August 14th, 2008

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Inflation jumps to 17-yr high as consumer prices soar; twice the expected rate; foreclosures up 55 %

Consumer prices rise at double the expected rate

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer 57 minutes ago

Consumer prices shot up in July at twice the expected rate, pushed higher by surging energy and food costs. The latest surge left inflation running at the fastest pace in 17 years.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that consumer prices rose by 0.8 percent last month, twice the 0.4 percent gain that economists had been expecting.

It marked the third straight month of oversized inflation increases following jumps of 0.6 percent in May and 1.1 percent in June. And it leaves inflation rising by 5.6 percent over the past year, the biggest 12-month gain since January 1991.

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War in the Caucasus: destruction in Tskhinvali

Related
Russia launches genocide probe over S.Ossetia event
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War in the Caucasus: destruction in Tskhinvali

Tom Parfitt travelled to Tskhinvali, in a trip organised by the Kremlin, to witness first hand the destruction caused by the battle for South Ossetia

Ossetians stay in a basement of a destroyed hospital in Tskhinvali

Ossetians stay in a basement of a destroyed hospital in Tskhinvali. Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/AP

A convoy of three buses and an escort of armed Russian Special Forces soldiers travelled across the border with Russia into South Ossetia yesterday, in a trip organised by the Kremlin for foreign media to witness first hand the destruction in Tskhinvali.

At the village of Dzhava 20 miles beyond the border a huge queue of Russian military hardware stood pointing south, testament to the might of the resurgent Russian state.

Several truck-mounted rocket launchers were a sign of Moscow's intent to hold Tskhinvali at all costs. Approaching Tskhinvali, the group of reporters was transferred to armoured personnel carriers because of the risk of fire from Georgian snipers, said the Russian officers leading the trip.

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What will be the outcome of the Georgian-Ossetian war?


19:31 | 08/ 08/ 2008

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - The very real possibility of full-scale war between Georgia and South Ossetia raises questions about its possible outcome.

At present, the Georgian armed forces have more than 30,000 men, including 20,000 ground forces. They are equipped with more than 200 tanks, including 40 T-55s and 165 T-72s, which are currently being upgraded. Apart from tanks, the ground forces have 200 combat armored vehicles, including about 180 infantry combat vehicles and armored personnel carriers (APCs). The ground troops can receive artillery support from 120 artillery pieces of 122 mm-152 mm caliber, 40 multiple-launch rocket systems, and 180 mortars.

The Georgian Air Force is equipped with five Su-25 (Frogfoot) close support aircraft, 15 L-29 and L-39 combat training aircraft, which can be used as light assault planes, and 30 helicopters, including eight MI-24 attack helicopter.

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The Lobby Like No Other Wants a War Like No Other

August 14, 2008

by Michael Scheuer

Having watched John McCain and Barack Obama resolutely pledge their allegiance – and their countrymen's lives and treasure – to the defense of Israel via AIPAC, the media, and personal meetings with Israeli leaders, it is worth asking what could possibly drive these men to so ardently commit America to participation in other people's religious wars. This question is particularly important today as the Bush administration and the Israel-firsters continue to push for an unprovoked U.S. attack on Iran.

Let me say that I harbor no resentment over the actions of Israel's leaders. For more than 60 years, they have knowingly made their country a pariah in the Arab and Islamic worlds, just as the Palestinians have made themselves pariahs in much of the West. This is, of course, the right of both parties, but neither seems to want to face the consequences of their decisions. With demographic realities and increasingly radical, well-armed Arabs making them panicky about Israel's security, Israel's leaders naturally to try to lock down as much U.S. support as possible. Having consciously – if unwisely – put all their eggs in the U.S. basket since the 1973 War, Israel's leaders must do everything possible to protect their relationship with Washington.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq, it seems, was not enough for the Israel-firsters. Now, according to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a U.S.-launched war on Iran is needed because "the threat that the U.S. and Israel face from the Islamic Republic of Iran is today greater than ever." Though based on the fantasy that Ahmedinejad's tin-pot regime is a threat to the world's only superpower, this is a perfectly commonsense position for Israel and its U.S.-citizen backers in AIPAC to champion. In their view, U.S. wars with Muslims are the ultimate good for Israel. Recall, if you will, the perfectly accurate April 2008, words of Benjamin Netanyahu, likely Israel's next prime minister: "We [Israel] are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq." These wars, Netanyahu said, have "swung American public opinion in our favor." How much more must Netanyahu and AIPAC believe that a U.S. war with Iran would add to this "swing" in Israel's favor?

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Police seek motive in killing of Ark. Democratic Party chief

We're learning more about the man who's accused of killing Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney yesterday in Little Rock.

WTHV-TV reports that Timothy Johnson, 50, stormed out a Target store yesterday morning after supervisors complained about graffiti that had been written on the walls of his workplace.

"In regards to the suspect, we can confirm he was an hourly employee at the Conway, Arkansas [sic] Target store since November 2006," the company says in a statement cited by WTHV-TV, a fellow Gannett property. "He voluntarily quit his job earlier this morning. He had no history of behavioral or performance problems at Target. In the preceding days, he worked his regularly scheduled shifts without incident."

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Credit and Credibility: Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Press

August 13, 2008

By BRIAN CLOUGHLEY

So attacks in Afghanistan must be the work of Pakistan’s dastardly Directorate of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), yet again, because the New York Times told us the other day that “American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan’s powerful spy service helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to United States government officials.” The New York Times went on to claim that “The conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack, the officials said, providing the clearest evidence to date that Pakistani intelligence officers are actively undermining American efforts to combat militants in the region. The American officials also said there was new information showing that members of the Pakistani intelligence service were increasingly providing militants with details about the American campaign against them, in some cases allowing militants to avoid American missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas.”

There are plenty of clichés (“powerful spy service” and “actively undermining” are splendid examples), but not a shred of hard evidence in this important story. There is not one bit of material that can be verified or even checked for accuracy. No names are named. There are declarations by anonymous “American officials” concerning supposed electronic intercepts of which no details are provided. But the New York Times and other US newspapers chose to blare to the world the unsupported conclusion that Pakistan is guilty of treason against itself.

It might be thought that the New York Times would have learned a lesson after being manipulated by the infamously incompetent and gullible reporter Judith Miller who made such a fool of the paper at the time of the US invasion of Iraq. She swallowed nonsense purveyed to her by un-named “government officials” and other anonymous and indeed malevolent sources, but the newspaper’s editors just followed along and published the rubbish. Garbage in; Garbage out. As one of her colleagues said of her in the context of a combined story : “She has turned in a draft of a story of a collective enterprise that is little more than dictation from government sources over several days, filled with unproven assertions and factual inaccuracies.”

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FBI witch hunt gone awry: Hair samples in anthrax case don't match scientist Bruce E. Ivins

Hair Samples in Anthrax Case Don't Match

Strands From Mailbox in Princeton Are Not From Ivins, Investigators Say

By Carrie Johnson


Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 14, 2008; A02

Federal investigators probing the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks recovered samples of human hair from a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., but the strands did not match the lead suspect in the case, according to sources briefed on the probe.

FBI agents and U.S. Postal Service inspectors analyzed the data in an effort to place Fort Detrick, Md., scientist Bruce E. Ivins at the mailbox from which bacteria-laden letters were sent to Senate offices and media organizations, the sources said.

The hair sample is one of many pieces of evidence over which researchers continue to puzzle in the case, which ended after Ivins committed suicide July 29 as prosecutors prepared to seek his indictment.

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Nuclear war by miscalculation: The geopolitics of Georgia pt2

August 14, 2008

F William Engdahl

ENGDAHL: Russia went into Georgia to essentially deliver a message. There are more than 1,000 US military special forces in Georgia doing exercising, training Georgian troops, before Georgia launched the attack on Ossetia on 8 August. There are 1,000 Israeli troops at least, private security firms and military advisors, including advisors who are upgrading the Georgian air force in an installation near Tbilisi. That's what the Russian airplanes hit, and they essentially made the military strike on South Ossetia militarily impossible by making incursions inside Georgian territory before they announced that they were calling a halt to their military operations.
Bio

F William Engdahl is an economist and author and the writer of the best selling book "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order." Mr Engdhahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. Mr. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine; Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland respectively. He is based in Germany.

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This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression

War in the Caucasus is as much the product of an American imperial drive as local conflicts. It's likely to be a taste of things to come

The outcome of six grim days of bloodshed in the Caucasus has triggered an outpouring of the most nauseating hypocrisy from western politicians and their captive media. As talking heads thundered against Russian imperialism and brutal disproportionality, US vice-president Dick Cheney, faithfully echoed by Gordon Brown and David Miliband, declared that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered". George Bush denounced Russia for having "invaded a sovereign neighbouring state" and threatening "a democratic government". Such an action, he insisted, "is unacceptable in the 21st century".

Could these by any chance be the leaders of the same governments that in 2003 invaded and occupied - along with Georgia, as luck would have it - the sovereign state of Iraq on a false pretext at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives? Or even the two governments that blocked a ceasefire in the summer of 2006 as Israel pulverised Lebanon's infrastructure and killed more than a thousand civilians in retaliation for the capture or killing of five soldiers?

You'd be hard put to recall after all the fury over Russian aggression that it was actually Georgia that began the war last Thursday with an all-out attack on South Ossetia to "restore constitutional order" - in other words, rule over an area it has never controlled since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nor, amid the outrage at Russian bombardments, have there been much more than the briefest references to the atrocities committed by Georgian forces against citizens it claims as its own in South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali. Several hundred civilians were killed there by Georgian troops last week, along with Russian soldiers operating under a 1990s peace agreement: "I saw a Georgian soldier throw a grenade into a basement full of women and children," one Tskhinvali resident, Saramat Tskhovredov, told reporters on Tuesday.

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Brezezinski’s Georgia Puppets Attack Russia - World War Three In Sight

By Webster G. Tarpley

Washington DC, August 10, 2008 – Clearly playing the role of the aggressor, the NATO puppet regime of Mikhail Saakashvili has carried out a midnight sneak attack against Russian peacekeepers in the province of South Ossetia. Those peacekeepers have been there for 15 years under an agreement with Georgia. Saakashvili is a protégé and creature of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the foreign policy boss of the Barack Obama presidential campaign. As is explained in my book Obama- The Postmodern Coup: The Making of a Manchurian Candidate, Saakashvili was brought to power in 2003-2004 by a people power coup or CIA color revolution, directed by the Brzezinski clan and financed by George Soros, one of Obama’s key financial backers. In a very real sense, it is the Obama campaign which has attacked Russia in South Ossetia.

Responding to this provocation, Russia has struck back powerfully, hurling the Georgian military into full retreat. The 3000% increase in Georgian military spending on US military hardware since 2004 has not had the desired effect. But the Georgians have killed a score of Russian troops and shot down several aircraft. Russia is blockading the Georgian Black Sea coast and has already sunk a Georgian warship. The US regime, the butchers of Iraq, are now whining that the Russian response is “disproportionate,” and that regime change is inadmissible! McCain responded by aggressive posturing against Russia scripted by Ian Brzezinski, as expected. At the Olympics, Bush had a heated exchange with Russian Prime Minister Putin over the Georgian aggression. Bush has dropped his plans to attack Iran and North Korea, and is now slavishly following Brzezinski’s orders by concentrating on provoking Russian and China.

Most interesting is the response of Brzezinski’s other puppet, Obama. The Messiah first intoned that it was necessary to show restraint, and stop the armed conflict. He talked then to NSC Director Hadley, Saakashvili, Rice, and unspecified foreign policy advisers – undoubtedly the Brzezinskis, Zbig and Mark. Notice Obama’s failure to talk with a single Russian leader – he failed to bring anybody together this time. Then Obama switched to a full warmonger line, identical to that of Bush: Obama now lied that Russia had invaded Georgian sovereignty and encroached on Georgian sovereignty. Obama’s spokesman, Ben Rhodes, added that Russia was responsible for the conflict. This goes to show that Obama is a ticket to World War III on the Brzezinski Plan, the crackpot design to break up Russia and China, securing another century for the Anglo-American world empire. Because Brzezinski’s strategic insanity unfolds on a scale more vast than that of the neocons, Obama is indeed a far bigger warmonger than Bush.

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The West is helping PA torment Palestinians

08/14/08

Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

Western governments are telling their respective citizens that the financial support they give to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is used to foster security and promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the occupied territories.

These governments might also be deluding themselves into thinking that the often harsh repression meted out by the PA to its own people, long tormented by Israel, would be conducive to promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

But the west is wrong on both accounts.

Today, much of the western “financial aid” provided to the Ramallah-based regime is being utilized to consolidate a police- state structure, actually a police state without a state since the Israeli occupation army continues to tightly control all parts of the occupied territories, including the vicinity of Mahmoud Abbas’s own headquarters.

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McCain is opposed to net neutrality

McCain Prepares to Hand the Internet Over to Comcast, Verizon, AT&T

by: Matt Stoller

Wed Aug 13, 2008 

Yesterday, if you listened closely, you could hear the sound of John McCain selling off the internet to his campaign backers, the cable and telecom interests.  After being shocked by a 3-2 vote punishing Comcast for illegal behavior at the FCC, cable interests are freaking out and using every tool at their disposal to reinstitute discipline among wavering Republicans.

The cable and telecom pushback started with former telecom lobbyist and current FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who is desperate to become Chairman of the FCC under a McCain administration, launching a salvo against internet freedom, claiming that net neutrality would lead to censorship of the internet and requirements that bloggers and sites like Google offer 'equal time' to different views.  This incoherence was quickly picked up by the Drudge Report, all to be timed with the coming release of McCain's technology policy, which is slated to come out this week or next.  McDowell, who of the five FCC Commissioners is by far the most favorable to cable, did this at the Heritage Foundation.  He even warned his side that there are more dissident conservatives like Kevin Martin getting ready to come out for net neutrality, a clear sign they know they are losing this fight and need to reframe their strategy.

McDowell denounced net neutrality under the guise that it's intertwined with the Fairness Doctrine, which he says Obama will reimpose.  McDowell wouldn't actually explicitly say that  net neutrality and the Fairness Doctrine are the same thing, means, because he knows he'd get laughed out of the room, but he implied it.  Here's his statement.

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All the experts admit that we should legalise drugs

Independent.co.uk

Julian Critchley

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Eight years ago, I left my civil service job as director of the UK Anti-Drug Co-Ordination Unit. I went partly because I was sick of having to implement policies that I knew, and my political masters knew, were unsupported by evidence. Yesterday, after a surreal flurry of media requests referring to a blog I wrote that questioned the wisdom of the UK's drug policies, I found myself in the thick of the debate again, and I was sorry to discover that the terms hadn't changed a bit.

I was being interviewed on the BBC World Service, and after I tried to explain why I believe that drugs should be decriminalised, the person representing the other side of the argument pointed out that drugs are terrible, that they destroy lives. Now, I am a deeply boring, undruggy person myself, and I think the world would be a better place without drugs. But I think that we must live in the world as it is, and not as we want it to be. And so my answer was, yes, I know that drugs are terrible. I'm not saying that drugs should be decriminalised because it would be fun if we could all get stoned with impunity. I'm saying that we've tried minimising harm through a draconian legal policy. It is now clear that enforcement and supply-side interventions are largely pointless. They haven't worked. There is evidence that this works.

Unfortunately, evidence is still not a major component in our policy. Take cannabis. When I was in the Anti-Drug Unit, the moves towards making it a class C drug began, and I hoped that our position on drugs was finally moving in a rational direction. But then Gordon Brown ignored his scientific advisers to make it a class B again. It was a decision that pandered to the instincts of the tabloids, and it made no sense whatsoever.

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Russia will pull out of Gori by Friday: France

Russia will pull out of Gori by Friday: France

Russia has pledged to withdraw its forces from the flashpoint Georgian city of Gori by Friday, the French ambassador to Georgia Eric Fournier told reporters.

"The Russians have made a pledge to leave Gori by tomorrow," said the ambassador, whose country was behind the ceasefire agreed earlier in the week that formally ended five days of fighting.

"We need to be vigilant that the pledges will be respected," he added.

An EU lawmaker who was present at Thursday’s news conference also emphasized that the withdrawal was planned for the following day

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Court: Saudi Arabia not liable in Sept. 11 attacks

By LARRY NEUMEISTER

The Associated Press

Thursday, August 14, 2008; 11:29 AM

NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court has ruled that Saudi Arabia and four of its princes cannot be held liable in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The appeals court issued the ruling Thursday, saying the Saudi defendants are protected by sovereign immunity. It also agreed with a lower court that a Saudi banker and a charitable organization cannot be held liable.

The Saudi defendants were among hundreds of other defendants sued by victims of the attacks, including the families of those who died.

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Cop charged with manslaughter in taser killing

Aug 13, 10:21 PM EDT

Former La. police officer indicted in Taser death

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A former police officer accused of repeatedly jolting a handcuffed man with a Taser before he died was indicted on a manslaughter charge Wednesday by a grand jury in central Louisiana.

The Winn Parish grand jury also indicted former Winnfield police officer Scott Nugent on a charge of malfeasance in office stemming from the Jan. 17 death of Baron Pikes, 21.

Pikes was shocked nine times with a 50,000-volt Taser as he was arrested on a drug possession warrant in January, authorities said. Winn Parish District Attorney Chris Nevils said Nugent broke the law when he "unnecessarily" used the Taser on Pikes multiple times and failed to get him medical attention "when it was apparent he needed it."

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Campaign Aide Lobbied McCain For Abramoff Firm

The New York Times

August 14, 2008

In Split Role, McCain Adviser Is Sometimes a Lobbyist

By MICHAEL COOPER

When Senator John McCain led a Senate investigation three years ago of Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist who later pleaded guilty to fraud charges, Mr. Abramoff’s old firm turned to a former McCain campaign adviser for help.

The firm, Greenberg Traurig, which had quickly cut its ties to Mr. Abramoff, hired Randy Scheunemann, who had been the McCain campaign’s foreign policy adviser in 2000 — and is again this year — for advice on handling the Senate investigation.

“After Greenberg Traurig severed ties to Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Scheunemann advised the law firm on how best to cooperate with the Senate investigation,” said Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the McCain campaign. “The record reflects that the law firm cooperated.”

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U.S and Iraqi troops fail to ‘subdue’ Diyala

By Hussain al-Yaaqoubi

Azzaman, August 13, 2008

Despite repeated offensives and presence of tens of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops, the Province of Diyala still remains a major rebel stronghold in Iraq.

The province of which Baaquba is the capital is a restive territory where Iraqi resistance groups and members of al-Qaeda organization have apparently dug in for a protracted and difficult fight.

The province is predominantly Arab Sunni Muslim. But unlike the once rebel Province of Anbar, it has sizeable communities of other sects and nationalities.

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Alaska's governor admits her staff tried to have trooper fired

Posted on Thu, Aug. 14, 2008

Sean Cockerham | Anchorage Daily News

last updated: August 14, 2008 07:38:38 AM

Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday revealed an audio recording that shows an aide pressuring the Public Safety Department to fire a state trooper embroiled in a custody battle with her sister.

Palin, who has previously said her administration didn't exert pressure to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten, also disclosed that members of her staff had made about two dozen contacts with public safety officials about the trooper.

"I do now have to tell Alaskans that such pressure could have been perceived to exist although I have only now become aware of it," Palin said.

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"New World Order " quote in todays Washington Post by Georgian President Saakashvil

Posted by ADAP2K on August 14, 2008 at 8:30am


Russia's War Is The West's Challenge

By Mikheil Saakashvili

Thursday, August 14, 2008; Page A17

TBILISI, Georgia -- Russia's invasion of Georgia strikes at the heart of Western values and our 21st-century system of security. If the international community allows Russia to crush our democratic, independent state, it will be giving carte blanche to authoritarian governments everywhere. Russia intends to destroy not just a country but an idea.

For too long, we all underestimated the ruthlessness of the regime in Moscow. Yesterday brought further evidence of its duplicity: Within 24 hours of Russia agreeing to a cease-fire, its forces were rampaging through Gori; blocking the port of Poti; sinking Georgian vessels; and -- worst of all -- brutally purging Georgian villages in South Ossetia, raping women and executing men.

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McCain Takes $2300 Contribution from Owner of Gay Sex Site Manhunt

Manhunt

You may have read about Manhunt.net founders Larry Basile and Jonathan Crutchley (above right) in Michael Joseph Gross' OUT article entitled "Has Manhunt Destroyed Gay Culture?"

Crutchley's political leanings are pointed out near the beginning of the piece:

"Crutchley, a liberal Republican with a tight white beard, admits that he felt anxious during Manhunt’s first years, before his and Basile’s initial investment of $800,000 bore fruit. Now, seated at his desk and surrounded by giant photographs of body builders’ glutes, Crutchley says the company brings in at least $2.4 million per month -- almost $30 million a year -- not counting ad revenues, and prospects for growth are strong. Manhunt’s success measures the extent to which online cruising has changed gay urban social life. Is it changing gay politics too?"

Crutchley's right-leaning ways have been reported on before, in the Huffington Post, which reported on a contribution he made to the McCain campaign. Last week, Crutchley defended his contribution in the comments section of an April 2007 interview (which he apparently monitors) with Online Personals Watch:

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The Neocons And The Soviets

Andrew Sullivan

14 Aug 2008 08:50 am

It's very bizarre to read the neocons' speaking about Russia as if the Soviet Union were still in existence. Here's a classic slice of the mindset from Max Boot, who wants a third little war in the Caucasus:

It should be no surprise that Russian spokesmen are masters of the Big Lie–their Soviet predecessors practically invented the technique.

Condi Rice, who really should know better, said:

"This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it. Things have changed."

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President Musharraf of Pakistan Is Expected to Resign in Next Few Days Rather Than Face Impeachment

The New York Times

August 15, 2008

Musharraf Is Expected to Resign in Next Few Days

By JANE PERLEZ

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Faced with desertions by his political supporters and the neutrality of the Pakistani military, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, an important ally of the United States, is expected to resign in the next few days rather than face impeachment charges, Pakistani politicians and Western diplomats said Thursday.

His departure from office is likely to unleash new instability in the country as the two main parties in the civilian government jockey for the division of power.

The details of how Mr. Musharraf would exit, and whether he would be able to stay in Pakistan — apparently his strong preference — or would seek residency abroad were now under discussion, the politicians said.

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Lawmakers Take Aim at Homegrown Terrorist Threat

Related
Thought Crimes Agenda Already Being Implemented


According to Catherine Herridge of FOX News:

U.S. Lawmakers Take Aim at Homegrown Terrorist Threat

Many Americans believe that the threat of homegrown terrorism is gravest in Europe, but according to the U.S. government, in the last 18 months more than a half-dozen plots were thwarted right here at home.

Indeed.

That's what they say. But what really happened? How much do we know about the homegrown terrorist threat in America?

Catherine Herridge goes on to portray an open internet as a very dangerous place indeed:

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FABLED ENEMIES: 'The Israeli Operatives'

Fabled Enemies takes a closer look at who carried out 9/11 and what their motives may have been. For instance it was widely reported that several Israeli’s had been detained after recording the first plane strike and then celebrating the attacks. As the investigation began to widen, it was revealed that these detainees were part of a larger network of intelligence operatives within the United States.
This network was able to stay one step ahead of any attempt at a serious investigation. Even more alarming was the sheer number of government offices that had not only been targeted, but penetrated as well including the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Secret Service, and many,many others. Evidence also points to the fact that this same ring of people were in possession of Top Secret Military codes on the morning of 9/11. Despite all of this, all of the Israeli’s detained that day and otherwise were deported without any charges being filed what so ever.


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Ex-sheriff to stand trial for sexual misconduct

By Tim Talley, Associated Press Writer | August 13, 2008

ARAPAHO, Okla. --A former sheriff was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on felony charges that accuse him of demanding sex from female inmates in exchange for his help in getting them into a drug court rehabilitation program.

Special Judge Paul Woodward found there was enough evidence to bring former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess to trial on 35 charges, including rape, following a two-day preliminary hearing during which several inmates testified that they feared they would be sent to prison if they didn't perform sexual acts on Burgess.

Burgess was a member of a drug court panel that decides which offenders are allowed into the rehabilitation program and which are sent to prison.

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Palast: We are investigating the theft of the 2008 election before it happens

The Razorcake Interview:
"Vote theft: class war by other means”

For Razorcake.org by Chris Pepus

Monday, August 11, 2008

We need to learn the issues. People are unarmed. That is, people know that they’re getting shafted, but they don’t really know exactly how.

The American press corps has finally begun to report on illegal activities of the Bush administration. However, the subject of election theft remains largely ignored. In recent years, the Republican Party has used an array of tactics to subtract votes from opposing candidates. These include sending defective voting machines to strongly Democratic precincts and removing low-income and minority voters from electoral rolls.

Reporter Greg Palast has been covering this issue since 2000, when he revealed that Florida officials ensured the election of George W. Bush by illegally suppressing the African-American and Democratic vote. (Learn more about that subject here.) In this interview, I asked Palast about his reports on the GOP’s dirty electoral tricks since 2000 and the possibility that the ’08 election will be stolen. He explained how the Help America Vote Act actually helps crooked Republicans and he previewed his upcoming broadcasts and publications, which will include a free guide with tips for safeguarding your vote.

–Chris Pepus

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Stop using SWAT teams on civilians

Editorial

Filed under: WASHINGTON , The Washington DC Examiner Newspaper , DC Editorial

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - The violent assault on Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home late last month was certainly not the first bungled raid by a government SWAT team, but the bad publicity it generated should make it the last time these trigger-happy squads target innocent civilians.

Tracking a 32-pound package of marijuana that had been addressed to Calvo’s wife, Trinity Tomsic, Prince George’s sheriff’s deputies forcibly entered the mayor’s home on July 29 and killed his two dogs before handcuffing him and his mother-in-law.

But like so many other SWAT team raids across the country, this one turned out to be a big mistake. After reviewing the case, State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey acknowledged that the Calvos were victims of a multistate drug ring that used innocent people’s names and addresses to hide shipments of contraband drugs. But the mayor and his family were also victims of a home invasion by the SWAT team, based entirely on what turned out to be a false premise.

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US declassifies 35,000 pages of WWII spy files

Video: Famous Spies Revealed

13 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Formerly classified files on famous US ex-spies such as chef Julia Child, Arab-Israeli peace negotiator Ralph Bunche, and Hollywood actor Sterling Hayden were unveiled to the public Thursday by the National Archives.

The 35,000 documents are part of a massive archive, much of which has been previously released, on the first-ever US wartime intelligence unit known as the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

The OSS was the precursor to the Central Intelligence agency (CIA), and its clandestine network sprung up in the 1940s, mainly in Europe and North Africa.

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Grandmother arrested after refusing to delete JetBlue fight video

Marilyn Parver filmed an altercation between two passengers on a recent JetBlue flight. When she refused to delete the footage from her video camera, she says the airline threatened to blacklist her and accused her of interfering with a flight crew, which is a federal crime.

You can read the account of Parver’s flight and subsequent arrest here. And look for Parver on ABC’s Good Morning America, along with the incriminating footage.

Parver contacted me yesterday to, as she put it, “get the word out.”

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Target Has Customer Taken In For Mental Evaluation After She Demanded Cash Refund

79-year-old Christina Brown had a sales receipt and bank records showing that Target had taken cash from her bank account, but the retailer refused to give her a cash refund — offering a gift certificate instead. Christina refused. She wanted her money, and said she'd stay at the Target all day if she had to, but she wasn't leaving without $30. Target told her she was trespassing and that they would call the police. Christina said that was fine with her and called 9-1-1 herself. When the police arrived, Target had Ms. Brown hauled out of the store on a stretcher and taken via ambulance to a hospital for a mental evaluation. Does wanting a cash refund mean you're potentially mentally ill?

"If they thought I was a cranky old biddy, they should just have given me my money and let me go," Christina told the Star-Tribune. "I paid in good faith, and I wanted my money back. That's all. It's the principle."

"They can put you in jail for this," she says a cop told her. "Well, I've got nothing else to do today," she replied. "Besides, I may meet a better class of people in jail."

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New Orleans cops cleared in Katrina shooting - open fired on unarmed citizens seeking food

Doesn't even go to a jury

New Orleans cops cleared in bridge shooting

By MARY FOSTER – 17 hours ago

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge threw out murder and attempted murder charges Wednesday against seven New Orleans police officers accused of gunning down two men on a bridge in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In quashing the indictments, District Judge Raymond Bigelow agreed with defense arguments that prosecutors violated state law by divulging secret grand jury testimony to a police officer who was a witness in the case.

"The violation is clear," Bigelow said in making the ruling.

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The true cost of America's bail-outs

Benson's Economic & Market Trends

August 11, 2008


Over the last eight years, we have watched in horror as a two-term Republican administration furthered programmes that have effectively thrown lit sticks of dynamite into our American factories. These programmes have dismantled entire industries in the United States and encouraged their growth in China and elsewhere in Asia because of cheap labour. Also, during this time the illusion of prosperity was maintained by a Greenspan Fed as interest rates were cut to record lows, and a disastrous housing bubble was created. Americans were so seduced by home ownership that they bought houses in a frenzy that they couldn't afford, and then borrowed against them. In addition, under the administration's policies, the value of the dollar has been trashed, and commodity inflation has robbed workers lucky enough to still have jobs.

As the unprecedented credit crisis continues into its second year, it's becoming crystal clear that the American economy is slipping into the worst post-WWII recession on record. It's even beginning to dawn on third- and fourth-generation Wall Street Republicans that if the average American doesn't have a good job (much less any job), they won't be able to pay their mortgage, auto loan or credit card.

For now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been essentially nationalised and the Federal Reserve has been turned into a dumping ground for toxic-waste mortgage securities beginning with the Bear Stearns bail-out.

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US CONTINUES UNSUPPORTED ALLEGATIONS AGAINST IRAN

US/IRAN:
Nothing Behind U.S. Allegations?

Analysis by Omid Memarian

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 13 (IPS) - While the United States has repeatedly accused Iran of providing lethal weapons to Shiite militias, last week, U.S. officials once again failed to provide solid evidence for this charge, raising questions about the actual level of Iran’s meddling in Iraq.
Last Wednesday, Alejandro Daniel Wolff, deputy permanent U.S. representative to the U.N., accused Tehran of funnelling lethal weapons into Iraq. "During the recent operations in Basra, Sadr city, and Maysan, Iraqi troops uncovered convincing evidence that Iranian lethal aid has continued to flow into Iraq," he said.

Iran called the allegations "absurd" and a "routine practice" on the part of the U.S. "Whereas Iran has proved, time and again, its good intention to help Iraq’s stabilisation, development and prosperity through close cooperation with the Iraqi government in different fields -- as well as to help Iraqi people overcome their immense difficulties -- the U.S. government unwarrantedly insists on its unacceptable behaviour in scape-goating others, including Iran, for its own wrong policies in Iraq," Mehdi Danesh Yazdi, Iran’s ambassador to the U.N. responded in a statement.

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Putin Walks into a Trap?

Related
Brzezinski proxy war

August 14, 2008

Master Plan or Screw Up?

Georgia and U.S. Strategy

By MIKE WHITNEY

The American-armed and trained Georgian army swarmed into South Ossetia last Thursday, killing an estimated 2,000 civilians, sending 40,000 South Ossetians fleeing over the Russian border, and destroying much of the capital, Tskhinvali. The attack was unprovoked and took place a full 24 hours before even ONE Russian soldier set foot in South Ossetia. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Americans still believe that the Russian army invaded Georgian territory first. The BBC, AP, NPR, the New York Times and the rest of the establishment media have consistently and deliberately misled their readers into believing that the violence in South Ossetia was initiated by the Kremlin. Let's be clear, it wasn't. In truth, there is NO dispute about the facts except among the people who rely the western press for their information. Despite its steady loss of credibility, the corporate media continues to operate as the propaganda-arm of the Pentagon.

Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev gave a good summary of events in an op-ed in Monday's Washington Post:

For some time, relative calm was maintained in South Ossetia. The peacekeeping force composed of Russians, Georgians and Ossetians fulfilled its mission, and ordinary Ossetians and Georgians, who live close to each other, found at least some common ground....What happened on the night of Aug. 7 is beyond comprehension. The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with multiple rocket launchers designed to devastate large areas....Mounting a military assault against innocents was a reckless decision whose tragic consequences, for thousands of people of different nationalities, are now clear. The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived support and encouragement of a much more powerful force. Georgian armed forces were trained by hundreds of U.S. instructors, and its sophisticated military equipment was bought in a number of countries. This, coupled with the promise of NATO membership, emboldened Georgian leaders into thinking that they could get away with a "blitzkrieg" in South Ossetia...Russia had to respond. To accuse it of aggression against "small, defenseless Georgia" is not just hypocritical but shows a lack of humanity." 

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Home prices fall 7.6 percent from year-ago: report

Thu Aug 14, 10:22 AM ET

The value of existing U.S. single-family homes in metro areas fell 7.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2007 with homes in the West tumbling 17.4 percent, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday.

The quarterly survey of metro region prices also showed that prices fell in 115 of 150 metropolitan areas with several California cities seeing deep, double-digit drops in prices.

A metro region including parts of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw home price declines of 29.5 percent while Riverside-San Bernadino measured a 32.7 percent drop from the year-ago quarter.

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Sympathy for the aggressor

Rattling the Cage

Aug. 13, 2008

Larry Derfner , THE JERUSALEM POST

Until a week ago, I didn't know anything at all about Russia's conflict with Georgia, and I'd never even heard of South Ossetia or Abkhazia. But since there was a war going on and it was rivaling the Olympics as the big story, I started following the developments. I Googled a few articles for background. By now, I'd say I'm fairly up to speed. I know about as much about the Russian-Georgian war as the average news consumer.

And the way I see it, the world's reaction has it backward. I don't see Russia as the bad guy in this fight, but more than that, I don't see Georgia as the good guy.

I CAME to this issue from about as neutral a position as could be. I'm suspicious and fearful of Russia, especially with Vladimir Putin as its leader. But I don't think of Georgia, or any of those countries in the Caucasus or the Balkans or anywhere else in Borat-land, as being peace-loving or tolerant or otherwise essentially different from Russia. Georgia is where Stalin came from, right? I know I'm exposing my ignorance and prejudice, but I want to be honest. I had no dog in this fight.

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The US is inventing wars aplenty these days. Will it be Iran or Ossetia this month?

War à la carte

Eric Walberg

Click to view caption
A South Ossetian woman cries in her temporary habitation in the refugee camp near the village of Alagir. With its military charge into a rebel pocket of Georgia, Russia has staked out a strategic red line and it will not allow its perceived interests there to be thwarted without a fight

Last week, Georgia launched a major military offensive against the rebel province South Ossetia, just hours after President Mikhail Saakashvili had announced a unilateral ceasefire. Close to 1,500 have been killed, Russian officials say. Thirty thousand refugees, mostly women and children, streamed across the border into the North Ossetian capital Vladikavkaz in Russia.

The timing -- and subterfuge -- suggest the unscrupulous Saakashvili was counting on surprise. "Most decision-makers have gone for the holidays," he said in an interview with CNN. "Brilliant moment to attack a small country." Apparently he was referring to Russia invading Georgia, despite the fact that it was Georgia which had just launched a full-scale invasion of the "small country" South Ossetia, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in Beijing for the Olympics. Twenty-seven Russian peacekeepers and troops have been killed and 150 wounded so far, many when their barracks were shelled by Georgian forces at the start of the invasion. Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili rushed to announce that their mini-blitzkreig had destroyed 10 Russian combat planes (Russia says two) and that Georgian troops were in full control of the capital Tskhinvali.

Russia's Defence Ministry denounced the Georgian attack as a "dirty adventure". From Beijing, Putin said, "it is regrettable that on the day before the opening of the Olympic Games, the Georgian authorities have undertaken aggressive actions in South Ossetia." He later added, "war has started." Russian President Dmitri Medvedev vowed that Moscow will protect Russian citizens -- most South Ossetians hold Russian passports. The offensive prompted Moscow to send in 150 tanks, to launch air strikes on nearby Gori and military sites, and to order warships to Georgia's Black Sea coast.

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Disturbing Video: Detention camp Setup for DNC Protestors and Mass Arrests

Added: August 13, 2008

Denver officials weren't planning to reveal details about where activists would be detained in the event of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention until after the event had started, but those plans were quickly dashed this week when CBS 4News reporter Rick Sallinger not only revealed that protesters would be locked up in a city-owned warehouse, but he also obtained clear video footage inside the facility, a building that includes barbed wire-topped cages and signs warning of stun-gun use.

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The hounding of Obama's Arab and Muslim American liaison

An awful shame

The hounding of Barack Obama's Arab and Muslim American liaison is reminiscent of times that community thought it surpassed, writes James Zogby


The 1980s were a difficult time for Arab Americans. Politicians returned our contributions, rejected our endorsements, and many effectively hung "No Arab Americans allowed" signs on their campaign doors. Back then, we wrote about this situation, calling it "the politics of exclusion".

We fought back. We organised, worked hard, and we emerged victorious -- or should I say somewhat victorious? Now I feel a bit tentative about our progress because of what happened to Mazen Asbahi, which set off alarm bells causing me to wonder whether or not "exclusion" might not once again be rearing its ugly head.

For those who don't know, here's what happened. On 25 July the Barack Obama campaign announced the appointment of Asbahi to further their outreach efforts to Arab Americans and American Muslims. As a young though accomplished corporate attorney, Asbahi was largely unknown in both communities. He quickly acclimated himself to his post, contacting leaders and activists nationwide both to introduce himself and to develop ways to include them in the Obama campaign.

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McCain's infidelity discussed on Fox AGAIN

Hannity Uses Another Bogus Excuse For McCain's Infidelity

Added: August 14, 2008

Sean Hannity melodramatically claimed that John McCain's infidelity should be excused because he was a POW suffering from PTSD and "wasn't the same person when he got back, for a short period of time. In fact, McCain's extramarital affair with his now-wife Cindy occurred six years after he returned home from Viet Nam and a couple of years into his job as Navy liaison to the Senate. From the 8/13/08 Hannity & Colmes.

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Sri Lanka: LTTE and Government endangering tens of thousands of lives

Sri Lanka: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Government endangering tens of thousands of lives

Posted: 14 August 2008

Thousands of families who fled the recent fighting between Sri Lankan forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) must be allowed to move to safer areas and to receive necessary humanitarian assistance, Amnesty International said today (14 August 2008).

'These people are running out of places to go and basic necessities,' said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International's Sri Lanka researcher. 'The Tigers are keeping them in harm's way and the government is not doing enough to ensure they receive essential assistance.'  

Government aerial bombardment and artillery shelling since May has forced more than 70,000 people to flee their homes, primarily in Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu districts.

Amnesty International has established that around a third of these families are living in the open air with no shelter. Many cannot receive food, tarpaulin for temporary shelters and fuel because of a lack of access into LTTE-controlled areas and restrictions on goods going through Omanthai - the crossing point between government-controlled territory and that held by the LTTE. Some families have been forced to move several times.

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Bush Policy on Russia and Georgia

August 13, 2008

The New York Times reports today: "The United States took a series of steps that emboldened Georgia: sending advisers to build up the Georgian military, including an exercise last month with more than 1,000 American troops; pressing hard to bring Georgia into the NATO orbit..." Neither President Bush this morning nor Secretary of State Rice yesterday took questions following their comments.


FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle is author of Breaking All The Rules and Destroying World Order. He said today: "It is curious but not surprising how the Bush administration and its allies have now found renewed respect for international law in the Caucasus, but not when it comes to (1) the United States invading Afghanistan and Iraq, while threatening to attack Iran; (2) Israel invading Lebanon and Palestine, attacking Syria, and threatening to attack Iran; (3) Ethiopia invading Somalia; (4) Colombia attacking Ecuador, etc. From an international law perspective, the real issue here is whether during her trip to Tbilisi a month ago, U.S. Secretary of State Rice gave the proverbial green light to Georgia to attack South Ossetia and thus deliberately provoke an overreaction by Russia. And how does this fit in with the U.S./U.K. naval armada currently steaming for the Persian Gulf and possible military confrontation with Iran over its right to engage in nuclear enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?"


RICHARD FALK
Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of more than 20 books including The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order after Iraq. Falk recently returned from Turkey.

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Supporting independence movements can have disastrous consequences

From the Los Angeles Times

The Pandora's box of sovereignty

By Thomas Meaney and Harris Mylonas

August 13, 2008

For the coolest composure while going to war, the gold medal goes to Vladimir Putin. The Russian prime minister maintained his characteristic calm during Friday's Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing -- giving a firm salute to the Russian athletes marching by -- while he arranged for another kind of march into the disputed territory of South Ossetia. It's clear that Putin considers this payback time, not only for Georgia, Russia's meddlesome neighbor to the south, but for President Bush.

In February, Bush and most European leaders backed the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, which Putin vociferously opposed. Don't worry, assured U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying, "Kosovo cannot be seen as precedent for any other situation in the world today." But precedent is exactly what it set. Just as the West wanted to shield Kosovo from Serbian domination, so Putin hopes to free South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgian interference and keep them in the Russian orbit of influence. Thus far, he has succeeded by rolling out tanks while the West has paid only lip service to the territorial integrity of Georgia.

If the United States wishes to avoid carnage like this in the future, we need to be more consistent about how we treat fledgling independence movements. Beyond Kosovo and South Ossetia, why do we encourage the independence of the southern Sudanese but condemn the uprisings of the Kurds in eastern Turkey? Why do we speak up for the Tibetans in China but tune out the Basques in Spain?

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Islamic terror smokescreen at work in Iraq

August 13, 2008

By David Johnson

The section of the American electorate that relies on the corporate media to make sense out of the presidential campaign must use all of their analytical skills to cut through the daily onslaught of spin and posturing.

Despite news shows' claims of being the "the best political team in television," "keeping them honest," "fair and balanced" and being a source of "independent reporting," these programs invariably fall short on the history and context that helps viewers makes sense out of what we are living through.

For example, the media's reference to the violence taking place in Iraq as the results of the United States being "at war" with terrorists in Iraq is, to be polite, a mischaracterization. To be blunt, the United States invaded and occupied Iraq.

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'Wash Post': 'The West confronts an unfamiliar sight: a nation bent on conquest'

WPost and the Great Disconnect

By Robert Parry

August 13, 2008

On Tuesday, the sub-head for the Washington Post’s lead editorial read, “The West confronts an unfamiliar sight: a nation bent on conquest.”

The nation in question, of course, was Russia and the “conquest” was its border clash with neighboring Georgia over two breakaway provinces that want to join the Russian Federation.

But an objective person might note that the sight of “a nation bent on conquest” shouldn’t be “unfamiliar” to Western nations unless they don’t look in the mirror. For example, the United States – with its “coalition of the willing” – invaded and conquered Iraq in 2003.

In that aggression, President George W. Bush had the support of Great Britain, Spain and a host of smaller states, including Georgia. You’d think the Post’s editorial writers would have remembered that since they were leading boosters of the Iraq conquest, pushing the argument that Iraq was threatening the United States with weapons of mass destruction.

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A lone anthrax mailer? Skeptics question FBI case

Related
FBI's "Smoking Gun" Against Ivins Evaporates

By MATT APUZZO
– 22 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The story has all the ingredients for a good conspiracy theory: a killer germ created in a secret government lab, a government on the brink of war, a murder investigation with unanswered questions, and a suspect who committed suicide before he could be charged.

The Justice Department considers the 2001 anthrax attacks solved, but for skeptics and conspiracy theorists, it's far from over.

It has been a week since authorities laid out much of their case against Bruce Ivins, a psychologically troubled Army scientist who killed himself as prosecutors prepared to charge him as the lone anthrax killer. Since then, armchair investigators, bloggers and scientists have pored over hundreds of pages of documents and circulated their own ideas about what happened.

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Georgia/Russia Conflict Forced Into Cold War Frame

Ed Note: The US is Using Georgia to Keep Russia from Helping Iran


8/14/08

U.S. corporate media frequently evoked the Cold War as a key to understanding the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia. This was certainly true of the media themselves, which generally placed black hats or white hats on the actors involved depending on whether they were allied with Moscow or Washington.

On August 11, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams referred to "what's being called the Russian blitz of the nation of Georgia, former Soviet republic that split away and is now threatening to split apart from within." NBC reporter Jim Maceda followed up: "The powerful Russian war machine is moving ever deeper into Georgia, and teaching all of us really a lesson about what makes Russia tick." Maceda then gave what has become the standard media template for describing the conflict:

  • "It started as a gamble by Georgia, the former Soviet republic and darling of the West: Move quickly into the breakaway pro-Russian enclave called South Ossetia and take back what is legally Georgia's. But the plan failed. Instead, Russian forces invaded Georgia last week and crushed Georgian resistance. According to U.S. military officials, Russia is out to decimate the U.S.-trained Georgian armed forces."
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Is Perpetual War Our Future?

Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Bush Era

By Andrew Bacevich

To appreciate the full extent of the military crisis into which the United States has been plunged requires understanding what the Iraq War and, to a lesser extent, the Afghan War have to teach. These two conflicts, along with the attacks of September 11, 2001, will form the centerpiece of George W. Bush's legacy. Their lessons ought to constitute the basis of a new, more realistic military policy.

In some respects, the effort to divine those lessons is well under way, spurred by critics of President Bush's policies on the left and the right as well as by reform-minded members of the officer corps. Broadly speaking, this effort has thus far yielded three distinct conclusions. Whether taken singly or together, they invert the post-Cold War military illusions that provided the foundation for the president's Global War on Terror. In exchange for these received illusions, they propound new ones, which are equally misguided. Thus far, that is, the lessons drawn from America's post-9/11 military experience are the wrong ones.

Read More >>
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How to Conceal Massive Economic Collapse

Related
Ginnie Mae Stretched Thin On Mortgage Crisis,Seeks More Staff
LA House Prices Down 30% From 2007
Wachovia's BluePoint Insurance Unit Files Bankruptcy

Wag the Dog

August 14th, 2008

Ellen Brown

August 14, 2008

"I’m in show business, why come to me?"

"War is show business, that’s why we’re here."
– "Wag the Dog" (1997 film)

Last week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had just announced record losses, and so had most reporting corporations. Unemployment was mounting, the foreclosure crisis was deepening, state budgets were in shambles, and massive bailouts were everywhere. Investors had every reason to expect the dollar and the stock market to plummet, and gold and oil to shoot up. Strangely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 300 points, the dollar strengthened, and gold and oil were crushed. What happened?

It hardly took psychic powers to see that the Plunge Protection Team had come to the rescue. Formally known as the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the PPT was once concealed and its very existence denied as if it were a matter of strict national security. But the PPT has now come out of the closet. What was once a legally questionable "manipulator" of markets has become a sanctioned stabilizer and protector of markets. The new tone was set in January 2008, when global markets took their worst tumble since September 11, 2001. Senator Hillary Clinton said in a statement reported by the State News Service:

"I think it’s imperative that the following step be taken. The President should have already and should do so very quickly, convene the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. That’s something that he can ask the Secretary of the Treasury to do. . . . This has to be coordinated across markets with the regulators here and obviously with regulators and central banks around the world."1

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Born in Blood, Founded by Terrorists, Israel Confronts Iran on Morality

August 14, 2008
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Beres Louis Rene Beres is, in my opinion, a wild-eyed and war-mongering Jew, who shoots off his mouth incessantly on behalf of his unyielding opinion that Iran is about to erase Israel from the face of the earth. He bases that (apparently) solely on the statements of Iran’s current president, a wing-nut by the name of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejadmahmoud Wing-nut presidents are not the exclusive province of Iranians. We happen to have one ourselves, who has single-handedly frightened and estranged a larger portion of the world than Iran by at least a power of ten. Home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC (Wikipedia), what Iran has not done is attack, preemptively or otherwise, another nation. Would that Israel could say the same.

(The Jewish Press, The True Human Meanings Of A Nuclear Iran, Louis Rene Beres, 8-13-08)

For many years, any talk of preemption against a nuclearizing Iran was certain to elicit primarily harsh and uniform condemnation. In some circles, such talk amounted to nothing less than a shamelessly proposed "aggression.” Other critics, although somewhat more charitable in their particular denunciations, still expressed guarded sentiments that any Israeli or American defensive first-strikes against Iran would be "premature.”

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"Able Danger"

Added: August 13, 2008

WIth regards to Able Danger, at the very least, people should be held accountable for obstruction of justice, retaliation against whistleblowers, gross incompetence, etc... At the very worst, well, you know...

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Same As the Old Boss: Both McCain and Obama's Advisors Want War in Georgia

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Georgia is located in Eurasia, in what some call the "Eurasian Balkans", and possesses important resources, including oil pipelines.

For months previous to the start of hostilities in the Georgia-Russian war, American trainers have been getting the Georgians ready for war.

As revealed in a July article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "A large contingent of Georgia Army National Guard soldiers flew to the Republic of Georgia on Sunday for joint military exercises at a time when tension is brewing in the region".

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My Lai, Zapruder and 9/11

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It is obvious that the government is hiding evidence regarding 9/11. For example, the government has claimed that no flight recorders were recovered from the airplanes which hit the Twin Towers. However, firefighters stated they did recover the flight recorders. And Dan Rather confirmed that they were recovered.

9/11 activists have repeatedly demanded that the government reveal the videos, photographs, and other documentary evidence so that we can assess the truth for ourselves (see this, for example).

Government Hides Behind Copyright Law

Not only has the government refused to share the evidence, it has threatened to dispose of it. For example, NIST recently responded to a FOIA request by saying that it would not share many videos and photographs but would - instead - give the originals back to the people who shot them.

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Gannett to cut 1,000 newspaper jobs

Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:36pm EDT

By Robert MacMillan

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Gannett Co Inc plans to eliminate 1,000 positions from its local newspapers around the U.S. because of declining advertising and circulation revenue, and may cut more if those conditions persist.

The largest U.S. newspaper publisher said the cuts equal about 3 percent of the positions in its Community Publishing unit, according to a memo obtained by Reuters on Thursday. The unit accounts for the vast majority of the company's newspapers, except for USA Today.

About 600 people probably will be laid off as part of the cuts, the memo said. The remaining cuts will come from retirements, resignations and other vacancies that will go unfilled.

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Jackson Browne sues John McCain over song use

Related
Video: Jackson Browne Lives In the Balance



Top of the Ticket

Jackson Browne is suing John McCain for using the song "Running on Empty" in a campaign ad -- and the veteran rocker is also calling the candidate a great pretender when it comes to standing up for constitutional rights. Browne, one of rock music's most famous activists for liberal causes, is "incensed" that the presumptive Republican candidate for president has been using Browne's signature 1977 song "Running on Empty" in campaign commercials, according to the singer-songwriter's attorney. Browne filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against both McCain and the Republican National Committee on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of the forlorn arena anthem or any other Browne compositions, as well as damages.
They may be suing the wrong people. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers tells our colleague Seema Mehta in Colorado that the ad in question is not a McCain campaign ad but one put together by the Ohio Republican Party.

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Hamas blames ”Israeli collaborators” for launching rockets

Posted: 12-08-2008 , 13:56 GMT

Mahmoud-al-ZaharThe Hamas rulers of Gaza Strip on Tuesday lashed out at gunners who fire rockets at Israel from the Palestinian territory in violation of a seven-week-old calm, calling them Israeli collaborators. "About the rocket-firing, I think those who are responsible are those who collaborate with Israel because there is a consensus by all Palestinian groups to respect the truce," said Dr. Mahmud Zahar, a senior leader of the Hamas movement.

On Monday, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an empty field outside the southern Israeli city of Sderot, causing no casualty or damage.

According to AFP, Zahar told a Gaza radio station that the party which fired the rocket was "linked to Israel as they provide a pretext to exercise pressure on the Palestinian people.

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NEWSWIRE: AUGUST 14, 2008 - CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

CCNWON search engines, Alternate viewing format, RSS format, Atom format, All Tags
.
14th
08:09 am: Inflation jumps to 17-yr high as consumer prices soar; twice the expected rate; foreclosures up 55 %
08:19 am: War in the Caucasus: destruction in Tskhinvali
08:22 am: What will be the outcome of the Georgian-Ossetian war?
08:25 am: Fox interviews 12-yr old girl, then shuts her up when she says Georgia is implicated as aggressor
08:28 am: The Lobby Like No Other Wants a War Like No Other
08:44 am: Police seek motive in killing of Ark. Democratic Party chief
08:45 am: Credit and Credibility: Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Press
08:56 am: Why are we in a constant struggle for democracy? This is why
09:02 am: McCain: 'In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations'
09:05 am: FBI witch hunt gone awry: Hair samples in anthrax case don't match scientist Bruce E. Ivins
09:12 am: Nuclear war by miscalculation: The geopolitics of Georgia pt2
09:18 am: Good vs. Bad War Criminals
09:20 am: This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression
09:22 am: Brezezinski’s Georgia Puppets Attack Russia - World War Three In Sight
09:27 am: The West is helping PA torment Palestinians
09:29 am: McCain is opposed to net neutrality
09:30 am: All the experts admit that we should legalise drugs
09:35 am: Russia will pull out of Gori by Friday: France
09:55 am: Court: Saudi Arabia not liable in Sept. 11 attacks
09:56 am: Cop charged with manslaughter in taser killing
10:00 am: Campaign Aide Lobbied McCain For Abramoff Firm
10:10 am: Dear police officers: Please don't kill me
10:13 am: U.S and Iraqi troops fail to ‘subdue’ Diyala
10:20 am: Alaska's governor admits her staff tried to have trooper fired
10:24 am: "New World Order " quote in todays Washington Post by Georgian President Saakashvil - 1 comment
10:28 am: McCain Takes $2300 Contribution from Owner of Gay Sex Site Manhunt
10:31 am: The Neocons And The Soviets
10:38 am: President Musharraf of Pakistan Is Expected to Resign in Next Few Days Rather Than Face Impeachment
10:41 am: Approval Ratings: The Public vs. McCain - 1 comment
10:46 am: Bush's Political Enemies Being Put on No-Fly List
11:03 am: Lawmakers Take Aim at Homegrown Terrorist Threat
11:07 am: FABLED ENEMIES: 'The Israeli Operatives' - 1 comment
11:36 am: Ex-sheriff to stand trial for sexual misconduct
11:37 am: Palast: We are investigating the theft of the 2008 election before it happens
11:40 am: Stop using SWAT teams on civilians
11:53 am: US declassifies 35,000 pages of WWII spy files
11:56 am: Grandmother arrested after refusing to delete JetBlue fight video
12:04 pm: Target Has Customer Taken In For Mental Evaluation After She Demanded Cash Refund
12:23 pm: New Orleans cops cleared in Katrina shooting - open fired on unarmed citizens seeking food - 1 comment
12:25 pm: The true cost of America's bail-outs
12:34 pm: US CONTINUES UNSUPPORTED ALLEGATIONS AGAINST IRAN
12:36 pm: Putin Walks into a Trap?
12:44 pm: Home prices fall 7.6 percent from year-ago: report
12:50 pm: Sympathy for the aggressor
01:12 pm: The US is inventing wars aplenty these days. Will it be Iran or Ossetia this month?
01:13 pm: Disturbing Video: Detention camp Setup for DNC Protestors and Mass Arrests
01:15 pm: The hounding of Obama's Arab and Muslim American liaison
01:19 pm: McCain's infidelity discussed on Fox AGAIN
01:24 pm: Sri Lanka: LTTE and Government endangering tens of thousands of lives
01:28 pm: Bush Policy on Russia and Georgia
01:32 pm: Supporting independence movements can have disastrous consequences - 1 comment
01:43 pm: Islamic terror smokescreen at work in Iraq
01:48 pm: 'Wash Post': 'The West confronts an unfamiliar sight: a nation bent on conquest'
01:54 pm: A lone anthrax mailer? Skeptics question FBI case
02:14 pm: Georgia/Russia Conflict Forced Into Cold War Frame
02:28 pm: Is Perpetual War Our Future?
02:30 pm: How to Conceal Massive Economic Collapse
02:36 pm: Born in Blood, Founded by Terrorists, Israel Confronts Iran on Morality
02:54 pm: "Able Danger"
02:55 pm: Same As the Old Boss: Both McCain and Obama's Advisors Want War in Georgia
02:58 pm: My Lai, Zapruder and 9/11
03:08 pm: Gannett to cut 1,000 newspaper jobs - 1 comment
03:24 pm: Jackson Browne sues John McCain over song use
03:26 pm: Hamas blames ”Israeli collaborators” for launching rockets