| Bush's Twilight Year Looks Grim |
|by Jim Lobe|
If the last days of 2007 are any indication, U.S. President George W. Bush's last year in office is shaping up as grim and lonely.
Grim, because Bush's signature "war on terror" is nowhere near the kind of "victory" on which he had placed so much hope. Hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury have been spent, but the democratic transformation of the Middle East and the wider Islamic world has not materialized.
Indeed, while Bush's surge strategy has helped reduce violence in Iraq over the past year, his top military commanders stress that the relative peace that has been achieved to date is fragile and that prospects for national reconciliation – the surge's political goal – remain dim.
Meanwhile, victory in the larger terror effort is nowhere in sight, as this week's assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto helped illustrate.
Grim, because the economic news – which has generally remained upbeat over Bush's tenure – has turned decidedly negative in recent months. The chances that his successor may inherit a recession, as well as the many foreign-policy fiascoes created by the disastrous combination of the administration's ideological rigidity and incompetence, are growing steadily.
Lonely, not only because of the departure during the past year of virtually all of his closest and most long-standing loyalists – Dan Bartlett, Karen Hughes, Harriet Miers, Alberto Gonzales, and Karl Rove – but also because he is seen increasingly as both a lame duck and an albatross around the necks of his party's candidates.
Indeed, the focus of national and international attention – so far as the U.S. is concerned – appears to have shifted to the race to succeed him in next November's elections. Remarkably, the mainstream U.S. media this week devoted as much space to the reactions of the main presidential candidates to Bhutto's assassination as to the administration's.
The fact that all of the major Republican candidates not only rarely invoke his name, but also often suggest that his performance in office has been less than stellar, serves only to underline his marginalization.
As for the Democrats, Bush, whose public-approval ratings have hovered around 32 percent for more than a year (the worst sustained ratings of any president in more than 50 years), is the rhetorical target against whom they find it easiest to rally the party faithful. According to recent surveys, the Democratic Party has grown substantially over the past four years, largely as a result of what Bush's defenders have called "Bush hatred."
Bush, of course, is still hoping that 2008 may yet deliver his presidency from the fate of being judged as one of the very worst – if not the worst – in history.
A number of eminent historians have in fact already reached that judgment, based on, among other things, the strategic disaster of the Iraq war; the squandering of Washington's overseas image as a champion of international law and human rights; the defiance of constitutional safeguards at home; the politicization of the system of justice; and the distortion of scientific research regarding global warming and other critical issues.
His hopes of escaping that assessment rest primarily in the area of foreign policy, on which, as a "wartime president," he has staked his reputation.
Possible achievements that could help to redeem Bush's overall record before the end of his term would be the continued reduction of violence – if not reconciliation among the three main communal groups – in Iraq; a major breakthrough in the Israel-Palestinian negotiations leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state; or the denuclearization of North Korea.
But even the most likely of these three – North Korean denuclearization – remains highly uncertain. Most analysts here believe that Pyongyang has not yet made a strategic decision to give up its nuclear program as demanded by Washington.
Similarly, the initial indications after last month's Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis do not look particularly favorable. Israel has spurned a cease-fire offer by Hamas – which, in any event, retains the ability to spoil any accord reached by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – and, despite U.S. pressure, is playing coy about settlement activity in the contested Jerusalem area. Just how hard Bush is prepared to press Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert remains unknown.
As for Iraq, a big question mark is whether the planned withdrawal of 30,000 U.S. troops by July and 60,000 by the end of next year will spark a new round in the Sunni-Shia civil war, which the surge has helped to tamp down but not resolve. Another big question as 2007 draws to a close is whether Kurdistan – until now the most peaceful and pro-U.S. part of Iraq – will find its stability at risk due to U.S.-backed Turkish attacks on Kurdish guerrillas or by the approach of the newly scheduled referendum on the status of Kirkuk.
While these three areas may offer the brightest prospects for redemption, new crises – particularly those arising from the "war on terror" – could divert the administration's attention and further damage Bush's record.
Bhutto's assassination, for example, offered yet another example that Bush's war has been at best incompetently pursued, if not misconceived, from the very beginning.
Not only did Bush's diversion of both money and troops from Afghanistan to Iraq immediately after the defeat of the Taliban permit both Taliban and al-Qaeda to regroup and eventually extend their influence in the rugged tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border, but his virtually unconditional backing – including more than $10 billion in mostly military aid – for the regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf served mainly to strengthen the Islamist parties at the expense of the secular, "moderate" forces to which his administration has given mainly rhetorical support.
When it became clear last summer that Pakistan's Taliban was making major advances and that Musharraf's popular base had dried up, the administration sought to forge an agreement between the military commander and the exiled Bhutto, whom it had long ignored.
The agreement, which included free elections that would likely result in Bhutto's election as prime minister, was designed, in the words of Bruce Reidel – a former senior CIA analyst now with the Brookings Institution – to give the Musharraf government "a democratic façade," bolster the moderates, and encourage the army to cooperate with U.S. counter-terror efforts.
The cynicism of the maneuver, combined with Washington's enduring support for Musharraf – even when he declared a state of emergency earlier this fall – forced Bhutto to back away, leaving the accord unconsummated. Now that she has been eliminated, a number of experts here have noted, Bush, predictably, lacks a "Plan B."
The prospect of a failed, nuclear-armed Pakistan makes even Iraq – not to mention a uranium-enrichment program in Iran – look benign. It could be a rough final year.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
HIDDEN HISTORY UNVEILED
Churchill stopped missiles – at British Jews' expense
Secret MI6 files reveal, for 1st time, leader's agonizing deception of Nazis
Posted: October 14, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
The following report is excerpted from the latest issue of Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, the premium online intelligence newsletter published by the founder of WND. Annual subscriptions to G2B are $99. Monthly trial subscriptions are just $9.95.
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Incoming V1 "flying bomb"
On June 14, 1944, Churchill gathered his top military advisers, including John Cecil Masterman, who ran the double-agents – spies recruited by the Nazis and sent to England only to be "turned" by the intelligence service to work for Britain.
Among the most daring recruits was Eddie Chapman, a Londoner who before the war had led a devil-may-care life as a safe cracker. He had fled to Jersey to avoid arrest for his latest crime – only to arrive there at the time the Germans invaded the island.
On that June night, the Air Ministry analysts had calculated the flying bombs, or doodlebugs, as they would be called, would continue to be aimed at Central London – at the Air Ministry headquarters in Kingsway and on Whitehall.
The still secret minutes of that June meeting show Churchill's question to Masterman was blunt. Could one of his double-agents successfully feed information to the German doodlebug controllers which would make the technicians at the rocket launch sites adjust the target coordinates?
Churchill surveying bomb damage
To move the coordinates too far from central London would arouse immediate suspicion among the Germans.
"The credibility of a double agent would be compromised," Masterman explained.
But if the German technicians at the launch sites could be persuaded to shorten their ranges in the belief they were over-shooting the original target, it would make a significant difference.
It would mean the rockets would fall on an already battered East End of the city and the countryside beyond, which had so far largely escaped death and destruction.
Was Churchill ready to dramatically reduce the threat to central London – the seat of government – by approving a plan which, if it became public, would have enormous political repercussions for allowing one part of the city to be spared and another area sacrificed?
(Story continues below)
The eastern part of the city had a large Jewish population of tailors, shirt and shoemakers, pastry cooks and their families. Already Churchill and his air chiefs had so far refused to direct Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers to target the gas chambers in the concentration camps along their routes to destroy German cities. A secret Cabinet decision had been taken that the camps were not a priority target.
If they learned of it, would British Jews see the decision to divert the doodlebugs as another example of what they regarded as indifference to the fate of their relations in Auschwitz, Dachau and Belsen-Bergen, whose liberation had begun to unmask the first horrors of the Holocaust?
Documents stored in MI6's Y-Files – the most secret of all its millions of files in its registry – reveal for the first time that Churchill authorized the doodlebug deception to proceed. Masterman assigned Eddie Chapman to carry it out.
Churchill surveying bomb damage
"I began to transmit false target coordinates," Chapman told G2B.
The urgency of his mission intensified daily. On July 1, 1944, Chapman had sent his first radio message to his Abwehr controller, insisting the rockets "are still overshooting their targets."
The next silos of doodlebugs began to fall short, plummeting into the east of the city and the farmland beyond. Chapman was exultant.
"The deception was a very real triumph, saving many thousands of lives," he said later.
Chapman's messages to his controller ended up in the MI6 Y-Files, their existence unknown until now. They contain evidence that Churchill had been only too well aware he would have to sacrifice the inhabitants of the East End – whose bravery had impressed the Queen Mother to call it "my personal symbol of courage."
Hitler's campaign ended in August 1944. The doodlebugs had killed 6,184 people. In one of the documents in the Y-Files, Masterman noted: "This was one of the most difficult decisions Winston Churchill made."
Saturday, December 29, 2007
As Iowa sizes up the candidates, so do I.
Friday, December 28, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST
By next week politically active Iowans will have met and tallied their votes. Their decision this year will have a huge impact on the 2008 election, and a decisive impact on various candidacies. Some will be done in. Some will be made. Some will land just right or wrong and wake up the next day to read raves or obits. A week after that, New Hampshire. The endless campaign is in fact nearing its climax.
But all eyes are on Iowa. Iowans bear a heck of a lot of responsibility this year, the first time since 1952 when there is no incumbent president or vice president in the race. All of it is wide open.
Iowa can make Obama real. It can make Hillary yesterday. It can make Huckabee a phenom and not a flash, McCain the future and not the past. Moments like this happen in history. They're the reason we get up in the morning. "What happened?" "Who won?"
This is my 2008 slogan: Reasonable Person for President. That is my hope, what I ask Iowa to produce, and I claim here to speak for thousands, millions. We are grown-ups, we know our country needs greatness, but we do not expect it and will settle at the moment for good. We just want a reasonable person. We would like a candidate who does not appear to be obviously insane. We'd like knowledge, judgment, a prudent understanding of the world and of the ways and histories of the men and women in it.
Here are two reasonables: Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. They have been United States senators for a combined 62 years. They've read a raw threat file or two. They have experience, sophistication, the long view. They know how it works. No one will have to explain it to them.
Mitt Romney? Yes. Characterological cheerfulness, personal stability and a good brain would be handy to have around. He hasn't made himself wealthy by seeing the world through a romantic mist. He has a sophisticated understanding of the challenges we face in the global economy. I personally am not made anxious by his flip-flopping on big issues because everyone in politics gets to change his mind once. That is, you can be pro-life and then pro-choice but you can't go back to pro-life again, because if you do you'll look like a flake. The positions Mr. Romney espouses now are the positions he will stick with. He has no choice.
John McCain? Yes. Remember when he was the wild man in 2000? For Republicans on the ground he was a little outré, if Republicans on the ground said "outré," as opposed to the more direct "nut job." George W. Bush, then, was the moderate, more even-toned candidate. Times change. Mr. McCain is an experienced, personally heroic, seasoned, blunt-eyed, irascible American character. He makes me proud. He makes everyone proud.
Barack Obama? Yes, I think so. He has earned the attention of the country with a classy campaign, with a disciplined and dignified staff, and with passionate supporters such as JFK hand Ted Sorensen, who has told me he sees in Obama's mind and temperament the kind of gifts Kennedy displayed during the Cuban missile crisis. Mr. Obama is thoughtful, and it would be a pleasure to have a president who is highly literate and a writer of books.
Is he experienced enough? No. He's not old enough either. Men in their 40s love drama too much. Young politicians on fire over this issue or that tend to see politics as a stage on which they can act out their greatness. And we don't need more theatrics, more comedies or tragedies. But Mr. Obama doesn't seem on fire. He seems like a calm liberal with a certain moderating ambivalence. The great plus of his candidacy: More than anyone else he turns the page. If he rises he is something new in history, good or bad, and a new era begins.
Hillary Clinton? No, not reasonable. I concede her sturdy mind, deep sophistication, and seriousness of intent. I see her as a triangulator like her husband, not a radical but a maneuverer in the direction of a vague, half-forgotten but always remembered, leftism. It is also true that she has a command-and-control mentality, an urgent, insistent and grating sense of destiny, and she appears to believe that any act that benefits Clintons is a virtuous act, because Clintons are good and deserve to be benefited.
But this is not, actually, my central problem with her candidacy. My central problem is that the next American president will very likely face another big bad thing, a terrible day, or days, and in that time it will be crucial--crucial--that our nation be led by a man or woman who can be, at least for the moment and at least in general, trusted. Mrs. Clinton is the most dramatically polarizing, the most instinctively distrusted, political figure of my lifetime. Yes, I include Nixon. Would she be able to speak the nation through the trauma? I do not think so. And if I am right, that simple fact would do as much damage to America as the terrible thing itself.
Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, and Bill Richardson are all reasonable--mature, accomplished, nonradical. Mike Huckabee gets enough demerits to fall into my not-reasonable column. John Edwards is not reasonable. All the Democrats would raise taxes as president, but Mr. Edwards's populism is the worst of both worlds, both intemperate and insincere. Also we can't have a president who spent two minutes on YouTube staring in a mirror and poofing his hair. Really, we just can't.
I forgot Rudy Giuliani. That must say something. He is reasonable but not desirable. If he wins somewhere, I'll explain.
Because much of the drama is on the Democratic side, a thought on what might be said when they win or lose. If Mrs. Clinton wins, modesty is in order, with a graceful nod to Mr. Obama. If she loses--well, the Clintons haven't lost an election since 1980. For a quarter century she's known only victory at the polls. Does she know how to lose? However she acts, whatever face she shows, it will be revealing. Humility would be a good strategy. In politics you have to prove you can take a punch. I just took one. (On second thought that's a bad idea. She might morph at the podium into Robert DeNiro in "Raging Bull" and ad-lib the taunt: You didn't knock me down Ray! I'm still standing!)
For Mr. Obama: a lot of America will be looking at him for the first time, and under the most favorable circumstances: as the winner of something. This is an opportunity to assert freshly what his victory means, and will mean, for America. This is a break with the past, a break with the tired old argument, a break with the idea of dynasty, the idea of the machine, the idea that there are forces in motion that cannot be resisted . . . But what is it besides a break from? What is it a step toward, an embrace of?
Good luck, Iowa. The eyes of the nation are upon you.Ms. Noonan is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal and author of "John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father" (Penguin, 2005), which you can order from the OpinionJournal bookstore. Her column appears Fridays on OpinionJournal.com.
Friday, December 28, 2007
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Thursday, December 27, 2007
Suicide bomber assassinates opposition leader Benazir Bhutto at rally in Rawalpindi Thursday
December 27, 2007, 4:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto murdered by suicide bomber
The bomber caught the Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto as she exited a campaign rally in Rawalpindi near Islamabad on Dec. 27 ahead of the Jan. 8 election. At least 15 people in the crowd were killed and many injured. She died in emergency surgery in hospital. President Pervez Musharraf is faced with decisions to reinstate emergency and/or cancel the general election as country faces violent backlash.
DEBKAfile: Twice prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto leaves no apparent heir to lead her Pakistan People’s Party. Her death is a huge setback to hopes of stability in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. As an ally against al Qaeda and Muslim radicals, Washington had pressed Musharraf to allow her return from exile, pinning hopes on her strong presence in the post-election Islamabad government for a more determined assault on al Qaeda and the Taliban than Musharraf’s flagging effort.
The Bush administration failed to take into account the number of Benazir’s enemies at home, ranging from al Qaeda and other radical groups to the Pakistan army and SIS intelligence. Her demise is a grave blow to Washington’s plans for a stable de-radicalized Pakistan and a coup for al Qaeda and its fellow extremists.
The former Pakistani prime minister survived a previous dual bombing on her arrival home from eight years in exile in October. No arrests were made. She then accused elements within president Pervez Musharraf’s government of seeking her death. No arrests were made.
At another rally led by another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif was attacked earlier Thursday by gunmen shooting into the crowd. At least four people were killed and 12 wounded. His motorcade was three km away when the shooting occurred.
AP File PhotoFormer Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto shot in head and chest attempting to flee homicide bombing at Rawalpindi campaign rally, dies during surgery; at least 20 others killed by blast.
Riots flare across Pakistan after suicide bomber assassinates opposition leader Benazir Bhutto at Rawalpindi rally
December 27, 2007, 9:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
Pakistan's assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto
The bomber shot Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, 54, in the neck and chest, then blew himself up as she exited a campaign rally in Rawalpindi on Dec. 27 ahead of the Jan. 8 election, killing at least 20 people. She died in emergency surgery in hospital. President Pervez Musharraf declared three days mourning and placed security forces on "red alert" nationwide. As tributes to Bhutto and shocked condemnation of her murder poured in from world leaders, President Bush was on the phone to Musharraf, who appealed for calm, facing decisions to reinstate emergency and/or cancel the general election.
Cars were torched in Karachi and Hyderabad, anti-Musharraf protests were broken up in Peshawar and Quetta, Multan and Shikarpur was seething.
DEBKAfile: Twice prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto leaves no apparent heir to lead her Pakistan People’s Party. She was the youngest and first female prime minister to lead a Muslim nation. Her exile began eight years ago under a cloud of corruption allegations against her and her husband.
Benazir's death is a huge setback to hopes of stability in Pakistan, a nuclear power, and neighboring Afghanistan. As an ally against al Qaeda and Muslim radicals, Washington had pressed Musharraf to allow her return from exile, pinning hopes on her strong presence in the post-election Islamabad government for a more determined assault on al Qaeda and the Taliban than Musharraf’s flagging effort.
The Bush administration failed to take into account the number of Benazir’s enemies at home, ranging from al Qaeda and other radical groups to the Pakistan army and SIS intelligence. Her demise is a grave blow to Washington’s plans for a stable de-radicalized Pakistan and a coup for al Qaeda and its fellow extremists.
The former Pakistani prime minister survived a previous dual bombing on her arrival home from eight years in exile in October. No arrests were made. She then accused elements within president Pervez Musharraf’s government of seeking her death
arrests were made. She was the last survivor of a political dynasty after her father and two brothers were murdered by a military dictator.
At another rally led by another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was attacked earlier Thursday by gunmen shooting into the crowd. At least four people were killed and 12 wounded. His motorcade was three km away when the shooting occurred.
Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide bombing this morning. The bomber shot at the Pakistani opposition leader and former prime minister several times before blowing himself up as she was leaving a rally of her Pakistan People’s Party. Bhutto was a key figure in Pakistani politics. This murder is probably the start of a new era of violence in Pakistan.
Only hours after Bhutto’s death, signs of this violence are evident. In Rawalpindi, where the attacks took place, rioters have taken to the streets, stoning, smashing and burning buildings. Police stations and vehicles have been set ablaze. Reports of arson have come in from across the country. Karachi, one of the world’s most populous cities, has completely shut down. Even journalists are staying off the streets, which are now filled with rioters. At least three banks, a government office and a post office are blazing there. Shops are closing down across the country in fear of violence. Reports say that in response, the army has been deployed on the streets of Rawalpindi, Karachi and Islamabad, though a cnn reporter notes that despite the sound of distant gunfire, no law enforcement is to be found. The situation on the ground is changing fast; the whole country has been put on red alert.
“The impact will be that Pakistan is in more turmoil—it will be the start of civil war in Pakistan,” said Riaz Malik, of the Pakistan Movement for Justice party. The Russian foreign minister echoed his concerns.
Pakistan—nuclear-armed Pakistan—may plunge into chaos. This could precipitate be one of the biggest disasters so far this century.
Rawalpindi, a garrison city, is viewed as one of the most secure cities in Pakistan. Likely linked with the Taliban and/or al Qaeda, the attacks, according to Stratfor, would not have been possible unless the jihadists had help from government and intelligence services. There exists, says Stratfor “murky links between Islamist militants and elements within the Pakistani security/intelligence establishment.”
Bhutto’s supporters blame the establishment, many argue Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf is responsible through negligence, though the more extreme believe he may have been behind the attacks himself. Upon hearing of her death, chants broke out of “Dog, Musharraf, dog.” A more chilling and more plausible possibility is that radical Islam has already infiltrated Pakistan’s security service.
With only 12 days until the election, the main opposition leader is dead. Her supporters blame the government, and some are baying for blood. Meanwhile radical Islam continues grow and spread. Even before this attack the government had lost control of great swathes of the country. Now they could lose control completely.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “Pakistan also has the nuclear bomb and could be taken over by radical Islam, with plenty of help from Iran. That means it could become a proxy of the Iranian mullahs. This would be the worst possible disaster!”Today, Pakistan took a leap toward this worst possible disaster.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Moscow adds another anti-air, anti-missile layer – S-300 – to defend Iran’s nuclear facilities against Israel attack
December 26, 2007, 3:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
S-300: Russian high-flying ballistic missile killer for Iran
DEBKAfile’s military and Iranian sources report that, while Russian-Iranian military ties are burgeoning rapidly, no complaint is heard from Jerusalem.
Iranian defense minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced Wednesday, Dec. 26 that he and a visiting Russian delegation had just signed a contract for the supply of another Russian anti-air weapon, the highly sophisticated S-300, rated the most effective killer of ballistic missiles on the market.
The news came a day after Russian air defense officers and technicians arrived in Tehran to install TOR-M1 missile batteries at Iran’s nuclear facilities; and two weeks after the delivery of Russian uranium fuel rods for Iran’s atomic reactor at Bushehr.
Military sources say that Moscow has designed the multi-layer air defense system to make Iran proof against Israel’s Air Force and the ballistic missiles in its armory. Yet not a murmur has been heard from prime minister Ehud Olmert or strategic threats minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is fond of boasting about his friendly ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
While TOR-M1 can locate and destroy moving targets at low altitudes, the S-300 system uniquely zaps high-flying, medium-range ballistic missiles of the type which is the backbone of Israel’s surface missile units at a distance of 1-40 km. Together, they lend Iran air superiority over any missiles and aircraft.
Another of S-300’s significant features is its advanced guidance method which relies on a single phased array radar to trace missiles in the air. This reduces its deployment time to five minutes; secondly, the missiles are sealed rounds and require no maintenance over their lifetime.
Our military sources add that Syria will soon to receive the S-300, as Damascus and Tehran progress toward a unified military command. They will provide coverage against attack for the territory between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Russian experts arrive to install Russian TOR-M1 air defense batteries at Iran's nuclear facilities
December 25, 2007, 1:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Russian TOR-M1 protects Iran's nuclear plants
Tuesday, Dec. 25, Mikhail Dmitriev, head of the Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, announced the imminent installment of sophisticated Russian TOR-M1 missile batteries at Iran’s nuclear installations. Our Iranian and Moscow sources report that, only a few days ago, Moscow shipped nuclear fuel to Iran for its atomic reactor at Bushehr and committed to have the reactor up and running next year.
DEBKAfile’s military sources assert that the multi-functional, multiple layer hardware substantially upgrades the shield protecting Iran’s banned uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Isfahan, as well as Bushehr, from many types or air and missile attack.
The TOR-M1 is designed to intercept “stealth” aircraft, helicopters and drones as well as laser-guided precision bombs, rockets and cruise missiles. Traveling at a speed of 700 kph up to a range of 25km, it can destroy any of these incoming objects 12 km before they makes contact with target.
Another outstanding feature is the weapon’s ability to function in all weather conditions day and night against two simultaneous targets.
The eight-missile battery mounted aboard an armored vehicle (see picture) functions as an autonomous command platform for intelligence-gathering, determining targets, firing missiles and their in-flight guidance. Its 3D pulse Doppler electronic beam feeds data on 48 targets simultaneously to the system’s firing computers, selecting the ten most dangerous and responding in 5-8 seconds. Its crew are protected against nuclear, chemical and biological warfare.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Giuliani: It was 'impossible' for the 9/11 firefighters to have working radios
|Nick Langewis and David Edwards|
Published: Sunday December 23, 2007
|Print This Email This|
Former New York City mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani talks to George Stephanopoulos about accusations that firefighters died on 9/11 due to radios that Giuliani himself knew weren't suitable for use.
Giuliani has been personally blamed for the deaths of firefighters on September 11, 2001, including by NYFD Deputy Fire Chief James Riches, whose son, also a firefighter, died at Ground Zero. Giuliani is not only accused of providing faulty equipment, but also of ending the search for survivors too early.
"I feel very bad about that," responds Giuliani. "I mean, I feel very bad about the whole situation."
"Myself," he continues, "and all the people that are involved in this have been very hurt by this, and it creates a lot of pain. It creates a lot of suffering. And, if they're angry at me, so be it. I did everything I could--I did everything I could think of doing in that situation to help.
"I think I made mostly the right decisions."
Says Giuliani about the radios in question: "Well, the radios that you're talking about weren't put online for three, four, five years after, so it would have been impossible for me to have those radios ready.
"It took the city two, three more years."
Responds Stephanopoulos, "But they had a malfunction in 1993."
As Think Progress points out, it wasn't impossible for firefighters to have working radios when entering the twin towers, had the no-bid contract with Motorola produced a product that worked properly after the 1993 malfunctions; the faulty replacements were decommissioned in March of 2001, leaving the firefighters using the same radios inside the World Trade Center in 2001 that they had in 1993.
One Think Progress commenter, identifying as "Comrade Rutherford," says that New York City might be continually equipping firefighters with radios that aren't suitable to begin with:
As a amatuer (sic) radio enthusiast I was flabbergasted to learn (back in the day) that the NYFD were on VHF, but the NYPD was on UHF. The higher frequenices (sic) of the police band at 460 MHz can get out of buildings better than VHF, making for more reliable communications from *inside buildings*. The fire dept was on 154 MHz for many, many years (are they still?). This frequency range has larger dead areas inside buidlings (sic) meaning that you have to carefully move around to get your radio into a hot spot to be able to communicate reliably. If you move at all, you lose the signal. Now imagine having to do that while the building is burning around you and the message you need to send is of life or death. Many other cities have long ago moved their emergency comm to 800 MHz, and digital radio is now here. But wasn’t it Giuliani that made a sweet-heart deal with Motorola for the Radios That Didn’t Work?
Video of the exchange is available below, as broadcast on ABC's This Week on December 23, 2007.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
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Today I received a tip by a fellow writer that KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc.), a subsidiary of Halliburton, was behind the creation of Senate Bill S 1959, otherwise known as the “Thought Crime Prevention Bill”, or by its legal designation, the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007.” I wasn’t able to make a solid connection that indicated KBR was actually behind the introduction of S 1959, but what I did find demonstrates we are likely approaching the final days when Homeland Security (sic) implements their “final solution” which DHS has labeled as “EndGame.”
This is what I found, researched it thoroughly - and unfortunately, unless “the people” react in the millions, life in these United States is about to change forever, and apparently, it could also end for thousands, if not millions of Americans:
Halliburton Confirms Concentration Camps Already Constructed
On February 17, 2006, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke of the harm being done to the country’s security, not just by the enemy, but also by what he called “news informers” who needed to be combated in “a contest of wills.”
In 2002 Attorney General John Ashcroft announced his desire to see camps for U.S. citizens deemed to be “enemy combatants.”
A Defense Department document, entitled the “Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support,” has set out a military strategy against terrorism that envisions an “active, layered defense” both inside and outside U.S. territory. In the document, the Pentagon pledges to “transform U.S. military forces to execute homeland defense missions in the . . . U.S. homeland.” The strategy calls for increased military reconnaissance and surveillance
The Washington Post reported on February 15, 2006 that the National Counterterrorism Center’s (NCTC) central repository holds the names of 325,000 terrorist suspects, a fourfold increase since fall of 2003. A Pentagon official said the Counterintelligence Field Activity’s TALON program has amassed files on antiwar protesters.
Shortly after Bush orchestrated 9/11, he issued “Military Order Number One”, which empowered him to detain any noncitizen as an international terrorist or enemy combatant. Today that order extends to U.S. citizens as well.
Halliburton subsidiary “KBR has been awarded a contract announced by the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) component. The Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contingency contract is to support ICE facilities and has a maximum total value of $385 million over a five year term. The contract provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the United States, or to support the rapid development of new programs”. See Source Document on Halliburton Site or page 1, & 5 below
HOUSTON, Texas – Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) announced that income from continuing operations for the full year of 2005 was $2.4 billion. Consolidated revenue in the fourth quarter of 2005 was $5.8 billion. Consolidated operating income was $779 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. This increase was largely attributable to higher activity in the Energy Services Group (ESG), partially offset by lower revenue in KBR primarily on government services projects in the Middle East. Annual operating income more than tripled to $2.7 billion in 2005.
Why exactly are prisons being built for “the rapid development of new programs”. Halliburton’s company site confirms that the government is engaged in a massive construction and preparation exercise to build concentration camps and prisoner processing facilities in the United States. This is particularity astonishing and disturbing considering that the U.S. already incarcerates more orders of magnitude more people than any other nation, about on-par with U.S.S.R. at the height of Stalin’s era.
The contract of the Halliburton subsidiary KBR to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled
, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.” In the 1980s Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld discussed similar emergency detention powers as part of a super-secret program of planning for what was euphemistically called “Continuity of Government” (COG). These men planned for suspension of the Constitution, not just after nuclear attack, but for any “national security emergency,” which they vaguely defined in Executive Order 12656 of 1988.
Over 800 concentration camps are reported throughout the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive U.S. Prisoners who disagree with the government. The concentration camps are all staffed and manned by full-time guards, however, they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) when Martial Law is implemented in the United States (at the stroke of a Presidential pen and the Attorney General’s signature on a warrant).
The camps have railroad facilities as well as roads leading to and from the detention facilities, many have airports. Like Auschwitz, some of the camps have airtight buildings and furnaces. The majority of the camps can each house a population of 20,000 prisoners. Currently, the largest of these facilities is just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan facility is a massive “mental health” facility and can hold approximately 2 million people.
Following the Halliburton subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown and Root) announcement on Jan. 24 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps, two weeks later, on Feb. 6, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006. What is interesting in the Homeland Security plan is that each concrete prison bed costs $60,000 per bed! Observing these concentration camps and general jail and prison facilities throughout the U.S., the Homeland Security plan is clearly buffered to build significantly more than 6,700 additional beds.
The Homeland Security $400 million allocation is more than a four-fold increase over the FY 2006 budget, which provided $90 million for the same purpose. Both the contract and the budget allocation are in partial fulfillment of an ambitious 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan, code-named ENDGAME, authorized in 2003. According to a 49-page Homeland Security document on the plan, ENDGAME expands “a mission first articulated in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.” Its goal is the capability to “remove all removable aliens,” including “illegal economic migrants, aliens who have committed criminal acts, asylum-seekers (required to be retained by law) or potential terrorists.” The government’s definition of an enemy combatant covers almost any individual who promotes the rudimentary rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Readiness Exercise 1984 - Rex 84
Rex 84 is a United States federal government program to test their ability to detain large numbers of American citizens. Exercises similar to Rex 84 happen periodically. From 1967 to 1971 the FBI kept a list of persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the “ADEX” list.
Texas Congressman Henry Gonzales revealed many years ago plans of Rex 84 which former colonel Ollie North helped design. The late Representative Jack Brooks also of Texas brought this concentration camp and internment program as well as the Continuity of Government Program to light during the Iran Contra hearing. The chairman refused to let North even talk about them in open hearings under “National Security.” Mr. Gonzales stated these camps and plans were for the detention of AMERICANS, especially those who refused to surrender their weapons.
The Rex-84 Alpha Explan (Readiness Exercise 1984, Exercise Plan), indicates that FEMA in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies conducted a civil readiness exercise during April 5-13, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84, a worldwide military command post exercise (including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS) based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.
Apparently all nature contingencies are being taken care of. Photographers snapped pictures of an estimated half a million plastic coffins:
These plans are similar in many ways to Hitler and Stalin’s plans who all have generally the same financial backers.
Clearly Presidential Executive Orders primarily from FDR and Bush Jr., which are blatantly treasonous in form, have been laying the groundwork for this Fascist Socialist takeover: Executive Order Treason - - MUCH MORE
I stated that I believed we are in the final stages of this plan based on the success of “Operation Falcon” and being aware the final readiness test is due soon in the western United States; further, just today, I noted that DHS is finalizing plans to use spy satellites on the American public:
DHS finalizing plans for domestic spy satellite program
Congress has not been updated since civil liberties concerns delayed satellite spying
A plan to dramatically widen US law enforcement agencies’ access to data from powerful spy satellites is moving toward implementation, as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff expects to finalize a charter for the program this week, according to a new report.
Chertoff insists the scheme to turn spy satellites — that were originally designed for foreign surveillance — on Americans is legal, although a House committee that would approve the program has not been updated on the program for three months.
“We still haven’t seen the legal framework we requested or the standard operation procedures on how the NAO will actually be run,” House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson tells the Wall Street Journal. Thompson was referring to the National Applications Office — a new DHS subset that would coordinate access to spy-satellite data for non-military domestic agencies, including law enforcement.
Civil liberties concerns delayed the program after lawmakers and outside activists wondered how the program would be structured to protect Americans from unconstitutional surveillance from the powerful satellites, which can see through cloud cover, trees and even concrete buildings. MORE
I don’t have a lot of commentary to offer on this issue, but it’s obvious that KBR and Halliburton would make hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions operating these so-called “detention facilities if they were filled to capacity by the plethora of services they would have to offer, i.e., meals, medical attention (if that’s included), extra security guards, and a host of cottage industries that would spring-up to supplement the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of American citizens whose only crime was to demand that Bush and Cheney adhere to our constitution and the rule of law.
If you think your voice and participation isn’t needed to fight S 1959, think again, and please visit the site where I found this information. This is not a “conspiracy Theory” but is based on factual evidence, and there’s a lot more when you visit the “Liberty For Life Association.”
It’s your life and our country - and now it looks like it’s time to pour on the pressure, and we must join together in solidarity to fight what may be the end of freedom in America. As was stated on the page where I found this information:
This is for real! - Wake Up America!
NOTE: If you think this article should be read and disseminated as widely as possible, please give it a “Reddit” vote, as I’ve noticed a huge amount of people all of a sudden coming online and attempting to vote it down. This is information the government doesn’t want to be widely read or become public knowledge, and their propaganda arm is working hard to kill it - and we know they have infiltrated social networking sites from recent articles and they were busted by the “Digg Community.”
This comment was made on “Reddit” - and I believe I have a responsibility to answer it. This comments is in regard some of the top stories of today.
These are serious allegations made by the authour.
Can anyone add links to support or discredit this story?
If you follow the many links on the site I’m quoting from, there’s substantiation on every issue. Do a Google search for concentration camps in America and you’ll be surprised to see when they were first being noticed and photographed, and the many of other issues dealing with the subject. No one has really been putting two and two together. Look at the popular articles today.
27,000,000 + FISA Sessions Chertoff States Satellite Spying on Americans doesn’t violate our constitutional rights.
There hasn’t been a week we haven’t lost more rights, police brutality is rapidly escalating, and people are getting nervous. Why do we need more laws to protect us that in the end always diminish our rights?
Look at the top 75 stories and then you can begin to see the pattern. Attempt to look at the issue as a whole and then everything starts to make sense, and then Bush and Cheney chopping-away at the constitution begins to become transparent, although at a time when we may be nearing the end of their plans. Look at the irony of it; we on the Internet that speak for constitutional values and a return to the rule of law, and they seem to be a vast majority of us will be among the first to fall, and it was paid for by our taxes. Go figure.
This is a link I just found on a discussion forum; it certainly lends credence to the above story:
FEMA Coffins In Georgia
First time uploading images. If bad link, help.
I took these pictures in 2002. My brother-in-law lives in Madison, Georgia. He wanted to know what the heck these containers are and what was the purpose of these containers?
The location of these containers is just off Interstate 20 in Madison.
There appeared to be millions at this particular location. He said there were 2 other locations. They measured 7’ long and 3’ deep. I did not measure the width.
This particular location was sold by a local whom would not divulge the purchasers. I intended to research Superior Court Records but never got around to doing so.
I did email these pictures to Freedom Radio up North and was told they were FEMA body containers in preparation of possible biological attack. LINK
Here are the images; what the hell is going on? It’s time to light those phones up in Washington again - and this time, don’t stop until we get some straight-forward answers:
It is now very obvious that this post is credible, as these coffins appear to be in several locations. We need answers, and we need them now! You may want to visit this site, as there are also pictures from Google earth. Evidently, they haven’t been successful in blocking-out all of the locations yet.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Ramos, Compean pardons? 'No,' 'No,' says Bush rep
Spokesman won't allow questions to be asked
Posted: December 22, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
White House spokesman Tony Fratto
The White House apparently is so reluctant to discuss the issue of pardons or commutations for convicted U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean that a spokesman doesn't even want to allow questions about the issue to be finished.
The circumstances arose during a White House press gaggle with spokesman Tony Fratto, when Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, tried to raise the issue of the disparity in the treatment of the Border Patrol agents, compared to that given Scooter Libby, an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was convicted of lying during an investigation into the outing of the identity of a covert U.S. agent.
The agents were convicted and given prison sentences of 11 and 12 years for shooting after a self-confessed drug smuggler fleeing back into Mexico after leaving 750 pounds of marijuana in Texas, while Libby was excused from serving any of his prison sentence through President Bush's intervention.
The White House repeatedly has said there is a pardons request procedure available to the agents, even though Libby apparently did not go through the same process before Bush acted.
"A number of times here, when questions were raised about former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean, we were told that there is a process for pardon. And I have a three-part question on this…" Kinsolving began.
"You have to make it quick, because they're calling for me," Fratto said.
"I will. Could you explain to us why the president refuses to commute these men who shot an escaping Mexican drug smuggler…" Kinsolving continued.
"No," interrupted Fratto.
(Story continues below)
"…as the president commuted the prison sentence of his friend, Scooter Libby," Kinsolving asked.
"No," Fratto responded.
"Okay. What is the White House reaction to one of the judges of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated the government overreacted, but there's no indication when this three-judge panel will rule on this appeal." Kinsolving said.
"I don't have a reaction on that. We're going to limit it to two, and then Paula, and then…" Fratto said.
"I just have this last…" Kinsolving said.
"It's okay, Paula," Fratto moved on.
Kinsolving said he was going to ask why the president couldn't commute the agents' sentences to allow the two out of solitary in time for Christmas, a move that also has been proposed in a separate letter to the president from members of Congress, as well as a resolution that is building support in the U.S. House.
As WND has reported, a bipartisan coalition has delivered a letter to the White House seeking a commutation for the agents.
Four congressmen – Democrats William Delahunt of Massachusetts and Silvestre Reyes of Texas, and Republicans Dana Rohrabacher of California and Ted Poe of Texas – signed a letter to President Bush asking him to commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean.
The letter represents a direct bipartisan appeal to Bush to act now on behalf of Ramos and Compean, in the hope the two men could be home with their families for Christmas.
Delahunt, Rohrabacher and Poe earlier sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 267 asking the House to petition President Bush to grant clemency in the case. It now has 37 Democrats and several dozen Republicans as sponsors.
The theme of the bipartisan letter and resolution is that the sentences of 11 and 12 years, respectively, imposed on Ramos and Compean are disproportionate to the lesser sentences typically served by more grievous criminals, including those convicted for manslaughter, assault and firearms where the average sentence is less than four years.
Especially troubling to some watching the case of Ramos and Compean is the mandatory minimum 10-year sentence imposed by 18 U.S.C. 924(c) under which Ramos and Compean were convicted.
As WND has reported, 18 U.S.C. 924(c) is a law Congress passed to impose additional penalties on federal felons who carried firearms in the commission of their felony.
Appellate attorneys for Ramos and Compean argued on Dec. 3 before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that 18 U.S.C. 924(c) was never intended to be applied to law enforcement officers who fired their weapons in the line of duty, even if the officers used misjudgment in the decision to discharge their weapons.
The bipartisan letter makes the same point.
"Mr. President, as of this writing, Ignacio Ramos will have served his punishment for all the crimes for which he was found guilty – except the charge imposing the mandatory minimum," members of Congress said. "Jose Compean will be halfway through his prison term – except for the charge carrying the mandatory minimum."
"These men have already lost their jobs and had their lives ruined, and their families have suffered terribly," the letter said. "No useful purpose is served by their incarceration."
"Mr. President, we respectfully request that you correct this injustice," the letter ended. "We ask that you immediately commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean to time served so that they can spend Christmas at home with their families."
Ramos and Compean were convicted for firing after Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, an admitted drug smuggler, who brought 750 pounds of marijuana across the Mexican border, into Fabens, Texas, on Feb. 17, 2005.
Aldrete-Davila is now arrested and indicted for a "second load," which he allegedly brought into the U.S. in 2006 just prior to the trial for Ramos and Compean.
At that time, Aldrete-Davila was under a grant of immunity to testify at the Ramos-Compean trial and in possession of a border pass card signed by DHS special agent Christopher Sanchez.
Prosecutor Debra Kanof, in the office of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in El Paso, successfully convinced Judge Kathleen Cardone to seal all information about Aldrete-Davila's second load from the jury, thus preventing the defense in the Ramos and Compean trial from using this information to impeach the credibility of Aldrete-Davila's testimony under oath on the stand.
The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is expected to announce the three-judge decision in the Ramos and Compean case before the end of February.
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