Friday, November 30, 2007

Report: Rudy has business ties to 9/11 facilitator

Report: Rudy has business ties to 9/11 facilitator
Mike Aivaz and Jason Rhyne

GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who has made tough talk about combating Islamic terror a staple of his campaign, has had extensive business dealings with a foreign ministry helmed by a man with ties to the 9/11 attacks, according to a new report.

Giuliani Partners, a consulting firm which the former New York mayor founded after leaving in office in 2002, maintains a "cozy business relationship," with the "terrorist-tolerant" nation of Qatar, writes the Village Voice's Wayne Barrett. Barret reports that the firm's business partners in Qatar have included that country's former minister of Islamic affairs, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani (above right), who has been accused of helping suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad evade an an FBI arrest attempt in 1996.

"In other words," writes Barrett, "as incredible as it might seem, Rudy Giuliani -- whose presidential candidacy is steeped in 9/11 iconography -- has been doing business with a government agency run by the very man who made the attacks on 9/11 possible."

Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Barrett said Giuliani should have known about Qatar's ties to terrorism in 2005, when he made the country one of his "principal clients."

"He would have had to have been deaf, dumb and blind not to know it because he then in 2005 had running his security unit two of the FBI agents who had been pursuing the Qatar relationship [to terrorism]," Barrett told Olbermann. "By 2005, the United States had a very complicated relationship with Qatar. It was fully aware of its ties to international terrorism."

Barrett went on to add that Giuliani Partners' business with al-Thani and Qatar was strictly a money decision.

"I think the conundrum really for Rudy as a candidate is he parades around America as the black and white candidate who can't see any grey," he said. "And so here you have a relationship where he could see the grey because there was so much gold involved."

Detailing al-Thani's role in purportedly aiding and abetting Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Barret says in the Voice that al-Thani helped the suspected terrorist to flee Qatar. Al-Thani also "remains a named defendant in the 9/11 lawsuits that are still proceeding in Manhattan federal court," he adds.

Barret writes that the reality of Giuliani's association with Qatar is "inconsistent with the core message of Giuliani's current presidential campaign, namely that his experience and toughness uniquely equip him to protect America from what he tauntingly calls 'Islamic terrorists' -- an enemy that he always portrays himself as ready to confront, and the Democrats as ready to accommodate."

Barrett's report was published a day before a much-discussed story broken by Politico's Ben Smith, which accused Giuliani of obscuring security expenses to disguise an extra-marital affair during his time as New York mayor. Although that story has been picked up by an array of news outlets, the Barrett piece has received a tamer reception thus far in the mainstream press.

Nevertheless, Olbermann called Barett's story a "startling and potentially ruinous revelation," and said of Giuliani, "The 'war on terror candidate' -- looking tonight a lot more like the 'ties to terror' candidate."

Barrett is the co-author of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of 9/11, which takes a critical look at Giuliani's role "before, during, and after" the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The following video is from MSNBC’s COUNTDOWN with Keith Olbermann, broadcast on November 28, 2007

Bin Laden: Europeans Should End US Help

CAIRO, Egypt — Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden called on Europeans to stop helping the United States in the war in Afghanistan, according to excerpts of a new audiotape broadcast Thursday on Al-Jazeera television.

Bin Laden said it was unjust for the United States to have invaded Afghanistan for sheltering him after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, saying he was the "only one responsible" for the deadly assaults on New York and Washington.

"The events of Manhattan were retaliation against the American-Israeli alliance's aggression against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, and I am the only one responsible for it. The Afghan people and government knew nothing about it. America knows that," the al-Qaida leader said in the five-minute tape.

The message appeared to be another attempt by bin Laden to influence public opinion in the West. In 2004, he offered Europeans a truce if they stopped attacking Muslims, then later spoke of a truce with the U.S. In both cases, al-Qaida then denounced those areas for not accepting its offer.

The terror leader said Afghans have been caught up in decades of struggle, first "at the hands of the Russians ... and before their wounds had healed and their grief had ended, they were invaded without right by your unjust governments."

He said that two separate injustices were visited upon Afghanistan as the Taliban was toppled in 2001: First, the war was "waged against the Afghans without right", and second coalition troops have not followed the "protocol of warfare," with the result that most bomb victims have been women and children.

"I have personally witnessed incidents like these, and the matter continues on an almost daily basis," he said.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack dismissed the new tape as typical of bin Laden's tactics and expressed faith in the European allies.

"I think our NATO allies understand quite clearly what is at stake in Afghanistan as well as elsewhere around the world in fighting the war on terror," he told reporters. "It's going to require a sustained commitment over a period of time and we have seen that kind of commitment from our European allies."

FBI analysts were reviewing the tape but were not immediately able to say how long it was or when it might have been recorded nor could they provide other details. Spokesman Richard Kolko said it was being examined "to determine if it is authentic and for any intelligence value."

"As the FBI has said since 9/11, bin Laden was responsible for the attack," Kolko said in a statement. "In this latest tape, he again acknowledged his responsibility. This should help to clarify for all the conspiracy theorists, again _ the 9/11 attack was done by bin Laden and al-Qaida."

This has been the deadliest year in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, with more than 6,100 people killed _ including more than 800 civilians _ in militant attacks and military operations, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Afghan and Western officials.

In the new tape, bin Laden said European nations joined the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan "because they had no other alternative, only to be a follower."

"The American tide is ebbing, with God's help, and they will go back to their countries," he said, speaking of Europeans.

Bin Laden urged Europeans to pull away from the fight.

"It is better for you to stand against your leaders who are dropping in on the White House, and to work seriously to lift the injustice against the believers," he said, accusing U.S. forces and their allies of intentionally killing women and children in Afghanistan.

Al-Jazeera aired two brief excerpts of the audiotape, titled "Message to the European Peoples," which al-Qaida had announced Mondday that it would release soon.

Bin Laden issued four public statements earlier this year _ on Sept. 7, Sept. 11, Sept. 20 and Oct. 22. The Sept. 7 video was his first in three years and was issued to mark the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Al-Qaida has dramatically stepped up its messages _ a pace seen as a sign of its increasing technical sophistication and the relative security felt by its leadership. Bin Laden is believed to be hiding along the Afghan-Pakistan frontier.

Bin Laden's message was the 89th this year by Al-Qaida's media wing, Al-Sahab, an average of one every three days, double the rate in 2006, according to IntelCenter, a U.S. counterterrorism group that monitors militant messaging.

Biden: Impeachment if Bush bombs Iran

Biden: Impeachment if Bush bombs Iran

Check back mid morning on Friday for a photo gallery from this event

PORTSMOUTH — Presidential hopeful Delaware Sen. Joe Biden stated unequivocally that he will move to impeach President Bush if he bombs Iran without Congressional approval.

Video: Sen Joe Biden on Iraq

Biden spoke in front of a crowd of approximately 100 at a Seacoast Media Group forum Thursday, which focused on the Iraq War and foreign policy. When an audience member expressed fear of another war with Iran, he said he does not typically engage in threats, but had no qualms about issuing a direct warning to the oval office.

“The President has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran and if he does, as foreign relations committee chairman, I will move to impeach,” said Biden, which was followed by a raucous applause.

Biden said he is in the process of meeting with constitutional law experts to prepare a legal memorandum saying as much, and intends to send it to the President.

When resident Joel Carp asked Biden why not impeach now given what has already been done, Biden said it was a valid point but might not be constitutionally valid and potentially counterproductive. A case for impeachment must have clear evidence, he said, and blame should be directed at the right parties.

“If you’re going to impeach George Bush, you better impeach Cheney first,” said Biden, which also received applause.

Biden said the best deterrent to prevent preemptive military action in Iran is to make it clear, even if it is at the end of his final term, action will be taken against Bush to ensure “his legacy will be marred for all time.”

Biden took shots at the Bush administration’s idea to centralize government in Baghdad and called his decentralized plan the only way to political settlement. The recent decline in violence in Iraq, which some Republicans have credited to the surge, is the result of the military doing its job. President Bush, he said, has not done his job in using the relative peace to find a political compromise as he promised.

“There’s no evidence it has happened and no evidence it will happen,” he said.

Throughout the forum, Biden stressed the need to improve foreign relations throughout the world and pointed to his 29-year resume as proof that he can make that happen.

Biden joked about his low poll numbers, how the national media does not cover him and the lack of funding compared to the coffers of fellow hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

“This is why I’m in New Hampshire and Iowa,” he said. “It’s the last level playing field.”

Biden went to his next appearance knowing he had at least one more vote. As the forum was coming to an end, Byrl Short stood up and announced his support.

“I came here an undecided voter,” he said. “And you are the man.”

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Taser Torture

Taser Torture


via James Wolcott:

Arthur Silber, chronicling the escalating pattern of authoritarian abuse, details how the Taser is being used as a tool to enforce compliance and convulse resistance, even if that resistance poses no threat, as in the case of the poor, befuddled passenger Robert Dziekanski, who met his death at the Vancouver airport…read on

I’m shocked that the entire Republican Prez crew weren’t all packing their trusty tasers to neutralize Anderson Cooper’s liberal bias last night. Mitt Romney probably stocked up on his free travel coupons to Gitmo for a weekend of fun and games. Comply or feel the wrath of thy taser. We’ve seen so many stories lately about the horror inflicted by them. It makes me wonder how many other times they were used unnecessarily that hasn’t been reported…

If you can bear to watch it, here is a video of Dziekanski’s final moments of life. Please note that, when the Mounties arrived and while they were there, Dziekanski was no threat to anyone (not that he had been that serious a threat before). He had nothing in his hands, and he had no means of seriously harming anyone. He was in a secure area of the airport. Like Andrew Meyer, he was significantly outnumbered. If the authorities believed he had to be “subdued,” they had any number of other means of achieving that end — means that would not have been fatal. But for the state, such calculations are irrelevant. Dziekanski was too much trouble; easier to eliminate him. The fact that he had become “too much trouble” as the direct result of the state’s own criminal incompetence is forgottenread on

UPDATE: (Nicole) And even more tasering stories are now coming out...the police tasered a pregnant woman in Ohio in front of her 1 year old son of whom she was attempting to surrender custody.

Clinton campaign: We didn't plant gay soldier

An openly gay retired soldier who quizzed Republican candidates about the military's don't ask don't tell policy was not acting on behalf of Hillary Clinton, despite his role on her campaign's gay-rights steering committee, the campaign said Thursday.

"He is not a campaign employee and was not acting on behalf of the campaign," Clinton spokesman Phil Singer told RAW STORY.

Toward the end of Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, retired Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr asked the candidates, "Why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians."

Right-wing bloggers quickly noted that Kerr was a member of Clinton's "LGBT Americans for Hillary" steering committee. Within 40 minutes of the debate's end, ran a post titled, "Hillary Plants a Question in Republican Debate."

After the debate had ended CNN host Anderson Cooper acknowledged the Clinton connection and said the network was unaware of it before airing his question.

"Certainly, had we had that information, we would have acknowledged that in using his question, if we had used it at all," Cooper told viewers.

Thursday, CNN acknowledged questions about Kerr and interviewed him about his ties to Clinton.

"I have not done any work (for Clinton), several friends asked me if I would allow my name to be listed, and I agreed," Kerr said referring to his position on the steering committee.

Kerr said is a registered independent and has not donated money to Clinton or any other 2008 candidates, and he stressed that no one put him up to asking the question. A search of OpenSecrets,a campaign finance database confirms Kerr has made no donations.

"This was a private initiative on my own," Kerr told CNN host John King.
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast on November 29, 2007.

On rival network MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, scoffed at the CNN's claim it did not know Kerr was affiliated with the campaign.
This video is from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast on November 29, 2007.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Arianna Discussing Rove's Attack on History with Keith Olbermann

Arianna appeared on Countdown tonight to discuss Karl Rove's efforts to rewrite history on the war in Iraq, George Orwell's 1984 and why Rove is a "shameless, remorseless and perhaps soulless political animal, who cannot help himself, even when he's out of the White House":

Official probing Rove now under investigation himself

The federal official helming a probe into potentially illegal partisan political activities conducted by Karl Rove and other White House officials is himself the focus of a federal investigation.

Scott Bloch, the Bush-appointed head of the US Office of Special Counsel, is under investigation for the alleged improper deletion of emails on office computers, The Wall Street Journal's John R. Wilke reports.

"Recently, investigators learned that Mr. Bloch erased all the files on his office personal computer late last year," writes Wilke. "They are now trying to determine whether the deletions were improper or part of a cover-up, lawyers close to the case said." The inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management is examining the case at the urging of the White House.

The Special Counsel is also under scrutiny for claims that he used his position to retaliate against other employees, and that he "dismissed whistleblower cases without adequate examination." Investigation began in that case in 2005.

The Journal reports that Bloch called the tech support service Geeks on Call for help deleting computer files instead of using his agency's own in-house computer technicians. That company "dispatched a technician in one of its signature PT Cruiser wagons," according to Wilke, who adds that Bloch confirms contacting Geeks on Call but maintains it was part of an effort to "eradicate a virus that had seized control of his computer."

"Mr. Bloch had his computer's hard disk completely cleansed using a 'seven-level' wipe: a thorough scrubbing that conforms to Defense Department data-security standards," the report continues, describing a process which makes it "nearly impossible for forensics experts to restore the data later. Technicians were also directed to erase laptops used by Bloch's former political deputies, Wilke adds.

"Geeks on Call visited Mr. Bloch's government office in a nondescript office building on M Street in Washington twice, on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, 2006," according the paper's review of a company receipt. "The total charge was $1,149, paid with an agency credit card, the receipt shows. The receipt says a seven-level wipe was performed but doesn't mention any computer virus."

The manager of the Geeks on Call franchise involved told the Journal that the so-called seven-level wipe was not a typical remedy for a computer virus. "We don't do a seven-level wipe for a virus," he said.

But Bloch told the Journal that no documents in connection to an investigation had been destroyed. "He also says the employee claims against him are unwarranted," according to the paper. "Mr. Bloch believes the White House may have a conflict of interest in pressing the inquiry into his conduct while his office investigates the White House political operation."

The Office of Special Counsel, which Bloch has headed since 2004, is tasked with enforcing the Hatch Act, a law enacted in 1939 to prohibit public employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

That organization's investigation into Rove and other White House officials, launched earlier this year, ironically includes a probe of missing emails. The Office of Special Counsel is examining "the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities," according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We will take the evidence where it leads us," Bloch told the Times in April. "We will not leave any stone unturned."

Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered the White House to save all of its emails in response to lawsuits from two private organizations, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, and The National Security Archive. The groups allege that as many as five million White House emails are missing.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

Expert: Both parties cooperate to keep administration crimes secret

David Edwards and Muriel Kane

The Bush administration has made widespread use of the so-called state secrets privilege to dismiss lawsuits that seek to challenge its domestic wiretaps and other illegal activities. Now two veteran senators, Arlen Spector (R-PA) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA), are teaming up to craft legislation that would direct judges to evaluate the government's state secrets claims rather than accepting them uncritically.

Keith Olbermann described this proposed legislation with a high degree of skepticism, saying sardonically, "The bill may end up as part of the Senate's wiretapping law, due for a vote next month -- after which the president will sign it and monkeys will fly out of his butt."

He then turned to constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley, asking him why there isn't already such a law, as most Americans would assume there would be.

"It actually is the law," Turley replied. "This has been a distortion, or a mutation of the law. The privilege has become something that I think the Supreme Court never imagined when it first created it."

"Today, the privilege is used primarily not to keep something secret, but to keep something from being used against the government," Turley went on. "I was in a courtroom when people laughed when the government counsel argued that they could use the privilege to claim as secret something that was published on the cover of the New York Times."

Turley said that some judges are already scrutinizing government claims under the state secret privilege but suggested that those who do not are merely "lazy." He pointed out that even the original case which established the privilege was eventually found to have been based on a lie, "and the Supreme Court refused to reexamine the case."

Perhaps Turley's most telling observation was that members of both parties are happy to see these cases dismissed because they are determined to keep impeachment off the table. "There's a lot of people, both Democrats and Republicans, that ... don't want a court to say that the president did something that is a federal crime. That's why they're trying to get all these cases thrown out of court. ... When a federal judge says the president committed a crime, it's pretty darn hard to ignore that."

However, he agreed with Olbermann that it would still be important to have such a law in place for after Bush leaves office, saying, "The privilege is now a tool used to protect the government from its own crimes."

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast on November 27, 2007.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Beyond Treason; The Call for A Congression Investigation

Beyond Treason; The Call for A Congression Investigation

By Timothy V. Gatto

I couldn’t sleep last night. Its 4:49AM and I have a headache and a knot in my stomach. I just watched a movie called Beyond Treason. It’s about how the U.S. Military has used it’s soldiers as guinea pigs in many outrageous experiments, the last being one that is continuing, the exposure to ionized radiation by using depleted uranium in munitions. Many people out there know me by my writing, but what people don’t really know about me is that I have been exposed to ionizing radiation and I know what it can do to a person. I have had cancer, I have peripheral neuropathy, constant pain and I take over 13 medications for the side effects.

The point is that this government, from George Bush Sr. to Clinton and now to Bush Jr. has known about the effects of depleted uranium and the ionizing radiation that comes from it. Soldiers from the First Gulf War have had over 200,000 cases of VA certified disability from their service. That is a 60,000% increase over previous wars. In the first Gulf War we used over 340 tons of depleted uranium. In Afghanistan, over 1,000 tons to date, in the Second Iraq War we have used 2,400 tons of the stuff.

Uranium gives off Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays. The Uranium that is dispersed after vaporizing on the target can be as small as .1 micron. That means that ionized uranium is in the air, the soil and the water, and it has a half-life of 4.5 Billion years! This means that the two countries that we invaded will forever be contaminated, and the contamination will never pass. Not only is the land contaminated, but our soldiers who enlisted to help fight this “Global War on Terrorism” will pass this on to their families by their semen. They will infect their wives and any future children. Many Veterans have had children that were born healthy but fail to thrive. In some cases the hearts of their children burst at 4 or 5 months old. This is fighting a war on terrorism? It sounds to me like since we didn’t find weapons of mass destruction, we brought our own.

That’s exactly what the World Court ruled. It is against the U.N. Charter to use weapons of mass destruction and that’s exactly what we are doing. Not only on the so-called “enemy”, but on our own troops that feel the effects of “Fallout”. Yes, you read me right, fallout. This is exactly the same result of a “Dirty Bomb” that the U.S. Government keeps threatening the people of this nation might happen if a “terrorist” explodes radioactive material with a bomb.

Why haven’t you heard this on the “Mainstream Media”? The reason you haven’t is because the MSM is controlled by the same people that make their money in the Defense Industry. GE and Westinghouse own many outlets; ABC, Sci-Fi Channel, History Channel, MSNBC, CBS and a host of others. The rest are owned by supporters of this corrupt and treasonous administration that thinks nothing of killing off their soldiers for profit and gain. Your sons and daughters will eventually have to deal with this problem we have created.

I am calling for a Congressional Investigation into the scope and breadth of the problem of Depleted Uranium used by our Armed Forces in direct violation of the UN Charter. I am calling on The Veterans Administration to come clean about ionized radiation, a problem they have known about since 1950. No more diagnosis of “PTSD” in soldiers who are sick. These soldiers aren’t stressed out, they are sick! Don’t fool yourself for a minute, the President knows about this. This could possibly be the reason that 120 Veterans are taking their lives each week according to a report by CBS that got past the censors’.

This President and the two preceding President’s should be charged with treason. They should be charged, tried and imprisoned for the rest of their natural lives. They have not only ruined the future of the men and women that have served them, but they have also contaminated Kosovo, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq forever. There is no “clean-up” operation that can be done. They are guilty of genocide, no different than Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. Through their own arrogance and extraordinary powers that we give the Executive Branch, they have used this nation as a killing machine. We kill not just the enemy, but our allies and our own soldiers.

We have been ruled by criminals since Ronald Reagan left office. I have something on him too that I’ll write about in another article. The problem of killing our own soldiers and whole nations aren’t the only crime they have committed. They have also stolen this nation’s wealth and put it into their own pocket, but that’s another article.

Please help me to get Congress to launch a full-scale investigation into the use of depleted uranium. I will write to my Congressional leaders and I pray that you will write too. I don’t care if you are a Conservative Republican or a Liberal/Progressive Democrat or hate them all. This is a matter of utmost urgency to stop the indiscriminate loss of life in these countries and to get the Veterans that served us the care they deserve. As an American you can do nothing less, and if you can’t do this, we WILL have nothing left.

That’s the way I see it.

Authors Website:

Authors Bio: Former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America, Tim is a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina. A regular contributor to OpEdNews, he is the author of Kimchee Kronicles and is currently at work on a new novel.

Giuliani Campaign Behind Scheme to Steal the Election

Giuliani Campaign Behind Scheme to Steal the Election

Remember the California electoral initiative that was supposed to be dead already?

video_wmv Download (2396) | Play (3652) video_mov Download (1700) | Play (2063)

Not only is it not dead, it’s a host of heavyweights for the Giuliani campaign that have been behind it and are currently working to gather the signatures needed before the deadline next week to keep it alive.

Bill Schneider: A lot of the money behind the California ballot measure is coming from Republicans with ties to Rudy Giuliani, and a lot of the effort to stop it is coming from the Hillary Clinton forces. It’s turning into an early showdown between the two front-runners, and the voters of California don’t even know it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kissinger Associates Managing Director, L. Paul Bremer, starts the Osama story on 9/11

from brasscheck tv...

Mission Accomplished

In the early hours right after the 9/11 attacks, Paul Bremer appeared on NBC suggesting that Osama bin Laden was responsible. He was one of the first to float the name.

What Bremer failed to mention is that as he appeared on television calmly speculating about who was responsible, 1,700 of the employees the company he worked for were "missing" as a result of the attack on the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

It later turned out that over 200 were killed, one of the biggest losses of any organization that day.

Two years later, Bush put Bremer in charge of rebuilding Iraq.

There he decided against the advice of all military and diplomatic experts to disband Iraq's army and put 400,000 armed and trained and then-cooperative soldiers in the street without any means of support and a major grudge against the US.

Bremer...on TV right after 9/11 starting the Osama did it myth and then in Iraq guaranteeing a massive and deadly insurgency.

What was Bremer doing before 9/11?

Among other things, he was the Managing Director of Kissinger Associates.

You know, Henry Kissinger. The former Harvard Professor turned adviser to the Rockefeller family who became Nixon's foreign affairs adviser during the Vietnam War which Nixon extended for eight years beyond LBJs term.

Still think the "botched" occupation of Iraq was a mistake or a surprise?

Like Vietnam, the Iraq War is intended to bleed America dry
financially and isolate it diplomatically - and the very same cast of characters have their fingerprints all over it and profiting from it.

But try to find this very basic background information in the news media, mainstream or alternative.

yeah, good luck trying to find a LOT of "very basic background information in the news media, mainstream or alternative"...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cafferty's viewers warn of 'the slippery slope to a police state'

Cafferty's viewers warn of 'the slippery slope to a police state'

11/20/2007 @ 11:24 am

Filed by Mike Aivaz and Muriel Kane

Boston police are trying to get guns off the streets by asking parents in high-crime areas to let detectives come into their homes without a warrant and search their children's bedrooms.

There has been considerable controversy over the program. For example, former Boston police lieutenant Thomas Nolan, who now teaches criminology at Boston University, complained that "I just have a queasy feeling anytime the police try to do an end run around the Constitution. ... The police have restrictions on their authority and ability to conduct searches. The Constitution was written with a very specific intent, and that was to keep the law out of private homes unless there is a written document signed by a judge and based on probable cause. Here, you don't have that."

Jack Cafferty discussed the controversy on his CNN show Monday, highlighting the objections by civil liberties advocates that parents "may be too intimidated to say no to the police or may not understand the consequences if they say yes."

Cafferty also noted that Boston police say a similar program in St. Louis was highly successful, finding guns in half the homes that were searched, and have promised that they would never abuse the program to gain access to the homes of people under suspicion or make arrests for small amounts of marijuana.

However, the St. Louis program was effective only during a brief period in 1994-95, when youth violence was at a peak and community support high. It later switched over to a focus on traditional warrants and arrests and was ultimately discontinued.

Cafferty then asked his viewers to respond to the question, "Should Boston police be able to enter private homes without a warrant to search for guns?" He read excerpts from the responses during a follow-up segment.

Although one viewer suggested that "concerned parents would welcome this," the general reaction appeared to be strongly negative, to the point where Cafferty suggested it might be because the question had not contained the phrase "with permission." He apologized repeatedly for that omission, both before and after reading from viewers' comments.

One viewer wrote in warning about "the slippery slope to a police state." Another insisted "absolutely no entry without a warrant ... no fishing expeditions." Yet another wanted to know, "Since when did Boston secede from the U.S. and the constitutional safeguards against illegal searches?"

And one raised the specter of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, asking, "Did someone make Gonzo the Boston Police Commissioner? Why would anybody in their right mind invite the police into their home to conduct an illegal search for illegal guns?"

The following video is from CNN's Cafferty File with Jack Cafferty, broadcast on November 19, 2007

How False Narrative Works

U.S. Helps Push Pakistan to the Brink
The neoconservative vision of making the Middle East conform to U.S. strategic interests is turning into an unspeakable nightmare as nuclear-armed Pakistan teeters on the brink. In this guest essay, Ivan Eland looks at Washington's role in creating the mess. November 17, 2007

Bush's Clever Cognitive Dissonance
George W. Bush has proven to be the master of cognitive dissonance, unblushingly asserting principles at odds with his actions. The President showed off his skills before the right-wing Federalist Society, presenting himself as the grand defender of the Constitution. November 16, 2007

How False Narrative Works
Over the past couple of decades, the Republicans have benefited from their ability to create false narratives with the help of the Right's well-financed media machine. This excerpt from Neck Deep examines the "China-gate" case study from Campaign 2000. November 14, 2007

Six Years After 'Gore's Victory'
Six years ago, eight news organizations published the findings of their unofficial recount of Florida's disputed ballots. The recount discovered that Al Gore would have won the decisive Florida election if all legally cast ballots had been counted. But the big news outlets concealed that finding from the American public. November 12, 2007

Bush's Favorite Lie
George W. Bush has told a stunning number of lies about the Iraq War and the "war on terror." But some seem to be his particular favorites, like the one about Saddam Hussein's WMD defiance that Bush retold while standing next to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. November 9, 2007

Bush Commits Treason

Bush's Plame-gate Cover-up

By Robert Parry
November 21, 2007

In early fall 2003, George W. Bush joined in what appears to have been a criminal cover-up to conceal the role of his White House in exposing the classified identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

That is the logical conclusion one would draw from a new statement by then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan when it is put into a mosaic with previously known evidence.

McClellan says President Bush was one of five high-ranking officials who caused McClellan to lie to the public in clearing Bush’s political adviser Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis Libby of any responsibility for the leak of Plame’s employment as an undercover intelligence officer.

“The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” McClellan said. “So I stood at the White House briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

“There was one problem. It was not true.

“I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the Vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the President himself.”

McClellan’s comments were part of a press release from his publisher regarding McClellan’s memoir, which is scheduled to reach the book stores next April.

Though the press release didn’t add more details about Bush’s role, earlier evidence already had implicated Bush in the outing of Plame after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had gone public in July 2003, disclosing that Bush had used false information to frighten the American people about Iraq’s alleged nuclear program.

To discredit Wilson, Bush administration officials began telling reporters about Plame’s CIA job to suggest that an early 2002 investigation that Wilson undertook for the CIA into reports about Iraq seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger was the result of nepotism.

Though several reporters balked at blowing Plame’s covert identity, right-wing columnist Robert Novak revealed it in a column on July 14, 2003. It was later learned that Novak was relying on information from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and his friend, Karl Rove. Libby and other White House officials had been peddling the same information to other journalists.

At the time, the smear campaign represented a classic dirty trick by Bush’s White House, which was becoming famous for using hard-ball tactics against political adversaries. However, this time, the collateral damage included the destruction of a sensitive intelligence network that Plame managed.

CIA Protest

The case took another serious turn in September when CIA officials, angered by the damage done to Plame’s spy network, struck back. They lodged a complaint with the Justice Department that the leaks may have amounted to an illegal exposure of a CIA officer.

But the initial investigation was under the control of Attorney General John Ashcroft, considered a right-wing Bush loyalist. So, the President and other White House officials confidently denied any knowledge of the leak. Bush even vowed to fire anyone who had leaked the classified material.

“The President has set high standards, the highest of standards, for people in his administration,” McClellan said on Sept. 29, 2003. “If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.”

Bush personally announced his determination to get to the bottom of the matter.

“If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is,” Bush said on Sept. 30. “I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true.”

Yet, even as Bush was professing his curiosity and calling for anyone with information to step forward, he was withholding the fact that he had authorized the declassification of some secrets about the Niger uranium issue and had ordered Cheney to arrange for those secrets to be given to reporters.

In other words, though Bush knew a great deal about how the anti-Wilson scheme got started – since he was involved in starting it – he uttered misleading public statements to conceal the White House role.

Also, since the various conspirators knew that Bush already was in the know, they would have read his comments as a signal to lie, which is what they did. In early October, press secretary McClellan said he could report that political adviser Karl Rove and National Security Council aide Elliott Abrams were not involved in the Plame leak.

That comment riled Libby, who feared that he was being hung out to dry. Libby went to his boss, Dick Cheney, and complained that “they’re trying to set me up; they want me to be the sacrificial lamb,” Libby’s lawyer Theodore Wells later said.

Cheney scribbled down his feelings in a note to press secretary McClellan: “Not going to protect one staffer + sacrifice the guy the Pres that was asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of incompetence of others.”

In the note, Cheney initially was ascribing Libby’s sacrifice to Bush but apparently thought better of it, crossing out “the Pres” and putting the clause in a passive tense. On Oct. 4, 2003, McClellan added Libby to the list of officials who have “assured me that they were not involved in this.”

So, Libby had a motive to lie to the FBI when he was first interviewed about the case. He had gone to the mat with his boss to get his name cleared in the press, meaning it would make little sense to then admit involvement to FBI investigators.

“The White House had staked its credibility on there being no White House involvement in the leaking of information about Ms. Wilson,” a federal court filing later noted. For his part, Libby began claiming that he had first learned about Plame’s CIA identity from NBC’s Washington bureau chief Tim Russert after Wilson had gone public.

This White House cover-up might have worked, except in late 2003, Ashcroft recused himself because of a conflict of interest, and Deputy Attorney General James Comey picked Patrick Fitzgerald – the U.S. Attorney in Chicago – to serve as special prosecutor.

Fitzgerald pursued the investigation far more aggressively. Over the next three-plus years, the Plame-gate affair would become a slow-growing infection eating away at White House credibility, despite the best efforts of the President’s political and media allies to confuse the issue or to shift the blame onto Wilson.

In October 2005, Fitzgerald indicted Libby on five counts of lying to federal investigators and obstructing an investigation. Libby was convicted on four of five counts in March 2007 and sentenced to 30 months in jail, but Bush commuted Libby’s sentence to spare him any jail time. That also eliminated any incentive for Libby to turn state’s evidence against Bush and Cheney.

Now, however, McClellan has become the first White House insider to acknowledge the original lies that senior administration told about the Plame-gate affair – and to put the President in the middle of the cover-up.

The next question might reasonably be: what are the Democrats in Congress going to do about it?

[For more on this topic, see's "Time to Apologize to Wilson/Plame" or our new book, Neck Deep.]

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ahmadinejad: U.S. dollar, a "worthless piece of paper."

OPEC interested in non-dollar currency

Ahmadinejad: OPEC Members Interested in Converting Cash Reserves Into Non-Dollar Currency

AP News

Nov 18, 2007 18:46 EST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that OPEC's members have expressed interest in converting their cash reserves into a currency other than the depreciating U.S. dollar, which he called a "worthless piece of paper."

His comments at the end of a rare summit of OPEC heads of state exposed fissures within the 13-member cartel — especially after U.S. ally Saudi Arabia was reluctant to mention concerns about the falling dollar in the summit's final declaration.

The hardline Iranian leader's comments also highlighted the growing challenge that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, faces from Iran and its ally Venezuela within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"They get our oil and give us a worthless piece of paper," Ahmadinejad told reporters after the close of the summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. He blamed U.S. President George W. Bush's policies for the decline of the dollar and its negative effect on other countries.

Oil is priced in U.S. dollars on the world market, and the currency's depreciation has concerned oil producers because it has contributed to rising crude prices and has eroded the value of their dollar reserves.

"All participating leaders showed an interest in changing their hard currency reserves to a credible hard currency," Ahmadinejad said. "Some said producing countries should designate a single hard currency aside from the U.S. dollar ... to form the basis of our oil trade."

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez echoed this sentiment Sunday on the sidelines of the summit, saying "the empire of the dollar has to end."

"Don't you see how the dollar has been in free-fall without a parachute?" Chavez said, calling the euro a better option.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah had tried to direct the focus of the summit toward studying the effect of the oil industry on the environment, but he continuously faced challenges from Ahmadinejad and Chavez.

Iran and Venezuela have proposed trading oil in a basket of currencies to replace the historic link to the dollar, but they had not been able to generate support from enough fellow OPEC members — many of whom, including Saudi Arabia, are staunch U.S. allies.

Both Iran and Venezuela have antagonistic relationships with the U.S., suggesting their proposals may have a political motivation as well. While Tehran has been in a standoff with Washington over its nuclear program, left-wing Chavez is a bitter antagonist of Bush. U.S. sanctions on Iran also have made it increasingly difficult for the country to do business in dollars.

During Chavez's opening address to the summit on Saturday, the Venezuelan leader said OPEC should "assert itself as an active political agent." But Abdullah appeared to distance himself from Chavez's comments, saying OPEC always acted moderately and wisely.

A day earlier, Saudi Arabia opposed a move by Iran on Friday to have OPEC include concerns over the falling dollar included in the summit's closing statement after the weekend meeting. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister even warned that even talking publicly about the currency's decline could further hurt its value.

But by Sunday, it appeared that Saudi Arabia had compromised. Though the final declaration delivered Sunday did not specifically mention concern over the weak dollar, the organization directed its finance ministers to study the issue.

OPEC will "study ways and means of enhancing financial cooperation among OPEC ... including proposals by some of the heads of state and governments in their statements to the summit," OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem el-Badri said, reading the statement.

Iran's oil minister went a step further and said OPEC will form a committee to study the dollar's affect on oil prices and investigate the possibility of a currency basket.

"We have agreed to set up a committee consisting of oil and finance ministers from OPEC countries to study the impact of the dollar on oil prices," Gholam Hussein Nozari told Dow Jones Newswires.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said the committee would "submit to OPEC its recommendation on a basket of currencies that OPEC members will deal with." He did not give a timeline for the recommendation.

The meeting in Riyadh, with heads of states and delegates from 13 of the world's biggest oil-producing nations, was the third full OPEC summit since the organization was created in 1960.

Abdullah tried to take the focus off the dollar debate, announcing the donation of $300 million to set up a program to study the effect of the oil industry on the environment. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates also agreed to donate $150 million each to the fund, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, said Sunday.

The run-up to the meeting was dominated by speculation over whether OPEC would raise production following recent oil price increases that have approached $100. But cartel officials have resisted pressure to increase oil production and said they will hold off any decision until the group meets next month in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

They have also cast doubt on the effect any output hike would have on oil prices, saying the recent rise has been driven by the falling dollar and financial speculation by investment funds rather than any supply shortage.

During his final remarks, el-Badri stressed he was committed to supply — but did not mention changing oil outputs.

"We affirm our commitment ... to continue providing adequate, timely, efficient, economic and reliable petroleum supplies to the world market," he said.

Source: AP News

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rudy Giuliani jets to campaign stops using casino kingpin's plane

Rudy Giuliani jets to campaign stops using casino kingpin's plane

Sunday, November 18th 2007, 5:42 PM


Gulf Stream G-IV, like the one provided by Sands casino executive for Rudy Giuliani's use.

Rudy Giuliani is jetting around the country wooing Bible-thumping conservatives, but his plane is often provided by a king of Sin City.

The Republican presidential hopeful anted up more than $122,000 last summer alone for jets traceable to casino kingpin Sheldon Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands empire has made him the third-richest American, a Daily News review of campaign records shows.

Last quarter, The Sands' innocuously named Interface Operations LLC was the top provider of corporate jets to the frequently flying Giuliani, who was whisked around the country on the casino's plush Gulfstream G-IV in late August and early September, records show.

"You have to follow the money and ask, 'Why is Sheldon Adelson partnering with Rudy Giuliani?'" asked Stacey Cargill, an anti-gambling and Republican Party activist in Iowa, where the nation's first presidential caucus is set for Jan. 3.

Cargill, who views even legal gambling as a magnet for crime and vice, said, "If Rudy Giuliani wants to be the crimefighting candidate, why is he partnering with a large and growing gambling empire?"

Until eight weeks ago, candidates could hop aboard private corporate jets at a fraction of their actual cost, reimbursing benefactors only for the price of a first-class commercial ticket between the same two points.

Critics long viewed the formula as a back-door way for corporations to donate to campaigns. Congress agreed, and on Sept. 14, the Federal Election Commission changed the rules to require presidential campaigns to pay fair-market prices for corporate planes.

Giuliani certainly took advantage of the bargain rates before they went away, as did some of his competitors. Fellow Republicans Mitt Romney and John McCain use corporate aircraft to varying degrees, as does Democrat John Edwards, records show.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama accept no corporate aircraft, choosing instead to rent planes at full market cost to avoid the appearance of a conflict.

Some even rub elbows with the common folk: Democrats Christopher Dodd and Dennis Kucinich were spotted flying commercial to last week's Las Vegas debate.

In addition to the Las Vegas Sands, Giuliani's fleet of corporate connections includes more than a dozen big-moneyed interests, among them:

Giuliani's campaign aides insist corporate plane providers are not promised anything in return and the campaign follows all applicable laws.

"The bottom line is we have always fully complied with Federal Election Commission rules and regulations," said Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella.

Campaign watchdogs - while generally pleased by the new, stricter rules - nevertheless believe planes will remain a valuable perk corporations will use to build goodwill. They can also provide critical access, since CEOs often find a way to share flights with candidates, they note.

"What money buys you in politics these days is access, and that's the case regardless of the rule changes," said Meredith McGehee, policy director of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

"For a busy presidential candidate, being able to fly on your own schedule and not have to stand in line to take off your shoes - it's an extreme personal convenience."

Adelson - a former City College kid - made his real money when the Chinese government allowed him to build a casino on the island of Macao in 2004. That launched him to the No. 3 slot on Forbes' list of America's richest men, with a fortune estimated at $28 billion.

He has developed a solid relationship with Giuliani.

The two share many ideological views, most notably a vigorous commitment to maintaining the security of Israel. Last month, Adelson - who did not return calls for comment - held a Giuliani fund-raiser at his Venetian casino in Las Vegas.

High-rollers who agreed to raise $25,000 for Giuliani's presidential bid got a special treat - cigars with the former mayor.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Group hopes to 'flood the Oval Office' with 25,000 copies of the Constitution

Group hopes to 'flood the Oval Office' with 25,000 copies of the Constitution

Even though a human rights group believes the Commander in Chief has been naughty, they plan to play Santa Claus this year and make a political statement at the same time.

The Center for Constitutional Rights plans to "flood the Oval Office with copies of the Constitution this holiday season ... as a seasonal reminder that the Constitution needs to be upheld; not destroyed."

Those interested can also sign an accompanying letter addressed to President Bush, which poses a multitude of questions reminding the president "that he swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States."

"I would have hoped that you'd be pretty familiar with [the Constitution] already," writes the anonymous author, "because you have at least three times in your life taken a solemn oath to uphold, protect and defend it, but all the signs indicate that you either don't know what's in it, or you don't care."

The diatribe covers controversial topics such as habeus corpus and torture, and beseeches the President to "uphold, protect and defend [the Constitution], like you swore you would."

Interested parties can donate money to help cover costs if they wish, but the offer itself is completely free. The CCR hopes to send the President more than 25,000 copies of the Constitution by January 2008.

Visit for more details

Friday, November 16, 2007

Brooklyn reporter booted after asking about 'foreknowledge' of 9/11

Publisher thanks cops for not beating him during Giuliani incident, but files complaint

Brooklyn reporter booted after asking about 'foreknowledge' of 9/11

When GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani stopped off for a little retail politicking at a Colorado coffee house last Saturday, he came prepared to hammer home his commitment to the war on terror, make a jab or two at Hillary Clinton, and field some tough questions about recently indicted pal Bernard Kerik -- but he apparently wasn't ready for Sander Hicks.

Hicks, a Brooklyn-based journalist, publisher and all-around multimedia maverick, is also a self-described member of the "9/11 Truth" movement, a group convinced that official explanations do not fully account for the Sept. 11 tragedies. As Giuliani shook hands and signed autographs outside of Loveland, Colorado's Loveland Coffee Company, Hicks was waiting with a question.

"Mr. Giuliani, six years ago you told Peter Jennings that 'we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse,'" Hicks said, quoting a remark from the former New York City mayor made during an interview with ABC News. "Where did you get your foreknowledge that the World Trade Center was going to collapse?"

A laughing Giuliani quickly brushed past Hicks according to a video recording of the campaign stop, ignoring the question as he continued to work his way around an informal circle of supporters and press. But Hicks was not ignored by the Loveland Police Department. Two officers immediately took hold of his arms and hauled him into an adjacent parking lot.

"The police were aggressive," Hicks said in an interview with RAW STORY. "There's no need for that. I was there as a professional reporter."

After being led away by officers in what he describes as a "submission hold," Hicks identified himself to authorities and said he was just trying to ask Giuliani a question.

"I'm a member of the media. I'm a publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York Megaphone," he told police, citing a newspaper he runs which claims a readership of more than 60,000. "I'm the only New York reporter here."

After denying officers' assertions that he had pushed people in the crowd, he told authorities that they were violating his right to speak. "What you did was illegal," Hicks said. "What what you did was a violation of my fucking Bill of Rights."

"I was emotional," he told RAW STORY. "My mom was just telling me, 'next time don't cuss.'" Although Hicks was not arrested, officers said he was on private property and ordered him to leave.

"I should not have been grabbed," the journalist said by phone. "We need more reporters to ask these questions. We need more citizens to ask the questions."

Hicks is no new-comer to political controversy. He was the subject of the 2002 documentary film Horns and Halos, which focused on his successful efforts to republish author James Hatfield's unauthorized biography of President Bush, Fortunate Son. The New York Times bestselling book, which included allegations that Bush was arrested for cocaine possession in 1972, was recalled by its original publisher after it was revealed that Hatfield was a paroled felon. Hicks later returned the biography to bookstore shelves through his own boutique publishing house, Soft Skull Press.

'Why don't you let go of my hand'

Hicks' question for Giuliani had referred to an interview with ABC's then-anchor Peter Jennings, conducted only hours after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, in which the mayor remarked that he and other top city officials had been warned on that the trade center towers were going to come down.

"I went down to the scene and we set up headquarters at 75 Barclay Street, which was right there with the police commissioner, the fire commissioner, the head of emergency management, and we were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse," Giuliani said in the interview. "And it did collapse before we could actually get out of the building, so we were trapped in the building for 10, 15 minutes, and finally found an exit and got out, walked north, and took a lot of people with us."

Critics of 9/11 conspiracy theories say Giuliani was in fact warned -- but only at the last minute.

"Hicks appears to be trying to resuscitate the claim that Rudy knew the Towers were going to collapse in advance," states an entry at the blog Screw Loose Change, a site which claims to debunk "myths" about Sept. 11. "EMS Battalion Chief John Peruggia was warned by a NYC building engineer at 9:58 AM that the North Tower was in imminent danger of collapse. Presumably either Peruggia or the building engineer proceeded to warn the Mayor. Unfortunately Giuliani has compounded the problem by denying that he had any advance knowledge, perhaps because the kooks generally frame it that he had plenty of warning..."

Hicks had made a a previous attempt to ask about the Jennings interview earlier in the campaign stop, soon after Giuliani arrived on the scene.

"Rudy, hi, I'm Sander from the New York Megaphone," he started, shaking the candidate's hand. "On 9/11, when you said -- " But Giuliani cut him off, saying sharply, "Why don't you let go of my hand?" The exchange was captured on tape by a local Colorado Fox affiliate.

But the candidate was confronted with more 9/11 Truth members once he made his way inside the coffee shop.

"Mayor Giuliani, why'd you have thousands of tons of steel melted down and shipped off to Asia," yelled one activist before being shouted down with chants of "Rudy, Rudy" from the crowd. That individual was also asked to leave by police.

"Hey Rudy, the American people are waking up to the fact that you're a criminal," said another Truther. "You're a criminal, Rudy, you're a fake conservative..." The protesters were affiliated with two 9/11 Truth organizations, We Are Change Colorado and TruthAlliance.

Giuliani: 'The conspiracy theorists are all over'

After leaving the coffee shop -- and moments before Hicks would be whisked away by police -- Giuliani made some brief comments about the disturbance.

"It's part of America," he told reporters. "You learn when you are mayor of New York City that people have all kinds of different opinions, all kinds of different views...the conspiracy theorists are all over, they are protesting all over the's very sad, it's not true. But you're not going to convince them that it's not true."

Although Hicks says he is loosely allied with We Are Change Colorado -- and was in Colorado to speak at one of the group's events -- he is careful to distance himself from tactics he refers to as "heckling."

"I was not a heckler and I did not raise my voice," he told RAW STORY. "I did not scream my question." He even has some measured praise for Loveland police.

"The cops did a good job of defusing the situation in the sense that they were professional, they were level headed. I appreciate the fact that I was not booked, that I was not cuffed, that I was not beaten," said Hicks."But I shouldn't have to say this. Of course I shouldn't have been beaten."

He hastens to add that the police, in his opinion, "were making a political choice that was not their job to make." Even if his opinions about Giuliani and Sept. 11 are incorrect, Hicks said, he still had a right to air them.

"This is the main message: the First Amendment allows me to be wrong," said Hicks. "Let's assume that my line of thinking is completely erroneous...that is for the even playing field of free discourse to figure out. We're supposed to have free speech so that truth and error can both come out."

Hicks has filed a complaint with the Loveland Police Department, a copy of which is available at his blog. "No matter what you believe, Loveland Police should be protecting citizens' First Amendment rights, which include our right to ask questions," he writes. "The First Amendment should be counted on to help get the USA back on track, through open dialogue."

The following video incorporates footage shot by 9/11 Truth groups and news reports from local Colorado affiliates.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cafferty: I trust government to guard our privacy, don't you?

Cafferty: I trust government to guard our privacy, don't you?

CNN's Jack Cafferty of the Cafferty File joined CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday to discuss a Bush Administration intelligence's official suggestion that the American people need to "redefine privacy" in order to confront the threats of the 21st century.

In late October, as the Associated Press reported, Donald Kerr, Principal Deputy Directory of National Intelligence, delivering the keynote address at GEOINT 2007 (the annual United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation symposium), said that today's times called for a new definition of privacy.

"Too often, privacy has been equated with anonymity; and it's an idea that is deeply rooted in American culture," Kerr said. "The Long Ranger wore a mask but Tonto didn't seem to need one even though he did the dirty work for free. You'd think he would probably need one even more. But in our interconnected and wireless world, anonymity -- or the appearance of anonymity -- is quickly becoming a thing of the past."

Kerr added, "We need to move beyond the construct that equates anonymity with privacy and focus more on how we can protect essential privacy in this interconnected environment.... I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity, but what safeguards we want in place to be sure that giving that up doesn't empty our bank account or do something equally bad elsewhere."

According to Kerr, privacy should mean only that government and business are safeguarding people's sensitive information, rather than relying on anonymity.

"Of course, I trust the government to do that, don't you?" Cafferty asked facetiously. Cafferty went on to explain how, in his view, Congress' handling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act demonstrates that the government may not have the people's best interest in mind when it comes to privacy.

"Remember last summer when it was threatened they might be held and not be able to go on their break in time, they hastily changed the law and gave the government powers to eavesdrop inside the United States without a warrant as long as one of the parties was reasonably believed to be outside the United States."

"Reasonably believed," Cafferty added. "That's a loophole you could drive a train though."

Cafferty asked CNN viewers to weigh in on the privacy debate.

"The question then for this hour is this: A top intelligence official says it's time for people in the United States to redefine privacy," Cafferty said. "The question is: why should we?"

One viewer wrote in, "Good God, I wouldn't want my personal information to fall into the hands of a bunch of unsavory characters. So I better do everything in my power to keep it out of the government's hands."

Another opined, "Redefining privacy is a bit like redefining virginity. Once it's gone, it's gone."

The following video is from CNN's Cafferty File, broadcast on November 12, 2007