Watch List Continues To Embarass DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) terrorist watch list continues to cause some lucky travelers unnecessary travel delays due to having similar names as suspected terrorists, or in some cases, simply because their last name is Muslim, and as you’ll see a little further below, because of information found on google that may pertain to you.

Shahid Malik, MP (Member of Parliament) for Dewsbury, West Yorks, the British international development minister was reportedly stopped, searched and had his baggage checked for explosives at Washington DC’s Dulles airport when returning to London after meeting with DHS officials.

That was the second time he had been pulled aside while flying back to London. Last November, after being invited as a keynote speaker at an event organized by the DHS, the FBI and Muslim organizations to talk about tackling extremism and defeating terrorism, he went through the same thing at JFK airport in New York.

Mr. Malik said he had received numerous apologies and assurances from U.S. authorities after that incident, but was again searched and detained by DHS officials. Mr. Malik said two other Muslims were also pulled aside and detained. “I am deeply disappointed,” he said.

“The abusive attitude I endured last November I forgot about and I forgave, but I really do believe that British ministers and parliamentarians should be afforded the same respect and dignity at USA airports that we would bestow upon our colleagues in the Senate and Congress. Obviously, there was no malice involved but it has to be said that the USA system does not inspire confidence” he said.

Homeland Security Googles Travelers

Most have probably heard warnings about being careful about the information you put online and how some potential employers, college admissions and coaches check up on people online through Google and social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook. Now it reportedly appears that the DHS has joined the ranks of using the internet to check up on individuals entering the country.

Andrew Feldman, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, who is currently a psychotherapist in Vancouver was detained for four hours, fingerprinted and then barred entry into the United States after the DHS googled him and found an article he wrote in a literary and scientific journal in which he discussed using LSD and various other drugs in the 1960’s.

Despite having no criminal record and not using drugs since the 1970’s, Feldmar now has to get formal permission from the U.S. consul before entering the U.S.

Until last summer when he was pulled over for a random search and the border patrol turned up evidence that he had experimented with drugs for therapeutic research in the past, Feldmar visited the U.S. five or six times a year to visit his children.

Now Feldmar has concluded that his banishment from the U.S. is permanent since the waiver process is exhausting, costly and demeaning.

As noted by the author, what this means for people who’ve done questionable things in the past…a generation of hippies, journalists who’ve written less than flattering article concerning the U.S….will they be stopped and barred from the U.S. too? Where all this racial profiling and discrimination will lead remains unknown, but it’s important that you’re careful about what you share online.

While there is no question that security is needed to keep air travelers safe, the insecurity caused by the terrorist watch list along with the incompetence and overzealousness of the DHS who appear to keep making the same mistakes over and over on the same travelers is intolerable. Obviously there is a lot more room for improvement.

Links to More Information

The links to the stories mentioned above as well as numerous other links about the ongoing saga of extremely questionable governmental misadventures can be found below:

Minister detained at US airport article from BBC News UK – Britain’s first Muslim minister, Shahid Malik, says he is “deeply disappointed” that he was detained by airport security officials in America

Travelers Beware: Home land Security is Googling You article from The Cleveland Leader

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn’t Want You to Know article from Esquire:

“Two former high-ranking policy experts from the Bush Administration say the U.S. has been gearing up for a war with Iran for years, despite claiming otherwise. It’ll be Iraq all over again.”

Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier article from AfterDowningStreet.org

Spies Do a Huge Volume of Work in Invisible Ink article from The New York Times

Fake FEMA news conference director gets promotion article and video from The Raw Story:

“CNN reports that John “Pat” Philbin, the Director of Public Affairs responsible for FEMA’s recent faked news conference, is effectively receiving a promotion. PRNewser was notified by an email which said that Philbin’s new job was an “amazing opportunity to head the communications shop at ODNI.”

Philbin is slated to become Director of Public Affairs for the Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell.”

Update: John “Pat” Philbin, according to CNN, was fired.

Your Privacy Is Someone Else’s Profit article from AlterNet

Breaking Down an Innocent Man: The FBI’s Right to Threaten Torture article from CounterPunch.org

Low Morale Has U.S. Troops in Iraq Pretending to Patrol article from AlterNet

US Consciously Kills Civilians In Afghanistan article from AlterNet:

“CBS 60 Minutes revealed last night that the US military in Afghanistan uses air strikes in situations it knows will kill innocent civilians, if the commanders also believe enough Taliban might be killed. The result has been a doubling of civilian casualties, such that we now kill as many civilians as the Taliban and al Qaeda.

And all Aghfan President Karzai can do is plead with George Bush, so far unsuccessfully, that the US stop using air strikes against civilian targets.

In one of many such incidents this year, US forces announced they had carried out an air strike and had killed several suspected militants. However, the military declined to provide further information on who might have been killed, and when reports leaked out that most of the victims had been women and children — innocent civilians — 60 Minutes sent a team to find out what happened.”

Fearing Fear Itself article from The New York Times:

“Today, many of the men who hope to be the next president – including all of the candidates with a significant chance of receiving the Republican nomination – have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns.

Consider, for a moment, the implications of the fact that Rudy Giuliani is taking foreign policy advice from Norman Podhoretz, who wants us to start bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible.”

Mr. Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary and a founding neoconservative, tells us that Iran is the “main center of the Islamofascist ideology against which we have been fighting since 9/11.” The Islamofascists, he tells us, are well on their way toward creating a world “shaped by their will and tailored to their wishes.” Indeed, “Already, some observers are warning that by the end of the 21st century the whole of Europe will be transformed into a place to which they give the name Eurabia.”

Do I have to point out that none of this makes a bit of sense?

For one thing, there isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism – it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination. The term came into vogue only because it was a way for Iraq hawks to gloss over the awkward transition from pursuing Osama bin Laden, who attacked America, to Saddam Hussein, who didn’t. And Iran had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 – in fact, the Iranian regime was quite helpful to the United States when it went after Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan.”

‘When the President Does it, That Means That it is Not Illegal’ article and video from Crooks and Liars

Blackwater bodyguards promised immunity article from MSNBC News: State Department gave protection to all guards in deadly Iraq incident

Career prosecutors opposed Siegelman prosecution article from Think Progress:

“John W. Scott, a senior Justice Department trial lawyer who had been helping with the case at the request of Montgomery prosecutors, disagreed with the move to extend the investigation, Franklin said. “We had to make a decision about whether or not a grand jury would help us in putting the case together, investigating further. It was not a popular decision, but I made it,” [Prosecutor Louis] Franklin said. “John didn’t want to do that, so when he left Montgomery he didn’t come back…”

Mukasey Won’t Say Waterboarding Is Torture But in 1947 the U.S. Called It a War Crime, Sentenced Enemy Officer to 15 Years Hard Labor article from Pensito Review

Missing Nukes: Treason of the Highest Order article from Global Research Canada:

A very long detailed article that makes some very good points and raises some serious questions:

“U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans, and Requirements, Major-General Richard Y. Newton III commented on the incident, saying there was an “unprecedented” series of procedural errors, which revealed “an erosion of adherence to weapons-handling standards” [5]

These statements are misleading. The lax security was not the result of procedural negligence within the U.S. Air Force, but rather the consequence of a deliberate tampering of these procedures.

If a soldier, marine, airman, or sailor were even to be issued a rifle and rifle magazine – weaponry of a far lesser significance, danger, and cost – there is a strict signing and accountability process that involves a chain of command and paperwork. This is part of the set of military checks and balances used by all the services within the U.S. Armed Forces.

Military servicemen qualified to speak on the subject will confirm that there is a stringent nuclear weapons handling procedure. There is a rigorous, almost inflexible, chain of command in regards to the handling of nuclear weapons and not just any soldier, sailor, airman, or marine is allowed to handle nuclear weapons. Only servicemen specialized in specific handling and loading procedures, are perm certified to handle, access and load nuclear warheads.

Every service personnel that moves or even touches these weapons must sign a tracking paper and has total accountability for their movement. There is good reason for the paperwork behind moving these weapons. The military officers that order the movement of nuclear weapons, including base commanders, must also fill out paper forms.

In other words, unauthorized removal of nuclear weapons would be virtually impossible to accomplish unless the chain of command were bypassed, involving, in this case, the deliberate tampering of the paperwork and tracking procedures.”

Top US general praises man who got US into Iraq, WMD fabricator Ahmad Chalabi article from The Raw Story:

“The controversial Iraqi politician and alleged Iranian intelligence asset — perhaps as responsible as anyone in drumming up false pre-war claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons capabilities — has reemerged as a central figure in the latest US attempts to put his broken country back together.

Chalabi’s latest job, according to McClatchy Newspapers, is lobbying Iraq’s central government to build on security gains to provide “better electricity, health, education and local security services to Baghdad neighborhoods.”

Before the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Chalabi was a primary merchant of bogus intelligence that inflated the country’s weapons capabilities and ties to terrorists. His top customers were the White House, Pentagon and American journalists.

Most surprising, perhaps is his alleged associations with Iran. According to a 2004 report in the UK Guardian, US intelligence has “hard evidence” that Chalabi passed US secrets to Iran.

“Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbor, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq,” the paper said.

FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All – and Face Charges article from The Brad Blog:

“‘Gag Ordered’ Former Translator Seeks to Tell Congress and the American People What She Knows

Online Petition Launched Calling on Congress to Hold Joint Public Hearings by the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to Finally Allow the Truth of Her Allegations to be Told…

She’s fought her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the very same day that the facade cracked on the front of the building and a chunk of marble — just above an allegorical statue representing “Order” and just below the words “Equal Justice” — came crashing to the ground. The highest court in the land refused to hear her case.

Along the way, the Dept. of Justice has done everything in their power (and then some) to keep her quiet. They invoked the rarely used “State Secrets Privilege” to shut her up — going so far as to use it, without explanation, to remove her and her own attorneys from the courtroom when arguing their case against her.

In at least two unclassified Senate briefings, FBI officials confirmed the validity of her reports, but the information from those briefings was then retroactively classified by the DoJ — which served to gag the Congress from further investigation on the matter. The DoJ even retroactively classified a 60 Minutes profile on her — after it had already aired!”

A Review of the FBI’s Actions In Connection With Allegations Raised By Contract Linguist Sibel report from the Federation of American Scientists:

The Introduction:

“This report describes the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) investigation of allegations raised by Sibel Edmonds, a former Contract Linguist (CL) for the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation (FBI). Edmonds worked for the FBI from September 20, 2001, until March 2002, when her services as a CL for the FBI were terminated. Before that termination, she had raised a series of allegations regarding the FBI’s CL program, including security concerns about actions by a co-worker related to potential espionage.

Our review found that Edmonds had written several memoranda to her supervisors raising her concerns about the co-worker. Edmonds prepared one of her memoranda, dated February 8, 2002, on her home computer, after first obtaining a supervisor’s permission to write it at home. According to the FBI, that memorandum contained classified information, and Edmonds’ use of her home computer to process classified information was a security violation.

Edmonds’ supervisor referred Edmonds’ February 8 memorandum containing her allegations to a Security Supervisor. The Language Supervisor also reported Edmonds’ security violation to the Security Supervisor. After a cursory investigation of Edmonds’ allegations, the Security Office concluded that Edmonds’ allegations against the co-worker were unsubstantiated and that Edmonds’ security violation was inadvertent.

Edmonds continued to complain about the co-worker, and asserted that FBI supervisors were protecting the co-worker. Edmonds also raised her concerns to higher-level officials in the FBI, to the OIG, and to Congress. In addition, Edmonds raised other allegations regarding the language program to the OIG. For example, Edmonds made allegations of travel voucher fraud and time and attendance abuse. Edmonds also alleged that the FBI had hired unqualified personnel and used one of them to translate military interviews despite that person’s weak language skills.

On March 22, 2002, the FBI stopped using Edmonds’ translation services, and on March 26 the FBI terminated her contract. Edmonds complained that the termination was in retaliation for her complaints, and the OIG agreed to investigate this matter.”

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds: ‘I Will Tell All, & Name (new) Names’ article from The Daily Kos

Rumsfeld flees France fearing arrest article from World News:

“Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of “ordering and authorizing” torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” for six years.

Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.”

Insanity Is Trump: Bush And The Prudent Man Rule article from OpEdNews:

“I have been in the financial and political world for nearly 40 years.  I have dealt with the most powerful political and business people during that time.  That experience was enhanced by founding Air America Radio and Nova M Radio.  For many years I used to be able to rely on what is called the “prudent man rule.”  An alternative to this is referred to as the “rational adversary” concept.  In political terms, the USSR was the best example of the “rational adversary.”  Even totalitarian nations generally have a survival instinct.

Yesterday I watched the PBS Frontline episode about Iran.  Most people do not know as was pointed out in the episode that Iran condemned 911 and helped us overthrow the Taliban in 2002.  Iran had a reformer as its president who was reaching out to the US until the famous “axis of evil” speech by Bush in 2002.  Despite that, the Iranian president sent through the Swiss channel an offer of a lasting piece with Iran and a cessation of their nuclear program and aggressive attitude towards Israel.  Unfortunately for US, Bush did not respond because he was determined to invade Iraq and ultimately if successful do the same to Iran.

This was a blunder of monumental proportions to our national security and the stability of the region.  Now that the Bush Administration is going into its last year, it would seem that they would be more willing to salvage some legacy. This would be true for any rational administration.  But, as I have learned painfully in the last few years, the “prudent man rule” and the “rational adversary” theory are becoming less reliable.  I have coined a term for this: “insanity is trump.”  You can throw away the rule book for the Bush Administration because he and Cheney have lost their minds.  We are dealing with desperate wounded irrational people in those two.  And that is cause for great alarm to those in the Democratic leadership that believe that they can ride out the storm until January 20, 2009.  They cannot and human survival is in jeopardy if they do.”

CNN’s Jack Cafferty Calls On Viewers to Overthrow Bush video from AlterNet:

“It’s not like anybody gave President Bush any of these powers — he took them, as a brain-dead Congress just stood there and watched,” says Cafferty.”

Truth Matters article from OpEdNews

The Bush Era’s Dark Legacy of Torture article from AlterNet

U.S. House of Representatives passes Thought Crime Prevention Bill article from Wake Up From Your Slumber:

“The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution.”

Sadly, Arianna, “Hardball-Playing Democrats” Is An Oxymoron article from The Huffington Post:

“The humiliating spectacle of this quivering party, returned to power with the express mandate of stopping this sadistic madman and instead contemptibly giving him whatever he wants, as if he wasn’t the most despised man in America, is beyond nauseating. “Poor us, we don’t have the votes to stop the war.” What sickening crap! As Arianna pointed out, in fact they can stop the war any Goddamn time they want, and what they’re really saying is, “We don’t have the balls to stop the war. We stink of fear for our jobs and nothing is more important to us than that, certainly not mere trifles like the lives of our citizens, or the Constitution.”

Guantanamo military lawyer breaks ranks to condemn ‘unconscionable’ detention article from the Independent UK News:

“An American military lawyer and veteran of dozens of secret Guantanamo tribunals has made a devastating attack on the legal process for determining whether Guantanamo prisoners are “enemy combatants”.

The whistleblower, an army major inside the military court system which the United States has established at Guantanamo Bay, has described the detention of one prisoner, a hospital administrator from Sudan, as “unconscionable”.

His critique will be the centrepiece of a hearing on 5 December before the US Supreme Court when another attempt is made to shut the prison down. So nervous is the Bush administration of the latest attack – and another Supreme Court ruling against it – that it is preparing a whole new system of military courts to deal with those still imprisoned.

The whistleblower’s testimony is the most serious attack to date on the military panels, which were meant to give a fig- leaf of legitimacy to the interrogation and detention policies at Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. The major has taken part in 49 status review panels.

“It’s a kangaroo court system and completely corrupt,” said Michael Ratner, the president of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, which is co-ordinating investigations and appeals lawsuits against the government by some 1,000 lawyers. “Stalin had show trials, but at Guantanamo they are not even show trials because it all takes place in secret.”

23 US Attorneys General visit Isreal article from Wake Up From Your Slumber

Up to 80 Congressmen visit Isreal in August article from Wake Up From Your Slumber

Is Bush’s Penchant for Torture Tied to a Secret Sado-Masochistic Past? article from Pensito Review:

“In her book, “Lustful Utterances: Cohn to Bush 1981-1986,” Leola McConnell, a retired “muscle dominatrice,” claims to have participated in BDSM sex with George W. Bush back in the day when he was just a superannuated fratboy and son of the vice president. Here’s a quote from the book’s online promotional material:

Through “Lustful Utterances,” the reader can take a safe journey into the world of BDSM and into the very disturbed psyche of Alfred Bloomingdale, Roy Cohn and George Bush. Through Leola’s keen observations regarding BDSM, readers will look into the twisted psyche of these three men from a vantage point never before revealed by a dominatrice.”

Talking Points Memo – D’Oh: House Panel Screw-Up Reveals Whistleblower Email Addresses article from TPMmuckraker:

It takes talent to be this incompetent:

“Here’s a whoops with a capital W.

This summer the House Judiciary Committee launched an effort to collect tips from would-be whistleblowers in the Justice Department. The U.S. attorney firings scandal had shown that much was amiss in the Department, and with the danger of retaliation very real, the committee had set up a form on the committee’s website for people to blow the whistle privately about abuses there. Although the panel said it would not accept anonymous tips, it assured those who came forward that their identity would be held in the “strictest confidence.”

But in an email sent out today, the committee inadvertently sent the email addresses of all the would-be whistleblowers to everyone who had written in to the tipline. The committee email was sent to tipsters who had used the website form, including presumably whistleblowers themselves, and all of the recipients of the email were accidentally included in the “to:” field — instead of concealing those addresses with a so-called blind carbon copy or “bcc:”.

It’s not immediately clear whether the mistake will lead to the exposure of those who had contacted the committee. There are more than 150 recipient addresses revealed in the email. Some of the email addresses appear to be transparently fake, but there’s also, much more troubling, a vice_president@whitehouse.gov carbon copied on the email, which is the public email address for Vice President Dick Cheney. In other words, an email containing the email addresses of all the whistleblowers who had written in to the committee tipline was sent to public email address of Vice President Cheney.”

MSNBC: Leaked memos show Giuliani’s ignorance of terrorism before 9/11 article from The Raw Story:

‘I Don’t Think This Place Is Worth Another Soldier’s Life’ article from the Washington Post: After 14 months in a Baghdad district torn by mounting sectarian violence, members of one U.S. unit are tired, bitter and skeptical.

From CIA Jails, Inmates Fade Into Obscurity article from The Washington Post

Telephone Utilities: Top 20 Recipients report from OpenSecrets.org (from 2006) – notice that Hillary Clinton received $87,130 in contributions from Telecoms…what’s her stance on retroactive telecom immunity?

Hillary Clinton, A Bundle of Telecom Money….And A Strange Silence article from The Huffington Post

The Common People article from The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader:

“It took common people – farmers, brewers, printers, silversmiths – to write the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights some 218 years ago. And it looks as if it’s up to the common people to try to defend those principles.

Somebody has to step up here.

The Bush administration mocks each provision of the Bill of Rights that protects private citizens from their government, and likewise pushes past constitutional constraints that protect other branches of government from the presidency.

Meanwhile, most federal courts equivocate their way to approve most of these actions, and Congress, even though in control of the opposition party, dithers and compromises away our basic rights for fear of accusations of being soft on terror. The media, meanwhile, fawns and yawns its way through this immense power grab, distracted by the search for another faux pas by Britney Spears or startling new evidence about who killed Princess Diana.

The good news comes out of 12 jurors in a Dallas courtroom on Monday. The jury sat and listened for two months to the testimony of federal agents, Israeli intelligence officers, wiretaps, videotapes and saw thousands of documents produced by government prosecutors. They worked their way through 197 counts of charges against a charitable fundraising organization called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Muslim organization that says it directs funds to the construction of hospitals and providing food for the poor in Palestine.

The Bush Administration closed the group down and froze its assets in December 2001 for supposedly financing terror attacks and murder around the world. The case against the Holy Land Foundation was the largest prosecution case by the U.S. government against an Islamic fundraising group.

Instead , a jury of common people told the judge, after two months of testimony and 19 days of sifting through testimony and evidence, that they were ready to acquit three of five defendants on almost all charges and could not reach a verdict on the other defendants or charges. The judge declared a mistrial and threw the case out.”

British security co. sued over death of U.S. soldier article from Reuters

So the Constitution Really Is Just a G**d*** Piece of Paper article from thisisby.us

Meanwhile, At The Federal Communications Commission article from Tapped – the group blog of the American Prospect:

“An attempt to relax the FCC rules about media concentration in specific markets is once again alive. The FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin wants to get rid of that troublesome 1970s ruling which barred media conglomerates from owning both a broadcast station and a newspaper in the same area. The Nation’s Peter Rothberg called Martin’s proposal “both a mogul’s dream and a citizen’s nightmare.”:

As my friend and colleague John Nichols wrote last week, “Bush’s chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has initiated a scheme to radically rewrite media ownership rules so that one corporation can own the daily newspapers, the weekly ‘alternative’ newspaper, the city magazine, suburban publications, the eight largest radio stations, the dominant broadcast and cable television stations, popular internet news and calendar sites, billboards and concert halls in even the largest American city.”

If all this gives you a feeling of deja vu, you are correct.

A similar attempt not that long ago was stopped by an astonishingly bipartisan opposition. This time it is Senators Trent Lott and Byron Dorgan, from different sides of the political aisle, who are opposing this FCC move.”

Democrats Plan a Shorter Workweek article from The New York Times

Fred Hiatt’s concern over “costly litigation” for AT&T and Verizon article from Salon News:

“Of all the dumb and dishonest arguments in favor of telecom amnesty — and there are many — the dumbest and most dishonest is that it is unfair to subject telecoms to the “high costs” of defending against these lawsuits. It should come as no surprise, then, that this is the principal argument The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt advances today in his latest call for telecom amnesty:

As we have said, we do not believe that these companies should be held hostage to costly litigation in what is essentially a complaint about administration activities.

In 2005, the total revenue of Verizon — from telephone services alone — was $75 billion. ATT’s total 2006 revenue was $63 billion. Whatever the “costs” of defending these lawsuits are, it is a minscule — really undetectable — amount to these companies. Whatever the telecoms’ motives are in wanting amnesty for their lawbreaking, being relieved from “costly litigation” has nothing to do with it.”

I’m dressing up as a melting polar ice cap article from Salon News:

“Because that’s scary. Almost as scary as the possible reelection of the party of the scaremonger in chief.

New Rule: This Halloween, every time you see something that’s supposed to scare you, like a skeleton or a severed head or the ingredients in diet pudding … take a moment and think about fear: What are you afraid of; what should you be afraid of. What’s really scary this Halloween is that the same group of idea-free losers who won the last presidential election could win the next one by making us afraid of the wrong things. Which is why this year for Halloween, I’m going as something truly horrifying: a melting polar ice cap.

This week — as every week — all the Republican candidates talked about was who was toughest in the war on terror. While the country’s most populous state literally burned. The Democrats, as usual, said nothing, because they didn’t want to offend fire.

The Republicans, including the scaremonger in chief, sell themselves as protectors of our safety. But since they’re all, except for McCain, armchair warriors, they’re only comfortable protecting us from fears they made up. Like the way Iran is itching for a war with the United States now. Ahmadinejad is pure evil! Terror has a new name, and it’s nearly unpronounceable.”

Army: Black Soldiers Wronged in POW Case article from Salon News

Why not a phony press secretary, too? article from Salon News

Is God Running for President? article from OpEdNews

Giuliani Resembles Bush on Terror War article from The Huffington Post:

“Rudy Giuliani, to quote a Democratic rival, would be like President Bush on steroids in the way he would go about protecting the U.S. from terrorists. In reality, Giuliani doesn’t seem very different from Bush on the issue.

The former New York mayor says the government shouldn’t be shy about eavesdropping on citizens. He is prepared to use military force to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and root out terrorists in Pakistan. And he opposes a U.S. pullout from Iraq.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, a Giuliani friend and adviser on homeland security issues, said in an interview: “I would say they’re very much joined at the hip on these policies, and particularly the mind-set and commitment of both the president and Mayor Giuliani to stay on offense.”

Pentagon reels from second major nuclear arms blunder in a month article from The Daily Mail UK

No plan, no peace in Iraq article from BBC UK News:

“How did the US come to invade Iraq with no post-war plan for governing Iraq – and how much did Tony Blair know of the matter?”

Iran says documents show U.S. backing “terrorists” article from Reuters UK:

“Iran has access to evidence of U.S. support for terrorist groups in the Middle East, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Iran’s new chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, made the allegation in comments to visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, whose country may soon send troops to hunt down Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq.

Tehran says the rebels are operating in Iraq with U.S. forces present in the country and this shows Washington is refraining from tackling them.”

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