Wednesday, January 31, 2007


TUES. - Jan. 30, 2007
I do not recommend the purchase of any SOG knife, this is my personal opinion only as I have encountered hostility and misery with their warranty dept. The woman there is very nasty and there are far better choices in the purchase of a knife such as COLD STEEL and BENCHMADE etc, etc, etc. There is no one to talk to that seems to want to help some one like me that runs into defective SOG knives. AT THIS TIME I HONESTLY FEEL THAT THE PURCHASE OF A SOG PRODUCT IS A TOTAL WASTE OF YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY. THERE ARE SO MANY BETTER KNIVES TO CHOOSE FROM MADE BY OTHER COMPANIES.



Untie military hands

By James A. Lyons Jr.
January 26, 2007

In order to ensure that the additional combat troops being deployed to Iraq can achieve their objectives, we must change the current restrictive rules of engagement (ROEs) under which they are forced to operate.

The current ROEs for Baghdad -- including Sadr City, home of the Mahdi Army -- have seven incremental steps that must be satisfied before our troops can take the gloves off and engage the enemy with appropriate violence of action.

(1) You must feel a direct threat to you or your team.

(2) You must clearly see a threat.

(3) That threat must be identified.

(4) The team leader must concur that there is an identified threat.

(5) The team leader must feel that the situation is one of life or death.
(6) There must be minimal or no collateral risk.

(7) Only then can the team leader clear the engagement.

These ROEs might sound fine to academics gathering at some esoteric seminar on how to avoid civilian casualties in a war zone. But they do absolutely nothing to protect our combat troops who have to respond in an instant to a life or death situation.

If our soldiers or Marines see someone about to level an AK-47 in their direction or start to are receive hostile fire from a rooftop or mosque, there is no time to go through a seven-point checklist before reacting. Indeed, the very fact that they see a weapon, or begin to receive hostile fire should be sufficient justification to respond with deadly force.

We do not need to identify the threat as Sunni, Shia, al Qaeda or Mahdi Army. The "who" is immaterial. The danger is not. The threat of imminent attack must be immediately suppressed. And while we must always respect the lives of the innocent, the requirement of minimal or no collateral damage cannot preempt an appropriate response.

The insurgents, be they Sunni or Shia, are well aware of our restrictive ROEs and they use them to their advantage. Indeed, as the thousands of insurgent-inflicted Iraqi civilian deaths illustrate, the death squads, assassination teams and al Qaeda killers in Iraq have no regard for human life.

Victims are looked upon as expendable: cannon fodder in order to achieve their objectives. As we saw in Lebanon, Hezbollah held women and children hostage in the same buildings they used to conduct offensive operations. They wanted civilian deaths. This same tactic is being used in Iraq today.

We cannot, therefore, afford to keep our combat troops shackled by a naive, legalistic disadvantage that takes no note of the real world, or the real battlefield. Moreover, our combat forces are currently fighting a two-front war: a literal battlefield in Iraq, and a virtual front in Washington, where politicians snipe at our troops with words, threats of budget cuts, and unrealistic strictures on our warriors' behavior.

Both the Iraqi insurgents and the radical Islamist fundamentalists dedicated to the destruction of Western values and democracy understand quite well that today, wars are not only fought on the battlefield but are also won or lost in Washington. They are only too happy to watch as our politicians water down our military goals and objectives in the name of some misbegotten legalistic concept of fair play and gentle warfare.

Our combat forces have never lost an engagement in Iraq. Let's make sure they don't lose the war in Washington. Unshackle the military and let our soldiers and Marines do their job. This will quickly silence the critics, as well as the insurgents and radical Islamist fundamentalists.

James A. Lyons Jr. is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, senior U.S. Military Representative to the United Nations and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, where he was principal adviser on all Joint Chiefs of Staff matters.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


WND Exclusive
North America activists plotted 'stealth' strategy
Details of secret Banff meeting released as part of FOIA request

Posted: January 30, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Joseph Farah
© 2007

WASHINGTON – Participants in a high-level, closed door, three-day conference on the integration of the three North American nations debated whether openness about goals was preferred to a stealthy policy of building infrastructure before a vision of the end result was even laid out to the people of the U.S., Mexico and Canada, according to notes obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Official notes taken on a session on "Border Infrastructure and Continental Prosperity" at the North American Forum in Banff, Canada, last September, reveal the internal debate over continued secrecy.

"While a vision is appealing, working on the infrastructure might yield more benefit and bring more people on board ('evolution by stealth')," record the notes discovered amid documents obtained by Judicial Watch.

Several speakers at the event emphasized the importance of "deepening economic integration," "integrating the energy infrastructure" and "the development of new institutions" between the three North American nations.

Participants promoted the idea of using popular issues, such as concern over climate change, to push integration of energy and environmental governance and the possibility of imposing a carbon tax.

Judicial Watch released yesterday the documents it received in a FOIA request from the U.S. Northern Command, whose commander, Admiral Timothy Keating, participated in the conference along with Northcom political adviser Deborah Bolton and Plans, Policy and Strategy Director Maj. General Mark Volcheff. A similar request concerning participation in the North American Forum meeting by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is still pending.

At least one attendee of the conference said the meeting was intended to subvert the democratic process. Mel Hurtig, a Canadian author and publisher elected as the leader of the National Party of Canada, told WND last fall the idea of the North American Forum is to move the countries toward integration without public consent or even knowledge.

"What is sinister about this meeting is that it involved high level government officials and some of the top and most powerful business leaders of the three countries and the North American Forum in organizing the meeting intentionally did not inform the press in any of the three countries," he said. "It was clear that the intention was to keep this important meeting about integrating the three countries out of the public eye."

The conference raised more suspicions about plans for the future merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico – with topics ranging from "A Vision for North America," "Opportunities for Security Cooperation" and "Demographic and Social Dimensions of North American Integration."

Confirmed participants included Rumsfeld, former Secretary of State George Shultz, who serves as co-chairman of the North American Forum, former Central Intelligence Agency Director R. James Woolsey, former Immigration and Naturalization Services Director Doris Meissner, North American Union guru Robert Pastor, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Energy Secretary and Defense Secretary James Schlesinger and top officials of both Mexico and Canada. But the only media member scheduled to appear at the event, according to documents obtained by WND, was the Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastasia O'Grady.

The event was organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Canada West Foundation, an Alberta think-tank that promotes closer economic integration with the United States.

The next meeting of the North American Forum is set for Oct. 12-14 in Puerto Vallarta.

The Canadian event is another in a series of meetings, policy papers and directives that have citizens, officials and members of the media wondering whether these efforts represent some sort of coordinated effort to implement a "merger" some have characterized as "NAFTA on steroids."

Prominent at the Banff conference was Robert Pastor, an American University professor who wrote "Toward a North American Community," a book promoting the development of a North American union as a regional government and the adoption of the amero as a common monetary currency to replace the dollar and the peso.

American University Professor Robert Pastor

Pastor also was vice chairman of the May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force entitled "Building a North American Community" that presents itself as a blueprint for using bureaucratic action within the executive branches of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada to transform the current trilateral Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America into a North American union regional government.

He calls for the establishment of a North American Community, which some view as a significant step toward a European Union-style system of regional or continental governance.

"Increasing interdependence offers additional costs and opportunities," he told the Banff audience. "To mitigate the dangers and expand the benefits of a more integrated and less regulated market requires continental plans and institutions. It requires a new consciousness among both leaders and people – a new way of thinking about our neighbors. This will take time, but we want to begin the journey."

Pastor continued: "Our purpose is to build a greater sense of being a part of North America. We do not want to displace the pride each of us feel in our countries, but rather to supplement that with a feeling of being North American. We do so not to build a fortress or to separate ourselves from the world. On the contrary, we want to connect better with our closest neighbors in order to strengthen our ability to compete in the world and to serve as a models for other regional groups."

Pastor said narrowing the gap in income "may be the single most important issue on the North American agenda." He pointed hopefully to a bill introduced June 29, 2006, by Sen. John Cornyn calling for a North American Investment Fund to channel grants to Mexico for this purpose. He failed to note, however, that Cornyn had already withdrawn his bill two months prior to the Banff conference after the senator was alerted by WND to the role it played in fostering regional government in North America.

Related offers:

For a comprehensive look at the U.S. government's plan to integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada into a North American super-state – guided by the powerful but secretive Council on Foreign Relations – read "PREMEDITATED MERGER," a special edition of WND's acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine.

Get Tom Tancredo's new book, "In Mortal Danger," for just $4.95.

Previous stories:

Top U.S. official chaired N. America-confab panel

N. American students trained for 'merger'

North American confab 'undermines' democracy

Attendance list North American forum

North American Forum agenda

North American merger topic of secret confab

Feds finally release info on 'superstate'

Senator ditches bill tied to 'superstate'

Congressman presses on 'superstate' plan

Feds stonewalling on 'super state' plan?

Cornyn wants U.S. taxpayers to fund Mexican development

No EU in U.S.

Trans-Texas Corridor paved with campaign contributions?

U.S.-Mexico merger opposition intensifies

More evidence of Mexican trucks coming to U.S.

Docs reveal plan for Mexican trucks in U.S.

Kansas City customs port considered Mexican soil?

Tancredo confronts 'superstate' effort

Bush sneaking North American superstate without oversight?

Related columns:

Coming soon to U.S.: Mexican customs office

Merger with Mexico


WND Exclusive
Feds 'knew smuggler' in Border Patrol case
Critic charges prosecutor lied, made 'deal with the devil'

Posted: January 30, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007

New evidence suggests prosecuting U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of El Paso lied about how the government found the fleeing illegal alien Mexican drug smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, according to a Border Patrol advocate closely following the case of former agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Contrary to claims, no Mexican attorney was involved as an intermediary offering to reveal the identity of the drug smuggler and bring him back to the U.S. in exchange for given immunity to testify against Border Patrol, contended Andy Ramirez, chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol.

"It's shocking how much lying Johnny Sutton has done about Aldrete-Davila," he told WND.

"The government made a deal with the devil to put Ramos and Compean behind bars," Ramirez said. "Sutton's story about the lawyer in Mexico is a total fabrication, completely and maliciously false. The government knew Aldrete-Davila's identity from Border Patrol and DHS sources almost immediately after the event."

Commenting to WND for this story, Sutton insisted there was insufficient evidence to charge the drug smuggler, who was in a foreign country, which would have made it difficult to extradite him.

Ramirez told WND the information came from Rene Sanchez, a Border Patrol agent who was stationed a sector away from El Paso, in Wilcox, Ariz., a small town some 80 miles east of Tucson on Interstate 10.

According to Ramirez, Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila grew up together in San Ysidro, Mexico, and they have remained life-long friends.

Sanchez's mother-in-law and Aldrete-Davila's mother also have remained good friends. Sanchez was notified by his mother-in-law that Aldrete-Davila had been shot. She reportedly heard about the incident from friends in Mexico, possibly even from Aldrete-Davila's mother.

Ramirez next reports Rene Sanchez, according to a Department of Homeland Security memorandum of activity document, began querying the Border Patrol Tracking System and found that the Fabens Border Patrol Station seized a load of marijuana Feb. 17, 2005.

In sworn testimony Andy Ramirez gave on Aug.17, 2006, to the U.S. House Committee of Judiciary, Ramirez continues the narrative from there:

Rene Sanchez calls the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at DHS and speaks to a Special Agent Christopher Sanchez who was a four-month trainee in OIG. Previously Sanchez served as an ICE agent in Arizona before lateraling over to OIG. Chris Sanchez began investigating the case on March 4, 2005. This is when the agents learn that there was a claim that the smuggler was wounded two weeks before during the incident at Fabens.

Eventually, Chris Sanchez goes to Mexico and brings Davila back to El Paso and the William Beaumont Army Medical Center and has a fragment of a bullet removed. The chain of evidence, including custody gets really murky at this point and the agents (Ramos and Compean) are arrested, charged, and arraigned within days.

Ramirez next testified to the House Judiciary Committee that agent Rene Sanchez's mother-in-law was also involved in driving Aldrete-Davila into El Paso for his hospital treatments at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center. These trips allegedly were coordinated through DHS Special Agent Christopher Sanchez, who quickly became the government's manager of Aldrete-Davila in the U.S.

According to Ramirez, agent Sanchez was the one who then assisted Aldrete-Davila in finding a U.S. attorney to sue Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean in a civil case charging the agents had violate his civil rights by discharging their weapons at him in a criminal fashion as he was running away to evade arrest. WND has been unable to find any Mexican attorney who represents Aldrete-Davila.

Ramirez believes understanding how Aldrete-Davila was found is a key piece to understanding the prosecution's prejudice against Ramos and Compean:

The government did have a choice to prosecute the drug dealer they had identified as the suspect, he insisted. Instead attorney Sutton and his office decided to give the likely drug smuggler immunity so he could testify against Ramos and Compean.

Ramirez was emphatic in his conclusion.

"If the truth about how the government got their hands on Aldrete-Davila had been told to the jury, there is no way the jury would have believed a word of his story that he was unarmed."

In the Jan. 19 WND interview with Sutton, a reference to Aldrete-Davila's family seemed at the time to contradict Sutton's claim that Aldrete-Davila came forth from a Mexican lawyer seeking immunity. In explaining why his office did not seek to prosecute Aldrete-Davila, Sutton commented in the interview that:

The agents put us in a situation where there was no way to prove in a court that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila was connected to that load of marijuana. We would not even known about him had he not come and the investigators for Homeland Security been able to find him through his family.

Now, in the context of the information provided by Andy Ramirez about the connection between agent Rene Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila's families in Mexico, Sutton's comment apparently corroborate Ramirez's account. The DHS agent Sutton to which Sutton referred could be Chris Sanchez, who was working with Aldrete-Davila's family in Mexico to bring the suspect back to the U.S.

From the beginning of the case, Sutton has claimed he could not prosecute the drug smuggler because the fleeing Mexican got away and left no fingerprints on his van at the scene Feb. 17, 2005. The van was found to contain 743 pounds of marijuana. Aldrete-Davila abandoned the vehicle to head for the Rio Grande on foot, determined to evade arrest from the Border Patrol in hot pursuit.

"Sutton's attempt to make his decision to prosecute Ramos and Compean look sympathetic falls apart once we realize the government had found the suspect, contrary to Sutton's claims that finding the suspect was impossible," Ramirez told WND. "Yet, apparently attempting to cover up the truth, Sutton has stuck to his story that Aldrete-Davila came forward through a Mexican lawyer who shielded the identity of his client until the government gave his client immunity."

Sutton has consistently claimed that without fingerprints, the prosecution had no alternative but to abandon the idea of prosecuting the perpetrator of the cross-border drug delivery.

Yet, somehow, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila showed up back in the U.S. as a guest of the government. Once Aldrete-Davila was back in the U.S., a U.S. Army doctor removed a bullet that entered his right groin after passing through the left side of his left buttocks. All this was engineered by Sutton's office, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, aimed toward obtaining from Aldrete-Davila ballistics evidence that would prove Ramos and Compean had fired and hit Aldrete-Davila as he fled.

WND separately has reported the ballistics evidence failed to tie the weapon fired by agent Ramos with the bullet removed from Aldrete-Davila by the U.S. Army doctor.

Since Aldrete-Davila escaped the scene without being apprehended, Sutton had no way to prove definitively the drug smuggler had been unarmed, unless he could give Aldrete-Davila immunity and obtain his testimony on the stand.

Proving that Aldrete-Davila was unarmed was a central part of Sutton's case arguing Ramos and Compean had committed assault with the intent to kill under 18 U.S.C., Section 113(a)(c) and seeking to add 10-year mandatory sentences for having committed this assault with their weapons, in violation of 18 U.S. Section 924(c). If Aldrete-Davila was a fleeing, armed drug smuggling suspect, then Sutton simply had no case against Ramos and Compean.

WND previously has reported on a letter Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Oct. 11, 2006, arguing 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c) was the wrong statute under which to prosecute Ramos and Compean.

Ramirez told WND that charging Ramos and Compean with 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c) showed the determination of the prosecutors to pile on as much prison time as possible on the two agents. The statute carries a mandatory 10-year sentence as additional punishment for carrying or using a weapon in a violent crime, such as rape or drug smuggling.

In his interview with WND, Ramirez charged the government found Aldrete-Davila in an independent investigative manner that would have permitted Sutton to have prosecuted the drug dealer. Instead, Sutton decided to offer Aldrete-Davila immunity and free government-paid medical care, provided he would return to the U.S. and testify against the Border Patrol agents.

In the Jan. 19 interview, WND questioned Sutton about how Aldrete-Davila had been found.

The following exchange contains Sutton's answer:

WND: So, Aldrete-Davila ran away, and as you say, at the time you didn't have any basis to know who he was and there were no fingerprints. But yet, you found the guy. If you found the guy to give him immunity, why couldn't you have found the guy to punish him?

SUTTON: The way we found him is that he came forward and was in Mexico with a lawyer. So, the only way to get him to testify was to give him immunity from being prosecuted. He wasn't going to agree to come to the United States, he wasn't going to agree to talk, unless he had some kind of immunity from being prosecuted for that load.

Sutton's story is that the government's first contact establishing Aldrete-Davila was the run-away drug smuggler came from a Mexican attorney representing him, in an offer of testimony in exchange for immunity.

The prosecutor contends the government could not prosecute Aldrete-Davila because it could not identify him.

WND: People are going to say once the guy came forward, regardless why he came forward, you knew it was him. You could go get him. He made an admission.

SUTTON: But, remember, he didn't make an admission. He refused to make an admission until his lawyer had an agreement for use immunity. He wouldn't come to the United States and we couldn't extradite him because, number one, we didn't have any evidence against him, and, number two, we didn't have a case. It's one of those situations where we gave up very little by giving him use immunity in this case because we couldn't prove a case against him. He did not make admissions until we agreed to give him immunity for what he was saying. We're in a terrible dilemma. We've got a corrupt drug runner and we've got corrupt officers who committed serious crimes and covered them up. We can either let everyone go free, or you can prosecute the one case that is prosecutable, which is serious and that involves the officers. Unfortunately, the case against Aldrete-Davila was not prosecutable because of these agents. There was no way to link Aldrete-Davila with that load of marijuana.

According to Ramirez's account, however, the identity of the drug smuggler was known to agent Rene Sanchez, who passed the information on to DHS agent Chris Sanchez.

Apparently, Sanchez even went to Mexico to work with Aldrete-Davila and his family, which Ramirez argues should have given the prosecution ample probable cause to make the link between the 743-pound load of marijuana brought into the U.S. and Aldrete-Davila as the perpetrator.

Still, in the Jan. 19 interview, Sutton insisted his office had no choice but to give the drug smuggler immunity.

He (Aldrete-Davila) wasn't going to agree to come to the United States, he wasn't going to agree to talk, unless he had some kind of immunity from being prosecuted for that load. So, that puts the prosecutor in the terrible choice of everyone goes free, we got no case against the dope dealer, we cannot make a case against the dope dealer because there's no evidence thanks to agents and other factors. And we've got two agents on the line who we know have lied, covered up evidence, shot 15 times at an unarmed suspect running away. So we had to make a decision and there very difficult to make. Prosecutors in this country make those decisions every day. In some instances, we have to give what is known as "use immunity," which allows whatever that person says in court not to be used against them. Now, if I could prove up the case another way, without using the words of Aldrete-Davila himself, we could prosecute the case. If I had a provable case that Aldrete-Davila had committed other crimes, I could prosecute him.

According to Ramirez's account of events, the government could have chosen to press Mexico to extradite the drug smuggler, seeking to remove the bullet from Aldrete-Davila's body to use as evidence against him, not against Ramos and Compean.

Monday, January 29, 2007

MUSLIMS IN EUROPE » International » Article
Muslims 'about to take over Europe'

Talkbacks for this article: 56

Islam could soon be the dominant force in a Europe which, in the name of political correctness, has abdicated the battle for cultural and religious control, Prof. Bernard Lewis, the world-renowned Middle Eastern and Islamic scholar, said on Sunday.

The Muslims "seem to be about to take over Europe," Lewis said at a special briefing with the editorial staff of The Jerusalem Post. Asked what this meant for the continent's Jews, he responded, "The outlook for the Jewish communities of Europe is dim." Soon, he warned, the only pertinent question regarding Europe's future would be, "Will it be an Islamized Europe or Europeanized Islam?" The growing sway of Islam in Europe was of particular concern given the rising support within the Islamic world for extremist and terrorist movements, said Lewis.

Lewis, whose numerous books include the recent What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, and The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, would set no timetable for this drastic shift in Europe, instead focusing on the process, which he said would be assisted by "immigration and democracy." Instead of fighting the threat, he elaborated, Europeans had given up.

"Europeans are losing their own loyalties and their own self-confidence," he said. "They have no respect for their own culture." Europeans had "surrendered" on every issue with regard to Islam in a mood of "self-abasement," "political correctness" and "multi-culturalism," said Lewis, who was born in London to middle-class Jewish parents but has long lived in the United States.

The threat of extremist Islam goes far beyond Europe, Lewis stressed, turning to the potential impact of Iran going nuclear under its current regime.

The Cold War philosophy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), which prevented the former Soviet Union and the United States from using the nuclear weapons they had targeted at each other, would not apply to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran, said Lewis.

"For him, Mutual Assured Destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement," said Lewis of Ahmadinejad. "We know already that they [Iran's ruling ayatollahs] do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. We have seen it again and again. If they kill large numbers of their own people, they are doing them a favor. They are giving them a quick, free pass to heaven. I find all that very alarming," said Lewis.

Lewis acknowledged that Ahmadinejad had made the notion of Iran having the right to acquire a nuclear capability an issue of national pride, and that this should be borne in mind in trying to thwart Teheran's nuclear drive. "One should try to make it clear at all stages that the objection is not Iran having [a nuclear weapon] but to the regime that governs Iran having it," said Lewis.

This idea already had support among those Iranians who, on the one hand, believed that their country has a right to possess such a capability but, on the other, feared it being acquired by a government that they do not support.

Israel and the West should work to strengthen moderate forces within the Iranian population, he urged, via an aggressive propaganda campaign including the use of television and radio programs.

"All the evidence is that the regime is extremely unpopular with their own people," he said. "I am told that the Israeli daily [radio] program in Persian is widely listened to all over Iran with rapt attention." Israel and the West should also be looking to reach out to moderate forces within the Arab world, which are equally alarmed by the spread of extremism in their midst, said Lewis. "The Arab governments understand that Israel is not their biggest problem," said Lewis.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Additional Links

Lou Dobbs - video segment on the North American Union

Council on Foreign Relations - "Building a North American Community"

Eagle Forum - North American Union

A North American Community: A Proposal To Deepen NAFTA

Treason Abounds - Gov't Cabal Plots North American Union (NAU)

Trans-Texas Corridor Paved With Campaign Contributions?

Globalization - The Final Demise of National Security

Council of the Americas

Condi Rice - Remarks at 34th Anniversary

Compact for North American Competiveness

Using Trade To Break Nations

North American Forum: The Secret Cabal of Trinational Elites


Confronting The Threat on the Southwest Border - Congressional Report



CANAMEX Governor's MOU's 2003

CANAMEX - Safety & Security Issues - 2003

Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne's end-of-session tantrum over money for CANAMEX.

USTR - MOU for Government Procurement


Jerome Corsi filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents relating to the Security & Prosperity Partnership. He received over 1,000 documents that can be viewed HERE.



"Moving into Prosperity" - General Summary
"Moving into Prosperity" - Executive Summary
U.S. Dot - Trans-Texas Corridor Overview
Trans-Texas Corridor - Keep Texas Moving Org
Sourcewatch - NASCO
Open Secrets - NASCO Lobbying Expenditures


Security & Prosperity Partnership

Because the idea that our own government officials would commit national suicide is so repugnant and unthinkable, it is useful at this point to look at statements from official government websites so that we can be assured that it is real and not just some wild imaginings of 'conspiracy theorists'.

Caution: Since the 1980's, language has been used to mask the truth of what is being discussed. The use of the word 'partnership' is case in point. It sounds friendly and nice - neighborly. You have to peel off the mask of language and use the real words the words that accurately describe what they are talking about. "Partnership" means integration - integration of law and the functions of our governments - which by definition means the disintegration of national sovereignty.

George Bush and Vincente Fox launch the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity Joint Statement - September 6, 2001 More - scroll down for dates Sept 4th thru Sept 7th. State Dept: Partnership for Prosperity.

April 21, 2001 (before September 11, 2001 & "terrorism"), Fact Sheet: President's Speech at the Summit of the Americas - Quebec City

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America

Joint Statement - North American Leaders Unveil 'Partnership'

North American Partnership Offers Agenda of Prosperity

North American Partnership Offers Agenda of Security

SPP.Gov - Partnership in Treason Website

Canada - Partnership for Prosperity

Trade and Integration of the Americas

U.S. State Department - Issues for the 107th Congress (2001)

"President Fox has been urging an expanded European Union-like conception of NAFTA"


What is the North American Union? Look at the European Union and substitute "North American" for European. Substitute the names of European countries for the states of the United States plus the countries of the Americas. We are about a decade behind the European Union in consolidating power in the unelected, undemocratic supranational governing body. We're still in the stage of integrating economies through 'free trade', but as soon as that is done, they will name this monster, the North American Union.

In the history of the European Union (link above), it states:

A key activity of the EU is the establishment and administration of a common single market, consisting of a customs union, a single currency (adopted by 12 of the 25 member states), a Common Agricultural Policy and a Common Fisheries Policy. On 29 October 2004, European heads of government signed a Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which is currently awaiting ratification by individual member states.

On November 29, 1994, Congressman Bill Richardson placed a speech titled "Free Trade for the Americas: Next Steps" by Ambassador Abelardo L. Valdez into the Congressional Record. In the speech, Valdez says the following:

...our hemispheric neighborhood and the world have changed dramatically, and the small seed planted at Punta del Este is in the process of blossoming into a hemispheric free trade area, and, I predict, into a future Common Market of the Americas. The North American Free Trade Agreement (`NAFTA') has set the stage for achieving free trade throughout the Americas and strengthening the economic and political relations between the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The North American Union is the integration of the United States, Canada and Mexico initially. The integration of our economies, harmonization of laws, open borders and national treatment de facto means the disintegration of these countries as sovereign nations. Ultimately it will include all of the countries of North and South America into one big non-descript region.

The concept of it is exactly the same as the European Union. In Europe it began as the Common Market. Using the ploy of 'free trade' and the promise of increased prosperity, the people of Europe were persuaded to give up economic sovereignty to a higher level authority called the European Union. Precisely the same thing is being done to the United States except that our spineless politicians and mainstream media are too cowardly to broach the subject in a straightforward manner. Obviously the integration of the United States into a larger regional governance structure is treason. It subverts the U.S. Constitution and it places the American people under the authority of an unelected, undemocratic governing structure that is hidden from the view of the people.


map of binational trade corridors--Highways serving binational trade and trade corridors with annual trucks greater than 40,000

Friday, January 26, 2007


WND Exclusive
Feds pressed to hand over border agent docs
Congressman files FOIA request on info that could favor Compean, Ramos

Posted: January 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Homeland Security to force the handover to Congress of investigative documents the agency claims will support their accusation of criminal behavior by imprisoned former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

In a telephone interview with WND, Poe explained the extraordinary procedure was necessary after DHS refused to furnish the reports to Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, arguing McCaul's chairmanship of the Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security had passed to the Democrats.

The decision by Poe to file a FOIA request with DHS reflects increasing congressional concern the agency is conducting a cover-up of the Ramos-Compean investigation. Congressmen say the agency has continued to stonewall repeated requests to obtain promised investigative documents relevant to congressional oversight responsibilities.

WND reported yesterday McCaul held a meeting Sept. 26 with deputies of the DHS Inspector General's office in which the deputies made accusations of criminal misconduct against the Border Patrol agents. In attendance at the meeting were Poe and fellow Texas congressmen John Culberson and Kenny Marchant.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the DHS inspector general told the Texas congressmen the relevant investigative reports would be released the first day after the Oct. 23, 2006, sentencing of the agents. So far, however, DHS has refused to release the promised reports, despite repeated requests from McCaul.

"I was at that meeting," Poe told WND. "We had the office of the DHS inspector general and the Department of Justice (DOJ) there. They made allegations that these two Border Patrol agents had made incriminating statements that DHS and DOJ had in their possession. We were told we would be given these statements to contradict what the agents had been telling us."

Poe explained that Ramos and Compean had told the congressman the fleeing drug smuggling suspect they were chasing was armed and that they suspected he was a drug dealer because of his behavior, including driving a van across a border road the agents knew was used by drug smugglers, and running away to avoid arrest.

"We supported Congressman McCaul's attempts to get these reports," Poe explained to WND. "But when after January 1, 2007, DHS told Congressman McCaul that they could no longer hand over the information to him because he was no longer subcommittee chairman, I decided to file the FOIA request to get the documents."

Poe said he has been frustrated by DHS stonewalling.

"Why didn't the DHS inspector general come to the September 26, 2006 meeting prepared to give us the information?" he asked. "Even a Xerox machine in the Justice Department should be able to work once in four months to make a copy of those statements." Poe said he found the lack of candor "disturbing." "There were so many resources available from the federal government to prosecute these two Border Patrol agents, why don't come forward and bring to the Congress the information the DHS inspector general intends to have?" he asked. "So, we're not through yet."

Poe expressed concern that he is not sure the jury in the Ramos and Compean case got all the information the government had concerning the relevant facts of the case.

"When the government does backroom deals with criminals, like this habitual drug offender from Mexico, the public, and especially the defendants, have an absolute right to know what the deal was and how it came about," he said. "Maybe the jury heard it, and maybe the jury didn't hear it, but we will find out."

Many of the factual aspects of the case are now being disputed by investigators, including the ballistics investigation into the weapons fired and the round subsequently extracted from the left buttocks and right groin of the drug smuggler by a U.S. Army doctor.

"For all we know," Poe commented, "the drug smuggler seemed to be pointing back at the Border Patrol agents with what could have been something in his hand based on the ballistics reports I am seeing. U.S. Attorney (Johnny) Sutton says the guy was shot in the buttocks. Well, now we find out that that isn't exactly accurate. The guy was shot from 'cheek-to-cheek,' or maybe from the side of his left buttocks to his right groin. There's a big difference in those two statements. You don't have to be a ballistics expert to understand that the body was turned if the bullet went from one cheek to the other cheek, or from the left cheek to the right groin."

Poe repeated that his office was determined to get to the bottom of these investigative questions. "In the big scheme of things, let's assume that the Border Patrol agents violated policy. Assume they didn't file a report even though the law says that they were only required to file an oral report to the supervisor," he asked. "There was no requirement in this instance that they file a written report. Okay, let's discipline the Border Patrol agents, you bet. Let's give them three-day's suspension like the rules call for."

Poe questioned the judgment of U.S. Attorney Sutton, asking "why does the federal government here have a choice to prosecute a guy bringing in a million dollars worth of drugs or prosecute Border Patrol agents who were doing their job, yet the government chose to prosecute the Border Patrol? "Why is the federal government spending so many federal taxpayer resources prosecuting federal Border Patrol agents trying to stop drug smugglers, especially when it means making deals with drug offenders?" he continued. "That's the bigger question in my mind.

Poe agreed the prosecution would put a chilling effect on other Border Patrol agents.

"That's a war zone on the Texas-Mexico border," he said. "It's an undeclared war that's taking place. You have aggressive Border Patrol agents like Ramos and Compean, who are protecting the country, and yet they are vilified and prosecuted by our own government. The next time you have a similar situation with a different Border Patrol agent, the Border Patrol agent will hesitate before they put their life or their career in danger."

Poe called the Ramos and Compean case "the best news drug dealers have ever heard."

Drug smugglers now know, he explained, "that Border Patrol agents may be reluctant to chase them. So all they have to do is run. If another drug smuggler sees a Border Patrol agent, all they have to do is what this drug dealer did – namely, run. Drive, run, just get away. Drug dealers are going to know that federal Border Patrol agents are going to be more reluctant to pursue them because the federal government, for some reason, takes the wrong side of the border war."

In an exclusive Jan.19 interview, Sutton told WND Ramos and Compean's crimes involved "shooting 15 times at an unarmed, fleeing man."

For Sutton, the agents compounded the offense by engaging in a cover-up: "And instead of doing what every other agent does, namely to explain why they decided to use deadly force, these two agents instead decided to lie about it, cover it up, destroy the evidence, pick up all the shell casings and throw them away where we couldn't find them, destroy the crime scene and then file a false report."

The drug smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, was given immunity by federal prosecutor Sutton, and was the star witness at the trial of the agents.

Aldrete-Davila has retained a U.S. attorney and now is in the process of preparing to sue the U.S. Border Patrol for $5 million, claiming his civil rights were violated by the agents' criminal behavior of shooting at him as he abandoned a van containing 743 pounds of marijuana and fled from the scene.

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Previous stories:

Congressman: Feds stonewalling on border agents

Imprisoned agent's wife: President is a hypocrite

Border agents' prosecutor responds to critics

Border agents sent to prison

Border agents plead for 'Christmas pardon'

White House clarifies 'nonsensical' comment'

12 congressmen demand pardon for border agents

Snow says question on agents' prison time 'nonsensical'

Border Patrol agents sentenced to prison

National Guard units to be armed, close to the border

Gang expert backs Tancredo charge

National Guard units to be armed, close to the border

No militarization of U.S.-Mex border

Not even killer flu to shut U.S. border

Chertoff downplays Mexican military incursions

'Shoot illegals' comment earns host FCC complaint

Another armed incursion on U.S.-Mexico border

Texas border standoff with Mexican military

Border Patrol warned: Brace for violence

Feds to border agents: Assassins targeting you

Armed standoff on Rio Grande

Border sheriff warns: We're overwhelmed

Mexican drug commandos expand ops in 6 U.S. states

It's war between cops in Mexico

The threat from Mexico

'It's a war' along Mexican border

Mexican commandos seek control of border

Mexican commandos new threat on border

Border Patrol agents shot in Laredo

Mexicans shoot at Border Patrol

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sandy Berger - MUST READ

WND Exclusive Commentary
Why Bush Justice rolled over for Sandy Berger

Posted: January 25, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series on Samuel "Sandy" Berger. Before proceeding, please read last Thursday's column, "The secret for which Sandy risked his all."

On March 18, 2005, Judge George Greer ordered that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube be removed. When Greer did so, he helped set in motion a series of events that he could never have anticipated.

Despite the extraordinary attention, Schiavo's was not the most closely watched death in the early spring of 2005. Half a world away, John Paul II was also dying, he of natural causes.

After 13 agonizing days, Schiavo died on the morning of March 31. On that afternoon, in a dusty pit stop of a Kansas town called Herington, the FBI entered an abandoned home, searched it, then promptly called in the Topeka bomb squad and evacuated the neighborhood. Although these events were not at all related, the timing almost assuredly was.

Speaking of timing, the next morning, Friday, April 1, the Department of Justice allowed former Clinton national security adviser, Sandy Berger, to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor charge for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents.

The memorable and useful Clinton-era phrase for these maneuvers is "news dump." On the day after the Berger pleading, as anticipated, Pope John Paul II died. The DOJ could not have chosen a more opportune time to bury these two stories.

On the surface, the dumping of these stories by a Republican administration made little sense. Both had the potential to embarrass the Democrats, the Berger story in a significant way.

The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform would aptly call Berger's behavior "a disturbing breach of trust and protocol that compromised the nation's national security." If he had chosen to, the Republican attorney general could have put the Democrat Berger on trial and likely in prison.

As to the house in Kansas, that had been the home of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols. Despite the FBI's allegedly exhaustive investigation, the explosives had been sitting there for the past 10 years, still another embarrassing oversight in a case plagued by missteps on President Clinton's watch.

As I watched these events unfold two years ago, I presumed that the Bush DOJ chose not to exploit these stories for reasons of national security. Although seemingly unrelated, both of these stories lead to the same larger secret, a secret that Berger risked his career to conceal, a secret that if revealed had the potential to destabilize the nation during a time of war.

As I have since learned, however, the Bush White House is not fully in control of its own Justice Department and FBI. In truth, the decision to protect Berger may have more to do with saving the Clinton legacy than with stabilizing the nation.

In last week's column, I noted that President Clinton had reviewed a document on the Bojinka plot that directly referenced plans to use airplanes as flying bombs, and he did so in the wake of the July 1996 destruction of TWA Flight 800, five years before 9-11. More damning, he left his own notes on these documents.

Berger's task was likely to make sure all references to the Bojinka plot and/or TWA Flight 800 were purged from the Archives, especially any documents with hand-written notes that led back to himself, Clinton, and the architect of the TWA 800 "exit strategy," anti-terror honcho Richard Clarke.

Curiously, the explosives cache found in Kansas leads to exactly the same secrets. In the way of background, the FBI first learned of a possible terrorist plot to mark the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing on March 1, 2005. Stephen Dresch, a forensic economist, and his intrepid colleague, Angela Clemente, had informed the FBI by fax and phone on that date. On March 3, Dresch informed me of the same.

By March 11, Dresch had identified the house where the explosives were stored and the ultimate source of the tip, Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols. The man who had pointed Dresch and Clemente to the explosives was none other than Gregory Scarpa Jr., a fellow inmate of Nichols in their Colorado prison.

For at least three weeks, the FBI knew the location of the house and did nothing. Even after the tip proved accurate, the Bureau has refused to acknowledge that it was Scarpa who led them to Herington. After all, if it were Scarpa, how to explain the potentially lethal delay?

Two weeks ago, after completing his investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher ended the mystery. In a thank-you note to Clemente, Rohrabacher casually affirmed, "It was you and Dr. Dresch, acting on a tip from Gregory Scarpa Jr., who learned that the FBI missed a stash of explosives." He added, "You have a real knack for investigation."

Scarpa has a history of informing. In the summer of 1996, while awaiting trial on RICO charges in a New York City jail, he collaborated with the FBI on an elaborate sting to evoke information from his then prison mate, Ramzi Yousef. Yousef was the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing and the designer of Bojinka, a plot to blow up planes and/or use planes as bombs, for which he was then on trial.

Through no fault of Scarpa's, the sting backfired. Using the outside line that Scarpa and the FBI had set up, Yousef communicated in his native Baluchi to his fellow conspirators, 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed among them. The FBI could not readily translate.

On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 was destroyed off the coast of Long Island. On the FBI line, Yousef claimed credit for the destruction of the aircraft. Whether or not he was telling the truth remains uncertain. What is undeniable, however, is that on July 18 Yousef asked for a mistrial, citing the newly hostile environment for airplane bombers like himself.

Embarrassed, the Clinton Justice Department came down hard on Scarpa. U.S. Attorney Valerie Caproni, who oversaw the sting, prosecuted Scarpa and buried him for a hard 40 at the Florence, Colo., Super Max. This was an unusually stiff penalty for a non-lethal RICO conviction, especially for a guy who had risked his life to collaborate with the FBI. (For a complete account of the Scarpa story, I would recommend Peter Lance's recent book, "Triple Cross.")

Caproni, by the way, is the same U.S. attorney who illegally seized the authority for investigating TWA Flight 800 away from the NTSB and gave it to the FBI. This same multi-tasking Caproni oversaw the prosecution of reporter James Sanders and his wife Elizabeth for Sanders' efforts to investigate Caproni and her patently illegal maneuver.

Today, Valerie Caproni is the general counsel of the FBI, the Bureau's top legal position. And this brings us to what may well be the primary reason for the failure of the Bush Justice Department to pursue the Berger case as it should have.

The FBI and the Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, are riddled with Clinton-era holdovers, many of them in key positions. I am sure that many of the careerists at Justice and the FBI do their job in good faith. But as the House Committee report on Sandy Berger makes clear, not all of them.

If the House report has a hero, it is the inspector general of the National Archives, Paul Brachfeld. Brachfeld began his work for the federal government in the Carter administration and is testament to the potential for integrity in a career bureaucrat.

Beginning with the third of Berger's four visits to the Archives in September 2003, when Berger was first caught in the act of stealing documents, Brachfeld tried to alert the Justice Department to the scope and seriousness of the theft.

On Jan. 14, 2004, the day Berger first testified before the 9/11 Commission, Brachfeld met with DOJ trial attorney Howard Sklamberg. Concerned that Berger had obstructed the commission's work, Brachfeld wanted assurance that the commission knew of Berger's crime and the potential ramifications of it.

On March 22, two days before Berger's public testimony, senior attorneys John Dion and Bruce Swartz got back to Brachfeld. They informed him that the DOJ was not going to notify the 9/11 Commission of the Berger investigation before his appearance. "Justice Department's first obligation," Dion told Brachfeld, "was to conduct its criminal investigation in the proper way."

Given his experience with DOJ, Brachfeld was not quite sure what "proper" meant. Despite his fear of crossing Dion – in his estimate a "powerful and influential Justice Department official" – Brachfeld pressed for assurance.

On March 26, Brachfeld called DOJ attorney Thomas Reilly, who was investigating Berger, and asked for a response. Getting no satisfaction, he called DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine on April 6 and again expressed his concern that the 9/11 Commission remained unaware of Berger's actions.

Fine organized a meeting for April 9. As Brachfeld reported to those gathered, "Berger knowingly removed documents and therefore may have purposely impeded the 9-11 investigation." Some of those documents, Brachfeld added, might have been "original."

The House report singles out Bruce Swartz, Dion's boss, as the one attorney most adamantly protective of Berger. Swartz refused to admit that Berger could have stolen documents in his first two visits despite Brachfeld's insistence that he had the means and the motive.

Throughout April and May of 2004, Brachfeld continued to pester DOJ to follow up with its commitment to notify the 9/11 Commission. On May 26, Brachfeld learned through Glenn Fine that "relevant information" about Berger had been passed to the 9/11 Commission, but Brachfeld had no more confidence in Justice's idea of "relevant information" than he had in its idea of a "proper" investigation.

Not until July 19, 2004, did word leak to the press of the Berger investigation. This was just three days before the 9/11 Commission released its final report, too late for any significant amendment.

At the time, of course, the Democrats blamed the Republicans for the leak. "I find it rather curious," said a spokesman for then candidate John Kerry, "that the president has chosen the very week before the Democratic Convention to deny his deep involvement in a potentially criminal effort to smear an anonymous private citizen."

The "private citizen" in question, of course, was Sandy Berger, then a national security adviser to the Kerry campaign. The Democrat blogs called the alleged Republican scandal "Timingate," as in "Desperate Bush Denies Link to Growing 'Timingate' Scandal," an absurdity that the media more or less echoed.

In the real world, however, the timing allowed the Democrats to keep the story away from the 9/11 Commission, lose it in the larger coverage of the Democrat convention, distance Kerry from Berger before the campaign got rolling, and finally blame Bush for denying his alleged involvement.

Brachfeld ignored the election and pressed the DOJ for more information into the fall of 2004. At a Nov. 5 meeting, Dion and Swartz conceded that they had not informed the 9/11 Commission of Berger's access to original files. Noel Hillman, a Republican appointee and chief of DOJ's Public Integrity section, was visibly upset with Swartz. This was likely the first he knew of his colleagues' obstruction.

At a Nov. 23 follow-up meeting with all the relevant DOJ attorneys, Brachfeld asked if Justice would go back and examine the question of why the 9/11 Commission had been left in the dark. Reilly blew him off, and Swartz loudly expressed his indignation that Brachfeld would question his integrity.

In a private meeting soon afterwards, Brachfeld persuaded Hillman of the potential seriousness of Berger's theft. Hillman publicly instructed the FBI to go back and review Berger's first two visits. Its agents never did.

On Feb. 3, 2005, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez assumed control of the Justice Department from retiring Attorney General John Ashcroft. According to insiders, this was nearly as disruptive as a change in administration.

On April 1, 2005 – 18 months into an investigation that could just as well have been done in a week – the DOJ issued a press release outlining the Berger case. "Berger concealed and removed a total of five copies of classified documents from the Archives," read the release. "The documents were different versions of a single document."

The press release continued, "Each of the five copies of the document was produced to the 9/11 Commission in due course." Credit was given to Reilly, Dion, Sklamberg and Hillman for their fine work.

The DOJ recommended a $10,000 fine and a three-year loss of security clearance for Berger, which would get him back in the ball game in time for a potential Clinton resurrection in 2008. To put this in perspective, the NFL fined a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker $10,000 last month for a derogatory comment he made about a Cleveland Browns tight end.

The DOJ press conference floored Brachfeld. He was shocked at Hillman's claim that the "investigation found no evidence of Berger trying to hide anything from the 9/11 Commission" or that "the commission had access to all documents it requested." He knew both claims to be conspicuously false.

The House Committee report verified the same. The FBI never did go back and review Berger's first two visits when he had access to large volume of original documents, most notably "the original, uncopied Staff Member Office Files of Richard Clarke and original, uncopied, unique NSC documents."

Dion and Swartz, when interviewed by the House Committee, offered little but excuses in the way of explanation. As the House report concluded, "The lack of interest in Berger's first two visits is disturbing." The pair also declined to submit Berger to a polygraph exam as required by his plea agreement.

If these two attorneys and their colleagues were "unacceptably incurious" across the board, one could write off their sloth to bureaucratic malaise. But at the same time Dion and Swartz were cosseting Sandy Berger, they were eagerly campaigning to out the rascal who blew CIA agent Valerie Plame's imagined cover.

Before Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed special prosecutor, Dion headed the investigation. On Oct. 9, 2003, Dion was the subject of a flattering profile by the Associated Press, the kind of stroking that only friends get in the incestuously liberal world of Washington media.

"Those who have worked with Dion say he will not shy away from advocating charges against any high-level Bush administration official if that's where the investigation leads," read the hopeful AP piece. Among the colleagues quoted was Dion's immediate supervisor, Bruce Swartz. Even after Fitzgerald took over, Dion and Swartz stayed on the Plamegate team, Swartz reportedly as second-in-command.

Swartz, Sklamberg, Fine and Dion were all held over from the Clinton administration. Although neither Dion nor Reilly has an obvious record of federal contributions, Sklamberg, Fine and Swartz have only contributed to Democrat candidates in federal races. Fine, who was appointed DOJ inspector general in the waning days of the Clinton administration, contributed to the DNC and the Clinton campaign in 1992.

Although appointed FBI general counsel in August 2003 under the Bush administration, Valerie Caproni contributed to the John Edwards 2004 presidential campaign, her only listed contribution.

After Al Gore's bitter loss in 2000, Democrats across the board have indulged in a six-year long orgy of spite and bureaucratic sedition unprecedented in recent American history. During that time, they have had the easy ear of an equally embittered and increasingly imbalanced media.

One need only compare the coverage of the apocryphal crime in the Plame affair and Berger's real and highly consequential crime to see how far out of control the major media have spun in recent years. Indeed, in the two weeks after the release of the House Committee report on Berger, not a single major newspaper covered it in sufficient depth to mention Paul Brachfeld by name.

Although Noel Hillman has no known record of federal contributions, he is a Republican appointee. Now a Federal District Judge in New Jersey, he is expected to be appointed to an opening on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's old seat. New Jersey's two Democrat senators supported his bid for the judgeship last year and will likely support him again.

The Newark Star Ledger reported that Bush decided against choosing an "ideological conservative" – Hillman is presumably something other – fearing defeat at the hands of a Democrat Senate.

If Hillman is nominated, this might be an opportune time for the Republicans in the Senate to get to the meat of the Berger affair. They just might want to ask how it is that Sandy Berger is a free man and Scooter Libby is on trial. Did Hillman yield to intimidation from below or "national security" warnings from above?

Or was it a little bit of both?

Next Thursday: "How Berger paid the GOP back"

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