Saturday, December 22, 2007

USELESS AIRPORT SECURITY AND FBI BIOMETRICS DATABASES...

A couple of stories I've noticed the past couple of days that are related...

First, a story about a study which shows that airline security is more about control than safety:

Airport security lines can annoy passengers, but there is no evidence that they make flying any safer, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.
A team at the Harvard School of Public Health could not find any studies showing whether the time-consuming process of X-raying carry-on luggage prevents hijackings or attacks.
They also found no evidence to suggest that making passengers take off their shoes and confiscating small items prevented any incidents.


Since there's no evidence that such "security" measures increase safety, then I'm sure such practices will be discontinued, right? Fat chance of that. It's like Alex Jones often says--the point was never to keep us "safe," the point is to inure us to being searched, to get us used to being subjected to pointless, petty invasions of our privay and submitting to authority for no good reason.

This is how a police state is created--slowly, gradually, almost imperceptibly, until the police feel they no longer need the subtlety. And the police state feels no need to justify itself, as the article points out:

"The U.S. Transportation Security Administration told research teams requesting information their need for quick new security measures trumped the usefulness of evaluating them, Eleni Linos, Elizabeth Linos, and Graham Colditz reported in the British Medical Journal."


Basically, the police state says, our "security measures" are effective because we say so. Even if they obviously aren't effective.

So we'll just scan everyone's face!


And that leads us right into the FBI's gigantic new biometric database!

"The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad."


My, how safe we'll be when we can all be tracked to the four corners of the earth!

Think that such a system would only be used on "terrorists?" Think again:

"But the FBI is planning a "rap-back" service, under which employers could ask the FBI to keep employees' fingerprints in the database, subject to state privacy laws, so that if that employees are ever arrested or charged with a crime, the employers would be notified."


Why might one be arrested? For participating in an antiwar demonstration, maybe? Why should one's employer be notified of that? Why should the government be telling employers such things? Would an employer be notified if one were charged with the crime of speeding or running a stop sign? What is the employer supposed to do with such information, anyway? Penalize an employee? What the hell is going on here?

Think the FBI won't abuse this database? Anybody remember the national security letter debacle? Let's refresh our memory:

"An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March that ignited bipartisan congressional criticism."


Speaking of abuse of power--J. Edgar Hoover's mass arrest proposal!

Speaking of the FBI and abuse of power, how's about this from ol' Queen Hoover:

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.


Though this Hoover letter is from 1950, it sounds awfully familiar:

"For a long period of time the FBI has been accumulating the names, identities and activities of individuals found to be potentially dangerous to the internal security through investigation. These names have been compiled in an index which index has been kept up to date. The names in this index are the ones that have been furnished to the Department of Justice and will be attached to the master warrant referred to above. This master warrant will, therefore, serve as legal authority for the FBI to cause the apprehension and detention of the individuals maintained in this index."


No-Fly List, anyone? Hoover only had 12,000 "potentially dangerous" people on his list? What, was he soft on terror or something? The no-fly list has at least 20,000 people on it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

TORTURE WORKS? YEAH, RIGHT...

Here's an incredible story from ABC News:

A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.

In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.

"The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate," said Kiriakou in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' "World News With Charles Gibson" and "Nightline."

"From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."


That last sentence is the one the Bush administration wants us to focus on. Supposedly because Zubaydah "answered every question," terror attacks were averted. Predictably, Kiriakou does not offer even one specific instance of a terror attack being thwarted because Zubaydah was tortured.

If one reads the ABC transcript, one sees that Brian Ross tries to get Kiriakou to give specifics about what terror attacks may have been thwarted. For example:

BRIAN ROSS:
And in terms of the actual planned future attacks?
JOHN:
Yeah, we disrupted a lot of them.
BRIAN ROSS:
And he knew about them?
JOHN:
He knew about some. But like I say, it was time-sensitive information. So that-- that wound down over time.
BRIAN ROSS:
And the ones that he knew about, were they on US soil? Were they in Pakistan?
JOHN:
You know, I was out of it by then. I had moved onto a new job. And I-- I don't recall. To the best of my recollection, no, they weren't on US soil. They were overseas. (pp. 19-20)


So Kiriakou claims ignorance about specific terror attacks because by then he'd moved on to other missions. But, as far as he can recall, the attacks that were supposedly stopped by torturing Zubaydah weren't even on U.S. soil--they were overseas!. Isn't that interesting? So Kiriakou wants to assure us that torture works and that the United States is safer because we torture people who tell us about terror attacks...that aren't on U.S. soil!

Kiriakou then reveals that all the gradually intensifying torture techniques were specifically authorized by the higher-ups in the CIA; the interrogators sought and received approval from CIA headquarters to take it up a notch. Oh, but they weren't worried about killing Zubaydah because there was always a doctor in the room. And you know that doctors are taught to "first, do no harm..."

"Al Qaeda is not like a World War Two German POW"


Kiriakou then tells Ross that he feels torture was necessary, and that he didn't have weeks or months to play chess with Zubaydah like captured Germans in WWII. He says that "al Qaeda is not like a World War Two German POW. It's a different world."

I would agree with that assessment. For example, Germany had actually invaded and conquered several countries. They methodically killed 6 million Jews with the assistance of IBM (the Nazis were also financed in part by several Americans, including George W. Bush's grandfather). Al Qaeda has done nothing of the sort. At their worst, al Qaeda killed a few thousand Americans on one day--if you believe the official story, which most Americans do not.

So yeah, I can see why we have to torture a much weaker enemy that has no army, hasn't conquered a single country, hasn't killed anywhere near 6 million Jews, etc.

Really an amazing interview...So much I don't have time or energy to go into it all, but Kiriakou goes on to say that once Zubaydah was broken, they'd go bounce info off of him for him to confirm or refute. And I'm sure Zubaydah always told them the truth and provided "actionable intelligence." That's how they found Osama bin Laden and captured...him...

Oh wait, Osama still hasn't been captured, has he...Ohhh riiiight...bin Laden hasn't been captured yet because torture is so necessary and so effective...Give me a break.

Ross opens part 2 of the transcript with a question about whether or not Zubaydah knew the whereabouts of bin Laden, and guess what, Zubaydah hadn't seen ol' Osama in months. How very convenient--he knew all about terror attacks on foreign soil but had no clue where to find or who to talk to about where to find Bush's favorite bogeyman.

Other random observations from the first part of the transcript

Tenet had a trauma surgeon sent to Pakistan specifically for the purpose of treating Zubaydah who had been shot three times during his capture. So basically we revived a guy (Kiriakou says in the ABC transcript that Zubaydah "almost died") so we could torture him to a point just before death. We almost killed him once when capturing him and then again after we used taxpayer money to make sure he didn't die from gunshot wounds.

In the ABC transcript, Kiriakou tells Brian Ross that when Zubaydah awoke from his coma (resulting from the first time we tried to kill him), Kiriakou said "We have plans for you." I wonder if what Kiriakou really said was "Ve haf vays to make you talk," but he didn't want to tell Ross or the American public that.

Kiriakou expresses surprise that Zubaydah is actually a very friendly person who spoke very good English and even wrote poetry and debated the merits of his religion. You know, a normal person.

Ross asks Kiriakou if Zubaydah talked about 9/11 and Kiriakou says he did. Interestingly, Kiriakou never indicates that Zubaydah took credit for 9/11. Apparently Zubaydah only said that 9/11 was "necessary," according to the ABC transcript.
THIS JUST IN--CIVIL WAR HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH SLAVERY

A letter titled "Mississippi flag represents hate" appeared in my local paper yesterday.

Most posters to the forum thought that the symbols in the flag were/are essentially meaningless and that the flag doesn't stand for hate. I of course submitted that it does. I even wrote a song about it that appeared on my band Buffalo Nickel's first album "Up On Blocks" back in 2002. The song is called "Take Down The Rebel Flag" and here's a sampling of the lyrics:

"The Southern Cross sure looks great to some southern natives
Like a swastika makes a Nazi feel alive
Some of us just can't relate to a flapping symbol of endless hate
Hey, the Civil War ended in 1865
Take down the rebel flag
Burn it instead of crosses
Let's cut our losses
And take down the rebel flag"


Causes of Secession

Anyway, the conversation on the forum got me to doing some research, and I ran across a document called "A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union." I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in history from the University of Southern Mississippi and took a course in Mississippi history from one of the foremost scholars on the subject, John Gonzales (R.I.P.). But I don't think I'd ever read that document before.

This document so easily puts to rest the faux-sophisticate argument that the southern states didn't really fight the war over slavery, but instead fought it over some high-minded, esoteric, principles about economics and state's rights. Actually, that's kind of true, but slavery was at the heart of the matter, at least where Mississippi was concerned, and they said so very plainly in their "declaration of independence" from the Union. Here's an excerpt:

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.

These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin."

Argument over. The Civil War was about slavery.

My Forum Posts About This Topic

Count me as one who thinks symbols matter and thinks the Mississippi flag is a disgrace. I'm white, my ancestors fought for the Confederacy, etc.--and I find the Confederate flag portion of the state flag both embarrassing and purposely provocative and divisive.

There are plenty of other symbols representative of Mississippi's heritage that are inclusive and positive. We could have a book, a guitar, a microphone or all three to symbolize this state's immortal contributions to literature and music. Or just have a white flag with a single blue eighth note to symbolize the fact that blues, country, and rock 'n' roll all came from here.

Why is it such a tribute to Mississippi's heritage that the state withdrew from the union less than 50 years after joining it in order to defend the institution of slavery? Don't believe that Mississippi's motive in secession had everything to do with continuing slavery? Ever read Mississippi's "Causes For Secession" document? If not, here's an excerpt:

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.

These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin."
http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html#Mississippi

Brilliant, inspiring stuff, huh--"a blow at slavery is a blow at...civilization"? Does that sound like something we should be "celebrating" almost 150 years after the defeat of the movement that produced this kind of evil thinking? To me, it doesn't. Oh, and just because all races may have been slaves at one time or another or in one place or another doesn't mean that arguing for the preservation of slavery and/or actually preserving slavery isn't evil.

Would that make a good present-day slogan for Mississippi--"a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization"--you know, something harmless like that? What's the big deal? It's just "our heritage." Heritage is harmless and should be celebrated and promoted without qualification, right?

Give me a break--take down the rebel flag!



In response to this post--"I would suggest he and others on here look up the old "Black Laws" enacted by many Northern states before the Civil War. The library has many books on this and of course, you can find anyting now on the internet. Maybe he should accept history for what it is, learn from it and move on. It's amazing........the northern "free states" hated blacks as well. Who knew?"--I wrote the following:

No one is denying that prejudice against blacks existed and still exists everywhere in the U.S., even in the north. However, the point being made in this thread is that Mississippi, as of 2003, is the only state that incorporates the Confederate flag into its state flag.

Given that fact, is it merely coincidental that we are also the only state that:

-has the lowest percentage of people who've completed high school (including equivalency)

-has the lowest median household income


-has the lowest median family income

-is the state with the highest percentage of children below the poverty level (Washington D.C. has a higher percentage but isn't a state--but seems to be considered a state for the purposes of the census...even so...)

-has the highest percentage of people 65 and over below the poverty level

And so on. Our glorious yet benign heritage at work!!! Let us celebrate it with great fervor, shall we?



And the last one...

I merely suggested that the flag and the sorry state of affairs in MS may be related...

The chain of causation if the two things were related might go like this:

-Slavery exists in MS
-Slavery in MS threatened
-MS leaves union to maintain slavery
-MS is on the losing side
-MS forced to free slaves
-MS resents this
-MS determined to keep former slaves and their descendants down
-MS largely succeeds in that effort with overt Jim Crow policies; Confederate flag incorporated into state flag, symbolizing success of Jim Crow
-Policies of oppression create a large underclass
-Underclass creates burden on state economy
-MS forced to stop keeping down former slaves and their descendants
-Underclass persists and grows through covert, subtle, neo-Jim Crow means; state given opportunity to change symbol--rejects change
-MS continues to rank at or near bottom of lists of most good things, at or near top of lists of most bad things

The state flag is not the cause of the state's societal ills, obviously. But the mentality that keeps the Confederate flag on the state flag IS the cause of the state's societal ills. That's my argument.
IF IRAQ INTEL WAS WRONG, WHY BELIEVE NEW IRAN INTEL?

That very interesting question was asked today on the forum of my local paper. I posted the following answer...

1) It goes against what Bush wants, i.e., some sort of conflict with Iran. If the recent NIE had said that there was "high confidence" that Iran was working on nuclear weapons, it would have been seen as merely being what Bush wanted to hear. Since the NIE said the opposite of what Bush wanted to hear, it seems more trustworthy.

2) Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which it is allowed to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Since Iran in fact ratified the treaty before the U.S. did, it seems likely that Iran is in fact developing nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes.

3) Iran is aware that the U.S. military is sitting right across the border in Iraq (and special ops-type troops have been reported to be in Iran) and Afghanistan--the U.S. already has Iran boxed in to the east and the west. They know that if they were found to be developing nuclear weapons, they'd have a real problem on their hands.

4) Iran has been enduring IAEA inspections and made good-faith efforts to be transparent, even letting the IAEA visit their heavy-water reactor at Arak in July of this year.

5) The U.S. intelligence community knows it's under scrutiny and has every incentive to get it right with regard to Iran.

And so on. That's why the Iran intel seems trustworthy. Also, I should point out that before we invaded Iraq, we had a very intrusive inspection regime being imposed on that country under the threat of war. The inspectors on the ground before the war never found any WMD and said so before our invasion. And that's why the Iran NIE is trustworthy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

BUSH LIED. WHAT'S NEW?

On January 13, 2006, Bush said the following about Iran:

"Countries such as ours have a great obligation to step up, working together to send a message to the Iranians that their behavior, trying to clandestinely develop a nuclear weapon, or using the guise of a civilian nuclear program to attain a nuclear weapon, is unacceptable."


The latest NIE on Iran now tells us that Iran suspended the pursuit of nuclear weapons in 2003, the same year that Iran approached the U.S. about opening a dialogue, which the Bush administration rebuffed.

Oh, but the Bushies will protest that at the beginning of 2006, Bush was merely acting on info in the 2005 Iran NIE, which suggested with "high confidence" that Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons." So Bush wasn't really lying, Bushies will say, because he was being told that Iran had a rabid desire to get nuclear weapons.

There are several problems with this line of thinking. One, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, unlike our good buddies Israel and India--both of which do in fact have nuclear weapons. In fact, Iran has been a signatory to the NNPT for as long as the U.S. has, since July 1, 1968. Iran ratified the treaty a month sooner than the U.S. did. So technically, Iran agreed to the NNPT before the U.S.

As fellow signatories and earlier ratifiers of the NNPT, Iran is entitled to production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Ever since being elected president of Iran, Ahmadinejad has maintained that Iran's nuclear program was for peaceful purposes:

"Iran's peaceful technology is the outcome of the scientific achievements of Iran's youth. We need the peaceful nuclear technology for energy, medical and agricultural purposes and our scientific progress. We will continue this," the ultraconservative Ahmadinejad said."


The above quote is from August 2005, several months before Bush openly declared Iran to be pursuing a nuclear weapon.

So here we have at least two major indications that Iran doesn't want a nuclear weapon, but Bush chooses to be a bully.

"A Long History In Fabricating Evidence"

Ahmadinejad also pointed out that the United States has "a long history in fabricating evidence." He was correct about that even before the release of this new Iran NIE, but the new NIE just proves his point that much more. The 2005 Iran NIE was basically an attempt to give the neocons what they wanted--the 2005 NIE, as noted above, declared with "high confidence" that Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons"--and what the neocons wanted was an excuse to attack Iran. The 2005 NIE also tried to downplay the Iranian "threat," pointing out that it would be at least a decade or so before Iran was able to develop nukes. But the 2005 NIE was, at its heart, another twisted chapter in our "long history in fabricating evidence."

So, Ahmadinejad told the truth about Iran's nuclear program. And Bush lied about it. Unfortunately, that state of affairs is no more remarkable than the sun coming up every day.

False-flag operation likely?

But the neocons still want their war with Iran. Now that the "threat" of Iranian nukes has been obliterated, how will they try to sell us on war with Iran? I'm guessing a staged terror attack of some sort, or maybe a video that will purport to show Iranians attacking U.S. troops in Iraq. Something like that. Of course, it will all be fabricated evidence, because as we've just seen, that's what we do. That's how we roll.

Of course, there's still the matter of the EFPs that Iran is supposedly supplying to Iraqi insurgents. The neocons could try to beat that dead horse some more. Or maybe try to blow up one of the American ships in the aircraft carrier groups we have in the Persian Gulf and blame it on the Iranians.

Whatever they decide to do, don't count the neocons out just because they've been proven dead wrong. Remember, they think they create reality and all we get to do is study it "judiciously" and try to keep up with them.

And there's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip...so we have to keep our eyes on those bastard neocons...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bring U.S. Soldiers Home--Let the Mercenaries Stay and Fight

Anti-Bush VanBring the troops home


Saw this van parked outside of the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis on Thanksgiving Day. Thought it was a great sentiment, of course and it made me think--why don't we just go ahead and bring U.S. soldiers home and let Bush have his war with the "civilian contractors," i.e. Blackwater and other mercenary groups?

Because these guys have loyalty to nothing but the dollar. And killing people, I suppose. And they're getting to do a lot of that, as the Washington Post points out:

BAGHDAD -- Private security companies, funded by billions of dollars in U.S. military and State Department contracts, are fighting insurgents on a widening scale in Iraq, enduring daily attacks, returning fire and taking hundreds of casualties that have been underreported and sometimes concealed, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and company representatives.


And let's wean these "contractors" of the tit of the U.S. taxpayer. Let Iraq pick up the tab for them. There are so many mercenaries in Iraq now that actual U.S. troops are no longer needed--in fact, mercenaries now outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq. So if Iraq really wants or needs help as pro-war types say they do, then let Iraq pay for the mercenaries if they want to.

So let's bring home the U.S. military--the people who volunteered to serve our country. Neither our country nor Iraq is being served by the presence of U.S. troops there. The only people being served are the neocons and their corporate, defense contractor pals who need U.S. troops there to create an excuse for two things: 1)to take away our civil liberties here at home and 2)to create an excuse for endless war and endless profiteering.
PEACEFUL PROTEST PROVES POINT...














...that torture, indefinite detention, "rendition"--extraordinary or otherwise, military commissions, abridgment of the right to counsel, etc. are un-American and anti-American. Even in the case of supposed "terror suspects."

Bravo to the 150 hooded Cornell activists! They gave John Ashcroft the tiniest, infinitesimal dose of his own poison.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WAINWRIGHT'S TRIAL POSTPONED UNTIL NEXT YEAR...

...at the request of his lawyer. Here's what I wrote about it today on the Hattiesburg American forum.

Here's what the HA said about YW on 11-10-07:

"Wainwright was arrested in April, just days following the shootings at Virginia Tech, for allegedly posting threats on the popular social networking Web site MySpace.com.

Since his arrest, Wainwright has been held in the Lamar County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Wainwright was indicted on charges of cyber-stalking through electronic media in September. He pleaded innocent following his arrest.

Very little information has been released regarding exactly what kinds of threats Wainwright posted on his blog."


So he posted threats on his MySpace page? On his MySpace blog? Are they trying to get him on the Jessica Simpson stuff?

Where have these posts gone? Other articles have Bob Hopkins saying that it was YW's MySpace "correspondence"--MySpace emails?--that was the problem.

"His own correspondence on his MySpace page gave the indication that he was unhappy with his education, that he was a direct threat if he would have carried out an incident to either an individual or a group of individuals," says Chief Bob Hopkins of the university police.



From the same link:

"Hopkins says the suspect's MySpace page discussed the April 20, 1999, massacre at Columbine High School and gave authorities the definite indication Wainwright was planning an attack at Southern Miss."


Before or After VT?

Here's something interesting--Hopkins has always said that YW's offending words were posted BEFORE the Virginia Tech incident, but we know that YW's bulletin quoting the Columbine guys was sent out AFTER the VT shooting and didn't spell out a threat to anyone.

"Authorities say they do not believe the threats were in any way related to the Virginia Tech massacre. The MySpace.com postings evidently existed prior to the horror in Blacksburg."
[same link]


Here's a link to the Student Printz's archive of YW's MySpace bulletins provided by dorkface.



Since none of the HA stories or forum posts from April are still in existence, I can't find anything for sure, but I seem to remember that the bulletins above were sent out post-VT, which makes it curious that Hopkins would say that YW's offending posts existed before VT and then cite a post-VT bulletin as evidence that YW was planning something.

The post-VT nature of the dorkface-posted bulletins seems to be confirmed in this David McRaney editorial:
"Wainwright has told both WDAM and The Hattiesburg American this is all a misunderstanding. He said the things he posted that got him arrested were benign criticisms of the way the Virginia Tech shootings were being reported including references to the Columbine shootings. His descriptions seem to match what is being posted in forums. "


There have been so many conflicting details given since April, it's difficult to keep it all straight....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

MCCLELLAN VS. BUSH VS. PLAME

My friend left another comment about the Plame case. He points out that Novak said his source was Richard Armitage. Interestingly, Armitage apologized to Plame for revealing her identity to Novak. He also said just this month that it was "foolish" for him to have revealed Plame's identity. Here's how CBS/AP puts it:

"(CBS/AP) Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says he was foolish to have revealed the identity of a CIA employee.

Armitage's acknowledgment Sunday came in response to comments by Valerie Plame, who said the former Bush administration official had no right to talk to a reporter about where she worked.

A year ago, Armitage publicly apologized to Plame and her husband. The former No. 2 State Department official remains the only principal in the leak to have done so.

At least three one-time administration officials in addition to Armitage discussed Plame's CIA status with reporters. They are former White House political adviser Karl Rove, Vice President Dick Cheney's ex-chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and former presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer.
Armitage and Rove were the sources for a 2003 newspaper column by conservative commentator Robert Novak that disclosed Plame's CIA employment."


It is true that Armitage was Novak's initial source, but it is also true that Novak called Rove for confirmation of Armitage's info, which Rove provided. Rove, Bush's closest adviser, also revealed info about Plame to Time's Matt Cooper before Novak's story appeared. David Corn sums it up thusly:

Novak neglects to note that Karl Rove was the source he used to confirm the leak he had received from Armitage--and that Rove also leaked classified information on Valerie Wilson to Matt Cooper of Time magazine before the leak appeared in Novak's column. Nor does Novak mention that Scooter Libby leaked information on Valerie Wilson to Judith Miller of The New York Times weeks before Novak entered Armitage's office--and also confirmed Rove's leak to Cooper. (A source close to Rove is quoted in Hubris saying that Rove "probably" learned about Valerie Wilson from Libby.) Like Armitage, Rove and Libby kept silent, even as the White House claimed they were not involved in the leak. Maybe it's time for all leakers to come clean and tell what happened.


And Rove is definitely a White House source, and unlike Novak's description of Armitage as "no partisan gunslinger," Rove is the pre-eminent partisan gunslinger.

Our Impeachable Connection--"...and misdemeanors"

So there's our impeachable connection--Rove, Libby, and Armitage all leaked info about Plame. How Rove beat the rap is a mystery to me, but apparently it had something to do with being ultimately more forthcoming than Libby.

And that's what McClellan's getting at--Rove was in fact one of the leakers that Bush said would be fired, and McClellan was told that Rove wasn't involved. Or McClellan was told to tell us that Rove wasn't involved. So the president, through his spokesman, lied to you and me.

And lying may not be a crime, but it is a "misdemeanor," which is given in the Constitution as an acceptable reason to impeach a president. Here's dictionary.com's 2nd definition for "misdemeanor":

"2. an instance of misbehavior; misdeed."


Let the impeachment begin!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

VALERIE PLAME WAS A COVERT AGENT--YES, SHE WAS

A friend of mine left the following comment on my post from yesterday (McClellan Rats Out Bush...):

"In any case, perjury is only a crime if done under oath, so the President could only be accused of lying at best, but no crime. Furthermore, there was no crime committed in the first place since Valiere Plame was not a active field spy when her career was leaked and leaked not just by the White House."


I don't know if the CIA actually has a designation of "active field spy," but they do have the designation of an employee with "non-official cover," or NOC, which is what Plame was--a NOC ("knock"). She was working on WMD issues with respect to Iran:

"The unmasking of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson by White House officials in 2003 caused significant damage to U.S. national security and its ability to counter nuclear proliferation abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran."


Plame WAS a covert, "active field spy"

An unclassified summary of Plame's CIA work history was released in May of this year. It explained that she was in fact covert at the time of the leak and that she also conducted CIA/national security business overseas:


"The unclassified summary of Plame's employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."

Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."


That, good people, is a genuine spy. So to have George Bush and Dick Cheney and their "familiars in the media" (how I miss "The Majority Report") portray the Bush administration as the party of national security is a JOKE. What's even more of a sick, unfunny, and ruinous joke is that they blew the cover of an agent working on issues with Iran and now have decidedd that we have to attack Iran.

So by outing Plame, they killed two birds with one stone--they smeared Wilson for revealing that there was no Iraq/Niger deal for uranium (a claim based on badly forged documents), and they blew the career and cover of his wife, who might have stood between the neocons and a war with Iran.

That's why we should impeach

Either one of those offenses is worthy of impeachment, but they gave us a twofer! Forget perjury--for Bush and Cheney, that's kid stuff--their aphrodisiac is starting wars and then cashing in. Lying may not be a crime, but starting wars of aggression is [just to be perfectly clear--that's what Bush and Cheney did].

Notice those bastards never testify under oath and, as in the case of their appearance before the 9/11 Whitewash Commission, they specifically stipulate that they are not to be sworn. They used the ol' "raise your right hand" trick on Clinton--but Willie wasn't as slick as the oilbirds Bush and Cheney and he fell right into the trap.

McClellan's revelation is big, big news--of course we all knew it all along anyway, but to have confirmation is nice. Now will the Democrats do anything about it? I doubt it, but we shall see...they need to get behind my man Kucinich. And/or my man Ron Paul.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MCCLELLAN RATS OUT BUSH AND CHENEY--WHY NO IMPEACHMENT?

Scott McClellan has a book coming out in April 2008. But we have been treated to a very, very juicy tidbit, just in time for a tasty Thanksgiving political discussion with the conservative family members:

"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," writes McClellan. "So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby."

But his press performances weren't based on the facts, McClellan continues.

"There was one problem. It was not true," he writes. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."


Holy articles of impeachment, Batman!! This is big! How can Pelosi continue to spit in Kucinich's face given evidence like this? How can she continue to spit in my face and your face? Or, as put it on the Hattiesburg American forum today:

"There is NO REASON to not impeach Bush and Cheney, and everyone knows it. Bush and Cheney both have record disapproval numbers. There is nothing to be gained politically by protecting them and vice versa. A huge majority of the country and the military wants to get out of Iraq as soon as possible.

What then is the source of the Democrats' inaction on impeachment? Is it:

1. The warrantless wiretapping gave the Bushies some dirt on Pelosi and Reid
2. As Nader pointed out, Congress has been warned that martial law will be enacted if impeachment proceedings begin
3. The Democrats are in on the swindle and stand to profit as much from martial law and endless war as the Republicans

Not that the reason really matters--it's still an awful situation.

Put impeachment on the table!!"


Kucinich/Paul '08! Paul/Kucinich '08!

Monday, November 12, 2007

WAINWRIGHT: FINALLY, A DAY IN COURT


Yuri Wainwright's trial is scheduled for November 28, 2007. That's over 7 months since he was arrested and held on $1 million bond. He was originally charged with violating the Anti-Free Speech Act of 2003, otherwise known as 97-45-17 of the Mississippi Code, which criminalizes "posting of messages" through any medium "for the purpose" of causing "injury" to "any person."

I have questioned Wainwright's detention from day one, for one big reason--the authorities would never tell us specifically what Wainwright wrote that could be construed as being "for the purpose of causing injury to any person." They did tell us that he was an atheist and that they found guns at his grandmother's house, where he lived. But to this day, the general public has never been told what Wainwright said that was so criminal that he had to be arrested exactly in the middle of the week that began with the Virginia Tech shootings and ended with the anniversary of the Columbine killings and then held on a $1 million bond.

I have never said that Wainwright did not commit a crime. I don't know if he did or didn't. I'm just saying that it strikes me as very odd that the authorities felt no responsibility to let the public know exactly what Wainwright said. After all, in a case that is similar to Wainwright's in many respects--that of Tosin Oduwole--the police quoted from his alleged writings immediately, as I've discussed elsewhere. Oduwole supposedly wrote that there was going to be a horrific act of violence on a college campus if money wasn't deposited in his PayPal account. Unlike Wainwright, Oduwole had also allegedly tried to (or actually did) purchase semiautomatic weapons online and had a gun in his dorm room.

Why wouldn't/won't they tell us?


Why would our public servants not tell us what Wainwright said? After all, if people are going to be thrown in jail because they wrote something, the public has the right to know what words were used--we have the right to know whether our First Amendment freedoms are being protected or not. I have feared from the beginning of this case that Wainwright's treatment suggests that the First Amendment is being trampled--it's the mood of the whole country, it seems.

Somewhere along the way, a charge of cyber-stalking was added to Wainwright's case. The Hattiesburg American has been apparently combining the two offenses in their descriptions of the charges, saying Wainwright is being tried for "cyber-stalking through electronic media." That is of course a redundant charge, as cyber-stalking cannot take place except through electronic media.

Cyber-stalking is a completely different charge--the law specifies that a threat must be issued, the victim must reasonably fear for his safety, and the accused must have had the apparent ability to carry out the threat. In fact, when the authorities were quoted in articles about the Wainwright case, they always seemed to be describing cyber-stalking even though Wainwright was originally charged with violating the "posting of messages" statute, which in the law is obviously separate and distinct from cyber-stalking.

I should point out that the "posting" law (97-45-17)does not mention a "threat." Rather, it forbids the purposeful causing of "injury," without defining what "injury" means for the purposes of the statute.

So I'm not sure what happened along the way. When the Hattiesburg American says Wainwright is accused of "cyber-stalking through electronic media," I can't tell if they're quoting the authorities verbatim or if that's the American's interpretation of what the authorities say.

At any rate, I hope Wainwright gets a fair trial and that the First Amendment rights of Wainwright as well as the public at large are protected.

Here's the text of the Hattiesburg American story, reprinted here without permission (I'll remove it if asked) because their stories are deleted after some indeterminate amount of time:



Court date set in Internet threats case
By TERRY L. JONES

A University of Southern Mississippi student charged with posting threats on the Internet may finally get his day in the Forrest County Circuit Court.

The court date for Yuri Wainwright, 26, is set for Nov. 28, according to court documents.

Wainwright was arrested in April, just days following the shootings at Virginia Tech, for allegedly posting threats on the popular social networking Web site MySpace.com.

Since his arrest, Wainwright has been held in the Lamar County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Wainwright was indicted on charges of cyber-stalking through electronic media in September. He pleaded innocent following his arrest.

Very little information has been released regarding exactly what kinds of threats Wainwright posted on his blog.

Jackson attorney Jim Kitchens is representing Wainwright now, court documents say. He was previously being represented by Hattiesburg attorney Maura McLaughlin.

Kitchens did not return calls seeking comment.

Court officials said the Nov. 28 date does not ensure Wainwright will stand trial then. District Attorney Jon Mark Weathers said Wainwright's case is just one of 12 on the court docket for that day.

If convicted Wainwright could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and fined $10,000.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

GOD DAMN THESE DEMOCRATS!

With few exceptions, these Democrats are totally fucking worthless. Kucinich tries to bring up his Cheney impeachment measure--again--and Hoyer fights to table it. Meanwhile, the Republicans try to stymie Hoyer and force debate on Kucinich's resolution.

I swear to the Lord Jesus...how can these weak, compromised Democrats like Pelosi and Hoyer not impeach Cheney? And/or Bush? I mean, besides the fact that they're weak and compromised?

Bush and Cheney are war criminals. They are peace criminals. They are criminal criminals. They are liars and profiteers and torturers and murderers. There's simply no way around it. And I don't say that only because they're Republicans--there are plenty of Democratic war criminals, too. I say that because it's true.

Ron Paul Revolution

So Ron Paul just got $4.2 million in 24 hours. I've always said I'd never, ever, as long as I live, vote for a Republican, but I'd make an exception in his case. I don't agree with everything the man says, but he is unequivocal in his opposition to the Iraq war and foreign intervention in general. He's the only candidate I'm aware of that knows and will talk about the scam of the Federal Reserve.

He is real--you could have a beer with him. And learn something.

I just want an antiwar candidate that I can vote for that actually has a chance of winning. I love Dennis Kucinich--even if he did see a UFO. Kucinich's UFO story is a lot less crazy than Rudy Giuliani's 9/11 "heroism" story.

But anyway, Kucinich didn't just raise $4.2 million in 24 hours. I wish he had. Kucinich did try to impeach Cheney. Paul didn't do that. So credit where credit is due--they both have their strengths. But Paul's got the dough-re-mi.

Paul/Kucinich '08

I wonder who Paul would choose as a running mate. What current Republican could he pick that would bring voters to his side but not compromise his positions? If there is such a person, I can't name him.

So why not get Kucinich? The party-line crossing story would be huge. They could be the ultimate antiwar ticket, running for the unity of the country. They don't agree on everything, but does that ever happen? I mean, look at Bush and Cheney. Bush is a homophobe and Cheney's granddaughter is being raised by his lesbian daughter and her life partner. They seem to have made out all right--for a couple of war-mongering demons.

But I digress...Kucinich and Paul have similar positions on a lot of issues. Why not highlight those and the press angle could be this: the guy who raised $4.2 million in one day and the only guy who had the nuts to impeach Cheney are running together, even though they're from different parties.

You couldn't stop the press from talking about that shit, yo! Unless you were their corporate paymasters...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

WOW, THAT WAS QUICK!

The polls in Mississippi close at 7 p.m. The Hattiesburg American ran this headline on their website:

"8:35 p.m.: Barbour wins re-election"
















That's some mighty quick vote-counting.

Pandering

But whatever...there was never any doubt that Barbour would win. Friends of mine complained that Eaves was simply pandering with his whole "bring prayer back into schools" gambit. I saw many forum posts echoing that complaint.

To which I say, yeah, okay. It was pandering. But at least it was pandering to the people, which is the complete opposite of what Barbour did. He pandered to the corporatocracy, constantly espousing what a great thing tort "reform" has been for the state.

So given the choice between a millionaire attorney that panders to the people and a millionaire lobbyist that panders to the corporations, the brilliant people of Mississippi chose the interests of corporations over themselves. Let us never again wonder why Mississippi is last or near it on lists of good things and first or near it on lists of bad things.

Race, Big Fat Haley, and Big Fat Cats (and little skinny, hungry, poor ones)

For fuck's sake, let me give an example of how fucked up things are here. This may sound made up, but I swear it's true. One of my wife's co-worker's has "cut off" her daughter because she's dating a black guy. I should point out that the daughter and her parents are white, of course. Is this frigging 2007 or 1957? Or 1927?

And this same co-worker has proudly announced a total submission to the Republican Party, forsaking all others. Don'tcha think Haley "Keep The Flag, Change The Governor" Barbour-y Pirate knows that? I mean, he knows that there are a lot of people who swear allegiance to the Republican party that don't like black people. Or at least don't like interracial couples--same diff.

So it's really easy for Whaley and others like him to lead people to their own destruction economically by doing some subtle (or not-so-subtle) race-baiting, i.e., "keep the flag, change the governor." That was a slogan from the 2003 election, but no matter--no one's forgotten it, especially not the people who support such a statement.

So Barbour can push tort deform on the state, stripping average people of their right to sue for damages. He can kick people off Medicaid. He can refuse to raise the tax on cigarettes despite overwhelming support for such a measure. And so forth and so on, ad astra, ad infinitum.

All because of a bunch of creeps who don't like black people.

Well what can you say, really, except that unfortunately it has been ever thus. Oh, and Nazi punks--FUCK OFF!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

ANYBODY ELSE GET THIS PATHETIC BARBOUR PROPAGANDA?













Haley must not have worked too hard to save "our" military bases. Naval Station Pascagoula was closed on Barbour's watch. The base officially closed November 15, 2006.

Of course, what would Republican propaganda be without the ol' ellipsis gambit. One Barbour quote on the mailer is printed this way:

"...to take the lead role, we'll relish it and take it on with dogged determination." Clarion-Ledger 1/19/04


Now, Barbour said this not quite a week after his inauguration (on January 13, 2004). Well he didn't quite say it like that. Here's the full quote, according to the Clarion-Ledger:

"If the Legislature sees fit for us to take the lead role, we'll relish it and take it on with dogged determination," Barbour said last week.


See anything different in the two quotes? Barbour acknowledges that saving "our" military bases is not something he can do by himself--he must work with the legislature. So apparently Barbour, unlike Dumbya, realizes he's not "The Decider."

So Barbour not only is "weak" according to Republican principles, he couldn't save Naval Station Pascagoula. Yet he's trying to turn this weakness into a strength, another classic Rove-ian Republican gambit.

He seems to think that a picture of himself hauling his fat ass onto a military Jeep in front of a few hundred assembled soldiers will make the public forget that we actually lost a military base--and the jobs that go along with it--during his time in office.

Unfortunately, he's probably right...

Ever heard of Vieques?

I had not, until I got this mailer from Whaley. I'll let Wikipedia give us the background:

From 1941 to May 1, 2003, the United States used Vieques, Puerto Rico, for naval training and testing. Some current studies show drastic increases in health problems which may or may not be related to toxic materials left on Vieques from the Navy’s occupation. The people of Vieques demand the U.S. clean up the toxic materials they left behind; but the Navy argues that residents of Vieques have not been negatively affected by the 60-year occupation, and that data showing high cancer rates, high infant mortality, vibroacoustic disease, and radiation contamination is misguided [1]. Whether or not the U.S. should be forced to further clean up the island still remains an issue.


Sounds like pretty nasty business, and unfortunately, pretty standard operating procedure.

Here's how the Barbour campaign frames the same facts surrounding Eaves' involvement in Vieques:













Haley's mailer has had the complete opposite effect on me of what he surely intended. I learned that John Arthur Eaves stands up for the little guy against the military-industrial complex. That probably means that Eaves will stand up for the little guy in Mississippi, which is exactly the opposite of what Whaley and his corporate, lobbyist buddies want.

Read what Eaves had to say about Vieques:

“Simply put,” adds Eaves, “everything that our military has used—with the exception of the nuclear bomb—has been first tested on Vieques.”


A researcher quoted in the same article describes the horrors visited upon Vieques this way:

“They started bombing the island in 1941, so the weapons they’ve used have evolved over time,” says Browning. “They’ve used everything from [small] bombs—50 pounds to 100 pounds—up to 3,000 and 5,000-pound bombs. Just the sheer size of the bombs would do damage to the island and shake it and damage the structure of the house and cause a lot of nervous problems in the children.” He compares the effects of the largest bombs to earthquakes.

From the 1950s through the 70s, Browning says, Vieques was also the main chemical weapons testing ground.

“We know by the navy’s admission that they’ve used depleted uranium here. They’ve used napalm. They’ve done all kinds of electronic and radiological testing. They’ve have dispersed chemical sprays [and] defoliants, possibly Agent Orange. This island for 60-plus years has been in a state of war.”


Puerto Ricans are Americans!

Now keep in mind that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. So Barbour is trying to take Eaves to task for defending American citizens! Is there anything more outrageous? Why should Barbour try to use Eaves' defense of American citizens against him?

Clearly, it's because Barbour doesn't want American citizens to be defended. He wants them to be servile, sick, and poor. Do us all a favor and vote his fat ass out of office. Please--for the sake of all Mississippians, who, after all--are also American citizens.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WHO GAVE IRAN NUCLEAR PLANS? THE UNITED STATES, OF COURSE!

Today George Bush had this to say:

"So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."


For one thing, if one is interested in avoiding WWIII, one ought to tone down one's rhetoric about attacking Iran. And also toning down one's shows of force in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere.

For another thing, Bush acts like he's clueless that we gave Iran plans for nuclear weapons in 2000. Did no one read James Risen's "State of War" to Dumya? Here's a little refresher:

"The CIA may have helped Iran to design a nuclear bomb through a botched attempt to channel flawed blueprints to Tehran's weapon designers, according to a new book on the US "war on terror".
In an excerpt from State of War, printed today in G2, the author and New York Times intelligence correspondent, James Risen, writes that the abortive operation misfired when a Russian defector on the CIA payroll, chosen to deliver the deliberately flawed nuclear warhead blueprints to Iranian officials in February 2000, tipped them off about the defects.

The operation, codenamed Merlin and approved by the Clinton administration, was intended to send Iranian scientists down a technological dead end, according to this account. They would spend years building a warhead which would fail to detonate. Instead, Risen writes, the operation may have helped Iran to "accelerate its weapons development" by extracting important information from the blueprints and ignoring the flaws."
A FRIEND'S RESPONSE TO MY NIST POST

My friend LarryG commented on my last post. I'll reproduce his comments in italics and respond:


1. Is there a copy of the letter of correction they are referring to available to read?

I don't know for sure, but I assume the letter to which NIST is responding is available online or publicly available somewhere. Okay, I think this is it. Here's a sample of what the Jones, et al. letter said that NIST's recent reply was addressing:

"Under the NIST IQS, no initial request for correction will be considered
concerning “disseminated information the correction of which would serve no useful
purpose.” (See NIST IQS, Part III(B)(3).) This exception clearly does not apply to this Request. The horrendous attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 were the worst attacks on American soil since Pearl Harbor, and perhaps the worst such attacks in the history of the United States. Approximately 3,000 people died on 9/11, and the vast majority of those died in the World Trade Center. In fact, family members of two of the Requesters herein died in the WTC Towers. Accurate, reliable information regarding the 9/11 attacks is imperative to the future of the United States because it is an essential part of any rational planning process and policy aimed at ensuring that such an attack never happens again.

NIST was statutorily tasked with telling the American people, the 9/11 victims’
family members, independent researchers, and the U.S. government how and why the WTC Towers collapsed, which would form the basis for future government policy. If NIST, through the WTC Report, has given inaccurate, unreliable information about the destruction of the WTC Towers, the implications would stretch across the entire architectural, political and social landscape.

Initially, inaccurate information and/or incorrect analysis by NIST would lead to
improper building codes, standards and practices. These improper building standards could, in turn, lead to needless deaths if such standards are too lenient, or unnecessary expenses if the standards are too strict.
In addition, there are immense political and social ramifications that stem from
NIST’s inaccurate information and analysis. For example, if the destruction of the WTC Towers was caused solely by the actions of foreign terrorists, but the quality of the data and information disseminated by NIST fails to meet the basic requirements of the DQA, then millions of Americans will needlessly doubt their government.

Consequently, Americans’ trust in their government will unnecessarily be undermined. On the other hand, if NIST is incorrect and airplane damage and resultant fire alone cannot explain the destruction of the WTC Towers, it would mean that the assumption that foreign terrorists alone carried out the destruction would become a matter of dispute. The importance of resolving this question is undeniable given that the destruction of the buildings, and the resulting deaths of almost 3,000 American citizens influenced, and continues to influence, national decisions of the gravest magnitude.

Thus, the importance and usefulness of having accurate, reliable, objective data
regarding the destruction of the WTC Towers cannot be overstated, and, in either case, an important and highly useful purpose will be served by NIST disseminating information that complies with applicable information quality standards. (pp. 3-4)"


2. The paragraph just before the one you cite states"In the case of the WTC Towers, NIST has established that the failures initiated in the floors affected by the aircraft impact damage and ensuing fires resulted in the collapses of the towers. This conclusion is supported by large body of visual evidence collected by NIST."

LarryG makes a good point here. NIST reasserts its conclusion that the airplane impact and the resultant fires brought down the twin towers. But then they go on to say in the next paragraph that they can't fully explain the collapses.

That might be a reference to the computer models mentioned in the paragraph that LarryG pointed out, which is also quite interesting. NIST notes that Jones, et al. criticized NIST for not using computer models to analyze the collapses. NIST says that they did in fact use computer models but that they only did so to "the point where the buildings reached global instability."

They then apparently abandoned the computer modeling at that point. That is to say, they did not allow the computer models to mimic the collapse. They only allowed the computer models to analyze conditions up to the point where collapse was more or less inevitable.

Now why would they do that? Perhaps it's because they did let the computer models analyze the collapse and the computers showed that a building cannot fall at virtual free fall speed following the path of most resistance, as they would have us believe. Seeing that the computer models invalidated the official story, perhaps they thought that the computers had been misprogrammed. Or perhaps they were ordered to cover up their findings. Who knows?

What we do know is that NIST defends their abandonment of computer modeling after a certain point with a very weak argument:

"At this point, because of the magnitude of the deflections and the number of failures occurring, the computer models are not able to converge on a solution."


Say what? They expect us to believe that these computers cannot explain a building collapse? So the government has computers which can analyze mounds of data, map the human genome, and do all kinds of wonderful and complex things but when it comes to analyzing the collapse of a structure built in the 70s, these computers are clueless?
Come on!

And not only would they have us believe these computers can't analyze a building collapse, they say it's because of all the complicating factors, i.e., the "deflections and the number of failures occurring." That's precisely why a computer is ideal to analyze such things--because there are so many factors to take into account.

And that's to say nothing of NIST's avoidance of the collapse of WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane at all.

3. Two paragraphs after the one you cite they talk about the theory of explosives. They basically cite that after all the interviews they could not find anything to suggest that there were explosives.

NIST dismisses the use of explosives based on their interviews and analysis. This is simply ludicrous. There is no shortage of eyewitnesses who say they heard or felt explosions in the twin towers. Even firefighters say they saw and heard explosions, which NIST acknowledges.

However, NIST does not offer any reason why they discount the possibility of the use of explosives. They simply say:

"Taken as a whole, the interviews did not support the contention that explosives played a role in the collapse of the WTC Towers."


There you go--cut and dried. NIST says the interviews don't lead one to the conclusion that explosives were used. I'd say the exact opposite is true, that taken as a whole, the interviews do support the contention that explosives played a role.

4. Even though they state that they cannot explain the total collapse in one paragraph, they state in the end that they are sticking to their original assertions. I think what they mean by "unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse" is that they could not satisfy the letter writers request for additional data and not that they did not have a valid explanation.

I guess. I think they would like us to believe they have a valid explanation.

5. This letter is hard to read (even for an engineer)and I find a few grammatical mistakes in it as well. Just makes me a little curious as to the authenticity of it. However I have no evidence to support that assertion. Just an observation on my part.

I agree that the letter was kind of dense and obtusely worded in a lot of places. I don't doubt its provenance, but then again, who the hell knows?

6. With regard to the cell phones: Although I use cell modems in my electrical designs, I don't know about their ability then or now to perform at high altitude. Has this been tested in real life?

According to David Ray Griffin, here's the deal with the cell phone calls:

"However, as I reported in the Revised and Updated Edition of my book, the FBI had in 2006 presented, as evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui (sometimes called “the 20th hijacker”), a report on phone calls from the four airliners. According to this report, there were only two cell phone calls from United 93, and they were made at 9:58, shortly before the plane crashed, when it was down to 5,000 feet. When the FBI had to present evidence in a court of law, therefore, it would not claim that any high-altitude cell phone calls had occurred. (These two low-altitude calls from Flight 93 were, according to the FBI report, the only two cell phone calls made from all four flights)."


Griffin also points out that in 2006, American Airlines (the airline on which Barbara Olson was flying) stated that their 757s did not have seat-back phones in 2001. Therefore, Olson could not have used one to call her husband. And again, the FBI's evidence in the Moussaoui trial showed that although Olson did attempt a cell phone call, it did not go through.

In Ted Olson's telling of the phone calls, he apparently went back and forth on what type of phone Barbara used to call him. He finally settled on onboard, seat-back phones which we now know, by the airline's own admission, were not available on the plane Barbara was in.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NIST SAYS THEY CAN'T EXPLAIN WTC COLLAPSES

In the first paragraph on p. 4 of a letter from NIST to Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan, and some 9/11 family members, NIST says the following:

"Your letter contends that NIST's report violates the Information Quality Standard of 'utility.' NIST believes that the report has utility. In fact, the codes and standards bodies are already taking actions to improve building and fire codes and standards based on the findings of the WTC Investigation. As we mentioned previously, we are unable to provide an explanation-of the total collapse."


So the 9/11 conventional wisdom, the "man on the street" would tell you that the twin towers fell because of fire caused by being hit by planes full of jet fuel. However, NIST--the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the Department of Commerce--will not say that. NIST says they don't know why the builidings collapsed.

9/11: What we thought we "knew"

So another federal agency screws up the official 9/11 myth. Let's see where that leaves us:

1. Fire and jet crashes did not cause fall of Twin Towers (NIST)
2. Osama bin Laden did not "commit" 9/11 (FBI)
3. All high-altitude cell-phone calls on 9/11 were impossible (FBI)
4. Barbara Olson never reached Ted Olson on the phone (FBI)

Very interesting, yes?
THIS IS AMUSING--AND SCARY AS HELL

SIGNS, SIGNS, PART THE SECOND!

Well, I got a call from Parker Dykes himself today! I had sent him an email about my last post, which he actually checked out! I totally didn't expect to hear from him--I thought maybe if he or someone on his campaign actually read the email I sent, the most they might do is email me a form letter of some sort. But Dykes actually called me!

Now, I don't live in Dykes' district, but if you do and are reading this, why not vote for someone who knows what's really going on in the world? Someone like say, Parker Dykes!

I told him something on the phone that I'd meant to write in my last post. I told him that his signs let you know the about this guy's cojones--that is, he actually takes a stand right there on his campaign signs. For that reason alone, his signs stand out, never mind that they actually have great messages.

Like Dykes told me, a lot of signs, if they have any message besides a name, will say something like "Strength. Integrity. Candidate X" or whatever. Well, Dykes not only has strength and integrity, he lets you know where he stands in no uncertain terms--he wants to stop the new world order. He wants to bring the troops home. He wants to stop the national ID card. And so forth.

So here are some of the other signs I took some pictures of:















Hey, I'm no gun nut. But I also think it's true that if we let the government disarm us, we'll be powerless (even more so than we already are) to fend off the tyranny they will try to foist on us probably sooner rather than later. And those of us who suffered damage in Katrina know that FEMA is not really your friend. Hell, even those who had no damage in Katrina know that by now...





















The national ID is supposed to serve many purposes, all of them ostensibly good: stop terrorism, stop voter fraud, etc. But guess what--there's about as much terrorism in the U.S. as there is voter fraud, and there ain't much of either one! The problems with both terror and voter fraud in the U.S. is that those things are created by the government, i.e., 9/11 or Bush v. Gore.

And the national ID card will be one more way to control us, or perhaps the ultimate way to control us, as a conservative Tennessean explains here.

Looks like Blogger is having trouble with picture uploads--and I've got two left. Guess I'll have to do a part 3...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

SIGNS, SIGNS, EVERYWHERE THERE'S SIGNS...

There's a candidate named Parker Dykes running for a seat in District 35 of the Mississippi Senate, and I know this because of his (possibly intentionally) amateurish yet highly provocative and legible signs along Mississippi Highway 49.

The first one I saw was a few weeks ago, and it said:

DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS

DYKES FOR SENATE


I thought, "Great, the xenophobia and racism isn't even masked anymore." Then I forgot about it--until I had to go to Jackson two days in a row this week. I saw more of Dykes' signs and found that I agreed with a lot of his statements. I changed my mind about Dykes and now understand more of where he's coming from with his "Deport all illegals" slogan.

I decided I had to get pictures of these signs, so here are some of them (some were taken as I drove past, some I was able to stop and focus on):










This one says "We are losing our freedoms." No shit! Bye bye, habeas corpus. Bye, bye privacy. Bye bye, freedom of speech. Who could disagree with such a statement?























I've been listening to Alex Jones a lot lately. I even joined prisonplanet.tv and am looking forward to "Endgame"--it comes out on my 11th wedding anniversary! But I digress--Dykes is obviously a Jones fan as well. And since the New World Order is basically what I have been calling "the corporatocracy," I want Parker Dykes and others to stop it. So again, I am in full agreement! I wish I lived in his district or he in mine so I could vote for him!









"Bring Our Troops Home!" A sentiment very near and dear to my heart. I doubt any of the other candidates for ANY state office would say such a thing! I love the fact that there is a sign on 49 just outside of Jackson that says we should bring our troops home! This Dykes character has, well...character. And balls! No BS or mincing words for this guy!

I'll post part 2 of the Dykes for Senate pictures soon...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

9/11: THE FBI FUCKS UP THE OFFICIAL CONSPIRACY THEORY

First off, the FBI wanted poster for Osama bin Laden doesn't mention 9/11. By now, the organization has had over 6 years to modify this poster or correct their "error." But...they haven't. According to the website, the poster was last revised in November 2001.

Just read an article today by David Ray Griffin in which he points out how the FBI has further fucked up the official conspiracy myth, by admitting that all the high-altitude cell phone calls were fake.

"Loose Change" makes this same point, but the FBI lends the ultimate credibility to the claim. Griffin explains it thusly:

"However, as I reported in the Revised and Updated Edition of my book, the FBI had in 2006 presented, as evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui (sometimes called “the 20th hijacker”), a report on phone calls from the four airliners. According to this report, there were only two cell phone calls from United 93, and they were made at 9:58, shortly before the plane crashed, when it was down to 5,000 feet. When the FBI had to present evidence in a court of law, therefore, it would not claim that any high-altitude cell phone calls had occurred. (These two low-altitude calls from Flight 93 were, according to the FBI report, the only two cell phone calls made from all four flights)."


The FBI's evidence also proves that Barbara Olson never completed a call to her husband Ted, the solicitor general.

Griffin explains again:

"Olson reported that his wife had called him twice from American Airlines Flight 77, stating that hijackers with knives and boxcutters had taken over the plane. Besides providing evidence of hijackers, this call also provided the only evidence that Flight 77 was still aloft (it had disappeared from radar and there had been reports of an airliner crash nearby). Although Olson went back and forth on the question of whether his wife had used a cell phone or an onboard phone, he finally settled on the latter...

American Airlines in 2006 [said] that their 757s in 2001 had had no onboard phones, so that anyone calling out from Flight 77 had needed to use a cell phone. Barbara Olson, therefore, could not have used a passenger-seat phone. That left open, of course, the possibility that Ted Olson was correct when he said that his wife had used her cell phone.

However, the evidence from the Moussaoui trial ruled out this possibility. In its report on AA 77, it listed one attempted call from Barbara Olson, which was “unconnected” and hence lasted “0 seconds.”


This was an astounding discovery. The FBI is part of the Department of Justice. And yet it had undercut the testimony of the DOJ’s former solicitor general, saying in effect that the two calls that he reported had never happened."


Still think that 9/11 was pulled off by 19 guys with boxcutters and poor piloting skills? The FBI itself casts doubt upon that story--maybe we all should take a cue from them.

Friday, September 28, 2007

SADDAM: THE $1 BILLION OFFER

Saddam offered to leave Iraq in exchange for $1 billion. Bush himself said that Saddam could leave the country and the invasion would be called off (no one took that seriously, but still, he said it).

We've spent over 500 times that on our invasion and killed over a million people and lost tens of thousands in deaths and injuries (the cost of which will be in the billions as time goes on).

9/11 Every Day For Over 10 Years

Many will dispute the 1 million casualty estimate. They will do so because it's a conscience-pricking number. That number of deaths, proportionally speaking, is equivalent to a 9/11 casualty rate EVERY DAY in Iraq for over 10 years.

But suppose you argue that the 1 million casualty figure is impossibly high. OK, let's cut it in half--that's an equivalent 9/11 every day for 5 years in Iraq. Or take a fifth of that--an equivalent 9/11 every day for one year (this illuminating device stolen directly from Arthur Silber).

Support Our Troops--They're Fighting For Our Slavery

So Saddam offered to leave if we'd pay him 1/500 of what we have ended up paying. SO FAR.

But they turned him down. Because the war wasn't about bringing democracy to Iraq. It was about extending the arm of the corporatocracy and using the war as an excuse to increase the power of the government at home while decreasing our civil liberties.

And now that we're in Iraq, we'll be there for decades. They aren't building the largest embassy in the history of the world just for shits and giggles, you know. They're building it to keep us in endless war, which is "patriot" code for endless slavery.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

WHO IS THE "STATE SPONSOR OF TERROR?"

Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?

"Ahmadinejad's trip to New York ignited a debate this week over his rejected request to lay a wreath at ground zero. The State Department calls Iran a state sponsor of terror, and politicians and families of Sept. 11 victims were outraged that its president might visit the site of the 2001 terror attacks."


The United States is the biggest "state sponsor of terror." Our invasion of Iraq has now killed over 1,000,000 people. That's 1/25 of the population of Iraq. And that's just for starters. We overthrew Mossadegh in 1953 through the use of terror attacks and we're still doing that today:

"As earlier reported on the Blotter on ABCNews.com, the United States has supported and encouraged an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, that has conducted deadly raids inside Iran from bases on the rugged Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan 'tri-border region.'"


In other words, we're sponsoring terror. Here's some more about our sponsorship of terrorism:

"TEHRAN, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Explosive devices and arsenals used in a terrorist attack in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan on Wednesday came from the United States, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

Relevant documents, photographs and film footage, which show that the explosives and arsenals used in the attack were American, would soon be made public, an "informed source" was quoted as saying.

The source further pointed out that Jundallah, a shadowy Sunni militant group, had several plots for assassinating Sunni and tribal leaders to sow discord and foment conflicts between the Shiite and Sunni citizens in Sistan-Baluchestan province."


We're not the good guys. In fact, there are no good guys--only varying degrees of bad guys. Seriously, is that how one "fights terror?" By engaging in it?
AND SO BEGINS WWW III...

...and so ends our republic.



When the British wanted to invade Iran some 50-odd years ago, the American press wasn't much in favor of such a plan, according to "All The Shah's Men." According to author Stephen Kinzer, they knew that war with Iran would not be good:

"The Philadelphia Inquirer warned that a British invasion of Iran might bring 'a quick outbreak of World War III.'(p. 113)"


Kinzer goes on to note that:

"A popular CBS commentator, Howard K. Smith, asserted that many countries in the Middle East and beyond supported Iran, and that an invasion might 'stir all the Southern Asians to a rebellion against the Western foreigner and cause serious trouble for both Britain and the United States.'(p. 113)"


How have we managed to regress instead of progress in the last 50 years?

Hope we can all afford the gas prices that are about to shoot up along with the cost of anything else that is brought to market by a vehicle that uses gas.

Which of course is only everything.

Monday, September 17, 2007

ASK A QUESTION, GET TASERED AS JOHN KERRY LOOKS ON--WTF?

Ummm...watch this video of a student being Tasered after asking John Kerry some pointed questions. If you're not disturbed, ask yourself why? Why should a student be Tasered for asserting his First Amendment rights as police officers try to deprive him of those rights? Either we have a First Amendment or we don't, and this video makes it fairly clear that we don't.

As I watched it, I was reminded of the Who concert in Cincinnati at which people were trampled to death as the band played on. Kerry goes on speaking as if nothing is happening. The audience members sit passively as the First Amendment is raped.

I asked myself if I would sit passively like that, and you know what? I'm afraid I probably would. What is one supposed to do in that situation? You can't call the cops--it's the cops that are running roughshod over the Constitution. If you try to intervene, they'll slap some charges on you.

It seems to me that Kerry could have appealed to the cops to stop what they were doing. He's a United States Senator, for God's sake--surely the cops would've listened to him. All Kerry had to do was shout out "Stop that! Let this man hear answers to his questions! Leave him alone! He's merely exercising his First Amendment rights!"

But Kerry did no such thing...