General Betray-Us and by Cindy Sheehan

The Real Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
September 21st, 2007

I have often been critical of, basically because I feel, for the most part that they support Democrats to the detriment of democracy. However, was a big help to me at Camp Casey in August ‘05 and organized the thousands of candlelight vigils that occurred across the country. I will always be grateful to them for that.

I had a policy when my children were younger. I would always try to catch them doing something “right” (sharing, being kind, etc) and I would praise them and give them a treat. In that vein, I have to give my 100% support to in regards to their right-on ad in the NYT that has become even the object of a Senate denouncement.

It must be hard for to have 21 Democratic Senators vote to denounce the ad when has been so supportive of the party. However, I don’t think that it’s appropriate for the Senate to be voting on newspaper ads, when it is a clear 1st Amendment right of anyone in our representative republic to place such ads, whether one agrees with them or not, and with almost half the Senate Dems voting to denounce MoveOn’s freedom of speech and the Dem leadership taking impeachment “off the table” and giving BushCo more latitude to spy on us, I wonder which part of our Constitution the Dems will defile next?

Today, George, in his unbridled and un-matched arrogance and just abject stupidity called the MoveOn ad “disgusting.” What I find more disgusting is a cowardly Commander in Chief and all of his supposed underlings lying to our country and the world and sending our young troops to fight, die, be wounded and kill innocent people when they were too “busy” to do the same in their mistake of a war: Vietnam.

What I find disgusting is CNN (where I just saw Eli Parisier of MoveOn debate a pro-war person) rarely criticizes the occupation or shows the tragic consequences of this war and they are raising money so a poor Iraqi boy can have reconstructive surgery on his badly burned face. That is great, but what about examining the reasons little Youssif was burned in the first place and start calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops? What about the millions of other Iraqis who have been wounded or displaced? Who is telling their stories and raising money for them to be whole and have homes?

What I find disgusting is General Betray-Us allowing himself to be used as a political force field for the lying administration and lying himself. Sectarian violence is not down 80%, the General Accounting Office report and the fact that hundreds of Iraqis are killed every month 50,000 leave their homes on a monthly basis directly contradict those “facts.” The only reason some places are safer in Iraq is because the neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed and the sectarian militias are providing security to small geographic areas. In the very violent south; Shi’a Mahdi are fighting Shi’a Badr. It is a disaster that needs to be faced and solved now, not put away until the spring or prolonged so Dems can get the White House back in ‘08.

General Betray-Us has not only betrayed America and his oath of service, but he has betrayed the very troops he should care about more than being an “ass-kissing little chicken-shit” to a Commander in Chief who has spent years betraying the troops. It is time to truly support our troops and start withdrawing them immediately. Not to “pre-surge” levels but to “pre-invasion” levels. It is time to listen to the people of Iraq and force the mercenary killers and other contractors to leave and give the people of Iraq back their jobs (50% unemployment rate in some areas, some areas higher) and their country.

The occupation of Iraq is a disaster and I applaud MoveOn for moving a little closer to the true “anti-war” movement and encourage them to come with us farther.

Anyone who is concerned with the rapid slide to fascism should be supporting MoveOn in this battle.

Anyone who cares about democracy over Democrats (or Rethugs) should join me in supporting MoveOn in this particular struggle and in bringing MoveOn more fully to the table with the peace movement.

Thanks MoveOn for speaking for the majority of Americans and please stick to your so-called guns. The struggle is worthwhile!

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush’s war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy.

h/t: Dissident Voice


Olberman: Meet the Press + The Campaigner in Chief (videos)

Bringing Die-hard War Supporters and Feckless War Opponents to Their Knees by Walter C. Uhler

09.19.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Sept. 19 2007


For more episodes and other Link TV programs:
“Lebanese MP Assassinated,” LBC TV, Lebanon
“Who Killed Antoine Ghanem?” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Rice Returns to Israel & the Palestinian Territories,” IBA TV, Israel
“Palestinians Threaten to Boycott Washington’s Peace Conference,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Israeli Soldier Killed in 2nd Day of Incursion,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Palestinian Authority Confiscates Hamas’ Weapons,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“Ruhani Discusses Iran’s Nuclear File in Germany,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

The Mysterious Yellow Book Challenge (video; Greg Palast)

Dandelion Salad


See for the whole …

See Greg Palast for the whole story and the text of the video.


Send YouTube Links and Pictures to


The Mysterious Yellow Book Challenge

Greg Palast Offers Job to Tasered Journalism Student

Palast on Clout: Meyer Tasering (video)

Student Tasered for Armed Madhouse Question to Kerry by Greg Palast + UF Lacks Freedom of Speech + Protest for Meyer (video; link)

Silenced Rather Sues CBS-Read the story behind the lawsuit By Greg Palast

Dandelion Salad

September 19th 2007- Dan Rather has filed a lawsuit against CBS claiming violation of his contract- read the real story behind Bush’s guard service and the necklace-ing of the media from Palast’s Armed Madhouse.

The power and the pay-off

By Greg Palast

June, 2006- They finally put Dan Rather out of his misery. Today, CBS finally terminated him and sent him to the electronic glue factory — all for reporting the truth. But not all of it.

Rather’s “unsubstantiated story of Bush’s military service” (says USA Today) got him canned. Yet, all the poor man did was repeat a story we put on BBC Television a year earlier — that Poppy Bush put in the fix to get his son out of ‘Nam and into the Texas Air Guard, spending his war years guarding Houston from Viet Cong attack.

But Dan never reported this: the documentation from inside the US Department of Justice detailing the fix. Why not? Because it opened up a far more serious charge: that those who kept Little George out of war’s way ended up very well rewarded. We ran that full story — from the evidence of the fix to the evidence of the lucrative pay-backs — on the world’s biggest network, BBC, and we’ve never retracted a comma of it. Nor, by the way, has the White House denied our accusations despite our repeated offers to respond.

George’s slithering out of combat turned into big pay-days for those in on the fix and its cover-up: Harriett Miers (remember her?), Karen Hughes and Texas lobbyists.

For the complete story, read, “The Necklace-ing of Dan Rather” in Armed Madhouse. Read below for a piece of the puzzle — Excerpted from Armed Madhouse, the new book by Greg Palast. Order your copy here or from your local bookstore.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

U.S. Policy Consequences: Blowback or Controlled Explosion? By Liam Bailey


By Liam Bailey
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

War Pages
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I have long believed that the U.S. will always need an arch-nemesis to justify its defense spending always being millions of dollars higher than any other world power — a country, or “axis” of (evil) countries portrayed as an enemy and a real threat to all that is American. My first example: communism and the cold war.

As I will explain below U.S. policies during the cold war gave birth to the most recent nemesis (Iraq) and the current one (Islamic radicalism).

I had always thought that these were unintended consequences, but as all the news now indicates that the world powers are squaring up to fight for the world’s remaining resources, the Iraq and Islamic threat being used as justification to take control of massive oil-reserves there, and the latter potentially giving the U.S. an open book for other operations and invasions where most of these remaining resources lie, I ask myself: were they accidents, or has it all been a plan from the start?

During the cold war, Afghanistan’s government became allied and controlled by the U.S.S.R. The big oil corps had noted potential in Afghanistan for a major money-spinning pipeline between the major oil reserves in the Caucasus and financially-rich, resource-poor Asia. Mujahideen groups began fighting the Soviet allied government. And Reagan began covertly funding the extremist of extreme Mujahideen groups, pressuring Saudi Arabia to match the level of funding, and arming the anti-Soviet Afghans with the best weaponry — all via Pakistani intelligence.

The U.S. wanted to draw the Soviet army into invading Afghanistan, seeing the opportunity for “giving to the USSR its Vietnam war“, meaning to bog the U.S.S.R down causing a major drain on their resources and weakening the Soviet empire.

It worked, but in the course of it, the pressure applied to Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd led to his intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal hiring Osama Bin Laden to recruit fighters and secure funds from rich Arabs for the Afghan Jihad, and having the U.K.’s Special Air Service give the Mujahideen explosives training — including how to improvise Soviet explosives captured in ambushes and recovered mines. Bin Laden kept a database of fighters recruited for the struggle — Al Qaeda is base in Arabic. How much did the C.I.A know about, or have to do with that appointment?

Pakistan also used U.S. dollars to build dozens of religious schools, or seminaries in the border regions. It was the U.S. and Pakistan’s shared aim, that the seminaries would maintain extremist teachings and provide a steady flow of Muslims to go and fight in the Afghan Jihad. Many of those religious schools remain breeding grounds for Salafist anti-western extremism and terrorists to this day. And we all know what all these policies led to: 9/11 and the current threat to western interests from — Reagan’s freedom fighters — Islamic terrorists.

Just before Reagan came to power another problem had emerged: the Islamic revolution in Iran. The revolution overthrew the British imposed Shah, who was a fervent western ally. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq sought to capitalize on the confusion and launched a massive invasion of Iran, which looked like a success for a while. When Saddam’s forces began to be drove back further and further into Iraq, the threat emerged: Iran’s Islamic soldiers could take southern Iraq, from where they would threaten Kuwait and the vital oil supplies in the Middle East proper.

The U.S. — along with other major western powers — began arming (the maniac) Saddam, with weapons and “dual-use” technology, that could be — and were — used in the production of chemical and biological weapons.Saddam successfully defended Iraq and after years more fighting and thousands of gruesome chemical warfare deaths for little gains, the two countries eventually agreed to the terms of UN Resolution 598 and returned to pre-war boundaries.

Bush came to power soon after and continued cosying up to Saddam — of course, now a well armed dictator. Over-estimating this power and the level of his favour with the U.S., Saddam went on to do what his U.S. weaponry was supposed to prevent: invaded Kuwait.

After brief attempts at diplomacy, U.N. and U.S. forces were deployed to expel Saddam’s forces from Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia. The stationing of U.S troops in Saudi Arabia, and its permanence when Saddam was expelled were the main reasons behind Bin Laden’s Fatwas, religious rulings calling for the murder, first of American troops in Saudi Arabia (1996), then American’s and their allies anywhere in the world (1998). The latter was, in effect, a declaration of war against the “international community.”

So, U.S. policies led to the rise of Islamic extremism and terrorism, the rise of Saddam and (indirectly) his invasion of Kuwait. This made him an enemy of the U.S, which would allow Bush to invade in 2003, using the other threat the U.S. created and stirred up in dealing with Saddam’s invasion, Islamic terrorists as further justification.

So, was the 2003 invasion really to deal with the threat, or was it the first move in the international resources chess game? And if it was: had it all been the plan when they were giving Saddam all that money and fomenting Islamic extremism?

Iraq stands on some of the biggest oil reserves in the world, and it has become clear since the Iraq invasion that Bush knew there was no WMD’s in Iraq and that Saddam posed no threat to anyone but his own countrymen. In fact in the last couple of days, Alan Greenspan the leading republican economist for a generation, now retired said: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

U.K. officials also knew Saddam had no WMD’s, and created dodgy dossiers to instil fear of an imaginary threat. I put that down to Blair seeing the struggle to maintain oil-supplies for as long as possible turning to a violent struggle, and wanting to be on-side with Bush as he made his bid for control.

Iraq changed the international dynamic, since then, around the world the U.S and its allies have been squaring up against Russia/China and their allies over resource rich areas, and those not in the fray are picking sides.

Bush and his administration are constantly threatening another invasion of an oil-rich country, Iran.

Russia and China — the latter relying on Iran for resources — have vetoed UN sanctions against the Pariah state and given every indication (inviting Iran to cooperation organization meetings with verbal promises to defend each other’s sovereignty) whose side they would take if it went to war. Then there’s the dispute between Russia and the U.S. over the missile defense shield. Of course Russia isn’t going to let the U.S. obtain any military advantage with the great war for dwindling resources looming overhead. Hence Russia resuming long (nuclear armed) bomber patrols. Now, France’s conservative leadership is cosying up to the U.S. over Iran:

France’s foreign minister said: Bernard Kouchner said: “We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war.” The top UN nuclear official Mohamed ElBaradei said he saw no clear and present danger and that talk of war was counter-productive. Like Blair French officials see what’s going down and are picking their side.

So, if France and Russian officials with their intelligence agencies and White House contacts see that Iraq began a war between the world’s major powers for the world’s remaining oil, who am I to argue.

Iraq being about oil gives birth to the possibility that the U.S. doesn’t care about security in Iraq, only control of the oil. That in turn makes an Iran invasion even more likely, because it removes the possibility that the U.S. won’t attack Iran because their retaliation would destroy any chance of security in Iraq. It also removes the problem of an over-stretched U.S. military stopping the invasion, because half the troops in Iraq could control the oil. That then gives birth to the question: why the surge, is it a surge to up the troop levels in advance for war with Iran?

If all this does go ahead; we all go to war for what’s left of precious oil, most of which is in the Middle East, is it so much of a leap to say that the U.S. knew it was creating an Islamic monster and did so knowing that this day would come? I’ll let you make up your own mind.

Liam Bailey is a U.K. freelance journalist. He writes regularly for the Palestine Chronicle, Arabic Media Internet Network and is an advanced blogger on the Washington Post’s Post Global. He runs the War Pages blog and you can contact him at:

The New Military Frontier: Africa by Frida Berrigan

Dandelion Salad

by Frida Berrigan

A U.S. Army captain in Africa waxes philosophical. It’s like the old saying, he opines; “give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.”

Is he talking about skills-building, or community empowerment? No: Captain Joseph Cruz goes from channeling the musician Speech from the American hip-hop group Arrested Development back to his military-approved talking points: “the same can be said about military to military training and that’s why we do it.”

The Delta company soldier is one of 1,800 based in Djibouti at an old French Foreign Legion base, and he is comparing lessons in small naval patrol boat tactics, approaches to counter terrorism operations, and how to use an M-16 rifle, to teaching a man to fish.

It is not just the Djiboutians who are receiving these lessons — members of the Ethiopian, Ugandan and Kenyan armed forces have also been on “fishing trips” with the U.S. military.

Most Americans have never heard of Djibouti, and fewer can pronounce it correctly, but here — far from the bombed bridges of Baghdad and the flourishing poppy fields of Afghanistan — is the third front of the war on terrorism. As Rear Admiral Richard Hunt, the Commander of Combined Joint Taskforce-Horn of Africa (or CJT-HOA, in inimitable military style), explains: “Africa is the new frontier that we need to engage now, or we are going to end up doing it later in a very negative way.”

As part of the CJT-HOA these soldiers are also building schools, digging wells and sanitizing slaughterhouses. Their work is delineated by the four Ps and the three Ds: Prevent conflict, promote regional stability, protect coalition interests and prevail against extremism in East Africa and Yemen through diplomacy, development and defense.

Amid the commemorations, tributes, and critiques that cluster around the September 11 anniversary, we should not lose sight of how the war on terrorism is militarizing Africa. With under-tapped oil reserves, vast stretches of ungoverned space, impoverished populations and pandemics of AIDS/HIV and other diseases, Africa is now on Washington’s radar screen. The National Security Strategy for the United States, 2006 says: “Africa holds growing geo-strategic importance and is a high priority of this administration.” But the most significant way that high priority status is being expressed is through commitments of military aid, training, troops and equipment.

The U.S. base in Djibouti is just one plank in a new platform of military engagement in Africa. There is also the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI), which Congress funded at $500 million over six years in 2005. There are also increased naval maneuvers in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, and establishment of a P3 Orion aerial surveillance station in Algeria.

And now, as though the Pentagon does not have enough on its plate, President George W. Bush has established United States African Command (AFRICOM) as the newest U.S. military sphere of influence. The command brings together most of the continent (Egypt will remain under CENTCOM) for the first time, and according to President Bush it “will enhance our efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy, and economic growth in Africa.”

But the administration is mostly trying to define AFRICOM by what it is not:

Theresa Whelan, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, says: “Africa Command is not going to reflect a U.S. intent to engage kinetically in Africa. This is about prevention. This is not about fighting wars.” At another point, Whelan also said “This is not about a scramble for the continent.”

“We are not at war in Africa. Nor do we expect to be at war in Africa. Our embassies and AFRICOM will work in concert to keep it that way,” notes Jendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa.

Despite these reassurances, many African nations view this move with a healthy dose of skepticism. They are expressing this view by shutting their doors. AFRICOM is temporarily based in Germany, but commanders hope to make the move to the region by fall 2008. The military seems to be favoring a “lily pad” approach of small bases across West Africa and the Horn region so as to not commit significant troops or lend credence to African concerns of a U.S. occupation. But where are these lily pads going to go?

Zambia has said no. In early September, President Levy Mwanawasa said that within the Southern African Development Community (a network of fourteen nations) “none of us is interested” in hosting the command. The South Africa Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota has refused to meet with U.S. General William “Kip” Ward, who will command AFRICOM. Lekota said recently, “Africa has to avoid the presence of foreign forces on her soil.”

But, some countries are viewing AFRICOM as an opportunity. The United States has already secured access agreements with Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Gabon and Namibia. And the United States’ close ally Liberia has aggressively promoted of the Command. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf penned a widely cited and circulated op-ed for AllAfrica.Com that hyped the Command as an opportunity for African nations. She has lobbied hard for AFRICOM to come to Liberia. The United States is also looking at Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia as possible locations.

In case none of these options work out, the Navy has a novel (and very expensive) idea to forgo land completely and house AFRICOM on a high-tech joint command and control ship that would circumnavigate the region.

Even as these discussions continue, some African nations are receiving significant increases in military aid and weapons sales; most of these increases have gone to oil-rich nations and compliant states where the U.S. military seeks a strategic toehold. The Center for Defense Information recently completed “U.S. Arms Exports and Military Assistance in the “Global War on Terror;” an analysis of increases in military aid since September 11, 2001. The report compares the military aid and weapons sales in the five-year leading up to 2001 and the five years since.

For example: since September 11, Kenya, which the State Department describes as a “frontline state” in the war on terrorism, has received eight times more military aid than in the preceding five years.

Djibouti, which has opened its territory to U.S. forces, received forty times more military aid, and an eightfold increase in the value of weapons transfers.

Oil-rich Algeria, where the surveillance equipment is based, has received ten times more aid and a warm embrace from Washington.

Nigeria, the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States, is slated to receive $1.35 million in Foreign Military Financing for 2008 despite persistent human rights abuses.

Mali is described as an “active partner in the war against terrorism” by the State Department and is a good example of a little military aid going a long way. The desert nation is slated to receive just $250,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET funding) and no Foreign Military Financing in 2008. But, Mali participates in both the Regional Defense Counter Terrorism Fellowship Program and the Anti-terrorism Assistance program, receiving additional funding through these programs. Aid comes in other forms too. Just this week, a U.S. C-130 military transport plane dropped food aid to Malian soldiers as they pursued armed members of the Tuareg ethnic group. This sort of assistance is not documented or quantified in any ledger or report but — if repeated regularly — could significantly increase the Malian military’s capabilities.

U.S. arms sales to Ethiopia, which has one of Africa’s largest armies, have roughly doubled and military aid has increased two and a half times. But the nation has not received military Humvees since 2002, when it used them against its own people. During protests following the May 2002 elections, the Ethiopian military fired on crowds from the Humvees, killing 85 people. The U.S. sold the Humvees to Ethiopia for counter-terrorism operations. Will the other military assistance Ethiopia receives be similarly abused?

It is always heartening (and non-threatening) to hear soldiers speaking of their mission in altruistic terms. “The hope is to prevent another Iraq or Afghanistan by giving back,” says John Harris, commander Command Senior Enlisted Leader of CJT-HOA. But, the soldiers are not there to make friends. The base had been used twice to launch incursions into Somalia (without the permission or even knowledge of the Djiboutian government).

Richard Lugar (R-IN), one of the wise men in the Senate, commented during an AFRICOM hearing that the Pentagon enjoys far greater resources than the State Department. He observed, “This imbalance within our own structure will be reflected in AFRICOM initially — hopefully not perpetually.” There is no indication that humanitarian investments will outpace military contributions any time soon — especially when the justification for aid remains the war on terrorism.

The Congressional Research Service’s latest accounting of the Global War on Terrorism, of which AFRICOM would be a part, puts the cost at $611 billion since 2001, not including additional recent requests of $147 billion and another $50 billion.

For less than that $808 billion spent in the last six years, we could provide universal primary education, reduce infant mortality by two thirds and provide universal access to potable water and not just for the United States, but also for the world. These Millennium Development Goals have languished with sporadic investment and big promises, while military solutions to problems are funded robustly.

Reexamining this imbalance seems like a crucial first step. And the battle for African hearts and minds will not be won if it’s clear that it is being waged more for the sake of U.S. strategic interests than African needs.

FPIF columnist Frida Berrigan is a senior program associate at the Arms and Security Project of the New America Foundation.

© 2007 Foreign Policy In Focus

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.


Are USAID Gorilla Conservation Funds Being Used To support Covert Operations in Central Africa by Georgianne Nienaber and Keith Harmon Snow

AFRICOM – the big secret in the USA by Bryan Hunt (2/21/2007)

Orwellian Legislation: Stop the Unconstitutional “Protect America” Act by Michael Boldin + FISA 101

Dandelion Salad

by Michael Boldin
Global Research, September 21, 2007

In August, Congress quickly passed legislation that gave yet more power to the Executive Branch. The Protect America Act is a warrantless eavesdropping bill that expands the power of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). It was passed just before summer recess: by the Senate on August 3 (Roll Call 309), and by the House on August 4 (Roll Call 836). George Bush then signed the bill into law on Sunday, August 5.

The Protect America Act gives the federal government the authority to monitor American citizens’ phone conversations and e-mails, providing they are corresponding with persons “reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.” This bill, which was drafted mostly by the White House, was created in response to the 2005 scandal where President Bush was ridiculed for authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct a secret wiretapping program targeted at persons within the United States. A federal court ruling found that program to be what most people already believed it to be: unconstitutional.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Unconstitutional laws, such as the Protect America Act, are a direct attack on the Constitution and your liberty.

The Protect American Act is set to expire in 6 months due to a sunset provision that was attached to the final version of S. 1927. Congress will then have the opportunity to renew or reject the law.

In a statement made on September 19, President Bush called on Congress to make Protect America Act permanent.


The single largest anti-Constitutional contribution to the Bush Regime by the Protect America Act (PAA) is its effective cancellation of legislative and judicial oversight on warrantless wiretapping. It authorizes open-ended surveillance of Americans’ overseas phone calls and e-mails without a warrant.

When this bill was signed into law on 08-05-07, legislative and judicial power in the executive branch instantly grew by several orders of magnitude. The Constitution’s separation-of-powers principle had its arms ripped off. [1]

The law is set to expire after 6 months. But, unsurprisingly, Bush just announced that he wants those powers to be permanent.

Send a letter opposing this to your members of Congress now! It takes just a couple minutes with our online system.


On Wednesday, September 19th, Bush said:

“So I call on Congress to make the Protect America Act permanent. The need for action is clear. Director McConnell has warned that unless the FISA reforms in the Act are made permanent, our national security professionals will lose critical tools they need to protect our country. Without these tools, it’ll be harder to figure out what our enemies are doing to train, recruit and infiltrate operatives in our country. Without these tools our country will be much more vulnerable to attack.”[2]

Once again, using fear, Bush and his cohorts are calling on you to willingly give up your liberty – permanently. By allowing spying without warrant, the PAA – along with FISA itself – directly contradicts the plain English of the 4th Amendment.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

No Warrants Shall Issue. Period.

Tell your senators and representatives to do something unusual – tell them to stand up for your liberty and the US Constitution – by letting this awful legislation expire.

Former federal prosecutor Edward Lazarus says that warrantless wiretapping is a major threat to the Constitution’s separation of powers. It is a sapping of legislative and judicial power into the executive.[1]

Lazarus writes — “… the Constitution’s separation of powers was the nation’s primary defense against tyranny. And tyranny, [Yale law professor Stephen] Carter concluded in an oft quoted line, does not overwhelm a nation in an instant. No, he wrote, ‘tyranny creeps”.

Lazarus continues — “Lately, though, tyranny runs like a cheetah.”[1][3]


[1] “Protect America Act: Cheetah for Tyranny” Stephen Neitzke,, August 13, 2007

[2] “Wihte Press Release” September 19, 2007

[3] “Warrantless Wiretapping: Why it Seriously Imperils the Separation of Powers” Edward Lazarus, FindLaw, December, 2005.


Michael Boldin is a thirty-something technology-inclined city-dweller, who is an avid hiker of the San Gabriel Mountains, and is prone to life in the wilderness. Raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by a politically active family, he developed a distaste for big government early on. Michael is a senior editor and contributing writer for, and welcomes your feedback at



White House Fact Sheet: FISA 101: Why FISA Modernization Amendments Must Be Made Permanent
FISA Amendments In The Protect America Act Of 2007 Remain Necessary To
Keep Our Nation Safe

Fact sheet President Bush Discusses the Protect America Act of 2007
Fact sheet In Focus: National Security

The Protect America Act modernized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to provide our intelligence community essential tools to acquire important information about terrorists who want to harm America. The Act, which passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Bush on August 5, 2007, restores FISA to its original focus of protecting the rights of persons in the United States, while not acting as an obstacle to gathering foreign intelligence on targets located in foreign countries. By enabling our intelligence community to close a critical intelligence gap that existed before the Act became law, the Protect America Act has already made our Nation safer.


  • The tools provided by the Protect America Act are scheduled to expire in early February 2008 – it is essential that Congress act to make the legislation permanent. Congress must also pass legislation to provide meaningful liability protection to those alleged to have assisted our Nation following the 9/11 attacks.

The Protect America Act Of 2007 Modernizes FISA In Four Important Ways

  1. The Protect America Act permits our intelligence professionals to more effectively collect foreign intelligence information on targets in foreign lands without first receiving court approval. The new law accomplishes this by clarifying that FISA’s definition of “electronic surveillance” does not apply to activities directed at persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States, thereby restoring the statute to its original focus on appropriate protections for the rights of persons in the United States.

    • Electronic surveillance targeting a person in the U.S. continues to require a court order under the Protect America Act. The statute does not change FISA’s definition of “electronic surveillance” as it applies to domestic-to-domestic communications and surveillance targeting persons in the United States.

  2. The Protect America Act provides a role for the FISA Court in reviewing the procedures the intelligence community uses to ensure that collection remains directed at persons located overseas. The Attorney General is required to submit to the FISA court the procedures by which the Federal government determines that the authorized acquisitions of foreign intelligence do not constitute electronic surveillance and thus do no trigger FISA’s court approval requirements.

  3. The Protect America Act provides a mechanism for the FISA Court to direct third parties to assist the intelligence community in its collection efforts. The Act permits the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to direct communications service providers to provide the information, facilities, and assistance necessary to conduct authorized foreign intelligence activities. In the event such a person fails to comply with a directive, the Attorney General may invoke the aid of the FISA Court to compel compliance with the directive. By the same token, the Act allows third parties to challenge a directive in the FISA Court.

  4. The Protect America Act protects third parties from private lawsuits arising from assistance they provide the Government in authorized foreign intelligence activities targeting individuals located outside the United States. But the Act does not provide retrospective liability protection for those alleged to have assisted our Nation following the 9/11 attacks. Congress needs to act to provide such protection.

The Basics Of FISA: Why The Protect America Act Of 2007 Is Necessary To Bring The Law Up-To-Date

Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 to regulate the Government’s efforts to conduct certain foreign intelligence surveillance activities directed at persons in the United States. Congress recognized that the Government must be able to effectively collect foreign intelligence about those who wish to harm our country. To allow this collection to proceed while protecting the rights of Americans in the United States, Congress established a process for judicial approval that generally applied when the government targeted persons located inside the United States for foreign intelligence surveillance – but which generally did not apply to activities directed at persons overseas.

Revolutionary advances in telecommunications technology since 1978 have upset the careful balance established by Congress to distinguish between surveillance governed by FISA and surveillance directed at targets outside the U.S. The mechanism Congress used to identify which activities fell within FISA’s scope – and to strike the balance between surveillance directed at persons overseas and persons in the United States – was a careful and complex definition of the term “electronic surveillance.” This definition was framed in terms of the specific communications technologies used in 1978.

As a result, prior to the Protect America Act, the Government often needed to obtain a court order before vital intelligence collection could begin against a terrorist or other foreign intelligence target located in a foreign country. These targets often were communicating with other foreign persons overseas, but FISA’s court order requirement still applied. It made no sense to require the Government to obtain a court order to collect foreign intelligence on targets located in foreign countries, nor was such a requirement intended when Congress passed FISA nearly 30 years ago.

This requirement resulted in a critical intelligence gap that was making our Nation less safe. Requiring the Government to go to court before the collection of foreign intelligence could begin resulted, as the Director of National Intelligence put it, in our intelligence professionals “missing a significant amount of foreign intelligence that we should be collecting to protect our country.”

By changing FISA’s definition of electronic surveillance to clarify that the statute does not apply to surveillance directed at overseas targets, the Protect America Act has enabled the intelligence community to close this critical intelligence gap. The Protect America Act makes clear – consistent with the intent of the Congress that enacted FISA in 1978 – that our intelligence community should not have to get bogged down in a court approval process to gather foreign intelligence on targets located in foreign countries. It does not change the strong protections FISA provides to people in the United States. FISA’s definition of electronic surveillance remains unchanged for surveillance directed at people in the United States, and continues to require court approval as it did before.

Source: White House website

Global Research Articles by Michael Boldin


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A Fed Panic and a Massive Bailout of American Banks Paid for by the Entire World by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay

Global Research, September 21, 2007

“Manias, panics, and crashes are the consequence of an economic environment that cultivates cupidity, chicanery, and rapaciousness rather than a devout belief in the Golden Rule.” –

Peter L. Bernstein, Foreword to Manias, Panics, and Crashes (4th ed.) by C. P. Kindleberger

“In a crisis, discount and discount heavily.”

Walter Bagehot (1826-1877), British economist

“The job of the Federal Reserve is to take away the punch bowl just when the party starts getting interesting.”

William McChesney Martin (1906-1998), Fed Chairman (1951-1970)

“The dysfunctional state of American politics does not give me great confidence in the short run.”

Alan Greenspan, Fed Chairman (1987-2006)

The  mismanagement of money and credit has led to financial explosions over the centuries. The causes, cures and consequences of such financial catastrophes are most often repetitive. Indeed, such financial collapses are usually the result of the unbridled greed and cupidity of financial operators and of the lack of necessary supervision by public institutions designed to protect the public and the common good.  For example, after the October/November 1907 financial crisis in the United States, the idea initially advanced by banker Paul Warburg to establish a partially private and partially public Federal Reserve system of banking was finally adopted, in 1913. The Fed thus became the lender of last resort for banks that find themselves in an illiquid position. It is only after the stock market crash of 1929, however, that the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established, in 1934.

But even with institutions and regulations in place, when they are  inoperative, corrupt or ill-adapted, financial crises can still occur. And the current financial crisis is there to remind us of this fact.

On September 18 (2007), the Fed showed some panic and announced a larger than expected half percentage point cut in both the Federal funds rate and in the discount rate , and this after having slashed its discount rate by a half point, on August 17, in order to facilitate borrowing by America’s largest banks and to facilitate the bailout of their affiliates and other operators, such as hedge-funds, caught in the sub-prime loans crisis. In so doing, the Bernanke Fed is following Bagehot’s advice for aggressive discounting in a situation of financial crisis. The only problem is that Bagehot’s rule calls for the central bank to lend copiously in times of critical credit stringency … but at a high rate of interest. By lending to troubled lenders at reduced preferential rates, the Fed is acting as their “government”, i.e. subsidizing their risky loans operations and taxing anybody else who holds American dollars. It is not only attempting to make them more “liquid”, but also more “solvable” and less likely to fail.

This raises three interesting questions. First, who pays for the bailout of U.S. financial institutions; second, what are the longer-run consequences of the massive bailout undertaken by the Fed; and third, why did the Fed let the financial situation deteriorate to such an extent that an entire sector of the economy is being clobbered and its collapse is threatening the whole economy.

First, we must consider that the U.S. dollar is still a key reserve currency, although loosing ground to the euro, and it is still being held in massive amounts by most central banks in their foreign reserves, and also by private banks, commercial and economic entities and individuals around the world. For example, in early 2007, foreign central banks alone held some two and a quarter trillion in U.S. dollars reserves, which represented about 66 percent of their total official foreign exchange reserves, with a bit more than 25 percent being held in euros.

Since the dollar is loosing its purchasing power, both in absolute and relative terms, central banks and other foreign investors have been “taxed” by the American Fed’s policy of benign neglect regarding the dollar. In real terms, the seigneurage tax on foreign holders of the dollar can be measured by taking the difference between the annual rate of depreciation of the dollar vis-à-vis major convertible currencies and the short-term rate of interest on these reserves. For example, if the annual rate of depreciation of the dollar is ten percent and the short-term rate of return on U.S. T-bills is four percent, central banks are loosing some $22.5 billion on a yearly basis. Since private foreigners hold more than two trillion in dollar denominated debt, the net annual loss of foreign holders of U.S. dollars can easily reach $50 billion a year. The conclusion is easy to see: Not only have foreigners been heavily financing the large U.S. government’s deficits over the last six years, but they are now being called upon to help finance the generous bailout of American financial institutions.

Investors both abroad and in the U.S. know that official inflation figures are tilted on the low side for many people, essentially because they are designed to reduce the weight given in the indexes to goods and services whose prices increase the fastest, but also because housing costs and asset prices are only partly taken into consideration. This could explain why inflation expectations are on the rise, even though official inflation figures do not register an increase in inflation. Too much easy money as experienced over the last few years at first fuel asset inflation, but sooner or later it shows its ugly head in the prices of all commodities and in the prices of all goods and services. With the current drop of the dollar, Americans can be expected to pay more for a lot of items, such as fuel and food. This will translate to a lower standard of living.

Already, the price of gold, the price of oil and the prices of other commodities are on their way up and can serve as inflation bell-weathers. The behavior of long-term interest rates that incorporate inflation expectations is also a good indicator of future inflation. With the Fed printing money and increasing the money supply on a high scale as if it was dropping money from an helicopter, thus the nickname of Fed Chairman Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke, short term interest rates will drop for a while, but long term interest rates will be edging up, unless a deep recession steps in.

Secondly, a massive bailout as the Bernanke Fed has undertaken raises the question of moral hazard present in any massive central bank rescue intervention, after it has failed to properly regulate the risky activities of the banks it supervises. Indeed, by accepting mortgage-backed securities as collateral for huge more or less longer term loans to American banks and brokers, at reduced interest rates, the Fed is in effect rewarding the very institutions which acted the most irresponsibly over the last four or five years, while saving its own face for having failed in its regulatory mission. The message is loud and clear: American financial institutions can indulge in creating “innovative” risky artificial credit instruments, shifting the risks to unsuspecting borrowers and investors while reaping juicy fees and rewards, and when things turn sour, as can be expected, the Fed will come to their rescue and bail them out with cheap and extended loans. That is a good way to carelessly encourage a greedy and out-of-control financial institution to create successive disorderly and disruptive financial crises.

Indeed, the Bernanke Fed is presently taking the pain of the consequences away from financial institutions that acted irresponsibly, and for some, as former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has said, which have acted criminally. —This is a clear case of moral hazard.

If old regulations are not implemented or if no new regulations are put into place, such a massive bailout will insure that American financial institutions will continue in the future to pursue the fast buck in creating risky artificial capital, without due regard to the risks involved for small borrowers and small savers, while the Fed will take responsibility for shifting losses partly on itself but mainly to holders of American dollars. In effect, the Fed is suspending market discipline for the big financial players it puts under its protection, while letting market discipline crush small homeowners and small investors who bought now foreclosed houses on shaky mortgages or who invested their savings in fraudulent and risky collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). That is the net result of applying Bagehot’s rule only in part.

The third question is why both the Greenspan and the Bernanke Fed did not remove the punch bowl of easy money and easy credit sooner when things began getting ugly in the sub-prime mortgage market during the 2003-2007 period. Why did they appear paralyzed and do nothing? Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has an easy and self-serving explanation. Before 2003, he was afraid of an onset of deflation and that is why the Fed brought its key lending rate to 1 percent (from June 2003 to June 2004) for only the second time in history. He also says that there were too much “global savings” around the world and that is what pushed interest rates down. This is a slight of hands explanation, because if globalization and global savings kept inflation low and term interest down, short term interest rates and money supply increases were under the Fed control at all times. The Fed had no obligation, after 2003, to keep real short term interest rates so negative for so long. Indeed, as the Bush administration was cutting tax rates to enhance its 2004 reelection prospects and was spending money like a drunken sailor in wars waged in remote lands, the Fed should have taken the contrary route to counterbalance the fiscal impetus this created for the macro economy. In other words, it should have taken the punch bowl away. —It did not.

As a consequence, mortgage debt as a percentage of disposable income in the U.S. is at the highest level it has been in seventy-five years, reaching 100 percent, while consumer debt has risen to its highest level in history. All this makes the economy more vulnerable than it has been since the 1929-39 depression. Another consequence of this binge of easy money has been the frenzy of leveraged buy-outs and industrial concentration that we have observed over the last few years.

Finally, let’s put the cherry on the cake. Indeed, there is a most disturbing piece in former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s recent Memoirs (The Age of Turbulence) and in the explanations he gave in interviews granted to promote his book, and it is his confession that while he was acting chairman of the Fed he actively lobbied Vice President Dick Cheney for a U.S. attack on Iraq. [If this was the case, it was most inappropriate for a central banker to act this way, especially when he had other things to do than lobbying in favor of an illegal war. Does it mean that Mr. Greenspan was an active member of the pro-Israel Lobby within the U.S. government and joined the Wolfowitz-Feith-Abrams-Perle-Kissinger cabal? It would seem to me that such behavior would call for an investigation.

Indeed, to what extent was the pro-Israel Lobby responsible for the Iraq war and the deficits it generated? Already, polls indicate that forty percent of American voters believe the pro-Israel Lobby has been a key factor in going to war in Iraq and that it is now very active in promoting a new war against Iran. This figure is bound to rise as more and more people confront the facts behind this most disastrous and ill-conceived war. Indeed, how many wars can this lobby be allowed to engineer before being stopped? And, to what extent can the current financial turmoil in U.S. and world markets be traced back to the influence of this most corrosive lobby?

Rodrigue Tremblay is a Canadian economist who lives in Montreal; he can be reached at:

Visit his blog site at:

Author’s Website:

Check Dr. Tremblay’s coming book “The Code for Global Ethics” at:

Rodrigue Tremblay is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Rodrigue Tremblay

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The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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© Copyright Rodrigue Tremblay,, 2007

Dennis Kucinich discusses his universal healthcare plan (video)

Dandelion Salad


video link

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod



Why Kucinich Is The Best Candidate (video; health care)

Clinton, Obama, Edwards on ‘the same page’ on health care reform, ‘the wrong page,’ says Kucinich

Biden Breaks Loose in AARP Democratic Debate (video) + Kucinich locked out of debate!

Clinton, Obama, Edwards on ‘the same page’ on health care reform, ‘the wrong page,’ says Kucinich

Dandelion Salad


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the issue of health care, the three leading candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination are all on the same page: the wrong page, Democratic candidate and Ohio Congressman said today.

“There isn’t one iota’s difference between the plans put forward by Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and former Senator Edwards because they all keep the for-profit health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies in control of the health care system,” Kucinich said. “The only thing ‘universal’ about their plans is that they universally fail to address the real reason 47 million Americans are uninsured and another 50 million are under-insured: for-profit insurance companies get rich by gouging people and by not paying for health care.”

Kucinich is the co-author and co-sponsor of a bill (HR 676) that would establish a national, not-for-profit health insurance system that would guarantee coverage to all Americans, including medical, dental, vision, mental health, long term care, early child care, and preventative health services. Under the Kucinich plan, there would be no premiums, no deductibles, and no co-pays, and no denials of services. The legislation has been endorsed by the 14,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program, the California Nurses Association, labor union locals, and award-winning film-maker Michael Moore, whose “SiCKO” documentary is a scathing indictment of the for-profit health care industry in the U.S.

“If you don’t have the courage to take on the insurance and pharmaceutical industries,” Kucinich said of the other Democratic candidates, “don’t try to fool the American people by pretending to offer real reform. The Clinton, Obama, and Edwards plans will ensure that for-profit companies remain in control, and they will be rewarded and enriched with federal subsidies to reduce the prices they charge. Instead of gouging the consumers, they’ll be gouging the taxpayers.”

Kucinich also objected to the “mandates” proposed in the three plans. “These candidates want to force individual citizens and employers to buy health insurance, using the promise of tax credits to make the coercion more palatable. We shouldn’t be mandating that people buy private coverage, we should be guaranteeing coverage for our citizens like other enlightened industrialized nations do.”

Kucinich noted that Americans spend more than $2 trillion a year on health care, and upwards of $600 billion covers costs that have nothing to do with care: profits, dividends, exorbitant salaries, executive compensation, stock options, advertising, paperwork, and coordination and duplication of services among the many private companies.

“Take that money out of the pockets of the for-profit companies and put it into providing a national health care plan that covers everyone for everything,” Kucinich said. Comparing and contrasting the differences among the Cinton, Obama, and Edwards plans “is a phony debate,” he charged. “If they’re afraid of offending their campaign contributors from the for-profit health care industry, or they’re concerned about whatever personal investments they have in that industry, they should be honest about it and just say so.”

He continued, “I can’t be bought, and I can’t be bossed, and that’s why I’m the only candidate willing and eager to challenge the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. The sooner we get the profit out of the system, the sooner every American can have access to comprehensive health care. It’s a right, and this nation has a moral and social responsibility to provide it.”


Dennis Kucinich discusses his universal healthcare plan (video link)

Biden Breaks Loose in AARP Democratic Debate (video) + Kucinich locked out of debate!

The Red State Update Health Care Plan (video)

Dandelion Salad


Everybody’s got a stupid health care …

Everybody’s got a stupid health care plan. Why should the Jackie ’08 campaign be any different?


Dennis Kucinich discusses his universal healthcare plan (video link)

Clinton, Obama, Edwards on ‘the same page’ on health care reform, ‘the wrong page,’ says Kucinich