Sunday, April 30, 2006
By Ali Nouri Zadeh
London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Eight fundamentalist Islamist organizations have received large sums of money in the last month from the Iranian intelligence services, as part of a project to strike U.S military and economic installations across the Middle East Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.
The plan, which also includes the carrying out of suicide operations targeting US and British interests in the region, as well as their Arab and Muslim allies, in case Iran is attacked, was drawn up by a number of experts guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, and was revealed by a senior source in the Iranian armed forces' joint chief of staff headed by the veterinary doctor Hassan Firouzabadi,
The source added that the forces of the Revolutionary Guards’ al Quds Brigades, under Brigadier General Qassim Suleimani is responsible for coordinating and providing logistical support for the groups taking part in the execution of the plan, codenamed al Qiyamah the Islamic word for "Judgment Day".
The plan includes three steps, which Asharq al Awsat has examined in earlier reports. The source gave more details about how the plan will be implemented. He said, “Most of Iran’s visitors in the last four months, including the leaders of revolutionary groups in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the heads of Hezbollah cells in the Persian Gulf and Europe and North America were asked, when they met with the Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei and his aides: are you ready to defend the Islamic revolution and vilayat e faqih? If you agree to take part in the great jihad, what would you need to be ready for the great fight?
According to Iran, the latest military plan includes:
1- A missile strike directly targeting the US bases in the Persian Gulf and Iraq , as soon as nuclear installations are hit.
2- Suicide operations in a number of Arab and Muslim countries against US embassies and missions and US military bases and economic and oil installations related to US and British companies. The campaign might also target the economic and military installations of countries allied with the United States .
3- Launch attacks by the Basij and the Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi fighters loyal to Iran against US and British forces in Iraq , from border regions in central and southern Iraq .
4- Hezbollah to launch hundreds of rockets against military and economic targets in Israel .
According to the source, in case the US military attacks continue, more than 50 Shehab-3 missiles will be targeted against Israel and the al Quads Brigades will give the go-ahead for more than 50 terrorists cells in Canada, the US and Europe to attack civil and industrial targets in these countries.
What about the last stage in the plan?
Here, the Iranian source hesitated before saying with worry; this stage might represent the beginning of a world war, given that extremists will seek to maximize civilian casualties by exploding germ and chemical bombs as well as dirty nuclear bombs across western and Arab cities.
By Michael Grunwald
Sunday, April 30, 2006; Page B01
Remember the "Bridge to Nowhere"?
Last fall, after House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) earmarked $223 million to link the remote town of Ketchikan (population 8,900) to the more remote island of Gravina (population 50), the Bridge to Nowhere became a national symbol of congressional porkmania, lampooned by Leno, Letterman and Limbaugh. It was the most brazen of the record-breaking 6,300-plus earmarks inserted by individual members of Congress into the record-breaking $286 billion transportation bill. Even Parade magazine, not known for its muckraking, featured the project as a poster child for government waste.
Young, a 33-year House veteran, defiantly boasted that he had stuffed the bill "like a turkey." And Stevens, a 37-year senator, furiously threatened to resign if Congress shifted money away from Gravina and another bridge to nowhere near Anchorage -- a bridge named Don Young's Way, near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. But the projects became such an embarrassment to Republicans that the chairmen agreed to withdraw both earmarks. Budget hawks, green activists and clean-government types hailed the defeat of the bridges as a victory for fiscal sanity.
Except that the bridges weren't defeated.
The Republican-controlled Congress still gave Alaska the $452 million it had requested for the two bridges, merely removing the earmark directing where the state should spend the money. Gov. Frank H. Murkowski (R), who was once Stevens's junior colleague in the Senate, intends to spend that money on the bridges.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
This report comes to us from the g2 bulletin (subscription required):
Hamid Mir, the only journalist to interview Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in the wake of 9/11, has confirmed that al-Qaida has obtained nuclear suitcase weapons from the Russian black market, that the weapons were tested in Kabul in 2000 and that may have already been forward deployed to the United States.
"If you think that my information and analysis about bin Laden's location is correct," Mir said, "then please don't underestimate my analysis about his nuclear threat also."
Mir said that he met with an Egyptian engineer last week who had lost an eye after one of bin Laden's nuclear tests in Kunar. The Pakistani journalist said that the encounter with the engineer greatly disturbed and depressed him since it provided further assurance that a nuclear nightmare for America is about to dawn.
Mir believes that an "American Hiroshima" will occur as soon as the U.S. launches an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. "Al-Qaida and Iran," he says, "have a long, secret relationship."
That relationship dates back to June 21, 1996, when bin Laden attended a terror summit in Tehran. The gathering attracted terror leaders from various places throughout the world, including Ramadan Shallah (the Palestinian Islamic Jihad), Ahmad Salah (Egyptian Islamic Jihad), Imad al-Alami and Mustafa al-Liddawi (HAMAS), Ahmad Jibril (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), Abdallah Ocalan (the Kurdish People Party), Muhammad Ali Ahmad (al Qaeda), and Imad Mugniyah (Hezbollah). The summit resulted in the creation of the "Committee of Three" that would meet on a regular basis for the "coordination, planning, and execution of attacks" against the United States and Israel. The committee members were Ahmad Salah, Imad Mugniyah and bin Laden.
Mir's position that al-Qaida's nuclear weapons may have already been forward deployed to the United States confirms the report of Sharif al-Masri, a key al-Qaida operative who was arrested in Pakistan in November 2000.
Al Masri, an Egyptian national with ties to al-Zawahiri, said that al-Qaida had made arrangements to smuggle nuclear weapons and supplies to Mexico, From Mexico, he said, the weapons were to be transported across the border and into the United States with the help of a Latino street gang.
Mir also maintains that numerous sleeper agents are in place in major cities throughout the United States to prepare for the nuclear holocaust. Many of these agents, he says, are Algerians and Chechens who obtained European passports and are posing as Christian and Jews...
Dachau Concentration Camp Liberated by US Troops (1945)
Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp and served as a model for others that followed. Over 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 countries were housed there. Beginning in 1941, the Nazis used Dachau for extermination purposes, and camp records list 30,000 persons killed there. Thousands more died due to poor conditions, including a typhus epidemic. Dachau was liberated by the 45th Infantry Division of the US Seventh Army in April, 1945. What did the troops find when they entered the camp? More...
BERLIN (Reuters) -
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a psychopath and anti-Semite whose declarations resemble those of Adolf Hitler, Israeli acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a newspaper interview on Saturday."Ahmadinejad speaks today like Hitler before taking power," Olmert told Germany's Bild newspaper. "He speaks of the complete destruction and annihilation of the Jewish people."Ahmadinejad has questioned the Holocaust and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map". He has also suggested the Jewish state should be moved to Europe or North America."So you see, we are dealing with a psychopath of the worst kind, with an anti-Semite," Olmert said. "God forbid that this man ever gets his hands on nuclear weapons, to carry out his threats."Iran says it has the sovereign right to enrich uranium to use as fuel in power stations.Israel, believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, says Iran is months away from acquiring the know-how to make nuclear weapons. Other experts say Iran is still years away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon.Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), delivered a report on Friday saying U.N. checks in Iran had been hampered and Tehran had rebuffed requests to stop making nuclear fuel.The Islamic Republic said on Saturday it was willing to resume allowing snap U.N. atomic inspections if its case were dropped by the U.N. Security Council and passed back to the IAEA.
MBA Member Hit With Multi-Million Dollar Federal Lawsuit
MBA Member Lance Dutson who blogs at Maine Web Report was recently served with a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Maine. The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement and defamation for reporting and commentary written and published by Dutson on his blog.
"This case is nothing more than an attempt by a deep-pocketed litigant to bully a blogger for criticizing state officials and state contractors"", said MBA President Robert Cox. "We have successfully defended MBA members in nine previous cases and I donÂ¹t expect the outcome here to be be any different."
Dutson went public this morning with news of the lawsuit and provided key links here including his account of the events leading up to the lawsuit and the complaint served on Dutson by the local sheriff at his home in Maine. Dutson has vowed to fight.
"The idea that criticism of the state government can be defamatory is absurd", said Dutson, "This attempt to bludgeon critics of the state government is not going to work."
Through it's legal defense initiative, the MBA provides member bloggers with "first line" legal defense, pro bono advice on how best to respond to legal threats related to the member's blog.
"Bloggers don't usually have an in-house legal department or high priced outside First Amendment counsel, but they're at least as likely to need one as any MSM outlet. That's where we come in," said MBA General Counsel, Ronald Coleman of the Coleman Law Firm.
Dutson has secured the services of Greg Herbert of Greenberg Traurig, a specialist in media law and First Amendment/defamation litigation and private attorney Jon Stanley. The MBA, through Coleman, will act as co-counsel.
Herbert noted, "Many of these cases, where a large corporation sues an individual for criticism over the internet, appear to be motivated, primarily, by an attempt to silence legitimate criticism and suppress speech."
In addition to providing pro bono, "first line" legal advice, the MBA seeks to raise awareness of attempts by governments and corporations to intimidate bloggers and citizen journalists by encouaging members to report such actions on their own blogs and encouraging all bloggers to carry the news throughout the blogosphere.
Robert Cox President Media Bloggers Association
Friday, April 28, 2006
Thanks to Iran Watch for the Lead Now my next question is why hasn't OUR MSM run this story? Could it be that they are happy that Iran could have 250 Nukes? I mean gee we wouldn't be the only Super Power, or Better yet maybe the Iranians will cause even more of an Oil crises and we will all have to ride Bicycles and the planet will be saved.
The Problem is this is without a doubt the most important story of the YEAR. While Pulitzers are handed out to TRAITORS Iran prepairs to kill us. The Democrats and the Republicans are grandstanding about Oil Profits while they rip us off with taxes, and DO NOTHING while our enemies plan our Deaths.
Column One: The rise of the Islamist axis
By CAROLINE GLICK
On Monday, Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported that part of Ukraine's Soviet-era nuclear arsenal may well have found its way to Iran. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainians agreed to transfer the Soviet nuclear arsenal that remained in Ukraine after its independence to Russia. According to Novaya Gazeta, some 250 nuclear warheads never made it to Russia and are thought to have been sent to Iran instead. The report further noted that the warheads will remain operational until 2010.
Responding to the report, Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, Russia's deputy defense minister and the chief of General Staff, said, "Russia's General Staff has no information about whether Ukraine has given 250 nuclear warheads to Iran or not."
It is impossible to assess the accuracy of the report. The Ukrainian government has dismissed its allegations. Russia may well have invented the story to shift media attention away from the growing awareness that Russian support for Teheran, Damascus and Hamas effectively places it in the enemy camp in the US-led war against global jihad.
Please go READ the rest
Source: The Tax Foundation, based on Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
Taxes on gasoline are rising much higher than oil industry profits. Yet, Democrats are out there telling the willfully ill-informed that big oil is ripping them off and we need MORE TAXES.
If you didn't hear the Neil Cavuto (Fox News of course) interview with Senator Dick Durtbag, the video is here.
Here's the transcript from an illuminating excerpt:
CAVUTO: Senator, do you know how much, out of curiosity, is built into a gallon
of gasoline, the profits of the oil companies? Do you know what's the
DURBIN: Well, let me see. ExxonMobil, what did they make in three
months? It was $10 billion, if I'm not mistaken, the largest corporate
profits in the history of the United States.
CAVUTO: Maybe you could answer my question.
It's about 9 cents. Do you know how much taxes are, Senator?
About 50 cents.
DURBIN: Let me tell you....(CROSSTALK)
CAVUTO: So, don't you think you should be more focused on the tax-gouging than necessarily the profit-gouging?
DURBIN: How do you explain their profits after taxes? You're
ignoring that, Neil. You don't want to talk about it.
CAVUTO: Are you ignoring the taxes? Senator, I'm asking you simply, are you ignoring the taxes? Would you roll back those taxes?
DURBIN: No. I'm telling you the taxes pay for the roads that we use.
CAVUTO: Would you roll back those taxes?
DURBIN: No.Let me tell you, you look at the traffic congestion in
America and the need for mass transit, you want to cut the source of funding
to deal with that congestion? You're wrong. We have got to have taxation of
users of our roads, in order to keep them safe and to keep them modern and
to build mass transit.Neil, you can't walk away from that.
CAVUTO: So, $50
cents a gallon, the taxes are OK? The 9 cent profit, that's
Sooo... 9 cents for profit to oil companies to do all the work for
finding oil, bringing it to market and Durbin wants even more and more in taxes
to build roads. You could pave the entire planet with the amount the federal
government has collected for "roads" with gas taxes. And yet, it's never enough.
posted by Mike's America
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The California Public Utilities Commission approved a plan on Thursday allowing providers of high-speed Internet services to test using electricity lines to deliver online access throughout the state.
CPUC commissioner Rachelle Chong, who drafted the plan, said broadband over power lines, or BPL, could become a new competitor to Internet services delivered via telephone, cable and satellites and help reduce prices for consumers.
BPL uses existing utility lines delivering power to neighborhoods to carry broadband signals into homes.
It has been touted by equipment makers and regulators as a possible competitor to cable and telecommunications services, which handle almost all of the roughly 40 million U.S. residential broadband connections.
The regulatory commission adopted guidelines for electric utilities and companies that wish to develop and test projects in California.
Among the guidelines, electric utility affiliates and other developers can invest in and operate BPL systems.
Utility affiliates would have to follow CPUC rules for transactions between a utility and a BPL affiliate to protect against cross-subsidies, the commission said.
Broadband over power lines has 1 MAJOR Problem, the bleedthrough from sending the signal over power lines without shielding DESTROYS shortwave communications. Now I know the are not a lot of shortwave radio people in the general public. Most people are to ignorant to understand the important role that shortwave radio plays in our society. That especially includes the Congress that has been playing with this idea for years. So lets ignore the civilians for now and look at the issue from this perspective. If this is allowed to go through and be implemented nation wide which is the goal by the way. It will be sold as everybody can have highspeed internet just by plugging into any outlet in your your house HURRAH. Except what they don't tell you is the cost, the hidden cost. Every police, fire, and ambulance service in the country uses shortwave. All of their communication systems cease to function. Who do you think is going to pay for changing those communication systems to satellite based systems? or the other alternative a complete rewiring of the nations powergrid with shielded lines coast to coast. Gee I guess that wouldn't cost much, would it. Since those are PUBLIC UTILITIES you don't think they will raise our taxes to pay for this do ya? Just a little food for thought on a subject that is being slipped under the public radar.
Fri. 28 Apr 2006
Iran FocusTehran, Iran, Apr. 28 – Iran’s radical President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared on Friday that the Islamic Republic would ignore resolutions by the United Nations Security Council calling on it to suspend its uranium enrichment. His remarks, which were aired on state television and carried by the official news agency, came on the final day of a 30-day deadline Tehran had been given by the Security Council to suspend all its uranium enrichment activities. “Obtaining peaceful nuclear energy is the first step by the Iranian nation to conquer the obstacles to advancements”, Ahmadinejad told a crowd at a rally in north-west Iran. “The enemies imagine that they can halt our nation from continuing its proud path with propaganda, creating a false atmosphere, political threats and embargo of junk consumer goods”, he said, adding that the Islamic Republic was a nuclear state “whether they like it or not”.“Those who want to prevent the Iranian nation from its rights with these methods must know that Iran does not give a damn about any such directives or resolutions”, Ahmadinejad said, referring to the demand by the Security Council.
Top cleric says Iran will not heed Security Council demand
Fri. 28 Apr 2006
Iran FocusTehran, Iran, Apr. 28 – Iran’s former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran that the Islamic Republic would not abandon its nuclear projects, hours before the end of a 30-day deadline set by the United Nations Security Council for Tehran to cease all its uranium enrichment activities.“No one can stop [Iran acquiring] indigenous knowledge”, Rafsanjani, who chairs the State Expediency Council, told worshippers during his Friday prayers sermon.“Be careful and cautious and think about the consequences of your actions”, Rafsanjani warned the United States.“I seriously insist, do not trouble yourselves, us, and the region. Avoid actions that would create trouble”, he said, adding that the West should return to the negotiations table.In March, the Security Council adopted a “Presidential Statement” unanimously giving Iran until April 28 to suspend all of its uranium enrichment activities and resume its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.On Friday, hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran “does not give a damn” about the demands of the Security Council.
WASHINGTON -- If you thought the Dubai port deal marked a record high in Washington cynicism, think again. Nothing can match the spectacle of politicians scrambling for cover during a spike in gasoline prices. And this time, the panderfest has gone all the way to the Oval Office. President Bush has joined the braying congressional hordes by ordering the Energy and Justice Departments and the FTC to launch an investigation into possible gasoline price-fixing.
What a disgrace.
Precisely 10 years ago (April 29, 1996) as gas prices reached a shocking $1.27 a gallon, President Clinton ordered his Energy and Justice Departments to launch investigations to find out why. In my column that week, I offered a wild guess as to why: ``Supply is down and demand is up.'' I offered Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and Attorney General Janet Reno a $100 bet (I roll high on sure things) that their million-dollar probes would do nothing more than confirm my hunch.
No takers. Even Cabinet secretaries don't throw C-notes away. Sure enough, months later these perfectly pointless investigations discounted charges of price gouging and attributed the price hike to ... increased demand and decreased supply.
Today, every time an Iranian mullah opens his mouth about nukes, the risk premium for Persian Gulf supply interruptions jumps again. Crude oil prices alone account for about $1.70 of what you pay for a gallon at the pump. So 10 years later, I'll wager again. Here's what the Bush search for price gougers and profiteers will find:
(1) Demand is up.
China has come from nowhere to pass Japan as the number No. 2 oil consumer in the world. China and India -- between them home to eight times the U.S. population -- are industrializing and gobbling huge amounts of energy.
American demand is up because we've lived in a fool's paradise since the mid-1980s. Until then, beginning with the oil shocks in 1973, Americans had changed appliances and cars and habits and achieved astonishing energy conservation. Energy use per dollar of GDP was cut by 30 percent in little over a decade. Oil prices collapsed to about $10 a barrel.
Then amnesia set in, MPG ratings disappeared from TV ads and we became ``a country of a million Walter Mittys driving 75 mph in their gas-guzzling Bushwhack-Safari sport-utility roadsters with a moose head on the hood, a country whose crude oil production has dropped 32 percent in the last 25 years but which will not drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for fear of disturbing the mating habits of caribou."
I wrote that during the '96 witch hunt for price gougers. Nothing has changed. Except that since then, U.S. crude oil production has dropped an additional 12.3 percent. Which brings us to:
(2) Supply is down.
Start with supply disruptions in Nigeria, decreased production in Iraq and the continuing loss of 5 percent of our national refining capacity because of Katrina and Rita damage. Add to that the mischief of idiotic new regulations. Last year's energy bill mandates arbitrary increases in blended ethanol use that so exceed current ethanol production that it is causing gasoline shortages and therefore huge price spikes.
Why don't we import the missing ethanol? Brazil makes a ton of it and very cheaply. Answer: The Iowa caucuses. Iowa grows corn and chooses presidents. So we have a ridiculously high 54-cent ethanol tariff and ethanol shortages.
Other regulation requires specific (``boutique'') gasoline blends for different cities depending on their air quality. Nice idea. But it introduces debilitating rigidities into the gasoline supply system. If Los Angeles runs short, you cannot just move supply in from Denver. You get shortages and more price spikes.
And don't get me started on the missing supply of might-have-been American crude. Arctic and Outer Continental Shelf oil that the politicians kill year after year would have provided us by now with a critical and totally secure supply cushion in times of tight markets.
In March 2000, the price of gas hit $1.80. Scandalized congressional Republicans shamelessly pushed for repeal of Bill Clinton's whopping 4.3-cent gas tax increase. Now that the president is a Republican, what do you think Senate Democrats are proposing? A 60-day suspension of the federal gas tax. It would cost $6 billion and counteract the only good thing that comes with high gas prices -- the incentive to conserve.
George Shultz once said, ``Nothing ever gets settled in this town." But even Shultz, who has seen everything, must marvel at the perfect regularity, the utter predictability, of the bottomless cynicism of Washington in the grip of gasoline fever.
(c) 2006, The Washington Post Writers Group
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The joint Iranian-Russian endeavor to enrich uranium is apparently never meant to come true. The conclusion on the matter was made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said that the offer from Russia was outdated. The president said that the project of establishing a joint venture between Russia and Iran to enrich uranium was actual six months ago, but the current situation had changed.
The state of affairs has changed indeed. Iran pulled out from the moratorium on uranium research works in January. The country's initiative to enrich uranium alone is absolutely unacceptable for the international community: everyone thinks that Iran is working on an A-bomb. Judging upon the statements from Mr. Ahmadinejad, Iran does not need Russia's help in establishing a joint venture since it can do everything independently.
The above-mentioned verdict from the Iranian president casts doubts on Russia’s authority. Russia has taken great efforts during the recent several months trying to convince Iran of the need to conduct the nuclear research for Iran’s nuclear industry on Russia's territory. Russian and Iranian top officials conducted a series of negotiations on the matter, but it just so happens that they were discussing an “outdated project.”
A source from Russia’s Rosatom nuclear agency told the Vremya Novostei newspaper that there is hardly any chance to hope for Iran to suspend its nuclear research. “Russia is still trying to come to an agreement with Iran regarding the joint venture. However, Tehran says that the nuclear works in Iran will not be stopped anyway,” the source said.
To add more fuel to the fire Iran’s leaders promised to share the country’s nuclear developments with other Islamic states. Sudan seems to be the first in the line of candidates taking into consideration the ethnic war and humanitarian catastrophe in its Darfur province where the international community is launching a peacemaking operation. Iran’s spiritual leader, ayatollah Ali Hamenei, told Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir yesterday in Tehran that Iran’s scientists would be willing to share their experience and knowledge with Sudan.
President lauds "strong" Iran-Cuba ties
April 26, IRNA
Iran-Cuba-President President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during a meeting with visiting Cuban Minister of State Ricardo Cabrisas, on Tuesday praised the "strong and cordial" relations between Tehran and Havana, saying they reflect the two countries' shared aspirations.
The president thanked the Cuban government for its support for Tehran's indisputable right to acquire civilian nuclear technology and expressed hope ties between the two capitals would receive a further boost.
"Fortunately, conditions in South America are undergoing rapid change in favor of its nations and the imperialist power (US) is increasingly losing its influence there," President Ahmadinejad told Cabrisas.
He called on all "vigilant nations" of South America to use the opportunity open to further strengthen their freedom and independence.
President Ahmadinejad expressed the hope Tehran and Havana would use their current potentials to enhance bilateral cooperation, particularly in the economic, industrial and medical fields.
Cabrisas, for his part, welcomed Tehran's recent success in the nuclear energy field, particularly its completion of the nuclear fuel cycle.
He said that the two countries "strong" relations would increase prospects for wider political, economic and trade relations.
Cabrisas also said Havana was keen to cement its cordial ties with Tehran more than ever before.
Senate Panel Demands Oil Co. Tax Records
Apr 26 6:54 PM US/Eastern
By H. JOSEF HEBERT
Associated Press Writer
A Senate committee Wednesday announced an investigation into taxes paid by major oil companies and asked the Internal Revenue Service for the companies' tax returns.
The Senate Finance Committee promised "a comprehensive review of the federal taxes paid" by the oil companies on their record profits last year. What about the GOUGING the congress is doing to the American public with the TAX rate on Gas?
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the committee's chairman, said the panel was concerned about high profits and executive compensation at oil companies.
"I want to make sure the oil companies aren't taking a speed pass by the tax man," said Grassley in a statement. He doesn't mention that the TAXMAN takes 3 times as much money from a gallon of Gas than the Oil Companies do.
With gasoline prices soaring and oil companies announcing record profits, "it's relevant to know what the real financial picture is for this industry," Montana Sen. Max Baucus, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said.
It's highly unusual for the Senate committee to seek corporate tax records. The last time it was done was when the panel asked the IRS for the tax records of Enron Corp. How about showing the American TAXPAYER an audit of what the Government has done with its record Gas Profits.
The committee announcement came as Congress showed increasing concern amid political fallout over high gasoline prices and oil industry profits. Lawmakers began moving on various fronts to eliminate loopholes and some tax provisions that save oil companies billions of dollars.
Yet they do NOTHING to lesson the HUGE taxburden THEY charge the American Public on the very same Gas.
In a letter to the IRS, Grassley and Baucus said the tax records of the major oil companies are needed to conduct "a comprehensive review" of the companies' compliance with tax laws.
"As pressure mounts to address extraordinarily high gas prices that consumers are facing at the pump, we feel we should better understand the federal tax posture of the industry," the two senators wrote IRS Commissioner Mark Everson. Instead of being STUPID they should be working on allowing Americas vast oil reserves to bring the price down by increasing our DOMESTIC production.
The committee said it wanted to inspect the tax returns for the last five years of the 15 largest oil and gas companies.
In their request, the senators noted not only the industry profits, but "an extremely lucrative retirement plan by one oil and gas industry executive, benefits which may have been subsidized in part by the taxpayers." Speaking of LUCRATIVE retirement plans Senator your retirement plan is WHOLLY paid for by the taxpayer, and it sets you up for life. Why don't you try living on Social Security...
The retirement compensation package given by Exxon Mobil Corp. to outgoing Chairman Lee Raymond is said to total $400 million when all pension payoffs and stock options are included.
And he EARNED the money Not like the professional politicians who all have GOLDEN PARACHUTES.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Section 1 of the bill establishes that the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act shall be construed to conform to federal immigration law.
Section 2 provides that on or after July 1, 2007, all public employers and those working on public contracts must begin to register and participate in the federal work authorization program. This program is operated by the Department of Homeland Security and verifies the legal status of a person to be employed in the United States.
Section 3 states that any person who is convicted of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude shall be found guilty of a felony and required to serve a prison sentence of at least one and no more than 20 years. Any person convicted of the same offense, however the victim is a minor, shall serve a prison sentence of at least 10 and no more than 20 years.
Section 4 provides that the Georgia Commissioner of Public Safety must establish a "memorandum of understanding" between the state, U.S. Dept. of Justice or Homeland Security concerning the enforcement of immigration laws. Certain police officers shall be trained in accordance with the "memorandum of understanding" and shall be authorized to enforce federal immigration and custom laws.
Section 5 provides that an officer must make a reasonable effort to determine the nationality of any person charged and arrested for a felony or DUI. If the prisoner is a foreign national, the officer must verify their lawful status either through documents in possession of the prisoner or a query to the Law Enforcement Support Center. If it is found that the prisoner is not lawfully present in the U.S., the arresting officer or officer in charge shall notify the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
Section 6 establishes the "Registration of Immigration Assistance Act." This Act specifies exactly what actions a person who is not an attorney can take in assisting illegal immigrants with gaining legal status. Apparently people are claiming that they can assist illegal immigrants in becoming legal citizens and charging people fees for legal assistance and advice, however they have no authority to give such assistance or advice. Any person convicted of violating this section may be fined up to $1,000.00 per violation.
Section 7 provides that after January 1, 2008 no compensation over $600.00 per year for labor services to a person who has not been verified to legally to work in the U.S. can be claimed as a deductible business expense for state income taxes, regardless if the individual is issued a IRS 1099 Form. The Georgia Commissioner of Revenue is authorized to create forms to be used in order to verify the legal status of an employee.
Section 8 states that a withholding agent is required to withhold 6% state income tax of an individual whose wages are reported on a 1099 Form and who has failed to provide a valid taxpayer identification number.
Section 9 states that any person applying for state or local public benefits, who is 18 years or older, must execute an affidavit that he or she is a legal citizen or lawfully present in the U.S. For any applicant that has indicated that they are an alien lawfully present in the U.S., the agency must verify that person's status through the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement Federal program. Any person who knowingly provides false information on this affidavit shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction, pay a fine of no more than $1,000.00 or be sentenced to imprisonment of no more than one year. Exceptions for this verification process include: federal exceptions such as emergency care, assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable and communicable diseases, soup kitchens, and pre-natal care.
Monday, April 24, 2006
New Questions Arise About CIA Leaker & Washington Post Reporter’s Political Motivations
(SAN FRANCISCO) – The nation’s largest pro-troop grassroots organization, Move America Forward (website: www.MoveAmericaForward.org) has uncovered new ties between disgraced CIA leaker, Mary McCarthy, and Washington Post reporter, Dana Priest.
Priest was the reporter who received a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on classified information on the war on terrorism that CIA analyst Mary McCarthy leaked to her in violation of U.S. law. The case has been referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.
Move America Forward has learned that McCarthy and Priest had other intersecting interests. McCarthy’s political involvement suggests a coordinated effort by former Clinton Administration officials to proactively undermine the war on terrorism to advance their political interests.
“This cast of characters also has a bad habit of breaching U.S. security when it serves their own political agenda, and that is disgraceful behavior,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of the Move America Forward.
Mary McCarthy has a well-documented history of making political contributions to individuals opposed to the Bush Administration’s anti-terrorism policies. The most recent political contributions by McCarthy were made just last month – two contributions made to Democrat Joseph Sestak, who is challenging Republican congressman Curt Weldon for Congress.
McCarthy’s support for Sestak is interesting for two reasons. First, Sestak served as Director for Defense Policy at the National Security Council (NSC) during the Clinton Administration. McCarthy was a Special Assistant to President Clinton and also a Senior Director at the NSC during the Clinton Administration.
Second, Sestak’s opposition to Weldon is noteworthy because of the national recognition Weldon has received for calling attention to the Able Danger scandal. The Able Danger matter involves claims that some of the 9/11 terrorists were identified during the Clinton Administration, which failed to take action to detain the terrorists.
Weldon’s investigation into the failures of Clinton’s national security personnel to prevent the 9/11 attack on America apparently was not well received by Washington Post reporter, Dana Priest. A June 9, 2005 story in the Washington Post by Priest belittled Weldon and his book “Countdown to Terror” and made un-sourced ad hominine attacks against him.
Weldon complained in a letter to the Washington Post that Priest’s article was “grossly inaccurate on what little of my book is described,” and that she “gives the false impression that she interviewed me, when she did not.” Weldon further protested that Priest, “misleads readers into thinking that I support a war against Iran, when in fact I do not.”
The Washington Post refused to publish Weldon’s letter pointing out Ms. Priest’s inaccuracies, mischaracterizations and the fact that she never even interviewed Weldon for the story.
It should also be noted that the man who organized the Sestak fundraising effort that Mary McCarthy participated in was none other than Sandy Berger, the former National Security Adviser to President Bill Clinton. Berger admitted to federal investigators that he removed and destroyed classified terrorism documents, which may have been embarrassing to Clinton administration officials.
The Sestak campaign has been organized largely with the backing of Senator John Kerry, 2004 Democrat candidate for President and frequent critic of the Bush Administration’s handling of the war against terrorism. Sestak has said his early contributions were raised through Kerry’s political action committee, Keeping America’s Promise, and from an email Kerry sent out supporting Sestak.
MARY McCARTHY’S OVERRIDING POLITICAL BIAS
Federal Election records show that Ms. McCarthy gave $7,000 to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign (including $5,000 to the Ohio Democrat Party in support of Kerry’s campaign) as well as contributions to the Democratic National Committee.
These contributions are consistent with the pattern of former Clinton national security staff involving themselves in political races to undermine the war on terrorism. What has received less scrutiny has been Mary McCarthy’s political support for 2002 Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate Steven Peter Andreasen.
Andreasen was backed by the same coalition of former Clinton Administration officials, including Sandy Berger (contributed $1,000) and Richard Clarke (contributed $2,000). Clarke made international headlines when he too made public criticisms of the Bush Administration’s handling of the war against terrorism and decision to use military force in Iraq.
Melanie Morgan announced that Move America Forward is going to “commit its full focus and resources to uncovering the facts to find out who is involved in undermining our nation’s fight against terrorism.
“The conduct by Clinton Administration NSC officials stinks to high heaven. We have Clinton’s NSC top dog, Sandy Berger, stuffing into his underwear highly classified documents about the Clinton Administration’s mishandling of the terrorist threat. Then you have a former Clinton Administration NSC official, Mary McCarthy, leaking top-secret information about our efforts to detain terrorists to the press.
“A pattern is starting to emerge of former Clinton Administration officials working to undermine the fight against terrorism so that they may advance their political motivations. We will not tolerate this and we will work to expose all those who may be involved in this shameful conduct,” concluded Morgan.
click on picture for a better view.
I find it SHAMEFUL that all the Democrat talking Heads are trying to equate Bush declassifyng information to combat LIES Submitted by Joe Wilson. That have been proven to be lies, to the Distribution of SECRET FILES for political GAIN, That also placed REAL AGENTS lives in danger not FAKE Agents like Valerie Shame. It has been PROVEN that she was NOT a covert agent and NO crime was committed. Yet if YOU believe that that is the same as what this POLITICAL HACK has done your as big as an ASSHOLE as they think you are.
Full Recap: Sandy Burglar & Trousergate
ATLANTA - A federal grand jury has indicted a 21-year-old Georgia Tech student for material support of terrorism, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said on Thursday.
Syed Haris Ahmed, a naturalized citizen from Atlanta, is being held by federal authorities at an undisclosed location, known only to his family, his attorney and the government. He waived his right to arraignment with the right to revoke the waiver at any time.
"This is the first internatinal terrorism charge filed in Georgia," Nahmias said. "The charge against Mr. Ahmet is serious and involved national security, and it will be prosecuted with that in mind."
The indictment was returned under seal on March 23 and wasn't unsealed by the court until Thursday.
The charge in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
"The whole story of this case is going to come out where it should - in a court of law," Nahmias said.
"Let me assure you that at no time were we aware of an immediate dangers to the Atlanta area of the United States," said Gregory Jones, special agency in charge of the Atlanta FBI office.
The indictment said that on or before March 2005 until the date of the indictment Ahmed provided material support and resources for terrorism.
Ahmed was arrested on March 23 and later that day spoke by telephone with U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel M. Feldman, who advised him of his rights and determined he was eligible for appointed counsel. He appointed John R. "Jack" Martin to represent Ahmed.
Ahmed appeared before Feldman on Wednesday. Feldman ordered Ahmed be detained pending trial.
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper for trial, but no other proceedings are currently scheduled.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Director says exhibit pulled because of Hillel sponsorship
By Daniel Victor
UNIVERSITY PARK -- An art student is claiming his work is being censored by Penn State because of its provocative images of terrorism, while school officials say the decision to cancel his exhibit is not content-related.
In an e-mail sent Friday to fifth-year student Josh Stulman, Charles Garoian, director of the School of Visual Arts, said the exhibit was pulled because it was sponsored by Penn State Hillel, making it a commercial work. The Patterson Gallery is dedicated to unsponsored class work. Garoian wrote in the e-mail that the exhibit would continue if the sponsorship is removed.
Stulman's exhibit, researched for two years, consists of paintings based on photographs addressing terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Stulman began the pieces last spring.
Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said in a separate e-mail that "the heart of this issue is the student never mentioned outside sponsorship" when the exhibit was approved.
But e-mails from Stulman to Garoian, obtained by the Centre Daily Times, show that Stulman wrote March 1 that "the opening is sponsored by Penn State Hillel" and offered contact information for Penn State's Hillel director, Tuvia Abramson. Hillel is a Jewish organization.
On April 11, Garoian e-mailed Abramson and Stulman and suggested the three get together to write a news release about the exhibit. Garoian and Abramson corresponded several more times without mentioning the sponsorship.
Hillel was providing $75 to $100 for a reception, Abramson said. Hillel did the same for a February exhibit, Abramson and Stulman said, and encountered no problems.
They also said the sponsorship issue is a cover for discrimination. Abramson called it "morally repugnant," and Stulman said he won't nix the sponsorship.
"It's not only insulting; it's pathetic," Stulman said.
Repeated attempts to contact Garoian on Friday were unsuccessful.
Stulman said students and faculty have accused the exhibit of being hate-filled and racist.
Several fliers were removed or defaced in the Visual Arts Building, including one that had a swastika drawn on it.
In one of Stulman's paintings, an Arab-looking man is extending his right arm in a Nazi salute. On his headgear is written type in Arabic, translated as "I am a murderer." The colors of the painting match the colors of the Palestinian flag: red, black, white and green.
It is meant to shock and challenge, but it is not an anti-Muslim statement, Stulman said. The painting is to show "the appropriation of Nazi symbols and its use in Hamas and other terrorist organizations," he said.
"This is a terrorist, and I think anyone who sees this painting will see a terrorist," he said.
Many of Stulman's and Abramson's conversations with Garoian were in preparation for a possible controversy. Abramson said he was never aware of problem's with Hillel's sponsorship.
"It's an issue of discrimination, it's an issue of censorship, it's an issue of a political agenda," Abramson said Friday night. "It has nothing to do with Hillel."
Daniel Victor can be reached at 231-4616.
Excuse my French but the Bitch is beating us to the PUNCH... THE ISSUE for the next Presidential election IS the BORDER and Here she goes., It won't matter to the sheaple that her words are hollow and will NEVER be carried out, what matters is she will claim it as HER issue!
Hillary wants to build a U.S.-Mexico fence first — and she's right
Apart from a well-chosen warning about criminalizing Jesus, Sen. Hillary Clinton hasn't waded too deeply into the details of the immigration mess. Until now.
In an interview Friday, she cited specific goals that could, and hopefully will, become the heart of bipartisan legislation that might actually fix this national crisis.
A fence or a wall? She's for it.
A two-step process, where our borders are secured before the 11 million illegal immigrants already here begin to get legalized? She's for that, too.
The sudden crackdown by Washington on employers who hire illegal immigrants? She welcomes it.
The work and school boycott advocacy groups are planning for May 1? She's against it.
And she said she favors a "carrot-and-stick" approach with Mexico to provide that government and its "oligarchs" the incentives to give Mexicans more and better jobs in their own country.
"A country that cannot control its borders is failing at one of its fundamental obligations," she said of America's "broken system." She also said that "we do need an earned path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants here.
Because she is effectively embracing both conservative and liberal goals, and because she attaches a caveat to each, she will be accused of Clintonesque parsing and wanting it both ways. She may well be guilty, but, on the basis of two conversations with her, I'm persuaded she believes in both border security and firm, practical measures to deal with those already here.
Most important, her support for a time lag between the two steps, with border security coming first by as much as two years, could be the right mix that breaks the congressional deadlock and solves much of the immigration problem.
"I would not support it if the legislation was just for border security and we had to come back to Congress for everything else," she said. "We need to structure it as one piece of comprehensive legislation, with a staged implementation." For example, she said, the legalization process could begin "12 to 24 months" after border control measures take effect.
As for how to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, "A physical structure is obviously important," she said. "A wall in certain areas would be appropriate," as long as it was not a "dumb wall" that could be scaled or tunneled. Advocating "smart fencing," she added, "There is technology that would be in the fence that could spot people coming from 250 or 300 yards away and signal patrol agents who could respond."
She also talked of using drones and infrared cameras and, when asked, agreed that Israel's anti-terror wall, which she has seen, might help guide the U.S.
When Congress returns tomorrow from its two-week spring break, immigration will be front and center. Clinton, correctly, is suspicious of the timing of the crackdown announced by Homeland Security on Thursday. Seven managers of a Houston-based pallet supply company were arrested and more than 1,100 illegal immigrants were detained in what officials said was a start to aggressive enforcement of employer sanctions.
"It's obviously a political decision, but I welcome it," Clinton said. "We need to send a clear message to employers and anyone else who would exploit immigrants, including smugglers." Lest anyone think she's soft on President Bush, she faulted his administration for being "incompetent and all over the place" on enforcement.
Yet neither is she behind advocates who want an immigrant boycott of school, work and shopping for May 1. "To me, it's not necessary," she said.
Although she attended a New York rally where she had only praise for marchers, who included illegal immigrants, she seemed exasperated at being categorized. "I'm frustrated and I'm in an uncomfortable position," she said. "People often want to put you in an either-or category in American politics. It can be difficult to stay where you are."
Whoa — she might have been talking in cosmic terms there! No matter. On immigration, she has found the right mix. Here's hoping she stays where she is.
MEMORANDUM FOR COMMISSIONER ROSSOTTI
FROM: Pamela J. Gardiner /s/ Pamela J. Gardiner
Deputy Inspector General for Audit
SUBJECT: Final Audit Report – The Internal Revenue Service’s Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Program Was Not Implemented in Accordance with Internal Revenue Code Regulations
This report presents the results of the subject audit report. In summary, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Identification Number (ITIN) program implementation was reviewed for conflicts with laws and regulations; impact on other IRS programs; and operational effectiveness. ****2a,2b,2e****. Over 340,000 of the ITINs were issued to self-documented illegal aliens. Our concerns are whether: the information on illegal aliens should be shared with the Immigration and Naturalization Service; illegal aliens should be treated as residents for tax purposes; ITIN causes revenue protection issues; and, whether operational problems during the implementation were corrected.
Recommendations were made to: bring legal issues to the attention of the Joint Committee on Taxation for the Confidentiality of Tax Information Study; bring to your attention the taxation of illegal aliens; implement revenue protection controls; and correct operational conditions.
The IRS generally agrees with the report recommendations. The disclosure issue will be forwarded to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Likewise, the Assistant Commissioner (International) will discuss with you the taxation of illegal aliens as United States residents. However, the revenue protection actions are seen as needing legislative remedy. The Office of Audit disagrees that the IRS should not take any action on this recommendation. Subsequent to the issuance of the draft report, the Office of Audit determined that there were 180,662 Tax Year 1997 Form 1040 returns filed with the ITIN as the identifying number.
The IRS needs to examine the overall Revenue Protection Strategy to ensure that returns with ITINs ****2a,2b,2e****. This could be done on a sample basis. The operational conditions are being addressed.
Management’s comments have been incorporated into the report, where appropriate, and the full text of their comments is included as an appendix.
Copies of this report are also being sent to IRS managers who are affected by the report recommendations. Please contact me at (202) 622-6510 if you have questions, or your staff may call Parker Pearson, Acting Associate Inspector General for Audit (Small Business & Corporate Programs), at (202) 622-5955.
The Sunday Times
Plot for revenge attacks on West
Sarah Baxter, Washington and Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv
IRAN’S president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended a meeting in Syria earlier this year with one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, according to intelligence experts and a former national security official in Washington.
US officials and Israel intelligence sources believe Imad Mugniyeh, the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations, has taken charge of plotting Iran’s retaliation against western targets should President George W Bush order a strike on Iranian nuclear sites.
Mugniyeh is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list for his role in a series of high-profile attacks against the West, including the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jet and murder of one of its passengers, a US navy diver.
Now in his mid-forties, Mugniyeh is reported to have travelled with Ahmadinejad in January this year from Tehran to Damascus, where the Iranian president met leaders of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
The meeting has been dubbed a “terror summit” because of the presence of so many groups behind attacks on Israel, which Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe from the map.
Jane’s Intelligence Review cited “reports in recent weeks” of Mugniyeh’s presence alongside the president.
Michael Ledeen, a Middle East expert and former Pentagon and National Security Council official who wrote that Mugniyeh had “probably” been there, said last week senior American officials had confirmed it.
“It’s hard to identify Mugniyeh because he is said to have changed his face and his fingerprints,” Ledeen said. “But senior government officials have told me I was right. He was there.”
Shortly after the Damascus summit Henry Crumpton, head of counter-terrorism at the state department, singled out the elusive Mugniyeh as a threat. The Iranians, Crumpton said, “have complete command and control of Hezbollah. Imad Mugniyeh works for Tehran. And you can’t talk about Hezbollah and not think about Iran. They really are part and parcel of the same problem.”
Mugniyeh lives in Iran and has evaded capture for more than 20 years, despite a $5m American bounty on his head. Western intelligence reports claim he has many connections to terrorist cells in Europe, Africa, Latin America and the US and he is said to have met Osama Bin Laden.
“When and if the Iranians decide to hit the West in its soft belly, Imad will be the one to act,” a western intelligence source said last week.
An Israeli defence source claimed Mugniyeh was in regular touch with the new Iranian intelligence minister, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei. The minister is a long-time confidant of Ahmadinejad and was appointed by him.
“We know that Mohseni Ezhei holds routine meetings with Mugniyeh, who is today Iran’s head of overseas operations,” said the Israeli defence source. “Since we know from previous Iranian terror attacks that it takes about a year to plan a substantial one, we should not be surprised if operations against western targets are already in high gear and Mugniyeh is certainly playing a major role.”
The young Mugniyeh first attracted the attention of the West when he was involved in the kidnapping, torture and mutilation of William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, in 1984. He kept his victim at the Sheikh Abdullah camp in the Lebanese Bekaa valley and was allegedly the last person Buckley saw before he died.
“Imad had good reason to retaliate,” said a well-informed source. “A car bomb killed his brother Jihad, who had taken Imad’s old job as bodyguard to Hezbollah’s spiritual leader.” Mugniyeh blamed the CIA, and Buckley was chosen to pay the price.
The kidnapping led to the Iran-contra affair, one of the most embarrassing episodes of the Reagan presidency, in which arms were swapped for hostages. But by the time the Americans were negotiating with the Iranians, Buckley was already dead.
Mugniyeh has also been linked to the demolition of the American embassy and marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and is wanted in Argentina for his role in recruiting the bombers of the Israeli embassy and Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s.
Mugniyeh left Lebanon for Iran in 1994 with his wife and son after an assassination attempt. He is since believed to have played an active role in fomenting trouble in Iraq. Ledeen described him last week as the “spinal column of the terror war against America in Iraq from the beginning”.
According to Robert Baer, a former CIA agent who pursued Mugniyeh in the 1980s, “he is the most dangerous terrorist we have ever faced. Mugniyeh is probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we have ever run across, including the KGB or anybody else.
“He enters by one door, exits by another, changes his cars daily, never makes appointments by telephone — he is never predictable. He is the master terrorist, the grail we have been after since 1983”.
• Elite Iranian army officers who arrived in south Lebanon this month have taken command of thousands of rockets aimed at cities across Israel. They are believed to have been given control of the missiles by Hezbollah to deter possible Israeli attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Seems like the world's most popular gang of cut-throats, Hamas, aren't too keen on the YMCA.
It appears that the leadership of a West Bank Palestinian city now controlled by Hamas has warned a local Young Men's Christian Association to close its offices and leave town ..or face likely Muslim violence. Yesterday, major Muslim organizations in Qalqiliya in conjunction with local mosques, the city's Mufti and municipal leaders, sent a letter to the interior minister of the Hamas-led PA accusing the YMCA of missionary activities and demanding the Palestinian government immediately shut down the Christian offices.
More ROP tolerance, eh? And not a peep of protest from the left....
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Reprinted from NewsMax.com
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 10:40 p.m. EDT
Chavez Threatens to Blow Up Oil Fields
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday again raised the specter of U.S. designs to oust him and promised that his government will blow up his country's oil fields if the United States should ever attack.
U.S. officials have repeatedly denied any military plans against Chavez, but also call him a threat to stability in the region.
Speaking to other South American leaders, Chavez said his conflict with Washington is rooted in the U.S. thirst to control oil. He said the Americans will be denied that in Venezuela, which is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and one of the biggest suppliers to the U.S. market.
If the United States attacks, Chavez said, "We won't have any other alternative - blow up our own oil fields - but they aren't going to take that oil."
Some of Chavez's political opponents at home call his warnings about a U.S. invasion far-fetched and contend he pursues the verbal conflict with Washington to encourage a sense of struggle against a foreign enemy as he heads toward the presidential election in December.
Chavez cited what he called a regular flow of threatening statements and actions from the U.S. government, from U.S. naval exercises being held this month in the Caribbean to U.S. questions about Venezuela's deepening ties with Iran.
"The latest they've invented is that we're sending uranium to Iran, and what's more yesterday it came out in the Venezuelan press that we're making a secret plan to bring Iranian nuclear missiles and install them in Venezuela," he said.
In that report, the Venezuelan newspaper 2001 cited unidentified U.S. intelligence sources as saying Iran and Venezuela made a secret deal to ship missiles to Venezuela and Cuba aboard oil tankers. It did not provide any details about its sources, and the report was roundly denied by Venezuelan officials as preposterous.
Chavez accused the United States of "searching for an excuse for anything" against Venezuela, noting U.S. warship are holding exercises this month in the Caribbean - "there under our very noses."
In Caracas, meanwhile, Venezuela's defense minister, Adm. Orlando Maniglia, said Chavez's military plans to hold its own exercises soon along the coasts and with neighboring countries' armed forces.
"We already have planned some future exercises with the government of Curacao, and also with the Dutch, with the navy and armed forces of Colombia," he said, without giving any details.'
But Venezuela also has problems with neighboring Colombia. It demanded Wednesday that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe investigate a Colombian magazine's allegations that Uribe's secret police plotted to assassinate Chavez.
"The government of President Uribe is obligated to thoroughly investigate and share its investigation with the Venezuelan government," Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel told reporters in Caracas.
Uribe has denied the accusations.
This is an important step, and one that should be continued. However we CAN NOT allow a few raids deter us from the main objective. THE BORDER MUST BE SECURED PERIOD. In the last 50 years this issue has been "dealt with" twice. Each time it was a two part plan first Amnesty for the ILLEGALS and then they promised they would secure the Border. Each time they did the first part, but NOT the second part. WE HAVE TO INSIST THAT THIS TIME THE FIRST PART IS SECURING THE BORDER! The Second part being then the Amnesty, so if they don't do the second part this time Oh Well. This issue is THE issue of the next two elections. We need to hold their feet to the fire. If they don't do what we want fine, let the Dems win back control of the House. After two years of censure and impeachment hearings, the raising of our taxes, an end to the NSA terror surveillance program, and a repeal of the Patriot Act. Mickey Mouse could be the Republican Candidate and he will win.
Homeland Security launches a nationwide crackdown
By Pete Williams
Updated: 7:04 p.m. ET April 19, 2006
WASHINGTON - With America engaged in a spirited debate over illegal immigration, the Homeland Security Department Wednesday launched a nationwide crackdown on employing illegal immigrations. And this time, the targets weren’t just the workers themselves.
Police and federal agents moved in Wednesday morning at dozens of plants nationwide owned by a global manufacturing company called IFCO Systems, which supplies containers and pallets for shipping to some of the nation’s biggest retailers.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested suspected illegal immigrants at a facility in Houston—a scene repeated today at 40 other IFCO locations.
But federal officials say the main targets of the operation—months in the planning—are company officials, not just workers.
“We’re alleging, for the individuals that have been charged, that they knowingly assisted in the employment of illegal aliens and in some cases harbored illegal aliens,” says Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Julie Myers.
For years, federal agents have conducted job site raids, arresting undocumented workers. But employers were generally given fines. Now, Homeland Security says it’s using laws traditionally directed against drug smugglers and organized crime.
Just last week, the owners of a chain of Baltimore restaurants pleaded guilty to money laundering for hiring illegal workers and were forced to give up over a million dollars in property and cars, including a Mercedes.
Advocates of tougher enforcement, like immigration enforcement advocate Dan Stein, say it’s an approach that’s long overdue.
“Folks need to stop looking at illegal immigration as some kind of charitable act, that employers are doing people a favor,” Stein says, “This is predatory human exploitation. It should be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law.”
Homeland Security officials insist that today’s high profile operation was months in the planning and was not ginned up in response to the political crisis over immigration policy.
As that other blog whithers away into oblivion, we continue to carry the message to bloggers and readers that it is high time Jack Idema and his men were released. And it would be nice if some big bloggers paid some attention to this story...since this is an amazing example of the media lying, distorting and completely refusing to tell the truth--and also--demonizing our fighting forces, undermining the important work they're doing-and are not sitting in hotel rooms making up stories, or acting as mouthpieces for the Taliban and Al Qaeda- but are facing down the enemy and risking their lives for us. I'd like to see Michael Yon take up Jack's story...Michael Yon is in Afghanistan right now.
Ok, to the business at hand. Let's take a look at that timeline.
Jack packs his bags a week after 9/11 and hits the ground in Afghanistan in October.
We started bombing the Taliban alongside the Mujahideen.
Jack returned to the United States a few times but always returned to join the Northern Alliance forces in their fight against the Taliban.
Jack was notified by friends within the Northern Alliance that Al Qaeda had deployed 36 people to attack 6 cities in the US.
January, February and March of 2004
Jack had multiple meetings with the FBI in Washington, in Fayetteville North Carolina, in Raleigh North Carolina
June/July of 2004
Jack identified Gulumsaki who gave up the rest of the terrorist bomb cell. Within 5 days after getting Gulumsaki, he had about 95% of the cell. He had the explosives, the plans to blow up Bagram –they were going to drive fuel trucks into the barracks at Bagram airforce base and kill a couple thousand American soldiers. He had their bomb plans to kill Qanooni who was the main opponent to Karzai and the leader now since Massoud died to the Northern Alliance. He had the plans to kill Marshal Fahim the minister of defense, and all the other guys that were the top allies with the United States. The problem was, they also detained Judge Sidiq, who was a Taliban Supreme Court Judge.
Sidiq, who was in possession of:
- Photographs of himself with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
- Bomb plans
- Explosive detonators
- al-Qaeda and Hezb-i-Islami documents and recruiting cards
- A letter from Taliban leader Mullah Omar
Two years later, we can see the results of this strategy as entire sections of Afghanistan fall back under the control of Islamofascists, and foreign-funded jihadists pour across the border from Pakistan. If this proves anything, it's that Idema and the Northern Alliance's distrust of 'former' terrorists was entirely appropriate.
Sidiq's detainment by Task Force Saber 7 caused quite a stir, and there was a poster put out by (presumably) the American FBI (since it wasn't put out by the Afghans) that Jack Idema was a "wanted" man and they were looking to pick him up.
On July 6, 2004
Jack Idema, Brent Bennett and Ed Caraballo were told by Babajan that the authorities wanted to "speak" with them. They put down their large firearms, but when they got to the destination, they were surrounded, along with 12 Afghans.
Immediately upon their arrest, they were detained at Saderat extreme interrogation facility and brutally and horribly tortured. The jailers were trying to get the men to discredit or denounce Jack, and trying to get Jack to sign a statement against the Northern Alliance. Even though they withstood horrible beatings, electrocution, boiling water, broken bones, falaqua, etc--they did not submit.
The first trial begins.
The reason for the wait was--they were afraid the men's injuries would show up in court. When John Tiffany arrived in mid August, a month and a half after the beatings--he could still see evidence of Jack's injuries, and took note of the blood in the orbits of Jack's eyes.
After a joke of a court hearing where Jack and his men were not allowed to present evidence to defend themselves and Caraballo's attorney was threatened with death if he continued reading...the verdict was 'guilty', Jack and Brent were sentenced to 10 years, Ed to 8. During the trial, the Taliban judges didn't allow them to present evidence on their own behalf.
The Americans and the Afghans were moved from Saderat to Pulacharke prison.
December of 2004
The appeals process began, and the Afghans were released. In this new trial de novo, the American were declared innocent in spite of protests from both the Afghan and American governments. However, the American government would not allow them to be released.
December, 2004 Al Qaeda riot at Pulacharke prison, the goal is to kill Jack Idema and his team. This is the 6th assassination attempt.
February 2005, the 7th assassination attempt
The Habeas Corpus was filed in New York. In June, it was lost. Washington doesn't have it, New York doesn't have it--it just disappeared down a bureaucratic black hole. Terrorists are given a hearing within 30 days of filing, Jack and his men had to wait virtually an entire year before their Habeas was even heard.
The entire TASK FORCE SABER 7 Team was declared innocent of all charges by the Afghan Second Court, which had granted a trial de novo (a new trial) in November 2004. Closed hearings took place between December 2004 and March 2005. All men were originally ordered released by the Appeals Court based on new evidence and the decision was endorsed by the Supreme Court of Afghanistan.
So...it is reasonable to deduce that Jack and his men are being held as 'political prisoners', and not because, as some people are saying, 'he was found guilty by an Afghan court'. That's what the media has been saying, but that's only part of the story, and actually, it's really old, outdated and isn't the truth.
Here is the Red Cross – Emergency Hospital Identification Card issued to each member of TASK FORCE SABER/7, which states they are “political prisoners,” with POW status. Criminal prisoners are listed starting with four digit numbers Prisoners of War and “political prisoners” are listed with two or three digit numbers. Idema is registered as Prisoner of War ID #92.
Then you have as even FURTHER proof, the official Pulacharke Prison Roster listing all four personnel remaining in custody as Prisoners of War, officially recognized as such by the Ministry of Justice.
Pulacharke Prison Roster for Political and Prisoners of War - Translation:
Dari Language (read right to left):
Isn't it our government and our military's responsibility to return American POW's? Why are Jack and his men considered "POW's" when they have not joined the Taliban or Al Qaeda and plainly love America and were doing what they were trained to do?
They are now being held presumably at the behest of the American government, because the Afghan Court of Appeals ordered their release, and in spite of the fact that we are still clearly at war with the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the question is...why?
That's why we need a congressional investigation to find out what happened, and to find out who is responsible for not only their arrest on false allegations, but who were the FBI agents laughing in the hallway when they were being tortured? Who put out that wanted poster? And the most serious question is who is driving their continued incarceration after the Afghan Appeals court ordered their release?
So what can we do? Well, 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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