cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

4.25.2008

Winter Patriot: Former GOP Senator Says Cheney's Hostile Takeover was Planned from the Beginning

Just in case you're still under the impression that the single-minded belligerence shown by the Bush administration after 9/11 was a reaction (or an over-reaction) to the attacks of that day, I wish to remind you that Bush and Cheney were busy classifying government documents and scuttling international treaties all during the summer of 2001 -- almost as if they were getting ready for something dramatic.

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Petraeus Promotion Frees Cheney to Threaten Iran

The nomination of Gen. David Petraeus to be the new head of the Central Command not only ensures that he will be available to defend the George W. Bush administration's policies toward Iran and Iraq at least through the end of Bush's term and possibly even beyond.

It also gives Vice President Dick Cheney greater freedom of action to exploit the option of an air attack against Iran during the administration's final months.

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Mike Whitney: Memo to Bernanke: Enough with the rate cuts already!

Last week's stock market blowout added more than 4 per cent to the Dow Jones Industrials, but it had no affect on Libor rates. The so-called “Libor rate” rose steadily from Tuesday through Friday signaling more troubles in the banking system. Libor, which means London Interbank-Offered Rate, is the rate that banks charge each other for loans. It has a dramatic effect on nearly every area of investment. When the rate soars, as it did last week, it means that the banks are either too weak financially to lend to each other or too worried about the ability of the other bank to repay them back. Either way, it puts a crimp in lending. Banks serve as the transmission point for credit to the broader economy via business and consumer loans. When they're bogged down by their own bad investments or when risks increase, rates go up and the whole process slows to a crawl. When banks are unable to extend credit freely, business activity decreases and GDP shrinks.

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We regret to inform you...

When climate change and peak oil thinkers run out of other things to worry about, there’s always the endless, inevitable debates about whether we are facing a “fast crash” or a “slow grind.” And I admit, I’m worried about my fellow environmentalists - because I think they are about to lose their favorite distraction. When no one was looking, we got an answer. Fast crash wins. And we’re in it now.

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Crisis in Food Prices Threatens Worldwide Starvation: Is it genocide?

Rising worldwide food prices are resulting in shortages, riots and protests, promises by governments to expand food aid, expressions of concern by international bodies like the World Bank, and stress on household budgets even in developed countries like the U.S. Did this just “happen” or is there a plan?

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The President's Executioner

The title of this article --The President's Executioner --is a play on words. It refers to professor John Yoo, who teaches law at Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley. But this man --mild-mannered by all appearances --is not what he seems.

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US kills 800 in 3 weeks in Sadr city

U.S. occupation forces have killed more than 800 people, most of them innocent civilians, in their three-week long military campaign to subdue the Mahdi Army in Sadr City, the leader of Sadr movement in Baghdad said.

Sheikh Salaman al-fariji said the troops have also injured more than 1,800 people and caused large-scale destruction of private property and the city’s rickety infrastructure.

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Rush Limbaugh Calling for Riots in Denver

Maybe Rush is some sort of 'terrorist', seeing as he is inciting violence. - Ed.

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh is sparking controversy again after he made comments calling for riots in Denver during the Democratic National Convention this summer.He said the riots would ensure a Democrat is not elected as president, and his listeners have a responsibility to make sure it happens.

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Wheat Crop Failures Could Be Total, Experts Warn

On top of record-breaking rice prices and corn through the roof on ethanol demand, wheat is now rusting in the fields across Africa.

Officials fear near total crop losses, and the fungus, known as Ug99, is spreading.

Wheat prices have been soaring this week on top of already high prices, and futures contracts spiked, too, on panic buying.

Experts fear the cost of bread could soon follow the path of rice, the price of which has triggered riots in some countries and prompted countries to cut off exports.

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House Republican plans to tack telecom immunity onto war funding bill


Amid maneuvering by House Democrats to add domestic spending to a planned war appropriations bill, Republican House Rep. Jerry Lewis (CA-41) plans to do them one better:

Lewis, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, seeks to tack on retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies who spied on Americans for President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, The Hill reports.

"It’s time for the Democratic leaders to put our national security ahead of the desires of trial lawyers and pass the FISA bill that was passed by the Senate," Lewis said. "This Congress should make this legislation one of its top priorities until the intelligence gap is closed."

Source

4.24.2008

The Rev Wright's Comments in Context

Israelis Claim Secret Agreement with US

A letter that President Bush personally delivered to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon four years ago has emerged as a significant obstacle to the president's efforts to forge a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians during his last year in office.

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The Iran Agenda - Hysteria and Hypocrisy

Where does one start with the new wave of propaganda that passes for US news and opinion regarding Iran? It is clear that the aim is to flood the airwaves (and our brains) with so much insanely ridiculous propaganda that we throw up our hands, give up trying to fathom the details, and retreat into a numbed state of acceptance.

What we are seeing is pure propaganda and Newspeak, and for those who know something of Pavlov and his work on Transmarginal Inhibition, the scenario is classic. People, ordinary people, do not want to go to war if left to their own devices. The kick or shove to provoke a reaction for war must come from outside. History provides us with many examples from the last 100 years: the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin, 911. In each case, the event galvanized public opinion, and war, which had been unthinkable the day before, became a certainty.

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Iraq Retrospective: Read the Quotes That Sent Us to War

As the war in Iraq enters its sixth year, Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky have published a "definitive, footnoted, hilarious but depressing compilation of experts who were in error" about the war from the beginning. You can read more about the book -- "Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won The War In Iraq" -- here.

Below, an excerpt from the chapter titled "Their Finest Hour: America Readies Itself To Free The Iraqi People."

CAKEWALK!

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US 'war on terror' backfiring, says thinktank

Which to Bush means it's an unmitigated success. - Ed.


The US "war on terror" has backfired, strengthening extremists in Afghanistan and Somalia and turning them into legitimate political actors in the eyes of their local populations, a thinktank said today.

The Senlis Council, which has strongly criticised US policy in Afghanistan in the past, is particularly scathing of the Bush administration's "abject policy failures" in Somalia.

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CIA has 7000 documents relating to torture, rendition, detention program

The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged having 7,000 pages of documents pertaining to President George W. Bush's secret rendition and detention programs, according to three international human rights groups.

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Israeli aircraft attack in Southern Lebanon

Arab media have reported that IDF jets attacked several targets in southern Lebanon Wednesday, including the cities of Nebatiyeh, Tyre and the western Bekaa Valley. Lebanese anti-aircraft positions fired Israeli aircraft, but all IDF servicemen are believed to have returned safely to Israel. The IDF will not comment on the incident.

Source

Carter says Rice "not telling truth"

Imagine my shock. - Ed.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of not telling the truth about warnings she said her department gave Carter not to speak to Hamas before a Middle East trip.

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EPA Scientists Complain about Political Pressure

Hundreds of Environmental Protection Agency scientists say they have been pressured by superiors to skew their findings, according to a survey released Wednesday by an advocacy group.

The Union of Concerned Scientists said more than half of the nearly 1,600 EPA staff scientists who responded online to a detailed questionnaire reported they had experienced incidents of political interference in their work.

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Massive Propaganda Laundry at the WSJ

This may or may not be related to why the Wall Street Journal's top editor, Marcus Brauchli, quit yesterday, but it sure looks to be connected. The "this" that I am referring to is the propaganda piece published in the WSJ - now owned by propaganda magnate, R. Murdoch - today on what went down in Syria last year:

"North Korea was helping Syria build a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor before Israel bombed the site last September, the Bush administration is set to tell Congress.

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4.23.2008

I Swear My Mama Doesn't Spy for Israel. Now, My Daddy...

Yet another dual-loyalty scandal has broken, this time an American army engineer with a Jewish-sounding name who has allegedly given secrets to Israel, some of them about nukes.

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Out of the way, Peasants!

Readers have been shocked to learn that California has about 1 million citizens who are literally above the law. Members of this group, as a Register front-page article April 6 detailed, can drive their cars as fast as they choose. They can drink a six-pack of beer at a bar and then get behind the wheel and weave their way home. They can zoom in and out of traffic, run traffic lights, roll through stop signs and ignore school crossing zones. They can ride on toll roads for free, park in illegal spots and drive on High Occupancy Vehicle lanes even if they have no passengers in the car with them. Chances are they will never have to pay a fine or get a traffic citation.

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Food for America's Famished

Americans are a generous sort but not as much in a weak economy with food prices climbing more than 5 percent a year. Donations to private food banks are off 9 by percent. A CNN poll finds nearly 1 in 3 people already cutting back on food. Hunger, once again, is rising in America.

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Amnesty International's Anti-Waterboarding Advert

Photo controversy sparks protest

Facts can be very inflammatory. - Ed.

About 50 students and community members marched into Old Union Monday afternoon to protest what they called “explicit political censorship” on the part of the University. The rally, inside the building for roughly 15 minutes, was sparked by the removal of a photo exhibit sponsored by Students Confronting Apartheid in Israel (SCAI). Old Union administrators took down the photos on April 9 after receiving multiple complaints regarding the exhibit.

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Wall Street Journal: Load Up the Pantry

I don't want to alarm anybody, but maybe it's time for Americans to start stockpiling food.

No, this is not a drill.

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EI exclusive: a pro-Israel group's plan to rewrite history on Wikipedia

A pro-Israel pressure group is orchestrating a secret, long-term campaign to infiltrate the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia to rewrite Palestinian history, pass off crude propaganda as fact, and take over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure these changes go either undetected or unchallenged.

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Unbelievable! "al-Qaeda" dismisses conspiracy theories, defends Israel, attacks Iran

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, Sott.net, along with many others commentators (including US government officials), have repeatedly stated that "al-qaeda" is a fabricated enemy. That it is used to justify the Ziocon's military rampage though the Middle East while simultaneously terrorising the folks back home.

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Bush Secrecy Policies have Transformed US Government from Open to Closed

President George W. Bush has transformed an open federal government in into one of “pervasive secrecy,” a distinguished authority on communications and First Amendment rights says.

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4.22.2008

Marines Recruiting Women

THE Marines are looking for a few good women.

Actually, they will take as many as they can get. Faced with the difficulty of recruiting during a long and unpopular war, the United States Marine Corps has started marketing itself to women in a concerted way for the first time. It is running ads in magazines like Shape, Self and Fitness, which appeal mainly to female readers, as well as through more mainstream outlets like “American Idol,” where the message is a unisex one of patriotism rather than macho swagger.

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Religious Freedom Versus State Religion, Ethics, Politics and Strategy

The sustained vituperative attack and the feeble apologetic defense of Reverend Wright’s brilliant, eloquent and substantive sermon in defense of human dignity speaks to the basic ethical, political and strategic issues of our epoch. For Reverend Wright was not merely ‘commenting’ on an ethical omission of our day but raising fundamental principles about the behavior of states, the role of individual conscience in the face of crimes against humanity and the need to give name and take action in the face of evil. The entire spectrum of politicians, the mass media and, in particular, the political parties and two (and a half) of the presidential candidates raise, by their hostile reaction and the substance of their criticism, vital issues of the relation between the State and Religion.

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Pentagon Propaganda and Antiwar Analysts

The Sunday Times' article detailing the massive, secret coordinated campaign by the Pentagon and all the leading television news channels to sell and defend the administration's Iraq policy is a critical piece of investigative journalism. David Barstow provided meticulous and aggressive reporting, even referencing how The Times' amplified Pentagon "surrogates" without sufficient disclosure for readers. The Times also deserves credit, both for running the lengthy piece and suing the government to obtain related documents.

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What Bush told Netanyahu in January 2008

Thu, 01/10/2008 - 16:08 - Wire Services - US President George W. Bush promised Israel's opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu that the United States will join the Jewish state in a nuclear strike against Iran, Israel Radio reported today.

Former Prime Minister Netanyahu, opposition Likud party's hardline chairman who opposes the US-backed Annapolis peace process, reiterated to President Bush his stance, that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran's nuclear installations was the only way to stop the Islamic nation's nuclear weapons ambitions.

"I told him my position and Bush agreed," Netanyahu told Israel Radio.

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Terrorphobia: Our false sense of insecurity

A few days after the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there might never be an “end date” in the “struggle” against terrorism, a point when it would be possible to say, “There, it’s all over with.” More than six and a half years later, his wisdom seems to have been vindicated, though perhaps not quite in the way he intended.

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Kunstler: Blind Spot

I happened to be flying into Minneapolis the very day that Northwest Airlines announced its merger with Delta --Delta to be the more senior (more equal) partner -- in effect, to absorb Northwest and run its operations. Many observers are not optimistic that the merger will rescue these companies in any case, since both airlines are financial basket-cases, but it's a sort of last-ditch effort to save them both.

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Hunger Plagues Haiti and the World



Consumers in rich countries feel it in supermarkets but in the world's poorest ones people are starving. The reason - soaring food prices, and it's triggered riots around the world in places like Mexico, Indonesia, Yemen, the Philippines, Cambodia, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Guinea, Mauritania, Egypt, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Peru, Bolivia and Haiti that was once nearly food self-sufficient but now relies on imports for most of its supply and (like other food-importing countries) is at the mercy of agribusiness.

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Privacy becoming more elusive for Americans

Individuals might treasure their personal data like Social Security and credit-card numbers, but identity thieves can buy them cheap and in bulk online.

Credit-card numbers can now go for as little as 40 cents each. A matching name, Social Security number, address, and date of birth cost just $2.00, according to security experts.

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Vets of Bush's Wars Sue the VA

A national class action lawsuit brought by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans went to trial on April 21. The suit, known as Veterans for Common Sense vs. Peake was brought by two veterans organizations who argue the Department of Veterans Affairs is systematically denying hundreds of thousands of wounded veterans needed medical treatment, while forcing them to wait months or even years for the disability benefits they've earned.

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Owning the World: The Great Illusion

In the sixties and seventies, a group of right-wingers in the United States formed a society of vindictive and power hungry men who thought they could reinvent reality. Initially they received little notice and operated inside the American Enterprise Institute; that think tank became the womb for these megalomaniacs and their monstrous ambition of remaking the world. Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz were among them and the movement was to turn into a preposterous beast. The group called themselves Neoconservatives although they were hardly conservatives in the traditional sense and were very much out there on a new and tenuous limb.

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4.21.2008

If Americans Knew

The March to War: Israel Prepares for War Against Lebanon and Syria

By the start of 2007, reports about major upgrades to the Syrian military, including advances in missile technology, with Iranian help were widespread in Israel. [1] The impression of an imminent war existed across much of the Middle East. Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran were reported in Israel to be preparing for a war to spark in the Levant. [2]

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Food - the ultimate weapon of the ruling elite

Rising food as a weapon is as old as the siege but today’s barbarians have upped the anté by several orders of magnitude.

“…There are only two possible ways in which a world of 10 billion people can be averted. Either the current birth rates must come down more quickly. Or the current death rates must go up. There is no other way. There are, of course, many ways in which the death rates can go up. In a thermonuclear age, war can accomplish it very quickly and decisively. Famine and disease are nature’s ancient checks on population growth, and neither one has disappeared from the scene … To put it simply: Excessive population growth is the greatest single obstacle to the economic and social advancement of most of the societies in the developing world.” — Speech to the Club of Rome by Robert McNamara, Oct. 2, 1979

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Truth as a Casualty of War

Robert Fisk has a well-earned reputation as one of the most honest and hard hitting foreign correspondents in the British media. He has worked in Northern Ireland, where he exposed the presence of the SAS in the mid-1970s, as well as Bosnia, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon. It was here, as a witness to the immediate aftermath of the Israeli-organised Sabra and Shatila massacre of 2000 Palestinian refugees, that his journalism took on its current form: angry, passionate, and as he puts it "partial on the side of the victims"--a style of journalism which, unfortunately, is not shared by many of his colleagues in the profession. In the midst of a torrent of lies and propaganda emanating from our media about British and US policy on the Middle East, Fisk's writings are a breath of fresh air--although the hellish reality he depicts does not always make for pleasant reading.

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Murdoch, Ink.

With a redesigned Wall Street Journal, mogul Rupert Murdoch is launching an old-fashioned newspaper war against The New York Times. Not since William Randolph Hearst took on Joseph Pulitzer have we seen such a fight.

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Israel News: Born to Demolish

Excerpt:

“I was born to demolish Palestinian homes,” he informed us mockingly, a big smile on his face, a swagger in his movements. “I love demolishing homes. I wake up in the morning hungry to demolish homes.”

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The Columbine Massacre Unravels

Columbine has never made any sense. On a close examination of eyewitnesses, and events, one can easily see that there were at least seven people involved, and maybe a third shooter.

Basically, there were 100 bombs found that day, and Klebold and Harris didnt' bring them in alone. And the fact that an eyewitness said he saw two cars, with seven kids, at the school early that morning confirms there were accessories to the massacre.

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Can the US and Iran Share the Middle East?

WASHINGTON, Apr 18, 2008 (IPS) - By negotiating a Shiite truce, Tehran embarrassed Washington last week and arguably proved itself to be a more potent stabiliser of southern Iraq.

Iran's role in Iraq came as a sharp reminder that the George W. Bush administration's accusations of Iranian mischief notwithstanding, Iranian influence in Iraq is both undeniable and multifaceted. As Washington starts to come to terms with this reality, the Middle East inches closer to its moment of truth: Is the United States ready to share the region with Iran?

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TV News: Pimping for the Pentagon

Is it a still a conspiracy theory when the entire plot is exposed on the front page of the Sunday NY Times? Today’s story blows the lid off the myth that television is an any way fair and balanced, in any way trustworthy, and in any way real news.

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Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand

Imagine my shock. - Ed.

In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

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