July 30, 2009

Oh My!

Truthdig - Reports - Obama’s Military Is Spying on U.S. Peace Groups
“John Jacob was actually a close friend of mine, so this week has been pretty difficult for me. He said he was an anarchist. He was really interested in SDS. He got involved with Port Militarization Resistance (PMR), with Iraq Vets Against the War. He was a kind person. He was a generous person. So it was really just a shock for me.”

Why She Got The Job

Anglo-American Ties ‘Threatened’ as Clinton Moves to Block Release of Torture Evidence -- News from Antiwar.com
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has personally intervened in a high profile British case today, pressuring for a “gag order” in an attempt to keep evidence of CIA torture from being released by the British government and warning it could affect intelligence ties between the two nations.
Truthdig - Reports - Obama’s Military Is Spying on U.S. Peace Groups

July 29, 2009

Iraqis Toss Us Out

As Last British Troops Leave Iraq, a Coalition Ends - NYTimes.com
The Iraqi Parliament recessed Monday and left a ream of undecided legislation behind — including an extension to an agreement that would allow the British military to keep a residual training force of 100 soldiers in Iraq. As a result, those troops will withdraw to Kuwait by Friday, according to a British diplomat, who declined to be identified in keeping with his government’s practice.

The other two small remnants of the coalition, the Romanians and Australians, will also be gone on Friday, if not before then.

July 26, 2009

This Is Big

Or at least, it SHOULD be...

Glenn Greenwald picks up on a NYT story about how Dick Cheney wanted to deploy the US military on home soil barely a month after 9/11.

We Need To Toughen Anti-Terror Laws!

Yes, we need to make sure that the lying bastards in government are all locked up for terrorizing the planet LO! these many years... Let's make the laws so tough that anyone who says anything that strikes fear into the heart of anyone over the age of 4 gets locked away for good.

Sarcasm sparked by reading this bit from Your Democracy.

BTW I just spent two hours waiting for my youngest boy to see a doctor. He had a flu but was eager to see a doctor because he was scared it was swine flu. Or more to the point, was scared it was fatal (which is a very real fear for an 11-year-old and not something that should be readily encouraged). And yeah - two hours to see a doctor! Does Obama really want to copy our Medicare model? There MUST be a better way!

PS: Barak, if you are reading this blog (as your predecessors in the Oval Office did) I think the answer lies in Denmark. Or maybe the 1960s.

Ave Atque Vale

The last of the noblest generation:
"War," he said, "is organised murder, and nothing else."

July 25, 2009

Transparent Farce

So who supplied the arms that helped Sri Lanka commit virtual genocide on their Tamil ethnic minority? For fuck's sake... This money is going straight into more US/UK military spending, that's how the game works. BBC news is totally disgraceful these days. Sad!

BBC NEWS | Business | IMF grants Sri Lanka $2.6bn loan
The International Monetary Fund has approved a $2.6bn (£1.6bn) loan to help Sri Lanka weather the global economic crisis and rebuild war-torn regions.

The first $322m tranche of the 20-month loan is available immediately, with the rest subject to quarterly reviews.

Britain and the US abstained from the vote, citing humanitarian concerns during the government's recent fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels.

July 24, 2009

JFK - - > 911

Oliver Stone: JFK and the Unspeakable
All of these steps caused him to be regarded as a virtual traitor by elements of the military-intelligence community. These were the forces that planned and carried out his assassination. Kennedy himself said, in 1962, after he read Seven Days in May, which is about a military coup in the United States, that if he had another Bay of Pigs, the same thing could happen to him. Well, he did have another "Bay of Pigs"; he had several. And I think Kennedy prophesied his own death with those words.

Why does it matter? The death of JFK remains a critical turning point in our history. Those who caused his death were targeting not just a man but a vision -- a vision of peace. There is no calculating the consequences of his death for this country and for the world. Those consequences endure. To a large extent, the fate of our country and the future of the planet continue to be controlled by the shadowy forces of what Douglass calls "the Unspeakable." Only by unmasking these forces and confronting the truth about our history can we restore the promise of democracy and lay claim to Kennedy's vision of peace.

Bush's National Guard years

This is not going to end well for CBS | Media Matters for America
Rather has vowed to never settle the case out of court.

July 23, 2009

Getting Out Of Honduras

I actually flew out of Tegucigalpa 20 years ago and I can confirm the airport was crappy and dangerous even back then. At the time, I was planning to bus my way to Colombia, but then the USA sent 10,000 troops to the border with Nicaragua overnight, and I figured a few days on a Carribbean beach might be a better idea.

Zelaya, Negroponte and the Controversy at Soto Cano
The mainstream media has once again dropped the ball on a key aspect of the ongoing story in Honduras: the U.S. airbase at Soto Cano, also known as Palmerola. Prior to the recent military coup d’etat President Manuel Zelaya declared that he would turn the base into a civilian airport, a move opposed by the former U.S. ambassador. What’s more Zelaya intended to carry out his project with Venezuelan financing.

For years prior to the coup the Honduran authorities had discussed the possibility of converting Palmerola into a civilian facility. Officials fretted that Toncontín, Tegucigalpa’s international airport, was too small and incapable of handling large commercial aircraft. An aging facility dating to 1948, Toncontín has a short runway and primitive navigation equipment. The facility is surrounded by hills which makes it one of the world’s more dangerous international airports.

Palmerola by contrast has the best runway in the country at 8,850 feet long and 165 feet wide.

July 21, 2009

War Criminals At Large

As Minister of Defense, Robert Hill was also the guy who helped Bush invade Iraq. He should be in jail.

Greens angry over 'political' Hill appointment - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Senator Brown says Mr Hill does not have a great track record of tackling climate change.

"[He is] the same man who for years blocked the ratification of the Kyoto protocol as the effective minister for climate change in the Howard government," he said.

"What a choice by the Rudd Government, with a failed former minister on climate change now getting this plumb job."

July 20, 2009


Gao Is Gone, Gone, Gone

We all have to take responsibility for our actions, don't we?

Kiwi behind runaway millions faces sack
"The only reason she's getting it in the neck is because the a***hole took off with the money."

Meanwhile, Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Loper, who is heading the police investigation, said efforts to track down Gao were "progressing as expected".

"We're still doing our investigations and we're getting closer," he said.

But he dismissed as "media stuff" recent claims that Hurring, who had an on-again off-again relationship with Gao, planned to come home soon and cut a deal with police to give evidence against Gao.

There have been other claims that it will be impossible to bring Gao to justice in New Zealand without co-operation from Chinese authorities.

This is because there is no extradition agreements between the two nations and Gao, with his millions, could be considered an attractive asset to China.

July 18, 2009

Pandora's Box

Business, government - what's the difference???

Nuttall case sparks calls for business/govt probe - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Mr Crooke has told ABC 1's Stateline program he supports a calm consideration of the broader issues.

"As time has passed the relationship between politicians and business people has developed," he said.

"It may have developed in a completely acceptable way in many instances.

"There may be instances where it does need close scrutiny and it would be a good idea to look at what are the proper boundaries and areas of regulation that are needed."

July 17, 2009

It's Taken Them Eight Years To Work This Out?

Editorial - Illegal, and Pointless - NYTimes.com
Two things seem disturbingly clear. First, President Bush and his top aides panicked after the Sept. 11 attacks. And second, Mr. Cheney and his ideologues, who had long chafed at any legal constraints on executive power, preyed on that panic to advance their agenda.

What A Farce

Think you are innocent? You must be delusional!!!

BBC NEWS | Americas | Chaos besets 9/11 court hearing
Mr Bin Attash asked the judge whether he could question a witness.

When told he could not, he asked: "Even if he told lies?"

When the judge again insisted he could not question the witness, Mr Bin Attash replied: "This is good justice!"

Thursday's hearing was meant to focus on whether Mr Hawsawi and a fourth defendant, Ramzi Binalshibh, were mentally competent to represent themselves.

The US military lawyer representing Mr Binalshibh said he suffered from a delusional disorder.

When the lawyer went into detail about how he had been deprived of sleep, her microphone was cut off.

July 16, 2009

Gotta Be A Lesson Here Somewhere...

Am I the only one who sees the irony?

Fiji freemasons held for sorcery:
A group of freemasons have had to spend a night in jail in Fiji, after local villagers complained they were practising witchcraft.

The 14 men, including eight Australians and a New Zealander, had been holding a night-time meeting on Denerau island.

The New Zealand man told reporters he had spent a "wretched" time in jail, and blamed the mix-up on the actions of "dopey village people".

Police also seized wands, compasses and a skull from the freemasons' lodge.


C'mon, John. Lay it on me...

John Yoo: Why We Endorsed Warrantless Wiretaps - WSJ.com

Hmmn, why do you think this cockroach is crawling out of the woodwork NOW? Could it have something to do with a certain ex-VP being slowly boiled in hot water?

Book 'em, Danno.

Danno? Hey, where are you Danno...???!!

July 15, 2009

Am I the only one in the world who realises the GOP is gone, gone, gone?

Why is the US media still taking this stuff seriously? Palin is a joke, the GOP is a joke, the whole US political system is a joke.

Op-Ed Columnist - She Broke the G.O.P. and Now She Owns It - NYTimes.com

No Sex Please, We're British

It's a very nice house in the country
"The organisers were very polite and well-spoken. Perhaps the alarm bells should have rung when they asked for a chill-out room filled with beds and silk sheets, but we thought they were going for a Moroccan feel and might want mint tea or something."

Become The Change You Want To See In The World

... but what if the change everybody wants to see is the disintegration of all these old lies and vile institutions?

I went to a football game last weekend where over 30,000 people booed the democratically elected state premier. It was illuminating.

Nobody likes politicians any more.

Nobody trusts newspapers.

People want change, but not the Barak Obama kind of change. And not violent change. Just change.

The answers, to most of us, seem obvious. Why should they be so hard to attain?

We don't really care which party is in power, just so long as they don't kill our children and stop screwing us over.


Oh and by the way,

The very fabric of society is breaking down around us. What the hell is there left to believe in?

How Teenagers Consume Media: the report that shook the City | Business | guardian.co.uk
No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarised on the internet or on TV.

Did they Pay You To Say That?

BBC NEWS | Business | Goldman Sachs sees bumper profit
"Goldman should be celebrated, not demonized."

July 14, 2009


We all know Rudd can speak Mandarin, but can he speak English?

Rudd defends action on 'complex' Hu case - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"This a complex case. Cases like this in the past have also exhibited complexity as well. We work our way through each of these as we work our way through consular cases around the world," he said.

"I don't intend to go to the details of those consular and diplomatic engagements at this stage. My interest to advance the interests of the individual concerned.

"We're working on a whole range of details on the case and at multiple levels. That is what you do in these circumstances."

Mr Rudd says Australia's economic relationship will be conducted on its own terms.

"A continued concern for all of us engaged with the China economic relationship is to make sure that the economic relationship is pursued in its own terms," he said.

"My view is that in the case of the Australian economic relationship we need to conduct that within its own terms.

"At the same time we will not shy away from making representations on behalf of individual Australian companies, on behalf of individual Australian citizens, or on the broader question of human rights concerns."


Why Is Every Possible Explanation A "Conspiracy Theory"???

Are we supposed to believe they just got lucky, or were so much more competent than their competitors? Really?

BBC NEWS | Business | Controversy to surround Goldman success
Conspiracy theories abound about how it has managed to turn things around.

wonder if this BBC reporter ever reads Glennzilla?

Statistics Still Hiding the Ugly Truth in BushWorld

I know the barren wastelands of the USA are Obama's world now, but it's still Bushworld to me. He - and the people who created him - created it.

The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think - WSJ.com
The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.

Of Course George Just Signed The Papers Dick Gave Him And Pretended Cheney's Ideas Were His Own

CIA Vet: Agency Doesn't Need Secret Program To Target al Qaeda | TPMMuckraker
As for what the program did involve, Cannistraro suggested that it involved Americans as targets, and that it went beyond surveillance, but declined to elaborate. He added that, though Cheney may have directly ordered the CIA to keep Congress in the dark, the veep wasn't acting alone. "The approval was from the president," said Cannistraro.

July 13, 2009

Non-core promise?

I hope not.

Steel Guru : Mr Palmer indigenous health foundation likely to delay
Businessman Clive Palmer has confirmed that a philanthropic donation aimed at establishing an indigenous health foundation was unlikely to be delivered until late 2010.

As per report Mr Palmer had pledged to donate AUD 10 million per year from Citic Pacific's Sino Iron ore project to set up the foundation, but the project has since been delayed.

Too Funny!

NYT has it's own in-house ethicist running a blog!!!

Ethics Analysis - The Moral of the Story Blog - NYTimes.com

OR Could It Be Because Of Rampant Corruption?

They report, you decide.

Goldman Sachs May Report Strong Profit - NYTimes.com
Up and down Wall Street, analysts and traders are buzzing that Goldman, which only recently paid back its government bailout money, will report blowout profits from trading on Tuesday.

Analysts predict the bank earned a profit of more than $2 billion in the March-June period, because of its trading prowess across world markets.

Money Makes The World Go Round...

Governments seeking an out-of-court settlement, UBS claiming Swiss law prevents them releasing client details (never mind they repeatedly broke US laws)...

US, Switzerland seek delay in tax cases

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is urgently telling Chinese and Middle East investors their money is safe in the United States.

And a crazy rogue Russian hacker might have brought Goldman Sachs to its knees. Or maybe not!

July 11, 2009

Genocide? Qu'est ce que c'est?

Amazing that the BBC can get through this story without mentioning Armenia. Have we really "moved on" that far... ?

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Turkey attacks China 'genocide'

Bankers Are Wankers

McNamara's Other Debacle
McNamara’s time at the World Bank is as much his lasting infamy as his Vietnam record. A World Bank biography noted that during McNamara’s tenure, “the previous Bank strictures against lending to public sector banking institutions or enterprises were relaxed.” The official sketch of McNamara’s presidency noted that “his reliance upon government intervention sometimes meant turning a blind eye to coercive practices ... and could lead the Bank to ignore the inefficiency and economic cost of government policies.”

McNamara’s favorite foreign leader was Julius Nyerere, ruler of Tanzania, which received more bank aid per capita than any other country in that decade. In the early 1970s, with World Bank aid and advice, Nyerere sent the Tanzanian army to drive the peasants off their land, burn their huts, load them onto trucks, and take them where the government thought they should live. The peasants were then ordered to build new homes “in neat rows staked out for them by government officials.”

Nyerere wanted to curb his countrymen’s individualist and capitalist tendencies and make them easier to control. He even outlawed people’s sleeping in their gardens at night, which meant that monkeys were free to help themselves to their crops. In many cases, the new government villages were far from the farmers’ own lands, and so they simply gave up tilling the land, with the result that hunger in Tanzania soared.

Bush The Dickhead

You have to think that when all this finally unravels it will be dumbass Dubya who ends up carrying the can. Cheney will probably die before they nail him.

Bush Personally Ordered Visit to Ashcroft’s Hospital Bed | The Washington Independent
According to notes from Ashcroft’s FBI security detail, at 6:20 p.m. that evening Card called the hospital and spoke with an agent in Ashcroft’s security detail, advising him that President Bush would be calling shortly to speak with Ashcroft. Ashcroft’s wife told the agent that Ashcroft would not accept the call. Ten minutes later, the agent called Ashcroft’s Chief of Staff David Ayers at DOJ to request that Ayers speak with Card about the President’s intention to call Ashcroft. The agent conveyed to Ayers Mrs. Ashcroft’s desire that no calls be made to Ashcroft for another day or two. However, at 6:45 p.m., Card and the President called the hospital and, according to the agent’s notes, “insisted on speaking [with Attorney General Ashcroft].” According to the agent’s notes, Mrs. Ashcroft took the call from Card and the President and was informed that Gonzales and Card were coming to the hospital to see Ashcroft regarding a matter involving national security.

July 10, 2009

Will Obama Disclose This One?

Was The CIA Hiding Cheney's "Executive Assassination Ring"?
So what are the "significant actions" that these seven lawmakers insist were kept from Congress? Another theory being bandied about concerns an "executive assassination ring" that was allegedly set up and answered to former Vice President Dick Cheney. The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, building off earlier reporting from the New York Times, dropped news of the possibility that such a ring existed in a March 2009 discussion sponsored by the University of Minnesota.

"It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently," Hersh said. "They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...

"Congress has no oversight of it," he added. "It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths. Under President Bush's authority, they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us."

Asked if this was the basis of her letter to Panetta, Eshoo said she could not discuss what was a "highly classified program." She did, however, note that when Panetta told House Intelligence Committee members what it was that had been kept secret, "the whole committee was stunned, even Republicans."

July 08, 2009

Oh My!

Google Maps | property | real estate | search | Australia
Google's offering is open to all comers, potentially giving renters and buyers a much bigger choice.

But this development is likely to be viewed by existing publishers as a grab for their business at a time when margins are under pressure and paid listings are being affected by the prevailing economic climate.

The service is launching with listings provided by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia and homehound.com.au, the free property listing service owned by Michael Hannan's Independent Print Media Group.

The two leading Australian online advertising portals are realestate.com.au, which is 60 per cent owned by News Corp, and domain.com.au, which is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.

John Brand, general manager, key categories, at Fairfax Media said domain.com.au would not at this stage be taking up the Google offer to contribute listings to the new service.

"We are quite confident that we provide a better service than Google is offering," he said in a telephone interview. "We are a specialist property portal and we think this will stand us in good stead going forward."

July 07, 2009

Wanker of the Day

Let's not "Move On" hey???? There's so much in this story it's beyond my capacity to explain right now, but some idiot in the comments still thinks we need to focus on the other stuff....

Raw Story » UK weapons inspector who was found dead was writing expose: paper
15 hours ago Add rating 0 Subtract rating 8

I’m sure if he were alive today he’d be working to end the war instead of crying over 7 year old news.

July 03, 2009

Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs Goldman SachsGoldman Sachs Goldman SachsGoldman SachsGoldman Sachs Goldman Sachs

The Great American Bubble Machine : Rolling Stone
From Matt Taibbi's "The Great American Bubble Machine" in Rolling Stone Issue 1082-83.

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.

They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They've been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s — and now they're preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.

That Meeting In Rome

This CQ guy Jeff Stein seems to have some good contacts. One to bookmark?  Check out his July 1st post where AIPAC spy Franklin says a secret agent tried to arrange for his "death":

Who was the man who approached him?

"Well, the guy was definitely a Zionist," Franklin said. "And he was a true believer. And like a lot of true believers, he's beyond good and evil. They're not subject to the laws the rest of us are."

And the next day this - CQ Politics | ‘Secret’ Rome Meeting Recounted by AIPAC Spy Case Figure
All such accounts were based on anonymous sources.

But this week, one of the participants, Franklin broke a yearslong public silence to discuss what happened in Rome.

Or at least his version of events...

Ghorbanifar, the middleman in the so-called Iran-Contra/Arms-for-Hostages scandal in the Reagan administration, had fabricated so much bad intelligence and empty schemes that the CIA had put him on a no-contact list.

Nevertheless, when Michael Ledeen, a high profile Republican intelligence operative and longtime associate of Ghorbanifar, came calling during the panicky weeks after 9/11, Bush administration neoconservatives couldn’t resist.

The Iranian had a plan for regime change in Teheran — again.

Senior White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley and his deputy, Zalmay Khalilzad, “were enthusiastic,” Ledeen told me. Pentagon officials Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz , the deputy and undersecretary, respectively, of Defense, were also game, Franklin said.

His immediate boss, William Luti, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who headed Near East issues at Defense, put him on the team.

“He said, ‘We’d like you to go on this mission,’” Franklin recalled in an interview. “Feith, Wolfowitz, they’re in favor of it.”


How about the phony Niger uranium documents? I asked. Did that come up?

“No it did not, not that I can remember.”

Then why did he meet with Italian intelligence officials, who were said to have a role in peddling the phony documents?

“They gave us safe houses, restaurants,” Franklin said. “They were our shield. Mike [Ledeen] had good relations with them.“

Did Ledeen clear the meeting with CIA station chief Jeff Castelli? I asked. He was reportedly furious about being kept out of the loop.

“Yes,” Franklin said. “Mike talked to him.”

Ledeen: “Who’s Castelli?”

All clear?

I don't buy it, he's only telling half the story, if that. But interesting nevertheless.

And Ledeen should have his ass hauled before Congress, not that they would know what to ask him. Or even want to know the truth. But maybe just for old times' sake?

UPDATE: On further reflection, and particularly having read this longer piece from Stein, it's quite possible that Franklin was handed over to the Feds because he was getting in the neocons' way.
"Rosen boasted of his contacts in the NSC and the State Department - he was dropping all these names that I recognized -- he dropped the name of Elliott Abrams, head of Middle East policy for the national security staff," Franklin said.

"When Rosen dropped his name, among others, I seized upon that ... If I could get [Abrams] to slow things down, maybe I could get Rice - Condoleezza Rice, to pause and say, 'Hey, maybe we really do need a foreign policy on Iran before we invade the country next door.'"

Rosen assured him he would get his Iran information to Abrams, Franklin said.

"But he didn't do that. He went to The Washington Post and the political officer at the Israeli embassy." (Rosen's indictment spelled out those acts.)

"He was duped -- he was duped real, real good," said a senior law enforcement official involved in the case. Another said, "My feeling was that they took advantage of him."

Franklin shook his head.

"No...this was my initiative. I was not directed by him," he said.
Is he protecting Rosen, or scared of him? As always, a million questions and no answers.


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