Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia seal anti-US trade deal

AFP - The News:

Bush as 'uniter' and not 'divider':
The leftist leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia have signed a trade agreement to counter a US-led drive to forge a Pan-American free trade area.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro hosted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales in a show of unity for the strongest critics of the United States in Latin America.

Castro, who leads the Americas' only one-party communist state, hailed his two allies, who call him 'big brother.'

'These new leaders have emerged and they make me the happiest man in the world,' the 79-year-old leader said.

'Now, for the first time, there are three of us,' he said.

Bush Black Shirts on the Move

A Chilling FBI Fishing Expedition:

Bush Black Shirts visit a journalists home...
On March 3 two FBI agents showed up at my home, flashing their badges and demanding to see 25-year-old documents that I have been reading as part of my research for a book I'm writing about Jack Anderson, the crusading investigative columnist who died in December.

I was surprised, to put it mildly, by the FBI's sudden interest in journalism history. I asked what crimes the agents were investigating.

'Violations of the Espionage Act,' was the response. The Espionage Act dates to 1917 and was used to imprison dissidents who opposed World War I.

Evidently the Justice Department has decided that it wants to prosecute people who whispered national security secrets decades ago to a reporter now dead. The FBI agents asked me if I had seen any classified government documents in the nearly 200 boxes of materials the Anderson family has donated to my university. I replied that I had seen some government documents -- reports, audits, memos -- but didn't know what their classification status was.

'Just because the documents aren't marked 'classified' doesn't mean they're not,' Agent Leslie Martell suggested helpfully. But I was unable to give her the answer that she wanted: that our collection housed classified records.

Later, after I thought about it, I could recall seeing only one set of papers that might once have been classified: the FBI's own documents on Jack Anderson. But our version of those papers was heavily censored, unlike the original FBI file already in their own office.


The agents also wanted the names of graduate students who had worked with me on my book to see if any had seen classified government documents. They hadn't, but the FBI agents didn't seem to believe our denials and wanted to know where the Anderson archives are housed and who controlled custody of the papers.


If I didn't want to name names, the agents said, they could mention initials and I could nod yes or no. That was a trick Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman used in "All the President's Men." I didn't name any initials, either.

And, we have comments from a New York Times article:

"They are making threats that they may be able to carry out technically, legally," Geoffrey R. Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago and the author of "Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime," said of the administration. The law, Professor Stone added, "has always been understood to be about spying, not about newspapers, but read literally it could be applied to both."

Others say the law is unconstitutional as applied to the press under the First Amendment.

"I don't think that anyone believes that statute is constitutional," said James C. Goodale, who was the general counsel of The New York Times Company during the Pentagon Papers litigation. "Literally read, the statute must be violated countless times every year."

Rodney A. Smolla, the dean of the University of Richmond law school, took a middle ground. He said the existing laws were ambiguous but that in theory it could be constitutional to make receiving classified information a crime. However, he continued, the First Amendment may protect newspapers exposing wrongdoing by the government.

Thousands of Patriots Protest Against Bush the War-Criminal Bush in NYC

Bad Business: Dubai, Again

Frank Gaffney on Security on National Review Online:

An attack from the right on Bush's treasonous dealings with his friend's in the UAE, again...

Doncasters, which is headquartered in Melbourne, England but has plants in Georgia, Connecticut, and several other states across the country, provides critical services to the U.S. armed forces. For example, it is the sole provider of specialized turbine-engine parts for the Abrams tank. Furthermore, it has other customers that play a key role in the defense of America, including Boeing, General Electric, and Pratt and Whitney.

Too little attention has been paid for far too long to the growing dependence of the U.S. military on foreign suppliers for key components of weapon systems and support equipment. Particularly troubling is the prospect that such dependency could cause us to rely upon a foreign state with a checkered record of support for terrorism.

Just as was true of our ports, an investment in this country that affords such a state the opportunity to put personnel into positions where they can do us harm — perhaps by interfering with the manufacturing processes or quality control at a critical moment — is not likely to be passed up by terrorists who have operated from the UAE in the past.

DHS Hires Duke Cunningham's Pimp/Driver

Prostitution Alleged In Cunningham Case:

In an attempt to get DHS employess to stop jerking off at work and at shopping malls, Chertoff has hired Duke Cunningham's pimp/driver to supply prostitutes to his people.

In recent weeks, investigators have focused on possible dealings between Christopher D. Baker, president of Shirlington Limousine and Transportation Inc., and Brent R. Wilkes, a San Diego businessman who is under investigation for bribing Cunningham in return for millions of dollars in federal contracts, said one source, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Baker has a criminal record and has experienced financial difficulties, public records show. Last fall, his company was awarded a $21 million contract with the Department of Homeland Security to provide transportation, including limo service for senior officials. Baker and his lawyer declined to comment yesterday.


Another Bush Felon: Ex-Head of F.D.A. Faces Criminal Inquiry

Ex-Head of F.D.A. Faces Criminal Inquiry - New York Times:

Bush will probably have yet another pardon to dole out...
Dr. Lester M. Crawford, the former commissioner of food and drugs, is under criminal investigation by a federal grand jury over accusations of financial improprieties and false statements to Congress, his lawyer said Friday.

The lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, would not discuss the accusations further. In a court hearing held by telephone on Thursday, she told a federal magistrate that she would instruct Dr. Crawford to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination if ordered to answer questions this week about his actions as head of the Food and Drug Administration, according to a transcript of the hearing.

Dr. Crawford did not reply to messages seeking comment, and Kathleen Quinn, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Dr. Crawford resigned in September, fewer than three months after the Senate confirmed him. He said then that it was time for someone else to lead the agency.

He was dressed in a tan tunic: I don't want this court, he said

He was dressed in a tan tunic: I don't want this court, he said - World - Times Online:

BY EARLY morning the damp heat was already rising around the courthouse, a drab, low building topped with radio masts high above Guantanamo Bay. Inside, everyone waited in silence: Captain Daniel O’Toole, of the US Navy, the “presiding officer”, wearing black robes and taking the place of a judge, and the defence and prosecution in the formal dress uniforms of the US Army, Navy and Air Force.

Then the doors opened to reveal the defendant, Jabran Said bin al-Qahtani, a slight figure with wild black hair and 4in beard, a head shorter than the military police holding his arms. He was dressed in a tan tunic and cropped trousers, the uniform of the “medium-compliant detainee” at Guantanamo, America’s detention camp for its captives in the War on Terror, on the southeastern fringe of Cuba.

He had evidently rejected the armfuls of blazers and slacks that Lieutenant-Commander Bryan Broyles, his Pentagon-appointed lawyer, had tentatively picked out for him at the Navy Exchange superstore.

“I don’t want this court,” he said in Arabic, the mild, sing-song tone of the female translator jarring with his own. “You judge and you sentence me the way you want if this is Allah’s will. A nation that is an enemy of Allah cannot be a leader.”

The United States, Israel, and the Possible Attack on Iran

Foreign Policy In Focus | The United States, Israel, and the Possible Attack on Iran:

On why a bombing of Iran will not work

A military strike against Iran, either directly by the United States or through Israel, will not likely succeed in curbing Iran's nuclear program. Indeed, it will likely motivate the Iranian government, with enhanced popular support in reaction to foreign aggression against their country, to redouble their efforts.

Iran has deliberately spread its nuclear facilities over a wide geographical range, with at least nine major locations. Even the bunker buster bombs may not fully penetrate a number of these facilities, assuming all the secret sites could be located.


Located in such a dangerous region, then, it is not surprising that Iran might be seeking a nuclear deterrent. The United States and Israel do not want Iran to have such a deterrent, however, since it would challenge the U.S.-Israeli nuclear monopoly in that oil-rich region. In other words, what those in the Bush administration, the Israeli government, and the bipartisan leadership in Congress are concerned about is protecting the hegemonic interests of the United States and its junior partner Israel, not stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

America’s Blinders

Howard Zinn: America’s Blinders | The Progressive:

What is the idea of our moral superiority based on? Surely not on our behavior toward people in other parts of the world. Is it based on how well people in the United States live? The World Health Organization in 2000 ranked countries in terms of overall health performance, and the United States was thirty-seventh on the list, though it spends more per capita for health care than any other nation. One of five children in this, the richest country in the world, is born in poverty. There are more than forty countries that have better records on infant mortality. Cuba does better. And there is a sure sign of sickness in society when we lead the world in the number of people in prison—more than two million.

A more honest estimate of ourselves as a nation would prepare us all for the next barrage of lies that will accompany the next proposal to inflict our power on some other part of the world. It might also inspire us to create a different history for ourselves, by taking our country away from the liars and killers who govern it, and by rejecting nationalist arrogance, so that we can join the rest of the human race in the common cause of peace and justice.

After Abu Ghraib, Impunity

TomPaine.com - After Abu Ghraib, Impunity:

Link to the NYU Study here:

Two years after the abuse by U.S. soldiers of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq first came to light, accountability for what turns out to have been a widespread pattern of mistreatment at several detention sites, including torture and at least eight homicides, remains elusive, according to a new report released by three major human rights groups Wednesday.

By the Numbers: Findings of the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project says that at least 330 credible cases of abuse involving 600 U.S. personnel and 460 alleged victims have been reported in Afghanistan, Iraq and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since late 2001.

So far, however, only 40 troops—almost all of them low-ranking enlisted personnel—have been given prison terms. Of these, 30 were sentenced to less than one year's confinement, even in cases involving serious abuse, such as the beating deaths of two detainees at the detention facility at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

”Two years ago, U.S. officials said the abuses at Abu Ghraib were aberrations and that people who abused detainees would be brought to justice,” said Meg Satterwhite, who directs the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University (NYU) Law School. ”Yet our research shows that detainee abuses were widespread, and few people have truly been brought to justice.”

U.S.: FBI sought info without court OK

U.S.: FBI sought info without court OK:

The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday.

It was the first time the Bush administration has publicly disclosed how often it uses the administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter, which allows the executive branch of government to obtain records about people in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's approval or a grand jury subpoena.

Friday's disclosure was mandated as part of the renewal of the Patriot Act, the administration's sweeping anti-terror law.

The FBI delivered a total of 9,254 NSLs relating to 3,501 people in 2005, according to a report submitted late Friday to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. In some cases, the bureau demanded information about one person from several companies.


Musharraf insists: I'm not George Bush's poodle

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Musharraf insists: I'm not George Bush's poodle:

Apparently, Bush's killing of 18 civilians in an 'oops, we bombed the wrong place...sorry' did not make too many friends in Pakistan...
General Pervez Musharraf, facing a surge of anti-American sentiment, yesterday warned that covert US air strikes against al-Qaida inside Pakistan were an infringement of national sovereignty.

Admitting that his popularity was waning, the Pakistani president insisted he was 'not a poodle' of George Bush and rejected accusations he was running a military dictatorship.

Speaking to the Guardian at Army House in Rawalpindi weeks after a tense visit by the US president that brought a torrent of domestic criticism, Gen Musharraf insisted he was his own man.

'When you are talking about fighting terrorism or extremism, I'm not doing that for the US or Britain. I'm doing it for Pakistan,' he said. 'It's not a question of being a poodle. I'm nobody's poodle. I have enough strength of my own to lead.'

If necessary he had 'teeth' to bite back, he added. 'Yes sir, I personally do. A lot of teeth. Sometimes the teeth do not have to be shown. Pragmatism is required in international relations.'

Defining Democracy Down

Defining Democracy Down:

An excellent study in the most recent issue of American Conservative on the sick, demented logic of the neoconservatives and their goal of world domination by spreading its own brand of 'democracy'. These people are truly dangerous and sickening...

When Bush took office in 2001, the U.S. already had a long history of meddling abroad in the name of foreign “self-determination.” The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a government agency created in 1983, had been involved in election-manipulation scandals in Panama, Nicaragua, Slovakia, and elsewhere. But the Bush team sharply ratcheted up both spending and the brazenness of U.S. interventions. The United States is currently spending more than a billion dollars a year on democracy promotion.

In 2001, NED quadrupled its aid to Venezuelan opponents of elected president Hugo Chavez, and NED heavily funded some organizations involved in a bloody military coup that temporarily removed Chavez from power in April 2002. After Chavez retook control, NED and the State Department responded by pouring even more money into groups seeking his ouster.

The International Republican Institute, one of the largest NED grant recipients, played a key role both in the Chavez coup and also in the overthrow of Haiti’s elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In February 2004, an array of NED-aided groups and individuals helped spur an uprising that left 100 people dead and toppled Aristide. Brian Dean Curran, the U.S. ambassador to Haiti, warned Washington that the International Republican Institute’s actions “risked us being accused of attempting to destabilize the government.”

The U.S. pulled out all the stops to help our favored candidate win a “free and fair” election in 2004 in the Ukraine. In the two years prior to the election, the United States spent over $65 million “to aid political organizations in Ukraine, paying to bring opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko to meet U.S. leaders and helping to underwrite exit polls indicating he won a disputed runoff election,” according to the Associated Press. Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) complained that “much of that money was targeted to assist one particular candidate, and … millions of dollars ended up in support of the presidential candidate, Viktor Yushchenko.” Yet with boundless hypocrisy, Bush had proclaimed that “any [Ukrainian] election ... ought to be free from any foreign influence.”


It is unclear whether the Bush administration honestly wants to advance democracy in Iran or whether it is merely creating another pretext to start bombing. If the Iranian regime responds to Bush’s brazen intervention by rounding up reformers, further repressing free speech, acting even more paranoid, it may help Bush sway Americans on the need to bomb Iran in the name of democracy.

Iraq expresses dismay at Turkish incursion into northern Iraq

Kuna site|Story page|Iraq expresses dismay at Turkish incursion into no...4/26/2006:

This could be interesting since Bush wants to help Turkey kill the Kurds, as mentioned by Rice in Turkey earlier this week.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zibari expressed dismay about the incursion and summoned Turkish Ambassador to Iraq Unal Cevikoz and asked him to convey to Ankara 'Iraq's wish that such incusions be halted.' Meanwhile, Iraqi Ambassador in Ankara Sabah Omran on Wednesday paid a visit to Turkish Special Representative in Iraq Oguz Celikkols at his office in Ankara and urged him to put a stop to the Turkish incursions because they could 'upset law and order in the entire Iraqi territories.' Celikkols is due to convey this wish to the Ankara government.

Iraqi President Jalal Talbani had earlier announced that a 1990 accord with Turkey allowing its forces to enter northern Iraq to a depth of 15 kilometers was no longer valid.

Federal judge denies motion to dismiss Libby charges

JURIST - Paper Chase: Federal judge denies motion to dismiss Libby charges: "

Nice try, Scoots!

In his opinion, Walton wrote:

The integrity of the rule of law, which is a core ingredient of the American system of government, is challenged to the greatest degree when high-level government officials come under suspicion for violating the law. And a criminal investigation of any individual, prominent or not, for suspected violations of law must be above reproach to preserve respect for the fairness of our system of justice. There must therefore be a process by which the perception of fairness withstands the scrutiny of the American public when prosecution authority is called upon to investigate public officials. Creating that perception of fairness obviously starts with those who are charged with the responsibility of conducting the investigations. For obvious reasons, the Attorney General recused himself in this case and the Deputy Attorney General concluded that someone removed from the hierarchy of the Department of Justice should investigate individuals holding some of the country's highest executive branch offices. Obviously, the process for selecting who would investigate the underling allegations in this case must comport with the law. For all the reasons set forth above, this Court concludes that the delegation of authority to Special Counsel Fitzgerald violated neither 28 U.S.C. Sects. 516 and 519 nor the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Accordingly, the defendant’s motion to dismiss is denied.

Sen. Specter Threatens to Block NSA Funds

Sen. Specter Threatens to Block NSA Funds:

It is hoped that Specter retains his spine this time around...
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said Thursday he is considering legislation to cut off funding for the Bush administration's secret domestic wiretapping program until he gets satisfactory answers about it from the White House.

"Institutionally, the presidency is walking all over Congress at the moment," Specter, R-Pa., told the panel. "If we are to maintain our institutional prerogative, that may be the only way we can do it."

Specter said he had informed President Bush about his intention and that he has attracted several potential co-sponsors. He said he's become increasingly frustrated in trying to elicit information about the program from senior White House officials at several public hearings.

Specter also agreed with Democrats who say that any of the bills to tighten guidelines for National Security Agency program and increase congressional oversight could be flatly ignored by an administration with a long history of acting alone in security matters.

'It is true that we have no assurance that the president would follow any statute that we enact,' Specter said. He said he's considering adding an amendment to stop funding of the program to an Iraq war-hurricane relief bill being debated by the Senate this week and next.

Senior Republican officials said they had not received guidance about the legislation and could not say when it might come to the Senate floor.


Iran threatens global retaliation if US attacks

AFP - The News:

There is money in chaos, so, perhaps Bush would prefer the results?
Iran's supreme leader warned the United States it would be 'harmed' across the globe if it decided to attack the Islamic republic over its disputed nuclear programme.

The threat came as hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed the regime would resist any UN Security Council demands for a halt in uranium enrichment, at the centre of fears the country could acquire nuclear weapons.

Amid the escalating war of words, the head of Iran's nuclear organisation Gholam Reza Aghazadeh held talks with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei ahead of Friday's UN deadline for the enrichment freeze.

There was no sign of a breakthrough after the 90-minute meeting in Vienna, although Aghazadeh's deputy at the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed Saidi, said the talks had been 'encouraging.'

In one of his toughest threats, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned: 'The Americans should know that if they launch an assault against Islamic Iran, their interests in every possible part of the world will be harmed.

'The Iranian nation will give a double response to any strike.'

Seven detainees report transfer to nations that use torture

7 detainees report transfer to nations that use torture - The Boston Globe:

At least seven US prisoners at Guantanamo Bay say they were transferred to countries known for torture prior to their arrival at the base, according to recently released transcripts from military commission hearings and other court documents.

At least three of them allege that they were tortured during interrogations in Jordan, Morocco, and Egypt.

The transcripts represent the first accounts of rendition from prisoners who are still in US custody, and they contradict statements made last year by the Bush administration that all suspects who are ''rendered' to foreign countries are treated in accordance with international laws.

EU report condemns secret CIA flights

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | EU report condemns secret CIA flights:

More evidence of CIA torture flights

The CIA has carried out more than 1,000 undeclared flights over European territory since 2001, European parliament investigators said today.

Politicians scrutinising illegal CIA activities in Europe also said incidents in which terror suspects were handed over to US agents did not appear to be isolated, and suspects were often transported in the same planes and by the same groups of people.

The preliminary report was compiled using data provided by the EU's air safety agency, Eurocontrol. It also used information gathered during three months of hearings and more than 50 hours of testimony by human rights groups and people who said they had been kidnapped and tortured by US agents.


NGOs blast EU security investment cabal


A new report by two leading civil liberties groups blasts [Title: Arming Big Brother] the EU for sponsoring research into surveillance and control technologies in an attempt to compete with the US' "Homeland Security'" scheme.

'The EU is basically funding the diversification of the 'military-industrial complex' into the highly profitable internal security field,' said Hayes.

'The militarisation of policing and border controls will not prevent crime or terrorism. It does nothing to address 'root causes' while posing a massive threat to civil liberties,' he added.

Do not attack Iran

Do not attack Iran:

"But there are four compelling reasons against a preventive air attack on Iranian nuclear facilities:

1. In the absence of an imminent threat (with the Iranians at least several years away from having a nuclear arsenal), the attack would be a unilateral act of war.

If undertaken without formal Congressional declaration, it would be unconstitutional and merit the impeachment of the president. Similarly, if undertaken without the sanction of the UN Security Council either alone by the United States or in complicity with Israel, it would stamp the perpetrator(s) as an international outlaw(s).

2. Likely Iranian reactions would significantly compound ongoing U.S. difficulties in Iraq and in Afghanistan, perhaps precipitate new violence by Hezbollah in Lebanon, and in all probability cause the United States to become bogged down in regional violence for a decade or more to come. Iran is a country of some 70 million people and a conflict with it would make the misadventure in Iraq look trivial.

3. Oil prices would climb steeply, especially if the Iranians cut their production and seek to disrupt the flow of oil from the nearby Saudi oil fields. The world economy would be severely impacted, with America blamed for it. Note that oil prices have already shot above $70 per barrel, in part because of fears of a U.S./Iran clash.

4. America would become an even more likely target of terrorism, with much of the world concluding that America's support for Israel is itself a major cause of the rise in terrorism. America would become more isolated and thus more vulnerable while prospects for an eventual regional accommodation between Israel and its neighbors would be ever more remote.

It follows that an attack on Iran would be an act of political folly, setting in motion a progressive upheaval in world affairs. With America increasingly the object of widespread hostility, the era of American preponderance could come to a premature end.

While America is clearly preponderant in the world, it does not have the power - nor the domestic inclination - to both impose and then to sustain its will in the face of protracted and costly resistance. That certainly is the lesson taught both by its Vietnamese and Iraqi experiences."

Finally, Condi gets a war she can call her own

Whilst pimping in Turkey, our Ms Rice discussed the Kurdish 'terrorists' Turkey wants eliminated.

'Connceting the dots'

Dot one: In what may turn out to be another classic Bush quid-pro-quo--this time with Turkey--the US will promise to kill those nasty Kurd 'terrorists', and Turkey will promise to allow the US to use its airports to attack Iran. As we know, whenever the Bush Administration says they are not doing something, they actually are; hence, the bolded first line below:

'We are not negotiating on a trans-border operation'

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bryza, who mentioned the issue of the terror network Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), said, 'Before a trans-border operation, there are many steps that need to be taken regarding the PKK problem and we are working on them.'

Bryza said America is not in negotiation with Turkey regarding the issue. 'In fact, this is not a proper ground to discuss probable military operations.' When asked whether the US gave Turkey information to be used in a probable operation, Bryza said they do not discuss intelligence issues publicly.
The next dot to connect is the recent amassing of troops along the Turkey/Iraqi border:
Turkey has sent thousands of soldiers backed by tanks to its overwhelmingly Kurdish southeast and the Iraqi border following stepped-up attacks by Turkish Kurdish guerrillas, officials and reports said Friday.


But Turkey has moved some 10,000 soldiers to border regions, increasing its troop strength to some 50,000, the Aksam newspaper reported Friday.The officers, both speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, confirmed the border deployment but would not say how many troops were involved.In the past few months, some 40 rebels, 14 soldiers and four police officers have been killed in clashes in southeastern Turkey.
In other words, the amassing of possibly 50,000 Turkish troops yesterday, and Rice's knowledge of the Kurds and their activites and positions in Iraq, combinted with Rice's wanting to bomb Iran and use Turkish airspace, coalesces to form a 'coalition-of-the-willing' of sorts towards the demise of the PKK Kurds.

Today, we had this:
Chief of the Turkish General Staff Hilmi Ozkok said Turkey will conduct military action in northern Iraq if needed.

According to Turkey's Anadolu Agency, Ozkok said since article 51 of the UN Charter allows beyond-the-border military action, Turkey might enter Iraq to eliminate Kurdish separatists. While explaining that each nation makes decisions independently depending in its needs, he said this issue has no link with the visit of US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice to Ankara on Tuesday.

And finally, one more dot: In a meeting that was not covered at all by the major media, General Pace gave America's word to Turkey last month, as well:
Before departing from Ankara, Pace said the United States is just as resolute as Turkey in dealing with the PKK problem. The US administration would not want an independent Kurdish state in Iraq, said Pace, expressing a preference for the Joint State of Iraq. A military operation against Iran, he added, is not very likely.

A few secret attempts are already under way to weaken PKK, Pace said as he pointed to future plans of cooperation with some European administrations. America is actually working with the Turkish government towards diminishing the range of financial opportunities the terror organization can capitalize on.

Ahmadinejad's Real Statements on Israel

Iran Weekly Press Digest iranwpd.com:

Has ANY news-service actually listened to what he said?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday called on Jews in Israel to go back to their countries of origin and allow the Palestinians to return to their homelands.

'Anti-Semitism in Europe has forced Jews to leave their countries of origin, but what they did instead was occupy a country which is not theirs but that of Palestinians,' Ahmadinejad said in a press conference in Tehran.

He said that the dilemma in the Middle East could be settled only within a 'just peace plan,' but this first required the return of all Palestinians to their homelands.

'The fact is that Israel can ultimately not continue its existence,' he said. While adopting a softer tone than before about the Holocaust, he still demanded a free evaluation of its real extent 'in order to find the ultimate truth.'

'We are sorry for any human being killed in the two world wars. We respect Moses as we respect Jesus, but it is just unacceptable that the Palestinians should suffer from the aftermath,' Ahmadinejad said.

More Bush Gestapo Tactics Ahead

Congress cracking down on U.S. leaks - baltimoresun.com:

CIA to extend its activities to warrantless arrests:

If the measure is approved by Congress, the nation's spy chief would be ordered to consider a plan for revoking the pensions of intelligence agency employees who make unauthorized disclosures. It also would permit security forces at the National Security Agency and the CIA to make warrantless arrests outside the gates of their top-secret campuses.

The new proposals, which have received little public attention, dovetail with an ongoing Bush administration crackdown on unauthorized leaks.


"In a moment when the intelligence community should be looking forward toward what it does best, the arrest powers represent a step back toward the Nixon-era abuses," said Jason Vest, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group.

The plan by Congress to target the pensions of intelligence agency employees would harm the overall spy effort, according to critics. Some, including former senior intelligence officials, warned that it would create an overly repressive environment within the agencies that could inhibit officers from speaking up, even internally, and discourage risk-taking.

The proposal to penalize leakers with loss of pension will do nothing "but keep good people from going to work in the [intelligence community] agencies," according to a senior intelligence official, who was quoted anonymously yesterday in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee from the Project on Government Oversight.


More Nazis convicted in 2005 than previous year

More Nazis convicted in 2005 than previous year:

Let this be a reminder to the Bush and Blair Administrations that the rest of their lives will be lived under the fear of being prosecuted for their warcrimes

The number of Nazi war criminals convicted over atrocities committed during World War II showed a marked rise in 2005 over the previous 12 months.

According to the report by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, 16 Nazi war criminals were convicted during 2005 over their participation in atrocities against civilians in Italy or in death camps in Poland and Germany.

Inspectors Find More Torture at Iraqi Jails

Inspectors Find More Torture at Iraqi Jails:

Torture continues under the occupation of the US

[Since Novemer 13th] there have been at least six joint U.S.-Iraqi inspections of detention centers, most of them run by Iraq's Shiite Muslim-dominated Interior Ministry. Two sources involved with the inspections, one Iraqi official and one U.S. official, said abuse of prisoners was found at all the sites visited through February. U.S. military authorities confirmed that signs of severe abuse were observed at two of the detention centers.

But U.S. troops have not responded by removing all the detainees, as they did in November. Instead, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials, only a handful of the most severely abused detainees at a single site were removed for medical treatment. Prisoners at two other sites were removed to alleviate overcrowding. U.S. and Iraqi authorities left the rest where they were.

This practice of leaving the detainees in place has raised concerns that detainees now face additional threats. It has also prompted fresh questions from the inspectors about whether the United States has honored a pledge by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that U.S. troops would attempt to stop inhumane treatment if they saw it.

Bush was warned there were no WMD, says former CIA man

Independent Online Edition > Americas:

More proof that the filthy bastards lied itself into iraq

The revelation, by the CIA's former European chief Tyler Drumheller, was broadcast on CBS's news magazine Sixty Minutes last night and added to the body of evidence that US and British leaders saw the weapons of mass destruction issue only as a selling point for a war they had already decided to wage for other reasons.

According to Mr Drumheller, Western intelligence services were told about Iraq's lack of chemical and biological weapons by Naji Sabri, a former Iraqi foreign minister. The CIA director of the time, George Tenet, took this information straight to President George Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney and other senior officials, but it made no impression on them.

The U.S. won’t leave Iraq unless Iraqis force it out

The U.S. won’t leave Iraq unless Iraqis force it out:

Here is an interactive map of the permanent bases these animals are building in Iraq...
President George W. Bush claims the U.S. only intends to stay “as long as necessary and not one day more.” And, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has testified on February 17, 2005 in Congress: “I can assure you that we have no intention at the present time of putting permanent bases in Iraq.” These claims are hard to believe when Congress voted for the first funds for long-term bases that May, and construction is now underway.

The usually extreme right-wing Washington Times has more:
The fortresslike compound rising beside the Tigris River here will be the world's largest of its kind, the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water, and a precarious perch at the heart of Iraq's turbulent future.


The embassy complex -- 21 buildings on 104 acres, according to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report -- is taking shape on riverside parkland in the fortified Green Zone just east of al-Samoud, a former palace of Saddam Hussein's, and across the road from the building where the ex-dictator is now on trial.


This huge American contingent at the center of power has drawn criticism.


State Department spokesman Justin Higgins defended the size of the embassy, old and new, saying it is indicative of the work facing the United States here. "It's somewhat self-evident that there's going to be a fairly sizable commitment to Iraq by the U.S. government in all forms for several years," he said in Washington.

Iran welcomes establishment of Iraqi government

Iran welcomes establishment of Iraqi government - Irna:

"The minister said that Iraq has currently achieved momentous goal with the establishment of permanent government and the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that all Iraqi political parties would exercise vigilance to foster solidarity and fall in the direction of progress and political process step by step in line with the aspirations of the Iraqi nation and government as well as Iraqi religious leaders.

He said that the Islamic Republic of Iran stands by the Iraqi people and government and appealed to the international community and Islamic nations to actively support the Iraqi government in paving the way for the withdrawal of the occupying forces from the country."

Bin Laden: West waging a 'Crusade'

Aljazeera.Net - Bin Laden: West waging a crusade:

"During the recording bin Laden also said the Western public shared responsibility for the actions of their governments, particularly for what he called their attacks on Islam.

'The war is a responsibility shared between the people and the governments,' he said. 'The war goes on and the people are renewing their allegiance to its rulers and masters.'

'They send their sons to armies to fight us and they continue their financial and moral support while our countries are burned and our houses are bombed and our people are killed.' "