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Post by Sensei » Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:52 pm

CoworkerLurker wrote: I just got sucked into the wild swirling vortex that is Rian.
Been there, done that. Add a mojito or twelve and 'swirling' doesn't begin to describe it. And then imagine the little maniac on stilts. Good to have someone else keeping an eye on the brat.

(For everyone else: Coworkerlurker is Rian's accomplice in corporate crime; we are slowly sucking him in to the swirling vortex that is BM. He'll be in Black Rock City in about 375 days or so, though he has yet to realize this.)

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Post by Rian Jackson » Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:26 am

and furthermore, your socks wouldn't even fit me. or at least, i couldn't wear shoes with them.
surlier than thou

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Post by Rian Jackson » Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:28 am

Sensei wrote:
CoworkerLurker wrote: I just got sucked into the wild swirling vortex that is Rian.
Been there, done that. Add a mojito or twelve and 'swirling' doesn't begin to describe it. And then imagine the little maniac on stilts. Good to have someone else keeping an eye on the brat.

(For everyone else: Coworkerlurker is Rian's accomplice in corporate crime; we are slowly sucking him in to the swirling vortex that is BM. He'll be in Black Rock City in about 375 days or so, though he has yet to realize this.)
of course, dear sensei, i could be lying to you. and i've only had about 5 (largestrong) mojitos in my life. i didn't realise you had twelve that other week...

you're gonna pay for the brat comment. you're gonna pay big time.
surlier than thou

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Post by CoworkerLurker » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:24 pm

Sorry- didn't mean to pull this thread so far off topic...

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Post by Last Real Burner » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:47 pm

AGENDA FOR THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION IN N.Y.C.

6:00pm - Opening prayer

6:15pm - Supplementary opening prayer

6:30pm - Prayer in thanks of first two prayers

6:45pm - New energy policy presented by Exxon

7:00pm - Canonization of Reagan

7:15pm - Additional prayers

7:30pm - Opening remarks by Halliburton

8:00pm - Prayer for the safety and well-being of Kenny-boy Lay

8:15pm - Additional remarks by Halliburton

8:30pm - Stoning of the first homosexual

8:45pm - New healthcare polices presented by HMO leader, Kaiser Permanente

9:00pm - Invasion of Iran or North Korea (TBA)

9:15pm - Halliburton contributes 1.4 billion to Republican party

9:30pm - Reagan elevated to savior, Holy Trinity now referred to as "The
Quads"

9:45pm - Bush undergoes plastic surgery to look more like Reagan

10:00pm - Cheney runs into Ron Reagan, Jr. and tells him to go fuck himself

10:15pm - Recall of troops from accidental invasion of South Korea (Bush:
"Damn, the SOUTH is our ally. I got bad intelligence.")

10:30pm - Burning at the stake of 16 year-old Jenny Williams, who had an
abortion after being raped by her cousin

10:45pm - Dancing around the golden calf

11:00pm - Stoning of the partner of the first homosexual

11:15pm - New forestry policy presented by Weyerhaeuser

11:45pm - Thanking God for his wisdom in choosing Bush as president

12:00pm - Closing prayers (lasting until 2:00am)

2:00am - Hookers arrive for all delegates


unsayingly,
mr smith
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Post by Stormy » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:53 pm

Thanks LRB, I needed a spot of humor in the nightmare of this Presidency.
Be the change you seek in the world.

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Post by cowboyangel » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:32 pm

touché Mr. Smith!
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

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Post by DVD Burner » Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:50 am

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Thank God for George Bush Bitches.



The religious warrior of Abu Ghraib

An evangelical US general played a pivotal role in Iraqi prison reform


Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday May 20, 2004
The Guardian

Saving General Boykin seemed like a strange sideshow last October. After it was revealed that the deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence had been regularly appearing at evangelical revivals preaching that the US was in a holy war as a "Christian nation" battling "Satan", the furore was quickly calmed.
Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, explained that Boykin was exercising his rights as a citizen: "We're a free people." President Bush declared that Boykin "doesn't reflect my point of view or the point of view of this administration". Bush's commission on public diplomacy had reported that in nine Muslim countries, just 12% believed that "Americans respect Arab/Islamic values". The Pentagon announced that its inspector general would investigate Boykin, though he has yet to report.

Boykin was not removed or transferred. At that moment, he was at the heart of a secret operation to "Gitmoize" (Guantánamo is known in the US as Gitmo) the Abu Ghraib prison. He had flown to Guantánamo, where he met Major General Geoffrey Miller, in charge of Camp X-Ray. Boykin ordered Miller to fly to Iraq and extend X-Ray methods to the prison system there, on Rumsfeld's orders.

Boykin was recommended to his position by his record in the elite Delta forces: he was a commander in the failed effort to rescue US hostages in Iran, had tracked drug lord Pablo Escobar in Colombia, had advised the gas attack on barricaded cultists at Waco, Texas, and had lost 18 men in Somalia trying to capture a warlord in the notorious Black Hawk Down fiasco of 1993.

Boykin told an evangelical gathering last year how this fostered his spiritual crisis. "There is no God," he said. "If there was a God, he would have been here to protect my soldiers." But he was thunderstruck by the insight that his battle with the warlord was between good and evil, between the true God and the false one. "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Boykin was the action hero side of his boss, Stephen Cambone, a conservative defence intellectual appointed to the new post of undersecretary of intelligence. Cambone is universally despised by the officer corps for his arrogant, abrasive and dictatorial style and regarded as the personal symbol of Rumsfeldism. A former senior Pentagon official told me of a conversation with a three-star general, who remarked: "If we were being overrun by the enemy and I had only one bullet left, I'd use it on Cambone."

Cambone set about cutting the CIA and the state department out of the war on terror, but he had no knowledge of special ops. For this the rarefied civilian relied on the gruff soldier - a melding of "ignorance and recklessness", as a military intelligence source told me.

Just before Boykin was put in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and then inserted into Iraqi prison reform, he was a circuit rider for the religious right. He allied himself with a small group called the Faith Force Multiplier that advocates applying military principles to evangelism. Its manifesto - Warrior Message - summons "warriors in this spiritual war for souls of this nation and the world ... "

Boykin staged a travelling slide show around the country where he displayed pictures of Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. "Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army," he preached. They "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus". It was the reporting of his remarks at a revival meeting in Oregon that made them a subject of brief controversy.

There can be little doubt that he envisages the global war on terror as a crusade. With the Geneva conventions apparently suspended, international law is supplanted by biblical law. Boykin is in God's chain of command. President Bush, he told an Oregon congregation last June, is "a man who prays in the Oval Office". And the president, too, is on a divine mission. "George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the US. He was appointed by God."

Boykin is not unique in his belief that Bush is God's anointed against evildoers. Before his 2000 campaign, Bush confided to a leader of the religious right: "I feel like God wants me to run for president ... I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen."

Michael Gerson, Bush's chief speechwriter, tells colleagues that on September 20 2001, after Bush delivered his speech to the Congress declaring a war on terror, he called Gerson to thank him for writing it. "God wants you here," Gerson says he told the president. And he says that Bush replied: "God wants us here."

But it's Bush who wants Rumsfeld, Cambone and Boykin here.

· Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior advisor to President Clinton, is Washington bureau chief of Salon.com
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Post by DVD Burner » Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:52 am

Is it what one should expect with a name like Boykin?
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Post by Simply Joel » Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:31 pm

August 20, 2004
Senator? Terrorist? A Watch List Stops Kennedy at Airport
By RACHEL L. SWARNS

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 - The meeting had all the hallmarks of an ordinary Congressional hearing. There was Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, discussing the problems faced by ordinary citizens mistakenly placed on terrorist watch lists. Then, to the astonishment of the crowd attending a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Kennedy offered himself up as Exhibit A.

Between March 1 and April 6, airline agents tried to block Mr. Kennedy from boarding airplanes on five occasions because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist who had been barred from flying on airlines in the United States, his aides and government officials said.

Instead of acknowledging the craggy-faced, silver-haired septuagenarian as the Congressional leader whose face has flashed across the nation's television sets for decades, the airline agents acted as if they had stumbled across a fanatic who might blow up an American airplane. Mr. Kennedy said they refused to give him his ticket.

"He said, 'We can't give it to you'," Mr. Kennedy said, describing an encounter with an airline agent to the rapt audience. " 'You can't buy a ticket to go on the airline to Boston.' I said, 'Well, why not?' He said, 'We can't tell you.' "

"Tried to get on a plane back to Washington," Mr. Kennedy continued. '' 'You can't get on the plane.' I went up to the desk and said, 'I've been getting on this plane, you know, for 42 years. Why can't I get on the plane?' "

The hearing room erupted in laughter.

Mr. Kennedy said his situation highlighted the odyssey encountered by people whose names had mistakenly appeared on terrorist watch lists or resembled the names of suspected terrorists on such lists. In April, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the government on behalf of seven airline passengers who said they had wrongly been placed on no-fly lists or associated with names on the lists and could not find a way to clarify their identities.

In Mr. Kennedy's case, airline supervisors ultimately overruled the ticket agents in each instance and allowed him to board the plane. But it took several weeks for the Department of Homeland Security to clear the matter up altogether, the senator's aides said.

Just days after Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge called Mr. Kennedy in early April to apologize and to promise that the problems would be resolved, another airline agent tried to stop Mr. Kennedy from boarding a plane yet again. The alias used by the suspected terrorist on the watch list was Edward Kennedy, said David Smith, a spokesman for the senator.

At the hearing, Mr. Kennedy wondered how ordinary citizens could navigate the tangled bureaucracy if a senator had so much trouble. "How are they going to be able to get to be treated fairly and not have their rights abused?" he asked.

Asa Hutchinson of the Department of Homeland Security, who was testifying at the Senate hearing, said his department was working to address the situation. He said travelers with such problems should contact the ombudsman at the Transportation Security Administration, a division of Homeland Security, who would help them take steps to clarify their identities.

"There is a process to clear names," said Mr. Hutchinson, the department's under secretary for border security. "But it does illustrate the importance of improving the whole system, which we are very aggressively working to do."

On Monday, Mr. Hutchinson told Congress that Homeland Security officials planned to take over the checking of names of passengers against the no-fly lists. The responsibility is now carried out by the airlines, to ensure that terror suspects do not board airplanes and that law enforcement officials are promptly notified of potential security risks.

Advocates for tougher screening requirements say the current system is ineffective because the government does not provide the airlines with a comprehensive set of watch lists, in part because some of that information is classified. Civil libertarians also cite instances in which airlines have mistakenly denied passengers the right to fly.

The ticket agents who tried to block Mr. Kennedy from boarding planes to Washington, Boston, Palm Beach and New York worked for US Airways, Senate officials said. Amy Kudwa, a US Airways spokeswoman, acknowledged that Mr. Kennedy was a frequent passenger, but declined to comment on the incidents.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union said they did not know how many people had been mistakenly placed on watch lists. But they said the sluggish responses from the airline and the government to Mr. Kennedy's efforts to clear his name demonstrated the absurdity of the no-fly system.

"It demonstrates all those things that we found problems with in the first place, " said Reginald Shulford of the A.C.L.U."If you're Ted Kennedy, you can call a friend," Mr. Shulford said. "If you're an average citizen you cannot. You can complain to the Department of Homeland Security, but to no avail."

At the hearing, Mr. Kennedy emphasized his concern for passengers stuck on no-fly lists. But he tried to make light of his own troubles.

He said, to much laughter, that he did not believe the mistake was a conspiracy engineered by his Republican colleagues. And as Mr. Hutchinson offered up his apologies, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, responded jokingly in kind.

Mr. Hutchinson said, "Senator, we do regret that inconvenience to you."

Mr. Hatch said, "Quit smiling when you say that."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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Post by cowboyangel » Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:51 pm

oh shit here I go again catching hell from all the conservative eplayans....well...it's worth the price

http://www.brightpathvideo.com/flash/gbless.mov

apologies to the butt of rob the wop
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

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Post by DVD Burner » Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:03 pm

Oh shit CA.

That looks like either Trey or Rob the wop.


One of those 2 did that. :lol:
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Post by Simply Joel » Sat Aug 21, 2004 4:19 pm

cowboyangel wrote:oh shit here I go again catching hell from all the conservative eplayans....well...it's worth the price

http://www.brightpathvideo.com/flash/gbless.mov

apologies to the butt of rob the wop
Was that someone's ass with a cartoon face with Kate Smith singing God Bless America?

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Post by Rob the Wop » Sat Aug 21, 2004 6:03 pm

Simply Joel wrote:
cowboyangel wrote:oh shit here I go again catching hell from all the conservative eplayans....well...it's worth the price

http://www.brightpathvideo.com/flash/gbless.mov

apologies to the butt of rob the wop
Was that someone's ass with a cartoon face with Kate Smith singing God Bless America?
Or Kate Smith with a cartoon face with someone's ass singing God Bless America?

The world may never know.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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Post by Simply Joel » Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:53 am

Rob the Wop wrote:
Simply Joel wrote:
cowboyangel wrote:oh shit here I go again catching hell from all the conservative eplayans....well...it's worth the price

http://www.brightpathvideo.com/flash/gbless.mov

apologies to the butt of rob the wop
Was that someone's ass with a cartoon face with Kate Smith singing God Bless America?
Or Kate Smith with a cartoon face with someone's ass singing God Bless America?

The world may never know.
yeah

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go team lithuania

Post by cowboyangel » Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:04 am

Image
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

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Post by cowboyangel » Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:51 pm

ok...this is long but try to get through it. this is incredible...how the big banks are defrauding us and the government. BM is monetarily in harmony with this report from solari.org

I think of Jesus as a real deal, straight up kind of guy who always cared deeply about his fellow man. That's why we often ask “What would Jesus do?” when looking for the action of highest integrity.[1]

Jesus and the Bankers

Jesus acted with ferocious and bold integrity when he threw the money changers out of the temple. Needless to say, he hiccuped their cash flows on what otherwise would have been a big grossing day. Their business model threatened, the priests who managed the money changers insisted that the Romans crucify Jesus. The Romans tried to pawn the problem off on the local king, Herod, who ducked and sent Jesus back to the Romans. The Romans, still looking for a way out, tried a flogging. That did not work. The priests meanwhile had succeeded in persuading the crowd to support them and scapegoat Jesus. Thirsting for a crucifixion, the crowd voted to set the criminal Barabbas free instead of Jesus.

Jesus died because the crowd voted for the criminal enterprise. The crowd voted for the priests and their rich endowments and their alliance with the money changers. The crowd did not ask “Cui Bono?” which is Latin for “who benefits?” If they had, they would have seen the real deal on who was making money on the death of Jesus and voted with their conscience, and for their own best interests instead.

It's 2000 Years Later and We're Still Voting for the Criminals

Looking around today, it would appear that more than two thousand years later our popular vote is still backing an unholy alliance of “priests” and their rich endowments,[2] “money changers” (now called central bankers), criminal enterprises[3] and the continuous growth of dirty money, market manipulation and warfare.

The 1990s was a period in which the illumination of the dirty money in American politics and business really came out of the closet. The stories of the 1980s Iran Contra period financial fraud and of government conspiring with private industry in illegal weapons deals and drug trafficking to fund a secret government became widely known, starting with Senate hearings that were broadcast world wide. National Security Council involvement during the 1980s exploded onto the Internet with the “Dark Alliance” series published in the San Jose Mercury News in 1996 and tales of Bush and Clinton involvement in the illegal arms-trafficking and cocaine transshipment operation in Mena, Arkansas.[4] Stories proliferated about dirty dealings by member banks of the New York Federal Reserve (the US Treasury depository) with the Arkansas state agency that distributed housing subsidies and issued housing bonds and that was alleged to have been laundering the local share of the profits.

Although the mainstream media, led by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, attempted to discredit them, several fearless news sources kept the Dark Alliance and Mena stories alive. Two CIA Inspector General reports essentially confirmed the credibility of the Internet press which continued to cover the story.[5] These Inspector General reports included a memorandum of understanding between the CIA and the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) that relieved the CIA of any obligation to report illegal activities, including narcotics trafficking by non-employee agents and contractors of the CIA.

Since that time, I have had the opportunity -- as an investment banker and former Assistant Secretary of Housing responsible under both Bush I and Clinton Administration for the cleanup of some of the S&L, mortgage and real estate related fraud and money-laundering schemes -- to learn more about the black budget business model used in these criminal enterprises.[6] Simply put, we are living in a negative return on investment economy. This means that from the point of view of most people on the planet, the dolphins, the trees and all living things, the world is worse off for our centralized human economic activity, at the crux of which are the central banks and the military-industrial complex they finance.

The good news is that we have the power to transform this economy. This power comes in the form of each and every dime we spend in the marketplace.

Who Will Push the Red Button?

In 2000, I made a presentation on the subject of “dirty money” to a wonderful group of about 100 people gathered outside of Philadelphia to affirm and explore their commitment to the spiritual evolution of our culture. During my talk, after walking the group through an analysis of the enormous profits generated by narcotics trafficking, financial fraud and other types of organized crime, as well as the reinvestment of this money in the stock market and campaign war chests, I asked the members what would happen to the stock market if we decriminalized or legalized drugs and thus seriously adversely affected the narco profiteering business.

The stock market would crash, they responded.

What would happen to the government's ability to borrow more money to finance the deficit if we enforced all money-laundering laws and, as a result, $500 billion to $1 trillion of annual laundered funds no longer moved through the US banking system?

If the government could not finance its operations by borrowing money at low cost, their taxes might go up. Worse yet, their government checks might stop as government program expenditures were cut, they said.

I then asked them to imagine a big red button at the front of the lectern. By the power of their imaginations, if they pushed that button they could stop all organized crime and money laundering in the United States.

Who would push the button?

Only one person in that audience of 100 people committed to spiritually evolve our society said they would push the button.

Upon reflection, 99 would not. I asked why. They said that if they pushed the button, the value of their mutual funds would go down, their taxes would go up and their government checks might stop.

I commented that what they were proposing was that an entire infrastructure of people continue to market hard narcotics to their children and grandchildren to maintain the value of their mutual and pension funds.

They said, yes, that was right.

Such popular support for cheap financing from dirty money goes well beyond this candid audience. Indeed, most of us are party to maintaining this negative ROI economy.

The future of our democratic freedoms depends on our adopting financially responsible and profitable strategies to collectively “push the red button” in a way that makes our world better instead of worse. Such strategies do exist. These are actions we can take immediately both individually and collectively at the grassroots. Are you ready to push the red button?

The process for individuals starts with adopting a personal intention to transform our world. We have the power to take personal responsibility to learn how the money works in our neighborhoods and our lives and workplaces, and then take steps to cleanse the money in our control. In short, it's time to electrify the power of our intention with the power of our transactions.

Each dime we spend is a “vote” in the marketplace. We can vote with the temple priests or we can vote with our consciences for leaders and businesses that demonstrate through their daily transactions and decisions that they truly care. What an enormous opportunity we have, if each one of us will switch our votes. After several thousand years, there is no time like the present to start voting for ourselves and our planet instead of with the money changers and temple priests that feed at their monetary and lending troughs.

Who's Who in Stealing Our Money


Click for big version
As privatisation has increased, so has debt. The taxpayer gets the liabilities, and Bob & Co. get the assets (Bob Rubin is former Treasury Secretary, now co-head of CitiGroup).
Great work if you can get it!
- Image SandersResearch.Com

Before we choose which banking and other financial institutions to vote for, let’s take a quick look at the candidates.

Increasingly, our US government assets are being transferred or outsourced to global private interests – typically at below market values that constitute windfall profits for undisclosed private investors.[7] For example, HUD routinely resolves defaulted mortgages using methods that generate significantly lower recovery rates than is standard in the mortgage industry.[8] This effectively amounts to a back door transfer of billions of dollars to special interests from all homeowners who bought Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance to finance their homes.[9] As government mortgage guarantees encourage financial institutions to stop caring about the health of a place, the real estate values and community safety in neighborhoods throughout America decline, with more neighborhoods experiencing deterioration of services such as schools, along with a rise in criminal activities such as narcotics trafficking.

As neighborhoods experience more foreclosures and longer periods when foreclosed homes are empty, the value of surrounding homes and properties suffer further.

Examples abound on the international playing field as well. BBC reporter Greg Palast's revelations about the reasons for the resignation of World Bank executive Joe Stiglitz have exploded the myths about international privatization, describing the IMF and World Bank roles in forcing below market transfers to Enron, such as the water system of Buenos Aires and the pipeline that runs between Argentina and Chile.[10]

Harvard University, funded as a financial advisory contractor under contracts between Russia and the US Agency for International Development, arranged auctions of Russian government-owned companies to international investors, including members of the Harvard network and its endowment, at below market prices.[11] After this process of “privatization,” the number of people living in poverty in the former Soviet republics rose from 14 million in the early 1990s to 147 million.[12] In the meantime, Harvard's endowment -- compounding at tax exempt rates -- exploded in value from $4 billion to $18 billion.[13]

Meanwhile, these same global private interests are transferring their liabilities back to government. When DynCorp employees engage in sex slave trading with local mafia in Eastern Europe or use the War on Drugs as a pretext to grab land for rich investors and local elites in Latin America while being paid from government contracts, the reputation, pocketbook, and spiritual health of America suffer along with the intended victims.[14] While the likes of Long Term Capital Management and the unnamed private holders of their derivative positions are bailed out, US federal debt and credit are skyrocketing, along with consumer debt and the US trade deficit.

Meanwhile, there is over $3.8 trillion missing from our government accounts.[15] This translates to approximately $14,000 per American resident. To date, under four Treasury Secretaries – Rubin, Summers, O'Neill and Snow – the federal government has failed to comply with the laws requiring audited financial statements, and failed to make any significant effort to find or get back the missing money. [16] Where is all this money going, and who/what is being hurt in the process? What does this mean to the environment, current citizens and future generations who are footing the bill?

The answer is that innocent people around the world are assuming those liabilities. And the leadership within the banking system is in charge day-to-day of implementing the majority of these transfers.

The Banking System is at the Crux


Frequency of usage of terms "transparency" and "privatisation"
in web-stored documents in Google universe. Contrast this with
the growth of US net foreign debt in the above chart...
- Image SandersResearch.Com

The US currency is managed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, itself comprised of twelve privately owned Federal Reserve Banks, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which in turn serves as depository for the US government bank accounts. The member banks that own and control the individual Federal Reserve Banks have received extraordinary credit and information subsidies through the governmental apparatus.

If you review a list of the leading banks in the Federal Reserve System that are involved as depositories, trustees, servicers or securities dealers in the US agencies missing more than $3.8 trillion:

# It's the same banks whose names appear in allegations of gold market manipulations.[17]

# It's the same banks whose engineered Enron offshore deals.[18]

# It's the same banks implicated in 9/11 profiteering.[19]

# It's the same banks implicated by the big narcotics and arms trafficking and money laundering allegations.[20] .

# It's the same banks implicated directly or indirectly in the “pump and dump” and naked short selling stock market schemes.[21]

# It's the same banks implicated in black budget government contracting and collateral schemes and the fraudulent asset stripping of our great manufacturing enterprises.[22]

# It's the same banks that are managing the huge derivative positions that are increasingly used to manipulate markets and drive monetary and fiscal policy.[23]

# It's the same banks whose senior management, attorneys and accountants cycle in and out of the top government jobs at the agencies missing $3.8 trillion.[24]

# It's the same banks that tell you that small business loans are not good business.


Click for big version
Cui Bono? - Was the 9/11 response good for Citicorp's investors?


Click for big version
Sketch Of A Syndicate
- Image SandersResearch.Com

Banking Over Lunch

In 1993, in an attempt to obtain a small business loan for my business, I had lunch with the head of corporate lending in the DC area from a large multinational bank. He explained that his bank had no plans to make small business loans of any meaningful volume in the District of Columbia.

I had checked the bank’s latest SEC filings that morning. It had approximately $110 billion in long Treasury bonds on its balance sheet.

Essentially, the American taxpayers were providing this bank with the mechanism to borrow short term at a low price using the credit of the American people through federal deposit insurance, and then use those funds together with our deposits to lend those very same funds to our government long term at a 550 basis point spread.[25] The bank had a recourse guarantee of our taxpayer credit by investing in US Treasury securities which are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the US government, and refused to lend to my small business because it was not good enough business for the bank.

I estimated that this particular bank would reap $6 billion in risk free profit that year alone by inserting itself as an unnecessary intermediary -- between businesses and individuals as depositors and guarantors, and the very same businesses and individuals in their capacities as US taxpayers financing the US Treasury “deficit.” The net result was that my taxes were financing my government “funneling” billions of dollars in back door profits to large banks, while I and my fellow citizens who were backstopping the FDIC and US Treasury credit that made it all possible were forced to go elsewhere to finance our small businesses.

To add insult to injury, government leaders such as Bob Rubin (former Treasury Secretary now co-head of CitiGroup) and Franklin Raines (former Director of the Office of Management and Budget and now Chairman of Fannie Mae) have explained that the government could not afford to finance parks, roads and schools because, instead we needed to pay the interest on the growing national debt. In fact, the “national debt” argument was a ruse. The actual intended use for American taxpayers’ hard earned money dedicated, nominally, to “reducing the national debt” was the financing of billions dollars of back-door, rigged subsidies to banks and mortgage market players who have made Rubin and Raines so rich.

And why should your children have to sign up for military service just so they can pay off their student loans, while at the same time $3.8 trillion is missing from the US government? Why can’t your children's educations be financed by our tax dollars? Investing in education is the best thing we can do for our economy. Indeed, Peter Drucker notes that the GI Bill was perhaps the most profitable taxpayer investment of the 20th century. Why should you lose your home or small farm to foreclosure by the banks that are complicit in $3.8 trillion missing from the federal government? Are you earning 2% on your bank certificate of deposit while your neighbors are paying interest at 18% to Citibank or the IRS?

At the Top of My List

Here is the "Dirty Dozen Plus" list of primarily US-based banks and financial institutions that I would immediately withdraw my support from based on personal knowledge and experience:

- American Insurance Group
- Bank of America
- Bank of New York
- BBT
- Citibank/Citigroup
- Credit Suisse First Boston
- Deutsche Bank
- FleetBoston
- General Electric
- Goldman Sachs
- HSBC Bank
- JP Morgan Chase
- Mellon Financial Corporation
- Merrill Lynch
- PNC
- SunTrust Banks
- Wachovia Bank

I would also check to see who the lead member banks are in my Federal Reserve District and include them on your list.[26]

If you have been complaining about corporate America overpowering our democracy, check and see if you are also doing business with one or more of these banks.

Who's Who on Outsourcing Our Jobs

I would also look at withdrawing support from those banks involved in outsourcing jobs to other countries while withdrawing financing for jobs in our communities. Enticed by significantly lower tax burdens and labor costs, as well as a free reign in labor exploitation, more and more companies are joining the bandwagon of job exports while supporting policies that prevent the creation of new jobs domestically.

On one hand, many Americans are losing their jobs and either have no means of income or support, or they settle for reemployment at wages insufficient to make ends meet. Their communities are suffering diminished quality of life from lower tax collections, higher crime rates, decreased health, low morale and the family and community problems that unemployment and underemployment cause.

On the other hand, their lucky neighbors who still enjoy nice incomes – often coming directly or indirectly from the profits of outsourcing -- promote the notion that such outsourcing is the natural flow of free markets optimizing economic performance. Alas, I wish it were true.

Analysis of the financial institutions that are the power behind the throne at the New York Federal Reserve and the US Treasury reveals a pattern of dirty tricks to: (1) stop policies that would permit the US work force to reengineer their skills;[27] (2) prevent the flow of equity capital to small business;[28] (3) subsidize themselves with insider trading and risk free federal credit profits; (4) maintain complicity in the trillions of dollars missing from the federal government;[29] and (5) prevent place based transparency of government budgets and credit activity that would reveal their complicity.

This is not free markets at work – this is the use of insider dealings, cronyism, undue influence, political favoritism based upon a corrupt campaign finance system, and misuse of the federal credit, not to mention black budget and covert operation activities, to profit from the destruction of free markets.[30]

Lou Dobbs at CNN has been keeping a list called “Exporting America” of companies that outsource US jobs abroad, including the following banks.[31] Here are the banks on the Dobbs' list:

- Bank of America
- Bank of New York
- Bank One
- Citigroup
- JP Morgan Chase
- Mellon Bank
- SunTrust Banks
- State Street
- Sovereign Bank
- Wachovia Bank
- Washington Mutual

If you have been complaining about outsourcing of US jobs and you are banking at one of these banks, you need to go into your bathroom and look in the mirror. That is the person who is financing the outsourcing of US jobs.

When You Steal From Me, It's Personal

Someday someone will calculate the true cost to our families, our communities, our collective spirit and our environment worldwide, inflicted by this negative ROI economy. In the meantime, we can assume that the cost is somewhere between significant and staggering. In other words, the cost to you personally, to me personally, to each of our families, is significant.

This first hit me several years ago when I was working in an official capacity for HUD (the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) and had experienced first hand the affects of fraud and corruption. A Congressional staff member told me, “HUD is being run as a criminal enterprise.” Indeed, in fiscal 1998 and 1999, $17 billion and $59 billion respectively were officially reported as missing from HUD.[32]

I realized then that I was banking at the same banks I believed to be intimately involved in running HUD’s extra curricular activities. I realized that my own banks and others that I had done business with were directly or indirectly costing me and my family a small fortune when I took into account my relationship with them as a citizen and taxpayer and their role as depositories and servicers for my government’s financial dealings.[33]

It seemed to me that the least I could do was to try to clean up my own money. I decided I would learn how to “vote” with my money in the marketplace with all my transactions, including purchases, investments and banking relationships. I would start by withdrawing my money from the banks that were running my government's bank account and securities operations in a corrupt manner at great expense to my family and me. I would shift my deposits to banks and companies that were trying to do something beneficial on Main Street.

I closed my accounts at Citibank and JP Morgan Chase and moved my bank deposits to a community bank in Tennessee.

If Acting With Your Conscience Isn’t Enough, Consider the Pricing

Since that time I have traveled around this and other countries speaking and networking with thousands of people. What I hear wherever I go is that we are voting in the marketplace as consumers for the very banks whose actions we say we detest.

How many times have I heard activists tell me that they cannot switch their bank accounts to well-managed local banks because their ATM fees would increase or their interest on savings would decrease? Apparently, we are prepared to finance and support a group of banks complicit in stealing $14,000 per American resident from the federal government so long as they kick back $25 a year to us in the form of saved ATM fees and incrementally higher interest rates. It's one thing to be apathetic and go with the convenient flow of dirty money. It's another thing entirely to fail to price your kickback at anything close to a free market level. If someone steals $14,000 from you and then kicks back $25, do you continue to support them? Apparently, the answer is “Yes.”

The day we understand the power of our opportunity to decentralize and “re-price” our banking business by taking it away from the Wall Street banks listed above, and banks like them, something magical can start on Main Street.

Care to Join Me in Switching Banks?

On July 4th, 2004, my colleagues and I are launching the Solari Circles Campaign. Initially, we are calling for 600,000 people worldwide to join us in closing our checking accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards and other business out of the banks complicit in dirty money scandals and moving them to local, well-managed, community-friendly banks, savings and loans and credit unions.

Why 600,000? We estimate that 600,000 is 1% of 1% of our worldwide population. Since our financial system is highly leveraged, a relatively small shift (on the order of 1% of 1%) in customers from big banks to local financial institutions can cause a dramatic decentralization in political and economic power.

As a former partner and member of the board of directors at a major Wall Street investment bank and then Assistant Secretary of Housing in the first Bush Administration, I am amazed when people tell me that they feel helpless or that they have no power. I know from personal experience that we have significant power as consumers to impact the policies of financial institutions that exercise so much control over our government and communities. I know what can happen the minute even a small group of consumers starts "voting with our money" in the marketplace.

I also know that we can actually make money by “pushing the red button.” In financial terms, if we finance communities with equity while we bring transparency to government investment by place, and reengineer that investment to ensure optimal human and financial performance both by place and by function, we have the potential to bring the US economy back to a significantly more productive level.[34] In layman’s terms, if we shift our purchases, banking and investing to the local level, change how small businesses and farms get financed, and at the same time transform how government money is invested at the local level, we can transform from a negative to a positive return on investment economy.

That means we can pay off, convert to equity and eliminate or forgive significant amounts of debt and cleanse our system of governance of the dirty money that is pushing us towards warfare, environmental damage and a significant reduction in our Constitutional freedoms.

Let’s Start Now


Click for Solari Home Page

Whatever your spiritual, moral or ethical practice, my colleagues in the Solari Action Network and I invite you to make a commitment to start now to “vote” with your bank deposits for the values that you wish to govern our world and to do so in a manner that enhances your personal financial security.

If you are a Buddhist, ask yourself, “Where would the Buddha bank?”
If you are a Muslim, ask yourself, “Where would Mohammad bank?”
If you are a Confucian, ask yourself, “Where would Confucius bank?”
If you practice Judaism, ask yourself, “Where would Moses bank?”
If you are a Christian, ask yourself, “Where would Jesus bank?”
Whatever your spiritual or ethical tradition, ask yourself where the person of the highest integrity in history would bank if he or she were alive today.

Then look in your wallet and in your checkbook and ask yourself if you have an opportunity to vote with your banking business to build a better world. A world that is in alignment with people, dolphins, trees, all other living things and the true best interests of small and large investors. A world that is safer and more prosperous for you and your family and your retirement savings.

Imagine the magical things that can happen when we take the time to understand and cleanse our own money. Imagine how magical things could be when enough of us tip the scale to the point that shareholders of JP Morgan Chase and Citibank start to insist that these banks should cleanse their money and operations to win back our business or the business of the companies we also pressure to switch? Indeed, feel free to buy a few shares of their stock so that you can go to their annual meetings and express yourself on these matters of vital interest to all of us. At Solari, we welcome any financial leader to join us in devising ways to generate new profits and capital gains with clean money and honest values. We invite JP Morgan Chase and Citibank to participate in a new way of doing business. We will continue to encourage global depositors to withdraw their accounts until we have created rich incentives for them to do so.

Until that time, we look forward to the energy that can be created on Main Street when the honest bankers and credit union leadership and their investors and supporters who have been struggling to attract our business can start to enjoy the fresh new resources that come their way as we shift our deposits and our attention. Imagine their delight at having the resources they need to revitalize struggling small businesses and incubate new startups.[35] Can you imagine what happens as we start to create a new generation of banking leaders who can make money from bringing some good old fashioned transparency, accountability and integrity to our financial system?

All those times that I have sat in the board room or at the highest levels of government arguing for the ethical solution, what I would have given to be able to say that the customers would back me up in the marketplace!

Is switching our banking business enough to fix all our problems? No. Are their many additional things we need to do? Yes. However, it all starts by incrementally switching our financial and market flows back into the hands of those we can trust. This will pave the way for migrating to digital gold or community currencies and other profitable initiatives in our area. Let's switch resources now to prime the pump and begin an honest conversation about all the opportunities that could be next.

If you believe that you have an opportunity to better reflect your values in how you transact your banking business, please join the Solari Circles Campaign at http://solari.com for some financial fireworks on July 4th and beyond as we embark on cleansing our economy, and our world, together!

For more on the Solari Circles Campaign
http://www.solari.com/campaign/july4th.htm

************
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

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Yes, yes, yes, yes...........

Post by Last Real Burner » Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:01 pm

Does this mean I'm not going to get the toaster?



mr smith

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Post by Simply Joel » Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:48 am

CA, who is the "I" in the text above? a single author, or just writing by committee in first person to give the argument a personal feel?

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Post by Simply Joel » Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:53 am

August 23, 2004
OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Over Najaf, Fighting for Des Moines
By GLEN G. BUTLER

Najaf, Iraq — I'm an average American who grew up watching "Brady Bunch" reruns, playing dodge ball and listening to Van Halen. I love the Longhorns and the Eagles. I'm you; your neighbor; the kid you used to go sledding with but who took a different career path in college. Now, I'm a Marine helicopter pilot who has spent the last two weeks heavily engaged with enemy forces here. I'm writing this between missions, without much time or care to polish, so please look to the heart of these thoughts and not their structure.

I got in country a little more than a month ago, eager to do my part here for the global war on terror and still get home in one piece. I'm a mid-grade officer, so I probably have a better-than-average understanding of the complexity of the situation, but I make no claims to see the bigger picture or offer any strategic solutions. Two years of my military training were spent in Quantico, Va., classrooms. I've read Sun Tzu several times; I've flipped through Mao's Little Red Book and debated over Thucydides; I've analyzed Henry Kissinger's "Diplomacy" and Clausewitz's "On War"; and I've walked the battlefields of Antietam, Belleau Wood, Majuba and Isandlwana.

I've also studied a little about the culture I'm deep in the middle of, know a bit about the caliph, about the five pillars and about Allah, but know I don't know enough. I am also a believer in our cause - I put that up front just so there isn't any question of my motivation.

We marines are proudly apolitical, yet stereotypically right-wing conservative. I'm both. And I'd be here with my fellow devildogs, fighting just as hard, whether John Kerry or George W. Bush or Ralph Nader were our commander-in-chief, until we're told to go home.

The other day I attended a memorial service for an old acquaintance, Lt. Col. David (Rhino) Greene. He was killed July 28 while flying his AH-1W Cobra over the eastern edge of Ramadi. His squadron was composed of reservists: "old guys" like me who had been around a little while. But unlike me, these guys had gotten out of active duty to pursue other careers and spend more time with their families. Now, they were leading the charge against the Iraqi insurgency.

The night after the service, I sat around in an impromptu gathering of $10 beach chairs in the sand, watching the sunset and smoking some of Rhino's cigars with friends I hadn't seen in almost a decade. I listened in awe as they told me about their Falluja April, about how they had all cheated death, been shot down, again and again. We talked about the war, pretending to know all the answers, and we traded stories about home, bragged about our wives and kids.

We also talked about the magic bullet that ended Rhino's life. It could have been shot by a sniper who had slipped in over the Iranian border, or maybe it came from the AK-47 of a rebellious Iraqi teenager who viewed shooting at Yankee helicopters the same way mischievous American kids might view throwing rocks at cars. No matter, the single round pierced his neck, and within seconds a good man was dead, leaving his wife a widow and his two children fatherless. I won't soon forget that day, but it was quickly overshadowed by events to come, as I was thrust into the heat of battle in my own little slice of Mesopotamia.

On Aug. 5, after a few days of building intensity, war erupted in Najaf (again). When we had first come to Iraq, we were told our mission would be to conduct so-called SASO, or Security and Stability Operations, and to train the Iraqi military and police to do their jobs so we could go home. Obviously, the security part of SASO is still the emphasis, but our unit's area of operations had been very quiet for months, so most of us weren't expecting a fight so soon.

That changed rapidly when marines responded to requests for assistance from the Iraqi forces in Najaf battling Moktada al-Sadr's militia, who had attacked local police stations. Our helicopters were called on the scene to provide close air support, and soon one of them was shot down. That was when this war became real for me.

Since then my squadron has been providing continuous support for our engaged Marine brothers on the ground, by this point slugging it out hand-to-hand in the city's ancient Muslim cemetery. The Imam Ali shrine in Najaf is the burial place of the prophet Muhammad's son-in-law, and is one of the most revered sites in Shiite Islam. The cemetery to its north is gigantic, filled with New Orleans-style crypts and mausoleums. We had been warned it was an "exclusion zone" when we got here, that the local authorities had asked us to not go in there or fly overhead, even though we knew the bad guys were using this area to hide weapons, make improvised explosive devices, and plan against us. Being the culturally sensitive force we are, we agreed - until Aug. 5. Suddenly, I was conducting support missions over the marines' heads in the graveyard, dodging anti-aircraft artillery and rocket-propelled grenades and preparing to be shot down, too. My perspective broadened rapidly.

At first there were no news media in Najaf; now, I assume, it's getting crowded, although the authorities have restricted access after a group of journalists "embedded" with the Mahdi Militia muddied the problem and jeopardized others' safety. I haven't had time to catch much CNN or Fox News, and although I've seen a few headlines forwarded to me by friends, I don't think the world is seeing the complete picture.

I want to emphasize that our military is using every means possible to minimize damage to historical, religious and civilian structures, and is going out of its way to protect the innocent. I have not shot one round without good cause, whether it be in response to machine gun fire aimed at me or mortars shot at soldiers and marines on the ground.

The battle has been surreal, focused largely in the cemetery, where families continue burying their dead even as I swoop in low overhead to make sure they aren't sneaking in behind our forces' flanks, or pulling a surface-to-air missile out of the coffin. Children continue playing soccer in the dirt fields next door, and locals wave to us as we fly over their rooftops in preparation for gun runs into the enemy's positions.

Sure, some of those people might be waving just to make sure we don't shoot them, but I think the majority are on our side. I've learned that this enemy is not just a mass of angry Iraqis who want us to leave their country, as some would have you believe. The forces we're fighting around Iraq are a conglomeration of renegade Shiites, former Baathists, Iranians, Syrians, terrorists with ties to Ansar al-Islam and Al Qaeda, petty criminals, destitute citizens looking for excitement or money, and yes, even a few frustrated Iraqis who worry about Wal-Mart culture infringing on their neighborhood.

But I see the others who are on our side, appreciate us risking our lives, and know we're in the right. The Iraqi soldiers who are fighting alongside us are motivated to take their country back. I've not been deluded into thinking that we came here to free the Iraqis. That is indeed the icing on the cake, but I came here to prevent the still active "grave and gathering threat" from congealing into something we wouldn't be able to stop.

Weapons of mass destruction or no, I'm glad that we ended the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. My brother and other American jet pilots risked their lives for years patrolling the "no fly zone" (and occasionally making page A-12 in the newspaper if they dropped a bomb on a threatening missile battery). The former dictator's attempt to assassinate George H. W. Bush, use of chemical weapons on his own people, and invasion of a neighboring country are just a few of the other reasons I believe we should have acted sooner. He eventually would have had the means to cause America great harm - no doubt in my mind.

The pre-emptive doctrine of the current administration will continue to be debated long after I'm gone, but one fact stands for itself: America has not been hit with another catastrophic attack since 9/11. I firmly believe that our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq are major reasons that we've had it so good at home. Building a "fortress America" is not only impractical, it's impossible. Prudent homeland security measures are vital, to be sure, but attacking the source of the threat remains essential.

Now we are on the verge of victory or defeat in Iraq. Success depends not only on battlefield superiority, but also on the trust and confidence of the American people. I've read some articles recently that call for cutting back our military presence in Iraq and moving our troops to the peripheries of most cities. Such advice is well-intentioned but wrong - it would soon lead to a total withdrawal. Our goal needs to be a safe Iraq, free of militias and terrorists; if we simply pull back and run, then the region will pose an even greater threat than it did before the invasion. I also fear if we do not win this battle here and now, my 7-year-old son might find himself here in 10 or 11 years, fighting the same enemies and their sons.

When critics of the war say their advocacy is on behalf of those of us risking our lives here, it's a type of false patriotism. I believe that when Americans say they "support our troops," it should include supporting our mission, not just sending us care packages. They don't have to believe in the cause as I do; but they should not denigrate it. That only aids the enemy in defeating us strategically.

Michael Moore recently asked Bill O'Reilly if he would sacrifice his son for Falluja. A clever rhetorical device, but it's the wrong question: this war is about Des Moines, not Falluja. This country is breeding and attracting militants who are all eager to grab box cutters, dirty bombs, suicide vests or biological weapons, and then come fight us in Chicago, Santa Monica or Long Island. Falluja, in fact, was very close to becoming a city our forces could have controlled, and then given new schools and sewers and hospitals, before we pulled back in the spring. Now, essentially ignored, it has become a Taliban-like state of Islamic extremism, a terrorist safe haven. We must not let the same fate befall Najaf or Ramadi or the rest of Iraq.

No, I would not sacrifice myself, my parents would not sacrifice me, and President Bush would not sacrifice a single marine or soldier simply for Falluja. Rather, that symbolic city is but one step toward a free and democratic Iraq, which is one step closer to a more safe and secure America.

I miss my family, my friends and my country, but right now there is nowhere else I'd rather be. I am a United States Marine.

Glen G. Butler is a major in the Marines.

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Post by buckethead alien » Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:37 am

Simply Joel wrote:August 23, 2004
OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Over Najaf, Fighting for Des Moines
By GLEN G. BUTLER

The pre-emptive doctrine of the current administration will continue to be debated long after I'm gone, but one fact stands for itself: America has not been hit with another catastrophic attack since 9/11. I firmly believe that our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq are major reasons that we've had it so good at home.
Joel,

Not to be a dickweed or something, but was this piece vetted (or worse) by Karl Rove's office, or what?

see: http://www.thereporter.com/Stories/0,14 ... 68,00.html
Buckethead, Buckethead you are like an Alien
Buckethead, Buckethead your head is like a dish
Buckethead, Buckethead sometimes you wear the Maybelline
Buckethead, Buckethead sometimes you're full of fish

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Post by buckethead alien » Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:45 am

Also, where did you find this Op-Ed? G**gle is not coming up with anything for this author or the article title.
Buckethead, Buckethead you are like an Alien
Buckethead, Buckethead your head is like a dish
Buckethead, Buckethead sometimes you wear the Maybelline
Buckethead, Buckethead sometimes you're full of fish

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Post by Simply Joel » Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:27 am

buckethead alien wrote:
Simply Joel wrote:August 23, 2004
OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Over Najaf, Fighting for Des Moines
By GLEN G. BUTLER

The pre-emptive doctrine of the current administration will continue to be debated long after I'm gone, but one fact stands for itself: America has not been hit with another catastrophic attack since 9/11. I firmly believe that our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq are major reasons that we've had it so good at home.
Joel,

Not to be a dickweed or something, but was this piece vetted (or worse) by Karl Rove's office, or what?

see: http://www.thereporter.com/Stories/0,14 ... 68,00.html
Is there a Glen G. Butler, why was this written, did the RNC have something to do with it? I would suggest directing your query to the New York Times.

Please note... those items in bold above are factual... there is a pre-emptive doctrine.... and the USA has not been attacked on a catastrophic level since 9/11.

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Post by Rian Jackson » Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:54 am

From Aaron: 'Nablus - A West Bank Hell'

All we were trying to do is check up on a family being
held hostage by the military in their own house. There
were three internationals and a medic. Under
international law, the military must allow a medic
inside to check on the status of the family. This
didn't stop us from finding ourselves kneeling against
a wall in the house, rancid smelling bags over our
heads, hands tied behind our backs, and M16s pointed
in our direction. The soldiers told us that if "one of
us even makes as much as a noise, we will bash your
heads into the wall beyond the point of recognition".

We sat like that for over an hour until the
soldiers had to leave the house. The three others were
arrested. I didn't have my passport on me so they
released me and told me that I was the "lucky one".
The soldiers asserted, however, that if "you don't
turn yourself in at Huwara checkpoint with your
passport, we will find you and beat the shit out of
you". To clarify, though, I am okay. I am not afraid
of the soldiers, and there is no way that I am turning
myself in.

This was two days ago, saturday. The soldiers have
been getting more aggressive towards us in recent
days. I believe this is because we have been stepping
up our efforts, making it more difficult for the army
to carry out harassment and violence against the
civilian population. And secondly, there's been a an
invasion. The word in arabic for invasion is
"Ishdeah". It's also the main reason why I haven't
been sending out these emails for a while.

There's no time. Last time I had the time and
energy to send out an email it turned out that the
army had shot out the power lines in balata camp,
making it impossible to access the internet. That was
about a week ago. The one reason that I have the time
to write you guys now is that I am sick, stuck in the
ism apartment.

To warn about this message, there is no way at this
point that I can compile all of the important
experiences i've been having in the last couple of
weeks into this email. Most of the dramatic things
that I have been witnessing will have to wait. I can
only give you little samples, hopefully a general
picture of what is going on.

An important point to make is that after I first
saw a kid get killed, the occupation shifted from an
analytical and political thing to a more personal
level. I cried. A teenage boy who was around told me
"don't cry, this is our life". It did not take long to
understand what he meant. I keep seeing people get
killed and hurt. The most recent case a ten year old
not a stone thrower, he was hiding from the soldiers.
Funerals happen the day of or the next day, there is
little time for mourning before moving on to the next
martyr.

There are a few images that get stuck in my mind.
Like the boy who got his arm blown off and held it up
with his remaining arm. As medics rushed him to an
ambulance I got a dose of blood splattered on my
clothing. Then there's the man who was shot in the
stomache from a sniper in an occupied house in balata.
The family being held hostage in the house told us
that the soldiers made them watch as they told them "I
will kill an arab now, and you will hear him scream".
It was a part of a five day long rampage the soldiers
made in balata before the nablus invasion.

There have been more or less 1,700 of these
soldiers in Nablus for the past week. An invasion like
this is something that happens here about once every
three months. The most obvious symptom: enforced
curfew for the past seven consecutive days.

During military curfew, no one is allowed out of
their homes. The army controls the streets with small
tanks (APCs), humvees, armored jeeps, and soldiers who
after only a couple days of curfew feel safe enough to
walk around in groups out of their vehicles. Under
Israeli law, anyone caught violating curfew can be
shot on the sight. There was constant gunfire,
although it wasn't always clear what the soldiers were
shooting at.

The army has been raiding houses and completely
ransacking them. Every day I see at least
eight houses in which the soldiers have destroyed
everything that could be destroyed, although we will
probably get much larger number when we can do an
investigation. Knives stabbed into beds, framed
pictures smashed, furniture broken, money stolen,
windows shattered, plants thrown into walls, mutilated
children's dolls, clothing thrown all over the place,
hebrew grafitti on the walls with messages like "death
to this house"- everything you could imagine
completely destroyed.

When this is going on, the family is made to sit
together in a small room and wait. In the worst cases
groups of people as large as sixty are forced to cram
into a small room for hours as the soldiers destroy
their house. In one case in the old city the soldiers
set fire to the top floor of a house and locked the
family in a bathroom. They breathed in so much smoke
that some of the family was unconscious when medics
finally broke in to get to them. And why?

Because the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade was testing
Qassam Rockets in Balata, as claimed by the Israeli
Army and dutifully repeated in Ha'aretz. This is
supposed to be evidence that palestinians have a
rocket factory in the old city of Nablus. I'm having a
very difficult time holding back my sarcasm right now,
but, like, we live in Balata camp. It's not huge. If
rockets were being fired there would be no possible
way for us to miss it. We almost certainly would of
noticed, or at the very least the locals would be
talking about it and someone would mention it to us.

The army virtually imprisoned the city for a week,
targeted the civilian population for massive
intimidation and justified it on a blatant lie. And
imprison they did, actually making mass arrests. On
the 20th in El Ain refugee camp the military police
made a call for all men ages 16 to 40 to turn
themselves in. 200 plus people were held all day in
detention, stuffed together in small rooms at the
local school, surrounded by military vehicles.

A couple of internationals interviewed some of the
detainees after the fact. They learned of serious
abuse stories. There were cases of people forced to
take most of their clothes off and wear bags over
their heads, hands tied behind a chair for the entire
day. An international who was there managed to take a
picture of two men sitting like this, having been able
to see them through the window. There are also cases
of men getting mercilessly beaten, including some in
front of their own family members. Most detainees went
without food and water for the entire day. Those who
did not turn themselves in were arrested, and are
likely to face six months to a year in prison.

Palestinian Medics seem to have become targets. A
few of them have been detained and beaten during the
invasion. Yesterday I was with a medical team when an
army jeep told them to get out of the area or they
would open fire. I have seen two cases before that
where soldiers have threatened to kill any medic who
picks up a wounded person. In one of these cases the
soldier actually added that he would "open fire" and
then "fuck your mother". And on four different
occasions I have seen soldiers blocking ambulances
from picking up wounded or delivering the wounded to
the hospital, including one police jeep that
deliberately rammed an ambulance in motion.

The Israeli soldiers remind me of the people I knew
in High School. To mention it, actually, before I got
into the territories I met an Israeli soldier who grew
up in Bellevue Washington and went to high school with
me. They are completely normal kids, no
different than anyone else i've met in the west, but
being capable of commiting gruesome atrocities.

The other day when a military vehicle pulled up
next to me, I was preparing to be arrested or at least
to have my passport checked when the soldier just
wanted to talk. We had a relatively civil discussion.
Although racist and delusional, he was like anybody
else, he had a sense of humor, a girlfriend. We only
kid ourselves when we see the soldiers as monsters.
It's a hard lesson learned perhaps, but all people
have this potential given a certain level of
indoctrination and uniformity. In this sense, what
better breeding ground for war criminals than a high
school?

Maybe that's one of the things that is bothering me
the most- that I can picture a lot of people I have
known and grown up with act the same way, that the
soldiers, however crazy, have an eerie familiarness to
them
surlier than thou

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Post by CoworkerLurker » Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:35 pm

There was an interview with Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu last week. He said his Israeli jailers, during his 18 years in prison, would provoke him to get aggressive and fight back and thereby justify treating him badly. He said they were doing the same to the Palestinians, to justify more fighting and more land-grabbing. He said they should resist falling into this trap, but I don't know how that's possible- it would take a great deal more psychological strength than to allow suicide bombers, for instance. I know that that kind of strength can be powerful indeed, but this kind of provocation goes beyond any strength I can imagine.

Simply Joel
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Post by Simply Joel » Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:40 pm

uh huh

Rian Jackson
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Post by Rian Jackson » Tue Aug 24, 2004 8:57 am

is that g**gle as in f*ck or as in g-d?
surlier than thou

Simply Joel
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Post by Simply Joel » Tue Aug 24, 2004 9:07 am

August 24, 2004
An Angry Republican Roils Intelligence Waters
By DOUGLAS JEHL

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 - The very idea of dismantling the Central Intelligence Agency, Senator Pat Roberts concedes, is one that he could not have conceived of proposing even a year ago.

But the overhaul now being pressed by him and seven other Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee is very much the product of accumulated frustrations, Mr. Roberts said. On the issue of Iraq in particular, but also Sept. 11 and other setbacks, repeated intelligence failures have transformed even Mr. Roberts, a Kansan long regarded as a dependable defender of the C.I.A and a loyal ally of President Bush, into a vociferous critic of intelligence agencies and an impatient second-guesser of the White House's own overhaul plan.

Among the factors that Mr. Roberts, a droll former marine, cited in a conversation with reporters in his office on Monday afternoon as those that prompted his call for urgent action were a succession of "Oh my God hearings'' in which senators asked in response to one intelligence failure after another: "Oh my God, why did that happen?''

Now, Mr. Roberts said Monday, "we cannot afford to fail this time around.'' He added, "If you believe that the intelligence community is doing just fine, thank you, then obviously this is not your bill.''

The plan put forward by Mr. Roberts and other Republicans is more far-reaching than even the one endorsed by the Sept. 11 commission. It has infuriated the C.I.A., whose former director, George J. Tenet, issued a statement on Monday that denounced the plan as unwise, and it blindsided the White House. The Democratic presidential campaign of Senator John Kerry has signaled tentative support for the plan, but on Monday both President Bush and members of the Sept. 11 commission remained noncommittal about it.

Still, offering the plan has consolidated Mr. Roberts's new role as a plain-spoken voice from the American heartland who in a series of statements in recent months has come to portray intelligence agencies as nothing short of broken. They surfaced most notably last month, with the release by his Senate committee, after a yearlong investigation, of the scathing report that portrayed the faulty prewar intelligence about Iraq's suspected illicit weapons as the result of poor leadership and dysfunction.

Even before that report was released, the harsh judgments that it was widely known to contain were seen as a major factor in Mr. Tenet's decision in June to step down. Mr. Tenet's temporary successor, John E. McLaughlin, has criticized the Senate findings as unfair, and Mr. Tenet took aim at Mr. Roberts on Monday in a statement that criticized the proposal as reflecting "a dangerous misunderstanding of the business of intelligence.''

Responding to criticisms from senior intelligence officials, who have warned against the dismantling of the country's pre-eminent intelligence agency, Mr. Roberts took pains in the meeting with reporters on Monday to argue that under his plan, the C.I.A's work force and mission would both remain intact.

But the plan would abolish the agency in name, splitting its operations into three main components and realigning them under a new national intelligence director, Mr. Roberts acknowledged. If approved, the plan could leave in limbo the fate of Representative Porter J. Goss, the Republican nominated by President Bush to succeed Mr. Tenet as director of central intelligence, though Mr. Roberts said his committee still planned to consider that nomination as scheduled beginning Sept. 8.

Whether the Senate Republican proposal can win broader approval, Mr. Roberts conceded, will depend in large part on whether it is endorsed by members of the Sept. 11 commission, whose report last month gave enormous momentum to the idea of a major intelligence overhaul. Mr. Roberts described his plan as faithful to the commission's recommendation to create a national intelligence director with real power. But the idea of dismantling the C.I.A. goes beyond the commission's specific proposal, and it also exceeds the proposal endorsed by Senate Democrats including Mr. Kerry, whose plans would leave the C.I.A. intact.

Still, it was notable that Mr. Roberts and his staff chose not to consult with fellow Republicans in the White House at all in drafting their own proposal. Describing his plan as "real reform,'' Mr. Roberts made no effort on Monday to disguise his disappointment with what he called an "administration plan'' that amounted to "deck-chair reform.''

Under the Bush plan, the Pentagon would retain control over most of the $40 billion-a-year intelligence budget and a new national intelligence director would have only limited authority over budgets and personnel decisions at the various intelligence agencies.

For months, Republican Congressional officials have complained of being shut out of White House deliberations on intelligence issues, including the shaping of Mr. Bush's plans, and on Monday some described Mr. Roberts's surprise initiative as a kind of turnabout.

A year ago, Mr. Roberts remained so reluctant to criticize intelligence agencies that he initially resisted a Democratic call to begin a committee inquiry into the prewar intelligence on Iraq.

His views have clearly hardened as the conflict in Iraq has dragged on and as the illicit weapons cited by the administration as the justification for war have not been found. In a speech in May, Mr. Roberts used with apparent sarcasm the phrase that Mr. Tenet, the former intelligence chief, is said to have used at a White House meeting in December 2002 in asserting that there was no doubt that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons.

"Rarely is any intelligence case a 'slam dunk,' '' Mr. Roberts said.

In an interview last month, Mr. Roberts also said he believed that intelligence agencies should be held accountable for putting American troops in harm's way in Iraq without providing them with accurate information on the postwar threat from Iraqi insurgents. He scoffed at what he called "this business of everybody greeting us with open arms.''

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, one of the seven Republicans along with Mr. Roberts on the Senate committee who has endorsed the C.I.A. proposal, said in a recent interview that he believed the chairman's views had been transformed as the Senate inquiry revealed what he called "the huge gaps in our intelligence process.''

"It became more and more apparent that we were not only going to have to continue to bore it pretty deeply so we could find out what went on and wrong and why, but also offer some fixes,'' Mr. Hagel said.

Until last week, Mr. Roberts himself had called for careful, deliberate consideration of the various plans for change. But by Thursday night, he said he had told Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, his Democratic counterpart on the committee, that he had concluded that the limited time remaining before Washington was overwhelmed by election-year politics made it imperative that he and other members of the intelligence committee make their views public now.

Still, Mr. Roberts said that in introducing new legislation he remained willing to be flexible in the debates beginning early next month.

"This bill is not written in stone,'' he said. "It didn't come down from Mount Intelligence.''

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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Post by Rian Jackson » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:00 pm

[quote=Al-Jazeera]Military operation



Meanwhile, the Israeli army launched an extensive military operation in Nablus, particularly in the Old City, during the early hours of Tuesday, the correspondent reported.



The Old City is now completely sealed off, al-Umari added.



The Israeli operation also extended to the Askar refugee camp, the correspondent reported.



The occupation forces have encircled the camp and imposed a curfew on it while raiding many houses there.



They rounded up about 1000 Palestinian youngsters in Nablus's UNRWA School square and arrested some of them, Aljazeera's correspondent said. The news agency AFP said 300 Palestinians between the ages of 16 and 50 were arrested after questioning.



According to Aljazeera's al-Umari, Bethlehem city witnessed a similar operation when Israeli forces raided and surrounded a hospital in the city on Tuesday morning. They also raided a nearby building and arrested a leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the city.



Rolling in from several directions, more than 30 Israeli military vehicles were involved in the operation.
[/quote]

Fuck Fuckity Fuck. Bad time for no phone credits. Jesus fucking christ.
surlier than thou

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Post by cowboyangel » Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:42 pm

Oh Oh watch out Dick...the religious right is gonna get your fribilated ass for recent pro-gay comments......you may in fact already be dead........
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believe is false."- William Casey, CIA Director 1981

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