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#1 through #3 posted: March 12, 2008, Draft edition

#4 through #? posted: March 14, 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.

The Man Between War and Peace

As the White House talked up conflict with Iran, the head of U.S. Central Command, William "Fox" Fallon, talked it down. Now he has resigned.

By Thomas P.M. Barnett

esquire, 3-11-08

If, in the dying light of the Bush administration, we go to war with Iran, it'll all come down to one man. If we do not go to war with Iran, it'll come down to the same man. He is that rarest of creatures in the Bush universe: the good cop on Iran, and a man of strategic brilliance. His name is William Fallon, although all of his friends call him "Fox," which was his fighter-pilot call sign decades ago.

Past American governments have used saber rattling as a useful tactic to get some bad actor on the world stage to fall in line. This government hasn't mastered that kind of subtlety. When Dick Cheney has rattled his saber, it has generally meant that he intends to use it. And in spite of recent war spasms aimed at Iran from this sclerotic administration, Fallon is in no hurry to pick up any campaign medals for Iran. And therein lies the rub for the hard-liners led by Cheney. Army General David Petraeus, commanding America's forces in Iraq, may say, "You cannot win in Iraq solely in Iraq," but Fox Fallon is Petraeus's boss, and he is the commander of United States Central Command, and Fallon doesn't extend Petraeus's logic to mean war against Iran.

So while Admiral Fallon's boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III and his administration casually casts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as this century's Hitler (a crown it has awarded once before, to deadly effect), it's left to Fallon--and apparently Fallon alone--to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: "This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions."

What America needs, Fallon says, is a "combination of strength and willingness to engage."

Those are fighting words to your average neocon--not to mention your average supporter of Israel, a good many of whom in Washington seem never to have served a minute in uniform. But utter those words for print and you can easily find yourself defending your indifference to "nuclear holocaust."

How does Fallon get away with so brazenly challenging his commander in chief?

The answer is that he might not get away with it for much longer. President Bush is not accustomed to a subordinate who speaks his mind as freely as Fallon does, and the president may have had enough.

Just as Fallon took over Centcom last spring, the White House was putting itself on a war footing with Iran. Almost instantly, Fallon began to calmly push back against what he saw as an ill-advised action. Over the course of 2007, Fallon's statements in the press grew increasingly dismissive of the possibility of war, creating serious friction with the White House.

Last December, when the National Intelligence Estimate downgraded the immediate nuclear threat from Iran, it seemed as if Fallon's caution was justified. But still, well-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don't want a commander standing in their way.

And so Fallon, the good cop, may soon be unemployed because he's doing what a generation of young officers in the U. S. military are now openly complaining that their leaders didn't do on their behalf in the run-up to the war in Iraq: He's standing up to the commander in chief, whom he thinks is contemplating a strategically unsound war.

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1b) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited.

US commander quits 'over Iran'

Aljazeera, 3-11-08

Admiral William Fallon, the US military commander for the Middle East, has stepped down from his post amid reports he disagreed with the US president over his policies on Iran.

An article in Esquire magazine last week said Fallon was opposed to the US taking military action against Iran over its nuclear programme.

The Esquire article said Fallon's reported disagreements with Bush over his policy on Iran could lead to his dismissal in favour of someone "more pliable".

It also said that, were this to happen, it could be taken as a sign that the US president and vice-president intended to take military action against Iran "before the end of this year and don't want a commander standing in their way".

The Esquire article quoted Fallon as saying in an interview on Al Jazeera in September last year: "This constant drumbeat of conflict ... is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions."

Philip Crowley, a former Pentagon spokesman and defence analyst at the Centre for American Progress, told Al Jazeera the resignation could also be a sign of tensions within the US military.

"Fallon has clashed with General Petraeus [the commander of US forces in Iraq] over the relative importance of Iraq as a mission and Afghanistan as a mission.

"There is tension here. We are out of good options in the Middle East. They can't agree to disagree on where to put the weight of emphasis."

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What's Really Going on Here??

Another in a long line of Military Commanders Bites the Dust

march 11, 08

The outcome of this war in the pentagon may very well be the opening shots of the war on iran. There has been an ongoing battle in the executive branch about how to deal with the realities of our military defeats in the middle east and pakistan. Bush has failed in iraq and Afghanistan, and the neocons are looking to severely damage iran to prevent them from enjoying advantage from our military and political failures.

Independent of our machinations, iran's regional influence is rising. The regional authority, let alone the domestic legitimacy of our bitch dictators across the middle east is sinking.

Pakistan is about to throw our dictator out of office, and into jail, if they can muster the power. The war crimes of the jews against gaza have reached new heights, driving arabs across the middle east to a fervor pitch.

At this critical juncture bush has again thrown out the military commander of our middle eastern armed forces.  Bush did the same thing at the pentagon prior to launching his wars. Bush had to fire Shinseki when he based his hair-brained scheme to reassert american control over the middle east and the world oil suppliers with a force insufficient for the task.

Fallon's "retirement" indicates the neocons have won the shootout at the pentagon. It's looking likely that a spring offensive against iran has been decided on. It's hard to tell how it will start.

Maybe the jews will stage a sneak attack by air. An incident between the navy and speedboats in the gulf may trigger a massive US air strike. Or maybe we will justify attacking iran by pulling some poor tortured soul out of our dungeons who was tortured into claiming to be an iranian terrorist sent directly by the ayatollah with orders to destroy iraq, Afghanistan, and the US too.

In any case, the administration will find some pretext to say they were forced into attacking iran.

Iran Rising

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., ( 1st written in October , 2007)

The new Iran sanctions, the firing of fallon, and now the victory of the mahdi army in basra and baghdad are just the latest manifestations of Bush's failed wars and foreign policy based on the open threat of force.

Bush has already declared endless war on an unlimited global battlefield, where bush has claimed and used unlimited war powers. Although the legal justifications for these crimes only exist in bush's imagination, bush has been able to engage america's political, economic, and military forces in war crimes and crimes against humanity around the world. The accelerating collapse of bush's pimp government in baghdad is enhancing Iran's power an prestiege, highlighting the miscalculations and lies that bush used to justify the war.

In the meantime, Bush has continued to arm and aid three nations who have illegally developed and ilegally possess nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, and Israel, while denying Iran their sovereign right to develop nuclear power. It appears that bush's recent trip to the middle east was to gun up every american dictator in the middle east in preparation for the iranian war.

Bush's unreasonable stance towards Iran has historical roots that go beyond his administration. This chapter of the story begins with the Iranian deposition of our Dictator, the Shah of Iran.

In 1979 the Shah, alongside Israel, were the twin towers of American power and prestige in the Middle-East. All the arab nations in the region lived in fear of our power in the shadow of their might. 1979 changed all that.

Since iran threw out our dictator in 1979 we have treated iran the same as cuba.

The simple fact is that we do not recognize nations that are not controlled by American Dictators or American-backed Corporate Elites. It tends to piss people off when we talk and talk about democracy, but attack any country that determines the terms of their own legitimacy and sovereignty. This has tended to make us look like hypocrites, and has really pissed people off around the world.

Since throwing out our dictator, Iran has survived 29 years of American economic isolation, a brutal 7 year American sponsored war with our then-buddy, Saddam, and every kind of economic, military, and political pressure we could conjure up, short of war. Despite, or possibly because of these obstructions, Iran has prospered.

The spirit of self-determination that fueled Iran's Revolution of Independence from America has now intensified, radicalized, and spread across the whole Middle-East. All of America's dictators in the Middle-East are now facing the same dangers the Shah faced prior to his deposition.

We have responded by distancing ourselves even further from our own values. We have created a domestic legal black hole to match our decades long usage of torture by proxy. Now we openly claim the right to run anyone suspected of "terror" through a secret system of kidnapping, torture, and kangaroo courts.

Our policies are such that we no longer have to deny or give cover to our dictators when they kidnap, torture and kill their domestic political opponents. We just say they are fighting terror, just like us.

Bush's ill-conceived invasion of Iraq has damaged the what little domestic political legitimacy any of our Middle-Eastern dictators had. Marching foreign troops into Iraq rekindled repugnant memories of outsiders, from the crusades to British Colonial brutality, across the whole Middle-East.

And then iran has had the temerity to resent and resist the regional domination of israel.

That americans could believe that democracy could be imposed on an occupied people down the barrel of a gun is a disgrace. Bush's use of kidnapping, torture, and murder has been matched by our dictators in pakistan, saudi arabia, and egypt.

Together, our brutal policies, and the brutality of our dictators has succeeded in moving the body of middle-eastern opinion into direct hostility towards the US.

This has not just discredited the us, but our example of what a democracy is has discredited the notion of democracy itself across the middle east.

The perpetual ugly ness of our Iraqi and Afghan occupations is like throwing gasoline on the fire of every independence movement in the middle east, and has greatly contributed to the rise of Iran as the dominant power in the Middle-East.

This is the great contradiction and the driving force behind the increasing US pressure on Iran and the whole middle east: as Bush's idiocy continues to drive our wars to failure and damage our Middle-Eastern allies and influence, so in proportion does the strength of radical independence movements across the middle east, as well as Iran's power and influence, grow.

Bush has stuck our arm into a bear trap. If he tries to pull it out, it will strip the flesh from our arm. If he pushes it in further, he will rip up fresh arm. Since Bush is incapable of thinking his way out of this crisis, we are fucked.

Bush's "solution" to the consequences of our Iraqi and Afghan disasters will be to spread the crisis to Iran. Bush is thinking that by bombing Iran into the Stone Age he will reduce Iran's ability to act on the regional opportunities our Iraq and Afghan disasters have thrown on their doorstep.

This too, like the Iraq and Afghan invasions, will fail. A regional war will follow any attack on Iran, and this regional war will end the era of American-backed dictators in the Middle-East.

A regional war will follow any american or Israeli attack on iran. After the dust settles, iran will still ultimately be the greatest beneficiary of the rapid Middle-Eastern de colonization that is occurring before our eyes.

The fault lines of a new world balance of power are emerging in the middle east. On one side are the people who seek to exercise the rights we talk about. On the other side, we are leading a team of dictators, authoritarian elites, and corporate fascists dedicated to denying the world the inalienable democratic rights and principals that legitimize our government.

The failures of our dictatorships, our wars, and our lies around the world started here, with the failure of our domestic democracy.

Our bombs may kill people, but they feed the ideas that are driving our opponents to victory.

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Also See:

Other Generals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Shinseki fired as Chief for honest analysis of Iraq war plans

Would Pace Attack Iran if Bush Ordered It?, 2-22-07

US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack, Washington times on line, February 25, 2007

General Paul Eaton, International Herald Tribune, 3-20-07, Gen, Eaton's Criticism of Bush Policies Masked under Criticism of Rummy, "For his failures, Rumsfeld must go"

Corruption Updates 45 , 1st article, 3-28-07, "McCaffrey Paints Gloomy Picture of Iraq"

A failure in generalship, Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, Armed Forces Journal, May 2007

Corruption Updates 49 , 1st article, 4-11-07, "3 Generals Spurn the Position of War 'Czar'"

NY Times, 5-13-07: Batiste: Army Career Behind Him, General Speaks Out on Iraq: General Warns of Incompetence of Bush's War, Bush

Pace fired for disputing attack on Iran? stwr 9-19-07

Ex-general Sanchez calls Iraq a 'nightmare,' Aljazeera, OCTOBER 13, 2007

US had No Post-War Plan for Iraq, BBC, Oct 27, 2007


condition of iraq

Corruption Updates 25, 2nd article on page, December 8, 2006, GOP senator says war may be 'criminal'”

Corruption Updates 25, 4th article on the page, "ENGLISH LORD COMPARES HITLER'S INVASION OF POLAND WITH IRAQ WAR"

Corruption Updates 58, 6th article on page, "War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse'"

Corruption Updates 67, 1st article on the page, "'03 Iraq reports warned Bush: Bush is an Irresponsible Idiot"

Corruption Updates 79, 1st article on page, "Iraq Ranks No. 2 of Failed States"

Corruption Updates 91, 5th article on the page, Iraq: CIA Reports Instability "Irreversible"

Corruption Updates 97, 5th article on the page, Oxfam Reports Growing Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq: Failed War-Failed State


“The Redirection,” Seymore Hersh, The New Yorker


iran links

iraq war links

Search the Corruption Database under


Iraq War


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

Southwest grounds planes, places three on leave

cnn, 3-12-08


(CNN) -- Southwest Airlines has grounded dozens of planes following allegations that the airline broke federal safety rules, the airline said.

Forty-four Boeing planes were grounded "to determine whether they should go through further safety inspections," Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration submitted documents to congressional investigators alleging that the airline flew more than 100 planes in violation of mandatory safety checks.

The FAA has said Southwest operated 46 Boeing 737s on nearly 60,000 flights between June 2006 and March 2007 while failing to comply with an FAA directive requiring repeated inspections of fuselage areas to detect fatigue cracking.

The documents were prepared by two FAA safety inspectors who have requested whistle-blower status from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Both inspectors have been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, who heads the committee and who has called the situation "one of the worst safety violations" he has ever seen, is scheduled to hold a hearing April 3 to ask why the airline may have allegedly put its passengers in danger.

The whistle-blowers say FAA managers knew about the lapse in safety at Southwest, but decided to allow the airline to conduct the safety checks on a slower schedule because taking "aircraft out of service would have disrupted Southwest Airlines' flight schedule."

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

Spinach producers aren't forced to obey U.S. rules

By Justin Blum, Bloomberg News
10:36 AM PDT, March 12, 2008
U.S. regulators found "objectionable conditions" in almost half of their inspections of packaged fresh spinach producers and took no "meaningful enforcement action," a congressional report says.

The Food and Drug Administration listed poor sanitation and other conditions in 47 percent of 199 inspections from January 2001 to February 2007, according to a report released today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. None of the cases was referred to the FDA's enforcement arm for further action.

"The inspection reports provided to the committee raise serious questions about the ability of FDA to protect the safety of fresh spinach and other fresh produce," said the committee's report.

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What's Really Going on Here??

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

Our bribed politicians are incompetent to represent the needs, interests, or safety of the people they are elected to represent.

This is not restricted to individual corruption. The problem has grown so deep and wide that our system of free and fair democratic elections has been neutralized.

We now face candidates, officeholders, and political parties that are much more dependent on, and creatures of, the corporations and special interests than their local voters. We have a democracy in name only.

Of all the dirty deals, earmarks, corruption and open thievery that results from our corrupted elections, the worse result is that sickness and death have become a source of profit.

We have allowed our politicians to drain our schools, our medical system, and our infrastructure to pad the irresponsible profits of their bribers. We have allowed our politicians to gut our safety regulations to pad the irresponsible profits of their bribers. We have allowed our corporations to move our industry and labor to countries that don't bother with human rights, let alone environmental regulations.

On top of all that, our politicians have granted the rich virtual tax-free status.

We can try to battle these democracy-busting corruptions one issue at a time, but that assures that we will never address the common source of this kaleidoscope of corruption. We must aim to stop the corruption at its source: WE MUST LIMIT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO VOTERS IN THE ELECTION.

If we want our politicians defend the health and safety of their constituents, let alone our rights, we must make the politicians economically dependent on their local voters to get elected. The local voters, rather than corporate bribery, must determine who get selected to run, and elected to hold, political office.

This requires re balancing the rights of speech and assembly with the rights of the voters to select and elect their own representatives. This is easier than it sounds.

Our initiative cuts off all outside contributions, but it does not cut off party support for their candidates. Our initiative puts party contributions on a sliding scale relative to the contributions of the voters.

Our initiative limits party support and contributions to no more than 30% of the total contributions the candidate receives from the local voters. This means that if the locals give the candidate a dollar, the party may give thirty cents.

This will return the politicians and parties to dependence on the voters while allowing everyone else to assemble and speak freely. Our initiative will end the open bribery that is running our government.

This will preserve every american's right to get together, to assemble ourselves into political parties to express our political opinions and support our candidates across the country.

Our initiative will restore and protect the rights of local voters by stopping our corporations and special interests from buying political power. Our initiative will end the use of free speech and assembly as a cover for the bribery and corruption that has robbed local voters of their franchise rights, and our government of its legitimacy.

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Also See:

Lobbyists Buy Law: Trading bucks for our health and safety


no safety with bribed politicians

Corruption Database





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

US takes China off list of worst rights violators: report

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008, Page 1

The US dropped China from its list of the world's worst human- rights violators, but added Syria, Uzbekistan and Sudan to its top 10 offenders in an annual report released on Tuesday.

Despite removing Beijing from its top blacklist, the US State Department's 2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices said China, which has raised hopes internationally that it would improve human rights by hosting the 2008 Olympics, still had a poor record overall.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the report aims to highlight the struggle for human rights around the world.

human-rights groups criticized the move, with Reporters Without Borders saying it was "a bad decision at a bad time" amid global moves to pressure Beijing into improving its record ahead of the August Olympics.

China had been fingered as one of the worst violators in the 2006 and 2005 reports. This year China was classified among authoritarian countries that are undergoing economic reform and rapid social change, but which "have not undertaken democratic political reform," the report said.

The State Department said in the report that "countries in which power was concentrated in the hands of unaccountable rulers remained the world's most systematic human-rights violators."

It listed 10 in that category: North Korea, Myanmar, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Eritrea and Sudan.

Other authoritarian countries listed as undergoing change were Venezuela, Nigeria, Thailand, Kenya and Egypt.

Human rights had improved in several countries since 2006, including Mauritania, Ghana, Haiti and Morocco, the report said.

Little or no progress had been made in Nepal, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Afghanistan or Russia, while the situation had deteriorated in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it said.

It said human rights in Pakistan worsened last year despite Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's repeated pledges to foster democracy. It highlighted a period of emergency rule late last year.

In Bangladesh, the "government's human-rights record worsened, in part due to the state of emergency and postponement of elections," the report said.

In Sri Lanka, it said "the government's respect for human rights continued to decline due in part to the escalation of the armed conflict."

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What's Really Going on Here??

US and China governments both have betrayed their respective revolutions

each reinforces the other's crimes

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March, 2008

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Also See:

China links: Deadly Trade

china links: econ links

China Links: Police State

China Links: Military Power

(domestic security-military Links)


Corruption Database



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

Economy Hammered by Toxic Blend of Ailments

nyt, 3-14-08

Almost everything seems to be going wrong for the American economy at once. People are buying less, but most things are costing more. Mortgage rates are rising, the dollar is falling and prices of key commodities like oil are leaping from one record high to the next.

On Thursday, the dollar plumbed new lows against the Japanese yen and several other major currencies; the price of an ounce of gold jumped above $1,000 for the first time; and lenders raised home loan rates once again. Government figures showed retail sales fell in February as consumers cut back on cars, furniture and electronics.

Stocks fell sharply after the retail sales report was released early in the day, and a large investment fund said it was nearing collapse. The volatility that has defined the market lately continued unabated.

Since the credit markets began to seize up in August, the steps taken by the Federal Reserve and the rest of the federal government have often bolstered stocks briefly, but so far they have done little to stem the larger downward drift.

Many specialists say policy makers can do only so much to protect the economy and warn that the government should be careful not to exacerbate inflation and create a new bubble like the one in housing that has burst.

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related article:

This big rescue may be just the beginning

By Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 15, 2008,0,2428261.story

But this time around, with Friday's surprise announcement that the Fed would temporarily inject its own money into tottering brokerage giant Bear Stearns Cos., many Wall Street pros say they have little confidence that the move is a prelude to better times for beleaguered markets and the economy.

Indeed, some experts say Bear Stearns' woes warn of potentially larger calamities that will severely test the Fed, the economy and, ultimately, taxpayers as the government gets more deeply involved in fixing the markets' troubles.

"We will lose, in some form, several major financial institutions before this is over," said veteran economist Allen Sinai of Decision Economics Inc. in New York.

The heart of the problem is that the nation is living through an unwinding of a 25-year-long, consumer-led borrowing binge. Bear Stearns was a key player in financing that binge, most notably in high-risk mortgages.

"The only true solution would be to get home prices up," said Jeffrey Gundlach, chief investment officer of Los Angeles-based money manager TCW Group. "But the fundamentals are moving in the opposite direction."


What's Really Going on Here??

Markets Plunging:

Get ready for the Big Selloff

Death of the "New Economy"

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March 14, 2008

This is no surprise to followers of the committee's commentary and analysis.

This massive downturn in stocks, the bond crisis, and the plunging of the dollar that we are experiencing has been very predictable.

The part of all this that is not predictable is the moment when millions of individual investors in the US realize that they have been suckered by wall street and the corporate politicians. At this moment they will pull their money out this collapsing house of cards.

What we are seeing is the death of the "new economy." The new economy concept was developed by the corporate press and corporate politicians to describe the massive speculative bubble that their irresponsible policies created in the markets during the late 1990's.

Wisdom and honesty would have required that the media call it what it was, a pyramid scheme set up by bribed politicians, and executed by wall street's giants.

This is the biggest story of our times: the parties, politicians, and the biggest corporate interests captured control of the heart of our polity and economy, and have drained it of our riches and rights.

But our press and politicians are not honest. Rather than acting as a free press and calling the bubble a bubble in 1996, the corporate media coined the term, "new economy." Rather than acting as a responsible democracy, and reigning in the speculative bubble, our corporate politicians poured gasoline on the blazing thievery and manipulation of the big market players.

The public was ready to be fed this line of bull about the "new economy." The public responded predictably, plunging into a decade long frenzy of open greed, conspicuous consumption, and arrogant materialism.

An amazing trick of magic had happened, but it was not the appearance of endless free money and endlessly rising values of american assets. What was magical was the way our common sense, honor, and ethics evaporated when confronted with making a quick buck.

We sold our values and honor for trinkets, and now we are beginning to understand that it was a bad deal. Our trinkets are worthless. If we are going to gain anything from this disaster it will be the knowledge that trading our free press for a corporate press blinded us to the dangers of allowing our democratic elections and government to be the playthings of corporate politicians and their corporate masters.

Democratically elected representatives of the local voters are endowed by the constitution with the duty to regulate commerce. This not only provides the rules and regulations necessary for orderly markets, but it provides a check against the power of wealth corrupting our democracy.

The corporate press and politicians have turned this on its ear. Commerce now regulates the politicians and the people. Wealth, rather than the voters, now dominates our government, media, and, most importantly, our economic and fiscal policy.

Predictably, after stealing our democracy, they stole all the money. After stealing our money, they used financial trickery to create an economic house of mirrors. As if by "magic" these irresponsible manipulations multiplied our stolen money. What did they do with all of this money? They loaned it back to the american public they stole it from.

Ironically, americans swallowed this hook, line, and sinker. This resulted in the spectacle of massive corporate profits garnered as the american consumer was drowning in real debt. But nobody was worried, as their assets climbed higher and higher to unsustainable heights.

Now we are facing the spectacle of wall street's financial house of mirrors shattering before our eyes, as the bubble-valued housing of the average consumer plummets.

After all the smoke clears, all that will remain will be a mountain of debt. If we are going to gain anything from this experience, it will be an deep understanding of the wisdom of our constitution's requirement that our government be of the people, and not be controlled by the rich and powerful.

I have been predicting that the dow will fall to between 6800 and 7200 by june 6, 2008 since august '07.  The dollar will be around $1.75 a euro. Inflation will be severe, and economic activity will be minimal. But the real status of our country will not be counted in a bank. It will be measured by the mood of the people.

If we profit from this ugly mess, it will be because we relearned the value of our lost democratic elections and government, and restore both. Then this crash will have served an honorable purpose: beating some sense into a confused country, and bringing its lost institutions back to legitimacy.

During the last 30 years we have completely replaced our democratic ethics and practices with the brutal power of greed. Now the failures of the greedy are creating the tools of their own destruction, and the rebirth of our democratic republic.

If we are smart, honest, and lucky, the death struggle of the "new economy" will be the re birthing pains of our old democracy.

Join us in the impending democratic revolution.

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Also See:



june, '07: Unregulated Markets Threatens Every American's Security, committee, june 25, 2007

the beginning of the crisis: Markets about to kill economy, Committee, Aug 4, 2007

crisis essay: Feds bail out greedy speculators:Markets will not settle until all assets are revalued, and housing reestablishes price and volume, Committee, August 17, 2007

LINKS: economy


Search the Corruption Database under



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


Yemeni describes CIA secret jails

A Yemeni man has described being held for nearly three years in secret CIA prisons, or "black sites", around the world and accused the US of torture.

bbc, 3-14-08


Khaled al-Maqtari told Amnesty International he was held in isolation for more than 28 months without charge or access to any legal representation.


He said he first became a US "ghost detainee" at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq after being arrested there in 2004.


The US has not acknowledged detaining Mr Maqtari.

US President George W Bush did acknowledge the existence of black sites in 2006.


He said the prisons were a vital tool in the US "war on terror" and insisted that the CIA had treated detainees humanely and had not used torture.


In July 2007, Mr Bush issued an executive order which banned "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of terrorist suspects by the CIA, but not its operation of secret facilities. The agency has since declined to say whether it still uses them.


'Ghost detainee'


In his first interview since being released by the Yemeni authorities in May last year, Mr Maqtari described the torture and ill-treatment he said he had suffered at the hands of the US military and CIA while in secret custody.


He describes being subjected to international crimes such as enforced disappearance and torture, yet these allegations have never been investigated

Anne FitzGerald

Amnesty International


He said he was initially arrested in Iraq in January 2004, when the US military raided a suspected arms market in Falluja.


He is believed to have then been handed to US Military Intelligence on suspicion of being a foreign insurgent.


He said he was then transferred to Abu Ghraib, where he alleged he was subjected to a regime of beatings, sleep deprivation, suspension upside-down in painful positions, intimidation by dogs and induced hypothermia.


After nine days of interrogation at Abu Ghraib, Mr Maqtari said he was flown to a secret CIA detention facility in Afghanistan and held there for three months.


Amnesty says it has obtained flight records which show that a plane operated by an alleged CIA front company flew from Baghdad to Kabul nine days after his arrest.



Mr Maqtari said that while in Afghanistan he was subjected to further torture and ill-treatment, including prolonged solitary confinement, the use of stress positions, sleep deprivation, exposure to extremes of hot and cold, sensory deprivation and disruption with bright lighting and loud music or sound effects.


"It was not really music but noise to scare you, like from one of those scary movies," he told Amnesty.


"I was scared, there were no dogs but there was noise there. Whenever you try to sleep, they bang on the door loudly and violently."


During the lapses in the music and sound effects, he was able to speak to other detainees and deduced that there were about 20 others being held in the cell around him, including Majid Khan, one of the "high value" detainees transferred to Guantanamo Bay in September 2006, according to Amnesty.


'Absence of accountability'


Mr Maqtari said that in late April 2004 he and a number of other detainees were transferred to another CIA black site, possibly in eastern Europe and held there in isolation for a further 28 months.



The Council of Europe has found evidence that the CIA ran secret jails in Poland and Romania between 2003 and 2005 to interrogate suspects.


Throughout his detention, Mr Maqtari did not have access to lawyers, relatives, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) or any person other than his interrogators and the other US personnel involved, Amnesty said.


Mr Maqtari was eventually handed over by the CIA in the summer of 2006 to the Yemeni authorities, who continued to hold him without charges until May 2007, the rights group said.


"Khaled al-Maqtari's account sheds more light on the US's unlawful conduct in the 'war on terror'," said Anne FitzGerald, a senior adviser at Amnesty.


"He describes being subjected to international crimes such as enforced disappearance and torture, yet these allegations have never been investigated," she added.


"The secrecy surrounding the programme goes hand-in-hand with a complete absence of accountability," the Amnesty International adviser said.


The US state department said it had no comment to give on Mr Maqtari's case.

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


Effort to Prohibit Waterboarding Fails in House


nyt, March 12, 2008


WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Tuesday failed to overturn President Bush’s veto of legislation that would have prohibited the Central Intelligence Agency from using waterboarding, which simulates drowning, on terrorism suspects.


The measure would have limited the agency to 19 techniques approved in the Army field manual on interrogation. The Army rules ban the use of waterboarding.


The C.I.A. director, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has confirmed that the agency used the technique on three terrorist suspects in 2002 and 2003.


The House roll call was 225 to 188, or 51 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to override a veto. Mr. Bush has vetoed seven bills and has been overridden only once.


The interrogation limits were part of the first intelligence authorization bill produced by Congress in three years.


The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas, framed the vote as a human rights referendum, saying, “This is about torture.”


The ranking Republican on the committee, however, Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, called the measure “ill-advised” and said it was like giving terrorists the American “playbook” on interrogation.


Mr. Bush said his veto on Saturday was not specifically about waterboarding but about wanting the C.I.A. to have the flexibility to use legal and effective interrogation methods that were not part of the Army regulations.


“I cannot sign into law a bill that would prevent me, and future presidents, from authorizing the C.I.A. to conduct a separate, lawful intelligence program, and from taking all lawful actions necessary to protect Americans from attack,” Mr. Bush said in a statement.

U.N. torture envoy says U.S. deny access to Iraq jails

By Stephanie Nebehay

Posted 3:03 pm EDT

reuters, 3-11-08


GENEVA, Mar. 11, 2008 (Reuters) — The U.N. investigator on torture said on Tuesday the United States had denied his request to visit U.S.-run jails in Iraq and insisted a visit could help clear its legacy of the prison abuse scandal in Abu Ghraib.


Manfred Nowak, United Nations special rapporteur on torture, said he had received credible information the situation had improved at U.S. detention facilities in recent years, but stressed only a visit would allow him to verify them.


An international outcry erupted in 2004 after images of prisoner abuse by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad, including naked detainees stacked in a pyramid and others cowering before snarling dogs, became public.


"I was a little astonished that the U.S. government is not willing to grant me access because it might perhaps even be in their own interest if I compared different detention facilities," Nowak told a news briefing in Geneva.


"It might also be in their interest in overcoming the legacy of having been criticized so much for torture practices in Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities up to 2004," he added.


Nowak, who has an Iraqi government invitation for his Oct 18-26 planned visit, said he would also expect full access to Iraqi-run detention facilities, although this was still under negotiation. British authorities have agreed to allow him to visit their detainees in Iraq, he added.


At least 30,000 prisoners are held by Iraqi authorities, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross which made its first visit to security detainees held by Iraq's central government last October.


The neutral Red Cross -- whose reports are confidential unlike those of U.N. investigators -- still seeks a wider agreement for access to all prisoners held by Iraq. Sunni Arabs have accused the Shi'ite-led interior ministry of operating torture centers and dungeons holding Sunni detainees.


Nowak also voiced dismay at President George W. Bush's veto last Saturday of legislation passed by Congress that would have banned the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from using waterboarding. The U.N. envoy reiterated that the interrogation technique which simulates drowning amounted to torture.


"I think that the (U.S.) government wishes to maintain certain positions of principle which they have taken at the beginning of the so-called war on terror, and if they now would take them back as a government, they would kind of admit that what they had done in the past was wrong," he said.


"I think that the current administration still sticks to its legal position although there is enough evidence that these legal positions are untenable under international law," he said.


Nowak, an Austrian law professor who has served in the independent post since 2004, spoke on the sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Its 47 member states are holding a four-week session until March 28 to examine abuses worldwide.

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Senior al Qaeda suspect sent to Guantanamo prison

By Kristin Roberts

reuters, 3-14-08


WASHINGTON, Mar. 14, 2008 (Reuters) — A suspected high-level al Qaeda member who helped Osama bin Laden elude U.S. forces in Afghanistan has been captured and sent to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon said on Friday.


The detainee, Muhammad Rahim, helped prepare the Tora Bora caves used as a hide-out for bin Laden in Afghanistan in 2001, and helped him escape during the U.S.-led invasion that followed the September 11, 2001, attacks, officials said.

Rahim, an Afghan national, was detained in the summer of 2007, according to a statement CIA Director Michael Hayden gave to CIA employees. The CIA transferred him into Defense Department custody earlier this week, according to Whitman.


Whitman would not say where or how Rahim was initially detained. He also would not say who captured him.


But Hayden said Rahim was transferred into U.S. custody after his detention, which could mean the detainee was first held by non-U.S. forces.


"Rahim was eventually moved into U.S. custody and -- given his past and the continuing threat he presented to American interests -- placed in CIA's interrogation program," Hayden said.


A senior counterterrorism official would not describe the interrogation methods used on Rahim.


"I can't characterize the nature of his questioning (but) this detention was done in accord with U.S. law," the official said.


With Rahim, the Pentagon is now holding 16 men it considers "high-value detainees" -- a classification that indicates U.S. officials believe the capture had a significant effect on al Qaeda operations and the prisoner is capable of providing high-quality intelligence.


The military prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, holds about 280 detainees.


The last transfer into Guantanamo was in August. Al-Hadi was the last high-value detainee transferred from the CIA to the prison before Rahim.


The counterterrorism official declined to say whether there were others in the interrogation program.

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Most Muslims 'desire democracy'

The largest survey to date of Muslims worldwide suggests the vast majority want Western democracy and freedoms, but do not want them to be imposed.

BBC, Wednesday, 27 February 2008


The poll by Gallup of more than 50,000 Muslims in 35 nations found most wanted the West to instead focus on changing its negative view of Muslims and Islam.


The huge survey began following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.


The overwhelming majority of those asked condemned them and subsequent attacks, citing religious reasons.


The poll, which claims to represent the views of 90% the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, is to be published next month as part of a book entitled Who Speaks For Islam? What A Billion Muslims Really Think.


New policies


According to the book, the survey of the world's Muslim community was commissioned by Gallup's chairman, Jim Clifton, shortly after US President George W Bush asked in a 2001 speech: "Why do they hate us?"



"The radicals are better educated, have better jobs, and are more hopeful with regard to the future than mainstream Muslims - but they're more cynical about whether they'll ever get it"

John Esposito

Author, Who Speaks For Islam?



Mr Bush wondered why radical Islamist militant groups such as al-Qaeda hated democratically elected governments, as well as "our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assembly and disagree with each other".


But one of the book's authors, John Esposito, says the survey's results suggest Muslims - ironically even many of the 7% classing themselves as "radical" - in fact admire the West for its democracy and freedoms. However, they do not want such things imposed on them.


"Muslims want self-determination, but not an American-imposed and defined democracy. They don't want secularism or theocracy," said the professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington.


"What the majority wants is democracy with religious values."

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What's Really Going on Here??


Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March, 2008
The pattern of domestic and international use of american power indicates that our government has broken its constitutional restrains, and is operating outside of the rule of law.

Bush has openly defied the constitution, congressional oversight and law. Congress has taken impeachment off the table, which has allowed bush's crimes to go unchecked and unpunished. In virtually every case, the democrats in congress have rolled over and passed unconstitutional laws to cover bush's crimes.

It is apparent that the power and wealth of our corporate empire has gone to the heads of the politicians in congress. Their bloated egos and bribed campaigns make it impossible for them to represent the welfare of our people or the values of our democratic republic. They have failed to protect our country against the greatest threat in our history: the formation of a corporate fascist state.

This is not just indicated by congress' willingness to fund and support illegal wars, a system of secret torture prisons, and give the president the right to search anyone without a warrant. The birth of the corporate fascist state has been going on for decades, and was born fully developed when the congress rolled over when the white house claimed unlimited powers within the nation and the world for the duration of the Terror War.

To stop our government from committing any more domestic or international crimes , we must sever the feeding tube of corporate bribery that keeps our corporate politicians in power, and put our people back in charge of our government. We can not restore our rights or our democratic government until we end politics powered by bribery.

Until we stop the special interests from bribing our politicians, our government's foreign policy will continue to be no more than a tool of our global corporations. Our corporate politicians have criminally misused our military and wasted our wealth to attack iraq in a dishonest attempt to maintain our corporate domination of the world's oil markets.

Domestically, our government will continue to use every tool at their disposal to subsidize corporate profits as long as the corporations are allowed to bribe our politicians.

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House Passes Surveillance Bill

Ignoring Bush Demands, Measure Does Not Offer Telecom Immunity

By Jonathan Weisman

wp, 3-14-08


A deeply divided House approved its latest version of terrorist surveillance legislation today, rebuffing President Bush's demand for a bill that would grant telecommunications firms retroactive immunity for cooperation in past warrantless wiretapping and deepening the impasse on a fundamental national security issue.


Congress then defiantly left Washington for a two-week spring break.


The legislation, approved 213-197, would update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to expand the powers of intelligence agencies and keep pace with ever-changing communications technologies.


But it challenges the Bush administration on a number of fronts, by restoring the power of the federal courts to approve wiretapping warrants, authorizing federal inspectors general to investigate the administration's warrantless surveillance efforts, and establishing a bipartisan commission to examine the activities of intelligence agencies in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


Most provocatively, the House legislation offers no legal protections to the telecom companies that participated in warrantless wiretapping and now face about 40 lawsuits alleging they had breached customers' privacy rights.


Instead of granting them immunity, as the Senate has, the House measure would send the issue to a secure federal court and grant the companies the right to argue their case before a judge with information the administration has deemed to be state secrets.


A dozen Democrats sided with a united Republican Party against the legislation.


The House's action ensures that Bush will not receive surveillance legislation for several weeks. But some lawmakers from both parties said the impasse is now so deep that the issue may not be resolved until a new president takes office next year.


Bush and Republican lawmakers have shown no desire to move further toward the House Democratic leaders' position, and the Democrats are showing no sign of buckling under the mounting political pressure.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, such showdowns have followed a predictable path: After some protest, Democrats have given in to White House demands, fearing the political fallout as Bush hammered them for allegedly jeopardizing American lives. Last month, the Senate appeared to follow the script when it passed a surveillance bill to Bush's liking with bipartisan support, after turning back the efforts of some Democrats to strip out legal immunity and strengthen privacy protections.


Bush appeared on the White House's South Lawn yesterday to demand House passage of the Senate legislation, warning lawmakers that "voting for this bill would make our country less safe. . . . The American people understand the stakes in this struggle. They want their children to be safe from terror."


Then the House went off script. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to Bush's appeal, all but calling the president a liar.


"The president says Democrats in Congress should not be deceived. They are not deceived. They know the law. They know the Constitution. We understand our responsibility to protect the American people. What the president is trying to do is something that we think should be stopped," she said, adding, "I am stating a fact. The president is wrong, and he knows it."


Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) jumped into the fray, charging, "once again, the president is playing politics with something that should be able to get bipartisan support. There is no need to give immunity to phone companies, particularly when there hasn't been a full airing of what was done in these programs. We're not going to give a blank check to private entities who potentially are violating the privacy of their customers."


House Republican leaders tried to increase political pressure yesterday, demanding that the House go into a rare secret session -- only the fifth since 1825 and the first since 1983 -- to hear classified information they said would bolster the case for offering immunity and stripping out other House provisions. After a two-hour security sweep to ensure the House chamber was secure, the session convened at 10 p.m.


But with the chamber about half full, Republicans apparently failed to present any information compelling enough to derail the Democrats' legislation. Democrats said very little was discussed that could not have been revealed in open session. Pelosi didn't show up, and Democrats, underwhelmed by the GOP's evidence, used just 10 minutes of their allotted 30 minutes of secret time.


Democrats counter that they cannot offer immunity without knowing precisely what actions they are forgiving. By turning the issue over to the courts, they say they have compromised with the White House's position. And they say their legislation grants Bush all the authority he needs to conduct surveillance.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March, 2008

It is good that the dems finally have put some kind of limit on bush's criminal behavior. But none of bush's claims are new. Bush has been illegally searching americans since 911.

The dems first response was to help pass the unconstitutional patriot act. Then they supported an illegal war. Then they won congress, and have not restored habius corpus, made rules for prisoners, or restored our right to be free from warrantless searches.

But they have finally done something. They have failed to indemnify the criminal corporations that assisted bush's illegal searching program. I suggest that the telecoms did not feed the dems big enough bribes. That can be fixed.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March, 2008


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Today's Headlines


1] esquire article: fallon fired as obstacle to iran attack

1b] aljazzera article: echoes esquire

2] FAA conspires to put unsafe planes in the sky

2b] FDA: Eat your Nasty Corporate Spinach!

3] US takes china's police state off list of rights violators

March 14-15, 2008

Economic meltdown

4] Decades of Corporate economics crashing down

corporate press finally sees the econ trainwreck

American torture and terror machine

5] Yemeni describes disappearance, secret imprisonment, torture at hands of US

6] Waterboarding torture ban fails in house

un torture envoy denied access to us prisons in iraq

7] another torture victim emerges out of CIA secret prison-torture system

8] Muslims want their own democracy, not our dictators

Dems Finally recognize that Americans have constitutional rights

9] House passes spy bill without telecom immunity: finally, the dems grew some baby balls