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    World News
2/1/08 - 2/29/2008

Friday  2/29/2008

The Black right wing’s agenda in Colombia  2/29/2008 AfroCubaWeb: by Jesus “Chucho” Garcia

Why Afro-Colombians Oppose the Colombia Free Trade Agreement  2/29/2008 AfroCubaWeb: by Marino Cordoba, founder of the Association of Internally Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES) - "Colombia, South America is an important for African North Americans and other allies. Afro-Colombians comprise almost 40% of the Colombian population of around 42 million people. These Afro-Colombians are treated brutally by the Government and the Euro-Colombians. Now, the Colombian President Uribe needs the support of the Congressional Black Caucus to pass the Colombian Free Trade Agreement. So he accepts the proposal of some Afro-Colombians to create this phony Commission for the Protection of the 16 million Afro-Colombians. More than a million Afro-Colombians have been displaced from their homes and communities. Afro-Colombians are killed and forced into exile if they resist the sale their land. The Colombian government provides very few services and infrastructure for the Afro-Colombian community and Law 70 that gives Afro-Colombian rights to their ancestral lands is not implemented and the para-militaries under President Uribe is driving the Afro-Colombians from their land. Congressional Black Caucus member Gregory Meeks of New York and member of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) deceived Congressman Bobby Rush of Chicago and caused him to write a letter of support for the Colombia Free Trade Agreement and have it signed by members of the Congressional Black Caucus."

Edison Students Blame "Brutality" For Melee - 28 Students Were Arrested - Students, Police Hurt in Widespread Fight - Parents Angry At Police After Edison High Fight  2/29/2008 CBS: "Classes have ended for the day at Miami Edison High School following a massive fight between police and students. Students claim they were attacked by police as they tried to stage a peaceful protest, but police say the students became unruly and attacked police officers, prompting a massive response. Officers from three departments including the city of Miami and Miami-Dade police were called to the school, which is located at 6161 NW 5th Court in Miami, after a school police officer hit an emergency button and called for backup, saying students were 'rioting' at the school."

Bush Bombs UN with Mass Deception About Police Brutality - Cop Abuse in America  2/29/2008 Counterpunch 

The Bonds That Kill - Obama and Israel  2/29/2008 Counterpunch 

Venezuelan activist lectures on social issues  2/29/2008 Daily Collegian: "Garcia focused on how the United States wants to capture this black movement, the creation of schools of leadership that were put in place by Colin Powell, has only one objective. "We see it as [that the U.S] will pick leaders that will support invasions," Garcia said. This is a subtle manipulation tactic from the United States to catch the black movement in Latin America, Garcia said during his lecture. "The agenda is low intensity, low profile intervention, is not like in 2004 the overt intervention in Haiti," Garcia said. "Take a look at the diaspora in Latin America in light of the changes that are happening now," Garcia said. The lecture was hosted by the Afro-American Studies department and the center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies. Students and faculty alike crowed the Shirley Graham Du Bois Library located in the New Africa house."

The Three Trillion Dollar War: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Economist Linda Bilmes on the True Cost of the US Invasion and Occupation of Iraq  2/29/2008 Democracy Now: "JUAN GONZALEZ: And those deficits, the financing came increasingly from abroad, right? JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Very much so, at least 40 percent from abroad. So that means that Americans will be paying those abroad interest and—the other aspect of that that’s really important to realize is that while we were saving zero, or household saving went down to zero, the government had negative saving and we were borrowing, the pools of wealth that were being created were in the Middle East, China. So when we have an economic problem, like the fact that Citibank and Merrill Lynch had to be bailed out, they had to turn to these others, to the sovereign wealth funds that were held by other countries, and that makes us more dependent on abroad."

Fight at Miami high school draws dozens of police  2/29/2008 Miami Herald 

Alternatives International and the “Massacre” that Wasn’t North American and European Nonprofits Promote Elitist, Revisionist Vision of 2004 Haiti Coup Aftermath  2/29/2008 NarcoNews: "NGOs contributed greatly to the destabilization campaign prior to the coup, [1] leading to a human rights catastrophe in which thousands who supported Aristide’s deposed government and lived in Haiti’s poorest slums were murdered. It isn’t surprising that a report produced by Alternatives and FRIDE would depict the work of UN troops in Haiti as benevolent, but it is surprising that the report descended into flagrant bigotry and slander."

Cuba Signs U.N. Rights Pacts  2/29/2008 Reuters 

Students Protest and Police Riot- Edison Sr. High School  2/29/2008 Take Back the Land: "The mostly black and largely Haitian-American Miami Edison students organized a protest this morning at the school courtyard. According to all accounts, the protest was peaceful, possibly including civil disobedience (Miami Herald: "The incident apparently began as a peaceful protest, according to a teacher inside the school, but got out of hand." CBS4: "The student said police were called to the school to respond to the protest, and when students objected a scuffle broke out, escalating quickly into an all out fight between students and officers."). Police were called in to break up the protest and when the students refused- exercising their right to protest- school and city of Miami police attacked them and the students defended themselves against attacks by police."

EDISON HIGH SCHOOL (MIAMI)  2/29/2008 YouTube: [shot from a student's cell phone in the cafeteria.]

EDISON HIGH SCHOOL fake police  2/29/2008 YouTube: [shows police giving his card to a student after the beatings]

WTVJ NBC 6: Miami Edison High Riot  2/29/2008 YouTube: "Why don't you spend a couple days at Edison High....better yet that part of Miami and then tell me it's not a racist matter. I agree that the kid shouldn't have fought back but the racism between the cops and the people at that school DOES exist. So please don't say anything without knowing the facts."

Thursday  2/28/2008

topNeil Bush accompanies Moonies to meeting with Paraguayan  2/28/2008 EFE: "Moon's various organizations and enterprises have large landholdings in northern Paraguay, on the border with Brazil, and the country's Supreme Court rejected in mid-2007 the expropriation of more than 52,000 hectares (128,395 acres) of Moonie-owned land ordered by Congress. The high court's ruling was harshly criticized by Duarte because the expropriation was intended to help residents of the poor, remote town of Puerto Casado. Neil Bush later went to the Senate to take part in an international seminar, "New Leadership Paradigms in Latin America and the Caribbean at a Time of Crisis on the Global Level," organized by the federation. Bush, who became a poster boy for the $500 billion U.S. savings and loan debacle during the 1988-1992 presidency of his father, George H.W. Bush, said in brief remarks that he had a pleasant conversation with Duarte."

The $3 Trillion War  2/28/2008 Vanity Fair: "For fiscal year 2008 the administration has asked for nearly $200 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If Congress provides the money, as it almost certainly will, then the total appropriated for direct operations in these two countries (including reconstruction, embassy costs, enhanced base security, and foreign aid) since the wars began will come to roughly $800 billion. It is extremely difficult to disentangle the Iraq and Afghanistan numbers, but Iraq is by far the larger endeavor and accounts for about three-fourths of the total. By the administration’s own reckoning, then, the cost of the Iraq war, counting only the money officially appropriated, will soon be some $600 billion, or more than 10 times Rumsfeld’s original number. The administration’s estimates have been low—and wrong—from the start. Some of this is the result of its shortsightedness about every aspect of the war, beginning with its nature and duration. For instance, extensive use of reservists and the National Guard avoided the need to increase the size of the armed forces or resort to a draft—but at a heavy price, including reliance on highly paid contractors, people who in other contexts would have been called mercenaries. Another factor is the soaring price of fuel caused by the increase in the price of oil—which is itself, in part, a consequence of the war. But even the $600 billion number is disingenuous—which is to say false. The true cost of the war in Iraq, according to our calculations, will, by the time America has extricated itself, exceed $3 trillion. And this is a deliberately conservative estimate. The ultimate cost may well be much higher."

Wednesday  2/27/2008

topJohn McCain's Sweet Ride - Lobbyist's Plane Flew Saudi Royals After 9/11  2/27/2008 Mad Cow Morning News: "The lavishly-furnished custom Boeing 727 airliner (727PX) which ferried Senator John McCain on four occasions during his Presidential run in 2000 also flew Saudi Royals out of the U.S. right after 9/11, carrying an entourage of Saudi Royals from Las Vegas to London six days after the 9/11 attack in a controversial operation later scrutinized by the 9/11 Commission. The 727 figures in the current tempest over his relationship with female lobbyist Vicki Iseman, who provided and flew with McCain on the plane. With hundreds of air charter companies and airliners to choose from, the Saudis chose a company that owns “Worship Ministries” and Christian Network, Inc., turning to Paxson Communications, a “Christian broadcaster” which owned the plane, to make its corporate jet available to spirit the Saudi princes and their entourage out of the U.S. six days after 9/11."

U.S. intelligence questions Venezuela arms purchases  2/27/2008 McClatchy 

Tuesday  2/26/2008

topTop Bolivian official plans Washington visit to complain of U.S. interference  2/26/2008 AP 

Clinton: Be wary of Obama on foreign affairs  2/26/2008 Boston Globe: Venezuela joins the new axis of evil - "Clinton, flanked by senior retired military officers who have endorsed her candidacy, said she would meet with adversaries as president but would not be "penciling in the leaders of Iran, or North Korea, or Venezuela, or Cuba on the presidential calendar without preconditions.""

First Latin-American Nuclear Submarine to Be Built by Brazil and Argentina  2/26/2008 Brazzil Magazine: "The Brazilian government says that Brazil will start working jointly with Argentina in the construction of a nuclear submarine, the first in Latin America, to be built using French technology, according to reports in the Buenos Aires press. For that purpose, a binational company would be formed, to develop a small-size reactor already created by Argentina's INVAP technology institute and to be installed in conventional French designed Scorpene class submarines. Earlier this month, France had agreed to provide Brazil with technology to build an attack submarine, but dismissed the possibility of any nuclear technology transfer. Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said that this project would also be useful in the construction of nuclear energy plants."

Police torture in the U.S.  2/26/2008 CERD: "Video of Stan Willis,Co-covener of Black People Against Police Torture giving a presentation at the CERD (committee excluding racial discrimination) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland last week. His topic-police torture in the U.S."

45 CONGRESISTAS DEL PARLAMENTO NEGRO ANALIZARAN EN CALI SITUACION DE LOS AFRODESCENDIENTES EN AMERICA LATINA  2/26/2008 Government of Colombia: "La reunión, que se realizará en Cali, Colombia, los días 14, 15 y 16 de marzo del presente año, se denominará: “Los desafíos del Parlamento Negro frente a la inclusión y la ciudadanía afrodescendiente en el contexto global”."

Clinton slams Obama for pledge to meet with rogue leaders without preconditions  2/26/2008 Jerusalem Post: "Meanwhile, Likud MK Yuli Edelstein gave a positive twist Tuesday to the negative comments about his party that were made on Monday by Obama while campaigning in Ohio, that to be pro-Israeli one did not have to be pro-Likud. Edelstein said Obama's comments only proved what he had known all along, that his party was pro-Israel and patriotic. Obama had said, "I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, then you're anti-Israel, and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel." "

Candidates advised on Latin America  2/26/2008 Miami Herald: "The Clinton and Obama scripts on Latin America appear similar. Both oppose ratifying a free trade agreement with Colombia for now and support a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws that would legalize millions of undocumented migrants. On Cuba, both favor easing restrictions on family travel but condition most concessions on Havana first enacting democratic reforms. Unlike Clinton, Obama has said he would be open to a dialogue with U.S. foes like Cuba. He also has criticized Chávez for ''despotic tendencies'' and using oil revenues ``to stir up trouble.''"

Monday  2/25/2008

topSomeone, operating under a special chain of command within the United States Air Force, just stole a nuclear weapon.  2/25/2008 Above Top Secret: published 11/07, scroll down - "Six nuclear weapons disappeared from Minot AFB in North Dakota. Five nuclear weapons were discovered at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. Which leads to my chilling conclusion: Someone, operating under a special chain of command within the United States Air Force, just stole a nuclear weapon."

McCain Withheld Controversial Abramoff Email  2/25/2008 Huffington Post: "On the stump, Sen. John McCain often cites his work tackling the excesses of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff as evidence of his sturdy ethical compass. A little-known document, however, shows that McCain may have taken steps to protect his Republican colleagues from the scope of his investigation. In the 2006 Senate report concerning Abramoff's activities, which McCain spearheaded, the Arizona Republican conspicuously left out information detailing how Alabama Gov. Bob Riley was targeted by Abramoff's influence peddling scheme. Riley, a Republican, won election in November 2002, and was reelected in 2006. In a December 2002 email obtained by the Huffington Post -- which McCain and his staff had access to prior to the issuance of his report -- Abramoff explains to an aide what he would like to see Riley do in return for the "help" he received from Abramoff's tribal clients."

Narco News Investigation: Cocaine Planes Cross Paths with Corporate America’s Green Movement  2/25/2008 NarcoNews: "Howard Altman of the Tampa Tribune reported recently that Malago is a business partner in a “green” company called Atlantic Alcohol with an individual named Larry Peters, who owns Skyway Aircraft Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla. Skyway also happens to have sold two planes to Venezuelan buyers in recent years that have since been identified as aircraft that were subsequently used in drug-trafficking operations. Peters’ company sold a Beech 200 aircraft to a Venezuelan purchaser in October 2004, about a month before it was apprehended in a Nicaraguan cotton field linked to a payload of some 1,100 kilos of cocaine. In addition, a recent FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Miami identifies another plane, a Cessna Conquest II (tail number N12DT), that was sold by Skyway in 2006 to a Venezuelan purchaser allegedly linked to a drug trafficking organization (DTO)."

Chávez orders immediate liberation of indigenous peoples fenced in by English corporation in Apure  2/25/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "President Hugo Chávez ordered quick and decisive action Sunday in order to liberate 200 Yaruro indigenous people who have been encircled by fences built by Agroflora, an affiliate of the British Vestey Group, according to denunciations filed by Representative Cristóbal Jiménez and ratified by the Minister of Agriculture and Land, Elias Jaua. Also, 800 other indigenous people remained outside of the fences. "The farm put up a fence around them and they can't get out without permission from the farm owners," Jiménez explained."

The Nukes of October: Richard Nixon's Secret Plan to Bring Peace to Vietnam  2/25/2008 Wired: "On the morning of October 27, 1969, a squadron of 18 B-52s — massive bombers with eight turbo engines and 185-foot wingspans — began racing from the western US toward the eastern border of the Soviet Union. The pilots flew for 18 hours without rest, hurtling toward their targets at more than 500 miles per hour. Each plane was loaded with nuclear weapons hundreds of times more powerful than the ones that had obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki… The aircraft were pointed toward Moscow, but the real goal was to change the war in Vietnam. During his campaign for the presidency the year before, Richard Nixon had vowed to end that conflict. But more than 4,500 Americans had died there in the first six months of 1969, including 84 soldiers at the debacle of Hamburger Hill. Meanwhile, the peace negotiations in Paris, which many people hoped would end the conflict, had broken down. The Vietnamese had declared that they would just sit there, conceding nothing, "until the chairs rot." Frustrated, Nixon decided to try something new: threaten the Soviet Union with a massive nuclear strike and make its leaders think he was crazy enough to go through with it. His hope was that the Soviets would be so frightened of events spinning out of control that they would strong-arm Hanoi, telling the North Vietnamese to start making concessions at the negotiating table or risk losing Soviet military support."

Sunday  2/24/2008

topNarco Aggression: Russia accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking out of Afghanistan  2/24/2008 Global Research: "The Vesti channel’s report from Afghanistan said that drugs from Afghanistan were hauled by American transport aircraft to the U.S. airbases Ganci in Kyrgyzstan and Incirlik in Turkey. The Ganci Air Force base at the Manas international airport in Kyrgyzstan was set up in late 2001 as a staging post for military operations inside Afghanistan. The Kyrgyz government threatened to close the base after neighbouring Uzbekistan shut down a similar U.S. airbase on its territory in 2005, but relented after Washington agreed to make a one-off payment of $150 million in the form of an assistance package and to pay $15 million a year for the use of the base. One of the best-informed Russian journalists on Central Asia, Arkady Dubnov, recently quoted anonymous Afghan sources as saying that “85 per cent of all drugs produced in southern and southeastern provinces are shipped abroad by U.S. aviation.” A well-informed source in Afghanistan’s security services told the Russian journalist that the American military acquired drugs through local Afghan officials who dealt with field commanders in charge of drug production. Writing in the Vremya Novostei daily, Dubnov claimed that the pro-Western administration of President Hamid Karzai, including his two brothers, Kajum Karzai and Akhmed Vali Karzai, are head-to-heels involved in the narcotics trade. The article quoted a leading U.S. expert on Afghanistan, Barnett Rubin, as telling an anti-narcotics conference in Kabul last October that “drug dealers had infiltrated Afghani state structures to the extent where they could easily paralyse the work of the government if decision to arrest one of them was ever made.” Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Richard Holbrooke said in January that “government officials, including some with close ties to the presidency, are protecting the drug trade and profiting from it.” In an article carried by Washington Post, the diplomat described the $1-billion-a-year U.S. counter-narcotics effort in Afghanistan as “the single most ineffective programme in the history of American foreign policy.” “It’s not just a waste of money. It actually strengthens the Taliban and Al Qaeda, as well as criminal elements within Afghanistan,” Holbrooke wrote in the The Washington Post in early January."

Obama pledges self-determination to Puerto Rico – with independence as an option  2/24/2008 SF Bay View: "Puerto Rico's status must be based on the principle of self-determination. Puerto Rico has a proud history, an extraordinary culture, its own traditions, customs and language, and a distinct identity. As president, I will work closely with the Puerto Rican government, its civil society and with Congress to create a genuine and transparent process for self-determination that will be true to the best traditions of democracy. As president, I will actively engage Congress and the Puerto Rican people in promoting this deliberative, open and unbiased process, that may include a constitutional convention or a plebiscite, and my administration will adhere to a policy of strict neutrality on Puerto Rican status matters. My administration will recognize all valid options to resolve the question of Puerto Rico's status, including commonwealth, statehood and independence. I strongly believe in equality before the law for all American citizens. This principle extends fully to Puerto Ricans. The American citizenship of Puerto Ricans is constitutionally guaranteed for as long as the people of Puerto Rico choose to retain it. I reject the assertion in reports submitted by a Presidential Task Force on Dec. 22, 2005, and Dec. 21, 2007, that sovereignty over Puerto Rico could be unilaterally transferred by the United States to a foreign country, and the U.S. citizenship of Puerto Ricans is not constitutionally guaranteed."

Venezuela: Danger signs for the revolution  2/24/2008 Venezuela Analysis 

Saturday  2/23/2008

topFalse Flag Prospects, 2008 -- Top Three US Target Cities - by Captain Eric H. May  2/23/2008 Global Research: "The easiest way to carry out a false flag attack is by setting up a military exercise that simulates the very attack you want to carry out. As I'll detail below, this is exactly how government perpetrators in the US and UK handled the 9/11 and 7/7 "terror" attacks, which were in reality government attacks blamed on "terrorists.""

The Failure of Human Rights Watch in Venezuela and Haiti  2/23/2008 Haiti Analysis: "The way Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Haiti and Venezuela in its 2008 World Report reveals an underlying assumption that the U.S. and its allies have the right to overthrow democratic governments.[1] The Venezuela section of the report said nothing about ongoing attempts by the U.S. to overthrow the Chavez government. It is a matter of public record that the U.S. funded groups who were involved in the coup of 2002 and continued to do so after the coup took place.[2] Rather than denounce or even acknowledge U.S. destabilization efforts in Venezuela, HRW continues to complain about the non-renewal of RCTV's public broadcasting license. RCTV was one of big television networks that aided and abetted the coup. HRW objects that RCTV's involvement in the coup "was not proven in a proceeding in which RCTV had an opportunity to present a defense." It is impossible to imagine a non-farcical proceeding that would conclude otherwise, especially when coup's perpetrators thanked the private media, of which RCTV was a major part, for its help."

Going right up against Chavez - A Spanish pop singer's remark brings him a battle he didn't expect.  2/23/2008 LA Times: "Forgive me for not sharing the selective outrage of the artists who signed the Sanz statement, including one of my heroes, singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat, victim of his own repression under the Franco dictatorship in Spain. Where were all these artists when the Bush administration, for purely political reasons, repeatedly prevented Cuban and other artists from entering the U.S. and performing here? The Sanz defenders include Miami power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan, who were among the outspoken opponents of allowing fellow Cuban artists from the island to attend the Latin Grammys in the past, saying it would offer aid and comfort to Fidel Castro. The anti-Castro hard-liners, you'll recall, prompted the Latin Recording Academy to move the inaugural award ceremony in 2000 from Miami to Los Angeles. The defense of artistic freedom should not depend on your politics."

The three trillion dollar war - The cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have grown to staggering proportions  2/23/2008 London Times: "As the fifth year of the war draws to a close, operating costs (spending on the war itself, what you might call “running expenses”) for 2008 are projected to exceed $12.5 billion a month for Iraq alone, up from $4.4 billion in 2003, and with Afghanistan the total is $16 billion a month. Sixteen billion dollars is equal to the annual budget of the United Nations, or of all but 13 of the US states. Even so, it does not include the $500 billion we already spend per year on the regular expenses of the Defence Department. Nor does it include other hidden expenditures, such as intelligence gathering, or funds mixed in with the budgets of other departments."

Friday  2/22/2008

topNew evidence challenges official picture of Kennedy shooting  2/22/2008 Guardian: "Little about the official explanation of the events at the Ambassador Hotel on June 5 1968 makes sense. Now a new forensic analysis of the only audio recording of the fatal shots has given new weight to a controversial theory that there were in fact two shooters, and that the man convicted of Kennedy's killing — Sirhan Sirhan - did not fire the fatal shots."

Yes, There Is a Guerrilla War Against Zionism in the U.S. What Should Jewish Institutions Do?  2/22/2008 Mondo Weiss: "There is no end of evidence that this kind of rage is bubbling to the surface all over America. My sister-in-law tells me that the almost-censored If Americans Knew speech at the Greenwich Library last week was "a mob scene." I've blogged about the fact that at a Yivo event, neocon Iraq-war-planner Bill Kristol had a hunted look as he spoke of the craziness that had surrounded neocons since the war. Neocon chronicler Jacob Heilbrunn has seemed fearful in his public statements about his book, They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, stepping away from his own assertion that neocons formed cabals in the government. It is as if he is spooked by the snakepit he stepped into. The fact that our Israel policy has hurt us across the Arab world is no longer a revelation to Americans. They know it, and seem to want to do something about it. Jimmy Carter and Walt and Mearsheimer and the Iraq debacle have been an IV-drip into the American bloodstream."

Canada aims to push ahead with Colombia trade deal  2/22/2008 Reuters: "Canada plans to push ahead and negotiate a free trade deal with Colombia despite human rights concerns that have stalled a similar agreement between Bogota and Washington, signed over a year ago."

Wednesday  2/20/2008

topA Black President? Sure. But If We Don't Do Nothin' He Won't Do Nothin'  2/20/2008 Black Agenda Report: by Amiri Baraka

Framing Muslims and Locking Up Their Money  2/20/2008 Black Agenda Report: by Cynthia McKinney

Obama’s White Male Voters: Do They Hear Something Blacks Don’t?  2/20/2008 Black Agenda Report: "White men have always been the most reactionary, racially-bonded voting group, the deepest well of anti-Black hostility in the country. So, what makes them flock to Obama's banner? The answer is simple: Obama has based his entire strategy on sending messages to white males, assuring them he will take race and sex privilege off the table of American discourse. They got the message, and vote accordingly. The other side of this color blind coin is Black Americans, who don't seem to hear the conversation that's going on all around them."

Tuesday  2/19/2008

topDamning the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment - Peter Hallward Untangles the Truth About Haiti From a Web of Lies  2/19/2008 Global Research 

Hugo Chávez's Anti-Imperialist Army  2/19/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "Recently, Chávez invited Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to join him on his weekly TV show, Aló, Presidente! Turning to his friend and ally, Chávez remarked that Latin American countries which formed part of ALBA (or Bolivarian Alternative for The Americas) "should set up a joint defense strategy, and integrate our armed forces and intelligence servicesbecause the enemy is the same: the United States empire." Chávez, who is known for his bravado and rhetorical flair, then added, "Whoever takes on one of us will have to take on everyone, because we will respond jointly." "

Sunday  2/17/2008

topDallas County DA's office finds cache of JFK memorabilia  2/17/2008 Dallas Morning News: "Mr. Watkins, Ms. Moore and several investigators from the DA's office found the boxes of materials about a year ago because they had heard that the gun used to kill Oswald was somewhere in the courthouse. They didn't find the gun, which Mr. Mack said is privately owned, but instead found the records and other items. For the past year, they've been trying to determine what they discovered and began scanning some of the documents. The process is not complete. The boxes probably sat in the safe since being moved when the courthouse opened in 1989. Mr. Watkins said he plans to donate the files to an entity that will authenticate and preserve them, as well as make them available to the public. It's interesting, and it's not ours," Mr. Watkins said. "It's the public's." No one has yet thoroughly read all of the documents, so it's not known whether they contain information previously unknown to the public or the Warren Commission." [TV coverage shows numerous boxes]

Philip Giraldi: What FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds found in translation  2/17/2008 Dallas Morning News: first extended reference in American mainstream media

Undermining Bolivia  2/17/2008 Global Research: "Morales won the presidency in December 2005 with 54 percent of the vote, but five regional governments went to rightwing politicians. After Morales's victory, USAID, through its Office of Transition Initiatives, decided "to provide support to fledgling regional governments," USAID documents reveal. Throughout 2006, four of these five resource-rich lowland departments pushed for greater autonomy from the Morales-led central government, often threatening to secede from the nation. U.S. funds have emboldened them, with the Office of Transition Initiatives funneling "116 grants for $4,451,249 to help departmental governments operate more strategically," the documents state."

CIA's ambitious post-9/11 spy plan crumbles  2/17/2008 LA Times: [See last paragraph. Comment on this article from Wayne Madsen - "CIA shuts down NOC cover companies in Europe; Bush administration prevented a NOC from attending an energy conference on Saudi Arabia to establish contact with a nuclear counter-proliferation target. Another indication that Sibel Edmonds and Valerie Plame were getting "too close" to American officials involved in nuke smuggling trade."]

Colombian Paramilitaries and the United States: "Unraveling the Pepes Tangled Web"  2/17/2008 National Security Archives: "U.S. espionage operations targeting top Colombian government officials in 1993 provided key evidence linking the U.S.-Colombia task force charged with tracking down fugitive drug lord Pablo Escobar to one of Colombia's most notorious paramilitary chiefs, according to a new collection of declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive. The affair sparked a special CIA investigation into whether U.S. intelligence was shared with Colombian terrorists and narcotraffickers every bit as dangerous as Escobar himself."

Saturday  2/16/2008

topMore On Martial Law and Mass Detentions Plans  2/16/2008 Dennis Loo: [published 2/7/07] - "In '1970 he [Louis Giuffrida, Reagan's FEMA Director] had written a paper for the Army War College in which he called for martial law in case of a national uprising by black militants. Among his ideas were "assembly centers or relocation camps" for at least 21 million "American Negroes,"'writes Sam Smith. 'During 1968 and 1972, Reagan ran a series of war games in California called Cable Splicer, which involved the Guard, state and local police, and the US Sixth Army. Details of this operation were reported in 1975 in a story by Ron Ridenour of the New Times, an Arizona alternative paper, and later exhumed by Dave Lindorff in the Village Voice…. Cable Splicer, it turned out, was a training exercise for martial law. The man in charge was none other than Edwin Meese, then Reagan’s executive secretary. At one point, Meese told the Cable Splicer combatants: This is an operation, this is an exercise, this is an objective which is going forward because in the long run … it is the only way that will be able to prevail [against anti-war protests].'"

Unofficial Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote  2/16/2008 NYT: "Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama. Counting the Results That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district. City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city. In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116."

Pacto con el diablo  2/16/2008 Semana, Colombia: "SEMANA revela documentos recién desclasificados en Washington que dejan en evidencia la relación de la CIA con los nacientes grupos paramilitares colombianos."

Exxon Is Demanding Ten Times its Investment, Says Venezuelan Oil Minister  2/16/2008 Venezuela Analysis 

Friday  2/15/2008

topVenezuela requests help from U.S. senator - Ambassador asks Lugar to get freeze set aside in Exxon Mobil case  2/15/2008 Bloomberg 

Jewish functionaries stirring the Clinton-Obama race  2/15/2008 Haaretz: "Official Israel is making an effort to maintain a respectable neutrality. Has-beens are being called into the ring, like a former ambassador to Washington, Dan Ayalon, who jabbed Obama in a sensitive spot - the volume of his support for Israel. Ayalon is not alone. Jewish advisers and non-Jewish supporters are almost obsessively occupied with searching for skeletons in the black candidate's past. The Republican Party's neoconservative clique is trawling archives for "anti-Israeli" essays by advisers who had been seen in Obama's staff. Robert Malley, who was President Bill Clinton's special assistant during the Camp David talks, joined Obama. The neoconservatives reached Malley's father, a Jew of Egyptian descent, who, alas, kept childhood ties with Yasser Arafat. Malley junior is accused of publishing a joint article with an Oslo-supporting Palestinian, in which they dared to argue that Ehud Barak played a major role in the Camp David summit's failure in July 2000. Obama is working hard to allay the fears of "Israel's friends," a description reserved mainly for activists of the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC and for Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents. As far as they're concerned, whoever doesn't support the Israeli government's policy 100 percent is unfit for leadership. Clinton is reaping the fruit of her investment in the Jewish community and Israel since first running for a Senate seat in New York. She is also benefiting from Bill Clinton's popularity in synagogues, Israeli homes and among his rich Jewish friends. A long list of initiatives and declarations has erased from the collective Jewish memory the first lady's "slip" in spring 1998, after Arafat threatened Benjamin Netanyahu with a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Clinton then said at a gathering of Israeli and Palestinian youth, members of the Seeds of Peace organization, that it was important to have a "functioning modern" Palestinian state." She also said "it will be in the long-term interest of the Middle East for Palestine to be a state...responsible for its citizens' and health care.'' "

Hugo Chávez and High Anxiety at the NYT  2/15/2008 Venezuela Analysis 

Jimmy Breslin on the Mob  2/15/2008 WBUR 

Thursday  2/14/2008

topThe war and the recession: a connection?  2/14/2008 Nieman Watchdog: [by Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.), a Senior Fellow with Hudson Institute and a professor at Yale University. He was Director of the National Security Agency from 1985 to 1988.] "The costs of war in Iraq are certainly part of the answer. Yet the media, having largely pulled back from what used to be aggressive war coverage, have now let the economy replace the war as the number one issue in the presidential campaign without even considering that the two may be connected. Similarly, the Democratic congress has shed the war issue and wrapped itself in the economy issue. (If the Democrats don't press the war as an issue and the press doesn't either, it's only natural that it will recede in the political campaign.) But the two issues are linked. Withdrawing from Iraq will not turn the economy around, but the billions of dollars that would be saved could certainly defray the cost of an economic stimulus package, lessening the likelihood of ensuing inflation. Accurate assessments of the war’s cost are not available, but the figure is most likely between a trillion and one and a half trillion dollars. What if that money were available for dealing with health care demands, public infrastructure underfunding, and the like? To talk about recession without tying it to the war is to give the administration a pass."

USS Liberty Gets Its Own Weekly Radio Program on the Republic Broadcasting Network  2/14/2008 USS Liberty: "Now, a new development has taken place where the survivors of the Liberty will not be forced to beg a criminally-incompetent American media to tell their story. Beginning Saturday, February 23rd, the USS Liberty survivors will have their own live radio program appearing on the Republic Broadcasting Network found at The live, two-hour call-in program will appear every Saturday from 10 am to 12 pm CST and will be hosted by Phil Tourney, survivor of the Liberty and 3-time president of the Liberty Veteran’s Association and Mark Glenn, contributing editor for American Free Press newspaper. The weekly program, in addition to discussing the event taking place 40 years ago, will also be an in-depth analysis of current political events that have as their origin the fact that a United States ship was attacked in an act of premeditated war and was not rectified. Appearances by many of the other survivors of the Liberty will also be a regular theme, talking about what they went through that day and what has happened to them personally since that time."

Change Obama can believe in: Socialism?  2/14/2008 World Tribune, Falls Church, VA: "He is, in fact, an associate of a Chicago-based socialist group with ties to the Socialist International, access to millions of labor union dollars and connections to expert political consultants, including a convicted swindler. Obama’s socialist backing goes back at least to 1996, when he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for an Illinois state senate seat. Later, the Chicago DSA newsletter reported that Obama, as a state senator, showed up to eulogize Saul Mendelson, one of the “champions” of “Chicago’s democratic left” and a long-time socialist activist."

Wednesday  2/13/2008

topValerie Plame Wilson Describes Sibel Edmonds Disclosures as 'Stunning'  2/13/2008 Brad Blog: "When asked about the allegations that Grossman outed her covert Brewster Jennings network, she said she was unable to speak to those charges. "Not only can I say, 'no comment,' but I mean 'no comment' because I don't know anything to add to it," she claimed. "Certainly during the run-up to the war and until I was outed, I was focused almost to the exclusion of anything else on just trying to run safe and effective operations, trying to figure out what the hell was going on in Iraq, what were the scientists, what were they doing, where were their secret sites.""

Something must give — or will the fight be stopped?  2/13/2008 London Times: "A senior adviser to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has suggested that she – along with other “party elders” – will step into the ring if they feel that Democratic hopes of winning back the White House or maintaining control over Congress are being threatened. Ms Pelosi insists that she remains neutral in the race and that her “focus is on reelecting a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives”. However, her voice would carry great authority among many uncommitted super-delegates on Capitol Hill – and she is said by one of those close to her to be leaning towards Mr Obama. “The party Establishment is not going to turn its back on a candidate who is generating this tremendous excitement and bringing all these new voters into the political process,” an adviser said."

Key Clinton Backer Guilty in Sibel Edmonds Case  2/13/2008 OpEd News: "Celebi, "one of the national leaders of the Turkish-American community in the US," is a key fundraiser for Clinton, and is one of Clinton's Chicago delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Celebi was also heavily involved in the controversial 2006 movie "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq" which has been widely regarded as "anti-Semitic, anti-American, conspiratorial agitprop." Mehmet Celebi is also a key figure in the Sibel Edmonds case - he is heavily involved in the narcotics trade in the US and the corruption and bribery of high-level US officials."

Venezuelans Grow Bitter Over Abductions - Rebels in Colombia Blamed As Chavez, Their Defender, Focuses on Hostages There  2/13/2008 WaPo: "Officials at the Communications and Interior ministries did not return calls seeking comment. But Venezuelan authorities have publicly asserted that common criminals and right-wing Colombian paramilitary groups are behind the kidnappings. "If someone has proof that there is another factor involved, they should collaborate to the maximum with the authorities," Vice President Ramón Carrizales said in January. In the rolling mountains and picturesque towns along this border, the families of hostages say that those who demand ransom often have Colombian accents and identify themselves as members of revolutionary groups. Venezuelans who are freed, after paying ransom, contend that they have been held by guerrillas, almost always inside Venezuela."

Tuesday  2/12/2008

topBarack Obama And The “End” Of Racism  2/12/2008 Countercurrents: "With respect to Black interests, Obama would be a silenced Black ruler: A muzzled Black emperor. A Black man at the head of the White Amerikkkan State – one who’s unwilling to speak truth to power, but more than willing, like a Condi Rice or a Colin Powell, to become that power and to launch wars of aggression against other people of color. In Obama’s case the targets will be Iran (which he has threatened with “surgical” missile strikes) and Pakistan, rather than Iraq. That’s the only difference between Obama and Rice and Powell, or Bush, for that matter. Even ABC News notes that “Obama, one of the more liberal candidates in the race, is proposing a geopolitical posture that is more aggressive than that of President Bush.”"

Off the Books: The Outsourcing of American Foreign Policy, Part II -- Operation Blowback  2/12/2008 Get Underground: [interview with Peter Dale Scott]

Kosovo: The US and the EU support a Political Process linked to Organized Crime - Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is part of a criminal syndicate  2/12/2008 Global Research: "The PDK, led by Hashim Thaci, former Kosovan Liberation Army commander, took control of many municipalities after the war. The party has close links with organized crime in the province. (The Observer, 29 October 2000) Mr. Thaci, nicknamed "the Snake" during his KLA days, is a sharp-suited 32-year-old former rebel commander with poor oratory skills, links to organized crime and a determination to preserve relations between his party and the United States (The Scotsman, 20 October 2000) "

Anti-Semitism or Anti-Imperialism in Venezuela?  2/12/2008 Venezuela Analysis 

Chavez Denounces Colombian Paramilitary Activity in Venezuela  2/12/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "The president made reference Sunday to a study of Columbian paramilitary activity titled The Business of War, written by Caracas-based German Political Scientist Darío Azzellini. In an interview on the Venezuelan Social TV station (TVES) Sunday night, Azzellini reported that paramilitary operations are carried out by mercenaries from the U.S. and Latin America who are recruited by private military companies but pose as civilian employees. Beyond government oversight, they are contracted by large landowners, business owners, and other elites to control local populations. A principal source of paramilitary income is their control of 100% of Colombian heroine exports and 70% of Colombian cocaine exports, Azzellini claimed. In Colombia, giant drug cartels manage large quantities of the drugs, but in Venezuela paramilitaries deal smaller amounts in local communities to increase their leverage within the populations they are contracted to control. Chavez and Azzellini publicized this “open secret” at a time of heated opposition accusations that Chávez does not sufficiently cooperate in combating drug trafficking through Venezuelan territory. ...Nonetheless, paramilitaries in Venezuela are known for “social cleansing,” or the hired killing of local community members, says the Ezequiel Zamora National Farmers’ Front (FNCEZ), an organization that defends the rights of rural communities. Since an agrarian reform law favorable to rural workers was passed by the Chávez administration in 2001, paramilitaries have murdered 190 rural community members who dared to stand up to the owners of plantations, milk factories, and mines. The most recent killings were last month, when Municipal Legislator Freddy Ascaño and Community Council Federation President Alfredo Montiel were executed by paramilitaries in their municipality of Tucaní, south of Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela, the local population reported to the FNCEZ. Paramilitary groups and their powerful contractors have also purchased farms beyond the border region of Venezuela, in the state of Guárico, the FNCEZ alleges. They use the lands for military training and the elaboration of their business in drugs, food, and gasoline contraband. Operations are facilitated by “miniscule sectors” of the local police, the National Guard, and other federal security forces that have been drawn into the paramilitary activity."

Monday  2/11/2008

topA Discussion with Walt and Mersheimer The Power of the Israel Lobby  2/11/2008 Counterpunch 

Me in New York Post's PAGE SIX - Why Are Hillary, Lib Jews Lying About Anti-Semitic Filmmaker, Hillary Fundraiser?  2/11/2008 Debbie Schlussel: "I'm quoted in today's New York Post on the PAGE SIX, regarding Turkish Muslim Mehmet Celebi, Hillary Rodham Cankles Clinton's anti-Semitic filmmaking fundraiser and delegate. Gateway Pundit Broke the story that Celebi was a key figure in the Hillary campaign and designated as a Hillraiser. I had written a lot about the film Celebi helped make, the anti-Semitic, anti-American "Kurtlar Vadisi-Irak," which rehearses old blood libels against Jews (which in the past have been used as an excuse to murder Jews en masse)."

Book review: "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations"  2/11/2008 Electronic Intifada: "I have described Cook's diagnosis as "uncompromisingly grim," and it must be said that Israel and the Clash of Civilisations left this reader with a depressing sense of impotence. Cook attempts to cheer us up in his final paragraph, concluding that "The most likely outcome [of US-Israeli efforts to remake the Middle East] ... was the forging of new political, religious and social alliances across the Middle East whose effects it was almost impossible to predict or imagine." Perhaps, however, there is more hope to be gleaned from the preface: "It is not entirely accidental that in dragging the US into a direct occupation of Iraq that mirrors Israel's own much longer occupation of the Palestinian territories, Israel has ensured that the legitimacy of both stands or falls together." Perhaps we are not too far from the day when the illegitimacy of the Iraq adventure will become so patent to Americans themselves that their blind support for the Zionist project will at last evaporate."

Off the Books: The Outsourcing of American Foreign Policy, Part I -- A Roll of the Dice  2/11/2008 Get Underground: "One [Continuity of Government plan] was a national plan; one was a state of California plan where Reagan at the time was governor. To deal with the massive rioting going on in the cities there was a – this was the real source of paranoia in high places – Reagan appointed Louis Giuffrida, who was thinking of massive detention of blacks. And when Reagan became president he brought Giuffrida around with him to be the head of FEMA, so now all this planning was going on in an era where we were separated by more than a decade from the riots but the planning was now going on on a federal level. Oliver North was principally involved in it. Vice President of George H.W. Bush was overseeing North. And then there was this secret committee planning for Continuity of Government. Congress didn’t know about this even though, I mean, it was very serious business – they were planning for, you know, suspending the Constitution."

ODD FILM BY HILLARY BACKER  2/11/2008 NY Post: "SEN. Hillary Clinton has gotten cozy with a Turkish-born businessman whom some have described as anti-Semitic. Clinton's campaign Web site identifies Mehmet Celebi as one of her "HillRaisers" - someone who has raised at least $100,000 for her presidential bid. This despite Celebi's controversial producing credit on "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq" - a 2006 movie that depicted a Jewish doctor removing the vital organs of civilian prisoners to sell to wealthy transplant patients overseas."

Sunday  2/10/2008

topChavez Threatens US Oil Cutoff  2/10/2008 AP: "Chavez has repeatedly threatened to cut off oil shipments to the United States, which is Venezuela's No. 1 client, if Washington tries to oust him. Chavez's warnings on Sunday appeared to extend that threat to attempts by oil companies to challenge his government's nationalization drive through lawsuits. "I speak to the U.S. empire, because that's the master: continue and you will see that we won't sent one drop of oil to the empire of the United States," Chavez said Sunday. "The outlaws of Exxon Mobil will never again rob us," Chavez said, accusing the Irving, Texas-based oil company of acting in concert with Washington. Exxon Mobil spokeswoman Margaret Ross said the company had no comment. A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman in Caracas did not return a call."

Bush Family Chronicles: The Patriarchs  2/10/2008 Consortium News: "In the late 19th Century, Samuel Bush moved to Ohio from Orange, New Jersey, where he had attended the nearby Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. He made the first big move in his manufacturing career as an engineer with Buckeye Steel Castings Company, which produced gun barrels and railroad parts. Samuel Bush became a confidante of the company’s president, Frank Rockefeller, a brother of the enormously wealthy and powerful John D. Rockefeller, who owned Standard Oil. Another participant in Buckeye Steel was railroad baron E.H. Harriman. The Rockefeller-Harriman connection was to remain important through the lives and careers of several generations of the Bush family. Samuel Bush took over from Frank Rockefeller as president of the company in 1908, and held that job for the next 20 years. Through his Rockefeller-Harriman connections, he was made chief of the Ordnance, Small Arms and Ammunition Section of the War Industries Board in the Wilson administration during World War I."

Chávez advierte que de continuar guerra económica no enviará más petróleo a EEUU  2/10/2008 TeleSur: "ni una gota de petroleo… mister danger… El mandataro venezolano también denunció que los sectores de oposición de su país intentarán generar este año "descontento en el pueblo", con el fin de ganar la mayoría de los gobiernos regionales en las elecciones de noviembre próximo. La estrategia opositora, según Chávez, se centra en boicotear la distribución de alimentos e incrementar los índices delictivos, a través del sicariato ejercido por grupos paramilitares colombianos y la distribución de drogas a bajo costo a criminales de sectores populares del país. "No andan con fusiles ni uniformados (los paramilitares), están haciendo trabajo en los barriosvendiendo cocaína a precios bajos para ganarse a las bandas y los delincuentes e ir armándolos con armas de guerra", alertó el mandatario venezolano. "Tienen un juego planificado para este año: el desabastecimiento de alimentos, para generar descontento en el pueblo (...). Sicariato, a través de paramilitares; la droga, el alcohol", agregó."

Saturday  2/9/2008

topDeep State Coup Averted in Turkey  2/9/2008 : "We do, however, know where it started – and why. Indeed, it is more than a bit ironic that the major recurring threat to society and political stability in Turkey over the past 60 years, the "Deep State," was actually enabled by the country's Western allies, and first of all, America. After WWII and with the creation of NATO, the military alliance created "secret armies" throughout Europe, consisting of so-called "stay behind" forces, charged with waging sabotage campaigns and resistance in the case of a Soviet invasion. However, they became prone to corruption, interference with domestic politics and society, and were in some cases involved with brutality against Leftists and the citizenry in general. While the most famous of NATO's secret armies was the Gladio operation in Italy, it was arguable in Turkey that this dangerous policy had the most serious long-term consequences, with the creation of a stay-behind force known as the Counter-Guerrillas. The core of this covert paramilitary force was made up of right-wing radicals and fascists who espoused a narrative of inherent Turkish greatness and racial superiority, in the context of not only Turkey itself but of the ethnically Turkic republics of Central Asia (then under Soviet control); there were also the fond dreams of the bygone Ottoman Empire which, in its heyday, spread across the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans."

Scholar: US Sought Help in Bolivia - Scholar: US Asked Him to Keep Tabs on Cubans in Bolivia; US Says Such Request Would Be Error  2/9/2008 ABC: "An American scholar said Friday that an official at the U.S. Embassy asked him to keep tabs on Venezuelan and Cuban workers in Bolivia. Washington said that any such request would be an error and against U.S. policy. "I was shocked," Fulbright scholar Alex van Schaick told The Associated Press. "I mean, this man's asking me to spy for the U.S. government." Van Schaick is one of six Fulbright scholars doing research in the country."

Hillary’s List - Republican strategies to guarantee that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination  2/9/2008 Global Research: "Overt Republican operations to ensure Senator Clinton’s victory have ranged from destructive email campaigns against her opponents to massive direct financial support to her campaign from corporate lobbyists loyal to the neoconservative and corporate ideals of the Republican Party. Serious question marks have been raised over the role of heavyweight Republican contributors, Alan Quasha and Hassan Nemazee, who have been described as “Hillary’s mystery money men.” These two valuable political assets have records of financial backing for both George W. Bush and former Senator Jesse Helms. In a suspicious transaction, Quasha acquired Harken Oil from George W. Bush providing the future president with a financial windfall that launched him into his career as an owner of a team in minor league baseball. Bush bought the Texas Rangers and financed his campaign for governor with the capital provided by Quasha, who is now backing Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. With his longstanding relationship with George W. Bush, there is little wonder why Quasha is referred to as “Hillary’s mystery man.” But, Quasha’s ties to Hillary are not as simple as that, because his family is linked to both: the former dictator of the Phillipines, Ferdinand Marcos, and the international intelligence community – a linkage that brought him into the charmed circle of George Bush, Sr. over two decades ago. Hillary’s other “mystery man,” Hassan Nemazee is the employer of the long-serving Clinton apparatchik: Terry McAuliffe, a former head of the Democratic National Committee."

Venezuelans increasingly turn to Santeria for spiritual needs  2/9/2008 Jamaica Gleaner: "The surge in Santeria, which is practised by many in Cuba, can partly be explained by the arrival of thousands of Cuban doctors in Venezuela. President Hugo Chávez has been providing Cuba with subsidised oil in exchange for thousands of physicians who come to the South American country to treat poor people. Santeria priests are also making annual predictions for Venezuelans and issuing warnings - just like Cuban 'santeros' do in Havana. Last month, one group of priests said the gods have indicated that the twice-divorced Chávez would be a more effective leader with a woman at his side. It's a familiar pattern. Santeria has grown in popularity in New York, Miami and Puerto Rico in the past following influxes of Cubans, according to Margarite Fernandez Olmos, a professor at City University of New York who has researched the religion. She said Santeria's popularity also has grown in places "where African-based spirituality becomes a more acceptable social and spiritual option". In overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Venezuela, many shops have sprung up in recent years selling roosters, goats and other animals to be sacrificed in Caracas' working class barrios. In the city's churches, believers can be seen in head-to-toe white, praying to their gods before statues of Catholic saints."

Mayor kicks Marines out of Toledo  2/9/2008 NBC: "The mayor’s spokesperson Brian Schwartz said, “the mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people. He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area." Toledo police said they knew about the training and had approved the unit’s use of the Madison Building and the Promenade Park area. The training was scheduled to start Friday afternoon and last until Sunday. Police said the unit’s presence would have a minimal impact on the city. Police issued a press release earlier in the week saying the marines would be wearing green camouflage uniforms, operate military vehicles, carry rifles, perform foot patrols, and fire blank ammunitiion during the exercise. Schwartz said there was a breakdown in communication between police and the Finkbeiner administration that led to the mayor’s action. “The marines drilled here three times during the Ford administration and once under the Finkbeiner administration. After the last visit, the mayor told then police chief Jack Smith, that he did not want the marines back. Smith failed to inform the current police administration of the mayor’s feelings,” Schwartz said."

A Strike in the Dark by Seymour M. Hersh  2/9/2008 New Yorker: "However, in three months of reporting for this article, I was repeatedly told by current and former intelligence, diplomatic, and congressional officials that they were not aware of any solid evidence of ongoing nuclear-weapons programs in Syria. It is possible that Israel conveyed intelligence directly to senior members of the Bush Administration, without it being vetted by intelligence agencies. (This process, known as “stovepiping,” overwhelmed U.S. intelligence before the war in Iraq.) But Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations group responsible for monitoring compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, said, “Our experts who have carefully analyzed the satellite imagery say it is unlikely that this building was a nuclear facility.” Joseph Cirincione, the director for nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., think tank, told me, “Syria does not have the technical, industrial, or financial ability to support a nuclear-weapons program. I’ve been following this issue for fifteen years, and every once in a while a suspicion arises and we investigate and there’s nothing. There was and is no nuclear-weapons threat from Syria. This is all political.” Cirincione castigated the press corps for its handling of the story. “I think some of our best journalists were used,” he said."

Anti-War Group Collapses  2/9/2008 The Nation: "Tom Mattzie, leader of Americas most well-financed anti-Iraq organization, has resigned his position and dissolved the organization, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq."

Discovery Channel Drops Plans To Air ‘Taxi To The Dark Side’ Because It Is Too ‘Controversial’  2/9/2008 Think Progress: "Taxi to the Dark Side, a documentary about an innocent Afghan taxi driver tortured to death by U.S. officials at Bagram Air Base, has received wide critical acclaim since its debut in April at the Tribeca Film Festival. The New York Times’s A.O. Scott said, “If recent American history is ever going to be discussed with the necessary clarity and ethical rigor, this film will be essential.” Director Alex Gibney agreed to sell the rights of Taxi to the Discovery Channel because executives convinced him they would “give the film a prominent broadcast.” Now, however, Discovery has dropped its plans to air the documentary because the film is too controversial."

Friday  2/8/2008

topAP Poll: Leaving Iraq will help economy - Stimulus Checks Welcome, but to Really Help the Economy US Should Leave Iraq  2/8/2008 AP: "Pulling out of the war ranked first among proposed remedies in the survey, followed by spending more on domestic programs, cutting taxes and, at the bottom end, giving rebates to poor people in hopes they'll spend the economy into recovery."

Privatization of New Mexico Voting Rolls May Have Played Major Role in Super Tuesday's Democratic Caucus Mess  2/8/2008 Brad Blog: "On Wednesday, we covered some of the massive problems emerging from New Mexico's Democratic Party Caucus on Super Tuesday. The razor-thin margin between Obama and Clinton remains in question at this hour after ballot boxes were discovered to have been kept overnight, uncounted, at the home of a party official; voters faced long lines at the polls; and some 17,000 voters (11% versus 4% in the last caucus) were forced to vote on provisional ballots. NPR had reported on Thursday that the state's Democratic party, which ran the election, as opposed to the state itself, had decided to do a full recount of all ballots. Tonight, though, John Gideon informs us the report was incorrect, and only "all qualified provisional ballots" are set to be counted by officials. We had updated our previous story several times while covering the mess, before finally noting: The most notable take-away from this story may end up not being the poorly run caucus process of the Democratic Party (as opposed to the state, which would run the general election in November), or even the "sleepover" ballot boxes. The most notable issue here may be the questions about what the hell happened to the registration rolls in New Mexico, as now maintained by the thugs and failures at voting machine company ES&S, since the last election. Remember, NM is where former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was fired because he refused to prosecute the bogus "voter fraud" charges made by the Republican Party there."

Picket FBI Arrests of Avelion Gonzalez Claudio!!  2/8/2008 Break All Chains: "In the past few months, LUIS FRATICELLI, the director of the FBI in Puerto Rico, has intensified these acts of repression by issuing Grand Jury subpoenas to three young Puerto Rican Activists in New York and Puerto Rico. This past Thursday February 7th, the FBI in Puerto Rico arrested Avelino Gonzalez Claudio, anti-colonial combatant and Machetero, for his participation in the Wells Fargo Incident in the 1980s!!"

LETTER FROM AVELINO GONALEZ CLAUDIO DEFENSE  2/8/2008 IndyMedia, Cleveland: "Comrade Avelino Gonzalez Claudio was arrested by the F.B.I. today, and will be confronting charges which will be leveled against him outside of Puerto Rico. Avelino was one of the comrades that the F.B.I. had been unable to capture during its repressive onslaught against our movement in1985. That period saw the imprisonment of comrades like Papo Segarra Palmer, who spent 19 years of his life in U.S. prisons. We should not lose sight of the fact that the colonial police of Puerto Rico took part in the surveillance that was maintainedagainst Avelino Gonzalez, and his eventual arrest. This is after all an election year, and our colonial governor is susceptible to the pressures of the F.B.I. and a Republican Party in the U.S. which despairs over the failures of its undemocratic efforts against "terrorism," the very thing that they're guilty of inflicting on the world. Avelino Gonzalez Claudio is a militant who has pursued the decolonization of Puerto Rico."

OAS PROMOTES CIVIL SOCIETY PARTICIPATION IN THE HEMISPHERIC AGENDA  2/8/2008 Media Newswire: "The organizations chosen by the Selection Committee to execute projects were: Federación Nacional de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales para el Desarrollo de las Comunidades Afrocolombianas ( AFROAMERICA XXI ), of Colombia; Asociación Ecológica Santo Tomas A.C., of Mexico; Association Femmes Soleil d’Haiti ( AFASDA ), of Haiti; Corporación Participa, of Chile; Global Rights, of the United States; Asociación Tierra Nueva, of Paraguay; Movimiento Manuela Ramos, of Peru; and Participación Ciudadana, of the Dominican Republic."

Venezuelan Minister: Oil Company Asset Freeze is “Judicial Terrorism”  2/8/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "Venezuela's Energy Minister, Rafael Ramirez, characterised a series of court orders obtained by Exxon Mobil Corp. in Britain, the Netherlands, and the Dutch Antilles, freezing up to $12 billion in assets of Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA, as "judicial terrorism," in a statement today. The injunctions were solicited by Exxon in anticipation of an arbitration ruling by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes over a compensation claim. As part of a drive to recover the nation's oil sovereignty the Venezuelan government nationalized Exxon's 41.7 percent stake in the Cerro Negro project in May last year with an offer for compensation. However, Exxon not satisfied, demanded arbitration. Although the U.S. oil giant has not specified how much it wants in compensation it said its investment in the project was valued at $750 million at the time the assets were expropriated."

Thursday  2/7/2008

topCash-rich Obama ready to take boost from next battlegrounds  2/7/2008 Guardian, UK: "Barack Obama goes into the next stage of the campaign to win the Democratic nomination with clear advantages in funding and electoral appeal after the Super Tuesday mega-showdown ended close to a dead heat. Clinton emerged from the biggest-ever series of primaries and caucuses in the US, sprawling over 22 states, with close to 90 more delegates than Obama. But he won more states and is expecting wins in the next round of seven contests where the demographics suit him, with large African-American populations in Louisiana, Washington DC and Maryland."

Four more American drug planes seized  2/7/2008 Mad Cow: "The Republican connection begins with the statement in court filings that the money to purchase the planes was laundered through a bank which is almost invariably described as “fast-growing” in admiring business news articles. The drug money was wired, usually from Mexico, to an account at Commerce Bank in Miami, whose Chairman, Dennis Nixon, is the South Texas Co-chair of John McCain’s campaign. Nixon was also a Bush Pioneer and Ranger in George W. Bush’s two Presidential campaigns, raising $300,000 in one night for Bush’s re-election bid in Texas border town Laredo. High-profile Texas businessman Dennis Nixon's bank is even— in one of the sales—involved on both ends. Money was wired from Mexico, first to an account at Commerce Bank in Miami, then on to International Bank of Commerce (IBC) in Oklahoma to complete the sale. Dennis Nixon's International Bancshares of San Antonio owns both banks."

Exxon wins freeze on $12 billion of Venezuelan assets  2/7/2008 Reuters: "Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) has won court orders freezing up to $12 billion in Venezuelan assets around the world as it fights for compensation for operations lost to President Hugo Chavez's nationalization drive."

The FBI Deputizes Business  2/7/2008 The Progressive: "One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law. InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm."

The Democrats’ Class War  2/7/2008 Truth Dig: "Though Obama certainly is less industry-owned than Clinton, the Washington Post noted last spring that he was the top recipient of Wall Street contributions. That cash is hush money, contingent on candidates silencing their populist rhetoric. But while this pressure to keep quiet affects all politicians, it is especially intense against black leaders. “If Obama started talking like John Edwards and tapped into working-class, blue-collar proletarian rage, suddenly all of those white voters who are viewing him within the lens of transcendence would start seeing him differently,” says Charles Ellison of the University of Denver’s Center for African American Policy. That’s because once Obama parroted Edwards’ attacks on greed and inequality, he would “be stigmatized as a candidate mobilizing race,” says Manning Marable, a Columbia University history professor. That is, the media would immediately portray him as another Jesse Jackson—a figure whose progressivism has been (unfairly) depicted as racial politics anathema to white swing voters."

Chesapeake Primaries now the focus  2/7/2008 Washington Afro: "The senator’s campaign is already running three different ads in the two states and the District, one featuring Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John Kennedy, who endorsed Obama last week, and the others showing snippets of the senator’s speeches on the campaign trail. The campaign is also targeting Latino voters through its Maryland Latinos for Obama initiative, which was launched Feb. 4. But most of the campaign involves volunteers canvassing neighborhoods and holding house parties and rallies, Tolliver said. “The blueprint for the rest of the country is the blueprint we’re following here,” she said. “It’s a bottom up, strategy; we’re empowering people in their communities to act as agents of change and ambassadors of Sen. Obama.” she said. “It’s really working for us on the ground.”

Wednesday  2/6/2008

topCommentary: Before Another Haitian Child Has to Eat Mud Pies Instead of Play with Them, Let’s Do Something  2/6/2008 Black America Web 

Shocker!... Clinton Holocaust Denying "Hillraiser" Is Producer of Virulent Anti-Semitic, Anti-American Film  2/6/2008 Gateway Pundit: "Valley of the Wolves Iraq" was an anti-Semitic, anti-American film featuring American actor Gary Busey as a Jewish U.S. army doctor who cuts out the organs of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and sells them to wealthy foreign clients."

Apparently, Ships Can Drag Anchors from Egypt to Malaysia  2/6/2008 I Love Bonnie 

Submarine Cables, Subsidiares and Subversion  2/6/2008 I Love Bonnie: "The Iranian Oil Bourse: through the research that I have exhaustingly done over the past few days, this is the one that has struck me as the most likely reason for the damages that have occurred to submarine internet cables."

Tuesday  2/5/2008

topThe Undersea Cable-Severing Conspiracy  2/5/2008 Wired 

Monday  2/4/2008

topThe CIA operation that should have prevented the Iraq war  2/4/2008 AFP: ""When I saw Colin Powell I started crying. Immediately. I knew I had tried and lost," Tawfiq told AFP five years later in the Jordanian capital Amman. Now in his fifties, a round-faced man with a small moustache and lively eyes behind delicate spectacles, Tawfiq described how the CIA set up an elaborate operation to recruit Iraqi weapons scientists and then ignored the results. From the end of 2002 the US spy agency had sources inside Iraq's weapons plants telling them clearly what the whole world now knows -- that Saddam had ended efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless in March 2003 the United States and Britain invaded Iraq to disarm Saddam of this non-existent arsenal and in the process triggered the effective collapse of the Iraqi state, plunging it into chaos and bringing thousands of deaths."

Egypt says ships did not cause Internet cable damage  2/4/2008 AFP: [Rumours blame the US/Israel] - "Damage to undersea Internet cables in the Mediterranean that hit business across the Middle East and South Asia was not caused by ships, Egypt's communications ministry said on Sunday, ruling out earlier reports. The transport ministry added that footage recorded by onshore video cameras of the location of the cables showed no maritime traffic in the area when the cables were damaged. "The ministry's maritime transport committee reviewed footage covering the period of 12 hours before and 12 hours after the cables were cut and no ships sailed the area," a statement said. "The area is also marked on maps as a no-go zone and it is therefore ruled out that the damage to the cables was caused by ships," the statement added."

Nuclear proliferation cannot be controlled now - Former CIA agent says  2/4/2008 Nachrichten Heute: "Q: Is it correct that US officials sold nuclear secrets not only to Pakistan but also to Israel and some Arab countries? A: Of course, they did. The main recipient of the most of the US nuclear information was always Israel, specifically after the capture, sentencing and jailing of their main spy in the USA. Jonathan Pollard, whose handler was a former top Israeli intelligence officer Rafi Eitan (now member of the Israeli government and chairman of the Pensioners Party). An informal group in the Mossad composed of right-wing operatives and working hand-in-hand with the Turkish and Pakistani Intelligence was offering US nuclear technology to some Arab countries and to other countries. They did this for profit and, in some cases also for political motives, for example, to get direct proof of some foreign states illegally purchasing nuclear materials or technology. At present, this might be used as a justification to prove that Iran is developing nuclear weapons."

Sunday  2/3/2008

topThree Internet Cables Slashed in a Week: Has Iran lost all Internet Connectivity?  2/3/2008 Global Research: “The only 2 countries that were unaffected were Israel and Iraq, the only two close Anglo-American allies in the region, both remaining completely unaffected by the cable cuts, leading to theories for the causes of the cuts, which have so far been given as having been caused by ships dragging their anchors across the cables. The fact that two rare incidents have happened in the same week, and both with cables owned by the same company, on either sides of Israel and the importance of the Internet to telecommunications and business, lends suspicion to the events.”

Our recommendations  2/3/2008 La Opinion: Largest Latino paper in LA supports Obama.

Hillary Clinton, Lafarge, and Kennametal  2/3/2008 Onashi: published 11/96 - "Hillary Clinton, while one of the chief litigators of the Rose law firm and wife of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, was a director of Lafarge corporation, whose Marblehead, Ohio subsidiary Standard Lafarge is said to have been utilized in the transport network to ferret machine tools and nose cones out of Pittsburgh and into Canada for shipment to Iraq."

Haunted By Spirits  2/3/2008 Phoenix New Times: published 2/17/00 - "John McCain derived his wealth from his marriage to Cindy Hensley McCain, whose father started his road to riches as a bootlegger. As a politician, the senator has remained beholden to the liquor industry and the family business."

Sy Hersh confirms: Syrian facility bombed by Israel was not nuclear  2/3/2008 Raw Story: "RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna was alone at the time in reporting that the actual target was a cache of North Korean No-Dong missiles, dating back to the 1990's, which Syria was converting for use as chemical warheads. In a follow-up report, Alexandrovna added that Vice President Dick Cheney was suspected of being behind leaks to the press of misleading claims of a nuclear basis for the incident."

Saturday  2/2/2008

topUS Qaeda strategy fatally flawed: analysts  2/2/2008 AFP: "But in using the "Al-Qaeda" label when talking about suspects arrested or armed fighters killed -- indiscriminately and sometimes wrongly, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere -- American or Western forces create and feed a confusion which ultimately makes victims of themselves, experts say. "(Using) body-counts as a criterion to measure effectiveness is a bit like Guantanamo: you produce a tally, you mix up Al-Qaeda members or just hired hands with people who have only the vaguest of connections, people who have none at all and finally even pure civilians," added French academic Jean-Pierre Filiu, author of "Les Frontieres du Jihad" ('The Limits of Jihad'). "When you reach that point, air-strikes and the elimination of 'wanted' individuals not only prove fruitless, but actually become counter-productive. "These actions only intensify (Al-Qaeda) recruitment, instead of weakening the organisation. "The problem is this innate tendency within all administrations or bodies to stack up figures, pull out statistics, use them to show how they are winning, how they are liquidating their enemies, etc," Filiu added. The 'body-count' syndrome is actually a "trap" laid by Al-Qaeda into which the Americans have "fallen" blindly, added Lebanese-American researcher Fawaz Gerges, an international relations specialist at Sarah Lawrence College, New York. "You cannot win this war on the battlefield, because there is none," said Gerges. "You're facing an unconventional war. The more you rely on military might, the more you lose the war of ideas against Al-Qaeda and the militants."

An Interview with Imam Zaid Shakir Hillary, Obama and the Clash of Civilizations  2/2/2008 Counterpunch: "Imam Zaid Shakir, an African American convert to Islam and one of the most influential and popular Muslim American religious scholars, commands a rock star following: legions of enthralled and inspired Muslims filling rooms to standing only capacity waiting to hear his words. It represents a fascinating and dynamic phenomenon illuminating the resurgent identity of an educated, spiritual, religious and political Muslim American identity emerging from the post 9-11 era. Shakir, a student of the civil rights era and an educated scholar of political science and traditional Islamic jurisprudence, casually interjects tidbits of political theory, economic reform, critical race theory, Arabic, traditional Islamic philosophy and religious didacticism within his rhetoric."

Friday  2/1/2008

topTop Colombian cocaine chief 'Jabon' found shot dead  2/1/2008 AFP: "He was indicted by the US Justice Department on May 6, 2004, which called him the head of Colombia's most powerful cocaine cartel, allegedly responsible at the time for exporting 500 tonnes of cocaine worth 10 billion dollars to the United States. The indictment said the cartel used the paramilitary Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia forces to protect its drug routes and laboratories. The cartel collected its drugs in the Valle del Cauca region and then shipped them to the Pacific port of Buenaventura, where they were transferred to Mexican drug transporters for shipping via boats and aircraft to the United States, according to the indictment. Varela's death brings to an end the era of the three big Colombian cartels, with their once huge presence filled by numerous harder-to-detect small trafficking organizations, according to Colombian experts."

Third undersea Internet cable cut in Mideast  2/1/2008 CNN: Widespread rumours blame the US and Israel for sabotage -- "An undersea cable carrying Internet traffic was cut off the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, officials said Friday, the third loss of a line carrying Internet and telephone traffic in three days."

Clinton lead crumbles in coast to coast trend for Obama  2/1/2008 Global Research 

Rights group: Venezuela is basically democratic  2/1/2008 Miami Herald: "Human Rights Watch said Venezuela was actually more democratic than many nations, contrary to some popular U.S. perceptions."

MoveOn Endorsement Throws Progressive Weight Behind Barack Obama  2/1/2008 MoveOn: "In a resounding vote today, Political Action's members nationwide voted to endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President. The group, with 3.2 million members nationwide and over 1.7 million members in Super Tuesday states, will immediately begin to mobilize on behalf of Senator Obama. The vote favored Senator Obama to Senator Clinton by 70.4% to 29.6%."

Why Barack?  2/1/2008 SF Bay View: by Tony West, "an Oakland resident. A former Clinton administration Department of Justice official and former federal prosecutor, West is now a partner at Morrison and Foerster, where he practices civil litigation and criminal defense."

"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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