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Archive for June, 2007

Bush sees Israel as a model for Iraq!

Sudhan@11:35 CET

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Bush Turns Iraq into Israel/Palestine

By Juan Cole

[Mr. Cole is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan. His website is http://www.juancole.com/.%5D

Bush said in a speech on Thursday that he hopes Iraq will be like Israel, a democracy that faces terrorist violence but manages to retain its democratic character:

In Israel, Bush said, ‘terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in suicide attacks. The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy and it’s not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities. And that’s a good indicator of success that we’re looking for in Iraq.’

These words may be the stupidest ones ever uttered by a US president. Given their likely impact on the US war effort in the Middle East, they are downright criminal.

The US political elite just doesn’t get it. Israel is not popular in the Middle East, and it isn’t because Middle Easterners are bigots. It is because Israel is coded as the last European colonial presence in the region, an heir to French Algeria, British Egypt, and Dutch Indonesia– and because the Israelis pugnaciously continue to try to colonize neighboring bits of territory. (This enmity is not inevitable or eternal; in 2002 the Arab League offered full recognition of Israel in return for its going back to 1967 borders, but the Israeli government turned down the offer.) But for the purposes of this analysis it does not really matter why Israel is unpopular. Let us just stipulate that it is. Why would you associate American Iraq with such an unpopular project, if you were trying to do public diplomacy in the region? Bush had just announced a new push to get the American message out to the Muslim world, the day before.

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A Late Friday Night Ode To Regent Cheney

by- Mentarch … 23:58 EDT

Brought to you by: Iron Maiden – Rock in Rio – “The Wicker Man”


Hand of fate is moving and the finger points to you
He knocks you to your feet and so what are you gonna do
Your tongue has frozen now you’ve got something to say
The piper at the gates of dawn is calling you his way

You watch the world exploding every single night
Dancing in the sun a newborn in the light
Say goodbye to gravity and say goodbye to death
Hello to eternity and live for every breath

Your time will come, your time will come
Your time will come, your time will come

The ferryman wants his money you ain’t going to give it back
He can push his own boat as you set up off the track
Nothing you can contemplate will ever be the same
Every second is a new spark, sets the universe aflame

You watch the world exploding every single night
Dancing in the sun a newborn in the light
Brothers and their fathers joining hands and make a chain
The shadow of the Wicker Man is rising up again

Your time will come, your time will come
Your time will come, your time will come

Enjoy – and keep on rockin’!

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by GEF @ 5:58 PM EDT

Norman Mineta Confirms That Dick Cheney Ordered Stand Down on 9/11

Former Transportation Secretary Disputes 9/11 Commission Report Timetable for Dick Cheney and Reveals Lynn Cheney Was Also in PEOC Bunker Before Attack!

Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta answered questions from members of 9/11 Truth Seattle.org about his testimony before the 9/11 Commission report.

Mineta says Vice President Cheney was “absolutely” already there when he arrived at approximately 9:25 a.m. in the PEOC (Presidential Emergency Operations Center) bunker on the morning of 9/11. Mineta seemed shocked to learn that the 9/11 Commission Report claimed Cheney had not arrived there until 9:58– after the Pentagon had been hit, a report that Mineta definitively contradicted.

Norman Mineta revealed that Lynn Cheney was also in the PEOC bunker already at the time of his arrival, along with a number of other staff.

Go Read It—>

Here’s First Hand Insider Accounts that attest to the FACT that 9/11 was an Inside Job and Cheney knew beforehand!

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Frooooooomkin!!! Another awesome column!

Posted by Basheert @2:35 PM MST

Courtesy of the WaPo – Froomkin scores again. His columns are always pithy and direct and full of things to make us smile!

So without delay …


ARTICLE

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Is Shooter A Fish Killer? 70,000 Salmon Killed…

by- Suzie-Q @ 12:50 PM MST

A Congressional committee is preparing to investigate Vice President Dick Cheney’s role in water-management decisions that killed more than 70,000 salmon in Oregon.

Three dozen West Coast Democrats requested the Resources Committee investigation after the Washington Post reported of Cheney’s involvement in managing flows from the Klamath River in 2002.

The Post reported that Cheney personally contacted the Interior Department official in charge of the program to push for more irrigation water be delivered from the river to drought-striken farmers and ranchers.

Environmentalists and officials in California and Washington blame the federal policy, which critics say violated the Endangered Species Act, was responsible for the deaths of 70,000 salmon, whose corpses lined the banks of the river. The Post said the plan was enacted “because of Cheney’s intervention.”

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W. Va., told the Associated Press that the committee is investigating the Bush administration’s “penchant to favor politics over science in implementation of the Endangered Species Act.”

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Afternoon Jukebox… Because The Night

by- Suzie-Q @ 12:11 PM MST

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! ;)


Bono, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springstein- Because The Night

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Anthony @ 19:30 BST

A day after the White House asserted its executive privilege in refusing to turn over documents subpoenaed as part of the investigation into the firing of 8 US Attorneys, Congressional investigators promised enforcement action in the weeks to come in a Friday letter to the White House.

“We were disappointed that we had to turn to these subpoenas in order to obtain information needed by the Committees to learn the truth about these firings and the erosion of independence at the Justice Department. We are even more disappointed now with yet further stonewalling,” wrote Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees respectively. “Whether or not we have the benefit of the information we have directed you to provide by July 9, we will take the necessary steps to rule on your privilege claims and appropriately enforce our subpoenas backed by the full force of law.”

Conyers and Leahy had ordered documents from the White House pertaining to the firing of 8 US Attorneys and linked to two former White House staff: former counsel Harriet Miers, and former top political adviser Sara Taylor. The documents were due Thursday, June 28, and were not delivered after White House Counsel Fred Fielding wrote to the Congress Members asserting ‘executive privilege.’

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UPDATE #3: Jeane Palfrey

by- Suzie-Q @ 11:22 AM MST

Good Afternoon Justice Bloggers:

I received another update from Jeane Palfrey today. I am now on her mailing list to receive the updates via email. I have, however, received several personal emails from her and she is a pleasant lady to communicate with. ;)

This is the third update: (Sorry this is lengthy but it was an email and I don’t have a link.)

UPDATE #3:

HELLO…

It has come to my attention, although often astute and usually well educated, most individuals – be they recipients of this mailer or average citizens simply following my story – find the complexity of my case, along with its many interesting offshoots baffling and confusing. My civil attorney, Mr. Sibley has done a fine job in his various efforts via email the past several months to enlighten others about my situation. However being the lawyer that he is and always will be, it is difficult for him to communicate without using “legalisms” and at times, far too much Latin when explaining his points.

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Therefore, since my mailer here is very much in its infancy, I have decided to try to outline to the best of my ability from the onset – very much in layperson’s terminology – the chronology of events and their significance in my cases, to date.

__________________________________

First, it is important to comprehend there is not one, but two cases the Government has filed against me. The first is civil and involves my long-suffering lawyer, Mr. Montgomery B. Sibley, mbsibley@civilforfeiture.com and differing pro bono consultants from around the country. The second is criminal in nature. The assembled legal team advocating on my behalf in this matter is headed by renowned attorney, Mr. Preston Burton, pburton@orrick.com and his trusted associate Ms. Bree Murphy, bmurphy@orrcik.com, of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe. Second, it should be brought to the reader’s attention that we have numerous motions (a few dozen, including the request to lift the injunction on the phone records) – in both the civil and criminal concerns – before ALL three federal courts, i.e. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court, not to mention outstanding letters to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and now, Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. Added to the mix is a variety of civil and tort litigation against a myriad of government agents, banking institutions and former independent contractors.

I HOWEVER WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO DETAIL THE VOLUMINOUS AND GROWING LITIGATION, IN BOTH THE CIVIL AND CRIMINAL COURTS.

Background:

I owned and operated “Pamela Martin & Associates”, an upscale adult fantasy service, which operated in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (including the Maryland and Virginia suburbs), for 13 years, from late 1993 thru early August of 2006, without incident and without arrest. The women in my employ were all age 23 to 25 and up (many were in their 40’s and 50’s), with two or more years of college education (many had undergraduate and graduate degrees), who either worked and/or went to school in the daytime. The business was opened each evening from 5pm to 11pm/midnight, seven nights a week. It operated as a sole proprietorship. Taxes were paid accordingly each quarter and returns filed every April. Each of the applicable women received 1099’s every January. During the entire tenure of operation, I never once was audited nor questioned by the Internal Revenue Service. My case(s) is not tax related. Wanting to retire since as early as 2002, I finally did so last August. My decision was based on nothing more than a personal desire simply to “move on”. I placed my home on the market and made plans to purchase a small flat in Germany (100,000 euros or approximately 125,000 dollars) and relocate to Europe.

The Civil Case:

On October 4, 2006, the U.S. Department of Treasury seized my entire life’s savings (approximately 1.5 million in real estate, portfolio and bank accounts, along with a coin collection), via the civil asset forfeiture process http://256.com/gray/presume/3.html. Subsequently, a search warrant was executed on my home in Northern California the same day based on evidence – 3 to 3 ½ to 5 years old – obtained from confidential informants, some ten months earlier in December of 2005. The information gleaned from five different former contractors was vague and lacked any semblance of specificity. Each statement – only a few general sentences in length – was written in third person by Postal Inspector Maria E. Couvillon. All of these rather short paragraphs failed to spell out in any substantive detail actual dates, times, places and participants, in the alleged crimes of prostitution.

At the time, I was in Germany closing escrow on the aforementioned flat; I had no idea whatsoever of the goings-on stateside, until I attempted to open an online Charles Schwab brokerage account the afternoon of the 4th and was unsuccessful. Interestingly, the day before on Tuesday, October 3rd, U.S. Postal Inspector’s Joe Clark and Maria E. Couvillon attempted to gain access to my residence under false pretenses posing as “a couple being transferred from the D.C. area to San Francisco”. They tried to get my then real estate agent to show the property to them. After several failed pleas, “Joe and Maria” were convinced such was not possible, since my agent did not have a key (I would not allow the property to be shown without my presence). Early the next morning at 8am, – according to newspaper accounts – twelve federal agents stormed my home and stayed for some four hours, using the stale search warrant as justification.

· Law enforcement’s need to terrorize defenseless women, who are involved in the benign adult service and/or escort industry with strong-arm tactics is well documented in the Washington D.C.- Baltimore corridor and throughout the country. A perfect case in point is that of former Baltimore professor and Pamela Martin & Associates subcontractor Brandy Britton http://www.examiner.com/a-357815~Sex__lies___a_Ph_D_.html. “I counted 11 officers at one point,” Britton says. “They were armed. Their faces were covered. They had automatic weapons, and they were shouting, ‘Down! Clear!’ They dumped out every drawer, everywhere. I was visibly shaken because there were 10 guys with machine guns. “They started taking dishes and just throwing them on the floor and destroying them. They said, ‘Are you going to tell us that you’re a prostitute?’ I said, ‘I’m not, and I want an attorney.’ ”

Not understanding what was happening to me and fully believing there was an arrest warrant waiting for me upon my return to the United States, I nonetheless boarded a plane for my scheduled return flight on October 10, 2006. Fortunately at this juncture, it was only my property – real and personal – which had been arrested.

· It is important to note though prior to my departure on Tuesday, October 10th to the U.S., I was contacted two days earlier on Sunday totally out of the blue, by Bill Bastone, Editor of http://www.TheSmokingGun.com and asked in an email correspondence, if I would be interested in knowing something about my case. Completely ignorant of any facts at the time, I quickly jumped at the opportunity to learn anything I could about what was occurring to me. We made arrangements to speak by phone long-distance on Monday morning. After a few niceties, Bastone began what I only can describe as a rabid prosecutorial interrogation of me, belittling, humiliating and demeaning me about the nature of my business and the content of my character. He made leading inquiries into a variety of matters including the importance of my client base – including specific questions regarding former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham – and the existence of a traditional “little black book”. Having rattled my already fragile state of mind, the conversation thankfully ended after about 20 or so minutes. Within a matter of hours the interview appeared on TSG website, along with a copy of the unsigned search warrant http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1009061hook1.html. I have been told repeatedly on good authority that Bastone, as a private citizen could not have obtained a copy of the warrant without it first having been signed, recorded and filed. Without doubt, the warrant was leaked to Bastone, for the purpose (I must assume) to embarrass me as much as feasibly possible, under the circumstances and for no other reason.

· It is of equal importance to mention that according to the uploaded and unsigned search warrant posted on The Smoking Gun website on October 9th, I had been under investigation, for approximately 2 ½ years, from May/June of 2004 thru September/October of 2006. What is interesting to note is there appears to have been no investigation into prostitution-related activities during this rather lengthy period (to be discussed in greater detail in subsequent mailings). It seems instead of conducting a proactive investigation at any point in this 28 plus month timeframe, the Government simply watched me. For what? I do not know. As of this writing, I can state without equivocation this is indeed the $64,000 riddle. Nonetheless, what was a languid and seemingly stagnant investigation went into warp mode on September 29, 2006, the day after I wired a little less than $70,000 to my attorney (escrow agent) in Germany, on September 28, 2006, in anticipation of the property purchase. At this stage, I must surmise that the innocuous wire was picked up by the Bush Administration’s ‘Terrorist Finance Tracking Program’ and relayed onto the applicable surveillance agencies, in my case http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Judge_gives_goahead_to_lawsuit_against_0619.html. By the following Tuesday, October 3, Postal Agents Joe Clark and Maria E. Couvillon, aka “Joe and Maria” were at my home in Vallejo, CA attempting to gain entry under false pretenses, as potential buyers.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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Despite the Web, Americans Remain Woefully Ill-Informed

punditman says @ 2:20 PM EDT Hmmm…what are all these people doing online? Obviously not reading Suzie Q. The good news of this study: at least Daily show viewers are way smarter than Fox viewers. Phew!

More than a decade after the Internet went mainstream, the world’s richest information source hasn’t necessarily made its users any more informed. A new study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows that Americans, on average, are less able to correctly answer questions about current events than they were in 1989. Citizens who call the Internet their primary news source know slightly less than fans of TV and radio news.

More…

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Anthony @ 18:30 BST

High Court to Hear Detainee Case

From HuffPo

WASHINGTON — Rejecting Bush administration arguments, the Supreme Court reversed course and agreed Friday to review whether Guantanamo Bay detainees can use the civilian court system to challenge their indefinite confinement.

The justices made the highly unusual reversal without comment along with other end-of-term orders.

In April, the court turned down an identical request, though two justices indicated they could be persuaded otherwise.

US Supreme Court to weigh in on Guantanamo again

From AFP

In a reversal, the US Supreme Court agreed Friday to examine the demands of dozens of “war on terror” suspects held without charge at the Guantanamo prison to have their detention reviewed in federal court.

The panel had refused to take up the case in April after an appeals court ruled the inmates had no constitutional right to challenge their detention before federal courts because they were not US citizens or on US soil.

The Supreme Court did not explain the switch in its position, but the announcement came three weeks after the US government was dealt a setback in its bid to prosecute terror suspects in special military commissions.

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