Posted by: quiscus | December 31, 2008

December 31, 2008

1.  WTC 7:

“WTC7: NIST Finally Admits Freefall (Part II)

In following up on the erroneous measurement described by John Gross in Part I, I decided to look more carefully at the measurement and find the video frame NIST claims marks the beginning of the collapse. What I found is that there is no motion of the roofline for at least 20-30 video frames after the point identified by John Gross. In other words, the measurement is a complete fabrication with the goal of producing a “measurement” to agree with the result predicted by NIST’s collapse model.

The best that can be said for Gross is that he is not a sociopath. He knows he is lying and is not comfortable with it. He makes the same stress-signaling gestures when he claims no evidence for molten steel. If only Gross and others at NIST had sufficient moral courage to blow the whistle, this Big Lie would have been officially dead long ago, and many dead would be alive.”

2.  “Cynthia McKinney on CNN via YouTube – Speaks about USS Liberty

It’s the rare people like Cynthia McKinney, not the mainstream politicians who retain the dignity of the original framers of the constitution and make America a place to admire. She is an inspiration to patriots everywhere.
BTW Props to CNN for airing this snippet of truth (although we surely won’t see it again.)

‘Loss of Liberty’ dramatically proves, beyond any doubt, that the attack by Israel on June 8, 1967 against the US naval intelligence gathering ship USS Liberty, in which 34 Americans were killed and 171 wounded, was deliberate. The video first lets Israeli officers make their totally unconvincing case that the attack was a ‘tragic accident’ when the Israelis mistook the much larger and differently configured USS Liberty for the totally unlike Egyptian ship El Quseir. This filmed testimony by dozens of USS Liberty survivors demolishes Israel’s ‘tragic accident’ claim. Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer are representative of the honored high-ranking Americans supporting the condemnation of deliberate aggression against the United States by ‘ally’ Israel. ‘Loss of Liberty’ makes clear that then-President Lyndon Johnson conspired with Israel and its Israel-First supporters inside the US government to support the ‘tragic accident’ scheme. Johnson was bogged down at the time in the Vietnam war, and thought he needed Israel Lobby support. Still, Johnson’s behaviour is as unforgivable now as it was then.

DEAD IN THE WATER: During the Six-Day War, Israel attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty belonging to its closest ally, the USA. Thirty-four American servicemen were killed in the two-hour assault by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats. Israel claimed that the whole affair had been a tragic accident based on mistaken identification of the ship. The American government accepted the explanation. For more than 30 years many people have disbelieved the official explanation but have been unable to rebut it convincingly. Now, Dead in the Water uses startling new evidence to reveal the truth behind the seemingly inexplicable attack. The film combines dramatic reconstruction of the events, with new access to former officers in the US and Israeli armed forces and intelligence services who have decided to give their own version of events. Interviews include President Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, former head of the Israeli navy Admiral Shlomo Errell and members of the USS Liberty crew.

spoke with such strength and clarity. She was brilliant in the midst of chaos. She put her life on the line to draw attention to this travesty in Gaza and to offer help to the wounded. The Israelis said those onboard were terrorists and rammed their defenseless vessel, not once, but 3 times. It was sheer luck that this boat didn’t sink. It was just luck that no one was seriously injured or killed. Clearly, when you ram a boat with yours, you intend to endanger the lives of those on the receiving end of your attack.

3.  “As the Israelis continue to pound Gaza, killing Hamas cadre, traffic cops, and civilians alike, Americans shake their heads and wonder: why can’t they all just get along? Why must we be involved? The answer to both questions lies in understanding the peculiar nature of the Israeli state and its “special relationship” to the West, specifically the U.S.

Defenders of the Israeli government and its policies often complain that Israel just wants to be treated as a “normal country,” like any other. They cavil that the Jewish state is treated like an outsider, a pariah, and held up to standards that don’t apply anywhere else. The big problem for these complainants, however, is that Israel is not a normal country, and never has been.

From the day of its birth, Israel has been a Western project, a unique creation of European ideologues whose vision of a Jewish state was rooted in myth, custom, and remembrance, rather than blood and soil. Israel owes its existence to theology rather than geography, and in this it occupies a singular place in the history of nations. The only other comparable state is, or was, the old Soviet Union, which was founded as the receptacle for Leninist ideology, but even here the analogy isn’t quite exact, for the simple reason that Russia preexisted the USSR by several centuries, and Russian nationalism soon came to dominate and overwhelm the ostensibly “internationalist” Kremlin leadership.

As a settler colony rather than a rooted nation, Israel’s always precarious existence is made possible by an extensive international support system that exists entirely outside the Middle East. In the beginning, it was the Zionist movement itself that provided the outside material aid that nurtured and grew this nascent nation. That, however, was not enough to provide the sustenance Israel needed to come into existence and survive in a very rough neighborhood, so it was the British empire that presided over its birth. The Balfour Declaration provided the semi-legal basis for the existence of an independent Jewish state in the area known as Palestine.

The British, however, had neither the resources nor the inclination to act as Israel’s permanent sponsor and protector, and this role eventually fell to the United States. Without U.S. aid, including unconditional military and political support, Israel could not exist for long. Over the years, it has evolved its own characteristic means of survival, which is analogous to that of an epiphyte – a plant that, rather than rooting in its own soil, grows on other plants.

Because Israel is almost entirely dependent on international support – and especially American support – for its very survival, without U.S. public opinion behind it the Jewish state would soon wither on the vine. What this means, in practice, is that a constant stream of pro-Israel propaganda must be directed at the American people in order to justify the high levels of financial and military aid that keep Israel afloat. What’s more, the Israelis must constantly generate the urgency and immediacy of the need to support their country. They have succeeded in doing this by projecting a sense of continuing crisis. The idea that Israel is in danger, that unless we ship billions more in taxpayer dollars the Israeli state will sink beneath the waves of an unrelenting Arab assault, is constantly being pushed – and we wonder why the “peace process” is perpetually stalled.

Given the need for a constant crisis, all efforts to mediate a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question are doomed to utter failure. The Israelis simply have no interest in peace, when war suits their purposes so well. Indeed, when things get too peaceful, they have every interest in stirring things up. Once more, Israel is supposedly fighting for its life – so please keep those aid packages coming, to the tune of over $3 billion per year!

4.  Of course we already know that Al Qaeda didn’t attack us on 9/11:

“At the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn., President Bush triumphantly proclaimed, “There can be no debate about the results [of my decisions] in keeping America safe.” According to the president, the fact that America has not been attacked again since Sept. 11, 2001, is “not a matter of luck” – rather, “it’s the result of tough decisions that we began making immediately after September the 11th.”

But a plausible – and often ignored – reason why al-Qaeda has not attacked again is that it does not need to. In other words, Osama bin Laden achieved his larger strategic goal with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: He provoked the United States to attack Iraq, a needless invasion and occupation of an Islamic country that motivates Muslims around the world to make America and its allies a target of terrorism. The 2004 Madrid and 2005 London terrorist attacks are evidence to support this thesis. Moreover, it is logistically and operationally easier to carry out attacks “over there” than to cross the ocean to the United States – with much the same effect.

5.  “Across the world, mainstream journalists are expressing increasing disquiet at the way the Israeli government is trying to manage international coverage of its war on the Gaza Strip. Journalists have been barred not just from the strip itself, but the government is now prohibiting journalists from going to parts of Israel near the Gaza Strip.

As the media struggles to get up-to-date information, television news coverage is narrow, and often relies on interviews with Israeli government officials explaining why the killings are righteous and legitimate expressions of democracy and freedom, more and more people are turning to online news sites (like for their war coverage.

The Israeli military has therefore announced that online media and the blogosphere are another warzone for the military to manage. To that end, the military is launching its own Youtube channel to bring the viewing public footage of “precision bombing operations” in the strip.

In ensuring that the only footage of their military operation is provided directly from them, the Israeli military is another step closer to completely managing public perception of the ongoing attacks. The military says the footage will allow the public to “know that people killed did not have peaceful intentions toward Israel,” which presumably means coverage of the killing of five children in their beds in a refugee camp last night, and the scores of other civilian deaths, will be carefully omitted from the official coverage.

6.  Why Arab governments don’t care about Gaza, either:

“To find both the US and Britain failing to condemn the Israeli onslaught while blaming Hamas is not surprising. US Middle East policy and Israeli policy are now indistinguishable and Gordon Brown is following the same dog-like devotion to the Bush administration as his predecessor.

As usual, the Arab satraps – largely paid and armed by the West – are silent, preposterously calling for an Arab summit on the crisis which will (if it even takes place), appoint an “action committee” to draw up a report which will never be written. For that is the way with the Arab world and its corrupt rulers. As for Hamas, they will, of course, enjoy the discomfiture of the Arab potentates while cynically waiting for Israel to talk to them. Which they will. Indeed, within a few months, we’ll be hearing that Israel and Hamas have been having “secret talks” – just as we once did about Israel and the even more corrupt PLO. But by then, the dead will be long buried and we will be facing the next crisis since the last crisis.

7.  “Georgia is moving tanks and armoured vehicles closer to the border with South Ossetia, the republic’s government said on Monday.

“According to intelligence that is coming in, Georgia has moved 28 tanks into the city of Gori, where a tank battalion is deployed. Moreover, Cobra armoured personnel carriers have been detected in the village of Nikozi in the immediate vicinity of the Republic of South Ossetia’s borders,” the press release said.

Provided the reports are true the situation resembles what one could witness in the days running up to August 7, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to regain control over the republic. South Ossetia, along with Abkhazia, broke away in the early 1990s.

8.  I thought we’d been told we were in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban:

In a truly bizarre development NATO is now paying the Taleban to guarantee the security of these supply routes. “We estimate that approximately 25 per cent of the money we pay for security to get the fuel in goes into the pockets of the Taleban,” said one fuel importer. Another boss whose company is subcontracted to supply to Western military bases said that as much as a quarter of the value of a lorry’s cargo was paid to Taleban commanders. “The Taleban come and move with the convoy. They sit in the front vehicle of the convoy to ensure security.”

The current US occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq, the refusal to allow the Somali Taleban – the Islamic Courts and the Shabab – to come to power there, and the unremitting vilification of Syria and Iran can only be explained as the US trying to force the Muslim world into submission. It is no coincidence that these holdouts are the focus of US hostility.
This is all eerily familiar. In the 20th century, the communists were the enemy. The Cold War was the vehicle for keeping alive the enemy myth so necessary to holding together the imperial order. Communism was supposedly destroyed, with no positive effect for anyone, it turns out. But conventional wisdom still celebrates the “victory over Communism” at the same time as it exhorts us to hold firm against the new enemy, recalcitrant Islam, as embodied in Afghanistan’s resistance fighters.
One can, of course, understand why few in the West want the orthodox view of the Cold War overturned, or want to see the withdrawal of US/NATO forces from the Middle East. If that were to happen, the whole edifice of postwar politics would begin to crumble. People would realise the heavy burden of postwar rearmament was for naught. Israel would quickly have to make peace with the Palestinians, ending their criminal occupation. People everywhere would wake up to the reality that the war against Communism – and now Islam – actually imperiled rather than saved us, and they would see the real enemy. Is there time? Can the Afghan resistance prevail against the mightiest death machine in world history?

The war in Afghanistan is now a race to the finish – for us all.”

9.  “

Acts which, when ordered by Liberians, are “criminal torture” meriting life imprisonment magically become, when ordered by Americans, mere “aggressive interrogation techniques.”   And while not all of the “techniques” used by the Liberians were authorized by Bush officials (“hot clothes irons” and “biting ants shoveled onto people’s bodies”), many of the authorized American techniques are classic torture tactics and resulted in the deaths of many detainees and the total insanity of many more.

Worse, AP — with canine-like subservience — mindlessly recites the Bush administration’s excuses (Abu Ghraib was due to low-level rogue bad apples and “there has been no systematic mistreatment of detainees”) without even mentioning the ample evidence proving how false those government claims are.  That’s standard American “journalism” for you:  “Our Government says X, and even if it’s false and even if it’s intensely disputed, we’ll just leave it at that.”  Doing anything more — as NBC News’ David Gregory pointed out — is “not their role.”

There’s something beautifully illustrative about this torture prosecution.  Apparently, it’s not just appropriate, but necessary and urgent, for American courts to be used to prosecute the leaders of small African nations who order torture exclusively in their own land.  Doing that is necessary to uphold what the Bush DOJ calls “respect for and trust in authority, government and a rule of law.”

But — say Bush loyalists and our pliant political class in unison — the one thing that we cannot tolerate is for American courts to be used to impose accountability on American leaders who authorized illegal torture.  And, of course, the only thing worse than doing that would be to subject them to prosecution by another country or, creepier still, an international tribunal.  That would be an intolerable infringement of our sovereignty, we say as we prosecute the son of Liberia’s President for acts he undertook exclusively inside Liberia.

But, like most of the alleged principles to which our political elite professes allegiance, America and its leaders are entitled to a different set of standards and better treatment.  Thus, Charles Taylor belongs at the Hague, being prosecuted as a war criminal.  His son belongs in an American criminal court being prosecuted by the Bush DOJ for torture.  And George Bush and Dick Cheney belong on their “ranches,” enjoying full-scale immunity for the crimes they committed and a rich and comfortable retirement, treated as the esteemed and well-intentioned (even if sometimes misguided) dignitaries that they are.  Virtually the only people in the world who fail to recognize this self-evident, ludicrous and disgusting hypocrisy are America’s political and media elites and those who are misled by them.

Alberto Gonzales gave a painfully self-pitying interview to The Wall St. Journal this week and announced that the real victims aren’t the detainees who were tortured in our secret and not-so-secret prison camps, nor the millions of dead or displaced Iraqis, nor the Americans whose communications were illegally spied upon without warrants.  No, the Real Victims of the last eight years are Bush officials like him who face criticism for what they did:

I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.

Here we find the predominant — virtually unanimous — Beltway mentality:  when high American officials break our laws, it’s nothing more than “formulating policies that people disagree with.”  Gonzales cried out:  “What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?”  The answers are obvious to anyone paying even minimal attention.  Steve Benen points out just some of them here.”

10.  “But the most wretched of all the Arab leaders is Mahmoud Abbas, who styles himself, “President of the Palestinian Authority” at the same time as he accuses Hamas of responsibility for the massacre for refusing to give in, as he himself has done, to Zionist and Western designs. Taking advantage of the bloodletting, he has already said he will take over the administration of Gaza if Hamas is defeated. We are faced with a Vichy-style West Bank regime, with Abbas as its Pétain, serving the 21st Century nazis, Israel.”


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