Monday, January 30, 2006
Chafee Statement on Judge Samuel Alito: “Judge Alito has outstanding legal credentials and an inspiring life story. However, I am greatly concerned about his philosophy on some important constitutional issues. In particular I carefully examined his record on Executive Power, women’s reproductive freedoms and the commerce clause of Article one, Section Eight of the Constitution. . . I am a pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-Bill of Rights Republican and I will be voting against this nomination.” (1/30/06)
Chafee Statement on Drilling In The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: “While the Department of Defense appropriations bill provides funding for many important defense related projects, all of which I am in strong and continuing support, the decision at the eleventh hour by the conference committee to include legislation allowing oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is inappropriate,
Senator Chafee has met with senior officials of the CITGO Petroleum Corporation as well as representatives of Venezuela, including Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez, to advance discussions regarding the implementation of a heating assistance program for low-income Rhode Island residents. Cozying up to Chavez
The U.S. Border Patrol arrested a Mexican immigration official who was allegedly trying to help a group of undocumented migrants sneak into the United States, the Mexican government announced Sunday. Immigration agent Francisco Javier Gutierrez was arrested at a checkpoint near Alamogordo, New Mexico, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of the U.S.-Mexico border, the Mexican Interior Department said in a news release.
The Mexican government promised to cooperate with U.S. authorities in the investigation of Gutierrez. "The National Immigration Institute offers the Border Patrol plain collaboration in the investigation into possible links with smuggling gangs," it announced. "We maintain a firm hand against corruption." Gutierrez's arrest comes just days after the Mexican and U.S. governments exchanged terse diplomatic notes about security on the border.
US Internet companies snub Congressional hearing
Jan 28 9:49 PM US/Eastern
The leading US-based Internet companies are showing little interest in attending a Congressional briefing on worries that the firms are bending to the wishes of China's censors.
Microsoft and Cisco Systems have refused to attend the event, while Google and Yahoo are non-committal, officials said. None of them should show up.
The firms were asked to attend the February 1 briefing by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus following uproar caused by search giant Google's decision last week to censor websites and content banned by China's propaganda chiefs. Notice how this is called a briefing when in fact it is more of a witch hunt to try and give the congress an avenue to implement control and regulation on the internet.
"We have heard from Microsoft that no representative from the company will attend the briefing. So, with Cisco Systems, this makes two companies that have confirmed they're opting out," Lynne Weil, spokeswoman for caucus co-chairman Democratic Representative Tom Lantos, told AFP.
As the briefing date gets closer, "others are still unfortunately keeping us in suspense," she said. "It is mystifying why these companies would not want to take part after all this is an opportunity to clear their names," Weil said. Now that statement should scare the hell out of everyone. "After all it's an opportunity to clear their names" Clear their names of what and for what purpose? That implies a lot, it implies that some sort of penalty is about to be implied on companies that are trying to obey the laws of host countries.
Google agreed to censor websites and content in its search service launched Wednesday in China. Just as our country wants it to comply with our laws regarding kiddy porn.
The move followed similar actions by rivals Microsoft and Yahoo in cooperating with Chinese censorship.
Cisco's technology-savvy machinery allegedly censors Internet messages and helps Beijing track down Chinese cyber dissidents. In other words they turn information over to a host countries government that is requested. Once again in the same manner that they turn information over to our government on porn.
Americans believed Internet growth will bring about greater freedom of expression and political openness in China but instead of promoting these values, some US firms have been charged with aiding -- or at least complying -- with Chinese Internet censorship, said a statement by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. It's called following the law so your product can be used in a host country.
Its briefing is scheduled to be chaired by Democratic Representative Tim Ryan, lead sponsor of a bipartisan legislation seeking to address China's "manipulation and undervaluation" of its currency. What does this issue have to do with the manipulation of currency?
Weil said all five non-governmental groups invited to the briefing had confirmed participation. They were media watchdog Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Toronto University and Harvard Law School. A finer list of wackjobs would be hard to find.
"It is a sham that the American Internet firms are refusing to be accountable to US Congress and at the same time working hand in glove with the Chinese authorities," said T. Kumar, Amnesty's advocacy director for Asia. Anything Amnesty International is for should be looked at very closely. This group in the last year has made statements that the US was worse on human rights than Russia and compared the detaining of terrorists to the Russian gulags.
"It is also a paradox that while US multinational companies are for example prohibited from doing any business or trade with Myanmar following human rights sanctions there, Google and others are colluding with the Chinese government in human rights abuses," he charged.
Kumar called the US Congress to enact laws preventing American firms from joining any state-sponsored stifling of human rights to give credence to US foreign policy.
Amnesty is treating as "prisoner of conscience" a Chinese journalist jailed last year by Beijing following information provided by search engine Yahoo under court order, he said. OK so AI wants what the complete denial of all internet access in China? Are they also going to hold as prisoners of conscience anyone jailed in the US for looking at the wrong type of porn?
Google and other US Internet companies have also been invited for another Congressional meeting on February 15, convened by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations.
Chris Smith, the Republican Representative chairing the panel, is considering legislation requiring Internet companies to locate e-mail servers outside "repressive countries," his spokesman Brad Dayspring said. What would Rep. Smith think if these companies put all their servers in countries outside the US also to prevent our Government from getting the information it wants?
Also being considered is legislation to prohibit the export of Internet technology to countries restricting free speech, and to establish a government office solely to counter Internet jamming by these countries, he said. They would be better off spending their time preventing the spread of Nuclear technology information, or missile information as it was spread under Clinton.
Google's Chinese site restricts locals from searching for information about Tibetan independence, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the banned spiritual sect "Falungong," and Taiwan.
"If you search Tiananmen Square on the google.cn, you get these colorful pictures of a place that looks like Disneyland but if you search google.com for Tiananmen Square, you will find the pretty pictures but will see the real story of the government led slaughter as well," Dayspring said.
"The story of the students who stood up to their government and were consequently slaughtered should not be erased from history as Google has empowered the Chinese government to do," he added.
It is not erasing it from history just as our government isn't going to erase different types of porn. This whole thing is congress trying desperately to control the internet. They want to control it, regulate it, and above all else tax it. Now don't get me wrong I think our government should lock up anybody that is indulging in certain types of porn. It is our law and as the host country we have the right to certain information from these companies. Regretfully so do the Chinese and the Russians and whatever other country that these companies are selling their product in. The fact that our government is demanding that these companies have to "clear their names" is ridiculous and should be shunned. If the companies are legislated to pull their servers out of any country they should also pull their servers out of this one. It also bothers me that China is suppressing free speech. The one Chinese Blogger that was shut down by the Chinese Government had a link on this site, and I was sad to lose it. However going after the IP companies is NOT the aproach to take. Taking away their favored nation status would be more appropriate.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
UN unveils plan to release untapped wealth of...$7 trillion (and solve the world's problems at a stroke)
By Philip Thornton, Economics Correspondent
Published: 30 January 2006
The most potent threats to life on earth - global warming, health pandemics, poverty and armed conflict - could be ended by moves that would unlock $7 trillion - $7,000,000,000,000 (£3.9trn) - of previously untapped wealth, the United Nations claims today.
The price? An admission that the nation-state is an old-fashioned concept that has no role to play in a modern globalised world where financial markets have to be harnessed rather than simply condemned.
If its recommendations are accepted - and the authors acknowledge this could take years or even decades - it could finally force countries to face up to the fact that their public finance and growth figures conceal the vast damage their economies do to the environment.
At the heart of the proposal, unveiled at a gathering of world business leaders at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, is a push to get countries to account for the cost of failed policies, and use the money saved "up front" to avert crises before they hit. Top of the list is a challenge to the United States to join an international pollution permit trading system which, the UN claims, could deliver $3.64trn of global wealth.
It urges politicians to embrace some groundbreaking schemes put in place in the past 12 months to tackle global warning, poverty and disease, based on working with the global markets to share out the risk.
These include a pilot international finance facility (IFF) to "front load" $4bn of cash for vaccines by borrowing money against pledges of future government aid.
The scheme, which is backed by the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was born out of a proposal by Gordon Brown for a larger scheme to double the total aid budget to $100bn a year.
The UNDP says rich countries should build on this and go further. It proposes six schemes to harness the power of the markets:
* Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through pollution permit trading; net gain $3.64trn.
* Cutting poor countries' borrowing costs by securing the debts against the income from stable parts of their economies; net gain $2.90trn.
* Reducing government debt costs by linking payments to the country's economic output; net gain $600bn.
* An enlarged version of the vaccine scheme; net gain (including benefits of lower mortality) $47bn.
* Using the vast flow of money from migrants back to their home country to guarantee; net gain $31bn.
* Aid agencies underwriting loans to market investors to lower interest rates; net gain $22bn.
By MARK MACKINNON
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Mr. Abu Teir, who was No. 2 on the Hamas list of candidates for Wednesday's election, said introducing sharia -- a controversial moral and legal code based on the Koran -- would be the first act of the new Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council.
"The No. 1 thing we will do is take sharia as a source for legislation. Sharia has a soul in it and is good for all occasions," Mr. Abu Teir said in an interview with The Globe and Mail over a lunch of traditional Palestinian dishes supplemented with Coca-Cola. The table was set under photographs of Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, past Hamas leaders who were assassinated in Israeli air strikes.
Sheik Mohammed Abu Teir also said Hamas would not go to foreign donors on bended knee if they withdrew aid to the Palestinian Authority.
The armed struggle against Israel will continue as long as Israel continues its occupation of Palestinian lands,
Hamas leader says ready to form army against aggression
Hamas Politburo leader Khaled Meshaal said in Damascus on Saturday that the Islamic group is ready to form an army to defend the Palestinian people against aggression.
Meshaal told the reporters that Hamas was ready to merge armed factions including its military wing to form an army "like any country" to defend the Palestinian people.
Meshaal, living in exile in Syria, makes decisions about Hamas policy in consultation with West Bank and Gaza leaders as well as others in Damascus.
He stressed that the future government will also be formed under the wills of the Palestinian people, not the wills of the U. S. government.
By Sandy Shanks "an author and columnist. He lives in Southern California. Who works for Al-Jazeera, Isn't that nice"
This is a sad admission for an advocate of the Third Option, an all-out effort to help the Iraqi people by eliminating the evil forces America unleashed in Iraq.
The writing is on the wall. The American people are already being prepped for withdrawal, which equates to defeat for Americans and Iraqis alike any way you look at it.
Murtha Says Iraq Is Now a 'Civil War'
On Thursday, he told editors and reporters from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the war in Iraq is a civil war and the U.S. should disengage.
"Our troops are the target," Murtha told the newspaper. "We're not fighting terrorism in Iraq. We're fighting a civil war in Iraq. We've got to give them an incentive. We fought our Civil War. Let them fight their civil war."
Its always nice when our politicians agree with Al Jazeera
Netanyahu: Olmert endangering Israelis
By GIL HOFFMAN
Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu visited Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood Sunday to warn about the danger caused by Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision last week to exclude the neighboring Arab town of Beit Iksa from the security fence.
Netanyahu said that if Kadima were elected and decided to make the fence the border between Israel and a Palestinian state, drivers on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway (Road 1) and residents of Ramot would be in the range of gunfire from Beit Iksa.
"The decision to move the fence to 400 meters from Ramot and 700 meters from the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway demonstrates Olmert's inexperience and lack of knowledge about security and policymaking," Netanyahu told reporters in Ramot. "His decision endangered the thousands of Israeli drivers who use the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway every day."
Friday, January 27, 2006
This was a very difficult day for me, as I am sure it was for all of us. I had just come out of the hospital. I had been in a bad construction accident. I was in an apartment in Allentown Pa. and was living off of Demeral and was confined to a wheelchair. Needless to say I wasn't very mobile. I spent a lot of time in front of the TV in those days. Sitting there drinking coke and in a demeral fog I had just called my friend Mark aptly known to his friends as fungus. Mark was working and I was giving him a call to see if I could con him into coming up from Philly for the weekend hoping to get out myself. I had the TV on and was watching the launch. I normally don't miss the launches if I can help it, but everyone was watching this day because it was the day that the public had been waiting for. All of us that grew up watching the first man walk on the moon and Star Trek in never ending reruns had all dreamed of one day getting to go into space ourselves. That's what made this launch special, school kids in every school in the country were watching.
As were most adults. Today a civilian was going with them. A school teacher who was actually going to even teach a class from the shuttle while in orbit. We all felt that meant NASA was finally going to let us all go up eventually. They had to, it was safe. Little did we know how much of a pipe dream that was. I watched as the engines ignighted and the shuttle lifted off. Talking on the phone the whole time watching but not absorbed. When it happened - I lost my words in mid sentence and my friend that I was talking to thought my meds had kicked in and started yelling my name into the phone. I finally said My god the shuttle just blew up, his response
was Yeah right. No I mean it its gone it just blew. I'm watching it, turn on the radio. It regretfully was true with the whole nation watching. Not since Apollo and the First Shuttle launch had this large of an audience been glued to their screens. All those little kids in school. Could you imagine what those teachers went through that day on top of everything else. Those are my recollections of that day, along with the nonstop playing of the films over and over again. I hope sharing my memmories with you spark yours of that hard day. Below are links to a nice tribute and some video. Say a prayer for those that touched the face of God.
Commander (CMD): Francis "Dick" Scobee (also flew on 41C/STS-13)
Pilot (PLT): Michael J. Smith (first flight)
Mission Specialist 1: Judith Resnik (also flew on 41D/STS-16)
Mission Specialist 2: Ellison Onizuka (also flew on 51C/STS-20)
Mission Specialist 3: Ronald McNair (also flew on 41B/STS-11)
Payload Specialist 1: Gregory Jarvis (first flight)
Payload Specialist 2: Christa McAuliffe (first flight) Teacher
Launch pad:39-B (6), first shuttle launch from 39-B
Launch:January 28, 198616:38:00.010 GMT
Landing:Scheduled forFebruary 3, 198612:12 p.m. EST (17:12 GMT)
Duration:0:00:01:13.2136 d 34 min planned
Orbit altitude:150 nautical miles (280 km) planned
Orbit inclination:28.5 degrees planned
Ice on launch pad
Below sequence is from a combination of real time telemetry data and photographic analysis. T+ times are seconds from liftoff.
T+60.004: internal pressure in the right-side SRB begins dropping because of the rapidly increasing hole in the failed joint
T+60.238: initial evidence of flame from the rupture impinging on the external tank
T+64.660: plume from the burn through suddenly changes shape, indicating a leak has begun in the shuttle's liquid hydrogen tank (aft portion of external tank)
T+64.937: under computer control, main engine nozzles pivot trying to compensate for the unbalanced thrust produced by the booster burn through and maintain the shuttle on course
T+66.764: pressure in the shuttle's external liquid hydrogen tank begins to drop, indicating a massive leak
T+72.284: right-side booster apparently pulls away from the aft strut attaching it to the external tank
T+73.124: aft dome of liquid hydrogen tank fails, causing a propulsive force pushing the tank into the liquid oxygen tank in the forward external tank. The liquid hydrogen tank is the aft region of the external tank. Roughly concurrent with this, the right SRB rotated about the forward attach strut and struck the intertank structure
With the external tank disintegrating, Challenger was torn apart by aerodynamic forces. The two SRBs, which can withstand greater aerodynamic loads, were freed from the ET as it broke apart and both SRBs began to fly on their own.
Technically, the Shuttle and External Tank were not shattered by "an explosion", but merely disintegrated in a fraction of a second under the tremendous aerodynamic forces that are experienced during the "Max-Q" phase of flight. This explains why the crew compartment (also called the forward fuselage) and astronauts survived the initial event. While the detached forward fuselage continued along its free-fall trajectory, the external tank, orbiter reaction system (the rear part of the Shuttle), and their contents combusted during the next several seconds in a massive fireball. Had there been a true explosion, the entire Shuttle would have been destroyed in matter of a fraction of second and the crew would have been killed at that moment.
The two SRB's, now fully detacted, continued as still-firing rockets in their own right.
NASA's photo and TV support team, led by Charlie Stevenson, assisted in the analysis of this aspect of the disaster.
At least some of the astronauts were alive and conscious after the "explosion" because three of the four personal egress air packs (PEAPs) of the flight deck crew had been activated. There was no evidence to indicate that the activation of the PEAPs was a consequence of the ocean surface impact.
One of the worst tragedies in the history of spaceflight occurred on January 27, 1967 when the crew of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire in the Apollo Command Module during a preflight test at Cape Canaveral. They were training for the first crewed Apollo flight, an Earth orbiting mission scheduled to be launched on 21 February. They were taking part in a "plugs-out" test, in which the Command Module was mounted on the Saturn 1B on the launch pad just as it would be for the actual launch, but the Saturn 1B was not fueled. The plan was to go through an entire countdown sequence.
Associated Press Writer
Colombia has dismantled a false passport ring with links to al-Qaida and Hamas militants, the acting attorney general said Thursday after authorities led dozens of simultaneous raids across five cities.
The gang allegedly supplied an unknown number of citizens from Pakistan, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and other countries with false passports and Colombian nationality without them ever stepping foot in the country, the attorney general's office said in a written statement.
The counterfeited passports were then used to facilitate their entry into the United States and Europe.
Mexico cancels plan to give out migrant maps
Staff and wire reports
Tucson, Arizona Published: 01.27.2006
A Mexican government commission said Thursday it has suspended plans to distribute maps to people planning to cross the Arizona border illegally, but denied the decision was a response to U.S. criticism.
Miguel Angel Paredes, the spokesman for the federal Human Rights Commission, said the plan would be "rethought" because human rights officials in border states expressed concern that the maps would show anti-immigrant groups — like the Minutemen civilian patrols — where entrants were likely to gather.
Oh and Mr. Paredes they are not anti-immigrant groups. They are anti-ILLEGAL-alien groups
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Rep. Fossella Introduces Bill to Eliminate Aid to Palestinian Authority Following Hamas Election Victory[Washington, DC] – Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY13) today announced plans to introduce legislation that would eliminate all United States foreign assistance to the Palestinian Authority when the terrorist organization Hamas assumes control of the Legislative Council. In FY 2005, $275 million was appropriated to the West Bank and Gaza, with $50 million of that funding going directly to the Palestinian Authority.
From A Tangled Web
THE GREAT BRITISH DISGRACE
You must read this shocking article on the utter chaos that prevails within the UK National Health Service, the so-called "envy of the world." A survey shows that more than three quarters of NHS trusts currently in financial deficit have cut staff, 52 per cent have closed wards while 48 per cent are delaying work, and another 38 per cent have cancelled services or restricted eligibility for services. This is akin to a third world level of health care and yet the Government brazenly fronts it out, suggesting things are getting better all the time. This is proof, if ever we needed it, that letting politicians run a Health Service is folly incarnate.
Posted by DV on January 26, 2006 at 09:21 AM
We have to give a serious look at what is coming with Iran. We have a country that is being run by a Dream of creating a world wide Caliphate. The Mad Mullahs have been promoting terror on the world since the late 70s. Their mad front man Ahmadinejad is a direct product of their violent philosophy. From his start as one of the "students" that took our embassy personnel hostage, to the Nuclear Bomb building fanatic that is bringing the threat of a real nuclear war to us today. This man believes that the great Imam that will make the world into this caliphate is going to climb out of a well at any moment, and he's preparing to give this Imam the weapons that the Imam will need to achieve that goal.
He is moving into position to achieve this goal on several fronts. Besides the bombs he is also in control of one of the worlds largest oil supplies. He has also had talks with Venezuela who's leader is also not what could be categorized as a friend to the U.S..
What would the effect be if these to countries acted in unison to cut supplies of oil to the world market? What if they conspired to change the excepted currency for oil to Euros instead of Dollars? Both events would have catastrophic consequences on our economy. That's the economic front in the upcoming war.
The military front could be even worse. The Russians have pledged their support to stand with Iran militarily. They have ties to China, and with their threat of nuclear weapons they would have no problem convincing the rest of the Middle East countries to join them either by choice or force. They have already had meetings with Qatar, and several other ME states.
Combine that with statements like this one from Iran's Interior Minister Speaking at the special funeral service held for the martyrs of recent bombings in Ahvaz, he said "the enemies of Muslim nation of Iran seek domination over the rich natural resources of the Middle East region." Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said here Thursday that "Iran's enemies know that their plots plots cannot make the Iranian nation given in to enemies and no power can prevent them from attaining the goals of the Islamic Revolution." Those goals are Death to America and Israel along with the creation of the Caliphate.
The picture that was on the podium when Ahmadinejad spoke of the wiping Israel off the map was buried by our press. It showed the world in an hour glass. At the bottom of that hour glass was two balls that fell out of the Earth. One for Israel and one for the U.S.. The U.S. one is broken the Israeli one was not. Meaning the U.S. must be destroyed first. It has been proposed that Iran could launch a missile from a ship off of our coast and explode it in the atmosphere causing an EMP. I think it even more likely that the missile could be launched from Cuba. They recently met with the Cubans also, what a nice present for Castro to give us before he dies.
By JULIA PRESTON
Published: January 26, 2006
Citing the case of a prominent Muslim scholar who has been barred from the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit yesterday seeking to strike down a clause of the USA Patriot Act that bars foreigners who endorse terrorism from entering to this country
By Nicholas Kralev and Jerry SeperTHE WASHINGTON TIMESJanuary 26, 2006
The Bush administration yesterday accused the Mexican government of facilitating illegal entry into the United States after Mexican officials said they would distribute maps of dangerous border areas and posters with safety instructions and other tips.
Sheriff demands probe of incursions
By Jerry SeperTHE WASHINGTON TIMESJanuary 26, 2006
A Texas border sheriff yesterday demanded that the U.S. and Mexican governments investigate incursions into the United States by heavily armed drug escorts dressed in Mexican military uniforms "before someone gets killed."
Kofi and ElBaradei are buying time for Iran to develop their bomb. The only question is, is it intentional or just gross incompetence.
January 26 (Itar-Tass) -
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has expressed doubts that the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be able in early February to submit the Iranian nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council. He made this statement here on Wednesday evening.
The UN chief said he is not sure that members of the IAEA Board of Governors will be able to refer the Iranian dossier to the UN Security Council before the report on the issue is prepared and discussed and the decision is made. Annan also said that IAEA Director General Mohammed ElBaradei does not expect to receive the report on the Iranian nuclear programme before the end of February. So it will be possible to consider this document only in early March at the next session of the IAEA Board of Governors.
Meanwhile, an urgent meeting of the IAEA board is scheduled to be held in Vienna on February 2-3 in order to decide if it is necessary to refer the Iranian nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council because of Iran's resumption of nuclear research work.
Which should give theIranians the time they need to put the finishing touches on its bomb as referenced in this story Tehran plans nuclear weapon test by March
by Scott Johnson
01/24/2006 12:00:00 PM
IS THE New York Times a law unto itself? When the Times published its December 16 exposé of the secret National Security Agency electronic surveillance of al Qaeda-related communications, reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau noted that they had granted anonymity to the "nearly a dozen current and former officials" who were the sources for the story. Risen and Lichtblau stated that they had granted these sources anonymity "because of the classified nature of the program." Implicit in the Times's rationale is the recognition that leaks of such classified information are illegal.
That recognition is, of course, correct. Section 793 of the federal espionage law prohibits authorized persons possessing "information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation . . . " from disclosing it to persons not entitled to it. Section 798 of the espionage law prohibits the disclosure of classified communications intelligence activities to unauthorized persons "in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States . . . " The violation of these statutes is a felony. Because their disclosures to the Times may fall within these statues, the "current and former government officials" referred to in the Risen/Lichtblau story sought the promise of confidentiality from the Times to protect their identity.
Assuming that these statutes apply to the leaks involved in the NSA story, has the Times itself violated the statutes and committed a crime? The answer is clearly affirmative. Section 798, for example, makes knowing and willful "publication" of the proscribed information a crime. Moreover, under the basic federal aiding and abetting statute--18 U.S.C. S 2--in willfully helping the leakers publish their disclosures, the Times is as culpable as they are, and punishable as a principal.
Which raises the question: Does the First Amendment afford the Times immunity from criminal liability for its conduct? In New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971; otherwise known as the Pentagon Papers case), the Supreme Court held that it was presumptively unconstitutional for the government to restrain the publication of classified information. In separate opinions concurring with or dissenting from the order allowing the Times to continue publication of its Pentagon Papers stories, however, a majority of the justices contemplated that the Times could be held responsible for any violation of the law involved in publishing the stories.
Indeed, in their concurring opinions, Justices Douglas and White cited and discussed Section 798 as the prototype of a law that could be enforced against a newspaper following publication of information falling within the ambit of the statute. Justice White noted, for example:
The Criminal Code contains numerous provisions potentially relevant to these
cases [against the Times and the Washington Post.] Section 797 makes it a crime
to publish certain photographs or drawings of military installations. Section
798, also in precise language, proscribes knowing and willful publication of any
classified information concerning the cryptographic systems or communication
intelligence activities of the United States as well as any information obtained
from communication intelligence operations. If any of the material here at issue
is of this nature, the newspapers are presumably now on full notice of the
position of the United States and must face the consequences if they publish. I
would have no difficulty in sustaining convictions under these sections on facts
that would not justify the intervention of equity and the imposition of a prior
restraint. . . .It is thus clear that Congress has addressed itself to the
problems of protecting the security of the country and the national defense from
unauthorized disclosure of potentially damaging information. It has not,
however, authorized the injunctive remedy against threatened publication. It has
apparently been satisfied to rely on criminal sanctions and their deterrent
effect on the responsible as well as the irresponsible press. I am not, of
course, saying that either of these newspapers has yet committed a crime or that
either would commit a crime if it published all the material now in its
possession. That matter must await resolution in the context of a criminal
proceeding if one is instituted by the United States. In that event, the issue
of guilt or innocence would be determined by procedures and standards quite
different from those that have purported to govern these injunctive proceedings.
In a Boston Phoenix article, "The Gray Lady in shadow," civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate counts five Pentagon Papers justices in accord with the basic proposition that, while prior restraint is essentially prohibited, post-publication criminal responsibility is not. Silverglate observes that five of the nine justices (White, Stewart, Blackmun, Burger, and Harlan) would have approved of criminal prosecution of the newspaper defendants in the Pentagon Papers case, even though a majority would not authorize a pre-publication injunction. That observation is clearly correct, but conservative. Justice Marshall's concurring opinion is also consistent with White's analysis. It is fair to conclude that the Times is not immune from criminal liability for violation of the federal espionage laws under the Pentagon Papers case.
WHILE THE PENTAGON PAPERS CASE is still good law, it is not the last word. In Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001), the Court held that the First Amendment protected the publication of lawfully obtained information that was itself obtained illegally. The Court held that federal law making it a crime to intercept and disseminate telephone conversations cannot constitutionally be applied to the media when they report on matters of public concern.
Does Bartnicki suggest that the Times is constitutionally immune from prosecution under the espionage laws? The Court's fundamental factual predicates in Bartnicki were that the media defendants played no part in the underlying illegal conduct and that their access to the information was obtained lawfully. In the case of the NSA leaks, however, the disclosures to the Times were themselves illegal; it is the fact that the Times is not entitled or authorized to receive information provided to it regarding the NSA surveillance program that makes disclosures to the Times illegal under sections 793 and 798. Because Bartnicki is readily distinguishable from the facts involved in the Times's disclosure of the NSA surveillance program, it appears that the Times is not constitutionally immune from criminal responsibility for its conduct.
SO WHAT WAS the Times thinking when it published the Risen/Lichtblau story? Times executive editor Bill Keller purports to have satisfied himself that the publication of the story did "not expose any technical intelligence-gathering methods or capabilities that are not already on the public record." In his December 17 radio address, however, President Bush flatly asserted that publication of the story "damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk." It is doubtful that even Keller believes that he is in a better position than the president to judge the consequences of the publication of the story. Earlier this month, Time's Joe Klein reported:
It would have been a scandal if the NSA had not been using these tools to track
down the bad guys. There is evidence that the information harvested helped foil
several plots and disrupt al-Qaeda operations.
There is also evidence,
according to U.S. intelligence officials, that since the New York Times broke
the story, the terrorists have modified their behavior, hampering our efforts to
keep track of them--but also, on the plus side, hampering their ability to
communicate with one another.
In his autobiography Radical Son, former Ramparts editor David Horowitz recounts an incident involving the magazine's 1972 receipt of a draft article by a pseudonymous National Security Agency employee. Horowitz characterizes his involvement in the publication of the article in Ramparts as "the most shameful or humiliating thing I ever did."
In the article, the NSA employee revealed that the agency had cracked the Soviet intelligence code and could read Soviet electronic communications at will. Deliberating over whether publication of the article might subject the magazine editors to prosecution under the espionage laws, Horowitz consulted prominent Harvard law professor Charles Nesson. (Nesson denies recollection of the conversation recounted by Horowitz.) Nesson was then working as a member of Daniel Ellsberg's defense team in connection with the government's prosecution of Ellsberg for removing copies of the Pentagon Papers and turning them over to the Times--the incident underlying the Pentagon Papers case itself. Horowitz relates that Nesson advised him that publication of the article would violate the law. In addition to providing certain technical guidance, according to Horowitz, Nesson advised:
To make its case in a court of law, the government would have to establish that
we had indeed damaged national security. To do so, it would be necessary to
reveal more than the government might want the other side to know. In fact, the
legal process would force more information to light than the government would
want anybody to know. On balance, there was a good chance that we would not be prosecuted. I had just been given advice by a famous constitutional law
professor on how to commit treason and get away with it.
One wonders if the Times relied on similar advice regarding its publication of the NSA surveillance story.
Scott Johnson is a contributing writer to THE DAILY STANDARD and a contributor to the blog Power Line.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Jan 25 2:29 PM US/Eastern
By RON FOURNIERAP Political Writer
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday called President Bush's explanations for eavesdropping on domestic telephone calls "strange" and "far-fetched," launching a blistering attack on the White House ahead of the president's State of the Union address.
Whats strange and far-fetched Hillary that someone would use the powers of his office to defend the Country, Didn't your Husband do the same thing when he SEARCHED Aldrich Ames house WITHOUT A WARRENT ?
"Obviously, I support tracking down terrorists. I think that's our obligation. But I think it can be done in a lawful way," the New York Democrat said. What the president has authorized is Lawful.
Clinton, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, told reporters she did not yet know whether the administration's warrantless eavesdropping broke any laws. But the senator said she did not buy the White House's main justifications for the tactic. If you DON'T KNOW if any laws were broke than how come you just said it was NOT lawful ?
"Their argument that it's rooted in the authority to go after al-Qaida is far-fetched," she said in an apparent reference to a congressional resolution passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.Why don't you even know what YOU voted for? The Bush administration has argued that resolution gave the president authority to order such electronic surveillance as part of efforts to protect the nation from terrorists.
"Their argument that it's rooted in the Constitution inherently is kind of strange because we have FISA and FISA operated very effectively and it wasn't that hard to get their permission," she said.Bullshit The super-secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established by Congress to approve eavesdropping warrants, even retroactively, but Bush has argued that the process often takes too long. It also doesn't apply to situations that would hinder the President in his abilities involving foriegn TERRORISTS
Clinton leveled her criticism at a meeting of the nation's mayors while Bush toured the National Security Agency, which conducts the eavesdropping. The tour was part of the White House's aggressive campaign to defend the practice of eavesdropping on calls and other communications made overseas from the United States.
Polls suggest the public is divided on whether the administration should be able to eavesdrop on suspected terrorist calls, no they're not a practice that has draw criticism from many congressional Democrats, human rights and civil liberties groups. Bush and his political team have signaled that the eavesdropping program will be a campaign issue in November, part of a broader strategy to cast Democrats as weak on terrorism. Which sure as hell ain't going to be hard to do.
A majority of people _ 56 percent _ said the Bush administration should be required to get a warrant before monitoring phone conversations and Internet communications between American citizens and suspected terrorists, according to an AP-Ipsos poll earlier this month. Who did they poll the names on the Hilliry in 08 mailing list?
But when people have been asked in other polls to balance their worries about terrorist threats against their worries about intrusions on privacy, fighting terror is the higher priority. No Shit Sherlock
Jan 25 9:41 AM US/Eastern
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
Associated Press Writer
SIERRA BLANCA, Texas
Texas law enforcement officers faced off with men dressed as Mexican Army soldiers and apparent drug suspects near the U.S.-Mexican border Tuesday, after three SUVs attempted to flee state authorities, officials said.
Andrea Simmons, an agency spokeswoman in El Paso, told The Associated Press that Texas Department of Public Safety troopers chased three SUVs, believing they were carrying drugs, to the banks of the Rio Grande during Monday's incident.
Men dressed in Mexican military uniforms or camouflage were on the U.S. side of the border in Texas, she said.
Simmons said the FBI was not involved and referred requests for further details to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of Ontario, Calif., reported Tuesday that the incident included an armed standoff involving the Mexican military and suspected drug smugglers. The incident follows a story in the Bulletin on Jan. 15 that said the Mexican military had crossed into the United States more than 200 times since 1996.
In a news conference, Rick Glancey of the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition, said three Hudspeth County deputies and at least two Texas Department of Public Safety troopers squared off against at least 10 heavily armed men from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.
U.S. officials who pursued three fleeing SUVs to the Mexican border saw what appeared to be a Mexican military Humvee help one of the SUVs when it got stuck in the river, he said.
When that didn't work, a group of men dressed in civilian clothes started unloading what appeared to be bundles of marijuana from the SUV, and the stuck vehicle was then torched, he said. A second SUV had a flat tire and was left behind in the United States and its occupant ran across the border, he said.
Glancey said he could not confirm whether the armed men seen at the site were Mexican Army, police officers, or drug dealers, and would not detail what markings deputies may have seen on the men's uniforms or the Humvee.
Chief Deputy Mike Doyal of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department said that Mexican army personnel had several mounted machine guns on the ground more than 200 yards inside the U.S. border, the Daily Bulletin newspaper reported earlier.
"It's been so bred into everyone not to start an international incident with Mexico that it's been going on for years," Doyal said. "When you're up against mounted machine guns, what can you do? Who wants to pull the trigger first? Certainly not us."
Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West, whose officers were involved in a similar incident last year, said he is certain that Mexican authorities know who was involved.
After the newspaper reported on Mexican military crossings earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the report was overblown and most of the incursions were just mistakes.
In eastern California, Arizona and New Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border is largely unmarked. But in Texas, the Rio Grande separates the two countries and even when dry, is a riverbed about 200 feet wide.
In November, Doyal said Border Patrol agents in the border town of Fort Hancock called for help after confronting more than six men dressed in Mexican military uniforms. The men allegedly were trying to bring more than three tons of marijuana across the Rio Grande, Doyal told the newspaper.
Mexican migrants to get US maps
A Mexican government agency is to issue some 70,000 maps marking main roads and water tanks for people wanting to cross illegally into the US.
Sourced @ Drudge
Warriors and wusses
by Joel Stein
I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on. "LINK"
Last week, I talked about the way in which the September 2004 trial which landed U.S. Special Forces soldier Jack Idema and his men in prison was actually conducted by the very terrorists he'd spent three years hunting down.
But there's another side to the story of how Jack,; Brent; and Ed; wound up in the infamous Pulacharke prison, and this involves elements within FBI and U.S. State Department, both of which have done everything within their power to hinder Jack Idema's efforts to gain his freedom.
Idema's problems, as those following this story know, appear to stem from his arrest of a senior Afghan judge, Sidiq, in July 2004. At this point in time, Jack was working with the Northern Alliance, operating a safe house where terror suspects could be held for interrogation prior to transfer to U.S. authorities. (There were fifty such safe houses in operation in Afghanistan, and their existence was not a secret from either the U.S. or Afghan authorities.) Although Idema knew the arrest of Sidiq might raise some eyebrows, he had good reason for believing the judge was a high-value suspect -- At the time of the arrest, Sidiq was found to be in possession of the following items:
- Photographs of Sidiq with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
- Bomb plans
- Explosive detonators
- al-Qaida and Hezb-i-Islami documents and recruiting cards
- A letter from Taliban leader Mullah Omar
Idema, it should go without saying, is very much the sort of man who believes that terrorists cannot be appeased or given settlements -- They must, he says, be captured or killed. This difference of opinion came to a head in the following way:
Instead of a "friendly meeting" the men were arrested at Kabul NDS Headquarters and turned over to former Taliban officials at NDS. When first "arrested," the men were placed in the NDS' underground torture chamber where Jack and Zorro were subjected to beatings until they were unconscious. Jack sustained a broken sternum, torn rotator cuffs, both eyes had detached retinas, etc. Major Ezmerai was electrocuted for days, and the screams could be heard throughout NDS. Syhail and Sherzai were beaten, threatened, and Sherzai finally drugged when he refused to sign a statement against Jack. Bennett was interrogated relentlessly, and threatened with death repeatedly shown a knife and told his ears and nose would be cut off. (To date Bennett has lost 8 teeth because of those beatings.) The torture was with the full knowledge and sanction of the FBI who were directing it, using the Afghans as proxies. FBI agents were at some points laughing about it in the hallway.And yes, you read that correctly. After the arrest of Idema and his team, the FBI assisted 'former' Taliban guards in torturing American citizens and the Northern Alliance soldiers who fought with us to liberate Afghanistan.
The FBI's involvement didn't stop there:
On or about this time, NDS, acting with agents of the FBI [Unnamed Agents 2 & 3], and possibly Ingram [more on her later] herself, removed Bennett's and Idema's dog tags, removed the their Geneva Convention Identity Cards, and removed Idema and Bennett's U.S. passports. The FBI also removed crucial exculpatory evidence from NDS headquarters; including approximately 50 rolls of 35mm film, 200 videotapes, and 500 documents, many of which were official documents which were evidence of actual innocence.This process of removing evidence of Idema's innocence continued even after the initial trial -- When Jack and his men were granted leave to appeal their sentences, more evidence was disappeared by the FBI.
Then there's the U.S. State Department, who have acted in a similarly illegal fashion throughout Idema's imprisonment:
Sandra Ingram, Acting US Consul, not only refused to acknowledge Idema's assertion [of his POW status], she refused to pass his request on to the appropriate authorities, and refused to provide him with a copy of the Geneva Conventions as required by law. Idema also asserted their POW status and right to protection to NDS, the FBI, and various Karzai officials. During a subsequent visit by Ingram, Idema put his request in writing and demanded she make an entry in her Embassy notebook (Ingram refused to sign a receipt for Idema's POW protected status request). Further, Ingram refused to forward this request to the Red Cross, stating her DOS bosses "ordered" her not to.This sort of behaviour continues today, with U.S. authorities refusing to relay mail to Idema, Brent and Ed, and even going so far as to deny them access to food parcels, clean drinking water and medical supplies.
Why? There are two reasons:
- As stated above, there are those in the State Department, the FBI and the Karzai government who believe that the best way to deal with the Taliban is to incorporate them into the democratic process. To a very limited degree, this makes sense, though only if the Islamofascists are serious about renouncing violence. Judging by the bomb plans and detonators he was carrying at the time of his arrest, Sidiq clearly didn't get the memo on that one.
- There was Abu Ghraib. During the latter half of 2004, the people involved in Idema's arrest feared the U.S. would take a propaganda hit by refusing to pursue any allegations of torture by its forces, however baseless those allegations turned out to be. By allowing the Taliban to stage a show-trail and imprison Idema, it seems likely that people such as Consul Sandra Ingram felt they could earn Muslim goodwill and remove an obstacle to the political games they were playing with the Karzai government and its 'ex'-Taliban members at a single stroke.
You can't fight terrorists with law enforcement and prosecution, Clinton tried that for eight years. You can't do it, they are animals– they are not human, just ask the families that lost their loved ones on 9/11. When the terrorists capture us they cut off our heads on television. When we capture them they complain that we don't let them p*ss for twelve hours. Well, sorry about that motherf*cker, you were about to drive explosive rigged gas tankers into Bagram and kill 500 American soldiers in a ball of flames. You should be glad I didn't defenestrate you. I believe that real Americans want real counter-terrorist operations, not bullsh*t press junkets and canned PR stories from PAOs that shot a gun once in their life on the basic training qualification range. I didn't start this f*cking war, not the one with bin laden, nor the one with the press, they started it, but I will finish it, or die in the process.Just so.
Anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details. I'd urge everyone to do this, as we're still terribly short on takers. If you want to know more about the story, Cao's Blog has a large section devoted to Jack Idema. There's also a timeline here, and, of course, a huge amount of information is available over at SuperPatriots;, without whose work none of us would have learned about Jack's story.
You can also contact the following people and make your feelings known:
Secret US EMBASSY Fax: – 301-560-5729 (Local US Fax: Goes RIGHT TO Ambassador)
c/o US Ambassador Ronald Neuman
6180 Kabul Place
Dulles, VA 20189-6180
US Consul Russell Brown – 011-93-70201908 (Fired)
US Consul Addie Harchik- 011-93-70201908 (denied them water and mail at Thanksgiving)
US Embassy Translator Wahid – new – 011-93-70201902
US Embassy Translator Bashir Momman– 011-93-70201923
US Consul (friend of Jack's Now fired) Dawn Schrepel– 011-93-70201908
Embassy of Afghanistan (Good guys, Northern Alliance)
2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Ph: 202-483-6410, Fax: no. 202-483-6488
Ambassador Massoud Khalili (wounded with Massoud)
Islamic State of Afghanistan
Embassy of Afghanistan
New Delhi, India
H.E. Said Tayeb JAWAD (Afghan Ambassador- powerful in US)
Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington
2341 Wyoming Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (+1-202) 483 6414
Fax: (+1-202) 483 9523
Mr. Jahed Hamrah, Consul General (pro-Taliban)
CONSULATE GENERAL OF
AFGHANISTAN IN NEW YORK
360 Lexington Avenue,
11th Floor New York,
New, York, NY 10017
Tel.: (+1-212) 972 2276 or 972 2277
Fax: (+1-212) 972 9046
Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon – Room # 3E880
Washington, DC 20301-1000
Ph: (703) 692-7100
Fax: (703) 697-9080
Lt General William Boykin
of Defense for Intelligence
1800 Defense Pentagon – Room # 3E836
Washington, DC 20301
Ph: (703) 697-0170
Private Fax: (703) 697-9080
Principle Deputy Secretary for Intelligence
1800 Defense Pentagon – Room # 3E
Washington, DC 20310-0100
General Peter J. Shoomaker
Chief of Staff, Department of the Army
200 Army Pentagon – Room # 3E528
Washington, DC 20310-0200
Ph: (703) 695-2077 / Fax: (703) 614-5268
The Honorable John D. Negroponte
Director National Intelligence
New Executive Office Building
725 17th Street, N.W., Room 4203
Washington, DC 20503
On Homeland Security
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Chairman Peter Hoekstra
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
H-405, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-6415;
Office: (202) 225-4121 / Fax: (202) 225-1991
Toll Free: (877) 858-9040
M. Cherif BASSIOUNI
Independent Expert of the Commission on Human Rights
On the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Ph: +41(0)22 917 97 27 Fax: +41(0)22 917 90 18
Senator Steven Saland (Jack's Rep and Neighbor)
9 Jonathan Lane
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Senator Elizabeth Dole (Jack's Rep)
United States Senate
310 New Bern Avenue, Suite 122
Raleigh, NC 27601
Senator Elizabeth Dole (Jack's Rep)
United States Senate
555 Dirksen Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Richard Burr (of Interest)
United States Senate
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154 / Fax: (202) 228-2981
Senator Bill Nelson (in the fight on Jack's Side)
United States Senate
Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274 / Fax: 202-228-2183
FL Fax 407-872-7165
Senator Dianne Feinstein (Bennett's Representative)
United States Senate
Hart Office Building, Room 331
Washington, D.C. 20510
Representative Mike McIntyre (Jack's Representative)
United States Congress
2437 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2731 / Fax (202) 225-5773
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (reference Captain Bennett- CA citizen)
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841 / Fax: 916-445-4633
Finally, PLEASE NOTE: The SuperPatriots; and Jack images on this site are used with WRITTEN COPYRIGHT PERMISSION and any use by any third party is subject to legal action by SuperPatriots.US;
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
PAKISTANI officials say three or four top al-Qaida operatives died in the U.S. airstrike in Pakistan. The reported 13 civilians killed in the attack faded behind America's arrogant contrition. What contrition Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona on Thursday told MSNBC, "I understand how this would upset the Pakistanis, and we regret it. And obviously, we should do whatever we can to compensate the families of the innocent people who were killed. But for us to say that al-Qaida has sanctuary any place in the world would put us at a significant disadvantage. Again it's a tough situation. But if we don't take these guys out when we have the chance ..."
President Bush has yet to comment on the 13 civilians, which included women and children. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan turned the deaths upside down, saying, "We are engaged in a war on terrorism against a deadly and determined enemy, an enemy that continues to target innocent civilians. In this war, we go out of our way to target the enemy, to target the terrorists, those who want to do harm to innocent civilians in Pakistan, in that region, in the United States. We work very hard to minimize the loss of civilians. And we go out of our way to minimize civilian loss." Now check out this wacks analyses
Let us assume that we got some of the key commanders and weapons experts in al-Qaida. The incident remains bloody proof that we are repeating the Vietnam mistake of destroying villages to save them. No Village was Destroyed it was a precise hit If the current reports hold up, we still killed three times more civilians than terrorists in the attack, a ratio we would not accept from our local police, no matter how desperate we are to curb youth violence or organized crime. This is NOT a police action it is a war That is a gruesome parallel to conservative estimates that American forces killed at least three times as many innocent civilians in invading and occupying Iraq than were killed on our shores on Sept. 11, 2001. By whose numbers and the one has nothing to do with the other
For all the real dangers that foreign terrorism poses, we will not win the hearts of the world and secure global peace by following the mentality of William Westmoreland. We are NOT trying to win the hearts of anyone we are killing TERRORISTS The late American commander in Vietnam famously dehumanized civilian slaughter in our 10-to-1 kill ratio of enemy soldiers by saying, "The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner ... life is cheap in the Orient." Once again wrong War ya git
Kill ratio is not the only way we declare life cheap in the rest of the world. It was curious that McCain talked about compensating families of innocent victims in Pakistan. We have barely done that in Iraq. McCains an idiot and is running for President, what would you expect him to say?
According to a 2004 report by Newsday, the U.S. military had given out an average of $393 to Iraqi families whose loved ones were killed or maimed by our bombs and bullets. Later an award-winning feature by the Dayton Daily News found contradictory evidence of American restitution to Iraqi civilians. Who gave them the award the terrorists?
While the Army claimed that 79 percent of 14,000 claims were paid, the Daily News found through the Freedom of Information Act that only about 25 percent of cases in the Army database resulted in a payment. Prior to that, Newsday had reported that the military denied compensation in a little over half the cases. Here is a good one he can't report the facts like we aren't going to pay the families of those that are shooting at us because we killed the family member for shooting at us. The ones that were justified are being compensated.
Contrast that to the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund. It gave out an average of $2.1 million to families of 2,880 people who were killed and an average of $400,000 to the 2,680 people who were injured. So in his mind are troops killing the enemy are equal to
Contrast that to what happens when cities are forced to compensate for mistakes by the police.
Boston made a $5 million settlement with the family of Victoria Snelgrove, the woman who was killed by a pepper pellet during a rowdy Red Sox victory celebration. New York City made a $3 million settlement with the family of Amadou Diallo, who was hit with 41 bullets when police mistook his wallet for a gun. Riverside made a $3 million settlement with the family of Tyisha Miller, who was hit in her car with 12 of 24 shots, accompanied by racist comments. These aren't police or police acts, these are soldiers fighting a war you ASS
On Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke in New York, again mixing 9/11 with Saddam Hussein and his nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Cheney said again that we face "a loose network of committed fanatics ... enemies who hate us, who hate our country, who hate the liberties for which we stand." I like this he implies that Cheyney said Saddam was involved with 9/11 didn't happen fool His response is fanatical acts of needlessly invading countries and destroying a village to kill a terrorist. Once again in this clowns eyes were the enemy and once again he repeats his LIE that we destroyed a village to kill a terrorist. Soon, it will not be just our enemies who hate us. It's obvious that this idiot already hates his country. The bottom line is that a terror supporting family that just happens to be friendly with the top leaders of Al-Qaida invited them over for diner and got killed along with them. Oh well no tears shed here. What gets me is that newspapers pay this nutcase to write this crap.
Derrick Z. Jackson writes for the Boston Globe.
Democrats Want It Both Ways on Abramoff Scandal
By Jack Kelly
It was no way to treat a lady. Washington Post ombudswoman Deborah Howell wrote a column praising her paper for exposing crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff. She was deluged with so much obscene email from outraged liberals the Post had to shut down one of its Web sites.
"I heard that I was lying, that Democrats never got a penny of Abramoff-tainted money, that I was trying to say it was a bipartisan scandal," a stunned Ms. Howell wrote in her column last Sunday.
"Records from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff's indian clients contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004," Ms. Howell noted. Still, Democrats are trying to portray this as strictly a GOP scandal.
Mr. Abramoff is front page news. But there was virtually no news coverage when one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's fund-raising committees agreed Jan. 5th to pay a $35,000 fine for failing to report $722,000 in contributions.
This is guilt by association. Mr. Abramoff is a crook. Therefore anyone to whom he gave money or socialized with must be a crook, too. But the steps Sen. Reid and other Democrats took on behalf of Mr. Abramoff's clients complicate their efforts to portray this as purely a GOP scandal.
Democrats received about a third of the money donated by Mr. Abramoff's clients and by employees of his lobbying firm. Among those receiving the most were Rep. Robert F. Kennedy of Rhode Island ($128,000, 2nd overall); Sen. Reid ($40,500), and Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee ($67,000).
There is so far nothing to indicate that in his relations with lawmakers, Mr. Abramoff behaved much differently than the other 34,750 lobbyists in Washington. All expect something in return for the favors they bestow and the campaign cash they give.
Read the Full Story
John McCain can even get something right once in awhile
McCain: U.S. can't be dependent on 'wackos' in Venezuela
January 22, 2006
BY FOSTER KLUG
ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON
A top Republican lawmaker said Sunday that America must explore alternate energy sources to avoid being held hostage by Iran or by "wackos" in Venezuela-- an apparent reference to Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's populist president.
Sen. John McCain, a potential presidential contender in 2008, said recent action by "Mr. Chavez" and by Iran's leaders make it clear that the United States will be vulnerable as long as it remains dependent on foreign energy.
"We've got to get quickly on a track to energy independence from foreign oil, and that means, among other things, going back to nuclear power," McCain said on Fox News Sunday.
"We better understand the vulnerabilities that our economy, and our very lives, have when we're dependent on Iranian mullahs and wackos in Venezuela," said McCain, who challenged President George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.
Iran is OPEC's second-largest producer. Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, with the largest proven oil reserves outside of the Mideast.
Chavez, a frequent U.S. critic, accuses foreign oil companies of having looted Venezuela. He has promised that his socialist "revolution" is freeing the country from "imperialist" interests and restoring its sovereignty.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Iran, Russia stress political, economic cooperation
Moscow, Jan 24,
Iran-Russia-Ties Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs Mehdi Safari in a meeting here Monday with his Russian counterpart Alexander Alexiev explored the latest developments on bilateral relations, regional issues as well as cooperation on global trends.
The two sides stressed on economic relations and cooperation in transportation sector and other areas with potentials.
It was also decided to hold the joint economic commissions session or upgrading mutual trade and investments.
Alexiev also said Moscow is determined for implementing its obligations on Bushehr nuclear powerplant.
The Russian official said the powerplant operation will be carried out according to set schedule, adding "I think we are approaching the timeline," he added.
Safari said that Iran and other nations have the right to acquire peaceful nuclear technology as has been enshrined in the Non-Proliferation-Treaty.
"Tehran will continue its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and will answer outstanding questions." However, politicizing the issue on the part of some nations has created problems, Safari added.
The Russian officials expressed hope that the issue will be resolved within the framework of IAEA guidelines and without referral to the UN Security Council.
Safari and Alexiev also discussed Central Asia, Caucasus and Caspian Sea.
Safari arrived in Moscow Monday for talks with Russian foreign minister and his deputy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in a meeting with Safari, called upon Iran to resume nuclear talks.
He said that Russian officials continue to hope that Iran will act in a manner conducive to resolving the dispute on its nuclear programs and resume negotiations. *
In the latest development on bilateral cooperation, a Russian official said here last week that Iran's nuclear dossier will not prevent the continuation of Iran-Russia military cooperation.
Head of Russian Military Forecasting Center Anatoli Tesiganouk told the news agency Ria-Novatsi that the cooperation may take the form of delivery of defensive weapons as long as they do not contravene international agreements and conventions on exports of military armaments.
Iran has entered into a contract to purchase 29 TOR M1 mobile surface-to-air missile defence systems from Russia worth more than USD 700 million (EUR 600 million).
Russia and Iran Blame US for INSTABILITY in Region. LOL
Iran, Russia say foreign forces cause of instability in region
Moscow, Jan 23, IRNA
Iran-Russia-Ties Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs Mehdi Safari and Head of Russian Duma for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Andre Kokoshin discussed here Monday Central Asia, Caucasus and Caspian Sea.
Russian official said that Iran-Russia have common and beneficial cooperation.
Safari said Tehran and Moscow have constructive relations for peace and stability in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
They also said that the presence of foreign forces in the region is the cause of instability and stressed the need for cooperation to delineate a legal regime for Caspian Sea.
Another issue of discussions was the peaceful nuclear cooperation between the two states.
Safari arrived in Moscow Monday for talks with Russian foreign minister and his deputy.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in a meeting with Safari, called upon Iran to resume nuclear talks.
He said that Russian officials continue to hope that Iran will act in a manner conducive to resolving the dispute on its nuclear programs and resume negotiations. *
For his part, Safari said that Iran and Russia will continue their political talks in this regard.
Turning to the recent visit of the Secretary of Russia's National Security Council Igor Ivanov to Tehran, he hoped that talks that began will continue and witness more high-level meetings.
*Did you also notice the Russian "Disclamer" in both Stories.
By KATHRYN SHRADER
Associated Press Writer
In a wide-ranging defense of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program, the government's No. 2 intelligence official said Monday that the spy agency's operations are not a drift net over U.S. communities.
Gen. Michael Hayden, the former NSA director, described the 4-year-old program as narrowly targeted, using the same tools and techniques employed to decide whether to drop a 500-pound bomb on a terrorist target.
Hayden now holds the second-ranking job in the Office of the National Intelligence Director, John Negroponte.
"Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States," Hayden said in an appearance at the National Press Club.
Hayden's comments came as the Bush administration kicked off three days of public events aimed at defending the highly classified surveillance program.
First disclosed last month, the program approved by President Bush allowed the NSA to eavesdrop, without warrants, on communications of individuals within the continental United States, whose calls and e- mails were believed to have involved al-Qaida.
By Jacob Laksin
FrontPageMagazine.com January 23, 2006
No small leap of faith is required to imagine the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), those two bastions of the “legal Left,” as paladins of the Constitution and guardians of American legal norms. CCR, after all, has consistently opposed the enforcement of U.S. immigration statutes, even vying against restrictions on immigrants who “endorse or espouse terrorist activity.” The ACLU meanwhile has waged a concerted attack against all measures aimed at holding the enemies of American liberties—from radical Islamic mosques to terrorist suspects—to account.
But that has not kept both groups from posturing as the last line of defense against an oppressive and invasive American government. In their latest gambit, CCR and the ACLU this Tuesday filed twin lawsuits, one in New York and one in Detroit, seeking to terminate the Bush administration’s warrantless electronic surveillance of American citizens with suspected terrorism ties. In keeping with the groups’ longtime strategy, the lawsuits charge that the surveillance amounts to an “illegal and unconstitutional program.”
In effect—and presumably by design—the lawsuits constitute a full-bore assault on the country’s security apparatus. The New York suit, filed by the CCR, names President Bush; the Detroit suit, filed by the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Greenpeace, as well as several individuals, including writer Christopher Hitchens, targets National Security Agency director Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander and the heads of all other major security agencies. To claims of unconstitutionality CCR attorney Rachel Meeropol, the granddaughter of executed spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, has added the further argument that the surveillance program impedes the center’s ability to represent its most prominent clients: the enemy combatants detained at Guantanamo Bay. The thrust of their arguments is jarringly clear: America lacks the fundamental right to defend itself.
The law is not on the plaintiffs’ side. As John Schmidt, a former associate attorney general in the Clinton administration, has convincingly argued, the principal source of authority for the two suits—the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requiring court authorization of surveillance of individuals—fails to support their contentions. Schmidt has noted that the supervisory court established by that law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, has most recently upheld the president’s authority to conduct warrantless searches of suspected members of foreign terrorist groups. Notwithstanding the suits’ claims to the contrary, any objective interpretation of legal precedent argues that the NSA surveillance program falls well within the president’s constitutional prerogatives.
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