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Archive for June 25th, 2007

The Neocons Are Sinking

by- Suzie-Q @ 5:17 PM MST

As the George W. Bush administration struggles through its last two years in office, it appears that the agenda of neoconservative ideologues has finally lost its appeal among strategic parts of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus.

As the George W. Bush administration struggles through its last two years in office, it appears that the agenda of neoconservative ideologues has finally lost its appeal among strategic parts of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus.

But as their influence has waned at the Pentagon and State Department, neo-conservative hawks have taken charge on the battlefield of public diplomacy.

Intent on fixing what American Enterprise Institute (AEI) fellow Joshua Muravchik termed Bush’s “public diplomacy mess,” right-wing hawks have gained control of the weapons in the “war of ideas” — U.S. government-funded and supported media outlets such as Voice of America (VOA), Al-Hurra, and Radio Farda, which broadcast to the Middle East and aim to offer an alternative view of the news.

The recent appointment of Jeffrey Gedmin, a veteran neo-conservative polemicist, as the director of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE), and a smear campaign that led to the recent resignation of Larry Register, Al-Hurra’s former news director, appears to herald a turn towards more ideologically rigid programming.

As a result, viewers and listeners of U.S.-supported media in the Middle East are being exposed to a tougher ideological line that endorses the hallmarks of the neoconservative agenda — regime change and interventionist policies in the region.

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by- Suzie-Q @ 2:15 PM MST

While some would argue that Dick Cheney has sought unlimited power for his office in President George W. Bush’s White House, the Vice President could soon be facing some major limits on his government bank account. A top House Democrat has announced his intention to offer an amendment to strip funding from the yearly budget for the Office of the Vice President.

“On the Hill, there’s an overwhelmingly positive reaction,” a spokesman for Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) told RAW STORY Monday afternoon.

He went on, “This is an important amendment and question, and it’s a choice that the Vice President should make. He cannot be allowed to accept executive branch funding and not adhere to executive branch rules. There is no fourth branch of government.”

On Saturday RAW STORY’s Josh Catone first reported on Emanuel’s planned amendment to the Financial Services Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2008. Emanuel announced his plan in reaction to the House Oversight Committee’s revelation last week that Cheney’s office had argued that for the purposes of certain laws, the Vice President’s office was not an agency in the executive branch.

Multiple Democratic Congressional staffers told RAW STORY that the bill will come up for a vote on Wednesday or Thursday. And staff for Rep. Emanuel, who is the chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives, believed he would have the votes to shrink the Vice President’s budget to zero.

Emanuel’s amendment could inject some excitement into a droll funding bill that normally gets scant attention on an annual basis. The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, in addition to funding the White House, covers the budgets of the Supreme Court, the Treasury Department, the District of Columbia, and a variety of other independent government agencies.

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Why Hillary Scares Me

Anthony @ 21:41 BST

Sen. Mike Gravel

During one of the debates I mentioned that my fellow Democratic candidates scare me. Hillary’s speech last week to the Take Back America conference gives me yet another reason to be afraid.

In an indignant voice she decried the Bush administration’s ”stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism run amok. . . It is everything our founders were afraid of, everything our Constitution was designed to prevent.” Actually, our Constitution grants Congress the power to prevent these ills but Hillary and her colleagues weren’t up to the task.

Our founders’ legacy did not stop Hillary from voting for the Patriot Act and then supporting its renewal in 2006 despite revelations that the government was using it to infringe on the very liberties that our founders held sacred. Where was her commitment to our founders when she voted to gut our habeas corpus protections?

As for cronyism — Hillary has repeatedly authorized billions that the Pentagon gave in no-bid contracts to Halliburton. Even though the Democrats have been in control of Congress for months, they still haven’t summoned Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and the other usual suspects to account for the missing millions in reconstruction funding.

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Who Are the Terrorists?

by Sudhan@ 21:20 CET

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By Rosemarie Jackowski

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or who says it.” – Malcolm X

The big question that has been the sleeping elephant in the national living room has finally been voiced. Rosie O’Donnell was not the first to ask the question, but she is the one who brought it to mainstream television now. The question caused a meltdown at Fox News and resulted in thousands of comments at the ABC News blog. Justifiably so. It might be the most important question facing the United States today.

The question is since 655,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, who are the terrorists? Rosie made a little mistake. Her question is a bit misleading because the correct number of dead Iraqis is estimated to be more that two million. Rosie’s 655,000 number does not include any of those who were killed prior to the Shock and Awe bombing campaign which started on March 20, 2003. The United States has been bombing Iraq since 1991. In addition to those killed in the bombings, 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of the U.S. sanctions.

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by Geezer Power …12:20 pm

Zoelick approved by World Bank

Houston Indymedia

by ARC Friday, Jun. 01, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Henry Paulson, Josh Bolten, Robert Zoellick, Jon Corzine, and Robert Rubin consider the US government the operating branch of Goldman Sachs 5 of the Goldman Sachs White House

Goldman Sachs operative to head World Bank

TUTORS OF TRAITORS AND
INSIDER TRADER TATTLERS

The Wall St. firm which triggered
the crash of 1929* continues
leaving a trail of blood.

5 Goldman Sachs men in government

Henry Paulson, Josh Bolten, Robert Zoellick, Jon Corzine, and Robert Rubin consider the US government the operating branch of Goldman Sachs 5 of the Goldman Sachs White House

A Goldman Sachs operative, Robert Zoellick, who has worked for G H W
Bush and James Baker, partners in
the war profiteering Carlyle Group, will
head the World Bank. Recently he
had left the position of number 2 man
at the Condoleezza Rice headed
State Dept. to join Goldman Sachs.

Other Goldman Sachs operatives
are Henry Paulson, Secretary of
the Treasury, Joshua Bolten, White
House Chief of Staff, Gov Corzine
of NJ. Paulson and Corzine
are former CEO’s.

Paulson further destroyed Nature
Conservancy tracts by introducing
cattle to them, multiplying animal agony and
furthering the deforestation which is the prime cause of global warming.
Texas Pacific and Goldman Sachs
have interlocking connections to
Burger King. Are the Nature Conservancy cows ending up
on BK plates?

Goldman Sachs is invested in
many war profiteer, anti environment
and animal slaughter concerns.

A former US Secretary of the Treasury,
Robert Rubin, was part of a campaign
with Jeffrey Sachs and others to
destabilize the Russian economy
and plunge millions into poverty.
He had worked 26 years at Goldman
Sachs and was appointed by Clinton.

A Goldman Sachs operative, Robert Zoellick, who has worked for G H W
Bush and James Baker, partners in
the war profiteering Carlyle Group, will
head the World Bank. Recently he
had left the position of number 2 man
at the Condoleezza Rice headed
State Dept. to join Goldman Sachs.

Other Goldman Sachs operatives
are Henry Paulson, Secretary of
the Treasury, Joshua Bolten, White
House Chief of Staff, Gov Corzine
of NJ. Paulson and Corzine
are former CEO’s.

Paulson further destroyed Nature
Conservancy tracts by introducing
cattle to them, multiplying animal agony and
furthering the deforestation which is the prime cause of global warming.
Texas Pacific and Goldman Sachs
have interlocking connections to
Burger King. Are the Nature Conservancy cows ending up
on BK plates?

Goldman Sachs is invested in
many war profiteer, anti environment
and animal slaughter concerns.

A former US Secretary of the Treasury,
Robert Rubin, was part of a campaign
with Jeffrey Sachs and others to
destabilize the Russian economy
and plunge millions into poverty.
He had worked 26 years at Goldman
Sachs and was appointed by Clinton.

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by- Suzie-Q @ 10:48 AM MST

A Florida Republican congressman has started a legal fund to cover expenses related to his role in federal investigations into convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Rep. Tom Feeney started the fund last week, according to press reports, although he continues to insist he has done nothing illegal and is fully cooperative with the Justice Department’s probe of Abramoff, who already has been convicted on conspiracy charges in Florida and is accused of trading lavish gifts and favors for support in Congress.

Feeney’s explanation didn’t fly with Democrats or liberal bloggers.

“If he didn’t do anything wrong and isn’t the target of an FBI investigation, as he claims, why would he set up a legal-expense fund?” Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Leonard Joseph asked, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

In 2003, Feeney flew to Scotland with Abramoff and other lawmakers on a trip that congressional ethics investigators later deemed was improper.

Feeney, who was re-elected in 2006 with 57 percent of the vote, spent campaign funds on legal expenses prior to the creation of the special fund. He paid firm Patton Boggs $23,000 in the first three months of this year for legal expenses related to the Abramoff probe.

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NBC News: ‘Has The Vice President Gone Too Far?’

by- Suzie-Q @ 9:53 AM MST

NBC News reported on Monday that “Dick Cheney is back in a very uncomfortable place for him: the headlines.” Both a Washington Post series on the vice president and Cheney’s feud with the National Archives over his handling of classified information are drawing attention to his style of governing.

NBC called Cheney as “a master of stealth, even inside the White House,” describing how he put through his policy of holding detainees indefinitely without charges by handing his proposal to the president without the normal staff review. NBC also noted that “Cheney’s influence turns out to be surprisingly wide-ranging,” encompassing everything from cutting the capital gains tax to ending the ban on snowmobiles in national parks.

“Has the vice-president gone too far?” asked NBC, adding that “the National Archives thinks so,” because Cheney alone in the executive branch has refused to file required reports or permit inspections of his office’s handling of classified material. However, the NBC story did not make any mention of Cheney’s having justified his refusal on the novel grounds that he is not a part of the executive branch.

The following video is from NBC’s Today Show, broadcast on June 25.

Video

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Anthony @ 17:35 BST

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, June 24, 2007

“Another [9/11 type terrorist] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets” (Statement by Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006)

The US media consensus is that “the United States faces its greatest threat of a terrorist assault since the September 11 attacks” (USA Today, 12 February 2006) The American Homeland is threatened by ” Islamic terrorists”, allegedly supported by Tehran and Damascus.

America is under attack” by an illusive “outside enemy”.

Concepts are turned upside down. War becomes Peace. “Offense” becomes a legitimate means of “self-defense”. In the words of President Bush:

“Against this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response: We must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them.” (President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)

The intent is to seek a pretext to wage a preemptive war.

A “terrorist attack on America” could be used to justify, in the eyes of an increasingly credulous public opinion, on “humanitarian grounds”, the launching of a major theater war directed against Iran and Syria.

Allegedly supported by Iran, the terrorists are said to possess nuclear capabilities. They are supposedly planning to explode “radiological dispersion devices” (RDD) or “dirty bombs” in densely populated urban areas in the US. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell had already forewarned in 2003 that, “It would be easy for terrorists to cook up radioactive ‘dirty’ bombs to explode inside the U.S. … How likely it is, I can’t say…” (10 February 2003).

The sheer absurdity that Al Qaeda might have advanced capabilities to wage a nuclear attack on America is, nonetheless, pervasive in US media reports. Moreover, numerous drills and exercises, simulating a terrorist attack using nuclear devices, have been conducted in recent years, creating the illusion that “the threat is real”:

“What we do know is that our enemies want to inflict massive casualties and that terrorists have the expertise to invent a wide range of attacks, including those involving the use of chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear weapons. … [E]xploding a small nuclear weapon in a major city could do incalculable harm to hundreds of thousands of people, as well as to businesses and the economy,…(US Congress, House Financial Services Committee, June 21, 2007).

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by GEF @ 12:10 PM EDT

Bush is changing stances

WASHINGTON – Bit by bit, without publicly admitting any mistakes, the Bush administration is changing policies on key issues that have defined the president’s tenure in office.

Go Read It—>

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Anthony @16:55

Josh Catone
The Raw Story
Published: Sunday June 24, 2007

A new Newsweek poll out this weekend exposed “gaps” in America’s knowledge of history and current events.

Perhaps most alarmingly, 41% of Americans answered ‘Yes’ to the question “Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?”

That total is actually up 5 points since September 2004.

Further, a majority of people couldn’t identify Saudia Arabia as the country of origin of most of the 9/11 hijackers, even given the question in multiple choice format. 20% answered Iraq, while 14% believed the hijackers came from Iran.

A majority (52%) believe the US is losing the war against al Qaeda, however Newsweek disagrees. In the magazine’s reporting of the poll, they made judgment that the US is in fact not “losing the fight against al-Qaeda or radical Islamic terrorism.”

Closer to home, 89% of Americans are unable to name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (John Roberts), though a majority of those polled were able to name Nancy Pelosi as the current Speaker of the House.

A large majority of people said they didn’t know or didn’t care who the winner of this year’s American Idol competition was (or at least weren’t willing to admit it).

The full results of the Newsweek poll are available here.

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