Monday, February 27, 2006

From Superpower to Tinhorn Dictatorship
by Paul Craig Roberts

America is headed for a soft dictatorship by the end of Bush’s second term. Whether any American has civil rights will be decided by the discretionary power of federal officials. The public in general will tolerate the soft dictatorship as its discretionary powers will mainly be felt by those few who challenge it.

The congressional elections this coming November are the last chance for for Americans to reaffirm the separation of powers that is the basis of their civil liberties. Unless the voters correct their mistake of putting both the executive and legislative branches in the hands of the same party and deliver the House or the Senate to the Democrats, there is nothing on the domestic scene to stand in the way of more power, and less accountability, being accumulated in the executive.

The Democrats have been a totally ineffective opposition and might not inspire any voter response other than apathy. Rather than vote for a cowardly party that is afraid to defend the Constitution, voters might simply not vote at all.

In this unfortunate event, the only check on the Bush regime is its own hubris.

Bush’s ill-fated invasion of Iraq has set in motion forces beyond his control. On February 23 the Asia Times reported that America’s Pakistani puppet, Musharraf, is “losing his grip.” Some Pakistani provinces are already beyond Musharraf’s control, and the remainder are rioting against “Busharraf” as Musharraf is now known. The infantile American press misrepresents the riots as responses to the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, but in fact the target of the riots is the American puppet.

By invading Afghanistan and Iraq and by threatening Syria and Iran, Bush has taught Muslims everywhere that they owe their humiliation to the Western controlled secular governments that suppress their aspirations. They are realizing that their power resides in Islam and that this power is suppressed by secular governments. Busharraf is probably dead meat, and when he goes so does the US military adventure in Afghanistan.

When Bush attacks Iran, the US army will be caught between the Iraqi Shia and the Iranian Shia and will be decimated in fourth generation conflict, so aptly described by William S. Lind. If a few thousand Sunni insurgents can tie down 10 US divisions, imagine the fate of US forces trapped in a Shia crescent.

The collapsing power of the US hegemon is everywhere evident. It is evident in the inability to successfully occupy Iraq or even Baghdad. It is evident in the growing military cooperation between North and South Korea, and it is evident it the revolt in the Indian government against Prime Minister Singh’s nuclear agreement with the US. Indians say this agreement subjects India to US hegemony and represents America’s attempt to block India’s pioneering research on thorium as a nuclear fuel. Opposition parties have told Singh that if he signs the agreement, they will bring down his government.

The entire world now recognizes that America has lost its economic power and is dependent on the rest of the world to finance its budget and trade deficits. The US no longer holds the cards. American real incomes are falling, except for the rich. Jobs for university graduates are scarce, and advanced technology products must be imported from China. The US is a rapidly declining power and may soon end up as nothing but a tinhorn dictatorship.

February 27, 2006

Dr. Roberts [send him mail] is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

Copyright © 2006

Paul Craig Roberts Archives

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Setting Up a Nuclear 9/11

ALERT: Setting Up a Nuclear 9/11 - The UAE Port Scandal Brainwash!
The 9/11 truth movement is closing in on the Bush administration and they, along with the mainstream media are getting desperate to fend off the public pressure! The information and evidence of 9/11 being, at least in part, an inside job is too abundant, too obvious and too powerful for even the Bush administration and their conspirators in the media to fend off forever! With every viewing of Loose Change 2, with every Sunday evening meeting at the St. Marks Church in NYC, with every public appearance by Jimmy Walter and with every tidbit of 9/11information that broadcasts out of Mike Malloy’s studio, the noose tightens around the necks of the “new Pearl Harbor” administration! What we are watching now with the hoopla about the UAE port scandal is a desperate effort to reemphasize the 9/11 myth that has been told to us by the PNAC administration. This is an effort to counter the exploding 9/11 truth movement.

The 9/11 truth movement is growing fast. More and more people are finding out each day that the story told to us by the Bush administration can not possibly be true. Documentaries such as Loose Change 2, In Plane Site and 9/11 Eyewitness are finding their way into the DVD players of people who never before questioned the events. Scholars and academics are becoming vocal and active members of the realty based world and they are starting to attract the attention of the average middle American who may have trouble taking an Alex Jones seriously. The inside players are now desperately scrambling to reinforce their fortress of manufactured reality so as to ward off the ever growing collective voice of the reality based community. Well, I have news for the Bush administration and the media: you are going to lose this one! The evidence of your complicity is too compelling and too widely available to the public. Eventually the majority of Americans will see the evidence and virtually everyone who sees it realizes that our president and his administration were complicit in the events of that day.

As you watch Tim Russert on NBC hold up the fictional 9/11 Commission report for about 30 full seconds today, you will understand that the PR campaign to reinforce the myth of the official story is on. As each UAE/Al Qaeda connection issue is raised by members of Congress we see how our legislators are either part of the conspiracy or they are incompetent and uninformed. Do any members of Congress remember the comments from our own FBI director, who admitted that we did not know the identities of the hijackers because they may have used stolen identities? This happened when he was confronted with the information about the discovery of 4 of the accused 9/11 hijackers, alive and well! This is yet another smoking gun of 9/11. If we don’t know the identity of the hijackers, how did we know whom to blame and how do we know whom not to blame?

The media helps the Bush administration focus on this UAE non-scandal. Port security is useless. One does not have to bypass security in order to conduct a nuclear attack on the U.S. One does not have to dock a ship and bypass security to unload a nuclear weapon in order to use it. One just needs to set off a nuclear device a mile or so away from the port…IT IS A NUCLEAR WEAPON YOU BONEHEADS….port security will not prevent this!!!

In the meantime the Bush administration is quietly performing subcritical nuclear tests. Yes, they are conducting nuclear tests. Guess what I think…I think they are testing small controllable devices so that when they conduct their false flag nuclear terror operation on the US they can do so in the same way they conducted the events of 9/11; with minimal death and maximum shock value! Think about it: 4 planes… where the combined number of people on the flights filled only one plane…hitting the towers 20 minutes before the majority of the 50,000 people who worked in them were due to arrive! This is textbook false flag operations and we are now watching, with this UAE non-scandal, an effort to condition the American public to accept the next 9/11 cover story.

It is the Bush administration who is conducting subcritical nuclear tests. Congress and the media are doing most of the dirty work as they reinforce the myth of 9/11. Don’t let it fool you. This is smoke and mirrors. We know who makes the nukes, we know who sponsors, funds and exports terror and we know who has been behind most of the terror groups around the world. At least America still has one industry that is thriving in a global economy!

I will be discussing this on my radio program on the Monks Media Radio Network on Monday, February 26h at noon ET. Call in with your thoughts. (The show is archived, if you miss the original) In the meantime do the math. The port security scandal is a non-issue. There is no way to prevent a nuke on the US without inspecting every single ship way offshore, securing every single nuclear device already existing in the US and without removing from power, by whatever means necessary, every single person who is part of the military & intelligence industrial complex including every member of the Bush administration and virtually every member of Congress. Unless we the people take our nation back we will continue to fall victims to the maniacs who seized control of our planet (while they were not shooting their friends in the face that is!) Think about it! (PS I stopped by our local Marine recruiting station yesterday and I dropped off a copy of Loose Change 2. Why don’t you do the same thing! )– Jesse, Editor,

Stay informed about 9/11:

TvNewsLIES 9/11 News
Posted by Jesse on Sunday, February 26th, 2006 at 1:18 pm.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

TIA “Disruptive Technology” Subverting Bill of Rights
Saturday February 25th 2006, 11:13 am

Recall Total Information Awareness, changed to Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) after a self-conscious PR revamp (including the dumping of its obvious Masonic-Illuminati logo), and criticism of its Iran-Contra convicted criminal overlord, John Poindexter. TIA weathered blistering scrutiny after its purpose was revealed—it was a massive program in the making designed to snoop the American people, who are of course the real enemy of criminal government. On January 16, 2003, Senator Russ Feingold introduced legislation to put an end to TIA. In February of 2003, so we were told, Congress passed legislation closing down the Information Awareness Office, run out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and supposedly halted all TIA activity, a highly unusual effort considering the fact Congress rarely messes with specific internal Department of Defense projects.

Congress did this because TIA was an obvious and serious threat to the constitutional rights of the American people. However, these days, the Straussian neocon controlled Pentagon and the White House do not take orders from the American people and TIA is alive and well, as revealed by Shane Harris of the National Journal.

“A controversial counter-terrorism program, which lawmakers halted more than two years ago amid outcries from privacy advocates, was stopped in name only and has quietly continued within the intelligence agency now fending off charges that it has violated the privacy of U.S. citizens,” Harris writes. “Two of the most important components of the TIA program were moved to the Advanced Research and Development Activity, housed at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., documents and sources confirm. One piece was the Information Awareness Prototype System, the core architecture that tied together numerous information extraction, analysis, and dissemination tools developed under TIA. The prototype system included privacy-protection technologies that may have been discontinued or scaled back following the move to ARDA.” In other words, it appears TIA was merged with the NSA’s current snoop effort under the control of the perfidious Straussian neocons.

Sen. Ron Wyden, instrumental, along with Feingold, in closing down the original TIA, grilled Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and FBI Director Robert Mueller earlier this month. Wyden asked if it was “correct that when [TIA] was closed, that several… projects were moved to various intelligence agencies…. I and others on this panel led the effort to close [TIA]; we want to know if Mr. Poindexter’s programs are going on somewhere else.” Negroponte and Mueller claimed ignorance, although Negroponte’s deputy, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, until recently director of the NSA and unaware that the Fourth Amendment requires probable cause, said, “I’d like to answer in closed session.” In short, Hayden admitted that TIA was alive, well, and kicking the Bill of Rights in the drawers.

Harris notes:

The NSA is now at the center of a political firestorm over President Bush’s program to eavesdrop on the phone calls and e-mails of people in the United States who the agency believes are connected to terrorists abroad. While the documents on the TIA programs don’t show that their tools are used in the domestic eavesdropping, and knowledgeable sources wouldn’t discuss the matter, the TIA programs were designed specifically to develop the kind of “early-warning system” that the president said the NSA is running.

In other words, we would be foolish to believe the TIA “tools” are not being used to snoop the American people.

“ARDA now is undergoing some changes of its own,” Harris continues. “The outfit is being taken out of the NSA, placed under the control of Negroponte’s office, and given a new name. It will be called the ‘Disruptive Technology Office,’ a reference to a term of art describing any new invention that suddenly, and often dramatically, replaces established procedures. Officials with the intelligence director’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.”

Disruptive technology, indeed—disruptive of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Obviously, the NSA is too hot for this “early-warning system,” a system we are told is designed to snoop “al-Qaeda” phone calls and instant messages (sent from caves), and it will now be moved into its own digs and continue to operate.

Echelon, Carnivore, Magic Lantern, etc., these are all “systems” designed to render our former constitutional republic into a sprawling Panopticon, or surveillance prison. “A government engaging in escalating criminal actions and becoming more and more secretive should not be watching and tracking us as if we’re all criminals,” write Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones. “This is systematic. They built the electrically wired cage around us and then they turned it on. The state is doing all this for the moment when they take your pension funds, private property, and guns because you won’t be able to resist. Big Brother will be two steps ahead at all times and there will be nowhere to hide,” as Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell’s nightmarish dystopian novel, 1984, ultimately had nowhere to hide.

One thing is for certain—the Straussian neocons will continue to erect the Panopticon mass surveillance state, regardless what a few isolated members of Congress do or no matter how many lawsuits and FOIA requests are issued by a gaggle of so-called “civil libertarians” (they should call themselves Bill of Rights libertarians).

Bush, the front man for the Straussian neocons, is now for all practical purposes a dictator, a status that makes his “job easier,” as he told us before he was appointed to the presidency by Supreme Court fiat. Bush will now take his place in a long line of dictatores, from Lucius Sulla and Julius Caesar to Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler. Mussolini and Hitler, however, never dreamed of the sort of awesome control and surveillance mechanisms at the disposal of the Straussian neocons, who like Mussolini and Hitler also have dreams of conquest and never-ending war and nihilistic destruction.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

This Entire Bu$h Administration

You're full of shit, I fuckin hate you
- Rancid
Well, well, well! Was I right or was I right? Bu$h and his cronies are so predictable. Do you right-wing assholes now fully grasp the FACT that this president is NOT out to protect you, he is NOT the "security president" as you have been screaming for the last 4 years, this man is ONLY out for his and his friends own best interests (read MONEY). That is all this man cares about and all he has EVER cared about. Every single move he has ever made while President is to further his own portfolio and the portfolios of his friends. Have you FINALLY come to that realization?
Has the idea that this "man" would indeed allow the U.A.E. to take over control of our seaports, against the vociferous disapproval of nearly every single American citizen and House member, so he and his scum of the earth, piece of SHIT friends could make ENORMOUS amounts of money, has this FINALLY SUNKEN INTO YOUR OBVIOUSLY SHALLOW HEADS? Has this actually done it? Although you feign outrage now, I doubt it shall last. Miraculously, through the noble work of Karl Rove (the modern day Josef Goebbels), the republican house members are GUARANTEED to eventually "come to their senses" and see things Bu$h's way. Just as they did with the NSA domestic spying. Rove simply had to threaten to blacklist every republican who had dared take a stand, feeble as it was, against Bu$h and his revolting spying program and OVERNIGHT they had changed their minds. And when these same patriotic, post 9/11 thinking politicians "ok" Bu$h's decision to allow the U.A.E. to control our ports you, too, will "come to your senses." Like good Germans. I simply cannot comprehend exactly WHAT this man has to do to make you realize he is a filthy, lying, corrupt criminal. Maybe you really ARE brainwashed.
George W. Bu$h and this entire administration are, quite frankly, greedy, egotistical pieces of shit. Any man who would trade the safety of his entire country in exchange for the almighty DOLLAR is beyond contempt. For four plus years you have been betting on this president to save us from the grasp of the muslim hordes. Every minute we are reminded that we are "safer" because Bu$h is president. You thanked the lord that Al Gore wasn't President (he was) when 9/11 happened. You were SURE John Kerry was weak on defense and that Bu$h was the ONLY man who could, and who supposedly HAD, kept us safe from that ever present threat of terrorism. "Democrats are weak on defense." How many times have I heard THAT mantra repeated? "George W. Bu$h will keep us safe!" And in order to ensure this safety, you lay down at his feet and surrendered your 4th amendment rights. And you did so with lightening speed.
So now it is revealed that Bu$h, who every day reminds us that we are engaged in a "war on terror" and that we must be ever so "vigilant," COMPLETELY contradicts every statement he and his filthy cronies have pounded into your heads day after day after day and allows, without requiring an EXTRA thorough investigation, an Arab GOVERNMENT RUN company to take control of six of our busiest seaports. Seaports where, we have been warned time and time again, a "dirty bomb" or a nuclear weapon could very well be imported onto our shores. And then he wants you to believe that he knew NOTHING of this deal until he read about it in the press. BULL.. SHIT, Bu$h. BULLSHIT!
In the last couple of days, we have seen the monetary connections to Bu$h and his corrupt administration come to light in regards to this Dubai Port Worlds deal. I am simply at a loss for words in describing my contempt, outrage and hatred for this entire administration and this president specifically. I really don't know what to say. This is, by FAR, the most corrupt, contemptuous, greedy, arrogant, DANGEROUS president in the 230 year history of the United States. This man will go down in history as the WORST president to ever hold office, and if other "issues" come to light in the future (see 9/11), we can add to this list the most criminal and murderous.
Bu$h has essentially destroyed our country (just look at the deficit, the number of jobs being outsourced, the wanton destruction of the environment to benefit his pals in the oil and chemical companies and the devaluation of the dollar as examples) and does not care. As long as when (IF) he leaves office he and his friends are richer than when he went in, they will be satisfied and will consider his presidency a successful one. Fuck everyone else, Bu$h will happily leave this country in financial ruins (hopefully that is the ONLY ruins we will be left in) and smile all the way to his offshore accounts. When the economy crashes and we are left in a stunning depression, neither Bu$h NOR his friends will be affected in any way whatsoever. You will.
In my last post, I questioned whether Bu$h's daddy's Carlyle Group was somehow involved in this Dubai port deal. Well low and behold!! Guess what country was a MAJOR INVESTOR in the Carlyle Group, investing $8 BILLION DOLLARS with them last year ALONE? If you guessed the U.A.E and Dubai Capital,you'd be CORRECT!!! Seems that over there in the U.A.E., the government runs nearly ALL the corporations, including the Dubai Ports World.
But the connections don't end there. Oh no, this man is too filthy to simply let it end there. Seems the CURRENT Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, the man who had to sign off on this deal in order for it to go through, was the previous C.E.O. of a company called CSX. CSX was a shipping company and in February of 2004 (2 months after Snow left CSX for the Bu$h administration) CSX sold it's port operations in South America to.......DUBAI PORTS WORLD!!!!! (the rest of CSX operations were purchased by, who else, the Carlyle Group!) But Snow claims that, even though he had JUST LEFT CSX, he had NO IDEA that this BILLION DOLLAR deal was about to go down. BULLSHIT! CSX didn't just throw a billion dollar deal together and work out all the intricacies involved in 2 months.
But wait, it only gets BETTER! Snow had numerous stock options with CSX, worth $36 MILLION DOLLARS, that he wasn't allowed to cash out until the year 2014 or so (I don't feel like looking up the exact date right now, its irrelevant. Just know it isn't NOW and it isn't next year either) UNLESS (here it comes, folks!).......the company was completely sold off. Beautiful! So Snow is $36 MILLION dollars richer (CSX already paid him $69 million when he left) and has only Dubai Ports World to thank. And how did he thank them? Why by authorizing, the deal for the six American ports, that's how.
But the connections don't end there, either. Bu$h's recently appointed Maritime Administrator, David Sanborn, was a CEO at Dubai Ports World until VERY recently. Does the criminality and cronyism of this administration EVER end? Apparently not. All you reich-wingnuts who have, in the last few days, gotten your first look behind the veneer of your Commander and Thief and seen, if only for a fleeting moment, the man behind the curtain, wake up. Wake the hell up, for your own damn sake if for nothing else. Continue to chip away at what you have believed to be true, what they have FED to you like paralytic infants, for the last 4-plus years. This is your chance.
We have not been lying to you for all these years. We haven't been spinning the intelligence, the news and the truth like this administration and your beloved reich-wing talk show hosts. You who were angered by this port deal just got a very small glimpse into the lives of we "left wingers." THIS is why we are so angry all the time. THIS is why you call us "left wing loons" or "leftists." THIS is why we hate George W. Bu$h, why we attend protests and marches. Why we stand outside with signs protesting this man and his selfish, irresponsible decisions. Why we scream at the television or dive for the remote every time his voice is heard scaremongering or flat out lying. THIS is why I have bumperstickers on my car and my inbox is flooded every morning with newsletters and requests for action from other AWARE, concerned groups. THIS is why my american flag is hung upside down, signaling a country in distress, and will not be righted until this man is out of office. THIS is why I am strongly considering making a move to Canada before the shit REALLY hits the fan. THIS is why I have NO republican friends and refuse to intentionally speak to a republican. And THIS is why I have high goddamn bloodpressure. Welcome to the real world.
posted by America Is Fucked at 2/23/2006 11:51:00 PM

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

911 Eyewitness

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Iran was not referred to the Security Council for Noncompliance

By Mike Whitney

02/21/06 "ICH" -- -- How powerful is the corporate information-system we call the mainstream media?

Is it powerful enough, for example, to mislead the public into believing that Iran has been “referred” to the United Nations Security Council for violations to the NPT, thus paving the way for another war on the back of false information?

The IAEA DID NOT report on Iran’s “noncompliance” to the Security Council, because there is no evidence that Iran has done anything wrong. In fact, as nuclear physicist Gordon Prather points out in his recent article, “March Madness”, “THE BOARD DIDN’T REPORT ANYTHING.”

Then why does the media keep insisting that Iran is being called before the Security Council for noncompliance?

Could it be that the media is simply executing an agenda that is deliberately designed to deceive?

There was no “referral” and there will be no “punitive action” because there are no violations. “Rather”, as Prather ads, “the IAEA Board ‘REQUESTED’ that Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei report to the Security Council”…”calling on Iran to-among other things-implement ‘transparency measures’”.

These “transparency measures” have nothing to do with Iran’s obligations under the NPT. They are additional demands made at the behest of the Bush administration (through strong-arm tactics with nations on the IAEA Board) that will force Iran to provide access to “individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual-use equipment, certain military owned workshops, and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations”.

What does this mean?

It means that the Bush administration, which has already demonstrated its hostile intentions towards Iran, will be able to operate secretly behind its surrogates in the IAEA to locate all of Iran’s conventional weapons sites, radar facilities, and military installations so they can easily destroy Iran’s defensive capability when the inevitable attack is launched.

Isn’t this the same trap that Saddam fell into?

So, why is the IAEA facilitating another war by placating the Bush administration instead of condemning its obvious belligerence?

The IAEA members are well-aware of the propaganda that is currently circulating in the wire-services and newspapers. Why are they playing along?

Do they really believe that war can be averted by capitulation to the superpower?

Iran has not violated the NPT, does not have a nuclear weapons program, and poses no threat to its neighbors or the United States. Never the less, the spurious accusations in the media have precipitated a dramatic shift in public opinion. For more than a decade only 6% of the American people considered Iran the “greatest danger” to the United States. Now (according to a recent Pew Poll) that number has jumped to 27%. Also, the survey showed that “nearly half (47%) said they favored military action, preferably along with European allies, to halt Iran’s nuclear program.” (Jim Lobe, “Polls: anti-Iran Propaganda Working”)

“Military action”? Even while the US is bogged down in an unwinnable war in Iraq?

Can anyone seriously doubt the shocking power of propaganda after seeing these polling results?

The public should not be worried about Iran, rather, it should be concerned about the implications of allowing one nation to arbitrarily repeal internationally-accepted treaties and dictate how the world will be run.

Iran has an “inalienable right” to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the terms of its treaty agreement. It should reject the attempt to overturn its legally-binding contract, just to appease its enemies in Washington.

Iran is not a pariah or a rogue-nation. It should fight to be treated equally and with justice.

The United States has steadfastly refused to provide Iran with any security-guarantees that it will not attack if so chooses. In fact, Iran was originally duped into negotiating with the EU-3 (Germany, France, England) because it believed that the talks might deliver a non-aggression pact between themselves and the Bush administration. The administration, however, does not believe in treaties and will not “lower itself” to sign agreements with those it feels are its inferiors.

There is nothing Iran can do to forestall the approaching war. The Washington warlords believe they are entitled to the vast oil wealth of the Caspian Basin and will not be deterred by the facts. Iran would be better off ignoring the ineffectual maneuverings of the feckless United Nations, and preparing itself for the struggle ahead.

Freedom Rider: Halliburton Detention Centers
Margaret Kimberly – Black

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country and become unapologetically paranoid. Paranoia should now be the normal state of mind for thinking people. Sneers and dismissive remarks about "conspiracy theorists" must be ignored. We don't want to end up like the proverbial frog who boils to death because the heat was turned up slowly.

The Bush administration is becoming ever more brazen in its effort to snoop on the American people. The Attorney General is making the case that warrants aren't needed if the government wants to spy on us. Unlimited government power is predictably effective. Anyone not wire tapped, investigated or banned from airplanes will be too intimidated to speak up or even to "Google."

The Bushmen are too smart to only go after political opponents. Instead they are honing their tactics on everyone who does an internet search, a majority of people in the nation. Under the guise of investigating the extent of child pornography on the internet, the ironically named Justice Department demanded that the largest search engines in the country turn over the results of millions of internet searches in the country. Yahoo, MSN and AOL all gave up without a fight and handed big brother the results of your inquiries on any and every issue or topic. Only Google challenged the subpoena in court.

If internet snooping doesn't give one pause, then Halliburton can always be counted on to frighten anyone with half a brain. Vice President Dick Cheney's personal cash cow is the lucky beneficiary of yet another government contract. The Halliburton story of banana republic corruption is well known to anyone not living under a rock. Because their crimes have gone unpunished, news of Halliburton chicanery barely raises eyebrows anymore. Halliburton's latest contract strikes close to home, literally, and doesn't allow them to build barracks in Iraq or clean up after hurricane Katrina.

What ought to shock and terrify every American is that KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, was awarded a $385 million contract to build "temporary detention facilities" in case of an "immigration emergency":

"The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster. In the event of a natural disaster, the contractor could be tasked with providing housing for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) personnel performing law enforcement functions in support of relief efforts."

Anyone paying a little bit of attention will ask, "What immigration emergency?" If there is an immigration emergency looming on the horizon it is a big secret. Of course immigrants will be the first ensnared in the net that big brother Bush has in mind, but the net won't stop with them.

What sort of national emergency requires detention centers? America has plenty of prisons. More of our population is behind bars than in any country on earth. There are detention centers for immigration in existence already. As for helping in case of a natural disaster, hurricane Katrina proved that saving American lives is not on the Bush agenda.

When the word detention comes up, hairs should rise on the back of every neck. Thanks to the Patriot Act and the creation of "enemy combatants" these detention centers can be used to lock up anyone for any reason for any length of time that Uncle Sam wishes.

In the best case scenario, this contract may be just the latest hand out to the welfare queen of corporate America. It is a sad day indeed when we must hope that good old fashioned greed, and nothing more, is at work with this latest theft from the United States treasury. Even if greed is the larger part of the equation, the threat of taking our rights and subjecting us to fear cannot be far from the minds of Dick Cheney and his ilk.

Bush has successfully used fear to stay in power and quiet the ineffectual opposition. When questions arose about the legality of warrantless wiretaps, suddenly Bush revealed a three year old plot to crash a plane into a Los Angeles skyscraper. This announcement was even news to the mayor of Los Angeles, leading the cynical among us, the smart people, to ask if such a threat ever existed in the first place.

What sort of national emergency will trigger the beginning of detentions? Probably not Mexicans heading for the border. If Democrats show uncharacteristic boldness and begin impeachment proceedings against Bush, we will begin to see Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib on U.S. soil.

The endless war on terror would no doubt be a pretext for detentions of immigrants or Americans. Just ask Jose Padilla, the American citizen accused of planning "dirty bomb" attacks. Actually you can't ask Padilla anything. He hasn't seen the outside of a jail in years. An entirely new category of criminals, enemy combatants, was created to justify endless incarceration. If our government is planning to create more Padillas, Halliburton definitely needs a new contract.

You can look it up, if you dare. Searching for the words "Halliburton" and "detention" may bring more than you bargained for.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BC. Ms. Kimberley is a freelance writer living in New York City. She can be reached via e-Mail at You can read more of Ms. Kimberley's writings at

Last updated 21/02/2006

The Impossibility of Flying Heavy Aircraft Without Training

Nila Sagadevan | February 21 2006

Nila Sagadevan is an aeronautical engineer and a qualified pilot of heavy aircraft.

There are some who maintain that the mythical 9/11 hijackers, although proven to be too incompetent to fly a little Cessna 172, had acquired the impressive skills that enabled them to fly airliners by training in flight simulators.

What follows is an attempt to bury this myth once and for all, because I’ve heard this ludicrous explanation bandied about, ad nauseam, on the Internet and the TV networks—invariably by people who know nothing substantive about flight simulators, flying, or even airplanes.

A common misconception non-pilots have about simulators is how “easy” it is to operate them. They are indeed relatively easy to operate if the objective is to make a few lazy turns and frolic about in the “open sky”. But if the intent is to execute any kind of a maneuver with even the least bit of precision, the task immediately becomes quite daunting. And if the aim is to navigate to a specific geographic location hundreds of miles away while flying at over 500 MPH, 30,000 feet above the ground the challenges become virtually impossible for an untrained pilot.

And this, precisely, is what the four hijacker pilots who could not fly a Cessna around an airport are alleged to have accomplished in multi-ton, high-speed commercial jets on 9/11.

For a person not conversant with the practical complexities of pilotage, a modern flight simulator could present a terribly confusing and disorienting experience. These complex training devices are not even remotely similar to the video games one sees in amusement arcades, or even the software versions available for home computers.

In order to operate a modern flight simulator with any level of skill, one has to not only be a decent pilot to begin with, but also a skilled instrument-rated one to boot — and be thoroughly familiar with the actual aircraft type the simulator represents, since the cockpit layouts vary between aircraft.

The only flight domains where an arcade/PC-type game would even begin to approach the degree of visual realism of a modern professional flight simulator would be during the take-off and landing phases. During these phases, of course, one clearly sees the bright runway lights stretched out ahead, and even peripherally sees images of buildings, etc. moving past. Take-offs—even landings, to a certain degree—are relatively “easy”, because the pilot has visual reference cues that exist “outside” the cockpit.

But once you’ve rotated, climbed out, and reached cruising altitude in a simulator (or real airplane), and find yourself en route to some distant destination (using sophisticated electronic navigation techniques), the situation changes drastically: the pilot loses virtually all external visual reference cues. S/he is left entirely at the mercy of an array of complex flight and navigation instruments to provide situational cues (altitude, heading, speed, attitude, etc.)

In the case of a Boeing 757 or 767, the pilot would be faced with an EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrumentation System) panel comprised of six large multi-mode LCDs interspersed with clusters of assorted “hard” instruments. These displays process the raw aircraft system and flight data into an integrated picture of the aircraft situation, position and progress, not only in horizontal and vertical dimensions, but also with regard to time and speed as well. When flying “blind”, I.e., with no ground reference cues, it takes a highly skilled pilot to interpret, and then apply, this data intelligently. If one cannot translate this information quickly, precisely and accurately (and it takes an instrument-rated pilot to do so), one would have ZERO SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. I.e., the pilot wouldn’t have a clue where s/he was in relation to the earth. Flight under such conditions is referred to as “IFR”, or Instrument Flight Rules.

And IFR Rule #1: Never take your eyes off your instruments, because that’s all you have!

The corollary to Rule #1: If you can’t read the instruments in a quick, smooth, disciplined, scan, you’re as good as dead. Accident records from around the world are replete with reports of any number of good pilots — I.e., professional instrument-rated pilots — who ‘bought the farm’ because they screwed up while flying in IFR conditions.

Let me place this in the context of the 9/11 hijacker-pilots. These men were repeatedly deemed incompetent to solo a simple Cessna-172 — an elementary exercise that involves flying this little trainer once around the patch on a sunny day. A student’s first solo flight involves a simple circuit: take-off, followed by four gentle left turns ending with a landing back on the runway. This is as basic as flying can possibly get.

Not one of the hijackers was deemed fit to perform this most elementary exercise by himself.

In fact, here’s what their flight instructors had to say about the aptitude of these budding aviators:

Mohammed Atta: "His attention span was zero."

Khalid Al-Mihdhar: "We didn't kick him out, but he didn't live up to our standards."

Marwan Al-Shehhi: “He was dropped because of his limited English and incompetence at the controls.”

Salem Al-Hazmi: "We advised him to quit after two lessons.”

Hani Hanjour: "His English was horrible, and his mechanical skills were even worse. It was like he had hardly even ever driven a car. I’m still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon. He could not fly at all.”

Now let’s take a look at American Airlines Flight 77. Passenger/hijacker Hani Hanjour rises from his seat midway through the flight, viciously fights his way into the cockpit with his cohorts, overpowers Captain Charles F. Burlingame and First Officer David Charlebois, and somehow manages to toss them out of the cockpit (for starters, very difficult to achieve in a cramped environment without inadvertently impacting the yoke and thereby disengaging the autopilot). One would correctly presume that this would present considerable difficulties to a little guy with a box cutter—Burlingame was a tough, burly, ex-Vietnam F4 fighter jock who had flown over 100 combat missions. Every pilot who knows him says that rather than politely hand over the controls, Burlingame would have instantly rolled the plane on its back so that Hanjour would have broken his neck when he hit the floor. But let’s ignore this almost natural reaction expected of a fighter pilot and proceed with this charade.

Nonetheless, imagine that Hanjour overpowers the flight deck crew, removes them from the cockpit and takes his position in the captain’s seat. Although weather reports state this was not the case, let’s say Hanjour was lucky enough to experience a perfect CAVU day (Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited). If Hanjour looked straight ahead through the windshield, or off to his left at the ground, at best he would see, 35,000 feet -- 7 miles -- below him, a murky brownish-grey-green landscape, virtually devoid of surface detail, while the aircraft he was now piloting was moving along, almost imperceptibly and in eerie silence, at around 500 MPH (about 750 feet every second).

In a real-world scenario (and given the reported weather conditions that day), he would likely have seen clouds below him completely obscuring the ground he was traversing. With this kind of “situational non-awareness”, Hanjour might as well have been flying over Argentina, Russia, or Japan—he wouldn’t have had a clue as to where, precisely, he was.

After a few seconds (at 750 ft/sec), Hanjour would figure out there’s little point in looking outside—there’s nothing there to give him any real visual cues. For a man who had previously wrestled with little Cessnas, following freeways and railroad tracks (and always in the comforting presence of an instructor), this would have been a strange, eerily unsettling environment indeed.

Seeing nothing outside, Mr. Hanjour would be forced to divert his attention to his instrument panel, where he’d be faced with a bewildering array of instruments. He would then have to very quickly interpret his heading, ground track, altitude, and airspeed information on the displays before he could even figure out where in the world he was, much less where the Pentagon was located in relation to his position!

After all, before he can crash into a target, he has to first find the target.

It is very difficult to explain this scenario, of an utter lack of ground reference, to non-pilots; but let it suffice to say that for these incompetent hijacker non-pilots to even consider grappling with such a daunting task would have been utterly overwhelming. They wouldn’t have known where to begin.

But, for the sake of discussion let’s stretch things beyond all plausibility and say that Hanjour—whose flight instructor claimed “couldn’t fly at all”—somehow managed to figure out their exact position on the American landscape in relation to their intended target as they traversed the earth at a speed five times faster than they had ever flown by themselves before.

Once he had determined exactly where he was, he would need to figure out where the Pentagon was located in relation to his rapidly-changing position. He would then need to plot a course to his target (one he cannot see with his eyes—remember, our ace is flying solely on instruments).

In order to perform this bit of electronic navigation, he would have to be very familiar with IFR procedures. None of these chaps even knew what a navigational chart looked like, much less how to how to plug information into flight management computers (FMC) and engage LNAV (lateral navigation automated mode). If one is to believe the official story, all of this was supposedly accomplished by raw student pilots while flying blind at 500 MPH over unfamiliar (and practically invisible) terrain, using complex methodologies and employing sophisticated instruments.

To get around this little problem, the official storyline suggests these men manually flew their aircraft to their respective targets (NB: This still wouldn’t relieve them of the burden of navigation). But let’s assume Hanjour disengaged the autopilot and auto-throttle and hand-flew the aircraft to its intended—and invisible—target on instruments alone until such time as he could get a visual fix. This would have necessitated him to fly back across West Virginia and Virginia to Washington DC. (This portion of Flight 77’s flight path cannot be corroborated by any radar evidence that exists, because the aircraft is said to have suddenly disappeared from radar screens over Ohio, but let’s not mull over that little point.)

According to FAA radar controllers, “Flight 77” then suddenly pops up over Washington DC and executes an incredibly precise diving turn at a rate of 360 degrees/minute while descending at 3,500 ft/min, at the end of which “Hanjour” allegedly levels out at ground level. Oh, I almost forgot: He also had the presence of mind to turn off the transponder in the middle of this incredibly difficult maneuver (one of his instructors later commented the hapless fellow couldn’t have spelt the word if his life depended on it).

The maneuver was in fact so precisely executed that the air traffic controllers at Dulles refused to believe the blip on their screen was a commercial airliner. Danielle O’Brian, one of the air traffic controllers at Dulles who reported seeing the aircraft at 9:25 said, “The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane.”

And then, all of a sudden we have magic. Voila! Hanjour finds the Pentagon sitting squarely in his sights right before him.

But even that wasn’t good enough for this fanatic Muslim kamikaze pilot. You see, he found that his “missile” was heading towards one of the most densely populated wings of the Pentagon—and one occupied by top military brass, including the Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld. Presumably in order to save these men’s lives, he then executes a sweeping 270-degree turn and approaches the building from the opposite direction and aligns himself with the only wing of the Pentagon that was virtually uninhabited due to extensive renovations that were underway (there were some 120 civilians construction workers in that wing who were killed; their work included blast-proofing the outside wall of that wing).

I shan’t get into the aerodynamic impossibility of flying a large commercial jetliner 20 feet above the ground at over 400 MPH. A discussion on ground effect energy, tip vortex compression, downwash sheet reaction, wake turbulence, and jetblast effects are beyond the scope of this article (the 100,000-lb jetblast alone would have blown whole semi-trucks off the roads.)

Let it suffice to say that it is physically impossible to fly a 200,000-lb airliner 20 feet above the ground at 400 MPH.

The author, a pilot and aeronautical engineer, challenges any pilot in the world to do so in any large high-speed aircraft that has a relatively low wing-loading (such as a commercial jet). I.e., to fly the craft at 400 MPH, 20 feet above ground in a flat trajectory over a distance of one mile.

Why the stipulation of 20 feet and a mile? There were several street light poles located up to a mile away from the Pentagon that were snapped-off by the incoming aircraft; this suggests a low, flat trajectory during the final pre-impact approach phase. Further, it is known that the craft impacted the Pentagon’s ground floor. For purposes of reference: If a 757 were placed on the ground on its engine nacelles (I.e., gear retracted as in flight profile), its nose would be almost 20 above the ground! Ergo, for the aircraft to impact the ground floor of the Pentagon, Hanjour would have needed to have flown in with the engines buried 10-feet deep in the Pentagon lawn. Some pilot.

At any rate, why is such ultra-low-level flight aerodynamically impossible? Because the reactive force of the hugely powerful downwash sheet, coupled with the compressibility effects of the tip vortices, simply will not allow the aircraft to get any lower to the ground than approximately one half the distance of its wingspan—until speed is drastically reduced, which, of course, is what happens during normal landings.

In other words, if this were a Boeing 757 as reported, the plane could not have been flown below about 60 feet above ground at 400 MPH. (Such a maneuver is entirely within the performance envelope of aircraft with high wing-loadings, such as ground-attack fighters, the B1-B bomber, and Cruise missiles—and the Global Hawk.)

The very same navigational challenges mentioned above would have faced the pilots who flew the two 767s into the Twin Towers, in that they, too, would have had to have first found their targets. Again, these chaps, too, miraculously found themselves spot on course. And again, their “final approach” maneuvers at over 500 MPH are simply far too incredible to have been executed by pilots who could not solo basic training aircraft.

The writers of the official storyline expect us to believe, that once the flight deck crews had been overpowered, and the hijackers “took control” of the various aircraft, their intended targets suddenly popped up in their windshields as they would have in some arcade game, and all that these fellows would have had to do was simply aim their airplanes at the buildings and fly into them. Most people who have been exposed only to the official storyline have never been on the flight deck of an airliner at altitude and looked at the outside world; if they had, they’d realize the absurdity of this kind of reasoning.

In reality, a clueless non-pilot would encounter almost insurmountable difficulties in attempting to navigate and fly a 200,000-lb airliner into a building located on the ground, 7 miles below and hundreds of miles away and out of sight, and in an unknown direction, while flying at over 500 MPH — and all this under extremely stressful circumstances.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Train Wreck of the Week
By Bob Chapman

February 18 2006

NAFTA is an economic failure for both Mexicans and Americans. It has caused a massive exodus across our borders. In 1995, there were 2.5 million illegal aliens in the US. Today there are more than 20 million. NAFTA was sold as a program for inexpensive imports and for higher wages and living conditions for Mexicans. The subsidy structure that was the foundation for Mexican farming was ended and two million Mexican formers were economically driven off their land. The Maquiladoras on the border boomed due to low wages. In 1994, Mexican wages were 23% of US wages, today they are 12%. The official Mexican poverty rate rose from 45.6% in 1994 to 50.3% in 2000. And, that was before competition from China began to shutter the Maquiladoras and reduce Mexican wages even more.

NAFTA established a system that increased investment opportunities for elitist, transnational conglomerates and diminished the rights, income and living standards, both in Mexico and the US. As long as free trade, globalization and NAFTA exist, both American and Mexican workers will remain desperate and anger will grow, which could lead to very unpleasant consequences. If we want to stop illegal immigration and solve the problem of illegal immigrants already in the US, NAFTA has to be cancelled. Then we can deal with the 20 million people who are illegally in our country.

America has been and is still being bamboozled by terrorist propaganda and it’s not going to stop. It is a battle for the minds of the people and they are oblivious to it. They are being manipulated and their Xenophobe, fears, hatreds are being and will continue to be exploited. The corporatists have hijacked our country and our people. This is a massive exercise in psychological warfare. Fifty percent of our citizens are confused and off track as a result of television brainwashing. We have a manufactured enemy in terrorism and Osama bin Laden. Terrorism and fear are being used to control a goodly portion of our population. The creation of the unseen supernatural evildoers are being used to brainwash America - the constant theme of good versus evil, sensationalized and fantasized and, of course, with a happy ending. That is, everyone in the world is forced to accept the Bush-neocon version of democracy, the villains die, the good guys win and we live happily ever after.

The propagandists have created the new threat Muslim extremism. We are told they are all terrorists and extremists. Enemies are needed for the military industrial complex to reap their profits. Thus, the faux conflict will last as long as the elitists want it too. We are descending into an Orwellian nightmare and entering a New Dark Age. The signs abound and they are unmistakable. If it wasn’t terrorism, al Qaeda, Muslims, etc., other enemies would be created. Trotsky called it perpetual revolution. It’s a price we do not want to pay, but do we have any choice? Our culture has been distorted and degraded, and we are not only invaders, but also torturers, occupiers and murderers, as we destroy history and the culture of ancient civilizations. Absolute and utter madness. You ask, is there still room for decent people in such a world? Of course there is. Civilization has not changed, its predictable, because man keeps making the same mistakes over and over again.

You probably won’t read about this elsewhere, but the Bush-neocon Social Security plan was tucked into the latest budget proposal. This is the defeated plan for private accounts to start in 2010. George did not mention this in his State of the Union Address. Not only does he want 4% of wages in voluntary private accounts, but he wants SS calculated via progressive indexing. The higher income benefits would be tied to inflation. The lower wage people would stay just ahead of inflation and higher-paid workers would pay substantially more into the system. This is a social-justice concept of socialist-fascist origin. The program got nowhere before and will fair little better this time around.

Our President has come up with another real beauty. He wants to end the seniors’ food program and switch it to food stamps. The food is distributed to 500,000 poor and elderly people. It has a mix of foods, such as cereal, peanut butter, fruit, vegetables and pasta. This is one of 141 initiatives that his proposed new budget would scrap. The problem is the elderly are reluctant to sign up for food stamps. It’s a cultural thing from back in the 1930s to 1960s. As a matter of course they won’t sign up for government welfare, but yes, they’ll take packages of food.

The move by Mr. Bush is another example of misplaced priorities. How do you justify something like this, while at the same time giving the rich 97% of the recent tax cuts? This is cutting budget costs on the backs of the needy. It just isn’t fair. The program costs $107 million a year. They know that only 28% of seniors will apply for the new program. This is a poor group of people who have to choose between paying a utility bill, prescription drugs or whether they’ll eat. The seniors in their 70s, 80s and 90s can’t stand the stigma in accepting food stamps.

It is the beginning of payback time. The number 1 target of the United Steelworkers of America are gunning to defeat Rep. Henry Cuellar because he is one of 15 Democrats who broke ranks and voted for CAFTA. The entire AFL-CIO is involved in this race. In the primary, which is essentially a final because there is no Republican candidate, Cuellar runs against Ciro Rodriquez who was nominally defeated by Cuellar in the last election and Victor Morales. Cuellar still says his CAFTA vote made sense.

Every Congressman who caved-in on the Patriot Act should be thrown out of office. One of the most troubling aspects of the Patriot Act is the gag order, which prohibits anyone holding financial medical and other private records of ordinary Americans from saying anything when the government issues a subpoena for those records. That means that a person whose records are being taken, and whose privacy is being invaded, has no way to know about the subpoena and no way to challenge it. The compromise also fails to address another problem with Section 15: it lets the government go on fishing expeditions, spying on Americans with no connection to terrorism or foreign powers. The Act should require the government, in order to get a subpoena, to show that there is a connection between the information it is seeking and a terrorist or a spy.

One of the most publicized objections to the Patriot Act is the fact that it allows the government to issue national security letters, an extremely broad investigative took, to libraries, forcing them to turnover their patrons’ Internet records.

V. P. Dick Cheney has made it quite plain that he believes in the principle of absolute executive power. He had admitted that he came into the Vice Presidency, fully committed to the imposition of rule-by-decree government. His personal view expressed a number of times that it is our obligation and responsibility to make sure our President has Constitutional powers unimpaired in terms of the conduct of national security. This view is shocking, but it is there for all to see. This is the way our Executive Branch is run, just like it was in Germany between 1933 and 1945. He believes what has to be done has to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if they are to be successful. This is the dark side, the side that has convinced Congress to surrender dictatorial power to the White House, including the authority to spy on American citizens without the legally mandated court orders. The theory is you use any means necessary even if it breaks our laws. White House attorneys have repeatedly claimed that any law or act of Congress, which infringes on the “inherent authority” of the President as Commander in Chief to conduct war, is unconstitutional. It is the President, and the President alone, who decides what is necessary to defend the nation. The contention is that in times of crisis, legal norms are suspended, and the President, both is and creates the law. This theory was grounded during the 1930s in Germany. The state of exception present in times of war allows legal norms and notions, such as separation of powers, and constitutionally guaranteed checks and balances no longer apply.

This is what is known as unitary executive theory, which favors an extraordinarily powerful president. The President as presented under this dogma has as much right, perhaps even more than the Supreme Court, to interpret the Constitution and the President should have no interference from Congress. That means the President is entitled, indeed obligated, to disregard any laws as unconstitutional. This doctrine has been applied to military and national security matters in an unprecedented manner, even to the chagrin of some of its proponents.

While their 9/11 attacks were the pretext, the Times noted that the strategy was shaped by long-standing agendas, of expanding Presidential power and downgrading international treaty commitments that had zero to do with fighting terrorism.

Homeland Security completed its “Cyber Storm” war game to test how our government would respond to devastating attacks over the Internet from anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers. There are indications that the Bush administration deems bloggers well within the reach of any definition of terrorist, if for no other reason than the crime of dissent and criticism. There are also indicators that relevant parties would be somewhat prepared to assist in the nabbing or kidnapping of terrorist bloggers.

The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and emails to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity. As well, the CIA is funding federal research into surveillance of Internet chat rooms as part of an effort to identify possible terrorists. Already Internet providers have assisted foreign countries in jailing bloggers for substantive content posted on their blogs.

Microsoft and Yahoo have turned Chinese into the Chinese government and the victims went to jail for a long time. Indymedia was subject of a secret, international terrorism investigation in which the US government seized its hard drives. A Texas Internet company turned over hard drives pursuant to a court order under an international treaty governing crimes of terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering.

The CIA now has its own bloggers and a government website that are part of a revised CIA office for monitoring, translating and analyzing publicly available information in the flight against terrorism. Of course, George and the neocons refused to turn over control of the Internet to an international body, preferring to maintain unilateral control over the Internet.

There is no question in our mind that George and the neocons are encircling and once the propaganda has created the perception bloggers are a danger to national security, they’ll make their move to capture and imprison us. We ask is the American public dumb enough and sheep-like enough to believe them? In time we’ll know. We can assure you we will be among the first pursued.

A federal appeals court said it would review a lower-court decision that ruled the government was not entitled to see telephone records of two reporters who talked with confidential sources after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The challenge to the government was by the NY Times whose attorney said, “Telephone records are the extension of the journalist herself. “They are the embodiment of the speech of the journalist and require the same protection.” This case is in relation to Judith Miller and the Plame affair.

It is obvious that the neocons want to strip anyone in media of their constitutional protections.

Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Bush”

By W. David Jenkins III

“Any subject is subject to laughter…Humor is an almost psychological response to fear”

from Kurt Vonnegut’s “A Man Without a Country”

“And now for something completely different” – John Cleese

Admit it. You laughed and you stood up and clapped or you thrust your fist in the air saying “yes!” while you watched that funeral. One by one, they came to the front of the church and unleashed upon the Boy King a most brutal verbal beating. People in that church and those watching on television rose to their feet in approval as the man who would be king was beaten to a pulp.

“Is he dead yet?”

“Well, he’s not dead but he’s not at all well.”

Vonnegut’s words came back to me as I watched Coretta Scott King’s final gift to the people. Even after her death, her values and all she stood for were given new life through the words of those who new and loved her most. And those words proved powerful enough to draw blood from those in that same sanctuary who, by their actions, have shown that they are the antithesis to all that the Kings treasured. After five years of living in an atmosphere of deceit and fear, it felt good to laugh as people took turns pointing at the naked emperor.

“You snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, malodorous, pervert!!!”

“But I came here for an argument!”

“Oh, I’m sorry, but this is abuse.”

Well, as much as the media tried to portray what was said at King’s funeral as abuse, nothing could’ve been further from the truth. Had the Boy King not spent the last five years proving his ineptitude and his distain for ordinary people – not to mention his annoying habit of lying his face off – then not only would Carter’s and the Reverend Lowery’s words not have struck so close to home, but there wouldn’t have been any reason to say them in the first place. George, it all boils down to staying away from places where you just don’t belong if you don’t want to hear the truth.

“Stupid git.”

But the humor didn’t stop there. A few days later, we were informed that a shoe bomb hijacking in Los Angeles had been thwarted – four years ago. Now, while I’m listening to the details of this plot being described by the Grand Liar in Chief, I couldn’t help thinking about the Python spoof of Sam Peckinpaugh in their sketch titled “Salad Days” or “Scott of the Antarctic” where the focus is on spurting blood – in slow motion.

Now I would assume that George and his handlers figured that Americans would either be scared yet relieved or bowing in thanks to the administration’s prowess after hearing of such a magnificent example of fighting terrorism. However, I kept expecting to see Graham Chapman appear from off camera dressed in a military uniform.

“Stop this! Stop this speech! It’s too silly!”

Seriously, we’re supposed to believe that a re-enforced cockpit door would be blown away – with shoe bombs?


“Oh bloody hell!”


“It’s…it’s my feet, sir. They seem to be missing, sir.”

Has it dawned on any of these people how sadly comedic they’ve become? How are any of us, here or abroad, supposed to rally around such transparent ineptitude? Of course, I hear that about thirty five percent of the American public is still behind these bozos and the only logical explanation for this came from someone on SNL. They stated that the people who still backed the administration also believed that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs on their way to church.

But the final straw for me came last weekend. Some of you may remember the Monty Python Hunting Film where a small group of “sportsmen” emerge from a country villa randomly firing their rifles. The trumpet soundtrack is consistently interrupted by sporadic gunfire in every direction – except for the intended targets. Eventually, the film ends with the bloody and bandaged hunters returning to the villa with a small bird tied to a stick.

I can’t help it and I hope there are enough Python fans out there that can identify with what I am trying to say.

When it becomes completely unavoidable to draw comparisons between the current leadership we suffer under and over the top satire that is almost forty years old, we have a serious problem. We are witnessing the systematic destruction of everything this country was supposed to stand for and there seems to be a sense of helplessness by many to do anything to stop the continuing damage. Consequently, in this most desperate of situations, humor becomes a sort of defense against the insanity which surrounds us.

There have been so many crimes committed by this administration yet, they all seem to go unpunished. And the only thing worse than this inexcusable fact is the tragic comedy that passes for reasoning when administration members are confronted.

“Good God! You’ve tortured him to death!”

“He’s not dead….he’s resting!”


“Listen, you can’t spy on Americans without a court order.”

“Yes I can”

“No you can’t! In order to do it legally you need to obtain a court order. It can’t be considered legal if you’re just randomly fishing average Americans because you feel like it!”

“Can be.”

“No it can’t!”

Like the classic Argument Clinic sketch, the frame of debate on any matter regarding the administration’s actions is more times than not, reduced to little else than contradiction. Even when they’ve been inundated with facts or constitutional law or simple common sense by those who attempt to oppose them or hold them accountable, the administration simply counters with “yes we can” or “no we didn’t” – and they get away with it.

Back in the sixties, the resonant phrase was “the whole world is watching.” Now, almost forty years later, the phrase has been changed to “the whole world is laughing.” Granted, it would be nervous laughter we’re hearing, especially when considering the very serious consequences confronting all of us, but laughter all the same. But think about it; humor is the one weapon we have yet to use against these criminals. I don’t mean comedy skits on television or the clever videos we see on the internet.

We’ve arrived at the point where all one need do is say “Cheney” in a group of people and the snickering starts, which galls Cheney to no end. As Alessandra Stanley wrote in the week after Shootergate, “Mr. Cheney is accustomed to being feared and despised by his enemies and rivals; he is less used to being laughed at.” Ahh, the Achilles’ Heel. I think we’re onto something here.

Remember the look on George’s face when Democrats stood, laughed and applauded during the State of the Union speech regarding the failure of his social security initiative? It was, as the commercial says, priceless! It was an example of the same tactic used by conservatives as far back as the debacle of 2000. Even though the facts were on the side of the opposition, all the Bush defenders needed to do was sit and laugh and shake their heads in front of the cameras. And it worked every time. Maybe the opposition needs to start using that weapon for a change.

The Bush administration, by their own efforts, has gone so far down the road that they’ve been reduced to little more than a Monty Python sketch. They’ve turned Osama bin Laden into a modern day Mr. Neutron while Bush bombs the whole world and wonders if there are any figures that show how scared everyone is of our power. They have become a parody of themselves and the public needs to be made aware of it. Maybe, rather than yelling and distressing over why the public just doesn’t “get it,” the opposition needs to incorporate the same depreciating and disarming humor employed by conservatives.

Think about it. We already have the facts and the laws (at least for now) on our side. As Coretta Scott King’s funeral showed us, there are people out there who are more than willing to point and laugh at the naked emperor. Humor, when coupled with the truth, is the greatest weapon there is.

Groucho Marx once said that “humor is reason gone mad.” I would bet that describes many of us, so maybe we need to begin to employ our reason gone mad - before there is no reason left to laugh.

Happy Preznits Day

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Lessons of Stephen Francis
"If you don't know who the sucker is, then you're it."

Saturday, February 18, 2006
The War That We Deserve
Ponder this phrase for moment or three: WAR ON TERROR

When you're done thinking about it, try to imagine a dumber phrase in history being employed by a government and its accessory-after-the-fact media as a rationale for creative destruction. This one takes the cakewalk.

It's like saying "WAR ON DEPRESSION" or "WAR ON ANXIETY". It's meaningless, in other words. Yet if we expose ourselves to the controlled press for more than about twenty seconds, we're likely to get hit with this meaningless phrase like vaudeville straightmen used to get hit with rubber chickens. I suppose some people still laugh at someone getting hit with a rubber chicken, and perhaps some people actually believe that there's a war on terror.

So where did this phrase come from? Did it used to have some kind of meaning?

When confronted by these seemingly bottomless questions about phrases, let's go where I always go: Usenet. It's a storehouse of old phrases and catch-alls easily broken up by dates and micro-eras. For instance, June 5, 1999 is the earliest use of the phrase "Google me" on Usenet that I can find. That's not to say that it's the first use, but it's probably close. Usenet is sort of like the trap in the elbow of your bathroom sink. There's no telling what's gotten stuck in it.

So, onto the WoT. A quick search on Usenet brings us to a UPI article from Wed, Dec 23, 1992 titled, "Palestinians blame Israel for 'killing' peace process". The relevant sentences reveal the hairball in the sink:

"Israel issued the deportation order a week ago following the kidnapping and execution of a border policeman. Five other Israeli soldiers were also killed by members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad since Dec. 8. Rabin defended the action as part of a "war on terror" and has continued to defy almost total world censure."

Thus, according to Usenet, this is probably something close to the earliest use of the offending phrase. It's Israeli, no less (and no surprise). We also know that Billy-Bob Clinton was fond of this phrase in his mid to late presidency, most likely owing to how it played in Tel Aviv. That the Bush administration and the Neocons that perch on its shoulders are also fond of the quadsyllabic incantation is a fact that we shouldn't take lightly. That one of its earlier invocations was by an Israeli politician assassinated for being a softie should also be kept in mind.

Now that we've got one part of the worm on the hook, let's see what the "War on Terror" means to one mindset.

In 2002, the Ariel Center for Policy Research ("devoted to incisive research and discussion of political and strategic issues concerning Israel and the Jewish people.") published an essay by a 1966 University of Chicago grad named Paul Eidelberg called "Democratizing Islam". In the essay, Eidelberg gave us the following neat summation of our spotlighted phrase:

"America’s war against international terrorism is in truth a war against Arab-Islamic civilization."

There's one reason why Eidelberg's definition matters: he was a contemporary of Leo Strauss, the mentor to many of the Neocons in the Bush nest, though Eidleberg's actually about half a generation ahead of Wolfowitz and Co.

So, one aspect of the War on Terror is about the destruction of the oldest enemy of the Jewish people using the most powerful military in history. I suppose this sits well with some people. It doesn't sit well with me. It portends the destruction of what's left of America.

There's another odd thing about Eidelberg's perception of the "War on Terror" that we should make note of. In the same essay referenced above, he invokes the Noahide Laws as the basis for the war:

"President George W. Bush, a devout Christian, is qualified to make the Seven Noahide Laws the ultimate justification of America’s war against Islamic civilization."

There it is: A dyed-in-the-wool Straussian Neocon Eidelberg lays it out. As I understand it, the Straussian method is to conceal tactics and ends from the hoi-polloi. If that's concealment, what the hell is he hiding?

So now when I hear the phrase "War on Terror", what I actually hear, with apologies to Country Joe and the Fish, is:

"So it's 1-2-3, what are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
The next stop is Armageddistan..."

"War on Terror": The dumbest phrase in the history of propaganda fed to the dumbest population to ever walk the earth. We get the government, and the wars, that we deserve.

Stephen Francis is a writer and a researcher living in Occupied Virginia.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

How Long Do You Have?

How long do you have?

Will you wait to be killed,
or ID the real perpetrators?

By John Kaminski

How do you talk to your neighbor when he's right in the middle of
killing someone?

What if all your neighbors are doing it, what do you do then? Do you
also start killing?

And then there are those who are the real victims, the relatives of
suddenly mutilated corpses you now so glibly explain away as facile
geopolitical rationalizations, exactly what do you say to those folks?

Remember the words of Madeleine Albright: “We think the price is worth

How do you speak to a nation where half the population can’t read?

They want to kill you for what you've done, you know. Can you blame
them? Americans who have murdered innocent darkskinned people with
bizarre video games in hightech machines ... all that has been created
by the Iraq war is a visceral search for vengeance sweeping the entire
world to punish America in the same sadistic manner this phony Land of
the Free and the Home of the Brave has punished the world, to reverse
the same torture techniques that the United States and its overlords
Britain and Israel now flash around the world like squalid semen from
the devil himself.

Iraq is bleeding with a fatal wound, and very soon, the cyber sentinels
tell us, the nation of Iran, one of the oldest countries on the planet,
will suffer the same tortured fate.

For what, may I ask?

The Zionist monster, three nations merged together in a capitalist
terror machine run by the same people who ran the killing apparatus in
the Soviet Union, merged with the sellouts who created Nazi Germany.
All of that has been glued together in an epoxy of evil, with the
blackmail, bribery and murder coordinated by the state of Israel. As we
speak, it spreads like a cancer around the world and stains humanity
with its murderous and conscienceless faux justifications.

Justifications for endless murder and robbery.

The Zionist monster includes all who call themselves Jews, because
there is no difference between Zionism and Judaism. Everything blamed
on Zionists is justified by the Talmud.

Judaism is only the religion of the Jews, yet it controls the world,
which doesn’t say much for the character of the rest of the world, or,
for that matter, the power of its religions, because they all have been
completely subverted by the concessions to human greed that have
obliterated the integrity of all other creeds and wiped out any truly
safe places to live in this depraved devil’s bargain.

The monstrous murder machine that was the Soviet Union was a Jewish
enterprise initially financed from New York and London. The provocation
for World Wars One and Two was entirely Jewish, wars to finance the new
Federal Reserve system, a scam that has continued ever since, war after
war, to this very sad day.

From the Hindu Kalachakra to Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, we have
been adequately warned. But the power of money and media are
overpowering, and when combined with pharmaceuticals, nutrition,
education, medicine and literature all conspiring to turn us into
alienated robots, the average joe doesn’t stand much of a chance
against the forces of predesigned slavery that are arrayed against him.

Identifying the perpetrators is always the key step. Exactly who is
doing what to whom.

How long will you cling to the excuse that this is the way the system
is, that I owe allegiance to my country and my cause? How long will you
insist that you are not responsible for the psychopathic banking
kingpins who run roughshod over phony laws and rob and kill whomever
they choose?

Or will you just waltz quietly into the amorphous white noise of your

When will you reach the inevitable conclusion that it is the very way
you think that has created all this carnage, images of fear that have
turned our collective social life a nauseating shade of brown and
black? And red, for the innocent blood shed like a savior in every
family. How is it you came to be such a whimpering coward, too afraid
of losing his own stash of gold that you became willing to overlook the
crimes for which you accept responsibility — the Palestinians lying
bleeding in the dirt of Gaza, and the crushed red shells of children’s
skulls in Baghdad.

When we made that choice in our cowardice, we forfeited the future of
the human species for a potful of meaningless currency. And now we're
paying the price with our children, though most of us are either too
drugged or too dumbed down to even notice.

Deny it if you like, but this is what our world has come to. Do you
know how to shoot a gun? And will it do any good?

Can you imagine what it must be like to have to use a gun every day in
order just to survive? The scenario is coming sooner than you think to
America. Although by then (maybe tomorrow), everyone will be so drugged
down from the poison they buy in supermarkets (sing it with me —
AS-PAR-TAME!) and mentally twisted from the subliminal dumbdown
programming on TV that there will be no revolution this time, only a
slow, somnambulent walk as in a grey dream right out of the Talmud into
the neocon extermination camps now currently under construction by the
fine folks at, you guessed it! — Halliburton.

If you don't know who or what Halliburton is by now, then you should
make out your will as best you can, and prepare to meet a violent death
in the coming months.

I remember from reading dozens of disaster novels back when I was a
young turk. And I remember wondering about the calm, unsuspecting
narration just before some colossal disaster. It’s always eerie to
contemplate what the writer didn’t know about in advance, like some
comet from the human subconscious come to wipe out the species.

Very sad to say (and I proceed with advance apologies) but a popular
topic of conversation down at your local therapist these days is to
consider how each of you reading this story is likely to die in the
coming months.

Tops on the list right now is a nuclear strike on Iran that leads to
either retaliation and destruction of the United States (a process of
advanced decay already proceeding nicely on the financial and legal
levels), or some unforeseen tectonic or atmospheric consequence that
will kill billions.

But what perhaps is even more frightening is the formidable list of
alternative death scenarios that are right behind it.

No. 2 is probably to be thrown into a Halliburton concentration camp
for wearing an anti-Bush T-shirt and being tortured to death by
teenagers from Connecticut on Prozac and in the Marines, just returned
from duty at Abu Ghraib.

Here are some others scenarios.

• Your chemotherapy doctor ups your dose and you’re out of here.

• Some cop decides he doesn’t like the greasiness of your hair, and
because he knows he can get away with it, he does, and you’re done.

• You were in the Army, got irradiated in Iraq, and now have infected
your wife and kids.

• When you return from Iraq, you realize what you have done to innocent
women and children in the name of nothing, and put a gun to your own

There are just four random probabilities in your immediate future, in
this world of bloody bullshit that you have created for yourself.

Most of us will disappear from the universe very soon without ever
knowing who it was that created many of these situations that cause us
needless pain and suffering, that have killed so many people

And we who finally found out must forever live with the guilt that we
knew what we saw but couldn’t stop it.

John Kaminski is a writer who lives in the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cheney Sings

Bush PR costs taxpayers $1.6 billion
- Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Hearst Newspapers
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Washington -- The Bush administration spent at least $1.6 billion on public relations and advertising campaigns over 30 months, according to a report released Monday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

The report, requested by congressional Democrats, shows that government agencies are relying on outside consultants to help pitch their messages to the public, whether it's to bolster public support for the war in Iraq, deter buying prescription drugs from Canada or recruit for the armed forces.

"To communicate these messages to the general public or particular target audiences, departments contract with media-related vendors ... for a wide range of services, including communication plans, marketing design strategies, public relations campaigns, public service announcements and educational materials," according to the report.

Democrats complained that the White House was using propaganda to spin the public its way on the war on terror and other initiatives.

"No amount of money will successfully sell the Bush administration's failed policies, from the war in Iraq to its disastrous energy policy to its confusing Medicare prescription drug benefits," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, leader of the House Democrats, who criticized what she called the White House PR machine.

The White House did not return calls for comment Monday, but the Education Department in the past has defended its public relations spending as a legitimate way to disseminate information to the public.

The GAO report did not single out any project for special attention but, in a separate study a year ago, the agency said the Bush administration had illegally engaged in covert propaganda for paying conservative commentator Armstrong Williams to praise the No Child Left Behind Act, the 2002 education law, in newspaper columns and on television.

The Bush administration also was rapped for issuing prepackaged "video news releases" that touted administration initiatives to broadcast media outlets, some of which aired the programs without disclosing their source.

Government auditors studied the spending by seven different cabinet-level departments for 30 months covering all of fiscal 2003 and 2004 and the first half of fiscal 2005. They focused on government contracts with public relations firms, advertising agencies and media organizations -- anyone the GAO said would "create (or) distribute content through various outlets, such as radio, television (and) newspapers."

Using federal procurement data, the government auditors found spending over two and a half years on 343 media contracts. The vast majority of the contracts were with advertising agencies.

For instance:

-- The Army paid $2.5 million to develop a plan to present its "strategic perspective in the global war on terrorism."

-- The Department of Health and Human Services paid $29,900 in 2004 and 2003 to an advertising agency to convince Americans that buying prescription drugs from Canada and other countries is risky.

-- The government spent $116,088 over two years for a "Be Whale Wise" campaign -- complete with billboards and radio advertising -- to educate residents of Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., about how recreational boating was dangerous to marine mammals in Puget Sound.

A private group that watches government spending said that while the report covers plenty of legitimate public relations spending, some of the costs should raise eyebrows.

"People see (military) recruitment ads on TV all the time, and I don't think anyone objects to that," said Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a not-for-profit watchdog group. But targeted, specific programs deserve a closer look, Schatz said.

The Interior Department complained that a host of legitimate contracts had been swept into the report and inaccurately labeled as public relations spending. For instance, department officials said the GAO should not have included spending on brochures or exhibits at National Park Service visitor centers.

No other government departments responded to the report.

Page A - 11

©2006 San Francisco Chronicle

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Sharon Is Dead (wake up,sheeple)

Hospital says Sharon’s ‘life is in danger’
Tapir's Comment: Sharon has been dead for weeks, his soul has been dead for YEARS!
Israeli PM’s condition worsens, he undergoes emergency surgery

Updated: 7:10 a.m. ET Feb. 11, 2006
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent emergency surgery Saturday after an abdominal scan revealed severe damage to his digestive tract, and hospital officials said his life was in danger.

It was the seventh surgery for the 77-year-old Sharon since he suffered a severe stroke Jan. 4. He has been in a coma since then, attached to breathing and feeding tubes.

“Sharon’s life is in danger,” said Yael Bossem-Levy, spokeswoman for Hadassah Hospital where he is being treated. His condition is now “very serious, or critical,” she said.

An abdominal scan Saturday revealed problems with the blood flow to his intestines and that his digestive tract had suffered severe damage, Bossem-Levy said. The restricted blood flow raised the possibility of necrosis, or death of tissue, in the intestines, she said.

Sharon was taken to the operating theater at about 11 a.m. local time, and surgery began shortly thereafter. The operation was to last between three and six hours, Bossem-Levy said.

Family rushes to hospital
Sharon’s sons, Omri and Gilad, rushed to the hospital Saturday morning. Later in the day, Sharon confidant Dov Weissglass, bureau chief Ilan Cohen and adviser Lior Horev arrived.

Israel’s political system has been surprisingly stable despite the sudden disappearance of the nation’s most popular politician from the scene and even though elections are just six weeks away. Sharon’s deputy, Ehud Olmert, quickly took over, both as acting prime minister and leader of Sharon’s new centrist party, Kadima, which has held steady in the polls.

The health of the overweight Israeli leader became an issue in December when he suffered a minor stroke. Two weeks later, he was to check in to Hadassah for a minor heart procedure.

On Jan. 4, the eve of that procedure, he suffered a massive stroke. Since then, he has been unconscious and critical, but stable, undergoing occasional brain scans to check whether there was bleeding or swelling.

Before dawn Saturday, his condition deteriorated.

Some have questioned whether Sharon should have been treated with large doses of anticoagulants after his first stroke, which was caused by a small blood clot in a cranial artery. Doctors admit the anticoagulants made it more difficult for them to stop the bleeding from the later stroke.

The extensive bleeding and the lengthy operations Sharon underwent to stop it have led experts to conclude that he must have suffered severe brain damage and was unlikely to regain consciousness. If he does awaken, most say, the chances of his regaining meaningful cognition or activity are slim.

A jolt to Israeli politics
Sharon’s stroke jolted Israel, which is gearing up for an election March 28. Just weeks before the stroke, Sharon had left the hard-line Likud Party and formed Kadima to gain a free hand for drawing Israel’s final borders, whether unilaterally or in negotiations with the Palestinians.

FACT FILE Israeli politics

• Labor
• Likud
• Kadima
• Other parties

Kevin Frayer/AP
With Ariel Sharon unlikely to return to his leadership role, key political figures are gearing up for the possible election of a new prime minister.

Sharon had fought Likud hard-liners to carry out the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which was completed in September.

With the pullout, Sharon shifted to the center of the Israeli political spectrum, winning the support of many doves and angering hawks who believed that the architect of Israel’s settlement expansion had betrayed them. The decision has proven to be hugely popular, with polls suggesting Kadima will win at least 40 out of 120 seats in the parliament.

A war hero, Sharon had for years opposed concessions to the Palestinians. He came to accept the idea of giving land to the Palestinians and allowing them to form a state only during his most recent term as prime minister, which began in 2003.
Tapir's Comment: "WAR HERO"???? Try Mass Murderer,Rat Bastard,Evil Assh***
Gawd,Does the main scream media really think I am this dumb???!!
© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.