Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Critics of Bush's Iran policy being censored. Surprise!

According to The New York Times, "Two former government Mideast experts accused the White House on Monday of abusing secrecy rules to block the publication of an article they had written for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times that criticized Bush administration policy toward Iran."

Now isn't this surprising!? No. This shit happens all the time.

Via Impolitical (a blog I highly recommend by the way!)

Pentagon at it again - seeks to intimidate and taunt Iran

Remember the Pentagon's war games off the coast of Iran months back! Well, apparently that wasn't enough to try an make Iran attack us.

Well, According to the Associated Press, "The Pentagon is considering a buildup of Navy forces in the Persian Gulf as a show of force against Iran, a senior defense official said Tuesday."

Basically this is what the U.S. has done throughout history in a variety of situations, it's part of the imperial grand strategy of the United States. From Vietnam, to Saddam, to bin Laden, Cuba and so on. Taunting. It's essentially a game of chess, and the lives of people in any of these countries does not matter to the leaders who play.

Well that's not a very safe thing to do now is it? But what do I know, I'm just some libertarian asshole right? Image Credit: [Triniman's Blog]

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Surprise! Bush will soon seek $100 Billion more for war.


Full article via Yahoo News

Tony Snow: "they're fighting the bad guys"

Tony Snow, who are you to tell the American people who the "bad guys" are? Why aren't you [aka the Bush administration] the bad guys?

You invaded their country and you wonder why they might be a littl angry. Take a long hard look at the history of U.S. foreign policy. then ask why you might be despised.

You, Tony Snow , are a gigantic jackass [aka "I am the Bush administration's bitch and I think it's pretty sweet."]. Please, spare your propaganda for your own followers.

More at AMERICAblog

Monday, December 11, 2006

U.K. to stop using Bush phrase “War On Terror”

It seems someone must have heard one of my pleas to stop calling Bush's failed and unjust actions the "War on Terror", now we just need to stop pretending like there's a "War on Terror."

The Foreign Office in Britain has told Cabinet ministers to cease using the phrase 'War on Terror' and other terms that may anger British Muslims. How about stop using it because it's a fucking joke. It's a fraudulent disaster. A con.

"...officials believe that militants use a sense of war and crisis and a 'clash of civilisations' to recruit supporters, and thus the use of terms such as 'war', 'war on terror' or 'battle' can be counter-productive." Read the full article at The Observer.

Also read: There Is No War On Terror and The Fallacy of the War on Terror

The U.S. government has and is a major supporter of state-backed terrorism, favoring preemptive aggression over mediation in the world court, and avoiding accountability by excluding itself from the globally accepted definition of terrorism.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Conspiracy to Defraud the United Staes?

Elizabeth de la Vega was an Assistant US Attorney up until 2004, half way into Bush's reign. She recently published a book titled "United States vs. George W. Bush, et al.". In this book, you can read De la Vega lay out her mock indictment of George W. for consiracy to defraud the United States. In an interview on Democracy Now! radio, she starts her explaination of her book with 9/11:

"But the case really starts with the actions of the administration right after 9/11 and proceeds with how they used the fear that was engendered by 9/11, and they actually aggravated that fear. And then they started off, as we all recall, with sort of generally false assertions that had no basis in fact, such as that Iraq was a grave and gathering danger, when at the time the National Intelligence Estimate said no such thing."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A U.S. Marine speaks out, says what others are afraid to say

Philip Martin has been a Marine for 2 years. He is 21-years old and spent 7 months in the al-Anbar province of Iraq. He was part of over 180 combat patrols in and outside of the city of Fallujah, where he saw heavy combat and the reality of war.

He is currently stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA, and due to return to Iraq for a second deployment in April 2007.

Martin says, "I'm sick and tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you justify 'sacrificing' your life for a war which is not only illegal, but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping us there is one man's power, and his ego. A recent Marine Corps intelligence report that was leaked said that the war in the al-Anbar province is unwinnable. It said that there was nothing we could do to win the hearts and minds, or the military operations in that area. So I wonder, why are we still there? Democracy is not forced upon people at gunpoint. It's the result of forward thinking individuals who take the initiative and risks to give their fellow countrymen a better way of life."

I commend Philip for speaking out, I couldn't agree with him more. We all need to support people like him. Please take the time to read the rest of Philip's thoughts at Information Liberation.

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR): Bush’s Iraq Policy ‘May Even Be Criminal’

Really, Bush criminal? No...who would have thought? On Thursday night on the Senate floor of the 109th Congress, Republican Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon stated, “I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way being blown up by the same bombs day after day.” Smith added, “That is absurd. It may even be criminal.”

My only complaint is that he is just another whore to the "War on Terror", I just want to find one politician that knows the "War on Terror" isn't a war, it's not even a battle, it's a fraudulent and complete waste of time - sort of like the "War on Drugs". When will people realize this.

Dubya 'Naval Aviator' Action Figure. WTF.

Just when we thought propaganda couldn't get anymore creative, look what we have here.

As Wonkette says, " Now you or your loved one can also pretend George W. Bush was a Naval Aviator and led the nation to victory in Iraq! " $24.99 at Sears!

Wonkette via Think Progress

Axis of Justice: Fighting for your rights

Axis of Justice was formed by Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave) and Serj Tankian (System of a Down). Their reason is simple: "to bring together musicians, fans of music, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice."

I first heard about Axis of Justice when I saw Tom Morello on Real Time with Bill Maher. Morello is a superb artist, as well as Tankian. Their music has moved me in the past and it still does today, I recommend it to anyone.

The Axis of Justice site is filled with resources, from books to films and music. They also have a kick ass radio show and podcast for you to listen in on. Rock on guys! Revolt.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

U.S. tank crushes Iraqi civilian's car. He was a taxi driver.

So apparently these Iraqis were attempting to steal some wood. Why were they stealing wood? It could be because their nation is so fucked up from the U.S. invasion, that they needed the wood badly and had no money.

Ok, so lets 'pretend' (kind of like the U.S. soldiers in the video did) it was a threat . What were these dangerous Iraqi civilians going to do with this wood? Hit someone with the wood? Make a spear? Doubt it.

These are the kind of ignorant assholes that make the U.S. look like shit. It's disgusting. And we wonder why terrorists are spawning out of control? Our foreign policy is ridiculous and imperialist. Come on people. Wake up!

Via Minor Ripper

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Panel says U.S. underreported Iraq violence. Surprise! Some attacks don't count...

U.S. military and intelligence officials have systematically underreported the violence in Iraq in order to suit the Bush administration's policy goals, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group said. They have been flat out lying to the American people, on a consistent basis.

The panel pointed to one day last July when U.S. officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence. "Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence," it said.

In addition, "a murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack, and a roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count, either. Also, if the source of a sectarian attack is not determined, that assault is not added to the database of violence incidents."

It's that good old fashioned Big Brother selective news from our friends at Bush Inc.! Yay! Full article via Yahoo! News

Image from

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bush meeting with 'centrist, conservative' Democrats, Surprise!

No, see Bush, you are supposed to meet seriously with people who have different views than you, not almost exactly the same view as you 'but are called Democrats so that might help your public image.' So you can get input, or a different opinion on the situation, maybe even open your mind! Or not. Because you're right. Right?

Bush "has invited leaders of the conservative Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions to the White House Friday to discuss areas of 'mutual cooperation,'" a Congressional aide said, according to The Hill.

The meeting, which the President "is expected to attend," is set for Friday, December 9. Yay! Prepare for no more progress than we are used to seeing!

New survey shows Iraqis want troops to get out...

The Iraq Center for Research & Strategic Studies conducted a new survey that was commissioned by the Iraq government. The surveyors wouldn't allow themselves to be seen on camera which usually is not a good sign.

-19 out of 20 people say security better under Saddam Hussein
-9 in 10 people feel unsafe around American soldiers
-2/3 feel safer when U.S. troops leave Iraq

More than half of the 2000 participants said they want all the US troops out now, the remainder want the withdrawal to begin immediately. The economy is a big problem for most Iraqi's as well which isn't surprising—The Iraqis also feel that since the Democrats won big time in November they are hoping that they'll be able to help change policy.

Via Crooks and Liars

Disappearing civil liberties mug

Pour hot liquid into the mug that has the Bill of Rights printed on it, and the amendments that have been invalidated by Bush 2, Clinton, Bush 1, and Reagan disappear. Awesome!

"Drink your decaf in this dazzling mug - and watch your civil liberties disappear and reappear! Simply pour in your coffee or any hot beverage and watch the painstaking work of the founding fathers vanish before your eyes and then reappear after drinking up or cooling down. A great way to amaze and entertain a guest with satire. Imported."
$12 at Uncommon Goods [via Boing Boing]

World's youth believe 'war on terror' counterproductive

Young people overwhelmingly believe the US-led "war on terror" is not making the world safer, according to a poll conducted in major cities across the globe. The survey of youngsters aged 15 - 17, which was conducted for the BBC in New York, Nairobi, Cairo, Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Baghdad, Delhi, Jakarta, Moscow and London, found that only 14% of respondents thought US policy in Iraq and Afghanistan was making the world a safer place, while 71% said it was not.

The remaining 15% did not know or declined to answer. Negative views of the "war on terror" were strongest in Baghdad (98%) and Rio (92%).

That's because the "War on Terror" is counterproductive. The world actually thinks that the U.S. is the greatest threat to world peace, and so do I. And many think that Bush is more dangerous than Kim Jong-iL, I agree.

Are all of these opinions coincidences? I think not.

Via The Guardian

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ann Coulter: "profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan", the stupid bitch is at it again.

Remember "12 ridiculous things Ann Coulter has said"? Well, here is number 13. Actually, I'm quite positive that there are many more idiotic things she's said, but for all intents and purposes...

From Media Matters:
In a November 30 syndicated column about the removal of six imams from an airplane in Minnesota after other passengers saw them praying prior to boarding, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter (a woman among the ignorant ranks of Bill O'Reilly) claimed that racially "profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan" than it is like profiling African-Americans, "because of the history of discrimination against blacks in this country." Coulter added: "What did we do to the Arabs? I believe Americans are the victims in that relationship."

U.S. Air Force seeks $33.4 bln in extra 2007 funds

Ok. From Reuters AlertNet: "The U.S. Air Force on Tuesday said it asked Pentagon officials for $33.4 billion in extra funding for fiscal 2007 to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and costs related to the "longer war on terror."

FUCK YOU. We're sick of your militant bullshit. Your twisted ideals are dead to us. Just like the death and destruction you approve of daily. People die, people starve, but no worries right? You are "liberating" the world. FUCK YOU BUSH.

Bush so deep in denial that he is no longer sane? Most likely.

From "On November 28 Bush insisted that US troops would not be withdrawn from Iraq until he had completed his mission of building a stable Iraqi democracy capable of spreading democratic change in the Middle East."

The problem? There is no definitive solution to "stabilizing" the Middle East. In fact, it is highly unlikely that any area of the world will ever be stabilized to the liking of any authority figurehead or the population.

People must learn that violence creates more violence and twisted foreign policy trouncing on the liberty of another nation will only breed more terror and hatred towards those who invade. Is this really that complicated to understand?

For Bush and many conservatives alike, the so-called "American Dream" is a very attainable goal for the entire population. They also believe that world peace through the use of violence and methodically strangling liberty is justifiable. This is absurd, selfish, and INSANE.

Sign this petition to impeach Bush, a man who has destroyed our reputation, disgraced our country, and created more death and destruction than the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which Bush Inc. used to justify their actions.

Top 5 Bill O'Reilly -"Professional Jackass" Moments

He should start his "no-spin zone" show with this line - "Welcome, this is Bill O'Reilly - Professional Jackass, your in the all-spin zone." He's a conservative puppet, he is their bitch, and he is a right wing cheerleader.

His ignorant propaganda is dangerous. Not because he is stating his opinion. But because he is on a channel which people watch for "news." This outrageous man is most certainly entitled to his opinion, but he should not be permitted to spit his ridiculous conservative propaganda on a so called "news network."

Well, here are my 5 favorite O'Reilly Jackass Moments:

1. Bill caught lying as usual:

2. O'Reilly claims he "doesn't do personal attacks." Sure, ok buddy.

3. O'Reilly telling people to shut-up if they don't support his beliefs:

4. Militant, terrorist Bill O'Reilly says its ok for terrorists to attack American citizens in San Francisco.

5. O'Reilly says Cindy Sheehan is radical

Civilian deaths up 44 percent in November

Iraq civilians killed in violence has risen by 44 percent in November (1,850) from October (1,289), officials said Friday. This news comes as Iraqi leader Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim prepared to visit the United States.

Now watch as the U.S. government and other super powers, continue to ignore this data tht is given to us month after month. As innocent human beings are slaughtered, they debate over what to do next.

An official at the Baghdad morgue, speaking privately, said last month it had taken in about 1,600 bodies in October, a 10 percent increase over September, and about 1,350 of these had died violently. No new morgue statistics for November were immediately available.

Via Reuters AlertNet

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Abusive, militant UCLA Campus Police unnecessarily taser student 5 times for not having an ID

Apparently, when 23-year-old UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad didn't immediately vacate the building, security operatives returned with police officers to escort him from the premises. The Daily Bruin writes: "By this time the student had begun to walk toward the door with his backpack when an officer approached him and grabbed his arm, at which point the student told the officer to let him go. A second officer then approached the student as well.

During the unacceptable, disgusting, and unjustified act of tasering Tabatabainejad, the abusive and militant officers even threaten other students who try to rally to his cause in the end.

Warning: the videos below may be disturbing to some.

The LA Times has a story about it and it looks like the student will file suit. NBC News 4 covers it from an off-campus "safe zone" - yes the girl they talk to is afraid to go onto the campus with the video footage for fear of being questioned and possible detained.

Via eightandfive

19 things Republicans want you to forget!

1) Republicans want you to forget that there were no weapons of mass destruction.

2) Republicans want you to forget that while the Republican Policy Committee was opposed to the deployment of U.S. Soldiers to Bosnia under President Clinton,they’ll brand you a terrorist if you oppose President Bush’s war in Iraq.

3) Republicans want you to forget there was no yellow cake uranium.

4) Republicans want you to forget that they hired a bunch of rich thugs to lie about John Kerry in 2004.

5) Republicans want you to forget they lied about John McCain in 2000…otherwise we would have President McCain right now and not President Bush.

6) Republicans want you to forget that before attacking Afghanistan to search for Osama Bin Laden and fight the terrorists, Bush first decided we need to attack Iraq – where there were no terrorists…until we attacked and occupied Iraq.

7) Republicans want you to forget that when the Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki suggested that “several hundred thousand troops”would be needed to stabilize and occupy a country the size of Iraq, President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld both derided the Army Chief of Staff. His reward for his honesty? They let him go.

8) Republicans want you to forget that they inherited the biggest surplus in the history of the United States when they assumed control of all three branches of the United States government in 2000 when they took power, and turned it into the largest deficit in the history of the United States.

9) Republicans want you to forget that they had a plan to attack Iraq drawn up long before 9/11.

10) Republicans want you to forget that you can’t spend any money when you are dead.

11) Republicans want you to forget that sending jobs overseas takes jobs away from working Americans.

12) Republicans want you to forget that they want your grandparents to pay as much as possible for healthcare.

13) Republicans want you to forget that they don’t want Social Security to exist at all, instead, you get whatever money you have managed to save when you retire.

14) Republicans want you to forget that a Republican President has started every war since WW2. If they can’t find enemies, they just pick a noun (drugs, terror).

15) Republicans want you to forget that they have people in their party who solicit sex from underage boys – and when they get caught, they just quit and oh darn, Congress has no authority over private citizens so now Mark Foleycannot be prosecuted.

16) Republicans want you to forget that they use racial slurs on colleagues’ voicemail. When they are caught, they say they are drunks.

17) Republicans want you to forget that fuel costs have doubled since 2000, but your income has not.

18) Republicans want you to forget that even though you are not making record profits, oil companies are.

19) Republicans want you to forget that if major companies can’t pay their bills, they can declare bankruptcy and get out of their debts, but you have to pay all of your debts even if you declare bankruptcy.

Via eightandfive

Thursday, November 16, 2006

U.S. may mull pre-emptive Iran strike, and put us in harms way once again

According to Reuters, the United States or other countries will one day be forced to consider pre-emptive action if Iran and North Korea continue to seek nuclear weapons, a senior U.S. government official said on Tuesday.

WEll, I can tell you that if this happens, I am getting out of this country. Wait! We might not be able to leave, remember: When the Department of Homeland Security system comes into effect next January, your U.S. Passport won't matter, if the agency says "no" to a clearance request, or doesn't answer the request at all, you won't be permitted to enter-or leave-the United States. Yay!

But thanks to covert government actions, many citizens don't know this is about to happen.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

87 percent say 'plenty to justify' Bush impeachment

An MSNBC online poll shows that the overwhelming majority of its participating voters believe President Bush should be impeached.

Of nearly 360,000 people who had voted in the "unscientific" poll by 9:30PM Eastern on Friday evening, 87 percent responded "Yes."

Despite considerable voter support for impeachment indicated in its tally, MSNBC notes that it is "not a scientific survey". And it shouldn't be scientific, because it's not science that Bush should be impeached.

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean recently said, "[W]e're not going to do that," while the probable next Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, had earlier indicated that impeachment was "off the table." Why? Bring it back to the table!

The poll is available here but could be removed, altered or archived at any time. A cache of earlier, though similar, results is viewable here.

Via Raw Story

The questionable and mysterious past of Robert Gates

Robert Gates is George W. Bush’s choice for replacing Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary. Robert Gates is also a trusted Bush Inc. friend. But is he trustworthy to the public? Sources say no.

We know one thing: the current Bush administration wants to get Gates in the door and through the congressional approval process by pushing for a quick confirmatio before the end of 2006, before the new Democrat controlled Senate is seated.

If Bush’s plan goes smoothly, "there will be no time for a serious investigation into Gates’s past." Perfecto.

Gates has faced accusations of working with Islamic extremists in Iran, arming Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in Iraq, and politicizing U.S. intelligence to conform with the desires of policymakers. Do we really want someone who was EVEN accused of these things in a position such as Secretary of Defense?

In 1993, Russia sent an intelligence report to a U.S. House investigative task force stating that Gates participated in secret contacts with Iranian officials in 1980 to delay release of 52 U.S. hostages then held in Iran, a move to benefit the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Now where have we seen this kind of behavior recently? Hmmm.

"To push through Gates’s nomination to be CIA director in 1991, the elder George Bush lined up solid Republican backing for Gates..."

As Bush Inc. grapples with the current 'Iraq gone wrong', "they are turning to an even more trusted hand to run the Defense Department. The appointment of Robert Gates suggests that the Bush Family is circling the wagons to save the embattled presidency of George W. Bush."

Read the full article at Consortium News
Also read "Gates has a history of manipulating intelligence"

Saturday, November 11, 2006

U.N. resolution condemning Israel, vetoed by U.S. as usual

The U.S. has again decided to support Israel instead of basic human rights by vetoing a U.N. resolution, as they always do and have done for the past few decades.

The United States has cast 82 vetoes in the United Nations' 61 years, and nine of the last 10 council vetoes, seven of which dealt with the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

See kids, when the U.S. government doesn't like a resolution, either because it makes their friends look bad or is against the administrations' twisted foreign policies, they simply veto it. Easy!

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, says he condemns the bombing by Israel that killed 18 innocent Palestinians, but that the "language" of the U.N. resolution was unfairly biased against Israel.

And what happens when the U.S. puts it's imperialistic ambitions above human life? More terrorist acts! Yay!!

The U.S. veto sent the wrong message to both Israeli and Palestinian militants, Palestinian U.N. Observer Riyad Mansour told reporters. "Will that help extremist elements to take issues into their own hands on both sides? You bet!"

Read about the vetoes.

Read the full article

Friday, November 10, 2006

Republicans = Scientoligists

This is a little something Bill Maher wrote at Huffington Post:

In Scientology, anyone who criticizes the religion is fair game for any and all kinds of retribution. You can file lawsuits against them, you can harass them, you can spread lies about them, and it's OK because the critic is fundamentally evil.

This is the same reason Republicans have no problem running push polls, or handing out leaflets with false accusations, or calling Democrats and telling them that their polling place has been changed... all this dishonest, sleazy stuff is OK because it's in the service of a greater good.

And this all ties into the so-called father of neo-conservatism, the philosopher Leo Strauss, who argued that the only way to stop liberalism from ruining society was for the elites (a.k.a his neocon followers) to exploit myths (religion) or create new myths (the Islamic Menace).

Couldn't have said it better Bill.

Will Rumsfeld be prosecuted for war crimes? Hopefully.

Is this happening? Maybe! The top prosecuter of Germany is seeking a criminal investigation and prosecution of Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George tenet, and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their roles in human rights violations at Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay.

Excerpt from TIME:

"The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called "20th hijacker" and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a "special interrogation plan," personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques."

Finally and thanks to Germany, a huge supporter of human rights throughout the world.

"The utter and complete failure of U.S. authorities to take any action to investigate high-level involvement in the torture program could not be clearer," says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a U.S.-based non-profit helping to bring the legal action in Germany. And we could not agree more.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rumsfeld should let Majeed al-Rawi stay at his place for a while

Insurgents in Fallujah hid a bomb in front of Majeed al-Rawi's house a few days ago, intending to use it against U.S. or Iraqi troops. Majeed al-Rawi had one option after this happened: move out of his home.

"If I report it to the Americans, I will be killed by the men who put it there, and if I don't, my family will be killed either by the explosion or the Americans,"said al-Rawi, a car dealer. "This is not a way to live; this is a way to hate life."

Come on Rumsfeld! It's your fault (and your cohorts) this is happening. Don't you think al-Rawi could maybe stay with you for a while? You know, until the whole thing clears up. I mean, you got off so didn't. He didn't have a choice. Well, unless he wants to die, then could probably stay at his house.

The U.S. 'War on Terror' worsens terrorists and creates anti-USA feeings around the world, as it has for many many decades!

The number of shootings, bombings and bombs found and defused has doubled in Fallujah since last winter, to about four or five a day, U.S. officers say. There have been about half a dozen car bombings in recent weeks.

U.S. and Iraqi troops have nowhere near the manpower needed to take up the slack, said Lt. Col. James Teeples, the senior adviser to the Iraqi Army unit responsible for much of the city. Hmm, kind of like in Afghanistan too.

"We just don't have the manpower to maintain surveillance on the entire city," Teeples said.

It's because you shouldn't be surveying the city at all, you shouldn't be there period. The reason this started in the first place is because of the twisted U.S. foreign policy for the past several decades.

If people would do research themselves, maybe read a history book or two (not the one's you get in school, then maybe more people would realize there is a consistent history of U.S. hegemonic and imperial ambitions throughout the past years.

Full article via

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The almost end of a 6 year nightmare for the world

Many good things happened yesterday. Nancy Pelosi will be the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Keith Ellison (D-MN), will become the first Muslim to serve in Congress. And with With Claire McCaskill’s (D) Senate victory in Missouri, a record number of women (16) will now serve in the U.S. Senate.

Many people and politicians alike, around the world, saw the way voters took to the polls on Tuesday as a rejection to Bush Inc's corrupt and murderous ways. There is no doubt that many American's made it clear that we will not stand by and have our freedoms and others' freedoms violated around the world.

A French teacher said it was about time U.S. voters figured out what much of the rest of the world already knew. Well said.

More than 200 Socialist members of the European Parliament hailed the American election results as "the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world."Only two more years.

But we should not become too joyous as of yet, for we now must decapitate the monster, and finish the job.

What will come next? Will America continue down it's distraught and always failed path in foreign policy? Can we expect more corruption? Most likely. More leaders playing off of the American publics' fear? We hope not.

It is our job as citizens to keep the power balanced, to question everything done by our government, and to make the government fear US.

"People Should Not Be Afraid Of Their Governments. Governments Should Be Afraid Of Their People."

Bush tells terrorists: ‘Do Not Be Joyful’ over election results

President Bush, befor ethe elections said that if opponents of his Iraq policy were victorious, “the terrorists win and America loses.”

Terrorists say, "But, but... you said we win!" Sorry terrorists, we have a pseudo-dictatorship going on here. And remember terrorists, if it wasn't for Bush, many of you newly formed terror cells would not have jobs.

Via Think Progress

Six states raise minimum wage! A good start.

Six states approvedraising the minimum wage, joining 18 other states in setting a wage higher than the ridiculously low federal mark of $5.15 an hour.

In my state, Ohio, voters raised the wage to $6.85 an hour, Montana to $6.15 or the federal wage, whichever is higher, and Missouri to $6.50. Arizona voters raised the minimum wage to $6.75.

CNN also projects that Nevada voters will approve a mandatory minimum wage constitutional amendment that would set the wage at $6.15 if the employer does not provide health benefits. Blah.

A good start for most states. But they are still too low for anyone to live off of, even on the slimmest of budgets. There's a book, which I read, called Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

The author, Barbara Ehrenreich, sets out to find how anyone could make ends meet on $7 an hour, she left behind her middle class life as a journalist except for $1000 in start-up funds, a car and her laptop computer to try to sustain herself as a low-skilled worker for a month at a time. In 1999 and 2000, Ehrenreich worked as a waitress , a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and in a Wal-Mart employee.

End result? Her income barely covered her month's expenses in only one instance, when she worked seven days a week at two jobs (one of which provided free meals) during the off-season in a vacation town.

13 nations denounced for web censorship

Belarus, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam have all censored the web in some way.

Reporters Without Borders (RWB) claims these nations are the worst culprits for systematic online censorship, and they were targeted in the group's 24-hour online protest. No one should ever be prevented from posting news online or writing a blog," said the Paris-based group, and I agree.

In an annual report, the group said 61 people worldwide, 52 in China, are in prison for posting what the countries claimed was "subversive" content.

RWB obtained a copy of the verdict in the case of Jiang Lijun, sentenced to 4 years in prison in Nov. 2003 for his online pro-democracy articles in China. RWB said that Yahoo! had helped Chinese police identify him. 200 people have already recorded a message for the founder of Yahoo!, deploring the fact that his company helps the Chinese authorities track down cyber-dissidents.

Nepal, Maldives and Libya have been removed from Reporters Without Borders' annual list of Internet enemies. But there's an addition to the list, Egypt, where it said "many bloggers were harassed and imprisoned this year." What do you think?

Via Newsvine

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Terrorist acts being carried out in Virginia against possible Democratic voters

Arlington, Virginia resident Tim Daly received a personalized phone call on his answering machine yesterday from an individual claiming to be from the "Virginia Elections Commission." The caller stated that "we've determined you are registered in New York to vote. Therefore, you will not be allowed to cast your vote on Tuesday." The caller then warned, "if you do show up, you will be charged criminally." That would instill fear into anyone's mind.

State elections in Virginia are supervised by the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) and there is no "Virginia Elections Commission." Democratic Party officials has said the GOP hopes to avoid being charged criminally by misidentifying the SBE, however, legal advisers to the Democratic Party have stated that it is a crime to impersonate a state official.

This is also a terrorist activity. Webster's says, 'terrorism' is "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion." So we can all agree and without doubt confirm that what happened to Daly in Virginia was an act of terrorism. Period.

Daly has been registered to vote in Virginia since 1998 when he moved from New York.

The GOP has obviously gained access to records of voters who moved to Virginia since at least 1998 and are attempting to intimidate them by claiming they are still registered to vote in their previous states of residence.

There are reports of other similar attempts to suppress the vote in Virginia but only Daly has filed a sworn affidavit, and volunteered to appear in court as a witness. The FBI has also launched a probe, who knows if that will solve anything. Via Huffington Post.

New HBO Documentary, Hacking Democracy, available on Google Video

This new HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy, exposes the vulnerability of electronic voting machines. The film follows investigative journalist Bev Harris as she investigates the security and accuracy of electronic voting systems.

The Nov. 2 New York Times review says:
"Rigged voting in Louisiana? Say it ain't so. But it's not shocked-shocked you feel watching this; it's genuine shock. As the drama proceeds, adducing more evidence for the unreliability of the voting machines than can possibly be explored here, you might also feel flattened. Computers count around 80 percent of votes in America. The marketing director for Diebold, Mark Radke, who defends both the company and its chief executive (a major Republican fund-raiser who once promised in a letter to "deliver the electoral votes of Ohio" to President Bush), talks in maddening doublespeak and wears the arched-eyebrow expression of a silent-movie fiend. His Nixon-era nondenial denials turn the stomach."

Check it out:

Monday, November 06, 2006

87% of international terrorism cases brought by the FBI rejected by Federal prosecutors

Federal prosecutors have rejected 87% of the international terrorism cases brought by the FBI during the first nine months of fiscal year 2006, a Syracuse University analysis concluded. And the number of rejections has been generally increasing since 2001.

Of course, the Justice Department said the findings are an "astonishing misunderstanding" of the inner workings of the federal criminal justice system.

"This report contains inaccurate figures, relies on a faulty assumption that every referral from an investigative agency should result in a criminal prosecution and ignores the reality of how the war on terrorism is being conducted," said Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse.

Hmmm, is it just me, or is 87% a ridiculously high percentage? I was thinking more like 12% would be acceptable. Hell, even a 60% rejection rate would be acceptable with this administration. But Eighty-Seven Percent. Come on.

Because of the 'new mission' since 9/11, Roehrkasse said, cases rejected for prosecution don't necessarily close investigations. Oh! Kind of like this guy who was tortured but never charged, now I understand! In other words, they scare people and intimidate them, if they can't find a valid reason to detain them.

Hoax cases that were dismissed may have been included in the government data, too, he said. Yes, I am sure there were many people who entertaind themselves by being investigated by the feds.

Roehrkasse said the department's rejection rate stands at 67%, not 87%. He added the department has prosecuted 36 international terrorism defendants, nearly double the number reported in the analysis.

Still not at my really high and lenient rejection rate 60%.

Susan Long, one of the report's authors, said the data used in the review were obtained from the Justice Department's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. "The information comes from their files," Long said.

Via USA Today

Military recruiters misleading students to get them to enlist

What a surprise! A recent ABC News undercover investigation shows Army recruiters telling students that the war in Iraq was over, trying to get them to enlist. Students were equipped with hidden video cameras before visiting 10 Army recruitment offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"We're not at war. War ended a long time ago," said one recruiter. Recruiters told students there would be little chance they'd to go Iraq, if they enlisted. Col. Robert Manning, who is in charge of U.S. Army recruiting for the entire Northeast, said that new recruits were likely to go to Iraq.

Even Manning tries to brush off this disgusting display by sick recruiters preying on students to advance their own place. "It's hard to believe some of things they are telling prospective applicants," Manning said. "I still believe that this is the exception more than the norm. … I've visited many stations myself, and I know that we have many wonderful Americans serving in uniform as recruiters."

Bullshit. You have no idea. Manning, please tell us which one of those recruiters wouldn't want to look good in front of you to maintain their rank and keep their job? Many "wonderful Americans serving in uniform"? Oh! You mean pawns of your war games to successfully execute the Bush admin. agenda, backdrops for Republican propaganda, and people who get paid 10 times less than what private contractors in Iraq get paid. Watch the video

Saddam’s guilty verdict 4 days early, but why?

Just before the 'not really' verdict was announced, Saddam said to "pardon and do not take revenge on the invading nations and their people." (MSNBC)

Then, the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal announced yesterday that Saddam Hussein has been found guilty and is sentenced to death. But it didn’t release the official verdict. NBC News has the story:

"The full verdict, a document of several hundred pages, explaining how and why today’s judgment was reached was not released. U.S. officials said it should be ready by Thursday. So why issue the verdict today? U.S. court advisors told reporters today it was delayed mainly for technical reasons."

"Technical reasons?" Oh! You mean "just days before the mid-term election"! Of course, because the Bush administration wants to be hailed as a hero, now we understand!

The court was created by the administration-controlled Coalition Provisional Authority and the administration still exercises considerable control over the court. The New York Times reports, "American influence…has been undeniably pervasive, with about 90 percent of the $145 million in annual costs for the court and associated investigations paid for by the United States Justice Department, and lawyers sent by Washington acting as advisers.”

Talking Points Memo via ThinkProgress

Also see Saddam verdict date "rigged" for Bush

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Afghanistan, Inc. - Contractors in Afghanistan making big money for bad work

CorpWatch has released a new 31 page investigative report, Afghanistan, Inc., where you’ll get an inside look at a system gone out of control, with little accountability and plenty of opportunity for graft and abuse. It isn’t a story you want to read; it’s a story you must read.

The author of Afghanistan, Inc. is Fariba Nawa, an Afghan-American who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction, uncovers some examples of where the money has (and hasn’t) gone, how the system of international aid works (and doesn’t), and what it is really like in the villages and cities where outsiders are rebuilding the war-torn countryside.

CorpWatch investigates and exposes corporate violations of human rights, environmental crimes, fraud and corruption around the world. Through its independent media work, CorpWatch fosters global justice, accountability and democratic control of corporations.

Click here to download the complete report. An HTML text version of the report is also available.

Bush Admin. wants to silence the tortured regarding secret CIA prisons and methods

Another step for Big Brother Bush who is trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees.

Bush argues that those tortured in U.S. prison camps cannot disclose such information to their courts or even to their attorneys based on the contrary theory that such disclosure would constitute trading on insider information and compromise U S security interests:

From the Washington Post:

"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk."

"The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26."

Gov't lawyers say detainees held in CIA prison camps have no automatic right to speak to lawyers because the new Military Commissions Act, signed by President Bush last month, stripped them of access to U.S. courts.

Via True Blue Liberal

Video the Vote: Sending videographers to monitor voter polling sites

In 2000 and 2004, we saw many problems at the polls: long lines, eligible voters turned away, voter intimidation, misallocation and malfunctioning of voting equipment. These stories were largely ignored as they took a back seat to the calling of races on Election Day.

Ian Inaba's new documentary film "American Blackout" received a Special Jury Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The film takes a look at the disenfranchisement of the Black voters in America and corruption in the 2000 and 2004 national elections. Inaba, 35, is a journalist for the Guerrilla News Network and directed the music videos for "Mosh" by Eminem and "Time and Time Again" by Chronic Future.

Now, Inaba wants to bypass the mainstream media and provide real-time media coverage of any problems that arise at voting sites. The "Video the Vote" campaign will send volunteer videographers to the upcoming mid-term elections and in greater numbers during the 2008 presidential election. Brilliant.

As Inaba tells WireTap, "We want to provide same-day footage and provide an alternative narrative in real time, so that we can all have a more complete picture of what occurs in our elections. We're dispatching videographers all over the country working closely with the Election Protection lawyers and volunteers. We found there is a big desire out there to do this. We'll do it in November and again in 2008. We already have hundreds of video volunteers nationwide."

This is the sort of thing people need to be doing: grassroots, cut throat, get-it-done-yourself and stop relying on the major media outlets.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says Rumsfeld is inspired by God

"It's not Jesus Camp, it's Jesus Death Camp" (well said Cryptogon):

The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God. "He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Now if that's not bullshit, I don't know what is. When are people going to realize we are being "led" by murderous hegemonic imperialists, who are hellbent on fulfilling their own needs and interests of there cohorts. Religion doesn't belong anywhere near government. Period.

Yahoo News via Cryptogon

Friday, November 03, 2006

U.S. citizens to be required ''clearance'' to leave the United States

We've seen a long list of threats to our privacy and human rights recently. We think it all went downhill on October 17th. But this is just the latest move to become a 'secure' Totalitarian state.

If the U.S. government (a.k.a Bush Administration) gets its way, beginning on Jan. 14, 2007, we'll all be on no-fly lists, unless the government gives us permission to leave-or re-enter-the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSA) has proposed that all airlines and cruise lines be required to obtain clearance for each passenger they propose taking into or out of the United States.

"This proposed rule implements the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requirement that such information be provided to the government before departure of the aircraft. This proposed rule provides air carriers a choice between transmitting complete manifests no later than 60-minutes prior to departure of the aircraft or transmitting manifest information on passengers as each passenger checks in for the flight, up to but no later than 15 minutes prior to departure."

Under both options, the carrier will not permit the boarding of a passenger unless the passenger has been cleared by CBP (Customs and Border Protection)."

Entire official federal document

When the DHS system comes into effect next January, your U.S. Passport won't matter, if the agency says "no" to a clearance request, or doesn't answer the request at all, you won't be permitted to enter-or leave-the United States. The decision would probably be made without a warrant, and come with many violations to your rights.

Earlier this year, HSA forbade airlines from transporting an 18-year-old a native-born U.S. citizen, back to the United States. The prohibition lasted nearly six months until it was finally lifted a few weeks ago. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are two countries in recent history that didn't allow their citizens to travel abroad without permission. Hey, that's neat! What are your thoughts on this?

See this PDF document for more information.

Via Friends of Liberty

Bush is more dangerous than Kim Jong-il

We saw this in the beginning of September when a poll showed European's think the U.S. is the greatest threat to global security.

Research here shows that British voters see George Bush as a great danger to world peace, more of a threat than even North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Axis of Evil? Hmmm.

The survey has been carried out by the Guardian in Britain and leading newspapers in Israel (Haaretz), Canada (La Presse and Toronto Star) and Mexico (Reforma), using professional local opinion polling in each country.

This exposes high levels of distrust. In Britain, 69% of those questioned say they believe US policy has made the world less safe since 2001, with only 7% thinking action in Iraq and Afghanistan has increased global security.

The finding is mirrored in Canada and Mexico, with 62% of Canadians and 57% of Mexicans saying the world has become more dangerous because of US policy. Even in Israel, only one in four Israeli voters say that Bush has made the world safer, outweighed by the number who think he has added to the risk of international conflict, 36% to 25%. A further 30% say that at best he has made no difference.

Voters in three of the four countries surveyed also overwhelmingly reject the decision to invade Iraq, with only Israeli voters in favour, 59% to 34% against. Opinion against the war has hardened strongly since a similar survey before the US presidential election in 2004.

In Britain 71% of voters now say the invasion of Iraq was unjustified, a view shared by 89% of Mexicans and 73% of Canadians. Voters don't think America has helped advance democracy in developing countries either, one of the justifications for deposing Saddam Hussein. Only 11% of Britons and 28% of Israelis think that has happened.

In the eyes of UK voters: 87% think bin Laden is a great or moderate danger to peace, compared with 75% who think this of Bush. That's a pretty close call.

Bush is seen in Britain as a more dangerous man than the president of Iran (62% think he is a danger), the North Korean leader (69%) and the leader of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah (65%).

Full article via Guardian Unlimited

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The new U.S. Currency - How to "de-God" your cold hard cash

"In God We Trust" was put on all paper currency by an Act of Congress in 1955; the phrase was declared the national motto by an Act of Congress in 1956 and first appeared on paper currency in 1957.

In the mid-1950s, the "red scare" had Congress and President Eisenhower acting in paranoid fits of illegal and unconstitutional activity. The FBI, under the militant J. Edgar Hoover, engaged in illegal spying campaigns against Americans. Kind of like the unconstitutional and illegal activities of the Bush administration today! Neat!

Adding "In God We Trust" to the US currency was an act of religious and political propaganda, allegedly to counter the threat of "godless communism." Boooo!

As Mitchell Kahle states, "For more than 10 years, I have spent only Godless dollars. Using a red pen or stamp, I mark a circle and slash over the word 'God' (as pictured above) on every bill that passes my way. When I make a withdrawal from the bank ATM, I immediately 'de-God' each of the crisp new $20s. When I spend the $20s, and receive $1s, $5s, or $10s in change, I 'de-God' each bill before passing it along. No merchant or business has ever refused to accept this 'godless' money."

So what does "In God We Trust" actually mean? Based on the facts, it means only that the government continues to maintain superstitious practices and paranoid acts that should have died along with McCarthyism. It means that the government does not actually support religious freedom. It means that the government continues to establish that monotheism, belief in one "Almighty God," is the de facto official religion of the United States. Via Boing Boing

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Iraqi police slay a U.S. soldier - and it's covered up?

An article in today's Washington Post reveals that an American soldier was ambushed and killed this month in Baghdad by our alleged allies, the local police. What it doesn't say is that the official reports on his death by the U.S. military were complete distortions.

In an Editor & Publisher article,
Greg Mitchell says that his"additional digging now shows that the military willfuly covered up this significant detail in releasing the news of his death to his family and to the press."

Here’s how the Press-Enterprise in Riverside described it : “Pfc. Kenny Francis Stanton Jr., 20, of Hemet, died Oct. 13 in Baghdad from injuries he suffered after a bomb detonated near his armored Humvee, U.S. Army spokesman Sheldon Smith said Monday.

Now here's Gen. Salah al-Ani, chief of Iraqi police for the western half of Baghdad, quoted in today's Washington Post: "None of the Iraqi police are working to make their country better. They're working for the militias or to put money in their pocket."

And Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, s Navy public affairs officer, wonders why I don't believe him....

Bush says people join military because they are patriots. Right.

While campaigning this week, John Kerry made a statement regarding education: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," Kerry said.

Bush responded to Kerry in a statement released by the White House: "The men and women who serve in our all-volunteer armed forces are plenty smart and are serving because they are patriots."

Patriots? I think the reason people join the military might have something to do with money, right? I highly doubt the majority of the people who join the crusade of armed forces join out of pure patriotism or any patriotism for that matter.

And it's not "all-volunteer armed forces" - stop saying that, it's a lie. The people the military preys on are people who really don't have any other choice and need money to support their families. It's like I told Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, "the jobs and postitions that we hold are rarely personal, with the exception of monetary gain. I am sure what you said to the reporters was not your personal ideas, but what you were told to report by your superiors."

In a never ending "quest for higher education" (hahaha), kids join the armed forces for the scholarship money, not because they really want or because they are patriots. It's called a catch 22. And they're stuck, and I almost got sucked in too. Some are not so lucky.

Bush also called Kerry's comments "insulting and shameful," and said that the Senator owed the troops an apology.

The only person who owes an apology is Bush, to the armed forces men and women who he conned into going to Iraq/Afghanistan, on his administration's twisted agenda.

Monday, October 30, 2006

U.S. led naval 'excercises' taunt, aim to intimidate Iran

A naval training exercise led by the U.S. and aimed at blocking smuggling of nuclear weapons began in the Persian Gulf Sunday.

"From Iranian news reports we know the exercise got the attention of Iran," said Robert Joseph, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said Friday. Why would you want Iran to notice, unless you were trying to intimidate and instigate a situation?

The maneuvers were taking place under the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which is designed to counter trafficking in weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials, the U.S. Navy said.

Iran called the two-day maneuvers "adventurist," but the Foreign Ministry said the Islamic Republic's response would be "rational and wise." Also, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said, "We are watching their movements very carefully."

South Korea watched but did not get involved, "because there is a high possibility of armed clashes if the PSI is carried out in waters around the Korean peninsula," Smart, but why can't the Bush Administration try to avoid these confrontations? Oh! They don't want to avoid them, they want to create them.

Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown said the exercise was not openly aimed at any country and would not affect Iranian vessels or ships heading to Iran. But we have no reason to believe this since the Administration has a consistent history of pathologically lying. Full article via IHT

Citing Improvements to Law, ACLU Withdraws Section 215 Case But Vows to Fight Individual Orders

The ACLU announced on Friday that they were dropping their case against the US Government over the highly contested section 215 of the Patriot Act. ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson stated: 'While the reauthorized Patriot Act is far from perfect, we succeeded in stemming the damage from some of the Bush administration's most reckless policies. The ACLU will continue to monitor how the government applies the broad Section 215 power and we will challenge unconstitutional demands on a case-by-case basis.

ACLU via Slashdot

American Muslims hold back on giving to charities for fear of being linked to terrorism

Zakat, or charity, is a part of the Muslim faith. The month of Ramadan is a time of giving for Muslims. However, stories of significantly lowered contributions to American Muslim charities are becoming more common. There is fear that sending money to a Muslim charity will spark an unwanted investigation for a link to terrorism.

Many people are admitting they don't want to be asked over the phone to give money because they worry the government is eavesdropping. Fear for potential raids onto their properties, into their homes, and investigations of their lives are keeping donations at bay.

"The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury Department has shuttered five major Muslim charities in the United States since 2001, seizing millions of dollars in assets, yet not a single officer or organization has been convicted of anything connected to terrorism. " (New York Times)

You have to think about the fact that many Muslims came the United States looking for freedom from government intelligence forces, and having the same worries over here only intensifies their fear more. According to The New York Times, the offices of Life for Relief and Development were raided in September on the basis of a sealed affidavit. The government has said that the raid was not terrorism-related, although agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force were along on the raid. The hanging questions put a damper on fund-raising. How is there freedom of religion when Muslims are afraid to contribute to charities only because they are Muslim?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Airport security whistleblower being scrutinized, questioned?

Fake Northwest Airlines Boarding Pass

The FBI was at security researcher Christopher Soghoian's house today. Soghoian, a Ph.D of Indiana University, decided to create a Fake Boarding Pass Generator (apparently made to shutdown by the FBI today) to bring attention to a serious security risk to airports. Soghoian had no intention of using a fake pass, and no intention of breaching airport security. In fact, as Soghoian states, ". I haven't even printed one out."

Despite Soghoian's intentions, his arrest was called for by Rep. Edward Markey (D- Massachusetts), a member of the House Homeland Security committee. And as Ryan Singel of Wired writes, "Even if Soghoian's site is shut down, any boarding pass purchased over the web can still be easily edited in any browser." Got a computer? Got a printer? You've got a fake boarding pass!

This specific loophole is not new. Bruce Schneier wrote about it in 2003, and Slate covered it in 2005. Soghoian points out that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) made the same security hole public in April 2006. "Perhaps Sen. Schumer will end up being my cellmate," Soghoian said.

I believe that this sort of "testing" should actually be encouraged. It's how security firms create better products and systems, by having hacker's test them and try bypassing them. It's raw and it works. The only thing the FBI should be "investigating" is ways to make it more difficult to make fake boarding passes, and Christopher Soghoian should be praised.

Via Christopher Soghoian's Slight Paranoia and Wired

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bush's lies endanger us all

As Keith Olbermann puts it, "A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from." And I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yummy Links of the Day

Bush: Iraq War May Be Like Vietnam
Bush said in aninterview with ABC News that a newspaper column comparing the current fighting in Iraq to Vietnam might be accurate. (ABC News)

French to Israel: Buzz Lebanon, We Open Fire (Haaretz)
Decrease in Mid-East Students Since Bush, Iraq War (BuzzFlash)
UK courts start to accept that Iraq War is a crime (Guardian)

Chertoff: Internet turning people into terrorists

Disaffected people living in the United States may develop radical ideologies and potentially violent skills over the internet and that could present the next major U.S. security threat, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Monday.

"We now have a capability of someone to radicalize themselves over the internet," Chertoff said on the sidelines of a meeting of International Association of the Chiefs of Police. "They can train themselves over the internet. They never have to necessarily go to the training camp or speak with anybody else and that diffusion of a combination of hatred and technical skills in things like bomb-making is a dangerous combination," Chertoff said. "Those are the kind of terrorists that we may not be able to detect with spies and satellites."

Chertoff pointed to the July 7, 2005 attacks on London's transit system, which killed 56 people, as an example a home-grown threat. To help gather intelligence on possible home-grown attackers, Chertoff said Homeland Security would deploy 20 field agents this fiscal year into "intelligence fusion centers," where they would work with local police agencies.

Link to t-shirt thumbnailed above. Wired via BoingBoing

President Bush Seeks to Block Enemies From Space

The revision was signed on October 6 -- with details not being revealed until now

US President George Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that is designed to emphasize space security and encourage private enterprise in space. Most notably, the country’s right to deny access to space to anyone “hostile to U.S. interests” is what has drawn support from some and displeasure from others. One line of the policy states: “Freedom and action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power.” Government officials have been quick to point out that the latest revisions are not leading up to militarization of Earth’s orbit.

Michael Krepon, a co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, believes that the policy change will further the idea that the United States wishes to develop, test and deploy space weapons. And since the United States has continually declined to enter talks with other nations about space militarization, Krepon believes this only amplifies the idea of U.S. weapons being deployed in space. Theresa Hitchens, the director of the Center for Defense Information in Washington, also believes the new policy may lead to possible space war strategies.

The revision is the first one in 10 years, and was needed to “reflect the fact that space has become an even more important component of U.S. economic, national and homeland security,” according to National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones. Via DailyTech