Home Office loses confidential data on all UK prisoners

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor
Last Updated: 1:22AM BST 22 Aug 2008

The Home Office has lost confidential information on every prisoner in the country and more than 40,000 serious criminals sparking yet another Government data crisis.

It has led to fears that the taxpayer may now face a multi-million pound compensation bill from criminals whose safety may be compromised.

The home addresses of some of Britain’s most prolific and serious offenders – including those who have committed violent and sexual crimes – are understood to be among the data now missing.

They were on a computer memory stick used by Home Office consultants which has gone missing over the past week. A full investigation has been launched and the police have been informed.

Home Office officials are now in discussions with the Information Commissioner about what steps it may need to take to protect those whose privacy has been jeopardised. The Commissioner said last night that “searching questions must be answered” before it decides what further action to take.


Home Office loses confidential data on all UK prisoners – Telegraph

h/t: CLG

Vincent Bugliosi on his writings, war on drugs, President JFK

Dandelion Salad


The Film Archives

Vincent Bugliosi was interviewed about his life, his career, and his body of writing. Topics included his current book about President George W. Bush, how he chooses his topics, and his research….

Continue reading

9/11 Mystery Solved! Why Building 7 (WTC-7) Collapsed

Dandelion Salad


August 21, 2008 CNN

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Investigation of World Trade Center Building 7 (videos)

Feds: Fire took down building next to twin towers h/t: CLG


Kucinich in ‘NYT’ this coming Sunday warns of Iran attack

Dandelion Salad

Updated: Here’s the story: NYT Interview

by GregMitc
Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:11:59 AM CDT

In an interview to be published in The New York Times this Sunday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich continues to make the case for impeachment – especially amid the Russia/Georgia crisis – as well as arguing for Democrats to come together to back Obama.

Asked why he continues calling for impeachment, Kucinich responds, “This president is capable of taking us into war, in October, on the eve of an election, to try to change the outcome of the election…

Daily Kos: Kucinich in ‘NYT’ this coming Sunday warns of Iran attack.


U.S. – Iran War: U.S. Intentions Unclear; Israel & Israel Lobby Press for War

Take Action – Sign the Petition for Impeachment


U.S. – Iran War: U.S. Intentions Unclear; Israel & Israel Lobby Press for War

Dandelion Salad

Sent to me by the author.

by William H. White
original source
August 14, 2008

Mixed Signals

After months of increasing expectations that the Bush administration was preparing to attack Iran, a series of events in the last few weeks indicated a possible shift in strategy. The central question about these events, listed below, is whether they represent a genuine shift away from intended war making, or are just repositioning designed to enhance conditions for the long-planned attack on Iran?

Among those events in question:

Prediction Error

While it is clear that speculation about the future is particularly prone to error, we think it important to acknowledge such misjudgments, as we do now by noting our April 2008 conclusion about a likely US attack on Iran by the end of June:

“Since we continue to believe the attack will likely come before the end of May, or, at the latest June,  we think it is likely the attack will come between May 11, 2008 and June 30, 2008. If not, then with near certainty before the US elections in November. Should the attack not come before Bush leaves office, the chances of a major attack on Iran would be greatly diminished, no matter which of the three remaining major candidates takes office in his place, even if potential war provoking incidents between the US and Iran were to occur. And this is why the Israel Lobby is pressing Bush to act before it is ‘too late’.” ~ April 30, 2008.

Covert Acts of War

Nevertheless, acts of war by the U.S. against Iran are occurring. The Bush administration, with Congressional approval, has undertaken covert acts of war against Iran. These ongoing actions, funded by Congressional appropriations for operations within Iran meant to destabilize Iran enough to provoke either regime change or policy modification, include bombings and assassinations. While one could argue that the U.S.- Iran war on a covert level has already begun, these actions, while provocative, have not created within the present government in Tehran a provocation of sufficient magnitude to warrant a state of war, which would presumably result in Iranian attacks on US naval and ground forces in the region, if not wider attacks elsewhere. Attacks the Bush administration appears to be inviting, perhaps with the expectation that the resulting losses and counter-attacks would generate public support for the administration and the Republican presidential candidate.

Recent Events Undermine Support for War with Iran

Advocating a war between the U.S. and Iran suffers from the widely held judgment that the last attempt to contain Iranian influence by war-making, the Israeli attacks on Hezbollah in Lebanon, resulted in exactly the opposite outcome. In addition, increased Iranian influence is one of the few unambiguous results of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Economic and political climates have changed from the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, wherein unintended economic consequences of the Iraq war and large U.S. deficits have undermined the U.S. corporate support for Bush and Cheney. A U.S. war with Iran now is seen as bad for “business as usual”, a grave, if not fatal, flaw for any U.S. policy initiative. While some of the same companies that supported and profited from the invasion of Iraq stand to gain from an U.S. – Iran war, a far larger portion of corporate interests see this new conflict as a significant danger to the general economy and their overall interests.

Despite repeated assertions about success in Iraq, the Iraq invasion is widely considered have been a strategic blunder with vast costs and few, if any, benefits. Now, with many of the same advocates of the Iraq invasion pressing to attack Iran, the U.S. military establishment has move from caution to alarm about undertaking a conflict with a potentially more difficult opponent for equally dubious objectives, including the suspicion an attack on Iran may be an ill advised effort to correct problems created by the Iraq invasion and a way to avoid admitting a mistake. These concerns add to widely held doubts about Bush’s competence and judgment to undertake such war, even if it were otherwise consider a viable policy.

In an August 13, 2008 report in Haaretz.com, the online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel, an arms request, passed to Bush during his visit to Israel in May, was subsequently rejected by the Bush administration: “Following Bush’s return to Washington, the administration studied Israel’s request, and this led it to suspect that Israel was planning to attack Iran within the next few months. The Americans therefore decided to send a strong message warning it not to do so.” While the weapons requested were not identified in the story, except to characterize them as “offensive systems”, they apparently were deployable within a short period of time and uniquely applicable to an attack on Iran, likely ordinance such as deep penetration bombs. The story went on to report: “U.S. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen both visited here in June and, according to the Washington Post, told senior Israeli defense officials that Iran is still far from obtaining nuclear weapons, and that an attack on Iran would undermine American interests. Therefore, they said, the U.S. would not allow Israeli planes to overfly Iraq en route to Iran.” While Haaretz’s sources may be part of a disinformation campaign, if true it may indicate resistance to an attack on Iran extends into the Oval Office, further suggesting a rift between Bush and Cheney, whose enthusiasm for attacking Iran instead of negotiating is apparently undiminished. It might also explain why the Israel Lobby’s war starting resolution remains bottled up in committee in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

Israeli and Bush administration claims about Iranian nuclear weapons development appear a red herring on the same order as the Weapons of Mass Destruction claims advanced prior to the invasion of Iraq. Only now, having learned from the Bush administration’s characterizing Whitehouse cherry picking intelligence before the Iraq invasion as institutional “intelligence mistakes”, the U.S. intelligence community made clear its skepticism about administration claims of an Iranian nuclear weapons program in its November National Intelligence Estimate.

European Union and NATO support for an attack on Iran is nonexistent, with the latest conflict between Russia and Georgia raising additional concerns about provoking armed conflict with Iran, a country that receives military equipment and training from Russia and shares its northern borders with former Soviet Union republics Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Especially since the Bush administration used U.S. and Israeli military advisors to train Georgian troops and plan their ill-fated attack on the Georgian secessionist enclave South Ossetia, apparently as part of the deal for Georgian deployment of troops in Iraq. This failed operation reinforcing EU concerns about Bush’s incompetence and recklessness.

Evidence of increasing resistance to the right-wing AIPAC‘s dominance within the Israel Lobby can be found in the emergence of an alternative, the pro-peace, pro-Israel J Street Lobby that opposes a war with Iran and calls for Israel’s withdrawal from the Occupied Territories as part of regional peace agreement. Thoughtful and informed critics of current Israeli policies, such as Daniel Levy, are becoming a more significant factor in the exchange of ideas about policy alternatives open to the U.S. and Israel. A recently reported poll among American Jews indicating diminished support for Senator Lieberman (I-Conn), a leading war advocate increasingly seen as advancing extremist right-wing Israeli interests in the Middle East for which no sacrifice of blood and treasure by the U.S. seems too great. Influential critics within Israel, such as Martin van Creveld, professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and expert on military strategy, are speaking out against an attack on Iran by either the U.S. or Israel.

Israeli Government and Israel Lobby Press for U.S. – Iran War

Given wide opposition to an attack on Iran, why is it being considered at all?

Apart from whatever inclinations Bush/Cheney may harbor to attack Iran, the main advocacy appears to be a coordinated effort by both the Israeli government and its Israel Lobby in the U.S. to maneuver the U.S. into a war with Iran.

Israel sees a U.S. – Iran war strengthening its grip on the Occupied Territories by weakening Iran, whatever its costs to the U.S.. Most fundamentally because Iran is the critical source of support for those forces most effectively challenging Israel’s regional territorial ambitions: Hezbollah in southern Lebanon; Syria on the Galan Heights; and most especially, Hamas’ resistance to occupation and incremental annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as to the maintenance, with Egypt, of the Gaza Strip as essentially the world’s largest prison/concentration camp. By contrast, Iranian’s nuclear program is a more distant concern, but a far more acceptable pretext for war than territorial expansion. It would not do for Israel and its lobby to demand U.S. blood and treasure to make the West Bank safer for Israeli “settlements” or to tap the waters of the Litani River in Lebanon.

Israel’s war provoking effort appears to be divided into two major elements: a U.S. domestic political campaign; and, Israeli military and intelligence programs:

Israel’s U.S. domestic campaign’s most conspicuous component is the Israel Lobby effort, led by AIPAC, introducing on May 22, 2008 concurrent resolutions  (H. Con. Res. 362 and S. Res. 580) in both houses of the U.S. Congress, calling on the Bush administration to take certain actions against Iran. Despite a massive lobbying effort and wide nominal congressional support, with 220 co-sponsors in the House and 32 in the Senate, the resolution may have been a tactical blunder, because it over-reached in two critical areas:

  1. Some of the resolution’s whereas assertions have been widely discredited as being false; and,

  2. A provision calling for the U.S. to enforce an embargo against Iran is, in the opinion of many, a virtual declaration of war by the U.S. on Iran.

So, despite a near blackout in corporate media reporting about this resolution and it being advanced under rules reserved for “non-controversial” matters in the House by Speaker Pelosi, the resolution has come under increasing criticism. As a consequence, some of its most influential sponsors have withdrawn their support. In addition, there is a concomitant effort led by Lieberman to build grass roots political support for a U.S. war with Iran, using such allies as Pastor John Hagee, a “leading right-wing Christian Zionist”.

The Israeli military and intelligence programs, publicly centered around preparations for an attack on Iran, appear to be designed to augment Israel’s pressure on the U.S. to attack Iran instead as well as to cover secret preparations for a possible false flag attack on U.S. interests by Israel to be blamed on Iran. The clear intent is to provoke an immediate shooting war between the U.S. and Iran.

An attack on Iran by Israel itself is unlikely, because it would have limited impact on Iran’s nuclear program, military forces, and national infrastructure, while potentially resulting in substantial Israeli naval and air force losses, and therefore ultimately threatening Israel’s political establishment. Clearly, Israel wants to avoid war against its most substantial opponents, Egypt or Iran, when its current territorial interests can be satisfied by attacking its immediate, less capable abutters Lebanon and Syria, especially if Iran is less able to assist them. Given increasing U.S. military resistance to Israel’s efforts as well as many elements among the U.S. political and economic establishment opposing a U.S. war with Iran, a false flag attack on U.S. interests may be Israel’s last, best hope; however, the risks of such an attack, should it be exposed, would create difficulties that even the Israel Lobby would find difficult to contain.

Given Israel’s and the Israel Lobby’s central role in, and success at, helping start Bush’s Iraq War, this effort to start a U.S. – Iran War is considered among the most serious threats to U.S. national security by those who believe such a war both gravely dangerous and manifestly contrary to U.S. national interests.

Likely Future Events

Whether the U.S. will become involved in war with Iran is unclear. What is likely is a set of events or non-events over the next few weeks, indicating the current intensions of the Bush administration and Israeli governments toward Iran and each other.

So what might happen? It seems likely that if Bush is going to start a war with Iran, one would expect the ramp-up PR effort and accompanying threats shortly after the end of August, beginning with complaints about “diplomacy not working”, followed by new “evidence” of Iranian nuclear weapons development and perhaps an Iranian hand in killing American troops in Iraq, then building to “final warnings” as well as “last chances to come clean” etc., before hostilities in October. There may be a naval confrontation and some other casus belli, real or contrived. This timing would give McCain the best possible advantage from the bounce expected when the shooting first starts, especially if Obama is blamed for Iran’s supposed intransigency. If McCain looks to win, then Bush may wait until after the election to strike; if Obama is ahead or the race is too close to predict, then Bush may strike before the election in the hopes of changing McCain’s fortunes.

Among possible war-starting event sequences, would be a limited U.S. attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities near the Iraq border, followed by an Israeli false flag attack on a U.S. vessel, with Bush administration turning a blind eye to evidence of Israeli evolvement, possibly ignoring warnings about such an attack, and then ordering wider ranging attacks on Iran in “defense” of U.S. forces, resulting in a rapid series of escalating military exchanges between the U.S. and Iran.

An early indication of such a new PR effort came from Secretary of State Rice, a leading Iraq war advocate. After the U.S. attended a much publicized, single meeting with Iran, Rice charged Iran was not serious, when attending Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, under her orders, was to say nothing to the Iranian delegation. This ludicrous claim about failed diplomacy is not a good sign. Neither is evidence of a continued build-up of U.S. naval forces in theater. Despite its reputation for secrecy, the Bush administration is much like a giant transparent clock-work, whose movements are often apparent.

If this pre-war event sequence begins to develop, then there may be additional push-back from military-corporate interests against a war with Iran, which would manifest itself in Congress and the corporate media. However, barring highly unlikely multiple resignations at the highest command levels, military objections would be very dependent on support from the U.S. Congress, which is not expected to play any significant role in the decision to go to war. Whatever reluctance the U.S. Congress might manage in the face of current Israel Lobby demands for passage of its war starting resolution, congressional Democratic leadership would likely bow immediately to Bush administration requests for a “show” of support once a confrontation with Iran develops. This is especially true if the Democratic leadership sensed that failing to go along would present any risk to its immediate election prospects, easily triggered by even a hint of criticism from Republicans. Such a show of support would likely be similar to the Iraq War resolution, which the Bush administration could claim, while unneeded, supports military action, and the Democrats could later deny intending to do so, should the war’s consequences be as disastrous as many expect.

So, from the Bush administration’s likely perspective, it would be best that a crisis and demands for congressional support occur before the election, with the timing of the attack before or after the election, based in part on McCain’s fortunes as the election nears. Bush is able to control the timing, provided Israel does not attack or otherwise provoke a conflict, because, as in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a U.S. – Iran war would be a war of choice, decided by the U.S.. In the new American Homeland, all is a matter of the will of the imperial decider.

On the other hand, should the Bush administration not attack Iran, then chances of war between the U.S. and Iran would be greatly reduced, whether McCain or Obama is elected.


Please Contact Us with comments at: Comments, especially if you have information that contradicts our data or assessments.

Copyright © 2008 William H. White  All rights are reserved; except, permission is granted for anyone to copy and distribute this document on the WEB. ~ The author asks that links in the text be retained.


Report: U.S. Will Attack Iran

Will the US Congress ratify the Bush Administration’s Decision to launch a War on Iran (H. CON. RES. 362)

Hersh: Congress Agreed to Bush Request to Fund Major Escalation in Secret Operations Against Iran

Preparing the Battlefield by Seymour M. Hersh

Mullen warns against USS Liberty redux

Seymour Hersh: The secret war in Iran

Gareth Porter: Resolution calls for embargo against Iran

U.S. puts brakes on Israeli plan for attack on Iran nuclear facilities

Iran War: Armada of US and allied naval battle groups head for the Persian Gulf

Massive US Naval Armada Heads For Iran

U.S. Armada En Route to the Persian Gulf: “Naval Blockade” or All Out War Against Iran?


Bush to Putin, “Get out now!” Putin to Bush, “Nyet!” By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
08/21/08 “ICH”

When Vladimir Putin heard President Bush demand that Russian troops “leave Georgia territory immediately”, he did what any sensible leader of a great nation would do; he yawned, scratched his belly and ambled over to the Kremlin frig to see if there were any left-overs from last night’s imperial banquet with the French dignitaries. He may have even smiled wistfully to himself as he peered over the Chicken Kiev and the Siberian cutlets, thinking, “Nyet, George; South Ossetia’s future is no longer negotiable”.

The illusion created by the western media, is that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin are hanging on every word that emerges from the White House and gaging their strategy accordingly. Wrong. In fact, they’re not even listening; they can’t be bothered. Whatever Bush says is irrelevant. Who cares? Not Putin, that’s for sure. Moscow is working out the details of its so-called “withdrawal plans” with the United Nations, not Washington. Bush isn’t even a part of the process; he has no say-so at all. None. His fulminations might add a few toxins to the jet stream, but other than that, they make no difference at all. Putin is in the driver’s seat now.

American’s are convinced that their activities in the world still matter. That’s because Americans are marinated in a culture of narcissism. In truth, “American exceptionalism” is just a misunderstanding of one’s own basic insignificance. The dust-up in South Ossetia will help dispel some of those illusions and clarify what little influence the US really has. Bush demagoguery and foot-stomping won’t change a thing; he’s wasting his time. This is Russia’ backyard. They’ll decide the outcome. Bush should stop his jabbering and mind his own business.

And, no; there won’t be a war with Russia; that’s all just more handwringing speculation from liberal pundits. It’s pure rubbish. The Bush administration will do what US policymakers always do when faced with a well-armed adversary; thrust their sabers into the air and rattle them ferociously while beating a hasty retreat. “Cut and run” is not a neocon bullet-point; it’s a summary of 60 years of foreign policy. In fact, the US and its good friend, Israel, sing from the same hymnal; they love blasting-away at defenseless women and children in Gaza or Falluja, but stear-clear of the guys with guns and rocket-launchers. Israel lost a mere 118 men in its 34 Day war with Hezbollah before they decided to pack it in and go home. Putin knows that; that’s why he’s been sending anti-aircraft weaponry to Iran hoping it will dissuade Israel from doing something foolish, like blowing up what’s left of the Middle East. And, it’s a good plan, too. Bush and Olmert have already shown that moral considerations don’t make a bit of difference; what matters is weapons and men who know how to use them.

Now that the Russian army is in South Ossetia, Bush, Cheney, Rice have been getting madder and more frustrated by the day. “Get out now or face the consequences”, they growl. But, Putin, with obvious disdain, just shrugs his shoulders and says, “Make me”.

Everyone in the world knows what’s going on. They can see that Putin has drawn a line in the sand and is openly challenging American credibility. This is the perfect opportunity for Bush to prove that he’s really the War President he says he is and not just a cardboard-cutout fraudster. He can show those smug Ruskis who’s really the boss. After all, he has Putin’s address, doesn’t he? He can order his war machine to turn north and head for Georgia, guns blazing. What’s stopping him?

South Ossetia is a tipping point; the culmination of 8 years of persistent violence and aggression. It is the moment of truth. Now we’ll see what the real ‘governing principle’ of the administration’s foreign policy is: is it the Bush Doctrine or the Wimp Doctrine? Many of the pundits and analysts are convinced that Bush and his clatter of gangsters will lead us into WW3, but it won’t happen. It’s just more hot air. There are more chickens in the Bush White House than there are at a KFC Poultry Farm. They’re only too eager to send some other mother’s sons to fight their wars, but they’d never risk losing anything themselves. Go ahead George;  you’re the war president, President. Show the world those aren’t Lima beans hanging between your legs. Let’s see what you got?

Bush isn’t going to send American troops in South Ossetia. No way. This is a man who won’t peep his head out of the White House without 8,000 armed guards shadowing his every move and a small squadron of Apache Helicopters flying overhead. A guy like that isn’t about to take on the Russian army. Forget about it. Bush will do all his fighting from the safety of the Executive Media Center where he can duck behind the Presidential podium if a car backfires on Pennsylvania Ave. That’s his kind of fighting.


Was the War in the Caucasus was the work of the Neocons?

Some people think so; and they could be right. Putin may have just been playing a role that was written in Washington. Does that sound crazy?

A few months ago, Putin rejected Bush’s unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Serbia is a traditional ally of Russia’s and Putin has no intention of allowing it to be split up by Washington. Bush’s proclamation was a violation of the UN Charter. No one has the right to simply ignore national sovereignty and carve up another country as they see fit. The UN never approved the initiative, but Bush went ahead anyway to satisfy the global ambitions of his neocon base.

So Putin did what any reasonable leader would do; he convened a meeting of his foreign policy team–many of them Soviet-era hardliners who warned him that the US could not be trusted–and decided on a plan to annex South Ossetia. (which he said he would do if Bush declared Kosovo independent) As it turns out, Israeli advisers in Georgia, wanted to strike a deal with Putin over the high-tech weapons systems that Russia had been selling to Iran. So (I believe) Putin made a deal with Israel to suspend arms-sales to Iran if Israel would trick the dim-witted Saakashvili into invading South Ossetia. That would set the stage for a Russian counter-attack and de facto annexation. Good plan, eh?

The question is; would friends of the neocons agree to pull the wool over Saakashvili’s eyes to stop Putin’s weapons shipments to Iran? No one knows for sure, but the degree of Russian preparedness before the counter-attack suggests that they had been tipped-off by people close to Saakashvili. Who would that be? Maybe someone who had something to gain, right?

Consider this excerpt from George Friedman’s article for Stratfor, “The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power”:

“The United States maintained about 130 military advisers in Georgia, along with civilian advisers, contractors involved in all aspects of the Georgian government and people doing business in Georgia. It is inconceivable that the Americans were unaware of Georgia’s mobilization and intentions. It is also inconceivable that the Americans were unaware that the Russians had deployed substantial forces on the South Ossetian frontier. U.S. technical intelligence, from satellite imagery and signals intelligence to unmanned aerial vehicles, could not miss the fact that thousands of Russian troops were moving to forward positions. The Russians clearly knew the Georgians were ready to move. How could the United States not be aware of the Russians? Indeed, given the posture of Russian troops, how could intelligence analysts have missed the possibility that the Russians had laid a trap, hoping for a Georgian invasion to justify its own counterattack?”

For the United States, the Middle East is far more important than the Caucasus, and Iran is particularly important. The United States wants the Russians to participate in sanctions against Iran. Even more importantly, they do not want the Russians to sell weapons to Iran, particularly the highly effective S-300 air defense system. Georgia is a marginal issue to the United States; Iran is a central issue. The Russians are in a position to pose serious problems for the United States not only in Iran, but also with weapons sales to other countries, like Syria.” (George Friedman, “The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power”, Stratfor)

Friedman’s summary makes the “neocon theory” seem all the more plausible. A quid pro quo with Putin would have been the only way to guarantee that Iran would not get its hands on critical defensive weaponry. Certainly, the neocons must have taken that into consideration. All they had to do was hoodwink Saakashvili and Putin would do the rest. No problemo. The outcome, however, has created a few unintended consequences. The Bush administration’s chances of securing access to the oil-rich Caspian Basin or of gaining NATO membership for Georgia are now nil. America’s gambit in Central Asia just made an unexpected crash landing.

Of course, there’s no way to verify this theory without someone stepping forward and corroborating the details. But wherever there’s trouble, there’s bound to be a few neocon fingerprints somewhere.

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Russian draft Security Council resolution on Georgia (full text) h/t: ICH

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili

A newer world order by Lee Sustar

OSCE observers knew about Georgia’s attack + Jewish Quarter targeted in Georgian offensive

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess

Aprés la deluge — wracking up the fear quotient By William Bowles

Beat The Dead Horse Or Putin’s Revenge By Gaither Stewart

Margolis: Dems onside with Bush on Georgia

Evidence of Georgian tanks + Poland Signs Missile Defense Shield Deal + NATO warns Russia

Crisis in the Caucasus. What Were They Smoking in the White House?


COINTELPRO and Domestic Spying by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, August 21, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

Slippery Slope towards police state methods. Mukasey Loosens Guidelines

The waning months of the Bush administration can be characterized by an avalanche of changes to long-standing rules governing domestic intelligence operations.

The revisions proposed by U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and other top administration officials, represent the greatest expansion of executive power since the Watergate era and should been viewed as an imminent threat to already-diminished civil liberties protections in the United States.

The slippery slope towards open police state methods of governance may have begun with the 2001 passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, but recent events signal that a qualitative acceleration of repressive measures are currently underway. These changes are slated to go into effect with the new fiscal year beginning October 1, and are subject neither to congressional oversight nor judicial review.

Bush allies in Congress kicked-off the summer with the shameful passage by the House and Senate of the FISA Amendments Act, an unconstitutional domestic spying bill that gutted Fourth Amendment protections. With broad consensus by both capitalist political parties, the FISA Act eliminates meaningful judicial oversight of state surveillance while granting virtual immunity to law-breaking telecoms.

Despite posturing by leading Democrats, including the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, the FISA legislation legalized the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and set the stage for further assaults on the right to privacy and dissent.

Further attacks were not long in coming.

In the last month alone, mainstream media have reported that the FBI illegally obtained the phone records of overseas journalists allegedly as part of a 2004 “terrorism investigation.”

Other reports documented how the Department of Homeland Security asserts the right to seize a traveler’s laptop and other electronic devices for an unspecified period of time and without probable cause.

Still other reports revealed that the administration has expanded the power of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to issue “overarching policies and procedures” and to coordinate “priorities” with foreign intelligence services that target American citizens and legal residents.

And on Wednesday, The Washington Post exposed how the federal government has used “its system of border checkpoints to greatly expand a database on travelers entering the country by collecting information on all U.S. citizens crossing by land, compiling data that will be stored for 15 years and may be used in criminal and intelligence investigations.” Ellen Nakashima writes,

The disclosure of the database is among a series of notices, officials say, to make DHS’s data gathering more transparent. Critics say the moves exemplify efforts by the Bush administration in its final months to cement an unprecedented expansion of data gathering for national security and intelligence purposes. (“Citizens’ U.S. Border Crossings Tracked,” The Washington Post, August 20, 2008)

The Post also revealed that the information will be linked to a new database, the Non-Federal Entity Data System, “which is being set up to hold personal information about all drivers in a state’s database.” Posted at the Government Printing Office’s website, the notice states that the information may even be shared with federal contractors or consultants “to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records.”

But perhaps the most controversial move towards increasing the federal government’s surveillance powers were unveiled by the Justice Department in late July. According to The Washington Post, “a new domestic spying measure…would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.”

New rules for police intelligence-gathering would apply to any of the 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive some $1.6 billion each year in federal grants. These proposed changes, as with other administration measures, were quietly published July 31 in the Federal Register.

The McClatchy Washington Bureau reported August 13, that Mukasey confirmed plans to “loosen post-Watergate restrictions on the FBI’s national security and criminal investigations,” under cover of improving the Bureau’s “ability to detect terrorists.” Marisa Taylor wrote,

Mukasey said he expected criticism of the new rules because “they expressly authorize the FBI to engage in intelligence collection inside the United States.” However, he said the criticism would be misplaced because the bureau has long had authority to do so.

Mukasey said the new rules “remove unnecessary barriers” to cooperation between law enforcement agencies and “eliminate the artificial distinctions” in the way agents conduct surveillance in criminal and national security investigations. (“FBI to Get Freer Rein to Look for Terrorism Suspects,” McClatchy Washington Bureau, August 13, 2008)

While the Justice Department’s draft proposals have been selectively leaked to the media, and DoJ is expected to release its final version of the changes within a few weeks, even then the bulk of these modifications will remain classified on grounds of “national security.”

Under the new regulatory regime proposed by Mukasey, state and local police would be given free rein to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch criminal intelligence investigations based on the “suspicion” that a target is “engaged in terrorism.” The results of such investigations could be shared “with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases,” according to Post reporters Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson.

With probable cause tossed overboard, domestic intelligence as envisaged by the Bush Justice Department is little more than a fishing expedition intended to cast a wide driftnet over Americans’ constitutional rights, reducing guarantees of free speech and assembly to banal pieties mouthed by state propagandists.

These changes are intended to lock-in Bush regime surveillance programs such as warrantless internet and phone wiretapping, data mining, the scattershot issuance of top secret National Security Letters to seize financial and other personal records, as well as expanding a security index of individuals deemed “terrorist threats” by the corporatist state.

Simultaneous with the release of new DoJ domestic spying guidelines, the Bush administration’s “modernization” of Reagan-era Executive Order 12333, as The Washington Post delicately puts it, also calls for intensified sharing of intelligence information with local law enforcement agencies.

In addition to consolidating power within the ODNI, E.O. 12333 revisions direct the CIA “and other spy agencies,” in a clear violation of the Agency’s charter, to “provide specialized equipment, technical knowledge or assistance of expert personnel” to state and local authorities.

The latest moves to expand executive power follow close on the heels of other orders and rule changes issued by the Bush regime. As researcher and analyst Michel Chossudovsky reported in June, the Orwellian National Security Presidential Directive 59/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24 (NSPD 59/HSPD 24), entitled “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security,” is directed against U.S. citizens. Chossudovsky wrote,

NSPD 59 goes far beyond the issue of biometric identification, it recommends the collection and storage of “associated biographic” information, meaning information on the private lives of US citizens, in minute detail, all of which will be “accomplished within the law.”

The directive uses 9/11 as an all encompassing justification to wage a witch hunt against dissenting citizens, establishing at the same time an atmosphere of fear and intimidation across the land.

It also calls for the integration of various data banks as well as inter-agency cooperation in the sharing of information, with a view to eventually centralizing the information on American citizens. (“Big Brother” Presidential Directive: “Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security,” Global Research, June 11, 2008)

Indeed, NSPD 59/HSPD 24 creates the framework for expanding the definition of who is a “terrorist” to include other categories of individuals “who may pose a threat to national security.”

In addition to al Qaeda and other far-right Islamist terror groups, many of whom have served as a cat’s paw for Western intelligence agencies in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the Balkans, NSPD 59/HSPD 24 has identified two new categories of individuals as potential threats: “Radical groups” and “disgruntled employees.”

In other words, domestic anarchist and socialist organizations as well as labor unions acting on behalf of their members’ rights, now officially fall under the panoptic lens of federal intelligence agencies and the private security contractors who staff the 16 separate agencies that comprise the U.S. “intelligence community.”

These moves represent nothing less than an attempt by the Bush administration to return to the days of COINTELPRO when the Bureau, acting in concert with state and local police “red squads” targeted the left for destruction.

“After 9/11, the gloves come off”

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. national security state has ramped-up its repressive machinery, targeting millions of Americans through broad surveillance programs across a multitude of state and private intelligence agencies.

While the FBI, CIA, NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be the federal “tip of the spear” of current intelligence operations, they certainly are not alone when it comes to domestic spying.

Outsourced contractors from communications, defense and security corporations such as AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Verizon Communications, Northrop Grumman, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), L-3 Communications, CACI International and many more, have collaborated with Bush regime war criminals in fashioning a hypermodern, high-tech police state.

That these corporations have staked-out “homeland security” as a niche market to expand their operations has been explored by Antifascist Calling in numerous articles. As I have previously reported, it is estimated that some 70% of the personnel employed by U.S. intelligence agencies are now private contractors holding top secret and above security clearances.

Unaccountable actors virtually beyond congressional scrutiny, outsourced intelligence agents first and foremost are employees answerable to corporate managers and boards of directors, not the American people or their representatives. Chiefly concerned with inflating profit margins by overselling the “terrorist threat,” the incestuous relationships amongst corporate grifters and a diminished “public sector” demonstrate the precarious state of democratic norms and institutions in the U.S.

New rules governing FBI counterintelligence investigations will allow the Bureau to run informants for the purpose of infiltrating organizations deemed “subversive” by federal snoops. Many of the worst abuses under COINTELPRO, the CIA’s Operation CHAOS and the U.S. Army’s deployment of Military Intelligence Groups (MIGs) for illegal domestic operations during the 1960s, employed neofascists as infiltrators and as nascent death squads.

While the Bureau may have eschewed close collaboration with fascist gangs, will sophisticated, high-tech private security corporations now play a similar role in Bureau counterintelligence and domestic security operations?

If history is any judge, the answer inevitably will be “yes.”

Currently equipping the “intelligence community” with electronic specialists, network managers, software designers and analysts, will defense and security corporations bulk-up the Bureau and related agencies with “plausibly deniable” ex-military and intelligence assets for targeted infiltration and “disruption” of domestic antiwar and anticapitalist groups?

It can’t happen here? Why its happening already! As investigative journalist James Ridgeway revealed in April, a private security firm,

organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings. According to company documents provided to Mother Jones by a former investor in the firm, this security outfit collected confidential internal records–donor lists, detailed financial statements, the Social Security numbers of staff members, strategy memos—from these organizations and produced intelligence reports for public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental controversies. (“Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups,” Mother Jones, April 11, 2008)

The firm, Beckett Brown International (later called S2i) provided a range of services for corporate clients. According to Ridgeway, the private snoops engaged in “intelligence collection” for Allied Waste; conducted background checks and “performed due diligence” for the Carlyle Group; handled “crisis management” for the Gallo wine company and Pirelli; engaged in “information collection” for Wal-Mart. Also listed as BBI/S2i records as clients were Halliburton and Monsanto.

Mike German, a former FBI agent and whistleblower who is now the policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that once proposed changes are implemented, police may collect intelligence even when no underlying crime is suspected. This is nothing less than “preemptive policing” and a recipe for tightening the screws on dissent. The Post averred,

German, an FBI agent for 16 years, said easing established limits on intelligence-gathering would lead to abuses against peaceful political dissenters. In addition to the Maryland case [that targeted antiwar and death penalty opponents], he pointed to reports in the past six years that undercover New York police officers infiltrated protest groups before the 2004 Republican National Convention; that California state agents eavesdropped on peace, animal rights and labor activists; and that Denver police spied on Amnesty International and others before being discovered.

“If police officers no longer see themselves as engaged in protecting their communities from criminals and instead as domestic intelligence agents working on behalf of the CIA, they will be encouraged to collect more information,” German said. “It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government.” (Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson, “U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules,” The Washington Post, August 16, 2008)

In a related report on Fusion Centers, that German coauthored with Jay Staley for the ACLU, they documented how so-called “counterterrorist” national collection agencies are “characterized by ambiguous lines of authority, excessive secrecy, troubling private-sector and military participation, and an apparent bent toward suspicionless information collection and data mining.”

As I reported earlier this month, citing research from German and Staley’s report, U.S. Marine Corps officers, enlisted personnel and an analyst with U.S. NORTHCOM, pilfered intelligence files and shared them with private defense contractors in hope of securing future employment.

Money talks, particularly in a political culture where the business of government is, after all, business!

With little oversight from a compliant Congress, and an “opposition” party in league with their “constituents”–multinational corporate grifters out to make a buck–the final nails are being hammered into the coffin of America’s former democratic Republic.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9900


FBI to get freer rein to look for terrorism suspects

Wiretaps “R” Us: Is the FBI Tracking Your Cellphone?

COINTELPRO Comes to My Town: My First-Hand Experience With Government Spies by Dave Zirin

“Big Brother” Presidential Directive: “Biometrics for Identification & Screening to Enhance National Security”

Black Ops on Green Groups (video link)

Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups

Private Spies: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing

“Peace Mom” v. “Guardian of Power” by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, August 21, 2008

Credit both titles to the book authors. Cindy Sheehan as a mother, peace activist, and now candidate to succeed Nancy Pelosi in California’s Eighth Congressional District. Pelosi as both “guardian” and possessor of what Davids Cromwell and Edwards wrote about in their powerful critique of the media.

Both women represent hugely different interests, so let readers choose which ones they prefer. First some background on both candidates.

Sheehan is a peace activist, not a politician, and think how refreshing that is. Here’s some background about her from her cindyforcongress.com web site:

— born in California to working-class parents who experienced the pain of the Great Depression;

— raised four children, including her son Casey; killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004 at age 24 – five days after he arrived;

— Sheehan bitterly opposed the war and begged her son not to re-enlist in August 2003: “I begged Casey not to go. I told him I would take him to Canada. (I would do) anything to get him not to go to that immoral war;”

— as an adult mother, she attended Cerritos College and UCLA;

— she then worked as a Youth Minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Vacaville, CA for eight years and coordinated an after-school program for at-risk middle school children;

— everything changed when Casey was killed; it energized her to action;

— she founded Gold Star Families for Peace in January 2005, an organization of family members whose relatives were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and that’s dedicated “to ending the occupation in Iraq and bringing our troops home;”

— in August 2005, she organized demonstrations close to the Bush ranch in Crawford, TX – what became known as “Camp Casey;” it drew thousands of activists and celebrities from around the world in protest against an illegal war they want stopped;

— prior to her congressional campaign, she travelled the world to meet with world leaders about resolving the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts; the US Congress and governments of South Korea, Scotland and Canada paid her special recognition;

— numerous organizations around the country and world now have her as a keynote speaker and honored guest;

— she receives dozens of peace awards and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005; in addition, Dario Fo, 1997 Nobel Laureate for Literature, wrote a play about her called “Peace Mom,” the same title as her book;

— she’s also now an accomplished author of three books to go along with her other achievements that have gotten her featured in the mainstream press and alternative media;

— in sum: major achievements for a once simple “mom” who cared enough to change her life and shake the world; now she hopes to do it as a member of the 111th Congress next January and accomplished the first step toward it – in spite of a determined effort to stop her, she collected enough required signatures (by the August 8 deadline) to be on the November ballot as an independent candidate for Congress.

Nancy Pelosi is the current House Speaker and Democrat Congressional member since winning a special election in 1987. Her 8th Congressional District represents much of San Francisco and is considered one of the most liberal ones in the country. In November 2002, she became the first woman ever in Congress to lead a political party as Minority Leader. After Democrats won control of the House in the 2006 off-year elections, she was elected Speaker in January 2007.

She grew up in Baltimore in a very political family. Her late father, Tommy “The Elder” D’Alesandro, was a local party boss and served in various capacities in the city council, as a state delegate, congressman, and three times as mayor from 1947 – 1959. Her younger brother, Tommy “The Younger” D’Alesandro, also was Baltimore’s mayor for one term.

Pelosi’s husband, Paul, is a successful San Francisco financier and businessman. Largely because of his wealth, Pelosi is considered the ninth richest person in the House (according to OpenSecrets.org) with estimates of their net worth ranging from $25 million to three or four times that amount and a life-style to go with it. Not a model populist in a strongly Democrat district where she’s been re-elected 10 times with at least 75% of the vote. Republicans need not apply, so Democrats win by showing up. At least so far.

On examination, Pelosi’s record is troubling, especially after becoming Speaker and failing to deliver on promises made in the 2006 mid-term election. Along with Senate Majority Leader (Democrat) Harry Reid, they share most blame for why the July Rasmussen Reports gave Congress its lowest ever approval rating at 9% with only 2% of respondents calling its performance excellent. The other 7% called it good. The majority 91% called it fair (36%) or poor (52%). That presents opportunity for Sheehan.

Pelosi on the issues explains why. She:

— supported the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Blily Act that repealed Glass-Steagall and allowed commercial and investment banks and insurance companies to combine; it opened the door for some of the worst financial abuses now apparent;

— voted for the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States;” it began the “war on terror,” the illegal wars that followed, as well as the Bush administration’s coup d’etat against the Constitution and establishment of a police state;

— opposed the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution responsible for launching the war; but she supported the Afghanistan assault and all illegal war funding;

— on January 5, 2007 (after becoming Speaker), “informed the president” in writing of her opposition to the “surge;” only supported a non-binding February resolution against it and took no effective action to end it or the occupation;

— supported the 2007 Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act (HR 2956); it passed the House, but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took no further action;

— supported the 2007 US Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health, and Iraq Accountabiity Act (HR 1591) – the first legislation for supplemental Iraq and Afghanistan funding; it called for ending the occupation by September 1, 2008; a compromise bill was agreed to by the House and Senate; it passed both Houses; George Bush vetoed it, and House Democrats failed to override; a second attempt also failed; Democrats in both Houses (backed by Pelosi) agreed to approve supplemental funding with no occupation withdrawal timetable and clear evidence that their earlier efforts were more posturing than a determined effort to end it;

— despite considerable opposition rhetoric, indicated her support for the Iraq and Afghan wars (on December 5, 2006) after the mid-term elections when she looked assured of being elected Speaker; responding to questions said: “We will not cut off funding for the troops; absolutely not; let me remove all doubt in anyone’s mind; as long as our troops are in harm’s way, Democrats will be there to support them….;”

— voted for every Bush administration Pentagon budget request since 2001; and also supported:

— the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act – a thinly veiled scheme to destroy public education and privatize it;

— the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act;

— the 2001 USA Patriot Act;

— the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act – it denied detainees habeas rights and let US forces use cruel, abusive, inhumane and degrading treatment in the interest of national security;

— the 2006 Homeland Security Department Authorization Act;

— the 2007 Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendation Act;

— the 2008 and 2009 Intelligence Authorization Acts to fund 13 intelligence agencies; and

— the 2008 FISA Amendments Act – to weaken standards of proof and warrants required for surveillance and grant telecom companies retroactive immunity for warrantless spying post-9/11.

She’s also fully committed to and well-funded by the corporate interests she supports. She voted against withdrawing from the WTO, for NAFTA and for similar “free trade” agreements with Australia, Peru, Chile, and Singapore. She calls democratic Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez a “common thug.”

And when it comes to Israel, she states that she and the US “will stand with (the Jewish state) now and forever.” She further contends that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t over the issue of occupation. “This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.”

Her AIPAC June 2008 conference address highlighted her “commitment to Israel’s security;” that passage of the 2008 Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Reform Act will expedite sending defense equipment and services to Israel; that Israel will be “treated like NATO members;” and that America will guarantee that “Israel’s qualitative military edge (will) be empirically assessed on an ongoing basis.”

She also highlighted Iran as one of her main concerns and said: “Ensuring the security of Israel and the entire world demands that we do more to convince Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions and cease its support for terrorist groups.” She further suggested that Iran represents an existential threat and that sanctions against it must be tightened – “and by tighten, I mean tighten.”

She then added: “Thank you (for) lobby(ing) on behalf of bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Ackerman” by which she meant H. Con. Res. 362. It contains outlandish, unsubstantiated accusations against Iran, and if enacted and implemented, will authorize a naval blockade and be an act of war. AIPAC is committed to its passage. Pelosi is committed to AIPAC. Its 2002 – 04 president, Amy Rothschild Friedkin, (a fellow San Franciscan) is her close friend.

Finally, as House Speaker, she declared that efforts to impeach George Bush were “off the table.” Most recently in an August 1 interview with James Carney of Time, Inc., she responded to a question about it as follows:

“I took (impeachment) off the table a long time ago. You can’t talk about impeachment unless you have the facts, and you can’t have the facts unless you have cooperation from the Administration. I think the Republicans would like nothing better than for us to focus on impeachment and take our eye off the ball of a progressive economic agenda.”

Pelosi, of course, turns a blind eye to very clear evidence for impeachment. On January 17, 2003, international law expert Professor Francis Boyle listed them in his “Draft Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush” and presented it to the 108th Congress. It called for impeaching the President for high crimes and misdemeanors for:

— “violat(ing) his constitutional oath to faithfully execute (his) office;”

— failing to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution;

— impos(ing) a police state and military dictatorship;

— ramming the totalitarian USA Patriot Act (and other repressive legislation) through Congress;

— trying to suspend the constitutional Writ of Habeas Corpus;

— mass-round(ing) up and incarcrat(ing) foreigners;

— kangaroo courts;

— depriving at least two United States citizens of their constitutional rights by means of military incarceration;

— interfer(ing) with the constitutional right of defendants in criminal cases to (be represented by) lawyers;

— violating and subverting the Posse Comitatus Act;

— (allowing) unlawful and unreasonable searches and seizures;

— violating the First Amendment rights of free exercise of religion, speech, assembly, and to petition the government for redress of grievances;

— packing the federal judiciary with hand-picked (totalitarian-minded) judges;

— violating the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, US War Crimes Act, (UN) Convention against Torture, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and other violations of US and international laws and norms – “to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”

Cindy Sheehan on the Issues

Her positions on key issues stand in stark contrast to Pelosi’s. She’s for:

— “repealing all ‘free trade’ agreements;” replacing them with “fair trade” ones that respect worker rights and union empowerment to bargain on equal terms with management;

— enacting “single-payer healthcare and affordable housing” legislation;

— extending unemployment and food stamp benefits at a time of economic distress;

— “compassionate and humane treatment for immigrant workers;” their right to join unions; and for an “expedited path to legalization in the form of Green Cards;”

— ending the militarization of the border as well as funding for ICE and other government agencies that “terrorize immigrant workers (driven here by bipartisan support for unfair) ‘free trade’ and ‘structural adjustment’ policies;”

— making quality free education a “basic human right from infants in day care centers to students in universities;”

— “bring(ing) home our troops from all countries where (they) promote occupation, corporate greed and empire;”

— repealing the No Child Left Behind Act and backing government-supported public education;

— investing in the nation’s infrastructure, long neglected;

— slashing the Pentagon’s budget and putting federal money into job creation (and social services);

— reversing destructive deregulation that enables “corporate profiteers to (avoid) proper oversight and health and safety regulations; reinstating Glass-Steagall that separated investment from commercial banking and insurance operations;

— regulating the corporate media; opposing the “multiple ownership of newspaper, cable, broadcast, internet and all other media operations;” supporting federally-funded “public labor-community broadcast and internet systems;”

— reversing the trend to “privatize and contract out jobs (that) threat(en the nation’s) workforce;” ending the privatization of federal jobs and letting all government workers join unions;

— preventing the US Postal Service from being privatized;

— establishing “a national energy system, for a mass transit system;” alternative fuels as well to end our dependence on oil, gas and nuclear;

— assuring civil rights and privacy protection; ending harassment and discrimination against union members and unorganized workers;

— repealing the Patriot Act and other repressive laws;

— ending pervasive spying – by the government on the citizenry and corporations on their workers; and

— repealing drug and other repressive laws that jail millions of working people in the world’s largest prison population.

Sheehan v. Pelosi. “Peace Mom and supporter of people rights v. “Guardian of Power” and defender of wealth and privilege. On November 3, the people of California’s 8th Congressional District will decide which agenda they prefer. So can readers.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM – 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening.


© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9898


Bambi vs. Godzilla: Bambi Needs Your Help! by Josh Sidman

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The Most Important Election In The United States of America in 2008


Cindy Sheehan for Congress

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili

Dandelion Salad

By F. William Engdahl
08/21/08 “ICH”

The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41 year old Mikhail Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. The famous ‘Rose Revolution of November 2003 that forced the aging Edouard Shevardnadze from power and swept the then 36 year old US university graduate into power was run and financed by the US State Department, the Soros Foundations, and agencies tied to the Pentagon and US intelligence community.

Mihkail Saakashvili was deliberately placed in power in one of the most sophisticated US regime change operations, using ostensibly private NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) to create an atmosphere of popular protest against the existing regime of former Soviet Foreign Minister Edouard Shevardnadze, who was no longer useful to Washington when he began to make a deal with Moscow over energy pipelines and privatizations.

Saakashvili was brought to power in a US-engineered coup run on the ground by US-funded NGO’s, in an application of a new method of US destabilization of regimes it considered hostile to its foreign policy agenda. The November 24 2003 Wall Street Journal explicitly credited the toppling of Shevardnadze’s regime to the operations of “a raft of non-governmental organizations . . . supported by American and other Western foundations.” These NGOs, said the Journal, had “spawned a class of young, English-speaking intellectuals hungry for pro-Western reforms” who were instrumental laying the groundwork for a bloodless coup.

Coup by NGO

But there is more. The NGOs were coordinated by the US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Miles, who had just arrived in Tbilisi fresh from success in orchestrating the CIA-backed toppling of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, using the same NGOs. Miles, who is believed to be an undercover intelligence specialist, supervised the Saakashvili coup.

It involved US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Georgia Foundation. It involved the Washington-based Freedom House whose chairman was former CIA chief James Woolsey. It involved generous financing from the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy, an agency created by Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s to “do privately what the CIA used to do,” namely coups against regimes the US Government finds unfriendly.

George Soros’ foundations have been forced to leave numerous eastern European countries including Russia as well as China after the 1989 student Tiananmen Square uprising. Soros is also the financier together with the US State Department of the Human Rights Watch, a US-based and run propaganda arm of the entire NGO apparatus of regime coups such as Georgia and Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. Some analysts believe Soros is a high-level operative of the US State Department or intelligence services using his private foundations as cover.

The US State Department funded the Georgia Liberty Institute headed by Saakashvili, US approved candidate to succeed the no-longer cooperative Shevardnadze. The Liberty Institute in turn created “Kmara!” which translates “Enough!” According to a BBC report at the time, Kmara! Was organized in spring of 2003 when Saakashvili along with hand-picked Georgia student activists were paid by the Soros Foundation to go to Belgrade to learn from the US-financed Otpor activists that toppled Milosevic. They were trained in Gene Sharp’s “non-violence as a method of warfare” by the Belgrade Center for Nonviolent Resistance.

Saakashvili as mafioso President

Once he was in place in January 2004 as Georgia’s new President, Saakashvili proceeded to pack the regime with his cronies and kinsmen. The death of Zurab Zhvania, his prime minister in February, 2005, remains a mystery. The official version—poisoning by faulty gas heater—was adopted by American FBI investigators within two weeks of the killing. That has never seemed credible to those familiar with Georgia’s gangland slayings, crime, and other manifestations of social decay. Zhvania’s death was followed closely by a functionary of the Premier’s apparat, Georgi Khelashvili, who allegedly shot himself the day after his chief’s demise. The head of Zhvania’s research staff was later found dead as well.

Figures allied with Saakashvili reportedly had a hand in the premier’s death. Russian journalist Marina Perevozkina quoted Gia Khurashvili, a Georgian economist. Prior to the fatal incident, Mr. Khurashvili had published an article in Resonans newspaper opposing the privatization and sale of Georgia’s main gas pipeline. Ten days before the prime minister’s body was found, Khurashvili was attacked and his editor-in-chief—citing pressure from ‘security service’ figures he refused to name—issued him a warning.

The late premier’s position on the pipeline issue was believed the direct reason for the murder of Zhvania. Zhvania’s brother, Georgi, also told Perevozkina that not long before Zhvania’s death he received a warning that someone was preparing to kill his brother. Saakashvili was reportedly livid when the US State Department invited Zhvania to Washington to win a Freedom Medal from the US Government’s National Democratic Institute. Saakashvili tolerates no rivals for power it seems.

Saakashvili, who cleverly marketed himself as “anti-corruption,” appointed several of his family members to lucrative posts in government, giving one of his brothers a position as chief adviser on domestic issues to the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline project, backed by British Petroleum and other oil multinationals.

Since coming to power in 2004 with US aid, Saakashvili has led a policy of mass-scale arrests, imprisonment, torture and deepened corruption. Saakashvili has presided over the creation of a de facto one-party state, with a dummy opposition occupying a tiny portion of seats in the parliament, and this public servant is building a Ceaucescu-style palace for himself on the outskirts of Tbilisi. According to the magazine, Civil Georgia (Mar. 22, 2004) until 2005, the salaries of Saakashvili and many of his ministers were reportedly paid by the NGO network of New York-based currency speculator Soros—along with the United Nations Development Program.

Israel US military train Georgian military

The current military assault on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in violation of Saakashvili’s pledge to seek a diplomatic not military solution to the territorial disputes, is backed by US and Israeli military “advisers.” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that on August 10, Georgian Minister of Reintegration, Temur Yakobshvili, “praised the Israel Defense Forces for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might, in an interview with Army Radio. ‘Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers,’ Yakobashvili told Army Radio in Hebrew, referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired.”

One of the targets of Russian bombs near Tbilisi was, according to IsraelNN.com, “a Georgian military plant in which Israeli experts are upgrading jet fighters for the Georgian military… Russian fighter jets bombed runways inside the plant, located near Tbilisi, where Israeli security firm Elbit is in charge of upgrading Georgian SU-25 jets.”

Israeli Foreign Minister and candidate to succeed ousted Israeli Prime Minister, Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, proclaimed on August 10 that “Israel recognizes Georgia’s territorial integrity,” code for saying it backs Georgia’s attempt to take South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The reported 1,000 Israeli military advisers in Georgia were not alone. On July 15, the Reuters news wire carried the following report: “VAZIANI, Georgia – One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise called “Immediate Response 2008,” in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia. The two-week exercise was taking place at the Vaziani military base near the capital Tbilisi, which was a Russian air force base until Russian forces withdrew at the start of this decade under a European arms reduction agreement… Georgia has a 2,000-strong contingent supporting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and Washington provides training and equipment to the Georgian military. The United States is an ally of Georgia and has irritated Russia by backing Tbilisi’s bid to join the NATO military alliance… “The main purpose of these exercises is to increase the cooperation and partnership between U.S. and Georgian forces,” Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett, commander of the U.S. military’s Southern European Task Force, told reporters.”

With Russia openly backing and training the indigenous military in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to maintain Russian presence in the region, especially since the US-backed pro-NATO Saakashvili regime took power in 2004, the Caucasus is rapidly coming to resemble Spain in the Civil War from 1936-1939 where the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and others poured money and weapons and volunteers into Spain in a devastating war that was a precursor to the Second World War.

In a curious footnote to the actual launch of military fighting on the opening day of the Olympics when Putin, George W. Bush and many world leaders were in Beijing far away, is a report in IsraelNN.com by Gl Ronen, stating that “The Georgian move against South Ossetia was motivated by political considerations having to do with Israel and Iran, according to Nfc. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili decided to assert control over the breakaway region in order to force Israel to reconsider its decision to cut back its support for Georgia’s military.”

Ronen added, “Russian and Georgian media reported several days ago that Israel decided to stop its support for Georgia after Moscow made it clear to Jerusalem and Washington that Russia would respond to continued aid for Georgia by selling advanced anti-aircraft systems to Syria and Iran.” Israel plans to get oil and gas from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian.

Although as of this writing Russian President Medvedev has announced Russia is halting its military response against Georgian targets, the situation is anything but stable. The insistence of Washington in bringing Georgia into its geopolitical sphere and backing an unstable regime around Mikhail Saakashvili may well have been the straw which broke the Russian camel’s patience if not his back.

Whether oil pipeline disputes or Russian challenges to Israel are the proximate trigger for Saakashvili’s dangerous game, it is clear that the volatile Georgian and his puppet masters may have entered a game where no one will be able to control the outcome.

© 2008 F. William Engdahl

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Russian draft Security Council resolution on Georgia (full text) h/t: ICH

A newer world order by Lee Sustar

OSCE observers knew about Georgia’s attack + Jewish Quarter targeted in Georgian offensive

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess

Aprés la deluge — wracking up the fear quotient By William Bowles

Beat The Dead Horse Or Putin’s Revenge By Gaither Stewart


Engdahl-F. William

Zeitgeist Part One Exposed: The Film

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replaced video Aug. 4, 2014

mannalinsky888~john_mark~Jesus saved me out o· Nov 7, 2013

An indepth documentary by Keith Thompson, exposing the philosophy & vain deceit of Zeitgeist Part One.

The philosophy behind the Zeitgeist movement comes from the writings of H. P. Blavatsky who declared that Lucifer / Satan is the God of this world & the one whom she worshipped.

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Mosaic News – 8/20/08: World News from the Middle East

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This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute
“Algeria Braces for More Attacks,” Dubai TV, UAE
“10 French Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Sudanese President: We’re Ready for War,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“US-Iraq Draft New Security Agreement,” Alsumaria TV, Iraq
“Jordan Frees 4 Prisoners Transferred from Israel,” IBA TV, Israel
“Hezbollah’s Museum,” New TV, Lebanon
“Syria Seeks to Join WTO,” Syria TV, Syria
“Revolution of the King and People,” Al Maghribiyah, Morocco
“Philippine Islamic Separatists Warn of War,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Stephanie Tubbs-Jones Interview 2005

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My condolences and sympathies to the Congresswoman’s family and friends.  ~ Lo


Investigative reporter Bob Fitrakis and the EON team interview Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones in 2005 on her historic challenge with Senator Barbara Boxer of the 2004 Ohio presidential vote and on the new voters’ rights movement in America.

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Voter Suppression Voting Rights

A newer world order by Lee Sustar

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Lee Sustar looks at the political impact of Russia’s invasion of Georgia.
August 21, 2008

THE RUSSIA-Georgia war has revealed a new balance of power in the world–and exposed the hypocrisy of U.S. politicians and the media who decry the imperialism emanating from Moscow, but embrace it when it’s made in the USA.

John McCain, of course, wins the prize for setting the most outrageous double standard. “In the 21st century,” he informed us, “nations don’t invade other nations.” Unless, of course, we’re talking about Afghanistan or Iraq, and the invading power happens to be the United States. McCain demanded and immediate pullout of all Russian forces from Georgia and insisted upon its “territorial integrity”–even as he claims the right for the U.S. to occupy Iraq for the next 100 years.

The supposedly progressive Barack Obama sounded little different. “I have condemned Russian aggression, and today I reiterate my demand that Russia abide by the cease-fire,” he said. “Russia must know that its actions will have consequences.”

One can imagine how a President Obama would respond if Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin or President Dimitri Medvedev declared that he wouldn’t withdraw all troops from Georgia right away, but would leave behind a large occupation force in order to be “as careful in getting out of Georgia as we were careless in getting in.” That, of course, is Obama’s excuse for keeping up to 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for “force protection,” the defense of U.S. military personnel and “anti-terrorist” missions–the same kind of pretext that Russia used to move beyond Georgia’s disputed South Ossetia region to a full-fledged invasion.

The media has been even more two-faced than the politicians. The same news outlets that parroted the Pentagon whitewash of civilian casualties in the horrific U.S. blitz on Falluja in Iraq in 2004 or aerial bombardment of wedding parties in Afghanistan now breathlessly report on the Russian bombs and artillery shells that hit apartment buildings and markets.

For the U.S. media, when Washington military action causes civilian deaths–between 600,000 and more than 1 million in Iraq, according to some estimates–it’s “collateral damage,” a regrettable but unavoidable part of modern warfare. Yet when a Russian plane drops a bomb that kills innocent bystanders, it’s a barbaric disregard for human life. One wonders just how much more unpopular the U.S. war in Iraq would be if the media worked as hard at exposing civilian casualties in that country as it has in Georgia.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

TO POINT out this U.S. hypocrisy isn’t to downplay the imperial nature of Russia’s latest occupation of Georgia. Georgia may have initiated the conflict by trying to smash the Russian-backed separatists among the Ossetian minority–and likely did so with a green light from the U.S. But Russia seized the opportunity to make an example of Georgia through military might–and not for the first time.

The Tsarist rulers of old Russia conquered Georgia more than two centuries ago. After a brief interlude following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was again imprisoned in Stalin’s USSR. The Georgian nationalist movement revived in the 1980s despite murderous repression by the supposedly liberal Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the USSR.

The 1991, the collapse of the USSR saw the non-Russian “federal republics,” including Georgia, gain independence. With Russian imperialism in crisis, U.S. imperialism was determined to fill the vacuum, not only in Moscow’s former puppet states in Eastern Europe, but in countries formerly part of the USSR.

Georgia, however, was slow going for the U.S. The pro-Western Georgian nationalist leader, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, pushed a “Georgia for the Georgians” line that frightened the 30 percent of the population that was non-Georgian–people whom Gamsakhurdia ominously referred to as “guests.” The first non-Communist Party head of Georgia in the waning days of the USSR, Gamsakhurdia went on to revoke the autonomous status of Abkhazia and North Ossetia, which had been enshrined in the USSR’s constitution. Resistance from the Abkhazians and Ossetians led to civil war and ethnic cleansing and, with Russian intervention, de facto independence for both regions since 1993.

The situation was little changed under the regime of Eduard Schevardnadze, the former foreign minister of the USSR who returned home to Georgia to take over the presidency after Gamsakhurdia was ousted in a coup. During Schevardnadze’s decade in power, Russia and the U.S. jockeyed for influence in Georgia.

Washington found a willing business partner in Schevardnadze. He was in favor of an oil pipeline that would bypass Russia. He was also a career Soviet politician who had run Georgia in the 1970s and who refused to take a consistent anti-Moscow line. In 2003, an election year in Georgia, Schevardnadze set off alarm bells in Washington by making a deal with the Russian electrical power monopoly AES, which followed an earlier “strategic partnership” with the huge Russian gas company Gazprom.

In late 2003, the U.S., then still in the confident “Mission Accomplished” phase of the Iraq war, decided to up the ante. It backed the U.S.-educated lawyer Mikheil Saakashvili, the leader of the mass protests of the “Rose Revolution” that ousted Schevardnadze after his party tried to rig parliamentary election results. Modeled on the rebellion that drove Slobodan Milosevic from power in Serbia in 2000, the Rose Revolution was sustained in part by money from the foundation controlled by billionaire financier George Soros. In the wake of the Rose Revolution the Soros foundation and other donors, as well as the United Nations Development Project, even paid salaries for 11,000 civil servants as part of a three-year aid program.

The U.S. saw the Saakashvili government as a means to accelerate its energy and defense plans for Georgia. Saakashvili’s presidential inauguration in 2004 was attended by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, who announced $166 million in immediate aid as well as a three-year, $500 million aid package to promote “economic reforms.” This was only part of a steady stream of U.S. dollars to a country of just 4.6 million people. According to one study, Georgia is the second highest recipient of U.S. aid per capita in the world. Meanwhile, the European Union and the World Bank pledged another $1 billion in assistance to Saakashvili’s government.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

SOON, THE White House was ready to plant the U.S. flag in the heart of the South Caucasus. George W. Bush visited Tbilisi in May 2005 to “underscore his support for democracy, historic reform and peaceful conflict resolution,” as the U.S. Embassy in Georgia put it in a press release. These “reforms,” according to Kakha Bendukidze, the Russia-based industrial oligarch turned Georgian economy minister, meant that the Georgian state would privatize “everything that can be sold, except its conscience.”

With Saakashvili in power, Washington moved aggressively to create in Georgia a crucial gateway for oil and gas pipelines that could bypass Russia on the north and Iran on the south. It was under Saakashvili that the long-sought Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline was finally completed in 2005, providing a means to get oil from Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea across Georgia to a Turkish port on the Mediterranean.

The U.S. had to strong-arm Western oil companies into building BTC–ultimately, BP agreed to take the lead. The U.S. also had to pressure the International Finance Corporation, the private development arm of the World Bank, to loan $250 million for construction of the pipeline.

“In the South Caucasus, U.S. and European state interests are bound up with the commercial interests of major oil companies that form the principal Caspian energy consortia,” wrote Damien Helly and Giorgi Gogia, two experts on Georgian politics. “To secure their investments in the Caspian Sea Basin, these companies have found allies among U.S. geostrategists who support a strong U.S. presence among Russia’s neighbors. High-level former officials such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, John Sununu, James Baker and Richard Cheney (when he was head of Halliburton) have all visited Baku [Azerbaijan] and the Caspian region and lobbied in favor of the oil companies.”

These U.S. economic and political projects had to be secured militarily. Thus, in the wake of 9/11, the U.S. began to send military advisers to Georgia. That move rankled Moscow, which also accused Georgia of doing too little to stop the flow of arms and insurgents across its border into neighboring Chechnya, where separatists were fighting the Russian armed forces.

For Russia, Georgia was seen as a red line that the U.S. and NATO could not cross. In the early 1990s, Russia had no choice but to allow the expansion of NATO to include its former satellites in Eastern Europe and the three former Soviet Republics on the Baltic. But the U.S. push to include Georgia and Ukraine in the alliance–as well as efforts to place anti-missile systems in the Czech Republic and Poland–was too much for the Kremlin.

After Saakashvili took over in Tbilisi, U.S.-Russian tensions over Georgia increased dramatically. In 2004, NATO approved Georgia’s “Individual Action Partnership Plan,” the first step toward membership of the alliance, and stationed a liaison officer in Tbilisi. In the years since, the U.S. and Israel have sent military trainers to upgrade Georgia’s military to NATO standards, and Saakashvili has showed his loyalty to the U.S. by sending 2,500 Georgian troops to participate in the occupation of Iraq. By 2007, the Georgian armed forces, previously a ragtag outfit unable to defeat irregular militias in South Ossetia or Abkhazia, was well-drilled, lavishly equipped and NATO-ready. The U.S. pushed for a fast-track acceptance into the alliance.

All that state-of-the-art weaponry, of course, is now smashed or captured by the Russian army, and the armed forces shattered by the Russian occupation. What began as the latest U.S. attempt to use a small nation as an outpost of the American Empire has ended with a brutal invasion by a rival empire, one just as determined to police its own “backyard” as the U.S. has been in Latin America. And in the wake of the Russia-Georgia war, oil-rich Azerbaijan–which has its own separatist region populated by ethnic Armenians allied with Russia–will think twice about crossing Moscow to sign up with the U.S. and NATO.

But the consequences of the Russian invasion go far beyond the South Caucasus region. The war has exposed the expanded NATO as a hollow organization. “For an organization that has come to rely heavily on words and symbolism, NATO issued a disconcertingly evasive communiqué at its emergency meeting on Georgia,” journalist Vladimir Socor wrote. “The first mention of Russia appears only in the second paragraph, and it is a positive mention: NATO ‘welcomes the [armistice] agreement reached and signed by Georgia and Russia.’ No reference to the Russian military duress, under which this flawed armistice was ‘reached.’ The communiqué urges prompt, good-faith implementation of the armistice, politely ignoring its loopholes.”

So much for NATO’s vaunted “one-for-all, all-for-one” principle. The U.S. and NATO have bankrolled and armed a tiny nation, encouraged or tolerated a military attack that was bound to trigger a response from a neighboring great power–and, when that small country was invaded and occupied, the U.S. stood back and did nothing.

So much for the neoconservative dream of a “new world order” under U.S. domination, guaranteed by pre-emptive warfare and regime change. The U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were intended to allow Washington to consolidate its grip on the Middle East and project its power into the Caucusus and Central Asia. Instead, the U.S. finds itself militarily overstretched, incapable of protecting its new client states and unable even to get a strong resolution out of NATO condemning Russia’s invasion of Georgia–to say nothing of NATO countries’ reluctance to commit troops to the losing war in Afghanistan.

There are other examples of waning U.S. imperial clout–the ouster of Pervez Musharraf as dictator of Pakistan being the latest serious example. The cracks in the empire, in turn, are widened by the ongoing U.S. financial crisis which is increasingly dragging down the entire world economy. The entire U.S. economic model–the pro-business, free-trade neoliberal program–is being discredited. The recent collapse of the latest World Trade Organization negotiations is a case in point.

U.S. imperialism is far from a spent force, of course. The country still has enormous military might and economic resources, and a President Obama would likely bring in a foreign policy and military team that’s more competent than the Bush administration hacks. But no matter who’s in charge in the White House, the shift in the world balance of power–economically, militarily and politically–is bound to lead to further instability and crises.


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OSCE observers knew about Georgia’s attack + Jewish Quarter targeted in Georgian offensive

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess

Aprés la deluge — wracking up the fear quotient By William Bowles

Beat The Dead Horse Or Putin’s Revenge By Gaither Stewart

Margolis: Dems onside with Bush on Georgia

Evidence of Georgian tanks + Poland Signs Missile Defense Shield Deal + NATO warns Russia

Crisis in the Caucasus. What Were They Smoking in the White House?


OSCE observers knew about Georgia’s attack + Jewish Quarter targeted in Georgian offensive

Dandelion Salad


Russian troops are leaving Georgia and will arrive in the peacekeepers’ zone of responsibility by tomorrow evening. The statement came during a regular briefing from Defence Ministry in Moscow.

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