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The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

Arrogant Capital

Arrogant Capital

Great American Political Repair Manual

Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

into the buzzsaw

Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press

Amazon Light

Stop Policeware

Campaign for Audiovisual Freedom

Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...

It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.

This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.

from Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs

You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.

I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.

I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.

. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.

The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.

Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.

Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.

Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .

Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.

from Distraction by Bruce Sterling


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Saturday, March 15, 2003

PR Watch launches "a collaborative encyclopedia of disinformation" [u]
Welcome to Disinfopedia, a collaborative project to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests. We are already working on 249 articles.

9:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Top Indian students rate favorite leaders as models for future leaders in India [u]

1 - Gandhi
2 - Vajpayee (current PM)
3 - Hitler
The views of the students reflect the coming to fruition of a sustained campaign for what is referred to as "saffronisation" of education by the trinity of Hindu fundamentalism in India, collectively known as the Sangh Parivar or the Sangh family. The Sangh family comprises: the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Indian People's Party), the political wing currently in power in the federal government in India; the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, the Nationalist Self-help Organisation) the ideological and militia wing; and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, World Hindu Council) the finance and public relations wing working through networks in the US and the UK and other Western countries.

9:31 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Media cover up shrub slip about news conference being scripted [u]

9:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Embedded" media in Iraq part of psyops effort [Poynter online]
So confident is the military about a swift victory that plans are already afoot to fly a CNN correspondent and a British Broadcasting Corp. reporter to the southern Iraqi city of Basra the moment it falls, a senior British officer said.

"I'm not doing this so that the CNN correspondent gets another £100,000 in their salary," he said. "I'm doing it because the regime watches CNN. I want them to see what is happening."

The plan is very much part of a psychological warfare campaign, what the British officer called "white pys-ops."

"Yes, we are using them," he said. "We use everything we have."

Among some of the media accompanying military units, there is a palpable gung-ho attitude. Many reporters have decked themselves out in uniforms virtually indistinguishable from those of the soldiers they will be covering, some even going so far as to have their names and the word "Correspondent" embroidered on their breast pockets. At least one reporter marched to the front with a large American flag clipped to his backpack.

9:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Yep, that's what the man said, that's what he said

US may launch pre-emptive attack to prevent Iraqi uh pre-emptive attack

10:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

White House Press Corps finally expires after long illness

All White House quotes vetted and censored before publication

10:35 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

FBI deploys small planes for anti-terror surveillance

10:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Iraqi leadership doesn't want Human Shields either

Saddam expels Human Shields, replaces them with militants
Under a fatwa issued by Dr. Abdul Al-Hasimi, the NGO's director, we were banished from this beleaguered land because we had usurped the function of an existing NGO by facilitating the deployment of over 100 Shields to five key infrastructure sites in and around Baghdad. Now the NGO and the government of Saddam Hussein would take control of such deployments.


...I'm convinced that the new Human Shields who replace us on sites like my oil refinery (never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would wax nostalgic over an oil refinery) have not gathered there to interpose their bodies between the Bush bombs and the civilian infrastructure. Many are hard-eyed, pro-active fighters who have come to Iraq to take the heads of the hated invaders. Despite the 3,000-missile blitzkreig of which Bush never tires of boasting, there will be a lot of street fighting in the very near future.

10:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Oh well

Dixie Chicks back down
In a poll on Atlanta, Georgia's KICKS 101.5, 76 percent of its listeners responded with "If I could, I'd take my CDs back."
Dire demographics.

But perhaps why I don't do the 2-step.

10:13 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pigeon "canaries" mobilized

I'd heard about the chickens before, on Wait Wait I believe. They all died, so the pigeons are taking over.

Not a bad omen or anything. . .

10:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Worldwide protests continue, more over weekend

2:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas"

Dixie Chicks threatened with boycott after anti-shrub comment

They seem like nice folks, and though I don't listen to their music -- or anything like it -- I admire that they had the guts to take a stand they had to know would alienate many fans.

They have an influence and it's important that they use it at times like this.

2:12 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Quarter billion released

shrubco opens money gate to Pakistan despite nukes, lack of democracy

Then again, why would shrubco have a problem with a leader installed by a coup?

How will this make Pakistan's populace more pro-American?

1:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

American Jewish organizations sit on fence on Iraq, US Jews in general split like rest of country

1:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Invasion verge [a]

It feels to me like a lot more people are against this than a few months ago, and is still might not happen. At least right away. The tide has shifted on some subtle levels.

But the WarHeads are determined, and though it looks less and less like any of their goals will be achieved, the "cornered rat" syndrome may kick in.

The Righteousness Thing is wearing pretty thin now too.

1:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

UN diplomats slide down behavioral sink -- by their standards anyway

Sound like stuffy private school 3rd graders in debate class to me.

12:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, March 14, 2003

FBI Probes Fake Evidence of Iraqi Nuclear Plans [STR]
The FBI is looking into the forgery of a key piece of evidence linking Iraq to a nuclear weapons program, including the possibility that a foreign government is using a deception campaign to foster support for military action against Iraq.

"It's something we're just beginning to look at," a senior law enforcement official said yesterday. Officials are trying to determine whether the documents were forged to try to influence U.S. policy, or whether they may have been created as part of a disinformation campaign directed by a foreign intelligence service.

6:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

By missing a rebuttal deadline, the DoJ has tacitly admitted that evidence was fabricated to shut down James Sanders' investigation into the crash of Flight 800 [Strike the Root]
The problem, explains [James] Cashill, an Emmy-Award-winning writer and producer [and co-author of a book with Sanders] is that Sanders' investigation created a significant problem for the Justice Department. The article's text confirmed that Sanders was on the trail of potential criminal activity within the Flight 800 investigation."

Explaining how the Clinton Justice Department went into gear and "used its considerable powers to thwart Sanders" by denying his standing as a journalist, Cashill notes that under President Bush, the Justice Department now admits its predecessors "conspired to print factually false information in a Justice Department letter to deprive [James Sanders] of his civil rights..." The current Justice Department also now concedes it "fabricated a defense where none existed" in earlier opposing the Sanderses' civil action, writes Cashill. "It also concedes there is no defense for the 32-counts of federal lawlessness committed in pursuit of destroying a journalist and his wife."
Sanders wrote a chapter for Into the Buzzsaw (see left column link) on his findings. Kristina Borjesson, the editor of the book, also ran into a brick wall when she found -- in a separate investigation -- that the official story was a cover-up.

Whether this was an action by foreign nationals or friendly fire from nearby naval exercises is unclear, but the evidence that a projectile caused the crash is very convincing. We'll see how much press this item gets. . .

5:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Unreleased study: Democracy "Domino Theory" re Iraq complete bullshit

Intel insiders leak State Dept. report stating "daunting economic and social problems are likely to undermine basic stability in the region for years, let alone prospects for democratic reform."

9:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, March 13, 2003

More on the Perle/Hersh tiff: Hersh revealed that Perle passed classified information on to the Israelis in his book The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House [u]

11:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pentagon to fire on "satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq" [u]

11:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Jim Rarey links the Columbia disaster to directed energy weapons, since (along with the interesting photos taken in California and Nevada -- which I guess still haven't been released -- or explained) the "independent" panel NASA head Sean O'Keefe assembled is packed with military and defense biz people connected to DEW research

This is all pretty sketchy, and I think people's attention is elsewhere. I couldn't find very much on this just now. But there are some interesting bits to chew on.

The guy who announced that hi-rez military pics of the shuttle breakup were taken is "a spokesman for the Directed Energy Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base."

NASA has admitted that Coloumbia was carrying picosatellite precursors to ones which will spy on other satellites. Connect that information with this mention of the fact that satellites would be used to enable directed energy weapons to disable other satellites.
In compliance with the treaty provisions, the United States is developing antisatellite systems using either kinetic energy (KE-ASAT), or directed energy. KE-ASAT capability relies on a "killer satellite" that maneuvers to hit a target satellite, or detonates itself in the path of a satellite, destroying the target as it flies through the resultant debris field.  A directed energy antisatellite system, using laser or microwave energy, could be deployed aboard a satellite, an aircraft, or ground station.  Such a weapon would render target satellites inoperative by damaging critical command, communication, or navigation components.  Whether kinetic or directed energy, such Force Application weapons would play an important role in Space Control by negating an adversary's use of space systems.
Was something fired at the shuttle -- or did something boomerang when the shuttle fired at something else?

If the panel investigating is stacked with those tied into the DEW project, how will we ever know?

If the explosion had nothing to do with DEW, why are all these people tied to DEW research?

10:26 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

war = death
Copyright-free peace posters [boing boing]

8:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Precipitous decline in saiga antelope population in Russia may have caused unprecedented species behavior change
Normally, a shortage of males is not necessarily a problem because one individual can mate with a large number of females. And saiga herds are organised in "harems" which should make this possible.

However, in this case, it appears that dominant female saiga have started jealously guarding their males, driving away younger females. With only a small number of females being mated, numbers of saiga have plummeted.

7:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Virulent flu in Hanoi and Hong Kong triggers global alert

7:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Chechen and human rights activists claim possible genocide allegation against Russians
Aslan Dzhabrailov says he wasn't supposed to be seen again, dead or alive. He says Russian troops in Chechnya dragged him from his bed last month and tortured him, then ignited explosives under him and his dead brother, apparently to erase the evidence. Had the explosives gone off, the men's remains would have been unrecognizable. In what would be a grisly twist to the pattern of alleged military abuses in Chechnya's 3 1/2-year war, residents and human rights campaigners say fragments of blown-up bodies are being found all over the war-ruined region.

Rather than put a stop to human rights violations, the military appears to be doing its best to hide them, critics say. Some even see signs of a coordinated campaign of killing Chechens.

7:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

shrubco OKs dirty water from oil and gas industries

2:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Isn't that sweet

The government agency that provides insurance to businesses in dangerous places overseas (an important cog in the neo-liberal imperialist arsenal) has a page explaining what it does . . . to kids

Truly weird.
OPIC also helps U.S. foreign policy by only doing business in countries that obey certain rules about workers' rights and human rights. OPIC will not help any country that abuses its people.
Geez, we could use one of those right here, Daddy.

1:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Came upon this site looking through search referrals, which breathlessly claims to debunk conspiracy theories on the web

In case you seek such comfort in these troubled times. Jaime Raimundo, Mike Ruppert and xymphora are particular targets.

This has been a Perfect Surrealist Announcement from the Fnord Dating Agency.

1:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Colleen Rowley letter to FBI head Mueller and response from a former agent/shrubco apologist
I appreciate that you alone do not determine policy on the terrorist threat from inside or outside the country that, indeed, you may have little influence in the crafting of broad domestic or foreign policy. And it seems clear to me now that the decision to attack Iraq was taken some time ago and you, even as FBI Director, may be little more than a helpless bystander.
Such an attack, though, may have grave consequences for your ability to discharge your responsibility to protect Americans, and it is altogether likely that you will find yourself a helpless bystander to a rash of 9-11s. The bottom line is this: We should be deluding neither ourselves nor the American people that there is any way the FBI, despite the various improvements you are implementing, will be able to stem the flood of terrorism that will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq. What troubles me most is that I have no assurance that you have made that clear to the president.
Her mystification that Moussaoui and Reid haven't been questioned is perhaps the most important point here, as it belies shrubco's claims of "following every lead" and making up for Intel lapses and "communication breakdowns" pre-9/11.

Which only makes their shrill and neurotic "shroud of secrecy" declarations more suspect.

12:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Software pioneer quits Groove Networks after discovering their P2P software is being used by the The Death Star [last four posts via cicentre]

12:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Taiwanese legilators routinely snooped on by aides for ruling party

12:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

If UN members are routinely spying on each other anyway, why the fuss over the NSA memo last week?

Maybe because shrubco's argument for war and posture in general has this Righteous Crusade of the Morally Superior edge to it -- threadbare and Norma Desmond-spooky though it may appear to those Depraved Old Europeans.

When you find it's grubbing for gossip to twist arms like everyone else, the curtain falls away.

12:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

KGB successor granted powers by Putin rivalling the dreaded Cold War secret police/spy network

12:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Actually, in that pic below (3 posts down) Richard Perle looks like Melvin Belli in that original Trek episode where he plays a discarnate entity who controls a pack of orphaned children and trains them to psychically attack people

He ends up melting like the cake in "Macarthur Park" though.

Just a thought.

11:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Warning to Paypal users: they dropped What Really Happened and are holding funds for 180 days [incublogula]

WRH leans pretty heavily in Israel's connection to terrorism and US policy, perhaps too far. But Paypal clearly has few ethics where other sites are concerned. I'm sure I don't need to bother citing examples.

6:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

AOL revenue-padding suit expands

6:34 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Richard Perle
HOT FLASH--Perle actually a selfless hero of the people!

Richard Perle is suing Seymour Hersh over his New Yorker article (see earlier post below)

He's doing it in Britain, no doubt because it wouldn't have a chance in hell here -- and he probably doesn't want the publicity (or shrub doesn't?).
"It's pretty outrageous for a leftwing columnist to make accusations like this with no factual basis. Most of the many hours he works each day are pro bono to help the administration with its policy on Iraq. He should get is a medal of honor," [Stephen] Bryen said.


"It sounds like the kind of thing that's done for the sole purpose and intent to blacken someone. Richard has been in public life for over 30 years and his ethics have never been challenged by anybody. I found the piece blindingly transparent as an ad hominem hack job. It's thoroughly disgusting," [Laurent] Murawiec said.
It's hard to imagine anyone thinking ethics play any part in Perle's actions to begin with.

6:24 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Why the missing faces?

Questions not only of the truth of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's "arrest" but of other al-Qaeda "CEOs" multiplied today as Pakistan's security service put on a show for journos that raised more suspicions instead of the expected huzzahs on their "great work"

Though apparently by the evening news, BigMedia had backed off the issue.

It's understandable that the White House would want to put on a convincing
show of capturing the people behind the 9/11 attacks.

But so far, it's been a show without much substance -- accompanied by a
shroud of Nixonesque secrecy and paranoia and super-Orwellian legislation.

10:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

From Your Neighborly Total Surveillance Network

Good Spies Make Good Neighbors
The postcard showed up in McLean resident Joseph Nelson Benton III's mailbox without a postmark.

On the glossy side were photos of the Berlin Wall, a bronze statue of Office of Strategic Services founder William "Wild Bill" Donovan and an aerial view of the Central Intelligence Agency. On the matte side -- along with phone numbers for the CIA's public affairs office and security operations center -- was an admonition to "report anything unusual or suspicious associated with your community and/or the Headquarters."
I want the T shirt or they don't get a peep out of me.

12:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

And Welcome to the Pentagon's New Extravaganza -- The War Show!!!

Hollywood art director hired to Make the War Look Cool
His work in Qatar reflects the Pentagon?s realisation that it needs to look good on prime-time television, especially given public disquiet about the war, which is being led by some Hollywood personalities such as Martin Sheen, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.

Gone are the easel and chart, solitary television and VCR machine with which General Norman Schwarzkopf showed fuzzy images of smart-bomb raids during the 1991 Gulf War. On a set that will become instantly recognisable, generals will present updates from two podiums at the front of a stage adorned with five 50in plasma screens and two 70in television projection screens ready to show maps, graphics and videos of action.

Behind them will be a soft-focus elongated map of the world, as if to suggest that the world is united behind them. The set was built in Chicago and reputedly shipped over by Federal Express at a cost of $47,000 (£29,000).

12:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Rep James Moran censured for suggesting the Jewish community might be for the Iraq war

Certainly not all Jews are for the war I'm sure (though I imagine most are), but this is ridiculous.

However if anyone's claiming that the Israeli lobby -- and their very close friends in the White House and the lapdog Congress -- aren't deeply involved in the decision-making leading to this action they're being disingenuous at best.

11:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Here's a good one: the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists has signed a deal with Coke

What's next -- the AMA sharng a banner with Marlboro at MTV's Spring Break?

You can send an email to the AAPD at the site linked above (Center for Science in the Public Interest).

11:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

So what's next -- will the "White Russian" become the "White Texan"?

US House cafeterias rename "french fires" "freedom fries"

Even if I agreed with the sentiment, I couldn't show my face on the House floor without declaring how fucking silly this is.

10:50 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

West Nile expected to be endemic in US this year

10:12 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Normon Solomon and Reese Erlich's Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You: review [u]
In plain, conversational language, we get a glimpse of the media in relationship to many issues: the brutality and inhumanity of U.S.-British sanctions in Iraq (more than 500,000 children have died from sanction-produced disease and malnutrition, according to UNICEF); false claims that Saddam Hussein kicked out U.N. inspectors, when they were actually withdrawn during Clinton's air-blitz called "Operation Desert Fox;" the tragic aftermath of depleted uranium use in the First Gulf War; the backroom deals at the Security Council, where U.S. officials bribe and blackmail U.N. delegates for votes; the slippery standards in the interpretation of terrorism and political violence; U.S. espionage under cover of impartial U.N. inspections; the militaristic record of the "moderate" Colin Powell; and the imperial premises that underlie media coverage of world affairs.

2:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

I saw this portrait of Pacifica's Amy Goodman but never read the whole thing; Sam Smith pointed out the article's mention that NPR's Mara Liaasen said -- on Fox, natch -- that Goodman was "not really a journalist" or whe wouldn't have asked Bob Kerrey if Kissinger should be tried for war crimes during the Vietnam war

2:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sy Hersh: "The Inconsistent Terrorist"

Richard Perle's typically demented raving in response in a Wolf Blitzer interview to the Hersh article mentioned below
BLITZER: Let me read a quote from the New Yorker article, the March 17th issue, just out now. "There is no question that Perle believes that removing Saddam from power is the right thing to do. At the same time, he has set up a company that may gain from a war."

PERLE: I don't believe that a company would gain from a war. On the contrary, I believe that the successful removal of Saddam Hussein, and I've said this over and over again, will diminish the threat of terrorism. And what he's talking about is investments in homeland defense, which I think are vital and are necessary.

Look, Sy Hersh is the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist, frankly.

BLITZER: Well, on the basis of -- why do you say that? A terrorist?

PERLE: Because he's widely irresponsible. If you read the article, it's first of all, impossible to find any consistent theme in it. But the suggestion that my views are somehow related for the potential for investments in homeland defense is complete nonsense.

BLITZER: But I don't understand. Why do you accuse him of being a terrorist?

PERLE: Because he sets out to do damage and he will do it by whatever innuendo, whatever distortion he can -- look, he hasn't written a serious piece since My Lai.

BLITZER: All right. We're going to leave it right there.

1:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sooo . . . the Baghdad sector of the soon to be shrubco annex tri-partite Iraq will be run by Barbara Bodine, who -- as US Ambassador to Yemen at the time -- aggressively stonewalled John O'Neill's investigation into al-Qaeda re the USS Cole attack, and showed little regret about the incident

She's worked for Robert Dole and Kissinger too.

Here's xymphora's lengthy post from January on the US's curious posture toward Yemen and a decent article on John O'Neill.

1:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Got a visit from the Open Source Information System (OSIS) a little while ago -- and that made me curious of course
The Open Source Information System (OSIS) is a virtual private network (VPN) for the exchange of unclassified US Government and other open source information among Intelligence Community (IC) agencies, military commands and selected other organizations with similar requirements. OSIS provides protected and monitored access to the public Internet to give OSIS users a single point of access to unclassified intelligence information.
So basically it's a closed system (nothing open source about it) for intel professionals to use for accessing unclassified information that you can't access if you're not -- well, that's classfied.

Global Security's page on it is here, but there's not much there that's different from the first link above except more links behind firewalls.

The FAS explains, as usual:
In the last couple of years, the Central Intelligence Agency has undertaken a new effort to tackle the explosion of unclassified open source information and has created an online network known as the Open Source Information System (OSIS) which is intended to make the universe of open sources more easily accessible to intelligence analysts working in their classified cloisters. But as currently configured, the new OSIS network falls short of its potential and faces an uncertain future.

The global production of open source material-- unclassified information of intelligence value that can be openly acquired without engaging in espionage-- is accelerating and poses a growing challenge to the structure of the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy. But instead of moving swiftly to capitalize on the open source revolution, U.S. intelligence agencies have continued to spend enormous sums of money on clandestine and technical collection of information, much of which is never even analyzed, much less disseminated or used.

"The need for a centralized agency to administer the growing exploitation of all foreign open sources of information is... already evident," one analyst wrote as long ago as 1969 in a recently declassified article from the CIA journal Studies in Intelligence. "Such an agency could operate openly, serving the nation as a whole, including the intelligence community." (Herbert L. Croom, "The Exploitation of Foreign Open Sources", Summer 1969, emphasis added).

Unfortunately, the OSIS neither operates openly nor does it serve the nation as a whole. Instead, it represents another brick in the wall that separates the intelligence bureaucracy from the rest of society.
Yeah, that's what I thought.

Anyway, hi there behind the firewall. Glad to be of assistance.

1:19 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, March 10, 2003

"Questionable NSA defense memo" leaker arrested in Britain

7:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Managed" press conference reminds press of its place as White House lackies [buzzflash]
Some notables -- including Time, Newsweek, USA TODAY, The Washington Post and Hearst columnist Helen Thomas -- were never called on, leading to all sorts of buzz in the press corps. Follow-up questions, a White House tradition, were non-existent.

USA TODAY White House reporter Larry McQuillan, seated in the front row, stopped raising his hand after he realized that Bush -- who himself used the word "scripted" during the news conference to describe what was going on -- was calling on names from a list and not deviating from it.

McQuillan said it was "demeaning" to the media and Bush. "He's a smart man who knows how to answer questions. It created an image in the press corps that some were favored and some were not." McQuillan wasn't called upon. "Does that mean I'm being punished or that others are being rewarded?"

Fleischer wouldn't explain why certain reporters were on the list and others weren't. About not recognizing Thomas -- one of the administration's more outspoken critics, whom past presidents have generally recognized -- Fleischer said no columnists were chosen. Overall, Fleischer says, "The president just thinks it is actually a more orderly news conference, rather than to have the usual cacophony of everybody screaming, where the person who gets called on is the person who has the loudest voice. ... Reporters were called from all over."

7:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Chief warHead Richard Perle -- and partner Henry Kissinger -- are already cashing in on the post-war construction and security boom [Buzzflash]
When Perle was asked whether his dealings with Trireme might present the appearance of a conflict of interest, he said that anyone who saw such a conflict would be thinking "maliciously." But Perle, in crisscrossing between the public and the private sectors, has put himself in a difficult position -- one not uncommon to public men. He is credited with being the intellectual force behind a war that not everyone wants and that many suspect, however unfairly, of being driven by American business interests. There is no question that Perle believes that removing Saddam from power is the right thing to do. At the same time, he has set up a company that may gain from a war. In doing so, he has given ammunition not only to the Saudis but to his other ideological opponents as well.

7:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Don't go near the water

Fecal bacteria outbreaks at 5 FL beaches

6:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Gallery of US propaganda leaflets dropped on Iraqis [FAS]

12:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Philip Taubman's Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage: website

Probably the greatest success of US intel.

Taubman's book comes highly recommended as a well-written story as well.

12:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, March 09, 2003

No proof and ruined lives

Despite a report last October by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences that concluded that "[t]here is essentially no evidence on the incremental validity of polygraph testing,
that is, its ability to add predictive value to that which can be achieved by other methods," the Pentagon is planning on increasing lie detector use "as a security and counterintelligence tool"

11:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

For I am Nero and this is mah fiddle file:

shrubco says Israeli/Palestinian issue off the table til we get the oil
Without saying so directly, administration officials suggest that a successful outcome in Iraq, particularly a swift military victory, would give the United States enormous leverage to bring about a settlement.

But the Europeans see it differently, something that was obvious at the United Nations Security Council on Friday, when the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, and many other speakers cited the absence of peace efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis as a far greater threat to stability than Saddam Hussein's illegal weapons in Iraq.

Privately, many charge that Mr. Bush, on the eve of a possible war, does not want to do anything to anger Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel. Among other reasons, they say that the United States does not want Mr. Sharon to intervene in the war even if Israel is attacked by Iraqi missiles, lest this direct Arab countries' anger at Israel.

"Let's face it, the road map is dead," a senior European diplomat said. "This administration will never do anything opposed by Sharon."

Another European diplomat involved in drafting the plan said that without a published plan, a war would cause the Arab world to erupt with rage directed at the United States. "There was a lot of dismay when the road map was put off before, and the dismay right now is even worse," the diplomat said.

6:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

The male members don't wear wigs but they might as well

Why those judicial appointments you hear so much about are so important -- meet the Fourth Circuit
The Fourth Circuit does not march in conservative lock step, however, and its intellectually vibrant judges do not constitute an ideological cabal. The court often reaches consensus across the ideological divide; some of its work is nonideological in nature. Sometimes the majority lets liberal decisions stand; other times even the most conservative judges issue opinions that seem to betray their ideological stripes. And often the fiercest legal arguments are not between the liberals and the conservatives but between conservatives themselves.

Yet when it comes to high-profile decisions, the Fourth Circuit tends to divide neatly along party lines. And taken together, those decisions not only bespeak a conservative philosophy of law but also serve a conservative political agenda. Among its many decisions, the Fourth Circuit has upheld the minute of silence in Virginia schools; ended court-ordered busing in Charlotte; upheld state laws that stringently regulate abortion clinics or require parental notification or ban so-called partial-birth abortions; ruled that the Virginia Military Institute could remain all male as long as there was a separate but comparable education for women; upheld a Charleston, S.C., program that tested maternity patients for illegal drug use without their consent and turned the results over to the police; overturned a Virginia prohibition against license plates bearing the Confederate flag; ruled that the F.D.A. didn't have the authority to regulate nicotine as a drug; and, most recently, overruled a West Virginia federal judge's efforts to strictly limit mountaintop mining that buries Appalachian streams beneath piles of fill and waste.

5:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Mel Gibson -- Anti-Pope

I won't double-post it, so here's a link to my post on Mel on my other site.

Definitely worth your time.

You can also just jump to the article in the Times. As always, my user info is in the left column.

5:47 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Feeling like a character in Brazil file:

Full metal jacket Cadillacs
To get the word out to the good guys, carmakers are struggling with overkill. Lincoln postponed unveiling its car in Washington last fall because of the D.C. sniper. "We didn't want to look bloodthirsty," explains BPS marketing chief Mark Bentley. When 80 invited guests arrived at a cavernous warehouse for the introduction in January, they were first required to navigate a long, dark hallway amid sounds of screaming, breaking glass and barking dogs. It's also been difficult to hit the perfect pitch -- urgent but not alarmist -- in ads that will run in Limo Digest and the rich-guy glossy the Robb Report. In them, a fleeing car appears in the cross hairs beneath the headline the ability to stay cooler under fire. Ford's lawyers shot down the slogan even when it's raining bullets.
The "good guys"?

"Shot down the slogan" -- nice one.
"It's like being inside a coffin," says Lincoln's Bentley.
'Nuff said.

4:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Interpol requests Fujimori's arrest

12:23 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Anti-war protests continue across US; Maxine Hong Kingston and Alice Walker arrested

12:19 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'

Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."

Blog of the Day


In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.

-- Malcolm Muggeridge

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

-- Mark Twain

(link to list against Iraq War)


Philip K. Dick


PR Watch

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questions, questions...
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insound (music and mags) (books & music cheap)
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[Get Opera!]


They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.

Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."

Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.

from Big If by Mark Costello

*       *       *       *

Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."

Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.

from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings

*       *       *       *


When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down

Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
What Law?

There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow

Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow

-- John Cale

© me