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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ron Paul talks about Iran(Video)

Ron Paul Talks About Iran
Campaign for Liberty
September 30, 2009

In his latest C4L video, Dr. Paul answers a supporter’s email question and discusses how our current interventionist foreign policy benefits neither the American people nor our national security situation.

Congressman Paul presents a balanced view of the Iranian nuclear program while pointing out who really benefits from the administration’s more-of-the-same foreign policy.

Media pundits back away from 9/11 debate with Sheen...

Media Pundits Back Away From 9/11 Debate With Sheen
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Charlie Sheen’s challenge to media pundits to debate him on the issues brought up in his “20 Minutes With The President” letter has not been met after several news outlets expressed interest in taking part but later backed off when it became clear that the discussion would have to be fairly moderated.

Bill O’Reilly was the only pundit to express an interest in debating Sheen but all has gone quiet on that front following Sheen’s request that the debate be properly presented with each side having equal time.

Earlier this month, appearing on The Alex Jones Show, Sheen responded to personal attacks by Meghan McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, by challenging them all to a debate on neutral ground regarding the unanswered questions surrounding 9/11.

Initially, CNN’s Larry King Live show was eager to host the debate but was shocked that it could find no one who would agree to go toe to toe with Sheen and his 20 bullet points on 9/11.

E mails forwarded to us by Sheen indicate that Bill O’Reilly was initially interested and that ABC’s Good Morning America was keen to broadcast the debate.

However, as soon as Sheen outlined rules that would ensure a fair environment to discuss the issues, O’Reilly and his representatives went cold and backed away from the challenge, according to Sheen.

But at least O’Reilly had the courage to respond, unlike every other debunker who attacked Sheen yet skulked away in a cowardly fashion when they were challenged.

“We’re not naked shouting from the top of a building ‘come debate us’, we’re just issuing a very calm and reasonable offer to just sit down in an open and fair debate forum and hash this thing out,” Sheen told The Alex Jones Show yesterday.

Sheen characterized O’Reilly’s brief interest in the debate as a “nibble” and added that an agreement has not been reached on the terms that were presented to the Fox News host’s representatives.

Sheen said that the reaction to his challenge was, “Inkeeping with how this very deceptive and dangerous machine operates.”

“As long as they’ve got the media under their control then this is the mountain that we must continue to climb,” he added.

Watch Sheen’s appearance on The Alex Jones Show yesterday below. E mails exchanged between Sheen, his representative, and Bill O’Reilly’s representative are reprinted at the end.

Mark Crispin Miller speaks at NYC CAN rally(Video)

Were ArmorGroup allegations quashed?

Were ArmorGroup Allegations Quashed?
State Department Inspector Gen.'s Office "Lost" Complaint against Troubled Security Co.
By Sharyl Attkisson

(CBS)CBS News first reported this month on the hazing and humiliating of local employees and other serious breaches of ethics and policy by civilian security guards during wild parties at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Turns out, the State Department was warned that things weren't right at the embassy, but nothing was done. Now there are troubling questions for the man once in charge of investigating those problems, reports CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson.

As inspector general for the State Department, Howard Krongard was supposed to be an independent watchdog.

It was his job to investigate the very type of misconduct alleged at the U.S. embassy in Kabul: forced sexual hazing of guards, contract fraud and waste of tax dollars.

CBS News has learned that serious allegations about the embassy reached Krongard's office two years ago - where they apparently vanished into thin air.

How that could've happened is even harder to explain when you consider who made the complaint: Sen. Joe Lieberman, head of the Homeland Security Committee. His staffers say they notified Krongard's office about security and fraud allegations made by high-level whistleblowers from inside ArmorGroup, the company that provides embassy security.

Asked if he remembers that, Krongard said, "No. I Have no knowledge of that whatsoever."

But CBS News has learned Krongard had a special and controversial link to the company he should have been policing. His brother Buzzy, former executive director of the CIA, was on ArmorGroup's board of directors.

ArmorGroup's Kabul embassy contract is worth $187 million tax dollars.

Attkisson asked Krongard about the conflict of interest:

Attkisson: Did you know your own brother was on ArmorGroup's board of directors?

Krongard: No , I did not.

Attkisson: Why didn't you know?

Krongard: Dunno. I guess No. 1 I'm not sure why I should've known, but No. 2 he never told me.

Attkisson: You should have known, in the opinion of a lot of people, because it would've been a perceived conflict of interest.

Krongard: He was a senior official in the Central Intelligence Agency; he did not discuss his matters with me.

Attkisson: Would you like to have known in retrospect?

Krongard: If you're asking me do I think that either ArmorGroup or he should have told me, yes. It wouldn't have made any difference, as I say, I never had anything to do with ArmorGroup.

Krongard insists there was no conflict because he and his brother "lead separate lives."

But if the scenario sounds familiar - it is.

About the same time the ArmorGroup complaint disappeared in Krongard's office, lawmakers accused him of dragging his feet on probes into another war contractor: Blackwater.

On Nov. 14, 2007, Krongard was asked under oath if brother Buzzy was involved in Blackwater. He said no, but faced with evidence to the contrary, he phoned his brother during a break and then reversed course.

"I had not been aware of that, and I want to state on the record right now that I hereby recuse myself from any matters having to do with Blackwater."

Krongard resigned under fire a short time later.

We showed our documentary evidence of Buzzy Krongard's ArmorGroup ties to Danielle Brian. She heads the watchdog group - the Project on Government Oversight - that exposed the embassy guard scandal.

"To find that the I.G.'s brother was also on the board of ArmorGroup is - is breathtaking," Brian said.

There's no way to know what would have happened without the possible conflict of interest. But watchdogs say that had the ArmorGroup allegations been aggressively investigated then, it might have prevented two years' worth of fraud, waste and security risks being alleged today.

Military to get mandatory swine flu shots soon...

Military to get mandatory swine flu shots soon
By LOLITA C. BALDOR (AP) – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON — U.S. military troops will begin getting required swine flu shots in the next week to 10 days, with active duty forces deploying to war zones and other critical areas going to the front of the vaccine line, a top military commander said Tuesday.

Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart also told The Associated Press that as many as 400 troops are ready to go to five regional headquarters around the country to assist federal health and emergency management officials if needed as the flu season heats up.

The Pentagon has bought 2.7 million vaccines, and 1.4 million of those will go to active duty military. National Guard troops on active duty are also required to receive the vaccine, as are civilian Defense Department employees who are in critical jobs.

As a result, the military is expected to provide health officials with an early assessment of the vaccine.

"Because I can compel people to get the shots, larger numbers will have the vaccine," said Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command. "They will, as a percentage of the population, be vaccinated more rapidly than many of us. So we may see some objective results, good or not, of the vaccinations."

Shots will be doled out on a priority basis, with troops preparing to deploy first, followed by other active duty forces, particularly any who might be needed to quickly respond to a hurricane or other emergency.

Families of military members will receive their shots through the military bases, who will be working with state officials and get their own shipments of the vaccine. Renuart said it appears there is enough of the vaccine to meet the military's needs.

Inoculating the military is a key requirement of the Pentagon's emergency plan, as a way to ensure that troops are available to protect the nation. They also will be on tap to provide help to states if problems come up as the flu season continues.

So far, Renuart said that between 15 and 20 troops have been dispatched to each of the five regional headquarters, to work with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state leaders.

But the military presence could rise to 80 in each regional office if needed, he said.

"If you see the virus begin to mutate or have a broader affect, or pockets where the vaccine isn't available or is less effective," and the local authorities need help, the military would send the additional support, Renuart said.

For the general population, the first swine flu vaccine should be in some doctors' offices as early as Oct. 5, according to U.S. health officials.

The early batches will protect 6 million to 7 million people, but over time, the government expects to have a total of 250 million doses of the new vaccine. About 10 percent of that has been promised to other countries.

Vaccine shipments will go directly to doctors, clinics and other providers designated by each state.

According to the CDC, the swine flu is widespread in 26 states now, up from 21 a week ago. While the CDC doesn't have an exact count of swine flu deaths and hospitalizations, reports suggest the infection has caused more than 600 deaths and more than 9,000 hospitalizations.

New Jersey forcing parents to have kids vaccinated or they will be kicked out of school(Video)

The 2009 VMA's: The occult mega-ritual

The 2009 VMAs: The Occult Mega-Ritual
Sep 25th, 2009 | By Vigilant

From unexpected drama to shocking performances, MTV’s 2009 Video Music Awards managed once again to raise eyebrows and get people talking. What most people however missed is the occult meanings encoded into the VMAs. The TV event was in fact a large scale occult ceremony, complete with an initiation, a prayer and even a blood sacrifice. We’ll look at the symbolism that went on during the show.


Why Taiwan's universal health care system works...

Read this, Senators: Taiwan's universal health care system provides full coverage for $21 a month - why can't we?
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) When people ask why I oppose Obama's health care reform proposals, I point out what a consumer (and employer) rip-off the current system of pharmaceutical medicine really is. Americans are victims in a monopoly medical scam that's enforced by the FDA and FTC with lots of propaganda support from the mainstream media and Big Pharma. This fraudulent monopoly system causes Americans to pay the highest prices in the world for pharmaceuticals and health care, even while receiving remarkably poor results in their own health status.

Sadly, even Obama's health reform plan does little to change this situation: It still traps Americans in a system of overpriced, over-hyped and aggressively marketed pharmaceuticals that harm far more people than they help.

The average American family is right now paying over $1,000 a month for insurance coverage. It's bankrupting families and driving the American people into an economic wasteland. Meanwhile, other nations are providing superior health care for a whole lot less money. How much less? Get this:

Taiwan's universal care system provides full coverage for slightly over $21 / month for an individual who is unemployed. A typical family of four where both parents work is paying roughly $75 / month which includes full coverage for both the parents and their two children.

A person who is self-employed pays roughly $45 / month. Someone who is employed at an average income level pays just $10 / month (the employer pays the rest). The out-of-pocket fee for a typical visit to the doctor is roughly five dollars.

Taiwan isn't some third-world country. This is an advanced, first-world nation with state-of-the-art western medical care. They have high-end technology, world-class physicians trained in western medical schools (I mean, if you believe in western medicine as being useful), and some of the most modern hospitals in Asia. I was actually in a Taiwan hospital just a few months ago, and I got to witness a simple outpatient surgical procedure conducted quickly, efficiently and with amazing medical expertise.

Veterans are provided 100% free health insurance for life. Spouses of veterans get 70% of their insurance paid by the government. All farmers and fishermen only have to pay 30% of their insurance, too, because the other 70% is paid by the government. This means the average Taiwan farmer pays just a few dollars a month for health insurance.

Low-income individuals receive 100% free health care and pay nothing for full coverage. (http://www.nhi.gov.tw/english/webda...)

What's covered in Taiwan's universal health care system

Taiwan's universal health care system covers: (http://www.nhi.gov.tw/english/webda...)

• All doctor checkups and routine medical procedures

• All pharmaceuticals

• All dental care other than cosmetic

• All vision and eye care

• Emergency medicine, including ambulance costs (covers 80%, you pay 20%)

• Physical therapy and rehabilitation services

• All prenatal care and birthing care

• Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, herbs and medical massage (Tui-Na)

• At-home care (covers 90%, you pay 10%)

• Long-term chronic care in the hospital (you pay 5% for the first 30 days, then increasingly more the longer you stay, with a maximum of roughly $875 out of pocket per stay, no matter how long)

• All mental health care, including psychiatric medicine

Why Taiwan's universal care works

If you're an American reading this, you might be astonished at what has just been presented here. How can Taiwan provide all this universal coverage so affordably?

The answer to this is crucial to understand. It explains why Obama's health care reform plan is a complete rip-off. One of the main reasons is because Taiwan doesn't pay monopoly prices for pharmaceuticals (it buys mostly generics). Taiwan doesn't have an insane system of health insurance companies that deny coverage to patients and deny payments to health care providers. Private insurance companies barely have any role in the system at all, eliminating armies of paper pushers who contribute nothing useful to the health outcome of citizens.

Taiwan also doesn't have out-of-control medical malpractice lawsuits. This greatly reduces the cost for medical professionals to practice medicine, thereby drastically lowering the end costs to consumers at the same time. There are no "ambulance chasers" in Taiwan, and doctors don't have to operate out of the constant fear of being sued by some disgruntled patient.

Perhaps most importantly, Taiwan covers preventive medicine and many forms of natural medicine which help keep people healthy at a much lower cost than western medicine. If you need acupuncture or Chinese medicine herbs, just visit an accredited practitioner and your universal health care plan covers most of the cost.

The Taiwan plan isn't perfect -- too many people are using it to hoard prescription drugs that they mail to relatives in China -- but it's so amazingly affordable and efficient that it puts America's health care system to shame.

In fact, if you happen to know any Taiwanese living in America, you already know that they often travel back to Taiwan for dental work or health care procedures. The costs are so much more affordable there that the difference in price pays for a round-trip air ticket with cash to spare!

So if America supposedly offers "the best health care in the world," why do people flee the country to get health care services somewhere else? Why do Mexican-Americans go back to Mexico for their dental work and health care? Why do Canadian-Americans cross the border back into Canada for their health care? Why do American corporations send employees to the Philippines on medical tourism jaunts to have heart surgery or knee replacements?

The answer is because American's health care system is a complete monopoly rip-off, and Obama's health care reform does nothing to resolve that. It just continues the rip-off and in some ways makes it even worse by forcing everyone to participate in that rip-off. It doesn't end the health insurance sham or the pharmaceutical cartel. It doesn't provide nutritional therapies for the people, and it doesn't meaningfully bring down the cost of health care for the unemployed or self-employed. It just forces everyone to participate in a system that's ripping off the American people and American businesses. And in doing so, it will put even more American employers out of business, ultimately causing a huge loss of American jobs.

The broken system of health care in America can't be fixed by fiddling with the details of who pays for monopoly-priced pharmaceuticals. It needs to be discarded and rebuilt from the ground up, with a focus on keeping people healthy rather than fattening the profits of drug companies. Until such a reform proposal comes along that accomplishes that, it doesn't deserve my support, nor yours.

If Taiwan can provide full, universal health care coverage for $21 / month, why can't the U.S. figure out a way to make its own health care somewhat affordable? Even getting it down to $75 / month would be a huge achievement, making it affordable for almost everyone. At that price, mandatory participation requirements wouldn't be so objectionable. Even a minimum-wage worker could afford it.

What's NOT included in Taiwan's universal health care system
Taiwan's universal health care system doesn't cover everything. Here's some of what's not included:

• Cosmetic surgery, including breast enlargement, facial surgery and purely cosmetic dental procedures. If cosmetic reconstruction is necessary due to an accident or injury, then it is covered.

• Vaccinations

• Sex change surgeries

• Infertility procedures or birth control surgeries

• Over-the-counter medications

• Blood (for transfusions) (You have to buy your own blood, or bring a relative who has some to spare)

• Experimental medicine

• Eye glasses and artificial eyes

• Wheel chairs, walking canes

• Hearing aids

• Substance abuse addiction recovery

Those are the big exclusions. Nearly everything else is covered, including dental, prenatal, emergency medicine and medications.

The reason I'm printing all this here is because during this debate about U.S. health care reform, it's useful to see how other countries have already achieved far more cost-effective and efficient solutions. This indicates that an affordable, quality health care system is possible if only our politicians would find the backbone to create one. If Taiwan can do it, why can't we?

The differences between Taiwan's health care philosophy and America's philosophy is revealingly found in a web-based ad appearing at the Bureau of National Health Insurance for Taiwan (http://www.nhi.gov.tw/). It offers the following advice:

• Exercise
• Drink Water
• Eat a Healthy Diet
• Enjoy Nature
• Be Happy

In the U.S., a similar ad on a U.S. government website would instead say something like:

• Get vaccinated
• Get irradiated with a mammogram
• Take more medications
• Avoid sunlight
• Avoid nutritional supplements and healing herbs

Is it any wonder that the U.S. health care system is failing? The U.S. system pushes pharmaceuticals, surgery and truly bad health advice that just keeps people trapped in a cycle of disease. The Taiwan system, on the other hand, actually encourages people to adopt healthy lifestyle changes and prevent disease. Is it any wonder that Taiwan gets better results?

Of course, even Taiwan's system is heading for its own troubles, thanks mostly to the influx of pharmaceutical advertising. Big Pharma's brainwashing ads are convincing more and more Taiwanese that they need pharmaceutical intervention to be healthy, and the increased demand for pharmaceuticals is starting to take a heavy financial toll on the Taiwan system of universal care. To save their health care systems, both Taiwan and the United States will need to end the domination of Big Pharma over modern medicine and re-emphasize the importance of nutrition and disease prevention in supporting the health of any nation.

DNA casts doubt on Hitler suicide story...

DNA Casts Doubt on Hitler Suicide Story
AOL News
posted: 1 DAY 5 HOURS AGO

(Sept. 28) - New DNA tests show that a skull long thought to be Adolf Hitler's is not his after all. Scientists at the University of Connecticut conducted tests on the bullet-pierced skull -- which had been secretly preserved for decades by Soviet intelligence -- and discovered that it belonged to an unidentified woman under 40, the British newspaper The Guardian reported Sunday.

The results cast doubt on the long-held account that the Nazi dictator swallowed a cyanide pill and then committed suicide in his Berlin bunker as Allied forces were closing in on him in 1945. The story of the testing was also reported in a History Channel documentary,"Hitler's Escape".

University of Connecticut archaeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni knew from the outset that something was amiss. "The bone seemed very thin; male bone tends to be more robust," he said. "And the sutures where the skull plates come together seemed to correspond to someone under 40." Hitler had turned 56 in 1945.
Bellantoni had flown to Moscow to inspect the skull and was given one hour to take DNA samples. The testing was conducted in Connecticut.

According to the Guardian, the skull fragment was the only positive physical proof that Hitler had shot himself. So who does the skull belong to?

According to witnesses, Hitler committed suicide with his mistress Eva Braun. Their bodies were then wrapped in blankets and carried to a bomb crater outside the Berlin bunker, doused with gas and set on fire. But Bellantoni doesn't think the skull belongs to her.

"There is no report of Eva Braun having shot herself or having been shot afterwards. It could be anyone. Many people were killed around the bunker area," he said.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Protesters rally against swine flu vaccine...

Protesters rally against swine flu vaccine

A few hundred health-care workers and concerned citizens are protesting at the state Capitol today against mandatory swine flu vaccinations. Nurses from the Poughkeepsie area, Rochester region and other parts of New York said they don’t think they should be forced to get a vaccine that has been fast-tracked and that they don’t believe has been tested appropriately as a condition of keeping their jobs.

In previous years, health-care workers were urged but not required to get flu shots each winter season. But this year, with the expected return of the swine-flu virus, they are being required to get both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines. The swine-flu vaccines are expected to hit the market in the coming weeks.

Many protesters are carrying home-made signs with sayings like, “We’re not lab rats” and “No flu shot no job?”

Former UN weapons inspector warns against "politically motivated hype" on Iran's nuke program(Video)

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter joins us to discuss what he calls "politically motivated hype" over Iran's nuclear program. The Obama administration has warned of sanctions unless Iran allows inspections of a newly disclosed nuclear site. Iran insists the site has been used for peaceful purposes. The row comes just after Iran's test-firing of medium- and long-range missiles and before Iranian officials are due to hold talks with the US and five other nations in Geneva.

Montana town occupied by private paramilitary security force...

Montana Town Occupied By Private Paramilitary Security Force
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A private security force whose biggest role is helping the U.S. government to “combat terrorism” is now patrolling the streets of a town in Montana, acting as law enforcement but accountable to nobody and operating completely outside the limitations of the U.S. constitution in a chilling throwback to the brownshirts of Nazi Germany.

The American Police Force organization is a paramilitary unit that “provides surveillance, investigative, and military services across the world,” according to its website, which shows men dressed in military fatigues carrying machine guns.

“As part of our mission, APF plays a critical role in helping the U.S. government meet vital homeland security and national defense needs. Within the last 5 years the United States has been far and away our #1 client. Technologies, programs, and services performed by APF have played a very important role in U.S. military and civilian efforts to protect our homeland and combat terrorism,” the website states.

APF were originally contracted to provide security at a previously empty detention center in Hardin, a small town in Montana, but are now patrolling the streets driving SUV’s with “Police Department” printed on them despite the fact that Hardin doesn’t have a police department. American Police Force has no jurisdiction in the area because it is a private organization, not a police force.

According to Two Rivers Authority officials, having the private security force patrol the streets was not part of the contract. “I have no idea. I really don’t because that’s not been a part of any of the discussions we’ve had with any of them,” Two Rivers Authority’s Al Peterson told KULR 8 News. Peterson said that patrolling the streets was on the “wishlist” of APF’s Captain Michael.

The American Police Force is a shady outfit shrouded in suspicion. According to an Associated Press report, questions over the legitimacy of the organization abound.

“Government contract databases show no record of the company. Security industry representatives and federal officials said they had never heard of it. On its Web site, the company lists as its headquarters a building in Washington near the White House that holds “virtual offices.” A spokeswoman for the building said American Police Force never completed its application to use the address,” reports AP.

Furthermore, APF was tasked with filling the empty Hardin detention center with inmates, without any clear indication of where those prisoners would come from.

“It’s unclear where the company will get the inmates for the jail. Montana says it’s not sending inmates to the jail, and neither are federal officials in the state,” according to the report.

Maybe the inmates will be the local population of Hardin if American Police Force is allowed to continue to pose as a law enforcement outfit in the town, which is exactly what they intend to do for at least another month.

Having a private security force whose stated mission is to help the U.S. government “combat terrorism” patrol the streets of small towns in America without even having the authority to do so from local authorities is obviously a frightening pretext and harks back to the private paramilitary forces that helped Adolf Hitler rise to power in Nazi Germany.

Many fear that if martial law is declared in response to a flu pandemic or other emergency, private security forces such as APF will be used by the government to oppress citizens by operating outside of the law.

This is completely unconstitutional and a flagrant threat to the liberty and security of the population of Hardin. The County Sheriff is effectively breaking the law if he doesn’t immediately kick APF out of the area and end the occupation of the town by a private paramilitary army.

Paramilitary force to boss internment camp in Montana...

Paramilitary Force To Boss Internment Camp In Montana
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Following our earlier report about a paramilitary security force occupying a town in Montana, it has now become clear that the purpose of American Police Force is to boss a state of the art internment camp that some fear will be used to incarcerate American citizens, as reports come in of the private paramilitary unit setting up roadblocks and harassing citizens in Hardin.

A CNN report on the $27 million dollar facility in Hardin Montana states that it could become “Gitmo West” and be filled with detainees from Guantanamo Bay and other terrorists. Since a majority of the American people have now been designated as potential domestic terrorists by the federal government, fears are growing that the prison camp will be used to incarcerate citizens against their will during a flu pandemic or any other declared emergency.

The Two Rivers Detention Center is a state of the art facility, festooned with surveillance cameras and surrounded by razor wire and open land to prevent escape. The camp is also filled with riot equipment such as gas masks, riot helmets, shields and batons, as well as guns.

Since the camp is currently empty, a private paramilitary unit calling itself American Police Force has been hired by local authorities to boss the facility. However, as we reported earlier, APF, which has all the hallmarks of being another Blackwater, has virtually occupied the town, festooned their vehicles with police decals and started carrying out law enforcement duties.

According to an article carried on the Steve Quayle website, 75% of the APF agents will be foreign mercenaries after training is completed and the organization’s ultimate goal is to establishment a permanent presence in the town while scouting out another 30 U.S. towns for a similar occupation-style mandate. The writer claims that APF agents are already harassing citizens, setting up roadblocks and that they told a local business owner that they had a register of all the gun owners in the town.

All of this is of course completely illegal and unconstitutional. A private army cannot pose as a police force unless we’re talking about a third world dictatorship or a banana republic, which is what the U.S. has seemingly become.

It seems that Obama’s promise of a “national civilian security force” is being implemented as private mercenary armies are brought in to occupy American towns and set up internment camps for dissidents and people who resist a federal government takeover under the pretext of a swine flu outbreak or similar pandemic

We will have reports directly out of Hardin Montana over the next few days as we track this shocking development.

Watch the CNN clip and the KULR News 8 clip below. Further videos follow.

Wall Street money rains on Senator Schumer...

Wall Street money rains on Schumer
Lisa Lerer, Victoria Mcgrane – Mon Sep 28, 5:34 am ET

Wall Street has showered nearly $11 million on the Senate since the beginning of the year, and more than 15 percent of it has gone to a single senator: Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.

Schumer’s $1.65 million take from the financial services industry is nearly twice that of any other senator's — and more than five times what the industry gave to any single Republican senator.

While the industry has scaled back its political spending in the wake of last year’s economic collapse, data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that it’s still investing heavily in the Senate, where it’s likely to have its best shot at stopping — or at least shaping — the crackdown on Wall Street that President Barack Obama has proposed.

And it’s clearly looking to Democrats to do it.

Of the $10.6 million the industry has given to sitting senators this year, more than $7.7 million has gone to Democrats. Schumer got his $1.65 million; his New York colleague Kirsten Gillibrand took in $886,000; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada received $814,000; Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut scored $603,000; Colorado freshman Michael Bennet got $401,000; and Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas— who will have a big say on the derivatives portion of regulatory reform — got $336,000.

“Democrats are holding the reins in Washington now with a Democratic-run White House and Congress,” said one financial services lobbyist. “It only makes sense that donors want to put their money into the coffers of those who are driving the agenda.”

Among Republicans, the biggest recipient of financial-industry money so far this year is Richard Shelby of Alabama. But although he’s the ranking Republican on the Banking Committee — ground zero for the regulatory reform bill in the Senate — he’s received just $313,000 from the industry this year.

That’s smaller than the haul for Bennet, the most junior Democrat on the Committee, or Lincoln, who isn’t even on it. And Shelby is the only Republican senator on the industry’s top-10 giving list.

The industry’s giving pattern this year may upend the traditional notion of Republicans as the bagmen for Wall Street. But it also reflects political reality: Democrats hold a commanding if not quite filibuster-proof majority in the upper chamber, and some of them may be willing to side with the financial industry on key aspects of the regulatory reform effort — even if that’s not immediately obvious from the Democrats’ populist rhetoric.

The Financial Services Roundtable, an industry association that gave almost $425,000 to members during the past election, says the issues — not the party — drive its donations.

“We support members that understand the issues facing our industry,” said Scott Talbott, the Rountable’s senior vice president of government affairs. “This is done on a case-by-case basis.”

Democrats insist that industry money doesn’t influence their votes.

“Contributions don’t really affect — my basis of decision making is whether it’s going to be beneficial to Arkansans,” said Lincoln, who noted that financial services firms aren’t among her biggest contributors.

Schumer spokesman Brian Fallon says his boss “calls the shots the way he sees them” — regardless of who’s giving him money.

“The financial services industry is a vital part of New York’s economy, but he doesn’t hesitate to go after the institutions when they are wrong, such as with credit cards, corporate governance and overdraft fees,” Fallon said.

To compare the $1.7 million he’s gotten from the so-called FIRE lobby — that’s finance, insurance that’s not health insurance and real estate — with his positions on key elements of reform, you might think his donors are suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

Schumer, No. 3 in the Senate Democratic leadership and the former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has offered scads of proposals that the industry doesn’t like on issues from corporate governance to derivatives to the creation of a new consumer watchdog for the financial world.

But his top donors include insurance company New York Life Insurance, private equity firm Lightyear Capital, futures clearinghouse MBF Clearing Corp. and real estate companies Rudin Management and Related Companies.

Quite a few financial insiders express frustration with Schumer, feeling he’s thrown the industry under the bus now that it’s politically popular to do so — after having collected mountains of cash from the industry to help the Democrats build their 60-vote majority in the Senate.

Others contend that, despite his positions on the hot-button debates surrounding the financial reform effort, Schumer remains an important ally for Wall Street on the technical issues that aren’t grabbing headlines, such as systemic risk regulation and capital requirements for financial institutions.

And on regulatory reform, much of what’s most important to financial firms exists in those more technical shadow lands.

“In the end, he still understands the operation of the marketplace,” explained one financial services executive.

Schumer is also a player on securities and exchange issues, an important area for the securities and investment firms that call New York home and that have given Schumer almost half of his industry checks this cycle — far more than any other member.

The hedge funds and private equity firms included in that giving also see him as something of a champion for them. Private equity, hedge funds, and venture capital firms gave him more than $707,100 during the 2010 cycle, nearly double what the industry has donated to any other member. Their support can be traced back to a 2007 battle over the “carried interest” bill that would have more than doubled the taxes paid by investment managers.

The legislation passed the House, but momentum petered out in the Senate — a victory some financial services lobbyists attribute to Schumer.

Schumer threatened to introduce legislation that would increase the taxes on carried interests for all industries, not just investment managers. His bill would have hit a litany of partnerships in industries far beyond private equity, such as real estate, oil and gas, and venture capitalists — a poison pill for most lawmakers. By spreading the pain, Schumer made it difficult for any lawmaker to vote for the bill.

In addition to collecting money from Wall Street for himself, Schumer has helped Gillibrand, the state’s junior senator, get her share of industry dollars.

Earlier this year, Schumer was instrumental in helping Gillibrand fend off possible 2010 challengers. In March, he co-hosted a $4,800-per-head fundraiser for her. And he’s spent time introducing her to audiences across the state and donors in the financial services world.

Reid and Dodd need no introductions; the industry knows full well that it can use their help.

Dodd has collected millions from the financial industry since his last reelection in 2004. But the Connecticut Democrat — who’s in for the toughest reelection fight of his career — says there’s little conflict between the industry donations and his legislative goals. Efforts to reform the system, says Dodd, will help the industry — particularly smaller players like community banks.

“It strengthens these financial services,” he says. “People that work for these institutions know what has to be done, too.”

All told, 19 of the 22 senators on Dodd’s Banking Committee have received checks from the financial industry this year, and each of those up for reelection in 2010 has received at least $180,000.

Ex-Bush officials face lawsuits over their actions...

Ex-Bush officials face lawsuits over their actions
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

High-ranking government officials are usually protected from claims that they violated a person's civil rights. In lawsuits stemming from law enforcement and intelligence efforts after the Sept. 11 attacks, three federal courts have left open the possibility that former Attorney General John Ashcroft and a lieutenant may be held personally liable.

In two cases, judges appointed by Republican presidents have refused at an early stage to dismiss lawsuits that were filed against Ashcroft and former Justice Department official John Yoo. One complaint challenges Ashcroft's strategy of preventive detention. The other seeks to hold Yoo accountable for legal memos he wrote supporting detention, interrogation and presidential power.

In a third case, the full federal appeals court in New York is reconsidering an earlier decision by three of its members to toss out a lawsuit by a man who was changing planes in the United States when he was mistaken for a terrorist and sent to Syria, where he claims he was tortured.

Senior officials are accustomed to having their actions in office judged by history, not the courts. Exposing them to legal risk might complicate recruitment as top prospects shun positions that could land them in personal trouble. It also could make officials think twice about aggressive use of executive authority.

The cases have been uncomfortable for the Obama administration, which inherited the task of representing Ashcroft and Yoo from the Bush administration, even though President Barack Obama opposed some of the homeland-security practices under his predecessor. As well, both the Obama and Bush administrations renounced some of Yoo's legal positions.

Among the Yoo memos retracted was his Oct. 23, 2001, opinion that the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches did not apply to domestic military operations aimed at terror suspects — so soldiers could enter and search homes without warrants in pursuit of terrorists.

The Obama administration has yet to spell out its views on when people may be detained because of suspected terrorism links but without evidence of criminal activity.

No attorney general has ever been held personally liable for official actions, said Yeshiva University law professor Alexander Reinert, who represents another post-9/11 detainee who is suing Ashcroft. Other federal officials, particularly at a lower level, have been held personally liable for their actions. It's just very rare.

Supreme Court rulings allow high-ranking officials to be held liable but set a high bar: An official must be tied directly to a violation of constitutional rights and must have clearly understood the action crossed that line.

Even when officials are held personally liable, their agencies still may agree to pay damages assessed against them — unless there is blatant wrongdoing, like clear racial prejudice. And for many plaintiffs, the chance to saddle a top official with the shame of a court's condemnation is more important than collecting cash from the officeholder.

Critics of George W. Bush's administration see the recent actions of the courts as a chance to wring a measure of accountability from the Bush White House — at a time when Obama expresses reluctance to look backward and Congress has shown little appetite for investigating the past.

"It shows a willingness on the part of the courts to hold those who authorized illegal action responsible, not only those who carry it out," said David Cole, a constitutional law professor at Georgetown University.

But Ashcroft's former chief spokesman, Mark Corallo, said there is good reason to protect officials from damages for actions they take in the course of their duties.

"People are not going to want to serve in government if they have to hire a battery of lawyers the minute they take their oath of office," Corallo said.

Most lawsuits seeking personal liability of officials are dismissed early. Either a plaintiff hasn't made a strong enough case or a judge finds the officeholder can't be held liable for those official actions.

In these three cases, however, judges have considered arguments from both sides and still allowed the lawsuits to proceed — or, in the case of the man sent to Syria, are weighing the arguments now.

"This is frustrating for judges," said Orin Kerr, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University. "The law is not that clear and it's hard to get rulings that clarify it."

But Kerr said the Ashcroft case has enough important elements that it could be reviewed by the Supreme Court, where a ruling might clarify the law.

First, though, the Justice Department has to decide whether to appeal an early September ruling by a panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals court said a Muslim U.S. citizen could pursue his lawsuit to hold Ashcroft personally liable for his arrest in 2003.

Less than two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, Ashcroft said the government would preventively detain people suspected of terrorist ties, even if it had no evidence they committed a crime.

To hold such people, Justice used material witness warrants, which until then had detained people to ensure they would appear in court and testify at a trial.

Abdullah al-Kidd was one of at least 70 people detained under the warrants, according to a study by civil liberties groups. Like many others, al-Kidd was never called to testify before a grand jury or in open court and was not charged with a crime.

Rejecting Ashcroft's bid for immunity, Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. strongly criticized the use of material witness warrants for national security. "We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution," Smith said in a 2-1 decision. Smith, appointed by Bush, was joined in the majority by a Ronald Reagan appointee.

Cole called the ruling an important challenge to the "core strategy of preventive detention." He said the issue remains relevant because Obama has kept open the possibility of holding terrorist suspects without charge.

The Justice Department is appealing the ruling against Yoo, a lawyer in the department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco, also named by Bush, seemed to question whether the Bush administration overstepped the bounds set by the Constitution.

In allowing the case to go forward, he wrote, "This lawsuit poses the question addressed by our Founding Fathers about how to strike the proper balance of fighting a war against terror, at home and abroad, and fighting a war using tactics of terror."

The full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to issue its opinion in the case of Maher Arar, who claims he was tortured after being sent to Syria. Arar is suing Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller and others in their official and personal capacities.

When the New York-based court heard the argument in December, one judge voiced skepticism that the government and individual officials always could avoid liability in such cases.

"So the minute the executive raises the specter of foreign policy, national security, it is the government's position that that is a license to torture anyone, a U.S. citizen or foreign citizen — license meaning that you can do so without any financial consequence?" the judge asked.

The judge was Sonia Sotomayor, now Supreme Court justice. She withdrew from the case after Obama nominated her to the high court earlier this year.

How does the world protect itself from Israel and the scourge of Zionism?

How Does the World Protect Itself from Israel and the Scourge of Zionism?
September 28, 2009

There are many people, "progressive" Zionists included, who loudly object to the Occupation in the Palestinian territories, but see no problem with the continued existence of an Israel that privileges Jews over all others who happen to live there, particularly the Muslim, Christian and other non-Jewish "citizens." These people are referred to by Zionists as the "Arab-Israelis," but they are, of course, Palestinians. This population also includes a small number of Jews, people whose residence in Palestine pre-dated the Zionist immigration that started in the late 19th century. Those among them – and they may constitute the majority – who never bought into the Zionist ideology and are opposed to the State of Israel are treated pretty much the same as the other Palestinians, as less than human, untermenschen. This may come as a surprise to many, but it is perfectly understandable when one realizes that the Zionist project, although initially proposed and marketed by Western Europeans, became in due course an entirely Ashkenazi endeavor dominated by Eastern Europeans, the kind of people despised by the highly educated, cosmopolitan Viennese Jews like Theodor Herzl. These Ashkenazim (my ancestors) spoke Yiddish as their first language, no matter which country they happened to have been born in. The form of Zionism they promulgated has become known as "political Zionism," dominated by the followers of Vladimir Jabotinski, the father of 20th century Zionism, and the progenitor of the Likud Party. The opposition Labor Party stems from Ben Gurion, but the two parties are like the Republicrats in the U.S., two sides of the same coin.

Political Zionism is a far cry from the idealistic form that refined, cosmopolitan Jews like Herzl and his Western European (and North American) admirers thought that they had bought into. That is why the vast majority of them became disillusioned with the whole project long before Kristallnacht and then WWII. People like Einstein, Freud, Hannah Arendt, Judah Magnes and Martin Buber smelled a rat, and they made it clear that they had no interest in supporting the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine. This was, in fact, the prevailing sentiment among the vast majority of Western European and North American Jews. All of that began to change in the late 30's and by the time of the liberation of the camps in 1945 this vociferous opposition faded away among Jewish liberals, progressives, socialists and humanists. European fascism of the Italian and German varieties ensured the success of political Zionism, the mirror image of Nazism, but with "the Jewish People" now cast as being simultaneously "the victims" and the "Master Race," just like their role models, the Nazis, before them. History not only repeats itself – it plays practical jokes.

Being against the Occupation is easy. After all, it violates numerous international conventions, entails daily crimes against humanity and just plain stinks to heaven. With a modicum of imagination, one can see that the Israelis, with their Matrix of Control, have erected a number of open air prisons, virtual concentration camps, but with the guards outside. So convenient – prisons in which the prisoners have to fend for themselves for the necessities of life – food, water, electricity – all of it supplied or witheld at the whim of the wardens who watch from a distance, utilizing collaborators and the latest in high-tech surveillance gear. Occasionaly, usually prompted by some act of desperation by a powerless people (a suicide bombing or a stray Qassam rocket, the modern equivalent of sling-shots), or merely a rumor that something's going on, they make periodic forays inside to "send a message," arrest "troublemakers," usually using Palestinian children as human shields and to touch off whatever booby traps might have been placed along the way. Occasionally, "sending a message" takes the form of a full-fledged massacre, as happened recently in Gaza. It's utterly despicable, reeking of the most egregious racism imaginable without even the slightest regard for human rights. But from the Israeli point of view the Palestinians aren't really human – they are "them," "the other," "the enemy."

However, there are those perfectly aware of the facts who still cling to the doomed fantasy of a Jewish State. They are people like Benny Morris, the Israeli historian who scrupulously chronicled the Nakba, but continues to support the existence of the Jewish State, even if that entails the total ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Likewise the old warhorse Uri Avnery, one of the most decent and courageous human beings I know of, who has heroically spoken out for decades against the obscenities perpetrated by Israel, yet clings to the notion that Israel could and should somehow survive as a Jewish nation, no matter how truncated. And then there is the army of so-called "progressives," who think likewise, and avidly support an imagined, reformed Israel while protesting against the Occupation. These people have co-opted any possibility that the world could easily come together to put an end to apartheid Israel as it did white supremacist South Africa.

The "Separation Wall" introduces an additional level of surrealism. Its similarity to the ghetto walls that the European Jews were so familiar with, that in a curious way provided a sense of comfort, familiarity and security to their residents - whatever the intentions of the builders may have been - has been noted by many. The transparently silly notion that it would "keep out terrorists" is far less convincing than the realization that it was a familiar reflex of the ancient paranoia - a tangible, if pathetic, defense against the goyim of whichever land the Jews were trespassing in. Always the trespassers, always the strangers in a strange land, doomed to stave off, for as long as possible, the inevitable rage their presence sooner or later engendered, the restrictions, the pogroms, and then, like clockwork, the expulsions. Behind the bellicose, militaristic, macho aggression of the Israelis - the arrogance and the gratuitous cruelty - lie the old fears, the inescapable paranoia, the unvoiced fear that "the Chosen Ones" were really chosen to suffer, and that sooner or later the ax would fall – as it surely will, because even the Zionists can't repeal the law of cause and effect. Who was it, Einstein, who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result?

But let's assume that, miraculus miraculorum, the Israelis decide to back off (or, much more likely, are pressured to by the Obama administration and/or other forces currently percolating just beneath the surface), and, having completed their Apartheid wall, agree to remain behind it, content in their air-conditioned ghetto. At this point in time such an action would involve an actual commitment to allowing the creation of at least some facsimile of a Palestinian State on the other side of the wall, to somehow overseeing the evacuation of some half million Israelis from the West Bank (which would entail the forcible eviction of tens of thousands of fanatical settlers), to giving up control of all of the major water sources, to allowing the Palestinians the freedom to come and go as they see fit, and so on and so forth. When looked at closely, ending the Occupation at this juncture would necessitate unimaginable difficulties, not the least of which would be giving up the Zionist fantasy of Greater Israel, from the river to the sea. I don't speak of the grander version, meaning from the Euphrates to the Nile, but merely from the Jordan River to the Med.

In fact, it would entail giving up on Zionism altogether, because ethnocentric tribal fascism has an internal logic to it, a compulsion to conquer and expand or die – perpetual war is a necessary precondition for maintaining the dominance of its ruling class, whose very existence is predicated on doing battle with and defeating "the enemy," over and over again. Such a process inevitably plays itself out in defeat, as Alexander and the Macedonians discovered, as did the Romans, and most recently the Nazis. The Israeli power elite may be very smart and knowledgeable, technologically and militarily superior, but they are clearly ignoring Santayana's maxim that those who don't know history are bound to repeat it. No people are guiltier of that mistake than the Jews, who after centuries of getting themselves expelled from country after country, are setting themselves up for something that will make even what happened to them under Hitler look like a cakewalk.

When we talk about Zionism we are discussing an ideology, a set of ideas, narratives and myths that together constitute the political world view of a those who self-identify as belonging to the group professing that ideology, in this instance "the Jewish people." Although ideologies may present themselves as being universally true, they are generally based on some sort of group identification: tribal, ethnic (racial), national, religious, caste, and most recently, economic status. There is always an "Us" vs. "Them."

What after all is Zionism, stripped of its racial romanticism and mythology? It's essentially the last gasp of the same old European colonialism that has characterized the "modern" period of history, during which various European powers came to dominate the political, technological and economic landscape of the planet. Zionism evolved as a political ideology and a strategy to solve the problem that European Jews found themselves in, stateless and dispersed following the predations of the Mongols under Genghis Khan and the subsequent collapse of the Khazarian Empire. Their status pretty much everywhere in Europe was that of a despised minority (for perfectly understandable reasons too complex to go into here). In response, they developed a tribal mythology, based mostly on some stories in the Hebrew bible, in which they played the role of "the Chosen People," heroes of an epic in which they were constantly set upon, persecuted and threatened with destruction, but somehow feisty enough to survive. In other words, one could say that they developed a collective case of paranoid schizophrenia, according to which they (simultaneously the Elect of God and His victims) were constantly under attack by superior forces, but could imagine a way to escape and secure for themselves the sense of security they so desperately sought, a ghetto with walls strong and durable enough to keep the wolf perpetually at bay.

All this came to a head in the 19th Century, when the idea occurred to Theodor Herzl that the way out of this depressingly familiar pattern would be for the Jews to have a nation state of their own. This happened, not coincidentally, at the height of European Colonialism. Based on this rather simple notion an entire ideology had to be constructed in order to sell the idea, not only to the major players themselves, but to the so-called Jewish people. In order to do that, and this is just one aspect of a very complicated and not very funny joke, the "Jewish People" had to be invented. This is the subject of the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand's book, The Invention of the Jewish People. The forthcoming English translation (it will be available on October 19th) is eagerly anticipated. We can leave aside the fact that the notion that a Jewish colony could and should be planted in Palestine was actually a hare-brained scheme concocted in the first decade of the 19th Century in the British Foreign Office, where the idea soon died a quiet and unlamented death. And nevermind that gathering the Jews together in a ghetto constructed in the very epicenter of a people understandably indisposed to being dispossessed might bring about precisely the fate that the Zionists were and are so terrified of.

If one roots around in the online repository called "Zionist Quotes" one can find the intellectual building blocks that created modern Israel.They reveal that very process of inventing the necessary ideology, as well as the development of an overall strategy for going about the creation of the colonialist-settler nation state. Contained therein are numerous reflections about the nature of "the Jewish People" and Jewish identity that would have "the Inquisition" (those who maintain the Zionist orthodoxy) in a characteristic uproar about "antisemitism" and "self-hating Jews." They largely saw themselves as outcasts, almost like lepers who have decided they themselves would build a leper colony wherein they could be quarantined and thus left alone. It becomes clear from these texts that the early Zionists almost reveled in guilt and self-hatred, something that is so characteristic of Jewish literature, and lies, shadow-like, at the root of modern, triumphalist Zionism. As Karin Friedemann points out, The Palestinians’ ancestors created the Hasmonean Kingdom, composed the Hebrew Bible, followed Jesus, wrote the New Testament, compiled the Mishnah, and redacted the Jerusalem Talmud. The Palestinian people constitute the living link to the earliest beginnings of the heritage from the Torah and Gospel. Zionists are almost pitiable, for they are so ashamed of their own history that they have usurped one belonging to another people."

There is a category of political ideologies that Zionism fits perfectly into. It is called fascism. Although the dictionaries define fascism as the particular ideology espoused by Hitler and Mussolini in the 20th century, the roots of fascism go back to the very first emergence in human history of what could be termed political thought . Those familiar with the great spiritual traditions are aware that the principal obstacle to human wisdom and happiness is considered to be our habit of putting our own interests before those of others, as opposed to some variation of the Golden Rule, the point where all wisdom traditions, even theistic religions, agree. The opposite, neurotic tendency derives from the mistaken belief that we are solid, continuous individuals, self-existing and autonomous. Hence the notions of "self," or "soul," as well as belief systems that inculcate the notion that God (a religious metaphorical term that solidifies and embodies all that is not "me") is at least on "our" side. All wisdom paths teach that dissolving this mistaken belief in the existence of "ego" is the only way of arriving at any sort of genuine sanity.

What is not talked about so much is the problem of "group ego," which is essentially the same psychological phenomenon, but applied to a collection of people with whom we closely identify rather than just our individual selves. This propensity manifests itself first in our close identification with our family and then extends out to include our felt bond with friends, neighbors, town or city, and so on, until it includes such collective concepts as our co-religionists, our gender, nation, race, class and so forth. This is the Us and Them duality that mirrors the basic duality of Self and Other. It is the underlying rationale for all wars and acts of officially sanctioned aggression against the "Other." Consequently, building a sane human society is not possible without conquering this tendency to elevate and privilege "our" group over others. Psychologically speaking, rooting for the Red Sox or the Yankees involves the same psycho-dynamics that lead to deadly riots in soccer stadiums, and on to wars of aggression. It is neither good nor bad, rather it is simply a stage to be experienced and then left behind on the path to maturity, a condition that is characterized by, among other things, the awareness that all beings are connected and interdependent.

The development of both individual and group egos are artifacts of a natural psychological process. Just as the butterfly is the final form following embryo, larva and pupa; and the lotus flower follows seed, root and stem, human beings undergo a similar metamorphosis. Conventional political views are characteristic of an adolescent stage of life that primarily concerns itself with one's perceived individual and group interests. Such views naturally clash with how others perceive their interests, and the results are obvious when we watch the news. The conditions created by invoking the "I" as opposed to "You," or the "We" as opposed to "Them," creates a battleground wherein the destructive emotions of passion, aggression, ignorance, arrogance and envy are given full play. Clearly, human society as a whole has not yet evolved beyond this stage of social development. But the possibility is there, just as the seed prefigures the flower. A number of people, those who have embodied wisdom from many places and traditions, have shown the way, though few follow. The path to a genuine "adulthood" is difficult, particularly from within the lunatic asylum where we find ourselves, but it is traversible.

What we have been talking about is fascism, the ideological underpinning of the Jewish State. There is also a religious underpinning (not Judaism – the Jewish Zionists, after all, are and always have been overwhelmingly secular), and that is the Holycause (not to say that Jewish religious fundamentalism doesn't play a part). The ideology and the religion are symbiotic, as has always been the case in human societies. Church and State reinforce and support one another. The Holycause is remarkably similar to the underlying myth of Christianity, that someone, after undergoing unimaginable agony, died for our sins. In the case of the Holycause, six million Jews died so that Israel could be born. Never mind that the six million number goes back to 1912 (a vague guess at the number of Jews in Europe at the time) and only later became attached to the Jewish victims of the Third Reich (one of many disputed or easily refutable "facts" enumerated by the "official" version of the Holocaust, but woe betide any truthseekers who dare to undertake a critical analysis of what actually happened – you will be hauled before the ever vigilant officers of the Holycause Inquisition, and betimes taken to the rack). We are talking about a religion and therefore facts are fungible, as their meaning is symbolic rather than historical. And never mind that the actual survivors of that catastrophe who now live in Israel are a despised underclass (one third of them living in dire poverty), treated with utter contempt by the native born Israelis who are so fiercely proud of their manly, heroic battle against the fearsome foe. It is not the real victims who matter (the Zionists willingly sacrificed hundreds of thousands of European Jews in pursuit of their goal), but the symbolism of their victimhood.

The Zionists remain in total denial. As Saree Makdisi points out, they are able to blithely build a "Museum of Tolerance" above the graves of a centuries old Palestinian cemetary, the people they have been assiduously trying to exterminate, without showing any signs of cognitive dissonance. He refers to it as a horizontal wall, to complement the vertical Separation Wall being constructed in Jerusalem. The whole process of creating an impregnable ghetto, bristling with overpowering firepower, only invites destruction. This is, indeed, the goal of Christian Zionism, the cult of the Rapture, which foresees the end of the world and the final elimination of the Jews. They are perhaps even more psychotic than the Jewish Zionists. One could say, in the poetic language of the Abrahamic tradition, that the State of Israel is the Devil's masterpiece.

There is really only one way to resolve the dilemma posed by the existence of the Jewish state in humanity's heartland, and that is to change the existing configuration, a Rube Goldberg political contraption designed to maintain a Jewish majority in a putative Western-style democracy. The obvious alternative is the gold standard of contemporary nation states, a secular, pluralistic democracy consisting of all those who have an obvious right to be there (this includes all of the Palestinians, wherever they happen to be currently residing, as is clearly enshrined in international law), but does not necessarily include recent immigrants, particularly the fanatics from Brooklyn who form the majority of the illegal settlers (well, they're all illegal, but what is meant here is illegal even according to Israeli law), nor would it include recently arrived terrorists like the Moldavian Avigdor Lieberman. Anyone not born there would be subject to deportation. To use a well known phrase, this would entail wiping Israel off the map. That would be a great boon to the mapmakers, as the Israelis have always refused to define their borders, pending the establishment of Greater Israel.

This can be brought about through a purely political process that doesn't require the spilling of one drop of blood. It would be like extinguishing a raging fire that has gotten totally out of control and is threatening to consume much of the world. Yes, they do have nuclear weapons, and they aren't shy about what they call "the Sampson option." There is no use in hoping that governments will solve this problem – the Zionists have managed to get their hands on all the levers of power in most of what is called the First World, particularly in the U.S., the heart of the Empire. Only ordinary people, and most particularly those Jews who haven't fallen under the hypnotic spell of Zionist hasbara - by fearlessly proclaiming truth to power – have any hope of waking up slumbering humanity and avoiding the seemingly inevitable. Zionists take heed – to quote a poetic metaphor from the bible, "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I shall repay." Or, as it is expressed in post-modernist America, "what goes around comes around."

Marines bypass Taliban opium fields in Afghanistan...

Marines Bypass Taliban Opium Fields in Afghanistan
May 13, 2008

GARMSER, Afghanistan — The Marines of Bravo Company’s 1st Pla­toon sleep beside a grove of pop­pies. Troops in the 2nd Pla­toon play­fully swat at the heavy opium bulbs while walk­ing through the fields. Afghan labor­ers scrap­ing the plant’s gooey resin smile and wave.

Last week, the 24th Marine Expe­di­tionary Unit moved into south­ern Hel­mand province, the world’s largest opium poppy-growing region, and now find them­selves sur­rounded by green fields of the ille­gal plants that pro­duce the main ingre­di­ent of heroin.

The Tal­iban, whose fight­ers are exchang­ing daily fire with the Marines in Garmser, derives up to $100 mil­lion a year from the poppy har­vest by tax­ing farm­ers and charg­ing safe pas­sage fees — money that will buy weapons for use against U.S., NATO and Afghan troops.

Yet the Marines are not destroy­ing the plants. In fact, they are reas­sur­ing vil­lagers the pop­pies won’t be touched. Amer­i­can com­man­ders say the Marines would only alien­ate peo­ple and drive them to take up arms if they elim­i­nated the impov­er­ished Afghans’ only source of income.

Many Marines in the field are scratch­ing their heads over the sit­u­a­tion.

”It’s kind of weird. We’re com­ing over here to fight the Tal­iban. We see this. We know it’s bad. But at the same time we know it’s the only way locals can make money,” said 1st Lt. Adam Lynch, 27, of Barn­sta­ble, Mass.

The Marines’ bat­tal­ion com­man­der, Lt. Col. Anthony Hen­der­son, said in an inter­view Tues­day that the poppy crop ”will come and go” and that his troops can’t focus on it when Tal­iban fight­ers around Garmser are ”ter­ror­iz­ing the peo­ple.”

”I think by focus­ing on the Tal­iban, the pop­pies will go away,” said Hen­der­son, a 41-year-old from Wash­ing­ton, D.C. He said once the mil­i­tant fight­ers are forced out, the Afghan gov­ern­ment can move in and offer alter­na­tives.

An expert on Afghanistan’s drug trade, Bar­nett Rubin, com­plained that the Marines are being put in such a sit­u­a­tion by a ”one-dimensional” mil­i­tary pol­icy that fails to inte­grate polit­i­cal and eco­nomic con­sid­er­a­tions into long-range plan­ning.

”All we hear is, not enough troops, send more troops,” said Rubin, a pro­fes­sor at New York Uni­ver­sity. ”Then you send in troops with no capac­ity for assis­tance, no capac­ity for devel­op­ment, no capac­ity for aid, no capac­ity for gov­er­nance.”

Most of the 33,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan oper­ate in the east, where the poppy prob­lem is not as great. But the 2,400-strong 24th Marines, have taken the field in this south­ern grow­ing region dur­ing har­vest sea­son.

In the poppy fields 100 feet from the 2nd Platoon’s head­quar­ters, three Afghan broth­ers scraped opium resin over the week­end. The youngest, 23-year-old Sar­dar, said his fam­ily would earn lit­tle money from the har­vest.

”We receive money from the shop­keep­ers, then they will sell it,” said Sar­dar, who was afraid to give his last name. ”We don’t have enough money to buy flour for our fam­i­lies. The smug­glers make the money,” added Sar­dar, who worked along­side his 11-year-old son just 20 yards from a Marine guard post, its guns pointed across the field.

Afghanistan sup­plies some 93 per­cent of the world’s opium used to make heroin, and the Tal­iban mil­i­tants earn up to $100 mil­lion from the drug trade, the United Nations esti­mates. The export value of this har­vest was $4 bil­lion — more than a third of the country’s com­bined gross domes­tic prod­uct.

Though they aren’t erad­i­cat­ing pop­pies, the Marines pres­ence could still have a pos­i­tive effect. Hen­der­son said the drug sup­ply lines have been dis­rupted at a cru­cial point in the har­vest. And Marine com­man­ders are debat­ing stay­ing in Garmser longer than orig­i­nally planned.

Sec­ond Lt. Mark Green­lief, 24, a Mon­mouth, Ill., native who com­mands the 2nd Pla­toon, said he orig­i­nally wanted to make a heli­copter land­ing zone in Sardar’s field. ”But as you can see that would ruin their poppy field, and we didn’t want to ruin their liveli­hood.”

Sar­dar ”basi­cally said, ‘This is my liveli­hood, I have to do what I can to pro­tect that,”’ said Green­lief. ”I told him we’re not here to erad­i­cate.”

The Tal­iban told Garmser res­i­dents that the Marines were mov­ing in to erad­i­cate, hop­ing to encour­age the vil­lagers to rise up against the Amer­i­cans, said 2nd Lt. Bran­don Bar­rett, 25, of Mar­ion, Ind., com­man­der of the 1st Pla­toon.

In the next field over from Sardar’s, Khan Moham­mad, an Afghan born in Hel­mand province who lives in Pak­istan and came to work the fields, said he makes only $2 a day. He said the work is dan­ger­ous now that Tal­iban mil­i­tants are shoot­ing at the U.S. posi­tions.

”We’re stuck in the mid­dle,” he said. ”If we go over there those guys will fire at us. If we come here, we’re in dan­ger, too, but we have to work,” said the 54-year-old Moham­mad, who sup­ports a fam­ily of 10.

An even older laborer, his back bent by years of work, came over and told the small gath­er­ing of Afghans, Marines and jour­nal­ists that the labor­ers had to get back to work ”or the boss will get mad at us.”

Staff Sgt. Jeremy Stover, whose pla­toon is sleep­ing beside a poppy crop planted in the inte­rior court­yard of a mud-walled com­pound, said the Marines’ mis­sion is to get rid of the ”bad guys,” and ”the locals aren’t the bad guys.”

”Poppy fields in Afghanistan are the corn­fields of Ohio,” said Stover, 28, of Mar­ion, Ohio. ”When we got here they were ask­ing us if it’s OK to har­vest poppy and we said, ‘Yeah, just don’t use an AK-47.”’

Girl in UK dies after receiving vaccine jab...

Schoolgirl dies after cancer jab
BBC News

A 14-year-old girl has died after being given a cervical cancer jab as part of a national immunisation programme, but the exact cause of death is unknown.

The pupil was taken ill at Blue Coat CofE School in Coventry shortly after she received the Cervarix vaccine. She died in the town's University Hospital.

The local NHS said there would be a "short pause" in the vaccination programme but it would then continue.

The batch of the vaccine used has been placed into quarantine.

The injection protects against a sexually transmitted disease, which is linked to most cervical cancers.

A routine programme of vaccinating 12 and 13-year-old girls started in September 2008across the UK using the Cervarix vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline. A catch-up campaign is now under way for older girls.

The injection offers protection against the human papilloma virus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer.

'Urgent investigation'

The girl, who has not yet been named, died at lunchtime on Monday.

Dr Caron Grainger, joint director of public health for NHS Coventry and Coventry City Council, said their sympathies are with the girl's family and friends.

She said: "The incident happened shortly after the girl had received her HPV vaccine in the school. No link can be made between the death and the vaccine until all the facts are known and a post-mortem takes place.

"We are conducting an urgent and full investigation into the events surrounding this tragedy."

A small number of girls at the school had also reported mild symptoms such as dizziness and nausea but they were not admitted to hospital.

In a statement posted on the school's website, headteacher Dr Julie Roberts said during the immunisation, "one of the girls suffered a rare, but extreme reaction to the vaccine".

"A number of other girls also reported being unwell and some were sent home," she said.

"If your daughter has received a vaccine today we ask that you are extra vigilant regarding any signs or symptoms."

She listed possible reactions as mild to moderate short-lasting pain at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and a low-grade fever.

'Tragic death'

It is thought about a million girls have already safely received the vaccine.

When the national immunisation project was announced, there was some controversy about the selection of Cervarix over Gardasil, which is used by the majority of vaccination programmes worldwide.

Dr Pim Kon, medical director at GlaxoSmithKline UK, which makes Cervarix, said: "Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the young girl.

"We are working with the Department of Health and MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) to better understand this case, as at this stage the exact cause of this tragic death is unknown."

The global pharmaceutical company added that the vast majority of suspected adverse reactions have related either to the symptoms of recognised side effects or were due to the injection process and not the vaccine itself.

Different vaccine

Public health minister Gillian Merron said: "Our deepest sympathies are with the family. It is important we have the results of further investigations as soon as possible to establish the cause of this sad event."

In the UK, about 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and about 1,000 die from it.

The department said Cervarix had a strong safety record.

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the tragedy needed to be investigated "as a matter of urgency".

He said: "This again raises the question which we have asked for some time, as to why the government won't publish the assessments it made of the relative merits of the two HPV vaccines and why we therefore use a different vaccine to most other comparable countries."

There are more than 100 types of HPV but only 13 of them are known to cause cancer.

Cervarix protects against two strains of HPV that cause more than 70% of cases of cervical cancer in women.

Vaccination is not compulsory and consent is required before it is administered to the under-16s.

Senior official in covert domestic propaganda Pentagon program remains Obama's Pentagon spokesman...

Senior official in Bush domestic propaganda program remains Obama’s Pentagon spokesman
By Brad Jacobson
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 -- 9:45 am

A key senior figure in a Bush administration covert Pentagon program, which used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage, remains in his same position today as a chief Obama Defense Department spokesman and the agency’s head of all media operations.

In an examination of Pentagon documents the New York Times obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request — which reporter David Barstow leveraged for his April 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose on the program – Raw Story has found that Bryan Whitman surfaces in over 500 emails and transcripts, revealing the deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations was both one of the program’s senior participants and an active member.

Whitman’s conspicuous presence in these records is notwithstanding thousands of documented communications the Bush Pentagon released but for which names were redacted and an untold number the prior administration successfully withheld after its two-year legal battle with the Times.

Barstow’s Times expose revealed a comprehensive, covert Pentagon campaign — beginning during the lead-up to the Iraq War and continuing through 2008 — that shaped network military analysts into what internal documents referred to as “message force multipliers” and “surrogates” who could be trusted to parrot Bush administration talking points “in the form of their own opinions.” Barstow’s reporting also detailed how most of the military analysts, traditionally viewed as authoritative and independent, had ties to defense contractors with a stake in the same war policies they were interpreting daily to the American public.

The program, ostensibly, was run out of the Pentagon’s public affairs office for community relations as part of its outreach and attended to by political appointees, most visibly in these records by then community relations chief Allison Barber and director Dallas Lawrence.

But as Barstow noted in his report, in running the program out of that office rather than from the agency’s regular press office, “the decision recalled other Bush administration tactics that subverted traditional journalism.” In addition to concealing the true nature of the program and the retired military officers’ participation in it, Raw Story uncovered another effect of this tactic.

It provided Bryan Whitman, a career civil servant and senior Defense Department official who oversees the press office and all media operations, cover if and when the program was revealed.

Additionally, while political appointees tend to come and go with each new administration, Whitman would be there before the program and he would be there after it. His status as a career civil servant, the fact that he’s worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations – something he points out often in public settings and did as well at the close of his recent phone interview with Raw Story — has also served to buffer him thus far from scrutiny regarding his involvement in this program.

Speaking with Mr. Whitman, he denied any involvement or senior role in the program, saying he only had “knowledge” of its existence and called the assertion “not accurate.”

Asked to explain the hundreds of records showing otherwise, Mr. Whitman replied, “No, I’m familiar with those documents and I’d just beg to differ with you,” though he did acknowledge being in “some” of them.

In defending his claim that he wasn’t involved in the program, Whitman reiterated numerous times that since it was not run out of his office, it was not under “my purview or my responsibility.”

Yet records clearly reveal that Whitman was not only fully aware of the program’s intent but also zealously pursued its goal of arming the military analysts with Pentagon talking points in an effort to dominate each relevant news cycle. He was consulted regularly, doled out directives, actively participated and was constantly in the loop.

Documented communications show that Whitman played a senior role in securing generals to brief the analysts, fashioned talking points to feed them, called analyst meetings to put out Pentagon and Bush administration PR fires, hosted meetings, determined which analysts should attend trips to wartime military sites (such as the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) and received frequent, comprehensive reports detailing the analysts’ impact on the air, in print and online.

In the Mix and Calling Shots

Records reveal Bryan Whitman as an ever-present force in the retired military analyst program, whether utilizing the analysts to push back against negative news coverage on insufficient body armor for soldiers, the abuse of detainees, setbacks in Iraq, and other incidents and war policies.

In David Barstow’s Times expose, a prime example of how the Pentagon “enlisted analysts as a rapid reaction force to rebut” unfavorable coverage was illustrated in an email sent by “a senior Pentagon official” after news broke that troops in Iraq were dying because they had received insufficient body armor: “I think our analysts – properly armed – can push back in that arena.”

That senior Pentagon official, documents show, was Bryan Whitman.

In the complete, unedited January 2006 email (pdf link, p. 84) from Whitman (he sometimes used “military analyst” or “analyst” when indicating the plural form “analysts”), he said:

“In addition to all the nice work yesterday, I think it is still a good idea to have [US Army Maj. Gen.] Sorenson do a phone call with the Military Analyst. There were a number of critical Op-Ed pieces that popped up today and I think our analyst — properly armed — can push back in that arena. We can set it all up, just need a time he could do it with a little advance notice to get them all on the phone.”

Whitman sent this email directly to members of US Army Office for public affairs and cc’ed then Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff and community relations chief Allison Barber. The full communication details Whitman commending the team’s initial efforts to push back against damaging news from the prior day, and defining the strategy and calling for a new military analyst meeting, with the additional directive “[w]e can set it all up.”

The communication displays the range of Whitman’s involvement, his facility within the program’s fluid apparatus, his clout as a senior participant, as well as a full understanding of, and commitment to, its goals.

Other documents expose Whitman’s breadth and depth of participation and his direct impact on the program’s success.

On March 9, 2005, the day before Vice Admiral Albert T. Church, a Naval Inspector General, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about his report on detainee detention operations and interrogation techniques, he briefed the military analysts. Whitman hosted the analyst briefing (pdf link, pages 1-13).

Church led with his report’s primary takeaway: “[W]e found no policy that condoned or in any way considered torture” or “condoned or in any way encouraged abuse of detainees.” But he also told the analysts that “interrogators were starting to clamp up and we were losing intelligence,” a point he mentioned he omitted from the report but for which a “debate” was necessary.

Whitman later opened up the floor to other officials who “might be helpful for you tomorrow as you’re having to talk through some of these issues.”

A leader from the Office of Detainee Affairs (whose name is redacted) assured the analysts “that from the beginning of the war on terrorism both the President and the Secretary of Defense made clear that all detainees would be treated humanely.” An Army official (name also redacted) followed by beginning, “Gentlemen, let me give you kind of the big headline up front.”

Whitman closed the military analyst meeting with a “reminder of the ground rules” that “the information is embargoed until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, with any direct attribution to Admiral Church when the testimony begins and no direct attribution to our other officials.”

They were armed with their talking points before Church’s testimony even began.

He also invited the analysts to give their “feedback on doing this ahead of an event” as “opposed to after we’ve announced something,” with the additional solicitation “[i]f it works for you under these type of conditions I think we would like to bring you in early on something.”

The following day, Church’s report and testimony received withering criticism for failing to assess the accountability of senior officials involved in policies that led to abuse. But that wouldn’t deter the military analysts, especially one of the Pentagon’s most fervent and prolific members, Jed Babbin, former undersecretary of defense during the first Bush administration.

In his March 11, 2005 New York Post op-ed column (pdf link, pages 150-151), the day after Church presented his report to Congress, Babbin published an article titled “Torture Truths,” in which he not only parroted talking points from the briefing but added his own personal touch, warning that the United States must “reject the tide of political correctness that threatens to drown our interrogators.”

That day, Whitman emailed the article to then Pentagon public affairs chief Larry Di Rita (pdf link, p. 150), making clear that they “need to keep this dog feed.”

And with Whitman’s help, that’s exactly what they did.

In July 2005, records show (pdf link, pages 79-86) press secretary Eric Ruff contacting Whitman about a request from Babbin to interview Brigadier General Jay Hood — then the commander in charge of detainee operations at Guantanamo Bay — when Babbin filled in as host on “The Mark Larson Show,” a conservative radio program out of KOGO in San Diego.

Whitman replied, “We can work it,” adding, “but I hope you are getting a cut of Babbins [sic] action as his agent.”

In a following email to military public affair officials to secure Hood, Whitman assured them, “As you probably know, Jed is very friendly and supportive.” Soon, Whitman had not only worked it but sealed the deal, writing to Ruff three days later, “FYI – Hood is on with Babbin.”

Throughout the records, Whitman and his team, in return, expressed their fealty to Babbin, realizing a pliant and tireless operative when they saw one.

After members of Whitman’s press office, including then director Roxie Merritt and deputy director Gary Keck, lined up an appearance for Babbin on “The Bill O’Reilly Show” to discuss detainee abuse allegations, Whitman, in a particularly effusive March 2005 email (pdf link, p. 30), commended his crew and gushed, “Good work by all – Babbin will do us well – we should contact him and ask him if he needs anything – I will be happy to talk to him.”

Clearly, however, records also show that Whitman and his colleagues knew when it was time to cut loose a wayward analyst.

When 14 marines died in Iraq on August 3, 2005, military analyst Bill Cowan, a Fox analyst and retired Marine colonel, was scheduled to appear on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor. Whitman, along with other Pentagon public affairs officials involved in the program, received an email (sent by a redacted source pdf link, p. 3) which said that Cowan “wanted to give us a heads-up about what he’s going to say” and was also requesting “anything and everything we can give him [regarding] the deaths of the marines.” Cowan, though, who Barstow reported had grown frustrated with the Pentagon program, also noted that his comments “may not all be friendly.”

In another email, Whitman offered, “I’ll talk to him if you like.” Within a couple of hours, Whitman also confirmed that he had arranged for one of two generals to speak with Cowan.

Though in this case, Whitman’s efforts notwithstanding, Cowan (Barstow also detailed) went too far off script for the Pentagon’s liking when he said that America “is not on a good glide path right now.”

Cowan told Barstow that the Pentagon “simply didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t carrying their water” so he was “precipitously fired from the analysts group” after the appearance.

Other documented communications illustrate Whitman’s shaping and sanctioning program activities such as an August 2005 email (pdf link, p. 95), which shows Whitman as one of four senior Pentagon officials to approve the list of attendees for a scheduled military analyst trip to the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

“I’ve attached the list discussed and agreed to between Cully, Mr. Smith, Bryan Whitman, and Mr. Haynes,” the sender (name redacted) wrote to then head of community relations Allison Barber.

The other three senior Pentagon officials cited include, at the time, acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs Dorrance Smith, general counsel WJ Haynes and deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs Charles Cully.

Time and again, records show Whitman in the mix, championing the program.

“The analyst[s] are back from Iraq and starting to make do [sic] their thing – very positive contribution to the reporting,” Whitman crowed in this December 2005 email (pdf link, p. 106), on the success of the military analysts latest excursion and subsequent on-air offensive.

And throughout, Whitman is consulted on what messaging to spoon feed them, such as in this October 2006 email from Barber (pdf link, p. 115): “Do we have an official line for the military analysts on this?”

Records also show that Whitman, along with his colleagues in the program, received regular summaries and extensive systematic reports detailing the military analysts impact around the networks, on the radio, in print and online, as in this excerpt from one such typical email from February 2005 (pdf link, p. 97), addressed (from a redacted source) directly to some of the usual senior officials involved in the program – Di Rita, Whitman, Barber and Ruff — and cc’d to dozens of others:

“TV Broadcast Summary: Analysts Tommy Franks, Jed Babbin, Don Shepperd, Montgomery Meigs and Jack Jacobs were all featured on national news stations (Fox News, CNN and MSNBC). Generally speaking, all agreed that the election was not as violent as expected and that the Iraqi security forces and American troops did a very good job. Several analysts alluded to the fact that there will be more danger ahead. The analyst mood was positive as Iraqi events unfolded. …The attached memo provides information on what each analyst said and how often they appeared on television.”

Whitman even proved a creative force in getting the most out of the analysts, seeing opportunities even in a national disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina.

Two days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, then community relations director Dallas Lawrence wrote to Whitman (pdf link, p. 6), “Bryan, per our chat, at the conclusion of our conference call this afternoon with Bg Hemingway, I pulsed our analysts to see if there would be an interest in a 4:15 call today to discuss the DoD response to Katrina. …There was a universal positive response, several said they have been doing radio interviews throughout the day and have been asked several times, what DoD, specifically, is doing.”

Lawrence concluded the email by thanking Whitman and confirming that an RSVP list for the military analyst meeting on Katrina would arrive soon.

Part II of this expose will explore how the Pentagon press office and community relations worked in tandem on the military analyst program, and how “information dominance” drove not only this project but the embed program for reporters, which Bryan Whitman admits he was “heavily involved in the process.”

(Brad Jacobson is a contributing investigative reporter to Raw Story; additional research provided by Ron Brynaert)


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