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Posted: January 12, 2008, Draft edition

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1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.


Iran-USN incident a fake?


Gareth Porter: Official Version of U.S.-Iranian Naval Incident Starts to Unravel

Democracy Now, 1-11-08 information reveals that the alleged Iranian threat to American naval vessels may have been blown out of proportion. We speak to investigative historian Gareth Porter.

GARETH PORTER: Well, this alleged crisis or confrontation on the high seas is really much less than what met the eyes of the American public as it was reported by news media. And the story really began from leaks from the Pentagon.

I think the next major thing that happened was a briefing by the commander of the 5th fleet in Bahrain, the Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, which is very interesting. If you look carefully at the transcript, which was not reported accurately by the media, or not reported at all practically, the commander—or rather, Vice Admiral Cosgriff actually makes it clear that the ships were never in danger, that they never believed they were in danger, and that they were never close to firing on the Iranian boats. And this is the heart of what actually happened, which was never reported by the US media.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Gareth Porter, there have been some reports about the apparent splicing of audio onto the actual video that appear to be from two different sources. Could you talk about that?

GARETH PORTER: Well, that’s right. I mean, we don’t yet know exactly what the sequence of events was in this incident. We don’t know exactly when the voices that we hear making what appear to be a threat to the American ships, where—when that occurred in the sequence of events in this incident. And it seems very possible that indeed the Pentagon did splice into the recording, the audio recording of the incident, the two bits of messages from a mysterious voice in a way that made it appear to occur in response to the initial communication from the US ship to the Iranian boats. And it seems very possible that, in fact, those voices came at some other point during this twenty-minute incident.

So this is something that really deserves to be scrutinized and, in fact, investigated by Congress, because of the significance, in the larger sense, of a potential major fabrication of evidence in order to make a political point by the Bush administration.

Polish doubts put US defence system in jeopardy


Ian Traynor, Europe Editor

Thursday January 10, 2008,,2238682,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

Poland and Russia engaged in their first direct talks today over the Pentagon's divisive plans to install missile defence systems in central Europe.

The talks took place amid multiplying signs that the project could unravel because of political shifts in the US, Poland and the Czech republic.

Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Kislyak, went to Warsaw to warn the Polish foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, of the "strategic dangers" posed by the project.

The Kremlin is bitterly opposed to the installation of the defence systems and is threatening a new arms race if they go ahead.

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'Russia plans missiles in Belarus'

CNN, 11-14-07

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- A senior general warned Wednesday that Russia could deploy short-range missiles to Belarus as part of efforts to counter the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense sites in Europe, Russian news reports said.

Col. Gen. Vladimir Zaritsky, the chief of artillery and rocket forces for the Russian Ground Troops, said that "any action meets a counteraction, and this is the case with elements of the U.S. missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic," the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
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The U.S. plan would install a radar base in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland -- both former Soviet satellites that are now NATO members.

Russia strongly opposes the idea, saying Iran is decades away from developing missile technology that could threaten Europe or North America, and it says the U.S. bases will undermine Russia's own missile deterrent force.

Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, a pariah in the West for his relentless crackdown on dissent and free media, has relied on Russia's support and the two nations have developed close political and military ties

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India, Russia to strengthen ties

BBC, Nov 13, 07

India and Russia have agreed to boost economic and military ties at the end of Indian PM Manmohan Singh's two-day visit to Russia.

The two sides signed agreements to jointly develop a military transport aircraft and mount a joint mission to the moon, among other things.

Mr Singh met Russian President Vladimir Putin, the latest in a series of yearly meetings between the two allies.

The two countries have had close links since Soviet times.

Mr Singh said both sides were working on an agreement that would allow Russia to build four nuclear reactors in India, according to reports. Russia is already building a civilian nuclear power plant in India.

'Strategic partnership'

"We paid special attention to cooperation in the sphere of nuclear cooperation, to the sphere of military-technical cooperation," Mr Putin was quoted as telling reporters by Reuters news agency.

Oil prices to jump to 200 dollars a barrel if USA invades Iran, Chavez says

Pravda, 11-15-07


"If the US happens to invade Iran, oil will not just reach $100, but $200 per barrel," Chavez said. "Not one drop of oil will leave Iran" in an invasion.


"The same would happen here," as the people of the country will halt exports, he said.


Hugo Chavez, who met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad twice this year, said November 11 that he was going to make another visit to Iran in the next several days.

Putin pulls out of treaty limiting arms in Europe

Russian official says discussion possible on amended version


Peter Finn, Washington Post


Saturday, December 1, 2007


(12-01) 04:00 PST Moscow -- President Vladimir Putin signed a law Friday suspending Russia's participation in a major conventional arms treaty that had limited NATO and Russian military deployments in Europe.


The Kremlin had been threatening all year to scrap the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty, and on Friday, Putin signed a law passed this month by parliament providing for that step. The suspension takes effect Dec. 12.


Putin's decision comes after a campaign marked bySigned in the last days of the Cold War, the arms accord limited the number of tanks, combat aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as artillery pieces and other heavy weapons, that NATO and Russia could deploy in Western Europe and the western part of Russia.


Senior Russian generals have said there will be no immediate deployment of military hardware to Russia's western borders after the suspension. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that Russia is ready to discuss implementing an amended version of the treaty.


The United States, the European Union and NATO all had urged Russia not to suspend the treaty, which was regarded in Western Europe as a cornerstone agreement for maintaining security on the continent. harsh anti-Western rhetoric and claims that the president has restored Russia's ability to stand up to the United States and the NATO alliance.

The Kremlin had previously linked suspension to U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. The United States says the system is intended as defense against a potential threat from Iran, but Russia fears it will be used to peer into its airspace. Russian officials have not

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U.S. objects to Russian treaty plans

- The Associated Press

Published 9:40 am PST Monday, December 3, 2007


The United States asserted Monday that Russia does not have the legal right to suspend participation in a key European arms control treaty.


The claim appeared to be a purely technical objection to Russian President Vladimir Putin signing a law on Friday suspending implementation of the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty.

The suspension would take effect Dec. 12. Under the moratorium, Russia would halt inspections and verifications of its military sites by NATO countries and would no longer be obligated to limit the number of conventional weapons deployed west of the Urals.


The 1990 arms control treaty set limits on deployment of heavy conventional weapons by NATO and Warsaw Pact countries to ease tensions along the border between the old Eastern bloc and Western Europe. The treaty was revised in 1999 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


One arms control expert says the U.S. legal objection has no practical implications.


"On the ground, whether it is called suspension, withdrawal or whatever doesn't really matter," said Wade Boese, research director at the Washington based Arms Control Association, a nonpartisan research group. "What matters is that Russia is going to cease implementing the treaty."


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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Iran and Russia meet to discuss defense cooperation


The Associated Press

Monday, December 24, 2007



TEHRAN, Iran: Iran and Russia discussed defense cooperation, the official IRNA reported Monday, as ties between the two countries have been increasingly flourishing.


Little detail was provided about the meeting. Mohammad Ali Hosseini, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, said a joint defense committee met and both sides reviewed continued cooperation. He did not elaborate.


Last week, Iranian state media said Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, arrived in Tehran to discuss defense cooperation with Iranian Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, regarded as father of country's missile program.


In November, Iran did not deny reports that it aimed to order Russian Sukhoi Su-30 aircraft to bolster its air defenses.


In early 2007, Iran received advanced Russian air defense missile system under a US$700 million contract signed in 2005. Russia has provided Iran with military products such Kilo-Class submarines, MIG and Sukhoi military planes and bombers in the past decades.


Relations between Iran and Russia have been growing closer in recent months, climaxed by a historical visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tehran in October.


Russia is also putting the finishing touches on a 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant in Bushehr, located in southern Iran. Iran received the first shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia last week, paving the way for the startup of its reactor in 2008.



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What's Really Going on Here??

Bush Gives Russia every Reason to ReArm

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 15, 2007


Originally written on March 5, 2007

With our victory in the Cold War came an arrogance that has undermined our “victory.” Rather than be cool, we have moved political, military and economic assets right up to Russia's borders. Remember our response when Russia moved missiles to Cuba?

These unwise moves were practical if antagonizing Russian interests was not a concern, combined with our expectation Russia was to remain in a permanently weakened state. This was a stupid assumption. The rebuilding of Russia has taken on a character of hostility to America in response to our aggressions.

Russia has been moving to counter, if not eliminate, our intrusions into the Ukraine, Georgia, the “stans,” and Belarus.

Russia has determined our militarism requires they rebuild their military forces, and counter our aggressive actions. Russia has interpreted our actions as an invitation to join an arms race. A race for global political influence is sure to follow.

Rebuilding their military forces, and developing a new strategic plan, signals that Russia has sufficiently consolidated its internal affairs to respond vigorously to our aggressions. Russia has consolidated sufficient internal stability to take advantage of the chaos we have plunged the world, and especially Arabic Islam, into.

This is our fault. Our middle eastern foreign policy is based on supporting Arabic dictators hated by their own people. Rather than seeing the writing on the wall, and moving to encourage these regimes to reflect the will of their people, we went in the opposite direction.

Hosni of Egypt is an excellent example. Egypt is where Bush should have started his “spread of democracy across the middle east.” Instead, we are encouraging Hosni to move from an unofficial to a formal police state.

When the Egyptian people overthrow their western supported dictator, Hosni, they will be labeled enemies of “freedom,” and we do our best to kidnap, torture, imprison and kill them. If they live quietly under our dictators, they are friends of “freedom,”

These hypocritical contradictions have created a huge maneuvering area for Russian and Chinese foreign policy, as well as offering a big, fat, juicy American enemy to draw the various Arabic independence groups together.

Putting our military in the middle east has been poison to our dictators. Bush's invasion has reduced the weight of our influence to the size of our guns and wallets. We better not run out of bucks and bullets, or we are in real trouble. We have nothing else to rely on in the Middle East.

All Russia needs to do is offer honest support to the Arabs and Persians who seek freedom from our dictators. If Russia befriends those countries who want to control their own affairs, we are in big trouble.

Arabic lands under Arab control is unacceptable to us. Our position will create increasing political and military chaos until the Arabs actually seize control of their governments, and force their colonial ruling elites to flee back to their source of power, the United States. Once here, they can join the refugees from the toppled dictatorships of Somoza, Batista, the Shah, Chiang Kai Schreck, to name just a few.

Soon, American Globalism will fall before a new, multi-lateral, shared balance of world power. Democracy will be victorious, not America. The right of locals to select their own governments will be established, and it will mark the end of American Globalism.

This will signal the end of our control of the world's oil markets, and those that gain control will hate us. Soon, we will live in a world where Russia, China, and India find it advantageous to block our military, political and economic adventures. Soon, the world will stop funding our gluttony, and demand we pay them back.


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Also See:

 Related: Sukhoi 30 MK1


At Asian Security Meeting, Russian and Iranian Criticize the U.S., NYT, August 17, 2007

Russia begins arms treaty freeze, BBC, 12-12-07

Iran-Russia talks, Iran Times, Dec 4, 2007

Putin attacks US political interference, aiming to maintain authority after out of office, AP, November 21, 2007

Telegraph, October 28, 2007; Iran Steps Up Preparations for US War

Washington Post, October 29, 2007; Iran Adapts to Economic Pressure: Cheney Threatens Iran with American Military Incompetence

BBC NEWS, Published: 2007/10/26; Iran defiant at new US sanctions

From The Times, October 27, 2007; US missile plans echo Cuban crisis, says Putin

Reuters, October 20, 2007; Iran minister says U.S. in no position to attack: Bush-Cheney Threaten World War III

Novosti, Russia, 10-20-07; Iran warns it can fire 11,000 rockets in one minute if attacked: IRAN WAR IMPENDING

Associated Press, October 16, 2007; Putin Warns Against Attacks on Iran

BBC NEWS, 18 October 2007; Putin wants US date to quit Iraq

NYT, October 10, 2007; Stark Differences on Arms Threaten U.S.-Russia Talks: Bush, Fool of the Ages, Continues to Abuse Treaties, the Rule of Law, and Russia

At Asian Security Meeting, Russian and Iranian Criticize the U.S., NYT, August 17, 2007

Russia Links

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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

'Real' Bhutto heir denounces family business

Jeremy Page in Karachi

From The Times

January 12, 2008



When Fatima Bhutto heard that her estranged aunt had been assassinated she put aside decades of family feuding to mourn with her relatives at the ancestral home in Pakistan.


Three days later, when Benazir Bhutto’s 19-year-old son, Bilawal, was anointed head of the Pakistan People’s Party, Fatima maintained a respectful silence, despite whispers that she was the real Bhutto heir.


But now, two weeks on, she has broken that silence to launch a blistering attack on her cousin’s appointment, accusing those around him of perpetuating dynastic politics and trying to cash in on his mother’s blood.


In an interview with The Times – her first with the Western media since Benazir’s death – the 25-year-old newspaper columnist also rejected her own claim to the Bhutto legacy, calling for a new era of politics based on platforms rather than personalities.


“The idea that it has to be a Bhutto, I think, is a dangerous one. It doesn’t benefit Pakistan. It doesn’t benefit a party that’s supposed to be run on democratic lines and it doesn’t benefit us as citizens if we think only about personalities and not about platforms.” At a news conference in London this week, Bilawal denied that the party had been handed to him “like some piece of family furniture”.

“We were there for those three days of mourning,” she said. “So it’s up to them now.” Fatima’s father was Murtaza Bhutto, Benazir’s younger brother and the eldest son of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was Pakistan’s first populist Prime Minister until he was deposed in a coup in 1977 and executed.


Murtaza led a resistance movement from Afghanistan, returning to Pakistan to challenge Benazir’s leadership of the PPP. He was killed in a police shootout in Karachi in 1996, while she was Prime Minister. Murtaza’s Lebanese-Syrian wife, Ghinwa, has always blamed Benazir and has run a splinter faction of the PPP ever since. Benazir, meanwhile, derided Ghinwa as a “belly dancer” and disputed her inheritance of the family homes in Karachi and Larkana. “It was not a pleasant relationship we had at all,” Fatima said.


The PPP says that Benazir left a will appointing her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, as party chief and that he stepped down in favour of Bilawal, a history student at Oxford. Bilawal added “Bhutto” to his surname and said his father would run the party until he completed his studies. Mumtaz Bhutto, leader of the 700,000-strong Bhutto tribe, has disputed that, saying Bilawal’s name change did not make him a “real Bhutto”.

“They seem to be a party in a hurry and they seem to be desperate to cash in on her blood. There was a certain coterie around her that benefited richly from her Government and they plan, it seems, to benefit richly from her death as well.”


Fatima, like Mr Zardari, rejected the Government’s claim that Islamist militants were behind Benazir’s assassination, but she also questioned Mr Zardari’s motives. “I think at some point the will should be made public, if indeed there was one,” she said.


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What's Really Going on Here??

Times, and American Corporate Media Softens Musharraf's Military Dictatorship:

Musharraf strikes deal with Bhutto, ft, 8-29-07

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 29, 2007

The Financial Times presents Musharraf as something other than an unconstitutional tyrant that rules through naked military power. He is not, and it is this type of support from the Western press, and the guns and dollars of the United States, that keeps tyrants in power around the world.

It has been reported that the US is putting pressure on both Bhutto and Musharraf to blend the corruption of the former, with the fascism of the latter, and like mixing chocolate with peanut butter, the US hopes that a corporate fascist state like ours will magically appear out of Pakistan's military dictatorship. This will not occur.

Will US broker a Musharraf-Bhutto alignment between Army and Secular Corruption?

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 25, 2007

(originally written for CU104_2, august 17th, '07)

Musharraf's position as the Army's "candidate" for the upcoming presidential contest received the backing of the Army when they assaulted the Red Mosque. The Army demonstrated they would use military force to back Musharraf.

Musharraf's legitimacy is nakedly based on army bayonets and American dollars. Bush has responded to the collapse of even the appearance of legitimacy in Pakistan's military dictatorship by encouraging Musharraf to cut political deals with the opposition he had banished to maintain military control of the government.

Bush's plan is to replicate General Zia's "rump" style civilian government, created in 1988. Zia's rump was supposed to put a civilian face on the Army's control of real power in Pakistan. Bush's plan will prove to be as unworkable as Zia's.

The problem is going to be that Neither Bhutto's People's Party, nor Shariff's Pakistan Muslim League are going to allow the military to maintain political control when they resume political participation in Pakistan. Bush's plan is leading to chaos, if not civil war, in Pakistan.

Bush has funded and armed Musharraf's dictatorship, and is continuing to do so. Bush is pressuring Musharraf to allow the appearance of democracy, while supporting his military dictatorship. Rather than withdrawing support for Musharraf, and dealing with the ensuing administration, Bush's plan is to create a political frankenstein, stitching together tyranny and democracy into a political abomination which is doomed to destroy itself.

Here's how it will go down: Bhutto and Sharif will win the elections, forcing the Army to assert martial law, kill the protesters, and arrest the political opposition. The Army will reimpose a dictator, possibly forcing Musharraf out in the process.

The alternative scenario is just as grim. If Bush can force a deal between the Army and the parties, a Bhutto-Sharif government will be elected, and Musharraf will remain as president. Within six months the civilian government will be driven from office by the army. The army will assert martial law, kill the protesters, and arrest the political opposition.

Bush's support and accommodation of Pakistan's military dictatorship is a huge source of the political instability in Pakistan. Our only hope of having a stable long-term relationship with Pakistan is to demand the military step out of politics, and allow the people of Pakistan to run their own affairs. If we were a democracy, we would find and develop long term friendship with democratic players around the world. Instead, we align ourselves with dictators, kings, and petty tyrants.

Bush's plan bet all of our chips on Musharraf and the Pakistani Military, and that relationship has weakened both the US and Pakistan. Our participation in propping up Musharraf's dictatorship has destabilized Pakistan, and our continued support for Musharraf and military authority will only bring a bigger blowup when Pakistan finally rejects foreign supported military dictators.

Bush's new plan involves continuing the political ascendancy of the Pakistani military, which will only continue and deepen Pakistani political instability. It's kind of funny that Bush is only reaching for democracy in desperation, to save his military dictatorship in Pakistan.

If America actually stood for democracy and freedom, we would not be facing any of the dangers we now face in the Middle-East. American greed and aggression is conditioning the middle east to reject American "democracy" as nothing more than a cover for imposing dictators, suppressing the cultural and political voice of Muslims, and controlling the region's vast energy resources.

The whole world is coming to the clear conclusion that America does not stand for democracy or freedom. This will not change until Americans come to the same conclusion, and get off our asses and do something about our broken democracy.

Until then, our corporate fascist government will continue to rob us, and the world of its rights and resources.


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Also See:

Bhutto tribe patriarch disputes party leadership succession, McClatchy, 1-1-08

The Bhutto-Musharraf Deal, FT, 8-29-07

What we Knew in August '07, nyt, 8-29-07


What the Bhutto-Musharraf Deal Means

Bhutto Death: Links

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4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

US incursion will be regarded as invasion


SINGAPORE: President Pervez Musharraf has said any unilateral action by US-led coalition forces against militants in the border region with Afghanistan will be regarded as an invasion, a newspaper reported on Friday.


Musharraf told Singapore’s The Straits Times that Islamabad will resist any entry by coalition forces in the tribal areas, regarding that as a breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty.


“I challenge anybody coming into our mountains. They would regret the day. It’s not easy there,” he told the newspaper.


Nobody will come unless invited: “Nobody will come here until we ask them to come. And we haven’t asked them,” President Musharraf said.


Musharraf underscored the need for a political solution to the Afghanistan crisis, calling for talks with “senior elements within the Taleban who are for a negotiated political settlement”.


“I told President (Bill) Clinton, who was visiting Islamabad, that we should accept the reality (of the Taleban in power in Kabul), have diplomatic relations with them and then change them from within,” he said. “Had that happened, some things might have been different today.”


Hillary Clinton’s proposal: Musharraf also criticised US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s proposal to deploy a US, and possibly a British, team to safeguard Pakistan’s nuclear assets as an “intrusion into our privacy, into our sensitivity...” agencies

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What's Really Going on Here??

Musharraf Fears his own people more than US or Taliban

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 12, 2008

When musharraf was more secure with the army, isi, and his grip on civil society was firm, musharraf was our boy in pakistan, "fighting terror."

Or was he? Are we now finally seeing he real musharraf, the musharraf that supported the taliban, the musharraf who maintained peace with the mountain folk, the musharraf who gained power by crushing civil democracy in lowland pakistan?

The simple answer is yes. Bush's desire to project power blinded him to the realities in pakistan, Afghanistan, and iraq. Bush's knowingly embraced musharraf exactly because musharraf is a dictator, and bush expected his purchase of the dictator would assure compliance with american directives.

Unfortunately for bush's plans, he failed to realize that that the army and isi had long ago made deals with the taliban and mountain folk: they are partners. That's why musharraf is unwilling as well as unable to do our bidding in the mountains. That's why musharraf is finally revealing his hand, and calling for talks with his allies, the people who still run Afghanistan: the taliban.

In the meantime musharraf has seized complete power in the lowland cities where the adherents of western democracy live. The real threat to musharraf is secular civil society, and musharraf has dealt with them by clubbing and shooting them in the streets, closing the supreme court and re-opening it with his tools on the bench, and closing the free press.

Oh, and killing benizar bhutto, who was our hand-picked representative of secular corruption and american influence. Bhutto did not represent democracy by any stretch of imagination. No great loss there.

Beneath all of this is the hidden fact that we have already lost the war in Afghanistan. No great loss there, as our vision for Afghanistan could never be made to fit the "facts on the ground," as bush likes to say.

A new balance of power is rising in the middle-east and south asia, and it does not place american interests at its center. Bush has accelerated this inevitable process by discrediting our nation, which has not just discredited our regional allies, but has made enemies of average muslims across the middle-east.

The american strategic situation in the middle-east and pakistan is melting down in the streets, in the capitals, and in the hearts and minds of muslims around the region and the world.

Iran has predominate influence in Baghdad, south, and west iraq. That's the only reason we are staying in iraq. When we leave iraq, a Shiite government will quickly emerge who's #1 ally is Iran.

Afghanistan is lost. The taliban controls every area where we do not have military supremacy. Where we have no guns, we have no authority.

Pakistan does not have a stable basis of leadership, either in the "democracy" movement, nor the military. Pakistan is heading to a showdown between musharraf, the people, the mountain people, and the army. It is unlikely that the side that wins will be able or willing to remain our bitch.

Saudi arabia has a bubbling domestic revolution on its hands, who's aim is to remove the heads of leaders who serve the west.

Mubarak will die as dictator of egypt, and when he does the next regime will withdraw from their american alliance, repeal their recognition of israel, and accelerate the rise of an independent middle-east.

The new, independent middle-east is going to be very hostile to american interests. The new middle-east is going to consider american intervention in their affairs as an act of war. The new middle-east is going to use their oil as a global check to american influence.

Expect russia, china, and india to be very helpful and supportative of the new regimes that rise from the ashes of our "globalization" empire.

In short, we are observing the chaotic bloody birth of a brand-new post-colonial (post globalized also works) middle-east that is going to take its rightful place in their region and the world.

We have fought this for decades with invasions, assassinations, and dictators, but now the whole region has reached the breaking point, and the era of western control of the middle-east is over, except for another couple of bloody wars, and maybe a revolution, possibly a civil war or two.

Expect the saudis to move the crown to an independent, anti-american prince when the king dies, or face even more serious threats from their "subjects." Expect egypt to form an islamic democracy after they reject mubarak's son, gamial.

Bush knows now that his vain attempt to reassert american dominance over middle-eastern oil, and the nations that sit on top of the oil, has failed. The failure of bush's iraqi and afghani adventures has destabilized all of our regional allies, while enhancing the influence and power of Iran.

I still put the chances at 30% that bush will provoke a war with iran. If this occurs, I put the chances at 50-50 that bush will attempt to "postponed" the '08 election.

Besides inflaming the middle-east, american foreign policy has destabilized the global balance of power.

A new era of a global contest for empire is emerging out of the failed lies of our "globalization" fraud.

Apparently americans will not recognize that what we call "globalization" is no more than the economic terms of victory dictated by our imperial corporate state on weaker states.

We will maintain that lie, and our imperial power of "globalism," until we lose control of our empire, and another nation, maybe china or russia, seizes the dominant position and employs the term "globalism" to hide the reality of their thieving empire.

So don't act surprised when the world does the same thing to us that we have done to them for the last 50 years: steal our resources, our labor, our rights, and our right to form our own government, and calls it "globalism."

To do this they will have to engage and defeat the corporations who are currently stealing the resources, labor, rights, money and authority of our people, our government, and our world.

Should be a great fight, if you like fights.

If you don't like fights, you failed a long time ago.

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Next analysis in series: Democracy threatens US influence in Pakistan, your man al, march 24, '08


Also See:

U.S.: Pakistan Will Fight Militants: American Dictator to Save Pakistan from itself, ap, July 17, 2007

New Violence at Reopened Pakistan Mosque: American Dictator Provokes Widespread Violence, ap, July 27, 2007

Will US broker a Musharraf-Bhutto alignment between Army and Secular Corruption?

Musharraf strikes deal with Bhutto: Bhutto sells out to American Dictatorship, Financial Times, August 29, 2007

Our Paki Dictator Releases Militants, Arrests Democratic Opposition to fight "Terror," Dawn, Pakistan, 11-5-07

US continues to back Paki dictator after arrest of supreme court, closing media, and arresting moderate opponents, Christian Science Monitor, Nov 6, 2007

Musharraf imprisoned supreme court, killed media, and arrested opponents with Bush Approval, Dawn, 11-3-07


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The governor's budget cuts nearly every state department


Tom Chorneau,John Wildermuth, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau


Friday, January 11, 2008



Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, acknowledging that California faces tough economic times, proposed an austere budget Thursday for the next fiscal year that would take billions of dollars from public schools, shut down four dozen state parks and release tens of thousands of prisoners to close a projected $14.5 billion deficit.


Virtually every state department was required to slash 10 percent from this year's spending, a move that would cut services for many Californians, especially the poor, the elderly and the disabled.


"I understand how difficult (the cuts) will be for many people," Schwarzenegger said as he unveiled the budget at a Sacramento news conference. "But we need to be fiscally responsible and spend only the money we have."


The governor also declared a fiscal emergency and called a special session of the Legislature to trim spending during the current year, which at today's levels is expected to put the state as much as $3.3 billion in the hole by the end of the fiscal year in June.

Schwarzenegger's planned trims include the elimination of $4.8 billion from public schools over the next 1 1/2 years and a reduction of prison imates by 35,000, including the early release of 22,000 inmates over the next two years. The budget would also cut prison staff by 6,000, including the layoffs of 2,000 prison guards.


The governor also wants to close many of California's parks. Under his budget, 48 of the state's 280 parks would be affected: 43 parks would be temporarily shut down - among them nine in the Bay Area, including Portola Redwoods in San Mateo County, Tomales Bay in Marin and Candlestick Point in San Francisco; two parks would be partially closed; and the openings of three new parks would be delayed.

As Schwarzenegger pushes for an overhaul of the state's health care system to cover nearly all of California's uninsured residents, he also is ready to cut as much as $1 billion from Medi-Cal, the state's medical service program for the poor, elderly and disabled.


To achieve the savings, administration officials said they want to eliminate some Medi-Cal benefits - such as dental care for low-income adults - instead of reducing the number of people who get basic medical services.


The Republican governor's proposed budget does not include new taxes except for a few small increases in fees, including one on homeowner's insurance to help pay for rural firefighting.

The governor's plan would spend a total of $141 billion in the next fiscal year - less than the $145 billion the state had been scheduled to spend this fiscal year before cuts that lawmakers will debate in the coming weeks. The governor's emergency declaration started the count on a 45-day period in which the Legislature must act on the pending $3.3 billion shortfall.


Schwarzenegger has asked for several cuts immediately, including $400 million from schools and community colleges, $33 million from Medi-Cal, $74 million from welfare programs and $25 million from a project at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.


The 10 percent across-the-board cuts next year also would apply to the governor's own budget as well as legislative and constitutional offices.


K-12 education, which normally receives about 40 percent of general fund tax money under Proposition 98 guarantees approved by the voters, would take the biggest hit under the budget plan. To cut as much money as the governor is proposing, lawmakers would have to suspend the measure - which happened only once before, during the 2004-05 fiscal crisis.


Such a move is likely to face stiff opposition from the state's powerful education lobby.

The governor wants to take more than $1 billion from before- and after-school programs for low-scoring students, career and technical classes and the small-class-size program. He also wants to spend $358 million less on special education.


He also is proposing changes to the welfare system that would allow the state to drop families - including children - from state aid if parents do not find employment within certain time frames. Schwarzenegger proposed that change last year, but Democrats, who form a legislative majority, rejected it.


State higher education officials were stunned by the budget proposal, which would virtually guarantee student fee increases while forcing officials to consider cuts to existing services or limiting enrollment.


"This is going to be a very bad year for California students and their families," said Pat Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy in Higher Education. "This is more likely to hit the families who have the toughest time paying for college anyway."

Governor confirms he wants inmates released

Plan to free 22,000 has a GOP legislator charging 'betrayal.'

By Andy Furillo -


Published 12:00 am PST Friday, January 11, 2008

Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A14


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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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Also See:

the start: Huge budget shortfall seen, bee , May 16, 2007

Summary; Deterioration of the 2007–08 Budget, Elizabeth Hill, Legislative Analyst, Nov 14, 2007

State Tax Revenues Plunging, Bee, Nov 23, 2007

Budget Cuts for Education on the way bee 12-10

Arnie predicts 14 bil shortfall, bee, 12-12

Mortgage crisis de funding cities and states for years to come, lat, 12-31-07


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6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Poor December at Retailers; Most Report Drops in Sales




nyt, January 11, 2008


The weakest holiday shopping season in five years ended dismally for most retailers, whose sales tumbled despite deep discounts and extended store hours, stoking fears that the economy is tipping into a recession.


Sales fell across the board, knocking down once seemingly invincible chains like Target (down 5 percent compared with last year); Abercrombie & Fitch (2 percent); Nordstrom (4 percent); and Kohl’s (11.4 percent).


“It shows that the U.S. economy absolutely tanked in December,” said Ellen Zentner, United States macroeconomist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York. “Consumer spending drives the economy. What we’re left with is no evidence of any kind of consumer momentum going into 2008.”

Giant Write-Down Is Seen for Merrill



Published: January 11, 2008


Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer $15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost double its original estimate, prompting the firm to raise additional capital from an outside investor.


Merrill, the nation’s largest brokerage firm, is expected to disclose the huge write-down when it reports earnings next week, according to people who have been briefed on its plans. The loss far exceeds the $12 billion hit many Wall Street analysts had forecast.

Europe and U.S. Diverge on Rate Prospects



Published: January 11, 2008



FRANKFURT — Can Europe’s economy stay on track even if the United States goes off the rails?


“The E.C.B. sees the glass as half full; the Fed sees it as half empty,” said Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist at Deutsche Bank. “It’s not a difference in the data; it’s a difference in the analysis.”


The European Central Bank,...still does not believe that the credit crisis originating in the American mortgage market poses a grave risk to Europe’s underlying economic prospects. The bank, he said, is threatening a rate increase when it should be preparing for a rate cut.



But Mr. Trichet has stopped short of saying that the financial crisis could halt European growth. At a news conference here on Thursday, after the bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at 4 percent, he said the signals on Europe’s growth were mixed. “Our baseline scenario remains one of ongoing growth, but risks are clearly on the downside,” he said. (The EU bank’s president is Jean-Claude Trichet)

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens



Published: January 12, 2008



Record oil prices widened the United States trade deficit in November as the cost of imported petroleum outpaced a modest rise in exports.


The gap between what Americans import and export grew 9.3 percent, to $63.1 billion, the biggest deficit in 14 months, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Imported oil accounted for more than half of the total.


Export sales rose again in November, by 0.4 percent, to a record $142.3 billion, but decelerated from October’s 0.9 percent rise.


Export sales have accelerated in recent months on the back of a record-low dollar, as foreign buyers flock to bargains on everything from apparel to real estate. Some economists believe foreign demand has kept the American economy from slowing more substantially as domestic business suffers from the housing downturn.



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What's Really Going on Here??

Failure of perception

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March 26, 2008

It has been reported, and disputed here, that the drop in the value of the dollar will provide a stimulus for exports that will offset the decline in the domestic economy. The report above, reporting on the sharp downturns in american manufacturing, indicates that the "stimulus in exports" theory has failed.

This flows from the fact that the weakness of the dollar reflects more concerns than just the imbalance in trade and declining value of the dollar. Dollar weakness also reflects a global lack of confidence in the role of US manufacturing and trade strength vis a vi the emerging manufacturing, technology, and consumption powerhouses of china and india.

Despite the precipitous drop in the value of the dollar, american manufacturing, even utilizing illegal labor, providing minimal benefits, and paying no taxes still cannot compete with the slave-labor like laboring conditions in the state-sponsored industries of china and india. American manufacturing and exports have proved themselves unable to offset the economy's domestic decline.

Global market concerns about the american economy have extended outward from the value of the dollar, and now the central role of the US economy in global markets is being questioned.

The sub-prime debacle has damaged the US's role as the financial center and leader of global finance. The Fed's response, cheapening the dollar and bailing out the thieves, will not repair america's central role in global finance, or shore up the credit line required to maintain ourselves as the biggest consumer of the world's resources.

The depth of our economic and political irresponsibility have put the dollar beyond the point where the fed could meaningfully support the value of the dollar, or dictate the interest rates on dollar denominated lending. The global markets and global creditors perceive that the US economy presents risks that now include deepening asset depreciation, severe economic downturn, and continued loss in the value of the dollar, all sitting atop a massive american consumer and business debt of dubious value. These factors are causing rates to remain high independent of the fed's rate reductions and liquidity moves.

Combined with the fact that we can no longer cover the vast debt that is funding our previous consumption with a line of new credit, the already significant pressure in global markets to devalue the dollar is now being highlighted by american manufacturing's inability to pick up the slack through exports.

At this point the solution to our impending crisis is not visible to the economists, financial players, or the politicians. Their basic assumptions about never ending growth, consumption, and profit make it impossible for them to identify themselves as the real problem, or recognize the illegitimacy of their political power and economic policy.

The solution to our economic problems does not lay in the economic sphere. it sits in our ethical world view.

The root of our economic problem is that we have lived our lives for the last 35 like we were on one big shopping spree, assuming that endless growth in population, consumption, profits, and asset values was a fact of life, and reflected our wisdom and justice.

Our social, economic, and environmental breakdowns are signaling that our ethical, political, and economic assumptions have been fatally flawed, and we have been neither wise nor just in how we have led our lives.

Our fundamental misperceptions about the nature of life have opened the doors to global economic, political and military chaos, not to mention our impending environmental disaster. This, my friends, is an ethical crisis, not an economic crisis, and it can only be addressed politically.

We are far beyond the point where a set of economic adjustments or regulations, or even resource wars, will prop up our flawed assumption that growth and profit are endless, or prop up the tottering global empire that funds our consumption. It is our assumption of endless growth that is dying a bloody death before our eyes in iraq, and in our financial markets.

The requirement to address the essential ethical problems underlying our economic problems will emerge only as our assumptions of endless growth and consumption fail. This process of failure is in mid-flight.


Our pursuit of endless irresponsible growth has already gutted our domestic polity. It has killed our schools, drained our water and energy resources, and has imbalanced our domestic distribution of wealth enough to have made a mockery of our democracy.

Our basic assumption of endless growth is the walking dead, and will soon topple into the grave it dug for itself during the last 35 years of irresponsible growth. The shopping spree is over. There is no solution to the economic problems we face, short of taking our medicine.

At present, our corrupt politicians and Fed officials are trying to restart the speculative bubble that brought us to the brink of chaos, seemingly unaware that it is both impossible and unwise.

It also appears the era of the businessman is over, but they are too blind to see it as they continue to lead us towards the cliff. The logical question this brings to mind is, "What will replace meaning in our lives when the flow of ever increasing production, consumption and profit stops?"

The answer is ethics. Our failures came about because one part of our society, the wealthy, have floated our elections on a sea of bribes. They have used their wealth to dominate political funding, elections, and subsequently dominate the production of law and policy.

It is going to take the combined wisdom of our country to properly address, if not undo the damage our wealthy have done to our country by looting our government, our infrastructure, and our economy. They have run every aspect of our country into the ground.

If we want to  bring the combined wisdom of our country to bear on our problems, we are going to have to restore our democracy. We must stop wealth from twisting our government to its service. This is the only way we are going to create laws and policies sufficient to deal with the problems our corrupted government has brought upon us.

To fix our problems we must restore the fundamental assumption of our democracy, that our government is determined by, and run for the benefit of all, rather than the few, and based on the rights and responsibilities of each.

Only then will we be able to draw the wisdom of our nation into politics to bear on our economic crisis. Only after we put our ethics before our profits will the practical solutions to our problems emerge.

If this impending economic crisis sparks the rebirth of our democratic principals sufficiently evolved to defeat the modern terms of tyranny our corporate consumer aristocracy has imposed on our country, history will say that we turned a profit from this crisis, despite changing the global climate, the mass extinction we triggered, our bloody wars, and the trillions of dollars that are about to disappear.

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Also See:

A brief history of our recent meltdown and its causes: three essays

Markets ready to Kill Economy 8-4-07

Feds Bail out Greedy Speculators, 8-17-07

Housing Credit Crisis Exposed Rotten Core of Economy 11-24-07


general economic conditions

Corruption Updates 36, 7th article on the page,  "More in U.S. plunge deeper into poverty"

Corruption Updates 45, 8th article on the page,  "Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows"

BBC, August 8, 2007; Wealth gap 'spreads across Asia': Globalism Impoverishes Asia

7 MONEY articles: Credit Shrinks, Citi bailout, Global writedown, China Pressured, Housing Plunging, (London Too), Fed Cutting, Various Sources, Nov 27-29, 2007

Big Oil: China & India demand massive increase in global oil production, consumption, NYT, Nov 7, 2007

era of easy money over, financial times, 1-2-08

Recession? ft (uk) 1-2-08

US Jobs grind to halt, ft, (uk) 1-4-08

econ slowing, market tanking, nyt, 1-9-08

fed minutes: fed confused, nyt, 1-9-08


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Scumbag Doolittle's exit opens up contest

Nine-term lawmaker, 'at peace,' bows out; Oller jumps into race.

By Peter Hecht - And David Whitney


Published 12:00 am PST Friday, January 11, 2008

Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A1

Subpoenas for 13 in Congress

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, September 19, 2007


Thirteen House members have been subpoenaed to testify in the trial of a military contractor charged with bribing Randy Cunningham, a former California congressman who is now in prison. The 13 include former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Republican of Illinois, and Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican whip. All said they would not comply, on the advice of House lawyers. The House general counsel’s office is preparing to move to quash the subpoenas after failing to obtain a clear explanation of why the lawmakers’ testimony is needed, said an aide to Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican who was subpoenaed.


Doolittle subpoened in Wilkes case

By David Whitney - Bee Washington Bureau

Published 12:21 pm PDT Tuesday, September 18, 2007


WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Doolittle has been subpoenaed to testify next month in the bribery trial of San Diego-area businessman Brent Wilkes, raising the profile of the congressman's dealings with his longtime friend and political supporter at a time when a federal grand jury has been meeting about Doolittle's involvement with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.


Wilkes goes on trial for conspiracy and other charges in connection with the bribery of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham Oct. 2. Doolittle was among 13 House members reporting late Monday night on the House floor, as required by House rules, that they had received subpoenas from Wilkes' attorney, Mark Geragos.


All of the House members said they had been urged by the general counsel's office in the House to refuse to comply with the subpoenas. The general counsel's office expects to file a motion to quash the subpoenas next week, citing constitutional protections of members from being compelled to answer questions about legislative matters and House procedures.


Doolittle's spokesman, Gordon Hinkle, declined comment on the subpoena, referring all calls to the House counsel's office that issued no public statements.


Also subpoenaed by Wilkes are former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., House Republican Whip Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, and other former and current House committee chairmen and members, including four Democrats.


The list includes from California Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, former House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, former chairman and now senior Republican on the House Appropriations Committee and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista.


It's unclear what information Geragos hopes to elicit from the congressmen. A call to his office in Los Angeles was not returned.



Scumbag Jew tenders resignation from S.F. Board of Supervisors


Wyatt Buchanan,Cecilia M. Vega, Chronicle Staff Writers

Friday, January 11, 2008

San Francisco supervisor Ed Jew has pleaded not guilty to a federal fraud charge.


Chron, Friday, September 21, 2007


Jew was in court Friday morning, a day after being charged by federal prosecutors with attempting to extort $80,000 from a group of fast-food business owners.


He is being released on $1 million bail.


The federal charge comes after an FBI sting where prosecutors say the operators of a group of tapioca drink shops gave Jew $40,000 in cash.


Jew has acknowledged taking the money, but says he did so at the businessmen's insistence and on behalf of a consultant he recommended they hire to help with their permit problem.


The rookie supervisor is already facing felony charges of perjury and election code violations for allegedly lying about where he lived so he could run for office in San Francisco.


Lantos To Die: There is a God

Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


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What's Really Going on Here??

Doolittle's Lies Fool No One

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., July 8, 2007

Doolittle's office was a major spoke in Abramoff's wheel of Congressional Corruption. Abramoff and Ney have been imprisoned, and a whole host of executive branch officials have gone down, along with a slew of Congressional aides.

The rusty, corrupt, minions of Gonzales are slowly going to run Doolittle down. Doolittle's desperation is so thick he has lashed out at the Democrats, the Justice department, and now at his own staff.

Here's the thing: Neither could do it without the help of the other. Doolittle's staff managed the incoming bribes and the outgoing earmarks, votes, and influence. Doolittle made the deals and the decisions. The staff carried the water.

But Blaming the staff is fatal, and a clear measure of Doolittle's perception of his upcoming doom. Doolittle's senior staff was in on all of his dirty deals, and can easily trade the boss in for a ticket out of prison.

But Doolittle need not worry too much. The inJustice Department is going easy on all the corrupt politicians, and Abramoff, requesting light sentences, and making easy deals for all.

Doolittle will be humiliated a bit more, sent to prison for a few years, and it will all be over for him before he even knows it.

The real question is "what will you do about it?"

I suggest the initiative.

Also See:

Corruption Updates 1, 5th article on the page, "ABRAMOFF-DOOLITTLE: A LOVE STORY"


Corruption Updates 18, 4th article on the page, "DOOLITTLE SOUGHT AND GOT ABRAMOFF JOB FOR WIFE"

Corruption Updates 57, 2nd article on the page, "Doolittle switches blame for raid to Dems: Doolittle adds Insanity to Corruption"

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Doolittle (10 Abstracts)

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General Clears Army Officer of Crime in Abu Ghraib Case


Published: January 11, 2008


(also see 109_10)


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

Top of Page

Also See:

Abu Ghraib officer spared prison: Military Command lets itself Off the Hook for Abu Garib Torture Center, BBC, August 29, 2007

Abu Ghraib: Taguba fired for Probing too Deeply, nyt, June 17, 2007

Liars in Congress to ban torture: They already did, and bush ignored them, NYT, December 7, 2007

LA Times article full of lies, deceptions about American War Crimes, LAT, 12-7-07

Egypt Torture Coverup, just like us, bbc 12-11-07

Government criminals untrustworthy: lies presented in court to pervert law and justice, AP, November 20, 2007

Torture Links

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Today's Headlines

International: Iran focuses anti-americanism

1] US faking iran gunboat incident?

1b] Pollocks to pull out of bush missile program

1c] Russia plans belarus missile deployment

1d] India, Russia to strengthen ties

1e] Chavez: us cut off, and Oil to 200 a barrel if us attacks iran

1f] Russia pulls out of CFT

1g] US whines about russian withdraw from CFT

2] Iran and Russia cooperating on mutual defense

Pakistan very restless

3] F Bhutto joins Butto clan in denouncing zadari and son

4] Musharraf: US incursion will be regarded as invasion, billery sucks

Ca Budget woes

5] Education, social services, parks severely cut

5b] Gov plans massive prison release

Budget to fall as economy tanks

6] Dec retail tanks

6b] Merrill takes another huge write down

6c] ECB takes rational econ stand: US shocked

6d] Trade deficit widens despite cheap dollar

Scumbags walk the plank

7] Scumbag doolittle out of congress: subpoenas all around

7b] Scumbag jew off board of supes

7c] Scumbag lantos to die: There IS a god

8] Abu graib: officer in charge of interrogations gets off: only the little guys went down