15.4.06

Iran suicide bombers ready

Iran suicide bombers ‘ready to hit Britain’ - Sunday Times - Times Online:

IRAN has formed battalions of suicide bombers to strike at British and American targets if the nation’s nuclear sites are attacked. According to Iranian officials, 40,000 trained suicide bombers are ready for action.

The main force, named the Special Unit of Martyr Seekers in the Revolutionary Guards, was first seen last month when members marched in a military parade, dressed in olive-green uniforms with explosive packs around their waists and detonators held high.

Dr Hassan Abbasi, head of the Centre for Doctrinal Strategic Studies in the Revolutionary Guards, said in a speech that 29 western targets had been identified: “We are ready to attack American and British sensitive points if they attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.” He added that some of them were “quite close” to the Iranian border in Iraq.

A Bad Leak

A Bad Leak - New York Times:

About a month before, Mr. Bush rushed to announce that American forces had found evidence of a biological weapons program in Iraq — trailers that could have been used to make doomsday devices. We now know, from a report in The Washington Post, that a Pentagon team actually on the ground in Iraq inspecting the trailers had concluded two days earlier that they were nothing of the kind.

The White House says Mr. Bush was not aware of that report, and was relying on an assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. This is hardly the first time we've been told that intelligence reports contradicting administration doctrine somehow did not make it to Mr. Bush's desk. But it does not explain why he and Mr. Cheney went on talking about the trailers for weeks, during which the State Department's intelligence division — about the only agency that got it right about Iraq — debunked the mobile-labs theory.

Of course, the inaccurate report saying that the trailers were bioweapons labs was made public, immediately, while the accurate one was kept secret until a reporter found out about it.

Since Mr. Bush regularly denounces leakers, the White House has made much of the notion that he did not leak classified information, he declassified it. This explanation strains credulity. Even a president cannot wave a wand and announce that an intelligence report is declassified.

To declassify an intelligence document, officials have to decide whether disclosing the information would jeopardize the sources that provided it or the methods used to gather it. To answer that question, they closely study the origins of the intelligence to be disclosed. Had Mr. Bush done that, he should have seen that the most credible information made it clear that the Niger story was wrong. (In any case, Iraq's supposed attempt to buy uranium from Niger happened four years before the invasion, and failed. The idea that this amounted to a current, aggressive and continuing campaign to build nuclear weapons in 2002 — as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney called it — is laughable.)

U.S. strike on Iran could make Iraq look like a warm-up bout

TheStar.com - U.S. strike on Iran could make Iraq look like a warm-up bout:

Meanwhile, the neoconservatives stroke themselves in their bunker...

On the ground, more terror.

Poison-laced missiles raining down on U.S. troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, the downing of a U.S. passenger airliner, suicide bombers in major cities, perhaps unleashing their deadly payload in a shopping mall food court. It could be 9/11 all over again. Or worse.

On the political front, more anti-Americanism.

Renewed venom aimed at Washington from European capitals, greater distrust from China and Russia, outright hatred in the Arab and Muslim world. Oil prices spiralling out of control, a global recession at hand.

In Iran, a galvanizing of a splintered nation. An end to hopes for political reform, a rally-around-the-leader phenomenon common among the victimized, an ability to rebuild a nuclear program in two to four years.

These are the potential costs of a U.S. military strike in Iran.

Blair refuses to back Iran strike

Scotsman.com News - International - Blair refuses to back Iran strike:

'Coalition? We don't need no stinking Coalition!'

TONY Blair has told George Bush that Britain cannot offer military support to any strike on Iran, regardless of whether the move wins the backing of the international community, government sources claimed yesterday.

Amid increasing tension over Tehran's attempts to develop a military nuclear capacity, the Prime Minister has laid bare the limits of his support for President Bush, who is believed to be considering an assault on Iran, Foreign Office sources revealed.

...

But, in the midst of international opposition to a pre-emptive strike on Tehran, and Britain's military commitments around the world, the government maintains it cannot contribute to a military assault. 'We will support the diplomatic moves, at best,' a Foreign Office source told Scotland on Sunday. 'But we cannot commit our own resources to a military strike.'

Meanwhile, a new report on the Iran crisis has warned that neo-conservatives in the Bush administration are on 'collision course' with Tehran.

U.S. arming of Iraq cops skates close to legal line

Chicago Tribune | U.S. arming of Iraq cops skates close to legal line:

The Bush War Crime Machine breaks another: The Leahy Amendments:

The Leahy Law in the 2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (Sec. 563 of P.L. 106-429) states:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be provided to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that such unit has committed gross violations of human rights, unless the Secretary determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the government of such country is taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.

While the Foreign Operations law covers both training and assistance (such as weapons grants), the Leahy Law in the 2001 Defense Appropriations Act (Sec. 8092 of P.L. 106-259) covers only training, and states:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to support any training program involving a unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of Defense has received credible information from the Department of State that a member of such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights, unless all necessary corrective steps have been taken.
Here is a link to the GAO Report from 1991 outlining the required training.
This from the Chicago Tribune Article:

"Leahy, in a statement to the Tribune, said the purpose of the laws that carry his name 'is to prevent U.S. aid from going to perpetrators of atrocities so we are not implicated in those crimes.'

He said it would be 'a serious violation of U.S. law' if 'our weapons and other aid have been given to Iraqi security forces without first identifying the officers to receive it and investigating their backgrounds, despite abundant evidence that these forces have engaged in torture and extra-judicial killings.'

Leahy crafted the restrictions after disclosures in the 1990s of abuses by U.S.-supported forces in Latin America. The disclosures included the public release of training manuals that advocated abusive techniques and were employed to train Latin American officials in their home countries and at the former U.S. Army School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Ga."

US allies are behind the death squads and ethnic cleansing

Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | US allies are behind the death squads and ethnic cleansing:

"'More Iraqis are dying from militia violence than from the terrorists,' Khalilzad said recently. 'The militias need to be under control.'

His blunt comment came in the wake of over 1,000 abductions and murders in a single month, most of them blamed on Shia militias. Terrified residents of Baghdad's mainly Sunni areas talk of cars roaring up after dark, uninhibited by the police in spite of the curfew. They enter homes and seize people, whose bodies turn up later, often garotted or marked with holes from electric drills - evidence of torture before assassination.

Khalilzad's denunciation of the militias was an extraordinary turnaround, given that the focus of US military activity since the fall of Saddam Hussein has been the battle against foreign jihadis and a nationalist Sunni-led insurgency. Suddenly the US faces a greater 'enemy within' - militias manned by the Shia community, once seen by the US as allies, and run by government ministers.

The new line, if it sticks, marks an end to previous ambiguity. Under Bremer there was a tendency to see some militias as good, that is on the US side, such as the peshmerga fighters that belong to the two large Kurdish parties, and others as bad, such as the Mahdi army of the Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, who opposes the occupation."

14.4.06

Iraqi Cub Reporter Was Among Victims of US massacre of 16 'insurgents'

Iraqi Cub Reporter Was Among Victims:

"An unarmed Iraqi journalist was among those killed during a controversial military raid late last month in northern Baghdad, according to interviews with his editors, a reporter who was with him when he died and other witnesses.

Kamal Manahi Anbar, 28, was enrolled in a training program run by the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, which runs courses for local news media in several countries worldwide. An editor who worked with Anbar at the institute wrote about the killing on its Web site this month.

...

"All that he was carrying was a notebook, which I still have, with his name and writing on it," said Tammimi, a friend of Anbar's for more than 10 years.

Rumsfeld Potentially Liable for Torture | Human Rights Watch

U.S.: Rumsfeld Potentially Liable for Torture (Human Rights Watch, 14-4-2006):

The question at this point is not whether Secretary Rumsfeld should resign, it’s whether he should be indicted,” said Joanne Mariner, Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program director at Human Rights Watch. “General Schmidt’s sworn statement suggests that Rumsfeld may have been perfectly aware of the abuses inflicted on al-Qahtani.”

Gen. Schmidt said that Secretary Rumsfeld was “talking weekly” with Gen. Miller about the al-Qahtani interrogation, and that the secretary of defense was “personally involved in the interrogation of [this] one person.” Schmidt’s statement indicates that Rumsfeld maintained a high level of knowledge of and supervision over al-Qahtani’s treatment. Although Schmidt said that he believed that Rumsfeld did not specifically order the more abusive methods used in the al-Qahtani interrogation, he concluded that Rumsfeld’s policies facilitated the abuse. "

...

In 2005, the Judge Advocates General of the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps told the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services that the techniques used on al-Qahtani violated the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation, and would have been illegal if perpetrated by another country on captured U.S. personnel. The U.S. State Department also regularly condemns as torture the same techniques in its annual Country Report on Human Rights, citing their use in countries such as North Korea and Iran.

Human Rights Watch believes that Secretary Rumsfeld, Gen. Geoffrey Miller – a senior commander at Guantanamo in 2002 and early 2003 – and the interrogators who took part in the interrogations could be criminally liable under federal or military criminal law for torture, assaults and sexual abuse. (The Inspector General’s report is focused on Gen. Miller’s conduct.)

Army report on al-Qaida accuses Rumsfeld

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Army report on al-Qaida accuses Rumsfeld: "
Army report on al-Qaida accuses Rumsfeld

Julian Borger in Washington
Saturday April 15, 2006
The Guardian

Donald Rumsfeld was directly linked to prisoner abuse for the first time yesterday, when it emerged he had been 'personally involved' in a Guantanamo Bay interrogation found by military investigators to have been 'degrading and abusive'.

Human Rights Watch last night called for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate whether the defence secretary could be criminally liable for the treatment of Mohamed al-Qahtani, a Saudi al-Qaida suspect forced to wear women's underwear, stand naked in front of a woman interrogator, and to perform 'dog tricks' on a leash, in late 2002 and early 2003. The US rights group said it had obtained a copy of the interrogation log, which showed he was also subjected to sleep deprivation and forced to maintain 'stress' positions; it concluded that the treatment 'amounted to torture'.

However, military investigators decided the interrogation did not amount to torture but was 'abusive and degrading'. Those conclusions were made public last year but this is the first time Mr Rumsfeld's own involvement has emerged.

According to a December report by the army inspector general, obtained by Salon.com online magazine, the investigators did not accuse the defence secretary of specifically prescribing 'creative' techniques, but they said he regularly monitored the progress of the al-Kahtani interrogation by telephone, and they argued he had helped create the conditions that allowed abuse to take place.

'Where is the throttle on this stuff?' asked Lt Gen Schmidt, an air force officer who said in sworn testimony to the inspector general that he had concerns about the duration and repetition of harsh interrogation techniques. He said that in his view: 'There were no limits.'"

Imminent Decline of an Empire

Imminent decline of an Empire:

"The rise of the neoconservatives helped create the false impression that the U.S. and Israeli policies are one and the same, including their mutual interests in maintaining Israel’s military 'edge' over its neighbors, which eventually led to the invasion of Iraq. While the Neocons are washing their hands of any responsibility in the Middle East impasse, the Bush administration’s arrogance is stopping it from immediately withdrawing its troops from Iraq and reassessing its relationship with Israel.

The world is changing, yet the U.S. government refuses to abandon its old ways: militaristic, self-defeating and overbearing. Indeed, the U.S. must remold, not only its policies in the Middle East, but also its hegemonic policies throughout the world. For once, the Bush administration needs to tap into its sense of reason, and discern the 'warning signs', that should lead to 'the re-examination of [its] goals and means.' A first step is to bring the troops home, and with them the entire doctrine that unrestrained violence and perpetual wars can further the cause of an already distrusted superpower."

13.4.06

Report: US soldiers 'unlawfully' shot Reuters cameraman

Report: US soldiers 'unlawfully' shot Reuters cameraman | csmonitor.com:

The investigation by the British risk management consultancy, The Risk Amanagement Group (TRAG), was led by a former special investigator in Britain's Royal Military Police, who retired after 23 years of service, most recently in Iraq.

"'We conclude, based on the independent evidence and the evidence of Haider Kadhem, that no hostile act took place and no act could have been legitimately mistaken as indicating hostile intent,' said the report. 'The engagement was therefore in breach of US rules of engagement and, in our opinion, on the current evidence was prima facie unlawful.'

One key piece of evidence – video footage filmed by Mr. Kadhem immediately before and during the shooting – was seized by the US military after the incident. The military showed the footage to several Reuters staffers but then said it had been separated from the case file and subsequently lost."

RAF doctor jailed for refusal to go to Iraq to Support American 'Nazi-like actions in the Persian Gulf'

RAF doctor jailed for refusal to go to Iraq | the Daily Mail:

"Kendall-Smith told the military hearing that he refused to serve in Basra, Iraq, last July because he did not want to be complicit with an 'act of aggression' contrary to international law.

He said: 'I have evidence that the Americans were on a par with Nazi Germany with its actions in the Persian Gulf. I have documents in my possession which support my assertions.

'This is on the basis that on-going acts of aggression in Iraq and systematically applied war crimes provide a moral equivalent between the US and Nazi Germany.'"

No justice for all: The Gonzalez Cover-up of the War Crimes of Abu Ghraib

No justice for all - Salon.com News:

On Alberto Gonzalez hiding the war-crimes of Abu Ghraib

The Army investigated the circumstances behind the photograph, found 'probable cause' that a crime had been committed, and referred the case to the Justice Department for prosecution. (Salon obtained the photo from someone who spent time at Abu Ghraib as a uniformed member of the military and is familiar with the Army investigation there.) But in early 2005, a Department of Justice attorney told the Army that the evidence in the case did not justify prosecution.

This failure to act by the Justice Department, which has sole jurisdiction over crimes committed by civilian contractors in Iraq, has prompted a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and human-rights organizations to question the seriousness with which the Bush administration is pursuing prisoner-abuse cases. At his January 2005 confirmation hearing, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales declared, 'Abuse will not be tolerated by this administration. If confirmed, I will ensure that the Department of Justice aggressively pursues those responsible for such abhorrent actions.'

...

Not a single civilian has been prosecuted for prisoner abuse in Iraq. Army investigations, however, have identified several civilian contractors as involved with the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib. The Johnson file is among 19 detainee-abuse cases referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which in 2004 was designated as the office in charge of prosecuting prisoner-abuse cases from Iraq and Afghanistan.

CIA Renditions: European Country Admits to Handing Over Terror Suspects

European Country Admits to Handing Over Terror Suspects | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 13.04.2006:

"Some say the country in question might be Sweden, where security services have come under criticism for the expulsion of two Egyptian terrorism suspects who were then handed over to US agents and flown home aboard a US government-leased aircraft in 2001. The organization Human Rights Watch has said there is credible evidence that the two were later tortured.

While the Swedish government has thus far declined to comment, opposition politician Cecilia Wilkstrom told Reuters. 'I would put some money on Sweden.'"

Storm gathering in Iran

RIA Novosti - Opinion & analysis - Storm gathering in Iran:

For all the differences between the two regimes and their political and economic potentialities the Washington-drafted plan of action against Iran is strangely similar to the U.S. scenario for Iraq. But there are some indications that the U.S. strategists have lost some of their confidence since the cruel lesson in Iraq. This fact creates an additional chance for a diplomatic settlement of the problem.

According to U.S. political tradition, George W. Bush is an outgoing president, a lame duck. It would seem nothing should prevent him from being totally reckless in foreign policy, except for a natural desire to go down in history with a more positive image. The problem is that his entourage is not motivated to make a positive contribution to history. To the contrary, it is obsessed with a messianic idea to prove single-handed the prevailing military force of the U.S. super power, and its readiness to bear the heavy cross of the only propagator of American democracy, the only true democracy in the world.

It is this entourage that sets the pace of the attempts to step up the preparations for a strike against the Iranian regime. Clearly, the latter is no bargain either to professional diplomats or international officials who are trying to find a compromise on the Iranian nuclear problem.

U.S. long-term goals in Iran are obvious: to engineer the downfall of the current regime, establish control over Iran's oil and gas, and use its territory as the shortest route for the U.S.-controlled transportation of hydrocarbons from the regions of Central Asia and the Caspian Sea bypassing Russia and China. This is not to mention Iran's intransient military and strategic significance.

It is not yet clear what long-term goals are in the minds of the Iranian leaders, whose positions are far from flexible. Of course, for starters, they would like to have nuclear weapons like their second-rate neighbor Pakistan. Incidentally, it was the U.S., a vigorous fighter for the non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction, that allowed Pakistan to get the bomb without a problem. Now it is making declarations of love to its enemy India.

To nuke or not to nuke: Bush decides

New Statesman - To nuke or not to nuke: Bush decides:

"The ... Washington faction is tiny, but unstable and dangerous. It consists of a tiny handful of people. Only last month, after watching the German film Downfall, I wrote of the White House as a bunker, because that is what it is like: Bush, Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, attended by a dwindling band of neoconservatives, sit in their bunker, increasingly detached from reality, still insisting on viewing the world and plotting its course as they choose to do, unhindered by inconvenient realities."

War Criminal Negroponte: Detainees Will Be Held Indefinitely

TIME.com: :

"Negroponte also told TIME that three dozen or so of the worst al-Qaeda terrorists held in secret CIA prisons are likely to remain in captivity as long as the 'war on terror continues.' He added, 'These people are being held. And they're bad actors. And as long as this situation continues, this war on terror continues, I'm not sure I can tell you what the ultimate disposition of those detainees will be.' Negroponte's comments appear to be the first open acknowledgement of the secret U.S. detention system and the fact that captives such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammad — involved in Sept. 11 or other major attacks on U.S. interests around the world — may be held indefinitely."

12.4.06

After Diplomacy Fails

After Diplomacy Fails:

"If, like his predecessors Saladin, the Mahdi of Sudan and Nasser, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad goes for the long shot, he may have in mind to draw out and damage any American onslaught with his thousands of surface-to-air missiles and antiaircraft guns; by a concentrated air and naval attack to sink one or more major American warships; and to mobilize the Iraqi Shia in a general uprising, with aid from infiltrated Revolutionary Guard and conventional elements, that would threaten U.S. forces in Iraq and sever their lines of supply. This by itself would be a victory for those who see in the colors of martyrdom, but if he could knock us back and put enough of our blood in the water, the real prize might come into reach. That is: to make such a fury in the Islamic world that, as it has done before and not long ago, it would throw over caution in favor of jihad. As simply as it can be said, were Egypt to close the canal, and Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to lock up their airspace -- which, with their combined modern air forces, they could -- the U.S. military in Iraq and the Gulf, bereft of adequate supply, would be beleaguered and imperiled."

Now Powell Tells Us

Now Powell Tells Us:

"I queried Powell at a reception following a talk he gave in Los Angeles on Monday. Pointing out that the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate showed that his State Department had gotten it right on the nonexistent Iraq nuclear threat, I asked why did the President ignore that wisdom in his stated case for the invasion?

'The CIA was pushing the aluminum tube argument heavily and Cheney went with that instead of what our guys wrote,' Powell said. And the Niger reference in Bush's State of the Union speech? 'That was a big mistake,' he said. 'It should never have been in the speech. I didn't need Wilson to tell me that there wasn't a Niger connection. He didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. I never believed it.'

When I pressed further as to why the President played up the Iraq nuclear threat, Powell said it wasn't the President: 'That was all Cheney.' A convenient response for a Bush family loyalist, perhaps, but it begs the question of how the President came to be a captive of his Vice President's fantasies.

More important: Why was this doubt, on the part of the secretary of state and others, about the salient facts justifying the invasion of Iraq kept from the public until we heard the truth from whistleblower Wilson, whose credibility the President then sought to destroy?"

AT&T Seeks to Hide Spy Docs

Wired News: AT&T Seeks to Hide Spy Docs:

The case is Hepting v. AT&T.

"In papers filed late Monday, AT&T argued that confidential technical documents provided by an ex-AT&T technician to the Electronic Frontier Foundation shouldn't be used as evidence in the case and should be returned.

The documents, which the EFF filed under a temporary seal last Wednesday, purportedly detail how AT&T diverts internet traffic to the National Security Agency via a secret room in San Francisco and allege that such rooms exist in other AT&T switching centers.

The EFF filed the class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Northern California in January, seeking damages from AT&T on behalf of AT&T customers for alleged violation of state and federal laws."

When Bush Bombs Iran

Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs:

"Iranians know that even if the US decided to bomb the country's nuclear sites, they are maintained by Russian advisers and technicians; that would mean in effect a declaration of war against Russia. Russia recently closed a US$700 million deal selling 30 Tor M-1 surface-to-air missiles to Iran - very effective against aircraft, cruise missiles and guided bombs. The missiles will be deployed at the nuclear-research center at Isfahan and the Bushehr reactor, which is being built by Russia.

Iranians know Shi'ites in the south and in Baghdad would turn extreme heat on the occupation forces in Iraq. Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, on an official visit to Iran, according to his spokesman, said that 'if any Islamic state, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is attacked, the Mehdi Army would fight inside and outside Iraq'.

...if Europe does not act wisely with the Iranian nuclear portfolio and it is referred to the UN Security Council and economic or air travel restrictions are imposed unjustly, we have the power to halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz'. Up to 30% of the world's oil production passes through the strait. Were Iran to block it, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait would not be able to export their oil. The Pentagon may eventually get its Long War - but not exactly on its terms. "

Jill Carroll Middleman with Kidnappers > Resistance Leader that recognizes that Saddam Remains Iraq's President


ABC News: Exclusive: Jill Carroll Middle Man Says Kidnappers Demanded $8 Million:

Al-Gaood was one of three people specifically thanked by Carroll's family after her release. He was once one of Saddam Hussein's closest business associates, and now says he is a proud leader of the Iraqi insurgency.

the one responsible for negotiating her release on the resistance:

"They are defending their country," he said in an interview at his summer house outside Amman, Jordan. "They are an honest resistance. And sometimes they do mistakes."

One mistake, he said, was kidnapping Carroll. Al-Gaood said he used his influence to help free her, even refusing kidnappers' demands for a huge ransom.

"There was a demand for $8 million," al-Gaood said. Instead, at the kidnappers' request, he said he agreed to arrange payment to widows and orphans tied to the resistance.

on the President of Iraq:

His objective, he said, is a new Iraqi goverment, with a familiar head of state.

'Hussein is president,' he said. 'He has that title.'

Bat-shit Crazy Scalia says he's proud he didn't recuse himself in Cheney case

The Advocate - Scalia says he's proud he didn't recuse himself in Cheney case:

"'For Pete's sake, if you can't trust your Supreme Court justice more than that, get a life,' he said Wednesday.

He told students he would have recused himself if the case had involved Cheney personally, but that he viewed the situation differently because the vice president was named in his official capacity as head of the group.

'I think the proudest thing I have done on the bench is not allowed myself to be chased off that case,' Scalia said.

Scalia, 70, was appointed in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Reagan nominated him four years later to the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the opening that occurred when William Rehnquist became chief justice."

Afghan Shops Searched for Stolen Sensitvie Military Data Files

Chron.com | Afghan Shops Searched for Stolen Files:

"A shopkeeper outside the U.S.-led coalition headquarters in Afghanistan was selling computer memory drives Wednesday containing seemingly sensitive military data stolen from inside the base _ including the Social Security numbers of four American generals.

This shopkeeper was apparently not the only merchant in local bazaars trying to get some cash in exchange for hardware and software containing such files.

The surfacing of the stolen computer devices has sparked an urgent American military probe for the source of the embarrassing security breach, which has led to disks with the personal letters and biographies of soldiers and lists of troops who completed nuclear, chemical and biological warfare training going on sale for $20 to $50."

Afghanistan Pleased with Iran's Access to Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Fars News Agency :: Afghanistan Pleased with Iran's Access to Nuclear Fuel Cycle:

"Afghanistan's administration is seeking peace and stability of the region, reminding that his country opposes regional tension and welcomes any kind of policy in line with regional and global d�tente.

Concluding his words, Afghanistan's ambassador to Tehran expressed his country's pleasure with Iran's access to the nuclear fuel production cycle and reminded that as a neighboring state which shares a common language, Afghanistan is happy to witness Islamic Republic's scientific achievements"

Anti-terror grant to probe bingo halls

Anti-terror grant to probe bingo halls - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper:

The Department of Bingoland Security:

'The problem we have is $36,000 going to keep bingo halls safe from terrorists. We don't see that as a wise use of money,' says Ed Frank, spokesman for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

'Anti-terrorist funding need to go to places where there are more likely victims of a terrorist attack, and I don't think Kentucky bingo halls are at the top of anyone's list,' Mr. Frank says.

Trailers as WMD...Well, not Exactly

Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War:

Bush lie no. 4906034650656

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile 'biological laboratories.' He declared, 'We have found the weapons of mass destruction.'

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

Weapons of Mass Toiletry:

There was no connection to anything biological," said one expert who studied the trailers. Another recalled an epithet that came to be associated with the trailers: "the biggest sand toilets in the world.

11.4.06

Archives Kept a Secrecy Secret

Archives Kept a Secrecy Secret:

"'[I]t is in the interest of both [redacted agency name] and the National Archives and Records Administration to avoid the attention and researcher complaints that may arise from removing material that has already been available publicly from the open shelves for extended periods of time,' the Archives memo read, in part.

Thomas S. Blanton, executive director of the National Security Archive, said the memo 'shows that the National Archives basically aided and abetted a covert operation that whited out the nation's history by reclassifying previously released documents.'"

Iran declares: we are in the nuclear club


Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Iran declares: we are in the nuclear club:

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's hardline president, trumpeted the development in a speech last night. 'Dear Iran has joined the club of nuclear countries,' he said in the holy city of Mashhad.

Addressing an invited audience of clerics, military figures and dignitaries, Mr Ahmadinejad made an unabashed appeal to national pride: 'The nation, under the umbrella of God's grace and through its own efforts, has reached this big achievement. Today is a big day which will be recorded in Iran's history.'"

All the President's Leaks

All the President's Leaks:

"Which leads to another question: What exactly did Attorney General John Ashcroft know when he recused himself from the leak investigation? Did he know the investigation was getting dangerously close to Bush, Cheney, Libby and White House senior political adviser Karl Rove?

In announcing Fitzgerald's appointment on Dec. 30, 2003, Deputy Attorney General James Comey said that Ashcroft, 'in an abundance of caution, believed that his recusal was appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances and the facts and evidence developed at this stage of the investigation.' What were the 'facts' and the 'evidence' on which Ashcroft acted? Did the administration consciously consider if passing off the investigation to someone else would delay the day of reckoning to beyond the 2004 election? And, yes, what exactly did Bush tell Fitzgerald and his staff when they questioned him on June 24, 2004? What had Cheney told Fitzgerald earlier?

The most heartening sign that all the spin in the world will not allow the administration to evade such questions was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter's statement on Fox News Sunday that 'there has to be a detailed explanation precisely as to what Vice President Cheney did, what the president said to him, and an explanation from the president as to what he said so that it can be evaluated.' Specter, a Republican and a former district attorney in Philadelphia, is just the right man to take the lead in breaking the spin cycle."

10.4.06

The Republican Myth of Compassion for the Immigrants

Tehran Times News:

"One of the most ridiculous myths of American political discourse is the argument that the U.S.-Mexican frontier is too long to police effectively and humanely. Here is a country that has landed people on the Moon, and that currently maintains an army of 140,000 soldiers in a hostile country halfway around the planet, claiming that it cannot build and maintain a decent fence along the Mexican border. Instead, we have been treated to a thirty-year political charade in which little bits of fence are built in the traditional urban crossing places, thus forcing illegal Mexican immigrants out into the desert where many of them die -- but enough still get through to keep America's low-wage industries fully manned.

Living right next to Mexico, a country where a large proportion of the population lives in Third-World conditions, does create a special immigration problem for the United States, but it is far from insoluble. It has only remained unsolved for decades because powerful economic interests in the United States, with great influence over Congress, do not want it solved.

All the other business that has been so earnestly debated in recent week in the United States Senate -- quotas for guest-workers, amnesties for long-resident illegal immigrants, and so on -- is just the political cover that is needed to keep illegal immigrant labor plentiful and unskilled wages low."

U.S. Using WTO to Contain Russia

U.S. Using WTO to Contain Russia:

"Fearful of Russia helping Iran build a nuclear bomb and the Kremlin reverting to authoritarianism, the United States is once again threatening economic retaliation.

At issue is Russia's long campaign to get into the World Trade Organization, which would open markets around the globe to Russian goods.

While Moscow has resolved trade disputes with many countries, it has yet to iron out all its differences with Washington, a prerequisite for admission to the 149-member WTO.

The United States is the last major country to put up obstacles to Russian entry to the WTO."

Paul Krugman: Why *Wouldn't* Bush Bomb Iran???

Paul Krugman:

"Why might Mr. Bush want another war? For one thing, Mr. Bush, whose presidency is increasingly defined by the quagmire in Iraq, may believe that he can redeem himself with a new Mission Accomplished moment.

And it's not just Mr. Bush's legacy that's at risk. Current polls suggest that the Democrats could take one or both houses of Congress this November, acquiring the ability to launch investigations backed by subpoena power. This could blow the lid off multiple Bush administration scandals. Political analysts openly suggest that an attack on Iran offers Mr. Bush a way to head off this danger, that an appropriately timed military strike could change the domestic political dynamics.

Does this sound far-fetched? It shouldn't. Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Mr. Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn't do it again? "

9.4.06

A Dishonarable Affair

The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA:

"President Bush did nothing wrong, his defenders blithely assert, by green-lighting the use of intelligence information to counter a critic of his decision to go to war in Iraq. The president, after all, has the authority to declassify intelligence reports, so if he authorized such a release it was not, by definition, a leak. But no amount of hair-splitting and after-the-fact rationalization can justify the ugly behavior of Bush and his administration in this case."

Gunning for Iran

Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain - Gunning for Iran:

with masturbatory glee, richard perle, the neoconservative extremist--with dick cheney's gray stinking penis resting on his filthy tongue--begins to stroke his own:

“You can see the shape of the speech the president will give,” said Richard Perle, a leading American neo-conservative. “He will cite the Iranians’ past pattern of deception, their support for terrorism and the unacceptable menace the nation would present if it had nuclear weapons.

“The attack would be over before anybody knew what had happened. The only question would be what the Iranians might do in retaliation.”


Sounds far-fetched? Think again. The unthinkable, or what Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, described only a few weeks ago as “inconceivable”, is now being actively planned in the Pentagon.

White House insiders say that Bush and Dick Cheney, his hawkish vice-president, have made up their minds to resolve the Iranian crisis before they leave office in three years’ time. "

Bat-shit crazy ann coulter on halliburton

'fuck bush' does not link to religiously radical extremist web-sites, so you will have to look for yourslf:

Even proud American corporations find their names being turned into curse words by liberals, such as "Halliburton," which is currently losing money in Iraq in order to supply food to our troops — you know, the same troops liberals pretend to love (but don't lose money feeding).

Bush’s salon revolutionaries plot an Iran coup

Bush’s salon revolutionaries plot an Iran coup - Sunday Times - Times Online:

"The US president is very much in a “last-chance saloon” mood as he made clear recently to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. If he is to solve the problem of Iran’s nuclear ambitions he must achieve his objective before he leaves office in January 2009. So he is turning to a policy of subversion combined with plans for military action. There is convincing evidence that US diplomats are pressuring Turkish authorities to agree to the use of its main air base for attacks by American B-52 bombers on Iran’s nuclear facilities."

Senior Republican to Bush: say "exactly what happened"

Senior Republican to Bush: say "exactly what happened" - Yahoo! News:

"Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that 'there's been enough of a showing here with what's been filed of record in court that the president of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people.

'The president has the authority to declassify information. So in a technical sense, if he looked at it, he could say this is declassified, and make a disclosure of it,' said Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, speaking from Cartagena, Colombia.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan has insisted that Bush had the authority to declassify intelligence and rejected charges from Democrats that he did so selectively for political purposes.

But Specter urged Bush to address the topic himself.

'I think that it is necessary for the president and the vice president to tell the American people exactly what happened,' he said.

'There has to be a detailed explanation precisely as to what Vice President (Dick) Cheney did, what the president said to him, and an explanation from the president as to what he said so that it can be evaluated,' said Specter."