Keep your Égalité and Fraternité but shove your Liberté!
THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT has apparently decided that it doesn’t much like being democratic, and that it would rather like to censor the Internet instead.
Not content with simply limiting itself to blocking despicable child sex abuse, a move three major ISPs in the US also agreed to today, the French government feels it necessary to go a radical step further and decide for its citizens whether or not they can view content it considers inappropriately racist and or linked to terrorism.
In fact, worse still is that any site is now game for a French blockade, as Sarkozy’s government is inviting people to send in huge long lists of sites which offend their delicate sensibilities. The French government, which will purportedly be able to receive complaints from Internet users in real time, will be able to add sites to a so called “black list”, which it will then force national ISPs to block.
I would never have thought there’d be any greater crimes than those of George W. Bush, nor any villain greater. I’m wrong. And no, it’s not Dick Cheney, either, or anything he’s perpetrated. Nor any of their colleagues.
It’s Nancy Pelosi, and her colleagues, and what they seem quite literally hell-bent on doing.
Why at this late date do we still revile onetime British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in public as loudly, if not moreso, than we even condemn Adolf Hitler? Why, by now, has Neville Chamberlain has been positioned as the ultimate “My Pet Goat” of the 20th Century? Certainly he did not instigate the Final Solution. Surely he did not whip up the murderous furor of The Third Reich. But his name is still spoken with great villification and scorn, nonetheless.
Because he enabled. He let it all happen, with his now-tragically gullible decision to cave to Hitler when he could have taken a stand. He could have stopped one of the biggest living nightmares in human history, or at least slowed it down. Instead, he thoughtfully and cautiously stepped out of the way and invited it to rage ahead, much to all of our sorrow. He had the power to impede it, he was in position to be able to hobble it – even if only a little. He could have made a difference, perhaps sparing millions of lives, and decades of grief. He chose not to. Oh, he knew better.
By his negligence, cowardice, short-sightedness, and lousy strategizing, Chamberlain helped Hitler along the way to Damnation, surely earning himself a place in the Fuhrer’s boat across the River Styx. Never mind the so-called Saddam or al Qaeda “appeasers” now — whose names are belched out of Republican/arch-conservative hate-radio boombox mouths as “appeasers”, as though the speakers had just been issued their orders for vigorous exercise of the new vocabulary word of the day. THAT move by Chamberlain was appeasement. That was the geniune article. That was then.
This is now.
Nancy Pelosi is the Neville Chamberlain of this day, in this country. She and her colleagues in the 110th Congress will likely be remembered by history in dramatically more disturbing ways than they had ever wanted or imagined. Some constitutional scholars have historians beat — they’ve already arrived at that conclusion. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has already warned that history will look very harshly on those Democrats who did nothing to hold the worst criminals ever to blight the Executive Branch accountable for anything they’ve perpetrated. Failing to follow through on the 35 Articles of Impeachment as presented by Representative Dennis Kucinich and cosponsored by colleague Robert Wexler has put a permanent mark on Pelosi’s political soul, and on her record.And she’s not just failing to follow through on even one of these impeachment resolutions, she’s actively discouraging and suppressing them all. Even worse!
The Bush administration’s demand for 58 permanent bases in Iraq – a near doubling of the current 30 bases – are causing Iraqis to warn that the status of forces agreement would be “more abominable than the occupation.” The administration is reportedly holding hostage “some $50bn of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement.”
The reason the White House is so hell-bent on signing a long-term agreement may have less to do with Iraq and more to do with Iran. According to press reports of the ongoing negotiations, the Bush administration is seeking the “power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq.” Ali al Adeeb, a leading member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa party, confirmed:
The Americans insist so far that is they who define what is an aggression on Iraq and what is democracy inside Iraq…if we come under aggression we should define it and ask for help.
The administration’s request would seemingly allow the U.S. to brand Iran as an enemy of Iraq and attack Iran in the name of defending Iraq pursuant to a legal obligation under the status of forces agreement.
Other details from press accounts confirm that the Bush administration has one eye on Iran in the course of its negotiations with Iraqis. The Washington Post explains that the administration is seeking “the prerogative for U.S. forces to conduct operations without approval from the Iraqi government.” Moreover, the U.S. wants control over Iraq’s airpsace:
The American negotiators also called for continued control over Iraqi airspace and the right to refuel planes in the air, according to [Sami al-Askari, a leading Shiite politician], positions he said added to concerns that the United States was preparing to use Iraq as a base to attack Iran.
Information for this article comes from long-time business, finance and political writer and analyst Bob Chapman who publishes the bi-weekly International Forecaster. It’s power-packed with key information and a valued source for this writer. He obtained voluminous material directly from its source. People need to know it. Read on.
SueAnn Arrigo is the source. She was a high-level CIA insider. Her title was Special Operations Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).She also established the Remote Viewing Defense protocols for the Pentagon in her capacity as Remote Viewing Advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).It earned her a two-star general rank in the military. She called it a “ploy” so the Pentagon could get more of her time and have her attend monthly Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings. Only high-level types are invited, and she was there from October 2003 to July 2004.
Part of her job involved intelligence gathering on Iraq and Afghanistan – until August 2004 when she refused to spread propaganda about a non-existant Iranian nuclear weapons program and left. She followed in the footsteps of others at CIA who resigned for reasons of conscience and became critics – most notably Ray McGovern, Ralph McGehee, and Phil Agee.
On May 16, 2008, Arrigo sent extensive government corruption and cover-up information to Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee – in 12 separate cases. This article covers four of them or about one-third of what Congress got. The 12 are explosive and revealing but just the tip of the iceberg:
— of government corruption and war profiteering;
— sweetheart deals and kickbacks;
— high-level types on the take;
— trillions of missing dollars;
— on September 10, 2001, Rumsfeld admitting “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions;”
— imagine the current amount;
— its corrosive effect on the nation; and people should
— demand accountability – who profits, who pays and what are the consequences of militarism gone mad.
SueAnn Arrigo offers a glimpse and at great personal risk. In August 2001, DCI George Tenet told her to assemble “a moving van full of Pentagon documents showing Defense Contractor kickbacks to Pentagon officials.” She did as instructed but not to expose corruption as she learned – to conceal it and in her judgment so CIA could divert defense business to Halliburton and “Carlyle-related contractors.” She stated: “The mood at the CIA and Pentagon was ‘war is coming’ because the Bush Family stands to make billions from it — so get ready.”
From You Tube:
“When you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. Idiot Harry Reid maintains that paying income tax is voluntary in the U.S.. Harry Reid is the Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate. He’s obviously not very bright. But then again… he is a politician.”
Scott McClellan, the most significant defector from behind the Iron Curtain of the War Party’s domain, doesn’t think we were lied into war. According to him, it was all due to the “partisan” attitudes that dominate Washington discourse on every issue. As he puts it, “the permanent campaign” atmosphere made them do it: “I don’t think that this was some deliberate, conscious effort to mislead the American people.”
In an interview with Keith Olbermann the other night, he disdained the very idea as a “conspiracy theory.” McClellan seems to believe that the need to bias intelligence is inherent in the American political system, the inevitable consequence of the Washington ethos as defined by the struggle between the two major parties. He denies any “criminal intent” in the actions of the administration and its flunkies, and he trivializes the matter by referring to “people sitting around a table” making plans to dupe Congress and the American people. The evidence, however, points in the other direction, as “Phase Two” of the long-awaited and deliberately-delayed report of the Senate Intelligence Committee makes clear [.pdf].
In spite of Keith’s effusive reference to McClellan as “the Rosetta Stone” for helping us understand what we’ve endured during the past eight years, the former White House spokesman seems incapable of deciphering what he saw and participated in, as the first section of the “Phase Two” Senate report shows. All the prewar “talking points” of the administration, and the flimsy-to-nonexistent “evidence” used to back them up, are here debunked, and the pattern of deceit is all too clear. However, it is the second section of the report – which deals with the activities of the Office of Special Plans and other parallel intelligence-gathering operations set up by the neocons – that suggests something more sinister than extreme partisanship is motivating the actors in this drama of deception.
In 2001, as the wheels that would eventually drive us to war with Iraq began to turn, the groundwork was being laid for the inevitable denouement of that historic error: the present looming conflict with Iran.
Leafing through the story of the secret Rome meetings conducted by Michael Ledeen and Manucher Ghorbanifar – set up by a “foreign intelligence service,” as the report avers – this section of the Senate report reads like a spy thriller set in the future, a future in which we are about to go to war with Iran.
Neocon warlord Ledeen isn’t just one of the War Party’s most tireless polemicists. The fun part about being a foreign agent disguised as a “commentator” is that you get to rail away at the Bushies for not being enthusiastic enough about the Grand Plan of “liberating” the Middle East, demanding “faster, please!” Yet Ledeen isn’t just one of those armchair types who merely pontificates from his pundit’s perch: this student of Italian fascism is a man-of-action, too.
Indeed, that’s a considerable understatement. He and Ghorbanifar are longtime partners in crime, having been the two biggest spiders at the center of the Iran-Contra web, in which Ledeen and Ghorbanifar deployed their contacts in Israel – and within the Iranian government – to broker the mid-1980s arms-for-hostages deal.
Since former LA prosecutor Vince Bugliosi charged that Bush was guilty of the crime of mass murder, allegations by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan have simply ‘buttoned up’ Bugliosi’s already open and shut case. Bugliosi now has a material witness.
Bugliosi has much more than ‘probable cause’ to bring charges against Bush and his inner circle. He has the smoking gun, the open and shut case, the verifiable, indisputable fact that Bush knew Saddam did not have WMD but sent some 4,000 Americans to their deaths in Iraq anyway. I want to see McClellan on the witness stand spilling his guts about how Bush planned to hoax the world for the benefit of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton!
Bugliosi’s book hit the stores just recently and since then the capital murder case against Bush has been made open and shut with a material witness to the crime: Scott McClellan. McClellan’s ‘smoking gun’ is his recent confirmation that Bush and co-conspirators inside the White House deliberately planned the US attack and invasion of Iraq knowing full well: 1) that Saddam did not pose a threat and, 2) Saddam did not have WMD. It’s open and shut. Let Bush’s murder trial begin. Not mentioned by Bugliosi in the video is the fact that because the US attack and invasion of Iraq was a fraud, Bush may be held accountable in the International Court, as well, for the deaths of every Iraqi at the hands of US troops. This is not merely a matter for the International Court however. It is the subject of federal law, US Codes, Title 18, Section 2441, which makes George Bush subject to the death penalty under US federal law.
The timeline of events, a matter of public record, and the testimony of Scott McClellan who supports the charge that Iraq was but a fraud upon the entire world, is the case that must be made against Bush in court. As we know –Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN consisted of ten year old, obsolete black and white satellite photos, a plagiarized student paper (cited as authoritative), and other bogus so-called ‘evidence’. Events have proven all of these deliberate fabrications to be bald faced lies. Saddam never had WMD, in fact, few weapons but those provided him by the US.
As a critic of US foreign policy in the Middle East, especially when unsubstantiated allegations of weapons of mass destruction are used to sell a war, I am no stranger to the concept of questioning authority, especially in times of war. I am from the Teddy Roosevelt school of American citizenship, adhering to the principle that “to announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it is morally treasonable to the American public.”…
As a weapons inspector, I was very much driven by what the facts said, not what the rhetoric implied. I maintain this standard to this day in assessing and evaluating American policy in the Middle East. It was the core approach which governed my own personal questioning of the Bush administration’s case for confronting Iraq in the lead-up to the war in 2002 and 2003. I am saddened at the vindication of my position in the aftermath of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, not because of what I did, but rather what the transcripts of every media interview I conducted at the time demonstrates: The media were not interested in reporting the facts, but rather furthering a fiction.–Investigate This, Scott Ritter
The Washington Post is now trying to re-write history in favor of Bush’s latest ‘counter-offensive’. By his own accounts, Bush did not lie about WMD though we were told repeatedly of Saddam’s chemical and nuclear programs. Bush now claims that his ‘war like talk’ was a mistake. This latest round of revisionism is beginning to look like a ‘full court press’ to salvage a few shreds of credibility. Notably, the Washington Post is wasting ink with its latest efforts to rewrite the history according to George W. Bush.
On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” –Fred Hiatt, ‘Bush Lied’? If Only It Were That Simple
An Ohio Democratic lawmaker and former presidential candidate has presented articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush to Congress.
Thirty-five articles were presented by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to the House of Representatives late Monday evening, airing live on C-SPAN.
“The House is not in order,” said Kucinich to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), upon which Pelosi pounded her gavel.
“Resolved,” Kucinich then began, “that President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate. …
“In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and to the best of his ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has committed the following abuses of power…”
The first article Kucinich presented, and many that followed, regarded the war in Iraq: “Article 1 – Creating a secret propaganda campaign to manufacture a false case for war against Iraq.”
On several occasions, Kucinich referenced RAW STORY and its noted investigative news chief, Larisa Alexandrovna, as source material for the articles. Two of the RAW STORY pieces Kucinich mentioned are viewable here and here.
Kucinich, a 2004 and 2008 Democratic candidate for the White House, abandoned a prior attempt to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush in January of this year.
In April of 2007, Kucinich presented impeachment articles against Vice President Dick Cheney, but the effort went nowhere. Kucinich exclaimed that “impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran.”
Before leaving office in January 2007, then-Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney–currently a Green Party presidential candidate–introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush as her last act in Congress, but that effort also was fruitless.
The U.S. government has quietly gone ahead and formed several special security organizations for policing the internet.
Because there is such a (trained, not to mention talented) manpower shortage right now (and in the foreseeable future), this was done on the cheap. An effective force could not be recruited, even if everyone agreed to accept government pay levels, because of the huge expense.
One solution that was suggested even before September 11, 2001, and eventually caught on, was to organize and reward the pro bono cybersecurity efforts that have been going on for some time. A lot of talented whitehats just get pissed off and go after bad guys on their own nickel.
An example is HoneyNet (the pro bono network of honeypots set up to attract, analyze and document backhat activities and techniques). One suggestion that did not fly was setting up a “CyberCorps” as a separate corporation, with a few really good people to run it, and enough budget to pay market rate for the right people, and still have a close working relationship with government agencies and commercial firms that spend a lot on net security (banks and brokerages, for example.)
Instead, a “Cyber Corps” program was set up to give tuition assistance to college students studying computer security, in order to increase the number of qualified experts in this area. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security established working relationships with existing computer security groups, while the Department of Defense encouraged the services to set up computer security operations. The air force established the Cyber Command, a major operation that, it is hoped, will give the air force the lead (and most of the budget) for defense related Internet security operations.