, in a time when the economy is in a recession, and people are trying to find ways to save as much as they can? The situation gets more interesting when you look at who raised the money for Senator McCain:



Voter arrested for trying to vote

 Wed Aug-06-08 08:28 AM

163. Galloglas Update: Out of Jail, and ready to answer all questions:
I will try to be as brief as possible with the description of my day as I can manage. But, since there are some sticky points, I will also try to be clear and complete. If anyone finds questions still hanging after reading this entry, and the comments already made above in response to Proud2Blib's post, I will gladly answer.

I, Galloglas, went to vote today and encountered difficuly. And, it is important to point out that this was not the first time I've run onto problems this year.

When I voted in Missouri's Presidential primary in February, 2008, I took the proper identification to my precinct and attempted to cast my ballot. The identification requirements are spelled out graphically on our Secretary of State's Web Site which can be found at /.

And, as I am of the belief that the "Voter Fraud" question is exclusively a creature of the GOP's making (a grudging tip of my hat to the GOP's odious "Thor" Hearne for fathering, with Karl Rove, this abominable scheme), and that the entire "Voter Fraud" issue is nothing more than a smokescreen to encourage the various state's to pass Photo Voter ID Laws, I always choose to use whatever acceptable identification is furthest from that which the GOP would mandate if Missouri did have Photo Voter ID laws.


Morgan Stanley Said to Freeze Home-Equity Credit Withdrawals

By Christine Harper

Enlarge Image/Details

Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest U.S. securities firm, told thousands of clients this week that they won't be allowed to withdraw money on their home-equity credit lines, said a person familiar with the situation.

Most of the clients had properties that have lost value, according to the person, who declined to be identified because the information isn't public. The New York-based investment bank will review home-equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, monthly from now on, the person said yesterday.

Wall Street firms including Morgan Stanley are ratcheting back on risks after the collapse of the subprime mortgage market and ensuing credit contraction saddled banks and brokerages with almost $500 billion of writedowns and losses. Consumers fell behind on home-equity credit lines at the fastest pace in two decades in the first quarter, the American Bankers Association reported last month.



Olympic protesters detained

Olympics: Britons and Americans held over Tibet protests

Protesters unfurl flags and banners near Bird's Nest stadium

  • Tania Branigan and Paul Kelso in Beijing
  • Wednesday August 06 2008 10:15 BST

  • Four protesters including two Britons have been detained in the Chinese
    capital after hanging Free Tibet banners close to the main Bird's Nest stadium.

    The demonstration underlined the clash between competing views of the Olympics in Beijing, as thousands of euphoric spectators cheered the arrival of the torch in Tiananmen Square while foreign activists launched a series of small protests around the city.

    Given the massive security operation in the capital and the carefully organised audience, no one expected demonstrations in or around the square during the relay.



Child labor alleged at meat packing plant

August 5, 2008

State officials allege child labor violations at Postville meat plant



The Agriprocessors meat-processing plant in Postville could be hit with up to $1 million in fines as a result of alleged violations of child-labor laws.

The state’s labor commissioner is asking Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to pursue charges against Agriprocessors for what is alleged to be a record-setting number of criminal violations related to underage Iowa workers.

“There’s no doubt it’s probably the largest case in the history of the state,” said Labor Commissioner Dave Neil. “The investigation brings to light egregious violations of virtually every aspect of Iowa’s child-labor laws.” 



Gallup Finds 35% Of Voters Can't Identify Which Party Their Congressman Belongs To


August 5, 2008

Voters Not Strongly Backing Incumbents for Congress

Percentage backing re-election for their member and most members near all-time lows

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ -- In a year when approval of Congress has reached a new low, just 36% of U.S. registered voters say most members of Congress deserve re-election. This is among the lowest ratings Gallup has measured in a recent presidential or congressional election year.


A fairly large proportion of voters (35%) are unsure whether their member of Congress is a Democrat or a Republican. But among those who are aware, the data suggest that Democratic members might be a little safer this year than Republicans.





Stan Brock on the challenges of founding a volunteer medical corps to treat some of America's many uninsured and underinsured.

By Joan Raymond | Newsweek Web Exclusive

Aug 5, 2008 | Updated: 8:08  a.m. ET Aug 5, 2008

Wise County, Va., may be one of the most picturesque places in America. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, it is home to more than 40,000 people, who make their homes in towns with names such as Big Stone Gap, Toms Creek, Crab Orchard, and Cranes Nest. It sounds idyllic, but many of the people here and in surrounding communities and states are hurting. They can't afford dental, eye or primary medical care services. Some are on disability from working in the region's coal mines. Some are underinsured. Some simply don't know what help is available. Some have no insurance at all. And on July 25, 26 and 27, more than 2,500 of them came to the Wise County fairgrounds to seek help from doctors, eye specialists and dentists who volunteered with Remote Area Medical.

Since 1985, RAM volunteers, about 37,000 strong, have provided more than $33 million in free care on some 600 expeditions around the country, but mainly in the medically underserved areas of Tennessee and Virginia. They've made more than 70,000 glasses and have extracted nearly 110,000 teeth. And their vets have seen about 64,000 animals. RAM founder Stan Brock believes there is still a lot more work to be done. Brock, best-known for his stint as the animal-wrangling co-star of the iconic television show "Wild Kingdom," is no stranger to living rough. He grew up in the Central Amazon Basin and spent 15 years as general manager of the 4,000-square-mile Rupununi Development Company Dadanawa Ranch in Guyana. Brock started RAM to provide care to people in Third World countries. Today, about 60 percent of the group's care is provided to folks in rural America. He spoke to NEWSWEEK's Joan Raymond about why he set up camp in the United States. Excerpts.

NEWSWEEK: How did you become interested in medical care?
Stan Brock: I lived with the Wapishana Indians in the Central Amazon Basin for many years. We didn't have health care. The nearest town was more than 30 days' walk. When I was 17, a horse damn near killed me and I had to get medical care. I knew from that point on that someday I would do something to bring care closer to these wonderful people, but the need for health care for everyone just kept getting bigger. I mean, there's nearly 50 million people in the U.S. without any kind of coverage, and I don't know how many who are underinsured. All you need is one catastrophe, a job loss, and those numbers swell.



Treasury Department Hiring “Dumb” To Advise “Dumber”

By twist

You just can’t make this stuff up. Don’t try and eat while you read this unless someone is standing by who knows the Heimlich maneuver : [Thanks L!]

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Tuesday it had hired investment firm Morgan Stanley to help the government assess the risks facing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

For $95,000 to cover the company’s expenses, Morgan Stanley will assess the state of the mortgage market and give the government a financial profile of the two firms. The two mortgage firms received a promise of support from the federal government as part of a sweeping housing rescue bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush last week.

Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said the contract would help ensure the Treasury Department had good advice to decide how to support the two mortgage firms, which together own or guarantee half of all U.S. mortgages.

Hire Morgan Stanley to assess the state of the mortgage market? 



Was Abu Nidal Forgery Aimed at Refuting Joe Wilson?


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


The LA Times summarizes the case made by journalist Ron Suskind that the Bush administration orchestrated the forging of a document by Iraqi defector and former intelligence chief Tahir Jalil Habbush. Habbush was allegedly paid $5 million and settled in Jordan because of his cooperation.

The document, which alleged that 9/11 hijacker Muhammad Atta received training at a camp run by Abu Nidal in Baghdad, was leaked to British hack Con Coughlin in December, 2003.

The allegations in the document are completely implausible. Sabri Khalil al-Banna, known as Abu Nidal, was a psychopathic and paranoid leftist who had had ties to East Germany and split with the PLO because it was too far right for him. Neither al-Qaeda, a far rightwing Muslim fundamentalist cult, would have been willing to have anything to do with him, nor he with it.



Suskind: Anxiety Over Wilson and Plame Led Bush Administration To Pay Iraqi ‘Hush Money’ On WMD

 It’s already well-known that Amb. Joseph Wilson’s July 6, 2003 op-ed in the New York Times deeply troubled the White House. The piece, “What I Didn’t Find In Africa,” concluded that “some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted [by the Bush administration] to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” The administration went to extraordinary lengths — including revealing the covert CIA identity of his wife, Valerie Plame — to smear Wilson.

Last night on MSNBC, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Ron Suskind revealed to Keith Olbermann more steps the administration took after Wilson’s op-ed. In 2003, the Bush administration tried to bury statements by head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Jalil Habbush, that Saddam Hussein had no WMD. According to former CIA agent Rob Maguire, the decision to then pay Habbush $5 million in hush money came after the run-in with Plame and Wilson:

And, you know, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame popped up that summer. As Maguire says, “Everyone was terrified that Habbush would pop up on the screen.” That’s his quote. At that moment, they dotted the “I’s” and crossed the “T’s” on his financial arrangement of his resettlement. And they agreed to pay him $5 million.



Why The Media's Case Against Bruce Ivins Seems to be Going from Bad to Worse

FLASHBACK - Who Is ''Torie'' Clarke?: Strategic Disinformation at the Pentagon

BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman ON 8/5/2008 7:46PM  
As The Media's Case Against Bruce Ivins Seems to be Going from Bad to Worse...

-- Brad Friedman

The case against the supposed "Anthrax Killer", Bruce E. Ivins, a researcher who worked at the Army lab confirmed by the government as being the source for the dry, powdered anthrax used in the letters targeted mainly at Democrats and other perceived "liberals," is going from bad to worse. At least the coverage of it from mainstream outlets such as AP.

We noted, when we first jumped into this horrendous beat last Friday, that AP and many of the other corporate outlets failed to even bother noting the perceived "liberals" who made up the targets of the post-9/11 terrorist attacks. Today, Glenn Greenwald (whose been doing yeoman's work on this beat) notes AP's latest unnamed government source-based buffoonery.

Offering a fresh new bizarre angle in the anthrax case --- as per their wont, from "Multiple U.S. officials," all unnamed and all who "spoke on condition of anonymity" --- AP purports to explain Ivins' supposed seven-hour round-trip drive from Frederick, MD to Princeton, NJ, to mail his letters, by describing a long-term obsession he supposedly had with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. 



Strangebedfellows MONEYBOMB (August 8th) on behalf of constitutional rights and civil liberties

August 8, 2008—this is the date for our Strangebedfellows MONEYBOMB on behalf of constitutional rights and civil liberties in America. Let's remove from power the key enablers of the tyrannical and lawless FISA 'compromise;' we can end the Patriot Act—and so much more. Join with us by pledging now—right here at Become a part of our transpartisan alliance of freedom lovers! Be a Strangebedfellow!

Who Are The Strangebedfellows?

Strangebedfellows is a unique and diverse left--right coalition which has come together to put a stop to the eradication of civil liberties in America. Modeled on a similar group in Britain, the initial Strangebedfellows group encompasses Ron Paul supporters (, Rick Williams and Trevor Lyman), leading bloggers from the left (Glenn Greenwald of, Jane Hamsher of and many more who share the view that warrantless surveillance, telecom immunity and other such outrages of the lawless surveillance state MUST END—AND END NOW. Our group of Strangebedfellows is organizing a moneybomb on behalf of AccountabilityNowPAC, and we’re reaching out to friends and colleagues from across the political spectrum who believe in the Bill of Rights and freedom in America. So join us-- become a Strangebedfellow! Add your name and group to our list of backers, and enter your pledge today to donate to AccountabilityNowPAC. Let’s reverse these police state sellouts by our political leaders—FOREVER.

Here’s What We’re Asking You To Do

Strangebedfellows has retained BreakTheMatrix to serve as our moneybomb organizer and service provider for a massive donations collection effort on behalf of AccountabilityNowPAC. Remember the giant moneybombs from the Ron Paul presidential campaign? Well Trevor Lyman was the man behind those efforts, and he and his BreakTheMatrix colleagues are the leading experts in the world in online moneybomb fundraising. Here’s how it works: 


National Enquirer Publishes Photo Of John Edwards With Alleged Love Child

The NATIONAL ENQUIRER is releasing the photograph that the world has been waiting for – the first-ever picture of John Edwards and his love child!
The stunning “spy photo” shows the former presidential contender holding his infant daughter Frances Quinn Hunter at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles – where the ENQUIRER caught him visiting the baby’s mother, his mistress Rielle Hunter.

 Edwards is holding his love child while standing in front of a distinctive striped curtain. 


Suskind: The Forged Iraqi Letter: What Just Happened?

Ron Suskind

What just happened? Evidence. A secret that has been judiciously kept for five years just spilled out. All of what follows is new, never reported in any way:

The Iraq Intelligence Chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush -- a man still carrying a $1 million reward for capture, the Jack of Diamonds in Bush's famous deck of wanted men -- has been America's secret source on Iraq. Starting in January of 2003, with Blair and Bush watching, his secret reports began to flow to officials on both sides of the Atlantic, saying that there were no WMD and that Hussein was acting so odd because of fear that the Iranians would find out he was a toothless tiger. The U.S. deep-sixed the intelligence report in February, "resettled" Habbush to a safe house in Jordan during the invasion and then paid him $5 million in what could only be considered hush money.

In the fall of 2003, after the world learned there were no WMD -- as Habbush had foretold -- the White House ordered the CIA to carry out a deception. The mission: create a handwritten letter, dated July, 2001, from Habbush to Saddam saying that Atta trained in Iraq before the attacks and the Saddam was buying yellow cake for Niger with help from a "small team from the al Qaeda organization." 


Money Over Morals: Obama’s the Candidate of the Hedge-Fund Partners

John R. MacArthur

01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, August 5, 2008


AMONG THE SEVERAL unpleasant outgrowths of the Obama-Clinton death duel, perhaps the most disturbing was the widespread perception that the junior senator from New York was more attuned to the cares and hardships of the working class than her chic counterpart from Illinois.

I still don’t understand how anyone could have overlooked the damage done to blue-collar America by the former first couple’s stalwart commitment to “free trade” — in the form of NAFTA and permanent “normal” trade relations (PNTR) with cheap-labor China — but evidently many did, particularly in states like Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Every time Hillary told the story of her grandfather toiling in a lace factory in Scranton I wished some comedian would say: “My grandfather sweated and suffered so much in that lace mill that Bill and I vowed that no one in Pennsylvania would ever again have to work in a factory. With NAFTA and PNTR our dream has been realized!”

But Hillary couldn’t have gotten away with such hypocritical nonsense without Barack Obama providing her a pass on class, the great unmentionable in a country that pretends that everyone is born equal and anyone can become president. For all his supposed concern about regular folks, Obama’s sympathy for the beleaguered people who still do manual labor remains suspect, while his willingness to appease the wealthy elites who preach the benefits of “free markets,” low taxes and job-destroying trade bills appears entirely sincere. 



Fort Detrick Scientist "Suicide" in 1953: "CIA had slipped LSD to [him] just days before" his death

'This is different:' Son of scientist who died in 1953 compares cases then and now 

Originally published August 05, 2008

By Karen Gardner 

News-Post Staff

Eric Olson knows a little about government scientists. 

His father, Frank Olson, was an early researcher in the biological warfare program at Fort Detrick until he died in 1953. At the time, United States government officials said Olson's death was a suicide, and that Olson jumped or fell to his death from a high-rise hotel in New York City.

In 1975, the Rockefeller Commission discovered the CIA had slipped LSD to Olson and several other scientists just days before while they were attending a conference at Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County.

CIA spokesmen later admitted its agents were involved in an experimental drug program, but said Olson's death was an apparent suicide. 



Crisis Looms as Corporations Seize Control of Commodities

The global food crisis won't go away any time soon. Capitalism has the average consumer by the belly. Amid growing signs of famine and outrage, the entire chain of commodities and resources of the world are now being cornered by giant corporations. Farmland, water, fertilizer, seed, energy, and most of the basic necessities of life are falling under corporate control, providing increased wealth and power to the ruling elite while the rest of humanity struggles.

Commodity scarcity in India was recently reflected in the need to distribute fertilizer from the police station in Hingoli. Now police have to control the lines that form outside of dealer outlets, because the dealers won't open for business otherwise. Without this intervention there would be no fertilizer for the planting that must take place before the rain comes. In Akola and Nanded, police involvement is also needed. Agriculture officers have fled their work places to escape angry farmers. In Karnataka, a farmer was shot dead during protests, while farmers stormed meetings and set up road blocks in other districts.

Despite the success of the genetically engineered Bt cotton crops, the trend in India is now back to soybeans because they cost less to grow and need less fertilizer than cotton. 


Doubt Cast on US Version of Terror Suspect’s Arrest

By Saeed Shah | McClatchy Newspapers 

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — As U.S. authorities took a purported al Qaida operative to court on attempted murder and assault charges Tuesday in New York, her family, the Afghan police and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan cast doubts on the accuracy of the American story.

On Monday, the Department of Justice announced that Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who was educated in the United States, had been taken into custody in mid-July in Afghanistan.

She was arraigned in court in New York Tuesday, and her case has inflamed anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and triggered street protests against Siddiqui's detention. 

Seoul probes civilian `massacres' by US

Aug 4, 1:00 AM EDT


Associated Press Writers

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korean investigators, matching once-secret documents to eyewitness accounts, are concluding that the U.S. military indiscriminately killed large groups of refugees and other civilians early in the Korean War.

A half-century later, the Seoul government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has more than 200 such alleged wartime cases on its docket, based on hundreds of citizens' petitions recounting bombing and strafing runs on South Korean refugee gatherings and unsuspecting villages in 1950-51.

Concluding its first investigations, the 2 1/2-year-old commission is urging the government to seek U.S. compensation for victims. 



Most Israeli Arabs are decendents of the Hebrews

Most Israeli Arabs are decendents of the Hebrews who did not leave the country after the Romans sent the people into exile. Instead they remained and made the religious and cultural changes necessary in order to remain on the land. During the Byzantine era they became Christians, when the Moslems conquered the land they became Muslims.

Their attachment and commitment to the land was stronger then their commitment to the religion.

This is the thesis of Tsvi Misinai a former pioneer of the Israeli software industry who now devotes his time and energy to the investigation of this idea. 

--MORE With Audio--


Deadly Israeli assault on funeral caught on tape

Added: August 05, 2008

Shahid Yusuf Ahmad Amira's funeral - Ni'lin 4-8-08

Yusuf Ahmad Yunes Amira, 18 years old, was shot by a border police officer last Wednesday in Ni'lin and died of his injuries today. After the end of the funeral procession of Ahmad Mousa, the 10 year old who was murdered the previous day at a demonstration against the wall, border police troops invaded the center of the village shooting rubber coated metal bullets everywhere. A border police officer shot Amira in the head with two bullets from a distance of less than 10 meters while he was in his driveway. Amira was pronounced brain dead when he reached the hospital and died this morning.

Yusef Amira is the 13th casualty of the popular struggle against the wall which has also included thousands of injured. This struggle has been met from its beginning with unprecedented repression which keeps escalating every day. The soldiers use lethal means to attack demonstrations of Women Men and children who protest together the theft of their lands.

The escalation by the army in Ni'lin is the direct responsibility of Brigadier General Aviv Reshef. All war criminals from policy makers to those who carry it out should be held responsible.


DOJ Wants to Have Its Culprit and Withhold Some Materials, Too - in the Anthrax Case

By emptywheel 

Wednesday August 6, 2008 7:14 am 10

News reports say something is going to happen today with the anthrax case. But it's not sure what. NPR reports that DOJ is going to declared its case solved--even while it doesn't close the case.

Officials close to the anthrax investigation have told NPR that the FBI will declare the case of the 2001 anthrax letters solved Wednesday, but that the case will remain open so agents can follow up on some recent leads.

FBI Director Robert Mueller is expected to brief victims of the attacks, which killed five people and sickened 15, Wednesday morning. The bureau is expected to have a press conference Wednesday as well, though officials have yet to formally announce it. 



Bush administration defies law, again


Aug. 5, 2008 – Updated 7:31 p.m. 

Homeland Security Chairman Demands Compliance on Port Screening 

By Matthew M. Johnson, CQ Staff 

The House Homeland Security Committee chairman on Tuesday accused the Homeland Security Department of deliberately trying to undermine a law requiring 100 percent screening of cargo entering the United States by sea.

In a strongly-worded letter, Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., noted that the department in a recent report said it “will focus future scanning deployments on high-risk trade corridors, which represent the greatest threats to the United States.” Thompson called this an attempt to undermine the law.

“Your actions to hinder progress on this vital homeland security initiative are very troubling and may have put at risk our nation’s security,” Thompson wrote Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “The unilateral decision to ignore the 100-percent scanning runs afoul of the act and puts our ports at risk. By what authority did you determine that you could ignore the congressionally mandated 100-percent cargo screening requirement in favor of a ‘high risk trade corridor?’” 


Parents to receive letters if children are obese

David Batty and agencies, Monday August 04 2008 15:21 BST

Parents will receive official letters telling them if their children are too fat under a government initiative to tackle childhood obesity.

The heaviest children will be described as "very overweight", as ministers believe parents will not accept being told that their child is obese.

Health and weight measurements taken at schools in England could be automatically sent to parents from the autumn, under the Department of Health scheme. 


Key Source For Suskind’s Book May Have Retracted Allegations To Preserve Intel Contracts

Last night on MSNBC’s Countdown, host Keith Olbermann interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind about the claims in his new book that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a letter linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11.

Olbermann reported that one of Suskind’s sources, Ron Richer, has now backed off his allegations. Contradicting the statements he made on tape to Suskind, Richer told MSNBC last night, “I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document from Habbush as outlined in Mr. Suskind’s book.”

Asked to respond to the retraction, Suskind suggested that Richer’s business interests pressured him to disavow his previous comments:



Sheehan: This is Horsesh*t

By Cindy Sheehan, August 6, 2008

It is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists will we be? 
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

You know, I don't care if it's not proper for a Congressional candidate to say: "horseshit." I don't care if it is not a good "tactic" to get kicked out of a Congressional non-impeachment hearing that was just a bunch of horseshit anyway. I don't care if I get accused of being too "extreme" for bucking the (cyst)em by doing everything from camping in a ditch in Crawford, Tx to non-violent civil disobedience to, lately, running for Congress as (oh no!) an independent.

If people can't see how this nation is teetering on the precipice of financial ruin and dragging the rest of this planet down with us as we destroy our ecology, too…and if people don't realize how desperate our situation is, then I must say, that's horseshit! 



The Anthrax Attacks and the Assault on Civil Liberties


August 5, 2008

"Here, Broken Laws Be Left ... "


In last weekend’s edition of CounterPunch, Alexander Cockburn updates the ongoing persecution of Sami Al-Arian by federal prosecutors. Al-Arian was a Florida university professor of computer science who was ensnared by the Bush Regime’s need to produce “terrorists” in order to keep Americans fearful and, thereby, amenable to the Bush Regime’s assault on US civil liberties.

The charges against Al-Arian were rejected by a jury, but the Bush Regime could not accept the obvious defeat. If Al-Arian was not a terrorist, then other of the Bush Regime’s fabricated cases might fall apart, too.

In open view, the US Department of Justice (sic) proceeded to trash every known ethical rule of prosecution. I don’t need to repeat the facts, as they are covered by Cockburn’s articles and in The Tyranny of Good Intentions.



Obama throws his Muslim outreach coordinator under the bus

WRONG. . .WRONG. . .WRONG: Obama Lets Muslim Advisor Resign 

Share / Recommend - Comment - Print - Wednesday, Aug 06 2008, 11:09AM

Will anyone notice? Barack Obama's team just threw its key Muslim advisor under the bus.
Barack Obama needs to make a statement loudly, clearly, and with passion that he embraces Muslims as much as any other Americans of Christian, Buddhist, Jewish or other religious persuasions. It wouldn't hurt for him to embrace devout secularists like me for that matter.

But I'm irritated and saddened by news that Barack Obama's Muslim-outreach coordinator, Mazen Asbahi, has resigned "amid questions about his 'involvement' in an Islamic investment fund and various Islamic groups."



Police beat tasered man to death

Man dies after Swissvale police use Taser
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
By Jim McKinnon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A man died after Swissvale police subdued him with a Taser last night.

Allegheny County police said today they are investigating the incident, which occurred just before midnight on Hawthorne Avenue.

The deceased, Andre Thomas, was positively identified this morning by his parents, Dennis L. and Donna Thomas of Monroeville.



Congressman calls for anthrax commission

Glenn Greenwald


Tuesday Aug. 5, 2008 10:53 EDT

Salon Radio: Rep. Rush Holt on anthrax
(updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV)

Rep. Rush Holt represents the Central New Jersey district where at least one of the anthrax letters was sent. Rep. Holt's Congressional office was one of the few in which traces of anthrax were found. He is also a physicist and has been an outspoken critic of the FBI's investigation into the anthrax attacks. Perhaps most importantly, he is the Chairman of the House's Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, which very well may hold hearings to examine the FBI's investigation and conclusions. 

This morning, I spoke with Rep. Holt for roughly 20 minutes. During the discussion, Rep. Holt: 

indicated his support for the creation of an investigative body, with full subpoena power, along the lines of the 9/11 Commission, to investigate all unresolved aspects of the anthrax attacks; 



Managed Democracy and the Specter of Totalitarianism

"The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed."

The Audacity of the Unwashed Masses: Part 2. Common vs National Interests

by: FeralCat

Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 09:35

Are there common dreams, common hopes, or common causes? Like the common cold are common interests to be avoided? Our Founders struggled mightily with these questions and decided to err on the side of keeping democracy at bay; not eliminate it, but keep it sedated and safely tethered to the porch rail.

Sheldon J. Wolin explores what our Founders hoped for and what they feared in his new book, "Democracy, Inc: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Totalitarianism". This is a rich book that is impossible to skip even one sentence. So I've been writing about it a little at a time.

In Chapter 11 "Antecedents and Precedents", he wonders how we Americans got to the point where we allowed a coup to take place in the election of 2000.



Obama And Empire

     The Anti-Empire Report
Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life

                                          August 5, 2008
                                           by William Blum

[Abbreviated by Doug Bracewell]

Obama positions:

threatening, several times, to attack Iran if they don't do what the United States wants them to do nuclear-wise;

threatening more than once to attack Pakistan if their anti-terrorist policies are not tough enough or if there would be a regime change in the nuclear-armed country not to his liking;

calling for a large increase in US troops and tougher policies for Afghanistan;

wholly and unequivocally embracing Israel as if it were the 51st state; totally ignoring Hamas, an elected ruling party in the occupied territory;

decrying the Berlin Wall in his recent talk in that city, about the safest thing a politician can do, but with no mention of the Israeli Wall while in Israel, nor the numerous American-built walls in Baghdad while in Iraq;

referring to the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chávez as "authoritarian", but never referring similarly to the government of George W. Bush, certainly more deserving of the label;

talking with the usual disinformation and hostility about Cuba, albeit with a token reform re visits and remittances. But would he dare mention the outrageous case of the imprisoned Cuban Five[1] in his frequent references to fighting terrorism?


While an Illinois state senator in January 2004, Obama declared that it was time "to end the embargo with Cuba" because it had "utterly failed in the effort to overthrow Castro." But speaking as a presidential candidate to a Cuban-American audience in Miami in August 2007, he said he would not "take off the embargo" as president because it is "an important inducement for change."[2]

Obama's terms of withdrawal equals no withdrawal. Has he ever said .. that anti-American terrorism in the world is the direct result of oppressive US policies? Instead he calls for a troop increase and "the first truly 21st century military ... We must maintain the strongest, best-equipped military in the world."[7]

Obama is not so much concerned with ending America's endless warfare as he is with "succeeding" in them, by whatever perverted definition of that word.

Obama, one observer has noted, "opposes the present US policy in Iraq .. [because it]  fails to advance the global strategic interests of American imperialism."[9]

In 2004 he declared: "There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's <Iraq> position at this stage."[10]

And has he ever dared to raise the obvious question: Why would Iran, even if nuclear armed, be a threat to attack the US or Israel? .. Instead, he has said things like "Iran continues to be a major threat" and repeats the tiresome lie that the Iranian president called for the destruction of Israel.[8]

as a US Senate candidate in 2004 he threatened missile strikes against Iran[11]


One of Obama's chief foreign policy advisers is Zbigniew Brzezinski, a man instrumental in provoking Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, which gave rise to a generation of Islamic jihadists  and more than two decades of anti-American terrorism.   Asked later if he had any regrets about this policy, Brzezinski replied: "Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea."[13]

Another prominent Obama adviser -- from a list entirely and depressingly establishment-imperial -- is Madeleine Albright, who should always wear gloves because her hands are caked with blood from her roles in the bombings of Iraq and Yugoslavia in the 1990s.


In summary, it would be difficult to name a single ODE (Officially Designated Enemy) that Obama has not been critical of, or to name one that he has supported. Can this be mere coincidence?

The fact that Obama says he's willing to "talk" to some of the "enemies" more than the Bush administration .. will not amount to little more than a public relations gimmick.



Since taking office in January 2005, he has voted to approve every war appropriation the Republicans have put forward.

He also voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice -  In doing so, he lacked the courage of 12 of his Democratic Party Senate colleagues who voted against her confirmation.

In 2005, the other Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, compared American torture at Guantanamo to "Nazis.   Obama stood up in the Senate and ... joined the critics, thrice calling Durbin's remark a "mistake".[12]

In March, Obama said that "he would return the country to the more 'traditional' foreign policy efforts of past presidents, such as George H.W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan."[14]

Well-known conservatives like George Will, David Brooks, Rush Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough, and others spoken favorably about Obama's candidacy [15] Writer Norman Solomon has written: "These days, an appreciable number of Obama supporters are starting to use words like "disillusionment." But that's a consequence of projecting their political outlooks onto the candidate in the first place. The best way to avoid becoming disillusioned is to not have illusions in the first place."



Foreign Policy on China: Advisers to Obama, McCain Tied to Multinationals that Profit from Beijing

August 05, 2008


American Foreign Policy Brought to You by China: Advisers to Obama, McCain Tied to US Multinationals that Profit from Beijing

President Bush is heading to China this week, where he will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics on Friday. The Games’ presence in Beijing have helped spotlight opposition to China on a number of policies, including its repression of the Tibetan independence movement, its support for the Sudanese government in Darfur and its crackdown on dissidents and civil liberties at home. In the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine, Ken Silverstein says many of the bipartisan experts who have advocated so-called “constructive engagement” with China are tied to major US multinational corporations that profit heavily from the Chinese market. [includes rush transcript]


Ken Silverstein, Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine. He also publishes a blog on political corruption in Washington, D.C. called “Washington Babylon.” His latest article in the magazine is called “The Mandarins: American Foreign Policy Brought to You by China.”



FBI seizes local Md. library computers - anthrax link?

FBI seizes local Md. library computers 

August 3, 2008 - 9:41am 

The FBI removed computer records from the C. Burr Artz Library this week, a library official confirmed Saturday.

Darrell Batson, director of Frederick County Public Libraries, said two FBI employees came to the downtown Frederick library either Wednesday or Thursday. The agents removed two public computers from the library's second floor. They told him they were taking the units back to their office in Washington, D.C., Batson said.

Batson expected the computers would be returned early this week, he said. 



If the nuclear powers wish to be safe from nuclear weapons, they must surrender their own

YES! Magazine Summer 2008: A Just Foreign Policy
A Powerful Peace
by Jonathan Schell

If the nuclear powers wish to be safe from nuclear weapons, they must surrender their own.

Graphic by Jose Chicas at Avenging Angels and Abolition 2000.
Graphic by Jose Chicas at Avenging Angels and Abolition 2000 (Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons).
With each year that passes, nuclear weapons provide their possessors with less safety while provoking more danger. Possession of nuclear arms provokes proliferation. Both nourish the global nuclear infrastructure, which in turn enlarges the possibility of acquisition by terrorist groups.

The step that is needed to break this cycle can be as little doubted as the source of the problem. The double standard of nuclear haves and have-nots must be replaced by a single standard, which can only be the goal of a world free of all nuclear weapons.

What is it that prevents sensible steps toward nuclear abolition from being taken? The answer cannot be in doubt, either. It is the resolve of the world’s nuclear powers to hold on to their nuclear arsenals. Countries that already have nuclear arms cite proliferation as their reason for keeping them, and those lacking nuclear arms seek them in large measure because they feel menaced by those with them.



Police did not have no knock warrant to raid mayor's home

Pr. George's Officers Lacked 'No-Knock' Warrant in Raid 

Authorities, Who Broke Down Door During Search for Drugs at Home of Berwyn Heights Mayor, Had Said They Obtained Document

By Rosalind S. Helderman

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 6, 2008; B01

Prince George's County authorities did not have a "no-knock" warrant when they burst into the home of a mayor July 29, shooting and killing his two dogs -- contrary to what police said after the incident.

Judges in Maryland can grant police the right to enter a building and serve a search warrant without knocking if the judge finds there is reasonable suspicion to think evidence might be destroyed or the officers' safety might be endangered in announcing themselves.

A Prince George's police spokesman said last week that a Sheriff's Office SWAT team and county police narcotics officers were operating under such a warrant when they broke down the door of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo, shooting and killing his black Labrador retrievers. 


Terror Error

Jeff Huber | August 06, 2008

You probably already knew this, but sometimes it's nice to get affirmation that yeah, you were right. A recently released study by the non-partisan Rand Corporation titled How Terrorist Groups End shows that young Mr. Bush's anti-terror strategy hasn't significantly undermined al Qaeda's capabilities.

As news goes, that's hardly shock or awe, is it? 

The study asserts something else you already knew: the Bush administration made a mistake in using the phrase "war on terror," as it erroneously suggests that a solution to terrorism is to be found on a battlefield. "Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors," write the report's authors, Seth Jones and Martin Libicki. "In most cases, military force isn't the best instrument," says Jones, the chief writer and a terrorism expert. In Muslim countries, the report says, there should be a "light U.S. military footprint or none at all." The report states that al Qaeda is "strong and competent," and that it has adapted and reorganized over time, "making it a more dangerous enemy." 

The Rand report only contains one clinker, but it's a big one. Its conclusion that Bush's strategy hasn't undermined al Qaeda suggests a faulty assumption: that Bush's strategy was intended to undermine al Qaeda. The Bush strategy, in fact, had nothing to do with al Qaeda—or terrorism—whatsoever.


A Glossary of Iraq Euphemisms

The Iraq War has been characterized by euphemism since its inception. Here's a guide to some of the most pronounced, and pernicious, euphemisms of the Iraq War.

Spencer Ackerman
| August 6, 2008 | web only

A Glossary of Iraq Euphemisms 

An Iraqi boy moves through a gap between concrete blocks in the Sunni Arab quarter of Azamiyah, in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Asaad Muhsin)

Christopher Hitchens, critiquing his friend Martin Amis, once casually referred to "the moral offense of euphemism." It's a beautiful and cutting phrase. The inability to call something what it is represents an opening salvo in an assault on the truth. An early acquiescence to the moral offense of euphemism is nothing less than the first stage of surrender to corruption. Whether the rot is manifested or merely intellectual is a distinction that will erode with time.
Few governments have relied more on euphemism than the Bush administration. Euphemism is different from spin. Spin puts the best face forward on a given policy; euphemism uses its opposite to describe itself. Hence the Clear Skies Initiative to weaken the Clean Air Act; the Freedom Agenda to describe military domination of the Middle East; or Enhanced Interrogation to discuss torture.
The Iraq War has been characterized by euphemism since its inception. The name "Operation Iraqi Freedom" denotes a foreign military occupation of Iraq endlessly described as liberation -- a term that, in practice, means the absolute opposite of any common-sense definition of "freedom." For over five years, foreign troops have enjoyed the legal right to kill any Iraqi whom commanders deem fit to kill; to search any house commanders deem fit to search; and to detain any Iraqi whom commanders deem fit to detain. This is, clearly, a condition Americans would never accept for themselves. Debate can reasonably occur over whether the war is worth it or whether the rules of engagement are appropriate. But no one can responsibly call this condition "freedom" for Iraqis.
Here's a guide to some of the most pronounced, and pernicious, euphemisms of the Iraq War.




Demand full disclosure in the anthrax case

Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Editorial: Is anthrax suspect guilty or not? 

We need full disclosure in the anthrax case 

An Orange County Register editorial 

It seemed as if one of the more bizarre incidents of recent years – the sending of lethal anthrax powder, shortly after 9/11, to a few senators and newsmen, which led to the deaths of five people and injured 17 others – might have been on the verge of being resolved. FBI investigators had focused on one Bruce Ivins, an Army scientist who worked at the Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland, and had access to anthrax and apparently the knowledge to convert it to powder.

Last week Bruce Ivins killed himself. Case closed? Maybe. But because most of the evidence pointing to Mr. Ivins seemed to be circumstantial, and because of the importance of the anthrax scare in creating the atmosphere in which it seemed logical to start a war against Iraq, the American people deserve to know everything possible about this case before it is considered resolved.

For starters, the FBI's record hardly inspires confidence. The government was recently ordered to pay $5.8 million to Dr. Stephen Hatfill, a medical doctor who also worked at the Ft. Detrick lab. The FBI and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft named him specifically as a "person of interest," he was harassed and badgered and had his life destroyed – and no charges were ever filed. 


Forging the missing case for war

In further chronicles of Bush government deceit, author Ron Suskind drops a bombshell: The White House ordered the CIA to fake a letter linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida. 

By Louis Bayard

Aug. 06, 2008 | Ron Suskind is really good at burying a lede.

Diligent, linear-minded readers will have to ford through 370 pages of his alternately incisive and gauzy book, "The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism," to reach the accusation that has set the nation's blogs abuzz. In September 2003, according to Suskind, CIA officials -- at the direct command of then-CIA director George Tenet and at the behest of the White House -- deliberately forged a backdated letter from Iraqi security chief Tahir Jalil Habbush to Saddam Hussein. The phony letter claimed that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta had trained for his mission in Iraq and that al-Qaida had facilitated mysterious shipments from Niger to Iraq. The letter was the "slam dunk" the Bush administration had been seeking so desperately: evidence of a direct operational link between al-Qaida and Saddam's regime.

Leaked to conservative British journalist Con Coughlin, the letter was made public just as Saddam was captured in his spider hole near Tikrit. In the course of a single news cycle, the war against Saddam had been "vindicated," Saddam himself had been flushed from hiding, and the Bush administration's war had seemingly reached its triumphal and foregone conclusion. Or had it? 

To further refine the question: Did nobody think it remarkable that an intelligence chief would commit such damning information to paper and then sign it in his own hand? Well, yes, some did. Among journalists, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball were particularly skeptical, citing FBI evidence that Atta was somewhere else entirely during the period in question. But none of those opposition voices made it into the über-narrative so skillfully managed by the White House. 


Iraq better? With three wars going on? 

Patrick Cockburn

Monday, 4 August 2008

It was gratifying to read that David Cameron has taken my book Muqtada al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq with him as one of a number of works on current affairs to peruse during his holiday in Cornwall.

It was especially encouraging to learn that Mr Cameron wanted to know more about Iraq at a moment when many are under the quite false impression that the crisis there is at last drawing to a close. "Is it better? Is the surge working?" people keep asking me and in a certain sense, it is "better", but only compared to the bloodbath of 2006-7. American military casualties may be down, but 851 Iraqi civilians and security personnel were killed last month.

As for "the surge", the extra 30,000 US troops sent last year, it is curious that, despite claims for its great success, more American troops are needed to hold the line in Iraq today than before the surge began. 


Are Feds Framing Dead Army Scientist for 2001 Attacks?

August 04, 2008


Anthrax Mystery: Questions Raised over Whether Government Is Framing Dead Army Scientist for 2001 Attacks

The FBI’s prime suspect in the October 2001 anthrax letters case died last week in an apparent suicide. Bruce Ivins was an elite government scientist at the biodefense research lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland. He was among the nation’s top experts on the military use of anthrax. But many of his colleagues have expressed deep skepticism over the FBI’s claims. We speak to anthrax expert Dr. Meryl Nass and blogger Glenn Greenwald. [includes rush transcript]


Glenn Greenwald, attorney and blogger at His recent posts include “Vital Unresolved Anthrax Questions and ABC News”, “Additional Key Facts Re: The Anthrax Investigation” and “Journalists, Their Lying Sources, and the Anthrax Investigation”

Dr. Meryl Nass, expert on anthrax and editor of the blog

Rush Transcript



"We were basically hiring terrorists"

The U.S. signed up legions of sketchy Iraqi fighters to help stop sectarian violence. Now, most may lose their security jobs -- but remain armed and angry. 

By Anna Badkhen

Aug. 06, 2008 | Donning pale yellow shirts with Iraqi flags stitched on the chest, Alah al-Janabi and Mahmoud al-Samorai stood recently in the blistering sun at the crowded entrance to the bustling Dora Market. Al-Janabi, 30, proudly displayed a shiny black pistol on his hip; al-Samorai, 25, slung his Kalashnikov assault rifle over his shoulder as he patted down a shopper entering the market. Nine months ago, the two men joined the Sons of Iraq -- the U.S.-funded, mostly Sunni organization of 103,000 armed guards that functions as part neighborhood security watch and part paramilitary force, and has been instrumental in tamping down violence in Iraq.

What these men did prior to this work -- when sectarian militias and Iraqi security forces fought pitched battles through the Dora neighborhood, killing and wounding scores of people -- is unclear. When asked, the two looked at each other and shrugged. "There were no jobs," al-Samorai finally said. Maybe he and his colleague hid in their homes while sectarian fighting raged outside. But it is also possible that they fought alongside the Sunni militias, as did many Sons of Iraq members, according to American forces that patrol the area.

"When the SOIs stood up, we were basically hiring terrorists," said Lt. Justin Chabalko, using the military acronym for the Sons of Iraq. Chabalko's 2-4 Infantry Battalion of the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division frequently patrols the Dora Market. 


FBI used aggressive tactics in anthrax probe

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 

Wed Aug 6, 12:57 AM ET

Before killing himself last week, Army scientist Bruce Ivins told friends that government agents had stalked him and his family for months, offered his son $2.5 million to rat him out and tried to turn his hospitalized daughter against him with photographs of dead anthrax victims.

The pressure on Ivins was extreme, a high-risk strategy that has failed the FBI before. The government was determined to find the villain in the 2001 anthrax attacks; it was too many years without a solution to the case that shocked and terrified a post-9/11 nation.

The last thing the FBI needed was another embarrassment. Overreaching damaged the FBI's reputation in the high-profile investigations: the Centennial Olympic Park bombing probe that falsely accused Richard Jewell; the theft of nuclear secrets and botched prosecution of scientist Wen Ho Lee; and, in this same anthrax probe, the smearing of an innocent man — Ivins' colleague Steven Hatfill. 


Zionism vs. Democracy

by Frank Scott 

(Wednesday, August 6, 2008)

"The relation of policy and its reportage is clear in the preparing of Americans for a war with Iran, and then priming them into a maybe we will maybe we won’t indecision. Each time heated talk about Iran cools slightly, the price of gasoline declines. Until the next surge of fanatic babble that claims Iran will nuke Israel and exterminate all Jews, at which point the price goes up again." 

“...the zionist power configuration’s primary loyalty is to the state of Israel and its policy is designed to colonize the US congress on behalf and to the benefit of the ‘mother country’, Israel...”

-- James Petras

Petras speaks to a reality rarely discussed in circles accustomed to whispered criticism, at best, of the U.S. performance in support of Israel . He mentions congress, but the executive branch has been equally “colonized”. The scripted performances by major party presidential candidates , whether bowing before the Israel - American lobby in Washington or praying before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, are evidence enough. The dominance exercised by what he calls the Zionist Power Configuration is a very critical problem for a public that remains generally oblivious to its existence, let alone the control it has over our political system.

With a crippled economy and over extended armed forces, America’s global position has old establishment groups trying to retake control before mindless dedication to the Jewish state brings about total ruin . A revival of the old WASP (white anglo saxon protestant) power cabal finds it in a struggle with the newer jewish power bloc. This clash of establishment gangs will hardly bring social justice and peace to America, but it could give the public a chance to come to its senses. Support for a racist state that brutalizes its native population in a way that shocks veterans of apartheid South Africa can only continue with a public kept in the dark.

Under the dominance of propaganda that tells us innocent Israeli Jews are being persecuted by evil Palestinian -Arabs, the U.S. continues to prop up the Jewish state with money, and wage nation destroying wars on its behalf. Constantly retelling the story of past dreadful persecution makes it seem that because German nazis brutalized european jews, Israeli Ashkenazis are morally justified to brutalize Palestinian arabs. Settlers in a land which they believe, with no evidence save religious faith, is where they originated, are seen as natives, while the people who’ve lived there for centuries are expelled, treated as terrorists, and despite their Semitic origins, called anti-semites by those whose only connection to Semitism is their belief system. 



'When You Have To Leave America To Be Free'


Charles Davis

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (IPS) - Nearly three years after the U.S. government failed to convict Palestinian activist and former college professor Sami Al-Arian of any charges in one of the most high-profile terrorism trials following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he continues to be held in federal prison -- where, if convicted in an upcoming trial on criminal contempt charges, he faces the prospect of remaining for decades.

Al-Arian has been imprisoned since Feb. 20, 2003, after then-attorney general John Ashcroft declared in a press conference that he and four others were in league with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, "one of the most violent terrorist organisations in the world."

According to the U.S. government, Al-Arian operated several front groups for the Damascus-based terrorist group during the 1990s, raising money to finance suicide bombings that killed more than 100 Israelis. At his trial, prosecutors played graphic videos of suicide bombings and invited Israeli citizens to testify about their experiences surviving terrorist attacks -- attacks the government suggested were the end result of Al-Arian’s actions.  


Racism and Genocide: Lies of Our Times

One of the hallmarks of totalitarian ideologues is the use of the big lie: a virulent attack on a defenseless group and then a categorical denial turning victims into executioners and executioners into victims.
. 08.06.2008


Zionist genocide promoter, Benny Morris practices the Big Lie1. He claims, “I have never supported the brutal expulsion of all Palestinians…I have said, repeatedly, that the expulsion of the Palestinians is immoral and impracticable.

In a recent interview in Israel, Morris states, “Under some circumstances, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 (of nearly a million Palestinians) were war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands. Moreover, if he (Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion) was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleaned the whole country – the whole land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.” In its extremism, Morris’ promotion of Judeo-fascist ethnocide of Palestine/Jordan exceeds that of any expressed by a secular public Jewish figure in Israel.

Uprooting, massacring and driving 3 million Palestinians from their homes, land and communities, according to Morris, lessens suffering – for Jews – and promises a quieter life for Israeli Jews! This is the same rationale that Hitler pronounced in his project to ‘purify’ Nazi Germany.

Morris fabricates a tale about Israel’s peaceful role in the Middle East when in fact it has been the most aggressive, militarist, expansionist state in the entire Middle East. He writes, “I am completely unaware that Zionism ever aimed to ‘rule the Middle East’…Zionism simply wanted to establish and maintain a (miniscule) Jewish state in the Land of Israel/Palestine, the patrimony of the Jews…conquered by savage Muslim Arab invaders.” 



Horror Of Israeli Occupation

West Bank Security Checkpoints

A video clip that dramatically portrays the meeting of Israeli solders and Palestinians at controversial West Bank security checkpoints. This clip is the second of a series taken from "Land of the Settlers", the acclaimed documentary developed by Chaim Yavin, Israel's premier news anchor.


Putin says Russia needs to go back to Cuba: media

Russia mulls arms in Belarus to counter U.S. shield

Mon Aug 4, 2008 2:12pm EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday said it was time for Russia to rebuild links with former Cold War ally Cuba, news agencies reported.

The Kremlin is angry at U.S. plans for a missile defence system in Eastern Europe, and last month a news report suggested Russia might use Cuba, a thorn in America's side for half a century, as a refueling stop for nuclear-capable bombers.

The Russian Defence Ministry denied the report and said it had no plans to open any military bases abroad, but a top U.S. general was drawn to say such a move would cross a "red line". 



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