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America’s Child Soldiers: US Military Recruiting Children to Serve in the Armed Forces

November 29, 2008
by Sherwood Ross
Global Research

In violation of its pledge to the United Nations not to recruit children into the military, the Pentagon “regularly target(s) children under 17,” the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) says.

The Pentagon “heavily recruits on high school campuses, targeting students for recruitment as early as possible and generally without limits on the age of students they contact,” the ACLU states in a 46-page report titled “Soldiers of Misfortune.”

This is in violation of the U.S. Senate’s 2002 ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Pentagon recruiters are enrolling children as young as 14 in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps(JROTC) in 3,000 middle-, junior-, and high schools nationwide, causing about 45 percent of the quarter of million students so enrolled to enlist, a rate much higher than in the general student population. Clearly, this is the outcome of underage exposure.

In some cities, such as Los Angeles, high school administrators have been enrolling reluctant students involuntarily in JROTC as an alternative to overcrowded gym classes! In Lincoln high school, enrollees were not told JROTC was involuntary. In Buffalo, N.Y., the entire incoming freshman class at Hutchinson Central Technical High School, (average age 14), was involuntarily enrolled in JROTC. In Chicago, graduating eighth graders (average age 13) are allowed to join any of 45 JROTC programs.

“Wartime enlistment quotas (for Iraq and Afghanistan) have placed increased pressure on military recruiters to fill the ranks of the… Continue reading

Seeking Integrity at the CIA

By Ray McGovern

The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) must be a person whose previous professional performance has been distinguished by unimpeachable integrity and independence. The director must have the courage of his or her own convictions.

Without integrity and courage, all virtue is specious, and no amount of structural or organizational reform will make any difference.

Though a 2004 law gave most of the DCI’s intelligence community-wide authority to the new position of Director of National Intelligence — after the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks and after the false intelligence analysis on Iraq’s WMDs — the same principles regarding integrity and courage apply to the DNI.

Instructive lessons can be drawn from the performance of George Tenet, the sixteenth CIA director since the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947, and from his predecessors regarding what attributes a director needs to discharge the duties of the office as the National Security Act of 1947 intended.

Show Editor’s Notes »

Consortiumnews.com Editor’s Note:
An underlying factor in the national security crises confronting the United States has been the corruption of the U.S. intelligence process, with analyses tailored to fit the desires of the policymakers and with laws bent to permit torture and other abuses.In this guest essay, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects on what went wrong and what now needs to go right.


911truth.org Editor’s Note:
Ray McGovern is now a regular guest on “Tell Somebody,” hosted by Tom Klammer, broadcasting Tuesday evenings from 6-7pm CENTRAL time.… Continue reading

Germany’s BND Linked to False Flag attack (Reuters): No comment from Germany on Kosovo spy report

Source: Reuters PRISTINA, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Germany declined to comment on Saturday on reports that three Germans arrested on suspicion of throwing explosives at an EU office in Kosovo were intelligence officers.

The explosive charge was thrown on Nov. 14 at the International Civilian Office (ICO), the office of EU Special Representative Pieter Feith, who oversees Kosovo’s governance, but caused only minor damage. The men were detained on Thursday.

A spokesman for the German foreign ministry in Berlin confirmed that three Germans had been arrested, but declined to make any further comment as an investigation was under way.

A police source in Kosovo told Reuters: “They are members of the BND”, but gave no further details.

The German weekly Der Spiegel also said the men worked for the German intelligence agency BND, and that they had told investigators they had been examining the scene of the explosion, but had not been involved in it.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February after nine years under U.N. stewardship and is recognised by more than 50 countries, including Germany.

Four days before the bomb attack, its leaders rejected a plan by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s for the deployment of an EU police and justice mission, EULEX.

Der Spiegel said the BND agents had not been officially registered with Kosovo authorities, which would have secured them diplomatic immunity.

A judge in Pristina was due to decide on Saturday whether to extend the men’s detention or release them on bail.

(Reporting by… Continue reading

This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House

By Jeremy Scahill
November 20, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/107666/

Click here to view this guide as a single page.

U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good.

Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton’s White House. Although Obama brought some progressives on board early in his campaign, his foreign policy team is now dominated by the hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990s. This has been particularly true since Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the Democratic primary, freeing many of her top advisors to join Obama’s team.

“What happened to all this talk about change?” a member of the Clinton foreign policy team recently asked the Washington Post. “This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time.”

Amid the… Continue reading

No Pardons! Nadler Introduces H.R. 1531

by Justin A. Martell
911blogger.com

Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) took one of the first steps in holding the Bush Administration accountable when he introduced House Resolution 1531 on Thursday.

The official title of HR 1531, which was introduced to the House Judiciary Committee, is “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should not issue pardons to senior members of his administration during the final 90 days of his term of office.”

The resolution notes, “President George W. Bush may have committed crimes involving the mistreatment of detainees, the extraordinary rendition of individuals to countries known to engage in torture, illegal surveillance of United States citizens, unlawful leaks of classified information, obstruction of justice, political interference with the conduct of the Justice Department, and other illegal acts,” and that, “Bush has been urged to grant preemptive pardons to senior administration officials who might face criminal prosecution for actions taken in the course of their official duties.”

Rep. Nadler is the current chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties . According to an email sent out by Democrats.com, Nadler’s leadership on this issue is crucial because he “can use his credibility and clout to move the resolution forward either during the lame duck session in December or when the next Congress convenes on January 6.”

Democrats.com has also urged the public to persuade their representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 1531. You can contact your representative on your… Continue reading

NIST Releases Final WTC 7 Investigation Report

For Immediate Release

November 20, 2008

Image showing the buckling of WTC 7 Column 79

Graphic showing the buckling of WTC 7 Column 79 (circled area), the local failure identified as the initiating event in the building’s progressive collapse. Credit: NIST Building and Fire Research Laboratory

View hi-resolution image

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today released its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center building 7 (WTC 7) in New York City. The final report is strengthened by clarifications and supplemental text suggested by organizations and individuals worldwide in response to the draft WTC 7 report, released for public comment on Aug. 21, but the revisions did not alter the investigation team’s major findings and recommendations, which include identification of fire as the primary cause for the building’s failure.

The extensive three-year scientific and technical building and fire safety investigation found that the fires on multiple floors in WTC 7, which were uncontrolled but otherwise similar to fires experienced in other tall buildings, caused an extraordinary event. Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down.

In response to comments from the building community, NIST conducted an additional computer analysis. The goal was to see if the loss of WTC 7’s Column 79–the structural component identified as the one whose failure on 9/11 started the progressive collapse–would still have led to a complete loss of the building if fire or damage from the falling debris… Continue reading

Will Bush’s midnight rules be reversible?

By Joaquin Sapien
ProPublica
November 19, 2008

Whether it’s relaxing pollution control standards for power plants or allowing loaded weapons into national parks, the Bush Administration is scrambling to approve or change as many federal rules as it can before it hands off power to President-elect Barack Obama. This surge of “midnight regulations” presents a thorny question for the next administration: What can it do to void rules it thinks should be undone?

An Obama spokesman told ProPublica that the transition team can’t comment on the new administration’s strategy yet. However, John Podesta, a leading member of the transition team, has said Obama will use his “executive authority without waiting for congressional action” to reverse many of Bush’s policies.

But that authority has its limits.

While executive orders and rules that are not yet in effect can swiftly be reversed or altered by Obama’s appointees or his own executive orders, rules that go into effect before he takes office will be extremely difficult to undo. Rescinding a rule would require the new administration to re-start the rule-making process, which can take years and prompt legal challenges. Another strategy that has been talked about lately — getting Congress to disapprove the rules through the Congressional Review Act — carries political risks and has been used only once before.

“The problem with what the Bush administration is doing is that these rules are extremely cumbersome to adopt, and they are every bit as cumbersome to undo,” said David Vladeck, an administrative law… Continue reading

Surviving a financial panic — lessons from the past

October 13, 2008
by Philip Brewer
Wisebread.com

Financial panics used to be quite ordinary. In the century or two prior to the great depression, there was a panic every 15 or 20 years. Since the great depression we haven’t had a classic financial panic, until now. There’s a thing or two that we can learn from panics past to help us survive the current one.

To begin with, there’s a reason why we haven’t had financial panics for the past 75 years–fiat currency.

Panics and gold

Panics used to begin when people decided to get their hands on actual, physical gold. That could happen for a lot of different reasons. Often it was because there had been inflation–banks issuing bank notes far in excess of the gold they had on deposit–and people decided that they didn’t trust their bank. Sometimes, though, it happened without any particular malpractice by the banks, simply because there was a demand for gold someplace else–an economic boom in Europe or South America could drain gold from the United States or vice versa.

Since issuing banknotes was literally printing money, the temptation to go overboard was immense, and individual banks that did so used to collapse all the time. A prudent bank, though, could be modestly profitable and a great boon to its community, but in a panic, even prudent banks would fail. (You could, in theory, create a panic-proof bank that held enough gold to pay off every banknote, but it would be a money-losing… Continue reading

Top Trend Forecaster Predicts Revolution

November 12, 2008
from Georgewashington2.blogspot.com

Gerald Celente has been a leading trend forecaster for years:

“When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.”
~ CNN Headline News

“A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.”
~ The Economist

“Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right.”
~ USA Today

“There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.”
– CNBC

“Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.”
~ The Wall Street Journal

“Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily on the mark … he’s one of the most accurate forecasters around.”
~ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Mr. Celente tracks the world’s social, economic and business trends for corporate clients.”
~ The New York Times

“Mr. Celente is a very intelligent guy. We are able to learn about trends from an authority.”
~ 48 Hours, CBS News

“Gerald Celente has a solid track record. He has predicted everything from the 1987 stock market crash and the demise of the Soviet Union to  green marketing and corporate downsizing.”
~ The Detroit News

“Gerald Celente forecast the 1987 stock market crash, ‘green marketing,’ and the boom in gourmet coffees.”
~ Chicago Tribune

“The Trends Research Institute is the Standard and Poors of Popular Culture.”
~ The Los Angeles Times

“If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.”… Continue reading

Reflections and Hope on Veterans Day

Image of veterans at DNC in support of Obamafrom IVAW.org
November 11, 2008

While it is fitting that our nation reserves a special day to honor the sacrifice and commitment of our warriors, it also serves to highlight how we, as a country, have fallen short of caring for our veterans, reintegrating them back into our communities, and demanding that our military be used responsibly and only as a last resort. Over 1.7 million men and women of the U.S. military have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of them now struggle to cope with physical and emotional injuries, with family relationships strained because of prolonged separation, and with finding employment during an economic recession.

Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War know that in order to truly honor our veterans, we must listen to them, not just on Veterans Day, but on the other 364 days as well. It is for each other, our military brothers and sisters, and for our country that IVAW works every day to share our experiences, to challenge the predominant narrative of war as heroic and glorious, and to expose people to the brutal reality and true human costs of modern warfare.

Over the past four and a half years, IVAW has been working to transform our military experiences into a force for positive change. Be it at Winter Soldier this past March, Winter Soldier on the Hill in May, or at regional Winter Soldier events in Rochester, NY, Seattle, WA, Madison, WI, and others, IVAW has been dedicated to making… Continue reading

Undercover cops were among the unruly at DNC

By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 11/06/2008 05:34:24 PM MST

DNC PROTEST

* Read the ACLU’s letter to the Office of the Independant Monitor (PDF) .
* Watch video from the August, 2008 standoff between DNC protesters and police at 15th & Court in Downtown Denver.
* Watch video of protesters getting sprayed with pepper spray, from the August, 2008 standoff .

When a Jefferson County deputy deployed pepper spray into a crowd during the first night of the Democratic National Convention, he did not  know that his targets were undercover Denver police officers.

During a melee that occurred Aug. 25 between protesters, police and bystanders near Civic Center Park, undercover Denver detectives staged a struggle with a police commander in order to get out of the crowd undetected.

A Jefferson County deputy, unaware of the presence of undercover police, thought that the commander was being attacked and deployed the pepper spray, according to a police use-of-force report obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

The report does not say whether the pepper spray used on the undercover police officers was the first deployment or whether the melee already  was underway.

About 106 people were arrested during the incident that took place at 15th Street and Court Place.

Denver police have testified during court trials that they deployed officers to the area that night because they had gathered intelligence that anarchists had planned to gather in Civic Center Park, then move toward the 16th Street… Continue reading

Libertarian Party UK ‘1984’ campaign

++++ PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ++++

November 4th 2008

A COPY OF ORWELL’S ‘NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR’ SENT TO EVERY MP

An Internet grass-roots campaign will this week deliver a copy of George Orwell’s prophetic novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ to every Member of  Parliament.

The books will be inscribed with the words, ‘This book was a warning, not a blueprint’, and will arrive at Parliament on or before November 5th — a date of well known historical significance for that building.

—————

Outraged by the continual attack upon civil liberties within our nation, a fortnight ago the Libertarian Party proposed reminding those in  Westminster who they were elected to serve, and in whose interests the laws that they pass are meant to function.

Spread purely by word of mouth, a campaign to send each Member of Parliament their own copy of Orwell’s dystopian classic met with overwhelming support on the Internet, with many more books pledged than the 646 required to ensure that every one of our elected representatives receive a personal copy. The Libertarian Party contributed just 75 books itself, with the remainder coming (directly, or via campaign donations) from people of all political parties, and of none.

The UK Libertarian Party leader, Ian Parker-Joseph, explained, “As the people of Britain become ever more spied upon and ever more heavily taxed, as the government attempts to control how much we should smoke, eat and drink, as the state legislates to regulate ever more the minutiae of our lives, the Libertarian… Continue reading

Judge Orders Mike Connell To Submit To Deposition 24 Hours Before Election

November 1, 2008
from Velvet Revolution blog

Image of Mike ConnellYesterday, after a contentious three hour hearing in an Akron, Ohio federal court, the judge ordered Bush/Rove IT expert Michael Connell to submit to a two hour deposition less than 24 hours before the start of the 2008 election. The Court ruled that Ohio attorney Cliff Arnebeck can question Connell under oath about Man in the Middle computer manipulations, the use of Trojan horses to control election results from a remote location, and the role of Triad in election manipulations.

However, in a strange twist, the judge agreed with demands from Connell’s attorney to keep under seal any testimony about threats and intimidation of Connell by others including Karl Rove. This is seen as necessary to protect possible criminal charges against those who may have engaged in obstruction of justice in this case.

A couple of notes here: We believe that Connell should not pull an Alexander Butterfield by waiting for a direct question from Mr. Arnebeck as to what he knows about rigged elections. Instead, Connell should be prepared to come clean from the start knowing that this is just the beginning of the inquiry. We have lots of names and lots of people providing us information about these rigged elections. Connell is not longer under the protectorate of the Bush family. There is a new dynamic here and Connell can either fight it and go down with the ship or get out in front and cooperate with full immunity for him… Continue reading

Rolling Stone – Block the Vote

Image of Rolling Stone logo

October 20, 2008

By ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALAST

“I don’t think the Democrats get it. All these new rules and games … could flip the vote to the GOP in  half a dozen states.”

Rolling Stone Magazine is making this important investigative story available on the net in its entirety, free of charge.

Read this excerpt, then read it all on-line at RollingStone.com. Or download it all, with the Kennedy-Palast voter guide, Steal Back Your Vote, at StealBackYourVote.org.

“The new registrations thrown out, the existing registrations scrubbed, the spoiled ballots, the provisional ballots that were never counted — and what you have is millions of voters, more than enough to swing the presidential election, quietly being detached from the electorate by subterfuge.

“Jim Crow was laid to rest, but his cousins were not,” says Donna Brazile. “We got rid of poll taxes and literacy tests but now have a second generation of schemes to deny our citizens their franchise.” Come November, the most crucial demographic may prove to be Americans who have been denied the right to vote. If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat John McCain at the polls — they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering.

– From the current Rolling Stone

These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare… Continue reading

The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism–Andrew Bacevitch on Bill Moyers ‘Journal’

Andrew J. Bacevich

As campaign ads urge voters to consider who will be a better “Commander in Chief,” Andrew J. Bacevich — Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to encourage viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism.

Bacevich begins his new book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, with an epigraph taken from the Bible: “Put thine house in order.” Bacevich explained his choice to Bill Moyers:

I’ve been troubled by the course of U.S. foreign policy for a long, long time. And I wrote the book in order to sort out my own thinking about where our basic problems lay. And I really reached the conclusion that our biggest problems are within.

I think there’s a tendency in the part of policy makers — and probably a tendency in the part of many Americans — to think that the problems we face are problems that are out there somewhere beyond our borders, and that if we can fix those problems, then we’ll be able to continue the American way of life as it has long existed. I think it’s fundamentally wrong. Our major problems are here at home.

Bacevich sees three crises looming in the United States today, as he explains in the introduction to THE LIMITS OF POWER.

The United States today finds itself threatened by three interlocking crises. The first of these crises is economic and cultural, the second political, and the third military.

Continue reading

Evolution of the Apocalypse: Empire’s Demise, Human Renaissance

by Carol Brouillet

Apocalypse (Greek: Apokálypsis; “lifting of the veil”) is a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the majority of humankind. Today the term is often used to refer to the end of the world, which may be a shortening of the phrase apokalupsis eschaton, which literally means “revelation at the end of the æon, or age.1

Show Editor’s Note »

Carol Brouillet, longtime 9/11 truth and community currency activist, is also candidate for US Representative from California’s 14th District. Following is her interpretation of our current financial meltdown, “Evolution of the Apocalypse: Empire’s Demise, Human Renaissance,” as well as her campaign statement and pertinent information. Video of her candidate statement is below.

Carol Brouillet is a longtime activist who organized three conferences on Strategies to Transform the Global Economy and (the first) marches on her Senators and Congresswoman in January 2002 to Demand a Congressional Investigation of 9-11. She publishes the Deception Dollars, and Co-Founded the 9-11 Truth Alliance, and the Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance . She organized premieres of films, educational events, marches, rallies for 9-11 Truth, the San Francisco International Inquiry into 9-11, and produced the film Behind Every Terrorist- There is a Bush. She is also a mother of three boys and held a weekly Listening Project in downtown Palo Alto from October 2001 to October 2007, now she holds it once a month on the 11th, in solidarity with other… Continue reading

The Battle Plan II: Sarah ‘Evita’ Palin, the Muse of the Coming Police State

by Naomi Wolf
Huffington Post – September 24,
2008 Global Research , October 3, 2008

Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.

 

Editor’s Note:

No, this is not some “lefty” anti-Republican commentary … this is information that should be of grave concern to every one of us. Have a look also at the American Freedom Campaign which Wolf cofounded, and her books, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries

UPDATE 10/6/08: Just received a link to this TalkingStickTV interview of Naomi Wolf about her new book, “Give Me Liberty.”

 
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don’t have freedom.

I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints.… Continue reading

Spoonamore Reveals the Plan to Steal the Next Election

September 30, 2008
Marc Crispin Miller

Here, in this shattering new interview, Stephen Spoonamore goes into harrowing detail about the Bush regime’s election fraud, past, present and–if we don’t spread the word right now–to come. Since he’s the only whistle-blower out there who knows the perps themselves, and how they operate, we have to send this new piece far and wide.

Here Spoon tells us that McBush’s team–i.e., Karl Rove and his henchpersons — have their plan in place to steal this next election: by 51.2% of the popular vote, and three electoral votes.

He also talks about the major role played by the Christianist far right in the electronic rigging of the vote.

And he defines our electronic voting system as a major threat to US national security, calling for it to be junked ASAP, in favor of hand-counted  paper ballots.

Since Spoon is a Republican and erstwhile McCain supporter, as well as a noted specialist in nosing out computer fraud, his testimony is  essential–not only for its expertise, but, no less, for the impact that his views will surely have on those Republicans who have been loath to see what Bush & Co. has done to our election system.

That whole story’s just about to break. In fact, tomorrow there will be a number of articles appearing, on a recent breakthrough in the lawsuit that Spoon’s testimony has enabled, and on other aspects of that all-important case.

MCM

9/26/08: New Spoonamore Interview – E-voting Machines are a National… Continue reading