Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Retired general censured in Tillman case

By RICHARD LARDNER and ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writers 27 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The Army censured a retired three-star general Tuesday for a "perfect storm of mistakes, misjudgments and a failure of leadership" after the 2004 friendly-fire death in Afghanistan of Army Ranger Pat Tillman.

Army Secretary Pete Geren asked a military review panel to decide whether Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who led Army special forces operations in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, should also have his rank reduced.

In a stinging rebuke, Geren said Kensinger "failed to provide proper leadership to the soldiers under his administrative control" when the Army Ranger and former pro football star was killed in 2004.

Geren said that while Kensinger was "guilty of deception" in misleading investigators, there was no intentional Pentagon cover-up of circumstances surrounding Tillman's death — at first categorized by the military as being from enemy fire.

"He let his soldiers down," Geren said at Pentagon news conference. "General Kensinger was the captain of that ship, and his ship ran aground."

Geren said he has directed a review panel of four-star generals to decide whether Kensinger, a three-star, should also have his rank reduced. If Kensinger is demoted to major general, his monthly retirement pay of $9,400 would be cut by about $900, according to Army officials.

"Had he performed his job properly, had he performed his duty, we wouldn't be standing here today," Geren said.

Kensinger, who retired in February 2006, received a letter of censure from Geren that said he "subverted the trust" that had been placed in him and "caused lasting damage to the reputation and credibility of the U.S. Army."

Geren said he considered recommending a court-martial for Kensinger but ruled it out.

Kensinger, whose line of authority included the Army Rangers, also failed to properly notify the Tillman family a fratricide investigation had begun shortly after he was killed, did not initiate a required safety investigation.

Kensinger's lawyer, Charles W. Gittins, did not return numerous phone and e-mail messages from The Associated Press seeking comment. But in correspondence with Army officials weeks before Geren's announcement, Kensinger denied misleading investigators.

Kensinger, a 1970 West Point graduate, was the top officer at Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, N.C., from August 2002 through December 2005.

Geren's actions fail to end a three-year controversy that has damaged the ground service's image. Even as the Army's top civilian was telling reporters he did not know exactly when he'd receive a recommendation from the review board on Kensinger's rank, members of Congress were already judging whether the Army had gone far enough.

Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Mike Honda, both Democrats from Tillman's home state of California, said there still too many unanswered questions.

"We still don't know the full story about the way the Pentagon and this administration managed this tragedy," Boxer said in a statement. "In my view, the Army should reconsider today's announcement and instead move forward with harsher penalties."

In a separate statement, Honda called Geren's actions "necessary and long overdue" but added "they do nothing to lift the appearance of cover-up that continues to envelop the Pat Tillman story."

The punishment of Kensinger stands in contrast to the light touch given other senior officers who were involved in a litany of mistakes that came after members of Tillman's units accidentally killed him in the early evening hours of April 22, 2004.

Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who oversees the military's most sensitive counterterrorism operations, received no punishment. McChrystal has been cited for passing on misleading information that led to a Silver Star award to Tillman.

Brig. Gen. James Nixon, Tillman's former regimental commander, was issued a "memorandum of concern" for his "well-intentioned but fundamentally incorrect decision" to keep information about Tillman's death limited to just his staff.

Nixon is now a top official at U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla.

Geren said that investigations have conclusively shown that accidental fire from U.S. troops was responsible for the death in Afghanistan of Tillman, who had walked away from a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to become an Army Ranger.

The Army initially suggested that Tillman, 27, had been killed in a firefight with enemy militia forces. The Army then arranged a ceremony to award Tillman a Silver Star for bravery.

Five weeks after his death, the Army notified the Tillman family that Tillman died from rounds fired in error by U.S. troops.

Geren cited "multiple actions on the part of multiple soldiers" in compounding the confusion that surrounded the death.

But there "was never any effort to mislead or hide" or keep embarrassing information from the public, Geren said.

He said Tillman deserved the Silver Star, the military's third- highest award for valor in combat, despite the circumstances surrounding his death.

He could understand how the Tillman family and other Americans might reach the conclusion that there was a cover-up, Geren said.

"The facts just don't support this conclusion," he said. "There was no cover-up."

But he said, "We have made mistakes over and over and over, an incredible number of mistakes in handling this. We have destroyed our credibility in their eyes as well as in the eyes of others."

Tillman's family has insisted there was a cover-up that went as high as former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Geren was asked whether there was any indication Rumsfeld was aware that Tillman's death was by friendly fire before that information was made public.

"I have no knowledge of any evidence to that end," Geren replied.

Aside from his decision to censure Kensinger, Geren said that he was accepting recommendations by Gen. William Wallace, who the Army secretary tasked to review a March report by the Pentagon inspector general into Tillman's death.

Based on Wallace's findings, Nixon and three other officers received a memorandum of concern. The others are:

_Retired Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, who led one of the early Army investigations. Jones was criticized for incorrectly characterizing Tillman's actions in describing why he should be awarded a Silver Star.

_Brig. Gen. Gina Farrisee, director of military personnel management at the Pentagon, for failing to ensure that the concerns of a medical examiner were properly resolved.

_Lt. Col. Jeff Bailey, Tillman's battalion commander, for his handling of the punishment against the rangers involved in the shooting of Tillman.

Three other officers also received punishments but because they were below the rank of general officer, the Army did not release their names.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena Monday night for testimony from Kensinger, said committee spokeswoman Karen Lightfoot. The subpoena is currently in the hands of U.S. marshals who are trying to deliver it in advance of Wednesday's committee hearing on the Tillman affair, Lightfoot said.


Associated Press writer Scott Lindlaw contributed to this report from San Francisco.

Will Bush cancel the 2008 election?

There. Someone finally said this, in print. Their conclusion?

"From the public side, the only conceivable counter-force might be a national strike or an effective long-term campaign of general non-cooperation... For only one thing is certain: denial will do nothing."

Bravo, gentlemen.

— Ed.

by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis
July 30, 2007

It is time to think about the "unthinkable."

The Bush Administration has both the inclination and the power to cancel the 2008 election.

The GOP strategy for another electoral theft in 2008 has taken clear shape, though we must assume there is much more we don't know.

But we must also assume that if it appears to Team Bush/Cheney/Rove that the GOP will lose the 2008 election anyway (as it lost in Ohio 2006) we cannot ignore the possibility that they would simply cancel the election. Those who think this crew will quietly walk away from power are simply not paying attention.

The real question is not how or when they might do it. It's how, realistically, we can stop them.

In Florida 2000, Team Bush had a game plan involving a handful of tactics. With Jeb Bush in the governor's mansion, the GOP used a combination of disenfranchisement, intimidation, faulty ballots, electronic voting fraud, a rigged vote count and an aborted recount, courtesy of the US Supreme Court.

A compliant Democrat (Al Gore) allowed the coup to be completed.

In Ohio 2004, the arsenal of dirty tricks exploded. Based in Columbus, we have documented more than a hundred different tactics used to steal the 20 electoral votes that gave Bush a second term. More are still surfacing. As a result of the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit (in which we are plaintiff and attorney) we have now been informed that 56 of the 88 counties in Ohio violated federal law by destroying election records, thus preventing a definitive historical recount.

As in 2000, a compliant Democrat (John Kerry) allowed the coup to proceed.

For 2008 we expect the list of vote theft maneuvers to escalate yet again. We are already witnessing a coordinated nationwide drive to destroy voter registration organizations and to disenfranchise millions of minority, poor and young voters.

This carefully choreographed campaign is complemented by the widespread use of electronic voting machines. As reported by the Government Accountability Office, Princeton University, the Brennan Center, the Carter-Baker Commission, US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and others, these machines can be easily used to flip an election. They were integral to stealing both the 2000 and 2004 elections. Efforts to make their source codes transparent, or to require a usable paper trail on a federal level, have thus far failed. A discriminatory Voter ID requirement may also serve as the gateway to a national identification card.

Overall, the GOP will have at its command even more weapons of election theft in 2008 than it did in Ohio 2004, which jumped exponentially from Florida 2000. The Rovian GOP is nothing if not tightly organized to do this with ruthless efficiency. Expect everything that was used these past two presidential elections to surface again in 2008 in far more states, with far more efficiency, and many new dirty tricks added in.

But in Ohio 2006, the GOP learned a hard lesson. Its candidate for governor was J. Kenneth Blackwell. The Secretary of State was the essential on-the-ground operative in the theft of Ohio 2004.

When he announced for governor, many Ohioans joked that "Ken Blackwell will never lose an election where he counts the votes."

But lose he did….along with the GOP candidates for Secretary of State, Attorney-General and US Senate.

By our calculations, despite massive grassroots scrutiny, the Republicans stole in excess of 6% of the Ohio vote in 2006. But they still lost.

Why? Because they were so massively unpopular that even a 6% bump couldn't save them. Outgoing Governor Bob Taft, who pled guilty to four misdemeanors while in office, left town with a 7% approval rating (that's not a typo). Blackwell entered the last week of the campaign down 30% in some polls.

So while the GOP still had control of the electoral machinery here in 2006, the public tide against them was simply too great to hold back, even through the advanced art and science of modern Rovian election theft.

In traditional electoral terms, that may also be the case in 2008. Should things proceed as they are now, it's hard to imagine any Republican candidate going into the election within striking distance. The potential variations are many, but the graffiti on the wall is clear.

What's also clear is that this administration has a deep, profound and uncompromised contempt for democracy, for the rule of law, and for the US Constitution. When George W. Bush went on the record (twice) as saying he has nothing against dictatorship, as long as he can be dictator, it was a clear and present policy statement.

Who really believes this crew will walk quietly away from power? They have the motivation, the money and the method for doing away with the electoral process altogether. So why wouldn't they?

The groundwork for dismissal of both the legislative and judicial branch has been carefully laid. The litany is well-known, but worth a very partial listing:

The continuation of the drug war, and the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act and other dictatorial laws prompted by the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, have decimated the Bill of Rights, and shredded the traditional American right to due process of law, freedom from official surveillance, arbitrary violence, and far more.

The current Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales, has not backed away from his announcement to Congress that the Constitution does not guarantee habeas corpus. The administration continues to act on the assumption that it can arrest anyone at any time and hold them without notification or trial for as long as it wants.

The establishment of the Homeland Security Agency has given it additional hardware to decimate the basic human rights of our citizenry. Under the guise of dealing with the "immigration problem," large concentration camps are under construction around the US.

The administration has endorsed and is exercising its "right" to employ torture, contrary to the Eighth Amendment and to a wide range of international treaties, which Gonzales has labeled "quaint."

With more than 200 "signing statements" the administration acts on its belief that the "unitary executive" trumps the power of the legislative branch in any instance it chooses. This belief has been further enforced with the administration's use of a wide range of precedent-setting arguments to keep its functionaries from testifying before Congress.

There is much more. In all instances, the 109th Congress---and the public---have rolled over without significant resistance.

Most crucial now are Presidential Directive #51, Executive Orders #13303, #13315, #13350, #13364, #13422, #13438, and more, by which Bush has granted himself an immense arsenal of powers for which the term "dictatorial" is a modest understatement.

The Founders established our government with checks and balances. But executive orders have accumulated important precedent. The Emancipation Proclamation by which Lincoln declared an end to slavery in the South, was issued under the "military necessity" of adding blacks to the Union Army, a step without which the North might not have won the Civil War. Franklin Roosevelt's Executive Order #8802 established the Fair Employment Practices Commission. Harry Truman's Executive Order #9981 desegregated the military.

Most to the point, FDR's Executive Order #9066 ordered the forcible internment of 100,000 people of Japanese descent into the now infamous concentration camps of World War II.

There is also precedent for a president overriding the Supreme Court. In the 1830s Chief Justice John Marshall enshrined the right of the Cherokee Nation to sovereignty over its ancestral land in the Appalachian Mountains. But President Andrew Jackson scorned the decision. Some 14,000 native Americans were moved at gunpoint to Oklahoma. More than 3,000 died along the way.

All this will be relevant should Team Bush envision a defeat in the 2008 election and decide to call it off. It's well established that Richard Nixon---mentor to Karl Rove and Dick Cheney---commissioned the Huston Plan, which detailed how to cancel the 1972 election.

Today we must ask: who would stop this administration from taking dictatorial power in the instance of a "national emergency" such as a terror attack at a nuclear power plant or something similar?

Nothing in the behavior of this Congress indicates that it is capable of significant resistance. Impeachment seems beyond it. Nor does it seem Congress would actually remove Bush if it did put him on trial.

Short of that, Bush clearly does not view anything Congress might do as a meaningful impediment. After all, how many divisions does the Congress command?

The Supreme Court, as currently constituted, would almost certainly rubber stamp a Bush coup. If not, like Jackson, he could ignore it as easily as he would ignore Congress.

What does that leave? There is much idle speculation now about what the armed forces would do. We also hear loose talk about "90 million gun owners."

From the public side, the only conceivable counter-force might be a national strike or an effective long-term campaign of general non-cooperation.

But we can certainly assume the mainstream media will give lock-step support to whatever the regime says and does. It's also a given that those likely to lead the resistance will immediately land in those new prisons being built by Halliburton et. al.

So how do we cope with the harsh realities of such a Bush/Cheney/Rove dictatorial coup?

We may have about a year to prepare. Every possible scenario needs to be discussed in excruciating detail.

For only one thing is certain: denial will do nothing.

HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.solartopia.org, along with SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030. The FITRAKIS FILES are at www.freepress.org (where this article was originally published), along with HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, which Bob and Harvey co-wrote.

Source URL: http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2007/2722

Pentagon to implant microchips in soldiers

Adam Thomas
Press Esc
Monday July 30, 2007

The Department of Defense is planning to implant microchips in soldiers' brains for monitoring their health information, and has already awarded a $1.6 million contract to the Center for Bioelectronics, Biosensors and Biochips (C3B) at Clemson University for the development of an implantable "biochip".

Soldiers fear that the biochip, about the size of a grain of rice, which measures and relays information on soldiers vital signs 24 hours a day, can be used to put them under surveillance even when they are off duty.

But Anthony Guiseppi-Elie, C3B director and Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering claims the that the invivo biosensors will save lives as first responders to the trauma scene could inject the biochip into the wounded victim and gather data almost immediately.

He believes that the device has other long-term potential applications, such as monitoring astronauts’ vital signs during long-duration space flights and reading blood-sugar levels for diabetics.

“We now lose a large percentage of patients to bleeding, and getting vital information such as how much oxygen is in the tissue back to ER physicians and medical personnel can often mean the difference between life and death,” said Guiseppi-Elie. “Our goal is to improve the quality and expediency of care for fallen soldiers and civilian trauma victims.” The biochip also may be injected as a precaution to future traumas."

Clemson scientists have formulated a gel that mimics human tissue and reduces the chances of the body rejecting the biochip, which has been a problem in the past.

The researcher predicts the biochip is five years away from human trials, and the DoD could start implanting microchips in soldiers bodies soon after.

Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Missing

In 56 of Ohio's 88 counties, ballots and election records from 2004 have been "accidentally" destroyed, despite a federal order to preserve them -- it was crucial evidence which would have revealed whether the election was stolen.

- Steven Rosenfeld - July 30, 2007

Two-thirds of Ohio counties have destroyed or lost their 2004 presidential ballots and related election records, according to letters from county election officials to the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner.

The lost records violate Ohio law, which states federal election records must be kept for 22 months after Election Day, and a U.S. District Court order issued last September that the 2004 ballots be preserved while the court hears a civil rights lawsuit alleging voter suppression of African-American voters in Columbus.

The destruction of the election records also frustrates efforts by the media and historians to determine the accuracy of Ohio's 2004 vote count, because in county after county the key evidence needed to understand vote count anomalies apparently no longer exists.

"The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election," said Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, which filed voter suppression suit. "We're in the process of addressing where to go from here with the Ohio Attorney General's office."

"On the one hand, people will now say you can't prove the fraud," he said, "but the rule of law says that when evidence is destroyed it creates a presumption that the people who destroyed evidence did so because it would have proved the contention of the other side."

Brunner's office confirmed the 2004 ballots were missing, but declined to comment.

"Because this case is still pending, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is unable to comment on this," said Jeff Ortega, a spokesperson. "Ultimately, whether the boards of elections are in violation of a federal court order is a matter for the court to decide."

The missing presidential election records were discovered this past spring by Brunner, a Democrat and former judge who was elected Secretary of State in 2006. Her predecessor, Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell, was sued in August 2006 by a Columbus community organization that alleged the former Secretary of State and other "unnamed" officials "selectively and discriminatorily designed and implemented procedures for the allocation of voting machines in a manner to create a shortage. For certain urban precincts where large numbers of African-Americans resided," according to the complaint.

Under federal and Ohio law, all ballots and election records from federal races must be preserved for 22 months after Election Day, which fell on Sept. 2, 2006. While election integrity activists and reporters from a Columbus website, FreePress.org, had sought the ballots and other election records soon after the presidential election, Blackwell would not allow county boards to release the ballots, citing court challenges to the 2004 results and a 2005 suit from the League of Women Voters alleging the state was not following the newest federal election law, the Help America Vote Act. By spring 2006, after the League's lawyers stipulated they were not challenging the 2004 election results, some counties began to release their 2004 election records. Scrutiny of those records raised questions about the conduct of the election and some county vote totals.

On Aug. 23, 2006, lawyers for the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association notified the Secretary of State's office of their voter suppression suit. The following day Blackwell's office sent letters to all 88 of Ohio's county Boards of Election, notifying them of the suit. It is customary for public officials to preserve potential evidence when notified of pending litigation. Blackwell negotiated with opposing attorneys and agree to send a directive to election boards saying the ballots should be retained. Ian Urbina, a New York Times reporter working on the story, reported that Blackwell said he would be creating a process whereby county election officials could eventually review and dispose of the 2004 ballots.

On Sept. 11, 2006, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the election boards "to preserve all ballots from the 2004 Presidential election, on paper and in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this Court."

Two months after Marbley's order, Blackwell lost the race for governor to Democrat Ted Strickland and Brunner was elected Secretary of State. During the following winter and spring, Brunner and the state's attorneys began negotiating a settlement for the voter suppression suit, according to lawyers involved in those talks. Part of that agreement, which has not yet been brought before the federal district court, was the creation of a statewide repository of the 2004 presidential ballots. When conducting an inventory and attempting to collect those records, Brunner's office learned that seven counties had no ballots to turn over and 56 counties only had partial records from the 2004 vote.

"This is not just a violation of a 22-month ballot retention law. It is a violation of a court order," Arnebeck said. "Blackwell told the New York Times that he would create a clearance procedure before destroying any ballots. The combination of Blackwell's directive and my letter should have been enough to give the counties notice."

What happened to the 2004 ballots

The presidential ballots and election records were lost, misplaced, damaged by water, taken to landfills -- all apparently by mistake, due to miscommunications, or because the local election administrators were not aware of the state ballot preservation law or the federal court order, according to letters to Brunner's office from the various county election boards.

"Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages as requested in (Brunner's) Directive 2007-07 due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions," wrote Butler County Board of Election Director Betty McGary and Deputy Director Lynn Kinkaid in a May 9 memo. "Several boxes containing all the wire-bound ballot pages were discarded into a Rumpke dumpster. The dumpster would have been emptied into the local landfill."

"The Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Board of Elections was unable to transfer the unvoted precinct ballots and soiled precinct ballots," wrote John Williams, Hamilton County Director of Elections on May 16, 2007. "To the best if my knowledge, the above ballots were inadvertently shredded between January 19th and 26th of '06 in an effort to make room for the new Hart voting system."

"No one could remember the disposition of said ballots," wrote Mike Keeley, of Clermont County's Board of Elections on May 10, 2007, referring to the "unvoted" or unused ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

Since the 2004 election, a handful of media organizations, civil rights groups, attorneys, historians and authors have been investigating how the president won in Ohio by 118,775 votes. These inquiries have had two primary focuses: examining Republican-led voter suppression tactics and problems with the vote count, suggesting vote count fraud.

The partisan voter suppression tactics have been easier to document. Before the election, Blackwell, who was co-chair of the state's Bush-Cheney campaign, issued numerous administrative orders that fueled an extreme partisan climate. One of the most notable came as Ohio was seeing large voter registration drives in mid-2004. Blackwell issued an order, which he later rescinded under pressure, saying only voter registrations on 80-pound paper would be accepted and processed. At the time, Republican Gov. Robert Taft told reporters that directive could disenfranchise 100,000 voters. The state Republican Party also threatened to send thousands of poll challengers to local precincts, to ensure only properly registered voter exercised that right.

On Election Day in many Ohio cities, the turnout -- or voter accommodation rate -- in these traditional Democratic strongholds was markedly lower than in nearby suburbs, where Republicans have tended to be the majority. In Columbus, the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association sued saying African-American voters in Franklin County were disenfranchised because urban precincts received fewer voting machines per capita than the whiter, wealthier suburbs. They noted urban precincts had many more voting machines during the spring primary.

Ohio's Secretary of State and Attorney General are engaged in settlement talks in the neighborhood association suit, suggesting the voter suppression claims have merit. In contrast, the case for Republican vote count fraud in the rural areas has been much harder to prove, even as the certified vote count is problematic in some counties.

Compared to Ohio's Democratic urban core, turnout in the Republican districts was higher than the 2000 election. Moreover, in a handful of counties there were vote count anomalies that made post-election observers question whether Bush's vote was padded. The most notable example is more than 10,000 voters from several Bible belt counties who voted for Bush and voted in favor of gay marriage, if the results are true. In a dozen rural counties, virtually unknown Democrats at the bottom of the ballot received more votes that Kerry, an oddity in a presidential year.

Reporters associated with FreePress.org and Arnebeck's legal team hoped the court order preserving the 2004 ballots would enable them to investigate how these results occurred. Depending on the ballot type and vote-counting machine used, they have theories about how Bush's vote could have been inflated. But because many of these rural counties apparently have destroyed the very 2004 election records that would clarify what happened, it is now virtually impossible to determine what happened.

In Warren County, where county election officials said on Election Day that the FBI had declared a homeland security alert -- which they later retracted -- ballots were diverted to a warehouse before counting. The local media was not allowed to observe the vote count. According to a letter from the Warren County Board of Election to Brunner's office, the election board cannot find 22,000 unused ballots from the election.

"The missing records reveal where the fraud occurred," said Arnebeck. "You take as an example, Warren County. It is well documented that there was a phony homeland security alert and that was the excuse for excluding the public and the press from observing what was going on during Election Day. So the missing unused ballots would suggest that ballots were remade to fit the desired result."

"The same situation occurred in Clermont County," he said. "We have sworn affidavits from people who saw white stickers placed over the Kerry-Edward ovals in this optical scan county," he said, referring to one way of masking a would-be Kerry vote, because optical-scan machines read ink marks on paper ballots. "So the missing unused ballots would suggest they were used to remake ballots to reflect the desired vote for Bush."

Many rural Ohio counties did not have vote count problems, Arnebeck said. But enough did have significant problems that called for further investigation.

"The Attorney General says the rural counties all say human error was to blame (for the missing ballots)," he said. "There are some counties where ballots are missing and we don't believe anything was wrong with the vote count. But there are others where that human error covers up what we think was vote count fraud."

Another big category of votes that will never be explained are the nearly 129,000 ballots that were rejected by voting machines and not counted. Many of these 2004 ballots -- a mix of computer punch cards, paper ballots to be marked by ink and electronic votes -- are among the incomplete 2004 election records. One post-election analysis found 94,000 of these ballots come from Democratic-majority precincts, and estimated these that ballots could have cost Kerry an additional 26,000 votes.

Dow Jones Accepts Murdoch's Offer - My responce

Dow Jones & Co. has accepted Rupert Murdoch's acquisition offer. The $5 billion offer was accepted by the family members and trusts which control 32 percent of the voting shares. The acquisition will give Murdoch control of the second most widely read newspaper in the USA. The sale will become official after a board meeting this afternoon.

Rupert Murdoch finally won his long-coveted prize today, tentatively gaining enough support from the deeply divided Bancroft family to buy Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, for $5 billion.

Family members and trusts representing about 32 percent of the shareholder vote indicated they would support Mr. Murdoch’s offer, though several details were still being worked out, according to people briefed on the matter.For Mr. Murdoch, the verdict represents the pinnacle of his long career building the News Corporation into a $28 billion global media empire that already includes more than 100 newspapers around the world, satellite broadcast operations, the Fox television network, the online social networking site MySpace and many other properties.

Source: nytimes.com

Well here we go! It seems that Rupert Murdoch now has control of almost every major news outlet in the world! This can't be a good thing! What ever happend to the Trust-busting, like in the days of William Howard Taft? I think he knew what could and would happen if a small number of people controlled everything.

For those of you who don't know, or don't remember this from school, let me explain.

refers to government activities designed to break up trusts or monopolies. Theodore Roosevelt is the U.S. president most associated with dissolving trusts, but his chosen successor, William Howard Taft, actually began the most of the anti-trust proceedings.

Trusts were large business entities that largely succeeded in controlling a market, essentially becoming a monopoly. The term became common in the late 19th century, when a system of trusts controlled much of the economy of the United States. In 1898, President William McKinley launched the "trust-busting" era when he appointed the U.S. Industrial Commission on Trusts, which interrogated Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, and other industrial titans. The report of the Industrial Commission was seized upon by Theodore Roosevelt, who became known as a "Trust Buster," dissolving 44 trusts during his two terms as president. However, the "Trust Buster" name is probably more suited for Roosevelt's successor, William Howard Taft, who brought an end to 90 trusts in one term. Although Taft may have done more to control the trusts while in office, Roosevelt retains the nickname because he was the pioneer of trust-busting.

Senator John Sherman from Ohio, introduced legislation on July 2, 1890, to prevent trusts from forming. The Clayton Antitrust Act was enacted in 1914 to remedy deficiencies in the Sherman Act.

Now apply that to Rupert Murdoch, or should I say, News Corporation?
The government went after Microsoft claiming it was a monopoly, then why let News Corporation do the same thing with the news and media?!? I hope people understand just how much this man owns, and the power he welds over all of us because of this ownership.

Oh I think I know why, because even if they did, odds are you wouldn't even hear about it. Think about this for a moment, look at all the companies News Corporation owns, now think about this, if there were and action taken against Rupert Murdoch or News Corporation, who would report it? Maybe CNN, NBC, CBS, or ABC? I don't think so, problem is, all the owners of all these companies are members of the Bilderberg Group. I could be going out on a limb here, but the question I pose to you is this, "Do you really trust one man for all your news and media?" If so, I have some water front property I want to sell you in Florida!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Becoming Ron Paul?

RonPaul08 - Action
Written by Administrator
Thursday, 26 July 2007

Dear Ron Paul Meet-up member,

After the primaries and election what should be done about all the momentum of the Ron Paul Campaign? The answer is quite simple "Become Ron Paul!"

Each of the Ron Paul meet-up groups have already served as a nucleus for the campaign. Participating, supporting, and spreading the ideals of Ron Paul is something we know we can be successful at. Why not parlay those new found skills and networks to choose a leader in your Ron Paul Meet-up to throw the hat into the ring and run for a public office?

State-Senator, State-Representative, US Congressmen, US Senator, Mayor, County Sheriff... all those jobs need to be filled by people who hold Ron Paul's ideals... why not be you?

The infrastructure is clearly in place. The skills, creativity, and teamwork established is there, the only part of the equation not there is the leader to rise from your meet-up group.

Imagine the possibilities, every Ron Paul meet-up group converted into an individual campaign for a leader from your group! This way, win or loose, we can still change the country from within.

The powers that be would tremble at the thought of THOUSANDS of Ron Pauls taking hold and running for office.

Each meet-up group is a campaign unto itself. Keep this thought in mind at your next meet-up group meeting and consider bringing it up for discussion.

Are you ready to become Ron Paul?

Please pass this message along to meet-up groups, post it in forums, blogs and in MySpace bulletins, this message needs to be spread!

Yours Sincerely in Freedom and Truth,

Gary Franchi
RTR National Director
Member "The Greater Chicago Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group"
Member "National Ron Paul Campaign Supporters"

PS. Join the "Become Ron Paul" discussion here:

Restore The Republic, 4 E. Ogden Ave #125, Westmont, Illinois 60559

The Interview that got me FIRED!

Well here it is, the interview that got me fired from my job!
Enjoy it!

Federal court throws out limits on illegal immigrants

ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A federal court Thursday struck down ordinances passed by Hazleton, Pennsylvania, that were intended to limit where illegal immigrants could live and work.


A bar in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, displays a sign on Thursday that reads "ALL Legals Served."

Last year, Hazleton passed the Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance, which would have fined landlords who rented to undocumented immigrants and would have penalized companies that employed them.

Under another law, tenants would have had to prove they were citizens or lawful residents, register with the city and pay for a rental permit in order to receive an occupancy permit.

The ordinances were copied by other cities.

The court ruled that Hazleton cannot enact any ordinances dealing with illegal immigration because they conflict with the supremacy clause of the U.S. constitution.

"Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community. Since the United States Constitution protects even the disfavored, the ordinances cannot be enforced," U.S. District Judge James M. Munley wrote in the 206-page opinion.

Mayor Lou Barletta, who spearheaded the opposition, said he will appeal the ruling. "This fight is far from over," he told reporters outside the courtroom. "Hazleton is not going to back down. ... We will take it all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to." Video Watch mayor decry "injustice" »

Barletta drafted the act last year after "a high-profile murder, the discharge of a gun at a crowded city playground, and drug busts" allegedly involving illegal immigrants, he wrote on his Web site, www.smalltowndefenders.com.

"Illegal aliens in our city create an economic burden that threatens our quality of life," he wrote. "With a growing problem and a limited budget, I could not sit back any longer and allow this to happen. I needed to act!"

Hazleton's population was 23,000 in 2000. Since then, it has risen to an estimated 30,000 to 33,000, with many of the newcomers being Mexican immigrants, according to Munley.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania was among several groups that filed the suit on behalf of Hazleton residents, landlords and business owners.

The groups contended that only the federal government has the right to regulate immigration or to deprive residents of the rights to equal protection. In addition, they said, the ordinances violated state and federal housing laws.

The ordinances, Munley said, "penalize landlords, tenants, employers and employees without providing them the procedural protections required by federal law, including notice and an opportunity to be heard."

"Our analysis applies to illegal aliens as well as to legal residents and citizens. The United States Constitution provides due process protections to all persons," he wrote, emphasizing "all."

The city exceeded its police powers by enacting unconstitutional ordinances, wrote Munley, whom President Clinton appointed to the federal bench in 1998.

Barletta said he would "continue to fight for the people of this community and other cities around the country."

"It's almost amusing to me that the judge would say we can't do what the federal government should be doing, when in fact the federal government is not doing their job," he told CNN's Lou Dobbs.

A spokesman for the ACLU of Pennsylvania expressed satisfaction with the ruling.

"Hazleton-type laws are designed to make life miserable for millions of immigrants," said Vic Walczak, legal director for the group and a lead attorney in the case. "They promote distrust of all foreigners, including those here legally, and fuel xenophobia and discrimination, especially against Latinos."

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, added, "Political leaders, like Mayor Barletta, must stop scape-goating undocumented immigrants for all the problems we confront in our local communities."

Mysterious chunks of ice pelt Iowa town

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) -- Large chunks of ice, one of them reportedly about 50 pounds, fell from the sky in this northeast Iowa city, smashing through a woman's roof and tearing through nearby trees.


Jan Kenkel holds a piece of ice that fell through the roof of her Dubuque, Iowa, home on Thursday.

Authorities were unsure of the ice's origin but have theorized the chunks either fell from an airplane or naturally accumulated high in the atmosphere -- both rare occurrences.

"It sounded like a bomb!" 78-year-old Jan Kenkel said. She said she was standing in her kitchen when an ice chunk crashed through her roof at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday. "I jumped about a foot!"

She traced the damage to her television room, where she found a messy pile of insulation, bits of ceiling, splintered wood and about 50 pounds of solid ice.

Karle and Mary Beth Wigginton, who live a block away, heard a loud "whoosh" coming through the trees. They discovered several large chunks of ice in front of their home and some smaller ones in the yard and in the street.

"I could see where branches were shredded, which told me it was definitely coming out of the sky," Karle Wigginton said.

He estimated the original chunk of ice was the size of a basketball. "It was pure white," he said. "The main parts I picked up were very smooth."

Elizabeth Cory, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said investigators would contact Kenkel to try to determine the source of the ice.

"It is very uncommon for something like this to come from an aircraft," Cory said. "That is really unusual if it is pure white ice, especially at this time of year."

Occasionally, aircraft latrines discharge contents at altitude, resulting in chunks of descending ice. Airplanes also sometimes accumulate ice on their edges in certain atmospheric conditions, including high altitude and extreme moisture, said Robert Grierson, the Dubuque Regional Airport manager and a pilot.

The moisture involved in such a scenario could have come from the tops of strong thunderstorms. However, Dubuque had clear skies at the time the ice fell, said Andy Ervin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Davenport. "There was nothing unusual going on," he said.

David Travis, a professor of geography and geology and an associate dean at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, has studied the phenomenon of large chunks of ice falling from a clear sky. He said it's possible the ice could have been a megacryometeor -- "similar to a hailstone, but without the thunderstorm."

Travis is part of a research team that has documented more than 50 possible megacryometeor cases during the past five years. Some involve ice chunks the size of microwave ovens.

"It is hard to keep something like that suspended in air without a thunderstorm," Travis said.

Most megacryometeor sightings have occurred in coastal areas, where atmospheric turbulence helps keep ice suspended long enough to grow into large chunks.

Travis' research team speculates the phenomenon could be linked to global warming, suggesting that climate change might make the tropopause portion of the atmosphere colder, moister and more turbulent.

"But those don't typically happen in the summer time," Travis said. "It seems like they are mostly associated with the passage of passing cold fronts."

Wesley Clark On MSNBC: "Possible" Tillman Death Was Murder, Cover Up Came From Very Top

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Friday, July 27, 2007

Gen. Wesley Clark joined Olbermann on MSNBC's Countdown show last night to discuss the shocking new details concerning the death of Pat Tillman.

Olbermann and Clark speculate that the suppressed Army medical report that stated Tillman was shot three times in the head from just 10 yards indicates that a greater cover-up than "friendly fire" has been at work, that it came from the very top, and that Tillman was likely murdered.

Transcript appears below the video - after covering another topic the conversation shifts to Tillman.

Keith Olbermann: General Clark, let me turn from this story. We expected to spend all of our time with you tonight talking about this, but there have been two developments in the Pat Tillman story - a fiasco,here's not other word for it now - and this awful report tonight. Parsing through these documents obtained by the Associated Press that indicate that Army investigators were denied permission to see whether or not Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger was a deliberate fragging, was a case of murder, even though the shots were seemingly so close together in his head that they, they looked to the doctors on the scene that they might've been fired from only ten yards away. Not only was there access denied here, but the Army lawyers were congratulating themselves in e-mail traffic from keeping this from becoming a criminal investigation. Do you think this case is still wide open?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Absolutely, and it should be. The, the evidence of some problems is very, very clear. Mary Tillman and the Tillman family have been incredibly courageous in pursuing the truth in this, and the truth is not yet out. If there's even a hint that there was something like a homicide or a murder in this case, it should've been fully investigated and proved or disproved, and we don't really know how far up- Was it the Secretary of Defense's office? Was it the White House? Where did the idea that you shouldn't give any indication of what happened to Tillman. 'Just go ahead and go through with the burial ceremony. Give him the Silver Star.' Where did that- where was that idea blessed? You can be sure that that idea did not originate or stop at the Two- or Three-Star level. That was- someone approved that all the way to the top, because Pat Tillman was a political symbol used by the administration when it suited their purposes.

Keith Olbermann: Well, we have assumed from the beginning that that was exactly the scenario that this possibility that his, his death from friendly fire would, would somehow effect, in some way that neither of us able- ever been able to understand, somehow effect people's appreciation for his patriotism and sacrifice. Does it not begin to look more and more like that, that we were going the wrong direction in this, that they were not trying to protect something, something slightly negative from coming out, but in fact coming- protecting the accusation that his mother has made and has not gotten a lot of attention to that, that perhaps he was indeed murdered? Were we, were, were we actually underestimating what was being covered up here?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: It's very possible. We, we just don't know, Keith. I think the responsible thing for the Pentagon to do and for the Congress to do is to demand that the investigation be reopened and people all the way up the chain of command to the very top discuss what happened, when, why, we get to the facts about why the, the murder charge wasn't fully investigated. I looked at some of the investigations. I looked at the tape. I looked at the rerun of the scene. I've met with the Tillman family. And honestly, the distance, even in- the investigators said that the shots were fired at less than a hundred meters, and okay the light was failing, but he had a clearly recognizable silhouette. His weapon was clearly visible - the type of weapon. It, it ,it's, it's really hard for people to understand this. The investigation needs to be reopened and followed through to its conclusion.

Keith Olbermann: As opposed to the ruling today that a Three-Star General is likely to be demoted, and other officers will be admonished. And that's it so far.


Keith Olbermann: General Wesley Clark, former Supreme, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, our great thanks as always for being with us, Sir.


NASA: Astronauts flew missions while drunk

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida (CNN) -- NASA said Friday its astronauts flew drunk on at least two occasions despite warnings from doctors and colleagues that they posed a flight safety risk.


A panel reportedly found that flight surgeons allowed intoxicated astronauts to fly on the shuttle.

A panel found that flight surgeons allowed intoxicated astronauts to fly on the shuttle.

The revelation shocked former astronauts and came as NASA deals with the apparent sabotage of a computer bound for the orbiting international space station.

Earlier an Aviation Week story based on the report said the agency found "heavy use of alcohol" by astronauts within 12 hours of launch -- a violation of NASA's standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule.

Such allegations, if true, would be "mind-boggling," according to two former shuttle astronauts contacted by CNN.

One of the astronauts said he was not aware of anyone "unduly using alcohol prior to launch." The other said "not a chance," and added that he would have "thrown the person off the crew." Video Watch how astronauts say the revelations are "mind-boggling" »

The astronauts asked that they not be named due to the sensitive nature of the allegations and the lack of detail available before the report is released.

Former NASA flight surgeon Jonathan Clark told CNN he'd never heard such reports in the past, although he said he had seen crew allowed to fly while "extremely tired" from "pre-mission fatigue." "Many of them took sleeping pills to try get some normal sleep state, and there were times when crew were groggy."

He said there are traditional pre-flight celebrations and toasting with crew members and their families, "but the times I've been involved ... there was beer and wine but there wasn't any heavy drinking."

Clark said he attended many such events as a flight surgeon or as an astronaut spouse. Clark's wife Laurel Clark was killed along with six other astronauts in the 2003 Columbia disaster.

It was unclear in the Aviation Week story who might have been drinking or when during the 27-year history of the space shuttle program the alleged incidents might have happened. The report comes from a panel NASA commissioned after the February arrest of former astronaut Lisa Nowak. Panelists looked into NASA's medical and psychological screening process.

A NASA official told The Associated Press the allegations of pre-launch drinking are based on anonymous interviews and are unsubstantiated. AP said the official did not want to be named in advance of a NASA news conference set for 1 p.m. ET.

NASA Deputy Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier said Thursday he had never dealt with safety issues involving inebriated astronauts.

"There's not been a disciplinary action that I've been involved in with regard to this activity," he said.

NASA's next scheduled space shuttle mission is August 7, for the crew of the orbiter Endeavour. Gerstenmaier also said an internal investigation has been launched into the sabotage of the computer and said it would be repaired and ready for next month's liftoff.

The problem surfaced, Gerstenmaier said, when a subcontractor who supplied the computer notified NASA. Workers checked the computer and found it was intentionally damaged.

The computer is to be installed aboard the station's U.S. laboratory to monitor sensors on the facility's truss, Gerstenmaier said. It was not designed to be part of any command and control or navigation functions, he said.

Gerstenmaier would not name the subcontractor that supplied the computer. He did say it is not based at Kennedy Space Center. He said NASA management does not believe the incident is related to the ongoing strike at Kennedy Space Center between prime shuttle contractor U.S. Space Alliance and the machinists union.

AP: New Details on Tillman's Death

By MARTHA MENDOZA 07.26.07, 7:28 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among other information contained in the documents:

_ In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."

_ Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

_ The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

_ No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman's death. The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers.

With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached, Congress is preparing for yet another hearing next week.

The Pentagon is separately preparing a new round of punishments, including a stinging demotion of retired Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., 60, according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public.

In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general's office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers' testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something.

At one point, he said: "You've got me really scared about my brain right now. I'm really having a problem."

Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.

"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It's about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.

The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.

"He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified.

Also according to the documents, investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs. Tillman has been asking all along.

"Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl. Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?" an investigator asked then-Capt. Richard Scott.

Scott, and others who were asked, said they were certain the shooting was accidental.

Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked, whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity, or if he was considered arrogant. They said Tillman was respected, admired and well-liked.

The documents also shed new light on Tillman's last moments.

It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O'Neal, who was at Tillman's side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again.

But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.

The chaplain said that O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, `Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."

Associated Press reporters Scott Lindlaw in Las Vegas and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this story.

New Evidence Clearly Indicates Pat Tillman Was Executed

Army medical examiners concluded Tillman was shot three times in the head from just 10 yards away, no evidence of "friendly fire" damage at scene, Army attorneys congratulated each other on cover-up, Wesley Clark concludes "orders came from the very top" to murder pro-football star because he was about to become an anti-war political icon

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Friday, July 27, 2007

Astounding new details surrounding the death of Pat Tillman clearly indicate that top brass decided to execute the former pro football star in cold blood to prevent him from returning home and becoming an anti-war icon.

These same criminals then engaged in a sophisticated conspiracy to create a phony "friendly fire" cover story.

Shocking new facts emerged about the case last night but were bizarrely underplayed by the Associated Press under nondescript headlines like 'New Details on Tillman's Death' - a complete disservice to the horrific implications that the new evidence carries.Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

The report also states that "No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck."

The article also reveals that "Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments."

So there was no evidence whatsoever of friendly fire, but the ballistics data clearly indicated that the three head shots had been fired from just 10 yards away and then the Army tried to concoct a hoax friendly fire story and sent gloating back-slapping e mails congratulating each other on their success while preventing the doctors from exploring the possibility of murder. How can any sane and rational individual weigh this evidence and not come to the conclusion that Tillman was deliberately gunned down in cold blood?

The evidence points directly to it and the motivation is clear - Tillman abandoned a lucrative career in pro-football immediately after 9/11 because he felt a rampaging patriotic urge to defend his country, and became a poster child for the war on terror as a result. But when he discovered that the invasion of Iraq was based on a mountain of lies and deceit and had nothing to do with defending America, he became infuriated and was ready to return home to become an anti-war hero.

As far back as March 2003, immediately after the invasion, Tillman famously told his comrade Spc. Russell Baer, "You know, this war is so fucking illegal," and urged his entire platoon to vote against Bush in the 2004 election. Far from the gung-ho gruff stereotype attributed to him, Tillman was actually a fiercely intellectual man with the courage of his convictions firmly in place.

Tillman had even begun to arrange meetings with anti-war icons like Noam Chomsky upon his return to America before his death cut short any aspirations of becoming a focal point for anti-war sentiment.

According to Daily Kos, Wesley Clark appeared on Keith Olbermann's Countdown last night and stated that "the orders came from the very top" to murder Tillman as he was a political symbol and his opposition to the war in Iraq would have rallied the population around supporting immediate withdrawal.

The notion that the U.S. government gave orders for Army top brass to execute Pat Tillman in cold blood is the most damaging indictment of the Iraq war since it began, trumping the lies about weapons of mass destruction tenfold, but if the establishment media continue to soft-peddle and steam-valve one of the biggest stories of the century its impact will be completely diluted.

It is up to us to make this story go viral because the implications are so dire that they could act as the final death knell for the blood-soaked and illegal occupation of Iraq and become the clarion call to bring our troops home.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bush Millman Clinton Lindner Crime Family Flow Chart

US State Department Sponsors Training of Would-Be Terrorists

Huntsville, Alabama - The US State Department sponsors the training of would-be terrorists at the Redstone Arsenal's Hazardous Devices School, which offers "explosive ordinance disposal training."

This is the most exclusive explosives school in the United States. It's where firemen, policemen, and municipal bomb squads are trained. It also provides training for the US armed forces, FBI, CIA, as well as foreign army and intelligence personnel. This is the most elite of the munitions schools in the United States and it's part of the Redstone Arsenal complex.

This facility is not run by the US Army or by the military. It is technically run by US State Department employee Ray Funderberg, who's been covertly in charge of it for about twenty years. An added note -- although Funderberg works for the State Department, he dresses in a US Army Colonel's uniform. Official records indicate that he supposedly works for the FBI.

According to a reliable source, one of the Iranians involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, took training courses at the Redstone Arsenal's school of explosives. He enrolled in this course under the guise of a Pakistani military officer with Pakistani uniform and credentials. This is important to note because Al Martin Raw has previously reported that many hostile nations have a visible presence at the US Redstone Arsenal. Evidently "terrorists," as well as regular armed forces and intelligence officers, are also being "trained" at the Redstone Arsenal.

In other news, five new shipments of "marshmallows" (anti-personnel land mines) have left the Redstone Arsenal. And this week the Friendly Colonel is once again doing business under the "Gulf Coast Trucking and Receiving" moniker.

An inside source wants the Friendly Colonel to provide the State Department employment forms necessary to bring more people in. One of the arms merchants has a deal with the Russians to bring Palestinians into this explosives training program.

For instance, Palestinians would be brought in -- technically as members of the Chinese (Taiwan) Army, even though they are Palestinians. They would hardly pass as "Chinese," but since nobody cares, it's a done deal. Al Martin Raw readers should understand that no one asks any questions about any thing at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

In fact, there are two Palestinians being trained there now in "explosives." As mentioned before, none of them are who they appear to be. It's all just convenience for paperwork. In case the Redstone Arsenal gets investigated, they will claim, "No, these people are legitimate; here's the paperwork."

Suddenly an Afghani guy named Mohammed Habib winds up being a Colonel Sven Larssen in the Swedish Army. This is an actual case. And it shows just how ridiculous it is.

This deception at the Hazardous Devices School is really another School of Americas story. The Friendly Colonel is being offered a $12,000 fee per person to fill out the appropriate State department documents to allow people into the United States on green cards for short stays - 30, 60, 90 day stays - and to enlist foreign nationals into this program. What they're doing is using this program as a cover to bring people in to be trained at the explosives school. The US State Department is actually conspiring with foreign arms merchants and the governments they represent to allow hostile foreign nationals to come to the United States using false documents to be trained at this facility.

They're asking the Friendly Colonel if he would "hire" these people as "trucking agents." (See previous story, Marshmallow Business Is Booming). To make this offer even more appealing, the Colonel is guaranteed that "there will be no heat" - because the US State Department is complicit. This is a standing offer to him from the State Department - to provide false documents for these foreign nationals for $12,000 each.

Aiding in this enormous illegal covert operation of the United States Government, the Colonel expects to make a million dollars by this time next year.

It is our opinion that these illicit operations at the Redstone Arsenal and adjoining facilities - US Missile Command etc - now exceed the volumes of money and egregious conduct of Iran-Contra itself. Now there are thousands of people involved making millions of dollars.

At lunch, the brigadier general and others involved were all licking their chops at the new F-22 Raptor program. They can't wait for that to get scaled up. There will be many Chinese arms merchants who will supply fraudulent spare parts that don't work as usual. They're looking at this program as "a fresh source to defraud more billions with the Department of Defense with the complicity of senior officers through a complex offshore network of arms dealers, not only foreign arms dealers, but cutouts for American corporations that are producing components and systems for this aircraft.

The bottom line is that we are training individuals and foreign military personnel who are hostile to the United States.

Al Martin Raw readers should also understand how the fraud is systemic, how the fraud is all inter-connected, and how conspiratorial the fraud is, namely that it's all being controlled by an elite group that runs through foreign governments, the Department of Defense, and defense contractors.

Their agenda is clear - terrorism is good for business.

Terrorism pumps up everybody's budgets, especially defense, law enforcement, interdiction, etc.

As long as we can keep "foreign terrorism" alive, everyone benefits -- the Department of Defense, the CIA, Department of State, the National Security Agency and many others. They can all ask for more money in their budgets by pointing to the "terrorists." We are in effect augmenting that threat, making sure it stays alive and healthy, so that federal agencies can be funded with ever-increasing amounts of money, especially those agencies that do not have to account for the expenditures of those monies.

They don't have to account for the missing monies because even if they're nominally supposed to account for their budgets they don't. Witness the missing $1.1 trillion from the Department of Defense (See Rumsfeld Inherits Financial Mess)The brigadier general who's in charge was actually concerned because he and his associates (higher-ranking generals in the Department of Defense, who are committing these frauds) have been notified by the foreign banks where they have deposits that their deposits have grown to such enormous amounts of money that they are unmanageable. They are being asked to transfer their money into other offshore illicit accounts. Some of the banks they're doing business with are very small and obscure offshore banks that simply can not handle such enormous flows of money.

But you can understand the enormity of the fraud, when you're talking about trillions of dollars. This fraud is deep and systemic and involves a conspiracy of thousands of high ranking military officers, high ranking State Department officials, Department of Justice officials, CIA, National Security Agency officials, etc. and their "foreign counterparts."

This is the "Very Real Vast Right Wing Conspiracy," which has never been called to accounting.

Now the Russians are coming on board with the ABM missile treaty. It can be predicted that the Russians will drop their objections to our development of an ABM system in exchange for advanced US military technology, with which, by the way, we are already supplying the Russians and covertly rearming them. That was just an offer on the table, yet we are already supplying the Russians with US highly advanced technology. Like the notorious School of Americas which trained foreign nationals in American torture, interrogation and warfare techniques, the US State Department trains "terrorists.".

In the final analysis, though, nothing is new. The United States Government has covertly sponsored these activities in the past, especially during "Iran-Contra" and "Iraq-Gate." We virtually built the Iraqi military and there are many past correlations. For instance, the US did not stop supplying Iraq with illegal weapons systems until three days before the beginning of the Gulf War.

During "Iran-Contra," the US allowed the Sandinista regime to deal in narcotics so they could generate revenues to purchase more East Bloc weapons in order to become a greater threat to the US, so we could counter that threat by building the Contra Army in which all sorts of fraud against the American taxpayers, corporations, security firms, and banks could be hidden.

It is interesting to note that the Sandinista regime used two of the same companies to purchase weapons for the Contras as well as the Sandinistas. These companies were TransWorld Armaments Corp, based in Quebec City and owned by the infamous Immanuel von Weigensburg and Defcon Industries of Lisbon, Portugal, a CIA-controlled arms merchant cutout also controlled by Major General Richard V. Secord, as noted in the famous Lake Resources lawsuit (United States v. Richard Secord, cv 1202-A 1991 Eastern District Court of Virginia) . [See "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider"]

Iraq Gate and Iran Contra are perfect examples of how similar these two operations are compared to what's going on now. We are creating an enemy and we are also supporting existing enemies for the purpose of enriching a small clique of defense contractors, senior military and intelligence officers, and politicians on the right. We are financing terrorism against us as well as attempting to rebuild Russia and then build China into a new power under the concept that covert wars are very profitable.

The "Fight Against Terrorism" has done an awful lot for the Republican Party. And it has enriched a lot of people and corporations.

The drumbeat against "terrorism" continues full speed ahead.

-- September 11, 2001

A special State Department Internal Security team from the political liability control office was inserted quickly after the incident into the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama.

The Demolition School has been shut down, and they are shredding documents as we speak. As a matter of fact they have made an emergency request to the Department of Defense for more shredders.

According to the general on the scene, the way the Feds are handling the situation is that the Redstone Arsenal is now "locked up tighter than a bull's ass in fly season." And there is a mass shredding party going on.

This guy Funderberg has been moved to an undisclosed location, so the media can't find him. And everybody at the Redstone Arsenal that wore a towel on their heads isn't there anymore. According to an on the scene report, the towelheads are reported to be lying low…

AL MARTIN is America's foremost whistle-blower on government fraud and corruption. A retired US Navy Lt. Commander and former officer in the Office of Naval Intelligence, he has testified before Congress (the Kerry Committee and the Alexander Committee) regarding Iran-Contra. Al Martin is the author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider" (2001, National Liberty Press, $19.95; order line: 1-866-317-1390.) He lives at an undisclosed location, since the criminals named in his book have been returned to national power and prominence. His column "Behind the Scenes in the Beltway" is published regularly on Al Martin Raw: Criminal Govt Conspiracy (www.almartinraw.com).

Judiciary Committee sends contempt charges for Miers, Bolton to full House

Nick Juliano
Published: Wednesday July 25, 2007

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday formally recommended criminal contempt charges against former White House counsel Harriet Miers and chief of staff Joshua Bolten for their failure to comply with an investigation into the firing of eight US Attorneys.

The charges were presented in a resolution that, if passed by the House as a whole, would present a case for criminal proceedings to the US Attorney for the District of Columbia. But the justice department has said it will not purse the charges because the White House has invoked executive privilege. The House Judiciary Committee voted 22-17 along party lines to send the Democratic measure to the full House, which The Associated Press reported is expected to consider the citation after its August recess..

Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced the resolution accompanied by a 52-page report outlining the criminal charges against the administration officials.

The hearing also brought harsh denunciations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who Democrats accused of obfuscating his own role in the attorney firing scandal.

"They have sent the Attorney General here to lie and to insult us with his lies," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Republicans sought to convince members of the majority not to get involved in a prolonged constitutional fight over executive privilege and accused Democrats of pursuing a partisan witch-hunt without basis in facts.

Democrats argued the contempt filing was necessary because of the utter disrespect with which the White House treated members of the committee. There is no legal basis for a witness subpoenaed by Congress to simply refuse to show up for a hearing, as Harriet Miers did when she was called to testify earlier this month.

"We have rolled over with every claim of executive privilege," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Fla., who called Miers snub of the committee "beyond the pale."

Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., said the contempt charges were being sought "only as a last resort."

"What I am not open to is accepting a take-it-or leave it offer, which would not allow us access to the information we need ... this is the only proposal we have received from White House counsel," Conyers said.

Ranking Member James Sensenbrenner said he thought the White House would prevail in court against criminal charges. Instead, he suggested a civil lawsuit that would focus narrowly on the claim of executive privilege in this particular case.

Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, said Democrats on the committee have offered no evidence of corruption and should not file contempt charges until they can prove inappropriate conduct within the White House. The amendment failed on a 14-23 party-line vote.

Conyers said the lack of evidence was the fault of the White House for not cooperating, and said that is exactly why the charges were being filed.

"We can't get to the evidence before we get to the witnesses and the documents that we've requested," Conyers said.

President Bush has invoked executive privilege in refusing to allow Miers to appear before the committee. She did not show up to testify when called July 12; Bolton has refused to hand over White House documents sought by Democrats on the committee.

Republicans said Bush is entitled to confidential advice from his aides, and Congress does not have the right to subvert their ability to have private conversations with advisers.

Conyers said the president has yet to "personally" invoke privilege and reminded the committee that testimony has yet to reveal whether Bush was directly involved in the decisions leading to the attorneys being fired.

The White House has offered to allow Miers to testify before the committee behind closed doors but refused to allow for a transcript of the proceedings.

If the full House approves the contempt charges, Miers and Bolton are still unlikely to face any criminal penalties. The Justice Department on Tuesday informed the committee that it would not pursue criminal contempt charges against White House officials when executive privilege is invoked.

Brian A. Benczkowski, principal deputy assistant attorney general, sent a letter to Conyers citing the department's "long-standing" position, "articulated during administrations of both parties, that the criminal contempt of Congress statute does not apply to the president or presidential subordinates who assert executive privilege," according to The Associated Press.

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