Posted by: quiscus | March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009

1.  As Truth To Power pointed out:

“Only incredibly stupid- or incredibly corrupt- people would allow a private company to tell us who won an election. You take your pick as to what we’re dealing with here. My money is on corrupt.

Diebold Admits Audit Logs in ALL Versions of Their Software Fail to Record Ballot Deletions

http://blogs.ink19.com/truthtopower/archives/6521

2.  “Condoleezza Rice: We Didn’t Tie Saddam To 9/11

“In the days and months following the attacks, several people within the administration and elsewhere tried to tie Iraq to 9/11. General Wesley Clark said, “there were many people, inside and outside the government, who tried to link Saddam Hussein to Sept. 11.” According to George Tenet, shortly after 9/11, Richard Perle said, “Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday, they bear responsibility.” Former CIA Director James Woolsey said, “[I]ntelligence and law enforcement officials investigating the case would do well to at least consider another possibility: that the attacks-whether perpetrated by bin Laden and his associates or by others-were sponsored, supported, and perhaps even ordered by Saddam Hussein,” he writes. “As yet, there is no evidence of explicit state sponsorship of the September 11 attacks. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Dick Cheney claimed the bogus Atta-Iraqi spy meeting had been, “pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.” Since that time, they have done so again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and even Hillary did it.”

http://www.911blogger.com/node/19647

3.  “Historical Archives Lead to Arrest of Police
Officers in Guatemalan Disappearance


Declassified documents show U.S. Embassy knew that Guatemalan security forces were behind wave of abductions of students and labor leaders


National Security Archive calls for release of military files and investigation into intellectual authors of the 1984 abduction of Fernando García and other disappearances”

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB273/index.htm

4.  “The U.S. is Leaving Iraq but Where Are We Leaving Iraqi Women?

If you haven’t thought about the Iraq War as a story of U.S. allies systematically torturing and executing women, you’re not alone. Likewise, if you were under the impression that Iraqi women were somehow better off under their new, U.S.-sponsored government.

In the spring of 2003, Fatin was a student of architecture at Baghdad University. Her days were filled with classes and hanging out in her favorite of Baghdad’s many cafes, where she and her friends studied, shared music, and spun big plans for successful careers, happy marriages, and eventually, kids.


Today, Fatin says that those feel like someone else’s dreams.

Soon after the U.S. invasion, Fatin began seeing groups of bearded young Iraqi men patrolling the streets of Baghdad. They were looking for women like her, who wore modern clothes or were heading to professional jobs. The men screamed terrible insults at the women and sometimes beat them.


By the fall, ordinary aspects of Fatin’s life had become punishable by death. The “misery gangs,” as Fatin calls them, were routinely killing women for wearing pants, appearing in public without a headscarf, or shaking hands and socializing with men.

As the occupying power, the U.S. was legally obligated to stop these attacks. But the Pentagon, preoccupied with battling the Iraqi insurgency, simply ignored the militias’ reign of terror.


In fact, some of the most treacherous armed groups belonged to the very political parties that the US had brought to power. By 2005, the Pentagon was giving weapons, money and military training to these Shiite militias, in the hope that they would help combat the Sunni-led insurgency.


Fatin’s closest encounter with the militias occurred when armed men burst into her university classroom one morning, threatening to kill any female student without a head scarf. After that, young women dropped out in droves. The next semester, Fatin’s parents refused to allow her to re-enroll.


While the Pentagon was arming militias bent on brutally ousting Iraqi women from public life, the U.S. State Department was busy brokering the new Iraqi Constitution. Hailed as “progressive” and “democratic” in Washington, the new Constitution designates religious law, which discriminates against women, as the basis of all legislation. It also restricts women’s rights by upending one of the most progressive family status laws in the Middle East — a law that Iraqi women fought for and won in 1959, before Saddam Hussein took power.


For Fatin, the bitter irony is that her new Constitution, courtesy of the USA, destroyed women’s rights that were once guaranteed in Iraq, even under the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein.

http://www.mediaforum.org/RecentDisplay.cfm?ID=2853

5.  “In Torture Cases, Obama Toes Bush Line

Legal Stance Appears to Contradict Earlier Statements From Obama and Holder

http://washingtonindependent.com/33985/in-torture-cases-obama-toes-bush-line

6.  “Army probes domestic use of troops in Alabama

Though the strained Samson Police Department was no doubt glad to have U.S. Army military police on hand to direct traffic during last week’s tragic shooting spree, it appears that the troops were deployed without the proper authorization and in possible violation of federal law.

CNSNews.com reports that the wrongful use of federal troops inside U.S. borders “is a violation of several federal laws, including one known as the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.”

“Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both,” the law states.”

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Army_investigating_unwarranted_troop_deployment_in_0318.html

7.  “US is Already ‘Bankrupt’

Technically, the U.S. is already “bankrupt” because it has a debt that is almost four times the size of its economy, says Puru Saxena, CEO of Puru Saxena Wealth Management. He tells CNBC that the U.S. is at risk of hyperinflation.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29769858

8.  “Financial Giants Are Too Big to Bail, But Not Too Big to Jail

Too Big Has Failed

The head of the FDIC says that the “too big to fail’ strategy must end.

Similarly, Senator Leahy said “If a company is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.”


And Kansas City Fed President and veteran Fed official Thomas Hoenig says:

Too big has failed….

Many of the [government’s current policy revolves around the idea of] “too big to fail” …. History, however, may show us a different experience. When examining previous financial crises, both in other countries as well as the United States, large institutions have been allowed to fail. Banking authorities have been successful in placing new and more responsible managers and directions in charge and then reprivatizing them. There is also evidence suggesting that countries that have tried to avoid taking such steps have been much slower to recover, and the ultimate cost to taxpayers has been larger. …

Even large banks can be dealt with in a way in a manner which imposes market discipline on management and stockholders, while controlling taxpayer losses….

Banking regulators need to be willing to write down losses, bring in new managers and sell off businesses if institutions can’t survive on their own, no matter what their size.

So it should be obvious that the “too big to fail” idea is wrong.

Not Too Big To Jail

Moreover, a lot of the top guys at the giant financial companies should be in jail.

It is clear that many of these guys cooked their books and made fraudulent promises to investors.

And “at least 13 firms receiving billions of dollars in bailout money owe a total of more than $220 million in unpaid federal taxes”. These guys should be in jail for non-payment of taxes (that’s how they got Al Capone).

And remember that – in certain cases – too big can itself be illegal.
Specifically, criminal penalties can be imposed on companies which have violated anti-trust laws, and used their size and power to manipulate the market.

Corporations engaging in unlawful restraints of trade by price fixing, bid rigging, customer and territorial allocation agreements or other blatantly anti-competitive acts can be prosecuted for criminal violations of the Sherman Act, and can be punished by up to a $100 million dollar fine. Indeed, individuals found guilty of criminal violations under the Sherman Act can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and up to a $1 million dollar fine.

I am 100% certain that the biggest financial players engaged in anti-competitive conduct. It would only take one aggressive prosecutor to prove it.

Clean up Wall Street, or the boys will keep breaking laws – in bigger and more destructive ways – in the future.

These giants may be too big to bail, but they are not too big to jail.”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/03/financial-giants-are-too-big-to-bail.html

9.  El Salvador:

“Like other Latin American nations, El Salvador has had a long and troubled history, ruled from one decade to the next by successive military dictatorships, then since 1989 by the right wing National Republican Alliance or ARENA Party.

Long-suffering Salvadorans recall the 1980s struggles when the Farabudo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) failed to end what the civil-military Junta leader, Jose Napoleon Duarte, told New York Times reporter Raymond Bonner in 1980:

“Fifty years of lies, fifty years of injustice, fifty years of frustration. (El Salvador’s) history (is pockmarked by) people starving to death, living in misery. For fifty years, the same people had all the power, all the money, all the jobs, all the education, all the opportunities.” Finally they rebelled but failed.

Throughout the decade, billions in US aid poured in, including weapons, munitions, training, and US advisors, troops, and CIA operatives on the ground supporting the government against resistance fighters in a struggle they had little chance of winning.

Roberto D’ Aubuisson founded ARENA in 1981 and was notorious for organizing and leading many of the right-wing death squads that still operate in El Salvador as “hired guns” or criminally embedded elements in the National Civilian Police (PNC), fully supported by Washington and the country’s business elites.

They tortured, disappeared, disabled, and murdered tens of thousands of Salvadorans, including Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980 for his outspoken Liberation Theology, compassion for the poor and oppressed, and denunciation of the “war of extermination and genocide against a defenseless civilian population.” It’s now down-shifted to a lower gear but very much an ongoing enterprise.

ARENA took power in 1989 and held it for the past 20 years until March 15 when The New York Times headlined the next day: “Leftist Party Wins Salvadoran Vote” with Mauricio Funes the new president of a country troubled by crime, an epidemic of violence, corruption, deep poverty (between 60 – 70% of the population), and the specter of Washington in the wings. It’s why 500 – 700 undocumented Salvadorans come to America daily to earn money to send home to their families.”

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12805

10.  “One of the bizarre aspects of Secretary Geithner’s claims not to have known about AIG bonuses until recently is that these bonuses have been the subject of intense controversy for months. Numerous members of Congress, such as Rep. Elijah Cummings, have been pressuring AIG since at least November, in the form of numerous letters, for details on AIG’s retention bonus plan (more on that in a minute).

That AIG was scheduled to make millions of dollars in bonus payments has been public knowledge for many months — since well before Geithner pressured Chris Dodd to insert an exception into executive compensation limits for already-existing employment contracts.

Elijah Cummings was quite obviously very suspicious about what was going on at AIG for months, and he did everything possible to expose it.  He also noted that AIG appeared to be in cahoots with Treasury and Federal Reserve officials over these retention bonuses and sought to determine if those officials really did approve these bonuses or if AIG mislead them about what they were.  It’s extremely difficult to understand how top financial officials could have been unaware of this issue when it was the subject of a rather intense political storm for months before it erupted in last week public.

It’s hard to know which is worse:  that Geithner was aware of all these issues and now claims he wasn’t, or if, while at the New York Fed working on AIG’s bailout, he somehow remained blissfully unaware of all of this.  Given the relative amounts involved, the bonus payments themselves may not be significant in the scheme of things, but the window this scandal provides into the insider dealing, arrogance and corruption driving the trillions of dollars in public money flying around (and disappearing) certainly is significant.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/

11.  “We Have Seen the Enemy…

How did a nation that took so much pride in lively debate and different opinions become a nation that questions the loyalty of people who have dared to disagree with the policymakers in Washington? When did political dissent become a reason to end up grounded at an airport because you found out at a most inconvenient time that your name had been mysteriously added to a “no-fly list”? When did the American government begin building FEMA camps and what exactly is their purpose? When did Congress become the rubber stamp for policies of reading the correspondence and listening in on the conversations of the American public?

9/11 was the start. It doesn’t matter at this point who was behind the attack on America and what the reasons were, the results of that day have been etched into the moral fabric of the American nation. “We have met the enemy… and he is us” ( http://www.igopogo.com/we_have_met.htm )

Indeed! We have certainly met the enemy and he does appear to be us, who could have known that in 1951 such prophetic words would be written almost sixty years before they came to be the truth? Our society has become afraid of its own people. Who is the enemy? Why were the Patriot Acts, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the expanded FISA laws, The John Warner Defense Act (that suspended Posse Comitatus) and all of the draconian attacks on our privacy and our freedoms enacted? Is the enemy of today so much more dangerous than the enemies that came before them? Exactly who ARE the enemies of today? How did it come to be that Congress was threatened with martial law if it didn’t pass the first bailout of the financial institutions? Is radical Islam the enemy? Are America’s enemies our own dissident citizens? Is our own government acting contrary to our own best interests? Are religions becoming political movements? What exactly is “Christian Zionism” and why are religious leaders praying for Armageddon? What is so wrong with the planet that the only solution to its problems is its destruction?

This nation is clearly at odds with itself. Are we working towards a society that stifles political diversity? Are we truly afraid of our own citizens? While the rest of the world gradually eases religion out of governmental policy, America seems to embrace religious extremes. We criticize Islamic religious fundamentalists; we accept Christian fundamentalists and support a Jewish State that denies the most basic freedoms to its citizens that are not Jewish while they support right wing Jewish leaders that become more radical in calling for the destruction of everything Palestinian with each passing day.
These are truly the times that try men’s souls by the discourse of the public. These problems exist but they are kept out of sight by a mainstream media that tries its best to ignore them. It won’t be too long before we realize that the freedoms we have fought for and respected are non-existent. We already need passports to travel to the Caribbean and laws are in place that will require passports to visit Canada and Mexico. The truth is that Mexico is swiftly becoming a failed State largely because of the American “War on Drugs” that has made drug trafficking such a lucrative business that it threatens the government that tries to enforce nearly impossible drug laws demanded by the United States.

Our “War on Dugs” our “Global War on Terror” and our meddling in other nations politics and our military bases in over 130 different countries have made America a nation to be feared. Meanwhile America can’t even come to terms with the problems that besiege it. We not only refuse to come to terms with our problems, we don’t even acknowledge them. The worldwide Depression has become the focal point of our government and the people; while we watch out freedoms we have enjoyed for so long come to an end.

We need to confront the all the situations that threaten the way we see ourselves. We have seen the enemy and he is us. We may not have started this assault on America, but through our silence and inaction we have encouraged our own demise. America could also become a failed State unless we face our greatest enemy; ourselves.”

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22246.htm


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