Archive for August, 2007


August 31, 2007

WND Exclusive

Civilian prisons coming soon to U.S. Army base near you

Little Noticed Regulation Allows construction on

military installations

Posted: August 31, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007
The U.S. Army is authorized to create civilian prison labor camps on military installations, according to a little-noticed regulation. The camps are allowed if the request comes from the Federal Bureau of Prisons or state corrections facilities under leasing requirements defined by federal law. WND’s discovery of the regulation comes shortly after Bush administration directives expanding presidential powers during an emergency. The Army prison camp policy is defined in Army Regulation 210-35, entitled “Installations: Civilian Inmate Labor Camps,” signed Feb. 14, 2005, by Sandra R. Riley, then-administrative assistant to the secretary of the Army. The regulation revises an earlier civilian inmate labor camp regulation signed Dec. 9, 1997, under the Clinton administration.

Ned Christensen, spokesman for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, confirmed to WND the 2005 version of Army Regulation 210-35 is currently valid and fully operative.

The regulation specifies “the Army’s primary purpose for allowing establishment of prison camps on Army installations is to use the resident nonviolent civilian inmate labor pool to work on the leased portions of the installation.” The regulations specify Army personnel running the prison camps will prepare an “Inmate Labor Plan” that will comply with 18 U.S.C. 4125(a), governing civilian inmate labor. That section of the U.S. Code allows the U.S. attorney general to make available to the heads of U.S. departments, including the Army, the services of U.S. prisoners to engage in labor, including “constructing or repairing roads, cleaning, maintaining and reforesting public lands, building levees and constructing or repairing any other public ways or works financed wholly or in major part by funds appropriated by Congress.” The regulation currently limits the Army’s Civilian Inmate Labor Program “to using inmates from facilities under the control of the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” noting the bureau “provides civilian inmate labor free of charge to the Army.” The regulation specifies that a benefit of the program to the Army is “providing a source of labor at no direct cost to Army installations to accomplish tasks that would not be possible otherwise due to the manning and funding constraints under which the Army operates.” Extraordinary powers WND previously reported that in May President Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive-51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive-20, which granted near-dictatorial powers to the president in the event he declares a national emergency.

The directives loosely define “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.

When the president determines a catastrophic emergency has occurred, he can take over governmental functions at all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal levels, as well as direct private sector activities, to ensure the U.S. emerges from the emergency “with an enduring constitutional government.”

That means, essentially, when the president determines a national emergency has occurred, he can confer to the office of the presidency powers usually assumed by dictators to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is over.

Christensen could not answer WND questions regarding whether the president could declare a national emergency under NSPD-51/HSPD-20 and instruct the Bureau of Prisons to have the Army construct civilian prison camps.

“The last time civilians were incarcerated on U.S. Army installations was when the Japanese were interred during World War II,” Christensen told WND.

Still, Christensen acknowledged that Fort Dix has two civilian labor prisons on it property, one federal and one state.

“Fort Dix routinely uses inmate labor for grounds maintenance and some other manual labor, such as filling sandbags,” Christensen told WND in an e-mail. “So, the Fort Dix program is used to provide activity for trusted inmates and labor to the government at no cost.”

WND also reported KBR, formerly the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co., has a contingency contract in place with the Department of Homeland Security to construct detention facilities in the event of a national emergency.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, spokeswoman Julie Zuieback confirmed to WND on May 29 that the Department of Homeland Security in January awarded KBR a $385 million contract to construct detention facilities on a contingency basis.

Christensen said it was outside his area to comment on whether the DHS could ask KBR to build a civilian prison labor camp on an Army installation.

WND called the White House and the Department of Homeland Security and left detailed messages about the substance of this story but received no response.


August 30, 2007
Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK

E-mail this to a friend Printable version

Will Bush take military strikes at Iran?

By Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent BBC News website

George W Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad combination

Iranian and US brinkmanship has left the door open to military conflict

By heightening the rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear programme, President Bush has left open the possibility that the United States might in due course abandon diplomacy and turn to military might.

In his speech to the American Legion in Nevada, he said Iran’s “active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”.

He also said: “We will confront this danger before it is too late.”

Mark Fitzpatrick, nuclear analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said: “There is a real possibility that President Bush will feel compelled not to allow this problem to pass to his successor.

“The effectiveness and consequences of air strikes would have to be calculated, of course, and they might in the end be felt to be a bad idea, but we should take this seriously.

“Iran is at the moment making a show of co-operating with the International Atomic Energy Agency but is still refusing full co-operation and hopes to spin this out to prevent further sanctions. It has not stopped its nuclear programme.”


The United Nations Security Council is demanding Iran suspend enrichment as a prelude to negotiations about the provision of help for a civil nuclear power programme.

It has imposed sanctions on trade in nuclear and missile technology.

Part of Mr Bush’s aim in making these threats, of course, is to persuade Iran to back down.

But the Iranian leadership under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has constantly said it intends to carry on with the enrichment of uranium, which Iran has now elevated to the status of a national symbol of its independence.

Iran says it does not intend to build a nuclear weapon and is simply exercising its right under the international nuclear treaty to enrich uranium for nuclear power.

The question of increasing the economic sanctions on Iran is currently before the Security Council, but Russia and China are reluctant to see the squeeze tightened.

Discussions resume seriously in September – but if nothing is done, the Bush rhetoric might at some stage turn into reality.

No wonder French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his first foreign policy speech, called the crisis over Iran “without doubt the gravest which weighs on the international order”.

Running parallel to the nuclear problem is the American claim that Iran is helping Shia militias in Iraq.

Mr Bush said he had ordered US commanders to act against these “murderous activities”.


As an example of such “activities”, he said US troops had seized 240mm rockets given to “extremist groups” by “Iranian agents” that had been manufactured in Iran this year.

Mr Bush’s speech has come in advance of the report his administration will be giving to Congress by 15 September on the success or otherwise of the Iraqi surge in US troops launched earlier this year.

The president was upbeat about progress, saying the US now had the “momentum.”

Putting some of the blame on Iran makes it easier for him to argue that the US problems in Iraq are partly due to this external factor and therefore do not amount to a justification of a cut and run approach.


August 29, 2007

« Protesters burn a U.S. flag in Colombia March 11. (Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images)

Wave of Anti-Americanism Sweeping the Globe

Good news first: In India, President Bush’s approval rating exceeds 50 percent. The bad news: Everywhere else in the world—among enemies and allies alike—the majority of people disapprove of the U.S. and its leadership.

Annual polls conducted by the German Marshall Fund, Pew Research Center and bbc World Service show that the United States’ international reputation has declined dramatically since 2001. Not only have countries that already dislike the U.S. become more vitriolic, but also Washington’s staunchest allies now disapprove of U.S. leadership and impact on the world scene.

According to a survey conducted for the bbc in March 2007, only North Korea, Iran and Israel are perceived as having a more negative impact on the world than the United States. In the five-year period from 2002 to 2006, Europe’s desire for U.S. leadership nose-dived from 64 percent to 37 percent.

In Muslim countries listed as U.S. allies, President Bush’s approval rating ranges from 8 to 20 percent. Even in the UK, the number reaches only 30 percent. At the bottom end of the spectrum, Bush’s rating in Spain is just 7 percent. In Turkey, which is considered an important Middle Eastern ally, it is a dismal 3 percent.

According to Forbes, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski observed that the Statue of Liberty, once the dominant image of the United States abroad, has been supplanted by Guantanamo.

Perhaps worst of all, the wave of anti-Americanism is equally prevalent inside U.S. borders. The U.S. has become a self-loathing nation with little sense of national pride. As bad as U.S. approval ratings are overseas, they are no better at home, with the president’s approval numbers hovering between the mid-20s to low 30s and Congress wallowing in the teens.

Many view the growing anti-Americanism around the world as a protest against President George W. Bush and his administration. There is no real indication, however, that world sentiment toward the U.S. will swing upward after the 2008 presidential election. Even if it does, the effect of anti-U.S. sentiment is already evident. U.S. enemies like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez can and do manipulate a tarnished U.S. image to their own advantage abroad. Forbes observed that “[s]upport is likely to rise within the EU for a foreign policy and a military that are independent of the United States and nato.”


August 24, 2007

« Hamas fighters storm the streets in the Gaza Strip (Getty Images)

Hamas Unwilling to Compromise

Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal said in an interview earlier this week that the Palestinians would “never stop the intifada.” The statement should dash any hopes that Hamas might compromise for the sake of peace.

Mashaal’s statements come just a week after European leaders called for dialogue with the Islamist terrorist organization. “We have to help the Hamas to develop,” Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi was quoted as saying by Italian media.

Mashaal told McClatchy Newspapers that Hamas would not make any significant concessions to Israel or Fatah, its Palestinian rival, in order to further Middle East peace talks. Hamas, he said, would not recognize Israel or agree to early Palestinian elections, which Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is pushing for.

Moreover, Mashaal threatened a third intifada, or violent uprising, if Israel does not hand over the West Bank. He explained that the only path to a Palestinian state was the Hamas road of resistance.

“When a series of Palestinian leaders tried one road—the way of political dialogue—and then hit a blockade, do you think it is realistic to keep going down the same path?” he said.

“The Palestinian people will never stop the intifada,” Mashaal said. “Maybe they will calm down. Sometimes they might stop to catch their breath.

This thinking would of course explain Hamas’s current policy of limiting rocket attacks against Israel (even so, such “limited” attacks consisted of 110 rocket attacks and 170 mortar attacks into Israel, originating from Gaza, in the past two months). Mashaal’s statements confirm the lunacy in assumptions that the recent comparative calm in terrorist activity means a change of heart on the part of Hamas, or progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

True to form, Mashaal blames the current rift between Hamas and Fatah on Israel and the U.S. In a separate interview this week with Agence France Presse, Mashaal stated, “Israeli and American interference is responsible for blocking the reconciliation.”

To assume that the rivalry between the two factions would override the common goal of all Palestinian factions to destroy Israel is very flawed thinking. McClatchy said that Mashaal, in his interview, went out of his way to avoid criticizing Abbas.

It is certainly misguided of Israel and the West to think that propping up Fatah in the West Bank will diminish the power of Hamas. Any resulting agreement between Fatah and Israel would only give Hamas further opportunity. If Israel were to withdraw troops from large segments of the West Bank, for example, this, as former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold writes, would simply “set the stage for a complete Hamas takeover in the West Bank as well [as Gaza] and create a huge victory for radical Islam.”

The uncompromising stance and determination of Hamas to continue its struggle underscores the foolishness of Israel negotiating for peace. Return to to read our article “Retreat and Restraint” in the upcoming October Trumpet for more.


August 23, 2007

BUSH:  THERE WILL BE NO pullout from Iraq while I’m president

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Thursday August 23, 2007
The Guardian

US president George Bush during a speech  to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
US president George Bush during a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

President George Bush sought to buy more time for his Iraq “surge” strategy yesterday by making a risky comparison for the first time with the bloodshed and chaos that followed the US pullout from Vietnam.Making it clear he will resist congressional pressure next month for an early withdrawal, he signalled that US troops, whom he hailed as the “greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known”, will be in Iraq as long as he is president. He also said the consequences of leaving “without getting the job done would be devastating”, and “the enemy would follow us home”.

Mr Bush’s speech came on the day that the US suffered one of its highest daily death tolls since the 2003 invasion, with 14 troops killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed.

In a speech to army veterans in Kansas City, Mr Bush invoked one of the US’s biggest military disasters in support of keeping troops in Iraq: “One unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like ‘boat people’, ‘re-education camps’ and ‘killing fields’.”

The speech was aimed primarily at what White House officials privately describe as the “Defeatocrats”, the Democratic congressmen trying to push Mr Bush into an early withdrawal. The issue is set to come to a head next month when the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, gives a progress report to Congress.

Gen Petraeus is expected to say that the surge has produced military successes but that there has only been limited progress on the political front.

In relation to the latter, Mr Bush was forced yesterday to backtrack after 24 hours earlier expressing frustration with the Iraqi prime minister, Nour al-Maliki. Alarmed by the harsh reaction of Mr Maliki, Mr Bush hurriedly rewrote his speech to praise him: “Prime Minister Maliki’s a good guy, a good man with a difficult job and I support him.”

The speech overall reflected the White House belief that it is shifting American public opinion behind the surge – the injection of 30,000 extra US troops into Iraq that has brought the total US force in the country to its highest level, 165,000.

The Bush administration wants to keep the surge going until at least next April, at which point the overstretched military will be forced to begin reducing troop numbers anyway.

Although Gen Petraeus has not yet completed his report, a Pentagon source said the US presence could be down to 110,000 by the end of next year. The army, as of yesterday, had no plans to replace five brigades, each consisting of 3,400 to 4,000 soldiers, when their 15-month tours expire next summer.

Freedom’s Watch, a conservative group, yesterday launched a $15m (£7.5m) advertising campaign in 20 states saying: “It’s no time to quit. It’s no time for politics.”

Mr Bush’s former White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, who works for the group, said: “We want to get the message to both Democrats and Republicans: don’t cut and run, fully fund the troops, and victory is the only objective.”

The White House has been emboldened by a Gallup poll published yesterday showing approval ratings for the Democratic-led Congress had dropped to 18%, the lowest since the survey of the public views of the legislature began in 1974, and an earlier Gallup poll showing support for the surge had jumped in a month from 22% to 31%.

Two of the most influential senators on military affairs, the Democratic chairman of the armed services committee, Carl Levin, an advocate of an early withdrawal, and John Warner, a veteran Republican who recently broke ranks with Mr Bush over the war, issued a statement this week lauding the surge’s “tangible results”.

Mr Bush, until yesterday, had strenuously avoided making explicit references to Vietnam. It is a gamble, risking reminding Americans that Vietnam was a military quagmire and reminding them of the shambolic retreat from the embassy rooftop in Saigon on the day that a Black Hawk crashed in Iraq killing 14 US soldiers.

But Mr Bush tried to turn the argument around as he made a series of contentious political parallels. He argued that US involvement in the far east had turned it from a continent in 1939 with only two democracies – Australia and New Zealand – into one where democracy was the norm: he mentioned Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.

“In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge began a murderous rule, in which hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died by starvation and torture and execution,” Mr Bush said.

Some historians argue that it was the US covert bombing of Cambodia that produced the Khmer Rouge rather than US withdrawal from Vietnam.

Mr Bush added: “In Vietnam, former allies of the United States and government workers and intellectuals and businessmen were sent off to prison camps, where tens of thousand perished. Hundreds of thousands more fled the country on rickety boats, many of them going to their graves in the South China Sea.”

He said that there had been lots of critics of US involvement in Vietnam at the time. But he quoted from Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American, the words “I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused”, implying that, with the benefit of hindsight, they were wrong, just as critics of the Iraq war will later seen to be misguided.

He will expand on that in a speech next week in which he will say he has not abandoned his ambitious idea that Iraq could be in the vanguard of bringing democracy to the Middle East.

Since the British government hinted recently that it planned an early pullout from Iraq, it has come under increasing pressure from the White House. US general Jack Keane yesterday became the latest American to criticise the proposed British move.

He told the BBC that the situation in Basra was deteriorating. “From a military perspective I know what the [US] commanders are trying to avoid is having to send reinforcements to the south from forces that are needed in the central part of Iraq. That situation could arise if the situation gets worse in Basra if and when British troops leave,” he said.

Literary allusions

Bush’s “better motives” quote comes from Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, a searing attack on US foreign policy set in Saigon in 1952. It is the story of jaded British reporter Thomas Fowler and his relationship with younger US spy Alden Pyle, told against the backdrop of the French battle with the Viet Minh – precursor to the Vietnam war. “Innocence is a kind of insanity,” says Fowler of Pyle as he blunders into the conflict, sponsoring a corrupt militia leader based on real nationalist Trinh Minh Thé. Fowler’s jealousy over Pyle’s interest in his Vietnamese mistress and distaste for his methods culminate in a bomb attack in Saigon. A film version was scheduled for release in 2001, starring Michael Caine. It was test screened on September 10 but postponed for a year after the 9/11 attacks.

Britain and the “EU”

August 23, 2007

EU Membership: A Defining Moment Approaches for Britain

By Brad Macdonald
As pressure mounts on Prime Minister Gordon Brown from EU leaders on one side and his own people on the other, an inevitable turning point in British history draws nearer.

Britain should sign the EU reform treaty or seriously consider leaving the Union. That was the essence of remarks made this week by German politician Elmar Brok, the European Parliament’s representative on inter-governmental negotiations for the treaty.

Brok’s comments were more than haphazard, abrasive musings by a marginal EU figure. They were planned, pointed and timely. More importantly, they represent the collective mindset of the increasingly angry EU leadership, which perceives the British government to be slothful and undetermined.

The German member of parliament made his remarks at a time when pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to conduct a national referendum on whether Britain should sign the EU reform treaty—a move that would almost certainly result in Britons rejecting the treaty, which could destabilize the entire EU if other member nations follow suit and put the thorny issue before their voters.

In his comments, Brok insisted a referendum was unnecessary because the new draft, signed by EU member nations in June, was significantly different from the “old” constitution and that Britain “got what it wanted” with a series of opt-outs and “red lines” built into the document. “Gordon Brown’s government has said there is no justification for a referendum and the UK should stick to this commitment,” Brok warned in a clear shot across the bow of No. 10 Downing Street.

The controversy surrounding this referendum question is significant. European politicians will be furious if Mr. Brown decides to put the issue before his people. The British public will be furious if he doesn’t. Ultimately this is a lose-lose scenario for Gordon Brown.

If Mr. Brown denies his people a referendum, they will likely oust him from government and put in a pm who is willing to give them a chance to vote against further European integration. At home, polls and surveys consistently show that Mr. Brown stands to lose a great amount of support among the British people, as well as within his own party, if he refuses to take the issue to referendum. One recent Daily Mail poll showed that 80 percent of Labor Party voters and 82 percent of voters overall are asking for a referendum on whether or not to accept the treaty (EUobserver, August 20). The decision to forgo a referendum is almost certainly an act of political suicide.

If Brown approves a referendum, the British people will almost certainly vote “no” to further integration into the EU. British and European politicians alike are acutely aware that a referendum would almost certainly defeat the EU treaty. Such an outcome would severely injure, and most likely usher in the end of, Britain’s 34-year membership in the EU. It would not only deepen the wedge between London and Brussels, but could also easily ignite a wave of national referendums across Europe, throwing a spanner in the works for the entire European Union project.

This is the reason Elmar Brok and others have begun to question the need for Britain to participate in the EU at all.

“The UK got its various opt-outs, so what’s the problem?” Brok said. “How would it seem to other EU member states if Britain were now to hold a referendum? For me, that would undermine the negotiations on the treaty and even go as far as to question Britain’s credibility as an EU member.”

Read between the lines of another of Brok’s statements: “Britain is a valued member of the EU, but we should perhaps remember that the treaty contains an article which gives any member state the right to leave the EU if it so wishes.”

Brok’s message is clear: Britain should quit whining and sign the EU treaty, or leave the EU. Other European leaders have given Britain the same warning, some more diplomatically than others.

Gordon Brown is confronting what will almost certainly amount to the biggest decision of his political career and the most defining decision of his tenure as pm.

Even more than that, this decision represents possibly the biggest turning point in British history since Chamberlain declared war on Germany.

It is important that we monitor British politics in coming weeks and months. No doubt Mr. Brown is currently trying to find a way to please both his European counterparts and his electorate. But with European leaders adamantly against Britain conducting a referendum and the British public overwhelmingly demanding one, this will prove an incredibly tough task. British and European leaders will likely dance back and forth over this issue for weeks, perhaps months. But in the end, no amount of fancy diplomatic footwork can prevent this divisive issue from ultimately reaching a climax, whether it comes under Brown’s administration or shortly thereafter.

However the prime minister cuts the cake, Britain’s time in the European Union is about up!

Be it next week, next month or next year, the most defining moment in recent British history is almost here. One way or another, Britain is about to leave the European Union. The Trumpet has been watching the relationship between Britain and Europe for years. To learn about the recent history between Britain and Europe, read “Why Britain Booted Blair.” For a more detailed account of Britain’s future with Europe, read “Hosea—Reaping the Whirlwind.”


August 22, 2007

Iraqi PM Lashes Out at U.S.


QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA | August 22, 2007 12:26 PM EST | AP

Compare 12:26 PM EST09:57 AM EST08:58 AM EST08:32 AM EST07:54 AM EST07:20 AM EST06:29 AM EST06:21 AM EST and 12:26 PM EST09:57 AM EST08:58 AM EST08:32 AM EST07:54 AM EST07:20 AM EST06:29 AM EST06:21 AM EST versions

DAMASCUS, Syria — Iraq’s prime minister lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and that his country “can find friends elsewhere.”

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed the U.S. presidential campaign for the recent tough words about his government _ from President Bush and from other U.S. politicians.

Bush on Tuesday said he was frustrated with Iraqi leaders’ inability to bridge political divisions. But he added that only the Iraqi people can decide whether to sideline al-Maliki.

“Clearly, the Iraqi government’s got to do more,” Bush said. “I think there’s a certain level of frustration with the leadership in general, inability to work _ come together to get, for example, an oil revenue law passed or provincial elections.”

D.addClass(‘top_news’, ‘inline’); “Prime Minister Maliki’s a good guy, good man with a difficult job and I support him,” Bush said in a speech to military veterans.

“And it’s not up to the politicians in Washington, D.C., to say whether he will remain in his position,” Bush said. “It is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy and not a dictatorship.”

Al-Maliki, on a trip to Syria, reacted harshly when asked about the earlier comments from U.S. officials.

“No one has the right to place timetables on the Iraq government. It was elected by its people,” he said at a news conference in Damascus at the end of the three-day visit to Syria.

“Those who make such statements are bothered by our visit to Syria. We will pay no attention. We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends elsewhere,” al-Maliki said.

Without naming any American official, al-Maliki said some of the criticism of him and his government had been “discourteous.”

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said Monday that al-Maliki, a Shiite, should be ousted and replaced with a less-sectarian leader.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said he was disappointed and frustrated by the lack of political progress by al-Maliki’s government. Crocker said the Iraqis themselves and Iraqi leaders were also frustrated.

The harsh exchanges erupted just a few weeks before Crocker and the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, are to report to Congress on military and political progress in Iraq.

The two are expected to point to some signs of military progress in Iraq. But the political situation in Iraq remains fractured, with wide distrust between Shiite and Sunni factions and no progress by al-Maliki’s government on key issues.

Bush’s statement on Tuesday was a marked change in tone from his endorsement of al-Maliki in November 2006 at a meeting in Jordan as “the right guy for Iraq.”

In recent months, Bush has continually prodded al-Maliki to do more to forge political reconciliation before the temporary U.S. military buildup ends. But his statements Tuesday were the sharpest he has made about whether the Iraqi prime minister will survive.

“The fundamental question is, Will the government respond to the demands of the people?” Bush said. “And, if the government doesn’t demand _ or respond to the demands of the people, they will replace the government. That’s up to the Iraqis to make that decision, not American politicians.”

Al-Maliki has faced numerous defections from his ruling coalition in recent months. Nevertheless, it is unclear that any group has the political pull to push him aside and put in place a new government.

Ousting al-Maliki would require a majority vote in the 275-member Iraqi parliament. As long as the Kurdish parties and the main Shiite bloc stand beside al-Maliki, his opponents lack the votes to do that.

Any change in leadership also would also greatly complicate U.S. military efforts to stabilize the country, especially if the change resulted in the government falling and negotiations to create a new government. The process of forming al-Maliki’s government took months of wrangling as the Sunni insurgency and Shiite militias gathered strength and influence.


Associated Press Writer Robert H. Reid contributed to this report.

August 20, 2007

WND Exclusive

New nuclear terror drill sparks conspiracy scare
Soros-backed media outlet warns of plot for institution of martial law

Posted: August 19, 2007
6:49 p.m. Eastern

By Joseph Farah
© 2007

WASHINGTON – A U.S. military drill designed to enhance homeland security in the event of a nuclear terrorist attack has some officials and media outlets funded by billionaire George Soros warning it may be a “false flag” operation leading to the detonation of a real nuclear device to set the stage for martial law.

The exercise, part of the “Noble Resolve” program of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, is set for tomorrow through Friday in Portland, Ore. Like other previous drills, it involves coordination with local officials in a model nuclear attack.

Scenic skyline of Portland, Ore.

The series of “Noble Resolve” experiments began April 23 in Suffolk, Va. They represent a follow-up to similar series of drills called Urban Resolve that took place in 2006.

The efforts bring together JFCOM, Northern Command, the Homeland Security Department and state and local officials to model responses to nuclear terrorist attacks. adsonar_placementId=1270202;adsonar_pid=663759;adsonar_ps=1451068;adsonar_zw=300;adsonar_zh=250;adsonar_jv=””;

During the experiments, which are largely based on computer modeling, the “bomb” explodes inside the simulation. “Noble Resolve,” according to planners, strives to create processes for interactions among local, state, national and international officials.

Last April, a similar “Noble Resolve” exercise took place in Virginia.

George Soros

However, despite the precedent, some officials and the IndyMedia organization supported by Soros are raising red flags – even claiming that in a similar exercise, President Bush ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and blamed it on radical Islamic terrorists.

Writing in, Capt. Eric H. May, the military correspondent for the agency, asked the following question about the Portland drill: “But what if they decide to use a real bomb rather than simulate it?”

“A false flag attack is one in which you attack your own people, then blame it on a group of people you want to attack,” wrote May. “It’s a radical stratagem for instantly creating hatred, and it’s common, historically speaking, all the way from ancient to modern times.”

May gave the following examples:

  • The Roman emperor Nero burned Rome, then blamed it on emerging Christianity.
  • The German fuhrer Hitler burned the Reichstag, then blamed it on communist Jewry.
  • The American president Bush demolished the World Trade Center, then blamed it on radical Islam.

The jitters in Portland, according to May, caused Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., to grill the Bush administration about National Security Presidential Directive 51, first reported in WND, which authorizes the executive branch to assume extraordinary powers in the event of a national emergency.

“Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right,” DeFazio told the Portland Oregonian.

DeFazio, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he was denied an opportunity to examine classified documents related to Directive 51.

“At this stage of the Bush regime and its terror-driven global war, there’s no shame in conspiracy theory, since it’s the only theory that offers consistent, coherent answers to our growing secret government and its terror policies,” wrote May.

Meanwhile, Portland’s version of IndyMedia, raises even more concerns about the impending exercises.

“There has been a growing concern over the mock or simulation events (nuclear attack and martial law) proposed to take place in Portland, Oregon, by Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other governmental agencies now called Operation Noble Resolve,” reports the agency in an article titled “Don’t Nuke Portland.” “This mock event has been feared by some in the past to set up martial law in Portland during the months of August and September, but newer information has raised concern of graver fears.”

The article goes on to speculate that an actual nuclear attack by the U.S. government might take place during the drill. It goes on to assert that the 9/11 attacks were a false flag operation and urges those who have been hired or volunteered to be a part of the exercise to refuse to participate.

“Why participate in a simulation that supposes an external attack on the USA when there seems to be more internal threat by enemies of democracy within?” poses the article.

Teresa Heinz Kerry

Besides grants from Soros, has also received support from Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Tides Foundation. The Ford Foundation has also offered support. Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen organization also assists

When star football player Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, the The Portland, Ore., chapter of posted the news of Tillman’s death accompanied by this headline: “Dumb Jock Killed in Afghanistan.”

According to its website, “Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grass-roots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate and passionate tellings of truth.”

It maintains websites in 50 major American markets, five chapters in Africa, 13 in Canada, 39 in Europe, 15 in Latin America, eight in Asia, and nine in Oceania.

In light of the scare stories, the Portland Oregonian editorialized in favor of the drill and many local officials are participating in the exercise because they believe it is necessary to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

One nuclear terror expert said earlier this year the chances of a detonation in the U.S. in the next decade are 50 percent.

Also, about the same time, Vice President Dick Cheney said the threat of nuclear terrorism is very real.

“The fact is that the threat to the United States now of a 9/11 occurring with a group of terrorists armed not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities is the greatest threat we face,” he said. “It’s a very real threat. It’s something that we have to worry about and defeat every single day.”

Meanwhile, the most extensive study of the effects of such an attack concluded the U.S. was woefully under-prepared to respond, particularly if the event took place in a major population center.


August 18, 2007

August 17, 2007

By The Way… It’s TEOTWAIKI Time

Filed under: General, Collapse — admin @ 7:51 pm

It’s time for a little reminder since events are accelerating and affecting more and more people in wider and wider swaths.

There is a myth that “debt will be forgiven” during the collapse period. Some people have even engaged in building debt in the hopes of this mythical “promise”.

This myth is already being revealed as being false with the rising number of foreclosures and subprime failures. For those who are losing their homes, their personal collapse has now occurred. They are not being allowed to stay in their homes either.

Debt forgiveness will not be happening. Collapse is here, right now, for those who are no longer able to keep their heads above water.

Too many Americans are simply treading water, wrongly assuming that something will ‘improve’ in their lives to keep them afloat for a while yet longer. The economic outlook already reveals that this is a losing proposition (for nearly everyone). There is no relief on the horizon (or on the planet) to bail us out.

There is another myth in all this that bears mentioning because it is related to the first.

The collapse I often write about is a process, not an event. Collapse is also something personal. It need not be global, national or even regional. It need not even affect your city.

Many crash watchers are looking for a global or national “event”. You need not look far, in fact, the event(s) have already happened. It is already TEOTWAWKI for those caught in their own personal collapse; what we are witnessing now is the accelerating disintegration of society and civilization, consuming more and more people as it grows.

If you’re looking for TEOTWAWKI, then you’ve already found it. You are already immersed in it, it’s happening everywhere around you and will soon be knocking on your door too.

Everyone alive today is faced with this reality. Each of us manages to survive only one day longer because we’ve managed to keep our heads above the swirling tide of destruction whirling around us.

But then that destruction visits you in the form of a personal collapse. It need not visit anyone else (and often doesn’t). Your neighbors may remain unaffected until it’s their turn. The only difference between you and them is the personal situations and circumstance. They may have more money then you, more connections, more help, more assets or even be a little bit smarter and planned ahead a bit better. If they have these things, they may last longer before the tidy bowl flush sweeps them away too with the rest of humanity.

But nobody, and I mean nobody has the money, connections or wit to avoid the cumulative destruction of the chained events that is now happening. Nobody will be unaffected by climate change and rising sea levels (which are predicted to rise much more rapidly then expected). Nobody will be unaffected by an economic meltdown and the collapse of the economy. Nobody will be unaffected by the war in Iran (trust me on this one). Nobody is unaffected by the growing police state.

And there are many, many more events. Peak oil and the collapse of personal transportation. Environmental degradation and the collapse of the Amazon. Drought and the depletion of local aquifers. Nobody will be immune to hyper-inflation.

For the most part, we expected to cope with these changes because they are expected to occur gradually and we can have the time to adjust. But some of these events aren’t ‘adjustable’, they won’t allow us to adjust. We would need the resources we don’t already have. We would also need time that may not exist. When that happens, we’ll have our own collapse when they hit us personally.

Residents of Las Vegas will be without water in just 3 short years. For the residents of that city, their personal collapse can be put on the calendar (if we last that long, I don’t think we will). Australia is also in drought peril.

If you’re facing foreclosure or bankruptcy, you’re personal collapse is just a matter of weeks or a few months away. Personal collapse can come in many forms and can happen in an instant. And we’ve all come to expect that the System itself will continue to support us and give us time and opportunity, even assistance in recovering from a personal collapse. But what if that were no longer true? What happens with the System itself fails, like it is doing now?

“TEOTWAWKI” means “the end of the world as we know it”, but it should probably be spelled “TEOTWAIKI” – “the end of the world as I know it”. In that regard, TEOTWAIKI has already occurred for each and everyone of us because nothing we’ve grown accustomed to and built our individual lives around, is going to last much longer. It’s already “the end of the world” – we’re just getting used to the idea.

Our forward momentum and faith in the System is the only thing keeping most this world going. But there are some things that are totally outside the realm of human control, like the environment. Peak resources already occurred over 30 years ago (oil, fresh water, fish from the sea, coral reefs, forests and many other resources that have long since been destroyed). Once used up and consumed, they’re gone, some of them forever.

For these resources, their consumption (and destruction) spelled TEOTWAWKI decades ago, we just didn’t realize it. Our own personal TEOTWAIKI was forestalled, because we still had momentum and growth, but only because of the very long supply lines and natural stockpiles of resources that still existed.

If we had instantaneous reactions and responses from the natural world for example, we would be stunned at our consequences of our actions. The simple act of eating a Big Mac, or buying a can of paint, or driving to the supermarket would reveal itself in the death of thousands of trees, air and water pollution and the penned suffering of animals.

We are not only removed from these actions and consequences, we’ve put them completely out of our minds. To us, they’re “not real” and only barely perceived. Yet that same denial is why TEOTWAIKI will come visit each and every one of us personally.

All human actions have consequences. Collective human actions have devastating consequences (and many individual ones too). For decades, we’ve been living on the gravy train here in America, buying and selling, making love and making war, consuming and polluting, building and destroying, flying and driving, surfing and skiiing, acting like it was just going to last forever and ever.

The consequences of these actions are now indelibly written into the landscape of the planet we call home. And the reaction to these human actions is making itself felt all over the world. We may have a little time with which to adjust to these reactions, and we may not. But the event everyone is looking for is already here – TEOTWAWKI has arrived (by our own hand I should add).

When will your TEOTWAIKI arrive? For some, it already has. For everyone else, soon. Very soon. Nobody is going to get out of this one.

Read (and listen) to the news. The daily evidence is piling up everywhere faster then it can be absorbed. TEOTWAWKI is here, right now, ongoing and knocking on a door near you.

What does TEOTWAWKI mean to you? Isn’t it when your life falls apart with no chance of a “normal” recovery? Isn’t it when the prospects of improving your personal situation are over? Hasn’t that already happened?


August 17, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Guiliani Caught Blatantly

Lying On How Much Time He

Spent In The Ruins Of World

Trade Centre

600 Visits? More Like 60

Rudy Guiliani (second from right) knew he had to protect his lungs from the toxic dust at Ground Zero. This is rare photo of Guiliani in a mask. He usually removed it for interviews and photographs.

Following up our recent report on wannabe Republican president, and former New York City Mayor, Rudy Guiliani’s absurd claim that he was just like all those first responders and rescue workers, who clocked up many hundreds of hours in the toxic pit of 9/11’s Ground Zero, a story in the New York Times reveals just how much time Guiliani actually spent on site.

The number of visits Guiliani made to Ground Zero between September 11 and December, 2001, is one-tenth of the number of visits he’s previously claimed to have made.

Considering, also, that when Guiliani did visit the smoking ruins of the World Trade Centre he spent no more than 15 to 30 minutes at a time there, only increases the suspicion that Guiliani knew exactly how toxic the air was at the site, as did clearly the staff and security detail of the luminaries and world leaders he took there for tours.

Guiliani knew he had to keep his visits to Ground Zero, and the time he was exposed to the toxic air, to an absolute minimum.

Incredibly, Guiliani, who is now trying to base an entire run at the White House on his record as a 9/11 hero, has spent more accumulative hours giving lectures and speeches about the time he spent at Ground Zero (for which he has collected millions of dollars in fees), than the total amount of hours he spent at the site itself.

Remember, Guiliani boasted last week that :

“I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them…I’m one of them.

Really. “…as often, if not more” than rescue and cleanup workers who logged 600, 700 or 800 hours on site, over three to four months.

That’s a mighty claim. Guiliani tried to tamp down the explosion of controversy generated by such a ridiculous claim the next day, but he didn’t retract his words.

So how many hours then was Guiliani at Ground Zero?

The New York Times claims that an “exhaustively detailed account” from Guiiani’s own archives shows that between September 17 and December 16, 2001, ‘America’s Mayor’ was at Ground Zero for a grand total of….29 hours.

29 hours, broken up through 41 separate visits. The 41 visits included inspections lasting as few as 13 minutes and also visits to areas near the wreckage pile for meetings before going on the site.

The majority of the visits, according to the New York Times were “to give tours to other officials and foreign dignitaries”.

29 hours.

Here, again, is the quote from Guiliani that has infuriated New York City firemen, police and rescue workers, and the families of those who have already died from the deadly dust and fumes they inhaled in the process of clocking up hundreds of hours on the site :

“I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers…I was there working with them.

But Guiliani went further than that back in September, 2006, when he first started feeling the heat about the tens of thousands of New Yorkers and rescue workers sickened by the toxic WTC dust :

“I spent as much time here as anyone…I was here five, six times a day for four months. I kind of thought of it as living here.”

According to Guiliani, he visited the WTC site close to 600 times.

Rescue workers I spoke to near Ground Zero in early October, 2001, said Guiliani was rarely seen on site, and only in the company of numerous news crews and photographers, or with world leaders like Vladimir Putin. The only time Guiliani took off his mask (to protect against the dust and fumes), a rescue worker told me, was when he was speaking on camera. The moment the interview ended, the mask went back on.

Between September 11 and September 17, Guiliani did visit the WTC wreckage pile, most famously accompanied by President Bush on September 14, but there are no official accounts of how many visits he actually made.

Considering the dozens of hours he clocked up giving NYC local, US national and international interviews in the days immediately after 9/11, and the fact that he was supposedly co-ordinating rescue and recovery efforts from the relocated emergency centre (the original was destroyed when WTC 7 was brought down), it would be generous to say that Guiliani visited the site 15 to 20 times between September 11 and September 17, 2001.

That figure, combined with the official visit count of 41, taken from Guiliani’s own meticulously kept records, makes for a grand total of some 60 visits, before Christmas 2001.

That’s about 560 visits less than the total Guiliani claimed in September 2006.

A spokesman for the International Society Of Firefighters said his members are sick to death of Guiliani’s grandstanding over his role in the rescue and recovery efforts following the World Trade Centre attacks and has urged the media to begin the “peeling Guiliani’s 9/11 onion.”

The New York Times appears to have begun that process. Let’s hope the rest of the American media follows suit and holds this serial liar to account.

7 Out Of 10 WTC Rescue Workers Suffer Lung Problems

How Guilani Made Millions Off 9/11 And His Five Biggest 9/11 Lies


Pentagon Paid $998,798 to Ship Two 19-Cent Washers (Update3)
By Tony Capaccio

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) — A small South Carolina parts supplier collected about $20.5 million over six years from the Pentagon for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas, U.S. officials said.

The company also billed and was paid $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Marines in Habbaniyah, Iraq, and $293,451 to ship an 89-cent split washer to Patrick Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Pentagon records show.

The owners of C&D Distributors in Lexington, South Carolina — twin sisters — exploited a flaw in an automated Defense Department purchasing system: bills for shipping to combat areas or U.S. bases that were labeled “priority” were usually paid automatically, said Cynthia Stroot, a Pentagon investigator.

C&D and two of its officials were barred in December from receiving federal contracts. Today, a federal judge in Columbia, South Carolina, accepted the guilty plea of the company and one sister, Charlene Corley, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to launder money, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin McDonald said.

Corley, 46, was fined $750,000. She faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years on each count and will be sentenced soon, McDonald said in a telephone interview from Columbia. Stroot said her sibling died last year.

Corley didn’t immediately return a phone message left on her answering machine at her office in Lexington. Her attorney, Gregory Harris, didn’t immediately return a phone call placed to his office in Columbia.

`Got More Aggressive’

C&D’s fraudulent billing started in 2000, Stroot, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s chief agent in Raleigh, North Carolina, said in an interview. “As time went on they got more aggressive in the amounts they put in.”

The price the military paid for each item shipped rarely reached $100 and totaled just $68,000 over the six years in contrast to the $20.5 million paid for shipping, she said.

“The majority, if not all of these parts, were going to high-priority, conflict areas — that’s why they got paid,” Stroot said. If the item was earmarked “priority,” destined for the military in Iraq, Afghanistan or certain other locations, “there was no oversight.”

Scheme Detected

The scheme unraveled in September after a purchasing agent noticed a bill for shipping two more 19-cent washers: $969,000. That order was rejected and a review turned up the $998,798 payment earlier that month for shipping two 19-cent washers to Fort Bliss, Texas, Stroot said.

The Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency orders millions of parts a year. “These shipping claims were processed automatically to streamline the re-supply of items to combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the Justice Department said in a press release announcing today’s verdict.

Stroot said the logistics agency and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, which pays contractors, have made major changes, including thorough evaluations of the priciest shipping charges.

Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman for the logistics agency, said finance and procurement officials immediately examined all billing records. Stroot said the review showed that fraudulent billing is “not a widespread problem.”

“C&D was a rogue contractor,” Stroot said. While other questionable billing has been uncovered, nothing came close to C&D’s, she said. The next-highest billing for questionable costs totaled $2 million, she said.

Stroot said the Pentagon hopes to recoup most of the $20.5 million by auctioning homes, beach property, jewelry and “high- end automobiles” that the sisters spent the money on.

“They took a lot of vacations,” she said.