Saturday, August 07, 2004
Viva Las Vegas: Republicans Bill Federer, Pat Buchanan and Bob Barr
have all accepted contributions from Edgar Wrenn, owner of the Del Mar
motel in Las Vegas, which charges $30 for two hours of bunk time.
Scroll down to read more about Wrenn and the sordid history of the
USA Today, April 25, 2000:
Two doors down from the mustard-color Del Mar motel, whose rooms
rent by the hour, next to the Howard Johnson, whose lobby includes
a wedding chapel with an ATM, and directly across the street from
a church-turned-nightclub, whose marquee reads, "Sexy naked dancers
live," there stands A Little White Wedding Chapel. ...
Edgar "Ho-Ho-Ho" Wrenn
2794 San Lago Ct.
Las Vegas, Nev. 69121
Dec. 26, 2003
Bill Federer (R)
Cash on hand: $90,987
Last Report: 7/14/2004
PACs: $6,000 (1%)
Individuals: $894,257 (98%)
Candidate: $0 -
Other: $10,855 (1%)
Russ Carnahan (D)
Cash on hand: $58,964
Last Report: 7/14/2004
PACs: $57,650 (10%)
Individuals: $485,422 (81%)
Candidate: $50,100 (8%)
Other: $2,634 (0%)
Steve Stoll (D)
Cash on hand: $119,789
Last Report: 7/14/2004
PACs: $89,250 (18%)
Individuals: $410,473 (82%)
Candidate: $0 -
Other: $2,299 (0%)
Jeff Smith (D)
Cash on hand: $193,533
Last Report: 7/14/2004
PACs: $12,000 (3%)
Individuals: $352,522 (89%)
Candidate: $10,000 (3%)
Other: $22,000 (6%)
Joan Barry (D)
Cash on hand: $69,829
Last Report: 7/14/2004
PACs: $43,449 (13%)
Individuals: $188,411 (55%)
Candidate: $111,436 (32%)
Other: $3 (0%)
by William C. Lhotka
Jurors decided in 35 minutes Thursday to acquit former Republican congressional challenger Bill Federer of assaulting a student intern working for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt two years ago.
Cleared of the county ordinance violation charge, Federer vowed to continue with a federal civil suit that alleges harassment by the former intern, Jim Larrew, Gephardt and congressional aide Joyce Aboussie.
A Gephardt representative has called the suit frivolous.
The congressman, a Democrat from St. Louis County, has announced that he will seek the presidency.
The assault trial in St. Louis County Municipal Court took parts of three days. It included repeated frame-by-frame reviews of a videotape made by Larrew, a paid intern for Gephardt, at the South County Days Parade on Oct. 7, 2000.
Larrew claimed Federer pushed him twice, grabbed him by his sweater and tried to wrestle the camera away.
Federer, the final witness, testified Thursday that Larrew swung the camera within inches of his face, stepped on his foot and pushed him with his elbow and forearm.
The confrontation was grist for media coverage during the last month of the 2000 race, which Gephardt won.
The tape shows a smiling Federer jogging up to the camera. The camera then spins and catches brief glimpses of both Federer and Larrew before t urning to scenes of sky and power lines.
Defense lawyer Brad Dede told jurors that Federer deserved the benefit of a doubt, and he warned that Democrats would try to use a guilty verdict to political advantage.
Assistant County Counselor David Arthur asked in his closing argument, "What have we come to when a candidate for U.S. Congress attacks somebody standing on a public sidewalk?"
Federer told reporters after the verdict that dirty tricks by the Democrats had backfired and wasted taxpayers' money on the trial.
Gephardt recently announced that he would not seek re-election to Congress.
Federer said he had not yet decided whether to seek the 2nd District seat again. He said he was "inundated with calls and e-mails from people in the city, state and even the nation encouraging me to run."
In the suit filed in U.S. District Court at St. Louis last May, Federer alleged that Gephardt, Larrew and Aboussie violated his civil rights by directing break-ins at his campaign office and provoking the conflict at the parade. Gephardt's staff has characterized the claims as ridiculous. ...
So I did a little research, very little, actually, and the only "Eric Lillard" to pop up in Lexis-Nexis newspaper database is strangely from Cleveland.
Curiouser, and curiouser.
The little bit I've read about this dirty trick, which has been either on the web or in the hard copy of the Arch City Chronicle, reported that the Carnahan campaign suspected rival Jeff Smith's campaign of perpetrating it.
But the Republican candidate, Bill Federer, would have more to gain in the long run from somebody throwing a monkey wrench into the Democratic contest. As far as I know, nobody has even hinted at the GOP candidate being remotely involved in such skullduggery, perhaps because it hasn't crossed their minds or maybe because he likes to sue his political enemies.
In any event, the Cleveland Eric is a former criminal turned artist. Are the St. Charles and Cleveland Lillards the same person? Search me, but the chances are higher than if his name was Smith.
Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 6, 2002:
The Pencil Is Mightier than the Sword;
Eric Lillard sketches a new future for himself - one that doesn't include drugs, guns or prison time.
by Michael Heaton
In an arc across his taut abdomen are the faded words of a two-year-old tattoo: Going for Self. Just below the script is a slash of gnarled scar tissue where a bullet once tore into his body, almost killing him. The words and violent punctuation are daily reminders, carved in flesh, of the world Eric Lillard hopes to leave behind.
Prison isn't most people's idea of a bright career move. So when the 34-year-old former foster child tells people it was the best thing that ever happened to him, they think he's a little off. But he means it. Lillard made a life-changing discovery in jail that gave him a purpose and a meaning that eluded him all his adult life.
Lillard spent the summer of 1998 thugging and bugging on the mean streets of East Cleveland, poised for a criminal career. He'd grown up in Cleveland's foster care system from the age of two, and bounced from the Metzenbaum Center and Parmadale to Safe Space and Looking Glass juvenile facilities.
The social workers used to say the boy had "rabbit in his blood." Lillard loved to run. He says that he and his friends would go AWOL at every opportunity and take off for downtown Cleveland. There, they'd grab purses for cash and shoplift for fun. Then they'd fill up on candy, soda pop and junk food. They'd taunt the cops, hoping to be chased. As night drew near, they'd run a little slower, as being apprehended meant a free ride back to a warm bed in whatever facility they happened to be living.
Lillard finally graduated from high school by way of the discipline provided by Father Flanagan's Boys Town near Omaha, Nebraska. He tried running away there, but he gave it up after he realized there was nowhere to go and no one was chasing him. There was no fun in that.
After high school, family members in Cleveland offered shelter. There were some minimum-wage jobs available, but Lillard eventually drifted into the dangerous ease of small-time crack slinging and violent street life. In 1990, he was arrested for disorderly conduct, open container violations and drug abuse. Six years later, Lillard stepped up into felony crime, wielding a .38 to randomly rob people on the street.
In the neighborhood of St. Clair between East 98th and 105th streets, Lillard was the go-to guy if you were looking for or expecting trouble. He liked to fight and was often packing. Time and again the scenario played out a similar way: Someone from the neighborhood - someone Lillard wasn't close to or hadn't seen in a while - would come by all smiles. They would hang and catch up. Sometime later, that person would ask Lillard if he wanted to drop by a party that night. More often than not there was some form of trouble at the party, someone looking to settle old scores or start new ones. Lillard would find himself in the unwitting role of muscle or enforcer. He never objected.
When one afternoon in 1999 some friends suggested ripping off a local drug dealer rumored to be sitting on several pounds of "chronic" (high-grade marijuana) and the cash that usually accrues around it, Lillard, the self-described heartless, hard-core thug, just smiled. He thought nothing of using a loaded gun to relieve defenseless, law-abiding citizens of hard-earned rent. If his boys were down with it, he told them, he was down with it.
Lillard's "friends" told him there had already been an attempted break-in at the dealer's apartment the night before and that the front door hadn't been repaired.
They had the home invasion all figured out: At 2 a.m., Lillard and his gang of five, all carrying guns, would descend on the apartment at the corner of East 72nd and Union Avenue. On a signal, three would kick in the back door, while Lillard and another accomplice would kick in the front door. With guns out, they'd subdue the residents, take the money and the drugs, and run. The whole operation would be over in less than five minutes. That was the plan.
Early the next morning, Lillard and an accomplice stood in the front hallway, impatiently awaiting show time, when they heard a commotion in the apartment. The back-door crew must have jumped the signal, Lillard thought. ...
Three US soldiers have been killed in fighting in Baghdad and Najaf.
In a statement released by the US military on Saturday, ... confirm(ing) two of its marines had died in Najaf while fighting militiamen.
A third was killed after his unit was ambushed in west Baghdad by resistance fighters opposed to the presence of foreign military forces in Iraq.
The soldier died when a rocket-propelled grenade slammed into his patrol vehicle on Friday afternoon, the military said in a statement.
More than 926 US troops have died in Iraq since last year's US-led invasion.
The development followed reports that US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had accused Aljazeera and the other main Arab news channel, Al-Arabiya, of harming the image of the US in the Arab world.
Rumsfeld made the remarks at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, Aljazeera said. ...
Iraq's interim government has ordered the Arab television station Al-Jazeera to close its Baghdad office for one month.
Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said the decision was made by the national security committee after monitoring the station's coverage to see, "what kind of violence they are advocating, inciting hatred and problems of racial hatred. ...
Citing a need to keep information from terrorists, regulators said yesterday the government no longer will reveal security gaps discovered at nuclear power plants or the subsequent enforcement actions taken against plant operators.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced the change in policy during its first public meeting on power-plant safety since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It drew barbs from critics who said the secrecy would erode public confidence in the agency.
Until now, the NRC has provided regular public updates on vulnerabilities its inspectors found at the country's 103 nuclear power reactors, such as broken fences or weaknesses in training programs. ...
According to the latest figures, American companies added far fewer workers to their payrolls last month than economists had forecast. This comes a week after the equally unexpected news that growth slowed significantly in the second quarter. How worried should George Bush be? ...
George W. Bush is steadily becoming more similar to Richard M. Nixon in the days leading up to the latter’s resignation.
“From what people who work there tell me, this White House looks more and more like Richard M. Nixon’s,” stated George Harleigh, a retired professor who worked there with Nixon.
Harleigh compared the Bush of 2004 to the Nixon of 1974, during the scandal involving Cuban-born “plumbers” who were spying on the Democratic Party leadership, which unleashed an avalanche of revelations regarding the dirty methods that characterized the Nixon administration. ...
... “Rangers” and “Pioneers” (are) the honorary titles given to fundraisers who have collected at least $200,000 or $100,000, respectively, for Bush ...
According to an analysis by Public Citizen, nearly one of every five of Bush’s elite fundraisers in the 2004 or 2000 elections has received a presidential appointment. At least 173 Rangers and Pioneers (or their spouses) received appointments ranging from jobs in the executive branch to positions on federal advisory boards to spots on the Bush-Cheney transition team. This tally includes four Cabinet secretaries and 29 ambassadors. ...
For the 2004 campaign, there are 211 Rangers and 314 Pioneers so far. In the 2000 campaign, 550 fundraisers signed up to be Pioneers, and at least 241 of them reached their goal. WhiteHouseForSale.org, a Web site created by Public Citizen in cooperation with Texans for Public Justice to track contributors to the 2004 presidential campaigns, features a searchable database of the major fundraisers for Bush that provides brief biographies, lists any federal appointments, and identifies their employers, occupations, industries and home states. ...
With the 2004 Republican National Convention just a few weeks away, the Bush campaign has already raised $228 million – at least a third of which has been collected by the 525 Rangers and Pioneers. In addition, 69 “Super Rangers” have brought in at least $300,000 for the Republican National Committee on top of their contributions to the Bush campaign. ...
The origins of the anonymous postcard from Cleveland that trashed 3rd District congressional candidate Russ Carnahan, who, nevertheless, won this week's Democratic primary. ...
In his latest gaffe, President George W Bush has appeared to suggest that his administration is forever thinking up ways of harming the US and its people.
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful - and so are we," the US president told a high-level meeting of Pentagon officials.
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people - and neither do we."
His comments came during a signing ceremony for a $417bn defense bill. ...
With 86 percent of the primary vote counted Thursday, write-in candidate Dennis Bertrand had just 1,554 votes compared to 7,671, or 83 percent, for James L. Hart, a believer in the discredited, phony science of eugenics. ...
U.S. officials providing justification for anti-terrorism alerts revealed details about a Pakistani secret agent, and confirmed his name while he was working under cover in a sting operation, Pakistani sources said on Friday.
A Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, who was arrested in Lahore secretly last month, had been actively cooperating with intelligence agents to help catch al Qaeda operatives when his name appeared in U.S. newspapers. ...
A video aired Saturday that purportedly showed an American being decapitated in Iraq (search) was a hoax.
The man shown in the video, reached by The Associated Press in San Francisco, said he videotaped the staged beheading at his friend's house using fake blood.
Benjamin Vanderford (search), 22, said he began distributing the video on the Internet months ago in hopes of drawing attention to his one-time campaign for city supervisor. When his political aspirations waned, he thought the video would serve as social commentary.
"It was part of a stunt, but no one noticed it up until now," Vanderford said. "I did this for a couple of reasons. One is to attract attention. But two is to just make a statement on these type of videos and how easily they can be faked." ...
Friday, August 06, 2004
Delusional Rep. Katherine Harris: Is she
off her meds?
Herald Tribune (Florida), Aug. 4:
Venice, Fla. -- Officials in Indiana and Washington, D.C., said they are dumbfounded by a statement U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris made about a terrorist plot to blow up a power grid in Indiana.
In making the statement during a speech to 600 people Monday night in Venice, Harris either shared a closely held secret or passed along second-hand information as fact.
A staff member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the nation's intelligence operations, said he had heard of no such plot.
And Indiana officials in the county where the power grid is located were at a loss to explain where the information originated.
"As the sheriff of this county, I would certainly be aware of such a threat," Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter said. "I have no information to corroborate any of that." ...
Halliburton Co. and other U.S. contractors are being paid at least $1.9 billion from Iraqi funds under an arrangement set by the U.S.-led occupation authority, according to a review of documents and interviews with government agencies, companies and auditors.
Most of the money is for two controversial deals that originally had been financed with money approved by the U.S. Congress, but later shifted to Iraqi funds that were governed by fewer restrictions and less rigorous oversight. ...
The vehicles, despite a tendency to roll over, are perceived as safe for the baby on board. The bigger-the-better rationale among SUV drivers is that if they run into anything when they're gabbing on their cell phones they want to make sure they're the ones who survive the impact. In other words, they would prefer you die.
These gas guzzlers are pushing fuel demands and, thus, prices to unprecedented highs. Weirdly, SUVs don't have to adhere to federal fuel standards because like pick up trucks they're still considered "farm vehicles," according to an antiquated federal statute.
In California and perhaps other states, drivers of many of the larger SUVs, nevertheless, may still be breaking the law. That's because the vehicles exceed the weight limits on many residential and secondary roads. In the twisted federal regulatory logic the excessive weight actually is one of the things that exempts SUVs from mandatory fuel standards. Go figure.
by Robert Parry
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon's business empire, which includes the conservative Washington Times, paid millions of dollars to North Korea's communist leaders in the early 1990s when the hard-line government needed foreign currency to finance its weapons programs, according to U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency documents.
The payments included a $3 million “birthday present” to current communist leader Kim Jong Il and offshore payments amounting to “several tens of million dollars” to the previous communist dictator, Kim Il Sung, the partially declassified documents said.
Moon apparently was seeking a business foothold in North Korea. But the transactions also raise legal questions for Moon and could cast a shadow on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, given the Bush family’s longstanding financial and political ties to Moon and his organization.
Besides making alleged payments to North Korea’s communist leaders, the 80-year-old founder of the South Korean-based Unification Church has funneled large sums of money, possibly millions of dollars as well, to former President George H.W. Bush.
One well-placed former leader of Moon’s Unification Church told me that the total earmarked for former President Bush was $10 million. The father of the Republican nominee has declined to say how much Moon’s organization actually paid him for speeches and other services in Asia, the United States and South America.
At one Moon-sponsored speech in Argentina in 1996, Bush declared, “I want to salute Reverend Moon,” whom Bush praised as “the man with the vision.” ...
Federal investigators concluded that Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) divulged classified intercepted messages to the media when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, according to sources familiar with the probe.
Specifically, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron confirmed to FBI investigators that Shelby verbally divulged the information to him during a June 19, 2002, interview, minutes after Shelby's committee had been given the information in a classified briefing, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the case. ...
Biltud, from Salon.com's TableTalk, posted a few days ago a series of correlations between past terror alerts and political events unfavorable to the Bush administration. I compiled all these correlations and organized them chronologically into a timeline. I also added additional news items and other instances that I found out, detailing the terror alerts over the last few years, and located the original sources for many of these news articles. Soon, Biltud and I started to research together all these occurrences, and more interesting "coincidences" started to appear. We finally built this timeline of terror alerts and how they relate to the news headlines of the days immediately prior to that very alert. I think it's very easy to see a pattern recurring (Text in blue marks the original notes by Biltud. Text and sources in black are my additions) ...
...While the veterans attacking Kerry in the ad are veterans of the Vietnam War and may have served at the same time as Kerry, as The New York Times reported on August 5, the Kerry campaign noted that "none of the men had actually served on the Swift boats that Mr. Kerry commanded." Adm. Roy F. Hoffman, one of the veterans in the ad, has even "acknowledged he had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on May 7, "and said that although Kerry was under his command, he really didn't know Kerry much personally." ...
The nation's payroll growth slowed dramatically in July with a paltry 32,000 jobs being added_ a potentially troubling sign that the rough patch the economy hit in June was no aberration.
The unemployment rate, however, dipped down a notch to 5.5 percent last month, from 5.6 percent in June, the Labor Department reported Friday. The new jobless rate was the lowest since October 2001. ...
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Thursday he would have handled news of the al Qaeda attacks on New York and the Pentagon differently than did President Bush.
Bush was told of the suicide hijackings while he was in a Florida school classroom.
"Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whispered in my ear, 'America is under attack,' I would have told those kids very politely and nicely that the president of the United States had something that he needed to attend to -- and I would have attended to it," Kerry told the Unity conference of minority journalists in response to a question about what he would done.
A week after Senator John F. Kerry heralded his wartime experience by surrounding himself at the Democratic convention with his Vietnam ''Band of Brothers," a separate group of veterans has launched a television ad campaign and a book that questions the basis for some of Kerry's combat medals.
But yesterday, a key figure in the anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry's former commanding officer, backed off one of the key contentions. Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said in an interview that he had made a ''terrible mistake" in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star -- one of the main allegations in the book. The affidavit was given to The Boston Globe by the anti-Kerry group to justify assertions in their ad and book. ...
President Bush offered up a new entry for his catalog of "Bushisms" on Thursday, declaring that his administration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people."
Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defense spending bill.
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said.
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." ...
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Houston Chronicle, March 31, 2004
Televised Vietnam War Debate in 1971 Pitted the Current Democratic Hopeful Against John O'Neill, a Clean-Cut Veteran Who Had Nixon's Encouragement
by Bennett Roth
As President Bush plunges into his race against Democrat John Kerry, he might want to get some debating tips from Houston attorney John E. O'Neill.
In 1971, O'Neill squared off against Kerry on the Dick Cavett Show in a 90-minute, televised forum in which the two Vietnam War veterans sparred over the U.S. role in Southeast Asia.
President Nixon and top aide Charles Colson had taken a keen interest in O'Neill as part of their effort to discredit Kerry and the anti-war movement, according to memos and tapes in the National Archives. A clean-cut Naval Academy graduate, O'Neill was viewed by Nixon's team as an effective messenger against Kerry, who was causing the administration headaches as the leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. ...
The June 30, 1971, debate occurred at a troubled time, with Americans deeply divided over the war and President Nixon's decision to bomb Cambodia and Laos. Adding to the tensions was the controversial trial that year of Lt. William Calley, who was convicted of the premeditated murder of Vietnamese civilians in the hamlet of My Lai.
That spring, veterans led by Kerry marched on Washington and threw their medals and ribbons at the Capitol.
Nixon officials saw Kerry as particularly dangerous and effective because he was articulate and clean-cut, in contrast to what Nixon referred to as the "bearded weirdos" who were involved in the anti-war movement, according to White House tapes. ...
In the debate, the two men were a study in contrasts. Kerry, in his well-tailored suit and modishly long hair, spoke in dispassionate, measured terms. O'Neill, dressed in a white suit and sporting white socks and black shoes, was the more pugnacious of the two. ...
In a series of memos, Nixon aide Colson, who later went to prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, referred to the administration's efforts to promote O'Neill and to challenge Kerry to debate him.
On June 15, 1971, Colson noted that Kerry first turned down a debate offer with O'Neill and that he was "beginning to take a tremendous beating in the press."
"Let's destroy this young demagogue before he becomes another Ralph Nader," Colson wrote about Kerry.
Colson wrote that he arranged an Oval Office meeting between Nixon and O'Neill on June 16, to boost the morale of O'Neill, who had become disillusioned because of the hostile reception he received during other television appearances.
O'Neill, who had flown up from his hometown of San Antonio, spent about 40 minutes chatting with Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger about the war and its opponents.
Nixon said he understood that O'Neill was "the guy to take brickbats when you go on some of these TV shows." He encouraged the young veteran to continue his fight.
"Give it to 'em. Give it to 'em. You can do it," said Nixon, according to a tape of the meeting.
O'Neill mentioned to the president that he had supported Democrat Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in the 1968 presidential election. But he was critical of the beating that Nixon was taking in the press and advised the president that when reporters "ask you totally stupid questions about which they always seem to ask, laugh at them, and I think the whole country will laugh with you."
The next day Colson wrote a memo to top Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman, pronouncing the session a success:
"O'Neill went out charging like a tiger, has agreed that he will appear anytime, anywhere that we program him and was last seen walking up West Executive Avenue mumbling to himself that he had just been with the most magnificent man he had ever met in his life."
Despite the attention lavished on him by Nixon and his appearance on a national TV show, O'Neill has been largely quiet about his past, according to Harris County Democratic Chair Gerald Birnberg, a fellow lawyer who has known O'Neill for more than 20 years. ...
Q. Do you really think George Bush would scare New Yorkers about a potential terrorist attack if it was only based on four year old information?
A. They invaded a country based on 12 year old information.
by David Corn
... The fuss began when the Senate intelligence committee released its report on the prewar intelligence on Iraq. The GOP-led committee declared that the intelligence community had “overstated” and “mischaracterized” the intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. It noted that prewar claims about Iraq’s WMDs “were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting." The committee also concluded that the CIA had “reasonably assessed” there was no working relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq. This meant that Bush’s primary rationale for the war—Iraq posed an “immediate” threat to the United States because Saddam Hussein was loaded with WMDs he could share with his pals in Al Qaeda—was bullshit. But how did leading voices of the right—The National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Times columnist William Safire—respond to the damning report, which was bad news for Bush? They pounced on Wilson and claimed that he, not Bush, was the liar.
One section of the report focused on the claim that Iraq had been trying to procure yellowcake uranium in Niger. In examining the Niger allegation—and Bush’s reference to it in his 2003 State of the Union address—the committee looked at Wilson’s role in the episode. And Wilson’s detractors, who also are supporters of Bush and the war, have cited material in this chapter to charge that Wilson lied when he claimed his wife did not set up his trip to Niger as an unofficial CIA envoy and when he declared his trip had provided evidence that the Niger allegation was “highly doubtful.”
But Wilson’s foes made highly selective use of the committee’s report. For instance, Wilson’s detractors pointed to the section of the report that stated that some intelligence analysts had considered the information Wilson reported back to CIA to be partial confirmation of the Niger allegation. A-ha, his critics exclaimed, this shows that Wilson lied when he said his trip proved the Niger allegation was unlikely. But here’s what happened: When Wilson was in Niger, he met with past and present government officials and people connected to the uranium industry. After these discussions, Wilson concluded it was unlikely such a uranium deal could have transpired, given the tight controls imposed on Niger’s uranium business by the international consortiums in charge of it. But, according to the Senate report, some analysts thought that because a former prime minister had told Wilson he had met with an Iraqi business delegation that the prime minister had assumed was interested in uranium, the Wilson trip was partial corroboration of the Niger allegation—even though the former prime minister also said this meeting led to no further action. A senior State Department analyst, however, told the committee that he considered Wilson’s report to confirm the State Department’s view that the allegation was "highly suspect."
Wilson’s interpretation was not initially accepted by all the analysts. That hardly makes him a liar. ...
A senior official of the Central Intelligence Agency who has written a best-selling book critical of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror has been ordered to sharply curtail his interviews with news organizations in connection with the book, his publisher said on Wednesday.
The author of "Imperial Hubris," who wrote the book anonymously, is a longtime counterterrorism official at the C.I.A. who previously ran the agency's unit that concentrated on Osama bin Laden. In his book and in subsequent interviews, the author has said he believes that the war in Iraq has been a major distraction from the effort to fight Al Qaeda and that the war has also inflamed Islamic resentment against the United States while aiding Al Qaeda's recruitment among Muslims. ...
Militiamen loyal to Shi'ite Muslim radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr have declared holy war against British forces based in Iraq's main southern city of Basra.
The declaration came after four of their comrades were arrested. ...
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince presented $US130,000 ($185,000) worth of fine jewelery to George Bush, his wife, children and top aides in 2003. But the weightiest gift received by the US President's family came in the form of a consignment of raw meat.
The exquisite baubles presented by Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz may have cemented US-Saudi friendship amid tensions over Iraq, but the 136 kilograms of lamb presented by Argentina's President, Nestor Kirchner, probably did more to slake wartime appetites.
Valued at $1,500, Mr Kirchner's meat was the most unusual gift the US President received last year, according to the State Department's annual list of foreign leaders' presents to senior US officials.
Associated Press, Aug 4:
Davenport, Iowa -— Three banks were robbed while President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry were speaking just blocks away from one another Wednesday morning. ...
Iraqis visiting on a civil rights tour were barred from city hall after the city council chairman said it was too dangerous to let them in.
The seven Iraqi civic and community leaders are in the midst of a three-week American tour, sponsored by the State Department to learn more about the process of government. The trip also includes stops in Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago. ...
McCain calls ad criticizing Kerry's military service 'dishonest and dishonorable.'
Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service "dishonest and dishonorable" and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.
"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, referring to his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush.
The 60-second ad features Vietnam veterans who accuse the Democratic presidential nominee of lying about his decorated Vietnam War record and betraying his fellow veterans by later opposing the conflict.
"When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry," one of the veterans, Larry Thurlow, says in the ad.
The ad, scheduled to air in a few markets in Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, was produced by Stevens, Reed, Curcio and Potham, the same team that produced McCain's ads in 2000.
"I wish they hadn't done it," McCain said of his former advisers. "I don't know if they knew all the facts." ...
But only one of them has the support of the most powerful Republican in Illinois.
Republicans searching for a U.S. Senate candidate to go up against Democrat Barack Obama narrowed their search Tuesday to two African Americans -- former White House deputy drug czar Andrea Grubb Barthwell and two-time presidential hopeful Alan Keyes. ...
by Vikram Dodd and Tania Branigan
Repeated abuses allegedly suffered by three British prisoners at the hands of US interrogators and guards in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba could amount to war crimes, the Red Cross said yesterday.
The organization, which maintains a rigidly neutral stance in public, took the unusual step of voicing its concerns in uncompromising language after the former detainees, known as the Tipton Three, revealed that they had been beaten, shackled, photographed naked and in one incident questioned at gunpoint while in US custody.
Their vivid account of the harrowing conditions at the camp, as told to their lawyers and published for the first time in yesterday's Guardian, has reignited the debate about the treatment of prisoners and the British government's role in their questioning and detention.
Last night the Red Cross was joined by the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, which argued that if the allegations were true they indicated systematic abuse, amounting to torture. ...
SAGUENAY, Que. - A Wal-Mart store in this Quebec city may become the first store of the retail giant to be unionized, after the Quebec Labour Relations Board accredited a union there to represent the workers.
The Quebec Federation of Labour announced the accreditation Monday. The store in Saguenay, 200 kilometres north of Quebec City, has about 180 employees.
"The union represents the large majority of the store's employees,'' said Marie-Josee Lemieux, president of the union local with the United Food and Commercial Workers. ...
Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks by Loretta Napoleoni Pluto Press,
reviewed by Chris Petit
... Osama bin Laden's acquisition of the Gum Arabic Company Ltd, which supplies 80% of world demand, gave him a monopoly in a vital ingredient that makes ink stick to newspaper and prevents sediment forming in soft drinks. The company fell under Clinton's 1997 sanctions against Sudan but was later exempted when US trade giants, including the Newspaper Association of America, protested that Gum Arabic was their only viable source. The alternative was to buy from their main competitors, the French, at much higher rates. Trade between Bin Laden's company and the US continued.
Napoleoni traces the rise of Islamic terrorism to the cold-war policy of sponsored counter-insurgency developed by the USSR and US. In the 1980s, the process became increasingly privatised and was matched by the terrorists' search for economic independence, which turned the armed struggle into a multimillion-dollar business and freedom fighters into entrepreneurs. The chapter on the PLO's wealth, estimated by the CIA in 1990 at $ 8-$ 14 billion, is worth a book in itself.
The end of the cold war was seen by many Muslims as marking the decline of the supremacy of western culture, and reading Modern Jihad it's hard to disagree. Financial corruption fed terrorism. William Casey, Reagan's CIA chief, used Pakistan and its BCCI bank as fronts to train Afghan rebels against the Soviets. Covert operations required a "black network" within the bank and its state equivalent, the notorious ISI. The bank financed and brokered covert arms deals, complete with full laundry service. The short and logical step from there was a BCCI/ISI/CIA move into drug smuggling to feed the needy, and leaky, money pipeline to the Mujahedin. The Pakistan-Afghan connection became the biggest single supplier of heroin to the US, meeting 60% of demand, with annual profits a stratospheric $ 100-$ 200 billion. Minus ideology, the process starts to look like one big money-go-round, with the new war being played out in a spectrum of failing states (Colombia), failed states (Sudan) and collapsed states (Somalia), all offering breeding grounds for terror.
Sunshine Act Meeting; Open Commission Meeting
The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on
the subjects listed below on Thursday, January 15, 2004, which is
scheduled to commence at 9:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street
SW., Washington, DC. The Meeting will focus on presentations by senior
agency officials regarding implementations of the agency's strategic
plan and a comprehensive review of FCC policies and procedures. ...
Audio and video tapes of this meeting can be purchased from CACI Productions, 341
Victory Drive, Herndon, VA 20170, (03) 834-1470, Ext. 19; Fax (703)
Copies of materials adopted at this meeting can be purchased from
the FCC's duplicating contractor, Qualex International (202) 863-2893;
Fax (202) 863-2898; TTY (202) 863-2897. These copies are available in
paper format and alternative media, including large print/type; digital
disk; and audio tape. Qualex International may be reached by e-mail at
Defense Department, Aug. 4
CACI Premier Technology Inc., Chantilly, Va., was awarded on Aug. 2, 2004, a $15,339,543 time and material contract for Intelligence Support Services. Work will be performed in Iraq, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2004. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This was a sole source contract initiated on July 30
Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. was awarded a $26,970,171 requirements type contract on August 4, 2004 with a contract completion date of August 31, 2005. Work will be performed at Geneseo, Ill. with deliveries of the fresh beef and frozen coarse ground beef products to the port of embarkation in Norfolk, Va. in support of various commissaries located in DeCA’s European Region. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Twenty-six firms were solicited and four offers were received. The contracting activity is the Defense Commissary Agency, Resale Contracting Division, 1300 E Avenue, Fort Lee, Va. 23801-1800. (HDEC02-04-D-0025)
As you know, on July 22, 2004, a notice was posted to FDLP-L advising
depository libraries that the Department of Justice had requested the
withdrawal of five publications that were intended for internal use only.
In response to the Government Printing Office's further inquiry into this
matter, the Department of Justice has requested that I advise depository
libraries to disregard the previous instructions to withdraw these
publications. In making this request, the Department of Justice said,
although these materials were "intended only for the internal training use
of Department of Justice personnel and, as such, were inappropriately
distributed to depository libraries through an administrative oversight,"
the Department has determined that these materials are "not sufficiently
sensitive to require removal from the depository library system."
Since 1995, GPO has issued recall letters for 20 publications at the request
of the publishing agencies. Seven of these publications were recalled
because they were for official use or internal use only, as occurred in this
Both GPO and the Department of Justice regret any inconvenience resulting
from the initial request for withdrawal.
... I suspect Russ Carnahan stole the congressional race last night, and the Slay/Aboussie/Gephardt city machine were the perpetrators. There are too many questions, such as:
Why did the returns from the city come in so late? We had returns early from the Favazza leaning precincts rather early.
How did the returns from 41 precincts get lost, even temporarily? The Secretary of State’s website now reports all precincts are in.
Why were there so many reports of chaos in the city as opposed to the county locations? The election in the county went very smooth.
Why did Joyce Aboussie feel the need to call in to KMOX to report Russ was “doing well” while the polls were still open?
I want to know who counted the votes, who was in the room while these vote counts were taking place, and who was responsible for these 41 precincts.
I smell a rat, and its’ name is Aboussie. I suspect Jeff and all the people who supported him are the victims of voter disenfranchisement, just like Bush pulled off in Florida.
Demand justice. Demand an investigation of the City Board of Elections commission. These are political patronage jobs, are they not? Who are the political patrons? The City does not post who the commissioners are, and they are not elected officials.
Command Management Services, Inc. (CMS) protests the Department of the Army's award of a contract to the Hilton Garden Inn (HGI), under request for proposals (RFP) No. DABK21-03-R-0036, for meals, lodging, and transportation for applicants arriving for processing at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in New York City, New York. CMS primarily argues that the agency improperly evaluated the awardee's proposal in a number of areas.
by David Sirota and Christy Harvey
... The whitewash already has started: In July, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a controversial report blaming the CIA for the mess. The panel conveniently refuses to evaluate what the White House did with the information it was given or how the White House set up its own special team of Pentagon political appointees (called the Office of Special Plans) to circumvent well-established intelligence channels. And Vice President Dick Cheney continues to say without a shred of proof that there is “overwhelming evidence” justifying the administration’s pre-war charges.
But as author Flannery O’Conner noted, “Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” That means no matter how much defensive spin spews from the White House, the Bush administration cannot escape the documented fact that it was clearly warned before the war that its rationale for invading Iraq was weak. ...
by William Saletan
... If you've read or watched news reports about polls taken since the Democratic convention, you've probably heard that John Kerry didn't get much of a "bounce." These reports miss the important data. Let's look at the numbers.
What's changed: Three major media polls have been taken since the convention: ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News/New York Times, and CNN/USA Today. Prior to the convention, Kerry's favorable rating was nine points higher than his unfavorable rating in the ABC poll. Since the convention, this margin has grown to 19 points. Bush's positive margin on the same question is just two points. ...
Haaretz (Israel), July 8:
[from an interview with UN nuclear weapons monitor Mohammed ElBaradei]
... As an example of the spread of nuclear know-how, he used Pakistan. He said that Abdul Kadr Khan, considered the father of the Pakistani bomb, had commercial contacts with at least 20 different countries and large companies. The IAEA only learned about some of it 18 months ago, when Khan's contacts with Libya came to light, but the Americans and others had been tracking the Pakistani's contacts for some time before that. Clearly, this was not the work of Abdul Kadr Khan on his own. ...
John Edwards, chosen in part to help the Democratic ticket appeal to Southern voters, came South on Wednesday and toured the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
The vice presidential candidate moved slowly through the exhibits, looking at photos of young black men and women being sprayed with firehoses and assaulted at lunch counters.
After a while, Edwards' handlers began to rush him through the museum, and even then he was 45 minutes late to a rally on Memphis' historic Beale Street.
"It brings back a lot of memories - not good ones," said Edwards, who was born in South Carolina and grew up in North Carolina.
He was met at the Beale Street rally by several thousand supporters. A Memphis police officer estimated there were 2,500 people; Edwards' campaign staff estimated about 3,000. ...
Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and running mate John Edwards are slated to meet in St. Louis today after traveling through opposite ends of the state.
Kerry campaigned in northern Missouri late Wednesday, with a rally in Hannibal. Edwards was coming up from the south after spending Wednesday night in Cape Girardeau.
Campaign spokesmen were unclear on whether Edwards would make a public appearance in Cape Girardeau before traveling to St. Louis.
In St. Louis, the two are headlining a rally behind Union Station that's scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. today. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. Free tickets were distributed earlier this week through various Democratic offices.
Kerry and Edwards then will travel by train to Jefferson City, where a 4:15 p.m. rally is scheduled on the grounds of the state Capitol. The train will then continue on to Kansas City, where a Friday event is scheduled.
During the cross-state trip, the train may slow down or stop briefly if crowds gathered along the tracks warrant it, aides said Wednesday.
Two men with suspected al Qaeda links were arrested in a sting operation on an Albany, New York, mosque early on Thursday in a money-laundering scheme to buy a shoulder-fired missile, law enforcement sources said. ...
Fighters loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr shot down a U.S. helicopter on Thursday in fierce clashes in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf that threatened to unravel a deal to end an uprising led by the radical cleric.
It was the heaviest fighting seen in Najaf since Sadr's rebellion in April and May. The city is home to the holiest shrines in Shi'ite Islam, and most Iraqi Shi'ites react with outrage when clashes erupt near the sacred sites.
Sadr's supporters in the Basra also took to the streets and threatened attacks unless comrades they said had been detained by British forces were released. Armed followers of Sadr also took to the streets of Shi'ite areas of Baghdad. ...
by E.A. Torriero
Three freed British terror suspects alleged yesterday that they endured brutal treatment and sexual sadism from guards at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Detainees at Guantanamo were kept naked while being forced to watch videotapes of prisoners who had been ordered to sodomize one another, according to a 115-page report released yesterday by the men's attorneys in New York and London. The lawyers characterized the abuse as "systematic."
The allegations - the most detailed from former Guantanamo detainees - claim that guards harassed and beat detainees and routinely tossed inmates' Qurans into prison toilets. The former detainees, who were released last spring, also told of coerced confessions - some at gunpoint - and of living among snakes and scorpions in the cells.
"What we see time and time again is not a few rogue soldiers but a deliberate decision by high-ranking people in the administration to push as far as they could and well beyond the limits of what is acceptable treatment," Jamie Fellner, a Human Rights Watch lawyer, said at a New York news conference.
The military has repeatedly denied allegations of abuse, saying that offenses like those photographed in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison never happened at Guantanamo. Yesterday, the Pentagon said it was studying the report but refused to comment on its specifics. ...
Nevertheless, concern over torture allegations prompted 12 former judges, seven past presidents of the American Bar Association, a former FBI director and more than 100 other legal experts yesterday to call for a thorough investigation of Bush administration memos that explored ways to skirt the laws against torture. ...
The Army IG Report further noted that the Army statement of work (work
order) did not mandate military training as a prerequisite for
assignment; other appropriate and relevant experience was also
* CACI's interrogation team members are all U.S. citizens and hold U.S.
government security clearances at the "Secret" or "Top Secret" level.
* The CACI contract work order began with the Army in August 2003 as part
of CACI's intelligence support services line of business. ...
* CACI started recruiting for interrogators in August 2003. CACI has
received approximately 1600 job applications since then. Fewer than 2%
of these have been employed in Iraq.
* CACI has provided a total of 36 interrogators since August of 2003 with
a maximum of 10 interrogators on site at Abu Ghraib at any one time. ...
* CACI is not a private security company and does not provide mercenaries
or armed private security personnel or any physical security services.
* CACI does not provide interrogation support services to the U.S.
government in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba or Afghanistan. CACI provided and
continues to provide interrogation services exclusively in Iraq. ...
[the following loophole written in legalese is tacked on the bottom of the press release]
There are statements made herein which do not address historical facts and, therefore could be interpreted to be forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated include, but are not limited to, the following: regional and national economic conditions in the United States and the United Kingdom, including conditions that result from terrorist activities or war; failure to achieve contract awards in connection with recompetes for pre sent business and/or competition for new business; the risks and uncertainties associated with client interest in and purchases of new products and/or services; continued funding of U.S. Government or other public sector projects in the event of a priority need for funds, such as homeland security, the war on terrorism or rebuilding Iraq; government contract procurement (such as bid protest, small business set asides, etc.) and termination risks; the results of government investigations into allegations of improper actions related to the provision of services in support of U.S. military operations in Iraq; the results of the appeal of CACI International Inc ASBCA No. 53058; individual business decisions of our clients; paradigm shifts in technology; competitive factors such as pricing pressures and/or competition to hire and retain employees; material changes in laws or regulations applicable to our businesses, particularly in connection with (i) government contracts for services, (ii) outsourcing of activities that have been performed by the government, and (iii) competition for task orders under Government Wide Acquisition Contracts ("GWACs") and/or scheduled contracts with the General Services Administration; our own ability to achieve the objectives of near term or long range business plans; and other risks described in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
After briefing the press on the new "threat" Ridge launched into all the great stuff that the Bush administration is doing to keep American safe, including measures taken at the recently concluded Democratic National Convention. ... Here are some snippets. Click [read more] for Ridge's full statement.
Secretary Ridge: Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman. President Bush has told you, and I have reiterated the promise, that when we have specific credible information, that we will share it. Now this afternoon, we do have new and unusually specific information about where al-Qaeda would like to attack. And as a result, today, the United States Government is raising the threat level to Code Orange for the financial services sector in New York ...
Senior leadership across the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the White House, the CIA, the FBI, and other federal agencies, have been in constant contact with the governors, the mayors, and the homeland security advisors of the affected locations I just named.
But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the President’s leadership in the war against terror. ...
Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department of Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications the Department has deemed not "appropriate for external use." The Department of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a law office or law library.
The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the government during an investigation. The documents to be removed and destroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes; Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA).
ALA has submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the withdrawn materials in order to obtain an official response from the Department of Justice regarding this unusual action, and why the Department has requested that documents that have been available to the public for as long as four years be removed from depository library collections. ALA is committed to ensuring that public documents remain available to the public and will do its best to bring about a satisfactory resolution of this matter.
Librarians should note that, according to policy 72, written authorization from the Superintendent of Documents is required to remove any documents. To this date no such written authorization in hard copy has been issued.
Associated Press, Aug 3:
Hot Springs, Ark. - Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) said Tuesday that rising consumption and decreasing domestic production have led to high gasoline prices but also blamed his Democratic opponents and their opposition to the Bush administration's energy policies. ...
"There will be no new taxes, everyone here is going to vote no," one man announced as he held a gun to the head of the county finance director. One of the intruders fired into the air.
Only after some commissioners in the east Tennessee county scrambled for cover and a commotion ensued did the county's emergency management director announce it was a security drill. The intruders were acting. The guns were loaded with blanks. ...
"There is enough real terror going on," said an angry Jim Lynch, who witnessed Monday night's frantic meeting from the audience.
The sheriff, some commissioners and several members of the audience were told by Emergency Management Director Ernest Jackson there would be a drill but were not given specifics. The city police, who were called to the scene, had not been told.
The wire service story that ran today in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch failed to report anything about Halliburton's Nigerian scandal that is being investigated in France.
Bloomberg.com, Aug 3:
Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Halliburton Co. said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed documents from it, expanding a probe of payments related to a $5 billion construction contract in Nigeria when U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney led the company.
Houston-based Halliburton, the world's largest oilfield- services company, also said the Nigeria payments are under investigation by Nigerian legislative and executive agencies, as well as by French authorities.
``Our representatives have met with the French magistrate and Nigerian officials and expressed our willingness to cooperate with those investigations,'' Halliburton said in its quarterly filing with the SEC.
Earlier today, Halliburton agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a separate SEC investigation into whether it had issued misleading financial reports when Cheney was in charge. The company admitted no wrongdoing. ...
MNBC, Aug 4:
Halliburton Co. and other U.S. contractors are being paid at least $1.9 billion from Iraqi funds under an arrangement set by the U.S.-led occupation authority, according to a review of documents and interviews with government agencies, companies and auditors. ...
by Robert Fisk
... The stage management of this catastrophe in Iraq was all too evident at Saddam's "trial." Not only did the U.S. military censor the tapes of the event. Not only did they effectively delete all sound of the 11 other defendants. But the Americans led Saddam to believe -- until he reached the courtroom -- that he was on his way to his execution. Indeed, when he entered the room he believed that the judge was there to condemn him to death. This, after all, was the way Saddam ran his own state security courts. No wonder he initially looked "disorientated" -- CNN's helpful description -- because, of course, he was meant to look that way. We had made sure of that. Which is why Saddam asked Judge Juhi: "Are you a lawyer? ... Is this a trial?" And swiftly, as he realized that this really was an initial court hearing -- not a preliminary to his own hanging -- he quickly adopted an attitude of belligerence.
But don't think we're going to learn much more about Saddam's future court appearances. Salem Chalabi, the brother of convicted fraudster Ahmad and the man entrusted by the Americans with the tribunal, told the Iraqi press two weeks ago that all media would be excluded from future court hearings. And I can see why. Because if Saddam does a Slobodan Milosevic, he'll want to talk about the real intelligence and military connections of his regime, which were primarily with the United States.
Living in Iraq these past few weeks is a weird as well as dangerous experience. I drive down to Najaf. Highway 8 is one of the worst in Iraq. Westerners are murdered there. It is littered with burnt-out police vehicles and American trucks. Every police post for 70 miles has been abandoned. Yet a few hours later, I am sitting in my room in Baghdad watching Tony Blair, grinning in the House of Commons as if he is the hero of a school debating competition; so much for the Butler report.
Indeed, watching any Western television station in Baghdad these days is like tuning in to Planet Mars. ...
by Robert Fisk
Baghdad -- The war is a fraud. I'm not talking about the weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. Or the links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida that didn't exist. Nor all the other lies upon which we went to war. I'm talking about the new lies.
For just as, before the war, our governments warned us of threats that did not exist; now they hide from us the threats that do exist. Much of Iraq has fallen outside the control of the United States' puppet government in Baghdad but we are not told. Hundreds of attacks are made against U.S. troops every month. But unless an American dies, we are not told. Last month's death toll of Iraqis in Baghdad alone topped 700, the worst month since the invasion ended. But we are not told. ...
Associated Press, Aug 4:
Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday to ban gay marriage, the first such vote since the historic ruling in Massachusetts last year that legalized same-sex weddings there. ...
An Iraqi political group says more than 37,000 Iraqi civilians were killed between the start of the US-led invasion in March 2003 and October 2003.
The People's Kifah, or Struggle Against Hegemony, movement said in a statement that it carried out a detailed survey of Iraqi civilian fatalities during September and October 2003. ...
Woke up at 7am and jogged again. Man those TV cameras can keep up. I think they're the same guys who work for COPS.
I am really liking this whole blogging craze. It gives me a chance to put my thoughts out there where the American people can admire them. Many of you may have read about the fervurenter my blog has caused. This newspaper called The Onion set up a fake story about my blog. Well I have always liked onions before. I especially like sweet onions. Place a slice on top of a burger made from beef raised on my very own ranch in Texas and the eating doesn't get much better. Did you all know I am from Texas? Well now you do! See, we are learning about each other already. ...
In the interest of national security, President Bush has been asked to stop posting entries on his three-month-old personal web log, acting CIA director John E. McLaughlin said Monday. ...
Four of the first six Guantanamo Bay prisoners granted hearings to determine if they are enemy combatants refused to participate, officers said on Wednesday. ...
... This year, 17 "batttleground" states where the Bush-Kerry contest is too tight to call are getting the lion's share of attention from both progressive and conservative groups. And now, they're getting attention from the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Pearl Jam. ...
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Mr. Bush has been acting very erratic lately, and his profanity laced outbursts are becoming almost a daily occurrence, according to White House insiders.
When Bush was questioned about his relationship with Kenneth Lay, the scandal ridden ex-CEO of Enron, Bush stormed off the podium and screamed to his aides: "Keep those motherfuckers away from me," and then "If you can"t, I"ll find someone who can."
Other aides report "In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the state." ...
by John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari
[Editor's Note: This afternoon, Pakistan's interior minister, Faisal Saleh Hayyat, announced that Pakistani forces had captured Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian Al Qaeda operative wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The timing of this announcement should be of particular interest to readers of The New Republic. Earlier this month, John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman, and Massoud Ansari broke the story of how the Bush administration was pressuring Pakistani officials to apprehend high-value targets (HVTs) in time for the November elections--and in particular, to coincide with the Democratic National Convention. Although the capture took place in central Pakistan "a few days back," the announcement came just hours before John Kerry will give his acceptance speech in Boston.]
ate last month, President Bush lost his greatest advantage in his bid for reelection. A poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post discovered that challenger John Kerry was running even with the president on the critical question of whom voters trust to handle the war on terrorism. Largely as a result of the deteriorating occupation of Iraq, Bush lost what was, in April, a seemingly prohibitive 21-point advantage on his signature issue. But, even as the president's poll numbers were sliding, his administration was implementing a plan to insure the public's confidence in his hunt for Al Qaeda.
This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. A succession of high-level American officials--from outgoing CIA Director George Tenet to Secretary of State Colin Powell to Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to State Department counterterrorism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official--have visited Pakistan in recent months to urge General Pervez Musharraf's government to do more in the war on terrorism. In April, Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, publicly chided the Pakistanis for providing a "sanctuary" for Al Qaeda and Taliban forces crossing the Afghan border. "The problem has not been solved and needs to be solved, the sooner the better," he said.
This public pressure would be appropriate, even laudable, had it not been accompanied by an unseemly private insistence that the Pakistanis deliver these high-value targets (HVTs) before Americans go to the polls in November. The Bush administration denies it has geared the war on terrorism to the electoral calendar. ...
... (Commissioner Thomas) Kean told Time that the panel hopes to release at least four additional staff-written reports, on such topics as aviation and border security and terrorist financing. Since some contain classified documents interested parties may have to first sue the government to see them. ...
Eyeball New York Stock Exchange
Does McDermott seriously think for one second that loopholes won't be created so the Fortunate Sons and Daughters are exempted?
press release from Rep. McDermott's office
Washington, DC-- Congressman Jim McDermott has announced his co-sponsorship of Congressman Charles Rangel's legislation to reinstate the military draft and other forms of national service. The bill would require Americans between 18 and 26 to serve two years in the military or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security.
The bill, HR 163, is intended to ensure that the burden of military service is not borne disproportionately by the poor and numbers of minority groups.
Congressman McDermott commented that "I believe that if those who are pushing for war knew that their children might be required to share the burden of that war, there might be a greater willingness to work toward peace and a diplomatic solution. If, despite our best efforts, we end up in armed conflict, then fairness dictates that the sons and daughters of all classes participate."
" I am pleased to be an original co-sponsor of Congressman Rangel's bill, McDermott continued. " If we need to re-instate the draft in order to make the Administration consider the chilling consequences of war, so be it. I hope this will make them realize how important a diplomatic solution really is. " ...
The Times use of secondary source material is particularly telling. The Times, which up until recently was considered the paper of record, is using information gleaned from the PBS News Hour to report the story. That puts the Gray Lady on my level. The only difference is I reported on Jim Lehrer's interview with White House advisor Frances Townsend about 12 hours earlier. Scooped.
New York Times, Aug 3:
by Douglas Jehl and David Johnston
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 -Much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas was three or four years old, intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Monday. They reported that they had not yet found concrete evidence that a terrorist plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way.
But the officials continued to regard the information as significant and troubling because the reconnaissance already conducted has provided Al Qaeda with the knowledge necessary to carry out attacks against the sites in Manhattan, Washington and Newark. They said Al Qaeda had often struck years after its operatives began surveillance of an intended target.
Taken together with a separate, more general stream of intelligence, which indicates that Al Qaeda intends to strike in the United States this year, possibly in New York or Washington, the officials said even the dated but highly detailed evidence of surveillance was sufficient to prompt the authorities to undertake a global effort to track down the unidentified suspects involved in the surveillance operations.
"You could say that the bulk of this information is old, but we know that Al Qaeda collects, collects, collects until they're comfortable,'' said one senior government official. "Only then do they carry out an operation. And there are signs that some of this may have been updated or may be more recent.''
Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser, said on Monday in an interview on PBS that surveillance reports, apparently collected by Qaeda operatives had been "gathered in 2000 and 2001.'' But she added that information may have been updated as recently as January. ...
Washington Post, Aug. 3:
Most of the al Qaeda surveillance of five financial institutions that led to a new terrorism alert Sunday was conducted before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and authorities are not sure whether the casing of the buildings has continued, numerous intelligence and law enforcement officials said yesterday.
More than half a dozen government officials interviewed yesterday, who declined to be identified because classified information is involved, said that most, if not all, of the information about the buildings seized by authorities in a raid in Pakistan last week was about three years old, and possibly older.
"There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new," said one senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the alert. "Why did we go to this level? . . . I still don't know that." ...
Monday, August 02, 2004
Lehrer couldn't manage to get many "specfics" out of Townsend despite a yeoman's effort. The subject, of course, was the announcement yesterday by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge that certain financial institutions in New York and Washington had been targeted by al-Qaida.
As a result of the warning, local police spent tens of millions of dollars today to increase security at the buildings, which seems, like the only prudent and reasonable thing to do.
Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry said he would in no way criticize the move as a political ploy.
But I will.
Here's the deal:
The information that the Bush administration is basing the warning on is up to five years old, according to CBS News. In other words, surrounding the building with bomb-sniffing dogs, at this point, probably isn't going to thwart a terrorist attack, if it hasn't already happened.
Moreover, the "code orange" level that Ridge announced is already in effect in New York City and has been since 9/11. And in addition, Townsend herself admitted that the New York Stock Exchange, one of the targets, is already well guarded.
The intelligence that this raised threat level is based on came from Pakistan, where intelligence agents allegedly captured al-Qaida operatives a few days ago, along with a computer that had building plans stored on the harddrive. The building plans were downloaded from the Internet. The catch is that you couldn't get these plans from the Internet for years because they were removed after the 9/11 attacks. So this is further substantiation that the evidence of the supposed imminent attack is years old.
Conveniently, the capture of the alleged terrorists by the Pakistanis corresponded with the Democratic National Convention. Earlier this year, Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall wrote that the Bush administration had pressured Pakistan to capture or kill al-Qaida suspects and then announce the captures or deaths in late July -- during the Democratic National Convention. New Republic magazine wrote another story, which cited multiple intelligence sources, saying the exact same thing on July 19.
Will the terrorists attack these buildings now? Of course not. What is to be gained by making a public announcement about this now? The answer to that question is pretty simple: a political advantage for George W. Bush.
One obvious disadvantage to the announcement is that the real terrorist targets will be likely be more vulnerable now because the terrorists will be watching to see how law enforcement responds to the bogus "threat" for future reference.
Bush is actually compromising national security in exchange for the blanket media coverage. Instead, of news coverage focusing on the Kerry campaign or anything else, it's focusing on the "terror threat." The Bush administration is using this national security issue to both instill fear in the elecorate and redirect public attention from Kerry surging campaign.
When Bush opens his mouth, he lies.
This is an action for unlawful conspiracy to interfere with Mr. Federer’s civil rights, in violation of the laws of the United States, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), as well as the torts of assault, abuse of process, prima facie tort, trespass, and for civil conspiracy to commit those torts, in violation of the laws of the State of Missouri.
As a veteran agent chasing home-grown terrorist suspects for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mike German always had a knack for worming his way into places few other agents could go.
In the early 1990's, he infiltrated a group of white supremacist skinheads plotting to blow up a black church in Los Angeles. A few years later, he joined a militia in Washington State that talked of attacking government buildings. Known to his fellow militia members as Rock, he tricked them into handcuffing themselves in a supposed training exercise so the authorities could arrest them.
So in early 2002, when Mr. German got word that a group of Americans might be plotting support for an overseas Islamic terrorist group, he proposed to his bosses what he thought was an obvious plan: go undercover and infiltrate the group.
But Mr. German says F.B.I. officials sat on his request, botched the investigation, falsified documents to discredit their own sources, then froze him out and made him a "pariah." He left the bureau in mid-June after 16 years and is now going public for the first time - the latest in a string of F.B.I. whistle-blowers who claim they were retaliated against after voicing concerns about how management problems had impeded terrorism investigations since the Sept. 11 attacks.
"What's so frustrating for me," Mr. German said in an interview, a copy of the Sept. 11 commission report at his side, "is that what I hear the F.B.I. saying every day on TV when I get home, about how it's remaking itself to fight terrorism, is not the reality of what I saw every day in the field." ...
"Don't forget to vote, partner."
Kuwait has banned Michael Moore's controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, calling the film insulting to the Saudi Arabian royal family.
Authorities in Kuwait, a US ally, also objected to the film's criticism of America's invasion of Iraq.
"We have a law that prohibits insulting friendly nations," said Abdul-Aziz Bou Dastour of the Information Ministry. ...
Hits 1-25 of 59
Hit Title From To Date Full Results Select
1 "LETTER CONCERNING DESTRUCTION OF CIA FILES." BUSH, GEORGE, DCI, CIA DOWNING, THOMAS, CHAIRMAN, HSCA 11/28/1976
2 "LETTER CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF CIA FILES RELATED TO THE ASSASSINATIONS OF JFK AND MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR." BUSH, GEORGE, DCI, CIA DOWNING, THOMAS, CHAIRMAN, HSCA 11/23/1976
3 "LETTER CONCERNING THE MORATORIUM ON THE DESTRUCTION OF AGENCY DOCUMENTS." BUSH, GEORGE, DCI, CIA DOWNING, THOMAS, CHAIRMAN, HSCA 12/05/1976
4 "QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE MURDER OF JOHN ROSELLI." BUSH, GEORGE, DCI, CIA LEVI, EDWARD, ATTNY GENERAL, DOJ 10/14/1976
5 ASSASSINATIONS ARCHIVES V. CIA, NO. 88-2600 (D.D.C.) [No From] [No To] 09/23/1988
6 CORRESPONDENCE BUSH, GEORGE, DIRECTOR CHURCH, HON. FRANK 05/20/1976
7 DCI LETTER TO HSCA CHAIRMAN THOMAS DOWNING ASSERTING THAT PERTINENT RECORDS WILL NOT BE DESTROYED BUSH, GEORGE, DCI DOWNING, THOMAS N, HSCA CHAIRMAN 11/23/1976
8 DRAFT TO GEORGE DE MOHRENSCHILDT WALLER, JOHN. BUSH, GEORGE 09/22/1976
9 LETTER AND QUESTIONS RE JOHN ROSELLI'S MURDER BUSH, GEORGE, DCI LEVI, EDWARD H., ATTORNEY GEN, DOJ 10/14/1976
10 LETTER AND SERIES OF QUESTIONS RE INVESTIGATIONS OF JOHN ROSELLI BUSH, GEORGE, DCI LEVI, EDWARD H., ATTORNEY GENERAL, 10/14/1976
11 LETTER CONCERNING DESTRUCTION OF CIA DOCUMENTS AFTER MORATORIUM IS LIFTED. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI DOWNING, THOMAS N. 12/08/1976
12 LETTER CONCERNING DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS AFTER THE LIFTING OF THE MORATORIUM. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI DOWNING, THOMAS N. 12/05/1976
13 LETTER CONCERNING DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS ONCE MORATORIUM IS LIFTE. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI DOWNING, THOMAS N. 12/00/1976
14 LETTER CONCERNING DISPOSITION OF RECORDS AFTER MORATORIUM IS LIFTE. BUSH, GEORGE DOWNING, THOMAS N. 12/05/1976
15 LETTER CONCERNING MORATORIUM EXTENSION. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI SCOTT, HUGH 06/22/1976
16 LETTER CONCERNING MORATORIUM EXTENSION. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI SCOTT, HUGH 06/22/1976
17 LETTER CONCERNING MORATORIUM EXTENSION. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI SCOTT, HUGH, US SENATE 06/22/1976
18 LETTER CONCERNING MORATORIUM ON THE DESTRUCTION OF AGENCY RECORDS. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI DOWNING, THOMAS N, 12/08/1976
19 LETTER FROM BUSH TO ABZUG ANSWERING QUESTIONS RE CIA MAIL INTERCEPT PROGRAM AND CIA INTERCEPTS OF OSWALD MAIL. BUSH, GEORGE, D/CIA ABZUG, BELLA S., HOUSE OF REP. 08/11/1976
20 LETTER FROM DIR, CIA TO US ATTORNEY GENERAL RE REQUEST FROM DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA POLICE INVESTIGATING MURDER OF JOHN ROSELLI BUSH, GEORGE, DIR, CIA LEVI, EDWARD H., US ATTORNEY GEN 10/14/1976
21 LETTER FROM GEORGE BUSH TO DEPT OF JUSTICE COORDINATING RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS FROM DADE COUNTY POLICE RE MURDER OF JOHN ROSELLI. BUSH, GEORGE, DCI, CIA LEVI, EDWARD H., ATTY GEN, DOJ 10/14/1976
22 LETTER FROM R.W. DARDEN TO DCI BUSH DARDEN, R.W. DCI BUSH, GEORGE 11/20/1976
23 LETTER RE DADE COUNTY INVESTIGATIONS BUSH, GEORGE, DCI LEVI, EDWARD H, ATTORNEY GENERAL 10/14/1976
24 LETTER TO ATTORNEY GEN LEVI WITH SERIES OF QUESTIONS POSED TO CIA BY DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA POLICE OFFICIALS RE MURDER OF JOHN ROSELLI. BUSH, GEORGE, D/CIA LEVI, EDWARD H., ATTORNEY GENERAL 10/14/1976
25 LETTER TO DCI GEORGE BUSH RE RON KESSLER REPORT IN WASHINGTON POST. WEISBERG, HAROLD, PRIVATE BUSH, GEORGE, DCI 11/20/1976
You know, originally I really didn’t want to take sides in the race to replace Dick Gephardt in the 3rd. Unfortunately, the tactics of the Carnahan campaign have forced me to make a statement. I’ve just learned of the LIES and DAMNED LIES being circulated by the Carnahan for Congress campaign about Jeff Smith and Joan Barry. They do not deserve to be repeated, so I won’t, but I can assure you they are the lowest of the low. They are beneath contempt.
At the same time, I find it highly amusing that since Russ lacks the mental acuity to articulate his case to go to Congress that he has to resort to smear tactics.
Let’s set the record straight: Jeff Smith is Pro Choice, Jeff Smith is for sensible gun control, Jeff Smith supports workers’ rights, and Jeff Smith is the ONLY candidate in the race that even has the slightest idea of how Democrats should act on issues like Foreign Policy, period. Jeff Smith is an aggressive progressive that will lead Congress back to democratic control, while politicians like Russ roll over and become whores for big business.
In contrast, Russ touted his positive NRA rating in 1992 in his FAILED run for Congress. Russ has built his campaign on the support from the corrupt Democratic machine that controls the City of St. Louis. You know, the “fake” Democrats like Francis Slay and his “Lebanese mafia” in the 23rd Ward. This fiefdom uses racism and sexism to blind voters from the real issues that plague the metro area and have done so for decades-the parochialism and subservience to corporate interests at the expense of the people!
Oh yeah, Russ has run before, in outstate Missouri. He lost his ass, too! That’s why he became a CARPETBAGGER and moved to the 3rd, and then ran as a state rep in the 59th State District. Now, you may be asking yourself why Russ didn’t stay put and give it another go. Rolla is his hometown, after all, and the Carnahans were supposed to keep Southwest MO for the Democrats, not hand it over to the Blunt family. Unfortunately, Russ was such a LAME candidate he couldn’t even parlay his daddy’s name into a win during Mel’s initial run for governor!
So he became a CARPETBAGGER, and ran in the 59th.
Let me tell you about the 59th. It’s one of the highest performing State Rep districts for Democrats, and it’s also one of the poorest and most disenfranchised areas of the city. Poverty runs rampant, homes, roads and apartments are crumbling, and there is NO job base. The entire district is an embarrassment to the metro area, and Russ has done NOTHING to lift up and help the people who sent him to Jeff City where he swore to represent their needs in the State house.
The 59th District was nothing but a stepping stone for a US Congressional run for Russ, nothing less. Do you want the entire 3rd District to end up like the 59th? From Russ’ record, it’s entirely possible. This is what we want in a public servant? A man who cares nothing about politics but his own ambition to BE a Congressman? None of the other candidates are resorting to lies and slander like Russ is doing. I have lost all respect for Russ Carnahan, and he does not deserve yours. I hope voters are smart enough to see past the name and send a credible choice to Washington: Jeff Smith.
Jeff Smith is Missouri’s Wellstone, and we desperately need more like him to tackle Tom DeLay’s minions in Washington.
Vote for real democracy and your future; vote for Jeff Smith.