Saturday, May 21, 2005

Anthrax and Afghanistan

Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan began to assemble the equipment necessary to build a rudimentary biological weapons laboratory before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks

Two biological weapons experts who have read the letters said in interviews Friday that the letters suggested that the laboratory construction was at an early stage and that it would have most likely been at least two to three years, if not more, before the Qaeda team would have been able to produce enough anthrax to use as a weapon.

US gov seeks space billboard ban

"Objects placed in orbit, if large enough, could be seen by people around the world for long periods of time," the FAA said in a regulatory filing, Reuters reports. "Large advertisements could destroy the darkness of the night sky."

Govt Sued Over 'Political Abuses' as it Seeks Expanded Security Powers

The U.S. government is engaging in political intimidation and improperly investigating law-abiding advocacy groups, civil liberties groups have charged -- even as the U.S. Senate weighs renewing controversial counter-terrorism powers and the White House seeks to have them expanded.

MEK & Iran Intel

The State Department says MEK is a terror group. Human Rights Watch says it’s a cult. For the White House, MEK is a source of intelligence on Iran.

Bush, Uzbekistan, and Ken Lay

From the Village Voice

Senate rules change would help Bush's effort to consolidate power

All presidents seek power, but President Bush is setting a new standard with his efforts to consolidate and expand presidential authority.

The CIA in Sweden

in Sweden a parliamentary investigator who conducted a 10-month probe into the case recently concluded that the CIA operatives violated Swedish law by subjecting the prisoners to "degrading and inhuman treatment" and by exercising police powers on Swedish soil.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Newsweek and Whitehouse hypocrisy

On May 16, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan expressed outrage over Newsweek’s story that a U.S. military report was going to acknowledge that guards at the Guantanamo Bay detention center had tried to put a copy of the Quran down a toilet. "The report had real consequences. People have lost their lives," McClellan said. "Our image abroad has been damaged." The next day, after Newsweek had fully retracted the story, McClellan added that the magazine had a responsibility to "help repair the damage" to our reputation in the Muslim world.

Here are some articles that point out the irony in his statement:


The Boston Globe

Palm Beach Post

MSM ignores Downing Street Memo

On Friday the 13th, the Washington Post buried the story on page A18 while just a day before, the Los Angeles Times wedged its take on the issue on page A3. Finally, and perhaps most startlingly of all, the allegedly anti-war and anti-Bush New York Times has also taken a pass, with the exception of a Paul Krugman op-ed this past Monday.

While the British government hasn’t contradicted any of the points in the memo, a “former senior U.S. official” told Newsday that the memo is "an absolutely accurate description of what transpired." Meanwhile, the White House has remained predictably mum.

From the article Think Again: Lost in Translation by Eric Alterman

Ingrid Betancourt update

A senior commander of the FARC has confirmed that many of the hostages in their power are still alive. He also said the hostages were depressed that there had been no progress on their liberation, and that some were suffering from diseases contracted in the country's jungles. The last confirmed proof that she was alive in 2003.

Her husband dropped thousands of photographs of her children from a light plane over mountains and jungles last Friday (5/13) in the hope she would see them.

Military provides pictures; Military condemns pictures

According to The Sun, U.S. "military sources said they handed over the photos in the hope of dealing a body blow to the resistance in Iraq."

U.S. military officials are condemning the release of photographs showing Saddam Hussein in prison, promising an aggressive investigation and steps to assure the breach never happens again.

Red Cross and the Koran Controversy

The International Committee of the Red Cross gathered "credible" reports about U.S. personnel at the Guantanamo Bay naval base disrespecting the Quran and raised the issue with the Pentagon several times, a group spokesman said Thursday.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Darth Bush 2

Quite a number of reviewers, particularly those abroad, have pointed out the similarities between the rise of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader to the efforts to consolidate power by George W. Bush.

Hiding the effects of War

"The government has blocked the press from soldiers' funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. The government has prevented the press from taking pictures of the caskets that arrive day after day at the Dover Air Force Base military mortuary in Delaware, the world's largest funeral home. And the government, by inferring that citizens who question its justifications for this war are disloyal Americans, has intimidated a compliant press from making full use of pictures of the dead and wounded. Also worth noting: President Bush's latest rationale for the war is that he is trying to "spread democracy" through the world. He says these new democracies must have a "free press." Yet he says all this while continuing to restrict and limit the American press. There's a huge disconnect here."

From the article Not a Pretty Picture by Sydney H. Schanberg in The Village Voice.

Chomsky talks about the National State and the Transnational Corporations

On ZNet, of course.

Anthrax Update

Rudolph Giuliani will be one of the first people to enter the decontaminated American Media Building in Boca Raton (that was infected with anthrax three weeks after the 9/11 attacks). They haven't decided yet if they will allow a victim of the attack to visit the building.

Homeland Security Hollywood Advisor

Bobbie Faye Ferguson, a former NASA spokeswoman who appeared in the TV shows "Designing Women" and "The Dukes of Hazzard," was hired by the department in October to review script proposals and help Hollywood moviemakers portray homeland security operations on the silver screen.

Thankfully, the House rejected her annual salary of at least $100,000 and will spend the money on state and local first responders instead.

Luis Posada Carriles update

A couple months after entering the US, he is taken in by US authorities.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bush's homosexual Zoophilia

One of the few, however, willing to criticize the first lady was a pastor named Roy DeLong. According to the Internet and The Drudge Report, Pastor DeLong, who claimed to be the chairman of the Coalition for Traditional Values sent a letter to the White House complaining about the First Lady’s performance.
In real life, however, neither Pastor DeLong nor the Coalition for Traditional Values actually exists.

Galloway, Zureikat, and Iraqi Oil

While Galloway is defending himself to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, his "inbetween" guy is trading oil.

Uzbekistan Quotes

"I am delighted to be back in Uzbekistan. I've just had a long and very interesting and helpful discussion with the president ... Uzbekistan is a key member of the coalition's global war on terror. And I brought the president the good wishes of President Bush and our appreciation for their stalwart support in the war on terror ... Our relationship is strong and has been growing stronger." - US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in Tashkent, February 2004

"We have had concerns about human rights in Uzbekistan," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan, "but we are concerned about the outbreak of violence, particularly by some members of a terrorist organization that were freed from prison." - White House spokesman Scott McClellan, May 2005

Monday, May 16, 2005

Crazy Quotes

“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world,” former First Lady Barbara Bush said, “I am advising the former president, the governor of Florida, and the president of the United States. I guess you could say I rule the world.”
-Barbara Bush

“The first time I met George W. Bush, I knew he was different. Two things became very clear. One, he didn't know very much. The other was, he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn't know very much.” -Richard Perle

“I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Who knows if these are true...but they are funny.

from CYNTHIA HALL CLEMENTS, The Lufkin Daily News

US gets Al Queda #3 AGAIN!

This week: A Yemeni national, considered Al-Qaeda’s No. 3, Haitham Al-Yemeni was killed by a missile fired from an unmanned CIA Predator aircraft in a mountain region near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Last week: The Pakistani military, working with the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence, has captured Abu Farraj al-Libbi, considered Al-Qaeda's No. 3.

Maybe we can catch a new No. 3 guy every week! Let's Stay THAT Course!!!

Russia Uncovers American Spy Activity

ABC news

Darth Bush

Darth Vader: "You are either with me -- or you are my enemy."
George W. Bush: "You're either with us or against us."

Here's another link

Koran & the Toilet Update

The confidential source of the Koran toilet story now says he's "not sure" about it which was enough to cause Newsweek to apologize. The original story sparked riots which ended in death. But Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman had this to say:

"Unfortunately, they cannot retract the damage that they have done to this nation or those who were viciously attacked by those false allegations."

What about the dead civilians???

Criticizing Rumsfelf violates National Security

A government commission studying overseas military bases sent Congress a report critical of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, then removed the document from the commission Web site after the Pentagon complained that it divulged classified information.

But the report is based only on public sources!

5,133 US troops AWOL