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    World News
6/1/08 - 7/31/2008

Thursday  7/31/2008

Neocon Flap Highlights Jewish Divide  7/31/2008 AntiWar 

Why Bush folded on Iran  7/31/2008 Campaign Iran: by Juan Cole

Cameras 'Shooting Back' in Palestine  7/31/2008 Consortium News: "Under an initiative promoted by an Israeli human rights group, Palestinians were armed with 100 cameras to film real-life interactions and confrontations with Israeli settlers and troops."

To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them  7/31/2008 ThinkProgress: "HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up."

Wednesday  7/30/2008

topThe Straits of Hormuz  7/30/2008 Axis of Logic: "Returning to the Straits of Hormuz, some ill-informed persons among legislators in the USA seem to believe that they could, without ruining the economies of many countries with no interest in the quarrels set in motion by the successive Bush Clinton and Bush régimes, block the passage of oil tankers either moving crude oil out of Iran or refined products into Iran. They also seem to ignore that two super-powers have every interest in keeping the oil flowing from Iraq, namely China and Russia, as also has India, which will soon reach super-power status. Admiral Mullen, although a supporter of the dubious Bush régime's tactics (or lack of them) a Chief of the USA military machine, has apparently given these same ignorant legislators some strong hints as to what ruination they could bring upon their own country, but they do not seem to wish to listen. The Iranian government has, to the annoyance of its declared enemies, shown extraordinary diplomatic delicacy in its public declarations regarding the threats being made against it, and we now have the amazing sight of Admiral Mullen, one of their closest servants, warning the Zionists not to try another USS Liberty incident (as they did 41 years ago) to cause the United States to attack Iran."

Will the Fall of an Aussie Bank Rock Wall Street? Apocalypse Down Under  7/30/2008 Counterpunch: "The global banks have been marking to market the assets they held on their balance sheet, but the vast amounts held in so called 'conduit trust accounts' have not been written down because they were not marketable. NAB wrote them down when they saw the bad mortgages....US banks have written down $450 billion in bad housing loans. The revelation from NAB means that they will now certainly need to take provisions to $1,000 billion. But write-downs of $1,300 billion and perhaps even more are on the cards."

Israel: The Disappearing Newspaper Report  7/30/2008 Stratfor: "The Israeli daily Haaretz posted a report to its Web site late July 9 quoting senior government sources as saying Saudi Arabia is not opposed to an Israeli military strike on Iran. Riyadh’s support for an Israeli attack on Tehran is a story in of itself. But the bigger story here is that sometime after posting the report, the Israeli newspaper pulled it from its Web site. When contacted, an employee of the daily told Stratfor that the report had been “censored and pulled.” When called again, the employee refused to confirm the story had been pulled."

Tuesday  7/29/2008

topFourth Fleet Steams South - Return of the Gunboat  7/29/2008 Counterpunch: "One immediate response of Latin America's leftist leaders to Washington's unilateral revival of the fleet has been the formation of UNASUR, a 12-nation mutual security pact that pointedly excludes the U.S. Spearheaded by Brazil, the continent's economic powerhouse, UNASUR seems designed to boost Brazilian armament industry sales as much as to stave off U.S. stabs to reestablish its hegemony over Latin America."

When Extremists Attack - Joe Klein  7/29/2008 Time: "I have now been called antisemitic and intellectually unstable and a whole bunch of other silly things by the folks over at the Commentary blog. They want Time Magazine to fire or silence me. This is happening because I said something that is palpably true, but unspoken in polite society: There is a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who unsuccessfully tried to get Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Saddam Hussein in the 1990s, and then successfully helped provide the intellectual rationale for George Bush to do it in 2003. Their motivations involve a confused conflation of what they think are Israel's best interests with those of the United States. They are now leading the charge for war with Iran."

Monday  7/28/2008

topPak journalist in US jail on terrorism charges  7/28/2008 Daily Times, Pakistan 

Why McCain is Wrong  7/28/2008 Defense and the National Interest: "The twin pillars of McCain’s assessment of the war are a) the surge worked and b) because the surge worked we are now winning. Neither of those views is based in fact. The first represents the long-recognized logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, i.e., because one event occurred after another, it was a consequence of the first event. Because the cock crows before sunrise, he thinks he makes the sun come up. Because violence in Iraq dropped after the surge, McCain claims the surge caused the reduction in violence. He is quick to add that he supported the surge at the time, which Obama did not. In the real world, neither rooster nor Senator has quite so much reason to strut upon his dunghill."

Billions: The Politics of Influence in the United States, China and Israel  7/28/2008 Japan Focus: by Peter Dale Scott and Connie Bruck

Saturday  7/26/2008

topCarl Rove Accused by Attorney in Ohio Elections Fraud Case of Intimidating a Witness; Meanwhile, Expert Claims to Have Fresh Evidence of Possible Irregularities  7/26/2008 Moderate Voice 

THE MISTAKE DEPARTMENT - One Example of Why American Foreign Policy is a Disaster  7/26/2008 Op Ed News: "The Los Angeles Times reported that 15 of the 19 alleged hijackers got their U.S. visas from the American Consulate General at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a consulate where I had served as chief of the Visa Section. What The Los Angeles Times did not report was what I had told their Washington, D.C. bureau after reading the story: (1) that the Jeddah Consulate was not a State Department post but an intelligence services operation; (2) that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) routinely demanded (and got) visas for sleazy characters with no ties to either their home country or Saudi Arabia; (3) that these vile people were terrorists recruited by U.S. intelligence officers along with Osama bin Laden, then a CIA asset. With the help of non-State Department officials… they were sent to America for training in blowing things up and shooting things down. Afterwards, they were sent on to Afghanistan to murder Soviet soldiers. It seems pretty clear that they and people that they had trained are now pursuing their own goals (and most likely U.S. foreign policy interests) in helping destabilize Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Their next target may be Iran."

Thursday  7/24/2008

topObama against Iranian air strikes  7/24/2008 AFP 

Scenarios for the FARC  7/24/2008 Americas Program: "The strategy outlined by the Southern Command (SouthCom) and the Pentagon, and expressed in Plan Colombia II, does not seek the definitive defeat or negotiations with the guerrillas. Eliminating the FARC from the scene would be bad for business and undermine the imperial strategy of destabilization and re-colonization of the Andean region. That project cannot be carried out without a direct or indirect war, without permanent destabilization as a vehicle for the territorial and political reconfiguration of the strategic region that includes the arc curving from Venezuela to Bolivia and Paraguay, and passing through Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru."

Hugo Chávez's Jewish Problem  7/24/2008 Commentary: also published in the Wall Street Journal - "there is something else, aside from simple anti-Americanism, at work in Mr. Chávez's foreign policy. He and his supporters are in the grip of another age-old obsession, albeit one with a few indigenous twists: an obsession, that is, with the supposedly excessive power of world Jewry, and in particular of Venezuela's few, prosperous and increasingly imperiled Jews."

The Geopolitics of Iran: Holding the Center of a Mountain Fortress  7/24/2008 Iraq War: By George Friedman - "To understand Iran, you must begin by understanding how large it is. Iran is the 17th largest country in world. It measures 1,684,000 square kilometers. That means that its territory is larger than the combined territories of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal - Western Europe. Iran is the 16th most populous country in the world, with about 70 million people. Its population is larger than the populations of either France or the United Kingdom. Under the current circumstances, it might be useful to benchmark Iran against Iraq or Afghanistan. Iraq is 433,000 square kilometers, with about 25 million people, so Iran is roughly four times as large and three times as populous."

Obama: air strike on Iran useless  7/24/2008 Press TV, Iran 

Wednesday  7/23/2008

topMemphis police seek ID of critical bloggers  7/23/2008 AP: "Director Larry Godwin and the city have filed suit trying to force Internet service provider AOL to release records identifying the producers of the blog called MPD Enforcer 2.0. The bloggers, using the name of Dirk Diggler after a porn-star character in the movie "Boogie Nights," are often critical of police management and invite e-mails from readers with similar views… The lawsuit also seeks information on e-mail addresses and phone numbers associated with the Internet site."

'Opium financed British rule in India'  7/23/2008 BBC: "Is it the fact that the British were the world's biggest opium suppliers two centuries ago that led you into this story? I should correct you. It was not two centuries ago. Under the British Raj, an enormous amount of opium was being exported out of India until the 1920s."

Obama talks tough about Iran during visit to Israel  7/23/2008 McClatchy 

From the Rivers of Babylon to the Whangpoo: A Century of Sephardi Jewish Life in Shanghai  7/23/2008 Sino Judaic Institute: "Meyer's study of Baghdadi Jewish merchants who made the basis of their fortunes in the opium trade is welcome in that she confronts the moral issue head-on and advances the discourse pioneered by Fairbank and Downs. She builds on the scholarship of Joan Roland, Chiara Betta, Stanley Jackson, and others to delineate the Baghdadis' involvement in the exportation of Indian opium to China, beginning with David Sassoon's arrival in Bombay in 1833. Sassoon's second son Elias opened branches of the family firm in Guangzhou in 1844 and in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1845. Meyer delineates how other Baghdadi families followed the Sassoon example and, from a base in Shanghai, won fortunes in the trade: Abraham, Benjamin, Elias, Ezra, Hardoon, Kadoorie, Raphael, Silas, Solomon, and Toeg."

From the Rivers of Babylon to the Whangpoo: A Century of Sephardi Jewish Life in Shanghai  7/23/2008 Sino Judaic Institute: "While at an early stage in the book Meyer mentions Baghdad's long-serving [1859-1909] ecclesiastical authority Hacham Yoseph Hayim, she does not involve him in her discussion of Shanghai Zionism [pp. 171-90]. She sees that phenomenon as largely the creation of N.E.B. Ezra between 1903 and 1936, when Ezra led the Shanghai Zionist Association [SZA] and edited Israel's Messenger. However, prior to Ezra, Hayyim was a powerful force inculcating pre-Herzlian Zionism among Baghdadis in India, Burma, the Straits Settlements, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and elsewhere. He urged his brethren to visit and settle the Land of Israel long before Herzl's establishment of the World Zionist Organization [WZO] in 1896, with which the SZA affiliated, and even before the founding of the WZO's predecessor organizations, Hovevei Zion and BILU. [See David Sassoon, History of the Jews in Baghdad (1949)]."

Opium, Streets of Shanghai - A guide to Shanghai in the 1920s  7/23/2008 Streets of Shanghai: "This consortium obtained its opium from four foreign merchant houses: David Sassoon & Co., E.D. Sassoon, S.J. David, and Edward Ezra."

Tuesday  7/22/2008

topAnti-War Movement Successfully Pushes Back Against Military Confrontation With Iran  7/22/2008 Alternet: "On May 22, a bill was introduced into Congress that effectively called for a blockade of Iran, H. Con. Res. 362. Among other expressions of hostility, the bill calls for: "prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran ... " This sounded an awful lot like it was calling for a blockade, which is an act of war."

Putin wants closer military ties with Venezuela  7/22/2008 Global Research: ""We have recently been strengthening the legal base for our cooperation, searching for ways to diversify our relations through new cooperation areas, namely transport, space, high-tech production, and of course military and technical cooperation," Putin said."

Monday  7/21/2008

topTargeting Anti-Death Penalty and Anti-War Activists I was Spied on by the Maryland Police  7/21/2008 Counterpunch 

Sunday  7/20/2008

topChavez eyes major arms purchases from Russia  7/20/2008 AFP 

US ambassador: Ecuador's government is not collaborating with Colombian guerrillas  7/20/2008 AP: "A U.S. diplomat insists the United States ''in no way'' believes Ecuador's government has ties to leftist Colombian guerrillas. Outgoing U.S. ambassador to Ecuador Linda Jewell says that the U.S. does not think Ecuador is working with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Latin America's largest armed rebel group."

Saturday  7/19/2008

topDeclaracion del II Encuentro Nacional Afrovenezolano del 17 al 20 de julio de 2008  7/19/2008 AfroCubaWeb: "Rechazar categóricamente la legislación racista de la Directiva del Retorno aprobada recientemente por el parlamento europeo. Exigir al Gobierno Venezolano a traves de sus instituciones activar el Plan de Acción de la III Conferencia Internacional Contra el Racismo. Profundizar el trabajo organizativo y formativo de los y las militantes a lo interno de la Red de Organizaciones Afrovenezolanas."

N.H. will accept free oil from Chavez after all  7/19/2008 AP: "Back in 2006, when Chavez began offering free oil to Americans from Venezuela's government-controlled Citgo, New Hampshire's energy office contacted the Venezuelan Embassy about working out a deal. But the idea galled some New Hampshire Republicans, including Sen. John Sununu, who called it a "disgrace" and an attempt at grandstanding by Chavez, and Democratic Gov. John Lynch squelched the effort. This year, though, "the state's role is to make sure people are aware of the program," Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said."

Yo soy afro-descendiente con memoria colectiva  7/19/2008 Aporrea 

Taser death ignites racial tensions  7/19/2008 Chicago Tribune: "At 1:28 p.m. last Jan. 17, Baron "Scooter" Pikes was a healthy 21-year-old man. By 2:07 p.m., he was dead. What happened in the 39 minutes in between — during which Pikes was handcuffed by local police and shocked nine times with a Taser, while reportedly pleading for mercy —is now spawning fears of a political coverup in this backwoods Louisiana lumber town infamous for backroom dealings. Even more ominously, because Pikes was black and the officer who repeatedly Tasered him is white, racial tensions over the case are mounting in a place that's just 40 miles from Jena, La.---site of the racially explosive prosecution of six black teenagers charged with beating a white youth that last year triggered one of the largest American civil rights demonstrations in decades. And in a bizarre coincidence, Pikes turns out to have been a first cousin of Mychal Bell, the lead defendant in the Jena 6 case."

Iraq Leader Maliki Supports Obama's Withdrawal Plans  7/19/2008 Der Spiegel: "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports US presidential candidate Barack Obama's plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months. When asked in and interview with SPIEGEL when he thinks US troops should leave Iraq, Maliki responded "as soon as possible, as far as we are concerned." He then continued: "US presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."

Air Force Cyber Command: Building the Infrastructure for High-Tech War Crimes  7/19/2008 Global Research 

Two Marines Charged in Secrets Theft  7/19/2008 "The Union-Tribune first reported that a group of reservists was being investigated for breaching national security at Camp Pendleton. In May, the newspaper reported that the alleged theft ring was particularly interested in FBI surveillance files on Muslim religious sites in Los Angeles, and that the Islamic Center of San Diego was monitored. The charges against the two reservists follows testimony by Gunnery Sgt. Gary Maziarz, who said during a court-martial that he passed classified documents to several people, including a Los Angeles Police Department officer and a Los Angeles County sheriff's detective, according to published newspaper reports."

McCain adviser on Iraqi PM's Obama endorsement: 'We're f**ked'  7/19/2008 Raw Story 

Friday  7/18/2008

topMr Sarkozy and the CIA. Based on Thierry Meyssan's "Operation Sarkozy"  7/18/2008 Axis of Logic: "His mother became the Secretary of Achille Peretti. After having co-founded the SAC, De Gaulle's body-guard had pursued a brilliant political career. He was elected D?put? and Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, the richest suburb of the capital, then President of the National Assembly. Unhappily, in 1972, Achille Peretti was subject to serious accusations. In the United States, the magazine Time revealed the existence of a secret Corsican criminal organisation the 'Union corse ' which was said to control a large share of the traffic in drugs between Europe and America, the famous "French connection" which Hollywood brought to the screen. Based on parliamentary hearings and its own investigations, Time quoted the name of a Mafia boss, Jean Venturi, arrested some years earlier in Canada, who was no other than the commercial representative of Charles Pasqua for the drinks company Ricard. The names of several families were mentioned who were said to run the "Union corse", including the Perettis. Achille denied this, but had to resign from the presidency of the National Assembly and even escaped from a "suicide". In 1977, Pal Sarkozy separated from his second wife, Christine de Ganay, who then linked herself with the number two of the central administration of the Department of State in the United States. She married him and set up home with him in America. The world being small, as is well known, her husband was no other than Frank Wisner Jr., the son of the previous one. The functions of Junior at the CIA are not known, but it was clear that he had an important role there. Nicolas, who remained close to his step-mother, his half-brother and his half-sister, began to turn towards the United States where he "benefitted" from training programmes in the Department of State."

Decline in U. S. Dollar Disrupts Caribbean Economy  7/18/2008 Black Press USA 

Africans in Beijing harassed as Olympics approach  7/18/2008 Toronto Globe & Mai;: "The police denied the report Friday, and most bars denied any knowledge of the pledges. But many African residents of Beijing say they are facing harassment from police and discrimination from bars as the Olympics approach. “Bar owners near the Workers Stadium in central Beijing say they have been forced by Public Security Bureau officials to sign pledges agreeing not to let black people enter their premises,” the South China Morning Post reported Friday. It quoted the co-owner of a bar who said that a group of police had recently visited his establishment to order it “not to serve black people or Mongolians.”"

Thursday  7/17/2008

topNigerian villagers blow up key Agip pipeline: industry sources  7/17/2008 AFP: "Another source said aggrieved youths from an Ijaw community in the state blew up the pipeline in protest against the neglect of their community. "It was a community problem. But the unfortunate thing is that rather than use the path of dialogue the youths are taking the law into their hands," he added."

Operation Gladio: CIA Network of "Stay Behind" Secret Armies - The "Sacrifice" of Aldo Moro  7/17/2008 Global Research 

U.S. to station diplomats in Iran for first time since 1979  7/17/2008 Haaretz 

DEA Reports show that Mexican Cartel “Thugs” are receiving training from Iranian Revolutionary Guard  7/17/2008 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS 

Wednesday  7/16/2008

topObama Wants to Shrink One War, But Expand Two Others  7/16/2008 Alternet:  By Tom Hayden -- "Obama is serious about a withdrawal plan for Iraq, but he's committed himself to expanding the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dumb Idea."

Iran Pours Cash Into Afghanistan, Seeking Leverage Against U.S.  7/16/2008 Iraq War 

CNN reporter criticizes TSA, finds self on terror watch list  7/16/2008 Raw Story: "CNN's Drew Griffin reported on the bloating of the watch list, which an ACLU count pegged at 1,001,308 names Wednesday afternoon. Griffin's is one of those names, he says. "Coincidentally, this all began in May, shortly after I began a series of investigative reports critical of the TSA. Eleven flights now since May 19. On different airlines, my name pops up forcing me to go to the counter, show my identification, sometimes the agent has to make a call before I get my ticket," Griffin reported. "What does the TSA say? Nothing, at least nothing on camera. Over the phone a public affairs worker told me again I'm not on the watch list, and don't even think that someone in the TSA or anyone else is trying to get even." The TSA, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, said Griffin's name wasn't even on the watch list, and the agency blamed the airlines for the delays the reporter experienced. The airlines, on the other hand, said they were simply following a list provided by TSA."

Venezuela's Chavez: No warmer a reception for Obama  7/16/2008 Raw Story: "Chavez told his supporters not to raise their hopes that relations with the United States would improve if Obama is elected U.S. president, saying there was little difference between him and Republican candidate John McCain. "The two candidates for the U.S. presidency attack us equally, they attack us defending the interests of the empire," Chavez said at a meeting of his socialist party."

Tuesday  7/15/2008

topNew evidence collected in 1946 lynching  7/15/2008 Final Call: "State and federal investigators have been gathering evidence in what has been called the last documented mass lynching in the United States: a slaying of four Black people that has remained unsolved for more than 60 years. Several items were collected on a property in rural Walton County, Ga., according to a written statement by the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Those items were taken in for further examination. The date was July 25, 1946, when two Black sharecropper couples were shot hundreds of times and the unborn baby of one of the women sliced with a knife at Moore’s Ford Bridge. One of the Black men had been accused of stabbing a White man 11 days earlier and was bailed out of jail by a former Ku Klux Klan member who drove the Black man, his wife, her brother and his wife to the site of the lynching… But Rep. Brooks says his group has identified five suspects in the slayings who are still living."

Whites challenge ideas of White supremacy, racism  7/15/2008 Final Call 

U.S. troops start training exercise in Georgia  7/15/2008 Reuters: "One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia."

Venezuela's Chavez says oil could reach $300  7/15/2008 Reuters: "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday oil prices could hit $300 per barrel if U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil again freezes Venezuelan assets in a dispute over a nationalized oil project."

Cynthia McKinney stands for real change  7/15/2008 SF Bay View 

Monday  7/14/2008

topDeadly attack on US base sends worrying signal  7/14/2008 AP: "An insurgent raid that penetrated an American outpost in eastern Afghanistan, killing nine soldiers, has deepened doubts about the U.S. military's effort to contain Islamic militants and keep locals on its side. Moving in darkness before dawn Sunday, some 200 fighters surrounded the newly built base in a remote area near the Pakistan border without being spotted by the troops inside, said Gen. Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh, the provincial police chief. He said people in the adjacent village of Wanat aided the assault. About 20 local families left their homes in anticipation of the raid, while other tribesmen stayed behind "and helped the insurgents during the fight," Jangalbagh said."

Iran discovers billion-barrel oil field  7/14/2008 News, Australia 

Analysts Say More Banks Will Fail  7/14/2008 NYT: "As home prices continue to decline and loan defaults mount, federal regulators are bracing for dozens of American banks to fail over the next year. But after a large mortgage lender in California collapsed late Friday, Wall Street analysts began posing two crucial questions: Just how many banks might falter? And, more urgently, which one could be next? The nation’s banks are in far less danger than they were in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when more than 1,000 federally insured institutions went under during the savings-and-loan crisis. The debacle, the greatest collapse of American financial institutions since the Depression, prompted a government bailout that cost taxpayers about $125 billion. But the troubles are growing so rapidly at some small and midsize banks that as many as 150 out of the 7,500 banks nationwide could fail over the next 12 to 18 months, analysts say. Other lenders are likely to shut branches or seek mergers."

The Soros Media "Empire" - The Power of Philanthropy to Engineer Consent  7/14/2008 Swans Commentary: "Using the example of George Soros's philanthropic foundations, which at their peak were distributing some $500 million a year to ostensibly progressive causes, this article will highlight his involvement in creating 'independent' media outlets worldwide. Initially, the article will review the critical literature regarding the work of liberal philanthropists, then owing to the scarcity of studies examining their influence on media organizations and researchers it will briefly summarize this media-related work. Next, the article will introduce George Soros and his network of foundations, providing a number of examples of significant media projects that Soros and his foundations support. Finally, the article will conclude by suggesting how media scholars might counter the arguably antidemocratic nature of Soros's media interventions."

Iran Shows Its Cards  7/14/2008 TruthDig: By Scott Ritter - "There can no longer be any doubt about the consequences of any U.S. and/or Israeli military action against Iran. Armchair warriors, pundits and blustering politicians alike have been advocating a pre-emptive military strike against Iran for the purpose of neutralizing its nuclear-related infrastructure, as well as retarding Iran’s ability to train and equip “terrorist” forces on Iranian soil before dispatching them to Iraq or parts unknown. Some, including me, have warned of the folly of such action, and now Iran itself has demonstrated why an attack would be insane."

Sunday  7/13/2008

topTransparency International's wall of silence  7/13/2008 21st Century Socialism: "Unsurprisingly, TI’s report was seized upon by the opposition as evidence in support of their claims. PDVSA was a “company of low transparency”, and although TI did not directly suggest that PDVSA was corrupt, they do say that companies that withhold basic information from the public “leave the door open to corruption”. But TI’s report was wrong. Not just any old wrong. But completely, utterly, glaringly wrong. All the information that TI claimed PDVSA was refusing to disclose was freely available in their Report and Accounts and published on their website and in the press. TI’s financial involvement with the oil industry stretches back over many years. “TI gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions of... Shell and ExxonMobil,” they say on their website. Generous contributor ExxonMobil is no friend of Venezuela's socialist government. Earlier this year they took PDVSA to the British High Court in a bid to seize their assets, and lost."

U.S., Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Ukraine conduct exercise in Georgia  7/13/2008 Black Anthem Military News: "Georgia has provided consistent support to coalition Global War on Terrorism and Regional War on Terrorism operations and is currently the third largest force contributor to OIF, behind the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Georgia's geographic location also allows other allies and partners in the region to see the benefits of working with the United States."

Book: Iraq was invaded to help secure Israel  7/13/2008 Indianapolis Star: "Hostettler, who lost his bid for a seventh term last year, was one of only six House Republicans to vote in 2002 against authorizing the use of force in Iraq. He is not, however, the first lawmaker to make controversial remarks about the role Jewish leaders played in the Iraq war. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., was criticized by House Democratic leaders and Jewish groups for saying influential Jewish groups pushed for the war. Hostettler, a conservative Republican known for going his own way while in Congress, said he wrote his book because conservatives have to acknowledge that the invasion was inconsistent with the nation's long-standing foreign policy principles."

Anti-Chávez Student Group Attacks Police, Creates Chaos in Mérida, Venezuela  7/13/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "A notoriously violent Venezuelan student organization aligned with the Venezuelan opposition known as the March 13th Movement (M13) fired gunshots and threw Molotov cocktails at police officers, blockaded streets using seized university buses, and ransacked sections of the Andean town of Mérida on Thursday and Friday, to protest crime and insecurity in the city."

Saturday  7/12/2008  7/12/2008 Blogspot 

Court Documents Shed Light on CIA Illegal Operations  7/12/2008 RINF: "I called Sibel Edmonds to comment on the latest revelations. She said: You’ve got to look at the big picture. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the super powers began to fight over control of Central Asia, particularly the oil and gas wealth, as well as the strategic value of the region. Given the history, and the distrust of the West, the US realized that it couldn’t get direct control, and therefore would need to use a proxy to gain control quickly and effectively. Turkey was the perfect proxy; a NATO ally and a puppet regime. Turkey shares the same heritage/race as the entire population of Central Asia, the same language (Turkic), the same religion (Sunni Islam), and of course, the strategic location and proximity. This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam."

Blogging While Brown (and Female)  7/12/2008 Women's Media Center: "Advertisers pulled their ads before any reporter had ever written about it," says McCauley. "I don't think anybody had ever won a battle like that with BET before."

Friday  7/11/2008

topAfrovenezolanos Exigen Profundizar la Revolucion  7/11/2008 Prensa Afrovenezolana: "Durante los dias 17 al 20 de julio se estara realizando el II Encuentro Nacional Afrovenezolano, donde participaran delegados y delagadas de catorce estado del pais para elaborar el plan quinquenal 2008/2013 para el desarrollo integral de las comunidades afrodescendiente en el pais."

IDF: Air Force jets aren't training in Iraq  7/11/2008 Ynet: "Sources in Iraq's Defense Ministry say for past month Israel using American bases to conduct overflights as part of rehearsal for possible bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities; IDF: Reports are unfounded."

Thursday  7/10/2008

topLESNIK, Abraham  7/10/2008 CI Centre: [details of his spying, country marked "Israel?"]

Secrets Case Called a Puzzle  7/10/2008 NY Sun: "Abraham Lesnik, 62, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty last week to a single felony count of unauthorized possession of classified information, which he took home from his job at a Boeing facility in El Segundo, Calif. Lawyers and other experts who track the government's actions in such cases were taken aback by the prosecution's indication that it may seek a prison term of more than five years for Lesnik, who held a top secret clearance and specialized in anti-missile technology." [The foreign government in the background of this case is Israel.]

Italy: Mosques must recognize Israel  7/10/2008 Press TV, Iran: "Action must be taken so that mosque supervisors recognize Israel, said European Affairs Minister Andrea Rochi. We must force those who do not recognize Israel to leave the mosques, he added, according to Italian news agency Il Tempo."

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin  7/10/2008 Tarpley 

Latin America Experts Condemn U.S. Detention and Search of Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba  7/10/2008 Venezuela Analysis: "U.S. Customs and Immigration Services agents detained Senator Cordoba for approximately three hours and searched her belongings. During this time, the agents also photocopied private documents she was carrying. These documents could put in danger the lives of political activists if turned over to the Colombian government."

Wednesday  7/9/2008

topNC employee refuses to lower flags for late Helms  7/9/2008 AP: " A longtime North Carolina state employee has chosen to retire instead of lowering flags to honor former Sen. Jesse Helms, saying in an e-mail that the late conservative had a "doctrine of negativity, hate and prejudice." U.S. and state flags flew at half-staff on Monday and Tuesday following an order from Gov. Mike Easley. Helms died Friday. L.F. Eason III, director of the state Standards Laboratory - which calibrates equipment for critical measurements such as the weight of medicines or trucks on a highway - told his staff to ignore the directive. He sent workers an e-mail saying he didn't think it was appropriate."

Website exposes Israeli 'nuke secrets' - Leftist Israeli website claims to expose nuclear secrets published by foreign sources  7/9/2008 Israel News 

Seymour Hersh: US Training Jondollah and MEK for Bombing preparation  7/9/2008 Prison Planet: "He explains how the Bush Administration’s policy of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” has led the US to support the Baluchi organisation Jondollah and the MEK (Mujahideen-e-Khalq a.k.a PMOI), both of which have clear track records of terrorist activities including against the US. He reiterates that the US has been giving arms and cash to the terrorists in the MEK for years and reveals that “most of the [MEK] leaders have been taking our money and cashing it in an awful lot of bank accounts in London.” He also reveals for the first time that the US has trained MEK teams in the state of Nevada and that “they do a lot of crazy stuff inside Iran”. Hersh warns that “we have been moving cruise missiles there for a few months now”, and that the US military is ready. “Our submarines are there, our destroyers are there with cruise missiles aboard, our aircrafts are there, our soldiers are there” to attack Iran within “10 to 12 hours” of the go-ahead order by President Bush, he says, stressing that troops have to go on the ground in Iran in order to destroy Iran’s defensive systems."

Conviction overturned after 36 years in solitary for Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3  7/9/2008 SF Bay View: "This encouraging decision is a people’s victory, the result of persistent, intensive pressure over many years. This major protest rally outside the gates of Louisiana’s infamous Angola State Prison, once a plantation, now a concentration camp still using Black slave labor, was led by children with the support of Robert King (center, back row), the member of the Angola 3 released in 2001 who has organized tirelessly to free his brothers."

Monday  7/7/2008

topWhat Is Washington's Role in Haiti's Food Crisis?  7/7/2008 Alternet 

The Spying Started Before September 11 -- That's The Whole Point  7/7/2008 OpeEd News: "No, it started a few weeks after Bush took office -- a time when the Bush administration was ignoring the terrorist threat. So it was about something else, and was a high enough priority to plan out during the transition. (Can you say "political spying?") One telecom company, Qwest, refused because it was flat-out illegal. The Bush administration punished them, blocked federal contracts, and in an early indicator of what was to come from the politicized Bush Justice Department, they prosecuted Qwest's CEO on trumped-up charges."

Saturday  7/5/2008

topThe JFK Assassination and 9/11: the Designated Suspects in Both Cases  7/5/2008 Global Research: by Peter Dale Scott

Friday  7/4/2008

topThe Risk of an Iran War Fireball  7/4/2008 Consortium News: "The U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the United Nations’ atomic energy commission have both issued warnings about the risks of a military conflict with Iran."

Thursday  7/3/2008

topBush, Colombia & Narco-Politics  7/3/2008 Consortium News: reprinted from 8/07 - "George W. Bush’s strategy of countering Venezuela’s leftist president Hugo Chávez by strengthening ties to Colombia’s rightist government has been undercut by fresh evidence of high-level drug corruption and human rights violations implicating President Alvaro Uribe’s inner circle."

McCain Pushes Colombia Trade Pact  7/3/2008 Consortium News: "Republican presidential candidate John McCain, on a visit to Colombia with top supporters Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, is a strong supporter of a proposed free trade agreement between the US and Colombia and planned to promote it during his visit."

US Military Special-Ops Team, and Not the Colombian Army, Carried Out Hostage Rescue in Colombia  7/3/2008 NarcoNews: "The source claims the rescue mission was a U.S.-led operation with Colombian support – as opposed to the reverse, as has been widely reported in the U.S. media. The operation had been underway for some months prior to the July 2 rescue day. In priming this pump, the U.S. team managed to plant some satellite phones with the FARC. The source declined to provide details on how that was accomplished for fear of compromising future operations of this nature. From there, the U.S. military used its technology to set up surveillance by intercepting the FARC’s communications. The whole operation was carried out, the source claims, under the guise of being a humanitarian mission. The FARC, the source claims, believed they were dealing with a “French humanitarian group.” The communications intercepts helped to facilitate that deceit, the source adds."

So, That's Why McCain Went to Colombia  7/3/2008 The Field: "Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa will hold a press teleconference on Wednesday, July 2 to discuss John McCain's trip to Colombia to push another job-killing trade agreement with a country that continues to turn a blind eye to human rights violations, including an alarming rise in murders of trade unionists. More than 2,500 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia since 1986, more than in any country in the world. Already this year, 27 Colombian trade unionists have been killed."

Wednesday  7/2/2008

topTransAfrica Forum Reflects on U.S. Foreign Policy towards Colombia as John McCain Travels to South America  7/2/2008 TransAfrica: "Senator John McCain visits Colombia this week. At issue is the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Plan Colombia, the multi-billion dollar, U.S.-backed, drug eradication effort designed to halt coca production and end cocaine shipments. According to news reports, his campaign committee is financing the trip."

Tuesday  7/1/2008

topBush Expands Covert War on Iran  7/1/2008 Consortium News 

Saturday  6/28/2008

topTambores de guerra en el ciberespacio  6/28/2008 Jiribilla 

Thursday  6/26/2008

topFacility 1391: Israel's secret prison  6/26/2008 Nachrichten Heute: "Facility 1391 has been airbrushed from Israeli aerial photographs and purged from modern maps. Where once a police station was marked there is now a blank space. Sometimes even the road leading to it has been erased. But Israel's secret prison, inside an army intelligence base close to the main road between Hadera and Afula in northern Israel, is real enough." [Nice aerial pics]

Wednesday  6/18/2008

topLetting Sibel Edmonds Speak - An interview with Sibel Edmonds and Luke Ryland  6/18/2008 AntiWar: "I'd like to welcome back to the show Sibel Edmonds, gagged by the state secrets privilege, former contract translator for the FBI, and the best investigator and storyteller on her case, Luke Ryland, from Welcome back to the show, both of you."

Sunday  6/15/2008

topISRAEL LOBBY SAYS PENTAGON ‘INFILTRATED’  6/15/2008 American Free Press: published 11/06 - "It is ironic that JINSA should be the source of a demand for an investigation of foreign agents and sympathizers inside the American government. The founder of JINSA, Stephen Bryen, a former Senate aide on Capitol Hill, faced certain indictment on charges of espionage for Israel until pressure on the Justice Department forced Justice to back off. Not only Bryen, but several others in the JINSA sphere were under FBI investigation on similar charges relating to their possible misuse of American defense and intelligence information on Israel?s behalf."

Saturday  6/14/2008

topChavez Tells FARC to End Struggle  6/14/2008 Consortium News: "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has declared that armed struggle in Latin America is essentially over. In the latest chapter of his complex mediation between left-wing guerrillas and the right-wing Colombian government, Chavez has asked the FARC guerrillas to lay down their arms and release all hostages "in exchange of nothing" - as a humanitarian gesture."

Tuesday  6/10/2008

topAbramoff Had Closer Ties to Bush  6/10/2008 Consortium News: "Imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff was photographed with President George W. Bush at least five times and had hundreds of lobbying contacts with White House staff, a House committee’s draft report says."

Profile: “Israeli art students”  6/10/2008 Cooperative Research History Commons: “Israeli art students” was a participant or observer in the following events: [long list]

Monday  6/9/2008

topChavez Revising, Not Revoking Venezuela's New Intelligence Law  6/9/2008 Global Research: "Over the weekend, Chavez showed his mettle as a democratic leader. He acknowledged "errors" in the newly enacted Law on Intelligence and Counterintelligence and will fix them to assure it fully complies with Venezuela's Constitution. He gave examples and cited Article 16 that cites the possibility of prison terms for persons not cooperating with intelligence services. It's a "mistake," said Chavez and "not a small (one)." The new intelligence services won't oblige anyone to inform on others. Doing so is "overstepping," and "I assume responsibility" for the error and will fix it."

Sunday  6/8/2008

topMake No Mistake: McCain's a Neocon  6/8/2008 Consortium News: "McCain is a hard-line neoconservative who buys into Bush’s “preemptive war” theories abroad and his concept of an all-powerful “unitary executive” at home. From McCain’s pre-Iraq invasion speeches to his campaign’s recent embrace of Bush’s imperial presidency, American voters should realize that if they choose John McCain, they will be locking in at least four more years of war with much of the Islamic world while selling out the Founders’ vision of a democratic Republic where no one is above the law."

Chávez Suffers Military and Policy Setbacks  6/8/2008 NYT:  "But in a rare act of self-criticism on Saturday, Mr. Chávez acknowledged the ire that his intelligence overhaul had provoked among legal scholars and human rights groups, which said Mr. Chávez was attempting to introduce a police state by forcing judges to cooperate with intelligence services and criminalizing dissent. “Where we made mistakes we must accept that and not defend the indefensible,” Mr. Chávez said at a campaign rally in Zulia State for gubernatorial and mayoral candidates from his Socialist party. “There is no dictatorship here,” he continued. “No one here is coerced into saying more than they want to say.”

Saturday  6/7/2008

topGroup demands Venezuela envoy recall over Jewish conspiracy remark  6/7/2008 Haaretz: "The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center says Ambassador Alexis Navarro made anti-Semitic comments. Navarro was quoted by the daily Moscow News as saying that a failed 2002 coup that briefly ousted President Hugo Chavez involved Israeli Mossad intelligence snipers "who were Venezuelan citizens, but Jews." The remarks appeared in an interview the newspaper published on May 15. Advertisement The group said in a statement Friday that it wrote a letter to Venezuela's foreign minister saying the comments were racist and incite violence against Jews."

Israel mulls downgrading ties with Venezuela due to Iran alliance  6/7/2008 Haaretz: "Israeli sources who are following the Venezuela-Iran relationship closely note that Chavez recently instituted several reforms inspired by the Iranian Republic's Islamic Revolution. He plans to establish militias modeled on the Revolutionary Guards, as a counterweight to the regular army. During the Second Lebanon War, Chavez criticized Israel harshly, comparing Israel's attacks against Palestinians and Lebanon with the "methods of Hitler" and saying that the Israelis are doing what Hitler did, killing innocent children and entire families. In the wake of these statements, Venezuela's ambassador to Israel was summoned and reprimanded. In response, Venezuela downgraded its diplomatic relations with Israel and recalled its ambassador to Caracas. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni recalled the Israeli ambassador to Jerusalem, but he returned to Caracas soon after."

Obama and Clinton elude media with secret talks on their future  6/7/2008 Independent: "More than an hour passed, after which "they called me when it was over. I came down and I said, 'Good night everybody. I hope you had a good meeting'. They were laughing, and that was it." Ms Feinstein refused to give any further details about the conversation, noting only that "they got along very well"."

Friday  6/6/2008

topAir Force leadership fired over nuclear issue  6/6/2008 Reuters: "U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired the Air Force's top two officials on Thursday after mistakes involving their most sensitive mission -- the safety and security of America's nuclear weapons. Gates said two incidents -- the shipment of nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan and the cross-country flight by an Air Force bomber wrongly armed with nuclear weapons -- exposed a systemic problem in the Air Force and an erosion of nuclear standards."

American Jews Favor Israel-Syria Talks, Secure Independent Palestinian State  6/6/2008 Tikun 

Thursday  6/5/2008

topRevealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control  6/5/2008 Independent: "But the accord also threatens to provoke a political crisis in the US. President Bush wants to push it through by the end of next month so he can declare a military victory and claim his 2003 invasion has been vindicated. But by perpetuating the US presence in Iraq, the long-term settlement would undercut pledges by the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, to withdraw US troops if he is elected president in November. The timing of the agreement would also boost the Republican candidate, John McCain, who has claimed the United States is on the verge of victory in Iraq – a victory that he says Mr Obama would throw away by a premature military withdrawal. America currently has 151,000 troops in Iraq and, even after projected withdrawals next month, troop levels will stand at more than 142,000 – 10 000 more than when the military "surge" began in January 2007. Under the terms of the new treaty, the Americans would retain the long-term use of more than 50 bases in Iraq. American negotiators are also demanding immunity from Iraqi law for US troops and contractors, and a free hand to carry out arrests and conduct military activities in Iraq without consulting the Baghdad government."

Wednesday  6/4/2008

topWhy a Cultural Boycott of Israel is Needed  6/4/2008 Counterpunch 

Tuesday  6/3/2008

topNewspaper vice president shot dead in Venezuela  6/3/2008 AP: "The vice president of a Venezuelan newspaper was shot and killed by a gunman who police said could have confused the victim for his brother — the president of a daily that has closely covered corruption cases. Pierre Fould Gerges, vice president of the Reporte Diario de la Economia, was shot about a dozen times by an assassin on a motorcycle Monday night, newspaper editor Jose Palmar told the Venezuelan broadcaster Union Radio. "Everything indicates it was a hit," Palmar said, adding the 48-year-old was shot about a dozen times and that the gunman stole nothing during the attack outside a Caracas gas station."

Venezuela: Critics see spy law targeting dissent  6/3/2008 AP: "Chavez says the intelligence law that he quietly decreed last week will help Venezuela detect and neutralize national security threats, including assassination or coups plots. But many Venezuelans are alarmed they could be forced to act as informants for the authorities — or face up to four years in prison. "It's a system just like Cuba," said Raul Barbiera, an 80-year-old barber who was born in Spain and immigrated to Venezuela decades ago. He said the law reminds him of his experiences as a young man during the fascist dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, when "you couldn't speak against the government." Barbiera said people will watch what they say because "anyone can start a file on you." Chavez's leftist government maintains links to community activist groups and also has set up neighborhood-level "communal councils" that decide how to spend government funds for community projects."

Festival de Tradiciones Afroamericanas en Venezuela  6/3/2008 Boletin Cubarte: "El V Festival Internacional de Tradiciones Afroamericanas (Fita), que se realizará del 19 al 23 de junio en el estado Aragua, reunirá a unos 250 artistas, especialistas y agrupaciones de 12 países, que deleitarán durante cinco días a los asistentes a este tradicional evento, que se efectuará en el Hotel Maracay. Así lo dio a conocer el presidente del Fita, Santos López, quien dijo que este año se darán cita artistas y maestro de Alemania, Brasil, Cuba, Guyana, Estados Unidos, Haití, Ecuador, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana y Trinidad."

Limited US attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases in sight  6/3/2008 Debka, Israel: "Iran is geared up for counteraction. US intelligence estimates that Tehran’s counteraction will likewise be on a limited scale and therefore any US-Iranian military encounter will not be allowed to explode into a major confrontation. Because this US assault is not planned to extend to Iran’s nuclear installations, Tehran is not expected to hit back at distant American targets in the Persian Gulf or at Israel. DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report, however, that Iran’s military preparations for countering an American attack are far broader than envisaged in Washington. Tehran would view a US attack on the IRGC bases as a casus belli and might react in ways and on a scale unanticipated in Washington."

Can Barack Obama be a friend of Israel if he talks to Iran?  6/3/2008 Times, London: "The campaign recently and swiftly severed links with Robert Malley, one of its informal advisers, after The Times disclosed that he had been in contact with the Palestinian organisation Hamas, listed by the State Department as a terrorist group. It has also distanced him from Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former Secretary of State, who has been sharply critical of Israel and similarly urged America to have direct contact with Hamas. As recently as last year Mr Obama had praised Mr Brzezinski as someone “I’ve learnt an immense amount from”. Yesterday, a spokesman described Mr Brzezinski as a “supporter” who was not and had never been an adviser. The campaign refused to comment on allegations that have surfaced in right-wing blogs that Mr Obama has employed a number of Nation of Islam members. Under federal civil rights law, the spokesman said, it was illegal to ask staff about their religion."

Monday  6/2/2008

topMcCain's Attack On Obama Gets Standing Ovation At AIPAC  6/2/2008 Huffington Post: "We must apply the full force of law to prevent business dealings with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. I was pleased to join Senators Lieberman and Kyl in backing an amendment calling for the designation of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization responsible for killing American troops in Iraq. Over three quarters of the Senate supported this obvious step, but not Senator Obama. He opposed this resolution because its support for countering Iranian influence in Iraq was, he said, a 'wrong message not only to the world, but also to the region.' But here, too, he is mistaken. Holding Iran's influence in check, and holding a terrorist organization accountable, sends exactly the right message -- to Iran, to the region and to the world." Many cheers and whistles accompanied that part of McCain's address, followed by a convention-wide standing ovation."

Sibel Edmonds Case: Dennis Hastert to receive payoffs for 'services rendered'  6/2/2008 OpEd News: "For more than a year Sibel has been predicting that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro. In the "Representative Engagements" section of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."

Washington Planning to "Checkmate" Venezuela  6/2/2008 Venezuela Analysis 

"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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