Archive for May, 2008

BROKEN GUN OWNER GOES TO JAIL

May 30, 2008

30 months in jail for broken gun

Judge hands down penalty for misfire from 20-year-old rifle

Posted: May 27, 2008
9:32 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A federal judge has ordered a 30-month prison sentence for a man whose rifle misfired, letting loose three shots at a firing range, prompting 2nd Amendment supporters to warn their constituents how easily they, too, can become a “gun felon.”

“It didn’t matter the rifle in question had not been intentionally modified for select fire, or that it did not have an M16 bolt carrier or sear, that it did not show any signs of machining or drilling, or that that model had even been recalled a few years back,” said a commentary in Guns Magazine on the case against David R. Olofson, of Berlin, Wis.

“It didn’t matter the government had repeatedly failed to replicate automatic fire until they replaced the ammunition with a softer primer type. It didn’t even matter that the prosecution admitted it was not important to prove the gun would do it again if the test were conducted today,” the magazine said. “What mattered was the government’s position that none of the above was relevant because ‘[T]here’s no indication it makes any difference under the statute. If you pull the trigger once and it fires more than one round, no matter what the cause it’s a machine gun.’

“No matter what the cause.

“Think about if your semiauto ever malfunctions. Because that’s how close you could be to becoming a convicted ‘gun felon,'” the commentary said.

WND reported earlier when Olofson, a drill instructor in the National Guard, was convicted in a federal court for illegally transferring a machine gun.

The verdict came in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

An expert witness told WND the conviction means anyone whose weapon malfunctions is subject to charges of having or handling a banned gun.

“If your semiautomatic rifle breaks or malfunctions you are now subject to prosecution. That is now a sad FACT,” wrote Len Savage, a weaponry expert who runs Historic Arms LLC.

“To those in the sporting culture who have derided ‘black guns’ and so-called ‘assault weapons’; Your double barreled shotgun is now next up to be seized and you could possibly be prosecuted if the ATF can get it to ‘fire more than once,'” he wrote in a blog run by Red’s Trading Post.

“Hey, but don’t worry,” Savage said. “The people testing it have no procedures in writing and the testing will be in secret.”

He said during an interview with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership that Olofson had been instructing a man in the use of guns, and the student asked to borrow a rifle for some shooting practice.

“Mr. Olofson was nice enough to accommodate him,” Savage said. So the student, Robert Kiernicki, went to a range and fired about 120 rounds. “He went to put in another magazine and the rifle shot three times, then jammed.”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said Olofson, 36, is free until he gets a letter notifying of his date to report for confinement, and his lawyer, Brian Fahl, promised an immediate appeal with the help of the National Rifle Association.

He said the rifle, which was subject to a manufacturer’s recall because of mechanical problems at one point, malfunctioned because of the way it was made.

But he also warned of the potential problems from broken guns.

“If you have a multiple firing, it looks like you can be prosecuted,” he told the newspaper.

The judge, Charles Clevert, said he believed Olofson knew about the gun, or should have.

“This was a man who has considerable knowledge of weapons, considerable knowledge of machine guns,” Clevert said, according to the Journal-Sentinel. “Mr. Olofson, in this court’s view, has shown he was ignoring the law.”

Prosecutors said Olofson loaned the Olympic Arms gun to Kiernicki, whose burst of three shots prompted federal investigators to confiscate the gun for testing.

Savage said once the government got the gun, things got worse.

“They examined and test fired the rifle; then declared it to be ‘just a rifle,'” Savage said. “You would think it would all be resolved at this point, this was merely the beginning.”

He said the Special Agent in Charge, Jody Keeku, asked for a re-test and specified that the tests use “soft primered commercial ammunition.”

“FTB has no standardized testing procedures, in fact it has no written procedures at all for testing firearms,” Savage said. “They had no standard to stick to, and gleefully tried again. The results this time…’a machinegun.’ ATF with a self-admitted 50 percent error rate pursued an indictment and Mr. Olofson was charged with ‘Unlawful transfer of a machinegun.’. Not possession, not even Robert Kiernicki was charged with possession (who actually possessed the rifle), though the ATF paid Mr. Kiernicki ‘an undisclosed amount of money’ to testify against Mr. Olofson at trial,” Savage said.

And then during the trial, the prosecution told the judge it would not provide some information defense lawyers felt would clear their client, Savage continued. That included the fact that the rifle’s manufacturer had been issued a recall notice for that very model in 1986 over an issue of guns inadvertently slipping into full automatic mode, if certain parts were worn or if certain ammunition was used.

Olofson eventually was convicted of and now sentenced for transferring a machine gun.

WND also reported bloggers had a heyday when a federal agent apparently assigned to the same office that did the Olofson investigation left her gun inside the secured area at Milwaukee’s airport.

The incident had gotten only nominal publicity, with mostly local reporters carrying the story. According to the Associated Press, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, who was not identified by authorities, left her gun in the restroom at the conclusion of a long trip.

The special agent alerted authorities at some time later, after she had left the airport, according to Guy Thomas, a spokesman. He said the abandoned gun was recovered either by local authorities or a civilian.

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Bloggers attack feds after agent forgets gun in airport

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Gun shop: Complaint could have been ruse

Gun-shop owner gets ‘breath of fresh air’

‘Blog’ puts fear into gun shop inspectors

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“IRAN”

May 28, 2008

Middle East

May 28, 2008

Bush ‘plans Iran air strike by August’

By Muhammad Cohen

NEW YORK – The George W Bush administration plans to launch an air strike against Iran within the next two months, an informed source tells Asia Times Online, echoing other reports that have surfaced in the media in the United States recently.

Two key US senators briefed on the attack planned to go public with their opposition to the move, according to the source, but their projected New York Times op-ed piece has yet to appear.

The source, a retired US career diplomat and former assistant secretary of state still active in the foreign affairs community, speaking anonymously, said last week that the US plans an

air strike against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The air strike would target the headquarters of the IRGC’s elite Quds force. With an estimated strength of up to 90,000 fighters, the Quds’ stated mission is to spread Iran’s revolution of 1979 throughout the region.

Targets could include IRGC garrisons in southern and southwestern Iran, near the border with Iraq. US officials have repeatedly claimed Iran is aiding Iraqi insurgents. In January 2007, US forces raided the Iranian consulate general in Erbil, Iraq, arresting five staff members, including two Iranian diplomats it held until November. Last September, the US Senate approved a resolution by a vote of 76-22 urging President George W Bush to declare the IRGC a terrorist organization. Following this non-binding “sense of the senate” resolution, the White House declared sanctions against the Quds Force as a terrorist group in October. The Bush administration has also accused Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, though most intelligence analysts say the program has been abandoned.

Rockin’ and a-reelin’
Senators and the Bush administration denied the resolution and terrorist declaration were preludes to an attack on Iran. However, attacking Iran rarely seems far from some American leaders’ minds. Arizona senator and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain recast the classic Beach Boys tune Barbara Ann as “Bomb Iran”. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton promised “total obliteration” for Iran if it attacked Israel.

The US and Iran have a long and troubled history, even without the proposed air strike. US and British intelligence were behind attempts to unseat prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Company, and returned Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power in 1953. President Jimmy Carter’s pressure on the Shah to improve his dismal human-rights record and loosen political control helped the 1979 Islamic revolution unseat the Shah.

But the new government under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned the US as “the Great Satan” for its decades of support for the Shah and its reluctant admission into the US of the fallen monarch for cancer treatment. Students occupied the US Embassy in Teheran, holding 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days. Eight American commandos died in a failed rescue mission in 1980. The US broke diplomatic relations with Iran during the hostage holding and has yet to restore them. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric often sounds lifted from the Khomeini era.

The source said the White House views the proposed air strike as a limited action to punish Iran for its involvement in Iraq. The source, an ambassador during the administration of president H W Bush, did not provide details on the types of weapons to be used in the attack, nor on the precise stage of planning at this time. It is not known whether the White House has already consulted with allies about the air strike, or if it plans to do so.

Sense in the senate
Details provided by the administration raised alarm bells on Capitol Hill, the source said. After receiving secret briefings on the planned air strike, Senator Diane Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, said they would write a New York Times op-ed piece “within days”, the source said last week, to express their opposition. Feinstein is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Lugar is the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Senate offices were closed for the US Memorial Day holiday, so Feinstein and Lugar were not available for comment.

Given their obligations to uphold the secrecy of classified information, it is unlikely the senators would reveal the Bush administration’s plan or their knowledge of it. However, going public on the issue, even without specifics, would likely create a public groundswell of criticism that could induce the Bush administration reconsider its plan.

The proposed air strike on Iran would have huge implications for geopolitics and for the ongoing US presidential campaign. The biggest question, of course, is how would Iran respond?

Iran’s options
Iran could flex its muscles in any number of ways. It could step up support for insurgents in Iraq and for its allies throughout the Middle East. Iran aids both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Israel’s Occupied Territories. It is also widely suspected of assisting Taliban rebels in Afghanistan.

Iran could also choose direct confrontation with the US in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, with which Iran shares a long, porous border. Iran has a fighting force of more than 500,000. Iran is also believed to have missiles capable of reaching US allies in the Gulf region.

Iran could also declare a complete or selective oil embargo on US allies. Iran is the second-largest oil exporter in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and fourth-largest overall. About 70% of its oil exports go to Asia. The US has barred oil imports from Iran since 1995 and restricts US companies from investing there.

China is Iran’s biggest customer for oil, and Iran buys weapons from China. Trade between the two countries hit US$20 billion last year and continues to expand. China’s reaction to an attack on Iran is also a troubling unknown for the US.

Three for the money
The Islamic world could also react strongly against a US attack against a third predominantly Muslim nation. Pakistan, which also shares a border with Iran, could face additional pressure from Islamic parties to end its cooperation with the US to fight al-Qaeda and hunt for Osama bin Laden. Turkey, another key ally, could be pushed further off its secular base. American companies, diplomatic installations and other US interests could face retaliation from governments or mobs in Muslim-majority states from Indonesia to Morocco.

A US air strike on Iran would have seismic impact on the presidential race at home, but it’s difficult to determine where the pieces would fall.

At first glance, a military attack against Iran would seem to favor McCain. The Arizona senator says the US is locked in battle across the globe with radical Islamic extremists, and he believes Iran is one of biggest instigators and supporters of the extremist tide. A strike on Iran could rally American voters to back the war effort and vote for McCain.

On the other hand, an air strike on Iran could heighten public disenchantment with Bush administration policy in the Middle East, leading to support for the Democratic candidate, whoever it is.

But an air strike will provoke reactions far beyond US voting booths. That would explain why two veteran senators, one Republican and one Democrat, were reportedly so horrified at the prospect.

Former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen told America’s story to the world as a US diplomat and is author of Hong Kong On Air (www.hongkongonair.com), a novel set during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance and cheap lingerie.

(Copyright 2008 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us for information on sales, syndication and republishing.) ###

“ISRAEL” & “OBAMA”

May 27, 2008

Israel ‘expects’ Obama to win
Looks to create defensible borders before pressured into concessions
Posted: May 26, 2008
6:32 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois

JERUSALEM – The Israeli government estimates Sen. Barack Obama will win the presidential elections and is rushing to finalize a deal with the Palestinians and possibly Syria before President Bush leaves office, two top Israeli diplomats told WND.

The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel is seeking to create “defensible borders” within months, fearing if territorial negotiations were held during an Obama administration, Israel would be pressured into more dangerous concessions.

“Israel must ensure defensible borders before Obama is elected,” said one Israeli diplomat. “The [Israeli] leadership is motivated by many factors but one of them is a drive to conclude a deal for a Palestinian state and talks with Syria before the likely event of an Obama administration.”

The other diplomat said Jerusalem is concerned by what he called Obama’s “questionable” support of Israel:

“Look, there’s no doubt [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert is rushing into talks with Syria and looking to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, by January due to the criminal probe against him. But it is understood Israel will get a better deal and can ensure its security better with Bush in office instead of Obama. [Obama’s] support of Israel is questionable. We fear he is unfriendly,” said the diplomat.

Olmert’s government has been holding intense negotiations with the Palestinians the past few months following last November’s U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit which seeks to create a Palestinian state by the end of the year. It is widely assumed Israel will attempt to hand the Palestinians most of the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem in any deal.

Also last week, both the Syrian government and Olmert’s office announced Israel and Syria are holding indirect talks about a deal in which Israel would be expected to evacuate the Golan Heights, which looks down on Israeli population centers and was twice used by Syria to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem claimed Olmert agreed to withdraw from the entire Golan in advance of the indirect talks, while Olmert’s office would only say it is in negotiations with Syria but would not comment on any preconditions or advance offers.

It is widely believed here Olmert is engaging in talks with Syria due to his implication in what is being described as a very serious criminal investigation.

Politicians from across the political spectrum – including member’s of Olmert’s own Kadima party and other leftist Knesset members who support talks with Syria – have been quoted by the Israeli media in recent days tying the Syria talks to the investigation of Olmert.

Last week, a poll conducted by Israel’s Channel 2 found 57 percent of Israelis believe the timing of the negotiations with Syria is linked to the corruption case against Olmert. Fifty-eight percent of those polled reportedly said Israel’s leader did not have the legitimacy to negotiate with Syria.

Olmert has said he would resign if he is indicted in the probe, which focuses on alleged bribes he took in exchange for political favors.

The Israeli diplomats speaking to WND today agreed with the estimation Olmert is in dialogue with Syria because of the criminal investigation, but they said another major factor was the prospect of an Obama’s presidency.

“Putting Syria aside, Bush is seen as the best chance for Israel to get a deal with the Palestinians that would have better security guarantees,” said one diplomat. “Frankly, we don’t think Obama will favor Israeli security needs as much.”

Asked how an Israeli evacuation of the West Bank or Jerusalem neighborhoods under any circumstances would advance Israel’s security, the diplomat replied: “We are talking about whether Israel would retain certain settlement blocks and other security guarantees, like some sort of Israeli monitoring mechanism in Palestinian areas. Also, U.S. security guarantees.”

Obama questioned over ties to Palestinian activist

Obama has been assailed over his stated commitment to Israel, although he has repeated insisted during interviews he is a strong supporter of the Jewish state.

At a Boca Raton, Fla., synagogue last week, participants in a panel discussion quizzed Obama about his relationship with Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian activist and harsh critic of Israel who has been described as a friend of the senator.

Obama replied: “You mentioned Rashid Khalidi, who’s a professor at Columbia. I do know him, because I taught at the University of Chicago. And he is Palestinian. And I do know him, and I have had conversations. He is not one of my advisers; he’s not one of my foreign policy people. His kids went to the Lab school where my kids go as well. He is a respected scholar, although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel’s policy.”

Khalidi’s ties to Obama were first exposed by WND in February in a widely cited article.

According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, the Democratic presidential hopeful befriended Khalidi when the two worked together at the university. The professor spoke on condition of anonymity. Khalidi lectured at the University of Chicago until 2003 while Obama taught law there from 1993 until his election to the Senate in 2004.

Sources at the university told WND that Khalidi and Obama lived in nearby faculty residential zones and that the two families dined together a number of times. The sources said the Obamas even babysat the Khalidi children.

Khalidi in 2000 held what was described as a successful fundraiser for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a fact not denied by Khalidi, who spoke to WND in February.

As WND reported, an anti-Israel Arab group run by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, received crucial funding from a Chicago nonprofit, the Woods Fund, for which Obama served as a board member.

When Khalidi departed the University of Chicago in 2003, Obama delivered an in-person testimonial at a farewell ceremony reminiscing about conversations over meals prepared by Mona Khalidi.

Earlier this month, WND noted Obama termed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a “constant sore” in an interview just five days after Khalidi wrote an opinion piece in the Nation magazine in which he called the “Palestinian question” a “running sore.”

In his piece, “Palestine: Liberation Deferred,” Khalidi suggests Israel carried out “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians; writes Western powers backed Israel’s establishment due to guilt of the Holocaust; laments the Palestinian Authority’s stated acceptance of a Palestinian state “only” in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern sections of Jerusalem; and argues Israel should be dissolved and instead a binational, cantonal system should be set up in which Jews and Arabs reside.

During documented speeches and public events, Khalidi has called Israel an “apartheid system in creation” and a destructive “racist” state.

He has multiple times implied support for Palestinian terror, calling suicide bombings a response to “Israeli aggression.” He dedicated his 1986 book, “Under Siege,” to “those who gave their lives … in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon.”

Critics assailed the book as excusing Palestinian terrorism and claim the dedication is in reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which at that time committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terrorist group.

Top Obama adviser: NYC, Miami Jews the problem

Obama also came under fire last week for comments made by Merrill A. McPeak, Obama’s military adviser and national campaign co-chairman, in which he implied U.S. politicians are afraid of Jewish voters in Miami and New York City and that American Jews are the “problem” impeding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Republican Jewish Coalition last week took out ads in top Florida newspapers petitioning Jews in the Sunshine State to question Obama over McPeak’s remarks, which were highlighted in March by WND.

McPeak was asked during a 2003 interview with the Oregonian newspaper whether the problem in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict originated with the White House or the State Department.

“So where’s the problem?” the interviewer asked.

McPeak replied, “New York City. Miami. We have a large vote – vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.”

McPeak went on to insist that to solve the conflict, Israelis must “stop settling the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and maybe even withdraw some of the settlements that’ve already been put there. And nobody wants to take on that problem. It’s just too tough politically.”

Obama adviser: Divide Jerusalem!

Much concern has also been expressed about Obama’s top Midde East adviser, Daniel Kurtzer, who has long been seen as one of Israel’s greatest foes in Washington.

Earlier this month, Kurtzer stressed Jerusalem must be included in any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, has been identified by Israeli leaders, including prime ministers, as biased against Israel and is notorious for urging extreme concessions from the Jewish state. He was appointed as a primary Obama adviser on the Middle East earlier this year.

Obama’s appointment of Kurtzer raised eyebrows among the pro-Israel Jewish community.

“We oppose the appointment of Kurtzer because of his long, documented record of hostility to and severe pressure upon Israel,” said Zionist Organization of America National Chairman Morton Klein.

Kurtzer has been blasted by mainstream Jewish organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

He has angered Israeli leaders many times for pushing Israel into what they described as extreme concessions to the Palestinians.

“With Jews like Kurtzer, it is impossible to build a healthy relationship between Israel and the United States,” Benjamin Nentanyahu was quoted saying in 2001 by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said Kurtzer “frequently pressured Israel to make one-sided concessions to the Arabs; he constantly blamed Israel for the absence of Mideast peace, and paid little or no attention to the fact that the Palestinians were carrying out terrorist attacks and openly calling for the destruction of Israel.”

Morris Amitay, former executive director of the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2001: “Kurtzer … will use his Jewishness as a protective cover for his anti-Israel views.”

The ZOA points out Israel’s leading daily, Yediot Ahronot, editorialized on Kurtzer’s negative influence against Israel:

“Possibly more than any other U.S. State Department official, Kurtzer has been instrumental in promoting the goals of the Palestinians and in raising their afflictions to the center of the U.S. policymakers’ agenda,” the paper stated.

Kurtzer first rose to prominence in 1988 when, as a State Department adviser, he counseled the Reagan administration to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasser Arafat. The PLO had carried out scores of anti-Western attacks, but in the late ’80s Arafat claimed to have renounced violence.

In 1988, Kurtzer was noted as the principal author of a major policy speech by then-Secretary of State George Shultz in which the U.S. government first recognized the “legitimate rights” of the Palestinians.

Haaretz reported in 2001 that Kurtzer had a “vocal conflict” with an Israeli government official in Philadelphia in the summer of 1990 after Kurtzer “attacked the Israeli government for refusing to include the PLO in the peace process [and] said that this constituted the main obstacle to peace.”

Hamas: ‘We like Obama’

Underscoring fears of Obama’s commitment to Israel, the Hamas terror group’s purported endorsement of the Illinois senator has become a central campaign theme and has been highlighted by the news media worldwide.

Hamas’ chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, Ahmed Yousef, said in a now notorious interview last month with WND and with WABC Radio that he “hopes” Obama becomes president.

“We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections,” said Yousef. “I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. … I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance,” Yousef said, speaking from Gaza.

Obama has repeatedly condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization that should be isolated until it renounces violence and recognizes Israel.

OBAMA – THE INSIDE STORY

May 23, 2008

Report: Obama mentored by Communist Party figure
Investigations show ties to radicals who shaped him, helped launch his political career

Posted: May 22, 2008
11:40 pm Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Frank Marshall Davis
Barack Obama had extensive ties with extreme anti-American elements, including agents of the Moscow-controlled Communist Party USA, in Hawaii and Chicago, according to two new reports released yesterday in Washington, D.C., by two experienced internal security investigators.

Investigative journalist Cliff Kincaid and Herbert Romerstein, a former investigator with the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, presented evidence Obama was mentored by Frank Marshall Davis, an African-American poet and journalist who was also a CPUSA member while Obama attended high school in Hawaii.

The authors, in a separate report, document Obama’s ties to radicals in Chicago who helped launch his career.

In a paper entitled “Communism in Hawaii and the Obama Connection,” the authors document that in 1948, Davis decided to move from Chicago to Honolulu at the suggestion of what they describe as two “secret CPUSA members,” actor Paul Robeson and Harry Bridges, the head of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen Union, or ILWU.

In Chicago, Davis had worked for the Chicago Star newspaper; in Honolulu, he was hired as a reporter for the Honolulu Record, both identified by Kincaid and Romerstein as “communist front newspapers.”

In his autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama discusses the influence a mentor identified in the book only as “Frank” had on his intellectual development.

Obama described Frank as a drinking companion of his grandfather, who had boasted of his association with African-American authors Richard Wright and Langston Hughes during the time Frank was a journalist in Chicago.

Romerstein, in addition to having served as investigator with the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, served in the same capacity with the House Committee on Internal Security and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was the head of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation for the U.S. Information Agency. Romerstein is also co-author of the influential book “The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors,” which included extensive documentation of the communist activities of Roosevelt administration staffer Alger Hiss.

Kincaid is the founder and president of America’s Survival Inc., an independent watchdog group that monitors the U.N. and international terrorism. He is also editor of Accuracy in Media’s AIM Report.

Are you a member of the Communist Party?

Kincaid and Romerstein quote Kathryn Takara of the University of Hawaii, who wrote a dissertation on the life of Frank Marshall Davis, confirming Davis was a significant influence on Obama when the senator attended Punahou prep school in Hawaii from 1975 to 1979

A transcript of a 1956 hearing before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee discovered by internal security affairs researcher and writer Max Friedman showed Davis took the Fifth Amendment when asked by the subcommittee if he was or had ever been a member of the Communist Party.

In the second report, “Communism in Chicago and the Obama Connection,” Kincaid and Romerstein present evidence supporting their contention the SDS organization from which the Weather Underground organization and radicals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn came, received financial contributions from the CPUSA, which in turn receive its funding from Moscow.

Obama’s run for the Illinois state Senate was launched by a fundraiser organized at Ayers’ and Dorhn’s Chicago home by Alice Palmer. Palmer had named Obama to succeed her in the state Senate in 1995, when she decided to run for a U.S. congressional seat.

Nine years before Palmer picked Obama to be her successor, she was the only African-American journalist to travel to the Soviet Union to attend the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, according to an article Palmer wrote in the CPUSA newspaper, People’s Daily World, June 19, 1986.

“There has been no explanation of why Ayers et al. played a role in launching Obama’s political career,” Kincaid wrote.

Kincaid and Romerstein present documentation that Tom Hayden, another major figure in the SDS, is today one of four principal initiators of the “Progressives for Obama” movement, which calls for ending the war in Iraq “as quickly as possible, not in five years.”

According to Kincaid and Romerstein, U.S. Peace Council executive committee member Frank Chapman “blew the whistle on communist support for Obama’s presidential bid and his real agenda” in a letter to the People’s Weekly World after Obama’s win in the Iowa Democratic Party caucuses.

“Obama’s victory was more than a progressive move; it was a dialectical leap ushering in a qualitatively new era of struggle,” Chapman wrote. “Marx once compared revolutionary struggle with the work of the mole, who sometimes burrows so far beneath the ground that he leaves no trace of his movement on the surface.

Kincaid and Romerstein wrote, “The clear implication of Chapman’s letter is that Obama himself, or some of his Marxist supporters, are acting like moles in the political process. The suggestion is that something is being hidden from the public.”

OBAMA IN FLORIDA

May 22, 2008

Governor: Hamas nod dooms Obama in Florida
Charlie Crist cites controversy that began with WND interview

Posted: May 22, 2008
4:29 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Gov. Charlie Crist
Citing the controversy that began with WND’s interview with a Hamas leader, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said citizens of the Sunshine State will find Sen. Barack Obama’s positions on foreign policy out of the mainstream.

Crist, credited with helping Sen. John McCain win the Florida Republican primary, told a New York Times reporter he believes the Arizona senator will be successful this fall in the crucial swing state, because Obama “is for higher taxes, and I think the whole Hamas issue is a drag.”

Crist was referring to the fallout from a interview by WND’s Aaron Klein and WABC radio with a top Hamas official who said he hopes the Illinois senator becomes president. Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, also compared Obama to President John F. Kennedy.

McCain seized on the “endorsement,” with campaign manager Brian Rogers asserting “the reason for Hamas’ praise of Senator Obama’s foreign policy is his commitment to meet unconditionally with Iran.”

Crist told the Times’ Kevin Sack he believes Obama’s stances on foreign policy and taxes won’t win over the citizens of his state.

“I think Floridians are pretty mainstream,” Crist said. “I’m not sure Senator Obama is. I believe some group rated him as the most liberal Senator. I don’t think that will go over well in Florida.”

The governor was referring to the National Journal’s annual Senate vote ratings, published in January, which ranked Obama most liberal.

Analysts have considered Crist, a popular first-term governor, as a potential running mate for McCain.

In the interview with Yousef, the Hamas leader said, “We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections. I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. … I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance.”

Yousef volunteered his statements about Obama in response to a question inquiring whether he was surprised the senator and other presidential candidates criticized Jimmy Carter’s recent meetings with Hamas.

Responding to the Hamas leader’s comments, McCain contended Obama wants to “sit down and negotiate with a government exporting most lethal devices used against soldiers. He wants to sit down face to face with a government that is very clear about developing nuclear weapons. … They are sponsors of terrorist organizations. That’s a huge difference in my opinion. And I’ll let the American people decide whether that’s a significant difference or not. I believe it is.”

“OLMERT” NEEDS TO GO NOW

May 21, 2008

Bill compelling indicted PM to resign passes Knesset’s prelim bid

Majority of 61 MKs greenlight new bill forcing acting prime minister to step down if faces criminal indictment. ‘Bill has nothing to do with Olmert,’ says its promoter MK Pines

Amnon Meranda
Published: 05.21.08, 15:51 / Israel News

The Knesset gave the green light to a new bill compelling an indicted prime minister to immediately step down. The bill passed its preliminary reading Wednesday, with 61 Knesset members voting in favor of it and six voting against.

According to the bill, should an acting prime minister be indicted for a felony, he will have no choice but to resign, no longer than 30 days from the time the indictment is filed.

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The bill, brought before the House by MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor-Meimad), stated that should a prime minister be forced to resign, the Knesset will consider the government to have resigned as well.

“The existing law allows the Knesset to force an acting prime minister to step down only when convicted of offenses carrying moral turpitude; thus allowing a premier or minister to stay in office while indicted for criminal offenses; which in turn hinders the proper rule of law in Israel,” said Pines in the bill’s brief.

The motion, he explained, had nothing to do with the ongoing investigations against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: “Olmert himself said he would resign if he were indicted… This bill has merit. The Knesset knows that an acting PM can’t stay in office if he’s facing a criminal indictment. It’s time we have a law to support that.”

Automatic consequences

Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, representing the government in the vote, said that “the law cannot carry the automatic consequence of making an acting prime minister step down simply because an indictment was filed… the mere decision by the attorney general to file any such indictment cannot bring forth a change of government.

“The proper action in any such case, depending on the circumstances, would be for an acting prime minister to take personal responsibility for his conduct, or for the Knesset to vote on a motion of non-confidence.”

The bill was not sanctioned by the government, but several ministers still voted in favor of it, including Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, Minister Ruhama Avraham- Balila, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, Environment Minister Gidon Ezra, Science, Culture and Sport Minister Raleb Majadele and Minister of Immigrant Absorption Jacob Edery.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) voted in favor of the bill as well. The six MKs who voted against it were MK Ephraim Sneh (Labor), MK Yisrael Katz (Likud), MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), Minister of Pensioner Affairs Rafi Eitan, MK Yitzhak Ziv (Pensioners Party) and MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas).

Over the past few years, the police launched investigations into various allegations against Former Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu. None of them were ever indicted.

Olmert himself was not present for the vote.

YOU HAVE LOST YOUR “AMERICA”

May 20, 2008

Spain to run America’s 1st superhighway?

$12.8 billion deal would turn over control of Pennsylvania Turnpike

Posted: May 19, 2008
9:06 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Stretching through the rural countryside with limited access and no speed limit in 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built to resemble Germany’s autobahn. Now thanks to a $12.8 billion dollar offer, it may soon become Spain’s.

According to a report in the Philadelphia Daily News, Gov. Ed Rendell has announced that Abertis Infraestructuras of Barcelona has offered the top dollar bid to the state of Pennsylvania for the rights to manage the toll road under a 75-year lease.

The highway could become just the latest in a string of U.S. infrastructure landmarks to be operated by foreign companies.

In 2004, management of the Chicago Skyway, a stretch of elevated road connecting I-90 and I-94, was granted to Cintra, another Spanish operation that outbid Abertis at $1.83 billion. Abertis lost out to Cintra again when the Indiana Toll Road was taken over in 2006 for $3.8 billion.

This time, Abertis beat out Cintra and other firms, hoping to add the Pennsylvania Turnpike to its list of operations including toll roads in Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. Abertis also operates airports, including the airports in Orlando, Fla.; Burbank, Calif.; and one concourse of the Atlanta airport.

Even though the controversial Dubai ports deal was squashed by public outcry in 2006, foreign firms have nonetheless purchased long-term leases on other American transportation networks.

The Chicago Skyway is tied up for 99 years. The Indiana Toll Road is leased for 75. As WND reported earlier this year, Chicago is seeking a more than 50-year lease on Midway Airport. Among the potential suitors for Midway are 6 international firms, including Abertis.

The leases are being made possible through an increasingly common practice of establishing “public-private partnerships” (PPP’s), contracts between public agencies and private entities that enable private sector participation in public transportation.

Many of the PPP’s implemented in the U.S. bring large up-front cash infusions. In both the proposed Midway and Pennsylvania Turnpike offers, the billions in cash are touted as a quick solution to shoring up under-funded government employee pension funds.

Many, however, see an imminent threat in turning over U.S. infrastructure to foreign companies.

“The USA is up for sale,” an attendee of a conference in Colorado to discuss PPPs told WND. “Whatever the public now owns – roads, ports, waste management water systems, rail lines, public parking facilities, airports, even lotteries and sports stadiums – are up for grabs and the only requirement is that the foreigners have the cash.”

Even William Capone, the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, told WND in a telephone interview earlier this year, “We don’t favor turning the Pennsylvania Turnpike into a private entity through a PPP lease. If we keep the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the hands of a public entity, we believe we can actually invest more dollars into roads than a private corporation could do.”

“Besides,” he said, “the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is not profit-driven, so we don’t have to generate profits to pay shareholders the way a PPP would have to operate.”

Rendell, however, is now advocating the proposal that would turn his state’s best known road over to Abertis. Rendell called the plan “a very good deal for Pennsylvanian drivers and taxpayers” and is urging lawmakers to move the highway – 359 miles of east-west routes and another northeast extension – into private hands by September.

The proposal still has to go through the Pennsylvania legislature, a decision that is likely to be hotly contested. Many in the capital are hoping Act 44, a law passed by the state legislature in 2007 to make I-80 a toll road as well, will stem the financial crisis and deflate the impetus for accepting the Turnpike proposal.

According to the newspaper report, the toll road plan with Abertis allows the newcomer to raise tolls 25 percent year and 2.5 percent or the rate of inflation every year after that.

“REPUBLICANS”

May 16, 2008

DECLARATIONS
By PEGGY NOONAN

Pity Party
May 16, 2008

Big picture, May 2008:

The Democrats aren’t the ones falling apart, the Republicans are. The Democrats can see daylight ahead. For all their fractious fighting, they’re finally resolving their central drama. Hillary Clinton will leave, and Barack Obama will deliver a stirring acceptance speech. Then hand-to-hand in the general, where they see their guy triumphing. You see it when you talk to them: They’re busy being born.

[Pity Party]
Terry Shoffner
Clarke Reed

The Republicans? Busy dying. The brightest of them see no immediate light. They’re frozen, not like a deer in the headlights but a deer in the darkness, his ears stiff at the sound. Crunch. Twig. Hunting party.

The headline Wednesday on Drudge, from Politico, said, “Republicans Stunned by Loss in Mississippi.” It was about the eight-point drubbing the Democrat gave the Republican in the special House election. My first thought was: You have to be stupid to be stunned by that. Second thought: Most party leaders in Washington are stupid – detached, played out, stuck in the wisdom they learned when they were coming up, in ’78 or ’82 or ’94. Whatever they learned then, they think pertains now. In politics especially, the first lesson sticks. For Richard Nixon, everything came back to Alger Hiss.

They are also – Hill leaders, lobbyists, party speakers – successful, well-connected, busy and rich. They never guessed, back in ’86, how government would pay off! They didn’t know they’d stay! They came to make a difference and wound up with their butts in the butter. But affluence detaches, and in time skews thinking. It gives you the illusion you’re safe, and that everyone else is. A party can lose its gut this way.

Many are ambivalent, deep inside, about the decisions made the past seven years in the White House. But they’ve publicly supported it so long they think they . . . support it. They get confused. Late at night they toss and turn in the antique mahogany sleigh bed in the carpeted house in McLean and try to remember what it is they really do think, and what those thoughts imply.

And those are the bright ones. The rest are in Perpetual 1980: We have the country, the troops will rally in the fall.

“This was a real wakeup call for us,” someone named Robert M. Duncan, who is chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the New York Times. This was after Mississippi. “We can’t let the Democrats take our issues.” And those issues would be? “We can’t let them pretend to be conservatives,” he continued. Why not? Republicans pretend to be conservative every day.

The Bush White House, faced with the series of losses from 2005 through ’08, has long claimed the problem is Republicans on the Hill and running for office. They have scandals, bad personalities, don’t stand for anything. That’s why Republicans are losing: because they’re losers.

All true enough!

But this week a House Republican said publicly what many say privately, that there is another truth. “Members and pundits . . . fail to understand the deep seated antipathy toward the president, the war, gas prices, the economy, foreclosures,” said Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia in a 20-page memo to House GOP leaders.

The party, Mr. Davis told me, is “an airplane flying right into a mountain.” Analyses of its predicament reflect an “investment in the Bush presidency,” but “the public has just moved so far past that.” “Our leaders go up to the second floor of the White House and they get a case of White House-itis.” Mr. Bush has left the party at a disadvantage in terms of communications: “He can’t articulate. The only asset we have now is the big microphone, and he swallowed it.” The party, said Mr. Davis, must admit its predicament, act independently of the White House, and force Democrats to define themselves. “They should have some ownership for what’s going on. They control the budget. They pay no price. . . . Obama has all happy talk, but it’s from 30,000 feet. Energy, immigration, what is he gonna do?”

Could the party pivot from the president? I spoke this week to Clarke Reed of Mississippi, one of the great architects of resurgent Republicanism in the South. When he started out, in the 1950s, there were no Republicans in his state. The solid south was solidly Democratic, and Sen. James O. Eastland was thumping the breast pocket of his suit, vowing that civil rights legislation would never leave it. “We’re going to build a two-party system in the south,” Mr. Reed said. He helped create “the illusion of Southern power” as a friend put it, with the creation of the Southern Republican Chairman’s Association. “If you build it they will come.” They did.

There are always “lots of excuses,” Mr. Reed said of the special-election loss. Poor candidate, local factors. “Having said all that,” he continued, “let’s just face it: It’s not a good time.” He meant to be a Republican. “They brought Cheney in, and that was a mistake.” He cited “a disenchantment with the generic Republican label, which we always thought was the Good Housekeeping seal.”

What’s behind it? “American people just won’t take a long war. Just – name me a war, even in a pro-military state like this. It’s overall disappointment. It’s national. No leadership, adrift. Things haven’t worked.” The future lies in rebuilding locally, not being “distracted” by Washington.

Is the Republican solid South over?

“Yeah. Oh yeah.” He said, “I eat lunch every day at Buck’s Cafe. Obama’s picture is all over the wall.”

How to come back? “The basic old conservative principles haven’t changed. We got distracted by Washington, we got distracted from having good county organizations.”

Should the party attempt to break with Mr. Bush? Mr. Reed said he supports the president. And then he said, simply, “We’re past that.”

We’re past that time.

Mr. Reed said he was “short-term pessimistic, long-term optimistic.” He has seen a lot of history. “After Goldwater in ’64 we said, ‘Let’s get practical.’ So we got ol’ Dick. We got through Watergate. Been through a lot. We’ve had success a long time.”

Throughout the interview this was a Reed refrain: “We got through that.” We got through Watergate and Vietnam and changes large and small.

He was holding high the flag, but his refrain implicitly compared the current moment to disaster.

What happens to the Republicans in 2008 will likely be dictated by what didn’t happen in 2005, and ’06, and ’07. The moment when the party could have broken, on principle, with the administration – over the thinking behind and the carrying out of the war, over immigration, spending and the size of government – has passed. What two years ago would have been honorable and wise will now look craven. They’re stuck.

Mr. Bush has squandered the hard-built paternity of 40 years. But so has the party, and so have its leaders. If they had pushed away for serious reasons, they could have separated the party’s fortunes from the president’s. This would have left a painfully broken party, but they wouldn’t be left with a ruined “brand,” as they all say, speaking the language of marketing. And they speak that language because they are marketers, not thinkers. Not serious about policy. Not serious about ideas. And not serious about leadership, only followership.

This is and will be the great challenge for John McCain: The Democratic argument, now being market tested by Obama Inc., that a McCain victory will yield nothing more or less than George Bush’s third term.

That is going to be powerful, and it is going to get out the vote. And not for Republicans.

McCAIN in 1999

May 10, 2008

McCain to Me in 1999: Bush “As Dumb as a Stump”

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Posted May 9, 2008 | 06:01 PM (EST)

Read More: 2000 Election, Dumb As a Stump, John McCain 2000, McCain Bush Dumb As a Stump, McCain’s 2000 Presidential Vote, Politics News

As a lawyer might say (OK, I am one), I have no personal knowledge of whether John or Cindy McCain voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election. However, now that that has been called into question by Arianna Huffington (who says no) and Huffington’s truthfulness has in turn been questioned by the McCain campaign (although not yet by the McCains), I can offer the following anecdote as admissible hearsay shedding a little light on the subject:

Over the Fourth of July weekend of 1999, I had the good fortune to accompany my then fiancée (and now happily my wife) to the McCain vacation home in Sedona where she was interviewing them for a Home and Garden Television show. The interview itself was entirely apolitical, focusing on fabrics and furnishing in their lovely Oak Creek abode, topics about which I do recall the senator was less than comfortable discussing.

Always the goods hosts, the McCains also invited us to spend the day with them, including for barbeque, a favorite of John’s. And as McCain flipped burgers, I could not help but ask his views about then candidate George W. Bush.

“He’s as dumb as a stump,” McCain offered. We then went on to discuss other matters (including Vietnam) but that quote remains seared in my memory.

So how the McCains actually voted that November is between them and their voting booth. But if John McCain did end up voting for Bush, then by his own admission he voted for a stump.

PALESTINIAN POLICE

May 8, 2008

FROM WND’S JERUSALEM BUREAU

U.S.-trained anti-terror units running scared
‘They couldn’t even get near the stronghold without retreating’

Posted: May 07, 2008
11:40 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Palestinian police

JERUSALEM – They are billed as the most professional Palestinian police force ever assembled.

They received advanced U.S. training and were deployed this week amid much fanfare and claims they would fight crime and terrorism.

But less than 30 minutes into their first mission, the force ran scared from armed terrorists they were charged with combating.

Meet the new elite police unit of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization.

The U.S.-backed police force has been built up to assume security control of the West Bank following the planned creation of a Palestinian state and an expected Israeli evacuation from the territory.

As part of a trial balloon, a unit of 480 members of the elite force deployed Sunday in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The Jenin force’s commander, Suleiman Amran, told media the deployment is an important day for the town and that there’s “no chance for troublemakers to return to Jenin.”

Failing basic tests

The Jenin force followed a U.S.-trained unit of some 500 police officers deployed in February in the West Bank city of Nablus, also as a trial balloon. The Nablus unit failed basic tests and has been incapable of fighting terrorism, according to informed security officials who spoke last week to WND.

This week’s Jenin deployment was seen as a second test of the PA’s ability to assume control of the West Bank.

Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator to the Palestinian territories, personally oversaw the Jenin and Nablus units’ training at U.S.-operated bases in Jordan and in the West Bank city of Jericho. Dayton’s office has been monitoring closely the police force’s deployment and activities.

On Tuesday, the Jenin unit embarked on its first mission – to clear out a section of Cabatiya, a Palestinian camp just south of Jenin considered the main base of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

About 200 policemen attempted to engage in fire clashes in Cabatiya with members of Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror groups. The Brigades is the declared military wing of Abbas’ Fatah party.

But witnesses, including members of Abbas’ Fatah organization, and Israeli security sources monitoring the fight told WND that within less than 30 minutes of the start of the clashes, the elite Palestinian police force retreated from the scene.

“The security men ran away scared. They didn’t arrest anyone,” said one witness.

An Israeli security official closely monitoring the progress of the Nablus and Jenin forces previously told WND the units are largely failing.

“They cannot fight terrorism. The Israel Defense Forces must do most of the work for them in that regard. When it comes to public security, they can block off streets and create a perimeter and carry out other basic duties, but beyond that, fighting crime isn’t going well,” said the security official.

Pardoned terrorists

Another major episode evidencing the police unit’s failure to fight terrorism began playing out in Nablus last month when 13 senior leaders of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist organization who had been pardoned recently by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert publicly took up arms and vowed terror attacks against Israel.

Olmert last June pardoned 175 Brigades terrorists as a gesture to bolster Abbas against Hamas. He pardoned dozens more earlier this year.

The terrorists were given amnesty on condition they disarm, refrain from attacks and spend three months in PA detention facilities and another three months confined to Nablus, where they reside.

But in a challenge to the new Nablus police force, the 13 senior Brigades terrorist leaders last month rejected the amnesty agreement, departed the PA detention facilities, publicly took up arms and created a stronghold in the Old City of Nablus.

Calling themselves the Night Warriors of Al Aqsa, the new cell vowed attacks against the Jewish state.

According to informed security sources, among the Brigades leaders rejecting the agreement were Hanni Caabe, Mahdi Abu Jazaleh, and brothers Omar and Amer Haqube – all of whom are high-ranking Brigades terrorists.

The U.S.-backed Nablus police unit, under Dayton’s watch, was called upon to eject the Al Aqsa terrorist rebels from Nablus’ Old City. The operation was to be seen as a major test of the force’s capabilities.

A large force attempted to raid the terrorists’ stronghold several times, but according to security officials, the forces repeatedly failed.

“We are talking about six attempts so far, five of the attempts utilized more than 300 policemen against the 13 terrorists and all attempts failed miserably,” said a security official.

“They couldn’t even get near the stronghold without being heavily fired upon and then retreating,” the security official said.

Finally, the IDF raided the Brigades stronghold, killing Brigades terrorist leader Caabe during a shootout and sending at least five other rebel Brigades terrorists into hiding.

“Israel had to come in and do the work for the Palestinian force,” said a security official. “I don’t know how they can handle security without Israel backing them up.”

U.S. training continues

Meanwhile, U.S. training of elite PA security forces continues. A new, three-month course began in March at U.S.-controlled bases in the Jordanian village of Giftlik, according to Israeli security officials. More than 600 elite PA soldiers are enrolled in the current course, which includes training in the use of weapons, conducting ambushes, fighting street crime, fighting terrorism and dealing with hostage situations, among other things.

After the unit is finished training in Jordan, they will continue with more advanced training courses at a U.S.-run base in the West Bank city of Jericho.

Security officials said Dayton rented an apartment in Jericho and is overseeing “every aspect of the new unit’s training.”