So this is how the US government does business!
Cash from the New York Federal Reserve is loaded on to C-130s and shipped to Bagdad — to the tune of $12 billion since the start of the US occupation of Iraq in March 2003.
The money originally came from Iraqi oil sales under Saddam and was held in trust under the rules of the UN oil sales program. Now it is handed out to Iraqi and US government contractors in the form of cash. Or “candy,” as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) puts it.
In the end, $8.8 billion can no longer be accounted for. And the Pentagon acknowledges Halliburton “requested that information in the audits be withheld” from the Congressional subpoena, “including allegations that the firm had spent too much money in purchasing fuel.”
“By law, contractors can request that the government withhold any proprietary information from release.”
Interesting law, when corporations can decide information about their public contracts is proprietary.
But anyway, it’s all just “pocket change,” says an e-mail circulating at the Fed.
(See article: “Worries Raised on Handling of Funds in Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2005.)
And who can argue with that?
* * *
Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two… Continue reading
Press Advisory — September 9, 2005
Contact: John Judge 202-225-1605
On September 23 and 24, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus will host two ?brain trust? panels at their annual legislative conference to be held at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Avenue, NW, Washington, DC on the topic of what was omitted from the 9/11 Commission?s Final Report, unanswered questions that remain and their inadequate recommendations which have failed to make the country safer, to address the true sponsors and causes of the attacks and to properly balance civil liberties and secrecy, security and war. The event is free and open to the public. Members of Congress, academicians and authors will present information on the road that led to 9/11, the response that followed, and the unexamined evidence and assumptions that framed the official report. Speakers will include John Cooley (author of Unholy Wars). C. William Michaels (author of No Greater Threat), Richard Falk (author of The Great Terror War), David Ray Griffin (author of 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions), Barbara Rosenberg (molecular biologist), James Bamford (author of A Pretext for War), Rep. Curt Weldon (on Able Danger), Benjamin Barber (author of Fear’s Empire), Natsu Saito (author of Confronting the Crime of Silence), Athan Theoharis (author of The FBI and American Security) and James Ridgeway (author of 5 Unanswered Questions About 9/11). There will be a showing of related documentary films on Saturday.… Continue reading
Send 500,000 impeachment letters to Pelosi by her first day as speaker,
While arguing about whether we should demand impeachment in another thread,
someone said there had to be a “groundswell of support” like there
was for the impeachment of Nixon and cited this article:
“More than 50,000 telegrams poured in on Capitol Hill today, so many,
Western Union was swamped. Most of them demanded impeaching Mr. Nixon.”
John Chancellor, NBC News on a Special Report on October 20, 1973
We already have more support than that. When John Conyers took Bush his petition
demanding he answer questions about the Downing Street Memo, it had 540,000 signatures, over
ten times as many as wrote about Nixon. I would bet most of those people would
write to demand impeachment of Bush, probably more.
The great thing is, now we have someone to focus this demand on who can and
possibly will act (in spite of her protests to the contrary): Nancy Pelosi.
She should have a half million signatures waiting for her her first day as
Speaker of the House.
I think she and the many of the Democrats want to do this, but to overcome
the reluctance of the DC establishment and big money interests who are afraid
their ox will be gored along with Bush & Cheney, she needs constant overwhelming
evidence of public DEMAND not just support for impeachment.
Fax or snail mail the letter below or your own variation to:
2371 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
450 Golden Gate Ave.…Continue reading
ACLU of Arizona Sues County Officials Over Inhumane Confinement of TB Patient (5/31/2007)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX, AZ — The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona today filed a lawsuit on behalf of Robert Daniels, a tuberculosis patient who has been held in the jail ward at the Maricopa Medical Center for the past nine months, charging that treating a severely ill patient like a criminal is inhumane and unconstitutional.
“Individuals quarantined because of public health risks are held under civil rather than criminal laws,” said Daniel J. Pochoda, ACLU of Arizona Legal Director. “Robert Daniels is a sick patient who has been detained for non-punitive purposes and public health officials are legally and morally obligated to treat him in a humane manner.”
Daniels was placed in quarantine at the jail ward of the county hospital in August 2006. He was diagnosed with an extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis (TB) that he will probably live with for his entire life, even if he becomes non-contagious. At a hearing in July 2006, Daniels was involuntarily committed after Maricopa County Public Health Department officials claimed he was a serious public health risk for not wearing a mask while visiting a local convenience store. One month later he was thrown in jail.
“I’m slowly dying in this room,” said Daniels, who has a wife and daughter in his native Russia. “I didn’t realize how serious this was, and I regret that, but nothing justifies the kind of treatment I’ve received in here.…Continue reading
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, June 24, 2007
“Another [9/11 type terrorist] attack could create both a justification
and an opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets”
(Statement by Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006)
The US media consensus is that “the United States faces its greatest
threat of a terrorist assault since the September 11 attacks” (USA Today,
12 February 2006) The American Homeland is threatened by ” Islamic terrorists”,
allegedly supported by Tehran and Damascus.
America is under attack” by an illusive “outside enemy”.
Concepts are turned upside down. War becomes Peace. “Offense” becomes
a legitimate means of “self-defense”. In the words of President Bush:
“Against this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response:
We must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them.”
(President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)
The intent is to seek a pretext to wage a preemptive war.
A “terrorist attack on America” could be used to justify, in the
eyes of an increasingly credulous public opinion, on “humanitarian grounds”,
the launching of a major theater war directed against Iran and Syria.
Allegedly supported by Iran, the terrorists are said to possess nuclear capabilities.
They are supposedly planning to explode “radiological dispersion devices”
(RDD) or “dirty bombs” in densely populated urban areas in the US.… Continue reading
Tonight on PBS: Tough Talk on Impeachment
July 13, 2007
UPDATE 7/14: If you missed this, you can watch it online at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/images/profile_options_01.gif. Very, very worthwhile hour of your time! (Janice)
A public opinion poll from the American Research Group recently reported that more than four in ten Americans — 45% — favor impeachment hearings for President Bush and more than half — 54% — favored impeachment for Vice President Cheney.
Unhappiness about the war in Iraq isn’t the only cause of the unsettled feelings of the electorate. Recent events like President Bush’s pardoning of Scooter Libby, the refusal of Vice President Cheney’s office to surrender emails under subpoena to Congress and the President’s prohibition of testimony of former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers in front of the House Judiciary Committee have caused unease over claims of “executive privilege.” In addition, many of the White House anti-terror initiatives and procedures — from the status of “enemy combatants” in Guantánamo to warrantless wiretapping — have come under legal scrutiny in Congress and the courts.
Bill Moyers gets perspective on the role of impeachment in American political life from Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION’s John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT.
… Continue reading
“The founding fathers expected an executive who tried to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch… They [Congress] have basically renounced — walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check.” — Bruce Fein
“On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined.
CounterPunch July 16, 2007
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the
US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.
Bush has put in place all the necessary measures for dictatorship in the form
of “executive orders” that are triggered whenever Bush declares a
national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff,
former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might
expect a series of staged, or false flag, “terrorist” events in the
Many attentive people believe that the reason the Bush administration will
not bow to expert advice and public opinion and begin withdrawing US troops
from Iraq is that the administration intends to rescue its unpopular position
with false flag operations that can be used to expand the war to Iran.
Too much is going wrong for the Bush administration: the failure of its Middle
East wars, Republican senators jumping ship, Turkish troops massed on northern
Iraq’s border poised for an invasion to deal with Kurds, and a majority of Americans
favoring the impeachment of Cheney and a near-majority favoring Bush’s impeachment.
The Bush administration desperately needs dramatic events to scare the American
people and the Congress back in line with the militarist-police state that Bush
and Cheney have fostered.
William Norman Grigg recently wrote that the GOP is “praying for a terrorist
strike” to save the party from electoral wipeout in 2008.
Chertoff, Cheney, the neocon nazis, and Mossad would have no qualms about saving
the bacon for the Republicans, who have enabled Bush to start two unjustified
wars, with Iran waiting in the wings to be attacked in a third war.…
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 6, 2007
US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) has announced the conduct of major war games under Vigilant Shield 2008 (VS-08).
Vigilant Shield 2008 (15 to 20 October, 2007) is designed to deal with a “terrorist” or “natural disaster” scenario in the United States. The operation will be coordinated in a joint endeavor by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.
Yet, VS-08, which includes a massive deployment of the US Air Force resembles a war-time air scenario rather than an anti-terrorist drill. The VS-08 war games extend over the entire North American shelf. Canadian territory is also involved through Canada’s participation in NORAD. (See Nazemroaya, October 2007)
These war games are being conducted at an important historical crossroads, amidst mounting US pressures and threats to actually declare a “real war” on Iran.
VS-08 is predicated on the doctrine of preemptive warfare, with a vie to protecting the Homeland. The war games are coordinated with anti-terrorist drills directed against presumed Islamic terrorists.
Moreover, the announcement by NORTHCOM of the VS-08 war games-anti-terror drills coincided with a declaration by the Bush administration in early September that military action against Iran is being contemplated at the highest echelons of the US government and Military:
… Continue reading
“President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place America on the path to war with Iran, .. Pentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, … Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.
Naomi Wolf on “The End of America”
It not only can happen here, it is happening here. Mussolini created the blueprint (with inspiration from Lenin), Hitler elaborated on it, Stalin studied Hitler…
Here’s how it works (notice how many Bush & Co. is using now.):
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy 2. Create a gulag 3. Develop a thug caste 4. Set up an internal surveillance system 5. Harass citizens’ groups 6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release 7. Target key individuals 8. Control the press 9. Dissent equals treason 10. Suspend the rule of law
Wolf’s conclusion? Impeachment of Bush and Cheney is not enough. Prosecuting (and jailing) them for crimes committed is the only rational solution.
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The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot is now available. Highly regarded among reviewers, Ms. Wolf’s book is a timely and urgent read for anyone concerned with the future of our Republic.
In a stunning indictment of the Bush administration and Congress, best-selling author Naomi Wolf lays out her case for saving American democracy. In authoritative research and documentation Wolf explains how events of the last six years parallel steps taken in the early years of the 20th century’s worst dictatorships such as Germany, Russia, China, and Chile.
The book cuts across political parties and ideologies and speaks directly to those among us who are concerned about the ever-tightening noose being placed… Continue reading
Ministry of Mythinformation Blog
Concerning the graduated repression of the Nazi regime, the Reverend Martin Niemoller, in 1945, stated, to the effect:
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Though this quote has taken on many forms and endured several disputes, the ultimate interpretation stands. That silence about liberty infractions equals civil death.
Further, on the notion of leading the public headstrong into oblivion, the Nazis said it best:
“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia , nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany . That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Hermann Goering, 1946… Continue reading
A new report on the August 30 incident in which six nuclear-armed advanced cruise missiles were effectively “lost” for 36 hours, during which time they were, against all regulations, flown in launch position mounted on a pylon on the wing of a B-52H Stratofortress, from Minot AFB in North Dakota across the continental US to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, has left unanswered some critical questions about the event.
Directed by retired Air Force Gen. Larry D. Welch, the task force’s Report on the Unauthorized Movement of Nuclear Weapons found plenty wrong with the way the US military handles its nuclear weapons, but appears to have dealt lightly with the specific incident that sparked the inquiry—only giving it a few paragraphs.
According to the report, when nuclear-capable missiles are placed onto a pylon assembly (in the case of the B-52, these pylons can hold six missiles), procedures call for a clear distinction to be made as to whether they are armed with nuclear weapons or with dud warheads. In the storage bunker, pylons with dud warheads are supposed to be encircled with orange cones like those used by highway repair crews, and placards announcing that the warheads are duds are supposed to be hung on all four sides. This reportedly was not done, leaving no distinction between one pylon containing six nuclear-armed missiles, and two others that had missiles carrying nukes.
A second failure was in record keeping. According to regulations for handling nuclear weapons, every step… Continue reading
Inside the Shell Game
By Paul Craig Roberts
March 24, 2008
The investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein has taken up the Litvinenko case.
The media used the Litvinenko case as sensational propaganda against Russian President Putin and then tossed it aside. For those whose memories of the case have faded, Alexander Litvinenko was a former KGB officer living in England who died in 2006, apparently from the radioactive isotope Polonium-210.
The British government encouraged the tale that Russian President Putin had sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison Litvinenko’s tea at a meeting on November 1, 2006. The story appealed to people brought up on James Bond thrillers, but the story never made any sense. Polonium 2-10 is a rare and tightly controlled substance as likely to contaminate the assassin as the victim. There are far easier and more effective ways of killing someone.
Moreover, there is no evidence to connect Russia to Litvinenko’s death. But this didn’t stop the British government from grandstanding, sending an extradition request for Lugovoi in July 2007. The British government sent the request despite the facts that there is no extradition treaty between Britain and Russia and the Russian constitution prohibits the extradition of Russian citizens. Epstein suggests that the purpose of the extradition request was to block the Russian government from investigating Litvinenko’s death in London. Litvinenko had a false passport provided by the British government. A real investigtion might have opened up the shadowy world of security consultants in which Litvinenko rubbed shoulders… Continue reading
March 31, 2008
By Paul Craig Roberts
The US Congress, the US media, the American people, and the United Nations, are looking the other way as Cheney prepares his attack on Iran.
If only America had an independent media and an opposition party. If there were a shred of integrity left in American political life, perhaps a third act of naked aggression–a third war crime under the Nuremberg standard–by the Bush Regime could be prevented.
On March 30, the Russian News & Information Agency, Novosti, cited “a high-ranking security source: “The latest military intelligence data point to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran.”
According to Novosti, Russian Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said “that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future.”
The chief of Russia’s general staff, Yuri Baluyevsky, said last November that Russia was beefing up its military in response to US aggression, but that the Russian military is not “obliged to defend the world from the evil Americans.”
On March 29, OpEdNews cited a report by the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz, which was picked up by the German news service, DPA. The Saudi newspaper reported on March 22, the day following Cheney’s visit with the kingdom’s rulers, that the Saudi Shura Council is preparing “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts’ warnings of possible attacks on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactors.”… Continue reading
For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?
By Christopher Ketcham
In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president’s henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.
The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft’s second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush’s first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration’s various… Continue reading
April 30, 2008
A variety of current and former high-level officials have recently warned that the Bush administration is attempting to instill a dictatorship in America, and will itself carry out a fake terrorist attack in order to obtain one.
FBI agents, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and The Washington Post and Rolling Stone have all stated that the administration has issued terror alerts based on scant intelligence in order to rally people around the flag when the administration was suffering in the polls. This implies — as an initial matter only — that the administration will play fast and loose with the facts in order to instill fear for political purposes
More to the point, a former prominent republican congressman stated that the U.S. is close to becoming a totalitarian society and that the Bush administration is using fear to try to ensure that this happens.
Current U.S. Congressman Ron Paul stated, the government “is determined to have martial law”, and that the government is hoping to get the people “fearful enough that they will accept the man on the white horse”
And Daniel Ellsberg, the famous Pentagon Papers whistleblower, said “if there is another terror attack, “I believe the president will get what he wants”, which will include a dictatorship.
Terror on U.S. Citizens by American… Continue reading
Iceland tops list of peaceful nations, U.S. 97th
Tue May 20, 2008 5:08pm EDT
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iceland is the world’s most peaceful nation while the United States is ranked among the bottom third, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The “Global Peace Index,” compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked the United States 97th out of 140 countries according to how peaceful they were domestically and how they interacted with the outside world.
The United States slipped from 96th last year, but was still ahead of foe Iran which ranked 105th. It, however, lagged Belarus, Cuba, South Korea, Chile, Libya and others which were listed as more peaceful.
Iraq, which the United States invaded in 2003, leading to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, ranked lowest on the index. Afghanistan, another country invaded by the United States this decade, was also in the bottom five, along with Sudan, Somalia and Israel.
Commenting on the U.S. ranking, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said to realize a more peaceful and prosperous world, “Often times, you have to do difficult things and a lot of times, people don’t agree with them. They don’t like them.”
“A lot of times you fall down in these lists but at the end of the day it is in defense of democracy and the way of life we have enjoyed over the past several decades,” he added.
The United States has come under strong international criticism for the invasion of Iraq and… Continue reading
By Kathy Sanborn
13/08/08 “ICH” — – Sanborn: When I read your article, “Marching Off Into Tyranny,” I was impressed by how you were able to concisely sum up one of the most important issues that we face as Americans, namely, the erosion of our civil liberties, mostly due to fabricated terrorism such as the anthrax scare and the attacks on 9/11. You talk about the Florida university professor, Al-Arian, who continues to be victimized by the Feds although a jury has cleared him of any terrorism charges. [As of August 8, 2008, the Associated Press states, “U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema postponed the trial indefinitely, questioning whether the government was overeager in filing charges.” –KS]
What was your wake-up call, Dr. Roberts, to the fact that the current administration was determined to take away the civil liberties of Americans?
Roberts: When they responded to 9/11 with the Patriot Act. That document was thick, and it would have taken months and months to prepare it, yet it came out shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
Why does combating terrorism require an assault on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? It was clear to me that there was an undeclared agenda there.
On the day of 9/11, I knew right away that something was wrong. I had been an engineering student at Georgia Tech, and things just didn’t add up. As I watched the towers fall, I could see that the buildings were blowing up from the top, at least initially.… Continue reading
By James Petras
August 28, 2008
In recent days there is mounting evidence of the advance of totalitarianism in the political and media mainstream. The entire Western world, led by the United States, has embraced a Georgian regime, which invaded South Ossetia totally demolishing its capital city of 50,000 residents, assassinated 1500 men, women and children and dozens of Russian peace keepers. The US has mobilized a naval and air armada off the Iranian coast, prepared to annihilate a country of 70 million people. The New York Times published an essay by a prominent Israeli historian, which advocates the nuclear incineration of Iran. All the major mass media have mounted a systematic propaganda campaign against China, supporting each and every terrorist and separatist group, and whipping up public opinion in favor of launching a New Cold War. There is little doubt that this new wave of imperial aggression and bellicose rhetoric is meant to deflect domestic discontent and distract public opinion from the deepening economic crises.
The Financial Times (FT), once the liberal, enlightened voice of the financial elite (in contrast to the aggressively neo-conservative Wall Street Journal) has yielded to the totalitarian-militarist temptation. The feature article of the weekend supplement of August 16/17, 2008 — “The Face of 9/11″ — embraces the forced confession of a 9/11 suspect elicited through 5 years of hideous torture in the confines of secret prisons. To make their case, the FT published a half-page blow-up photo first circulated… Continue reading