Tuesday, December 27, 2005

aangirfan: The Global Drug Meta-Group: Drugs and 9/11

aangirfan: The Global Drug Meta-Group: Drugs and 9/11

United Press International - NewsTrack - Bush was denied wiretaps, bypassed them

United Press International - NewsTrack - Bush was denied wiretaps, bypassed them

Democratisation, Colour Revolutions and the Role of the NGOs: Catalysts or Saboteurs?

Democratisation, Colour Revolutions and the Role of the NGOs: Catalysts or Saboteurs?

European Union: Dishonest Brokers in upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections

European Union: Dishonest Brokers in upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections

An end to male friendships?

An end to male friendships?

Blogger Thoughts: Important Commentary from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

Israel strikes Gaza, poised for security zone - Forbes.com

Israel strikes Gaza, poised for security zone - Forbes.com

Watching America: For Bush, Lying is the Norm

Watching America

Watching America: Cheney's Defense is "as strange as it gets"

Watching America

Fraud Alleged at Red Cross Call Centers

Fraud Alleged at Red Cross Call Centers

The New Madness Of King George

The New Madness Of King George

By Robert Parry12-19-5

On the Sunday before Christmas, a fidgety George W. Bush interrupted regular programming on U.S. networks to deliver an address to the nation that painted the Iraq War and the War on Terror in the same black-and-white colors he has always favored.

Despite the media's conventional wisdom about Bush's new "realism" on Iraq, the old canards were still there - Saddam Hussein choosing war by rejecting United Nations weapons inspectors; blurred distinctions between Iraqi insurgents and non-Iraqi terrorists; intimations that Bush's critics are "partisan" while he embodies the national interest.

Plus, there was the same old stark choice between success and failure. "There are only two options before our country - victory or defeat," Bush declared, brushing aside the political and military ambiguities of the Iraq War and the War on Terror.

But Bush's speech and his curious hand gestures as he sat behind a desk in the Oval Office suggested a twitchiness over his apparent realization that the nation increasingly doubts his leadership.

Indeed, it appears the American people finally have begun to understand the costs in blood, money and freedoms that have resulted from letting the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks become a justification for transforming the United States into a modern-day empire led by an autocrat who claims the untrammeled right to strike at his perceived enemies abroad and crack down on his opponents at home.


A day earlier, an angrier-looking Bush used his weekly radio address to denounce as "irresponsible" senators who resorted to the filibuster to demand more civil-liberties protections in a revised version of the Patriot Act.

Bush also lashed out at press disclosures of his three-year-old decision to circumvent the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by personally approving warrantless electronic eavesdropping on international communications by people inside the United States.

"As a result (of the disclosure), our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk," Bush said. "Revealing classified information is illegal."

Bush's outrage might seem strange to some observers since he has refused to punish his deputy chief of staff Karl Rove for leaking the classified identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused Bush of twisting intelligence to build his case for invading Iraq in 2003.

But Bush apparently has judged that he, as president, and his close advisers can decide which laws they wish to obey and when, while simultaneously condemning those outside their circle of power for violating the same laws.

This attitude follows Bush's view that the "commander in chief" clause of the U.S. Constitution grants him virtually unlimited powers as a "war president" as long as the War on Terror lasts, a concept of executive authority that recalls the days of absolute authority claimed by Medieval kings and queens.

Already, Bush has asserted that his "commander in chief" powers allow him to arrest citizens and hold them indefinitely without charges; to authorize physical abuse of prisoners; to invade other countries without the necessity of congressional approval; and to ignore international law, including the U.N. Charter and other treaty obligations.

As the New York Times reported on Dec. 16 and Bush confirmed on Dec. 17, he also is claiming - as his constitutional right - the power to wiretap Americans without court review or the presentation of evidence to any impartial body.

When Bush is challenged on these authorities, he asserts that he is following the law, although it is never clear which law or whether anyone other than his appointed lawyers have advised him on the scope of his power.

(Conservative legal scholars may have to stretch their notion of the "original intent" of the Founders to explain how the writers of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 decided to give a future president the authority to use spy satellites to intercept phone calls and other electronic communications.)

It's also not clear what evidence exists to support Bush's charge that disclosure of his wiretapping decision damages the national security and endangers U.S. citizens.

Under the FISA law dating back to the 1970s, electronic eavesdropping has been permitted inside the United States against foreign agents, including anyone collaborating with an international terrorist group. The law only requires a warrant from a secret court, which rarely rejects an administration request.

Presumably, al-Qaeda terrorists inside the United States were aware that their communications were vulnerable to intercepts, explaining why the Sept. 11 attackers were careful to avoid telephonic contacts abroad. But the terrorists would have no way to know whether electronic eavesdropping might be done with or without a warrant, under FISA or Bush's order.

Yet, Bush's complaint that disclosure of his personal wiretapping authority endangers national security presupposes the terrorists knew that their phone calls would somehow be immune from a FISA court warrant but susceptible to Bush's wiretap order.

Since that assumption makes no sense, one can only conclude that Bush threw in the accusation about endangering national security to impugn the patriotism of his critics and rev up his base, much as he did during the run-up to invading Iraq when skeptics were shouted down as traitors and liars. [See, for instance, Consortiumnews.com's "Politics of Preemption."]

Questionable Targets

Bush's assertion of his unilateral authority to wiretap anyone he wishes also raises questions about whether some of his eavesdropping is aimed at political opponents or journalists, rather than terrorists.

While Bush claims his wiretaps were vital to the national security, they came at a time when the FISA court was approving record numbers of warrants for secret surveillance. According to FISA's annual report for 2004, there were a record 1,758 applications for spying authorization that year and none was denied by the special court.

The administration's explanation for why additional secret wiretaps were needed is that Bush's order saves time when a quick wiretap is required, such as when a foreign terrorist is captured and his phone records are seized.

But the FISA court can clear warrants in a few hours - or Bush could exercise emergency powers under the law to conduct wiretaps for 72 hours before obtaining approval from the court. That emergency provision was inserted in the law to give presidents leeway when the threat was a surprise nuclear attack by the Soviet Union with the potential of wiping out nearly the entire U.S. population.

Even during the Cold War, the FISA provisions were acceptable to Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. But now, with a much less severe threat from al-Qaeda terrorists, George W. Bush has decided that the law must be waived at his discretion, bypassing the court on hundreds and possibly thousands of surveillance orders.

That suggests other motives may exist for some of these wiretaps, such as the possibility that some intercepted conversations would be rejected by even the rubber-stamping FISA court, like requests to spy on activists, politicians or journalists.

The Bush administration, for instance, has accused the Arab news network al-Jazeera of collaborating with al-Qaeda and U.S. news executives are known to communicate with al-Jazeera over access to its exclusive video. Would these phone calls and e-mails be covered by Bush's extraordinary wiretap authority?

Bush's right-wing allies also have labeled some American journalists, such as Seymour Hersh, traitors for writing articles about the War on Terror that reveal secret operations that Bush has wanted to keep hidden. Plus, there may be U.S. politicians or activists communicating with Islamic leaders overseas.

While the full range of Bush's intercepts is not known, the administration's use of National Security Agency intercepts was an issue earlier this year, when it was disclosed that John Bolton, Bush's nominee to be United Nations ambassador, had requested names of Americans that had been excised from NSA transcripts for privacy reasons.

Senate Democrats demanded that documents be turned over on 10 cases in which Bolton used his position as under secretary of state for arms control to obtain the names. The White House refused to provide the information and Bush evaded the need for Senate confirmation of Bolton's ambassadorship by making him a "recess appointment."

Hand Gestures

As for Sunday's prime-time Iraq War speech, Bush broke with the reassuring tradition of a president sitting behind the Oval Office desk with hands folded. Instead, Bush took to waving his arms as he delivered the speech.

"Grim-faced, yet with a trace of anxiety in his eyes, Bush delivered the remarks seated rigidly at a desk, making a variety of hand gestures," observed Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales. [Washington Post, Dec. 19, 2005]

Some of Bush's strange body language may be explained by the fact that even he must realize that his assertions include a number of falsehoods, such as his routine deception that Saddam Hussein defied U.N. demands on destroying his weapons of mass destruction and on letting in U.N. weapons inspectors.

"It is true that [Hussein] systematically concealed those [WMD] programs, and blocked the work of U.N. weapons inspectors," Bush told the nation. "He was given an ultimatum - and he made his choice for war."

But it is not true that Hussein blocked the work of U.N. weapons inspectors. In fact, he acquiesced to a U.N. ultimatum and let them back into Iraq in November 2002. Chief inspector Hans Blix said his team was finally given free rein to examine suspected WMD sites, but Bush forced the inspectors to leave so the invasion could proceed.

As it turned out, Hussein was telling the truth when he said there were no WMD caches left. After the invasion, Bush's own team of inspectors concluded that Iraq's WMD stockpiles had been destroyed by earlier U.N. inspections and by U.S. bombing during the Clinton administration.

Yet, beginning a few months after the U.S. invasion - as it became clear there was no WMD and as U.S. casualties mounted - Bush began rewriting history, claiming that Hussein had not let the U.N. inspectors in, thus forcing Bush to invade. This lie presumably made Bush appear more reasonable.

On July 14, 2003, Bush said about Hussein, "we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power."

In the following months, Bush repeated this claim in slightly varied forms.

On Jan. 27, 2004, Bush said, "We went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution - 1441 - unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in."

Eventually, this false history became part of Bush's regular litany about the war. Despite the fact that it was an obvious lie - the U.S. news media had witnessed the work of the U.N. inspectors inside Iraq - Bush was rarely challenged about his historical revisionism. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com "President Bush, With the Candlestick."]

Terrorists or Insurgents

Similarly, Bush continues to blur the distinctions between the Sunni-led Iraqi insurgency that has often used roadside bombs to attack American troops and the relatively small number of non-Iraqi terrorists who have exploded bombs aimed at civilian targets.

Bush has employed the rhetorical device of using insurgent and terrorist synonymously, much as he and Vice President Dick Cheney used juxtaposition to convince millions of Americans that the Iraqi government was somehow responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

In his Dec. 18 speech, for instance, Bush said, "the terrorists will continue to have the coward's power to plant roadside bombs and recruit suicide bombers," making no distinction between the tactics of the insurgents and the terrorists.

The danger from this sleight of hand is that it blocks consideration of possible resolution of the Iraq War. Many military analysts believe the only realistic route toward a reasonably successful policy in Iraq is to address the political and economic concerns of Iraq's Sunni minority - who want a U.S. withdrawal, more political clout and a share of the nation's oil revenues - while isolating the relatively small number of foreign jihadists.

Though Bush has made some concessions to this reality in recent speeches, he chose to return to his broad-brush rhetoric in the national address. Again, it was a case of good versus evil, victory or surrender, his way or the highway.

"Defeatism may have its partisan uses," Bush said of his critics, "but it is not justified by the facts."

Bush also resorted to a favorite tactic of ascribing ridiculous notions to his critics. "If you think the terrorists would become peaceful if only America would stop provoking them, then it might make sense to leave them alone," Bush said.

The president then returned to his long-time claim that Islamic extremists are motivated by their hatred of America's freedom.

"The terrorists do not merely object to American actions in Iraq and elsewhere, they object to our deepest values and our way of life," Bush said. "And if we were not fighting them in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Southeast Asia, and in other places, the terrorists would not be peaceful citizens, they would be on the offense, and headed our way."

Again, Bush was reprising rhetoric that exaggerates or misstates the enemy's goals and capabilities as a way to box in the U.S. political debate and shut the door on reasonable alternative strategies.

Bush continues to discuss al-Qaeda as if it is a powerful international force on par with Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, when many analysts see it as a fringe organization that was driven out of most Islamic countries, almost to the ends of the earth - or in this case to the mountains of Afghanistan.

Without doubt, al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists exploited a letdown in U.S. security in 2001 to conduct an extraordinary attack on New York and Washington, but a realistic assessment of its actual clout is important in calibrating a response.

If al-Qaeda is actually a marginal organization that can be isolated even more by the West adopting a respectful approach to the Muslim world, then Bush's approach of invading Arab countries - and curtailing American liberties - makes no sense, unless Bush's real motives are something else: say, controlling Middle East resources and transforming the United States into a modern one-party state with him or his allies in permanent control.

The analysis that follows from Bush's assertion of unlimited presidential powers and his deceptive explanations to the American people about Iraq suggests two alternative theories. Either Bush is increasingly unstable, incapable of discerning reality from his own propaganda, or he is concealing his real agenda with misleading arguments.

Put differently, either the United States is experiencing a kind of modern "madness of King George" - like what happened when King George III became unstable in the years after losing the Colonies - or the American people are living under a cunning Machiavelli with a calculated method to his apparent madness.

Either way, the prospects are troubling for American democracy - and it may not be clear which of the alternative scenarios is more worrisome.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'

The Three Reasons For 911

The Three Reasons For 911
By Karl W B Schwarzkwbschwarz@comcast.net12-23-5

911 took place for three reasons that were spelled out in a War Plan designed under the Clinton Administration and implemented by Bush. That statement should not surprise you since there has been nothing original come from Bush in his entire life.


For those interested in the underlying reasons we have invaded Iraq, the document available at that link and the two books Neoconned and Neoconned Again will give you the information needed to understand the bigger picture. My book One-Way Ticket to Crawford, Texas provides even more background and proof that the true terrorists and the true enemies of Americans are the RNC and DNC and their wealthy elite masters.

It is really quite simple:

The U.S. goal of remaining the only military Superpower and even regional powers eliminated; and

The U.S. insistence that all oil sales will be in petro-dollars, not the Euro; and

The U.S. intent to dominate the world oil and gas supplies because that will ensure that oil sales will remain denominated in dollars, not Euro. Whomever controls the oil and gas can control entire economies by denying energy supplies.

The US policy of growing our economy by increasing the National Debt would not be possible if the Euro becomes the world's trading currency for oil. Hence, Iran and Venezuela are terrorists since they intend to trade in Euros. Even the UN Oil for Food program was run through France and denominated in Euros. If the Euro becomes the oil trade currency our economy would melt down in a year or less.

For those that think the French are our allies, the strategy to undermine the dollar with the Euro on oil sales is a French strategy that was sold to the Germans and Russian leadership.

You will soon learn of a document that is the end result of a study commissioned under the Clinton Administration calling for a 2000 ­ 2020 War Plan to achieve the three objectives stated above. The people that have been bashing me have that document, it proves what I have been saying all along and they will not release it because it implicates Clinton too. I know about this document because the person that has been lying about me on the Internet, Gina de Miranda, aka: Madame Karnak, found it in her research and then refused to release it. We have had that conversation by telephone and the other person that helped to bash me, Melinda Pillsbury Foster is the person who told me that Gina had found the 2000 ­ 2020 War Plan.

That War Plan so clearly implicates Clinton and Bush that its release to the world has been delayed by the same people that are bashing me. The exact same person Madame Karnak is the person who found that plan and has refused to release it. Some of you may have heard me on the radio make mention of that plan that was found by a researcher working with my campaign.

This is about getting political advantage in 2006 and 2008. I am one of the 9-11 Truth persons that has clearly presented that this GWOT is a DNC and RNC creation and the problem is on both sides of the aisle. All persons that are pursuing 9-11 Truth on that basis are under attack, it is just hard to see the bigger picture when we all have so many other things to do each day in our own lives.

They could not put that plan into action or sell it to America without something happening that would get Americans solidly behind a plan that has nothing to do with a Global War on Terrorism. It has to do with the dollar remaining the world's main trade currency.

On September 11, 2001 we all witnessed that plan being put into action almost a year late.

Merry Christmas and may 2006 be the year the truth is clear for all to see.


Conspirators� Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300 - 1

Conspirators� Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300 - 1



Channel4(UK) documentary on 9/11 conspiracy theories - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

Channel4(UK) documentary on 9/11 conspiracy theories - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

Think Progress � The Department of Justice Memo, Debunked

Think Progress � The Department of Justice Memo, Debunked

Jay Rosen, at PressThink, has a superb analysis piece on the NYTimes

firedoglake: 12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005

Cymbidium mastersii 'Dogtown'

Cymbidium mastersii 'Dogtown'
Originally uploaded by Eric in SF.

Squamish River Estuary(2)

Squamish River Estuary(2)
Originally uploaded by Alpine Climber.

Turkish Daily News - How amazing

Turkish Daily News - How amazing

Gündüz Aktan
A summary of a speech delivered by Fatma M. Gocek at a conference held at the Zoryan Institute on Dec. 2 has appeared on the Internet site HYE-TERT. Let us take a look at the main elements of her presentation:
First, she says she would not use the word genocide though “it certainly is so by the definition accepted by the United Nations.” Then she proceeds to use that word many times, stressing that Turkey is definitely going to have to recognize the “genocide.”
She limits to the state the official thesis that rejects the genocide allegation, insinuating that this is not a thesis embraced by the rest of society.
She says that, as long as the anti-democratic, repressive and negating Turkish state does not recognize the genocide, Turkey will not become fully democratic and join the European Union. Thus, she portrays recognition of genocide as the sign that means Turkey is a democracy.
She maintains that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power “in spite of strong nationalist opposition within the state military and bureaucracy” and that it has joined forces with the “educated liberal segment that challenges the status quo.” She says that in order to be able to survive in Turkey, this religion-based party wants Turkey to join the EU and that, unless the “nationalist forces” are diminished, Turkey will not be able to develop its democracy, join the EU and confront its past.
She advocates that, in this process, one should oppose the court case in Massachusetts and oppose the legal pressure put on Orhan Pamuk, Hrant Dink and Ragip Zarakolu.
She says that many of the perpetrators of the Armenian genocide later joined Mustafa Kemal and took part in the Turkish War of Liberation. She claims that, initially, 25-30 percent of the first Turkish Grand National Assembly consisted of such persons and that two of them, Ismet Inonu and Celal Bayar, later served as prime minister and president of the republic.
Then she gives the good news that the ultimate goal is to ensure the return of all Armenians driven out of Anatolia.
The Internet text also includes a caricature-like account of the brief intervention the counselor of the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa, Yonet Tezel, was permitted to make during the conference. On the other hand, Zoryan Institute head Greg Sarkissian makes reference to Pamuk's words about breaking a taboo and about the scholarly criticism voiced by Halil Berktay, Murat Belge and Taner Akcam. He says there are those who oppose the “state-sanctioned views,” “openly decrying the state's suppression of freedom of speech.”
In short, the summary boils down to the following: Everybody in Turkey recognizes the Armenian genocide with the exception of the anti-democratic, repressive Turkish state, which uses violence against its people backed by the nationalists that support the state. When the nationalists are weakened and the state becomes democratic, Turkey will recognize the genocide and the Armenians will return to Anatolia.
Yet, the Turkish state's official thesis is merely that the Armenian events were a tragedy but not a genocide (naturally, those who oppose the official thesis indirectly accepting the genocide allegations). My proposal to have the issue solved via adjudication or arbitration has nothing to do with the official thesis.
The truth is that in Turkey no one recognizes the “genocide” except for a few “liberal intellectuals.” Thousands of academics, historians, social scientists, journalists, politicians and almost all of the public reject the genocide allegation. Nobody should entertain any illusion that there isn't a very large and unshakeable consensus behind the official thesis.
It would be absurd to describe as “Turkish nationalists that lack a democratic mentality” the British government and many renowned figures such as author Guenter Levy, author Samuel Weems, Professor Justin McCarthy, Professor Bernard Lewis, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Dr. Stanford Shaw for not recognizing the “genocide.”
If the criterion for democracy is recognizing genocide, then why is it that Armenia continues to be a country that is far from being democratic, a country where the parliament speaker, the prime minister and a number of deputies have been massacred in parliament?
In the schools of 22 of the states in the United States, it is forbidden to teach children the views of those rejecting the genocide allegations, and all of the publishing companies exercise self-censure, refusing to publish any book upholding the counter-view. In some European countries there are laws that punish the expression of the counter-view. Do these restrictions constitute freedom of expression?
If the Armenians are so confident about their thesis, why do they oppose the Turkish prime minister's proposal for creation of a joint scholarly commission and the court case in Massachusetts?
Why do those kind-hearted (!), well-educated (!), “liberal intellectuals” of ours who believe that genocide took place turn a deaf ear to proposals for letting judicial channels find a resolution to the problem?
On this issue a well-funded but primitive psychological operation is being carried out. And this operation itself is the most important piece of evidence attesting to the fact that the 1915 events were not genocide.
They will definitely be defeated.