Another shining example of corruption under the guise of Bush Administration style justice — being guilty until proven innocent — being reported shows how the federal government treats its citizens, using convoluted ‘laws’ full of loosely worded loopholes to allegedly ‘protect the citizens’ that wind up being twisted around and used against them as a license to steal.
Luther Ricks Sr. is a 63-year-old married man, retired from Ohio Steel Foundry who said he has always had a safe at home and never had a bank account. He and his wife, who both worked, saved money during their lifetime while living a modest life. The safe contained $402,767 — the result of their lifetime of saving.
On June 30 this summer Ricks and his son were being attacked by two robbers who broke into Ricks house. His son was stabbed. Ricks was able to break free, grab a gun fatally shoot one of the robbers.
FBI Confiscates Life Savings From Police
Lima police originally confiscated the money when they found a small amount of marijuana. Ricks smokes marijuana to help ease the pain of his arthritis, shingles and his hip replacement.
Ricks was not charged with any crime and was cleared in the fatal shooting. In spite of that, the FBI decided to step in and take the money from the police department and has refused to return it.
The FBI says he has to prove that he made it. Since Ricks has no money, he can’t afford an attorney to fight for his life savings.
Jeff Gamso, American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Legal Director says Ricks has a tough road ahead; while not impossible, it will be tough to get his money back, noting that the law of forfeiture basically says you have to prove you’re innocent. The law is tilted in favor of the FBI — Ricks doesn’t need to be charged with a crime and there is a good chance that the FBI will keep the money since the law will presume it is the result of ill-gotten gains.
Ricks can pursue it and try to convince a judge that he had the money through a lifetime of savings, but asking the FBI to return it usually doesn’t work. If the FBI does keep the money, it would allegedly be put towards law enforcement use.
Links to More Information
Links to the information above as well as numerous other links and snippets to a lot more information can be found below:
Man wants his $400K back from the FBI article from The Lima News
Editorial: Guilty until proven innocent article from The Lima News:
“That stuff about innocent until government proves you’re guilty? Forget it in this police state that the federal government, particularly the FBI, seems to believe we should be living in.
Never mind Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, which stipulates, “…The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by law have directed.”
Ricks received no trial, but the government can just seize his money? Based on what? The belief he might be guilty of something. It’s up to Ricks to provide evidence the money in his possession was his. So much for being innocent until the government proves you’re guilty.
Never mind that the same Constitution’s Fifth Amendment states that no person “shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Again, the government is depriving Ricks of both property and the liberty that money helps provide, based on a hunch it doesn’t even intend to attempt to prove.”
Now We Know Why There’s A Press Blackout On S 1959 – It’s Called “ENDGAME” By DHS article from OpEdNews:
“Today I received a tip by a fellow writer that KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc.), a subsidiary of Halliburton, was behind the creation of Senate Bill S 1959, otherwise known as the “Thought Crime Prevention Bill”, or by its legal designation, the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.” I wasn’t able to make a solid connection that indicated KBR was actually behind the introduction of S 1959, but what I did find demonstrates we are likely approaching the final days when Homeland Security (sic) implements their “final solution” which DHS has labeled as “EndGame.”
This is what I found, researched it thoroughly – and unfortunately, unless “the people” react in the millions, life in these United States is about to change forever, and apparently, it could also end for thousands, if not millions of Americans:
The contract of the Halliburton subsidiary KBR to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.” In the 1980s Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld discussed similar emergency detention powers as part of a super-secret program of planning for what was euphemistically called “Continuity of Government” (COG). These men planned for suspension of the Constitution, not just after nuclear attack, but for any “national security emergency,” which they vaguely defined in Executive Order 12656 of 1988.”
Liberty For Life Association home page
Lots of information regarding the illicit activities of ‘our’ federal government.
Letter to Congress about FISA S2248 article from OpEdNews:
“There is a real need to mention certain points regarding this legislation and how it came about that do not pertain to the need to enhance surveillance regarding ‘terrorists’.
1. September 11th, 2001 did NOT occur because this legislation wasn’t in place; simply stated, it occurred because of the failure of the Bush Administration to act on warnings (especially those of foreign governments) and the lack of co-ordination between and within various ‘intelligence’ agencies.
2. To think that ‘terrorists’ are not aware of the technical prowess of the United States to monitor communications simply ignores reality. Do any of you remember the United Nations scandal where the United States was ousted for planting bugs and tapping phone lines in the offices of the United Nations? And that an official of one of the countries bugged indicated that ‘everyone assumes that communications are monitored and take the necessary steps to ensure private communications?”
3. The ‘Protect America Act’ was pushed through by the Bush Administration as part of its strategy to avoid culpability for knowingly violating the law and, as you know, is EXTREMELY flawed legislation. And EVERY time civil liberties are sacrificed on the altar of ‘security’, that is but another victory for terrorism.
4. ANY legislation that Bush doesn’t concur fully with gets a ‘signing statement’ that according to his legal advice allows him the discretion to do what he please regarding legislation he signs. And NO ONE in Congress has taken him to court to regarding such legal reasoning. Adding amendments to legislation is inviting the Bush Administration to interpret such legislation as he sees fit and the ‘exclusivity’ Senator Feinstein has introduced will simply be swept aside via ‘signing statement’.
5. It is now been reported that the Bush Administration started the processes by which all communications in the United States –regardless of status or citizenship- just two weeks after taking office in 2000. This ‘should’ tell you all you need to know of the real intent in pushing for legal immunity within the changes to the FISA. How many times do you need to be lied to before you ‘get it’?”
The List of Bush Scandals — 60 Ft. Long and Growing article from FireDogLake
“Pups, I don’t think it is any secret that I, like so many here, am a huge fan of both Hugh’s List and Bob in Hawaii’s Priming the Pump wiki. I think both of these projects will turn out to be of mammoth importance in maintaining a usable historical record, not only for impeachment and prosecution purposes — should we ever fully restore the rule of law — but for the even more lasting judgment of history.
Well, Hugh’s List has been getting some additional exposure lately and I wanted to take a moment to celebrate that and spread the word.
Edward Teller put a great post up over at Progressive Alaska about printing out and displaying the then 60 foot long scroll of Hugh’s List. It has great photos and is just a terrific idea for getting people to pay attention. One very cool bit of political demonstration. It could be replicated anywhere—and maybe should be?”
What if America Were Invaded and Occupied? article from AlterNet:
“Unembedded” journalist Dahr Jamail reviews Meeting Resistance.
“Suppose Iraq invaded America. And an Iraqi soldier was on a tank passing through an American street, waving his gun at the people, threatening them, raiding and trashing houses. Would you accept that? This is why no Iraqi can accept occupation, and don’t be surprised by their reactions,” says “The Imam,” a young man from a mixed Sunni-Shia family, as he explains the genesis of the insurgency in Iraq and its exponential growth.
He is one of the protagonists that Meeting Resistance presents as unmistakable evidence that the root cause of the conflict in Iraq is the occupation itself. The film has resistance fighters themselves tell their story.”
Hugh’s List of Bush Scandals article from NetRootsMass.net
A long detailed list of 292 (so far) scandals and crimes committed. Well done:
“INTRODUCTION: George Bush, the Connecticut cowboy, the good old boy from Yale is a man of mediocre intelligence, little imagination, and great stubbornness and vindictiveness. He may be the Decider but his handlers have long known how to manipulate him. The key is to hook him with short, simple sells. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice know that once he has consulted his gut and perhaps his higher father his decision is forever. So whoever gets to him first is likely to carry the day because he doesn’t like to be challenged and is, quite simply, too lazy to change his mind. The Bubble is a natural consequence of this decision making process where logic, reason, and facts have little or no role.
….Bush’s Presidency began in the shadow of a contested and likely stolen election and promised to be unsuccessful in a largely forgettable and unremarkable way. 9-11 changed all that and transformed a plodding, and essentially AWOL one termer into an accidental hero. Enormous power flowed to his office but Bush had no idea how to use it. He liked to campaign, not govern. In those around him, he prized loyalty over competence and honesty. A believer in the notion of “to the victor go the spoils,” he was the perfect mark for every conniver, bumbler, bungler, hack, hanger on, and would be crony that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and their friends could find. In the normal course of things, this would have spelled failure. Post-911, it was catastrophic.
….At this critical juncture in our history we needed an adult but got an adolescent. Instead of responsibility, we got a truant. In place of flexibility we got obduracy. In the face of great and complex challenges, we got strawmen, a black and white universe, my way or the highway, regurgitated stump speeches, and a steadfast refusal to compromise not just with opponents but with reality.
….What all this comes down to is that George Bush should never have become our President. He is not just a bad President but the worst one we could have had, the worst our country has ever seen. This is a judgment that many Americans have come to but which our political establishment and media, even after 6 years, have yet to acknowledge, accept, and act on. This is the tragedy and crime of our times.”
Giuliani Secretive As Mayor article from News and Policy:
“Under an unprecedented agreement that didn’t become public until after he left office, Giuliani secreted out of City Hall the written, photographic and electronic record of his eight years in office — more than 2,000 boxes.
In a Republican presidential candidates’ debate last week, Giuliani asserted: ”My government in New York City was so transparent that they knew every single thing I did almost every time I did it. … I can’t think of a public figure that’s had a more transparent life than I’ve had.”
But the public record, as reviewed by The Associated Press, shows a City Hall that had a reputation of resistance — even hostility — toward open government, the First Amendment and the public’s access to simple facts and figures.”
Evidence Mounts Of White House Ties To New Hampshire Phone Jamming Scheme article from Think Progress:
“On the morning of election day 2002, repeated hang-up calls assaulted six phone lines tied to the New Hampshire Democratic Party. Three Republican operatives, including consultant Allen Raymond, eventually ended up in jail for their involvement in the phone jamming scheme. A fourth, former RNC offical James Tobin, will begin a second trial in February.
In his new book, Raymond alleges that the scandal goes “to the top of the Republican Party” because “the Bush White House had complete control of the RNC” and there was no way such a risky tactic wouldn’t have been “vetted by” Tobin’s “high-ups”:
Norman Solomon Smacks Down Glenn Beck on His Own Show [VIDEO] and article from AlterNet
IRS Spends $188,000 on Clerical Contract article from Salon News:
“Dec 20th, 2007 | WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service paid a contractor $188,000 to provide one person to do clerical work over 11 months.
The contract was included as one example of financial waste in a government report Thursday on the tax agency’s involvement in a new program ordered by President Bush in 2004 to develop more secure ID cards for federal workers.
The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration said the IRS also needlessly spent almost $2 million on a computer security system that the tax agency doesn’t plan using at this time.”
Blindly Into the Bubble article from The New York Times
A lot of the blame for the mortgage crisis goes back to Greenspan.
Teen Dies After Transplant Funds Nixed article from The Associated Press:
Nothing like bureaucracy at work. Good job CIGNA:
“GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) – A 17-year old died just hours after her health insurance company reversed its decision not to pay for a liver transplant that doctors said the girl needed.
Nataline Sarkisyan died Thursday night at about 6 p.m. at University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. She had been in a vegetative state for weeks, said her mother, Hilda.
“She passed away, and the insurance (company) is responsible for this,” she said.
Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant and sent a letter to CIGNA Healthcare on Dec. 11. The Philadelphia-based health insurance company denied payment for the transplant.”
Reid and company target the true enemy: “Dodd and his allies” article from Salon News
Newtork neutrality | Freedom of expression at risk article from The Seattle Times
Grand Jury: “Can We Indict Bush & Cheney?” article from The Smirking Chimp:
“The answer is: Yes! A recently expired grand jury raised the question. It might have indicted but for a few details. Think of it. Bushman and Dickster might have been looking at hard jail time, impeachment, the possibility of war crimes trials.
My recent article –How the People May Bring Criminal Charges Against Bush –urged citizens to petition a judge to empanel a grand jury. My article pointed out that the people themselves may petition a court to convene a grand jury to investigate Bush’s corrupt administration. Such a panel would have the power of the subpoena and the indictment. The legal standard for bringing an indictment against Bush or Cheney is “probable cause”.
Bonuses on Wall Street surge 14 percent article from Yahoo! News and The Associated Press:
“NEW YORK – This might have been one of Wall Street’s most dismal years in a decade, but that hasn’t stopped bonus checks from rising an average of 14 percent.
Four of the biggest U.S. investment banks – Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. – will pay out about $49.6 billion in compensation this year. Of that, bonuses are traditionally estimated to represent 60 percent, or almost $30 billion.
But that might not sit well with investors who held on to investment bank stocks this year – and watched them plunge by up to 45 percent. Investment houses have been slammed by the credit crisis, and top executives this past week said they’ve yet to see a bottom.”
U.S. Intelligence Seen “Retreating into Greater Secrecy” article from The Intelligence Daily
Despite ‘High Note,’ Bush Scolds Congress as Wasteful article from The New York Times:
Nothing like the pot calling the kettle black:
“WASHINGTON – Having beaten back most of the Democrats’ legislative initiatives, President Bush chided Congress on Thursday for wasteful spending and announced that his budget director would seek ways to reverse some of the thousands of spending projects attached to a huge spending bill.
Mr. Bush said he and the Congress had ended the year “on a high note,” welcoming a new energy bill, provisions to help people struggling to refinance mortgages, a deferral of the alternative minimum tax that could have affected millions of middle-class taxpayers and an agreement on a $555 billion spending plan that avoided new taxes.”
Talking Points Memo – State Dept document from 2005 Shows Fraud in Blackwater’s Iraq Contract article from TPMmuckraker
Chertoff Attacks Bill of Rights, Corporate Media Ignores Story article from TruthNews.us:
“Chertoff insists the scheme to turn spy satellites – that were originally designed for foreign surveillance – on Americans is legal, although a House committee that would approve the program has not been updated on the program for three months,” in other words there is no “legal framework,” but then the neocons don’t need no stinkin’ legal framework.
Even so, Chertoff said not to worry, because “warrants will be obtained when required before collecting satellite intelligence, and the program won’t use technology to intercept verbal communications.”
Of course, capturing verbal communications is not the job of the Ministry, but rather the NSA. Chertoff takes us for morons – and, apparently, a lot of us are – when he promises to obtain warrants and obey the Constitution, sort of the same way Bush’s massive snoop program obtains warrants. Chertoff is simply attempting to mollify us, not that the corporate media is following this story. Naturally, this makes perfect sense, as there are other, more important stories to report on, for instance the pregnancy of Britney Spears’ sixteen year old sister.”
Power of the People Moves Corporate Media to Do the Right Thing article from OpEdNews:
“A massive outpouring of angry mail and phone calls to the nation’s leading newspapers led to editors calling Congress members Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), after having turned down an op-ed by the three calling for immediate hearings on the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.
At least one of those papers, the Miami Herald, which is in Rep. Wexler’s congressional district, reversed itself and decided to run an edited version of the editorial it had rejected only days earlier.
Wexler urged activists in favor of impeachment to put increasing pressure on their own congressional representatives, on their local news outlets, and on other members of the Judiciary Committee to support hearings on Cheney’s impeachable actions, and vowed to bring a petition he has set up on line, which has garnered over 120,000 signatures in less than a week’s time, to show every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. “I will be asking every Democrat on that committee to support immediate hearings,” said the six-term Congressman.”
War Is Sell – Washington’s Power Elite Are the Beneficiaries of War article from Prison Planet:
“War has always been a profitable money machine for shrewd investors with foresight, but the extremely close connections of the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based private equity investment firm and major war profiteer, to the Bush and bin Laden families-and the current occupant of the White House-raise unavoidable questions of waging war for profit.
Established in 1987 the Carlyle Group was founded by David Rubenstein, a former staff member in the Jimmy Carter White House, and his two partners, Dan D’Aniello and Bill Conway. Today there are 18 partners in the firm and one outside investor. The Washington Post has described Carlyle as a “merchant banking firm” set up “to serve corporations and wealthy families.” From the beginning the founders of Carlyle have recruited former politicians as consultants: former President George H. W. Bush is among them-along with a host of other Bush family cronies.
The Bush connection to the Carlyle Group is nothing short of a scandal, according to Larry Klayman, a notable government watchdog best known for pursuing the scandals of former President Bill Clinton.”
Huckabee: ‘If Anything,’ We Treat Inmates At Guantanamo Bay ‘Too Nice’ article from Think Progress
Gates: Qaeda has regrouped in Pakistann border area article from Yahoo! News and Reuters
Here come the fear tactics from an administration with no credibility left.
Bush & Cheney Send Chocolates, Long-Stemmed Roses, $29 Billion to ExxonMobil article from Avant News (2006):
“ExxonMobil executives were surprised today by a Valentine’s Day gift from President Bush and Vice President Cheney containing Godiva chocolates, 24 exquisite long-stemmed roses, and a $29 billion corporate welfare grant package consisting of tax breaks, tax incentives, reduced taxes, rebates on taxes both paid and unpaid, and several freight trains filled with cash. A spokesman for the grateful oil conglomerate said the company was “pleased as punch” by the subsidy and “would have something real nice for the whole gang when the time comes.”
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the unusually large federal relief package was in response to rumors the oil giant may be in danger of suffering from “fractionally reduced profit margins” as a consequence of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and reduced consumer demand due to higher oil prices.”
Cheney Repeatedly Met With Auto Execs Before White House Killed California’s Emissions Law article from Think Progress:
“Before EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson “answered the pleas of industry executives” by announcing his “decision to deny California the right to regulate greenhouse gases from vehicles,” auto executives directly appealed to Vice President Cheney. EPA staffers told the LA Times that Johnson “made his decision” only after Cheney met with the executives.
On multiple occasions in October and November, Cheney and White House staff members met with industry executives, including the CEOs of Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler. At the meetings, the executives objected to California’s proposed fuel economy standards:”
Time to Cover Up? article from OpEdNews
Another story of Time magazine not getting facts right.
Post-Torture America: Do You Feel Safer? article from The Rude Pundit:
“Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen was abducted and held in Macedonia and Afghanistan, says about his transfer to a jail, “I was dragged out of the car, pushed roughly into a building, thrown to the floor, and kicked and beaten on the head, the soles of my feet, and the small of my back. I was left in a small, dirty, cold concrete cell. There was no bed and one dirty, military-style blanket and some old, torn clothes bundled into a thin pillow.” A couple of months later, he was dumped on a road in Germany, never charged with anything. In October, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case he brought against the CIA because of “state secrets.” This was done in your name. It was done because the government told you it wants to keep you safe.
Which brings us to the destruction of those CIA interrogation videos in 2005. The more we learn, including now the White House attorneys’ involvement, the more we can see: that it was done not for you. It was done for them. It was to keep them safe.
You and your safety stopped figuring into the equation a long, long time ago. The rest has been a desperate scramble to justify themselves, again and again, no matter who has to suffer.”
How the GOP Abuses Language to Cloak its Criminal Political Agenda article from OpEdNews:
“Let’s make a few things clear at the start. “Water boarding” is not “harsh interrogation” nor is it an “enhanced interrogation technique”. It’s bloody torture. “Water boarding” was invented by the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition –expert in such matters –called it what is: tortura del aqua. In English: Water Torture! I suggest that GOPPERS persisting in playing stupid word games submit themselves to tortura del aqua. Afterward, I will be happy to debate the issue with them.
My comments are in response to the latest GOP absurdity from GOP Senator Kit Bond who likened Water Boarding to “swimming the backstroke”:
More Hypocrisy from Huckabee article from Daily Kos:
“Mike Huckabee recently weighed in on the destruction of the infamous CIA interrogation tapes:
“When we start destroying documents, what are we destroying them for? Are we doing it for security purposes or to cover somebody’s rear end?” the former Arkansas governor said on Fox News Sunday. “If we’re covering somebody’s rear end, we need to expose their rear end and kick their rear end for doing something that’s against the best interest of the United States and the responsibility and the respectability of this country.”
Sounds like a reasonable statement. However, it was just one year ago that Huckabee ordered that all 83 computers and 4 servers used by his staff in Arkansas were to be destroyed. From the Arkansas Arkansas Democrat Gazette:”
The déjà vu of no accountability article from The Baltimore Sun:
“In the wake of the Vietnam War, none of those responsible for the lies and mistakes that took us to Southeast Asia and kept us mired in that conflict for more than a decade was held accountable in any way. To us – three former U.S. Army captains who served in the Iraq war – it is clear that not enough American politicians or military leaders learned the most important lessons from that era.
The Bush administration has followed the same script of unaccountability, even appointing Paul Wolfowitz, one of the chief architects of the Iraq quagmire, to head the World Bank. Gen. George Casey, formerly in charge of all ground forces in Iraq and largely responsible for executing inept counterinsurgency warfare, was, like General Westmoreland after the 1968 Tet Offensive, promoted to Army chief of staff.
Consider this particularly disorienting irony: While touring the offices of a number of key leaders in the Pentagon in spring 2006, one of us noticed copies of H. R. McMaster’s acclaimed book, Dereliction of Duty, at eye level on the bookshelves of many ranking officials. That book thoroughly outlines how President Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. McNamara and the generals deceived the American people and failed to discharge their sworn duties. Do those Pentagon officials have no clue? Can they not see how Mr. McMaster’s analysis of the Vietnam War damns their own incompetence and bungling?
Amazingly, there was even a copy of Dereliction of Duty in plain view in then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s office. One would have hoped each copy of that book would have been thoroughly dog-eared by administration officials and generals alike, but the unfortunate conclusion is the contrary. For them, the book apparently is merely an addition to Pentagon décor.”
Tangible Information: US war crimes – EXPLICIT PHOTO WARNING article from Tangibleinfo blogspot:
There are some very graphic photos there. Not for the squeamish.
“They are regarded as “accidents”. They are concealed in a criminal way by “the big circus of the information” which sends its correspondents to follow the tracks of this and that occidental vanished person, but doesn’t make a move or even turn its face to report what happens everyday in Afghanistan: dozens, hundreds of children like those burnt alive by our humanitarian operation.”
(Photo and caption source: http://www.rawa.org/nato_victim.htm)”
Evangelist Video Shot at Air Force Academy Exposed article from Common Dreams:
“A video made by a Christian ministry group shows Air Force Academy cadets being pressured to become “government paid missionaries when they leave” the academy, according to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which released the video this week.”
“LATEST NEWS” item on FoxNews.com front page linked not to news story, but to Republican blog post article from Media Matters
It linked to a Senators blog not a news story. More false news from FOX news that is actually propaganda.
CNN’s Blitzer to Giuliani: “[Y]ou can give me your honest answers, as you always do” article from Media Matters:
“Summary: During an interview on The Situation Room, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said to Rudy Giuliani: “Quick couple of questions, and you can give me your honest answers, as you always do.” Giuliani then proceeded to make a false statement about Sen. Clinton’s health care proposal, which Blitzer did not challenge.”
Ten Worst Telecom Moments of 2007 article from AlterNet
Warnings about Blackwater unheeded article from MSNBC and The Washington Post:
“The Defense Department has paid $2.7 billion for private security in Iraq since 2003, according to a watchdog group. Rules and regulations for contractors have often come from the Private Security Company Association of Iraq, a trade group funded by the security companies.
The U.S. government disregarded numerous warnings over the past two years about the risks of using Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms in Iraq, expanding their presence even after a series of shooting incidents showed that the firms were operating with little regulation or oversight, according to government officials, private security firms and documents.
The warnings were conveyed in letters and memorandums from defense and legal experts and in high-level discussions between U.S. and Iraqi officials. They reflected growing concern about the lack of control over the tens of thousands of private guards in Iraq, the largest private security force ever employed by the United States in wartime.”
The Power of Nightmares article from WakeUpFromYourSlumber.com:
Links to lots of videos showing, among other things:
“In the video, top ranking CIA operatives admit that al-Qaeda is a complete and total fabrication by the CIA. They plainly state that NO SUCH ORGANIZATION HAS EVER EXISTED AT ANY TIME. The fantasy was spun in January 2001 by Jamal al Fadl, a Sudanese who had been with Bin Laden in the early 1990s. Jamal al Fadl stole money from Bin Laden, and then sought protection in the USA. The FBI and CIA paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars to create the al-Qaeda fiction. In fact, al Fadl invented the name al-Qaeda.”
At airport screening pie in the sky may be overly optimistic article from The San Francisco Chronicle
Bush’s Real Record, and the Hidden Agenda for His War article from OpEdNews
More Huckabee Absurdity article from Science Blogs:
“Every time Huckabee starts talking about religion he comes off looking like an ignoramus. MSNBC reports on a conversation Huckabee had with reporters on his campaign bus that included this gem:
“The Ten Commandments form the basis of most of our laws and therefore, you know if you look through them does anybody find anything there that would be all that objectionable? I don’t think most people would if they actually read them,” he said.
Utter nonsense. I can’t see how anyone who has actually read them could possibly think that they are the basis of “most of our laws. Of the ten commandments, only two would even be constitutional in the United States, with a third being constitutional in limited circumstances. The other 7 could not possibly be the basis for any law because they would be clearly unconstitutional. Let’s take a look at them one by one:”
Blair Caught in New Devastating BAE Revelations article from The Intelligence Daily
The Voting System is Broken — and So are the Political Parties article from The Intelligence Daily:
“So why do we keep throwing billions of dollars down a black hole just to maintain this pathetic charade that fools no one? This year every one of the leading candidates is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Every one of them is a “dual loyalist” with a globalist agenda. Every one of them accepts the new regime of curtailed civil liberties, endless war, and free trade. They’re all part of the same corporate effluent that washed into Washington on a wave of special interest payola. They’re all lacquer-hair phonies who’ve never had an original thought in their lives. Everything they think or say comes off a cue-card or teleprompter that flashes poll-tested, focus-group mumbo-jumbo. If a prospective candidate hasn’t sworn his undying allegiance to the cabal of transnational corporations, or taken a blood-oath to defend the doctrine of unfettered self-aggrandizement, or pledged to carry out a bloodthirsty “economy-busting” global crusade; he is quickly banished to the wilderness. Just look at Ron Paul, who collected $6 million in donations in a matter of hours but still can’t even get his picture in the papers. Why is that? It’s because he hasn’t sold his soul to the carpetbagging freebooters who run the system.”
The One Mexican Border-Crossing Immigrant Family That Tancredo Likes? The Romneys article from Think Progress:
“Tom Tancredo, the only candidate for president from either party to declare himself in opposition to legal immigration, and to have a specific aversion to Mexican immigration, dropped out of the presidential race last week. Then he did something quite odd — he endorsed Mitt Romney, the only candidate whose father was born in Mexico and whose family made use of the porous border to immigrate between Mexico and the United States.
Tancredo made his endorsement because he was enamored by Romney’s recent — apparently hypocritical — conversion on immigration. Romney has been running ads across Iowa decrying what he now believes is the horrible impact of “illegal immigrants.”
Well here’s a little fact check for Tancredo.
Mitt Romney’s father George was born in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1907, the son of Gaskell Romney and Anna Amelia Pratt. Three generations of Romneys lived in Mexico because Miles Park Romney, a polygamist, moved the family there in 1884 as it became increasingly clear that the U.S. government would not tolerate polygamy in the Utah Territory. The 1882 Edmunds Act stripped polygamists of the basic rights of U.S. citizenship, denying them the right to vote, serve on juries or hold office. Not dissimilar to current immigration raids, U.S. federal agents hunted and arrested polygamists. Polygamists were forced to leave the country or risk jail.”
The Work Remaining article from The New York Times:
“It has been nearly a year since the United States attorneys scandal broke, and much has changed. Many people at the center of the scandal have fled Washington, and new laws and rules have been put in place making it harder to use prosecutors’ offices to win elections. Much, however, remains to be done, starting with a full investigation into the misconduct that may have occurred – something the American people have been denied.
The primary responsibility for giving the public the final answers about what happened, and assurances that it will not happen again, lies with Attorney General Michael Mukasey, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.”
Kansas GOP Chair Sends Email Boasting of voter Caging article from Crooks and Liars
AP Gives Thompson the ’04 Treatment article from HumanEvents.com:
“The Associated Press — once the gold standard of fast and accurate reporting — changed during the Bush presidency. What was liberal bias has reshaped the wire service into one of the most politically activist media outlets. This is a cautionary tale for every Republican candidate. What AP tried to do to Fred Thompson is going to be repeated against any conservative candidate who exudes a whiff of conservatism in the primaries and whichever Republican gains the presidential nomination.
Those of us who cast a leery eye on the media, watching for bias and worse, became used to the AP’s antics by the time the 2004 presidential race was under way. Typical was AP’s coverage of President Bush’s criticism of one of John Kerry’s more outlandish statements. Kerry said the Iraq Coalition was, “…the alliance of the coerced and the bribed.” In a piece titled, “Bush Twists Kerry’s Words on Iraq,” AP’s Jennifer Loven wrote:”
The Torture Tape Cover-up: How High Does It Go? article from OpEdNews:
“When the hideous photographs of torture and abuse emerged from Abu Ghraib in the fall of 2004, they created a public relations disaster for the Bush administration. The White House had painstakingly worked to capitalize on the 9/11 attacks by creating a “war on terror.” Never mind the absurdity of declaring war on a tactic. Central to Bush’s new “war” was the portrayal of us as the good guys and al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein as the bad guys.
But the Abu Ghraib photos of naked Iraqis piled on top of one another, forced to masturbate, led around on leashes like dogs shined the light on U.S. hypocrisy.
Bush justifies his administration’s “harsh interrogation techniques” by maintaining that Zubaydah, under interrogation, fingered Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. But according to investigative journalist Ron Suskind in his 2006 book One Percent Doctrine, it was a “walk-in” who led the CIA to Mohammed in return for a $25 million reward.
Zubaydah evidently wasn’t a top al Qaeda leader. Dan Coleman, one of the FBI’s leading experts on al Qaeda, said Zubaydah “knew very little about real operations, or strategy.” Moreover, Zubaydah was schizophrenic, according to Coleman. “This guy is insane, certifiable split personality.” Coleman’s views were echoed at the top levels of the CIA and were communicated to Bush and Cheney. But Bush scolded CIA director George Tenet, saying, “I said [Zubaydah] was important. You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?” Zubaydah’s minor role in al Qaeda and his apparent insanity were kept secret.”
Bush associates still consolidating their hold on US media article from The Raw Story
We Are All Prisoners Now article from AntiWar.com:
“This year is different. All Americans are now imprisoned in a world of lies and deception created by the Bush Regime and the two complicit parties of Congress, by federal judges too timid or ignorant to recognize a rogue regime running roughshod over the Constitution, by a bought and paid for edia that serves as propagandists for a regime of war criminals, and by a public who have forsaken their Founding Fathers.
Only six members of the House voted against tyrannical legislation that would destroy freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and that would mandate 18 months of congressional hearings to discover Americans with “extreme” views who could be preemptively arrested.
What better indication that the US Constitution has lost its authority when elected representatives closest to the people pass a bill that permits the Bill of Rights to be overturned by the subjective opinion of members of an “Extremist Belief Commission” and Homeland Security bureaucrats? Clearly, Americans face no greater threat than the government in Washington.”
David Addington Pushed To Eliminate Job Of National Archivist Who Challenged Cheney article from Think Progress:
“Leonard also reveals that much of the information Cheney’s office was classifying wasn’t actually “real secrets,” underscoring the need for independent oversight. Some of the materials, for example, contained politically damaging information related to the Valerie Plame leak case:”
Police in thought pursuit article from The Washington Times
Fallujah, the Information War and U.S. Propaganda article from CounterPunch.org:
“The report also makes clear that, in the military’s opinion, the Western press are part of the U.S.’s propaganda operation. This process was facilitated by the embedding of Western reporters in U.S. military units. The U.S. failure in this battle was largely attributable, the authors claim, to the absence of embedded reporters to convey the military’s story.
“The absence of Western media in Fallujah allowed the insurgents greater control of information coming out of Fallujah. Because Western reporters were at risk of capture and beheading, they stayed out and were forced to pool video shot by Arab cameramen and played on Al Jazeera. This led to further reinforcement of anti-Coalition propaganda. For example, false allegations of up to 600 dead and 1000 wounded civilians could not be countered by Western reporters because they did not have access to the battlefield.
Western reporters were also not embedded in Marine units fighting in Fallujah. In the absence of countervailing visual evidence presented by military authorities, Al Jazeera shaped the world’s understanding of Fallujah.”
This account, however, is false. There were at least two “Western reporters,” as well as other Western civilians, inside Fallujah giving detailed information on the effects of the fighting on civilians. While briefly detained by rebels, they were quickly released, rather than beheaded. The report ignores these reporters as they were independents, neither embedded with the U.S. military nor bound by the implicit rules of the mainstream media to give special consideration to U.S. military claims and perspectives. Further, the accounts of these reporters and observers contradicted American military claims.”