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joeb

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Reply with quote  #51 
http://gnn.tv/articles/
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #52 
The life of Claudia Jones


Carole Boyce Davies' new biography of a little known revolutionary

   

   
 

>by bigcitygal
March 1, 2008

Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones, by Carole Boyce Davies (Duke University Press, 2008; $22.95)

Claudia Jones is not a name that comes to mind when thinking about African-American feminist theorists and activists. Hopefully, this memoir of her life and achievements will change that.

Jones was a communist, Marxist-Leninist to be precise, a union activist, a feminist and an anti-racist activist. She integrated the ideas of those theories into activism and practice, in the United States for the majority of her life and in London, England.

At the beginning of Left of Karl Marx, Davies provides the reader with an abbreviated chronology of Jones' life, then divides the book into chapters focusing on different aspects of Jones' life: her radical writing as a journalist, her activism within the Communist Party USA, her prison writings, mostly in the form of letters and poems that she wrote, her arrests and her imprisonments in the United States, her deportation to London, England, and how she continued her work there until she died.

Jones died in London at the age of 49 of heart failure. Poor health had plagued her throughout her life, and imprisonment, it could be argued, accelerated her death. Her ashes are buried literally to the left of Karl Marx's tombstone in Highgate Cemetery, London.

Jones was born in Trinidad in 1915 and emigrated to the United States in 1924. She had tuberculosis as a young woman, and suffered from inadequate medical attention throughout most of her life. She worked manual labour positions such as laundry and factory work, and became involved in working class politics.

Jones first joined the Communist Party in 1936 at the age of 21 and was active in the Youth Movement. She was an avid writer and journalist and wrote for many newspapers throughout her life, many of them focusing on issues related to black Americans, working class life, and the role of women in the Communist party.

In the introduction, Davies talks about how Jones' life and work were very much ahead of her time, and relevant to the politics of anti-oppression, and linked oppressions that modern feminist and left movements struggle with to this day. Davies describes the black subject, such as Claudia Jones, as a body that can challenge the status quo from several subject locations:

    The radical black subject, male or female, challenges the normalizing of state oppression, constructs an alternative discourse, and articulates these both theoretically and in practice. This is a resisting black subject…resisting dominating systems organized and enforced by states, organizations and institutions in order to produce a complicit passive people and to maintain exploitative systems. The revolutionary subject works in a movement geared toward dismantling that oppressive status.

Jones talked about the "superexploitation" of black working-class women. Davies explains: "She brought an explicitly women's rights orientation to the politics of the Communist Party USA." Davies assesses Jones as part of the canon of Black transnational theorists such as Ella Baker, Ida B. Wells, and Angela Davis, as well as radical organizations of the time such as the Combahee River Collective and the National Black Feminist Organization. For Jones, the ideas and practices were inseparable, "that our current geopolitical locations are products of multiple historical processes, many of which we had no control over, which have produced us, as subjects, in various 'nation-states' of the world."

The Communist Party was illegal in the United States during the time of Jones' activism. In 1942, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began a file on her, obtained by Davies under the Freedom of Information Act. Despite harassment and threats, Jones continued her writing and activism, rising to the level of Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly Review, the Communist Party newspaper in 1943, Editor of the Negro Affairs section of the Daily Worker in 1946, and was elected a full member of the National Committee of Communist Party USA in 1946 as well.

In January 1948, Jones was arrested for the first time, and was threatened with deportation to Trinidad. While out on bail she spoke at May Day rallies across the country, and worked on issues relating to the working class, peace, equality and black women. She recruited for the Party, even as the FBI continued to gather evidence to be used for her deportation hearing.

In 1953, Jones was convicted for one year and a day, a shorter sentence than two other women arrested with her, due to her health issues. She was released after serving nine months, and her deportation order came shortly afterwards. In London she was affiliated with the Communist Party of Great Britain and continued with the work she loved, including, in 1958, founding the newspaper West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News.

Davies makes a number of references to the parallels of Jones' treatment in the United Stated during the era, the McCarthy Era, and the recent restrictions on civil liberties within the United States since September 11, 2001. Parallels include imprisonment and deportation based on nothing more than affiliations with certain groups considered to be (current) enemies of the United States, the enacting of the USA-Patriot Act in 2001 whose full name is "Uniting and Strengthening American by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism."

The criminalization of communism took place under very similar circumstances, in which the Internal Security Act (1950), also known as the McCarran Act, shares similar clauses to parts of the Patriot Act, specifically that all communists register with immigration authorities and local police.

This is a dense, academic, and thorough book about the life of a Black feminist theorist that more people should know about. It is my hope that this is the start of a revival of Jones' life and work. This is a must read for any women's studies class, as well as American history, politics and other disciplines. Highly recommended.—bigcitygal

bigcitygal is a Toronto-based anti-racist/anti-oppression educator and consultant. She is a frequent contributor to rabble.ca's discussion board: babble, and is the volunteer moderator of the anti-racism forum.

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joeb

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Reply with quote  #53 
March 3, 2008
 
 
New state personnel director using skills honed in the FBI

Otis Cox used to talk skyjackers off airplanes and break up gambling rings in the crime-ridden hotspots of Gary, Ind., and Jacksonville, Fla.

Now he's heading up an operation a bit less threatening to his life and well being, in West Virginia.

Cox, 66, was recently named director of the West Virginia Division of Personnel.

But it's not a job the retired FBI agent will be taking lightly.

"This job will require some of the same techniques," said Cox, who was appointed by Gov. Joe Manchin to the position earlier this month. "You need to be open-minded, have your eyes wide open and be quick to respond."

Cox, who more closely resembles a man 20 years his junior, attributes his longevity in public service to two things: "I drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of ice cream," he jokes.

Before accepting his new position, Cox worked two jobs. He served as a contractor for the FBI conducting background investigations for national security positions in the FBI, Department of Justice and the federal court system. He also reconstructed automobile accidents as a private investigator for the state.

"I call them crashes," he quipped.

Cox had spent 26 years in the FBI prior to working as a contractor. He also served as public safety secretary under Govs. Cecil Underwood and Bob Wise, and was a criminal justice instructor at West Virginia University and Fairmont State.

Born in Pilot Mountain, N.C., Cox grew up in Baltimore before moving to West Virginia in 1991. He was instrumental in bringing the FBI to Clarksburg, the site of the agency's Criminal Justice Information Services Division since 1995.

"I volunteered to move to West Virginia," Cox said. "They thought I was the least likely to go because there's not too many black people in West Virginia. They said, 'Otis, are you sure you know where you're going?' "

But Cox and his family have called the Mountain State home ever since.  

"I was elated from the first moment," he said. "The people were incredible. I hadn't been treated so well in my life, other than by my grandmothers. They're the only ones who thought I was special."

Cox is somewhat of a jokester, and a self-proclaimed extrovert. He's a people person, which is fitting for his new role. During an interview, he said, "Don't let me ramble on and on." He admits he might clam up if he's surrounded by other live wires.

"If I'm in a room with extreme extroverts, I'm very quiet," he said.

Cox believes he has the social tools to help boost the image of the state and the Division of Personnel, which had been without a director since Aug. 3 when Billie Jo Streyle-Anderson resigned to return to private law practice.

"The image is that of a typical bureaucratic organization," he said bluntly about the division. "We move slowly and we don't handle things that should be handled. We're in compliance, but we're a little too slow."

The division has to fill vacancies more quickly, Cox said.

"If this person leaves tomorrow, we should have someone ready to put in that position," he said. "I don't see us there yet."

He also noted that the state's job classification system may be a bit confusing and outdated.

Most of all, Cox plans to do what he does best - talk to people and feel them out on how they take their job.

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joeb

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Reply with quote  #54 
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0803/S00096.htm
FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report
Thursday, 6 March 2008, 12:24 pm
Column: http://www.UnansweredQuestions.org

Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire
http://www.unansweredquestions.org/ .

FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report

by Larisa Alexandrovna
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/FBI_documents_contradict_Sept._11_Commission_0228.html


Hijacker had post-9/11 flights scheduled, files say

Newly-released records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request contradict the 9/11 Commission’s report on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and raise fresh questions about the role of Saudi government officials in connection to the hijackers.

The nearly 300 pages of a Federal Bureau of Investigation timeline used by the 9/11 Commission as the basis for many of its findings were acquired through a FOIA request filed by Kevin Fenton, a 26 year old translator from the Czech Republic. The FBI released the 298-page “hijacker timeline” Feb. 4.

The FBI timeline reveals that alleged hijacker Hamza Al-Ghamdi, who was aboard the United Airlines flight which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, had booked a future flight to San Francisco. He also had a ticket for a trip from Casablanca to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Though referenced repeatedly in the footnotes of the final 9/11 Commission report, the timeline has not previously been made available to the public.

The FBI timeline is dated Nov. 14, 2003 but appears to have been put together earlier (since the last date mentioned in the document is Oct. 22, 2001) and was provided to the 9/11 Commission during its 2003 investigation. The final Commission report cites the FBI timeline 52 times.

Post Sept. 11, 2001 flights

The FBI timeline reveals that Al-Ghamdi, the alleged United hijacker, was booked onto several flights scheduled for after the 9/11 attacks, a piece of information not documented in the Commission’s final report. According to the FBI timeline, Al-Ghamdi was booked on another United Airlines flight on the very day of the attack.

On page 288 under an entry pertaining to “H AlGhamdi,” the FBI timeline reads: "Future flight. Scheduled to depart Los Angeles International Airport for San Francisco International Airport on UA 7950."

The sourcing reads simply: “UA passenger information.”

The timeline similarly documents Al-Ghamdi’s bookings for several other post 9/11 flights, including one on Sept. 20, 2001 from Casablanca, Morocco to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and another on Sept. 29, 2001 from Riyadh to Damman, Saudi Arabia. (FBI Timeline 2, p. 296 under “H Alghamdi”)

No additional information or explanation is offered in the FBI timeline itself.

The Saudi connection

In January 2000, then-FBI Director Louis Freeh and CIA Director George Tenet attended regular briefings as Malaysian intelligence conducted surveillance of a “terrorist summit meeting” in Kuala Lumpur. Among the attendees were Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, two men who would later allegedly hijack American Airlines Flight 77 and crash it into the Pentagon.

A week after the Malaysian summit, al-Mihdar and al-Hazmi traveled to the United States. According to the 9/11 Commission report, they arrived in Los Angeles on Jan. 15 and “spent about two weeks there before moving to San Diego.” (9/11 Commission report, p. 215, chapter 7). The footnote for this item shows that the Commission relied on a different FBI report, “‘Summary of Pentbom Investigation,’ Feb.29, 2004 (classified version), p.16.”

But the FBI timeline contradicts this claim, placing the alleged hijackers in San Diego with specific details. According to the timeline, the two men resided in Apartment 152 at Parkwood Apartments, San Diego, from Jan. 15 through Feb. 2, 2000.

“A rental application shows that before renting Apartment 150 Parkwood Apartments on 02/05/2000, AL-MlHDHAR and Nawaf Alhazmi alleged that they resided with [REDACTED] from 01/15/2000 to 02/02/2000 at Apartment 152 of the same apartment complex,” page 52 of the FBI timeline reads.

Two pages later, the same apartment complex is noted again, this time with its full address: “AL-MIHDHAR and Nawaf Alhazmi resided at Parkwood Apartments, located at 6401 Mount Ada Road, Apartment 150, San Diego, CA. [REDACTED] was the co-signor and guarantor on the lease agreement for this apparement. The rental application shows that before renting Apartment 150, AL-MIHDHAR and Nawaf Alhazmi resided with [REDACTED]." (A photograph of apartment 152 appears atop this article. An image of apartment 150 appears on page 2.)

In other words, according to the only public account, both Al-Mihdhar and Hazmi were in San Diego, not Los Angeles, contrary to the Commission’s report.

Why did the Commission use an alternate source for the whereabouts of the two men, when the FBI’s own timeline said they were in San Diego by Jan. 15, the same day as their arrival in the US?

Paul Thompson, author of the The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11--and America's Response, has been wading through the FBI timeline since its release. His preliminary analysis can be found at the website of the History Commons (formerly known as the Center for Cooperative Research).

Thompson believes that the possible motive for the Commission to alter the dates is to obscure official Saudi ties to the hijackers.

He points to the redaction of the name of a person who is a known employee of a Saudi defense contractor, Omar al-Bayoumi, who lived at the same location.

“We know it’s Bayoumi,” said Thompson, “because after 9/11, the Finnish Government mistakenly released a classified FBI list of suspects that showed Bayoumi living in apartment #152 of Parkwood Apartments.” That information is available here.

“But also important is that it strongly suggests that the hijackers already had a support network in Southern California before they arrived,” Thompson continued.

“In the official version of the story now, the hijackers drift around L.A. listlessly for two weeks before chancing to come across Bayoumi in a restaurant [according to Bayoumi’s account],” Thompson added. “Whereupon he's an incredible good Samaritan and takes them down to San Diego, pays their rent, etc.”

”But from the FBI's timeline, we now know the hijackers started staying at Bayoumi's place on Jan. 15 – the very same day they arrived,” Thompson says. “So obviously they must have been met at the airport and taken care of from their very first hours in the US. That's huge because the FBI maintains to this day that the hijackers never had any accomplices in the US.”

Robert Baer, a former CIA case officer in the Middle East whose See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism became the inspiration for the award winning film Syriana, concurs with Thompson’s view.

“There are enough discrepancies and unanswered questions in the 9/11 Commission report that under a friendly administration, the 9/11 investigation should be re-opened,” Baer wrote in an email message Tuesday night.

“Bayoumi clearly offered material assistance to [the 9/11 hijackers].”

READ THE DOCUMENTS: PDF pages 1-105, PDF pages 106-210, PDF pages 211-297.
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #55 

Officers report conflict with personnel employee

                 
                                                               
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                Staff Writer

        Published March 8 2008
       
NORWALK - The arrests of a city personnel department employee's two sons on drug and weapons charges last month have raised concerns about the security of police officers' sensitive personal information.

Police Chief Harry Rilling plans to meet with city Personnel Director James Haselkamp on Monday to discuss the situation involving Personnel Records and Benefit Technician Donna Parker.

       

                               
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While some police officers have demanded Parker be transferred out of the personnel department, Rilling said he has discussed options with Haselkamp to resolve the situation.

Parker made threatening comments after her sons' arrests, and officers expressed concern that she has access to their personnel records, police sources said.

Haselkamp said yesterday that he was not ready to move Parker out of the department.

"Based on what I got from the reports, I have concluded at this point that it doesn't rise to the level that I perceive as a threat. The request to have any kind of a transfer at this point is unwarranted," Haselkamp said.

Rilling said he was surprised that Haselkamp would make that decision before their scheduled Monday afternoon meeting to discuss Parker's future in the department.

"I am just concerned for my officers and I need assurances that there will be no breach of confidentiality," Rilling said.

Fears were raised about Parker on Feb. 20 after the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and Norwalk police officers served a search warrant at Parker's 11 Third St. home in East Norwalk.

During the search, where marijuana was found and Parker's 16-year-old son was charged with possession, Parker excoriated the police for targeting her sons.

She told them that she knew who they were and mentioned her work in the personnel department, said police sources, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the incident.

Parker's other son, Trayson Stevens, 22, who was under federal indictment for charges of selling crack cocaine, was picked up that same day with 23 other suspects.

His arrest was part of a yearlong drug investigation that had its roots in the drug trade inside Norwalk's Washington Village housing complex.

After the search warrant was served, Norwalk officers on the Third Street search warrant detail wrote up a report of Parker's remarks, identifying them as threats.

The officers said they were concerned that their personal information, such as home addresses, next of kin and telephone numbers, could be at risk because Parker has access to personnel records, sources said.

About an hour after that report was sent, Parker came to the police department and filed a handwritten complaint charging the officers with "verbal brutality," said one source who read part of the report to The Advocate.

Parker especially was incensed that the officers threatened her young son with the possession of marijuana charge if he did not give up his older brother and tell them where he kept his drugs and guns, sources said.

Stevens' federal indictment charges him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 or more grams of crack cocaine, maintaining a premises for the purpose of distributing a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Reached at work yesterday, Parker, a 21-year employee in the personnel department, had little to say.

"I have no comment. It is just the normal pattern of police retaliation," she said.

Rilling said retaliation has nothing to do with police concerns.

"That is absolutely absurd," he said. "She is throwing up a smoke screen. These officers were there legally and conducted themselves according to all policies and procedures as they searched for guns and drugs after a long-term investigation involving FBI, state police and Norwalk police."
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #56 
connecting the dots....
1st dot
http://www.copvcia.com

2nd dot
http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&q=gary+webb&btnG=Google+Search
gary webb

3rd dot
http://infowars-shop.stores.yahoo.net/powderburns.html
Welcome to the official website of retired DEA Agent Celerino "Cele" Castillo III. Cele Castillo served for 12 years in the Drug Enforcement Administration where he built cases against organized drug rings in Manhattan, raided jungle cocaine labs in the amazon, conducted aerial eradication operations in Guatemala, and assembled and trained anti-narcotics units in several countries.

The eerie climax of agent Castillo's career with the DEA took place in El Salvador. One day, he received a cable from a fellow agent. He was told to investigate possible drug smuggling by Nicaraguan Contras operating from the Ilopango Air Force Base.

Castillo quickly discovered that the Contra pilots were, indeed, smuggling narcotics back into the United States - using the same pilots, planes and hangers that the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, under the direction of Lt. Col. Oliver North, used to maintain their covert supply operation to the Contras.



4th dot

From Publishers Weekly
In a shocking expose, Michael Levine--former undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and author of the 1990 nonfiction bestseller Deep Cover --rips the lid off the sewer of what he argues is America's phony "war on drugs." Levine, writing with his wife, charges that the CIA and the Pentagon have for decades protected and supported the world's biggest drug dealers, and that the U.S. government has allowed top-level dealers and criminals to escape punishment. This first-person account reads like an edge-of-the-seat thriller--complete with reconstructed conversations. Levine recounts his deep-cover assignments, particularly Operation Hun, which resulted in prison terms for key players in Colombia's cocaine industry and for Bolivia's drug-pushing minister of the interior, Luis Arce-Gomez. Many high-level traffickers went free, however, and Levine berates the U.S. government for failing to investigate or prosecute them, blaming this failure on the CIA and other federal agencies' policy of courting criminals in order to gain information, win influence and fund further U.S. covert operations. Levine also tells how Bolivia's booming cocaine industry was protected by paramilitary goons led by Klaus Altmann, "a/k/a Klaus Barbie, a fugitive Nazi war criminal and long-time CIA asset." Revealing the personal motivation that fuels his story, Levine writes about his brother, a heroin addict who committed suicide, and about his own daughter's struggle with drug addiction.

5th dot.............


and this infomercial from the FBI department of Orwell


Brunswick looks to launch drug court
The message: 'Get it straight or go to prison'

By Shelby Sebens
Staff Writer
shelby.sebens@starnewsonline.com

Bolivia | Some days when she's presiding over Superior Court in Brunswick County, Judge Ola Lewis feels like 90 percent of the cases that come before her involve drugs or alcohol.

The offenders range in age from 16 to 92. Their crimes vary. But she says they have one thing in common: a clear substance abuse problem.

That's why Lewis, senior resident Superior Court judge, and a group of court officials are heading to Los Angeles this week to be trained in drug court treatment. They want to give repeat offenders who suffer from crack addiction, alcoholism or other substance abuse problems one last chance.

"This is last offenders. This is: 'Get it straight, or you're going to prison,' " Jason Disbrow, a defense attorney, said recently at a gathering of the Superior Court's core drug court team.

Here's how it will work: After pleading guilty to a felony charge, those who have documented drug or alcohol addictions may be referred to drug court. Rather than doing time, they will get treatment, work daily or weekly with a probation officer and check in twice a month with the judge.

"We want to be a successful program," Lewis said, noting the drug court program also has an advisory board that includes a parent of someone with an addiction problem, a retired FBI agent, a psychiatrist and others.

The program also is looking for volunteers who could help simply by calling the drug court participants, Lewis said.

Alternate methods are not new to Lewis. As a District Court judge, she required teenagers to apologize to crime victims or write essays as part of their punishment.

Long time coming

New Hanover County has had a District Court drug program in place since 1997, and Lewis had a similar vision for one in Brunswick County when she was a District Court judge around that time.

But it wasn't until she became senior resident judge of Superior Court that her dream started to become a reality.

In June she met with administrative officials of the court to discuss the need and possibility of a drug court program. From October through December, the core group including Lewis, Disbrow, a prosecutor and other justice system workers began vying for three grants to get the program up and running.

So far they have received the training grant and are awaiting word on a state and a federal grant, Lewis said. They also will ask the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners for $100,000 for counseling and treatment in the budget year that starts July 1.

Lewis said the grant money, which totals more than $300,000, and the county money would cover the startup costs. The state will pick up the costs after two years if the program is successful, she said.

Drug court elsewhere

Craven County Superior Court Judge James Ragan said drug court is a necessity at a time when 64 percent of men and 73 percent of women in jail have substance abuse problems.

"It's accepting the reality that some of the people have addiction problems," he said of drug court programs.

Ragan said Craven County has had drug court since 1999 and has seen good results.

Most of the participants stay with the drug court program for six to 18 months, he said. It takes a minimum of 12 months to graduate.

Ragan said the program now has about a 40 percent graduation rate.

Ragan also said the program is relatively inexpensive once it's up and running.

He said the main expense is a full-time drug court coordinator and an office for that person.

"We feel like we're saving taxpayers a lot of money," he said, noting fewer people end up behind bars.

Root of the problem

The goal of drug court is to rehabilitate offenders and get them back functioning in the "real world," Lewis said. It will target nonviolent offenders and drug users - not dealers.

Initially, the program hopes to have 30 participants referred by lawyers, counselors, probation officers and others.

Each participant will be individually assessed for the type of treatment needed, whether it be in-patient care or just counseling, and given certain requirements to fulfill by the next court session.

For example, an offender may be required to take five treatment sessions and to start looking for a job at his first session. By the next session, he should be able to tell the judge he made it to all the sessions and applied for jobs, Lewis said.

Court will meet the first and third Thursday of every month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., so people with daytime jobs can attend.

The first 120 days are crucial, with heavy monitoring, counseling and rehabilitation.

The next step is more responsibility, including holding down a job and maybe fewer court appearances.

And finally, the hope is to be able to pull back the support system and have the participants lead law-abiding lives without drugs or alcohol.

The drug court treatment will also include not-for-credit courses at Brunswick Community College that focus on job training.

Arnold Foy will be the probation officer for drug court participants. He said he usually has a caseload of 60 or more criminals. With fewer people to watch over, his supervision will be more intensive.

He said about 80 percent or more of the people in the probation system have a substance abuse problem.

"There's been a need for this in Brunswick County for a long time," he said.

Moses Stanley, courthouse bailiff and a member of the core team, agrees.

He sees a lot of inmates who have suffered from substance abuse and thinks they'll be receptive to help.

"Some of them really have a lot of desire, let's say, to better themselves," he said.
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #57 

Two easy reads about the Pathologist who said the President kennedy Warren Commission Autopsy reports were phony.
1st read

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&channel=s&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=cyril+wecht+jfk+assassination+conference

2nd read
Day 22: Bob Mayo Blogs The Cyril Wecht Trial In Pittsburgh

POSTED: 10:18 am EDT March 10, 2008
UPDATED: 10:36 am EDT March 10, 2008


Channel 4 Action News reporter Bob Mayo is covering the trial of Dr. Cyril Wecht at the federal courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh. He will be posting blogs as often as possible from court. These are the raw notes that were sent on his mobile device.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Wecht Day 22 - March 10, 2008 - 8:30 a.m. update

Sister Grace Ann Geibel is back on the witness stand, being cross-examined by Wecht defense attorney Jerry McDevitt. He's reviewing with her various correspondence with Dr. Wecht and others concerning the establishment of the forensic science / autopsy technician training academic program.

---
Now on the screen, a January 18, 2005 letter from Wecht to Sister Geibel. It notes that during a luncheon with Carlow faculty, the subject came up of establishing some kind of contractual agreement between Carlow and Wecht. Geibel says at that at the time of this letter, she was preparing for her retirement and the transition to a successor for her.

McDevitt: eventually a document was drafted....? Geibel: "That's right".

Defense document now on the screen, dated March 23, 2005. It's a cover letter for a draft of the agreement. It says it's Carlow's desire to "have you forever associated with our autopsy program and to have access to an (until your hundredth year) access to our science facilities".

Next document: letter dated Mary 20, 2005. It's the cover letter for the memorandum of understanding. The agreement itself is co-signed by Geibel and Wecht. McDevitt notes that it's nearly two years after the initial discussion, and that it was drafted by Carlow's legal counsel.

The agreement says: "Carlow desires...to permit Wecht to continue to use Carlow's Gross Anatomy Laboratory"... "for the purpose of private autopsies."

McDevitt notes that there's no mention of any condition based on the use of cadavers from the coroner's office. Geibel: "no, there is not."

The agreement does not provide for any pay to Wecht for participating in the Carlow educational program. Geibel: "he never asked for any."

McDevitt: Prior to these charges you were not interviewed by any representative of the FBI? no I was not. ..by any member of the prosecution team? "No I was not."
No attempt by them...to interview...? Geibel: "No there was not."
McDevitt says how she found out about the charges? "I came to know about it by seeing it on television. I believe it was on CNN. I was in Florida at the time." She says it seemed like it was on throughout the day.
It was given widespread publicity? A: "Absolutely. It was on all day", and it was referencing Carlow College.
What was your reaction when you heard it? "I was just shocked. I thought 'what could this mean?' I began to question whether I could have lived that life back there."
"What basis could there be for such an allegation. This was absolutely false, for one reason."
"There was an invitation and securing of the lab for Dr. Wecht from the outset."
"That was my reaction, it was shock, then I settled down and said I have to think about this."
McDevitt: Do you recall the first representative of the government who attempted to speak to you about this? Objection.
Did you have the opportunity to speak with the U.S. attorney herself about these charges? Objection.
Did you tell the U.S. Attorney that these charges were false? Geibel says "Yes, I did", as the government objects. Move to strike. Granted.

Her testimony establishes that months later there was a meeting with government: Mr. Stallings, Mr. Brad Orsini from the FBI.

Defense attorney McDevitt: did you observe anyone from the government making notes of your conversation. I did not.

McDevitt asks if she was ever shown any FBI 302 forms -- those are FBI records of the content of interviews conducted by agents.
Did you answer every question they asked that day. I think so.
Did you tell them you never made an agreement with Dr. Wecht that he would have lab space for free cadavers. I'm quite sure that I did.
Did you tell them this was an academic program that was a fulfillment of your dream. She says she did.
McDevitt: before this trial began, you told Mr. Stallings and FBI agent Orsini there was no deal as discussed in this case? Yes, I did.

9:04 AM Cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Stallings.

You testified that it was "reprehensible" that you did not get the opportunity to go through these documents? Yes.
This morning you asked "what would be the basis" for bringing these charges.
Stallings brings up document: minutes from June 20, 2003 Carlow board meeting.
Next Stalling shows copy of her remarks at the announcement of the program from September 5, 2003.
Asks if she was aware of the government subpoenaing documents from Carlow from April of 2005? She says she recalls her secretary telling her that kind of activity was under way.
Stalling shows her government exhibit 2002, page one. It's a letter from her legal counsel to Stallings, cc:ed to her. It's a response to the subpoena.
Stallings asks if Geibel's handwritten notes in preparing for her announcement of the program were produced to the government. They were not. He also asks about other materials presented as defense exhibits during cross-examination. They apparently were not.
Document introduced by Stallings speaks of the use of bodies of "indigent". It also says students will meet an adequate amount of time built into the course to perform an autopsy".
There's also a reference of cost of transportation.
Stallings questions whether these documents were produced in response to the initial subpoena. Apparently they were not.

Now shows her a 9-15-2004 Carlow purchase order. It refers to removal of autopsy cases from the Allegheny County coroner's office to Carlow -- 10 to 12 cases. $75 a unit to $900.

Now Stallings goes back to an earlier government exhibit, which refers to budgetary considerations for transportation of $75 each. She acknowledges they would be apparently be bodies.

Stallings: these documents all refer to the transportation of bodies from the coroner's office to Carlow, would you agree? Yes.
He also notes they were apparently not provided to the government in response to its initial subpoena.

Next document: notes "Things to be done" from 2004. It listed "contract with Carlow & Wecht regarding bodies and facilities". She acknowledges it was not provided in response to the subpoena in April of 2005.

Stallings shows her government exhibit 20002, page two. It asks for "All records relating to Cyril H. Wecht, including without limitation contracts, formation documents, by laws, financial statements..,.bills, invoices... from January 1, 1997 to April 2005."

Left Carlow in June 2005. Asks if she's familiar with government efforts to get additional documents and what Carlow did produce in 2006. She is not aware.

Stallings now shows a "Draft #1" of the contract between Carlow and Wecht, which has handwritten notations on it. Section 3, Contributions, says Carlow agrees to contribute one autopsy lab. There are question marks and blank spaces, indicating it was a draft. Item B lists Supplies: "Chemicals, bodies". Stallings establishes this was not provided to the government in response to the earlier subpoena.

A draft from 3/17/05 initially notes Wecht serves as coroner. Stallings notes a later version refers to him in his private capacity.

Stallings: you made clear this morning you never discussed an exchange of bodies for cadavers? She says that's correct.

Stallings shows an addendum to the agreement from September 27, 2005, after she left Carlow.

This version - section 4, Contributions. Carlow agrees to contribute the premises and use of the lab.
"The primary instruction mode will be autopsies provided by Wecht Pathology"... "augmented by additional cadavers procured by Wecht Pathology".
You are aware that cadavers were coming to Carlow even as you were president? She answers she wasn't aware of the details. She says she invited Wecht to bring his private practice, and she had then and still has now "every confidence" that he would have followed appropriate procedures.
Stallings: and you would have relied on Dr. Wecht? Geibel: that's correct.

9:40 AM Testimony is continuing.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Wecht Day 22 - March 10, 2008 - 9:40 a.m. update

Stallings shows checks and invoices for transportation of bodies. He asks if they were included in response to the initial subpoena. They were not.

Stallings notes that it appears Carlow was paying for transportation of bodies from at least the fall of 2004.

Stallings asks what she did to make your her response to the subpoena was complete. She says she relied on her staff and legal counsel Charles Gibbons to determine the material that was most appropriate.

You are clear that you never had a discussion with the defendant about exchanging bodies for lab space. Would you agree to me that bodies were being sent from the coroner's office to Carlow and back again on a frequent basis? Yes.
That Dr. Wecht was the one responsible for obtaining those cadavers? Yes.

---
Stallings asks if the documents showing the transportation don't pre-date the subpoena of April 2005? Yes.
That the defendant was allowed to use the lab as early as 2003 and he didn't pay for the lab space? Yes.
Did he tell you that prior to that he was paying PIMS for lab space? She wasn't aware.
That he would have to pay PIMS $60,000 a year to continue to use PIMS? No.
Did she believe that the autopsies did for outlying counties were a public service? She indicates that it seems reasonable to assume that might be the case.
Did he tell you that he earned at least a thousand dollars for each of those autopsies he performed for the surrounding counties? She believes she knew that.
Did he tell his business earned as much as $400,000 a year from autopsies alone.. tell you how valuable it would be for him to have use of Carlow's space? She doesn't recall that.
Can you tell us what records, if any, Carlow kept that Lillian Takacs had consented to having her body used for educational purposes? No.
That Takacs family consented...? No, but says she's confident any appropriate measures would have been taken.
Stallings now lists others whose bodies were autopsied and asks about consent in those cases. She says the same answer would apply.

Stallings: assume for me that a woman named Charlotte Keegel wrote down in a letter what she wanted to happen with her body in the case of her death. Over defense objections, Stallings reads the letter, which says "please definitely do not make me a donor of any of my organs."
Stallings: "Would you agree that sending the body for autopsy of this body would not show respect for the dead?" Defense objects, questions whether there will be any evidence offered that Wecht or anyone involved knew of the letter. Judge allows the question. Geibel: I do not know how to respond to that. I don't know the nature of the transaction, if this information was known. If it was known and deliberately contradicted, I would assume that it would not show respect. But there are so many unknowns floating in the air here, and so many hypotheticals, it's really untenable.

Now Stallings asks about another individual ... similar objections are overruled by judge.

Stallings asks again if Carlow relied on the defendant to make sure all obligations were met. Geibel: yes.

10:03 Re-cross questioning by McDevitt.

Did you rely on your lawyer to respond to the subpoena? Yes.
Would you agree that you supplied about a half-inch of documents in response to the subpoena? Yes.
So whatever documents were given to the document, they've had since April, 2005? That's correct.
So Carlow responded to the government with these documents within 12 days? Yes.
There's nothing requesting any thing about livery (body transportation) records, is there? Geibel: No, there isn't.

McDevitt shows through his questioning that various documents she provided in April 2005 do mention private autopsies. He's apparently attempting to show Carlow and Geibel were not trying to hide these reference. He also uses her to show that information about the formation of the program, including news articles were provided. McDevitt asks her if it wasn't enough for them to be able to ask her about the allegation later brought in the indictment, which she says they did not do. She agrees.

10:21 AM Judge says they're breaking until 10:40 AM

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Five Years Later
Rachel Corrie's Case for Justice

TOM WRIGHT and THERESE SALIBA

March 15, 2008

The darkness is infinite
As I leave the curtain's edge
It is filled with watchers
Silent judges

--Rachel Corrie, about 11 years old

As their plane touches down in Tel Aviv this week, Cindy and Craig Corrie will mark five years since their daughter's death. On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death beneath an armored Israeli bulldozer. The Corries are a short distance from Gaza, where Rachel was killed, and where in the past few weeks, an Israeli military incursion killed over 100 Palestinians, including many women and children.

This week, the Corries come to Israel to attend the first Arabic-language performance of the acclaimed one-woman play, My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Compelling though her story was -- an American peace activist killed trying to block the demolition of her Palestinian host family's home, killed by the military of her own government's major regional ally -- Rachel's story might well have faded quickly, subsumed in the weekly news cycle just three days before the "Shock and Awe" of the attack on Iraq. But her family's instinct, even in the first hours of grief and bewilderment, felt imperative: "We must get her words out." Rachel's emails home during her month in the Gazan border town of Rafah, volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement, had stirred and shaken her family and friends. Having traveled from her comfortable life in her hometown of Olympia, Washington, she had sat smoking late into the night, passionately reporting the other-worldly scenes of violence and destruction from the military occupation around her.

From Rachel's habit since childhood of journal-keeping and poetry-writing, her parents knew her to be a writing talent of great originality and promise, and they sensed that her dispatches from Gaza could have a broader reach. Editors at the Guardian in London felt similarly, and told the Corries that Rachel's words "connected readers to the occupation more than anything they had read in a long while." The Corries granted the London newspaper permission to publish the e-mails nearly in total, yet to their knowledge, no U.S newspaper picked them up. [The first way many met Rachel was through CounterPunch which published many of her dispatches, before and after her death. AC / JSC ]

From there, Rachel's writing came to the attention of the British actor Alan Rickman (best known here as "Snape" of the Harry Potter films), whose collaboration with Katherine Viner of the Guardian would lead to the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie, produced by the Royal Court Theatre in London. That project, which germinated and was nurtured in London, would later reach audiences in the United States and around the world.

In the days following Rachel's death, the Corries' whole world was upended. With little connection to Mideast issues, they found themselves "catapulted into the midst of an international conflict and controversy." They moved back to Olympia, Washington, and immersed themselves in work, from local grassroots campaigns to national and international work on behalf of peace between Israel and Palestine. It was the beginning of an education.

The Search for Accountability

The family wanted the help of their own government in the painful task of securing the return of Rachel's body, as well as in determining responsibility and seeking redress. According to the U.S. Dept. of State, on the day after Rachel's death, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised President Bush a "thorough, credible, and transparent" investigation. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher assured: "When we have the death of an American citizen, we want to see it fully investigated. That is one of our key responsibilities overseasto find out what happened in situations like these." U.S. Representative Brian Baird, whose district includes Rachel's native Olympia, introduced House Concurrent Resolution 111 calling on the U.S. government to conduct a full investigation of her death.

When Israeli officials said that an autopsy had to be performed before Rachel's body could be returned, the Corrie family insisted that an official from the U.S. Embassy be present. They also requested that it not be performed by anyone associated with the Israeli military, since after all, these were the people who killed her. Even an Israeli court ordered that a U.S. official be a witness, and with this understanding the Corries acquiesced. Not until 2007 would the family learn that their requests, and the court order, weren't honored. Although the State Dept. knew for four years that no American had been attendant, the Corries discovered this only through a Freedom of Information Act request. Furthermore, the autopsy had been performed by someone the IDF used regularly.

The results of Israel's investigation were announced in May of 2003. Eyewitnesses had reported that Rachel was clearly visible, at eye level, to the two drivers of the Caterpillar D9 bulldozer, surely plausible given her Day-Glo flak jacket, and the highly charged context of the skirmishes with the ISM activists throughout the day. (One soldier entered into the log that day, referring to the International activists: "Those foreigners should be handled and their entrance into the Gaza Strip forbidden. Additionallythe firing orders must state (illegible) that every adult person should be shot to kill"). But the military report simply found that they did not see her.

The case was closed and no charges were brought. The report would not even be released to the U.S. government, whose billions in annual largesse ranked Israel as by far the largest recipient of American aid. Pressed by the Corries, Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson acknowledged that regarding the Israeli Defense Forces report, "Your ultimate question, however, is a valid one, i.e., whether or not we view that report to have reflected an investigation that was 'thorough, credible, and transparent.' I can answer your question without equivocation. No, we do not consider it so." But the U.S. government declined to conduct its own investigation, and claimed it could not force a "thorough, credible and transparent" inquiry from the Israelis. Congressman Baird's resolution calling for an investigation had gathered 77 cosponsors, yet died in committee that year without a hearing.

The Corries persisted. It took nearly two years before they had a contact in the Justice Department, and were able to meet with the U.S. Attorney in Seattle, John McKay. He explained that one of the elements to enable a prosecution was a certification by the U.S. Attorney General that the killing was intended "to coerce, intimidate or retaliate against a civilian population or government." This anti-terrorism statute was used against Indonesia, when the FBI went to investigate the killing of an American, Rick Spier. Cindy explained how McKay told them, "'I'll give you as much time as you need, but I'm here to tell you that no Attorney General-past, present or future-will ever certify against Israel.' Maybe that's what shocked me the most," she said. "I couldn't believe that Mr. McKay was being so forthright. I was dumbfounded."

On March 17, 2005, the family met with Barry Sabin, head of the Counterterrorism Section of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department. Sabin told them that the applicable criminal statutes could be applied to the military of a foreign country and that Rachel's killing could meet the criteria of "trying to coerce, intimidate, or retaliate," if there was proper evidence for it.

The Corries said that such evidence was abundant, citing the killing of Rachel and two other international human rights observers within a seven week period by the IDF in Rafah, all of whom were documenting civilian home demolitions on the border between Gaza and Egypt. They pointed to the intimidation of internationals and Palestinian municipal water workers trying to repair water wells destroyed by the IDF in Rafah; finally, the mass demolition of civilian homes in Rafah was itself evidence of precisely such intimidation and coercion.

But, echoing U.S. Attorney McKay, Sabin told them there would be no investigation without the ability to prosecute, which would required certification by the U.S. Attorney General.

The family would meet once more with Justice Dept. officials Sabin and Michael Mullaney, more than a year later, when they were duly informed that the only applicable statute was Title 18, 2332, which required that Rachel's killing come under the rubric of a "serious, violent attack on a U.S. citizen or U.S. interests." But Justice wasn't going to pursue an investigation under Title 18, because, as Mullaney explained, they had to go back to the original intent of Congress in that statute, which meant it only to apply to "terrorist" attacks on Americans.

Cindy says, " I really asked the question twice: 'Are you saying that no matter what amount of evidence we bring to you there will never be a U.S. investigation into Rachel's killing?' And Barry Sabin said, 'I never say never, but no.' And our daughter Sarah said, 'Even if we could show intent?' And he nodded."

Sabin counseled that the criminal justice system was not the means to solve all problems. He suggested to the family that perhaps the play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, was the best way to address the issue.

 

Caterpillar-the Question of Liability

Weighing more than 60 tons with its armored plating, the Caterpillar D9 bulldozer that killed Rachel Corrie is built to destroy a reinforced concrete house in a matter of minutes. More than 70,000 Palestinians have seen their homes destroyed by the IDF since the occupation began, and some 1,600 of these homes were demolished in Rafah alone, between 2000 and 2004. The wholesale destruction of neighborhoods on pretexts that were at best flimsy has long attracted the condemnation of the major human rights organizations, and executives at the Caterpillar Corporation can hardly claim innocence of the controversy. Rights groups have spent the last twenty years filling Caterpillar's In-box with appeals about grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to no effect.

In April 2002, the home of Mahmoud Omar Al Sho'bi was bulldozed to rubble in the middle of the night, without warning, in the West Bank town of Nablus. Perishing inside were his father Umar, his sisters Fatima and Abir, his brother Samir and pregnant sister-in-law Nabila, and their three children, Anas, Azzam and Abdallah, ages 4, 7, and 9.

In 2005, the Corries joined Mahmoud and four other Palestinian familes as plaintiffs in a major lawsuit against Caterpillar.

The suit charged not only wrongful death, public nuisance and negligence, but that Caterpillar violated international and federal law by selling the bulldozers to the IDF despite its knowledge of their intended, unlawful use. In doing so, claimed the lawsuit, Caterpillar aided and abetted war crimes such as collective punishment and destruction of civilian property.

Judge Franklin D. Burgess in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington dismissed the case without permitting discovery or hearing oral argument. His reasoning included the disturbing interpretation that a company cannot be held liable for selling its products-merely knowing they will assist war crimes-- unless it actually intended that the war crimes be committed. It is hard to imagine the corporate tort case that could surmount this kind of impediment.

Corrie et.al. v. Caterpillar then proceeded to the appellate level, before the Ninth Circuit. Just before the Court was set to issue its ruling, the Government weighed in on the matter with a late amicus brief -- standing with Caterpillar, and against the Corrie plantiffs. In the brief, the U.S. first stooped to argue that there should be no liability for aiding and abetting human rights violations under the statutes germane to this suit, namely the Alien Torts Statute of 1789, and the Torture Victims Protection Act of 1992. (These Acts are part of the foundation of individuals' access to U.S. courts in cases of human rights violations.)

Then, in the same brief, the government declared (without submitting evidence) that it had reimbursed Israel for the cost of the bulldozers. Therefore, went its argument, to hold the company liable would be to implicate U.S. foreign policy itself in criminal violations. Foreign policy being the prerogative largely of the Executive branch, the Court lacked jurisdiction. To hear the case would be a breach of the separation of powers.

Incredibly, the Ninth Circuit embraced this "foreign policy" argument, and in September, 2007 affirmed the dismissal of the suit.

"Foreign policy" challenges of this kind, based on the so-called "political question" doctrine, do come before the courts, but are usually rejected, explains Maria LaHood, Senior Attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and who led the legal team. It's just not the kind of dispute that has been found to involve a genuine "separation of powers" conflict, she argues. "Here we have private partiessuing Caterpillar for war crimes and other violations, and way off to the side we have the possibility that the U.S. is paying for the bulldozers. It's so far attenuated that it is a stretch to call this a political question. We allege violations of international law. That's what the court's role is-to adjudicate. Take this to its logical extension: you sue corporations, foreign officials, foreign governments, and anytime it may be a party that receives aid from the US government, it somehow interferes with U.S. foreign policy? That just can't be."

The plaintiffs are now awaiting a reply on their petition for a re-hearing of the appeal.

 

The Reach of Rachel's story

In Rachel's case, all three branches of the US government have now taken a stand -- against her, and in favor of Israeli and corporate impunity. The Corries aren't deterred. "The kind of impotence in government around this whole issue, after five years with Rachel's case," says Cindy, "points to the need for people at the grassroots level to find other channels, other ways of keeping the communications open, of building those relationships that ultimately are going to lead to some change in the world."

Rachel's parents, along with many community activists, have established the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice (rachelcorriefoundation.org) and the Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project (orscp.org), local initiatives fostering exchanges and projects with Palestinians. With Gaza under siege, and Hamas declared a "terrorist organization", ORSCP faces financial obstacles, and delegates from both the US and Rafah face difficulties getting in and out of Gaza. Cindy states that the extreme difficulties "make it all the more important to keep trying to do the work. It's because it's that bad that it's so crucial for us to not just back away and say it's too hard."

Yet even on the local level, the government is a hurdle to be overcome. The Olympia City Council rejected official sister-city status in April 2007 after a concerted campaign by local activists. Despite broad community support, as well as the backing of Sister Cities International, the City Council thwarted the initiative, deferring to some in the community who viewed the Palestinians as "terrorists" and the project as "divisive." As one organizer wrote from Portland, "If Rachel Corrie's city cannot gain official recognition, then who can?" Still, the Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project, initiated by Rachel, won't go away. In the past month, two local delegates got in to Rafah to witness conditions under siege and the temporary breeching of the border wall, and to offer some slight economic relief through fair trade exchange of Palestinian embroidery, even as people imprisoned in Rafah are running out of basic supplies, such as thread, baby formula and medicines, not to mention food, water, and electricity.

If all official avenues have been closed to Rachel's case and vision of justice, the power of her words has proven indomitable despite efforts to silence them. And if, as Justice Dept. official Barry Sabin claimed, the stage play was indeed the best means of addressing Rachel's killing, then the play indicts the Israeli military in the deliberate killing of Rachel, as well as in the systematic onslaught on the Palestinians' ability to survive. My Name is Rachel Corrie, which opens this week in Haifa, in Arabic, is reaching audiences worldwide. From the cities of Lima, Montreal, Athens, New York, Des Moines, Seattle, and scores more, and with showings performed or scheduled throughout Europe, and in South Africa, Australia, even Iceland, Rachel's story continues to have what Cindy describes as an "unexpected impact." In several US cities, theaters have backed out due to political pressure. "If people aren't familiar with the political landscape," states Craig, "they can be blindsided and easily scared by the pressure." Yet artists and activists offended by the censorship and silencing, usually find creative ways to stage the play, bringing even more attention to Rachel's story.

Moreover, this month has seen the release of Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie, a major publication by Norton. Here, as in the play, Rachel becomes more than a political symbol. As Cindy explains, "Sometimes she is demonized; sometimes she is lionized, but it makes it more possible for her to have more impact if people see her as human." The sustained beauty of Rachel's writings and sketches, and her incisive observations into personal and global relationships, from 10 years old into young adulthood, expose a young woman who is deeply caring, creative, quirky, wise beyond her years, anything but naïve.

"People accuse Rachel of being naïve, which of course she wasn't," says Craig. "Though she may have been naïve about US pressure on Israel." Up to the day of her death, Rachel worked tirelessly, building relationships with Palestinians and Israeli activists, engaging in direct action, and strategizing on the grassroots level to stop the "massive destruction of civilian homes" in Rafah. In a press release from March 2003, she writes, "We can only imagine what it is like for Palestinians living here, most of them already once-or-twice refugees, for whom this is not a nightmare, but a continuous reality from which international privilege cannot protect them, and from which they have no economic means to escape."

Today, the Corries share Rachel's sense of urgency, even as they point to the hypocrisy of the US government, the world's superpower, claiming impotence and abdicating responsibility in Rachel's case, and in the case for Palestinian justice. As Craig says, "We have the luxury to sit around and discuss all of this, yet we feel the growing impatience. We want to drive home Rachel's message that we have a responsibility to act."

Tom Wright directed the documentary, Checkpoint: The Palestinians After Oslo, and was a founding member of the Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project.

Therese Saliba is faculty of International Feminism and Middle East Studies at The Evergreen State College, Olympia, and is a board member of The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice. Mail can be sent to tomwright59@comcast.net.
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Pakistani bombing injured 4 FBI agents

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 16 (UPI) -- A bombing at an Italian restaurant in Islamabad, Pakistan, this weekend reportedly left at least four FBI agents injured.

The FBI agents were wounded when an assailant threw an explosive device into the eatery's courtyard, ABC News reported Sunday. Among the casualties was the U.S. agency's top officer in Pakistan, the U.S. network reported.

The attack reportedly left Embassy FBI attache Ray Biteski with serious ear damage, while an assistance attache suffered a concussion. Two other FBI agents were released after receiving treatment for minor injuries.

The bombing was being investigated to determine whether the assailant knew beforehand that the agents would be at the restaurant, multiple sources told ABC News.

It marked the first time since 2002 that U.S. citizens or officials were the victims of a bomb attack in Pakistan.




       
       
       
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                                        Sunday, March 16, 2008                                
                                                                                       
                                       
                                       
                       
                                               
                                                                                        Blotter                                                                                                                
                               
               
                       
                               
                                       
                                                                                                                                       
                                       
                                                                                               
                                                       

Four FBI Agents Hurt in Pakistan Bombing

                                               
                                                                                                       
                                                               

Top Agent in the Country Was Among the Wounded

                                                       
                                                                                       
                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                               
Islamabad
Police officers cordon off the area outside Luna Caprese restaurant after an explosion was set off amidst diners on March 15, 2008 in Islamabad, Pakistan. One person has been killed in the blast and several were wounded in the restaurant that is frequented by foreigners.  (Warrick Page/Getty Images)
                                                       
                                                       
                                                               
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                       
                                                       

At least four FBI agents were wounded -- none critically -- in a bomb attack on a popular Italian restuarant in Islamabad this weekend.

The attacker tossed a small bomb or hand grenade directly into the restuarant courtyard, which is known for serving alcohol to Westerners.

Multiple sources said that the attack was under investigation to see whether it was based on the terrorists having learned in advance of the agents' presence.

In Washington, meanwhile, officials downplayed the possibility that the attack specifically targeted the agents based on advance intelligence.

They cited the relatively small size of the attack -- one in which injuries to the agent's were relatively minor -- as part of their rationale. Also the explosive does not appear to have been tossed directly at the agents' table.

The top agent in the country, U.S. Embassy FBI attache Ray Biteski, suffered serious ear damage, an assistant attache reportedly suffered a concussion and two agents are reported as suffering minor injuries.

The two who suffered minor injuries were treated and released. Biteski and a second agent were med-evaced to Europe.

This was the first bomb attack on U.S. citizens or government personnel in Pakistan since a church bombing in 2002.

ABC's Pierre Thomas contributed to this report.

                                               
                                                                                                                                               
                                                       
Four FBI Agents Hurt in Pakistan Bombing                                                                                                                        
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joeb

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Police advisory board member loses post

Posted: March 17, 2008 09:21 PM EST

Updated: March 17, 2008 10:11 PM EST

SPOKANE -- A woman who served as the liaison between the Spokane police and the local Hispanic community has left her post because of her association with a man arrested for attempting to extort an immigrant family.

Carmella LeBlance, a member of the Spokane Police Department's advisory committee, was supposed to be a liaison between the community and the force. However in a criminal complaint filed by U.S. Attorneys last week, she was named in the complaint for assisting Marwan Nasser in a scheme aimed at extorting a family from Mexico out of thousands of dollars.

Nasser was arrested and is being held on a $750,000 bond on charges that he posed as an FBI agent and threatened to extort members of the Zuniga family of Spokane Valley. The Zunigas run a popular Spokane Valley restaurant say they paid Nasser thousands of dollars to allow them to stay in the United States.

Reportedly LeBlance had assisted Nasser in his scheme to extort money from the Zuniga family and in light of these allegations LeBlanc was asked to step down from her post last Friday.

"When we learned of the association that she my have with this person who was arrested, being investigated by the federal government that raised serious concerns for us," Spokane Assistant Police Chief Jim Nicks said.

LeBlanc has not been charged with committing a crime but cannot rejoin the advisory committee without Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick's approval.

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joeb

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Thursday, 20 March 2008200803200838
NZ key member of FBI cyber specialists

New Zealand has been revealed as a member of a specialist American led anti cyber crime group.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a statement today that the newly formed Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group was one of its most promising initiatives to fight cyber crime.

It says "high-level cyber cops" from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States had met at FBI headquarters and in London to create the group.

"Cyber attacks, we've been saying for some time now, are the ultimate borderless crimes: they can come from anywhere, anytime, impacting millions of people and systems across the planet in the blink of an eye," the FBI statement says.

Operational partnerships had been built among countries and says the Working Group is one of the most promising with the plan to share intelligence, swap tools and best practices and strengthen and synchronise laws.

At the London meeting this month each of the five countries presented plans on key issues.

"It's a terrific group of people who really have their eye on the ball when it comes to cyber crime," says FBI Special Agent Donna Peterson, Acting Assistant Section Chief in our Cyber Division.

"We've learned a lot from each other, and it's already paying dividends for all of us."

The FBI listed the group's activities and accomplishments.

They had collectively developed a comprehensive overview of the transnational cyber threat, including current and emerging trends, vulnerabilities, and strategic initiatives for the working group to pursue.

The statement said that report was only available to law enforcement units.

The Working Group had set up a special area on Law Enforcement Online, the FBI's secure Internet portal, to share information and intelligence.

A series of information bulletins on emerging threats and trends had been issued.

One bulletin, for example, described how peer-to-peer, or P2P, file sharing programs can leak "vast amounts of sensitive national security, financial, medical, and other information".

The five-nation group will also exchange cyber experts to serve on joint international task forces.

The group will hold a three-day conference at the FBI that will bring together legal and legislative experts from the five countries to talk about common challenges, differing approaches, and potential ways to streamline investigations and harmonise laws on everything from data retention standards to privacy requirements.
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joeb

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OSWALD and the FBI

Harold Feldman
The Nation
, 27 January 1964, pages 86–89

Harold Feldman is a translator and journalist, living in Philadelphia. As a translator, he has worked extensively for the Social Security Administration. Mr. Feldman is also a frequent contributor to psychoanalytic journals, one of his papers having been “The Hero As Assassin.”

    The Warren Commission should, if possible, tell us how President Kennedy was killed, who killed him, and why. But beyond that, it must tell us if the FBI or any other government intelligence agency was in any way connected with the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. At this moment, the possibility of such associations in the young man’s life is intolerably a subject for speculation.
     
On the day after the assassination, the Dallas Chief of Police complained on television that the FBI had interviewed Oswald about a week earlier and had failed to inform the Dallas authorities of this fact—something the bureau would normally do after making contact with a suspicious Red. Drew Pearson also reported this but added, “In Washington, the FBI denied that they had interrogated Oswald recently.”
     
However, Michael Paine, who with his wife helped take care of Mrs. Oswald and the two children, “claimed that FBI agents had visited Oswald more than one time after he returned to Dallas from a trip to Mexico City.” Oswald returned to Dallas from Mexico City on October 3, 1963. This report is also contradicted by another:

   The FBI picked up the trail again in Dallas after Oswald’s return there on Oct. 3. He was not interviewed, but agents checked twice with Mrs. Ruth Paine, who told them that Oswald had gone to work on Oct. 16 in the Texas State School Book Depository. (The New York Times, 12/10/63.)

      The Minority of One (January, 1964) tells us:

      William M. Kline, Chief of the U.S. Customs Bureau investigative services in Laredo, Texas, stated on November 25 that Oswald’s movements were watched at the request of “a federal agency in Washington.” (New York Post, November 25.) Eugene Pugh, U.S. agent in charge of the Customs office on the American side of the bridge at Laredo, Texas, said that Oswald had been checked by American immigration officials on entering and leaving Mexico. Mr. Pugh admitted to the New York Herald Tribune that this was “not the usual” procedure. He said Americans were not required to check in with Immigration when crossing the border, “but U.S. immigration has a folder on Oswald’s trip.”

      One thing is clear: the FBI was in fairly constant touch with Oswald’s activities. How far these contacts went is indicted in “the revelation that the Federal Bureau of Investigation tried to recruit Oswald as an undercover informant in Castro groups two months before Mr. Kennedy’s death.” This report, which appeared in a Philadelphia Inquirer dispatch from Dallas December 8, went on:

   The FBI attempt to recruit Oswald as an informant, an informed law enforcement source said, was made in September, just after he had moved to Dallas from New Orleans.
  
Oswald’s mother said an “agent named Hosty” came to the Irving house and talked to the young man at length in his car.
  
An FBI agent named Joseph Hosty handles investigations of subversives for the Dallas field office.
  
The source said he did not know if the FBI succeeded in hiring Oswald; and the federal agency would not discuss the matter.

      On January 1, Lonnies Hudkins of the Houston Post, published a story under the headline: “Oswald Rumored as Informant for U.S.” Hudkins found that Oswald did know agent Hosty. He had Hosty’s home phone, office phone and car license number—this on the authority of William Alexander, assistant to Henry Wade, Dallas District Attorney. Alexander had attended the grilling of Oswald on November 22 and 23. Hudkins notes that if the FBI had Oswald under surveillance, the watch could not have been too close or they would have known about the rifle and other matters; but, as a sheriff deputy put it, “you just wouldn’t think to check out one of your own stoolies.” Hudkins quotes Wade, himself a former FBI agent, as saying” “It may be true, but I don’t think it will ever be made public if it is.”
     
What the public hears of the FBI’s part in the Oswald case is usually a report that such and such a witness or authority has been asked, or ordered, to keep his mouth shut. Thus, Dr. J. J. Humes of the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., the man who conducted the autopsy on the President, seemed to be the best authority on the exact angle of entry of the murder bullets, but “Dr. Humes said he had been forbidden to talk.” A thirty-four-year-old machinist named Malcolm Howard Price said he had looked through the telescopic sight of Oswald’s rifle on a rifle range in suburban Dallas—but “Mr. Price declined to answer further questions because, he said, the FBI had asked him not to talk. The FBI here [Dallas] denied this.” (The New York Times, December 10.) On December 6, the Times had observed:

   Most private citizens who had cooperated with newsmen reporting the crime have refused to give further help after being interviewed by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dallas city and county police withdrew their help the same way. One high officer said he wished he could answer questions “because it would save us a lot of work.”

    The Western Union office in Dallas handled frequent messages for Lee Oswald, but inquiries there brought the reply that “any details or comment would have to come from Washington headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

      It is in the light of this official coyness that we must consider the possible connection of Oswald with the attempted shooting of General Walker. Oswald’s widow is said to have declared that he boasted of shooting at that doughty warrior. In view of her prolonged seclusion from the public, and even from relatives, under government supervision, we must infer that any statement alleged to be hers at this time is a deliberate “leak.” It is interesting that a similar “leak” at the beginning of the case—that a rifle which Mrs. Oswald knew her husband had kept in a garage was missing on the morning of the assassination—proved to be false. The FBI is also reported to have found a document in Oswald’s handwriting that mentions his attack on Walker, but once again the document has not been produced for examination or reproduced in the press.
     
Incidentally, if “the loner” did try to shoot General Walker, we would be again confronted with questions like those raised about the killing of the President. “At the time of the Walker shooting,” we read in the Philadelphia Inquirer of December 7, “Dallas police reported that the bullet was from a .30-06 caliber rifle. The weapon used to kill Mr. Kennedy was a 6.5 millimeter weapon, equivalent to about .270 caliber.” Moreover, an eyewitness in the walker affair informed police that he saw at least two men enter the getaway car after the shooting. (Oswald never learned to drive a car.)
     
Was the alleged assassin of President Kennedy employed by the FBI? We have seen a news report that the agency tried to recruit him and that it has refused to say whether he accepted the offer. At present, all we know is that his history, as we have been able to piece it together, is not inconsistent with such employment. Indeed, his financial record seems entirely inexplainable unless we make some such hypothesis.

      If there is anything constant in Oswald’s life, it is his need of money. After three years on a marine private’s pay, he goes to Russia. There he works in a factory for the pittance of 80 rubles a month. He returns to America with a wife and child in mid-1962 and thenceforward works at a series of jobs paying the legal minimum wage or less—when he is not unemployed. For months his only acknowledged source of income is the Texas unemployment compensation of $33 a week. His job at the School Book Depository, from whose warehouse he is supposed to have shot the President and Governor Connally, paid him $1.25 an hour.
     
Surely he was a pauper, a fellow whose monetary resources could only keep him swinging between want and destitution. But if there is another thing about Lee Oswald as certain as his indigence, it is that he was often capable of expenditures that would have cramped the purse of a suburban status seeker.
     
After years of subsisting on a marine’s pay, from which he occasionally sent money to his mother, he undertakes a trip to Russia with a capital of $1,600. How could he have put aside this nest egg? After years of low factory remuneration in the Soviet, he wants to return to the United States and, in a letter to his mother, estimates the cost at $800. He borrows $435.71 from the United States Embassy in Moscow but, mirabile dictu, he repays the loan between October, 1962, and January, 1962, during which time he was unemployed for several weeks and worked for a time as an unskilled developer of photostatic prints.
     
A Miss Pauline Bates, public stenographer, whom Oswald paid for typing his notes for a book about Russia three days after his return, has said that “he hinted he had gone to the Soviet as a U.S. secret agent.” He allegedly told her then that “when the State Department granted my visa, they stipulated they could not stand behind me in any way,” an admonition suggestive of instruction, to an undercover man.
     
Back in America, as impecunious as ever, he finds the money to rent an office for $30 a month, where he sets up in business as the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He buys a rubber stamp, he prints 2,000 leaflets, he pays a $10 court fine, he buys a rifle and telescopic sight by mail, gets them assembled and bore-sighted—and in his room after his arrest the police find $150. This young man, untalented, it appears, for anything but finding odd windfalls of money, goes to Mexico City for a week to get visas for a trip to Cuba and Russia that would have cost at least $1,000. (The Cuban and Russian consulates did not issue the visas.) After the murder of the President, the police find in his room, in addition to the wad of money, “several expensive cameras and rolls of film.”
     
Where did the money come from? The FBI and the Dallas police fail to supply information on the subject. For the Russian period, we have the unsupported assertion of Pravda that Oswald was an American spy who made numerous contacts with the American Embassy. This might indicate a CIA affiliation. He wrote his mother that, on his return, he would spend a day or so in New York and Washington for “sightseeing.” After that, all is dark except for one hint. An Associated Press dispatch of November 30 from Dallas says in part:

   “Someone telegraphed small amounts of money to Lee Harvey Oswald for several months before the assassination of President Kennedy, it was reported today,” the Dallas Times Herald said. The unidentified sender telegraphed Oswald $10 to $20 at a time.

    Here apparently are some of the Western Union items about which the FBI has been so secretive—but why this secrecy? If the money came from the Communist Party, it is hard to understand why the FBI should cooperate in a Bolshevik plot. If it came from a right-wing or Fascist source, the FBI could not lose much by revealing it. But if the money came from a government source, then the agency’s reticence is understandable.
     
Shortly before the assassination, Oswald seemed to be expecting better times:

   Mrs. Ruth Paine, the woman with whom Marina was staying, said: “He seemed in exceptionally high spirits.” [When he visited his wife the weekend prior to President Kennedy’s arrival in Dallas.] Oswald told his wife “things are looking up” and that soon they would have enough to look for an apartment, buy furniture. (Sunday Bulletin, Philadelphia, 12/15/63.)

      If the FBI did not employ Oswald or work with him, they who wrote the letters he addressed to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New York? Oswald alone certainly didn’t. Whoever wrote the letters to New York was coherent, commanded a good vocabulary, rarely misspelled a word, and punctuated decently. Oswald himself wrote English that a sixth-grader would blush to acknowledge. Here is a letter he wrote to his mother from Russia on June 28, 1963. I preserve the original spelling and punctuation:

   Dear Mother.
  
Recived your letter today in which you say you wish to pay me back the money you used last year, that, of course, is not nessicary however you can send me somethings from there every now and than.
  
If you decide to send a package please send the following:
  
One can Rise shaving cream (one razor (Gillet)
  
Pocket novels westerns and scienace fiction—Time or Newsweek magazine
  
Chewing Gum and chocolate bars.
  
That’s about all. Ha-ha
  
I very much miss sometime to read you should try and get me the pocket novel “1984” by Wells.
  
I am working at the local Radio plant as a mettal worker. We live only five minutes from there so it is very conveinant.
  
Well thats about all for now. I repeat you do not have to send me checks or money!
  
Love XX

Lee

   P.S. Marina sends a big Hello to you also

    Now compare this semi-literate effusion with the following addressed to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee about two years later. (A New York Times report on the letters to FPCC indicates that they were handwritten, so presumably no public stenographer improved their style.)

   Dear Mr. Lee:
  
I was glad to receive your advice concerning my try at starting a New Orleans F.P.C.C. chapter.
  
I hope you won’t be too disapproving at my innovations but I do think they are necessary for this area.
  
As per your advice I have taken a P.O. Box (N.O. 30061).
  
Against your advice I have decided to take an office from the very beginning.
  
I u c [apparently meaning, as you see] from the circular I had jumped the gun on the charter business but I don’t think it’s too important. You may think the circular is too provocative, but I want it to attract attention even if it’s the attention of the lunatic fringe. I had 2,000 of them run off.
  
The major change in tactics you can see from the small membership blanks, in that I will charge $1 a month dues for the new Orleans chapter only and I intend to issue N.O. F.P.C.C. membership cards also.
  
This is without recourse to the $5 annual F.P.C.C. membership fee.
  
However, you will lose nothing in the long run because I will forward $5 to the national F.P.C.C. for every New Orleans chapter member who remains a dues paying member for 5 months in any year.…

And so on for several more well-integrated paragraphs.
     
He now spells “receive” and “necessary” correctly. He has mastered the apostrophe. His ideas cohere. He tackles words like “innovations,” “provocative,” “recourse,” “disapproving,” “approaching,” and “application” with success, something that would have been clearly beyond the powers of the voluntary exile in Minsk.
     
Until the authorship of the letters to FPCC is settled, I think it reasonable to suppose that Oswald did not compose them, at least not without help. Who, and where, is the invisible scribe? No associate of his New Orleans period has been found, or even hinted at. If Oswald was employed by the FBI to operate in “Castro groups,” as the news report suggests, it is also reasonable to suppose that in the letters to FPCC his pen was guided by the FBI.

      It is no simple matter any longer for a radical American to get a passport from his government. If he is a known Communist or subversive, it is almost impossible. Let a man be known as a do-gooder, bleeding heart or a nonconforming screwball, and his application for travel will be greeted with jaundiced eye and dragging feet. But Lee Oswald got one readily as late as June, 1963.

   One day last June, he applied for a passport and—despite his record—got it in a single day. He called himself a “photographer”; he said he planned to take a long trip abroad—perhaps including Russia—late this year. (Newsweek, 12/9/63.)

      By that date, Oswald was known as a Soviet defector, had praised Castro on a radio program, and on November 2, 1959, had written an affidavit saying, “I affirm that my allegiance is to the Soviet Socialist Republic.” But his passport application was granted—and posthaste. “It still isn’t clear how it was processed so rapidly,” commented the New York Herald Tribune.
     
Oswald’s apartment, too, was filled with fascinating things. Besides the batches of leaflets with the legend “Hands Off Cuba!” and bearing the unauthorized imprint of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, police found several metal file boxes filled with names of Castro sympathizers. How did he manage, in so short a time, to compile so extensive a list?
     
The FBI appears once more in Oswald’s news life during the last two days before he was killed. One report details two telephone calls made by FBI agents to the Dallas Police on November 24, warning them of threats against Oswald’s life. The threats materialized later the same day under circumstances which raised a forest of questions throughout the world.
     
Equally puzzling, his mother, Mrs. Marguerite Oswald, has insisted that an agent of the FBI showed her a photograph of Jack Ruby about seventeen hours before Ruby shot her son.

   It was understood, however, that Federal agencies had acknowledged that she had been shown a photograph that night for identification, but spokesmen would not disclose whether it was that of Ruby. (The New York Times, 12/2/63.)

      The next day the FBI denied that the photograph was that of Jack Ruby, but they would not comment further. Mrs. Oswald repeated her statement and has demanded that the pictures be produced again.
     
The following item completes, for the moment, this side of the weird Dallas story.

   Washington, Dec. 9—The Federal Bureau of Investigation gave the Secret Service a “risk” list of Dallas individuals in advance of President Kennedy’s fatal trip, but the list did not include the name of Lee H. Oswald.
  
An official source explained today that Oswald’s name, like many others in the Dallas file, had been omitted because the F.B.I. found nothing in Oswald’s background to mark him as a potential assassin.…
  
Oswald was not under surveillance by the F.B.I. at the time of President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas, the F.B.I. noted. Months of checking by the F.B.I. had indicated that Oswald was neither a spy nor a saboteur. That, it was said, covered the statutory area of F.B.I. responsibility.
(The New York Times, 12/10/63.)

    Lee Oswald, the twice-court-martialed marine who defected to Russia and renounced his American citizenship, the pro-Cuba activist who had been arrested a few months earlier while distributing leaflets, the erratic “Marxist” who was employed on the route of the President’s motorcade—Lee Oswald did not qualify for the FBI’s exclusive “risk” list. And why? Because the FBI’s “statutory responsibility” was limited to suspected spies and saboteurs!
     
This sudden legalistic attachment to its self-interpreted “statutory” obligations must cause very wan smiles indeed among the many individuals and organizations (including the NAACP and the Unitarian Church in Texas) which have come under the beady-eyed surveillance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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joeb

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Four reads showing how taxpayer funded FBI agents were able to silence
Rev Sharpton





Sharpton calls for rejection of new top cop

December 10, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter/fspielman@suntimes.com

The Rev. Al Sharpton urged the City Council today to reject Mayor Daley’s appointment of career FBI agent Jody Weis as police superintendent — and demanded that the U.S. Justice Department consider placing the Chicago Police Department in receivership — to stop what he called “unchecked police misconduct.”

Sharpton threatened to travel around the world to undermine Chicago’s chances of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games unless the mayor agrees to 10 demands.
» Click to enlarge image
Rev. Al Sharpton urged the City Council to reject the appointment of a new police chief outside Mayor Daley's office at City Hall.

(Jean Lachat/Sun-Times)

They include: Removing the mayor as the final authority to make recommendations for firing and suspending wayward police officers; releasing the list of 662 officers most frequently accused of excessive force; and allowing disciplinary complaints alleging misconduct toward civilians to be filed anonymously and without a statute of limitations.

Sharpton also demanded the realignment of police beats, a Justice Department investigation of the police department and the immediate firing of two police officers accused of sexually assaulting a West Side resident with a screwdriver. The city has agreed to a $4 million settlement in the case, but the officers remain on the job.

Sharpton also wants a community representative to sit on police “roundtables,” which probe police-involved shootings right after they occur.

At a news conference outside the mayor’s office, Sharpton threatened to turn Daley’s Olympic dream into a nightmare unless his demands are met. He called it the height of “arrogance” that Daley had chosen Weis without input from the African-American community, which is most victimized by both crime and police brutality.

“I would actually take some of the victims [of police brutality] to some of the international spots to talk to some of the Olympics Committee people. I would hope that would not become necessary. But, when you are in a city where you can have screwdrivers stuck up your rectum — and where 25 percent of the shootings by police are off-duty cops —you have to do what is necessary to make City Hall understand that our lives are just as important as anyone else in Chicago,” Sharpton said.


Report: Feds Probing Sharpton Finances
5 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal authorities subpoenaed financial records and employees in an apparent probe of the Rev. Al Sharpton's 2004 presidential bid, nonprofit civil rights group and for-profit businesses, newspapers reported Thursday.

As many as 10 Sharpton associates were subpoenaed Wednesday to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on Dec. 26, his lawyer told the Daily News.

"Here we go again," Sharpton, whose various ventures have come under scrutiny before, told the New York Post. "Whatever it is, it's part of the territory. I'm a public figure."

Spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger said Sharpton would "thoroughly address" the reports at a press conference Thursday morning.

Sharpton's associates were told to provide investigators with financial records from the campaign and roughly six Sharpton-related businesses, as well as personal financial documents of Sharpton and his wife, the newspaper said.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service are seeking the records, which go back to 2001, according to the Daily News.

An FBI agent who answered the phone at the agency's New York headquarters declined to comment, and an agency spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message. An IRS spokesman did not immediately return phone calls.

"It was like a sting or a raid," said Carl Redding, Sharpton's chief of staff for eight years during the 1990s. "They converged on everybody."

Redding said FBI agents awoke him at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday with a subpoena to testify and to bring records to the grand jury, but would not tell him the reason for the investigation.

Several staffers from the National Action Network, a Sharpton-led civil rights organization, also got subpoenas to testify, said Sharpton lawyer Michael Hardy. Sharpton himself did not receive a subpoena, the Daily News said.

Sharpton spokesman Charlie King said the minister and the National Action Network were cooperating with the probe. He said he had "zero idea, not a hint" what the authorities were looking for.

"The irony of this is we've been working with a number of government agencies to make sure that we're up to speed on all of our outstanding paperwork," he said.

Hardy was sanguine about the developments. "I can't think of a time when the Rev. Sharpton wasn't under investigation," he said.

Sharpton agreed in 2005 to repay the government $100,000, plus interest, for taxpayer money he received during his failed effort to win the Democratic presidential nomination the year before, though he denied wrongdoing.

The Federal Election Commission had determined that he spent more of his own money on the campaign than the qualifications for federal matching funds allow.

In 1993, Sharpton pleaded guilty to not filing a state income tax return in 1986.

Sharpton maintains heightened security as threats increase

By Hazel Trice Edney, NNPA Editor-in-chief
December 10, 2007 talkback

WASHINGTON (NNPA) - The Rev. Al Sharpton, looking back on a year of volatile civil rights and race cases, says despite the false alarm when a prisoner sent a harmless substance to his New York headquarters last month, he is still constantly concerned for his life.

"We're getting all kinds of threatening calls. This is just one that hit the papers," says Sharpton in an interview. "Especially since Jena and then around the time of the Washington trip. Every time we're involved, we get threatening phone calls... It's a recurring problem because that's part of the down side of leadership that people don't see. People only see you out there on TV. But they don't understand that also makes you a target for every nut and bigot in the country."

Sharpton boosted his already escalated security protection after the FBI warned him and his staff on Nov. 21 that a New York state inmate had confessed to sending a powdery substance to him and at least six other civil rights organizations and news agencies. The FBI successfully traced the substance in the mail less than a week after Sharpton led the U. S. Justice Department against hate crimes. The white substance turned out to be only talcum power, Sharpton confirmed.

But, he says the high profile media coverage on the incidents has raised prospects for real threats.

"It works up kooks and copy cats. Whereas this cat may not have been real, he could have woke us up because now, somebody might think that's a good idea. So it causes a lot of concern."

Among his 33 National Action Network sites around the country, Sharpton says he has especially upscaled security in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and Miami because of the level of activism at those sites and some targeted threats.

"We've increased those who travel with us and we've increased those at our headquarters," he says. Reportedly, the FBI has also warned his staff to not open mail from certain addresses and police squad cars have been sometimes strategically parked outside of NAN headquarters.

Security has especially been boosted since the Sept. 20 march in Jena, La. In that march, tens of thousands of people pushed for justice in the case of the Jena Six, Black high school students charged in the beating of a White school mate during racial tensions after three nooses were hung in a so-called White tree then in the school yard.

The security concerns also come in a year in which the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center has reported a 40 percent increase in hate groups since 2000. The FBI last month also reported an 8 percent rise in reports of hate crimes last year, from 7,116 in 2005 to 7,722 last year. Most were racial attacks.

Sharpton is quick to recall one of the key reasons that he takes the new threats seriously.

"You must remember I was stabbed once leading a march."

On January 12, 1991, he was protesting the killing of a Black teenager in the predominately White Bensonhurst neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. when he was attacked and stabbed in the chest by Michael Riccardi, an Italian-American wielding a five-inch knife.

Riccardi, who was convicted of first degree assault and served eight of a 15-year sentence, said he had attempted to kill Sharpton because he thought it would make him a hero in his community. It was Sharpton's security detail that stopped that attack, apprehended Riccardi and turned him over to police.

"Of course we've got to pay more people, pay more for them to travel and all of that," says Sharpton. "But, we take these things seriously cause I know what they can be 'cause I almost got killed."
2nd read
Report: Feds Raid Al Sharpton Offices, Subpoena Financial Records, Employees

Thursday, December 13, 2007


NEW YORK — Federal authorities have subpoenaed financial records and employees in an apparent probe of the Rev. Al Sharpton's 2004 presidential bid, nonprofit civil rights group, and for-profit businesses, a newspaper reported Thursday.

As many as 10 Sharpton associates were subpoenaed Wednesday to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn Dec. 26, his lawyer told the Daily News.

They were told to provide investigators with financial records from the campaign and roughly six Sharpton-related businesses, as well as personal financial documents of Sharpton and his wife, the newspaper said.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service are seeking the records, which go back to 2001, according to the Daily News.

A Sharpton spokeswoman did not immediately return phone calls or e-mail messages early Thursday.

An FBI agent who answered the phone at the agency's New York headquarters declined to comment, and an agency spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message. An IRS spokesman did not immediately return phone calls.

"It was like a sting or a raid," said Carl Redding, Sharpton's chief of staff for eight years during the 1990s. "They converged on everybody."

Redding said FBI agents awoke him at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday with a subpoena to testify and to bring records to the grand jury, but would not tell him the reason for the investigation.

Several staffers from the National Action Network, a Sharpton-led civil rights organization, also got subpoenas to testify, said Sharpton lawyer Michael Hardy. Sharpton himself did not receive a subpoena, the Daily News said.

Sharpton spokesman Charlie King said the minister and the National Action Network were cooperating with the probe. Hardy was sanguine about the developments.

"I can't think of a time when the Rev. Sharpton wasn't under investigation," he said.

Sharpton agreed in 2005 to repay the government $100,000, plus interest, for taxpayer money he received during his failed effort to win the Democratic presidential nomination the year before, though he denied wrongdoing.

The Federal Election Commission had determined that he spent more of his own money on the campaign than the qualifications for federal matching funds allow.

In 1993, Sharpton pleaded guilty to not filing a state income tax return in 1986.



3rd read

Sharpton: Criticism of Rev. Wright 'grossly unfair'
HASN'T OPENED OFFICE HERE | Pastor's daughter leads Chicago chapter of activist's group

March 20, 2008


BY FRANK MAIN, KARA SPAK AND ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporters

Eight months after the brash Rev. Al Sharpton announced he was bringing his civil rights organization to Chicago, he has yet to open an office here and has been quiet on the recent shakeup of the Chicago Police Department.

But don't think he isn't paying attention, he insisted Wednesday.
» Click to enlarge image
Rev. Al Sharpton at Chicago's City Hall in Decemeber.
(Jean Lachat/Sun-Times)


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"I never said I was going to move to Chicago," he said. "I said I would have a presence in Chicago, and I do."

On July 30, 2007, Sharpton announced he would open a Chicago chapter of his National Action Network, one of 36 chapters across the country. At an August rally at the South Side's Regal Theater, he vowed to have an office here by September.

That office hasn't materialized, said a spokeswoman at the New York headquarters of the National Action Network.

Calls to a Chicago cell phone number listed on the group's Web site were not returned Wednesday.

Sharpton said he's continuing to maintain his National Action Network chapter in Chicago under chapter president Jeri L. Wright, daughter of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the controversial minister and pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

In a major speech Tuesday, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, a longtime member of the church, reacted to questions about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright, denouncing some of the language in the pastor's fiery sermons.

Sharpton said he supports Wright and his daughter, who "is president of the chapter and will remain president of the chapter."

Sharpton said the recent firestorm over Jeremiah Wright's comments in the pulpit is "grossly unfair."

"He has a right to express his views," he said. "This is ridiculous. I think Jeremiah Wright has been totally distorted."

Despite his lack of Chicago real estate, Sharpton, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004, is on WVON-AM (1690) Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. The Rev. Marshall Hatch, pastor of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, is a frequent guest on his show, Sharpton said.

"We talk about Chicago issues all the time," Sharpton said.

Hatch said he believed Sharpton thought it would be more productive to work with established groups in Chicago than as a lone agent for change.

"I'd say he has been one of many voices," Hatch said. "He's made some impact in that he lent his voice at a critical time on the whole question of reforming police."

Sharpton said he visits Chicago monthly and plans a trip in mid-April to hear reactions to Jody Weis, the new police superintendent. Sharpton said he liked how Weis shook up the department last week by changing 21 of the 25 district commanders.

In December, though, Sharpton was initially critical of Daley's appointment of Weis. He urged alderman to reject Daley's choice of the FBI supervisor, saying the mayor was arrogant not to seek input from the black community first.

Sharpton also demanded that the Justice Department consider placing the Chicago Police Department in receivership.

Monique Bond, spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, said that Weis hadn't met with Sharpton but "he's amenable to meeting with him," she said.

"He met with Rev. [Jesse] Jackson today," she said. "I'm sure he's open to it."
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About New York

A Prosecution Goes Bad, and a Judge Lets Loose

Pool Photo by Jesse Ward

Justice Gustin L. Reichbach in his courtroom on Thursday, when he dismissed the charges.

Published: November 3, 2007
       

On Thursday morning, Roy Lindley DeVecchio, a retired F.B.I. agent who faced the astounding charges that he helped a mob informant kill four people, walked out of court after the prosecutors suddenly dropped the case. It turned out that their star witness had told an entirely different story a decade ago, to two of the city’s premier investigative reporters. After hearing her testify against Mr. DeVecchio, they dug out a tape of that old interview.

The case died instantly of natural causes: doubt.

At that moment, one option for the judge presiding at the trial was to say, “Mr. DeVecchio, you are now free to go,” and to leave it at that.

Instead, the judge, Gustin L. Reichbach of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, sent Mr. DeVecchio — and the prosecutors — packing with a four-page legal roundhouse that invoked Nietzsche, dwelt on the unholy dilemmas of using informants, and found, in the alliance between criminals and government, an analogy to the advocacy of torture.

For bonus points, he threw in a few words of such rare usage that they would be stumpers on the SAT.

So this is a legal opinion worth a few lines of context. Mr. DeVecchio spent 14 of his 30 years in the F.B.I. handling a high-level mob informant named Gregory Scarpa; over the years, others in law enforcement publicly said that Mr. DeVecchio had an overly familiar relationship with Mr. Scarpa and had given him sensitive information.

The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, went much further: He charged that Mr. DeVecchio had fed tips to Mr. Scarpa about four other people who were snitching on him or his family. All four were killed. Thus, the district attorney said, Mr. DeVecchio’s hands were bloody. The case was built on the word of Mr. Scarpa’s mistress, Linda Schiro. (Mr. Scarpa himself died in prison in 1994.)

Mr. DeVecchio waived his right to a jury trial and said his guilt or innocence could be left up to Justice Reichbach, who disclosed that he had been under F.B.I. surveillance as a student at Columbia University during the 1960s.

Mr. DeVecchio and his lawyers said they were not worried that Justice Reichbach would be unfair; ultimately, the judge did not have to give a verdict because of the midtrial revelations that brought the case to an end.

The Village Voice published an article this week by Tom Robbins that reported that he and another investigative reporter, Jerry Capeci, had interviewed Ms. Schiro in 1997 about the same events, and that she had cleared Mr. DeVecchio of involvement in three of the four killings.

With her credibility shot, the judge’s opinion centered on the revelations about the relationship between informants and the F.B.I. For a while, he noted, rival mobsters considered the possibility that Mr. Scarpa was an informant. Impossible, they decided.

Their reasoning, the judge wrote, was that “it would be antinomic for the F.B.I., charged with fighting crime, to employ as an informer a murderer as vicious and prolific as Greg Scarpa. Apparently, and sadly, organized crime attributed to the F.B.I. a greater sense of probity than the F.B.I. in fact possessed.”

With an informant of such high rank as Mr. Scarpa, the judge said, government agents are forced into a delicate balancing act. “It is the inescapable aporia of law enforcement that they must sometimes turn a blind eye to criminality in order to prevent or combat greater criminality,” he said (“aporia” being a term derived from the Greek for a perplexing philosophical problem). The F.B.I. had “failed miserably” in finding a balance with Mr. Scarpa, he wrote.

In an interview yesterday, the judge made the matter more concrete.

“Did the information Scarpa gave save more lives than he took?” he asked. “I am confident the answer is no. We’re talking about 20 or 30 murders. Did he save 20 or 30 lives? No.”

The failure was Mr. DeVecchio’s, the judge concluded, but also his supervisors’: “Any sentient being reading Scarpa’s informant file could divine that Scarpa was involved in illegal and violent acts.”

He noted that Mr. Scarpa had once been sent by the F.B.I. in an effort to use thug tactics to get information on the killers of civil rights workers. That reminded the judge of the belief held by some in government that torture against terrorists is O.K. — “that it is permissible to make men scream in the name of national security,” he wrote.

Justice Reichbach also quoted Friedrich Nietzsche’s observation that “he who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

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                                Record shared without approval                        
                                               
                                               
                        By JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau                        
                        3/25/2008                        
                       
                                                                                       

An Oklahoman's name went to an FBI mental health database although the state has no procedure for such submissions.



WASHINGTON -- Even though state officials have never signed off on a mechanism to share such information, the FBI says Oklahoma has listed one resident in the bureau's national database used to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

That one record, the first ever submitted out of the hundreds in Oklahoma that might qualify, was sent in several months ago, apparently without the knowledge of top state officials.

"It is an Oklahoma record," said Billy Estok of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, W.Va.

"A physician at a medical center completed a form requesting that someone be put in the NICS Index. They faxed that form to us, and we here at the FBI entered it for them."

Citing the privileged nature of the record, Estok said the FBI could not provide additional details.

Gov. Brad Henry, in response to a recent question about the state's first record being entered into the National Instant Criminal Background
Check System, said: "That's news to me. I have no idea how that happened."

Henry is not the only one in the dark about how or why that one record went to FBI.

The Tulsa World asked several other state agencies, including the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Each insisted that it did not know that the record had been submitted.

Moreover, mental health officials said current state law bars them from sharing such information unless mandated by federal law, although state agencies can use it.

Felicia Jackson of the OSBI said that agency uses mental health records to process conceal and carry permits.

No mechanism exists for the state to submit mental health records to NICS, and Oklahoma has no system to check on gun purchases, she said.

Steve Emmons of the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training said his agency uses mental health records to determine whether a person can be certified as a peace officer in Oklahoma.

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which is helping to lead the battle to get more records into the FBI's system, said there is no common practice among states on how information is submitted.

"That is frustrating," he conceded. "In many cases the one record is more perplexing than the no record."

The Brady Campaign, which has been promoting a new law designed to beef up NICS, has zeroed in on Oklahoma and other states to urge officials to do more.

That bill was passed following the shootings at Virginia Tech last year.

"The fact that whether it was zero before or one now obviously shows that more can be done," said Paul Helmke, the president of the Brady Campaign.

"The point we are trying to make is not to point fingers at anybody but to say Virginia Tech taught us all a lesson: This could happen anyplace."

Oklahoma was not the only state whose numbers might puzzle some.

In testimony last year before a congressional panel, a top official in the Justice Department provided figures on the states that were then submitting names to the NICS.

Arizona, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New York and South Carolina had one name each.

Figures for other states ranged from 81,233 for Virginia and 73,382 for Michigan to three for Maryland, 24 for Alabama and 27 for California.

Oklahoma's neighbors were on that list -- Kansas submitted 1,506; Missouri, 401; and Arkansas, 51.

The single record from Oklahoma did not come until September, several months after the Virginia Tech shootings. Federal officials reported that states doubled the information on mental health history available to NICS following that tragedy.

Estok said 33 states now have submitted at least one mental health record to NICS, and 42 supplied information for its other files.

Justice Department figures from last year show the FBI had obtained 138,766 mental health records that would disqualify veterans.

Steve Westerfeld, a spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs, said that as of September 2007, his agency had provided information to NICS on 2,600 Oklahoma veterans.

During a recent visit to Washington, Henry was asked about NICS and whether Oklahoma should submit such information to the FBI.

"That's an issue that I need to look at more carefully before I give an absolute answer," he said.

"I know on one hand that mental health records are confidential. On the other hand, we have to be more vigilant about safety and security on our college campuses."

Henry conceded that he did not know how the state should reconcile those positions, "But I think it is something that is very worthy of discussion."

Jeff Dismukes, the public information director for the Oklahoma Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department, said an average of 2,500 people a year are committed involuntarily by courts for mental health reasons.

Even though state law does not allow those records to be submitted to the FBI's database to block those people from buying a gun, Dewayne Moore, the agency's chief legal counsel, cited a "fairly old" state law that bars such sales.

Moore conceded there is no way to enforce that law.

In January, President Bush signed into law a measure designed to encourage states to submit more information to the national database.

That law gives states several years to comply, initially offering financial incentives and eventually requiring cuts in certain funds for those that do not.
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Google Working Closely With Intelligence Agencies


CIA, FBI and others

The major intelligence agencies in the U.S. have turned to Google to help them better share and process information they have on security threats.

CIA, FBI and others

The National Security Agency has purchased servers on which Google provides search technology used to process information compiled by networks of intelligent agents around the globe.

Google is also offering search features for a site similar to Wikipedia, called Intellipedia, were agents can share and post information on a secure online forum. Intellipedia is accessible only to the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and a number of other intelligence agencies.

"Each analyst, for lack of a better term, has a shoe box with their knowledge,"  Sean Dennehy, chief of Intellipedia development for the CIA, told the San Francisco Chronicle  "They maintained it in a shared drive or a Word document, but we're encouraging them to move those platforms so that everyone can benefit."

Depending on their level of clearance agents can log on to Intellipedia and access three levels of information, top secret, secret, and sensitive but unclassified. Currently the site has 37,000 accounts with 35,000 articles making up 200,000 pages, according to Dennehy.

Google's other government customers include the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Alabama and Washington, D.C.

Mike Bradshaw, who heads Google's federal government sales team, says the company sells nearly identical products to corporate clients as it does to government agencies.
"There were some wild accusations," Bradshaw said. "But everything we do with the government is the same as what we do with our corporate customers."

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

       

        Bhutto Allegation Bin Laden Had Been Murdered

       

Jenna Orkin


In an interview November 2, 2007 with Sir David Frost, Benazir Bhutto mentioned in passing "Omar Sheikh" who, she said, had murdered Osama Bin Laden.

The camera remained fixed on the assassinee to be, so Frost's reaction is forever lost to enquiring minds, but he did not follow up with any questions concerning this eyebrow-raising bombshell.

The comment comes off as a possible slip of the tongue but even as such, provokes questions. Where exactly was the slip? On the words "Omar Sheikh," "Osama Bin Laden" or "murdered?"

A corollary question arises about whether the Omar Sheikh (a common name) to whom Bhutto was referring was the ISI associate who was convicted in 2002 of murdering Daniel Pearl. This Omar Sheikh, according to the Times of India, also wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta shortly before the 9/11 attacks.

Of course, Bhutto's not around to clarify but a trip to her party's website yielded a reference dated November 8, after the Frost interview, which refutes her statement:

"The United States alone has given the Musharraf government more than $10 billion in aid since 2001. We do not know exactly where or how this money has been spent, but it is clear that it has not brought about the defeat of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, nor succeeded in capturing Osama bin Laden, nor has it broken the opium trade."

A remarkable aspect of the interview is the fact that apart from Al Jazeera, no mainstream press have investigated its surely newsworthy allegation. This, of course, is not surprising in the United States, but the Asian and other Middle Eastern presses might have been expected to show some curiosity.

The Pakistan People's Party website did not provide contact information beyond an email address. This blog emailled an enquiry Saturday but has not received a response. According to my experience, Saturday and Sunday are work days in Muslim countries.
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Big Brother has joined nearly every American family. He lives in the cell phone, if a highly credible whistle-blower's March disclosure to Congress accurately reflects telecommunications industry standard operating procedure.

The affidavit of Babak Pasdar, a recognized national computer security expert, raises basic questions that Congress must answer before deciding on telecom immunity, such as "Immunity for what?" It raises fundamental questions about whether the reality of privacy still exists, let alone the right.
In the fall of 2003, Pasdar was hired by a major telecommunications carrier to overhaul its security. He discovered a mysterious "Quantico Circuit" with access to the entire mobile network that didn't have any security controls. Nor did it have any usage logs making a record of what information flowed through the system. The security breach was unheard of, abandoning basic industry norms practiced in the rest of the telecom's lines.
Quantico, Va., is the company town for massive military and FBI operations. Whoever was on the other end had access to everything in Americans' digital lives -- all calls, e-mails, text messages, Internet use, videos, billing, location -- with no record of what was taken.
When Pasdar insisted on basic controls, the corporate security director drove out to sternly inform him that he had never seen the Quantico Circuit. That nothing would change. That if he did not forget about it, someone else would be brought in who could.
Pasdar backed off but was haunted by the implications. In 2006 and 2007, he anonymously briefed congressional committees, whose follow-up queries were stonewalled. In late February, he decided to go public, horrified by imminent House approval for Senate-passed retroactive telecom immunity in legislation reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
He acted in a March 4 affidavit to Congress. On March 6, key members urged all 435 representatives not to "vote in the dark" for immunity until Pasdar's and related allegations were investigated. On March 14, the House voted 214-195 to deny immunity. Blue Dog conservative Democrats backed their leadership, which rejected administration threats that legal accountability for telecoms would aid and abet terrorism.

The struggle is hardly over. The House FISA bill must be reconciled with a Senate version with blanket immunity. And President Bush promises to veto any legislation that doesn't retroactively grant telecoms immunity.
But Pasdar's disclosure was the major development in a week that turned the political tide. There is a lesson here about whistle-blowers and the power of the truth against abuses of power.
Congress is finalizing legislation to overhaul whistle-blower laws. If it truly wants to know when the public's trust is betrayed, it will act quickly to provide rights enforced through jury trials for the public's eyes and ears.
Pasdar's disclosure only earned a reprieve. The next step for voters is telling their Senators to stand up to administration bullying.
Domestic spying must be a cornerstone election issue. After all, the war on terrorism is supposed to be about defending America's freedom. Doesn't that start at home?
Tom Devine is legal director of the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistle-blower protection and advocacy organization, http://www.whistleblower.org
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House approves changing controversial Sept. 11 memorial

12 quotes on monument, which came from ASU researchers, targeted for removal

 by Daniel Newhauser
 published on Monday, April 7, 2008

<b>DIVISIVE MONUMENT:</b> The Arizona 9/11 Memorial in Downtown Phoenix near the state capitol may soon be under construction to remove its inscriptions if the Arizona Senate passes a bill calling for the removal./issues/news/704581
Jeffrey Lowman / THE STATE PRESS
DIVISIVE MONUMENT: The Arizona 9/11 Memorial in Downtown Phoenix near the state capitol may soon be under construction to remove its inscriptions if the Arizona Senate passes a bill calling for the removal.
 
/issues/news/704581
 

College of Liberal Arts


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Labeled by some as "egregious" and "insensitive," the Arizona 9/11 Memorial, an endeavor of ASU researchers, is the subject of a recently passed House bill calling for its alteration.

The memorial near the Arizona Capitol is comprised of a circular steel structure with inscribed quotes that, when hit by sunlight, are reflected onto the pavement below.

Since its 2006 construction, quotes such as "06 03 02 Congress questions why CIA & FBI didn't prevent attacks" and " 'You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles,' " have led to heated partisan debate.

House Bill 2700, which passed the House Wednesday and is now en route to the Senate, calls for the elimination of 12 quotes, which would be replaced by a timeline of the day's events on 9/11.

All of the memorial's 54 quotes came from research compiled by ASU history academic associate Nancy Dallett, history graduate student Patricia Roeser and history department chairman Noel Stowe.

The team gathered news clippings and conducted interviews with Valley residents, then filled three large binders with the excerpts from their research, said Matt Salenger, a designer from coLAB + Jones Studio Inc., which created the memorial.

The Arizona 9/11 Memorial Commission, the group in charge of planning the memorial, then approved which quotes would be included in the memorial.

Len Munsil, a 2006 gubernatorial candidate and early critic of the quotes, said he is not directly involved in any campaigns to change the memorial, but supports the bill.

"I opposed the memorial because the presence of anti-American, anti-military and anti-Israel rhetoric is not only offensive but inappropriate," said Munsil in an e-mail. "The memorial should unite Americans."

Salenger said the memorial was never meant to be offensive, but was instead intended to be a balanced, diverse representation of Arizona's reactions to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

"It's a matter of just being inclusive to all the views and voices people had in Arizona following the attacks of 9/11," he said. "We wanted to capture the different ways that people reacted to the events."

Rather than remove 12 quotes, the Arizona 9/11 Memorial Commission has proposed striking only two quotes while adding six nonoffensive others, plus an introductory panel describing the intent of the memorial, Salenger said. Salenger said the quotes the commission recommends changing were about erroneous air strikes in Afghanistan and a terrorist leader addressing the American people — quotes not among the 12 that the House has approved removing.

An e-mail sent to the commission was not replied to by deadline.

He said all parties are acting too hurriedly and added that he does not think a change is necessary.

"These decisions to make these changes are overreacting," he said.

Inserting only an introductory panel would prepare visitors for the experience of the memorial, he added, without altering its original intended purpose.

"If [critics of the memorial] wouldn't be acting so quickly, they would realize that, really, the whole things should remain," he said.

Commission members and ASU researchers involved in the project were not available for comment. Roeser, the graduate student, declined to comment, and Dallett and Stowe did not respond to requests for comment.

Reach the reporter at: daniel.newhauser@asu.edu.



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0
joeb

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Posts: 8,407
Reply with quote  #70 
spin,and more spin about the creators of 911.....check it out...
couple of easy reads


An exclusive look inside "Operation: Lively Green"

Posted: April 8, 2008 12:14 PM
        An exclusive look inside "Operation: Lively Green"

Operation: Lively Green is an FBI sting that uncovered some of the most scandalous public corruption in recent history.

News 4 has pictures and videotapes of that investigation never released to the public until now.

The investigation began in 2000, when a National Guard recruiter started trafficking cocaine with help from members of the national guard, military and Department of Corrections.

The FBI posed as drug smugglers to bring the operation down. In all, 68 people were convicted.

The last two defendants were sentenced just two weeks ago. Now, the FBI is giving us unprecedented access.

FBI Agent Adam Radtke worked closely on the case. "Less than 4 months after 9/11, still digging through the rubble at the Pentagon and World Trade Center, these guys are transporting cocaine 60 miles for a little bit of money and using a color guard flag to cover up the cocaine in the vehicle."

In the FBI world, this was the biggest you could go. Numbers wise, it was systemic corruption at its worst.

Throughout the FBI video obtained by News 4, over and over you can see public servants breaking the law - such as a customs inspector waving through what's called a "ghost load." He thinks the little truck vault is loaded with cocaine.

For allowing the truck through, the inspector got $20,000.

In another picture, a Nogales police officer in uniform holds a kilo of cocaine transported from Tucson to Scottsdale.

The FBI says the people involved believed they couldn't get caught. A newspaper picture shows a marine recruiter talking to high school students. Later, he's caught red-handed counting drug money.

Then there's a national guardsman counting packages of cocaine but he wants more money for his recruiting efforts, saying he brought in three people and he's a man of his word.

In a different picture, a national guardsman counts his money while drinking a beer. Then wipes his prints off the bottle.

Agent Radtke tells us, "He knew he was at a crime scene and just committed a crime."

In another picture, two military policeman are in a hotel lobby. People are thanking them for their service. But, Agent Radtke says, "On one hand they had 20 kilos of cocaine and the other hand they were shaking with the American citizen."

Perhaps the most disturbing video is where a soldier offers his services as a hitman.

Special Agent In Charge of the Phoenix Division, John Lewis, says "Unfortunately here in the U.S., as well as every place in the world, we're going to have to root out corruption where it rears out his ugly head."

Public corruption is a priority with the FBI and as long as public servants break the law, the FBI vows to do its job and bring them to justice.

According to the FBI, more than 24 public servants rejected temptation and chose not to participate in the drug smuggling operation.


2nd read

FBI agents from 911 Ground Zero detail ink deal with their supervisors to appear on FBI recruiting poster.


The National Whistleblower Center

3238 P. Street, NW

Washington, DC 20007

202-342-1902

202-342-1904 (fax)

Web page: http://www.whistleblowers.org




INTRODUCTION

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the National Whistleblower Center (Center) has been assisting numerous whistleblowers in sensitive security areas1. This report concerns the allegations raised by Jane Turner, a 25 year veteran FBI special agent. Agent Turner alleged that members of the elite FBI “Evidence Response Team” (ERT) stole valuable property from Ground Zero shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Ms. Turner identified the alleged theft in August 2002. In September 2002 she seized the alleged stolen property, placed it in an evidence bag, and turned it over to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. Because of this action, she was given notice that she would be terminated from the FBI in early October 2002 for “tarnishing the image” of the FBI.

Between September 2002 and December 2003 the Department of Justice had been conducting an investigation into Jane Turner’s allegations of FBI theft at Ground Zero. In December 2003 the Center learned that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had issued this major report on the theft allegations. However, it refused to publicly release its report or even permit the original whistleblower to review the report in private. The report was instead confidentially transmitted only to the FBI for the FBI’s internal use. This report confirms Ms. Turner’s initial allegations and reviews the scope of FBI criminal activity at Ground Zero. Recently, the Center has learned that the DOJ report also documents numerous other incidents of theft by FBI agents from different crime scenes such as the site of the Okalahoma City bombing and the Unabomber bombing sites.

In late January of 2004, the National Whistleblower Center was able to obtain FBI documents which confirmed many of Ms. Turner’s allegations. These documents confirmed the original allegation filed by the FBI whistleblower. Specifically, the FBI conceded that at least one of its agents stole property from Ground Zero and transported that property across state lines. Moreover, the FBI documentation confirmed that the theft directly interfered with an ongoing criminal prosecution of other non-federal agents who also stole items from Ground Zero.

FBI agent participation in a criminal larceny, and the cover-up of this theft by the FBI and Department of Justice, have significant long range implications for federal law enforcement. It is simply unacceptable that federal agents, while being paid a high salary by taxpayers, could be permitted to steal from any crime scene, let alone from Ground Zero. It is even more shocking when the criminal larceny is engaged in by elite FBI agents assigned to a special “team” specifically trained in the preservation of evidence.

THE FACTS OF THE CASE

Initial investigation into theft at Ground Zero

Jane Turner worked for 25 years as a Special Agent for the FBI.2 While assigned to the Bureau’s Minneapolis Division, Agent Turner was tasked with investigating allegations that an employee for a federal contractor3 had stolen property from Ground Zero. Specifically, Ms. Turner was asked to review an allegation that an employee for Keiger Enterprises, a company contracted by the government to do relief work at the World Trade Center site, had stolen a “fire truck door” which had been mangled in the attack on the World Trade Center.

Theft of the door would constitute a violation of federal criminal law. As a “collectable” if the door was valued at $5000.00 or above, the contractor could have been charged under the Federal Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods Statute and could have been subject to a 10 year prison sentence. The FBI has explained the case against Keiger as follows:

“One aspect of the Keiger case involved an allegation of interstate theft of stolen property (ITSP) and was based on information that Keiger employees recovered a truck door which had been on a fire engine that was destroyed as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The fire engine door was removed from the debris of the WTC site and it, along with other items, were transported back to Minnesota.4

In or about February of 2002, Ms. Turner commenced her investigation into the 9/11 theft case. In mid-April Ms. Turner led a team of FBI agents in search of the Keiger property in order to obtain evidence related to thefts which may have occurred at Ground Zero.

In a statement to the press issued when the search warrant was executed, attorneys for Keiger Enterprises defended the company by alleging that the FBI itself had stolen items from Ground Zero.5 At this time Ms. Turner had no information whatsoever that FBI agents may have also engaged in criminal theft at Ground Zero. Ms. Turner did not give the Keiger attorneys statements any credence, and did not conceive it possible that FBI agents would have been involved in theft from Ground Zero. Ms. Turner’s supervisor explained his understanding of the Keiger-attorney statements:

“. . . in mid-April 2002 when the search warrant was executed against the Keiger business location, Joseph Frieburg, Keiger’s defense counsel, was interviewed by the local television station regarding the search. The news piece quoted him as saying that he didn’t understand why his client was being investigated by the government for taking things from the WTC site when FBI agents had done the same thing.”6

After the search warrant was executed, the Keiger case became one of the most important cases within the Minneapolis Division of the FBI. By late August of 2002, the FBI had confirmed that the fire door had in fact been stolen and confirmed that as a “collectable” it had sufficient value to be covered under federal criminal law.7 In late August the government was very close to issuing an indictment against Keiger regarding theft from Ground Zero, including an indictment related to the theft of the fire door.8

FBI THEFT



Initial Identification of Globe

In late August of 2002, Agent Turner was casually walking through the FBI Minneapolis Division office when she noticed a crystal etched globe sitting on a secretary’s desk The globe had several distinguishing marks. Its surface was discolored and scratched.9 Agent Turner asked the secretary about the globe. The secretary proudly told Agent Turner that it was from the World Trade Center and that an “ERT” agent had given it to her.10 The ERT is an elite squad of FBI agents specially trained in securing crime scenes.

When Agent Turner asked for the name of the ERT agent, the secretary apparently realized that the nature of Agent Turner’s interest in the globe was not merely conversational and refused to disclose any more information.

A Tiffanys’ crystal globe paperweight normally commands a price of $100 to $200. However, as a “collectable” from the Ground Zero crime scene, it had an estimated value in excess of $5,000.11

Globe paperweight. Etched crystal, flat bottom, 2.5" diameter, Retail: $120.

Turner Report of Globe

Immediately upon learning that the globe had been taken from Ground Zero, Agent Turner recognized the seriousness of the situation. Agent Turner immediately informed the proper authorities. She first notified Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), Peg Magil, who had responsibility over the Keiger indictments. The AUSA was extremely troubled by the Turner disclosure and indicated that FBI misconduct may directly interfere with the government’s ability to indict Keiger on the fire door theft. Ms. Turner then notified her FBI superior, Charles Regan. Agent Turner let Mr. Regan know that the AUSA would "probably not indict on the fire truck door."12

In his own FBI-prepared, self-serving statement, Mr. Regan acknowledges having seen the stolen globe on the secretary's desk five to six months prior to Ms. Turner’s report. The secretary had even gone so far as to tell Mr. Regan that the Globe had come directly from "Ground Zero."

In describing his conversation with Agent Turner, Mr. Regan said:

"...Ms. Turner asked me if I had ever seen the Tiffany globe sitting on [the secretary's] desk. I told Ms. Turner that I had. Ms. Turner then said, 'You have? Do you know where it came from?' My immediate and instinctive response to Ms. Turner's question was, 'Oh stuff!'"13

The FBI had failed to take any action whatsoever on information it had concerning FBI agent theft from Ground Zero until Agent Turner “blew the whistle.” However, the FBI’s first response was to drop an indictment against other persons who stole from Ground Zero. The FBI failed to even confiscate the stolen property from the desk of the secretary.

Failure to seize evidence

Even though he knew of the importance of the Tiffanys’ globe and the impact of the theft of that item on a major ongoing criminal investigation, Mr. Regan told Agent Turner that he would not be confiscating the stolen evidence. Regan, in a statement prepared and approved by the FBI, attempted to explain why, as a law enforcement officer obligated to uphold the law (even within the FBI), he had failed to secure the evidence and/or confiscate the stolen property:

“Ms Tuner [asked], ‘are you going to go get the globe?’ In response I told her, ‘No, not yet.’ I recognized that, at some point, the globe would have to be sent to OPR at FBIHQ as evidence for the investigation but felt that, for the time being, the globe was safe sitting [in the support person’s] work space as no one had taken or disturbed [it] during the eight months I had been in the division.”14

Consequently, Mr. Regan allowed more time for the evidence to be tampered with by the same FBI personnel who had taken it in the first place, even after Ms. Turner had made an issue of the Tiffanys’ globe to the secretary who had possession of the stolen property, to the United States Attorneys Office and to management within the FBI.

On the evening of September 10, 2002, Agent Turner, along with a Special Agent from the FEMA Office of Inspector General, seized the globe as stolen contraband. The agents properly placed the Tiffany Globe into an evidence bag and created a proper "chain of custody" log.15 The next day Agent Turner flew, at her own expense, to Washington, D.C. and personally delivered the stolen property to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (OIG). Agent Turner also filed a written complaint with the OIG regarding FBI misconduct.

Aftermath

Within days of providing the stolen property to The Office of the Inspector General, Agent Turner was informed that she would be terminated from the Bureau.16 On September 23, 2002, Ms. Turner’s supervisor (Regan) directly questioned her regarding the incident. Ms. Tuner informed him that “an investigation was underway.” Two days later, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with the Ranking Member of Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, informed the Director of the FBI of Mrs. Turner’s protected activities and demanded that the FBI protect Ms. Turner from any form of retaliation. The Senators had learned of Ms. Turner’s courageous actions and also sent her a letter “thank[ing]” her for her “assistance in reporting an allegation of wrongdoing - a theft of personal items that might have great value to surviving family members from the Ground Zero.”

On September 25, 2002 Mrs. Turner’s supervisor, Charles Regan, sent an e-mail to Mrs. Turner’s second line supervisor (i.e. the “ASAC”) and the Special Agent in Charge of the

Minneapolis Division (SAC) informing them that “SA Turner took it upon herself to send the globe to [DOJ OIG], which has possession and will be conducting the investigation.” The following day, at a supervisors meeting, Ms. Turner’s ASAC stated that Regan was “ready to pull [the] trigger and rate Tuner as ‘Does Not Meet Expectations’ in the critical element that included working well with others.” Such a rating would result in Ms. Turner’s dismissal from the FBI. This decision was implemented October 2002, when Regan accused Ms. Turner of improperly “tarnishing the image” of the FBI in a formal performance review.

Since October 8, 2002, the FBI has known the identity of the ERT agent who stole the globe. In a conversation with the SAC, of the Minneapolis Division, conducted shortly after the FBI decided to fire Agent Turner, the ERT agent admitted taking the Tiffanys’ globe.17 The Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis Division responded to the ERT’s confession by stating the following to the FBI agent: "...that from now on, the ERT takes nothing into a site and the ERT takes nothing out."18

The Inspector General has since completed its investigation into the theft of the globe and has issued a formal report. However, the Department of Justice has refused to release the report either to Ms. Turner or to the public. The report was confidentially provided to the FBI, but the Inspector General refuses to release it.

DROPPING OF CHARGES

Agent Turner’s disclosure of FBI misconduct affected not only her status within the Bureau but also the disposition of the Keiger case. Like the crystal globe, the fire door’s face value was fairly low. As a collectible from the World Trade Center site, however, the item was determined to have a value in excess of $5,000, like the globe. On August 30, 2002, the SAC in the Minneapolis office was made aware of Agent Turner’s discovery of the globe. Having discovered that FBI agents had committed crimes similar to those of which Keiger Enterprises was accused, the latter case took an unexpected turn. Once deemed serious, the theft of the fire door was no longer worthy of prosecution. It was dropped almost immediately after the FBI learned that its own agents had also stolen “collectibles” from Ground Zero.19 Prosecuting Keiger Enterprises employees but not the FBI agents for similar crimes would have created a public relations problem for the FBI. Rather than acting forcefully against both the FBI agents involved in the theft of the globe and the members of Keiger Enterprises responsible for the theft of the fire door, the Assistant U.S. Attorney decided to protect the FBI agents from being held accountable for their actions, even at the cost of allowing two crimes to go unpunished.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

The actions carried out by FBI agents with respect to the globe are crimes under New York, Minnesota, and Federal law. The Tiffanys’ crystal globe paperweight has a face value of $120. As a collector’s item, it is valued in excess of $5,000. If classified using its face value, the theft of the globe constitutes petit larceny under New York State law, a class A non-violent misdemeanor which can result in a sentence of up to one year in prison. If, more appropriately, the globe is classified as a collector’s item worth more than $5,000, it becomes grand larceny, a class D non-violent felony, which carries a possible sentence of up to seven years in prison. In Minnesota, if the value of property or services stolen is more than $2,500, the defendant can be imprisoned for up to ten years, fined up to $20,000, or both.

The actions of the FBI agents and employees also implicated two separate federal laws. Under 18 USC §654 of the United States Code, an officer of any U.S. government agency or department who “wrongfully converts to his own use the money or property of another which comes into his possession or under his control in the execution of such office or employment, or under color or claim of authority as such officer or employee” can be imprisoned for up to ten years if the embezzled sum is more than $1,000 or one year if the sum embezzled is $1,000 or less. Section 666 also prescribes a prison sentence of up to ten years and a possible fine for any “agent of an organization, or of a state, local, or Indian tribal government, or any agency thereof” who “embezzles, steals, obtains by fraud, or otherwise without authority knowingly converts to the use of any person other than the rightful owner or intentionally misapplies, property that is valued at $5,000 or more.” Finally, under Section 2314, a sentence of up to ten years in prison can apply for “whoever transports, transmits or transfers in interstate or foreign commerce any goods, wares, merchandise, securities or money, of the value of $5,000 or more, knowing the same to have been stolen converted or taken by fraud.”



Value of stolen property New York Minnesota Federal
$250-$0 Petit Larceny

Class A misdemeanor: highest punishment 1 year in jail
90 days imprisonment

OR
fine of not more than $7000
N/A
$500-$1000 ($1,000)

Grand Larceny 4th degree

Class E

non-violent Felony:

1 1/3 - 4 years
($500.00)

1 year imprisonment

OR

fine of not more than $3000 or both
( < $1000)

Wrongful conversion of property (Sec. 654)

1 year imprisonment

( > $1000)

1-10 years
$2500-$5000


($5,000)

Grand Larceny 3rd degree

Class D

non-violent Felony:

2 1/3 - 7 years
($2,500)

10 years imprisonment

OR

fine of $20,000 or both
($5,000)

Transportation of stolen goods (Sec.2314)

10 years imprisonment

OR

fine or both



DOUBLE STANDARD

Many individuals have been vigorously prosecuted and, in some cases, incarcerated under these laws for stealing from the World Trade Center site. In one highly publicized case, a 20 year old Russian immigrant named Vadim Reznikov was arrested for stealing the FDNY parking permit of a firefighter who had perished in the attacks. He was charged with five separate counts in connection with the theft, including grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.20 In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, Mr. Roland Abarrategui was caught stealing watches, cameras and credit cards from a hotel near Ground Zero that was in ruins. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.21 Johnny Dunham was sentenced to at least two and a half years in prison for stealing watches from Ground Zero.22 Jacquelin Delgado, Louis Senecal, Jr. and Samuel Brandon were also prosecuted for stealing from the World Trade Center site. Mr. Brandon, whose case is still pending, retired from the New York City fire department in 1984. He allegedly took a damaged walkie-talkie, seven ID cards and a photo of a couple at their wedding, from the Ground Zero site. Even if their value is aggregated, these items are worth far less than the Tiffanys’ globe that Jane Turner reported stolen. Nonetheless, in a striking a display of double standards, Mr. Brandon faces eleven misdemeanor counts, each punishable by up to a year in jail, for stealing these items from the Ground Zero.23

Underlying these prosecutions and sentences is the notion that, while theft is always wrong, there is something particularly insidious about looting a disaster area for personal gain. As Assistant District Attorney Chad Sjoquist, who prosecuted Abarrategui, puts it, “There has to be something different about someone, to do something after this tragedy. To go down to what is essentially a graveyard – to steal.”24 Before giving Abarrategui the maximum sentence, Judge Lewis Stone declared, “You were down there at Ground Zero, at a time of great stress in this country. And you were there for stealing things.”25
Perpetrators Roland Abarrategui Samuel Brandon Johnny Dunham Louis Senecal
Charges 2nd & 3rd degree Burglary,

7 counts of 4th degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property.
Petit larceny, Felony count of Tampering with Evidence. Grand Larceny. 2 counts of Stolen Property.
Sentences 10 years for Looting. Released on $10,000 bail, case still pending. Pled guilty: 7 years in prison for maximum sentence of 3rd degree Larceny, eligible for parole after 2 years and 4 months. Pled Guilty, 2 counts of receiving Stolen Property and Charge of Theft by deception for an unrelated incident.


The 9/11 attacks were neither the first nor last time citizens were prosecuted for looting disaster areas. Three individuals- James Sanders, his wife Elizabeth, and Terrell Stacey – were prosecuted and eventually given probation for stealing government property worth no more than $1,000 as part of an expressed plan to prove their theory that the United States Navy shot down TWA Flight 800. Much more recently, three individuals were charged for unrelated incidents of stealing from the crash site of the Columbia Shuttle. Former Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Arriola was sentenced to a year of probation for stealing two pieces of wiring from the shuttle.26 NASA worker Michael Pankiewicz was fined $2,000 and given a year of probation for stealing a three inch piece of debris.27 Robert Hagan II was also prosecuted for stealing from the shuttle. The prosecutors proved unable to sustain a case against him and he was acquitted. Had he been convicted, Mr. Hagan would have faced up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.28

FINDINGS

FBI officials, whose investigations often result in the arrest and imprisonment of U.S. citizens, should not be allowed to violate the law without judicial or intra-agency sanction. As we have noted, several private citizens stole items of similar or lesser value from the exact same geographical area as did the FBI agents who took the globe. The difference is that they were prosecuted and given sentences of close to the highest severity while the actions of the FBI agents have been dismissed with no reprimands, except, of course, for the agent who reported the crime. As a memo sent by Charles Regan to the attention of UC Thomas R. Monroe makes clear, the Assistant U.S. Attorney dropped the theft charges against the salvage company after information regarding the stolen globe was disclosed.29 The memo also shows that the person who supervised the ERT who stole the globe at Ground Zero had been promoted to an ASAC position.30 This two-tiered system of justice, one for ordinary citizens, and another for members of the FBI, should not stand. Theft committed by individual agents and the failure of the Bureau to hold them accountable is not only egregious, but is also symbolic of broader cultural issues within the FBI. These cultural issues have undermined its effectiveness since Ruby Ridge, and undoubtedly contributed to its failure to stop the 9/11 attacks or discover the source of the anthrax attacks.

These incidents clearly reveal the institutional and cultural features of the FBI that contributed to the lack of response provided by the Bureau to Agent Turner’s discovery. Agent Turner found this stolen globe openly displayed in a major FBI office for at least 7-8 months. The employee who had illegal possession of this property went so far as to brag about where it came from. The fact that scores of other agents, having knowledge of stolen evidence, ignored this information speaks volumes about the double standard culture within the FBI.

It defies common sense to suggest that this is the only instance in which FBI agents stole evidence from a crime scene whose integrity they swore to protect. FBI agents openly engaged in criminal activity for which there was no oversight or accountability.

Any person reading this report who would like to assist Jane Turner in any way should visit the Jane Turner Legal Defense Fund.


Based on the documented evidence of criminal activity, the President of the United States and the U.S. Attorney General should, at a minimum,

1. Publicly release the complete Inspector General’s report on this matter.
2. Department of Justice and the FBI should agree to fully assist in state prosecutions of the FBI agents identified as being involved in theft from Ground Zero. This includes, but is not limited to, all FBI personnel who stole, transported or possessed stolen property from Ground Zero. These implicated FBI employees should be efficiently extradited to New York and other localities to stand trial.
3. All FBI personnel that stole from any other crime scenes, such as the Oklahoma City and Unabomber sites, should be made available for prosecution in those respective localities.
4. Give Ms. Turner a formal public commendation from the President and the Attorney General and order the FBI to correct the discriminatory action taken against Jane Turner.
5. In accordance with the Supreme Court decision in Brady, the Department of Justice must identify every case in which FBI employees who engaged in criminal/unethical behavior at Ground zero provided testimony. The DOJ must properly disclose to defense counsel the facts which document the dishonesty, and criminal proclivity of these employees.


3rd read
http://infowars-shop.stores.yahoo.net/powderburns.html
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joeb

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Posts: 8,407
Reply with quote  #71 
how much evidence do you need that FBI  agents were involved in creating 911

great lineup of speakers including Barrie Zwicker and Daniel Hopsicker.
for May 17th conference in New Hampshire
contact # 603 446 3561

Friends,

There are two events I would like to bring to your attention!

The first is not exactly an event, but is a national effort to push a 9/11 book onto the NY Times bestseller list. The book is entitled The Shell Game by Steve Alten. It is actually a work of fiction that uses facts and educated speculation. Here is the site that is coordinating the idea:

http://www.weekoftruth.org/

Note that only certain booksellers report their sales to the NYT and that it is the week of the 16th to the 22nd that counts, apparently.

------------------------

Secondly, I am pleased to report that there will be a one-day symposium in Keene, New Hampshire on May 17th.

"The New England Symposium on 9/11: Family Members and Researchers Speak Out will be held on Saturday, May 17th at the Keene High School Auditorium, from 9:30am to 6:00pm."

http://www.911blogger.com/node/14630

The organizers add:

"Our group is seeking some manner of donation from the larger community, with the myriad expenses that are incurred in offering such an event.� If you felt you could make a donation of even a small amount, this would help us a great deal in the upcoming weeks.

Checks can be written to "The Monadnock 9/11 Truth Alliance", and can be sent to George Corrette, PO Box 373, Marlow, NH 03456.

We look forward to seeing you at the event, and channeling energy into the next steps of necessary organizing."

--------------------------

Best,

Stephen Shaw
for Maine 9/11 Truth


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joeb

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Posts: 8,407
Reply with quote  #72 
       
        Email                 Print                         Text Size
Posted by Shaun Chaiyabhat
Local Businesses Raided; Arab Owners Feel Unfairly Targeted

FAST FACTS:

* Operation sudden impact combined federal and state authorities
* several businesses raided
* FBI confirms the raids, but declines to give details concerning investigation

shaun.chaiyabhat@wreg.com

(Memphis, TN 4/12/08)

They businesses were raided by the FBI and several other agencies, and now they think they were targeted because they are of Arab descent.

Hundreds of officers are fanning out across three states throughout the weekend hoping to catch terrorists. It's part of a coordinated effort called "Operation Sudden Impact". It's the first major local coordinated effort of its kind, but already some local business owners are feeling like the law isn't on their side, instead, they feel like they're being unfairly targeted. Now the business owners are wondering what they did wrong.

Thursday, the FBI and other agencies raided several businesses, including Jay Abbadi's. "I didn't know what to feel to tell you the truth," says Abbadi, the manager of Safe & Sound Car Stereos. "I didn't know what to feel because I have never been in a situation like that... Never broke the law in my life. My record is as clean."

Abbadi says agents with a vague warrant searched the place and took paperwork and computers, but never fully explained what he did wrong. "No they told me after they finished packing up all my paperwork, taking my computers."

Abbadi says they eventually said they were looking for stolen electronics, but he says his shop is legit. Instead Abbadi feels he was targeted because he's an Arab immigrant. And he wasn't alone. News Channel 3 spoke with several businesses who were raided and share similar concerns.

As local authorities continue 'Operation Sudden Impact' -- aimed at identifying terrorist ties -- the sheriff's office says it was not involved in these raids, but did know what was happening.

"What we have found traditionally is that terrorists are involved in a number of lesser known type crimes," says Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell. "Certainly our focus will be on small businesses and potential for terrorist interdiction in those areas."

An FBI spokesperson says the FBI along with other agencies did conduct the raids, but made no arrests.
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #73 
Ron Kessler is the #1 disinformation dispenser for the FBI.

Posting his piece so you can identify him.....
His main man at the FBI  was Oliver Buck Revell.
               
       

America’s Cultural Divide

       

A Dangerous Conservative Attempt to Rescue Joe McCarthy

       
April 14th 2008
               
Ronald Kessler
Ronald Kessler

A dangerous movement has been growing among conservative writers to vindicate the late Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy and his campaign to expose Soviet spies in the U.S. government. The FBI agents who were actually chasing those spies have told me that McCarthy hurt their efforts because he trumped up charges, unfairly besmirched honorable Americans, and gave hunting spies a bad name.

To be sure, intercepts of secret Soviet communications that were part of the VENONA program eventually revealed that Soviet espionage operatives in the government numbered in the hundreds—far more than was thought in the 1950s. In that sense, McCarthy was right, but so were dozens of other anti-Communists of the time like FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. The problem was that the people McCarthy tarnished as Communists or Communist sympathizers were not the real spies. Often, the information McCarthy used came from FBI files, which were full of rumor and third-hand accounts.

Several months before he died, I interviewed Robert J. Lamphere Jr., who participated in all the FBI's major spy cases during the McCarthy period. Beginning in 1948, Lamphere also was the FBI liaison to the U.S. Army's Signal Intelligence Service's VENONA program and used leads from the intercepts to work cases involving Klaus Fuchs, Harry Gold, David Greenglass, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Kim Philby. For my book "The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI," Lamphere told me that agents who worked counterintelligence were aghast that Hoover initially supported McCarthy.

"McCarthyism did all kinds of harm because he was pushing something that wasn't so," Lamphere told me. The VENONA intercepts showed that over several decades, "There were a lot of spies in the government, but not all in the State Department," Lamphere said. However, "The problem was that McCarthy lied about his information and figures. He made charges against people that weren't true. McCarthyism harmed the counterintelligence effort against the Soviet threat because of the revulsion it caused. All along, Hoover was helping him."

The McCarthy era began on February 9, 1950 when the obscure Republican senator from Wisconsin gave a speech to 275 members of the local Republican women's club at the McClure Hotel in Wheeling, West Virginia.

"While I cannot take the time to name all the men in the State Department who have been named as members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were known to the secretary of State and who, nevertheless, are still working and shaping policy of the State Department," McCarthy said, holding up a scrap of paper.

By the time McCarthy got to Salt Lake City, another stop on his speech itinerary, McCarthy—an alcoholic—could not remember the number he had cited. He told his audience there that the number of Communists was 57. The conservative Chicago Tribune had been running a series on the Communist threat. The day after McCarthy's speech in West Virginia, Willard Edwards, the author of the articles, urgently asked Walter Trohan, the paper's Washington bureau chief, to come speak with him in Edward's office at the Albee Building at 15th and G Streets NW in Washington. Trohan related to me that Edwards then confided to him that just before McCarthy delivered his speech, he asked Edwards about the number of Communists in the State Department. Edwards said he gave McCarthy the figure of 205. Now he realized his mistake.

"Edwards said it was more or less a rumor. It was just a piece of gossip," Trohan said. "Edwards was afraid that McCarthy was going to blame him for it."  As for McCarthy, besides being an alcoholic, the senator was "crazy about girls about eighteen," Trohan said. "I always thought if the Commies wanted to get him, all they had to do was supply him with a girl."

"Joe McCarthy was into the booze," Roy L. Elson, the administrative assistant to the powerful Senator Carl T. Hayden, told me. "He was a sad case."  Bogus figures or not, McCarthy soon became a national figure. Returning from his tour, McCarthy called his friend Hoover and told him his speech was getting a lot of attention, according to a memo Hoover wrote after the call. There was only one problem: McCarthy said he had "made up the numbers as he talked."

In the future, Hoover advised him, he should not give specific numbers. McCarthy asked if the FBI would give him information to back up his charges. "Review the files and get anything you can for him" was Hoover's order. "We didn't have enough evidence to show there was a single Communist in the State Department, let alone 57 cases," said William Sullivan, who became the number three man in the bureau. Nevertheless, FBI agents spent hundreds of hours reading files and making abstracts for McCarthy.

Lou Nichols, who headed FBI public relations, cautioned McCarthy not to use the phrase "card-carrying Communists" because that could not be proven. Instead, he should refer to "Communist sympathizers" or "loyalty risks." The phrases were as fuzzy as Hoover's files. While Hoover built a great organization, he confused political beliefs that were critical of the government with violations of criminal law. Using material from the FBI, McCarthy instilled fear in anyone who might have looked at a Communist.

It's true that McCarthy's witch-hunts have been confused with those of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Because of pressure from HUAC investigations, Hollywood studios blacklisted playwright Lillian Hellman because her lover, mystery-writer Dashiell Hammett, was one. John Melby, a State Department officer with impeccable anti-Communist credentials, was fired for having had an affair with her. But as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, McCarthy's approach was similar. Having studied the transcripts of McCarthy's hearings, Donald A. Ritchie, associate historian of the Senate, has pinpointed his tactics. Typically, McCarthy held hearings in executive session first.

"The executive sessions were like a dress rehearsal," Ritchie tells me. "For the most part, he didn't really have hard evidence against the people that he was interrogating, so he was hoping just to get them to contradict themselves or to take the Fifth Amendment, or to confess. And he would badger them in these closed sessions and winnow out the ones he wanted to testify in public. He interviewed about 500 people in closed session; he called about 300 people to public session." In the meantime, "After they'd testified in closed session, he'd go out in the hall, and he'd tell the waiting press what had just happened," Ritchie says. "We looked at both the New York Times' and the Chicago Tribune's accounts and then we compared that to what actually went on inside the hearings. What he told the press grossly exaggerated what took place when compared to the transcripts."

While McCarthy said he would protect the names of witnesses, their names were leaked to the press, Ritchie says. Only half a dozen of the witnesses turned up in the VENONA intercepts, all minor figures in McCarthy's investigations, he notes. In the end, says Ritchie, "Not one of the 500 witnesses went to jail for perjury or contempt of Congress, whereas a lot of people who testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and the Senate Internal Security subcommittee were investigated, prosecuted and convicted, and served jail time. Yet McCarthy was constantly accusing people of having committed perjury and urging the Justice Department to prosecute them."

McCarthy eventually made the mistake of turning his sights on President Dwight D. Eisenhower. A former Army general who had led allied forces to victory during World War II, Eisenhower was as American as apple pie.As McCarthy began accusing Eisenhower of being soft on Communists, Hoover realized he would have to distance himself from the senator. Just before what became known as the Army-McCarthy hearings started on April 22, 1954, Hoover ordered the bureau to cease helping him. That would contribute to the senator's downfall.

During the hearings, McCarthy failed to substantiate his claims that the Communists had penetrated the Army, which had hired a shrewd Boston lawyer, Joseph Welch, to represent it. McCarthy noted that Fred Fischer, a young lawyer in Welch's firm, had been a member while at Harvard Law School of the National Lawyers Guild, described by the attorney general as the "legal mouthpiece of the Communist Party." Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg had also been a member of the group. Upon hearing this accusation, Welch responded, "Until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or recklessness." When McCarthy continued to hound Fischer, Welch said, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

After two months, the hearings were over, and so was McCarthy's career. Watching the hearings on television, millions of Americans had seen how he bullied witnesses and what an unsavory character he was. Behind the scenes, Eisenhower pushed fellow Republicans to censure McCarthy. In August 1954, a Senate committee was formed to investigate the senator. On September 27, the committee issued a unanimous report calling McCarthy's behavior as a committee chairman "inexcusable," "reprehensible," and "vulgar and insulting." On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted 67 to 22 to censure him. After that, when he rose to speak, senators left the Senate chamber. Reporters no longer attended his press conferences. On May 2, 1957, McCarthy died at the age of forty-eight of acute hepatitis, widely believed to be a result of his alcoholism, a point generally overlooked by the revisionists.

As chief of Justice Department spy prosecutions for nearly 25 years, John L. Martin prosecuted 76 spies, including CIA officers Aldrich Ames and Harold J. Nicholson, Navy warrant officer John A. Walker Jr., and Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard. With his unlimited clearances, Martin read many of the FBI's most secret raw files on historic espionage cases, including the files on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Judith Coplon, Alger Hiss, and Rudolph Abel. No one knows as much about catching spies and the legal ramifications that go with it than Martin.

"While VENONA later confirmed and expanded upon what the FBI knew about Soviet operations in the U.S., McCarthy was acting on suspicions and myths rather than adequate investigations," Martin tells me. McCarthy used "the umbrella of national security to justify his outrageous practice of besmirching reputations of loyal Americans," Martin adds.

Efforts to vindicate McCarthy by people who have never caught a spy ignore the fact that rather than helping the cause of dealing with the spy threat, he harmed it.

New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of http://www.Newsmax.com , from which this story was adapted.



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TWO EASY READS

                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                               

FBI informant describes Paterson gambling club slayings

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                               

PATERSON, N.J. - Jurors at the trial of the man accused of the cold-blooded slayings of four patrons at an illegal gambling club in Paterson are hearing from an FBI informant.

Lorenzo Gonzalez operated the club so the FBI could monitor gang activity.

Gonzalez identified David Baylor as the gunman who killed four patrons during a robbery in 2005.

Under cross-examination, Baylor's lawyer tried to show that Gonzalez is no stranger to crime.

He told the defense attorney that the FBI had promised to pay him $9,000 a month after the shootings, but never did. However, he testified that agents hurried him off to Florida and Mexico.

Gonzalez now lives in Mexico and runs his own business there.



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Relatives sue FBI, say club sting was bungled

                       
                                               

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

By DOUGLASS CROUSE
STAFF WRITER  

Relatives of three of the four people gunned down in a Paterson after-hours club sued the federal government Monday, claiming the deaths resulted from a bungled FBI sting operation.

Three men and a woman were massacred inside the illegal gambling club during an early-morning robbery Dec. 14, 2005.


"The FBI violated their own policies on undercover cases: to make sure that the safety of unrelated civilians is not in jeopardy," said the families' attorney, Rosemarie Arnold. "You have a virtual casino operating in a known dangerous neighborhood without any security. That to me is an invitation to robbery."

Four co-defendants are now behind bars, with the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office preparing a death penalty case against the alleged gunman.

FBI officials have declined comment and did not return a call Monday.

Based on police files, the lawsuit says the FBI set up the sting four months before the shootings to investigate drugs and arms trafficking by the Latin Kings gang. It claims the agency paid a former convict $3,500 a month to run the business -- known as Kings Court -- atop a warehouse on Railroad Avenue, but failed to properly train or supervise him.

The nine-count complaint filed in federal court in Newark names as defendants the U.S. government, three FBI agents and the four criminal defendants.

The victims' relatives say they hunger for accountability.

"I'm left wondering: Does the FBI realize what actions they set in motion when they opened this place?" said the sister of victim Tara Woods of West Paterson. "Somebody messed up and they have to be held accountable."

She asked that her name not be published for safety concerns.

Law enforcement sources say the club manager was a federal informant, and he had opened the club on the night of the shootings without notifying the FBI.

But the sister of Woods, a 29-year-old mother of two, isn't satisfied by that account.

"We want to know exactly what happened and why," she said. "This has devastated us. And that's one family. Multiply that effect by four."

Carmen Suarez of Paterson, who lived for 20 years with victim Ralph Hernandez, 53, said, "I want the people responsible for his death to pay."

Relatives of Jesus Antonio Gonzales, 31, also of Paterson, also are plaintiffs but could not be reached. The fourth victim was Johnny Melendez, 39, of Newark.

Investigators say the conspirators had envisioned an in-and-out robbery that would never get reported to police. Instead, they say, gunman David Baylor of Passaic snapped and shot the cowering victims point-blank.

"However solidified the [robbery] plan had been, at that point it went out the window," said John Latoracca, chief assistant prosecutor for Passaic County. "Baylor had effectively elevated the stakes a thousand times."

After the shootings, rumors spread quickly about FBI involvement in the illegal club.

Latoracca confirmed the club was the "subject of an undercover operation by the FBI." He was not aware of any armed guards, but said patrons were "wanded."

Baylor's death-penalty trial is tentatively set for September.

Baylor's attorney, Harley Breite, has attacked some of the state's witnesses as "people with lengthy criminal records."

"Is that the type of credible testimony we can rely upon to send somebody to death?" he said.

Baylor's co-defendants are Reginald "Khaddafi" Barris of Clifton; Beatriz Hernandez, 24, address unavailable, and Hamid Shabazz, 30, of Passaic.

All four have been indicted on felony murder, robbery and weapons charges.

Baylor, 27, and Barris, 25, are in the county jail in lieu of $5 million bail each. Shabazz is in prison for an unrelated robbery, and Hernandez is in undisclosed custody.

* * *
What happened

Authorities give this account of the Dec. 14, 2005, shootings in Paterson:

All four defendants arrive in the club some time after 2 a.m.

David Baylor and Hamid Shabazz leave shortly after 4 a.m., then walk back in through a rear door that Beatriz Hernandez has opened for them.

Moments later, Baylor shoots the four victims as Reginald Barris punches and knocks the manager to the floor.

The intruders race to grab what they can -- a few thousand dollars. In their haste, they leave $1,000 in one victim's pocket.

The manager escapes and phones Paterson police, telling them he works for the FBI.

Source: New Jersey.com

                               
               
                               
                                                                       
                               

Law Offices Rosemarie Arnold

                               

1386 Palisade Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ 07024

                               

T: 201-461-1111 F: 201-461-1666 E-mail us

                       
                                                               
       
       
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Man Found Dead in Lake Claimed FBI Tracked Him
4/17/2008

Newsroom

The man found floating in Lady Bird Lake Wednesday afternoon claimed on a videotape that he was being targeted by federal agents because he ran the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund out of south Austin.

"All of our work is very transparent. We don't work with any militant group or violent group, or anybody with a militant affiliation," said Riad Hamad, in a 2003 interview with freespeech TV.

In the 19-minute interview, found online, Hamad says several shipments of used books and clothing had been returned to his home address and on at least one occasion, a neighbor who signed for a package was questioned by a federal agent.

"We were hacked really bad," Hamad said. "We called the FBI and they said this is cost of business and would not do anything to help. There were like three different people who gave information about me that I only know."

In the video, Hamad says he held several degrees, including Bachelor's and Master's, from the University of Texas and was in the process of completing another.

"I don't have an affiliation," he says on the video. "I've been here since 1970. I was never involved in any militant or group that would hurt anybody... something violent."

Austin Police Thursday afternoon preliminarily ruled his death a suicide. Hamad's body was found floating in Lady Bird Lake and had been bound with duct tape. Police say the binding was in a manner which he could have done it to himself.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008 << Previous     Next >>
       
Central's terrorism project culminates Wednesday night
       
Students dive into research and write a book about this explosive topic
                                               
       
News You Can Use
Central Alternative High School students will present a global terrorism seminar at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Midway Hotel in Dubuque. Admission for the seminar is $5 for the general public; $1 for students with school ID; and $2 for students without school ID.

These students say they are tired of being referred to as the bad students of Dubuque.

"Central (Alternative High School) opens doors instead of shutting them," said student Ronnie Sanders.

Sanders, along with his classmates at Central, will open the doors to the world of global terrorism when they welcome three guest speakers to Dubuque for a seminar.

The students' project will culminate in the seminar that will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Best Western Midway Hotel in Dubuque.

Randall Laughead, an FBI intelligence analyst; Werner Hellmer, an attorney; and Todd Sharkey, a recruiter for the 133rd Iowa Army National Guard, will discuss global terrorism during the seminar.

The students in teacher John Adelmann's history class have worked together and researched specific issues on the sometimes-controversial topic of global terrorism.

"In a sense, they become experts in the area," Adelmann said. "This has almost become part of who they are."

The students have spent countless hours of research and have conducted numerous

interviews about their global-terrorism topic. They will combine their individual work to create a book that will be sold during the seminar.

"They're using their text, and we're writing them," said student Jacob Ginter about the difference between other history classes and Central's class.

Throughout the process, Adelmann has teamed up with teacher Tim Ebeling and paraprofessional Carol Cross.

"I waited my whole life for a school like Central," said student Tonya Davis-Goesse. "The staff here at Central think the way they wish they could be."

Davis-Goesse partnered with Sanders to give presentations about their global terrorism topic at local clubs and organizations. The speeches helped Davis-Goesse prepare for Wednesday night, when she will be the master of ceremonies.

The process of researching, interviewing, drafting and compiling a book about global terrorism for one of their classes has instilled a sense of pride in these students.

"It proves that Central is not a school for bad students," said student Shanethra Stephenson. "It gives students a chance."

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9/11.Truth@gwi.net

Friends,

Our Portland film this month is 9/11: Press For Truth.

In this documentary, six members of the Family Steering Committee tell the powerful story of how they took on the greatest powers in Washington, compelling lawmakers to launch an investigation that ultimately failed to answer most of their questions. The documentary is based in part on the Complete 9/11 Timeline that was compiled by citizen investigator Paul Thompson.

The film is considered to be a good introduction to 9/11 skepticism.

Date, time and place:

Friday, April 25th, 7:00 pm
Meg Perry Center
644 Congress St., Portland

Hope you can make it!

Stephen Shaw
for Maine 9/11 Truth

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There is so many ways to read this news story. It has more layers than an onion. One of my favorite ways, if you could call it that is to look
at how FBI agents collaborated with the Mafia since the FBI was created
in 1920. FBI used the Mafia to bust unions .
It was the Mafia who went after union organizers with baseball bats and battery acid during the strikes of the 1930-50's. It was the Mafia who infiltrated the unions with the assistance of the Protectors of Privilege, FBI agents, and ran the pension funds into the ground.
FBI agents could not risk getting caught if the wielded the baseball bats.
Like all criminal behavior FBI agents engage in, they use 3rd party vendors to carry out the crime so FBI agents can claim plausible denial
if anyone gets caught. That is the same method FBI agents used in creating the 1st World Trade Center bombing, Oklahoma City bombing and 911.
google these words together
floyd anticev fbi
nichols potts trentadue
atta hopsicker fbi

Did you ever watch the movie ON THE WATERFRONT with Marlon Brando? After busting the unions it was the retiring FBI agents who then went to work for these same corporations whose unions they destroyed.
FBI Director J Edgar Hoover denied the existence of the Mafia until the New York State Police made headlines around 1960 when they busted the
corporate heads of the Mafia on their way to a Board Meeting in upstate New York.
Just google these words together
hoover mafia upstate new york
devecchio clemente fbi
paul rico fbi
john connolly fbi

to see the tip of the FBI-MAFIA iceberg.

here is a quick read about your bodyguards who murdered while
getting paid with your tax dime.

Bulger victim’s sister pays tribute to mother who never got justice
By Laurel J. Sweet
Monday, April 21, 2008



Most everyone who has suffered a wounded heart has written a letter they’ve never sent.

Eileen Davis, 60, of Plainville addressed hers to God so many heartaches ago the words now escape her.

Still, Davis said yesterday, “I never in my life thought my mother would die. Isn’t that crazy? She had the hardest life a woman could have, but she could come up smiling.”

Mother’s Day is more than two weeks away, but Davis will light a candle this morning for her mom, Olga Davis, who succumbed to heart ailments and diabetes on April 21, 2007, having waited 26 years to see South Boston serial killer James “Whitey” Bulger and the FBI answer for the strangulation of another daughter, Debra Davis.

Had Olga Davis, 76, lived one more year, she would be waiting still.

“Not even, ‘I’m sorry.’ Can you believe that? She just wanted to see an apology,” Davis said of the feds who treated Bulger like a rock star right up until the day in 1995 he ran, leaving them tripping over their tongues to explain his unthinkable crimes to his countless victims’ families.

“I didn’t know Whitey Bulger,” said Davis, the oldest of 10 siblings, four of whom have predeceased her. “But Debbie said she hated him. And if she hated him, I hate him, too.”

The body of Debra Davis, a ringer for 1970s sex symbol Farrah Fawcett, was unearthed from marsh beneath the Neponset River Bridge in Quincy in 2000.

Bulger’s gangland righthand man, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, the lover 21 years her senior that Debra Davis, 26, was planning to dump, testified in 2006 that he and Bulger killed the beauty because she knew too much about the mobsters’ unseemly side gigs as FBI informants.

After her sister disappeared, Davis said Flemmi “used to come around the house and cry, saying Debbie took off on him.”

Olga Davis, a Pennsylvania native who raised her family in Roxbury, “was my mother, my girlfriend, my sister and my daughter,” Davis said.

While unpacking boxes of her mother’s belongings recently, Davis came across a laminated tribute she’d written to her mother and is grateful she shared before it became a eulogy.

It assured Olga Davis she was “everything a mother should be.” “She cried,” Davis recalled.

Twelve months after her death, Davis still finds herself wanting to call her mother to share family news of new jobs and student honor-roll achievements.

“I miss her so much I can’t stand it,” Davis said, “and I just hope she loved me as much as I love her.”
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Economy

The Pentagon Strangles Our Economy: Why the U.S. Has Gone Broke
By Chalmers Johnson,
Apr 26, 2008, 12:15

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60 years of enormous military spending is taking a dramatic toll on the rest of the economy.

The military adventurers in the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups thought that they were the "smartest guys in the room" -- the title of Alex Gibney's prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron. The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.

As a result, going into 2008, the United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment. Its government no longer even attempts to reduce the ruinous expenses of maintaining huge standing armies, replacing the equipment that seven years of wars have destroyed or worn out, or preparing for a war in outer space against unknown adversaries. Instead, the Bush administration puts off these costs for future generations to pay or repudiate. This fiscal irresponsibility has been disguised through many manipulative financial schemes (causing poorer countries to lend us unprecedented sums of money), but the time of reckoning is fast approaching.

There are three broad aspects to the U.S. debt crisis. First, in the current fiscal year (2008) we are spending insane amounts of money on "defense" projects that bear no relation to the national security of the U.S. We are also keeping the income tax burdens on the richest segment of the population at strikingly low levels.

Second, we continue to believe that we can compensate for the accelerating erosion of our base and our loss of jobs to foreign countries through massive military expenditures -- "military Keynesianism" (which I discuss in detail in my book Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic). By that, I mean the mistaken belief that public policies focused on frequent wars, huge expenditures on weapons and munitions, and large standing armies can indefinitely sustain a wealthy capitalist economy. The opposite is actually true.

Third, in our devotion to militarism (despite our limited resources), we are failing to invest in our social infrastructure and other requirements for the long-term health of the U.S. These are what economists call opportunity costs, things not done because we spent our money on something else. Our public education system has deteriorated alarmingly. We have failed to provide health care to all our citizens and neglected our responsibilities as the world's number one polluter. Most important, we have lost our competitiveness as a manufacturer for civilian needs, an infinitely more efficient use of scarce resources than arms manufacturing.

Fiscal disaster

It is virtually impossible to overstate the profligacy of what our government spends on the military. The Department of Defense's planned expenditures for the fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations' military budgets combined. The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China. Defense-related spending for fiscal 2008 will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in history. The U.S. has become the largest single seller of arms and munitions to other nations on Earth. Leaving out President Bush's two on-going wars, defense spending has doubled since the mid-1990s. The defense budget for fiscal 2008 is the largest since the second world war.

Before we try to break down and analyze this gargantuan sum, there is one important caveat. Figures on defense spending are notoriously unreliable. The numbers released by the Congressional Reference Service and the Congressional Budget Office do not agree with each other. Robert Higgs, senior fellow for political economy at the Independent Institute, says: "A well-founded rule of thumb is to take the Pentagon's (always well publicized) basic budget total and double it." Even a cursory reading of newspaper articles about the Department of Defense will turn up major differences in statistics about its expenses. Some 30-40% of the defense budget is 'black,'" meaning that these sections contain hidden expenditures for classified projects. There is no possible way to know what they include or whether their total amounts are accurate.

There are many reasons for this budgetary sleight-of-hand -- including a desire for secrecy on the part of the president, the secretary of defense, and the military-industrial complex -- but the chief one is that members of Congress, who profit enormously from defense jobs and pork-barrel projects in their districts, have a political interest in supporting the Department of Defense. In 1996, in an attempt to bring accounting standards within the executive branch closer to those of the civilian economy, Congress passed the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act. It required all federal agencies to hire outside auditors to review their books and release the results to the public. Neither the Department of Defense, nor the Department of Homeland Security, has ever complied. Congress has complained, but not penalized either department for ignoring the law. All numbers released by the Pentagon should be regarded as suspect.

In discussing the fiscal 2008 defense budget, as released on 7 February 2007, I have been guided by two experienced and reliable analysts: William D Hartung of the New America Foundation's Arms and Security Initiative and Fred Kaplan, defense correspondent for Slate.org. They agree that the Department of Defense requested $481.4bn for salaries, operations (except in Iraq and Afghanistan), and equipment. They also agree on a figure of $141.7bn for the "supplemental" budget to fight the global war on terrorism -- that is, the two on-going wars that the general public may think are actually covered by the basic Pentagon budget. The Department of Defense also asked for an extra $93.4bn to pay for hitherto unmentioned war costs in the remainder of 2007 and, most creatively, an additional "allowance" (a new term in defense budget documents) of $50bn to be charged to fiscal year 2009. This makes a total spending request by the Department of Defense of $766.5bn.

But there is much more. In an attempt to disguise the true size of the U.S. military empire, the government has long hidden major military-related expenditures in departments other than Defense. For example, $23.4bn for the Department of Energy goes towards developing and maintaining nuclear warheads; and $25.3bn in the Department of State budget is spent on foreign military assistance (primarily for Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Republic, Egypt and Pakistan). Another $1.03bn outside the official Department of Defense budget is now needed for recruitment and re-enlistment incentives for the overstretched U.S. military, up from a mere $174m in 2003, when the war in Iraq began. The Department of Veterans Affairs currently gets at least $75.7bn, 50% of it for the long-term care of the most seriously injured among the 28,870 soldiers so far wounded in Iraq and 1,708 in Afghanistan. The amount is universally derided as inadequate. Another $46.4bn goes to the Department of Homeland Security.

Missing from this compilation is $1.9bn to the Department of Justice for the paramilitary activities of the FBI; $38.5bn to the Department of the Treasury for the Military Retirement Fund; $7.6bn for the military-related activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and well over $200bn in interest for past debt-financed defense outlays. This brings U.S. spending for its military establishment during the current fiscal year, conservatively calculated, to at least $1.1 trillion.

Military Keynesianism

Such expenditures are not only morally obscene, they are fiscally unsustainable. Many neo-conservatives and poorly informed patriotic Americans believe that, even though our defense budget is huge, we can afford it because we are the richest country on Earth. That statement is no longer true. The world's richest political entity, according to the CIA's World Factbook, is the European Union. The E.U.'s 2006 GDP was estimated to be slightly larger than that of the U.S. Moreover, China's 2006 GDP was only slightly smaller than that of the U.S., and Japan was the world's fourth richest nation.

A more telling comparison that reveals just how much worse we're doing can be found among the current accounts of various nations. The current account measures the net trade surplus or deficit of a country plus cross-border payments of interest, royalties, dividends, capital gains, foreign aid, and other income. In order for Japan to manufacture anything, it must import all required raw materials. Even after this incredible expense is met, it still has an $88bn per year trade surplus with the U.S. and enjoys the world's second highest current account balance (China is number one). The U.S. is number 163 -- last on the list, worse than countries such as Australia and the U.K. that also have large trade deficits. Its 2006 current account deficit was $811.5bn; second worst was Spain at $106.4bn. This is unsustainable.

It's not just that our tastes for foreign goods, including imported oil, vastly exceed our ability to pay for them. We are financing them through massive borrowing. On 7 November 2007, the U.S. Treasury announced that the national debt had breached $9 trillion for the first time. This was just five weeks after Congress raised the "debt ceiling" to $9.815 trillion. If you begin in 1789, at the moment the constitution became the supreme law of the land, the debt accumulated by the federal government did not top $1 trillion until 1981. When George Bush became president in January 2001, it stood at approximately $5.7 trillion. Since then, it has increased by 45%. This huge debt can be largely explained by our defense expenditures.

The top spenders

The world's top 10 military spenders and the approximate amounts each currently budgets for its military establishment are:

Our excessive military expenditures did not occur over just a few short years or simply because of the Bush administration's policies. They have been going on for a very long time in accordance with a superficially plausible ideology, and have now become so entrenched in our democratic political system that they are starting to wreak havoc. This is military Keynesianism -- the determination to maintain a permanent war economy and to treat military output as an ordinary economic product, even though it makes no contribution to either production or consumption.

This ideology goes back to the first years of the cold war. During the late 1940s, the U.S. was haunted by economic anxieties. The great depression of the 1930s had been overcome only by the war production boom of the second world war. With peace and demobilization, there was a pervasive fear that the depression would return. During 1949, alarmed by the Soviet Union's detonation of an atomic bomb, the looming Communist victory in the Chinese civil war, a domestic recession, and the lowering of the Iron Curtain around the USSR's European satellites, the U.S. sought to draft basic strategy for the emerging cold war. The result was the militaristic National Security Council Report 68 (NSC-68) drafted under the supervision of Paul Nitze, then head of the Policy Planning Staff in the State Department. Dated 14 April 1950 and signed by President Harry S. Truman on 30 September 1950, it laid out the basic public economic policies that the U.S. pursues to the present day.

In its conclusions, NSC-68 asserted: "One of the most significant lessons of our World War II experience was that the American economy, when it operates at a level approaching full efficiency, can provide enormous resources for purposes other than civilian consumption while simultaneously providing a high standard of living."

With this understanding, U.S. strategists began to build up a massive munitions industry, both to counter the military might of the Soviet Union (which they consistently overstated) and also to maintain full employment, as well as ward off a possible return of the depression. The result was that, under Pentagon leadership, entire new industries were created to manufacture large aircraft, nuclear-powered submarines, nuclear warheads, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and surveillance and communications satellites. This led to what President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address of 6 February 1961: "The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience" -- the military-industrial complex.

By 1990 the value of the weapons, equipment and factories devoted to the Department of Defense was 83% of the value of all plants and equipment in U.S. manufacturing. From 1947 to 1990, the combined U.S. military budgets amounted to $8.7 trillion. Even though the Soviet Union no longer exists, U.S. reliance on military Keynesianism has, if anything, ratcheted up, thanks to the massive vested interests that have become entrenched around the military establishment. Over time, a commitment to both guns and butter has proven an unstable configuration. Military industries crowd out the civilian economy and lead to severe economic weaknesses. Devotion to military Keynesianism is a form of slow economic suicide.

Higher spending, fewer jobs

On 1 May 2007, the Center for Economic and Policy Research of Washington, DC, released a study prepared by the economic and political forecasting company Global Insight on the long-term economic impact of increased military spending. Guided by economist Dean Baker, this research showed that, after an initial demand stimulus, by about the sixth year the effect of increased military spending turns negative. The U.S. economy has had to cope with growing defense spending for more than 60 years. Baker found that, after 10 years of higher defense spending, there would be 464,000 fewer jobs than in a scenario that involved lower defense spending.

Baker concluded: "It is often believed that wars and military spending increases are good for the economy. In fact, most economic models show that military spending diverts resources from productive uses, such as consumption and investment, and ultimately slows economic growth and reduces employment."

These are only some of the many deleterious effects of military Keynesianism.

It was believed that the U.S. could afford both a massive military establishment and a high standard of living, and that it needed both to maintain full employment. But it did not work out that way. By the 1960s it was becoming apparent that turning over the nation's largest manufacturing enterprises to the Department of Defense and producing goods without any investment or consumption value was starting to crowd out civilian economic activities. The historian Thomas E Woods Jr. observes that, during the 1950s and 1960s, between one-third and two-thirds of all U.S. research talent was siphoned off into the military sector. It is, of course, impossible to know what innovations never appeared as a result of this diversion of resources and brainpower into the service of the military, but it was during the 1960s that we first began to notice Japan was outpacing us in the design and quality of a range of consumer goods, including household electronics and automobiles.

Can we reverse the trend?

Nuclear weapons furnish a striking illustration of these anomalies. Between the 1940s and 1996, the U.S. spent at least $5.8 trillion on the development, testing and construction of nuclear bombs. By 1967, the peak year of its nuclear stockpile, the U.S. possessed some 32,500 deliverable atomic and hydrogen bombs, none of which, thankfully, was ever used. They perfectly illustrate the Keynesian principle that the government can provide make-work jobs to keep people employed. Nuclear weapons were not just America's secret weapon, but also its secret economic weapon. As of 2006, we still had 9,960 of them. There is today no sane use for them, while the trillions spent on them could have been used to solve the problems of social security and health care, quality education and access to higher education for all, not to speak of the retention of highly-skilled jobs within the economy.

The pioneer in analyzing what has been lost as a result of military Keynesianism was the late Seymour Melman (1917-2004), a professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia University. His 1970 book, Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War, was a prescient analysis of the unintended consequences of the U.S. preoccupation with its armed forces and their weaponry since the onset of the cold war. Melman wrote: "From 1946 to 1969, the United States government spent over $1,000bn on the military, more than half of this under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations -- the period during which the [Pentagon-dominated] state management was established as a formal institution. This sum of staggering size (try to visualize a billion of something) does not express the cost of the military establishment to the nation as a whole. The true cost is measured by what has been foregone, by the accumulated deterioration in many facets of life, by the inability to alleviate human wretchedness of long duration."

In an important exegesis on Melman's relevance to the current American economic situation, Thomas Woods writes: "According to the U.S. Department of Defense, during the four decades from 1947 through 1987 it used (in 1982 dollars) $7.62 trillion in capital resources. In 1985, the Department of Commerce estimated the value of the nation's plant and equipment, and infrastructure, at just over $7.29 trillion ... The amount spent over that period could have doubled the American capital stock or modernized and replaced its existing stock."

The fact that we did not modernize or replace our capital assets is one of the main reasons why, by the turn of the 21st century, our manufacturing base had all but evaporated. Machine tools, an industry on which Melman was an authority, are a particularly important symptom. In November 1968, a five-year inventory disclosed "that 64% of the metalworking machine tools used in U.S. industry were 10 years old or older. The age of this industrial equipment (drills, lathes, etc.) marks the United States' machine tool stock as the oldest among all major industrial nations, and it marks the continuation of a deterioration process that began with the end of the second world war. This deterioration at the base of the industrial system certifies to the continuous debilitating and depleting effect that the military use of capital and research and development talent has had on American industry."

Nothing has been done since 1968 to reverse these trends and it shows today in our massive imports of equipment -- from medical machines like proton accelerators for radiological therapy (made primarily in Belgium, Germany, and Japan) to cars and trucks.

Our short tenure as the world's lone superpower has come to an end. As Harvard economics professor Benjamin Friedman has written: "Again and again it has always been the world's leading lending country that has been the premier country in terms of political influence, diplomatic influence and cultural influence. It's no accident that we took over the role from the British at the same time that we took over the job of being the world's leading lending country. Today we are no longer the world's leading lending country. In fact we are now the world's biggest debtor country, and we are continuing to wield influence on the basis of military prowess alone."

Some of the damage can never be rectified. There are, however, some steps that the U.S. urgently needs to take. These include reversing Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy, beginning to liquidate our global empire of over 800 military bases, cutting from the defense budget all projects that bear no relationship to national security and ceasing to use the defense budget as a Keynesian jobs program.

If we do these things we have a chance of squeaking by. If we don't, we face probable national insolvency and a long depression.

http://www.alternet.org/stories/83555/?page=1

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MAINSTREAM MEDIA WILL BE COMPLICIT IN NEXT TERRORIST ATTACKS

 

 

By: Devvy
April 28, 2008


 

On April 24, 2008, The Arizona-Republic, published a hit piece on Sen. Karen Johnson, who currently serves in the Arizona State Legislature. This piece of drivel is titled, 'Drinking the 9/11 Kool-Aid.' As you can see by reading it, the author believes that no elected official should question any aspect of the Bush Administration's fairy tale of the events of September 11, 2001. This has been the prevailing attitude of the so-called mainstream media, including cable "news" networks since that day. Anyone questioning the hoax perpetrated on the American people is a Kool-Aid drinker or worse.

I've written many columns on OKC, WACO, TWA Flight 800 and 9/11, so I'm not going to rehash them here. I am proud to call Sen. Karen Johnson my friend. She is an extraordinary woman who has consistently and steadfastly stood up for the U.S. Constitution and we the people. Unlike these news editors all across this country, Sen. Johnson is not afraid to look at facts, evidence and use common sense when looking at an event such as 9/11 and concluding there are legitimate questions that need answers.

However, according to smarmy sycophants like Bill O'Reilly, Dan Abrams, Shallow Sean Hannity and hundreds of newspaper editors around this country, there is no way rogue elements within the Bush Administration would ever allow 3,000 Americans to be slaughtered. Why, it's simply preposterous! End of story. Shut up and go shopping. That might have worked for past events, but millions of Americans, with good reason, do not trust this government and do not believe their bald faced lies about 911.

As for prior knowledge, there is no question the FBI, under the Clinton Administration, knew and did NOT stop the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The FBI was running the operation and allowed it to happen. There can be NO misunderstanding on that one:

"The New York Times later reports on Emad Salem, an undercover agent who will be the key government witness in the trial against Yousef. Salem testifies that the FBI knew about the attack beforehand and told him they would thwart it by substituting a harmless powder for the explosives. However, an FBI supervisor called off this plan, and the bombing was not stopped. [New York Times, 10/28/1993]

"Other suspects were ineptly investigated before the bombing as early as 1990. Several of the bombers were trained by the CIA to fight in the Afghan war, and the CIA later concludes, in internal documents, that it was “partly culpable” for this bombing (see January 24, 1994). [Independent, 11/1/1998] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is an uncle of Yousef and also has a role in the WTC bombing (see March 20, 1993). [Independent, 6/6/2002; Los Angeles Times, 9/1/2002] One of the attackers even leaves a message which will later be found by investigators, stating, “Next time, it will be very precise.” [Associated Press, 9/30/2001]"

This factual accounting of Salem and the sting operation came out during trial and cannot be disputed. What shocked me is that for once, the truth actually appeared in the NY Times, which, unfortunately, has become nothing more than a propaganda rag over the years. At the time, millions of Americans should have demanded not only criminal indictments against the FBI personnel involved, but the removal of the Director of the FBI and the Attorney General for allowing this act of terrorism to happen. It didn't happen, either because Americans didn't know or didn't care.

I have covered every major tragedy in this country since Ruby Ridge, where a man and his family were terrorized by "our government." A son killed from being shot in the back, a mother shot through the head by a very large caliber bullet while holding her eight-month old baby - over a wrong court date. All accomplished under one of the most evil females walking this earth, Janet Reno. This incompetent lesbian also ran the murder of almost 100 Americans at WACO; 17 children were gassed and burned to death while America watched. The Ron Brown murder, TWA Flight 800, WACO and 911, you name it, I've watched them and the cover ups unfold in living color on the boob tube because I work at home.

Don't tell me the feds didn't know the Murrah Building was a target and when it was going to happen. This is an official FBI teletype; Patrick Briley exposed it in a recent column. Note the important words: "RE OKLAHOMA CITY TELETYPE TO DIRECTOR AND ALL FIELD OFFICES DATED APRIL 11, 1995." The process is underway to get the April 11, 1995, document. The feds knew. They knew this was a terrorist operation and have protected the guilty for 13 long years. Many of the players in Ruby Ridge, WACO and OKC were given promotions or went on to bigger and better jobs outside the FBI or ATF. They are accessories to murder and they draw pensions from the sweat of your labor. It is no different with 911 and only continued, massive pressure by we the people is going to force a real investigation and grand jury indictments.

Patrick Briley and other courageous journalists have been unraveling the pieces and there is NO doubt the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the OKC bombing and 911 are connected. The players are the same. The terrorists organizations are the same and other than the Internet, every major newspaper in this country - despite being given the hard facts, times, dates and places, continue to remain silent while known terrorists are operating in this country, protected by the Bush Administration.

Patrick has spent the last 13 years of his life on this and was finally able to secure a meeting with California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher scheduled about a month ago. Patrick lined up four of the top experts on the OKC bombing, one of them my dear friend, Brigadier General Ben Partin, U.S.A.F. (Ret.). (See videos 4 & 5 in the links section.) The meeting was canceled because Rohrabacher had more important things to do. BULL. I know the circumstances of this meeting, how it was canceled and the refusal by Rohrabacher to reschedule is because he is engaged in a cover up as well as others:

"An analysis of conduct by some of Oklahoma's US Senators, Congressmen and a former governor from OK, reveal that these men too were and continue to be accessories after the fact to the murder of the 169 people killed in the OKC bombing. They include Senator James Inhofe, Senator Tom Coburn, former Senator Don Nickles, Congressman Ernest Istook and former governor Frank Keating. They are accessories to murder “after the fact” because they learned about the criminality of the FBI and DOJ officials and their operation in the OKC bombing soon afterwards (before in the case of Istook and Keating) and intentionally have protected FBI and DOJ officials they knew were accessories to murder in OKC."

Since 911, every major newspaper in this country has poo-poo'd any questioning of the events of 911 and the attack on Sen. Johnson is just another example of so-called journalists and reporters who have been shaming their profession for years by not investigating the legitimate questions raised about 911. Instead, like lackeys who kiss the boot straps of their masters, they, as well as every single cable anchor on CNN. FAUX (FOX) and MSNBC, have ridiculed and mocked even the families of 911 who have legitimate questions.

Every major newspaper in this country, including cable networks have done nothing to substantiate any of the Bush Administration's claims about 911. They have swallowed it hook, line and sinker. They lie without hesitation or shame; the courts have said it's perfectly okay for the media to lie to you.:

"On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast." (Full story in link at bottom.)"

Americans in huge numbers have been pounding on the media ("mainstream") and cable networks for years to ask the legitimate questions about TWA, OKC, WACO and 911. Impeccable researchers like Patrick Briley have brought forth 100% verifiable FACTS about the known terrorists operating in this country and the refusal by members of Congress to demand the FBI round these killers up before they execute another attack on unsuspecting Americans. People say where is the media? They are sitting on their backsides playing political games and partying with those they're supposed to be watching, while a clear threat to this country grows unchecked. Rags like the Arizona-Republic would rather attack a great American like Sen. Johnson than endanger their paychecks by actually looking into the facts about 911. Gutless cowards whose paychecks are earned by lies, deception and omission.


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These newspapers and news networks are complicit in covering up the truth about these horrific events and they do NOT deserve your financial support. If you keep funding the enemy, they will continue lying and obfuscating the truth until more Americans die. I wouldn't vote for Dana Rohrabacher, Sen. Inhofe or Sen. Coburn for all the tea in China because I know that they KNOW the truth about OKC and have covered it up because they are cowards. They have lost their man hood because they treasure the power of their office over the truth and saving American lives. If this sounds harsh, walk in my shoes for the past 18 years of research and investigating. I don't spend my time fishing on the weekends, although I love fishing and used to go 40-50 times a year; it is now seven years since I used my fishing gear. I don't spend my time at the mall, ball games or in front of the stupid tube getting my head filled with trash. I read, I investigate, I do radio and all of this takes time. A lot of time. Investigative journalists do all this research, not just for people to read, but to act on to hold elected public servants accountable and to stop the complete annihilation of this country.

It's about time the American people started taking the issue of known terrorists in this country being protected by the Bush Administration very seriously. This is no game, no hyperbole and no conspiracy theory. NWVs, at great expense, has made printer friendly available for their columnists. Print out some of Patrick's columns and send them to your member of Congress and tell him/her that you WILL make these cover ups a major issue anywhere they speak between now and November. Congress as a body has passed major pieces of legislation since 911 gutting the Bill of Rights, nullifying posse comitatus and habeas corpus while allowing KNOWN terrorists to run free in this country and murder Americans. Get out there to these town hall meetings and political events and let your fellow Americans know the truth.

Get copies of some of some of Patrick's detailed columns to your sheriff with a polite note that you want to know why the feds are covering up the facts about known terrorist cells in this country? If they get enough of them, something will start asking questions. Will you or your loved one be the next victim of a terrorist attack? Think it can't happen in your city or town? The Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush Administrations have allowed our borders to remain open, providing an easy entry for terrorists to enter this country and they aim to kill us.

Cancel your subscription to major newspapers in this country and state newspapers like the Daily Oklahoman and the Arizona-Republic and tell them why you will no longer give them your money. They are deliberately withholding the truth from the American people and attack anyone, including elected public officials like former State Rep. Charles Key [R-OK] and Sen. Karen Johnson [R-AZ], who have the duty and obligation to investigate murders in their state or actions by the federal government. These big city newspapers have the power to expose the lies and warn the American people, yet they remain silent. Why continue to reward them?

A handful of conglomerates now own all the media in America, electronic and print. The so-called "investigative" journalism coming out of these publications and "news" networks are politically driven, not truth driven. They are censoring the truth. I realize small town newspapers don't have the resources to hire investigative journalists, but they can pick up columns from the Internet which contain factual, credible research. Why don't they? I attribute it to laziness or if they're owned by one of the big conglomerates, they don't dare. Fine. They don't get my money and they shouldn't get yours. Is the sports page that important?

If the "right to know" media who crow so much about the First Amendment refuse to tell the American people the truth and report the HARD facts presented by researchers like Patrick Briley, they will be complicit in the next terrorist attacks. I monitor FAUX (FOX), CNN and MSNBC, but I do not purchase any products from their advertisers except the ASPCA; I'm an angel. Flesh peddler and porn channel king, Rupert Murdoch, is an enemy of this country. A globalist who cares nothing for our sovereign republic and look at how much control of information his conglomerate has; see here. Murdoch supported Bush's unconstitutional, illegal invasion of Iraq and had this to say: "Said Murdoch of the war, "The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy, if you could put it that way, would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country" (Guardian, February 11, 2003)." Now he has thrown his support to the most accomplished liar running for president, Marxist Hillary Clinton.

Let me repeat myself: If you keep funding your enemy, you continue to give them the power to destroy you. I'm sorry about my fellow Americans who work for propaganda rags like the Denver Post, the Sacramento Bee, the NY Times, etc., but we cannot falter or waver in our quest for the truth because lives of Americans depend on forcing these mass mediums to either tell the truth or close their doors. It's as simple as that. If you cut your enemy slack, they will kill you.

Resource links:

1 - Patrick Briley's Archives
2 - My 911 Archives
3 - OKC/TWA/WACO Archives
4 - Gen. Partin video: OKC
5 - Cover Up in OKC - video
6 - The lying conglomerate U.S.
Media
- short video



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joeb

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Reply with quote  #82 
America's University of Imperialism
Written by Tom Engelhardt
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
A Litany of Horrors: America's University of Imperialism
by Chalmers Johnson
The RAND Corporation of Santa Monica, California, was set up immediately after World War II by the U.S. Army Air Corps (soon to become the U.S. Air Force). The Air Force generals who had the idea were trying to perpetuate the wartime relationship that had developed between the scientific and intellectual communities and the American military, as exemplified by the Manhattan Project to develop and build the atomic bomb.

Soon enough, however, RAND became a key institutional building block of the Cold War American empire. As the premier think tank for the U.S.'s role as hegemon of the Western world, RAND was instrumental in giving that empire the militaristic cast it retains to this day and in hugely enlarging official demands for atomic bombs, nuclear submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers. Without RAND, our military-industrial complex, as well as our democracy, would look quite different.


[For complete article reference links, please see source here.]

Tomgram: Chalmers Johnson, Teaching Imperialism 101

The RAND Corporation was the ur-think tank, the Cold War granddaddy of them all, and it's still with us. In the 1950s, nuclear war-gaming a conflagration for which the usual war games would have been ludicrous, it took the U.S. military into virtuality and science fiction long before there was an Internet to play with. (And it had a hand in creating the Internet, too!) In the 1960s, it helped several administrations plan and fight the Vietnam War, making antiseptic theory into an all-too-grim reality. And that's just the beginning of the work RAND did on a range of hot-button imperial issues.

For a brief period in the 1960s, Chalmers Johnson was a RAND consultant. Now, the author of the prophetic pre-9/11 book Blowback and, most recently, of Nemesis, The Last Days of the Republic, which every news day seems to make more relevant, turns to the think tank that did it all. - Tom


A Litany of Horrors: America's University of Imperialism

by Chalmers Johnson

This essay is a review of Soldiers of Reason: The RAND Corporation and the Rise of the American Empire by Alex Abella (Harcourt, 400 pp., $27)

The RAND Corporation of Santa Monica, California, was set up immediately after World War II by the U.S. Army Air Corps (soon to become the U.S. Air Force). The Air Force generals who had the idea were trying to perpetuate the wartime relationship that had developed between the scientific and intellectual communities and the American military, as exemplified by the Manhattan Project to develop and build the atomic bomb.

Soon enough, however, RAND became a key institutional building block of the Cold War American empire. As the premier think tank for the U.S.'s role as hegemon of the Western world, RAND was instrumental in giving that empire the militaristic cast it retains to this day and in hugely enlarging official demands for atomic bombs, nuclear submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers. Without RAND, our military-industrial complex, as well as our democracy, would look quite different.

Alex Abella, the author of Soldiers of Reason, is a Cuban-American living in Los Angeles who has written several well-received action and adventure novels set in Cuba and a less successful nonfiction account of attempted Nazi sabotage within the United States during World War II. The publisher of his latest book claims that it is "the first history of the shadowy think tank that reshaped the modern world." Such a history is long overdue. Unfortunately, this book does not exhaust the demand. We still need a less hagiographic, more critical, more penetrating analysis of RAND's peculiar contributions to the modern world.

Abella has nonetheless made a valiant, often revealing and original effort to uncover RAND's internal struggles -- not least of which involved the decision of analyst Daniel Ellsberg, in 1971, to leak the Department of Defense's top secret history of the Vietnam War, known as The Pentagon Papers to Congress and the press. But Abella's book is profoundly schizophrenic. On the one hand, the author is breathlessly captivated by RAND's fast-talking economists, mathematicians, and thinkers-about-the-unthinkable; on the other hand, he agrees with Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis's assessment in his book, The Cold War: A New History, that, in promoting the interests of the Air Force, RAND concocted an "unnecessary Cold War" that gave the dying Soviet empire an extra 30 years of life.

We need a study that really lives up to Abella's subtitle and takes a more jaundiced view of RAND's geniuses, Nobel prize winners, egghead gourmands and wine connoisseurs, Laurel Canyon swimming pool parties, and self-professed saviors of the Western world. It is likely that, after the American empire has gone the way of all previous empires, the RAND Corporation will be more accurately seen as a handmaiden of the government that was always super-cautious about speaking truth to power. Meanwhile, Soldiers of Reason is a serviceable, if often overwrought, guide to how strategy has been formulated in the post-World War II American empire.

The Air Force Creates a Think Tank

RAND was the brainchild of General H. H. "Hap" Arnold, chief of staff of the Army Air Corps from 1941 until it became the Air Force in 1947, and his chief wartime scientific adviser, the aeronautical engineer Theodore von Kármán. In the beginning, RAND was a free-standing division within the Douglas Aircraft Company which, after 1967, merged with McDonnell Aviation to form the McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Corporation and, after 1997, was absorbed by Boeing. Its first head was Franklin R. Collbohm, a Douglas engineer and test pilot.

In May 1948, RAND was incorporated as a not-for-profit entity independent of Douglas, but it continued to receive the bulk of its funding from the Air Force. The think tank did, however, begin to accept extensive support from the Ford Foundation, marking it as a quintessential member of the American establishment.


Collbohm stayed on as chief executive officer until 1966, when he was forced out in the disputes then raging within the Pentagon between the Air Force and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. McNamara's "whiz kids" were Defense intellectuals, many of whom had worked at RAND and were determined to restructure the armed forces to cut costs and curb interservice rivalries. Always loyal to the Air Force and hostile to the whiz kids, Collbohm was replaced by Henry S. Rowan, an MIT-educated engineer turned economist and strategist who was himself forced to resign during the Ellsberg-Pentagon Papers scandal.

Collbohm and other pioneer managers at Douglas gave RAND its commitment to interdisciplinary work and limited its product to written reports, avoiding applied or laboratory research, or actual manufacturing. RAND's golden age of creativity lasted from approximately 1950 to 1970. During that period its theorists worked diligently on such new analytical techniques and inventions as systems analysis, game theory, reconnaissance satellites, the Internet, advanced computers, digital communications, missile defense, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. During the 1970s, RAND began to turn to projects in the civilian world, such as health financing systems, insurance, and urban governance.

Much of RAND's work was always ideological, designed to support the American values of individualism and personal gratification as well as to counter Marxism, but its ideological bent was disguised in statistics and equations, which allegedly made its analyses "rational" and "scientific." Abella writes:

* "If a subject could not be measured, ranged, or classified, it was of little consequence in systems analysis, for it was not rational. Numbers were all -- the human factor was a mere adjunct to the empirical."


In my opinion, Abella here confuses numerical with empirical. Most RAND analyses were formal, deductive, and mathematical but rarely based on concrete research into actually functioning societies. RAND never devoted itself to the ethnographic and linguistic knowledge necessary to do truly empirical research on societies that its administrators and researchers, in any case, thought they already understood.

For example, RAND's research conclusions on the Third World, limited war, and counterinsurgency during the Vietnam War were notably wrong-headed. It argued that the United States should support "military modernization" in underdeveloped countries, that military takeovers and military rule were good things, that we could work with military officers in other countries, where democracy was best honored in the breach. The result was that virtually every government in East Asia during the 1960s and 1970s was a U.S.-backed military dictatorship, including South Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

It is also important to note that RAND's analytical errors were not just those of commission -- excessive mathematical reductionism -- but also of omission. As Abella notes, "In spite of the collective brilliance of RAND there would be one area of science that would forever elude it, one whose absence would time and again expose the organization to peril: the knowledge of the human psyche."

Following the axioms of mathematical economics, RAND researchers tended to lump all human motives under what the Canadian political scientist C. B. Macpherson called "possessive individualism" and not to analyze them further. Therefore, they often misunderstood mass political movements, failing to appreciate the strength of organizations like the Vietcong and its resistance to the RAND-conceived Vietnam War strategy of "escalated" bombing of military and civilian targets.

Similarly, RAND researchers saw Soviet motives in the blackest, most unnuanced terms, leading them to oppose the détente that President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger sought and, in the 1980s, vastly to overestimate the Soviet threat. Abella observes, "For a place where thinking the unthinkable was supposed to be the common coin, strangely enough there was virtually no internal RAND debate on the nature of the Soviet Union or on the validity of existing American policies to contain it. RANDites took their cues from the military's top echelons." A typical RAND product of those years was Nathan Leites's The Operational Code of the Politburo (1951), a fairly mechanistic study of Soviet military strategy and doctrine and the organization and operation of the Soviet economy.

Collbohm and his colleagues recruited a truly glittering array of intellectuals for RAND, even if skewed toward mathematical economists rather than people with historical knowledge or extensive experience in other countries. Among the notables who worked for the think tank were the economists and mathematicians Kenneth Arrow, a pioneer of game theory; John Forbes Nash, Jr., later the subject of the Hollywood film A Beautiful Mind (2001); Herbert Simon, an authority on bureaucratic organization; Paul Samuelson, author of Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947); and Edmund Phelps, a specialist on economic growth. Each one became a Nobel Laureate in economics.

Other major figures were Bruno Augenstein who, according to Abella, made what is "arguably RAND's greatest known -- which is to say declassified -- contribution to American national security: . . .the development of the ICBM as a weapon of war" (he invented the multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle, or MIRV); Paul Baran who, in studying communications systems that could survive a nuclear attack, made major contributions to the development of the Internet and digital circuits; and Charles Hitch, head of RAND's Economics Division from 1948 to 1961 and president of the University of California from 1967 to 1975.

Among more ordinary mortals, workers in the vineyard, and hangers-on at RAND were Donald Rumsfeld, a trustee of the Rand Corporation from 1977 to 2001; Condoleezza Rice, a trustee from 1991 to 1997; Francis Fukuyama, a RAND researcher from 1979 to 1980 and again from 1983 to 1989, as well as the author of the thesis that history ended when the United States outlasted the Soviet Union; Zalmay Khalilzad, the second President Bush's ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations; and Samuel Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb (although the French military perfected its tactical use).

Thinking the Unthinkable

The most notorious of RAND's writers and theorists were the nuclear war strategists, all of whom were often quoted in newspapers and some of whom were caricatured in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. (One of them, Herman Kahn, demanded royalties from Kubrick, to which Kubrick responded, "That's not the way it works Herman.") RAND'S group of nuclear war strategists was dominated by Bernard Brodie, one of the earliest analysts of nuclear deterrence and author of Strategy in the Missile Age (1959); Thomas Schelling, a pioneer in the study of strategic bargaining, Nobel Laureate in economics, and author of The Strategy of Conflict (1960); James Schlesinger, Secretary of Defense from 1973 to 1975, who was fired by President Ford for insubordination; Kahn, author of On Thermonuclear War (1960); and last but not least, Albert Wohlstetter, easily the best known of all RAND researchers.

Abella calls Wohlstetter "the leading intellectual figure at RAND," and describes him as "self-assured to the point of arrogance." Wohlstetter, he adds, "personified the imperial ethos of the mandarins who made America the center of power and culture in the postwar Western world."

While Abella does an excellent job ferreting out details of Wohlstetter's background, his treatment comes across as a virtual paean to the man, including Wohlstetter's late-in-life turn to the political right and his support for the neoconservatives. Abella believes that Wohlstetter's "basing study," which made both RAND and him famous (and which I discuss below), "changed history."

Starting in 1967, I was, for a few years -- my records are imprecise on this point -- a consultant for RAND (although it did not consult me often) and became personally acquainted with Albert Wohlstetter. In 1967, he and I attended a meeting in New Delhi of the Institute of Strategic Studies to help promote the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which was being opened for signature in 1968, and would be in force from 1970. There, Wohlstetter gave a display of his well-known arrogance by announcing to the delegates that he did not believe India, as a civilization, "deserved an atom bomb." As I looked at the smoldering faces of Indian scientists and strategists around the room, I knew right then and there that India would join the nuclear club, which it did in 1974. (India remains one of four major nations that have not signed the NPT. The others are North Korea, which ratified the treaty but subsequently withdrew, Israel, and Pakistan. Some 189 nations have signed and ratified it.) My last contact with Wohlstetter was late in his life -- he died in 1997 at the age of 83 -- when he telephoned me to complain that I was too "soft" on the threats of communism and the former Soviet Union.

Albert Wohlstetter was born and raised in Manhattan and studied mathematics at the City College of New York and Columbia University. Like many others of that generation, he was very much on the left and, according to research by Abella, was briefly a member of a communist splinter group, the League for a Revolutionary Workers Party. He avoided being ruined in later years by Senator Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI because, as Daniel Ellsberg told Abella, the evidence had disappeared. In 1934, the leader of the group was moving the Party's records to new offices and had rented a horse-drawn cart to do so. At a Manhattan intersection, the horse died, and the leader promptly fled the scene, leaving all the records to be picked up and disposed of by the New York City sanitation department.

After World War II, Wohlstetter moved to Southern California, and his wife Roberta began work on her pathbreaking RAND study, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision (1962), exploring why the U.S. had missed all the signs that a Japanese "surprise attack" was imminent. In 1951, he was recruited by Charles Hitch for RAND's Mathematics Division, where he worked on methodological studies in mathematical logic until Hitch posed a question to him: "How should you base the Strategic Air Command?"

Wohlstetter then became intrigued by the many issues involved in providing airbases for Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers, the country's primary retaliatory force in case of nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. What he came up with was a comprehensive and theoretically sophisticated basing study. It ran directly counter to the ideas of General Curtis LeMay, then the head of SAC, who, in 1945, had encouraged the creation of RAND and was often spoken of as its "Godfather."

In 1951, there were a total of 32 SAC bases in Europe and Asia, all located close to the borders of the Soviet Union. Wohlstetter's team discovered that they were, for all intents and purposes, undefended -- the bombers parked out in the open, without fortified hangars -- and that SAC's radar defenses could easily be circumvented by low-flying Soviet bombers. RAND calculated that the USSR would need "only" 120 tactical nuclear bombs of 40 kilotons each to destroy up to 85% of SAC's European-based fleet. LeMay, who had long favored a preemptive attack on the Soviet Union, claimed he did not care. He reasoned that the loss of his bombers would only mean that -- even in the wake of a devastating nuclear attack -- they could be replaced with newer, more modern aircraft. He also believed that the appropriate retaliatory strategy for the United States involved what he called a "Sunday punch," massive retaliation using all available American nuclear weapons. According to Abella, SAC planners proposed annihilating three-quarters of the population in each of 188 Russian cities. Total casualties would be in excess of 77 million people in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe alone.

Wohlstetter's answer to this holocaust was to start thinking about how a country might actually wage a nuclear war. He is credited with coming up with a number of concepts, all now accepted U.S. military doctrine. One is "second-strike capability," meaning a capacity to retaliate even after a nuclear attack, which is considered the ultimate deterrent against an enemy nation launching a first-strike. Another is "fail-safe procedures," or the ability to recall nuclear bombers after they have been dispatched on their missions, thereby providing some protection against accidental war. Wohlstetter also championed the idea that all retaliatory bombers should be based in the continental United States and able to carry out their missions via aerial refueling, although he did not advocate closing overseas military bases or shrinking the perimeters of the American empire. To do so, he contended, would be to abandon territory and countries to Soviet expansionism.

Wohlstetter's ideas put an end to the strategy of terror attacks on Soviet cities in favor of a "counter-force strategy" that targeted Soviet military installations. He also promoted the dispersal and "hardening" of SAC bases to make them less susceptible to preemptive attacks and strongly supported using high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft such as the U-2 and orbiting satellites to acquire accurate intelligence on Soviet bomber and missile strength.

In selling these ideas Wohlstetter had to do an end-run around SAC's LeMay and go directly to the Air Force chief of staff. In late 1952 and 1953, he and his team gave some 92 briefings to high-ranking Air Force officers in Washington DC. By October 1953, the Air Force had accepted most of Wohlstetter's recommendations.

Abella believes that most of us are alive today because of Wohlstetter's intellectually and politically difficult project to prevent a possible nuclear first strike by the Soviet Union. He writes:

* "Wohlstetter's triumphs with the basing study and fail-safe not only earned him the respect and admiration of fellow analysts at RAND but also gained him entry to the top strata of government that very few military analysts enjoyed. His work had pointed out a fatal deficiency in the nation's war plans, and he had saved the Air Force several billion dollars in potential losses."


A few years later, Wohlstetter wrote an updated version of the basing study and personally briefed Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson on it, with General Thomas D. White, the Air Force chief of staff, and General Nathan Twining, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in attendance.

Despite these achievements in toning down the official Air Force doctrine of "mutually assured destruction" (MAD), few at RAND were pleased by Wohlstetter's eminence. Bernard Brodie had always resented his influence and was forever plotting to bring him down. Still, Wohlstetter was popular compared to Herman Kahn. All the nuclear strategists were irritated by Kahn who, ultimately, left RAND and created his own think tank, the Hudson Institute, with a million-dollar grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

RAND chief Frank Collbohm opposed Wohlstetter because his ideas ran counter to those of the Air Force, not to speak of the fact that he had backed John F. Kennedy instead of Richard Nixon for president in 1960 and then compounded his sin by backing Robert McNamara for secretary of defense over the objections of the high command. Worse yet, Wohlstetter had criticized the stultifying environment that had begun to envelop RAND.

In 1963, in a fit of pique and resentment fueled by Bernard Brodie, Collbohm called in Wohlstetter and asked for his resignation. When Wohlstetter refused, Collbohm fired him.

Wohlstetter went on to accept an appointment as a tenured professor of political science at the University of Chicago. From this secure position, he launched vitriolic campaigns against whatever administration was in office "for its obsession with Vietnam at the expense of the current Soviet threat." He, in turn, continued to vastly overstate the threat of Soviet power and enthusiastically backed every movement that came along calling for stepped up war preparations against the USSR -- from members of the Committee on the Present Danger between 1972 to 1981 to the neoconservatives in the 1990s and 2000s.

Naturally, he supported the creation of "Team B" when George H. W. Bush was head of the CIA in 1976. Team B consisted of a group of anti-Soviet professors and polemicists who were convinced that the CIA was "far too forgiving of the Soviet Union." With that in mind, they were authorized to review all the intelligence that lay behind the CIA's National Intelligence Estimates on Soviet military strength. Actually, Team B and similar right-wing ad hoc policy committees had their evidence exactly backwards: By the late 1970s and 1980s, the fatal sclerosis of the Soviet economy was well underway. But Team B set the stage for the Reagan administration to do what it most wanted to do, expend massive sums on arms; in return, Ronald Reagan bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wohlstetter in November 1985.

Imperial U.

Wohlstetter's activism on behalf of American imperialism and militarism lasted well into the 1990s. According to Abella, the rise to prominence of Ahmed Chalabi -- the Iraqi exile and endless source of false intelligence to the Pentagon -- "in Washington circles came about at the instigation of Albert Wohlstetter, who met Chalabi in Paul Wolfowitz's office." (In the incestuous world of the neocons, Wolfowitz had been Wohlstetter's student at the University of Chicago.) In short, it is not accidental that the American Enterprise Institute, the current chief institutional manifestation of neoconservative thought in Washington, named its auditorium the "Wohlstetter Conference Center." Albert Wohlstetter's legacy is, to say the least, ambiguous.

Needless to say, there is much more to RAND's work than the strategic thought of Albert Wohlstetter, and Abella's book is an introduction to the broad range of ideas RAND has espoused -- from "rational choice theory" (explaining all human behavior in terms of self-interest) to the systematic execution of Vietnamese in the CIA's Phoenix Program during the Vietnam War. As an institution, the RAND Corporation remains one of the most potent and complex purveyors of American imperialism. A full assessment of its influence, both positive and sinister, must await the elimination of the secrecy surrounding its activities and further historical and biographical analysis of the many people who worked there.

The RAND Corporation is surely one of the world's most unusual, Cold War-bred private organizations in the field of international relations. While it has attracted and supported some of the most distinguished analysts of war and weaponry, it has not stood for the highest standards of intellectual inquiry and debate. While RAND has an unparalleled record of providing unbiased, unblinking analyses of technical and carefully limited problems involved in waging contemporary war, its record of advice on cardinal policies involving war and peace, the protection of civilians in wartime, arms races, and decisions to resort to armed force has been abysmal.

For example, Abella credits RAND with "creating the discipline of terrorist studies," but its analysts seem never to have noticed the phenomenon of state terrorism as it was practiced in the 1970s and 1980s in Latin America by American-backed military dictatorships. Similarly, admirers of Albert Wohlstetter's reformulations of nuclear war ignore the fact that these led to a "constant escalation of the nuclear arms race." By 1967, the U.S. possessed a stockpile of 32,500 atomic and hydrogen bombs.

In Vietnam, RAND invented the theories that led two administrations to military escalation against North Vietnam -- and even after the think tank's strategy had obviously failed and the secretary of defense had disowned it, RAND never publicly acknowledged that it had been wrong. Abella comments, "RAND found itself bound by the power of the purse wielded by its patron, whether it be the Air Force or the Office of the Secretary of Defense." And it has always relied on classifying its research to protect itself, even when no military secrets were involved.

In my opinion, these issues come to a head over one of RAND's most unusual initiatives -- its creation of an in-house, fully accredited graduate school of public policy that offers Ph.D. degrees to American and foreign students. Founded in 1970 as the RAND Graduate Institute and today known as the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School (PRGS), it had, by January 2006, awarded over 180 Ph.D.s in microeconomics, statistics, and econometrics, social and behavioral sciences, and operations research. Its faculty numbers 54 professors drawn principally from the staffs of RAND's research units, and it has an annual student body of approximately 900. In addition to coursework, qualifying examinations, and a dissertation, PRGS students are required to spend 400 days working on RAND projects. How RAND and the Air Force can classify the research projects of foreign and American interns is unclear; nor does it seem appropriate for an open university to allow dissertation research, which will ultimately be available to the general public, to be done in the hothouse atmosphere of a secret strategic institute.

Perhaps the greatest act of political and moral courage involving RAND was Daniel Ellsberg's release to the public of the secret record of lying by every president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Lyndon Johnson about the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. However, RAND itself was and remains adamantly hostile to what Ellsberg did.

Abella reports that Charles Wolf, Jr., the chairman of RAND's Economics Department from 1967 to 1982 and the first dean of the RAND Graduate School from 1970 to 1997, "dripped venom when interviewed about the [Ellsberg] incident more than thirty years after the fact." Such behavior suggests that secrecy and toeing the line are far more important at RAND than independent intellectual inquiry and that the products of its research should be viewed with great skepticism and care.




Chalmers Johnson's latest book is Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, now available in a Holt Paperback. It is the third volume of his Blowback Trilogy. To view a short video of Johnson discussing military Keynesianism and imperial bankruptcy, click here.
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Trouble in the past: Informant-related scandals

12:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, April 30, 2008

• In one month in 2000, a regional drug task force arrested more than two dozen black people in the small Central Texas town of Hearne based on the word of a confidential informant. Charges against many of them were dropped after it was revealed that the informant had taken some of the drugs and money.

• More than two dozen people, mostly Hispanic immigrants, were falsely arrested when paid Dallas police informants planted what turned out to be fake drugs on them. The 2001 scandal forced the city to pay millions of dollars in settlements, generated enormous bad publicity and factored into the firing of Police Chief Terrell Bolton. Two former narcotics detectives have been convicted on charges arising from the fake-drug scandal. Two others have been indicted and are awaiting trials.

• Boston's FBI office was deeply embarrassed by a scandal that exposed the long-term, too-cozy relationships between its agents and mob informants. In 2002, one former agent was convicted of tipping off two mobster informants about criminal investigations and warning them about an impending indictment in the mid-'90s. The agent's former supervisor, who had received immunity, testified that he had pocketed $7,000 in bribes from the informants. Earlier this year, a federal judge found the government was liable because the now-convicted FBI agent had given a tip to one of the gangster informants that led to the killing of two men. The scandal prompted the Justice Department to issue new guidelines on the handling of informants.

• In 2006, a 92-year-old Atlanta woman was fatally shot during a botched drug raid. According to the news accounts, narcotics officers obtained a "no knock warrant" to raid the home by claiming that a confidential informant had bought drugs there, which was not true. Police busted through the burglar bars of the woman's front door, prompting the terrified woman to fire an old revolver at them. The officers fired dozens of rounds, killing her. Afterward, they realized their mistake, planted marijuana in the basement and tried to persuade another informant to say he told them they would find cocaine in the home. Two former officers have since pleaded guilty to a state charge of voluntary manslaughter and a federal charge of violating the dead woman's constitutional rights. A third officer is on trial for offenses related to the incident.

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Exposing Corn Ethanol
The Corn Ethanol Deception—How Politicians and Agribusiness Tried to Silence the Critics and Promote a Bad Idea
Edwin Black         May 5th 2008

Headshot - Edwin Black
Edwin Black

Corn ethanol has exploded recently in the headlines as the latest big fuel mistake and cause of public outrage. Its very production has been denounced by numerous world leaders as a “crime against humanity” because corn cultivation for ethanol diverts food acreage to fuel acreage creating the tectonic cause of the severe spike in food prices. This has in turn helped swell a rising tide of starvation for millions around the world. Corn ethanol’s inherent energy inefficient character has been exposed by experts who have resisted the tobacco-style science corn lobbyists have proliferated. But all these headlines were shouted years ago by critics who foresaw the current predicament.

What began as an additive functioning as a 10 and 15 percent gasoline extender has become elevated to a potential major ingredient in a gallon of gas. E85, for example, is an emerging blend of automobile fuel composed of 85 percent ethanol and only 15 percent gasoline. Dedicated E85 pumps are now being established at gas stations, mainly in the Midwest’s corn-rich farm belt.

At first blush, ethanol from corn appears to be a solution from America’s heartland, a win-win proposition in the struggle to free the world from harmful hydrocarbons and politically embroiling fuel. But American corn ethanol cannot stand on its own. Ethanol actually depends upon the continued use of petroleum and by necessity increases petroleum consumption and greenhouse gases. Many experts say ethanol simply uses more petroleum than it saves. For example, a key series of studies was conducted by Tad Patzek, a University of California geoengineer and David Pimentel, a Cornell University expert in life sciences, energy, and sustainable agriculture. Pimentel’s and Patzek’s studies asserted that, “ethanol production using corn grain required 29 percent more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced” and that even proposed alternative ethanol cellulosic sources other than corn, such as switchgrass, wood, and straw, “required 50 percent more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced.” Those energy expenditures cover a range of hydrocarbon users from the diesel-burning tractors and combines on the farm to the ordinary trucks needed for transport to and from the industrial centers.

“In plain words,” Pimentel explained, “it takes 1.29 gallons of petroleum or petroleum equivalents to produce one gallon of ethanol.”

The conclusion that ethanol drank more petroleum than it saved subjected the two researchers to a vilification campaign by ethanol industry lobbyists, according to Pimentel. “Our first such report was reviewed by 26 top scientists who advised the Secretary of Energy,” he said, “and they unanimously approved it. But two members of Congress from ethanol-producing states had us investigated—our very honesty was investigated,” said Pimentel. Patzek and Pimentel say they welcomed the investigations, which they say only sustained their findings. “But now I would like another investigation,” Patzek insisted, “a thorough investigation of this entire affair.”

When asked about the Pimentel and Patzek studies, a National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition spokesperson stated that such studies were “discredited,” adding, “Only uneducated people would write such a thing, or believe such a thing.” A second official from the organization stated, “I concur. Such people are uneducated.”

Patzek denied he was uneducated, citing his coauthorship of 177 scientific papers, and at least five books. His resume includes degrees in chemical engineering and engineering physics, as well as a prior stint with Shell Development where he worked on “enhanced oil recovery methods and evaluated the future of U.S. energy supply from tar sands, heavy oil, and coal.” He added, “I have taken more courses in thermodynamics than almost anyone at Berkeley.” Patzek, who has published his findings widely, says he will not back down and has more scientific peer-reviewed journal articles on the topic coming out. However, said Patzek, he must now must keep future articles a secret until after publication to avoid pressure on academic editors by ethanol interests.

Pimentel also denied he was uneducated, explaining he was an Oxford University graduate and author of 600 scientific papers and twenty-five books. “The problem is the ethanol people have a lot of money,” says Pimentel, adding staunchly, “This is not about energy or science. What is driving ethanol is politics and big money. You can quote me!”

A senior alternative fuels expert from a leading company within the automotive industry that has abstained from the ethanol bandwagon concurred. “Ethanol is just a scam,” the source said, “and I hope you have the courage to say so publicly!”

Criticizing corn carries a price. Even a March 1997 study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) documenting the adverse energy tax effects of ethanol was viciously attacked by corn interests. After the study, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa in a long letter written June 6, 1997 demanded an official explanation and a self-investigation by the GAO of itself. Throwing down the gauntlet, Grassley demanded answers to a series of fiery, accusatory questions.

Question 2: “[Explain why] the report is most egregiously flawed by giving the appearance of being a cost benefit analysis when it clearly is not.”

Question 4: “Was it your intention to deceive Congress and the public, or was this the unavoidable outcome given the narrow, specific nature of the questions you were required to answer?”

Questions 5 and 6: “Why did you bury your admission on page 23 that this report should not be viewed as a cost-benefit analysis, instead of highlighting this crucial point at the beginning?”

Question 9: “Why did you fail to report that the elimination of the alcohol fuels tax incentives would create additional consumer costs in the reformulated gasoline markets?”

Questions 12, 13, and 14: “Did you not realize that by framing your discussion of energy impact by measuring ethanol’s energy security benefit in relation to its displacement of crude oil instead of [the deadly additive] MBTE, that you would be obscuring the importance of ethanol in reducing [deadly] MBTE imports?” Grassley’s letter even excoriated the GAO for including the history of congressional action on behalf of ethanol.

Question 16: “What purpose was served by Appendix I, Chronology of the Legislation and Events Affecting Ethanol Fuel Use?”

Despite Grassley’s J’Accuse, GAO officials answered point by point and reiterated their assertion about ethanol, appending that the additional attendant military cost was therefore a foregone conclusion: “We concluded in our report,” reaffirmed the GAO, “that the alcohol fuels incentives do not significantly reduce petroleum imports. Therefore, defense expenditures and foreign assistance to protect oil supply lines from the Middle East were appropriately beyond the scope of this report.”

The ethanol industry itself advocates the least negative study available, this one by Argonne National Laboratory, which concluded that only three-quarters of a billion BTUs of fossil fuels are required for each 1 million BTUs of ethanol delivered, or about three quarters of a gallon of petroleum or equivalents to produce a single gallon of ethanol. But, says Pimentel, “Argonne left out many of the energy inputs, such as the energy used by farm machinery and their maintenance. They left out processing equipment. They even left out the petroleum used in the production of hybrid corn.”

The ethanol industry trumpets the Argonne analysis because the same study also concludes that traditional gasoline production requires even more petroleum, about 1.23 million BTUs of fossil energy consumed for each million BTUs of gasoline delivered. The higher cost of producing a traditional gallon of gasoline sets forth the ecologic and economic sophistry that because it takes more gasoline to make gasoline than to make ethanol, ethanol is therefore preferred. iIn other words, by this thinking, ethanol functions not as a solution, but the lesser of two energy evils. Either way, these studies ipso facto demonstrate the inherent inefficiency of the whole concept of gasoline-based internal combustion. Numerous studies do agree that it takes more than a gallon of petroleum to produce and deliver a gallon of gasoline. Importantly, all the key studies generally bypass the oil burned by the tanks, trucks, aircraft, and naval ships incidental to the oil industry.

American ethanol by definition must work with gasoline. An oil disruption today would halt or radically reduce ethanol production, depending upon the severity of the disruption. Therefore, ethanol is not an alternative as much as an adjunct with a strong lobbying and advertising movement behind it. For those concerned about an oil addiction, corn ethanol can be compared to a filter-tip cigarette.

Moreover, ethanol requires massive farmland and heavy petroleum-burning farm machinery. There is not enough farmland to produce all the ethanol the nation needs to replace gasoline. Indeed, ethanol industry proponents and experts believe ethanol comes with a built-in ceiling: only 30 percent of the nation’s needs could be solved by ethanol and even that would require an estimated two to three decades of additional farm, distillery, and distribution expansion. Even if do-able, that expansion in ethanol comes at a significant cost.

The American government pays an unnecessary 51-cent-per-gallon subsidy for every gallon of ethanol, a price support achieved by a convergence of lobbying and commercial interests. This subvention is granted to the oil company blenders as an “incentive” to blend the ethanol yielded by such giant agribusiness concerns as Cargill and ConAgra. One of those leading corn interests, Archer Daniels Midland, has been the subject of multiple criminal investigations, and in October 1996 it agreed to pay the largest criminal antitrust fine in history, $100 million, this for lysine price fixing. The company’s executives in Decatur, Illinois, were indicted right along with the company. Among the statements secretly videotaped by the FBI’s mole was the assertion: “the customer is the enemy.”

The 51-cent-per-gallon subsidy comes by way of HR 4520, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, signed into law on October 22, 2004, by President George W. Bush. Within the Jobs Creation Act was the little-noticed Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit. The next year, 2005, $2.1 billion in tax credits were issued to oil companies to blend some 4 billion gallons of ethanol. These were not tax deductions, but tax credits that allow a write-off directly from the oil companies’ bottom line tax bill. In turn, the 51-cent subsidy boosted ethanol demand which in turn raised the price of a bushel of corn for producers such as Cargill, and concomitantly inflated the cost of ethanol at the pump by as much as 30 percent. Sources in the ethanol industry readily concede this subsidy functions as “a pass-through subsidy” to corn and ethanol producers.

The fast growth of ethanol in large measure is also pegged to the introduction of so-called Flex-Fuel cars from General Motors and Ford. These cars, which employ a capability first achieved decades earlier by Henry Ford in the Model T, enable twenty-first-century vehicles to seamlessly operate on a combination of fuels, from traditional gasoline to ethanol-rich E85. From first appearance, the introduction of Flex-Fuel cars appears to be a dynamic move toward home-grown energy independence. Ford has already sold some 2 million such vehicles in the U.S. through the beginning of 2007 and adds many thousands more each month. GM is aggressively marketing E85 in various parts of the Midwest. Flex-Fuel vehicles make enormous sense for combustibles other than corn ethanol. But every gallon of American corn ethanol consumed requires the world consume and endure more petroleum-burning.

America’s ethanol industry is keenly aware of its dependence upon petroleum. Its industry trade group has called for new processing plants to be partially driven by renewables and is also investigating utilizing other cellulose products, such as switchgrass. But those developments are many years away.

However the 51-cent-per-gallon corn ethanol subsidy is here today. That has started a frantic gold rush to produce corn to sell to oil companies to blend. Those GM and Ford Flex-Fuel vehicles and pumps sprouting throughout the Midwest and beyond only telescope the market. In 2006, 97 ethanol plants produced 4 billion gallons. But the industry hopes to double its output by 2012. Scores of plants are now under construction and many more are fast jumping from drawing board to construction. But coal is cheaper than natural gas, so ethanol will now also become a consumer of tons of daily coal. Hence, many of those new ethanol plants will be rushed into operation as cheap coal-burning facilities.

For example, as of 2007 the Gold-Eagle Cooperative of Iowa was burning 300 tons of coal daily—three railroad carloads—to produce 150,000 gallons of ethanol a day. Affable Gold-Eagle Cooperative general manager Brad Davis happily explained that hazardous particulate matter was greatly reduced by his refineries. “This is clean coal,” he said proudly. “You can’t even see the smoke coming out of the chimney.” Asked if the coal was mined by traditional smoke-spewing, heavy, diesel-thirsty coal mining equipment, and then transported by diesel trains, and offloaded and processed by any number of greenhouse-inducing diesel processes, Davis answered, “I guess it is.”

Ironically, ethanol is achieving genuine green independence for Brazil. Brazilian ethanol comes from sugar cane, which American soil cannot grow in cheap abundance. Most importantly, ethanol refineries are driven not by coal or hydrocarbons but by a sugar cane by-product called bagasse. Hence, Brazilian ethanol is genuinely renewable and sustainable. Flex Fuel vehicles manufactured by Ford and GM for the Brazilian market can use ethanol that exceeds an 85 percent admixture. They can run on E100, that is, 100 percent ethanol. Zooming petroleum prices in 2006 pushed Brazilian ethanol into profitability and has already ended the country’s importation of foreign oil. Indeed, Brazil has been exporting millions of gallons of ethanol to the United States. Today, most Brazilian vehicles operate on either 100 percent sugar cane ethanol or a substantial petroleum mix. Brazil owes its success story to more than two decades of ethanol production heavily subsidized Manhattan Project-style by the government, plus an intelligent choice of sugar cane as feedstock choice, and the ability to drive the industry by burning alternative bagasse. Today, Brazilian ethanol stands on its own, almost free of subsidy, as a free market fuel—homegrown and almost pollution free.

Brazilian sugar cane ethanol is produced in a process ultimately eight times more efficient per gallon than corn ethanol. Yet the American importation of Brazilian ethanol is profoundly obstructed by a 54-cent per gallon special tax designed to keep this energy solution out of the country in favor of petroleum-dependent corn ethanol. Indeed, even American investment in Brazilian sugar cane ethanol has been restricted by Washington-imposed restrictions.

The current state of affairs swirling around corn ethanol was not created by any one branch of government but by a lobby-dollar hungry Congress working in tandem with a petroliferous White House. The corn lobby drove this process because the Iowa Caucuses makes corn power indispensable to political power. That is even truer in a presidential year.

This article is adapted from Edwin Black's bestselling 2006 book Internal Combustion, which won numerous awards for editorial excellence, including Best Book of the Year from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, plus the Green Globe, Thomas Edison Award and Best Investigation of the Year. Learn more at http://www.internalcombustionbook.com.
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FOUNDATIONS AND A CLOSE LOOK AT FORD
PART 2







By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
May 5, 2008
NewsWithViews.com

[Note: Relevant to the recent news about the polygamist sect in Texas, does it strike you as strange that a 16-year old girl brave enough to phone from the compound can’t be found though government protection is now available to her? On April 19, NBC News reported the possibility the telephone call from the girl may have been a hoax, but then reported that authorities say they acted legally as long as they “believed” the call was real (read “Scott Henson: where’s the evidence of abuse?” in THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, April 23, 2008). The implications of this are ominous. Someone can make an anonymous false accusation against you, and this would give police the right to enter your premises and go on a legal fishing expedition against you! Years ago, there was a case involving removal of tax-exempt status from Bob Jones University because of its policy prohibiting interracial dating according to their faith. Though I
didn’t defend the policy, I did ask where was the racial discrimination since blacks and whites attending the university agreed with the policy. I further asked if the NAACP was now under the threat of losing its tax-exempt status since its work is directed at helping one race? I also warned this could be setting a precedent for denying Catholic churches tax-exempt status because they don’t allow women to be priests, and the same for orthodox Jewish synagogues which segregate by gender in religious services. Today, could the government be using the clearly horrible criminal acts of the religious leader of the compound in Texas to set a precedent for a massive taking of children from parents of some other religious or non-religious group simply because someone alleges possible child abuse or neglect, however the government chooses to define the latter term? What if there was some other religious sect which believed in living (in terms of age and marriage, caring for children, etc.) as did those in Biblical times? Would our government consider Mary and Joseph criminals and forcibly remove Jesus from them? After all, wasn’t Mary (and many girls in the U.S. before the 20th Century) “under age” when they married?]

In 1968, Paul Ehrlich’s POPULATION BOMB, financed by the Ford Foundation and advocating population control, was published (in fiscal 1982 alone, the Ford Foundation spent 10.2 million dollars on population control). In this same year (1968), the Center for Educational Research and Innovation was created by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) with the help of grants from the Ford Foundation and the Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies. The Center would print ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL FUTURES IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN EUROPE (1972) in which New Age networker Willis Harman (Stanford University Research Institute, Planetary Citizens, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences) would assert: “It is not enough to be intellectually aware that at this point in history nationalism is a suicidal course…. Educational experiences must be contemplated which are akin to psychotherapy… that result in a felt realization of the inevitability of one inseparable world, and a felt shift in the most basic values and premises on which one builds one’s life. In a sense this means bringing something like ‘person-changing technology’ into the educational system (e.g., meditation, hypnosis, sensitivity training, psychodrama, yoga, etc.).”

Another “values-changing” leader supported by the Ford Foundation was Abraham Maslow, father of Third Force Humanistic Psychology (and a founder of the Association of Humanistic Psychology in 1962). In the second edition of Maslow’s TOWARD A PSYCHOLOGY OF BEING (1968, with a single left eye on the cover), he said: “I wish to acknowledge the fellowship given me by the Ford Foundation’s Fund for the Advancement of Education.” The Foundation’s fellowship was for a year to reflect upon and write about humanistic education, some of the results of which Maslow had published in “Some Educational Implications of the Humanistic Psychologies” (HARVARD EDUCATIONAL REVIEW, Fall 1968). The next year, PACE magazine (December 1969) published an interview with Maslow (president of the American Psychological Association at the time) in which he pronounced: “Young people are looking for the kind of certainties that the religions and traditions used to give them. Now the religions have cracked up, the traditions have cracked up. It is not only God is Dead but Marx is Dead and Freud and Dead and Darwin is Dead. They have no sources of values to go by. So they have to work everything out for themselves. This new humanistic revolution has an alternative source of values.”

The next year, on June 8, 1970, Maslow died, and about the same time, NEW DIRECTIONS IN TEACHING (Volume 2, Number 2, 1970) printed his “Humanistic Education Vs. Professional Education: Further Comments” (reprinted in THE JOURNAL OF HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY, Summer 1979). In the article, he described a seminar which was “an especially important learning experience for me because I had just completed a year-long fellowship granted me by the Fund for the Advancement of Education of the Ford Foundation,” and he further stated: “I should point out that this challenging of authority is also having some effects that I consider beneficial. My students today, when I compare them with those of twenty-five years ago, are less nationalistic and more internationalistic… much less accepting of outworn institutions, etc…. a more mature person giving up childish ways of thinking in absolutes….”



Late in 1968 (November 28), THE HOUSTON TRIBUNE published Alice Widener’s article “Ford Foundation Politics,” quoting United Federation of Teachers president Albert Shanker as saying that the Ford Foundation “is investing heavily in every major organization that has influence over the educational policies of the city (New York). That fact should cause concern for all of us. Why are they doing it? They are doing it to influence the educational policies of the city.” On the same day, THE WANDERER published Edith Kermit Roosevelt’s nationally-syndicated column “Government Within A Government,” in which she related that Albert Shanker has charged that “a very substantial number” of members of the New York board of education “are in such great debt to the Ford Foundation that they cannot act independently.” Roosevelt also indicated that Shanker said that the Foundation ought to be treated as a “political lobby” and should lose its tax-exempt status and be “required to fully disclose the extent” of its “activities in this field.” Actually, according William H. McIlhany II, in THE TAX-EXEMPT FOUNDATIONS (1980): “The blatant partisonship of the groups for which Ford has provided the bulk of support since 1970 was so overwhelming that for one month in that year the I.R.S. was embarrassed into removing the Foundation’s tax-exempt status, but the bureaucratic pressures for its restoration were either too powerful or tempting to the service.”

In the March 31, 1969 edition of THE OREGONIAN is an article, “Students Rate Revolution as Primary Task,” in which Michael Klonsky, executive secretary of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), is reported to have said, “Our primary task is to build a Marxist-Leninist movement.” The relevance of this statement is that according to the February 25, 1971, “SDS Infiltrator Talks,” in THE VALLEY TIMES, David Gumaer was a former undercover police intelligence agent who had participated in SDS demonstrations and said he had “wondered where the money was coming from for all this activity, and soon discovered it came from radicals via the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, United Auto Workers, as well as cigar boxes of American money from the Cuban embassy.” What he asserted was basically confirmed by James Kirk, who while a student at the University of Chicago, had on behalf of the FBI become active in SDS, the Communist Party and other groups, and in 1970 testified before the House and Senate Internal Security Committees as follows: “Young people… have no idea that they are playing into the hands of the Establishment they claim to hate. The radicals think they’re fighting the forces of the super-rich, like Rockefeller and Ford, and don’t realize it is precisely such forces that are behind their own revolution, financing it, and using it for their own purposes.”

The power elite one-worlders believe that more, not less, government is the solution to the world’s problems, and in 1969 the Ford Foundation published a “think piece” titled PLANNING AND PARTICIPATION, in which Ford’s National Affairs Division director Mitchell Sviridoff told the American Institute of Planners: “The times do not call for shrinkage of the responsibilities or powers of government…. The world is too complex for an abatement of government powers. If anything, the role of government must be strengthened.” Sviridoff continued in the Foundation’s THE FORD FOUNDATION AND NATIONAL AFFAIRS (1971): “Our third main goal ­ strengthening the capacity of government…. The fact is that the Ford Foundation and many others collaborate closely with government, especially in Washington. Very often federal agencies look to foundations to break new ground before the government is willing to embark on a collaborative effort.” Efforts like these facilitated the public-private partnerships we see today as part of the power elite’s plan.

During this same period, the Ford Foundation received Bulgarian scientist Dr. Georgi Lozanov to explain his “suggestology” method, which draws from various specialties such as Raja Yoga, music, sleep-learning, physiology, hypnosis, autogenics, parapsychology and drama. It is essentially “applied” altered states of consciousness for various purposes. According to Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder in
SUPERLEARNING (1979), the two authors had met Lozanov in the Institute of Suggestology and Parapsychology in Bulgaria in 1968, and they wrote: “We had scarcely gotten back to America, when suddenly in 1969, though few Bulgarians were permitted to travel to the West, Dr. Lozanov arrived in New York…. Something was certainly working for him. On this and subsequent visits he made to America, we reviewed numerous films on suggestopedia and suggestology, read his thesis and
many of his other publications, and saw the presentations for UNESCO and the Ford Foundation.”

Internationally, from 1969 to 1977, the Ford Foundation provided a grant for the publication of PUBLIC PAPERS OF THE SECRETARIES-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS, including those of U Thant talking about “the myth of the absolute sovereign state” and “world citizens as they work steadfastly to usher in the new world order.” Earlier it was mentioned that an official of the Ford Foundation had attended a Bilderberg Group meeting, but even more than that, the Ford Foundation (and the Rockefeller Foundation) paid all the expenses for the Bilderberg meeting at Woodstock, Vermont in 1971. The next year, on July 23-24, 1972, Ford Foundation president McGeorge Bundy attended a 17-person planning group meeting at David Rockefeller’s estate for the establishment of the Trilateral Commission. And in January-February 1973, a formal funding proposal was submitted to the Ford Foundation by Trilateral Commission representatives “to support a major share of the intellectual and research aspect of the Commission’s work and some of the administrative ‘selling’ aspects.” The result was that between June 30, 1974, and June 30, 1976, the Ford Foundation gave the Trilateral Commission
$500,000.

There was a growing concern during the next decades (1980s) that American students’ basic skills were lacking and that this would impact negatively upon the future workforce. Thomas Sticht had conducted major research on reading for the Ford Foundation (and the U.S. Army), and according to Lawrence Feinberg in THE WASHINGTON POST (August 17, 1987), Sticht along with David Harman said what may be crucial in the U.S. is the dependability of the labor force and how well it can be managed and trained, not its general education level ­ although a small cadre of highly educated creative people is essential to growth.

The same year (1987), the Ford Foundation (and the Rockefeller and Exxon Foundations) financed “The United States Prepares for its Future: Global Perspectives in Education, Report of the Study Commission on Global Education,” printed by Global Perspectives in Education (GPE, name later changed to the American Forum for Global Education). In the Foreword to the Report, New Age networker Harlan Cleveland (Rhodes Scholar, C.F.R. member and with the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies) wrote: “A dozen years ago… teaching and learning ‘in global perspective’ was still exotic doctrine, threatening the orthodoxies of those who still thought of American citizenship as an amalgam of American history, American geography, American lifestyles and American ideas…. It now seems almost conventional to speak of American citizenship in the same breath with international interdependence… and the planetary environment.” For part one click below.
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Protest in SF follows ICE raids
By Matt O'Brien and Jeanine Benca
Staff writers
Contra Costa Times
Article Created:

SAN FRANCISCO ? Jose Luis Sanchez was a veteran cook at El Balazo, working at the popular Bay Area taqueria chain for eight years before a Friday immigration raid ended his career and left his family's future uncertain.

"My kids are sad," said the 32-year-old San Pablo resident, one of 63 illegal immigrants who were arrested Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement across the 11-restaurant chain. "They want to know if they're going to send me to Mexico."

With an electronic surveillance bracelet attached indefinitely to his ankle, Sanchez contemplated his future Monday afternoon outside the Sansome Street high-rise building that is home to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Detention and Removal Operations. As he spoke, a few hundred people marched up and down the sidewalk, protesting last week's raids on the restaurants.

"A lot of our municipalities are feeling these are improper invasions," said state Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, who joined the Monday afternoon protest. Migden said the raids violate San Francisco's desire to be a "safe haven community" for undocumented immigrants.

Advocates said the raids affected families from Concord to Dublin and Daly City. The Rev. William McGarvey, pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church in Pittsburg, said he was worried that the raids would send families "further underground," eroding their relationships with local institutions.

Sanchez, who hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, said he was having an ordinary morning Friday when two men and a woman he later assumed were plainclothes agents showed up at the restaurant where he works just off Highway 101 in San Francisco.

"The first one ordered chorizo and eggs," Sanchez said. "The next one ordered a burrito with carne asada. The woman ordered a burrito with beans."

But then the woman, he said, asked for a bathroom key and disappeared. Soon after, Sanchez said, the restaurant was stormed by uniformed agents who closed off the establishment and began questioning all the workers inside.

By late Friday evening, all but 10 of the 63 El Balazo workers arrested earlier in the day had been allowed to go home to await future immigration hearings, said Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice.

"Some were released on their own recognizance; others will be subject to electronic monitoring," Kice said.

On Monday afternoon, nine immigrants, all male, remained in custody. Of those, one is a suspected gang member, one was previously deported, and three are juveniles believed to be in the country without parental supervision, Kice said. The remaining four "were offered an opportunity to be released but refused to cooperate with the electronic monitoring," Kice said.

The juveniles include two 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old, who have been turned over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kice said.

No criminal charges have been filed, though the investigation into operations at the 11 El Balazo restaurants continues, Kice said.

"Our official statement is that the investigation is ongoing, and we will go where the evidence leads us," she said.

The chain's founding owner, Marino Sandoval, a Pleasanton resident, could not be reached for comment Monday. Many of his restaurants reopened over the weekend, while others remained closed after the raids.

At El Balazo on Hopyard Road in Pleasanton, longtime customer Erik Johnson said he knew the Sandovals and some of the arrested workers.

"It was definitely disappointing to come Friday and see everyone was gone. They were definitely all my friends, definitely all good people," said Johnson, who added that some of the workers had "children who were born here."

He described the Sandovals as "good people, trying to do the right thing."

Born in Mexico, Sandoval moved to Alameda with his family when he was a toddler. After working in his brother-in-law's San Francisco sandwich shop, he opened his first deli, which he called the Golden Gate Flyer, in 1976 in the Financial District, using money from the sale of his first house. In 1981, he sold the business to his brother and began working for Sysco food corporation.

Twelve years later, he opened the first El Balazo on Haight Street in San Francisco. In a 2005 interview with the Times, Sandoval said that the name El Balazo, which means "the gunshot" in Spanish, had been aimed to impart speedy food service. El Balazo instantly gained a reputation for its authentic flavors and fast delivery.

Sandoval, who had moved to Danville with his wife, Nicole, in 1988, leveraged the restaurant's popularity to expand to the East Bay suburbs, opening Nicole's Diner in 1995 in San Ramon. The following year, Sandoval opened a second El Balazo on Market Street in San Ramon. That was followed by El Balazo openings in 1998 in Danville and in 1999 in Pleasanton. In 2005, the couple opened a second El Balazo in Pleasanton.

All of the El Balazo restaurants operate out of leased space.

Last March, Internal Revenue Service agents served search warrants at several El Balazo restaurants. Because the affidavits were sealed, the IRS would not disclose the reason for the searches.

An IRS spokeswoman said at the time that the searches did not have anything to do with immigration. She said the IRS would conduct a search for three different reasons: If the agency were working with another agency such as the FBI, if it were an immigration matter, or if it were a tax matter.
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Special Counsel shut down probe of Siegelman case last year

5/7/2008, 5:35 p.m. CDT
By BEN EVANS
The Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Office of Special Counsel last year shut down a previously undisclosed investigation into the federal prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, according to an internal memo made public Wednesday.

The investigation was being conducted by a task force formed at the independent agency a year ago to pursue high-profile political investigations in Washington, most notably whether the White House played politics in firing U.S. attorneys. It began gathering information on the Siegelman case in September and was planning to request documents from the Justice Department in October before Special Counsel Scott Bloch ordered the case closed, according to the Jan. 18 draft memo, made public by the Project on Government Oversight.

The investigation was one of many that the task force had taken up, and the memo shows that Bloch frequently differed with investigators about which cases to pursue.

The Siegelman case was not the only one he sought to close, but Siegelman said Wednesday the memo suggests further political interference in his case.

"The question is who told them to shut it down," Siegelman said Wednesday when told of the memo. "Why would you start an investigation and let it proceed and then shut it down? The logical conclusion is that somebody intervened and told them to shut down the investigation ... we need to get to the bottom of this."

Siegelman, a Democrat, has long claimed that Republicans engineered his prosecution on bribery and other corruption charges to kill his chances for re-election, a claim repeatedly denied by federal prosecutors. His attorneys requested earlier this year that the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether White House appointees in Washington, including former Bush adviser Karl Rove, influenced the case.

The Special Counsel's office is an independent agency charged with investigating political activity by government employees and ensuring that government whistle-blowers are not subjected to reprisals.

FBI agents raided the office and Bloch's home this week in an investigation into whether he destroyed evidence potentially showing he retaliated against staffers who opposed his policies.

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4 reads on your tax dime


               
                                                                                                                                                                               
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Related To Story

Only On KFOX: Citizens Take Part In FBI Training

POSTED: 6:04 pm MDT May 11, 2008
UPDATED: 8:23 pm MDT May 11, 2008
They deal with drug dealers, hostage takers and crazed gunman -- all to keep people safe. And KFOX got a firsthand look at how the El Paso FBI trains.As part of the El Paso FBI's Citizens Academy, average citizens got to stand and watch just feet away as the elite, FBI Swat Team practiced how they would handle a sniper situation."We invite citizens to take an inside look at the FBI. We explain the investigations we conduct, some of the methods we use, and really the why of what we do," Special Agent In Charge David Cuthbert said.Topics in the six-week-long academy range from white-collar crime to terrorism. Citizens come from all backgrounds, eager to learn firsthand how the FBI handles a number of different crimes."I've always wanted to do something like this; it just looked exciting," GECU employee Becky McDorman said.Many who participated said they gained newfound respect for what the FBI goes through to help keep everyone safe."A lot of people don't realize how much training they go through, and how well they're able to execute different duties that they have," Dismas Charities director Hector Zamora said.

2nd read


FBI seeks informants in the Twin Cities

Anarchists in TroubleFollowing is a statement from a person known to EWOK! (Earth Warriors are OK!, formerly the Twin Cities Eco-Prisoner Support Committee). This person was approached by the local JTTF and offered the possibility of being a paid informant.

The individual has rejected the offer and now has an NLG lawyer. His statement should both inspire us for his refusal to cooperate, and remind us that he is probably not the only person solicited by the government in such a way and, unfortunately, we have to assume that some people will cooperate.



"As I was biking back from court, my phone rang. I let it go to answering machine and checked it when I was off my bike. It was the police officer who I talked to about my graffiti. It said something like, "This isn't graffiti related but I need your help with something. You're not in trouble, give me a call." I give him a call. Something like this:

"I'd like to meet with you today. It's not about graffiti." "I'm not going to rat anyone out, what do you want." Don't really know why I said that. I was nervous, I suppose. "Twenty minutes of your time. Where do you want to meet?" "I don't know, Eric, where do you want to meet? And can you tell me what this is about?" "I'll explain it when we meet. How about Expresso Expose?" "Sure." "When's good?" "How about 12:30."

So now I'm antsy and confused. I get there fifteen minutes early and then he comes a bit late. He says, "This is my partner," and he referred to the woman next to him. They both got coffee, leaving me in my shaky, dumbfounded mental state even longer. Then we sat down and she flashes an FBI badge. Seeing my nerves they reassured me again that I was safe and not guilty of anything. Then for twenty minutes they flatter me about how my personality and appearance are perfect matches for what is required in some espionage dealio. They wanted me to crash vegan potluck parties and get into the inner circle of terrorists because supposedly terrorists are trusting and I'm "trusting, easy going, funny," and a bunch of other flattery. Every time they said "vegan potluck" I chuckled, but their faces showed they weren't kidding. They said "vegan potluck" half a dozen times. They really feared vegans and their violent conspiracies to blow up buildings in protest to the republican national convention.

So after twenty minutes of bewildering suckups, they ask me if I'm in. They say there's compensation if I assist in someone's arrest. I say "ummmmmmm I'll pass." She says, "That was the fastest anyone has ever rejected me," and then tried for ten more minutes to get me to change my mind before saying, "Really: think about it. We could really use you." Then she gave me a business card. On the back she wrote me her cell phone number. I said "you have very legible handwriting," and they both had themselves a hearty laugh. "Call if you change your mind. Don't tell any of your friends about this and don't show anyone this card." We said our goodbyes and I haven't heard from either of them since."

Here’s the info from the business cards:

University of Minnesota Police
Twin Cities Campus
Erik Swanson
Police Sergeant, Investigations
Joint Terrorism Task Force
UMPD
511 Washington Ave. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Internet: http://www.umn.edu/police
E-mail: swans078@umn.edu
Office : 612-624-9560
Cell : 612-290-4688
Fax : 612-626-0534

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Maureen E. Mazzola
Special Agent
111 Washington Ave. South
Suite 1100
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Telephone: 612-376-3200
Fax: 612-376-3444
Cell: 612-490-7447 (very legibly on the back)

IF YOU ARE APPROACHED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT, you do not have to talk to them. If you are in the Twin Cities area and you need jail/legal support, call the Cold Snap Hotline, (651) 356-8635. If you are arrested or subpoenaed for offenses related to environmental or animal activism, call the National Lawyers' Guild Hotline, 888-NLG-ECOL. To contact EWOK! for assistance or information, email fightthegreenscare@riseup.net.

3rd read
Ask anyone : "What is the first question you ask when a crime has been
committed"?
Answer: " Who benefits from the crime"?

The four questions voters and taxpayers might ask , given they are the
primary consumers of the Criminal-Justice system, are:

Question #1 :
Did FBI agents participate in the creation of 911, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the First World Trade Center bombing?

Question #2: Do FBI agents benefit from the terrorist acts of 911,
the Oklahoma City bombing, the First World Trade Center bombing?

Question #3: If a species hires bodyguards to protect them do they loose the ability to protect themselves over time and are they doomed to extinction?

Question #4: Are the criminals who committed 911, Oklahoma City bombing and First World Trade Center bombing likely to escape detection
if they are the law enforcement agency investigating these crimes?

a couple of reads about who created 911, Oklahoma City bombing
and First World trade bombing.
http://www.911pressfortruth.com
http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur46.htm
http://s1.zetaboards.com/LooseChangeForums/topic/57995/1/
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2007/220207gaggednichols.htm
http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/1,1249,660197443,00.html
http://www.globaloutlook.ca/


a read about who benefited from these terrorist acts.



Thursday, April 03, 2008

That's Some FBI Budget Request!


Watching the Watchers

Did you catch the amount that the FBI has reuested in its budget for fiscal 2009? That info was kind of buried in news reports about how the House Appropriations Committee was tough on Director Mueller in the hearings earlier this week.
The FBI has requested $7.1 billion dollars. Read it again--$7.1 billion. That $7.1 billion is a mere 417% of the FBI's 1990 budget. It also works out to $23.67 for every one of the US's 300,000,000 citizens. If you restrict the analysis to adults of working age, it's obviously much worse. If you assume 130,000,000 in the workforce, the $7.1 billion is $54.62 for every working American.

And it is many, many times the amount employed for the program giving the elderly poor in the poorest parts of America a box of groceries every so often, a program that the Bush admin keeps trying to cut. Even the amount of the increase over last year's appropriation, some $455 million, is many times more than the annual amount required for the poverty program.

It's all just a question of priorities, I guess. The food for the neediest elderly just keeps a few hundred thousand people better fed and more healthy. The $7.1 billion for the FBI gives that agency plenty of resources to keep listening in on, and watching over, anybody who doesn't toe the official line about Iraq, terrorism, and God knows what else. In fact, according to Government Executive magazine:

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wisc., wagged a finger at FBI Director Robert Mueller Tuesday, expressing concern with "numerous occasions on which money has been wasted and authority has been abused" at the agency, whose budget has been doubled by the panel since 2001.

He singled out the recent controversy over the FBI's improper use of national security letters as a prime example. Those administrative subpoenas, which allow agents to analyze telephone, computer and bank records without warrants, have been the subject of two Justice Department inspector general investigations and hearings in the House and Senate.

Mueller said he was very aware of congressional concerns about the abuses and said internal mechanisms are in place "to minimize the chance of future lapses." Inspector General Glenn Fine's most recent report, which was released last month, cited progress on the matter over the past year. Mueller told the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee during his testimony on the FBI's fiscal 2009 budget request that "we're on track to make sure this does not happen again."

4th read

Interview with Daniel Hopsicker

Conducted by Sander Hicks

Broadcast 6/11/04 on INN World Report,

Free Speech TV, Channel 9415, DiSHNetwork

http://innworldreport.net

http://sanderhicks.com

HICKS: We joined here today with Daniel Hopsicker. Daniel Hopsicker is one of the leading independent researchers, author of two books. Daniel, welcome to the program

HOPSICKER: Pleased to be here

HICKS: The new book is called Welcome to Terrorland, about Mohammad Atta and the 911 cover up in Florida. There is a lot to talk about here. You are unique because a lot of these 911 books are speculative. But you do did two years of independent research in Florida obviously putting yourself through a lot of risk and danger. We want to jump in and talk about Amanda Keller, Mohammad Atta’s girlfriend and maybe go to a clip later, but before we do that give us the summary of what you’ve found in Florida.

HOPSICKER: What I found in Florida was that the government story about the terrorist conspiracy’s activities before September 11th is not just an error, it s a lie. The time line is wrong. The FBI’s timeline is wrong. Everything they are doing is designed to protect an operation that was under way in southwest Florida that trained, between 1999 and September 2001, literally hundreds of Arabs to fly. In other words, in 1998, there were two or three Arabs learning how to fly, by the end of ‘99 it was flying hundreds of them. So obviously there was a covert operation going on; the flight school where Mohammad Atta went to, Huffman Aviation in Florida is not a business and was not operating like a business. So it was, and is, something else.

HICKS You do your homework in this book and you talk about the media paper trail, how they would report one thing one day and then the story changes and details are taken out [in subsequent reports] such as Mohammad Atta was drinking heavily in this bar and then a week later, suddenly the details of the drinking are taken out. Seems like an official story is being created about Mohammad Atta, "he was an Islamic Fundamentalist."

HOPSICKER: Well there were inconvenient facts being reported in the press after September 11. Mohammad Atta’s girlfriend is an example, you just mentioned, the big drinking night, and three nights before the attacks…

HICKS: And there is sensational info about Mohammad Atta being kept about his foot fetish, his small penis and the three day cocaine adventures in the Key West, but lets get beyond the sensational details and lets go behind the scenes, you did some great research about Rudy Dekkers and Wally Hilliard, the guys that were running and owning Huffman aviation, where 2 out of 4 pilots were trained, lets talk about your trip to Lynchburg, Virginia that you talk about in this book.

HOPSICKER: Lets talk about Britannia Aviation which is an interesting subject, the operation that was taking place in Venice Florida was not a business, not a flight school that was operating, it was something else. Housed inside Huffman Aviation was a company nobody ever heard about.

Hicks And you called to Virginia, by a reporter…

HOPSICKER: By a reporter who said that this company he never heard of had just won a major city contract run one of the airline facilities out at the airport over a local competitor who had 45 employees and a multi million dollar bank account. Where as these two guys Huffman Aviation was a paper company and they had less that 750 dollars in the bank. Lynchburg, VA interestingly enough was also home of Reverend Jerry Falwell, and the owner of Huffman aviation Wally Hilliard, gave Falwell a million dollar loan in 1995 that Falwell has felt no need to re-pay.

HICKS: Now the chamber of commerce obviously in Lynchburg are nice businessmen concerned because this company, Britannia Aviation, has landed this contract without having any kind of credibility

HOPSICKER: None. None and since then I’ve got phone calls from Lynchburg Airport that tell me that one plane comes in a week, and then goes into the hangar and the doors immediately come down and that they have shades on all of the windows. Whatever they were doing there could not be paying the lease on the land that they were paying

HICKS I think the real shocker was the…what was the quotation? "Green light from the DEA?"

HOPSICKER: Correct. That s what Huffman Aviation had

HICKS And who told you that?

HOPSICKER: A business owner at the Venice airport who checked with the DEA contact of his, to find out about what these people’s connection might be after Sept. 11th . And he was told that they had a "green light from the DEA."

HICKS So in the book you talk about the connection of Wally Hilliard, the owner of Huffman Aviation had with Jerry Falwell also Truman Arnold….

HOPSICKER: And the whole point is that the government story is that these terrorists wandered into flight schools here and there across the country of course all of them, three or four of them learnt to fly and flew on September 11. So the government’s story is that they just wandered in there. Well, the owner and the manager of that facility had ties at the highest levels of the US government in political circles

HICKS You are talking about Rudy or Wally now?

HOPSICKER: Wally Hilliard, finance chief connected to the former political Democratic political party finance chairman.

HICKS Hilliard has connections, but lets talk about his henchman, Rudy Dekkers,

HOPSICKER: Rudy Dekkers is the person everybody remembers, because Rudy was the man who told us who these hijackers were the day after the attack

HICKS He was a camera hog.

HOPSICKER: He was on every TV show you’ve ever heard of, he was on Larry King and did all of the major TV shows

HICKS But what have you found out about him?

HOPSICKER: Well he is an international criminal, he is called by the prosecuting attorneys in his native Netherlands, to which he can not return without going to jail, "the spider in the web of intrigue." So this international criminal was telling us who Mohammad Atta was. And its just ridiculous, it's not that they didn’t do the due diligence. It's that they were told to interview this person. Several people in Huffman Aviation told me that FBI was telling this guy what to say before he went up in front of the cameras

HICKS That's amazing. You’re saying that FBI was feeding Dekkers the story?

HOPSICKER: Absolutely, the office manager of the Naples facility said that there was a FBI man sitting there feeding him lies.

HICKS What did Max Bruge told you about Rudy Dekkers?

HOPSICKER: That was interesting…he introduced himself as a consultant to the government of the US an ex marine with the brushcut, owns an airport in Mississippi. And clearly he had strong government connections, and he told me he had checked in to Wally and Rudy, based on things I told him. What he heard about Rudy Dekkers was "Rudy was huge." He is not national, he is "transnational." And he was warned to stay away from him and not to ask questions.

HICKS Max was warned to stay away and not questions?
It seems that Rudy is falling out the favor and with whoever he was connected to

HOPSICKER:, He embarrassed the president of the US according to the source that I told you about ..

HICKS Right and there was a mysterious helicopter crash…

HOPSICKER: See the basic story is and I need to tell you in just 30 seconds is [that] the government’s story is that I call the Magic Dutch Boy theory. Remember the Kennedy assassination when the "magic bullet" has passed thru three people, the only way they could make a story of one lone gunman even remotely logically possible?

HICKS Most of the people never bought that and still don’t.

HOPSICKER: Similarly, in 9/11, it’s only through the Magic Dutch Boy theory that you can believe these people came over here without the knowledge and consent of the U.S. government. The government’s story is that the year before the terrorists began to arrive in force, two separate Dutch nationals purchased separately the two flight schools at the Venice, Florida, airport, that, eight or nine months afterward, began training terrorists how to fly.

HICKS: Right. But when it all sort of fell apart, both Dutch nationals happened to have two separate aircraft accidents.

HOPSICKER: That’s correct. They are inconvenient people at this point, because if either one of them ever talked, it could bring down the government of the current administration.

HICKS: Or, if, let’s say the 9/11 Commission bothered to take a look at your book, or call any of the people that are mentioned in it. You have a slew of people that knew Mohamed Atta first hand.

HOPSICKER: This is a job you would have thought the mainstream press would have done. And if not the mainstream press, then the official investigative arms of the U.S. government.

HICKS: hmmm! But…Unless….

HOPSICKER: Well, we have to remember, there has been no investigation of 9/11 to which the American people have been privy. To this date, almost three years afterwards, there has been no official investigation. The Senate and House Committees, as you know, met behind closed doors and released a report that contained 28 blank pages. The current 9/11 Commission is only tasked with coming up with suggestions to prevent a repeat of 9/11. To keep "it" from happening again, but "it" has never been investigated. So, I went to Florida, which is what any reporter or homicide investigator would have done, and started knocking on doors.

HICKS: And you had an experience, you told me earlier, with Rudi Dekkers, personally.

HOPSICKER: Recently.

HICKS: You covered his felony arraignment, at the courthouse?

HOPSICKER: That’s correct.

HICKS: You were coming out of the courthouse…What happened?

HOPSICKER: He was sitting on a bus bench, and I had to pass him to get to my car. He stood up when he saw me and began waving his arms in the air, and exclaiming in a very loud voice, "I’m–WARNING you. I’m–WARNING You." And I stopped and I said, "You’re warning me about what?" And he said, "I’m not going to talk to you, I don’t want to talk to you." And I said, "Well, if you don’t want to talk to me that’s all you have to say. But Warning me, who the heck do you think you are?" And as I walked past him out of the side of his mouth, he said, "you’ll find out…you’ll find out."

HICKS: Do you fear for your personal safety?

HOPSICKER: Not at all.

HICKS: Why not?

HOPSICKER: Because I’m chubby, bald and middle-aged.

[laughter]

HOPSICKER: You have to face that at a certain point. And I did. When I was writing Barry and the Boys, I was getting death threats, I was "threatening to compromise current operations."

HICKS: Since you mentioned it, let’s mention Barry and the Boys, real quick, this is your background, you’re the author of this book about CIA drug-runner Barry Seal. What are the similarities between this book and the book about Mohamed Atta?

HOPSICKER: Barry and the Boys gave me the knowledge of how aviation crime is committed. And how state-sponsored aviation crime is committed. Barry Seal was the biggest drug smuggler in American history. Four best sellers were written about him. His operation at Mena [Arkansas] was used to smear Bill Clinton, President Clinton, during his entire term in office, until push came to shove, and they went forward with nothing but Monica Lewinsky. Barry Seal, I discovered, unlike the four best sellers that had been written about him, was a lifelong CIA agent who flew at the Bay of Pigs. Who flew weapons to Fidel Castro when the CIA supported him, who flew a getaway plane out of Dallas, Texas after the Kennedy assassination. Had a major role in Watergate. None of which had been published in the best sellers before me, which is why my book was not a best seller. [Laughs]. That’s what you find out. But I was waiting for this book to come out when September 11th happened. And three days after September 11th happened, it came out, in a really strange way, kind of quiet, kind of sotto voce, that three of the four terrorist pilots had learned to fly in Venice, not just the two that had taken down the World Trade Center, ostensibly, but a third, Said Al-Jarrah And I thought, that’s really weird, because my parents had a retirement home in Venice since 1975…

HICKS: So, that was your home base in Venice.

HOPSICKER: Well, it’s a place that we would go to see our parents three to four days every winter, and it’s a family joke, there’s nothing to do, if you’re under 65, in Venice, Florida, so why would a 30 year old man, even if he was a terrorist, especially if he was a terrorist in the last year of his life, choose to fly…I mean there are 220 flight schools in Florida alone, why go to Venice? Well, if you were choosing a flight school, you wouldn’t go to Venice, but if you were assigned a flight school, or sent to one, you might, and that would be a whole different story than what the government’s told us so far.

HICKS: Let’s wrap up by talking a little about Amanda Keller, she was Mohamed Atta’s girlfriend in Florida. You found her. Nobody else could find her. What does she tell us about Mohamed Atta?

HOPSICKER: Two or three really interesting things. Mohamed Atta had an American girlfriend. With whom he lived for two and a half months, in an apartment across the street from the Venice airport, at a time when the FBI says he was not in Venice anymore. She was in the news briefly after September 11th. Interviewed by three or four local reporters, they did stories on her, and then she disappeared. And the story disappeared. Now, you have never heard that Mohamed Atta had an American girlfriend, because it never made the national press. Which is itself bizarre. Because she was a stripper when she knew him…so you would think, "Interviews with the Stripper Girlfriend of the Terrorist Mastermind…"

HICKS: …who has insider information on Atta’s sex life…

HOPSICKER: You’d think it would be plastered everywhere. But it wasn’t. And she disappeared. And when I tracked her down six months later, actually a year later, she told me, as several other witnesses told me, that she had been personally intimidated, on a weekly basis, by the FBI, into keeping her mouth shut, and not talking, about what she knew. And the reason for that becomes apparent when you see what she knew. You’re about to see a clip….basically, she knew intimate personal details, but she had her eyes open…you’re going to see that two or three of Mohamed Atta’s closest associates weren’t Arab. They were German. German and Swiss.

HICKS: Daniel, thank you for coming on the program, you’re doing work no one else is doing. We really appreciate it. Let’s close now by going to the clip. This is the debut. Amanda Keller. Mohamed Atta’s American girlfriend. No one else has seen this because no one else has done this story. Daniel Hopsicker found her when nobody else would. So, enjoy:

CLIP of Hopsicker’s Documentary on Amanda Keller:

Daniel Hopsicker in Voice Over (VO): We thought that by now Diane Sawyer, or someone else living in Disney Time/Warner Land would already have done Amanda’s story. Since they haven’t, we’ll offer what we have. From a videotape rolled for video documentation, from an interview with her at an undisclosed location. Atta and Amanda met when she came into Poppa John’s Pizza in Venice, where she was a manager. Pay attention to who she said he was with:

Amanda: Mohamed came in with Peter and Stephan, and Jurigen.

VO: If you listen closely to Amanda’s tale, about an otherwise unremarkable, casual hook up, Florida-style, there are some nuggets of information about Mohamed Atta that are real gold. From her we learn, for example, that Mohamed Atta’s associates were as likely to be German as Arab.

HOPSICKER: (Off Camera): The first time you saw him he was with who?

Amanda: He was with Peter and Stephan, and Jurigen.

HOPSICKER: So, he was with three Germans?

KELLER: No, Jurigen was the only German guy. Peter and Stephan I thought were from Austria. That we later went to Key West with.

VO: Atta’s first big date was a booze and drug filled three-day weekend in the fleshpots of Key West.

KELLER: We went to Key West for three days.

HOPSICKER: Who’s we?

KELLER: Me, Mohamed, Peter, Stephan and Linda.

HOPSICKER: Who’s Linda?

KELLER: She told me that she was a stripper, but she told the told the newspaper that she worked for a cleaning service.

VO: Mohamed Atta didn’t act like any Islamic Fundamentalist we’ve ever heard about.

KELLER: Peter, Stephan and Mohamed were talking to these flight students that were from the airport over there. They were talking in a language, I didn’t know what it was…but Mohamed was fluent in every language I could think of. He could talk to anybody.

VO: Atta was a smooth operator, fluent in half a dozen languages. Atta was Wahabi 007.

HOPSICKER: When y’all got back y’all had been up for 72 hours.

KELLER: No, we slept…here and there, [laughs] for a few hours.

HOPSICKER: You were partying, were they doing drugs?

KELLER: Yeah, but not in front of me. They didn’t do it in front of me until I met everybody at the apartment.

VO: Amanda has even more shocking news about Terrorist ringleader, Islamic fundamentalist, and recreational drug user, Mohamed Atta. When they were in Key West, Mohamed and his German buddies went to a meeting. And when they came back, they were all glum.

KELLER: Peter, Stephan, and Mohamed, all went to Hard Rock Café. And they were meeting with people down there. I don’t know who, but somebody had flown in….I don’t know who, but they said somebody had flown in, in one of those little single planes? To come speak to them. When they had got back, they were waiting for us on the dock, waiting for the boat to come back. And everybody was kind of somber-looking. You know, they were kind of quiet.

VO: It’s obvious what the meeting was about. Discussion about the upcoming death of at least one of the participants would tend to put a damper on things….What isn’t obvious, is what kind of Islamic Fundamentalist goes to meetings in Key West with guys named Stephan and Jurigen?

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joeb

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Reply with quote  #89 
There is a concerted effort now underway by local and Federal law enforcement officials to create Citizen Academies.
Law enforcement says it wants the community to be its eyes and ears
in fighting crime.
we say that communities should take the leadership role in determining
how they want to deal with crime in their community.
Communities fund the criminal-justice system with their taxes.
This makes voters and taxpayers owners of this system.
yet voters and taxpayers are passive recipients in the system instead of active participants.
On the face of it, Citizens Academies as pushed by local and Federal law enforcement look like one way to accomplish the goal of engaging the community in solving the problems of crime.
Unfortunately the same problem remains. The police are running the model instead of the community.
Until voters and taxpayers take a leadership role in deciding what kind of criminal justice system they want we will continue to have a criminal justice model that creates more disorder than the order it brings to our communities.
Of course this would mean local law enforcement would have to stop collaborating with the CIA in bringing heroin and cocaine into our communities
see http://www.copvcia.com
This would also mean FBI agents would have to stop assassinating our presidents, civil rights leaders and protecting corporations from criminal
indictments.
see        http://www.911pressfortruth.com

Atlantic City police resurrect Citizens Academy
By ELAINE ROSE Staff Writer, 609-272-7215
Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2008



ATLANTIC CITY - The "body" lay on the steps of the Police Athletic League on Tuesday evening, a rubber knife and a soda bottle a few feet away and a rubber gun and three metal shell casings a few yards back.

About 20 people crossed the yellow crime-scene tape to survey the scene.

Welcome to "CSI: Atlantic City," as the Police Department has resurrected its Citizens Academy to teach residents how law enforcement works so that they can help officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel do their jobs better.

Tuesday night's topic was forensics.

The show "CSI is not completely fictional," forensics Officer Doug Brown told the class. "It is what happens. It's just not the job of six people" like you see on television.

When he first came to the forensics unit nine years ago, the department was just starting to realize the value of physical evidence, Brown said. Officers were sent to training schools run by the FBI and other agencies to learn how to gather, preserve and analyze evidence.

In real life, his unit dusts for fingerprints, collects DNA samples and photographs the crime scene, Brown said. He touched a compact disc, dusted it for his fingerprint and passed it around the class to show just how clear it was.

The actual analysis is done by other agencies, Brown said. The state and the FBI keep databases of fingerprints and DNA, and other labs process the DNA evidence and weapon information.

The role of the public at a crime scene is crucial, as residents often witness an event and scope out the area before police arrive, Brown said. Residents should be aware not to disturb anything in the area.

Outside at the made-up crime scene, class co-coordinator Officer Robert Berg pointed out the shell casings, weapons and the "body," and warned the group that they don't want to pick up the gun or casings or move a person who is already dead. It may look disrespectful to leave a body lying on the ground for a long time, but that is necessary for police to investigate how the person died.

Forensics officers examine the position of the body, the location of any weapons and shell casings and look for trails of blood to see if the victim was attacked at a different location, Brown said. In the case of a homicide, local officers have to wait for a team from the Prosecutor's Office to conduct the investigation.

Brown showed the class the forensics van, which he called "my lab on wheels." The van is equipped with material to pick up footprints and DNA, metal detectors to find shell casings and a refrigerator to keep samples cool. It is brought to scenes of serious crimes, he said.

The class had plenty of questions, including: How long blood and DNA samples can be held to solve cold cases? (Years, even decades); are the fingerprint and DNA matches instant like you see on television crime shows? (No, though a fingerprint match can usually be obtained within an hour); and why didn't the police dust for prints when my car was burglarized? (Too hard to snag the thief, as a lot of people touch the outside of cars).

Class co-coordinator Officer David Hadley said the department ran seven or eight sessions of the Citizens Academy in the past, but the last one was held several years ago. When Chief John Mooney, a former instructor, took over the department, he wanted to revive it because it is a good tool to promote community and public safety.

The idea is to have civilians be "our eyes and ears out there" and to tell their family and friends what they learned, Berg said. That way, residents can help the police solve crimes.

Residents who signed up said they were impressed with what they are learning so far.

Thelma Witherspoon works for the Police Department on the administrative side, and said friends and relatives ask her for advice because they think she can help. She said she signed up for the class so she can give out the right information.

"This gives me a broader perspective on what the Police Department actually does," Witherspoon said.

Farrar Blakeney said she enrolled after she went to exercise at the Police Athletic League and saw the signup sheets.

"I'm just learning so much about everything that goes on. It gives me a better understanding of what the police go through on a daily basis," Blakeney said. "I'll look at a police stop much differently now" and be more aware of things happening in the community.

Herman Zatt and Russelle Patterson of the Chelsea Neighborhood Association said they were in the pilot program about a dozen years ago. They started a Neighborhood Watch program as a result, and it is still active.

"We learned everything the officers do and why," Patterson said. "We hope it changes perceptions" in the community.

To e-mail Elaine Rose at The Press:

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joeb

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(Media-Newswire.com) - More than 1,000 flags will encircle UC Irvine’s Aldrich Park as part of the weeklong UCI Peace Flag Project. Thirty student groups have joined together to create this site-specific art installation – modeled after Tibetan prayer flags – to raise awareness of global conflicts and promote peace and compassion. The project was designed by Rebecca Westerman, a senior art history major and 2007-08 UCI Dalai Lama Scholar.

The display can be viewed from 9 a.m. Monday, May 19, to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 24. Visitors can create their own personalized peace flag 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, through Friday, May 23.
Specific events include:

Monday, May 19
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Raising of the flags
Sixty to 90 flags will be raised every 30 minutes beginning at 9 a.m.


Tuesday, May 20
Noon-1 p.m.: Opening ceremony
UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake and the Venerable Lama Chodak Gyatso Nubpa will join Westerman in delivering opening remarks. Nubpa has worked closely with the Dalai Lama and is the resident lama of T’hondup Ling, a Buddhist center in Los Angeles.
11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Club fair
Student groups that helped create and raise the peace flags will sponsor information booths so visitors can learn more about their organizations.

Wednesday, May 21
Noon-1 p.m.: Meditation
The Association of University Meditators will lead a discussion and meditation session.


Thursday, May 22
Noon-1 p.m.: Teach-in
Jon Wiener will lead a teach-in called “Give Peace a Chance: A Song and a Strategy.” Wiener is a UCI history professor, a KPFK radio host and contributing editor at The Nation. He is best known for his research on John Lennon’s FBI files. Performances by student groups will precede the teach-in.

DATE: Monday, May 19, 2008
TIME: 9 a.m. Monday, May 19, to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 24.
LOCATION: All events will be held in Aldrich Park except Thursday’s teach-in, which will be held in the Cross-Cultural Center ( Bldg. 103 on campus map ). 
 
BACKGROUND: The XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship is sponsored and the recipient selected by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. Each year, the scholarship provides project funding for one upper-division student to demonstrate leadership in ethics, peace and positive global relations. The student is selected on the basis of demonstrated characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness and compassionate service to others.
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #91 
http://www.exportlawblog.com/archives/category/part-129
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #92 
radio ,television and the print media are doing to our minds what industry has done to the land.
we now think like New York city looks.
This FBI spin is brought to you by their media public relations department
the people who make a living advertising alcohol, cigarettes and cars

2 reads

1st read

Reporter takes a walk in cops' shoes

May 19, 2008


By Lori Caldwell Post-Tribune staff writer

The nightly news reports a police shooting, a fleeing suspect wounded in the back.

The dead man's grieving family blames the officer and viewers are quick to criticize a trigger-happy cop.

Let me tell you something: No matter how the facts eventually fall, it won't change the split-second decision that officer made when he was choosing his life over the other guy's. And if you're not standing in those shoes, don't act like you know what happened.

At the FBI Citizens' Academy last week, class members stepped into "those shoes" for a minute.

But first the lecture on safety, protocol and more safety. And then some proselytizing from agents obviously sensitive to public opinion on police shootings.

Holding a real semiautomatic pistol reconfigured to fire laser shots, we took turns facing near life-size scenarios serving arrest warrants, searching for fugitives and covering undercover drug detectives.

Police everywhere do hours of this preparation. And in the minutes before an actual mission, they're reviewing their training, mentally visualizing options and trying to be totally prepared, retired Agent Chuck Grelecki said.

Still, there's nothing quite like the real thing, even if it's simulated.

Some of us did pretty well, quickly identifying the bad guy and bringing him down in a "good shoot."

Others (like me) fired nonstop at the fleeing suspect long after he'd dropped his weapon and was trying to climb over a fence.

FBI Special Agent Bradley Bookwalter asked me to "articulate" my thoughts after the scene had run its course.

What I thought, but didn't say was, "He shot my partner and shot me and all I could see was the gun and I didn't care what he was saying I was too mad to let him get away and, by God, I wanted him dead."

Yeah, I know, I'm a lawsuit waiting to happen.

But in thinking through the process, just because he tossed one handgun down doesn't mean he didn't have another. And climbing the fence would give him cover while I was crouching behind a flimsy car door, my femoral artery spouting blood, still clearly in fear for my life.

That's "articulating."

Supervisory Special Agent and Chief Division Counsel Andrew Northern comforted those of us (me) who overreacted with this advice: "There's no 20/20 hindsight."

Any officer involved in a shooting will think and rethink those actions a million times after it's over, he said.

"One thing for sure. After that, your life is changed forever," Northern added.

Even a simulated event can do that.

If that weapons training was a bit serious, the second part was anything but. Families were invited to join the class during the only sunny period last weekend at a shooting range adjacent to the LaPorte County Fairgrounds.

It's the same range where more than 10 years ago, some overly enthusiastic officers, and others who were just very, very bad shots, did such a memorable job tearing up the range -- the grass, the berms, the target frames, everything -- the department is banned from ever returning. Ever.

But here's this bunch of civilians, some with no shooting experience at all, popping balloons with a Glock .45-caliber, poking holes in cardboard targets with an MP5 and shattering clay pigeons with a shotgun.

The rules were clear and repeated often. On an elevated tower behind the line of fire, Bookwalter (with occasional help from my 6-year-old grandson, who relished the chance to tell grownups what to do) announced when it was time to shoot and stop shooting, when the range was clear to change targets and when it wasn't.

First-timers and others with more experience stood between two veterans who watched every move, offering marksmanship advice and sharing weapons protocol.

My two grown sons delighted in the unique chance to chat with federal agents and fire machine guns, while the grandkids focused more on dandelion blossoms and cast-off shell casings, seemingly oblivious to the raging gunfire in two-minute bursts just a few feet away.

After we'd all worked our way through all the stations, from revolvers to tactical rifles, we could compare our targets and be grateful our jobs don't demand armed critical thinking.

2nd read
Ex-FBI Supervisor Admits to Abducting Girlfriend
December 11, 2007 - 7:12pm

ARLINGTON, Va. - A former FBI supervisor who once headed the bureau's Toledo, Ohio, office pleaded guilty Tuesday to abducting a girlfriend, holding her captive for nearly six hours and forcing a gun into her mouth in a jealous rage.

Carl L. Spicocchi, 54, who was on a temporary assignment in Washington, D.C., at the time of the Aug. 23 attack in Crystal City, pleaded guilty to two counts of abduction and using a firearm while committing a felony.

"I want to apologize for what I've done, especially to (the victim) for the grief I caused her," a tearful Spicocchi said during Tuesday's plea hearing.

He faces a maximum of 13 years in prison, including a mandatory minimum sentence of three years, when he is sentenced March 12.

According to court records, Spicocchi suspected the victim, who had been his girlfriend, of cheating on him and had been following her. On the day of the attack, she found Spicocchi standing in her closet with a knife and tape when she returned home from work.

Spicocchi put the knife to her throat several times and threatened to kill her during the six-hour abduction, according to a police affidavit.

The victim was able to flee the apartment when Spicocchi, who was drunk, tripped and fell, prosecutor Lisa Bergman said.

Police were called after a neighbor heard a woman screaming on the 12th floor of the apartment complex that a man was trying to kill her.

Spicocchi's attorney, Thomas Abbenante, said his client is "terribly sorry for what occurred" and wanted to "apologize not only to the victim but to the community and to his fellow FBI agents."

(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

ARLINGTON, Va. - A former FBI supervisor who once headed the bureau's Toledo, Ohio, office pleaded guilty Tuesday to abducting a girlfriend, holding her captive for nearly six hours and forcing a gun into her mouth in a jealous rage.

Carl L. Spicocchi, 54, who was on a temporary assignment in Washington, D.C., at the time of the Aug. 23 attack in Crystal City, pleaded guilty to two counts of abduction and using a firearm while committing a felony.

"I want to apologize for what I've done, especially to (the victim) for the grief I caused her," a tearful Spicocchi said during Tuesday's plea hearing.

He faces a maximum of 13 years in prison, including a mandatory minimum sentence of three years, when he is sentenced March 12.

According to court records, Spicocchi suspected the victim, who had been his girlfriend, of cheating on him and had been following her. On the day of the attack, she found Spicocchi standing in her closet with a knife and tape when she returned home from work.

Spicocchi put the knife to her throat several times and threatened to kill her during the six-hour abduction, according to a police affidavit.

The victim was able to flee the apartment when Spicocchi, who was drunk, tripped and fell, prosecutor Lisa Bergman said.

Police were called after a neighbor heard a woman screaming on the 12th floor of the apartment complex that a man was trying to kill her.

Spicocchi's attorney, Thomas Abbenante, said his client is "terribly sorry for what occurred" and wanted to "apologize not only to the victim but to the community and to his fellow FBI agents."
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Judge who found WVU prof in comtempt honored at WVSU ceremony

5/23/2008 8:20 AM
By Lawrence Smith -Kanawha Bureau

U.S. District Judge for the D.C. Circuit Reggie B. Walton (right) speaks with Natnael Alemu following West Virginia State University's commencement Sunday, May 18. Walton, who gave the commencement address, and was conferred with an honorary doctor of laws degree, has been criticized by many First Amendment advocates for his "unprecedented" decision to bar anyone from assisting in paying the contempt citation he issued to WVU journalism professor Toni Locy for refusing to reveal her sources in stories she wrote while at USA Today regarding the 2001 anthrax scare. (Photo by Lawrence Smith)
 
Locy
CHARLESTON - Last weekend's commencement exercise in Morgantown wasn't the only one shrouded in controversy.

A federal judge who's "unprecedented" decision to bar anyone from aiding in paying a former USA Today reporter and West Virginia University journalism professor's contempt citation was not only the commencement speaker at the state's other land-grant university, but also the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Prior to receiving their respective degrees, the nearly 500 graduates from West Virginia State University and West Virginia State Community and Technical College heard from U.S. District Judge for the D.C. Circuit Reggie B. Walton. In the course of remarks, Walton, a native of Donara, Pa., and 1971 graduate from West Virginia State, encouraged his soon-to-be fellow alumni to "keep this nation the great nation it deserves to be."

Shortly following his address, university President Hazo W. Carter Jr. "with high esteem" conferred Walton with an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Earlier this year, Walton, who began serving on the bench in October 2001 following his appointment by President Bush, sparked controversy by holding former USA Today reporter Toni Locy in contempt for not revealing her sources about the FBI's investigation into a former Army scientist's alleged involvement in the 2001 anthrax scare. Steven J. Hatfill, who worked at Army's infectious disease laboratory from 1997 to 1999, was initially identified by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft as a "person of interest" in the case which followed the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Since then, Hatfill has been cleared of any involvement in the matter. He is now suing the Justice Department alleging the FBI's leaking of information to reporters violated the Privacy Act.

Among the reporters who quoted anonymous FBI sources was Locy, who this past school year was a visiting journalism professor at WVU. In August, Walton ordered Locy, along with several other reporters to cooperate with Hatfill's attorneys in revealing their sources.

Because she's refused to name her sources, Walton on Feb. 19 held Locy in contempt. Effective March 11, Walton ordered Locy to pay $500 each day the first week, $1,000 each day the second week and $5,000 a day the third week until she reveal her sources.

The fines, Walton ordered, had to come from Locy's own pocket, and not from anyone else including USA Today and its parent company Gannett.

An 'extreme' decision

Though a judge holding a reporter in contempt for not revealing her sources is not unprecedented, an order barring anyone to assist Locy in paying the fines is. The Reporter's Committee for the Freedom of the Press, a Washington, D.C.-based journalism advocacy organization, said Walton's decision will have a "chilling effect" on future media coverage of sensitive issues.

"It's a travesty that a journalist can be essentially bankrupted for doing her job," Lucy Dalgilish, RCFP's executive director told the Associated Press following Walton's order. "This case is also particularly offensive because they know who some of the sources are."

In an interview with the Charleston Daily Mail the day her fines were to begin, Locy, a 1981 WVU journalism school graduate, said she found it unfathomable that Walton was treating her as "public enemy No. 1."

"I informed the public about the status and the quality of the FBI's investigation into the first biological attack on U.S. soil," she said. "Even Mafia bosses and White House aides are permitted to have legal defense funds."

"Neither my family nor my friends can help me pay these fines, according to the judge," she added. "My students can't even hold a bake sale to help me."

"That, to me, seems extreme."

Locy's attorneys, Robert C. Bernius and Leslie Paul Machado, with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Nixon Peabody, were successful in petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to block the fines pending an appeal of Walton's contempt order. On May 9, the appeals court heard arguments on the appeal.

Officials caught off-guard

Along with being seemingly unaware of the firestorm caused by his decision, WVSU officials gave conflicting accounts as to the timing of Walton's address, and honorary degree.

Interim Vice-President of Academic Affairs R. Charles Byers, who was a senior at State when Walton was a freshman, said the commencement committee voted sometime in February or March to invite Walton to speak. However, he was unsure since he did not attend that particular meeting.

He referred questions to Vice-President for Student Affairs Bryce Casto, the committee's chairman.

Though he believed the committee made the decision in February or March, Casto was unclear as to the exact date. When asked if the decision to invite Walton was appropriate given the Locy controversy, Casto became hostile and said, "That's not my decision, sir."

When pressed for additional details about the committee's decision, Casto said, "If you want an official university, you'll have to speak with Pat Dickinson."

Dickinson brushed aside any criticism that the committee's decision to invite Walton to speak and award him the honorary degree in the midst of his decision as opposing freedom of the press.

"Absolutely not," Dickinson said. "He's an alumnus who as distinguished himself for years and years."

According to Dickinson, this year was not the first time an invitation was extend to Walton to give the commencement address.

"He's been on the list for several years, and this has been the first time he's been able to speak," Dickinson said.

However, when asked when that happened, Dickinson hung up the telephone.
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1st read
Officers Honored during Ceremony

Several local police officers received some much deserved recognition at the Annual Mahoning Valley Chiefs of Police Association luncheon and awards ceremony.

Austintown Township Officer Joseph Wojciak received the award of valor for his bravery under fire after pursuing a suspect on foot even after being shot in the chest.

Other officers from departments including Warren Police Dept., BCI, Canfield, the State Patrol, Springfield Township, Howland and Youngstown were honored for their investigative excellence and their service.

Receiving special recognition was the Senior Agent in Charge of the Youngstown FBI. John Kane is retiring after 22-years of service. Supervisory Agent Kane also worked in Cleveland as part of the Organized Crime division.








2nd read

The following reflects the truthful and reliable investigation by Congressman JAMES TRAFICANT into the association between the FBI and organized crime (mafia) in Youngstown, Ohio and surrounding areas.

MOB OWNS FBI IN YOUNGSTOWN -- HON. JAMES A. TRAFICANT, JR. (Extensions of Remarks - July 11, 2002)

[Page: E1236]
---

HON. JAMES A. TRAFICANT, JR.
OF OHIO
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Speaker, the following reflects the truthful and reliable investigation by Congressman JAMES TRAFICANT into the association between the FBI and organized crime (mafia) in Youngstown, Ohio and surrounding areas.

In addition, FBI agent, Anthony Speranza did rape one of my constituents. The matter was adjudicated in the Northern District of Ohio Court of Judge O'Malley, where Speranza admitted to ``digital penetration'' of a woman who had suffered problems of mental instability, which under Ohio law is felony one rape.

The following facts and sources speak for themselves, making FBI-mob connections in Boston, Massachusetts look like a Rotary meeting.

TRAFICANT INVESTIGATION


JOSEPH NAPLES--JAMES PRATO
1. Fact: Joseph Naples issued a contract to kill one Paul Calautti; Source: FBI Affidavit; Result: Paul Calautti murdered October 11, 1968; Finding: Joseph Naples never brought to trial.

2. Fact: Joseph Naples issued a contract to kill one Joseph DeRose; Source: FBI Affidavit; Result: Joseph DeRose suffered two bullet wounds May 13/14 1980. Joseph DeRose missing-murdered or in protective custody; Finding: Joseph Naples never brought to trial.

3. Fact: Joseph Naples issued a contract to kill one Robert Furey; Source: FBI Affidavit; Result: Robert Furey murdered April 12, 1979; Finding: Joseph Naples never brought to trial.

4. Fact: Joseph Naples and James Prato issued a contract to kill Charles Carrabbi; Source: La Cosa Nostra underboss Angelo Lonardo's testimony under oath during a U.S. Senate hearing on organized crime (1988); Result: Charles Carrabbia missing-presumed murdered; Finding: Joseph Naples and James Prato never brought to trial.

5. Fact: Joseph Naples ordered the burning of a car belonging to a Youngstown City Councilman one Robert Spencer; Source: FBI Affidavit and Robert Spencer's Affidavit presented during a U.S. Senate hearing on organized crime (1984); Result: Robert Spencer's car fire bombed and totally destroyed. (1978/1979); Finding: Joseph Naples never brought to trial.

6. Fact: Joseph Naples ordered the burning of the Desert Inn; Source: FBI Affidavit; Result: Desert Inn bar burned; Finding: Joseph Naples never brought to trial.

7. Fact: Joseph Naples ordered numerous other arsons and bombings; source: FBI Affidavit; Result: Numerous other arsons and bombings occurred; Finding: Joseph Naples never brought to trial.

8. Fact: Joseph Naples and James Prato had influence with Sheriff Yarash and associates around Sheriff Tablack; Source: FBI Affidavits. Affidavit and Testimony submitted during U.S. Senate hearing on organized crime (1984); Result: Organized crime activities continued; Finding: Joseph Naples and James Prato never brought to trial.

9. Fact: James Prato gave an attempted campaign contribution to Sheriff candidate James Traficant; Source: FBI Affidavit--James Traficant Trial. Testimony submitted during U.S. Senate hearing on Organized Crime (1984); Result: James Traficant acquitted; Finding: James Prato never brought to trial.

10. Fact: James Prato gave an $80,000 campaign contribution to Sheriff candidate Terrence Sheidel; Source: Michael Terlecky Affidavit. Affidavit of Congressional Lead Staff Investigator Frederick V. Hudach; Result: Terrence Sheidel advertised aggressively during his campaign for Sheriff; Finding: James Prato never brought to trial due to no grand jury being assembled.

11 Fact: Informant who wished to stay anonymous for now revealed the following: (1) On or about 1979 and 1980 Terry Sheidel, a faculty member at Youngstown State University who taught Criminal Justice courses, was running for Mahoning County, Ohio Sheriff at the same time James A. Traficant was seeking the same position; (2) Informant advised Terry Sheidel that he did not have enough money to forge an effective campaign against James A. Traficant and that he (informant) could ask Lenny Strollo for campaign money for him (Sheidel). Terry Sheidel agreed to informant's recommendation to ask Lenny Strollo for campaign money; (3) Informant met with Lenny Strollo and he (Strollo) gave him (informant) $80,000 in cash for Terry Sheidel's campaign for Mahoning County Sheriff. Strollo also told informant that if Terry Sheidel needed more money he would give him another $80,000; (4) Informant felt that James A. Traficant had to take the money from whoever gave him the money to keep it off the streets or it would have certainly been used against him to keep him from becoming the Mahoning County, Ohio Sheriff; (5) As far as informant knows, Terry Sheidel never received the second $80,000 from Lenny Strollo. James A. Traficant won the election.

Source: Michael Terlecky Affidavit. Affidavit of Congressional Lead Staff Investigator, Frederick V. Hudach; Result: Terry Sheidel never investigated by FBI; James Traficant investigated by FBI; Finding: Incident never thoroughly investigated by FBI Agents before bringing James Trafficant to trial.


STANLEY PETERSON AS FBI AGENT
1. Fact: Isabella Callard witnessed her husband Joe Ezzo giving money to FBI Agent Stanley Peterson so that he would permit gambling and other illegal activity to continue; Source: Isabella Callard Affidavit; Result: Illegal activity continued; Finding: Stanley Peterson retired from the FBI and subsequently became the Chief of Police of Youngstown, Ohio.


STANLEY PETERSON/FRIEND OF THE MOB/CHIEF OF POLICE
1. Fact: The FBI was informed that a candidate for Mayor of Younstown, Emanuel Catsoules stated that in 1978 a friend of organized crime wanted Stanley Peterson to be his Chief of Police.

2. Fact: The FBI was informed that a candidate for Mayor of Youngstown, Thomas A. Shipka, was contacted by a friend of the mob who would support his campaign based on

[Page: E1237]
certain conditions, one of which that he would appoint Stanley Peterson as his Chief of Police.
3. Fact: Thomas A. Shipka turned over his information to the FBI and actually brought 13-14 police officers who had first-hand knowledge of gambling joints, prostitution, and other activities that they alleged Mr. Peterson was protecting.

4. Fact: Allegation of Mr. Peterson being involved in an illegal wiretap of a rival mob group was given to the strike force.

5. Fact: The FBI was informed that in 1969, Jack Hunter, a candidate for Mayor of Youngstown, was contacted by an intermediator representing organized crime figures who were well known. They wanted veto powers over Chief of Police in exchange for campaign funds. A high ranking official in the Sheriff's Department was to act as the bagman.

6. Fact: The FBI was informed that in 1971 an intermediary for organized crime contacted Mayor of Youngstown, Jack Hunter, expressing a desire for him to name Stanley Peterson as Chief of Police.

7. Fact: On two separate occasions during the period that Stanely Peterson was Chief of Police of Youngstown, concerned citizens took substantial evidence to the local FBI office implicating Peterson in promoting or protecting organized criminal activity in the City of Youngstown. The Youngstown Police Department took evidence to the FBI identifying over 30 specific sites where organized criminal activity was being permitted to operate within the city.

8. Fact: Evidence was presented to the FBI that Chief of Police, Stanley Peterson was disciplining certain members of the Youngstown Police Department to discourage them from taking action against operations being conducted by LCN figures within the city.

Source: Affidavits and testimony submitted during U.S. Senate hearings on Organized Crime (1984); Result: The FBI said they were aware of the information about Stanley Peterson and that they investigated same, however, the nature of the information lacked specificity; Finding: The evidence against Stanley Peterson was never brought before a Grand Jury.

1. Fact: Joseph Naples and James Prato who were aligned with the Sebastian John LaRocca Mafia Family located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ran the organized crime faction in the Mahoning County, Ohio area which included: conspiracy to commit murder, murder for hire, aggravated murder, arson, bombings, burglary-criminal trespass, extortion, illegal gambling, numerous illegal campaign contributions, promoted the hiring of certain police officers, ``signed off'' on key elected officials, sheriffs, prosecutors and mayors.

Source: FBI Affidavits. Testimony, written statements and affidavits submitted to the U.S. Senate hearings on Organized Crime (1984 and 1988).

2. Fact: An informant who wished to stay anonymous for now, revealed the following: (1) Informant was a Youngstown, Ohio police officer during 1977 and 1978; (2) Informant during 1977 and 1978 worked for six months on Phillip Richley's campaign for Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio. Informant felt that his campaign work for Philip Richley would bring him a patrolman to white shirt and tie promotion with the Youngstown, Ohio Police Department. After Phillip Richley won the election and became the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, retired FBI Agent Stanley Peterson became the Youngstown, Ohio Chief of Police. Informant became angry when he was made aware that he was not going to get his expected promotion. Informant then contacted Lenny Strollo, who at the time along with Vic Calautti and Joey Naples reported to James Prato. Immediately after informant told Strollo of what happened to him, Strollo made a telephone call. Immediately following Strollo's telephone call, Strollo told informant he was promoted to a white shirt and tie promotion. Informant did not hear Strollo's telephone conversation, however, he strongly feels that Strollo talked to Youngstown, Ohio Chief of Police, Stanley Peterson, the retired FBI Agent; (3) Informant revealed that when Stanley Peterson was an FBI Agent he was often seen at Standard Motors, 901 Andrews Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio where mafia affiliated often met. Informant said that FBI Agent Stanley Peterson ``had a key to the place.'' Informant also stated that Stanley Peterson was Joey Naples' man.

Source: Affidavit of Congressional Lead Staff Investigator, Frederick V. Hudach; Result: The evidence against Stanley Peterson never brought before a Grand Jury; Finding: Stanley Peterson, friend of the mob.


LENINE STROLLO/FRANK FASLINE--TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, NOVEMBER 23, 1996
Fact: Lenine Strollo told Frank Fasline during a November 23, 1996 telephone conversation: that FBI Agent Robert Kroner was on Joseph Naples payroll; that FBI Agent Robert Kroner said in essence that he has lots of friends, that they can do whatever they want to do in this valley as long as they cooperate with him; that the FBI got away with illegal activity in the Mahoning Valley and the FBI was planning to get away with illegal activity again; that the FBI got involved in illegal activity and that the FBI wanted to make him (Strollo) a scapegoat again.

Source: FBI transcript of telephone wiretap titled Government Exhibit #4; Result: Lenine Strollo recanted above statements. Lenine Strollo in a plea bargain kept over $10 million in assets; Finding: Lenine Strollo traded the truth in exchange for his assets.


ASSOCIATE OF LENINE STROLLO PROFFER
Fact: (1) He caught Youngstown Police following him in Campbell and he heard that the FBI was across the road, in the mill with binoculars. Paulie told him not to worry about it because they had an ``inside guy'' in FBI. (Page 4); (2) Lenny Strollo told him about Biondillo running stags in the City of Youngstown and they wondered how he was able to do it. Lenny Strollo told him he heard that money went from Biondillo through Vic Calautti to the Randall Wellington campaign and that Biondillo had to have the okay from Wellington to be able to hold stags inside the city of Youngstown. (Page 45). He said that he heard that Biondillo paid $25,000 to Vic Calautti to donate to Wellington's campaign. (Page 49); (3) Lenny Strollo and he thought that the guys at the Center (Youngstown United Music) were doing business with FBI Agent Kroner as they were operating without any pressure and therefore must have had the FBI's okay. Lenny or Danny Strollo told him that Biondillo was talking to and dealing with the FBI. (Page 58); (4) Lenny Strollo told him that an agent told someone who told Strollo that FBI Agent Kroner and those guys were on the Naples payroll for years. He heard from Strollo that someone went to Kroner's father to see if he could control Kroner. That person found out that his father had no control over what he did. The reason for this was to see if Lenny Strollo could have control over Kroner like Naples did.

Source: The Proffer of a Lenine Strollo Associate given at the Euclid City Jail, Euclid, Ohio on 5-28, 6-4, 6-9, 6-30, 9-1, 11-13, 1998 in the presence of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, FBI Special Agents and a Special Agent of the IRS; Result: Information within Proffer suppressed; Finding: Obstruction of Justice-Misprision by Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Special Agent FBI and Special Agent IRS.

Fact: Informant, who wished to stay anonymous because of fear for himself and family revealed the following: during the early fall of 1997, Lenny Strollo, reputed leader of Youngstown, Ohio Organized Crime, told me at his now closed restaurant, at the northwest corner of Calla Road near Market Street, North Lima, Ohio that Joey Naples had told him the following: (a) he (Joey Naples) owned the FBI; and (b) he (Joey Naples) made payoffs to the FBI through Special Agent Lynch.

Source: Affidavit of Congressional Lead Staff Investigator Frederick V. Hudach; Result: FBI cover-up; Finding: FBI Agents on Joey Naples' payroll.


JUDICIAL CORRUPTION
Fact: Five separate crimes reported to the Youngstown office of the FBI and the Department of Justice, and three separate crimes reported to the Youngstown office of the FBI and IRS who used their authority in aid of and in furtherance to conceal the reported crimes by refusing to investigate and prosecute members of the bench and bar in both Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, Ohio; Source: Robert A. Frank Affidavits; Result: FBI and Office of the U.S. Attorney refused to totally investigate and prosecute; Finding: FBI, IRS and office of U.S. Attorney has carried out and made effective a pattern of selective prosecution and in some cases became an accessory after the fact.

Fact: An Investigative Chronology Exposing Extortion within the Trumbull County Common Pleas Court System of four Defendant's families for buyouts from prison was presented to both the FBI Offices in Youngstown and Cleveland and to the IRS Office in Youngstown; Source: Affidavit of Congressional Lead Staff Investigator, Frederick V. Hudach. Affidavit of Carl Stere; Result: No action taken by the United States Department of Justice; Finding: Selective Prosecution. The FBI/IRS/U.S. Attorneys will not prosecute their criminal friends for political reasons.

FBI refused to help a citizen of Trumbull County, Ohio who was being extorted by members of the Aryan Brotherhood. If the extortion money was not paid the citizen's son would be killed in prison; Source: Affidavit of Congressional Lead Staff Investigator, Frederick V. Hudach; Result: Troopers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol saved the life of the son of the citizen and arrested members of the Aryan Brotherhood; Finding: Members of the FBI were deliberately indifferent to their jurisdictional responsibility.

Fact: Two Investigative Summaries exposing police perjury and a bogus autopsy which occurred in Trumbull County, Ohio was submitted to Members of the FBI and the Office of Professional Responsibility; Source: Correspondence between Congressional Lead Staff Investigator Frederick V. Hudach and members of the FBI and member of Office of Professional Responsibility; Result: Assistant U.S. Attorney decided they did not have jurisdiction; Finding: Assistant U.S. Attorney practiced selective prosecution



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Thursday, May 29, 2008         Evening Edition

               
Media shock on Hill's assassination talk
Posted: May 29, 2008

"We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California," Hillary Clinton told the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader last week in explaining her reason for staying in the presidential race.

This comment evoked predictable outrage from the Obama-happy media. "The politics of this nation is steeped enough in blood, Senator Clinton," wailed MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in higher dudgeon than usual. "You cannot and must not invoke that imagery! Anywhere! At any time!"

Unfortunately for an earlier black rival of the Clintons with presidential aspirations of his own, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, the then Clinton-happy media refused to even inquire into his suspicious death.

Indeed, to protect Bill and Hillary from themselves for the troubled eight years of the Clinton presidency, the Keith Olbermann crowd attacked those who did inquire. This I know as well as almost anyone.

In the spring of 2001, I produced with James Sanders a documentary on the downing of TWA Flight 800 called "Silenced." Sanders had done the hard-core reporting on the case soon after it happened in July 1996.

(Column continues below)


Had Sanders done comparable reporting during the Bush years, the media would have hailed him as a whistleblower. But the media either ignored him or actually applauded when the FBI arrested Sanders and his wife, Elizabeth, a TWA trainer, on trumped-up conspiracy charges.

"The FBI handcuffed Liz with her hands behind her back and dragged her through throngs of reporters," says Sanders ruefully. "Never once did any reporter think of writing a story in defense of a wife of a journalist."

"That was a low moment," Sanders adds. "We had no support from major media. We were not going to get our story out."

It was in meeting the sweet and blameless Elizabeth that I got interested in the TWA Flight 800 story. Until that moment, I had been the opposite of a conspiracy theorist if there is such a thing.

My insistence that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK – and I have not changed on this – led one serious researcher to volunteer to fly me to Dallas to prove me wrong.

In April 1996, I was hosting a talk-radio show in Kansas City when Ron Brown's Air Force plane crashed in Croatia. I dismissed out of hand all of the ample talk that the Clintons had the plane shot down. "Even they would not do such a thing," I insisted.

The video "Silenced" led to a book on TWA 800, "First Strike," which I co-authored with Sanders. No matter how tight our facts were, I quickly discovered what Sanders already knew: To investigate the Clintons seriously is to render yourself a pariah, even among the more "respectable" conservative media.

I do not exaggerate. The editors of The Weekly Standard, for which I had been writing occasionally and successfully, not only stopped running my articles, they stopped returning my e-mails. I had transformed myself from Jack Cashill, Ph.D. to Jack Cashill, conspiracy theorist.

In 2003, with one plane crash under my belt, I received a commission to do a book on Ron Brown, the aptly named "Ron Brown's Body." Before accepting, I asked the publishers if they would accept the possibility that the plane crash was just an accident. They would, and so I proceeded.

My unstated goal was to write an anti-conspiracy book and in the process, so I reasoned, regain my humble reputation. As the son of a cop, however, I was determined to follow the facts where they led.

The facts led to two truth tellers, Brown confidante Nolanda Butler Hill and Kathleen Janoski, the forensic photographer who discovered an apparent bullet hole in Brown's head.

As I learned anew from these exceptional women, Democrats both, the media did not want to hear the truth during the Clinton years. Janoski and three of her physician colleagues sacrificed their military careers to tell it.

When Janoski and her colleagues went public in December 1997 with their concerns, the major media used their resources to undermine those concerns, or at least try to.

Hill sacrificed her freedom, spending three years in hiding and six months in custody in a Texas halfway house. With only a few exceptions, no one wanted to hear from her either.

"It's time to knock this stuff off," snapped Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry to one reporter who dared to venture a question about Brown's death. "I'm not going to talk about this further or take any further questions on the subject."

So incurious were the media that none among them even bothered to request the Air Force's 22-volume report on the Brown plane crash, not even the New York Times, which lost a reporter in the crash.

In reading the report, I first learned that Brown had flown to Croatia to broker a sweetheart deal between the neo-fascists who ran that country and a certain American corporation then much in the news, "Enron" by name.

In having a pair of TWA captains analyze the report's flight data did I finally accept the conclusion that the military pathologists had long ago pointed to: The crash was not an accident.

I did not hog this information. As with TWA Flight 800, I tried to share it with the major media, the same people who are professing shock at Hillary's assassination talk. At the time, they did not even want to know about any of it, not even the Enron connection.

The left, however, is now beginning to see what the right has long known. When cornered, as they were in the 1996 campaign, the Clintons can be a wee bit less than scrupulous.

If the media choose to probe beneath the talk, they might begin by asking why Hillary flew into Tuzla in Bosnia nine days before Brown left Tuzla on his fatal flight.

I hope they do. I know a few people who would like their reputations back.

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Salem-News.Com   
Why Did the FBI Let Roxanna M. Brown Die?
Salem-News.Com, OR - 2 hours ago
A famous American journalist and art curator is unexpectedly arrested and dies without medical treatment in FBI custody. Her brother, a playwright, ...


Knowledge, Power, and Institutional Imaginaries
25 04 2008

As with much of my life and work, I find inspiration in the least acceptable places. That’s not to say that I feel these sources of inspiration ought to be unacceptable, but merely that advertising them as the sources of one’s inspiration is commonly thought a ‘bad thing.’ Whatever.

Robert Anton Wilson (RIP) remains a huge inspiration on me and my work - I think his model of consciousness, as elaborated in Prometheus Rising, is more convincing than a lot of more mainstream ones, and at any rate, he commonly puts me in my place. That’s a good thing.

So, here’s the quote I’ve been trying to find for a while now, on the relationship between the production of knowledge in different people, predicated on their position in a hierarchical relationship, and the degradation of useful knowledge as a result of that hierarchy. Brilliant.

    Every authoritarian structure can be visualized as a pyramid with an eye on the top. This is the typical flow-chart of any government, any corporation, any Army, any bureaucracy, any mammalian pack. On each rung, participants bear a burden of nescience in relation to those above them. That is, they must be very, very careful that the natural sensory activities of being conscious organisms—the acts of seeing, hearing, smelling, drawing inferences from perception, etc.—are in accord with the reality-tunnel of those above them. This is absolutely vital; pack status (and “job security”) depends on it. It is much less important—a luxury that can easily be discarded—that these perceptions be in accord with objective fact.

    For instance, in the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the agent had to develop a capacity to see godless communists everywhere. Any agent whose perceptions indicated that there were actually [242] very few godless communists in this country at that time would experience cognitive dissonance—his or her reality-tunnel was at variance with the “official” reality-tunnel of the pyramid. To talk about such perceptions at all would be to invite suspicions of eccentricity, intellectual wiseacreing or of being oneself a godless communist.

    The same would apply to a Dominican inquisitor in the middle ages who lacked the capacity to “see” witches everywhere. In such authoritarian situations, it is important to see what the Top Dogs (alpha males) see; it is inconvenient, and possibly dangerous to see what is objectively happening.

    But this leads to an equal and opposite burden of omniscience upon those at the top, in the eye of the pyramid. All that is forbidden to those at the bottom—the conscious activities of perception and evaluation—is demanded of the Power Elite, the master class. They must attempt to do the seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. and all the thinking and evaluating for the whole pyramid. But a man with a gun (the power to punish) is told only what the target thinks will not cause him to pull the trigger (write the pink slip, order the court-martial). The elite, with their burden of omniscience, face the underlings, with their burden of nescience, and receive only the feedback consistent with their own preconceived notions and reality-tunnels. The burden of omniscience becomes, over time, another and more complex burden of nescience. Nobody really knows anything anymore, or if they do, they are careful to hide the fact. The burden of nescience becomes omnipresent. More and more of sensory experience becomes unspeakable.

    As Paul Watzlawick notes, that which is objectively repressed (unspeakable) soon becomes subjectively repressed (unthinkable). Nobody likes to feel like a coward and a liar constantly. It is easier to cease to notice where the official tunnel-reality differs from existential fact. Thus SNAFU accelerates and rigiditus bureaucraticus sets in—the last stage before all brain activity ceases and the pyramid is clinically dead as an intellectual entity.

    We also propose that “national security” is another semantic spook, an Empedoclean knot; that the search for national security [243] is the chief cause of national insecurity and a potent anti-intelligence mechanism. As Leary writes:

    Secrecy is the original sin. Fig leaf in the Garden of Eden. The basic crime against love… The purpose of life is to receive, synthesize and transmit energy. Communication fusion is the goal of life. Any star can tell you that. Communication is love. Secrecy, withholding the signal, hoarding, hiding, covering up the light is motivated by shame and fear. As so often happens, the right wing is half right for the wrong reasons. They say primly: if you have done nothing wrong, you have no fear of being bugged. Exactly. But the logic goes both ways. Then FBI files, CIA dossiers, White House conversations should be open to all. Let everything hang open. Let government be totally visible. The last, the very last people to hide their actions should be the police and the government.”

    -Robert Anton Wilson. Prometheus Rising, pp. 241-243


Book Review: ‘Bush’s Law,’ by Eric Lichtblau

By JEFF STEIN
Published: June 8, 2008

Get it out of your head that “Bush’s Law” is another high-minded, high-umbrage, A.C.L.U.-channeled eulogy to the United States Constitution, which died on the table at the hands of Bush administration surgeons. No, it’s Stephen King country, a collection of horror stories every bit as mouth-drying and finger-curling as Kathy Bates’s taking the lumber to James Caan in “Misery.”
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Josh Cochran

BUSH’S LAW

The Remaking of American Justice.

By Eric Lichtblau.

349 pp. Pantheon Books. $26.95.
Related
Articles by Eric Lichtblau in The Times

Even readers who have followed the administration’s legalistic contortions over wiretapping and waterboarding since 9/11 may be unnerved by Lichtblau’s recounting of the human dramas behind the stories of laws broken and ignored. Some of his stories involve officials who stood up to the White House and its henchmen in the F.B.I. and the Justice Department at the cost of their jobs. Others are moving accounts of professionals who lost their integrity, or at least their dignity, by averting their eyes.

Then there are the victims of the administration’s frantic, post-9/11 bloodhounds, who rounded up hundreds of people and held them incommunicado, mostly without charges, and occasionally prosecuting them simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, had the wrong names and religions, were wrongly identified or were drawn into conspiracies wholly created by the F.B.I.

Not Afghans and Pakistanis, mind you, who were swept up on the battlefield or kidnapped off the streets and thrown into Guantánamo or secret jails, only to be quietly released years later without so much as a fare-thee-well. Too often it was the guy next door, people like Brandon Mayfield, who became part of the collateral damage of the “war on terror.”

A 37-year-old Oregon lawyer in 2004, Mayfield was wrongly linked to the Madrid train bombing by imperious F.B.I. agents who brushed aside the cautions of Spanish investigators and matched a fingerprint found at the scene to his. It was a terrible mistake. What drove the investigation was the fact that Mayfield, an Army veteran, had married an Egyptian-born woman who had come to the United States at age 5. A slow convert to Islam, he attended the same Portland mosque as Arab immigrants who had earlier been arrested as terrorists.

Lichtblau, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist at The New York Times, adds creepy new details to previous accounts of the case. You feel the growing apprehension, then fear, as Mayfield, his wife and children detect that someone has been secretly breaking into their house for many weeks. One day one of the children is at home as the door handle jiggles. He scurries to the attic, terrified.

This is Cujo, not homeland security. Mayfield was detained and, according to his lawyers, threatened with the death penalty. Only the Spaniards’ eventual arrest of the fingerprint’s real owner, an Algerian, saved him.

What if it hadn’t?

“The F.B.I. had managed to bungle lots of things through the years — translations, computer programs, bullet-lead tracing analysis, DNA,” Lichtblau writes, “but fingerprint matching was about as basic and foolproof as it got.” And they got it wrong. The government eventually paid the Mayfield family $2 million for their pain, though the F.B.I. continued to defend its handling of the case.

James Ziglar, the relatively obscure head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service when terrorists struck on 9/11, worried about such miscues and overreactions. Hours after the attacks, he joined other top law enforcement and intelligence officials in the F.B.I.’s top-secret Strategic Information Operations Center, headquarters for the government’s domestic response. When Ziglar heard proposals for mass sweeps in Muslim communities like Dearborn, Mich., he grew concerned.

“I know you’re not a lawyer,” he remarked to John Ashcroft’s chief of staff, “but we do have this thing called the Constitution.” “The table grew quiet, faces tightening around it,” Lichtblau says, as Ziglar expanded on his tutorial. Finally, he declared, “The I.N.S. won’t be involved.” Ziglar was soon forced out, but not before enduring some humiliating moments.

Then there’s the melancholy tale of Larry Thompson, the Justice Department’s deputy attorney general. Like many top officials, he was kept in the dark about the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping on Americans’ telephone calls and e-mail, in violation of laws prohibiting it from domestic intelligence gathering.

“The N.S.A. operation sprouted, as did many of the central counterterrorism initiatives in the Bush White House, from a seed planted by Cheney,” Lichtblau explains. Thompson and other career lawyers at the Justice Department tried to get their hands around the illegal program but never could. Ashcroft shut them out.

“Thompson let it lie. He wouldn’t bring the topic up with Ashcroft again,” Lichtblau writes. “Nor would he ever approve any of the mystery wiretaps ... brought to him.” Soon, the intelligence section lawyers just began to ignore him. “Whatever was going on would go on without his signature.”

Lichtblau relates such tales of heroes and villains, survivors and victims, far too many to recount in this small space, with great verve and passion. One imagines he was motivated in part by the rude indignities he himself was subjected to by administration officials enraged by his exposés of their wrongdoing in the pages of The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

Well, here are their deserts, and they are just.
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Electronic Voting: Clinton Beats Exit Polls

                       

CLINTON BEATS EXIT POLLS BY WIDE MARGIN IN EVERY STATE

The Democratic Primaries 2008:


“As long as I am counting the Votes, what are you going to do about it?”
Boss Tweed (by Thomas Nast)

Managing Electoral Dynamics via Covert Vote-Count Manipulation

When the 700,000 plus absentee count was announced when in-person voting began, Obama had “436,034 to 303,276 for Clinton, or 59% to 41%, an 18% margin. But by the time the counting was done the next morning, Clinton had a 51% to 48% victory.”

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Jonathan Simon and Bruce O’Dell
Election Defense Alliance

Summary Statement

We present evidence supporting the hypothesis that systematic attempts are being made to manipulate the results of the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest, through overt means such as crossover voting by non-Democrats, and through covert means targeted at the electronic vote tabulation process itself. The net effect has been to prolong the nomination battle and sharpen its negativity, thereby boosting the prospects of the Republican nominee and making more plausible his “victory” in November-either by an honest count or through continued exploitation of the proven security vulnerabilities in American voting systems.

Introduction

Perhaps John McCain is, as Humphrey Bogart says of the young Bulgarian who wins the money for his family’s exit visa at the roulette table in Casablanca, “just a lucky guy.” Lucky that the Democrats find themselves locked into a protracted primary season inexorable in its dynamics and increasingly destructive in its impact. Lucky that Hillary Clinton has been magically revived each time she has found herself on electoral life support, to assume a position just far enough behind Barack Obama to be induced to resort to desperate measures and increasingly-negative ads, yet not so far behind as to be forced to bow out. Lucky that dynamics ostensibly out of McCain’s control have combined to give him such material assistance.

Perhaps. But there is compelling evidence that something other than luck is at work. With 82% of Americans polled convinced the nation is on the wrong track, self-destruction by the Democratic Party is the only remaining credible means by which, come 2008, the GOP could sustain the perpetual rule envisioned by Karl Rove. (Rove, of course, has hardly retired and is now working from home, beyond the reach of the mandatory email backup system installed at the White House just before he left to “spend time with his family.”) The goal of Democratic Party self-destruction in 2008 could most reliably be brought to pass by one progression of events, one choreography: if a candidate, Hilary Clinton, known for her sense of entitlement, lifelong ambition, tenacity-and willingness to go negative-could be placed and kept in a desperate but not quite hopeless position; the result would follow, quite predictably.

What the mainstream media have now set up and trumpeted as an epic “blood feud” in the Democratic Party, whether or not it actually undermines the party’s prospects in November, will certainly pre-establish a plausible “explanation” for the defeat of whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be. The same is true for US Senate and House races, where Democrats are heavily favored to expand their majorities, given the large number of open seats this November that were formerly held by Republican incumbents and a string of recent special election victories. But Democratic congressional candidates in both houses are arguably now facing the prospect of negative coattails. By setting the stage for post-election “spin” for the Presidential and congressional races in November, any outcome-determinative electoral manipulations would become much less “shocking”, and that much less likely to trigger investigation and ultimate detection.

This jaundiced overview of the Democratic primary season[1] is unfortunately supported by a body of evidence that goes well beyond the odd anomaly or two. When we examine-as the media has steadfastly refused to do-the numbers and disparities discovered in a parade of key states that determined the path the Democratic contest has taken to date, we find a telling pattern. This pattern is consistent with a tactical manipulation of the primary election vote counts in the service of the strategic choreography alluded to above: keeping Clinton in the race and desperate.

There are sound reasons why the Clinton campaign itself is not among the suspects: if Clinton’s campaign or supporters had the capacity and the will to alter election outcomes, it is reasonable to conclude that she would have won, or at least be ahead in, the race; and the ownership and operation of electronic voting equipment remains almost exclusively in the secretive hands of vendors (Diebold/Premier, ES&S, Hart, and Sequoia) with avowedly right-wing Republican political sympathies.

Our examination includes the Democratic primaries in the following key states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, each of which had surprising and unexpected results. In each of these critical elections there was a significant pro-Clinton disparity when comparing pre-election surveys and Election Day exit polls against the official vote counts.

1/8/08: New Hampshire

This was the first of the “must-wins” for Clinton. She went into New Hampshire on the heels of an embarrassing third-place finish in Iowa and a 20%+ defeat in Wyoming, had lost momentum, and was trailing by substantial margins in every pre-election poll in the Granite state (the range was from 5% to 13%, with Obama’s and Clinton’s internal polling both also showing a double-digit Obama margin). Observers consistently reported Obama rallies that were far larger and more enthusiastic. There was no sign of a Clinton groundswell. Yet on Election Night the voters apparently changed their minds, and gave her a 3% victory.

The media pundits scratched their collective heads and scrambled to explain this stunning reversal, which would have been remarkable enough if it had been a double-digit shift from a single reputable tracking poll, but was truly staggering when viewed against the backdrop of the entire phalanx of tracking polls. There was palpable grasping at straws-but never even a hint that perhaps the polls had it right and something was wrong with the vote counts.

Nor was there a mention that the first posted National Election Pool (NEP) exit poll had Obama ahead 39.4% to 38.1%, while earlier unposted NEP exit polls put Obama further ahead. The first posted exit poll was already weighted to a carefully calibrated demographic profile of the electorate, and therefore as reliable an indicator of voter intent as is available. Indeed, that first-posted exit poll may already have been partially adjusted toward conformity with the incoming vote counts, thereby understating the apparent exit poll-vote count disparity. That exit poll was largely spot-on for the other candidates; only Clinton and Obama’s exit poll numbers shifted significantly as votes were tabulated.

The mainstream media also did not mention the extraordinary disparity between votes that were counted by hand (Obama + 6.5% head-to-head with Clinton) and those tabulated by computerized optical scan devices (Clinton + 5.5% head-to-head with Obama). Although the counting method (machine vs. hand) was not strictly homogeneously distributed throughout the state, neither was it clustered in such a way that would readily explain the huge statistical disparity in results.

When considering benign reasons for such surprising and unexpected outcomes, conventional explanations all begin and end with the unquestioned belief that the computerized vote counts are valid. Quite an assumption in light of the parade of anomalies, disparities, and machine failures witnessed nationwide since the advent and proliferation of computerized vote counting. Official election results are assumed valid, even though the votes are tabulated by secret software[2] concealed on memory cards immune to inspection and under the strict proprietary control of an outsourced corporate vendor; in New Hampshire, the vendor is LHS, about which unanswered questions abound.

In an on-going epilogue, the New Hampshire primary remains under scrutiny. Investigators are amassing detailed evidence of pervasive mistabulation, focused in certain counties. On the Democratic side, there were an alarming number of polling sites reporting more votes than voters. Recounting was rendered effectively useless by a nonexistent chain of custody, which permitted more than ample opportunity for ballot substitution and revision. Memory cards were reported as having been erased and were never made available to investigators. Even something as basic as a reconciliation of the number of ballots delivered to number of ballots voted, spoiled, and uncast was lacking. Nor was there reconciliation of number of voters checked in at the polls to number of ballots cast.

At this first critical turning point in the Democratic contest an Obama victory would have, in the view of most analysts, effectively ended Clinton’s campaign. That victory-augured in pre-election polling, exit polls, and hand-counted ballots-vanished into the black box scanners provided by Diebold and programmed by LHS. Instead, Clinton was credited with a stunning comeback, given new life, and the nomination battle continued.

2/5/2008: Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday was essentially a standoff, each candidate doing what was necessary to remain viable. There were, however, several exit poll-vote count disparities far beyond the expected margin of error, each involving a shift toward Clinton.

In Massachusetts, another LHS state like New Hampshire, the shift was a whopping 15.5%, turning a projected narrow Obama victory into a 15% Clinton rout. In Arizona, site of some of the most dubious counting antics over the past several election cycles, the pro-Clinton shift was 11%, again reversing the outcome. And in New Jersey, where machines are currently under high scrutiny supported by a court order, the shift was 8.6%. Each of these shifts was well beyond the margin of error of the respective polls. Each resulted in shifts in delegate count to Obama’s detriment, as well as the loss of two victories that would have put a very different complexion on the outcome of Super Tuesday as a whole. The overall effect was, again, to maintain Clinton’s viability.

3/4/2008: Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas

In the weeks following Super Tuesday, Obama racked up a succession of impressive wins-including every caucus state, where vote counting is often face-to-face, and subject to greater scrutiny. As a result he pulled well ahead in the delegate count, and began to take on the mantle of inevitability.

Once more, pundits were calling the race all but over, and Texas and Ohio were often described as Clinton’s last stand. She needed wins in both states, it was flatly stated, to continue in the race. Even Clinton’s own campaign conceded as much. In the weeks before the election, Obama had closed an initial gap in both states and was running even or ahead in pre-election polling.

Ohio

In Ohio once again we are confronted with a discrepancy between exit polls and official tallies. The initial published exit poll, posted shortly after poll closing, showed a 3% Clinton margin (51.1% to 47.9%), while the final official vote count showed a 10% Clinton margin (54.3% to 44.0%). This disparity was well outside the exit poll’s margin of error. The official vote count was also a significant departure from a compendium of pre-election polls, which showed Obama gaining ground and approaching equality.[3] Viewed in isolation, Ohio could be explained as a “late Clinton surge” that caught the pre-election pollsters by surprise. Primaries are indeed fluid and volatile, as elections go, and there were reports of organized attempts to encourage Republican crossover voting for Clinton, though the Republican crossover vote may have been less robust than initially reported. It can also plausibly be viewed as another in a succession of “cover stories” (for example, the massive but phantom after-dinner Evangelical turnout offered up by Rove as a factor in reversing the outcome in 2004) that could well provide a relatively benign explanation for more nefarious operations. But instead there was a parade of contests in important states in the 2008 nomination battle in which a substantial exit poll-vote count disparity worked in Clinton’s favor-including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Arkansas, Arizona, California, and now Ohio and, as we will see, Texas and Rhode Island.

In contrast, we have observed to date no battleground state primary with a significant[4] exit poll-vote count disparity in Obama’s favor. Some have invoked the so-called “Bradley effect” to account for this string of disparities. According to this theory, some white voters who would not vote for a black candidate in the privacy of the voting booth are “shamed” into indicating to pollsters (i.e., in public) that they chose that candidate. But research into the Bradley effect has established that it is, at best, an inconsistent and relatively rare phenomenon, very unlikely to account for such a pervasive pattern as identified above. It is only if one is unwilling to consider any possibility of computerized vote mistabulation that such superficially plausible theories as the Bradley effect take their place in the front of the line of explanations.

Rhode Island

The exit poll-vote count disparity in Rhode Island was 14.1%; the exit poll posted after poll closing had Clinton up 4.1% (51.6% to 47.5%) over Obama, yet the official vote count had Clinton up 18.2% (58.8% to 40.6%). This is far outside the exit poll’s margin of error, and on a par with the similarly perplexing and bizarre 15.5% disparity favoring Clinton in Massachusetts on Super Tuesday. It is reasonable to ask, if exit polls are this far off, why bother exit polling? (Or perhaps just as reasonable to ask, if vote counts are this far off, why bother voting?)

Texas

In Texas there was a relatively modest 4% discrepancy between the first posted exit polls and official tallies-in the usual direction and larger than the margin of error, and also in this case, withheld from the public until more than an hour after poll closing. While most primary exit polls are posted a few minutes after the polls close, an hour’s delay enables ample opportunity for adjustment of exit polls toward conformity with the incoming vote count, and so the posted exit polls may understate the magnitude of the discrepancy. But the disparity in Texas between early voting results vs. Election Day in-precinct voting was of staggering proportions that seemed to defy explanation. The earliest returns posted on network websites showed a total of approximately 740,000 votes cast in the Democratic primary with 0% of precincts reporting. This was the early/absentee vote tally, which in some states is tabulated and available for release immediately upon poll closing. Obama’s vote at that point was 436,034 to 303,276 for Clinton, or 59% to 41%, an 18% margin. But by the time the counting was done the next morning, Clinton had a 51% to 48% victory . . . a whopping 21% margin reversal.


Obama addressing a crowd of 20,000 in down town Austin, Texas.
How did his 59%-41% lead in absentee votes collapse so quickly? Was there something about absentee voters that caused them to give Obama an 18% margin?

What was even more stunning, however, was that Clinton had caught up to Obama before even a quarter of the election day vote had been tallied: with 23% of election day precincts reporting and almost exactly as many at-precinct votes as early votes counted, the overall count stood at Obama 711,759, Clinton 711,183 (49%-49%), a dead heat. To catch up so quickly and produce those numbers, Clinton had to win the at-precinct vote in that quarter of Texas precincts by 59% to 41%... an exact reversal of the early voting Obama landslide.

What we saw in Texas were essentially equal and opposite landslides, as if we were observing two not only separate but radically divergent electorates, one that chose to vote early and one that chose to go to the polls. The early voting period in Texas extends from 17 days to four days prior to the election. Ordinarily explanations for a divergence of such magnitude, particularly in intra-party contests, would be due to time-critical phenomena such as late-breaking gaffes, scandals, debate blowouts and the like. But there was no such occurrence. During the early voting period the average of 13 pre-election polls showed Clinton 45.6%, Obama 46.7%. In the three days before the election, after the early voting period had ended, the average of eight polls was Clinton 46.8%, Obama 46.1%, a very modest change and certainly not the 21% mega-reversal displayed by the early voting and at-precinct vote counts.

While there is no obvious explanation for the pattern observed, one hypothesis worthy of investigation is that one set of counting equipment (either early-voting or at-precinct voting) was accessed by malicious insiders and manipulated. If the pattern of pro-Clinton shifts were to hold, the place to investigate first would of course be the at-precinct voting equipment and county central tabulators.

Having won Ohio and Texas, Clinton remained viable but still in dire straits, leading directly to the most polarizing and divisive phase of the nomination battle.

4/23/08: Pennsylvania

In the ‘quiet’ interval during the six weeks prior to the Pennsylvania primary, the effects of Clinton’s revived (but precarious) position had ample opportunity to play out. The Clinton campaign went on the offensive, with the type of personal, negative attacks that both campaigns had previously eschewed. Obama was relentlessly portrayed as elitist and out-of-touch by the Clinton campaign (and by Clinton herself), a depiction the mainstream media began to echo almost as relentlessly. And, sure enough, incidents emerged that played into this depiction-most notably Reverend Wright’s sermons and Obama’s own quote that seemed to both pigeonhole and patronize the working-class voters of Pennsylvania. These were replayed by the mainstream media in an endless barrage of coverage, all keyed to the theme that Obama might be too out-of-touch, and too close to the radical black fringe, to be president.

Obama appeared to successfully counter that round of negative attacks, and it appeared to have little or no impact in his polling support nationwide – nor, indeed, in Pennsylvania. Obama went into the April 23 primary trailing Clinton by 5% or less in pre-election polls, with no late movement to Clinton detected. It was viewed as essential by mainstream media pundits that Clinton win “by double digits” to maintain her viability and pick up the momentum required to win decisive super delegate support.

First-posted exit polls for Pennsylvania reflected pre-election expectations, with Clinton leading 51.6% to 47.8%, a 3.8% margin. By late in the evening, however, with the count mostly in, it was Clinton by 9.4%--close enough for the morning papers, networks, and websites to lead with Clinton’s “double-digit” win.

As with New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas, there was a wide range of irregularities, glitches, and vote suppression incidents reported. Again, an exit poll disparity beyond the margin of error. Again, a departure, in the familiar direction, from the range of pre-election polling. And once again the final result was that Clinton received just enough to sustain her campaign, her “double-digit” victory, courtesy of a generous round-off.

The Upshot

Just as with a spaceship’s carefully-calibrated mid-course corrections that make an ultimate difference of millions of miles, it does not take much to radically change the course of a multi-election political contest. A few quick bursts from the retrorockets at the right moment(s) will do the trick.

Of course the dynamics of a campaign can change legitimately, as a result of the thrust and parry process, exposure of weaknesses, refutation of apparent inevitability, etc. But the shift in dynamics of the 2008 Democratic nomination contest strongly correlated with a string of election results that raised serious red flags independent of their impact on the race. Glaring discrepancies far beyond the margin of error of exit polls and pre-election polls, and the confounding of the expected electoral dynamics, produced results that had the precise impact of prolonging and intensifying the nomination battle. Had the primary election results jibed with those independent measures and expectations, it would long since have been wrapped up.

Anyone actually in a position to take advantage of the vast array of security vulnerabilities in the computers that run our elections would have an obvious interest in remaining undetected. The safest path would be to take only what you need to achieve your bottom-line goal, and not one vote more. Anything beyond adds risk without reward. Thus, in keeping with our hypothesis that the fundamental goal of primary contest electoral manipulation was to create “plausible defeatability” for the Democratic ticket in November, we would expect little additional manipulation in the last stages of the Democratic contest. It is apparent that an Obama defeat in November (and more extensive Democratic losses in down-ballot races) can be spun as a plausible consequence of the intra-party strife that has already been depicted as weakening the party and its nominee, and of apparent Obama weaknesses exposed in the course of the grueling nomination battle. With such a cover story safely in place, even an against-the-odds Republican “victory” in November could be successfully spun and sold to the candidates, their parties, the media, and the voters.

The “mystery adjustment” factor in polling

One final observation concerning the pre-election polling that sets expectations for candidates, the mainstream media, and the voters themselves. We are deeply concerned that these polls too paint a false backdrop against which the signs of computerized electoral manipulation by insiders will appear diminished in magnitude over time, or even disappear. The reason for this concern is obviously not that the fraternity of pollsters is knowingly acting to support or conceal systematic computerized electoral manipulation, but rather that pollsters simply cannot expect to stay in business if they consistently fail to predict the “actual” electoral results. The worst problem for a pollster is to be consistently “off” in the same direction. Put another way, pollsters are not paid for achieving some abstract statistical purity but rather for accurate predictions-however achieved.

If one places oneself in the position of a pollster who, time and again, is faced with results that are, say 6 – 8% more Republican than their predictions, or shifted in the direction the right wing would desire, it becomes clear that one would begin making a “mystery adjustment” to whatever data emerges from a clean survey methodology. Such an adjustment can be easily generated by changes in demographic weighting that can at least in part be justified by reliance on data emerging from previous elections, themselves manipulated. Call it a fudge factor if you will, but it keeps the pollster in business while failing to make such a correction would be professional suicide.

By way of corroboration of this phenomenon, in public dialogue with a major-party polling consultant the following shocking admission was made: if the Democratic candidate is not leading by 10% going into the election in their internal polling, they expect the race to be a toss-up. This internal candidate polling is-unlike polls published for public consumption-intended to paint a ruthlessly accurate picture of contest dynamics to help the party prioritize expensive get-out-the-vote drives and last-minute media blitzes. The fact that even major-party pollsters must adjust their own results to account for the “mystery swing” to the right is a strong indication that much the same distorting protocol is already being employed in public pre-election polling.

When manipulated elections serve as the calibration tool for pre-election polling, we lose yet another independent check mechanism on the official computerized vote tabulation process. This only deepens the crisis.

Conclusion

Election theft is certainly hard to prove, with virtually all hard evidence withheld as proprietary; and even well-supported allegations by credible journalists, computer scientists, security professionals and election integrity activists are given a wide berth by both the mainstream media and the established political powers of both major parties.

Yet, even with the limited tools at our disposal, we keep discovering evidence-in pre-election polls, exit polls, and published election results –that is consistent with a pattern of widespread covert manipulation of vote counts.

We will continue to investigate and report these anomalies until a thorough and unblinking investigation of suspicious results is undertaken by those in position to collect the additional evidence needed to establish incontrovertible proof. But since many of those in the best position to investigate election anomalies are themselves elected officials, our best hope may be to follow the recent example of Ireland and the Netherlands-dispense with voting computers, and simply count our own paper ballots by hand.

ENDS

[1] There were significant oddities on the Republican side as well, beyond the scope of our analysis here.
[2] Remarkably enough, we know with certainty that the precise model of optical scan voting equipment in use in NH, Diebold Accuvote OS Model 1.94W, is vulnerable to outcome-altering manipulation by insiders. A live demonstration on that very Diebold model was captured in the HBO documentary “Hacking Democracy”.
[3] See
[4] In this case significant means “larger than the exit poll margin of error”.
[5] Weighted, 1421 respondents, approximate margin of error 3%

Originally Published at Election Defense Alliance
OpEdNews.Com
pdf - Managing Electoral Dynamics Via Covert Vote-Count Manipulation

Information on Jonathan Simon and Bruce O’Dell

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John McCain’s Chilling Project for America


Global Research, June 15, 2008
truthdig.com - 2008-06-12


John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars. The credo of this group is “the end justifies the means,” and the end of establishing the United States as the world’s sole superpower justifies, in its estimation, anything from military control over the information on the Internet to the use of genocidal biological weapons. Over its two terms, the George W. Bush administration has planted the seeds for this geopolitical master plan, and now appears to be counting on the McCain administration, if one comes to power, to nurture it.

The Road Map to War

The blueprint for this “new order” was drafted in February 1992, at the end of the George H.W. Bush administration when Defense Department staffers Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby and Zalmay Khalilzad, acting under then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, drafted the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG). This document, also known as the “Wolfowitz Doctrine,” was an unofficial, internal document that advocated massive increases in defense spending for purposes of strategic proliferation and buildup of the military in order to establish the pre-eminence of the United States as the world’s sole superpower. Advocating pre-emptive attacks with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, it proclaimed that “the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.” The document was also quite clear about what should be the United States’ main objective in the Middle East, especially with regard to Iraq and Iran, which was to “remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region’s oil.” The Wolfowitz Doctrine was leaked to The New York Times and The Washington Post, which published excerpts from it. Amid a public outcry, President George H.W. Bush retracted the document, and it was substantially revised. 

The original mission of the Wolfowitz Doctrine was not lost, however. In 1997, William Kristol and Robert Kagan founded The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a nongovernment political action organization that sought to develop and advocate for the militant, geopolitical tenets contained in the Wolfowitz Doctrine.  PNAC’s original members included Wolfowitz, Cheney, Khalilzad, Libby, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, William J. Bennett, and other soon-to-be high officers in the Bush administration. 

McCain’s Ties to PNAC

John McCain’s connection to PNAC can be traced back to before its formation in 1997.  In fact, he was president of the New Citizenship Project, founded by Kristol in 1994. This organization was parent to PNAC, and served as its chief fundraising organ. 

McCain also worked cooperatively with PNAC and Wolfowitz in attempting to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. In 1998, he co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act—drafted by PNAC—which decreed “regime change” in Iraq to be U.S. policy, and which appropriated $97 million in U.S. military aid to the Iraqi National Congress (INC). The INC was a group of anti-Hussein Iraqi militants whose purpose was to instigate a national uprising against Hussein. It was led by Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi informant whose subsequent faulty intelligence—claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaida—was used to sell the Iraq war to the American public. In 2004, in response to accusations that he deliberately misled U.S. intelligence agencies, Chalabi glibly stated, “We are heroes in error.”

McCain also was co-chair (with Sen. Joseph Lieberman) of The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI). Established by PNAC in late 2002, this committee continued to finance Chalabi’s INC with millions of taxpayer dollars, until shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, when it was discontinued. In 2004, McCain became a signatory of PNAC, ironically signing on to a PNAC letter condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy for its return to the “rhetoric of militarism and empire.”

McCain has accordingly been a foot soldier for PNAC from its inception, and, although this organization is no longer in existence, its ideology and its signatories (many of whom now serve as advisers to the McCain presidential campaign) are still very much active. 

The Master Plan

In September 2000, prior to the presidential election that year, PNAC carefully formulated its chief tenets in a document called Rebuilding America’s Defenses (RAD). This document, which was intended to guide the incoming administration, had a substantial influence on the policies set by the Bush administration and is likely to do the same for a McCain administration if McCain becomes president. Here are some of the recommendations of the RAD report:

Fighting and winning multiple, simultaneous major wars

Among its core missions was the rebuilding of America’s defenses sufficient to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars.” And it explicitly advocated sending troops into Iraq regardless of whether Saddam Hussein was in power. According to RAD, “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

The RAD report also admonished, “Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region.” Therefore, it had both Iraq and Iran in its sight as zones of multiple, simultaneous major wars for purposes of advancing “longstanding American interests in the region”—in particular, its oil.

McCain’s recent chanting of “bomb, bomb, bomb; bomb, bomb Iran” to the beat of an old Beach Boys tune, his suggestion that the war with Iraq might last 100 years and his recent statement that the war in Afghanistan might also last 100 years—all of these pronouncements are clearly in concert with the PNAC mission to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars.”

RAD also stressed the need to have additional forces equipped to handle ongoing “constabulary” duties such as enforcement of no-fly zones and other operations that fell short of full theater wars. It claimed that unless the military was so equipped, its ability to fight and win multiple, simultaneous wars would be impaired.  Along these same lines, McCain has recently stated, ‘’It’s time to end the disingenuous practice of stating that we have a two-war strategy when we are paying for only a one-war military. Either we must change our strategy—and accept the risks—or we must properly fund and structure our military.’’

Designing and deploying global missile defense systems

RAD also emphasized, as an additional core value, the need to “transform U.S. forces to exploit the ‘revolution in military affairs.’ ” This included the design and deployment of a global ballistic missile defense system consisting of land-, sea-, air- and space-based components said to be capable of shielding the U.S. and its allies from “limited strikes” in the future by “rogue” nations such as Iraq, North Korea and Iran.

Along these lines, McCain has maintained that a ballistic missile defense system was “indispensable”—even if this meant reneging on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 at the expense of angering the Russians.  Unfortunately, while RAD acknowledged the “limited” efficacy of such a weapons system (presumably because it cannot realistically provide a bulletproof shield, especially against large-scale missile attacks), neither it nor McCain addressed the problem that deployment of such a system could be destabilizing: It could encourage escalation, instead of de-escalation, of ballistic missile arsenals by nations that fear becoming sitting ducks, and might even provoke a pre-emptive strike. Further, there is still the question of whether the creation of such costly, national defense shields is even technologically feasible.

The use of genocidal biological warfare for political expediency

Not only did RAD advocate the design and deployment of defensive weaponry, it also stressed the updating of conventional offensive weapons including cruise missiles along with stealthy strike aircraft and longer-range Air Force strike aircraft. But it went further in its offensive posture by envisioning and supporting the use of genotype-specific biological warfare. According to RAD, “… advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” In this chilling statement, a double standard is evident. In the hands of al-Qaida, such genocidal weapons would belong to “the realm of terror,” but in those of the U.S., they would be “politically useful tools.”

Rejection of the United Nations

PNAC’s double standard is also inherent in its rejection of the idea of a cooperative, neutral effort among the nations of the world to address world problems, including the problem of Iraq. “Nor can the United States assume a UN-like stance of neutrality,” states the RAD report. “The preponderance of American power is so great and its global interests so wide that it cannot pretend to be indifferent to the political outcome in the Balkans, the Persian Gulf or even when it deploys forces in Africa. Finally, these missions demand forces basically configured for combat.” Accordingly, a McCain administration founded on a PNAC platform of self-interested exercise of force would oppose giving the United Nations any central role in setting and implementing foreign affairs policy.

Control of space and cyberspace

PNAC’s quest for global domination transcends any literal meaning of the geopolitical, and extends also to the control, rather than the sharing, of outer space. It also has serious implications for cyber freedom. Thus the RAD report states, “Much as control of the high seas—and the protection of international commerce—defined global powers in the past, so will control of the new ‘international commons’ be a key to world power in the future. An America incapable of protecting its interests or that of its allies in space or the ‘infosphere’ will find it difficult to exert global political leadership. ... Access to and use of cyberspace and the Internet are emerging elements in global commerce, politics and power. Any nation wishing to assert itself globally must take account of this other new ‘global commons.’ ”

There is a difference between protecting the Internet from a cyber attack and controlling it. The former is defensive while the latter is offensive. But RAD also advocated going on the offensive. It stated that “an offensive capability could offer America’s military and political leaders an invaluable tool in disabling an adversary in a decisive manner.”

However, state control of cyberspace for political purposes can have serious implications for the Fourth Amendment right to privacy. The Bush administration has already engaged in mass illegal spying on the phone and e-mail messages of millions of Americans through its National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program. As a result of copying these messages and depositing them into an NSA computer database, it began to assemble a massive “Total Information Awareness” computer network. The FBI has also begun to develop and integrate such personal data with a biometric database that includes digital iris prints and facial images. Combine this with other computerized databases including credit card information, banking records and health files, and the result is an incredible ability to exercise power and control over anyone deemed by a political leader to be an “adversary”—including journalists, political opponents and others who might not see eye to eye with the administration.

In concert with the PNAC mission of control over cyberspace, McCain has supported making warrantless spying on American citizens legal. When asked if he believed that Bush’s warrantless surveillance program was legal, McCain responded, “You know, I don’t think so, but why not come to Congress? We can sort this out. ... I think they will get that authority, whatever is reasonable and needed, and increased abilities to monitor communications are clearly in order.”

Consistent with his conviction that such extended powers should be granted to the president, McCain has also recently voted for Senate Bill S.2248, which vacates substantial civil liberties protections included in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In contrast to the 1978 FISA, S.2248 would allow the president, acting through the attorney general, to spy on the phone and e-mail communications of Americans without individual court warrants or the need to judicially show probable cause. 

Despite the fact that McCain has said that Bush’s NSA spying program was not legal, he has also supported granting retroactive legal immunity to the telecommunication companies (such as AT&T and Verizon) that helped Bush illegally spy on millions of Americans. This means that he has openly admitted that the Bush administration acted unlawfully in eavesdropping on Americans’ phone and e-mail messages, while at the same time opted for taking away their legal right to redress this violation. And this unequivocally means that McCain is prepared to allow executive authority to trump the rule of law.

Meet the McCain Team

Given John McCain’s firm allegiance to the core missions of PNAC, it should come as no surprise that many of the old PNAC guard have shown up as foreign policy advisers in McCain’s current presidential campaign, and are likely re-emerge as high officials in his administration if he becomes president. Here are snapshots of some of these potential members of a McCain Cabinet, giving their PNAC profiles, their advisory capacities in the McCain 2008 presidential campaign, and their politics.

William Kristol
Editor and founder of Washington-based political magazine, Weekly Standard.
PNAC co-founder.
Foreign policy adviser.
Has consistently been wrong in his foreign policy analyses regarding Iraq. For example, on March 5, 2003, he stated, “I think we’ll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction and when we liberate the people of Iraq.”

Robert Kagan
Served in State Department in Reagan administration on Policy Planning Staff.
PNAC co-founder.
Foreign policy adviser.
Has defended global expansionism by claiming it is an American tradition: “Americans’ belief in the possibility of global transformation—the ‘messianic’ impulse—is and always has been the more dominant strain in the nation’s character.”

Randy Scheunemann
Former adviser to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Co-director and executive director of Committee for Liberation of Iraq.
Defense and foreign policy coordinator.
With regard to recent National Intelligence Estimate finding that Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program in 2003, stated “a careful reading of the NIE indicates that it is misleading.” And he claimed that the NIE harmed our efforts to achieve a “greater diplomatic consensus” to crack down on Iran.

James Woolsey
Director of CIA, Clinton administration, 1993-1995. (Reported to have met only twice with Clinton during time as CIA chief.)
PNAC signatory.
Energy and national security adviser.
Speaking to a group of college students in 2003 about Iraq, he stated that “… the United States is engaged in World War IV.” Described the Cold War as the third world war. Then said, “This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us. Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War.”

John R. Bolton
Former U.S. ambassador to U.N. (Nomination to U.N. rejected by Senate, but George W. Bush put him in place on a recess appointment. Name floated for possible secretary of state for McCain.
PNAC director.
Ardent supporter of McCain for president in 2009.
Publicly derided the United Nations: In 1994, he stated “there is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that’s the United States, when it suits our interest, and when we can get others to go along.” Advocates attacking Iran.

Robert B. Zollick
President, World Bank.
PNAC signatory.
Announced in 2006 he would be joining McCain presidential campaign for domestic and foreign policy but instead replaced Wolfowitz as president of World Bank in 2007.
Has touted virtues of corporate globalization under the rubric of “comprehensive free trade.” But as Kevin Watkins, head researcher for Oxfan, stated, he pays no heed to the effects of the “blind pursuit of US economic and corporate special interests” on the world’s poor.

Gary Schmitt
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (home to other PNAC members including Wolfowitz and Pearle.)
PNAC director.
Foreign policy adviser.
Defended warrantless eavesdropping on Americans by claiming that Constitution “created a unitary chief executive. That chief executive could, in times of war or emergency, act with the decisiveness, dispatch and, yes, secrecy, needed to protect the country and its citizens.”

Richard L. Armitage
Former deputy secretary of state in George W. Bush administration.
PNAC signatory.
Foreign policy adviser.
By his own admission, was responsible for leaking CIA agent Valerie Plame’s CIA identity to the press. Allegedly involved in Iran-Contra affair during Reagan administration.

Max Boot
Council on Foreign Relations.
PNAC signatory.
Foreign policy adviser.
Stating that U.S. should “unambiguously ... embrace its imperial role,” has advocated attacking other Middle East countries in addition to Iraq and Iran, including Syria. Said McCain’s “bellicose aura” could “scare the snot out of our enemies,” who “would be more afraid to mess with him” than with other then-potential presidential candidates.

Henry A. Kissinger
President Nixon’s secretary of state.
Embraces expansionist power politics.
Consultant.
Played major role in secret bombings of Cambodia during Nixon administration as well as having had alleged involvement in covert assassination plots and human rights violations in Latin America.

What’s in Store for Us if McCain Becomes President

That McCain has surrounded himself with such like-minded advisers who support the narrow PNAC agenda speaks to his unwillingness to hear and consider alternative perspectives. In fact, six out of 10 civilian foreign advisers to McCain are PNAC veterans. Even the newly appointed deputy communications director of the McCain campaign, Michael Goldfard, has been a research associate for PNAC. A die-hard adherent of the “unitary authority” of the chief executive, he recently stated that the framers of the United States Constitution advocated an “executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war.”

Add to this list other major PNAC figures such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Dick Cheney who would probably play a significant role in a McCain administration and it is clear in what direction this nation would be moving.

A McCain administration would be likely to:

·       Invest incredible amounts of money in sustaining multiple, simultaneous wars overseas at the expense of neglecting pressing concerns at home, including the economy, health care, the environment and education.

·       Stockpile nuclear weapons, while seeking to prohibit its adversaries from having them.

·       Attempt to shield the U.S. with a multilayered missile defense system based on land, at sea, in the air and in space, while demanding that nations that are not its allies become sitting ducks.

·       Strive to develop more potent chemical and biological weapons—not to mention the genotype-specific variety, while at the same time claiming to be fighting a “war on terror.”

·       Legalize “Total Information Awareness”—going through all Americans’ phone calls, e-mail messages and other personal records without needing probable cause.

·       Take control of the Internet, globally using it as an offensive political weapon—while claiming to be spreading democracy throughout the world. 

·       Dispense with checks and balances in favor of the “unitary executive authority” of the president.

·       Alienate nations that refuse to join our war coalitions.

·       Deny that there is (or can be) a United Nations.


A McCain administration would rule by fear, perceive right in terms of military might and subscribe to the idea of “do as I say and not as I do.” As a consequence, instead of rebuilding the image of America as a model of justice and civility, it would further sully respect for this nation throughout the world.

Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., is a political analyst and media critic. His most recent book is “The Last Days of Democracy: How Big Media and Power-Hungry Government Are Turning America Into a Dictatorship.” He was first-prize winner of the 2007 Project Censored Award.

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Izzy Stone, Patron Saint of Bloggers
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Posted June 16, 2008 | 10:54 AM (EST)
Read More: Arianna Huffington, Blogs, Edward R. Murrow, Glenn Greenwald, I.F. Stone, Joe Mccarthy, Josh Marshall, Home News

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For days, the death of a famous journalist has preoccupied many. Including me. For it was nineteen years ago this week that I.F. (Izzy) Stone died. The legendary blogger was 81.

Confused? You say he died years before web blogs were invented?

Well, yeah, but when I think of today's blunt, fact-based online hell-raisers, my mind quickly flashes on Izzy Stone. You may think of Josh Marshall or Glenn Greenwald or Arianna Huffington. I think of Izzy.

Before there was an Internet, Izzy Stone was doing the work we associate with today's best bloggers. Like them, he was obsessed with citing original documents and texts. But before search engines, Izzy had to consume ten newspapers per day - and physically visit government archives and press offices, and personally pore over thousands of words in the Congressional Record. That's how he repeatedly scooped the gullible, faux-objective MSM of his day in exposing government deceit, like that propelling the Vietnam War.

Izzy was the ultimate un-embedded reporter. His journalism was motivated by a simple maxim that resonates loudly in our era of Cheneys and Rumsfelds and WMD hoaxes: "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out."

Month after month from 1953 to 1969 I.F. Stone's Weekly (biweekly through 1971) exposed deceptions as fast as governments could spin them. His timely and timeless dispatches are gathered in an exceptional paperback, The Best of I.F. Stone.

In real time in August 1964, Izzy was virtually alone in challenging the Gulf of Tonkin hoax, an imaginary "unprovoked attack" on U.S. warships used by the Johnson administration to send several hundred thousand American troops into Vietnam. How did Izzy do it? By citing international law texts and finding nuggets of truth in the Congressional Record of the Senate debate (no C-SPAN then) and in contradictory reporting in mainstream publications.

Izzy's expose began boldly: "The American government and the American press have kept the full truth about the Tonkin Bay incidents from the American public." He fumed at the credulous MSM: "The process of brain-washing the public starts with off-the-record briefings for newspapermen." Only two senators, Oregon's Wayne Morse and Alaska's Ernest Gruening, had voted against the Tonkin Resolution; Izzy noted that the press had "dropped an Iron Curtain weeks ago on the antiwar speeches of Morse and Gruening."

Like today's online journalistic entrepreneurs, being his own editor and boss allowed Izzy the freedom and space to parse out the distortions of government in detail. A year before the Tonkin hoax, he wrote: "In this age of corporation men, I am an independent capitalist, the owner of my own enterprise." While most journalists "find their niche in some huge newspaper of magazine combine, I am a wholly independent newspaperman, standing alone."

Bloggers battle today's McCarthyites who smear Iraq War opponents as un-American abettors of our country's enemies. Izzy battled the original Joe McCarthy, in issue after issue of his weekly. Indeed, he launched his publication the same month - January 1953 - McCarthy became chair of the Senate Operations Committee, enhancing his powers of intimidation. Izzy warned prophetically: "McCarthy is in a position to smear any government official who fails to do his bidding. With such daring and few scruples, McCarthy can make himself the most powerful single figure in Congress."

Three months later, he wrote: "The most subversive force in America today is Joe McCarthy. No one is so effectively importing alien conceptions into American government. No one is doing so much to damage the country's prestige abroad. . . .If 'subversion' is to be met by deportation, then it is time to deport McCarthy back to Wisconsin."

Not until 11 months later did Edward R. Murrow air his first report on McCarthy.

Today, online media critics and bloggers expose the bigotry and fallacy gushing forth from Fox News and talk radio and the Rev. Moon-owned Washington Times, long-edited by Wes Pruden Jr. They blog about MSM being stenographers to rightwing extremists. When racists in Little Rock were obstructing court-ordered school desegregation in 1958, Izzy was on the scene reporting: "A staff correspondent in Little Rock quoted the Reverend Wesley Pruden the segregationist leader, as saying, 'The South will not accept this outrage, which a Communist-dominated government is trying to lay on us.' This was my introduction to a regional journalism which prints such statements matter-of-factly."

The Communist-dominated regime referred to by Pruden Sr. was headed by Eisenhower.

Izzy loved to tell the story of how he found - hiding in plain view in different editions of the New York Times - one-paragraph "shirrtail" wire stories indicating that our country's first underground nuclear test in Nevada in 1957 was detected in Toronto, Rome and Tokyo. Months later, just as hawks in Washington were preparing to attack a test ban treaty with the Soviets on the basis that nuclear tests could not be detected more than 200 miles away, Izzy found a seismologist in the Commerce Department who told him the test had also been detected as far away as Alaska and Arkansas. Izzy's reporting obstructed the government's lie before it could get its shoes on.

Starting out in his teens, Izzy was a daily reporter, editor and columnist. After moving to D.C. in 1940 to become Washington editor of The Nation, he exposed U.S. corporations still doing business with Hitler's Germany. He was one of the first to sound the alarm about the Nazi holocaust, referring in 1942 to "a murder of a people." An anti-racist, he battled the all-white National Press Club over exclusion of black journalists.

Izzy's cantankerousness and "hound-dog tenacity" - in the words of his biographer - would make even the most stubborn blogger blush. Although he was a lifelong progressive, his journalistic hallmark was independence: "I felt that party affiliation was incompatible with independent journalism." His writings show deep admiration for Franklin Roosevelt, yet his article on FDR's death criticized his "deplorable disrespect for the constitutional amenities" in resisting a reactionary Supreme Court that knocked down one New Deal bill after another.

He wrote books passionately supporting the birth of Israel, but strongly criticized it for mistreatment of Palestinians. He advocated peace and negotiations with the Soviet Union, while increasingly vocal in denouncing its rulers: "The worker [in Russia] is more exploited than in Western welfare states."

He despised racists, but fought for their free speech rights, and everyone's: "Once you put ifs and buts in the Bill of Rights, nobody's civil liberties will be secure.'' That he marched to his own drummer can be seen in his dispatch from the 1963 March on Washington for civil rights, in which he criticized "respectables" for muting "Negro militancy" into support of JFK's inadequate program, and referred to Martin Luther King as "a little too saccharine for my taste."

Born of immigrant parents, Izzy was an American patriot who worshipped the Bill of Rights: "You may think I am a red Jew son-of-a-bitch, but I'm keeping Thomas Jefferson alive."

And he worshipped our country's tradition of press freedom: "There are few countries in which you can spit in the eye of the government and get away with it. It's not possible in Moscow." But Izzy was never naïve about American traditions that threatened freedom, and he had a 5,000-page FBI spy file to prove it.

Today's muckraking bloggers are often belittled for working from their homes, far removed from the corridors of power. Izzy worked out of his home. If he were alive, he'd be applauding the Josh Marshalls and other independents, urging: Keep your distance from power.

I made no claim to inside stuff. . . I tried to dig the truth out of hearings, official transcripts and government documents, and to be as accurate as possible. . . I felt like a guerilla warrior, swooping down in surprise attack on a stuffy bureaucracy where it least expected independent inquiry. The reporter assigned to specific beats like the State Department or the Pentagon for a wire service or a big daily newspaper soon finds himself a captive. State and Pentagon have large press relations forces whose job it is to herd the press and shape the news. There are many ways to punish a reporter who gets out of line. . . But a reporter covering the whole capitol on his own - particularly if he is his own employer - is immune from these pressures.

Imagine the obstacles Izzy faced - did I mention his impaired eyesight and hearing? - launching a weekly and finding an audience at the height of McCarthy's witch hunts (even at $5 for an annual subscription).

Far fewer obstacles face today's bloggers who seek to follow in Izzy's footsteps - blessed as they are with relative freedom and this awesome research and outreach tool known as the Internet.

As these upstarts speak truth to power, I see Izzy Stone watching over them, from the heavens.
--

Jeff Cohen is the director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. He first saw I.F. Stone's Bi-Weekly at a D.C. peace march in 1969. Soon after Cohen launched the media watch group FAIR in 1986, Izzy Stone signed on to its first formal protest, a telegram to ABC News on the exclusion of progressive voices.
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Friends,

This month's offering in our film series will be The Secret Government: The Constitutions in Crisis. This 90 minute Bill Moyers documentary was made in 1987 but could not be more timely than it is today!

1987 was a year when a window opened on an aspect of the American system that has since been closed again. That was the Iran-Contra hearings, and Bill Moyers was there to give PBS viewers one of the deepest views of what has also been called the invisible government. This special presents the secret history of this "government," its clandestine intervention in foreign countries, its fomenting of wars and its intervention in American society itself. The program contains striking and chilling interviews with CIA insiders and other officials who blew the whistle on what had been going on. This is eye opening background to all that has happened in the world and in our society since the program was made.

I hope you can join us. We will leave time for a discussion afterwards.

Date, time and place: