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March 30, 2008 at 11:27:21

An Open Letter to Earthlink and the Public

by Kathryn Smith     Page 1 of 1 page(s)


Tell A Friend

Hello Earthlink:

I have to say that while I am satisfied with your email service, and have been a long-term customer, I am very unhappy and even maddened by your scam alert.

The reason for my sincere upset has to do with who you are aiming your scam alert at. Shakespeare websites come up as "This could be a scam". Sybill Edmonds, a whistle blower for the FBI who is finally telling us the real truth which the mainstream press is obscuring, is a "scam. Proceed with extreme caution". Bloggers who are concerned with the real core truths: Don't look at them. Etc.....

Earthlink, whose side of the street are you on? Why would Shakespeareans be scammed out? Why discredit anybody who gives a damn about needless deaths to a war based on a lie, ie a mass murderous act? Is mass murder something which you support, Earthlink? Please don't deny it. Actions speak louder than words.

Because of my deep offense and outrage with your targets, I am going to switch carriers.

FYI more than 850 Guantanamo Detainee "terrorists" have been PROVEN innocent. FYI close to 1 million people are now on the terrorist watchlist, including infants and children and, selectively, only Democrats in the Senate. Yes, Senators are on the no-fly list, targeted according to partisanship and their outspokenness for the sake of the US Constitution. It would seem that you, Earthlink, are helping the cause along of ransacking this world-famous and freedom-preserving legal document. You apparently care very much about mass murder and random targeting of innocent Americans under the unconstitutional Patriot Act, side-stepping the power of the judiciary to put a "check" on runaway government power. Cooperating with the unconstitutional Patriot Act and ransacking the first and fourth amendments, you are helping to jail Americans who are doing nothing more than practicing their constitutionally protected free speech. By coopearting with the warrantless wiretapping program, you are helping to jail without habeas corpus and subject to torture all those innocents DUBBED as "terrorists".

To verify the facts above, please have one look at the ACLU's website.

I want no apologies from you. No free services. Nothing of the kind. That's not good enough, under the circumstances.

I only want a change of behavior and I only want you to stop warrantless wiretapping without probable cause. I want you to stop targeting innocent people as "Scams". Get Real, Earthlink: Wake up and smell the business losses.

I am going to post this letter to the public on-line, openly, for public viewing and comment. And I am carbon copying the request for a response from you to the head editor of Opednews, with a readership of 600,000 people. I am hereby requesting that he post this message to Opednews for public commenting, with the request that readers jump ship in protest, signing up with another on-line carrier.

Very sincerely yours,
Kathryn Smith


Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Please ask the public to switch to a green carrier who won't wiretap without probable cause. Qwest won't wiretap and Red Jellyfish is green.

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                        US Military Explored Hiring Bloggers As Propagandists                                        

                Posted by                 Zonk         on Tuesday April 01, @12:20PM
        from the meme-warfare-has-been-going-on-for-a-while dept.        
                                                                                                        United States                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Internet                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                        Zeinfeld writes "Wired reports that one time Clipper Chip supporter Dorothy Denning wrote a report on using blogs for information warfare in 2006 (a report available from cryptome). Amongst the proposals were hiring bloggers directly as propaganda agents and using military media resources to 'make' a blogger posting favorable material. Notably, and most unfortunately absent from the report, is the very real question of whether the military should be manipulating domestic media." Is meme warfare just another battleground, or is this dirty pool?                
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More States Join In Battle to Stop National ID Card

States Battling National ID

By Mark Anderson

A Pennsylvania legislative committee?s hearing on March 13 about the so-called Real ID Act was packed with peoplemost of whom oppose this federal legislation to create a national identification system by nationalizing a new form of state-issued drivers licenses and loading them with sensitive personal information.

Only two members of the 29-member Intergovernmental Affairs Committee showed up to hear the public, even though many citizens went to much expense to be there. The regular media also were absent.

Aaron Bollinger, the nation?s leading anti-Real ID activist, who chairs the National Veterans Committee for Constitutional Affairs, was on the scene, where public sentiment against Real ID was clearly evident in a state thats considered a key battleground in the sustained effort to defeat the state-by-state implementation of the Real law.

This 2005 law is one of several recommendations of the vaunted 9-11 Commission, whose findings are considered by informed researchers as woefully incomplete and flawed.

A member of the Lancaster Amish community traveled all the way about three hours to Pittsburgh to get out his message, Bollinger told AFP. The Amish mans message regarding existing drivers licenses was:

How PennDOT [state transportation department] is violating existing state law by refusing to issue drivers licenses to those legitimate American citizens [such as the Amish] who do not have Social Security numbers.

Democratic Committee Chairman W. Curtis Thomas and State Rep. Jim Marshall, a Republican, were the only legislators to show up. Bollinger therefore sees the need for a serious letter-writing/phone-call campaign, to ask the other committee members where they were that day.

After all, they need to see public sentiment. Guess it wasnt important enough to them, Bollinger commented. Notably, Bollinger on March 11 was the first guest on this AFP writer?s new radio show, When Worlds Collide, which runs Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central Time on the Republic Broadcasting Network (republicbroadcasting.org). Bollinger announced that he holds a teleconference-style town hall meeting most Tuesday evenings to discuss the Real ID issue among existing activists and to recruit additional interested citizens to fight Real ID.

Bollinger describes the effort for a seamless national ID system as a Soviet-style your papers, please concept that could be a handy tracking tool for would-be tyrants.

Real ID is not about security, he said during a self-made press conference, filmed the day of the committees hearing because no media were present. Its about making money and controlling people.

Revealingly, Bolinger noted that the company selling the lucrative Real ID technology (biometrics etc for the proposed Real ID compatible cards) to several states, including Pennsylvania, is the Visage Corporation, whose parent company, L-1 Identity Solutions, includes on its board of directors former CIA Director George Tenet, as well as James Loy, former deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security. A former L-1 board member is ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh.

There are only three main companies Digimark, Visage and Identix that market this sort of thing. And Identix was just bought by L-1. The biometric trinity would be a good way to put it, said Bolinger.

This is all very significant, since the creation of the DHS itself, like Real ID, was an outgrowth of the 9-11 Commissions advice for the nation on how to be more secure after the events of 9-11-01; moreover, the DHS is the very agency writing the regulations for the design of the Real ID card and the juiced-up drivers license that likely would make us even more vulnerable to identity theft.

According to retired Navy commander James R. Compton III, who also spoke at the press conference, identity theft is the nations fastest growing crime, and the Real ID system is fraught with risk.

Your name, address, gender, signature etc all go into a data base in addition to your Social Security number, he said. Your SSN is not on your [Real ID] drivers license, but it is in the database. He postulated a scenario in which someone with access to the data is propositioned into trading a list of possibly thousands of card holders containing all this personal information in exchange for money.

Thats a common thing these days, said Bolinger. About 250 blank Visage cards for drivers licenses actually were stolen from PennDOT.

Stolen blank cards are sold to make counterfeit cards. Bolinger and Compton were accompanied at their conference by Pam Irwin of the American Civil Liberties Union, which shows that concerns over Real ID transcend ideological lines.

I dont care why they [the ACLU and other unlikely bedfellows] dont like Real ID, as long as its defeated, Bollinger said on the RBN radio show.

As of March 18, about 81 Pennsylvania House members supported HB 1351 to keep their state out of the Real ID system. There are 203 House members, and the number of opponents there is climbing. And about one-third of the state senators support a similar bill, SB 1220.

The North Carolina Legislature is set to convene, and opponents there are working to influence the process. The most solid rebel states so far are Montana, Maine, New Hampshire and South Carolina. They have passed laws firmly against participation, whereas 17 more states have passed softer anti-Real ID resolutions.

West Virginias Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill to ban that state from participating in the federal act. Perhaps the only way Real ID could be implemented nationwide is if its passed off as constitutional because its voluntary.

But Bollinger noted, The only way to win is to prevail upon the states not to volunteer. For more information go to NVCCA.net, restoretherepublic.com, or realnightmare.org.

Conference calls involving Real ID opponents are held most Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. EST. To participate, dial 724-444-4444, then enter the caller ID 14259 followed by the # sign and, finally, enter 1 and the # sign.
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CONTACT: Government Accountability Project (GAP)
Sarah Goldmann, National Campaign Coordinator for Whistleblower Rights
202.408.0034 ext. 141
Dylan Blaylock, Communications Director
202.408.0034 ext. 137, 202.236.3733 cell

Whistleblower Law Conference Set for Monday
Whistleblower Law Conference Next Monday Event Will Educate Potential Whistleblowers, Lawyers of New Protections;
Coleen Rowley to Provide Keynote Address

WASHINGTON, DC - June 20 - GAP, together with the American University Washington College of Law, is sponsoring a national conference in Washington, D.C. on June 23, 2008. The Emerging Era in Whistleblower Rights and the Public’s Right to Know explores recent legislative advances in whistleblower rights, along with pending legislation to enhance transparency, accountability and employee free speech rights. The conference is set to last from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the AU Washington College of Law.

GAP has seen a dramatic increase in whistleblower disclosures, particularly by federal employees, since the Bush administration took office. The conference is an opportunity for attorneys, academicians, employee advocates, government and private workers, and whistleblowers to learn how to better navigate the system. Recently enacted and pending laws promise to help clean up corruption, waste, fraud and abuse by protecting employees who blow the whistle on wrongdoing.

Coleen Rowley is the keynote speaker of the event. Rowley, former FBI Special Agent and Minneapolis Chief Division Counsel, was one of three Time Magazine “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She blew the whistle on FBI Headquarters’ failure to act on information provided by her Field Office, pre-9/11, about terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui.

The conference will also feature panel discussions that include such guests as: Ann Beeson (Open Society Institute), Danielle Brian (Project on Government Oversight), Tom Devine (Government Accountability Project), Louis Fisher (Library of Congress), Mike German (ACLU), Conrad Martin (Fund for Constitutional Government), Bonnie Robin-Vergeer (Public Citizen Litigation Group), Michelle Ash (Rep. Waxman’s office), Joanne Royce (Investigative Counsel for House Committee on Energy & Commerce), Peg Seminario (AFL-CIO), and David Vladeck (Georgetown University).

Additionally, computer security expert Babak Pasdar, whose disclosures about secret government spying on cell phone users in the US are credited with helping to stop a Congressional agreement to grant telecommunication companies retroactive immunity as part of a national security bill, will provide a luncheon address.

The overall goal of the conference is to educate the public about new and imminent whistleblower protections. Recent whistleblower legislation successfully signed into law over the last year has included:

* Defense Contractor Whistleblower Protections: Strengthened whistleblower protections for employees of Department of Defense (DoD) contractors and grantees was signed into law in January. Pentagon contracts make up 70 percent of the nearly $400 billion that the U.S. government spends annually on contracts. The bill provides whistleblower protections for employees working on most taxpayer-financed DoD projects, recognizing that the potential for abuse in wartime spending is not limited to traditional DoD contracts.

* Ground Transportation Security Whistleblower Protections: Last year landmark whistleblower protections for transportation security and safety employees were passed as part of Congress’ 9/11 legislation. Protections for employees of railroad, trucking, public transit, bus, and other land transportation providers were included. The new whistleblower provisions, for example, protect both Washington D.C.’s Metro system workers and Greyhound Bus employees if they report security concerns that threaten the safety of passengers. The laws also allows rail, public transit, and bus operators to responsibly raise mechanical or other safety problems before they operate any vehicle without fear of reprisal.

In addition to these laws already in place, the expert panels will address key whistleblower legislation that is on the verge of being passed:

* Consumer Product Worker Protections: Whistleblower protection for millions of employees are included in current legislation designed to strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission Act. That legislation, which is currently in a joint conference, would provide whistleblower protections to any employee voicing safety concerns about consumer products in commerce.

* Whistleblower Protection Act: Current legislation awaiting reconciliation would also restore and strengthen the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) for federal government workers. That good government law has been gutted and discredited by 13 years of hostile court rulings, which made it nearly impossible to qualify for protection under the law.

The majority of the day will be spent listening to various panels address pressing whistleblower issues. The panel topics are:

Panel 1 - Restoring Openness and Accountability to Government and Corporations: This panel will analyze what has not worked with previous whistleblower laws; how public employees’ First Amendment rights have been constrained; and how recently enacted reforms will help remedy these shortcomings. Panelists include:

o David Vladeck, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center (Moderator)
o Tom Devine, Legal Director, GAP
o David Marshall, Partner, Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP
o Sean Moulton, Director of Federal Information Policy, OMB Watch
o Bonnie Robin-Vergeer, Public Citizen Litigation Group
o Jason Zuckerman, Principal, The Employment Law Group, PC

Panel 2 - The Special Case of National Security: This panel focuses on the governmental veil of secrecy in the name of fighting terrorism, the significance of national security whistleblower disclosures, common retaliation tactics, and national security workers being specifically exempted from whistleblower protections. The panelists will discuss how overuse of the State Secrets privilege, the over-classification of documents, and the circumvention of FISA hinder the public’s right to transparency. The panel also considers strategies for effecting national security disclosures and legislative reforms to protect national security whistleblowers. Panelists include:

o Conrad Martin, Executive Director, Fund for Constitutional Government (Moderator)
o Ann Beeson, Director of U.S. Policy, Open Society Institute
o Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project on Government Oversight
o Louis Fisher, Specialist in Constitutional Law, Library of Congress
o Mike German, Policy Counsel for National Security, American Civil Liberties Union
o Stephen Kohn, Executive Director, National Whistleblower Center

Panel 3 - The Next Steps Toward Achieving a Comprehensive Openness Agenda: This final panel focuses on how the whistleblower bills that are pending or awaiting reconciliation will advance an openness agenda, and will conclude with the brainstorming of strategies to achieve a comprehensive system of accountability and transparency. Panelists include:

o Tom Devine, Legal Director, GAP (Moderator)
o Michelle Ash, Chief Legislative Counsel to Rep. Henry Waxman
o Lynn Dondis, Senior Policy Advisor, House Committee on Education and Labor
o Joanne Royce, Investigative Counsel, House Committee on Energy & Commerce
o Peg Seminario, Director of Safety and Health, AFL-CIO
o Jeb White, President, Taxpayers Against Fraud

For a complete timeline of events, please visit the GAP Web site at http://www.whistleblower.org/template/page.cfm?page_id=213

The event is open to the public and all media. For media reservations, email GAP Communications Director Dylan Blaylock at dylanb@whistleblower.org

The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.
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Carte blanche to illegally spy on Americans
Telecoms Flex Their Muscles: FISA "Compromise" Locks-in Lawless Spying

by Tom Burghardt

Global Research, June 21, 2008
Antifascist Calling...

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You knew it would eventually come to this: a huge victory for the Bush regime and a gigantic swindle by Democratic party sell-outs posing as an "opposition."

Thursday, House and Senate leaders in a bipartisan Washington love-fest, stooped to new lows of dissimulation as they reached agreement on a bill that gives the nation's spy agencies and their outsourced "partners" in the telecommunications industry carte blanche to illegally spy on Americans.

By Friday afternoon the votes were in and, surprise! the bill passed by a lopsided 293-129. The bill now moves to the Senate where easy passage is expected next week. The White House immediately endorsed the bill.

According to The Washington Post,

White House spokesman Tony Fratto called the measure "a bipartisan bill" that "will give the intelligence professionals the long-term tools they need to protect the nation, and liability protection for those who may have assisted the government after the 9/11 attacks." (Dan Eggen and Paul Kane, "Surveillance Bill Offers Protection to Telecom Firms," The Washington Post, Friday, June 20, 2008)

"Bipartisan" indeed! House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) described it as a "balanced bill." True enough, if by "balanced" Ms. Pelosi means that it protects her "constituents"--the giant telecoms--while telling Americans, in the ignoble words of former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, to "watch what they say, watch what they do."

Gloating over the Democrats' "capitulation," as Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) characterized the deal, Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) who led Republicans during negotiations, told The New York Times, "I think the White House got a better deal than even they had hoped to get."

Despite hand-wringing by Democrats, the accord gives "Bush and his aides, including Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, much of what they sought in a new surveillance law," Times' reporter Eric Lichtblau avers.

Virtually guaranteeing that U.S. citizens won't have their day in court, H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, grants immunity to giant telecom companies who participated in the Bush administration's lawless surveillance programs. Congressman Roy Blunt (R-MO) told the Times without skipping a beat, "The lawsuits will be dismissed."

And in the best tradition of totalitarians everywhere, Bond, defending immunity provisions for lawless telecoms told Dow Jones Newswires,

"I'm not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I'm sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do."

Ponder those words and then consider the loathsome depths reached by the Democrats and their Republican partners in crime.

Under the proposal, U.S. intelligence agencies will be allowed to issue broad orders to U.S. phone companies, ISPs and other online service providers to cough-up all communications if it is "reasonably believed" to involve non-citizens outside the country. To boot, the plethora of spy agencies who make up the U.S. intelligence "community" will neither be bothered by naming their "targets" nor will they have to obtain prior approval by any court to continue their driftnet-style surveillance.

In other words, under terms of H.R. 6304 one American or the entire internet could be subject to warrantless surveillance and intrusive data-mining by state actors or private spooks. Considering that some 70% of intelligence "community" employees are mercenary contractors in the pay of private corporations that rely on U.S. Government handouts to pad their bottom line, the bill drives another nail in the coffin of privacy and individual rights while furthering the already-considerable transformation of the former American Republic into a post-Constitutional "New Order."

The Democratic "compromise" overturns longstanding rules of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act under which the government was compelled to obtain court approval and individual warrants if an American's communications were to be monitored.

As ACLU Washington Legislative director Caroline Fredrickson said in her denunciation of the proposed "compromise,"

"This bill allows for mass and untargeted surveillance of Americans' communications. The court review is mere window-dressing -- all the court would look at is the procedures for the year-long dragnet and not at the who, what and why of the spying. Even this superficial court review has a gaping loophole -- 'exigent' circumstances can short cut even this perfunctory oversight since any delay in the onset of spying meets the test and by definition going to the court would cause at least a minimal pause. Worse yet, if the court denies an order for any reason, the government is allowed to continue surveillance throughout the appeals process, thereby rendering the role of the judiciary meaningless. In the end, there is no one to answer to; a court review without power is no court review at all."

"The Hoyer/Bush surveillance deal was clearly written with the telephone companies and internet providers at the table and for their benefit. They wanted immunity, and this bill gives it to them." ("ACLU Condemns FISA Deal, Declares Surveillance Bill Unconstitutional," American Civil Liberties Union, Press Release, June 19, 2008)

As Fredrickson outlined above, this onerous legislative flotsam grants immunity to telecoms currently being sued for breaking federal wiretapping laws by handing over billions of Americans' call records to state and private data-miners whilst giving agencies such as the NSA and FBI access to phone and internet infrastructure inside the United States itself. Under terms of the "compromise" the bill strips away the right of a federal district court to decide whether these multinational privateers violated federal laws prohibiting wiretapping without a court order. In terms of telecom liability, and the huge damages that may have resulted from a guilty verdict by a jury, this is huge.

As United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker wrote on July 20, 2006 regarding AT&T's motion to dismiss EFF's Hepting vs. AT&T lawsuit,

Because the alleged dragnet here encompasses the communications of "all or substantially all of the communications transmitted through [AT&T's] key domestic telecommunications facilities," it cannot reasonably be said that the program as alleged is limited to tracking foreign powers. Accordingly, AT&T's alleged action here violate the constitutional rights clearly established in Keith. Moreover, because "the very action in question has previously been held unlawful," AT&T cannot seriously contend that a reasonable entity in its position could have believed that the alleged domestic dragnet was legal.

The current congressional agreement stipulates instead, that the U.S. Attorney General need only certify that a company being sued did not participate, or that the state provided said privateer with a written request certifying that the President authorized the program and that his henchmen-attorneys determined it was "legal." As the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes,

The new bill specifically allows the Court to see the directives that were given to the telecoms as "supplemental materials" to the AG certification (p. 90:22), but the court is still only evaluating whether they existed, not whether they were legal requests, or whether it was legal for the phone companies to comply with them. Thus, even if a court independently would have ruled the directives and the surveillance they authorized to be unlawful, the bill still requires the court to rubber stamp the retroactive immunity it provides. ("Analysis of H.R. 6304: It's Still Immunity!", Electronic Frontier Foundation, June 19, 2008)

In other words, even if a court rules that Bush administration directives are patently illegal, which indeed they are, the formerly independent judiciary's role under the new FISA amendments passed by the House, diminish its role to that of a mere accessory, an afterthought and rubberstamp for decrees issued by the "unitary executive" exercising plenary (unlimited) powers. Despite the temporizing weasel-words by congressional leaders, Friday's House vote is nothing less than a formula for permanent presidential dictatorship.

Consider this: if the White House can unrestrictedly spy on Americans based on the merest of "exigent circumstances," will future "exigencies"--an external terrorist attack or internal provocation--spearhead a martial law regime with full suspension of civil liberties and the detention of domestic dissidents, the "other persons who may pose a threat to national security," referred to by National Security Presidential Directive 59?

In the final analysis, whatever temporary divisions may exist amongst the twin parties of capitalist reaction, none of the leading Democrats have any interest in challenging the fundamental fraud of the so-called "war on terror." Indeed, "terrorism" is but a convenient pretext for a bipartisan attack on democratic rights as a decaying American Empire launch "preemptive" wars in a quixotic quest to shore-up its crumbling edifice.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.

Global Research Articles by Tom Burghardt
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Come one, come all, ye Republican protester

by Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
June 25, 2008

The Republican National Convention in St. Paul has attracted the interest of protest groups across the country. The factions range from anti-war coalitions to conspiracy theorists who believe the U.S government had a role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


While most groups are calling for peaceful demonstrations, a number of anarchists are hoping to derail the convention entirely. Their differences are causing interesting frictions within the activist community.


                                        St. Paul, Minn. —                                                 The RNC protest contingent is a big tent. Some will be marching for welfare rights, others for peace.                


"We're hoping to form maybe the largest human peace sign, which would be really cool," said Coleen Rowley, a former FBI whistle blower and one-time Democratic Congressional candidate.

Larger view

Rowley and her husband are planning a huge "Peace Island Picnic" on Harriet Island, where they plan to fly "peace kites" and offer free music. Rowley says folk legend Joan Baez is considering an appearance.


Another protester, Ben Plunkett of River Falls, Wis., has reserved a number of downtown parks for his performance art. Plunkett is a part-time college student and Pierce County board supervisor who wants to legalize medical marijuna and raise awareness of military spending and human rights.


Plunkett and Rowley are thrilled about the national spotlight that will soon shine on St. Paul during the RNC September 1-4. They'll use the event to denounce Republican policies.

"There's a lot of kids, mostly young people, who really want to express their anger and their outrage at the injustices they see."
- David Harris, Red Wing, Minn.

"We're trying to get the message out that we want to everyone to gear towards peace rather than the wars that we've been seeing," Rowley said.


                                                But Rowley and Plunkett are not the kind of demonstrators who are making St. Paul police nervous.                


In a legal briefing filed in federal court last week, the city spelled out security concerns ranging from terrorist attacks to mass chaos. The briefing was in response to a lawsuit filed by attorneys on behalf of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, a group challenging the march route the city has assigned it. The briefing mentioned known anarchist groups that are planning to "shut down the RNC."


A clearinghouse for those resistance groups, the RNC Welcoming Committee, runs a Web site that makes no secret of plans to block off the Xcel Energy Center. The Web site says the anarchists are also hoping to immobilize delegate buses and block a number of Twin Cities bridges.


The city's briefing cited the riots that surrounded the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle nearly a decade ago to illustrate the mayhem that unheeded threats could result in.


The Web site for the RNC Welcoming Committee doesn't directly answer the question of whether the group's allies will resort to smashing windows during the convention. But the site says that private property, or the power it represents, "is often used to exclude groups or classes of people from the basic necessities of life." Therefore, the group says it can't condemn damage to downtown businesses.

Larger view

The RNC Welcoming Committee typically doesn't grant phone interviews with the media and did not immediately respond to an email requesting an interview.


Despite their differences, some of the largest protest coalitions have signed a pact agreeing not to interfere with each other's demonstration plans or sow divisions within the activist community. The agreement also prohibits them from publicly denouncing other groups.


"I've met a few of them and to be honest, they're all very nice people and hardly capable of throwing bricks," said Andrew Hine, a member of the protest group True Blue Minnesota. "It's the people we don't know that are the ones to worry about."


Hine and his friends have chosen what they hope will be a more effective approach to delivering their anti-war message. They've arranged for a Jumbotron to display text, movies and even cartoons in a park near the Cathedral of St. Paul.


But Hine recalled attending one anti-war protest meeting, where he said an organizer gave those in attendance a "you're-either-with-us-or-you're-against-us" ultimatum. Hine says she mentioned by name Assistant Police Chief Matt Bostrom, who is overseeing convention security.


"They said the people who trust Matt Bostrom are not to be trusted," Hine said. "And clearly I was in that group. We met with Matt Bostrom and had a good talk and believed him."


Hine says at a time when most Americans oppose the war in Iraq, using destructive tactics to challenge the Bush administration seems like overkill.


Five groups have applied for permits to march through downtown St. Paul. So far, the city has granted two of those requests. The largest will be the anti-war march on Sept. 1, the first day of the convention. The following day, a so-called "poor people's march" will circle downtown.


Air Force veteran David Harris of Red Wing has applied for permit to march on the day before the convention. Rather than going with loud chants and bullhorns, Harris says his parade will be solemn. Participants will march with cardboard tombstone cut-outs bearing the pictures of dead soldiers and Iraqi civilians.


Harris, a 73-year-old retired surgeon, says his group plans to march straight up to the Xcel, beyond the point where police officers will allow them. He has notified the police of his plans for nonviolent civil disobedience.


"We hope it may touch the hearts of people who watch, rather than create the kinds of discord that don't seem to get anywhere these days," he said.


Harris has reached out to other protesters who have shared their plans of street blockades. He says he gets the sense that some of them are eager to throw rocks through a window.


"I went to a couple meetings and tried to talk to them about my ideas of nonviolence. I don't know if anybody listened or not," he said. "There's a lot of kids, mostly young people, who really want to express their anger and their outrage at the injustices they see."


Harris said the problem with damaging property is that it can escalate into something much worse, including injuries to people.


                                                And he says that would defeat his message of peace.                


While many of the protesters represent liberal causes, one group says it will put on a patriotic display to support the troops in Iraq.


Merilee Carlson of Hastings, Minn., is with Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission, which will share park space with Hine's group on Sept. 1. Carlson lost her son, Army Sgt. Michael Carlson, in Iraq. Merilee Carlson said she knows that antiwar protesters will be turning out en masse at the convention.


"Therefore, we feel we must do what we can to make sure our heroes who are over there, who are deployed and risking their lives for us, know that at least one group is willing to ... stand beside them," Carlson said.


The city has granted 16 permits to groups or individuals that have reserved parks to demonstrate -- or throw parties -- during the convention.


Another group, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, wants to march from the Capitol to the Xcel on Sept. 3. The group is part of a larger movement that questions the mainstream account of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.


"This was a crime scene that they hauled the debris away from. To haul it away was unconscionable," said Doug Devorak of Apple Valley, a member of the group. "They call us conspiracy nuts. Well, a conspiracy happens whenever you have two or more people. We're not nuts. We just want to take a scientific look at the facts."


Police say they'd like to accommodate every group's application to march during the RNC, but they may need to modify their requested routes because of security concerns. Sgt. John Lozoyza of the community services unit said his department will be meeting with the various groups to go over logistics, such as the need for staging areas and portable toilets.

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U.S. | Indymedia
Movement Building Radio Show w' William Lewis, Larry Pinkney, John Ennis & Marnie Glickman
by Carol Brouillet ( cbrouillet [at] igc.org )
Friday Jun 27th, 2008 10:06 AM

On Questioning War- Organizing Resistance Monday, June 30th, Movement Building is the theme and goal of the show with film makers William Lewis and John Ennis, whose films are damning looks at the Congressional collusion with the attacks on our Constitution and civil liberties, as well as the stealing of our elections. Larry Pinkney, ex-political prisoner, articulate writer and coalition builder and Marnie Glickman, Executive Director of GreenChange.org round out the wide spectrum of opposition to the war makers and offer vision, and practical things people can do to organize discontent into a real, powerful, positive political force for real change.


Monday, June 30th, 10 pm - 12 pm (CST) Listen to the Movement Building Show on Questioning War- Organizing Resistance on WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com. Join our guests in the first hour- William Lewis and Larry Pinkney, and in the second hour John Ennis and Marnie Glickman, all speaking on our individual and collective efforts to challenge the corporate/military/media complex.

williamlewis.jpg William Lewis- Washington You're Fired!

William Lewis lives in Columbia, Missouri, he is a writer, civil rights advocate, and award winning independent filmmaker specializing in producing patriotic-style documentaries that expose governmental abuse of power and focus viewers on a wide range of grassroots solutions.

Mr. Lewis has written and directed five documentaries to date; “911 In Plane Site,” the award winning “Beyond Treason,” “One Nation Under Siege,” “911 Ripple Effect," and most recently, ”Washington, You're Fired!" (2008).

His quest for bringing these important issues into the American mainstream prompted William to found Take Back Washington, a website and a political mindset to peacefully, and through education, bring the politics of Washington D.C. back into focus with our country’s founding documents.

Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. Larry wrote an excellent article entitled- Barack Obama and the Euphoria of Madness recently on the Black Commentator website, he is on its editorial board.

Larry has compared Obama with the candidate skewered by the Democratic Party and the Media who has consistently spoken up on behalf of truth and people- Cynthia McKinney. Why was he a political prisoner? The following excerpt from his FBI file, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, speaks for itself:

Effective organizers, coalitions that cross traditional boundaries are what is needed in these times.

John Ennis is the director of the film [See trailer at: Free for All! One Dude's Quest to Save Democracy]. Free For All will be posted in its entirety online on the 4th of July, and is really a very critical look at our electoral system and a rallying cry for citizen participation to save this country from having our country stolen from under our very noses. (Actually, he hints that the 2008 election has already been stolen, but that it is up to us- to steal it back...)

John has given a few sneak previews of his film- in LA, NYC, and at the Nat'l Conference on Media Reform, where I saw it, and met him, and Holly Mosher, Executive Producer. The film was entertaining, but included some of the most knowledgable, informative interviews with those best informed researchers who have been blowing the whistle on the stolen elections.

John "the dude" trying to save democracy does have a gift for making films- He attended the USC and NYU Film Schools. His production company Shoot First Inc. specializes in non-fiction entertainment. His feature directorial debut was an improvised comedy, Wild Girls Gone, written by and starring the Upright Citizens Brigade (Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, and Matt Besser). In Documentary, Ennis has dealt with pharmaceutical companies’ impropriety (the award-winning Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety), and has been a long-time documentarian of the sport of competitive eating (Major League Eaters; Red, White, & Yellow) He co-DP’ed A/K/A Tommy Chong, chronicling the comedian’s federal prosecution, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Ennis has produced and developed Reality TV for FremantleMedia, Rocket Science, RDF Media, and Nash Entertainment, and his work has been seen on NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, TLC, BBC, even Oprah. Ennis’s New York City cable access show Toolz of the New School was a cult hit in the late 1990’s. A combination of sketch and stunt comedy blended with political documentary and live Hip Hop, the show won awards, and screened in art galleries around the world.

Ennis has produced tons of music documentary, with many of today’s biggest artists, such as Weezer, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, Fergie, John Mayer, Jane’s Addiction, Ne-Yo, Sarah McLaughlin, Jack Johnson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Audioslave, and many more. (visit shootfirstinc.com/ to see clips) Ennis also teaches documentary filmmaking at UCLA Extension.

Marnie Glickman is the Executive Director of GreenChange.org is an experienced Green organizer. She is also an attorney. She worked for Commercial Alert, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities from commercialism from 2003 to 2007. In 2003-4, she served as the co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. Marnie has worked on the campaigns of Joe Keating for Governor (OR, 2006), Cobb-LaMarche presidential campaign (2004), Ralph Nader for President (2000), Carl Mayer for Congress (NJ, 2000), Nita Lowey for Congress (NY, 1998), Tom Bruggere for US Senate (OR, 1996), Darlene Hooley for Congress (OR, 1997), Nancy Kaszak for Congress (IL, 1995-6), Eliabeth Furse for Congress (OR, 1994-5), Clinton-Gore (1992) and Tom Harkin for President (1992). In 1998, she was the deputy director for major gifts and a trainer at EMILY's List. Her first job in politics was working for Senator Paul Wellstone (DC and MN, 1991). Marnie lives in Fairfax, California with her husband, Gary Ruskin, and two year old daughter, Calliope.

Green Change strives to be a community of people with Green values: justice, democracy, sustainability and non-violence who work together to share Green art, politics and culture. People within the community have many different skills and talents. Some can write, or draw, or paint. Others take photographs, register voters, or do street theater. They encourage people to use their talents to make the world a better place. Anyone with Green values is welcome to join.

Green Change provides tools for sharing and expressing Green knowledge and inspiration. They help Green writers, musicians and artists spread the word about their work. They help people come together to take Green political action. They provide information and articles for people who want to learn more about what it is to be Green, live Green and act Green. The website says:
"We make it easier to meet others like you, so that together you can build new Green communities, and help one another.

"We believe there is power in working together. We have built the Green Change website to help people to create together, to solve problems, and to build a culture based on Green values.

"We believe there are a million ways (or more) to advance Green art and causes. This website is intended to help you and your friends let a thousand flowers bloom."

Movement Building isn't only about bringing down oppressive systems, it is about creating better alternatives. [See Carol's Plenary Presentation from the Revealing the Truth: Reclaiming the Future Conference on Strategy for the 9/11 Truth Movement.]

Larry Pinkney
by Carol Brouillet Friday Jun 27th, 2008 10:06 AM

John Wellington Ennis
by Carol Brouillet Friday Jun 27th, 2008 10:06 AM

Marnie Glickman
by Carol Brouillet Friday Jun 27th, 2008 10:06 AM

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Mike Ruppert is a ex- LAPD narcotics detective who has been exposing the CIA bringing drugs into our communities.
see  http://www.copvcia.com

        The Peak Oil Movement Is Unprepared For Its Two Biggest Challenges



by Michael C. Ruppert

It is now only a matter of weeks before the truth about Peak Oil comes crashing through the mass media, the public consciousness and the imagined realities of life. In July we will see that OPEC (especially Saudi Arabia) cannot increase production. The long unconnected dots will become clear lines depicting a now inevitable collapse and die-off. The once impenetrable edifice of the old paradigm which locked our warnings away and blocked them from real public discussion will rupture. Peak Oil is certain to become an issue in the U.S.general election this November.

Two events are about to take place, and indeed have already begun. The Peak Oil movement, those of us who labored and sacrificed for years,have our collective pants tied round our ankles and our heads inserted deeply into non-energy-producing regions. The first event is easy to address if we focus. The second, however, may literally render what"was" the real Peak Oil movement ineffective and condemn hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to death. Because what people hear and learn in the first months of true Peak Oil awareness will determine the course of discussion, planning and of history, from here to eternity.

Problem 1:

Within weeks or months the major media will become "aware" of Peak Oil. They will come to the Peak Oil movement and say, "OK, what do we do now? What should a President do? What should congress do? What should people do? I have seen no serious or focused attempt to prepare for this demand. I am tinkering with a proposed Presidential Platform on the subject by myself and when I think I have something serious Iwill release it. The addresees of this email ONLY are encouraged to offer suggestions. [Ed: By this, Mike is referring to the recipients of his original email. Blog readers are encouraged to send suggestions to the blog. But Mike is not recommending that everyone start calling the media on their own.] But all of the people who have labored so long and sacrificed so much should be prepared for microphones to be thrust at them nationally and locally. What are you going to say?

Will you say, "It's time to go to Plan B"?...

Problem 2:

This is the most serious threat of all. Already, people who we have never heard of, and who have never sacrificed or contributed an iota, are starting to emerge saying that they have "disovered" Peak Oil. They are presenting themselves as experts. Their first approaches will be to local and regional media outlets who don't know their derrieres from a dry hole in the ground. The local and regional medias will be the ones funneling discussions and questions upward to the Larry Kings of this world. This is just the beginning of a deluge. More than half of those who will wind up on CNN, Fox, ABC and on the pages of our newspapers will be either one of two things: rank opportunists and snake oil salesmen who will distort and peddle bad ideas and self-promotion; or they will be out-and-out disinformation artists funded either by Wall Street or the US government. They will be intent on lining their own pockets, protecting the old paradigm and blunting a truth which has begun its demand for payment before foreclosure. These people will be murderers of the worst sort. Yet they will be flooding media switchboards, email inboxes and fax machines at media outlets around the country. And because they will be making noise they will get the air time that the real activists who have spoken truth will not.

How do I know this?

POWs, Iran-Contra, CIA drug trafficking, the 1992 presidential campaign and 9-11. It happened in every one of those "earth shattering" crises or events. I was there. I watched and felt it happen in every one of those sagas as it unfolded.

People who we have never heard of will be getting the spotlight and the Peak Oil movement will not -- because it gave up at just the wrong moment. The struggle to define Peak and what it means for mankind is just beginning. Are you willing to sit back and watch the snake oil salesmen, dilettantes, and wolves in sheeps clothing dictate the discussion and set the agenda, just when the window and demand for real education opens wide and beckons?

Michael C. Ruppert
Author: "Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire atthe End of the Age of Oil"

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Weis reacts to gov's Nat'l Guard offer
Thursday, July 17, 2008 | 5:23 PM
By Andy Shaw

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police superintendent Jody Weis fired back Thursday with statistics claiming violent crime in the city is not out of control.

That's how Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich described Chicago Wednesday when offered to send in state troopers.

Weis did say he is grateful for the governor's offer of assistance. But he does disagree with the governor's characterization of violent crime in the city as an epidemic.

Weis could have jumped all over Blagojevich like the Sun-Times did on its front page picture that Photoshops the governor into a john Wayne outfit. But Weis cut his law enforcement teeth in the FBI where the rule is cool. So unlike his boss, the verbally volatile mayor of Chicago who is out of the country for a meeting, Weis is firing back with facts instead of fulminations.
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"Don't believe everything you read. Hopefully, today we can get the facts out," Weis said.

The city's top cop says perception's not always reality and the string of high-profile shootings in recent months is not, as Governor Blagojevich said, evidence of an epidemic in a city that's out of control but more of a seasonal spike in violence that happens in big cities around the country.

"Quite frankly, we need to get back to the mission and important job of fighting crime instead of fighting misconceptions," Weis said.

The police department reported 443 murders last year. And the homicide rate is up 13 percent this year. But the superintendent says the final figure's not likely to be much higher than the `06 number - 471 - which is hundreds of murders less than in the `70s and `80s.

But Weis is not criticizing the governor's characterizations, which prompted the Sun-Times to cast Blagojevich as a John Wayne figure offering to ride in and clean up the town.

"I think he found it humorous, but it's not a humorous issue. I think making a mockery of violence is something that's unfortunate," said Lucio Guerrero, governor's director of communications.

"I go out of my way not to get caught in political battles. That's between the governor and the mayor. We just try and do our job every day; we try and make a difference and make sure we give quality service to the citizens and communities of Chicago," Weis said.

As for the governor's offer of state police troopers and, if necessary, National Guard helicopters and equipment as a back up, Weis says he appreciates the suggestion if they can work out the logistics.

"We would never say no to help. How we use it takes time and planning," Weis said.

So the cops from the two shops will eventually sit down and figure out how the state can help because as Weis pointed out several times, the murder of one child is one murder too many. Weis is also urging the governor to work harder to pass gun legislation and to consider re-instating a gun trafficking squad that's been disbanded even though it was reportedly quite effective.

2nd read
This article or section includes a list of references or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations.
You can improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate.

The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. 1385) passed on June 16, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services (the Army, Air Force, and State National Guard forces when such are called into federal service) from exercising nominally state law enforcement police or peace officer powers that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property (states, their counties and municipal divisions) in the former Confederate states.

The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the Posse Comitatus Act.

The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement.
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September 12, 2008

More Dangerous Than the A-Bomb?

The Chicago School's Record of Infamy


As a graduate of the University of Chicago (1959) and also of its Laboratory School (1955-56), I think my experience there confirms the picture portrayed by Henry Liu in his wonderful essay last week on Milton Friedman and the "Money Matters Controversy".

My introduction to the University of Chicago (UC) was via the Manhattan Project around 1948. I lived in Chicago neighborhood of Kenwood, just north of Hyde Park. We rented the top floor of our house to a physicist, Shuki Hayashi, who worked on the project at Stagg Field, under whose bleachers the project's atomic pile still continued. To bring me to the Lab School, he would put me on his bike (a Raleigh DL-1 28-incher) and drive me up to the field. Only much later in my life was I left to wonder what has been more dangerous to humanity: the A-bomb or Chicago School monetarism?

My father was a labor leader and we often had UC professors over to the house for discussions in the early 1950s. In contrast to today, the Chicago faculty from the 1930s through early 1960s included such men as Maynard Krueger (a vice presidential candidate on the Socialist Party ticket behind Norman Thomas), and Rexford Tugwell, a Roosevelt brain truster and former governor of Puerto Rico (and protege of Simon Patten). The post-Keynesian economist Hyman Minsky told me that it was Krueger who converted him to socialism. Minsky later became the godfather of the present post-Keynesian faculty providing an alternative to Chicago-style monetarism at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where I now teach.

Today, the Chicago School is known for its censorial intolerance. The first thing the "Chicago Boys" did in Chile after 1974, for example, was to close down every economics and social science department in the country, except at the Catholic University where they had a foothold with "the brick", ie Friedmanite doctrine.

All this was foreshadowed at the Lab School in the 1950s. Its social science teacher Curtis Edgett posted a long banner up in his room saying "Give 'em all what the Rosenbergs got". I thought he meant communists, but on talking privately with him, some of my classmates and I discovered that he meant Jews.

In class, he regularly called me a "commie". (One of our texts was Mein Kampf.) There was a real Stalinist in the class. We always argued, and he called me a fascist. It was in fact at the Lab School that I recruited a number of leaders of the Young Peoples' Socialist League (Shachtmanites). It was the only time in my life where I was the voice of reason in the middle.

The Lab School at the time stopped at 10th grade, and students went directly to the college. However, I wasn't accepted in 1954 to the university on graduating from 10th grade. I was told that Mr Edgett had turned in the names of myself and a number of my friends to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI(as "commies" and sent copies to the college.

There was a ruckus, and the Lab School added on an extra grade to help resolve matters, and I was accepted to UC the following year, and took the "comprehensives" to skip the first two years, so no time really was lost. But one of my schoolmates chose to enroll in Shimer, a secondary college that UC set up. About a decade ago, when he managed to get his FBI file, it turned out that Shimer's dean continued to file regular FBI reports on him, his friends and classmates.

My own field changed from chemistry to history and German literature, and I never took an economics class there. I believe that professors Tugwell and Krueger were in the political science department, not the business school. Although I never went near the Business School in my four years at UC, although I subsequently took a PhD in economics elsewhere, I do remember that the business school students I met were about the only students who regularly wore suits and neckties on campus. They had the reputation for being somewhat dense. One encounter in particular is memorable. There was a party, and one of business school students was coming on to an attractive woman.

The next day or so, I asked him how things went. "She was so dumb," the guy said. "She even gave me the wrong phone number. It turned out to be the Fire Department."

"What was her name?" I asked.

"Martha Washington, she said," he replied.

To me, this was one of my first examples of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out): the unthinking acceptance of anything as a fact.

I was a music student at the time, and it says something about U/C’s philosophy that there was no practical musical performance or analysis taught at all. Only theory, forget practice. So even before registering as a freshman in 1955, I enrolled at DePaul and Roosevelt Universities in music at the graduate level (having completed the BA requirements while waiting to graduate from the high school).

U/C had the same philosophy of theory, not practice, for language. I learned to read and write French and Italian as well as German, but no practice in actually speaking the Romance languages. (My BA graduation orals were in German, to be sure.)

In the 1990s I sought to publish my history of international trade theory, and contacted the editor of University of Chicago Press, who had just come from Pantheon on New York, with which I was on good terms before the mass resignations in the late 1980s. The editor came back to me somewhat chagrined, and said that the entire board of the U/C Press had threatened to resign if they published my book. It was a critique of free-trade theory, especially of Jacob Viner’s censorial history of trade theory.

So I recognized that from the U/C’s vantage point, a “free market” in ideas was one where students were only free to choose the ideology that the U/C supported. Their teaching was like the Terminator. You can’t reason with it. It’s just there to kill the opposition.

After graduation, my only contact with the UC Business School occurred indirectly, after I became the balance-of-payments economist for Chase Manhattan in the mid-1960s. My boss, John Deaver, was a protege of Milton Friedman, who had recommended him to David Rockefeller. On one fateful Friday, I was having lunch with John Exter of Citibank, who told me that earlier in the day his bank had sold sterling short when Harold Wilson had said there was no way he would devalue. Deaver had advised Chase that Wilson had staked his reputation on preserving sterling's exchange rate. It turned out that Chase had bought the sterling that Citibank had sold, in effect.

In the aftermath, I was told that Rockefeller finally told Deaver over a golf meeting that he had a good future as an economics professor. Instead, Deaver went to work for GM, which quickly (in about three months, I think) fired him and put his assistant in charge; then, Deaver went to Philips Endhoven, where his tenure also was short.

Chase decided to merge the Economic Research department (where I worked) into "Public Relations and Publications" under John Wilson. As it adopted Chicago School economics, it was used only for rhetoric, not for actual internal bank decisions. The same thing happened at Citibank. Wall Street came to use Chicago monetarism only as lobbying rhetoric, not as real analysis.

One friend of mine who became a sociology instructor at Chicago told me that he began one class trying to explain whether there was such a thing as an ideology of the vested interests might be. "That's what we're here to learn," a student replied.

The upshot may help promote public relations and turn economic analysis into euphemism. But it is not much help in understanding how the real world works. Milton Friedman has said famously - perhaps infamously - that "There is no such thing as a free lunch." But the economy today is all about how to get a free lunch. That is what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were all about, and what government bailouts of the financial sector tend to be about.

The most important reason why it is against business' true long-term interest to support a Friedman Center that supports economic euphemism is that it degrades economic thought into ideological rhetoric, not real analysis.

So I was glad to sign the petition that Professor Lincoln is circulating deploring the Friedman Center. And glad to read Henry Liu's article explaining how destructive a role it may play.

Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world’s first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson was Dennis Kucinich’s Chief Economic Advisor in the recent Democratic primary presidential campaign, and has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) He can be reached via his website, mh@michael-hudson.com

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Hoover and the FBI
    By Ed Brault

Located at 935 Pennsylvania Ave. NW stands a large modern building named after former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover who reigned over the FBI from 1924 until his death in 1972, for a grand total of 48 years. Congress has since placed a 10-year limit on directors of the FBI.

Senator Harry Reid and I want J. Edgar Hoover's name off that building, but Congress refuses. Obviously, I have no clout whatsoever with Congress. The senator said, and I quote, "J. Edgar Hoover's name on the FBI building is a stain on the building." Attorney General Laurence Silberman was a bit more harsh after discovering Hoover's secret files in 1974. "J. Edgar Hoover was like a sewer that collected dirt. I now believe he was the worst public servant in our history."

Even President Harry S. Truman wrote a memo on J. Edgar Hoover back in 1945. It stated that the FBI was moving in the direction of a Gestapo or Secret Police. He went on to say that the FBI was dabbling in sex life scandals and plain blackmail when they should be catching criminals. And finally, when President Nixon heard of Hoover's death, he said something so nasty I cannot repeat it here.

There can be no doubt that Hoover did a number of things that improved the FBI, so why all the controversy? During his lifetime, he was highly regarded by the general public, but also generated an army of enemies. It can all be summed up in the following statement: His critics asserted that he abused his power and exceeded the jurisdiction of the FBI. They also claim that he used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists and amassed secret files on political leaders and used illegal methods to collect evidence.

Hoover was something of a prima donna. When FBI agent Melvin Purvis received substantial public recognition for his successful efforts to capture and break up gangs back in the 1930s, a jealous Hoover maneuvered him out of the FBI.

Hoover had his opinion of what an FBI agent should look like. He actually fired some agents that he thought "looked stupid like truck drivers" or were "pinheads." Agents who displeased him often got relocated to career-ending assignments or locations.

In 2007 some declassified documents revealed that Hoover maintained a list of 12,000 Americans suspected of disloyalty, but he failed in his plans to detain these people.

Personally, I couldn't care less about Hoover's private life, but it has some relevance, especially in his dealings with the Mafia. Hoover was a lifelong bachelor. He appointed Clyde Tolson associate FBI director, and they became inseparable friends and lived together for 40 years. Needless to say, the rumors were abundant. Now it may be that the best way to deal with Hoover was to have a thicker file on him than he had on you. It may or may not be true, but there is some evidence that the Mafia had the goods on Hoover as a cross-dresser, and this may account for the fact that Hoover soft-pedaled his dealings with the Mafia.

Perhaps Hoover was a bit paranoid. He saw Communists and dissidents behind every tree. And he maintained his position as director of the FBI by collecting as much dirt as possible on his bosses and even several presidents. He probably had as many skeletons in his closet as most of the people he investigated.

Contact Ed at Edwbrault@AOL.com.
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Headlined on 9/15/08:
What You Can Do to Put Bush and Cheney Behind Bars

by David Swanson


Remarks on September 14, 2008, at Justice Robert Jackson Conference on Planning for the Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals, Andover, Massachusetts.

I want to thank Dean Lawrence Velvel and also Sherwood Ross and Jeff Demers for putting this event together.

These remarks are posted at the top of AfterDowningStreet.org in a version that has links to materials and action pages that I reference. So you don't have to catch everything I say.

I want everyone in this room to please do something before going to sleep tonight. Take a look at Alan Dershowitz's op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal and send a letter to the editor responding to it in your own words. It can be a sentence or three paragraphs. It should be polite and include all of your contact info. You'll find links to the op-ed and the Email address in the version of these remarks at the top of AfterDowningStreet.org. Dershowitz thinks the rule of law is no more important than preventing a situation in which a prosecution results from an election, so he wants Obama not to prosecute. But he could have had both that result and the rule of law by asking Mukasey or McCain to prosecute. Dershowitz also suggests that the crimes of Bush and Cheney, IF there have been any, are no worse than those of any previous administration.

After you write to the Wall Street Journal objecting to Dershowitz's op-ed, please copy it from the Wall Street Journal's website and send it to the editorial page editor of your local newspaper asking when they are going to publish an editorial on the topic. They are far more likely to do that than to print a column favoring prosecution, and if they do they begin a debate they cannot win.

Tomorrow, Monday, September 15th, please go to http://ConvictBushCheney.org and do everything it says to do there. The first link will take you to a page that lays out Vince Bugliosi's basic argument with an important addition. The fact is that many gold star families will oppose prosecution, but if we open the field up (admittedly as a second choice) to prosecuting attempted murder as well as murder, we may be able to work with any Iraq War veteran. You will find on the website a list of cities where we know gold star families who want to prosecute for murder, a list of cities where we know Iraq veterans who want to prosecute for attempted murder, a list of states and cities where we know of candidates for the office of prosecutor who want to prosecute, and a list of states and cities where we know of prosecutors who want to prosecute. You will also find a sample letter to send to your state and local prosecutors. Please do so.

The first argument the corporate media will use to attack this effort will be the one found in the title of Dershowitz's column, the false claim that what you and I care about is vengeance and retribution. There is a way we can weaken that attack and make clear that our motivation is deterrence. We can oppose in the strongest terms the use of the death penalty. The death penalty does not deter. Rather it teaches that violence and revenge are right and good, and it is that mindset that people like Bush and Cheney exploit and without which they never could have launched these wars. What I want is to see Bush and Cheney behind bars for decades and communicating their regrets to their successors.

The second link you'll find at http://ConvictBushCheney.org takes you to a page documenting the roles of the various lawyers and advisors and providing you with a how-to kit on making a citizen's arrest. In July Judge William Price in Iowa heard the case of people arrested for trying to make a citizen's arrest of Karl Rove. When he was told what they had done, he said "Well, it's about time!" There is also information there and more to be added soon on filing complaints, removing from state bars, and denying tenure at universities. And I support academic freedom, but using that to defend John Yoo is as misguided as using confidentiality of sources to defend Judith Miller. A liar is not a source. And a facilitator of torture about whom the evidence is public knowledge has lost the right to freedom of any sort, academic or otherwise.

The third link you'll find at ConvictBushCheney.org tells you how to Email or mail the International Criminal Court requesting prosecution, and what points you can use to persuade them.

The fourth link will take you to a kit for passing an ordinance in your town, as Brattleboro, Vt., has done, committing your police to arrest Bush or Cheney if they set foot in the area.

The fifth link is to conviction theme music. No revolutions without dancing, remember.

The sixth link is to buy an ARREST BUSH T-shirt, which is a major way in which you can reach people.

That's six jobs for Monday.

On Tuesday, September 16th, our task is to define the power of the presidential pardon. We can start on Tuesday morning by all making three phone calls to (202) 224-3121 and asking for our representative and then our two senators. What we want is for them to immediately introduce a bill stating roughly this:

The presidential pardon power shall not include the power to self-pardon the president, or to pardon any staff or contractors of the executive branch, including the vice president, of crimes authorized by the president, or to preemptively pardon any individuals of crimes for which they have not yet been convicted.

If they tell you there is not time to pass it, tell them that the point is not to pass it. It would be vetoed or signing statemented or ignored. The failure of this Congress to recognize two years ago that there was nothing to be gained by passing bills has resulted in a great many deaths and tremendous suffering. The point is to get 100 cosponsors onto the thing in a week and put the issue of pardons into the news, and that is completely achievable, and the bill can be reintroduced in the next Congress.

Also on Tuesday, contact the Obama and McCain campaigns, their local offices and national, their discussion forums and staff. Find out when they will be in your area. Find out what groups are working on bird-dogging them, what groups are submitting surveys to them, etc. Plan any possible way in which you can insist that they publicly oppose the idea of presidential self-pardons and preemptive pardons. The purpose of this is not to use our issue to influence the all-important eighth consecutive Most Important Election of Your Lifetime. The purpose is to use the election to advance something much larger than any single election, the future life of a government of laws rather than a government of men and women.

Wednesday, September 17th, is Constitution Day. If you think we did a lot of work on Monday and Tuesday, you'd better eat a hearty breakfast on Wednesday. Let's start by correcting two widespread beliefs. One is that the Clinton impeachment process took roughly forever. The other is that the Bush-Cheney era is more or less over. If these myths were both true, then four months would equal both eternity and nothing. I'm not a scientist, but I'm guessing that's wrong. Another myth is that we need more information about the crimes of Bush and Cheney. We do not. We need to deter imitation of their crimes, and the fact is that they could be impeached in a morning and convicted the same afternoon. A little creative thinking is enough to realize that pressing for impeachment advances justice whether or not we get to impeachment.

We like to put our creativity into defeatism. When Bush came to Thomas Jefferson's house Monticello this past July 4th a bunch of us who live near there decided to go protest him. And we did, and the protest was in the news around the world and was not reported in the horrible ways some people feared it would be. Some refused to protest because the day's events included a naturalization ceremony for new citizens, and they feared the media would claim they were protesting that. Others refused to protest because Jefferson owned slaves and they feared the media would say they were defending Jefferson. I counted about 14 creative excuses not to act, each one stupider than the next. None were as stupid, though, as refusing to demand impeachment because Pelosi claims she doesn't have the votes. She would have the votes if she asked for them and threatened and bribed for them, as she does for pro-war votes, and a failed impeachment would advance justice far beyond no impeachment at all.

We are told by our televisions and radios every day to stop being citizens and start being pundits and amateur strategists. We have to resist the desire to be pseudo-wise and predict failures. Every good thing ever done in this world has been predicted to fail. Our job is to act.

So, on Constitution Day, go to Washington, or call your representative and demand impeachment. Explain to them the electoral advantage, which is all they care about. Tell them we need the pressure to discourage pardons. Tell them that we need the pressure to discourage crimes and wars during the next four months. Tell them that we need impeachment after the election if not before, after the new Congress starts if not before, after Bush and Cheney leave office if not before, and after they are dead if not before, and that the movement to make it happen will only grow. Tell them that pardons are not the only danger. When Bush and Cheney are dragged into court, we do not want them to be able to say that the people of this country never impeached them. We want an impeachment to strengthen a prosecution.

If Congress will not impeach, will it commit to reissuing the subpoenas and contempt citations in the next Congress that were mocked and ignored during this one? Call the committee chairs and party leadership and Obama and McCain.

The appeals courts are going to dump the responsibility to enforce subpoenas right back where it always belonged, on Congress. Since the day this country began, Congress -- either house and any committee -- has had the power of inherent contempt, the power to send the Capitol Police to arrest and detain people for contempt of Congress. It's been almost 75 years since Congress used this power, but it can use it now with Rove, Miers, et alia, or we can declare Congressional oversight dead. And you can kiss your truth and reconciliation commission goodbye too, because we can't give subpoena power to a new institution if we don't have it to give.

Before the business day ends on Wednesday, please do one more thing. Contact some New Hampshire state legislators to urge them to support HR24 on September 24th, which would require the state of New Hampshire to ask Congress to impeach. Yes, of course, Congress might not impeach. But we might elect a few better members to Congress, maybe even from New Hampshire.

On Thursday, lets devote our time to getting organized. There are almost no people in this room who are not white. The median age in this room doesn't exactly suggest Sarah Palin levels of inexperience. Groups working on domestic issues are overwhelmingly outnumbered by groups working on international issues. And yet there are not enough people here from outside the country. We need to build alliances across all of these lines, and make the connections between torture in Gitmo and torture in a U.S. police station, the need to videotape interrogations in Iraq and in Illinois. We need to identify where all the money we need for a million useful things has gone. And we need to focus on wars of aggression, not just specific smaller war crimes. Doing so will bring people into our movement, and deterring wars of aggression is precisely what we have to do to survive. I recommend devoting exactly zero minutes to reading academics who try to distinguish humanitarian wars of aggression from the bad wars of aggression. Instead devote as much time as possible to explaining the simple and accurate concept of a war of aggression to others you can reach.

I also think we should consider the possibilities for prosecution opened up by the full range of crimes, and I've linked to a list of them, including illegal propaganda, illegal spying, misspending of funds, election fraud, etc., etc.

As we reach out to groups and build coalitions, I think we should consider ways to fund lawsuits, but also ways to set up a fund to guarantee the safety and legal defense and financial well-being of whistleblowers. I'm inclined to think that could be done in a way that would have far greater results than decades of Congressional hearings.

Friday, September 19th is the monthly Iraq Moratorium day, which means that at http://iraqmoratorium.com you can find events planned all over the country opposing the occupation of Iraq. Please go to one. Meet the organizers. Ask them to work with you on prosecuting Bush and Cheney. You'll also find that the people doing these sorts of events tend to understand the weakest link in our civil society, which is the media. We have to learn to build our own media and support media outlets that support us. With all due respect to all the admirable groups that have bought advertisements in the corporate newspapers that daily destroy all that is good in the world, you can fund those beasts but you'd do as much good for yourself by going hunting with Dick Cheney.

Saturday the 20th is the Million Doors for Peace day, which means that at http://www.milliondoorsforpeace.org you can find people in your neighborhood making plans to knock on doors and talk with people about peace. Make flyers about prosecution and bring them along. Add that to the conversation.

And start conversations with peace groups about law suits they can file themselves, with your help. This past May 13th, the Rutgers/Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic in New Jersey filed suit in the Federal District Court in Newark on behalf of New Jersey Peace Action against President Bush over the War in Iraq. The Complaint seeks a Declaratory Judgment that the President's decision to launch a preemptive war against a sovereign nation violated Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which assigns to Congress the power to declare war.

Elizabeth de la Vega tells me there is a procedure called Qui Tam in the federal false claims act that allows individuals to sue if the government spends money fraudulently. This could potentially include not just fraudulent contracts to Halliburton but nonfraudulent contracts in a fraudulent war and a war begun secretly with funds appropriated for other things.

We also haven't talked about suing contractors for torture, but such suits are underway. We need to look into all such possibilities with attorneys and organizations in our states and our circle of contacts.

September 21st is a Sunday, but we can forget about resting. Let's devote the day to getting ourselves straight with the coming elections. That means funding pro-impeachment and prosecution candidates for Congress. I've linked to a list of over 100. And send photocopies of the checks you mail them to the other candidates and the media. It means assisting the Velvet Revolution with its ongoing lawsuit in Ohio attempting to depose key players in the election fraud of 2004. And it means getting prepared mentally and helping others get prepared mentally for the outcome of the election.

It is likely to be close, and it is likely to be stolen. If the guy you really want to lose wins, the world will not be over. Nobody can stop us from restoring democratic rights if we set our minds to it. If the guy you think is the better of the two choices wins, nothing is won in terms of serious checks on presidential power and our job is just beginning. But if the election appears stolen, let's recognize that crime as what it is: the supreme domestic crime, differing only from other domestic crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

At http://standingforvoters.org you can find a pledge that candidates can be asked to take, not to accept questionable election results. Regardless of the candidates, however, we should not accept questionable results. We should get organized now to immediately shut the country down until we can schedule an honest and verifiable election.


DAVID SWANSON is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.


DAVID SWANSON is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.
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                Permalink                 08:51:19 am, Categories: Voices, 2104 words                    

The Real Story Behind Marriott Attack

Asif Haroon Raja




When Gen. Musharraf submitted to U.S. pressure after 9/11 and ditched the Taliban in Afghanistan, he provided air bases as well as logistics support and shared intelligence with CIA. He allowed CIA and FBI to recruit agents in FATA and other places and to establish their outposts. The focus of ISI and other agencies was shifted towards hunting and nabbing so-called terrorists all over the country, in monitoring dissident elements within the army and in political wheeling and dealings. The CIA acquired all the links ISI and MI had both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and gradually took most agents on ISI payroll within its fold. By virtue of having better technology and means the CIA was able to take over intelligence acquisition and dissemination system. As a consequence the troops operating in FATA became entirely dependent upon CIA inputs. Taking advantage of complete liberty of action, CIA succeeded in buying the loyalties of many tribal chiefs and notables in FATA by doling out dollars in sacks since it knew that the Pashtun could not be crushed by force but could be purchased. Those not falling in line were got killed.


In FATA, Nek Muhammad was first cultivated and provided logistic support. When he entered into a peace deal with Pak Army in July 2005, he was killed using precision guided missile. Abdullah Mehsud, an Afghan war veteran who had also fought the Northern Alliance in October-November 2001 was captured and brainwashed during his two years internment in Guantanamo Bay. He was released after agreeing to work on terms dictated by CIA and he soon was able to takeover the leadership role. His death at Zhob at the hands of Pak security forces was a loss for CIA.


Baitulah Mehsud and Fazlullah had not taken part in Afghan jihad and do not qualify to head Taliban; yet 30 year old Baitullah has managed to create Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Fazlullah calls the shots in Swat. Mulla Omar had never shown interest in establishing any links with Pakistani Taliban and had warned Nek Muhammad not to operate under the brand name of Taliban. It is being questioned as to how come Baitullah, Fazlullah and their spokesmen desperately wanted by Pakistan security forces have escaped the hawk eye of USA, particularly after they have been seen giving detailed interviews to media and using their cell phones? ISI had once given six figure coordinates of Baitullah and yet no Hellfire missile was fired on his hideout by CIA. The TTP that has spread its influence in all the seven agencies of tribal belt and in neighboring settled districts of NWFP has succeeded in making inroads into Punjab, particularly southern Punjab. Large number has been recruited from Chiniot, Bahawalpur, Dera Nawab, Bahawalnagar, Faisalabad, Sialkot and other places.


After Shakai peace deal with the militants in South Waziristan in July 2005, Pakistan was subjected to a calculated slander campaign. Having pushed more than one hundred thousand troops into the furnace of FATA it was scoffed at for not doing enough to control militancy in FATA. Pakistan was also accused of nuclear proliferation and IAEA kept up the pressure to hand over AQ Khan for interrogation. Musharraf accepted the charge and forced AQ Khan to make a confession to defuse the heat. The religious extremist threat was blown out of all proportions and it was repeatedly stated that Pakistan’s nuclear assets had become unsafe. Musharraf accepted this charge as well and promised to fight extremism and terrorism with full force.


After declaring Pakistan as the most dangerous country, FATA was declared as the most dangerous place on earth. Pakistan was blamed for growing turbulence in Afghanistan since in the view of U.S. military leaders and Karzai Pak army was not doing enough to control militancy. The phenomenon of missile attacks by drones commenced in January 2006 when a suspected target in Damadola was attacked killing scores of innocent civilians. Another deadly missile attack was launched on a Madrassa in Bajaur in October that year killing 80 students. Ever since, this phenomenon continues unabated.


Once the ISI was freed from the wild goose chase of so-called terrorists and came under pressure on account of missing persons, it started to concentrate on its primary task in the troubled spots. To its horror it found far too many militant groups and criminal gangs operating under the guise of religious militants and cultivated by foreign agencies.


They were the ones involved in carrying out gruesome beheadings of security personnel and torching girls’ schools to defame the real Taliban who had a peaceful agenda. Besides CIA and RAW, even Iran and Uzbekistan had developed their tentacles in Balochistan, Swat and Kurram Agency. Most of the pro-Pakistan groups had been purchased or neutralized and those not coming to terms were eliminated by groups sponsored by CIA. Things had gone topsy-turvy and ISI found itself at a loss how to differentiate between friend and foe.


It is when the ISI began to recover the lost ground and renewed its old contacts in FATA and started to expose and block clandestine activities of CIA, RAW and RAM that all hell broke lose on ISI. Instead of feeling ashamed of what they were doing, USA had the cheeks to start making hue and cry that ISI was linked with the Taliban and that it must be emasculated. The three colluding partners lost their cool when the Indian Embassy in Kabul was subjected to a suicide attack on 7 July 2008. The trio fumed with anger and blamed ISI without even carrying out preliminary investigations. It was alleged that the perpetrator of suicide attack belonged to Gujranwala. Adm. Mike Mullen and Deputy Director CIA Stephen Kappes came huffing and puffing to Islamabad on 12 July and expressed their concern in strong words. Both Gen Tariq and Gen Kayani were told to bring the ISI to heel and to control militancy on their side of the border. The details of suicide bomber provided by the visitors proved false. It transpired later on that it was a bomb planted in a parked jeep which was detonated with the help of a remote control and was masterminded by Mossad.


The month of September saw intensification of missile attacks and each attack resulted in loss of innocent lives. The idea was to antagonize pro-government Waziris and also to force them to migrate as had happened in case of Bajaur. To further up the ante, Pakistan was declared as a battleground and a first ever ground attack was carried out by U.S. troops on the night of 3 September at Angoor Adda killing 15 men women and children. A deadly missile attack was conducted on pro-Pakistan Jalaluddin Haqqani house in North Waziristan on 8 September killing 25 inmates mostly women and children. He was blamed for carrying out attack on Indian Embassy.


The intruding drone was forced to beat a hasty retreat on 12 September when Pakistani jets got airborne and started to track it. A ground attack on 15th was also thwarted by the troops and locals. So far, 62 border violations have been carried out by U.S.-ISAF forces including 36 after the takeover by PPP government in March 2008. So far 30 missile attacks have been made killing innocent people. In none of the attacks any Al-Qaada operative or militant Taliban was killed.


The nexus in Kabul is working upon a scripted plan to make FATA lawless and beyond the control of security forces, push militancy into settled areas and then into major cities and thus create a civil warlike situation to prove their contention that Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world and that the extremists were on the verge of taking over power and nuclear weapons. After inflaming South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, Darra Adam Khel, Kurram Agency, Hangu and Swat, Bajaur Agency was built into a stronghold of militants where huge cache of arms and ammunition was dumped. By virtue of being located at the crossroad of the tribal belt and also linked with Dir, Swat and Afghanistan, it was to act as bulwark and a launching pad to provide reinforcement to other areas.


10,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the garb of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise Pakistan. Many mercantile shops run by Indians have an intelligence office in the rear. In Wakhan, a religious Madrassa run by Indian Muslim clerics is functioning since 2002 under the patronage of RAW and Mossad. Very young boys, mostly orphans, destitute or homeless are recruited. Recruits are mostly Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. The latter being fair skinned and resembling Europeans are trained to hit targets in Europe or in USA to once again create a 9/11 like situation.


Reportedly, 10,000 ideologically motivated terrorist and suicide bombers have been trained. Besides receiving military training, they have also been made to learn Pashto and customs of the Pashtun. They are regularly infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers they join the rank and file of militants to fight the army. They are the ones who are destroying schools, CD shops, bridges and other installations and carrying out brutal beheading of captured personnel. The idea is to create chaos and confusion and also to defame the real Taliban that have not come under their influence. They are also responsible for creating cleavages within the people of FATA and in disrupting peace deals. In Kurram Agency, Afghan officers and soldiers are actively involved in the sectarian conflict by way of providing arms and ammunition to Shias belonging to Tori tribe and physically participating in duels with Sunnis. In Swat, Fazlullah led militants are supplied with war munitions as well as fighters.


Likewise, dissident tribal chiefs in Balochistan including late Akbar Bugti were also taken on board. The CIA helped in reincarnating BLA and providing all sorts of war munitions to Baloch militants belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and establishing over 60 Farari camps in Balochistan. Shamsi airbase that was handed over to USA in October 2001, houses Blackhawk helicopters primarily engaged in monitoring the entire length of Iranian border. CIA has cultivated Sunni Iranian Baloch Jandullah group (not the one that had operated against 5 Corps commander). It is anti- Iranian regime and was utilized by CIA to carryout acts of sabotage in Iran through Zahidan. Iran has now constructed a stone wall all along its border to prevent cross border terrorism from Baluchistan. It has clouded Pak-Iran relations since the latter feels that such activities could not have been undertaken without the blessing of Pak government.


It is now clear that our so-called friends have been playing a double game. Now that USA has bared its teeth and let its intentions known, to pretend that it would stop short of achieving its objectives will be like living in fools’ paradise. It is simply degrading to unashamedly say that we cannot fight the Americans. It is also preposterous to assume that Pakistan may not survive without American support. Pro-American elements within Pakistan on U.S. payroll have been parroting this theme since creation of Pakistan to safeguard their vested interest. North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Somalia are living examples who have survived despite adopting hostile posture against USA. It is high time that we gird up our loins and put our act together to face up to the challenge boldly.


The army under Gen. Kayani has expressed its resolve to confront the threat and safeguard country’s sovereignty irrespective of the consequences. It is now up to our week-kneed rulers oblivious of the ominous threat and still busy in power game as to how they stand up to the test. It will be naive to expect that the threat will be warded off with diplomacy alone. We must make USA realize that it will become exceedingly difficult for U.S. led allied troops to operate in Afghanistan if Pakistan opts out of fighting U.S. war of terror and refuses to provide transit facility to carry oil and food supplies to its troops in Afghanistan. The magnitude of dependence can be gauged from the fact each day over 400 containers ply from Karachi and Quetta to Afghanistan transporting food, munitions and 300 million gallons of fuel for U.S.-Nato troops in Afghanistan. We may also consider bridling CIA’s unchecked activities and closing down four bases in control of USA.


¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤


Asif Haroon Raja is a defence and a political analyst. This article was first published by the Asian Tribune.

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Sep 26, 2008

Who Will Show Some Backbone Against the Bailout?


Congress needs to show some backbone before the federal government pours more money on the financial bonfire started by the arsonists on Wall Street.

1. Congress should hold a series of hearings and invite broad public comment on any proposed bailout. Congress is supposed to be a co-equal branch of our federal government. It needs to stop the stampede to give Bush a $700 billion check. Public hearings should be held to determine what alternatives might exist to the four-page proposal advanced by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson.

2. Whatever is ultimately done, the bailout plan should not be insulated from judicial review. Remember there is a third co-equal branch of government - the judiciary. The judiciary does not need to review each buy-and-sell decision by the Treasury Department, but there should be some boundaries established to the Treasury Department's discretion, and judicial review is needed to ensure that unbridled discretion is not abused.

3. Sunlight is a good disinfectant. The bailout that is ultimately approved must provide for full and timely disclosure of all bailout details. This will discourage conflicts of interest and limit the potential of sweetheart deals.

4. Firms that accept government bailout monies must agree to disclose their transactions and be more honest in their accounting. They should agree to end off-the-books accounting maneuvers, for example.

5. Taxpayers must be protected by having a stake in any recovery. The bailout plan should provide opportunities for taxpayers to recoup funds that are made available to problem financial institutions or to benefit from the financial institutions' rising stock price and increased profitability after being bailed out.

6. The current so-called "regulators" cannot be trusted. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), "the investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog," must regularly review the bailout. We cannot trust the financial "regulators," who allowed the slide into financial disaster, to manage the bailout without outside monitoring.

7. It is time to put the federal cop back on the financial services beat. Strong financial regulations and independent regulators are necessary to rebuild trust in our financial institutions and to prevent further squandering of our tax dollars. The Justice Department and the SEC also need to scrutinize the expanding mess with an eye to uncovering corporate crime and misdeeds. Major news outlets are reporting that the FBI is investigating American International Group, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers.

8. Cap executive compensation and stop giving the Wall Street gamblers golden parachutes. The CEOs who have created the financial disaster should not be allowed to leave with millions in hand when so many pensioners and small shareholders are seeing their investments evaporate. The taxpayers are bailing out Wall Street so that the financial system continues to function, not to further enrich the CEOs and executives who created this mess.

9. Congress should pass the Financial Consumers' Information and Representation Act, to permit citizens to form a federally-chartered nonprofit membership organization to strengthen consumer representation in government proceedings that concern the financial services industry. As the savings and loan disasters of the 1980s and the Wall Street debacles of the last few years have demonstrated, there is an overriding need for consumers and taxpayers to have the organized means to enhance their influence on financial issues.

10. The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, separating traditional banks from investment banks, helped pave the way for the current disaster. It is time to re-regulate the financial sector. The current crisis is also leading to even further conglomeration and concentration in the financial sector. We must revive and apply antitrust principles, so that banking consumers can benefit from competition and taxpayers are less vulnerable to too-big-to-fail institutions, merging with each other to further concentration.

11. Congress should impose a securities and derivatives speculation tax. A tax on financial trading would slow down the churning of stocks and financial instruments, and could raise substantial monies to pay for the bailout.

12. Regulators should impose greater margin requirements, making speculators use more of their own money and diminishing reckless casino capitalism.

Ask your representative a few questions: "What should be done to limit banking institutions from investing in high-risk activities? What should be done to ensure banks are meeting proper capital standards given the financial quicksand that has spread as a result of the former Senator Phil Gramm's deregulation efforts? And, "What is being done to protect small investors?"

P.S. Shareholders also have some work to do. They should have listened when Warren Buffett called securities derivatives a "time bomb" and "financial weapons of mass destruction." The Wall Street crooks and unscrupulous speculators use and draining of "other people's money" out of pension funds and mutual funds should motivate painfully passive shareholders to organize to gain greater authority to control the companies they own. Where is the shareholder uprising?

Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent.
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Here is a email I received from my friend Angela Clemente.
She is the one who uncovered the evidence that led to the indictment for murder of FBI  agent Lyndley Devecchio.
google her name with devecchio.

Sep 29, 2008 10:16:28 PM, santrea_143@excite.com wrote:

Hi Joe,

I had to report today that I am now being targeted by the federal government for outrageous reasons related to a back payment that my mother owed for an "overpayment" from God knows when and they are targeting me to pay my deceased mother's debt. I am not her executor and my mother was as poor as people in Ethiopia no kidding. I am in no way responsible for a bill she had with Social Security. I didn't even live in the same state when this reportedly took place nor can they give me a definitive time "because it goes back to far for the computer to show." I was estranged from my mother for over thirteen years and only recently began a relationship with her again. What the hell is going on????

I reported it to the judge that is involved in the perjury trial (the special prosecutor) this weekend as they increased their heat on me to now target my defenseless brother who is Mentally Retarded and Autistic. Please do me a favor and document my email to you because I am not comfortable with things that are happening. On Labor Day weekend my car and house windows were severely damaged from full beer bottles thrown at the windows and breaking them. One of the windows is about 8ft x 8ft a very large window and very expensive to replace. My car windshield was also broken and had to be replaced.

This weekend they began the financial assault. At least five witnesses that testified or assisted with the prosecution of DeVecchio have all been targeted all starting around the same time. We are all getting hit by both financial and family concerns which is deterring us from our work and having us have to focus on collecting all the information to fight this nonsense.

When you email me back please email me to the email address of aclemente.forensics@gmail.com I rarely check this one anymore. Thank you...

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2nd read

Welcome to The MadCowMorningNews

'Player overlap' visible in trial. The luxury business jet carrying a suitcase filled with $800000 in bribes whose discovery last August kicked off the ...
http://www.madcowprod.com/ - 49k - Cached - Similar pages

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contact Aaron and ask him to reopen the Forum....
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"October Surprise": Preparing for "Something Unexpected”?

Global Research, October 26, 2008

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At a news conference on October 22, 2008, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama was asked about a comment by his Vice Presidential running mate Joe Biden that Obama could expect to be tested within six months of the new presidential term by a “generated” international crisis that will force him to make unpopular decisions. Obama said the Delaware senator has occasionally engaged in "rhetorical flourishes," but the essential point was that the new President could expect to be challenged no matter who wins.

Obama held the news conference following a meeting with his national security advisers, who include long standing globalist asset Zbignew Brezezinski.  He denied the meeting with his advisors had been called because of political damage stemming from Biden's remarks, in my view a classic ploy for calling more attention to it. [1]

Colin Powell, former Secretary of State (2001-2005), echoed Biden’s warning by referring to an unknown crisis that will come a day or two after the inauguration:

I would start with talking to the American people and talking to the world and conveying a new image of American leadership, a new image of America’s role in the world. The problems will always be there and there's going to be a crisis which will come along on the 21st, 22nd of January that we don't even know about right now. So I think what the President has to start to do is to start using the power of the Oval Office and the power of his personality to convince the American people and convince the world that America is solid, that America is going to move forward, we are going to fix our economic problems, we're going to meet our overseas obligations. [2]

John McCain and Madeleine Albright added to the furor. Albright called Biden’s statement “a statement of fact,” in that one always has to be prepared “for something unexpected.” [3] McCain raised the specter of nuclear war as he resumed his attack against Obama’s judgment by warning that the next president "won't have time to get used to the office." [4] 

Alternative news analysts speculated on the import of these simultaneous warnings by public figures, including their possible relation to a new false flag:

Albright, like Biden and Powell, is an insider minion, so she may know something is up. It is rather suspect that all these voices are saying basically the same thing: Obama will be “tested,” either by an [al-Qaeda] attack, a war or confrontation in the Middle East – read Iran, or Russia….Hopefully, the ACLU’s [Freedom of Information Act request regarding the combat unit deployed domestically as of 10/1/2008] will turn up more information on the emerging police state control grid going online. Unfortunately, we are but one “terrorist event” away from this system being used to identify, track, trace, and round up the opposition. If we are to believe Joe Biden, Colin Powell, and Madeleine Albright, this event may happen as soon as the end of January, 2009. [5]          

There has also been wide speculation about an imminent false flag, to be blamed on al-Qaeda, as an “October surprise” designed to influence the outcome of the election. The two scenarios, a staged event before the voting and another manufactured crisis following inauguration, are not mutually exclusive.  In this article I argue for both occurring, as part of a multi-phased shock and awe campaign designed to move us into full scale martial law with the help of Barak Obama as the new national savior in a time of peril.

In my view, an October surprise consisting of a staged event in Obama’s home state, such as a dirty nuke detonated in Chicago, is a hypothesis worth exploring.  Such an attack would be designed in part to focus attention on Obama as the global elite’s U.S. President of choice.  In a crisis such as urban “terrorism,” the propaganda machine could spring into action to spin Obama’s popular appeal in a time of crisis as well as his argument that the Republicans have failed miserably in not apprehending bin Laden seven years after 9/11.

I believe an urban attack would in fact be but step one in a broader psyop by the globalists to condition the public to accept Obama as a new protective father figure to replace George Bush as part of their final push for a full blown police state on a global scale. This possibility brings into bold relief Colin Powell’s reference (in answering fellow Council of Foreign Relations spin-meister Tom Brokaw’s query about how to respond to the post-inaugural crisis Powell had warned about) to the “power of the President’s personality to convince the American people that America is solid.”  As Naomi Klein has revealed in her work on the shock doctrine of disaster capitalism, in the CIA’s basic interrogation manual declassified in 1963, a window of opportunity is highlighted in which torture reduces its victim to a state of traumatized disorientation and childlike regression, creating an opening for the interrogator to be transformed into a protective father figure.  This is one of the classic tactics of tyrants across the planet.  In the view of Klein and others, it was used after the shock of 9/11 to permit George Bush and others to offer a narrative on the shocking events allowing the profoundly disoriented victims to make sense of the trauma.  Hence the extraordinary power of the mind control matrix known as the War on Terror.  (See also my discussion of psychological control techniques in my two-part article “Deconstructing the Power of the Global Elite”). [6]

My core argument is that the globalists’ final battle plan for world dominance is as follows: the current economic implosion that they themselves engineered, its ongoing exploitation to advance their agenda for worldwide financial and economic control, and finally, additional engineered crises designed to enable full-blown martial law as part of an international police state under their power.

I do not believe the globalists want to see riots or other forms of protest on any major scale in the U.S. because of the huge number of guns still in the hands of the populace and because of their uncertainty about the ability (and willingness) of their forces to prevail in armed conflict with Americans.  They worry, in my view, that things could become similarly messy in other parts of the globe.  Another mass trauma on the scale of 9/11 – or several back-to-back mass traumas involving large numbers across the globe - would be far more efficient for implementing and justifying worldwide full scale martial law, with its attendant confiscation of guns and detention of dissidents.

There is growing recognition of the commonplace use of false flag operations as a cold-blooded tool, even in so-called democracies, for promoting agendas that serve the interests of the power elite at the price of massive suffering for the common man.  The most recent evidence of this criminal culture of death was a revelation by renowned investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in July 2008 that Bush administration officials had recently held a meeting in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran. The discussion addressed the idea of disguising Navy seals to look like Iranians, put them on specially built boats that look like Iranian PT boats, and start a fake attack on them in the Straits of Hormuz.

Look, is it high school? Yeah. Are we playing high school with, you know, 5,000 nuclear warheads in our arsenal? Yeah, we are. We’re playing, you know, who’s the first guy to run off the highway with us and Iran. [7]

The prospect of an October surprise has already factored into the 2008 campaign, including warnings of another al-Qaeda terrorist attack both from U.S. intelligence sources and allegedly from al Qaeda itself. [8] An alternative press article on October 24 expresses its alarm as follows:

The chatter surrounding the probable entrance of Bin laden or Al-Qaeda to impact the election is widespread…. The fact that the media is hyping the inevitability of an “October surprise” should be a cause for concern, especially when allied to reports of police departments across the country ‘preparing for possible civil unrest and riots’ [during the election]. [9]

The term “October surprise” stems from the 1980 election campaign between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter to refer to last-minute sensations with the potential to reshape a Presidential race. Such a sensation occurred in the last Presidential campaign in 2004. Going into the final weekend of the campaign, Democratic candidate John Kerry had a good chance of winning. Then an alleged Osama bin Laden videotape was issued: Bush went on to beat Kerry and both men attributed the result to the influence of the tape.

In adding my voice to the widespread speculation about the spate of warnings of coming crises, I again proffer the hypothesis of a staged terrorist attack as an imminent October surprise going into the final weekend of the current campaign.  In Part II of this work, forthcoming shortly at my blogs and YouTube channel, I will offer specific arguments for my choice of Chicago as a likely location for this new 9/11.




1. Jennifer Loven, “Obama brushes aside GOP criticism of his tax plans,” Yahoo! News, October 21, 2008: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081022/ap_on_el_pr/obama

2. Alex Johnson, “Powell endorses Obama for President, “ msnbc.com, October 19, 20008

3. CNN, October 22, 2008.  Cf.  “Albright Agrees with Biden: Terrorists Will Test Obama,”

4. Staff Writers,  “McCain raises specter of nuclear war,” Moon Township, Pennsylvania (AFP), Oct 22, 2008

5. Kurt Nimmo, “ACLU Files FOIA On Brigade Deployed in U.S.,”   Infowars, October 22, 2008 http://www.infowars.com

6. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Company, New York, 2007; Judith H. Young, Ph.D., “Deconstructing the Power of the Global Elite: Brute Force, the Power to Hurt, and Psychological Control,” Global Research, October 9, 2008  http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10493

7. Faiz Shakir, “EXCLUSIVE:  To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them,” Think Progress, July 31, 2008  http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/31/cheney-proposal-for-iran-war/

8. Eli Lake, “Spies Warn That Al Qaeda Aims for October Surprise,” The New York Sun, September 22, 2008;   “Al-Qaida Threatens 'October Surprise' Attack,” Newsmax.com, September 22, 2008; “In video, al-Qaeda vows more US attacks,” 9/19/08, CNN.com/world; “Terrorist advocate endorses McCain: An al-Qaeda supporter has called for a pre-election attack in the US to help Republican candidate John McCain win the presidency,” Press TV, October 22, 2008; William Bratton & R.P. Eddy, “Osama Bin Laden wants a vote, so beware a late October surprise,” New York Daily News, Opinions, 10/21/08

9. Paul Joseph Watson, “Clarke: Bin Laden to Influence U.S. Election,” Prison Planet, October 24, 2008. infowars.com

Judith H. Young,
holds a Ph.D from Brandeis University. In the 1960s she was a published think tank researcher with a Top Secret security clearance in the areas of arms control, strategic studies and international aerospace activities.  In 1973-74 she taught International Politics at Mount Holyoke University in Massachusetts.

In the 1990s Judy became a practitioner and teacher in several venerable healing arts, including animal-assisted therapy and traditional Reiki.  She founded a nonprofit animal and nature center dedicated to promoting the healthy development of children and youth, which she directed from 1994-2004, and she published widely in the field of equine-assisted activities and ecotherapy. 

After the shocking events of 9/11/2001, Judy returned to her earlier vocation as a writer and educator in the field of International Politics, while also maintaining a professional practice in complementary and alternative healing.


Web site:     http://freefalltofascism.homestead.com/

Blogs:          http://freefalltofascism.wordpress.com/  


YouTube:    http://crisiscenterinfo.youtube.com/ 


Judith H. Young is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Judith H. Young
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Heart Burns EP


Tom Gabel
                Sire Records

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Tom Gabel - Heart Burns EPIt'd be easy to jump to quick conclusions about Tom Gabel's first solo EP: he's testing the waters for a post-Against Me career, he's going back to the one-man roots of his current band or he just needs a bit of me-time away from his band. Deep-six speculation, though, and Heart Burns makes one thing abundantly clear: Against Me evolved into a card-carrying band rather than simply being the vehicle for Gabel's songwriting.

The return to a one-man operation shows just how far Against Me's come in recent years. Gabel, freed of the ties and demands of the punk underground, plays loose and fast on Heart Burns in a way he'd have trouble pulling off with his full-time band. Usually coming in with a sound that's somewhere between the folk-punk of Against Me's debut and the reverb-crashing urban folk of Billy Bragg, Gabel's solo work isn't a replacement for or even an alternative to his full-time band's sound. It's just a footnote, which, in all but a few places, sounds like it's begging for Andrew, James and Warren to step in the studio and fatten things up.

Those few places are worth the price of admission, though. "Only Cowards Sing at Night," is nothing but an electric guitar clangy with reverb and Gabel's vocals. It is, of course, stupendously in debt to Billy Bragg's Talking with the Taxman About Poetry, which, naturally, diminishes its impact, though Gabel's songwriting and performance talents make it work on its own merits. "Random Hearts" drops the Bragg-isms entirely as Gabel sets out on his own path with programmed drums and muscular guitar parts; it's more pop than rock, sliding in vaguely in the same post-punk vein as She Wants Revenge or Interpol, though Gabel executes it with a lot more surface-level passion than either of those bands.

Thickening his acoustic-guitar toting sound with drums and harmonica for "Anna is a Stool Pigeon," a back-to-basics protest song written in support of Eric Davis, a Floridian activist serving time who claims he was set up by undercover FBI agents. It's a reminder of just how powerful Gabel's social commentary can be when he tackles issues outside the culture industry ones that dominated much of last year's New Wave (review) (Sire).

The rest of Heart Burns sounds either half finished or not strong enough to survive minimalist treatment. The canned hand-claps underneath "Conceptual Paths" don't hold the track together like, say John Cougar's "Jack and Diane." "A Hundred Years of War" props a lukewarm acoustic arrangement up with the faux dynamics of gang vocals and bongo drums. "Amputations" tries the same thing, swapping too-fuzzy guitar tones, backing vocals and phoned-in rhythms.

Gabel's done enough to deserve a solo EP now and then. Heart Burns is a nice detour from the increasingly powerful sound Against Me cooks up, but, without a band behind him, Gabel just isn't the monumental force we're used to seeing him as.

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Keynote Address at National Homeland Defense Foundation by Charles E. Allen, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis/Chief Intelligence Officer

Release Date: October 30, 2008

Colorado Springs, Colo.
National Homeland Defense Foundation


I am delighted to be here in Colorado to address this sixth annual Symposium of the National Homeland Defense Foundation. I would like to thank my friend John Gannon for inviting me to share with you the progress of DHS' efforts to secure the Homeland and to describe the many ways DHS works in collaboration with partners at home and abroad. The Foundation's efforts in bringing all of us together to discuss how we can all perform our missions better should be lauded. Some people believe that because we have managed to go over seven years without an attack on the Homeland, the urgency of homeland defense and homeland security is not as high a priority. But as you know, it is no accident that we have not suffered a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001. It is the result of the hard work and constant vigilance of hundreds of thousands of men and women – including DHS employees, and our many partners here and abroad – who are working tirelessly to protect our country. As Mike Hayden has stated publicly, we are "playing offense."

We must recognize that the United States continues to face serious threats. We recognize that the threats facing the United States today are more complicated, transcend international borders, and evolve more rapidly than ever before. Most immediately, this country remains engaged in a long and sustained struggle against the violent, ideological extremism of al'Qaida's core leadership, its affiliated extremist networks, and a growing number of followers who are self-radicalized. And, in a highly globalized world, distant threats can rapidly manifest themselves at our borders. As the unclassified key judgments of the July 2007 NIE points out—we are in a period of sustained strategic warning.

But terrorism is not the only threat we face. Drug traffickers and alien smugglers attempt to evade our border security procedures daily. We remain on guard against Latin American drug trafficking organizations – with the ability to penetrate successfully our borders using extensive logistics networks – that might support such a terrorist undertaking. Within the United States we also face the danger of domestic extremists from across the spectrum of ideological beliefs: white supremacists; Islamic radicals; eco-terrorists; animal rights extremists; and anarchists all have the potential to conduct violent attacks. Because of this diverse threat landscape, our Department's analytical and operational efforts are focused on all-threats—not just terrorism. Secretary Chertoff defines the Department's mission as keeping out dangerous people and dangerous goods and protecting our critical infrastructures.

But we realize we are not in this fight alone. Last month, at the request of Secretary Chertoff, the Homeland Security Advisory Council, or HSAC, provided a list of the top ten challenges facing the next Secretary of the Department. What was the first Key Challenge identified by the HSAC? Understanding that "homeland security is more than just a single cabinet department." The HSAC reported that: "The Department of Homeland Security is unique in government in its complex need for both horizontal and vertical integration with other organizations and groups." The report goes on to state that, "Securing the homeland requires sharing responsibility horizontally with other Federal departments and agencies," as well as vertically to achieve a "robust...integration of the federal, state, local, and tribal governments, the private and non-profit sectors, and the American citizen to build a secure, safe, and resilient Nation." I could not agree more. More simply put: to accomplish its mission, the Department of Homeland Security must collaborate with partners at all levels of government at home and abroad.

As you know, the Intelligence Community's focus traditionally has been aimed at foreign threats and its customer set focused on international level partners. The Community's interaction with State, local and tribal law enforcement and other first responders intentionally was limited or non-existent. But homeland security, in a post-9/11 world, requires a new paradigm for intelligence support. This shift has led to a new information sharing landscape – one including new partners, new roles, and new rules that are still evolving. DHS is squarely at the center of this new paradigm.

The DHS Intelligence Mission

My task as Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis and the Chief Intelligence Officer for the Department has been to lead the effort to develop the vision for, design the architecture of, and implement a comprehensive homeland security intelligence program that is fully integrated into the traditional Intelligence Community but which equally reaches out to new, essential partners at all levels of government.

This has been no small task and has required new authorities, new structures, and new kinds of cooperation across the Community. DHS intelligence authorities were first established in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, with additional authorities provided later in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The specific mission of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, or I&A—DHS' primary representative in the Intelligence Community—was most recently enhanced by the amendments to Executive Order 12333.

Ever since I arrived at DHS in late 2005, I have been committed to delivering results against the critical mission priorities identified by the Secretary. I am consistently amazed by the breadth of the customer set we serve. It is unique in the Intelligence Community. The DHS Intelligence Enterprise – Department components with dedicated intelligence functions - must effectively serve all homeland security customers, including all of DHS, our State, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners, the Intelligence Community, and our international partners. Each of these customers has different needs.

Let me put this in perspective by giving you an idea of the scope of DHS' activities that DHS Intelligence must support every single day—consider this:

    * Customs and Border Protection processes more than a million passengers and pedestrians, 70,000 containers, and more than 300,000 air, sea, or land vehicles.

    * The Transportation Security Administration screens 2 million passengers and nearly as many pieces of checked luggage before they board commercial aircraft.

    * Citizenship and Immigration Services conducts an average 135,000 national security background checks, and adjudicates an average of 200 refugee applications.

As for enforcement activities, DHS carries out each day:

    * CBP apprehends an average of 2,400 people crossing illegally into the United States. Some are individuals of special interest to the United States and our job is to ensure they are interviewed and we harvest the intelligence information these people possess.

    * TSA intercepts nearly 18,000 prohibited items at checkpoints, including almost 3,000 knives and 200 other dangerous items.

    * The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts an average of 17 illegal migrants at sea, and seizes an average of 1,000 pounds of illegal drugs worth nearly $13 million.

DHS' Intelligence primary customer is the Department—including both headquarters as well as operational components. The incredibly broad DHS mission requires having reliable, real-time information and intelligence to allow the Department to identify and characterize threats uniformly, support security countermeasures, and achieve unity of effort in the response.

An equally important customer is our State and local partners. As I will describe in more detail later, we are ensuring these stakeholders have access to our key intelligence and information capabilities, and the Department, in turn, has access to information obtained by these partners in the course of their operations.

In addition, DHS Intelligence and Analysis is reaching out to a broad spectrum of private sector representatives. We have learned that private sector information requirements are not only numerous, but have become more complex as our private sector partners have become more knowledgeable about our capabilities to support them. As a result we have focused products and services to meet these particular needs. I know you have already heard from Jim Caverly about the broader DHS efforts to protect critical infrastructures, most of which are in the private sector.

Finally, the Intelligence Community remains an important customer. My Office is a member of the Intelligence Community, under the leadership of the Director of National Intelligence. It is taking its place in senior Intelligence Community forums, including serving as a member of the DNI's Executive Committee. We are also participants in implementing the DNI's National Intelligence Strategy and 500-Day Plan; the landmark theme of both is collaboration among IC members.

International Collaboration

Although collaboration with foreign partners is nothing new for the Intelligence Community, I am constantly struck by how the United States is cooperating even more closely with other countries to prevent terrorism and other significant threats from harming the Homeland. DHS is committed to strengthening our international ties and working together through intelligence and information sharing, and in some cases coordinated operations with foreign partners. We recognize that strengthening bonds with our allies is one of the most important steps our country can take to ensure lasting security. And as a newer member of the Community, DHS Intelligence is developing new ways to collaborate with these critical partners.

To see concrete benefits of these collaborative efforts we need only to look to DHS' response during the disruption of the plot in the UK, two summers ago, to destroy American commercial airliners bound for the United States. To foster this type of international collaboration, in 2003 we established with our British partners the Joint Contact Group, or JCG, that is co-chaired by DHS' Deputy Secretary and the U.K. Permanent Home Secretary. This Group provides strategic direction and cooperation for joint U.S. – U.K. homeland security efforts, on areas such as encouraging the division of labor between the two countries on homeland security projects; serving as a venue for the exchange of lessons learned and security experiences; and promoting joint participation in homeland security exercises. The JCG promotes an interpersonal environment, which made international collaboration easier while addressing such a highly sensitive threat as the airliner plot.

One of the main lessons of the 9/11 attacks, and subsequent attacks in Europe and elsewhere, is that we must shatter barriers to information sharing, including with our international partners. In the recent changes to Executive Order 12333, the DHS Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis is mandated to share intelligence and information with foreign governments under approved agreements. My Office is now authorized to participate in information and analytical exchanges with foreign partners. To show our dedication to international intelligence collaboration, I have established a foreign disclosure office. This unit facilitates sharing of intelligence and information with our international partners by serving as a two-way conduit for foreign governments to ask for and appropriately receive intelligence and information from DHS, and vice versa. All the while, we coordinate with the DNI and CIA as appropriate and necessary.

My Office interacts regularly with traditional allies such as the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia to share appropriately threat information and intelligence. We are developing cooperative relationships with Mexico and several other European and Asian countries as well. Common topics of discussion include protection of critical infrastructure, study of radicalization and extremism, and border security. In addition, we have published joint assessments with counterpart agencies in Europe and elsewhere.

An extremely important international information sharing initiative, led by DHS, covers air passengers traveling between partner countries and the United States. Passenger Name Record, or PNR, data, allow DHS' inspection officers to check passenger names and other basic information against lists of known or suspected terrorists and criminals before they board the aircraft so people we will not allow into the country cannot even get on the plane. The ability to identify subtle links between passengers and known dangerous people has made PNR data invaluable to our counterterrorism efforts.

But obtaining timely and accurate PNR data is not possible without the robust involvement of our international partners. In July 2007, the European Union and the United States signed an agreement, applicable for seven years, on the processing and transfer of PNR data by foreign air carriers to DHS. In return, DHS guarantees a significant level of privacy and security protections for the data it receives.

DHS now receives PNR data before the scheduled airline departure. DHS can subsequently transmit the data to U.S. authorities responsible for law enforcement, public security or counterterrorism. DHS also transmits analytic data flowing from PNR data to partner European authorities.

I do not know how many people know this, but post-attack analysis using PNR data on the September 11 hijackers linked all 19 perpetrators. Just think if we had this tool available prior to 9/11. PNR is a valuable counterterrorism tool that needs to be expanded to permit DHS to fully leverage this important information sharing and analysis mechanism, while always remaining sensitive to foreign government privacy concerns in the handling of the data.

We have also seen progress this year pertaining to our Visa Waiver Program. For more than a generation, this program has allowed visitors from certain countries to enter the United States without first obtaining visas. To expand the program, DHS has signed memoranda of understanding with eight nations that aspired to join the program – Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Republic of Korea, and Slovakia. These memoranda of understanding require, among other things, that both countries enhance information sharing on international travel and border screening, improve information exchanges on known and suspected terrorists, and provide timely and comprehensive reporting of lost and stolen passports. This paves the way not only for enhanced commerce, but for expanded information sharing, wider use of air marshals, and safer airports.

As a result of the 9/11 Act, the DNI designated my Office as the Intelligence Community's entity responsible for independently assessing the integrity and security of travel processes and documentation for each country in or applying to the program. These assessments address the potential for illicit actors—transnational criminals, extremists, and terrorists—to exploit travel systems and security vulnerabilities in order to facilitate unlawful access to the United States. To date, we have provided assessments on 13 countries seeking visa waiver status.

Also in March of this year, we came to an agreement with Germany on a terrorist watch list, fingerprint, and DNA exchange. This is becoming a model text for Visa Waiver Program members. We have taken a similar approach around the world on issues ranging from combating the use of fraudulent travel documents to taking down human smuggling and trafficking organizations.

Another initiative is the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, known as SPP, a core multilateral program that strengthens international intelligence collaboration. SPP was launched in March 2005 to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing. It includes key security and prosperity programs that cross mutual borders to keep them closed to dangerous people and subsequently open to trade. As part of the SPP, the United States has agreed to enhance intelligence partnerships with Canada and Mexico. For example, the United States and Mexico will form joint intelligence-sharing task forces along the U.S.-Mexico border to target criminal organizations and reduce violence along the border.

I know you heard earlier this week about the Mérida Initiative that is instituting a new paradigm for regional security cooperation among the United States, Mexico, and the countries of Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. This multi-year initiative is designed to build on activities already underway in the region and to complement U.S. efforts here at home, in order to reduce demand and trafficking of narcotics as well as arms and weapons, and to confront gangs and criminal organizations that cause serious security challenges for our international partners.

Our efforts to protect the nation from dangerous goods also entail international collaboration. In 2007, we launched our Secure Freight Initiative at six overseas ports. This was designed to test our ability to scan 100 percent of inbound cargo for radiation before the cargo was loaded on a ship bound for the United States. As a part of Secure Freight, we require that we obtain more information about what is in cargo shipments, and collect more trade data from the private sector. This gives us better visibility into the supply chain, and a more definitive ability to identify those kinds of shipments that require closer inspection. This is intelligence-based screening that helps us assure the security of our borders.

Complementing Secure Freight overseas, we also expanded our Container Security Initiative to 58 foreign ports. Using tools for scanning along with intelligence-derived information, DHS inspectors work with their foreign counterparts to screen cargo before loaded on to the ship. With the current deployment, more than 85 percent of the containers shipped to the U.S. now transit through these ports and benefit from our overseas inspections.

This level of cooperation with our foreign partners, occurring daily, has helped the United States apprehend dangerous people and keep dangerous goods from our shores. Although I cannot today share with you all the ways we are collaborating with our foreign partners, I believe these examples demonstrate how we are continually innovating our collaborative efforts with foreign partners to make sure dangerous people and goods are kept from entering our borders.

We recognize that, regardless of our differences, the United States and our international partners share common security challenges and similar adversaries. The attacks on Madrid and London, and attempts in Germany and the UK over the past few years, underscore that reality. I am convinced that DHS will continue to strengthen our partnerships with our allies around the globe to expand our mutual ability to prevent any threat from jeopardizing our security interests.

Collaboration at Home

As I noted at the beginning, collaboration is needed at home as well as abroad. The best intelligence is meaningless if we do not have mechanisms in place to share it in a timely fashion with our operational partners. Central to our intelligence responsibilities is the sharing of intelligence and information with our State and local partners. As all of you know, prior to September 11, the U.S. Intelligence Community did not have a culture or common process of sharing across the Federal agencies, let alone with our State, local, tribal and private sector partners. I am proud to say today that building and improving our relationships with State, local, tribal, and private sector partners is the cornerstone of the Department's information sharing efforts.

As most of you are aware, the need to share information among Federal agencies—and for information and intelligence to flow from the Federal to State and local governments—was codified post-9/11 in several pieces of landmark legislation, such as the 9/11 Act. More recently, the President's amendments to Executive Order 12333 outlined new authorities for my Office, such as overt collection, and formally recognized "homeland security" as part of the national Intelligence Community. The new executive order specifically mandates greater information sharing with State, local, tribal, and private sector entities, which are core statutory customers and program partners of DHS Intelligence. Our DHS-unique collaboration challenge is to bridge the information sharing gaps between classified and unclassified, Federal and non-Federal, law-enforcement and non-law enforcement, as well as government and private sector domains.

I am pleased to say that over the past three years, we have developed strong relationships and collaborate closely with State and local law enforcement, first responders, and fusion centers nationwide to ensure State and local officials have access to key intelligence capabilities. Our outreach also helps to provide the Department an integrated intelligence picture using more tactical State and local information. Let me now highlight significant DHS actions to enhance collaboration with these key customers.

State and Local Program Office

As the 9/11 Act and the President's National Strategy for Information Sharing make clear, fusion centers are an essential part of this information flow and framework. These fusion centers have become the central points of exchange and centers of gravity for intelligence and information between Federal Government and State, local, and tribal entities. As you heard from Gary Winuk yesterday, fusion centers are developing a critical role in securing the homeland.

In 2006, we stood up a State and Local Fusion Center Program Office dedicated to supporting State and Local Fusion Centers throughout the country. DHS is committed to providing fusion centers with the people and tools they need to participate in the Federal Information Sharing Environment. As a key part of this effort, my Office is deploying intelligence officers to fusion centers nationwide. These officers are my representatives in the field who ensure that DHS is fulfilling its information-sharing responsibilities. Core activities of our intelligence officers include: providing daily analytic support; communicating and exchanging information with other fusion centers; writing products for and with State and local partners; and disseminating intelligence products to all customers. My Office will have officers in 35 fusion centers by the end of the year. We plan to eventually deploy up to 70 intelligence officers to the field, including one to each State-designated fusion center as well as major cities.

The presence of these important DHS personnel assets in the field has served to create strong collaborative relationships with our State and local partners. They serve as the front line of the DHS Intelligence Enterprise and help ensure that DHS is meeting these important customer's needs.

Access to Information Networks

DHS also provides our non-Federal partners with direct access to DHS intelligence and information through both classified and unclassified networks. A critical part of our efforts on the unclassified level is the Homeland Security Information Network's "Intelligence" Portal. Known as HSIN-Intelligence, this portal provides approximately 8,000 people with access to unclassified intelligence products. For classified networks, we are deploying the Homeland Secure Data Network, or HSDN, at fusion centers across the country. With this network, we are delivering, for the first time, classified threat information to State and local authorities on a regular basis. I believe this unprecedented type of communication will lead to a sea change in relations between Federal and State analysts. To further expand State and local connectivity to the Intelligence Community, HSDN provides access to NCTC Online—for accessing the most current terrorism-related information at the Secret level.

We have also established the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest as a means to develop and share information collaboratively. Known as HS SLIC, it is the first nationwide network of Federal, State, and local intelligence analysts focused on homeland security ever created in the United States. This virtual community of intelligence analysts fosters collaboration and sharing via weekly For Official Use Only-level threat teleconferences and biweekly Secret-level secure video teleconferences. As evidence of its value and success, its membership has grown dramatically from a six-state pilot in 2006 to now having members representing 45 states, the District of Columbia, and 7 Federal agencies. In addition, I have established an HS SLIC Advisory Board that includes State and local partners to advise me on issues relating to intelligence collaboration with our non-Federal partners. This gives me a chance to talk directly to key State and local leaders and hear how we can best collaborate with them.

Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group (ITACG)

DHS also remains a full partner in, a leader within, and a staunch supporter of the Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group, or ITACG. This group has become a vital mechanism for serving the information needs of our State, local, tribal, and private sector partners. Established at the direction of the President in his Guideline 2 report and the 9/11 Act, it pulls together Federal and non-Federal homeland security, law enforcement, and intelligence officers from a variety of disciplines to guide the development and dissemination of Federal terrorism-related intelligence products through DHS and the FBI to our non-Federal partners. ITACG officers monitor sensitive databases, and screen hundreds of highly classified finished intelligence reports to determine what should be sanitized and/or enhanced for expanded sharing with our non-Federal partners.

The ITACG consists of two elements: the ITACG Detail and the Advisory Council. The Detail is the group of individuals who sit at the NCTC and conduct the day-to-day work of the ITACG. The Council sets policy and oversees the ITACG Detail and its work.

The Detail achieved initial operating capability just nine months ago. While fully integrated into the work and leadership at NCTC, the Detail is led by one of my senior intelligence officers who serves as the ITACG Director. The Deputy Director is a senior analyst from the FBI. Currently there are three law enforcement officers from State and local police departments as part of the team assigned to the Detail. These non-Federal participants provide critical insight into the needs and perspectives of our State, local, tribal and private sector partners. We are working hard to expand the number of non-Federal participants to 10 in order to include a broader range of State and local expertise. Indeed, I would be remiss if I did not encourage all of you here from State, local, and tribal organizations to consider applying or encouraging one of your top performers to apply to serve on a one year detail at the ITACG.

We have also established the ITACG Advisory Council, which I chair on behalf of the Secretary. The Council, at least 50 percent of whose members must represent State, local, and tribal organizations, has become a robust organization with participation of its non-Federal members in all of its decision-making processes. I am extremely proud of the team we have assembled – both for the Detail and the Advisory Council. I am grateful for the strong support that I receive from NCTC in the overall management of the ITACG program.

Finally, we have trained reports officers in DHS components who gather local information of intelligence value. These reports officers provide this intelligence in the form of Homeland Intelligence Reports, known as HIRs, to the rest of the IC. Currently, we have over 30 reports officers located across I&A headquarters, DHS components and elements. In addition, four Reports Officers are deployed to State and local elements along the Southwest border and in Florida, with three more scheduled for deployment in the next few months. DHS reports officers have issued more than 9,000 HIRs since 2005 and in the process share valuable information on suspected terrorist activity, transnational threats from the Caribbean and Latin America, sensitive information from ports of entry including data from people who are given secondary screening, or people who are denied entry into the United States. This is precisely the granular-level of information that is of most use to the IC and State and local law enforcement authorities.

Challenges Ahead

Despite pride in the progress we have made in developing DHS Intelligence, we still have many challenges. First and foremost is the development of a high quality all-source cadre of analysts—this is extraordinarily difficult. Another great challenge is understanding the information needs of our many partners so we can ensure that the right information—tailored as necessary—gets where it needs to be, when it is needed. Conversely, we need to help educate our partners on the kinds of information we need for our mission so we can access that information when needed.

We also have to work to find ways to work across different systems, processes, and legal systems to ensure a seamless flow of information. Not only do our international parties have different legal systems, but each of our State and local partners is also governed by different laws that can affect the flow of information. We have to find ways to bridge these differences.

We need to ensure that these efforts have sufficient funding, particularly for the fusion centers so they can continue to participate fully in these partnerships. Fusion centers cost money and many State budgets, particularly these days, simply cannot accommodate continuing robust efforts. Finally, throughout all these efforts we must be vigilant to protect civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy in all our intelligence activities.


On September 11 of this year, Secretary Chertoff wrote "...[on September 11, 2001,] our country was senselessly attacked and nearly 3,000 lives were tragically lost. That fateful day changed our Nation and our lives." Even though that day was more than seven years ago, the threat has not passed and the Nation's adversaries remain committed to harming us. They have been foiled by many factors, including the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security and our Federal, State, local, and private sector partners—many of whom are in this very room and defend our homeland every day.

Henry Ford once said: "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." I am glad to report today that we are truly past the coming together and keeping together stages. We are now working together to keep this country safe. So we are achieving success. To prove this point, I just need to highlight the strong working relationship between DHS Intelligence and its national community partners, especially Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, FBI Director Bob Mueller, NCTC Director Mike Leiter, and the Under Secretary of Defense Intelligence Jim Clapper. These sound relationships form a vital backbone of Intelligence Community collaboration necessary to keep our country safe. I also can point to our many Federal, State, local, tribal, and private sector partners who work around the clock to protect our country and keep the American people safe, and who work with DHS every day. And last but not least our many international partners who help us stop threats beyond our borders.

Although a new team will be soon in charge in Homeland Security, the mission will not change and the need for collaboration will not lessen. I believe we are building the necessary relationships to continue to protect our nation from the myriad of threats that it faces. It is my steadfast belief that our level of collaboration shows we are up to the task.

Thank you.
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Tom Engelhardt: The End of a Subprime Administration

Source: TomDispatch.com (11-2-08)

[Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. He is the author of The End of Victory Culture, a history of the American Age of Denial. The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (Verso, 2008), a collection of some of the best pieces from his site and an alternative history of the mad Bush years, has recently been published. To listen to a podcast in which he discusses Bush's record abroad, click here. ]

They may have been the most disastrous dreamers, the most reckless gamblers, and the most vigorous imperial hucksters and grifters in our history. Selling was their passion. And they were classic American salesmen -- if you're talking about underwater land in Florida, or the Brooklyn Bridge, or three-card monte, or bizarre visions of Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicles armed with chemical and biological weaponry let loose over the U.S., or Saddam Hussein's mushroom clouds rising over American cities, or a full-scale reordering of the Middle East to our taste, or simply eternal global dominance.

When historians look back, it will be far clearer that the "commander-in-chief" of a "wartime" country and his top officials were focused, first and foremost, not on the shifting "central theaters" of the Global War on Terror, but on the theater that mattered most to them -- the "home front" where they spent inordinate amounts of time selling the American people a bill of goods. Of his timing in ramping up a campaign to invade Iraq in September 2002, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card infamously explained: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."


From a White House where "victory strategies" meant purely for domestic consumption poured out, to the Pentagon where bevies of generals, admirals, and other high officers were constantly being mustered, not to lead armies but to lead public opinion, their selling focus was total. They were always releasing "new product."

And don't forget their own set of soaring inside-the-Beltway fantasies. After all, if a salesman is going to sell you some defective product, it always helps if he can sell himself on it first. And on this score, they were world champs.

Because events made it look so foolish, the phrase "shock and awe" that went with the initial attack on Iraq in March 2003 has now passed out of official language and (together with "mission accomplished") into the annals of irony. Back then, though, as bombs and missiles blew up parts of Baghdad -- to fabulous visual effect in that other "theater" of war, television -- the phrase was constantly on official lips and in media reports everywhere. It went hand-in-glove with another curious political phrase: regime change.

Given the supposed unique technological proficiency of the U.S. military and its array of "precision" weapons, the warriors of Bushworld convinced themselves that a new era in military affairs had truly dawned. An enemy "regime" could now be taken out -- quite literally and with surgical precision, in its bedrooms, conference rooms, and offices, thanks to those precision weapons delivered long-distance from ship or plane -- without taking out a country. Poof! You only had to say the word and an oppressive regime would be, as it was termed, "decapitated." Its people would then welcome with open arms relatively small numbers of American troops as liberators.

It all sounded so good, and high tech, and relatively simple, and casualty averse, and clean as a whistle. Even better, once there had been such a demonstration, a guaranteed "cakewalk" -- as, say, in Iraq -- who would ever dare stand up to American power again? Not only would one hated enemy dictator be dispatched to the dustbin of history, but evildoers everywhere, fearing the Bush equivalent of the wrath of Khan, would be shock-and-awed into submission or quickly dispatched in their own right.

In reality (ah, "reality" -- what a nasty word!), the shock-and-awe attacks used on Iraq got not a single leader of the Saddamist regime, not one of that pack of 52 cards (including of course the ace of spades, Saddam Hussein, found in his "spiderhole" so many months later). Iraqi civilians were the ones killed in that precise and shocking moment, while Iraqi society was set on the road to destruction, and the world was not awed.

Strangely enough, though, the phrase, once reversed, proved applicable to the Bush administration's seven-year post-9/11 history. They were, in a sense, the awe-and-shock administration. Initially, they were awed by the supposedly singular power of the American military to dominate and transform the planet; then, they were continually shocked and disbelieving when that same military, despite its massive destructive power, turned out to be incapable of doing so, or even of handling two ragtag insurgencies in two weakened countries, one of which, Afghanistan, was among the poorest and least technologically advanced on the planet.

The Theater of War

In remarkably short order, historically speaking, the administration's soaring imperial fantasies turned into planetary nightmares. After 9/11, of course, George W. and crew promised Americans the global equivalent -- and Republicans the domestic equivalent -- of a 36,000 stock market and we know just where the stock market is today: only about 27,000 points short of that irreality.

Once upon a time, they really did think that, via the U.S. Armed Forces, or, as George W. Bush once so breathlessly put it, "the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known," they could dominate the planet without significant help from allies or international institutions of any sort. Who else had a shot at it? In the post-Soviet world, who but a leadership backed by the full force of the U.S. military could possibly be a contender for the leading role in this epic movie? Who else could even turn out for a casting call? Impoverished Russia? China, still rebuilding its military and back then considered to have a host of potential problems? A bunch of terrorists? I mean… come on!

As they saw it, the situation was pretty basic. In fact, it gave the phrase "power politics" real meaning. After all, they had in their hands the reins attached to the sole superpower on this small orb. And wasn't everyone -- at least, everyone they cared to listen to, at least Charles Krauthammer and the editorial page of the Washington Post -- saying no less?

I mean, what else would you do, if you suddenly, almost miraculously (after an election improbably settled by the Supreme Court), found yourself in sole command of the globe's only "hyperpower," the only sheriff on planet Earth, the New Rome. To make matters more delicious, in terms of getting just what you wanted, those hands were on those reins right after "the Pearl Harbor of the twenty-first century," when Americans were shocked and awed and terrified enough that anything-goes seemed a reasonable response?

It might have gone to anyone's head in imperial Washington at that moment, but it went to their heads in such a striking way. After all, theirs was a plan -- labeled in 2002 the Bush Doctrine -- of global domination conceptually so un-American that, in my childhood, the only place you would have heard it was in the mouths of the most evil, snickering imperial Japanese, Nazi, or Soviet on-screen villains. And yet, in their moment of moments, it just rolled right out of their heads and off their tongues -- and they were proud of it.

Here's a question for 2009 you don't have to answer: What should the former "new Rome" be called now? That will, of course, be someone else's problem.

The Cast of Characters

And what a debacle the Bush Doctrine proved to be. What a legacy the legacy President and his pals are leaving behind. A wrecked economy, deflated global stock markets, collapsing banks and financial institutions, soaring unemployment, a smashed Republican Party, a bloated Pentagon overseeing a strained, overstretched military, enmired in an incoherent set of still-expanding wars gone sour, a network of secret prisons, as well as Guantanamo, that "jewel in the crown" of Bush's Bermuda Triangle of injustice, and all the grim practices that went with those offshore prisons, including widespread torture and abuse, kidnapping, assassination, and the disappearing of prisoners (once associated only with South America dictatorships and military juntas).

They headed a government that couldn't shoot straight or plan ahead or do anything halfway effectively, an administration that emphasized "defense" -- or "homeland security" as it came to be called in their years -- above all else; yet they were always readying themselves for the last battle, and so were caught utterly, embarrassingly unready for 19 terrorists with box cutters, a hurricane named Katrina, and an arcane set of Wall Street derivatives heading south.

As the supposed party of small government, they succeeded mainly in strangling civilian services, privatizing government operations into the hands of crony corporations, and bulking up state power in a massive way -- making an already vast intelligence apparatus yet larger and more labyrinthine, expanding spying and surveillance of every kind, raising secrecy to a first principle, establishing a new U.S. military command for North America, endorsing a massive Pentagon build-up, establishing a second Defense Department labeled the Department of Homeland Security with its own mini-homeland-security-industrial complex, evading checks and powers in the Constitution whenever possible, and claiming new powers for a "unitary executive" commander-in-chief presidency.

No summary can quite do justice to what the administration "accomplished" in these years. If there was, however, a single quote from the world of George W. Bush that caught the deepest nature of the president and his core followers, it was offered by an "unnamed administration official" -- often assumed to be Karl Rove -- to journalist Ron Suskind back in October 2004:

"He] said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors.... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

"We create our own reality… We're history's actors."

It must for years have seemed that way and everything about the lives they lived only reinforced that impression. After all, the President himself, as so many wrote, lived in a literal bubble world. Those who met him were carefully vetted; audiences were screened so that no one who didn't fawn over him got near him; and when he traveled through foreign cities, they were cleared of life, turned into the equivalent of Potemkin villages, while he and his many armored cars and Blackhawk helicopters, his huge contingent of Secret Service agents and White House aides, his sniffer dogs and military sharpshooters, his chefs and who knows what else passed through.

Of course, the President had been in a close race with the reality principle (which, in his case, was the principle of failure) all his life -- and whenever reality nipped at his heels, his father's boys stepped in and whisked him off stage. He got by at his prep school, Andover, and then at Yale, a c-level legacy student and, appropriately enough when it came to sports, a cheerleader and, at Yale, a party animal as well as the president of the hardest drinking fraternity on campus. He was there in the first place only because of who he wasn't (or rather who his relations were).

Faced with the crises of the Vietnam era, he joined the Texas Air National Guard and more or less went missing in action. Faced with life, he became a drunk. Faced with business, he failed repeatedly and yet, thanks to his dad's friends, became a multi-millionaire in the process. He was supported, cosseted, encouraged, and finally -- to use an omnipresent word of our moment -- bailed out. The first MBA president was a business bust. A certain well-honed, homey congeniality got him to the governorship and then to the presidency of the United States without real accomplishments. If there ever was a case for not voting for the guy you'd most like to "have a beer with," this was it.

On that pile of rubble at Ground Zero on September 14, 2001, with a bullhorn in his hands and various rescuers shouting, "USA! USA!" he genuinely found his "calling" as the country's cheerleader-in-chief (as he had evidently found his religious calling earlier in life). He not only took the job seriously, he visibly loved it. He took a childlike pleasure in being in the "theater" of war. He was thrilled when some of the soldiers who captured Saddam Hussein in that "spiderhole" later presented him with the dictator's pistol. ("'He really liked showing it off,' says a... visitor to the White House who has seen the gun. 'He was really proud of it.'") He was similarly thrilled, on a trip to Baghdad in 2007, to meet the American pilot "whose plane's missiles killed Iraq's Al Qaeda leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" and "returned to Washington in a buoyant mood."

While transforming himself into the national cheerleader-in-chief, he even kept "his own personal scorecard for the war" in a desk drawer in the Oval Office -- photos with brief biographies and personality sketches of leading al-Qaeda figures, whose faces could be satisfyingly crossed out when killed or captured. He clearly adored it when he got to dress up, whether in a flight suit landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier in May 2003, or in front of hoo-aahing crowds of soldiers wearing a specially tailored military-style jacket with "George W. Bush, Commander In Chief" hand-stitched across the heart. As earlier in life, he was supported (Karl Rove), enabled (Condoleezza Rice), cosseted (various officials), and so became "the decider," a willing figurehead (as he had been, for instance, when he was an "owner" of the Texas Rangers), manipulated by his co-president Dick Cheney. In these surroundings, he was able to take war play to an imperial level. In the end, however, this act of his life, too, could lead nowhere but to failure.

As it happened, reality possessed its own set of shock-and-awe weaponry. Above all, reality was unimpressed with history's self-proclaimed "actors," working so hard on the global stage to create their own reality. When it came to who really owned what, it turned out that reality owned the works and that possession was indeed nine-tenths of one law that even George Bush's handlers and his fervent neocon followers couldn't suspend.

Exit Stage Right

The results were sadly predictable. The bubble world of George W. Bush was bound to be burst. Based on fantasies, false promises, lies, and bait-and-switch tactics, it was destined for foreclosure. At home and abroad, after all, it had been created using the equivalent of subprime mortgages and the result, unsurprisingly, was a dismally subprime administration.

Now, of course, the bill collector is at the door and the property -- the USA -- is worth a good deal less than on November 4, 2000. George W. Bush is a discredited president; his job approval ratings could hardly be lower; his bubble world gone bust.

Nonetheless, let's remember one other theme of his previous life. Whatever his failures, Bush always walked away from disastrous dealings enriched, while others were left holding the bag. Don't imagine for a second that the equivalent isn't about to repeat itself. He will leave a country functionally under the gun of foreclosure, a world far more aflame and dangerous than the one he faced on entering the Oval Office. But he won't suffer.

He will have his new house in Dallas (not to speak of the "ranch" in Crawford) and his more than $200 million presidential "library" and "freedom institute" at Southern Methodist University; and then there's always that 20% of America -- they know who they are -- who think his presidency was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Believe me, 20% of America is more than enough to pony up spectacular sums, once Bush takes to the talk circuit. As the president himself put it enthusiastically,"'I'll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol' coffers.' With assets that have been estimated as high as nearly $21 million, Mr. Bush added, 'I don't know what my dad gets -- it's more than 50-75' thousand dollars a speech, and 'Clinton's making a lot of money.'"

This is how a legacy-student-turned-president fails upward. Every disaster leaves him better off.

The same can't be said for the country or the world, saddled with his "legacy."

Still, his administration has been foreclosed. Perhaps there's ignominy in that. Now, the rest of us need to get out the brooms and start sweeping the stables.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Victoria H. commented "The gas is all over the pavement, now all that is needed is the spark."

I envy her eloquence.

Between the Bloomberg suit (which is being largely ignored by the ms), and the auto industry... AND the brilliant stuff that Peter N. found on tax breaks in the bailout, that was some of the best dialogue and thinking I have ever seen. I will try to offer a response equally as eloquent.

We are so F-CKED!

The tax breaks being given to banks, Wells Fargo being one of the largest, to keep them alive are taking maybe hundreds of billions in tax revenue right off the top next year. There goes our chance for infrastructure change in the face of Peak Oil. The Dems will do everything possible to save Detroit and that's what they have to do. There are no easy choices now and none will change the End Game. It'sanybody's guess as to how much each choice, right or wrong, will delay or accelerate it. The only game being played is "forestall the inevitable": the collapse of industrialized civilization. I really do believe and am sensing that it is starting to sink in, in some very important circles. Those of us who made FTW, Rubicon and this amazing blog have greatly facilitated that.

And in the midst of all this Bush/Cheney are playing their own end game.

Stop calculating the deficit, it's a spinning meter now. Stop calculating the national debt. Fuggedaboudit! There is only one thing to do when a debt becomes so large it can never be repaid: go bankrupt and liquidate. We saw the first signs when rumors surfaced (and were quickly quashed) that Hyundai, I think it was, was looking to buy parts of Chrysler, including the Jeep line. There again, is something we described for years as en route at FTW and in Rubicon...

Hooray! The map is accurate.

Oh shit! The map is accurate.

I wonder how long before rumors surface that Disney and Coke are having trouble. The American brand name is dead.

Look guys, this is it. It can't possibly be long now until j6p and the rest of us get our teeth kicked in. And man is he going to be pissed off. Those of us who prepared to whatever extent will have it much easier than almost everyone we meet. I am so grateful that so many of you have let me know in so many ways, that you got it. You changed your lives because of the work I and the FTW gang did. Now we must realize that we have a blessing and ask how we can use it to best serve the rest. Go watch "Schindler's List", identify, and then understand that we won't be able to help everybody. Forgive yourself and do it now. The tension is surely getting to all of us, as it should be. Don't try to deny it or pretend it isn't there. Embrace it and respect it. It is something that bonds us to our fellows. Give yourself room to act and respond differently and don't judge yourselves too much if you screw up. I know too many in our not-so-little movement and we all share common traits. I acted out recently and really wounded someone who was and remains very special. Amends were made and accepted but our paths parted way too soon. --I'm sorry LB.

We must keep the human part of this process involved in all of this for our own health. I don't think anyone could ask for a better support group than what we have in this blog and beyond.

Now I'm going to go pester my agent about selling a book which really needs to come out soon.

FWIW -- I believe that's in God's hands -- a God who looks after all religions and peoples.


JO writes:

From The Writing On The Wall Department
Russia Signals Depreciation of Ruble

The central bank faces the danger that, by signalling a devaluation may be on the cards, it may spark a run on the rouble. Russia's stock market on Tuesday fell more than 10 per cent, and trading was halted briefly.
The Two Faces of Money
Insider Crimes, Funny Money and Options Rackets
They Made a Killing: The Use of Knowledge of Covert Operations in the Stock Market

posted by FTW admin @ 8:02 PM 19 comments

The following story is monumental and the days between now and January 20th are going to be non-stop action and, most likely, very bad news. The Treasury is refusing to disclose which institutions are getting taxpayer bailout money. Bloomberg has filed suit to find out. That speaks volumes for Bloomberg. Hank Paulson has completely violated his testimony before Congress when he sought approval of the package. Under oath he begged for the same transparency he himself is now refusing to provide. But bear in mind that most of the Treasury money that is being dispersed is NOT part of the congressional bailout package. There's more than two trillion in Treasury money forked over and the congressional bailout was only $750 billion. This has nothing to do with protecting asset prices or the industry. It has to do with obstructing justice and concealing evidence. If the mainstream media try to brush this over they will lose all credibility with Joe the Plumber and Joe Sixpack. The public will grasp this in a heartbeat. This is a crime being committed in broad daylight, in the middle of Main Street, in perfect weather.


Now take it one step further and go back to FTW's last economic alert; the one I wrote and published 11 days before our computers were smashed in 2006. In our last-ever alert, I screamed that the collapse was planned, inevitable and imminent because President Bush had just authorized the SEC to exempt certain financial institutions from full and transparent reporting on grounds of national security. Huh?! -- I screamed that the bank vaults had just been opened and the green light given to pump, loot, and pump some more -- based on falsified earnings reports and asset descriptions -- then dump it out and shut the U.S. down, leaving us all broke. Paulson, of course, won't disclose what "assets" were purchased in any bailouts because then it would be discoverable that there are many more paper mortgages than there are actual properties. I would bet just about everything I have that the list of companies exempted from filing complete reports will match --almost perfectly -- the list of firms that are receiving Treasury bailout funds -- our money. The only thing standing between Bush/Cheney and the pokey is their own national-security classification power. That's it. Well there's real good case law about classifying to conceal crimes and the Bloomberg case is a sure-fire winner in the Supreme Court. Not only is the Constitution clear, any other ruling might well start an uprising. Bush/Cheney know this, so their plan -- however far it goes -- must be completed before this case could get to the Supremes.

Here again, is the link to FTW's June 2006 Economic Alert:

If I were still doing investigative reporting I'd be down at the courthouse getting a copy of the Bloomberg suit ASAP. The Reuters story even gives the case number at the bottom. It's a public document. There's a revolt already underway when Bloomberg files suit against TPTB and Reuters appears to be supporting the play. This is High Noon -- one of many to come in the next 60 days.

The Bush/Cheney regime still has that time in office and I may be risking my life to print this. But there will never be a better time and we are not alone. The whole world is watching and a great many influential people read us. Those in the mainstream and elected office who have benefited from our work for years have been silent for too long. I predicted all of this in agonizing detail starting years ago and they know it. You who have been so loyal for so long know it. The only thing that will help us all is to point to the crime and the evidence and scream as loudly as we can. The American people can grasp this in an instant. Bush's popularity is lower than for any president in history. The more people who see and understand this story, especially those in elected office and positions of influence, the safer we all are; the more of a chance we, and especially our children, have. Michael Bloomberg needs back up too. He's doing the right thing here. I need to ask all who are willing to start spreading this blog entry around to the most influential places and people you know. The bad guys are getting ready to leave town with our money, in a slow parade that we're going to pay for and give them. They are banking that we're going to be relieved enough to see them go that we'll let them leave in a motorcade and cheerily wave goodbye.

I pray we make it to the inauguration.The bad guys are following a plan that will run right up until the last second. I think the wheels are coming off it because this news won't sit well anywhere in this country and I smell that they have reached too far. It is far less expensive to prevent the money from leaving the bank than it is to get it back there once it's been stolen. This has got to be stopped. We muist know where that money is going (or went) before January 20th.

Does this remind anyone of the NEPDG? --- I wrote a lot about that too.
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November 14, 2008   Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States  
Obama: A Third Clinton Term?
Hillary under consideration for Secretary of State

Global Research, November 14, 2008

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Reports indicate that President Elect Barack  Obama has Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton under consideration for Secretary of State.

Unfortunately, it seems that the incoming Obama administration is now shaping up to become the third Clinton term.

American voters in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses had decisively repudiated what appeared to be the overwhelming front-runner Senator Hillary Clinton in favor of Senator Barack Obama in order to avoid this result.

Then in the November 2008 national elections, the American people voted decisively for "change" from the policies of the long-discredited Bush Jr. Administration.

There is no evidence to believe they voted in order to return to the bad-old-days of the impeached and disgraced President Bill Clinton and his servitors. Yet it appears that is what the American people and the world at large are going to get. Far better than a third Bush Jr term under Senator John McCain  with   his Neo-Conservative advisors and Federalist Society lawyers. But certainly not what the American people voted for and deserve.

Francis A. Boyle is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Francis A. Boyle

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thank goodness y'all have read Rubicon. I don't need to 'splain nuthin.



Consider the following two quotes from the attached story:


"So far this year, 23 major auto-related companies, most of them parts suppliers, have filed for bankruptcy, according to consulting firm Grant Thornton. They are struggling since car makers have cut back as sales have slowed and raw-material prices have risen."


"As supplier companies fail, that [a GM bankruptcy] would have a direct impact on Ford and Chrysler, since the three domestic automanufacturers share about 70% of their suppliers, Rodriguez estimated."

Now just think about those statements for a while. Let them rattle around. This is what happens when complex civilizations fail. I forget when I wrote it... Some of you wonderful, dedicated, FTW archivists will probably remember. But it's like walking into a room and turning on the light switch. Not only does the bulb burn out; but a leg falls off the coffee table and the cat dies -- all at the same time. The U.S. government should do NOTHING to help the Big Three. Let them go extinct. They ARE extinct. Dead men walking. But please do it quickly. Show mercy by at least making it decisive and quick. And it looks like that decision has been made and (yes, I'm actually writing this) it was the right one. No matter how steep the price, or how much pain is involved; GM, Ford and Chrysler can only become parasites that will soon outweigh the host and drag us all down deeper; before mankind is finally set free to swim for the surface and rebuild. None of the Big Three will ever see the new paradigm because they, like Robert Hirsch, are incapable of seeing it. To truly see it is to have some real hope for mankind and the evolution of our collective soul. (I love the band too.)

There is only one thing that is too big to fail. That is the United States of America. And it's time some real Americans grabbed a saddle and mounted up, not to fight for but just to express it.

I have not said much lately because there wasn't much to say. From what I see now, those who read this blog are some very sharp cookies. You make me feel so much less alone than I used to. Thank you.

Another thing I will comment on is Robert Hirsch's plea that Peak Oilists shut the f..k up because we might actually scare somebody. WTF???? We've been scared for years, haven't we? I met Hirsch in Sacramento at ASPO-USA. We talked. He ferdamnsure knew who I was and he asked twice for me to send him a draft of my book so that he could "look" at it. (Only about five people are going to see it outside of the publishing process. He's not going to be one of them. We're in some very "spicy" talks with several publishers. That's all I will say until there's something else to say.)

Robert Hirsch is a scientist, an engineer, and as rooted in his thinking as John McCain; no ability to see the inevitable -- to embrace it as we must. He must be near a breakdown and, frankly, I feel for him. I watched my father; a decorated Air Force aviator and former aerospace exec who dealt with USAF and CIA, come to understand that the CIA actually dealt and smuggled a lot of drugs -- and nearly killed his son. It only took him twenty-five years to "get" it. But what Robert Hirsch asked of us was absolute bullshit and we all know it. Pathos ad infinitum. It was as lame as the plea he made in Sacramento at the end of his speech that sounded like something out of a Ronald Reagan, WW II, rah-rah movie. It landed with a thud in the audience that might have registered on seismic scales and -- to be honest -- I felt for Hirsch then too. He knew that he was in a different movie from everyone else. He had seen... but he has not"seen".

Dontcha love the Saudis bragging about the IEA report somehow proving they aren't in decline? Sweet, Jesus, Mary and Joseph! We are so far through the looking glass that Alice just took a vicodin and a Valium, and the Mad Hatter leased a cardboard box on skid row.

BTW -- Don't get too sensitive about my comments about Christians (which I always categorize as Fundamentalist Right-Wing Christians). Those who know me well, know the extent of my spiritual studies. It is so amazing that real Christians have become so defensive; so demonstrative of the battered-wife syndrome. (I did a freelance piece for the L.A. Times on that in '85.) Jesus Christ was a prophet and a real-life demonstration of what can be unleashed of the God which lives in all men, women and children -- in everything. That is what Jesus taught. He taught how to find and release a kingdom that was within, all of us, in the here and now. That is also what Buddha taught. It is what the Tao teaches. It is what Mohammed taught and it can be found in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. It is also richly in the books of Isaiah, Psalms and John. The evil that Fundamentalist Right Wing Christians represent is that they (in an unbroken continuum) have taken the truth and the teachings of some really cool souls and used it for political purposes; for selfish ends. I can trace the pattern back to the Council of Nicea in about 315 AD. (I may be off on the year). "Virtue, the minute it recognizes itself as a virtue, becomes a vice." (Thank you Chuck C.) What that is, is the biggest part of man's soul that needs to be shed for evolution to occur. Whether we want to or not, we -- as a species --must surrender to something bigger than ourselves. Whether one calls it God or Peak Oil is utterly irrelevant.

I have prayed in churches, synagogues, mosques, ashrams, temples and also while going to the bathroom and making love. -- And do you know what? I found the same God, equally, in all places.

I need to ask the "loyalists" for an opinion. Lately, I have found myself writing as a means of dealing with all this crap. It's a departure from the two-million or so words I have written trying to be so factual and clear. It's helping me, but what I would like to know is, is it helping you too?

Why do I feel like an involuntary character in "Atlas Shrugged"?


The Robert Hirsch comment to which Mike is referring is here:

I suggest that the peak oil community minimize its efforts to awaken the world to the near-term dangers of world oil supply. The motivation is simple: By minimizing our efforts in the near term, we may not add fuel to the economic fires that are already burning so fiercely...

Businesses and the markets are in what might be called a free fall. If the realization of peak oil along with its disastrous financial implications was added to the existing mix of troubles, the added trauma could be unthinkable.

He's right. It is unthinkable. We should know. We've been thinking it for the last several years.

Hirsch is a really nice guy. We've had occasional e-contact (as well as meeting in Sacramento) since he answered a few questions after his first report in '05. Such was the suppression of peak oil back then that the article based on that e-interview used to show up in third place when you googled "Robert Hirsch" and "peak oil."

But the suggestion that we should tiptoe around the subject for fear of frightening the horses smacks of the same patronizing attitude we saw after 9/11 when TPTB lied about the record-breaking levels of toxics and carcinogens downtown for fear of creating panic. As a result, untold thousands are sick and some are dying, all unnecessarily.

Thus History is also repeating itself with respect to the sacrifice of human lives on the altar of the economy.

What is this panic that everyone so afraid of?

Fear is the underrated emotion, the nerd of human behavior that has its day of vindication in the end.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself," ring out the statesmen as they lead us (deftly, without going themselves,) into war. Perhaps it is they who are afraid of our fear. Perhaps that is why they are depriving us of it, at all costs.

If there's a fire, shall we keep mum for fear of creating panic? Or shall we point out the exits?

Ah, there's the rub. In the case of peak oil, no one knows where the exits are. Also, there aren't enough; they're far away and too small for everyone.

Still, who are we to decide that The Public is not mature enough to handle the reality that we realized years ago?

Particularly if the bad news comes coupled with some solutions, however meager - the way a doctor would present a grim diagnosis - it will be more palatable.

And there is something bracing and reassuring about knowing the truth, even when it's dire. You have the sense of ground beneath you, as opposed to tremulous uncertainty which is what the gyrating markets are reflecting now.

Corroborating Mike's first point, about letting the auto companies die, The Daily Reckoning presents cogent arguments for letting the chips fall etc; for acting as though we really had a free market system. What we have now is a perverse, heads-I-win-tails-you-lose socialism in which the market is free as long as Wall Street profits; interventionist when it doesn't, and only on its behalf.

But oil, the symbolism of letting GM fail. As GM goes, so goes etc.....
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