Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More CRUCIAL VIDEO from Alex Jones: Martial Law: 9/11: Rise of the Police State

Here's another very important video from Alex Jones for your online collection: Martial Law: 9/11 Rise of the Police State
Martial Law: 9/11 Rise of the Police State was filmed primarily during the Republican Party's 2004 national convention in New York City. The Republican Party's choice to hold the event there drew both strong praise and strong criticism. Alex Jones' clear intent was that the people who were truly guilty of planning and carrying out the events of September 11, 2001 were coming back to the scene of the crime. In the film, Jones shows what he believes are signs of a growing police state: constant surveillance, a defined military presence, a militarized civilian police force, mass roundups and arrests of protesters, detention in a makeshift facility laden with asbestos which one interviewee called a "concentration camp", and threats of arrest for constitutionally legal activities. Many different views are presented, including one semi-humorous confrontation with a group of American communists.
There's also a very interesting segment in which Jones attempts to interview Michael Moore about his gatekeeping film "Farenheit 9/11". Clearly I wasn't the only one who was disappointed by the way Moore pulled his punches in that film, and watching Alex Jones ask him tough questions was fully worth the price of the download.

After you watch this video, you will understand more about America than you do now. And that's a cold promise.

Tom Toles: You Know What To Do

The voters may hold the ball, and the donkeys may know what to do, but what about the machines?

Will they turn up just in time to
Block that kick! Block that kick! Block that kick!

More Crucial Video: OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

I ran into this the other day; hadn't seen it before.

If you haven't seen it yet you might want to do so ... but bring plenty of barf bags.

Outfoxed Part 1

Outfoxed Part 2

Mexico: More And More People Are Talking About The Impossibility Of Averting Civil War

Kommersant, the Russian online news service, has this -- reportage which you probably won't see in any American paper -- in a format that makes it almost impossible to read. I repost it here in an effort to encourage you to read it.
Taming the State: Mexican Authorities Take Control of Rebellious Oaxaca

by Andrey Gorenko

Mexican federal police forces took control of the province of Oaxaca, in the south of the country, after more than six months of local unrest. With barely a month left before the end of his term in office and the inauguration of his successor, Mexican President Vincente Fox's last-ditch attempt to resolve the problem of the rebellious region may provoke a full-scale civil war.

Truck convoys full of soldiers began to converge on Oaxaca, one of Mexico's most popular tourist spots, on Sunday. The troops, backed by police units, entered the city and drove out the protestors who have controlled Oaxaca for the last several months. The streets leading to the center of town were littered with burned-out cars, overturned buses, and tractors run out of the fields. The police attempted to clear the barricades from the roads while simultaneously dispersing protestors with water cannons and tear gas.
AP Photo: Mexican federal police armed with water cannons push back protesters as they enter the city of Oaxaca, Mexico on Sunday, October 29, 2006. Federal police with assault rifles and riot-shields advanced into Oaxaca, pushing past barricades of burning tires and tree trunks in this normally picturesque tourist destination wracked by five months of protests and violence that began with a teachers protest demanding salary increases and later asking for the governor's resignation.
The Mexican authorities refused to comment on the number of police and soldiers who were deployed to the city, but local residents put the number at around four to five thousand.

The reactions of the city's residents to the appearance of federal forces were varied: some met the police waving white flags, while others peppered the policemen with stones.
Reuters Photo: Protesters throw stones at Mexican federal police in Oaxaca on October 29, 2006. Federal riot police backed by helicopters and armored trucks seized control of Mexico's popular tourist city of Oaxaca on Sunday after months of street protests, and one man was killed in the violence.
The drive by federal forces towards the center of town caused panic among the protestors. "Fellow countrymen, don’t run away! Don't give ground!" cried one of the leaders of the insurgency through a microphone. After a while the police turned back, and the protestors, believing that they had won, began to harass them from behind. But the police soon returned again, this time with a bulldozer to clear away the barricades. The protesters eventually left the center of town, which they had controlled for several months, and seized the university building. They are now announcing that they will not give up the building until Oaxaca city mayor Ulises Ruiz resigns.

The clashes between federal forces and demonstrators led to fresh casualties. According to federal forces, 15-year-old Jorge Alberto Lopez Bernal was killed by a gas canister. According to other sources, he was shot and killed with a pistol by police. "Bernal took part in the protests with us, and he was killed by federal forces," said Gustavo Adolfo Lopez, a representative of the protestors. "When they started to shoot, they wounded two women as well."
Reuters Photo: A man runs past burning buses during a federal forces operation in Oaxaca on October 29, 2006. Riot police backed by helicopters and armored trucks advanced on the Mexican tourist city of Oaxaca on Sunday, meeting little initial resistance from protesters demanding the removal of the state governor.
The government made the decision to deploy troops to Oaxaca after American journalist Bradley Roland Will was killed in an exchange of fire last Friday. The incident aroused the ire of the American embassy in Mexico. According to American ambassador Tony Garza, by all accounts the reporter was killed by police forces.

In the wake of Mr. Will's death, Mexican President Vincente Fox came to the conclusion that Oaxaca mayor Ulises Ruiz was not dealing properly with the situation and decided to send in the troops.
Reuters Photo: Mexican federal police officers remove posters left behind by Popular Assembly (APPO) members in Oaxaca city's main plaza on October 29, 2006.
The standoff in the state of Oaxaca between local professional teachers' unions and the Oaxaca city mayor, who is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has already lasted for more than half a year. In May the mayor refused to raise teachers' salaries and sent state police to disperse union protestors who were demonstrating in the city. The striking teachers, who were immediately joined by left-wing protestors, seized the center of the city, formed an alternative government, the National Assembly of the State of Oaxaca, and demanded that the government force Mr. Ruiz to resign. However, President Fox decided against souring relations between his own National Action Party (PAN) and the influential PRI in the heat of the battle for the presidential seat, and he turned a deaf ear to the teachers' demands.

When the teachers organized a march on Mexico, the authorities turned the matter over to the Senate, which confirmed that Mr. Ruiz had the right to continue to execute the duties of his office.
Reuters Photo: A member of the Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) confronts federal forces officers during an operation in Oaxaca City on October 29, 2006.
For almost six months, complete anarchy has reigned in Oaxaca. Schools are closed, the center of town is blocked off, and many local residents have been forced to either move to another state or at least to send their children out of Oaxaca so that they can attend school. The state police have tried unsuccessfully to battle the unrest that has taken over the city. Their methods have been strange: the police, dressed in civilian clothing, have started mass fistfights with protestors in the street and have opened fire on them, leading to the deaths of eight people before the federal forces were deployed to Oaxaca on Sunday.

Nevertheless, many in Mexico believe that the use of federal muscle to impose order in the town will only cause the situation to deteriorate. Two weeks ago, the leaders of two large Marxist rebel groups – the People's Army and the Lucio Cabanas Revolutionary Movement – delivered an ultimatum to the country's central government announcing that they would launch an armed revolt if the authorities took violent action against the protesting teachers in Oaxaca. By all appearances, the most recent moves by the federal authorities may provoke the insurgents to radical action.
Reuters Photo: A member of the Popular Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) holds a Mexican flag in front of federal forces in Oaxaca on October 29, 2006.
Meanwhile, the political situation in Mexico is such that more and more people are talking about the impossibility of averting civil war. The country held its presidential elections in June, and the results of the elections have split the country in two. The left-wing candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, lost to Felipe Calderon, the candidate from the ruling PAN party, by less than 0.5%. Leftist groups practically paralyzed the country for months after the elections: they were not convinced to disband their thousands-strong protests in Mexico City's Socalo Square until September, and passions are still running high. The state of Oaxaca is one of the strongholds of support for Lopez Obrador and the Mexican left wing. If the Marxist groups really do start a war with the government, the unrest could easily spill over into the states neighboring Oaxaca.

President Fox's term in office expires on December 1, after which the presidency will be assumed by his fellow party member Felipe Calderon, whose victory in the elections is still being contested by left-wing groups. It is possible that the month before the inauguration will see dramatic events that could lead to major bloodshed and regime change in Mexico.

Monday, October 30, 2006

What's Good For The Environment Is Good For General Motors, And Vice Versa

The pathetic fallacy that concern for the environment is bad for the economy took another hit today with the release of a report which indicates that Failure to Manage Global Warming Would Cripple World Economy
LONDON, UK, October 30, 2006 (ENS) - The most comprehensive review ever carried out on the economics of climate change warns that global warming could inflict worldwide disruption as great as that caused by the two World Wars and the Great Depression. Published today and launched at the offices of the Royal Society in London, the Stern Review estimates that US$9 trillion dollars would be the global economic cost of doing nothing.

The review, sent to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown, was commissioned by the chancellor in July last year. It was carried out by Sir Nicholas Stern, head of the Government Economic Service and a former World Bank chief economist.

Sir Nicholas said today, "The conclusion of the review is essentially optimistic. There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we act now and act internationally. Governments, businesses and individuals all need to work together to respond to the challenge. Strong, deliberate policy choices by governments are essential to motivate change."

"But the task is urgent," Sir Nicholas warned. "Delaying action, even by a decade or two, will take us into dangerous territory. We must not let this window of opportunity close."
and more...

Wake Me Up When It's Over -- No Wait! Keep Me Awake! You May Need Me!!

From the BBC: Pentagon mounts media offensive
The Pentagon has set up a new unit to focus on promoting its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet.

The US Defence Department said it would expand its public relations work to fight "inaccurate" news stories.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said media manipulation by enemies of the US is the only thing keeping him awake at night.
So there you have it. If Dumsfeld can't sleep then I probably shouldn't either.
According to the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington, the Bush administration does not believe the true picture of events in Iraq has been made public.
Well at least we agree about something.
A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit will "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to "correct the record".

A spokesman said the unit would monitor media such as weblogs and would also employ "surrogates", or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.
Sounds great!! I can't wait! Can you?

Some days I cannot believe our luck!

A Word Find Puzzle For Adults

In a normal Word Find Puzzle, the player is given a list of words and a grid of letters and asked to find each word in the grid. In this variation, the player gets the text first and then the list of words.

Circulation Plunges at Major Newspapers
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE | New York Times | October 30, 2006

Circulation at the nation’s largest newspapers plunged over the last six months, according to figures released today. The decline, one of the steepest on record, adds to the woes of a mature industry beset by layoffs and the possible sale of some of its flagships.

Overall, average daily circulation for 770 newspapers was 2.8 percent lower in the six-month period ending Sept. 30 than in the comparable period last year, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported. Circulation for 619 Sunday papers fell by 3.4 percent.

But some papers fared much worse. The Los Angeles Times lost 8 percent of its daily circulation, and 6 percent on Sunday. The Boston Globe, owned by The New York Times Company, lost 6.7 percent of its daily circulation and almost 10 percent on Sunday.

The New York Times, one of the few major papers whose circulation held steady over the last few reporting periods, did not emerge unscathed this time: its daily and Sunday circulation each fell 3.5 percent. The Washington Post suffered similar declines.

The Wall Street Journal’s new Weekend Edition, just over a year old, lost 6.7 of its circulation from a year ago.

Both The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe have been in the news lately as potential owners expressed interest in buying them. The Los Angeles paper is owned by the Tribune Company, which is entertaining offers from private equity firms to sell some of its properties, or perhaps even the whole company. Jack Welch, the former president of General Electric, has expressed interest in buying The Globe.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, which changed hands earlier this year and where the new owner is in the middle of difficult contract negotiations with the paper’s unions, lost 7.6 percent of its daily circulation and 4.5 percent on Sunday.

Newspaper circulation has been in a long, slow decline for decades. But the pace of loss seems accelerated now, as the industry tries to adjust to the steady migration of readers and advertisers to the Internet.

Newspaper executives attribute some of the latest losses to intentional cutbacks in the number of copies that are paid for in bulk by third parties, for example to be distributed to hotel guests. These count as paid circulation but are of less interest to advertisers than copies paid for directly by readers.

Though the industry has felt consecutive declines over the last five years, the Newspaper Association of America said that the figures for the latest period were “the largest variance year over year” of which it was aware.

Still, the association said, when newspaper Web sites are taken into account, the number of readers its members reach is up very sharply. Revenues from Web sites are rising quickly as well, but they account for only a small portion of overall revenues, and it could be decades before Internet revenues exceed those from the printed editions of major newspapers.

One of the few large papers to substantially increase its circulation in the latest report was The New York Post, which managed to squeak past its rival, The Daily News, by about 10,000 copies, and trumpeted the news today on a giant billboard in Times Square.

In fact, both New York tabloids reported increases in circulation, with the Post up by 5.13 percent and the Daily News by 1 percent.

Col Allan, editor of The Post, said his paper was doing well because it has a better sense of what readers want and a sense of humor. He said the Post’s circulation figures were firmer than those of other papers in New York because it sells fewer copies in bulk to third-party sponsors.
Find the following words in the preceding text:
   Truth       Propaganda       War       Fraudulent        Elections       Phony       Terror       Investigate       9/11       Freedom       Tyranny       Lies       Truth       Blogs   

Be Prepared!

Part II of a series | Part I

Yesterday, in the first installment of How To Survive The Midterm "Elections", I tried to remind everyone how dangerous the upcoming "elections" can be to our health.

Today's installment deals with the one (and possibly only) thing every Boy Scout should know -- Be Prepared!

Here is a very short list of things you need to do before the "election".

  • You need to register before you can "vote". If you have not registered yet, you may still have time. But you have to hurry. Where and how you can register depends on where you live. Whether you can register at all depends on where you live and some other things too. Be Caucasian if possible. And try not to have the same name as a convicted felon.

  • You need to know where your polling place is. For most of my readers, this means you need to know the address of the building where the "voting" is going to take place. For readers in Ohio, you may need to know not only which building, but which room and in some cases which table.

  • You need to know when the "election" is. Here's a hint: It's next Tuesday, November the 7th. And that's the same everywhere in the whole country. It doesn't depend on where you live, or what color your skin is, or how much money you make, or whether you prefer stylized donkeys to stylized elephants. The "election" is next Tuesday. That's when you will go and "vote" (unless you "vote" by mail or absentee or early, in which case you can safely disregard this entire paragraph -- you lucky dog).

  • You need to know what documents to take with you when you go to your polling place in order to "vote". Again, this depends on where you live. In some jurisdictions, the rules have changed since the last "election". If you live in one of these places and prefer stylized donkeys, it's quite possible that nobody bothered to tell you. You may rest assured that they did so deliberately.

  • You need to know who you are going to "vote" for. Or against. At least one or the other, preferably both. Depending on where you live, there may not be anyone you can feel good about "voting" for. In this case I advise you to hold your nose and "vote" for the least available evil. Why do I give this advice? The alternative -- "voting" in another jurisdiction where there is somebody to "vote" for -- could land you in prison for a long time. Unless you're Anne Coulter.

  • Tomorrow I will assume that you are registered, that you know where to go, when to go there, and what to take with you, and that you have either decided who to "vote" for or plan to decide within the next few days.

    If you don't meet all these requirements, there's your homework.

    Any questions?

    Part III

    Sunday, October 29, 2006

    How To Survive The Midterm "Elections" -- Part I

    The problem -- how to survive the upcoming midterm "elections" -- is not as trivial as it seems, and therefore it will serve us well to remember a few things.

    After the 2004 "election", many otherwise functional people went into deep depressions. I was one of them, and I remember reading about a doctor who had given a new name to our affliction. It had something to do with post-traumatic stress, but it was a little bit different.

    Does anyone remember the name he gave it? Please help me out with this one, if you can. But don't worry too much about the name; depression by any other name is just as black.

    And in any event, the name is not as important as the fact that many people had the disease, in one form or another. And it just about ruined some of us.

    So ... your first step, if you want to survive the upcoming midterm "elections", is to join me in the realization that what's about to happen may be extremely dangerous to our health, and that therefore we will need to take all the precautions we can manage.

    Tomorrow I will post the next item this series (Blogger willing and the creek don't rise). Until then, please take care ... especially of your immune system.

    This is gonna be a tough couple of weeks, and we all need to be at our best.

    Part II

    250 Smoking Guns, No Sherrif

    Maybe it's time to stop looking for evidence and start looking for a prosecutor.

    Or maybe we passed that point long ago.

    BBC: "The Internet Has No Gatekeepers"

    They wouldn't print it if it wasn't true
    Scientific information and "expert" opinions are literally just a mouse-click away. However, unlike the traditional news media, the internet has no gatekeepers, no reviewers, and no authority to help you distinguish good science from the bad, environmental fact from environmental fiction.
    Just thought you might like to know this.

    Saturday, October 28, 2006

    History Worth Studying -- He's Finished!

    I wish to draw your attention to a remarkable document which you may find extremely relevant in these dark days.

    "Gotov Je (He's Finished)!" is contemporary history on-the-fly in three parts, written by Vladimir Sukalovic in the autumn of 2000, from inside the peaceful revolution by which Yugoslavia rid itself of Slobodan Milosevic.

    It's too rare not to mirror and too good to cut, but it's also a bit too long for the home page. So I've posted it elsewhere instead.

    Please click here to continue.

    A Jumbo Jet Hit The Pentagon

    Just look at it.
    Look at all the wreckage.
    Look at the pieces of the tail.
    Look at the pieces of the wings.

    Look at the big hole in the wall -- that was made by the fuselage.
    Look at the two small holes -- they were made by the engines.

    See the bits of baggage strewn over the lawn.
    Look at all the bodies -- dead passengers everywhere.

    And some people say no jumbo jet hit the Pentagon.
    That's the most preposterous thing I've ever heard!

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    Foreign War + Domestic Terror = Martial Law

    Daniel Ellsberg (among others) has been talking for quite some time about a possibility which I have been thinking about but not mentioning. Why not? I didn't want to be alarmist; I hoped Ellsberg was wrong, and I didn't want to give the enemy any good ideas.

    But it appears more and more likely that Ellsberg may be right, and the pieces of which he spoke keep falling into place. So we may as well talk about it; indeed, my Honesty in Blogging clause demands that we do so.

    Problem or Solution?

    Here's the problem, (or maybe, depending on your point of view, the solution):

    Free Elections = Gitmo | The Hague | Nooses


    Foreign War + Domestic Terror = Martial Law


    Martial Law > Free Elections

    Free Elections means Gitmo or The Hague or Nooses

    If we had free and fair elections -- if everybody were entitled to vote, and if all the votes were counted properly, and if we had anybody to vote for -- most of the current administration, including all the top figures, and many of their friends and business associates would be in danger of arrest, trial, incarceration and perhaps even execution on charges pertaining to multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity, but only if they were unlucky enough not to be hanged for treason first.

    Foreign War plus Domestic Terror makes Martial Law

    However, if they could stir up another foreign war -- perhaps a nuclear war -- and if there were a big terrorist attack at home -- something that made 9/11 look like a picnic in the park -- the combination of wartime hysteria and terror-generated fear would give them a plausible pretext for the declaration of martial law.

    Martial Law trumps Free Elections

    Once martial law were declared, elections would be a formality. In a society where anyone who opposes the government goes to a prison camp, who would vote against the rulers? And what if they did? Nobody would be making sure the votes were counted properly anyway.

    Foreign War

    The foreign war could be global but it could also start small(er); for example it could "simply" be against Iran and that could start any day now.

    American naval maneuvering continues apace and Ellsberg once again sees the signs of an upcoming fabricated "incident" which would provide a pretext for attack, probably nuclear as well as conventional.

    Or at least that was the standard analysis until North Korea did or did not conduct a nuclear test and/or did or did not apologize for it and/or did or did not threaten to conduct further nuclear and/or conventional testing and/or nuclear and/or conventional attacks on South Korea in the near and/or subsequent future.

    So ... What shall it be? Iran? North Korea? Both? Who knows? I can't be sure, can you? But there is no doubt that the media have been working hard to paint both Iran and North Korea as somehow deserving an attack from America.

    Domestic Terror

    The terror attack at home would certainly be synthetic, and could come anywhere, anytime, as our so-called protectors relentlessly remind us. Personally I've been having a bad feeling about Chicago, ever since the '68 convention to tell you the truth, and I wouldn't want to live within 5,000 miles of the Windy City anytime soon.

    Martial Law

    Countless reports like this one have been mostly ignored, while greater attention has been paid to more visible abuses, such as the so-called USA PATRIOT act(s) and the more recent so-called "Anti-Terror" legislation.

    Now the Insurrection Act has been rewritten and the Posse Commitatus Act has been gutted, removing the constraint against using American military forces for domestic purposes and making it easier than ever for the so-called president to declare martial law.


    Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, where do we stand? The GOP money and their increasingly transparent propaganda are flying fast and furious and can only get worse in the next week or so. Will this make the elections close enough to steal? It's anyone's guess.

    The voting machines are in place for some seriously off-kilter results but whether they can steal enough votes in enough places -- against increasingly mobilized opposition -- is another guess. This guess is a tough one -- especially with hard-core Republican support for the president seemingly evaporating.

    Therefore, all available distractions will be in play, but if the evil one doesn't like his chances, he always has this other option.

    The problem (for us) and the solution (for him) lie in the fact that -- checks and balances notwithstanding -- the Constitution of the United States is at this point only an old piece of paper, most of the best parts of which have been shredded already.

    Tom Toles: It's Only One Guy!!

    Open Thread!

    CRUCIAL VIDEO: Before You Enlist!

    Talkin' to a recruiter ... it's like talkin' to the Devil.

    WATCH THIS VIDEO Before You Enlist!

    And please share this link with everyone you know.

    How Deep Is The Rabbit Hole?

    The "Rabbit Hole" may be a lot deeper than you think, even if you already think it's very deep!
    The people who run counter-terrorism ...

    ... may be the terrorists themselves!
    Experience Who Killed John O'Neill? from Ty Rauber and Ryan Thurston via Google Video.

    Webster Tarpley Explains How To Prevent World War Three

    According to Webster Tarpley, the way to prevent WWIII involves understanding "state-sponsored, false-flag terrorism" and debunking "the myth of 9/11".

    Does that seem like a good idea to you?

    Or does it seem a bit far-fetched?

    Tarpley explains it all very well in another excellent item for your online video collection, from Google (via 99): Webster Tarpley: The 9/11 Issue: Key to stopping World War III

    In this two-hour presentation, apparently from Jaunary of 2006 (it's marked "January 2005" but refers to events which occurred later in 2005), Tarpley talks about the history of state-sponsored terror and describes what he calls "the secret government". Here are some key excerpts from early on, which you should keep in mind as you go along:
    MIHOP -- Made It Happen On Purpose
    That is my theoretical standpoint... It means that we're gonna have to enter into a world that we never wanted to have to enter into, and that is the nightmare world of Pentagon acronyms, Pentagon code names, and military plans, because the key to 9/11 is not to be found in some cave in Afghanistan or in the sands of Saudi Arabia. It's to be found in the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, or in Langley, Virginia, the CIA, or other bureaus of the U.S. government, and then of course, ultimately, the Wall Street financiers who, in a general way, control what those people do.
    State-Sponsored False-Flag Terrorism
    My method essentially regards terrorist methods as "composites". They're a point of intersection of three or four different levels of reality. And the main thing you have to understand is: You've got... the people you see:
    Those the dupes, the useful idiots, the fanatics, but above all the double agents who run them. Those are the scapegoats who are gonna take the fall. The problem you always have to apply is "Does the patsy have the physical technical ability to create the effects observed?"... It doesn't depend on his criminal intent. He can have all the criminal intent in the world -- it won't let him do it!... You can say "Oh they hate us! Oh they hate us!" It doesn't matter how much they hate you. They can't do it. This a whole world of provocateurs, double agents. This is sort of the wormy underside of FBI, CIA, NSA, the rest of them. You've also got to look for
    Government officials loyal to a private network. This is important. They don't follow the chain of command... they're not... loyal to a constitution, but they're rather loyal to a clique. It's ultimately in Wall Street but it's also senior government officials, generals, and like this... The moles have to make sure that nobody interferes with the patsies before the fact, not because the patsies are gonna carry out the attack, but because if the patsies are already in jail, you can't blame the crime on the patsies. So they've got to stay free, and then they've got to be arrested immediately, and you've then got to have a cover-up. And then you have
    Professional Killers
    There's got to be a role in this for -- I believe -- a privatized command center. There's got to be a role for assassins, in other words people like the people who really killed Kennedy, coming into town, getting out of town... Patsies love attention... The professional killers... don't say anything. They come in, shoot, leave. They're not ideologues in the same sense... And the whole thing doesn't work without the brainwashed world of the controlled
    Corporate Media
    And that's state-sponsored false-flag terrorism, because the thing says "We're al-Q'aeda" and they're not al-Q'aeda, they're a branch of CIA and MI6.
    You can't sit back and expect Democracy Now to tell you, because they won't! Right?
    Applause here and in several other spots.

    For me, there's a personal highlight much later in the presentation, where Tarpley describes the "internet firestorm" which caused the postponement (twice) and eventual cancellation of a "drill" in which a nuclear bomb was supposed to undergo a "simulated explosion" in Charleston, South Carolina, in August of 2005.

    That brought back some memories. Kevin Byrnes had just been sacked, I was guest-hosting on another blog at the time and we were on red alert. The next day, more of the same. But apparently, according to Tarpley, our work -- and that of many others -- was not in vain. Ahh, the good old days.

    At the very end of the presentation, Tarpley makes a point of listing some "Left Gatekeepers" who he describes as "a whole series of leftists, left-liberals -- what can we call them? -- who don't address the issue. They do not address the myth of 9/11 ... many fine people ... but they don't address ... the issue where it absolutely counts, where you get more bang for the buck than anything else, and that's 9/11".

    His list includes Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Greg Palast, Sy Hersch, The Nation, Arundati Roy, Gore Vidal, George Galloway, Howard Zinn, and Ralph Nader. I might add a few of my personal disappointments: Howard Dean, Robert Parry, Josh Marshall, Michael Moore, Gwynne Dyer, and a certain green and yellow blog where my services are no longer ... available. I'm sure you can add a few of your own as well.

    But in any event, please make time to watch the whole two-hour presentation.

    In my view, nobody can apprehend the current situation without a full understanding of this material.

    But there are all sorts of so-called "opposition leaders" who would love to see you try.

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Another Big Terrorist Threat -- Oops! Maybe Not!

    October 26, 2006
    Chemical theft 'not linked to terrorism'
    THE theft of ammonium nitrate from a train near Newcastle was not linked to terrorist activity, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said today.

    Police said 400kg of the chemical, which can be used in bomb-making, was stolen from a locked container on a goods train near Newcastle three weeks ago.

    It had been destined for the mining industry.

    Ammonium nitrate was used in terrorist bombings in Bali.

    "There is no suggestion at this point in time that it is linked to any terrorist or planned terrorist activity," Mr Keelty said.

    He said the investigation into the theft was being handled by NSW police, who had informed the AFP's counter-terrorism unit.
    October 27, 2006
    Terrorism alert over theft of explosives ingredient
    The missing ammonium nitrate was first reported in The Newcastle Herald last week. Terrorism experts are playing down suggestions that the theft may have been carried out by a terrorist cell.

    Security experts told the Herald there had been numerous thefts from rail containers in the Newcastle area and Orica containers were broken into 18 months ago by thieves looking for electrical goods.
    The Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, said yesterday he had seen no evidence that the incident was linked to terrorism but a spokesman said he was not drawing any conclusions about the investigation, which is being carried out by NSW police.
    OK! I'll bite: Police have no evidence that the incident was linked to terrorism, and are not drawing any conclusions: so ...

    Why the headline?

    Pot Conviction Overturned After 'Error' By Trial Judge

    CBC is reporting:
    The Supreme Court of Canada has overturned the conviction of a medical marijuana crusader, ruling the trial judge erred [...]

    Grant Krieger of Calgary, who had been found guilty on charges of possession of pot for purposes of trafficking [...] says he should have the right to distribute marijuana to people who need it to ease the pain of serious illness.

    The judge at his trial in 2003 instructed the jury to "retire to the jury room to consider what I have said, appoint one of yourselves to be your foreperson, and then to return to the court with a verdict of guilty."
    You couldn't make this stuff up.

    Oh yes you could.

    Nimmo Stomps Neocons

    Kurt Nimmo has been really good lately. Again.

    Please hurry over to Another Day in the Empire and read at least these two posts:

    Nancy Pelosi Gives the Neocons a Get Out of Jail Card


    Neocon Academics: Constitution is a "Suicide Pact".

    Let The Punishment Fit The Crime

    A few weeks ago I blogged about two teenage boys who were sentenced to six and five years respectively in state prison, for "conspiracy to obtain a handgun" after an alleged terror plot was allegedly broken up.

    As I understand it, the two boys who were sentenced earlier this month, and two other (younger) boys, had been talking about shooting up their high school, and trying without success to get their hands on a weapon, when one of the kids told his girlfriend, who told the school, and that was the end of their little terror plot.

    Initially charged with "terrorism", they pled guilty to the considerably lesser charge of "conspiracy to obtain a handgun", but they are still going away for a long, long time.

    My item on this story was picked up by Start The Revolution dot Org, a very promising European-based site to which I have been contributing a bit lately, and from there it went to digg.com where it has attracted nearly two hundred comments (so far)! I haven't read all the comments but it seems to me that most of them support the sentences which were handed out in this case.

    I agree that those kids did wrong. And I agree that they should be punished.

    But I do have some questions.

    For example, if it's right for somebody to spend six years in prison for trying to get a gun and talking about using it, how long should somebody spend in prison if he stole weapons from the government, sold them to foreigners and kept the money?

    Would you take into account the number of illegal sales he made? And would you consider the dollar value of those transactions?

    What if he sold those weapons into situations where they could possibly be used against American troops? Would you be inclined to go a bit harsher on him?

    And what if he worked for the Pentagon at the time? Would that make any difference?

    Here's a story for you (from the Boston Globe):

    For selling weapons belonging to the federal government, nineteen different times, through a Saudi auctioneer, and for pocketing $350,000 in the process, former Pentagon employee Ronald W. Wiseman has been sentenced to ... wait for it, now ... eighteen months in prison!

    He stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of military equipment! And sold it illegally on the international black market! He defrauded the Pentagon, of whom he was an employee, in time of war! Eighteen months!

    Apparently Wiseman got off easy because he hadn't engaged in any fantasies about shooting up his high school!

    Yeah, that must be it...

    CRUCIAL VIDEO: America: Freedom To Fascism

    I've been waiting a long time for this:
    This is the "Director's Final Cut" authorized version of Aaron Russo's documentary, America: Freedom To Fascism (AFTF). It is being uploaded to Google Video for the first time during the evening of October 19-20th, 2006. Aaron has listened to everyone's feedback - volunteers, students, lovers of freedom & liberty, young and old alike - and, true to his word, he is putting this up "for free" on Google Video knowing that the hour has come for Americans to either be awakened to restore the Republic or be swept aside by the dark global forces of fascism that seeks to enslave mankind.

    AFTF's main focus comes in a statement with six very simple words: SHUT DOWN THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM!!

    After viewing the movie, please be sure to visit http://www.freedomtofascism.com where you will soon be able to view a much higher quality "pay per view" Internet version of AFTF, buy the DVD and sign up as an affiliate to sell/distribute DVDs to others.

    We also urge everyone to be sure to sign up as volunteer, register for email alerts and tell your family, friends and neighbors about this groundbreaking movie.

    Please visit http://www.freedomtofascism.com to purchase the DVD.
    Watch "America: Freedom To Fascism" here.

    Highlights From A Trip To The Blue Lair

    Our friends Agent99 and BlueBear2 have been collaborating on his site, Lair of the Blue Bear, and they're starting to get on a roll, if I am any judge.

    Please check out their newest work, BB2 on The End of the Internet as We Know It and 99 on Pink Floyd and the extinction of the dodos: "So You Think You Can Tell Heaven From Hell?"

    Good stuff, you two! Keep up the good work and thanks for keeping me posted!

    Video You're Probably Not Supposed To See

    Video: GuardianFilms and BBC Newsnight present ...
    Sean Smith, the Guardian's award-winning war photographer, spent nearly six weeks with the 101st Division of the US army in Iraq. Watch his haunting observational film that explodes the myth around the claims that the Iraqis are preparing to take control of their own country.

    Contains some strong language.

    Carla Binion on Bush's Absolute Power Grab

    From Carla Binion via Bob Parry's site, Consortium News dot Com

    On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that possessed by Stalin or Hitler, and grants agencies within the Executive Branch powers similar to those of the KGB or Gestapo.

    Bush justifies this act by claiming he needs it to fight the "war on terror," but a number of critics, including former counterterrorism officials, have said the administration has greatly exaggerated the threat and used illogical methods to combat terrorism. (Examples are listed below.)

    Except for MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, few television news reporters have bothered to mention that the Military Commissions Act has changed the U.S. justice system and our approach to human rights. As Olbermann said of the new law on his October 17 Countdown program, the new act "does away with habeas corpus, the right of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned."

    Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor, was Olbermann's guest. Olbermann asked him, "Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States?"

    Turley responded, "It does. And it's a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president…People have no idea how significant this is. What, really a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values."
    and much more...

    VIDEO: American Blackout -- Death Of Democracy

    Another video we've been waiting for:

    Rowena Thursby on The David Kelly "Dead in the Woods" PSYOP

    Rowena Thursby makes a lot of sense at Global Research dot Ca with
    Discovered in July 2003 slumped against a tree with his left wrist slashed, the consensus was that Dr David Kelly had committed suicide after being pushed to the edge by the MoD. Media pundits concurred that being humiliated in front of a televised government committee was for him, the last straw.

    But many of his colleagues were incredulous that this steely weapons expert, highly-respected and at the peak of his career, would have crumbled to the point of taking his own life. Kelly was a man ‘whose brain could boil water’; who had, in the course of his career, dealt skilfully with evasive and threatening Iraqi officials. E-mails written just before his disappearance were upbeat, expressing his strong desire to return to Iraq and get on with the ‘real work‘.

    Asked by US translator and military intelligence operative Mai Pederson, if he would ever commit suicide, he had replied, ‘Good God no, I would never do that.’ Immediately after his death, Pederson asserted, ‘It wasn’t suicide’. This, for the establishment’s sensitive apparatus, was an alarming statement that could not be allowed to resonate.

    Any intimation of state-sponsored killing on British soil was politically seismic. The notion must be quashed, doubters turned. Additional motives had to be found to account for Kelly’s alleged final act. A simple but ingenious plan was devised: a civil servant, skilled in the art of deception, would convey a startling piece of fiction, and convince the world that this ‘suicide’ had been Kelly’s answer to a thorny predicament.
    Read more.

    9/11 Widows Ask for Declassification of July 10, 2001 Meeting

    And You Can Help Them

    To: U.S Congress; Press/Media

    We, the undersigned, demand the immediate declassification and release of all transcripts and documents relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between former CIA Director George Tenet and then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. It has been alleged that this urgent and out-of-the-ordinary meeting was called to discuss the increasingly dire warnings of an imminent al Qaeda attack within the U.S.

    Given that much of the July 10, 2001 meeting has already been made public in Bob Woodward’s newly released book, “State of Denial”, it is unacceptable to continue to keep these documents and transcripts hidden from the American public’s view.

    In addition, we again call for the declassification and release of both the redacted 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry Into The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (JICI) and the CIA Inspector General’s report, “CIA Accountability With Respect To The 9/11 Attacks”.

    The disastrous nature of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks warrant the release of all of this information so that the American public may learn what its government did or did not do to protect them. Had this nation been properly warned of the looming and imminent terrorist threat, life saving choices could have been made that day.
    Click here to read and sign the petition.

    Clint Curtis Testifies Before Congressional Committee -- on YouTube Via PrisonPlanet!! ;-)

    Clint Curtis says Tom Feeney asked him to design a vote-rigging software prototype -- software that looks like voting but is actually something else.

    In this video, Curtis testifies under oath before a Congressional Committee.

    via Prison Plantet dot Com! LOL!! (And a big block of ice to the first reader who can tell me why that's funny.)

    Why Is This Not A Major Scandal? Because, That's Why!

    Officer struck by federal judge dies
    A popular city police officer died Saturday, four days after being struck by a sport utility vehicle driven by a federal judge who is a cousin of former President Bush, New Haven's mayor said.
    Boston dot Com has details.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    al-Maliki: Timetable My Ass! Bush: Move It! Dyer: Oops!

    Iraqi Leader Disavows U.S. Timetable
    BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq today distanced himself from the American notion of a time line on political measures the Iraqi government should take, and he criticized a raid carried out by American forces against the leader of a Shiite death squad.

    Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq held a news conference in the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad on Wednesday.

    Speaking in Baghdad just hours before President Bush gave a press conference in Washington, Mr. Maliki tailored his remarks for his own domestic audience, reassuring the millions of Shiites who form his power base that he would not bend to pressure by the American government, or any other, over how to conduct Iraqi affairs.

    “I want to stress that this is a government of the people’s will and no one has the right to set a timetable for it,” he said at a press conference broadcast on national television.

    “This is an elected government and only the people who elected the government have the right to make time limitations or amendments,” he said.
    Bush warns Iraqis that patience has limits
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush said on Wednesday that American patience over Iraq had its limits but pledged not to put unbearable pressure on the country's leaders, after a protest by Iraq's prime minister.

    With less than two weeks before November 7 elections in which doubts over Iraq could cost Bush's Republicans control of the U.S. Congress, Bush sought to explain his Iraq policies to Americans and smooth over new frictions with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

    Worries over increasing sectarian violence in Iraq have become a top issue for American voters ahead of the elections. The concerns, accompanied by calls to withdraw U.S. troops, are driven by a mounting U.S. military death toll that reached 90 so far in October, the deadliest month for a year.

    "We're pressing Iraq's leaders to take bold measures to save their country. We're making it clear that American patience is not unlimited," Bush told a White House news conference.

    Even so, he added, "We will not put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it can bear."

    Bush said the United States remained committed to Iraq "until the job is done," but would adjust tactics to confront a changing enemy.

    He voiced qualified confidence in Maliki. "We're with him as long as he continues to make tough decisions," Bush said.
    We support him as long as he does what we want him to do, no matter how tough it may be for him to sell those decisions. A ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

    Who's this? No good exit strategy from Iraq for U.S.
    Landlubbers usually get maritime analogies wrong. "Changing course" is not cowardice; it's the sensible thing to do if the ship is headed for the rocks.

    "Cutting" (the anchor cable) "and running" (before the wind) is what you do when the storm is raging, the anchor is dragging, and the ship is being driven onto a lee shore. And only very stupid rats do not leave a sinking ship.

    About four years too late, the Masters of the Universe are having second thoughts about the wisdom of the whole misbegotten enterprise in Iraq.

    Washington swirls with leaks, like the secret report by Colonel Pete Devlin, the U.S. Marine Corps chief of intelligence, that U.S. troops in Anbar province, the heartland of Sunni resistance, control nothing beyond their own bases, and that the Iraqi government has no functioning institutions in the province.
    Ahoy! Somebody who finally makes sense when he says "cut and run"!

    It's Gwynne Dyer, of course, from the Hamilton Spectator:
    Senior Republicans are seeking an exit strategy that will absolve their party from blame for the disaster that is today's Iraq.

    The long-term domestic political strategy is clear: blame the Iraqis themselves.

    William Buckley, conservative editor of the National Review, is already writing things like "our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000." We did our best for them, but they let us down.

    That argument may well persuade U.S. voters in the long run, because they have never had much knowledge of Iraq, nor much interest in it.
    The SwissInfo article continues this way:
    Maliki also contradicted a U.S. military statement which said Wednesday's Iraqi-U.S. ground and air assault on the crowded Sadr City slum district of Baghdad, in which four people were killed, had been authorised by his government.

    "We will be seeking an explanation from the multinational forces to avoid a repetition of what happened without our cooperation in advance," Maliki said.
    "This notion of a fixed timetable of withdrawal, in my judgement, means defeat. We can't leave until the job is done," Bush said. He said Maliki was right that no outside power could force him into actions.
    Yeah, right!
    Much of the anger in Sadr City over Wednesday's raid was directed at the prime minister.

    "Where is Maliki? Where is his freedom?," said a man lying on a stretcher in the hospital.

    Thousands of men chanting "No to America" choked the streets in a mourning cortege that accompanied four vehicles bearing the coffins of the dead to burial in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, south of the capital.
    The NYT piece goes on to say:
    As the violence here increases and midterm elections in the United States near, Mr. Maliki has come under pressure from the Bush administration to step up efforts to control the killing. His task is personally daunting, in large part because the very forces that elevated him to power - religious Shiite parties with their own militias - are complicit in the killing.

    His remarks today were a public display of that tension. While acknowledging the problems presented by militias and death squads - groups of men with gun that American military officials say are some of the primary culprits in the new phase of bloodletting here - Mr. Maliki said pointedly that the main factor driving the violence was insurgents and militant fighters, largely Sunni, who have been bombing for years.

    “Saddamists and terrorist groups are responsible for what is going on this country,” he said. “We should contain the reactions,” he added, in a reference to Shiite revenge.
    Au contraire, mon ami! Americans are responsible for all of what is going on.

    They invaded the country on false pretexts, disbanded the army, ruined the infrastructure while allowing every treasure trove to be looted save the oilfields, contaminated the country -- the entire region -- the entire world! -- with their vile weapon of mass destruction: depleted uranium, and now they have the nerve to get their puppet to say "Saddamists and terrorist groups are responsible for what is going on this country"! Irony fit to make your head implode, unless you count the USA as a terrorist group.

    Which of course it is. As planned!

    Last words to Gwynne Dyer:
    As Vice-President Dick Cheney told Time magazine this month: "I know what the president thinks. I know what I think. And we're not looking for an exit strategy. We're looking for victory."

    What they really need is a strongman who could hold Iraq together and support their policies in the region. Somebody like Saddam Hussein, perhaps, but Washington lost control of him long ago, and besides he's due to hang later this year.

    So it may yet come to the Famous Final Scene, with people scrambling onto helicopters from the roofs of the Green Zone in Baghdad.

    Ted Rall Knows A Lying, Cheating, Coke-Sniffing, Drunk-Driving. Money-Grubbing Mass Murderer When He Sees One

    From Ted Rall via Gandhi:

    Click the image to see a larger one (if available in your viewing area).

    9/11: Are These People Crazy?

    This post is a Table of Contents for a series of posts featuring short videos of people talking about what they saw, heard, felt and knew about 9/11. In each case the same question arises.

    David Ray Griffin Says 'The 9/11 Commission Report Is A National Disgrace' -- Is He Crazy?

    Joe Cassaligi Says: 'The Building Collapsed To Dust' -- Is He Crazy?

    Jim Marrs Says: 'The World Trade Center Was Pulverized' -- Is He Crazy?

    Witnesses Describe WTC Explosions -- Are They Crazy?

    Scott Forbes Says Power in WTC was Down on Weekend Prior to 9/11 -- Is He Crazy?

    Jim Fetzer Says The WTC Blew Up From The Top Down -- Is He Crazy?

    U.S. Army General Albert Stubblebine Asks 'What DID Hit The Pentagon?' -- Is He Crazy?

    Mike Ruppert Says 'The Bush Administration Planned 9/11' -- Is He Crazy?

    Webster Tarpley Says 'Terrorism Is Now The Myth Of The 21st Century' -- Is He Crazy?

    The Bella Maryanovsky Series

    This post serves as a Table of Contents for articles about Bella Maryanovsky. Future news items and/or frozen posts (if any) on this topic will be linked to this page.

    1) September 28, 2006: RAW STORY: 'Operation Return to Sender' stumbles

    2) October 1, 2006: Think It Can't Happen Here? Think Again! It's Already Happening!!

    3) October 2, 2006: 'Please Call Everyone, Before She Dies In That Hell Hole'

    4) October 6, 2006: Hearing Scheduled For Bella Maryanovsky

    5) October 10, 2006: Legal Residents, Illegally Detained, Need Help -- and You Can Help Them!!

    6) October 11, 2006: Plucked! Now Nobody Even Knows Where Bella Maryanovsky Is

    7) October 16, 2006: Bella Maryanovsky To Be Free On Bond; Others Not So Lucky

    8) October 18, 2006: Home At Last! Bella Maryanovsky Is Free!

    9) July 2, 2007: Deportation Hearing Scheduled For Bella Maryanovsky

    10) July 3, 2007: Another Travesty Of Justice: Bella Maryanovsky Now Faces Deportation

    Sibel Edmonds' Allegations Still Under Investigation By FBI

    Excerpts from a new article by John Stanton, writing in Online Journal (slightly edited by one very cold blogger):

    Back in March of 2002, Sibel Edmonds was released from the FBI over her discovery of an array of espionage activities. Looking back, and with the benefit of new information from the FBI and elsewhere, it appears that the government of Turkey was spectacularly successfully in compromising FBI, CIA, DEA, DIA and DOS operations, and was also able to mount other espionage programs that allowed Turkish interests to obtain assorted military and WMD technology know-how, and garner US and Israeli military support for its bloody internal struggle against its significant and much maligned Kurdish population/opposition.
    The Turks would not have been successful in staging what may be recorded as one of history’s finest intelligence coups had it not been for many sympathetic US military personnel, bureaucrats and politicians who, whatever their egotistical reasons, believed themselves to be acting in the USA's best interests. Certainly, no one can accuse them of not effectively representing their powerful Turkish clients whether in defeating US congressional action recognizing the Armenian Genocide or ensuring that US corporations close lucrative deals in Turkey.

    The names of the sympathizers are now overly familiar: Douglas Feith, Brent Scowcroft, William Cohen, Richard Perle, Michael Leeden, Bob Livingston, Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, Eric Edelman, Richard Armitage, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Dennis Hastert, et al. Rather than rehash their affiliations and track records here, visit rightweb.irc-online.org to find out more about their linkages to each other and Turkey (Israel, too).
    Speaking of Hastert, Lukery at Wot Is It Good 4 has just dug up and transcribed a year-old interview in which Daniel Ellsberg talks about Hastert having received suitcases full of cash from the heroin trade.

    Please see "Ellsberg: Hastert got suitcases of Al Qaeda heroin cash, should be in jail" for more details.

    But now we take you back to John Stanton for some news:
    On October 10, FBI spokesman Bill Carter confirmed that matters raised by Sibel Edmonds and shielded form public view by the invocation of the US States Secret privilege were still under internal investigation by the bureau.

    “Due to the fact that the allegations of Sibel Edmonds reflect internal administrative and investigative matters it would not be appropriate to respond to your inquiry. I will point out that the DOJ Office of the Inspector General has reviewed this matter and released a public report. I would refer this report to you for your review. The Inspector General's report concluded that the FBI did not adequately investigate allegations Ms. Edmonds made regarding a co-worker. After the OIG's initial classified report, the FBI conducted further investigation into Ms. Edmonds' allegations. That investigation is continuing.”*
    You can read much more in John Stanton's article, here.

    You can also read much more at Lukery's excellent site, Wot Is It Good 4. I hope you will bookmark this site and return to it often.

    Many thanks to Daniel Ellsberg and Sibel Edmonds, and to Lukery, John Stanton and Online Journal.

    While you're at Online Journal, please stop and read Larry Chin's 'Call the US State Department “countermisinformation” office what it actually is: official misinformation'. I have been wanting to dismember this particular bit of State Department manure myself (and planning to do it in a much different way than Larry did), but I haven't got around to it yet, much to my chagrin. And Larry's piece, while much different than what I would have written, is very effective in its own way, perhaps better than I could have done. So thanks to Larry Chin for that as well.

    While you're at Wot Is It Good 4, please check out the three-part interview with Larisa Alexandrovna, "All Roads Lead To Iran", "All Roads Lead To Iran, Again", and "Bad Leaks And Good Leaks".

    Please also bookmark, visit and support Sibel Edmonds and her friends of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition.

    I think that's about all for the moment.

    Until next time, take good care of yourselves. And don't forget your homework! ;-)

    Class dismissed.

    Pakistan Pipeline Blast Leaves Thousands Without Gas

    India's Hindustan Times has published a piece from Agence France-Presse, under the banner "Battleground Balochistan", and datelined "Quetta, October 24, 2006", which says:
    Suspected tribal rebels blew up a key pipeline in southwestern Pakistan's volatile Balochistan province on Tuesday, leaving tens of thousands of people without gas, officials said.

    The pre-dawn blast suspended natural gas supplies to the provincial capital Quetta, as well as the Kalat, Mastung, Ziarat and Pishin districts, a gas company official said on condition of anonymity.

    Repair work had started on the ruptured section of pipeline at Dasht, near Quetta, and supplies will hopefully be restored later on Tuesday, the official added.

    The attack was the third of its kind since Monday when two other pipelines were blown up elsewhere in Balochistan.

    Rebels also attacked a passenger train with rockets on Thursday but caused no casualties.

    Tensions have soared in gas-rich Balochistan since the army killed rebel tribal chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti in his cave hideout in a major operation on August 26.

    Insurgents linked to Bugti have waged a two-year campaign to win more political rights and a greater share of profits from the region's natural resources.
    India's Zee News dot com is running the same report, but without the banner, and without crediting the French press agency.

    Pakistan's Online News phrased it this way [seriously!]:
    Gas pipeline blown up in Sui

    QUETTA: A 14-inch diameter pipeline was blown up by unidentified saboteurs with the use of explosive device in Sui suspending gas supply to the plant from well no 8.

    According to the sources, 7 feet part of gas pipeline was completely destroyed due to the blast.

    The local administration has jammed the system of plant aiming to stop the leakage of gas and started the repair work on emergency basis.

    Sources revealed that the industrial zones of Sindh and Punjab are affecting badly as there is continuing declination in the pressure of gas due to the low supply of gas after the blast.
    The "continuing declination in the pressure of gas" must be particularly annoying.

    Pakistan Dawn had this report:
    QUETTA, Oct 23: Gas supply to the provincial capital was suspended after militants blew up a pipeline in the Dasht area, police officials said. Supply to the Sui purification plant was also disrupted after the main pipeline from the gas field was blown up on Monday.

    Pakistan Petroleum Limited officials said that production at the purification plant remained unaffected despite a shortage of around two million cubic feet of gas.

    The officials said that the blast occurred at around 3.30am near the Sui gas field.

    “It was a 24-inch-diameter pipeline, connecting the purification plant with seven gas wells,” a senior security official said from Sui, adding that the pipeline was blown up using a high-explosive device, which caused considerable damage to the pipeline.

    Meanwhile, gas supply to Kalat and adjoining areas was completely suspended on Monday night following a powerful explosion which caused a fire in a pipeline.
    It's not surprising to see the Pakistani spin going one way and the Indian spin going the other, at least in terms of suspects. They do agree, apparently, that quite a bit of damage has been done.

    For some background on this situation, you might look at my article from early September, "Report: NATO Troops Requested For Pakistan!", where I said I would try to keep you posted on this topic. I apologize for not being able to devote more space to it. But then, how much of this are you getting from mainstream media?

    Hint: NONE!

    Calming The Voters With Stories About Iraq? Not Again!!??

    BBC : Iraq 'success' possible, US says
    US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad has said stabilising the country is possible in a realistic time-frame, despite ongoing sectarian violence.

    He said there would be setbacks, but the goal of creating a multi-ethnic and multi-faith Iraq remained unchanged.

    In a joint news conference, the US military commander in Iraq reaffirmed his belief that Iraqi forces could take over security within 18 months.

    The statements came amid speculation over Washington's strategy over Iraq.

    At least 90 US troops have died in fighting this month - the highest monthly toll since November 2004
    Guardian : Bush drops 'stay the course' slogan as political mood sours
    The White House, meanwhile, announced that George Bush had stopped using the slogan, "Stay the course", while the president himself hammered a new buzzword: "Change". "We're constantly changing. The enemy changes, and we change. The enemy adapts to our strategies and tactics, and we adapt to theirs. We're constantly changing to defeat this enemy," he said, after visiting a Florida company making a device for sniffing out roadside bombs.

    "I don't hear anything that would suggest change in policy, just a restatement of it," Rand Beers, a former strategist in the Bush administration's national security council, said, pointing out that there had been previous promises about Iraqi troop training and political reforms.

    In an indication of the mounting pressure for a change of course, the New York Times yesterday devoted its entire leader column to calling for a new solution to the "disaster" of Iraq and the sacking of the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.
    CTV : General says U.S. may send more troops to Iraq
    Iraqi forces should be able to take command of security in the country within the next 12 to 18 months, the U.S. military commander in Iraq said Tuesday. But that could mean initially deploying more American troops to the region.

    "I very strongly believe that we need to continue to reduce our forces as the Iraqis continue to improve because we need to get out of their way," Gen. George Casey said Tuesday at a rare joint conference with the U.S. Ambassador in Baghdad.

    "The Iraqis are getting better, their leaders are feeling more responsible for the security in Iraq, and they want to take the reins.

    But Casey said he would not hesitate to ask for more troops if he felt they were necessary to improve the basic necessities for Iraqis living in Baghdad. Some of those troops could come from outside the country.

    "Now, do we need more troops to do that? Maybe. And, as I've said all along, if we do, I will ask for the troops I need, both coalition and Iraqis," said Casey.

    About 144,000 U.S. forces are currently operating in Iraq.
    Telegraph : US officials seek to calm voters on security handover
    The new "national compact" would lay out a series of benchmarks that, if achieved, would restore stability and allow coalition forces to withdraw within a "reasonable" time frame.

    These would include disbanding militias, making changes to the constitution and a new agreement on sharing the country's oil wealth among its sectarian and ethnic groups.

    With mid-term elections to be held in the US next month, polls show that voters consider Iraq to be the number one issue and only one in five believes the war is being won.

    In a direct appeal to the American people, Mr Khalilzad said the struggle to save Iraq from extremists was "the defining challenge of our era".
    How do you like this photo of General Casey? Talk about calming the voters! How quaint!!

    Nowhere have I seen any mention of American withdrawal, save in a Time Magazine article which mentioned that nowhere had anyone mentioned withdrawal.

    Nowhere have I seen any mention of the fact that the Iraqis are now being tasked with quelling the so-called sectarian violence caused by the death squads that were funded, equipped, trained and motivated by a special department of the Pentagon.

    Good old American foreign policy: we start a civil war, install a puppet government, and then insist that they solve the problem we created. Sometimes it can be done, sometimes it cannot. Ask Guatemala.

    Luis Posada, CIA Agent / Terrorist / Embarrassment To The So-Called War On Terror, Stuck In Texas Jail, Embarrassingly

    Here's a reasonably good update from the October 25 Guardian on a topic I've been following but haven't mentioned in a while: US embarrassed by terror suspect
    A former CIA operative wanted for trial for acts of terrorism against Cuba is stuck in legal limbo in a Texas jail. Luis Posada, 78, who has allegedly taken part in plots to assassinate Fidel Castro and bomb Havana hotels, is being described as a test case of the US government's commitment to fighting terrorism.

    Mr Posada, a Cuban opponent of President Castro who is a naturalised Venezuelan, is in jail in El Paso, Texas. He was arrested in Florida in 2005 on charges of entering the country illegally. He has been accused by Cuba and Venezuela of being part of a 1976 plot to blow up a Cuban airliner en route from Venezuela to Cuba with the loss of 73 lives. Both countries now seek his extradition to stand trial.

    The US courts have ruled that Mr Posada should not be sent to Venezuela or Cuba on the grounds that he would not receive a fair trial and may face torture.

    The irony here could make your head implode.
    Mr Posada has denied involvement in the airliner bombing, but has admitted being part of a plot to bomb Havana hotels, which led to the death of an Italian tourist. In addition, he was jailed for an assassination attempt on President Castro in Panama in 2000, although he was later pardoned by the Panamanian authorities.

    For the Bush administration, committed to a "war on terror" and opposed to anyone "willing to harbour a terrorist or feed a terrorist", in the president's words, Mr Posada is an increasing irritation.

    One solution was for him to leave the US for a country prepared to offer him a home. However, so far seven countries which have been approached - Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Guatemala - have all refused. Yesterday his lawyer in El Paso, Felipe Millan, said that situation remains unchanged.
    And of course your frozen correspondent will continue to follow this story and may even blog about it again sometime... if he ever gets tired of being busy doing nothing!

    [photo courtesy Hands Off Venezuela dot Org]