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    World News
1/23/06 - 2/5/2006

Sunday  2/5/2006

Desperation Sets In - Rumsfeld's Hitler Analogy  2/5/2006 Counterpunch: "On Thursday, February 2, the U.S. government's senior hawk, Donald Rumsfeld, stooped to the Hitler 'analogy' in a show of his administration's increasing desperation at the consolidation of the Bolivarian Revolution and the rise of the Left in Latin America. The Secretary of Defense delivered the clumsy slur against the (repeatedly) democratically elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez: "We've got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money. He's a person who was elected legally, just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally, and then consolidated power, and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. [Evo] Morales and others. It concerns me (1).""

FOIAs Reveal IRI working with OPL to facilitate the creation of an anti-Lavalas socialist coalition. FOIAs also reveal USAID $3m program with UNOPS to "even the playing field".  2/5/2006 Free Haiti: "Recent FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to USAID show that the International Republican Insitute (IRI) facilitated the creation of a socialist coalition between OPL, PANPRA, KONAKOM, and Ayiti Kapab. Research also shows that Marc Bazin's "moderate lavalas" candidacy has also been facilitated and supported by the IRI."

Chavez warns U.S. over refineries if cuts ties  2/5/2006 Reuters: ""If the U.S. government wants to break relations, then they have to take that decision over there, over there. I could easily order the refineries we have over there closed," Chavez told a large crowd of supporters. "We'll see how high oil prices go, we'll see how much a gallon of gas will cost. I could easily sell the oil we sell to the United States to other countries," he said. "We don't want to get to that extreme, we want them to leave us in peace. Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, supplies about 15 percent of U.S. petroleum imports. Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA also operates refineries and gas stations in the United States through its Citgo refining and retailing arm."

Saturday  2/4/2006

topHippies and Revolutionaries in Caracas  2/4/2006 Counterpunch 

Romano Mussolini - Jazz-musician son of 'Il Duce'  2/4/2006 Independent, UK: "During Fascism, recordings by American artists, especially black ones, were released with the musicians given Italian names. Louis Armstrong was known as Luigi Fortebraccio… His first wife was Maria Scicolone, sister of the actress Sophia Loren. Their daughter Alessandra Mussolini has enjoyed a flamboyant political career." [so she's Sophia's niece]

Former NSA analyst Kenneth Ford  2/4/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to February 4, 2006 - "A former White House Secret Service officer, Ford, a young African American with three college degrees, was what NSA wanted as a future senior executive at America's signals intelligence agency. That was until Ford's first internship assignment brought him face-to-face with what the Bush administration was cooking up for Iraq. After having transferred from NSA's Information Assurance X72 branch to start his internship in the Signals Intelligence Division (SID), Ford found himself assigned to the all-important "Iraqi shop," the branch responsible for analyzing communication intercepts of Iraqi military, civilian government, diplomatic, and commercial traffic for signs of weapons of mass destruction activity or proliferation."

Friday  2/3/2006

topDecoding the Secrets of JFK and 9/11  2/3/2006 Alternet 

Excerpt: 'Ultimate Sacrifice'  2/3/2006 Alternet: "Our investigation has produced clear evidence that the crime bosses arranged the assassination so that any thorough investigation would expose the Kennedys' C-Day coup plan. They were confident that any such exposure could push America to the brink of war with Cuba and the Soviet Union, meaning that they could assassinate JFK with relative impunity."

Iran and the jaws of a trap  2/3/2006 Asia Times: "If such things could be planned, one might be persuaded to consider this debate as an aspect of strategic deception. In fact, the US and British forces in Iraq and in the Persian Gulf as well as the forces in Afghanistan are quite able to redeploy on short notice, for example during the days of an initial air campaign against Iran for large-scale operations against the remaining Iranian forces and can be reinforced during the war. The US military infrastructure at the borders of Iran has a very substantial capability to deal with surge requirements. The somewhat standard scenario for this war - as indicated by Chinese and Russian war games - has the following features: An initial Israeli air attack against some Iranian nuclear targets, command and control targets and Shahab missile sites. Iran retaliates with its remaining missiles, tries to close the Gulf, attacks US naval assets and American and British forces in Iraq. If Iranian missiles have chemical warheads (in fact or presumed), the US will immediately use nuclear weapons to destroy the Iranian military and industrial infrastructure. If not, an air campaign of up to two weeks will prepare the ground campaign for the occupation of the Iranian oil and gas fields. Mass mobilization in Iraq against US-British forces will be at most a nuisance - easily suppressed by the ruthless employment of massive firepower. And Israel will use the opportunity to deal with Syria and South Lebanon, and possibly with its Palestinian problem. The character of this war will be completely different from the Iraq war. No show-casing of democracy, no "nation-building", no journalists, no Red Cross - but the kind of war the United States would have fought in North Vietnam if it had not had to reckon with the Soviet Union and China. Paul Levian is a former German intelligence officer."

Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?  2/3/2006 Brigham Young University: By Steven E. Jones, Department of Physics and Astronomy - "In writing this paper, I call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis that WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by impact damage and fires, but through the use of pre-positioned cutter-charges. I consider the official FEMA, NIST, and 9-11 Commission reports that fires plus impact damage alone caused complete collapses of all three buildings. And I present evidence for the controlled-demolition hypothesis, which is suggested by the available data, testable and falsifiable, and yet has not been analyzed in any of the reports funded by the US government."

Increaseing US Hostillity Toward Venezuela  2/3/2006 Counterpunch: ""What do they give you in return?" "Money, political contacts and the possibility of work" "What is the best they have given you up until now?" "A ten-year visa to enter the United States, whenever I want, and according to them, in the future I can attend a course in their intelligence agency in the United States and once I prove my loyalty to them and they see I truly have guts, I can possibly do an intelligence course with the CIA, that's what the military attaché at the Embassy, [name removed], told me himself.""

La Federalist Society investit la Cour suprême des États-Unis  2/3/2006 Voltaire Net: "Une association professionnelle d’avocats et de magistrats racistes, La Federalist Society, a fourni les principaux conseillers juridiques de l’administration Bush et a rédigé, avant les attentats du 11 septembre 2001, les lois d’exception anti-terroristes. Depuis la confirmation du juge Alito, elle détient 4 sièges sur 9 à la Cour suprême. Son théoricien, John Yoo, justifie les pleins pouvoirs perpétuels du président Bush."

Thursday  2/2/2006

topAbramoff espionage links with apartheid South Africa sanctioned by Reagan-Bush White House  2/2/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: extensive discussion of Reagan-Bush era operatives with links to South African military.

Wednesday  2/1/2006

topHere's What Really Happened - Getting Busted at the State of the Union - By CINDY SHEEHAN  2/1/2006 Counterpunch 

Jeb shredding state records?  2/1/2006 Rock River Times, IL: "The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said the governor also has brought in personnel from Texas to replace key members of his staff in Tallahassee. The Texans are overseeing the destruction of state documents, according to the source. A source in the FBI confirmed that public records are being destroyed on orders of Jeb Bush. The source said the governor may have taken that action in response to the continuing criminal probe of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the federal investigation of the 2001 gangland murder in Miami of Gus Boulis, owner of the Sun Cruz casino boat."

Hugo Chavez: Bush’s enemy, Blacks’ ally  2/1/2006 SF Bay View 

Bush administration "Back to the Future" antics in Central America  2/1/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: "According to high-level U.S. intelligence sources, the Bush administration is planning a redux of the Contra wars of the 1980s. With polls showing that Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega may become Nicaragua's next President in November 2 elections, the Bush administration has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to establish a network of small clandestine communications stations along the Honduran and Costa Rican borders with Nicaragua, supplemented by additional support bases in El Salvador. Many of those involved in the covert operations are veterans of the Contra wars of the 1980s. The hub of U.S. covert activity is centered in the Soto Cano airbase in Honduras. Formerly the Palmerola airbase, the base was active in U.S. support for the contras against the Sandinistas in the 1980s. U.S. intelligence sources also report that right-wing elements in the CIA and Pentagon also have a nasty surprise in store for Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, if he is, as expected, elected President of Mexico in July's elections. Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City, a champion of Mexico's poor, and an ally of Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, is leading in most polls. Intelligence whispers from U.S. covert actors in Latin America indicate that if Obrador is elected and fails to moderate his leftist policies, he will not live to see his inauguration day. Apparently, Obrador has gotten the message from the Bush administration. Last night, he told Mexican television that he would appoint three non-PRD members to his three most important cabinet posts: Treasury, Foreign Affairs, and Interior."

Tuesday  1/31/2006

topThe Fear That Kills  1/31/2006 Alternet: "In a startling revelation, the former commander of Abu Ghraib prison testified that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former senior U.S. military commander in Iraq, gave orders to cover up the cause of death for some female American soldiers serving in Iraq. Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark. The latrine for female soldiers at Camp Victory wasn't located near their barracks, so they had to go outside if they needed to use the bathroom. "There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were doubly easy targets in the dark of the night," Karpinski told retired U.S. Army Col. David Hackworth in a September 2004 interview. It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said."

Home video appears to show deputy shoot man who obeyed commands  1/31/2006 AP 

Colombia’s census could mis-count Afro-Colombians  1/31/2006 Black Britain 

Monday  1/30/2006

topAlito and Opus Dei - Jackboots of the Church  1/30/2006 Counterpunch 

South Africa, Malaysia and Cuba back Iran in standoff  1/30/2006 Irak War 

Republican Florida House Speaker - Rise to Power Covertly - Employing Medellien Drug Cartel Leaders  1/30/2006 Wayne Madsen 

Sunday  1/29/2006

topAbramoff -- His Crimes and Connections to Public Figures…  1/29/2006 Democratic Underground: numerous links on Abramhoff

Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him  1/29/2006 NYT: "Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination." Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed with this characterization, saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings about climate change that point to risks ahead. "Communicating with the public seems to be essential," he said, "because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic.""

A Small Circle of Friends: Larry Pratt, the Council for Inter-American Security and International Fascist Networks  1/29/2006 Refuse & Resist: published 3/96 - "Phillips and other American far-rightists, including Black "pro-life" Republican Party presidential candidate, Alan Keyes, were members of the South Africa lobby. The International Freedom Foundation (IFF), an organization founded by "conservative" activist, Jack Abramhoff, was recently exposed by senior South African military personnel as a cut-out of the South African military and Special Branch. IFF functioned as a propaganda arm for South African STRATCOM (strategic communications) counter-insurgency operations directed against the African National Congress and the trade union confederation.[44] "

Venezuela insists US Embassy behind spy plot  1/29/2006 Reuters 

Jack Abramoff, cinematic genius? He shoulda stayed in Hollywood  1/29/2006 Washington Post: published 11/28/05, contains this gem - "When "Red Scorpion" was released, it was picketed by anti-apartheid protesters angry that Abramoff had shot the movie in territory controlled by South Africa's white supremacist government, using soldiers and military equipment lent by the South Africans. The protesters would have been even angrier if they'd known that the International Freedom Foundation, a right-wing group founded by Abramoff, was secretly bankrolled by the South African army — but that wasn't known until a South African colonel revealed it in 1995."

Brutalized & Arrested in Cleveland for Posting "Bush Step Down" Posters  1/29/2006 World Can't Wait: ""Ma'am! Hundred dollar fine unless you take those posters down." He is pursuing me across the street. Damn! OK fine, I say, I will take them down (not wanting to get into a confrontation, because I have lots to do today!) But this too is not enough for the cop. He wants my ID. I say I dont have my ID. He grabs my arm. I say let go of me, I am not doing anything wrong, I will take the posters down. People are watching to see what happens, are outraged but very afraid. The cop wont let go, he clearly wants more grief from me, and he is in the spotlight. He wants people to be scared. He pushes me against a store window and next thing I know I am face down on the sidewalk with two cops on top of me, one with his knee in my back. I am trying to call out to people, to tell them what the posters are about. They keep pushing my face into the sidewalk. I cant breathe. I have osteoradionecrosis in my jaw, resulting from radiation treatments for cancer. My jawbone is slowly deteriorating, is very fragile, and doesnt heal well. I am 53 years old, not exactly a spring chicken. A hand comes down again to push my chin against the concrete. By this time there are four cops on the scene. My hands are tightly cuffed behind my back. They lift me up and shove me onto a parkbench and shackle my legs. I am still calling out, telling people what this is about. One of the cops says to me, "Shut up or I will kill you!", "I am sick of this anti-Bush shit!" "You are definitely going to the psyche ward." Then somebody calls the EMS, and a fire squad shows up. The cop superviser appears and puts his finger in my face: "I dont like it when people treat my men like this and if you don't obey the law you will suffer the consequences." I am lifted into the EMS truck, hands still cuffed behind my back. I ask to make a call and this is refused, but a fireman offers to make a quick call for me. If not for this, no one would have known where I was or what was happening, a fate shared by many immigrants in this country. At the hospital, I am treated as an arch-criminal. Escorted by four policemen, I shuffle into the emergency room, legs still shackled, covered with leaves and mud. I think to myself, if I was Black, I would not have made it this far. I would probably be dead by now. People in the emergency room are shocked by the scene and by what I am saying happened. I probably do look pretty crazy by now."

Saturday  1/28/2006

topCSI: K Street  1/28/2006 Arianna Huffington: "And lest you think it unfair to tar Abramoff with the Kidan brush, keep in mind that Abramoff is the one who brought Kidan into the SunCruz deal, who joined him in conning lenders into giving them a $60 million loan, whose clout was such that said lenders were willing to overlook Kidan's checkered financial past, and who sealed the fraudulent $60 million loan deal by inviting the vice president of the loan company to join him and his dear friend Tom DeLay in Abramoff's luxury FedEx Field skybox to watch a Redskins game. What's more, after Boulis and Kidan had come to blows during a contentious SunCruz meeting, Joan Wagner, one of Boulis' associates, sent Abramoff an email asking him to intervene. Instead, Abramoff forwarded the email to Kidan, who replied: "We need to shut her down." He then added: "Jack, you need to act above all of this." And so he has. Indeed both Abramoff and Kidan have denied any involvement in Boulis' murder, and expressed a willingness to cooperate with prosecutors in the case. But something sure smells fishy in Florida. And with the three accused killers now facing the death penalty, does anyone doubt they'll spill the beans -- perhaps on Abramoff's partner -- rather than face the electric chair?"

Apartheid South African intelligence meetings on foreign activities, including support for Jack Abramoff's Washington operations, were code-named "Sanhedrin."  1/28/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: "The following exchanges took place before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in Johannesburg on September 11 and 23, 1998. Former South African super-spy Craig Williamson, the person who ran Abramoff as an agent in Washington, testified on the secret meetings (Note how the Commission Chairperson studiously steered the commision away from the topic of "Sanhedrin" in the second hearing and how the questioner in the first hearing kept inquiring why the term "Sanhedrin" was used by the intelligence services)."

Friday  1/27/2006

topWhen Republicans Loved a Filibuster  1/27/2006 Consortium News: "In 1991, the Democratic-controlled Senate was planning an investigation into whether Republicans had conducted secret negotiations with Iran’s Islamic fundamentalist regime during the 1980 campaign, when Jimmy Carter was still President and Iran was holding 52 Americans hostage. The unresolved hostage crisis destroyed Carter’s reelection hopes and gave an important boost to Ronald Reagan when the hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, immediately after he was sworn in as President and George H.W. Bush became Vice President. A decade after those events, some Democrats wanted to get to the bottom of recurring allegations that George Bush Sr., a former CIA director, had joined clandestine negotiations with Iran in fall 1980 that may have delayed release of the hostages for political gain, what was called the “October Surprise” mystery. Meanwhile, Republicans were worried that a full-scale October Surprise investigation might implicate Bush in near-treasonous talks with an enemy state and devastate his 1992 reelection campaign. Confirmation of the allegations also would have eviscerated the legitimacy of the Reagan-Bush era. So, in November 1991, Republican leaders used the filibuster to block funding for the investigation. The Democrats mustered 51 votes – a majority – but fell short of the 60 votes needed for cloture. A fully funded investigation was prevented."

'US comments on Iran N-vote 'inappropriate''  1/27/2006 Iran Mania: "India described as "inappropriate" comments from the US ambassador to New Delhi linking a historic nuclear deal with the United States to India's stance on Iran's nuclear program, AFP reported. Ambassador David Mulford was summoned by India's Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran, and told that his comments were "inappropriate and not conducive to building a strong partnership between the two democracies," a foreign ministry statement said. "The ambassador expressed his sincere regrets, saying that his remarks had been taken out of context," the statement added. On Wednesday, Mulford said India could lose out on the historic nuclear deal with the US if it did not vote against Iran at a key meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."

Latin America: Likely U.S. Plans for Regime Change in Venezuela, Pt. II  1/27/2006 Trinicenter: "Latin America expert James Petras, professor emeritus at Binghamton University, New York, has written that the U.S. has a strategy to overthrow Hugo Chavez by military force and at the same time destroy the Cuban revolution in a "two step" approach - "first overthrow the Chavez government in Venezuela, cut off the energy supply and trade links (to Cuba) and then proceed toward economic strangulation and military attack." He also believes the U.S. will employ a "triangular strategy" to overthrow Chavez - "a military invasion from Columbia, U.S intervention (by air and sea attacks plus special forces to assassinate key officials) and an internal uprising by infiltrated terrorists and military traitors, supported by key media, financial and petrol elites." In advance of this, the U.S. has provided $3 billion to Columbia in military aid (supposedly for the "drug war") so it could triple the size of its military to over 275,000, add new helicopters and bombers and receive "advanced military technology.""

The Tyranny Of Israel Over America  1/27/2006 UrukNet: "What was particularly galling to the FBI was that they had at least 5 witnesses willing to testify against Wolfowitz and Feith in an earlier spying incident but, who, because of their high positions and presidential backing (especially after 9/11), could not be touched. The FBI was certainly aware of the deep penetration of the US state and the key role which Israel played in advising, directing and passing propaganda and directives to their agents, collaborators and the major Zionist organizations in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq… Most likely, however the disastrous political, economic and military consequences of the war in Iran – added to the losses in Iraq and Afghanistan - will arouse even greater animosity to the Bush Administration and to the pro-Israel apparatus. A big public backlash may provide a greater impetus for more extensive arrests and prosecutions of public officials in higher places and among the pro-war millionaires and operatives in the Israeli networks. Disastrous wars in the service of Israel may cause American citizens to reflect on and react to the tyranny of Israel over US foreign policy. Eventually we may even see the re-founding of an American Republic "free from foreign entanglements" to quote George Washington and from "Benedicts Arnolds" parading as US Senators."

Thursday  1/26/2006

topHaiti: Hopes for a Peaceful Alternative as the UN Plans to Invade Cité Soleil - An Interview with Frank Eaton, Filmmaker and Kidnapping Victim  1/26/2006 NarcoNews 

THE BOMBING OF THE ALFRED P. MURRAH FEDERAL BUILDING  1/26/2006 The Rifle Warrior: By Craig Roberts, Tulsa Police Department (Ret.), published 1996

Poverty in Venezuela drops to 37%  1/26/2006 VoltaireNet 

The WORMSCAN List  1/26/2006 published 1996 - "WORMSCAN is a collection of news items concerning the involvement of police, lawyers, judges, politicians, bankers, prison guards, spooks, and other social predators in the enormously profitable illegal drug business. What had at first appeared to be merely a can of worms has, upon closer examination, proven to be a barrel of vipers. No attempt has been made to note every news item. These are simply those cases which have come to my attention in the everyday news. Note that many sources are radio news reports, and thus the spelling of many names is undoubtedly bogus."

Wednesday  1/25/2006

topU.S. State Dept. Steps Up Support of Bolivian Counterdrug Ops, Despite Morales' Rise to Power  1/25/2006 NarcoNews: "The Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) of the U.S. State Dept. is taking action to “allow for an expansion of NAS support to counternarcotics operations in Bolivia,” according to a department planning document that was obtained, and had just begun circulating, today. This otherwise unannounced escalation of U.S.-backed counterdrug missions comes four days after Evo Morales – a vociferous advocate of the rights of coca-crop farmers – took office as Bolivia’s first Indian president. The first step toward expanding NAS-backed activities is the planned purchase of up to 90 heavy duty pick-up trucks, which will be delivered to “the Government of Bolivia pursuant to an agreement with the U.S. Department of State,” according to a Jan. 25 procurement notice found through a routine search of the FedBizOpps contracting database. Although the U.S. Embassy in La Paz will buy the trucks to replace old ones, a closer look at the planning document reveals that the planned acquisition is not just a routine matter. Rather than simply replacing an aging fleet of off-highway 4x4s, the new fleet of vehicles will heighten the capability of counterdrug forces to transport personnel and supplies during these expanded operations, many of which will take place in rural regions of the country where President Morales spent most of his life living and working among coca growers."

Call for Investigation of DA’s Russel Crystal and Tony Leon  1/25/2006 South African Communist Party: "The Young Communist League calls on the National Prosecutions Authority to extend its investigations on Apartheid era crimes to include an investigation into the past involvement of Tony Leon and Russel Crystal who are reported to have been involved with and recruited or where recruited by Craig Williamson, the self-confessed Apartheid agent who was responsible for the assassination of Ruth First (wife of Joe Slovo and former National Secretary of the Young Communist League in the late 40’s) Tony Leon is reported to have been bankrolled in his student election campaigns at Wits University and was financed in his year-long visit to the United States by Jack Abramhoff, a long time intelligence asset for South Africa’s apartheid era security services."

Tuesday  1/24/2006

topLetter from a Haitian Prison By Fr. GERARD JEAN-JUSTE  1/24/2006 Counterpunch 

Parallels with South Africa - The Growing Israel Divestment Movement  1/24/2006 Counterpunch 

What they don't want you to know about the coming oil crisis  1/24/2006 Independent: "In the other camp are a group of dissident experts, whom I shall call the "early toppers". They are mostly people who - like me - have worked in the heart of the oil industry, the majority of them geologists, many of them members of an umbrella organisation called the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO). They are joined by a small but growing number of analysts and journalists. The early toppers reckon that 1 trillion barrels of oil, or less, are left."

No Jail Time in Death of Iraqi General  1/24/2006 The Nation: "An Army interrogator convicted of killing an Iraqi general by stuffing him face-first into a sleeping bag can remain in the military and does not have to go to jail, a court-martial jury ruled Monday night. The sentence was a stunning reprieve for Chief Warrant Officer Lewis E. Welshofer Jr., 43, who a few days ago faced possible life in prison and the dubious distinction of being the highest-ranking soldier tried on charges of murdering an Iraqi detainee… The courtroom, packed with soldiers and officers who had testified on Welshofer's behalf, broke out in applause when the sentence was read. Welshofer stood quietly until the jury left, then hugged his lawyers and kissed his wife. The jury apparently agreed with defense arguments that Welshofer had believed he was following orders to use creative interrogation techniques when he put Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush face-first in a sleeping bag, wrapped him in electrical wire and sat on his chest in November 2003. The 57-year-old general died after 20 minutes in the bag. "When you're going to send our men and women over there to fight and put their lives on the line, you've got to back them up, you've got to give them clear rules and you've got to give them room to make mistakes and not treat them like criminals," Spinner said after the sentence was read."

Monday  1/23/2006

topEditing Chavez to Manufacture a Slur - Some outlets spread spurious charges of anti-Semitism  1/23/2006 FAIR: "The biggest problem with depicting Chavez's speech as an anti-Semitic attack is that Chavez clearly suggested that "the descendants of those who crucified Christ" are the same people as "the descendants of those who expelled Bolivar from here." As American Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who questioned the charge, told the Associated Press (1/5/06), "I know of no one who accuses the Jews of fighting against Bolivar." Bolivar, in fact, fought against the government of King Ferdinand VII of Spain, who reinstituted the anti-Semitic Spanish Inquisition when he took power in 1813. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, a Jewish sympathizer in Curacao provided refuge to Bolivar and his family when he fled from Venezuela. Most of the accounts attacking Chavez (the Daily Standard was an exception) left the reference to Bolivar out entirely; the Wiesenthal Center deleted that clause from the speech without even offering an ellipsis, which is tantamount to fabrication. As Waskow further pointed out, in the Gospel accounts, "it was the Roman Empire, and Roman soldiers, who crucified Jesus." While it's true that anti-Semites often accuse Jews of killing Jesus, it's not fair to assert that anyone who refers to the crucifixion of Jesus is attacking the Jewish people. That Chavez's comments were part of some anti-Semitic campaign is directly contradicted by a letter sent by the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela to the Wiesenthal Center (AP, 1/14/06). "We believe the president was not talking about Jews," the letter stated, complaining that "you have acted on your own, without consulting us, on issues that you don't know or understand." The American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress agreed with the Venezuelan group's view that Chavez was not referring to Jews in his speech (Inter Press Service, 1/13/06). In context, the Chavez speech seems to be an attempt by Chavez to link the attacks on his populist government to the attacks on his two oft-cited heroes, Jesus and Bolivar; the "minority" that would link the two would be the rich and powerful minority of society. The reference to "less than 10 percent of the world population" owning half the wealth also makes the idea that Chavez was talking about Jews far-fetched; 10 percent of 6 billion would be 600 million people. (According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, there are approximately 15 million Jewish people in the world.) "

Abramhoff & Kidan Implicated in Gangland Style Killing  1/23/2006 Mad Cow Morning News 

Venezuela tells McCain "go to hell" for wackos jibe  1/23/2006 Reuters 

"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes


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