Archive for May, 2007


May 31, 2007

Israel Fails to Curb Palestinian Territorial Incursions

Thousands of Arab-built, illegal structures have popped up across Jerusalem over the past 20 years. Sadly, Israel has done nothing to stop their construction.

Illegal territorial incursions by Palestinian Arabs are pushing Jerusalem to the brink of disaster. A 2006 report sponsored by the privately funded Office for Public Inquiries for East Jerusalem showed that Jerusalem’s Arabs have constructed more than 20,000 illegal structures in the city in the last two decades. Worse still, the illegal construction has been met with virtually no opposition from a listless Israeli government.

Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor for the Jerusalem Post, recently summarized the shocking details of the 2006 report. Among the findings were details about exactly who is financing the illegal construction, where much of the construction is taking place, and the Israeli government’s impotent response.

Shocking facts one and two: financing and location. “The political aim of the illegal construction is made clear by its financing sources,” reported Glick. “Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, the PA, Saudi Arabia and the EU have spent millions of dollars in financing illegal construction in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, often on state and privately owned lands” (emphasis ours throughout). If the outrageous number of illegal structures built wasn’t shocking enough, consider that much of this construction has occurred on land owned by the Israeli government or Israeli citizens, and has been paid for with money provided by the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, and—most astonishingly—the European Union.

Clearly these massive illegal construction ventures are not the haphazard, personal projects of a few Palestinian Arabs. The truth is, as Glick points out, great strategy and coordination has gone into planning where the illegal Arab structures should be located.

“In an effort to degrade the Jewish character of the city, for instance, Arabs have built homes on state-owned lands adjacent to the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives …” (ibid.). Illegal Arab structures have been constructed at other strategic locations throughout the city, including along major traffic arteries and near airports. Illegally built, Arab-owned homes and buildings now straddle Highways 60, 1, 4 and 443 in Jerusalem, while illegal construction has “rendered the Atarot airport insecure” (ibid.).

But the most outrageous angle of this story is the sheer level of impotence Israel has shown by not responding to these Palestinian incursions. Reported Glick,

The illegal Arab construction, which has placed most neighborhoods in Jerusalem and the highway approaches to the city within rifle range of hostile gunmen, has been met with indifference by the Israeli governing bureaucracy. …

With the exception of the Netanyahu government, every Israeli government since 1993 has enabled the Arabs to undermine the states control of Jerusalem. While paying lip service to the city’s unity, by errors of commission and omission, Israels governments have failed to defend the property rights of public and private land owners in Jerusalem. They have allowed the PA, enemy states like Saudi Arabia and the EU to openly abet illegal building projects in the city.

Jerusalem is under siege. The city is not only encircled by terrorist organizations and Islamic nations on the outside, it is being systematically digested by Palestinian Arabs from the inside. The saddest part is that the Israeli government lacks the spiritual depth and mental courage to withstand these internal and external attacks. Watch Jerusalem. Every sign indicates that great turmoil is about to explode in this city.


May 30, 2007

WND Exclusive

Emergency detention plan: ‘This way to the camps!’
Directive from Bush allows president extraordinary powers

in national crisis

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

© 2007

Halliburton’s former engineering and construction subsidiary has a contingency contract with the Department of Homeland Security to construct detention facilities in the event of a national emergency, according to WND columnist Jerome Corsi. As Corsi reported last week, President Bush recently signed a little-reported National Security and Homeland Security Directive granting extraordinary powers to the president in the event of a declared national emergency, apparently without congressional approval or oversight.

Houston-based KBR was awarded an initial $385 million contract in January 2006 for one year, with four one-year options extended into 2007. KBR held a previous emergency detention contract with ICE from 2000 to 2005.

ICE spokeswoman Jamie Zuieback told Corsi the primary intent of the contract was to build temporary detention facilities that could be used in the event of a mass migration crisis, but she confirmed the facilities could be employed in national emergencies, including natural disasters. 

“The idea of the KBR contract is to support the Army Corp of Engineers in case we experienced a sudden mass immigration and we had to respond quickly,” she said. “We would need immediate detention facilities in the form of temporary housing that would enable us to determine if the large numbers of illegal immigrants were political or economically motivated, or if they were criminals or terrorists.”

Corsi reported last week the May 9 directive signed by Bush concentrates an unprecedented amount of emergency authority in the office of the president, specifying the chief executive would have the authority to direct “National Essential Functions” of all federal state, local, territorial and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations in the event of a national emergency.

The directive loosely defines “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy or government functions.”

The KBR contingency contract appears to give ICE the ability to have detention facilities constructed under the president’s direction in response to a national emergency as declared under the new directive.

ICE’s Zuieback said she was not familiar with the directive, and at her request, Corsi e-mailed her the link to the White House’s posting of the directive.

The White House has not responded to a request for comment on the story about the directive.


May 29, 2007

Bush Attacks Immigration Deal Opponents


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May 29, 2:30 PM (ET)


(AP) President Bush speaks about immigration reform, Tuesday, May 29, 2007, at the Federal Law…
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GLYNCO, Ga. (AP) – President Bush attacked opponents of an immigration deal Tuesday, suggesting they “don’t want to do what’s right for America.”

“The fundamental question is, will elected officials have the courage necessary to put a comprehensive immigration plan in place,” Bush said against a backdrop of a huge American flag.

He described his proposal – which has been agreed to by a bipartisan group of senators – as one that “makes it more likely we can enforce our border – and at the same time uphold the great immigrant tradition of the United States of America.”

Bush spoke at the nation’s largest training center for law enforcement.

(AP) President Bush shakes hands with Customs and Border Patrol trainees after he spoke about…
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He chose the get-tough setting as conservative critics blast a Senate proposal as being soft on people who break the law. Hoping to blunt that message, Bush emphasized that any new options for immigrants and foreign workers would not start until tougher security is in place.

The presidential stop came during a congressional recess, with senators back home and facing pressure from the left and right on the immigration plan. Bush’s aim is to build momentum for the legislation, perhaps his best chance for a signature victory in his second term. The Senate expects to resume debate on it next week.

“A lot of Americans are skeptical about immigration reform, primarily because they don’t think the government can fix the problems,” Bush said.

“And my answer to the skeptics is: give us a chance to fix the problems in a comprehensive way that enforces our border and treats people with decency and respect. Give us a chance to fix this problem. Don’t try to kill this bill before it gets moving,” Bush told students and instructors at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

Bush repeatedly cast the matter as one of political courage.

“Those determined to find fault with this bill will always be able to look at a narrow slice of it and find something they don’t like,” the president said. “If you want to kill the bill, if you don’t want to do what’s right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it.

“You can use it to frighten people,” Bush said. “Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all.”

The bill would give temporary legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants, provided they came forward, paid a fine and underwent criminal background checks. To apply for a green card, they would have to pay another fine, learn English, return to their home country and wait in line.

The plan also would create a guest worker program. It would allow foreign laborers to come to the U.S. for temporary stints, yet with no guarantee they can eventually gain citizenship.

Both the new visa plan and the temporary worker program are contingent on other steps coming first. Those include fencing and barriers along the Mexico border, the hiring of more Border Patrol agents and the completion of an identification system to verify employees’ legal status.

The legislation would also reshape future immigration decisions. A new point system would prioritize skills and education over family in deciding who can immigrate.

Georgia’s senators both played leading roles in producing Bush’s deal with the Senate. Yet they have also said they may not support the final bill, depending upon how it is amended.

Bush chastised those who say the proposal offers amnesty to illegal immigrants. He called it empty political

British in “BASRA”

May 24, 2007


exposes horror of war in ‘crazy’ Basra

By Terri Judd

Published: 27 April 2007




A British soldier has broken ranks within days of returning from Iraq to speak publicly of the horror of his tour of duty there, painting a picture of troops under siege, “sitting ducks” to an increasingly sophisticated insurgency.

“Basra is lost, they are in control now. It’s a full-scale riot and the Government are just trying to save face,” said Private Paul Barton.

The 27-year-old, who returned from his second tour of Iraq this week along with other members of 1st Battalion, the Staffordshire Regiment, insisted that he remains loyal to the Army despite such public dissent. He said he had already volunteered to go to Afghanistan later this year.

But, he said, he felt strongly that somebody had to speak out: “I want people to see it as it is; not the sugar-coated version.”

His public protest is a sign of the groundswell of anger among the troops, and predictions that more will come forward to break the traditional covenant of silent service. Just last month, Pte Steve Baldwin, 22, a soldier in the same regiment, spoke to The Independent about the way he had been “pushed aside” since being injured by a roadside bomb which killed three others during the Staffords’ first tour of Iraq in 2005.

And on Monday, Cpl Richard Bradley also chose to air his views on television: “Blokes are dying for no cause at all and blokes are getting injured for no cause at all.”

Reacting to Pte Barton’s comments, many soldiers on websites appeared stunned but in agreement. One said: “When I arrived back last year, I was utterly depressed by what I had seen out there and the lack of any progress … any journo sticking a microphone in my grid would have been given enough soundbites to retire on. And I would probably be in the Tower of London.

“I can only imagine that the situation 12 months on is even worse, and it would not surprise me if this is repeated over the coming months by more guys coming back from their third and fourth tours to that midden.”

Pte Barton felt so strongly that he telephoned his local paper, the Tamworth Herald, to speak of the “side you don’t hear”.

The regiment lost one soldier, Pte Johnathon Wysoczan, 21, during its tour, but 33 more were injured. “I was the first one to get to one of the tents after it was hit, where one of my mates was in bed. The top of his head and his hand was blown off. He is now brain damaged.

“We were losing people and didn’t have enough to replace them. You hear about the fatalities but not the injuries. We have had four who got shot in the arm, a bloke got blown up twice by roadside bombs and shot in the neck and survived.”

Most, he said, endured at least one “lucky escape” during their tour. “I had a grenade chucked at me by practically a five-year-old kid. I had a mortar land a couple of metres from me.”

The regiment was based in the Shatt al-Arab hotel base, which was handed over to the Iraqi army on 8 April. Of the 40 tents in the base, just five remained unscathed by the end of the tour, he said. “We were just sitting ducks … On the last tour we were not mortared very often. This tour, it was two to three times a day. Fifteen mortars and three rockets were fired at us in the first hour we were there.”

He added: “Towards the end of January to March, it was like a siege mentality. We were getting mortared every hour of the day. We were constantly being fired at. We basically didn’t sleep for six months. You couldn’t rest. Psychologically, it wore you down.

“Every patrol we went on we were either shot at or blown up by roadside bombs. It was crazy.”

He insisted that the insurgents appeared to be considerably better trained, funded and equipped than had been the case during their first tour of duty.

“Last tour, I never fired my rifle once. This time, I fired 127 rounds on five different occasions. And, in my role [providing medical support], I shouldn’t have to fire.” He added: “We have overstayed our welcome now. We should speed up the withdrawal. It’s a lost battle. We should pull out and call it quits.”


May 24, 2007

Express your anger to Congress!

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May 23, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bush grants presidency extraordinary powers
Directive for emergencies apparently gives authority without congressional oversight

Posted: May 23, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

President Bush

President Bush has signed a directive granting extraordinary powers to the office of the president in the event of a declared national emergency, apparently without congressional approval or oversight.

The “National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive” was signed May 9, notes Jerome R. Corsi in a WND column.

It was issued with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive.

The directive establishes under the office of the president a new national continuity coordinator whose job is to make plans for “National Essential Functions” of all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to continue functioning under the president’s directives in the event of a national emergency.

“Catastrophic emergency” is loosely defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”

(Story continues below)

Corsi says the president can assume the power to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is declared over.

The directive says the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, currently Frances Fragos Townsend, would be designated as the national continuity coordinator.

Corsi says the directive makes no attempt to reconcile the powers created for the national continuity coordinator with the National Emergency Act, which requires that such proclamation “shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.”

A Congressional Research Service study notes the National Emergency Act sets up Congress as a balance empowered to “modify, rescind, or render dormant” such emergency authority if Congress believes the president has acted inappropriately.

But the new directive appears to supersede the National Emergency Act by creating the new position of national continuity coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing the position, Corsi says.

The directive also makes no reference to Congress and its language appears to negate any requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists.

It suggests instead that the powers of the directive can be implemented without any congressional approval or oversight.

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke affirmed to Corsi the Homeland Security Department would implement the requirements of the order under Townsend’s direction.

The White House declined to comment on the directive.

If you’d like to sound off on this issue, please take part in the WorldNetDaily poll.

Related special offer:

Sen. Tom Coburn’s “Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders into Insiders”

Related commentary:

Bush makes power grab

“GIULIANI” – Another Point Of View

May 22, 2007

Recent debate shows that Giuliani is a fake

I judge from the applause at the most recent Republican presidential debate that the people in the audience at least still equate patriotism with supporting the war of the day.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the only intellectually honest candidate in the bunch, correctly pointed out that it was our policy of interventionism that caused the attack on 9/11.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, intensely uncomfortable at having been forced to talk about his liberal positions on abortion, gun control and gay rights, leaped at the opportunity to reprimand Paul for suggesting that we had invited the attack. “I’ve never heard that,” Giuliani snapped, showing that he is ignorant even on matters of security, and demanded that Paul retract it. He didn’t, of course. But Giuliani got a big round of applause, as if he had come to the defense of America rather than just cleverly change the subject.

Osama bin Laden, the author of those attacks, has said quite plainly, publicly and explicitly that the attack was prompted by our intervention in the Muslim world. It is outrageous that Giuliani claims not to know that, given that his whole campaign is based on his claim of being the best-qualified leader in matters of security and the so-called war on terror.

Actually, Giuliani isn’t an expert on security. He’s a lawyer and a political hack. The attack on 9/11 was a political gift of the gods to him. He walked up and down the street in front of the television cameras, gave speeches and went to funerals, and for that he received the accolades of the press.

Giuliani is not a leader. He is a cynical exploiter. He exploited the attack the day it happened, and he’s exploited it since to make a fortune posing as an expert security consultant. Now he hopes to exploit the tragedy, which, like the president, he had done nothing to prevent, to get the Republican nomination for the presidency.

By demonstrating his ignorance of the cause of the attack, he has disqualified himself from consideration.

Sad to say, Sen. John McCain of Arizona is not the man he was seven years ago. He’s gotten old, and in his old age has become an evader and an equivocator.

He makes the same tired prediction of terrible consequences if we get out of Iraq, but he has no solutions except to do more of the same. If he were elected, he would be older than Ronald Reagan when he took office. And Reagan was too old, in my opinion.

As for al-Qaida taking root in Iraq, he is apparently unaware of how the tribal sheiks in the western part of the country have annihilated al-Qaida in their region. One of the sheiks boasted recently, “We did in three months what the Americans haven’t been able to do in four years.” Trust me, al-Qaida will not survive our departure from Iraq, which is why al-Qaida, above all, wants us to stay.

The only ones who impressed me were Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Duncan Hunter of California. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado came up with the best line of the night. Remarking on the liberals trying to become conservatives, he quipped, “There have been a lot of conversions tonight, but the only conversion I trust was the conversion on the road to Damascus, not the conversions on the road to Des Moines.” It got a good laugh.

Our presidential election system is broken. By front-loading the primaries, only multimillionaires can raise the money necessary to get well known. The lesser-known — and this year the more-qualified — men have an uphill struggle.

Write to Charley Reese at P.O. Box 2446, Orlando, FL 32802.

© 2007 by King Features Syndicate


May 21, 2007

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May 20, 2007

Carter Blasts Bush on His Global Impact


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May 19, 7:08 PM (ET)

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Former President Carter says President Bush’s administration is “the worst in history” in international relations, taking aim at the White House’s policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.

The criticism from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented for the 39th president, also took aim at Bush’s environmental policies and the administration’s “quite disturbing” faith-based initiative funding.

“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,” Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper’s Saturday editions. “The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me.”

Carter spokeswoman Deanna Congileo confirmed his comments to The Associated Press on Saturday and declined to elaborate. He spoke while promoting his new audiobook series, “Sunday Mornings in Plains,” a collection of weekly Bible lessons from his hometown of Plains, Ga.

“Apparently, Sunday mornings in Plains for former President Carter includes hurling reckless accusations at your fellow man,” said Amber Wilkerson, Republican National Committee spokeswoman. She said it was hard to take Carter seriously because he also “challenged Ronald Reagan’s strategy for the Cold War.”

Carter came down hard on the Iraq war.

“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” he said. “But that’s been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”

Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush for having “zero peace talks” in Israel. Carter also said the administration “abandoned or directly refuted” every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts by other presidents.

Carter also offered a harsh assessment for the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone.

“The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion,” Carter said. “As a traditional Baptist, I’ve always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one.”

Douglas Brinkley, a Tulane University presidential historian and Carter biographer, described Carter’s comments as unprecedented.

“This is the most forceful denunciation President Carter has ever made about an American president,” Brinkley said. “When you call somebody the worst president, that’s volatile. Those are fighting words.”

Carter also lashed out Saturday at British prime minister Tony Blair. Asked how he would judge Blair’s support of Bush, the former president said: “Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient.”

“And I think the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world,” Carter told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.


May 19, 2007


Mexican bloodbath raises fears in U.S.
Arizona towns alarmed by rise in attacks, rumor convoy headed north

Posted: May 18, 2007
7:37 p.m. Eastern

© 2007

A bloodbath just south of the Mexican border has alarmed neighboring Arizona towns that have nervously monitored a rise in violence in the Mexican state of Sonora the past two months. Mexican police killed 15 armed assailants in a fierce gun battle Wednesday after tracking a group that killed four policemen, leading to fears this morning that an armed outlaw convoy was headed to the U.S. border.

About 40 assailants apparently related to Mexico’s powerful drug gangs, drove in a convoy of up to 15 vehicles into the town of Cananea, 20 miles south of the U.S. border, to seize the policemen Wednesday. Mexican state police confronted the gunmen in the mountains 60 miles south of Cananea and reportedly killed 15 of the gunmen. 

Today, meanwhile, rumors spread to Naco, Ariz., that its sister city of Naco, Sonora, was threatened with a possible imminent attack from outlaw gunmen who were headed their way.

The Mexican town reportedly closed schools, businesses and city hall.

Jesus Rodriguez, spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector told WND the report turned out to be “bogus.” He said border agents have been informed of the attacks in Mexico but have not been under any special orders or heightened alert.

Brian Levin, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, said officers at the Naco, Ariz., port of entry are aware of the situation, but the border is open and operating normally.

There also were reports of a second narco hit squad entering the town of Cuitaca, 10 miles west of Cananea, the Sierra Vista paper said. Local radio stations issued an advisory from city officials to remain at home, according to the Mexican paper El Imparcial.

Officials in the border town of Nogales, Ariz., say they want to see measures taken to ensure the violence does not migrate across the border, reported.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely,” Mayor Ignacio J. Barraza said yesterday. “I have asked that the Nogales Police Department prepare a briefing of what has transpired in the last few hours and over the past month.”

City officials in Agua Prieta, Mexico – which borders Douglas, Ariz. – were on very high alert, surrounded by police and soldiers, Douglas Mayor Ray Borane told the Herald.

Borane said his officials also were taking a similar cautious attitude.

After news of the Cananea incident, Borane traveled immediately to Agua Prieta for a briefing from Agua Prieta Mayor Antonia Cuadras, who later traveled to Douglas for a meeting at Borane’s office.

Borane said he plans to ask for help from the state of Arizona “to provide additional funding for local law enforcement needs.”

In Cananea Wednesday, the bullet-riddled bodies of the four policemen were found on the side of a road, along with 50 spent cartridges, hours after they were seized.

A total of five policemen were killed, said Sonora state Gov. Eduardo Bours, but he did not specify how the fifth officer died.

Another incident took place Wednesday in the Sonora state capital Hermosillo, where unidentified assailants tossed a hand grenade from a passing car at the offices of the newspaper Cambio, causing minor damage.