Prominent journalist Seymour hersh says the US is ‘in real trouble’ because news coverage on Iraq is anything but balanced and unbiased.
When the American government says the US is winning in Iraq and is not torturing prisoners, they are just words, hersh told his audience of journalism students in Regina, Canada. “We are in real trouble [in Iraq].”
Pointing to the changes reporting has undergone since the Vietnam War, the award-winning journalist explained that reporters are now imbedded with troops who cloud their judgment and therefore do not touch the same kind of issues.
“It has led to a lot of lousy reporting,” continued hersh. “I don’t think it is bad for a journalist to come back (from covering a war) and say it sucks.”
hersh said media outlets spread ‘fake’ news and suggested his audience resort to translations of local media sources when learning about issues concerning the Middle East.
Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Myron hersh first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War.
Source: Press TV
Cost Overruns Hit $295 Billion
Government auditors issued a scathing review yesterday of dozens of the Pentagon’s biggest weapons systems, saying ships, aircraft and satellites are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.
The Government Accountability Office found that 95 major systems have exceeded their original budgets by a total of $295 billion, bringing their total cost to $1.6 trillion, and are delivered almost two years late on average. In addition, none of the systems that the GAO looked at had met all of the standards for best management practices during their development stages.
The Navy expects the costs of its first two Littoral Combat Ships to exceed their combined budget of $472 million by more than 100 percent. (Lockheed Martin Via Associated Press)
Auditors said the Defense Department showed few signs of improvement since the GAO began issuing its annual assessments of selected weapons systems six years ago. “It’s not getting any better by any means,” said Michael Sullivan, director of the GAO’s acquisition and sourcing team. “It’s taking longer and costing more.”
THE SUBPRIME mortgage crisis that pushed homeowners into foreclosure and forced the Federal Reserve to bail out investment banker Bear Stearns has also sent state and local governments across the country scrambling to refinance municipal bonds before they are hit with exorbitant interest rates.At the center of the storm are long-term variable-interest bonds known as “auction-rate securities.” Unlike traditional fixed-rate bonds, the interest rates on these securities are reset every 7, 28 or 35 days through an auction process.
Historically, the rate paid has been less than on traditional bonds, making the national $160-billion auction-rate market a reliable source of cheap financing.
But that market has collapsed in the past two months, sending interest rates climbing. As a result, California, Richmond, the Bay Area Toll Authority, the East Bay Municipal Utility District and Sacramento County are among countless government agencies forced to restructure their bond debts.
Larry A. Silverstein, who has won nearly $4.6 billion in insurance payments to cover his losses and help him rebuild at the World Trade Center site, is seeking $12.3 billion in damages from airlines and airport security companies for the 9/11 attack.Mr. Silverstein, the developer of ground zero, sought the damages, whose amount was not previously known, in a claim filed in 2004, that says the airlines and airport security companies failed to prevent terrorists from hijacking the planes used to destroy the buildings.
His case was consolidated last week with similar, earlier lawsuits brought by families of some victims of the attack and by other property owners. But in seeking $12.3 billion, he is by far the biggest claimant in the litigation.
“Fluoride causes more human cancer, and causes it faster, than any other chemical.”
– Dean Burk, Chief Chemist Emeritus, US National Cancer Institute
More on Aspartame: HERE
More on Agenda 21: HERE
More info on fluoride:
Government’s Pesticide Experiment Program
The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s own doctor acknowledges, in court documents, that the aerial application of this chemical has not been tested. Let me repeat this so you understand, chemicals are being sprayed on young children, nursing mother’s, people with asthma, lung problems, heart problems, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless and the chemically sensitive – and this chemical formulation has NEVER been tested on even a piece of dirt, let alone, humans.”…….
…..” For example: on the label for BHT it says (in big letters) “Do not inhale this product. Dangerous to respiratory health.“…
…”One infant in the City of Monterey nearly died from inhalation of the experimental biochemical, and now has permanent lung damage. Dozens of women in cities throughout the Monterey Peninsula are reporting problems with their reproductive systems after exposure to the pesticide, including: sudden, severe and irregular menstrual cycles, extreme cases of tender and swollen breasts, and the recurrence of menopause symptoms in older women. Other side effects of both Checkmate OLR-F and Checkmate LBAM-F include: asthma and sudden breathing difficulties, chest pain, vomiting, lethargy, fatigue, and extreme mood swings. Some people have coughed up blood and have gotten bloody noses from Checkmate exposure.”….
IF you’ve stood in line at a farmers’ market recently, you know that the local food movement is thriving, to the point that small farmers are having a tough time keeping up with the demand.But consumers who would like to be able to buy local fruits and vegetables not just at farmers’ markets, but also in the produce aisle of their supermarket, will be dismayed to learn that the federal government works deliberately and forcefully to prevent the local food movement from expanding. And the barriers that the United States Department of Agriculture has put in place will be extended when the farm bill that House and Senate negotiators are working on now goes into effect.
As a small organic vegetable producer in southern Minnesota, I know this because my efforts to expand production to meet regional demand have been severely hampered by the Agriculture Department’s commodity farm program. As I’ve looked into the politics behind those restrictions, I’ve come to understand that this is precisely the outcome that the program’s backers in California and Florida have in mind: they want to snuff out the local competition before it even gets started.
“After revealing last week that a pilot installation of controversial, buggy border-security scanner towers had finally been accepted into service, the US government has now admitted that the project is a technical failure,” Lew Page observes.
Plans to build a so-called ‘virtual fence’ along the Mexican border will proceed, but there will be long delays and very little of the current technology will be used. The expected rollout of the first 100 mile stretch of scanner-swept, networked border has now been moved back to 2011. The planned line south of Tucson in Arizona was to have been huddled-mass proofed by this year.
The initial piece of the fence — nine sensor-laden towers, collectively called “Project 28” — has been in trouble, for a while. But yesterday, the Government Accountability Office revealed a whole host of new problems. Like using inappropriate commercial software, originally meant for police dispatchers, to keep track of cross-border traffic. Like designing and developing by the whole thing “with minimal input from the intended operators of the system, including Border Patrol agents.” Oops.
Boeing, the big contractor behind the effort, tells the Washington Post that “the initial effort, while flawed, still has helped Homeland Security apprehend 2,000 illegal immigrants since September. It estimated in 2006 that it would spend $7.6 billion through 2011 to secure the entire 2,000-mile southern border, an ambition that was meant to win support from conservatives for legislation creating a guest-worker program and a path to legalization for 12 million illegal immigrants.”
But officials said yesterday that they now expect to complete the first phase of the virtual fence’s deployment — roughly 100 miles near Tucson and Yuma, Ariz., and El Paso, Tex. — by the end of 2011, instead of by the end of 2008…
“The total cost is not yet known,” testified Richard M. Stana, the GAO’s director of homeland security issues, because DHS officials “do not yet know the type of terrain where the fencing is to be constructed, the materials to be used, or the cost to acquire the land.”
“The pilot virtual fence included nine mobile towers, radar, cameras, and vehicles retrofitted with laptops and satellite phones or handheld devices. They were to be linked to a near-real-time, maplike projection of the frontier that agents could use to track targets and direct law enforcement resources,” the Post adds. Pagey has long called these sensors the Eye-o-Sauron™. (If you don’t get the reference, click away immediately.) “The cameras, much like the Eye of Sauron in the films, often struggled to spot unwelcome visitors,” he notes. For example…
GAO investigators said that Boeing’s software could not process large amounts of sensor data. The resulting delays made it hard for operators in a Tucson command center 65 miles to the north to lock cameras on targets. Radar systems were also triggered inadvertently by rain and other environmental factors. Cameras had trouble resolving images at five kilometers when they were expected to work at twice that distance, Stana said.
By Noah Shachtman
February 28, 2008 | 10:19:31 AM
The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone’s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
The technique is called a “roving bug,” and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.
Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.
The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the “roving bug” was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect’s cell phone.
Kaplan’s opinion said that the eavesdropping technique “functioned whether the phone was powered on or off.” Some handsets can’t be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.
While the Genovese crime family prosecution appears to be the first time a remote-eavesdropping mechanism has been used in a criminal case, the technique has been discussed in security circles for years.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s security office warns that “a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone.” An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can “remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner’s knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call.”
Nextel and Samsung handsets and the Motorola Razr are especially vulnerable to software downloads that activate their microphones, said James Atkinson, a counter-surveillance consultant who has worked closely with government agencies. “They can be remotely accessed and made to transmit room audio all the time,” he said. “You can do that without having physical access to the phone.”